The very best of this week's 'Not PC'

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2005-12-08 10:03

Here's just some of the scintilating, sparkling and occasionally excoriating writing you've missed at 'Not PC' this week by not tuning in as regularly as you should. Don't let it happen again!

Freezing their globes off in Montreal - when warming meets cooling
If you've been wondering why the UN's Montreal mega-conference on Global Warming has received little coverage -- "what f'ing conference?" I hear you cry -- Rex Murphy has the answer. "Probably because of the cold weather," he says half seriously...

Thu, Dec 8, 2005

A public health guide for blokes:
Christmas parties, Christmas gifts, Christmas holidays -- all have their attendant dangers for the average bloke. For instance, you can lose a girl's interest in just ten seconds at that Christmas party if you say the wrong thing. Fortunately, Lauren Weiss tells you what not to say. If you're successful at this hurdle and you're still seeing her over Christmas...
Thu, Dec 8, 2005

Questions, rhetorical & otherwise, about Reserve Bank meddling
In just under an hour, Alan Bollard will announce the Reserve Bank's new Official Cash Rate. Am I the only one who wonders why the announcement of a bureaucrat should be listened to with so much interest? Why should he have so much power? And why...
Thu, Dec 8

Wananga, waste, and voucher failure
The report on Rongo Wetere's Te Wananga o Aotearoa is rife with stories of profligacy and nepotism, of first class air travel, million dollar contracts to family members, and tales of money wasted on failed IT projects. 'Shocking,' declare all the usual suspects. 'Outrageous.' ACT leader Rodney Hide told NZPA that Mr Shirley had been vindicated. 'The wananga was out of control...
Wed, Dec 7

Showing what God made
Some attractive young German church-goers have put together a calendar showing rather more of God's creation than young church-goers are normally known to show...
Wed, Dec 7

Scalping U2
Leaving aside that, in my view, people who like U2 deserve to be taken for a financial ride just as far as their musical taste has been, we have here a promoter - who you would think would have at least a modicum of financial sense - bleating about people re-selling their tickets, poor lamb, and whinging that the asking price for some is 'beyond their fair value.' The poor lamb is economically illiterate, and he doesn't understand a good thing when he sees it...
Tue, Dec 6

Depoliticise Creationism!
All the political arguments about Intelligent Design, and about how much teachers are paid and what their hours should be -- on all these issues Tibor Machan makes short and perfect sense...
Tue, Dec 6

Having a whack
A textbook anti-Rand smear job has appeared at 'New West' that's worth a read just for the many sober responses. Here's a sample...
Tue, Dec 6

Unions v children
Kindergarten teacher strikes in NZ raise again the question of what teacher unions actually bring to the table...
Mon, Dec 5

Game Theory - "it's a bust"
Martin Kihn, the author of House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time, has been investigating Game Theory, and guess what...
Sun, Dec 4

Tracking down the nutbars
Do yourself a favour and discover David Horowitz's current project: to help you 'track down all the Ward Churchills on campus' and all the networks of all the US nutbar activists that are fit to print. Horowitz, described as “the left’s most brilliant and articulate nemesis...
Sat, Dec 3

Murder by state okay?
[Cartoon by Nick Kim, courtesy of 'The Free Radical.'] The execution yesterday of twenty-five year-old Australian drug smuggler Van Nguyen by the Singaporean state has re-opened the debate on capital punishment...
Sat, Dec 3

Free Radical #69. " Best yet."

I've been devouring my new copy of the 'Free Radical' since it arrived in my letterbox, and I have just two words to describe it. Wow. Twice...
Sat, Dec 3

SOLO Passion!'
Lindsay Perigo has a new project -- well, you might say a re-existing project. SOLOHQ has morphed into SOLO Passion...
Fri, Dec 2

A fairy tale of a leaky house or two
NZ HERALD: A multimillion-dollar claim against the former Building Industry Authority (BIA) over an Auckland apartment complex with leaky building syndrome [picture right] has been struck out by the Court of Appeal...
Fri, Dec 2

Architect v Bureaucrats
A Seattle architect recounts his battles with his local bureaucrats when trying to deposit permit applications...
Fri, Dec 2

( categories: )

Thank you, sir

Peter Cresswell's picture

[bows] Smiling

"More than ever, the challenge facing any group effort such as SOLO is how to provide individual participants with the sense of satisfaction & recognition from being part of that effort that an individual blog makes possible."

I suspect that if I were in the States, there would be less of a need for me to run an individual blog as I do here in NZ, where it's much easier to sway the debate. In NZ, where there is a much smaller supply of quality intellectual commentary (shall I say 'almost non-existent'?), it's passably easy to be a biggish fish who can point mavens in all sorts of philosophical and web-based directions (such as SOLO, Objectivism, the Free Radical etc.), and then find the effort reflected back quite quickly through the main-stream media (or MSM as we bloggers call it) -- not always with my name attached, but that's not important; what important is getting out the ideas into the culture that will save the world.

For example, my recent piece on school vouchers and their link with a local political scandal was picked up this week by one of the country's top-rating radio hosts, Leighton Smith, who posted it on his own website to which he directs listeners. Readers diving in to learn about the scandal would have found cogent analysis of a type they wouldn't have met before -- analysis that is always from an Objectivist base, and which has as its sole purpose convincing people of the arguments for reason and freedom; in this case strong arguments for the separation of school and state, and the reasons for that much-needed boon. (You can read the piece yourself from the link above).

I like to think of my blog as an entertaining and effective form of local activism, and it turns out it has been, just as SOLO and The Free Radical are and have been. I see no reason to dichotomise entertainment and activism, at least not if you're doing it right. Smiling

As Frank Lloyd Wright used to say about his houses, each blog post I do is like a missionary being sent out to change the social order -- even if readers themselves aren't immediately aware of that. Over time they become so. Smiling

But like I said at the start of this reply, I think my situation here in NZ is unique, and I se no reason why other SOLOists shouldn't maintain a blog but still have SOLO as their primary focus: indeed, having SOLO as their primary writing focus should be good for both their profile and SOLO's -- and good for Objectivist activism overall. Regular blogging disciplines oneself as a writer, and of course produces much more product that if good enough may be used at SOLO -- as much of my recent SOLO articles have been.

I believe young Julian -- himself a fellow blogger -- has a cunning plan along those lines to help SOLO bloggers along...

Ecological ship travel

Jeff Perren's picture

Actually, as I discovered researching my latest novel, the global warming lunatics are up in arms about ship travel also. Their beef is based on concerns over quantity of CO and CO2 emitted, spills, etc. Maybe I'll share some details someday.

The moral is: there is no limit to their lunacy, lack of concern for fact and balancing risk, nor degree to which they wish to limit human activity.


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Your blog is exceptional, PC! I confess I'm one of those who gets frustrated with the dispersing of resources that blogging engenders, but I can't begrudge it in your case. A mighty effort by a lone individual.

More than ever, the challenge facing any group effort such as SOLO is how to provide individual participants with the sense of satisfaction & recognition from being part of that effort that an individual blog makes possible. Individualists all doing their own thing is fine & dandy, but individualists voluntarily pulling together to effect change is necessary too, if we're serious about effecting such change. Something for us all to mull.


Jet Fuel is Meant Only for Social Activists

milesian's picture

re: Montreal -- "Is there really a need to fly ten thousand people from 189 countries to a cold city to exchange ideas? Is there no e-mail? Are the phone lines down? Does no one own a Blackberry?"

Two years ago, October 2003, I attended a "Bioneers" conference in Traverse City, Michigan. They used teleconferencing to tie that venue with Berkeley and some other places. That was fine. Then, from Brazil, a Bioneer organizer told us all of a a very important meeting in 2004 in India and urged us all to attend. I thought that was somewhat inappropriate. Obviously, I had the wrong perspective.

Well, a couple of months later, the local greenies held a meeting about fair trade coffee. Two people had just returned from Yucatan and had a report for the group. That, too, was fine with me. Althought I confess that with coffee at $6 to $9 per pound retail, I was surprised that the best deal these altruists could offer their third world comrades was $1.25 per pound. I know now it has to come in huge ships, but it just seemed to me that if I could truck it to a city, I could UPS or Fedex it direct to the ultimate consumer. Again, I was out of touch, apparently.

Well, anyway, at that meeting, one of the locals whom I had met through the Community Currency Project said that she was going down to Yucatan for her onsite inspection and then would be in Colorado skiing. And I thought about that... I mean, the hills are smaller in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but they are old rock and the area is stunning, and cross-county skiing is something people do all over Michigan -- except in Detroit, you know, because of the streets -- but apparently, it was necessary for her to burn jet fuel to go skiing in Colorado.

All of which leads me to wonder if the globally warmed activists in Montreal got there by the only ecologically appropriate mode of intercontinental travel, sailing ship.

"I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings."

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