A short midweek ramble
- Lindsay Mitchell points out that the Dominion Post doesn't care for facts -- a bad thing -- and has stats that show NZers are losing their religion -- a very good thing.
- Susan points out that the objectors to (and supporters of) the Boobs on Bikes parade might reflect that it's the absence of property rights that causes their conflict.
- Liberty Scott rounds up reactions from the blogosphere to the court's Boobs on Bikes decision.
- Whale Oil outs another anonymous Labour blogger.
- Gus Van Horn explains about privatising the roads.
- Bernard Hickey argues that the NZ banking system is in good hands - however, as The Visible Hand points out, it is important to remember that it was trouble in the banking system that led to the great depression. Specifically, it was the government's Federal Reserve Bank that got America into the depression, and government meddling that kept the world in there.
- Jeff Perren points out that it's not just New Zealand that serves up destructive legislation. With a recent offering from the US, they make a bid for the top of the medal tables.
- On Blog Action Day this year, bloggers are invited to blog on poverty "from their own blog topics and perspectives, to look at it from the macro and micro, as a global condition and a local issue, and to bring their own ideas, views and opinions on the subject." Perhaps rational bloggers could choose to sign up and explain why some places are wealthy and other places just suck: in other words, demonstrate that the institutions of freedom and individual rights, and property rights and contract law between them light the engine of prosperity -- while government meddling generally generates poverty, or worse.
- I haven't really caught up with this, but there looks to be a parliamentary select committee recommending that the government apply a little more freedom here in the shape of freeing up land to improve housing affordability. Small steps, but at least some steps.
- But there are some who resist prosperity. Some of these people -- in fact, a lot of these people -- are luminaries in the environmental movement. A new tranche of quotations from leading environmentalists demonstrates again their misanthropy. By contrast, as Stephen Hicks describes, "Michael Shaw's Liberty Garden project embraces 'abundance ecology' and shows how property rights and free markets are essential for a healthy environment.
- And finally, if you've ever wanted to see a season of the New York's Metropolitan Opera and never thought you'd get the chance ... you have now. Rialto cinemas around the country are screening "digitally-captured performances of their most famous operas to select movie theaters around the globe. Coming to New Zealand from August 2008, the HD Live series features eight Met Operas in astonishing detail and clarity, at a cinema near you"! Head here for the schedule, which includes Hansel & Gretel, Macbeth, Manon Lescaut, Peter Grimes, Tristan & Isolde, La Boheme & La Fille Du Regiment.
- Here's a few pictures of the actual environment that would be at risk by drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and of the environmental destruction wrought by the Prudhoe Bay drilling operation, responsible for nearly twenty percent of U.S. oil production.
- When discussing Objectivism once, and those who purport to be Objectivists, I was asked how long it takes to thoroughly understand and integrate the philosophy -- I said about ten year, if you're honest. I'm fascinated to see that Objectivist philosopher Leonard Peikoff tackles the same question in his latest podcast.
- Historian Scott Powell explains the importance of art in a proper study of history, especially as a means by which to develop what he calls "a proper historical awareness." "By its nature," he says, "it is uniquely valuable, because it accomplishes two things at once: it engages students with vivid perceptual concretes and guides them to think “big picture” thoughts." But there's more to it, much, much more ...
- Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez's "mission" is "not accomplished," says Alvaro Vargas Llosa, and is never likely to be -- his stated mission, at least.
- And if you're here looking for boobs on bikes pictures from Auckland's parade -- and my Statcounter tells me there are hundreds of you -- then see what the blogs and TV3 have for you. And, perversely, the Otago Daily Times. Oh, and I'm obliged to let you know that Libertarianz were in favour of the parade, and in agreement that it was a freedom of speech issue. The right to freedom of speech is required precisely for those actions and statements to which others object -- particularly those in power. It's great to see one person at least, Steve Crow, who understands that.