Friday, 19 June 2015

Friday Morning Ramble


The Taxpayers’ Union has awarded MBIE one of their Government Waste Certificate of Achievement awards for their $140k TV screen.
Porky Presents Waste Award To MBIE Officials – TAXPAYER’S UNION

Long overdue.
James Hardie faces class action – NZ HERALD

Fairfax’s Ross Gittins has nicely summed-up how the older generations are screwing over the young, and why our politicians are only too willing to oblige them…”
How the old screw over the young – Leith Van Onselen,MACRO BUSINESS

“During the recent debate over whether to grant the Obama Administration “trade promotion authority” (TPA or fast track) to enter into major international trade agreements (such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP), little attention has been directed to the problem of remaining anticompetitive governmental regulatory obstacles to liberalised trade and free markets.”
More than New International Trade Deals are Needed to Liberalise International Trade and Promote Economic Freedom – Alden Abbott, TRUTH ON THE MARKET
Obama Trade Bill Passes House as Senate Now Controls Fate – BLOOMBERG


“Psychological abusers exploit their victims by fostering unearned guilt, and encouraging emotion over reason and facts. That’s precisely what Obama is doing here. He’s exploiting a tragic occurrence in South Carolina as an opportunity to outlaw guns, or at least move us further towards outlawing guns.”
The Bodies Not Yet Cold, Obama and Biden Exploit a Tragic Event – DR HURD.COM

“Another massacre takes place in a gun-free zone. Solution? More gun-free zones???”
Gun-free zones an easy target for killers – John R. Lott, FOX NEWS

“The economic miracle that is China is unprecedented in human history. There has simply been nothing like it.”
The People’s Republic of Debt – John Mauldin, MAULDIN ECONOMICS

“The world has changed because of his invention. The businesses which sell washing machines, the engineers who design better ones, the steel workers who find cheaper ways to create the necessary raw materials — they all contribute to an exponential rise in people’s standard of living.”
Wealth Must Be Created Before We Can Give It To the Poor – Steve Patterson, MISES DAILY

“’After 2008 my brand of finance got a bad rap,’ says Eugene Fama.”
What can you learn from Mr. Efficient Markets now? – FORBES

“Tax havens have a valuable role in the global economy. They facilitate the efficient allocation of capital; they encourage saving and investment; and because of tax competition, they encourage better policy in the rest of the world.”
The Moral Case for Tax Havens – Doug Casey, INTERNATIONAL MAN

“By a method Warren Buffett once said was his preferred measure for evaluating the market, stocks are looking expensive.”
‘Buffett Indicator’ Flashes Warning for Stocks – MONEY BEAT

“In an interview with CNBC today Diane DiMartino Booth, a former adviser to recently retired Dallas Fed president Dick Fisher, refers to Ludwig von Mises as "my long-departed hero." She notes that Mises "coined the term malinvestment" and "wrote about it extensively." She characterizes the housing crisis as a "very identifiable bubble" that was "an outlet for the malinvestment" caused by easy money. She goes on to warn…”
Former Fed Adviser Embraces Mises and the Austrian Business Cycle Theory – MISES WIRE




“So let my contribution be an indication of how philosophy has laid the groundwork for this phenomenon and how only philosophy can get us out …”
Understanding Triggers and Microaggression as Strategy – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE
UC teaching faculty members not to criticize race-based affirmative action, call America ‘melting pot,’ and more – Eugene Volokh, WASHINGTON POST

“There’s a slippery slope here, all right, but it’s a slope on which our right of free expression slides away. And it’s a really scary slope.”
Free Speech, not Self-Censorship, is the Answer to 'Offensive' Free Speech – Michael A. LeFerrara, PRINCIPLED PERSPECTIVES

“Now, the first goal seems to be self-promotion — the fame part, the ‘brand.’ That’s because we know that, in this frenetic fight for eyeballs at all costs, the attribute that is most rewarded is screeching ubiquity, not talent.”
Gene Weingarten: How branding is ruining journalism – WASHINGTON POST

“State funding of the arts is leading to the stultification of western literature…”
Writing Against the Counter-Culture: A Wowser Literature. | Welcome to the Soberdome. – Mark Hubbard, LIFE BEHIND THE IRON DRAPE

“The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls."
Neil Gaiman talks about Science fiction – SKrashen

"This is not the sort of tedious quarrel that now and then flutters through the academy; it involves matters of public urgency."
You Should Absolutely, Positively Read the Canon in College – Irving Howe, NEW REPUBLIC

“Sixty years ago, Sir Antony Fisher founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), realising an idea given to him by the economist Friedrich Hayek seven years earlier. The IEA is one of the oldest think tanks, and one of the most successful, something even its opponents freely concede. But what does success mean in this context?”
Sixty years on: Why the battle for a free society is still yet to be won – Steve Davies, CITY A.M.

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“Maybe there is a silver lining to the Rachel Dolezal / Sen. Elizabeth Warren race frauds. If racial identity and gender identity have become matters of personal preference, i.e., how you choose to identify yourself is how the world should treat you, then the entire race-based / gender-based affirmative action apparatus could be brought to its knees.”
Rachel Dolezal: The Silver Lining – POWERLINE

“Few seem to want to consider that Dolezal was motivated by empathy, rather than hatred, and that her eccentric behaviour was only an extreme version of the more commonplace sentiment of white guilt.”
White Guilt Never Helped Anyone – James Heartfield, SPIKED

“Actually, in this case the issue is the individual. The NAACP should celebrate Dolezal, not be ashamed of her. Why? Because she represents exactly what they stand for: The triumph of group identity over the individual; and the importance of racial victimhood over and above individualism, and individual rights.”
Promised a “Colour Blind” Society, We Got Rachel Dolezal Instead – DR HURD.COM

“Am I just imagining it or does it seem to you as though the people who are quick to use the race card, who lecture us about the importance of being blind to colour, are usually the last to take their own advice and are constantly obsessed by race?”
Ethnic Politics & the World of Make Believe – Peter Wehner, REAL CLEAR POLITICS


“There is a transformation at work today in the American left. Not an introduction of new or different ideas—to the contrary, it is arguable that the left has had no new or different ideas since the 1960s. Rather, the transformation at work is the result of a generation of leftists, for the first time, taking those ideas seriously and applying them consistently across a broad spectrum of issues.”
Tyranny of the Victims – THE MENDENHALL

“Those on the left of politics have a choice between defending their past achievements or taking up the challenges which face us.”
What Is Left For the Left? – Brian Easton, PUNDIT
Trotter asks if Labour is finished? – KIWIBLOG

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“Aside from the serious retraction-worthy fabrications on which this article depends – more on those in a minute – the entire report is a self-negating joke. It reads like a parody I might quickly whip up in order to illustrate the core sickness of western journalism.”
Rupert’s London Rag Smears Snowden Again——Lapdog Journalism At Its Worst – Glenn Greenwald, CONTRA CORNER

“The gist of @TheSundayTimes' CNN interview where they tried to defend their Snowden story…”
Questions About The Sunday Times Snowden Story [UPDATE 2] – NOTES. RGALLAGHER.CO.UK

“The specifics of the programs exposed by Snowden are far too extensive to detail in a single article, but they went way beyond anything that any reasonable person could view as necessary, appropriate or useful to combating terrorism. Nor could it be sensibly argued that the extent of the surveillance was compatible with respect for individual rights.”
Thank You, Edward Snowden – Adam Allouba, LE QUEBECOIS LIBRE

“Hackers (i.e. the Chinese) have the records of every single American public service employee, right down to their applications to work in the foreign service, where they are asked to list any possible issues in their lives that others could use to blackmail them. But who has to hack when they are building the system themselves.”
Public sector competence and the sighting of unicorns – LAW OF MARKETS

“The only thing more incredible than this story of the Great Hack is that it seems to make little impression on the American population. Indeed on anyone.”
The only secrets the US government keeps are the ones it keeps from its citizens – LAW OF MARKETS

“The Vatican has called the leak ‘heinous.’”
Pope’s climate encyclical leaked — we’ve already read it for you – JUNK SCIENCE
Is The Catholic Church Burned By The Sun Again? – Tim Ball, WATTS UP WITH THAT

“The new encyclical from Pope Francis, due to be officially released tomorrow, is sure to contain at least one claim that the rich are somehow getting rich off the backs of the poor.”
It's Better To Be Poor in a 'Capitalist' Country Than Any Other Type of Country – Ryan McMaken, MISES WIRE

“Forty five years ago when the first Earth Day was held, the catastrophe that awaited us was mass starvation, lost farmland, overpopulation, our supplies of oil and gas running on empty, early death, nuclear winter, and believe it or not, a coming second ice age. Every single one of those predictions was not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong. The opposite occurred. But the doomsday machine rolls on.”
State of the Planet: Better Than Ever – Stephen Moore, HERITAGE FOUNDATION

“The energy industry is not just any industry; it is the industry that powers every other industry."
Carbon week: The G7’s immoral no-carbon pledge – Alex Epstein, FINANCIAL POST

“A key subsidy scheme that has fuelled the spread of wind turbines, the Renewables Obligation (RO), will be closed in April 2016, a year earlier than planned, Amber Rudd, British energy secretary, said on Thursday.”
Wind farm subsidies axed 'to stop turbines covering beautiful countryside' – TELEGRAPH

“Compensation claims filed by Pacific islands hit by "rediscovered" study showing islands growing not shrinking.”
No sea level rise: Pacific islands growing not shrinking, says study – MARIANAS VARIETY

“I am prepared to believe that the NOAA people would do anything to get some warming. So why this?? It blows a hole in their boat.”
America’s Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US In A 10-Year Cooling Trend – DAILY CALLER

“So what to do if your theory doesn’t fit the data? Why, change the data, of course!”
Global Warming: The Theory that Predicts Nothing and Explains Everything – Robert Tracinski, THE FEDERALIST

“This is a defence of a policy of absolutely open immigration, without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports.”
For Open Immigration – Harry Binswanger, VALUE FOR VALUE

“California's water shortage is due to ‘a long-term campaign waged by radical environmentalists.’"
Man-Made Drought: A Guide To California's Water Wars – Devin Nunes, I.B.D.

“Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation.”
A Problem From Heaven – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, FOREIGN AFFAIRS


“Greece is going to default sooner or later and the sooner the better for everyone involved.”
Greece Walks Out After 45 Minutes, Talks Collapse; Default Math: Who Foots the Bill? How Much? – MISH
Greece is Detroit, Not Lehman – Brian Wesbury, FIRST TRUST

“Call it the Paradox of Subsidies. Why do you subsidize something? To make it cheaper. What is the actual effect? To make it more expensive.”
Robert Tracinski on The Paradox of Subsidies – IMPIA

“…more innovation-led growth would increase top income shares and foster social mobility through creative destruction.”
On innovation and top income inequality – A Schumpeterian approach – Jim Rose, UTOPIA, YOU ARE STANDING IN IT

“Remember President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark to entrepreneurs, during his 2012 presidential campaign? ‘Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet’.”
Government Spending on "Innovation": The True Cost Is Higher Than You Think – Peter Klein, MISES DAILY

“The stories are all over the Internet. Governments are forcing us into a cashless society. Supposedly the pretext is terrorism, and the real reason is to take more control. No doubt more power appeals to politicians, and banning cash seems like the next step after mandatory reporting of cash transactions. However, I think there is a more serious driver than simple power lust. A more compelling case is that cash banning is the logical follow up to bail-ins.”
They’re Coming to Take Away Your CashKeith Weiner, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

”From Year 1 to today, Angus Maddison, a British economist who specialised in measurement and analysis of
economic growth and development, combined modern research techniques with his own
extensive knowledge of economic history to estimate the historical spread of The Wealth of Nations..

Come in Michelson-Morley. The search for Dark Matter is looking more and more like the search for Aether.
Chasing shadows: How long can we keep looking for dark matter? – NEW SCIENTIST

Famous quotes and the people who didn’t say them.
Falsely Attributed – LAPHAM’S QUARTERLY

Paleo-physiotherapy now too?
Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain – NPR

Outrage! Bat is beating ball, and now there’s no time to drink beer at One Day Internationals.
The Summer ODIs Went Batshit – SPORT REVIEW

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“This news is unreal — and it's resetting virtually everything we thought we knew about Stonehenge.”
Archaeologists Have Made An Incredible Discovery At Stonehenge – io9

Love jazz photography? Check this out…
The Man Who Photographed Be-Bop – U-DISCOVER

PS: This is what a piano looks like after an international competition:

“Great essay making the case that an independent mind is very hard to achieve against the desire to fit in and the fear of loneliness. I keep coming back to Ibsen's play, An Enemy of the People, with it's closing statement that he who stands alone is the strongest person in the world. I think Dr. Peikoff's exposition of the play is the most powerful and yet simple inspiration to protect one's brain from "mind rape". But the ultimate defense is to let reality be your only concern and dispense with all middle men between one's consciousness and the facts.”
How To Escape The Age Of Mass Delusion – Stella Morabito, THE FEDERALIST

Thinking of renovating? Get an idea of NZ costs.
Project Estimates for Renovations in New Zealand – REFRESH RENOVATIONS

“The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Affleck House was built in Bloomfield Hills in 1941. The Usonian house was designed to, exist in harmony with nature and meet the need for low-cost housing for the average American.’”
See inside the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills – M.LIVE

“An important new source of funding to help spread Objectivism was announced last year in July. The Objectivist Venture Fund has committed up to one million dollars to support Objectivists with imagination and persistence…”
The Objectivist Venture Fund Helps Break New Ground – VOICES FOR REASON

New York’s most famous museum, under construction in 1957:

For me, this looks fascinating. Settle back and learn about innovative Japanese decorative art that inspired European artists in the 19th century

Robert Fripp and David Cross update a classic theme. (From their new album Starless Starlight)

Ooh, I’m looking forward to this tonight!

These two, by the way, will be your hosts for the evening:


And looking forward to this on Monday!
What’s it about? Well, Wagner’s unique interpretation when he read the world’s biggest miserabalist, Arthur Schopenhauer) was that real deep understanding of the world’s depths is only possible through two things: sex and music. And Wagner thought:”I’m the man!.”
So here, complete with foreplay (remembering that it’s all in the music) …

PS: See you at the show beforehand …


[Hat tips Geek Press, Junk Science,

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