Friday, 31 August 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The Conscience Edition

With two conscience votes this week recognising the right of consenting adults to choose for themselves, it turns out MPs do have a conscience.


Yes, that’s me saying “Bravo!” to politicians.  It happens. Rarely.

Make the most of it.

“Just when you start to lose hope in Representative Democracy and write the lot of them off as a bunch of out-of-touch buzzword-infested den of compromised sluts, along comes a couple of old-fashioned conscience bills to clear the air.”
Same -sex marriage and the age of alcohol – Will de Cleene, GONZO FREAKPOWER BRAINS TRUST

Canterbury Uni economist Eric Crampton would like to remind you that problem drinking among 15-24 year olds was no different in 2006/2007 than in 1996/1997 before the change in the alcohol purchase age; that per capita alcohol consumption is down substantially since 1991; and light drinkers have about a 14% reduction in their chance of dying from any cause than people who never drink.
And along with that evidence there’s evidence of some very serious figure-fudging by wowsers, and some seriously unintended consequences in the US of raising their drinking age.  “Be skeptical of the moral crisis around alcohol,” he concludes.
Alcohol purchase age – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR
Alcohol stats– Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

Oh, by the way, widely-quoted state-funded anti-alcohol wowser Doug Sellman is dishonest.
Disclosures – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

There is good reason for the advocates of individual liberty to be rejoicing tonight, as the alcohol purchase age stays at 18 for both on and off license purchases.
Act Party Fails to Increase Off-License Purchase Age – Stephen Berry, SOLO

It’s not often you can enjoy a speech by a Green MP.  Now is such a time.

“This morning Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee gave a comprehensive and wide ranging "State of the Recovery" speech to selected business people, media and others.
The speech was carefully crafted by the bureaucrats, with extensive statistical information, illustrating the recovery "performance" to date. Most importantly, it was carefully drafted, to persuade the public to support the Minister and his officials’ "vision" ("nightmare" to the rest of us) for the future of Christchurch.
But when the dreary hype and cherry-picked information is considered alongside the realities and the train of events - it is not a rosy picture…
Brownlee;s long winded "Kremlin Style" speech to the compliant and cowering adherents to the Party Line, could most kindly be described as "bureaucratic bull.”
Brownlee’s “State of the Non-Recovery” Speech
- Hugh Pavletich, CANTABRIANS UNITE [scroll down to story and click “read more.”]

Land prices are exploding across Australia for the same reason they have ben here: because the planners having been locking up the land.
The Land Bubble – Leith Van Onselen, MACROBUSINESS

Ryan’s Economic Plans Aren’t as Ayn Rand-Based as You Think – Harry Binswanger, YAHOO NEWS

Obama says, “Honey, you didn’t build that.”

Sure, it’ll all be okay as long as we all go down together.
Chicago Fed President Wants Global Money Printing – ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

While know-nothings continue to fiddle, American capital is being burned up just staying afloat. “Enterprises are consuming themselves to report rising profits while revenues fall and costs rise.”
CHART OF THE DAY: The Historic Decline In The US Capital Stock Is A Bad Sign For The Economy – BUSINESS INSIDER

Making the point that there’s a very big difference between productivity and profitability
Gross and net product – Toby Baxendale, COBDEN CENTRE

So repeat after me:
The Key To Escaping Poverty Is Productivity – PETER SCHIFF BLOG

America, however, is becoming a nation of moochers.
The Rot Runs Deep 2: Don't Call Out My Scam and I Won't Call Out Yours 
– Charles Hugh Smith, OF TWO MINDS

“The United States has produced one of the most successful economic stories in human history…Each advance built upon the innovations of the previous ones, along the way boosting productivity and revving the American economy, which in turn made American consumers richer and more able to buy stuff.
Well, guess what? Future growth in consumption per capita — the main engine of the consumer-based US economy — could fall below 0.5 percent a year for an extended period of decades."
The US Economy and the Future of Growth: Well This Is Depressing – CNBC

In Europe meanwhile, the next stage begins: moves to initiate the European Federalist state are being demanded.
With Vacation Over, Europe Is Back To Square Minus One: Merkel Backs Weidmann, Demands Federalist State – Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE

“Today billionaire Eric Sprott spoke with King World News about one of his frightening predictions, “I always postulated that the financial system would go bankrupt, and it has, save for one thing, it got bailed out.” 
Sprott - We Are Staring At Chaos & Collapse In Front Of Us – KING WORLD NEWS BLOG

“Economic wizard Harry Schultz stated back in the early 2000's that what he anticipated was "ten years down and ten years up." At the time, many thought that his projection was extremely prolonged…”
After the Storm - The 11 Stages of the Crash – Jeff Thomas, CASEY RESEARCH

The perfect analogy for the “heavy lifting” of the central bankers, wonders Tyler Durden, and an illustration of the likely outcome?

For many years, says the BBC, calling for "a return to the gold standard" in the United States put you in the company of economic eccentrics and libertarian Congressman Ron Paul. But this week, the Republican Party agreed to set up a commission to look into fixing the gold value of the dollar. Why?
Gold standard: Could it return in the US? – BBC MAGAZINE
The Gold Standard Goes Mainstream – Seth Lipsky, WALL STREET JOURNAL
The Gold Commission 2, Don't Make Me Laugh – Gary North, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL
Ron Paul's Platform Victory on the Federal Reserve and A (Sort of) Gold Commission – HIT & RUN
Could the US Republican Party take gold seriously? – Steve Baker, COBDEN CENTRE
Republicans Consider Returning To Gold Standard: Real Or Red Herring? – Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE

“Gold reveals governments’ deceitful actions in destroying the value of paper money and the wealth of nations. This is why most Western governments dislike gold. Because gold tells the truth and the truth is that since August 1971 the US dollar has declined 98% in real terms.”
Gold & Silver off to the races – Egon Von Greyerz

A pretty good history of the various gold standard flavours and subsequent monetary system changes from 1821 to today in a series of well put-together infographics that explode a few of the myths about gold standards. [Click the strip pic to enlarge it.]
A history of excahange rate regimes – GOLD MONEY

You know, there was a time when Alan Greenspan was not a know-nothing. That time was 1967…
Gold and Economic Freedom – Alan Greenspan, USA GOLD

Meanwhile, the money printing continues.
More QE is on the way – The central banks are digging themselves a deeper hole 
– Detlev Schlicter, PAPER MONEY COLLAPSE

A market economy is indescribably vast and complex—its success
depends on so many intricate, changing details all somehow being
made to work smoothly together that the “facts” that are essential
to its thriving cannot be catalogued with anywhere near the
completeness that can be achieved by a 21st-century scientist
studying and cataloging the “facts” that enable sparrows to fly. A
sparrow is complex compared, say, to a limestone rock. Compared
to the modern market economy, however, a sparrow is extremely simple.
- Don Boudreaux, “Deep and Unobservable Complexity,” CAFE HAYEK

Never has economic education been so important. Time then for a new super-blog at Sci Blogs “picking posts from our country’s top economics blogs.” This blog wishes that blog well. Here’s it’s first po:
The Dismal Science – THE DISMAL SCIENCE

Astonishingly, there are even alleged economists who insist the Nazi economy was an example of “intelligent central planning.”  They can’t do that after the release of British historian Adam Tooze’s book on the Nazi economy, The Wages of Destruction. “He shows that, far from illustrating the success of intelligent central planning, the German economy of the Third Reich was a disaster.”
Central Planning: The Failings of a Nazi Economy – Bill Bonner, DAILY RECKONING

New film, Fraud: Why the Great Recession, a crowd-funded Spanish documentary, argues free markets are not to be blamed for the Great Recession. “On the contrary, its origins rest upon the deep government and central bank intervention in the economy. Through fraudulent mechanisms, this causes recurrent boom and bust cycles: bad policies create phases of irrational exuberance, which are then followed by economic recessions, a result from which every citizen ends up suffering.”  The truth is we do not live in an age of free markets. We live in an age of monetary socialism.
Here’s the three-minute trailer (and here’s the full 66 minutes):

Everybody talks about gun control. But nobody talks about controlling the government’s guns. Yet the threat of deadly force is implicitly present in every law, regulation, ruling, or decree that emanates from any government office, at any level.
Gun Control — on the Government's Guns – George Reisman, MISES DAILY

“I contend that the developing world has been betrayed. Emerging from colonialism, they sought the best ideas to advance and develop, for the best reasons. But they were betrayed. Instead of the ideas that made the West great, they were offered the evil nonsense of socialism and communism by our intellectuals. In comparison, the faith healers who convince their duped followers to forgo scientific medicine in favour of faith are clean and wholesome. This is the crime for which I can never, ever forgive our intellectuals.”
Capitalist Internationalism and How Objectivist Victory Will Become Inevitable. 
– Hugo Schmidt, SOLO

“It should be clear that any governmental interference with the
depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse
from almost everyone’s point of view. Since the depression process
is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process
impedes the advent of recovery. The depression readjustments must
work themselves out before recovery can be complete. The more
these readjustments are delayed, the longer the depression will have
to last, and the longer complete recovery is postponed.”

- Murray Rothbard

Marc Morano takes a reality check on the 1970s: “Fears of a coming ice age, showed up in peer-reviewed literature, at scientific conferences, by prominent scientists and throughout the media.”
Don't Miss it! Climate Depot's Factsheet on 1970s Coming 'Ice Age' Claims 
– Marc Morano, CLIMATE DEPOT

Flashback to 1974, and Der Spiegel says: “Temperatures Over Last 20 Years Have Dropped Faster Than At Anytime In The Last 1000 Years,” blaming expanding deserts on man-made cooling.
Spiegel 1974: “Temperatures Over Last 20 Years Have Dropped Faster Than At Anytime In The Last 1000 Years” – NO TRICKS ZONE

A new study finds man-made CO2 can not be a driver of global warming. The study concludesCO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in amount of atmospheric CO2.”  The paper finds “overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) ocean surface to 2) land surface to 3) lower troposphere.”
In plain English then, the very opposite of what warmists claim.
New blockbuster paper finds man-made CO2 is not the driver of global warming – THE HOCKEY SCHTICK

Another new film, The Boy Who Cried Warming… (watch the full thing here).

In 95% of cases natural talent does not determine who will be an expert at something. So what does it take to become the best?
What does it take to become an expert at anything? – BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

imageWant to see the top-15 most spectacular logo failures ever? Like this one on the right, an actual award-winning logo designed in 1973 for the Catholic Church’s Archdiocesan Youth Commission.
Top 15 Worst Logo FAILS Ever – BORED PANDA

It can be easier than you think. Just get out there and start making money.
4 Myths About Starting a Side Business- MONEY CRUSH

It very nearly fall right off the keyboard through lack of use. And then it met the internet age!
The accidental history of the @ symbol – 3 QUARKS DAILY

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, along comes a drunk Serb.
Sharks Wary of Drunk Serbs – MACEDONIA ONLINE

Free Apps make more money. Apparently.
How Free Apps Can Make More Money Than Paid Apps – TECH CRUNCH

Don’t laugh. We have a bar at the Auckland waterfront named after another mass-murderer.
In India, Businesses Named After Hitler Defend Their Decision – NY TIMES

Bowing to pressure from U.S. Muslim groups, actor Kevin Bacon announced he will be formally changing his “offensive” last name.
Actor Kevin Bacon Changing Last Name To Appease Muslims – DUH PROGRESSIVE

Not so fast, folks. The world’s first porn cartoon--from the 1920s!--has been uncovered. And it’s even more NSFW than anything you’d find today.
One of the earliest adult cartoons was gonzo even by today’s standards (NSFW) – iO9.COM

Rare footage of an aging but still tuneful Coleman Hawkins playing his classic interpretation of Body and Soul. Compare it here with him at the peak of his powers.

Barry Adamson gets a special guest on vocals. But it’s not Dana Andrews…

Here’s the guest again, with the great Warren Ellis on violin. Some band starting with a ‘G.’

Try though she might, Verdi’s Lady Macbeth just can’t wash her hands clean of the blood…

[Hat tip Julian D., Gennady S., Bosch Fawstin, Keith W., Great Opera Videos, Noodle Food, Amanda Morrall, Climate Depot, Humble Libertarian, Chris Martenson, Erosophia, Thrutch]

Thanks for reading,
have a  great weekend! 

PS: A very fine gentleman just walked in and handed me these attractive looking wares to sample over the weekend. My weekend will now be starting earlier than previously planned.



  1. The whole argument around same sex marriages is pissing me off.

    Not bravo to the politicians. Boo to those that have been fighting for this "right"

    Why the hell did they want permission from the state in the first place?

    This whole charade made the state more powerful. It confirmed to everyone that the state gets to have a say in these matters.

    It would have been better if the politicians voted against this but they would not because it would show the emperor without clothes.

    (grrrrrr, those captchas are too hard!)

  2. Why the hell do you want any contract recognised by the state? Because that's what the state is for.

    You're not obliged to have all or any of your contracts recognised by the state, but it's everyone's natural right to have it so if they wish.

  3. ACT is also in the MSM today over another debacle with this coalition government: Peter Dunne scuttling the Spending Gap Bill. It made the MSM briefly, but died pretty quick without any journalist realising the important issue involved of a Minister of Taxing not wanting to even symbolically sign up to an (admittedly laughable) constraint on government spending.

  4. Whoops, typo: that's spending cap (as in hat) :)

  5. Ha ha Monckton called himself a scientist! The man's a comic genius (or a total fraud and inveterate liar).

  6. @Gavin: I guess I'd be wasting my time asking you for either evidence or credentials yourself, right?


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