ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Blogging

Thanks And Good Bye.

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For many complex reasons, which I won’t go into, this blog is closing.

It has been around years and I have learnt so much in the process.

I would like to thank my many fine readers, engaging posters and even the nauseating trolls.

I might in the future, time permitting, be found commenting on any one of these delightful blogs:

Engage
Greens Engage
Weggis
Adam Holland
Airforce Amazons
Jhate
Jack of Kent
Martin In The Margins
Max Dunbar
Obliged to Offend
Rosie Bell
The Poor Mouth

I would also recommend popping along to read The CST blog, Norm’s, Srebrenica Genocide Blog and Greater Surbiton.

Not forgetting Searchlight and the HOPE not hate blog.

Hasta pronto!

Written by modernityblog

17/08/2011 at 00:21

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Wiki, Losing Contributors

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Saw this and thought it worth a read:

“Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is written entirely by volunteers and allows anyone to edit its entries, is losing contributors, its founder complained Thursday.

Speaking with The Associated Press on the sidelines of the website’s annual conference, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the nonprofit company that runs the site is scrambling to simplify editing procedures in an attempt to retain volunteers.

“We are not replenishing our ranks,” said Wales. “It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important.”

Administrators of the Internet’s fifth most visited website are working to simplify the way users can contribute and edit material. “A lot of it is convoluted,” Wales said. “A lot of editorial guidelines … are impenetrable to new users.”

Wikipedia has more than 3 million entries but has been marred by subjective entries and pranks. Even so, Wikipedia cites studies that compare the website’s accuracy favorably to more conventional encyclopedias, while other studies give it lower marks.

Despite Wikipedia’s wide-reaching popularity, Wales said the typical profile of a contributor is “a 26-year-old geeky male” who moves on to other ventures, gets married and leaves the website. Other contributors leave because, 10 years after the website was launched, there are fewer new entries to add, he said. “

The comments at Slashdot are probably nearer the truth.

Written by modernityblog

06/08/2011 at 00:51

Blogs in June 2011.

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I thought I should see what others are doing:

Flesh is Grass has an important post on how the EDL managed to march, unescorted, from Redbridge to Dagenham.

Yaacov Lozowick has given up blogging. Pity, I didn’t agree with him, much, but he has a thoughtful way and articulates many intelligent ideas.

Johnny Guitar thinks about the Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement and the need for a South Africa-style truth commission, just not at the moment.

Weggis on the case against biofuels. Completely agree, it seems so questionable to use food stuff or related material as fuel for the internal combustion engine.

Harry Barnes on Sorting Out The Labour Party, which I think is very optimistic. In the short term they could ditch Ed Miliband, try to be a bit radical, really, seriously distance themselves from the skeleton of New Labour. Chance would be a fine thing.

In related news, I am not surprised that Ed Miliband is less popular than Iain Duncan Smith or William Hague, when they were in a similar position. Frankly, Miliband’s inarticulate, has the charisma of a saucer and he’s politically useless.

Jams looks at an evil cat, great photos.

Mark Gardner at the CST has a reflective post on the situation at UCU and its wider implications, From UCU to MEMO and “Israel’s British hirelings”.

Ten minutes hate on the ‘miracle villages’.

Chris Dillow considers Miliband’s power blindness.

Nick Lowles provides a photo and details of the EDL thugs racial attack in Dagenham.

Sorrel Moseley-Williams ponders Journalists’ Day in Argentina.

Not a blog, but worthwhile all the same. Searchlight on the BNP’s use of Facebook and Twitter.

Rosie looks at Fact and Fiction.

James Bloodworth has a couple of cracking posts, Will the Defence Secretary’s links with Sri Lanka compromise British calls for an enquiry? and Isn’t it time for an apology, Mr Chomsky?

Rebecca provides an update on the Gaza flotilla. Personally, I think the Israeli Government should allow them into Gaza with minimum fuss or hassle. I think Gazans should get as much as they can, after all living under Hamas must be terrible.

Jack of Kent looks at the arrest of blogger Jacqui Thompson and the many unanswered questions.

Greens Engage on Cynthia and Jello.

At Greater Surbiton, a guest post by David Pettigrew, Justice in Bosnia after Mladic.

Eric Reeves has a piece in the Washington Post, In Sudan, genocide anew?

Engage has an abundance of posts which should be read, just a small selection: Open antisemitism doesn’t harm your reputation, Sally Hunt pretends not to understand the term “institutional racism” and Richard Kuper on the Working Definition of Anti-Semitism (by Eve Garrard)

Enjoy!

Whisky, West Dunbartonshire Council And Fakes.

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In response to the symbolic boycott of Israeli products by West Dunbartonshire Council some people are organising a boycott of Scotch whisky.

It all seems to me a bit petty, given that West Dunbartonshire Council doesn’t actually import any Israeli products. Certainly, they use technology which is derived from Israeli know-how, that includes but isn’t limited to Intel chips, Microsoft XP software and Kinect.

However, the Council and the posturing Councillors are hardly going to inconvenience themselves by really boycotting Israeli technology, lest it proves too troubling, like giving up using Google (their key search algorithm was developed by an Israeli).

As for the retaliatory boycott, well I am not sure it makes the required point, but Drink Business Review explains:

“FJMC Executive Director Rabbi Simon’s boycott urge followed after Israeli-Anglo blogger and pro-settlement activist, Jameel Rashid publicized on his website a letter to several distilleries located within West Dunbartonshire.

In his letter he stated, the global counter boycott of Scottish whiskey products, distilled in the West Durbanshire council region, is beginning, and requested officers to cease the purchase of any goods that made or grown in Israel.

The West Dunbartonshire Council, while it has not responded publically to calls endorsing a boycott of locally manufactured spirits, has defended the decision which sparked the protest.

The council’s boycott only relates to goods ‘made or grown’ in Israel. The vast majority of mainstream books by Israeli authors are published in the UK, and are therefore not affected by this boycott. “

The intense interest in this issue has revealed an exceedingly unsavoury side to the instigator of the boycott, Councillor Jim Bollan.

Bollan seems perfectly comfortable contextualising the decapitation of a three-month old baby, as the JC reports:

“”Violence breeds violence. Have you any idea what may have motivated this man [Awad] to commit this crime? Could it have been because he may have seen Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF?”

Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children were murdered in the West Bank settlement in March. The youngest victim, three month old Hadas, was decapitated.

Responding to another pro-Israel activist, Mr Bollan declared: “Hamas was elected and are freedom fighters alongside the Palestinians fighting an illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel.”

Mickey Green of Scottish Friends of Israel said: “I’m not surprised he has sunk to this level. This is a man with pre-conceived ideas and a mental block to reason. He is functioning at a nasty, visceral level.

Judy reports that the fake Gay Girl in Damascus had form, as, er a “anti-Zionist” or something like that.

Marko at Greater Surbiton points out the Guardian’s complicity in this issue, The Guardian’s disgraceful treatment of Jelena Lecic.

Over at Though Cowards Flinch, Carl has a superb post on Chavez, anti-Zionism, and antisemitism. It is noticeable how the thread is almost monopolised by a particular “anti-Zionist”, who is keen to quibble and nitpick on these issues, but he can’t see any anti-racism. Well, not when it is aimed at Jews, that is.

Finally, Tim Marshall has a provocative post, The ‘Arab Spring’ And The Conspiracy Of Silence:

“Across the Middle East from the Arab leaders you can hear the sound…… of silence. A similar sound emanates from many Muslim ‘activists’.

Take the most glaring example – Bahrain. The allegation, backed by human rights groups, is that the Sunni ruled state opened fire with live rounds on peaceful protesters from the majority Shia population, killed large numbers of people, then followed up with a wave of arrests which resulted in widespread torture.

The response from Arab leaders? In the Gulf, the 6 nation Gulf Cooperation Council quickly sent troops to assist in the repression whilst most Western nations, aware of the US military fleet based in Bahrain did little to upset the old order. Elsewhere, the Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, Algerians et al – just kept quiet.

During the Egyptian upheaval the House Of Saud was quietly horrified at how quickly the Americans let the Generals get their way and remove Mubarak. In private they let Washington know their displeasure, but to have complained openly would have been to do what you don’t do in the Arab political world in public (and to a lesser extent in our own systems) which is to tell the truth.

Update 1: This is a thoughtful perspective on Tom MacMaster, the fake blogger, Understanding #amina.

The Cost Of Orientalism: Non-existent Syrian Blogger.

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Why someone would want to impersonate a gay blogger in Damascus I can’t fully understand, but my bet is that Western Orientalism is to blame. The condescending notion that people in the Middle East are not the same as everyone else and not as deserving of the same respect, can often be found at the heart of how many Westerners treat the region, even if it is just at an subconscious level.

The Guardian reveals that the gay girl in Damascus was apparently a married bloke in Scotland:

“The mysterious identity of a young Arab lesbian blogger who was apparently kidnapped last week in Syria has been revealed conclusively to be a hoax. The blogs were written by not by a gay girl in Damascus, but a middle-aged American man based in Scotland.

Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old Middle East activist studying for a masters at Edinburgh University, posted an update declaring that, rather than a 35-year-old feminist and lesbian called Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, he was “the sole author of all posts on this blog”.

“I never expected this level of attention,” he wrote in a posting allegedly emanating from “Istanbul, Turkey”.

“The events [in the Middle East] are being shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.”

The admission – confirmed in an email to the Guardian from MacMaster’s wife – apparently ends a mystery that has convulsed parts of the internet for almost a week. But it provoked a furious response from those who had supported the blogger’s campaign, with some in the Syrian gay community saying he had risked their safety and seriously harmed their cause.

The blog “A Gay Girl in Damascus”, was launched in February, purportedly to explain “what it’s like to be a lesbian here”, and gathered a growing following as Syria’s popular uprising gained momentum in recent months. Amina described participating in street protests, carrying out furtive lesbian romances and eventually being forced into hiding after security forces came to her home to arrest her.

Then, on 6 June, a post appeared in the name of Amina’s cousin “Rania O Ismail”, who said the blogger had been snatched by armed men on a Damascus street. The news sparked internet campaigns to release her, until activists in Syria and beyond began voicing doubts.

It emerged that no one, even a woman in Canada who believed she was having a relationship with Amina, had ever spoken to her, and other key details could not be corroborated.

In recent days an army of bloggers, journalists and others uncovered snippets of evidence that pointed increasingly to MacMaster and his wife, Britta Froelicher, who is studying at the University of St Andrews for a PhD in Syrian economic development.

IP addresses of emails sent by Amina to the lesbian blog LezGetReal.com and others were traced to servers at Edinburgh University. A now-defunct Yahoo discussion group supposedly jointly run by “Amina Arraf” was listed under an address in Stone Mountain, Georgia, that public records show is a home owned by MacMaster and Froelicher.

Many private emails sent by the blog’s author contained photographs identical to pictures taken by Froelicher and posted on her page on the Picasa photo-sharing website. Included on the site are many images from a trip to Syria in 2008. The pictures had been removed from public view last night. “

I agree with this:

“Sami Hamwi, the pseudonym for the Damascus editor of GayMiddleEast.com, wrote: “To Mr MacMaster, I say shame on you!!! There are bloggers in Syria who are trying as hard as they can to report news and stories from the country. We have to deal with too many difficulties than you can imagine. What you have done has harmed many, put us all in danger, and made us worry about our LGBT activism. Add to that, that it might have caused doubts about the authenticity of our blogs, stories, and us.

“Your apology is not accepted, since I have myself started to investigate Amina’s arrest. I could have put myself in a grave danger inquiring about a fictitious figure. Really … Shame on you!!!”

“What a waste of time when we are trying so hard to get news out of Syria,” another Damascus activist told the Guardian.”

Written by modernityblog

13/06/2011 at 01:27

Peter Kosminsky’s The Promise And Wikipedia’s Censorship.

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I don’t think I did Zkharya’s post on Engage sufficient justice, after reviewing the links it is fairly clear that Wikipedia editors show bias. It takes forever to wade through the talk sessions and contributions, but that’s the way it looks to me.

Not only bias, Peter Kosminsky sucks up to one of them, James Heald, with almost glee:

“The Promise

Hi James

Just wanted to thank you, (though I know this isn’t why you do it), for the really stunning job you have done on the “Development” and “Character” sections of this page. Beautifully written, very accurate and wonderfully well referenced, (if you don’t mind me saying so). Thank you for all the hard work. Really impressive.

I have some French national press cuttings, if that would be helpful.

Best wishes

Peter Kosminsky (talk) 23:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)”

The other Wikipedia editor, Nick Cooper, seems to be using internal rules or his interpretation of them to remove contributions that he doesn’t like.

But these Wikipedia editors are, in themselves, inconsequential. Their particular biases and desire to muffle criticism of The Promise won’t be successful.

Below are links to Professor David Cesarani’s article and Howard Jacobson chat with Jonathan Freedland on this awful TV series.

An extract from The Promise: an exercise in British self-exculpation by Professor Cesarani:

“The series hinges on the story of a sergeant in the 6th Airborne Division, a veteran of Arnhem who saw the liberation of Belsen concentration camp, who arrives in Palestine in September 1945 with his unit. In the first episode a British intelligence officer explains to the new troops that Jews are flooding into Palestine in fulfilment of “a promise made by God”. This influx is troubling the Arabs who have lived in Palestine “since time immemorial”. The job of the British, he announces, is to keep the two sides apart. The paratroopers are like the “meat in a sandwich”.

But, hold on a minute. It was the British who promised Palestine to the Jews as a Jewish national home in 1917 and the British who flooded Palestine with troops to protect a vital piece of imperial real estate in 1945. Zionist aspirations, which the British had fostered, and Palestinian Arab opposition to them, were a problem only in so far as they complicated British planning for the cold war.

As the series unfolds, we see British soldiers torn between compassion for the Jews and sympathy for the Palestinian Arabs. Eventually, the Jews alienate them thanks to their relentless terrorist campaign. Kosminsky depicts the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and the hanging of two British sergeants by the underground army of the rightwing Zionists. In one scene he shows three off-duty tommies bleeding to death after an ambush, while Jews in surrounding cafes callously sip tea and eat cream cakes.

The sergeant, through whose eyes we see the debacle unfold, also witnesses the massacre of Palestinian Arabs at the village of Deir Yassin in April 1948. By this time his allegiances are with the Arab population. On the eve of the British evacuation from Haifa he pleads with his superiors to use the army’s firepower to prevent the Jewish forces from overwhelming and driving out the Arab inhabitants. He protests that Britain can’t just walk away after “we’ve been here for 30 years keeping them apart”.

This is the central conceit, and deceit, of Kosminsky’s epic. The British were in Palestine for their own interests and when it no longer suited them they left. To conceal this fact he has to perpetrate a massive historical distortion. Although The Promise is insufferably didactic, no one mentions the Balfour declaration. Yet it was the British foreign secretary, AJ Balfour, who informed the English Zionist Federation in November 1917 that “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object”. This was the only promise that mattered because it had the force of international law. It was subsequently incorporated into the mandate that the League of Nations gave Britain to authorise its possession of Palestine. In 1922 parliament voted to accept the mandate and all that went with it. “

The MP3 of Howard Jacobson in conversation with Jonathan Freedland at Jewish Book Week 2011.

Zkharya highlights the key bits:

“In a filmed conversation with Howard Jacobson during Jewish Book Week 2011 (see link), Jonathan Freedland, Guardian editor, journalist, author and BBC presenter, first of all says Kominsky panders to antisemitic tropes, such as that of wealthy Jews (00.52.50-58). He then brackets The Promise with works such as Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children, which he and Jacobson consider antisemitic (00.55.58-00.56.00). In an extended discussion with Howard Jacobson (01.13.28-01.14.18), Freedland makes three fundamental criticisms of The Promise:

Jacobson: ..how many you would think educated journalists still talk about Israel as though it’s a consequence of the Holocaust. Which was The Promise, wasn’t it?”

Freedland: The premise of The Promise, so to speak (it lost me first of all at the girl on Business Class), but also these very long, lingering pictures, archive footage from Belsen, I felt three things about that.

One, you don’t have the right to use those pictures, you haven’t earned the right to use those pictures artistically.

Second, I just know looking at that that you’re making a down payment on what you want to say attacking Jews later on in this series. And you’re doing that as your insurance policy, to say, well, look, I was sympathetic on that.

Third, and it was actually explicitly said by a character, a brigadier, briefing the British troops in Palestine -you knew they were saying this was the premise of all Zionism-, the Arabs were here minding their own business for 2000 years, and suddenly, after the Holocaust, Jews arrive…

Jacobson: We drop in out of the clear blue sky, bang, we’ll have that! “

[My emphasis.]

The video on vimeo, Howard Jacobson in conversation with Jonathan Freedland by Danny Bermant.

An extract from Howard Jacobson: Ludicrous, brainwashed prejudice:

“Myself, I wouldn’t bet heavily on there being good times ahead for Jews. Anti-Zionists can assure me all they like that their position entails no harm to Jews – only witness how many Jews are themselves anti-Zionist, they say – I no longer believe them. Individually, it is of course possible to care little for Israel and to care a great deal for Jews. But in the movement of events individuals lose their voice. What carries the day is consensus, and consensus is of necessity unsubtle. By brute consensus, now, Israel is the proof that Jews did not adequately learn the lesson of the Holocaust.

Forget Holocaust denial. Holocaust denial is old hat. The new strategy – it showed its hand in Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children, and surfaced again in Channel 4′s recent series The Promise – is to depict the Holocaust in all its horror in order that Jews can be charged (“You, of all people”) with failing to live up to it. By this logic the Holocaust becomes an educational experience from which Jews were ethically obliged to graduate summa cum laude, Israel being the proof that they didn’t. “Jews know more than anyone that killing civilians is wrong,” resounds an unmistakably authorial voice in The Promise. Thus are Jews doubly damned: to the Holocaust itself and to the moral wasteland of having found no humanising redemption in its horrors.

It matters not a jot to me that the writer/director of The Promise is a Jew. Jews succumbing to the age-old view of them and reviling what’s Jewish in themselves has a long history. Peter Kosminsky would have it that his series is about Israel, not Jews, but in The Promise Israel becomes paradigmatic of the Jews’ refusal to be improved by affliction.”

So remember when you read The Promise’s entry on Wikipedia that you are only getting part of the story and the criticism of this flawed TV series has been deliberately blunted by Wikipedia’s editors.

Censorship Or Stupidity, Wikipedia And The Promise.

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Zkharya has a post on Engage concerning Wikipedia and the TV series, The Promise.

Anyone familiar with Zkharya will know he is a serious fellow, highly educated and exceedingly well read on these topics.

The gist of the post at Engage is that he tried to improve the quality of an article on The Promise and his helpful additions were removed.

Further, he was warned that he was committing vandalism.

You can read the history of the entry’s here and the talk.

Now anyone familiar with Wikipedia and the exodus of contributors will recognise Zkharya’s criticisms. These have been going on for years, that basically a small coterie of Wikipedia editors patrol and enforce their own diktats on articles.

Should someone find a particularly egregious entry and correct it then their work may be disposed of, unless it pleases those Wikipedia honchos, who don’t like admitting they’re wrong or that they don’t know something terribly well.

I think Zkharya and other Wikipedia contributors need to remember Lord Acton’s quote, updated for the 21st century:

“Power corrupts, absolute virtual power corrupts absolutely, particularly on the Internet.”

Readers might remember how previously Bob had similar issues with Wikipedia on its CounterPunch entry.

Written by modernityblog

04/05/2011 at 17:10

Internet In The Age Of Revolt.

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The Economist has a rather topical piece on the Internet and freedom.

The graph below is a better rendering of one found in a Freedom house report, Freedom on the Net 2011, which makes interesting reading in light of the revolts across the Middle East.

Net access Vs. freedom

Written by modernityblog

19/04/2011 at 02:37

Bloggers In The Middle East.

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The Economist covers the plight of bloggers in the Middle East:

“GOVERNMENTS in the Middle East are getting increasingly twitchy about their citizens’ activities online. In Egypt, on Sunday April 10th, a blogger, Mikael Sanad Nabil, was sentenced to three years in prison for “insulting the military” in his blog postings, after a brief trial by a military court with no defence lawyers present. Other bloggers worry they may be next. Campaigners say the mainstream media are already fearful of criticising the army.

In Bahrain, two months after anti-government protests began, bloggers have been caught up in a sweeping crackdown in which at least 450 people have been arrested for being “political activists”. Zakariya Rashid Hassan, who ran a online forum for residents of his village, Al Dair, died in custody last week, six days after being arrested for “spreading false news”. His forum has been taken down and replaced with a picture of the Saudi and Bahraini kings. Human-rights groups allege he was tortured; the authorities say his death was due to anaemia.

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based lobby, says three other “netizens” remain in custody in Bahrain. At least three other bloggers have been arrested, including two who campaign against sectarianism, Mahmood Al Yousif and @redbelt, the founder of #uniteBH, an online campaign. A similar movement has sprung up in Lebanon. These three have now been released, but at a time when hundreds have been fired from their jobs for taking part—or on suspicion of taking part—in protests, their arrests have sent a clear warning to Bahrainis. Even the country’s national football team has sacked four star players for being “against the government”. “

Update 1: This is just part of a wider issue:

Iran And Bahrain, What Do They Have in Common?

Meanwhile In Iran.

The Last Days Of A Dictatorship.

Update 2: NPR’s Bahrain Detains Activist After Crackdown On Dissent is worth a read too.

Written by modernityblog

16/04/2011 at 01:06

Huffington Post, Blogging And That Lawsuit.

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Huffington Post was recently sold to AOL for a considerable sum, about $300 million.

Such an amount of money was bound to cause problems, as bloggers, who made the HuffPost what it is today consider the issues.

The Raw News has the story:

“WASHINGTON — Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, has dismissed as “utterly without merit” a lawsuit filed against the website claiming compensation for unpaid bloggers.

Huffington, who sold The Huffington Post to AOL two months ago for $315 million, said the vast majority of contributors to her news and opinion site are happy to do so for free because of the exposure it gives them.

Jonathan Tasini, a freelance journalist, sued The Huffington Post on Tuesday and is demanding at least $105 million for unpaid bloggers on the grounds that they should be compensated for the value they have created for the website.

Tasini is seeking to have the suit accepted as a class action representing more than 9,000 writers and others who contributed material to The Huffington Post for free since it was launched six years ago.

Huffington, in a blog post late Wednesday, said the lawsuit is so “utterly without merit” that she is “hesitant to take any time away from aggregating adorable kitten videos to respond.”

The kitten reference is a jibe at Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, who called Huffington recently the “queen of aggregation” and said part of the appeal of her site is its “adorable kitten videos.” “

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by modernityblog

15/04/2011 at 00:27

Reverend Sizer, Libya And His Own Bigotry.

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After some time it is not terribly difficult to spot a bigot, a bit like Johnny Speight’s Alf Garnett, they return to common themes time and again.

So it is with Reverend Sizer.

This highly educated man of the cloth is quite happy to spread bigotry around as long as it is aimed at Israelis.

The recent conflict in Libya showed how gullible he was, in believing the very worst of Israelis and then putting it in a blog post.

Simply Jews takes up the story with commendable restraint:

“This news item (written in especially atrocious language, I have to add) was quickly outed as a hoax. To make sure, I have checked Yediot Ahronot English and Hebrew sites too – it is still a hoax. This fact didn’t (still doesn’t) bother our good pastor, who immediately posted an article on the subject under a telling headline The Ties that Bind: Israel to Libya.What you wouldn’t see it this (modified) version of the article, though, is the following, later modified, text (the omitted part is emphasized):

It should come as no surprise that “Saif al-Islam, son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi” made a surprise visit to Israel last week to buy more weapons for his dad.

He goes to Israel regularly because, according to a senior Middle East Ecclesiastical source, both his mother and aunt are Jewish and live in Israel.

Blood is indeed thicker than water. Perhaps this is why the US is reluctant to impose a ‘no-fly’ zone over Libya.

Thanks to Harry’s Place and the ever watchful Seismic Shock fellow, the text was rescued and kept for posterity here. There are also some conclusions re Mr Sizer’s somewhat obsessive behavior too…

Of course, the rumors about Jewish roots of the good colonel are not new. However, being a senior Ecclesiastical source himself, pastor Sizer should know that being a Muslim precludes the colonel from being able to carry this second membership card. Oh well, it probably doesn’t matter to him. Pastor Sizer was hell-bent to make a point. And, in his righteous zeal, he didn’t notice that he is already way past that thin red line…

Blut ist dicker als Wasser indeed. It should also carry some oxygen that feeds, between other human organs, the brain. It seems that our good pastor is lately not exercising enough, depraving his valuable gray cells from this essential nourishment.

[My emphasis.]

Written by modernityblog

14/04/2011 at 21:05

CounterPunch, Wikipedia And Bob.

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Bob From Brockley has a superb post on CounterPunch, a well known ‘anti-imperialist’ rag with a propensity for publishing antisemites and their friends.

Bob details how criticism of Counterpunch has vanished from its Wikipedia entry.

It seems that CounterPunch can dish it out, but can’t take it.

More likely they don’t like being reminded of their push of unsavoury types like the Far Rightist, Israel Shamir, or the racist, Gilad Atzmon.

Their attempt at censorship is a bit silly, as all of it is kept on the Way Back machine, and can be read at your leisure.

Below is a snapshot from the Beta version of 15th September 2011, for the record:


Criticism

Ben Cohen of the American Jewish Committee has described Counterpunch as “frequently anti-Semitic.”[2]

A number of writers, such as Franklin Foer of The New Republic and political commentator Steven Plaut, have written articles charging CounterPunch of being biased against Israel and antisemitic. Plaut cites the controversial anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon in particular, and alleges that, “Almost every self-hating Jew on the planet capable of banging on a keyboard is today either a columnist for the anti-American web magazine Counterpunch … or is an object of Counterpunch’s celebration.”[3][4]

CounterPunch has also been criticised by anti-Zionist activists Tony Greenstein and Roland Rance of Jews Against Zionism, for its practice of publishing articles by writers such as Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir which they describe as “blurring the distinction” between Zionism and Judaism, and failing to publish responses to these articles. [5][6]

In 2009, CounterPunch’s publication of articles by Alison Weir on organ transplant accusations were accused of disseminating the medieval antisemitic blood libel.[7]

References

Anyway enjoy Bob’s post, Counterpunch: for the record.

March And A Rough Around Up.

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A backlog of drafts and emails mean it is round up time again:

The JC on Clare Solomon losing.

Saudi rulers try to buy whole population at Reason.

Weggis on the No Fly Zone.

Protests going in Gaza, Hamas not happy, beating people up:

“More than a dozen protesters were seen being taken away in ambulances after a protest this weekend, though medical authorities would not confirm that there were injuries. Websites dedicated to the protests linked to videos and photographs showing plainclothes police officers wielding clubs and sticks against protesters.

Foreign news organizations, including the Reuters news agency, CNN, and the Associated Press complained that Hamas supporters had broken into their offices and seized video of the protests. Hamas denied the charge and said there’d been a “mistake.” “

In Japan, the elderly left to fend for themselves, appalling.

Smiley Culture Update.

Liverpool libel and Gaddafi at the Index on Censorship.

Rebecca Lesses on the UN resolution and Libya.

Tales of Gilad Atzmon still roll on at Bob’s, with a dose of revisionism. If you ever want to read the SWP fawning over Atzmon try here.

Not forgetting the SWP’s defensive statement on Gilad Atzmon.

Flesh on Doing Something.

Jim on all things Green, including EDM 1565: Libya, North Africa and the middle East.

Harry Barnes on Libya in 2011 is not Iraq in 2003

Ten minutes hate in Japan.

Stroppy takes a rest from blogging.

Max Dunbar on ‘Thank a union guy’.

Martin doing The week in links.

Jhate’s Anti-Semitism News.

Paul Stott reminds us of Ray’s Ten Commandments. I liked 5 and 8.

Green’s Engage covering A Palestinian Tahrir.

Israel blamed for Japan nuke disaster, Adam Holland spills the beans on Gilad Atzmon’s racism. Oh yeah, guess who Atzmon blames? Hmm, not too hard to work out eh?

Written by modernityblog

22/03/2011 at 00:01

Blogger Detained in Qatar.

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News is coming out that a blogger, Sultan al-Khalaifi, has been detained in Qatar by the State security services:

“Blogger and human rights activist, Sultan al-Khalaifi, has been detained by security forces after criticising the country’s censorship rules on his blog. Khalaifi, who is founder of a rights group campaigning on cases of detention in Qatar, has been in detention since March 2 after being contacted by state security. According to his lawyer he has been detained on numerous occasions in the past. “

Global Voices covers it too.

Alkarama says:

“On 1 March 2011 at nine o’clock at night, a number of state security agents raided the house of Mr. Sultan Khalifa Al Khulaifi in Doha. After searching his house and car for two hours, he was taken to an unknown place by the State Security agents.

A female officer who was accompanying the agents informed the wife of Mr. Khulaifi that they were sent by the Attorney General, but without they were unable to produce any judicial warrant justifying the decision.
Alkarama fears that the arrest of Mr. Sultan Khalifa Al Khulaifi is as a result of his human rights activities. We were recently contacted by him regarding three cases of arbitrary detention in Qatar, which Alkarama has transmitted to the Qatari authorities in the hope that they will release them. The three names are the following: Abdullah Ghanem Mahfouz Muslim Jouar, Salim Hassan Khalifa Rashid Al Kuwari and Hamad Rashid Al-Marri.

Mr. Al Khulaifi served as Secretary-General of the Alkarama Foundation until the beginning of 2010, before leaving to found a new organization for the defense of human rights.

Alkarama reminds that human rights defenders and others who collaborate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, are particularly protected by the United Nations and indeed the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 12/ 2 on 1 October 2009 “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights” to protect human rights defenders active both inside and outside their countries.

Alkarama calls on the Qatari authorities to respect their obligations under this resolution and requests that they immediately release Mr Sultan Al Khulaifi and those arrested with him or immediately put them under the protection of the law, ensuring full respect for their human rights. “

Not At The Oscars, But On Twitter.

with 2 comments

Those who really know me would be surprised to hear that I am not at the Oscars in Hollywood.

But I am on Twitter, instead !

And whilst I am not a film critic or much given to commenting on cultural issues, I would say that the King’s Speech is historically rather problematic.

Some about Edward VIII.

Written by modernityblog

28/02/2011 at 03:53

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