Friday, 30 March 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The ‘Who will crush whom?’ edition

There are many people with things to say and most of them want you to listen. Time then for a Friday morning ramble around what they’ve got to say.

  • The allegedly thick-skinned Judith Collins shows the thickness is only paper thin—at least when it comes to her skin—by going where few politicians have gone before in suing her political opponents for defamation. (But if opponents aren’t defaming NoCrush Collins they’re surely not doing their job properly, no?)
    Political theatre watch, best defense is a good offense edition -  D I M   P O S T
    Collins Lawsuit: What On Earth Is She Thinking? -  I M P E R A T O R   F I S H
  • You mean you don’t think it’s odd that the Greens think when Australian Intelligence says “jump” we should ask how high? Or that their xenophobia apparently now trumps even common sense?
    The Huawei Question – Russell Brown,  H A R D  N E W S
  • Go on, take a guess how many people went on benefits ever working day last year. Hint: it’s more than the opposite of what Minister Paula Bennett would lead you to believe.
    One person a minute -  L I N D S A Y  M I T C H E L L
  • It’s often said you could almost fit New Zealand’s entire mainstream political spectrum—from conservatives to so-called liberals—inside the U.S. Democratic Party. But is that correct?
    Antipodean Dreaming  - Eric Crampton, O F F S E T T I N G   B E H A V I O U R
  • It’s also said that Americans should learn from New Zealand’s much-vaunted egalitarianism. But guess what:
    Nobody Deserves Egalitarianism -  Josh Windham, T H E   UN D E R C U R R E N T
  • Case Study of the Austrian Business Cycle: New Zealand’s whole structure of production was buggered by the latest boom-bust business cycle.
    Firm demographics and capital theory: Case study using New Zealand business data 
    – Jake Matthews, C O B D E N   C E N T R E
    Boom & Bust Economic Cycles: An Austrian Business Cycle Theory Overview – Z E R  O   H E D G E
  • Another myth exploded about the tolerant left.
    Pew Research reveals liberals most intolerant online. – H O T   A I R
  • A photographer has been documenting the sad deconstruction of Christchurch.
    Architectural demise -  A D R I E N N E   R E W I
  • What the Chris Cairns verdict teaches us about the special place of social media in today’s litigation.
    What the Cairns verdict teaches us about the special place of social media  - Chris Keall, NBR
  • Christchurch property activist Hugh Pavletich from Performance Urban Planning blasts Non-Recovery Czar Gerry Brownlee and his Government for the woeful job they’ve done allowing Christchurch to re-house. Says Hugh: “What part of ‘allow’ don’t you understand Gerry? Just listen to Brownlee’s appalling responses to the points I made.
    His only interest is to protect the interests of ‘investors’ interests – Gerry-speak for land bankers and speculators, i.e., cronies of the National Party, and to hell with those desperate for affordable housing in Christchurch.”
  • What makes it even more infuriating, says Hugh, is the ignorance of Hon Annette King, Local Government Spokesthing for Labour—the party of economic Neanderthals—allowing the all-but-absent Housing Minister Heatley such an easy ride. “Labour should have learnt by now how it ‘stuffed’ this country with the unnecessary inflating housing bubble 2002 - 2007 - as this Christchurch City Council Quick Facts Graph illustrates. Christchurch was on its knees at the time of the 4 September 2010 earthquakes some 18 months ago:
  • Come on, confess: you’ve always wanted to know what goes on inside a condom factory, haven’t you:

  • “One of the points that economists have a really hard time getting over, probably because it is so counter-intuitive, is that we human beings don’t really consume resources, we create them…”
    We Don't Consume Resources, We Create Them –Tim Worstall,  F O R B E S
  • “In campaign speech after campaign speech, Obama has said that oil is the energy of the past. This is another example of his dedication to making fallacious arguments.”
    Obama: Oil is the Energy of the Past - Utterly Fallacious 
    -  A N  O B J E C T I V I S T   I N D I V I D U A L I S T
  • American conservatives are great ones for following the Founding Fathers, or so they say. Want to guess what the Founding Father policy on immigration was? “Passed in the first Congress, the Naturalization Act of 1790 had zero restrictions on immigration. You read that right, the first immigration law passed in the United States, by the Founders themselves, supported open immigration… Combining the Founder's openness for immigration with the 14th Amendment race-neutral grant of birth-right citizenship--with proper checks for criminals, terrorists, and the seriously ill--would legalize almost all immigration…”
    The Founders’ Immigration Policy  
    -  H U F F I N G T O N   P O S T
  • Economic Dictator Ben Bernanke got the job because he’s supposedly the best in the world at knowing what the fuck is going on economically speaking. Here’s 30 examples of his alleged wisdom, such as, in Jan. 10, 2008: “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”
    30 Bernanke Quotes That Are So Absurd You Won’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry 
    – B U S I N E S S   I N S I D E R
  • You might have noticed that Chief Fed Reserve Spinmeister Ben Bernanke has been out on the trail trying to win the hearts and minds of impressionable youngsters.  He starts bad and he gets worse. “Bernanke’s discussion of the gold standard is perhaps the low point of a generally poor performance,” reports George Selgin.
    Anti-Bernanke – F R E E   B A N K I N G . O R G
  • “Americans will spend $46 billion a year to obey just the new regulations the Obama administration imposed. Think of the money diverted to lawyers, accountants and ‘compliance officers’—money that might have created jobs and financed products that could make lives better. Big businesses often have no problem with this…”
    Job killers: Advocates of regulations don’t acknowledge the law of unintended consequences 
    – John Stossel, R E A S O N
  • …which leads to the obvious question:
    Is Anything Actually Legal Anymore? -  G U S  V A N   H O R N
  • Why is the UK economy failing? “Do not heed those who paint with a limited palette and speak only of [non-existent] fiscal austerity.”  It’s failing because it’s fundamentals are rooted.
    Why is the UK economy failing? – M A R G I N A L  R E V O L U T I O N
  • Speaking of non-austerity, Britain wasted the opportunity to escape some of their suicidal enviro-stupidity on climate change that push up energy bills for millions of households. The laws have been spared George Osborne’s cull.
     Silly buggers: Climate law survives red tape cull  - Steven Milloy, J U N K   S C I E N C E
  • You can never be told too many times to read this book!
    Henry Hazlitt: Economics in One Lesson – Andy Duncan,  C O B D E N   C E N T R E
  • And for ten more, which I can thoroughly endorse:
    10 Must-Read Books on Economics – Don Watkins,  L A I S S E Z   F A I R E
  • Someone is waxing poetical about Austrian economics.  I give you a Shakespearean sonnet in iambic pentameter by Alex Entz, who says “spurred on by the rash of ‘Fed Valentines,’ thought I’d take a decidedly Austrian approach.”
    Dream On, Valiant Austrian! An Economics Sonnet – F R E A K O N O M I C S

    Dream On, Valiant Austrian!

    I fell asleep quite late last night, adrift

    In books of Hayek’s thoughts. And dreaming was

    An oddity—dollars and gold, a swift

    Exchange; velocity ran flat because

    It stayed constant, our friend. Inflation sat

    A toothless beast by Milton’s sage theory;

    There was no need for Twist, or worse, a fat

    Sad QE3—of which I was leery.

    There were no bubbles to be popped, no price

    Distortions there, and property was ruled

    By Coase—so simple and so fair. A piece

    By JM Keynes no longer had us fooled.

                I woke to a report about the Fed;

                Sometimes the world runs better in my head.

  • Islam is like … ?  In response to the murders of a rabbi and three children in Toulouse, France, and to the murders of the French paratroopers by Mohamed Mera, Ed Cline likens Islam to “an ideological Black Death that must be faced up to by politicians and intellectuals. There's no such thing as a ‘benign’ Islam. It is a death-worshipping ideology from top to bottom. And the only way to emasculate it is to repudiate it in its entirety."
     Islamic Jihad: Hurry Up or Wait? - Edward Cline, R U L E   O F  R E A S O N 
  • So having a Muslim as the counterterrorism chief of the CIA while countering Islamist terrorists means [insert appropriate word here].
    CIA's counterterrorism chief is convert to Islam -  J I H A D  W A T C H
  • Here’s a fascinating discussion thread between Australian Objectivist Prodos and a (chat) room fool of anarcho-capitalists.
    Discussion thread with Anarcho-capitalists – T H E   P R O D O S   B L O G
  • Unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal is as ignorant about patent protections as your average anarcho-capitalist…
    Wall Street Journal Proves its Patent Ignorance – Dale Halling, S T A T E   O F   I N N O V A T I O N
  • …and just as ignorant about the dangers of radiation.
    Radiation Hormesis - T H R U T C H
  • “A big error has haunted humanity for centuries: it’s the equivocation between generosity and altruism.The former is a virtue any decent human being will practice: it asks of one to reach out to deserving others in times of dire need. The latter is a policy of devoting oneself to benefiting others above all. The former is admirable, the latter is suicidal.”
    Altruism Isn’t Generosity – Tibor Machan, B AS T I A T I N S T I T U T E
  • And on a completely related topic…
    How Not To Cut Government – Don Watkins, L A I S S E Z   F A I R E
  • Turns out it’s not just New Zealand, Canadian, American, Russian, Chinese and British temperature records that are shaky.
    Australian temperature records shoddy, inaccurate, unreliable. Surprise!  – J O    N O V A
  • Mythbusters’ Adam Savage tells the Reason Rally why he’s for reason over superstition.
    My talk from the Reason Rally – T E S T E D    N E W S
  • Why study history?  Historian Scott Powell gives you the answers in five ‘Is’:
      1. Instruction
      2. Inspiration
      3. Insight
      4. Integration
      5. Iteration
  • Included in his five ‘I’s is this great example of “the difference between a purely journalistic outlook and a historical one was demonstrated in the exchange between MSNBC anchors and Harvard historian Niall Fergusson.” For the historian, the outcome of the Egyptian overthrow of Hosni Mubarak “could never have been in doubt for those who benefit from the insight that history provides.”

Putting any adjective in front of "justice" makes it the opposite of justice.
- David Burge, Iowahawk

  • Fast forward to four minutes in to hear what beautiful natural singing really sounds like: these are two untrained singers in their local village choir in Havelu, Tonga, but with more beauty in their voices than many so-called stars:

  • And for those who recently saw Wagner’s Gotterdammerung at a cinema near you in the Met’s ‘Live in HD’ series, here’s how it went down in the most memorable production at Bayreuth. This is the climactic ending where the gods perish, leaving mankind to cope without them.  In other words, an actual happy ending. But naturally, the fat lady has to sing first.

  • Here’s the great saxophonist they called ‘The Brute,’ a man with immense power who could still play the sweetest ballad without bruising it…

  • And finally, how cool is this: “The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone, near Aidin, Turkey (not far from Ephesus). The find has been dated variously from around 200 BC to around AD 100.”

[Hat tip Marginal Revolution, Geek Press, Noodle Food, The Daily Capitalist, Bastiat Institute, Junk Science, Small Dead Animals, Bosch Fawstin, Falafulu Fisi]

That’s all for this week.
Thanks for reading and commenting.


  1. Some of my relatives from Havelu (my village) are in that choir.

  2. Shane Pleasance30 Mar 2012, 13:32:00


  3. I am constantly amazed that the best column of the week, the Friday comment by Not PC slips past without many comments. I can not believe you New Zealanders.
    Why are we so is you who are weak, come in here james and fathers 4 justice and
    Why do not the other blog people come in and join here ... and people like Farrar and Whale Oil and Tim Selwyn and Eric Crampton come in here. They are so pretentious and involved with themselves. Wait I am wrong, Eric the Canadian comes in here, but not you weak New Zealanders.

  4. Within his blog, Cresswell refers to Hugh Pavletich, and the Christchurch LAND PROBLEM. The Christchurch land problem is unresolved. Pavletich throughout his career made brilliant analyses to show that we had abundant and available land. This land will released slowly.
    Prime Minister, and Executive New Zealand, and CERA, and Minister Brownlie, know that everything has changed.
    Christchurch will be the first City to have Mayor and Council soon dissolved, thank GOD praise God here, end of this fucking little feudalism Mayor

  5. Shane Pleasance1 Apr 2012, 07:12:00

    hows your singing Falafullafisi?

  6. Shane, I can sing mostly with a base voice, but when I'm with my Tongan mates (over a beer), then I sing in a baritone voice, since 1 or 2 others can cover the base better than me.

  7. His singing is great. After a few beers.

  8. Shane, you may be wondering what sort of sound you expect to hear when I sing in harmony with my mates, then listen to the following hymn. My favorite hymn. I'm not in that singing group, but my mate Papa & a few of his kava drinking mates from his Epsom/Onehunga Methodist church recorded the following:


    The hymn above is a Tongan translation of Charles Wesley's hymn:


    Note, all Tongan hymns are just straight translation of the English hymns. The melody are the same, except the words, which are different.


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