The betrayal of Dan Conway

Dan Conway is a minor character in Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged. He runs a Railroad in Colorado but when the industry introduces an Anti-dog eat dog Rule he gets shafted.

The Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule was described as a measure of “voluntary self regulation” intended “the better to enforce” the laws long since passed by the country’s Legislature. The Rule provided that the members of the National Alliance of Railroads were forbidden to engage in practices defined as “destructive competition”; that in regions declared to be restricted, no more than one railroad would be permitted to operate; that in such regions, seniority belonged to the oldest railroad now operating there, and that the newcomers, who had encroached unfairly upon its territory, would suspend operations within nine months after being so ordered; that the Executive Board of the National Alliance of Railroads was empowered to decide, at its sole discretion, which regions were to be restricted.

When the meeting adjourned, the men hastened to leave. There were no private discussions, no friendly loitering. The great hall became deserted in an unusually short time. Nobody spoke to or looked at Dan Conway.

That sets the scene for this exchange with Dagny Taggart:

“Why don’t you want to fight?”
“Because they had the right to do it.”
“Dan,” she asked, “have you lost your mind?”
“I’ve never gone back on my word in my life,” he said tonelessly. “I don’t care what the courts decide. I promised to obey the majority. I have to obey.”
“Did you expect the majority to do this to you?”
“No.” There was a kind of faint convulsion in the stolid face. He spoke softly, not looking at her, the helpless astonishment still raw within him.
“No, I didn’t expect it. I heard them talking about it for over a year, but I didn’t believe it. Even when they were voting, I didn’t believe it.”
“What did you expect?”
“I thought . . . They said all of us were to stand for the common good. I thought what I had done down there in Colorado was good. Good for everybody.”
“Oh, you damn fool! Don’t you see that that’s what you’re being punished for—because it was good?”
He shook his head. “I don’t understand it,” he said. “But I see no way out.”
“Did you promise them to agree to destroy yourself?”

This scene came to mind this afternoon when I read the latest outrage from the Australian Press Council – also an exercise in voluntary self-regulation. As a result of “self-regulation” newspaper columnists cannot hold their own opinions.

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55 Responses to The betrayal of Dan Conway

  1. HeathG

    This on the same day that Alan Jones has been told that his on-air apology wasn’t good enough, and has now been been given specific words to say in his apology.

    I’m no fan of Jones, but seriously – a forced apology using someone else’s words.. under duress.. it seems rather farcical.

  2. jupes

    The Council emphasises that this adjudication neither endorses nor rejects any particular theories or predictions about global warming and related issues.

    Hahahahahahahahahahah *snort* hahahahahahahahahahhah
    ahahahahahhahahahhah…stop it …. hahahahahahahahahah hahahah ahahahah ahahahahhah ahahahahhahahahahh ha ha ….hahahahah

  3. jupes

    But wait there’s more:

    It observes that on issues of such major importance the community is best served by frank disclosure and discussion rather than, for example, failure to acknowledge significant shorter- or longer-term trends in relevant data.

    Hahahahahahahahahahah…no please…hahahahaha hahahahah hah ahahahahahhahahahhah… no more…. hahahahahahahahahah hahahah ahahahah ahahahahhah ahahahahhahahahahh ha ha ….ha..ha..ha..ha..

  4. m0nty

    Oh no, the APC Official Wet Lettuce! However shall Bolt live with himself. What an eternal shame.

    The key passages in the ruling:

    The Press Council has concluded that Mr Bolt was clearly entitled to express his own opinion about the Met Office data but in doing so he needed to avoid conveying a misleading interpretation of the Met Office’s own views on its data.

    The Council has concluded that the statements by Mr Bolt quoted above in relation to sea and ice conditions were likely to be interpreted by many readers as indicating that the longer-term trends had ceased or were reversing. It agrees with the newspaper that Mr Bolt’s assertions about recent changes in sea and ice conditions were statistically compatible with the key data sources put forward by the complainants. But it agrees with the complainants that those data were also statistically compatible with continuance of the longer-term trends in the opposite directions from the shorter-term changes to which he referred. Pauses and even reverses in direction do not necessarily signify the end of a long-term trend and have occurred in earlier stages of the trends in question here.

    Bolt is perfectly entitled to hold his own opinions. But when publishing them, he must label them as opinions, not facts. He is not entitled to his own facts. His problem was that he was parading his opinion and pretending it was fact.

  5. Harold

    How can “15 years” be misinterpreted as a time frame? It’s 15 BLOODY YEARS.

  6. Gab

    What never ceases to amaze me is that it only takes one complaint – which is mostly opinion – from one person to the Press Council and they’re onto to the case likes flies on a rotting corpse.

    To whom does one complain about the government’s Press Council?

  7. manalive

    …..pauses and even reverses in direction do not necessarily signify the end of a long-term trend and have occurred in earlier stages of the trends in question here …
    In future what needs to be said by Bolt or any other commentator is that although there has been temperature stasis for 12 years (or maybe more) it is nonetheless warmer the it was in the depths of the Little Ice Age (which was about as cold as it’s got in the past 6000 years).

  8. jupes

    He is not entitled to his own facts.

    However Tim Flannery, Al Gore and the rest of the climate change bed wetters are.

  9. Gab

    I wonder if the complainat, Gary Ellett, is the same one that wrote this to the Victorian Climate Change Department?

  10. jupes

    …and they’re onto to the case likes flies on a rotting corpse.

    Well, very slow flies anyway.

    The complaint was made in February. It has taken them ten months to adjudicate on something that should have taken a couple of hours at the most.

    And they still came to the wrong conclusion.

  11. Gab

    Oh. I thought it was lodged in November, Jupes. My mistake.

  12. jupes

    Well Bolt’s article was published on 1st February so I assume that the complaint was made soon after.

  13. Talleyrand

    Assuming the individuals named as complainants to the Press Council are those individuals who authored such comments as below:

    Mr Ellett:

    <a href="http://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/130245/Gary-Ellett.pdf“>

    Quote
    “6. amends the Environment Protection Act 1970 to enable the Environment
    Protection Authority (EPA) to recommend that the Governor in Council make
    regulations to allow the EPA to regulate the emission of greenhouse gas
    substances
    - This is a very important amendment, and should remove the creation and
    enforcement of targets away from ever-changing governments (see the first
    and second points of the Terms of Reference). There is little difference
    between the emissions of carbon dioxide and the emissions of other known
    harmful substances.
    - Something is required to prevent a repeat of the EPA’s strange decision to
    approve an additional coal-fired power station. i.e. Who watches the
    watchdog? ”

    The Author here appears to dislike the rights of Parliament to make decisions that effect the EPA; and expressed emissions of C02 as a dangerous substance as little different from that of say Dioxins or Cynanide gas.

    Bob Thomas:
    http://climatesummit.org.au/presentations/

    Excerpt:
    “Hi. My name is Bob Thomas, and I’m here today as one of the 18 Trainers for Transition accredited in Australia by the Transition Network. I am also one of the founding members of CANWin, Climate Action Now, Wingecarribee, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, the organisation that spawned Transition Shire Wingecarribee and Transition Town Bundanoon. Though you probably have heard of none of these organisations, you just may have heard of one of our Transition projects, Bundy-on-Tap, the name of the program by which Bundanoon became the first town in the world to rid itself of commercially bottled water.

    Yes Mr Bob Thomas, the terrible water bottle threat to the world’s climate now averted in our Northern Rivers NSW.

    As a general principle, and not on the basis of the any of the above comments, I hope that any possible conflict of interest between complainants and their involvement in industries being criticised by journalists is noted up front.

    Interesting that in the case of Bolt there were no scientific rebuttal of arguments are made, just quibbles about what the UK Met Office wrote.

    Jo Nova today (13-12-12) on the predicted versus observed temperatures from a variety of data sources.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/the-ipcc-was-wrong-england-and-the-abc-mislead-australians/

    Jo Nova ”
    The Facts:
    The IPCC used the word “prediction” in 1990 and predicted a best estimate of 0.3°C with a range of 0.2°C – 0.5°C per decade
    Even with the most generous overestimate of current trends, the temperature trend has fallen below their lowest estimate, while CO2 emissions were higher than expected. The 1990 predictions can not be called “true”, “consistent” or to have “occurred” by any definition in any English dictionary.”

    APC please direct yourself to ABC’s 80m of Sea Rise by Robin Williams, the SBS, and other Government Media outlets such as Australian Climate Commission’s Tim Flannery for repeated examples of errors in presentation, data omission, and failures to retract/fact check absurd predictions of massive rises in sea, temperature, CO2, phlogiston, and noxious Miasmas, etc, by such groups.

    Only then can will I see you as balanced and fair, and not partisan and a dangerous yoke on the press.

    Otherwise please F Off.

  14. Woolfe

    Gab,
    Mr Ellet signs off his letters with:

    We are the stewards of the world, charged with maintaining it for future generations and for all other species.

    LOL!

  15. H B Bear

    When the government is outlawing offence, why can’t someone regulate your opinions too?

  16. Pedro

    “Given the great public importance of these issues, Mr Bolt should have acknowledged explicitly that all of the three changes in question were comparatively short-term and were statistically compatible with continuance of the long-term trends in the opposite direction.”

    Fark, talk about micro-management of the press. This really is ridiculous. But what makes the PC so sure they are correct in their direction of the media?

    I suppose it helps if you can read minds:

    “The Council has concluded that the statements by Mr Bolt quoted above in relation to sea and ice conditions were likely to be interpreted by many readers as indicating that the longer-term trends had ceased or were reversing”

  17. Alfonso

    That law was in place and Dan trusted the comrades not to use it?
    There’s your problem.
    Dan needed to flog his horse before it died, while never realising full price, he’d be spread between Bahamas and the Suisse, Dan’s now a new Swiss citizen, with the aim of protecting his wealth rather than avoiding tax, and the comrades can go and root their boots.

  18. Gab

    The Council has concluded that the statements by Mr Bolt quoted above in relation to sea and ice conditions were likely to be interpreted by many readers as indicating that the longer-term trends had ceased or were reversing”

    Really? Just because they in the government’s Press Council have appalling command of English doesn’t mean we do!

  19. Lazlo

    OK It’s open season on Fauxfacts reporting on matters climate now. Let’s deluge the PC.

  20. J.H.

    They are criticizing him because he didn’t represent the “trends”…. WTF!!!…Go back 10 thousand years and the average earth temperature is cooling…. Go back further and its heating again.

    ….. The current rate of change is not anything out of the ordinary…. Compared with the Younger Dryas it’s positively slow.

    I don’t get this Press Council…. They are straight out of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

    Getting pretty fuggin’ sick of it.

  21. .

    Press Council?

    What a pack of fascist arseholes.

  22. DaveF

    Looks like that Ellott guy is pretty keen on CAGW, he made a long submission to Garnaut as well.

    One World Government, rationing, a new economic system, murder people in poor countries overpopulation, education, education, leadership by the wise.

    Heard it all before.

    TL;DR he wants to be in charge of the Earth because its only people who think his way are responsible enough for this awesome power.

    Anybody know what sort of a suburb Glen Waverley is?

  23. Borisgodunov

    Gab whatvin the name of GOD are these “Public Funded Fools ” talking about ! Over Verbalised Unispeak ,even they dont understand ,although they think they do ! Defunding Required ! Urgently.

  24. DaveF

    Dan Conway type businessmen where a running theme in the book.

    Her brother was basically the same, he believed in get along to get along. Others were more naked in their fear, I’m thinking the other steel mills that Reardon was putting out of business but they got their comeuppance and saw the light eventually.

  25. Lazlo

    Didn’t take long to find one..
    We can start with this vs this

  26. Gab

    I speak totalitarian, Boris so I don’t quite know what they’re on about although I do recognise media oppression when I see it.

    ———————————

    OK It’s open season on Fauxfacts reporting on matters climate now. Let’s deluge the PC.

    That’s a really good thought, however I’m afraid it would change nothing. You see, you cannot go to the government Press Council and complain about government Fauxfacts journalists because those journalists tow the government propaganda line on the climate scam.

    No increase in warming according to the Met’s own charts means warming is a continuing trend. Get it? If not, the re-educate camp you will go, along with Alan Jones.

    Remember…

    “The chief function of [government] propaganda is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time so they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on their mind.”

    – Julia Gillard, Moine Koemph.

    The ABC and Fairfax will never ever question the climate scam.

  27. Gab

    I DON’T speak totalitarian…

  28. Gab

    Didn’t take long to find one..
    We can start with this vs this

    Go for it, Laszlo. As I said, the government’s Press Council acts on complaints even when only one complaint is received from one person. So do it and get back to us when the PC doesn’t uphold your complaint.

  29. Rabz

    So do it and get back to us when the PC doesn’t uphold your complaint.

    Wonderful. Seconded, Gab.

    Laz, I’ll look forward to the fascist goons tying themselves in knots rejecting your complaint.

  30. DaveF

    Gab and Rabz you have to remember these institutions have a double standard. Any complaints from the non statist/leftist/received wisdom crew are rejected under various guises.

    Mt favourite recent one was the ABC who basically told me they didn’t run a story because it wasn’t in the public interest. Not because it was untrue, not because it wasn’t interesting and worthwhile.

    Good luck if you try.

  31. Carpe Jugulum

    Anybody know what sort of a suburb Glen Waverley is?

    Middle/lower income, moderate amount of public housing, the local council is Monash and Mildly green. Federal Member is Alan Griffin (ALP) a highly forgettable party flunkie.

    I built the new secondary college there, it is kind of a shithole & the children are ill disciplined turds.

  32. DaveF

    Thanks Carpe – that’s where Mr Ellett lives, I was hoping for leafy upper class suburb, oh well.

  33. one old bruce

    Are they scientists?

  34. one old bruce

    Are scientists journalists?

    Does anyone have a monopoly on:

    1 facts
    2 reporting?

  35. Gab

    I believe it’s a case of the judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

    Where does one go to complain about the Press Council?

  36. nilk

    There is little difference
    between the emissions of carbon dioxide and the emissions of other known
    harmful substances.

    What on earth is that Ellett* fellow breathing in that case? We breathe CO2 in as well as out.

    Well I do, I dunno about him.

    *looking at the tweets on the link, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is him. It’s all about the climate, baby.

  37. nilk

    Carpe, a few upwardly mobile hipsters in Glen Waverley, along students, also.

    It’s a nicer post code than where I abide, and it’s priced to match.

  38. nilk

    Oh yes, and Alan Griffin is so committed to the ALP that in the several years I’ve been hanging around his electorate I’ve never received any junk mail information on which Party he actually belongs to.

  39. DaveF

    Sounds like him nilk. Hardly a prolific twitterer, however.

    18 months ago:

    Juggling time between renovations, energy providers, solar hot water, and hosting a “Copenhagen: what it means to me and my kids” session

    Probably still working on these projects.

  40. Entropy

    So what would happen to a journo that ignored Theresa council? A strongly worded letter?

  41. Entropy

    So what would happen to a journo that ignored the press council? A strongly worded letter?

  42. Carpe Jugulum

    It’s a nicer post code than where I abide

    I’m slumming it at 3929 at the moment.

  43. DaveF

    Look at Alan Jones. The Anti Discrimination mob have limited, but some, powers and it took them 7 years to get a weak result.

    I reckon the Press Council has no power bar the bully pulpit. It’s voluntary anyway I think.

  44. manalive

    …..pauses and even reverses in direction do not necessarily signify the end of a long-term trend and have occurred in earlier stages of the trends in question here …
    Bolt must be very careful what he writes about global temperature trends to avoid further sanction; does this determination also affect economics writers when commenting on economic trends or ,say, sports writers commenting on individual, team or country result trends?

  45. nilk

    Wow, so a man who makes a living writing opinions is not allowed to give his opinions on a)aboriginals and race in general, b)weather – oh, sorry I meant climate and b)anything else the overlords deem fit.

    Freedom of speech is so last century.

    Jones being sent to re-education camp is another one who has doubleplus ungood opinions.

    I guess if they take down those few who do dare to speak out, they expect the rest of the drones will just hunker down and attempt to wait it out.

  46. nilk

    PIMF. I meant “c)anything else the overlords deem fit.”

  47. Gab

    No, Nilk he is allowed to give his opinion as long as it is in concert with government opinion.

  48. DaveF

    re: shouting down CAGW sceptics I’ve noticed Angry Anderson has been left alone.

    I figure he’s too close to their heart ie anti establishment rocker who unfortuneatly has a different-and wrong, so wrong- opinion from them.

    They need to keep their rock icons from their formative years on a pedestal.

    Love the luvvies.

  49. Biota

    We are fast heading back to the dark ages and its inquisition.

  50. nilk

    That is not his opinion, Gab. He may as well get a job reading the news [sic].

  51. M Ryutin

    It is all becoming a bit like a world game, this so-called ‘lawfare’. It is really just simple fraud. ‘Fairness’ in Andrew Bolt reporting is really to stop/control his reporting altogether on certain topics – whether on climate, Aboriginality or whatever (Muslims come next I expect). Fights for ‘environmentally sustainable’development control over oil and other pipelines means “No pipelines and we will do whatever we can to delay them until you give up” (witness the spurious Keystone ad other pipeline campaigns targeted at Canadian oil sands). And so it goes. One day the supine main stream media might call all of it for the fraud that it is, but until then the media enablers of the con artists will continue to assist the fraudsters, unhindered already, as they are, by the weakest of conservative politicians. It is a ‘world game’ because it is international money which washes through all these campaigns, whether it be American money from the Tides and Ford Foundations plus the Sierra Club and its front groups, or local fraudsters.

  52. brc

    I don’t know why bolt doesn’t give news the flick and set up a blog in the USA, where the luvvies couldn’t do jack about what he says.

  53. Nick De Cusa

    The big problem here is where we have all these “Good Germans” who refuse to admit that this is an open and shut case of science fraud.

  54. johno

    It’s a long time since I last re-read Atlas that I have forgotten how insightful she was.

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