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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:31 am

Activist Jeff Sparrow gets his beak out of alignment over Pamela Bone’s Euston-themed email:

Here’s a thought. People like Bone and her Euston pals insist on their own courage, not because they’re fighting against power (you’ll note that, in her letter, she points out that she worked for a much more influential publication than tiny little Arena), but because, in order to make the kinds of choices that they have, they must continually struggle against their own consciences.

Here’s a thought. Bone supported the removal of dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq. Her conscience is likely as clear as Sparrow’s epic case of projection. At the same link, leftoid Kath Wilson:

I feel sorry for Bone having cancer. And sorry that her largely distinguished career has ended up a bit smeared. But she went off the rails, intellectually, at the end.

To the contrary; Bone has retained exactly the same anti-fascist, pro-human rights views throughout. As she once wrote: “I never left the left. The left left me.”

UPDATE. “Jeff is a Melbourne socialist.”

UPDATE II. Andrew Landeryou recalls some Sparrow moments.

Posted by Tim B. on 07/02/2006 at 06:17 AM
    1. Ohhhhh, that Jeff Sparrow.

      He was virtually slobbering over John Pilger’s latest book; he did a review for The Age two weeks back. Writing stuff about how, apparently, Pilger always ‘sympathises with the underdogs’, that sort of thing.

      If I were Pamela, I wouldn’t be too worried about what Sparrow thinks.

      Posted by TimT on 2006 07 02 at 06:37 AM • permalink


    1. Normblog and Tim Blair (and I’m not linking to them)

      What an admirable commitment to free debate by Mr Sparrow!

      Posted by Ross on 2006 07 02 at 06:41 AM • permalink


    1. Sparrow simply can’t deal with the fact that he has a small penis—or the fact that some Leftists actually wake up to reality and move on. He sees it as the ultimate betrayal that someone of Pamela’s calibre “left the Left”.

      Sparrow insists that Pamela is fighting aginst her own conscience. What a wack job — he simply can’t handle it that her conscience took her to places he can’t even point to on a map.

      Go dig for little worms somewhere else Sparrow—Pamela is way out of your league.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 06:47 AM • permalink


    1. Ohh, and by the way—what type of wannabe calls itself an “activist”.

      What the hell is he trying to “activate”? Herpes?

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 06:50 AM • permalink


    1. For God’s sake the idiot Sparrow won the Hal Porter Short Story competition. I didn’t know Hal in his wild youth, but in his later years he was certainly not a friggin socialist. He must have turned in his grave when this lunatic won a prize in his name.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 07:23 AM • permalink


    1. On their site you will also find an article by the venerable Ms Kath Wilson (Katherine being way too bourgeois) about the government and corporate conspiracy against organic food – Poo-food, unions and elites.

      As a well-regarded word craftsperson, she also questions the use and potential misuse of words such as “elitist” and “quantum”. I felt the need to reply, albeit three days after her post, so she probably won’t see it.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 07 02 at 07:29 AM • permalink


    1. The International Standards Organisation should sue for whatever, including lack of standards.

      Posted by Andrew R on 2006 07 02 at 07:31 AM • permalink


    1. Sparrow’s publisher, Vulgar Press, is “dedicated to the publication of working-class and other radical forms of writing.” They’re based in Carlton, why am I not surprised?

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 02 at 07:52 AM • permalink


    1. So get your commenting selves over there and COMMENT, dammit. Try to be a polite voice from outside their universe (hey, it ain’t hard, they doubtless form the usual deluded lefty circle)

      I have, you should too.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 07 02 at 08:19 AM • permalink


    1. Polite?

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 02 at 08:31 AM • permalink


    1. Bloody hell. Jeff Sparrow just spilled for free what I forked out $20,000 to my analyst to discover. Hahahaha

      Ahh, if only I hadn’t struggled against my own conscience. I could have been like Jeff and started a PhD on Guido Barachi [sic] instead of starting a company in Hong Kong that now provides jobs for people across Asia.

      I tell you, comrades, that PhD on Baracchi is going to put food in people’s bellies.

      What a worthless life: subsidised by people who create wealth, tongzhi Sparrow provides a service for a handful of hangers on and is totally self absorbed.

      Welcome to the world of gutless, poop-in-their-pants weeners who have never put themselves on the line for anything in their life. Sparrow has always watched life from the stands; it’s oh-so comfortable sitting up there observing and criticising people who’d decided to play the game of life.

      I’m sick of these third-rate social commentators who feel the need to tell everyone that they are socialists, radicals, warriors for the oppressed… You add nothing to life and when you’ve gone nobody will even know you’ve been here.

      Posted by Hanyu on 2006 07 02 at 08:54 AM • permalink


    1. Sparrow’s publisher, Vulgar Press, is “dedicated to the publication of working-class and other radical forms of writing.” They’re based in Carlton, why am I not surprised?

      That’ll be c/o Trades Hall, Carlton.  A pointless loser like Jeff couldn’t afford real estate in Carlton even at Ministry of Housing rentals.

      A PhD on “Guido Barachi”.  Well, what an invaluable advantage that’ll be in the “Guido Barachi” industry.

      I smell professional student – any chance he’ll be paying back some HECS fees before he’s replaced student assistence with the old-age pension?

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2006 07 02 at 08:56 AM • permalink


    1. #8 and Update – Vulgar can’t even get poor old Guido’s name right. It is “Baracchi”, which has a totally different pronunciation in Italian than “Barachi”. Guido, a wealthy Marxist (?) played a pivotal role in the history of Australia in that, amongst other things, in 1933 he produced the third English translation of the “Principles of Communism”, Engels’ precursor to the “Communist Manifesto”. A short six para run down of his life can be found at the bottom of this article.

      <rant> Riveting stuff! One of the greats of Australian history. Standing on the shoulders of giants etc. And a PhD is going to be awarded for a “study” of the life of this non-entity? Herbert Evatt I could understand, but Guido for fuck’s sake? Four years I spent on one, classical statistical mechanics, four effing years .. why did I bother… </rant>

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 07 02 at 09:15 AM • permalink


    1. “In 1995, Jeff helped found Socialist Alternative and edited its magazine for two years”

      This very same Socialist Alternative harrasses and preys upon vulnerable students on university campuses and attempts to indoctrinate them into a form of communism. It also aligns itself with Muslim Associations and sponsors many of their functions. Basically it is a western-hating cult.

      It is so good to see these clones threatened by Leftoids who have grown dissatisfied with their own and thrown their weight behind the Euston Manifesto.

      Ha ha Sparrow. Nobody can hear your parasitic birdcall.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 09:15 AM • permalink


    1. #9 Why bother commenting on their site, MarkL? It only improves its quality and makes them feel important. Let them rot.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 07 02 at 09:23 AM • permalink


    1. #15 – Why indeed. They seem to be rather thin-skinned. My comment on the “Poo-food, unions and elites” organic food conspiracy(see #6), has been deleted along with the whole article.

      Posted by Whale Spinor on 2006 07 02 at 09:35 AM • permalink


    1. Writing stuff about how, apparently, Pilger always ‘sympathises with the underdogs’, that sort of thing.

      That’s the problem with the Lazy Left. They reduce every moral argument to “strong = bad, weak = good.” So because the outnumbered, outgunned Israelis, for example, have been able to continually kick the asses of the pathetic Arab aggressors, they’re the bad guys. Whereas when the Nazis were loading the unresisting Jews at gunpoint into cattle cars and gassing them, the Jews were the good guys.

      Left-wing moral reductionism always ends up with a noble “victim.” And they have the nerve to say that we’rethe un-nuanced simpletons.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 07 02 at 09:37 AM • permalink


    1. Isn’t it funny how these “activists” and “warriors for the people” keep checking in to see what Tim Blair’s latest is, so they can rant and rail against it?  Tim, not only do you keep their panties in a twist, I believe you give them a reason to live.  Heh.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 07 02 at 11:09 AM • permalink


    1. In 1992, he and four other ISO members were arrested in dawn police raids following a Melbourne student demonstration (the so-called ‘Austudy Five’ case).

      The Austudy Five! Dissidents fighting for the welfare state! Oh, that is *RICH*! And so fucking unsurprising.

      Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 02 at 11:21 AM • permalink


    1. “I never left the left. The left left me.”

      That’s what Ronald Reagan said about the Democrats.

      Left-wing moral reductionism always ends up with a noble “victim.”

      The Left is about nothing if not victimhood–look at even Oprah Winfrey for God’s sake.

      Hey, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m inordinately proud–Sparrow in his own comments:

      I’d never really looked at Tim Blair’s site before. He’s quite a piece of work — as are the people who post there. Here’s some of the comments following Bone’s piece.

      “Gee, Guy, how does it feel to be put in your little place by a dying woman with ten times the balls you’ll ever have? Do you still feel ‘cool’ in your designer frames and designer stubble? And your button-top, no-tie shirt? Man, how cool is that? By the way, that revolution, y’know, that one where fat losers like you get all those hot Cuban chicks? Sorry, dude, never gonna happen.”

      “And the New York Times can suck Cheney’s Dick.” Link

      But this one is my fav, cos it kinda sums it all up.

      “lefties like Hitchens and Bone et al and we righties work for the same outcome” Link


      I’m his favorite! I’m his favorite!

      If this is the best the radicals can come up with, Oz doesn’t have much to worry about from that quarter. You seem to have burrowed under his skin a bit though, Tim: Moreover, the organisation collects its empircal scientific data by sending survey questions to Tim Blair’s anti-green readership. 
      More Astroturf

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 07 02 at 11:38 AM • permalink


    1. We’re anti-green?  I really hadn’t thought one way or the other about it.  Oh, wait, I think I’ll be reflexively against whatever some jerk who “activates” about the class system is for.

      Posted by ushie on 2006 07 02 at 12:29 PM • permalink


    1. Pamela Bone and I don’t see eye to eye – I’m instinctively isolationist and she is interventionist. But I respect her, because at least she’s consistent. She, like most on the left, seems to support military intervention in Darfur (which I think would be an absolute waste of our soldiers’ lives, for very little benefit. What’s going on there is terrible – but it’s not our fight, nor our business). She diverges from her leftist colleagues in supporting the invasion and toppling of Saddam, whose regime was a prime candidate for a leftist-approved spanking – if the gravity of the situation in Darfur is a benchmark. However, GWB’s USA invaded Iraq, so it was no longer ideologically useful for the leftists. They shifted their goalposts and now walk a very contradictory line, demanding intervention in Sudan and decrying it in Iraq.

      Their answer to this criticism is “America invaded for WMDs!” Strawman alert! In hindsight it is obvious that the reasoning behind the invasion is largely irrelevant to the situation on the ground today. Do the lefties think that if they overthrew Saddam for humanitarian reasons, we wouldn’t have the sectarian problems we’re seeing now?

      Pamela Bone has the guts and intellectual honesty to look her former comrades in the eye and show them up for what they really are – a bunch of ideologues, reflexive to events they no longer have any control over. She deserves a lot more air time.

      Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 02 at 01:36 PM • permalink


    1. Moreover, the organisation collects its empircal scientific data by sending survey questions to Tim Blair’s anti-green readership.

      Kudos to you, Kyda, but where’s my survey?  I’ve never filled one out, y’know!

      wronwright, are you in charge of those?  Or is paco?

      BTW, don’t forget to include the answers y’all desire.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 07 02 at 02:35 PM • permalink


    1. JeffS – Snap! I just slapped them about that, too. My only complaint – they’re too easy. You should check out the Lambert links to see how deceptive their choice of words is. Not very smart to include links that expose their dishonesty, nor to harp on about an issue that made (small) ripples in June 2005. These people are of a similar intellectual calibre to Loewenstein.

      Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 02 at 03:20 PM • permalink


    1. #16 Whale Spinor
      So that’s why the poo food link doen’t work any more.
      I wanted to leave a comment about how green regulations have made it no longer possible for me to use agricultural chemicals and have forced me to close down my farming business.
      However, the processors of my crop now require me to complete a three-page declaration about my farming practices. One of the things I must declare is that I have not used organic fertiliser for six months before harvest because of the risk of salmonella contamination from chook poo.
      Is there any point in leaving comments at Sparrow’s site, if they are going to remove anything they don’t want their readers to see?

      Posted by Skeeter on 2006 07 02 at 04:28 PM • permalink


    1. #11 Hanyu. Who were we talking about again?

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 07 02 at 05:25 PM • permalink


    1. Re #24, Jesus Christ on a Pogo Stick!  I generally avoid Lambert’s scribbling, but I went there, James.

      I do remember that poll, and I did drop in for a vote.  They are describing that silly poll as “scientific”?  Not even Lambert made that mistake.

      The comments at Lambert’s site are only slightly less clueless.  I’d comment there, but that’s like throwing rocks at brick walls.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 07 02 at 05:43 PM • permalink


    1. 22 James Waterton

      “She, like most on the left, seems to support military intervention in Darfur (which I think would be an absolute waste of our soldiers’ lives, for very little benefit. What’s going on there is terrible – but it’s not our fight, nor our business).”

      If this is your premise—you must believe that in the Second World War, Jews should have been left to die in the gas chambers? And Hitler should have been left to continue his genocide?

      In the Kosovo in 1999 we should have left the Serbs to slaughter the Albanians?

      As Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 02 at 06:02 PM • permalink


    1. Skeeter — Look at it this way.  If you hit enough of his threads you can close his comments down completely…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 02 at 06:03 PM • permalink


    1. #28 Daphne,
      Isolationism is always a temptation for Americans.  There is much sentiment now among us for coming home and pulling up the drawbridge.  This is not limited to Republicans, it is even more marked among liberals, with their combination of protectionism and illusion that the USA is the font of evil and chaos in the world.  Americans are fed up with the anti-American sentiment so common around the world (which has becoome the other side of the coin of antisemitism nowadays), which long antedated the Iraq Campaign and would still exist, in all its stroegth and irrationality, if the terrorism were stopped tomorrow and Iraq was an oasis of sweetness, light , and democracy by the beginning of next week.  Anybody who thinks the USA should stay engaged with the world, as I do, should enjoy Dubya while we’ve got him, for he is likely to be the most internationalist and multilateralist President of the USA for the next fifty years.

      One thing stands out among the failed “humanitarian interventions” of the last 15 years.  If the USA does not lead most likely nothing will get done.  Even then if it is then turned over to the UN the whole thing will become a humanitarian disaster.  If the USA withdraws into its shell much of the world will come to look like Darfur, where the strong do as they will and the weak endure what they must.

      Are you, and the Euston Manifesto lefties, prepared to see the use of the necessary force to achieve the ends you seek?  Are they willing to endure the moral compromises necessary to achieve such ends?  I rather doubt it.  To take your example, the overthrow of Hitler required the total mobilization of half the world, the bombing flat of Germany, killing many millions of people, and the necessary but morally dubious alliance with the Soviet Communists, a government hardly less evil, brutal, and bloodthirsty than that of the Nazis.  Mind you I think it was both necessary and desirable, including the alliance of expediency with the USSR.  But I suspect the Euston people will jump ship when the going gets tough, probably bleating about how ugly the force being used is and how we are violating the rights of the poor terrorists.

      In the case of Darfur we should note that it came immediately after the end of the Sudan government’s previous genocidal war against the black Africans of Equatoria.  The US took the lead in the diplomatic effort to stop the massacres and enslavement of the Africans.  To stop it took 21 years of effort.  As soon as that happened the Darfur massacres began.  The only longterm solution is to overthrow the Sudanese government and put something halfway decent in its place, but not even the USA has the strength to do that everywhere.  We must choose our points of effort according to criteria of national interenst and prudence, as well as of desirability of doing good.

      What might we do in Darfur to stop the Janjaweed?  Well one method might be to build a fence and give them an ultimatum: stay on that side of the line at your peril.  When some tribes crossed it then we would massacre their herds and flocks, the Janjaweed being nomadic herders preying (in time-honored fashion) on settled farmers.  Those whose herds we killed would probably then die in the desert, but the others would get the message PDQ and most likely avoid setting us off.  We would then train Darfurian defense forces to take over, and I suspect they would be rather more indiscriminate and violent than we would be.  Is that the sort of thing the Euston people would accept?  If they say no, then they must give up the idea of intervention.  To bring some peace to much of the world will require the exercise of much violence, as well as political and cultural smarts, and if they are not willing to face that then they are not willing to see such good as can be done, actually get done.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 2006 07 02 at 09:22 PM • permalink


    1. Daphne @ 28
      If this is your premise—you must believe that in the Second World War, Jews should have been left to die in the gas chambers? And Hitler should have been left to continue his genocide?

      Jeez, I love it when you talk brutal – and you know people’s beliefs so well!

      Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 03 at 12:02 AM • permalink


    1. We must choose our points of effort according to criteria of national interenst and prudence, as well as of desirability of doing good.

      Exactly. Elective war for pure national interest is immoral. Elective war for pure humanitarianism is naive. One should be leavened with the other.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2006 07 03 at 12:24 AM • permalink


    1. It had to be said, Mr. Lonie, and you have said it well.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 03 at 12:29 AM • permalink


    1. #30, Michael Lonie,

      You are much kinder and patient than my first reaction to Daphne’s post #28 left me feeling.  You make many excellent, valid points.  I have a couple of different ones, however.

      First and foremost, I am not so cavaliar with the lives of my fellow Americans who choose to spend years of their lives – and indeed, their very lives – protecting me.  The only cause we have any right asking them to fight for is one that is directly related to our own national interest, and only after our government has convinced us that it is in our national interest.

      If you care enough about Albanians, or those in Darfur, to go put your own life on the line to fight with them, fine; it is your life to do risk as you please.  If you want to financially support some entity that is fighting for the Albanians or those in Darfur, it is your money to spend as you wish.  You have no right, however, to ask others to go into harms way when they have no personal stake in the outcome.  That is asking them to act as sacrificial lambs to your own conscience, and you do not have that right.  Nor do you have the right to ask your fellow citizens to financially back a war in which they have no stake, no matter how egregious you think that is.  You have no right to force another individual to do anything you cannot persuade them to do. The fact that the US government has forgotten its purpose and does otherwise for domestic political reasons does not invalidate the principle involved.

      This principle does not preclude America’s fight in WWII.  America did not enter the war in order to save the Jews from the camps and gas chambers.  Saving those who were left was a (wonderful) side effect of winning the war.  We had compelling national interests at stake, not the least of which we were not willing to leave all of Europe to Adolph Hitler.  If by some miracle the Soviets had managed to outlast him, we would then have left the Europe to the Soviets.  Neither was in our national interest.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 03 at 12:30 AM • permalink


    1. Michael Lonie

      Firstly you assumed that I have no understanding of anti-Americanism and then you assumed that I am a Eustonite —

      “Are you, and the Euston Manifesto lefties, prepared to see the use of the necessary force to achieve the ends you seek?  Are they willing to endure the moral compromises necessary to achieve such ends?  I rather doubt it.”

      I am not a signatory to the Euston Manifesto, but I rejoice wholeheartedly for those Leftists who have signed it and who are splitting from their homepage ideology. As for myself, I am not a “Leftie”.

      And the answer is yes, I am a believer in necessary military force to end evil. That is why I am a company grade Officer in one of the best armies in the world.

      Any more questions?

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 03 at 12:36 AM • permalink


    1. Gawdorlmitey! First saltydog reveals that she’s a she, and now daphne’s a woman in uniform. Well, I thinkdaph’s a woman anyhow. You sound ladylike, daphne. But then saltydog –
      ah, hell with it, I give up!

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 03 at 02:06 AM • permalink


    1. #36, SC,

      What the hell do you mean I “revealed” I was a woman?  I never hid the fact in the first place.  There were obviously a few assumptions made by a few folks.

      Criminy christmas.  You know, Huck is away for a few weeks.  I wonder if he thinks I’m a guy?  HA!

      P.S.  After reading the first paragraph, I see that it could read like I’m majorly PO’d.  I’m not.  I think the whole thing is funny.  I realize now that my nickname may steer some people wrong; I’ve been called a saltydog for so long that I really didn’t think anything about how it might be perceived.  My husband (very valiantly) said that if you could see me, you would never mistake me for anything but a woman fully grow’d.  That’s my boy!

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 03 at 03:27 AM • permalink


    1. salty, I only yesterday went back to that thread on the gay divorce which is where you – ahem – made it official. I did leave a post there but unless I direct some traffic that way I doubt anyone’s going to read it (hint hint).
      And I’m sure your husband is one very lucky feller.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 03 at 03:41 AM • permalink


    1. I enjoy your comments, Daphne. Do you have a blog? You should.

      Posted by TimT on 2006 07 03 at 04:06 AM • permalink


    1. If this lumpen academic can get a Phd by writing the “epic story” of some forgotten Australian red, they ought to name a whole wing at Harvard after me when they see my three-volume biography of Wronwright.

      Posted by paco on 2006 07 03 at 06:18 AM • permalink


    1. Three volumes? HA! By the time they’ve blacked out all the irregular excursions in the Tardis, you’ll be down to “Mother Wronwright dandled her infant son on her knee, little suspecting that… THE END.”

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 03 at 07:18 AM • permalink


    1. Swiney m’boy (#10), yup, polite. Because:

      1. It puzzles them. (’But all RWDB are drooling illiterate neanderthals, all the chaps down at my favourite gaybar say so…’)

      2. It confuses them. (How can we censor this RWDB, he has been polite!)

      3. It enrages them. (How DARE he question my nuanced position that a liberal Jewish democratic state is vastly inferior to my favourite theocratic tyranny run by self-proclaimed terrorists!!)

      4. It blows their ‘minds’. (Hey, that isn’t a word! Words cannot have more than two syllabbb…  syllebeeeeer…  sylliiybugg… BITS. Yeah, bits. How can I read that? What’s going on?)

      5. The clarity upsets them. (Hey! I can understand this! Anyone can, it is so simple, so unlike the holy writ of Chomsky the Obscure!)

      6. And the use of facts just makes them cry.

      It really is like shooting really, really stupid fish in an intellectual barrel. They just don’t get out much into the real world, that lot.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 07 03 at 07:33 AM • permalink


    1. I ahve just realised that Sparrow’s blog has 14 posts and 57 comments.

      Seriously, they are going to change the world.

      Provided it is a really, really small world. One mebbe 5% the size of Kiribati.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 07 03 at 07:39 AM • permalink


    1. I once emailed Ms Bone to express my admiration for her courage after one of her fine Age articles, written shortly before she took “a break” from writing. She graciously thanked me for my email. I was later devastated to hear of her struggle with cancer.

      I won’t trouble her with further emails, but at least here I can re-express that admiration doubled and redoubled again.
      As for Rundle, I have nothing to say.

      Posted by The Young Contrarian on 2006 07 03 at 07:49 AM • permalink


    1. What the hell do you mean I “revealed” I was a woman?  I never hid the fact in the first place.  There were obviously a few assumptions made by a few folks.

      With a name like “saltydog”, I had you pegged as a barnacle-encrusted old sea captain… I was just as shocked as others to find out that you are really a girlie!

      Posted by AlburyShifton on 2006 07 03 at 08:08 AM • permalink


    1. #45 AuburyShifton,

      With a name like “saltydog”, I had you pegged as a barnacle-encrusted old sea captain… I was just as shocked as others to find out that you are really a girlie!

      Okay.  Are you saying that a female can’t be a barnacle-encrusted old sea captian?  I have a friend I’d like you to meet.

      By the way, I like your name.  Sounds like a character out of a Chesterton novel.

      Posted by saltydog on 2006 07 03 at 08:18 AM • permalink


    1. MarkL – reading these consecutive posts, I get a teeny weeny tingle in my antenna that tells me you’re taking the piss.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 03 at 08:29 AM • permalink


    1. # 39 Tim T

      Thanks for your kind words. No, I don’t have a blog. Thought about it, but there is so much to do and so little time.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 03 at 08:43 AM • permalink


    1. #47

      Who? Me??

      Umm, err…. maybe.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 07 03 at 08:51 AM • permalink


    1. I agree with TimT, Daphne.  Keep it up.  This is one of the things that I love best about this blog; logical discussion of differing opinions.  (Unfortunately, most of those differing opinions come from doodoo-brained trolls, but that’s another topic) And besides, now that I know you’re a sister-in-arms I have a better idea on where you are coming from.

      Posted by Texas Bob on 2006 07 03 at 09:50 AM • permalink


    1. Being interventionist does seem more like a “left” preference… at least until the relatively recent development of “anything America does is evil” ideology.  Or maybe that was always there and the intervention was supposed to be done by the UN and not the US.  But the UN doesn’t have the will to do anything decisive about anything.

      My feelings are “do it or don’t”.  I tend to oppose humanitarian intervention because (as we’ve seen) the “feel good” intervention only lasts until the first ugly incident and death of Americans.  Either DO IT or don’t… forget this middle half-way gesture, didn’t really mean it but it was a nice thought, aren’t we nice, BS.  If we can manage to keep on task long enough to see Afghanistan and Iraq stable it will be amazing.

      Darfur?  Do it or don’t.  But what are the chances of the national will supporting anything decisive or even effective?

      It ends up being about “doing something” for the sake of doing something rather than because what is done will actually solve the problem.  So, ya know, we can all feel good about doing something even if it didn’t work.

      Posted by Synova on 2006 07 03 at 12:00 PM • permalink


    1. #51 nicely put.

      And Richard McEnroe is a troll over at birdland! WTF? What did you say to them Richard, you naughty boy?

      Posted by Henry boy on 2006 07 03 at 03:04 PM • permalink


    1. Cowards, all. I’ll check later to see if this post over there was deleted or allowed to stand:

      Do you consider your readership too lacking in intellectual rigour to engage in debate with what you term “trolls”?

      Now, where is the fun in that? Moreover, where are the guts?

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 03 at 05:24 PM • permalink


    1. Really good to see you championing human rights Tim.

      Posted by Miranda Divide on 2006 07 03 at 08:00 PM • permalink


    1. Smithovitch — Words to the effect that the only thing smearing Bone’s career was Rundle and his ilk, but that fortunately cockroach droppings wash right off…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 03 at 11:16 PM • permalink


    1. As I suspected. Deleted.

      How spineless they truly are. We here (if I may so brazenly employ the pronoun) not only tolerate but encourage contributions of substance from anyone willing to engage the issues or opinions presented.

      Ideas or opinions that the authors will not offer up for scrutiny and debate should be aborted before they are given “life” through these media.


      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 03 at 11:16 PM • permalink


    1. Ok, words exactly to that effect.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2006 07 03 at 11:16 PM • permalink


    1. #41 SC: I’ve allowed for that contingency. First, I’m going to publish the bio serially in the New York Times (can’t stop them!).

      If that doesn’t work, I’ll just fill out the book with seven or eight hundred baby pictures of Wronwright. That’s still got to be better than a book on some long-forgotten pinko.

      Posted by paco on 2006 07 03 at 11:24 PM • permalink


    1. Very interesting comments from Andrew Landeryou. And about the photo of Sparrow from the other link: is the punk sporting a Hitler mustache? Or does he simply possess astonishingly hirsute nostrils?

      Posted by paco on 2006 07 03 at 11:29 PM • permalink


    1. Being Left is being hollow. It’s being self-absorbed and being ultra-focused on the obligatory creed. There is no room for debate because the Left is—by its own definition—on the side of all things good and proper.

      The thing I hate about the Left is that its components are so self righteous and condemning of everything that doesn’t fit their mould. They are everything they claim to despise—but the idiots can’t see it.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 03 at 11:31 PM • permalink


    1. Hollow. Yes, Daphne, hollow.


      We are the hollow men
      We are the stuffed men
      Leaning together
      Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
      Our dried voices, when
      We whisper together
      Are quiet and meaningless
      As wind in dry grass
      Or rats’ feet over broken glass
      In our dry cellar

      Shape without form, shade without colour,
      Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

      Those who have crossed
      With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
      Remember us—if at all—not as lost
      Violent souls, but only
      As the hollow men
      The stuffed men.


      Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
      In death’s dream kingdom
      These do not appear:
      There, the eyes are
      Sunlight on a broken column
      There, is a tree swinging
      And voices are
      In the wind’s singing
      More distant and more solemn
      Than a fading star.

      Let me be no nearer
      In death’s dream kingdom
      Let me also wear
      Such deliberate disguises
      Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
      In a field
      Behaving as the wind behaves
      No nearer —

      Not that final meeting
      In the twilight kingdom


      This is the dead land
      This is cactus land
      Here the stone images
      Are raised, here they receive
      The supplication of a dead man’s hand
      Under the twinkle of a fading star.

      Is it like this
      In death’s other kingdom
      Waking alone
      At the hour when we are
      Trembling with tenderness
      Lips that would kiss
      Form prayers to broken stone.


      The eyes are not here
      There are no eyes here
      In this valley of dying stars
      In this hollow valley
      This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

      In this last of meeting places
      We grope together
      And avoid speech
      Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

      Sightless, unless
      The eyes reappear
      As the perpetual star
      Multifoliate rose
      Of death’s twilight kingdom
      The hope only
      Of empty men.


      Here we go round the prickly pear
      Prickly pear prickly pear
      Here we go round the prickly pear
      At five o’clock in the morning.

      Between the idea
      And the reality
      Between the motion
      And the act
      Falls the Shadow

      For Thine is the Kingdom

      Between the conception
      And the creation
      Between the emotion
      And the response
      Falls the Shadow

      Life is very long

      Between the desire
      And the spasm
      Between the potency
      And the existence
      Between the essence
      And the descent
      Falls the Shadow
      For Thine is the Kingdom

      For Thine is
      Life is
      For Thine is the

      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      This is the way the world ends
      Not with a bang but a whimper.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 03 at 11:37 PM • permalink


    1. #58 – now that sounds like a plan!

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 03 at 11:58 PM • permalink


    1. Richard, Mental Floss – I suspect their justification for deleting the comments would be something like the following: they’re looking for ‘dialogue’ and ‘discussion’ and ‘comments that further the debate’, and above all ‘supportive comments’. Which means, in practice, that they delete all comments they don’t agree with. And label the commenters ‘trolls’.

      That’s ‘open and accountable’ for you!

      Posted by TimT on 2006 07 04 at 12:28 AM • permalink


    1. #34 Saltydog,
      The necessity of preventing the Nazis from overrunning Europe was not apparent to a large swath of Americans, from left to right, before December 11, 1941, when the German Reichstag declared war on the USA.  It was evident to Roosevelt and his main military advisors, like Harold Stark, which is why FDR had been skirting the edges of both international and municipal law for two years to help Britain fight the Nazis.  The necessity for a war to prevent the Nazis from winning in Europe and proceeding then to become an imminent threat to the USA in the near future seems obvious in retrospect to all but a few crackpots, but many Americans did not comprehend it at the time.  Lots of Americans did not see that there was any problem with the aggrandizment of Nazi power and did not see that there was any American national interest in getting involved in the war, even though they detested the Nazis and disapproved of their actions.

      Now in the 90s I approved of the Bosnia intervention, indeed I thought it came too late.  I did not approve of the Kossovo and Haitian interventions.  I thought there was an American national interest in stopping the Serbs from doing to the Bosnians what the Arabs and Iranians want to do to the Israelis.  In Kossovo the Serbs had not really started on the Kosovars, and the latter had been supporting a terrorist outfit agains them anyway, so I did not approve it in the circumstances.  I did not approve of putting the anti-American thug Aristide back in Haiti because it was against American interests to have such a man in charge there, and would do no good from a humanitarian point of view either.  Two major differences between my disapproving attitide and those of today’s anti-war liberals and leftists is that I did not base my opposition on partisan selfishness and that I did not want the US forces to lose once committed to combat.

      Thank you for your service.  If you reread the passage you quoted yo will see that I distinguished you from the Euston Manifesto people in order to not make any assumptions about your beliefs.  That’s what I thought I had done in wording it that way, at any rate.  From what you say you are more hard-nosed than they are likely to be.

      I read the Euston Manifesto and concluded from its wording that the people who take that view will not have the staying power to continue supporting necessary measures when the going gets tough.  Perhaps I am wrong, but the numbers of “molting hawks” over Iraq does not fill me with confidence.

      I detect a certain amount of ad hominem “chickenhawk” strawman from Satlydog and Daphne.  Perhaps I am being oversensitive.  I am too old and ill for active military service.  Does that mean I have no right to have opinions and post them, based on many years of study of history?  Is Charles Krauthammer precluded from writing on the subjet because he is confined to a wheelchair?  There are questions for you Daphne, since you asked if I had any more.

      In America’s two greatest wars the country was led by FDR, who never did any military service at all, and Abe Lincoln, whose brief and undistinguished militia service during the Blackhawk War makes Bush’s ANG service resemble George Patton’s by comparison.  If I am a “chickenhawk” I am in good company with those two.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 2006 07 04 at 12:32 AM • permalink


    1. #64 Michael Lonie

      “Perhaps I am being oversensitive.  I am too old and ill for active military service.  Does that mean I have no right to have opinions and post them, based on many years of study of history?”

      Thanks for your reply. I was pointing out that I stand by what I say—that I am willing to back up my words with action. I wasn’t suggesting that you ought to join the military or that your own contribution to a better world was any less because you are a civilian. We all contribute in our own ways and I can see from your comments that you are indeed a student of history.

      However, my point was in reaction to what I perceived as a generalisation on your part. That military action was a consequence of economic and state decisions rather than moral ones.

      Now, at one level you may be right. But at another, at the individual soldier level, I know many soldiers who are prepared to fight for moral reasons—for a better world—to end oppression and to end evil. I am one of those. I would go to Iraq tomorrow—not to secure future oilfields—but to help oppressed people fight a rabid insurgency. My point was simply, that I’m not alone. I know many soldiers who think as I do.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 04 at 01:06 AM • permalink


    1. # 61

      My my, MentalFloss. A prickly pear indeed.

      Posted by daphne on 2006 07 04 at 02:50 AM • permalink


    1. That birdylefty site is in full-blown thought police mode. I have never seen anything quite like it.

      The funny thing is that when you remove comments from people here, there is bugger-all left except the self-adulatory trilling of the posters patting each other on the back.

      It truly is sad to see the Australian left reduced to that.

      Two of my grandparents were lifelong devout Communists, Party members, the lot. They had no time for the sort of ‘parlour pink’ visible at birdylefty’s site. The left in those days had plenty of hard men (and some much harder women!) and they fought like demons on many a worthy cause (and for many causes we can only regard with horror). But at least they bloody well stood for something.

      What is visible over there is little more than a whining circle of self-obsessed third rate parlour pinks.


      Posted by MarkL on 2006 07 04 at 04:51 AM • permalink


    1. #61 MentalFloss, thanks for the Eliot. He’s my favourite.
      ps hope you’re better,too.

      Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 07 04 at 06:50 AM • permalink


    1. Lungs to %80 capacity. Cognitive functions affected. Contributions thus far woefully inadequate—evidenced by ee cummings and Eliot speaking for me.

      “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? “

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 07 04 at 06:12 PM • permalink


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