Peter Cresswell's blog

THE ENVIRONMENT: What would 'Party X' do?

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-09-11 21:02

- Rolling back the state with environmental judo (Intro)

Starting this morning, I'm serialising my 'Free Radical' article on 'Environmental Judo' - seven environmental policies that a genuine opposition party could adopt if they were serious about rolling back the state. This morning, the introduction:

Recent Comments:
We — by Elijah Lineberry on Tue, 2007-09-11 21:41

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Free Radical 77: The Infidels Edition - CONTENTS

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-09-05 06:53

Recent Comments:
Let's hope — by mvardoulis on Thu, 2008-04-10 17:30
The Dutch lawmaker and — by nicoduka on Thu, 2008-04-03 23:04
FUCKING BRILLIANT YET AGAIN, PETER!!! — by mvardoulis on Sat, 2007-09-22 21:42

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Free Radical 77: The Infidels Edition

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2007-09-02 00:48

Recent Comments:
Gorgeous, PC! — by Jameson on Sun, 2007-09-02 13:03
excellent Peter, thanks for — by Jon Coster on Sun, 2007-09-02 01:21

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"Favourite Building" reminds architect of 'Atlas Shrugged'

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2007-08-18 03:52

Flicking through my copy of the latest NZ Home and Entertaining magazine (past all those Homes of the Year posted here earlier) I was rewarded with a pleasant surprise at the inside back page

Recent Comments:
HA!! — by Jameson on Mon, 2007-08-20 02:51

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Conrad Black goes down

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2007-07-15 08:07

Conrad Black, the former proprietor of the Daily Telegraph and the head of a media empire whose pension funds and shareholders' money he used like a personal cash machine has been convicted in an American court for fraud and the obstruction of justice: in other words, for being the neoconservative equivalent of Robert Maxwell.

Recent Comments:
Gosh! — by Elijah Lineberry on Tue, 2007-12-11 02:21
I — by Elijah Lineberry on Fri, 2007-09-07 20:34
"The best thing about Conrad — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-07-17 05:30

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Letting nature win (dis)gracefully

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-07-12 05:11

NZ HERALD, 12 July: "New Zealand settlements being repeatedly hit by adverse weather conditions may have to consider moving, Prime Minister [Helen Clark] has said... She said the problem was that many settlements had been established on the basis of old weather patterns, which had changed in the erratic world climate."

Recent Comments:
Well spotted Mr Sturm. — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-07-12 11:10
Any excuse for a Wagner reference — by Tim S on Thu, 2007-07-12 09:45

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Shelter from the storm

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-07-11 04:26

We had a wild and wonderful storm here in New Zealand yesterday. Dramatic as it was, and as violent as it was, the amount of destruction was relatively limited, allowing us to enjoy it rather than fear it.

It offered another reminder that (unlike other animals) human survival demands more than just adjustment of ourselves to nature -- we sometimes need to protect ourselves from nature. That's what we humans do -- our unique means of survival is to adapt nature to ourselves; to mollify nature's dragons and make them more humane, and therein more enjoyable.

Recent Comments:
"Hippie of the Right" — by mvardoulis on Thu, 2007-07-12 20:58
Thanks — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-07-12 05:51
Lovely post Peter. — by Olivia on Thu, 2007-07-12 01:35

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FREE RADICAL 76: A Challenge for Young Socialists ... and FREE Radicals

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-07-04 04:47

The new Free Radical magazine is out, and this issue has lessons for most, good reading for all... and a special free offer that should have everyone happy.

When the Berlin Wall fell it was obvious to everyone with eyes to see and a brain to think with that socialism had been tried, and it had failed spectacularly. No one alive at the time could fail to get the lesson: Socialism Sucks.

But it seems lessons that big have to be relearned every generation: the tragedy of Venezuela should be this generation’s object lesson that Socialism Sucks.

Recent Comments:
Well done — by robertforsberg21 on Fri, 2009-01-30 03:18
Back issues — by Liz on Mon, 2007-08-13 04:13
Thank you Mr P and Mr V — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-07-19 00:15

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World's tallest residential tower opens in Melbourne

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-06-27 22:37

Go to the architect's website for some glorious images of the new Eureka Tower, and of Melbourne at night: Fender Katsalidis Architects.

Recent Comments:
Elliot Tower — by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2007-06-30 09:58
Yep, nice — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2007-06-29 09:52
Thanks Peter — by Liz on Fri, 2007-06-29 03:40

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REPRISE: Immigration and the Statue of Bigotry - Busting Immigration Myths

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-06-06 01:23

At the foot of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from nineteenth-century France to nineteenth-century America, Emma Lazarus's poem The New Colossus sums up what the statue symbolised for the immigrants who helped build America:

Recent Comments:
"Then let free people, — by atlascott on Mon, 2007-06-18 22:03
The right to carte blanche? — by Rick Giles on Mon, 2007-06-18 19:31
I figure that because — by Richard Wiig on Mon, 2007-06-18 19:06

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Sometimes even politicians can learn from their mistakes...

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2007-05-28 23:05

I was reading the latest NZ Montessori News when I heard that the NZ Government has finally conceded their most recent educational methodology for dumbing down children is mistaken, and intends to announce this morning that they will be making changes.


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Global Warming: Six Degrees of Sacrifice

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-05-24 01:11

When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles, scream in shout. 'Advice' from Robert Heinlein. Advice that's been taken to heart by warmists, who counsel that in their confusion we should all do likewise.
"Au contraire!" is the eloquent response from Josie Appleton at Spiked, in reviewing a new warmist tome, pictured left.


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Who makes us rich?

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-05-22 22:37

Matt Robson demonstrates that a lifetime in and around politics bestows no wisdom as to where wealth comes from.

"The Left" he argues in a column at Scoop, "is about wealth creation," whereas "The Right" is "primarily interested in protecting their own privileges." How does he argue the case? Because, he insists, "The Left" has pulled down more of the pie than "The Right," those nasty people "fearful of change" who won't let their share of the pie be shared around.

If you identify the figure who's missing in this playground level of analysis, then you'll see just how foolish the reasoning is.

Recent Comments:
Terrific! — by 0 on Tue, 2007-05-22 23:51

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Speaking plainly on profits

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-05-22 22:30

A businesswoman in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged opens a controversial new railway line, one violently opposed by the politically correct. She calls a press conference...

Recent Comments:
Here is — by Elijah Lineberry on Fri, 2007-08-03 10:22
Profits — by Elijah Lineberry on Fri, 2007-08-03 01:06

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It's all about where you start.

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-05-22 22:29

When you're looking at and presenting global surface temperatures, it really is all about where you start .

  • Start at 1998, and you'll see global surface temperatures stable. (Yes, that's right Josephine, "According to official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the UK, the global average temperature did not increase between 1998-2005...")
  • Start at 1860 and you'll see that temperatures have been rising.
  • Start one thousand years ago, and depending on which graph you look at, and how the data has been compiled and used, you'll see a temperature record that has been rising and falling.
  • And now, start back 425,000 years (using results from the Vostok Ice Core, complied by NOAA), and what do you see?
Recent Comments:
Word confusion — by Brendan Hutching on Sun, 2007-05-27 00:09
No burden of proof — by Brendan Hutching on Sun, 2007-05-27 00:02
Correlation? — by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2007-05-26 03:12

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Reading, writing and teaching that works

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-05-22 22:28

As the International Adult Literacy Survey demonstrated all too clearly -- and it's worth reminding ourselves of this fact frequently -- too many New Zealanders emerge from school without two of the basic skills necessary to function in the modern world: they can't read or write.

Recent Comments:
Van Damme Rocks... — by Bill Visconti on Wed, 2007-05-23 00:33

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Welcome aboard Dr McGrath

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Fri, 2007-05-18 01:26

Welcome aboard Dr McGrath, new SOLO member as of yesterday.

You boast in your SOLO bio: "Medical doctor working in a provincial New Zealand town, health spokesman for Libertarianz political party and supporter of fellow doctor Ron Paul for U.S. presidency and of Bernard Darnton for N.Z. prime ministership... Fairly busy with career and family but hope to contest the Wairarapa electorate for Libertarianz in 2008."

Perhaps you should change the words in the last sentence from "but hope" to "and plan"?

Recent Comments:
Et tu, Jameson? — by Kenny on Fri, 2007-05-18 09:37
We're Giuliani supporters! — by Jameson on Fri, 2007-05-18 09:13
Welcome fellow Ron Paul supporter — by Kenny on Fri, 2007-05-18 09:08

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Why morality at all?

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2007-05-14 10:22

It's clearly apparent from almost every comment made on almost every post about morality made on my main blog that too few readers have too little idea of where morality comes from or why it matters, which to me is just bizarre.

Recent Comments:
Jesus, Lindsay... — by Ross Elliot on Tue, 2007-05-15 02:16
No question that morality — by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-05-15 02:00
The next person ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2007-05-15 01:48

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"Who am I to judge?"

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2007-05-12 05:14

A shop girl is sacked for stealing from her employer ... and there's outrage and public support for the thief, and a call taken up by all quarters of the NZ blogosphere to boycott the franchise they see as responsible. This morning the website leading the charge for the thief trumpets to loud applause that "the charges have been dropped, but Subway still need to he held to account for their actions." Sorry, Subway needs to held to account!? What about the goddamn thief?

Recent Comments:
Bureaucracy? Here!? — by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2007-05-13 07:22
All good points. — by atlascott on Sun, 2007-05-13 00:54
Stealing from your boss — by Phil Howison on Sun, 2007-05-13 00:43

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A Necessary Obsession with Justice

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2007-05-12 05:13

I wasn't in New Zealand when the Bain family was killed or when David Bain was convicted, and I know too little of the details of the case to form an opinion myself on that verdict ... but with last night's decision from the Privy Council, it's a strong reminder that if you do want to get justice in New Zealand that you need to be as single-minded as a Joe Karam -- a single-mindedness that goes almost beyond reason and into an obsession -- an obsession that last night was triumphantly vindicated!


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Free Radical 75 hits the streets...

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-05-10 08:43

Now at 75 issues and still going strong, the latest Free Radical magazine has a bold new look, all-new content and it hits the streets running.


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Free Radical 75 hits the streets...

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-05-09 23:34

Now at 75 issues and still going strong, the latest Free Radical magazine has a bold new look, all-new content and it really hits the streets running.

The kick ass cover (and such a gorgeous ass too) fronts an issue where ass is very seriously kicked. You do not want to miss out!

Recent Comments:
Mine arrived yesterday morning — by Kenny on Thu, 2007-05-24 21:48
P-p-p-p-p ... p-p-p ... — by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-05-17 04:40
Ha! — by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2007-05-17 03:58

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Thundering through France at 357mph

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-04-03 22:29

Ben Webster (the Times journalist, not the great saxophonist) reports from a speeding train -- and this was a train that set a new world speed record: a French TGV thundering through eastern France at 574.8kmh! That's about 150m per second! As Webster's report says, "blink and you miss it."

Recent Comments:
It's not so simple, Sandi — by Kenny on Thu, 2007-04-05 20:05
Locamotive Breath — by Sandi on Thu, 2007-04-05 07:03
How thrilling! — by Olivia on Wed, 2007-04-04 03:34

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Reprised for Mario's Birthday (Jan 31, 1921)—Italian Idol

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2007-04-02 22:58

A man sits on the battlements of a prison, deep in thought. In the distance the sound of shepherd boys can be heard, their clear voices filling the starlit sky. Dawn is imminent.

Recent Comments:
More on Alagna (and Villazon) — by Kenny on Wed, 2007-04-04 14:11
Alagna — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2007-04-04 05:00
Alagna — by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-04-04 01:54

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NZ Anti-Nanny March Gains Worldwide Coverage

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Wed, 2007-03-28 08:55

The news of today's anti-Nanny State march in Wellington, New Zealand, has been picked up worldwide, and SOLO luminary Lindsay Perigo (right, on Parliament's steps) is taking a leading role in the story, disseminated by Associated Press.

Recent Comments:
Tim Robbins lookalike — by Kenny on Wed, 2007-04-04 14:06
Well ... — by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2007-04-04 11:49
Sorted — by Sam Pierson on Wed, 2007-04-04 11:39

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Valliant Razes the Brandenian Carthage - Cline

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Sun, 2007-03-25 04:59

Novelist Ed Cline, the creator of the brilliant 'Sparrowhawk' novels, has just finished reading James Valliant's The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics, and like many of us after reading Valliant's painstaking demolition of the Brandens, he is aghast at learning the full extent of their duplicity. Says Cline at his Rule of Reason blog, in a post appropriately titled 'Dissemblers Unmasked':

I have written fifteen novels, every one of them with a villain, but all my fictional villains are amateurs compared to the Brandens. I could never have conceived of such evil for any of my villains, of the kind of monstrous deception to which the Brandens subjected Rand even while they knew she was attempting to comprehend their behavior and problems, and even trying to salvage their lives and careers. They are beyond redemption. Valliant's book is a long overdue work of justice, and anyone who values Objectivism and the truth should thank him for it. Ayn Rand is the bridge between Aristotle and our future. It would be tragic if her importance were diminished without challenge by backyard fence gossip and vile dissimulation.

Recent Comments:
Thank You — by James S. Valliant on Mon, 2007-03-26 21:26
Exceptional! — by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2007-03-25 07:03

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"But is it art?"

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2007-03-08 06:19

The famous Mackintosh 'ladder' chair by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, left, and there's one in the location for which they were designed, at Hill House, Glasgow, right. (1903)

Recent Comments:
Could have been NZ dollars — by Jameson on Mon, 2007-03-12 23:13
Yes but — by Kenny on Mon, 2007-03-12 23:02
Och Aye, they'rrre Gorrrgeous! — by Jameson on Sat, 2007-03-10 03:01

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Stem cell research blocked in New Zealand

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2007-02-27 20:33

When "not enough is known" about a subject, you might be forgiven for thinking that would be an invitation to know more, and an incentive for further research. Not so in a recent NZ decision, where an important clinical trial has been cancelled because "not enough is known" about the subject being researched.

Recent Comments:
Who needs STEM CELLS when you have PIG CELLS ????? — by 0 on Tue, 2008-10-21 21:59
Stem Cell Sauce — by 0 on Thu, 2008-06-26 04:10
Yes I see you're correct Kasper — by gregster on Sun, 2008-06-15 02:42

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101 Places in New Zealand You Must Visit Before You Die

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2007-02-12 10:01

The AA have released the results of their '101 Best Places to Visit in New Zealand' survey, all of which are listed below and raved about on their website; and like DPF, I've emboldened my own conquests -- which just to clarify means visiting Mt Cook, not climbing it.

Recent Comments:
Hanmer Springs at Number 8, — by 0 on Fri, 2008-05-23 08:35
More... — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2007-02-12 23:33

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Vienna's Ringstrasse

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Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2007-02-12 09:25


Some two-hundred years after the Ottomans abandoned their unsuccessful Siege of Vienna (and incidentally leaving behind a sackful of coffee, which started the west's fortunate love affair with caffeine) Western Europe's eastern outpost against the Moslem hordes tore down its protecting wall, and developed an integrating 'ring road' called the Ringstraße. This was not intended to be a 'working' thoroughfare, it was intended primarily for show -- and what a show.


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