Friday, 13 April 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The ‘Slow News Week’ edition

Here’s a quick ramble around a few things that caught my internet eye this week:

Farming will stay out of the Emissions Trading Scam until 2018… “Underlying this appears to be a further calculation: that the Kyoto Protocol and its various policy offshoots is not going to be around, at least in its current form, by the time anyone has to make a decision on this.”
Farming out of ETS until at least 2018 – Rob Hosking, N . B . R .

The thing about “boat people” is why they want to come—“because of the persecution and possible death facing them and their family in their home country… There is also no one Correct Way to be an asylum seeker.”
All the coolest people's ancestors came here by boat – Julie,  H A N D   M I R R O R

Those responsible for New Zealand’s unnecessary housing crisis, a long story of political incompetence and the victory of the self-anointed over everybody else, are finally given a polite but necessary kick in the pants.
 Productivity Commission recommends immediate release of land for residential development in Auckland, Christchurch, in final housing affordability report 
– Alex Tarrant, I N T E R E S T . C O . N Z

Chiefly responsible for the crisis, the only question NZ’s planners seem to ask themselves is “where should we put our zones?” They should be asking themselves something far more fundamental:
Instead of Zoning…What? - – Tibor Machan, T I B O R ’ S     S P A C E

imageThe Triumph of the City is a passionate defence of the city as the best mechanism for human flourishing.
The Triumph of the City -  O F F S E T T I N G   B E H A V I O U R

Dairy farmers can be charged for effluent spills which might enter waterways but councils can dump raw sewage until the cows come home.
Two standardsH O M E  P A D D O C K

We’re from the government, and we’re here to insist that you be happy: The latest iteration of pseudo-justifications for big government is up on us.
 Government Intervention for Your HappinessAmit Ghate,  T H R U T C H

The sacking of the “Fox Mole” raises questions from erudite folks about the alleged journalistic bias of Fox News, just the kind who routinely reads The New York Times.  The alleged basis for the disdain is that Fox is obviously biased whereas the Old Gray Lady is impeccably objective. But this, concludes Tibor Machan, is a misimpression.
Fox TV versus The New York Times – Tibor Machan,  T I B O R ’ S   S P A C E

The only people whose welfare is boosted by the housing-benefit racket are middle-class landlords.
Who benefits from housing handouts? – Neil Davenport,  S P I K E D  O N L I N E

Just when Apple was introducing its latest iPad, the government announced that Apple was among six companies being investigated over ebook pricing. As that investigation appears to be nearing its conclusion, here are three things everyone needs to know about the case.
3 Things Everyone Needs to Know About the Apple Antitrust Case 
– Yaron Brook & Don Watkins,  F O R B E S

Shortly after Steve Jobs’s death I started hearing murmurs from the left about how Apple exploited Chinese workers. In recent months, the murmurs have grown into an obnoxious chorus. But now one of the major sources of the complaints about Apple and Chinese workers has just been exposed as a fraud.
The Smear Campaign Against Apple  - Don Watkins,   L A I S S E Z   F A I R E

Is the Tea Party movement dead? Or is it just evolving.
The Evolution of the Tea Party – Ari Armstrong,  O B J E C T I V E   S T A N D A R D

Important questions we need to answer: just how big is internet porn?
Just how big are porn sites? – 3  Q U A R K S   D A I L Y

Hillary Clinton texts. It’s true:

The term “economic recovery” implies a return to things as they once were. A return to normal. A return to average. But what if this is not that kind of a situation? What if we are in for a new normal, and along with it, a new kind of average? What if we are, as they say, past the point of “no return”?
Misguided Faith in an Economic Recovery – Joel Bowman, D A I L Y R E C K O N I N G

Recovery would happen faster is mainstream economists weren’t all in thrall to The Grocer Fallacy.
The Spurious Grocer Philosophy – Peter Klein, C I R C L E  B A S T I A T

Economics education needs to change. “We must now teach students how we got into the mess of the last five years and how we got only partially out. For that reason, teaching elementary economics just got harder. Our teaching about monetary policy must be completely revamped. Specifically, students must now learn something about ‘unconventional’ monetary policies.”
Keynesians Need to Rethink How They Teach Economics – Mark Brandly,  C I R C L E  B A S T I A T

Oh what a tangled web we weave when we begin to spend money we don't have. We spend it because we think we'll be able to pay it back later. Or, in the case of government debt, because it can make someone pay it back later through tax hikes. But the world is still full of bills that may never be paid, and Australia has one of these own mini-crises ticking away.
Beware the Big Government Debt Switcheroo – Dan Denning,  D A I L Y  R E C K O N I N G

More evidence the Aussie economy is grinding to a halt: Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Australian housing finance and building approvals data. It wasn't pretty.
The Road to Australian Housing Hell… – Greg Canavan,  D A I L Y  R E C K O N I N G

That the gold standard prevents authorities from engaging in reckless money pumping is a feature, Mr Bernanke, not a bug.
A Response To Bernanke’s ‘Misunderstanding’ About The Gold Standard 
– Keith Weiner,  D A I L Y   C A P I T A L I S T
Contra Bernanke on the Gold Standard – Frank Shostak,  M I S E S  E C O N O M I C S   D A I L Y

Not everything of value can be measured. Not everything that can be measures is valuable. Motivated human behaviour especially cannot be modelled—and disaster can strike when you try.
Wall Street Math – Doug French,  M I S E S  D A I L Y

“What if we had the following economic system?  This system would shower the globe with free goods day and night, asking nothing and giving nearly everything. Most of what it generated would be free goods, and every living person would have access…
It would serve the common man slavishly and knock the elites when they become proud and arrogant. It would make it beneficial to everyone to include ever more people in its productive potential and give everyone who wants it a stake in the outcome.
That system has a name. It’s called the free market.”
Commerce, Our Benefactor  - Jeffrey Tucker, L A I S S E Z  F A I R E   B O O K S

The economic objections raised against the market economy are based on very bad economics.
The Case Against the Market Economy - Ludwig Von Mises, M I S E S   D A I L Y

A  necessity for peaceful co-existence, for everyone:
How Property Rights Solve Problems – David R. Henderson,  E C O N   L O G

Before iPods, digital downloads and mp3s, before even CDs, we had something called records. Astonishing!

Reasons for space stations, Part 117: research on whisky: “Compounds of unmatured malt were sent to the International Space Station in an unmanned cargo spacecraft in October last year, along with particles of charred oak. The researchers are also measuring the molecules' interaction at normal gravity on Earth so they can compare the way the particles mature.”
Space-Aged Whiskey and Russian Rockets – Katherine Mangu-Ward,  H I T   &   R U N

Is Japan dangerous? Not in terms or radiation, but based on the historical record? What if we take the longer view… “Japan certainly appears quiescent. What happens, however, when it is forced to declare national bankruptcy within the next five years, due to a debt problem that far exceeds that of the United States and that can no longer be evaded? What happens when Japanese industry cannot get the raw materials it needs because of expanded wars in the Middle East? What happens when these factors combined with Japan’s demographic implosion force the Japanese to choose between an even more acute subordinacy in world affairs and the ‘glorious’ hope of a Japan reborn through the ‘way of the warrior’?” Do the most essential traits of Japanese culture make a return to war almost inevitable! 
Is Japan Dangerous? – Scott Powell, P O W E L L   H I S T O R Y  R E C O M M E N D S

Do Taxes Inhibit or Inspire Hard Work? Your View?

From a slow start, Germans are catching up in the world-wide tax-subsidized GreenJobsFail race.
Solar panel maker Q-Cells to file for bankruptcy – B . B . C .

Maria Montessori: inspiration for a new generation of business innovators. “Like children, creators need to be able to guide their own learning and development based on their innate and instinctual needs – not those imposed by others who don't know what moves them as individuals seeking purpose.”
Maria Montessori: guru for a new generation of business innovators  - G L O B E   &   M A I L

If you’re anywhere near Takapuna this weekend, think about checking out a session or two of the Montessori Association conference at the Spencer on Byron—especially Saturday morning from 9:45am to noon where speakers offer an opportunity for parents and those new to Montessori to come and learn more.
Montessori Association (NZ) Conference

My favourite living artist, Michael Newberry, has moved to a new larger studio in downtown L.A. Check it out:
Open Studio Some Pics - A N   A R T I S T  ’S  V O I C E

This great new thriller, Living Proof, “is eerily reflective of today’s political controversies about the concept of human life.”
Kira Peikoff’s Living Proof Speaks To Today’s Controversy on Stem Cell Research 
– Jon Glatfelter,  T H E  U N D E R C U R R E N T

“The ethics of altruism holds that others are standard of value. One is good to the extent one puts the interests of other first, acts to achieve their interests, and, when necessary, sacrifices one’s interests for their sake.
“In The Fountainhead, Ellsworth Toohey is the major strategist of altruism, using five distinct variants of altruism to achieve his ends…”  Read them (or pin them up) in this new print version!
“Toohey’s Five Strategies of Altruism” – Stephen Hicks, S T E P H E N   H I C K S

"A beginning Objectivist's guide of which items from the dauntingly large Ayn Rand Bookstore catalog to read first. Answers such questions as: What are the three most important Objectivist lectures? What are the first fifteen Objectivist works you should read, in exactly what order? What are the four most important chapter is OPAR, and why? What are Ayn Rand's best essays/lectures? Peikoff's? The best lectures by other Objectivists?"
Objectivism: What to Read First – Tony White,  P E R I P A T E T I C   T H O U G H T S

Whatever good you have heard about The Hunger Games, the reality is more spectacular.
Democracy Is Our Hunger Game -  Jeffrey Tucker, L A I S S E Z  F A I R E   B O O K S

wagner-richardWhat’s the opposite of altruism? Egoism, of course—the very egoism every creative genius needs, reckoned the world’s greatest composer, Richard Wagner, in a letter to Franz Liszt: “If I am obliged to plunge once more into the waves of an artist’s imagination in order to find satisfaction in an imaginary world, I must at least help out my imagination and find means of encouraging my imaginative faculties. So I cannot live like a dog, I cannot sleep on straw and drink common gin: mine is an intensely irritable, acute and hugely voracious, yet uncommonly tender and delicate sensuality which, one way or another, must be flattered if I am to accomplish the cruelly difficult task of creating in my mind a non-existent world.”
Compare that view to the sterility of, say, a Rachmaninov…
Creative geniuses as selfish — Richard Wagner version – Stephen Hicks,  S T E P H E N    H I C K S
Creative geniuses as selfish — Rachmaninoff version – Stephen Hicks, S T E P H E N    H I C K S

And with that:

Enjoy your weekend!
Peter Cresswell

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