Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stop the War conference report

Just read this The Socialist Unity Blog: (belated) Stop the War Conference Report by Andy Newman. Quite interesting, e.g.:
I had two areas of concern. One was that Sami Ramadani’s expressed the opinion that the sectarian violence in Iraq is largely the creation of the occupying forces, and this seemed to be accepted by most delegates in an uncomplicated way, with some seeming to believe that it is all a dirty tricks campaign by the US.

The other area of concern was the debate over Iran... the whole debate went a bit weird because the platform speakers, Dilip Hiro and [Elaheh Rostami] Povey did seem to take the eccentric view that the Iranian government are brilliant, and the women’s movement and democratic movement in Iran are an example to us in the west (I exaggerate hardly at all).
[Hyperlinks added --B]

Socialist football

Check out the Socialist Unity Network's World Cup web aggregator for all yer soccer commentary.

Dead leftists flood Myspace

The great Cornelius Castoriadi (apparently a bi swinger who listens to the Manics), Walter Benjamin, Taurean Toni Negri (OK, he's alive), Michel Foucault (a member of the Barbeque Nation group on MySpace), Ernst Bloch, Trotsky (check his post on Palestine) and dead fascist Marty Heidegger (a Bowie fan), and Gramsci (warning - abrasive musical accompaniment) all have MySpace pages. Whodathunkit?

[via Counago and Staves]

Free Ramin Jahanbegloo

Important dissident Iranian intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo is in prison in Iran. Just look at the first line of the signatories of the petition to free him organised by L'Esprit: George Steiner, Richard Rorty, Timothy Garton Ash, Edgar Morin, Claude Lefort, Pierre Vidal-Naquet...

His Wikipedia page is keeping fairly up to date on his situation, and there are blogs you can check in with too: Ramin Jahanbegloo, Release Ramin Jahanbegloo, and Antiprison. More links: Eurozine, Open Democracy.

More on Iran: the yellow star story, gays and busdrivers.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

World Cup Tour (Mp3)

The Entroporium is posting a series of cool mp3 links for each of the World Cup contenders. Readers of this blog will probably linger on the US, Iran and maybe Saudi Arabia.

Call Me Mickey does something similar.

Gorilla vs Bear also has mp3s to accompany the Cup, though not as well themed (illustrated by pics of scantily clad female fans).

Being jewish was always popular in my house

Boot Sale Sounds: Mickey Katz

Have I blogged about Mickey Katz before? Not sure, but click the link to listen to three Mp3s by the one of the gods of yidishkayt.

Wankr (The death of E)

» Listr 2.0 - Coolz0r - Marketing Thoughts

This is a list of all the cool "Web 2.0" thingies that are so cool they don't need vowels, or at least 'E's. (Yes, there is a wankr, although it has its tongue firmly in its cheek, as it were.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sarf London Blog Round-up Summer 2006

Accent related:

Islamophobes R Us

London Class War ask to be listed on IslamophobiaWatch's hitlist. London Class War are clowns, but I know what they mean.

Ignoring the snake in the room [NSFW - offensive language]

Hak Mao at Drink-soaked Trots takes up the "Jewish cunt" thing I posted a while back.

World Cup Post

I wish that I could say that the reason this blog has been so crap recently is that I've been watching the World Cup (but even that wouldn't be an excuse - Jew90 said he's taking a break, but he's still managed better than me). But - apart from the Mexico-Argentina match - I've found it so boring that I haven't bothered. But I did want to pass on Will's "Unphilosophy Football" shirts. (Slogans from this great site - needs a 2006 update!)

I also wanted to take a moment to scorn the "Marxist" lumpen-intellectuals who snear at the plebs who support their countries. SWP hack and Ipswich fan Histomat (who, I think, un-ironically takes a blog name from the term the Stalinists used to justfiy mass murder) says the only Marxist position is "Anyone but England", and calls on humourless Leninist apparatchiks like Chris Bambery to back up the argument. (Dave Renton is not humourless though.)

(Another variation on the anti-patriotic riff comes from anti-Zionist warrior Eugene P, whose blog I used to quite like but am finding increasingly irritating.)

Histomat is responding in part to what he calls the "nationalist" argument for supporting your own team, nicely put forward by Swindon Town fan Andy Newman, in a post that also reveals the true depths of the SWP's puritan witch-burning zeal. Ed Rooksby takes a middle - or "centrist" as the Trots would say - line. Even SWP loyalist Meaders sees that the Anyone but England position is daft - justifying playing a football match at a Respect meeting. Martin Wisse ditto, forcing Histomat to return to the fray.

A question: why is supporting your local team - Ipswich, Swindon - not another form of "nationalism"? Isn't local identity just as much an "imagined community"? And if the "imagined community of the nation" has no other source or function than the interests of the dastardly bourgeiosie, how can local patriotism be any different? (And for that matter, why is the nationalism of brown-skinned nations exempt from this formula?)

For what it's worth, on my working class multiracial South London street, there is no visible correlation between being white or a wanker and flying England flags. Although the white wankers at the corner of Salehurst Rd are flying England flags. And I'm not supporting England any more, just because they're simply crap.


Other World Cup stuff:

Tags: Ecuador... England... Football... germany... MEXICO... Portugal... soccer... world-cup-2006... Worldcup... world cup...

Make robots dance

Kraftwerk's website is truly a joy. Whether you like Kraftwerk or not. Make robots dance, scare yourself with radioactivity, record your own Kraftwerk tracks.

Via Rooksby, who says "This is simply the best website in the world".

Neocon prophet?

'Reading Leo Strauss,' by Steven B. Smith - New York Times

Via Jogo, who writes: "Short, tantalizing window onto Leo Strauss"

Meanwhile, my father, a veteran of the University of Chicago from the Strauss era writes:

"Just as an aside, when I was at the U of Chicago (65-66) Strauss was not then considered "conservative". In a way, he has become categorised in this way mainly by the activities and writings of people who were/are conservative and who have wished to claim a descent from him. It's true that others at Chicago with him, and sometimes seen as associated with him --such as Saul Bellow and Edward Shils -- also were not considered "conservative" then, but did definitely move rightwards thereafter, and perhaps Strauss has been too much, if wrongly, associated with that group as a whole."


Things I hate no.1: SUVs

I know it is very unoriginal to hate SUVs, but I do.

Read this: Small Town Scribbles: SUV you

The sort of thing science would lose out on if we boycotted Israeli academia... (Or: clowns cure infertility)

Via Simply Jews

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Challenges of Political Islam

The excellent AWAAZ - South Asia Watch are organising a conference on 29 June on political Islam. Looks very interesting - a sign of the increasing confidence of the secular British Asian left (people like Chetan Bhatt and Suresh Grover are speaking there) in challenging the apologetics of the Respectniks and other Islamofascist fellow travellers, while standing up for core left values like tolerance, pluralism and equality.

Possibly the ugliest website I've ever seen (Or: academic anti-zionism again)

The new higher education union in Britain, UCU, formed from a merger of the AUT (which voted for, then against, an academic boycott of particular Israeli universities) and NATFHE (which has voted for a boycott of Israeli academics unless they can be tested and proven to be good - i.e. anti-Zionist - Jews) will be deciding at its next conference whether or not to boycott Israel.

The UCU Left - whose website could win some prizes for horrific use of colour - are going to 'debate' the issue at their next meeting on 24 June. (Here's the programme). Whose debating? Sue Blackwell, who proposed the AUT motion for boycott, and Professor Jonathan Rosenhead (AKA "Johnathan Rosenhead"), another pro-boycotter.

So, here's a call to all genuinely left-wing UCU members, those who have more time on their hands than me, to go and fight for the real left-wing values by arguing against the boycott.

Tags: ,

Monday, June 19, 2006


Judeosphere on disgusting anti-semitic filth published by the Daily Kos in the guise of a critique of political correctness, corporate sponsorship and neo-con conspiring at Yale.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Libertarians on Chavez

Of Chavistas and Anarquistas: Brief Sketch of a Visit to Venezuela - Venezuela/Colombia Anarchist movement - Anarkismo

This is quite an interesting report on the Bolivarian revolution, which sees both the authoritarian and emancipatory side of the Chavez project. [Via RtbI, via Mutualist]

Fisking Central: one of my new favourite things

I've only just become aware of Fisking Central, but am very pleased to be considered one of their favourite things. Another one to add to the roll.

Against the boycott of Israel

Two good posts on Israel's enemies on the left, from an interesting perspective, on Neo-Jacobin, a blog I will add to my link list when I next get around to updating it:

And one from The Pecking Order, which I also intend to add to the list when I get around to it.

And a couple from Reasons to be Impossible, another impeccably non-Zionist source!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tory typology

The web seems to love taxonomies. Hereºs a good one, of Conservative types.

Fighting the boycott

Away from blogging this week, just checking in to send you to Engage to join the fight against an academic boycott of Israel.