So the BNP is on Question time….

..but what is the big deal. Germans had to go through the same agonizing spectacle ca 20 years ago, when for the first time a racist, ugly, right wing, anti-immigrant party emerged that people actually voted for. ‘The Republicans” (Die Republikaner) had a charismatic leader, had some lawyers (there’s always lawyers, isn’t there…)  and busisnessmen as partymembers, didn’t make any obvious Nazi noises in the open, and hey presto: they suddenly got voted into councils and local governments.

Their then party leader even got invited on the (rather poor) German equivalent of the Letterman show and was able to sprout his nonsense, again and again declaring he wasn’t a racist, but that “Germany is for Germans”.

Sounds familiar? The Republicans are still lingering around in the ‘other parties’ spectrum and, apart from causing some serious soulsearching about the state of the German democracy and some sneering from outside, German democracy is still vibrant, alive, intact (and yes, there are still some rather ugly right wing parties on the fringe of society, some even getting MPs in regional parliaments), but as a society we will have to expect that there always will be some individuals who’s political worldview most people oppose, who are violent and utterly condemnable.

This is exactly what’s happening in England now. An anti-immigrant, racist party with thuggish members has exposed the latent racism in this society. Racism is unfortunately prevalent in most western democracies (there’s fascists in Italy, Le Pen in France, the Ex-Haiders in Austria, those paramilitary nutters in Hungary), and England is not alone.

Fortunately, this is a vibrant, racially mixed society with strong views on racism and equality. Let Nick Griffin go on TV and get himself exposed as the leader of this exclusively white, socially deprived club with grievances against those ‘bloody foreigners’. He might even garner some extra votes from those who care enough to stay up late to watch him and -who knows- even get some MPs elected.

English society (and yes Margaret, there is such a thing) will be able to move on. People who believe in a racially pure Britain (made up out of Normans, Vikings, Picts, Germans, Irish and plenty of other foreigners) will always exist on the fringes of society, but the rest of us will cherish the fact that our friends are from every corner of the globe and enjoy living on this funny little island.

Boris, meet enraged Joe SixPack.

So Boris Johnson officially endorsed Barack Obama in a Op-Ed piece in the Telegraph. Good on him. He probably did not expect the wrath of the enraged Palin voters. Here are some excerpts from the hundreds of comments that found their way on the Telegraph’s website. They’re actually quite funny!

“…stay the hell out of American politics you privileged, limey ponce.”

“Obama is a puppet of Zbiegniew Brzezinski, the man very involved in the creation of the Mujahaden who became the Taliban. He was a big player in HAARP technology and believes in the Eugenics programme.
Psychiatrists have exposed Obama’s speeches as using hypnotic mechanisms, so he is well trained in deception, something I feel we need to rid politics of.”

“Obama is a New World Order stooge.
Anyone wondered why his opposition is a 72 year old who is in remission from cancer?
These people take no chances.”

“Mind your own business, you don’t vote over here in AMRERICA!!! unless you are one of Obamas secret donors. Americans don’t care about you Muslim loving brits. Stay out of our election.”

..and my favourite:

“Whether Obama wins or loses, the blacks will probably riot. […] Many people are stocking up on ammunition in anticipation of trouble in the urban areas on Election Night.
I realize that you are a U.S. citizen and entitled to vote for Obama if you choose, but you won’t be living here for the next four years. The man is a full-blown socialist and it will take decades to undo the damage he will cause.”

Bigot of the week

If you have ever doubted that there’s something significantly wrong with the Christian right in the U.S., this should once and for all make you afraid. Very afraid:

” If we were living in a biblical society, homosexuality would be punishable by death so such a school would be unnecessary. Although I’m against the special accommodations, perhaps this new trend of segregation will protect straight kids from these predators. With any luck, some radical will blow up the gay school.”

So much for the benefits of homeschooling.

update 22.10.08 18:00: seems like the offensive entry has been removed by after relentless flagging of the reddit community. Well done. The offensive entry can sill be read here, though.

Sebastopol, where WiFi burns your brain.

Slashdot was kind enough to alert me to a lovely story that developed recently: Sebastopol – a little commune in California that hosts the world’s nerdiest publisher and apparently a large alternative community that until now lived peacefully together – apparently contracted to develop a low-power Wifi Mesh network to give the community easy access to the internet and its obvious educational and economical benefits. But they didn’t expect the tinfoil-hat community of Sebastopol to sabotage the endeavour: as the council meeting agenda shows, on the 18th of March council member and pro tem mayor Linda Kelley requested a “Discussion and Action to Reconsider the City’s Wi-Fi Agreement with Sonic” . The Press Democrat – the local paper – reports that the ‘sustainable health institute’ supportes the notion, because ‘A little bit more is going to cause a little more problems’ and supported Sebastopol resident Sandi Maurer in her claim that ‘she is sensitive to electricity much as some people are sensitive to chemicals’.

I would suggest to Sandi and her physics-challenged friends to find herself a place in Sebastopol that will not only shield them from the evil WiFi terror but also protects them from FM and AM radio signals (the ‘sustainable health institute’ uses those evil radios to broadcast their healthy message), TV signals, mobile phone towers the sun and magnetism.

Good luck and happy tin-foil hat folding.

P.S. In the meantime we hope that the absence of WiFi signals will aid Councillor Kelley in the quick resolution of her misdemeanor vandalism case.

Biology Professor expelled from Creationist Propaganda Movie Showing

This a wonderful little gem of a story: PZ Myers, associate professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris was prevented by the producers of a movie called ‘Expelled’ (in which he was interviewed) to attend a free showing. While this is not a clever thing to do and is bound to get you heaps of negative headlines, the irony of the whole incident is that Richard Dawkins – which must certainly be the creationists ueberenemy Number One – was allowed into the theatre and is now able to tell us what he thinks of the whole incident.