Friday, 29 October 2010

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: ‘Aftermath’ edition

Law changed. Negotiations over. Right you are then. Line up smartly for another ramble round the net.

  • Can’t we all get what Warners got? It worked for China.
    “Subsidising” Hobbit enterprise? Sounds like a great idea! – N O T   P C
  • In case you hadn’t noticed, New Zealand’s best humorist has started writing here again every Thursday. (Really, why some newspaper editor doesn’t offer him big money for a regular column is beyond me.)
    NOT PJ: An Oracular Octopus – N O T   P C
  • Well, this should get you all talking.  “New Zealand has been ranked the world's fifth-most-prosperous country, with the highest level of education and civil liberties, by an international think-tank.” And this despite scoring “low” on “religious attendance, 81st in the world, suggesting (says the report) “low levels of access to religious support networks.” Or, perhaps, a healthy lack of interest in mumbo jumbo. The think-tank also judged the country's education system “the best in the world…”  Doesn’t say a lot for other places, do it.
    NZ scores fifth place in world prosperity stakes – N Z   H E R A L D
  • Meanwhile, in America the state is still stealing people’s property to give to friends of the state. “My home is my castle”? Not in the United Police States, it’s not.
    Eminent Domain Shenanigans – C A T O @ L I B E R T Y
  • Tom Bowden discusses once of these atrocities: Willets Point, a community in Queens, New York, whose residents and workers are being displaced by eminent domain.
    The Story of Willets Point – ARC-TV

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and
we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."
~ Michelangelo

  • “A major rethink of the U.K’s finances is underway today after UN lawyers discovered a forgotten clause in the Declaration of Human Rights, enshrining forever the entitlement of all to have a two-week holiday abroad ...” [Hat tip Shaun H.]
    ‘Two-weeks-in-the-sun’ clause discovered in Declaration of Human Rights – N E W S   B I S C U I T
  • The Onion has a full round-up of the important ballot initiatives in the upcoming US elections.  I’m right behind Proposition 11 in California, which would “make it illegal to text while someone is saying something really important to you.”
    Key Ballot Initiatives – T H E  O N I O N
  • “The hostility and jaded news coverage that the Tea Party movement evokes suggests that it must be onto something really big beyond anti-incumbent attitudes or current-issue debates of Democrats or Republicans.”
    Tea Party Movement Is A Game-Changer – I N V E S T O R S . C O M
  • There’s an election next week. Beware, the extremists are coming!
  • A TV presenter being offensive? It seems to work for the BBC. [Hat tip Marcus B.]
    The BBC needs Jeremy Clarkson to be offensive 
    – David Quantick, D A I L Y  T E L E G R  A P H
  • Remember that talk of carbon markets? Of getting “a price” for carbon?  That price has now been found. It’s zero.
    Can someone please tell Nick Smith.
    Y2Kyoto: We're Winning – S M A L L  D E A D  A N I M A L S
  • That sound you hear? It’s the sound of climate scientists looking to their knitting.
        “A year ago, the climate establishment was on top of the world, masters of the universe. Now we have a situation where there have been major challenges to the reputations of a number of a number of scientists, the IPCC, professional societies, and other institutions of science. The spillover has been a loss of public trust in climate science and some have argued, even more broadly in science. The IPCC and the UNFCCC are regarded by many as impediments to sane and politically viable energy policies. The enviro advocacy groups are abandoning the climate change issue for more promising narratives. In the U.S., the prospect of the Republicans winning the House of Representatives raises the specter of hearings on the integrity of climate science and reductions in federal funding for climate research.
        “What happened? Did the skeptics and the oil companies and the libertarian think tanks win? No, you lost. All in the name of supporting policies that I don’t think many of you fully understand. What I want is for the climate science community to shift gears and get back to doing science…”
    The Sound Of Settled Science – S M A L L  D E A D  A N I M A L S
  • Here’s an opportunity for some easy activism. In honour of New Zealand Book Month, you can vote for your favourite four books at this website.  I wouldn’t want to influence your vote at all … but wouldn’t it be cool if we could get Atlas Shrugged up the lists? [Hat tip FreeMack]
    Vote for your favourite books – N Z   B O O K   M O N T H
  • "The sky is no longer the limit." Richard Branson [Hat tip Objective Standard]
    Spaceport America Inaugurated By Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise 
    – C R U N C H G E A R . C O M
  • A double win for Cantabrians? “Software to predict earthquakes can also predict street crime.” [Hat tip Geek Press]
     The aftershocks of crime – E C O N O M I S T
  • But still a loss for Canterbury.  Watch online as the once-majestic Manchester Court building takes its final tumble today.
     Manchester Courts Demolition Cam
  • Australian commentator Judith Sloan looks at the role of Australian unionists in the Hobbit debacle. “Good one, MEAA.  I’m not sure NZ trade union officials will be reaching over the ditch when they next need advice.  It reminded me of all those times in the 1960s and 1970s, when shop stewards from Scotland were so helpful to Australian industry … not.”
    Keeping the Hobbit in New Zealand – C A T A L L A X Y    F I L E S
  • “Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, has made headlines by questioning the effectiveness of charity and refusing to sign the Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge. ‘The only way to fight poverty is with employment,’ Slim is quoted as saying. ‘Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything.’”
    The rich have a right to pursue happiness too – V O I C E S   F O R   R E A S O N

“There is too little money in the economy…”
– Bank of England governor Mervyn King, 19 October 2010

  • “So the [Bank of England and the] Federal Reserve are dead-set on creating inflation, and it’s plain to see why.  Household debt … now stands so large that paying it down … ain’t gonna happen. Not this side of Paul Krugman joining John Maynard Keynes in that eternal “long run” in the sky. So what’s needed, or so the theory runs, is inflation in prices…”
    Gold in a Low-Inflation Environment, Part I
    – M O N E Y   M O R N I N G   A U S T R A L I A 
    Gold in a Low-Inflation Environment, Part II
    – M O N E Y   M O R N I N G   A U S T R A L I A
  • You might decide this is too cheesy for you, but I really like this series of interview with Fisher & Paykel designers.  It used to be said (and I’m sure it’s still true) that in other country’s the most talented engineers and designers would be working in the automotive or electronics industry. In New Zealand,,however where we have neither, they’re working instead producing whiteware for F&P. That’s a pretty good competitive advantage.
    Passion and Performance – F I S H E R   &   P A Y K E L
  • Mercantilism is on the move again—just as it was in the First Great Depression. If the world were to listen to Obama Administration officials—which is exactly what G20 leaders are doing at the East Asian summit in Korea this week—they’ll all soon be bringing in laws to restrict foreign investment. (Yes, Virginia, just like John and Bill have already done.) Speaking on behalf of Americans, Don Boudreaux says, “I await the White House’s explanation for how limitations on investments in the American economy promote Americans’ economic well-being.” The same goes for us, too.
    ‘a strange marriage of Keynesianism and mercantilism’  - C A T A L L A X Y   F I L E S
  • Stephen Hickson has a message along the same lines for Bill & John (and Winston’s voters).
    Is foreign ownership of land so bad? – T H E    P R E S S
  • PS: Listen to Stephen on Radio New Zealand's "The Panel". The segment starts at 3:30; Stephen comes in around the 7:30 mark. [Hat tip Eric Crampton and Paul Walker]
    Foreign ownership – O F F S E T T I N G   B E H A VI O U R
  • From the mind of the great Roger Garrison, a slide presentation on the difference between Keynes and Mises/Hayek.
    Capital-based Macroeconomics – M I S E S   E C O N O M I C S  B L O G
  • From the mouth of Lawrence White, three videos on the same difference, and more.
    New videos featuring Lawrence H. White talking about the work of F A Hayek 
    – A N T I   D I S M A L

Keynesians, failing since 1936 …


  • Bill Whittle explains how wealth can be created from thin air. True story.  [Hat tip Frederick G.]
  • “I’m not sure it’s what WikiLeaks intended,” writes Andrew Bolt, “but its latest leaks reveal that the infamous Lancet paper which claimed the US-led liberation of Iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis in fact exaggerated the death toll by at least 600 per cent.”
    WikiLeaks nails the wild Lancet scare story – A N D R EW   B O L T
  • The inaugural recipient of the 'ANZAC of the Year Award,' Lieutenant Colonel John Masters has died. His friend “The Veteran” pays tribute.
    A great Totara has fallen – N O    M I N I S T E R
  • The New York Times starts “getting” Ayn Rand: “‘This above all: to thine own self be true,’ … characters who embody this spirit, like … Roark and Cameron in The Fountainhead.
    Rounding Up the Usual Suspects: Interpreting Famous Quotations
    – N E W  Y O R K  T I M E S
  • The Christian Science Monitor meanwhile continues to get her wrong.
    Vladimir Shlapentokh’s Flagrant Dishonesty Regarding Ayn Rand 
    – O  B J E C T I V E   S T A N D A R D
  • Geraldton Lawyers and litigiousness have between them shut down a merry-go-round. (Isn’t it time we shut down the lawyers instead?)
    Iconic Merry-Go-Round Is Deemed an Insurance Liability 
    – F R E E   R A N G E   K I D S
  • Which countries drink the most beer?  Which city? Can beer with 55% alcohol by volume still be considered beer? Neil Miller asks (and answers) the important questions.
    Has beer finally gone too far?
    – M A L T H O U S E   B L O G
  • Tim Blair just posted a terrible Los Angeles fact: Steve Jones – former Sex Pistol guitarist and now an Angeleno radio presenter – drives a Prius. Sad, but true.
    'Jonesy's Jukebox' runs out of nickels – L . A .   T I M E S
  • True, but far from sad: Nick Cave confesses to a weakness for the guitar playing of the legendary Robert Fripp—especially that heard on early Fripp band King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic album.  [Hat tip Quote Unquote]
    Nick Cave: No Pussyfooting Blues – R E L I X . C O M
    Here’s the only “sing-along” from that 1973 Crimson album: Easy Money.

  • Michael Newberry, painter of joy.
  • People Are Awesome: A compilation of awesome people doing incredible things. (Unfortunately one of those things isn’t the music used for compilations like this, so turn your volume down.)  [Hat tip Diana Hsieh]
  • And speaking of both joy and awesome, here’s some Verdi sung by Maria Callas. [Hat tip Boaz the Boor]  Awesomeness doesn’t come more joyful.

        • Or, if you prefer more madness with your awesomeness, here’s some Pathetique/Manfred from Tchaikovsky playing under some insanity by Ken Russell (talk about a tautology). (Moderately NSFW. And it will probably help to understand the scene a little to know that Tchaikovsky, played here by Richard Chamberlain, batted for the other team.)

        Thanks for reading.
        Have a great weekend!


        1. Sean Fitzpatrick29 Oct 2010, 11:49:00

          Ahh King Crimson - one of my fav albums of theirs too but yes it does rate high on the prog rock 'potential girlfriend frightening off' scale

        2. Paul Walker's blog post links to Lawrence White's video on Hayek's should be forced on David Cunliffe & Bill English to watch. I mean they should be tied down to a stool (each) and then play them the video. After these 2 finance minister/spokesperson have done watching the series of videos, then next are the rest of our MPs and Parliamentarians.

        3. The first single-off Grinderman 2 is: "Heathen Child". Check it out here on You Tube:

        4. Difficult to believe such an intelligent person with wide range of artistic knowledge would advocate Atlas Shrugged as novel of the year. Really it is in the style of a potboiler with a bit of bodice ripping and very strange pages long monologues (like a Fidel Castro speech. I understand Rand was a Hollywood scriptwriter, but have never seen her credits. As for capital O Objectivism - it is a closed system, that doesn't hold much scrutiny ~ "nonsense on stilts" per Michael Shermer


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