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

Archive for March 2006

Israel Election I

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The up and coming election in Israel is a bit confusing.

The broad make up of the Knesset and diversity of Israeli politics makes finding out exactly what each Israeli political parties stands for, hard.

I am indebted to Lisa, for the list of all 31 political parties taking part and a summary of their policies.

Written by modernityblog

28/03/2006 at 22:41

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Kidnap the Truth

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I was very happy to hear of the release of Norman Kember and CPT hostages, but the stories coming out struck me as a bit peculiar.

A casual reader of the news might be forgiven for assuming that the hostages were released by their kidnappers, as a gesture of good will after months of negotiations.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently, the SAS or similar specialists extracted the hostages from a house, which was seemingly contrary to Kember’s wishes, “Professor Kember, who had always said that he did not want to be rescued by military force”.

Yet non-violence surely won the day in Iraq? I’ll bet the “insurgency” are happy?

Which reminded me of “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

Written by modernityblog

24/03/2006 at 13:12

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Comments and Blog

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The Guardian’s new blogging project “Comment is free” is appealing, and you will find many notables there and my selection is:


David Hirsh
DD Guttenplan
Jon Pike
Steven Rose
Peter Tatchell
Salma Yaqoob
Brian Whitaker

oh and Linda Grant, she is entertaining

Written by modernityblog

23/03/2006 at 12:20

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Tool Bar Update I

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The Israeli Tool Bar has proven enjoyable but not trouble free. Running under Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7 the Radio part has problems with ActiveX.

Using the Windows Media Player ActiveX Installation for Firefox seems to result in more crashes (as predicted in the message boards).

Solution: Don’t use radio, remove WMP ActiveX Installation for Firefox and re-install everything from scratch.

We’ll see what happens.

Written by modernityblog

21/03/2006 at 14:17

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Chomsky & Co: Nailed

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I am not a fan of Noam Chomsky, after his defence of Faurisson and unsavoury associates.

I was indebted to Harry’s Place for their diligence in highlighting the Guardian’s kowtowing to Chomsky and Diana Johnstone over Srebrenica.

The letter by Kamm, Wheen and Aaronovitch is a very clear indictment of Chomsky’s shoddy methods and bias.

I have no doubt there will be some counterblast from Chomsky and his cult, which are guaranteed to confuse the issues.

Written by modernityblog

20/03/2006 at 13:35

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Film Lovers?

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From the 1920s onwards anti-Semitism evolved with the aid of the protocols into an all-encompassing ideology.

Rather than seeing anti-Semitism in a crude one-dimensional way, the most obvious manifestation being Hitler’s Nazi Germany, we should view it has an evolving pestilence of an ideology. It never remained static and incorporates new myths as events unfold.

An example of this is the story of the five dancing Israelis, which has done the rounds on neo-Nazi, extremist Islamist and conspiratorial web sites since 9/11.

I am indebted to Engage for their coverage of the new film: Protocols of Zion

Even the on-line trailer makes depressing viewing but a lesson that humanity hasn’t quiet learnt enough yet?

Written by modernityblog

19/03/2006 at 21:30

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Tolerance and Smoking

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I laughed at this story:
‘As a citywide public smoking ban went into effect today in Calabasas, enforcement came from a higher authority: Mother Nature.

A rainstorm sent renegade smokers stubbing out their cigarettes and scurrying for cover as security guards began issuing warnings at the town’s main shopping center.
“You are going to get a $500 citation,” one guard warned Dannielle Wakely as she sat at an outdoor table at the Calabasas Commons puffing on a cigarette.

A moment earlier, shopper Erit Litvak had bummed a cigarette and a match from Wakely. She listened to the security guard’s warning with her mouth agape.

“I am putting it out!” exclaimed Litvak. “Am I in trouble?”

Calabasas, an upscale suburb wedged between the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County, has generated national attention for what appears to be the first ban on smoking in all outdoor public spaces.’

My heart bleeds

Written by modernityblog

18/03/2006 at 16:35

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A Hunting We Will Go

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In light of the heightened tension in international affairs, I suggest that they send in Dick Cheney, after a session at Quail Hunting School

Written by modernityblog

17/03/2006 at 11:39

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Tool Bar

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I am a great fan of Firefox, the browser, and one of its most useful aspects is extensions, which allows the basic abilities of Firefox to be enhanced and adapted to provide extra functionality.

Israeli Tool Bar is a smart extension, with some great features, it provides direct access to information about Israel: Newspapers, media, radio stations, etc

It is fairly commercial in approach but still very nice.

Israeli Tool Bar appears to contain some minor spyware [doubleclick &] but these can be removed by Spybot, and it functions aftewards.

Get it here.

Written by modernityblog

15/03/2006 at 12:00

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Hostages in Iraq

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The reported fate of Tom Fox should make us reflected on Iraq and the “insurgency”:

“BAGHDAD (Reuters) – American hostage Tom Fox has been killed and his body, showing signs of torture, left on a garbage dump in Baghdad, police said on Saturday.

One of the policemen who found the body said the 54-year-old peace activist, wearing a grey tracksuit, appeared to have beaten by electric cables before his death. He had a single gunshot wound to the head and his hands were tied behind him.

Fox, who had been in Iraq to campaign against the U.S. occupation and to work for the release of Iraqis held by U.S. forces, was taken hostage with Norman Kember and two other colleagues in November by a group calling itself the “Swords of Truth”.

The latest video of hostages shows the frightening naivety by Christian Peacemaker Teams in venturing into Iraq.

The “insurgence” from the bombing of the UN compound in 2003 to the death of Margaret Hassan have shown a conspicuous disregard for humanitarian aid workers, journalists and others.

Yet the CPT and many others seemed to think they would be immune to the beheadings and attacks, simply because they were “anti-war” and decent folks, as shown by their statement:

“the current focus of the team has expanded to include efforts to end occupation and militarization of the country and to foster nonviolent and just alternatives for a free and independent Iraq.

All of which might be trueand very worthy, except do the “insurgences” or their allies really care?

The treatment of these decent CPT activists gives to the lie the notion that the “insurgences” only wish to attack representatives of “imperialism”.

The “insurgences” will attack anyone: women, children, poor migrant workers, journalists, engineers, aid workers, the UN staff, civilians near mosques and the military.

People can choose to believe what they will on their intentions, but the evidence of the “insurgency” list of atrocities grows by the day.

Let’s not kid ourselves about these killers.

Written by modernityblog

11/03/2006 at 15:52

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Spot a Wrong One

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Political ones web sites can be confusing, what is the message? Who are their backers? What is their aim?

A few years back I remember some Liberals/Lefties sending me a link to ,allegedly as a premier anti-war site.

It just shows how slow people can be at times, when they are fooled by the word ‘Zionist’ instead of ‘‘Jew’’. A bit of a give-away but surprising some people were taken in.

A cursory examination of via the WHOIS record reveals the connection, its Name Server is NS1.DAVIDDUKE.COM.

BINGO! David Duke, ex-Klan Wizard

Recently, I was told that was interesting, but the ranting on about Zionists and the ‘History of the House of Rothschild’ link made it all to obvious who was backing that web site: the extreme right.

The spectra of the extreme right masquerading as ‘‘Lefties’’, ‘‘Anti-Bushie’, radicals’ or ‘‘concerned about peace in the Middle-East’’ is relatively new but fairly transparent, once the blinkers of ‘‘Anti-Zionism’” are removed, hatred of Israel stopped momentarily and an ounce of common sense applied.

The extreme right are happy to play on the gullible or hate driven.

People with savvy shouldn’’t be taken in, if they apply some of the following:

1. Does the web page say ‘Zionist’ or ‘“Zionism’ a lot?

2. Is there a conspiratorial theme? New World Order, the Illuminati? Etc

3. What type of other sites does it link to? White Power? Elders of Zion stuff?

4. What keywords in the HTML source does it use? see point 2

5. Does the site mention “the REAL truth”? as if it a ‘secret’!

6. Check the site’s WHOIS info, etc for backers of the site, look for across linkage from other extreme right web sites

7. Cut and paste some of the site’s contentious articles into Google and see who links to them?

Written by modernityblog

09/03/2006 at 11:52

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Banned with Just Cause?

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Given the reaction of this film’s extras, then Germany’s ban on pro-Nazi propaganda still might be a good idea, as reported in the Times yesterday:

“About 700 extras turned up early yesterday morning. One was Volker Behrens, who had driven 500 miles to be there. He had brought his own coal scuttle helmet and wartime overcoat. “It was worth it,” he said, “I just love the uniforms.”

The making of the film has given many the chance to perform illegal acts. “Where else in Germany can you shout ‘Heil Hitler’ at the top of your voice?” said one extra.”

Written by modernityblog

08/03/2006 at 12:16

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Controlled Real Audio

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Problem: listening to stuff on the web is great but sometimes we’d like to hear it over and over again, without the hassle of connecting to the web again.

Solution: Download the Real Audio as a file, not a stream of data, and convert to MP3.

Method: Use Hidownload and RM to MP3 Converter

Hidownload has a sensible trial period and RM to MP3 Converter is free

Written by modernityblog

06/03/2006 at 17:21

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I have Sinned!

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Not me, honest but our beloved George.

Galloway, according to reports, is worried about divine retribution:

“Speaking on a radio show to be broadcast tomorrow, he says he has found it difficult to “stay on the porch” – a phrase used by Hillary Clinton meaning to remain faithful.

Galloway says: “I have committed a lot of sins and repeatedly. That makes you vulnerable.

“The point about sin is that you are supposed to repent, learn from it and not repeat it.

“On many personal levels, I have sinned a lot.

“My only hope is that my life as a whole and the totality of my time here will help make up for some of that. But that, of course, is in God’s hands.”

Galloway’s private life hit the headlines in 1987 when he separated from his wife of eight years, Elaine.”

Poor man!

Written by modernityblog

05/03/2006 at 13:24

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Finally Beaten the Nazis

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The Nazis have finally been beaten !

Or more accurately the three final Enigma codes, as reported in the Scotsman:

“THE Nazi code which sent thousands of allied sailors to their deaths in the Second World War has been cracked more than 60 years after Britain’s best mathematical minds failed to break it.

The Enigma code was the most complex cipher system of its age and virtually foolproof.


All the codes except three were broken. Now, the work of a German amateur cryptographer has led to the solving of one of the three unresolved Enigma puzzles dating from 1942.”

Peace at last, but let’s not forget the role of the Poles in breaking the codes.

Written by modernityblog

04/03/2006 at 23:18

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