Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ward Churchill and race theory

Pirate Ballerina provides information on whether Ward Churchill is or isn't really an Indian by blood.

Professor Churchill's obsession with provnig his racial descent (and, perhaps, his opponents' obsession with disproving it) confirms for me that a certain version of multicultural politics is race theory in a new guise. See these previous posts: my The identititarian logic of multiculturalism and Jogo's - the lessons for multiculturalism. I'll get back to this topic soon!

Cf United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma: scroll down for "Final Statement from the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Regarding Ward Churchill".

An explosion in a pubic hair factory (on Hitchens, Marx and Paul Johnson)

Nice post at Wardyblog on the Hitch on "historian" Paul Johnson. Coincidentally, I found this on Paul Johnson and Marx: Wikipedia's Karl Marx entry.

Related: normblog: Writer's choice 1: Francis Wheen on Karl Marx, normblog: Hitchens and Fry on religion, Counago & Spaves on Wheen, Wheen on Mumbo Jumbo, Andy Merrifield: The Devil in Mr. Marx

Trackback: wardyblog: Man publicises self after being noticed by handful of bloggers.

Previous: Dangerous Reading, EP Thompson and CLR James, The Hitch and Cambodia, Hitchens, The Pope and Stalin

I am a Cultural Creative

I did one of those on-line quiz thingies and found out that I am a Cultural Creative. Not sure what that means. I think of myself as a materialist and anti-idealist, so was a bit dissappointed I was less materialist than anything else except fundamentalist, and that I was not too un-idealist. I also think of myself as anti-postmodernist and anti-romanticist, and scored high there. What's happened to my worldview? Should I worry?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Here's Hak Mao's chart which looks kind of like I'd expect mine to look.

Previous: BobFromBrockley Universally Translated: pimp, skinhead or cockney, Most Dangerous Books Ever, Who is the Greatest American?, What are the best academic books for ordiary folks to read?, Who Should I Vote For?

Gay Israel

From Hak Mao:

From Israel, which (some never tire of asserting) is a theocracy, the following news:

An Israeli court ruled on Sunday that Jerusalem's gay pride parade could proceed as planned this week and ordered the city's mayor to pay $6,500 out of his own pocket for trying to stop it.

Anti-Social Behaviour: Youths in Hoodies Disrespect George Galloway

I blogged the Respect For Hoodies Elephant and Castle misadventure on Monday (Wespec' - Will George venture South?, story from Casino Avenue). Here is the local news report of what happened. (Found via the superb new Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays For WAR.

UPDATE: See also Harry's Place: Down in the 'hood.
STILL MORE: Students Waving Placards' Journal and again.

Also, I guess I need to blog David Aaronovitch in The Times asking How did the far Left manage to slip into bed with the Jew-hating Right? (on some of this blog's obsessions - George Galloway, the Socialist Workers’ Party, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir...

NOTE TO REGULAR READERS: Being a "cultural creative", I have made a couple of additions to the Wespec' post, about other battles in London's (well, mainly South London's) class war.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Let's bomb Texas II

First, check out the comments, including by Jogo, at the end of the previous post on this topic. Now, here's some more.

Mugwumps look West

Keller Says 'N.Y. Times' Must Look Beyond Its Urban, Liberal Base:
"In a lengthy memo published on the newspaper's Web site, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, announced several new policies in response to a recent report by the paper's Credibility Committee. Among them is a fresh attempt to diversify the Times' staff and viewpoints, and not in the usual racial or gender ways, but in political, religious and cultural areas as well.

The aim, he wrote, is 'to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation.' "

Glories Strung Like Beads
Alan Johnson at normblog on why he loves America. It begins:
I love watching the arc of the ball when Jorge Posada throws out the runner at second: beautiful curves in the Yankee floodlights.

I love listening to Jimmy Hamilton's and Harry Carney's clarinets as they talk low to Claude Jones's trombone in The Duke's song 'Fugueaditty' (which will be played at my funeral).

I love reading the essays of Irving Howe ('a utopia for the sober, a utopia for unyielding democrats who still want to say that dignity is the opposite of humiliation').

Redneck Funk

Today, I have mostly been listening to Country Got Soul, compiled by Jeb Loy Nichols. [Amazon link]

And I'd quite like to listen to the Hillbilly Boogie Box Set: "This has to be the most comprehensive, glorious, and flat-out ass-kicking country (hillbilly) boogie collection ever assembled." (Found via Scott McLemee.) [Amazon link]

BobFromBrockley: Let's Bomb Texas 1

Hating Israel

From Haaretz, A study in irony - on Palestinian students at the 'College' of Judea and Samaria in Ariel, a focus of the recent AUT Israeli boycott madness.
[Via Normblog]

From Frontpage: An interview with Gavin Gross, a student at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), part of the University of London, who has been threatened with disciplinary action for standing up against anti-Semitism on campus.
[Via Jogo]

On a related tip, this criticism of BBC Izzy/Pal coverage is from Infinitives Unsplit:

This is getting tiresome.

Now I don't have a dog in this fight. It is very tempting to take the middle-of-the-road, largely European/"splendid isolation" line and implore a plague on both their houses.

Here is a basic summary of the facts:
1. A young Palestinian woman burns herself in a domestic accident.
2. An Israeli hospital gives her treatment.
3. A few months later, she returns for another course of treatment at the expense of the grateful Israeli taxpayers. Except this time, she decides to sew some explosives into underwear.
4. When challenged at a checkpoint she attempts - and thankfully fails - to detonate herself there.
5. When interviewed, she admits that she had been planning to blow herself up in the hospital.
[Found via Tim Worstall]

ADDED: More Atzmon: David Aaronovitch on the SWP being in bed with the anti-semites. Bloglink: The Big Blowdown: Wonderful

Zimbabwe: Enough is Enough

Want to read the stories behind Kofi Annan's trip to Zimbabwe, Mugabe's war on the favelas or the hunger-striking asylum seekers?

Then visit:

Sokwanele - Zvakwana - Enough is Enough: Civic Action Support Group, Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe Democracy Trust

Added: Zimbabwe's Cry for Justice
Previous: The real axis of evil

Fill it to the rim with Bob From Brockley

Enjoy the The Advertising Slogan Generator

[Found at Elephant Girl (The man from Elephant Girl, he says 'Yes')]

Wespec' - Will George venture South?

From Casino Avenue:

Stuck for something to do this weekend? Get yourself to Elephant & Castle and have a laugh protest with Gorgeous George's gang.

Go on, you know you want to...


RESPECT for Youth - Stop Criminalising Young People
RESPECT for Hoodies and against ASBOs!
RESPECT call for young people, youth workers, trade unionists, and pensioners to unite to stop criminalising our young people


On May 13, bosses at the world-famous Elephant and Castle shopping centre in south London issued an all-out ban on hoodies yet no-one takes action to stop them being sold.


Et cetera. Whether or not the Wespec' mob will then venture into the estates of Walworth, and approach some hoodies and ask them about imperialism and neo-liberal economic strategies, and perhaps receive their grateful thanks for their brave actions, remains to be seen. Perhaps there'll be an outreach project to the hoodies of Charlton Church Lane, or even Eltham or Bexleyheath? Perhaps not. But thank you to the mole who sent me the press release, you've given me the biggest laugh of the week.

Hang on - "world famous" Elephant and Castle shopping centre?

On the topic of shopping centres, see also this nice post on chain stores from GawBlimeyGuv!: Moral dilemma all round.

Meanwhile, across London: Liberal England on the fragile industrial heritage of St. Pancras, where the (original) Ladykillers was filmed.

And Casino Avenue on the evil gated community residents in surely ungentrifiable Woolwich.

Wespec' bloglinks [UPDATED]: ENGAGE: George Galloway targets second Jewish MP, Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays For WAR, normblog: From the horse's mouth
Previous Wepec': George Galloway, the Robert Kilroy-Silk of anti-imperialism, Galloblog
Previous Sarf London: Convoys Wharf Update (South London and global capitalism), Catford - Gone to the Dogs
Previous Ikea bashing: 33 stories of penthouse on the Red Hook waterfront

Shockingly, Schwarzenegger doesn't actually run UC Press

Cal Tzedek: Shockingly, Schwarzenegger doesn't actually run UC Press

Friday, June 24, 2005

Squabbling amongst leftist apologists for Holocaust Denial?

Mary Rizzo
Mary Rizzo, CounterPunching apologist for neo-Nazism and defender of Gilad Atzmon, has been obsessing over whether or not Moshe Machover is for or against Atzmon. This post from her blog shows how much she managed to piss Machover off.

Machover, by the way, says Israel is not an apartheid state but thinks that America is more evil than Saddam's Iraq.

Jeffrey Blankfort
Jeffrey Blankfort, who I wrote about in this post, turns up on the evil Israel Shamir's website, listed, like Atzmon and Paul Eisen, as a 'friend'.

Previous: Atzmon and the SWP continued, Atzmon again, Gilad Atzmon, Tony Greenstein, the SWP and the Holocaust

Don't trust anyone, not even us

Don't trust anyone, not even us | B92 discussion | Variant 22: "Much lauded by the west’s liberal-left, Radio B92 was the former Yugoslavia’s premier underground radio station in Belgrade under the rule of Slobodan Milosevic and the wars in the Balkans. Treated as traitors and subversives during this period, they were repeatedly forced off the airwaves by the government, but managed to keep broadcasting until Milosevic was overthrown. "

notes on deconstructing Ireland's Whiteness | Suzanna Chan | Variant 22: "“Are the Irish Black?” Bill Rolston asks in his eponymous essay, and proposes that so long as they identify as anti-colonial, the answer might be ‘yes’."

Extracting the Michael | Tom Jennings | Variant 21: "This discussion of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 refuses simple distinctions between serious document and entertainment in assessing how the film can be seen as a wind-up. “Is Moore taking the piss, pissing in the wind, or just full of piss and wind?”"

Convoys Wharf Update (South London and global capitalism)

From Creekside Opportunity, on Convoys Wharf in South London's Deptford:
Having invested the princely sum of 4 quid with the Land Registry Creekside Forum is proud to present the supposedly confidential Convoys Wharf sales agreement. Not the most exciting reading but we thought you really ought to know the contents.
As explained below the applicants do not regard 3,500 residential units as quite enough.
When paragraph 4 of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement of 18 May 2005
''On 13 May, 2005, the Vendor and the Purchaser have also entered into the Profit Participation Agreement pursuant to which the Purchaser will pay, and the Vendor will receive (i) the Additional Payment which is of an amount determined in accordance with a pre-agreed formulation set forth therein based, inter alia, on any additional area over which planning permission comprising private residential housing is obtained prior to the prescribed deadline;...''
is read in conjunction with the attached contract it becomes clear that neither News International nor CIS intend to proceed with the planning application as it is currently constructed. The additional area in the announcement clearly refers to land designated for employment in the application. There is nothing unusual about big planning applications in London being followed by a flurry of smaller applications to increase the amount of residential units; however, developers are normally extremely careful not to give any indication of their intention to do so before the main permission has been granted.
Although the local planning authority, the London Borough of Lewisham, has resolved to grant permission the matter has to be referred to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Prescott MP.
Mr Prescott has the power, which is frequently used in relation to applications of this size and also on applications affecting London's Safeguarded Wharves, of which this is one, to call-in the application for ministerial decision. Under the call-in procedure there is a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector, usually an experienced town planner or planning lawyer. The inspector writes a report containing a non-binding recommendation and then the Minister decides whether or not to grant permission.
A report compiled by LB Lewisham officers, which was considered by a committee of councillors who resolved to grant permission on 26 May 2005, contains a figure of over 1,500 jobs. This figure, supplied by the applicants is based on a workers:floorspace ratio. In the light of the above the job numbers will have to be revised downwards at any public inquiry.
See Committee report Page 31, paragraph 6.4.3

This should be in the local papers next week so prepare your letters of outrage now.
Bill Ellson of Creekside Forum said:
'News International and their prospective purchasers have shot themselves in the foot.
The applicant's real intentions are now clear; In an area of high unemployment they wish to minimise employment land.
They have misled Councillors, council officers and local people.
They should withdraw the planning application and apologise to all concerned. '

* A photocopy of the contract was obtained from the Land Registry for 4 quid.
* News International purchased Convoys Wharf from the UK Ministry of Defence in 1980 for 1,600,000 quid. A remainder was purchased in 1986, again from MOD, for 340,000 quid.

John and Bill, Creekside Forum

Previous: Catford - Gone to the Dogs, South London and global capital 3, Deptford's riverside, a playground for the rich
Tags: , ,

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Hasidic Hats

Werner Cohn's Hats page

Previous: Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism, Russia's Amish, Opposing patriarchal murder is "orientalist", Passover porn, FrumTeens hardcore

Atzmon and the SWP continued

This came to me via an SWP member:
Statement from Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon has made the following statement refuting the allegations:

This is to confirm that I am not a Holocaust denier, I have never denied the Nazi Judeocide and I do not have any intentions to do so. For me racism and Nazism are categorically wrong and it is that very realisation that made me into a devoted opponent of Israel and Zionism.

For me, Zionism, being a racist expansionist movement, is no different from Nazi ideology. In my writings, I try to suggest some alternative philosophical and ethical realisation of historical narratives and current world affairs. This of course applies to the Holocaust. I would argue that atrocities should be realised in ideological terms rather than in measurable positive terms.

Occasionally I question the impact of the Holocaust as a “means of justification”. I try to scrutinise its role within western politics and discourse. In fact, I am not interested in the debate concerning the scale of Jewish casualties. As we all know, it wasn’t only Jews who died in that bloody war and it isn’t the number that makes the difference.

For me the Holocaust isn’t a question of quantity but rather a moral lesson, it is search into the essence of being amongst others. These ideas make me very unpopular among Zionists and their supporters.

I may mention as well that I am a jazz musician and a novelist. I am not a politician; I have never been a member in any political party. I am acting independently. I am not associated with any political body and I do not intend to be associated with one in the foreseen future. I deeply believe in an open intellectual exchange in which people with many different and opposing views can hear and be heard. I do believe that we must learn to listen to our opponents. Unless we do that we will never win. I would argue that any form of discourse is acceptable as long as it doesn’t bridge the elementary ethical barrier i.e. endorsing violence and discrimination.

Those who try to stop me from appearing in Marxism 2005 next month and Bookmarks later this week are in fact reactionary forces who aim to shatter the most intrinsic notion of intellectual life. They fight against freedom of speech, freedom of interpretation and ideological diversity. They are trying to forcefully implant their obscure views in the very core of British left discourse.

It is devastating to find out that those calls are expressed under the banner of British Jewish left (Anti Zionist Jews, JPUK etc). I would rather prefer to believe that, after such a long history of Jewish suffering, left Jews would position themselves at the forefront of the battle against discrimination and defamation. No doubt many Jews do and I am very thankful for that.

I use this opportunity to call my opponents to attend the coming events and to engage themselves in a fruitful dialogue with me and everybody else.

Peace, Gilad Atzmon

This is the money quote: "For me, Zionism, being a racist expansionist movement, is no different from Nazi ideology."

Blog links:
Harry's Place: More Atzmon: Weasel Words from the SWP
peacepalestine: Atzmon picket update... mystery over Machover's position
Inveresk Street Ingrate: Mr Smith Goes To Bedfordshire
Harry's Place: The minutiae of nonsense?

BobFromBrockley: Atzmon again

Catford - Gone to the Dogs

Is this just a coincidence? icSouthlondon - Arson probe at dog track tote building

A beautiful historic building at a much-loved and sadly missed Sarf London institution, Catford Dogs. The Twentieth Century Society tries to get it listed, to save it from destruction during the redevelopment of the building. Before a decision is made, it is burnt down in an arson attack. Hmmm...

More information:
The Twentieth Century Society's press release (earlier press release).
Guardian report February

More from South London:
brokenenglish: Deptford Foxes
andrewmilton: Decision on Ladywell Leisure Centre sent back to Mayor of Lewisham
Londonist: The Iain Sinclair Interview
Casino Avenue versus Greenwich Council
Toryscum: Defaced posters (via South London's Elephant Girl)
GawBlimeyGuv!: A Peckham what?
onionbagblog: Squat's Up
Transpontine: Film locations - more monster action
The Ragged School Blog: Retail chains 'cloning' UK towns
Cllr Andrew Brown: Investing in schools, school dinners and the nwe school
News Shopper: the school fight and Convoys Hutchison Whampoa unit's debt issue
MSN Money/AP Business News: Hutchison Whampoa Shedding Hong Kong Port Stake

Blogging Deptford: The Ragged School
South London and global capital 3
Deptford's riverside, a playground for the rich
Sarf London and global capital

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Out of step with America

Just looking at Amazon's top 100 bestsellers and realised how few I have either read or have any desire to read.

I have read:

# 8 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - a truly beautiful book, one of my favourites of the last year or so

#18 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - one of the most over-rated books of the last year or so

#19 The Da Vinci Code - enjoyable enough, if you have nothing else to do [Independent Book Group #15.1]

#79 1984 - a book that deserves to remain a bestseller for a long time to come [Blog link: Rose and Rock: Orwell and Pope Benedict]

#87 Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides - even better than The Kite Runner

I would like to read:

#80 Black Rednecks And White Liberals by Thomas Sowell - see this post [Blog links: Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor, Daily Scorecard: Jewish slavers canard]

#91 Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi - this looks really interesting [Blog link: Fade theory: Foucault’s probulum]

I would probably pay not to have to read:

#1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - should be seen as the leisure industry outrider for UKIP [Blog link: Blue magnolia: Harry Potter and Bluenettle's shame. New link: fortuna: My completely idiosyncratic take on Harry Potter]

#4 Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (although I like the idea that drug-dealing gangs have similar corporate structures to McDonalds)

#29 The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? - You were born by His purpose and for His purpose...

[Previous: Dangerous reading, Academic bestsellers

CLR James on whales, Bergson, etc

After posting about CLR James the other week, I found some more James in the blogosphere:

Alphonse van Worden: Little Ahabs and the Monsters of the Deep:
"People write repeatedly that Melville describes the technique of the whaling industry as if he were drawing up some sort of text-book manual. Melville is doing nothing of the kind. He has painted a body of men at work, the skill and the danger, the laboriousness and the physical and mental mobilization of human resources, the comradeship and the unity, the simplicity and the naturalness.

They are meanest mariners, castaways and renegades. But that is not their fault. They began tht way. Their heroism consists in their everyday doing of their work. The only tragic graces with which Melville endows them are the graces of men associated for common labour.

The contrast is between Ahab and the crew, and Melville traces this at every level from the basic human functions to the philosophic conceptions of society. We have seen that they eat differently. They sleep differently. In the forecastle where the off-duty watch is sleeping, "you would have almost thought you were standing in some illuminated shrine of canonized kings and counsellors. There they lay in their triangular oaken vaults, each mariner a chiselled muteness; a score of lamps flashing upon his hooded eyes." Ahab cannot sleep at all, or, when he does, he sleeps standing straight up or in his chair, shouting about the blood spouting from Moby Dick."

- CLR James, Mariners, Renegades and Castaways
Counago & Spaves: Hold That Thought:
“I remember my first break with rationalism. It was Bergson, 1934. His work had come at the turn of the century. And was startling to me on two counts. 1) He attacked the abstractions of Understanding, their mechanical categorization, etc., and opposed to this, Intuition. 2) Humor, he said, was the fulfillment of the desire to see the snob and aristocrat humbled. So that the well-dressed man slipping on a banana peel was his classic example of humor. It is still individualistic, as it would be in the philosopher, but I remember it broke me with morbid and melancholy philosophy speculation . . .”

- C.L.R. James (from notes for an unpublished autobiography)
(Counago & Spaves also blogs about the great Maurice Brinton)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Google Search of the day: chocolate laxatives zizek

From today's referrals came this gem: Google Search: "chocolate laxatives" zizek

As well as Just another false alarm..., the search gets you me in Redneck (Forgettin' wut Zizek said:
'once I'd dun tryin' tuh work out n'all maw cousin Graham wut thar dang hell Zizek had been sayin' 'n his'n Amnesty lecture last year, all we'all actually re-membered about thut thar thar wuz his'n comments about chocolate laxatives, Leroy! And ah'm sure we'all werena alone 'n that.'

And it gets you two posts from Alphonse van Worden -
The marketing and consumption data of chocolate laxatives could only interfere with their foregrounding as emblems of the morally decadent social condition. (Good Hegelians know not to muck up an argument with the mud of human affairs.)
The Latin American Cristiano-Marxist revolutionary tradition was and remains very interested in data collection and analysis.
Yeah, I love the chocolate laxative too. Its my favourite Zizek theme. Also I think shows that he is a truly masterful prose writer in English. Anyone else would have chosen mouthwash or heroin or something. (The labour of life/thought in the age of digital reproduction)

Zizek on the other hand sees this assertion of the Singular as sinister “anti-Americanism," stirred up by the masters of the declining EU pole and an unnamed French intellectual whom he paints as a chauvinist. He does seem to suggest, with Christopher Hitchens and Condolezza Rice and that whole bunch, that’ ”the West” is at war with “Nihilism."

Okay. Now the big question is: who cares if “the west” is at war with “nihilism?” Can anyone get hurt when two figments clash?

Does the West have a human component? Does Nihilism?

To which of these do your comments belong - “west” or “nihilism?” To which do mine? What about Zizek, is he west or nihilism?

To say that “liberalism” means nothing is a choice. But once having asserted this, we cannot associate Liberalism with chocolate laxatives. Because chocolate laxatives do mean something: profit and pain. They are a weapon in the war of capital against humanity. (Bait. Switch. Better at it than Mussolini, but with more modest aspirations.)

And finally, you get The Wrong Side of Capitalism:
“The hegemonic product of late capitalism is the product that lacks its own essence: virtual sex, decaf coffee, soda without sugar, and most of all chocolate laxatives.”

I'm now looking forward to google hits on the basis of "mouthwash or heroin" (or, from this post, "Boob Job, Bose Job, Viagara and Sex at 80").

[Previous Google Search of the day: Passover porn.]

Well with buck shot eyes and a purple heart I rolled down the national stroll and with a big fat paycheck strapped to my hip sack...

(This post could, with license, be read as a footnote to this one: Let's Bomb Texas.)

I just found a truly great resource - a Tom Waits lyrics dictionary. Here's some extracts:
Ben Frank's was a very popular diner on the Sunset Strip. Around 1995, it was closed down, and a few months later, remodeled and opened as "Mel's drive-in". It is still quite popular.
Church key: a slang term for an can/bottle opener, used to open up cans of beer (pre-zip top), and bottles (pre-twist off cap)
Four sheets to the wind: Synonymous with the phrase "Three Sheets to the Wind".
'Making feet for children shoes': slang that means to have sex.

Tom Waits' latest: Real Gone // Kill Your Idols

Let the Damascus spring flower

What a wonderful speech by Dr Rice in Cairo:
'For 60 years my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East – and we achieved neither. Now we are taking a different course.'
'One hundred and seventy-nine Syrian academics and human rights activists are calling upon their government to 'let the Damascus spring flower, and let its flowers bloom.' Syria's leaders should embrace this call, and learn to trust their people.'
Resources: - Rice speech promotes democracy in Egypt - Jun 21, 2005 // State Dept press release (full text of speech) // Muslim American Society // BBC NEWS: Syrian activists call for reform this is where the bit about the flowers blooming comes from) // The Diplomatic Times Review: Condoleeza Rice And The Muslim Brotherhood
Blog link: normblog: Reversals
Previous: Chomsky and Israel, Ecuador double standards, Uzbekistan double standards, Izzy-Pal, Gujarat genocide

Let's Bomb Texas

A while back, Tim Blair gave this good example of the kind of stupid anti-Americanism that has taken hold of huge amounts of the left, in Europe adn in American itself. One of my aims in this blog is to combat this trend in my very small way. Here are some weapons in that struggle.

American Music
Just listening to Charlie Gillet's radio show and he's playing a lovely track by Texan chanteuse Tish Hinojosa . Meanwhile, Normblog has been posting on country music: Music country, George Jones's lawnmower, Music meme.

Onward, Moderate Christian Soldiers

John Danforth's op-ed in the NYT calling on moderate Christians to get it together -
read the full text and blog debate here.

A real American
Jogo writes:
A woman -- 23 years old, almost a girl -- Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit out of Richmond, Ky. She just was awarded the Silver Star, along with two other members of her unit, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein and Spc. Jason Mike, for their actions during an enemy ambush on their convoy. She is the first woman since WW2 to be given the Silver Star.

According to, Hester's squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the "kill zone" and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle.

When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

Leigh Ann Hester was born in Kentucky -- not a surprise. A world of deeply installed qualities and values separates her from the spoiled, spineless twits sitting in Peace Studies classrooms in Evergreen College, being indoctrinated (raped, basically) by contemptible terror-loving professors who despise what Leigh Ann Hester stands for.

Anti-Americanism is a disease. It has always been around, but today it is spectacularly virulent. I suppose one of the reasons I am so pro-American is because I recognize this disease as a disease, and I am able to see its transmission patterns.

Is this not madness?

Anti-Americanism -- of the sort the average nutty European is infected with -- is not a set of rational critical positions. You could all it an analysis, a sort of Grand Analysis. I think it's more like a THEORY -- a unified field theory, an explanation of everything. It is a disease. a mental and emotional disorder. It is almost on the level of a spiritual concept.

Thus Ward Churchill exhibits the affect and style not of a scholar, but a preacher.

UPDATE: This post is logged at the anti-Ward Churchilll site Pirate Ballerina

Previous: Americanism, Greatest American, BobFromBrockley in redneck

Howard Dean in honorable action newsflash

Having bashed Dean the other day, this is a more positive story about him although it reflects rather badly on some of his fellow Dems.

Dean Condemns 'Anti-Semitic Literature':
"A handful of people at Democratic National Headquarters distributed material critical of Israel during a public forum questioning the Bush administration's Iraq policy, drawing an angry response and charges of anti-Semitism from party chairman Howard Dean on Friday.

'We disavow the anti-Semitic literature, and the Democratic National Committee stands in absolute disagreement with and condemns the allegations,' Dean said in a statement posted on the DNC Web site.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the forum on Thursday at the Capitol to publicize and discuss the so-called Downing Street memo. That document suggests that the Bush administration believed that war with Iraq was inevitable and that the administration was determined to use intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The Sunday Times of London has reported that the prewar document, which recounts a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair's national security team, was leaked from inside the British government. The White House has rejected the memo's assertions.

Conyers' event occurred in a small Capitol meeting room, and an overflow crowd watched witnesses on television in a conference room at DNC headquarters. According to Dean, some material distributed within the DNC conference room implied that Israel was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

One witness, former intelligence analyst Ray McGovern, told Conyers and other House Democrats that the war was part of an effort to allow the United States and Israel to 'dominate that part of the world,' a statement Dean also condemned.

'As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could 'dominate' the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America, let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric,' Dean said.

'The inferences are destructive and counterproductive, and have taken away from the true purpose of the Judiciary Committee members' meeting,' he said. 'The entire Democratic Party remains committed to fighting against such bigotry.'"

[Thanks to Jogo for the link]

[NEW: Bloglink: The Slippery Slope: Too much partisan religion talk]

Previous: No American 'Gulag', Desecrating Jewish graves, Mein Kampf in Turkey, Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

The truth about Atzmon is bad enough; we don't need to add smears too

Following up on my previous post on Gilad Atzmon:

The debate has leapt out of the cozy world of UK lefist Jews with this article by Steven Plaut of FrontPage
Almost every self-hating Jew on the planet capable of banging on a keyboard is today either a columnist for the anti-American web magazine Counterpunch, run by Alexander Cockburn, or is an object of Counterpunch’s celebration. Counterpunch runs Norman Finkelstein, whom even the Anti-Defamation League has declared a Holocaust denier. It regularly runs the anti-Israel lecturer Neve Gordon, a deep admirer of Finkelstein who has turned out dozens of articles attacking Israel for Cockburn, as well as Israel’s Lord Haw-Haw Uri Avnery, and dozens of other anti-Israel Jews.
Now Counterpunch has decided to celebrate Gilad Atzmon, proudly proclaimed by Cockburn to be a “CounterPuncher”.
Plaut gets a few things wrong in my opinion.
  • Atzmon is not "subliterate" - he is intelligent, which makes him more dangerous;
  • Atzmon is not "active in numerous anti-Semitic organizations", unless you class any anti-Zionist organization as anti-Semitic;
  • I am not sure Atzmon is a "communist" in either big-C or small-c sense;
  • the British SWP (unlike the American SWP, not in any way related) are not supporters of Castro but rightly see him as a Stalinist despot who substitites the Party and guerrilla army for the working class (see this article, this article, and this article);
  • is not a PLO front - it calls for a democratic secular bi-national state, against both Palestinian and Israeli nationalism, publishing articles by people like Jonathan Freedman, Thomas Friedman and Michael Walzer
I think the facts about Atzmon are enough to indict him, without this sort of stuff heaped on top.

[Thanks to Jogo for link]

Postscript: Should we boycott Amazon? Books: A Guide to the Perplexed, Music: Exile

Monday, June 20, 2005

Asylum denied. Grounds: not a Nazi

Daniel on the insane policy of deniying asylum to refugees from Darfur on the grounds that Sudan is a safe country - and the madness of the number of Nazis we let in.

Sudan: The Passion of the Present
Reuters AlertNet - Sudan conflicts

Daniel also alerted me to the most recent in a whole string of Jewish grave desecrations, this time in East Ham (Respect territory...) and Manchester.

No American 'Gulag'

A former prisoner of conscience in a real gulag writes about Amnesty's use of that word: Pavel Litvinov - No American 'Gulag'.

Blog links:

New Optimates: "Its a shame really. There are so many legitimate victims of political repression who desperately need an advocate. Instead, Amnesty chose to walk away from them to enjoy the partisan pleasure of fishing for the ever-elusive red herring."

lgf: "Amnesty International is now actively seeking a Soviet Gulag survivor who will denounce the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and back up their assertion that Gitmo is “the Gulag of our time.” No luck so far."

Gilad Atzmon, Tony Greenstein, the SWP and the Holocaust

I posted recently about Gilad Atzmon's invitation to the SWP's Marxism 2005 and, specifically, to speak last week at Bookmarks.

The event was picketed by Jews against Zionism. Here is a description of what happened: Jews sans frontieres: Bookmark this!. Mark Elf of Jews sans Frontieres suggests that Atzmon's views are not supported by the SWP rank and file, but by 'leading members' (that's a nice Leninist term). Here is an example of how the worldview of the SWP's leadership and that of Atzmon neatly come together: 'Gilad Atzmon: 'Zionism is my enemy'' - Socialist Worker.

It's not just SWP hacks who share Atzmon's soft denialist worldview. Mary Rizzo, writing at Counter-Punch (a site which frequently acts as an apologist for fascism), attempts to defend Atzmon from Tony Greenstein and Jews against Zionism
Atzmon wrote an article exposing the attempts of some of the members of this group to undermine an important Palestinian Solidarity group, Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), which has the crime of hosting people on its board of whom Greenstein and his close allies do not approve and not for any merit or demerit of the organisation itself. Greenstein criticised the contents of the article, but since it was primarily direct quotes from people on the JPUK [Just Peace UK] board, it could not be contested for accuracy or denied. In a recent epistolary exchange between Atzmon and Greenstein, we see Greenstein saying:
"I certainly wish to see a speedy end to Deir Yassin Remembered. It can only do great damage to the Palestinian cause in so far as it is led by a holocaust denier and associated with another virulent anti-Semite."
Greenstein seems to know what is best for the Palestinian people, but what precisely gives him this information is a real mystery. Is he a self-appointed spokesman for them or does he just set the agenda because his ideas are the most important, significant and true ones?
Read Harry demolishing Rizzo's idiocy here.

Tony Greenstein, of Jews against Zionism, has been called a 'political crank' by Oliver Kamm, writing at Harry's (scroll down the comments). Greenstein has posted a comment here on brockley.blogspot. I can't comment on whether he is a crank or not but, for the record, I do believe that Greenstein has a long-standing record as a genuine anti-racist and anti-fascist. I think Sue Blackwell, another member of the Jews Against Zionism (JaZ) posse, acted honourably in removing Atzmon from her links page. I believe that Jews Against Zionism should be applauded for taking a stand on this issue. And I should add that I am glad that pro-boycott activist Hilary Rose (another Marxism 2005 speaker I think) came out in favour of the picket.

I also want to make it clear that when I used the phrase 'hardcore anti-Zionists' about them in my previous post, I did not want to suggest that there is anything necessarily anti-semitic about hardcore anti-Zionism. I think there is a small but significant gap between the JaZ position and the Atzmon/Paul Eisen/Israel Shamir position. Perhaps because the gap is very small, they need to work hard to maintain the line - hence the picket.

Universally Translated: pimp, skinhead or cockney

I've been playing a little with the universal translator at Psyclops.

Here's two web recommendations from this site translated into Pimp : "CHE SUCKS - sodomizin' da sacred cows of da Left. Free Biscet! Freedom 'n human rights fo Dr, man. Oscar Elias Biscet in Cuba."

Here's an extract in Skinhead: " Der fookin' Joy o' Curmudgeonry informs us o' a fookin' new report findin' Britain der fook is "Hideously White", naw shittin' ya! " (I'm not so convinced by the linguistics of that - looks like a bad American idea of our fair British tongue.)

And, even more questionable, this is an extract in Cockney Rhyming Slang: "Indigo Jo has a thoughtful discussion of the anti-leftist leftists (e.g. Harry) on 'travel snobs' and specifically on hey diddle diddle bottle and glass lefties visitin' Cuba."

[Previous: in Redneck]

George Galloway, the Robert Kilroy-Silk of anti-imperialism

Workers' Liberty have posted an article last week describing George Galloway as "the Robert Kilroy-Silk of anti-imperialism". You heard it here first though folks: BobFromBrockley: Galloblog ("Five-grand-a-talk Galloway, the left's Kilroy-Silk") and BobFromBrockley: No disrepect: the Kilroy of the left

See also: Socialist Unity: Kilroy is the left's best friend

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hideously White Britons Abroad

The Joy of Curmudgeonry informs us of a new report finding Britain is "Hideously White". A juicy quote:
Chris Martin, of the popular beat combo Coldplay, was unsurprised by the findings: “Most of my teachers at school were white, most of the people in my street were white, even my parents were white. I think it’s disgusting. People don’t seem to realise just how offensive it is. And when you consider that most shareholders are white, well, then we know we are dealing with the most unspeakable evil.”

Indigo Jo has a thoughtful discussion of the anti-leftist leftists (e.g. Harry) on “travel snobs” and specifically on middle class lefties visiting Cuba.

[Both found via Tim Worstall's Britblog Roundup # 17.]

Previous Coldplay: The glitz-based community and the axis of edginess
Previous Cuba: Che sucks - sodomising the sacred cows of the left

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Forgetting what Zizek said

A number of people I know have been to see Zizek speak and tell me they enjoyed it, but can't remember anything he said, apart perhaps from one or two joke.

Now I've noticed this isn't just my friends. For example:

Just another false alarm...: "once I'd done trying to work out with my friend Graham what the hell Zizek had been saying in his Amnesty lecture last year, all we actually remembered about it was his comments about chocolate laxatives. And I'm sure we weren't alone in that."

Previous: Academic bestsellers.


A post for Flag Day...

Patriotic Communism
The lyrics of Paul Robeson's Ballad For Americans (found via Just another false alarm...) confirms Jogo's point, made in this post, that there was once a time when American Communists bought in to the American narrative. (See also Who is the Greatest American?)

What is democracy?
"Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,--criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by the led,--this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society." -- W. E. B. DuBois, "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others," from Souls of Black Folk (From Mode for Caleb.)

Dean pandering to political correctness and non-white ressentiment again
Christian and Democrat Deborah White says that DNC Chairman Howard Dean's claim that the Republican party is "pretty much a white, Christian party" is insulting to those, like her, who feel that the Democrats better represent Jesus' ideals. (Reached via Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Gilad Atzmon, the SWP and Holocaust denial

Gilad Atzmon has been invited to talk at the SWP's outlet Bookmarks. I love Atzmon's music, but his political perspective is very, very weird. If his views were expressed by a non-Jew, you would agree it was anti-semitic. (This is Atzmon's own website. Among many other things, you find a politics section, which has all of his material on Jews and Zionism.)

It is not suprising that the SWP would include Atzmon in their family.

More suprising is that hardcore anti-Zionists like Sue Blackwell and Tony Greenstein would orchestrate a campaign against his presence. This is a letter from Greenstein:
I enclose a copy of a letter I've sent to Bookmarks, as have others including Sue Blackwell, calling on them to withdraw their invitation.

On the assumption that Bookmarks, being part of the SWP Empire, will stick with him, we are therefore holding a picket of Bookmarks next Friday 17th June at 5.45 p.m. to protest at this invitation. We would ask anyone who can make it to attend. It has been called by Jews Against Zionism, but we would welcome other groups giving their support.

"Bookmarks, The Socialist Bookshop 1 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QE

Dear Comrades,

Re: The talk of Holocaust Denier, Gilad Atzmon, on the deconstruction of the Zionist Identity at: 17th June 6.15pm Bookmarks, 1 Bloomsbury Street, WC1

I have been informed by Gilad Atzmon that he will be giving a talk on 'The deconstruction of Zionist identity' at Bookmarks Bookshop next Friday 17th June at 6.15 p.m.

I am writing to ask you to cancel this meeting.

By his own admission, Mr Atzmon has been distributing an article by one Paul Eisen of Deir Yassin Remembered entitled 'The Holocaust Wars'. In this article, Eisen not merely defends Ernest Zundel, a German Holocaust Denier, currently incarcerated in a German jail, having recently been deported from Canada, but he openly defends Zundel's thesis that the extermination of European Jewry never took place, that the gas chambers were a myth and that Hitler was much misunderstood. I fail to understand how any socialist organisation can possibly provide such a person with a platform.

I assume that you did not know about Mr Atzmon's antecedents and would therefore hope that you will quickly withdraw the invitation. As you probably know we have already written to the SWP Central Committee asking them to do the same with respect to Marxism 2005. Unfortunately Martin Smith, their National Secretary, has written back to me refusing to cancel the invitation, but giving no reasons for this decision.

I shall enclose by e-mail copies of my correspondence with Atzmon, but I hope the exchange below gives you a flavour of Atzmon's credentials when speaking about Zionism:

  • Tony Greensein: I understand that you have been distributing Paul Eisen's most recent The Holocaust Wars which denies, in the course of defending Ernest Zundel, that there ever was a holocaust or extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis.
  • Atzmon: Mr Greenstine, True I circulated Paul Eisen's paper. I do believe that argumentative texts must be circulated as widely as possible. I am sure that in case you have a counter argument to suggest Paul will be delighted to address it. By the way, my take on the subject is slightly different than Paul's one and yet, i found Paul very attentive to my criticism.
The following extracts should give you an idea of Eisen's views as expressed in Holocaust Wars:

The Hitler we loved and why.

Ernst Zundel was once involved in the publication of a book called The Hitler We Loved and Why, but Ernst Zundel was not the only German who loved Hitler and is probably not the only German who still loves Hitler. Millions of Germans loved Hitler who for twelve years impacted on them as no German has or probably ever will, and, though they never say so, must, deep down still cherish his memory.


The War for the Truth: The Revisionists

It bears repetition that the denial of the Holocaust revisionists does not extend to the entire Holocaust narrative. But they do deny the Holocaust narrative as we know it in three specific areas.

  • They deny that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitleror any other part of the Nazi regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe.
  • They deny that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers;
  • They deny the figure of six million Jewish victims of the Nazi assault and claim that the actual figure was significantly less.

In making their claims, Revisionists have offered a considerable body of work. To what degree they are right, everyone must judge for themselves. Many will take the view that Holocaust revisionism is but pernicious nonsense motivated only by a hatred of Jews and a desire to rehabilitate Hitler and National Socialism specifically, and fascism in general and therefore not even worthy of scrutiny. I don't agree.

Any story, true or false, is easily spread if there are fabricators, peddlers and believers and this is all the more so if all three are combined. The Holocaust had plenty of all three. Moving down the chain of command we find plenty of examples at the Nuremberg trials where the alleged crimes of the vanquished were formalised by the victors.
This is the article that Atzmon is proud to distribute, and with which he has only 'slight differences'. I think you will appreciate that we do not wish to have to mount a picket of a socialist bookshop and I would hope that you will take this matter very seriously and act accordingly.

Yours fraternally,

Tony Greenstein"

Mein Kampf in Turkey

This article - WorldNetDaily: Mein Kampf bestseller in Turkey - is a kind of footnote to this post and this post.

Blogging Deptford: The Ragged School

I recently added a South London section to the sidebar on the right, which has been featuring a link to a blog associated with the Deptford utopian The Ragged School. Adam Tinworth has posted a mini history of Deptford's Ragged School here.

Previous: Sarf London and global capital 3, Deptford's riverside, a playground for the rich
Tags: , ,

Another addition to the Axis of Bob

A welcome to Daniel's Counter Politics and Opinion of a Jewish something kind, currently attacking Bob Geldorf and his missionary mentality, Ryan Air's racism, the AUT boycott, and Ken Livingstone's anti-semitism.

While I'm on the topic, I'm proud to say I've become a flippery fish in the TLB Ecosystem.

Previous: New addition to the family, Passover porn, Brockley articulated fish, Slimy Mollusc newsflash, Apikorus-turned-Christian fundamentalist

Friday, June 10, 2005

Che sucks

Worth visiting:

CHE SUCKS - sodomizing the sacred cows of the Left

Free Biscet! Freedom and human rights for Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet in Cuba

[Thanks to Jogo for link to the tastily named Mandingo Republican]

Previous: Friends of Cuban Libraries

Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism

Dershowitz, Finkelstein and DePaul
Europe's Sickness
[Thanks to jogo.]

Previous: Chomsky and Israel, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is Free!, Defeating the boycott, Opposing patriarchal murder is "orientalist"

Dangerous Reading

Third in a series of lists (previous: academic books for the 'lay' reader and great Americans), here is my contribution to the debate about dangerous books, prompted by the conservative Human Events' top ten most harmful books of the last couple of centuries.

Human Events quite rightly puts Mein Kampf up there, at #2, pipped to the top slot by Uncle Karl's Communist Manifesto, one of my favourite books. They claim that "The Evil Empire of the Soviet Union put the Manifesto into practice." The Manifesto, of course, was not in any sense put into practice in Russia: the Manifesto attacks the idea of a Communist Party and calls for the shrinking away, not building up, of the state.

Mao is quite rightly in the top 3 - Mao's thoughts actually were put into practice by evil states.

To gauge where Human Events are coming from, the Kinsey report and Dewey's Democracy and Education (which shockingly suggests that children should be taught thinking skills instead of have facts drilled into them by rote).

Nietzche is there of course (Beyond Good and Evil) - apparently inspired the Nazis, although only because they didn't read it.

I was pleased to see Auguste Comte there - I thought I was the only person who thought he was evil.

One genuinely evil book gets into the runners up - Soviet Communism: A New Civilization, homage to Stalinism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, the grandparents of Blair's Third Way. (Although I'm not sure it had that dangerous an effect on the world.)

Finally, I think only a dictator would actually find Mill's On Liberty or Adorno's Authoritarian Personality dangerous.

Blog links: Bookworm: Dangerous Reading, Princeton Progressive Review: Why Robert George is the Right-Wing's Ramsey Clark, Althouse: List-o-mania., Better Living: Jesus and Marx - Brother Philosophers?, editrx: dangerous books & deep throat