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

Archive for October 2007

Punished For Being a Trade Unionist

leave a comment »

The International Transport Workers’ Federation reports on the plight of one noble trade unionist in Iran:

“Osanloo sentence ‘appals world opinion’

30 October 2007

Commenting on news that Iranian trade union leader Mansour Osanloo has been sentenced to five years imprisonment ITF General Secretary David Cockroft said: “We have just heard that an injured, victimised trade unionist has been condemned to jail on charges that would be laughable if they weren’t so serious.”

“For two years Mansour Osanloo has fought back against the Iranian regime’s brutality. Now they are trying to crush him with spurious accusations of endangering national security and criticising the regime. We know – the world knows – that Mansour’s only crime in their eyes is to have asserted his right to belong to a trade union.”

He continued: “This sentence appals world opinion. Mansour has been an example to us all and to see him treated this way – beaten, arrested, rearrested, intimidated and nearly blinded – brings shame on the government of Iran. We have tried to reason with them and detected at least some sympathy for what he stands for, but that has now clearly been overruled by the hardliners.”

“The international trade union movement, including across the Islamic world, has fought all the way for Mansour and his colleagues and we will continue to do so. We will be alerting them now, along with the International Labour Organization, before planning a new wave of protests.”

He concluded: “If the government get away with this then they will hand out the same treatment to Mansour’s deputy, Ebrahim Madadi, and all of the 17,000 members of the union will be at risk.”

Mansour Osanloo, 47, is the President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed) trade union, which has been violently repressed by the Iranian authorities. Osanloo has been made a particular target for imprisonment and brutal attacks. He is currently being held in Evin prison in Tehran.

See for further information.

A short film on the Osanloo case can be seen at

and at YouTube:

Written by modernityblog

31/10/2007 at 01:26

Posted in Uncategorized

News Quiz

leave a comment »

I used to be a big fan of the News Quiz on Radio Four, although I haven’t listened to it for a while, I did catch this week’s episode which is a tribute to Alan Coren, which is excellent.


Written by modernityblog

29/10/2007 at 01:01

Posted in Uncategorized

No More Danish for Dictators

leave a comment »

John Gray has news of Danes take on Burmese Military collaborators, worth a read and a welcome development.

Written by modernityblog

27/10/2007 at 18:18

Posted in Uncategorized

Florence Moses.

leave a comment »

The treatment of minorities in a society is a good indicator of how healthy or otherwise it is, and in particular how we treat refugees says a lot about our ideals.

The plight of Florence Moses and her son, has been highlighted by stroppyblog and the work of the Manchester Lesbian Community Project:

“Florence fled Sierra Leone because she was suffering physical abuse including beatings by her parents and rape by her cousin, who she had been forced to marry. This all happened because Florence told her parents she is a lesbian, a fact that she had previously kept secret.

When Florence turned to the police for help they turned her away, saying it was a family matter. She tried to find a safe place to stay but could not and was forced to return home to face more abuse and violence.

She was horrified when told her parents were planning to force her to undergo female genital mutilation, commonly called female circumcision, as they believed this would ‘cure’ her. This process involves mutilating a woman‘s genitals, often resulting in serious infection and illness, and sometimes death.”

She should not be returned to Sierra Leone.

Written by modernityblog

25/10/2007 at 14:55

Posted in Uncategorized

Ubuntu Or DSL.

leave a comment »

Unless you have a highly specialised application there are plenty of alternatives to Microsoft’s Windows, not least the cornucopia of Linux distributions to be found at Distrowatch.

I’m a bit underwhelmed by the new version of Ubuntu, 7.10, the Gutsy Gibbon and it seems that I am not the only one. I’d stick with 7.04 if it works for you.

But if you’re adventurous you could try the new version 4 of damn small Linux.

I’ve been tinkering with DSL V4 and it looks very good, a great improvement in previous versions and performs well on low specified hardware.

Written by modernityblog

25/10/2007 at 00:43

Posted in Uncategorized


with one comment

The web is a wonderful thing, you never know what you will discover, I found out about Fingilish whilst reading an Iranian blog, wiki explains:

“Fingilish (Farsi + English) (also Penglish or Pinglish, Finglish, Pingilish and Fārgilisi) is a term used to describe the way Persian words are written in Latin alphabet. This type of writing is commonly used in online chat, emails and SMS.

For example, the Persian word سلام (“hello”) is written “salaam”. The use of this type of writing spreads due to the lack of knowledge and/or proper software supporting Persian in the past.”

Kamangir is an interesting blog from Arash Kamangir, an Iranian student in living Canada.

Written by modernityblog

23/10/2007 at 23:57

Posted in Uncategorized

Pants to Dictators

leave a comment »

The 21st century has seen a decline in feminism, direct action from women is often scorned, equal pay is still an issue, repressive regimes still treat some women has little more than chattel. but this particular campaign against the Burmese dictators is ingenious and an example of what women can do for themselves and others, the Register reports:

“The Burmese military is facing an unexpected threat from female opponents to its regime – a deluge of panties dispatched to the country’s embassies in a “culturally insulting gesture of protest” against its recent crackdown on protestors.

According to AP the Panties for Peace initiative is not merely symbolic, since the the group behind the campaign – Lanna Action for Burma – claims “superstitious generals, especially junta leader General Than Shwe… believe that contact with women’s underwear saps them of power”

Written by modernityblog

21/10/2007 at 19:49

Posted in Uncategorized