28 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past: Planning transport

Yes Labour and the Greens always share a grand plan for transport that wont be met of course, because the targets bear little resemblance to what transport users want.  You see you can take two views about what transport users want.  You can take what they do, in response to their own demands and the price to meet those, or you can ask them what they want, and they'll usually want to pay less for a lot more.  It is the latter approach that guides what is the eco-socialist view of transport - which is that the system should be driven by what planners think is good for everyone, not by responding to demand according to what people are prepared to pay for.

Labour's 2008 transport policy had a range of goals which pretty much sums up the banal attitude to this:

- Cut km travelled by single occupancy vehicles in urban centres by 10% by 2015.  In other words, too many people are driving in their own cars in cities, and they should either not do so, or take someone else with them (it doesn't mean empty buses).  A target to reduce congestion would be to meet something people want, but no it is a statement that driving in your own car, on your own, is inherently bad, even if you bought the car, paid for the petrol, insurance etc (including the tax to pay for the road).  Too many people are being bad by driving themselves unnecessarily!

 - Increasing the movement of freight by ship and rail to 30 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. Whatever THAT means, because it could just be an increase in freight tonne km, which could happen anyway with a booming economy. However if it is about mode share, then there is no chance this could happen without taxing others to subsidise freight movements by more expensive modes.  The assumption is that moving freight by sea and rail is better, because of less pollution, but it ignores that the reason it doesn't happen as much as planners want, is cost. It simply costs more.  There is no quantification of the benefits of this mode shift, given it will cost money to achieve it, it is simply part of the quasi-religious belief that sea and rail transport is "better" than road transport, not anything based on evidence.
- Increasing walking, cycling and other active forms of transport to 30 per cent of trips in urban areas. You unfit slobs, walk! I tell you walk! Of course a good way of doing this would be to eliminate public transport subsidies, then more people would walk and cycle, as the main competition for public transport is walking and cycling. Yet Labour wants to double subsidies (euphemistically called "funding") for public transport.   Why 30% of trips?  It's a planning target.  It would improve physical fitness yes, it would also reduce demand for public transport so there could be savings there and delays in expanding road capacity, but how do you "increase" this?  Does pouring taxpayers' money into infrastructure make a difference?  Who knows, as it isn't evidence based.

 The truth is that the government cannot predict transport demand, technologies or geographical changes in demographics and businesses. The government's biggest influence is owning infrastructure it could see free through commercialisation and privatisation, but no, it wants to specify the "right level" of funding when it doesn't know where demand is heading.

25 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : Residents Action Movement (sic)

The "Residents Actions Movement" (or Residents Action Movement, the website doesn't appear to be sure) is now a registered political party.

Hilarious. It doesn't even have a grammatically correct name - perfect party for the imbeciles and retards who used to vote Alliance because it promised everything would be free, and those mean old lazy rich people who do nothing all day would happily remain in the country and pay for it from their money trees. I wonder if the name was registered without the apostrophe? Moreover, maybe there isn't an error! It's all a bit post-modernist to mess with your mind.

Yes RAM is quite a group. Besides being an "action movement" (you know like rotating a shoulder), I'm unsure what the residents are all about, since they clearly have nothing to do with the action movement (given the name).

I have to laugh at them, really I do. Take this from the website:

"Stalls are being organised all over the country every week, with particularly strong activity around Whangarei, Auckland and Wellington. Every week hundreds of people are joining RAM on the stalls."

Lots of activity organising stalls around Auckland, Wellington and Whangarei! Bless! Hundreds of people joining RAM on the stalls - big stalls they must be to have all those people on them!

RAM has 10 commandments, again plenty of scope for humour here:

1. - Remove GST tax from all our food (in bold maybe because it is the only policy that may work, somehow. Anyway look forward to the Caviar being GST free. Though I'd abolish GST altogether, but anyway it's policy for simpletons).

2. - $2,000 'baby bonus' to every mum (of COURSE. Well done, you got knocked up and we'll make everyone else pay you for being so damned clever. I mean, you must have thought so carefully about how to do something the species has been doing for hundreds of thousands of years without a "bonus". Yes good on you mums, RAM will go from house to house to take money off others

3. - Offer first-home buyers a 3% interest state loan (Yep, let them printing presses fly Cletus, then sons and daughters of wealthy people can buy their first homes cheap too, after all nothing like lending money that doesn't exist right? Smart!).

4. - Lift minimum wage to $15 per hour (Of course the price of uneducated manual labour should go up, there is such a shortage, and it will put up prices to everyone else. Celebrate manual labour!).

5. - Free lunches in schools serving poor areas (Yay free stuff, yay. The government money tree working again. Go to school son, means you can get a feed right? Those parents breeding without us realising how much we owe them for producing children that we have no control over!).

6. - Free tertiary education plus a student living allowance (Free yay again. Can't imagine why more things aren't free. Yes nothing like students spending their lives studying and not earning a dollar).

7. - Free and frequent public transport in our main cities (We're free, I mean we're not because we'll be forced to pay for all these things we wont use, but they will be free. The roads will remain jammed up though - nobody has made this work).

8. Offer cheap solar panels to homeowners (Cheap, not free? Well subsidised anyway, those printing presses will be working hard though wont they? Money can just be printed after all!)

9. - Restore to workers their free right to strike (Yes, poor oppressed sods. Ridiculous to expect them to work for being paid and to not go off when they like striking for reasons nothing to do with their jobs. How fascist is that, requiring people to follow their contracts!)

10. - Enshrine the Treaty of Waitangi in a new constitution to guarantee the mutual rights of Maori and non-Maori (ohhh identified as a "non", those "non" people need rights too. Enshrine the Treaty will make everything better, of course take Stephen Franks's view of the Treaty and this means private property rights!).

24 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : "Peace" supporting politicians are hypocrites

More missile tests and nope- nothing from the usual suspects.

Guess it is ok for the murderers of rape victims, secularists, homosexuals, and the advocates of complete integration of religious and state, who enforce with violence laws demanding women and men dress how they want, who fund and train suicide bombers - to have missiles, and weapons capable of destroying a country they want destroyed.

Not those evil Americans with separation of church and state, civil rights for women, homosexuals, atheists and those of any religion, the right to dress pretty much as you want - so no need to protest.

"Peace movement"? Well I think that's been shown up for what it isn't.

The "peace movement" is a fraud, as it is more than happy to turn a blind eye to states acquiring aggressive military capability if they are opposed by the West and its allies.

The "peace movement" is fundamentally anti-Western, anti-capitalist and is a tired vestige from the Cold War, as it then was a Soviet backed front that was led by hardline Marxist-Leninists gleaning wider support from the naive, well-meaning and good-natured, for a strategy of disarming the relatively free world.

You see it in protests against attacks on Gaza that are silent on Gaza attacks on Israel.

Peace, unless of course, it is fighting against governments they don't like very much.   You can be sure that if there ever was a WMD attack on Israel, Israel would get the blame, although Israel wouldn't hesitate to respond in kind - and the hypocrites would cry foul.

23 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : In 2009 had Obama gone conservative?

Yep, having been accused of being on the left, he's decided that the old politics of flip flopping and appealing to whoever can get him more votes is exactly what he wants to do.

According to the Times he has flip flopped on a whole host of issues:

"He told a cheering crowd of Israel's supporters of his fervent commitment to the security of the Jewish state and added, for good measure, that an “undivided” Jerusalem should be the nation's capital." So like Bush then?

"He said that he likes free trade after all, and that his primary campaign pledge to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement was a case of “overheated rhetoric”. " Well he still voted for more agricultural protectionism, and has done virtually nothing to restart a WTO trade round.

"Last week he expressed support for a Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on handguns and opposition to another that outlawed the death penalty for rape of a child. " Hold on, so what party is he from again? Defending handgun ownership? Supporting executing child rapists? 

"This week he promised to expand President Bush's faith-based organisations initiative, a programme that channels funds to religious groups so that they can deliver social welfare services" say what? So church and state are separate, but funding religious groups (not mentioning non-religious) is a change?

Was it just the case that Barack Obama, far from being the "change" candidate, was the "I want power" candidate?

21 July 2014

Cheering on religious theocracy

We should live in a Christian theocracy.

Those who are not Christians can live in peace, but the laws they live under will be Biblical.  However, Muslims shouldn't expect much tolerance, for they are the enemy.  They will be driven out and should not expect mercy for they have long been oppressors of Christians. 

Christians can expect punishment if they reject Christ.  They will be discriminated against in employment and education, and if they spread their atheist heresy, they face arrest.

Women will live in their proper God-specified roles.  They wont be allowed to wear any provocative clothing, and be chaperoned by their husbands, fathers or brothers before they meet the right man to marry and have children.  Some may aspire to careers, but the new regime will favour mothers first.  Deviants who are homosexuals or lesbians will be arrested.

All children will be taught bible studies and that the literal biblical view of history is true.  This will include learning about the oppressors from other religions.  They will learn about the glory of the crusades and that dying for Jesus is a sacrifice that God understands and glorifies.

Peace and human rights activists from other countries will protest against those who do not appreciate the beauty of our society.  They will march opposing the aggressors who regard our rocket attacks on their legally recognised territory as a provocation that deserves attacks on our own people.  For once we have driven our those heretics from their "state" we will reunite our peoples under the banner of God.

You see we want a society of peaceful respect for God's laws.  We will not tolerate blasphemy against God, and will imprison those creating images of God and Jesus that are offensive, or making offensive remarks about our beliefs.  We will ban photos, movies, TV programmes, music and internet websites that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.  We will ensure women know their place, and good Holy men are in charge of our government, our courts, our prisons and our schools.   We will ensure elections and democracy do not compromise our land of God, and ensure always there are governments under the guidance of the Bible, which we will consider to be a document alongside the constitution.

We are heartened by global peace activists and human rights activists who support us, in spite of our obvious differences in what we think are human rights.  We think women's place is specified by holy scripture, they let women be harlots and arrogantly think they can rule, or lead men.   We think homosexuals are filthy abominations, yet there are plenty of them supporting us.  We think atheists need re-education and help to find God, but many of them are atheists too.

Still, we are thrilled that the activists of the new-left peace movements across many countries don't think their heretical world view should be imposed upon our people.  Their solidarity with us, emboldens us to fire more rockets at the heathens, sacrifice more of our people for God and demonstrates to our people how righteous it is for us to defend and seek to expand our theocracy, God Willing, throughout our lands to the north and east.   They know that there cannot be peace unless others submit to the word of God, and we trust that when our friends and allies come to their lands, they too will call for understanding and dialogue, rather than oppression of our world view.

Their moral relativism, whereby the so-called "rights" of "religious freedom", "sexual equality" "gay rights" and "freedom of speech" they argue for, are not deemed applicable to our people, is perplexing, but I will leave it to my brothers in their lands to argue the soundness of absolute adherence to the Bible against the moral depravity seen in their lands.

We are willing to sacrifice men, women and children for our state of God, we are always glad to get support from others who will cheer on when our theocracy is complete, God Willing.

PS: Does all this mean there isn't a deep sense of horror and despair at what has been happening in Gaza? Of course not.   Does it mean unwavering support for Israel's policy towards the Palestinians?  No.  What it is, is a belief that they deserve freedom and basic individual rights too.  The worshippers of the death cult of Islamism not only lead away from that, but they want to bring us all down with them.

16 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : Spare a thought for the victims of NORAID

While the US media pumps sympathy for Ted Kennedy, let me add to the pertinent points raised by Blair Mulholland and Not PC about this prick, and add NORAID. You see the Kennedy gang used to raise money directly to fund the IRA - yes the people of Manchester, and the hundreds of victims of that criminal sectarian gang can thank the holy family of Kennedy - the untouchables.
I fail to see why anyone can worship this family, and it's not because they are left wing, it's not because they are power hungry, but because they are slime. They aligned themselves with thugs, and became the untouchable family of legend. JFK's one big victory was the Cuban missile crisis, in which he performed admirably. However Ted Kennedy has long been a sleazy creep. I wont spare a moment of my emotions granting sympathy to this wealthy former terrorist supporting legend in his own mind.

15 July 2014

Rape culture?

Rape is a good thing, the more often it happens the better.  Well that might be going too far.  How about it just not being important.  If anyone is raped, it's not important, it isn't a big deal, it's just part of life.  If anyone says they have been raped, tell them to get over it, or rape them yourself.  If young men want to go out raping, then that's just something they do, it's nothing to get worked up about and the Police really can only deal with it if they witness the crime.   Sentencing should be reflect how normal rape is in the culture and how minimised a crime it really is, indeed it's surprising there isn't a crime of inciting rape by women who are attractive to men.

That's what New Zealand is about.

Or rather that's the parallel universe that a "rape culture" would represent, if the position taken by Green MP Jan Logie is taken seriously.

However, it shouldn't be.  It is vacuous, hyperbolic and classic Orwellian collectivist abuse of language.  In fact it helps rapists to get out of personal responsibility "it wasn't me, I was raised in a rape culture, I thought it was ok".  

It shouldn't need spelling out, because it should be obvious.  Most people, women and men, regard rape as abhorrent.   If their own mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, cousin, daughter, niece or female friend was raped, they'd be horrified and appalled, and would be sympathetic.  New Zealand no longer has a culture of women and girls as possessions, as was the case both in pre-colonial society and in British society until the late 20th century (and is certainly the case in many developing countries, whether Muslim or not).  Yes, there are a tiny minority of men who rape, although radical feminists either don't believe this or simply treat men as potential rapists.   This is true, but only as much as virtually all adults are potential murderers, batterers, thieves and fraudsters. 

So let's look at Jan Logie's claims, and deconstruct them.   Of course doing this, and having a penis, means I am automatically thrown into the "minimising the crime" accusation that is lazily thrown about by some on the other side of the argument, but frankly if you can't let your own arguments be subject to rational scrutiny, then it has no place in public policy discourse.

14 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : The Tribalism of New Zealand politics seen in 2008

Much has been written about how nasty mainstream politics have become in NZ It is true, but those who participate in it often believe it is simply reactionary to the other side. It is truly tribal - tribal in that the other side are devils and their own side are angels. Those of us, like myself, outside of the mainstream, watch and can say "a curse on both your houses" with little effort, as it is obvious what commonplace techniques politicians undertake - especially in election years - to undertake the marketing of lie and obfuscations.

Power is what motivates them all. Power is particularly addictive to those who would otherwise achieve relatively average lives. You need only look at local government to find screeds of less than stellar people who get a kick out of the power they can wield, pathetic it is.

Some politicians are beyond that, and when they are encouraged to dabble in it make major mistakes. Brash was one of those.

Dr Michael Bassett (like Sir Roger Douglas) is another one of those politicians less interested in the power, but more interested in the outcomes and in making a substantive difference. His recent column mentioned Helen Clark's obsession with being the longest serving Labour Prime Minister in history by staying in office beyond July 2009. Clark's lust for power is clear and obvious. Bassett wrote:

"In 1990 at the very last Labour caucus that I attended, when everyone was moping over our well-deserved trouncing, Helen Clark, then Deputy Leader, told the assembled Labour MPs something that I wrote down carefully at the time. She said she would be – and I quote from my caucus notes – “as vicious, nasty and opportunist as anyone” in the fight to return Labour to the Treasury benches. Those remarks were a forewarning. The only religious belief most modern Labourites seem to hold is their divine right to govern, to impose their views on others. "

He notes that, contrast to the Clark administration, the previous Labour government in its final year (election year) privatised Telecom - selling it for a price well above what was expected, to an American consortium. Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Phil Goff were all in the same Cabinet that decided this, along with the corporatisation of airports, the sale of Air New Zealand and Postbank, among other state businesses. They were part of a government that was immensely unpopular because it took decisions that had short term consequences for the long term benefit. Xenophobia was not part of any of this.

So how about now? Clark won in 1999 convincingly because the Nats had sold out so much to a flotsam and jetsum of Winston through to Alamein Kopu.    In 2002, the Nats, used to winning elections from losing governments (and focusing on an absurd strategy of constituency votes first), couldn't compete against Labour which was benefiting from the fruits of the reforms it had disowned. The Nats couldn't put forward a consistent message of opposition and floundered, and was decimated.

In 2005, the story had changed. Don Brash challenged Labour on some core points. First the long running concern of many that government was willing to give preference to Maori over all others, challenging the political correctness that being Maori was "special" politically was initially dismissed as racist - until it became clear that this was mainstream. Then he advocated tax cuts and so presented a clear different approach to government from Labour - Labour's response was to spend money from central government funds to campaign, illegally -then deny it was wrong. Then to treat the Exclusive Brethren backed campaign against Labour as a grand evil conspiracy, when it was little more significant than trade union backed campaigns against National.

The Electoral Finance Act was the latest endeavour to win at all costs. Regulating electoral speech by third parties is sold to the tribe on the basis that"money politics" is evil - excluding of course that available through bureaucratic based promotion of existing policies by taxpayers, that happens to advertise the current government. This also ignores that despite enormous funding year after year, ACT has failed to be a part of ANY government under MMP.

So it has been war. Perhaps it started when Don Brash bumped National's opinion poll rating up ten points at Orewa, perhaps it started when early on election night 2005 National looked like winning, who knows. However, the tribalism that the blue and red camps now show is bitter and venal, and whoever loses in 2008 will bear the brunt of it.

Certainly Labour wont go down without a fight, and the nonsense around foreign investment is a small part of that.

Labour's support has been under attack for the past four of so years from several fronts. The schmoozing of business that was successful in the first term is largely over, partly because business is sick of continued increases in government spendin

11 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past : Support Free Trade: End agricultural export subsidies

While some on the left push the increasingly discredited "Fair Trade" propaganda against both economic theory and practice, it is appropriate to argue for free trade and highlight what protectionism means (and noting that the Oxfam, Fairtrade, left/green economic deluders tend to spend little time on these issues) and what it does.

Export subsidies are one of the more obvious and stupid forms of protectionism.  The WTO prohibits export subsidies for industrial products, but it is not prohibited for agricultural exports, which is unsurprising since both the EU and the US apply them.

Export subsidies undermine the international market prices of goods, whilst stimulating production by the less efficient producers in the countries providing the subsidies to their producers, but undermining the production and the revenue of the more efficient producers in countries unable or unwilling to take money from other taxpayers to prop up agriculture.  In short, export subsidies in agriculture undermine agricultural production in the developing world and so undermine their economies, which typically are more reliant on primary production than the countries with export subsidies.

By enabling inefficient producers to undercut efficient ones, it wastes resources, which any environmentalist ought to oppose, as well as being fundamentally inequitable.  Not only does it take from taxpayers in the countries that pay the subsidies to rent-seeking agricultural producers (and it is the larger and wealthier producers that get the biggest subsidies), but it mean efficient producers lose out in poorer countries.

Before you blame the USA for it, the EU's current WTO commitments on agricultural export subsidies are for subsidies 15 times greater than that of the USA.  

This is a European Union led problem - it is the European Union using its taxpayers' money in a way that impoverishes farmers in poorer countries, whilst calling on its Member States to increase official aid to developing countries.

It's a simple step, it should be the first priority in any new WTO trade round (if the Obama Administration bothered to care), it should be a priority for those activists, who think poverty actually matters.  Not trendy, slogan driven, producer rent-seeking schemes like "Fair Trade".   Oddly enough, they get agitated by the "unfairness" of prices set by demand and supply, not the "unfairness" of state intervention to favour their own.

10 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the Past: Obama anti-free speech

When Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency, one of his policies was to interfere with the media.   Fortunately both the Congress and the Constitution limit that, but take this snippet which shows a different side to the smiling "change you can believe in" mantras. 

"An Obama presidency will promote greater coverage of local issues and better responsiveness by broadcasters to the communities they serve". How?? Will he force radio and TV stations to carry local news more often? How will he punish those broadcasters who fail to serve their communities? Don't communities punish by not watching or listening, making it harder to attract advertisers?

Of course, this hasn't happened, but it shows the philosophical reach he and his campaign had in thinking the Federal Government should get involved in the content of the media.  Be grateful for Congressional gridlock that the President who doesn't appear to think his powers should be limited can't implement his long list of interventionist desires.

07 July 2014

Forgotten Posts from the past : 2007 in review

Well, it's about time to review the past year, which for me personally, has been almost entirely abominable. It's confronted me with death, twice, of people I was very close to. However this is not about me, it's about history, politics and what I found interesting.

NZ politics

This was the year the wheels truly came off the Labour machine. The well oiled spin doctoring, and schmoozing of the electorate has worn thin, and the public is truly fed up with Helen Clark and the Labour government. With polling now below when Labour got elected in 1999 (and remember Labour also had 7% from the Alliance to add onto that then), and National now polling at levels unseen since the 1975 crushing victory by Muldoon - and this is with MMP - it looks like John Key and National can sleepwalk to victory. Of course it cannot, Clark cannot be written off yet - the tax cut bribe is yet to come, and Labour can rely on a core 25% of voters who suckle off of the state tit in one mindless way or another. Expect it to get dirtier, Labour has already tried this and failed, several times, for it to stick. The true colours of Michael Cullen, once thought of as the steady hand on the finances, have come home to roost with his vile attack on John Key for being wealthy - the envious claw of the academic who loves political power over self made success. John Key and National have shown themselves as nothing greater than quietly keeping their mouths shut, unable to assert much or believe in anything. Note the opposition to the Electoral Finance Bill was a bit after the event, and after many others agitated against it - National sniffs the winds and goes with them - business as usual then.

Beyond the two main parties, the other parliamentary parties have at best been absent, and worst been shown up for the appeasers of big government that they are. The Greens have been burnt by the Electoral Finance Bill, and the absence of Rod Donald. Looking more and more like a tired cracked record wanting more and more government, they are no longer that interesting, but can't be ruled out. Few would bet the Greens will drop below 5%. NZ First is a thoroughly spent force, Winston Baubles Peters sold out on the Electoral Finance Bill, and his constituency continues to appear in the obituary columns than as new members. Peter Dunne's last minute opposition to the Electoral Finance Bill wont save his party from becoming a one man band, he looks like a Labour Minister, you clearly don't change the government by voting United Future. Finally, where is ACT? and the Maori Party continues its racist blunderings in sympathising with Robert Mugabe and throwing around the word "racist" whenever it doesn't get its own way.

The public thinks in a two party manner again, with the small parties having barely any relevance - except that National will not forget to remind voters than NZ First, United Future and the Greens keep Labour in power.

Footnote:  Yes the Nats won, Labour lost, and the Greens got a small boost.  Winston was wiped out to spend three years out, Peter Dunne lost his last colleague and ACT surprisingly picked up a bit, as did the Maori Party.  Still a lot has happened since.