ModernityBlog

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

Archive for July 2010

Not Too Proud.

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Whatever you think of David Cameron, and I try not to, you have to admire his gall.

Cameron is, at the present moment, sucking up to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which must be a bit of a come down for a British PM.

Still, these once imperial powers have more in common than people will often admit.

Perhaps Cameron could inquire about Turkey’s treatment and murder of Kurds?

Or maybe the Turkish Prime Minister is advising Cameron on how to avoid charges of torture, or collusion with torture?

Anyone that needs reminding of Turkey’s appalling human-rights record could do worse than read Amnesty international’s and Human Rights Watch’s summaries.

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27/07/2010 at 15:47

Oliver’s Excuse?

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More entertainment news, astute readers will have read about Oliver Stone’s weird and racist views.

As a bit of a joke, I am asking readers to speculate on the type of defence that Oliver Stone will make after his slippage into Mel Gibson territory.

What will Oliver “The Jewish domination of the media” Stone argue:

1. That he was misquoted?
2. [Use the Tonge/Young excuse]. That he took an over-emotional approach to the topic?
3. He was drunk?
4. He’s another victim of Elders of Zion?
5. It was mistaken identity, Mel Gibson did the interview, Stone wasn’t even in the country.
6. “Some of my best friends are….”
7. Your choice…

Please share your insights into Oliver Stone’s mentality, a potential prize for the funniest.

PS: See Oliver Stone: The Living Embodiment of the Red-Brown Alliance.

(H/T: CiF Watch)

Update 1: Z Word blog puts it succinctly, Oliver Stone is an Antisemite.

Update 2: Granted I don’t follow him much, but I hadn’t fully realised what a seriously demented individual Stone was:

“Earlier this year, Stone told assembled reporters during Winter TV Press Tour that his 10-hour documentary Showtime documentary entitled “The Secret History of America” will show that Adolf Hitler was “an easy scapegoat” and will help put the mass murderer in context.

“We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ [Hitler] is the product of a series of actions,” Stone says. “It’s cause and effect. People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII.”

I am speechless.

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27/07/2010 at 00:35

Attacks On Iraqi Trade Unions.

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LabourStart highlights a very worrying development in Iraq:

“Iraq: Minister closes all union offices in Saddam-style move

Police raided and shut down electricity unions across Iraq in mid-July, carrying out an order from the Minister of Electricity that could have been lifted from Saddam Hussein’s rule book.

The order prohibits “all trade union activities at the ministry and its departments and sites” and authorizes the police “to close all trade union offices and bases and to take control of unions’ assets properties and documents, furniture and computers.”

The leader of Britain’s Trades Union Congress has called upon the Iraqi government “to withdraw the order, and allow unions to operate freely, underpinned by a fair, just and ILO-compliant labour law.”

The Iraqi trade union movement is calling on trade union members everywhere to raise their voices in protest.”

More on Iraq at LabourStart.

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26/07/2010 at 18:06

Unreported Afghan Civilian Deaths.

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Wikileaks has released a mass of documentation on Afghanistan into the public domain, it should be welcomed.

I assume that this comes in the wake of McCrystal’s dismissal, whatever the reason, it should focus us on how Afghan civilian deaths have been conspicuously underreported in the Western media.

This is Wikileaks and here’s the Afghan war diary.

Update 1: More concerning the leaks can be found on the New York Times’ At War blog.

Update 2: Spiegel’s coverage:

“A total of 91,731 reports from United States military databanks relating to the war in Afghanistan are to be made publicly available on the Internet. Never before has it been possible to compare the reality on the battlefield in such a detailed manner with what the US Army propaganda machinery is propagating. WikiLeaks plans to post the documents, most of which are classified, on its website.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the New York Times and SPIEGEL have all vetted the material and compared the data with independent reports. All three media sources have concluded that the documents are authentic and provide an unvarnished image of the war in Afghanistan — from the perspective of the soldiers who are fighting it.
The reports, from troops engaged in the ongoing combat, were tersely summarized and quickly dispatched. For the most part, they originate from sergeants — but some have been penned by the occasional lieutenant at a command post or ranking analysts with the military intelligence service.

The documents’ release comes at a time when calls for a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan are growing — even in America. Last week, representatives from more than 70 nations and organizations met in Kabul for the Afghanistan conference. They assured President Hamid Karzai that his country would be in a position by 2014 to guarantee security using its own soldiers and police. “

Update 3: Again at the NYT, Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert.

Update 4: Afghanistan: the war logs from the Guardian. The selected list of deaths makes grim reading.

Update 5: Key incidents as a spreadsheet at the Guardian.

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26/07/2010 at 08:58

Ian Tomlinson, Murdered By the Police.

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I had been meaning to do a post on the death of Ian Tomlinson, but couldn’t quite get around to it for various reasons.

So here is a compilation of some pertinent posts on his murder :

Ian Tomlinson and Misconduct in Public Office.

Ian Tomlinson: police escape prosecution.

Ian Tomlinson Campaign: Time For Something Different.

The Ian Tomlinson Family Campaign.

The Ian Tomlinson decision is a travesty of justice.

Oh, and don’t forget the video of the attack on Ian Tomlinson.

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25/07/2010 at 21:53

Mel Gibson And Conspiracies.

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One of the joys of having a blog is reading other people’s excellent posts and saying “I wish I had written that!”.

So it is with Judeosphere, and another corker on Mel Gibson.

Read more, The Mel Gibson Conspiracy Theory That You KNEW Was Coming…

Enjoy!

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24/07/2010 at 21:42

Jack And Johanna.

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One time Respect activist and latterly a convert to Toryism, Johanna Kaschke has lost her vexatious libel actions against Dave Osler, John Gray and Alex Hilton.

Despite the obvious cost, stress and strain this is a good outcome not only for the individuals concerned, but for bloggers in general.

Jack of Kent points us to the judgement.

John Gray has his own thoughts on the matter.

Alex Hilton hasn’t posted on it yet, but you can keep up with him here.

Johanna Kaschke’s considered views can be seen from her blog, The Last Cherry:

John Gray has become a fat ponze.

I would, er, recommend her post on The Freemasons and mathematical concepts, if you are in need of a laugh.

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24/07/2010 at 12:55