67 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. 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.”


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

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. @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.


  6. 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 N@zis — a position that Bolt often takes.

  7. @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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.”

  10. 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.

  11. @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.

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