David Thompson


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March 31, 2011



I shall refute it via the medium of interpretive dance.

Still laughing.


There’s also a refutation involving turd polishing, via Peter Risdon.



The Rally Against Debt

"A well mannered, polite rally for civilised people who don't wish to see their hard earned money being spent on pointless government initiatives and instead would like government spending to actually fall and our national debt to be cut. We don't think that it's fair for us to continue borrowing money to live a lifestyle that we simply can't afford – burdening our children with unnecessary debt that they will have to pay back. Any visits to Fortnum and Mason's by protestors will only be to marvel at their selection of quality goods and perhaps make the occasional purchase."



I was amused by this article


It turns out that the word "craic" which is taken to be a word redolent of old Irish heritage was first seen in print in 1986 and probably is English in origin.



It looks the LRB's anti-semitic pro-Hezbollah articles will no longer be funded with public money.



To my mind, lubricating oil in a machine is the best refuatio of the labor theory of value. The oil does nothing to actually make anything in the machine move (unless is is also used in a control system, but even there, it just does direction(a.k.a. management)), but the machine absolutely cannot work without it. The pistons actually puch on something, the fuel actually produces heat that moves the pistons, and the crankshaft transmits the power to the desired output, but the oil just sits there between all of the parts, making sure they don't seize up.

I think of money and the financial system as a sort of lubricating oil for society. It really doesn't make anything, but without it, the society freezes up. Now, the value, I think, is less than what the financial people think it (and they) is(are). But it still has a value, and is important, and the value has nothing to do with the amount of labor associated with creating it.




Thanks. I notice from the update that the LRB hasn’t entirely renounced the taxpayer’s teat. Or its propagation of a delusional worldview.

“The intellectual elite of the world,” indeed.


In connection with Ross McIntrick's article, you may find this interesting. The author, Colin McInnes, is a professor of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde



Possibly the best headline of the week?:

Man drove at 60mph with parrot on windscreen, RSPCA "dumbfounded"




Re: 'Turd Polishing'. I just read this essay and was with it almost to the end. At that point the writer started laying into the concept of a 'minimum wage' which really isn't on. In my Laurie Penny hating World view, and I am an employer in case you are wondering, if you cannot afford to pay somebody 6 quid an hour then you don't have a realistic business. It's true that some people are so useless that they aren't worth £6 quid an hour, so don't employ them until they make the effort to make themselves worth more.

Is anyone able to offer a defense for a business model which is so crap that it requires the payment of tiny sums to desperate wretches?



I don’t have a doctrinaire position on the minimum wage or its whereabouts (as it were), so I may not be the best person to ask. But it may be worth noting this.

Laurie Penny does have a doctrinaire position on the subject and is an enthusiast of the minimum wage being raised to a “living wage” (of, I think, £7.85 per hour). However, earlier this year Laurie found herself in need of an employee to help out with research and general journalistic legwork. Ms Penny’s own advert for the job, published on her website, offered to pay less than the “living wage” she advocates, indeed she offered less than the minimum wage, and stated a preference for a female applicant. Naturally, Laurie made a great fuss about being unable to pay more – “that’s not an option for me at the moment.”

Presumably, legislation regarding pay and gender equality can be dispensed with by those whose cause is sufficiently righteous. Perhaps this is what she means by “feeling her privilege sitting on her chest.”



Yes, I was aware of the Penny hypocrisy (entirely consistent with her laft wing credentials - I recently heard Tony Benn on National radio telling the World how he had employed Ed Milliband as a young researcher because he was a friend of his father apparently unaware that he was admitting to millions that he is guilty of Nepotism which, if my jaded memory of Tudor history is correct, was considered one of the great sins of feudal monarchy).

Thanks for making me aware of the Penny Red. The only thing enjoyable about 10 O'clock live the other night was watching her achieve the Triple Crown of appearing self-conscious, ignorant and inarticulate in front of a national audience. On that showing she should be invited on every week to counter the slickly one-sided propaganda of the 4 presenters (I'm so disappointed in Jimmy and little David Mitchell)



“…the slickly one-sided propaganda of the 4 presenters… I’m so disappointed in Jimmy and little David Mitchell.”

Heh. I said much the same thing to The Other Half (pbuh) last night. Both Carr and Mitchell can be very funny – say, as guests on QI - but they aren’t convincing pundits and the political “debates” are cringeworthy. It isn’t even slick; it’s just… nervously smug. They’re being asked to do things at which they’re really quite bad. The whole programme is a car crash, a conceptual nightmare. The glib political lockstep is the least of its problems.

“The only thing enjoyable... was watching her achieve the Triple Crown of appearing self-conscious, ignorant and inarticulate in front of a national audience.”

Yes, watching Laurie literally blathering on live television isn’t without its pleasures. But you have to marvel at the arrogance of it too. Here she is, invited onto national television to debate a major social issue and yet she appears to have no grasp whatsoever of the subject matter. If someone asked me to go on TV to air strong opinions on, say, football or Etruscan artefacts, I’d politely decline, since these are subjects about which I know bugger all. But Laurie feels entitled to hold forth, at length, on subjects whose most basic factual details elude her.



To be fair, to Little Laurie, the same could be said of practically everybody that appeared on television last week, including almost all senior members of this grotesque government. (Some of the nastiest people I have ever met have come from the same over-privileged mould)

Col. Milquetoast

Is the Florida pastor who burnt the Qur'an morally responsible for the deaths of UN staff in protests in Afghanistan?
Yes, it is a provocative blasphemy against others' beliefs
No, it should be considered a legitimate free speech act

Somehow, they forgot to include an option to blame the media for giving an audience to the lonely kook.

46% Yes, 54% No

I know it is the Guardian but I find those percentages terribly depressing.


Col. Milquetoast,

“I know it is the Guardian but I find those percentages terribly depressing.”

The displacement of responsibility is a Guardian staple. Sometimes it’s grotesque, sometimes it’s inadvertently funny. But none of it is good for a person’s probity or sense of realism.

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