Friday, 12 April 2013

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: The death of a heroine edition

Book coverThe government-sponsored “constitutional conversation” is anything but.
Not Debating The Constitution – Chris Trotter, BOWALLEY BLOG

This seems topical. “In some places like food & beverage or luxury goods, it seems like the sky is the limit.  In others the overall findings are quite sobering, yet even among these hurdles (e.g., debt, regulations, rent-seeking) there are investment and business opportunities for those willing to take the risks.”
China: to invest in or not invest in? – Tim Swanson, LIBERTARIAN STANDARD

Mike Butler may not value freedom, but I for one applaud Greens co-leader Metiria Turei.
Mike Butler: Greens leader backs Maori dope trade – Mike Butler, BROKEN VIEWS

I feel bad pointing it out on the weekend of V8 racing in Pukekohe, but despite a subsidy of around $50,000 per Holden (and Ford), people just aren’t buying them.
Holden crashes, taking our money with it – ANDREW BOLT
Sure, Mike, we all believe you – CATALLAXY FILES

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Much has been said already this week about Margaret Thatcher. As a student of intellectual history myself (fuck, that sounds pompous, doesn’t it!), I found this particularly fascinating.
Lady Thatcher's Relationship with Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman – Ryan Bourne, PIERIA

image"Thatcher was Hayek armed with a swinging handbag,” says historian Niall Ferguson, “and I loved it."
Margaret Thatcher: Punk Saviour – Niall Ferguson, NY TIMES

“DURING her stint as British prime minister between 1979 and 1990, Margaret Thatcher strove mightily to curb public spending.”  Did she?
Daily Chart: Thatcher's legacy – ECONOMIST
Daily Chart: Thatcher's Britain – ECONOMIST

“But then, her economic record was always at odds with her reputation as a sweeping market reformer.”
The Real Thatcher and the Symbolic Thatcher – Jesse Walker, HIT & RUN

This was her own assessment.
Margaret Thatcher: Rebuilding an Enterprise Society Through Privatisation – Margaret Thatcher, REASON FOUNDATION, 2006

And mine (if you missed it earlier).
The Iron Lady, 1925-2013

“Not long after she resigned as prime minister, in 1990, Margaret Thatcher began to write her memoirs. I met her at a dinner party and asked her what she would call them. The famous blue eyes flashed at me: “Undefeated!” she declared.”  Her biographer gives an anecdote-full account of the Great Lady.
The Invincible Mrs. Thatcher – VANITY FAIR

The Margaret Thatcher I knew: 20 personal insights – GUARDIAN

"Thatcher exerted a remarkably creative influence on British music from the late '70s through the late '80s and beyond.” Mostly spelled out in bile.
Maggie's Farm: Margaret Thatcher in Popular Culture – Jesse Walker, HIT & RUN

The reason for the hatred of so many left-wingers? Says left-wing novelist  Ian McEwan, “She forced us to decide what was truly important.” And they hated that.
"Maggie! Maggie! Maggie! Out! Out! Out!" – Ian McEwan, GUARDIAN

Anna Raccoon has a different answer. “Why was she so hated? Why does this persist?  I think the first reason is very simple. She broke all taboos by being a woman… But that alone does not explain it… One of the nastiest intellectual habits of the intellectual Left is that it prescribes set political agendas or menus which must be followed by rote or diktat, and in full… [Hence] the ire and rage of the Left that the first woman in the Western World to become leader of her nation did not wear an African style turban whilst dancing and whooping round Greenham Common airbase, singing Joan Baez songs. She was a tough, no nonsense, plain speaking woman from middle England clad in twin set and pearls… This still so enrages the feminist Left that it either ignores Thatcher, or demonizes her as not really a woman at all.”
The Hatred of Maggie – Anna Raccoon, LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE, UK

I must confess, I’d always wondered how much of a factor was tax revenue windfall from North Sea oil, on which Thatcher’s government levied a ninety percent tax rate!

UK Liquid Fuels and Thatcher. J Callahan

It’s taken him nearly twenty years in politics to come up with it, but Tau Henare finally says something worth saying:



“Too many people want to turn the countryside into a still life.” See above.
Landscape Values – Cheryl Bernstein, ART, LIFE, TV, Etc.

I feel obliged to point you towards the website ‘discussing’ the EQC leak.
Here it is! – EQC TRUTHS

I also feel obliged to point out that Biblical marriage is not what you think it is. They (for there are at least 5 forms) are “even more imaginative and insane than any straight or gay marriage conceivable.”
5 Other Biblical Definitions of Marriage – POST TRAUMATIC GOD DISORDER

We interrupt this Ramble to bring you an important statement from the Prime Minister.
A statement from the Prime Minister – IMPERATOR FISH

“Two great Britons died this week. One, Margaret Thatcher, is well known, and her passing has been widely noted. The other, Robert Edwards, is a brilliant physiologist whose work lead to the first successful human conception, and subsequent birth, through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). His passing has been relatively unnoticed, and that is a shame.”
Robert Edwards, Creator of Life, Has Died – Roberto Sarrionandia, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

It’s not that the NZ Dollar is strong; it’s that almost every other place in the world is having its currency rapidly diluted by over-printing. So how surprised was I to hear our Finance Minister say he won’t be doing it.
Thing is, d’you believe him?
English downs idea of printing money to reinflate economy – NEWSTALK ZB

“We should ignore the aggregate indices of economic freedom and look instead to whether people experience freedom.” Results? Fascinating.
Living Free – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

There is a new inverted demonisation on the loose.
Tax avoiders bad: tax takers good? – LINDSAY MITC HELL

Would capitalism turn national parks into factories & parking lots? Well, obviously. (If only I had an un-inflated dollar for every time I’d been asked this one.)

More profligate even than American or European money printers, the world’s most indebted nation, Japan, plans to double their monetary base in the next two years. So what happens when their bond market collapses … ?
Bass Says Japan Bondholders’ Reaction to Stimulus Telling – Kyle Bass, BLOOMBERG

When central banks print money, insiders who get first use of that new money (or the knowledge of it) will prosper. This appears to be a list of the US central bank’s favourite insiders.
Who Got the Fed Minutes Early? And Why? – WSJ

Another case for why we need to return the gold standard.
Trashing The Gold Standard is Now The Stuff Of Amateurs – Brian Domitrovic, FORBES

It’s happened before. Don’t say it won’t again.
FDR’s Gold Confiscation, 80 Years On – DAILY RECKONING

Meanwhile, in the world of the BitCrash…
Extreme price volatility has already destroyed bitcoin credibility – Alex Jones, EPJ

Do we need government to ensure a decent paycheck, or would low-wage workers and the economy be better off without its intervention?  Listen in to the debate.


“UK Prime Minister Thatcher was the first and most important international figure to champion the cause of climate alarmism. But the above authors conveniently stop their discussion with her pronouncements in the early 1990s. For possessing an open mind, and coming to see the climate propaganda machine in action, she changed her mind quickly and completely. And  the last 20 years gave her little reason to doubt her skepticism.”
Thatcher & Global Warming: From Alarmist to Skeptic – MASTER RESOURCE

Since alleged scientist Michael Mann, the author of the global warming “hockey stick,” has just published a book whining about how everybody’s been picking on him, it might be time to understand why. Steve McIntyre outlines (on video or in 21 pages of PDF) the history of Mann’s hockey stick and who to “hide the decline”—and why Mann makes even his colleagues puke.
Climategate: A Battlefield Perspective [PDF] – CLIMATE AUDIT
Climategate & 'hide the decline': in depth explanation by Stephen McIntyre – YOU TUBE

Or if you prefer the shorter summary:
The case against the hockey stick – Matt Ridley, PROSPECT, 2010

“This letter to the editor was written by Dr. David Deming in response to an attack on Don Easterbrook by a group of professors at Western Washington University. I thought it was too good not to share; in part, because it isn’t just about global warming alarmism, it is about science.”
A Scientist Reproves the Alarmists – POWER LINE

Ahem. News just in from the BBC (yes, Virginia, the BB bloody C!):
Fracking 'not significant' cause of large earthquakes – BBC NEWS

New high-speed camera system reveals what snow looks like in midair

New device reveals what snow looks like in midair

Turns out there is a difference between Objectivism and Satanism. Clearly, I’d been cruelly misinformed.
Satanism and Objectivism – CHURCH OF SATAN

While the world of high-tech keeps producing miracles—tablet computers, smart phones, wireless telecommunication, cloud computing, and streaming television, movies and songs, to name just a few of our modern marvels—it’s also seemingly awash with patent legislation allegedly hindering development. It’s unprecedented! Or is it.
Using their extensive historical, philosophical and legal knowledge, the speakers on this panel discuss whether software patents advance development of new technological innovation or hinder this vital innovation.
Podcast Panel: Software Patents – Boon or Bane for Technological Innovation – CONSUMER AFFFAIRS

“Today’s public policy debates frame copyright policy solely in terms of a “trade off” between the benefits of incentivizing new works and the social deadweight losses imposed by the access restrictions imposed by these (temporary) “monopolies.” This is a fundamental mistake that has distorted the policy debates about scholarly publishing.”
How Copyright Drives Innovation in Scholarly Publishing – Adam Mossoff, CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF INTELECTUAL PROPERTY

Unquestionably, the most effective form of activism is to persuade people to your cause before the calcification of adulthood sets in.  Which makes the retirement project of former presidential candidate Ron Paul very interesting indeed.
Out of politics, Ron Paul launches his own curriculum – WASHINGTON POST

“Bleeding heart libertarianism” is the bastard child of Hayek and John Rawls. Yes, that’s as bad as it sounds.
Diana Hsieh interviews John McCaskey on Libertarianism's Moral Shift – PHILOSOPHY IN ACTION RADIO

Anarchism as an argument is full of holes. But I found this one contained an interesting new way to look at it.
You Are an Anarchist. The Question Is How Often? – Benjamin Powell, INDEPENDENT INSITUTE

He’s right, you know.
Contra Michael Tanner, Government’s Size is Not the Proper Focus for Advocates of Liberty – Ari Armstrong, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

Yes, it’s true.
A Few Rare People Hallucinate Musical Scores – SMITHSONIAN BLOGS

Scientists have been doing important work: an overview of the chemistry of hangovers—and a recommendation for the best cure. Turns out it’s only a Korean Noodle Shop away.
Hangover Remedy Examined: Yak-A-Mein Soup, A.k.a., ‘Old Sober’ – SCIENCE DAILY

Message to mishandlers of phones:

“Cooking has made us more intelligent and sociable in evolutionary terms; cooking helps us have better sex, promotes (useful) division of labour and contributes to the concept of well-organised, domestic households.”
With fire comes civilisation, via the kitchen – GREY MATTERS

Kitchens these days should be Active Living Spaces.
Kitchen Design Ideas: An Interview with Johnny Grey – D.I.Y. NETWORK

Kids bedrooms? They’re like a foreign country.
'Where Children Sleep': A Round-the-World Tour of Bedrooms- ATLANTIC

We predict this story will turn out to be bollocks.
Iranian scientist claims to have invented 'time machine' – TELEGRAPH

There are plenty of ways to steal music on the internet. Musician David Lowery ranks popular music streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, Grooveshark etc.) by how friendly they are to those who’ve created the music.
Streaming Services Ranked By “Artist Friendliness” – David Lowery, TRICHORDIST

In related news, Google has quietly added New Zealand to the list of countries where music is available through its Play Store.
Google quietly launches Play music service in NZ – NBR

Sea Monkeys? Charles Atlas? One fellow followed up all those ads you read in comics when you were a kid to find out what you got. He tells a fascinating tale.
Sea-Monkeys and X-Ray Spex: Collecting the Bizarre Stuff Sold in the Back of Comic Books – Lisa Hix, COLLECTOR’S WEEKLY

Have a look into into the looking-glass world of “contronyms”—words that are their own antonyms
14 Words That Are Their Own Opposites – MENTAL FLOSS

poopImportant news: Women who wear bras have saggier boobs than women who don’t, according to a 15-year French study requiring young interns to measure 130 breasts with calipers. Tough
Bras make boobs saggier, study finds – THE SUN

It’s not begging the question. It’s just basic common sense.
Why are taller people more intelligent? – DISCOVER

Sleepless nights might be a thing of the future.
The End of Sleep? – 3 QUARKS DAILY

Yes, it’s true, there really is an app for everything.  You just have to know Dutch.
This New App Wants You To Look At Your Poop – BLISSTREE

This is important news: next week is beer week at Glengarry’s. Two words: free beer.
Instore tasting schedule – GLENGARRY

Finally, here’s my favourite Count Basie tune, taken at blinding speed by the Count with saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis.  And more!

Have a great weekend!

[Hat tip Julian D., Humble Libertarian, Eric Crampton, Geek Press, Cafe Hayek, Reference Frame, Small Dead Animals, Auckland Transport Blog, WFMU, Ayn Rand Revolution, Ivar van Borrendam, Jeremy Clarkson,, TakingHayekSeriously, Vicky RF, Richard Calhoun, Steve Forbes, Sam Bowman, Phelim McAleer, Chris Keall ,]


  1. As you linked to Lindsay's post on Deborah Russell's tax haven piece, I'll plug my original piece that started that, Reply to Deborah Russell on Tax Havens. There's also the link to the discussions on Russell's thread, where I had a limited debate; limited because none of the respondents could take the debate beyond a single step.

    Note the first part of the debate on Russell's thread does one important thing: an admittance that she does bring her Left-centric view at times into her lectures, and is thus influencing young minds with it. I did my accountancy qualifications at Massey many years ago, and would have said there was at least in small part a classical liberal ethic in some of the lecturers: I wouldn't be surprised if that is no longer the case.

    Lindsay's is the well put logical rebuttal: as is the rationale of my blog, mine is the philosophic rebuttal to Russell's left-world-view on tax issues. My post also deals - indeed, my blog does as a theme now - with the destruction in New Zealand of the Westminster principle in our tax courts. I believe that tax law and administration is the litmus test of the totalitarian state, and there is nothing more important that has happened in New Zealand over the last fifteen years than the destruction of that principle, because it means IRD haven't lost a tax case that matters over that period, which means your wallet now truly belongs to the government to be redistributed, because you have no legal ability to conduct your affairs anymore, other than for the benefit of the government: to do so, will always be avoidance.

    Can anyone name a single more important issue than that?

  2. “Thing is, d’you believe him? “

    Reserve bank has been printing money see &

    NZRB increase ownership of govt securities is pure money printing. Nearly $5 billion in last 12 months. Pure injection into the banking system.

    Bill English is laughing his head off & Wussel Norman is still the biggest clown in the room.

  3. "Can anyone name a single more important issue than that?"

    The Westminster principle is based on the presumption that an obligation exists. A more important issue is the fraud that occurs when when the obligation is assumed, i.e. deemed to exist when it does not exist in truth.

    This assumption is an example of the ethical gulf between parliament's civil system and the law of the land.

  4. No argument with that UglyTruth.


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