Author Archives: Poor Old Rafe

The organized Skeptics go soft

Some decades ago the organized skeptics of Australia had a lot of credibility, at least the group in New South Wales which picked up a million dollar bequest from a man in Queensland who liked the magazine which was edited … Continue reading

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David Leyonhjelm on Assisted Suicide

From The Fin Review There is no better indication of individual freedom than the ability to decide what to do with our own body. If the law prevents us from making free choices about it then we are not really … Continue reading

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On the not so blue Danube

Your central European correspond is now located on the Danube at Vienna, having sailed up from Budapest, a 23-hour journey at 6 to 7 miles per hour against a strong current, perhaps in the order of 5 knots,. There was … Continue reading

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The need for scientific controversy

Critical thinking is one of the motors of science, along with boldness, independence and the burning desire to know the truth about the way things work. And “the gift of wonder” as someone said, possibly Einstein. That kind of science … Continue reading

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George Orwell on socialism, capitalism and totalitarianism

This is a regrettably slow-paced talk by David Ramsay Steele, now a libertarian, who was once a Marxist but such a serious and critical scholar that he saw through the whole socialist/collectivist thing and turned against it. The talk is … Continue reading

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Rafe’s Roundup 31 August

Not much good news around at present. Tasmania made it to the international news in Britain with the Big Sheep. Some light relief: crashing wind turbines and a problem with demolition. The history of Europe in maps, note especially the … Continue reading

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Pedro Schwartz at the University of Buckingham

Off to Buckingham today to hear Pedro Schwartz talk about “Coase on China: Property rights and transaction costs revisited”. Schwartz is a Spanish economist and libertarian, connected with the Cato Institute and the Mont Pelerin Society. He writes an essay … Continue reading

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David Leyonhjelm’s guest post “An UnhealthyApproach to Health”

Published as an op ed in The Fin Review. Popular thinking about the role of government is all over the place. Nothing exemplifies the muddle more than the widespread support for massively increased government spending on medical research, and the … Continue reading

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Lauren Bacall 1924-2014

RIP.

Posted in Rafe | 15 Comments

The importance of folk songs in the Baltic states

Our tour guides in Tallinn (Estonia) and Riga (Latvia) both made a point of the vital importance of folk songs and public singing in the cultural and political life of these small and much invaded and tyrannized states. Riga can … Continue reading

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