30 June 2005
29 June 2005
It will be interesting to compare it with ZoneAlarm freeware version
Grisoft offer a freeware version of their standard anti-virus scanner: AVG Free Edition
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/29/2005 10:23:00 pm
27 June 2005
I have always liked Orwell's writtings, in particular Down and Out in London and Paris.
His Homage to Catalonia is a bitting indicment of pre-WW2 Stalinism, best read with any of Paul Preston's fine works.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure I present two sites of the week:
On-line copies of his work can be found on these sites.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/27/2005 07:30:00 pm
24 June 2005
Officially, and finally it has been acknowledged that the BNP are Nazis, as if we didn't know, but still:
"a landmark ruling by the Standards Board for England, other politicians can refer to them as "Nazis".
The decision came after the BNP complained about comments made by Liberal Democrat councillor Gavin Stollar of Epping Forest Council."
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/24/2005 09:30:00 pm
23 June 2005
Having completed the Feminist Test, I 'scored':
You scored 66% Gender-Abolitionist, 60% Sexually Liberal, and 40 % Socialist
You are the Gender-Liberal. This means that you share qualities with both Liberal Feminists and Gender Abolitionists. Like the Liberal Feminist.."
and it goes on and on.
"You scored higher than 53% on Gender
You scored higher than 7% on Sexuality
You scored higher than 46% on Class"
Shame, the questions on the feminist test sounds like they were constructed by Post-Modernist graduate, I am sure that the campaign for plain English would be very annoyed.
I should never have read my old girlfriend's Spare Rib look at the after effects!
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/23/2005 11:46:00 pm
22 June 2005
George Galloway is a contemptible cur. He was happy to stoke communal tension during the general election and attack Oona King, a black Jewish MP
Now Louise Ellman, the Jewish MP for Riverside, Liverpool as being called ‘Israel's MP on Merseyside’.
There is no depth to which he will not plummet, his Middle-Eastern paymasters must be very happy.
Galloway is another demagogue and very much like a modern day Oswald Mosley, with his new party, Respect/SWP
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/22/2005 08:48:00 pm
21 June 2005
As the Tory leadership election contest comes nearer I begin to get a happy feeling.
The reason? addiction!
The Tories seem addicted to picking losers for leaders: William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith. Oh and the current one (I almost forgot him) Michael Howard.
And I'm hoping that they pick David Davies or some other incapable nonentity.
Sadly, it does seem unlikely that the Tory party will implode after a string of incompetent and ineffective leaders, but we can live in hopes.
Always look on the bright side of life!
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/21/2005 11:55:00 pm
20 June 2005
If you are interested in history, or worried about the sickening phenomena of holocaust denial and the rise of the extreme right, I would suggest reading Deborah Lipstadt's blog
Additionally, see the page on David Irving is one of the most insidious of Holocaust deniers. from the Holocaust History Project.
Background information on David Irving
from the Nizkor Project and The Guardian
(Best avoid the fpp sites at the bottom of The Guardian page, unless you want to study his lunacy up close).
See David Irving's secret backers and have laugh at Irving goes bankrupt
Update 1: Holocaust Denial On Trial web site, very good coverage.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/20/2005 08:07:00 pm
19 June 2005
The work of Azam Kamguian and her colleagues, Mona Basaruddin should be applauded. They edit a monthly bulletin for the Committee to Defend Women's Rights in the
Azam Kamguian’s article on Stifled Steps: Islam and Education is worth reading
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/19/2005 08:18:00 pm
Time permitting, I will post a site of the week.
They should either amusing, relevant or even timely but we'll see, starting with: http://distrowatch.com/
Distrowatch has news, reviews and the latest downloads of Linux distributions, a must for aficionados!
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/19/2005 06:45:00 pm
18 June 2005
17 June 2005
16 June 2005
Via Harry's Place a piece on a recent speech by Dr Rowan Williams
Rowan Williams makes some interesting points, and it is a much more balanced article than the snippet in The Times would suggest.
But there are number points to bear in mind about Internet sources:
- the lack of social constraints on the Web allow people to indulge themselves;
- this indulgence can produce some 'extreme' views or attitudes;
- many people do not take the trouble to filter out information from the Internet and take extreme views and attitudes as 'gospel';
The popularity of conspiracy sites and their related links is somewhat worrying, but not unexpected given the diversity of humanity and the predisposition of some people towards irrational belief systems.
For examples, we only need to look at the popularity of sites such as www.rense.com or www.conspiracyarchive.com
It does point towards people using more critical judgement on Internet sources than maybe they have in the past
This reminds me of two anecdotes:
a customer calling up a Utility company only to be told “that’s wrong, the computer says you're dead"
in the early days of the mainframe, many people set their watch by the time on the computer screen and thinking " it comes from a computer there for it must be right?", little appreciating that the time set on the mainframe often owes more to the accuracy of the computer operators watch and typing skills than some atomic clock in rugby
Most people working in IT have learnt to take information from computers with a handful of salt and hopefully that attitude is extending out.
Simply because information is placed on a web site (such as this) or comes from a computer does not mean it is definitive or accurate, it might be, and then again it might not.
We all, in this information age, need to apply critical thinking to all aspects of news and views and not take the lazy way of accepting what we are told either from the mouths of politicians, the pens of journalists or some wacky keystrokes from the Internet.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/16/2005 12:51:00 pm
15 June 2005
Eve Garrard's piece at Norm's Blog and the selective nature of the AUT blacklist set me thinking about Tibet and China's role there.
We rarely hear much about the massive settlement process by Tibet or Chinese occupation in 1950 or the later full annexation of Tibet in 1965, which seems to have been conveniently forgotten by many people.
The Chinese 'settlers' in Tibet now number millions.
The only argument trying to justify it, that I ever heard, suggested "China did away with feudalism in Tibet, and brought progress..."
Then surely United States could use a similar argument in Iraq or many of their other foreign policy adventures. British colonial rule could be justified using a Chinese argument, but who now would try to defend the indefensible?
Fact sheet on Tibet is here
Video of Chinese violence
Major Allegations: Key Facts on the Chinese Occupation
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/15/2005 11:48:00 pm
I enjoy a good wacko conspiracy as much as the rest, including but not limited to the black Pope and end of days.
Which is all good fun if not taken too seriously and an indicator of how far humanity has moved on from the Middle Ages, some might say not very.
The latest, as far as I can see, to come out from the United States is from Morgan Reynolds, quoted at arcticbeacon
"If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling," said Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D, a former member of the Bush team who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis headquartered in Dallas, TX”
I am almost lost for words, but one: weird
A word of warning: many of these conspiracy web sites may link to nasty neo-Nazi or similar sites, be warned
Take everything at these sites with a handful of salt, just because it is written on the Web doesn't mean it is true.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/15/2005 01:50:00 am
I have frequently noticed that those articulating an 'anti-Zionist' case, and in this instance: for the AUT blacklist are often unwilling to put their arguments, motives and the consequences of their actions under close scrutiny.
Thus it is with Sue Blackwell.
The people at Engage wish to argue through the case and give her a chance to explain her actions and motives, but sadly she has become reticent.
Rather strange for someone who’s main scholarly powers are linguistic!
I would have thought anyone genuinely interested in this topic and motivated by the highest of interests would welcome an opportunity to articulate a carefully argued case, but no Sue Blackwell has retreated.
Having seen such people in the past, I am not entirely surprised.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/15/2005 12:52:00 am
14 June 2005
Never much read Nick Cohen (maybe because I tend to read for news not views) but he made some useful and funny points here, which reminded me of the election:
"At the risk of sounding bombastic, I want to say that there are two parties about which there can be no shilly–shallying. The first is the BNP, which is simply an old neo–Nazi movement with a PR makeover. The second is Respect, an alliance between the intellectually exhausted Marxist–Leninists of the Socialist Workers Party and Islamic fundamentalists, which has come together under the leadership of George Galloway, a charismatic huckster who praised Saddam Hussein for his “courage, strength and indefatigability”.
He blogs here.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/14/2005 12:43:00 am
13 June 2005
Who says there's no justice in the world? Edgar Ray Killen goes on trial in Mississippi
As the LA times put it "Country Preacher to Be Tried as 1964 Murder Mastermind"
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/13/2005 07:10:00 pm
Norm beat me too it again, Engage has an interesting piece: Sue Blackwell Needs to Respond to Charges of Antisemitism - David Hirsh
This caught my eye:
“In Poland in 1968 the Polish state, under the cover of solidarity with Palestinians, launched a purge of the Jewish intelligensia. The language of this purge was one of anti-Zionism. Jewish intellectuals were challenged to declare themselves anti-Zionist. Most of them refused, and Poland lost a whole layer of its thinkers, teachers, writers and researchers.”
Nowadays after the fall of eastern communism few of us ever really consider Soviet anti-Semitism and how it was constantly masked under the label of anti-Zionism.
Even as late as 1983 anti-Semitism was hiding under the backcloth of anti-Zionism as the advent of Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public shows
Does this sound familiar?
“The recurring motive of the groups's ideology were the alleged "Ziono-Masonic plot" against Russia as "the main source of the misfortunes of Russian people, disintegration of the economy, denationalization of Russian culture, alcoholism, ecological crisis." The "Zionists" were also blamed for causing revolutions, for death of millions in the course of Russian Civil War and Stalin's personality cult. The contemporary Soviet government apparatus was alleged to be penetrated by "Zionists and freemasons" with the purpose to subordinate it to the "Jewish capital". The "Zionist Occupied Government" accusation was often used.
Officially the organization emphasized that its ideology was merely anti-Zionist and not anti-Semitic. This was also the official Soviet stance. The hate speech and fostering ethnic conflict is punishable under Russian law. It was punishable also under the Soviet law, but this article has never been enforced.”
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/13/2005 05:22:00 pm
12 June 2005
I tried out a religious quiz via innerwestcentral
and got a strange result:
"You scored as Satanism.
Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don't actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.
Honest, I am not a Satanist, just more like pluralistic atheist but may be I am marked out for other things?
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/12/2005 02:35:00 am
08 June 2005
The Torygraph had an amusing piece on teenagers:
"Research published in the journal Pediatrics has shown that adolescents often fail to get enough sleep because despite still needing up to 10 hours a night, puberty affects their body's production of sleep-inducing melatonin, making going to sleep early more difficult. Those who slept the least and had to get up the earliest had the lowest cognitive performance and worst moods."
Now we know, that might explain many blog entries or does it?
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/08/2005 01:21:00 am
07 June 2005
Red Hat's decision to spin off Fedora is to be welcomed, and anything that gives impetus to be open source movement.
Linux is progressing nicely with ubunu taking a good slice and many small vibrant distributions, my favourite, SystemRescueCd
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/07/2005 04:10:00 pm
06 June 2005
"Journalist Johann Hari poses 15 questions to a supporter of George Galloway.
If you are ever confronted by somebody who supports George Galloway or
has any sympathy for him, here are 15 questions to put to them:
(1) Do you believe Saddam Hussein's genocidal assaults on the Kurds, democrats and Marsh Arabs in 1991 were "a civil war with massive
violence on both sides"?
(2) Would you go on holiday with the foreign minister of a fascist state?
(3) Would you go disco dancing with the foreign minister of a fascist state?
(4) Would you call for the release of the former foreign minister of a fascist state on the grounds that he is "an eminent diplomatic and intellectual person"?
(5) Do you believe Iraqi trade unionists today are "quislings"? Would you dismiss their tearful recollections of torture at the hands of Ba'athists by calling it "a party trick"?...."
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/06/2005 04:04:00 pm
Arab News reports from the OIC:
"The US must live up to its responsibilities and not be lenient with the perpetrators of the desecration and should bring those responsible for the despicable crime to justice immediately,Â said OIC spokesman Ambassador Atta El-Manan Bakhit."
Which makes me wonder what is the Sharia punishment for such a matter?Death?Or worst?
This stuff is scary and what is the 'punishment' for Apostasy?
Reminds me of the old Catholic Church's attitude to heresy
The Spanish Inquisition
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/06/2005 11:55:00 am
03 June 2005
Harry is spot on
"The left needs to articulate a vision of a democratic EU for this new generation ..
Part of the European left finds itself sinking into that reactionary mire where it shares a stinking nihiism with the far-right. "
A simplified minimalist EU constitution would make better sense and easier to discuss. In this case following the American model might not be a bad idea.
Although tedious anti-Americanism would probably get in the way of admitting that a shorter and simpler EU constitution is better. The EU is not going to go away, therefore it is incumbent on people to ensure decent social policies and workable structures within it
The current 'Euroscepticism' which infects a wide range of people is little more than sophisticated xenophobia, even though people don't like to admit it.
Posted by ModernityBlog at 6/03/2005 12:08:00 am