Friday Morning Ramble: The ‘Attacked’ Edition
It’s been a week of it. On Monday, they attacked cannabis gardeners; on Tuesday they attacked drinkers; on Wednesday, they attacked smokers. And yesterday, they rested. Well, apart from reaffirming that power and petrol taxes will go up from July 1st (thanks to the mentally ill Nick Smith), announcing that they intend to introduce an Electoral Finance Act that looks remarkably like the last Electoral Finance Act that they pledged to throw out, and letting slip plans for a “super-regulator” to get in the way of finance markets. Just another week in paradise, really. Oh, and ACT is still part of this government of utter emptiness. . .
On with this week’s ramble:
On with this week’s ramble:
- Will de Cleene muses on the week’s bust of Switched On Gardener and arrest of 250 people--and the censorship, propaganda, and forthcoming assaults on their assets and liberty. Oh, and the enormous profits which other growers will now be looking forward to.
The Crown v. Switched On Gardener
More thoughts on Switched on Gardener
- "The anti-cannabis raids termed Operation Lime have struck a firm blow against freedom," says Luke Howison. "Coming so close together with Geoffrey Palmer's anti-alcohol Law Commission report [and its “extremely urgent” raid on the wallets of low-income smokers), these raids and arrests remind New Zealanders that our government simply does not trust us."
Operation Lime - An Attack on Freedom
- Green Cross spokesperson Billy McKee today said that this week's raids by police targeting hydroponic supply shops must be ‘good news’ for gangs, but is very bad news for medical cannabis users. “The organised criminal groups which control New Zealand’s 'tinny house' networks are going to come out the winners here”, Mr McKee said. “By making it harder for your average person to buy hydroponic growing systems, the police have just given the black market more customers.”
Raids On Hydroponic Shops Good News For Gangs
- Nothing brings young politicians together like the freedom to party. “That was the message Thursday as the youth wings of Young Labour, Young Nationals, Young Greens and ACT On Campus banded together to protest raising the drinking age from 18 to 20.” Head here to listen in to their combined press conference:
Scoop Audio: Keep It 18 Convenes
- Still, I bet you didn’t know that “Prohibition—and the speakeasy—invented modern New York nightlfe.”
Our Wet Debt
- Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse? Well, one out of three wasn’t bad.
What Motley Crue can teach us about drug legalisation
- The confusion, inept organisation and utter emptiness of the Queens Wharf ‘Party Central’ fiasco is truly representative of our present government—a collection of individuals bereft of any direction, or any principles. The failure of Queens Wharf is a metaphor for the Key Government: the rule of expensive empty gestures.
The people's wharf is deepest tosh
- More on the signing of the UN Wish List for Indigenous Peoples, which apologists whisper will have no legal effect. Says Owen McShane, “it seems probable that the first evidence of the signing of the UN Treaty on the Rights of Indigenous People will surface in RMA planning documents, largely because the people who write the "Maori Issues" chapters are frequently imbued with faith in the animist principles and beliefs of Deep Environmentalism and find the animist beliefs of Polynesia a useful means of forcing their own attitudes to the gods of nature and the Earth Mother on everyone, Maori and Pakeha alike. We shall see.”
Owen’s NBR column, foreshadows these developments:
No other Gods Before Them?
- Who would have thought you’d see the Greens speaking up for small business.
The GST hike means a rough ride ahead for small businesses
- And who would have thought?
After 40 years of Earth Day, we're still surviving!
- It’s not bad stuff this CO2 . . .
[Hat tip Phil Sage]
- And just so you know, Al Gore has bought a new house in Santa Barbara—it has five bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a large entertainment/game room, a guest house, full length loggia, a wine cellar—and “six fireplaces are running in reverse, consuming CO2 and creating wood.” Well,maybe not. But it is in the top-ten most expensive houses in the ocean-watching suburb.
Al Gore's new villa in California
- And in entirely unrelated news, “twenty-one authors affiliated with official U.S. government institutions argue that global warming leads to the increase of cancer, mental and neurological illnesses, impotence, asthma, allergies, foodborne diseases, nutrition disorders, human development dysfunctions, heat-related and weather-related morbidity and mortality, vectorborne, zoonotic, and waterborne diseases, as well as all other diseases.
”The only problem [says physicis Lubos Motl] is that global warming hasn't so far managed to kill the breathtaking parasitic imbeciles who are writing this kind of garbage.”
US government: AGW causes cancer, insanity, all other diseases
- The financial crisis is "far from over," according to Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, as detailed here. Along with his brother Andrew, Schiff has written a new book, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes, which he says is "for anyone who wants to understand the government, the economy, how it works and why we're in such a mess."
Schiff was one of the few to see the last crash coming, and he uses here what he used then to explain the basics of economic activity. "The whole idea is to present economics in very simple terms," he says. "It's so simple even Congressmen can understand it."
Economics 101: Peter Schiff Explains "Why We're in Such a Mess"
- See here’s something so simple even most economists don’t understand it:
Can Prices Go Down during Inflation? A Critical Lesson
- And remember Peter Schiff in 2006/6 being laughed at by the talking heads as he predicted the coming crash? JK Galbraith’s son James Galbraith shows he’s as dim as his father, and those other talking heads, as he fails to see the problem with ever-rising government debt. You’d think he’d been advising the Greek government . . .
- Who else likes to write in their books? ( I confess, I can’t help myself.) Art Carden offers three reasons to write in books—three reasons why books are better than Kindles, whatever Tyler Cowen might think.
Writing in Books
- "While reading and reviewing Robert Nelson's The New Holy Wars, I downloaded "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" [says Brendan O'Neill] and did a find-and-replace where "God" was replaced with "Earth" to see how it reads (not well enough for illustrative purposes).” [Hat tip DoL]
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gaia
- Why would you be interested in “sewing machine blogging”? Simple: 1) because the invention of the sewing machine in the late-nineteenth century was an achievement “on par with the latest high-tech or pharmaceutical discovery today.” 2) because its invention, patenting and commercialisation tell us an awful lot about who patent law works, and works (or worked)well. And, 3) because author Adam Mossoff knows all about patent law.
- Who Cares About the Invention of the Sewing Machine?
- The Incremental Invention of the Sewing Machine (Part 1 of 2):
- The Incremental Invention of the Sewing Machine (Part 2 of 2)
- Patent Thickets, Patent Pools and Antitrust:
- Patent Thickets and Patent Trolls:...
- Patent Thickets, Bad Patents, and Costly Patent Litigation:
- And while we’re talking about such apparent heresies,
"Who Cares What Thomas Jefferson Thought about Patents? Reevaluating the Patent 'Privilege' in Historical Context"
- Obama’s making $100 million worth of budget cuts? Then check this out [hat tip Noodle Food].
- Still, at least he’s not adding new spending, like some Finance Ministers we could mention.
Farrar’s trial balloon shot down
- “Some Obama supporters are already bragging about how the 'recovery' will ensure him a second term and therefore save his statist counter-revolution. Not so fast. These people are making the same mistake that many conservative commentators have made in that they are assuming recessions to be indeed cyclical. This means any downturn is eventually reversed and that this is now the case. It also means that these people have learnt nothing from economic history, particularly the policy disasters that the Hoover/Roosevelt administrations inflicted on the country.”
Is the U.S. Economy Really Recovering from Recession?
- Chris Dodd dreams up a way to make it harder for start-up businesses to raise seed capital. How long before John Key copies?
Death of Angel Capital
- How maths helped cause the economic collapse.
“It was a brilliant simplification of an intractable problem. And Li didn’t just radically dumb down the difficulty of working out correlations; he decided not to even bother trying to map and calculate all the nearly infinite relationships between the various loans that made up a pool. What happens when the number of pool members increases or when you mix negative correlations with positive ones? Never mind all that, he said. The only thing that matters is the final correlation number — one clean, simple, all-sufficient figure that sums up everything …Read the whole thing. This has got to be the most powerful illustration yet of the fallacy of mistaking a math function for real phenomena in the market.
Recipe for disaster: The formula that cratered Wall Street
- I’m a bit late coming to this one, but Steve Horvitz updates Bastiat’s Broken Window Fallacy in the shadow of Iceland’s volcano.
The Parable of the Sooty Window
- A related thought:
We should make up a new game called "Spot the Broken Window!"
- As the Euro turns itself slowly into the drachma (providing a new addendum to Gresham’s Law) Larry White talks to George Mason Uni about
Sound Money, Free Banking, Rule of Law
- And as Goldman Sachs executives face Senate hearings to explain why their short-term business plan involved screwing their customers, John Allison, the chairman of BB&T bank explains why such short-term thinking is self-destructive, and why principled leadership is self-interested. Timely advice.
- [UPDATE: Mark and Robert Tracinski argue that "screwing their customers" is not actually what Goldman Sachs were doing.]
- “The annual report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) on the state of federal regulations called Ten Thousand Commandments for 2010, written by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. notes that:
- The Code of Federal Regulations is now over 157,000 pages long
- 3,503 new rules went into effect in 2009
- That is a new regulation every 2.5 hours every day, all 365 days of the year
- “Evidently,” says The Rational Capitalist, “the garbled mess of a PowerPoint slide at right was created by the US military to demonstrate the situation in Afghanistan and fittingly, is openly being mocked.”
”We do not need to understand the actual content of the slide,” he says. “We need to understand why the military would feel the need to create such a slide... If we understand that, we will indeed have won the war.”
PowerPoint is not the Cause of Powerlessness
- Another from the overflowing “anarchy makes no sense” file.
”We started off asking what society would provide the least coercion. We then noted that the power to coerce is a monopoly of the State. So, by confining the State, we confine coercion. The more we confine the State, the less coercion there is; it is as if coercive power is some violent beast, and we put it in a cage of constitutional limitations. But the anarcho-capitalist isn’t asking that question any more. They are now asking the question-How can the private sector provide what the State previously provided?
“And the product that the State was providing was coercion itself! We started off asking how to rid ourselves, as much as possible, of the whole panoply of arbitrary laws, and courts and police to enforce those arbitrary laws and so on, and the answer the anarcho-capitalist has come back with is, ‘don’t worry, under my system there will be arbitrary laws and courts and police in abundance!’”
The fatal error of anarcho-capitalism
- Time to repost this beautifully evocative video construction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Fallingwater’—his house over the Bear Run stream. Architecture by Wright; music by Smetana.
- There are people about who still don’t understand that the role of morality is not to teach you how to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live. For the latter group, here’s some valuable advice on living “a value-dense life.” [Hat tip Thrutch]
- As the latest Pope passes the five year milestone, rather than take the time to pardon the Beatles, he could do worse than reflect on advice from an American columnist”
The Pope loves the Beatles, but who loves Il Papa?
- And now a word from Charles Darwin (courtesy of John Cox Art):
- Protect your children from the hands of errant clergy…
- There are no contradictions in the Bible. None at all.
- No, there really are no contradictions in the Bible.
PROJECT REASON: Contradictions in the Bible
SKEPTICS ANNOTATED BIBLE: Contradictions in the Bible
- Watch the sham act of a psychic fraudster collapse in an embarrassing heap on live television.
Watch the stage death of a Psychic Fraudster
- Yes, the threats against South Park by 20-year-old Muslim covert "Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee" do constitute a fatwa.
Muslims Threaten South Park
- Is anyone else sick of hearing that ad for Cat Stevens “riding on the Peace Train,” knowing that he’s a supporter of global jihad? Anyway, as we’re warming up for Draw Mohammed Day here, here’s a few pics to get you started, including a new release from Lego . . .
- Turns out I’m fully 54% Bogan. Take the Quiz and find out how much Bogan you are.
Are you a bogan? Take the test!
- Graham Reid goes all uncool over Justin Bieber.
“I heard him on radio dismissed with the self-damning line from a commentator, "I'd never heard of him until the other day".
Well, isn't that true of everything? You have to hear about something a first time.
“But the subtext here is, He can't be any good because I haven't heard of him.’
Police. Security. Screams. A singer comes to town.
- Just for the record, NOT PC enjoyed 17,268 visits since this time last week. The most popular posts in that time were:
- 29th May is/was the incomparable Duke Ellington’s birthday. Time to celebrate.
Enjoy your weekend!