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Ronald Balfour Corbett, CBE (4 December 1930 – 31 March 2016)


Professor Bob Carter, 1942-2016

There are quite a few of these anti-AGW-Alarmists floating about Oz, and Prof. Carter was certainly one of the most entertaining. Here is how Jennifer Marohasy begins her remembrance of Dr. Carter.

Nobody Lives in a World Climate: Professor Bob Carter 1942-2016
By jennifer on January 21, 2016 in Information

OUTSPOKEN critic of catastrophic global warming theory, Bob Carter, died in Townsville on Tuesday.

Professor Carter did not like the term sceptic, he considered himself a rationalist, and popular usage of the term ‘climate change’ a tautology. As he wrote frequently: the geological record tells us that climate always changes. In Professor Carter’s passing we have lost a person who believed in value-free science.

When he was still directing the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, Professor Carter spent an evening with me at his home in Townsville poring over a single chart that was a proxy record of New Zealand’s climate over the last several thousand years. The time series data had been printed out on a long and continuous roll of paper: longer than the kitchen table so the end of the chart, that portion representing the present, was often dangling somewhere near the floor.


UPDATE: Here is one of Prof. Carter’s recent talks, from ICCC10 — the Heartland Institute’s 10th International Conference on Climate Change — held last June in Washington. It’s entitled “The Counter-consensus: Adaptation Versus Mitigation.” (The Heartland Institute’s page listing and linking to all the talks at the Conference, is here.)

Portrait of Miss Lucy as a Young Dog

Everybody says his dog is the sweetest dog in the world, but in this case it happened to be true. She was a gift from the Young Miss in Aug., 2000, and it was instant love. She was probably around 2 months old, we think; the sign said “shepherd mix,” but the vet and lots of others, including me, thought part Pit.

I have never seen a more pro-human dog in my life. I’ve always said she’d be a great guard-dog: When the burglars arrive she will offer them ham sandwiches and beer, and then show them to the valuables. (I have a fairly good-sized collection of junk jewellery, and of course there’s always the plastic silverware. Poor burglars–they should have quit when they were ahead!)

She was also pro-dog, and in general pro-critter unless she and the critter were separated by a door or window. Then you’d think the house was on fire. “Help! Fear! Fire! Foes! Call the cops!!!” She loved tug-o-war, and would bring me the rope so we could play. We also used to “fight” a lot. I would pretend-slap her on the nose, and she never growled nor barked but she would open her mouth as if to grasp me in those ferocious jaws. When that got old for her, she would entice me to chase her.

At some point very early this year she developed cancer, and last week it seemed to all of us that it was Time.

I love The Luce, and I think she’d have made a swell cover girl. She was around 8 1/2 in this photo.



Lucy -- Christmas, 2008

Lucy — Christmas, 2008

Robert Conquest RIP.

The finest Historian of his generation, and a gutsy one too. He told the truth about Lenin and Stalin and the Terror that was the Soviet Union, at a time when many on the Left refused to believe it (and many still do) or if they did believe it, thought that you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs… Er 100 million of them.

To Stalin one death is a tragedy but 20 million a statistic. Yep that’s your warm cuddly Communism for you, raw in tooth and claw.

Meanwhile our own dear Comrade Corbyn continues his march to become leader of the Labour Party. There is a saying… If you do not know your history you are doomed to repeat it. You can bet your house (and you may have to) that Jeremy hasn’t read a word of Conquest’s The Great Terror.

RIP Sir Christopher Lee

RIP Christopher Lee

It was with shock I read earlier today of the death of Sir Christopher Lee. :-( Not just a great actor, but a great human being who should serve as a role model to all of us. He was simultaneously multi-talented and honest, having a career that included being a Nazi hunter, multi-linguist who loved Opera and also created a heavy metal album about his distant ancestor Charlemagne.

“I’ve seen many men die right in front of me – so many in fact that I’ve become almost hardened to it. Having seen the worst that human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise we would never have won.”

Sir Christopher Lee, discussing his service in World War II

’When people say to me, you know – were you in this? Were you in that? Did you work in this? Did you work in that? I always used to say ‘Can you keep a secret?’ And they would say ‘Yes, yes’ and I would say “So can I”.’

Sir Christopher Lee, on secrets

RIP Sir Christopher

I’ve got those Fleetwood Mac Chicken Shack John Mayall can’t fail Blues…

It’s my birthday today. No, don’t make a fuss, I don’t. Who needs to celebrate one more year closer to the Great Check Out Till in the Sky? What I usually do is indulge in a bout of meditative introspection. Survey my past and reflect on my future. Run the film of internal memories and milestones in my head and ponder the vagaries of fate.

My earliest and most seminal moment was accidentally seeing the Beatles live when I was 11. It blew me away, from then on I was obsessed with music… all types mind, my tastes are nothing if not eclectic. By 15 I was in the front row for Hendrix, so close I could have touched him. I  felt the heat from the flames when he torched his Strat. The next year I was shaking the hand of this guy after his gig at Sofia Gardens in Cardiff. I didn’t wash my hand for a week in the forlorn hope that some of his magic had rubbed off on me. No such luck I’m afraid. Oh some folks think I’m a decent player, but with my critics hat on and a steady stare at my heart, I know I am not fit to shine BB Kings shoes. We lost one of the all time greats today my friends.And I really do mean that. Without him all those bands in the header would never have been heard of. His playing was truly lyrical, majestic, miraculous. Everybody wanted to play with him, but you had to be the finest of the fine to even keep up. But don’t be sad. He was 89 and still playing. Go listen to his music, there is loads of it, with every superstar playing a supporting role to his truly outstanding talent. Later I will tune up my box and pour a large single Malt and play a little music in memory of a man who really was a King.

James Garner RIP.

I kinda grew up with James Garner. While Clint Eastwood was doing Rawhide, Garner was so much more cool and sassy as Maverick, the smooth and handsome gambler in everything but fisticuffs and gunplay. A deft draw from the bottom of the pack yes, a quick draw from his holster, no… unless it was a derringer.

And I loved The Rockford Files in the 70’s. An ex con Private Investigator who lived in a trailer on a Californian beach. His Dad Rocky, an ex truck driver, who was more trouble than all his clients put together, and it was a gentle fun filled romp that lighted up our dour Brit gloom with a bit of Californian warmth and whimsy.

I never passed on a film that had his name in the titles… knowing it would not be a waste of 90 minutes. He was like the incredibly cool, world weary, wise cracking, women magnet, uncle you never had, and wished you could be like.

Thanks for all the laughs and feelgood times James…

RIP – Peaches Geldof (13 March 1989 – 7 April 2014)

While I always regret the death of some mothers daughter, and some child’s mother, I am at a loss to understand why the Australian ABC radio news is headlining the demise of some obscure British media personality.

Pearls of Wisdom

If there’s an anti-democratic organisation or movement anywhere, an individual dictator or a tyrannical regime, then it’s a safer than safe bet, because it’s a certainty, that somewhere or other a commentator on the Western left (verkrappt section) will be telling you that the said organisation or movement, dictator or regime, isn’t as bad as all that. And it’s a near certainty that one of the somewheres he or she will be telling you this is in the Guardian.

Norm Geras

Seamus Heaney RIP.

We’re big on poetry here at Counting Cats, the title is a Henry Thoreau quote after all. So it is with a heavy heart that we hear the news that Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s most famous poet ,has died at the age of 74.

A Nobel Prize winner and prolific writer of not just poems but plays and books. Go here for an obituary, and here for examples of his work. Some of the finest honed and crafted words you will ever read.

Thatcher’s greatest achievement ~ it’s not what you think

Many more eloquent writers with first hand experience will have eulogised Baroness Thatcher, and rightly so.  The Falklands, the privatisations, the tax cuts, the near destruction of the trade union movement as an effective political force and the enormous economic turnaround have all been well covered as has the poll tax.  Most commentators have either missed or minimised the financial deregulation that made London the financial capital of the world, and the revenue this generated.  Neither should achieving public sector debt repayments (sic) as opposed to today’s endless borrowing and QE be forgotten.

And most commentators be they natural allies, conservative opponents or indeed members of the Labour party have behaved with decorum more or less.  Most have, one or two vile specimens have not.

Case the first, would be the cretinous socialist worker types who were dancing on the streets.  Most could barely have been alive at the time, this is purely thoughtless Pavlovianism.  It doesn’t make it right, just brainless.

Case the second would be the people in former mining communities.  Now it is certainly true that pit closures would and did devastate pit towns.  But this seemed to me to be more or less unavoidable.  The raison d’etre for the towns was the mine.  When the economic case for the pit goes, so frankly does the town.  Some interviewees could not get past the hatred, most had not moved on*.  They were fat, indolent and unemployed.  The media talked about their shorter life expectancies.  Yep, no exercise, crappy diet, smoking and boozing will do that.  Hardly the Lady’s fault all these years later.  I felt sorry for them.  Betrayed by their erstwhile leaders, they were effectively living in the past, wishing for a bygone era that will never return.  They will die bitter.

Case the third, Gerry Adams.  I guess when you are a former bomber it is unrealistic to expect decent behaviour, or even a straight response.  We got neither from this scumbag.  He made a statement about how Thatcher had allowed the hunger strikers to die.  That slightly understated his own responsibility and was to put it mildly, disingenuous.  He also skipped right past his friends attempt to murder her in Brighton.

Case the fourth, and the worst by far in some pretty rum company, Neil Kinnock.  This two-time whining failure made some ludicrous sixth-form type remarks about how the poor got poorer under Thatcher.  Needless to say they got much, much richer but such a stranglehold on reality perhaps explains why the people of the UK said ‘No’ to Neil, twice in succession.  And despite all the money sucked from the public teat for him and the entire family, he still wasn’t happy.  And then it struck me, perhaps the Lady’s greatest achievement was kicking out Callaghan, obliterating the ludicrous Michael Foot and trouncing Neil “two-time-loser” Kinnock**.  Keeping these hoons out of Downing Street may indeed have been her best.

* Of course I appreciate this was not a representative sample.  Those who had moved on, had in all probability, left the area.

** Yes, I appreciate it was Major who beat Kinnock second time around.  I itself a tribute to rank incompetence, being beaten by the grey man.

Quote of the Day

There is only one direction in which the Conservative Party can proceed if it is to find itself. It must stand for all the things for which Conservatism, in its best times, has stood — for the family and the individual; against the state and against bureaucracy; against monopolies and against cartels; for people and against collectives. It must resist the temptation to expect the state to behave as a nanny, and strive for recognition for citizens. All these things may, at this moment, seem difficult. But the party either espouses them or relapses into being a pale copy of the milder sections of the Labour Party.

Patrick Cosgrave, in The Spectator, January 1975.

It was true then, and it’s true now. Perhaps the saddest part of Lady Thatcher’s passing is wondering today whether her administration even happened.

RIP Alex Cassie: 22 Dec 1916 – 5 April 2012

Not everyone gets to be portrayed by Donald Pleasance.

H/T Daily Telegraph

More Gun Crime…

One of the most remarkable things I ever did see on TV News was a vigil for victims of gun-crime held in Manchester. I think it must of been some sort of anniversary of some young lad being shot and deaded in a South Manchester pub. Sounds tragic doesn’t it? I mean he was like 20 tops.

Except it wasn’t quite how the tragedarians portrayed it with the weeping mother and a candle-lit vigil. Because I recall how it had originally been presented in the media. Now you might be thinking he’d gone to the pub with his mates to watch Man City play Chelsea and have a couple of jars. You might be thinking he’d gone to chat-up the local talent. You might be thinking he went to transact a drug-deal or flog a nicked car stereo… He was there strictly on business and none of the above. He was a contract killer on his first (and last job). He was there to pop a cap in the ass of some other miscreant except it didn’t work out and the other miscreant was also carrying and clearly had an itchier finger. So this lad died of sheer incompetence on the first day of the job.

Yet by the appliance of the science of advanced victimology and the passage of time he became a victim of gun crime. Now in a sense he was but in a broader sense if you walk into a gaff with a shooter and murderous intent and get whacked then this is what I shall play your lament upon…

I’m not sure if that actually is the world’s smallest violin but it shall do. The truly bizarre thing is his tearful mum couldn’t see the bigger picture at all and thought him a victim. Now, I honestly don’t know how it works (the contract killing business) but she seemed to think it was better for her son to be doing that than signing on. Presumably if he’d been successful the cash would have paid for a Sunday roast and a new telly or something. Something a mum can be really proud of “Oh, he’s a good lad!” Well the Krays always loved their mum too. Well a mate of mine got a job after leaving school in the Argos warehouse. Not a great job but a start and vastly more something to be proud of than being a contract-killer and a bloody incompetent one at that. Victim – yes. Of guns, no. Of epic incompetence and stupidity – yes.

I mean that was my parish near as damn it and that could have been me sitting quietly in the corner watching the football and killed or maimed in a crossfire.

The Dearest Leader

May he rest in peace.