Friday, 5 November 2010

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: ‘The day after the day after’ edition


The Tea Party bit back.  Will their partial non-defeat be enough, and in time, to save America, and America’s freedom?
And if adding trillions of dollars of government debt is akin to fiscal child abuse, then is half-a-trillion dollars of “quantitative easing” fiscal rape?
Two questions that urgently need answering.
Now on  with our ramble round the places that might answer them.

  • “God how I wish I were American right now… they do still understand the principles of ‘don’t tread on me and ‘live free or die.’ Not all of them, obviously – otherwise a socialist like Barack Obama would never have got into power. But enough of them to understand that in the last 80 or more years – and not just in the US but throughout the Western world – government has forgotten its purpose…
    ”Government’s job is to act as our humble servant. What’s terrifying is how few of us there are left anywhere in the supposedly free world who properly appreciate this…”
    Only the Tea Party can save us now – James Delingople, ( U K )  T E L E G R A P H
  • “This was to be the year of the Tea Party triumph. As a libertarian, I so want to believe that the Tea Party marks the beginning a comeback for small government. But I’m probably deluding myself. I know that big government usually wins…
    ”Republicans want another chance, but any sensible person would be skeptical.” [Hat tip Capitalism]
    Did Freedom Win? – John Stossell, R E A S O N
  • Ah, that’s now former Speaker Pelosi. So sad.
    Nancy Pelosi Ousted as House Speaker, John Boehner Waits in Wings – A B C
  • “President Obama is a great American tragedy, soon to be consigned to the dustbin of history. The people have spoken. ‘We've come to take our government back.’”
    Obama: The Anti-American President, Pt. 9—An American Tragedy 
    – Marcus Bachler, S O L O
  • Ross Baker blames yesterday’s trouncing of the Democrats to “an enduring Democratic blunder: talking over the heads of the American people.”
    Ummm.  No.
    The “enduring Democratic blunder” (often repeated by the GOP) is to enact indecipherably complex and intricate statutes aimed at achieving impossible outcomes.  It’s the ludicrous convolution of such legislation that is “over the heads of the American people.”
    A Nation of Slack-Jawed Yokels? – Don Boudreaux, C A F E  H A Y E K
  • “The Federal Reserve announced a new round of bond-buying to support the economy. Here are some of the key issues involved in its decision..” [Hat tip Kelly McNulty Valenzuela]
    Quantitative Easing: How It Works; When It Doesn't
    - W A L L  S T R E E T  J O U R N A L
  • “That’s right, that gushing, gurgling, sputtering, splurging sound you hear is the sound of hundreds of billions of new U.S. dollars flooding into the economy and the stock market. Over the next eight months, the Federal Reserve will spend an additional $600 billion it doesn’t have buying U.S. bonds in the name of ‘price stability.’”
    The Revival of the National Interest – Dan Denning, D A I L Y   R E C K O N I N G
  • If the chap throwing all that paper “money?” out of the helicopter was this blind-sided by his theories just a few years ago, what makes you think he knows what he’s doing now?
  • “Once you let human beings print ‘money’ at will, they will print a lot of it. And unless they repeal the laws of diminishing returns, marginal utility and supply and demand, the paper money will lose out.”
    Too Much of a Good Thing – Bill Bonner, D A I L Y   R E C K O N I N G
  • So far, the markets have responded to the paper “money” gusher as follows:
    (i) stocks are up;
    (ii) gold is way up;
    (iii) the US dollar is down; and
    (iv) emerging markets are upset because they think the cash overflow will continue to push up their currency values, fueling concerns that asset price bubbles might be in the making in their countries.
    ”The real takeaway from the Fed’s announcement is that it is inflation, plain and simple. Correctly defined, inflation is an increase in the monetary base, and higher prices are a result of that inflation. By creating money out of thin air to buy Treasury securities, the Fed is piling hundreds of billions of new dollars on top of an already seriously inflated base.”
  • Inflation on the Brain – C A S E Y ‘ S  D A I L Y  D I S P A T C H

  • For years, the Federal Reserve had a good friend in their pockets when Congressmen Barney Frank was chairman of the Monetary Policy subcommittee. Those days are over. Taking Barney's place is the one man who would see the Federal Reserve dissolved.
    The Fed's worst nightmare... Ron Paul to chair Monetary Policy Subcommittee
    - N A T I O N A L   F I N A N C E   E X A M I N E R
  • Shock of the week? Bank of England Governor Mervyn King proposes “eliminating fractional reserve banking”!
    King plays God: The governor of the Bank of England wants to reinvent finance 
    - E C O N O M I S T
  • Martin Wolf asks “Could the world go back to the gold standard?”
    Could the world go back to the gold standard? – C O B D E N    C E N T R E
  • In this interview, JOHN ALLISON, former head of the BB&T bank (and an Objectivist), discusses why the U.S. economy is headed for bankruptcy and what must be done to prevent it. [Hat tip Betsy Speicher]
    Give Young People Option to Get Out of Social Security, Say Former BB&T CEO
    – C N S   N E WS . C O M
  • HowAnEconomyGrowsBook “Since World War II, most economists have been apologists for government growth. Now the ‘experts’ who never see a crisis coming tell us that we must once again abandon free-market principles to ‘save’ the free-market system.
    ”But there's always the possibility that people not seated at the government's table will finally wise up. Who or what could help them understand what's going on? People need someone to draw a clear picture of what makes an economy thrive — briefly, without jargon, and, most importantly for today's readers, in an entertaining fashion.” And here it is….
    How an Economy Grows – M I S E S   D A I L Y

"This is a second chance for us. "If we blow it again, we will be
in the wilderness for a very long time. We have to deliver."
- Republican House whip, Eric Cantor

  • New Zealand’s adult unemployment rate this quarter was 5.1%. The youth (15-19 yr old) rate was 23.3%. Isn’t it time to reconsider the ridiculous ideologically-driven abolition of the youth rate?
    Answer: Not as long as National is in govt. They’d rather all those youngsters remained out of work.
    Youth Unemployment – O F F S E T T I N G   B E H A V I O U R
  • New Zealand scores highly in being free of political corruption? Yeah right. I guess if they are raping you in plain view, it doesn't qualify as corruption. Technically true, but still cold comfort to the victims.  [Hat tip Jeff Perren]
    NZ & Singapore top list of least corrupt countries -  ( U K )  T E L E G R A P H
  • If history is any guide, and it is, the gangs will already be rubbing their hands at the commercial opportunity about to be offered them when tobacco is finally banned—or made economically unviable through normal channels. The question of such bans is never “Will it work?” or “Have we the right?”  The only thing the grey ones know is “Feel our power!”
    A pity they’ve learned nothing from several decades of the “War on Drugs.”
    The results of that war are now in: Drugs won…
    Inquiry into the tobacco industry to be released | NATIONAL News
  • Do smokers understand the risks of smoking? And does smoking impose net financial costs on governments?
    All the evidence says, respectively, “Yes of course,” and “No, not at all.”
    Based on surveys of smokers in the United States and Spain, for instance, smokers actually overestimate the dangers of smoking, indicating that they are well aware of the risks involved in their choice to smoke.
    And while smoking does increase medical costs, these costs are more than financially balanced by tobacco taxes, and by bringing forward a bunch of end of life costs that would otherwise have been incurred a decade later. [Hat tip Roger D and Eric Crampton]
    Smoke-Filled Rooms: A Postmortem on the Tobacco Deal 
    – U N I V E R S I T Y  O F  C H I C A G O   P R E S S
  • Talk about learning from the failure that is the American War on Drugs.  Drugs won the war…
    “First, we have vastly increased the proportion of our population in prisons…
    ”Second, we have empowered criminals at home and terrorists abroad…
    “Third, we have squandered resources…
    “Our nearly century-long experiment in banning marijuana has failed as abysmally as Prohibition did, and California may now be pioneering a saner approach…
    ”“American states spend an estimated total of $50-billion a year on our penal system. If Proposition 19 decriminalizes marijuana in California [which, unfortunately, it didn’t], the entire country will see how much money can be saved with laws based less on puritanical superstition than on facts…” [Hat tip Ian J]
    Kristof, Crouch, Soros, and McNamara on Proposition 19 
    – C H R O N I C L E   O F   H I G H E R   E D U C A T I O N

“This was not an election it was a restraining order.”
- P.J.  O’Rourke

  • “Politicians and pundits alike have offered economic arguments in favor of …  levying higher taxes upon the richest among us. Now economic arguments purport to demonstrate which decisions will maximize the welfare of economic agents, but they do not claim to show which decisions are moral. Economics can certainly supplement moral reasoning, but it cannot replace it…”
    Defending Rich People – Michael D. Labeit, E X A M I N E R
  • Ludwig Von Mises famously and patiently explained that in the absence of a market, central planners have no way to rationally allocate resources—or even to ascertain value. One central planner confesses they’re all aware of that, but they still keep right on [distorting markets, pushing people around, and extinguishing real resources.
    Confessions of a Price Controller – W E   S T A N D   F I R M
  • If innovative small companies can't protect their inventions, who will? Companies who specialize in suing over IP, that's who. Which means, at a time when it can take five years to have your intellectual property properly protected, this could be true:
    Are 'Patent Trolls' the Secret Heroes of the Tech World?
    - T E C H N O L O G Y   R E V I E W

“To paraphrase Churchill—We have won a great victory,
but this isn't the end. This isn't even the beginning of the
end. But it is the end of the beginning.”
- Frank Schulwolf

  • Warmists like to talk about the climate’s alleged “positive feedback” loops, but there is one “particularly toxic positive feedback loop” they don’t like to mention. Says scientist Judith Curry, it’s the  positive feedback loop between climate science, and policy and politics, one whose direction has arguably been radically reversed as a result of Climategate.
    Reversing the direction of the positive feedback loop 
    – Judith Curry, C L I M A T E   E T C .
  • Anti-industrialists are already moving on from the busted flush of global warming and their Y2Kyoto fiasco. “After three decades of trying to push the global warming scam to a point where billions could be made by selling and trading bogus ‘carbon credits,’ the global schemers have abandoned their campaign in the wake of 2009 revelations that a handful of rogue climate scientists were literally inventing the data to support it…
    ”The global warming caused governments to invest billions of dollars into alternative energy programs, including wind, solar and other equally worthless ‘Green’ programs.
    ”Get ready for the next big lie, which is biodiversity…”
    Goodbye Global Warming, Hello Biodiversity – Alan Caruba, C N S . N E W S . C O M

‎"Voters tell the newly-elected House majority:
‘Don't just stand there, undo something!’"

-Jeff Jacoby

  • “Editing Teh Herald” is a new blog doing for the Royal NZ Herald what it should be doing itself.  Applying standards. But hilariously.
    Editing Teh Herald
  • TV ratings were never an exact science, but DVRs, downloads, Hulu and MySky have made it near impossible. So how exactly do you count TV viewers who don’t watch when everyone else does?
    This Platform Is Not Yet Rated – N . Y .   M A G
  • Rachel Miner shares some generally useful tips gleaned from attending a full day Autism conference.
    Autism Conference: Generalizable Tid Bits – P L A Y F U L   S P I R I T
  • Leonard Peikoff once again goes places few intellectual heirs have gone before, but this time (as he has several times before) not in a good way.  Craig Biddle tries to make sense of Peikoff’s moral condemnation of John McCaskey. And struggles.
    Justice for John P. McCaskey – C R A I G   B I D D L E
  • How can it possibly not be moral condemnation, asks Trey Givens of Gus Van Horn.
    On Moral Condemnation – T R E Y   G I V E N S

“The ascendancy of the Tea Parties has meant that
fiscal conservatism can replace social conservatism as
the raison d'être of the Republican cause."
- Janet Daley, "Midterm elections 2010: Prepare for a new American revolution"
[Hat tip Lucidicus Project]

  • Simon Sweetman asks the important questions. Like this one…
    What song would you strip to? – Simon Sweetman, S T U F F
  • Since the first part of Richard Wagner’s four-part fifteen-hour ‘Ring Cycle’ is being shown in cinemas all round New Zealand on Sunday, direct from the Met in New York, it seems a good time to post Anna Russell’s famous (and hilarious) fifteen-minute summary of the sprawling fifteen-hour creation myth.
  • And here’s some excerpts from a seriously streamlined 2004 “chamber” performance of the whole Cycle.
  • And this, the first part of Das Rheingold, condensed into a 30 minute cartoon version, produced in 1991 for television.

That’s all for the moment,
but check back soon for regular updates through the day.

PS: Message for the week [hat tip Paul Hsieh, who reckons it’s closer to 97.6%…]:



  1. PC finds a moment to mention Anthemgate!

  2. Poor old Stephen Fry's in trouble for not being PC again: he starting to spend far too much time in his blog apologising:

    It's seven pages, but quoting the start:

    suppose the keenest disappointment I feel about the past week and the almost incredible weirdnesses it has brought in its train is the idea that there are people out there who actually swallow the notion that I am so stupid as to believe that women don’t enjoy sex. That I not only believe it but that I am dense, dotty and suicidally deluded enough to make a public declaration of such a crazed belief.

    Let me now come out and say before we go any further that I entertain no such notion. Much as you may wish to think me a compound of the most misogynistic, ignorant, sexist and antediluvian pig who ever trod the planet I can truly report that I know and love enough women to be quite assured of the fact the women do indeed enjoy sex.

  3. That quotation should have started with 'I suppose ...

  4. Quoting

    Only days after being elected, some Auckland "super city" councillors are already calling for more pay.

    Several councillors have told the Star-Times their salaries have been set too low by people who "do not understand our job", and called for a "good quality review".

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  5. Das Rhinegold in cartoon form? Ira thanks you! We already have the graphic novel; "Rhinemaidens" is his favorite story....


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