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

Archive for July 2007

Any Taliban Groupies About?

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Supporters or sympathisers of the Taliban’s campaign in Afghanistan must be very proud of their “anti-imperialist” heroes.

For the latest daring escapade of the Taliban, the Guardian reports:

“The Christian aid workers including 18 women were abducted from a public bus travelling from Kandahar to Kabul on one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous routes. They included nurses and English teachers in their 20s and 30s. They apparently tried to disguise themselves by wearing all-covering burkas.”

Still after the numerous Taliban attacks on schools and murder of teachers and school students, it won’t find it too hard to kill some foreign nurses.

The Feminist Majority Foundation have produced a timely reminder of the Taliban’s treatment of women.

Written by modernityblog

23/07/2007 at 02:24

Posted in Uncategorized

Open Thread for Avi

with 6 comments

One of my few commenters, Avi, is a veritable whirlwind and I would freely admit that I can’t keep up with his output.

Under WordPress many comments have to be moderated, and it is a bit of a chore for me, so I prefer discussing matters on other sites (HP, Shiraz Socialists, etc), it is a bit easier on my poor mind and fingers.

However, as this approach doesn’t seem to be acceptable, I have created a thread just for Avi and his comments.

Please feel free to contribute.

I shall pass a jaundiced eye across it once in a while, but I find the stream of consciousness type of discussion not to my taste, I prefer to discuss tangibles and specifics, but don’t let me stop you from having a good rant.

Written by modernityblog

22/07/2007 at 19:11

Posted in Uncategorized

Site(s) of the Week/Month 24

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Picking sites is difficult but two recently made that choice slightly easier.

Good history web sites are rare, so with pleasure I present:

The Best of History Web Sites

My second choice is very topical, and I think that nearly all antiracists and antifascists will appreciate it.

The David Irving trial, where he chose to sue Professor Deborah Lipstadt for libel, opened many people’s eyes to the lies and falsehoods that he and many others had put forward, equally it showed the shift in the techniques employed by antisemites, such as Irving. The trial demonstrated that antisemitism is not static, it changes it evolves and the lies become more insidious and take on new forms.

Until that point some historians had even given Irving the benefit of the doubt, after the trial is that was no longer possible as his slippery, utterly dishonest and pro-fascist methods were open to full scrutiny.

Through very hard work the thousands of pages which comprised the original trial had been correlated together and are presented at:

Holocaust Denial on Trial

Highly recommended, along with Professor Richard Evans‘ book on the trial, Lying about Hitler which summarises many of Irving’s numerous lies and deceitful practices.

Written by modernityblog

22/07/2007 at 02:55

Posted in Uncategorized

If You Had Your Time Again?

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I am not much in to philosophical points (as I am frequently told) but after coming across this web site, I had to ask myself:

if I had my time again, what would I study?

I’d like to have tried philosophy instead of wasted hours down the pub, twiddling with computers or partying the night away, ahh well, if I get stuck nowadays I know where to look:

The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy

so on that vein, what would you study if you had your time again?

(hat tip: Jeff Ketland)

Written by modernityblog

21/07/2007 at 00:40

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Julius Exposed

with 16 comments

I have been asked by one of my rare readers, Alec, to provide some quotes and links for material for Julius Streicher’s Der Stuermer.

I hope that some of my newer readers (Avi and Cian) will digest much of that disgusting imagery and reflect on their own complacency.

Julius Streicher is a strange individual, apparently he was a junior or kindergarten teacher. He was eventually marginalised by competing Nazis and captured by the Allies in 1945.

Background to the filthy rag.

HDHU Collection

Visualizing Otherness

German Propaganda Archive covering 1933-1945

Der Stuermer 1928-1932

Der Stuermer 1933-1945

The Internet Archive’s selected copies of Der Strumer seems to be off line.

That’s about all my stomach can take, for now.

PS: just to preempt the obvious and simplistic comments,

No, I don’t think that antisemitism is up to the levels of the 1930s, but you can see some themes coming through in modern propaganda whose heritage is clearly shown in the vile antisemitic imagery of bygone ages. Antisemitism is an evolving political ideology, it has taken on new shapes, co-opted new ideas (9/11, etc) and shouldn’t necessarily be judged by the crude benchmarks of 1930s Germany.

Written by modernityblog

18/07/2007 at 15:48

Posted in Uncategorized

Stop Stoning Forever Campaign

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The Stop Stoning Forever Campaign is a very worthwhile cause:


The objective of this campaign is to change the Islamic Penal Code of Iran such that stoning will never again be issued as a sentence or practiced as a punishment.


Stoning is a punishment for adultery decreed by the Islamic Penal Code of Iran. Most of the victims are women. In December 2002, Ayatollah Shahroudi, the Head of Judiciary ordered a ban on the practice of stoning. However, rumors about executions by stoning continued to be heard around the country. In May 2006, a man and woman were executed in Mashhad. In June 2006 in Evin prison, Tehran, a woman named Ashraf Kolheri was handed an official notice that gave her 15 days notice of her execution by stoning. Consequently, a large group of women activists wrote a petition to Ayatollah Shahroudi asking him to commute her sentence; the parliament representatives were copied on the letter.

Meanwhile, the Network of Volunteer Lawyers initiated a search for people sentenced to be stoned within the prisons of the country. After two months of research, 9 women and 2 men were identified – some of those cases were critical. Some members of the Network of Volunteer Lawyers decided to represent these 11 prisoners to save their lives.

The Stop Stoning Forever campaign has begun through the coordinated efforts of some women’s non-governmental organizations, a group of women activists and the Network of Volunteer Lawyers. “

Written by modernityblog

18/07/2007 at 00:19

Posted in Uncategorized

Innovation in Recycling

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There’s no stopping the north Americans.

First there was Al Gore, then there was carbon footprints and now the most unlikely of Hollywood celebrities, Paris Hilton, is doing her bit for the environment

Technical difficulties with recycling that dog other countries are brushed aside in America, their energy and focus is phenomenal.

Nothing stands in their way, recycling is taken to the next level, as Yahoo News reports:

“LOS ANGELES – An empty can of gourmet dog food taken from Paris Hilton’s trash fetched $305 in an eBay auction. The sellers were from the Web site, which also listed several other Hilton items for sale on eBay.

A used toothbrush sold for $305; two envelopes sent to her while she was in jail sold for $510; and a Coke can pulled from her trash went for $51.”

Now that is the free flea market at work! Buy them at your peril from Hollywood Star Trash

Never let it be said that Americans are nothing, if not inventive.

Written by modernityblog

15/07/2007 at 18:03

Posted in Uncategorized