A random walk through the blogosphere
A ramble this morning through sites and sounds I've been meaning to mention in posts, but haven't yet had a chance.
- Bernard Darnton confirms that his case against the Clark Government in Darnton V Clark is on the skids, "a victim of Labour’s egregious retrospective legislation." Says Oswald Bastable, at DPF's: "Darnton proved beyond reasonable doubt that the labour government is indeed corrupt and devoid of all moral worth. He won." Well, sort of. Says Bernard:
My initial premise, when I filed the case in June, was that a constitutionally limited government was not above the law. What this case has done is disprove that. There are no limits. The government is above the law. We are entirely reliant on the character of the people who populate Parliament. And if that thought doesn’t momentarily lower the temperature of your blood, it should.And of course the taxpayer still hasn't been paid back the money stolen to buy the bloody election. Apparently, for that, we have to rely on the "honour" of parliamentarians...
LINK: Case Withdrawn - Darnton V Clark
- Need an online guitar tuner? Here's just the thing to make sure you're always in tune when strumming (or trying to strum) 'Sweet Jane.' LINK: Online Guitar Tuner.
- Having a few drinks under a coconut tree on a white sand beach one day, Cactus Kate and a colleague "came up with the conclusion that NZ family trusts were in the main a complete and utter crock of shite." As she says, "It was a quite large call to make for such a pair of novices" -- especially cosidering the number of NZers relying on them as a way to keep the grey ones from the door. Test out her reasoning: The Great NZ Family Trust Sham.
- Check out that satellite picture of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
On the right you have the relatively developed and reasonably politically stable Dominican Republic, in which property rights are moderately secure and the rule of law is reasonably respected. On the left is Haiti.
The difference, in short, is not due to geography, but to politics. Notes ecologist Josh Roshenau in Seed Magazine, "Despite its higher consumption of electricity, greater rates of employment, and heavier industry, the Dominican Republic is the nation that has preserved its forests." How 'bout that. More development = More forest cover.
As PJ O'Rourke once observed, when you can see a political problem from 150 miles up, then you know that it's a serious problem.
LINK: Political instability threatens rainforests more than industry does - Josh Roshenau, Seed Magazine
- One of my favourite Auckland urban beach houses has turned from bright and lively into camouflage mode. The formerly delightful and formerly pink art deco house at the east end of Mission Bay is now an unattractive "dung olive green." Bugger. As Mrs Smith says acerbically, "Owners Barry and Diane may have done us all a favour. Auckland has a dire shortage of olive and beige-toned houses..." LINK: Landmark House No Longer in the Pink.
- Leftists, nationalists and other scum have all sorts of great songs to sing around the fire. How come libertarians don't? New Years Eve around the camp fire we were singing the Marsellaise, the Star Spangled Banner, Billy Bold (a noble exception to the rule), and assorted Irish rebel songs, because there are too few rousing anthems to "how the world is better if there are secure property rights, and people make mutually advantageous contracts, etc., etc." What's the solution? LINK: Leftists always have great songs. Which is a problem.
- Trevor Loudon concludes his series on Drug Freeland with Part 5: Rebuilding the Welfare Society. Good reading.
- It seems "controversial" Australian columnist Andrew Bolt would almost turn for new Bond Daniel Craig -- a new Bond for a new age. We've "become too rich, worldly and healthy for the old Bond," says Bolt, "One for the women and the men, who now like them strong, with brains," and his women beautiful, intelligent, and "with the cash to buy the whole damn beach." LINK: Shaken and Stirred - Andrew Bolt
- And while I'm linking to Andrew Bolt, if you haven't yet read his specatcular demolition job last year of Al Bore's celluloid horror. "Is healthy scepticism and fidelity to facts dead in this country?" If they are, then at least they still exist in Bolt's columns. LINK: Bulled by a Gore - Andrew Bolt
- Still in Australia, I was sent a link to what I was told is Australia's "only libertarian party," the Liberal Democratic Party. I haven't yet had a chance to check out those credentials myself, so maybe you lot can have a look and let the rest of us know how the LDP stacks up. LINK: Liberal Democratic Party.
- A "rational Christian" tries to take on Ayn Rand's "non-theistic and self-centered philosophy and arguments against Christian altruism. I am quite familiar with Ayn Rand's philosophy," says the "rational Christian, but the pity is that his critique shows he isn't. Still, it's good to see someone trying. LINK: Rational Christian Answer to Ayn Rand. The crew at Noodle Food offer the briefest of responses. "Ayn Rand's ethics depends upon the theory of evolution"? Um, not exactly.
- Jason Roth at Save the Humans offers A Little Iraqi Historical Re-Revisionism. Worth a good read.
- And finally (at least for the moment) Randal O'Toole explodes the much-touted myth by ecologists and planners that Portland, Oregon, is "an example of how good transportation planning can create a city 'where the car is not king'." "Bollocks!" says Randal.
In fact, Portlanders recently learned that their much-praised transportation plans were really nothing more than a scheme by what local reporters call the "light-rail mafia" to separate taxpayers from their money and enrich themselves. Far from relieving congestion or getting people to stop driving, Portlanders are so angry at the congestion and other problems resulting from the plans that they have repeatedly voted against light rail and other projects.LINK: Portland as a Model of Transportation Planning - Randal O'Toole, The Commons Blog