Friday, 8 July 2016

Friday Morning Ramble: The ‘Justice?’ Edition



Good news for ‘the workers’ party’ as they celebrate the 100th birthday of the party’s founding: “This shows that [those who vote for parties other than Labour] are more likely to be from all of the part-time employed, the full-time employed and the self employed. So Labour does not appear to be the favoured party for the majority of workers.”
Party of Labour? – YOUR NZ

“​It was a statement worthy of Stalin himself. It is a statement that should be unthinkable from any government in New Zealand, let alone a National one, to make. It is a measure of just how undemocratic and divorced from reality the third term National Party has become….
    “National is increasingly losing touch with its core voters who value democracy based on universal suffrage, the rule of law, individual liberty and private property rights.”
Government call to confiscate private property worthy of Stalin – JO HOLMES BLOG

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble …
The annual rate of growth in household borrowing is continuing to climb at rates last seen in 2008 
- David Hargreaves, INTEREST.CO.NZ

“Every time Auckland Council receives more money to ‘grow’ Auckland the only thing that results is growth in Council staff numbers and the number of non-core activitiesat which the Council throws our money.”
“Before Auckland Council can be trusted with one more cent, it should be addressing the systemic problem of wasting ratepayers’ money.”
Council not trustworthy to spend taxpayer money – Jo Holmes, RATEPAYERS’ ALLIANCE

The man without credibility in Auckland “goes the bash” (or tries to) on the man who wants to “crash” the housing market to free up housing for first-timers.  “I think you should apologise or get off the phone.”


Welfare bums are stealing $800 from every household in the country every single year. Which welfare bums? The corpoate welfare bums.
Crunching the latest corporate welfare numbers – TAXPAYERS’ UNION

Jane Kelsey is not just anti-trade agreements. She’s anti-trade.
Kelsey wants a no trade ‘progressive’ future – YOUR NZ
Autarky and Its Consequences – Ludwig Von Mises, ‘MONEY METHOD & THE MARKET PROCESS’
[NB: “Autarky or economic self-sufficiency is a state of affairs where there is no foreign trade at all; every nation consumes only goods produced within its own borders.]

“All in all, the Kiwi accent takes a fair bit of flak. But is it really that unique, or difficult to master?” Or worth emulating?
The Kiwi accent - how hard is it? – STIFF
Kiwi accent killing the news – Lindsay Perigo, STIFF
'Kiwis Don't Quack' Campaign – LINDSAY PERIGO.COM

“Labour supporters dismayed by this ‘open slather’ approach to housing supply might be reconciled by the conditions the party proposes to accompany boundless urban sprawl. The main condition is that development on the urban fringe must pay the full cost of the additional infrastructure they need and the party has proposed an interesting method by which this could be financed. It wants the Auckland Council to be allowed to issue infrastructure bonds that would be repaid from rates levied on the newly developed properties.”
Editorial: Labour's bond proposal makes sense – HERALD
What are Municipal Bonds? – YOU TUBE


UK: Liberty Scott on Britain’s next PM: “The contest is a process of attrition.  Conservative MPs vote on the candidates repeatedly, with the lowest polling dropping out until there are two.  I fear May will be one of them, and for now I just hope that whoever is the other can defeat her…
    “Make no mistake, Theresa May is an enemy of individual freedom, she is no "new Thatcher" and should not become Prime Minister.”
Theresa May is no friend of freedom: any Tory leader but May – LIBERTY SCOTT

AUSTRALIA: “One reason – not the only one – that people are registering protest votes is that they are so alienated from the whole political process. They are protesting not just against a specific government – a traditional reason for a protest vote – but against how politics operates. And this has a lot to do with how the Coalition and Labor have conducted themselves over a long period.”
Major parties have a lot to answer for in the drift to minor players – THE CONVERSATION
Does Australia Have a Government Today?

IRAQ: “I've seen Saddam's mass graves & concentration camps with own eyes. He needed to go.”
Whatever you think of the Iraq War, for the Kurds it was a liberation – Julie Lenarz, INDEPENDENT, UK

US: “The idea of a border wall may play well as politics, but some basic economics shows how wasteful and dangerous it would be.”
Ending this Border Wall Nonsense – Slade Mendenhall, THE MENDENHALL


“Evil is on the rise. The bad guys keep winning. No question about it! There’s no sugarcoating this fact. But keep in mind something very important. Evil is, at its root, weakness. Bad people like ISIS, and Hillary Clinton, only get by due to the ignorance, lazy thinking, evasion, denial or cowardice of the good.”
How to Cope When the Bad Guys Keep Winning – Michael Hurd, DR HURD.COM

“…we ought to recognise that, in most of the countries on the Continent, it is force that must be the lever of our revolutions.”
Is Marxism necessarily violent? – STEPHEN HICKS

Can anyone name Switzerland’s president? That’s a feature, not a bug.  As “countless scholars, including many Nobel Prize recipients, have explained … small, competing nations were a key reason why Europe became a rich continent in the first place.
    “Sadly, most Europeans have forgotten this lesson and have created the EU superstate in Brussels (which helps to explain why I’m delighted that the United Kingdom voted to escape that sinking ship).”
The Secret of Swiss Success Is Decentralisation – Daniel Mitchell, FEE

“’To understand zoning, you have to have a law degree, it’s so convoluted and so dense,’ Mike Ernst, director of planning at the civic group, said. ‘The whole process of how buildings get built these days is so confusing and opaque to people. There really should be more transparency, so people can have an understanding of what the future holds for their city.’”
40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today – NEW YORK TIMES

“You don’t want rules made entirely for people that have something, at the expense of people who don’t,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.”
How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality – NEW YORK TIMES

“"Yale law professor Stephen Carter believes [we] would benefit if the debate about what laws ought to be passed acknowledged the violence inherent in enforcing them. He writes: 'Law professors and lawyers instinctively shy away from considering the problem of law’s violence. Every law is violent. We try not to think about this, but we should.'"
Enforcing Any Law Is Inherently Violent, So We Should Think Twice About Whether A Law Is Needed – THE ATLANTIC


"Most men are quick to sense whether truth does or does not matter to their superiors. The atmosphere of cautious respect for the recipients of undeserved grants awarded by a mysterious governmental power, rapidly spreads the conviction that truth does not matter because merit does not matter, that something takes precedence over both. (And the issue of grants is only one of the countless ways in which the same arbitrary power intrudes into men's lives.) From the cynical notion: 'Who cares about justice?' a man descends to: 'Who cares about truth?' and then to: 'Who cares?' Thus most men succumb to an intangible corruption, and sell their souls on the installment plan—by making small compromises, by cutting small corners—until nothing is left of their minds except the fear."
~ Ayn Rand


“The stock market and other risk asset markets cannot correct because honest price discovery has essentially been destroyed by what amounts to ‘wealth effects’ central banking…
    “Other than mobilising the last auto buyer that can fog a rearview mirror and the last young person who can scratch a signature on a student loan, cheap interest rates have done nothing to stimulate the old Keynesian “borrow and spend” gambit among 90% of the US households….
    “This week’s update of the tepid 1.1% “growth” of Q1 real GDP provides one more example of how monetary “stimulus” has been reduced to financial asset inflation and wealth effects manipulation of the money and capital markets… [which] has been captured by the 120,000 households at the tippy-top (0.1%) of the wealth ladder. This tiny slice of the nation has been the true beneficiary of wealth effects pumping by the Fed.”
The Curse Of ‘Wealth Effects’ Central Banking – David Stockman, CONTRA CORNER

“I think this is part of a general problem in macroeconomics, where people try to visualize things using common sense analogies from their daily life, when thinking about macroeconomic policy. But it just doesn't work. Thus many people visualize monetary stimulus as low interest rates leading to more "spending". But monetary stimulus is more likely to raise interest rates…”
Aggregate demand is not consumption – Scott Sumner, ECON LOG

Jim Grant on how you fix the banks…


Max Roser : It is worth remembering how much richer our lives have become thanks to sustained economic progress:


“We urgently need to adopt a humanist instead of a naturist approach to thinking about energy and environmental issues.”
A Humanist Approach To Environmental Issues – Alex Epstein, FORBES

“In my reading and writing on the history of eugenics (here, here, and here), I’ve begun to discern a common trait between the people called environmentalists and racists from a century ago.
    “They share a common outlook that is illiberal to its core. They imagine that a wise and powerful state can better plan a future for both nature and man. Both groups were panicked about unplanned progress, assuming it could only resort in degeneration, mongrelization, and destruction. They dreamed of a future in which they and not the unwashed masses would be in charge of how resources are used and how the human race propagates itself.
    “Thanks to Mother Jones, my suspicions have been confirmed.”
The Link between Extreme Environmentalism and Hard-Core Racism – Jeffrey Tucker, FEE

“From 2006 to 2016, global sea ice trends have also been remarkably stable despite a massive increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions during this period. In fact, the sea ice gains in Antarctica have perhaps modestly superseded the losses in the Arctic, resulting in a very slight increasing overall trend in global-scale sea ice during the last 10 years.”
Amazing Climate UNCHANGE …Global Sea Ice Over Past 38 Years Remains Virtually Level! – NO TRICKS ZONE

Cosmopolitan Magazine: Global Warming Causing Shark Attacks! – CLIMATE DEPOT


“Science never tells a man how he should act; it merely shows how a man must act if he wants to attain definite ends.” 
~ Ludwig von Mises


“Some people have compared the migrant crisis in Europe today with the barbarian invasion that brought down the Roman Empire. The only grain of truth here is that it was indeed a migrant crisis that began the cascade of events that brought down Rome.
    “Those migrants, however, were not hostile barbarians who lusted to burn down Roman civilization. Instead, they were desperate refugees who wanted sanctuary within that civilization. A series of bad decisions and an uncompromising refusal to provide them with a dignified place in Roman society led to a series of events that would erase the Western Roman Empire from the map.”
The Fall of Rome Began with the Abuse of Refugees – Harrison Searles, FEE

As talk of the 2016 Olympics in Rio heats up, nice to remember that Italy is still paying for the 1960 Olympics in Rome!
Populist Politicians Take On Italy’s Massive Debt Pile – BLOOMBERG

“A couple weeks ago I was at a party where out of the corner of my eye I noticed what looked like a giant phone book sitting open on a table. It was printed with perforated green and white paper bound in a binder who’s cover looked a little worse for the wear. I had closer look with my friend James Kinsey. What we read was astonishing..”
Don Eyles Walks Us Through the Lunar Module Source Code – HACKADAY

“Somehow Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead escaped my notice for the past 20 years in which I've been entrenched in books. How this happened, I will never understand. But, we found each other. It occurred to me while reading The Fountainhead that perhaps this is why I've been reading so much for so long, to find this book. Its content, storyline, and commentary on society create an original recipe of brilliant writing that is not just entertaining, but as socially relevant today as it was in 1940 when the book was published. It will take a lifetime of re-reading this book for me to extract all the lessons, but here are the three which spoke loudest to me as I fell deeply in love with the story…”
On Becoming Howard Roark – Stacey Alcorn, LINKED-IN

“A horse walks into a bar. The bartender asks, ‘Why the long face?’
    ‘'’I was born into servitude, and when I die, my feet will be turned into glue,’ replied the horse.
    “The bartender realized he would not be getting a tip.”
Kafka's Joke Book – McSWEENEY’S

A reason to give Shakespeare’s Shrew another go? “Couples who base their courtship and seduction interactions on bantering and argument create intimacy within a linguistic order, entry into which is determined by the ability to ‘keep up’ with the fireworks required.”
How to Woo a Shrew – Sarah Skwire, FEE

Craig Ceely: : “Forget Clinton's FBI: Justice does prevail. Life is good.”
Raquel Welch is crowned hottest EVER bikini babe – MAIL ONLINE

Fancy a drive in a 1939 Duesenberg?


“You may have heard: Ernest Hemingway enjoyed a tipple or two…”
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Ernest Hemingway’s Drinking Habits – FOOD REPUBLIC

And finally, my second-favourite cocktail at the minute…
We’re Dedicating A Week To The Negroni: You'll love Italy's mysterious cocktail. Or not. – FOOD REPUBLIC


Mind you, I really would have liked a little touch of tenderness…


Was there?


Maybe not.


[Hat tips to and quips from Andrew Bates, Rudolf E. Havenstein , 78 Derngate, ‏, Phil Oliver, Bastiat Institute, Nigel Richards, Barbara Clarihew]

And finally (really), the real solution to America’s woes:



  1. Of all the heady topics this week for me to prattle on about, that car. Glorious.

  2. "Gliding On"
    Link to old NZ TV program. Some may recall that this was about public servants. I understand that nowadays they have quite flash offices. My point is, if people realised what public servants are like / what our taxes pay for, then they might be less inclined to allow the pubsers to be masters. "You want THEM running your life; telling you what to do""

  3. OK, I'll bite. What's your favourite cocktail? I'm a huge Negroni fan.

  4. "40% of buildings could not be built today". I'd say in NZ that percentage is higher. In my job I also know that about 90% of street layouts couldn't get built today - mainly because of onerous requirements around treating/detaining stormwater runoff from any sealed area, but also other details such as footpath width, needing to have street trees, separation distance between intersections, etc.

  5. The so called housing crisis. The housing bubble makes the NZ economy more vulnerable to a major collapse in a far away distant land that no one here has any control over.

    Horribly inflated asset prices fuelled through pure borrowing at record low interest rates. The crisis aint started yet.

    It is almost as if 2008 GFC didnt happen. Why are those tards in Wellington allowing the NZ economy to become so vulnerable yet again?

  6. Relatively ho hum, straight forward to PC readers. A copy of post to Jo Holmes.

    Disgraceful history
    Confiscation of property from land owners to the Government's own land bank for the public good

    Something is rotten in the State. Its a cold day in Christchurch, and we are at the Nat party conference.
    Nick Smith the softhead mouthpiece for his Government's new policy and intention, announces Confiscation of property from land owners to the Government's own land bank for the public good
    Just about 30 years ago, Owen McShane [ bless his memory ] and others argued logically against Council zoning to direct use of land by ideology.
    That was, and is, that people do not have any particular rights within their own property, and are subject to zoning restrictions, this directed by social zealots with regressive, [I mean progressive] training.
    The monster 350 page RMA was invented by that master of gobbledygookspeak, Geoffrey Palmer, and foisted on us by Simon Upton in the Bolger then Shipley Government.
    Upton twinked it a little, making it worse, then Nanny passed the thing. Palmer's objectives had explicitly included giving effect to the Treaty of Waitangi.
    A review Group set up by Upton considered that the clauses had become a conflicting 'shopping list' of matters advanced by interest groups.
    Judges could not understand it, no one could.
    There was one, yes there was a Christchurch City Councillor who thought she could work with it, but it was later discovered she had read and slavishly memorised the thing backwards.
    The RMA from the beginning, attacked for being ineffective in managing adverse environmental effects, overly time-consuming, expensive, and concerned with bureaucratic restrictions on legitimate economic activities.
    Fast forward from 1988 to 2016, and successive Governments have not made any significant or meaningful improvement.
    There seemed to be a light switched on, over at NZ First where Peters said the fiddling by Nick Smith only gave yet more references to Treaty and more Maori supervision and privilege.
    Now, just now, 30 years later, we have Arthur Grimes proposing radical and brutal steps to lower housing costs in Auckland by sticking high rise apartments everywhere.
    Don Brash [ relishing the opportunity ] says Grimes is wrong to attempt reducing prices by 40%, it should be 60% he says.
    Haha Nanny State, asleep at the ship's wheel as for 30 years.
    And over at the NZ First site. now, Oh dear there it goes. NZF will confiscate land, develop a Kiwi home Govt Department, to build cheap homes at someone else's expense with NZF as property developer. Labour party similar.
    Well I don't know if it time for me to start the civil war or not. But if Nanny takes out any private property in the name of its own Stalin stupidity, and Nick Smith's rot. I will be in there, boots and all, and they will not like it.
    Disclosure : My family and I own only one property, a home in Christchurch devalued by earthquake.
    paul scott

  7. Hemingway and alcohol
    I think the Hemingway quote @" write drunk, edit sober " was a macho throw away line.
    He did not drink while working, in the morning and day, but Alcohol is a cumulative threat over many years. The last years of his life were horrid. Any industrial grade practising alcoholic reaching the age of late 50's starts looking down the barrel.
    There is also the Churchill quote saying @ "I've taken more out of alcohol than its taken out of me "
    I am not sure. this is the alcoholic speaking. It did not work that way with me.

    In a parallel, you will hear habitual cannabis users refer to medicinal and creative advantages.
    Except that when you see their dope induced work it is out there, brilliant to themselves.
    And anyone habitually using dope, has clinical relief it gives from withdrawal. Hence, @" I need it for medical purposes".
    Hunter S.Thompson was at his most productive in social commentary early in his career. I haven't researched any other alcoholic writers, except Hemingway and Thompson a little.

  8. Frank Zappa's Valley Girl
    Link to this 1982 song, with Zappa's 14 y.o. daughter and San Fernando Valley speak
    Perigo would tear out any remaining hair if he heard this. The quality of NZ speak today is not too dissimilar.


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