Friday, 21 September 2012

Friday Morning Ramble: No Banks. No Key. Not here.

Is there anything intelligent to say about Banks and Key? Is there anything worth saying. I think not.

You know why it’s not news.
David Cunliffe making stuff up – LINDSAY MITCHELL

I don’t agree with all of his assumptions, but this is certainly true: “The current debate about monetary policy taking place in the public makes little sense.”
Reframing the monetary policy debate: Some notes – Matt Nolan, THE VISIBLE HAND

“Meddling with the exchange rate isn’t a panacea for the world’s woes, Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Association chief executive Kim Campbell says.”
Alternatives to meddling with exchange rate – HOME PADDOCK


The most interesting “controversy” in the US presidential election this week, for me at least, was the so-called “gaffe” by candidate Romney in pointing out to supporters 47% of Americans will never vote for tax cuts, because that 47% are on the mooch.  He’s right. They’ve become a “moochocracy.” Their vote has already been “bought.”  “These are voters "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."  He’s right, you know—although sadly those are not his words. There was a time however (see pic above) when being a moocher was anathema
The "Bought Vote" of the 47 Percent – HISTORY NEWS NETWORK
A Defense of Romney’s “47 Percent” Comment – BASTIAT INSTITUTE
Media shocked, shocked to hear Romney state the truth – Steve Kates, CATALLAXY FILES

“Many are pillorying Romney for saying this, a few are defending him. But both his detractors and his defenders are missing what is really wrong with this statement: it ignores the role of ideas–particularly of moral ideas.”
What virtually everyone has missed with Romney's 47% comment – Harry Binswanger, FORBES

And what’s the postcode for so many of the moochers?
Washington's Riches: D.C. Area Now Boasts 7 of the Nation's Top-Earning Counties – REASON
Carney: Romney gets it all wrong on government dependency – Timothy Carney, WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“Sandra “Pay For My Birth Control” Fluke explains why “her generation” supports entitlements:  “[B]ecause our vision for the future doesn’t leave our fellow citizens behind. . . . This isn’t about not knowing how to take care of ourselves—it’s about knowing we should take care of each other.” It’s a funny argument if you think about it. If “we” can “take care of ourselves,” then why do we need to “take care of each other”?
    “What Fluke’s collectivist language is trying to disguise is that some people can and do take care of themselves—and she believes they have an obligation to sacrifice for those who can’t or won’t.”
The Entitlement Generation - Don Watkins, LAISSEZ FAIRE

However … "we’ve been asking Romney how he can cut taxes without adding US debt. Now he’s let the cat out of the bag: He can’t.”
Mitt Romney’s confession – WASHINGTON EXAMINER


Territorial conflict between China and Japan over a few rocks in the East China Sea? Will it mean war? How did historical military conflicts between the two play out? What is the true nature of each nation, and what effect will it have on future relations? How on earth would you know? What a good time to jump on board Powell History’s online History of Asia course—which starts this weekend with Chinese history. Join me there.
The History of China: Registration now open – POWELL HISTORY
The Dangerous Standoff in the South China Sea is About to Boil Over – MONEY MORNING AUSTRALIA
China Versus Japan: Shooting War, Economic War or War of Words? – ZERO HEDGE

American Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in New Zealand this morning. While in China signing agreements yesterday, he stood beside Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie while the general “made public comments about the dispute with Japan, threatening Japan with unspecified ‘further actions,’ but made no mention of the fact that the defence secretary of Japan’s closest military ally was standing next to him.  Mr. Panetta reiterated American policy that Washington would take no sides in territorial disputes across the region….”
Isn’t that how earlier wars started—most recently Gulf War I, when US ambassador April Glaspie told Saddam Hussein what he did with Kuwait didn’t bother him? With increasing cross-Pacific NZ military cooperation with the US on the horizon, as this visit seems to indicate, do we really want to be dragged into a muddle-headed Sino-American military confrontation over disputed islands like the Senkakus?

Meanwhile, the reason for Japan rediscovering its nationalism continues to emerge: it’s collapsing economically.
Japan’s Slow-Motion Tsunami – Wolf Richter, ZERO HEDGE
There’s Going To Be a Fight – Dan Denning, DAILY RECKONING

Fascinating to hear a mainstream economist, Shamubeel Eaqub, talking on the wireless about the Broken Window Fallacy in the context of Christchurch rebuilding. Notably, both the head of Christchurch’s Chamber of  Commerce and Simon Mercep have no idea what he’s talking about.
Christchurch rebuild is gaining momentum [sic] – RADIO NZ [AUDIO]

“We are so accustomed to our present currency system that it is difficult to imagine a system of more than one currency circulating side by side. However such a monetary system has existed and successfully functioned in the past in many countries, either de jure or de facto. One very good, long-lasting example is the case of China between 1650 and 1850, where copper coins and silver taels circulated as parallel currencies.
    In the 1970s F. A. Hayek ignited a discussion on the subject with the publication of Choice in Currency and Denationalisation of Money, which essentially advocated the end of the government monopoly to issue money, and that private institutions should be allowed to print money, letting the market choose the one deemed best.
    With the euro in crisis, we could learn from this analysis…”
The end of the euro - and the beginning of currency competition – Eduardo Belgrano, IEA BLOG

“Paul Krugman is famous for his stridency… But since his stridency has made him famous and won him adulation from the left, Krugman has been encouraged to emphasize this character trait to the point of comical exaggeration. He is heading into that strange netherworld where William Shatner has been living for the past twenty years. He is becoming a caricature of himself.  I don't know how else to explain his latest column, in which Krugman tries to recruit the launch of the iPhone 5 as evidence for the efficacy of government stimulus spending..”
In Krugman, Keynes Meets Orwell – Robert Tracinski, REAL CLEAR MARKETS


I bloody hate cables. So anyone who can set up their home entertainment system without any showing, like the setup above, has my attention.
How To Create a Cord and Cable Free Home Entertainment TV Setup — The Harpster Home – APARTMENT THERAPY

imageA story about heroes, villains and intellectual property. “Stealing magic has become a commonplace crime. Teller (right), a man of infinite delicacy and deceit, decided to do something about it.”
The Honor System – ESQUIRE

It’s a Smart Bulb!
LIFX: The Light Bulb Reinvented – KICKSTARTER

Are these really essential?
10 Essential Tablet Apps for Business – MASHABLE TECH

Myth-busting at Stats Chat: Is it safer to sit in the back of plane than the front?
They don’t reverse into mountains – Thomas Lumley, STATS CHAT


“Judith Thurmon of the New Yorker writes, “Rand’s ruthless supremacism, however—her stark division of humankind into ‘makers and takers’—leads inexorably to a society like the one that staged ‘The Hunger Games.’” Another critic has labeled Rand “undoubtedly one of the most lunatic shrieking sociopaths that there has ever been” and claims that her ideas would help Ryan destroy the middle class.
    One might assume from these statements that Ayn Rand’s ideas should be avoided. But do Rand’s critics accurately portray her ideas? … Consider the following passage from her best-selling novel, The Fountainhead … Does it passage look like one written by someone who thinks that people should be at each other’s throats?
Ayn Rand: Decide for Yourself – Nicholas Marquiss, THE UNDERCURRENT

You might think anyone asking this question would be severely depressed. But you’d be severely wrong—it’s the question, the answer to which, helps tell you where ethics begins.
Is Life Worth Living? – Per-Olof Samuelsson, HOUSE AT POS CORNER

“All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton’s famous quote never actually meant what you think it did.
Power does not corrupt – STEPHEN HICKS

Progressive education is failing abysmally. (Could a graduate of a progressive classroom even spell the final world in that last sentence?) But does progressivism’s failure mean so-called “classical education” is the answer?
The False Promise of Classical Education – Lisa Van Damme, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

Well, well, well. As it happens, my birthday is on November 14. So, do you think I should?
Have a right royal birthday – HOME PADDOCK

Yes, stuff like this, from Oscar Brown's 1962 television program "Jazz Scene USA," was once a regular on prime-time American television.  Here’s Cannonball Adderley and his band playing their “Work Song”:

Here’s Duke Ellington playing his “Work Song”—part 1 of his “Black, Brown & Beige Suite.”

And here … well, here’s what Guiseppi Verdi makes of a work song: his Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore, sung by the Met chorus:

[Hat tips to Jazz on the Tube, Thrutch, Geek Press, Noodle Food]

Enjoy your weekend!

PS: What beer are you looking forward to most, this weekend? I’m heading to Hallertau tonight, so I foresee a Statesman in my life very soon...


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