Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday Morning Ramble, 19.8.16



In 2005, the Fifth Labour Government stopped charging interest on student loans. It was a superb decision in political expediency. It was historically the country’s second-biggest electoral bribe. But has it improved tertiary outcomes?
Decade of Debt: The Cost of Interest-free Student Loans – NZ INITIATIVE

“I utterly resent religious people imposing their views on me via legislation - especially as pathetically expressed as these are.”
Anti-voluntary euthanasia submitters overwhelm – LINDSAY MITCHELL

He helped transform a quality paper into an unreadable rag, but he may have just authored an important book.
Gavin Ellis on the slow deterioration of New Zealand’s freedom of speech – Gavin Ellis, SPINOFF

Auckland’s Unitary Plan writers are banking on public transport to reduce congestion. Realistic?
Congestion and Auckland Council's Transport Evaluation: What difference will Public Transport make? – Matthew Webster, MAKING NZ

“After fighting for 2 years to protect the democratic and property rights of all Auckland citizens we also won two other important battles…”
Someone should DO something! Well, Democracy Action did – WHALE OIL

We’re not alone in having a city we couldn’t legally build again. “Did you know that 40% of Manhattan buildings couldn’t be built again today because of zoning restrictions? Christina Sandefur explains how cities have subordinated private property rights to bureaucratic control.”
"The beautiful neighborhoods we could never build again" – Christina Sandefur, FEDERALIST SOCIETY

“Rhetoric from parties right across the political spectrum have prioritised housing. On the Left, housing is now regularly ranked up with education and healthcare as their main area of focus. While the Right have in the past campaigned that affordable housing is important to them and they want a home ownership democracy. Yet both the left and the right have historically supported other goals in the planning system” – all of which raised prices and reduced home ownership.
Housing: New Alliances, New Battlefields- Brendan Harre, MAKING NZ

Crippling tobacco taxes v marginal utility. Guess what wins.
How's that 'smoke free NZ by 2025' looking? – LINDSAY MITCHELL

America ends its experiment in uniting the dollar and the gun. “The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.”
US Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons – WASHINGTON POST
Private Prison Stocks Crash On News DOJ To Phase Out Their Use – ZERO HEDGE

Yes, alcohol increases your risk of cancer. Moderate drinking still healthy.
Alcohol and mortality, yet again – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR


Human progress v the doom delusion. “If you look at all the data, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to be alive.”
Why can’t we see that we’re living in a golden age? – John Norberg, THE SPECTATOR

“Over the last year, we have heard much about the intrinsic racism and homophobia in American society. However... you are twice as likely to be struck by lightning in the US than to be a victim of a mass shooting.”
America Is Relatively Safe and Tolerant – Marian Tupy, HUMAN PROGRESS

“’People are scum.’ ‘Mankind is a moral wasteland.’ ‘I’m ashamed to be human.’
    “Whenever cynics express themselves, I’m tempted to retort that philosophy is autobiography and they should put their claims in the first-person.”
Why Humans are Born Fit for Freedom – STEPHEN HICKS

Human progress.
Revolutionary steel treatment paves the way for radically lighter, stronger, cheaper cars – NEW ATLAS

Still the best news in decades, and still no one talks about it:


“It’s not in the nature of government to shrink. Looking for a chief executive to cut government is like looking for a boss who is good at running off customers and driving down the stock price. It goes against the grain.
    “Might doing that take some expertise? Probably. And that comes from actual experience. Hence does this American political season seem to be adding some nuance to the simple conclusion that experience in government doesn’t matter.”
Cutting Government Is an Exceptional Skill – Jeffrey Tucker, FEE

Critics of Gary Johnson’s running mate should read this.
William Weld: The Last of the Barry Goldwater Republicans – LIBERTARIAN REPUBLIC


“Wealth is the product of
man's capacity to think”
~ Ayn Rand


“AMERICANS do it guiltily, Russians casually, Africans lethally and the French habitually. Stereotypes about adultery are as common as research about it is flaky. So Pamela Druckerman's thoughtful and myth-busting study of infidelity deserves to be widely translated and read… Americans are so guilt-ridden, she writes, that they don't even enjoy what should be the pleasurable bit. Better, she reckons, to take a lesson from the French, who Who Built That Modern Houses Blog 1believe that monogamy is optimal, enjoy the lapses when they happen but try not to escalate them, and never, ever, confront a spouse for cheating.”
International relations – ECONOMIST

Answering the big questions.
How Big Is A Fart? – GEEK PRESS

““There is a ‘sensitive period’ for naming things…and if adults respond to the hunger for words in an appropriate way, they can give their children a richness and precision of language that will last a lifetime.” ~ Dr Silvano Montanaro
5 Montessori Language Tips For Toddlers – MONTESSORI BLOGGERS NETWORK

“When researching Montessori at the start of your journey, you may read things like “Montessori is not for boys, ASD children can’t do Montessori, Montessori is too structured, Montessori is too free,” and so on and so forth. After three years of running classes, observing schools, managing centres and talking to parents, I strongly believe Montessori is for EVERY child.”
Why Montessori is for All Children – MONTESSORI ROCKS

Montessori is for all parents! And this if the perfect introductory course.
AMI 6-12 Montessori Assistants’ Certificate Course – MMEF (NZ)

iPads? Smart Phones?
Want Your Children to Be Successful? Keep Them Away From These as Long as Possible – Justin Bariso, INC.
Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads and Why You Shouldn’t Either – THEUNBOUNDED SPIRIT

These are what they really need! “A few runs through these books at bedtime and your child will be able to talk about Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Eames as effortlessly as if they were Pokémon.”
Turn Your Child Into the Next Frank Lloyd Wright with These Illustrated Guides to Architecture – ARCHITIZER

Who Built That Modern Houses Blog 2

So what are you waiting for?
How You, and You Alone, Can Build Liberty – Jeffrey Tucker, FEE

“Sadly, world historians may one day record that Americans let go of the best thing human history had ever seen. And one of the ironies of the early twenty-first century, they will record, is that millions of people fleeing Latin American welfare states came to the United States, only to find a bigger and more corrupt welfare state awaiting them as the once great country declined.”
Welfare State Socialism, Not Immigration, is Killing America – Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER

“Breaking bad laws to build a better life is not dishonorable; it is admirable, provided breaking the law involves no use of force. Coming here in defiance of unjust laws is a peaceful act; it is just the avoidance of the force our government would initiate against them. It is certainly wrong to wield private force; it is wrong to take the law into one’s own hand. But these are not involved in illegal immigration…
    “It is not enough to give ‘illegals’ amnesty. These long-oppressed individuals deserve an official apology from our government.”
Amnesty for Illegal aliens is not enough, they deserve an apology – Harry Binswanger, HBL

WesternValues 001 (1)“To let the market solve problems is to leave the field open for as many fixes as are feasible to be tried.”
What We Mean by "Let the Market Handle It" – Dn Boudreaux, FEE

“There is a newly-discovered version of the legend of Pandora’s Box…”
Michael Newberry on the sublime in art – STEPHEN HICKS

“Olivia Pierson’s Western Values Defended: A Primer, is just what its title says it is, a primer for those unread in what those values are that need to be upheld and defended. It is a short book, just a general survey of the Western values that are rooted in ancient Greece but which came to fruition in the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment. It is only 71 pages long, but it is loaded with ideas which most people are not familiar with.” But should be.
Review: Western Values Defended – EDWARD CLINE

“’We’ve created this monster,’ he warned. ‘Look, I’m a conservative talk show host. All conservative talk show hosts have basically established their brand as being contrasted with the mainstream media. So we have spent 20 years demonizing the liberal mainstream media. And by the way, a lot has been justifiable. There is real bias. But, at a certain point you wake up and you realize you have destroyed the credibility of any credible outlet out there.’
“‘And I feeling, to a certain extent, that we are reaping the whirlwind at that,’ he continued. ‘And I have to look in the mirror and ask myself, ‘To what extent did I contribute?’”
Conservative radio host: ‘We’ve created this monster’ of fact-hating right-wing voters – RAW STORY

“Political correctness is not really about politeness, the giving or taking of offence, or freeing us from stereotypes. That’s the cover. Political correctness is part of a culture war, the roots of which go back to the 1920s. The culture war’s full-blown manifestation is what we are witnessing today; it has been ninety years in the making.”
Political Correctness is part of a Neo-Marxist Culture War – Vinay Kolhatkar, SAVVY STREET

“Unlike the ordinary criminal or the lunatic assassin, the terrorist . . . is not driven by the wish to line his own pocket or satisfy some personal need or grievance. The terrorist is fundamentally an altruist: he believes that he is serving a 'good' cause designed to achieve a greater good for a wider constituency—whether real or imagined—which the terrorist and his organization purport to represent."
Altruism: The Fuel of Jihad – Bruce Hoffman, OBJECTIVE STANDARD


“In questions of science the authority of a thousand is
not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”

~ Galileo Galilei


“Celebrity physicist Brian Cox misled the Australian ABC TV Q&A audience on at least 3 points-of-fact on Monday night. This is typical of the direction that much of science is taking…
    “Much of climate science, in particular, is now underpinned with a postmodernist epistemology – it is simply suspicious of reason and has an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining particular power-structures including through the homogenisation of historical temperature data.”
Rock star-scientist Brian Cox confused on more than global temperatures – Jennnifer Marohasy, ONLINE OPINION

Another renewables success story.
‘Hopelessly Insolvent’ Obama-Backed Solar Company On Verge Of Extinction – DAILY CALLER

”“Despite the warnings of leading experts, people around the world nearly doubled their use of fossil fuels.” Good.
How Opposition To Fossil Fuels Hurts The Poor Most Of All – Alex Epstein, FORBES

"The entire objective of those pursuing the political agenda was to create the illusion that current weather is abnormal and therefore unnatural."
How the world was deceived about global warming and climate change – Tim Ball, REBEL MEDIA

“Property rights and legal trade help protect imperiled species like elephants by giving local communities an incentive to invest in their conservation.” Burning ivory, the opposite.
Myth: Burning Ivory Discourages Poaching – PERC


"Racism is a barnyard or stock-farm
version of collectivism."

~Ayn Rand


“Broadly speaking, the purpose of what we call a liberal education was to expose students to a select body of accumulated knowledge and wisdom about the world in which we live. It was a journey of discovery in pursuit of the truth about the human condition, and it was an education in what we might call high culture. To paraphrase Matthew Arnold’s famous definition, it was an immersion in the best that has been thought, said, and done in order to elevate our lives above the ordinary, the vulgar, and the savage. Such an education would enrich the lives of young people as individuals while also preserving the achievements of the past and endowing to the future the wisdom of the past.
    Tragically, with the exception of a few Great Books colleges and the Lyceum Scholars Program at Clemson University, the vision of higher education that once sustained the West for centuries now seems all but dead. The old-fashioned idea that the central purpose of a university is to lead the search for truth and to preserve and perpetuate all that is great in our civilization is now openly attacked, mocked, or simply eliminated…
    “Serious scholars—those who are the intellectual curators of Western civilization’s repositories of knowledge and high culture—are now marginalized on our campuses. The sad reality is that very few people left in American higher education have the interest and courage to defend and perpetuate the humanities. In fact, we are fast approaching a period in which people qualified to teach traditional humanities courses will be virtually extinct. The few who still take the life of the mind seriously and spend their days reading old books with young people and discussing with them the ideas that have shaped Western culture for millennia—they will be strangers in a strange land.
    “What we are witnessing today on our campuses is akin to the Afghani Taliban bombing out of existence two giant Buddhas carved into a cliff in the Bamiyan Valley nearly two thousand years ago—or ISIS fighters leveling Nimrud, a three thousand-year-old Assyrian city; and ransacking museums in Iraq and Syria, destroying their antiquities with sledgehammers. The efforts of leftist administrators, faculty, and students to remove Western civilization’s great works of literature and philosophy from curricula, to rename or tear down important historical buildings, to censor or ban certain ideas from college campuses, have the same effect.
    “Much is at stake in this battle of ideas. A civilization that does not know and appreciate its great achievements has lost its raison d’être. It cannot defend itself from enemies (external or internal) who seek to destroy it.”
Liberal Education and the Quest for Truth, Freedom, and Greatness – Bradley Thompson, OBJECTIVE STANDARD




“If you are looking for a really effective source of knowledge on induction then you can’t go past this course.”
Objectivism Through Induction by Leonard Peikoff – Anoop Verma, FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL


“The opposite of racism
is individualism.”

~ Will Spencer


[Hat tips etc. Peter Schiff, Australian Centre for Montessori Studies, Louise Lamontagne, Olivia Pierson – Author, Kiwi Frontline, Marvin Adams, Monica Beth, Phil Oliver, Jeffrey Perren, Carbon Dioxide, Anoop Verma, Shaun Hendy,, Jaime Jessop, Rita Panahi, Son of John Galt]



  1. Um, unless I read it wrong, coz I read it quickly, Gavin Ellis is arguing in the second part (outside the good part) that free speech should be limited where it 'assaults dignity'. Ie, he's for hate speech law. Dreadful.

    1. Same way I read it. Freedom in the front, muzzle behind the back. In fact he extends hate speech to any speach that affects the way people feel about their standing in society. So not merely provocative speech, but any insult or disrespect is covered.


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