Friday, 16 December 2016

Ramble, 16.12.16


Politicians of Oz

A few weeks ago I suggested the National Party has now become just Labour without the identity politics. Despite the evidence, their new leader says there’s another difference: the blue team is also “aspirational.”
English on the difference between National and Labour – KIWIBLOG

Little difference at all however between this Auckland mayor and the last.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff dishes out big salaries for mayoral office staff – HERALD

Baby steps.
Legal cannabis in NZ? Green Party offers green light to pot smokers – STUFF

It deserves to.
Will Wellington Regional Council go down with Harbour Quay? – STEPHEN FRANKS

Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm hit out at the proposal, saying “the only people who are distressed by the cash economy are the government and the public servants who want to spend taxes.”
Say goodbye to the A$100 note – CAIRNS POST

A Kiwi Wit does the year in review.
The Year of the Deplorables (and some Greats) – THOUGHTS FROM 40o SOUTH

Today’s good-news story.
Life expectancy globally and by world regions since 1770 – OUR WORLD IN DATA

Cartoon by Bosch Fawstin


“The death of AA Gill hasn't only robbed The Sunday Times of its restaurant critic and newspaper readers of a weekly dose of sharp, stylish wit. It also marks the passing of one of that dwindling band of journalists who recognise that freedom of the press means nothing without the freedom to offend.”
AA Gill and the right to offend – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED

“Did you know the Trump administration is installing Ayn Rand 'acolytes' at the highest levels of government? A conspiracy so secret that Trump is not even identifiable as a member.”
Robert Tracinski corrects the Washington Post.
Inside Donald Trump's Secret Ayn Rand Conspiracy - Robert Tracinski, THEFEDERALIST.COM
Attacking Ayn Rand Is Easy, If You Distort Her Ideas: Jonathan Chait Edition – Don Watkins, VOICES FOR REASON
Trump is No Ayn Rand Hero: Washington Post Fails To Do Its Homework on Ayn Rand and Her Philosophy Objectivism – DOLLARS & CROSSES

“Before you quote from Atlas Shrugged don't you think you should at least read it?”
Charles: Mouch America Great Again – Jonathan Hoenig, CAPITALIST PIG

“The conservative response to the spate of articles trying to tie Trump support to Ayn Rand has been interesting to watch. In particular, I was eager to read Kevin Williamson’s take, since I typically find his writing insightful, even if I don’t always agree. Unfortunately, this was not one of his better pieces. And not just because he takes a bunch of gratuitous swipes at Rand and Objectivists. That’s par for the course at National Review.”
Ayn Rand Has Influenced Conservatives More than They Admit, But Less than the Left Thinks – Don Watkins, VOICES FOR REASON

Libertarian muckraker, James Bovard, details the crony interventionist gravy train much of American agriculture has been taking a ride on at taxpayer and consumer-subsided expense for decades. And if any part of the Washington, D.C. swamp could use draining, that would be a very good place to start, he suggests.
Living Off the Fat of Washington – WSJ

If we want to remind ourselves of the last time a US President set off a tariff war …
The Catastrophic Results of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1929-30 – Selwyn Parker, FEE

Essential reading from Howard Bloom, Hirsi Ali, Hicks et al. Does Islam need a Reformation? Hell, no.
Islam politicised — round-up of readings – STEPHEN HICKS

Richard Dawkins says: “Raise your glass to the Hitch - he passed away five years ago today - and enjoy this little time machine, and enjoy a lifetime of epicness…”
Merry Hitchmas: Celebrating the Legacy and Brilliance of Christopher Hitchens – THE WAKELET


"Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist
societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was
not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less
it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when
they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to
repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To
assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become
evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.
A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political
correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

~ Theodore Dalrymple, from ‘Our Culture, What’s Left Of It


“’The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself,’ writes Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University.
    “The semi-humorous reminder went something like this:
        “‘Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.’
Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.’
The anecdote was a vital reminder in Stalin’s empire: Stray from the party’s official position and it could mean death.
    “It’s not exactly light reading, but Codevilla's article is a must-read for anyone serious about understanding the nature and origins of political correctness.”
The Historical Origin of 'Political Correctness' – INTELLECTUAL TAKEOUT

“In this lecture John Ridpath traces the roots of Karl Marx's ideology of communism to Hegel's theory of God. Hegel has arrived at a substitute for the traditional conception of God, which he has criticised and rejected.”
Ayn Rand vs. Karl Marx (MP3 download) – John Ridpath, AYN RAND E-STORE

They may not be alt-right. But they’re promoting the people who are.
Meet the Alt-Lite, the People Mainstreaming the Alt-Right's White Nationalism – ANTI-FASCIST NEWS

“I decided to publish the piece below for two personal reasons. One is that I think I may have appeared as a guest on one of Stefan Molyneux’s podcasts some years ago (during his libertarian phase). So I wanted to alert readers to his ideological transmogrification. The second reason is that I want to encourage my readers to take seriously the recent resurgence of racism under new guises and with new rationalizations—a topic to which I will be returning soon.”
A Libertarian Icon’s Descent Into Racist Pseudoscience – Robert Tracinski, THE TRACINSKI LETTER


“The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push
an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

~ Garry Kasparov


David Burge:“Because nothing says 'science' like hatching plans to deal with people.”
 Climate Scientists Hatch Plans to Deal with Trump's Climate Skeptics - SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

An antidote for anyone under the mistaken idea that slavery would have "faded away" due to its economic disadvantages.
Dixie’s Foreign Policy – WSJ

Nails it.
Cuba and the American economic boycott – STEPHEN HICKS

“’Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect.’"
Civil Disobedience: When Do We Have a Duty to Disobey? – LIBERTARIANISM.ORG

“The story [of Abraham’s would-be sacrifice of his son] has been used to justify war, especially when the war is seen as ‘holy’ or against an evil one. All three religious traditions have drawn upon it for this purpose… For don’t forget: Abraham was willing to go through with it — that is the symbol of his faith.”
Sacrificing sons — justifying war in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – STEPHEN HICKS


Love is that condition in which the happiness
of another person is essential to your own.

~ Robert Heinlein


Can’t figure out what to give someone for Christmas that can also get them thinking about free market and classical liberal ideas? Richard Ebeling has the perfect choice: his recent eBook, Austrian Economics and Public Policy, published by the Future of Freedom Foundation a few months ago, and available online from Amazon for the delightfully low price of $4.99.
Austrian Economics and Public Policy: Restoring Freedom and Prosperity – AMAZON

No child deserves shitty toys at any time of year. Montessori children especially—because they already appreciate and enjoy the virtue of independence. So here for their Christmas pleasure are seven gift ideas that promote independence in younger children (and then seven doing the same for older children, 10 and up).
Gift-Giving that Promotes Independence in Montessori (and ALL) Children – MONTESSORI ROCKS

“If you're feeling mildly frazzled and ready for a holiday maybe its the ideal time to implement these suggestions...”
The No Rescue Policy: Why It's Time – MONTESSORI ROCKS

He has a point.
Zvi Hecker: “Good Architecture Cannot Be Legal; It Is Illegal!” – ARCH DAILY

Just watch.


Transplantable hearts are this close.
Scientists Grow Full-Sized, Beating Human Hearts From Stem Cells – POPSCI

“The idea that a person ought to be selfish is so alien to our culture that when people learn that Ayn Rand upheld a morality of selfishness, they are left scratching their heads. What could Rand possibly mean?
    “In this course, given at Objectivist Summer Conference 2016, Tara Smith discusses the crucial features of Rand’s morality of selfishness — what she called ‘rational egoism’ — explaining what it is, what it is not, and why it is an individual’s only means of achieving sustainable happiness.”
Being Selfish, Being Happy – Tara Smith, AYN RAND CAMPUS

Still funny.
From John Scalzi’s evergreen ‘10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time’: Ayn Rand’s A Selfish Christmas (1951) – PRAGMATOS

Zappa does emotion. It just takes him a minute or so …


[Hat tips, quips etc. Learn Liberty, Hernando de Soto, Louise Lamontagne, Richard Ebeling, Betsy Speicher, Architizer', Arlene K Pearson, Michael Neibel, Charlotte Cushman, Mark V. Kormes, Stuart Hayashi, Anoop Verma, For The New Intellectuals, Marsha Enright, Amy Peikoff, Yaron Brook, Jeffrey Young, Patrick Black, Kevin D. Williamson]



  1. At the front of a long boring, and politically correct diatribe about racism by some other sado, Robert Robert Tracinski says :
    ""I decided to publish the piece below for two personal reasons.
    One is that I think I may have appeared as a guest on one of Stefan Molyneux’s podcasts ""

    Oh right, he was on a Molyneux broadcast but can't remember, so he prints out a rave up PC diatribe about racism. And its appears that his author shows that Darwin was a social racist idiot, because he [ Darwin ] notived differences in subspecies groups.
    Oh dear, this can not be allowed. too sad. too liberal and progressive

  2. The post on political correctness and the plans to "deal with" climate skeptics remind me why I, along with many other researchers, refuse to discuss climate anymore. Even in science--even in paleoclimatology--if you don't accept that CO2 is evil, and that the world is "supposed" to be cold, you can ruin your career. Outright fraud is often treated less harshly! Pointing out that we are in an ice age, and that the reasonable worst-case scenarios put us back at temperatures that the Earth experienced for most of the Cenozoic gets you branded a climate-change denier, regardless of the evidence. It's a pathetic demonstration of how scientists have prostituted themselves to the government, and there can be no clearer demonstration of how government funding destroys scientific integrity.


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