Missing Link Daily

A digest of the best of the blogosphere published each weekday and compiled by Ken Parish, gilmae, Gummo Trotsky, Amanda Rose, Tim Sterne, Jen McCulloch and Stephen Hill

Politics

Australian

From Jeff at Rigorous Intuition

Like a fat kid eyeing off a doughnut, the inevitable is becoming a reality; the National and Liberal Parties of Queensland are slouching towards Bethlehem and merger. Graham Young notes the gerrymandering in the party structure to maintain dominance of the Nationals long after the electorates are sick of them and the Liberal Party ignoring the wishes of the rank and file. Andrew Elder believes that if it happens in Queensland than it might as well happen in the other states where the Nationals are vestigial.

International

Daniel Davies examines new developments in Sudan: peacekeepers in Darfur may just shift the action elsewhere:

It’s a bit of a cliché, but sometimes, as when a Darfurian rebel group estimated at less than 3,000 fighters decides to take the battle to the enemy by driving 250 miles outside Darfur in a small convoy of technicals to fight a battle for Khartoum “what the fuck” is pretty much the only thing you can say.

Juan Cole reports on his interview with the editor-in-chief of Aljazeera.

Noel Pearson continues to disappoint Kim at LP with his latest op-ed piece on Obama:

Pearson has the answer for Obama – emphasise Black responsibility and end all that liberal rights claimin How boringly predictable.


Economics

Peter Martin describes the dumb snobbery of most Australian shoppers.1


Law

Peter Timmins looks at FOI highjinks in Tasmania concerning apparent government plans to fund a 65 million dollar water pipeline to Gunns’ new pulpmill.  Quoting FOI guru Michael McKinnon:

“Where you get this sort of government secrecy (in relation to FOI requests), you can almost always guarantee that there is a sweetheart deal going on,” McKinnon said bluntly this week.”

Kodjo on the land of the free, home of the surveilled:

9,254 national security letters issued in 2005; 12,583 in 2006 (data for 2007 is not yet available). Such letters request information like your bank account details and telephone usage, but do not rely on a court order and are issued without informing the person spied upon.

Meanwhile, prosecutions for terror related matters brought to court have continued to decline.

Diane Marie Amann posts on public comments by US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, an honourable dissenter on the Court’s continued upholding of the constitutionality of capital punishment:

[T]he imposition of the death penalty represents “the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions to any discernible social or public purposes. A penalty with such negligible returns to the State [is] patently excessive and cruel and unusual punishment violative of the Eighth Amendment.”


and who’s been ripping in my chair?

green door

real estate dot com

Billie

Issues analysis

James Ladyman examines the malign influence of Treasury in promoting the “marketization and instrumentalization of higher education” of the British equivalent of ARC research grants to university researchers. 

Robin Hanson looks at research showing that stock market investors tend not to be very good at evaluating their own past stock portfolio performance.((A bit like my grandfather, an inveterate punter and possibly the only SP bookie in Sydney ever to go broke.  Grandad only ever remembered his winning bets, which made him a happy punter though not a wealthy one. ~ KP))


Arts

Nicholas Pickard reviews the dark tale of decadent lust that is Salome, current performed by The Rabble at CarriageWorks 

Many audience members were ready to walk out they were so disgusted with this production. In fact one member was ready to put a call through to DOCS.

For this reviewer it is when you see this happening that you know that theatre still has a power to move and to shock. A power that many think is long lost.

Larrikin provides the shortlist for the best of the Booker, included on the short-list are Pat Barker, Peter Carey, J.M. Coetzee, Nadime Gordimer and Salman Rushdie.

At Stop Panicking we have coverage of L’Art du Deplacement a bizarre admixture of gymnastics, extreme sports and performance art. (Don’t try this at home kids)

Geoff Wisner considers the disturbing contradictions of life in Apartheid South Africa that are chronicled in Rian Malan’s, My Traitor’s Heart.

Malan wrote about growing up in an Afrikaner family, rebelling against the prejudice that surrounded him, playing in a rock band, losing his virginity to an African woman, and becoming a crime reporter in Johannesburg. But none of this was simple. Malan wanted to feel solidarity with the Africans, but he was afraid of Africans. He witnessed terrible crimes by the security forces but other atrocities committed by anti-apartheid activists, and even some motivated by witchcraft.

Shaun Cronin the acca-dacca-olyte offers some interesting cover versions of the timeless Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep  


Sport

Shaun Cronin speculates on likely NSW team selections for next week’s first State of Origin rugby league extravaganza.


Snark, strangeness and charm

At LP, Kim uses the occasion of Tim Blair moving his blog to Murdoch’s DailyTelegraph site to muse about the differences between real blogs and MSM ones:((I’ve always been puzzled why Murdoch impose pre-publication moderation on “blog” comments.  My recollection is that Australian legislation largely exempts online publishers (like bloggers even MSM ones) from liability for defamation by commenters, as long as they remove it as soon as they see it.  Maybe T1 or T2 could enlighten us if either drops by. ~ KP))

Aside from the fact that theres probably little loyalty to most individual MSM bloggers and blogs per se (particularly where – as with most of the MSM columnists who blog, theres zero interaction with the audience and commenters are perceived as the audience), the whole set up – seemingly arbitrary deletion or non-appearance of comments, strict barriers for defamation and other legal concerns, time lag between comments being posted and appearing – means that its very difficult to lift the threads beyond the bulletin board model and foster genuine interaction and community.

CL offers an obituary of Irena Sendler, saviour of two and a half thousand children from the Warsaw Ghetto.2

Harry Clarke laments the high price of undergraduate textbooks.

Maria Farrell appeals for hints to engage the attention of  early primary children and reminisces unsentimentally about an Irish teaching method called the Teileagoir.  It sounds an awful lot like those tedious slide nights your rellies sometimes inflict to show you all about their latest trip to southern Africa or somewhere.

  1. On the other hand, I remember Sunshine Biscuits and they are *not* indistinguishable from Arnotts.~gilmae []
  2. Try and ignore that he can’t get over his Al Gore obsessions because the woman is worth that small effort.~gilmae []

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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gilmae
13 years ago

They may be exempt from defamation but they aren’t exempt from judgment within the court of public opinion. I think they don’t trust commenter’s to play nice and polite.

On the other hand it’s hard to see exactly what they are moderating out. Profane language is a given but I remember seeing a commenter in a Piers Akerman thread using the pseudonym ‘Kill the Left’ and wondering how the Daily Telegraph imagined that that didn’t reflect badly on them and their moderation queue.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Speaking of profane language, I was most impressed to see Lateline last night unabashedly print and utter the phrase “greedy fucking Jew”.
And apparently Mr Kennett thinks the speaker of said phrase was then ejected from the Liberal party largely on the basis of “political correctness”.
Funny that it’s usually the right complaining about the PC-culture of left. When was the last time the Greens ejected a member for not being politically correct, I wonder?

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

(oops, make that “writer” not “speaker”)

John Greenfield
John Greenfield
13 years ago

Like most Luvvie Plodders Kim hates Noel Pearson because he is er, like, you know, black!. Only bourgeois pale-faces have solutions and opinions worthy of broadcast in Lefty Kim land. Poor dear.

Oh, and to the WA and SA Departments of Re-Education, I hope you will not jail me for printing the “b” word.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

I note The Age weren’t quite so bold. You’d think even if they were uncomfortable with printing “fucking” in the print edition, they’d leave it there for online articles.

C.L.
13 years ago

I have an Al Gore obsession? I must write about global warming and Al Gore less than any other right-of-centre blogger in the country – if not the world. Again, Gilmae wheels out a casual lie and hopes uninformed passers-by will actually believe it. Gilmae, please provide – let’s say – five links evidencing my Al Gore “obsession.” Hell, make it three – even two.

“The woman”, as you call her, is worth more than a “small effort.” That a multi-millionaire slob whose film has been proven to be riddled with lies won a Nobel Peace Prize over a woman of Sendler’s moral substance says a lot about the times we live in. I’ll highlight that reality and tragedy whether or not a weak-minded blockhead like you welcomes it or not. I think it’s important.

Why don’t you – Mr “reflect badly on them and their moderation queue” – comment on the abuse of Noel Pearson at LP where he was once called in comments an “Uncle Tom” and a “coconut”? (Comments not removed).

The answer: because you’re an intellectual coward.

gilmae
13 years ago

I don’t read LP generally because I find them to be generally be waffle. I did look at the post linked today. I can’t seem to find within myself any agreement with them at all on Pearson. And I’m certainly not going to trawl through LPs archives for Uncle Tom references because, like I said, LP shits me.

You’re being a bit sensitive able the words “the woman”. I suppose I could have just used “she” but that’s the cat’s mother and using her name felt clunky. Anyway, that she hasn’t got the prize anytime in the last sixty years reflects as poorly on the Nobel committee as Arafat getting his. I don’t think it reflects at all on Gore. But then, it didn’t need to because you find a way to tie the most tangential subjects back to those you don’t like. Unsung heroine didn’t get a Nobel while she was alive, Gore beat her out. Yeah, not obsessed by the things you disagree with. Lambert could take lessons.

Kevin
Kevin
13 years ago

Re: Economics
Peter Martin describes the dumb snobbery of most Australian shoppers

For my own part, I see a market – sellers trying to maximise the price the receive, and yes – even on the ‘cheaper goods’ – and buyers looking for value. That value may be the cheapest possible price, or some other aspects.

I don’t shop at Aldi. I buy brand name stuff and generics. The factors are irrelevant in this. I see myself exercising choice. I don’t believe it is particularly ill-informed choice.

This might mean in the perspective from Canberra that I am ‘well-heeled’, a moot point perhaps.

But the conclusion seems to be then that I am by definition ‘dumb’ and not ‘too bright’.

Thanks – I have some views about you too Mr Martin and they aren’t very charitable right at this moment.

But finally though – so what if people well off or not so well off choose to spend their money in other than the most fiscally rational way ? We have already established they have choices – viz Aldi and others. There is an ocean of consumer advice and bargain finders out there. Look in the newsagent.

Or are we left with jumping to the conclusion that the resolution to the equation “well off” = “dumb” = “bad choices” = ‘well, we had better stop the not too bright wandering around making these mistakes all day long’ ?

I think we have seen enough examples in the world to suggest that ain’t the smartest economics either.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

CL, you asked for two links.

1. Your post about Irena Sendler has Gore’s name in the title instead of hers. And you could have used any post-war Nobel winner instead of Gore.

2. Your comment above, which shows evidence that you suffer from Gore Derangement Syndrome.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Not that I care particularly, but interestingly C.L., none of your blogs seem to be searchable. Google doesn’t return any hits at all for
site:thecurrencylad.blogspot.com
or
site:pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/49571/20070505-0000/thecurrencylad.blogspot.com/
or
site:web.archive.org/web/20061028114955/http://thecurrencylad.blogspot.com

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

I will say though that looking at

http://web.archive.org/web/*sr_1nr_10000/http://thecurrencylad.blogspot.com/*

claims you have a “Gore” obsession appear to be somewhat unfounded, as his name appears in not a single article title. Indeed I can only see one article there about global warming.

C.L.
13 years ago

Lame, Tim – even by your notoriously mediocre standards.

Fixed, NPOV. Google away.

C.L.
13 years ago

…you could have used any post-war Nobel winner instead of Gore.

Why would I do that, Tim, you ridiculous clown, when she was only a nominee once – in 2007?

That Gore won the award ahead of her in that year says something important about our times – in my opinion. This didn’t detract from the respect that was due to her person, which I joyfully sought to emphasise as I worked on this one post late into the night. You don’t have to agree. Just don’t lie about me being some kind of Bolt-like AGW or Gore fanatic when everyone knows that isn’t true.

By their sour obsession with the mindcrime of insulting the former Vice President, both gilmae and Tim illustrate precisely the moral myopia I sought to highlight and lament in the post’s header.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Are you sure it’s fixed, CL (12). Here’s the top post on your blog today:

Escalation: Turtle Bay Sends Junta Boss A Letter

“Deep concern“, “immense frustration”: UN ups pressure on Burma.

And here’s the result from a Google search I just did for “concern site:http://thenewcurrencylad.blogspot.com/

Your search – concern site:http://thenewcurrencylad.blogspot.com/ – did not match any documents.

Granted it’s a recent post, but the word concern is so frequently used that I’d expect it to turn up in one or two of your earlier posts.

By their sour obsession with the mindcrime of insulting the former Vice President, both gilmae and Tim illustrate precisely the moral myopia I sought to highlight and lament in the posts header.

Sounds like projection to me. Irena Sendler was worth the post, undoubtedly, but the title is gratuitous since nowhere in the post do you state the fact that Sendler was a ‘rival’ for Gore’s Peace Prize. Neither have you described the ‘moral myopia’ you lament sufficiently for anyone here to judge whether your accusation that TIm and gilmae are so afflicted is correct.

Finally, this part of your post looks like narcissism to me:

I ask myself: would I have measured up to Miss Sendler’s standards? Would I have defied the Gestapo on a daily basis? Would I, like her, have refused to talk as torturers broke my legs? The answers don’t come easily.

C.L.
13 years ago

Ken, in the old days I never bothered with the feed because: 1) it made no real difference to the readership of my small, boutique corner-store blog; same for big blog linkage to my site: when I did get a link from – say – Powerline during the 2004 US election, I noticed that I was the Next Big Thing for approximately five minutes before the visiting horde of Americans got bored with new posts on Simon Crean or whatever. The readership of the site remains essentially the same and I’m not interested in posting blockquote-driven shite 15 times every day; and 2) I got a lot of satisfaction – as I still do – from designing posts for readers and liked the idea that the site itself was visited; I also got the impression that this lifted the number of comments, which I – like all bloggers – welcomed. (In 2008, comments in the non-Blair/Bolt right-o-sphere are much harder to come by. Yes, I’m probably behind the times, four years later – I don’t really know. I do appreciate your interest in my various efforts.

Gummo, NPOV’s observation encouraged me to check out the Settings option in Blogger and I noticed the search option was de-selected. I changed it to ‘yes’ so it should now work – or soon will. The archives are on the blog for you to search in the mean time. But we know that is nothing but a sullen diversion because I had the temerity to mock Al Gore. Blog regulars know what I blog about and they know I’m not an AGW blogger.

You, Gummo, now join gilmae and Tim in demonstrating my point. Gore’s personage cannot even be criticised – but a Holocaust heroine can be overlooked for the Nobel despite the best efforts of no less a person than the Polish president, in concert with many others striving for her recognition. The hostile Gore-eroticism is also illustrated by the mind-bogglingly idiotic observation that to ask oneself if one would stand up for others in such extreme scenarios – as Sendler did – is “narcissism.” As I concluded, and which you dishonestly left out: “Good people can only be morally kindred to such heroes of history while hoping the world never presents them or their children with a chance to find out for real – the hard way.” I’m talking about a cultural us not an emotional me. Quite simply, these responses are bizarre and fully explain how leftists chose to give the Nobel to Al Gore rather than to a genuine instrument of peace.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Gummo, why is that narcissistic? The implication is that, absent any proof, he would like to say unflinchingly ‘yes’ but is sufficiently self-aware to know that the answer might well be ‘no’.

Young athletes compare themselves constantly to greater athletes – do I kick like X? Tackle like Y? Cover deep like J? Surely it wouldn’t hurt if more of us considered comparing ourselves to moral heroes?

CL, I think you are being a bit harsh on gilmae. His reason for not being aware of what had featured on LP is perfectly reasonable, and his point about Gore is mainly right. I suspect he didn’t know she was only nominated in 2007 – as Gummo says, it isn’t mentioned in your post.

Besides, why care? Surely the Nobel peace prize has discredited itself beyond repair in any case, and long before 2007? You say that she was not even nominated until 2007 – aren’t you burying the lede a bit by talking about her rivals in 2007?

TimL, surely even Al Gore’s fans don’t really consider him a worthy recipient of a peace prize?

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

C.L., can you demonstrate that Nobel committee is dominated by leftists, or do you just assume anyone from Norway is automatically one?

And I doubt there’s anything you can do to fix the googability of the earlier incarnation of your blog.

C.L.
13 years ago

Gummo’s narcissistic love of character assassination and his research incompetence being somewhat infamous.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

FWIW, from http://nobelpeaceprize.org/eng_com_mem.html:

One member of the Nobel committee was member of Young Conservatives, and chairman of the Conservative party. One was a member of the relatively conservative Christian People’s party. Two of them appear to be genuine leftists (ex-member of the Socialist-Left party and of the Social Democratic Youth), and the other has an association with the “Progress Party” which defines itself as “liberal conservative”.

So if anything that’s 2 lefties and 3 righties.

C.L.
13 years ago

NPOV, most sane people concluded the Nobel committee was a leftist joke when its members awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to terrorist Yasser Arafat (with others) in 1994. Can you prove Al Gore sacrificed more for the attainment of peace than Irena Sendler? Make the case. I’d especially be interested in what a man who was part of an Administration that sent dozens of alleged terrorists to be tortured in Egypt would say to Ms Sendler – who was tortured by the Gestapo.

JC
JC
13 years ago

An excellent piece, CL and great to hear the story of this most deserving non winner.

Trotsky:

If a person rhetorically asks the question as whether they could even come close to matching (in this case) the woman’s bravery let me know as I may had misunderstood the meaning of narcissism when i first met the word.

Current definition:

An exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself.

New Trotsky definition:

An interest in and admiration of a brave human being.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Er, I’m not defending their selection of Al Gore.

But I think at least 3/5ths of the current committee would strongly object to being called “leftists”. I’ve no idea who made up the panel in 1994 (or for that matter why the selection of Arafat would imply a left-leaning political ideology)

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

FWIW, I’d guess the selection of Al Gore was motivated as much by the need for publicity as anything. Sadly, the public aren’t particularly interested in obscure figures that I would agree are almost certainly far more deserving than various big-name winners.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

Fudgy definitions of lefty and righty NPOV. Carter, Annan and Gore (and el-Baradei and Wangaari Maathai while we are at it) are pretty clear indicators that the committee is not composed of a majority of what anyone reading this blog would consider ‘righties’ by any stretch.

CL, TimD and Gummow make an honest mistake and then retracted it, which is fair enough. Whilst Gummo might well have searched harder if the result hadn’t agreed with his priors, that is not such a big deal – I’m sure we are all guilty of that, non?

C.L.
13 years ago

Patrick, my objection was to gilmae’s gratuitous and dishonest reference to my “Al Gore obsessions.” It wasn’t a reference to his familiarity (or lack of familiarity) with LP’s notoriously nasty threads. (Where, yes, calling Noel Pearson a “coconut” and an “Uncle Tom” in comments is A-OK). That he should plead ignorance about LP’s threads while inventing an interest in AGW/Gore polemics that, in fact, is not part of my usual repertoire – and to do so in a snide sidenote that attempted to sell that bullshit to readers who might not know any better – was low. Gummo, who slanders people he doesn’t like as a matter of course – he’s quite up front about his tendentious malice too – has simply piled on for love of Gore, presumably. Bear in mind, though, that gilmae proudly claimed here last week that he doesn’t “like” me. You get the picture.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Patrick, sure – I’d accept that the entire Norwegian political spectrum sits somewhat to the left of Australia’s. Most right-wing parties there would considered pretty centrist here.

So by Australian (and American) standards, there’s arguably something of a left-leaning inclination among the Committee. But I’m not convinced that had all that much to do with their selection of Al Gore.

Patrick
Patrick
13 years ago

I frankly can’t imagine what motivated that selection, but your hypothesis is as reasonable as any other. And as damning, frankly.

My point is negative – I don’t know what the committee is, but I know what it is not.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

Why damning? What’s the point of even having the Nobel peace prize if nobody takes any notice of it?

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

Gummo, why is that narcissistic? The implication is that, absent any proof, he would like to say unflinchingly yes but is sufficiently self-aware to know that the answer might well be no.

Patrick,

Most of us are aware that, absent any proof, we don’t know what we’d do if we were tortured. Most of us are also aware that absent any proof, we don’t know how we’d behave if we had a tooth extracted without anaesthetic, found ourselves in a lifeboat with only human corpses as a food supply or with our arm stuck under a big boulder, miles from help, and faced with the prospect of either cutting it off with a Swiss Army Knife or dying of hypothermia.

Most of us don’t dwell on these hypothetical questions for any length of time; at least not when we’re sober. And while I might profess admiration for one or two moral (or intellectual) heroes, I don’t necessarily aspire to the opportunity to emulate them if it involves electrodes coming any where near my testicles. I hope that in writing about them I wouldn’t suddenly turn the focus from their attainments to my (non-existent) habit of contemplating their awesomeness and finding myself so very inferior to them. That habit isn’t exactly a healthy one to have, either – it makes ethics the realm of heroic virtue rather than the everyday necessity it is for most of us.

So yes, I do find it narcissistic – what CL is admiring in himself (and parading before the reader) is his own overweening humility.

CL,

You’re still projecting – without any evidence – onto gilmae, Tim and now me, some sort of Gore worship. Personally, I don’t waste a lot of thought on Al Gore. I don’t pay much attention to the Nobel Prizes either. But I have, over time, developed a considerable disdain for you.

After what I’ve just said and what I said above to Patrick, you’ll find it no surprise that I find your last sentence as self-indulgent as the passage I quoted. On balance, I don’t count myself as ‘moral kindred’ to Irena Sendler – just someone who has sometimes too definite ideas about what’s right and what ain’t, and the good fortune to live in a society with a low enough electrode/testicle ratio that the ethical choices of everyday life aren’t too challenging.

The bitter irony of that error that you have once again dredged up from the past, is that later on Bolt really did verbal Judge O’Loughlin, with a splendid cut and paste of out-of-sequence quotes from the Cubillo/Gunner case. That was a definite “Oh bugger!” moment for me.

JC
JC
13 years ago

Trotsky:
Cl was offering up a narrative that went well with the obit, Stop digging as you’re going to end up in Beijing for the Olympics.

I’ve heard countless people make the same comment when seeing an act of heroism (on TV?). I can’t imagine how anyone sees it as narcissistic except you.

Niall
13 years ago

aren’t all definitions of lefty and righty fudgy? Basically an excuse for a vacant argument.

C.L.
13 years ago

Most of us don’t dwell on these hypothetical questions for any length of time; at least not when were sober.

Gummo hits the booze:

“Most of us are aware that, absent any proof, we dont know what wed do if we were tortured. Most of us are also aware that absent any proof, we dont know how wed behave if we had a tooth extracted without anaesthetic, found ourselves in a lifeboat with only human corpses as a food supply or with our arm stuck under a big boulder, miles from help, and faced with the prospect of either cutting it off with a Swiss Army Knife or dying of hypothermia

“Most of us dont dwell on these hypothetical questions for any length of time; at least not when were sober. And while I might profess admiration for one or two moral (or intellectual) heroes, I dont necessarily aspire to the opportunity to emulate them if it involves electrodes coming any where near my testicles. I hope that in writing about them I wouldnt suddenly turn the focus from their attainments to my (non-existent) habit of contemplating their awesomeness and finding myself so very inferior to them. That habit isnt exactly a healthy one to have, either – it makes ethics the realm of heroic virtue rather than the everyday necessity it is for most of us.

“After what Ive just said and what I said above to Patrick, youll find it no surprise that I find your last sentence as self-indulgent as the passage I quoted. On balance, I dont count myself as moral kindred to Irena Sendler – just someone who has sometimes too definite ideas about whats right and what aint, and the good fortune to live in a society with a low enough electrode/testicle ratio that the ethical choices of everyday life arent too challenging.”

285 words.

Written with a depressive’s exquisite virtuosity for navel-gazing.

_________________________________________________________

What Gore worshipping imbiber Gummo regards as my dwelling on the subject:

“I ask myself: would I have measured up to Ms Sendler’s standards? Would I have defied the Gestapo on a daily basis? Would I, like her, have refused to talk as torturers broke my legs? The answers don’t come easily. Good people can only be morally kindred to such heroes of history while hoping the world never presents them or their children with a chance to find out for real – the hard way.”

74 words.

_________________________________________________________

What came before my merely concluding contemplation:

“WE who were rescuing children are not some kind of heroes. Indeed, that term irritates me greatly. The opposite is true: I continue to have qualms of conscience that I did so little.” So said Irena Sendler who has died in Warsaw, aged 98. Yad Vashem called her Righteous Among the Nations and Poland bestowed on her its highest civilian decoration – the Order of the White Eagle – for saving an estimated 2500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto before they could be exterminated with all the other Jews imprisoned in that Nazi hellhole. Sendler’s name is also now associated, of course, with the method she used to record the children’s names.

“Too frail to attend last year’s parliamentary ceremony honouring her and the underground Council for Aid to Jews (Zegota) – for which she and her mostly Catholic circle worked – she sent a letter that was read at the Sejm by a woman she saved as a little baby. In part, it said:

“Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.”

“Over a half-century has passed since the hell of the Holocaust, but its spectre still hangs over the world and doesn’t allow us to forget the tragedy.”

“Pope John Paul II wrote a rare personal letter to Sendler in 2003:

Honorable and dear Madam, I have learned you were awarded the Jan Karski prize for Valor and Courage. Please accept my hearty congratulations and respect for your extraordinarily brave activities in the years of occupation, when – disregarding your own security – you were saving many children from extermination, and rendering humanitarian assistance to human beings who needed spiritual and material aid. Having been yourself afflicted with physical tortures and spiritual sufferings you did not break down, but still unsparingly served others, co-creating homes for children and adults. For those deeds of goodness for others, let the Lord God in his goodness reward you with special graces and blessing. Remaining with respect and gratitude I give the Apostolic Benediction to you.

“I’m no expert on Ms Sendler but my instinct all the same is to dislike the sobriquet, the Female Schindler. I can appreciate its journalistic and didactic utility in light of Stephen Spielberg’s film masterpiece but my guess is she probably saved more lives than Oskar Schindler (not that it’s a contest) and she had no status as an industrialist to shield her work. When she was caught she was tortured. Perhaps it would be fairer to say the great Schindler was the Male Sendler. Anyway, in a world that praises the heroism of a footballer playing with a chipped collarbone, it really is a grace to be reminded of what actual heroism looks like and also what it entails: namely, choosing what is right no matter what the price.”

_________________________________________________________

Gummo, you, gilmae and Tim were angry at the implied criticism of Gore – the planet-saving hero of the modern deranged left. So you concocted an argument about narcissism to offset your own resentment at my inclusion in this daily round-up and to save a critique which gilame and Lambert had to abandon.

What a sad little minnow you are.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

Oddly enough, in the comments to CL’s post, nobody mentions Gore until CL posts his own comment:

Let’s not downplay the heroism of Al Gore and the IPCC. It’s said that on one occasion during the making of his film, An Inconvenient Truth, Gore once walked past the caterers’ tent without grabbing so much as a muffin.

No mention of Sendler, instead it’s an ever so witty “Al Gore is fat” comment. (And the Nobel Peace Prize is not a medal for heroism in any event.)

And the point of gilmae’s footnote was to encourage folks to read CL’s post and not be put off by the title, which leads you to expect the usual RWDB Gore hatefest.

C.L.
13 years ago

Astonishing, Tim.

But back to the point: Gilmae’s reference – “get over his Al Gore obsessions” – presupposed such “obsessions” actually existed and are somehow known to exist in my writings. Got that? I obsessively write and post about Al Gore, according to Gilmae. Who knew? Well, nobody. It is, of course, a deliberate lie.

My header was a perfectly legitimate cultural point to make about these two nominees and what it says about our age that Gore won. That’s pretty obvious given the respectful post I prepared about a woman I admired very much.

Nobody has to agree with that header comparison. Just as I personally wouldn’t link to anything written by the Juan Cole – the man who famously claimed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was “misquoted” about wiping Israel off the map.

Niall
13 years ago

CL…define ‘modern deranged left’ if you can. I think it’s only fair that if you’re about making implied insults, that those you’re supposedly insulting understand that you’re aiming at them. Your terminology is a broad brush loaded with transparent paint.

Gummo Trotsky
13 years ago

CL,

But back to the point: Gilmaes reference – get over his Al Gore obsessions – presupposed such obsessions actually existed and are somehow known to exist in my writings. Got that? I obsessively write and post about Al Gore, according to Gilmae. Who knew? Well, nobody. It is, of course, a deliberate lie.

Perhaps the best way to get this dealt with, since it bothers you so much, is for you to lead by example and withdraw the numerous false accusations against others that you’ve made in your comments here. Starting with the one about gilmae’s remark on your obsession with Al Gore being, of course, a deliberate lie.

NPOV
NPOV
13 years ago

From wikipedia:

“To lie is to state something one believes is false with the intention that it be taken for the truth by someone else”

C.L., I take it then you feel gilmae a) believes that you don’t have an Al Gore obssesion and b) intended that we all it take it as a truth that you do?

Ken Miles
13 years ago

C.L. may not have a AG obsession, but he certainly doesn’t pass up an opportunity to take a cheap braindead shot at him.

C.L.
13 years ago

Your terminology is a broad brush loaded with transparent paint.

You mean varnish, then? I wouldn’t paint you with that, Niall. The sight of a naked, hairy and SHINEY man would scare the bejesus out of Vietnamese motorists.

Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
13 years ago

Could be lacquer, CL, mixed with his metaphors.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
13 years ago

ah Niall, the Left’s John Greenfield …

Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
Liam (Bring Back Punster Paxton)
13 years ago

Now that’s an insult that works in both directions, Jason. Nice work.

Ken Miles
13 years ago

Why would I do that, Tim, you ridiculous clown, when she was only a nominee once – in 2007?

Actually there is no way that CL could know that this is true. Nobel prize nominations are kept secret. From Wikipedia:

The names of the nominees are never publicly announced, and neither are they told that they have been considered for the Prize. Nomination records are sealed for fifty years. In practice some nominees do become known. It is also common for publicists to make such a claim, founded or not.

Tim Lambert
13 years ago

And note further that it isn’t difficult to get nominated — any humanities professor or member of a national assembly can nominate by sending a letter to the Nobel committee.

Ken Miles
13 years ago

And note further that it isnt difficult to get nominated any humanities professor or member of a national assembly can nominate by sending a letter to the Nobel committee.

And one last point, peace prizes tend to be given out shortly after the event (relative to science prizes which have to stand the test of time) so CL should be bitching about people who won the peace prize shortly after WWII, not Al Gore. Irena Sendler had a virtually zero chance of getting the Peace Prize in 2007 irrespective of who else was nominated.

tIm LaMbert
tIm LaMbert
13 years ago

…should be bitching about people who won the peace prize shortly after WWII…

Again, why would I do that when Ms Sendler was only a nominee in 2007, having lived in relative obscurity until a hit-play, ‘Life in a Jar’ (1999), made her work known to the wider world?

And I’m not the one bitching. You, Tim, Gummo and Niall are – remember?

Ken Miles
13 years ago

Again, why would I do that when Ms Sendler was only a nominee in 2007, having lived in relative obscurity until a hit-play, Life in a Jar (1999), made her work known to the wider world?

Can you not read? Or do you just ignore facts which are inconvenient to your cheap idiotic shots? You have no way of knowing that she was nominated only once.

She was obscure enough that she was recognised by Israel in the 1960s. Back then she would have been a much stronger candidate for the Noble – simply because of the passage of time reduces the chance that somebody will get the Peace Nobel.

And Im not the one bitching. You, Tim, Gummo and Niall are – remember?

Yeah, because it was me, Tim, Gummo and Niall who were using Irena Sendler’s obit to take cheap shots at someone we don’t like.

saint
13 years ago

I had never heard of Irena Sendler until I read C.L.’s post, and I found her story moving, and C.L’s writing exemplary, as always. And yes, I succumbed to the same “narcissism” of which one of you accused C.L.

Frankly, as a long time reader of C.L., I also found gilmae’s editorial comment surprising (C.L. obsessed with Gore??? you want to tell me about invisible pink unicorns again gilmae?) and despite his intentions, and along with some of the comments here, belittling and dismissive of Irena Sendler; let’s not go to some people’s obsession with C.L.

Perhaps some don’t need to succumb to “narcissism” because after all, even a “small effort” seems already beyond them.

Ken Miles
13 years ago

Saint, it’s pretty obvious that C.L. does have Gore on his mind. A quick search through the Catallaxy comments finds him engaging in cheap shots. Even in a obit for Sendler he can’t resist taking a dumb jab.

I don’t understand Gummo’s narcissism comment, but the rest of comments bagging C.L. have been pretty spot on.

Who here has been belittling or dismissive of Irena Sendler?