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

The Guardian’s Oxbridge Elite, Press TV And The Kirk.

with 8 comments

Firstly, thanks to Engage for pointing me towards Ben Gidley’s piece at Dissent, The Politics of Defining Racism: The Case of Anti-Semitism in the University and College Union. Clearly, Dr. Gidley is very knowledgeable on this topic and a pleasure to read, here’s a snippet:

“Racism is mercurial. It mutates over time. Pseudoscientific racial theories are now spouted only by marginal cranks. Notions that different races are different species have come and gone; eugenics has come and gone; words like “Aryan” and “Semitic” are starting to sound quaint. The period since the 1980s has seen the rise of cultural racism, or racism that focuses on cultural differences rather than biological ones.”

In class related matters, the Guardian asked its staff, who’d been educated at Oxbridge and had it helped them in their career. Hmm, not a hard question to answer. Next, they’ll be saying old Etonians dominate the British establishment.

The New York Times on Ratko Mladić, chocolates and genocide. I expect that Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone will be up in arms shortly. Balkan Witness has a good page on Herman and other’s denial. NPR is worth a read.

Time has an informative piece on the psychology of dictators, and I suspect that its findings apply more broadly than many would care to admit.

Political Betting looks at political leadership and finds that Ed Miliband has a lower rating than William Hague (when he was Tory leader, briefly), good graph.

I liked the AP’s world’s Most Wanted list:

“Osama bin Laden was killed. Gen. Ratko Mladic was captured. That’s two of the world’s most-wanted off the list. So who’s left?


-Omar al-Bashir: The president of Sudan. Wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

-Ali Kushayb: A commander of the Sudanese government-backed janjaweed militia. Wanted for war crimes.

-Joseph Kony: The leader of the brutal rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is known for vicious attacks against civilians in Uganda.

-Jean Bosco Ntaganda: Congolese warlord wanted for war crimes including an ethnic massacre in 2002 and forcing children to fight.


-Ayman al-Zawahri: Al-Qaida deputy indicted for his alleged role in the 1988 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

-Anwar al-Awlaki: The U.S.-born cleric is one of al-Qaida’s most prominent English-language radicals.

-Adam Yahiye Gadahn: Indicted in California for treason and support to al-Qaida.

-Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso: US indictment for his alleged role in the 2000 bombings of the USS Cole in Yemen. Thought to be in Yemen.

-Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali-Badawi: Wanted in connection with the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. Escaped Yemeni custody in 2006.”

Trump is still a birther, according to the Huff Post.

Mick Hartley reminds us that the Taliban’s “anti-imperialism” involves killing teachers. Teachers who dare to teach girls. Killing Teachers, remember that.

The Banking Commissioner admits that Banker’s bonuses came out of the Taxpayer’s pocket. Yeah, that’s right. poorer people paid for richer people to stuff millions into their trousers. A modern version of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists?

Bloomberg reports that the area round Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant might be turned into a nuclear dumping ground, how dangerous and pathetic.

Press TV has been caught, again, pushing the vile Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The author of the piece at is Mark Dankof, a friend of the one time KKK ex-Grand Wizard, David Duke. The two are pictured here. Astute readers will remember that Press TV has a long tradition of publishing material from neo-Nazis and their friends, Lady Renouf and Nick Kollerstrom.

Q: How many historians does it take to change a light bulb? This is the answer.

Another day, another almost boycott. The Church of Scotland wanted to boycott Israelis, but at the last minute retreated for fear of the consequences, the Israelis might react. Good to see those fearless members of the Kirk in action:

“Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle! “

Update 1: To those neo-fascists and Jew haters currently stuck in my moderation queue, you aren’t going anywhere, I don’t provide a platform for your filth as any reading of my comments policy would indicate, now go away.

8 Responses

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  1. I just read the report about the Church of Scotland – unbelievable! Whining, Christian supersessionism.


    27/05/2011 at 01:30

  2. Ahh, you got my point 🙂

    I didn’t want to hammer it home, had they had the courage of their own convictions, then they would have launched the boycott irrespective of the consequence to themselves, but they didn’t, they were scared.

    That’s one aspect of boycotters, when it will impinge upon them they back off.

    In the final analysis, the pro-boycotters are often both bullies and cowards, willing to flex their muscles and stir things up, if there is no comeback, but not, if there are ramifications for themselves.


    27/05/2011 at 01:51

  3. Now, John Knox would never have backed down like that. Where is the Covenanting spirit that preached on the hillsides and was tied to stakes to be drowned by the tide? The Unco’ Guid are crap.


    27/05/2011 at 13:15

  4. Indeed, Rosie

    And bear in mind that if you did, say, criticise China over Tibet, Burma or any of the other Middle Eastern countries as a reporter then they will turf you out, before you can say “tetchy dictatorship” yet Israelis with their vibrant media welcome criticism.

    Israelis are noticeably tolerant of Westerners making base camp in Israel, then criticising them or visiting adjourning countries.

    That’s quite different from how China, Burma, and 2/3s of the world react to criticism.


    27/05/2011 at 15:16

  5. Thanks for the very kind words, and the excellent set of links.

    Ben Gidley

    27/05/2011 at 15:34

  6. Ben,

    With pleasure.


    27/05/2011 at 22:09

  7. O/t but have you seen this? From the Swedish magazine Expo (Google translation):-

    Anti-semitic build Wikileaks network in Sweden

    Cooperation between Julian Assange and the Swedish anti-Semite Israel Shamir is closer than previously stated. Expo has taken note of several emails that show that Assange asked Shamir for help to build Wikileaks Swedish network.

    According to Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson traded contacts between Julian Assange and Israel Shamir on a project.

    – We have not checked the political and personal views of the thousands of journalists we worked with, “he told the Expo.

    But e-mails as part of the Expo has shown that cooperation lasted for years. Back in 2008, Shamir was asked to provide proposals to potential partners in Sweden.

    Shamir responds by proposing his son, John Wahl, without mentioning anything about their relationship:

    “He is a Swedish citizen, living in Sweden. Probably he will be able to advise you on press freedom – in the journal [tornado / red.anm.] Is startling revelations about the media assaults.”

    In an email dated June 2010 shows that Shamir and Assange still had a role in Wikileaks Swedish network .. “Tell the team to be prepared; Health them from me: We have much work to do,” writes Assange in response to Shamir.

    Both I SRAEL Shamir and his son John Wahlstrom have been noted for anti-Semitic move. Shamir has among other things said that “every person who professes to God should deny the Holocaust.” Wahl wrote an article in 2005 with the thesis that “Israel’s regime governs the Swedish media.” He has on several occasions to Shamir in defense and Shamir described the website as a “prominent people”. [this last sentence doesn’t make much sense.]


    28/05/2011 at 20:27

  8. Rosie,

    No, I didn’t know about it, but thanks for the pointer 🙂

    Will post it later on!


    28/05/2011 at 20:30

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