45 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. On Whitlam and the CIA I note that Peter Carey’s latest book, Amnesia, reviewed yesterday, is centred on and around the dismissal. The title seems to sum up his incredulity at the way that Australians either forget true history or are, in my view, clubbed into silence on the subject.

  2. Yes, interesting that Carey says;

    “Well, I mean, I’ve always been concerned about or angry about what happened to our country in 1975, where it is my belief and the belief of many serious journalists and writers that the US Government destabilised and helped overthrow our elected government.”

    Note the words “…the belief of many serious journalists and writers that the US Government destabilised and helped overthrow our elected government.”

    He might also have added “the belief of many serious intellectuals”.

    Now, before the quibblers and medieval schoolmen start on the word “belief”, Carey means “my thesis based on considerable real world evidence”. There is a difference but I don’t expect the medieval schoolmen to understand that point.

    Medieval Schoolmen are kind of like “The men with sticks and rope”. 😉

  3. I note, with unsurprised disgust, that the ALP (via Marles on Murdoch’s Sky – according to the Grauniad) is going to adopt boat towbacks.

    I have less contempt for LNP voters than I do for ALP voters. You don’t hear LNP voters pretending they don’t support their party’s cruel policies or denying that LNP policies are what they are.

  4. @Megan

    Yes, LNP voters are openly inhumane and proud of it. ALP voters pretend they are humane and then vote for the same inhumane policies. One wonders which action is worst.

  5. If Peter Carey’s put it in a novel, how can it be questioned? Is there any test more decisive than adoption as the thesis of a novel?

  6. @Ikonoclast

    One wonders which action is worst.

    The ALP voters are worse in my opinion.

    The ALP can’t survive without the rusted on true believers saying one thing and then voting for a party that does the opposite – consistently – and lecturing those of us who retain our humanity that it is our fault that this country is so fascist.

    I turned on the commercial TV news (Channel 7) to see if they mentioned the Marles/ALP refugee story. They didn’t, but they did run a story about a young girl detained by immigration in filthy cramped conditions – it was a tragic story. This girl was scared and has no idea if or when she will be released. Her family and friends are desperately worried about her, and thanks to Channel 7 I imagine a lot of other people will voice their support.

    Of course the only reason we care about this girl detained by immigration in such conditions is because she is an Australian tourist, the detention is in Mexico (which she entered illegally) and she is white.

  7. @Ikonoclast

    Actually, the reference you made to a position being held by many serious intellectuals, as if this was a relevant test, is exactly the sort of thing to be expected of a medieval schoolman.

  8. @Megan

    [I note, with unsurprised disgust, that the ALP (via Marles on Murdoch’s Sky – according to the Grauniad) is going to adopt boat towbacks.]

    There must be a word for the kind of disgusted you are when you hear something disgusting but are so little surprised by it that you are no longer more disgusted than before you heard the news. All I can manage is a world weary sigh, a shake of the head and a feeling of profound sadness that the ‘world is f*kt’ and there’s nothing I or anyone who is as almost as scandalised as I am can do about it.

    Not so very long ago, Richard Marles turned up at the Toongabbie Community Centre with local member Michelle Rowland. He was as lamentable as you’d imagine — defensive, dissembling and unable to defend either the ethics or even the efficacy of his party’s position. I stood up and harangued him for a few minutes. The gathering, which was substantially of Tamil origin enjoyed the ‘speaking truth to power’ moment and when the meeting broke up a few came to thank me for the sentiments. Nobody in the room had supported or indulged Marles but on he went all the same.

    I felt better for a time, reminded of why I don’t give preferences, but I knew it was all moot as far as the policy went.

  9. @Fran Barlow

    Fair point. But they still manage to disgust me even further!

    On Twitter you can see “@RichardMarlesMP” his second most recent Tweet (behind the one where he proudly announces his appearance on Rupert TV):

    A joy to speak at the #walktogether day in Geelong welcoming refugees to Australia. @welcome2aussie @DiversitatGee

    What a scumbag.

    PS: 12 of 13 replies to his tweet are critical of his/ALP hypocrisy and 1 purports to praise the ALP adoption of LNP policy.

  10. The more I learn about Gough the more I like him. I think the venomous hatred of him from the feral Right is due to the fact that he blew the cover off their game that we cant afford to care for everyone at least a bit. Things can be otherwise – oh no ! I think I’m melting down !.

    I love that they have adopted the term ‘lone wolf’ since lone wolves dont exist. Wolves live in packs ,made up of extended family members and others ,just like domestic dogs do (except that they dont accept human members). It is a very widespread myth that wolf packs have a dominant male that kicks out the younger blokes once he starts feeling threatened by them. Wolves have a bad name like rats and Leftists do.

    This lone wolf phenomena ,and the difficulties it presents, was widely and easily predicted years ago. I havent read it but I imagine that Chinese guys Art of Warfare book would say dont pick fights you cant win ,and dont fight on your enemies terms. Its hard to bomb an idea. Imagine the massive level of public surveillance and control, the effort , the money, needed to intercept all the lone wolves in time .Its hard to win when each of our citizens is valued at at least 100 000 of theirs and we are so easily terrified by a disturbed boy who might use household objects as weapons if we push him far enough . Maybe its not about winning at all- now there’s an idea ? – a shame that our politicians had to throw a few ANZAC s into the meat grinder then (not to mention the millions of Muslims). The day those towers came down it was known that Mr Bush’s biography would be titled ‘How The West Was Lost’. They could not resist the bait.

  11. @sunshine

    Really? They are calling him a ‘lone wolf’? OMG as “Charlene” demonstrates, some people – Mel in sock puppet mode? – are very confused as to how things are in this world.

    As you say the term ‘lone wolf’ is another of the mis-characterisations about animal behaviour and evo psych that some men have taken on board and use as evidence that their dysfunctional desires are ‘natural’ and the impulse to dominate women and girlie men – is a good thing.

  12. @sunshine

    [This lone wolf phenomena ,and the difficulties it presents, …]

    Phenomenon is the singular here …

    Yes … It’s a nice pair with the equally bogus ‘alpha male’ characterisation.

  13. Tim Wilson has a quiz all about freedom here:


    He includes the following statement:

    “The right to freedom of expression (commonly referred to as freedom of speech) provides the foundation for individual autonomy, the capacity for individuals to think for themselves and impart knowledge, and a strong democracy where opinions and ideas can be debated freely. The right enables discussions and debates about political and social views, and in so doing, creates the basis for the effective exercise of many other human rights and freedoms.”

    It’s a bit difficult for me to follow how the right to freedom of speech provides “the capacity for individuals to think for themselves”. But I have to admit that I have always been slow to understand and follow the reasoning when libertarians explain things.

    Tim goes on to say that:

    “The right to freedom of expression is an extension of the absolute right of freedom to hold opinions without interference.”

    But when he sent the text that went something like “people who think freedom of speech is freedom to be heard, time wasters; send in the water canons”, one would think that he was saying this is not the case.

    Perhaps he was doing a Barry Spurr and being whimsical?

  14. Here’s part of an item I found on the website of the International League for Human Rights (FIDH):

    The Caesar report is … evidence smuggled out of Syria, including photographs of around 11,000 detainees’ corpses. The source of the report is … a former photographer for the Syrian military police and his job was to take pictures of killed detainees. Ten of the photos were released publicly in January 2014. The report was made available to human rights groups, governments and the UN. …

    The … report includes examinations and remarks from three eminent international lawyers whom examined thousands of pictures and files recording the deaths of detainees in the custody of Assad’s security forces from March 2011 to August 2013 … Sir Desmond de Silva QC, the former prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the former lead prosecutor for former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic and Professor David Crane,founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, he was the one who indicted President Charles Taylor at the SCSL.

    The graphic photos show thousands of victims …; many of the corpses are emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture, strangulation, electrocution and some had no eyes, showing evidence of having had their eyes gouged out. Three experienced forensic science experts examined and authenticated samples of 55,000 images corresponding to around 11,000 victims. The report says, “Overall there was evidence that a significant number of the deceased were emaciated and a significant minority had been bound and/or beaten with rod-like objects.” …

    The inquiry team said it was satisfied there was “clear evidence … of systematic torture and killing of detained persons by the agents of the Syrian government. It would support findings of crimes against humanity and could also support findings of war crimes against the current Syrian regime.” Professor David Crane said, “… This is the first provable, direct evidence of what has happened to at least 11,000 human beings who have been tortured and executed and apparently disposed of … We have pictures with numbers that marry up with papers with identical numbers – official government documents and we have the person who took those pictures. That’s beyond-reasonable-doubt-type evidence.” …

    Here’s part of another item from the same website:

    The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), … has been informed by reliable sources about discriminatory acts, including violations of the right to freedom of association and assembly performed against members of the Russian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transexuals (LGBT) Network, because of the nature of the human rights they defend.

    The Observatory expresses its concern for the discriminatory impact on the right to freedom of assembly and of association of the anti-LGBTI Law of July 2013, which prohibits “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations”, jeopardizing further the work of LGBT activists.

    More generally, the Observatory denounces acts of discrimination repeatedly faced by LGBT defenders in the Russian Federation and calls on the authorities to take necessary measures to ensure that LGBT rights defenders can carry on their peaceful activities without discrimination or harassment.

  15. In news just in, some moronic men have staged a protest at the federal parliament ostensibly complaining about the (apparent) privilege afforded to women of the Islamic faith that allows them to wear a face covering in the House. One of these gormless fools actually dressed in a KKK outfit. The story has been picked up by the world’s media. I can only imagine the outrage and subsequent ill feeling that these idiots have generated towards Australia. Is it any wonder that a lot of us are reticent to sing the unmitigated praises of our country?

  16. @patrickb

    Not even an original idea.

    Just like Corman’s ‘girlie man’, they stole it from Shaun Micallef’s brilliant TV show “Mad As Hell” (Wednesday night’s, ABC1 8pm).

  17. After WWII the US brought thousands of nazis to America. They also left millions of jews in the concentration camps for several years after the war – often guarded by Nazi POWs.

    The newly formed CIA brought thousands of Nazi war criminals to the US and used them as spies, in their war against Russia and in their weapons programs amongst other things.

    The CIA prevented them from facing war-crime prosecutions well into the 1990s, even though the CIA knew exactly who they were.

    Some of them had been involved in the murders of thousands of jews and tens of thousands of other enemies of the Nazis, such as communists, unionists, gays etc… – one particular example was the forced labour factories producing the V2 rockets. The nazi running that was one of the main ‘brains’ behind the US moon mission.

    Eric Lichtblau reports all of this and more in his forthcoming book: “The Nazis Next Door”.

    The CIA is a fascist organisation. The people of the US, and the world, would be best rid of it.

  18. The following comment has also been posted on my web site here. So far, it includes two other links that I would noyt have been able to include here.

    JD (@ #17(?)) wrote on October 27th, 2014 at 20:29:

    Here’s part of an item I found on the website of the International League for Human Rights (FIDH):

    Why didn’t you include the link? I tried to find it with a search engine and couldn’t.

    JD continued:

    The Caesar report is … evidence smuggled out of Syria, including photographs of around 11,000 detainees’ corpses. The source of the report is … a former photographer for the Syrian military police and his job was to take pictures of killed detainees. Ten of the photos were released publicly in January 2014. The report was made available to human rights groups, governments and the UN. …

    Almost certainly this is a fabrication by the same liars who gave us Russian tanks in East Ukraine, Iraqi WMDs, incubator babies, USS Liberty, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Warren Commission, etc.

    Until you show me where you obtained this, I cannot comment further.

    As for claims that the Russian government discriminates against gays: If true, this would be of concern, but compared with the monumental violations of human rights by the Kiev regime and even more monumental violations in Iraq, Libya and Syria, the prohibition of “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” seems almost insignificant by comparison.

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