One More Five-Ring Circus

The Games of the XXX Olympiad kick off in a few hours, and I for one won’t be watching.

In another age, another millemium, the Modern Olympic Games were conceived by an aristocratic Frenchman, Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, back when sport was overwhelmingly regarded as an amateur conceit; it was largely the landed gentry who had both the time to practise their skills, and the means to travel to and participate in such events.

In fact, the notions of de Frédy—something of an incurable Anglophile, rare for a Frenchman—were largely influenced by Englishmen; specifically, surgeon and physical fitness advocate William Brookes, and Thomas Arnold, headmaster at Rugby School, whose eponymous football code de Frédy had introduced to France several years earlier. This should be no surprise to the student of history; sport—with all its connotations of morality and personal development, as opposed to merely gamesis a uniquely English concept. There is no word in the French language for sport; they merely (and grudgingly) borrowed the English word. In fact, what Bill Gates tells me are the German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian words for sport—sport, sport, sport and Спорт respectively—indicate that neither the term nor the concept existed in any of these cultures prior to the advent of the Modern Olympics.

Back in the pre-industrial era, what we think of as “sport” was a primarily a leisure activity for villagers. Archery, skittles, wrestling and running races were a way for hard-working serfs to blow off steam. Proto-football matches were held between neighbouring villages, with goal posts often miles apart, and little in the way of rules. Few escaped injury of some sort. Here in colonial Australia, cricket matches between distant towns were once-a-year affairs that attracted thousands of spectators, and generally brought commerce to a halt for miles around. Back then, the idea that sport would one day become primarily a passive activity, with the majority of participants merely spectators, grouped around television screens and observing the exertions of a small number of highly-paid professionals, would have seemed absurd.

To the contemporary popular games were added to the modern Olympics, the martial arts of the day: swordsmanship, horsemanship and marksmanship. The modern pentathlon, comprising these three plus a running and swimming race, was designed to be a showcase the all-round martial skills of military officers, but which persists today as a kind of quaint anachronism. It does make you wonder: what are the Modern Games supposed to represent today? The Latin motto of the Games, citius, altius, fortius (faster, higher, stronger), was meant to encapsulate an elitist, amateur ideal, but today connotes any number of gross distortions.

Actually, I would say that my own country embraced the whole concept of sport about as perfectly as any other in modern history. Sport has been an essential part of our culture since federation, and indeed Australia is now one of only two nations (with Greece) to have competed at every Modern Olympics, and has won more medals per head of population—by a long margin—than any other nation. The 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (with which I was closely involved), in fact, could be described as our “moon shot”, and became the standard by which all subsequent Summer Games have been measured.

But the general absence of sport in the history of most cultures explains, to some degree, how the ideals of the founders of the modern Olympics were so quickly and easily corrupted. Countries whose cultures cannot begin to comprehend the British connotations of sport, can hardly be blamed when their governments view the Games as merely an convenient opportunity to express national pride, or whatever ideology they may happen to be pursuing.

Then there’s the commercialization of the Olympics, now taken to a palpably insane level. I quote from GE’s recent article, some of the more ridiculous examples:

Sally Gunnell photoshoot promoting easyJet’s new London Southend service in July 2011. Locog executive stopped photoshoot of her raising a Union flag above her shoulders. Union flag was removed & she had to change from a white tracksuit to an orange T-shirt.

Butcher in Weymouth. Was told to remove his display of sausages in the shape of the Olympic rings.

Olympicnic. A small village in Surrey has been stopped from running an “Olympicnic” on its village green.

‘Flaming torch breakfast baguette’ offered at a café in Plymouth to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic torch was outlawed by Locog.

‘Cafe Lympic’ & ‘Lympic Food Store & Off License’. Both had to drop the ‘O’ at the start of their names. But Alex Kelham, a brand protection lawyer at Locog, says: ‘The legislation actually catches anything similar to the word ‘Olympic’ as well. It’s not a fool-proof get-around.’

Florist in Stoke-on-Trent. Was ordered to take down a tissue paper Olympic rings display from the shop window.

Oxford Olympic Torch stalls. Traders will have to cover up their logos, and can only sell soft drinks from the Coca-Cola product range (inc. bottled water)

Webbers Estate Agents in North Devon. Threatened with legal action for displaying makeshift Olympic rings in its windows.

I could get sued just for displaying this.

Not to mention the obsession with performance-enhancing drugs. These were administered routinely by the sporting authorities of totalitarian states during the 1960s and 1970s, but history has shown that athletes from all nations have sought whatever means they can get their hands on to gain an edge over their rivals. I seriously doubt that drugs will ever be eliminated from elite sport, particularly those events in which strength and speed are paramount. The motivations involved will ensure the users of these substances will always stay one step ahead of those trying to detect them.

I really hope, for the sake of my British friends particularly, that these Olympic Games come off as splendidly as they hope, and without major incident. They bequeathed the concept of sport to the world, and in fact developed and codified almost all of the popular sports themselves. Maybe some time in the future, the original ideals of sport can be re-discovered, instead of the silly circus all modern professional sport has become, of which the Modern Olympics is merely the most conspicuous example.

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120 Responses to One More Five-Ring Circus

  1. meltemian says:

    I have to admit I’ll be watching the opening ceremony, if I can stay awake. It’ll be 11:00 p.m. here when it kicks-off. After that I’m not really interested. The whole ‘Olympics’ thing has gone far from the original intention, it’s been commercialised beyond belief, politicised and corrupted to such an extent that it’s impossible to take the IOC seriously any more.
    The host country has to bankrupt itself to create ever bigger and better venues and more spectacular ceremonies. I wonder who we had to bribe to get the Games to London?
    I know I have a vested interest but how about every competing country clubbing together and creating a new joint venue here, in Greece, maybe in Olympia, where the Games could be held every four years as usual. It would save future host countries a fortune and create a lot of employment here, kill two birds with one stone and avoid all that hassle every four years.
    Bring the Games back to Greece.

  2. …….on a lighter note, Grandad doesn’t think much of the Olympics either, sorry about the language but he’s Irish (’nuff said). You blokes ought to look at Brian’s video in the comments, she’s Australian too, enjoy!

    ROFL – says it all. Onya Grandad! Oz 😆

  3. Not sure what happened there? WordPress made me sign in again and double-barrelled my name!

    Not sure not sure Mel Mel me dear me dear – Oz Oz

  4. Kitler says:

    I think a few people have warned that an attack of some sort has been planned for the event and it will be a big one, it was also rumoured to be a false flag to be used for whatever nefarious purpose they wish. However as one source was captain sherlock who can be as mad as a box of frogs at times who knows.
    I hope everything goes without a hitch it is usually the one time when most countries stop bickering and fighting and go and watch the TV instead.
    I wonder which nationality Clegg in the coalition government will be supporting.

    He said the same thing before the last Winter Games two years ago (said a Canadian Air Force pilot recruited by nefarious forces would crash a plane into the Olympic village). He’ll say it again before the next Games, too. Inevitably, he’s going to be right one day, and then he’ll run round with a loud hailer, shouting “See? See? Didn’t I warn you all?”

    Remind you of anyone? Oz

  5. Kitler says:

    Mel the modern games were revived in Greece in 1896 and at the time a lot of people wanted them to be permanently staged there but the IOC decided to rotate them by country. It would make more sense to have it at one location however the prestige of hosting them will stop this.

  6. Kitler says:

    Ozboy like I said mad as a box of frogs it’s amazing a man as smart as himself can research and find information that us mere mortals could never find and then come to the totally wrong conclusion. As much as the Bullingdon boys are a bunch of behinds I don’t think they are burying people under the lawn at the country estates.
    Speaking of weird theories the missus was arguing with a man who was convinced that 13th bankers (bunch of Fuggers the lot of them) and the Vatican were responsible for the Black Death and the Irish potato famine. There is not enough tin foil in the world to go round.

  7. Kitler says:

    Also the Anthony Watts big announcement is this Sunday my money is that the cause of AGW is space aliens.

  8. Luton Ian says:

    Lost a long rambling post this morning: Gist of it, I won’t be watching any of it, but my dog did get to touch one of the torches – quite by chance.

    I’m in full agreement with Oz and Grandad

  9. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    My daughter and I are watching the opening ceremony. I think it was the most boring one I’ve seen (except for Rowen Atkinson, he was funny. I also got a kick out of the Queen parachuting into the venue.) I stopped watching most of the competitions when they allowed professionals to play. That first basketball “dream team” was just embarrassing.

    What’s with the missile launchers on civilian housing? I’m not sure I want to visit London. It doesn’t sound very safe.

  10. Kitler says:

    SGDN ever been to the East of London, hence the missiles.

  11. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Hey Kitler,
    No, I’ve never been to London. East London sounds like anywhere in Chicago. Maybe they could use missile launchers there too.

  12. Ozboy says:

    While the cauldron was being lit and Her Maj was doing her usual “I now declare” standup routine, Oz Jr and I were down at his Saturday morning junior soccer. For my money, more real sport than anything you could watch on TV.

  13. izen says:

    The amount of real sport in any event is linked to the ratio of participents to spectators.

    As soon as there are more in the audience than are on the pitch/field it is in danger of becoming entertainment and commercialised.
    Once there are millions watching a handful the ‘sport’ is subsumed by the size, wishes and economic exploitation of the audience.

    Anybody read Umberto Eco and his concept of hypersport?

    G’day Izen,

    “The ratio of participants to spectators”. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but it’s a neat way of putting it.

    Aren’t you in London somewhere? Going to any events? Oz

  14. Luton Ian says:

    The spectator sport of association football was reputedly begun at a large lunatic asylum, close to a village in north east England, which has one of the traditional football games with hundreds of players and goals several miles apart.

    The warders had given the inmates a ball to amuse themselves with in the exercise yard. However, on a cold morning, the warders got sick of getting cold watching, lunatics kicking a ball around.

    The warders took the ball and kicked it around, and let the lunatics stand around getting cold, watching them:

    Modern soccer had been invented.

    I know soccer is the #1 sport in the UK, but I’m sorry to say that I just can’t get into it (a great game for the kids though). You see, in the adult version, even though I admire the skill and artistry of the top players, the object seems less to get the ball in the goal than it is to con the referee into awarding free kicks and penalties. This contrasts with Australian Rules, the Rugby codes, Gaelic and Gridiron, which are all goal-focussed. In fact, soccer in this regard is to me a metaphor for a lot of modern life. Anyway, the English, who codified the game, haven’t won the World Cup for nearly half a century now. Who’s still fighting World War Two, anyway? Oz

  15. Luton Ian says:

    Ah, Memories of the little agile guys in the Irish International Rules side, each one with a big steroid fed Aussie rules player sat on top of him 😉

    I was never into any of the ball games – I’ve got very poor eye -hand coordination, and got bored too easily. I’m naturally a nerd.

  16. Luton Ian says:

    A little background,

    Gaelic football and Aussie Rules are very simillar – except Gaelic is non contact, so the guys tend to be small, fast and agile.

    “International Rules” is a none contact code which allows some international games between the Aussie Rules and Gaelic players – except it hasn’t always stayed non contact.

    Gaelic is pretty interesting, unlike Hurling, which originated pre sixth century, perhaps a long time pre. Gaelic football was a late 19th/ early 20th century invention, to give nationalists an alternative to playing the colonists games.

    What was that about sports being politics free?

    I spent most of my time in County Kilkenny, which is Hurling, Hurling and more Hurling, especially if a team from Tipp, Wexford or Waterford is the opposing side. Their Hurling is that good, they don’t bother with football.

    Yeah, the Irish have been complaining about the level of violence in the last two IR matches. Aren’t they the ones who gave meaning to the term “donnybrook”?

    Australian Rules football did start out as a variant of the Gaelic game, brought out here by the Irish teaching orders (Christian and Patrician Brothers) in the late 19th century and adapted to local conditions, despite many tales to the contrary.

    Actually, the AFL send talent scouts every year over to Ireland; we usually have a handful of Irish guys playing in our league at any one time; Tadhg Kennelly and the late Jim Stynes are probably the best-known – Oz

  17. farmerbraun says:

    Farmerbraun might manage a stifled yawn at the Olympic circus were it not likely to be seen as a slight overreaction 🙂
    Still bread and circus it is ; as always. Leave them to it.
    Off topic , here is some interesting thinking:

    “The dramatic expansion of the geographical range of coyotes over the last 90 years is partly explained by changes to the landscape and local extinctions of wolves, but hybridization may also have facilitated their movement. We present mtDNA sequence data from 686 eastern coyotes and measurements of 196 skulls related to their two-front colonization pattern. We find evidence for hybridization with Great Lakes wolves only along the northern front, which is correlated with larger skull size, increased sexual dimorphism and a five times faster colonization rate than the southern front. Northeastern haplotype diversity is low, suggesting that this population was founded by very few females moving across the Saint Lawrence River. This northern front then spread south and west, eventually coming in contact with an expanding front of non-hybrid coyotes in western New York and Pennsylvania. We suggest that hybridization with wolves in Canada introduced adaptive variation that contributed to larger size, which in turn allowed eastern coyotes to better hunt deer, allowing a more rapid colonization of new areas than coyotes without introgressed wolf genes. Thus, hybridization is a conduit by which genetic variation from an extirpated species has been reintroduced into northeastern USA, enabling northeastern coyotes to occupy a portion of the niche left vacant by wolves.”

    Farmerbraun is inclined to wonder whether there is a human parallel, with Homo sapiens sub spp. irreligioso slowly developing, ready to inhabit the niche left by the current residents.
    And further, if superstition/imagination is an inbuilt negative feedback, both our evolutionary advantage and Achilles heel at the same time, which prevents human population from overextending to its ultimate detriment, then how will sub spp. irreligioso contain itself.
    Anyone fancy science? Science did give us antibiotics , but was it science which gave us MRSA, or whichever superbug develops next?

  18. farmerbraun says:

    Here’s the link which attracted FB’s attention:-

    You’ve suggested a few times before that the tendency to follow a religion may be a genetic trait; I’m still mulling that one over – Oz

  19. farmerbraun says:

    It’s not religion per se Ozboy. it is our ability to imagine; to think in great detail about that which does not exist.
    This imagination has enabled us to exploit lots of terrain that was previously too dangerous; we might for example , imagine that there is a lion hiding in that bush.
    When imagination does not eventually correspond with observed reality, then it is described as superstition. It is when we prefer superstition to science,( and it seems that this occurs more often than the reverse) then we are vulnerable to the effects of reality.
    Don’t worry, Jesus will be here soon.

  20. Kitler says:

    FB speaking of coyotes I saw my first Chupacabra a few weeks back in broad daylight by work. As for wolves they were never really exterminated her in the South East USA, they came close but it’s too wooded to get them all, I used to hear them on the howl when I lived in the countryside for a spell.
    Also the supposedly extinct cougars have been spotted around here for years.

  21. Luton Ian says:

    I needed to be in Newcastle today.

    I prefer not to take the farm vehicle into the town, more so with the Olympic football security theatre, I don’t know what they’d make of syringes, needles, bottles of calcium borogluconate, ivermectin etc, or perhaps a fugitive 12 guage or .22rf cartridge!

    but, as luck would have it the train line was closed for maintenance, and the looser cruiser would have got me there too late, so I had to beg a lift in from a friend.

    I did come back on the train, and there were cops EVERYWHERE.

    I got chatting with the train conductor, as he had a forty minute wait in the station.

    It seems the entry requirements for the soccer matches are more stringent than for boarding an airline – no food or liquids at all. He said some of the passengers had talked about the £6 sandwiches, and zero facilities for getting tap water to drink – it’s all bottled and all at premium prices.

    It was a strange experience to have a conversation with someone wearing a union tie, and to be in total agreement the whole way.

    Olympics; It’s a racket.

  22. Luton Ian says:

    OT: Fast & Furious / gun walker

    Sharyl Attkisson, The mainstram journalist who has done by far the most digging, is expecting more revelations later this week.

    H/T Firehand, and I love the Zappa implications of this blog title 🙂

  23. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian you do know a lot of otherwise healthy people have been having unexpected heart attacks lately if they disagree with the current administration in the USA, obviously they must be natural what else could they be. I’m sure she is in the best of health but you never know these days Progressivism can be fatal.

  24. Luton Ian says:

    That monopoly is part of the core definition.

    The whole leviathan exists by legally making credible death threats, that’s all it is and all it does.

  25. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian I don’t think they are threats and it’s definitely not legal…
    However new ranty post….

  26. Luton Ian says:

    Every law, even the most menial parking, jaywalking or littering law, is ultimately backed by a credible death threat. If it were not, then it would be advice or a recommendation, which could be safely ignored with more or less inconvenience.

    The body which issues those threats, which funds itself via those threat, and which maintains itself in a monopoly position in a geographical area, by such threats

    is called a “state”.

    that states also indulge in extra legal (they decide what legal means) murders, as well as legal ones – is an empirical observation.

    The state after all, has the monopoly on law making, policing, the coroners, and the court system.

    Note how active the DOJ is in pursuing investigations into it’s appointed head’s activities.

    With such powers, it would take a staff composed of angels, not to be corrupted by them.

    The staff are not angels, but the greediest, most dishonest and most devious humans – but they tell us that they would only use the ring for good.

    Were something in the least bit suspicious to happen to the young journalist, the culture wars could get err, let’s just say “even more interesting”. One of the bloggers who broke the story has received credible letters from, among others, a marine corps sniper, promising 100 heads if anything suspicious happens to the blogger.

    There is the catch 22 of statist power, probably best expressed by Frederick Douglass:

    ““Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

    or put another way:

    Those individuals within the leviathan, say “We can do whatever we want”
    To which, certain individuals outside of the leviathan reply
    “You can only do what we allow you to”

  27. Luton Ian says:

    I’m going to quote von Mises, on the same point (as it is impossible to have too many Mises Quotes).

    “The struggle for freedom is ultimately not resistance to autocrats or oligarchs but resistance to the despotism of public opinion.”
    Theory and History, pp 66-67

  28. Luton Ian says:

    Completely OT
    Brilliant documentary by the Spanish Austrians and friends, about the business cycle and the current depression.

    Please watch and spread the word

  29. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian
    “The whole leviathan exists by legally making credible death threats, that’s all it is and all it does.”

    That is a simplification of governance that eliminates far more meaning than it adds. As is often the case with political dogmatism.
    You might want to consider that governance is also the process of avoiding various ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ situations by mutual coercion mutually agreed upon.

    It would be like claiming that private property rights exist only because of a credible death threat by the private owner in their defence. It denies the existence of collective agreement and imposing resource cost for transgression. Its a long time since people were hung for sheep and goats.

  30. Kitler says:

    Ozboy the last reason is a classic and designed to really irk progressive liberals.

    From where I’m standing, his place of birth is the least of mysteries about him. Yes, I know, the U.S. Constitution and eligibility rules and everything, but for my money the far bigger questions surrounding the bloke are currently sealed up in the archives of Columbia and Harvard Universities, and Business International Corporation – Oz

  31. Kitler says:

    Ozboy apparently colonial records his original birth certificate or rather copy is held in the national archives in Kew London. Hilary paid an an unexpected visit there and had it sealed.

  32. Kitler says:

    If that is true I would be blackmailing the crap out of him right now if I was the UK PM for favours for UK interests, however the UK’s PM I suspect has his own secrets he wishes to hide.

  33. Luton Ian says:

    Hi Izen,
    Of course the leviathan does other things, which I view more as window dressing, or cloaking of the naked aggression, than as core functions.

    Even for leviathan, naked aggression is dangerous, it is a minority, as all parasites must be.

    I also strongly disaggree with the idea that leviathan has a purpose in minimising tragedy of the commons / externality problems.

    One of the lines of thought which I’m playing with, and having a lot of fun with where it is leading me is,

    Leviathan specializes in creating tragedy of the commons and Hobbesian conflicts, which it then presents itself as the arbiter of.

    Let us face it, everything has positive and negative externalities:

    I plant flowers in my garden, that some people enjoy seeing them, is a positive externality, that someone with an allergy to those flowers, may be adversely effected is a negative externality, but in neither case are property rights infringed, and so this is not an example of tragedy of the commons.

    Tragedy of the commons arises where there are negative externalities, AND either poorly defined or poorly defended property rights.

    The free market and common law, have excellent mechanisms for establishing and defending property rights – I can cover those later if you want.

    Where Leviathan enters the fray, one of its first things it does is to confuse property rights.

    The nearby village is a “conservation area” and at a meeting in the village hall, this was “democratically” extended

    The only ones at the meeting were those who lived within the “conservation area”, but they decided to extend the restrictions over neighbours who weren’t there – the leviathan has immediately created a Hobbesian conflict by denying those in the extension area, property rights over their homes and gardens.

    Several people in the villlage have recently received letters threatening £20K fines, for trimming trees in their gardens, without seeking approval (and paying fees) to bureaucrats. They were snitched upon by neighbours, whom the leviathan has granted property rights over others property.

    The planning system itself, creates a hobbesian conflict by confusing clearly established conventions in property rights in common law.

    If I plant a fast growing tree, and it begins to shade my neighbour’s property, my neighbour has a prior claim on light, and a claim against me for obstructing it. the same would apply if I obstructed the light with a new building, or interfered with his established access, or quiet enjoyment by say noise or odour.

    If however, I had already established the shading, noisy or smelly land use before the neighbour moved there, then they have no claim against me in common law, but this would not preclude an agreement from being reached on mutually acceptable terms.

    Enter leviathan, and all changes. Common law precedents were overturned in the 18th and 19th centuries – allowing fugitive smoke and dust from mines, factories and railways, to pollute neighbours lands, waters, and persons – in the name of “progress” (and to the advantage of favoured polluters).

    In the converse sense, leviathan also allows people to “move to a nuisance” and have their complaints upheld.

    I’ll give an example involving leviathan’s land.

    The ministry of defense owns an area of rifle ranges, near the Village of Ponteland (pronounced pont – eeland. If you want to annoy the locals, pronounce it as Ponti-land – don’t worry, you won’t be infringing property rights by doing so) west of Newcastle.

    The MOD let the farmhouse adjacent to the ranges. New tennant immediately complained to the local council (pronounced Coonsil) about noise pollution – and won, thereby preventing civillians from the long established practice of hiring time on the ranges at weekends.

    Under common law, the practice had a prior claim, and the tennant was free to choose not to move to the nuisance

    Tell me about it, Ian – Oz: 👿

  34. Luton Ian says:


    In summary:
    Leviathan is able to confuse property rights by denying owners their full common law rights and prior claims, and it grants others the illusion of having “rights” over property of others.

    That is one way in which it stirs hobbesian conflicts – then, in true Hobbesian fashion, presents itself as the monopolist of final decision making to settle those conflicts, thereby gaining the illusion of legitimacy, through settling conflicts which it created the conditions for.

    If I have time later on, I’ll write a little about the “community policing” snitch ‘n’ bitch meetings which are held once a month to encourage neighbours to use the cops to facilitate conflicts with each other.

    Yet another forum which leviathan provides to encourage Hobbesian conflicts.

  35. Luton Ian says:

    I should ad that I’m a Luton Ian, not a Hobbes Ian 😉

  36. izen says:

    I don’t keep up with all the latest conspiracy theories about Obama so the references to business international and the university archives.

    Are any of the speculative accusations more serious than Mittens’ apparent inability to follow the Warren Buffet rule and pay a comparable percentage of his income in taxes as all the people he seeks to represent?
    It prompts the reversal of the old slogan –
    “No representation without taxation!”

    That no-one out of 400 students in his graduating year of Columbia and interviewed by Fox News can remember him is not a “theory”, conspiracy or otherwise. Nor is that he does not appear in the Columbia 1983 yearbook. The interests behind BIC are similarly a matter of record; yet no-one knows exactly what he did there in the year following his graduation.

    “Conspiracy theory”??? The words prima facie case spring to mind.

    WRT Romney, I reckon there are any number of valid criticisms that can be levelled at him. That he took steps to minimize his tax is not one of them. So far, none among even his most vocal critics of whom I am aware, have suggested any illegality in this regard; though perhaps you might enlighten us if you know otherwise – Oz

  37. Luton Ian says:

    Even from a statist point of view; tax loopholes are legal, that is the law.

    From a libertarian point of view, why overfeed the leviathan?

    Precisely – Oz

  38. Luton Ian says:

    That Port Arthur “buffer” is theft, plain and simple.

    It also sounds like an excellent teaching aid:

    “The struggle for freedom is ultimately not resistance to autocrats or oligarchs but resistance to the despotism of public opinion.”
    Theory and History, pp 66-67

    Mises just cannot be quoted too often

    I could say more (much more) about that one, but I don’t want to drag Ozboy’s provincial politics onto LibertyGibbert.

    I will say that much media coverage of the issue was gutter journalism in the extreme – Oz

  39. Luton Ian says:

    I’m off out, hopefully I’ll drop in this evening – check out that Vimeo link

    it really is good

  40. Izen says:

    @- ozboy
    For Fox sake, you should not take their word for… Well anything much at all….

    Kew may have colonial records, but these are of government matters, NOT local records of births to foreign nationals in the East African Protectorate.

    As for Mittens, tax avoidance may be within the rules and not a ‘sick raptor’, but fairness and equity are deeply embedded aspects of most hominid attitudes, we share a sense of proportionate reciprocal benefit as a inherent aspect of our moral outlook with other social apes.
    Paying proportionately less tax than those you seek to represent is dubious at best, and opens him to the accusation that perhaps he is only intending to represent those that like him avoid the full membership dues of the club they benefit from.

    C’mon, Izen – at least read your own links. Even Snopes acknowledges the factual accuracy of the claims made on Fox News, and simply asserts they don’t prove a negative (he didn’t attend at all).

    The three solitary individuals cobbled together after the Fox News story all have links to – ah, hell, Snopes didn’t report that bit so it can’t be true, right?

    Finally, the folks at Snopes trip over their own feet by unwittingly getting straight to the nub of the issue:

    Finally, the fatal flaw in the “Obama didn’t go to Columbia” theory is that he couldn’t have been admitted to Harvard Law School in 1988 without having received an undergraduate degree.

    Of course he couldn’t. Right? Oz

  41. Luton Ian says:

    The dues of the “club” which they never chose to join, and can only leave for another “club”.

    How does one benefit from paying around half of one’s income to a monopoly provider – compared to paying a competitive provider whom you choose to do business with, an agreed price for a known service.

    The very fact that the monopoly “provider” is using coercion to keep competitors out and to force you to pay, whether you want its “services” or not, is evidence enough that it is not “benefiting” its subjects, but rogering them.

    There is nothing “moral” about paying an armed robber, even if he might, once in a while, prosecute your neighbours for putting the wrong bin out, or using PVC instead of wooden window frames on their own house.

  42. Luton Ian says:

    On Topic :^)

    Makes a change for me

    There’s a nice short criticism of the olympics and the empty seats fiasco, up at Circle Bastiat

  43. Kitler says:

    Izen Romney as a Mormon will be scrupulously honest when it comes to his business dealings and will not lie, he will follow the letter of the law and render unto Caesar what is Caesars due tax wise. Do not mistake this for idiocy they can be damned tough business men.

  44. farmerbraun says:

    Luton Ian , you have the common law slightly wrong here:-
    “If however, I had already established the shading, noisy or smelly land use before the neighbour moved there …..”

    The shading is a very moot point, but the noise and smell both constitute nuisance ( or may do so).
    The law is clear that anyone may “come to the nuisance” , e.g. buy a property in full knowledge that you are carrying on the noisy , smelly activity, and immediately require that you desist.
    That is the law of torts; the tort is an obligation that you have to keep your neighbour free of nuisance, whether the neighbour objects or not. The neighbour is free to object at any time, provided that he has “clean hands”.

  45. farmerbraun says:

    Prior to Ryland vs Fletcher (1868) “Early English common law had, in many instances, imposed liability on those who had caused harm regardless of wrongful intent or negligence. “

  46. Kitler says:

    FB of course if you have a new townie move into a village and starts up the lawsuits they may find that no one will speak to them after a while or do business with them and they may find themselves without a favourite watering hole. If they still decide to be bottoms then things may just start to go awry with their property. Such is country life. People in the countryside will put aside a forty year feud with a neighbour just to tackle the new interloper. Once he’s dealt with they can get back to feuding over the hedge again. I miss the English countryside.

  47. farmerbraun says:

    Anyone who has been there for less than three generations is a johnny-come-lately who should be treated with some suspicion 🙂

  48. farmerbraun says:

    ” ‘E took moy Janice!”

  49. Kitler says:

    FB the rule of thumb was you were an outsider until you had lived there 50 years in the village.

  50. Luton Ian says:

    The entertainer, Mike Harding, got just such a response.

    about 20 years ago he’d moved to Ribblesdale and got active against quarrying – the main local employment, I think he was also getting anti farming too. Not sure where he ended up moving to, Dent Dale I think.

    That example aside, the ones who make the most trouble are nearly always the ones who intend to move on quickly, as they have a greater interest in the monetary value of their house.

    There is also the speculative element, of buying cheap, harassing a neighbour out of the way and realizing a profit when you come to sell.

    Then there is plain jealousy of someone else’s property and business.

    My central point is, these conflicts are easy to stir up – and that is exactly what councils and central government seek to provide a forum to facilitate – then offer themselves as the only possible arbiter and keeper of peace.

    The state uses the threat of hobbesian conflict to frighten the children, but it is the source and the stirrer of hobbesian conflict, not the solution to. It creates the “tragedy of the commons”

  51. Luton Ian says:

    I didn’t get to any of the “Stewardship” meetings this year – state schemes with payment for “conservation” usually (?always) designed to bring neighbours into conflict.

    I did hear about some though. there’s a small moor in wales where the local council owns the grazing and aportions them annually – about 200 of them.

    The “stewardship” scheme has payments for “shepherding” and “managing grazing” on areas with straight lines drawn on maps.

    This give the illusion of “property rights” where none actually exist, and encourages the chasing of neighbours sheep over the lines drawn on maps

    Naturally, there is an element of socialist re-distribution involved -“helping” the little guy, and naturally, there are some (wilfully) poor map readers – I’ve heard first hand of some believing that they had to stop the neigbours sheep from coming down to the shore of a reservoir because the colour stipple on the map showed the water surface in their colour – seriously!

    The moor in wales has about 20 restraining orders and about a dozen shotgun certificates have been revoked

    Where would those idiots be if they didn’t have the state and the conservation bureaucracy to organize them?

    The bureaucrats love it – they have created a problem, they’re perpetuating it and they get the cream of the funds for doing it

  52. Luton Ian says:

    Kitler, is everything OK?
    Knotted prop seems to be down

    I can see KP, Ian.

    It’s a WordPress thing. As far as utility goes, it’s a brilliant blogging software (hint, hint, James) but the servers sometimes don’t seem to have enough capacity or something. Happens here at LG too, sometimes – Oz

  53. Luton Ian says:

    Many thanks Oz

  54. izen says:

    @- farmerbraun

    The rise of human imaginative ability and its connection to the success of human social structures and expansion across the globe is an interesting puzzle. There are at least three major transitions or qualitative step changes in human behavior. The first around 100,000 years ago when tool use, fire and decorative items appear. Hominids other than hom sap show these behaviors.
    Then around 50,000 years ago {later in europe} there is a big expansion in tool diversity, cave paintings and evidence that tribal groups got larger and more efficient in their hunter gatherer methods.
    Most recently shortly after the end of the last ice age agriculture emerges, a combination of low intensity slash and burn type cropping and nomadic pastoralism. That is soon followed by intensive agriculture based on large-scale social structures – city states with complex water irrigation. That generated the heirachy, specialisation and development of written language.

    I doubt any of these could be ascribed to genetic causes. Although the Chinese might like the dog-coyote-wolf analogy. They have a racial belief in the superior chinese person being the result of hybrid vigour of the African disporia of hom saps around 70,000 years ago and existing hominids in the middle kingdom. Like similar speculations on cromagnon and Neanderthals it does not hold up well scientifically.
    For the most recent changes to agriculture and city society the evidence is against genetic variation. The transition to agriculture was very rapid and while it is introduced to Europe by nomadic movement, it is quickly adopted by the indigenous people as genetic tracer research on archeological remains reveals. Certainly the emergence of agriculture and then large city communities appears to be a memetic spread rather than a genetic alteration.

    Personally I favour software upgrades as the explanation for these major changes in human behaviour rather than genetic hybridisation, but it is open to dispute, and the distinction may be less clear-cut than it appears.

    But the key factor does seem to be the human propensity for stories. Coherent narratives that provide a simple explanation.
    Which allows me to get back on the thread topic in a rather tortuous manner!

    Sport is another method of human story telling. It creates a specific and controlled arena for the age-old cliches of the flawed hero, the battle against the odds and triumph over adversity. All with a defined beginning, middle and end.

    I do not intend to visit any of the olympic stories, and London is strangely quiet away from the few tube lines that go to the venues. I am no great fan of sport as a story medium, I do not play and games and so even less reason to watch them.
    Although cricket does have a level of nuance, subtly, tactics and strategy that puts in contention with a good novel.

    As for the conspiracy stories about Obama, they still do not make any sense to me, why would anyone doubt his validity as an American citizen or think he did NOT go to college and get some qualifications. The Irish are capable of such achievements, and he is only half Irish….

  55. izen says:

    Its no good, I am rather pleased with myself as one of the first to torpedo the latest nonsense from Watts….

    In addition to the anonymouse who gazumphed Eli (linked in Eli’s first update above) at Dr. Venema’s page, I think credit is due to the anonymouse aka izen, who provided a more complete exposition of the TOB problem and called it for what it was: confirmation bias. Well done, Dr. Venema, anonymouse A, izen, and Eli!
    Taylor B

    As you may have noticed I’ve stayed away from this over here (been very busy and a bit unwell too). Let’s just say you’re either going to crash through or crash with this Izen. Peer review of Watts et al will tell the story.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve done a fairly thorough comparison between the site adjustment methodologies in Leroy 2010 and earlier, distance-based techniques, and while I believe the former is a definite improvement, the technology still has a way to go. This isn’t about the UHI effect (which occurs over a scale of tens of kilometres) but proximate heating effects (generally on a scale of metres or tens of metres). I really can’t see anything short of brute force (ie, a detailed instrumental analysis of each individual site) as producing adjustments that would satisfy everybody – Oz

  56. Kitler says:

    Izen so you deny the Urban heat island effect?
    I prefer to deny the existence of rice pudding myself doesn’t make it so though.

  57. Kitler says:

    Izen so why is Obama’s birth record residing in the Kenyan colonial records section in Kew in London. Personally I don’t care where he’s from because the man is destroying the rule of law in the USA, the law he is sworn to uphold, he ignores laws he doesn’t like and rules by diktat bypassing congress and the Senate and blackmailing the Supreme Court. You like to think of him as half Irish, I prefer to think of him as Full ASSHOLE. The consequences of his actions are literally destroying the USA and when he has succeeded who do you think is going to protect you? The Russians or the Chinese both have axes to grind against the West and the world will become a very dangerous place indeed.

  58. izen says:

    @- Kitler
    “Izen so you deny the Urban heat island effect?”

    No, of course not. It is easily detectable.
    However what the Watts weekend paper shows is NOT the UHI effect. In the last paper he co-authored with Fall there was no significant difference between the rural and urban stations.
    However this time he has taken dodgy data, including rural stations that were converted from glass thermometers to electronic sensors during the period of his study and which were subject to changes in the time of observation {TOBs} during the same period. Both of these processes are known to reduce the measured temperature trend and have to be corrected for. Otherwise you get a trend for some stations that is LESS than that measured by satellites which do not have any UHI biases.
    If Watts preferred rural, uncorrected station data were true then he has just shown that satellite data are wrong and give almost double the warming that he derives from his uncorrected data.
    There is also the CRN data from special weather stations set up after 2000 that are designed to be free of any UHI, instrument changes or time of observation biases. They agree with e satellite data, but not with Watts latest.

    I was curious about the suspension of WUWT at the weekend and stayed up for the big announcement. It didn’t take to much reading to see the error, what Watts has shown is not that the NOAA adjustments to the USHCN data double the real trend. But that without the required adjustments for instrument changes and TOBs the raw data shows trends that are way out of line with every other source of measurement including the best satellite data.

    Here is what I posted a couple of hours after the press release –

    The Watts paper mentions the the adjustments that it is nessecary to make to the raw USHCN data to correct for changes in instrument type as found by Menne et al 2010 around page 7, line 118. He also mentions the adjusted USCHNv2 data is adjusted for TOB – time of observation variations which have caused a cooling bias in the data. But reveals he is using the unadjusted raw data with only the minimal error correction.

    The paper then selects admits that stations at airports are often compliant with the Leroy classification, and are less prone to CRS/MMTS instrument changes and TOB variation, but rejects them because they show a high trend rate compared to compliant rural stations where the raw data may be more biased from changes in instrument and TOBs.

    The paper does claim to examine the differences between CRS and MMTS instrumentation, but uses 1995 as the date to classify a station as one or the other. a station may have changed method before or after that date but is still of one type in the analysis.

    I am sure more perceptive and informed observers will discover other problems with the paper. But the preference shown for the sites which give the lowest trend when uncorrected raw data is used which is then used as some sort of ‘gold standard’ to critique the trend found after adjustments made for the instrumentation and TOB he acknowledges as required seems to indicate confirmation bias.
    He even seems to prefer the lower trend from MMT stations, apparently assuming the MMT data are in need of less adjustment BECAUSE they show a lower trend!

    But the chances of this making any significant contribution to the science are slim to none. as the paper also acknowledges the satellite record constrains the possible trend to AT LEAST the minimum trend found in the raw data of the compliant stations, and probably somewhat higher. The issue of how to adjust a historical weather station network to provide climate trends, a purpose really beyond its remit, will continue. I predict this article will have very little long term influence on that.

    However the insinuations of the press release will echo around the doubt purveyors for quite a while.

    The purpose of the Watts preprint article and its timing is clear.
    It justifies the press release which has been the case with ‘Trojan’ papers before is intended to carry the real load.

    It is a spoiler for the Dr R Muller recant of his skepticism. Although we now learn Muller was never a ‘true’ skeptic.

    It is timed to be within the grey literature limit for the next IPCC report, the fact that it may never get printed in its present form peer reviewed anywhere credible will not stop future complaints that it was ignored.

    But most significant it implies that USHCN, NOAA and GISS have manipulated the raw data from the best quality stations to claim that the trend for the CONUS has been ‘spuriously’ doubled.
    Already the insinuation is abraord that if the US data with the ‘best’ of observations is so wrong then the global data must be even more suspect…
    And surely such an error could not be simply accidental?


  59. Kitler says:

    Izen if I’m correct initially they found difference between the stations but they did eventually show a definite difference otherwise the UHI would not exist and my car thermometer is lying to me when I travel from a heavily built up area to a a greener more rural area. The difference is 2F on average and this is traveling on a West to East axis on a distance of 5 miles. It’s the same result every day without fail and my car thermometer is uncannily accurate as it agrees with two different weather stations over that distance.
    Another thing is the promotion of a temperature index called “real feel” here in the USA where they state a temperature of 91F actually feels like 110F, I suspect your climate scientists are responsible for this number and it is this one that they are using in their figures. Because it’s made up and totally unbelievable.

  60. izen says:

    Weather stations are mainly rubbish as a source of detecting long term decadel climate trends. It is not what they were intended for and trying to derive a trend from them is riven with doubt and uncertainty.
    UHI and siting issues are really only relevant where those factors have changed over the period of the station record. But comparing a station which has had surrounding urbanisation with the nearest station with no significant change in its close environment reveals that the amount of influence is relatively small.
    Improvements made to the instruments and time of observation turns out to have a larger effect. Those changes were made to improve the primary function of a weather station – to record the local weather changes – but have degraded the record from the point of view of detecting trends in noisy data.

    There is a similar situation with all proxy indicators of past climate. Even the satellite data has problems as the repeated corrections that UAH has had to make indicate.

    This does not mean that it is impossible to obtain a good idea of decadel climate trends, just that it needs many different methods of measurement and processing. It is the consilence of the data that provides the certainty rather than torturing the detail of any single record.
    The totality of the data from instrumental records, glacier melt, growing seasons, boreholes and satellites confirms the warming trend and constrains its magnitude.

    But it does allow those with an agenda to take a single data source and ignore the known problems with the raw data to claim that they can show there is less warming than indicated by the complete and processed information available. I see Pielke snr and Mckintyre have distanced themselves already.
    It would apply to anyone who ‘massaged’ the data to claim a larger warming trend than the collective indication given by the different methods. Exceptional claims need exceptional support, the moment it is apparent a known issue with the data you are using has not been allowed for, or manipulated in a different way there would be skepticism and close scrutiny of the method employed.

    But enough climate stuff unless anyone wants to pursue it. I noticed JD is making a fool of himself over the Watts stuff, and I was rather pleased to have nailed it early.

    Hubris precedes a gravitational descent..? {grin}

  61. Kitler says:

    Izen actually it does have an effect on measurement of temperature because it skews the results upwards and most weather stations are in urban areas. The difference between the city and countryside can be as high as 3C in a place like London. Also your beloved climate experts then take the upper figure as the normal one and adjust the rural ones to match. You take out the UHI and warming while real is not as big as stated..You do realize that a lot of rural weather stations have been closed down in the last two decades so that data is now missing and they just use pretend figures from the nearest won. In the case of the Arctic circle this is quite serious.

    Sydney is in a natural geographic basin and the UHI, particularly in the western suburbs, can be even greater than that of London.

    Observatory Hill, overlooking Sydney Harbour, is Australia’s oldest weather station (1858). Today, it lies on the southern approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can see it here behind the trees; use the wheel in the top-left corner to pan around – Oz

  62. Amanda says:

    Sorry that you’ve been rather unwell, Ozboy. We like you well and big and bountiful. Hope you feel better now!

    Thanks Amanda. Just a bit tired now really. I put something up over at Knotted Prop – Oz

  63. Kitler says:

    Major concrete jungle with little grass or trees to be seen, even here in Memphis we have lots of trees (ironically these cause us ozone level problems) open areas and big yards to mitigate the suns harsh effects still it’s 2F higher in the city than in the countryside. I am only aware of Londons UHI effect as the city generates it’s own weather in the humid summer months when I was living there. I’m sure it’s worse now.

  64. izen says:

    UHI increases the baseline, but will only affect the trend if there has been a significant change in the amount of influence that the surroundings have on the measuring station. In terms of the Leroy classification there has to have been a big change in the amount of heatsink in the area to affect the trend over the measured period. Otherwise any urban environment will have no effect on the trend.

    The satellite data since 1980 put a lower limit on the warming trend over land of around 0.28degC/decade for CONUS. Any instrumental record that shows a trend very much greater, or less than this is probably subject to distorting influences. TOBs and instrumental changes from liquid in glass to thermocouple sensors has been shown to be the main factors in distorting the USHCN, Menne et al 2010 showed that UHI effects were low, down around the error range.

    As others have pointed out the main component of the climate system is the ocean heat sink. Again satellite data on SSTs, sea level rise and buoy data on heat in the depths defines the constraints on how much warming the rise in CO2 is causing. UHI has no influence on this aspect of the record which encompasses ~80% of the thermodynamic change in the system.

  65. Luton Ian says:

    Gunwalking / Fast and Furious

    Firehand has a copy of an update

  66. Amanda says:

    Glad to hear it, Oz. Will have a look at K. P.

  67. Ozboy says:

    Well, I admit I did watch one event at the Olympics, just this morning. Mainly because it only cost me ten seconds of my life to do so. 9.63 seconds, actually.

  68. msher says:

    Memoryvault – if you still write here. Please write again on Delingpole. That is the blog on AGW that the public sees and if we are in this fight to win, we need our best writers. You are our best writer, by far the most eloquent and moving. Your piece on the floods in Oz was staggeringly good. Please come back sometimes. I want to win this fight against the warmists. That’s why I write there. as much as I like it here. Others read Delingpole, and you are one who can persuade. Please come back sometimes.


  69. msher says:


    After all my talk of love and peace (why does that sound familiar?), you should see the number of swear words I just used on a new guy named Simon. But he’s interesting. He is in a different league than any of the trolls we’ve had before. I don’t know who or what he is, but he is not amateur. Not by a long shot.

    And did you see my question as to how you know aphid is British? Spelling? I hadn’t noticed. To my ear, he could be either.

  70. Kitler says:

    msher I think MV is back under another name but I’m not sure, last time I saw him use the name he was on jonovas blog which I usually avoid because it is patrolled by some very strange sociopathic freaks who will do our cause more harm than good.

  71. meltemian says:

    Speaking of her, have you seen her site was hacked, fortunately her webmaster caught it as it was happening and nipped it in the bud.
    I miss MV’s posts as well msher.

  72. Luton Ian says:

    I didn’t get to see much of MV’s stuff, but what I did see and the couple of exchanges we had here – he’s one hell of a writer and a nice guy too.
    Best regards to MV if he’s lurking.

    Re sociopathic freaks, the answer’s the same as offers of herbal tea; no thanks

  73. Kitler says:

    One thing I have seen occasionally is MV’s missus commenting on the DT blogs from time to time.

  74. msher says:

    I blelieve memoryvault is more important on Delingpole’s blog. The people who go to JoNova or Watts already know about AGW. Casual readers who know little are more likely to look at Delingpole. MV tends to write events and policy, more than pure science, as I do. But he is much more eloquent. As I’ve said before, I am in this as a fight to win and I want every tool we have to be the best it can be. (I think that was both an Army recruiiting slogan and an Apple commericial slogan.) If anyone is in touch with mv, will you express my sentiments. Thanks.

  75. msher says:


    I don’t know who memory vault’s wife is. What’s the screen name?



    I apologize for being on your blog asking someone to write on another blog. But I am deadly serious about defeating the AGW people.

    The two articles we discussed – I’m still in the thick of running my business. When it gets closed or sold, I’ll give you both.

  76. Kitler says:

    meltemian I finally got around to reading it’s a CSS attack or cross scripting, I’ve had to make changes to our stuff here at work about two years ago to help prevent these. It’s never fun when someone has a go at your stuff as it can be time consuming to fix, someone has been trying to get at my stuff the last week or so at home. One or two of the trolls on the DT is computer literate enough to try and attack her site and it is hard to trace and catch people if they know what they are doing. The police only ever catch the idiots either they leave a trail of breadcrumbs or do something stupid like tell their girlfriends, never the real talented hackers.

  77. Hi Msher and everybody,
    As I replied back on Jo Nova, I didn’t “stop” writing on Delingpole, I got “moderated” out of existence. If and when Dels ever gets to exercise some editorial control over his moderators, then and only then would I consider going back. For now, they are his own worst enemy.

    To other commenters, no I’ve not been writing anywhere under any other names, only as MV on Jo Nova, and no, Thumper has not commented anywhere since my little CVA two years ago.

    Best regards to everybody – I didn’t even know Libertygibbert was back on air.

  78. meltemian says:

    msher, Mrs. MV used to post here as Thumper, don’t know any other name apart from that.
    Kitler must know though.

  79. msher says:


    We were talking about accents on the other blog, but in case you don’t see it, I have my most important question of all 3 years.

    As long as we are talking about this, I have to make an admission. I grew up around the movie industry and I saw too many “movie stars” and knew what they were like in person to get crushes as a girl. With one exception.

    Rex Harrison, His voice and accent. To this day, if that voice and accent asked me to do anything, he would get it. (I.e., I still have the crush – again, not on the person, but the accent.)

    Not Laurence Olivier. Too affected and effeminate. Plummy I think you would say.But Rex Harrison.

    Lots of Brits used to speak like that, including my own English cousin. But he moved to America and by the time I was in my 30’s he had sort of a mid-Atlantic accent. But all the Brits now have a sort of mid-Atlantic accent.

    Harrison was magnificant (and every other Brit that spoke like that,) Why did that go away?

  80. Kitler says:

    MV then someone was using her avatar and id then but I’ve only seen the occasional comment and rarely. As for being banned it finally happened to me and Reality Returns and Mack (multiple times), if you get to be too big a thorn in the lefts side they ban you. I think mine was for pointing out that when the commies take control they are going to shoot all the useful idiots and the gay marriage registers are going to make their job even easier as part of what they call the normalization process.

  81. msher says:


    I’m really glad to know you are OK. I had feared something bad had happened to you.

    The moderation still stinks. But they don’t moderate any one out of existence anymore. They seem to randomly delete. Any post I have put any work into I now just keep a copy. re post and miraculously the copy seems to stick. I’ve found too many html codings and links seems to get fouled up by the software, not the mods. So a post with a lot of that I post first without the html and links. And then add those, and no problem.

    Your description of the Oz floods was a piece of glorious writing, as are many of your posts. Please for the good of the cause and for other writers like me who want to see really, really fine writing, please reconsider.

    Delingpole readers need to see you more than the other sites’ readers.

  82. Kitler says:

    meltemian I have seen the thumper id used on the DT but it must be someone else using it.

  83. Amanda says:

    Hi Msher. Answered you on the Telegraph blog. Cheers, A.

  84. Amanda says:

    Msher, about Simon: Yes, I did see your reply and it was suitably shocking ; )

    Some people have no poison darts left in the quiver because they loose them all the time, without discretion. Best to keep some in reserve for when needed. Then, they are so much more effectual. : )

  85. Kitler says:

    Have you two ladies been leading our trolls in a rather nasty trap?

  86. izen says:

    @- msher

    You can relax in your efforts to fight the ‘war’.
    In case you hadn’t noticed it is a war you have won.

    Despite several decades of effort by a ‘vast cabal’ (grin), in fact every major scientific institution in the developed societies, to persuade governments that AGW is a danger that requires a response nothing significant has been done.

    CO2 emissions have continued, and continued to increase.
    No global authority has been established to legitimize collective action to reduce emissions. what government actions there have been are superficial tinkering and shadow solutions. Dramatic gestures like wind farms with marginal impacts. I suspect that improvements in vehicle mpg efficiency has had more effect on CO2 emissions than wind farms.

    The AGW ‘alarmists’ have lost. Since Mrs Thatcher warned of the danger 3 decades ago there have been no substantive changes in policy or action that would constrain emissions. It has been ‘Business as Usual’ as projected by the Hansen 1988 paper with the Keeling curve continuing its linear trend – along with the temperature, ocean heat content and ice melt.

    If you really see this as a war, then celebrate your ‘victory’ as no concrete change has occurred in the structure of global governance or the behaviour of individual states in regulating CO2 emissions much beyond paying lip-service to the problem. The ‘Greenies’ have failed comprehensively to change CO2 emissions. Bigger changes in emissions have been the result of the inherent instabilities of the financial markets than any climate policy decision.

    The war you have already lost, as it impossible to win, was the one over the facts of Nature as revealed by the science. those will still require adaptive responses with the political possibility of significant mitigation beyond reach.

    Ermmm… at war with the facts? You mean facts like this? Oz

  87. msher says:


    Not even remotely won. California pushes cap and trade and will require energy retrofitting and has put caps on industry. The gov’t requires GM to make electric cars – and the utilities subsidize the users. Windmills are being built and our electricity bills are going up. Every mainstream news story about bad weather calls it an AGW event. Heck, no we haven’t won.

    We have at least a year to run on the Carbon Tax; we won’t have “won” anything down here until it is well and truly in the waste basket – Oz

  88. msher says:


    You apparently never understood my view. Yes, I think the science so far is bogus, but that has never been my main issue. It is the remedies. This is a post I wrote about that to someone who was saying something along the same lines as you.

    This is a repeat of a post I put earlier on a thread. It is the remedies proposed that I object to so much and makes me an activist against the AGW hypothesis (besides which I believe the science so far is fatally flawed).

    “I didn’t say do nothing. I said do nothing now. Go nuclear. Help countries get richer, build infrastructure where necessary and luxuriate in the fact that food will be able to be grown across the entire northern taiga.

    Looking at the past weather disasters makes it clear it mostly depends on infrastructure, government competence and preparedness. Even though earthquakes and tsunamis aren’t AGW events, take the 2006 (5?) one in the Indian Ocean, 250,000 dead. A few tens of million dollars on a good warning system in the Indian Ocean and some government training of residents would have save almost all those lives. Earthquake in Haiti, 350,00 dead. Equal earthquake 30 years earlier in Los Angeles, less than 10 dead. Entire state of Oklahoma in drought throughout the 30’s, no famine, no drought related deaths. Etc., etc.

    The two areas I would work on most are water because AGW or not, increasing populations will fight over water. The Israelis have made huge strides in technology and I would pour money into that. The second area is the low-lying lands like Bangladesh where the coasts are farmed and a cyclone takes out hundreds of thousands of people. I’m not sure that sea walls would be effective against cyclones. But cyclones are predicted days ahead of time. Bangladesh is not as poor as it used to be (thanks to Western manufacturing locating there). The government could be helped to work out evacuation systems, which is what happens in the States when a hurricane is about to hit.

    A third area is nuclear power. Presumably it can be made better and safer – although now that it’s been in use for decades, as long as it isn’t run by a communist government or built in earthquake areas (as California’s are) they have been remarkably safe.

    Surely those kinds of measures make more sense than useless wind mills and impoverishing ourselves now (and therefore the poor countries who benefit from our locating our factories there).

    Read bjorn lomberg and learn about how remarkably expensive and un-cost-effective all the now-proposed remedies are.

    Especially learn about wind turbines: how unreliable, expensive and complicated for the grid wind power is. I started out with nothing against them. Now that I know about them, I think they are a pox on the environment and humanity. Learn that they need to draw power when the wind isn’t blowing, that the fluctuations in wind make the grid almost impossible to run, that they need back up power because they have to be kept running even without wind, so you need the backup power anyway, only all the power is more expensive because you can’t keep anything running at a steady rate, but have to keep stopping and starting. Read about the noise that gives adjacent homeowners non-stop headaches and sleepless nights. Read about the warming effect the wind turbines themselves have and the huge carbon footprint if their manufacture (in China). Read about how much land has to be covered with them to create the same electricity as a conventional facility.

    I cannot take anyone who suggests wind power as the alternative seriously. If the person said nuclear, I might listen.

    Why spend all these hundreds of billions on research. We could do the mitigation – that will help various areas AGW or not for much less.

    If you can deal with all of that and still think the proposed remedies are a good idea, then you and I belong to different species.”

  89. Ozboy says:

    Off topic but I don’t feel like putting up another thread at the moment.

    The blogosphere down here is going nuts following this Larry Pickering item yesterday.

    What’s happened since is that the local MSM is signalling interest in going to go after what they previously regarded as an issue too hot to touch (and with good reason, as I’ve explained earlier). This will get really ugly pretty soon. Expect to hear a lot more in the days to come.

  90. meltemian says:

    “Home”, “Roost”, and “Pigeons” come to mind Oz’
    How long before it all hits the fan do you reckon?

    Hard to say Mel. Julia can’t repeat her stunt of last year if the MSM get involved en masse – she can hardly ring up every newspaper and television CEO individually and threaten them like she did to John Hartigan of The Australian.

    The ironic thing is, if she hadn’t done that, the story might have ended after the Glenn Milne article (which I managed to read before it was pulled). That story focussed more on the activities of Wilson and did not include yesterday’s more damaging revelations (crony judicial appointments and Gillard’s role in Wilson’s move to Victoria). I’d say she’s brought it all down on herself.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer person – Oz

  91. Kitler says:

    A corrupt Australian Government with it’s hand in the till before and afterwards comes as no surprise, just like the coalition in the UK isn’t even remotely corrupt as well and self serving. I expect just another nail in the coffin of the Gillard administration. I thought she had banned free speech in OZ and appointed herself empress for life.
    If she ever goes to trial and is convicted she can be deported back to the UK when her sentence is finished. She would fit in with the Libdems there.

  92. Ozboy says:

    A small announcement – for family reasons I’ll be off the air for at least another week. I’ll keep this thread open and check in occasionally.

    Thanks everyone for your patience – Ozboy

  93. meltemian says:

    Take your time Oz’, hope everything’s OK?

    Sure, just some tricky organising involved. Back later next week – Oz

  94. Ozboy says:

    Part 2 of Pickering’s exposé…

    A little higher up I suggested Izen would crash through or crash with his critique of Watts et al. I was being way too hasty; that appraisal applies far closer to Larry. Either he’s guilty of massive defamation, or he’s sitting on the biggest story the Australian MSM are too afraid (yet) to touch.

    Update 11 Aug 08:00 – Alan Jones is Australia’s most listened-to radio broadcaster, who interviewed JD on his recent Australian tour. Yesterday he had on his program Michael Smith, one of those who originally tried to air this story (and lost his job as a result). Listen to this – fourteen minutes of dynamite. Jones’ interest just made it impossible for the MSM to ignore this story.

    And voilà! This morning, Gillard’s old law firm, Slater and Gordon, have asked its client, the Australian Workers’ Union to grant a lifting of privilege so it can release its files relating to this affair. Most curious, if revealed simultaneously, would be the circumstances under which its senior partner, Julia Gillard, left the firm, given that happened rapidly, less than a week after the affair was first raised in the Victorian parliament in the 1990s, and that she never practised law again.

    Update 12 Aug 07:30 Part 3 of Pickering’s exposé. This just gets better and better. His latest artwork (click through to his blog):

    What an odd-looking relay baton 😆

  95. farmerbraun says:

    The story of union thuggery, raised in graphic detail in “Poor Fellow My Country” is probably worthy of a column Oz. It appears to pervade Australian politics since who knows when. The boil is certainly overdue for lancing.

    Thuggery doesn’t begin to describe it, FB – check out this (warning: graphic image).

    As to lancing boils, I fully expect Prime Minister Tony Abbott next year to accede to the numerous calls for a Royal Commission into the union movement; which will almost certainly see several serving and former politicians put behind bars where they belong – Oz

  96. farmerbraun says:

    It appears that the corruption is endemic , and the police are totally compromised. Who has the guts to sort this out?

    Believe it or not, I’m on the side of Leviathan on this one.

    History bears me out: the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the 1980s cleaned up the endemic corruption in the Queensland Police and legislature; the Wood Royal Commission in the 90s did the same thing for New South Wales. We need to do it once again, this time nationally for the union movement. The system really does work, granted sufficiently broad terms of reference (which both aforementioned inquiries had). Heads will roll once more – Oz

  97. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    G’day all,
    With the Olympics about to close and this thread still open, I had a question to ask.

    Several days ago during NBC’s coverage of Gabby Douglas’ winning, they played a clever commercial for a new show (Animal hospital or something) that’s sure to be a flop. The ad showed a capuchin monkey hanging on some rings watching and dreaming of being an Olympian. I didn’t think anything of it because the evening before, after the swimming, an ad showed a lab dreaming of winning gold with his doggy paddle.
    The next day NBC got a great deal of criticism for showing such a “racist” ad and portraying Miss Douglas in such a way. I didn’t understand the connection. My thought processes were something like this:
    ‘How could they think the monkey was supposed to be her? Rings is for MALE gymnasts. Oh, they used to call blacks African jungle monkeys and that lovely, talented girl is BLACK. The announcer pointed that out several times, I just wasn’t paying attention (to that). But that is a South American monkey!’

    So I want to know what I am. Am I sexist because I didn’t see girls competing on rings? Am I racist because insensitive me forgot about a racial slur used years ago? Or am I spiciest because I can’t tolerate people who can’t differentiate a New World from an Old World monkey? Maybe there is a whole new PC “ist” category for me. I trust you all here to have fun inventing one for me.

    Glad to hear you’re better Oz. And MV, welcome back!!!! Regards to Thumper.


  98. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Stupid autocorrect! Speceist.

    Always good to see you back at the Bar and Grill, SGDN – Have one on the house.

    Funny point you raised at the end there. I’ve been thinking: Pickering was at pains in his exposé to point out the connection between WA Inc. and the Wilson scandal; a connection I’ve not seen raised anywhere else on the ‘net. Now, I wonder just who has been feeding Larry that line? Hmmmm? Oz

  99. izen says:

    @- Stop Global Dumbing Now
    “So I want to know what I am. Am I sexist because I didn’t see girls competing on rings? Am I racist because insensitive me forgot about a racial slur used years ago? Or am I speciest because I can’t tolerate people who can’t differentiate a New World from an Old World monkey?”

    None of the above.
    You are non-dumb because you know that the rings are not a female event in gymnastics and capuchins are new world monkeys. For the vast majority of viewers of that advert both bits of information are irrelevant and the only thing they see is an association being made between a black American and a monkey.

  100. Kitler says:

    izen then why do the media always go out of their way to portray Obama and his cronies with a halo around their heads signifying sainthood, a symbol rooted deep in our past (Christianity) and that of the middle east as well (Mithraism) where the symbol originally comes from. Notice where the seal of state appears behind his head in still shots. This is deliberate manipulation of people. You see it cuts both ways and I want it stopped as we have separation of church and state.
    Because they are most definitely not saints.

  101. Ozboy says:

    Part 4 of Pickering’s exposé…

    Well now he’s really stuck his neck out; forget Gillard herself – he’s just accused a sitting Federal Court judge of a felony, and owing his position to a pay-off (from Gillard) for his silence. All I can say is, he bloody well better have sworn testimony backing all this up, or he’ll be eaten alive.

  102. izen says:

    Kitler says:
    “izen then why do the media always go out of their way to portray Obama and his cronies with a halo around their heads signifying sainthood, a symbol rooted deep in our past (Christianity) and that of the middle east as well (Mithraism) where the symbol originally comes from. Notice where the seal of state appears behind his head in still shots. This is deliberate manipulation of people. ”

    Thats not the media, its the PR image consultants. The trick is attributed to Karl Rove, but it was used before that. It is a standard Bernays propaganda trope. Appeal to people’s subconscious emotional imagery, not their reason and logic. Rife in politics along with a diversion from policy to personality.
    The most famous Obama halo is the Newsweek ‘Gay president’ rainbow one I guess.
    Whether that is a positive or negative image would seem to be in the eye of the beholder….

  103. Kitler says:

    Izen few people spot it though, it depends how you see the world and if you focus on all of the pictures or details in the picture. Geology is a subject that rewards that type of eye when looking for fossils such as trilobites bastardhardtofindii, for a large bribe Luton Ian will reveal the location of said trilobite, probably involving a good curry and a few pints.

  104. meltemian says:

    Thanks for the presidential halo posts Kitler and izen, do you know I’ve never spotted that!
    I’m obviously not as observant as I thought.

  105. izen says:

    Corrupt union officials diverting union funds for personal gain is nasty, but does little to distort political governance. When the financial clout of a Union is used to gain favour from politicians it sponsors or funds that is more serious.

    I am unclear whether this Wilson – Gillard affair is primarily a case of personal greed or political influence. While personal greed is toxic in politics it is the manipulation of political actions for the mutual gain of organisations as well as individuals that is the really malignant aspect of political corruption as in the WA inc case where collusion between politicos and business was not just for personal wealth, but was the distortion of policy for thr benefit of a small sectional private interest.

    That may involve less overt dishonesty, but be far greater in its impact on the policy adopted by a government and is far more malignant in its effects on the integrity of political systems.

  106. Kitler says:

    meltemian when you have watched as much history channel as I have you would spot it, they always had filler programs full of pictures of Icons from the Orthodox church. Plus I was aware that the early church used it to grab Mithraic cultists into the fold. What we think of Chritianity is a mish mash of Mithraism, and Judaism and probably the cult of Issis.

  107. Luton Ian says:

    There are images of fat arsed isis, with sprog on knee, and the halos of sol invictus behind their heads.

    The imagery was lifted direct – along with the character of (yes your arse does look big in that, bloody enormous) isis, re-branded (yet again) as…

  108. Luton Ian says:

    I’d like to see one of the commie in chief with the crescent moon giving him horns – like in the the mo-toon (popular music label 😉 )

  109. Ozboy says:

    Part 5 of Pickering’s exposé.

    He reckons the Sydney Morning Herald is running with part of the scandal tomorrow. If that’s true, that even the Fairfax media is turning against Gillard, then the death watch has well and truly begun.

    Update 17 Aug 0645: Hmmm. The Herald story concerns shonky dealings in another law firm that was bought out by Slater and Gordon only a year ago. So it’s hard to see the connection.

  110. Luton Ian says:

    Oz & Kitler

    Firehand has a couple of interesting geological video links up. African lakes fizzing over with CO2

    I’d also be interested in your thoughts about my comment there

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