Friday, 3 December 2010

Friday Morning Ramble #365: It’s a WikiLeaks Week!

A serious week in many respects, but not one that can’t be looked back on with humour.

  • Animated Taiwanese newscasters wade through 250,000 WikiLeaks documents so you don’t have to… [hat tip Geek Press]
  • And a quick satirical summary of what was revealed about American “thinking” about the Middle East… “In some quarters of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, it’s an article of faith that the central problem in the Middle East is Israel’s (alleged) injustices against the Palestinians. That premise has shaped American policy for decades. But it’s wrong, in many ways. Iran is the key problem. It has been for years. Some of the documents in the Wikileak cache are confirming that fact.”
     Wikileaks, U.S. peace-making dramatized  - V O I C E S  O F  R E A S O N


  • Plans at the UN’s ClimateFest in Cancun to shackle “rich” nations with ration books and new emissions restrictions were dealt a death blow by Japan. “Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances,” said the Japanese representative. The Guardian were still wondering what that means.
    Canned in Cancun  - T I M   B L A I R
    Bring on the ration books! – N O T   P C
  • That’s rationing for you and me, but party harder for the warmist bureaucrats at Cancun.
    It’s Alarmists Gone Wild! says Kate.
  • But who’s “rich” anyway? Here’s what decades of Keynesian excess have done for America’s manufacturing base. As Amit says at Thrutch, it’s been “the wrong kind of growth.”
Red Taping
  • Similar story in New Zealand, unfortunately, as this graph shows. Roger Kerr explains “it pinpoints a major economic weakness – the fact that the tradable sector of the economy (industries that export or compete with imports) has been largely stagnant over the past decade, while the non-tradable sector, of which the public sector is a large part, expanded.”
    whitehead-macroeconomic-policy-slides-101118_page_1 The story of an unbalanced economy – R O G E R  K E R R
  • And what made Ireland collapse? Similar story again.  “Naysayers try to tell you that the Celtic Tiger was a myth and that free-market policies brought the Irish economy down. The truth is exactly the opposite.  Liberalisation caused the Irish economy to surge until a return to big government crushed it.”
    Why Ireland is broke – R O G E R  K E R R
  • Here’s a short summary of a coastal contretemps:
    • The Coastal Coalition is an ACT-aligned protest group that wants the foreshore and seabed nationalised. No irony there at all.
    • Chris Finlayson is an Attorney-General who wants to partially-privatise foreshore and seabed. But only for Maori tribes. Only if they don’t have to go to court to prove ownership in common law. And only if they can’t sell it on, or individualise the title.
    • Conclusion: Both of them are wrong in different ways, and both are busy talking past each other. Latest example: Finlayson calling the Coalition “clowns,” and responding to a Coastal Coalition Q+A.
      Finlayson ready to forgo holiday to battle 'clowns' – N Z   H E R A L D
      Chris Finlayson's response to the Coastal Coalition's Q and A – N Z   H E R A L D
  • Cameron Slater has a new target: the duplicitous slimeballs at local website Get Frank who’ve been paying themselves well for stealing content they don’t pay for. The NZ Bloggers Union is not happy.
    Getting Frank with Rich – W H A L E  O I L
  • Blogger Adam Smith takes on Simon Power-Lust’s Search and Surveillance Bill, which “gives the police, [menacing, dangerous and wholly inappropriate powers] to compel people to produce information on pain of draconian penalties… Power’s legacy will be undemocratic electoral law and the ability for big brother to control the populace through the police.”
    NZ – A police state? – I N Q U I R I N G  M I N D
  • Is this why Tory gossip sheet Trans Tasman likes Power-Lust so?
    Simon Power named politician of the year – T V N Z
  • Not just a police state; we’re heading back quick-smart to one that smacks of medieval guild socialism. To professional protectionism. After architects, early childhood teachers, builders, plumbers, designers and real estate agents (and many others whom I’ve probably forgotten), the next group in line for having legal barriers created to entering their profession are financial advisors. Bring on the registration Nazis!
    The new Authorised Financial Advisors (AFA) regulations, or whatever – Mark Hubbard, S O L O
  • Stephen Hicks recommends Hans Rosling’s newest, saying “Simply wonderful, both in content and presentation”:
  • Yaron Brook of Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights comments on the culture clash over Christmas.
    Is There a War on Christmas? [VIDEO] – P J T V
  • Luc Travers at website Touching the Art wants to make visiting a gallery or viewing an artwork as exciting as reading a novel or watching a movie. Does he pull it off?  You decide.
    Touching the Art: A New Approach to Art Appreciation

  • Denis Dutton explains his theory of how beauty is an “evolved instinct,” accompanied by an animation that Eric Crampton calls “the best I’ve seen for such things.”
  • And architect Frederick Gibson discusses the “12 core items” Dutton finds in both art and art experiences.
    What is Art? from Denis Dutton’s “Art Instinct” – L I F E S T Y L E  D I M E N S I O N S
  • It’s about time we had some improvisational Frippertronics around here…
  • Here’s the final movement from Beethoven’s drama-filled Seventh Symphony.  If your speakers can manage it, try to keep your ear on those cellos and double-basses as they start to do the sort of insane things you weren’t supposed to do in 1813.
  • Art. Music. These are a few of my favourite things…


  1. does the answer to NZ's poor trade/ export sector figure lie in a shift in taxation. Would we be able to rebablnce the economy by offering a reward those companies that generate export dollars by taxing them half the usual taxation rate?

  2. big friday wrap dude, I started watching Dennis Dutton's overproduction, but then I drifted on to Beethoven's seventh, I liked the totally obsessed conductor,

  3. Bit confused by Roger Kerr's reason of Ireland's downfall being reduced taxes. Is your point Peter, that Ireland needed to drastically reduce its expenditure at the same time as any tax reductions?


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