Thursday, 5 April 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The ‘Friday on a Thursday’ edition

Yes, it’s a Friday Ramble on a Thursday. It’s a Friday Ramble on a Thursday because Thursday is the end of the week this week, and tomorrow zealots will infest the country either demanding sacrifice or celebrating it.

Here’s something to celebrate for the first group, those demanding the sacrifice of retailers to their beliefs:


Here’s something to contemplate about this first lot:

And here’s something to contemplate for the second:

  • It's Easter! – N O T   P C
    It’s Easter. Almost. Time for a day off. A day out. Time to get nailed up and talk about torture…


By contrast here’s something just to celebrate, i.e., life on earth, and those “exalted moments” that give it meaning

In a letter to a fan, Ayn Rand spoke of exalted moments and her novel Atlas Shrugged:


There’s a decent thought for Easter, don’t you think—Easter, which in its original pagan  Northern Hemisphere form was a soaring celebration of Spring, fertility and new life!

And now, on with the rest of the show—a short one, as befitting the length of this working week.

  • Spain is the poster child for the ‘Green Jobs’ promoted by Russel Norman, with billions of "Green Jobs" subsidies.  Spain also has a jobless rate 23.6%, with over 50% of youths unemployed. You think it’s possible these things are connected?
    Youth unemployment passes 50pc in Spain and Greece – T H E   T E L E G R A P H
  • Russell Brown, Cameron Brewer and sundry xenophobes ponder the present dismal state of Queen St and ask “should something be done?” I argue , as I argued years ago, that the present dismal state of Queen St is the sad result of “too much being done.” That is, too much is being done by planners. Queen St is a living example of the collision of planners’ plans and the Law of Unintended Consequences.
    The Golden Mile – P U B L I C   A D D R E S S
    Helping to kill the city – N O T   P C
  • Recorded crime figures are down.  Is it due to better policing? Or to earthquakes.
    Crime statistics -  L I N D S A Y    M I T C H E L L
  • Govt making it easier for international students? “Good move,” says Eric Crampton. “Granting permanent residence on degree completion would be even better.”
    Health screening changed to entice more international students  - N . B . R .
  • The Greens and their friends in the regulation factory are working to make Home Energy Rating Sytems another hurdle home-builders have to cross before making a home.  Apart from the iniquity of the imposition, news from Australia says the Rating System is junk, with many houses with low ratings and high performance, and vice versa. “No prizes for guessing that architect-designed green homes suffered in the ratings department for not under-glazing, and not air-conditioning. The system encourages a conformity of design that suits boxes, and punishes thought-built buildings. So perhaps it’s the “thought” part they’re against?
    Shades of green -  B U T T E R P A P E R
  • It would be premature to celebrate, but it looks like ObamaCare is in serious trouble. (This, folks, is what constitutional courts are for.)
    Friday Four – G U S  V A N  H O R N
  • Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve invited several high-profile critics to give them a piece of their mind. Jim Grant’s piece is a must-read. For example…
    • In the not quite 100 years since the founding of your institution, America has exchanged central banking for a kind of central planning and the gold standard for what I will call the Ph.D. standard. I regret the changes and will propose reforms, or, I suppose, re-reforms, as my program is very much in accord with that of the founders of this institution. Have you ever read the Federal Reserve Act? The authorizing legislation projected a body “to provide for the establishment of the Federal Reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper and to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes.” By now can we identify the operative phrase? Of course: “for other purposes.”
      Piece of my mind – G R A N T ’ S   I N T E R E S T   R A T E   O B S E R V E R
  • It’s worth reminding ourselves that "Regulators who are required to forecast have had a woeful record of chronic failure.” And it’s worth remembering who said that.
    Greenspan's 'No Housing Bubble' Prediction, 7 Years Later – R E A L   E S T A T E . A O L
  • Here’s what a dialogue between an Austrian economist and an unreconstructed Keynesian looks like when both are British MPs—one of whom, Austin Mitchell, has a long-standing NZ connection. Fascinating.
    Dialogue: Quantitative Easing  - P O L I T I C S    H O M E
  • Why is British PM saying he’s cutting debt when he’s not. And what does his friendship with ‘Black Swan’ author Nasim Taleb have to do with it?
    Cameron, Nasim Taleb and cutting debt - C O B D E N   C E N T R E
  • Now, here’s a question to ponder: Do Taxes Inhibit or Inspire Hard Work?

  • Here’s some words I bet you’ never thought you’d hear in this order: “Former Al Gore press secretary slams Irish plans to honour Che Guevara.”
    Former Al Gore press secretary slams plans to honour Che Guevara – I R I S H  C E N T R A L
  • When it comes to lying lefties, Robert Fisk is the world leader. But Michael Moore and Johanne Hari aren’t far behind.
    Lying Lefties…
    –  Damian, Thompson, T E L E G R A P H
  • Today’s history lesson: The fall of the Roman empire and the rise of Islam.
    The fall of the Roman empire and the rise of Islam  - G U A R D I A N
  • imageAnd a related movie…
    A New Short Worth Watching –  S C O T  T    H O L L E R A N ’ S   B L O G
  • Interesting question to ponder…
    Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam? – S E A N   G A B B
  • …because among other vices:
    Islam Makes Women Invisible –  N O O D L E   F O O D
  • The argument that immigration must be limited due to the burdens that illegal immigrants impose via the welfare state is just a rationalization for conservative opposition to immigration. Kelly and Santiago Valenzuela offer the perfect reductio ad absurdem of the argument. Jonathan Swift would surely approve.
    More Blaming of Immigrants for the Welfare State 
    – M O T H E R   O F   E X I L E S
  • Rand Simberg discusses benefits and possible approaches to securing private property rights in outer space: - Homesteading the Final Frontier – C . E . I .
  • Top ten signs a social media expert is nothing of the sort. My fave: He sends you an email saying “email is dead.”
    Top Ten Signs a Social Media Expert Isn’t – E . P O L I T I C S
  • Wow! View art works in breath-taking detail from gallery collections all around the world via the Google Art Project, including works from our own Auckland Gallery. This is seriously exciting!
    Google Art Project 
  • Building the Pink Tower is a new documentary film project re-imagining schools and learning through the lens of Montessori education, shining a light on what we want in education: eager learning, creative thinking, and collaborative work.  Says neuro-psychologist Stephen Hughes: “The task of education must change!”
    Help out at Building the Pink Tower—and find out “What’s a pink tower, anyway?”

  • Yes, Virginia, you can do Montessori at home. You can do it beautifully.
    Montessori at Home – A P A R T M E N T   T H E R A P Y
  • By the way, if you’re going to learn about education from anyone other than Maria Montessori, you could do a lot worse than learn from the French!  Turns out putting adults first is better for everyone—kids included
    No bowing down before Bébé – S P I K E D   R E V I E W   O F   B O O K S
  • The NY Post asked America's best comedians for their favourite jokes from the past year. These being American comedians, some of them are even funny.
    Comics' favorite jokes –  N E W   Y O R K   P O S T
  • And now, some thoughts on the architecture of casinos. Apparently newer casinos are less like soulless factories that grab you by the heels and shake your pockets until they’re empty, and more like “adult’s playgrounds.”
    The new casinos and how they induce you to spend money -  M A R G I N A L   R E V O L U T I O N
  • “A former researcher at Amgen Inc has found that many basic studies on cancer — a high proportion of them from university labs — are unreliable, with grim consequences for producing new medicines in the future.”  Confirmation bias and incentives play a big role in all parts of human life, responds Russ Roberts.
    Fake science everywhere  - C A FE   H A Y E K
  • More cool new technology on the way, courtesy of genuine nano-science: Smart windows that keep heat out - but let light in.
    Smart windows keep heat out – but let light in -  N E W   S C I E N T I S T
  • No. Please, please no!
    Here come the sons: the return of the Beatles? – T E L E G R A P H

Enjoy your long weekend!
PS: Here’s the real thing:

[Hat tips to Cobden CentreRighteous Bren, Jonathan Hoenig, Cary Yates, Auckland Art Gallery, Eric Crampton, Joe Swam, The Commentator, Lyndsi Stevens, Gus Van Horn, Whale Oil, Noodle Food, Geek Press]

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting blog, I love to read post like this. Thanks for posting.


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