New NZ libertarian blog
Welcome to the blogosphere Phil, Luke and Jordan K.
. . . promoting capitalist acts between consenting adults.
Eggs and sausage, and a side of toast.Daily Pundit suggests songs songs about food and cooking as a good weekend thread. Good idea. "What gets your toes a-tappin' and your juices goin' in anticipation of a good meal? The songs can be about food outright or food as a metaphor. It can be in the title or in the body." I've kicked you off with Tom Waits 'Eggs and Sausage,' what else can you bring?
Coffee and a roll. Hash browns over easy,
Chilli in a bowl, with a burger and fries,
Oh what kind of pie?
There's a rendezvous with strangers
Round the coffee urn tonight...
All the gypsy hacks and the insomniacs
Now the paper's been read
Now the waitress said...[repeat]
Brewer Richard Emerson (pictured right) once declared that he intended to make just three beers in his standard range which would be supplemented with one seasonal release.
He proved way too innovative to stick to that. His big new Emerson’s brewery in Dunedin currently makes eight beers in his standard range, plus two seasonal beers and two further limited editions every year.
His latest offering is Emerson’s Bourbon Porter. For many years, Richard had a made a whisky porter, a rich, dark beer matured in used whisky barrels from the long-defunct
Wilson’s will be remember by those of us unlucky enough to taste it as a poor whisky – but the barrels did impart some amazing flavours to the beer.
Given the distillery had gone out of production nearly a decade ago, it was clear the barrel supply would not last forever. When the barrels ran out a few years ago, many thought that was the end of Richard’s fortified porters.
Not so. Armed with his natural cunning, Richard sourced a dozen used bourbon casks and his
This limited release beer pours a rich, dark colour and throws a nose which has a touch of coffee and hints of bourbon and vanilla. In the mouth there is a mix of dark roasted coffee, toast, vanilla and bourbon sweetness. This is a powerful but balanced beer.
At 9.2% abv this is definitely a sipper – not a quaffer.
Perhaps the best description of it came from a young Australian gentlemen at one of my recent beer tastings:
“Mate, I like beer. I like bourbon. This beer is going to save me so much time at the bar.”
RELATED: Beer and Elsewhere
RELATED: Beer and Elsewhere
If a society reaches the stage where every man accepts the feeling that he is "a stranger and afraid in a world [he] never made," the world it gives up will be made by Attila.Anyway, sorry to start your morning with that image. Just thought you should know. I promise to make it up to you later.
An overwhelming majority of New Zealanders want political parties to pay back money if it has been unlawfully spent on getting elected, according to the latest New Zealand Herald DigiPoll.I think that is what's called "traction for an issue." Roll on the court case. [Hat tip Adolf]
* Full details in today's [Friday's] New Zealand Herald.
In an unmistakably clear message from voters, 81 per cent of respondents to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey said political parties should repay unlawfully spent money. Significantly, more than three-quarters of Labour supporters - 75.8 per cent - want the money paid back, and only 13.5 per cent support the party's idea of passing a law to validate the spending.UPDATE 2: Would Labour have the numbers to retrospectively make their over-spending and misappropriation legal? David Farrar has done the numbers on a parliamentary vote, and the numbers would be tight. For both sides. 60 against. 58 in favour. United-No-Future holding the balance. Three assumptions in this analysis might need challenging however:
There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free--if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending--if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!Lessons there for today, no?
They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength but irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
The bunker had "shooting positions of poured concrete," and ... the combat posts inside were equipped with phone lines, showers, toilets, air ducts, and emergency exits, as well as logistical paraphernalia for Hizbullah. A Golani officer told the Jerusalem Post that among the force's findings was a Katyusha rocket launcher, most likely used in rocket attacks against northern Israel during the war. [Follow the link for pictures and a video.]So much for the peacekeepers.
It is widely accepted that the average surface temperature on Earth has risen by about 0.5 degrees centigrade over the past 125 years or so. Yet if man’s activities were driving this warming process then one would expect the rate of that increase to have accelerated in modern times in response to increasing industrialisation, aircraft flights and so on. This evidence has singularly failed to materialise, despite satellites having been available to measure the Earth’s temperature since the late 1970s.Far from the science being settled in favour of man-made global warming, the Times suggests "That round yellow thing in the sky may have more influence on climate change than man’s activities."
Labels: Al Gore
So once again we see the age old battle between two kinds of determinism, inherited versus environmental factors. But there is another option that needs to be added. This is personal responsibility.Me too. I just don't know how they do that. Are they wilfully blind?
We are all saddled with aspects of ourselves that we had nothing to do with, and we all face elements in our environment we cannot control. But there are also choices we can make, given who and what we are and the world in which we live. The very idea that we should look more to environmental factors than to our hard wiring suggest that we have a choice. This also suggests that no one has to eat fast foods, or clear his or her plate, or go on various binges. Some of us may find it more difficult to resist temptations than others, but so what? Tall people have different challenges from short ones but both need to meet those challenges they face.
As a teacher of ethics, I find it disturbing that so many educated people opt for removing individual responsibility from the picture as they try to understand human affairs.
Your RealAge was calculated by assessing over 100 different health factors, from lifestyle to genetics to medical history. The factors that are aging you, the costs, are counterbalanced by the things you are doing right, called your RealAge Benefits.Go visit. Find out how old you (or the people you sleep with) really are!
Mayors of Manukau and Waitakere say the region's master plan for growth is throttling economic opportunities in their cities and needs an urgent overhaul.That is to say, when it was introduced in 1999 town planning gurus (who view 'sprawl' as an evil to be abolished, and the idea that people might have some choice in how and where they live as just anathema) hailed both the plan and the 'vision' of ring-fencing Auckland as "far-sighted" and "sustainable" and "smart." Idiots. Anyway, let the story continue:
When it was introduced in 1999, the Auckland Regional Council's regional growth strategy was hailed as the answer to managing the effects of growth such as in urban sprawl.
But Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says the 50-year blueprint created by the region's eight councils is "out of date and irrelevant".As studies of the world's cities have shown and as I've argued and pointed out here before [see posts on Housing and on Urban Design], cities around the world that strangle the supply of land are less affordable to live in -- up to three times less affordable than comparative cities without similar restrictions! It's encouraging that Auckland's mayors -- some of Auckland's mayors -- are finally coming to terms with that.
... The shortage of land for housing was pushing prices sky-high and making it difficult for young people to get homes.
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey said he also wanted a review of the strategy to be completed as soon as possible.
He was impatient about the lack of progress in having potential new development areas at Westgate, Whenuapai and Hobsonville brought inside the metropolitan urban limit and made available.
"Anyone that is in local government is frustrated by long delays, procrastination and the inability to see the big picture - not by this council but by regulatory officialdom that stifles growth and prosperity."
It is morally proper to accept help when it is offered, not as a moral duty, but as an act of good will and generosity, when the giver can afford it (i.e., when it does not involve self-sacrifice on his part), and when it is offered in response to the receiver’s virtues, not in response to his flaws, weaknesses or moral failures, and not on the ground of his need as such.So much for private scholarships. What about government cash that's been stolen from taxpayers -- should a libertarian accept a government scholarship?
Scholarships are one of the clearest categories of this proper kind of help. They are offered to assist ability, to reward intelligence, to encourage the pursuit of knowledge, to further achievement—not to support incompetence.
If a brilliant child’s parents cannot send him through college (or if he has no parents), it is not a moral default on their part or his. It is not the fault of “society,” of course, and he cannot demand the right to be educated at someone else’s expense; he must be prepared to work his way through school, if necessary. But this is the proper area for voluntary assistance. If some private person or organization offers to help him, in recognition of his ability, and thus to save him years of struggle—he has the moral right to accept.
The value of scholarships is that they offer an ambitious youth a gift of time when he needs it most: at the beginning.
The right to accept [government scholarships] rests on the right of the victims to the property (or some part of it) which was taken from them by force.I have to say that when I went through university it was back in the days when a derisory sum was paid in student grants, and I was very happy to take it. I also have to say that at the same time I was working and paying more in tax than I was receiving in grants -- but Rand argues (in the context of 1966 America at least) that such a calculation is irrelevant.
The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism.
Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims.
Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it.
First, the sum of [a given student's] individual losses cannot be computed; this is part of the welfare-state philosophy, which treats everyone’s income as public property. Second, if he has reached college age, he has undoubtedly paid—in hidden taxes—much more than the amount of the scholarship. Or, if his parents cannot afford to pay for his education, consider what taxes they have paid, directly or indirectly, during the twenty years of his life—and you will see that a scholarship is too pitifully small even to be called a restitution.Hmmm. I'm sure Rand has already surprised you. What about accepting government welfare, the dole or a pension? What does uber-libertarian Rand, the arch-enemy of government theft say about that? What do you think? Perhaps instead of simply giving you Ayn Rand's answers on the taking of government jobs, government research grants (or of government money, taken to argue for the diminishment of the ability for government to take money), I'll leave those questions as an exercise for the reader. Here's some guidance:
Third—and most important—the young people of today are not responsible for the immoral state of the world into which they were born. Those who accept the welfare-statist ideology, assume their share of the guilt when they do so. But the anti-collectivists are innocent victims who face an impossible situation: it is welfare statism that has almost destroyed the possibility of working one’s way through college. It was difficult, but possible some decades ago; today, it has become a process of close-to- inhuman torture. There are virtually no part-time jobs that pay enough to support oneself while going to school; the alternative is to hold a full-time job and to attend classes at night—which takes eight years of unrelenting 12-to-16-hour days, for a four-year college course. If those responsible for such conditions offer the victim a scholarship, his right to take it is incontestable—and it is too pitifully small an amount even to register on the scales of justice, when one considers all the other, the non-material, non-amendable injuries he has suffered.
The moral principle involved in all the above issues consists, in essence, of defining as clearly as possible the nature and limits of one’s own responsibility, i.e., the nature of what is or is in one’s power.There. I feel better for getting that off my chest. Morality in the Objectivist view does not consist of a series of instrinsic commandments that must be followed in al possible situations -- an endless series of "shalt-nots" designed only to command your sacrifice and achieve your unhappiness. Acting morally involves making judgements and acting on them; knowing what your values are, and understanding how your values can be achieved non-sacrificially within the context of the world you live in.
The issue is primarily ideological, not financial. Minimizing the financial injury inflicted on you by the welfare-state laws, does not constitute support of welfare statism (since the purpose of such laws is to injure you) and is not morally reprehensible. Initiating, advocating or expanding such laws, is.
In a free society, it is immoral to denounce or oppose that from which one derives benefits—since one’s associations are voluntary. In a controlled or mixed economy, opposition becomes obligatory--since one is acting under force, and the offer of benefits is intended as a bribe.
So long as financial considerations do not alter or affect your convictions, so long as you fight against welfare statism (and only so long as you fight it) and are prepared to give up any of its momentary benefits in exchange for repeal and freedom—so long as you do not sell your soul (or your vote)—you are morally in the clear. The essence of the issue lies in your own mind and attitude.
It is a hard problem, and there are many situations so ambiguous and so complex that no one can determine what is the right course of action. That is one of the evils of welfare statism: its fundamental irrationality and immorality force men into contradictions where no course of action is right.
The ultimate danger in all these issues is psychological: the danger of letting yourself be bribed, the danger of a gradual, imperceptible, subconscious deterioration leading to compromise, evasion, resignation, submission. In today’s circumstances, a man is morally in the clear only so long as he remains intellectually incorruptible. Ultimately, these problems are a test—a hard test—of your own integrity. You are its only guardian. Act accordingly.
What Israel does is actually a self-enforced version of classic UN buffer peacekeeping. A traditional UN peacekeeper force does nothing but sit between two combatants, on a border, and prevents either side from crossing. While this hardly prevents rocket strikes above the force (like Hezbollah firing over UNIFIL to hit Israel) it prevents ground invasions.So what can Israel do now in Southern Lebanon:
First things first, Hezbollah must be destroyed or (more realistically) severely crippled. That's the short-term. Neither Lebanon nor Israel is safe while Hezbollah is running around armed.Agreed. And it has to be done, if possible, without spreading the conflict.
For the mid-term, the US and the world need to clamp down on Iran funding Hezbollah.And good luck with that, and with obtaining Syria's agreement to withdraw their support for this proxy war.
A long-term solution has to recognize what's to become of the peaceful citizens residing in the states that Israel combats. Arabs have rights and hopes. A real solution must place primacy on developing Arab liberalism and Arab democracy. Simply attacking Hezbollah doesn't fight the source of the problem, and unlike fighting against states like Egypt or Jordan (which have institutional interests like maintaining power and borders that push them to seek ceasefire or even peace) there's less incentive for groups like the PLO or Hezbollah to seek peace...Remembering of course that democracy is just one form of legalised mob rule.
And when the fighting is over, Israel should compensate accidental victims specifically and the country generally with direct payments to widows, reconstruction of the airport and highways, and generally rebuilding what it broke in the fighting. The US should follow in parallel with the promise of strong support for democracy promotion, including thinkers and philanthropists.
The trader and the warrior have been fundamental antagonists throughout history. Trade does not flourish on the battlefields, factories do not produce under bombardments, profits do not grow on rubble.And neither do dreams.
You live a reasonably sustainable lifestyle by New Zealand standards. However, by world standards your lifestyle is not sustainable. If everyone on the globe used as much land as you do, 3.5 globes would be needed to support the world's current population.Have a go yourself. [Hat tip Mr Hide, who scores an impressive 11.3 globes.] See if you can achieve either a more craven lifestyle than mine, or a more planet-raping one than his. (And see if you can work out the primary fallacy in the idea of a 'footprint' scored in such a way.)
Your strictly vegetarian diet considerably reduces your ecological footprint. Your food footprint is half the New Zealand average - ie 8,572 square metres smaller. As you no doubt know, your vegetarian diet is environmentally friendly as it takes less land and resources to supply your food needs.
Your use of vehicles is relatively high. This increases your personal ecological footprint to 317 square metres above the national average. The use of public transport could considerably reduce your ecological footprint.
Labels: Earth Day
In the High Court in Napier yesterday [Friday] Justice Paul Heath found the mother not guilty of murdering her baby on the grounds of insanity and ordered she be detained as a special patient, as her lawyer Bill Calver had requested...The woman was "legally insane at the time," and the court concluded this provided a reason to declare her not guilty of murder.
The crown prosecutors did not challenge the five psychiatric reports presented to the court, all of which pointed to the woman being legally insane at the time.