Rafe’s Roundup 6 June

D-Day at home and abroad. Commentary from Don Aitkin. He touched on something that has troubled me for a long time, how many times have you seen any estimate of the number of civilians who died in the battles that raged across France? “Not everyone remembers that the French themselves lost thousands of people as a result of the Allied bombing that preceded the landings and through the conflict itself. The city of Caen was almost destroyed. There is no cemetery to celebrate the lives of the 30,000 or so civilians who died there.”

45 years on. Not quite on a par with D Day, on June 6 1969 I arrived in Sydney with all my things in a Vauxhall Viva De Luxe to live in a small room in Glebe to read in the Fisher Library, study sociology and sort out some problems in the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences. It took longer than expected because sociology at the Uni of NSW turned out to be a complete crock.

Foreign aid. Holding back the Third World, the damage done by foreign aid, and supporting tyrants and kleptomaniacs. Sir Peter Bauer. William Easterly carries on the good work.

Climate stuff. A historical feature, the thread of doom on Troppo in 2011 that signalled the divide that opened up between apparently reasonable people on the global warming issue with a warning that the ALP would crash and burn as a result of the alliance with the Greens. Is there a scientific consensus? Don Aitkin on the supposed consensus. Carbon capture. Don’t stand or live too close!

Books. Books in Paris. First editions from the 1940s. A genuine bargain for students of economics. More selections for the discriminating collector of historical sea logs. Food books. More interesting titles.

Book reviews. My review of Casssandra Pybus on McAuley. Review of my book Misreading Popper.

Book prizes. Gerard Henderson gets a gig to help with a non-fiction book award. Fairly predictable commentary from The Age.

How we live. Making the office a happy and healthy place. Cedric Koon versus The Coward Punch.

Around the town. IPA HEY. The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Liberty on the Rocks, the notice board for the ATA: Quadrant on line, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog
Don Aitkin.
Jim Rose, feral and utopian!

For nerds. Melvyn Bragg’s radio program. Coronation, Social Contract and All That. Anthony de Jasay’s June column shows “scant respect for the popularly accepted views of political obedience, collective choice, and the role of government.” He explores the perception that the individual owes some obedience to the state and the asymmetry that exists between individual and collective choice. The “social contract,” that oft-used term, is unpacked, and de Jasay considers the significance of the rule-making process in social life, particularly at the constitutional level.

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7 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 6 June

  1. Rabz

    the thread of doom on Troppo in 2011

    Wow – that is one suppository of stupid – and I only lasted about twenty comments.

  2. daggers

    Thanks for posting your review of Pybus’ disgrace.

  3. Zatara

    “Not everyone remembers that the French themselves lost thousands of people as a result of the Allied bombing that preceded the landings and through the conflict itself. The city of Caen was almost destroyed. There is no cemetery to celebrate the lives of the 30,000 or so civilians who died there.”

    There is an important lesson there that the West has all but forgotten. When you are weak or incompetent the battles get fought on your soil, not your enemy’s.

    Depth and therefore the opportunity to fight at arms length so to speak (at least in terms of your cities and citizens) is gained by competent, powerful forward deployed forces, and strong alliances.

    Yes, intercontinental nuclear weapons somewhat negate that truism but if the nuclear Genie is let out of the bottle all bets are off.

  4. Bill

    I think you may find that civilian casualties in Caen were far less than 30,000. Perhaps no more than when Edward III sacked the place in 1346.

  5. Token

    A recommendation picked up from the latest episode Radio Free Dellingpole where Peter Foster of the Canadian Financial Post talks about his new book – Why We Bite the Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism.

    It is interesting to read what Peter Foster proposes as why the complicated message of economics is not easy to communicate to the broader public.

    Henderson noted that from the “mutually supporting notions” of do-it-yourself economics “comes a view of market processes as anarchic, amoral, ineffective and biased against the weak. This view does not involve a conscious rejection of the orthodox economist’s vision of reality, but rather a lack of awareness of what this vision comprises.” In other words, so reflexive are these largely spurious ideas that it simply does not occur to people that they might be both wrong and dangerous, and that there might be an alternative way of thinking.

    I found Henderson’s observations, which I read in his book Innocence and Design, fascinating, but what intrigued me was the psychological origins of such widespread fallacy. Why would people almost universally embrace erroneous ideas, and — like Ignacio — be impervious to their adverse consequences?

  6. Empire

    Book prizes. Gerard Henderson gets a gig to help with a non-fiction book award. Fairly predictable commentary from The Age.

    Dyrenfurth is a sure thing for any prize in cognitive dissonance. FMD.

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