Should Governments Fund Science?

With this topic, we are getting close to the heart of the whole matter. The history of government funding for the arts and sciences closely parallels the 20th-century transition of Western governments from liberal democracies to social democracies I discussed earlier, and the rise of the totalitarian socialist/fascist state. Dr Dave raised the subject in his comment on the previous thread, and I thought it deserved a separate discussion space here.

Dave referred to the farewell speech of U.S. President Eisenhower in 1961. It is a powerful and far-reaching oration, delivered at a time of a Cold War becoming increasingly hot, building tensions in South-East Asia and successful testing of Soviet atomic weapons.

Coming from the man who was Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe in WWII, any speech including the word liberty four times and war twice that is to be taken very, very seriously. Eisenhower, referring to the increasing pace of the technological revolution, warns of a growing tendency for public policy to be held to ransom by those who control that technology on which it depends:

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

The three most prominent and best-known scientific projects undertaken by the U.S. Government (and by extension, the governments of its allies which played a part in all three) were the Manhattan Project, the Apollo lunar exploration project and the IPCC. As Dave pointed out yesterday, the first was, strictly speaking, an engineering rather than a scientific enterprise, drawing on discoveries in physics made decades earlier. The second drew on military research into rocketry undertaken after the Second World War and was part of a militarily-motivated push by the United States to establish a presence in space.

The IPCC, while run under the aegis of the United Nations, is predominantly funded by the American and British taxpayer (along with, rather anachronistically, France, Germany, Italy and Japan). It draws upon government-funded research into climate which appears to reach a broadly convergent conclusion. Two explanations are possible for this; which one you believe depends, I would suggest, largely on your views on the rôle governments should play in the funding of science.

I have set down my own position on this issue in earlier threads on this blog. As a Libertarian, I believe the functions of government should be limited to ensuring national sovereignty, protecting life and limb, upholding Common Law and constructing and maintaining essential public infrastructure. The arms of government thus naturally comprise the military, parliament, the courts, police, and such departments of Public Works as are needed to maintain roads, rail, ports and so on. (I personally lean towards social ownership of power generation and distribution and communications infrastructure, but that’s a story for another day).

Research into military technology is thus a proper use of public money; though in practice it may be outsourced to private agencies where a proper cost-benefit analysis shows this to be favourable. For the rest, I believe funding should be left to the private sector. It is fatuous to suggest money cannot be found this way for essential research; the world’s leading funder of malaria research is a private U.S. citizen. If individuals genuinely believe in the imminence of a threat, they will put their money where their mouths are. The issue, it seems to me, is one of advocates of Big Government wishing to put other people’s money where their mouths are.

And this is the primary problem—if politicians and activists are in control of large reserves of public money to spend as they will, the tendency to empire-building and perpetuation of the process at the expense of clearly-defined outcomes, becomes overwhelming. It’s human nature. Worse, there is the inevitable temptation of scientists co-opted into the process to abandon scientific empiricism (which is deaf and blind to political considerations) and seek conclusions favourable to their benefactors, and b) the propensity of malevolent forces seeking social control to hijack the democratic process, leading to what is now known as post-normal science.

It seems fitting to end with Eisenhower’s words from the same speech. The forces he warned of half a century ago have been defeated—but for them it is only a temporary setback, as they are regrouping and redefining their methods. Control of public money for “scientific” endeavour is but one of the many fronts on which they are waging their battle:

We face a hostile ideology—global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle—with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

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344 Responses to Should Governments Fund Science?

  1. I have mixed feelings about Eisenhower because of Suez.

  2. Blackswan says:

    Excellent post Oz,

    This issue is the crux of the entire Climate quandary…“a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity”.

    When such monumental amounts of money are directed towards any single outcome, how can results be other than what we have seen?

    That final paragraph outlines the only course of action available to any Libertarian.

  3. But Crownarmourer and Blackswan, you must understand, we must protect our precious bodily fluids.

  4. Amanda says:

    Bear: I saw that about precious bodily fluids. Apart from the fact that I’m anti-Communist, gee whiz, he can *keep* his essence! Toxin, more like!

    If you do order the truffles (not available till November, apparently), I’m sure you’ll like them. Everything by It’s Arthur’s Fault! is fabulous. We found out about his Vermont cottage-business through The Wine Spectator. (We don’t get it for the WS ratings; nor bother with Parker ratings: Mr A is a connoisseur well beyond the ratings game. Not that he doesn’t like Parker as a wine guru, but Parker’s not a Pinot Noir/Burgundy fan particularly, and we are….)

  5. Amanda says:

    Crown, thank you my guardian angel Cookie Monster for offering to throw custard pies at dawn at Tom Chivers and especially that prick Damocles in defence of mine and Msher’s honour. Have a chocolate macadamia peanut butter cookie on me! Have the whole jar!

  6. Cheery shouldn’t you be general jack d’ripper bear.
    Now no fighting in the war room.

  7. Amanda says:

    Rastech, I’ve now read your post on the previous thread for the third time (first time was a quick skim as I was in a rush). Sounds like a deep insight you have that can only be indicated or gestured to for the benefit of the unknowing; but anyway it all sounds intriguing. I had heard of Game Theory but had no idea that it had such sinister or unwholesome effects.

  8. Amanda says:

    Cheery Bear: I love that t-shirt store: Effing The Ineffable Since 1991. Only in America!

  9. Amanda says:

    This is for Pointman:

    and

    and

    A.

  10. Amanda says:

    Oh, and this one, too:


    AJB

  11. Amanda says:

    Oz, when you get a chance, do you want to trash the duplication? — not my intention: WordPress wouldn’t show it and then doubled up.

    No problems Amanda – done.

    Which reminds me – LibertyGibbert hit 11,000 comments yesterday. Once again, thanks to you all for your continued support.

    BTW Amanda, I’ll be in town on Friday so I’ll get your 10K Vegemite jar off to you then – Oz

  12. Amanda says:

    And in the Jukebox, one more Queen….

  13. Agreed and done, Crownarmourer. Thanks for the truffles link, Amanda. Please catch my t-shirt link at the end of the prior post and if you like, please wear one when you go to vote Nov 3. Some are quite funny.

    I did about a three year stint in the 1980’s doing nothing but military QA/QC documentation and work instructions writing for semi= and fully-classified manufacturing facilities like Huge Aircrash’s Tucson AF plant #44, where Maverick, TOW, Phoenix, and Harpoon missiles and made from scratch to finished boomtoys. I worked about 25-30 separate gigs in that period of time, sometimes two shifts, one at each plant, simultaneously LOL! It was a major education in military procurement and priorities and also direct insight into research priorities and technology transfer to the civilian sector.

    What makes blanket condemnation of military and defence research impossible, to my mind, is the fact of the usefulness to the civilian sector of technologies developed for the military that are eminently useful and come to full bloom in the civilian private sector. MRI’s and catscans came from military surgeons sorting out how to get at non-metal shrapnel with their blades while minimizing the risk of over-exposure to X-rays, and the desire for better accuracy and resolution in exam procedure photography, as an example. ALL the digital toys we play with now derived from military research: the first cell phone as we know it and cell phone network were developed by the Izzies for the Z’Ahal (IDF).

    What I criticise is the inability to differentiate budget wise the overall cost-benefit with full cycle parameters, balancing civilian benefit with military defence capabilities improvement. The only folks who do this are a sort of freelance quango of “eccentric” Jerries who work with the Russians, mostly, at an organization called the Defence Conversion Office in Berlin. They work with Russians to convert old aero engines to electrical generators and natural gas compressors, combat transport to over the road and all terrain transport (for example for timber harvesting) and the like. They have been at that since 1994. I’ll look them up. I shot them a resume once. Would have been fun.

    The dyes and fire retardants in clothing and fabric came from military research, and even nylon, rayon and polyesters were first developed under military government contract. The zipper didn’t see general use until it was first used in military uniforms in WW II.

    Here is who audits and enforces contract compliance for both research and production for the DoD: http://www.dcma.mil In my day they were DCASMA, the Defence Contract Audit Service and Management Agency. How I wish Michael Mann’s and UEA and IPCC were directly managed by these guys, as DCMA would have put the lot of them behind bars by now. They are touch nuts, unbribable, they love their work, and they punch a mean ten-key as inspectors and auditors. Ironically, defence contracts are the most tightly managed production contracts and research contracts money-wise than any portion of the civilian sector: I have worked both sides of the fence, and private sectors typically pay DCMA to train their people in QA/QC and cost control through their civilian outreach programmes.

    Here are several Technology Transfer offices affiliated with the Department of Defence and related agencies: http://policy.defense.gov/1401techtransfer/news.aspx

    NASA: http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/

    The US Navy: http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=55590
    and http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=39702 I like the research team at Carderock, as the gas turbine technology development folks are based there. In 1994, Turbine Power Systems Inc. of Fremont, Nebraska, invited them to inspect several operating TB3-117’s from Mi-8 Hinds my boss had dog-robbed from the confused Russians at the time in trade for US dollars and a not so minor food relief effort for the Ukrainians in St. Petersburg (Marvin is Uke American stock). The Carderock team laughed, because the CIA and other agencies could not get the Russian government to provide such toys, yet this engine was used to power “Miss Budweiser” a winning hydroplane racing boat, in the USA because of TPS’s efforts.

    There would be no operational gas turbine generator industry in the USA without Carderock. Most GT gennies on the market started life in the Carderock labs.

    So where do you draw the line, please?

    Such issues as are the subject of this blog are a problem even to the consciences of defence workers. This was made no more clear than when as a joke I stuck removable Strawberry Shortcake doll stickers onto the fins and fuselages of Maverick missile housings. The shift super went nuts, demanding to know who did it. For about a week, I could do no wrong with the other rent-a-temps and lots of permanent staff.

    Defence workers ain’t stoopid, mates. They sweat this too. I remember a co-worker permanent staff printed circuit card design engineer citing this same Ike speech back in 1984 or 5 at that Tucson plant. It’s like everything else that works: it is a Janus and a two-edged sword which cuts both ways.

  14. missiles and should be missiles were. Pffft.

  15. Sorry, that would have been Zaporozhe, not St Pete’s. Klimov and Mashproekt are in Zaporozhe. :>p Touch should be tough, also.

  16. I think if DCMA offices and inspectors were on university campuses to breath down the necks of sh*ts like Hockey Stick Dude, the IPCC and the rest of those bar stewards would never have got a thin wedge into the appropriations budgets. Campus research fiscal auditing procedures on behalf of the Fed’s is at best a long distance thing.

    Not that it will be after this Climategate kerfuffle. I believe a lot of this quackery has had its plug pulled already on several campuses. George Mason U. is going through some sort of Federal inspector general’s review of its research finances as we speak.

  17. Amanda says:

    Oz, thank you so much for the ceremonial LibertyGibbert Vegemite. The question is, what should I do? Should I spread it on toast and get the nourishment and flavour, or put it in a time capsule marked ‘From the Golden Days of Liberty In the Magnificent West’? I don’t have children: I think I’ll eat it.

    BTW, good on Rastech for correcting Damocles’s deliberate distortion of John Locke as being for ‘life, liberty and estate’ — when he knows damn well it’s property not ‘estate’. Property as in that which anyone by law owns, not just ‘estates’ of ‘the rich’. Good for Rastech, speaking up on that point. Tyrannies don’t respect property, which is a bulwark of the rights of the individual. Damocles is on the wrong side of this, as usual.

    Spread very thinly on buttered toast to start with. It’s not as sweet as Marmite but you may get used to it – Oz

  18. I used to think defence research took money away from pure research, but it doesn’t. For one, pure research is typically more thought experiments unless you are doing the CERN bit, which is VERY defence oriented at that.

    For another I cannot name a major researcher biggie who wasn’t on government payroll. Descartes developed systems for calculating artillery shell trajectories. Newton developed navigational aids, as did Galileo. Turing, Russell, Whitehead, Wittgenstein, von Neumann, all worked at Bletchley Park. Most of medical research was funded by military medical spending initiatives. We are all beneficiaries of their intellectual largesse. Who will cast the first stone?

    What’s funny to watch is pork barrel research gone wrong. This happens on a cyclical basis. I remember the Sgt. York antimissile gun system. It gunned to shreds outhouses with infrared heaters because that’s what its thermal siting system automatically tracked. Pity it happened at trials in front of bleachers filled with newsmen and politicians LOL!

    Recently the Navy got fed up with Blockhead and other aerospace firms working on shipboard laser weapons system for knocking down UAV’s, ship to ship missiles, and incoming nukes, which should have been operational in the 1970’s (some were, but you couldn’t chitchat about that at the time). Instead, the Navy went to Naval Surface Warfare Systems who went to the Midwest and rounded up some plate-cutting CO2 laser systems from industry, put them in a turret with a guidance system, and Bob’s yer uncle. That sort of thing doesn’t get a lot of press, but you can bet some companies had their contracts pulled over sandbagging for so long.

    Oh! and did I mention corrective laser eye surgery? Another military creation.

  19. If one absolutely demands pure, I say get thee to a nunnery, sport. There ain’t no such critter as pure research, IMHO. One can do the Lady Macbeth bit if it makes one feel better.

  20. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    I apologize for so impolitely and suddenly veering back on topic. What got me thinking about this subject is an article I recently wrote for another site. It focused on conspiracy theories. Some AGW alarmists maintain that it is absolutely ludicrous to believe there is a broad and sweeping conspiracy among thousands of climate scientists. I think they’re probably correct. What they fail to recognize is that a conspiracy is not necessary. Good ol’ human nature will suffice.

    Climate science is funded nearly 100% by governments. AGW theory is very appealing to governments and politicians. It creates a common threat and provides a wonderful excuse to tax, quite literally, thin air. Better still, it provides a means to control energy and thus national economies. Big money interests like banks, commodity traders and even big industries and energy producers stand to make a fortune from this fraud. Lots of special interests are poised to gain unimaginable wealth, power and control if this scam can be appropriately perpetrated. We’re talking governments, politicians, NGOs, big banks and traders, huge industrial concerns, etc. There’s something there for almost everyone except those of us who will be paying for this folly. WAY down on the foodchain is the lowly climate scientist…but they’re an integral part.

    Governments fund their livelihood to study the “problem” of global warming. If the “problem” disappears so does their funding. Thus we have established a cadre of researchers who have a vested interest in keeping the “problem” alive. Throw in political advocacy and you really have a mess. I keep hearing the tired old saw that “97% of the world’s climate scientists agree…” So what? They’re essentially being paid to believe in what they’re doing for a living. In the USA we have unique and perverse tort laws. Is anyone shocked that 97% of all American trial lawyers vehemently oppose rational tort reform? Hell, that’s the side of the bread their butter is on.

    I actually favor some research being funded by governments. This is usually the type of research that doesn’t have near term financial payoffs and is not politically motivated. Governments and politicians aren’t concerned with the behavior or quarks or the physical nature of galaxies. Furthermore…there ain’t no money in it. For the most part I agree with you, research should remain primarily within the purview of the private sector. Projects like the Hubble Space telescope or the CERN facility I believe are good and noble causes. Mostly these projects are not likely to be co-opted for political purposes.

    The IPCC was a political body from the moment of inception. These are the dangerous ones. The answers are not easy ones. Without government funding how would we have the satellites Drs. Spencer and Christy use? On the other hand government funding has produced such political activist “scientists” as Tom Wigley, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, James Hansen, Michael Mann and Ben Santer.

    Well…we’ll see how this comment is received before I return with some medical research analogies.

    Ya’ll drink up now, ya hear,
    Dave

    Thanks Dave,

    Yep I’ve lit a fuse all right by damning government involvement; but I stand by my opinion.

    A couple of further points:

    I’ve heard the “trickle-down” argument many times before: teflon was originally developed for the Apollo program etc, etc. I see trickle-down as a useful side-benefit of any government spending, but not a first-principles argument in favour of it. Walt may be right in his point about factoring it in to any cost-benefit analysis, but I don’t see how you can do that on an a priori basis;

    I think people are seriously underestimating the power of the private sector to drive research. Before about 1900, virtually all non-military research funding was private. Even the largest military projects are outsourced: last time I looked, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were publicly listed stockholder corporations;

    Sure, “big science” ventures are more expensive (sometimes wildly so) than in previous eras, but so is the capacity of private capital to tackle them. When you consider that the abovementioned Gates Foundation is capitalized to the tune of US$33 billion (and it’s not even the largest), it gives you an idea of the scale of private money that’s available. Stop taxing the citizenry to fund nonsense like the IPCC, and there’ll be even more – Oz

  21. Amanda says:

    the fact of the usefulness to the civilian sector of technologies developed for the military that are eminently useful and come to full bloom in the civilian private sector.

    Walt, I have just been reading about this in books discussing 1940s home furnishings and houses. For example we are told: ‘The aluminium* prefab, the most widely built [of pre-fab homes], was designed by Aircraft Industries Research Organisation On Housing (AIROH) and was made by several factories previously engaged in aircraft production….’ (The 1940s Home, Paul Evans and Peter Doyle, p. 20).

    *Why does British English have an extra I in “aluminium,” while American English has “aluminum”? Both derive from the New Latin word “alumium,” itself derived from “alumina” and “-ium.” The British version includes the “ium” part, while the American passes it over in order to stress the “alumina” part. The extra I of the British word is not really a complication: a-lum-IN-i-um really rolls off the tongue.
    [from my unpublished manuscript on the cultural meaning of British and American Engish]

  22. Amanda says:

    Oz, I’ll take your advice :^). Best compromise: eat the contents and save the jar!

  23. As for the big science projects actually governments fight over these and the French are very good at getting them as they provide billions to there economy, someone has to do the tunneling the building etc. It’s workfare on a grand scale, why do think it took nearly a decade to decide where the next generation fusion reactor that will not work at.
    When the USA loses the contract to have it sited on the home turf they pull out in a huff.

  24. Darn I wish you could edit these comments after you post them. I always find major spelling mistakes afterwards.

    Spelling – the last refuge of the cornered troll – Oz

  25. Amanda says:

    Posted by me just now on James Delingpole’s personal blog:

    James,

    Why is this chap Chivers, who apparently is somebody employed by the Dental Telepath, sticking his oar in on your Desperate Tonsillectomy blog? (Sorry, it’s less boring than ‘DT’ and much less boring than the real name.) Apparently there will be no discussion of words he doesn’t like. He has already put us on notice that ‘eco-fascist’ and ‘conspiracy’ are evil words to his mind, therefore no such things could possibly exist and certainly should not be bruited. Next it will be ‘agenda’, ‘watermelons’, ‘Leftist’, ‘taxes’, and other norty words that might alert certain unenlightened readers to the path of unenlightenment. And we can’t have that.

    But — soft! — how can I speak like that? For I am now one of the new-enlightened. I have seen, on account of the gentle chastening of the past few days, the error of my past life. I have come to see Michael Mann as a persecuted hero, and Phil Jones now looks quite lovely in my eyes.

    I do hope that you appreciate all that Chivers, and especially my own favourite darling Damocles, are trying to do. In the name of truth, justice, and the AGW way.

    Yours most sincerely and contritely,
    Amanda

  26. Amanda good work I think Tom Chivers has started a blog war, however we need to be clever not spiteful. I tried a little today to make a point about stupid head games. Or we could change everyone of his blogs into a discussion on AGW no matter what the subject and bacon what’s not to love about bacon.

  27. Amanda says:

    Crown, he’s not on the blog list with all the others on the right.

    BTW has Gerald Warner given up in disgust or just run away to a small Greek island with his mistress and their love child, a Boxer dog? (A Boxer dog is the only kind of love child I’d want to have.)

  28. Amanda says:

    So obviously, I meant to say, he’s an uber-blogger or an other-blogger in a different part of ‘the paper’. But all the more, why is he interfering in James’s blog? Bog off, I say.

  29. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    The more I think about it, the more I suspect you may be winning me over to your way of thinking. In the US the government funds a lot of frivolous research (mostly in climate and biology). In an ideal world “science” would study everything and explore every question. In the real world one has to question what the value of such research might be. The American taxpayer has funded such research as the migratory patterns of butterflies and birds to the tune of millions of dollars. Mostly it benefits the universities and the biologists who conduct this research. It’s of very little value to the taxpayers who footed the bill.

    Most of the goodies and innovations we enjoy are the product of research conducted by the private sector. This is true for everything from telegraphy to communication satellites. Walt is correct in that there are offshoot technologies from military research that find their way into everyday life. At the same time a whole lot of military innovations were adopted from things developed in the private sector for entirely different purposes. My problem with military development in the states is the dishonest way it is conducted. A contractor, say Lockheed Martin, will low-ball bid a contract and win. By the time they deliver their budget over-run is often as much as 3 times the bid proposal. This is the little game they play because Congress never holds them accountable.

    Free markets always do things better than governments. There are some government big ticket projects I don’t really have a problem with. For example, the development of an aircraft platform with a high powered laser to shoot missiles out of the sky. This is an impressive national defense initiative. It’s hugely expensive but there is a defined end-point to the research and development. AGW is nebulous and open-ended. It will continue as long as it continues to be funded. It’s like using taxpayer monies to either prove or disprove the existence of God…or to quantify and characterize “love”.

    Dave, you’ve underscored my point about the validity of government funding for defence research. Regarding keeping project budgets reined in, that seems to be a perennial problem of your Congress. How you get competent and genuinely disinterested citizen representatives to do this is outside Ozboy’s purview; but surely accountability to the voters is at the heart of any solution.

    Oh and five gets you ten there’s some rich dude out there who’s passionate about butterflies and is willing to bankroll research into their migratory patterns, provided he can tag along on field trips and maybe get some new species named after him – Oz

  30. While OzBoy is quite right that all larger manufacturers supplying defence requirements are either listed on the NYSE or are closely held Subchapter S stock issuing but family-owned corporations, that is not quite the whole story as to how they operate and are managed. The Forrestal’s Industrial War Board did not shut down after WW II, it transmuted into what is now this.

    http://www.bis.doc.gov/about/index.htm

    The short form of its charter is to provide funding to maintain idle or ticking over industrial capacity in the event industry has to ramp up rapidly to deal with yet another bothersome contingency like another multi-front multi-year war on a much larger scale than our most recent heretofores. As part of this deal, these manufacturers agree to not only keep DCMA and DoD management and design staff onsite to provide guidance and oversight, they are actually part of the management team, albeit it discretely conducted, and sometimes so loudly you can hear the shouts all the way to Brisbane (a not very recent brouhaha involving Oz had to do with helicopter parts, which Bush senior dealt with rather brusquely and efficiently in Oz’s favour, to the annoyance of the US manufacturers but with general approval on the part of the rank and file, including this subcontract temp).

    It therefore really isn’t altogether accurate to describe aerospace firms as private sector altogether. Also it might interest you to note that to this day, all barrels for ordnance including and over .50 calibre are still exclusively manufactured by the US government directly. It’s quite funny one cannot find many references to the US Army Ordnance and Munitions Command, even on the Net, but it is still there.

    I do not consider Lockheed Martin nor Northrop Grumman nor especially GE private-sector firms. They are more like Rolls Royce’s nuke division or Babcock Engineering which I think is now part owned by the Japanese (Mitsui or Mitsubishi) in Rosyth: you need a clearance to work there, there are Mod inspectors and administrators permanently onsite, and for all intents and purposes, having but one major customer above all others, the government, they are a clear instance of the state owning the means of production which, with military production, is the only structure that works. The only difference is the issuance of public or private stock.

    I have often wondered as to what would happen if the leftard’s dream actually came true, at a stockholder’s meeting the stockholders all voted for Lockheed to make only refrigerators, bolo bats, yoyos, and wind turbines. That’s where and when BIS step in.

    It gets better. My experience is that these firms which are not altogether private are in fact part of the decision making process of governments very actively and directly. That is a recurring issue the BIS also is firm in addressing. They ensure we do not end up with an IG Farben and Krupp industrial combine owned indirectly by a military elite or a corrupt government quiet collective of smooth deceivers with an agendum aimed at further subjugating the populace according to their wishes and desires. They have their own private investigative & intelligence (well, CI, actually) staff to address these political issues. I think it is listed at the BIS site.

    Lockheed Martin does sell lots to the private sector, of course, as does GE, etc., etc. Yet I must insist on facing the reality that the backstop for the continuance of their corporate existences is the US Department of Defence. I don’t care how many dancing bunny rabbits frolic under a smiling sun with sugar-coated gumdrops raining down on their Website homepage there are. That is their core raison d’etre. What pretty pennies are left over after they have done their main job is what goes toward the “Gee whizz, what if…” stuff. That also accounts for LOTS of pretty pennies.

    Again, I find it difficult personally to separate the monetary particles rushing down the corporate profit pipelines to so that I can tell what is the “clean money” (from manufacturing nice consumer stuff) and the “dirty money” (making easy-to-use and maintainable devices for blowing people who want to kill us to charred and smoking smithereens before those not-very-nice people can get around to doing just that). I don’t know that anyone has ever taken the time as accountants to sort that out. GE’s financial controller over drinks has asked Jeff Immelt if he could spend a dollar or two on such a project, to which Jeff would probably laugh and say, “Not with my shareholder’s money.”

    Maybe I should be direct: what are the terms and conditions a person should impose on taking money for pure research from a corporation if one knew that firm was so organically entwined with the Department of Defence that it was de facto just its defence manufacturing arm? For the sake of argument, of course. Who is the ideal funder of pure scientific research?

    I should add as an afterthought that prior to 1900 was when Krupp and Whitworth and Stavely Asquith and the Belfast shipyards and dozens of other firms made their squirrely nuts selling to both sides of the Franco-Prussian War, our Civil War, and all with licences to do so by their respective governments. Most were at that time even more direct instruments of the State, as the nobility of Europe usually sat on the boards of these firms, either as founders of these companies or as Mr. Fixits working both ways relative to their governments. I don’t think therefore it was in principle very different to how business is done today, just less paperwork and more sorting out how to get paid or to ramp up meeting production quotas at one’s club (White’s, the Carlton, etc.).

  31. different to should be different from. I agree with Crownarmourer on the desirability of an editing or preview option LOL I should use notepad for my more garrulous moments.

  32. Should be “blowing up.” LOL :>p

  33. Governments are not especially keen on funding things that make us smelly peasantry irate and grumbling and staggering out to our woodsheds to sharpen our scythes, either.

    It would be interesting to do some forensic work to find out where all this AGW bumpf started. I subscribe to the drunken cocktail napkin sketcher theory. We have to find who drew the paper napkin sketch.

    Then death by boombah.

  34. Amanda says:
    October 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    We do things like that with words because we are IMHO a German culture speaking a form of English which is not exactly a mirror image of the Queen’s English. Up until 1940 there were over 300 German language daily newspapers in the USA, then the forerunner of HUAC shut them down forever, along with the Deutsche Amerikanischer Bund and various other pro-German organizations.

  35. Even our sentence contructs are Teutonic. American English is not exactly Commonwealth English.

  36. And here are the nice boys and girls who stand between us and the next Thule Society talent-scouting the next Fuhrer:

    http://www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/index.htm

    The only honest fundraising the Third Reich did was exporting of weapons to its pre-war allies and neutrals under the Treaty of Otranto and later to the Soviets until June of 1941 when the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact was canceled somewhat abruptly by Operation Barbarossa. Control the weapons export industry and you control the country’s economy, basically, is the theory.

  37. crownarmourer says:
    October 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I love The Daily Bayonet’s logo. Someone else is a “Zulu” fan, apparently.

  38. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    I suspect you mean “disinterested” citizens rather than uninterested citizens…we got a a shitload of those. I recently saw a breakdown of our military spending. The USA spends more than the the number #2 and #3 countries combined! What really struck me was that 40% of our military spending is little more than foreign aid. We stand guard over Europe so they don’t have to. Time to stop this practice. I’m all in favor of homeland defense. Beyond this, the rest of the western world can look after its own interests. I always get them mixed up. duly changed – thanks – Oz

    We recently had an earmark approved for $1.7M to study pig farm odor. They need a study to characterize pig stink? Classic pork! I was never in favor of invading Iraq, but it appears we have this one just about cleaned up. Afghanistan is a giant clustermuck. I say either go in, kill the bad guys and win or bring our troops home.

    “Science” right now is just as corrupt. I work in healthcare and have for nearly 30 years now. Medical and pharmaceutical research is among the cleanest out there (no, I’m saying it’s utterly pure an uncorrupted), but it’s cleaner than climate science by a good measure. We piss away a fortune studying stuff that makes no difference and in effect are spinning our wheels.

  39. I like Germans except when they take themselves too seriously. They are pretty good at playing the oppressed minority too, with enough oom-pah-pah juice in them. Like their sense of humour, though, best of all. If you can get translations of the old Simplicissimus Magazine which was shut done by the Huns during WW II. Taschen Books does cheap reprints and scholarly overviews with nice pix of those sorts of things.

  40. What baffles me about climate “science” is who actually thought to make this a major issue first, and why. I really would like to see a causative and/or decision tree, with decision taken dated and perpetrator assigned, drawn on a whiteboard so one could sort it out from a political and economic interest standpoint.

  41. Must have Dr. Morgus who came up with global warming theory:

  42. Industrial Honesty Bear the local lingo does not give me much problem but then I come from a Germanic language surviving are in the North of England where 2/3rd’s of the language was still old German where they say Ja we say Yeh and we use the personal possessive of me as me gun me mutha which is more like the German Mutta. The remaining 1/3rd is olde French. The language structure is similar. I wonder whether it gave amanda more issues initially.

  43. Industrial Honesty Bear you shouldn’t post Dr Morgus it might upset Damocles reading these posts I think he may be a fan of Jerry Lewis and what’s good enough for the French is good enough for him.
    Of course the poor chap hasn’t seen the real Jerry Lewis whose act would frankly shock the poor boy.
    I can see they used Dr Morgus as the prototype for Xanthrus on Babylon 5.

  44. Industrial Honesty Bear speaking of Zulu I saw a rip off product of the cult wear snuggies called fuzzy wuzzy’s. I may have to start a campaign to remove this racist product from our shelves as the natives are easily stirred here.

  45. Amerloque says:

    Hello Amanda !

    in res aluminum/aluminium

    Urban legend had it that the difference came from a typing mistake made by an allegedly Canadian secretary. (grin)

    Here’s another, more scholarly version:

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/aluminium.htm

    Best,
    L’Amerloque

  46. Blackswan says:

    Today I was driving home from town listening to the local ABC Radio, an interview with a “scientist” (didn’t catch the name) talking about a Climate Conference being held in Hobart. Got back, looked at the web-site of the local paper for detail – no mention at all.

    It seems Tasmanian “scientists” have developed world-first Climate Technology whereby this State has been broken down to 10 kilometre square “blocks”, for the purposes of predicting CC effects to the end of this century.

    According to the “scientist” being interviewed, current global temperature predictions to the end of the century are 3.4 degs C, however Tasmania being in southern latitudes more influenced by surrounding oceans, is predicted to only have a 2.9degsC increase.

    Owing to our topography, mountains, high plateaux etc, the west coast is colder with extremely high rainfall (exposed to the Great Southern Ocean) with the east coast warmer and drier (subject to warmer Pacific currents).

    This Hobart Conference is to announce to the Climate Science World how the 10 km square principles can be applied anywhere in the world.

    I hear you ask – “And your point is…?”

    The point is that these “scientists” can determine how land can be used “sustainably”, deciding what crops/livestock/land-use is most appropriate in the light of these micro-predictions. Shades of the UN’s Agenda 21 in determining (AND policing) sustainable land-use?

    The “scientist” went on to explain how Climate Computer Modeling is like “throwing dice” in that “if you throw the dice often enough you can predict with a fair degree of certainty how they will fall”.

    So there you have it friends – Climate “Scientists” are funding themselves by playing the Casinos of the world and sending them broke – Yeah right.

    So Who or What is funding this “Research” and hosting an International Conference in Tasmania? Our State Govt, the Federal Govt, the CSIRO (read the Feds) or is it the UN & the IPCC?

    And the outcome? Telling farmers and communities exactly what land-use is Acceptable and/or Sustainable.

    Don’t overlook or forget about Agenda 21.

    Climate predictions are one thing – having the agreed-to mechanism for Implementing and Policing Global Sustainability is the end-game.

    Don’t forget it.

  47. rastech says:

    Blackswan:”The “scientist” went on to explain how Climate Computer Modeling is like “throwing dice” in that “if you throw the dice often enough you can predict with a fair degree of certainty how they will fall”.”

    And if you load the dice, you can predict absolute certainty, how they will fall.

    But you still have an irrelevant model, producing an irrelevant set of results.

  48. Blackswan says:

    rastech says:
    October 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    G’day Rastech

    I think we’ve moved way past the loaded dice of “climate science”. It’s the enforcing of their “sustainability” that is a problem for the future.

    It’s already been implemented in Australia by the Govt declaring private property as “Carbon Sinks” and preventing the legitimate use of land, and in contravention of our own Constitution.

    Now the farmers are fighting to have the Carbon Credits (and their value) awarded to them, rather than the Govt retaining those Credits for their own coffers.

    This has already gone way past what the temperature will be in 50 years. This is a fight to retain the principle of Private Property and the ramifications of all that entails.

    The Devil is in the Detail – a debate about temperatures is a blind to deflect attention from enforcing UN edicts.

  49. Blackswan says:

    Hey Ras,

    Why do you think the guy had a banana in his pocket?

    You can only fool some of the people…..lol

  50. NoIdea says:

    The Big Lies.

    It is the hottest ever!
    CO2 is poisonous!
    Warming is bad!
    Despite being heavier than O2 and N2 and H2O vapour, CO2 can fly, convey, dissolve or hover everywhere!
    A warming ocean that is strongly out gassing CO2 will be absorbing CO2!
    The seas are rising!
    The islands are sinking!
    The polar bears are dying!
    The solar bears are coming!
    The sun does not affect the climate!
    The sun does affect the climate, but only in ways that promote AGW!
    Volcanoes do not produce lots of CO2!
    There are too many people!
    All the oil has gone!
    All the ice is melting!
    There was no little ice age!
    There was no medieval warm period!
    It is all mankind’s fault!
    Realists deny climate change!
    There is overwhelming proof!
    The science is settled!
    AGW is not a religion!
    A 40% increase in nearly nothing is huge!
    We need urgent policies which will result in massive population reduction over the next 200 years – otherwise we will simply die out as a species!

    I am sure I have missed many other Big Lies; there are of course, all the little lies, mistakes and assumptions, which have helped towards building the Big Lies.

    Nature has the final say, I have a feeling, she is about to call you lying watermelons out.
    While us realists will cope, with whatever we get handed by the weather, how will you cope, those of you convinced that the weather man, that cannot tell you the weather today, will somehow, magically, be spot on in a few years time?

    NoIdea

  51. Pointman says:

    Since Rastech introduced game theory into the discussion, I thought I’d contribute my views on it. It basically models decision-making situations between two or more parties who may be people, organisations or countries. The objective is to come up with the optimum strategy for any party. By an optimum strategy imagine subtracting the most you could lose from the most that you could win – if that ‘number’ is highest for a particular decision than any other one, then that decision is the optimum strategy. The tools of the trade are models (largely computerised), formal logic and mathematics.

    The particular answers generated for a specific scenario vary but they tend to correspond to two guiding principles:-

    1) Never trust any another party.
    2) Betraying or double crossing the other parties is nearly always a winning strategy, especially if they trust you and act in good faith. Get your betrayal in first before they can.

    Not nice, are they? The mathematics and reasoning behind all this is sound and indeed earned a Nobel Prize for the man who laid the groundwork for the whole area. Despite all that, these principles are wrong for reasons one doesn’t have to be a mathematician to understand.

    Looking at the first principle, it’s wrong because we have to trust people and there’s simply no way of getting away from that. We’ve had to trust each other from the dawn of humanity. When the first hunters went off to find game hunting cooperatively, the people left behind had to trust them to return with anything they brought down. The hunters had to trust the people left behind would look after the vulnerable members of the tribe. The hunters had to trust each other not to start killing each other for a bigger share of the meat. Without trust, tribes would not have developed, never mind civilisations.

    The flaw with the second principle is that while you may double cross a person once, you won’t usually get a second chance. What’s even worse about this strategy is that when other people learn that’s what you do then they’ll never allow themselves to be put in a situation where they have to trust you. Simple shopkeeper’s rule – everybody starts off with some line of credit but if they abuse it, they become cash only customers.

    Incidentally, when you game most military situations, the optimum strategy is get your betrayal in first ie the pre-emptive strike. But this wholly ignores the political dimension of your action. When Admiral Yamamoto learnt after Pear Harbour that no formal declaration of war had been delivered, he said “We’ve awoken a sleeping giant”. He knew that while they’d won the battle, the outrage produced by the way it was done would galvanise America as nothing else could have. He was right.

    Any attempt to utilise Game Theory in real world decision making would not only end in chaos or endless wars but most probably the end of civilisation.

    Pointman

  52. I fink all this AGW nonsense is to go by the sideboard only as quick as the economies of the West flop, which event is long overdue. Only EZ credit with flurries of newly printed currencies are delaying the Big Flop.

    Crownarmourer, I have a buddy from Mali who is one of the world’s most congenial crooks of a non-impact nature who, when I mentioned “Zulu” was one of my favourite flicks, laughed and said “Me, too.” It like the posting of the song “I Hate Wogs” here where the poster said the immigrants sing it loudest of all when it is sung in a bar or at a sports event.

    The concept of racism only persists to keep social workers and other idiot tw*ts employed and fed with a nice patch of caseload client vegetables to garden. That’s to nlow away too in the Big Flop.

    Me grandmum’s maiden name was Bachman from Minnesota, so the Teutonic mutation of the English language here is something with which I have some familiarity (Hutterite stock derived from Amish derived from forcibly converted Jews in the Palatinate after Nappy blew it at Waterloo and Metternich took over again). Teachers still have to correct dangling participles, modifiers a the end of sentences, capitalization of all Nouns and putting verbs at the end of sentences in that region, and yet the kids cannot even say where they got into that habit LOL.

    Wot’s a mackem, please? It’s some sort of English ethnic group, right? Or just another reason to start a fight?

    On the AGW front, one may say what one likes, but that rubbish all started with nary a protest in 1996, then in a decade it suddenly it becomes a public issue where everyone on the greentard side of the fence is an expert even if they are an English major. It was preventable many times over through proper oversight of campus research and straightforward demands from the electorate for accountability. We really are finding out what it was like to be German in 1922 up to 1932, when their greentards took over. (Goering invented environmentalism; it’s worth looking up what he did for the Schwarzwald and Heurtgen Forests. Charles Lindbergh emulated what Goering did in several US forest preserves using Fat Boy Flier’s paradigm. He was an EnviroHun, too).

  53. Substitute “Race theory” for “AGW,” and Bob’s yer uncle.

    The truth of AGW is as self-evident as was the racial inferiority of non-Aryans to Germany in 1932. The goals are identical, too. Or am I missing something? Not even the Jerries at the peak of wartime would have hazarded a film like the Splattergate mini-epic.

  54. Amanda says:

    G’day all. Interesting comments as always – language, game theory, the nature of research. A few thoughts:

    Without trust, tribes would not have developed, never mind civilisations.
    Bingo! Trust, rendered sophisticated and codified, is the basis of high civilisation, and especially ours: it means that laws duly made will be honoured, and since they won’t change from day to day, you can go ahead and make your plans. (Incidentally, the poor and the resourceless don’t make plans, they just spend what they have. According to a scholarly study of 18th-century France, this is also why the French peasants had children they couldn’t afford: a life of hand-to-mouth meant that one further hand-to-mouth was actually no big deal. Enjoy your children while they’re alive etc.) Trust means that I can make my plans and involve someone else with them and not be a fool: it makes investment of time, money, creative energy, and sheer effort possible. This is why the Left is wrong about communism being the system that will satisfy everyone and keep the peace: people will only work hard and sacrifice for themselves and their own; they won’t do it for strangers. Free markets, a capital economy, based on contracts which are recorded trust, help to create political stability as well as leading to human flowering in other ways (the arts, public building, etc.). This was a theme of Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Waverly, by the way: the lowland landowning Scots could not easily join the Jacobin rebellion of 1745 because property gave them a greater stake in political stability. That’s why Locke’s ‘life, liberty, and property’ go hand in hand.

    It seems to me that this very trust is lacking in much of the Arab world, the basis for any real trust being membership (or cousinship!) of a clan. This fosters a paranoid ‘us versus them’ mindset, which is highly injurious to making common political cause and depersonalizing politics. ‘The personal is the political’: did they get that from the Arabs? They might as well have done. Without trust, lying to others on matters big and small becomes routine — after all, they’re doing it to you — and ‘integrity’ as we know it becomes problematic if not impossible.

    Simple shopkeeper’s rule – everybody starts off with some line of credit but if they abuse it, they become cash only customers.
    Or they’re banned from the shop altogether.

    Wonderful analysis, Pointman.

  55. Amanda says:

    Sorry, should be Waverley. I used to live on a Waverley Road, you’d think I’d remember! Haven’t read it in years but I do think Scott is entertaining. Loved his Ivanhoe.

  56. hctroubador says:

    I am in full agreement with your view on the roles of government. Unfortunately we jumped that shark so long ago I can’t see it ever getting untangled. Government is so tied into the private sector through incentives, tax credits, grants, and financing that it’s hard to find a purely private business these days. Research of all types has relied almost exclusively on government largesse (in kind or protection, an example being the patent laws) that it is inextricably woven into the public domain.

    For substantive changes to occur it would take a cataclysmic realignment of the economies of the world. On the brights side that day of reckoning is coming sooner than most would believe.

  57. hctroubador says:

    I would add that Eisenhower’s villain has morphed into the military/intelligence complex. We can’t claim with an sincerity to be industrial any more. Intelligence and military contracting is the new ‘plastics’.

  58. Amanda says:

    Hey Walt (or, in view of your Germano-English proclivities, should that be ‘Valt’?),
    Remember I mentioned some while back my almost-stepfather? The one that was/is an actor and said that kissing lovely women was a good job description? Well, I got in touch with him must be a couple of years ago now, not having had any contact since I was 18. We chatted via e-mail for a while and that was that. So it was a great surprise today to get in the mail a letter from him, saying that he’s not sure why the contact was broken except that it was probably something he said. (He wrote: ‘it’s been suggested that I am oblivious to certain social niceties so it’s entirely possible that I stuck my foot in it somewhere along the line’.) He asked me how I am and said that his second ‘Joe Grundy’ mystery (hard-boiled: the guy’s an ex-boxer now working as a security guard) has won the 2010 Edgar award for best mystery. It’s called Body Blows. I read his first installment, Sucker Punch, which is funny and extremely well written so I’m not surprised he won the award. He says he’s got four books on the go at present. Wish that I had that sort of drive, but at the moment I just don’t. I think success must fuel it, and he’s always been successful at something. Anyway, his name is Marc Strange and do feel free to go and order any of his books!

  59. Crownarmourer:

    Do you note a certain resemblance between Pauchari and Morgus? I hadn’t even thought of it until having a coffee it crossed my mind. I’m just now cleaning the keyboard.

  60. Amanda, to my Jewish buddies I am “Gevalt” or “Oy Gevalt.” Or Waltouschka to the Lubavitchers in their midst.

    The key to doing it is doing it. I have found it is better to concentrate on forgetting what others might think and back into the work like a hermit carb into a recently-vacated shell. Start with one note card mounted sentence a day.

    You are already doing that with your songs.

    I’ll check those books out, though. There hasn’t been a boxer-detective novel out there since Jimmy Cagney last doffed his hat at a passing luscious gangster’s moll. I’ll bet they are really a good read. Police procedurals and detective novels are fun to do once you have your working rhythm, I am told, as they are formulaic yet provide a lot of freedom for characterization and snappy dialogue. Many thanks!

  61. Amanda says:

    P. S. I do have a lot of drive about a lot of things, unfortunately they’re just not the right things!

  62. crab, not carb :>p Time for more coffee.

  63. Amanda says:

    Thanks, Gevalt. I’m not normally a hard-boiled reader (well, let’s be frank: I never read them!), but I really enjoyed Marc’s book. He didn’t recommend it: I read it before getting in touch. It has great characterization, all the snappy dialogue you could want, fantastic pacing, and wonderful humour. It’s also not formulaic at all: for one thing, it’s written in the first person. Not many people could pull that off.

    The thing is Walt, as you say, you just have to do it. I’ve got a bunch of cards on a big board, I’ve got notes up the Kalamazoo, a list of books read as long as your arm, and I just need to get off the ruddy Internet!

    You know those truffles you want to buy? The brand ‘It’s Arthur’s Fault!’? I’m thinking of starting a line of baked goods which I’m calling ‘It’s Walter’s Fault!’

  64. Amanda says:

    Waltouschka: This thing about ‘just do it’: reminds me a lazy inadequate secretary I knew in Chicagoland who took time away from her job which she already wasn’t doing properly for a class in Time Management. My instant thought at the time was: if you want to manage your time better, you can start by not taking the class! If they had called it Procrastination And The Art of Doing Nothing While Appearing To Be Useful, they would have been nearer the mark.

  65. I also think we are not being honest with ourselves relative to scientific research, technology development and specifically relative to AGW if we ignore the impact substance abuse, dysfunctional families or anti-families formed by divorce, and the deliberate stupidification of curriculae working together to make bizarre communally autistic-by-choice and anti-rational intellectual and spiritual constructs an inevitability, when added to the hellfire cocktail the crashing to earth of economic prospects for the near –and long–term.

    The short version of which is, who needs an excuse to go berserk? We’re broke and our lives are destroyed, so the sky must be falling. Let’s find a scapegoat and press the red button.

  66. I am always somewhat bemused to think that anyone yet believes the course of history is navigated with the aid of the rudder of logic and informed discussion and planning. Maybe this is where we as realists are going wrong in our efforts.

    Otherwise put, what if coal as it came out of the ground was blush pink covered with pretty silver stars? Would there be this anti-coal madness now?

  67. Amanda says:
    October 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    In Yiddish, the type person I am is a noodge. A noodge usually starts their sentences with “You know what? You should do….” I have to fight the tendency. It is definitely an American character flaw which finds its apotheosis in formal development and annoyance value in Michigan.

    Many years ago, The One Who Got Away got fed up with it in a public place, a restaurant, and shouted “I would be happy to do as you tell me if you are volunteering to lead my life for me!” She got applause from neighboring tables (this was in Montreal). She was right to get it. Being a noodge comes from being too full of one’s self.

    Being “addicted” to the Net is not a bad thing. I have grown more in the past three years of tippity-tapping in the dark on the Net than in my work life (but that feeds into my work life, too). It also gives you the ability to crab-sidle sideways into doing what you never dreamed possible you could do, as getting things done usually requires a sh*tload of typing, so you have the practice down for when you decide to pull the trigger on doing whatever it is you dreamed of doing in your working life.

    It’s still work, though. You have to be able to do it even if you don’t particularly want to at the moment.

  68. Amanda says:

    If anyone is interested, this is my review of Sucker Punch, which I posted to Amazon:

    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A startling success, 22 Mar 2009
    By Reader (U. S. A.)

    This review is from: Sucker Punch: A Joe Grundy Mystery (Mass Market Paperback)
    Sucker Punch is a rip-roaring yarn, but it’s also a nicely turned piece of fiction with some really lovely, vivid, original imagery (e.g. a powerful man is described as `a Borgia on a tour of his provinces’, and his `Roman beak cleaves the air like the prow of a ship’; a woman’s hair `is jewelled with raindrops’). The book is gritty and profane, yet its literary refinement is showcased on every page. It is tightly focussed, as disciplined in its own way as anything written by P. G. Wodehouse. It is also funny, often droll and sometimes laugh-provoking.

    This yin and yang of elements is a major feature – and strength – of the book. It raises a serious question about the purpose of money, at the same time as it offers plenty of action, lots of variety in the scenes and settings, and of course, violent confrontations (very well related). The large cast of characters is expertly handled, a few essential `brushstrokes’ telling you who is who and why they demand your attention right now. Sometimes, amid the smooth sure-footedness of the writing, you are caught up by Joe Grundy’s unexpected observations, e.g. `her eyes were wiser than his, or sadder, which might be the same thing’, and `he has the ruddy complexion of a man who spends his days on the water and his nights by a fireplace’. The pacing is excellent, and the plot is believable: not only do the coastal British Columbian hijinks ring true, but Strange declines to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the end, just for the sake of shaking up all our assumptions. When the end comes, it is jarring enough but given all we have learned, it makes sense. This reader thought: I should have guessed!

    It’s clear that Marc Strange doesn’t want to do things the way every other mystery writer does them. He is daring enough to use the first person, a device that is closely associated with `chick lit’ and is not for those that don’t know what they’re doing. I think it works in large part because, apart from the obvious immediacy it imparts to the story, he’s at the yin-yang thing again: the yin is the mainly laconic, almost telegraphic dialogue; the yang is the more discursive, painterly narrative. Since the character of Joe Grundy must do most of the speaking and all of the narrating, it’s important that we don’t tire of his voice, and we don’t. But in addition, the whole book is in the present tense, which I have never encountered before in adult fiction. One moves through the story right behind Joe Grundy’s shoulder, seeing things as he does, in both senses of the word. The character himself is something of a surprise: capable of great violence, yet a kind of gentle giant otherwise, and a moral man that others can rely on. He once was, and in a certain sense always will be, a heavyweight – not a copper, private eye, boffin for justice, Commander who writes poetry books on the side, or any other of the famous angles that mystery readers are familiar with. It’s all very original. Marc Strange means to cut a new path through fresh territory, and it will be interesting to see what he delivers with his next installment, Body Blows.

  69. Amanda says:

    In Yiddish, the type person I am is a noodge. A noodge usually starts their sentences with “You know what? You should do….” I have to fight the tendency. It is definitely an American character flaw which finds its apotheosis in formal development and annoyance value in Michigan.
    If that’s true, why did I just bubble up with laughter?

  70. Amanda says:

    She got applause from the neighbouring table? Good grief. How loud were you shouting? Or was it the PowerPoint presentation that gave you away?

  71. Amanda says:

    Oh, *now* I remember: his book is present tense AND first person. That takes balls! You’d think it wouldn’t work. It does.

  72. Amanda says:

    Yes, Walt, and keyboarding is easy for me because I got an A in typing!

  73. No, she shouted. I never raised my voice. She was the one who delivered the line quoted, very clearly, with good force to it.

    It works well because that is how we live our lives: first person and in the present tense.

  74. Amanda says:

    Otherwise put, what if coal as it came out of the ground was blush pink covered with pretty silver stars? Would there be this anti-coal madness now?
    No, and if seals weren’t cute people would be wearing fur coats. Or more of them would, anyway.

    Funny — in the Smoky Mountains the soil there actually looks like make-up in places, like blush — except that it sparkles a little, so would be better as lip colour. I haven’t tried it. :^)

  75. Amanda says:

    But if *she* shouted, and you were quiet, how did the others know that she was in the right and not being an absolute witch? That’s why I ask.

  76. Amanda says:

    Was it her sibling’s wedding party or something like that? Otherwise I can’t imagine anyone not minding his own business!

  77. Amanda says:

    Waltskers: Re: noodge. As long as you’re not a nudnik!

  78. Amamda that soil in the Smokies is radioactive.

  79. Amanda says:

    Crown: Hi. I’ll be sure not to smoke it, then.

  80. Pointman says:

    A good friend of mine, who was a New York Jew, insisted on tutoring me a bit in his cultural mileu before I met his friends. We ran through the nouns he thought I might not know, and there were quite a few but he finished off with the golden tip. “But”, finger raised for a pause and emphasis, “Yeh gotta get yer attitood right.” Whatever they say to you, reflect it back and with prefix it with “So, you think….” and tag an “already” on the end and do some knowing nodding.

    “So you’re Izzy’s buddy?”

    “So, you think I’m Izzy’s buddy, already?”

    Worked a treat. Ich bedanke mich Ihnen hertzlich, Izzy.

    Pointman

  81. Amanda says:

    Pointman, if ‘Ich bedanke mich’ means ‘I thank you’, do you need the ‘Ihnen’?

  82. Pointman says:

    Amanda says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Extremely flowery German I’m afraid, used a reflexive verb which also takes a dative subject. A simple “danke” wouldn’t do.

    Punktmann

  83. Pointman says:

    or “I personally give my heartfelt thanks to you” as a clunky but literal translation. Quite gushing actually.

    Pointman

  84. Pointman says:

    The “personally” should more accurately be replaced with “myself” but it makes it even clunkier …

    Pointman

  85. rastech says:

    Pointman :
    “The mathematics and reasoning behind all this is sound and indeed earned a Nobel Prize for the man who laid the groundwork for the whole area.”

    Turns out the whole basis of the reasoning was wrong. He was a paranoid schizophrenic at the time, and spent 10 years in a mental hospital after. He doesn’t agree with the foundations and the presumptions in the model now. It’s a paranoid schizophrenic model . . . .

    Real life tests showed immediately that wasn’t how people behaved at all.

    “Any attempt to utilise Game Theory in real world decision making would not only end in chaos or endless wars but most probably the end of civilisation.”

    The bad news is, it’s been used in a huge range of real world decision making.

    I don’t disagree with your prognostications.

  86. Amanda says:

    Pointman, I see. The Germans are a bit like that, or that’s how I imagine German things — Hitler’s Viennese manners — ‘the old madam’ as my mum calls it — hand-kissing and elaborate formulaic phrases. Bertie Wooster talked about how nice it was now and then to get ‘a bit of the old oil’. He didn’t need to be swimming in it. Now you get English men kissing women on both cheeks: perhaps they think English manners too plain. Funny because in medieval/Tudor times, visitors would write home disparagingly about how English people kissed all the time time on greeting one another, how they were so taken with kissing.

  87. Amanda says:

    Rastech, that’s very dark. Fortunately there’s been common sense and realism at work, also. Otherwise your documentary-maker would have been short of material, or it would have been a different documentary.

  88. Blackswan says:

    For those interested in the translation of CAGW and how it’s impacting in real communities among real people, you probably missed my previous comment at 9.04pm last night re the Climate Conference in Hobart and the launch of “new” technology into the micro-management of “sustainable” land use.

    Like any malignancy, it spreads………..

    “THE Murray-Darling Basin Authority has admitted its guide for reforming the troubled river system contains flawed assumptions.
    It also barely addresses the social upheaval it will cause in farming communities.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/farmers-pour-scorn-on-murray-darling-water-blueprint/story-e6frg6xf-1225937895134

    The next Big Fight for Australians is water-allocation and its impact on how we live our lives.

    It was revealed yesterday that a Govt-appointed Authority to investigate the question ONLY had terms of reference in their deliberations as to Environmental considerations. Nothing about farmers, agriculture, regional towns and communities and this Nation’s ability to actually feed itself.

    The Greens (who don’t actually take control of the Senate till next July) are already wielding enormous power in the allocation of our Resources, in every respect.

  89. Amanda says:

    Pointman: I don’t mean Germans now. I mean Germans traditionally.

  90. rastech says:

    Hmmmm. The model inferred that the only way to achieve a stable situation, was if everybody was the same as the model presumed they would be.

    So for 50+ years, the models guidance and recommendation, has been to turn everybody in the World, into a paranoid schizophrenic.

  91. Pointman says:

    rastech says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Hi Ras, You’re quite right – Nash was a clinically paranoid schizophrenic but the logic and mathematics of the models he built was correct in every academic respect. The problem was that the ‘parties’ in the real world did not select the mathematically optimum solutions. ie The real world did not correspond to his model. Subtract all humanity and reason from people and they would do as his models predicted.

    I think we’re into very familar terratory on this one, don’t you think? Reality is more complex than mathematical models, especially humanity.

    Pointman

  92. rastech says:

    Amanda:”Fortunately there’s been common sense and realism at work, also. ”

    I agree. Unfortunately as an uphill task, it has been worse than scaling the Matterhorn.

    The faith in the computer model has been virtually unshatterable. People simply refuse to listen, or even to look closely at what is actually happening for themselves.

    In commercial games for example, people have lost huge amounts of money by insisting on forging ahead with the most insane concepts, no matter how loud the chorus of factual and intelligent comments of the testers.

    It’s an attitude that seems to afflict wherever these models touch.

  93. Amanda says:

    Pointman: I understand the translation difficulty. One wants to be accurate above all while not sounding bizarre in English.

  94. Amanda says:

    Rastech, mm-hmm, my scientist friend agrees with you.

  95. Blackswan says:

    “Lights on, but no one’s home in the NSW Government “
    “IF you thought the NSW Government didn’t have any idea how to alleviate the power crisis, you were right.”

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/indepth/lights-on-but-no-ones-home-in-the-nsw-government/story-fn4x9za1-1225937850012

    The only “Crisis” in our power supply is the soaring cost, directly attributable to subsidies paid for wind turbines and PV panels.

    The Politicians’ solution to the “Crisis”?

    Turn off the lights and use a hotwater bottle.

  96. rastech says:

    It’s as if they are psychopath magnets, and the psychopaths won’t consider anything else, because they give validity to how the psychopaths think and feel.

  97. Amanda says:

    Rastech: To the extent that pyschopaths do ‘feel’.

  98. Pointman says:

    rastech says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Ras, I think the fundamental flaw in Game Theory is that it deals with one instance of a problem efficently but does not take into account that very thing. Life does not consist of one decision but a sequence of them, if not an interacting matrix of them. A single battle won ruthlessly does not guarantee you’ll win the war. Your opponent will learn from it and react accordingly in the next battle. No sort of mathematics will help you out on that level of compounding complexity.

    Pointman

  99. rastech says:

    Well they do feel Amanda, but that’s not somewhere I particularly want to go. In games for example, they love being empowered and banding together, then ‘ganking’ and ‘griefing’ as many as they can.

    By the way, your scientist friend agreeing with me? That means I’ve been peer reviewed!

    OMG!

    I’ll never live it down. /sigh

    {just joshing *grins*}

  100. Blackswan says:

    The issue of Govts paying for “scientific” outcomes is one thing.

    It’s using those Fraudulent Theories to justify their Policies that is the end-game.

    It’s the Policies that will change the way we live – has already changed the way we live. The rest is just a distraction.

    But hey – distraction is the name of this game, isn’t it?

  101. rastech says:

    I agree Pointy. The problem is, that completely flawed and misguided concept, ended up in a very widely used computer model . . . . .

  102. rastech says:

    It does beg the question of just how many used that model as a core model, then expanded on and out from it?

  103. Amanda says:

    Rastech, condolences for knowing anything at all for how creepy people feel; and between you and me, congratulations on being successfully peer-reviewed (cough, my friend is what they call ‘well thought-of’). I promise not to tell anybody.

  104. Amanda says:

    of how, I meant.

  105. Retro Bear says:

    Amanda says:
    October 13, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Quebec is the world’s largest village. You have to put it in the context of it’s only been since 1969 that Quebeckers have been white people. They were systematically discriminated against prior to the Silent Revolution.

    The first time I visited Montreal was in 1968. It was just undergoing its first sweep of slum clearances. I went to visit Eaton’s and a stunning French girl went into the just just ahead of me. By chance our paths down the aisles coincided, and I watched her try to pay for a pair of nylons from a Scots-Irish Canadian lady clerk. You don’t want to know. They used to be nicknamed “pepsis” by the English speaking Canadians who dominated the city and the culture.

    There is still a certain sensitivity there to this day. Je me souviens, is the slogan on the Quebec licence plates. My fleur de lys ring has also almost got me assaulted in Ontario just ordering at a restaurant.

    I think the difference in languages and background led her to believe I was trying to be the penultimate pre-Silent Revolution Anglophone of bitter memory. They don’t have to take garbage from Anglophone Canadians anymore, so they don’t.

    Used to be an Irish problem in the States like that up until Kennedy became President, so I can relate to her feelings. Do you know what NINA means?

  106. mlpinaus says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

    The photo of the Fat Man is one example of a case. Surely it needs to be on a case by case basis?
    When it gets down to it, what gets my attention, what really scares me is the thought that electricity prices might double; treble; or more……. For no real reason other than as a response to a palpable scam.
    Marcus

  107. Blackswan says:

    “No project too little for climate change fund”

    “The Central Coast Community College was given $21,018 to save 4.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of $4670 a tonne, and the Central Coast Campus Union received $38,000 to save nine tonnes of emissions at $4222 a tonne.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/no-project-too-little-for-climate-change-fund-20101012-16ht1.html

    And the Greens think setting a Carbon Price of $23 a tonne will solve all our problems.

  108. Amanda says:

    Walt, I don’t know what NINA means, though I’m sure you’ll let me know. I do however know about the FLQ crisis and the kidnappings of one James Cross, to say nothing of the crucifix-chain murder and car-boot-stuffing of Pierre Laporte. As that inestimable Belgian Hercule Poirot said, ‘I do not approve of murder’.

  109. Amanda says:

    two kidnappings, but it only happened once to James Cross. Who, I’m sure, was happy not to repeat the experience.

  110. Blackswan says:

    mlpinaus says:
    October 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Hello Marcus,

    This “palpable scam” is already on-track and having great impact on all our communities. The mind boggles at what’s in store “down the track”.

  111. Pointman says:

    rastech says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

    “It does beg the question of just how many used that model as a core model, then expanded on and out from it?”

    The heyday of the influence of GT was the Cold War. In the Cuban missile crisis, the models told the President the optimum strategy was to nuke Cuba. From America’s viewpoint, the threat would be gone and Russia would do nothing. From Russia’s viewpoint, why launch against America in retaliation if Cuba was already gone and risk losing Russia as well? It didn’t matter if America was going to be destroyed as well since the Rodina would be gone too.

    Sanity prevailed and humans made their decisions. The White House ignored the advice, did a deal to withdraw some token missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Russians stripping Castro of the missiles they’d given him. A lot of lives saved by ignoring the models. And it actually was that close …

    Pointman

  112. The one question the French Canadians don’t want to be asked in there quest for independence is what about all the first nations Canadians and what if they chose to stay with the rest of Canada. That’s a lot of Quebec with all the minerals.

  113. Amanda says:

    Hi Crown. I think ‘Cheese and Livers’ works rather well, don’t you? Rather like Burns & Allen as Walt was mentioning, or Bonnie and Clyde. Not so romantic as Antony and Cleopatra, though you never know and it’s not for us to ask about :^”

  114. Amanda says:

    Hi Crown. I think ‘Cheese and Livers’ works rather well, don’t you? Rather like Burns & Allen as Walt was mentioning, or Bonnie and Clyde. Not so romantic as Antony and Cleopatra, though you never know and it’s not for us to ask about. :^”

  115. Amanda says:

    Why does WordPress do these things? I love being told I’ve duplicated when all I’ve done is hit Post Comment — once!

  116. Amanda yes one was wondering about cheese and livers proclivities lay as you say best not to ask.

  117. mlpinaus says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 13, 2010 at 11:20 am
    Yes, everyone is driven mad by useless stuff like CFL lights, fools spouting on about the evils of coal, the need for wind…. the only real need for wind is a jolly good fart so far as I can tell….. yet a mate of mine, who is not a fool, gets research grants into solar concentration projects….. This mis-direction of people and creative energy is the real sin, to talk in Green speak. Life is so short, no room for stupid choices…..

    Marcus

  118. Amanda says:

    Or should that be {:^”

    Sort of a unibrow thing going on there.

  119. Amanda says:

    I still like seeing your little blue babby, Crown. He must be getting bigger, though…

  120. Amanda says:

    I want some really good music to dance to. Anyone got any ideas?

  121. Amanda says:

    Lest that sound imperious, or something — thank you Chums for that flabby flatulence off right! (my dog) — what I mean is, I’m always looking for new & interesting, and in this case, danceable. And thought you guys might have suggestions. I’ll look in the Jukebox, which I do rather often.

  122. Blackswan says:

    “Apparently, the bureaucrats at the authority have no idea of the devastation they’d cause, wiping out whole river towns and causing horrendous unemployment, while prompting a huge leap in the price of food, ending the nation’s food security and prompting a surge in food imports.”,/i>

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/dont-think-you-can-keep-on-neglecting-me-darling-20101012-16ho4.html?autostart=1

    Economics will trump Sentiment every time.

    Question: Why were cotton and rice ever grown in such a dry, fragile environment in the first place? Surely the monsoonal tropics of the north would have been more suitable.

    Under WTO policies, Food Security isn’t an issue anyway. That’s what we need – totally homogeneous world markets, so we drink Brazilian orange concentrates and eat Chinese apples while we plough our own orchards out of the ground.

    But then all that figures in their Game Theory does it not?

    Bottom-line: Control.

  123. Amanda says:

    P, what does WTH mean?

    How about something slinkier?

  124. Blackswan says:

    Ooooops……..don’t get distracted swan.

  125. Blackswan says:

    mlpinaus says:
    October 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Marcus,

    It seems that “stupid” prevails – regrettably.

  126. Amanda says:

    Distracted from what, Swan? The post-doctoral monograph he’s working on right now?

  127. Amanda says:

    I mean ‘you’re’

  128. Amanda says:

    That’s the trouble with these international blogs. To me it’s Night Shift time. Policy-wonkism is for another hour… but somewhere you lot are still having hogies or something.

  129. Pointman says:

    WTH = What the Hell. Slinkier? Perhaps not slinky at all, just romantic …

    Pointman

  130. Amanda says:

    Yes, I looked it up, should have been obvious.

  131. Amanda says:

    I love this comment under the song:

    my name is maria elena. my parents named me after this smooshy song and believe it or not, they are still madly inlove at 81 and 84. It’s disgusting. They just don’t quit. God bless them!

  132. Amanda says:

    Yes, well, I appreciate Oz’s efforts but I am clearly on the wrong blog for N&I DS. Never mind anything N, I &H!

  133. Pointman says:

    No worries, Amanda. I seem to have been discussing the mathematics of megadeath in this particular blog. Let’s lighten up! This one is slinky …

    Pointman

  134. Blackswan says:

    That cap fitting a little too snugly?

    I was responding to Marcus’ comment, not that you would have read it.

    If it’s a problem that the B&G is on the other side of the world and a different time-zone, we’re generally sober at this time of day and have the capacity to focus on the Issues in question, then it’s a problem for whom?

    A “post-doctoral monograph”? I thought that was your predilection.

  135. Amanda says:

    Question — I ask the Florida night sky, no one else need bother with it — what turned Blackswan from being friendly and well-disposed into someone that apparently despises me? I’ve been the same person the whole time.

  136. Amanda says:

    Pointman: I love the guy behind the bar who assures her that if the gorilla were real….

  137. Amanda says:

    The arrows sticking out of her hair are making me giggle! Is that allowed?

  138. Blackswan says:

    Tasmanian broad daylight suggests to the Florida night sky – stay schtum.

    Swans are real friendly and well-disposed – what made made you think I despise you?

  139. Amanda, that’s why I don’t live there or in Canada anywhere, though it is fun to work up there for 3 to six months at a stretchm to get a break from our own brand of pointless turmoil and to enjoy the pleasure of being paid double the US rate equivalent in US dollars that I make here Stateside. The problem with living somewhere that is so nuanced and tricky and possessed of living historical issues is it eventually turns into Bosnia LOL If Canada ever goes broke again as it did in the late Fifties and early Sixties until Msgr. Bernard Lonergan’s fiscal policies were adopted (he was a sort of Canadian Keynes or Baruch in governmental monetary macrodynamic analysis), their multi-culti-eco-bio-greentard socialist social structure would break into murderous factions to a degree far worse than Bosnia ever did. I think the last people standing will be one cattle ranching family in Alberta somewhere around Red Deer if that does happen.

    There may not be the social support system here in the States which Canada or the UK enjoys, but life’s a bit simpler and easier to manage. The saving grace of the States is you don’t have to get along with anybody to get along with everybody, if that makes any sense. Canada is one giant mandatory fun emporium. Smile or die, seems to be the national motto, as the tourists don’t like it when visiting up North if you speak your mind in front of them. Anti-capitalists who invest in American corporations before they would think of investing in a Canadian one, then go back to dissing American policy.

    That was what was fun about Calgary. They aren’t shy about giving Yanks a full load. They’ll pick you up after and buy you a round after, though.

  140. Pointman says:

    There are some apparently dry and esoteric discussions one has to have with supposedly educated and mature people and must win. It rises above mere debate or pissing academic tostesterone. They’re prateing logic but all you see in them is megadeath and you know it. Lose to them and real people will die the real death. I’ve done that war and thought it was over. It isn’t and maybe it’s a permanent part of the human condition, whatever that is.

    The old saw about imagination being a good servant but a bad master applies to intellictualism but with a vengeance. Just because someone’s smarter than you doesn’t mean they’re right. We’re all a lot better than that.

    If a child with so many strikes against him can produce this, we should be ashamed of ourselves if we can’t raise our game to rid the Earth of a vile politic that would rid itself not only of nuisances like us but ‘non-starters’ like him but only for the best possible reasons . If you think that’s extreme, you’re very innocent.

    Pointman

  141. Amanda says:

    Walt, interesting perspective. I’m sure you’re a hit wherever you go and I’m not surprised they like to wine and dine you.

    —-

    Blackswan displays an interesting attitude which I believe (though I don’t really understand it) is called ‘passive aggressive’. That is, cast aspersions, make more or less direct slurs about intoxication, and speak to me with clear resentment, and then, when confronted, pretend it’s all in the other person’s head. Well, I didn’t make it up. And I don’t expect to persuade Blackswan but I’d like you others to know that I am not in the least incapacitated, being a good regular drinker (as you may have noticed), fully lucid unto the last drop, and anyway it’s only 10:37 here! Nor am I in any way attempting to hijack Swan’s conversation or prevent him from talking about whatever turns him on. However, what I think is indisputable is that he has taken some sort of dislike to me, as his comments on this and other threads bear out. I’ll be quite happy to ignore Swan completely as long as he reciprocates the favour.

  142. Crownarmourer, First Nations have their own MP’s in the Canadian Parliament. They didn’t play it up North like here. They have an annual televised First Nations Music Festival every year and the opening act in 2003 was a Blackfeet tribal standup comedian with a guitar who strummed and sang something like “Oh I am here to sing about the oppression of the white man, I drove here in a 50,000-dollar Silverado towing 250,000 dollars worth of equipment, paid for by grants from Heritage Canada and loot we won from the white man at our casinos. Everybody stand and join me to sing ‘O Canada.'”

    I am partial to Eagle and Hawk, myself. They play in the States sometimes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXjOWmwL5As&feature=related If you ever get up to Georgian Bay, take a side trip to Manitoulin Island. It has been the Ojibway holy place and burial ground for 100,000 years. Bring your fishing rods for the splake (hybrid lake trout and spotted trout; huge and good eating). Mackenzie King took FDR down there to fish for a reason. Gorgeous country. Nice hotels in Little Current, and pretty nice people, too.

  143. See I go away for a little while and what happens, well I’m back and everyone can slag me off instead. Since I’m hard of thinking of thinking it will go right over my head anyways.

  144. Still in the states bear… actually Showtime did show with a group native American comedians and they were pretty funny and pulled no punches about lacking the gene to metabolize alcohol. Lots of jokes about not being told they could leave the reservation the casinos and regular dumb white guys thinking they have all these special ability’s about tracking communing with nature and telling the time from the sun it helps to have wrist watch handy apparently. Like all comedians they were good at making fun of themselves and others proving people is people where ever you go.

  145. I think it could be fun to organize a friendly drinking contest between Blackswan and Amanda and see which one could “table the drink first you under”.

    They can do that one over at your bar, matey – Oz

  146. Amanda’s right though, Crownie. You need to update the babby picture. Everyone wants to see how much bigger Grandkid is.

  147. Blackswan says:

    There is very little that’s passive about a swan’s aggression – but then, Newsflash, I’m not really a swan.

    Sober: not given to drink; but also – moderate, sane, tranquil, sedate; not exaggerated; quiet and inconspicuous.

    But hey, I’m not in the millinery business.

    A gratis psychoanalysis is an unexpected bonus to posting on blogs – innate courtesy forbids me from reciprocating.

    However, “Nor am I in any way attempting to hijack Swan’s conversation or prevent him from talking about whatever turns him on.” requires a comment.

    Your response to my exchange of comments with Mlpinaus as a “post-doctoral monograph” was obviously a case of “pretend it’s all in the other person’s head”. How un-swan-like of me.

    As for “whatever turns him on” – I don’t find the prospect of Real people in the Real world being taken down by a Real Criminal Fraud as any kind of Turn-On.

    Tasmanian wild swans are just that – free and untamed. They choose not to jump through hoops on demand, nor do they ride horses. It’s usually trained poodles who ride show-ponies.

    No favours asked, none offered.

  148. Sort of OT: weird things I saw when working with the folks in Calgary to include these people whose site I did http://www.ssturbine.com as a project mismanager and QC/QA documentation oaf cranking out GT turbine generator sets for Ecuador: Meti tribesmen who are trained as licenced aviation gas turbine tech’s listening through a stick stuck in their ear pressed against the jet engine housing to sort out which stage (a row of turbine blades) has a chipped or broken blade. They would just move the stick back and forth on the engine housing while the thing was running in the test cell with wax earplugs to protect their hearing while doing this listening routine. One of the First Nations languages has 120 words for wind, which is handy, one told me, for describing operations defects in gas turbines.

    They tend to dominate in the aircraft engine overhaul biz up North. Rolls Royce Canada, TransCanada Turbines, Magellan Aerospace, and Pratt and Whitney Canada, all of which I have visited either in search of new contracts or have worked for, maybe 30-40% of their staff are First Nations. This is an abject lesson in comparative government policy vis a vis funding of training, and researching who gets trained and who doesn’t based on quantified and merit-based aptitude. The Bush Administration kicked off the very first engineering and technical training institute for First Nations here in 2006, whereas the Canucks of Alberta just said, step right up and if you pass the tests, you’re in, if not, have a nice day.

  149. Ozboy it would a shame to witness the carnage especially as my Irish genes make me immune to any and all inebriating substances or thats what I told the judge.

  150. Ozboy the bad thing about the written word is everyone interprets the tone of the written word differently and while we think we may be writing something fairly neutral gets blown out of proportion into something else. For example pointman writes some excellent biting sarcasm which indicates he is a smart guy but occasionally gets misread and the back and forth starts. However I would not change one word of his writing style for that. It would be interesting to see how different we all are from our written personnas should we ever meet together in the flesh.

  151. Still in the states bear we have another round of synchronicity the missus saw the picture on the blog and mentioned tonight I need to update the picture so when I get a chance I will. He’s way ahead of the curve at 5 months and I think he managed to say the word Elmo as his first sort of word. If I have to watch Elmo’s song one more time I shall scream.

  152. Dr. Dave says:

    Blackswan,

    Your swan song comments have made me smile. Right out of high school I attended a college in Michigan for a couple of years to save money before I attended a ridiculously expensive Jesuit university. This school was a relatively new facility and it was surrounded by at least 10 acres of “mote”. They had swans. Not black swans, but the great BIG white variety. These where huge birds. They were fun to watch as they skipped along the water before gaining enough speed to “launch”. They were all over the place and usually no bother. We had about a 100 yard walkway from the parking lot over the mote to the school. The swans would be all around you on the grass or in the water. In the spring the school had to put up “SWAN WARNING” signs. These big, gentle birds copped an attitude during mating season and would sometimes attack unprovoked…and would certainly attack if provoked. I have many fond memories of college kids running for their lives while being pursued by angry swans the size of a medium dog…only meaner.

  153. Dr. Dave says:

    Lest anyone be so foolish as to think a swan harmless:

  154. Blackswan says:

    G’day Dr Dave

    Your warning proves that good advice your old class-mates would have received……….

    If you’re going to prod a swan, make sure you’re using a very looooong stick…LOL

    Some good advice from many years ago..

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
    — Omar Khayyam

    I rarely write what I don’t mean to say – on the other hand, there is much I could say but choose not to.

  155. rastech says:

    Pointman says:
    October 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Spot on Pointman.

    I was lucky enough to see Lynyrd Skynyrd live a couple of times in the mid 70’s. A class act.

    It’s a frosty morning and a cloudless sky here. As soon as it warms up a little, I’ll be firing up the motorbike and headed off for the day. Catch you later.

  156. rastech says:

    Blackswan:”I rarely write what I don’t mean to say – on the other hand, there is much I could say but choose not to.”

    Yeah the internet is a hard taskmaster. *grins*

  157. Blackswan says:

    rastech says:
    October 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    True – but then we Antipodean Colonials have a major character trait/flaw – disinclined to doff our cloth caps and tug our forelocks as/when required.

    Pity for some, but it does make life interesting…lol.

  158. Pointman says:

    Enjoy the ride, Ras.

    Pointman

  159. Pointman says:

    BBC told to ensure balance on climate change

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8060211/BBC-told-to-ensure-balance-on-climate-change.html

    “The times they are a changing.”

    Pointman

  160. Blackswan says:

    Pointman says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    That link would be really good news if it actually happened and the BBC really began to, not only give equal time to dissenters, but actually challenge CAGW and the Wind Industry for instance, with a few facts and figures.

    I don’t think contrary opinion pieces will do the job any more – too easily dismissed – a few hard facts in terms of cost-to-consumers might carry more weight.

    I’d be more hopeful if it hadn’t been for their 2007 statement – “the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus”.

    It’ll take more than a dose of prune juice to shift that lot.

    Our ABC has truly become the media-arm of Left-wing/Marxist Govt Policy and since ALL their funding comes from the Feds, change isn’t likely any time soon.

    Still, good luck with the BBC. Let’s hope this signals the predicted retreat from CAGW hysteria.

  161. Pointman says:

    O Reader of the Rubaiyat,
    If this were this,
    And that were that,
    ABC, with BBC,
    Would tell the truth,
    We plainly see.

    Pointman

  162. fenbeagle says:

    Locusts
    And at ten miles to the gallon, was obviously not built for economy.
    Or safety. Practicality. Or style……Does it look fun?

  163. Locusts says:

    fen

    It looks incredible! My first car was a golf cart, so I love ridiculous vehicles!

  164. NoIdea says:

    Locusts at 9:58 pm

    A similar vehicle…

    I think he needs a faster one…

    NI

  165. memory vault says:

    Hi all,

    Sorry to break in on all the excitement here, but thought this link was worth the effort.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/13/3037671.htm?section=justin

    It’s a news item about the forthcoming closure of Australia’s “dirtiest” coal-fired power station. It’s important not because of the talk-fest in the article, as a state and federal politician make an effort to “out-green” each other.

    Rather, it’s important because of the photo. Remember – this is the “dirtiest” coal-fired power station in OZ. It’s fifty years old so presumably it ranks up there as one of the “dirtiest” anywhere. Left-click on the pic for a blow-up so you can clearly see all the “dirty” emissions coming from the smokestacks.

    I wonder how long it will take for the ABC to realise their faux-pas and replace the pic with something more politically correct?

  166. Pointman says:

    memory vault says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Hi MV, You doing okay?

    Pointy

  167. Blackswan says:

    Locusts says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    G’day Locusts

    Anyone blowing that much blue smoke looks like he’s in need of a re-bore.

    fenbeagle says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I think the dump-&-burn on the sports model looks like fun – instant remedy for tail-gaters.

  168. Blackswan says:

    Always have been partial to a Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and the Right Thou under a shady tree.

    The ABC can make their own arrangements…lol

  169. meltemian says:

    mv
    That power station is throwing out less from all its stacks than my chimney!
    Nothing about it looks remotely dirty – is there any reason for replacing it other than the “Green” dogma?

  170. memory vault says:

    Hi Pointy

    Of course I’m doing OK. Now that they’ve let me out of intensive care and I’m back home and I’m not dribbling when I talk and I’m finally getting my right hand to do something vaguely like what I want it to do everything’s fine.

    I keep telling Thumper I’m indestructible – not sure what else I have to do to prove it.

    How goes things with you?

  171. Blackswan says:

    memory vault says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    G’day MV

    You’re a sight for sore eyes – great to see you “in harness” again.
    Must be feeling good to be home again.

    The pic of the stacks is a beauty. Maybe they’ll replace it with some steam from the cooling towers on a nuclear plant.

    And so inconvenient to site a power station right next to an open-cut mine.

  172. memory vault says:

    Hi Meltemian,

    Can’t comment on the station itself as it’s not one I’ve not worked on. However it’s not much different here than it is in the USA. The Bear Of No Fixed Identity has written extensively on the upgrades coal fired power stations have undergone over the years to stay legal.

    Given the initial capital expenditure involved I wouldn’t be surprised if this station wasn’t at the forefront of clean technology upgrades.

  173. meltemian says:

    mv
    You’re obviously feeling better – you’ve gone all tetchy on us!

  174. Blackswan says:

    meltemian says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Mel

    Answer: No. Greens all the way. The stated Greens Policy is to progressively shut down every single coal-fired plant in the country followed by the entire coal export industry. And they get control of our Senate next July.

  175. memory vault says:

    Hi Swanny

    Yes – good to be home. Just sitting here having a wine and a cigar. Don’t really enjoy the things, but I promised the cardiologist who did the valve-job on my heart that I wouldn’t smoke any more cigarettes.

    And I always keep my word.

  176. Blackswan says:

    MV

    Didn’t Bear tell us that Aussie technology is at the forefront of clean coal power? Must be using it here.

  177. Pointman says:

    memory vault says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Doing well, still Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ but at a more measured pace. Have a laugh – the perfect reflex right.

    Pointman

  178. Blackswan says:

    MV

    I trust that ceegar was hand-rolled on the damp thigh of a nubile Cuban wench?

    Thumper will be in need of intensive care herself if you don’t behave.

  179. meltemian says:

    mv
    Cigarettes may off-limits but at least the wine/whiskey etc. is now good for you, at least that’s what the doc’ told Mr M after his “funny turn”.

  180. Blackswan says:

    Pointman says:
    October 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Sure worked for me – MV’s probably spluttering over his cigar….LOL

  181. manonthemoor says:

    Welcome back again MV

    Glad to see you back and on the road to recovery, been quite quiet without you.

    Best Regards

    motm

  182. Pointman says:

    A repost of something I put up at WUWT.

    pointman says:
    October 13, 2010 at 3:39 am
    Speaking of Wiki, the character assassination of Prof. Lewis has already begun, courtesy of a certain Mr. William Connolley. Since Wiki appear to be or are unable to restrain his activities, perhaps the good Professor’s lawyers should …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Harold_Lewis

    A snapshot of Mr. Connolley’s past exploits

    http://www.financialpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=62e1c98e-01ed-4c55-bf3d-5078af9cb409

    Pointman

    Other people have also tipped Anthony so he’s running it as a story too..

    Pointman

  183. Blackswan says:

    Pointman says:
    October 13, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Great job on Connelley.

    Time for swans to hit their nests. G’nite All.

  184. meltemian says:

    ‘Night Blackswan,
    ‘knit up the ravelled sleeve of care’

  185. Locusts says:

    Interesting story here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/13/china-communist-elders-free-speech

    I don’t know why, but whenever I try to search for this story in Chinese I have problems connecting to the server.

  186. Pointman says:

    No consensus among climate scientists after all

    “In Australia, too, an examination of the Inter-Academy Council’s review of the processes and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that, although the council’s chairman claims the IPCC’s findings stand, the review itself exposes serious flaws in the panel’s information and analysis.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/no-consensus-among-climate-scientists-after-all/story-e6frg6zo-1225938383591

    Another crack in the dam. Opps there goes a million kilowatts …

    Pointman

  187. meltemian says:

    Damn, sorry, meant to try and only post the link this time!

  188. Pointman says:

    meltemian says:
    October 14, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Hi Mel. Just type a word on a new line after the link. That’ll stop it embedding.

    Pointman

  189. meltemian says:

    Thanks Pointman – I’ll try to find something especially for you.
    May take some time though – you have very varied tastes!!

  190. Locusts says:

    Joke story of the day:

    Porn star tests positive for HIV, and it is somehow the local government’s responsibility:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320081/U-S-porn-industry-hit-HIV-scare-adult-performer-tests-positive.html

    ‘How many more people have to be infected with HIV before L.A. County steps in to do its job?’

  191. Pointman says:

    meltemian says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:10 am

    “very varied tastes” – Is that NuSpeak for eclectic or for terrible? LOL

    Pointman

  192. Locusts says:

    So the question is, should governments fund porn?

    I think they should, but I’d like a second opinion. Crown, what do you think?

  193. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Just see http://www.midrex.com They re-use CO2 for iron and steel production to save fuel and money. Have for decades.

    Love the Dambusters link, Meltemian. It’s okay that one can see the Welly doing its job. A pleasing aircraft, that.

    Welcome back, MV! Can’t be that dirty or they never would have got their air permits in the first place. Why all the retrofits is it enables coal utes to sell aftermarket byproduct like flyash based gypsum or ammonium sulfate. I didn’t invent what’s on my site, it has been standard practice for the pennywise coal plant operators for decades. Check out the environmental division at http://www.marsulex.com They even tote the note on the retrofit and sell the plant byproduct for the ammonia bath stack gas cleanup.

    The greentards are attacking the coal plants as they are money trees they think they can shake more money out of to bankroll support of the mass unemployment they have created.

    crownarmourer says:
    October 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Instead of the Elmo song, why not one of those 20-minute physicists’ lectures on whatever on YouTube? Funny, but babbies will lock onto anything that is on the tube. It is wrong there is a Sesame Street at all, but it is to please the parents, not mentor the kids.

    Funny story: a one and a half year kiddle was baby-sat by a lady friend for her daughter, and the babysitting lady liked John Wayne movies. The babby liked these kiddie shows, and there was a bit of a struggle for supremacy.

    Remember the scream scene at the beginning of the Searchers? The babysitter watched that movie and when that seen came up the kid freaked totally to the extent it would not even come anywhere near the TV but hid under the couch whimpering. It was that way for days LOL

  194. Walt O'Bruin says:

    scene LOL I fink the kid was closer to two or so, also.

  195. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Locusts says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:17 am

    There’s already a completely effective preventative device for AIDS besides a single bullet in a Desert Eagle. It’s called the zipper. You keep it up, and Bob’s yer uncle.

    Locusts, everything is the government’s fault. Even the weather. (Sigh.)

  196. meltemian says:

    Pointman.
    Oh eclectic definitely………. still hunting.
    Mind you I think most people like all sorts of music ( once they grow out of teenage obsessions )

  197. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Yeah. Here’s the scene, at about 20 seconds into it. It filled the whole screen of the TV and the little shaver was right up close to it with the volume up LOL:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bkX-cuSSqc&feature=related That’s how you get kids to read books instead LOL

  198. Walt O'Bruin says:

    That scream is how the Oz PM lady and Billary Hilton will react when the greentard movement falls on its arse for good LOL

  199. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Why greentards are so strident and shrill now is that this is their last gasp for gaining socialist supremacy over everyone. They have already ruined everything else for everyone, and the utes are the only major corporate and governmental entities left who are flush (all electric utes globally are mandated by law to maintain sufficient cash reserves for fuel and maintenance; that’s Ute Financial Management 101).

  200. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Ooops. They used Lancs, Meltemian. Sorry. Doh!

  201. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Wonder if there is a hydro dam on the Potomac about the White House LOL.

  202. Walt O'Bruin says:

    above not about. Time for coffee break. :>p

  203. Walt O'Bruin says:

    If banks were managed like electric utes there would have been no financial crisis.

  204. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Banks are one of the most essential public utilities, IMHO, so why aren’t they?

  205. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I don’t think blowing a hydrodam upstream from the White House would do any good. Kablama grew up in Hawaii. He would just grab a surfboard and ride it out until he reached Baltimore.

  206. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Oh, duh is me. Governments HAVE to maintain research establishments, just to keep the capability ticking over and to ensure there are enough trained and experienced researchers against the day they are needed for national survival.

  207. Pointman says:

    Interesting to be able to follow the updates in the debate between Connolly and the other editors over at Wiki. Why they just don’t get rid of him, I just don’t know.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Harold_Lewis

    Pointman

  208. meltemian says:

    Pointman – lets try this one out of left field –

  209. meltemian says:

    Bugger!!!!!! Typed before not after – try again.

  210. meltemian says:



    ….or am I still wrong?

  211. Went to your link to Sickypedophile, Pointman. The back and forth between the appropriately acronymed WC and the realists reinforces my faith in the character, decency and courage of the common man in this fight against corruption and against the entire AGW fraud.

    I say let WC yammer on until everyone else watching the argument look at each other and say: “How did we ever get suckered into believing the arguments of these disingenuous AGW grants whores, anyway? Look how they slander and demean.”

  212. It’s interesting Harold Lewis wrote a book on the very subject this blog is addressing.

    He worked with nuke power plants and with ballistic missile systems, both of which involve intense involvement with atmospheric behaviour data, especially nukes where downstream airborne chemical migration in the event of a plant major malfunction is THE key consideration, and was long before Chernobyl. I think he is exactly the type scientist who is perfectly positioned to hold forth an authoritative opinion on the subject of the AGW mythology.

  213. Looks like that there online sickopedia is starting to grow some hair on its cojones, too. It’s about time.

    If they really wanted cred, they would hired licenced library indexers and join the Society of American Archivists and go through their cert’s programme, and then if they followed the rules, they can say “Yeah, we are an honest-to-G_d encyclopedia now.” If they don’t do this one day, one well-targeted lawsuit for economic damages will wipe them off the map altogether. No amount of disclaimers will save them, either. Surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

    Actual encyclopediae have to carry omissions and errors insurance if they are being used for anything beside settling bets made in bars or the schoolyard. Also, engineering reference works and standards manuals.

    And repair manuals, and software manuals, and contruction cost estimation manuals, etc. etc.

  214. You be cool, Meltemian. Works fine.

    Here’s a video you may have missed which is good for a larf. Thought it might appeal to you as it relates to your avatar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyMXYE_50Ts

  215. Ozboy says:

    G’day Everyone,

    Chapter 14 of Pointman’s Line of Descent is out now (apologies for the delay, Pointy). Use the links here or the Rare Scribbling menu at the top.

    Cheers,

    Oz

  216. Pointman says:

    Reassured Bear says:
    October 14, 2010 at 4:44 am

    The old librarians who found books I was looking for, would have had no problems dealing with the Wiki vandals. They were mean …

    Pointman

  217. Pointman says:

    meltemian says:
    October 14, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Yep, you read me well, much too well, liked the lot – especially the harp in the Enya piece. I’m going over to the DT and pick up some non taste from the trolls there.

    Pointman

  218. Roger that, Pointman. The American Library Association writes a standard as well.

    Should just turn the entire wiki over to the OED folks or the pros from Dover at the Library of Congress, then go fish until the job’s done. They can’t tell a semantic cross-indexing from an heuristic one, never mind alphanumeric, at WackoP*ssingDrunks.

  219. Pointman says:

    Thinking about it, the trolls rarely post any music (saving the planet is a grim business, you know) and when they do, it usually sounds like the Horst Wessel Lied. Hard to find a laugh in that sort of thing. Oh well, back to the drawing board Pointy …

    Pointman

  220. Blackswan says:

    Australia should look to its food security, before all the farm is sold

    “Australians are in danger of becoming servants, not masters, of their own food resources.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/australia-should-look-to-its-food-security-before-all-the-farm-is-sold-20101013-16jyw.html

    The majority of our food production, processing and distribution is now in foreign hands.

    We aren’t just losing the plot, but the whole bloody farm.

    Food security is an upcoming topic at LibertyGibbert; actually, a guest post by my better half. Watch this space – Oz

  221. Pointman says:

    This is disturbing so I’m going to detail it, if only to keep Ecoterrorists away from good people. The Post in full from WUWT at –

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/13/wikipedia-turbo-revisionism-by-william-connolley-continues/#more-26328

    *********************************
    thegoodlocust says:
    October 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm
    Ok, this might be a bit long so sorry for that ahead of time.

    First off, the ArbCom proceeding are going quite slowly but it looks like Connolley and several of his cohorts will be topic banned for at least 6 months (they can appeal after that). The downside is that several of his more prolific supporters are not going to be topic banned and nearly every single person who has opposed that group (myself and several others) will be topic banned too (most on my side on really pathetic grounds).

    My personal belief is that Connolley will set up a sockpuppet account (if he hasn’t already) in order to continue his crusade and ArbCom has not indicated that they will check his IP now in order to prevent this from happening. These people literally are insane; one of the ArbCom clerks revealed private personal information about a couple people on my side to one of Connolley’s cohorts (who isn’t getting banned) who then passed off that information to a few very dangerous people who are now harassing them offline.

    It is completely outrageous, but even though ArbCom is aware of the problem with Connolley et all they have bought into the myth that they are “great content contributors” (translation: they push AGW) and so they give them a huge amount of leeway.
    *************************************

    Pointman

  222. Blackswan says:

    Just when I was thinking “finally they’re reporting on the Hal Lewis story in Oz” just read the final paragraph’s from “organ-grinder” Jooolya Gizzard’s Climate Committee’s tame monkey….

    A SENIOR US professor has resigned in disgust from the American Physical Society.
    He joined a panel of sceptics to protest against what he said was the triumph of money over scientific integrity in climate change research.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/physicist-mocks-climate-scam/story-fn59niix-1225938436693

    But ANU climate scientist Will Steffen, who sits on the federal government’s climate change committee, said Professor Lewis had not published in the climate science or earth sciences literature.

    He said three investigations into the so-called climate-gate scandal had exonerated those involved and found there had been no perversion of the peer review system.

    Professor Steffen delivered a paper at the climate forum in Hobart yesterday questioning “when the science on climate change is so clear, why is it still portrayed as uncertain in the media?”

    He said there was a big divergence between what was known with a high degree of certainty and what was reported.

    Now we know the Feds funded the Hobart Conference wherein CC micro-management has been broken into 10 kilometere square “blocks” for the “sustainable” use of land.

    Remember Agenda 21. It delivers the means for policing the Green Agenda.

  223. Pointman says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 14, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Swanny, they think they’re the one in control of the agenda but we’re the ones being read. We can speak our minds and our heart.

    Pointman

  224. fenbeagle says:

    Piers Corbyn
    comment removed from dt site….

    Piers Corbyn
    1 hour agoRecommended by
    25 people

    Further to the principled resignation of Prof Harold Lewis from the American Physical Society on Oct 8th/9th – http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6434&linkbox=true&position=2
    this is a supporting comment from Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist and long-range weather & climate forecaster** of http://www.WeatherAction.com

    WE ARE ALL RENEGADES NOW!
    SEIZE THE TIME!
    Extend the struggle against the Carbon Con everywhere.
    Beware of new ‘Hockey-Sticks’!

    Harold Lewis,

    THANK YOU! WELL DONE! YOUR STATEMENT IS BRILLIANT.

    ClimateRealists and honest scientists everywhere should circulate and applaud what you have done. You will now doubtless be vilified and we must all defend you and NOW seize the time to advance what you have said!

    Hundreds of battles like you have fought are being fought against the imposition of stupid & costly ‘Green/Climate Change’ policies, projects, taxes and brainwashing in many and various community, workplace, professional and scientific operations around the world. These battles in bodies and professions range from Town Planning and Banking to Schools and residents groups; and in professional organisations and University departments from Physics and Chemistry to all forms of Engineering and Science. They don’t get reported much but your upstanding will give them support and renewed encouragement. We should report on and assist the side of integrity in these struggles.
    We must now SEIZE THE TIME until the cancer of CO2 Climate Fraud is lanced forever!
    The CO2 scam and all policies which follow from it must be scrapped.

    It may be that some in the Global Warming gravy train can see the game is up which could be why Professor of Climate Change Mike Hulme was so weak in his defence of the ideology of his own provenance when speaking in Cambridge on Oct 8th – see
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6435 or http://bit.ly/9NKupp

    HOWEVER, the corrupt, dishonest and malevolent gravy train of the Carbon Con and Climate Change fraud will not be laughed away. It is now fighting a desperate rearguard action and we must beware because cornered rats are very vicious.

    Their 5th and probably final apology and whitewash of climate fraud – by The UK Royal Society – has stalled {please see VIDEO http://bit.ly/9HueD5 } so now they are moving into a Custer’s last stand.

    “Daddy, Did they use real children?”

    The failed eco-fascist 10/10 SplatGate film {See VIDEO COMMENT http://bit.ly/ddA7Xv and discussion http://bit.ly/cOif35 } is but one example of their renewed viciousness. If any doubt the disgusting evil nature of this film I know of one example of an 8 year old asking his father “Daddy, Did they use real children?”

    It is also clear the GW lobby won’t get far with total fraud games like ‘Ocean acidification’ and so are busy making up many new hockey sticks – mostly along the well-trodden fraudsters path of “It’s not a dog so it must be a cat!” centred around the highest most ‘respectable” institutions of academia and propaganda of our time.

    The recent “new discoveries” of the well known facts about Solar activity and temperature presented in a shamefully deceitful manner** through studies emanating from Imperial College and reported by the Journal Nature and given totally one-sided coverage by the BBC are the shape of many more such things to come. Please see http://bit.ly/b1Bjge

    Alongside this we have calls by the likes of pseudo-academic cancers such as The Grantham Institute of Climate Change to exclude Climate Realists (‘Sceptics’, ie evidence-based scientists) from the Royal Society. This is reminiscent of the treatment of science and scientists by Hitler and Stalin and should NOT be taken lightly. See COMMENTS under Pallab Ghosh BBC Report
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6383

    Next we have the BBC’s minister of propaganda, Roger Harrabin, recent abseiling down holes in China to reveal ‘something unique about stalagmites’ in the last 50 or whatever years ‘which must be down to…. (oh please)’; but I suggest, more likelydown to the holding of a Climate Change summit in China this week.
    {Of course, dear BBC and compliant beggars for research largesse, don’t consider:
    Fact 1 Rivers being moved around by the regime running China in the last 50 years.
    Fact 2 Various solar-lunar modulation patterns of Pacific and world circulation on time-scales of many decades and centuries**
    Fact 3 Every period of 50 years or so has been unique and man was there for a lot of them but it doesn’t mean ‘Man’s CO2 done it’!…..etc etc etc}

    In this struggle I am constantly amazed at every turn by the brazenness and depth of the sacrifice of evidence-based science at the alter of self-serving corruption of due, honest and fair democratic process.

    I am even more staggered by the cretinous arrogance of the scientists and pseudo-scientists involved who appear to believe that their half-baked incomplete models of natural processes are more reliable than nature itself!

    Never in the history of the world was so much arrogant falsity created by so few in order to deceive, control and exploit so many.

    Support for Prof Harold Lewis and the state of the fight against the Carbon Con will be taken up at the CLIMATE FOOLS DAY EVENT in Parliament Weds Oct 27th 2pm – Please see http://bit.ly/d2NABV

    Thanks, Piers

    Thanks for posting it here, Fen. Let them know at the DT they can read it – here’s the direct link – Oz

    https://libertygibbert.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/should-governments-fund-science/#comment-11361

  225. manonthemoor says:

    scud

    Thank you for you recent post on the DT

    Hopefully Oz will add it to the top shelf soon for posterity

    motm

  226. rastech says:

    “Swanny, they think they’re the one in control of the agenda but we’re the ones being read. We can speak our minds and our heart.” Pointman

    And not one of them has had the brains to count the number of seats on the last Learjet from Dodge . . .

  227. Blackswan says:

    Pointman says:
    October 14, 2010 at 12:34 am

    G’day Pointman

    I was chuffed to see you found the “No consensus among climate scientists after all” link in the Australian, but on going there I found…

    “Australian governments need to provide a guarantee that investors in electricity generation will be compensated if generators or retailers are forced in the future to increase their prices because of carbon pricing policies.”

    What is that all about? Investors in energy (ie Pension funds etc) demanding a Taxpayer-funded Guarantee if the whole Renewables Fraud collapses because people can’t afford to use so much of it and revenues fall.

    That happened in Canberra after the 2003 wildfires contaminated the water supply. Water prices went up to discourage use, people responded in a big way, consumption dropped so much that prices sky-rocketed again as the revenue base dropped.

    Now it seems we have taxpayers providing investment guarantees as well as paying huge energy prices.

    When this Renewables Dog eventually catches its tail, it will disappear up its own fundamental orifice. The Devil is always in the Detail.

  228. Pointman says:

    Jeez, the gloves are really coming off. Bring it on says Pointy, sometimes you know what the smart move is but some things are worth taking a lumping for.

    Pointy

  229. Blackswan says:

    rastech says:
    October 14, 2010 at 9:35 am

    “the last Learjet from Dodge . . .” Gotta luv it.

    Sounds like Tombstone Territory to me.

  230. Blackswan says:

    Pointman says:
    October 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

    True, but there’ll be no Redemption for the CC Fraudsters and Hucksters.

  231. Blackswan says:

    CLIMATE committees across the world are mistakenly putting the cart before the horse.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/first-do-the-research-then-make-deep-carbon-cuts/story-e6frg6zo-1225938377258

    Some interesting points made here.

  232. Blackswan says:

    G’day Ozboy

    Looking forward to Mrs Oz’s piece on Food Security – one of my bugbears.

    All else is Theory & Conjecture – food is Real.

  233. Blackswan says:

    fenbeagle says:
    October 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Piers Corbyn
    comment removed from dt site….

    What the…..?? On what possible grounds was that post removed?

    Is there no redress on outright censorship? Surely “in the Public Interest” must still count for something, somewhere.

    Thanks for saving it from oblivion.

  234. Pointman says:

    If you like a bit of drama then watch the editors at work crafting an alternate reality at this link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Harold_Lewis

    and hit refresh every so often. The time of the last ‘revision’ is at the end of the page.

    To see peoples’ reactions to the re-editing, watch this page

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/13/wikipedia-turbo-revisionism-by-william-connolley-continues/#more-26328

    and hit refresh every so often too. I wonder if the clots doing the re-editing realise the whole of the blogosphere is watching them?

    Pointman

  235. Pointman says:

    Online real-time drama …

    Pointman

  236. If you don’t mind, I will check with someof my former carbon-trading project developer pals to find out how the market for carbon offsets is doing at the moment in the various venues in which they are being trafficked.

    Heh, heh.

    As promised, here is a great amount of info in attached to this page which gives one a practical not theoretical insight into how to convert a hyper-militarized group of national economies into less military-production oriented countries through re-commissioning defence plants to produce non-military goods, etc. Again, who came up with this suite of solutions and is doing the icky, nasty work are those are those warmongering running dogs of capitalistic imperialism, NATO.

    http://www.stabilitypact.org/def-econ/default.asp

    Is there anyone so naive as to think in the eyes of our adversaries simply because one possesses dissenting views, that one is therefore exempt from being classified by those adversaries as the enemy? By formal definition in law and in truth, in a democracy, everyone is equally culpable for the actions of their state, as in a democracy, the citizens of the democracy ARE the state. I never have been able to comprehend peace movements for that reason. All the time and money spent on placards, Molotov cocktails and ineffectual face-farting might have been spent finding a candidate to field with like views, getting them on the ballot, then doing their lawful duty in discharging the will of their constituency. It would likewise be profoundly helpful if a plan were developed and fielded for common approval and consensus on reaching a solution.

    We are all soldiers and sailors and airmen in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 70 nations at any given time where there is a conflict between nations where the West is intervening. That is the charter of any democracy, that we are equal participants. That concept is also the cornerstone of international law defining proper and legal military action versus genocidal wars of territorial conquest.

  237. Blackswan says:

    Pointman

    Thanks for another chapter in Line of Descent………

    more cliffs, left hanging – such a good read.

  238. I would also be interested to know what branch and/or institute of the US Department of Defence instigated the AGW fraud. At this point, I do not know. This is probably because it did not start there, nor even to my knowledge does AGW entertain providing uncritical support of green initiatives. The U.S. Air Force is furious over having to provide resources in the tens of millions to develop biofuels and engine modifications to aero engines to accomodate this folly. They fought it for years, and now have product which performs poorly, is difficult to handle, is more toxic than conventional aero fuels, and is not economic to manufacture and deploy.

    The AGW fraud was not and is not of military origin nor does it serve any useful military objective for the Department of Defense to support it.

    Having said that, I will do something truly scientific and do the Izen’t bit on Gargle to find out if I am wrong in this hypothesis LOL Probably.

  239. AGW should be DoD. Yaaagh, digitarditis!!!

  240. Pointman says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 14, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Glad you’re enjoying it.

    Pointman

  241. Ozboy says:

    Big chill this weekend down my way:

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/big-rain-wild-winds-and-cold-wintry-blast-on-the-way/15196

    For those of you on the wrong side of the equator, imagine news like this happening in mid-April. Six months out, you probably won’t have to imagine.

    Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have some firewood to cut…

    Oz

  242. Here is the DoD’s typically over-named office of environment. No research projects here. From the looks of it, they get all their guidance from civilian agencies like EPA. They react to, not create, priorities.

    https://www.denix.osd.mil/portal/page/portal/denix

    When I punched in “climate change research” to their search engine, I got bupkis as well:

    https://www.denix.osd.mil/portal/page/portal/Tools/Search

    I am as unconvinced of military scheming creating this AGW nonsense as I was a year ago. Again, it started with a group of people in existing rational emissions reduction trading being approached by the carbon scamster hamsters in the financial sector trying on a new kite to see if it would fly.

  243. Stay warm, OzBoy. Isn’t it supposed to be spring there? It’s warmer here in NY state and it is winter coming on for us.

    Not too different from your neck of the woods, Kite-Flying Bourse Bear. Did you say you were in Syracuse? – their weather’s here.

    If the Southern Hemisphere’s experience is anything to go by, get set for a chilly and prolonged winter – Oz

  244. Green Sand says:

    Oz, most of the is UK basking in a very nice “Indian Summer” so apart from who wins “X Factor” they could not give a …. what happens to their “world”.

    Awhile a go, somebody on the blogs introduced me to “bread and circuses”. It explained why UK governments have been dumbing the education system.

    Regards, thanks for “Be responsible” and wrap up well!

    G’day Greensand. I forgot to mention earlier: NoIdea pointed out to me that you raised the Bilderberg issue way back on 11th June. So you’re the one who really deserves James’ hat tip: I guess the rest of us had our eyes off the ball – Oz

  245. Blackswan says:

    Kite-flying Bear @ 10.43am

    You’re right about the One-in-All-in Principles of a Democracy’s participation in War.

    Maybe that’s why I took such exception to our Govt prosecuting our three specialist SAS soldiers for manslaughter in the death of civilians in a firefight. We should all be taking it personally.

    Similarly, we are all shamed when any of our Allied Military’s actions are criminal in their intent. You’re right – we are all “classified by those adversaries as the enemy”.

    How bizarre that the EU is diving enthusiastically into “retraining” the Military and reducing Armaments when the very EU Charter allows for “EU Security Forces” to “invade” any member country to quell “civil disturbance, riots” and the like. Ex-Military Personnel to quell the soccer hooligans? Should prove interesting.

    Maybe using them to quell civil disturbances in rejection of CAGW Fraudulent taxes is more like it.

  246. Blackswan says:

    G’day Oz

    Thanks for the heads-up to batten down the hatches here-abouts.

    Don’t listen to much local TV or radio, so in true Schultz-style “I know nuzzinc” till those snow clouds pop over the Wellington Ranges.

  247. Dr. Dave says:

    Ozboy,

    Cry me a river. Last April…about the middle of the month…we had a couple of inches of snow here in the mountains of New Mexico. It killed about half of one of my Russian olive trees. This is no minor tragedy as these things are covered in 2″ thorns so they’re unpleasant to cut out.

    Today was a bit cool here. It was only in the lower 70s (full sunshine and dry). Of course, at this altitude the temp drops 30-40 degrees after sunset so I may be chopping some wood myself in the next couple of days. This has been a glorious Autumn (still harvesting tomatoes). Warm, sunny days and cool, clear nights. It will be this way for the next 4 days. Next week it is supposed to turn miserably cold, rainy and cloudy. Man, I HATE the cold, dark months here. Seems like I don’t cheer up again until Spring. Once that first frost hits we go from lush green to stark brown in the space of about 10 days.

    I’ll be thinking about you in a couple of months when I’m freezing and you’re basking in summer warmth. Of course, for ya’ll it will be “suffering the ravages of global warming”.

  248. Bear of many names…. something to pay attention to a number of states in the USA have “accidentally” missed the 45 day deadline to mail out the military postal ballots. Oh dear they say and now tens of thousands of military personnel have been denied the right to vote oddly enough during a crucial election, the states so far are Illinois, New York, Tennessee, Colorado and 8 more states.
    So I have to ask why the eff does anyone want to fight and die for a group of people whom hate and despise you and consider you the enemy. I shall be waiting for the first mutiny in the next few years.

  249. Amanda says:

    G’day Y’all.
    Some good (dance) music, complete with Norwegian cheekbones (mm, yeah) on the Juke Box. If you can’t dance to this, you’re dead.
    You Aussies should relate: ‘He came from where the winds are cold….’

  250. Blackswan says:

    crownarmourer says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Am I mistaken? Wasn’t the original Tea Party and the War of Independence fought on the Principle of No Taxation Without Representation?

    Surely the Military must have a response to Military Service Without a Voice in the Democratic Process.

    What’s wrong with this picture? Don’t Tread On Me – indeed.

    What greater Betrayal than a Government to deny its most faithful servants their most Fundamental Rights? Shame.

    PS Crown. By any chance are the States you nominated Democrat? Nah, couldn’t happen.

  251. Blackswan I believe so and they are swing states this year and it could come down to a few hundred votes to decide the winner. Democrats have never been shy of fiddling with that ballot box. However you have to admire the zeal for the right to vote even the dead do a lot.

  252. Walt O'Bruin says:

    crownarmourer says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    “So I have to ask why the eff does anyone want to fight and die for a group of people whom hate and despise you and consider you the enemy.”

    At the time I enlisted? I didn’t want to let my family down (as it turned out, serving was what drove the wedge between us forever), there were no jobs, more so than now (we lived in crash pads, wore long hair, and wore ratty clothes for that reason, and bluffed our way by saying it was cool to knock capitalism—look at them now LOL), the North Vietnamese killed my schoolmates, so I wanted to kill North Vietnamese (with Operation Linebacker II I helped and was party to killing 1,538 of them through aiding in the loading of the bombs and ordnance onto USMC combat aircraft, which was a pleasure served cold and one of the most satisfying experiences of my life; our unit routinely took bottles of whiskey, not whisky, to fliers back on base between sorties to put a face to the people we were helping do their job), and to uphold the shambles of the fledgling and unpracticed South Vietnamese democracy and hey, I liked Vietnamese then and I like them now. They were worth it. I also came to respect and like my fellow troops. As a military policeman, except for one go-round with a fellow with a machete, the only people I perforated were other Americans, some of which were richly deserving civilians. I feel all warm and fuzzy about that bit, too.

    I can’t say in all honesty that the American civilian populace ever entered into my calculations at all. I personally don’t care if the granite Lincoln Memorial Lincoln comes to life, swims up to Staten Island and does the Statue of Liberty from behind like Rin Tin Tin. All the folks my age who dodged service who taunted us who had it all in 1980 through 1990 and beyond who are my age are dropping dead of heart attacks, cancer, drugs, and alcohol but mostly from bad marriages and too much of too much, and now they are losing their houses. We snuffies always had it a bit rough, but hey, we’re used to it by now. It’s our turn to laugh and their turn to die. Bwahahahaha etc.

    The US military will never mutiny. The fine young folk serving now saw what their dads or dad’s vet buddies went through, so they are hip to civilian BS. So is the VA and the various new transitional programmes which exist to help former serving members re-join civilian life, and most importantly how to fight back.

    The other bit is, you turn into what you hate if you aren’t careful. The best revenge on any unjust adversary is to just let them be themselves for as long as they live and they eventually will do themselves in. People get paid out in this life before they check out. I have never seen the unjust unconditionally triumph. Not once.

    If I were a deeply religious person, the temptation to believe all the US civilian populace is suffering now is due to the betrayal of those who trusted them: Lebanon’s Christians and Jews, Iran’s Christians and Jews, Syria’s Christians, and Southeast Asia’s Christians. I would even be smiling as I type this.

  253. Walt O'Bruin says:

    crownarmourer says:
    October 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    There is nothing that says a delayed vote count cannot be held. Lots of filled jail cells and ballot-losing white-collar poofty doofters dancing in Madonna bustiers and wigs lip synching “Like a Virgin” for their roommates named Bubba, is what that information means to me.

  254. Blackswan says:

    Hi Crown

    Around here it’s the Labor/Left with a propensity for fiddling. They have a track-record of registering their dogs (No ID required to register or vote), residents of the local cemetery also sign up, even giving the cemetery street-address as their place of residence.

    Their motto? Vote early – vote often.

    After elections we always hear of what percentage of the vote various candidates win – never the actual number of votes cast and how that compares with the numbers eligible to do so.

    Ya gotta luv Democracy. Even the folks in the Third World get to dip their fingers in indelible ink to show they’ve voted. Not here in the Free World.

  255. Walt O'Bruin says:

    OzBoy said: Did you say you were in Syracuse?

    No, I’m in Bingotown (Binghamton) Rod Serling’s hometown a bit to the south near the Pennsylvania border. Got a better deal on proper housing than is available in more-pricey Syracuse. Where I am at now is a better studio for all the work I’ve talked myself into LOL It’s a bit more pastoral here, too. The Chenango River and a gazillion Canada geese are a block away.

    I’ll send pix of the leaves turning. That is just kicking in.

    Ah. Well I’ll update the link to this. Your weather today looks like my forecast tomorrow – Oz

  256. Amanda says:

    Walt: Best Grateful Dead ‘Jack Straw’ song and one of their best concerts ever were performed in Binghamton in 1976. Just sayin’.

  257. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I’m going to make a point of getting Harold Lewis’ older book on the relationship between military and civilian research that is listed on his Wikipedia bio credits.

    Interesting blog topic, this.

  258. Blackswan says:

    O’Bruin

    Saw the pics you recently posted of a riverbank – didn’t realise that was your new “digs”. Gotta luv a river. Will it freeze in winter? Can’t imagine being that cold.

  259. Amanda says:

    Calling Captain Crownamourer, sir: we could use some back-up on the Telegraph or Aqueduct or whatever it is….

  260. Walt O'Bruin says:

    OzBoy, thanks for the referral to the Helen Mirren film which I am sure never was released in the States, any more than the excellent recent film about Orson Welles lasted more than three weeks here.

    There should be a subscription service here in the USA for DVD’s in our format of nifty smaller films a la Ealing which are still made in the UK. It wouldn’t make a fortune, but it would have a cult following. Why BFI doesn’t have a download site globally for great little British films is beyond me.

    That Death in Vegas music video has to be funniest satire of Francois Truffaut type French thrillers I have ever seen.

  261. Blackswan says:

    O’Bruin

    “Interesting blog topic, this.”

    Am I mistaken in thinking that in the UK the Met was made part of the MoD on the basis that so many operations were dependent on accurate forecasting?

    In modern warfare is the weather really a moot point? Or am I just befuddled by those old images of flyers being grounded by English Channel fogs and transports bogged up to their axles?

    Surely the Military have a stake in accurate weather forecasting, if not Climate Change.

  262. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Yup. it freezes. You see fuzzy critters stumbling and slipping across the ice early in the mornings in the winter, not all of them people. I wintered here in 2006-7, and oddly enough it is here where I started the script for the film, from somoe ideas i developed on Ceri Radford’s DT blog. That’s when blogs there were little embroidery or weavers’ circles where people traded notes on hobbies like painting or writing or tips on how to take pictures and whatnot. Remember Louise Something or Other’s novel writing competition?

    Goodbye to TarTrucks and suits, hello to death by typing LOL Heating here is MUCH better than my Syracuse place. Lots of farm produce still in stalls in front of the courthouse this late on Saturdays, too. I’ve a bunch of architectural shots of the town from 2007 that are pretty bizarre and amazing, mostly of buildings built from 1858 on.

  263. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Blackswan, they DO have a critical interest in such stuff. The trajectory and range of an artillery shell is drastically effected by relative humidity, wind direction and temperature. The point is, they are solely interested in what can be empirically verified by metricated observation and facts. Pink castles in the sky of “woulda-coulda-shoulda” is something the met companies do not tolerate. There is no met research section with DoD except as it directly relates to equipment performance. Again, that I think falls under the purview of the environmental division of DoD the link for which is given above.

    There are whole regiments, squadrons and units I believe of met people with all branches of the services, as wars are generally fought outdoors. Not to be funny, but you know what I mean. It’s a help to unit commanders if they know that tomorrow they are going to need their rain ponchos.

  264. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I thought the Royal Navy has the distinction of having invented a formal method of weather forecasting for the benefit of the Admiralty and the Fleet.

  265. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Amanda says:
    October 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    They were having a tough time of it for quite some time, but it looks as if they are making some good headway here in development and fixing up the place. They have a brand new bridge over the Chenango now which is a bit on the arty side, and have also done major work in sorting out the shambles of downtown. Really a very pleasant place now, with everything within walking distance through little woodsy parks and the like.

    It’s like Syracuse without the high traffic: they are either suits, rock and roll bikers, farm stock or big city refugee freelancers working on an art project, musical instrument, book, or doctoral thesis in a ten by ten room at all hours. Maybe twenty art galleries and a dozen secondhand indie bookstores spread out throughout the town, that sort of thing.

  266. Walt O'Bruin says:

    There’s an indie coffee house about three blocks from my digs that is wireless as is most of downtown since last time I was here. After Boston and my travels, it’s a relief of major proportion.

  267. Walt O'Bruin says:

    As I recall, the town was wallowing in its own misery last time I was here. The general malaise was brought to a head when a massacre at the immigrant aid association took place, resulting in 15 deaths. Another idiot maniac, of course. That was April of 2009.

    Seems everyone here looked at each other and decided to get off their arses after that. Sort of a mini-9/11 event that resulted in major redevelopment for a place otherwise totally ignored and forgotten by the Albany-based state government. You hate to say it, but the event did result in everyone getting angry enough to try to sort out making this a decent place to live. It is.

  268. Blackswan says:

    O’Bruin on “buildings built from 1858”

    In Tasmania white people only turned up in 1803. In 1858 we still had Tasmanian Aborigines (now extinct) try telling that to Michael Mansell – Oz, Tas Tigers (now extinct) and Tas Emus (now extinct). Most of the towns of tourist interest today were built around the 1850s by Convict Labour (now extinct – or more accurately, while housed in a new prison which was recently discovered to be Not-fit-for-Purpose when a prisoner punched his way out through a wall…lol, the only labour they indulge in is lifting weights and shooting pool).

  269. Walt the multi coloured rainbow bear….. never say never about any military, you piss em off enough they will. The Dems nearly did it with charging the military for their own medical care even if you were in a war zone and I would love to be in on that power point presentation as to why the thought that was a good idea.
    I think cutting all benefits and reducing pay would just about do it. The military has mutinied before it just tends to get air brushed out of history and the offenders hung.

  270. Walt another fine tradition the USA military has is shooting officers with that lets get up and go and run directly into the enemies gunfire attitude. I believe the British military upholds similar traditions.
    It was rumoured during the first Gulf war that during the planning stages the marines were pushing for a direct assault on the enemies most fortified positions head on. Until Sir Peter De la Biliere the commander of British forces pointed out that might not be such a good idea. He was my dads old officer way back in the 1950’s he wanted my dad to become career and join the SAS he declined as the thought of jumping out of a plane and hoping your parachute has been packed right did not excite him.

  271. Blackswan says:

    Hey Oz,

    I didn’t say their descendants, just meant the originals – all gone, along with that convict labour…lol

  272. Amanda says:

    Walt, that sounds rather like Asheville, NC (which is very crunchy).

    What happened to Boston? Overwintering at Syracuse doesn’t sound any warmer than overwintering in Boston. Come down to Florida, baby. ‘When you need it bad/We’ve got it good’. Never saw the ad myself, but I have it on authority that one such existed. For the beach, bring your swimsuit and a sarong: nothing else is needed. Well all right, never mind the sarong. Sunblock instead!

  273. Amanda…. Florida if the alligators don’t get you the sharks will.

  274. Blackswan says:

    Crown
    “the British military upholds similar traditions.”

    Sure they do – they shoot Australian soldiers especially when they were following Kitchener’s Boer War take-no-prisoners orders.

    “Shoot straight yer bastards…”

  275. Ozboy the Tasmanian aboriginals did not exactly die out a number of people of mixed heritage survived, just like the Neanderthals did not die out exactly. However saying they survived as a distinct tribe is laughable but if there is Casino in it wish them well.

  276. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Everybody is over at the Dog Turd engaged in yet another Bravefart style klonkfest with maces, halberds, frozen salamis and bolo bats.

    I much more enjoy at this moment in time Ceri Radford’s articles now on nifty things to do. Ceridwen is the Portal of the Ninefold Muse in Welsh mythology. Don’t doubt it one bit. Her painting class journal was a terrific eye-opener for me. Can’t figure out yet to this day.

  277. Amanda says:

    Crown: Yeah, but round the corner there’s a pretty stand of bamboo.

    BTW, my husband’s new employment, which is horrid, began with an assembly to honour a murdered colleague (whom he’d never known, obviously). He was an actor and drama coach, killed with the sword that was his own stage prop. Apparently it was the lawn-mower guy, arguing about money. How they know this, I don’t know. But it was the downer that started the season off….

  278. Amanda says:

    Walt, yes, that’s terrific, and I agree about the klonkfest (let no one call me unwilling), but how does Ceridwen fit into the Tarot? Well, blow me down, she’s the Priestess in the Llewellyn deck. Which I’ve just bought — for the art work. Yes, I know, it sounds like Woody Allen: ‘I bought Orgasm magazine for the art work!’

  279. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Blackswan says:
    October 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    That’s torn it. Up go the pix. One thing that is nice about the States is the Historical Preservation money that is going around to keep these little beauties in tiptop shape. I’ll post a picture of an Art Deco masterpiece in Syracuse, too, which is gallery grade (quite by accident).

    Well, US Marines do that for the simple reason half the O’s in the Crotch at that time were former NCO’s called Limited Duty Officers. LDO’s knew their shit and were very good at whatever they did as for once in their life they were getting properly paid. If you ask me, ALL O’s should start as snuffies. The Annapolis and Quantico Marin officers were demi-gods to us, too. You’d know they were O’s if you just had a single toe of them left. What stuck in everyone’s craw was that O’s only had to do 6 months in country while snuffies had to do 13 months, but when you had a fifty percent boot looey mortality rate, 6 months was still too long. Silly bastards led from the front, was the problem.

    Our whole positive prospects for the future spilled their blood for naught. A math whiz buddy of mine over drinkies in a place called Piqua, Ohio, where they used to make guided missle safe-arm devices sorted out that the number of casualties and permanently disabled in Viet Nam, given X per capita average earnings, if they were fit to work, would have paid the taxes needed in the 1980’s (remember when we suffered that massive tax shortfall under Reagan and he had to double Social Security contributions, then Bush Senior with the retroactive 1990 tax grab?).

    There never was a women’s lib movement. We just ran out of men.

  280. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Should be “didn’t do that”, and that part of the post was addressed to Crownarmourer. Tired.

  281. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Amanda, NoIdea would laugh at that and sigh. Synchronicity again.

  282. Walt O'Bruin says:

    It wouldn’t be so funny, but I went to the DT to look her up for the first time in maybe two-three years tonight.

  283. Amanda says:

    Crown: A casino in it for the Neanderthals? Fair enough; until they do the next ‘Walking With’ series I expect there’s not much acting work as extras.

  284. Blackswan yes I saw that movie and he was unfairly executed if the events portrayed are accurate, however since you want to bring up inconvenient history it is unofficially reported that Singapore fell to the Japs without a real fight because the General in charge wossname because I can’t remember had no choice because the Australian troops could not be relied on due to a total lack of discipline. You will not find that in any history book for political reasons.
    I’m not saying that was the case everywhere else as the ANZACS fought well in all other theatres and with bravery and distinction beyond there actual numbers such as Tobruk and Kohima ridge. So it suggests Singapore got mostly grade b troops and the rabble and it does not mean they were all like that either just enough.
    History is full of those little details and I’m sure my own countrymen have let the side down on many occasions as well I know our leaders have.

  285. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I don’t really believe in anything, either, is the funny bit. These intersections of coincidence just happen as regularly as the ticking of a clock.

  286. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I don’t see the relevance of belief. Things just are.

  287. Amanda says:

    Walt: Coincidence? You looked up Ceri. She reminds us of Ceridwen the Welsh priestess-queen. I bought Tarot cards and then I spoke of Orgasm. A swimsuit came into it (or is it the other way around?) Somehow it all makes sense!

  288. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Quote from I.B. Singer: the danger to being is a mystic is life becomes too literal.

  289. Walt O'Bruin says:

    To being a mystic is… :>p

  290. Amanda says:

    Um, at the risk of seeming literal…. how?

  291. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Ian Hamilton, the same general who brought ANZAC’s Gallipoli.

  292. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I’d like to think the Jap POW camp was his penance for both Singapore and Gallipoli. I vividly remember pix of him being liberated in a starched clean uniform but it was obvious he’d had beri beri and malaria with all the rest of the POW’s. Horrific.

  293. Amanda says:

    Walt, yes: but there are some striking coincidences that… strike one. They don’t mean anything. But it’s still weird when you go your whole life without ever hearing the word ‘coeval’ and then a philosopher writes it in his book and you listen to the radio in your car and some nudnik on NPR says ‘coeval’. And you think: ding dong!

  294. Amanda says:

    Goodnight Walt. Sweet dreams thinking of Ceri and Gallipoli and the Tarot and Orgasm magazine. :^)

  295. Blackswan says:

    Crown

    More accurately than “Australian soldiers” – they were Aussie Volunteers attached to an irregular British unit known as the Bushveldt Carbineers.

    Since the 100 year anniversary of their summary executions there has been a campaign to have the convictions quashed and their names cleared. Their deaths were politically expedient when the British Govt came up against the ire of the Empire citizenry who saw their treatment of the Boers as barbaric.

    Kitchener returned a hero and lived to tangle himself up in the disastrous WW1 rout of the Gallipoli campaign for which Churchill took the blame. So many Kitcheners out there in Govt who’ll always evade responsibility for their abject failures.

  296. Walt O'Bruin says:

    IMHO, Slim was the best general of WW II, and Plumer ofr WW I. Plumer executed the breakout and initiated the 100 Day’s push which would have failed but for a supremely anachronistic and successful sword-swinging and lancer-led calvary charge by the Lord Strathcona’s Horse of Canada against the main artillery directing position the Jerries maintained to counter the thrust.

  297. Walt the Welsh paintings did they involve sheep?

  298. Walt O'Bruin says:

    I think a British submarine torpedo’d Kitchener’s ship LOL HE was a political threat as well as a military threat as a potential coup leader against the Crown.

  299. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Aaagh! You used the S word!

  300. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Time to klonk meself. Over and out, wing leader.

  301. Amanda says:

    G’night, Honey Bear.

  302. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Crownarmourer, she couldn’t get her paintbrush around the female form for some reason, and was a bit upset about it, I think. Really an interesting blog. Went on for weeks, with people putting their artwork up and covering a range of topics one normally doesn’t cover in an arts discussion: stories about stories and how paintings grow over time as one works on them. Comfortable but useful place to be.

  303. Blackswan I actually met an old Gallipoli veteran it was not a purely ANZAC affair and it was a total dogs bollocks operation from the start. From what should have been an easy push forward get bogged down real quick thanks to piss poor leadership and yes our leaders lacked a lot. Churchill was obsessed with the soft underbelly of Europe.

  304. Blackswan says:

    crownarmourer says:
    October 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Is that REALLY the reason the British people were fobbed off with an excuse for the Fall of Singapore?

    Oh dear Crown. If you are interested in the subject I suggest you read some accounts from another perspective – a bit like finding the truth of CAGW…lol

    From our soldiers’ point of view (those unruly buggers who refused to salute British officers appropriately) they fought their own running battles down the Malay Peninsular in defense of Singapore (that Bastion Churchill considered sooo impregnable he refused the promised Naval support and deployed it elsewhere) and were distraught and ashamed when ordered by the Brits (Hamilton as Bear reminds me) to lay down their arms and surrender to a numerically inferior force of Japanese on bicycles.

    I have a large library of accounts, biographies and diaries of the time, some titles of which I can post if you’re interested.

    BTW Kitchener was involved in the planning of the WW1 push to Constantinople via Gallipoli.

  305. Blackswan says:

    O’Bruin

    “I’d like to think the Jap POW camp was his penance for both Singapore and Gallipoli”

    True, but what horrible sins had the tens of thousands of other poor bastards done to warrant such penance? Maybe if he actually saw what happened to “his” men he might have suffered, but if he was cloistered in a better camp far from the Siam/Burma railway then he’d have died as ignorant as he was when “serving” his country.

  306. Blackswan actually no one in the UK was fobbed off with that excuse that is the point it was passed on word to mouth in military circles. You will find no reference to it anywhere. It was a bad situation as it was but the Island could have been fought for inch by inch and made them pay. If the soldiers had known what lay in store for them they would have all of them. One of the guys from my home village was a prisoner of the Japs and suffered horribly and as a result a lot of my grandparents generation never forgave them for what they did.
    I’m just saying that a lot of troops at Singapore were not the best or very green and could not be relied upon for that reason, discipline was a major problem please note I did mention exceptional bravery elsewhere. Oh and yes a lot of our generals and leaders were crap, Churchill replaced a lot of them throughout the war.

  307. Blackswan says:

    Hey Crown

    Maybe Basil was right – “Don’t mention the War”…lol

    We all carry some baggage – it’s a generational thing. Actually I’ve read a few accounts from the Japanese point of view – most interesting.

  308. meltemian says:

    Morning All. (don’t you just love the confusing time zones?)
    Sorry I haven’t replied to anyone for ages. We had one of our livelier thunderstorms yesterday evening and it took out the power grid. No power for the last 9 hours, but we seem to be back to normal now. Everywhere’s flooded, but at least we’re on the top of a hill so it’s draining away. The pool’s turned into an infinity one – must empty it a bit! Rather have a bit of rain than your coming freeze though.

  309. Pointman says:

    “Climate Science’s Worst Week in History”

    “The speed of these events is staggering, and a full week has yet to pass”

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/28735

    That was the week that was …

    Pointman

  310. meltemian says:

    Pointman – funny you mentioned harps. This should have been my second post for you but I had forgotten the name, and Mr. M. was hovering waiting to turn the router off due to the storm. (his computer has a surge protector but my laptop doesn’t) so I posted Enya instead.
    Great new chapter by the way – keep them coming.

  311. meltemian says:

    What happened here? I definitely put the posting AFTER the embed code.

  312. fenbeagle says:

    So……Lets wind things back then. Take ourselves back to 1906 when the world was slower, safer, greener, easier. Here is a film taken four days before the earthquake struck in San Fransisco. The first 35 mm film ever, still surviving. Taken from the front of a cable car……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=NINOxRxze9k

  313. Blackswan says:

    fenbeagle says:
    October 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Fantastic piece of film, but “safer”? Pedestrians & paper boys needed to be pretty nimble to survive by the looks. So weird to see no traffic lanes and U-turns and cross traffic every which way. Thanks.

  314. Pointman says:

    fenbeagle says:
    October 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Fen. Thanks for that film, absolutely facinating stuff. Watched it once for pleasure and had to watch it again to pick up what was nagging me about it. No traffic lights, no cops directing traffic, not even any road markings but traffic flowed anyway – a self-organising system.
    The other thing was the people. They all looked to have that longish stride people have who are used to walking a few miles each day, which would explain the absence of any weight problems too.

    Pointman

  315. Pointman says:

    meltemian says:
    October 14, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Mel. Might be worth trying a line of text before as well as after the video link. Liked the Clannad BTW. Never saw the series though. Any good?

    Pointman

  316. fenbeagle says:

    hi Pointman
    There was a cop. But he was about his business. Not directing traffic.
    ……Nobody cared what anyone else was doing. Nobody disapproved, or reacted to anything that happened, although there were several near misses. Several potential compensation claims.

  317. Pointman says:

    I saw him okay but he was more interested in the fellow with the strange contraption. Noticed he had his nightstick ready, just in case …

    Pointman

  318. Pointman says:

    “APS responds! – Deconstructing the APS response to Dr. Hal Lewis resignation”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/13/aps-responds-deconstructing-the-aps-response-to-dr-hal-lewis-resignation/#comment-507114

    Added my 10c at the end.

    Pointman

  319. Amerloque says:

    Hello Everyone !

    An excellent read over at americanthinker …

    ///

    Mixing Green With Red Makes Brown (Shirts)

    …/…

    One of the most embarrassing environmental facts of the 1930s was that between 60% and 70% of the German greens were Nazi Party members, compared to only 10% of the population at large. In fact, German greens outperformed even medical doctors and teachers, with Nazi foresters and veterinarians leading the charge. Somehow, the so-called independent German wandervogels (German word for “wandering free spirits”) found themselves at the footstool of Der Führer. Their wandervogel attitudes about civilization and the wild forestlands found a political niche in the isolationist biology of the Nazi Party. Furthermore, their strong beliefs in holism found a political voice in the totalitarian Social Darwinism of the Nazis, which was largely rooted in Ernst’s Haeckel’s ecology of the 1800s.
    …/… ///

    http://tinyurl.com/29t2xdz

    Now is not the time to let up !

    Best,
    L’Amerloque

  320. Walt O'Bruin says:

    Amerloque says:
    October 15, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Ve haf places for pipple who write artikles like zat fur der Americanthinker LOL

    Nice read, Amerloque. Thanks for sharing.

  321. Green Sand says:

    Hi Oz, many thanks for your comment re Bilderberg, no worries. Keep up the good work.

    Have the Australian BOM found UHI just in time for the “peer review” of the new NZ temp set?

    Hot Cities
    http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/ho/20101013.shtml

  322. Pointman says:

    Something for climate scientists everywhere.

    “I was just guessing the numbers and the figures…”

    Pointman

  323. Amanda says:

    Posted just now on the Droughty Aqueduct:

    Discussion of what happens when substances decay — broken down into carbon and oxygen and then sequestered?

    Ron Jeremy
    9 minutes ago
    Don’t you people know anything ?
    Everything’s fine for about a week
    And then your coffin starts to leak.

    The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out
    the worms play pinochle in your snout.

    they eat your eyes and they eat your nose
    they eat the jelly between your toes.

    There you have the carbon cycle in a nutshell

    Amanda
    7 minutes ago
    I’m being cremated.

    Ron Jeremy
    1 minute ago
    Call the fire service,someone is trying to barbecue our Amanda,hurry now or she will soon be toast……………….

    Amanda
    0 seconds ago
    LOL! :^)

    Soon be toast: If you’re going to spread butter on me, wait till Ozboy sends the Vegemite. It’s my reward for being the 10,000th comment on his website.

  324. Pointman says:

    Don’t worry Amanda, Lights will guide you home …

    Pointman

  325. Amanda says:

    Pointman:
    Music to ignite your bones to, then.
    But what about the blood?

    A.

  326. Pointman says:

    Don’t mention blood.

    Pointman of Transylvania …

  327. Ozboy says:

    G’day Everyone,

    This post’s getting a bit long, so here’s another one for you.

    Cheers

    Oz

  328. Pointman says:

    Jesus H Christ on a chariot, I’m being besieged by Squirrel regulars led by Capt. Insano himself. Did someone mention effn sh**p?

    Pointman

  329. Amanda says:

    Mad, bad, and dangerous to know…

  330. Epigenes says:

    There is no reason for government to fund anything other than defense, law and justice and some admin functions such as planning and regulation of free markets.

    The free market can finance everything. The problem is that governments interfere with free markets rather than just regulating them and they extract and waste too much tax.

Comments are closed.