Friday, 11 September 2009

Your regular Friday ramble

Okay, it’s Friday so you know what to expect.  Here’s a ramble round the ‘best of the net’ this week courtesy of my Twitter feed, (where you can subscribe to the feed – it costs you nothing – and you can get all this freedom news first.)
  • Penn&Teller call Bullshit! on the Vatican: "The Vatican is the Catholic Las Vegas. We're going to rip the gilded roof off & explore the rats and Ratsingers.” Watch quickly, before the Catholic League realise you’re enjoying it:
  • Is Trevor Loudon the first New Zealand blogger to claim a “scalp” of a US presidential appointee, and to be quoted in the US Congress?  Congratulations Trevor:
    Watch New Zeal Quoted in US Congress.
  • oBomba 4 blog Why is Trevor being quoted?  Because Obama has dropped an unexpected ideological atomic bomb on America, and Americans are fighting back, that’s why.
  • Rational Jenn goes  myth-busting on Ayn Rand and her views on children and motherhood, which are nothing like as “soul-killing” you’ve heard.
  • It is still not your tree. Labour MPs say despite minor if long overdue changes to give you back ownership of your trees that they want to take it off you again.
  • Looks like National will be supporting ACT’s member’s bill on Voluntary Student Membership.  As Peter McCaffrey says, “better get your submissions ready.  It’s about to go down!”
  • Which American president is described here? He campaigned almost exclusively against the failures of the previous administration. He promised to cut the burgeoning deficits of the previous administration and balance the budget, only to increase them to unprecedented levels and unbalance the whole world. Upon election he immediately forged ahead with remaking policy by creating all kinds of centralized agencies, including the nationalization of multiple industries. He surrounded himself with collectivist radicals.  He used his personal charm and gregarious nature to court favorable news coverage and loyalty from the media.
    Can you guess who?  It’s almost certainly not who you were thinking.
    Read The Obamanous Parallels.
  • Which country has the most nose jobs (per-capita)? The answer will surprise you.
  • Hot on the heels of Beervana, Paul Walker asks an important question: “Do the rankings that come out of such shows really tell us much about the quality of the beers?” This is the stuff we need to know!
  • Paul Litterick has A heartbreaking poem of staggering genius at the Fundy Post:
  • Why is poetry so awful these days?
    I only ask because
    I was listening to Jenny Bornholdt on
    Nine to Noon and thought to myself
    "This is crap."
    I blame the Montana Book Awards . . .
  • A friend says, “I have watched a few Bill Whittle videos on before, all very good. The one released two days ago is a very good one titled "A Tale of Two Revolutions: The War of Ideas & the Tragedy of the Unconstrained Vision" is worth a look.”  Check it out:
  • How’s this for a great commercial – and the very best way for a horror film to end:
  • "100 years ago the American "public sector" was around10% of economy. By 1940's it was over one-quarter. Soon it will be on half.  Time for some Jeffersonian rebellion, perhaps?
  • Economic mythbuster Eric Crampton points to a new “biscuit harm index” calculated for the UK. (Turns out that many Brits “injure” themselves while eating biscuits.)  Wonders Eric, “Perhaps BERL could use this data to produce a biscuit harm index showing the social costs that could be avoided if only biscuits didn't exist.”
  • And welfare mythbuster Lindsay Mitchell slams the expensive and frankly unaffordable tax-paid extension of paid parental leave. (There’s no money for police ammunition, but . . .)
  • The subtext subtly woven through the ObaMessiah’s innocuous blandishments to captive American  schoolchildren declares: I own you. Or rather, the state owns you.
  • Uh oh: Buffett is selling stocks. Don't know why the NYT's buried that fact in 1,500 words....
  • "Why Do Women Have Sex?" Not quite the reasons you’d have predicted:
  • Madeleine reviews this week’s Boscawen, McCoskrie, Evans, Baldock meeting.
  • Wall Street Journal   slams NZ for capitulating to "green PR gone wild.”  “NZ's cap-and-trade rationale is a bunch of hot air," says the world’s most important business opinion leader.  (And there are still people who say we “must” endure a carbon-rationed economy to keep our place as a respected trading nation!  Did I say people?  I meant politicians.)
  • "-ism will cure every ill of the body politic." A short film from 1946 that offers an amusing reminder of what made America great, & what came along and buggered it all up.
  • The future price of gold will be as much about politics as it is economics. It was always so.
  • It's a different sort of healthcare system: It's much more market-oriented than the US. It's India, and it works!
  • Just for once, Michael Moore is right about businessmen.
  • The war on government welfare is more and more difficult to wage -- because the enemy is less and less distinct.
  • "Adam Smith would not be optimistic in today's economic world."
  • Obama is committing the same economic mistakes made during the Great Depression, says a new study endorsed by Nobel laureate James Buchanan.
  • “‘If we demand a proof for everything, he [Aristotle] had said, ‘we shall never be able to prove anything, since we shall not have a starting point for any proof. Certain things are obviously true and do not require proof.’
    ‘Prove it,’ his nephew Callisthenes had said. Aristotle was glad Callisthenes had gone off with Alexander. He was not sorry to learn he’d been killed.”
    Read Roderick Fitts on The Justification for Induction--Or Lack of It.  Good stuff.
  • The great petroleum geologist Wallace Pratt famously said that “Oil is found in the minds of men.”  Read this great tribute to the men of the mind who discover it - and reflect on what this means for the “scarcity” of resources and for theories of intellectual property: Tribute to Tiber: “Oil is Found in the Minds of Men”.
  • Some thoughts here on blog comments from a man I respect who’s far more ‘slash-and-burn’ with irrational chaff than I am.  Read: Sanction of the Victim.
  • "The US spends tomorrow's money today. We Chinese spend today's money tomorrow... Guess which one’s getting richer.
  • Message from Ludwig von Mises that many Misesians at his eponymous institute need to learn:
    ”Without copyright protection, creators have to bear the costs of production while the benefits go to others.”
  • There's an American Beer Revolution going on! More on this later . . .
  • "The Ethics of the Financial Crisis" just posted at Stephen Hicks's site:
  • Justice demands killers serve out full sentences. To mention killers without first mentioning victims is an affront to the innocent.
  • Message to people whinging about banks’ profits:  If you don’t like banks making money, then don’t borrow any.
  • The headline says: 'Survey: few students understand basic finance.' Fact is, most journalists don't either. Or economists.
  • The scientific mind, according to Aristotle:
  • Simon Jenkins: "The war on drugs is immoral idiocy. We need the courage of Argentina."
  • Jon Voight: Don't let Obama fool you with his Alinsky methods. Get the book 'Rules for Radicals' by Saul Alinsky.
  • Obama is not Jimmy Carter, so don't you go thinking that a few bad poll ratings are going to bother him. He’s not looking at political suicide – he’s still got all that Stimulus money to bribe you with when he needs to.
  • Great Glenn Beck interview with former communist radical David Horowitz on today’s Obama-Saul Alinsky agenda.
  • Bookend that one with this revealing interview with former KGB Cold Warrior who admits that the KGB sent less on espionage and spying on the west than they did trying to undermine it culturally. The fruits of that programme are now all around us.  No wonder the Kremlin is still laughing.
    Watch Interview with Yuri Bezmenov.
  • Christianity is the basis of western civilisation?  Who the hell are you kidding!
    Read: A christian nation?.
  • Shopping Antics: Why One Wife Now Shops Alone.
  • One more negative of antitrust policy is increased uncertainty & delay for market participants - Jeffrey Miron.
  • Why Tax Cows? Methane emissions from livestock is not a big issue.
  • Bjorn Lomborg: "the least cost-effective way to deal with climate change is carbon taxes."
  • Climate Camp: Spend a week in a tent learning anticapitalism, and you too can help change the weather. Deluded Canutianism for impressionable youngsters.
  • US youth unemployment up 1.7% to 25.5% -- just after July's hike in the minimum wage!
  • Official US unemployment now 9.7%. Real US unemployment: now 16.8%!
  • The "Good" Unemployment News this week: US unemployment figures nearing Great Depression levels.
  • “Advocates of land-use controls hold a Utopian vision for which they rush to wield the coercive power of government.”  See, it’s not just me who says this.
  • New book from historian John Lewis argues that aggressive military offenses win wars & lasting peace, & defensiveness leads to prolonged carnage. Order your copy today!
And finally, here’s a cute wee joke I pinched off Gus Van Horn that’s been doing the rounds by email:

You have just received the Amish Virus. Since we do not have electricity nor computers, you are on the honor system. Please delete all of your files.
Thank thee.
Enjoy your weekend reading,
Peter Cresswell
PS: All those who know and love Annie Fox, you need to read her latest update.


  1. The sad thing about the Amish virus, is I know some people who would.

  2. Quoth the Raven11 Sep 2009, 15:10:00

    On US healthcare you can't go past this Medical Insurance that Worked — Until Government "Fixed" It
    On FDR that article failed to mention that much of what FDR did was lobbyied for by big business. Because the biggest enemy of big business is not government but the market. The whole agenda was corporatist not marxist. In fact FDR expressed admiration for what Mussolini was doing. One just has to look at how much money Obama got from Wall St and how many former investment bankers are in his team to see that Obama's no socialist he just another corporate statist.

  3. Trying to organise an off-schedule bloggers drinks due to the number of out of town bloggers who'll be in town next week for the Family First Forum. Can you email me please? m_flannagan at You never answer my emails so I think I have the wrong address for you.

  4. "Penn&Teller call Bullshit! on the Vatican"

    You pathetic bunch of secular progressive mugs. You'd gulp down anything that was anti-Christian no matter how full of crap it was.

  5. As opposed to you who only believes stuff that's true right?

    Can you post a photo Red? I need something to stick alongside the entry for hypocrite in my dictionary.


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