Friday, 20 February 2015

Friday Morning Ramble #707

Thought for the day:

John Key’s catamite really does likes David Seymour. No, I mean he really, really likes David Seymour.
Special report: David Seymour's rescue Act – John Armstrong, NZ HERALD

Conservatives who oppose doctor-assisted suicide are, in fact, contradicting the actual right to life.
A Real Right to Life – Peter Schwartz, HUFFINGTON POST

“We already know that John Key dissembles and misleads, especially on matters of security and intelligence…. With his misrepresentations  John Key only obscures the real issue…. There are three specific reasons why NZ has to join the fight, two practical and one principled.”
Media Link: To the point on NZ and IS – Paul Buchanan, KIWIPOLITICO

“Occupational licensing rules block too many Americans from entering protected professions…. So New Zealand wouldn't be dumb enough to start trying to catch up with America on this front, right? Well...
Occupational licensing: repo edition – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

Yes, there are people skimming huge margins off petrol prices. They’re called “governments.”
Petrol prices – Thomas Lumley, STATS CHAT

Auckland’s planners’ arguments for intensification are tripe. Which is why their reports have to lie.
Dodgy Auckland Council report misleads on compact city – WHALE OIL

“No one is naïve enough to suggest that RMA changes are a silver bullet solution to the housing crisis. We still need to shift the anti-development bias among many councils, but that is best tackled through incentives. However, without meaningful and urban-focussed reform of the RMA, we are not going to put the dream of home ownership with reach of the average New Zealander any time soon, if ever.”
The NZ Initiative's Jason Krupp argues the RMA is central to the housing crisis – INTEREST.CO.NZ


“The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man's stewardship of the environment. But we know that's not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.”
U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare – INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

“Renewables, are not just inefficient, unnecessary, and deadly to wildlife, but they were also a disaster of planning and management. The list of dollars and euros destroyed in the Glorious Renewables Quest has gone “nuclear”. The World Economic Forum estimates $100 billion Euro has been wasted, but its even worse than it looks.”
A bonfire of waste: $100 billion burnt by big-government renewables mismanagement – JO NOVA


“Rape and sexual assault are morally atrocious and profoundly evil. And the idea of a “rape culture” does have its finger on an important issue: that this is a deep cultural problem which cannot be resolved easily by harsher penalties (or louder protests). But the social factors identified by proponents of the “rape culture” diagnosis are relatively superficial; to focus on them is to ignore the deeper causes of the rapist’s mentality.”
Fostering a Culture of Consent: How to Cultivate Fundamental Opposition to Rape – J.A. Windham, THE UNDERCURRENT

In Britain however, “new guidance” is being issued to all police forces and prosecutors “as part of a 'toolkit' to move rape investigations into the 21st century” – or back to the 12th.
Men must prove a woman said 'Yes' under tough new rape rules – TELEGRAPH

“Before 1967, international opinion largely favoured Israel. People marched in the streets not to denounce but to endorse Israel’s self-defence against its militant Arab neighbours. Editorials in major publications voiced their backing, and so did leading intellectuals. So what happened since then to bring about this sea change? Find out.
How the World Turned Against IsraelElan Journo, VOICES FOR REASON

Irrational metaphysics  leads inexorably to anti-human ethics and politics. Latest example: Martin Heidegger.
Heidegger - “Jews Self-destructed”: New Black Notebooks reveal philosopher’s shocking take on Holocaust – CORRIERE DELLA SERA

“Anyone who understands that it is impossible to raise employment by raising public-spending – admittedly a very small number – would understand that unemployment in the US was never going to improve given the economic policies of the Obama administration. But you can get the official unemployment rate down either by creating more jobs or by getting those who used to have jobs to drop out of the labour force.”
Surrounded by lies – Steve Kates

“No Greek recovery will be possible until the newly elected Marxists become unapologetic capitalists.”
The Bravado of Borrowers – Peter Schiff, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“The following chart, courtesy of Citigroup, demonstrating the liquidity cliff i.e., the impact of a liquidity bubble on price and risk, is so mindbogglingly simple, it is no wonder that virtually nobody gets it.”

“Yes, because the boom was a bubble.”
The price of oil isn't just about supply and demand anymore. It's about debt. – Tomas Hirst, BUSINESS INSIDER

“Oil's supply-to-demand ratio is the most bearish since 1998.”
Crude Oil Price: Take Your Pick (excerpt) – DR. ED’s BLOG

“It's called a "bond bubble", but it won't last...”
How Japan Borrows $9 Trillion Practically for Free – BLOOMBERG

“The Keynesian pump priming that has taken place on a colossal scale across the world is failing.”
The global financial system stands on the brink of second credit crisis – John Ficenec, TELEGRAPH

“The smartphone-coordinated ride-sharing company Uber has come under fire for charging ‘outrageous’ prices during peak demand times…  The complaints against surge pricing are actually laments against the cosmic fact of scarcity. Surge pricing makes the best of a bad situation.”
In Defense of Uber’s Surge Pricing – Bob Murphy, FREEMAN

“One of the world’s most dazzling engineering feats is largely hidden from view” – hidden in plain sight!
The invisible network that keeps the world running – BBC FUTURE

“Many in rich countries worry about overconsumption exhausting the world’s resources. But it’s ethics rather than minerals that are in short supply.”
We can have more stuff without the guilt trip – NEW SCIENTIST

There’s no such thing as an unregulated market. It’s a choice between regulation by legislators or by consumer.
There’s No Such Thing as an Unregulated Market – Howard Baetjer, FREEMAN

Socialism Illustrared, with Pick-Pocketing cartoon

“Richard Ebeling's Epic Times essay is a terrific introduction to capitalism and how, by its very nature, it encourages, rewards, and promotes moral, ethical behaviour.  This is in sharp contrast to the portrait the liberals like to advance about capitalism.  Ebeling covers all this, and much more, in this must-read article.”
A Primer on the Morality of Capitalism – Dr. Marc Street, ON LIBERTY STREET

“…the basic law governing the field of economics, Say’s Law, is essentially [Rand’s principle of ethics] applied to the marketplace.”
Rand’s Ethics and Say’s Law – Craig Biddle, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

“The great triumph of the self proclaimed progressives is the whitewash of their own sordid history. The blatantly racist and elitist outlook of the founders of progressivism has been conveniently forgotten while most of their enabling policy ideas have been retained.”
The Eugenics Plot Behind the Minimum Wage by Jeff Tucker – THINKING MACHINE BLOG

“An ancient myth tells of a poor young man who found a magical ring….”
Are We Too Wicked for Freedom?Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE

Emily has 11,000 songs in her music library, but has only paid for 200. Music, she says, should be free. A musician tries to enlighten her. “Fairly compensating musicians is not a problem that is up to governments and large corporations to solve. It is not up to them to make it ‘convenient’ so you don’t behave unethically.” (The best single response of a musician to this I’ve seen.)
Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered – David Lowery, TRICHORDIST

“The only thing that’s really changed about the copyright environment is that there are tech-industry interests aligned against it.  As such, perhaps the supposedly free-market libertarians at should look at the economic pressures on contemporary artists as a threat to culture rather than copyrights.  But most especially, they should stop presuming to know anything about the creative process and the ways in which artists draw from one another and still manage to create their own works.  There’s a reason the ability to do this is called a gift.  It’s special, it’s rare, and not everybody gets it.”
More © critics who don’t get the creative process 
– David Newhoff, THE ILLUSION OF MORE (Warning: Contains Dylan)

It’s not alleged patent trolls who are the problem, it’s Patent Ogres – “a large product company who is wilfully and systematically infringing on the rights of small patent owners.”
2015: The year of two-way patent licensing – Phillip Shaer, CONVERSANT ON I.P.

“Anonymous pirates are a problem synonymous with the digital age, and solutions have been hard to come by. But that hasn’t stopped the creative streak of Hollywood going to work to stop those who steal their work.”
Rights-holders pursue anonymous pirates – CREATIVITY TECH

“If you’re going to launch a campaign for the benefit of musicians, there are few better options than the stage at the Grammys. Broadcasting to an international audience and lighting up social media, there are clear reasons for the Creators Alliance to use the 57th incarnation of the music awards ceremony to call for fair pay to artists.
On Music’s Biggest Stage, Stars Raise Fair Pay for Artists – CREATIVITY TECH

“Some have proposed that the major element distinguishing intellectual from other property is that it is supposed to be intangible…. The tangible/intangible distinction is not a good one for what can and cannot be owned and, thus, treated as distinctive enough to be related to owners. Indeed, the distinction seems to derive from a more fundamental one…”
Intellectual Property, Anyone? – Tibor Machan, DAILY BELL

Have you been keeping up this handy pocket pummelling of every myth and cliche about free markets you’ll ever hear in a comments thread or a post at the the Double Standard ? Here’s a few of my faves:

Rupert Murdoch could teach Telegraph editors about how to deal with advertisers wanting to dictate editorial…


So relax, huh?
Most cancers are caused by bad luck not genes or lifestyle, say scientists –- TELEGRAPH

“The criminal personality enjoys manipulating and intimidating others. Excitement from lying and getting away with the forbidden is a way of life… Non-arrestable criminals seek the same power over others the hardened criminals do, as well as the jolts of excitement from getting away with the forbidden (in this case, getting away with what is considered unethical, rather than what is illegal).”
The Bureaucratic Personality: Similarities to the Criminal Mind? – JERRY KIRKPATRICK’S BLOG

Where the Montessori legend started: in the slums of Rome. “So what happened with this group of dirty, dishevelled, mostly uncivilized, and completely uneducated children, ages two to six, from illiterate factory-worker families, that brought her such fame?
    “A transformation through principled freedom, unprecedented in educational history.”
Maria Montessori: The Child-Liberator – Marsha Familaro Enright, SAVVY STREET

New book! “"Charlotte Cushman's explanations are clear, essentialised and replete with examples that make her points easily understood. At the same time, she possesses an ability to identify in clear terms the "why's," i.e., the important ideas on which classroom practice is based…
    “The result is that a Montessori parent — including me with four decades of hindsight — can say, "Oh, that's what's going on with my child" and "that's why he's doing that in class." But just as important, a parent who is considering sending a child to a Montessori school will learn the most important lesson from Charlotte Cushman's book: why Montessori matters for a child's success and happiness." – Dr Michael Berliner
Montessori: Why It Matters For Your Child's Success And Happiness – Charlotte Cushman, AMAZON

“Is there some way to learn the true nature of reality from the clues provided by our senses? There is. And our primary tool for doing it is inductive reasoning.”
I Think Inductively, Therefore I Know – Robin Craig, SAVVY STREET

Contrary to conventional wisdom…
Mill Came to Bury Induction, Not to Praise It – JOHN McCASKEY’S BLOG

“As a Montessori parent and advocate, I can honestly say that I fell in love with Montessori at first sight. Over the years, I’ve watched my son benefit in so many ways because of his educational experiences. His love for learning, academic abilities, compassion and self-motivation are all qualities he’s attained from this superb form of learning. Here are five reasons why I think Montessori sets itself apart from other ways of learning.”
Top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Works – MONTESSORI ROCKS

“One of the most infuriating things about conservatives who claim that the U.S. was founded on Biblical morality and the Ten Commandments is that, like Muslims, their minds are closed to any arguments to the contrary. They slam shut so hard you can feel the draft.  So, let’s examine the Ten Commandments and see if any one of them has anything to do with America’s vanishing freedoms…”
The Ten Commandments Rationally Examined – Edward Cline, REASON VS. FAITH

Recorded in 1960, but its thesis could hardly be more timely.
Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World (MP3 download) – Ayn Rand, A.R.I. E-STORE

Reisley House, Usonia I, New York

So, what might you expect if Frank Lloyd Wright designed your subdivision instead of a council planner?
10 Takeaways from Frank Lloyd Wright's Utopian Community – A.J. Artemel, ARCHITIZER

I knew there was one important space missing from all my architectural briefs…
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “bar shed?” – LUKE’S BEER

Whiplash is a riproaring riposte to the cult of low horizons.
Whiplash: the tyranny of mediocrity – Solomon Roark, SPIKED

$20,000 for a first-edition Hayek, but $115,000 for a first-edition Marx. Do these seem just prices?
Amazing Trends in the Prices of First Edition Economics Books – Robert Wentzel, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

“Do I go to see a movie, or study for Friday’s test? Have dinner with friends, or eat in and complete the essay due tomorrow? The will to study, so strong initially, seems to get sapped by the lure of television, parties, and text messages.
”An internal conflict arises: distant future success through current suffering, or current pleasure at the expense of a bright future.
”Does it have to be that way?”
To study or not to study? – A BLOG FOR LIVING ON EARTH

The problem’s not confined to the theatre, is it.
Sir Tom Stoppard, one of the UK's most celebrated playwrights, has complained that he has to dumb down his plays for modern audiences. – BBC

“An interesting interactive calculator for heart disease/stroke risk, from the University of Nottingham. It lets you put in basic, unchangeable factors (age,race,sex), modifiable factors (smoking, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol), and then one of a set of interventions.”
Absolute risk/benefit calculators – Thomas Lumley, STATS CHAT

So it may not be the long-lost blockbuster sequel we were originally sold, but even if it’s only a rough and very different first draft, it’s still a new book by Harper Lee. Sheesh.
To shill a Mockingbird: Is Harper Lee being used? – STUFF

People on average spend satisfy themselves after less than ten minutes on porn sites. True story.
How do you watch porn? Pornhub's stats may surprise (SFW-ish) – TECHLY

Sub-editor gets the headline wrong again. Should be ‘Massey University ‘researcher’ ill-titled.’
Facebook booze brags sending wrong message – THE PRESS

Know your brewing heroes, I say: “Stephen John Francis Middlemiss is listed in Michael Donaldson’s wondrous treatise “Beer Nation: The Art and Heart of Kiwi Beer” as a member of the ‘holy trinity’ of New Zealand brewers.”
Stuck in the Middlemiss with you – Neil Miller, MALTHOUSE

“If someone calls you up and asks you if you’d like to come and set a brewery up on a beautiful sub-tropical island with colourful people and great beaches, whatever you do for God’s sake say YES.”
The story of a great Waiheke beer and the brewer who was lured there to brew it.
Happy 18th Birthday Baroona – by Alan Knight


Yeezus, this is dark…

The perfectly youthful antidote…

Or, give it time to do its thing, THIS … (“Nielsen described this overture, which depicts the sun rising above the Aegean Sea, as follows: "Silence and darkness, The sun rises with a joyous song of praise, It wanders its golden way and sinks quietly into the sea.”)

Oh, and finally, whatever happens, remember to keep calm and …

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 18.34.29

Have a great weekend!

[Hat tips Jesse Colombo, David Stockman, Rudolf E. Havenstein, Camilla Long ]


  1. "To preserve one's mind intact through a modern college education is a test of courage and endurance, but the battle is worth it and the stakes are the highest possible to man: the survival of reason"

    Why start at college? Send your children to public schools too to test their courage and endurance because it's worth it.

    Why stop at education? Send, in your time of need, yourself to public hospital to preserve one's body intact as a test of endurance and courage to try to reform the greater system.

    But these 'tests' make as much sense as running for political office in order to change it from within. It's completely ridiculous.

  2. Yes , a big read as always , Sunday morning here, my wife left me, so maybe I will just read, only cry a little

  3. ^Really? I hope not, that's awful. Perhaps not final if you can figure something out from the situation? Beating the bastards back can wait!

  4. @ Rick:- Ayn Rand is not suggesting you should go to college for the purposes of putting yourself through a test ("test" in this context implies a negative, something you will have to endure), but that if you do go you will be helping to ensure the survival of reason.

  5. Well.....I must disagree. She does say that we go to college in order to endure a negative. I think you must see that too. But maybe you don't see that I also see that there is a proposed payoff for which we are to go to college too, which is "worth it."

    I do see that she means that, that by this choice to go to college or not the survival of reason hinges. What I was trying to do was challenge the absurdity of this. How silly the logic when applied to other cases!

    It's also silly in the context of my own experience at two universities and especially silly in the context of Ayn Rand's university experience as any who know it must agree. Put me right if I'm wrong though but I think this sort of talk is a symptom of Ayn Rand not quite getting the statism out of her bloodstream. The State was Her Christian Grey too...obviously.


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