Notes and Comment Blog

Which from my seat is just so bloody stupid

Oct 2nd, 2013 5:22 pm | By

Now to excerpt a little.

In any case, the part where he kind of agrees with anti-rapist educators is over (we’re about 30 seconds in) – next up, the “HOWEVER…”

However, there is part of this video – which is a very widely seen message online – which from my seat is just so bloody stupid. And this is the sentiment that just because something is against the law, that you should under no circumstances take steps to reduce your risks in such an environment.

Got that? The first argument that Thunderf00t is going to tackle is the one that states “that you should under no circumstances take steps to reduce your risks in such an environment.”

“Under no circumstances should you take steps to reduce risk”.

This is what Thunderf00t thinks is meant by campaigns that say things like “Don’t tell me how to dress, tell them not to rape.” Thunderf00t believes – or pretends to believe – that feminist campaigns to shift the focus of rape education from potential victim to potential rapist are emphatically telling people not to take basic precautions.

As if women aren’t already keenly aware of all the things they can and must do to minimise risk. As if women don’t already take all the precautions they can and still get raped.

Either deliberately, or out of mind-hosing intellectual incompetence, Thunderf00t misunderstands the reasoning behind the soundbite slogans he chooses to highlight. Women takes steps to minimise risks, get raped regardless, and then are told by authorities, friends, colleagues and wankers like Thunderf00t that if only they’d done just one more thing differently, it might not have happened.

The “Don’t Teach Me, Teach Them” slogans are a response to decades of victim blaming,  not an attempt to make women think they’re rape-proof, and only an idiot or a fucking prick would be unable to grasp that. And Thunderf00t is a very clever man who does science and stuff, so I guess he can’t be an idiot.

That’s so satisfying. Phil Mason makes me too gibbery with rage to even attempt analysis; I’m so glad someone did it.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

A public service

Oct 2nd, 2013 5:08 pm | By

I’ve no time to excerpt or annotate now because I have to read and read and read and read, but in the meantime – you should know about Mike Booth’s NINE PART demolition of Phil Mason aka Thunderfoot’s rape-apology video. It starts here and goes on for EIGHT MORE which is dedication beyond the whatsit.

(Mike Booth, in case you’ve forgotten, is Some Grey Bloke and Dan Cardamon – not the actor in Dan Cardamon but the author of him.)

One favorite, from part 9:

The inflection Thunderf00t is using at this point is known in acting circles as “Can you dial the condescension back a bit because nobody talks like that?”

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The return of the pineapple

Oct 2nd, 2013 4:32 pm | By

Rory Fenton has a very apropos article at the Rationalist Association calling for non-religious students to resist the tide of religious privilege at universities.

What happens when you go to university? New stuff! New ideas, new people, new categories of ideas, new all sorts.

In the midst of this, many find themselves doubting or losing their religious beliefs. For them and for those who have never been religious, non-religious societies on campus, whether called “atheist”, “humanist”, “secular”, “freethinking”, “rationalist” or “ex-Muslim” (and non-religious groups can rival the gay rights movement for the sheer number of inclusive terms they use), can be a second home. At their best they are oases of free debate and discussion, challenging their members as well as the wider campus community to question dogma and speak up for reason.

But then that’s exactly why some people hate them, isn’t it. It’s also, depressingly, why some other people feel the need to support the people who are threatened by the questioning of dogma at the expense of the people questioning dogma. Last year at Reading University, for example.

It all started with a pineapple.

The pineapple in question was sat on the stall of Reading University’s Atheist Society. The pineapple was called “Mohammad”, as indicated by a sticker, and was there to promote an upcoming discussion on freedom of speech and blasphemy. Reading Students’ Union soon received complaints from Muslim students. Rather than defend their members’ rights to free speech, the union demanded the pineapple be removed. When Reading Atheists refused, they were kicked out of the Freshers Fair altogether. The union then updated their behavioural policy to forbid societies from causing “offence” to other students or even to members of the wider local community. The policy offers no definition of offence, creating in essence a blasphemy ban. The policy remains unchanged, forcing Reading Atheists to choose between signing the document and leaving the union altogether.

And, indeed, as I noted, the union has kicked Reading Atheists out of the union altogether.

The religious privileges that have censored atheist societies have also allowed religiously inspired bigotry to march on unheeded on UK campuses. Christian and Muslim societies regularly invite speakers with deeply homophobic and sexist views to their events, including those who have advocated the death penalty for homosexuals. Fortunately, the speakers are not permitted to air these views on campus, focusing instead on more general topics, but being invited to these universities lends them a perverse legitimacy.

It’s necessary to push back. Do what you can to help the student atheists, secularists and humanists.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Thames Valley v secularism

Oct 2nd, 2013 11:41 am | By

Remember Reading University Student Union and its affiliated group Reading University Atheist, Humanist, and Secularist Society? The group that had a pineapple named Mohammed on its table at last year’s Freshers’ Fayre and got kicked out of the fayre by the Student Union as a result? I wrote about it almost exactly a year ago, quoting their statement via the NSS:

Among the material displayed on our stall was a pineapple. We labelled this pineapple “Mohammed”, to encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty, as well as to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we were informed by a member of RUSU staff that there had been complaints about the pineapple, despite the fact that no complaints had been made at any point to anybody on the stall. Our commitment to freedom of expression meant that we refused to remove the pineapple from our stall. After a few minutes, we were told by another member of RUSU staff that “Either the pineapple goes, or you do”, whereupon they seized the pineapple and tried to leave. However, the pineapple was swiftly returned, and shortly was displayed again, with the name Mohammed changed to that of Jesus.

Shortly afterwards, the second RUSU staff member returned and ordered RAHS to leave the Freshers’ Fayre. At this point, a group of around five students, some of whom self-identified as Muslim, approached the stall and began to criticise us, asking and telling us to remove the pineapple. Though these students mainly engaged in discussion, one removed the label from the pineapple without our permission.

In the end they felt compelled to leave, so they did.

Now a year on, the Student Union has disaffiliated the ASH group and declared it dissolved, so they are again outside the tent for the Freshers’ Fayre. They’re there now, for another twenty minutes.

Apparently Reading University’s Student Union simply doesn’t allow avowed atheism or secularism or humanism. That’s no good.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

What the raven said

Oct 2nd, 2013 11:25 am | By

This joke comes from 25 Jokes Only Book Nerds Will Understand, which headlines this week’s THE LIST LIST, our weekly round-up of the best bookish lists on the internet. Check out the rest here:

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Love us love our elite

Oct 2nd, 2013 11:20 am | By

Friends of Ralph Miliband’s say the Daily Mail’s version of him is grotesque.

Tariq Ali, a long-time friend of Ralph Miliband, who worked and campaigned alongside the academic from the 1970s until his death, has described the Daily Mail article attacking him as “utterly grotesque”.

Ali said: “It is a wild assault both on Ralph and his son, and the aim, of course, is to try and discredit the family as a whole, which is what one expects from a newspaper like this … completely crazed stuff.

“Ralph’s position was, of course, much, much, better than the Daily Mail, which was a pro-fascist paper until the war broke out – so to get lessons from the Daily Mail on this is quite extraordinary.”

Well the farther Right you go the more everyone to the Left of you looks like the parody Socialist monster (and likewise if you reverse all the terms, no doubt).

Hilary Wainwright, who worked with Miliband in the 1980s, on the Socialist Society, said the attack on him was a case of “playing the man not the ball”.

She added: “They are not dealing with what they are really concerned about – which is the fact that Ed has actually identified some popular policies.

“Ralph did not treat Britain as homogenous. He was extremely committed and engaged with the British labour movement and in a way you could say he spent his life outlining what they were up against … He would, at the same time, be highly critical of the British establishment and the British elite, but that was not a sign of a hatred of Britain but of a hatred of the ruling class and inequality.

“He was a passionate advocate of social justice and in that sense was very much part of the British tradition of dissent from the Levellers … he would situate himself within that dissenting tradition.”

Well if you think Britain (or the US or whatever country is hosting a particular dispute over dissent) is the establishment and the elite, and everyone else is just some pesky outsider rabble there to do the dirty work and shut up about it, then being highly critical of the establishment and the elite is the same as hating the whole country. And we know that is how some members of the elite and the pro-elite party do think. Remember Romney and the 49 percent?

Update: Illustration via Gnu Atheism.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Put the scissors down

Oct 1st, 2013 3:54 pm | By

In better news – the countries which I think of as Scandinavia plus Finland but which are properly called Nordic (I learned via this story) want to get rid of infant circumcision.

Yesterday, during a meeting in Oslo, Nordic ombudsmen for children, Nordic paediatricians, and paediatric surgeons agreed a resolution urging their national governments to work for a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.

The children’s ombudsmen from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), along with the Chair of the Danish Children’s Council and the Children’s spokesperson for Greenland, passed a resolution to: “Let boys decide for themselves whether they want to be circumcised.”

Note that it’s just a resolution and that they’re not legislators, but it’s a step. That’s good. This business of snipping at children’s genitals for no good reason has got to stop. The stopping has to start somewhere.

The ombudsmen concluded that: “Circumcision without a medical indication on a person unable to provide informed consent conflicts with basic principles of medical ethics.” They found the procedure “to be in conflict with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, articles 12, and 24 (3) which say that children should have the right to express their own views and must be protected from traditional rituals that may be harmful to their health.”

Dr Antony Lempert, a GP and spokesperson for the UK Secular Medical Forum (SMF) applauded this historic resolution and urged the UK and devolved Governments to work towards protecting all UK children at risk of forced genital cutting.

He said: “This important statement by the Nordic child protection experts is grounded in common sense. Children’s basic rights to bodily integrity and to form their own beliefs should not be overridden because of their parents’ religious or cultural practices.”

Dr Lempert argued that, “with an increasing awareness of serious irreversible harm caused to boys and girls from forced genital cutting it is time for the genitals of all children to be protected from people with knives and strong religious or cultural beliefs. There can be no justification for healthy children to be forcibly cut. All children deserve society’s protection from serious harm.”


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

“That is a lie, it’s a lie, and I’m not willing to let it stand”

Oct 1st, 2013 3:19 pm | By

Ed Milliband talks to the BBC about the Daily Mail’s ugly insistence that Ralph Milliband hated Britain.

Later, in an interview with reporters, Mr Miliband said it was “perfectly legitimate” for newspapers to discuss his father’s politics.

But he said: “I was appalled when I read the Daily Mail on Saturday and I saw them say he hated Britain. It’s a lie.

“I’m even more appalled that they repeated that lie today and they’ve gone further and described my father’s legacy as evil. Evil is a word reserved for particular cases and I wasn’t willing to let that stand.”

He added that there were “boundaries” that newspapers should adhere to.

“It’s not about regulation… but it is about me saying I think morality and our approach to these things matters.”

He’s not going to send in soldiers. He’s not going to throw the reporter in prison. It’s not about regulation, it’s about morality.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Lies and brutality

Oct 1st, 2013 3:05 pm | By

Everyone in the UK is up in arms over the Daily Mail and Ed Miliband. The Mail published a horrible article about Ralph Miliband, father of Ed and David (a former Labour MP). Ed M and many other people said it was horrible, the Mail refused to apologize.

The Daily Mail is under fire after it refused to apologise to Ed Miliband over an article that labelled his late father “the man who hated Britain”.

The paper prompted an angry stream of reaction on Tuesday morning when it stood by the profile published on Saturday, which said the beliefs of Ralph Miliband “should disturb everyone who loves this country”.

The Mail agreed to print a right of reply by the Labour leader, but ran it alongside an abridged version of the original article and a trenchant 1,000-word editorial headlined “An evil legacy and why we won’t apologise”.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg waded into the row on Tuesday, backing Miliband’s  response. Cameron said he had not read the original article but said that “if anyone had a go at my father, I would want to respond vigorously”.

Clegg wrote on Twitter: “I support Ed Miliband defending his dad. Politics should be about playing the ball, not the man, certainly not the man’s family.”

The former Labour MP David Miliband tweeted: “My dad loved Britain. Here’s the truth,” and linked to his brother’s article defending their father, who fled Belgium aged 16 to escape the Nazis.

Ugly, isn’t it.

I very rarely link to anything in the Mail, and when I do I explain that I avoid it and do so only when I can’t find another source. It’s a horrible newspaper.

The Guardian reports on Ed M’s fury at the Mail’s refusal to apologize.

“I’m furious because what is political debate coming to in this country when this happens? That’s why I’ve spoken out,” he said in a television interview with BBC News on Tuesday. “It’s an unusual step to speak out. I don’t do it lightly but I am not willing to see my father’s good name undermined in this way.”

The Daily Mail prompted an angry stream of reaction after it stood by the blistering personal attack with a trenchant 1,000-word editorial headlined “An evil legacy and why we won’t apologise”. The newspaper agreed to print a right of reply by Miliband, but ran it alongside an abridged version of the original article.

“I was appalled when I read the Daily Mail on Saturday and saw them saying that he hated Britain. It’s a lie,” the visibly angry Labour leader told the BBC.

“I’m even more appalled that they repeated that lie today and have gone further and described my father’s legacy as ‘evil’. Evil is a word reserved for particular cases and I was not willing to let that stand.

“It’s perfectly legitimate for the Daily Mail to talk about my father’s politics but when they say that he hated Britain I was not willing to put up with that because my father loved Britain, my father served in the Royal Navy, he was a refugee who came here and found security in this country.

“What I’m interested in is defending my father’s good name. I don’t want the British people to think my father hated Britain – because he loved Britain. When the Daily Mail not only says that but publishes a photo on its website of his gravestone with a pun about it saying he was a grave socialist … I’m furious because what is political debate coming to in this country when this happens? That’s why I’ve spoken out.”

Here we have two things that poison politics and public discourse in general – lies and brutality. People should do better than that.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Unusual weather for the time of year

Oct 1st, 2013 1:56 pm | By

I knew that was a very rainy Saturday and a rainy windy stormy weekend but I didn’t know quite how rainy windy stormy it was. It broke records.

1.71 inches of rain Saturday, which is more than the normal amount for the whole month of September.

The center of the storm moved ashore the center of Vancouver Island (in British Columbia, Canada) early this morning* with a minimum pressure of 970 mb, deeper than any hurricane to form in the tropical Atlantic this hurricane season. On West Vancouver Island, a wind gust was clocked at 76 mph (122 km/h) Sunday night.

And there was even a tiny tornado 40 miles south of here.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Have faith in the young Emir

Oct 1st, 2013 12:24 pm | By

Nick Cohen has no time for what aboutery, for “how can you from the West talk about that instead of talking about the West,” for righteous indifference. He wrote that piece last week about the way Qatar treats immigrant labor, and got some whataboutery in response.

After publication, a couple of people contacted me to say that the Open Democracy website had published a ‘reasoned’ critique of my article.

Maybe I had got my facts wrong, I thought. I did not seem to be wide of the mark. The next day Robert Booth of the Guardian ran a tough and well-sourced piece on how Qatar’s World Cup building programme would cost 4000 lives by 2022. The International Trade Union Confederation denounced Fifa’s culpability in the scandal, and the International Labour Organisation said that Qatar was refusing to follow basic standards.

But the misnamed “Open Democracy” was more interested in making excuses for a closed and absolute monarchy than the vulgar business of ascertaining how many corpses were piling were up in morgues.  If one must talk about the bodies, it said as it began its reproof, one must abjure vulgar emotion and adopt a polite tone. I had ‘overstepped some lines’, and forgotten that ‘the way one words a critical piece about Qatar affects the way it is perceived’.  (Not perceived by the 1.7 million migrants in Qatar, of course, but by the 225,000-strong group of natives above them.)

How does the author of the Open Democracy piece, Michael Stephens, put it?

Simply put, the way one words a critical piece about Qatar affects the way it is perceived. Most Qataris know there are serious problems with labour rights in the country, they are not cold unfeeling monsters. Yes, there can be racial divides and negative stereotypes which reflect badly on the local population. But the vast majority of Qataris know reform must come, and that the clock is ticking down towards 2022, a time in which the country will come under the spotlight of the world’s gaze. If the laws stay as they are, that gaze will be not be a favourable one.

Covering important issues such as the issue of Gulf workers and the Kafala (sponsorship) system needs the input of the locals themselves, and to actually get them to engage with the issue. Nowhere in Cohen’s piece is there actually a view of a Qatari expressed. We’re not even made aware if the locals have an opinion on this issue or not, or the Emir, or the Ministries.

The idea seems to be that one mustn’t just criticize from outside, although it’s not really spelled out why. Let’s assume the why is “because only insiders can fix the problem and they won’t do that unless you consult them.” But that’s not true. Often it is external pressure that pushes vicious systems into reform. In any case, as Nick points out, the 1.7 million migrants are insiders too, so why shouldn’t Nick address them rather than the 225,000 locals who exploit them?

Open Democracy believes that reform is coming – although a little late for the maimed and dead, it concedes. We should put our faith in the ‘young emir’ – in much the same way that credulous Russian peasants once hoped that young Tsars would ease their burdens. Outsiders, however, must bite their tongues and mind their p’s and q’s as they wait. My critic, a British ex-pat, who teaches in a local university, said that even liberals in the Qatari elite would respond to my piece by saying:

Who are you Westerner, who built your power on the extermination of locals across the globe and the exploitation of human beings for centuries, to lecture us on how to treat people?

You criticise us but are more than happy to take our money when you need it for everything from paying off your debt, to your shops, to your skyscrapers, and your football teams.

When your western construction companies come into Qatar they are the first ones to hire teams of cheap Asian labourers to do the job. Look at yourselves first before criticising us.”

The writer was all for this notion that Western outsiders were too compromised to complain. But notice how he packages his justification: indifference to the suffering

of exploited workers is what you would expect to hear from a PR man in a global corporation. But here it is dressed up in the clothes of anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism – of righteousness, in short. Righteous indifference is still indifference, but it makes doing or saying nothing sound like the liberal course to follow.

As Open Democracy raised the question of tone, I should say I loathe its tone of voice more than any other. It is the note you hear when you are told to forget about secularism or women’s rights (especially women’s rights) as religious conservatives march. It is the throat-clearing used to justify tyranny and excuse the barbarism of radical Islam. It is that sing-song, world-weary note that makes shrugging your shoulders and turning away appear virtuous.

A pox on whataboutery.


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

If a woman drives a car

Oct 1st, 2013 9:03 am | By

New information: women shouldn’t drive because driving bends their ovaries and that makes their babies come out broken.

It’s a Saudi cleric who discovered this, via research he hasn’t mentioned yet.

“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” Sheikh Lohaidan told the news website

“That is why we find those who regularly drive have children with clinical problems of varying degrees.”

Sheikh Lohaidan is reported to be opposed to reform more generally and granting women more rights in the kingdom.

Maybe if Saudi women did yoga as well as driving, they’d be all right.

Update: illustration by Gnu Atheism.



(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Nice little economy you got here

Oct 1st, 2013 8:36 am | By

Countries other than the US are puzzled by the US’s reckless destructive way of governing.

That leaders of one of the most powerful nations on earth willingly provoked a crisis that suspends public services and decreases economic growth is astonishing to many.

American policymakers “are facing the unthinkable prospect of shutting down the government as they squabble over the inconsequential accomplishment of a 10-week funding extension”, Mexico’s The News wrote in an editorial.

In the United States, however, government shutdowns – or the threat thereof – have become an accepted negotiating tactic, thanks to the quirks of the American federal system, which allows different branches of government to be controlled by different parties. It was a structure devised by the nation’s founders to encourage compromise and deliberation, but lately has had just the opposite effect.

Oh I don’t think it’s become an accepted negotiating tactic. Most people see it as plain gangsterish extortion.

“Canadians can only pray their economy won’t be collateral damage,” writes John Ibbitson in Canada’s Globe and Mail. “Anything that drags down the American economy drags the Canadian economy down with it.”

And this could be another reason why the United States has shutdown crises and other countries don’t – because the United States can afford to. At least up until now, the American economy has been able to continue to grind along despite shutdown disruptions that would stagger other nations.

And it also makes it all the more disgusting – dragging down not just our economy but those of other countries too, out of sheer infantile pigheadedness and resentment.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Well don’t you?

Sep 30th, 2013 5:13 pm | By

A useful item that someone gave me on Facebook.

Eneraldo Carneiro's photo.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Nonsense on stilts

Sep 30th, 2013 4:20 pm | By

So the Tories are planning to ditch the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Conservative party is prepared to withdraw from the European convention on human rights (ECHR) after the next election, the home secretary Theresa May has said, as she detailed a fresh drive to curb the appeal rights of 70,000 people who face deportation every year.

“The next Conservative manifesto will promise to scrap the Human Rights Act. It’s why Chris Grayling is leading a review of our relationship with the European court [of human rights],” she told the party’s conference. “And it’s why the Conservative position is clear – if leaving the European convention is what it takes to fix our human rights laws, that is what we should do,” she said to applause.

May was followed by the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, who set out a timetable for the development of their policy for a radical reform of human rights law. He said the Conservatives would publish a document in 2014 “setting out what we will do, when we will do it, and how we will do it”, followed by a draft bill setting out the legal detail later in the year.

May’s explicit statement followed David Cameron’s hint on Sunday that the Tories were openly considering the “nuclear option” of withdrawing from the ECHR, despite warnings from the attorney general, Dominic Grieve, and others, of the damage to Britain’s international standing.

What could possibly go wrong?


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Too mighty

Sep 30th, 2013 3:39 pm | By

From April 2009, Jesus and Mo on Blasphemy Day:


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Another Blasphemy Day card

Sep 30th, 2013 3:29 pm | By

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

The Monday mendacity

Sep 30th, 2013 3:23 pm | By

Sara Mayhew is still desperately seeking attention. Every once in awhile I grant her wish. Today is one such time. She fired off a bunch of tweets at me earlier today; I retweeted some; Nick Cohen (who’s a friend of mine) replied to one.


Not quite accurate.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Blackadder celebrates the day

Sep 30th, 2013 3:05 pm | By

It’s International Blasphemy Day, people!


(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Christos Pappas turns himself in

Sep 30th, 2013 12:08 pm | By

More on Golden Dawn.

A Greek lawmaker sought by police surrendered on Sunday, bringing to six the number of legislators from the extreme-right Golden Dawn party now in custody and facing criminal charges.

Christos Pappas — a lawmaker described by prosecutors as the Golden Dawn’s No. 2 official — was formally charged with membership in a criminal organization with intent to commit crimes, like his five fellow legislators, including Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos.

Besides the six lawmakers, another 14 Golden Dawn members and two police officers have been arrested and charged with the same crimes. Another 10 suspects, for whom arrest warrants were issued Saturday, are still at large, officials said.

They’ve been gathering the goods.

The prosecution was made possible by a report from a Supreme Court prosecutor, Haralambos Vourliotis. The report lays out the allegations against the Golden Dawn leadership, including murder, attempted murder, carrying out explosions, possessing explosives and robbery.

The prosecutor’s report says that from the moment Golden Dawn was founded, in 1987, as a neo-Nazi organization, the party structure was paralleled by a military-type operational force whose trained members attacked people, mainly immigrants, based on the party’s ideology. The strict hierarchical structure meant the party leadership knew of every local attack and commands flew from the top to local chapters, the report says.

The recurring lust for fascism.

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)