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

Archive for February 2008

What’s “Radical” News?

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When does the radical become reactionary?

When does a platform for antiracists become the mouthpiece of neo-Nazis?

If form is anything to go by, then it has already happened.

Indymedia, once the Internet rebel, has been taken over by conspiracy theorists, cranks and even the odd Ku Klux Klan sympathiser, as the Melbourne outlet shows.

On 29 December 2006, Melbourne Indymedia published a filthy antisemitic tract from David Duke, one time neo-Nazi and KKK Grand Wizard “Should Christians Support Israel?“**

Yet Indymedia’s view of themselves is:

“The Independent Media Center is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media’s distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity.”

It is hard to understand why anyone would provide web space for Duke’s racist ranting or not be able to look him up on the web and confirm that he’s a Nazi loving loon in a suit, but sadly Indymedia Melbourne can’t even do that. By searching from the main page, you’ll see that’s not the only David Duke article published by them.

So it’s become very “radical” nowadays to give scum like Duke propaganda opportunities?

**[As much as I despise linking to neo-Nazi debris for the sake of reference I am providing a pointer to that sewage]

Written by modernityblog

28/02/2008 at 14:41

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Dave’s Right.

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David Hirsh’s recent speech at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem is well worth a read, in particular, three points that he makes:

“… In my view the main manifestation of antisemitism in the near future is going to be conspiracy theory.

The contemporary way of doing antisemitic conspiracy theory was given a stamp of professorial legitimacy by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in 2006. They created a vocabulary which one could use to express conspiracy theory and which did not seem to be antisemtic.

Conspiracy theory is nearly always, today, articulated using the Livingstone Formulation, which claims that Jews play the antisemitism card in bad faith in order to de-legitimize criticism of Israeli human rights abuses. In this way, anyone who raises a worry about contemporary antisemitism already stands accused of doing so maliciously; and they stand accused of doing so as part of a common plan with others. Livingstone’s formulation also denies the distinction between criticism and demonization.

Written by modernityblog

27/02/2008 at 01:55

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Nazi Loot Part 1

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Before and during the war the Nazis plundered Europe stole left, right and centre, and the post-war period is marked by the shocking callousness of European governments and States in providing restitution.

I recently received an email on the topic:

“Seeking heirs of 115 former residents of Nuremberg and Franconia

The Nuremberg Municipal Library has in its collection c 10,000 confiscated books illegally taken from Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution. The Library has been carrying out provenance research and has so far identified 115 Jewish former owners whom it wishes to trace. The 115 former owners were residents of Nuremberg and Franconia and the Library has compiled a list including their names, addresses and occupations.

The London-based Commission for Looted Art in Europe and its sister organisation, the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945, have published the list of former owners on their website at url and will provide free assistance and guidance to any heirs and descendants to enable restitution. All details are on the webpage above. They can be contacted as below:

Jennifer Anderson/Anne Webber
Commission for Looted Art in Europe
76 Gloucester Place
London W1U 6HJ
T: +44 (0)20 7487 3401
F: +44 (0)20 7487 4211

Written by modernityblog

22/02/2008 at 20:13

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Psychopaths or Legitimate Resistance?

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Most people concerned with the Middle East have a view about Hamas, are they political psychopaths? Or do they represent a positive and legitimate resistance?

You decide.

Channel 4 has just broadcast Inside Hamas, so you can make your own mind up about this gang of murderers and nihilists. I haven’t seen the Monday night programme yet but its repeated early Thursday morning according to the C4 page.

YouTube has copies of the programme.

And don’t forget to view the Hamas Charter, in particular this bit:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem)”

Having watched the programme I can see why Hamas let Channel 4 make it. The first half is mildly critical, but towards the end there is a not so subtle justification for our Hamas’ violence by Sharif Nashashibi and various Hamas leaders, we are even told that there are some moderate Hamas leaders. Strange then how they didn’t inform the Hamas MP who ranted on about “liberating Jerusalem from the filthy Jews”, very moderate?

Written by modernityblog

12/02/2008 at 13:57

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Other Denial

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Denial comes in many forms, and as strange as it might seem, even in the information age there are some people that would seek to deny unmistakable proof and such weird behaviour looks as if it is on the increase

We are all familiar with the batty 9/11 truth movement, which thankfully meets a lot of opposition and their arguments are dealt with by scientific reasoning at specialist sites.

But there is still a problem of denial, in the Balkans, so courtesy of Marko Hoare, I present the Srebrenica Genocide Blog.

Written by modernityblog

10/02/2008 at 15:14

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Believable or Not?

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The Socialist Unity blog is compulsive reading, and I have to admit that I am a fan.

I know that I shouldn’t be, but there is something vaguely compelling watching the slanging matches in the comments boxes.

More recently the SU blog has hosted two topical debates:

Anti-Semitism Is A Real Problem

How Indymedia UK Lost Its Way and became a safe haven for Anti-Semitism

And if you trawl through the nauseating comments, complacency and indifference to antisemitism you’ll sometimes find a gem. David Hirsh’s remarks are always worth a study, but I was taken by Saul’s observation:

“177. After 20-30 years of hard work we have finally realised that when a woman cries rape then she means it. 20-30 years that when a person of Caribean or Asian descent says that they didn’t get a job or was attacked on the street, we believe him. When a man says he can’t get a job working with children because he is gay, we believe him. When a Muslim man tells us of excrement put through his letter box because he is a Muslim, we believe him.

But, when a Jew screams antisemitism, in typical Stalinist fashhion, we tell him that it can’t be true because there has been no antisemitism for the past 60 years, and so he has to be making it up; in fact, not only do we tell him that they are making it up, but that they are making it up to hide the truth, and that they are making it up for no other reason than as a means to oppress and silence everyone in the world so as to protect “their” obnoxious little Jew-state.

After all, this is what some people here are saying, when can you ever trust a Jew?

Comment by Saul — 8 February, 2008 @ 9:08 pm”

Over at Engage they cover John Wight, organizer of Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition, pushes antisemitism

John W can often be found in the SU comments boxes, pushing a rather predictable line.

Written by modernityblog

08/02/2008 at 23:37

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Swinging Time For Gout?

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Forget ricketts, stunted growth or barefoot children.

Ailments from the past are returning, but not ones that you would expect: gout is on the increase.

According to the BBC:

“… About 1.5% of the UK population currently suffers from gout and there has been an increase in numbers over the last 30 years – although the condition is more associated with Victorian times.

The symptoms of painful, swollen joints, mainly in the lower limbs, are caused when uric acid crystallises out of the blood into the joints. …”

In other news, vital support is taken away from the blind but Councils have money for swings and playgrounds for the elderly, The Times reports:

“Nearly three-quarters of English councils are restricting social care support to disabled people with very high levels of need, according to new figures.

The data, provided to the charity Mencap by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, shows that the number of councils which are planning only to support disabled people with substantial or critical needs rose from 53 per cent in 2005-06 to 62 per cent last year.

By the end of this year, more than 73 per cent of councils predict that they will have tightened eligibility criteria to those with substantial or critical needs.

And three councils – Northumberland, West Berkshire and Wokingham – have said they will only provide social care services to people with a “critical need”, the highest of the four levels set by the government.

Only two councils – Sunderland and Calderdale – said they will provide care to people with the lowest level of need.

Mencap said the figures also showed huge variations between neighbouring councils.”

“Nick Whyley, 47, was informed in February that his care package had been slashed from 14 hours a week to two. Mr Whyley, from Southsea, is blind and for ten years had been given 14 hours of care from Portsmouth council to help with cooking, laundry, housework and correspondence. “It worked fantastically well. I had a budget to buy in my own care,” he said.

However, a new team took over his case. Without coming to see him or monitoring how he was coping at home they reduced his care. “It was a terrible shock,” he said. While he was contesting the cuts, Mr Whyley suffered a stroke and spent the summer in hospital. When he was discharged he was assured that the cuts would not take place until he had completed rehabilitation. However, in October he noticed that cash for his care bills had not been transferred to his account.”

Not much help eh? Still Councils will probably hand out skipping ropes to keep you fit, whilst you vegetate or die.

Written by modernityblog

04/02/2008 at 22:57

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