Rafe’s roundup August 17

In your face Melbourne! We think differently up here, thanks to the influence of the great freethinker John Anderson. This is his defence of the critical tradition in education against the “commercialisation of the academy”. Not a bad effort for 1935.

Is Getup getting up another devious gee-up? Daddy Dave, supersleuth, sniffed out this one.

Mules of the world,  unite and resist Big Government. Just found this site. See what you think about it.

Check out the Libertarian Alliance in Britain, headed by the hyperactive Sean Gabb.

Steve Horwitz is talking about the role of popular culture in perpetuating anti-capitalist mythology.

How many of you guys are doctoring your personal records for posterity? Apparently Roy Harrod was arranging stuff for his biographers from a very early age!

“A Conservative Teacher” gives a heads  up on some non-lethal weapons that could keep the British riots from taking hold in the US.

The fall of the midwest economic model, Democrat ascendency in a heap of states built on the New Deal thing about big business and big unions.

The repudiation of the Midwestern model has played out most dramatically in Wisconsin, where government unions were recognized in 1959. On the streets of Madison—a small city dominated by state government and a giant state university—liberals demonstrated against Gov. Scott Walker’s reforms. Ludicrously, they depicted public employees as an oppressed proletariat and they proved ready to break the law with violence in the streets and casuistry in the courts.

Jo Nova on spin at the ABC. We pay money for this? Media Watch will go after this like a shark.

My eldest son, based in Boston, has got on the board with a story in a collection.

Tomorrow my youngest son Tom goes to Adelaide to collect a prize in the Children’s Book Council awards. This is the book. These are the short lists for the awards. I am going to represent the co-author Kilmeny Niland and the illustrator Deborah Niland.  Deborah was short listed in her own right but missed out on a gong for that book. This is a consolation prize, not the major gong.

In case you missed. The serialised summary of  The Climate Caper is now on line at one link, as are extracts from John Grover’s book on  the anti-nuclear caper and the series of  papers on the policies of the Greens.

New on line. A letter from Les Darcy to one of his great friends and supporters, Father Coady, a parish priests from Maitland. Coady was a great follower of  all sports, he took an interest in Darcy’s career and become something of a mentor and confidant.  Pag1, page 2, page 3.

The writer/researcher Darcy Niland obtained the letter from Father Coady, a very short time before the old man died. Les Darcy wrote the letter while he was in the Quarantine Station at North Head, near Manly, where he had to spend some time during a smallpox scare on the boat where he and his companion Mick Hawkins were bound for Brisbane. The letter relates how he went over the wall with a little fireman (stoker) and took the Manly ferry to town to see Mick King fight Jeff Smith at the old Stadium. He describes how he thought Smith was a  clear winner and how he put a few bob on Smith to humour two spectators beside him who desperately wanted to back King. To his surprise the verdict went to King!

The last line of the letter reads that Mick would like to be kindly remembered to you.

The text in the margin refers to the difficult relationship between the very rough diamond Mick and the very proper Dave Smith who was Darcy’s coach and manager at the time. Smith was later an alderman on the Mosman Council. It reads “he is getting on pretty good with Dave so far. Dave said to me we will have to try and make him a good rubber, he is a good fellow…”

Another letter that Les Darcy sent from the US. This is a copy of the typescript that was kept by the authorities when they intercepted some of  his mail from the US, presumably as a part of the campaign against his as a “slacker” and “draft dodger”. The original letter was handwritten and Les talks about getting a portable typewriter so his letters in future may be typed.

It is a very long letter, starting with an account of meeting the strange, shifty figure of O’sullivan or “Sully” who helped to arrange his getaway, in return for payment of his own way and other expenses in the US.  Then some details of stowing away and the voyage to South America, then a change of transport to a tanker bound for New York. Then the tumultuous welcome and the sharks coming from all directions to get a piece of the action when he got into the ring.

O’Sullivan posed as  his manager and pretended that he had a contract for 25% of Darcy’s winnings. Darcy denied this and O’Sullivan then created huge problems by travelling in parallel with Darcy and spreading the story across the country that Darcy was a lowlife and a draft dodger (as he was himself, though the press didn’t mention that).

There is a lot of complicated detail about contracts for fights that did not happen for various reasons. And reference to a vaudeville tour that he did to keep fit and earn some money before fights were organised.

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12 Responses to Rafe’s roundup August 17

  1. m0nty

    The comments on that Jo Nova piece are hilarious, as the idiots calling for a royal commission into AGW debate amongst themselves about why the Victorian black balloons ads prove that CO2 is weightless. What morons!

  2. daddy dave

    Tomorrow my youngest son Tom goes to Adelaide to collect a prize in the Children’s Book Council awards. This is the book.

    Congrats to your son, Rafe.

  3. Rococo Liberal

    So why is a Royal Commission such a bad idea Monty?

    Are you against the only real finders of truth, Judges, actually reviewing the stuff put out by AGW alarmists?

  4. Peter Patton


    Surely, you dopey uneducated c4, you mean “A Parliamentary Commission” now, as you say, ‘the parliament has replaced the king.

    Every yours

    Curate’s Egg.

  5. m0nty

    So why is a Royal Commission such a bad idea Monty?

    Are you against the only real finders of truth, Judges, actually reviewing the stuff put out by AGW alarmists?

    There are several reasons why it would be dumb.

    Most of the science is done overseas, especially the stuff that the right would like to attack like ClimateGate. There would be little point to a commission mostly confined to Australian sources, as it would inevitably be.

    Any Royal Commission that wouldn’t be laughed out of session would ignore the media darlings like Flannery or Monckton, and deal with the actual science by talking to actual scientists who specialise in the relevant fields. Thus your hopes of a witch hunt into “AGW alarmists” would be outside the terms of reference. Which would, presumably, make you less than excited about it, because since the vast majority of scientists and the vast majority of literature in the field supports AGW, you’d be disappointed to find that the commissioner would most likely not feel it within the limits of his credibility to gainsay the scientific establishment. That would be a waste of everyone’s time.

  6. manalive

    I don’t know about a Royal Commission, but an independent audit of this ought to be an Abbott government priority.

  7. daddy dave

    A Royal Commission ain’t gonna happen any time in the foreseeable future. Never say never but it’s politically impossible at this point in time.
    Forget it.
    Try a different tack.

  8. Peter Patton

    On Melbourne, can those familiar with U.Melb ad the ANU explain how they always are ranked higher – sometimes considerably than U.Syd in international university rankings? I’m not being a knob, as for what it’s worth, I think there’s very little room in our provincial partof the world to get hoity about your uni. But just what it is about ANU and Melb that makes so demonstrably superior to Sydney?


  9. JC

    I read somewhere that these league tables are mostly bullshit.

  10. M Ryutin

    As for Newsstand, sheer ‘Astroturf’. Even the most amateurish ‘citizen journalist’ who can search the net finds out what this is all about and what links are belting you in the face.

    Lenore Taylor inadvertently let the cat out of the bag with an article very rich in details on Aug 12. (http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/poll-shows-support-for-media-regulation-inquiry-20110811-1iox0.html) and it is to her credit that she did some initial follow-up. Or, as is most likely, the totally Green-backed (especially official Australian Green-backed) pressure and Astroturf groups felt safe to talk to her seeing her commitment to their causes.

    Check her references as to ‘support’ for this campaign by “Newsstand”. Getup, its founder. Avaaz, founded by Getups own founders (as it boasts openly) and itself initially funded by various US groups including the Soros-linked Moveon.org.
    Newsstand backed/advised by Media Matters for America, another Soros-front. Avaaz claiming much credit for getting the Murdoch UK BSky-B takeover stopped and lets the cat out of the bag by stating on its web site the anti- Murdoch aim: “The government has been forced to extract concessions from Murdoch, and delayed a decision on the deal — costing Murdoch billions AND GIVING US MORE TIME TO STOP HIM FOR GOOD” (my capitalisation).

    Commercial war against Murdoch (due to, my suggestion is, the Fox News niche market success (50 % of the population not catered for in the heritage media) is also the aim of a major adviser and Soros group – MM for A.

    Looking at the linked and advisory groups for the campaign to have an enquiry, you see Green associates, Bob Brown ex-staffers everywhere. Check The Australia institute and Centre for Policy development. The first includes Richard Denniss (“Richard has also worked as Strategy Adviser to the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja”…you get the picture….

    The second group, Centre for Policy Development is sheer Green and ALP interests. Senior management majority single interest green/environment and, as ever, stated ‘progressive’ policy. Board studded with usual suspects, direct ALP connections and ex ALP bureaucrats/ union leaders etc . Even has the Trade union connected and ALP- sympathetic pollster actually on the Board – Essential Polling.

    This is a good one for a REAL investigative journalist to uncover. Straight political, straight Green, straight astroturf. I do’nt claim that they are not sincere in their plans to topple Murdoch and have Green control for political reasons, but passing themselves off as “the interested public” is laughable and fits perfectly the Astroturf label.

  11. Rococo Liberal


    If you are so sure that the Royal Commission would back your opinion, then you ought to support the idea.

    The fact is that judges are for more rigorously trained that nay scientist to determine truth based on evidence. In any case, the point is that in our society, the law is our finder of truth of last resort, not the government and certainly not scientists. The latter are at best expert witnesses, not finders of fact.

  12. Tiddly Pom

    “the only real finders of truth, Judges….. the fact is that judges are for more rigorously trained that nay scientist to determine truth based on evidence”.

    I am tempted to describe that simply as lawyers being full of themselves bullshit, but for politeness’s sake let’s just say that it is over the top in this context. Whatever the rigour of judges’ training, it is not in highly complex science. As M0nty says, there is no way they could determine anything definitive about contested science, which is what this is about.

    Furthermore, the law as it is practised – as judges are trained in – is adversarial. A major problem in the climate debate is just how adversarial, with sides taken rather than reliance on objective and transparent science, it already is. But injecting another element of adversarialism with no expertise in the issues will sort it?

    This is not to defend the current state of climate science or the way many of its lead practitioners have conducted themselves. It is to say that it will take scientists effect a cure, not lawyers.

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