Friday, 20 November 2009

Friday morning ramble round the ‘net #269

Here’s your regular Friday morning ramble – the best liberty links on the net for this and any other week.

  • To avoid complete lame duck status, the Obamessiah has to announce something at Copenhagen. Anything.  Looks like he’s going for both those things, says Patrick Michaels, and you’ll be paying.
    The Long Road to Copenhagen
  • The Children's Commissioner is telling people to boycott the March for Democracy, to be held in Auckland tomorrow?  Sounds like a good reason to head along.
    Breathtaking arrogance and appalling bias
  • Have you ever wanted to know about the man behind the last half-century’s tax, spend, borrow, tax, spend, borrow fandangle?  The man who’s spiritual mentor to most of the Messiah’s alleged economic advisers. Murray Rothbard once wrote a great bio of the not-so-great John Maynard Keynes that’s been reposted at the Mises Daily site – find out all about the man who claimed to have discovered the miracle of turning stones into bread by means of printed paper.
    Keynes: The Man
  • Ever noticed how controls breed controls; how one government intervention needs another to fix it, and another, and then another . . . A free country doesn’t dissolve into authoritarian rule overnight, but by steps–some small and innocuous, others vast and brazen. Like a frog being boiled alive, slowly.
    Controls breed controls – part 1
    Controls breed controls – part 2
  • So peer-reviewed science overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis of dangerous human-induced global warming? So there are no peer-reviewed “skeptic” papers?  Well, apart from these 450.
    450 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of AGW-Caused Global Warming  [PDF]
  • Himalayan glaciers are retreating catastrophically?  Ah no they’re not.
    Himalayan Glaciers Not Melting
  • No, they’re really not.
    Himalayan Glaciers: Behaviour & Climate Change
  • “The world is considering a new financial market larger than any commodity,” notes Climate Debate Daily, “it's ‘based on science,’ but if you ask for evidence, you're called names – Denier"
    ...Global Bully Rudd fights for foreign committee, against citizens
  • Samizdata offers yet more evidence of why the USA badly needs a 'loser pays' legal system
  • Victor Davis Hanson endorses Nothing Less than Victory, the new book by Objectivist historian John Lewis.  Lewis offers “a superb appraisal of how ancient and modern wars start and finish . . . of why nations fight, win--and lose.” Lewis’ thesis, in a nutshell: “The goal of a war is to defeat an enemy's will to fight.”
    Nothing Less than Victory
  • From the archives, here’s Lindsay Perigo in full flight on his Politically Incorrect Radio Show of a few years ago. Number 2 includes a few comments on both ACT and John Banks. It’s like he was talking only yesterday.
    Politically Incorrect Road Show 1 by Lindsay Perigo
    Politically Incorrect Road Show 2 by Lindsay Perigo
  • That fearless unmasker of left-wing loons, the Kiwi who clipped the wings of Van Jones, offers up an interview with his good self recorded while in the States recently, which covers his views on Obama, Frank Marshall Davis, Van Jones, communist infiltration of the US government and much more.
    Kincaid Interviews Loudon
  • Speaking of loons, here is the 2007 PowerPoint presentation on Muslims in the US military that the Fort Hood killer presented to his colleagues.Nope, nothing in there at all that would raise a red flag with anyone.
  • And from the isn’t-technology-great file (courtesy of Butterpaper Australasia) comes news of a new titanium dioxide coated decorative facade that fights pollution. It can be seen installed at enex100, a retail complex in Perth.  If you’re in Perth. Click the pic to learn more.
  • Oswald Bastable offers Libertarianz types some advice. But hasn’t anyone told him trying to organise Libertarianz types is like trying to herd cats?
  • Liberty Scott continues his series on the aftermath of the Berlin Wall’s fall.  Today he’s in Czechoslovakia – that far-off country of which Neville Chamberlain knew little, and cared less.
    Berlin Wall Series: Czechoslovakia
  • Clint Heine has ten wishes for the $60 billion of black gold said to be offshore in New Zealand waters. I can agree with about eight out of ten.
    My OIL BILLIONS wish list
  • There’s a lot more than 16 examples of plagiarism in Witi Ihamaera’s new novel, says the blower of the plagiarism whistle.  She just stopped counting when she got to sixteen, she says of the novel that she reckons needs a complete rewrite. (Pity, because it actually sounds like a good read.)
    Reviewer claims more plagiarism in Ihimaera novel
  • Heading up to Saturday’s test against England, here are ten pommy rugby players we don’t hate.  Sez the Herald. Galt knows how Bumface got in there.
    'Our' 10 pom players
  • Dozens of musicians both local and international have re-recorded Chris Knox’s songs on a double tribute album to help raise raise funds for the stroke-ridden Tall  Dwarf.  Not quite sure how I feel about Neil Finn and Jordan Luck singing Chris Knox songs, but you can hear the whole album onilne before buying it at Amplifier [hat tip Hard News]:
    Stroke - Songs For Chris Knox
  • Oh, and check out The Chris Knox Collection on NZ On Screen.
  • For all those still wringing their hands about open immigration, Yaron Brook lays out the unanswerable philosophical case for letting peaceful people cross borders freely.
  • Société Générale tell there clients to prepare for "global economic collapse" over next two years -read the post & the very good comments, and have a good hard think.
  • 'The Prisoner.' It's back! Well, sort of.
  • Stimulus Watch 2.0 is launched with actual spending data instead of the made up ObamaScam stuff
  • A nice little earner? Being a UK MP almost doubled the wealth of Conservative MPs, but had no discernible financial benefits for Labour MPs.
  • "Keynesian economics is, in a sense, non-economics or even anti-economics" - Peter Klein
    [hat tip Anti Dismal]
  • Phil Goff goes rogue on Reserve Bank. Effectively calls for the Bank to target devaluation.
  • Sarah Palin doesn't believe in evolution | No, she said, "God... can create an evolutionary process..."
  • But Palin is just not anti-abortion enough for American Right to Life (sic) organisation:
  • Bankers are evil?  Check out Yaron Brook on The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History
  • When markets "fail," Nobel winner Elinor Ostrom has demonstrated empirically that “the” state may not be “the” solution.
  • Eric Crampton has the Attentionest Grabbing Curriculum Vitae tha’s come across his desk in ages.
  • Inflation is already here, it’s just that you monetarists just can't see it. You’re “too focused on aggregates like ‘the’ price level"
  • Jason Crawford reckons this is one of the most important posts on management I've written – and it’s one of the few I’ve ever posted here: 'Query for Judgment,' & encourage independent thinking
  • If it's "cash for policies" you're really after, then it's Nick Smith & the Browntable's Iwi Leadership Group you'll really be wanting to talk to.
  • Wikipedia’s Jimmy_Wales offers “the best new thought on journaiism that I've seen for awhile,”
  • Finally: Jihadist-enabling lawyer Lynne Stewart is ordered to jail -
  • The economics of pinball machine design. Fascinating.
  • Men married to smart women live longer. Smart men already knew that.
  • Amy Mossoff observes her daughter's Montessori classroom today – she is struck most, she says, by how naturally children interact with each other.
  • Vladimir Horowitz once said that if jazz pianist Art Tatum ever took up classical music seriously, Horowitz would quit the next day. Here’s the man Fats Waller called “God” playing Dvorak’s ‘Humoresque’ as only he could.


  • Philosopher Leonard Peikoff offers up Podcast #88 which covers, among other things: Developing a career passion; the roots of ambition; & accessibility laws for the disabled.
  • A Mobile Cigar Lounge! "I love it!,” says Sam Hearne. “Smoke in a beautiful environment & get around the state's stupid fucking anti-smoking laws."  Can we get one in Parnell?
  • Robert Gottliebsen explains how Australia's Emissions Trading Scam will unleash carnage in Victoria's economy
  • Peter Schiff writes on an important insight on jobs losses vs. production reports: that outsourcing overstates GDP numbers. (Just another reason to mistrust GDP figures.)
  • Peter Schiff Schools CNBC Once Again, as they try and paint a rosy picture over everything and claim “the worst is behind us.” Whom do they think they’re kidding.
  • Christopher Hitchens offers up some "Hard Evidence: Seven salient facts about Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan" that you probably haven’t heard:
  • It took 233 years, but the first Cannabis Cafe finally opens in the Land of the Free!
  • Stephen Hicks talks about the neurology behind the Montessori philosophy of education: It’s more than just dumb luck that Montessori materials promote brain development
  • Just a reminder for some of you: Ayn Rand is Not A Conservative . Good comments here suggesting it's either Burke or Rand, with very little middle ground.
  • Biofuel to feed cars leaves many of world's poor starving, and most environmentalists not caring less.
  • More Convergence Observed Between Religion and Environmentalism
  • Yaron Brook talks about Ayn Rand's enormous cultural impact, and what’s planned to make that impact even greater!
  • The looming disaster of dumbed down US maths education. Standards? What standards?!
  • Al Gore confesses: Our own minds are the enemy. Laying out the "facts" hasn't worked for him, he says.
  • Tim Blair is not surprised The Goracle is switching from facts to faith-surprised, “since facts have never actually been Gore’s thing.”
  • And Gore also confesses: CO2 accounts for less than half of the warming that isn’t happening anyway. “The science is not settled,” concludes Andrew Bolt.
  • Just a reminder of Al Gore's nine big lies for you:
  • Here’s the composers of Caravan playing their tune, one that now appears everywhere played by the most unlikely people:


  • Canadian PM Stephen Harper's jet-setting fall tour will shun global climate-change summit in Copenhagen next month. Just another sign of the eco-fest being nothing more than a talk-fest.
  • Who was America’s Most Successful Communist?  By any measurable standard it has to be Pete Seeger, once known as Stalin’s Songbird.
    I don’t know about you, but I can remember being made to sing his songs at primary school. When the history of the left's long march through the culture is written, Gramsci's songbird should not be forgotten.
  • The Source and Nature of Rights, Part 1 of Craig Biddle’s 6-hr seminar for an eager Guatemalan audience surveys common theories and misconceptions about rights. You are in Guatemala now, Mr Biddle.
  • "Religion’s enemy is not just Ayn Rand, it’s capitalism, human nature and ultimately the facts of reality"
  • What's the right way to treat TV viewers' complaints? Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie demonstrate.


  • The top 100 books of the noughties? Or a list to give an aspiring novelist a stomach ache, or a good belly laugh.
  • When all is spent and done NZ has only 1.7 million full-time workers supporting a population of 4.3 million.
  • Stephen Hicks examines John Dewey’s influential and incredibly destructive notion of education as socialization." Was Dewey an individualist, or a collectivist? Hicks is firm on that debate.
  • And finally, we have dramatic news of a teleprompter malfunction at the Obama dinner table. The Onion News Network has the details:


PS: Can I confess to being a little optimistic about posting Part 3 of my series on Leaky Houses here this week?  Okay, I so confess.  But I promise to work hard on it over the weekend, and get it to you by Monday at the latest.  How’s that work for you?


  1. Himalayan glaciers not melting?

    Just saying

  2. 45O peer reviewed papers?
    Its down to 429 and counting

    found in 5 secs

  3. Tom, is there a difference in 450 & 429 ? Not really, the point is, to show that there are skeptical papers questioning the consensus. Think about that.

    May I ask you, how many papers which have been published which concluded that AGW is valid? You won't be able to find an exact figure for me will you? That is not the point, if there are million papers or 10,000 published papers that confirmed the AGW, then it is not an issue at all. It's over 400 papers and it won't matter if it is quoted as a number between 400 and 500.

  4. I'd like to add this:

    Bloody capitalists...

  5. 'Herding cats' was exactly what I was thinking!

    Better that than marching about in jackboots like so many of the others...

  6. I read about the "450 papers" a couple of days ago it seems to be doing the rounds.
    I lazily just linked to one quick site which has a critical look at the list. There are many others.

    I do agree its not whether 400 or 450 thats the point, the link I quoted goes on to show the ones that have 'not been peer reviewed"'the ones known to be wrong etc etc
    When taken with the link about the glaciers, it appears that this site wants to perpetuate the myth that AGW is not happening
    when it clearly is.
    The question is why?

  7. The trombone player in that Caravan (Duke of Ellington) tune video clip was John von Neumann.

  8. Tom said...
    ...this site wants to perpetuate the myth that AGW is not happening
    when it clearly is.

    The debate is not about whether the average global temperature is increasing or not. It is about whether humans is responsible or not and that is what the disputes about. Mathematical models says yes, however real observations says otherwise.

    Physics models also proposed that time travel & space-warp is possible, when certain conditions are met. So, far, there is no single thread of evidence to support those time-warping predictions from physics general relativity models. Would you believe that this is something physically real or just a mathematical construct? I'll leave you to that task of finding out the difference between mathematical constructs and physical existence. Here is a hint. One is always real independent of the model that human mind have constructed to fit the external world and the other one is not always (ie, only possible when there is no contradiction is found, then there is a possibility that the model corresponds to some yet unobservable reality).

  9. Falfulu:

    "Mathematical models says yes, however real observations says otherwise."

    Actually, basic physics says yes. More complex mathematical models just back it up and provide further details.

    What "real observations" do you think show a lack of causal link between the slow increase emissions of greenhouse gasses over the last 40 and the slow increase in temperature over that period?

  10. Falfulu:

    "Mathematical models says yes, however real observations says otherwise."

    Actually, basic physics says yes. More complex mathematical models just back it up and provide further details.

    What "real observations" do you think show a lack of causal link between the slow increase emissions of greenhouse gasses over the last 40 and the slow increase in temperature over that period?

  11. sorry, that's me stuttering above in my reply to Falafulu.


  12. Icehawk

    What increase in intemperature? The evidence shows it's cooled since the '30s.


  13. Icehawk, the current models doesn't explain the temperature dip in the 1950s and 1960s. The current IPCC accepted model treat the climate feedback parameter as a constant, however a paper that was published in 2007/2008 proposed that this parameter is not after-all a constant but it is time-varying. I'll give you a simple general example, if you're not familiar with I am saying here. Suppose that you have a first order differential equation (anyway, climate models are differential equations), with an dependent variable 'y' which depends on a predictor variable 'x' (a.k.a independent variable), in which 'x' is time-dependent, ie, 'x(t)' and the dependent and independent are related by:

    y'(t) = a*x(t) ==> Equation 1

    y'(t) = dy(t)/dt ==> Equation 2

    [ y'(t) is the first derivative]

    the 'a' in Equation 1, is a constant. Let's say, we give 'a' some value, a = 3 , then plug it in to Equation 1, which leads to Equation 3, below:

    y'(t) = 3*x(t) ==> Equation 3

    This can be easily solved.

    When 'a' is not a constant anymore, but becomes time-dependent, then solving for the solution becomes more difficult, but it still solvable. When 'a' becomes time-dependent, then Equation 1, becomes like the following :

    y'(t) = a(t)*x(t) ==> Equation 4

    Equation 1 and Equation 4 have the same form, but Eqn 1, 'a' is a constant, while in Eqn 4, it is a function of time, ie, a(t) .

    The paper that I mentioned , proposed that the feedback constant is somehow switching between positive feedback, then switch to negative feedback at various or different time-regimes (basically meaning that the feedback parameter is not constant after all). This proposal, when applied to the average global temperatures, then viola, the dip in the 1950s and 1960s, were then observed.

    The warmists at RealClimate came out with their guns blazing in trying to discredit this paper at the time when it was published. With the IPCC treating the climate feedback as a constant not only give exaggerated predictions, but also failed to account for various observations.

    Physics is supposed to be universal, ie, the models should work here, there and everywhere, not just work well here but fail there.

  14. Continue on from my previous message...

    Let me give you a historical example here Icehawk. When Neil Bohr developed his hydrogen atom model to explain the emission spectrum of elements in the periodic table (which of course he started with hydrogen), it was perfect match. The bohr single-electron (hydrogen-atom model type) model predicted exactly the spectrum of all one-electron atoms/ions at the time, H (hydrogen) , He+ (helium ion), Li++ (lithium) and so forth. This was hailed as a great success. When the model was applied to atoms/ios with more than one electron, such as He (helium atom), Li (lithium atom) Li+ (lithium ion with 2 electrons) and other elements in the periodic table, the bohr-model failed completely. WHY? Keep reading.

    Well, in multielectron atoms/ions have other interactions (electron electron couplings or electron nucleus couplings, etc,...), which were not part of the model, not because bohr was aware of them but neglected to include those in his model, but because his apriori model that he had in mind, thought that electroncs are cicling around the nucleus in a newtonian fashion as mini-planetary solar system. We know today that electron/s don't arrange themselves around a nucleus in a flat mini-planetary system, but spherical, even a single electron such as hydrogen is still spherical. Quantum mechanics (QM) emerged years later which then solved the problem. QM explained all the spectrum of the periodic table.

    Can you see what I mean here? A model that is able to explain physical observables in a wider domain should be more reliant than one that only works here, but doesn't extend to there.

    As far as IPCC models are, they work in this narrow domain, but failed to be applied to a wider domain and this is exactly why I said in my message above from last week that the models predictions are different to our observations.


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