Welcome to another ramble round things and places that caught this liberty-lover’s eye this week . . . without any mention of David Bain. Apart from this one.
- Never mind bloody Earth Hour this weekend. Auckland’s Racket Bar is holding a Power Hour tomorrow night, featuring the world's longest multi-box chain, coal-fired air-conditioning and a light show visible from outer space.! Cool.
Plus: BRING IN YOUR OWN ELECTRICAL APPLIANCE AND RECEIVE A FREE TIGER BEER!
Sounds like a place to be.
--> Power Hour at the Racket Bar
- And Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath encourages all New Zealanders to turn on all their lights during Earth Hour this Saturday night.
“The Dark Ages were a grim chapter in human history. I don’t feel the need to relive those times.”
--> Light Up The Country This Earth Hour, Say Libz
- “The symbolic message that Earth Hour sends is deceptive and destructive.”
--> “Earth Hour” Symbolizes the Renunciation of Industrial Civilization
- Another carbon tax domino falls—Nicholas Sarkozy has given in to reality and to political pressure, and pulled his country’s much feted carbon tax scheme.
So if he can see sense . . .
--> France backs down on plans for carbon tax
- It’s a bit early to crack down on beneficiaries, says Peter Osborne. There’s a few things that need to be done first . . .
--> At Least Do the Job Properly Paula
- For instance . . .
--> Why not just scrap WFF Bill?
- One would hope that those who parade the “neutrality” of Radio NZ journalists might give some thought to John Stossel’s consideration of government-paid journalists.
“That journalists are supposed to be the watchdogs, not lapdogs of government
doesn't resonate with many on the Left. …
“ Journalists shouldn’t get government funds. Using NPR and PBS [and Radio NZ] as
a defense reminds me of the child who killed his parents then pleaded for mercy because
he was an orphan. “
--> Journalism's Parasites [hat tip Thrutch]
- Yet another economist is getting “sick of reports that talk about these massive benefits of government spending without actually looking at them in context with, you know, opportunity cost.” Matt Nolan lets rip.
--> I’m sick of this …
- Speaking of political economy, Labour’s David Cunliffe reckons at the Red Alert blog that "Keynes is alive and well." That Keynes "rescued" 2 Depressions. I comment. Could be the start of a good debate.
--> The Turning Point (III): The Keynesian Resurgence
- A “frustrating” Massey University survey on abortion etc. shows far too many busybodies far too interested in what women choose to do with their bodies.
--> Frustrating abortion survey out
- No smell-o-vision yet (thank goodness) but 4-dimensional cinema has arrived! Eat your heart out Avatar.
--> Too much realism
- Speaking of Avatar, director James “Dickhead” Cameron politely calls for a debate with climate skeptics. On the behalf of “boneheads” everywhere, Anne McElhinny accepts. “It appears some negative comments about the nonsensical politics of Avatar by me and others did not go unnoticed by the richest man in Hollywood who described the criticism as ‘ranting.’ So, James Cameron I accept your invitation.”
I almost feel sorry for the over-precious poseur.
--> James Cameron – I Accept
- “The front page story in the Dominion-Post [yesterday] is about disabled woman Margaret Page. She wants to die, and so is refusing food and water, effectively starving herself to death. The hospice she is in, St John of Godhome, is refusing to intervene.
And so they should be. This is fundamentally a question of autonomy. Our lives belong to us, not to someone's Invisible Sky Fairy, and certainly not to the state.”
Bravo! If only Idiot/Savant would follow that principle consistently himself!
--> The right to die
- The Family’s Commission CEO offers “a heaven-sent opportunity” to close the bloody place down.
“Blend the bloody thing in somewhere and give it six months to wither and die as the departmental CEO redirects its funds to something useful,” says Adolf.
--> Now Get Rid Of It
- “A guy phoned up who worked for NASA who was interested in how we took the pictures,” Mr Harrison told The Times.
“He wanted to know how the hell we did it. He thought we used a rocket. They said it would have cost them millions of dollars.”
But not when you use a balloon, a camera and a roll of duct tape.
--> Journey into space with a balloon and duct tape
- Lisa Van Damme’s Van Damme Academy offers a unique curriculum for students, and “Director’s Teas” where parents themselves get to experience it.
Check out, for example, this masterful art appreciation class with “Mr Travis.” It starts unusually, but you’ll be amazed what – in just twenty minutes -- he can show you in what you thought was a simple painting.
--> The VDA Art Curriculum - Part 3 of 8 [Click through for the full lecture]
- Rodbeater has been trolling again—so excerpts of his trash have been posted to his Redbaiter’s Bile blog.
Head along and “enjoy” some edited samples of his invective—and get a clue why this idiot is banned.
--> Redbaiter’s Bile
- The argument is over, and the liberals have won. But Matthew Yglesias reckons ObamaCare is their high tide. Sounds like wishful thinking-but a lot are buying that Kool-Aid.
--> The End of Big Government Liberalism
- “You need a way to maintain your morale—to counter the effects of dispiriting circumstances. In short you need a solid basis to expect a better future. What can provide it when the news headlines fill you with revulsion?
“The virtue of optimism. .. But [by this I mean] a very particular type of optimism. It is not wishful thinking.. It is confidence in one's own potency, and it has to be maintained and fought for like any virtue.....”
--> Tom Minchin - Hope is Dead - Long Live Optimism
- Who are "the forgotten men and women of American health care”?
The doctors, of course. How many have heard from them?
--> Who cares about the doctors?
- A quote now for every time someone calls you anti-health care or anti-education…
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the
distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every
time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists
conclude that we object to its being done at all.”
– Frédéric Bastiat
- Here’s something to ponder for fans of “efficient markets.” Buyers of bonds now rate Berkshire Hathaway’s bonds safer than those peddled by the US Government. Which means, as Bloomber reports, “The bond market is now saying that it’s safer to lend to Warren Buffett than Barack Obama.”
--> A Fiscal Train Wreck
- “A sudden drop-off in investor demand for U.S. Treasury notes is raising questions about whether interest rates will finally begin a march higher—a climb that would jack up the government's borrowing costs and spell trouble for the fragile housing market.” And not just for the housing market. This is the beginning of the end for that school of economists who maintain that government debt is the basis on which currency is organised.
--> Hoping for a rich uncle, part two
- “AsMargaret Thatcher once said, "the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Michael Barone reports, “in recent weeks U.S. Treasury bonds have lost their status as the world's safest investment…”
--> Obama, Meet Reality aka The Bond Market
- Does NZ really need a Productivity Commission anyway? Paul Walker doesn’t think so.
--> Productivity commission, Why?
- On better things . . . Rachel Miner “shares some tools which have added much joy for me by helping me capture the precious moments of parenting. There are so many experiences that are both easy to forget and worthy of remembering."
--> Tool: Capturing the Precious Times
- Jo Kellard offers a guide for how to start thinking about potential careers and career choices.
--> Did Students Heed My Career Advice?
- The title says it all:
--> The Nature of Consciousness Vs. Religious concepts
- "We may have lost the first round in the health care battle,” says Paul Hsieh. “But if we follow these principles,the final victory can still be ours."
--> "ObamaCare: The Coming Battles"
- Earth doesn’t care whether our lights are on or not; if we’re producing or not; which Korea is starving, or free, or not. The night lights of Korea tell the story of man’s emergence from slavery into freedom.
For in the slave state that is North Korea, “Earth Hour” is for life.
--> Earth doesn’t care about our lights, our electricity
- "Amazing! A company that provides really great food allergy information that is NOT coerced by the government! Why in the world would they do such a crazy thing?"
--> Now THAT'S What I Call a Food Allergy-Friendly Company
- A list of psychological disorders. Some of them are genuine. All are bogus.
--> Take the DSM-5 disorder quiz!
- Guess who’s against medical marijuana in California?
That’s right. The growers.
--> Baptists, Bootleggers & Vidalia Onions
- “The new anti-"Zionism" - or anti-Semitism for many - has gone mainstream in a deadly serious way.”
--> The betrayal of Israel
- “The great green paradox of the Coromandel is that the place celebrates its mining heyday at every turn.”
--> Coromandel can bear more mining
- New book Genetic Roulette purports to take apart genetic engineering, detailing “65 separate claims that the technology causes harm in a variety of ways.” The Academics Review website dismantles every one of them.
Science is the winner.
--> Genetic Roulette
- If you’re somebody who only reads Penthouse for the articles, then you’ll have already seen this: Penthouse magazine taking down Al Gore. “Al Gore and his pals in the science establishment want us to totally change our lives because of a theory that might not even be true. Have the sacred cows of global warming been gored beyond repair?”
--> An Inconvenient Fraud?
- This is worth digesting: Doug Casey’s Special Report on the state of the world economy. Twenty pages of charts and stats that tell you the story in pictures that so many wish to deny.
--> The Good, Bad, and Ugly: “Outlook for the Economy” [pdf]
- Scott de Salvo suggests Objectivists should get behind Ron Paul. Hmmm.
--> Why Ron Paul Is THE Objectivist Moral Imperative
- David Harriman’s Logical Leap: Induction in Physics won’t be available for purchase until this summer. But his ‘Periodic Table of the Sciences’ is available now.
“The Periodic Table of the Sciences is a graphical
description of .. science education. Within each
column, the table shows the stages of development
(from bottom to top) of the five major theories that
are essential to a basic education in science. The order
of the columns (from left to right) reflects the fact that each theory is a prerequisite
for the next.
“The concepts of science have a necessary order. Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
must come before Newton’s law of universal gravitation, electric charge before atomic
theory, and atomic theory before modern biology. This logical order is shown in the table—
vertically in the development of each theory and horizontally in the progression from one
theory to the next. Thus, the Periodic Table of the Sciences captures the integration and the
hierarchy of scientific knowledge.
“For students and teachers, the table serves as a reference that demands an answer to two
crucial questions: what previous knowledge does an idea rest on, and where does the new
--> Periodic Table of the Sciences
--> For a more in-depth analysis, see Harriman’s articles in The Objective Standard
- It’s amazing what’s now available on the internet.
Philosopher Stephen Hicks has put his entire 15-lecture Philosophy of Education course online, in video. Normally you’d pay thousands of dollars for this . . . but it’s yours for the price of your internet connection.
My bet is most of you will head straight to the ‘Big Bang’ and ‘The Creation Story’ in Lecture 2. Me, I might head straight for what he has to say about Post-Modernism in Lecture 14.
--> Philosophy of Education: An Introductory Course
- Nancy Pelosi a constitutionalist? No, I didn’t think so either.
--> Nancy Pelosi vs. the Founding Fathers
- This is “must-see TV” says Tim Blair. “A couple of things about the BBC’s excellent Generation Jihad investigation:
“One, baby jihadis born and raised in the West are driven entirely by ideology (says one British extremist, previously jailed for terrorism offences: “I’ve never been a victim of poverty or any kind of family break-up or anything like that").
“And two, these jihadis are a serious menace, despite – paradoxically – being complete losers.”
- Eric Crampton talks about the hoped-for rise of “The Ninny State.” Apparently you and I are being mocked, and we didn’t even know!
--> Ninny state?
- Life is rough for warmists right now. “In Britain, the 'Climate Change Museum' has been forced to change its name to the 'Climate Science Museum' and in Russia, the country's top climatologist has come out and said that: ‘The winter of 2009-10 was one of the most severe in the European part of Russia for more than 30 years and in Siberia it was perhaps the record-breaking coldest ever.’
“And, as a result of all this contrary data, the global warming theorists are now threatening violence. “
--> Ian O'Doherty: Don't tase me, bro
- Greenpeace isn’t just paid by the government to lobby them—taking money straight out f taxpayers’ pockets--it also steals directly from its members’ bank accounts.
But it should be no surprise: greenies are less honest than the rest of us. We knew it just by watching Al Gore’s and Paul Watson’s lips moving, but turns out research shows it too!
--> Watchdog warns Greenpeace donors
--> Goodies behaving badly
- Must be hard hating technology. It means you’d have to hate people who are so good at celebrating it … like the genius who designs Apple’s retail stores.
-- > Meet the Genius Behind Apple's Beautiful Retail Stores
To suppose all consumers to be dupes, and all merchants and
manufacturers to be cheats, has the effect of authorising them
to be so, and of degrading all the working members of the community.”
- ARJ Turgot (1727-1781)
- There’s less private healthcare in the States than you think, and more government-run healthcare than you’d expect—and guess where it’s already going going wrong.
But it’s not hard to fix, says Liberty Scott, iff you did the opposite of what Obama’s doing.
--> Why Obama's health reforms are quite wrong
- Jeff Perren does important work.
--> Surveying The Progressive Fantasy World
- Eric Crampton just spent time at Canterbury Uni with forty or so folk who “seemed broadly supportive of ending the war on drugs.” And you can’t say that every day.
--> Misuse of Drugs Act Panel Discussion
- I’ve started to load up content on my Organon Architecture blog. Hopefully, before very long, I’ll have most of what I want up there, but there’s still a fair way to go. Still, it’s looking pretty good already. But then, I would say that, wouldn’t I.
--> Organon Architecture Blog
- Remember that discussion we had a while back about art and the holocaust? About Munch’s ‘Scream,' which was painted long before the Holocaust, but which some of you felt evoked it anyway by its feeling of total despair.
Contrast that with Henryck Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, a piece of musical art which was written about the Holocaust, but which has the opposite feeling altogether.
Think about that, and we’ll talk about it next week.
--> Henyrk Górecki - Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 – YOUTUBE
--> 'Who Needs Great Art?' – Comments – NOT PC
- And finally, something completely different. Specially for Helen Simpson, a Telephone Call From Istanbul . . .
Enjoy your weekend!