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

Archive for January 2008

Time to Spring Clean that PC.

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Throw away that old Micro$oft rubbish, rejuvenate your tired old PC with Linux.

Choices, choices? But which particular Linux distribution to pick?

Preferably a free one, one that you can download and one that fulfils its function.

There is a myriad of Linux distributions to choose from at DistroWatch, and here are a few that I like:

Ubuntu, which comes in many different varieties, from KDE, Gnome based to the lightweight Xfce in Xubuntu.

Kubuntu is well designed, but a bit top-heavy on eye candy for my taste. The Gnome version is a good compromise, plenty of functionality without the KDE bloat.

Xfce is positively sprightly compared to Kubuntu, requires a little more work by the user, but is practical on lower specified machines. Ubuntu derived distributions benefit from extensive repositories and plenty of community support, having said that, I was underwhelmed by the recent releases of Ubuntu and I am still running 7.04, instead of 7.10 or the latest Alpha (Hardy Heron). Still a good choice to start with.

MEPIS is an interesting variety, set-up is very easy, quick, just point and click with good hardware support.

For a faster alternative try, AntiX, a cut down but fully serviceable version of MEPIS. AntiX is based on Fluxbox with IceMW thrown in for free. Fast and usable. It had no problems with my strange wireless set-up. Recommended.

My current favourite is Midiflux, which is based on PCLinuxOS, a Mandrake off-shoot, and TinyMe. Midiflux is small, very fast but will run KDE applications if needed; it is an excellent compromise between practical application support and small size. It takes about 10 minutes to install, however, Midiflux is still beta. Installation is simple, although I think that MEPIS’s installation is slightly more polished, just boot up the Live CD and click on the Install icon.

Other appealing distros are Damn Small Linux, GoblinX and Zenwalk.

Written by modernityblog

31/01/2008 at 15:59

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Closer Than You’d Think

with 3 comments

Years ago if you wanted to study the Far Right, neo-Nazis or Jew haters it was difficult, you had to purchase, preferably indirectly, their literature and look out for the recurring genocidal themes and expressions of hatred, along came the Internet.

The web made it much easier, scanning newsgroups was a piece of cake, and if you have the stomach you could even visit their web sites, although the spectacle of swastikas and Nazi paraphernalia normally limited such trips, unless your stomach was particularly strong.

But time moves on and so does the Far Right, instead of trawling disgusting web sites their ideas are closer to home, at the Guardian’s Comment is Free.

Such a change isn’t to be welcomed but it is noticeable, and more so when Guardian readers have to express a degree of empathy with the victims of Nazi persecution.

You might suppose that the Guardian as a liberal newspaper, with a largely liberal and university educated readership would be the last place that you would find excessive levels of anti-Jewish racism, nevertheless that is the case, as a recent article by Stephen Smith on the Holocaust indicates.

The comment boxes at CiF are littered with racist filth and barely concealed Far Right sentiments.

So sadly studying Jew haters and Far Right nutters is easier than it ever was, and closer to home, than you’d think.

Written by modernityblog

28/01/2008 at 13:58

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Imagine…Remember, Reflect, React

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Written by modernityblog

27/01/2008 at 02:08

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Open Thread on Anti-Imperialism.

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Anti-imperialism is the watchword of the new millennia. You can barely pick up a newspaper or scan the Internet without the word “anti-imperialism” popping out.

And yet what is really meant by anti-imperialism?

1. Is it anti-imperialism when roadside bombs kill Iraqi or American troops in Iraq?

2. Is it anti-imperialism when the UN office in Iraq is blown up?

3. Is it anti-imperialism when aid workers are deliberately targeted in Afghanistan?

Do you support any of the above? And if so, why?

4. Pressing on, is it legitimate anti-imperialism to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians in Sderot?

And do you agree with those attacks, or not?

Finally, if you’ve agreed with all or any of the above as legitimate, or in any way acceptable expressions of anti-imperialist sentiment, then please explain why the Scottish National liberation Army‘s campaign of poisoning random English civilians isn’t anti-imperialism too?

And if not, why not, when compared with the above examples?

I hope that some anti-imperialists will have the courage of their convictions, digests the above and describe what is acceptable in their views and more importantly, what is not?

I’m genuinely curious, because it seems to me to be nothing more than dressed up nihilism, and I would like to receive a logical explanation as to what is reasonable for the sake of “the cause”?

Written by modernityblog

26/01/2008 at 02:41

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Keeping an Eye on the Extreme Right

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Following the goings-on of the extreme right is hard, the devious little bleeders are always changing, ducking for cover, putting on suits or stirring up hatred somewhere.

So it’s good that some dedicated antifascists keep an eye on these scum, the Lancaster UAF is a good site to read along with Kirklees Unity Exposing the Far Right.

Not forgetting Searchlight, Stop the BNP or HateWatch.

Written by modernityblog

25/01/2008 at 21:10

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Open Thread on Zionism.

with 30 comments

May 2008 is the 60th birthday of the State of Israel.

For some people this time will be a celebration, for others it will be bittersweet and yet more will rant, nash their teeth and moan about the crimes of the “Zionists”.

So this is an open thread, I will turn off the moderation and people can post whatever they want.

I would ask them only two questions:

1. What proposed solution or solutions would you suggest for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

2. Do you consider that the Geneva initiative is a potential blueprint for settling the conflict? And if not, what else?

Please give me your ideas.

Update: anyone in any doubt concerning Hamas’s racist credentials, should see the interview with Azzam Tamimi, Hamas’s unofficial spokesman in Britain at HP

Written by modernityblog

21/01/2008 at 02:33

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First Guest?

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My first guest post at HP has been put up

It’s on the topic of Ama Sumani and her inexcusable treatment at the hands of the Home Office.

I was provoked into this post and by an attitude that I perceived.

That attitude, although not fully articulated, implies that one, that other people’s human rights are of lesser value when they conflict with our own daily lives or an organisation close to our heart (in this case, the NHS). Secondly, it is interesting to see how often the NHS is viewed as a scarce resource and how some form of utilitarianism should be employed to preserve it, without addressing the real issues.

The thread at HP provoked some heated discussion, look out for Mettaculture’s contributions, he said all that I could wish to say and much more, with far greater eloquence, his posts are always worth a read.

Written by modernityblog

16/01/2008 at 23:45

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