ModernityBlog

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

Archive for March 8th, 2011

Formalising Anti-Muslim Bigotry in the US.

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Years back those with obsessive prejudices would often form political parties to articulate their bigotry, but now they are a bit more sophisticated, Politico has more:

“The clearest sign of the new effort to transform anti-Islam crusading into a mainstream lobbying effort came when the group ACT! For America wooed away Rep. Sue Myrick’s (R-N.C.) chief of staff Hal Weatherman to run its communications shop in February. The move helped complete the group’s transformation from a tiny, obscure organization into an ambitious nonprofit with a budget of $1.6 million in 2009, the last year for which figures are available.

ACT! now has a staff of eight that includes a full-time federal lobbyist, a detailed legislative agenda and a television program – all dedicated to pushing a handful of issues, ranging from keeping the Guantanamo Bay prison camp open to pushing for alternative energies to Middle Eastern oil.

The leaders of this new movement include the blogger Pamela Geller and her group Stop Islamization of America, the Clarion Fund, a New York City-based nonprofit — and the controversial Gabriel herself.

“The idea that congressional staffers would agree to meet an organization led by a woman whose agenda is pure unadulterated hatred and whose purported life story is a laughable fiction — it’s sad,” said Hussein Ibish, a former communications director for the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee who is now a fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine. “She seems to have brought with her a pathological hatred of Muslims and other Arabs.”

Written by modernityblog

08/03/2011 at 15:53

The Greens, Entryism And Shouting Contests.

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Sometimes issues on the Internet take on a life of their own. A few weeks back I dropped a comment on the Daily (Maybe), a very popular Green Party blog.

I didn’t see eye to eye with my host, Jim, and left it at that.

Readers will remember I have been following the issue of the Green Party and anti-Jewish racism for sometime.

Then suddenly I get follow-up emails from that thread, which springs to life as if shot by a bolt of lightning.

Sadly, the resultant exchanges shed no light on the issue of the Green Party and antisemitism, but they do tell you something about the characters involved.

One particular vigorous figure is Deborah Fink.

Ms. Fink is a comparatively new convert to all things green, which normally wouldn’t be a problem except she has brought along her past political baggage.

Ms. Fink was a once prominent member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, that was until she made a statement that:

“Israel does not deserve to be called ‘The Jewish state.’ It should be called ‘The Satanic state.’ I really don’t see the point [of] doing anything else other than boycott it in every possible way.”

JfJfP didn’t like it too much either:

“But Dan Judelson, elected last month as JfJfP chair, told the JC that Ms Fink’s remarks were “incompatible” with her responsibilities within the group — which include the role of recruitment officer.

The matter would be discussed at its monthly meeting on Sunday.

“Deborah Fink is not a member of the newly elected executive committee of JfJfP,” he stated. “As such, she speaks only for herself.” He said she had confirmed that she had posted the remarks online.”

All of that is moderate, compared to her attacks on other Greens in the comment thread at the Daily (Maybe):

“Actually Alan, I have not put a complaint in against you, so don’t like, but I am now considering it. Someone else was going to put in a complaint against you but I don’t know if s/he has done so yet or how far it has progressed.”

She makes a veiled threat to the blog’s host, Jim:

“What worries me most about this, is that Jim is a member of the executive. Time for him to step down, I think.”

From the thread we learn that Ms. Fink joined the Greens on a “whim” and states openly “My main issue is Palestine…”.

She attacks long standing Greens in an aggressive fashion, only having been a Green, herself, since early 2010.

Additionally, you can see Ms. Fink bad mouthing the Green Party and its members on a public bulletin board, JustPeaceUK :

“Basically, a handful of members, otherwise known as Greens engage, had complained about ‘anti-Semitism’ in the party, so to try and address their concerns, a working group was set up. This was before I joined. I’m not quite sure why the committee was disbanded but i think it was because Greens engage kept calling one member anti-Semitic. i can imagine that they weren’t getting anywhere.

From what I heard, Greens engage used to bully people on email lists into
silence on Israel/Palestine, by constantly accusing them of anti-Semitism, but that this all stopped once I joined the party! O yes, they’ve had a taste of their own medicine! They won’t dare argue with me. I’ve been exposing their arguments and agenda so that others won’t get taken in by them, and saying what non Jews on the lists would liked to have said, but didn’t dare.

So, this article is mostly nonsense and actually, they had no business publishing it when it wasn’t from official sources. I didn’t respond as i did not want to blow the whole thing up. “

She seems to do a bit of plotting too:

“I discussed this with them and the possibility of my writing in ‘As-a-Jew’ but we decided it was best to leave it– a response would have drawn more attention to it and possibly escalated it. However, I’m looking into taking action against these infiltrators. They’ve all gone quiet now, by the way…”

Ms. Fink’s divisive attitudes brought the JfJfP into disrepute and she left, so all in all it is not very promising for the Greens, if she doesn’t get her way she’ll probably leave as quickly as she joined, on a whim.

Small wonder Toby Green resigned.

Stable Door And The London School of Economics

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Weeks after the horse bolted, those connected to the Libyan regime are slowly trying to sever their connections:

“A Nobel prize-winning British scientist has resigned from the charity run by Muammar Gaddafi’s son that gave a £1.5m donation to the London School of Economics, and disclosed that the funding was awarded without the approval of board members.

The elite British university has been in turmoil over the donation, which last week led to the resignation of its director, Sir Howard Davies, and the launch of an independent inquiry into its links with Libya. Sir Richard Roberts, who was on the board of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, said the funding was given to the LSE without “any form of transparency or approval”.

The revelation underlines concerns that the Gaddafi foundation did not operate as a normal charity but was a vehicle for the Libyan dictator’s son Saif al-Islam.

The LSE council, its governing body, is facing scrutiny over its decision to approve the donation, granted in 2009. One of the LSE’s academics stood down from the board of the Gaddafi foundation in 2009 after a council meeting raised concern over a conflict of interests.

Roberts, an internationally renowned biochemist who won the Nobel prize for medicine in 1993, told the Guardian: “I never knew anything about that money before it appeared in the press. That was not done with any sort of clarity or transparency to the board.” “

Or does it all suggest that some of these supposedly smart people are not that smart at all, when it comes to rich dictators?

Over at the Beeb, they cover the Libyan Investment Authority with a choice quote:

“Like the rest of Gaddafi’s children, Saif lived a life of privilege and ease, although like his father he claimed to have no official position and denied having access large funds.

But now new evidence has emerged that despite his denials, Saif in fact controlled the multi-billion-pound Libyan sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

“I’ve seen the Godfather. This is the closest thing in real life,” commented a Libyan investment banker familiar with how the LIA was run.

“It is as if it is his own private farm. This was almost like a mafia operatiion.”

In the letters page of the Guardian there is an academic bun-fight on plagiarism, Saif Gaddafi and how to use Google:

“Lord Desai seems to be aggrieved because nobody told him as the PhD examiner of Saif Gaddafi that the candidate had committed plagiarism. But it is precisely the job of the examiner, as an expert in the field, to assess the originality of a doctoral thesis. So neither Desai, nor his co-examiner, nor Mr Gaddafi’s supervisors, did their jobs. Have none of them heard of Google? It’s not too hard these days to catch out the plagiariser.”