Friday, 18 June 2010

Friday morning ramble: The “First World Cup Point” edition

Aren’t we getting damn sick of everyone saying sorry?! As if a bland expression, a studied turn of phrase and a few well-timed tears can make up for (in BP’s case) several billion dollars worth of damage they’ve done to people’s livelihoods and property; and (in British PM David Cameron’s case) for the violent deaths of 14 people on a Bloody Sunday in Derry.
Or does it?
Still, the distaste over yet another hand-wringing apologia is well overtaken, still, in this part of the world, by the New Zealand soccer team managing to pull down their first ever World Cup point.  That pretty much puts into better perspective everything else that’s happened this week round here—a proposition you can test for yourself by casting your eye over what we’ve got for you in this week’s ramble round the ‘net.

  • The "“voluntary” deal between BP and the Obama administration was nothing less than a continuation of President Barack Obama’s ongoing assault on the rule of law. Capitalism only succeeds if it is a profit and LOSS system. Well-managed firms should have every right to keep their profits, but mismanaged firms must be allowed to suffer losses." [Thanks to reader Sally for the link]
    An Offer BP Couldn’t Refuse – MORNING BELL
  • But guess what?  Kris Sayce makes a strong case that it’s not BP that’s to blame for the disaster.  (Excuse me, did I say “disaster”? I should have said “annoyance.”) Don’t direct your anger at them, he says, direct it at where it lies … did someone say Tragedy of the Commons?
    Why the Oil Spill isn’t BP’s Fault – KRIS SAYCEImage
  • A further point: The federal government's paltry $75 million liability cap distorted the insurance market and played a key role in the BP disaster.
    The BP Gulf Disaster: the Proximate vs. the Ultimate Cause – PRINCIPLED PERSPECTIVE
  • The big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad enough in itself. But politics can make anything worse.
    In the Gulf and around the globe, rhetoric is no substitute for reality.
    Obama’s Snake-Oil Spill- THOMAS SOWELL
  • The damage of the BP oil spill is a drop in the bucket compared to the destruction of the Obama administration.
    This Future – STEPHEN BOURQUE
  • “The tragic explosion that killed 11 people and led to millions of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico has many people, even die-hard auto enthusiasts, arguing that we should undertake a crash program to find alternatives to petroleum to fuel our transportation system. While it is nice to fantasize that some sort of ‘race-to-the-moon’ research program will uncover magically new energy sources and technologies, realistically it isn’t going to happen.”
     Power for Future Mobility – Randal O’Toole, THE ANTI-PLANNER
  • Peter Schiff comments on the BP sage, Obama’s use of the BP saga, and where the bigger outrage should be about:
  • The inquiry report into the Derry massacre rips events from their historical context: the conflict between Irish nationalists and the British state.
    Bloody Sunday: history reduced to psychodrama  - Mícheál Mac Giolla Phádraig, SPIKED
  • The malignant, evil philosophy that blends religious hatred, tribalism and scape-goating has left Northern Ireland still full of many who think the poverty, desolation and decay of the region is due to what the ‘other side’ did….
    Bloody Sunday reprise  - LIBERTY SCOTT
  • Speaking of religious hatred, the proposal of imams to build a mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan has provoked both outrage and defence from Objectivists. Edward Cline says Islamists converting a building just a stone’s throw from Ground Zero makes it a “give America the finger” mosque--little more than the foreign-funded front for the expansion of jihad in America.
    Diana Hsieh reckons however that “people should not be judged guilty by the law and stripped of their rights just because they accept or advocate certain ideas… Totalitarian Islam is a major threat, but that threat needs to be fought by the military -- by destroying the states that sponsor terrorism -- not by violating private property rights in order to prevent a mosque from being built.”
    NYC Mosque: Respect Property RightsNOODLE FOOD
  • “If there is real evidence that the builders of the mosque actively plan to forcibly overthrow the United States government or harm its citizens, then they should be prosecuted and imprisoned by the government. I have seen no such evidence.”
    Let Them Build the Mosque  - ARI ARMSTRONG
  • A good time to listen (ore re-listen) to philosopher Leonard Peikoff’s podcast answering the question: “What is the proper U.S. policy in regard to Muslims, in light of recent events…?”
    What is the proper U.S. policy in regard to Muslims? – LEONARD PEIKOFF
  • This is, or could be, good news:
    An Anti-Terrorist Fatwa? – GUS VAN HORN
  • Oh dear.  Even Jon Stewart’s starting to make fun of Obama’s authoritarianism.

  • David Cameron’s Con-Dem Government has now confirmed that it is no more friendly to capitalism than the last one.
    Con-Dem anti-reason anti-business coalitionLIBERTY SCOTT
  • In Kentucky, they’re talking about an “Office of the Repealer.”  This is good.  Could we have one here please?  One with great big teeth—and a spine.
    Office of the Repealer - THRUTCH
  • While all attention locally, deservedly, is focussed on uncovering those with their snouts in the trough and their head in the clouds (yes, I’m talking about you, Len Brown)—looking at those who suck up hundreds of dollars of your money they shouldn’t be—the National Party appears to have cooked up a scheme to deliver millions of dollars,  4.8 million of them, to the two Samoan ex-All Blacks who just happened to help them get out some of South Auckland’s P.I. vote last election.
    The PEDA files ar looking more and more like plain old-fashioned corruption.
    Smelling worseNO RIGHT TURN
    Explosive: Pacific Affairs Ministry Warned of Risks and Implications(audio) – PACIFIC EYE WITNESS
  • No wonder National’s token Maori Georgina Te HeuHeu would rather go back into hiding, where she’s been for the last four parliamentary terms.
  • This is a point that simply can’t be made too often:
    Your Home is Not an Investment – David Lewis, TWIN TIER FINANCIAL
  • Paul Walker at the Anti Dismal blog links to a fascinating talk by Johan Norberg on the imminent prospect of new economic bubbles, especially in emerging markets.
    Just another consequence of bailouts, stimulunacy and cheap money.
    Johan Norberg on the Financial Crisis – ANTI DISMAL
  • “On top of the devastation it wreaked on markets, jobs and human lives, the global financial crisis has turned the field of economics, and particularly the study of finance, on its head.
    “Nearly three years after the crisis began, business school academics are sifting through the wreckage of long-held theories and developing new ideas.
    “Certainties about the healthy functioning of always-efficient, rational markets were shattered by the upheaval. B-school professors, along with their colleagues in university economics departments, are now rethinking models that businesses, investors and government saw as sacrosanct for decades.
    “Rewriting the textbooks and developing new approaches to replace those that no longer seem credible will be a long process.”
    But as Beth Gardiner reports, it looks like that process is under way… [thanks to reader Julian D.]
    Back to school: Economists rethink theories in light of global crisis – Beth Gardiner, WALL STREET JOURNAL
  • Screen-shot-2010-06-17-at-09.01.28 This is good.  Since the mid-fifties, the neoclassical synthesis in economics has harnessed Keynesian(Cambridge) and Neo-Classical (Chicago) into a mongrel melange beyond which textbook writers and central bankers simply can’t see.  Nonetheless, the world’s financial collapse—and the collapse with it of the mainstream economic model—it’s surely time now to admit that Austrian macro-economics should be admitted to the top table. (The article comes with this illuminating summary, right, of the differences and similarities of the three main schools.)
    Is there room for Austrian Ideas at the top table? – Toby Baxendale, COBDEN CENTRE
  • That trillions of dollars of Keynesian stimulunacy was followed by a nightmarish sovereign debt crisis was as inevitable as night following day.  Only somebody blinded by Keynesian nonsense could not have see it coming.
    And the even sadder fact, obvious again before the event, is that the greater the Keynesian stimulus the worse performing an economy was.
     Keynesian Fiscal Stimulus Policies Stimulate Debt -- Not the Economy  - J.D. Foster, HERITAGE FOUNDATION
  • After seventy years of intellectual rot created by the Keynesian delusion, Say’s Law is finally coming back. Not before time, since it describes the most fundamental integration in all economics.
    “They used to write that there is no such thing as a general glut. In today’s jargon, this would be: demand deficiency is never the cause of recession.
    “Or they would say that demand is constituted by supply. To translate this into modern discourse: to increase demand in aggregate it is first necessary to increase value adding supply in aggregate…
    ”The evidence that Say’s Law is an absolutely necessary part of any economist’s understanding of the world is everywhere to be seen. The lessons of Say’s Law will come back, it seems, rather quicker than many had thought it would.”
    Say’s Law is Coming Back – Steven Kates, CATALLAXY FILES
  • Investment guru Marc Faber looks at the economic future, and see’s a very ugly stepmother of a problem.  This is a lecture well worth an hour of your time. [Thanks to reader Ashley]
  • It’s always delicious when the politically correct opposes the politically correct, which is what has happened now that a new strain of genetically-engineered clover has been produced to lessen the production of greenhouse gases from cows. In other words, this is clover that will produce fewer farts, and (if you believe that line) less global warming. 
    A good test, you would have thought, for the earnest and the politically correct.
    And look: Greens leader Russel Norman fails the test completely; while erstwhile Greens leader Nandor Tanczos manages to fudge it with some mangled grammar. Russell Brown and Eric Crampton analyse.
    Clover It – RUSSELL BROWN
  • Trevor Loudon has the biggest filing cabinets in the land, all filled to the brim with facts and figures on everyone who’s ever waved a red flag.  And he’s now putting them all online in his KeyWiki project. Latest targets:
    • Green Party co-leader and "former" Marxist, Russel Norman 
    • Race Relations Commissioner and "semi-respectable and oh so reasonable" Marxist, Joris de Bres
  • Oh, and several weeks after the media’s dog-and-phony show has moved on, we’ve finally discovered how the Ministry of Health made up that $1.9 billion cost for smoking they wafted around with such powerful political effect.  Turns out the phrase “made up’ isn’t just a metaphor.
    Excess excess costs of smoking – ERIC CRAMPTON
  • As both Britons and New Zealanders debate lowering blood-alcohol levels for drivers, Rob Lyons argues that reducing how much we can legally drink before driving is an imposition on our freedom that makes little difference to safety.
    Why we need a limit on drink-drive laws – ROB LYONS, SPIKED
  • Somalia continues to throw up questions for anarchists that David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom is never going to be able to help them with.  Latest example:  What do you do when a competing “police agency” declares that watching soccer is “un-Islamic” and “a Satanic act,” and claps you in irons? 
    Still, Tim Blair has some good advice.
    Watch AFL instead TIM BLAIR
  • Different religion, same barbarity. “A South African man who wanted to watch a World Cup football match instead of a religious programme was beaten to death by his family in the north-eastern part of the country.”  Another piece of evidence for the ‘Those-Who-Believe-Absurdities-Will-Commit-Atrocities’ file. [Hat tip Imperator Fish]
    Man beaten to death over Socceroos match – STUFF
  • Crikey, here come the Bronte Sisters Power Dolls: the feminist super-hero version! [hat tip Noodle Food]

  • “Comments made by Nick Smith in 2005 highlight the monumental hypocrisy of the National Party. Back then, when the economy was booming they campaigned against a carbon tax stating that the country could not afford one, while now, in 2010, when the economy is emerging from the worst recession in years, they are claiming that the country needs one.”
    Nick Smith hypocritical? Who would have thunk it?
    Time to Make a Stand – MURIEL NEWMAN
  • Andrew Bolt rips warmist moonbat Tim Flannery a new one.
    Bolt: But, Tim, I’m just wondering, there has been a rise in scepticism. That’s precisely why the Liberals, for example, have switched from supporting an ETS to opposing it ... and they dumped their leader over it. Now I’m wondering to what extent are you to blame for rising scepticism about some of the more alarming claims about global warming…”
    Flannery vs Bolt transcriptANDREW BOLT
  • It’s the Power of Glenn Beck again.  Check out the AMAZON TOP 100, and count just how many of the Top 21 can be attributed to Beck.  (Okay, I’ll count them for you. it’s eight.)
    Little wonder he’s being called “the new Oprah Winfrey.”
     Glenn Beck Overturns The World Of Book Publishing  - MEDIA ITE
  • 0 And after his re-launch of Hayek’s ‘Road to Serfdom’ last week on his TV show, this week he attempted the same with Atlas Shrugged.  Unfortunately, however, his verbal diarrhoea got in the way.  Still, the Ayn Rand Institute’s Yaron Brook did manage to inject a few word into parts three and four of the fifty-minute programme.  Well, one or two.  And it did lift Atlas back into number on spot on Amazon’s ‘Fiction’ and ‘Classics’ list, and number fifteen overall.
  • Jane Eisenhart has a few thoughts on Glenn Beck's interpretation of the importance of fiction writers, in particular Ayn Rand…
    Glenn Beck on Fiction – HOMETOWN GROTESQUE
  • Speaking of great books, C. Bradley Thompson’s Neoconservatism: An Obituary For An Idea has been InstaPunditted. If you remember the summary I gave of it here at NOT PC, you’ll realise that this is a book you need to read, especially if you think conservatism is your friend.
    Neoconservatism: An Obituary For An Idea – AMAZON
    The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism - C. Bradley Thompson, The Objective Standard
    Summary at NOT PC:
  • And speaking of Hayek, here’s a great interview he gave with Reason Magazine back in 1992, just after the “late 20th century decided to provide a reality check” on all those academic scribblers who’d been ignoring him since the thirties. [Thanks to reader Falufulu Fisi for the link]
    The Road from Serfdom: Forseeing the Fall - REASON
  • Clearly, productive work can and ought to be personally fulfilling. But where does this put one’s career in comparison to one’s personal relationships?
    The Spiritual Value of Work – Daniel Casper, THE UNDERCURRENT
  • Looks like Argentine coach and living legend Diego Maradona has found a new use for those annoying vuvuzelas [sent in by reader Russell W.] :
  • Frank Furedi explains why he will always stand up for permissiveness—and why you should too.
    Why I will always stand up for permissiveness – FRANK FUREDI, SPIKED
  • Struck down by his own thunderbolt?! You’d think God would take better care of himself, really.
    Oh Dear, Goblinites! – LINDSAY PERIGO
  • There’s a far more intelligent Peter Cresswell blogging in Canada. His latest post is a reflection that the standard interview question, “Give an example of a mistake you’ve made,” is actually a valuable opportunity for self-reflection.  So much so the answer may be more valuable to you than it is to the person asking it.
    I Was Wrong – Peter Cresswell (another one), PUNISHED BY REWARDS
  • Is love a zero-sum game? Well, no.  Not really.
    Is Love a Zero-Sum Game? – JASON STOTTS
  • The Atlas Shrugged movie has begun filming ... and already people are less than pleased.
    Atlas Shrugged Movie Filming – NOODLE FOOD
  • One of those people is not Lew at KiwiPolitico, however. He’s looking forward to seeing Grant Bowler, who played Wolf in NZ TV show Outrageous Fortune, as Hank Rearden! Certainly not the news I expected to hear this morning! (For my American readers, Outrageous Fortune was the NZ TV series that you guys made into ‘Good Behaviour,’ and then ‘Scoundrels.’ Though without the class.)  Bowler is the convict with the beard.
  • And finally, I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to Freddy Kempf playing the Rach 3 with the NZSO tomorrow night at the Town Hall.  And here he is last year in Sweden, playing that very thing, under the NZSO’s own conductor-in-chief Pietari Inkinen. (Bad visuals, too many cuts, but too serendipitous a find not to post.)

  • And just for Terry, here’s ‘The Moldau’ by Bedrich Smetana—who, coincidentally, was born in what is now Slovakia!  UPDATE: No, of course he wasn’t.  He was born in Litomyšl, Bohemia, which is still in the Czech republic.
  • And Wagner’s ‘Forest Murmurs’ (for which, you’ll need to turn your sound up):

Enjoy your weekend


Anonymous said...

Who supports Turners and Growers' high court battle with Zespri to end their government mandated monopoly over kiwifruit exports? AYE!

Anonymous said...

What is the proper U.S. policy in regard to Muslims?

Strategic counter-value strike on Iran.

Anonymous said...

Not PC - I do love your rambles and have missed them. The quality and variety of sites is always like too much cake. Glad I made it over to your side of the world once again.

Anonymous said...

It is just grossly insensitive to even propose building a mosque so close to ground zero.
Lets see the islamicists show a little bit of tolerance and respect for the feelings of others.

Mo said...

weather its insensitive or not is irrelevant. the government isn't there to protect your feelings. If there is evidence that the mosque has links to terrorist groups the government should investigate and take action accordingly