'To Fly' by David Knowles. Liberating!
. . . promoting capitalist acts between consenting adults.
Just finished a phone interview with
I’ll post shortly the actual outcome of the Poll deciding whether or not I stand in Epsom. The race was the first to get to 250: with 526 votes cast and a serious last-minute flurry of votes, 253 voted Yes, 254 voted No, and 19 still don’t have a clue where Epsom is.
That’s about as close as an Arabian afternoon, so I just need to confirm my recollection of which got to 250 first, and see if a screen shot of the result at that time is possible. In the meantime, here’s the screenshot when the poll was shut down. Talk to you soon.
[UPDATE: I can confirm that the first to 250 was the 'No! Dont Stand!' vote, but there were only three votes in it at 8:30pm last night when the target was reached. Very close.
So that's it. I'm going to spend my time out around the country helping the campaigns of other Libz candidates, and right here at this computer keeping this blog fresh -- which suits my own inclinations to a tee, particularly as I don't think Epsom is going to be the battleground some think it might be.
As Graeme Hunt suggested on Breakfast TV this morning, ACT are a dead party walking with "no chance of winning a constituency seat." Epsom is not going to save ACT.]
Every schoolchild knows by now that Iraq had “no WMD,” and that we could easily have avoided war if only we had “let the inspectors do their work,” because “the inspections were working.”
Unfortunately, every schoolchild is dead wrong on both counts. One of my long-term projects on this blog is to drag those of you willing to face the evidence kicking and screaming through every last bit of it to explain why. It’s going to be an excruciatingly tedious task, but when the stakes are as high as they are, I find tedium preferable to falsehood. My hope is that some of you do, too. Read on here.
Back in the twenties when the villas and bungalows that many Aucklanders love so much were being flung up across
soon came to call it.
As the schemes for worker housing became increasingly uninhabitable, the plans for radiant cities drawn up by planners quietly began to be shelved, but the town planners themselves were harder to get rid of, and they began to look around for other pastures to pollute.
Jane Jacobs pointed out in ‘The Death and Life of American Cities’ that some of the places so hated by Corbu and the planning fraternity actually worked very well. The ‘mixed use’ of streets of terraced housing and brownstones in places like Manhattan she pointed out are very good places to live, with private houses often cheek by jowl with shops, cafes, and the like all an easy walk away. People choose to live in such places because they like them.
So too with the explosion of the suburbs – people everywhere including NZ like living in their own house in the suburbs. But planners hate suburbs. Too bourgeois! And they never really understood Jane Jacobs. They drew up plans that zoned the hell out of everything, ensuring that ‘mixed-use’ became a dirty word, and restricted the density of suburban subdivisions, thus ensuring more of the sprawl they are so against.
Planners hated suburbs all the more for the sprawl they themselves created. American suburbs are “a chaotic and depressing agglomeration of building covering enormous stretches of land,’ said, not a planner, but a book titled ‘The New Communist City’ produced by Moscow State University, whose graduates has designed Halle-Neustadt. Western planners agreed with those graduates, and bought into their “search for a future kind of residential building leading logically to high-density, mixed-use housing.”
Thus was born a new movement called ‘Smart Growth’ that eager young planners have subscribed to in droves.
With the zeal of those for which there is only ‘one true way,’ smart-growth advocates gloss over Jacobs’s’ key point that choice is the key to what makes some places work and other places just suck, and they declared that everyone must live in the one true way prescribed by the planning profession. In
‘Plan Change 6’ from the Auckland Regional Council sounds like it could have been written by that same team of Moscow State University graduates who built Halle-Neustadt, and it reads the same way. The document has been written with one eye on the
Under ‘Plan Change 6’ no growth or activities will be allowed outside the Metropolitan Urban Limits, or outside existing town centres without the express permission of ARC planners. None. Countryside living according to this document is “unsustainable” and “undermines public transport.” How they must hate people making choices for themselves! This provision is in essence a plan to end countryside living and to make rural
Meanwhile, inside the Metropolitan Urban Limits plans are taking shape to force developers to build the slums of tomorrow. All development must take cognisance of the ARC’s plans for the public transport that doesn’t really exist and that few care to use. Minimum densities and minimum heights are prescribed for developments near transport ‘hubs.’ ‘Sprawl’ and private cars are the enemy, and gross intensification is the answer prescribed by the ARC planners.
If you felt yourself wanting to Sieg Heil as you read all this then go right ahead – you’re on the right track with where it’s all heading.
Under ‘Plan Change 6’ from the ARC, as the old joke goes, whatever is not illegal has become compulsory. Countryside living is to become banned; new suburbs discouraged; high density intensification the wave of the future. And the very villas and bungalows that are loved so much and were thrown up back before planning was born are now to be protected in heritage zones, even as council plans strive to ensure that such swathes of ‘unsustainable’ suburbia are never built again.
And the choice of people to live where they want in the manner of their own choosing will once again be taken from them by the zealots of central planning.
O brave new world! O worker housing! "Oh," as many Aucklanders might now be thinking, "My God!"
Labels: Ban Bans
If you employ your spouse or civil union partner in your business (unless your business is a company) you will need approval from us to pay them wages.Happy with that?
2. midgets fighting lion/midgets and lion
3. “kyoto sceptic” (1st on Google)
4. live aid geldof war ethiopia “wheat militias” (1st, Yahoo)
5. vietnam tax department (3rd)
6. classic sex/classical sex (8th)
7. sex pc (4th)
8. “what happened to the fucking money” geldof (3rd & 4th, Yahoo)
9. lion midgets (2nd)
10. geldof wolf wheat militias (1st, Yahoo)
11. schapelle corby sentence compared to other sentences (1st, Yahoo)
For all but one, I've helpfully added links to where I think the searcher intends to go. Except for one -- for 'sex pc' I've added my phone number. ;^)
Envy is the leitmotif of much of what passes for public discourse in New Zealand, as evident on talk-back shows and in Letters to the Editor; in the clamour for knocking down tall poppies and looking for feet of clay in the greatest of heroes; in the glee with which people greet the downfall of achievers in any field of endeavour; and in the permanent sneers on the very faces of the standard bearers for the envious.
Envy is resentment of the achievements, strengths and virtues of others, dressed up in the bromides of moral indignation: “Who does he think he is?!” “You can’t be that successful without being a crook.” “Why should he get any credit for what he was born with?” “Just because he had a few lucky breaks…” etc. Students of envy have noted its close links with egalitarian doctrines such as socialism, and agree on one fascinating conclusion: the desire of the envious is not so much to have themselves raised up to the level of those whom they resent, but to bring the achievers down to their own level.
“The envious are more likely to be mollified by seeing others deprived of some advantage than by gaining it for themselves.” – Henry Hazlitt. “They do not want to own your fortune, they want you to lose it; they do not want to succeed, they want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to die…” – Ayn Rand. “The apparently innocuous demand for equality… in fact conceals only the desire for the demotion of those having more assets, and those who are in some way higher up, to the level of those lower down.” – Max Scheler.
Among the many sops to envy in
The ongoing dominance enjoyed by this emotional sickness is one of the main threats to
“The time has surely come when we should stop behaving as though the envious man were the main criterion for economic and social policy.” – Helmut Schoek, Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour.
This is part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians, originally published in The Free Radical in 1993. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. Tomorrow, 'Bill of Rights.'
As for the wider issue of whether we should be pursuing free trade with a totalitarian shithole like China, the rest of Clark's statement - that if were only to trade with countries with similar values, it would be a very short list - has some merit, but only some. Because what's at issue is not the full western liberal democratic package, but the bare minimum we should expect from any country - things like not torturing people, not detaining them arbitrarily, and not driving tanks over them whenever they criticise the government, all of which China wantonly violates. And while it does show some welcome signs of moving in the right direction, it is still far from meeting even those minimum standards.Fair points, all of them. Despite many enormously hopeful signs, China is still by no means a paragon of freedom. All the signs are however that it in moving in that direction. Where Russia went for political freedom while ignoring economic freedom, China is focussing first on economic liberation. As Mises Institute's Lew Rockwell said back in 1997,
This has resulted in a historic economic boom of double-digit annual growth, unprecedented freedom and prosperity for huge elements of the population, and a dramatic decline in government power. Within the lifetimes of every middle-aged person, the country has moved from mass starvation and terror to accommodating huge commercial centers that rival Houston and Montreal. The Chinese authorities can call it communism if they want to, but the system rising there is more Mises than Marx.As Rockwell argues here, (yes, he can sometimes talk sense), trade with other countries is a tool of liberation. Can anyone doubt that if America had lifted its trade embargo to Cuba twenty years ago old busy whiskers Fidel would by now have joined Ferdinand Marcos in the graveyard of gone-and-almost-forgotten former leaders of totalitarian shitholes.
The American constitution begins with the words "We the people". The starting point for the EU constitution is: "We know better than the people." After that, the rest doesn't matter: you can't do trickle-down nation-building.
I buy more from my grocer than he buys from me, and I bet it's the same with you and your grocer. That means we have a trade deficit with our grocers. Does our perpetual grocer trade deficit portend doom? If we heeded some pundits and politicians who are talking about our national trade deficit, we might think so. But do we have a trade deficit in the first place? Let's look at it. ...You can look at it, right here. Send a copy on to Rod when you're done.
Labels: Free Trade
One of the most lively debates on the Green Party members’ forums in recent months has centered around two pieces of environmental movement navel-gazing emanating from the United States: the first called “The Death of Environmentalism” and the second called “The Soul of Environmentalism”.Bidinotto maintains in any case that the recent navel-gazing undertaken by environmentalists is misguided : "The underlying problem for environmentalists is not that they typically engage in factual distortions and scaremongering for a good cause. The problem is that their cause isn't good."
Labels: Frank Lloyd Wright
As James Madison said, “If men were angels no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” This in a nutshell is the essential argument against anarchy, and for a constitutional republic. Men are not angels, and government needs to be controlled
Government in essence is like a guard dog: it is there to protect us from being done over by others. However, if that dog is badly trained and it gets off the chain, we can be badly savaged -- more than we would have been without the dog.
A constitution is our means of chaining up the government and training it to act only in our protection.
As I’ve said already, the task of government is to protect us against physical coercion and its derivative, fraud. Good government is the means by which retaliatory force is brought under objective control. A good constitution, properly written, brings the government itself under objective control.
Such a constitution was the intent of
· The job of government is to protect our rights – a ‘Bill of Rights’ clearly outlines the rights to be protected.
· The job of government is not to infringe the liberties of its own citizens without due process of law – a ‘Bill of Due Process’ clearly outlines under what circumstances and in what manner those liberties may be breached, and for what purpose.
· The US Constitution has suffered from interpretations that have often been at odds with the declared intentions of the Constitution’s authors – the Constitution for New Freeland puts the intentions of its authors on the record in the ‘Notes on the Bills of Rights and Due Process.’
Every good constitution relies on two further important restraints on the growth of Omnipotent Government:
1) significant public understanding and support for the constitution and its protections, without which politicians and advocates of a ‘living constitution’ can pervert the constitutional protections as easily as the simple agreements given in the Treaty of Waitangi have been perverted;
2) government’s powers are separated, so that each of government’s three branches – legislature, judiciary and executive -- has some specified veto power over the others. The imperfect separation of powers in our present NZ constitutional arrangements shows the dangers of being without these essential checks and balances on political power.
The task of constitutional law is to delineate the legal structure of a country’s law; it must therefore be superior to all other laws, and law stepping outside the bounds of what is declared unconstitutional must be able to be struck down – an accessible Constitutional Court makes this possible.
The superiority of a constitution to all other law is both a good thing and a bad thing. What’s good is that once a watertight constitution properly protecting individual rights is in place, it acts to chain up the guard dog and to keep it on its leash for good. What’s bad is that once in place, a poor or anti-freedom constitution is very difficult to get rid of.
As history demonstrates -- and the constitutional conference of 2000 and the current Select Committee review of NZ’s constitutional arrangements foreshadow – a bad constitution poorly written can give the erstwhile guard dog control of the back yard and the house, and rather than protecting us it then has no impediment to doing us over.
This is part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians, originally published in The Free Radical in 1993. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. Tomorrow, 'Bill of Rights.'
Non-believers - atheists under Islam do not have "the right to life ". They are to be killed. According to Islamic culture, sins are divided into great sins and little sins. Among the seventeen great sins, unbelief is the greatest, more heinous than murder, theft, adultery and so on... In a feeble attempt to disguise the Islamic attitude to apostasy, apologists often quote the Koranic verse: “There shall be no compulsion in religion”. For a Muslim wishing to leave Islam this is simply not true. In Yemen it’s punishable by death as it is in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan under the Taliban and other Islamic states.Islam needs the Enlightenment as badly as did the West, and Azam is optimistic about its embrace in Iran.
And I am delighted to say that hopes continue coming from Iran where the society has changed dramatically and deeply since 1979. The movement for secularism and atheism, for modern ideas and culture, for individual freedom, for women's freedom and civil liberties is widespread. Contempt for religion and the backward ruling culture is deep. Women and the youth are the champions of this battle; a battle that threatens the foundation of the Islamic system. Any change in Iran will not only affect the lives of people living in Iran, but will have a significant impact on the region and worldwide.
Therefore, we must fight the battle for Enlightenment in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
[Hat tip Stephen Hicks.]
In the very least, there is at least one thing to remember which should evoke hope in this process. After this election, there will undoubtedly be a new election law. And most importantly, the Lebanese elections will be free of Syrian influence. This means that the politicians who will be running the country will no longer have to pander to the Syrian regime, but instead to the people of Lebanon. Because of this, I believe that despite the current disillusionment with the various parties and Hizb’allah’s arms problem, Lebanon has already well begun its trek toward a healthy political environment.Read his observations on the elections here.
“Sniping erupts after Nats snub ACT” says the 'Dom' headline this morning, after “National Party president Judy Kirk unequivocally rejected yesterday the possibility of a last-minute deal giving ACT a leg-up into Parliament.”
“Privately, says the 'Dom,' “many National MPs are writing off ACT's chances of surviving the next election. And any remaining goodwill is quickly evaporating amid disagreement over strategy.”
I’m not sure why Act supporters should be either surprised or disappointed at this outcome. On current polling and as the story says “ACT faces a big task dragging itself above the 5 per cent threshold for winning seats in Parliament” (and with ACT’s present parliamentary strategy of mud-slinging and scalp-hunting that task is surely made even harder), so it is no surprise that National Party luminaries should be looking at the ACT party as a sunk cost representing what Hayek called significant ‘malinvestment,’ and needing to be quickly written off as all such malinvestment should be.
As every good Hayekian knows -– and ACT is nothing if not full of Hayekians – malinvestment is a misallocation of resources following a period of either artificially cheap credit or a cluster of poor decisions caused by fads, natural disasters, cultural change and the like.
The number of new political parties blazing across the New Zealand political firmament since 1995 has been a sort of ‘political dot.com boom’ caused largely by the political ‘credit expansion’ of MMP, and as Judy Kirk has undoubtedly recognised, some of that malinvestment needs to be recognised and expunged for the long-term political health of the country.
As every good economist would agree – and ACT is nothing if not full of economists -- the best thing when malinvestment is identified to write it off as soon as possible. This is the ‘creative destruction’ of capitalism that Schumpeter wrote about, and ACT party thinkers support. But not when it’s happening to them.
Rather than bemoaning their fate as the Dom headline suggests, ACT supporters should take off their rose-tinted glasses and instead put on their economists’ hats. If they do, they’ll understand what’s going on here: Judy Kirk’s dismissal of investing any further in ACT is recognition that ‘creative destruction’ is a necessary component of long-term growth, and that the ACT party now are nothing but fertiliser for that growth.
A party of economists should surely recognise the value of her observation. I’m sure Don Brash does.
The New Zealand Rugby League board has decided the three Auckland 17-year-olds, suspended for assaulting the teenage girl in a suburban reserve nearly two years ago, can rejoin the code.Who on earth would look forward to cheering any sporting achievement by these guys?
Labels: Ban Bans
Labels: Nick Smith
Winston's latest immigration grandstanding gives him headlines, hatred and polling increases, showing you can never underestimate the market for bare-faced, scaremongering xenophobia. But there are good things about Winston Peters
Here's the top ten best things about Winston Peters:
Labels: Berryman's Bridge
Current laws against the use of various substances are a prime example of how an illegitimate concept of the role of government, i.e. that it may forcibly try to save us from ourselves, can be self-defeating and positively harmful in practice. The prohibition of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed, etc, has exacerbated every problem it was designed to overcome, just as the prohibition of alcohol did in
The advent of organised crime, the artificially inflated black market value of drugs, the huge increase in drug-related burglaries and murders, the dramatic rise in the level of addiction, are all consequences of prohibition.
Prohibition also diverts significant police resources that ought to be focused on crimes with victims – murderers, thieves, rapists and the like.
Policemen who should be protecting rights end up violating them, and their corruption is encouraged. Former head of Scotland Yard’s Drug Squad Eddie Ellison used to tell new recruits they should expect to see their colleagues become corrupt within two years. He now sees legalisation as “practical policing” and the best way to reduce serious crime.
Manpower and money are seriously wasted in tortuous efforts to uncover marijuana crops and meth labs, to round up users and suppliers (in violation of the rights to property and liberty), to confiscate farms and smallholdings if cannabis seedlings are found on one’s property, to criminalise otherwise innocent people -- and all to ensure that inflated profits and the control of drug quality stay in the hands of criminals and corrupt police.
The recent sentencing of young Schapelle Corby highlights the absurdity of the War on Drugs™: jailed for twenty years for importing 4kg of marijuana – a crime without any victim – when the same justice system had sentenced the organiser of the Bali bombing that killed over 200 people to just thirty months. Schapelle Corby is a martyr to an absurdity; in protecting us from ourselves and criminalising people such as
In short, prohibition begins as a violation of rights in principle -- a violation of the right to live one’s life as one sees fit -- and ends as a massive violation of rights in practice.
Libertarianism advocates complete decriminalisation of all proscribed substances.
This is part of a continuing series explaining the concepts and terms used by libertarians, originally published in The Free Radical in 1993. The 'Introduction' to the series is here. Tomorrow, 'Constitution.'