29.12.04



pablo cheekily posing in front of white house w son

28.12.04



Nicene Christianity is the religion of Christmas and Easter, the celebration of a Jesus who is either too young or too much in agony to shock us with his revolutionary rhetoric. The adult Christ who calls his followers to renounce wealth, power and violence is passed over in favour of the gurgling baby and the screaming victim. As such, Nicene Christianity is easily conscripted into a religion of convenience, with believers worshipping a gagged and glorified saviour who has nothing to say about how we use our money or whether or not we go to war.

23.12.04

some background...

"In other words, Chomsky's famous ability to obfuscate and the obscurity of most of his publications can only partially explain why his neo-Nazi involvements have escaped wide-spread criticism" Partners in Hate - Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers - Werner Cohn (1985) some bedtime reading

interestingly, kamm's pathological obsession has driven him to writing scores of one star reviews on amazon.co.uk, literally scores! here

also while pottering about online today, I stumbled across finkelsteins homepage which I’d not visited in a while and found it both interesting and amusing looking through some of the correspondences and letters posted on 'the holocaust industry' - although a book I’ve not read - only articles and extracts - I imagine it's just mr. kamm’s cup of tea - I can see the foam seething now...

After looking through kamm’s webpage, tedious chomsky tirade after tedious chomsky tirade, it appears that a protracted bitter and unhealthy history of loathing has been fermenting for quite some time now in mr. kamm’s mind. I’m reluctant to punish myself in going back to the text in trying to find kamms’ exact reference (oh the irony…) to nc supporters arguments of the form ‘I can’t believe, therefore it did not happen’ – but the hypocrisy is side splitting; rather like shintaro lecturing on holocaust denial… planks…eyes?

Rather than locking horns in intellectual vanity with mr. kamm’s ‘scholarly research’ (that without doubt illustrates that nc harbours vicious plots against the jews along with harold covington, lemmy from motorhead, and countless other rigorous intellectuals) it’s perhaps more telling to look at kamms focus on an incredibly narrow spectrum of nc’s work (i.e. the Faurisson connection & how that somehow equates to unquestionably to holocaust denial) in order to more broadly discredit him.

While there is content to his observation that there exists a slight messianic cult around the man, it is certainly something he does little (or less than the next man) to foster (while the author of many books and a prominent speaker at lectures etc. unlike many of his peers in a profession that is saturated in vanity, his focus on ideas rather than individuals is laudable). The ‘following’ can more easily be explained by a quite obvious connection with his content and the countless numbers of disenfranchised individuals who have been shunned, abused or ignored by a largely unrepresentative media. Discussing whether these individuals are hopelessly deluded, insane or pathological seems besides any point at all; it tells us little except the contents of kamm’s mind…

22.12.04

dear alan!

not sure whether youve noted the controversy your posting of this odd "oliver kamm" blogg has caused on the comment box. mike is mike, "oliver kamm" is oliver kamm, journalist behind the aptly named "oliver kamm" blogg


relevant bit of your post:

"jona brought to my attention oliver kamm's criticisms of chomsky. these appear to be the most substantive and methodical claims i've seen."



"Comments" activity to date:


"Chomsky's intervention was a defence of the content of Faurisson's beliefs and not merely of Faurisson's right to express those beliefs"

yet:

"Chomsky did this not by endorsing Faurisson's obviously false claim that the Holocaust never happened"

and:

"Chomsky in fact defended the character of Faurisson's beliefs and not just Faurisson's right to express those beliefs (which was in any event never at issue)"

yet:

"...defending Faurisson against the charges of antisemitism and pro-Nazism"

full of vague and contradicting notions ("character of belief"? was ist das?). the relationship between "content" and "freedom of expression" is what this whole thing hinges on. i'm a so-called "chomsky admirer" myself, and i havent dared to make up my mind about this issue; a problematic which does, after all, extend far beyond nc, faurisson, holocaust denial, or yes, even kamm. so i was actually hoping to find something of substance, instead of the usual self-indulgent constructivism.

sadly though, kamm appears anything else than methodical, objective nor philosophically conscientious about the argumentative nucleus. in fact, he doesn't engage the problematic at all. this probably because he made up his mind prior to touching the matter. policing other people's footnotes instead of engaging with any content ("it is a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adpot a central doctrine of their murderers" - nc).

it's a tough debate. anyone who has the answers at the snap of a kamm ought to be treated with caution.

mike | 12.21.04 - 3:14 pm | #


My thanks for the link, and my complacent self-satisfaction regarding your commentor's unwitting confirmation that he is a follower of Chomsky, for he deals with my inconvenient body of evidence by quoting me with deliberate selectivity in order to deceive. Anyone taking the trouble to read my posts as opposed to the words your commentor has wrenched out of context will be unimpressed with that particular staple of Chomskian technique. By my reference to Chomsky's defending the character of Faurisson's beliefs, I make it perfectly clear what that position consisted in: Chomsky defended the political legitimacy of those beliefs regardless of their factual veracity (or rather, lack of it). He did so, moreover, while knowing for a fact that Faurisson was a pro-Nazi apologist. Chomsky, in short, whitewashed the political beliefs of a man he knew to be pro-Nazi and antisemitic.

That is not simply an allegation against Chomsky, nor is it a 'tough debate'; it is a fact, which your incompetent commentor unsurprisingly doesn't even attempt to refute but merely tries to obfuscate by becoming mired in woolly abstractions dimly comprehended.

Oliver Kamm | Email | Homepage | 12.22.04 - 1:21 pm | #


oliver kamm is quite right in saying that i don't refute him, since i hadn't really found anything to refute. and since I don't operate on ideological levels, where information might be "convenient" or not, i'm afraid i can't say anything on that either.

i do think it is a tough debate, albeit one that evidently doesn't find its way into the distilled episteme of today's cultural managers. in what relationship does the liberty to express a belief stand to the content or "political character" of that belief? are there elements of instrumental rationality at play? are we only allowing freedom of expression for views we like, whilst ideologically undermining others?

i think it's in those questions where the answers to the chomsky-faurisson affair are to be found, and not in this politicized farce about whether or not chomsky knowingly helped to propagate neo-nazi views. this was evidently not his intention, since he seems to promote freedom of expression regardless of its content (a normative guideline one would have to refute prior to ascribing any relevance to chomsky's defence of a holocaust denier).

i wonder why one cannot actually engage chomsky's position and challenge him by reflecting on the normative questions that underlie freedom of expression. isn't this where any true engagement with chomsky would happen? merely trying to prove that chomsky was knowingly defending a holocaust denier seems to miss the point. the search for content goes on.

what is kamm actually trying to show? that chomsky's persona is no good?

mike | 12.22.04 - 6:09 pm | #



this in defense of an able historian

cannot counter facts in NC's history of angloamerican imperialism including israel
-> so obv hes gotta be a nazi/looney or whatever
-> jewish self-proclaimed anarchist- nazi?

yeah likely

about as likely as the tales of WMD monsieur kamm has been floating elsewhere bad journalism?

"Why does it sell and re-sell a WMD argument for war with Saddam, as speculative and superfluous as a coursebook in Dianetics, both before and after the war?"

sloppy quotations hey.. where are those goddamn wmd oliver?

geneva convention says crime of faring aggressive war carries cumulative sum of sinning- ambition is critical as the welsh say..

"Saddam will likely never threaten anyone again... and we have attained one of our primary goals: no WMD in Iraq. (Did Saddam help us in that goal, by not having any WMD to begin with? [??] That's still highly debatable... but if he did, all the better.) Further, the war has resulted in Libya destroying its WMD as well."

hihihi fevered delusions of adequacy? war crimes.. women and children.. ts ts ts

i'm sure theres plenty more of the same

Authors go to war, but should have stayed at home; quite


It is remarkable that in communistic tribes jealousy is entirely unknown. O. Wilde The soul of man under Socialism

21.12.04



"In an honest Service, there is thin Commons, low Wages, and hard Labour; in this, Plenty and Satiety, Pleasure and Ease, Liberty and Power; and who would not ballance Creditor on this Side, when all the Hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sower Look or two at choaking. No, a merry Life and a short one shall be my Motto" - Pirate Captain Bartholomew Roberts.

19.12.04

jona brought to my attention oliver kamm's criticisms of chomsky. these appear to be the most substantive and methodical claims i've seen. there are some examples of what appears to be dishonest reporting of quotations and the misleading drawing of inferences.

kamm's site also features this heart warming link
abroad;

the spread of "freedom" and "democracy" continues unabated

whilst at home;

"We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"

and the reaction of the 'educated' classes to these triumphs of modernisation? applause - although the article notes unreflectively that "Some selections have been notoriously unpopular, such as Adolf Hitler in 1938, Joseph Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979." and there is an alternative perspective perhaps worthy of consideration, and conspicuous by its absence from the arena of public debate.



"The conception of presidential sovereignty crafted by the radical statist reactionaries of the Bush administration is so extreme that it has drawn unprecedented criticism in the most sober and respected establishment circles. These ideas were transmitted to the President by the newly appointed Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales – who is depicted as a moderate in the press. They are discussed by the respected constitutional law professor Sanford Levinson in the current issue of the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Levinson writes that the conception is based on the principle that "There exists no norm that is applicable to chaos." The quote, Levinson comments, is from Carl Schmitt, the leading German philosopher of law during the Nazi period, who Levinson describes as “the true éminence grise of the Bush administration.” The administration, advised by Gonzales, has articulated “a view of presidential authority that is all too close to the power that Schmitt was willing to accord his own Führer,” Levinson writes.

One rarely hears such words from the heart of the establishment."

[....]

"The principle of universality is the most elementary of moral truisms. It is the foundation of “Just War theory” and in fact of every system of morality deserving of anything but contempt. Rejection of such moral truisms is so deeply rooted in the intellectual culture as to be invisible. To illustrate again how deeply entrenched it is, let’s return to the principle of “anticipatory self-defense,” adopted as legitimate by both political organizations in the US, and across virtually the entire spectrum of articulate opinion, apart from the usual margins. The principle has some immediate corollaries. If the US is granted the right of “anticipatory self-defense” against terror, then, certainly, Cuba, Nicaragua, and a host of others have long been entitled to carry out terrorist acts within the US because there is no doubt of its involvement in very serious terrorist attacks against them, extensively documented in impeccable sources, and in the case of Nicaragua, even condemned by the World Court and the Security Council (in two resolutions that the US vetoed, with Britain loyally abstaining). The conclusion that Cuba and Nicaragua, among many others, have long had the right to carry out terrorist atrocities in the US is of course utterly outrageous, and advocated by no one. And thanks to our self-determined immunity from moral truisms, there is no fear that anyone will draw the outrageous conclusions."

17.12.04

so its good riddance to neo-fascist david blunkett



although, sadly, his lasting contribution to the creation of europe's fasting growing police state is under attack from an unlikely, and hitherto silent, group, the law lords;

"A scathing law lords judgment condemning the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects as a threat to the life of the nation left anti-terrorist laws in tatters yesterday.

The ruling by an 8-1 majority held that the indefinite detention without trial at Belmarsh, and Woodhill high security prisons was unlawful under the European convention on human rights (ECHR).

Constitutional lawyers called it one of the most important decisions from Britain's highest court in 50 years.

But 24 hours after David Blunkett, the law's sponsor, was forced to resign as home secretary, Downing St and the new home secretary, Charles Clarke decided to tough it out. They would study the judgment - but made it plain they are more likely to renew the controversial laws than modify them."

[....]

"Lord Scott described the regime under which suspects can be detained indefinitely on the say-so of the home secretary with no right to know the grounds for detention as "the stuff of nightmares, associated with France before and during the revolution, with Soviet Russia in the Stalinist era, and now associated, as a result of section 23 of the 2001 Act, with the United Kingdom"

note that none of this will, or is likely to, result in the release of these guys who have been locked up without lawful basis for three years...

keep repeating we are free

also a disappointment to the rightist guerillas is this ruling that human rights (specifically ECHR) apply to people under british jurisdiction, regardless of whether its lambeth or the a suburb of basra whih happens to have been illegally invaded by british troops...

you have to be 'properly educated' to make sense of all this

8.12.04



More brilliant cartoons from mahjoob, a palestinian cartoonist


still not loving police

7.12.04

"War is a Racket"

zmag article on that perkins book, confessions of an economic hit-man, with interesting historical counterpart


"Adolescent sexual health is the experience of the ongoing process of physical, psychological, and socio-cultural well being related to sexuality. Sexual health is evidenced in the free and responsible expressions of sexual capabilities that foster harmonious personal and social wellness,enriching individual and social life. It incorporates freedom from fear, shame, guilt, false beliefs and other psychological factors inhibiting sexual response and impairing sexual relationships.”


"the struggle with things", hesse quote reads: "we make gods, and struggle with them, and they bless us" (demian)

And here I disagree with some of my friends; I think spelling out in extensive detail the form or future society goes beyond our understanding. There surely will have to be plenty of experimentation - we don't know enough human beings and societies, their needs and limitations. There is just too much we don't know, so lots of alternatives should be tried.

NC on anarchism dec 6
US applies lessons learned in florida (and elsewhere);

"...the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes."

[....]

"...the Ukrainian poll, like its predecessors, also featured thousands of local election monitors trained and paid by western groups.

Freedom House and the Democratic party's NDI helped fund and organise the "largest civil regional election monitoring effort" in Ukraine, involving more than 1,000 trained observers. They also organised exit polls. On Sunday night those polls gave Mr Yushchenko an 11-point lead and set the agenda for much of what has followed.

The exit polls are seen as critical because they seize the initiative in the propaganda battle with the regime, invariably appearing first, receiving wide media coverage and putting the onus on the authorities to respond."

zmag on issue

3.12.04

Iraq Adopts Terror Alert System

the sick joke that is yankdom
were there to be an allknowing god
(s)he'd weep


The Bush administration is funding sexual health projects that teach children that HIV can be contracted through sweat and tears, touching genitals can result in pregnancy, and that a 43-day-old foetus is a thinking person.

A congressional analysis of more than a dozen federally funded "abstinence-only programmes" unveiled a litany of "false, misleading and distorted information" in teaching materials after reviewing curriculums designed to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

[...]

Other "facts" include that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, half the gay male teenagers in the US have tested positive for HIV, and condoms fail to prevent transmission of HIV in 31% of incidences of heterosexual intercourse. US government figures contradict all of these assertions.

AC Green's Game Plan - a programme named after a basketball player who said he would not have sex before marriage - teaches: "The popular claim that condoms help prevent the spread of STDs, is not supported by the data."

Mr Waxman told the Washington Post: "I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts."

2.12.04



Chatteris News flash!

Church carols cancelled after row - from the BBC

Council officials have cancelled a Christmas carol service after being refused the best seats in the church. Councillors and senior officers had expected to be seated according to their status at the annual event.

The Rev James Thomson has denied them reserved seats because he believes everyone is equal in the sight of God.

Fenland District Council has cancelled the event at St Peters and St Pauls Church in Chatteris, Cambs, which was to be held on 12 December.


NOTORIOUS C.H.O.



is the new Hicks a Korean American, Cho, female, gay icon?

"Bush is not Hitler... He would be if he applied himself, but he's just lazy." - Margaret Cho

"She’s a mix of the rawness of Richard Pryor, she’s as shocking as Lenny Bruce, she’s as expressive as Lily Tomlin and as sweet as Carol Burnett ... she’s a one-of-a-kind performer."
"So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen."
Mark 20:16

"A vicar's refusal to reserve seats for civic dignitaries at a carol service has caused a huge row in a rural community, it emerged today."

[....]

"Vicar James Thomson refused to reserve seats at the front and told Mrs Potts: "All are equal before God."