Rafe’s Roundup Jan 5

Andrew Bolt posts from the Holy Land.

Stand on the top of sheer Masada, probably Israel’s most inspiring and memorable landmark, and you can see the ruins of the palace built by Herod, a king so powerful that historians call him “the Great”.

See, deep below on the plain, the outlines still of the camp of an army of a Roman empire so powerful that it seemed fated to last forever. That empire, too, is long gone.  Around you is country over which fought pharaohs, the generals of Alexander the Great, and the great kings of Babylon and Persia .

From the sublime to something else. Vlad Putin sings “Blueberry Hill”. If you are in a hurry fast forward to 1.25.

Is that real or is someone having a lend of us?

Trouble in the Chinese paradise.

“China has uncovered 531bn yuan [AUD$81.5bn] of irregularities in local government debts…

“There are growing concerns about the amount of bad loans being held by local governments.”

Organizations and Markets, top posts for 2011.  Viva les French Fries.

Most people don’t know that France is McDonald’s second-most popular market, despite the presumed French distaste for les choses américaine. Knowledge @ Whaton has a nice piece suggesting that the firm’s willingness to cater to French tastes explains its success over local and multinational rivals.

French fries of a different kind. Tim Blair on car burning as  recreation.

Ruminations by a Tintin fan. I had a deprived childhood, only finding Tintin when I had children of my own. Still, better late than never.

So the new Tintin movie, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, opened in Australia on Boxing Day. As a die-hard fan of Tintin, the creation of Georges Remi known as Hergé (1907-1983), I will have to see it, though I have serious doubts that the movie can remotely match my expectations given it originates from books that are amongst the most favorite in my life.

Baa Bas the elephant is fun as well. Not to mention Pooh Bear.

Climate realist puts his house on the line in a legal case against the hockey stick evidence hiders.

John O’Sullivan is putting in above and beyond what any single skeptical soul ought to. He’s already been a key figure helping Tim Ball in the legal fight with the UVA establishment, which has spent over a million dollars helping Michael Mann to hide emails. The case was launched by Michael Mann, but could turn out to do a huge favor to skeptics — the discovery process is a powerful tool, and we all know who has been hiding their methods, their data, and their work-related correspondence.

Two weeks in Israel with a mob of Christians and Jews. [0ld news but possibly of interest to supplement Andrew Bolt’s impressions.]

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5 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup Jan 5

  1. Winston Smith says:

    “China has uncovered 531bn yuan [AUD$81.5bn] of irregularities in local government debts…”
    That would have to be the top 1% of the iceberg, Rafe.
    Corruption riots have been a feature of Chinese life for a couple of decades now, and the Communist Party can’t keep the lid on it forever.
    And when they do crack down, expect all kinds of repercussions. Would we see 10 million boat people?

  2. kelly liddle says:

    I am curious to know your opinion of Ron Paul. I see him as the only hope for a relatively soft landing for the US as he is the only contender I believe that would attempt to balance the US budget and he isn’t a war monger. Things will still get worse probably through high inflation. Any of the other issues are secondary to me.

    Hey I read the link to the house on the line guy and donated some money towards The Tim Ball legal fund. Only a little but hopefully many will do the same so thanks for the link effectively to a good cause.

    I can find a trillion dollar bad loan by the Chinese and that is US treasuries. They will get the cash back but it will be hot off the printing press and less valuable.

  3. Oh come on says:

    That Putin Blueberry Hill footage has been around for quite a while.

    Considering the guy’s a fascist arsehole (and very probably a closet multi-billionaire who became so by plundering his country’s natural resources, backed by thuggish Russian state apparatus), that’s one of the cooler things he’s done. Kudos for that singalong, I reckon…

  4. Skuter says:

    Rafe, I think I read somewhere that last year the Chinese government quietly wrote off around $4 trillion yuan worth of debts accumulated by provincial and local governments. From memory, I think it was on Chris Joye’s blog…I’ll check it out and get back to you…

  5. Skuter says:


    Looks like the Chinese government denied the write off…

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