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Monday Message Board

March 15th, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. March 15th, 2010 at 14:55 | #1

    Well, I have to say CSIRO put together a great document demonstrating how our climate has changed: the deniers have gone apoplectic! It’s good to see science trying to get on the front foot again and correct the lies and distortions of the denial movement. Question is, how effective is this approach going to be?

  2. Hermit
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:02 | #2

    The PM is becoming too PC by half. When he speaks at new forum it seems he will now thank the prior indigenous inhabitants for their graciousness. Some might feel it sounds like someone who could be described as rhyming with banker. Increasingly I’m wondering how much of the PM is talk and not action. Sure we avoided recession but the Chinese also bought a lot of coal and iron ore from us and not other countries. The insulation scheme was his only serious venture into climate mitigation and that didn’t go so well. If an election must be held this year and the PM goes into continuous apology mode he might not get another chance.

  3. March 15th, 2010 at 15:02 | #3

    General question for everyone. What are your ‘morning coffee’ websites?

    I regularly check out:

    An Onymous Lefty
    The Automatic Earth
    The Oil Drum

    Where do others go?

  4. March 15th, 2010 at 15:12 | #4


    Good question!

    - Arts & Letters Daily is a great site, links to lots of quality essays.
    - JQ’s site
    - DeSmogBlog
    - Some pc-gaming blogs… (OK I have an addiction, but it’s under control I swear!)
    - BoingBoing

  5. Michael
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:23 | #5

    johnkay.com/ (only updated weekly, but always read)
    Christopher Joye

  6. Michael
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:26 | #6

    I have a serious podcast addiction, I’m not sure that is under control. There is now more interesting stuff available worldwide than there is time to listen to it and digest it

  7. Fran Barlow
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:33 | #7


    In addition to Lambert’s blog, I usually manage to get to Larvatusprodeo and BNC and lately I’ve been checking out The Drum at the ABC. I take an occasional look at The Onion for laughs.

  8. Michael
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:40 | #8

    @Fran Barlow
    I look at Larvatusprodeo too, but that’s a lunch or afternoon tea break site. The onion is a classic, and very occasionally scarily accurate.

  9. Fran Barlow
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:48 | #9


    The onion is a classic, and very occasionally scarily accurate.

    It is indeed. I found this amusing today.

  10. Gerard
    March 15th, 2010 at 15:51 | #10

    Quiggin, metafilter, daily kos… Lp now and then… Too busy for much else, there’s not enough hours in a day to stay on top of things. The web really is a procrastinators best friend/worst enemy

  11. wilful
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:01 | #11

    Here (of course), MetaFilter, Larvatus Prodeo, Peter Martin, a general cruise through Crikey blogs, that’s about it most days. For more leisurely weekendy stuff, Green&Gold Rugby, Deltoid maybe, the Drum, Club Troppo, BLDGBLOG, some miniature painting sites.

    Getting reliable news is harder and harder to find. The Age is the best of a very bad lot nowadays. I tried to convert to the ABC but they’re mostly just a NEWSCorp rebroadcaster.

  12. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:03 | #12

    ALS, Quiggin, Catallaxy, BNC.

  13. March 15th, 2010 at 16:17 | #13

    Hermit: Where have you been for the last five years? Just about every official function starts with a mention of the traditional land owners – including such hotbeds of radicalism as Woollahra Council.

  14. Don Wigan
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:20 | #14

    It’s probably a bit too lengthy for Message Board, but I wonder if John could bring us up to speed on the benefits/negatives of privatisation? As an old leftist I was opposed to it originally but have tried to keep an open mind. It may be relevant,too, given the strife Anna Bligh is in over the issue, albeit it could be argued that her problems stem from reneging on her word.

    In Victoria it has been argued that private and commercial costs for power use have come down since privatisation, but as a consumer I have not noticed especially. All I see are desperate door-to-door salespeople every few weeks trying to convince me to swap utilities. I even wonder if it might be worth paying a bit more not to be bothered by them.

    I also wonder how much we might have lost in skills development with the carving up of transport and power utilities and the old Telecom, etc. All these seemed to have programs of producing more apprentices than were literally needed by themselves on the grounds that we needed those tradespeople. They had the fat to do this, whereas many businesses needed the skills but were too small and marginal to carry apprentices.

    I suppose you could extend the concern to the benefits of financial deregulation. In the old days superannuation was largely controlled by various government bodies, conservative insurers like the AMP and CML and so on. Investment was very cautious, but it was directed to local industry, ensuring some security and future for employees. It may be that capital needs to be quicker and more flexible than that but it then becomes a question of balancing return and risk. It is interesting that industry-based schemes seem to be gaining favour, and perhaps the market is starting to correct from the earlier higher-risk commissions-based schemes.

    In the light of action needed to head off the GFC it might be opportune to look at these matters.

  15. wilful
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:22 | #15

    The insulation scheme was his only serious venture into climate mitigation and that didn’t go so well.

    Not very well as a media event. Rather well as a way of decreasing energy bills, of giving short term employment to low-skilled Aussies, of raising (introducing) safety standards to an unregulated industry.

  16. smiths
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:26 | #16

    i just visited als for the first time, it will also be the last

  17. Rationalist
    March 15th, 2010 at 16:55 | #17

    Andrew Bolt too. I use Google RSS feed reader so I am subscribed to about 100 feeds of various news sites and blogs. I don’t read it all though.

    Speaking of Bolt: http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/quiggin_complains_of_his_own_behaviour#68371

  18. Donald Oats
    March 15th, 2010 at 17:26 | #18

    Since I don’t have official morning tea, lunch, or arvo breaks, I’ll take it to mean whenever I have a coffee; so, sites are:
    * the current one I’m commenting on, ie quiggin
    * Eli Rabbett’s web site
    * RealClimate once a week or so (SNR gets a bit low but often there are leads)
    * DeSmog
    * NYT
    * arXiv – for nerd math stuff; keeps me up to date on how to speak geek
    * Tamino’s web site
    * Skeptical Science
    * Very, very rarely CA or WTF (work it out), and generally only under sufferance.
    * Amazon for new books
    * The Third Edge for philosophy and other bits

    No doubt I’ve forgotten a couple.

    NB: I have the time to browse, since I’m on no one’s clock, and no, I’m not on Tax Payer’s Money (before anyone can jump in and say that).

  19. smiths
  20. jquiggin
    March 15th, 2010 at 17:39 | #20

    Speaking of Bolt reminds me that this self-appointed science expert literally doesn’t know up (the stratosphere) from down (the troposphere)


  21. gerard
    March 15th, 2010 at 17:39 | #21

    I forgot to mention above, but I have to recommend Scott Horton’s ‘No Comment’ at Harpers. It really is the most superb mix of politics, law, history and art, and the mind boggles that his blog is actually the product of a single person.

    Asia Times Online is another good semi-regular read, including the Letters to the Editor there.

    The Al Jazeera English news feed gives a better summary of world news than any Australian source.

    I hate to admit it, but Things Bogans Like is a guilty pleasure

  22. Donald Oats
    March 15th, 2010 at 17:48 | #22

    Ahh, so I’m not alone in thinking that ABC News Online is Regurgitator. It’s not even up to date news, often being just a rehash of a story already fairly played out on Sky News.

    BTW, The Chief Executive of CSIRO, Megan Clark, states in clear language that climate change is real…and human GHG emissions as a cause is beyond doubt.
    Interesting, given that her background is in mining geology, and she worked for BHP Billiton some time before joining CSIRO.

  23. smiths
    March 15th, 2010 at 17:58 | #23

    without assessing the content of ABC online, the visual layout is impenetrable,
    its almost as if its designed to put people off and obscure information,
    quite incredible

  24. Salient Green
    March 15th, 2010 at 18:02 | #24

    Something I’ve been looking forward to seeing is the Greens to move a motion calling on the Government to establish an independent National Inquiry into Australia’s Population to 2050.
    “Australia’s population should be determined by the capacity of our environment and our infrastructure,” said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown.”Australia cannot support an increase in population to 35 million by 2050.”

    Did anyone see landline yesterday? What a hash the Rudd govt has made of the REC’s scheme. While Wong has now put forward measures to fix the mess, they wont come into effect until next year! Der!! This government clearly is captured by the fossil fuel industry.

    My morning sites are Quiggin, LP, Breakfast politics and the TV station sites. Lunch is NSW water info, GCC, TOD, Treehugger and Commsec. The Greens and Peter Martin are also visited daily.

  25. smiths
    March 15th, 2010 at 18:31 | #25

    there are 33 wars going across the planet,
    the United States supplies 70% of the worlds weapons,
    America is a beacon of freedom and Obama got the Nobel peace prize,
    does anyone else feel sick?

  26. Salient Green
    March 15th, 2010 at 19:21 | #26

    Sick of America, yes. Sick of the warmongering, the hypocrisy, the greed, the abuse of power. Feel free to add to this list.

  27. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 15th, 2010 at 19:27 | #27

    I notice that Andrew Bolt has an article up refering to John Quiggin as “ethically unconstrained”.


    I know I regretted the last time I pasted such a link on one blog about another but I figure in the name of balance I’d try it one more time.

  28. March 15th, 2010 at 19:34 | #28

    Michael :
    I have a serious podcast addiction, I’m not sure that is under control. There is now more interesting stuff available worldwide than there is time to listen to it and digest it

    So true, so many podacts so little time… personal favs on the iPod:

    - Point of inquiry
    - Skeptics guide to the universe
    - History of Rome
    - BBC History Magazine
    - Philosophy Bites
    - Philosophers Zone

    And sooooooo many more!

  29. March 15th, 2010 at 19:36 | #29

    TerjeP (say tay-a) :
    I notice that Andrew Bolt has an article up refering to John Quiggin as “ethically unconstrained”.
    I know I regretted the last time I pasted such a link on one blog about another but I figure in the name of balance I’d try it one more time.

    Meh, Bolt. More framing of the issue and cut and paste denial. Pass on further commenting on his gutter tactics.

  30. March 15th, 2010 at 19:40 | #30

    jquiggin :
    Speaking of Bolt reminds me that this self-appointed science expert literally doesn’t know up (the stratosphere) from down (the troposphere)

    Bolt’s version of science is to simply republish Watts up with That blog posts. No understanding of the science, he simply assumes Watts has a point.. in there… somewhere…

  31. Salient Green
    March 15th, 2010 at 19:47 | #31

    Andrew Bolt is a perfect candidate for Things Bogans Like.

  32. March 15th, 2010 at 20:29 | #32

    Thanks! Will check them out –

    I forgot MediaLens (sporadic) and James Kunstler (on Tuesdays)

  33. Salient Green
    March 15th, 2010 at 21:01 | #33

    If you visit TOD Megan you may know about George Mobus. He’s at http://questioneverything.typepad.com/

  34. Alice
    March 15th, 2010 at 21:30 | #34

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Creepy behaviour Terje. You love JQs blog and post three for any one of anyone elses yet at every opportunity you want to have a dig at JQ….I really think you are a worm because lets face it…you prefer the tone of the discussions here than over with your libertarian denialist friends.
    A true hypocrite if ever there was one.

  35. Alice
    March 15th, 2010 at 21:34 | #35
  36. SJ
    March 15th, 2010 at 21:52 | #36

    Alice Says:

    …you prefer the tone of the discussions here than over with your libertarian denialist friends.

    I don’t think this is actually true. Terje seems to have become the god of the goldbug wierdoes over at Catallaxy. Even the denialists bow to Terje because of his goldbug wisdom.

    From a quick read through Terje’s posts at Catallaxy over the last month or two, he’s setting himself up at one of the leading libertarian liars.

  37. Alice
    March 15th, 2010 at 22:02 | #37

    He is practising that right here as well….shame…are there no drugs that can correct this malady (like long acting truth serums?)

    Ive got another interesting sitefor the list btw…its not really a blog (although there may be one there) but I love the name.
    “the post autistic economics society”. I had been subconsciously wondering whether economics had become autistic before I found this site. Clearly…quite a few students and others think so.


  38. Jill Rush
    March 15th, 2010 at 22:05 | #38

    Donald Oats – I see that the Atheist Conference made the lead story for the second section of the Oz today. They even reported the amounts that Christians have received for events whilst noticing that the atheists received no government assistance.

  39. Donald Oats
    March 15th, 2010 at 23:08 | #39

    @Jill Rush
    Streuth! I’m pleasantly surprised. Hope they also mentioned that it wasn’t all about bashing Christians – but some humour at the expense of religion was impossible to avoid, given the array of speakers at the conference. The Age today had one article which concentrated on Richard Dawkins, and while they quoted mainly the jibes he is legendary for, they did in fairness quote fully and with some explanation about his overall talk, which was titled something like “Gratitude for Evolution, And The Evolution of Gratitude”. The Age also had another article in which two academic writers basically blindly lobbed polemical rocks over the parapet, hoping to hit a target. At least that’s how it seemed to me – I didn’t notice much in the way of argument, more’s the pity. I actually wondered if either of them had turned up at the Atheism Convention, before writing their article.

    And on that other topic of the list of sites read: In the past I tried keeping up with some of the ahh more sceptical climate science sites, but I ended up with a bellyful of emptiness^fn1. I did the Lavoisier site, Icecap in the US (Bob Carter pops up), Jenny M.’s site – before the closure, Jo Nova’s site, and sundry others. If you are sceptical of the science as you currently understand it, the afore-mentioned sites won’t be a positive contribution, scientifically speaking. After reading/slogging through Plimer’s tome (and Lomborg’s before that), and the outright denier sites, my stamina for it declined to zero. Why bother if it is just one big slugfest without an outcome, without a plausible theory explaining why the GHGs emitted have failed to contribute to the apparent warming, and most importantly, without more than arm-waving to support said conjectures. Usually in the physical sciences a certain amount of reasoning is supported with mathematical reasoning using equations for conservation of momentum, energy, angular momentum and so on. But most sceptics can’t do that since they have rubbished every numerically solved quantitative model used. Kind of rules the modelling thing out for the sceptics.

  40. Freelander
    March 15th, 2010 at 23:24 | #40

    I was disappointed that the Atheism conference sold out so quickly.
    I read that silly article written by those two academics and as a result ended up looking at an extract from the Cambridge Companion to Atheism online via having looked at some stuff about Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. His stuff is probably worth reading. Apparently he says in “Atheists: A Psychological Profile”, which a review (in the Companion) of the psychological data on atheists, that atheists tend to be more intelligent and better educated than believers; less authoritarian, less suggestible, less dogmatic, and less prejudiced than believers; and more tolerant of others, law-abiding, compassionate, and conscientious.” (Maybe subsidy worthy?)

    Sounds credible. Of course, even if correct, this doesn’t logically necessitate that the atheist position is right, but it certainly does not mean that it is wrong.

  41. Donald Oats
    March 16th, 2010 at 00:15 | #41

    I talked with a reasonable cross-section of the attendees – almost a random sample, given the size of the crowd. My no doubt biased opinion is that they were a fairly reasonable slice of modern Australiana, and a few o/s individuals too. If there was a connecting thread I would venture that it is the following:
    * Most individuals there either did not believe in the existence of god(s) or supernatural beings of any sort, or at least thought the likelihood to be incredibly small, smaller than a gnat’s nosehair. In my case I prefer to state it by saying “I have a lack of belief in gods.”^fn1 The occasional agnostic and a couple of Christians popped up too.
    * As a consequence, gods in general, and Christian God in particular (since most of the attendees were from Christian communities, or at least had an early experience of Christianity as their inherited religion), aren’t really a part of their lives, and this leads to an interest in ethical behaviour and morality that is “untainted” by a religious premise.
    * Nearly all of the people I met had a fairly reasoned viewpoint. One person I met though, had gone through the full-on born-again Christian thing with Pentacosts, and eventually drifted away from it. He said something to the effect that the performance part started to feel a bit immature.
    * The people that mentioned it saw this life as the only life, so living this one well obviously took priority over living for the (mythical) after-life.
    * That’s about it for commonality. Pretty much everything else was diversity in abundance.

    fn1: My reason for saying it as “I have a lack of belief in gods” is because for me it isn’t exactly a question of “believing that there is no god”. Instead, I just reckon that while I can imagine all sorts of gods and supernatural beings, if there is just no corroborative evidence of the metaphorical footprints of a god or gods upon the planet, then imagination is not enough. Or perhaps to put it another way, I believe that the likelihood of the non-existence of god(s) is at least as high as the likelihood that my body will die at most in a few decades time.
    Everyone sane thinks that they will die eventually, although they clearly cannot prove it definitively to their own satisfaction- and still be around to know that they have proven it. What people actually do is observe that other people die, and the infer that the same applies to themselves. In fact, they may even come to a reasonable guess as to the oldest age they might live to. So, it is not necessary to “believe there are no gods”; rather, it is enough to treat a statement like “there are no gods” as being the equivalent of saying “I think that the likelihood of there being no gods is at least as strong as the likelihood of my death occurring within the next few decades.” I’m a bit tired so this might not read too coherently :-P

  42. Donald Oats
    March 16th, 2010 at 00:24 | #42

    @Donald Oats
    Oh, and I almost forgot the most important thing:
    * The vast majority seemed if not maniacally happy, at least pretty content.

    Not bad – until they burn in the firey pits of Hell bwaahahahaha! I just had to say that.

  43. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 16th, 2010 at 03:47 | #43

    I really think you are a worm

    Alice – at dinner parties it is customary not to refer to other guests as worms.

  44. Miss_Magoo
    March 16th, 2010 at 04:06 | #44

    The comments about Steve McIntyre (Climategate:The smoking gun) have given Quiggin international exposure.
    Unfortunately, it has been widely compared to the international exposure recently enjoyed by Graham Readfearn following his stunning performance at the recent debate in Brisbane.
    I am dismayed that someone claiming to be a professional academic, like the good professor, should show such a complete lack of common sense and awareness of common law.
    Like many expressing an opinion, I would be delighted if Mr. McIntyre used the full force of the law to deal with this slur.
    As it is, I doubt that he would do so as he at least has some personal and professional standards that he adheres to.
    Why is the alarmist faction so devoid of social skills and stoked with hatred? It says an awful lot about you.

  45. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 16th, 2010 at 05:03 | #45

    it has been widely compared to the international exposure recently enjoyed by Graham Readfearn

    Are you sure about that?

  46. steven mosher
    March 16th, 2010 at 05:20 | #46

    Where does one begin the reading lesson for Quiggin.

    “By July 2009, CRU had advised McIntyre that climate data used in their work was available from the original sources, and that he should seek it from them.”

    Really? Does this man not read the dates on things and the contents:


    McIntyre requested data that had been sent to Webster. This request was
    made June 26th. CRU responded within their mandated 20 day window.
    On July 24th Mcintyre wrote the blog post and explains CRUs claim:
    the data CANNOT be shared because of confidentiality agreements.
    Further, since CRU did not indicate WHICH data was covered and which data
    was not, And since they claimed to have agreements which precluded the
    kind of release made to Webster, it makes sense to ask them for copies of the agreements.

    Our good professor must have read this blog, because he [mis]notes what followed:

    “24 July 2009: McIntyre organizes a spam FOI campaign against CRU, asking his supporters to send requests nominating five countries whose data they wanted of the form:

    I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing(sic) the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested]

    (unsurprisingly, his supporters ignored the request to stick to new countries, and sent multiples of the same request)”

    Now, read that. In front of him he has the actual request. It’s a request for confidentiality AGREEMENTS, not data. AGREEMENTS. And why agreements?
    because the data was supposedly “confidential.” not public.

    Reading Comprehension: F.

    Now, What did CRU do with this MOUNTAIN of FOIA requests? They consolidated the requests into one request. They applied their 18 hour Rule. No more than 18 hours for a request. How do I know this? My request, went in with everyone elses. Except, I made it a little different. on purpose. I asked for something that took more than 18 hours, so they DENIED that portion of my request and cited their 18 hour rule.

    In the end, CRU complied with the 50 or so requests. How? Jones wrote a 1000 word essay.
    They posted 4-5 agreements. One of these agreements precluded release to anyone, including webster, including rutherford. So essentially they showed that Jones Violated confidentiality agreements. he did the same in 2002, again in 2005, and then with Webster.

  47. jquiggin
    March 16th, 2010 at 06:01 | #47

    I’ll correct the post to fix this error. Maybe you can explain how this distinction makes a difference.

  48. el gordo
    March 16th, 2010 at 06:09 | #48

    The insinuation by the good professor that McIntyre was in some way privy…..is nonsense. It’s quite obvious the FSB and MI5 were the perpetrators of the CRU hack.

  49. Fran Barlow
    March 16th, 2010 at 08:39 | #49

    Not to all .. El Gordo is the nym of a regular disinformationist on this issue at Deltoid …

    Contrary to El Gordo, McIntyre is not a professor of anything. Contrary to popular beleif, he is not even, properly speaking, a mathematician. His short bio (from wiki) reads as follows:

    McIntyre attended the University of Toronto Schools, a university-preparatory school in Toronto, finishing first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965.[1] He went on to study mathematics at the University of Toronto and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1969. McIntyre then obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to read philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1971.[1][2] Although he was offered a graduate scholarship, McIntyre decided not to pursue studies in mathematical economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1]

    McIntyre worked for 30 years in the mineral business,[1] the last part of these in the hard-rock mineral exploration as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies.[3] He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada.[4] He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.[5]

    People should note that he was not a disinterested party when he took up the cudgels for the polluters.

  50. Michael
    March 16th, 2010 at 08:53 | #50

    Christopher Polis :
    I’ll admit to being somewhat skeptical about the whole matter. It seemed to be a bit too much like the Y2K issue – something that diverts a lot of resources from real problems to deal with a possibly catastrophic scenario.

    Such as?

    So I started wandering around the web trying to find information on the topic. I found a very divided world. But heres the thing. One side appeared to be made up of people like me; intelligent, technically minded engineers, scientists and programmers trying to understand what was going on for themselves.

    Is this realistic? Do these lay people who may have “technical minds” have the requisite knowledge and resources to figure it out for themselves? How are their conclusions to be tested? Shouldn’t there be some process, perhaps the scientific method to verify their research. They could even publish it in a peer reviewed journal.

    Asking rational questions and trying to come up with answers, finding themselves frustrating short of being able to gather the information they needed to be able to do so.

    Have you tried? What data can’t you get? What attempts have you made? How many FOI requests have you filed that have been refused?

    See, technical people ‘know’ how the scientific process works. And what was revealed was not science at work, but manipulation, intimidation and self belief.

    The evidence on this point is contested. How much of the current science is tainted by “manipulation, intimidation and self belief”, please share your evidence.

    And I don’t extrapolate that to other scientific fields. I still expect that other areas are done properly. There was enough horror expressed by scientist out of field that other areas have basically not been tainted by the corruption revealed by climategate.

    Why not? Perhaps because it doesn’t suit your ideological position and it would make you look like a crank. How does climategate effect all the other institutions involved in climate research? Were is the evidence of mass collusion.

    People who support what is now ‘unclean’ science are now suspect.
    People who describe an entire field of science as ‘unclean’ based on isolated incidents are highly suspect.
    Time to move on to stage two of the grief process. Stop denying that climate science is now tainted beyond the point of inherent public belief. Get angry about it. Isolate the problem. Cleanse it from the field. Start afresh.

    You sound like a sophisticated concern troll. You start out with the classic identity testimonial about coming to the debate late and go on to make unfounded claims about the entire climate science field being suspect. The idea that ALL climate science should be suspended and go back and start from scratch is implausible and ridiculous. There is nothing stopping anyone from contributing to the science and publish their research whenever they so choose. Fundamental tenants can be challenged anytime if you can demonstrate results and have them replicated.

  51. Fran Barlow
    March 16th, 2010 at 08:58 | #51

    An accurate response Michael. Well done.

    Two quibbles:

    effect should be affect

    tenant should be tenet

  52. frankis
    March 16th, 2010 at 09:38 | #52


    Why is the [scientist] faction so devoid of social skills

    LOL …. how about you first tell us why social types are so devoid of scientific skills?

  53. Michael
    March 16th, 2010 at 09:45 | #53

    @Fran Barlow
    Thanks for pointing out my typos, I will try to do better :-) . I meant to post that in the “Science the victim of dishonest attacks” thread, I’m a victim of multi-tasking.

  54. Fran Barlow
    March 16th, 2010 at 09:57 | #54



    Not to worry … tenant used this way is a common neologism, and is cognate with tenet since they both derive from holding something — hence the French verb tenir, to hold.

    effect is most often a noun (cf Doppler Effect) but can be a verb when it means “to bring about, implement, cause” eg effect changes.

  55. March 16th, 2010 at 10:55 | #55

    Fran Barlow :Not to all .. El Gordo is the nym of a regular disinformationist on this issue at Deltoid …
    Contrary to El Gordo, McIntyre is not a professor of anything. Contrary to popular beleif, he is not even, properly speaking, a mathematician. His short bio (from wiki) reads as follows:

    McIntyre attended the University of Toronto Schools, a university-preparatory school in Toronto, finishing first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965.[1] He went on to study mathematics at the University of Toronto and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1969. McIntyre then obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to read philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1971.[1][2] Although he was offered a graduate scholarship, McIntyre decided not to pursue studies in mathematical economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1]
    McIntyre worked for 30 years in the mineral business,[1] the last part of these in the hard-rock mineral exploration as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies.[3] He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada.[4] He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.[5]

    People should note that he was not a disinterested party when he took up the cudgels for the polluters.

    Indeed, deniers frequently try to tote his creditionals. I’ve seen him cited as an expert many times, when at best I think his highest qualifcations is a BSc. He spend most of his career in mining.

  56. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 11:30 | #56

    many have written here about the causes of the great financial sham of 2008/2009,
    and most have regurgitated the mainstream media lies (like, it was the subprime mortgages),
    there is now a lot of noise in the blogs about lehman, ernst & young and linklaters fraud but lets face it, it is the system, not the companies,

    senator kaufman says “fraud and potential criminal conduct were at the heart of the financial crisis” to which i would like to add this little gem from richard murphy’s site,

    “The Cayman Islands were the largest foreign holder of private-label US mortgage-backed securities on the eve of the financial crisis … and
    The amount of undeclared money languishing in offshore financial centres has always been difficult to quantify: the very nature of it being undeclared makes it hard to trace. But work by economists at the International Monetary Fund has shed new light on the cash involved, confirming it runs into trillions of dollars.

    and remember this story

    Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

    chuck this one in for good measure

    new figures reveal that illicit financial flows outpace Official Development Assistance by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1. This is critical to understanding global poverty and developing effective poverty alleviation and economic development strategies

    i would like to respectfully point out once again that discussions of Keynesian, Monetarist or Austrian economics are currently redundant, they are academic sideshows,
    this is a mafia system where money from drugs, human trafficking and guns is indistinguishable from legitimate money,
    the tax/secrecy havens are the giant laundry points and the giant banks in collusion with the accounting firms and powerful governments all take their cuts from the racket,
    the GFC was the greatest scam of all time,
    like a magic show or a traveling gypsy scam, they gathered the middle class of the world together and asked them to behold some irrelevant spectacle while they picked our pockets

  57. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 16th, 2010 at 11:46 | #57

    He spend most of his career in mining.

    Is that a bad thing?

  58. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 11:47 | #58

    Andrew Reynolds, this one’s for you

    Claims about Ernst & Young’s part in the collapse of Lehman Brothers look set to open a wider debate on what has until now been one of the least dissected aspects of the financial crisis – the role played by auditors.

  59. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 11:55 | #59

    bit like plimer, frequently referred to as an academic but most of his personal and financial interests are tied to mining,
    though as someone pointed out to me recently, plimers interests seem to be in tension,
    he is a great supporter of nuclear power and uranium mining, which is now put forward as a clean power source to deal with man-made global warming, which he denies the existence of

  60. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 16th, 2010 at 12:22 | #60

    My personal financial interests are currently tied to mining but I’ve declared that here previously. In any case my views were public long before I had such interests (eg pre 2008).

    I note that JQ has publicly apologised to Andrew Bolt on the latters blog for certain inaccuracies. However I think JQ really needs to reflect on what he said about McIntyre and the way he said it.

  61. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 12:30 | #61

    well i would get the hell out if i were you terje, metals prices will be heading south shortly, as will company stock prices

  62. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 13:36 | #62

    people that care deeply about haiti (remember haiti) will be pleased to know that plans to turn it into a nation of sweatshops are proceeding well,
    i am once again going to swim against the logic of free-markets and the laws of competitive advantage by saying that something should be done to stop this

  63. gerard
    March 16th, 2010 at 13:54 | #63

    The UQ Young Liberals are looking classy today in their new shirts.

    A picture of Tony Abbot in his DTs, and the words, “Budgie Smugglers, Not People Smugglers”.

  64. March 16th, 2010 at 14:45 | #64

    I agree on Haiti. They should continue to have no work at all in the name of ideological puritanism and to ensure that others cannot buy cheap goods.
    They should continue to be permanent recipients of aid.
    As for EYs – I cannot get to the article. Do you care to give a praisie? As I have said before and will say again – if the auditors have been dishonest or negligent then they should suffer for it like anyone else. Just do not expect them to do a job for which they are (typically) not being paid – that of an infallible fraud detector.

  65. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 15:06 | #65

    false dichotomy andrew, slave labour or no labour,
    how about a genuine assistance program to restore local agriculture and other things that can be sustained and allow them to feed themselves and develop at an organic pace,
    as i have said before, i think E&Y were doing the job they were being paid for, creatively and skillfully masking systemic fraud, anyway here’s some of it

    As politicians and regulators have noted, Big Four firms PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and E&Y, signed off successful audits of other banks at the centre of the crisis. They also made huge fees in the process.
    E&Y received $27.8m for auditing Lehman; Deloitte, £17m for auditing RBS; and KPMG, $9m for auditing HBOS, according to a UK parliamentary inquiry.
    PwC received £1.8m ($2.7m) for the last year of its audit of Northern Rock. There is no suggestion, however, that these firms failed to meet required professional standards in these cases.

    it should be noted that the FT is being incredibly generous towards the accounting firms in its reporting, most of the media is not

  66. Freelander
    March 16th, 2010 at 15:06 | #66

    @Andrew Reynolds

    The auditors do the job they are paid for which is to facilitate fraud. For company executives intent on fraud what else would they be paying them for? Being audited by auditors you choose and employ is lunacy. You might as well have the police and the judiciary employed by the mafia. When this has happened it hasn’t worked well either.

    As for Haiti, it was all down hill once they repudiated the property rights of slave owners. With no respect for property rights what do you expect? No doubt God has been cursing them for this sin ever since.

  67. Freelander
    March 16th, 2010 at 15:14 | #67

    Andrew Reynolds :
    Do you care to give a praisie?

    Is that praise, as in “I come not to praise you”? Or is it précis?

  68. smiths
    March 16th, 2010 at 15:22 | #68

    i think freelander, it is an appraisal

  69. March 16th, 2010 at 15:26 | #69

    If you have evidence that they were wrong, feel free to present it. The value of their assets in the balance sheet (which is given as being as at a particular date) and the value of income (for the year ended) seems right. If the values subsequently change then that is not the responsibility of the auditors.
    There is a good chance the FT is right – if not, then the firms should suffer to the extent that they have not fulfilled their professional duties.
    Again you show your ignorance. The auditors are appointed by the shareholders, not the managers. Check the corporate law on this point – also have a look at any AGM or EGM where there is a proposal to change the auditors. Auditors also have a duty not to accept an audit where the fee is likely to make a big difference to a firm – that is why the big firms are the only ones auditing big companies.
    That said, I agree that some auditors do forget this. If they do, and they end up facilitiating malfeasance, then they should suffer the appropriate penalty.
    Ignorance is no excuse, Freelander, for you or them.
    On Haiti – I am not surprised you have come out in favour of slavery. I see little difference between a system where you act as a slave for a State and one where you act as a slave for a private owner. They are both wrong. You seem to like the idea of the first option.

  70. Freelander
    March 16th, 2010 at 15:41 | #70


    Praisie Andrew, you are such an extraordinarily talented fellow. You do fit the bill, so its easy to believe all your claims. High finance, academic, logician… the perspicacity to recognise that I am perfectly serious about Haiti…

    Of course, the auditors are appointed by the shareholders, the same way the shareholders determine the board and through them the senior executives and so on. And the same way the shareholders ultimately determine senior executive remuneration. And the shareholders are all real people, not legal fictions that own the shares, not insurance companies or superannuation funds where those who supply the funds have no say whatsoever. Of course, you are entirely right. Extraordinary, you are never wrong. What an intellect.

  71. gerard
    March 16th, 2010 at 18:34 | #71

    @Andrew Reynolds
    I am not surprised you have come out in favour of slavery.

    What an absolutely disgusting thing to say.

    I suppose you don’t know (or care) that Haiti is so extremely poor mainly because it has spent the last two hundred years paying billions of dollars of interest on the enormous debt that France imposed on it – by force – as repayment for their successful slave rebellion.

    I’m sure that you’d probably oppose the idea that France should be paying reparations for all the wealth it has sucked out of Haiti over the centuries, or that the US should be paying reparations for the time it re-established slavery (“corvee labor”) under Woodrow Wilson, or that it should be paying back all the interest it has claimed on money that it loaned to Haiti so that Haiti could pay back France. Even after the earthquake the G7 have refused to forgive Haiti’s debt, let alone pay them the billions in reparations that they are owed.

    Like some type of freak you think that governments providing aid so that people have housing, food, water and medicine somehow amounts to “slavery”, and that these wretched people deserve nothing more than to live like animals and rent themselves out for whatever barest margin of subsistence the free-market will provide to them. Again, I doubt that you know (or care) that Haiti’s agricultural system was decimated in the 1990s when Clinton militarily forced the country to open its markets to heavily subsidized US agriculture, with the intent to leave it with no employment but abject exploitation in the world’s cheapest sweatshops, just miles from the US coast. When somebody points out that Haiti’s sweatshops have the worst conditions in the world, you mockingly suggest they take the other option: death. This is the choice given to them by the international community, and you see nothing wrong with that. Being a Rightwinger of your calibre requires such an appalling level of cruelty and indifference to human suffering I don’t know how anyone can manage it.

  72. E.M.H
    March 16th, 2010 at 19:13 | #72

    Racist comment deleted. You’re banned

  73. Fran Barlow
    March 16th, 2010 at 20:02 | #73

    Come on PrQ … if the comment from EMH above doesn’t violate some comment policy or isn’t liekly to provoke massive back and forth I can’t imagine what would.

    It’s purely racial animus.

    Time to wield the axe?

  74. Alice
    March 16th, 2010 at 20:26 | #74

    @Fran Barlow
    I agree Fran – instant delete. Racist. In the extreme. JOQ must be busy. EMH – you are an obscenity.

  75. March 16th, 2010 at 23:28 | #75

    Sorry, I forgot the most important one, absolute must-see first thing everyday:


    It’s one of those things, so vital but easily taken for granted.

  76. Freelander
    March 16th, 2010 at 23:53 | #76


    As you recognise Gerard, it is much easier for some of the multi-talented experts on everything who post here from time to time to be totally ignorant of history and instead simply blame the victims. Naturally, those who live in countries like Haiti are well aware of their history and we in the west are lucky that for the most part most do not dwell on their history. If they did we would have a lot more to worry about than bin Laden.

  77. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 00:10 | #77

    Let’s try this again… for a third time. Maybe I’ve gone over some word limit or something…
    @Smiths & Salient Green:
    Basing your facts on a hyper-partisan magazine prolly isn’t the best idea when you actually want solid facts. I see where you are trying to go with the America bashing, and the whole “warmongering” meme, here’s the thing though… a BETTER indicator of who to point your finger at in regards to who’s the enabler for all the conflicts out there would be to look at WHICH EXPORTED WEAPONS SYSTEMS ARE THE MOST WIDELY USED TO KILL PEOPLE IN RECENT MODERN CONFLICTS.
    Those weapons systems would be:
    -The AK series of Assault Rifles (specifically Chinese, Czech and Russian made)
    -The Russian/Soviet RPK and DShK Machine guns (To be honest, the old US made M60 is #3)
    -Russian/Soviet RPG-2 and RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and Chinese Type 56 and 69 RPG launchers (copies of Russian RPG-2, RPG-7)

    You see… the weakness of your argument is that your little partisan article ONLY talks about ~legal~ and above board arms sales in terms of dollar amount, then assigns blame by who’s making the most money, legally. The inherent problem is that:
    1. US made weapons systems are usually of higher quality and greater technical advancement and therefore MORE EXPENSIVE than a cheap chinese knock-off of a 20 year old Russian weapon system.
    2. The Black Market arms business is estimated to be 5-10x greater than the sanctioned market.
    3. I know you REALLY want the US to be the bad guy here, but the vast majority of the $$$ made by the US arms makers was in the sale of big ticket items like radar and Anti-missile defense systems (Ex. the patriot) and various Aircraft. Most of the 33 *CONFLICTS* (not wars) currently being waged are being fought with ~SMALL ARMS~ and Rocket launchers. These types of systems account for LESS THAN 1% of total US arms sales… Sorry to burst your bubble.
    4. Of the conflicts mentioned in your first article, umm, how many are in the say top 10, 25, or even 50 top importers of US weapons? Answer, None.

    When was the last time some Warlord in the Congo, or Drug Czar in Nicaragua was tooling around in an F-22 Raptor?


  78. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 00:28 | #78

    I take back # 4, there ARE some countries listed in your first article that are in the top 25 importers of US arms. That said, Afghanistan and Iraq are getting big ticket items, as is India. Columbia is on the list because of our support of the “War on Drugs”. We are supporting the govt of Columbia against the Drug cartels… same with Mexico.
    I suppose we could stop, if that would make you happy.


  79. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 01:09 | #79


    If the US controlled its drug problem, the problem would not be overflowing into Columbia and now Mexico. The Columbian government and Mexican government would have fewer problems if they simply ignored their drug entrepreneurs filling that much needed gap in the market, but the US would not let these governments do that. The US needs to tackle the drug problem at the source and start cracking down on their drug users. No demand, no problem. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if the US managed to control its borders better and stopped the drugs coming in; might even come in handy on the so-called ‘war on terror’.
    As far as being arms merchants – yes, please stop. Of course, the US is the bad guy. Why do you imagine so many in other countries hate the US? Personally, I don’t. But the one-eyed patriotism of many americans is as mindless as that of any 1950s communist apparatchik and blinds many americans to their country’s faults.
    Americans need a reality check. The US needs to start worrying about its outrageous military expenditure. Military expenditure and a loss of willingness to murder large numbers of people are what finally brought the Soviet empire down. Military expenditure stands an excellent chance of doing the same to the US. Like Great Britain before it, the US’s day at the top is over. The time to start making the adjustment is now. This certainly isn’t the time for the US to start making new enemies.

  80. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 01:48 | #80


    Honestly, you have points that I couldn’t agree more with. I wish that the US WOULD control its borders better, but you’ll have to take that up with your left-wing counterparts here in the States. They are the ones who are after open borders, social security, free healthcare, unemployment benefits, and VOTING rights for illegal aliens.

    I also agree with stepping up our efforts to control drugs in the US but a major portion of that would be strengthening our borders, and again, the left-wingers are against that. They are also FOR the legalization of cartain “Gateway” drugs, which is really just the first step to ultimately making the entire US a poor copy of Amsterdam.

    I think that the legal consiquences of selling, using, and BUYING illegal drug should be made more stringent. Once again, your counterparts here in the US disagree with me. They favor the “Big Brother” approach of more spending on government sponsored “rehabilitation” programs. (which have worked out SO well in our penal system. /sarc off)

    Finally, where you and I diverge is that having a strong military ISN’T tantamount to being a “warmonger.” Neither is being top exporter of legal arms. By your logic, the United States is also the biggest supporter of illegal drug use because the two largest and most profitable pharmecutical companies in the world happen to reside here (Johnson&Johnson, Pfizer). This is a false premise. The US has a large drug market begause we have a large population with more EXPENDIBLE CASH. This is the case with most developed countries including AUS.

    Every country has its social problems. It’s easy to hate the “guy at the top”, and the US is still the “top dog” on the Global scene. Probably not for too much longer, though. I have a feeling that China is gonna be making a comeback.

    My question is, when China (or whomever) finally supercedes the United States as a super power do you think THEY are going to be as generous with their $$$ and aid, and military (face it, the UN would be NOTHING without the United States. Heck, WE started it.) as the US has been?


  81. March 17th, 2010 at 01:49 | #81

    Chill out. Perhaps I should have put that in sarcasm tags to make it a bit more obvious. I am aware of the history of Haiti and the sad actions of both its and other governments towards the people of that country.
    I just see smiths’ original comment (that of opposing what he calls sweatshops) as another attempt to impose the will of others onto the people who should be allowed to make their own minds up to work in the fields, on their own enterprise or for someone else by themselves. If they choose to work in a company that offers them regular wages and at least some hope then, to me at least, that should be up to them.
    The other option would be drug legalisation. If it is not a crime then, as the US found with alcohol, the criminals lose income.

  82. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 02:08 | #82

    @Andrew Reynolds

    Yes. Praisie. Legalising drugs is a wonderful idea. Certainly worked for the Chinese in the 19th Century. Why not legalise murder and all the other crimes as well? If you did that there would be a dramatic fall in crime statistics.
    Prohibiting alcohol was a silly idea for obvious reasons, but they went about it the wrong way. It is those consuming alcohol they should have targeted, and if that task was too great they ought to have thought it through a bit more, and have come to the sensible conclusion that it was not doable. Concentrating on supply and ignoring demand just increases the profit rate, and ends up giving criminals the money to finance corruption.

  83. March 17th, 2010 at 02:20 | #83

    Let’s see – China in the 19th century managed to take the first steps on a path to eliminating the the tyranny that ruled over them and also the first steps out of their self-imposed exile from the rest of the world. Despite one of the most horrific civil wars in history (the Taiping Rebellion) they also managed to make some headway on economic progress. If some exercised their ability to choose in a way that you disapprove of, so what?
    Murder and other crimes, as I hope you appreciate, involves direct harm to others as a necessary part of the criminal actions. To put someone peacefully smoking a joint into the same category is just silly. I suppose you would have also opposed the legalisation of homosexuality 30 years ago on the same basis?

  84. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 02:24 | #84


    By illegal aliens you wouldn’t happen to mean Mexicans would you? The Mexicans are simply reclaiming their land, as you ought to know. Can’t blame them for that can you? How come you refer to ‘counterparts’ who I obviously don’t agree with? You are quite deluded to imagine that the US is thought to be the ‘guy at the top’. The country is a rogue state and many are wondering whether or not it will disintegrate before or after 2050. The bets are on for how soon before the US dollar collapses. The poor Canadians have a long border with the US. They will then have to stand along it with cattle prods to keep you out. Of course, you will try to pass yourselves off as Canadians, but they will ask you to say “about” and that will be that. There has been a long delusion held by americans that they are net donors to the rest of the world. This is of course nonsense. The rest of the world has been subsidising the US for a long while. Most recently your greatest benefactor has been China. You are also wrong about who started the UN. It was convenient that the US was finally dragged into WWII, after Japan attacked and Germany declared war on it. And I must say that the Marshall plan was particularly enlightened.

  85. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 03:44 | #85


    Ohh, ouch and now the barbs come out… okie dokie.

    If you are somehow of a conservative mindset (which I doubt) and I have associated you with the wrong political group, Sorry.

    -Mexicans “reclaiming” their land?? Come on. I believe that the Aboriginals in AUS would have a MUCH stronger case for booting the “white folk” off the southern continent than the Mexican’s do for “reclaiming their land”. You don’t see too many “Stolen Generation” Mexicans running around, do ya?

    -The US isn’t the “guy at the top”. Ok… so, umm which metric would you like to use for determining which country is “on top”? Let’s start there.

    -The US is a “Rogue Nation”. Interesting concept, and I suppose someone with an anti-US, anti-military, etc… midset COULD make the case that the US is quite capable of going off and doing whatever it feels like to whomever it feels like despite the objections of the rest of the World… but of course that would reinforce the concept of the US as “Top Dog”. Which is it?
    last time a “rogue” nation gave the finger to the rest of the world, the US squished them like a bug. (A la Iraq) Strangely, even though there has been a lot of outcry about the US involvement in the Iraq war… I don’t remember seeing ANYONE making the argument that Hussein DIDN’T, in fact, need to be removed from power. I also don’t remember anyone SUPPORTING Iraq during Desert Storm. What I do rememeber was a buch of self interested countries (France, Germany, China, Russia) making noisees about “unilateral decisions”, then slinking away as their illegal, backdoor deals with the Hussein govt were revealed.

    -The US disintegrating by 2050? Bet’s are on for the collapse of the Dollar? Brother, you suck at baiting people. Pretty much everything after this is just you making wild speculations in an effort to get some kind of rise out of me. Fail.

    -History lesson (Taken from Wikipedia. Yeah, yeah, I know what you are going to say about wiki, but if you disagree with wiki’s facts in this please post where they are wrong):

    “Following in the wake of the failed League of Nations (1919–1946), which the United States never joined, the United Nations was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian problems. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization was begun under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939. Franklin D. Roosevelt first coined the term ‘United Nations’ as a term to describe the Allied countries. The term was first officially used on 1 January 1942 when 26 governments signed the Atlantic Charter, pledging to continue the war effort.[3] On 25 April 1945, the UN Conference on International Organization began in San Francisco, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the Charter of the United Nations. The UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945 upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories. The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented, and the Security Council, took place in Westminster Central Hall in London in January 1946.[4]”

    -Finally, Yes it WAS convienient that the US was dragged into WWII, for without us Europe would have fallen, and Australia’s national language would prolly be Japanese.

    You’re Welcome.


  86. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 03:47 | #86

    not “Desert Storm” (although nobody backed Hussein then either), I meant “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.


  87. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 04:32 | #87

    Very patriotic and full of Palin-like delusion. Iraq just one more US success story in international diplomacy and goodwill. I hope the Canadians have a good enough supply of cattle prods; they’ll need ‘em. You know, the Chinese are getting sick of keeping your dollar afloat. The Iraqis sure are free today. Though a tad ungrateful. Mission accomplished. Thanks for winning WWII all on your own.

  88. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 04:54 | #88

    I still think the Marshall plan was particularly enlightened. Too bad there wasn’t similarly enlightened thinking when the Soviet empire collapsed.

  89. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 05:36 | #89


    Hmm, I am detecting a bit of sarcasm… :) Again, you fail at baiting. Palin.. Ok. Whatever.

    You set up a Strawman Argument then fail to knock it down… other than with sarcasm.

    You know, for someone bashing Palin and Conservatives… you sound an AWFUL LOT like Glenn Beck.

    The current administration is devaluing the US Dollar leading to a possible collapse… Check
    There will be mass anarchy and people will flee the US when it all goes to Hell… Check
    The Chinese are buying up American debt… check

    You should be a guest commentator on his show.

    As for whether or not Iraq is a success story… well we’ll just have to wait and see. If it is, I suppose you’ll give credit to the Obama administration. pfft. There is no denying that the people of Iraq are “more free”, and have better infrastructure than before 2003, so I suppose the case can be made the Iraq is somewhat of a success now.

    Ungrateful Iraqis, Hmm I have never said that, and I don’t know anyone who has. Could you point me in the direction of a major media spokesperson that HAS said that? Limbaugh, Beck, Stossel, etc… Personally, having been deployed to Iraq twice (as well as Afghanistan) I think that the people of Iraq are ready to be doing things mostly on their own, and that is why they might seem a little “ungrateful.” Theye were certainly “grateful” when we removed Hussein from power. I remember the celebrations, don’t you? Why is it that YOU think they are ungrateful?

    Finally, again I never said that the US won WWII “All on our own”. YOU did.
    The facts are, that prior to the entry of the US into WWII, the Axis powers had pretty much overrun all of Europe, save for some underground resistance. Great Brittain was on the brink of falling. Stalin had entered into secret talks to ally with Hitler (which later ended up with the The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, lasting three years and ending when Hitler broke the pact and invaded the Soviet union) The Japanese had pretty much run rampant in the South Pacific and was getting read to attack Australia (which they did, shortly after the US entered in to WWII)

    So Mastermind, let’s say that the United States HADN’T “gotten dragged into WWII”… based on the state of the war berfore US involvement… What do you think the outcome would have been?


  90. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 05:57 | #90

    @ Freelander

    Oh! Almost forgot. I need to correct you. The Soviet Union fell because of an artificially inflated economy (IE state set prices), and their trying to pit themselves against the US economy.

    Yes, military spending was a major factor in the fall of the Soviet. I notice that you convieniently forget to credit President Reagan for the strategy. He managed to get the USSR to spend itself into oblivion.

    Unfortunately, the current administration didn’t learn from Russia’s mistake or Reagan’s genius, and are rapidly following a similar path. Good thing it’ll only be 4 years long.


  91. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 05:59 | #91

    We would all (including you) be speaking German, but our trains would run on time.

  92. Freelander
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:04 | #92


    No. The Soviet Union despite all the flaws in its economy could have continued chugging along if they had not suffered the costs of their military and weapons, and, most importantly, if they had not lost the will to kill large numbers of people. The final factor is very important as China demonstrated. Yes, Reagan was a genius, and a brilliant actor too. An intellect undiminished even in his twilight years. Why didn’t they give him a Nobel?

  93. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:43 | #93


    Not Sure where you are getting the whole “lost the will to kill large numbers of people”. Considering that you have mentioned this twice, with the exact same wording I conclude that this is a pre-memorized script you are feeding me (along with the Marshal Plan bait… that also failed.) and you already have talking points laid out. Most likely direction… the number if Iraqi casualties since the start of the Iraq conflict. Whereupon you will quote some activist study that details the millions that the US has killed in the Iraq (and/or Afghanistan) conflict(s).

    I have had this discussion many times.

    The fact is that no one really knows how many innocent civillians have died during the Iraq conflict. Estimates vary wildly. The ones that you would most likely quote include civillian deaths from insugent activities (like suicide bomb detonations), deaths from disease (apparantly the US is responsible for how the Iraqi population choose to dispense with their sewage), deaths from “social stress” (IE: Iraqi on Iraqi due to the stress of our mere presence), and pretty much anything else that a person could die from. It’s ALL America’s fault.

    Flaws in this argument:
    Besides the obvious, (how can the US be responsible for insurgent activities?), the Hussein govt. routinely engaged in mass torture, rape, and murder of the Iraqi population, not to mention the genocidal acts against the Kurds and Iran. (to wit: the use of Chemical/Biological WMD) Remember when Bush 1 pormised the poeple of Iraq that the US would support a people’s rebellion against the Baathists, then… when the Shia of the south rebelled, Clinton reneged on the promise and Saddam slaughtered them?

    Coalition forces continue to find mass pit graves out in the desert to this day.

    As for Reagan’s Nobel… who knows? Apparently you qualify for making a fictitous movie about a non-existant problem, and for… well, doing NOTHING in the case of Obama.

    Ever since the Nobel was given to Anwar Sadat it’s pretty much become a joke. It’s just an opportunity for Left-wingers to congratulate themselves for being left-wingers (IMHO)


  94. Neil
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:54 | #94

    “The fact is that no one really knows how many innocent civillians have died during the Iraq conflict”

    Bleagh. Is there *anything* you people won’t deny?

  95. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:56 | #95


    “We would all (including you) be speaking German, but our trains would run on time.”

    Well, there you go then. America didn’t win it “All by ourselves”, but without us, it wouldn’t have been won by ANY OF YOU even when combined together. What was that about not being “top dog”? Nevermind.

    On behalf of the people of the United States, “Your’e Welcome, Freelander.” :)


  96. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:58 | #96

    @ Neil,

    Uh oh… the infamous “you people.”

    You know, in the States… thet might be considered “racist”. Might wanna think about that before you continue with your social generalizations.


  97. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 06:59 | #97

    excuse me… “that”. Sorry, fingers moved fater than my brain, which really isn’t that hard. ;P


  98. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 07:00 | #98

    Hahaha “Faster”. I’m such a clutz.


  99. Neil
    March 17th, 2010 at 07:03 | #99

    Racist? No, you did a pretty good job of pigeonholing yourself, Doc.

  100. Doc_Navy
    March 17th, 2010 at 07:07 | #100


    Really? How so, or is this jst unsubstatiated Ad hom because you don’t agree with what I have posted?


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