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

Archive for May 2005

Médecins Sans Frontières

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Médecins Sans Frontières valuable work into Sudan is under threat after the Sudanese government issued an arrest warrant for the head of MSF in the country:

Reuter’s reports:

“KHARTOUM, May 30 (Reuters) – Sudan has issued a warrant for the arrest of the country head of aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) for publishing a report on hundreds of rape cases in Darfur, the attorney-general said on Monday.

“We have issued a warrant for the arrest of the head of the organisation after speaking to the (governmental) Humanitarian Aid Commission,” Mohamed Farid, Sudan’s attorney-general, told Reuters. He said it was for publishing a false report on rapes in the Darfur region in March.

MSF Holland released the report in March, saying its doctors working in Darfur had medical evidence of about 500 rape cases over a period of about 4 1/2 months in the region in the throes of a rebellion in its third year. Sudan denies there is widespread rape in Darfur.

. . . .

Tens of thousands have been killed in the fighting in Darfur and more than 2 million forced form their homes to makeshift camps around the region. Reports of rape are widespread in the conflict, and a U.N.-appointed commission of inquiry found evidence of mass rape during the conflict.

Rape is a sensitive subject in Muslim Darfur, and victims are often ostracised by society. “

Written by modernityblog

30/05/2005 at 12:43

Posted in Uncategorized

Misconceptions of Israelis

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If you listened to some of the political anti-Zionists you’d believe that every Israeli is a gun toting ‘settler’ hell-bent on murder and mayhem. The truth not unsurprisingly is a deal great different as Lisa in Tel Aviv shows in your latest entry: Learning about coexistence

Thanks for the suggestion Norm.

Written by modernityblog

30/05/2005 at 00:36

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Great Wine

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Wine 20050524 has been released, the binary downloads are here

For more information on WINE, go here.

Who needs M$ when you have Linux and some wine.

Taken from the WINE FAQ:
“2.1. What is Wine and what is it supposed to do?

Wine is a program which allows the operation of DOS and MS Windows programs (Windows 3.x and Win32 executables) on UNIX operating systems such as Linux. It consists of a program loader, which loads and executes a Windows binary, and a set of libraries that implements Windows API calls using their UNIX or X11 equivalents. The libraries may also be used for porting Win32 code into native UNIX executables, often without many changes in the source. Wine is free software, and its license (contained in the file LICENSE in each distribution) is the LGPL. “

Written by modernityblog

29/05/2005 at 18:34

Posted in Uncategorized

State of the Guardian?

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Small wonder over the years that I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the attitude and content of the Guardian newspaper.

This exchange is on a serious subject (AUT blacklist) and yet receives a flippant response from the Guardian.

It is frightening that alleged committed trade unionists (Sue Blackwell, etc ) don’t take the elementary approach of knowing their union rulebook, off by heart, and therefore do not moan when legitimate rules are enacted. It is very clear that the previous AUT discussion on the blacklist was faulty and limited. So a widespread discussion of the issues surrounding the AUT blacklist should be welcomed by all committed trade unionists, but clearly not by the political mavericks and obsessives with a chip on their shoulder.

The days of smoke-filled rooms are long gone and so should be back handed dealings, issues such as academic freedom, selective boycotts, the Middle East and anti-Semitism need inclusive deliberations not posture politics.

Norm sums it up : “Anyone who doubts that what begins with Sue Blackwell will end with Arbeit Macht Frei is simply refusing to listen to the sad, eternal klezmer music of history. Weigh my words– every last one of them.”

Victor Klemperer’s diary entry for 10th March, 1933:

“No one dares make a move. The Dresden student body made a declaration today and the honour of German students forbids them to come into contact with Jews. They are not allowed to enter the Student House. How much Jewish money went towards this Student House only a few years ago!”

Written by modernityblog

28/05/2005 at 00:25

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AUT blacklist, a Union Vote

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The good news is that the AUT blacklist has been overturned, although there is predictably sour grapes from the likes of Sue Blackwell.

Here are a few interesting links on the subject:

Norm’s blog – always a delight to read, reasoned and considered arguments on the subject.

And, of course, those fine people at Engage , see the about section

The BBC Newsnight clip on the AUT vote can be found here

Best use Classic Media Player and forword to 37:02 into the programme.

Written by modernityblog

26/05/2005 at 10:58

Posted in Uncategorized

American Nazis?

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In this time of heated and acrimonious discussions concerning the Middle East and anti-Semitism, there is a frequently asked question: “can a Jew be anti-Semitic?”

Self-evidently the answer is yes, however, this strange phenomena is worthy of greater discussion and analysis, I will hopefully returned to it at a later stage.

For the interim articles from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, Frank Collins/Cohen and Andrew Greenbaum, AKA the Spam Nazi will suffice.

Written by modernityblog

25/05/2005 at 20:14

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Cheap phone calls?

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As an example of up-and-coming technologies SKYPE is very promising, with the ability to extend IP telephony to the desktop.

PC to PC phone calls are free, and their PC to landlines calls are comparatively cheap.

Although it is best with broadband and a fairly decent PC (>1 Ghz) SKYPE is usable even on dial-up or lower end machines (500 Mhz Celerons).

The inclusion of multi platform software is very shrewd.

Written by modernityblog

25/05/2005 at 19:31

Posted in Uncategorized