politics


christopher-hitchens-smoking

This is what a cunt looks like

If your daily digest of raw information consists primarily of the illiterati blog industry – because, y’know, you’re a rebel and you know everything else is a construct of Western patriarchal hegemony, weaving lies and illusions to prop up their shaky, unjust and corrupt machinery of oppression (aka the status quo) – then no doubt you will know Christopher Hitchens was an establishment loving, warmongering fascist1.

OTOH, those that can tie their own shoelaces may beg to disagree and point out that Hitchens possessed an intellect that was in a constant state of flux2 voraciously absorbing new information and updating the old on the fly and that to brand him with any fixed ideology or belief system (not to be confused with disbelief system) was quite simply not possible. And the more attentive will also point out that there was a time when Hitch was similarly painted as a card-carrying Trotskyite activist / pamphleteer / smash-the-state revolutionary.

(more…)

“Reputable and professional historians do not suppress parts of quotations from documents that go against their own case, but take them into account and if necessary amend their own case accordingly. They do not present as genuine documents those that they know to be forged just because these forgeries happen to back up what they are saying. They do not invent ingenious but implausible and utterly unsupported reasons for distrusting genuine documents because these documents run counter their arguments; again, they amend their arguments if this is the case, or abandon them altogether. They do not consciously attribute their own conclusions to books and other sources which, in fact, on closer inspection, actually say the opposite. They do not eagerly seek out the highest possible figures in a series of statistics, independently of their reliability or otherwise, simply because they want for whatever reason to maximize the figure in question, but rather, they assess all the available figures as impartially as possible in order to arrive at a number that will withstand the critical scrutiny of others. They do not knowingly mistranslate sources in foreign languages to make them more serviceable to themselves. They do not willfully invent words, phrases, quotations, incidents, and events for which there is no historical evidence to make their arguments more plausible to their readers.

“At least, they do not do any of these things if they wish to retain any kind of reputable status as historians.” (more…)

TrollinPrison

Yes, if the “threats” are credible, people do go to jail

A British woman has been told to expect a jail sentence after being convicted of the misogynist trolling of a feminist campaigner, adding new fuel to the debate over freedom of speech on social networks.

In the case that prompted Twitter to introduce a ‘report abuse’ button, 23-year-old Isabella Sorley and 25-year-old John Nimmo both pleaded guilty to sending menacing messages via a public electronic communications network. Sorley, who has numerous previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly, has been told she faces jail, while Nimmo is likely to receive a non-custodial sentence.

The pair had, separately, targeted Caroline Criado-Perez, who last year successfully campaigned for novelist Jane Austen to appear on English banknotes. Sorley tweeted: “I’ve only just got out of prison and would happily do more time to see you berried!!” and ‘Rape?! I’d do a lot worse things than rape you!!” — [Forbes.com] (more…)

women_furniture

More useful than an entire identity studies department

hashtag activism

The kind of activism undertaken when you “do something” about a problem by tweeting or posting links to Facebook, without any intent of ever actually doing something. Nothing more than a nonsense feelgood gesture so that one can say they “did something about” whatever trendycause they’re pretending to care about. Usually only lasts a week or two before the cause is completely forgotten (i.e. it stops being cool to forward / retweet on the subject).

EXAMPLE: “I forwarded a video about some unspeakable atrocities in a country I didn’t know existed until I watched the video. My hashtag activism is going to accomplish something!” – [UrbanDictionary]

When my partner Richard and I joined the Kings of Code Hack Battle at the Next Web Europe Conference in Amsterdam last week, we knew that we wanted to make an app that would stand in stark contrast to the infamously misogynist “Tit staring app” from TechCrunch Disrupt last year. It’s about time that we change the “dude” culture of programming into a progressive group that builds apps for social change […] (more…)

watson_bill_stuffing

The harassment must cease, the shameless harassers must be named.

Anonymous asked: “to the people asking for evidence on these accusations: missing the point. Believe survivors.”

“I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.” — Douglas Adams

I admit I have been very lax in my baboonology for the bulk of this year. This is a combination of mostly having better things to do coupled with what I guess can be called cognitive RSI – the gibberish at freefromthoughtblogs and skepchick, for me, is a cumulative toxin and repeat exposure does not allow for immunisation, but rather the nausea has steadily increased to the point that it is now actually painful to see. Nevertheless, I have maintained a reasonable level of awareness of their relentless psychodramatics and 唱板板 via private channels and various news feeds.

It was the latter that pointed me to a link containing the first quote above, which leapt out from the surrounding sea of yet another pernicious, well poisoning, muckraking, pro-baboon tumblr page. The statement in itself maligns no one directly – its real repugnance lies in what it expects of the reader. It is perhaps the most succinct précis I have seen to date that represents what, ultimately, is freefromthoughtblogs’ and skepchick’s true mission statement –

“scrutinise and question everything; ‘everything’ of course, does not include us. Us you believe, always and without evidence, for we are faith based organisations. Every time you doubt anything we say, no matter how preposterous, we drown a kitten”. (more…)

prism

It’s paranoid time

Interesting week. The American public is shocked, SHOCKED, to discover it is living in a surveillance state. For some of us, who have been warning of this scenario unfolding over the last decade or so, the most difficult thing right now is to resist extracting cheap satisfaction by admonishing with “we told you so!”

We told you about Carnivore and ECHELON. We told you about Total Information Awareness (TIA). We told you about the secret rooms housing Narus network tap and DPI racks being quietly installed at core points of the US communications backbone at AT&T and others. We told you about the massive data centre the NSA was building in Utah. You dismissed us as cranks and paranoids – and resumed posting your Lolcats and gossiping about mindless crap, because, y’know, that’s what morons do.

Now all of this has coagulated into this amorphous thing being labelled Prism. (more…)

andreadworkin_narrowweb__200x266

There are no good pics… [image from Sydney Morning Herald]

[From the “the more things change, the more they stay the same” files.]

The time was 1994 and, downunder at least, it was when the last great wave of gender feminist lunacy was peaking before sanity once more prevailed and it disappeared back up its own asshole to hibernate for a decade or so.

Reclaim the Night rallies were still drawing enough numbers to embolden some to splash porn stores with red paint and the great fear-n-loathing du jour was date rape…

The mood of the time, and the surreal deformation of conventional reality that accompanied it, was captured quite creepily in this passage from Christina Hoff Sommers in Who Stole Feminism?(more…)

kabuldreams1

terrorists

I have previously written of Taqwacore in a blog post that has vapourised. I also briefly mention it here. Primarily Pakistan based, but it has spread elsewhere, as have the various bastard strains of metal. Music is a revolutionary force – you can have all the military interventions you want, but they will never seed social change like angry young folks with guitars. Deny it all you want, but the Sex Pistols did change the world.

Afghanistan has a little known rock subculture too. While not Taqwacore per se, Kabul Dreams echo the sentiments. Three Afghani kids from three separate tribes that spend most of their time butchering each other. There is hope. They have released an album.

Last.fm. Tardbook. WasteOfSpace.

Buy

There are worse things to throw a few bucks at.

robertdarby

Click. Duh.

80 minutes of typhos

The abortion that is Australian politics; Julia Gillard and homos; piracy, privacy, surveillance states  and why Hollywood must be destroyed; islam, Geert Wilders and why Sam Harris needs to read more; and a shitload more.

Just a little mind map I knocked up to visualise the motivations of the various players in the baboon kingdom. To be periodically updated. Inspired by The Political Compass.

FTB_poli_compass

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