Friday, 24 July 2015

Friday Morning Ramble

Here’s a few things I wanted to write more about this week, but ran out of time. First, the question of the week:


Spotted this in the interview with Greens’s co-penis James Shaw. Definitely needs talking about more (remind me, someone): “Chris Finlayson has surprised me. He got nature's rights into New Zealand law with the Treaty of Waitangi settlements for the Whanganui River and Urewera. The idea that no one can own them, that they have the right to exist and not be degraded is an extraordinary principle that sets a revolutionary precedent in terms of how we govern our relationship with the environment.”
Twelve Questions: James Shaw – NZ HERALD

“In a number of Western world cities, there is rising concern about foreign housing purchases which may be driving up prices for local residents. Much of the attention is aimed at mainland Chinese buyers in metropolitan areas where housing is already pricier than elsewhere. The concern about housing affordability is legitimate. However, blaming foreigners misses the point, which is that the rising prices are to a large degree the result of urban containment policies implemented by governments … “
Blaming foreigners for unaffordable housing – Wendell Cox, NEW GEOGRAPHY

“If there is any big flood of foreign money that wants to be involved in Auckland housing, it is ridiculous that we make it near impossible for that money to build new housing.”
Crisitunity revisited – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“It is sitting at about the $750,000 mark now and [rising] at about $3000 a week, or $150,000 a year, so it should be at about $900,000 12 months down the track. So you are looking at about a year and a half from now. The whole thing is a complete circus and I curse the politicians for failing to articulate these serious issues with clarity."
Experts predict Auckland median house price will break $1m mark in 18 months – NZ HERALD

“Sounds like those foreign buyer restrictions and capital gains taxes are really working for the Aussies. Good thing no party advocates them here.” – David Seymour
Sydney median house price now $1 million – NEWS DOMAIN

“But governments across the world, from Australia to New Zealand to Britain, are starting to argue that tackling another big problem—bubbly housing markets—may give productivity a boost. Are they right?”
How cheaper housing can boost productivity – ECONOMIST

It all helps.
Tradie safety rules driving up construction costs – NEWSTALK ZB

This graph shows that many of Britain's under 40s will probably never own their own homes. And it’s not only Britain …

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The arguments against a GST increase in Australia are the same arguments to lower it here.
Low income families hardest hit by 15pc GST – AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

“Local Government NZ (LGNZ) wants more power to impose taxes, levies, road tolls, and user charges to pay for their rapacious empire building. Rates, a tax on property owners, no longer bring in enough money to fill their ambitious coffers. They know they’ve bled the ratepayer dry so now they’re on the lookout for other sources of funds. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Government isn’t having a bar of it.” So far.
Local Government the Problem, Not the Solution – JO HOLMES.COM

“The six affiliated unions have a collective equity of $46,275,983, yet only gave $162,000 to last years Labour election campaign.”
The Unions' Massive War Chest – WHALE OIL BEEF HOOOKED

This was good listening. The full interview with Peter Boghossian, Professor of Critical Thinking. Worth a listen in full.
Peter Boghossian: Critical thinking and Atheism – LEIGHTON SMITH SHOW

“Environmental Management in Early Polynesian New Zealand.”
Small New Zealand population initiated rapid forest transition c. 750 years ago: – SCIENCE DAILY

The Auckland Council supports a bid by Ngati Whatua Orakei to extend a ‘mana whenua cultural heritage overlay’ over about 25 properties at the city end of Paritai Drive in the Auckland unitary plan.”
So we told you about this two years ago. Why when it’s too late are folk in Paritai Drive getting upset?
Paritai Drive residents fighting Maori heritage designation moves – NZ HERALD
“There are ‘big changes’ on the way in terms of how we are governed…” – Christopher Lee, NOT PC, 2013
The Taniwha Tax: coming to a home near you – NOT PC
Cultural Impact Assessments - to protect a dump – NOT PC

An anti-abortion group last week” released a video of a conversation between Deborah Nucatola, an executive with the US’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and investigators who claimed to be setting themselves up as middlemen distributing organs and tissue from aborted fetuses to medical researchers.” Selling body parts!. “It sounds shocking and disturbing …”
What the Planned Parenthood Case Isn’t About – Robert Tracinski, TRACINSKI LETTER

“Donald Trump appears to have gotten under the skin of not only Democrats, but also fellow Republicans and the news media. Has that subjected Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, to unfair and/or inaccurate reporting? An article in the Washington Post today is headlined, “Trump slams McCain for being ‘captured’ in Vietnam. …”
Fact Check: The Washington Post on Donald Trump and John McCain – SHARYL ATTKISSON

“Statements by one of the candidates for the Republican Party nomination for the presidency have made immigration a burning issue once more.”
Freedom To Move: Personal Liberty or Government Control, Part I – Richard Ebeling, EPIC TIMES

Legal American immigration? If only it were possible.
I spent the last 15 years trying to become an American. I've failed.- William Han, VOX

Merkel is wrong; immigration doesn't lead to catastrophe.
Angela Merkel told a sobbing girl she couldn't save her from deportation. It was a lie. – VOX

Sense from the UK.
Cannabis users allowed to grow drugs at home without prosecution say Durham Police – MIRROR

“The history of government "investments" shows that politicians don't have a clue where to put the public's money.”
"Green Banks" Will Drown in the Red – Jonathan Bydlak, FEE

“The fight for a $15 minimum wage has scored a victory for robots and unions against immigrants and young people.”
New York Orders Fast-Food Workers Replaced With Robots, Kiosks, Mobile Apps – Daniel Bier, FEE

“Socialists believe raising minimum wages, raises the workers standard of living. Austrians (the economists) suggest raising minimum wages destroys low wage jobs, especially for youth and entry level labour. Now Seattle finds that when the minimum wage is raised, workers opt for fewer hours to maintain their low income government benefits and their standard of living remains the same.”
Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit – FOX NEWS

“A claim for equality of material position can be met
only by a government with totalitarian powers.”
~ Friedrich Hayek

No kidding.
Kerry says Iran vow to defy U.S. is "very disturbing" – JIHAD WATCH
IAEA Tells Congressmen of Two Secret Side Deals to Iran Agreement That Won’t Be Shared with Congress – NRO
Iran: ‘We’ll support all the terrorist groups we want’ – Michael Rubin, AEI
U.S. 'disturbed' by Iranian leader's criticism after deal – REUTERS
Thomas Sowell: Obama's Iran Blunder Presages A Catastrophe – Thomas Sowell, NEWS INVESTORS.COM
Paving the Way for a Nuclear Iran – AYN RAND INSTITUTE

“‘Claim jobseeker’s allowance and plan holy war': Hate preacher pocketing £25,000 a year in benefits calls on fanatics to live off the state.”
UK jihadist: “The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar. You work, give us the money, Allahu akbar.”JIHAD WATCH

“The biggest threat to African peace and prosperity comes from a dangerous idea.”
Africa’s jihadists – ECONOMIST

“Most of the magazine was murdered for the publication. Criticize them for not continuing to publish Muslim cartoons? When did it become the responsibility of cartoon publishers to do the failed job of an entire government?”
The Knees Have ItMark Steyn, STEYN ONLINE
Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech – AYN RAND INSTITUTE


“For years, it was posited that New Zealand was less exposed to commodity booms and busts because it specialised in so-called soft commodities, such as dairy production and other farm goods, whose consumption and demand is far less cyclical than so-called “hard commodities”, such as iron ore, which are dependent on the intensity of construction. These assumptions must surely be under threat, given the massive fall in dairy prices. …”
NZ’s commodities crash rivals Australia’s – Leith Van Onselen, MACRO BUSINESS

"And therein lies the origins of the deflationary wave now rocking the global commodity markets..."
Central Banks Have Shot Their Wad——-Why The Casino Is In For A Rude Awakening, Part I – David Stockman, CONTRA CORNER

“It’s almost as though it’s a battle between good and bad. But which is good and which is bad? When central banks and governments get involved, there’s no mistaking the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’.”
Little Known Chart Shows Why it’s Wrong to Hate Deflation – Kris Sayce, MONEY MORNING

“What’s a Grecian urn? A lot less than a few years ago.”
Saturday’s smiles: Greek Edition – HOME PADDOCK

Misery. Poverty. Greece. Should we be blaming the universities? Yes we should.
British economics graduates have left a trail of misery around the world – James Bartholomew, SPECTATOR

“When I learned economics from Hans Sennholz he often made two claims. First, he would tell us what sound economics taught about mutually beneficial trade, the division of labour, the free mobility of goods, services and people across international borders, the importance of sound money and of fiscal responsibility, and the failures of socialism and interventionism.  The laws of economics, he would say, were inexorable.  Second, he stressed to us how few people actually understood economics even among professional economists.
    “The task of the economic educator was to communicate to students and the public the truth of the first claim.  The task of the economic scholar/scientist was to correct the reality of the second claim. … To do so, Sennholz insisted that one must study closely the teachings of the alternative schools of economic thought.”
Sound Economic Reasoning Teaches ... – Peter Boettke, COORDINATION PROBLEM

“There is, of course, a deeper reason for the Greek tragedy which explains why the Greek and the EU governments and the majority of the Greeks are acting the way they are. That reason is the virtually unquestioned moral code of self-sacrifice. This code, known as altruism, holds that the needs of others create a claim on us—and a duty to help them.”
The Causes of the Greek Economic Tragedy—and the Capitalist Cure – Jaana Woiceshyn, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“Self-interest, frowned upon for ages as acquisitive, anti-social behavior, was celebrated by Smith as an indispensable spur to economic progress. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner,” he wrote, “but from their regard to their own interest.””
"Adam Smith Proved Ideas Matter" – Larry Reed, FEE

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"…gasoline-powered cars are toast."
Tesla just did something big in the car world – NZ HERALD

Creative destruction in one graph.
This is What the History of Camera Sales Looks Like with Smartphones Included – PETA PIXEL

“All was quiet on the neoliberalism front in Latin America for the last 20 years. In yet another defeat for the Mont Pelerin Society led transnational conspiracy, economic freedom has been pretty stable in Chile for 20 years and in the serious decline in Venezuela and Argentina – see figure 1. Not much happening in Brazil either on the neoliberalism front – see figure 1. I’ve always had my doubts about the ability of a transnational conspiracy to be led by a society with such a crappy website.”
The impact of neoliberalism on economic freedom in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela since 1995 – UTOPIA – YOU ARE STANDING IN IT

The latest breakthrough in higher education, from The Onion …
Online University Allows Students To Amass Crippling Debt At Own Pace – THE ONION

… and the Mises Institute.
How Student Loans Create Demand for Useless Degrees – Josh Grossman, MISES DAILY

“Scientists have discovered the very first Earth-like planet orbiting a sun-like star in the perfect sweet spot … This is the Earth twin scientists have been searching for over the past 20 years.”
NASA just discovered 'Earth 2.0' – BUSINESS INSIDER

One of the Most Remarkable Achievements in Human History

“Homewood checked a swathe of other South American weather stations around the original three. In each case he found the same suspicious one-way ‘adjustments’… Yet these are the very records on which scientists and politicians rely for their belief in ‘global warming’.”
Suspect temperature records – CATALLAXY FILES

You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Arctic expedition to study global warming put on hold because of too much ice – WATTS UP WITH THAT

"The difference between political power and economic
power is the difference between rape and seduction."
~ Warren Orbaugh

Why Most of the World’s Banks Are Headed for Collapse – Doug Casey, DAILY RECKONING

“This reminds me of that old criticism about gold being a “barbarous relic”. John Maynard Keynes first coined the term when he denounced the gold standard, and Paul Krugman has echoed this sentiment in our own time.
“Both men are champions of government spending and the inexhaustible creation of paper money.
“It’s a curious statement, though, given that gold is an acknowledged form of savings. Even governments and central banks around the world continue to hold gold as part of their official reserves.
“Owning gold is saving, which by definition is civilized, i.e. NOT barbarous.
Debt, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It is a lack of savings that shows a complete disregard for the future.
“It is the modern equivalent of gorging on some wild beast with no thought to tomorrow’s meal… or in this case, no thought of tomorrow’s generation.
“Debt is the barbarous relic. Not gold.”
Debt Is The Barbarous Relic! Not Gold – ZERO HEDGE

“The fascist Benito Mussolini had high praise for the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes: mussolini-military“Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes …”
Mussolini on Keynes’s economics – STEPHEN HICKS

“Spoiler alert: The deplorable revelations recounted here will not ruin your appreciation of the sublime beauty of Le Corbusier’s masterpieces.” But perhaps they should cause you to question the nature of that alleged beauty.
Revisiting Le Corbusier as a Fascist – HYPERALLERGIC

And … “Traditionally, Mr. Johnson is presented as the great champion of modern architecture. … Philip Johnson did not just flirt with fascism. He spent several years in his late 20's and early 30's -- years when an artist's imagination usually begins to jell -- consumed by fascist ideology.”
Form Follows Fascism – Mark Stevens, NY TIMES

“Consciousness is a biological property like digestion or photosynthesis. Now why isn’t that screamingly obvious to anybody who’s had any education? …”
“Kant was probably the greatest philosopher that ever lived and he is an obsession, but I think the whole thing is based on a mistake – that you can’t have a direct knowledge of things in themselves. You can. I’m looking at a desk and I see a thing in itself.”
Searle: it upsets me when I read the nonsense written by my contemporaries – NEW PHILOSOPHER

“Interview with pomo Jean Baudrillard – against “reality” and just about everybody…”
'Nobody Needs French Theory' – an extract from Jean Baudrillard: From Hyperreality to Disappearance – EUP PUBLISHING

“But wait: Ayn Rand is most famous for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Where does she fit into mainstream, professional philosophy? Does she fit in at all?”
Episode 73: Greg Salmieri discusses Ayn Rand’s moral philosophy – ELUCIDATIONS
Ayn Rand is banned from /r/philosophy – REDDIT

“Philosophers vs Novelists?  Not quite. Cognitive Science has started to record what philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand had already grasped and articulated---how stories help humans learn and navigate through life’s problems, in the way flight simulators assist pilots in training.
“The undermining of art therefore creates a burgeoning vacuum in the young, for the flight simulators are teaching the young pilots how not to fly.
Ayn Rand and the Cognitive Science of Narrative – Vinay Kolhatkar, SAVVY STREET

“Saul Alinskey: Ellsworth Toohey incarnate? "Here are some of the more memorable quotes which today in the Age of Obama have been adopted in Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and the Democrat Socialist Party's Progressive politics of today…”
The triumph of Ayn Rand and the Fountainhead – RENEW AMERICA.COM


“Science has found it difficult to answer the many risks of harm to body and property which earthquakes cause. Technologies meant to enable the prediction of earthquakes have not worked out in the past and researchers are still unable to predict the location and magnitude of the next big quake. In the meantime, there has been plenty of research and development leading to the creation of tools and techniques that have saved lives from the incredible destruction of a violent shift in fault lines.”
Disaster Tech: Innovations spurred by earthquakes – Steve Brachmann, IP WATCHDOG

Science. Always there for the important questions.
Why Do Cats Bring Home Dead Animals? – LIVE SCIENCE

This is important.
Drinking Tequila Can Help You Lose Weight, According To Scientists – L.A. TIMES

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“Most mental health professionals today, takes it for granted that depression is primarily a medical illness, for which we need the best medication and medical treatment possible. But the more advanced medications we develop, and the more we prescribe them, the more suicides we’re seeing with teenagers over the last twenty years. ..
“Those of us in our 30s, 50s or 80s react with tremendous sadness upon hearing of the deliberate death of a 15 or 17-year-old. ‘They had their whole lives ahead of them,’ we say. ‘How could they throw it all away?’ They obviously did not believe they were throwing anything away. That points you to the core of the problem.”
Record Teen Suicides and The Questions We’re Not Asking – DR HURD.COM
College-Age Depression Is Increasingly Tied to Helicopter Parenting, Studies Show – SLATE

There’s an important story still to tell here.
JOY DIVISION REISSUED (2015): The art at the heart of darkness – Graham Reid, ELSEWHERE

““I used to think it was something like spite. You forbid yourself to say yes to something you could want and should want and may never be able to replace – you forbid yourself to say yes in order to hang on to the power to say no. It’s not just independence, a state of not being owned or enslaved or whatever. It’s a spiteful little betrayal of your own vows and commitments. I see stuff like that all the time, not just in marriage but everywhere, and I thought it was the same thing.”
The autopsy of Mister Maybe’s divorce: “Silence and distance and lies are all you need to destroy any marriage. 


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“More than 10,000 New Zealand songwriters and composers are going back in time to decide the winner of the 1981 Apra Silver Scroll Award – which never was awarded. "I'm not sure why the Silver Scroll was not awarded," said Apra spokesman Anthony Healey. "New Zealand was in turmoil and that created an environment ripe for some of the greatest music ever made in this country. We are going to celebrate it."”
Silver Scrolls for 1981 to be finally awarded – STUFF

Yes, you probably do want to see Joe Strummer’s handwritten lyrics for London Calling, 1979

“The time has come again for RIBA's 2015 Stirling Prize, the institute's highest accolade for "best new building" in the United Kingdom.” Given what’s on offer, maybe they should leave it blank this year?
RIBA reveals the six 2015 Stirling Prize shortlisters - ARCHINECT

Yes, it’s Leonard Bernstein. So, yes, it’s good: One million years of music in five minutes.

Yes, this is what it’s supposed to sound like.

Yes, I love it when two of my heroes come together.

No, it doesn’t.

Sister Rosetta Tharp had it.

[Hat tips to Hugh Pavletich, David Prichard, Stephen Hicks, Justin Templer, Raphael Satter, ClassicPics, Screwed by State, American Elephant, Maajid Nawaz, Khyaati Acharya, David Burge, Amity Shlaes, Students For Liberty, Mikayla Novak, CityMetric, Evonomics Magazine, Liam Dann, Zadok Forgeron, ATHEISTPOWER/Kriz, Fouad Akkad, Craig Holland Dixon, The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Stephen Hicks, Fabia Claridge-Chang, Felix Mueller, Economic Quote of the Day, Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance, Jim Hurlbut, For New Intellectuals, Australian Libertarian Society (ALS), David Seymour, Phil Oliver, Anoop Verma, Mother of Exiles, Prodos Marinakis]

Thanks for reading
Have a great weekend,


  1. Gold [Yes is stored value] - I once read that one of the reasons for Europe to go off the gold standard was that by early 1900s there wasn't enough gold to finance world trade, thus another mechanism was required if global trade were to continue.
    I've wondered about the theoretical - North Korea finds a mountain/ deep pit of gold and thus becomes immensely wealthy. {They're able to mine it; and gold still has value}. Compared to hard working, creative South Korea e.g., it seems under this dream, that wealth is a matter of luck - because you've found gold in your territory.

    If beer has a tendency to increase one's weight, in the wrong places, is the remedy to have a shot of tequila with each 250ml beer?

    1. Nope, Europe went off the fully-redeemable, classical "gold-coin" gold standard in 1914 when the First World War began, and all countries inflated their currencies to try to pay for war. Never went back on. (The gold reserve standard set in place after the war relied on bankers' honesty and politicians' integrity, and was set at the wrong rates, so was never going to last.)

      Re your theoretical: The Soviets had that very money-pit of gold, but still not sufficient to help the Soviet Union survive. Turns out slave labour can't even dig up money very well.

      Your last point is very sound. I prescribe a large bottle of Herradura to accompany every session. For health reasons.


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