Tag Archives: Blog Review

Dershowitz shows the way

Jamie has already opened our eyes to the truth this weekend, with an old Joan Peters interview which reminds us to be more careful when considering sources and evidence. Well quite. Following this, I thought i’d post this Alan Dershowitz interview from earlier this year, which warns against the anti-Israeli bigotry of Jimmy Carter, and consigns to the hard-left anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the ‘universal admiration’ of Yithzak Rabin. See the pathway, my friends.

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Filed under Israel and Palestine

Israel Does What It Wants

Dion Nissenbaum, on the relative impunity enjoyed by Israeli soldiers in the territories, is well worth reading.

Also, check out Steve Clemons’ interview with Mustafa Barghouti. On Obama he unfortunately pulls his punches, but his statistics and observations on the post-Annapolis environment are crucial.

“What happened since Annapolis is really shocking. Since Annapolis, the rate at which Israeli settlements expand in the West Bank is twenty times more than before. Since Annapolis, the number of Israeli military checkpoints have increased from 521 to 607.

Since Annapolis, the number of Israeli attacks on Palestinians have increased by 300%. During the whole year of 2007, 404 Palestinians were killed, and 10 Israelis, or 15 Israelis were killed. During the period since Annapolis, 520 Palestinians were killed, including 70 children.”

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Filed under Israel and Palestine

Building on the Arguments for the Legalisation of Drugs

In an excellent post on knife crime, Lenin points at an interesting correlation between the rate of knife crime and the enforcement of drug laws.

What about drugs? Andrew Resignato at Florida State University has summed up a wealth of literature on this topic, and concludes that there is in fact scarce data to support the thesis of a positive correlation between drug use and violent crime. On the contrary, there is a much stronger correlation between the enforcement of drug laws and violent crime. Drug users who do have to support the cost of their habit (inflated by dint of its control by criminal cartels) through crime tend to opt for non-violent means. On the other hand, the more investment in policing to control the sumptuary habits of the poor, the more likely there is to be violent crime. This is unsurprising. Create an illicit capitalist economy in the hands of extra-legal cartels embroiled in competition with one another, with that competition delegated down to those lowest in the hierarchy, and you get a great deal of violence in the process. I strongly suspect that states which impose drug laws are well aware of this, and that their function is to facilitate a strongly interventionist police force with ready-made pretexts for detaining and imprisoning people considered dysfunctional to the society’s requirements. It keeps ‘problem’ populations, generally the urban poor, under tight surveillance. It criminalises them before they have necessarily even broken the law.

Can’t find the Resignato report right now, I’ll post a link up when I do. If credible, it appears to provide some weight for the argument that enforcing drugs laws can lead to a higher rate of crime, and actually be more damaging to society than the use itself.

Proper post, on Israel and terrorism, coming later today!

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Filed under Social Policy

Coincidence and Luck

I’m sitting at home suffering from what my mother has snidely referred to as ‘man-flu’, and so haven’t found the time to do a review of Marxism 2008. In the meanwhile I highly recommend Monbiot’s article from last week in which he muses on an alternative to the established principle of contraction and convergence as a solution to climate change, and his article from Tuesday on fishing and the global food crisis . What surprised me about the articles is the frank and disappointed acknowledgment that the decline in global oil supplies and the global economic downturn may accomplish more through coincidence and luck than activists have managed in over 20 years of campaigning.  He also exposes the false dichotomies that have come to characterise Gordon Brown’s statements on the matter:

Last week the prime minister’s advisers admitted to the Guardian that his renewable energy plans were “on the margins” of what people will tolerate. But these fears are based on a false assumption: that there is a cheap alternative to a green economy. Last week New Scientist reported a survey of oil industry experts, which found that most of them believe global oil supplies will peak by 2010. If they are right, the game is up. A report published by the US Department of Energy in 2005 argued that unless the world begins a crash programme of replacements 10 or 20 years before oil peaks, a crisis “unlike any yet faced by modern industrial society” is unavoidable.

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Filed under Climate Change

Mandelafication Of The Struggle

Dave beat me to a post on Mandela, and did it far better than I could have done, so a nod in his direction.

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Filed under Uncategorized