Friday, 2 December 2016

Friday Morning Ramble, 2 December


“Business creates wealth;
government divides it.”

~ Will Spencer

The good news story of the day…
Buzz Aldrin, second man to walk on the moon, evacuated to NZ from Antarctica – NEWSTALK ZB

National is now just Labour without the identity politics.
Nick Leggett’s “defection” surprisingly revealing – NOT PC

Trump's potential incoming Commerce guy, Wilbur Ross, has a bizarre take on sales taxes. And it might mean that the New Zealand government should rethink how it treats imports and exports in GST.
Tax and trade barriers – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

I haven’t fully followed the story, but on the face of it there is much here that needs answering.
Tolley needs to apologise – THE STANDARD
Tolley rules out apology for child abuse in state care – RADIO NZ

When the law gets in the government’s way, the government changes the law. If only it were that easy for the rest of us.
Debris to be dumped in ocean to fast-track Kaikoura road repairs – STUFF

“Of those children born in 2010 who'd been abused or neglected by age two, 76 percent were born into a single-parent setting. This startling fact comes from government research which received little or no publicity. Why?”
Child abuse and family structure – LINDSAY MITCHELL

“It is illegal to pay organ donors for their gift. Economists can easily explain the consequences: at a price of zero, you have a big shortage… Most of the time, economists would just take this as example of the stupid that happens when people can't think clearly about prices and exchange.
    Al Roth instead saw it as a constraint to work around, and came up with matching donors as a way of making things suck less given the constraint that money can't be involved.
    And Chris Bishop, in an excellent bit of policy entrepreneurialism, saw the opportunity to save lives by repackaging things.”
Compensating organ donors – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“Dear Mr Goff,
Only a politician would think that introducing new targeted rates is the best scheme to ‘keep rates down’ … “




“Identity politics is taking us backwards to division and prejudice.”
Why is the left reviving apartheid? – Matt Ridley, RATIONAL OPTIMIST

“In your lifetime, how many times can you remember when everyone agreed about the significance of a major cultural phenomenon? It is happening now, as libertarians, conservatives, left-liberals and far-leftists all agree that a deep rot has set into Political Correctness.”
Understanding Triggers and Microaggression as *Strategy* (Part 1) – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE
Understanding Triggers and Microaggression as *Strategy* (Part 2) – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE

“He feels he has a moral responsibility to raise it, as it is what he believes.”
Boris Johnson calls for illegal immigrants to be granted amnesty after Brexit – TELEGRAPH

“Over the course of the last twelve months, there has been increased focus on the role of policing drugs in the UK. TV presenter and writer Alex Stewart spent six years working on the front line combating drug related crime in London as a Metropolitan Police Officer. Here he provides a genuinely eye-opening insight into the capricious nature of policing the illicit drug market in the capital.”
Why Policing Drug Crime in London Simply Isn’t Working – Alex Stewart, VOLTEFACE

“About 3% of all medals awarded in Beijing 2008 & London 2012 have been stripped due to doping retests (= 52/~1800).”
A Summary of Olympic Drug Re-Testing So Far – Roger Pielke Jr.,  THE LEAST THING

“Well, the claims of the “first climate refugees” are coming up again. I think we’re up to the ninth first climate refugees, it’s hard to keep track. In any case, I came across this..”
The Ninth First Climate Refugees – Willis Eschenbach, WATTS UP WITH THAT

“Modi govt sold elimination of banknotes as 'surgical strike' against criminality. Result more like carpet bombing.”
Foreign capital outflow from India since demonetisation (below).
India: Demonetisation & its Discontents – INSTITUTE FOR NEW ECONOMIC THINKING
Angry Mobs Lock Up Indian Bankers As Cash Chaos Soars: "We Are Fearing The Worst" – ZERO HEDGE
India’s currency chaos – NOT PC
First the War on Cash, then the War on Gold – NOT PC



“Long-term, generalised conflicts are always about abstract principles in collision. … Defeating an enemy such as politicised Islam is a multi-front battle — requiring police, military, plus diplomatic, cultural, and philosophical engagement.”
The Fight with Religious Terrorism is a Philosophical, Multi-Generation, Winnable Battle – STEPHEN HICKS

“’I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen,” the future killer stated in a school profile of him.
So your way of coping is to brutally attack innocent people, Mr. A**** R*** A** A****? Poor baby!”
Islam and P.C.: No Evidence Need Apply – Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER

“This is the pure evil Mitchell and his colleagues confronted each day at CIA ‘black sites.’ ‘I have looked into the eyes of the worst people on the planet,’ Mitchell writes. ‘I have sat with them and felt their passion as they described what they see as their holy duty to destroy our way of life.’ …
”But perhaps the most riveting part of the book is what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told Mitchell about what inspired Al-Qaeda to attack the United States – and the U.S. response he expected.””
A horrifying look into the mind of 9/11’s mastermind, in his own words – WASHINGTON POST

“Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticise white theocracy, they’ll criticise Christians. They’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984. But when you want to talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. . . . The crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of 'Islamophobia,' where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. . . . We have to be able to criticise bad ideas, and Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.” ~ Sam Harris
Sam Harris States the Obvious about Islam, Enrages Ben Affleck – OBJECTIVE STANDARD

Q: “Why would the pope need bullet-proof glass in his car?”
Contradictions of Christianity and the Bible - Some Striking Examples and Cases – WAKELET

“Conflict across the Middle East has many causes. But the combination of an interconnected world in which young people can see and hear how others around the world are living, combined with a system of political and economic governance that makes it extremely difficult for many of them to attain even a modestly secure middle-class economic future, is a recipe for social turmoil.”
Youth and the Economic Future of Arab States – Timothy Taylor, CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST

Surprising, but true: “Venezuela’s infant mortality rate has actually been above Syria’s since 2008.”
Socialism Kills More Babies than War – Chelsea Follett, FEE



Looks promising: “Australia and New Zealand Students For Liberty is compiling a selection of student and academic works on freedom in society, and is releasing a new, semesterly magazine, with its first edition out on December 21st, and print copies to be distributed in O-Week 2017!” Keep your eyes peeled for their first edition – or contribute!
Coming Soon: ‘The Gold Standard’ – STUDENTS FOR LIBERTY

“The son of a domestic worker raised by his sisters in a black township near Pretoria under apartheid, Herman Mashaba became a self-made millionaire in a country that systematically excluded blacks from economic opportunities. Sworn into office on August 22, he must wrangle a coalition that includes the revolutionary socialist Economic Freedom Fighters as he tries to implement an anti-regulation, pro-market agenda.”
Meet Johannesburg's New Libertarian Mayor – Leon Louw, FEE

“If leftist critics want to decry the focus of modern economics on consumption, they should turn their sights on the Keynesian interventionists.”
Consumerism Is Keynesianism  - Steve Horwitz, FEE

“Economists are too detached from the real world and have failed to learn from the financial crisis, insisting on using mathematical models which do not reflect reality, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane.”
Economists need to get into the real world, says Bank of England chief economist – TELEGRAPH

Deirdre McCloskey on the origins of the minimum wage…

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“Contrary to the dominant political narrative from members of both parties, which is parroted uncritically by most of the press, there is little evidence that these public works projects promote long-run economic growth.”
The Great Infrastructure Myth – Marc Scribner, FEE

“The Fed's policies continue to cripple the middle class while favouring those few who benefit from the Fed's inflationary policies.”
End the Fed To Really ‘Make America Great Again’ – MISES INSTITUTE

“When it comes to grand, ambitious government programs imposed to make the world more wonderful, nothing ever goes according to plan.”
If All Had Gone According To Plan – Jeffrey Tucker, FEE
The Pretence of Omniscience – Don Boudreuax, FEE

“One of the leading delusions of social engineers, central planners and government regulators is that they know enough to redesign, direct and command the development and evolution of human society and its social and economic institutions…
“It was Adam Ferguson who coined the phase so often used by Austrian Economist F. A. Hayek, that “nations stumble upon establishments [institutions], which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design.”
Economic Ideas: Adam Ferguson and Society as a Spontaneous Order – Richard Ebeling, FFF

“How have economic ideas transformed over the past hundred years?” Lawrence H. White, author of The Clash of Economic Ideas, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economists and their ideas of the past one hundred years. They discuss Keynes and Hayek, monetary policy and the Great Depression, Germany after the Second World War, the economy of India, and the future of monetary policy.”
Lawrence White Podcast on EconTalk: The Clash of Economic Ideas – MERCATUS CENTER/ECON TALK


Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?"
But Tu Quoque asks the question, did Hillary do it first?

~ Keith Weiner, with apologies to Martin Luther King


“For us non-Americans it is sometimes hard to understand Donald Trump because he speaks and writes in what the British philosopher Bertrand Russell called “little patches of color”—micro-facts that must be pieced together to form a meaningful picture…
”As I’ve pieced together Mr. Trump’s little patches of color, I’ve come to realize that his real enemy is not globalism but mercantilism…”
The Real Enemy for Trump Is Mercantilism, Not Globalism – Hernando de Soto, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Donald Trump won the presidency with a promise to ‘drain the swamp’ of crony insider deals in Washington, DC.” Yet “there’s always an excuse for why your gang’s favour-trading is in the public interest, while the other guy’s favour-trading is cronyism. So before Trump even takes office, he’s letting us know that he definitely won’t drain the swamp. You didn’t really think he would, did you?”
Change the swamp – Robert Tracinski, TRACINSKI LETTER
Trump meeting with Goldman Sachs president – THE HILL

“How Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary, made millions buying failed IndyMac.”
Steven Mnuchin’s Defining Moment: Seizing Opportunity From the Financial Crisis – WALL STREET JOURNAL

“The economic illiteracy of protectionism.”
Threats & cronyism–and he’s still only President-elect! – NOT PC

“Six months of fake news stories about Hillary Clinton didn't doom her election chances; two decades of real news stories did. But the fake-news meme provides Democrats with an excuse to avoid self-reflection; it clears Clinton (and them) of any responsibility for the loss."
The Liberal Postmortem on 2016 Is Not Going Well – Barton Hinkle, REASON

“Which might make you wonder: Why were we donating to them in the first place?”
Australia ceases multimillion-dollar donations to controversial Clinton family charities – NEWS.COM.AU

“The alt-right didn’t invent post truth. But it’s certainly learned how to take advantage of the left’s abuse & overuse of it.”
Who gave us post truth, conspiracy culture and the alt-right? – Mehrdad Amanpour, HARRY’S PLACE

“Instead of keeping them in place, we must finally understand that such policies are seen as acts of war and that they do not hurt the ones they are intended to. Instead, only the poor  in nations targeted by these embargoes suffer the consequences.”
Castro Was Monstrous, and So Is the Embargo – Alice Salles, FEE

"A president on his way out of town, like a dinner guest who frets the next morning that he talked too much and stayed too long, is obsessed with how he’ll be remembered" -- from this Washington Times editorial. My view: Obama should be remembered as the vapid ideologue who fanned the fires of racial tension; imposed a ludicrously expensive and unworkable health care scheme that broke virtually every promise he made on the subject; ballooned the national debt more than all previous presidents combined; shamelessly politicized the Justice Department, IRS and FBI; supervised a foreign policy of one flop after another; vilified the productive and successful of the country; delivered the weakest economic recovery of the last hundred years; and projected an endless aura of arrogance amid massive incompetence. If there's one program of his eight years that serves as the best metaphor for his presidency, it would be "cash for clunkers." We paid a monumental sum of our hard-earned cash for one sorry clunker of an eminently forgettable administration. If this had been a private sector operation over the past eight years, it would be fiscally and morally bankrupt; most of us would be suing on grounds of breach of contract, negligence, malfeasance, extortion and fraud--and we'd win easily.”
Obama’s legacy rhetoric belies scandal-scarred presidency – WASHINGTON TIMES

“Obama may be leaving the White House, but he still has big plans to destroy America. Please be aware of the following from my LYING monograph…”
LYING AS A WAY OF LIFE: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America – Alexandra York, AMAZON

Bugger the pollsters:


Let’s hope this is true news.
First paralysed human treated with stem cells has now regained his upper body movement – THE HEARTY SOUL

File under “Virtue of Productivity.”
Napping can Dramatically Increase Learning, Memory, Awareness, and More – REFLECTION OF MIND

“Q: You talk about capitalism and that the politics would just be the police and the law courts and the military. So, what is going to be done for like the sick people that are needed of healthcare and they can't pursue their own happiness if the government is just restricted to that. What's going to happen to them?
”A: …”
From the Q&A following Leonard Peikoff's talk Introduction to Objectivism – FACEBOOK

“The Quotes of Steven Wright:
1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
3 - Half the people you know are below average.
4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.”
More here: The Quotes of Steven Wright – THIS BLEW MY MIND


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This looks great, coming up at the Auckland Art Gallery: 'The Body Laid Bare: Masterpieces from Tate' to open at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki from 18 March 2017. Journeying through time, from the classical, biblical and literary subjects of the 1800s to the body politics of contemporary art, 'The Body Laid Bare' brings together masterpieces by renowned artists including JMW Turner, Auguste Rodin (pictured above), Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas and many more …
International masterpieces to reveal the naked truth at Auckland Art Gallery in 2017 – AUCKLAND ART GALLERY

And the Auckland keeps getting better …
Pop-Up Globe
Shakespeare's Henry V tempts star back to theatre – NZ HERALD

Told as a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities offers descriptions of imaginary cities Polo hopes will delight his host as much as they delight the reader. Every lover of architecture should have a copy – and in imagining each city for themselves, will delight in these beautiful illuminated illustrations by Lima-based architect Karina Puente of how her mind’s eye sees them …
Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Illustrated – ARCH DAILY
55 (In)visible Cities Project – KARINA FUENTE

“…shows the state of Hollywood, only 3 films from the last 16 years on this list.”
The 100 greatest American films – BBC

Not for everyone … but for those who loved him this is definitely something they will love.
Hear a 9-Hour Tribute to John Peel: A Collection of His Best “Peel Sessions” – OPEN CULTURE

It’s called parallax.
This GIF shows the camera really does add 10 pounds — here’s why – BUSINESS INSIDER

“Craft brewing’s growth is supply-driven. Production is growing fast, not because breweries are growing bigger, but because new brewers are entering the industry. The industry as a whole is showing excellent (and very tempting) growth, but breweries are not growing nearly as much."
Yee Ha! The Great Craft Beer Gold Rush! – BEER TOWN

Answering the important questions.
What’s the best Gin and Vermouth for a Negroni? – DRINKS & DRINKING

[Hat tips quips etc … F.A. Hayek PPE, Shishir BajpaiPaul Rooney, Alison Ballance , Libertyscott UK, Hernando de Soto, Old Whig, Jim Rose, Josh Perry, Screwed by State, Damien Grant, Steve Simpson, Timothy Sandefur , Kevin D. Williamson, Alex Stewart, Yaron Brook, hockey schtick, Drinks Info, New Thinking, Peter R. Neumann, Keith Weiner, Christian Wernstedt, Mark V. Kormes, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official), Riko Stevens, D.K. Williams, Scott DeSalvo, Anthony John Loder, The Cato Institute, Michael Hurd, For The New Intellectuals, Michael Yon, Dale Charteris]



  1. Tu Quoque - a few weeks ago, you chided a commenter for using tu quoque; and it is in your comments instructions. Didn't know what it meant so looked it up. Translates as - you also; you too; you're another; so are you!; look who's talking. A form of ad hominem attack. A retort made by a person accused of a crime, implying the accuser is also guilty of the same crime. To charge another with hypocrisy or inconsistency in order to avoid taking the other person's position seriously.
    I can't quite understand the Weiner quote about "did Hilary do it first?"
    I can understand the charge when apologists or defenders of Islam use the "but what about the atrocities by Christians in the Middle Ages"; or "what about the goriness in the Bible?"

  2. The 4 links about Islam - starting with Stephen Hicks, suggest you might be wavering on your belief in open borders for allowing poorly assimilating Muslims into NZ.
    I found this a useful link that persuaded me to withdraw goodwill to muslims. Even though it goes against the grain to use collectivist thinking and not have a live and let live attitude. (And I've followed your arguments)
    Citizen Warrior
    "Our goal is to oppose Islamization by exposing, marginalizing, and disempowering orthodox Islam."
    "Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islam"


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