There’s a few things I‘ve been meaning to talk to you about for a while . . .
- Adolf from No Minister arrived home last night “from ten days of indolent inebriation and gluttony in the delightful Republic of Fiji.” And what about the politics of the joint? “Nowhere did I hear a bad word about Commodore Bainimarama. We know a number of businesspeople in the Nandi area and their commentary was revealing along with that of taxi drivers, hotel staff and local roadside stall holders. There is widespread anger and it is directed not at the local regime but at New Zealand and Australia.” Read Wish I Was Still There.
- “Non-seasonally adjusted CPI” -- “core inflation” – it’s hard to know what to worry about when official economists so frequently tinker with their indices to make them look better. Read Bob Murphy on More Tinkering With Official Price Statistics.
- It’s a really bad look when your Federal Reserve chairman resorts to the “I don’t recall” line when being questioned under oath about threats and dishonesty by the Fed over Bank of America’s purchase of Merrill Lynch. Mish has ten points showing why Bernanke is a Total Failure Unsuited for Role as Fed Chairman, concluding “Bernanke is a disingenuous liar with a memory problem. He is also an economic dunce who does not understand the cause of great depression nor could he spot a housing/credit bubble visible to nearly every blogger in the country.”
All the more fuel for Congressman Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ bill, which now has the support of over half the House. And no wonder. The office that has devalued the purchasing power of the dollar by 95 times since its inception in 1913 has, uniquely, never been subject to audit. “Why in the world should this much power be given to a Federal Reserve that has the authority to create $1 trillion secretly?” asks Ron Paul.
It’s not as sexy an idea as ‘End the Fed,’ but it’s a start, right?
- Meanwhile, the US Congress has passed a 1,200-page Climate Bill that Congress was Not Even Allowed to Read. Peter Schiff has read it, or at least the summary page, and he talked about to Glenn Beck the night before the vote. See it here . Or here:
- Historian John Lewis weighs in against the arguments supporting the 1200 pages of gobbledegook:
- “Predictions of a coming disaster are shown to be a-historical in both the long term and the short term, to involve shifting predictions that are contrary to evidence, and to be opposed by many scientists. The political proposals to alleviate this alleged problem—especially plans by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—are shown to offer no alternative to fossil fuels, and to portend a major economic decline and permanent losses of liberty. The anthropogenic global warming claims are largely motivated not by science, but by a desire for socialist intervention on a national and a global scale. Neither the claims to an impending climate catastrophe nor the political proposals attached to those claims should be accepted.”
- And he sends a succinct letter to his Congressman on the matter.
- By the way, Lewis’s forthcoming book, from which regular NOT PC readers would already have read excerpts, is about to enjoy its “pre-publication book launch.” Read all about it here: “Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History.”
- And astonishingly, “The day before the House was to vote on [the] controversial energy bill, destined to be the largest tax hike in American history, it was revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency had suppressed an internal report challenging the entire global warming myth. Despite the importance of this study, and how it related to a debate about to ensue on the House floor, its existence and suppression went almost completely ignored by America's media.” [Hat tip Crusader Rabbit] The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained a copy of the study and discusses it here. The censored study itself can be found here.
- Robert Bryce talks about cap and trade (i.e., the 2009 Lawyer-Lobbyist Full Employment Act) at the Daily Beast. Read: How Wall Street Will Ruin the Environment. And on a related note, read Darn Bakst’s The Renewable Energy Scam at National Review.
- Should Keynes have a seat at the G20 table? asks Stephen Kirchner in the Australian Financial Review. “The collapse of traditional Keynesian economic thinking was not just theoretical. The demise of Keynesianism in theory was largely inspired by decades of failed Keynesian policy practice. . . As the current enthusiasm of the G20 for fiscal stimulus demonstrates, its failure is not for want of trying.” The basic truth: “Activist fiscal policy doesn’t work, because governments cannot generate new economic activity. They can only redistribute the income and wealth of the private sector. . .” Kirchner concludes:
- ”The relevance of Keynes today is little changed from his relevance to the 1930s. Keynes provided a fig-leaf of intellectual respectability for the bad policies governments have always been tempted to implement. While politicians have never needed much encouragement to spend our money, there will always be a strong demand for pseudo-scientific doctrines to rationalise their actions.”
- A group of physicists say that mainstream economic theory should disappear from text books over time because it has been falsified. “There is little or nothing in existing micro- or
macroeconomics texts that is of value for understanding real markets,” they conclude. Over to you, mainstreamers.
- New Scientist magazine explains how to unleash your brain’s inner genius. Something economists might like to think about?
- How bad is the recession? Check out this graph showing New York contemporary art sales 2004-2009. That’s how bad. But given the state of contemporary NY art, you might decide it’s a good?
- Building permits are supposed to be the means by which local governments eliminate “public safety hazards,” but have long since transcended such beginnings. They are now routinely used to use and abuse property-owners, says Tim Sandefur of Cato. Read Government Abuse of Building Permit Power.
- In response to such stuff, a chap called Joe Reed writes to his local “zoning board” explaining how they are violating a neighbour’s rights, and how they could do better. Read What Can One Do?
- Who are the new Sons of Liberty? asks historical novelist Edward Cline?
- “I will reply that we are the new Sons of Liberty. We’re all over the place. You will recall that the Sons of Liberty, for about ten years leading up to Concord and Bunker Hill, communicated with each other all over the colonies through committees of correspondence, trading intelligence, ideas, strategies, and progress reports. The new committees are facilitated by the Internet. Fundamentally, there is no difference between their functions, except the element of time. It might have taken two weeks for correspondence from Boston and Sam Adams to reach Richmond and Richard Henry Lee. Now, it takes mere seconds for anyone‘s communications to reach a hundred times the number of addressees.”
- So who exactly is this “we”?
”Here’s another parallel: In the Founders’ time, before the Declaration, opposition to Crown policies was expressed by a number of groups. Call them 18th century “libertarians,” religious based groups, conservatives, and the like. But by the time of Bunker Hill and the second Continental Congress, most of them were agreed on the fundamentals of why the colonies should separate from the Crown. We are in the same situation today. Religious groups, libertarians, conservatives, and other groups opposed to Obama and the Democratic Congress’s policies are all vying for attention and trying to dominate especially the Tea Parties. But Objectivism is the only philosophy that offers a consistently rational politics. None of the other forces do.”
- Great news for New Zealanders involved in the Ayn Rand essay competitions: the Ayn Rand Institute reports “that the 2008-09 Ayn Rand Institute high school essay contests have set an all-time record for student participation.”
- 'If a biography is a selective account of someone's life according to the author's judgments about what is important, what makes for a good (or bad) biography?'" Burgess Laughlin answers the question at The Nearby Pen.
- The Atlantic has published a glowing eulogy of William F. Buckley by Garry Wills which Gus Van Horn highly recommends -- “but with one proviso..."
- Rational Jenn offers more rational guidance on child-care: “Helping the kids through the steps of solving their own conflicts--rather than solving their problems for them--gives them good chances to practice Objectivist virtues,” says Jenn. “Even though the process sure takes a long time!"
- To Know Capitalism Is to Love Capitalism says Doug Reich at The Rational Capitalist, saying, "Modern writers implicitly define capitalism by non-essentials with the consequence that capitalism is often regarded to be something approximating its antithesis. Properly defining the concept of capitalism is half the battle.”
- Speaking of capitalism, The Objective Standard has An Interview with a “Capitalist Pig”. That is, an interview with Jonathan Hoenig, manager of the CapitalistPig Hedge Fund, on Hedge Funds, the Economic Crisis, and the Future of America. You’ll need to subscribe to read the full interview (which is worth ever penny), but if you like your interviews free than read their feature interview from the previous issue: Yaron Brook on Atlas Shrugged and the World Today -- especially why, more than fifty years ago, Rand was able to project the kinds of crises we are seeing today.
- While we’re talking The Objective Standard, if you’re a New Zealand subscriber you will have enjoyed Monica Hughes’s Brief History of U.S. Farm Policy and the Need for Free-Market Agriculture – something NZers have known for at least twenty years.
- Can China Transform its Mode of Growth? Mark DeWeaver looks at the prospects.
- For some reason, alleged economist Paul Krugman still commands respect in some circles. This is the same Paul Krugman who back in 2002 called for Alan Greenspan “to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble”; the same Paul Krugman who’s since been suggesting that doesn’t mean what it says; the same Paul Krugman who earns the definitive smackdown by Lilburne in as Krugman's Intellectual Waterloo.
- Speaking of smackdowns, Dr Shaun Holt continues his dismantling on Breakfast TV and Newstalk ZB of local health charlatans.
- Online historian Scott Powell is about to start another round of European History, and ideal course for home-schoolers taught in Scott’s uniquely easy-to-learn method of History by Induction. Learn more about the course here: HistoryAtOurHouse European History Curriculum Summary.
- If you’ve got some spare time, then book mark the videos from the recent European Property and Freedom conference, featuring presentations by the likes of Jörg Guido Hülsmann on ‘The Great Crash of 2009,’ Robert Higgs on ‘The Costs of the American Empire,’ Theodore Dalrymple on ‘In Praise of Prejudice,’ and Sean Gabb on ‘What is the Ruling Class?’
See all 27 here at the Property & Freedom Society conference website.
- Who would have thought it. Aucklanders don’t like being told what to do. They don’t like living where planners want them to, or how planners try to make them live. But they should be made to, say the planners.
- Luke Malpass argues that even though the Key Government campaigned on reforming welfare, as the recession bites deeper it looks far more like they’re incentivising welfare.
- The abortion “debate” begun when an anti-abortionist gunned down Dr George Tiller in his church ended up going nowhere. There’s a simple reason for that, folks. As Tom Bowden points out, “Laws against abortion are products of religious faith.”
- I meant to post this after Obama’s Cairo speech. In his speech in Cairo, President Barack Obama made the following statement:
As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.
This statement is completely false. The president's error is in attributing "Islam" to the accomplishments of the Arab world of a thousand years ago. The president couldn't be more wrong. Read The Charlotte Capitalist find out why, and to learn some real history about the Dark Ages of both Islam and the West.
And finally, here’s a pic just published of a young Barack Obama in his schooldays: