Friday, September 16, 2005

Last thoughts before tomorrow


After a gruelling campaign that seems to have lasted several months, the smoke and fireworks are about to clear for one day, and you are left with one choice that is wholly yours to make: who you are going to vote for, or if you're going to vote at all.

Your vote is the one thing you do that politicians actually do listen to. If you do want to send them a message, tomorrow is the time.

Politicians only understand one thing at election time: that you voted either for them or against them. If for example you hold your nose and vote Team Blue just to get out Team Red, then Team Blue will see that as a vote for them, and an endorsement of their people and their policies. That you don't see it that way is irrelevant: an endorsement is what you've just delivered, and three years of Blue-tinged bossiness is what you'll receive--and you will have voted to receive it.

Don't forget what the Blue party did last time they were in power. Don't forget who introduced the RMA and the NCEA. Behind Brash the same pathetic old hacks are still there. And as Lindsay Perigo points out in the latest Free Radical, the pathetic old hacks are still the ones writing Blue policy:
National under Don Brash has been a huge, but entirely predictable, disappointment. The runaway success of his Orewa 1 speech should have taught Dr Brash that this was the way to go. The same ringing advocacy of one law for all should have been brought to bear on all policy areas: the economy, defence, health, education … Instead, what has he done? He has capitulated to marshmallow middle-grounders in all of them.
Don't just vote against Hard Labour by giving your vote instead to the marshmallow middle-grounders. Vote instead for what you do believe in: Your life, your liberty and and your pursuit of property, prosperity and happiness. I can only repeat what I said the other day in this speech:

There are 20 parties this election. 19 of them think it’s OK to help themselves to your money and boss you around with it. We don’t. We say that’s wrong.

We say that at this election there are twenty parties but only two choices: Nanny State in nineteen different guises, or Freedom, and Libertarianz.
It's true. If you want nannying, vote elsewhere.

Only Libertarianz promises to get government completely out of your pocket, out of your face, and out of your life. How will we do this? I answer that one here, in What's the Point of Political Activism, and here in Brushfires of Liberty. In the former I argue:
Who should you vote for? Vote for yourself. Only a vote for Libertarianz allows you to do that. "It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
We are that tireless minority. Your vote gives our efforts wings.

At this election, I urge you to free yourself from the politicians. Cast a vote for your life, and for your liberty. Cast it for Libertarianz. We may not be in parliament this election, but you can be damn sure our ideas will be. Your vote will help that happen--every vote cast for Libz will help it happen. Every vote for Libz is a message to Parliament saying "I own my life!"---it is a message the politicians will hear, and that we will keep on making them hear.

If you do want to start getting your life back from the politicians this election, then Vote Libz. Any other vote is just a vote for more of the same.

And after the election? I invite you to join us in 'Putting the 'P' into Politics', and help keep the brushfires of liberty alight! We at least know that if it's your freedom you want, there are no shortcuts.
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BTW: Readers of Not PC are invited to call in and join other highly intelligent, like-minded people at an Election Night gathering in Mt Eden, where we can celebrate at least some politicians losing their job.

WHERE: 45A View Road.
WHAT: BBQ and BYO wine, whiskey, what-have-you.
WHEN: Sat Sept 17, from early evening on.

See you there!

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Election Night Drinking Game

If you haven't yet been sent the Official Government Drinking Game for Election Night, then fret not, 'tis here in PDF, and over there in Jpeg.

Enjoy!

"I hate..."

If you base your vote on who or what you hate, then Three Point Turn have a handy voting card to help you choose. [Hat tip DPF.]

Cunliffe cuts loose at supporter

We've had Hodgson wrestling women at Otago, and Pita Sharple's kidnapping children in Auckland... a Libz supporter told me that when picketing outside David Cunliffe's caravan in West Auckland yesterday Cunliffe stormed over and threatened him, "Go away, go home, get off the street now. I'll ring the police and get you arrested." The supporter told me he didn't leave, the police didn't arrive, and instead Cunliffe hitched up his caravan and buggered off.

Nothing like threats and physical violence to show the true nature of politics. Freedom of speech, eh?

A good week around the world

A good week this one for freedom around the globe:

Greens: Evil and out

This morning's Herald poll shows both Winston First and the Greens out, out, out, with both parties scoring under the 5% threshold. LibertyScott meanwhile has fisked the Greens policies, and found them to be at the evil end of the spectrum.
The Green Party philosophy and policies are fundamentally evil - they are authoritarian statists, whose key interest is in using the monopoly of legitimised violence (the state) to force people to do what they want, ban people from doing what they don't want, to confiscate more money from people who earn it, and to give other people's money to things they like.

The Greens are bullies, and their façade of peaceful friendly animal and tree loving hippies simply does not wash. There is NOTHING peaceful about using state threatened or actual violence to get what you want, and that is everything the Green Party stands for. If it thought otherwise it would use persuasion, not politics, to change people's behaviour - instead, it uses force.
I still maintain that many Green supporters (or after today's poll should that be former supporters) are enthusiastic about personal freedom at least. But as I've said before, their policies have never ever reflected that. They need to carry a Government Health Warning.

Check out the latest Greens poster...

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Getting back some tax

An enterprising chap is trying to get back some of his stolen tax dollars by selling some of the Labour Party's taxpayer-funded merchandise on Trade Me. Apparently the chap got both merchandise and idea from one of the recent candidate meetings at which Mallard was spraying around goodies like spending promises in election year--it's easy to be profligate with goodies when someone else is picking up the tab.

Looks like the chap is set to make a buck or two.

'Helengrad': Where did it come from?

On the last day of this campaign, and possibly the last day for the citizens of Helengrad to slave under the cruel yoke of this particular oppressor, I thought I'd just muse on where the term 'Helengrad' came from.

I first heard it used by a caller on Lindsay Perigo's radio show only weeks after Mistress Helen's elevation to absolute rule. Perigo naturally picked it up and ran with it thereafter, and it soon appeared on the cover of The Free Radical, advertising that issue's cover story 'The Hooey From Helengrad'. The afternoon that subscribers received their copies, Headmistress Shipley rose in Parliament and asked a question of Her Highness Helen in which the word 'Helengrad' was included. The chamber fell about, and the name stuck.

I believe Fran O'Sullivan and the rest of the world took it up about then, and now Google boasts some 17,900 hits for 'Helengrad.' As Mrs Marsh used to say, "It does get in."

Differences?

You might have heard that Little Steve Maharey announced on his blog Wednesday the chief philosophical difference between Labour and National: "...tax cuts mean the government does not have the money to invest in policies that allow prosperity to be shared and for social justice to be a possibility. But then the National Party does not want any of these things. It wants a future where people make their own decisions about their own money." [Hat tip Whale Oil]

If only. For Little Stevie, 'wealth' always has the modifer 'redistributed' attached to it. But are the Nats really going to allow you to make your own decisions about your own money?

Marian Hobbs also had a go yesterday: "We face a stark choice on Saturday. National intends to put property rights and profit ahead of the environment." If only she realised that property rights and profits are what protect the environment. If only the Nats did. Where do you think Auntie Marian even got the idea?

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Green-Labour Manifesto

Two posters for your bedroom wall. Click on each picture to see a larger picture.

Click here to download a PDF Poster of the illustration from the Greens Transport and Policing Policy, and here for a PDF Poster of the cover page from Michael Cullen's notes on Labour's Student Loans Policy .

Enjoy.

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How to be a criminal on Election Day

A warning for the over-exuberant from the wonderful chaps at the Electoral Commission:
On Election Day [note the capitalisation which tells you This is Important]... it is a criminal offence to distribute or broadcast any statement that is likely to influence a voter as to the candidate or party the voter should or shouldn't vote for, or which influences people to abstain from voting...

On Election Day, candidates, political parties and others must... not post any new material on websites. Existing website material does not have to be removed, as long as the website is not proactively promoted to voters.

All election advertising and other statements, by anybody including the media, which could influence voters cannot be published or broadcast on Election Day.
Bloggers and party supporters take note. [Hat tip No Right Turn.]

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Site Poll: Election Fatigue?

The last Site Poll here showed that most of you haven't been contacted by pollsters this election. The raw data shows that an overwhelming 70% of those who responded have still to get that magic call. However, after correcting for age, race and other demographics, I find that all of you have been contacted by at least one pollster, and all of you have lied.

The new Site Poll asks if you have election fatigue. Do you?

Life gets better

Life, wages and working conditions for US workers have got dramatically better across the last century, according to a survey performed by Stanley Lebergott.
The fundamental cause of this increase in the standard of living was the increase in productivity. What caused that increase? The tremendous changes in Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore since World War II demonstrate how tenuous is the connection between productivity and such factors as sitting in classrooms, natural resources, previous history, or racial origins. Increased productivity depends more on national attitudes and on free markets, in the United States as in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Read Professor Lebergott's survey here. Does anyone know of a similar study for New Zealand? I have no doubt at all it would show a similar trend. [Hat tip Stephen Hicks.]

Won't get fooled again

NZ Pundit and DPF are both calling for this banner to be waved boldly and strongly over all the sites of the VWRC to celebrate Super Saturday.

Unfortunately, for reasons well-expressed here and here, what I hear when I see that banner is not the celebratory sounds of 'Happy Days are Here Again,' but instead the warning screams of 'Won't Get Fooled Again.'

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Is now a parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

Maori Party = ?

Speaking of the error of defining yourself by ethnicity, as I do in the post below--ethnicity being no more than racism plus tradition--LibertyScott has done a good fisking of the Maori Party's policies and philosophy from its website.

What's his conclusion? Whatever the rhetoric, the Maori Party's policies and philosophy show them to be big government racists. Surprise, surprise.

And just see where www.maoriparty.co.nz takes you.

Tragedy in Iraq

This is just fucking disgusting. 114 killed in Baghdad by a bomber who lured people to his van by promising them work before blowing them up instead. They were Shi'ite Muslim. He was not. By the code now being practised by fuckwits across Iraq, that was sufficient reason to wipe 114 people from the face of the earth.

"There's no political party here, there are no police," Mohammed Jabbar railed at the blast site in the Shi'ite Kadhimiya area of Baghdad. "This targeted civilians, innocents. Why women and children?" he added, as bystanders shouted, "Why? Why?"
Another car bomber blew himself up in northern Baghdad, killing 11 people lined up to refill gas canisters, as bombings rocked the capital. Gunmen also dragged 17 people from their homes and killed them in Taji, a northern Baghdad suburb.

Let's be clear about something: what is happening in Iraq is not what happened in Vietnam; this is not Iraqis 'killing the invader,' this is Iraqis killing each other. It bears less resemblance to Vietnam and more to what happened in Yugoslavia once the Tito thugocracy ended: tribal warfare fuelled by inter-tribal hatred that had been incubated for years under Tito's repressive dictatorship, but still there in all its virulence once the lid came off.

There is no guarantee of success when a slave pen is liberated. Liberating the Iraqi slave pen left Iraqis freer than they had ever been--it left them free to follow their own path, and also free to fuck up. Which they are.

Just like in Yugoslavia, what has been liberated is not just a desire to live free and find happiness; what has been liberated with it is the virulent centuries-old hatreds of ethnic and religious group against ethnic and religious group that Saddam Hussein's repressions had kept down, or at least hidden. What has been released is the tribal hatreds of centuries, and the inter-tribal warfare that went with it.

Like its soul-brother racism, tribalism is the product of irrationalism and collectivism. Combining irrational religious fervour with the self-arrested anti-conceptual mentality fostered by a religion demanding obedience rather than thought has led inexorably to what Ayn Rand described in her 1977 essay 'Global Balkanization':
As to the stagnation under tribal rule, take a look at the Balkans. Six or eight tribes... crowded on the Balkan peninsula, engaging in endless wars among themselves or being conquered by stronger neighbours or practicing violence for the sake of violence over some microscopic language [or religious] differences. 'Balkanization'--the breakup of larger nations into ethnic tribes--was used as a pejorative term by the European intellectuals of the time.
The tribes never vanished after World War I, she noted presciently, "they have been popping up in minor explosions all along, and a major one is possible at any time." And explode they finally did once Tito disappeared.
There is no surer way to infect mankind with hatred—brute, blind, virulent hatred-than by splitting it into ethnic groups or tribes. If a man believes that his own character is determined at birth in some unknown, ineffable way, and that the characters of all strangers are determined in the same way—then no communication, no understanding, no persuasion is possible among them, only mutual fear, suspicion, and hatred. Tribal or ethnic rule has existed, at some time, in every part of the world, and, in some country, in every period of mankind's history. The record of hatred is always the same. The worst kinds of atrocities were perpetrated during ethnic (including religious) wars.
We are now seeing precisely those atrocities being perpetuated daily in Iraq.

This is the root and cause of those atrocities: the poisonous idea that a human being is not an individual, but part of some group, some collective, some 'other' whose otherism is reason to hate and to kill. That is the poison that allows one man to park his van with the intention of killing himself and 114 day labourers looking for work. Ethnic and religious tribalism is the evil that caused this; individualism is the only antidote. We must recognize that everyone is a sovereign entity, with the power of choice and independent judgment. Nothing less will save the world from the ethnic conflicts erupting around the world.

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ACT quiet about 'independence' of Epsom polling

'Hide leading in Epsom!' says Rodney Hide yesterday releasing an 'independent poll.' "The latest independent poll (and yes it actually is!!) puts Rodney around 6pts clear of Worth," trumpets a breathless ACT supporter.

An independent poll. Released yesterday. Wow, that will surely shut up the doubters who questioned the honesty of ACT running radio ads saying Hide was ahead in Epsom polling when the only independent Epsom polling showed him way behind.

But this latest poll is independent, isn't it? Um, no, it isn't. As the press release by polling company Roy Morgan says, "The survey was conducted on behalf of Awesome Kiwi." Who's Awesome Kiwi? Check their site, and you find the Managing Director is one Dr Simon Ewing-Jarvie. Who's he? That's him up there on the right. And look, he's the ACT candidate for Otaki!

Independent poll my arse! So the last truly independent Epsom poll actually shows Hide trailing Worth by 14 points.

[UPDATE 1: NBR have also missed this connection, as Andrew points out below. Aaron points out some others. Says NBR about this poll:
Criticism was leveled at an earlier poll with similar results because of historical ties between the pollster and the Act party. In that case, deference went to other polls that showed Mr Hide well behind..." .]
[UPDATE 2: Deleted.]

[UPDATE 3: It's been pointed out to me that Simon Ewing-Jarvie issued a press release on his own behalf yesterday afternoon under the name of Awesome Kiwi, in which he pointed out he is an ACT list candidate. Kudos to him for that, and thanks to anonymous for the link. I withdraw, amend as necessary, and apologise as appropriate.]

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Epsom electorate vote: Persuade me

Okay, I'm an Epsom voter, and I know that a number of Epsom voters read this blog. I think most readers will be aware for whom I will be casting my Party Vote, but as far as the electorate vote is concerned I'm currently in the 'No Idea' camp.

For reasons pretty well canvassed at Not PC since I started this blog, all candidates look equally unsuitable, and I'm presently thinking of following the 'don't encourage them, don 't vote' option.

Feel free to use this space to eloquently and passionately try and persuade me and other Epsom readers otherwise. I promise not to bite, but you'll have to do better arguments than National's "Richard Worth... is a hard-working and dedicated local MP," which sounds awfully reminiscent of how Helen describes her ministers when she finds them with their foot in their mouth.

NB: Some arguments here on this thread already, but not nearly persuasive enough..

Orauta eviction this afternoon?

We've just heard that Orauata School--slated for closure by Trevor Mallard and whose story I've been following here at Not PC-- is scheduled for eviction at 3pm this afternoon.

I won't repeat myself by recapping the story: have a look at the stories below for background, and go to Julian's site archives for more first-hand stuff. Julian will be there to stand up for the school's trustees. I'll just re-quote here what I said in April when I first introduced the story:
What do you do when the Minister of Education closes down your school? If you're like most New Zealanders, you roll over and beg for more. But that's not the way with Orauta School near Moerewa in Northland.

Parents at Orauta face prosecution because they've thumbed their noses at the Ministry's announcement of the school's closure, and at what the Ministry calls 'quality.' Instead, they've demanded that they be permitted to make the choice over the education of their own children themselves.
These parents and trustees deserve your support. Background here:

Take These Two Fingers, Mr Mallard
pc.blogspot.com/2005/06/orauta-court-protest.html
pc.blogspot.com/2005/05/orauta-school-facing-court...
pc.blogspot.com/2005/05/thuggery-at-northland-scho...
Orauta School still fighting, but not in court

Basic economics

Whinging in New Zealand highlights a basic economic law that all New Zealand voters might do well to remember:
Anything the government subsidises will increase in price.

I want everyone to memorize this, so that when the cost of health care, education and housing go through the roof, we all understand the cause.
He's right you know.

Coromandel mining exposes "a clash of values"--Tanczos

The High Court's recent decision to overturn the blanket ban on mining on the Coromandel "exposes a clash of values," said Nandor Tanczos this morning on bFM--and of course he's right. It does.

There are many opposed to mining in the Coromandel, not least Thames-Coromandel District Council Mayor Philippa Barriball whose District Plan had put the ban in place. "A mining company would have to be prepared to spend $10 million before even getting to the Environment Court," she threatened after the decision. So there.

So how is such a clash of values to be played out? There are only three options, as I see it.

1) Violent conflict;
2) Politicisation of the issue--the current default position involving picketing, bickering and politicking;
3) Property rights.

Property rights takes the issue out of the political arena, and allows those who do hold rights to express their own values without political interference from the likes of Ms Barriball. Elizabeth Brubaker from Canadian organisation Environment Probe makes that case here.

When properly expressed through common law for example, property rights involve a 'bundle' of rights, and each rights-holder is promised clear legal protection by the courts over their 'stick' in the bundle. When such a thing as mining takes place or is contemplated for example, an owner of a stick in the affected bundle has absolute protection in expressing their own values--whether conservation of the environmental values, or use of the resource--and that legal protection must be recognised by anyone proposing to exercise the use of their own 'stick.'

If for example I have a clear and protected right to use or take from a stream running through an area affected by the mining, then under common law the miner is obliged to take my values into account by either not damaging the waterway, or by purchasing my assent and the assent of all other affected stream-users, and indeed all other affected parties. Elizabeth Brubaker offers some examples here of the sort of legal protection afforded to stream-users by common law, and similar legal protections exist for other rights' holders, including those who might hold rights to access, hunting, harvesting, tramping, logging, birding, or profits à prendre, who hold a conservation covenant, or who just have the right to peaceful enjoyment of their property.

That's protection then for all rights-owners' chosen values, and all done without all the picketing, bickering and politicking we see now. If it be objected that this excludes all those who value the untrammelled value of wild and untouched land, then let them express the extent to which they do truly value that land by becoming a rights-holder in it, rather than seeking to use the government's club to express them. It doesn't require full ownership, it simply means acquiring the right to a 'stick' in the bundle.

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Gossip

Now I'm not one to gossip (as y'all know) but if I don't let you all know the gossip now it will only be flooding into my inbox in a weeks time. So Whale Oil has the goss. If true, Judith has a fair old excuse for her behaviour. [And G-Man has the hat tip].

An Epsom letter from the Nats

The Nats are sending out letters in Epsom telling National supporters to vote Worthless in the electorate vote. Aaron has published his copy.

Labour's Stuart Nash is both endorsing Worthless and door-knocking for him, and now the Nats' hierarchy is issuing their own official endorsement. Whatever Epsom poll you like to pick, either independent or internal, the numbers stacking up against Mr Hide do not look good, and neither do the number of ACT foot-soldiers on the street.

As Mr Hide himself is wont to say, Epsom voters are intelligent; they can see what's going on. I do believe they can.

[UPDATE: Apparently these letters are going out across the electorate, not just to National supporters. If I'd checked my pile of mail yesterday I would have found my own personalised letter.]

On the ground in New Orleans

The Interdictor continues to post from New Orleans, giving unvarnished on-the-ground accounts of what's going on there.

Here's an excerpt from a report that particularly grabbed my attention:
In my opinion, everything that is going on in the media is a complete bastardization of what is really happening. The result is that good people are dying and losing family members. I have my own set of opinions about welfare and people working to improve thier own lot instead of looking for handouts, but what is occurring now is well beyond those borders. These people need help and need to get out. We can sort out all of the social and political issues later, but human beings with any sense of compassion would agree that the travesty that is going on here in New Orleans needs to end and people's lives need to be saved and families need to be put back together. Now.

I don't know what to do with all of this, but I think we need to get this story out. Some of what is being portrayed among the media is happening and is terrible, but it is among a very small group of people, not the majority. They make it seem like New Orleans has somehow taken the atmosphere of the mobs in Mogadishu... which is making volunteers (including us) more hesitant and rescue attempts more difficult. As a result, people are dying. My family has been volunteering at the shelters here in Houma and can count on one hand the number of people among thousands who have not said "Thank You," or "God Bless You." Their lives shattered and families torn apart, gracious just to have us serve them beans and rice...
Nothing to argue with there. Read the full report here (scroll down to the post titled Robert LeBlanc).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mobile in Christchurch

The Christchurch Libz team has sent me this photo of their mobile billboard (right).

As all the ACT supporters in the country head to Epsom, the balance of the country is left open to the rest of us.

Protecting a predator

Do you fancy having one of these things (right) chewing through your surfboard? Or your arm? Or your loved one? It does happen.

The chance of it happening has increased with Conservation Minister Chris Carter announcing he is adding Great White Sharks to the list of species to be protected. Herald story here.

This directly pits the anti-concept of 'intrinsic values'-- which environmentalists employ to say things should be protected 'as is, where is'--against real human values, such as the value of human life, from which all real value is actually derived.

This isn't just a semantic argument, as you will find if you do see one of these things appearing at the end of your surfboard. A similarly stupid three-decade Australian ban on hunting crocodiles has seen numbers jump from 5,000 to 70,000, and an increase in savage croc attacks.

David Graber, research biologist with the US National Park Service, once declared on behalf of mainstream environmentalism that “We are not interested in the utility of a particular species or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value—to me—than another human body, or a billion of them... Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.” City University of New York philosophy professor Paul Taylor adds: "[T]he ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty 'Good Riddance.'"

Graber gives the game away by declaring the notion of 'intrinsic values' itself to be valuable to him: as trees, rocks and mud puddles can’t speak for themselves, environmentalists like Graber must be paid to do it for them. (I discussed this phenomenon the other day.) Responding on behalf of human beings, Glenn Woiceshyn argues:

While extreme, these anti-human sentiments are logically consistent with environmentalism's "intrinsic value" philosophy: Since man survives only by conquering nature, man is an inherent threat to the "intrinsic value" of nature and must therefore be eliminated. Environmentalism makes man the endangered species. The only antidote to these haters of mankind and their anti-human philosophy is to uphold man's right to pursue his own life by means of his productive activities.
The real endangered species, says Michael Berliner, is us:
There is a grave danger facing mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism.

The fundamental goal of environmentalists is not clean air and clean water; rather it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Their goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.

The history of how a love of nature has turned into a preservationist religion is traced briefly here by Robert Bidinotto. Chris Carter's announcement is just one more example of that policy: Protecting a killer as some sort of 'totem' is a clear threat to the rest of us.

Fortunately, one person at least came out against Carter's stupidity. Me.

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Bye Bye Helen

The lovely Paula has for sale some T-shirts with the large slogan 'Bye Bye Helen'. Black w/white words, or white w/black words. Order yours now at researcher@orcon.net.nz. You'll have to be quick. :0)

Power outage in LA

A major power outage has hit Los Angeles, which will no doubt affect internet traffic and many websites. Says the San Francisco Chronicle :
Outages were reported from downtown to the coast and north into the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power did not immediately have an explanation for what happened.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said the Department of Water of Power was investigating the source of the outage. Terrorism was not suspected, according to Sgt. Catherine Plows, though the department went on "full tactical alert," meaning no officers were allowed to leave duty...
Bloomberg reports:
Edison International's Southern California Edison, which provides power to areas not covered by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, said none of its customers were affected.

``At least the areas we serve are fine,'' said Susan Heard, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison.

Don't invest in crooks

The headline above might look like voting advice, and as advice for a voter on Saturday it is of course sound. More importantly though, how does a small amateur investor protect themselves against fraud, or find the true value of Enron or WorldCom, when the fraudsters are so good?

James Glassman points out that it's unlikely American companies have radically changed their ways since the fall from grace of these two paper giants.

Have corporations mended their ways since the scandals came to light? Don't count on it. American International Group, the giant insurer, on June 1 issued a new financial report restating five years of results and knocking $2.3 billion off net worth. Among the adjustments: AIG improperly counted tax credits, to the tune of $731 million, as net investment income, "a measure closely watched by insurance-industry investors," according to the Wall Street Journal.

But don't despair. There are ways to invest intelligently even in a market of deceivers. Here are some guidelines...

New party leaders?

A week is a long time in politics. Now we have the cliché out of the way, doesn't this last week of the election campaign seem like a week too far? Hasn't the pressure come off just a little, rather than being ramped up? An eight week campaign seems to have bored everyone, including the politicians.

And something else that hasn't been talked about too much is the enormous upcoming change in the political landscape by the imminent departure of some major dominating features. We know some of the minor parliamentary parties may not survive this election, but this is also almost certainly Helen's last term, so win or lose they'll be jostling for the leadership over on the red benches. And Brash has already indicated that this election is his only roll of the electoral dice, so if the Nats don't win, the blue benches will be needing a new leader too. Has that jostling started already?

So by this time next election there now seems every chance that NZ First and ACT will have disappeared, and one chance in four that both of the big old parties will have new faces being airbrushed on their billboards. Whose faces do you foresee on them? Leave your suggestions below.

In the Hutt South Lions Den with Dullard

A report from Luke Howison on the Eastbourne Lions meeting for the Hutt South electorate.

Colin, Nik and I attended the Eastborne Lions Club candidates meeting last night in support of Phil Howison running for Hutt South.

There was a good turnout and Phil spoke well about some core issues including getting the government out of our lives, and on the issue of tax: "Tax is not an economic issue or a family issue. Its a moral issue. Tax is when the government takes money from you without your permission. Tax is - tax is theft! (looks around at other candidates) These people are advocating theft!" There was some great reaction, with enthusiastic applause.

The other candidates were the usual grey nothings.

Trevor Mallard was even more of a boring Labour git than usual, and the doddery Greens candidate going on and on and ON about the most boring topics imaginable (Arctic permafrost methane emissions anyone?) left everyone nodding off. Rosemarie Thomas (National) made a great point by holding up Labour pamphlets and handouts which were produced "with your tax money", and reminded us to pick up our free Labour pen - "You paid for them!"

Another highlight was the NZ First candidate (a nice guy, whats he doing with the slimeballs?) acknowledging the great job Phil is doing as the youngest candidate, which got Phil another round of applause!

In general I enjoy most of these meetings, especially when Labour candidates get defensive (which is all they are currently able to do), but it's also stifling having to listen to so much socialist bullshit. Thankfully there was no Alliance candidate there tonight! Another thing I like is how friendly the candidates are to each other. The Destiny NZ candidate especially is a
super-duper nice guy. Its funny though; as soon as these politicians get into power the charisma becomes slime ....

There are no more meetings for Hutt South, but we're all set to do a huge leaflet drop around Wellington tomorrow night, and put up the last of our signs which have been suffering muchos vandalism recently.

Hopefully thats a good sign that the message is getting out there and they're scared of us. :-)

For Freedom!

Monday, September 12, 2005

One Country, One Law, and One Electoral Roll

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This was one of the few valuable observations made by the otherwise foolish Margaret Mead, and one I was reminded of yesterday when old friend Warwick Malone showed up at the Auckland Central candidate's meeting made infamous since by Hurricane Judith.

Who the hell is Warwick Malone and why should you care? He's a thoughtful committed person who supporters of the National, ACT and NZ First Parties need to thank for making respectable their policy to abolish the Maori seats and to rid ourselves of racial favouritism before the law.

Warwick launched his petition to abolish the Maori seats just four years ago at Hamilton's Anti-Apartheid Convention put together by Tim Wikiriwhi, another thoughtful committed citizen, to highlight the tide of race-based separatism that is engulfing the country & to lay the groundwork for turning that tide around. It promoted the view that all New Zealand citizens, regardless of skin colour, should be equal before the law.

Following the launch of the petition, Warwick took to the road with petition forms, a ute, and a desk. Showing up in the main streets of towns across the North Island, Warwick would set up his desk and collect signatures and plaudits. The enthusiastic responses indicated this was clearly an idea whose time had come, and he was happy to be the catalyst for it.

Just four years later that policy is now mainstream. Time to say "Thank you, Warwick."

You can download a large version of the petition form here. It quotes the words of former slave and abolition advocate Frederick Douglass from 1883:
In a composite Nation such as ours, made up of almost every variety of human family, there should be, before the law, no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no black, no white, but one country, one citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny for all.
His words are as true today as they were then, and just as relevant.

Don't you love MMP?

A report in from Susan on Leighton Smith's interviews this morning with the various leaders of the minor parliamentary parties.

GREENS:
Gee thanks, Rod. You'll happily tax the bejesus out of me for my own good. You want to protect the environment, but you won't protect private property rights - which is the only way to protect the environment! In short, like a good socialist, you know everything!
ACT: Well Rodney, Act's demise this weekend will mean that if you're going to talk 'freedom', you better mean what you say! Don't just tinker with tax, welfare and the RMA ... scrap them altogether! After Saturday, come on home to the Libz. We have principles!
UNITED FUTURE: Peter Dunne-bugger-all wants to be in a govt coalition. Well, why not?! He's been a member of every party that ever there was, so he'll feel right at home anywhere. Hope he voted in favour of prostitution law reform, because he's the biggest political prostitute we have!
NZ PROGRESSIVES: I'm delighted to say that I have NOTHING in common with Jim and his Anal Retentives. So nothing's non-negotiable, eh Jim? In other words, you're unprincipled. The only 'no-brainer' is your party.
MAORI PARTY: Atareta says the Maori party was created because the Maori minority couldn't have their say in other parties. Hmmm. On the one hand they want freedom from the state regarding property - but on the other they still think it's ok to put their hand in other people's wallets. Unprincipled AND separatist. Just what the country needs!
Don't you love MMP?

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The Poll poll

A new site poll over there on the sidebar, asking you to tell us how many times you've been contacted by pollsters to tell them where your vote is going on Saturday. I'm curious.

Results of the last site poll show that you're all sending confidential emails all the time. Outside of your significant other, the Exclusive Brethren and Don Brash were naturally the most popular recipients of your wisdom--and as we know, offering your wisdom to your significant other is not always as welcome as we often think it should be. Rather how Don Brash and the Brethren are now thinking I suspect.

The great Skyhawks going out of business sale

When Clinton left the White House, there was a last-minute going-out-of-business-sale of pardons, and a rash of legislation intended to tie the hands of the Bush administration.

Now, in a week before our election, the Labour Government is having a similar going-out-of-business sale of the mothballed Skyhawks, tying the hands of the next Government by increasing the difficulty of restoring the air combat wing, and indicating perhaps the Labour Party's level of confidence in they themselves being that government: This is an admission that their confidence is not high.

Ron Mark was right on the money yesterday, saying "Labour knew full well that other parties had plans to restore the air combat capabilities. [Mark] says Labour has sold the aircraft from right under their noses to ensure the final nail has been put into the air combat wing's coffin."

Have you even seen the 'offending leaflets'?

If you haven't yet seen the Brethren's offending anti-Labour and ant-Green pamphlets yet, then you can find PDFs of them here: Anti-Green here; Anti-Labour here.

Don't say I never do nuffin' for ya.

A wanker with a ponytail

What a sad little man. American sociologist Jonathan Pontell (right) has invented another one of these bullshit psudo-concepts that PR wankers devise over a long lunch and then build their careers by travelling the world talking it up. 'Generation Jones' is his invention--a "Lost Generation!" breathlessly trumpets Entrepreneur magazine-- supposedly referring to people between forty and fifty that people interested in these things have up to now apparently ignored as a significant demographic, until Pontell bothered to notice them and point out the oversight. Yawn.

Now he's here in New Zealand talking himself up, but apparently his ego has been insufficiently stroked by local luminaries so he's throwing hissy fits and threatening law suits--or so he just ranted to Linda Clark. The first suit would be against the Christchurch Press because they had the acumen to call him a hoaxster. That made poor Jonathan unhappy (cue violins) and also made him call his lawyers.

In a bid to show how locally 'connected' he is, he's also been quietly hinting that he's been "consulted" by a "major local party," but his bluff on that one has also been called. Every "major local party" has issued a "Nyet" to his claim, making him look even sillier than he already does, and the National Party went even further and also called him a hoaxster. To restore his fragile and damaged ego he has to sue them too.

What a sad little wanker. Perhaps he and Judith Tizard could contrive to get stuck in a lift together sometime.

[UPDATE 1: Russell Brown has some background on the whole ruckus in a PS at the foot of this post.]
[UPDATE 2:
The Grauniad has the story of Pontell's similarly duplicitous shenanigans with Britain's Tory Party. [Hat tip IP at DPF's]

A Tory spokesman said: "CommunicateResearch came in to pitch for business, but they are not employed by us in any way. He came in with them for a chat and is certainly not giving us any advice."... Mr Pontell told the Guardian: "Yes, I have advised a political party here about targeting Generation Jones. I can't say which party it was." He had met officials and provided follow-up information on request.]

Tizard swings the handbag

Judith Tizard, Auckland Central MP, former Minister in Charge of Helen Clark's handbag, and a woman with all the people skills of a large rodent managed to give a room-full of 100 Auckland Central voters a master class yesterday in how to acquire those skills for oneself.

Aaron has his own report here of Labour's eighteenth-ranked candidate arriving late to the meeting, heading to the podium and immediately recoiling at the humorous 'news' that the media "had been excluded from the room." She immediately picked up her toys and her flunkies and flounced out saying there was no point in talking to us peasants then, leaving behind her bemused Epsom colleague Stuart Nash to stand in for her, and we bloggers to stand in for the fourth estate.

If this is Tizard on her best behaviour, I would not like to see her at her worst. As a charm offensive, it was definitely the latter, rivalled perhaps only by Pete Hodgson's wrestling match last week. Under 'arrogant,' see Labour MPs.

About Town's Tristan (whose colleague Xavier did stay) commented at DPF's, "the only people there were candidates or supporters of the Libitrians (sic), ACT, National, Destiny, Direct Democracy and the Maori party... not exactly a friendly audience." Poor lamb. Fancy having to face an unfriendly audience, and not a journalist in sight with whom to sympathise.

[UPDATE: National's speaker at the meeting , Dr Jackie Blue, has given her own account of Tizard's hissy fit. And bar owner and Auckland Independent candidate Thomas Forde has just told Radio Live that he at least was there to be swayed, and he will certainly not be voting Labour this election. He's certainly managed to gain some excellent advertising for his bar out of all this.]

"Lose the beard."

Julian sheds his hair, gets coverage, girlfriend is happy. Just the beard to go now. :-)

And you can hear Julian's latest speech by following this link.
Who's in charge of your life? You are. However, if you ask ANY of these people behind me, they'll say: "Yes, BUT..."
Is a vote for Libertarianz a wasted vote? "No!' says LibertyScott, and he explains why. I had a go at answering this question myself yesterday. Says Scott:
So I am voting Libertarianz because it is what I believe in - in its own marginal way, I am telling the main parties that I believe in freedom, and I know several thousand other New Zealanders will do the same - at a time when there is immense pressure to vote for National to get rid of the People's Republic of Clarkistan - I will vote according to what I want, not third best!

Epsom declaration: "Rodney Hide must be stopped"

"Rodney Hide must be stopped." The words of Epsom's Labour Party candidate Stuart Nash this afternoon at the Forde's Frontbench candidate's meeting in Auckland Central.

Asked to confirm what he meant by that, Nash told me, on the record, "The official word is: Electorate vote Worthless. Party vote Labour."

This Epsom voter will have trouble doing either.

[UPDATE: Nash has just confirmed this news on Linda Clark's 'Nine to Noon' show.]

My speech for Forde's Frontbench candidate's meeting

Good evening ladies & gentlemen. I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

Believe that, and you probably still believe in Santa Claus. Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem. More government; less freedom. More government; more problems. You’d think that lesson would by now have been well and truly learned.

No, I’m not from the government, I’m Peter Cresswell from the Libertarianz Party, and before I start properly I’d like you all to throw up your wallets please. I want your money because you can’t be trusted with it. Well, what do you know? Nobody seems to want to hand over their money! But you give your wallet to these people every day! They keep telling you that you can’t be trusted with it; they keep demanding more and more out of it, they keep getting fat off your efforts… and you keep voting for more of the same.

Who’s the idiot?

It’s not their money. You earned it. And you’re entitled to keep every darn cent. Isn’t it strange how we’re taught as kids, that it’s wrong to take what doesn’t belong to us … and yet as adults, you let these people here do just that! You don’t just let them. You beg for them to do it.

Isn’t that disgraceful?! They keep offering you more theft, and they keep offering to fix things they shouldn’t even be involved in, and they keep taking your money and bossing you around with it… and then you keep voting for more of the same.

Who’s the stupid one?

Tell me, who do you think runs the country? That’s right, you do. Helen doesn’t. Winston doesn’t. Pansy, Judith and Don don’t. You run the country, each of you every day by planning, producing and taking those moral actions you need to so that you and your family can stay live and keep flourishing. You run your life, and your business, so what do you need these people to boss you around for? And why do you keep bending over and taking the bossiness from them like you’re taking medicine from Nanny? It’s got me beat.

It’s for your own good!” says Nanny as she stuffs her medicine down your throat. And what grim medicine.

Nanny says, “You must surrender half your earnings to her, and she’ll decide what to do with them.”

She says you must pay no-hopers to breed.

She says you may not cut trees down on your own property.

She says you may not end your own life when you want to.

“You may not smoke in bars,” she says. “Not even in a cigar bar. It’s for your own good…But you can still smoke in jail.”

She says you may not smoke marijuana anywhere, and has police out on the beat wasting their time making sure you don’t, doing you over when they should be protecting you.

She says you must surrender your children to her indoctrination centres, or be arrested if you don’t.

She says you must keep surrendering your money to pay for her die-while-you-wait health service, even if you have made alternative arrangements to make sure you don’t have to.

She says you may not fire staff, whatever their employment contract says.

Nanny says you may not open your business on days Nanny specifies.

She says you may not advertise for young female employees… so I’m not sure how Hooters are going to manage in opening a bar here full of young, attractive women. They might have to have a quota of ugly women just to keep Nanny happy.

Now this is just wrong, isn’t it? This is ugly, isn’t it. If someone offered you such a deal… if someone offering you such a deal showed up on your door step and offered you such a deal you’d tell them to bugger off, wouldn’t you? It wouldn’t matter how nice the seller was, because you’d know that deal they were offering was poison. Half your earnings in return for taking control over your life, your children, your property, your business and your happiness: and you don’t tell them to bugger off, do you? You keep voting for more of the same!

You don’t need Nanny holding your hand telling you what you can and can’t do. So why do you keep voting for exactly that?

These people up here today are all nice, all nice--apart of course from Judith--but the deal they’re offering you is poison. Don‘t keep buying it. I urge you not to keep buying it. They’re not Santa Claus—although some of them think they are, don’t they Judith—they’re not Santa Claus, they’re the living embodiment of Nanny. And it’s time you told them to bugger off.

Now I’m not here representing Nanny. I’m from the Libertarianz Party, and we think Nanny stinks. We’ve been around for ten years now, and we think politicians should be out of your pockets, out of your face, and out of your life. Gone by lunchtime. Gone for good.

There are 20 parties this election. 19 of them think it’s OK to help themselves to your money and boss you around with it. We don’t. We say that’s wrong.

We say that at this election there are twenty parties but only two choices: Nanny State in nineteen different guises, or Freedom, and Libertarianz.

Our philosophy is very simple: we stand for more freedom and less govt. In other words: you mind your business and I’ll mind mine.

In a truly free society the only laws are those that rightly prohibit the use of force and fraud and respect contracts that have been made voluntarily. You may not act forcefully or fraudulently toward others. That requirement should include the state and its agents.

To that end we recognise that tax is theft. Because that money, YOUR money, is then used to blatantly vote-buy. An election is an advance auction of stolen goods. Your goods. It’s time you asked for them back. It’s high time you stopped allowing yourself to be bribed with your own damn money.

It doesn’t matter which of this lot is in power, it’s used to buy votes. It’s a wonder Michael Cullen hasn’t buggered his wrist lately, he’s been writing so many cheques. And finding more money behind the cushions as he writes them. And John Key just wants to buy your vote with borrowed money. Unlike sensiblke peoplewho understand that to cut taxes you must also cut spending, he doesn’t want to cut government spending, he wants to increase it. Which you will have to pay for later. Enter Muldoon, Version 2.0.

These bloody socialists, both the Labour Socialists and the National Socialists, will tell you that they need to steal from you so that they can provide you with certain services, which is their sole justification for stealing all that money in the first place. Bollocks! What do they provide?

  • Die-while-you-wait hospitals.
  • Dumbed-down schools. Precisely the kind of dumbing down guaranteed to churn out hordes of brainless, gum-chewing, hip-hop loving Labour voters indefinitely. That produces kids who can’t read, write or add… but who do know all the latest, state-mandated nonsense about the Treaty of Waitangi; who do know all about cultural relativism.
  • Compulsory charity, so that 300,000 New Zealanders are now beneficiaries of your charity.

Judith and Stuart (Labour Party hacks, ed.) will boast that New Zealand has only 4% unemployment. Easy, when you’re throwing benefits at 300,000 people. Some of those people are in this room. Do you know the highest paid beneficiary here today? Judith, who just left after throwing a hissy fit at your disrespect.

Truth is, you don’t need these people and their theft any more than you need a Ministry for Education or a Ministry for Health… or a Ministry for Shoes or a Ministry of Women’s or Maori Affairs. Leave them be and let them organise their own bloody affairs.

In fact, leave all of us be. You don’t need the government organising your life. All you need it for is to protect me from you and you from me, and outside that just to leave us all the hell alone.

Just let people make up their own minds, and leave them free to run their own lives, and make their own mistakes, and let them learn from them. Give them all their money back, so they can spend it where they deem best, with people who do know how to run things! Not central or local planners who patently don’t.

I know what’s best for me. The state doesn’t. The Libertarianz understand the balance between freedom and responsibility – because the two go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke: there is only one basic human right and that’s the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the one basic duty: to accept full responsibility for your actions!

So why am I here tonight doing this when I so clearly detest politics and politicians, as I do?

Because I own my life. As an adult, I don’t need the state to interfere in my workplace, my home, my bedroom, my body (in terms of what I choose to do with it), my business, my property, my family or my wallet. Conversely, these buggers all want to interfere in some way, shape or form. I’ve got news for them: people were not born to be bossed around by bureaucrats or by politicians! To paraphrase Voltaire, the world will be a better place when the last politician is strangled with the guts of the last bureaucrat. It is the job of we libertarians to bring that happy day about.

I repeat: It’s a simple philosophy ladies & gentlemen: you mind your business, and I’ll mind mine. I don’t want your money and I don’t want to run your life.

But there are 19 other parties full of politicians who do. What’s the best thing you can say about politicians? Let me tell you a brief story to close.

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patient to operate on. The first surgeon says: I like accountants because when I open them up, everything is numbered, and I never lose track of where I am. [laughter] The second one says: I like electricians a lot better because when I open them up, everything is color-coded, and that makes it really simple. The third one says: I prefer a librarian, because everything is alphabetical. I don’t have any trouble with that at all. The fourth one says: I would pick construction workers; construction workers are really good. If there are a few parts left over and it took a lot longer than you thought, they don’t care, they understand that. [laughter] And the last one says: you guys aren’t even close. I like politicians. They have no guts, no heart, no spine, and the head and the butt are interchangeable!

At this election, I urge you to free yourself from the politicians. Cast a vote for your life, and for your liberty. Cast it for Libertarianz. We may not be in parliament this election, but you can be damn sure our ideas will be. Your vote will help that happen. Any other vote is just a vote for more of the same.

Thank you.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Brushfires of liberty

Let me answer a couple of questions about Libertarianz that ACT supporters often ask us by re-posting a comment I made on Aaron's blog:

Andrew asked me, "Do you plan to get more votes than last time?" Here is my reply.

Clearly every party does, Andrew. Clearly too, none of us have any control over the number of votes cast, do we? But not all of us judge success in this way.

"By the way, you still haven't really answered my question on your party's outrageous claims that you "promise to get Govt out of your pocket, out of your face, and out of your life." How will you do this??"

Short answer: Cultural change. Longer answer: by making a revolution in people's minds for the idea that their life is their own. As Samuel Adams said (quoted by somebody recently I understand ) "It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

But there are no shortcuts, as ten years of ACT parliamentary activity and scandal-mongering has surely shown you. As we Libz always say, our aim is not necessarily for our candidates to get to parliament--we are nothing if not realistic--but for our ideas to get there. Rest assured they will be there long before we ever will. A political party is just one vehicle for those ideas to be heard, argued, expounded and thought about; one giving a platform that wouldn't otherwise exist, and one that helps to get the ideas there.

Actually Andrew, if you read my blog regularly you would find that rather than shying away from the question, I've answered this question numerous times, here for instance, especially in the article linked from that post.

In short, you don't measure the truth of ideas by how popular they are, you measure them by whether or not they're right; and if you're keen and honest you then work to ~make~ the right ideas popular. And as I said, there are no shortcuts. I challenge you to spend your three years in the wilderness by joining with us in trying to make that happen.

If you really do want a longer argument, have a look at this: Putting the 'P' Word into Politics.
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And if you really think ACT is "75% libertarian" as one delusional obsessive claimed here on my blog this morning, then in this last week of a campaign in which they're going down anyway why don't they stand up for what they say they believe in. As I said months ago, here's five things they can do to ensure they at least go down with the principles they claim to have, rather than trying to stay alive by living on their knees.

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Join me this arvo

Blog-lite today. Billboarding this morning, and speaking this arvo at another candidates meeting. Join me if you like: 3pm at Thomas Forde's Frontbench bar in the old Station Hotel, 2 Anzac Ave. It's your chance to shout me a beer. :-)

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