Laurie Penny, Chagos Islanders And Mormon women

Jake Wallis Simons is better than the average Tory, certainly the Daily Telegraph could do with better writers and a wider intellectual pool of ideas.

Nevertheless I was somewhat shocked and pleased to read his In defence of Laurie Penny:

“Call me contrarian, but I quite like being friends with people who come at life from markedly different perspectives. Not only does it broaden one’s own point of view, but it prevents one from plumping for one’s political preconceptions, and instead consider each issue on its own merits. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I feel an Adorno quote coming on: “Thought that does not capitulate before wretched existence comes to nought before its criteria, truth becomes untruth, philosophy becomes folly”. Indeed. Facebook is nothing if not a stream of “wretched existence”, and sometimes it is wise to allow thought to capitulate before it – or at least allow for that possibility.

Here’s the thing. In recent weeks and months, it has been impossible to read Laurie’s status updates without being shocked at the sheer volume and viciousness of the hatred she is subjected to online. If you have the stomach for it, google something like “Laurie Penny hate”. The results are appalling. People have threatened and insulted her in the very worst terms, and have even gone so far as to post cartoons of her being abused and beaten up.

Now, Laurie Penny is a provocative and controversial figure, and a lot of people find her intensely irritating. It is only to be expected that she will attract a fair amount of friction. Even David Starkey took leave of his manners and tried to intimidate her in the most atrocious way. But look: call me old-fashioned, but didn’t there use to be such a thing as a civilised disagreement? “

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Swedish Lawyers, Humour in Assange And Death Threats For Being Gay

The Assange story carries on like a poorly written epic poem, but there is humour in it, as Sadie Smith shows in Internet Wars: The Assange Saga

The Blog That Peter Wrote examines What Has Happened to Wikileaks.

Yet another Assange piece at the New Statesman. It is not notable because of the argumentation, but rather the comments from Assange supporters. Their remarks come over at lacking in evidence, prone to conspiracies and peppered with non-sequiturs.

The marvellous Sandi Toksvig talks about coming out:

“In the early 90s, Toksvig was told she was about to be outed by a tabloid newspaper. She and her then partner, and their children, went into hiding. “We had death threats, mainly from very religious people who very kindly were going to kill me on God’s behalf because he’s busy.” She laughs, then adds: “It was scary. I’m on kissing terms with the police hate crime squad.” She brightens. “I’ll tell you what makes it worth it. I still get young women who come up to me and say, ‘Thank you, because I was able to say to my mum, ah, but you like Sandi and her life is OK.’ I might not have chosen [to be gay] – it’s hard to be outside of the norm – but I’m glad because it has made me more tolerant. Now I’m 54, I’m delighted and happy – but the years when I was scared for my children, I could have done without that.” “

Mark Klamberg covers Glenn Greenwald’s clumsy intervention into Swedish legal matters:

“In my previous post I described how the Swedish extradition procedure works and its sequence. I explained that prior to the evaluation and decision of the Government the law provides that 1) the Prosecutor-General shall deliver a statement of opinion on the matter and 2) the Supreme Court shall rule on the matter. I wrote that the Government is the final body to approve an extradition request and it may deny a request even if it has been approved by the Supreme Court, but I did not go into the question of the discretion of the Government when there is an extradition agreement. Glenn Greenwald cited parts of my post on the Guardian website on this matter.

The problem is that Greenwald earlier and later in the same text argues for a sequence that would put the Government before the Supreme Court. In essence he is arguing that the Government should have the first and the last say with the Supreme Court in the middle. That would make the Supreme Court redundant which is contrary to the sequence that is provided for in the Extradition Act which I have tried to describe. It may also violate the principle of separation of powers. To be more specific, Greenwald writes in his debate with David Allen Green the following. “

Taliban hack heads off of party goers.

Afghanistan’s Lost Women.