Friday, 18 July 2014

Friday Morning Ramble: Edition #2001 [updated]

Did you know:  this week, in 1917, the Royal House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha changed its name to the less German sounding "House of Windsor””  Thought you’d like to know that. (If you like, you can brag about being a co-holder of the World Cup?)


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Malaysian Airlines plane MH17 is down, but the cause and those responsible is still unclear. [UPDATE: “US intelligence agencies have confirmed that the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, but it is unknown who launched it.”]
Ukrainian Buk Air Defense System Allegedly Deployed Near Donetsk Yesterday; Questions Still Linger – MISH’S GLOBAL ECONOMIC TREND ANALYSIS
Q: What was the Malaysian jet doing over a war zone? – Paul Marks, NEW SCIENTIST

“… depends on whether this was (a) an accident by Ukrainian forces, or (b) an accident by Russian or pro-Russian forces, or (c) an intentional act, in which case pro-Russian rebels would be most likely culprits (since it is hard to come up with a reason why Ukraine or Russia would intend something like this). Accidents like this happen (see here or here), but when they do they change the game politically.”
The Downed Malaysia Airlines Plane Is a Game Changer for Ukraine – Peter Feaver, FOREIGN POLICY

“By any rational standard, the aggressor in war is culpable for the death or injury of civilians on both sides. But the laws of war effectively push the blame from Hamas to Israel.”
How the International Laws of War Abet Hamas, Undercut Israel – Elan Journo, BREITBART
The Slaughter of Innocents – David Rothkopf, FOREIGN POLICY

imageDoes Auckland Council do empire-building better than anyone?
Like Russian nesting dolls, Auckland Council secretaries need secretaries – TAXPAYER’S UNION

Nothing stays static, least of all export destinations from a small country like ours.
Export growth – HOME PADDOCK

“Arguments for digital piracy are drivel – it’s high time we steered away from this cultural cliff.”
“Fifteen years of utter bollocks”: how a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity – NEW STATESMAN

Remember when Formula One cars looked and sounded beautiful? Here’s a wobbly look and listen from a parade of classics at Silverstone.


“Who would have thought? … Having a volcano under an icesheet makes a difference.”
Surprise, West Antarctic volcano melts ice – JO NOVA

“"'Where the disagreement comes is that Dr. Christy says the climate models are worthless and that there must be something wrong with the basic model, whereas there are actually a lot of other possibilities,' Dr. Mears said… To say "there are actually a lot of other possibilities" is a complete fraud--the whole question was whether they know the relevant possibilities and their magnitude. Which they didn't.”
Skeptic of Climate Change Finds Himself a Target of Suspicion – via THE PURSUIT OF ENERGY

It’s gone! Any reason Nick Smith’s Emissions Trading Scam shouldn’t be next? And good reason?
Australia’s carbon tax has been axed as repeal bills clear the Senate – NEW.COM.AU
End of the carbon bubble – Alan Moran, CATALLAXY FILES

“An independent Scotland would be a rich country with terrible prospects.”
The economics of Scottish independence: A costly solitude – ECONOMIST

“Libertarians should welcome this flourishing of all types of literary writing, especially if we hope to win the hearts and minds of the public at lar
The Flourishing of Libertarian Literary Writing – Matt McCaffrey, CIRCLE BASTIAT

What’s the difference between libertarians and conservatives? Hayek and John Stossel explain.

But, but …
Who’ll Build the Roads? – John Stossel, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

But, but …
What About Drivers Licensing? – Michael LaFerrara, PRINCIPLED PERSPECTIVES

Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute discusses inequality and “rockstar” economic historian Thomas Piketty…

““If resources are not fixed but created, then the nature of the scarcity problem changes dramatically. For the technological means involved in the use of resources determines their creation and therefore the extent of their scarcity. The nature of the scarcity is not outside the process (that is natural), but a condition of it.”
The Liberating Theory of Resourceship – MASTER RESOURCE

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the increasingly economically powerful BRICS) have decided the IMF is not for them, and no-one is quite sure what that means.
Guest Post: BRICS Against Washington Consensus – Pepe Escobar, ZERO HEDGE 
Delusional IMF “delighted” to be marginalized by BRICS – Simon Black, SOVEREIGN MAN 
BRICS give greenback the bird – MACROBUSINESS
The BRIC nations are taking the next step towards ending the dollar as world reserve currency?Keith Weiner, FACEBOOK

Meanwhile …
Steve Forbes Promotes a Gold Standard – CIRCLE BASTIAT

“America’s antitrust laws are administered by a flourishing establishment of academics, regulators, lawyers, judges, and think-tank analysts whose mission in life is to torment businessmen. Want to see how they operate?”
Scholars with Thumbscrews: Antitrust’s Predatory Academics – VOICES FOR REASON

Remember when Microsoft was eviscerated by the DoJ, and America’s appalling antitrust laws? This is Act III.
Blaming Rearden for the Vandals Sacking His Mills – VOLTAIRE PRESS

“In other words, Russ and his colleague begin to empiricise the costs of cronyism in the U.S."
The Relationship Between Political Connections and the Financial Performance of Industries and Firms – Russ Sobel & Rachel Graefe-Anderson, MERCATUS CENTER

“A great explanation of the difference between the two.”
Richard Ebeling: Free Market Capitalism vs. Crony Capitalism – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM

A new economic measurement of an economic system shows, again, just how poor GDP is at accurately measuring an economic system. “In 2013 GO was 76.4% larger, and GDE was 120.4% larger, than GDP.”
Gross Output: J.M. Keynes versus J.B. Say – Steve Hanke, GLOBE ASIA

“Say’s insights continue to challenge interventionist economists to this day. Everl Schoorl’s new biography sheds new light on Say’s life and works, writes Carmen Dorobat. This audio Mises Daily is narrated by Keith Hocker.”


“The city needs places of solace, calm, order and beauty – even prettiness. But prettiness and concealment are anaesthetic. The urban mind needs its regular confrontations with tangle, too, a bracing shock that places the world in perspective and informs us, without either warmth or rancour, that our lives are enmeshed in a vital mechanism.”
Cities thrive most when they are a tangled mess – Will Wiles, AEON

image“The current epidemic of gluten intolerance says more about our psychology than our physiology.”
Time for some grains of truth about wheat and gluten – NEW SCIENTIST

Eurotrash do Fountainhead? The clash will be colourful.
The Fountainhead review – Ivo van Hove's smouldering take on Ayn Rand – GUARDIAN

“No more scientifically valid than a Buzzfeed test.” Ouch.
Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless – VOX

Now, this is how you catch a fly ball!

Peer review isn’t what it used to be, or ever was.
Academic Fraud and the Peer Review Process – Joseph Salerno, CIRCLE BASTIAT

“So what, exactly, do consumers have to fear? To find out, Popular Science chose 10 of the most common claims about GMOs and interviewed nearly a dozen scientists. Their collective answer: not much at all.”
Core Truths: 10 Common GMO Claims Debunked – Brooke Borel, RICHARD DAWKINS FOUNDATION

So, this is how you run a think tank!
Lunching for Liberty: Some Reflections on Britain’s Institute of Economic Affairs – Jeremy Shearmur, HETSA

From the I-Could-Have-Told-You-That file: “Giving up alcohol for a month is pointless for people’s health, says a leading liver expert.”
Dry July isn’t working – WHALE OIL

"It turns out that aliens are considerate. They seldom disturb earthlings during working or sleeping hours. Rather, they tend to arrive in the evening, especially on Fridays, when folks are sitting on the front porch nursing their fourth beer, the better to appreciate flashing lights in the heavens..."
Economist Chart on UFO Sightings – GEEK PRESS

Who wants to buy Tracey Emin’s used bedclothes? They’re yours for a trifling 2.54 million pounds.
Artist Tracey Emin's messy bed sells for $4.4 million – AOL

Kristin Hersh is coming to New Zealand in August!

And Nick Cave in December!

And Wagner tomorrow … Tristan and Isolde! Here, sung by the stunning Waltraud Meier, as the opera’s final resolution, is the only six-minute orgasm set to music. (If this doesn’t move you, see if you can trade in your current model for a used soul on TradeMe, it will be more use.)

Monk’s not here, but he was in concert in Paris in 1969, and you can now see that on YouTube!

[Hat tips Archinet , Jazz on the Tube, Neil Miller, Carbon Dioxide, Greg Davis, Neil Miller, Stephen Hicks, James Stannard, Paul McKeever, End the Debt Draft, Russell Beaumont]

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.
Maybe I’ll see you at Tristan!


  1. Putin blames Ukraine
    This Stuff link (in blue) shows Cun'Life uses the same comedic writer as Putin; and also share a propensity to blame others when obviously your fault

  2. Peter, Can you please explain exactly how it is the downing of the Malaysian Airliner is the fault of President Putin?


  3. The New Statesman article about “Fifteen years of utter bollocks”: how a generation’s freeloading has starved creativity" is itself utter bollocks.

    When a writer bases his argument on the Marxist labour theory of value, and then tops that monstrosity off with this:
    "But, just as US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr said of taxes, consider it “the price we pay for civilisation” - a civilisation we hold the collective keys to."
    (as if coercion and threat are the price of civilisation),
    then he is not arging from a position of truth or of freedom. He is a collectivist shill pretending that coercion and threat are the price of civilisation, indeed the price of life itself.

    Surprising and disappointing that a site promoting freedom and liberty supports these kinds of writings.


  4. @Amit: Really? What I found surprising was to see a leftie magazine, very much not one that promotes freedom and liberty, arguing for intellectual property.To me, that shows hope, not something to be disappointed about.

  5. PeterCresswell

    Yes. Really. IP's adherence to Marxist labour theory and coercive taxation is not cause for hope. If anything they show there is something wrong, something collectivist in IP. That is why they support it. That is not pro-freedom or pro-liberty at all. This leftie magazine is consistent to its principals. That is not a surprise. Why support them? They require condemnation.


  6. Not sure there's even anything coherent there to criticise, Amit. What the hell is meant for example, by "IP's adherence to Marxist labour theory and coercive taxation"?
    Seems to me you understand neither Marxism nor intellectual property -- nor blogging.

  7. The problem with Wendell Holmes' claim is that it is not only false, but manifestly so, when you consider few people are actually taxpayers.

    Absolutely nobody earning under $50,000 per year pays any taxes whatsoever, thanks to Working for Families and other welfare rorts; the few who pay taxes are the 12% or so at the top.

    Furthermore I have seen all sorts of people call for revolutions (of various sorts) in NZ - everyone from Minto to Perigo - without success (ie: the non taxpaying overwhelming majority are not about to have a revolution and 'de'-civilisationing by the lack of taxpaying).

    When people talk about taxes they actually mean those paid by 'other' people.

    And let's not even start on the elderly people of today who capitalised the old 'Family Benefit' to buy a house for $5000 - which is now worth 100 times that - and now put their hands out for pensions on the completely false claim that "I have paid taxes all my life".

  8. PeterCresswell

    "Coherence" means a "logical or natural connection or consistency".

    In the article IP is supported from its logical connection or consistency with Marxist labour theory. IP is to be paid for as it involves expenditure of labour. The author promotes the idea.

    The coherence with coercive taxation is easy to spot. The author of the article makes exactly that connection in his article.

    These guys are being consistent to their principles. You are not. What the hell are you doing supporting a anti-freedom, anti-liberty piece such as this one in the New Statesman?


  9. Asked and answered. Because a leftie magazine, very much not one that promotes freedom and liberty, is arguing for intellectual property. Unlike you, it seems.


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