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

Archive for July 5th, 2009

Conservatives, Facebook and MI6

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Conservatives come in many shapes and sizes, and are not always found on the political right. If you hunt around your acquaintances, friends and relatives then you will probably have a few, small c, conservatives amongst them.

They might be those people who often look back to the past to some almost mythological golden age, or seek guidance from worthy but irrelevant tombs. They are far easier to spot when modern technology enters the frame, they may be the last people to discover the Internet, have a mobile phone or even use Facebook.

The latter innovation almost caused a breach of security at MI6.

The mandarins in Westminster hadn’t thought to check the Facebook pages of its senior staff for potential security leaks, or information that would have compromised the security of their operatives.

The wife of the new MI6 Director, Lady Sawer had included many personal details in her entry, and although it has been scrubbed by now I wonder if they will have learnt any lessons from their rather conservative attitude towards technology.

The Guardian reports an interesting snippet for all antifascists and scrutineers of the Far right:

“The Mail on Sunday had claimed its story – which also revealed that Shelley Sawers’s half-brother is a researcher for the Holocaust-denying historian David Irving – showed that Sawers had left himself open to a potentially catastrophic security failure.”

Hugo Haig-Thomas, apparently is a former diplomat, anyone say Maxwell Knight?

Written by modernityblog

05/07/2009 at 23:50

Best Political Discussion on Latin America?

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Like most people I was curious about what really happened in Honduras and the background to it. I was pointed towards this piece in Red Pepper, and it rings true:

Honduras is a deeply unequal country, with the richest 10 per cent of the population taking home 43.7 per cent of the national income. In contrast, the poorest 30 per cent take just 7.4 per cent, and just under 40 per cent of the population live in poverty (defined as earning less than double the cost of the basic food basket). Only 4.7 per cent of Hondurans have access to the internet, which might go some way to explaining the social background of Honduran coup cheerleaders on English-language websites such as the BBC.

Since coming to power in 2006 president Zelaya has gradually moved to the left, and at the time of the coup was taking steps to address Honduras’ gross levels of inequality. Predictably, these moves earned him the enmity of much of congress, whose ties to the country’s traditional elites run deep. Zelaya also angered these elites by pursuing a leftist foreign policy, joining the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), an alternative regional trade group composed of nine left-leaning Latin American and Caribbean countries. The arrival of Cuban doctors to provide healthcare to the poorest sectors of Honduran society was met with particular hostility by Zelaya’s opponents. Honduras’ leftward turn also undoubtedly caused significant discomfort among some in Washington, especially at a time when much of Latin America has seemed to move beyond the reach of US political influence.”

But a wider question occurred to me, where are the best on-line political discussions in Latin America?

It is easy enough to find English language ones, but I wanted to read what Latin Americans were saying about the coup d’etat.

I hunted around rather lazily but couldn’t see much apart from this, which sadly seems filled with semi-crazy right-wingers.

So the question for my readers is, do you know of any half decent on-line forums that discuss Latin America in an intelligent way?

I can read Spanish (poorly) and am interested in hearing the views of people actually living in the region now.

Written by modernityblog

05/07/2009 at 19:35

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Roll Around Roundup

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A bit of a cheat, various items that caught my eye, second failure in three years:
“When the Department for Transport boasts that a company has agreed to pay £1 billion or more over the life of a franchise, it neglects to point out that only a tiny fraction of that amount is guaranteed in the small print. Companies can walk away from their franchises and only have to surrender a “performance bond”, which in National Express’s case is £32 million.”

17 Web Browsers for Linux, Chrome for Linux is the one to watch, Firefox is still rather buggy, awaiting a patch kit, when it works they found it was faster, the best stability tip I can suggest is to turn off all video plug-ins.

Forty years ago, almost, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, listen to the take off. The Apollo 11 home at NASA. The BBC’s Sky at Night and the Apollo landings. Apollo 11 images.

Shuggy on understanding Ben White and racism.

In Darfur: “Fears are growing that an Irish aid worker kidnapped near Darfur was seized by an Islamist militia linked to the Sudanese regime, Irish government sources said last night.”

The Iranian regime and journalists.
Azarmehr looks at PressTV and its Western mouthpieces.

Martin on UCU: “On Saturday UCU general secretary Sally Hunt represented the union at a protest outside the Iranian embassy, as part of the Justice for Iranian Workers campaign.”

Bob’s got some good questions.

coming along a pace.

Finally, Antix Linux, one of my favourite distros is out on public test and it even has autologon now, great.

Written by modernityblog

05/07/2009 at 15:27

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