Monday, July 31, 2006

Antiwar Demonstrations

Well the press have mentioned the anti-war demonstrations in Israel - even if it is to dismiss them as small and irrelevant. In fact while the demonstrations in Tel Aviv have remained at about the same size as before, they are spreading to other towns, and to other locations in Tel Aviv itself, according to this report in the Malaysia Sun.

reports that anti-war demonstrations are taking place with increasing frequency, and the first "refusenik" has been jailed for refusing to fight:

There are photos of this weekend's demonstrations on Indymedia Israel:

Murray Bookchin

Author, activist, pioneer of social ecology and libertarian municipalism Murray Bookchin died on Sunday. Writing under the pen-name of Lewis Herber in the 1960s he was one of the first people to draw attention to the developing ecolological crisis in his book Our Synthetic Environment (1962). He also wrote about the breakdown and potential of urban living in The Crisis in Our Cities (1965) the same year in which his influential Post Scarcity Anarchism was published. He was author of the widely influential polemic Listen Marxist! and Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism in which he restates the case for anarchism as a movement for social revolution and not simply a lifestyle choice. The Press Association obituary is rather thin on detail, but there is a detailed biography of his life on the Anarchy Archives, with links through to a slightly dated bibliography:

Thursday, July 27, 2006

MI5 Internet Bibliography

For all spook watchers the Pat Finucane Centre has just published an bibliography of online publications about MI5. As MI5 operates without open public scrutiny it is important that we all know what is happening - especially as from august 2007 they will have lead responsibility for "national security". Link via Statewatch

The 'Kirkus' 2006 Autumn & Winter Preview

Kirkus publish thoughtful reviews of forthcoming publications. They have just published their Autumn and Winter preview for up and coming titles including new books by Bill Bryson, Stephen King and Jonathan Franzen - the Review is US focused and features few women authors, although on the plus side there are two pages of reviews devoted to children's books. Available as a free pdf download from The Book Standard:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Antiwar Demonstrations Growing

I've not read about these in the UK press so I thought I would post these reports as a challenge to the media blackout on anti-war demonstrations that are taking place in Israel:
Ynet News reports:

"Thousands march in Tel Aviv to protest Lebanon fighting, call on soldiers to refuse taking part in war. Clashes with passersby erupt during event, activists called 'traitors'".,7340,L-3279792,00.html

Haaretz :
"Anti-war Tel Aviv rally draws Jewish, Israeli Arab crowd"

A-Infos and Indymedia Israel both carried this report:
" A few thousand people of the coalition against the war from all over
the country converged in the municipal square, on Saturday evening.
People carried flags, banners, and placards. Leaflets were distributed
including the three picture placards distributed by anarchists. in them
one picture is of young girls writing "addresses" on canon shells to be
soon fired; the second of a heavy cannon firing and such shells near it;
the third was of two children killed by such canon shells. An organized
contingent of anarchists arrived with black flags, flags with the big
anarchist A, banners, and placards. After a while, there started a march
towards the Sinematec - clogging the main street. Along the march slogan
were chanted. The two hundred anarchists were very lively: chanted,
singed, danced, run from time to time, and lot of rhythmic noise.

At the end of the march the Sinematec square was too small for the big
crowd. During the speeches carried there people started to disperse."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Google Accessible Search

A new product from Google Labs: "Accessible Search is an early Google Labs product designed to identify and prioritize search results that are more easily usable by blind and visually impaired users. Regular Google search helps you find a set of documents that is most relevant to your tasks. Accessible Search goes one step further by helping you find the most accessible pages in that result set."

" Google defines accessible websites and pages as content that the blind and visually challenged can use and consume using standard online technology, and we've worked with a number of organizations to determine which websites and pages meet those criteria. Our methods for identifying accessible pages and content are always evolving; Currently we take into account several factors, including a given page's simplicity, how much visual imagery it carries and whether or not it's primary purpose is immediately viable with keyboard navigation." link via Peter Scott's Library Blog .

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Surveillance State

Statewatch News Online reports on the implications of biometric passports:

Friday, July 14, 2006


A new free online service was launched today, with a database containing 113567 records:
"Intute is a free online service providing you with access to the very best Web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in our database and write high quality descriptions of the resources." Intute replaces the older Resource Discovery Network.

Forgotten Shelley Poem Surfaces

A 172 line anti-war poem written by Shelley and included in a rare pamphlet entitled Poetical Essay on the Existing Order of Things, (1811) has been put up for sale by antiquarian bookseller Bernard Quaritch Ltd. The full story is on the BBC News website:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Cult of the Outsider

Sean Coughlan dissects the appeal of the Albert Camus novel The Outsider for the BBC Magazine:

Friday, July 07, 2006

More Asset Stripping
The asset-stripping craze that is sweeping library authorities across the country has deprived another community of a library. Barnet Council has announced it is to sell Totteridge Library building to a property developer based in the Virgin Islands. The Council orginally intended to sell the building in return for a new library building, but as no takers were forthcoming they decided to put it on what is euphemistically described as the "open market" - which of course gives an advantage to companies registered in tax havens. "A new library will not be provided" reports the Barnet & Potters Bar Times, although the Council will net £1.5 million from this particular sale:

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Last of the Bohemians

Nicholas Wroe interviews Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, novelist, publisher and founder of San Francisco's City Lights Bookshop, in the Guardian:,,1809862,00.html