Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hubris

The real world will change not a wit with the fall from grace for man once described in Parliament as "the son Helen Clark never had."

It's often said that a great political career can be ended in an instant by the appearance in their bed of either a live boy or a dead girl.

There is nothing great about Darren Hughes, but that truism will haunt whatever political career he has left--whatever the outcome of the police inquiry into his actions one late night and early morning last year.

Richard Worthless could tough it out until his sordid behaviour with a live girl was finally sufficient to dismay his boss.  But this morning's front page dissemination of Hughes's evening and early morning with the 18-year-old young man will be enough to hang him politically--however accurate or inaccurate the account.

For my own part, as long as he hasn't broken the law I don't care what Hughes or any other politician gets up to in the privacy of their own lives. Couldn't be less interested. That's their business--or should be.

What I really object to is what they get up to in the glaring publicity of their day job: Which is exercising their power lust over every part of our lives.  Which is our business--or should be.

Frankly, I don't really care what happens to Hughes. He had never had a real job, and beyond developing a certain glib talent at lying for a living (which, besides the ability to fake sincerity--which he was beginning to develop--is the only skill a politician really needs) had never shown any sign of developing any other skill that might fit him for any real career.

But his own future bothers me not. He's a politician, and whatever happens to him now the place he presently occupies will always contain just another politician.

So resign or not--if he's sacked or if he isn't--with any of those eventualities the real world will change not a wit.

And I for one will not care.

New 'Perigo' programme, tonight!

The man once called NZ's best interviewer, Lindsay Perigo, is back on
your screens tonight with a brand-new TV interview show.

And instead of the usual grey interviewees that populate every other
interview programme, Perigo will instead be interviewing tall poppies.
Achievers. People with a passion. People with something to say and the
time in which to say it.

Tonight he interviews special guest Dr. Ron Smith from Waikato
University--who ponders his own philosophical education, and gives his
thoughts about post-tsunami Japan and its damaged nuclear reactors, and
the situation in Libya with that "Mad Dog of the Middle East," Qaddafi.

Join them at 7.30 on Stratos TV, Sky 89.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quote of the Day

"It is ultimately ideas that determine which way the soldiers point their guns."
            - Ludwig Von Mises, pointing out that even
              dictators rely on the consent of the governed

Call to Christchurch Protest

Another call to action tomorrow from disgruntled Christchurch CBD business owners--you know, the folk who used to put the 'B' into the CBD.  Those good folk who know that for Christchurch to recover then Christchurch BUSINESS must recover.  Instead, they're still being locked out by people they wouldn't hire to suck eggs, by whom they're getting increasingly sick of being patronised.
Dear fellow ChCh CBD business owners,

It is now 4 weeks since the tragic earthquake of 22 February, and for most of us, we are no closer to knowing the fate of our businesses/buildings and when we will be allowed back into them to retrieve critical records, secure the premises as well as allowing Independent Engineers Assessments.

We must continue to demand our legitimate rights of ownership.

The business of Christchurch was business. Not anymore. The business of Christchurch, if you listen to the "authorities" is killing the very business that need to recover if Christchurch ever will. 

Those of us who have attempted dialogue with the council, civil defence or central government are simply fobbed off or given contradictory advice.  The meeting that none of us was invited to yesterday was intended only to fob off, not to inform.

When the person supposedly in charge, John Hamilton cannot answer basic questions like "which buildings have been deconstructed"? or "who authorised their deconstruction"?, then we all need to be not just worried, but in fact fearful as to what will be left of the CBD by the time we are allowed back in. The lack of leadership and control of the recovery effort is truly frightening.

"Business owners may have to wait over a year before they could return to the central city" - sounds like guarantee looting, demolishing and pillaging by the wreckers to me. The damage has been done--and is being exacerbated by the "authorities."

Recovery is sadly the wrong word for what is going on, and in fact the opposite is occurring. Unnecessary demolitions and access delays is killing any chance of a recovery by the businesses expected to lead the recovery. What wasn't destroyed in the CBD by the earthquake, is now being destroyed by a shambolic civil defence and demolition crew anarchy.

What are we going to do about it? Are we going to leave it to Gerry, John and Bob to sort it out, hiding behind the cordons and "authority" created by a state of emergency.

Some of us don't believe they are capable or willing to sort it out within a time frame which allows our businesses to survive. Therefore, for the sake of our survival, we need to show them we want access to our businesses now,  not next week, not next month or not next year.

Come along again to the Christchurch Art Gallery, 2pm this Thursday 24th of March, and let's present a united voice against the dictatorship under which the central city is currently operating.  

Bring your Placards or just bring your self. 


P.S.: FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, EMPLOYEES, LESSEES, RESIDENTS & FRIENDS OF THE C.B.D.

Regards,
Christchurch Business Recovery Group.
chchrecoverygroup@gmail.com

"Earth Hour" nonsense

I love reading sharp, pithy correspondence. There's an art to it at which the likes of Don Boudreaux excel. So I really enjoyed this short response by NOT PC reader FreeMack to the contents of the latest newsletter sent to him by the Waikato Chamber of Commerce.

Hi Wayne
 
I read your latest newsletter from the Waikato Chamber of Commerce with some concern.
I find it very odd that a business organisation would be promoting such a silly, anti-business idea as Earth Hour.
 
There is much commentary available as to why it is a foolish idea.
 
Here is just one example.

http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/earthhour.pdf
 
If you look at a satellite image of the earth at night, you will notice that North Korea celebrates earth hour, every hour, every night.  Is that what you what you would have us aspire to?
 
I suggest that if you do indeed represent commerce, than you should reconsider your support for Earth Hour.
 
Xxx XxXxxxxx

Plunder

bastiat-quote-picture

I pasted this picture into last night’s PowerPoint display, but the pictures didn’t work. Sadly.  But since it’s too good to waste, here it is.

Source Legal Plunder

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OPEN LETTER: Serious concerns of many of the people of Christchurch City

Further to my post this morning about the travails of Christchurch business owners in getting their hands on the property in their businesses, protest leader Kurt Langer has sent this email/open letter out. [HINT: Why not copy and paste it into an email, and send it around to every one you know!]

Please forward this email/letter on to all that you know who can help us make this happen!

The people of Christchurch who own businesses and buildings within the Central area of Christchurch have the following concerns.
1. We have lost faith in the competence and willingness of the Civil Defence and the Earthquake Authorities to be effective caretakers of our property.

  • Civil Defence is not adequately protecting property in the central city from looters.
  • Civil Defence is demolishing buildings and businesses without consultation and against the declared interests of their owners.
  • Civil Defence is destroying property without any due diligence or care about the value of what they are destroying.
  • Civil Defence does not even care to consult with owners of property in any meaningful capacity.
  • By any meaningful standard, the actions of Civil Defence are far more destructive to Christchurch businesses and business owners than the petty pilfering of looters.

2. We have lost faith in the ability of Civil Defence and the Earthquake Authorities to bring about meaningful recovery in the Christchurch central district.

  • If recovery has any meaning at all, it is the recovery of Christchurch businesses.
  • The "recovery" to date has been micro-managed, alienating the very individuals whose recovery is essential to restart business in Christchurch.
  • There has been no interest in working with the very people of Christchurch whose business it is to run business, rather keeping the attempted recovery within the hands of too few individuals.
  • Four weeks after the quake, and very little has been achieved beyond the original rescue effort. No surprise when the people who run Christchurch's businesses are excluded rather than embraced.

3. We call upon the New Zealand Government to:

  • End the State of Emergency on Friday. With rescue and immediate recovery complete, responsibility, risk and stewardship for property should revert to its owners.
  • Immediately reinstate personal property rights, guaranteeing property owners the final say in the determination of their property.

We say: “Tear down this State of Emergency and let Christchurch businesses begin the job of getting back on their feet.

Kurt

--------------------------------

Photographer
Kurt Langer
Now no longer and maybe never accessible:
91 Cashel Mall
Christchurch 8011
New Zealand
M: +64 (0)21 407 506
mail@kurtlanger.com
http://www.kurtlanger.com

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President Zero's "Pretend War"

The “leader of the free world”—that’s what the office of the U.S. President was once popularly called. Remember Ronald Reagan standing up at the Brandenburg Gate, talking directly to the thugs over the wall. Remember the words on behalf of the free world: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

The title “leader of the free world” once had some meaning.

The bombing of Libya shows what that title is now worth.  The foreign policy of the present incumbent is best described by the posture of of one of Britain’s most forgettable (and forgotten) Prime Ministers:

_Quote_Idiot I must follow them.
I am their leader.

That’s the best comparison I can make of a foreign policy committed to following, in the words of President Obama, “the entire international community, almost unanimously”:

_Quote_Idiot"The core principle that has to be upheld here is that when the entire international community, almost unanimously, says that there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place...we have to take some sort of action." [Hat tip Objective Standard]

“Some sort of action.” “Core principle.”  One could be forgiven for thinking that President Zero’s only “core principle” here is that when dragged kicking and screaming by the domestic press to confront an issue he resolves to take action. Some sort of action. Any action. Paraphrasing Sir Humphrey Appleby:

_Quote_IdiotSome action must be taken.
This is some action, therefore we must take it.

4672387313_27df60d129_340861636 “This” being in this case the no-fly zone over Libya, which Zero was stampeded into agreeing to with UK PM Cameron and French President Sarkozy.

The no-fly zone itself being a “bob each way” kind of action that sees action being taken against dictator Qaddafi without actually taking any action against dictator Qaddafi. Talk about the politics of Alice in Wonderland. Says Michael Hurd about President Zero's "Pretend War":

_Quote The British Ministry of Defense, the French government and the American White House all insist: The target of the military attack on Libya is not Qaddafi; it's only military buildings.
    So let me get this straight. We're attacking Libya because the dictator Qaddafi is oppressing his people -- yet we're not attempting to kill Qaddafi.
    I guess this is how liberals fight wars. Just as you cannot call a terrorist a terrorist, you cannot call a war -- a war. This is noteworthy, but should not be a surprise. These are the same people who insist that socialized medicine lowers the cost and increases the quality of health care. These are the same people who believe that increased taxes on wealth producers generates economic growth.
    My question is: Why are we attacking Libya, if not to punish Qaddafi? …
    Obama, although he also opposes Qaddafi, goes after Qaddafi but expects us to believe ... he's not going after Qaddafi
.

This is Obama’s “little war.” A pretend war. A war that’s neither one thing nor another. A war whose goal is the opposite of the little war’s stated intention. The result, other words, of the foreign policy of a Zero.

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“Quake didn’t destroy us, council is”

SCCZEN_A_170311NZHSRIPROTEST03_460x230 If the phrase “the recovery of Christchurch” is ever to mean anything, it will mean the recovery of Christchurch businessmen.

The businessmen and women of Christchurch themselves know it, even if the city’s Dictators Pro Tem have yet to begin learning it.

No wonder Christchurch businessmen are becoming increasingly restive at being locked out of their city and locked out of even of their own premises, while royals and V.I.P.s are given guided tours through their rubble.

Last week they began marching. And yesterday they stormed the armed cordon around their ruined businesses, to which they are denied access even to salvage the money from their tills—even as the demolition of their property continues without even the courtesy of consultation. [Watch the Video of yesterday’s protest here and read a report here.]

_Quote"We're hearing terrible stories of theft and looting and we don't understand why the crooks can get in and the business people can't," she said.
    "We really want to stop the demolition companies from demolishing buildings without anyone's consent...That's why there are many frustrated people." …
   "We are all going bankrupt,” said [businessman Kurt Langer, whose ruined photography studio lies inside the cordon with equipment and the work of a lifetime lying intact inside.] “We are about to lose everything and they will not tell us anything. It's a complete police state," he told reporters.

The Dictators Pro Tem have yet to even talk to these business owners, over whose livelihoods they continue to ride roughshod, and who have been reduced to running dangerous night-time raids on their own buildings simply to salvage computer equipment and records before the criminals do.

A temporary “cease fire” on demolishing buildings without consultation with owners was announced last Friday, in response to last week’s march, but there has still been no consultation at all with building and business owners---and no owners allowed inside the armed cordon unless they have political connections.

Let’s hope the protests continue until the dictators allow them to begin recovering their livelihoods.  As Stephen Franks said yesterday,

_Quote All of us who want to live on our feet and not our knees owe thanks to the business people who [yesterday] stormed the cordon to regain the right to their own properties.
    The humiliation piled on them since the earthquake by the lords of emergency, "in their own interests, of course" is humiliation we should all have felt. Lets now hope tomorrow's revolt is bigger, and the next day until the oppressors are shamed and slink away.

Until then, armed vehicles continue to man the cordons to ensure no-one commits the crime of wandering down Park Terrace—even while the looting of business owners’ property continues inside.

Chch_LavAtBealeyAndParkTce3 Chch_LavAtBealeyAndParkTce2

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Monday, March 21, 2011

ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE: The General Gain from the Existence of Others

The Auckland University Economics Group exists for real people to discuss real-life economics. Here’s what our friends at the Group have for you this week.

Hi all,
    Further below is a summary of what we discussed at our most recent meeting. But first:
    This coming Tuesday at 6pm in Case Room 4 of the Business School, we will continue looking at Economic Harmonies. Specifically, we shall examine some leading implications of the Division of Labour—and as you will see, this will be done is an interesting and unique way.

ECONOMIC HARMONIES, II: The General Gain from the Existence of Others

  • Why, in a division-of-labour society, prosperity is open to everyone
  • What Thomas Edison gained from his cleaning lady (and what she gained from him)
  • Why Lady Gaga should spend more time caterwauling and John Grisham more time writing books
  • Why Malthus was wrong, i.e., why greater population is a blessing not a curse
  • How it is that in a division-of-labour society each of us gains from the existence of each other

data=XCVihWRtq4WsaAaVG7VezksrTNzDcIEE_YWd04ht9zkDZSpIOEWoVOQcm6ijrNG-RJHfajJgcjB4DR3sumbBl1J9R-Uy_B7Qm4inb8s Where: Business School “Case Room 4,”
                  Level 0, Owen G. Glenn Building,
                  12 Grafton Rd,
                  Auckland University [Map here]
When:   Tuesday 22 March, 6:00pm

Summary of last week’s discussion: This last Tuesday we began looking at “Economic Harmonies,” which really begin with the economic concept known as The Division of Labour.
    We saw in the seminar that there is more to this idea than we are generally taught.
    Prof. George Reisman points out four fundamental points that underpin the benefits received in a Division of Labour economy:

  • The Multiplication of Knowledge;
  • The Benefits of Genius;
  • Economies of Motion and Learning; and
  • The Use of Machinery,

So important is Division of Labour to the field of economics that Reisman defines economics as “… the science that studies the production of wealth under a system of division of labour”.
    Every topic that we will discuss this year will therefore have, woven throughout, the Division of Labour.

Remember to visit - and join - us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with our programme for the year: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_191580464208836

UoA Econ Group  22 March

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: On liberating slave pens

_Quote Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and, today [1963], has the right to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave-pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the non-existent "rights" of gang-rulers. It is not a free nation's duty to liberate other nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has the right to do it, when and if it so chooses…
                                                                                       - Ayn Rand, on Dictatorship

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