Friday, 15 April 2016

Friday Morning Ramble–15.04.16


Clearing my tabs again …

Only a week to go before the Pop-Up Globe shuts up shop. Shakespeare in the very space for which it was written! Don’t miss out.
Twelfth Night – POP-UP GLOBE
Romeo & Juliet – POP-UP GLOBE

“Remember when Key used to say that National wouldn’t introduce new taxes? That National was a party to remove taxes, not create them? That’s not going so well –At least 15 new taxes under National. National’s base have been strangely silent on this.”
Netflix tax – another one for you peasants – DOUBLE STANDARD

“One of Auckland Council’s first actions was to spend $128 million on flash new, but entirely unnecessary, offices for itself. Now it turns out ratepayers are going to have to spend another $31 million, a quarter of the original cost, on repairs. … You couldn’t make it up.”
New Council HQ costs ratepayers another $31 million – JO HOLMES
Rankled ratepayers over building blowout – YOUR NZ

Gerry Brownlee’s idea of a public-private partnership: jobs for the boys.
Gerry Brownlee's former singing partner among Regenerate Christchurch members – STUFF

"So Donald Trump says he’s an Ayn Rand fan. That has about as much credibility as every other claim Trump makes about himself… Trump talking about The Fountainhead sounds like a poor student trying to bluff his way through a book report, without even bothering to skim the Cliff’s Notes…..
    "Trump is a guy who says he doesn’t care what other people think, then goes on to obsess endlessly about what other people think. He’s exactly the sort of person who would want you to think he’s an Ayn Rand fan, while he really acts like one of her villains."
Donald Trump Is An Ayn Rand Villain – Robert Tracincki, THE FEDERALIST
Donald Trump, You Are No Howard Roark – Joey Clark, LIBERTARIAN REPUBLIC

““Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has given a series of extended interviews with major news outlets, covering topics ranging from foreign policy to the economy to abortion. Those interviews have been intensely revealing. What they have shown is that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about on just about anything of relevance to a presidential candidate.
    “More than that, though, we’ve learned that Trump refuses to prepare, and will not learn even the most basic factoids, even when a topic is certain to arise during an interview. Instead, he will respond with deliberate provocations, with refusals to answer questions, by altering his 'position' repeatedly, by changing the subject, and by ignoring or denying the facts of the subject at hand. He has demonstrated not only that he is a blithering know-nothing, but that he is determined to stay that way.”
The Incredible Cluelessness of Donald Trump – Peter Suderman, REASON

“A completely fair headline of what happened this year would have been, “Colorado Republicans Select Presidential Delegates the Same Way They Did Last Time.” But the reality of the situation is so much more boring than the trumped up version of it.”
Setting the Record Straight about Colorado’s Republican Caucus – Ari Armstrong, ARI ARMSTRONG
Colorado GOP chair alleges thousands of threatening calls from Trump supporters – EXAMINER

“Authors Don Watkins and Yaron Brook attempt to throw cold water on the liberal’s argument that income inequality can only be solved by income redistribution.”
New #1 Book “Equal Is Unfair” Unmasks Bernie & Hillary Presidential Campaigns – CONSERVATIVE BOOK CLUB

John Ehrlichman explaining how the "war on drugs" began under the Nixon Administration:
"’The Nixon campaign of 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalising both heavily, we could disrupt their communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.’"
[Report] | Legalize It All – Dan Baum, HARPER’S MAGAZINE
Report: Nixon's war on drugs targeted black people - CNN

Here’s a novel solution to bathroom dilemmas: private property rights.
Bathrooms, North Carolina and the Forgotten Principle of Private Property – Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER


“It is ideology, not hatred, that compels Islamist violence… The theological underpinnings of ISIS are found in four doctrines, all easily grasped.”
Stop Asking 'Why Do They Hate Us?' – A.J. Caschetta, MIDDLE EAST FORUM

"The human race has only two unlimited capacities: one for
suffering and one for lying. I want to fight religion as the root
of all human lying and the only excuse for human suffering."

~ Ayn Rand, 1934, in The Journals of Ayn Rand

“The intrepid Mark Perry exposes yet again the myth behind the so-called ‘gender pay gap.‘”
Some thoughts on Equal Pay Day and the 23% gender pay gap myth – Mark Perry, AE IDEAS

“What we've seen from the papers so far is not so much an indictment of global capitalism as an indictment of countries that have weak institutions and a lot of corruption…
    “Consider the big names that have shown up so far on the list. With the notable exception of Iceland, these are not countries I would describe as ‘capitalist’: Russia, Pakistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Egypt. They're countries where kleptocratic government officials amass money not through commerce, but through quasi-legal extortion, or siphoning off the till. This is an activity that has gone on long before capitalism, and probably before there was money. Presenting this as an indictment of global capitalism is like presenting Romeo and Juliet as an after school special on the dangers of playing with knives.”
The Panama Papers Actually Reflect Pretty Well on Capitalism – Megan McArdle,BLOOMBERG

“Places like the Cayman Islands provide safe havens from government snoops.”
The Panama Papers and tax shocks – WASHINGTON TIMES

“An insightful argument explaining and criticising those who wish to abolish various forms (or all) uses of cash money.”
Against Currency Prohibitionism – Lawrence White, ALT-M

“The plan to restrict the use of cash, or to abolish it step by step, has nothing to do with the fight against crime. The real reason is that states (and their central banks) want to introduce negative interest rates.”
Cash Banned, Freedom Gone – Thorstein Polleit, MISES DAILY

Who’d a-thunk it?: “In the aftermath of California and New York becoming the first states to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15, some small businesses with hourly workers are rethinking how they can absorb the increase.”
As minimum wage marches toward $15, small businesses adapt – RAPID CITY JOURNAL

How price signals trump politicisation.
What If Private Entrepreneurs Behaved Like Politicians, Pundits, and Professors? – Don Boudreaux, CAFE HAYEK

“Competition is not a product of living in a capitalist society — it's a product of living in a world where resources are ‘scarce’ and not all of our wants can be fulfilled.
There’s No Escaping Competition – FEE

"Obama’s real antagonist is Ayn Rand, who made the case that reason is man’s basic means of survival and coercion is anti-reason. Force initiated against free, innocent men is directed at stopping them from acting on their own thinking. It makes them, under threat of fines and imprisonment, act as the government demands rather than as they think their self-interest requires. That’s the whole point of threatening force: to make people act against their own judgment."
Obama to Americans: You Don’t Deserve to be Free  - Harry Binswanger, HB LETTER

Mind you, he explains to students pretty well that they should start countering views they disagree with, instead of banning them.

“Just as monetary easing [i.e., money printing] is pushing Chinese bond yields to record lows, the ability of listed companies to service their debt has dropped to the weakest on record.”
It's Never Been This Hard for Chinese Debtors to Pay Interest – BLOOMBERG

“Someone seems to have hit the emergency button at the Fed, as even though the central bank said that everything was just fine with the American economy just a few weeks and months ago, the situation has currently escalated into a full-blown panic mode. On Thursday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve has called an ‘emergency’ meeting for Monday, April 11. That by itself is already very surprising, but a lot can be explained after looking at the most recent publication of the Atlanta Fed…”
Full-Blown Panic Mode At The Fed? – Secular Investor, ZERO HEDGE
Declining Profits, Rising Defaults Assure 2016 Recession – THE GREAT RECESSION BLOG

“The data dependent Fed does not believe the bad data. The Fed refuses to believe that GDP growth is this low or inflation this high. So rather than admit that its policies failed, the Fed just dismisses the data that proves it!”
Federal Reserve Officals Don't Trust U.S. Economic Data – FORTUNE.COM

“The stock market is still viewed as if it were a discounting mechanism, a system where information is processed and priced to deliver insight about the fundamental state of liquidity, markets, and the economy. That view has always been debatable, but never more so than the whole of this century so far.”
The Global Economy Didn’t Change Last Year, Views of QE Did- Jeffrey Snider, ALHAMBRA INVESTMENT PARTNERS

“President Obama is still saying [US has] the strongest advanced economy in the world. I don’t know what his definition of ‘strong’ or ‘advanced’ is, but we might have one of the weakest of the advanced economies. It’s just that nobody wants to accept that fact yet.”
Obama and Yellen Recovery Narrative Unraveling Fast – Peter Schiff, SCHIFF RADIO

“For the better part of a century, most economists have believed that recessions are caused by overall demand failure—total purchasing power dropping below the number of total goods on the market.
    “Part of the reason for the predominance of this thinking is that the man who popularised it, John Maynard Keynes, mischaracterised “classical” arguments in order to better refute them. Unfortunately, few are aware of the success these distortions have had on economic theory.”
How Keynesian Economics Has Distorted Economic Thinking – David Weinberger, DIVERSITY OF IDEAS

It matters who get the costs, and who the benefits.  “The discussion of costs and benefits that we economists discuss in our textbooks and undergraduate classrooms focuses on the costs and benefits accrued to the single economic actor. In which case, the economic actor bays both the cost and enjoys the benefit. He/She/It can make a rational decision. However, when aggregating, the benefits do not necessarily accrue to the same actor as the costs and it can easily lead to poor decisions that make people worse off even if the benefits outweigh the costs!”
A Discussion on Costs and Benefits – Jon Murphy, A FORCE FOR GOOD

“Rather than creating new opportunities, as Schumpeter describes, Kirzner sees entrepreneurs as noticing or being alert to new opportunities. And this alertness is not something possessed by a special few, but is an ability we all have.”
Who’s in Charge, Capitalists or Consumers? Why Entrepreneurship Matters – Steven Horwitz, FEE

Capping our carbon and crushing our spirits ...


“Don’t be fooled by the post-Paris fanfare: The climate change movement faces big trouble ahead.”
Twilight of the Climate Change Movement – Judith Curry, CLIMATE ETC.

“After the Paris powwow in December the action switched to Davos. Then the serried legions of  jetsetting carbonphobics repaired to the four corners of this tormented planet with renewed messages of a doom that only other people's money can avert…
    “Politics and diplomacy were the dominant issues in Paris. Few were concerned about the science or economics of climate change. Even the source material in the IPCC Fifth Assessment issued in 2014 … asserts that with a three-degree warming total loss of global GDP compared with business-as-usual is just 2 to 3 per cent over the course of a century. That’s just half a year’s growth even without any mitigatory action, such as planting different crops. Meanwhile the apparently trivial costs of preventing the emissions rest upon massive new breakthroughs in renewable energy technology and a Philosopher’s Stone discovery of how to capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.”
The Climateers’ Moveable Feast – Alan Moran, QUADRANT ONLINE

“The claimed agreement in temperature data is simply not legitimate. The people involved know that their data is inadequate, tampered and largely made up. They all use basically the same GHCN data set from NOAA (which has lost more than 80% of their stations over the past few decades) and E-mails show that they discussed with each other ways to alter the data to make it agree with their theory."
Global Temperature Record Is A Smoking Gun Of Collusion And Fraud – Steven Goddard, REAL SCIENCE

It should be abandoned now. But this is better than nothing.
Germany To Abandon $1.1 Trillion Wind Power Program By 2019 – DAILY CALLER


“"What is the cause of such an upsurge in films celebrating genius, achievement, and moral stature—and, in some cases, mocking the dark premises of modernist culture? I have no definitive answer to the question, but here is a plausible theory… I submit, perhaps overly optimistically, that modernist culture is in the process of bottoming out.”
A Mini-Renaissance in Film? – Andrew Bernstein, OBJECTIVE STANDARD

“Your dentist may be giving you more fillings than you need. There is growing evidence that early tooth decay, before a cavity forms, can often be arrested and reversed with simple treatments that restore minerals in the teeth, rather than the more typical drill-and-fill approach.”
Simple Dental Treatments May Reverse Decay: Some fillings may not be necessary – WSJ

“Actor Robert De Niro is the latest celebrity to say there might be a link between vaccines and autism. But decades of study have shown no link at all, and scientists are becoming increasingly impatient with the refusal to accept their findings.”
De Niro says 'find the truth' on vaccines: But scientists already did – TODAY.COM

“Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson and Ayn Rand courageously challenged a corrupt, collectivist world by affirming the moral imperative for liberty.”
3 Women Who Inspired the Modern Libertarian Movement – Jim Powell, FEE

“A study has found that there is absolutely no need to use the word ‘curate’ outside a museum.”
‘Curating’ Same As ‘Choosing’, Wankers Told – THE SHOVEL

Take the Tour: Frank Lloyd Wright's Arizona mansion [sic]

[Hat tips, quips and snippets: Cafe Hayek, Yaron Brook, Jenny McCarthy Body Count, Peter Schiff, Betsy Speicher, Richard Ebeling, Paul Litterick, Prodos Marinakis]

PS: Here are your AFL games for this weekend, free, courtesy of TVNZ. Game of the round for most: probably the cock-a-hoop West Coast Eagles at 10am tonight playing the always fragile Richmond. For me, I’ll be enjoying watching Geelong hammer the Flying Syringes tomorrow afternoon at 3:30pm.



  1. I read the criticism of Donald Trump in the fancy 'Libertarian Republic'. It described Trump as 'unctious in his fair hair and yellow skin'. Very deep analysis not I thought.
    Then the 'Federalist' which took Trump to task for not knowing really why Lincoln was so 'great'.
    Trump referred to acting ahead of his [Lincoln's ] time, presumably about slavery.
    If that is too vague for the Federalist they should be unsurprised. Trump could have told the truth, that Lincoln was a madman who had about half a million men killed in the pursuit of the destruction of the individual States.

  2. And as if the above references were not enough, Not PC then subjects us to the garbage from Peter Suderman in a blog which Suderman self describes as ‘ Hit and Run’. Here we are shattered with the news that Trump is unlikely to wipe out the 21 trillion dollar debt. Fair go? What is it about Suderman that he does not understand fundamental politics. And what is a "factoid" inside a hit and run blog .
    Who can not accept that a candidate can update position based on fact or public will. Oh God here comes Hillary Clinton


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