Archive for January 2008
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:
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.
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.
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?
Do you support any of the above? And if so, why?
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”?
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.
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.
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.