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August 4th, 2014

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  1. rog
    August 4th, 2014 at 08:16 | #1

    The climate change debate that has raged in the public forum in Australia—and, in similar form, in the United States—has unfortunately been governed more by politics, ideology, and money than by facts. For example, much to my dismay, after appearing on a television program in Australia, on which I ended up debating a senator from the governing Liberal Party on issues that included climate change, I offered to come to his office to show him data on climate trends, including sea level rise and ocean acidification, with the hope that the data might affect the policies he advocated. He told me that he wasn’t interested in such a discussion, because he had a constituency that supported his current opposition to carbon emission controls, and that is what mattered to him.


  2. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2014 at 15:01 | #2

    Climate Change: If we pretend it isn’t happening, we will go away. It’s called extinction.

  3. Megan
    August 4th, 2014 at 15:02 | #3

    Speaking of anniversaries and the beginnings of war, today (4th August) is the 50th anniversary of the “Second Gulf of Tonkin Incident” – an event that didn’t actually happen and was used, in the absence of any evidence, to start the Vietnam war proper.

    LBJ broadcast a speech at about midnight, here is an excerpt:

    In the larger sense this new act of aggression, aimed directly at our own forces, again brings home to all of us in the United States the importance of the struggle for peace and security in southeast Asia. Aggression by terror against the peaceful villagers of South Vietnam has now been joined by open aggression on the high seas against the United States of America.

    The determination of all Americans to carry out our full commitment to the people and to the government of South Vietnam will be redoubled by this outrage. Yet our response, for the present, will be limited and fitting. We Americans know, although others appear to forget, the risks of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war.

    And then they killed a few million people.

  4. Debbieanne
    August 4th, 2014 at 15:49 | #4
  5. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2014 at 16:25 | #5

    Historical sidenote:-

    “George Stephen Morrison (January 7, 1919 – November 17, 2008) was a United States Navy rear admiral and naval aviator. Morrison was commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964, which sparked an escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was the father of Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the rock band The Doors.” – Wikipedia.

    The loop was closed perhaps when Francis Ford Coppola used the Doors soundtrack “The End” to open the movie “Apocalypse Now”.

  6. Megan
    August 4th, 2014 at 19:36 | #6


    Yes, of course. 2014 edit:

    “It is important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.”

    “It is important, when we look back, to recall how afraid people were after the Gulf of Tonkin terror attack and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent.”

    “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we killed several million folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values. I understand why it happened.”

    “We have to as a country take responsibility for that so hopefully we don’t do it again in the future.

    Emphasis added to highlight the low expectations the US has even of itself.

  7. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 04:39 | #7

    Darling of the anti-science Left and organic food advocate, Mike Adams, advocates the mass slaughter of scientists and others who GMO.

  8. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 04:40 | #8

    Darling of the anti-science Left and organic food advocate, Mike Adams, advocates the mass slaughter of scientists and others who support GMO.

  9. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 5th, 2014 at 12:19 | #9

    @Watkin Tench
    Why should anyone on this blog care what some idiot says?

  10. Fran Barlow
    August 5th, 2014 at 13:43 | #10

    @Watkin Tench

    I had never heard of Mike Adams, much less held him in high esteem so I punched his name into google. After getting past Mixed martial arts and baseball players, I found that there is apparently someone associated with a website called “nature news” by that name. He apparently goes by the name “HealthRanger” on twitter.

    As far as I can tell from this brief search he is nobody’s darling. All of the articles I saw were from people condemning him, including from one that appeared to be from someone supporting organic food. I found no leftists defending him.

    Just so you know.

  11. Fran Barlow
    August 5th, 2014 at 13:44 | #11


    including from one that appeared to be from someone supporting organic food

  12. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 14:37 | #12


  13. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 14:44 | #13

    Mike Adams’ Natural News website has an Alexa worlwide raking of approx 2,100 and gets approx 5 million unique visitors to his site each month. This makes it one of the most influential pro-organic sites on the web.

    All major pro-organic websites engage in Monsatan trutherism.

  14. Uncle Milton
    August 5th, 2014 at 16:54 | #14

    The Government (or more likely Tony Abbott, unilaterally) has decided not to repeal 18C after all . This piece of IPA-ism looks like it’s an unintended victim of events in Gaza. The Jewish community has been vocal in opposing the repeal, and the Government is not going to go against them now.

    And then there’s the rather unfortunate cartoon that appeared in the SMH, which George “everyone has the right to be a bigot” Brandis condemned as worse than Julius Streicher on a bad day. I don’t know if Brandis has been asked yet whether he supported the right of the cartoonist to publish that cartoon but the question was surely coming. Any answer – yes, no or in between – would have made him look bad.

    The whole 18C thing was a mess which would have had the Government tied up in knots, as if they don’t have enough problems.

  15. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 5th, 2014 at 17:21 | #15

    @Watkin Tench
    Did you have some kind of point?

  16. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 19:06 | #16

    I think the point is that the looney tunes on the Left have a frightening and highly effective anti-science and anti-progress agenda when it comes to food production and in particular the improvement of agriculture and in the long run this is probably a much bigger issue than climate change denialism on the Right.

    It is highly unlikely that the world will be able to feed the ~ 9.5 billion world population predicted for 2050 if the looney tunes have their way.

  17. August 5th, 2014 at 20:43 | #17

    @Watkin Tench
    Oh watkin I say? There are so many interesting and clever people looking at how we can improve our soil using compost and permaculture techniques, how we combine indigenous and exotic plants to maximise yields and prevent soil erosion and declining soil fertility, and so much more.

    They are people who know what they’re talking about. You would do better to engage with them, instead of going on about things you don’t seem to know much about.

    Try googling ecohealth if you really want to know more.

  18. Watkin Tench
    August 5th, 2014 at 21:11 | #18

    Thanks for proving my point, Val.

  19. Patrickb
    August 5th, 2014 at 22:44 | #19

    I think we need to be just as concerned about feeding the troll as it is about feeding the world’s population, just in reverse.

  20. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 5th, 2014 at 22:47 | #20

    @Watkin Tench

    I’m curious to know what defines Mike Adams as “Left”. According to Wikipedia: “Adams is an AIDS denialist,[10] a 9/11 truther,[11] a birther[10] and endorsed conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,[12] as well as surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.” Most of these paranoid conspiracy theories are generally found on the “Right”. Mike would appear to be a loony of no fixed ideological address. Which leads to the question, who are you trying to smear with this?

  21. Nick
    August 6th, 2014 at 00:47 | #21

    March 06, 2013: Hugo Chavez may be dead, but the great cancer of socialism continues to spread

    (Natural News) Hugo Chavez is dead, leaving one less control freak tyrant desecrating our planet, but one more empty seat of corruption and power to be filled. Chavez died of cancer, we are told, but the cancer of his left-leaning philosophies continues to disease our world, even rearing its head in the United States of America where government policies increasingly mirror those of Chavez.

    April 03, 2014: The real cost of socialism: Venezuela suffers under severe shortages of flour, butter, milk and diapers

    Rising unrest and turmoil in Venezuela are side effects of the ugly, predictable face of socialism, as evidenced by the underreported realities of life in a country besieged by a bankrupt political ideology.

    In his own words, Adams is far from being a ‘leftist’ of any description.

  22. Julie Thomas
    August 6th, 2014 at 07:48 | #22

    Andrew Bolt is so irrational and emotional is he not?

    I’m listening to him on RN this morning and he says something – like a curse it seemed – to the Jewish lobby to look into their souls and see what they have wrought. I’m thinking, how does looking into one’s soul show one what one has wrought?

    Looking into one’s soul could be a useful way to spend one’s time, although I’ve never been able to find my soul – it doesn’t seem to be defined well enough in any of the books I have read about souls – or perhaps I don’t have one.

    But surely, Andy and the other irrational and emotional men should look at ‘the others’ – their enemies – and the way they force themselves on us – with an attempt at objectivity if they want to understand what they have “wrought”; and there are brain exercises they can do to be able to think more rationally.

    It is a choice they make not to try and be rational, now that we know how to do it, surely?

    Irrational people who want to be rational need to look at their cognitive processes to understand why they have wrought these bad things while convincing themselves that it is the others who have done the irrational things.

    Emotional Andrew with his improperly understood self-interest, revealed his ‘hurt’ that Tony had broken a promise to him, like it was personal, all about him and Tony; like the rest of the country – Team Australia, not! – and what we want just doesn’t matter and of course it doesn’t to libertarians.

    Oh well, another chance to laugh that the LNP – and their supporters – at the PO, and perhaps spread the insane idea that perhaps farmers and greenies like me are natural allies against neo-liberalism. The Team Australia thing is going to be a particular hoot I think.

  23. Julie Thomas
    August 6th, 2014 at 07:59 | #23

    @Watkin Tench

    hahaha the only point you proved was that you are probably a socially isolated person who is motivated to hang out here with people you don’t like and attempt to provoke some interest and a response from your enemies by posting annoying comments.

    It is interesting – to me anyway, others just find you offensive I think – that you seek out negative responses as a way of alleviating the irritability that overcomes you periodically.

  24. peter
    August 6th, 2014 at 09:19 | #24

    @Watkin Tench
    While I’m as green as they come, I have never heard an official denunciation from the Greens of the disgraceful action in decapitating an experimental GMO wheat crop at CSIRO plots in Canberra.
    Did I miss something?

  25. Collin Street
    August 6th, 2014 at 09:54 | #25

    I think we need to be just as concerned about feeding the troll as it is about feeding the world’s population, just in reverse.

    Qu’ils mangent de la merde.

  26. John Quiggin
    August 6th, 2014 at 10:55 | #26

    @Peter Regrettably, ACT Green MLA Shane Rattenbury (former Greenpeace worker) was quoted in a way that leaned towards support of this action. On the other hand, Greenpeace itself was deeply divided.


    This action, and a similar one in the UK, backfired pretty badly


    The sabotage strategy seems to have been largely abandoned as a result, at least in Australia and the UK.

  27. Watkin Tench
    August 6th, 2014 at 11:46 | #27

    I didn’t say Adams was of the Left, I said he was a darling of the Left. The people who cite this “fearlessly independent health ranger”, as he calls himself, are overwhelmingly the same crowd who bang on about woo like organic agriculture and permaculture and who have bought into the whole Vandana Shiva worl view. So what if he is also a gun nut on the side.

    On a hunch I checked on our resident self-styled media aggregator thingies website, and sure enough Mike Adams appears on her site alongside the Australian Vaccination Network and 911 truther sources like “rethink911” and the “truth out now tour”.

    Mainstream left publications still run anti-science woo by clowns like Tom Philpott and left leaning universities are still showering praise and medallions on the clowmaster herself, Vandana Shiva.

    The Left has its own Lord Monckton problem. I wish it didn’t but it does.

  28. sunshine
    August 6th, 2014 at 12:56 | #28

    The World Health Organisation now says there are more people dying from over eating than there are from under eating. The west spends more on weight loss and the effects of over eating than would be needed to feed everyone. An incredible amount of food is wasted – in India more than 1/4 gets wasted due to inefficient storage and transport infrastructure .

    It has always amazed me that people are programmed to go into a panic when without food for more than half a day, but can get heat stroke (I’ve had it) before realising they are thirsty. We eat too much.

  29. Megan
    August 6th, 2014 at 15:25 | #29

    Like everyone else here, I’ve never heard of this guy.

    On the assumption that our resident Monsanto troll was having a jibe at me above, I searched “springhillvoice” + “mike adams”.

    I got one result to some kind of link search site with one link back, but I can’t find “Mike Adams” anywhere on that page.

  30. August 6th, 2014 at 15:44 | #30

    I would like to tender a suggestion. From now on no one use the terms “left” or “right”. Instead actually give the names of the people one is talking about so we will all know who is actually being discussed. Currently I have no idea who people are talking about, and I strongly suspect that people using the terms “left” and “right” often don’t know themselves.

  31. Watkin Tench
    August 6th, 2014 at 16:11 | #31


    Here we go again. It took me less than 3 seconds to find your link to this Mike Adams page on your 12 June 2011 html page.

    But at least you don’t deny your links to Global Research, the Australian Vaccination Network and a plethora of 911 truther sites like rethink911.

    I think its telling that the most prolific commenter on this site also happens to be a Grandmaster of Woo.

    I suspect John Quiggin, who is widely considered to be a brilliant and world class researcher and thinker on economic matters (possibly Australia’s best), thinks the Left could do without the woo. Even Karl Marx would shake his head if he still had one to shake 😉

  32. Megan
    August 6th, 2014 at 16:43 | #32

    No wonder I couldn’t find his name when I searched – it isn’t there. You have to be really dedicated to slandering someone to put in that kind of effort. Obsessed, almost.

  33. Watkin Tench
    August 6th, 2014 at 16:52 | #33

    Nope, it took 3 seconds as i’ve already stated. The fact that you can’t seem to work out how to use a search engine that was designed with a chimp in mind is rather telling.

    Now I’m off to my weekly Monsatan-Five Eyes-Jewish Lobby roundtable. Cheerio 🙂

  34. zoot
    August 6th, 2014 at 17:26 | #34

    @Watkin Tench
    When you get back, please demonstrate just why Adams is a “darling of the left”.

  35. John Quiggin
    August 6th, 2014 at 17:42 | #35

    Watkin, can you take 48 hours off please. I haven’t got time to deal with whatever is going on here.

  36. August 6th, 2014 at 20:41 | #36

    Could it be there is a widespread misunderstanding among decision makers, particularly politicians, who are forming policy in relation to internet issues? Two cases come to mind. First there was the sacking by the SMH of Mike Carlton. Then there is analogy used by Tony Abbott of megadata as the address details of a letter as distinct from the letter inside. My understanding is that megadata is far more revealing about a person’s activities and potentially a greater invasion of privacy. Clearly, people who are making these decisions need to informed, and it is possible the necessary expertise does not exist about the usual drafters of legislation, or it proposers or parliamentary critics.

  37. Patrickb
    August 6th, 2014 at 23:08 | #37

    The SMH have made another huge error in sacking Carlton. Most Australians don’t have a strong position viv a vis Israel. The recent destruction of Gaza would have galvanized a sense of revulsion in most though. It’s inexplicable why elites in the media and politics seem so sensitive to the views of the Israel lobby. The latest moves by the AFL are cowardly in the extreme.

  38. Megan
    August 7th, 2014 at 00:30 | #38


    My guess is “hubris”. The lobby believe they are so powerful, with some justification, that they can do away with pretence and just come right out with their ugly face.

    That belief is misplaced and it has backfired very badly. Whether they can “get away with it” yet again remains to be seen, but my feeling is that – like the cheating lover – this time they have gone too far and it really is over for them.

    Unfortunately, I can’t see them doing humility. It’s not in their make up. Therefore VERY ugly might be how it goes in the short term.

    You can only do so many massacres at so many UN refuges before people generally start to get very sick of you.

  39. Abdul
    August 7th, 2014 at 01:02 | #39

    The Jew Lobby must be crushed.

  40. Megan
    August 7th, 2014 at 01:06 | #40


    Go to bed.

    No troll food for you.

  41. J-D
    August 7th, 2014 at 07:31 | #41


    Tony Abbott’s analogy seems reasonably accurate to me, as far as it goes. Your postal metadata could reveal how much mail you exchange with, for example, John Quiggin, while your Internet metadata could reveal how much time you spent on his website. In both cases people could use that information for the basis of further conclusions about you, which might be accurate or might be not.

  42. J-D
    August 7th, 2014 at 07:32 | #42


    If you are saying that something bad is going to happen, you are of course correct; ‘Something bad is going to happen’ is a statement that is always true. If what you are saying is any more specific than that, I do hope you can clarify it.

  43. Fran Barlow
    August 7th, 2014 at 08:10 | #43


    In practice the comparison between snail-mail and web metadata is specious.

    One can post a letter from anywhere, but the mail receptacle from which you posted it will not be recorded, whereas you always need a specific IP from which to visit web addresses or post collect email or web posts. You can of course use free web access at shopping centres, and so hide who you are. Most don’t of course.

    It’s also technically feasible to retain this data for two years, whereas data on who posted a letter to whom, when, how often and how long the letter was is not collected at all, and would be technically far harder to collect and thus retain.

    If the legislation were implemented already, then on 6 August 2016 the state could find out that I’d used an iPad on a city-bound western line train to visit and post to this website and determine by a non-technical investigation what I’d done here.

    I can’t imagine how that would help them achieve any bona fide end of public policy, but they’d have it anyway, whereas if I’d sent a letter to PrQ and he’d posted it they would have no identifying data about me at all.

  44. J-D
    August 7th, 2014 at 09:15 | #44

    @Fran Barlow

    I wasn’t evaluating the policy, but only the analogy, and I said it was reasonably accurate as far as it goes. I agree that collecting postal metadata would be technically far more difficult than collecting Internet metadata — probably so much so as to be effectively impossible — but as a hypothetical possibility I still think the analogy holds: which may mean that if they could collect that kind of postal metadata it would be just as much an invasion of privacy as the collection of Internet metadata.

    There is a similar kind of analogy between the collection of Internet metadata and the collection of information about which people I meet with in person, when, and for how long, without information about what we said when we met, something which also might be regarded as a serious invasion of privacy. I think most people with appointments diaries would object to the idea of government agents snooping through them.

  45. J-D
    August 7th, 2014 at 09:20 | #45

    Perhaps I can make myself clearer by putting the point another way. If Tony Abbott said to me directly ‘It’s not as if we want to see what’s inside your letters; we just want to know what’s on the front of the envelopes’, my response would not be ‘That’s not a valid analogy’ but rather ‘What makes you think you should be allowed to know even what’s on the front of the envelopes? isn’t that my business? how is it yours? why would you even want to know that information? what do you think you could do with it? that’s still a kind of snooping, you know, even if you don’t look inside the envelopes, and I don’t see how you think you can justify it.’

  46. rog
    August 7th, 2014 at 10:07 | #46

    @wmmbb I thought the concern was over metadata?

    Anyway, it just seems that nobody has thought this out, esp the govt. For example I could open a number of sites in different tabs and leave them up on the screen for hours, without actually spending much if any time on any one site. Then there is the issue of bots, that visit sites looking for opportunities.

  47. Ikonoclast
    August 7th, 2014 at 11:03 | #47

    Gee, you think they are only collecting metadata? And you think they are not collecting all metadata and data right now?

    Snowden summarized that “in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc. analyst has access to query raw SIGINT [signals intelligence] databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want.” – Wikipedia.

    “Also according to The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald even low-level NSA analysts are allowed to search and listen to the communications of Americans and other people without court approval and supervision. Greenwald said low level Analysts can, via systems like PRISM, “listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents. And it’s all done with no need to go to a court, with no need to even get supervisor approval on the part of the analyst.” He added that the NSA databank, with its years of collected communications, allows analysts to search that database and listen “to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you’ve entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.” Greenwald was referring in the context of the foregoing quotes to the NSA program X-Keyscore.” Wikipedia.

  48. rog
    August 7th, 2014 at 12:30 | #48

    Usually there is one ISP per household and either one device used by many or a network of devices used by many. Any data gleaned from one source could be a composite of browsing histories; a spot of gardening, some recipes and a bit of porn.

    What would this reveal? As Robert McNamara noted (Fog of War) human fallibility is indefinite and leads to war.

  49. Megan
    August 7th, 2014 at 12:54 | #49

    There was the experience of the US family who found themselves raided by militarized police/SWAT types.

    He had been looking online to buy a backpack and she had been checking out pressure cookers.

    Mistakes will be made and innocent people will inevitably suffer.

  50. Collin Street
    August 7th, 2014 at 13:14 | #50

    > Mistakes will be made and innocent people will inevitably suffer.

    The sort of person who is prone to making mistakes is also the sort of person who chafes at the restrictions a system designed to prevent their making mistakes will present.

    I mean, pretty obviously: the whole purpose of a system that stops people from making mistakes is that it stops people from doing what they want, where doing that would be a mistake.

    So some people think that there’s a conflict between systems- and person-oriented approaches: “good people will solve it and we won’t need systems” and “good systems will keep bad people on the straight and narrow”. But there really isn’t: good people will build good systems, bad people will build bad systems. Good systems will attract good people and repel the bad, and bad systems will repel the good and attract the bad. Bi-stable: good people, good systems, or bad people, bad systems. “good people in bad systems” and “bad people in good systems” solely occur as transition states. [where “bad” includes “means well but incompetent”]

    … in theory it doesn’t matter: changing systems or people will change the other eventually. In practice it’s vastly easier to start with the systems, though: getting a change-of-personnel to hold takes a lot more effort.

    [not directly responsive: this just triggered a thought that had been brewing in relation to institutional problems wrt harasment &c policies at SF conventions.]

  51. ZM
    August 7th, 2014 at 13:27 | #51

    The Washington Post reported on the people caught up in surveillance due to relationships with people who become of interest to the surveillance officers – and gives an example of the very personal details that were intercepted and kept on record in this case

    “‘I don’t like people knowing’
    She was 29 and shattered by divorce, converting to Islam in search of comfort and love. He was three years younger, rugged and restless. His parents had fled Kabul and raised him in Australia, but he dreamed of returning to Afghanistan.
    One day when she was sick in bed, he brought her tea. Their faith forbade what happened next, and later she recalled it with shame.
    “what we did was evil and cursed and may allah swt MOST merciful forgive us for giving in to our nafs [desires]”
    Still, a romance grew. They fought. They spoke of marriage. They fought again.
    All of this was in the files because, around the same time, he went looking for the Taliban.”


  52. rog
    August 7th, 2014 at 17:36 | #52

    The whitehouse report recommends dumping domestic metadata surveillance.


    Australians struggle to understand what metadata is.

  53. rog
    August 7th, 2014 at 17:38 | #53

    It’s worrying that our govt is recommending this surveillance while not understanding exactly what it is.

  54. Watkin Tench
    August 8th, 2014 at 12:17 | #54

    The Green Left’s increasingly thuggish war on science is heating up in Europe:

    On Tuesday 22 July 2014 nine “green” anti-GM organisations demanded that the incoming European Commission (EC) president abolish the position of Chief Scientific Officer, presently held by Professor Anne Glover.

    Until recently EU law has permitted cultivation of approved GM crops but also allowed member states to request a ban, provided they had scientific justification. Bowing to populism and perceived political rewards Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg and Italy all banned the cultivation of GM maize. But the science on which these bans were made is inadequate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which was asked by the EC to evaluate the legality of the bans, dismissed the merit of the scientific arguments that had been presented.

    In response anti-GM activists accused EFSA of “conflicts of interest” and in March invaded its headquarters, clashing with police.

  55. August 8th, 2014 at 14:07 | #55

    Perhaps if we collected enough metadata we’d know how many people don’t understand what it is? (As well as knowing their fetishes.)

  56. August 8th, 2014 at 14:08 | #56

    Watkin, some names, please. How can you expect young people to become engaged in politics when you old fogies keep talking in code where you expect everyone else to know who you’re talking about?

  57. Fran Barlow
    August 8th, 2014 at 14:35 | #57

    @Ronald Brak

    Watkin, some names, please. How can you expect young people to become engaged in politics when you old fogies keep talking in code where you expect everyone else to know who you’re talking about?

    He’s using the same approach to specification as that US judge all those years ago who said that while he didn’t know what pr0n was, he knew it when he saw it.


  58. John Quiggin
    August 8th, 2014 at 14:44 | #58

    I Googled and the only named organization is Greenpeace. I’ve had my say on Greenpeace and GM here


    But that doesn’t justify Watkin’s blanket smear.

  59. Fran Barlow
    August 8th, 2014 at 15:01 | #59

    And Greenpeace is not a leftwing organisation. It’s an environmental organisation that often appeals to liberals. It’s largely an American affectation to blur the lines betweemn social liberals and leftists, using the latter term to describe the former.

    There was a time when many conservatives were into conservation. Occasionally, some rightist takes a swing at me on the basis that environmentalists are putative [email protected] — a position that Bolt often takes.

  60. John Quiggin
    August 8th, 2014 at 15:15 | #60

    The Peace element in Greenpeace used to be a lot more prominent.

  61. Fran Barlow
    August 8th, 2014 at 16:00 | #61

    @John Quiggin

    Well they are a lot less in the face of the whale harvesters than Sea Shepherd, so they’re still peaceable about that.

    The control exercised by the centre over the branches is as I understand it, fairly loose, with the result that local branches are able to go a fair way off the reservation. In organisations that rely substantially on volunteers and goodwill, this is always a management challenge.

  62. Paul Norton
    August 8th, 2014 at 17:02 | #62

    Here is a very interesting analysis of the Gaza tragedy and its consequences.


  63. Watkin Tench
    August 8th, 2014 at 18:29 | #63

    Pr Quiggin,

    I read your piece on Greenpeace and I am in furious agreement.

    My hyperbole, which you describe as a a “blanket smear”, doesn’t exceed the hyperbole and smear directed at yourself and pro-GM stakeholders by your Green Left opponents. Hyperbole is lingua franca of the bloggy world 🙂

    Gradually the grown-ups on the Left are switching sides on the GM issue. Unfortunately the Greens under Christine Milne have only become more infantile judging by the silly old thing’s press releases on GMOs.

  64. Watkin Tench
    August 8th, 2014 at 23:34 | #64

    Jihad über London.

    When a passerby tried to take a picture of the flag on a phone, one of the gang asked him if he was Jewish. The passerby replied: “Would it make a difference?” The youth said: “Yes, it f#cking would.”

  65. Nick
    August 9th, 2014 at 02:00 | #65

    The writing on the flags says:

    Muhammad is the prophet of Allah, the one God

    The two banners say:

    Gaza – Stop the Massacre

    Gaza – End the Siege


    There’s an interview with Brian Eno there that’s worth reading.

  66. J-D
    August 9th, 2014 at 08:44 | #66

    @Watkin Tench

    ‘Hyperbole is lingua franca of the bloggy world’?

    That’s the most shameless piece of arrant nonsense I have ever read in my entire life. I have never previously encountered the intellectual impairment that would be necessary to produce such a ludicrous statement. The public adoption of such a contemptible stance conclusively demonstrates utter unfitness for decent society.

  67. Watkin Tench
    August 9th, 2014 at 10:33 | #67


    I have cried so many tears since reading your wickedly cruel reply that I now find myself dehydrated 😉

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