Friday, 18 September 2009

Friday Morning Rhamble [updated]

Hhello, good morning and whelcome. And a special whelcome to the good folk of W(h)anganui. Time for your regular Friday morning ramble ‘rhound the best of the net.  Plenty of good rheading here (courtesy of my certified Twitter collection device) that you can bookmark today and come back to over the wheekend.

  • Blogger Ryan Sproull and I cooked up a great idea at the Bloggers’ Drinks last night at Galbraith’s.  Well, it seemed like a great idea at the time . . .
    Read” A plan so cunning.
  • Stephen Hicks takes a rational look at "The 13th floor and other superstitions" and asks, isn’t it time to give it up?

  • Unethical businessmen are the result of the ethics taught at business schools – but not in the way that you’ve been told:

  • “Rockstar” economist Peter Schiff announces he’s running for the Senate in Connecticut. “At this time last year I could not have imagined that that I would be making such an announcement today,” he said in announcing his run. “I had never intended to become a candidate for public office. But these are extraordinary times. Our economy is falling apart in front of our eyes and Washington seems intent on making the wheels come off even faster. At a time when we desperately need adult supervison, the economically illiterate are running the show. As I love my country, it now seems clear that I must try to do something to help. The emotional and material support I have received from across the country has made the decision much easier.”
    See Peter Schiff Announces Run For Connecticut Senate Seat

  • English comedian Russell Brand has a field day on The View – hosts struggle to keep up. 
  • What is it with conservatives and their miserable view of human nature, asks Gideon Reich:
    Conservatives vs. Idealism

  • Something that always comes up on nearly every well-run comments thread: people asking “how do you know what you know.” Which in the end comes down to: “How do you know induction works?”  Roderick Fitts continues his investigation of induction at his blog Inductive Quest with these two thoughtful posts [hat tip Objectivist Roundup]:

  • There’s no ‘I’in team? Maybe not, says Michael Jordan, “but there’s ‘I’ in ‘win’.”
    Michael Jordan Scores One For "I"

  • Johan Norberg has a new book on the global financial crisis, called Financial Fiasco: How America's Infatuation with Homeownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis. “This is essential reading for everyone who cares about our economic future,” says Harvard Uni economist Jeffrey Miron, “but especially for those who are still not sure what caused the crisis. As Norberg makes clear, private forces jumped willingly on a runaway train, but it was government that built the train and drove it off a cliff."
  • What  do these three things have in common? Hugo Chavez's red carpet junket to a Venice film festival; Van Jones's recent claim that he was the victim of a "smear campaign"; and recent comments made by Obama related to his push for a government takeover of the medical profession?  The answer is at The Rational Capitalist, who says these three seemingly disparate events “demonstrate the philosophy that is destroying the world." [hat tip Objectivist Roundup]:
    Chavez, Jones, and Obama: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions and Red Carpet
  • Atlas Shrugged is More Than Relevant for Modern Times says Ari Armstrong.
  • Here’s A Simple Principle for Politics: “ we need to re-adopt the principle of individual rights."  Good idea, I say.
  • Seen in the Washington Mall last week, perhaps the best Tea Party sign yet: A picture of George Washington with a word balloon saying "WTF?" [hat tip CordairGallery]

  • The it for tat tariff war between the US and China has started under the ObaMessiah’s tutelage. Obama's started by raising tarrifs on imported tyres. Chinese respond with threats to ban US chicken imports. Customers lose out, and economists start to raise dread spectre of Smoot Hawley . . . 18 hours ago from Flock

  • Despite what you’ve heard, the US health system is already collectivist. “By the time Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, this view of health care as an economic product--for which each individual must assume responsibility--had given way to a view of health care as . . . an unearned “entitlement,” to be provided at others’ expense. . .  The resulting system aimed to relieve the individual of the “burden” of paying for his own health care by coercively imposing its costs on his neighbors.
     Why Are We Moving Toward Socialized Medicine? By Yaron Brook
  • President Obama, in an effort to sell his socialized health care plan, has said that what America needs is not a free market in health care, but a “uniquely American” government-controlled system. But what would such a plan really look like? “A ‘uniquely American’ government health care plan is a contradiction. In an America true to its founding principles, no aspect of any individual’s life is planned by a bureaucrat in Washington.”
    A “Uniquely American” Health Care Plan

  • A free market in money? : Anthony Evans of the The Guardian has it right.... [hat tip Mises Economics Blog
    [hat tip

  • Best motivation video ever?
  • “Education reform has long been a popular buzz phrase. But too often it's proven to be a hollow call as the education establishment kills off common sense reforms even while we watch districts struggle with failing schools and low graduation rates.”
    Indianapolis Tests Out Education Reform: A confluence of factors favors school choice—for now.

  • The Radler trademark story hits the UK:

  • Americans must prepare for deepening unemployment says Peter Schiff:
  • Inflation as we know it pretty much begins with the creation of the Fed.

  • New York's Standard Hotel has a great recession-busting idea for hotelliers with the necessaries: Get Naked!
  • 'Buy a House, Get a Green Card,' says Ayn Rand Boss, and you kill two birds with one stone.

  • What Would Ayn Do?

  • Illegal downloading: "It’s Not Stealing Because I Don’t Want It to Be." Yeah right.

  • Margaret Thatcher has disappeared -- from UK Labour's heroines, anyway.

  • 45% of doctors would consider quitting if the ObamaCare plan passes.

  • Ludwig Von Mises: The Prophet of the Great Depression.

  • Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson, and Ayn Rand: Three Women Who Inspired the Modern Libertarian Movement.

  • Sneering nonsense about Ayn Rand at The Dim-Post. Feel free to chime in. I have.
    Alissa Rosenbuam

  • Queensland teenager faces 7 years in prison for breaking archaic anti-abortion laws.

  • How in hell can you send 2,300 texts in four days?!

  • If it tries to move, stop it -- when it stops moving, subsidise it. The Auckland Regional Council follows Reagan's rule to a ‘t.’

  • "Government should be limited to the protection of individual rights. Everything else was—and is—beyond its scope'."

  • Austrian 'Macroeconomics' is the answer economists are looking for: it’s the successful "middle ground" between the failures of Keynes and 'modern macroeconomics' :-)!

  • Another Look At the Remarkable Life of Norman Borlaug, R.I.P.

  • Hey New York Times, the reason Penn & Teller said that about Norman Borlaug was that it is true. R.I.P.
  • The pointless "live cross" from the news desk – Simon Pound does it better. AM

  • Credit shrinks at Great Depression rate:
    US credit shrinks at Great Depression rate prompting fears of double-dip recession

  • A Tale of Two Shortages: “With his people clamoring for their caffeine fixes, Chavez has expropriated his country's two largest coffee roasters . . .”

  • Ellen DeGeneres is sued for copyright violation. When asked why licenses weren’t purchased for the more than 1,000 songs played during the "dance over" segment of the show, her producers said they didn't "roll that way."
    "As sophisticated consumers of music, Defendants knew full well that, regardless of the way they rolled, under the Copyright Act, and under state law for the pre-1972 recordings, they needed a license to use the sound recordings lawfully," the suit states.

    Read more at:

  • Vote now to shoose your ideal “sustainable” world.  says Tim Blair: "I choose World 1 mainly because World 3 has too many wind turbines and a fish that’s larger than Japan."

  • Premature Detonation: Ordnance saved, terrorists wasted:

  • Labour’s Leanne Dalziel has called for a A Commission for Social Inclusion. Bugger that.  Opinionated Mummy would prefer quite another commission altogether: A Commission for Social Exclusion;

  • Is there anyone else who’s well over the media' fawning attention to the govt's Snail-Trail Folly?

  • "...a film where Germans are attractive, Americans sadistic, Englishmen effete, & Jews cold-blooded murderers." Why would you want to watch Tarantino’s gore-fest?

  • Did you see Tyler Cowen's review of Inglorious Bastards? Scathing. [hat tip Eric Crampton] 

  • "During the Great Depression limited government was sacrificed, & its principles compromised beyond redemption." Is history repeating itself?

  • Bye-bye Dubai?: Dubai is where the last signal downwards was given by the Skyscraper Index.

  • Jim Rogers: "Letting Lehman Fail Was Perhaps The Only Thing Governments Have Done Right"!

  • Jim Rogers: "How can the solution for debt and consumption be more debt and more consumption?" Can't be, can it.
  • Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Pay subsidies, get bludgers. Home insulation subsidy is another ‘cash for clunkers.’

  • Read: Fijian corruption, vote rigging, prostitution & blackmail orchestrated by deposed PM Qarase & his cronies.

  • "The case for legalising all drugs is unanswerable."

  • "A Republic, if you can keep it," is how Benjamin Franklin described the political system deliverd to the young nation by the Founding Fathers. America is not a democracy, and was never intended to be.
  • To address pre-existing medical conditions, restore free markets :

  • Stephen Hicks's 4-page essay with pictures on "Post-postmodern Art" is re-posted. It’s a beauty!

  • Is Paris the pervert capital of the world?

  • Anatomy of an Economic Ignoramus.

  • "The unshakeable faith in [climate] computer models ... would be the envy of any religious sect in the world. "

  • "A beautiful way to make a point." Fortunately, no longer a point that needs to be made in NZ.

And finally, can he do it?



  1. What, nothing to say about Maurice Whilliamson?


  2. Speaking of H's, the head maori language nazi was on the tv this morning, explaining the she has been pronouncing Wanganui with an F for years since that's how her tribe pronounces it, even though she acknowledges that the Wanganui tribe pronounces it with a W.

    So, if it's alright for her, why isn't it alright for the rest of us? My tribe that originally hails from southern England pronounces Wh as Wh, so from now on I'm going to pronounce it how I damn well please.

  3. From the Libertarianz website:

    "Libertarianz fully supports the concept of a civil union and would also support allowing marriages between same sex couples, AND INDEED POLYGAMOUS MAGGIAGES OR MARRIAGES BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY RELATED — in all cases as long as all parties are adults and consenting"


    Do you guys hold stock in Unionville perchance ?

  4. Here is an interesting brief comment on induction:

    Non-philosophical epistemological approach

    I haven't read this book, but I can see lots of people making online comments (positive) about it. This author is a strong critique of main stream economists. He had appealed to the King of Sweden in recent years to scrap the Nobel awards for economics, because he thinks that current economic theory (neoclassical) is unworkable or at best bullshit.

  5. Anon, on what grounds would they need to make it illegal?

  6. Anonymous: Maggiages? Time to put the illiterate person out to be shot - we can't tolerate that on the website.

  7. "Anon, on what grounds would they need to make it illegal?"

    Not necessarily making it illegal, but retention of societal mores retaining the truth that such practices are pathelogical would help - not having you left-wing progressive dupes mainstreaming it. Screwed up, inbred offspring would be one negative. The unintended consequences of such libertine nihilism would be boundless.

    Allowing cancerous behavior like incest to enter the mainstream under the guise of "consenting adults, behind closed doors" is a sure fire way to social anarchy, and the moribundity of the civil society.

  8. It's fair to assume that those people who objected to it wouldn't do it. Therefore if most of the population didn't do it (as they almost certainly wouldn't), it would hardly become mainstream, and civilisation would probably survive. The reform of laws against homosexuals in the eighties didn't result in a whole bunch of formerly straight people turning gay did it?

  9. PC,
    On your Glen Beck video:

    Excellent, excellent stuff. It seriously grinds my gears hearing American conservatives attempt to conflate their own backward Christian morality with the essentially-agnostic founding fathers.

    As a request I wonder if you would care to do a post rebutting the self-serving historical revisionism that goes on in this respect.


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