Friday, 22 April 2016

Friday Morning Ramble: 22.04.16


Thought for the week:

“Politicians never accuse you of 'greed'
for wanting other people's money ---
only for wanting to keep your own.”

~ Joseph Sobran


A few other things I ran out of time to yak about with you this week. Things like …


“This graph from the Wall Street Journal is very powerful. It is backed up by almost every expert analysis of the situation in New Zealand – land availability is the biggest factor in house prices. If you want cheaper house prices in Auckland, vote for a Council that will make more land available.”
Cities that grow out are affordable cities – KIWIBLOG

“Even supporters of sugar tax admit that it is largely symbolic - a way of softening up the public for more restrictive regulations in future.” ~ David Seymour
Think tank sour on sugar tax idea – RADIO NZ
Gary Becker on the weak case for junk food taxes – UTOPIA …
The Health of the State – NZ INITIATIVE
Junk science on junk food – Jenesa Jeram, NZ INITIATIVE

If you’d wanted to write laws to encourage tradies to leave the industry, in the last few years you could not have done better.
Experienced tradies may quit industry – STUFF

“Well, not quite where we started from. That'd be zero. But back where we started from when National took govt.”
Latest total benefit numbers - back where we started from – LINDSAY MITCHELL

It could have worked for Christchurch too.  “Free up places which are disasters. Make them business friendly. Lower or eliminate taxes. Let people innovate. Many of our cities have little to lose at this point.”
Congress is about to vote on what Rand Paul calls “the biggest anti-poverty initiative” in 50 years – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM
Make Christchurch an Enterprise Zone not a Ward of the State. – Peter Osborne, NOT PC

Cut out and keep.
Twenty Two Mendacious Modern Maori Myths – 1LAW4ALL

“Pull peddlers” was Ayn Rand’s term for all these parasites.
The world of Kiwi lobbyists – STUFF

“Anonymous has compiled a list of all the people named in the Panama Papers. Guess how many are from New Zealand?...”
Complete List of people named in the Panama Papers – ANONYMOUS
Why avoiding taxes is moral – Jaana Woiceshyn, HOW TO BE PROFITABLE & MORAL
What the Panama Papers Actually Show – CATO

“It is clear now that one of the arguments which will be deployed in the immediate future to oppose sensible reform of our cannabis laws, will be the Government’s previous insensible experimentation with synthetic highs.”
The Trouble With Cannabis Is That It Can Induce Psychosis In Some People Who Haven’t Taken It – Curwen Rolinson, DAILY BLOG
Great Moments in Prohibition and the Drug War - Daniel Mitchell, INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY

For everyone either unable to get to the last week of the Pop-Up Globe, or facing withdrawal.
Which Shakespeare Play Should I See? An Illustrated Flowchart – GOOD TICKLE BRAIN

People, we’re failing badly. “Since 1980, alcohol consumption is down in the U.S., Australia, Canada & New Zealand”:


The United Nations. Literally creating a fatal shit hole.
The Killer Hiding in the CDC Map – SLATE

“The referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU has thrown many things into sharp relief. It has made more visible the fraying of the Tory Party that has been brewing for a few decades now. It has demonstrated that the politics of fear is everywhere, being peddled by both the Leave and Stay campaigns, and even being openly celebrated by one pro-EU columnist on the basis that ‘fear alone has a purity you can trust’. But most strikingly, the referendum campaign has confirmed the death, or at least utter exhaustion, of a left that believes in democracy, in change, in people. In throwing its weight behind the Stay campaign, having historically been suspicious of the EU, the left has completed its journey from demanding democracy to supporting technocracy.”
Leftists for the EU: the radical wing of the oligarchy – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED

“Whether it's welcoming or deporting them, the EU is behaving cynically…. The EU’s commitment to free movement has never extended beyond white Europeans and was designed only to meet its own narrow political aims.”
The EU's use and abuse of Syrian migrants – Tom Slater, SPIKED

“Entries are now open for 'The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition'. The aim is to be as insulting as possible about Turkey's despotic leader…”
Introducing 'The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition' – THE SPECTATOR

“The ultimate test of a new mandate from a socialist government is whether a large number of people are obeying it—the actual outcomes of the mandate don't seem to matter.”
Odd-even mandate won’t clean Delhi’s air, it is recipe for poverty & havoc – Anoop Verma, FOR NEW INTELLECTUAL

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there" ~ L. P. Hartley
A lost world – the one before 1914:


“The New York primary was a game changer — for the self-generated and self-reinforcing media narrative… New York is not a new dawn but the latest chapter in a story that has been clear for some time now. A wounded and divisive front-runner is still shambling toward the nomination in the weakest condition of any leading Republican in memory, sporting the most toxic general-election numbers of any candidate in memory. This story may be so well known that it demands dramatic, overhyped momentum swings to spice it up in the media, but the basic outline is unchanged… Trump advanced his salient in New York, but that’s not a breakout.”
The Media’s Trump Mirage – POLITICO

“So we’re not yet at the point where absolutely everything has to go right for Trump to clinch 1,237 delegates after California; although he can’t afford major setbacks such as losing Indiana or Maryland.
    “Keep in mind, however, that the question of whether Trump will get 1,237 bound delegates by California is not the same as the question of whether he’ll win the Republican nomination. If he’s close, Trump could still get some uncommitted delegates to come along with him — especially some of the 54 from Pennsylvania if he wins that state. He could also win on the second or later ballot in Cleveland, although I wouldn’t want to count on that if I were in Trump’s shoes.”
A State-By-State Roadmap For The Rest Of The Republican Primary [NB: Pre-NY] – FIVE THIRTY-EIGHT
It’s Probably First Ballot Or Bust For Donald Trump At The GOP Convention – FIVE THIRTY-EIGHT

Meanwhile, compare “Bernie Sanders’s quixotic path to catch Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates.”
It’s Really Hard To Get Bernie Sanders 988 More Delegates – FIVE THIRTY-EIGHT

I’m with them, I’m with them.
BREAKING: People hate all of their presidential options – WASHINGTON POST

“Forget the election. Jailing those with dissenting opinion? It's already post America.”
Bill Nye: 'We'll See' About Jailing Climate Change Skeptics – NEWSMAX

“In the past few weeks, I’ve been re-examining the long-standing dispute over the discrepancy between models and observations in the tropical troposphere.”
NASA's Gavin Schmidt and Reference Period “Trickery” – Steve McINtyre, CLIMATE AUDIT


“We need a third of the area to produce the same amount of food compared to 50 years ago.”
Arable land needed to produce t fixed quantity of crops [change since 1961] – OUR WORLD IN DATA

“Capitalism has nothing to apologise for. Not only is capitalism the only system which delivers the goods; it’s the only system which requires people to earn their income honestly (fraud is against the law), while being able to keep, spend and/or invest it as they see fit once they earn it. Capitalism puts people with skin in the game (i.e., their own money) in charge of production, rather than the moronic, pull-peddling, unaccountable power-lusters we increasingly put in charge of the economy today.”
Why It's No Longer "The Economy, Stupid!" – Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER

“Why should we care about economic inequality? That’s a question that deserves to be debated, but one of the frustrating features of today’s discussion is that the inequality critics have smuggled into the discussion a perspective on wealth that tacitly assumes that economic inequality is unjust.
    “The ‘fixed pie’ assumption. The inequality critics often speak of economic success as if it was a fixed-sum game. There is only so much wealth to go around, and so inequality amounts to proof that someone has gained at someone else’s expense.”
The Two Fundamentally Flawed Assumptions at the Heart of the Inequality Crusade – Don Watkins & Yaron Brook, MEDIUM.COM

“In the article, I propose a solution for the alleged problem of "natural monopoly," one based on a novel application of property rights to the electric grid.”
Property Rights and the Crisis of the Electric Grid – Raymond Niles, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

“One reason why few people think that the world is getting better: Journalists don’t tell us”:


Billion-dollar meltdown of subsidised solar gives the lie to the bright future of so-called “renewables.”
Inside the Fall of SunEdison, Once a Darling of the Clean-Energy World – WSJ
Financial Turmoil at SunEdison Imperils Solar Projects Worldwide – FORTUNE
Washington’s Solar Subsidies Cost 13.5 Times The Price Of Power Generated – DAILY CALLER

“Europe’s suicidal green energy policies are killing at least 4o,000 people a year. That’s just the number estimated to have died in the winter of 2014 because they were unable to afford fuel bills driven artificially high by renewable energy tariffs.”
Green Europe is killing 40,000 poor people a year – James Delingpole, BREITBART

But this is what Britons voted for: voting for carbon taxes means voting for higher energy prices!  And now: “40,000 jobs across UK could go if Tata’s steel plants do close … He urged the government to ‘act now where the budget stood silent.’ We need energy costs reduced’.” … “The steel industry says it has been hit by a combination of factors: high UK energy prices, the extra cost of climate change policies…”
UK industry rocked as Tata confirms plans to offload steel business – TELEGRAPH
Britain's steel industry: What's going wrong? – BBC NEWS

“How does a country known for its exceptional productivity drive itself into a state of ‘energy poverty’? Answer: ‘renewables.’”
Germany's Energy Poverty: How Electricity Became a Luxury Good – SPIEGEL

“This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, and the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl incident. Together, these constitute the two greatest nuclear accidents the world has ever seen.”
Why it's time to dispel the myths about nuclear power – David Robert Grimes, GUARDIAN

“On Earth Day, according to various advocates, ‘events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.’ As we observe the event … it might be a good time to appreciate the fact that [we] get most of their plentiful, affordable energy directly from the Earth’s ‘natural environment’ in the form of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).
    “It’s largely those natural energy sources that fuel our vehicles and airplanes; heat, cool, and light our homes and businesses; and power our factories, and in the process significantly raise our standard of living. Shouldn’t that be part of ‘increasing our awareness and appreciation of Earth’s natural environment’ — to celebrate Mother Earth’s bountiful natural resources in the form of abundant, low-cost fossil fuels?”
On Earth Day, let’s appreciate our fossil fuel energy treasures that come from the Earth’s natural environment – Mark Perry, AE IDEAS

“But what if I were to tell you that it is possible to take energy from an issue that gets Democrats more votes to an issue that gets Republicans more votes—for pro-development, pro-freedom energy policies? From my experience changing tens of thousands of minds on energy issues, particularly on the morality of fossil fuels, I believe it is possible.
    “The key is to understand the fundamental tool the Democrats use to win with false ideas. Only then can we see how that tool can be used even more effectively by Republicans to win with true ideas.”
How Republicans Can Make Energy A Winning Issue In 2016 – Alex Epstein, FORBES



“U. S. economic activity continued to slow dramatically in the 4th quarter 2015, threatening recession.  As a whole, the growth rate of the economy was anemic, almost flat, for 2015.
    “Gross Output (GO), the new measure of total U. S. economic activity published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that spending throughout the economy declined slightly in the 4th quarter of 2015.  And the Skousen B2B Index — a measure of business spending throughout the supply chain — has now fallen two quarters in a row.  Both data suggest a mild business recession as we entered 2016…
    ““The GO data and my own B2B Index demonstrate that total US economic activity has slowed dramatically.  While the ‘use’ economy (GDP) is still barely growing, the ‘make’ economy (GO) is in recession.”
Fourth Quarter Gross Output (GO) and Business-to-Business Spending (B2B) Both Point to Business Recession – Mark Skousen, SKOUSEN.COM
“GO Beyond GDP: What Really Drives the Economy?” – Mark Skousen, SKOUSEN.COM

“I believe a 2016 recession is already a fact in the US, and the Great Recession will return with a vengeance. That recession never really ended. It was simply propped up while all of its fundamental flaws remained, and the props are now all ended or failing. It will ultimately become the mother of all recessions. Even the Great Depression has nothing up on what we are now entering.”
Declining Profits, Rising Defaults Assure 2016 Recession – THE GREAT RECESSION BLOG

“Why does Hayek proclaim reason’s impotence? Because he’s operating under the assumption that reason has to mean Rationalism.”
How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Can Rescue Hayek’s Economics – Harry Binswanger, HBL

“Our main findings are that 20.7% of all articles in behavioral economics in ten journals contain a policy recommendation and that 95.5% of these do not contain any analysis at all of the rationality or cognitive ability of policymakers."
Behavioral Econ's Pro-Government Bias - FEE

“Japan’s two-month experiment with negative interest rates is producing some unexpected results. - Trading has withered in Japan’s money markets, where big banks and others usually park their excess cash hoping to receive some interest—despite predictions from the Bank of Japan that its latest easing of monetary policy would spark more activity. And there has been a rush in demand for Japanese government bonds even as many yields went below zero. - Instead of falling, the yen has surged to 18-month highs against the U.S. dollar.”
Japan’s Negative-Rate Experiment Is Floundering – WSJ

“In a zero-interest world, all pension funds are dead.”
"This Is Going To Be A National Crisis" - One Of The Largest U.S. Pension Funds Set To Cut Retiree Benefits – ZERO HEDGE

“Maybe there is an Avengers movie to be written here, because there does not seem to be any reality. Forget about the rising size of government. Forget about increasing regulation. Forget about the astronomical levels of sovereign and household debt. No – clearly we are saving too much and not spending enough.”
What’s Wrong with Joe Stiglitz? – CATALLAXY FILES


When Ludwig Von Mises was lionised by Batman: “Von Mises' anti-authoritarian ideas were first a threat to the Nazis, then the Soviets, and to all increasingly regulatory governments in our times. He was against socialism in all its many forms. he was an advocate of individual liberty, free speech, and free thinking...and so, should I add, was Berlin Batman." - Holy Praxeology, Batman!, THE FREE MARKET


“These reactions were insightful. They revealed that something strange has happened to us all. They showed that even in the face of hard evidence, we go out of our way to protect religion against the women theology oppresses. They showed that Muslims and their liberal friends resort to the same psychological mechanisms of denial and disbelief when faced with hard evidence.
    “Meanwhile the theologically sanctioned abuse of Afghan women continues without challenge. After all, as liberals, we have chosen to protect the image of Islam as our priority. A priority that, ironically, we share with Islamist fundamentalists.”
Cutting the Nose to Save Face – Nushin Arbabzadah, HUFFPOST MEDIA

“Europe's most devout Muslims are the most tolerant...MAYBE THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE GOING ON.”
Muslims who hate the West barely went to mosque – Schams el-Ghoneimi, POLITICO



“Euro-Islamism springs from decades of cultural cringe…
    “The question remains, not ‘why do they hate us so much?’, but ‘why do we hate ourselves?’. None of those who bombed London, Paris and Brussels in the name of Islam came from the lands of Islam. They were all brought up in Europe, and in an educational system and climate in which they were taught of its oppressive, imperialist culture, history and legacy. Immigrants from the Middle East to Britain today, conversely, rather like this country and its ideals.”
Muslims aren't the problem - Western self-doubt is – Patrick West, SPIKED

A friend's great new book, which I can thoroughly recommend -- and at a great low price: 99c on Kindle for one week only. This is a historical overview on the values which made the West great. History made accessible to all – “a short, sharp, easily-read primer for anyone who want to know the West’s glorious history—and why it was so glorious. You might argue that it’s no sin not to know your history. But it is when it’s made this easy to discover — and who knows? You may even discover it wasn’t all made by dead white males”:


“…even if universities were all private, such as the UK’s University of Buckingham, there is still a good case for the owners of said to make the case that universities aren’t, if they deserve the title of universities, meant to be ‘safe places’.”
How I generally approach the “no platforming” issue at universities – Jonathan Pearce, SAMIZDATA

Editor-in-chief of the world’s best known medical journal, The Lancet: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
What is medicine's 5 sigma? – Richard Horton, THE LANCET
Claim: HALF of all published ‘scientific’ literature is completely fabricated or false – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM


“The belief that sexual abuse is uniquely traumatising is damaging to victims… ‘It’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that your uncle touched you in that nasty place, you get some of my sympathy, but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy because self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity’.”
Stephen Fry's right - self-pity is nothing to celebrate – Luke Gittos, SPIKED


“We have become a society of moral and
intellectual nitpickers, with the time, luxury,
and freedom to obsess and argue over
trivialities, and no understanding of or
reverence for the fundamentals on which
that time, luxury, and freedom depend.”

~ Lisa Van Damme


“Camille Paglia talks to Ella Whelan about feminism, transgenderism and Hillary.”
'Lena Dunham is a big pile of pudding' – SPIKED


“What is your journey like as a Montessori parent?”
Journey of a Montessori Parent - MARIA MONTESSORI.COM

Turns out some governments are more enlightened than others.
Taiwan makes it ILLEGAL for parents to let children under two use electronic gadgets – MAIL ONLINE

“The latest in a cavalcade of crowdsourcing disasters…”
Boaty McBoatface proves the public would rather humiliate your brand than engage with it – Mark Ritson, MARKETING WEEK

“If two events are connected by a ‘and then,’ you fucked up. You want to connect any two events by either a ‘therefore,’ ‘because’ or ‘but.’” That's it.
South Park Writers Share Their Writing Rule #1 – THE AFW

“What are we to make today of this famous woman who, beginning almost a century ago, has fascinated generations with her wit, flair, talent, and near genius for self-destruction?”
Brilliant, Troubled Dorothy Parker – Robert Gottlieb, NY REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Increasingly threatened by flooding, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Bachman Wilson House, was painstakingly dismantled so that it could be moved to its new home halfway across the country.”


Revisiting John Lautner's most iconic houses [via WALLPAPER]:


Yes people, they are different:


“The title of a brand new book from Lonely Planet is Toilets: A Spotter's Guide, which appends the phrase: ‘Nature's call has never been so beautifully answered’."
Book of the Moment: Toilets: A Spotter's Guide – ARCHIDOSE

Rare footage of Louis Armstrong in a recording studio…

Even better, archivists have uncovered the cleanest sounding early jazz recordings you’re ever going to hear. Okeh metal masters intended to be used to produce the short-wearing shellac discs that are still as clean as a whistle today, and sound superb …




[Hat tips, quips Jim Rose, Nelson Brackin, Save Wright, Maria Montessori, Keith Weiner, Marvin Adams, For New Intellectuals, James Dalton, Stop Blaming Capitalism for Socialism's Failures, Max Roser, Screwed by State, John McLean, ANZA, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Solar Secrets, , Ms. Entropy, Patrick Black, Ziv Du, Michael Brown, Felix Mueller, Louise Lamontagne, Michael Strong, Scott Powell]

PS: Six cracking AFL games shown free to air on Duke this weekend: Games of the round likely to be Hawthorn v Adelaide Crows tonight at 9:30 (replayed tomorrow morning at 11am) and Sydney Swans v West Coast tomorrow avo (Saturday) at 3:30pm (replayed Sunday 10am). Load up!

Here are the top ten hits, kicks, marks and cockups from last weekend:


  1. “Euro-Islamism springs from decades of cultural cringe"

    Typical brains trust don't know their elbow from their asshole

    The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.

    Quran (17:16) – “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.”

    Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing”

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

    Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

    Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).

    Quran (5:33) – “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

    Quran (8:67) – “It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land”

    Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

    Quran (9:14) – “Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.”

    Quran (25:52) – “Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness…” “Strive against” meaning JIHAD

    The only true muslims are the head-cutters. How come a simple bloke like me gets it, where as y'all intellectuals just can't get your heads around it

    It's all there in black in white if ya bothered to do your research Peter


    [you know where to find me]

    1. All you quote is fully acknowledged, Jamie. Even fully acknowledged in the piece(s) above that you haven't read. The point is that the individual Muslim is for the most part far better in every respect than their own prophet -- and the individual European Muslim often values the West more than most Westerners, who will spit on their own culture without compunction.

      Indeed, we know that most Muslims aren't bombers. If they were, we really would be in trouble. And it seems from the evidence (remember evidence, Jamie) that for all the barbarity of their holy book the Muslims who do hate the West and do worship death are not even among the most devout - those who carried out the Brussels attack etc. being those who barely went to mosque.

    2. I didn't notice it being fully acknowledged. The article blamed Western cultural cringe for the atrocities of the Mujahideen rather than blaming Islam. The fact is, even if there was no such thing as Western cultural cringe (and it really is a leftist war against reason and civilisation) Islam is at the heart of their actions - not Western cultural cringe.

    3. "Indeed, we know that most Muslims aren't bombers."

      Islamic law doesn't require most Muslims to be bombers. The purpose of terror attacks is to soften up opposition to the advance of Islam. It is working well for them in that regard, so that most Muslims aren't bombers is of no value.

      " If they were, we really would be in trouble."

      Islam is advancing fast, so we are in trouble.

      "And it seems from the evidence (remember evidence, Jamie) that for all the barbarity of their holy book the Muslims who do hate the West and do worship death are not even among the most devout - those who carried out the Brussels attack etc. being those who barely went to mosque."

      And that they didn't go to a mosque (according to the Taqiyya artist who wrote the article you're referring to) it means they're not devout Muslims? That of course is a non-sequitur, and you know it.

  2. Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).


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