some amusing updates on Durchowitz/Peters plagiarism scandal...

A year or so ago i managed to catch a 'democracy now' interview between Alan Durchowitz and Norman Finkelstein. pretty hilarious and I urge you to dig though their archives to find the transcript, or video stream, and watch finkelstein decimate an off guard dershowitz who, expecting a debate with chomsky, finds himself confronting accusations of plagiarism against his new book The Case for Israel.

For those unfamiliar with Durchowitz, he's known for his extensive published works in support of zionism, as an attorney in several high-profile law cases (notably as part of the legal defence 'dream team' for O.J. Simpson) and is a Professor of Law at Harvard - so you'd think he'd have at least a modicum of intellectual responsibility...evidently not

The Chomsky Conspiracy
Derchowitz replies to publishers weekly
New York Times

Alexander Cockburn in this weeks Counterpunch Diary:

"At the time there was blast and counterblast both here and in The Nation, where the letters page featured the bleats of Dershowitz and my definitive rebuttal. Since that time Dershowitz has been in an extreme state of agitation at the prospect of Finkelstein's analysis of his borrowings from the work of Joan Peters being published in book form, first scheduled for publication by The New Press, and latterly by the University of California Press."

There hasn't been such a commotion since the British Customs tried to keep Lady Chatterley's Lover out of England. A book that otherwise might have been a relatively modest blip on the national radar screen has been elevated by Dershowitz's frantic squawks to the status of a major cultural event. In his efforts at prior restraint Dershowitz even appealed to Austria's pride, the governor of California, who presumably has more pressing problems on his mind (such as his pell-mell schuss towards single-digit public approval in California) than an impending publication of the University of California.

The last refuge of any cornered mountebank is to invoke "The Plot Against Me", and in a curious inversion of some anti-Semitic tract, Dershowitz has now traced all his problems to an all-powerful troika, consisting of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein and me.
Dershowitz's thesis is that like some Archon of the Galaxies Chomsky croaks from his lair in the heart of darkness, "Destroy Him". The compliant Finkelstein goes to work, and the result of his researches is then publicized by Yours Truly, with devastating effect upon Dershowitz. His life is ruined! A pleasant life formerly devoted to apologias for Israel's barbarous treatment of Palestinians has now been cruelly subverted by the all-powerful Troika. The professor who once impressed young women in Harvard Yard with technical discussions of how best, (under judicial warrant, of course) to push scalpels under the fingernails of terror suspects now fills the air with threats of libel. Like some latter day Ancient Mariner, stopping one in three, Dershowitz posts interminable dissections of "The Plot Against Me" on the internet, dissections which could fairly be accused of partiality towards the male sex, since I recall that even before my own discussion of the Dershowitz-Peters conjunction in late 2003, the affair received detailed scrutiny on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now.

And from Finkelstein website: What if A Harvard Student Did This?

"In the introduction to The Case for Israel, Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School asserts that his account is supported by "facts and figures, some of which will surprise those who get their information from biased sources" (p. 2). Yet, the evidence Dershowitz adduces will surprise no one familiar with the most notorious source of historical bias on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ever published in the English language. The charts below document Dershowitz's wholesale lifting of source material from Joan Peters's monumental hoax, From Time Immemorial. Dershowitz not only copies Peters shamelessly, but knowingly does so from a book serious scholars have uniformly condemned. (For details on the Peters hoax, see Norman G. Finkelstein, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, and Yehoshua Porath, "Mrs. Peters's Palestine," The New York Review of Books, 16 January 1986.) He is effectively no different from a professor lifting sources wholesale from a leading Holocaust revisionist in a book on the Holocaust. On a note both humorous and pathetic, Peters, in From Time Immemorial and claiming to be inspired by George Orwell, coins the term "turnspeak" to signal the inversion of reality (pp. 173, 402). Dershowitz, apparently confounded by his massive borrowings from Peters, credits the term "turnspeak" to Orwell, accusing critics of Israel of "deliberately using George Orwell's 'turnspeak'" (p. 57) and "Orwellian turnspeak" (p. 153). Is this scandalous scholarship, or is it plagiarism, or is it both?"

The whole affair only serves to illustrate the vacuous lack of integrity within intellectual communities. While society lauds these individuals, puts them on podiums, and cowers under their intellectual prowess in humble obedience, behind the curtains they still pull the same dirty tricks that lazy undergraduates like myself pull when they just can't be fucked. the only difference being that durchowitz crimes are currently sculpting the political landscape, and 90% of the time, crooks like him get away with printing all sorts of unsubstantiated nonsense.


Who's Got the Acid?
These days, almost nobody.

u.s. out of acid
Kenneth Rexroth


From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century

1974, Seabury Press


Marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America despite law enforcement spending an estimated $10 billion annually to pursue efforts to outlaw the plant. In many states, marijuana ranked as the top cash crop for farmers. United States marijuana growers harvested a minimum of 5.5 million pounds of saleable marijuana in 1997 worth $15.1 billion to growers and $25.2 billion on the retail market. Government crop yield estimates place the value of these 8.7 million harvested plants at approximately $26.3 billion to growers and a street value of $43.8 billion. The report based its findings on Drug Enforcement Administration marijuana eradication statistics, a survey of state police eradication results, and marijuana price reports published in High Times Magazine. NORML published previous reports documenting marijuana's national market value between 1982 and 1992.
Documents on Al Hubbard
The "Johnny Appleseed of LSD"

Hallucinogen researchers, users, and proponents at wikip


Initiative requires a bodily agent possessing specific capabilities and vulnerabilities who inhabits some concrete worldly situation. This situation, the counterpart of the agent's bodiliness, is made up of things, events, and other persons. It provides a context of opportunities for and obstacles to the agent's exercise of his or her power to initiate. Through action a person can not only change his or her material situation but can also establish new lasting relationships with other people.

"If I had to lay out my vision of the world ... I would say: given the place where I was born, the culture I received, what I read, what I learned (and) what I thought about, there exists for me a result that constitutes, here and now, the best thing to do"

Paul Ricoeur dies. bbc | guardian | nzz | fr | taz


Media Lens alerted me to this...

A recent 'media alert' concerned a Newsnight interview with George Galloway. The first question asked to Galloway by Paxman was "are you proud to have defeated one of the only black women in parliament?". Galloway refused to answer the question.

Galloway may or may not be a hero, and he could have easily answered that stupid question. but the serious point, made in Media Lens is the way the media, and the 'impartial' BBC treats dissenters, activists, radicals and anyone who opposes those in power. Powerful politicians are always treated with too much respect and passionate activists with too much contempt. I wrote to the BBC and got a predictable, boring response, including the legend...

"The BBC is not allowed under the terms of its Charter to actively promote political parties or activities"

which was followed later on, to try and placate me with...

"It is also worth pointing out that the key issue on which Respect was campaigning in Bethnal Green and Bow 'the war in Iraq' was covered substantially by BBC News in the course of the campaign, including a full constituency report on the Ten O'Clock News on BBC1."

Which seems to suggest, either that BBC News have been actively promoting the Respect Party, or simply that they have indeed covered the 'war in Iraq' on BBC News.

The issue off race and gender is astounding, None of the major political parties have equal numbers of male and female MPs, or fairt representation for ethnic minorities, and to criticise Respect which is essentially a one man party for unfair representation in parliament is just insane.

Better perhaps to look at the voting record of the two MPs and see which has a better record in helping ethnic minorites and promoting harmony. It's important to remember that black women MPs can be bad and do damage to the people of their country as well as white male ones.

Galloway voted:
-Against the War in Iraq
-Against new repressive anti terrorism legislation
-Against ID cards - which are widely predicted to increase polic harassment of ethnic minorities
-Against student fees
-Against foundation hospitals, which while they do not target minorities specifically are anti poor measures

Oona King voted
-For introducing foundation hospitals.
-For introducing student top-up fees.
-For Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
-For the Iraq war.
-For introducing ID cards.

Disregarding their respective skin colours, which one of these MPs looks like a friend of ethnic minorities?


...all that talk of infidelity...

I have a new blog, which I will post some of the same stuff on as here, but keep the long boring posts on my owm pages and just advertise them here. It'll have my articles and thoughts plus photos and anything else I come across.

reactionary shepherd blames his herd for rotten state of own farm.



this is great
Indulging in charas in Himachel Pradesh, India’s northwestern Himalayan state, is nothing new. The hippies started the pilgrimage to the Kullu Valley forty years ago. Many Westerners had escaped into the mountains over the years, their visas and passports long expired, living off small-time cannabis dealing. What was new was the sheer volume of Westerners that streamed into Manali; in 2001, over 90,000 visited the Kullu Valley, particularly Manali, dubbed “India’s drug capital” by the Indian media. During my visit I estimated that about two-thirds of the travellers in Manali came from Israel, and one night a stoned Israeli guy explained. “Two reasons,” he said. “Israelis like to travel and Israelis like charas.”

Israelis in India

I've been told that 50,000 Israelis get visas to come to India every year. Why? Because they are restricted from many countries, because they have to do three years of military service and then a lot of them take a 'year off' to chill out. Many go to Latin America, Thailand, India and other 'playgrounds of the rich' excluding, of course, the Muslim world. Its cheap here, drugs are cheap, Police can be bribed, there are ecologically sensitive areas to have culturally insensitive trance parties in and the people are poor and desperate enough to put up with crap from foreigners with bad attitudes, bad politics and money.

The Israelis come here en masse, fresh from military service in the West Bank and Gaza. They've got a really bad reputation for drugs, rudeness, partying, vanity, arrogance, anti social behaviour and just about everything else... There’s a lot of bad feeling between Indians and Israelis, the Israelis seem contemptuous of India and Indians and the Indians put up with the Israelis because they need the business and curse them behind their backs. Pushkar, a little town that’s really popular with travelers has now been totally taken over by Israelis. There are signs all over town in Hebrew, Israeli food in the restaurants, trance music, lots of hash, all trademark hippy traveler things that have now also become associated with Israelis travelers.

One day I spotted a couple of orthodox Jews walking down the street, curly sideburns, skullcaps, black suits and everything. It was a bit of a shock in Pushkar where freaks, hippies, beggars and cripples of every description and holy men dressed in orange with dreadlocks are more common. On further investigation I discovered that there was actually a mini synagogue/Israeli social centre in this tiny village, which is a pilgrimage site for Hindus. More on that later.

One guy we met and gave a good grilling about politics was typical, he had the long hair, liked to smoke, was chilled out, friendly and relaxed... we asked him about the army. Israelis can avoid the draft, but then they don't have a chance of getting a ‘good’ (read well paid) job, people who haven’t been through the army are seen as a parasitic to society for not puling your weight, and risking their lives for their people.

Some go into the army without enthusiasm and do their time as a cook or a driver, obviously not so prestigious, but a sensible compromise. The guy I was talking to and taking the piss out of for not avoiding the army said he could go to London and get work instantly as a bodyguard, I though that maybe he meant a bouncer, but he confirmed that he meant a proper bodyguard with a gun... I asked him what he had done in the army, I pictured him as a normal guy, trying to get by without too much effort or risk; hiding from Palestinian kids throwing stones and trying not to get in the way of any nasty shit... he replied that he'd rather not tell me what unit or part of the army he was in or what he did... now I pictured him as part of an elite Zionist death squad. He was, in a chilled out way, quite nationalistic and unrepentant about the Palestinians, even though he acknowledged that due to Israeli policies they “lived like animals”. This surprises me about young Israelis, even the dope smoking 'hippy' lookalike will have been enthusiastic members of the army and defend Israel to the end. They see it as a ‘them or us’ situation and claim that the Palestinians would kill them all if they didn’t ‘defend themselves’. They also claim that the Palestinians were given their opportunity in the Oslo peace process and rejected it (so fuck ‘em!?).

Another guy, back in Pushkar, was less nationalistic. He told us that many of the Israelis who come to India get twisted, go mad or 'faloop' as they say in Hebrew, and return to Israel totally fucked in the head (his words exactly). After 3 years in the army and one year in India taking acid, I'm not surprised frankly... but this is where the rabbis come in, they are sent here to rescue the lost sons, the nutcases, the tripped out, and those who just left Israel had a think and decided that maybe, just maybe, things in the promised land aren’t as they should be. These youngsters are obviously a worry in a nation of 6 million people with an oversized army to feed, increasing conscientious objection, and facing of mounting criticism from most of the evolved world.

The young must be sound of body and mind and above all, believe in the cause. The rabbis come here to catch them on a comedown or in a moment of crisis and then refill their brain with Zionist, militarist, nationalistic, bollocks before the poor bastards lose the plot totally or have some kind of epiphany and realize that genocide is wrong (that old chestnut).

It's a fascinating element of the Israel/Palestine problem... The second guy in Pushkar made me feel quite sorry for them, they’re anti social because they don't like people criticizing them, having a go at their country and asking awkward, painful questions about war and death, which is inevitably what you want to ask them about. This guy just said we're fucked in the head, he knew everybody thinks they're wankers and as a reasonably nice guy, it was hard for him.

The thing that sets Israelis apart from British or even most US travelers is that very few of them are like that. Few of them will just say, yep Sharon is a murderous fascist twat, you’re right, next question? Whereas most British travelers don’t try to defend British government crimes, and most Americans spend the whole time loudly apologizing and protesting about how much they hate George Bush and wanted Kerry to get in just to get Dubya out it’s makes you hate them even more.

watered down version of my article I just found in the Washington Times

this article is interesting on the subject too



For the first time a majority government in Britain has been elected by fewer people than those who could not be bothered to vote.

Labour's 36% share of the vote was lower than the 39% of the electorate who didn't make it to the polling station.