When Anzac Day is unAustralian

Neil James, Executive Director of the Australia Defence Association, writes about the common myths associated with Anzac Day. Plus Tamils, hoodies, the Wilderness Society and more.

The Wilderness Society:

A concerned staff member of The Wilderness Society writes: Re. “Greenies see red as Wilderness Society descends into chaos” (yesterday, item 6). Further to the article published on Thursday, 22 April, by Andrew Crook — I was actually present for the “tirade” your reporter suggests Alec Marr “unleashed” on an unsuspecting staff.

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23 thoughts on “When Anzac Day is unAustralian

  1. zut alors

    @ Chris Harrison

    Count me in. ‘For free’ is clumsy English.

    I’d assumed it was poor grammar emanating from an ill-educated advertising agency copywriter when I first noticed its usage back in the 1990s – but recently I heard it uttered in a 1940s film from the USA.

    Someone is to blame – but who? Probably the Yanks.

  2. John Bennetts

    Tamas Calderwood, again? Crikey’s postman must be on strike if it is forced to again publish mail from this oft-discredited source.

    Take the opening paragraph:
    “Dodgy data, sloppy statistics and, oh, this pesky 12 year cooling trend”

    The term “dodgy data” usually refers to the now NOT discredited emails. Score one.

    “Sloppy statistics” appears to be a reference to a since-corrected very minor and now irrelevant error regarding melting of Himalayan glaciers. The findings and relevance of the IPCC Report in which this reference appeared have not been affected at all by this tiny error. Score two.

    “12 year cooling trend”. Says who? Not NASA. Not reputable published scientists. TC is again cherry picking from his own dodgy data sets. Once again, he has been publicly discredited on this point more than enough. Point three.

    Crikey!, you must persist with this bloke’s contributions for one reason only, that being to stir controversy. Please desist. This subject is far too important for taking the p_ss.

  3. Justin

    @Chris & @Zut:

    The language you cite is not incorrect, improper, clumsy or in any way poor grammar or a result of ill-education. I really think you should go and read something about language change before you claim to know anything about grammar and go about mischaracterising Don Watson’s position. Your rage is misplaced and counterproductive.

    A good start is wikipedia, which you can access here for free:
    The braver reader could head to the “Prescriptivist Poppycock” section of Language Log, which collects examples of similar self-appointed arbiters of “proper” “grammar”. Again, for absolute free:

    And my favourite quote about this kind of pointless prescriptivist pedantry:

    ‘Some older citizens welcome the new music and dances, the new electronic devices and computers. But no one has ever been heard to say, “It’s wonderful the way young people talk today. Its so much better than the way we talked when I was a kid.”‘
    Labov, W. (2001) Principles of Linguistic Change. Volume 2: Social Factors. Malden, Mass./Oxford: Blackwell. 6.

  4. Tamas Calderwood

    How boringly typical of you John. It’s ok for you to argue the climate-scare case, but I should just shut up. Whatever.


    Dodgy data: Phil “hide the decline” Jones of the CRU says he has lost the raw temperature data. He only has the “adjusted” data. NASA also relies on this for 98% of its global temperature estimates. The Met Office is recalculating the temperature history from scratch and says it will take three years. So I guess you’re kind of right. It’s not dodgy data because there is no data at all. Let’s see the graph in three years and then panic.

    Sloppy Statistics: Well, don’t take my word for it. Here’s the UK Oxburgh report that so vindicates those poor scientists: “inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used.” Oops.

    And the 12 year cooling trend is calculated by a simple linear regression on the UAH satelite data. There is no argument on that one.

    So am I still looking discredited?

  5. John Bennetts

    OK, Tamas. You have convinced yourself.

    I do not agree with you at all, but you aren’t listening.

    Perhaps you and your friends should retire to a phone booth and drink a toast to each other, while the greater majority of us, including those who are not building their belief systems on a fraction of 1% of the data, get on with finding ways to fix the damage to the atmosphere which you cannot see.

  6. Justin


    “Well, don’t take my word for it. Here’s the UK Oxburgh report that so vindicates those poor scientists: “inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used.””

    Wow. That’s pretty damning. Why didn’t anyone else notice that? I went straight to the report to find out, and discovered that the reason nobody else noticed that is because you are, at best, indulging in the worst kind of cherry-picking, and at worst, just telling bald-faced lies. There is no period at the end of that quote. It actually continues:

    “Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results. The published work also contains many cautions about the limitations of the data and their interpretation.”

    Can I spell it out for you? [my EMPHASIS]

    “… have been used BY SOME OTHER GROUPS”
    “we did not come across any inappropriate usage”
    “may not have been best for the purpose… It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results.”

    Is this how you gather all your supposed evidence?

  7. Tamas Calderwood

    Justin – whatever way you look at it CRU has been called out for using sloppy statistics. Oxburgh was a total whitewash anyway – I mean, how deep can a five page report go? Nonetheless, they busted CRU for their calculations in the nicest language they could come up with.

    And what on Earth does “It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results” actually mean? It’s not clear because their epic five page report didn’t bother to clarify the issue. Steve McIntyre, who has done a huge amount of work on this, was not consulted about CRU’s methods and he has shown them to be a joke.

    John – well, at least you’re ok with me arguing my case now. Thanks big guy – real good of you.

  8. Justin


    I’m not interested in your further interpretation of the report. I’m accusing you of the same academic dishonesty you seem to believe all your opponents are guilty of. In order to fit your argument you deliberately butchered a very straightforward passage to say the opposite of what it actually says. This, by even your own standards as you apply to the CRU, makes everything you say suspect.

    In the future, if you are going to argue a case, you should at the very least do it honestly. I doubt there’s anyone with the inclination to write even one page to exonerate you.

  9. John Bennetts

    Correct, Justin.

    But why does Crikey! continue to offer this dishonest nuisance a pulpit?

  10. Tamas Calderwood

    Justin – I’ll accept that the quote was taken out of context. I picked it up without looking at the full text. My bad. But can you not see that the statistical methods the CRU and others relied on for their global warming hypothesis may not have been, well, ” the best for the purpose” (Oxburgh, op cit)?

    And what about the fact that Jones and the CRU admit that they have “lost” the raw temperature data? Is that not abominable? If science can’t be replicated then it’s not science.

    And what about the fact that Jones admits the warming spurts from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were statistically indistinguishable in their magnitude? Why would that be so if human CO2 production increased in each of those periods?

    So fine, call me for a mis-quote. But don’t tell me that the case you argue for is “settled”. It isn’t. The shenanigans these climate “scientists” have been up to have now been revealed and it doesn’t look good. Defend them all you like, but don’t pretend that they have been honest. The record shows very clearly that they have not been.

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