Friday, 26 February 2016

Friday Morning Ramble–19.02.16


“Yet planners still present the apartment as king, typified by Auckland Council's recent singling out of central suburbs for intensification, to the dismay of long-time residents.  All the while, Council refuses to budge on the city's rural-urban boundary, outside which no houses may be built, strangling supply of new land for housing.
    “We're actually building fewer homes than in 1974, under a supposedly pro-development government.  The resultant housing squeeze has, according to the Salvation Army, forced 38,000 residents out of Auckland over six years.
    “It's ridiculous, but let me finish with a prediction. …”
David v Jacinda: Density is our destiny – or is it? – David Seymour/Jacinda Ardern, STUFF

“This morning on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon Program Auckland 2040 head Richard Burton continues to make false claims about what is going on with the Unitary Plan Rezoning Hearings…”
Fact Check: #UnitaryPlan and the False Claims Made By Auckland 2040 – Ben Ross, TALKING AUCKLAND
Unitary Plan rezoning: fact-checking vs fears – TRANSPORT BLOG
Unitary Plan and the issue of “scope” – TRANSPORT BLOG

Clipboard02“Kiwirail say they want another $1.4 billion to upgrade its Auckland rail network on top of the $2.5 billion they want for the City Rail Link (CRL). This is on top of the $1.14 billion it has already received for rail electrification. But wait, there’s more.”
CRL the Oliver Twist project crippling Auckland – JO HOLMES BLOG

“The band manager on the rock star. Mike Hesson reflects on how Brendon McCullum has changed cricket in NZ.”
'No longer are we consumed by losing' – CRIC INFO
Brendon McCullum put a smile on the face of New Zealand cricket – Greg Baum, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Dream Baz New Zealand – SPORT REVIEW

Poor baby.
David Warner says NZ fans went "too far" in their abuse of his Australian team-mates – BBC SPORT

“Shedding a third of their vote (12% down to 8% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll) is either about Green MPs or their ideas.”
Has the 'child poverty' barrow stopped working for the Greens? – LINDSAY MITCHELL

“New Zealand's regime for classifying streaming content is nonsensical. And Lightbox is pushing back…”
There's a Light(box) – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“The United States is overseeing booming legal markets in cannabis,” says the Economist. By contrast, in New Zealand, the government denies a dying Helen Kelly the right to medical marijuana tomake her dying less painful.
The war on the war on drugs – THE ECONOMIST
Helen Kelly and the campaign to legalise medical marijuana – RADIO NZ

[Apologies for the typo - Ed.]


“Australia''s refugee policy is based on fabrications . . . . . .that means lies.”
Refugee Economies: Rethinking Popular Assumptions – REFUGEE STUDIES CENTRE


Bernie Sanders’s crazy socialist fantasy about how government spending will grow the economy. My favourite part is how Sanders will ‘juice GDP and productivity by pouring 14.5 trillion into the economy.’ But where is Sanders going to get the 14.5 trillion? The problem is he will first have to siphon much more than 14.5 trillion out of the economy before pouring it back in. As my father used to say, its like giving yourself a blood transfusion from you left arm to your right, while spilling half the blood on the floor.The larger problem is that the money the government takes out of the economy would otherwise have been productively invested, while the money it puts back in will be frivolously spent. Socialism can't work and never has.”
~ Peter Schiff


Even Paul Krugman realises Bernie’s “economics” needs work.
Paul Krugman is now accusing Bernie Sanders of “deep voodoo” economics. – NEW REPUBLIC

“Pretty much everyone I have known who is ‘successful’ has worked very hard for that success. But some other people, people who typically have never started a business, or had the guts to strike out in the face of a high probably of failure, have convinced themselves that successful people are the enemy.”
Dear Bernie. I’m Sorry I Am The Problem With America (An entrepreneur calls BS on the socialist) – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM

“Charles Koch says he agrees with Bernie Sanders that the current political-economic system often gives and redistributes benefits to wealthy business and corporate special interests at the expense of others, especially the poor and low income in society. But Mr. Koch's solution to political privilege and favoritism is radically different from Mr. Sanders'.”
Charles Koch: This is the one issue where Bernie Sanders is right – WASHINGTON POST

Big government and big business aren't as opposed as some seem to think….”



“The case of Sweden allegedly ‘proves,’ among other things, that we can enjoy a high standard of living while penalizing the most productive with progressive taxes.
    “This course dispels the myths about Sweden by exploring the economic history of Sweden from the 1800s onward. This course thereby provides you with the intellectual ammunition necessary to refute the notion that Sweden could, somehow, ‘get away’ with the welfare state.
    “The less you know about Sweden, the more you will benefit from the course.”
What About Sweden? (MP3 download) – Carl Svanberg, AYN RAND eSTORE

"Swede  is [now]moving in the direction of smaller government, rejecting Keynesianism, lowering tax rates, and reducing the burden of the public sector."
Sweden: The Sensible (and Slowly Shrinking) Welfare State – DANIEL J. MITCHELL

Meanwhile, back in the Americas: “Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighbourhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.”
The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch – CARACAS CHRONICLES

“Who would not want to live in a world where college was free, along with many other things, and where government protected us from the shocks of life and guaranteed our happiness? It would be Disneyland for adults!
Free college of course has an appeal to the young, especially those who have never studied economics. But college cannot possibly be free. It would not be free even if there was no such thing as money.
Consider the costs of just one professor teaching just one course.”
The Lure of Socialism – Thomas Sowell, JEWISH WORLD REVIEW

“Socialism as a political ideal is dead. But the morality that spawned it — from each according to his ability, to each according to his need — still haunts us. So long as need and the “public interest” are regarded as moral claim checks on the ability of the productive, the continued growth of the government’s control over the economy and our lives is inevitable."
Atlas Shrugged Could Change the World – Yaron Brook, SEIER CAPITAL

“Successful businessmen are oftentimes the worst defenders of capitalism. Recent financial interventions began not with President Obama, for example, but with the $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns under the supposedly fiscally conservative Bush Administration and then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former head of GS, +2.26% The TARP slush fund, onerous Sarbanes-Oxley regulation and prescription drug entitlement were all their handiwork too."
Donald Trump is No Capitalist – Jonathan Hoenig, MARKET WATCH (2011)


German Jews made up about 1% of the population of Germany in the
late 1930s.Illegal immigrants make up less than 4% of America's population.
Assuming Trump is able to make them all go away, what is his plan for restoring the country when that (obviously) won't solve America's problems?"
~ Anonymous FB Friend


“People are willing to pay a premium to control their own choices: the ability to choose has value. On the flip side, though not in this paper, taking those choices away from people is insulting.
Would that the value of choice were not assumed away in policy applications of behavioural economics.”
The Preference for Choice - Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“Within less than a decade after its appearance, the ideas in The General Theory had practically conquered the economics profession and become a guidebook for government economic policy. Few books, in so short a time, have gained such wide influence and generated so destructive an impact on public policy. What Keynes succeeded in doing was to provide a rationale for what governments always like to do: spend other people’s money and pander to special interests.”
The Follies & Fallacies of Keynesian Economics – Richard Ebeling, COBDEN CENTRE

“But then the [US Federal Reserve] has never seen a downturn coming. Read the minutes of the May 2008 Fed meeting and you will find no mention of the fact that the US economy was already six months into a recession, and especially not from Yellen or other Fed heads still serving today. Here’s what happened next——employment plunged by 6.5 million in less than 12 months …
    “That was then, but it’s actually worse now. That’s because the Fed has been totally hijacked by Keynesian simpletons in the interim.”
Another Dead Cat Bounce——-And They’ve Already Buried The Cat – David Stockman, CONTRA CORNER
Why You Can Expect Another Global Stock market Meltdown – Satyajit Das, MarketWatch, CONTRA CORNER

Robert Murphy: “In case you've never seen me show this before, here's the connection between the Fed and the U.S. stock market since 2009”:


Each time the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its first four reports, the world trembled. Four tries “to convince the world that human activity is causing catastrophic warming of the planet, runaway sea-level rise and various weather disasters.” Not so this time, with the fifth. “The report landed with a thud, criticised and even mocked by many leading climate scientists. The distinguished science journal Nature editorialised that this should be the last report issued by the UN body.”
    The reason? Because the science simply does not back up the catastrophic hypothesis. And the latest report all but admits it.
The age of climate alarmism is coming to an end – WASHINGTON EXAMINER

“Data from two NASA satellites, employed in the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment between 2002 and 2014, enabled researchers to analyse the effects of glacier loss. They found to their surprise that trillions of tons of water wound up not in the sea but spread across the planet’s land mass. In fact, 3.2 trillion tons of water, equal to the volume of Lake Huron, soaked into thirsty soil or were collected in lakes and underground aquifers."
Global-warming Ice Capades – WASHINGTON TIMES

“It is primarily an income redistribution tool it looks like. And it'll go right into the pockets of bad guys around the world. Billions, some of it from taxes paid by you.”
Global Warming Fund a Slush Fund for World’s Dictators – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM

“The head of NASA convinces the President that space exploration should be done by private industry, and the United States government declares, “The first person to land on Mars, live there a year, and return alive owns the whole Red Planet.” Capitalists compete to win the greatest race in history. Environmentalists plot to make them all fail.”
Just Released: The Merchant of Mars: A Novella by Ron Pisaturo – DOLLARS & CROSSES

How a man of integrity responds to an invitation to visit a dictatorship: When a representative for the USSR invited Richard Feynman to a physics conference in that country, he wrote back this letter:
Thank you very much for your invitation to the Dubna Conference. I have thought a good deal about the matter and would have liked to go. However, I believe I would feel uncomfortable at a scientific conference in a country whose government respects neither freedom of opinion of science, nor the value of objectivity, nor the desire of many of its scientist citizens to visit scientists in other countries.
Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track, by Richard Feynman – OBJECTIVE STANDARD


"One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is that they are free to be scandalously
asinine without harming their reputation. The intellectuals who idolised Stalin while he
was purging millions and stifling the least stirring of freedom have not been discredited.
They are still holding forth on every topic under the sun and are listened to with
deference. Sartre returned in 1939 from Germany, where he studied philosophy, and
told the world that there was little to choose between Hitler's Germany and France.
Yet Sartre went on to become an intellectual pope revered by the educated in every
land. The metaphysical grammarian Noam Chomsky, who went to Hanoi to worship
there at the altar of human rights and democracy, was not discredited and silenced
when the humanitarian communists staged their nightmare in South Vietnam and
Cambodia. Is there a greater freedom than the right to be wrong?"
~ Eric Hoffer in Before the Sabbath (1979)


“Just in case you were swallowing the cock-and-bull story the FBI has been churning...”
U.S. sought data from 15 Apple devices in last four months – REUTERS
Apple vs. The FBI – Yaron Brook Radio Show, BLOG TALK RADIO
This Is the Real Reason Apple Is Fighting the FBI – CATO

“[John] McAfee offered an alternative solution to the FBI: He will crack the phone for the FBI himself. He told them that he and his team could do it in three weeks. Tops.
    “’What I have done is I said ‘Look, if in fact, you are sincere in wanting to get access to just that one phone, my team and I, we’ll do it. We can crack it. Easily… I guarantee it.’
    “Of course, McAfee received no response from FBI officials. No surprise there: ‘It’s not just that one phone they want,’ he says. ‘They want a key to everybody’s phone.’”
Apple Gives Big Brother a Black Eye – Chris Campbell, LAISSEZ FAIRE TODAY


“How life has improved drastically in last 100 years. Let's celebrate human ingenuity for a change.”
Most Ordinary Americans in 2016 Richer Than Was John D. Rockefeller in 1916 – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK

“Over the last few decades hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, and the total number of people living in poverty is at an all-time low.”
Capitalism Is Feeding a Hungry World - FEE

“The black papers had been extremely critical of Roosevelt's embrace of segregation in the military, which (as Staples puts it) ‘ratified racial apartheid in the South and introduced Jim Crow segregation into parts of the country where it had been unknown.’ Here is Staples' description of the meeting …”
An example of withdrawing the sanction of the victim – Greg Salmieri, CHECK YOUR PREMISES

“Madison looked to the lessons of human nature and history to determine how best to structure a competent government.”
The Foundations of American Government – DOCUMENTS OF FREEDOM

Sir Humphrey Appleby explains long-standing British policy on Europe:


A very cool (well, fairly cool) book trailer for Brook’s and Don Watkins's new book:

Yes, it can be smart to procrastinate:



"’The trees met, bending over the road, and the spots of sun on the ground moved with the shifting of the branches, like a conscious caress. The young man hoped he would not have to die.’
    “The image of sunlight filtering through green leaves figures in a number of significant passages from Rand's novels. I'm going to survey them, and make a few comments at the end on what I take to be the significance of this image to Rand."
Sunlight filtering through green leaves – Greg Salmieri, CHECK YOUR PREMISES


“While the council's decision appear final, with the help of Archilogic, a firm that specializes in creating 3D models for architecture and real estate, it's possible to take a virtual walkthrough of the home (above).”
Exclusive: Virtual Tour of an Unrealized Frank Lloyd Wright Design – CURBED

“This essay is part of a new report from the Center for Opportunity Urbanism called "America's Housing Crisis." The report contains several essays about the future of housing from various perspectives.”
Levittowns of the Future – Wendell Cox, NEW GEOGRAPHY

“Wagner only just escaped being arrested for treason in 1849. What would the world have been like without Tristan, Die Meistersinger, and the Ring Cycle? John Drummond explores critical moments in the history of Western music when things might well have turned out very differently.”
Interrupted Cadences: Wagner – John Drummond, RADIO NZ

The basic value of time and effort. Same for the artist...
Watch What Happens When You Ask Non-Creative Professionals to Work for Free – PHOTOGRAPHY BAY

“Some of the hazards of sticker charts include the much-discussed risk of undermining kids’ intrinsic motivation, or the need to offer more and better rewards as the original ones lose their appeal. But perhaps more distressingly, reward economies also affect how children think about relationships.”
The Dangers of Using a Sticker Chart to Teach Kids Good Behaviour – THE ATLANTIC

“Yet the biggest argument against traditional homework is moral and political: It teaches children that what they do and when they will do it is decided by others.”
Against Homework – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE

These methods should be in every classroom. The documentary could be.


More good news.
Wine as a bedtime snack helps with weight loss – VINE PAIR

“We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” Bonanno said. In research at Columbia, the neuroscientist Kevin Ochsner has shown that teaching people to think of stimuli in different ways—to reframe them in positive terms when the initial response is negative, or in a less emotional way when the initial response is emotionally “hot”—changes how they experience and react to the stimulus. You can train people to better regulate their emotions, and the training seems to have lasting effects."
How People Learn to Become Resilient – NEW YORKER

“The answer lies in the best Australian album in history, Born Sandy Devotional by The Triffids, which turns 30 next week.”
Why are men so hopeless at love? – Alan Stokes, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

Here’s how side two kicks off: ‘Well, the drums rolled off in my forehead/And the guns went off in my chest ..’:


Speaking of Australians . . .


. . and now for Australians doing something completely different:

[Hat tips etc. Linda Cordair, Mother of Exiles, Positive Discipline Objectivists, Anoop Verma, For New Intellectuals, Tim Starr, Rust Watkins, Robert Murphy, Monica Beth, Wendy Froehlich, The Triffids Official, Stephen Hicks, Paul McKeever, Matthew Sullivan, Charlotte Cushman, Abiodun Olaku, Lawrence Reed, Peter Namtvedt, Toby Morris, Melinda Farrell, Winston Aldworth, Bill of Rights Inst., WInC Strong Women]


  1. Thimble of weasels piss allowed - NZ Beer festival canned. Public servant police placed so many restrictions that festival organiser gave up. The same police who wanted to stop enjoyment of the Rugby World Cup. The same police who have given up solving real crime. Police didn't like anyone buying more than one drink at a time ~buying for friends is out; and adjudged anything above 5.9% alcohol to be too dangerous for NZers. The editor of my suburban newspaper headlines it "The PC Brigade are at it again." "Craft beer culture in this country is incredible, and should be celebrated". He comments that "the Auckland advert about 'city that never sleeps' has become an embarrassment with over-zealous rules around closing times and event management".
    {Off Topic, but I thought you wouldn't mind as the topic of beer is one of your favourites. And there's so many health benefits from drinking the stuff, including warding off diabetes [maybe]}

  2. I liked the virtual tour through “ Frank Wright’s unrealized dream" Naturally it didn’t fit in with the local English Council who said that the design was not appropriate or similar to local building, and
    “not innovative enough, to warrant exception “ // oh God save us from them .
    Anyway this tour and the closely similar view Google maps can give us now are a powerful image presentation.
    Have to be aware though, as soon as Google can update their maps by satellite every day. the burglar can see if your family dog is home.


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