Smart Links 16 April 2012

Commentary on the Titanic’s voyage to the bottom of the sea, the Falkland Islands, disrupted Sony, Greenspan’s muse, the Bo scandal, legalisation by degrees, and the Charter’s good.

Amazing graphic of the Titanic’s sinking to the bottom of the ocean.


National Post -- Follow the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean
How did the Titanic sink?

A reminder of why we don’t fight any more for territory. Thanks to Stephanie of Victoria.

Spectator -- The Falklands and all that
International human rights campaigner and occasional actor Sean Penn, whose well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize continues to be delayed for mysterious reasons, was the first famous foreigner to lend his support to the cause.


Telegraph -- Argentina poised to seize Repsol assets, endangering shale dream
Argentina was poised on Thursday night to launch the forced takeover of assets from the Spanish energy group Repsol, risking a diplomatic showdown with Spain and scaring investors needed to unlock the country's vast shale gas reserves.

How Sony lost its way. Thanks to Jeremy of Tokyo.

New York Times -- How the Tech Parade Passed Sony By
THE lights dimmed. The crowd hushed. The teleprompters flickered.

Quote worth quoting as the same applies to countries.

“Sony’s gravest mistake was that it failed to ride some of the biggest waves of technological innovation in recent decades: digitalization, a shift toward software and the importance of the Internet.”

Mike Wallace interviews in 1959 author Ayn Rand who helped shaped the thinking of Alan Greenspan and American free market practitioners. (ed’s note – near the end of interview the echoes of totalitarianism can be heard loud and clear).

youtube -- Mike Wallace Interviews Ayn Rand (1959)
In this engaging 1959 interview, her first on television, Ayn Rand capsulizes her philosophy for CBS's Mike Wallace.

The dead Brit and Chinese politics. Thanks to Ken of Tokyo/Hong Kong.

New Zealand Herald -- Briton in China murder riddle
A British businessman found dead in a Chinese hotel was murdered on the orders of a fallen Communist Party chief, according to new reports.

The profits and politics of marijuana.

New York Times – Smokeless in Seattle
It was January of 1998 when a friend and I drove to a basement in South Seattle to set up a pot garden.

Stretching the words of liberty.

Toronto Star -- At 30, the Charter of Rights has reshaped our society, for the better
Think of it as a shield against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.