Another ramble round things that caught my eye on the interweb this week. Bookmark them now for your weekend reading…
- Face it, campers, Don Brash’s reverse takeover of ACT has been an unmitigated disaster. Instead of him resurrecting the ACT brand, which he himself described pre-takeover as “toxic,” their toxicity has instead overtaken him. It could have been very different. It might have been different without the Minister of Rhyming Slang on his team. And it looks like it will all be very different come November, because …
John Banks trails in Epsom - S T U F F
- NZ is allegedly “third in the world for the ease of doing business” according to a Wold Bank study. Mind you, what the World Bank knows about running a business could be written on the sharp end of the safety pin currently holding together Europe’s finances. Still, let’s not carp.
NZ 3rd for ease of doing business – H O M E P A D D O C K
- My goodness! Sense from an unlikely source: “New Zealand needs to avoid a costly regulatory over-reaction to the Christchurch earthquakes, Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said.”
Bollard warns against over regulation in response to earthquakes – S C O O P
- And so too does an American seismic specialist: “A Californian scientist has warned that future buildings erected across New Zealand will never be earthquake-proof and labelled Christchurch rebuild plans "unrealistic.''…The adjunct professor of civil engineering at Berkeley said GNS Science plans to make buildings across New Zealand safer during earthquakes go much further than those in his home state of California, which sits astride the infamous San Andreas Fault.”
Christchurch rebuild plans 'unrealistic' - O T A G O D A I L Y T I M E S
- More bad news for Green Party plans to subsidise technologies that wouldn’t survive without subsidies: Carbon capture has been scrapped in the UK, "...descended into farce.” “If only there was a completely unlimited resource then we may have been able to surmount the technical problems at Longannet,” said the subsidisee’s MD after churning through upwards of £1bn.
Longannet carbon capture scheme scrapped – W A T T S U P W I T H T H A T / B B C
- Every party resorts to electoral bribes. But not so openly as Hone’s party.
"Bribery and corruption " – L I N D S A Y M I T C H E L L
- Ironic really that it was a Labour Government that overturned Muldoonism, because the Labour Party today seems to want it resurrected. Latest example: “Labour has announced a clampdown on foreigners buying land and will widen the parameters of the Reserve Bank to help keep the New Zealand dollar's exchange rate down, should it regain power at next month's election…”
Labour unveils agriculture policy – N Z H E R A L D
- Mind you, it’s unclear to me how the present mob are any different! For example:
Image from Red Alert
- And from Papamoa, a picture of an oil boom … without any oil [courtesy of Russel Norman and Frog Blog]
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy won’t be in Auckland for the Big Final this weekend. Not because he’s a new father, but because he and Angela Merkel are still trying to put together the plan they announced they would put together to rescue a Eurozone that is essentially un-rescuable. Not least because this time
Blatant Arrogance of France – M I S H ‘ S E C O N O M I C A N A L Y S I S
Unravelling the Greek basket case – Oliver Hartwich, C . I . S .
- Great interview with Yaron Brook on economic issues in today’s world (Part 3).
Interview with Yaron Brook on economic issues in today's world
– L E O N A R D P E I K O F F P O D C A S T
- “This perceptive short remark, made by a steel worker in Blue Scope’s Port Kembla plant … sums up for me a key reason why specific government job creation schemes, especially popular during episodes of Keynesian fiscal stimulus, turn out to be largely futile exercises in terms of facilitating mass employment creation.”
‘It’s a totally different trade’ – C A T A L L A X Y F I L E S
- The crash will happen quickly when it happens. “We have gotten to the point when the nanosecond there is even a whiff of ‘risk off,’ everyone hits the Sell button at the same time. Observe Crude. And, yes, volume was involved.”
Oil Tumbles On First Sign Of Risk Offness – Z E R O H E D G E
- Austerity? What austerity? “Like an obese person who complains that he hasn’t eaten in hours, supporters of big government complain about mythical “austerity” even when the government grows at a rapid rate.”
The Imaginary Age of Austerity – Hans Bader, B A S T I A T I N S T I T U T E
“Bankers aren’t any more greedy now than they’ve ever been.”
- John Allison, Interview with Big Think [HT Trey Givens]
- Occupy Wall Street demographics survey results will surprise you:
Occupy Wall Street Demographic Survey Results Will Surprise You - T P M
- Something #OWSers should understand about their favourite tool.
How a smaller government made the iPhone possible – C O B D E N C E N T R E
- The Solution to Bad Speech Is More Speech.
- “The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest reached unexpected early success today when the banking industry indicated they had taken on board the widespread criticism and offered to reform the financial system by next Tuesday.” Nah. Just Joking.
Occupy Wall Street Declared Successful (Satire) - N Z C O N S E R V A T I V E
- “Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has gone global. Thousands are out on the streets in major financial centres, protesting against... something. That's not meant to denigrate the movement.
“The protesters are mostly (but not exclusively) young and disillusioned. They know something is up. They feel something is terribly wrong with the way the world operates. But through their youth and ignorance they can't put their finger on it.
“There are two ways of looking at the OWS movement. One … is to dismiss the movement as belonging to left-wing crazies who just want stuff without working for it…
“The other way of looking at the OWS movement is to see it as an accompaniment to the breakdown of the current financial system. It's societal upheaval joining in with financial upheaval. As they've done throughout history, the two go hand in hand.
“The global system of finance is broke, both actually and figuratively. It's riddled with corruption. Built on a brittle foundation of unsound money, the termites (politicians and bankers) have gorged themselves and riddled the structure.”
The Top 1 Per Cent - Greg Canavan, D A I L Y R E C K O N I N G
- The Occupy movement is utterly defined by external forces, conformist in both its outlook and its style …
Occupy London: a ragbag of political conformists – S P I K E D
- Having visited and spoken with protestors in Aotea Square last night, one thing that unites all I talked to was an idea—albeit only a vague idea—that something is wrong in the world. Which there is. All I talked to were animated by that feeling, and all I spoke to had come down to see if anyone there had the answers—because they don’t, and neither do the adults and “leaders” who’ve made (and continue to make) a complete mess of things.
They’re right. Something is wrong. They don’t know what it is—but those I spoke to were at least honest enough to realise something’s up.
Sadly, their teachers are among the problem: they’ve left them too unlearned to understand what’s going on, and too inarticulate to express their rage coherently.
They’re against special interests, for example. But they all of them support a system of money issue that brought down the world, and that rewards special interests. So one thing the protestors do need to put their finger on is the way newly created paper money enters the system—and who gets first benefit of it. If they did, they wouldn’t just be occupying Wall Street—they’d be occupying Pennsylvania Ave and The Federal Reserve Bank.
- Here’s another thing on which they need to put their finger: “The protesters in the Occupy Wall Street Movement and its numerous clones elsewhere in the country and around the world chant that one percent of the population owns all the wealth and lives at the expense of the remaining ninety-nine percent. The obvious solution that they imply is for the ninety-nine percent to seize the wealth of the one percent and use it for their benefit rather than allowing it to continue to be used for the benefit of the one percent, who are allegedly undeserving greedy capitalist exploiters. In other words, the implicit program of the protesters is that of socialism and the redistribution of wealth.
“Putting aside the hyperbole in the movement’s claim, it is true that a relatively small minority of people does own the far greater part of the wealth of the country. The figures “one percent” and “ninety-nine” percent, however exaggerated, serve to place that fact in the strongest possible light.
What the protesters do not realize is that the wealth of the one percent provides the standard of living of the ninety-nine percent.”
How a Highly Productive and Provident One Percent Provides the Standard of Living of a Largely Ignorant and Ungrateful Ninety-Nine Percent – G E O R G E R E I S M A N ‘ S B L O G
- Still, perhaps some in the OccupyLondon protest get it:
- And here’s one good form of activism, particularly so “since it is also tied into the activist's job.” [HT Thrutch]
- The Republican presidential hopefuls—the only electoral answer to another four years of Barack Obama—lined up on CNN the other day to slag each other off and embarrass themselves. Truth is, “as an advocate for secular republicanism, none of the 2012 presidential candidates are acceptable… These are ominous times … the outcome of the 2012 presidential election will affect the nation at a crucial point in our history and the current field of Republican candidates … are all contaminated and stained with the residue of a bankrupt philosophy; … whatever decent positions they hold are meaningless because they may be misapplied, tossed aside at the first test of reality, or abandoned in the name of faith, feelings or the spur of the moment. The GOP candidates do not offer what we desperately need: a consistent, bold and realistic vision for achieving a secular republic based on individual rights.”
Update: 2012 Republicans – S C O T T H O L L E R A N ‘ S B L O G
- “Herman Cain has been gaining much traction with his 9-9-9 Plan, a bold proposal to replace our dysfunctional tax code with what could be a simpler, less invasive, and more economically stimulative alternative. While I don't agree with the full spectrum of Mr. Cain's policy choices, I applaud his courage on the tax front… However, the plan has deep flaws, the most glaring of which is its creation of a hidden payroll tax which represents a fourth ‘nine.’"
There's A Hidden 9 In Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan – Peter Schiff, B U S I N E S S I N S I D E R
- Instead of watching them all again, or at all, why not let Trey Givens help you belatedly follow the debate.
I Tweeted the Debate and I am WAY More Funny Than They Are – T R E Y G I V E N S
- A combination of interview/statement of intellectual exhaustion? Obama: "even though I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones, we're still going through difficult circumstances" [HT Matt Welch]
Transcript: ABC News' Jake Tapper's Exclusive Interview With President Obama - A B C
- Mind you, it’s hard on a bloke when someone steals your teleprompter.
President Teleprompter - P O W E R L I N E
“Not ‘The Buffet Rule’ but ‘The Binswanger Rule’: a 100% tax exemption
for millionaires and billionaires. They gave at the office.”
- Harry Binswanger
- Peer-reviewed science (or economics) isn’t what it used to be. If it ever was.
The Lewandowsky hypothesis smacked again – C A T A L L A X Y F I L E S
- Henry Ergas counts the incredible cost of a tax on warming that won’t cool the planet:
The Seinfeld tax: spending big for a show about nothing – A N D R E W B O L T
- Sense on “alcohol abuse”: The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.”
Drinking culture - O F F S E T T I N G B E H A V I O IU R
- With all the negativity around, and very good reasons for being so, in truth, it’s good to be reminded that you don’t need to be a Pollyanna to love life.
I Love Life. You Should, Too. – Jason Lockwood, A L I F E O F V A L U I N G
- Here’s what the world needs:
Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things [HT rachaelking70]
- But is it art? [HT Artandmylife]
Sentence of the day – Q U O T E U N Q U O T E
- And this: Scientists (well, a plastic surgeon) have been doing important work: we now know the ideal breast shape!
The ideal breast shape? – W H A L E O I L
- The entire movie Titanic as told through a series of Facebook posts.
Titanic's final Facebook posts – F U N N Y O R D I E
- 50 Stunning Examples Of Architecture Photography
50 Stunning Examples Of Architecture Photography – S M A S H I N G A P P S
- FletcherChallengeArchives: A searchable photo library including many historic New Zealand construction images and plans
F L E T C H E R C H A L L E N G E a r c h i v e s
- A gallery of photos shot with light-field camera from Lytro. Choose your own focus point after the fact. Very cool. [HT Ihnatko]
Living Pictures - L Y T R O
Smooth Jazz Musician Forced To Listen To His Own Song Over And Over While On Hold With Time Warner Cable – T H E O N I O N
And just before the World’s Best World Cup Victory (there, I said it) here’s the World’s Best Anthem—from Casablanca. (Let’s hope the French team don’t feel like this on Sunday night!)
Against all that gloriousness all we have to offer is a haka. Oh, and the best team on the park.
Go the ABs!
Have a great weekend!