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Showing posts from April, 2008

Income Splitting and Societal Effects

I'm all for income splitting - the idea that a couple ought to be taxed as a joint entity rather than individuals. In a society where tax is used as some sort of social equaliser as it is in NZ, it doesn't make sense that a working couple with the same income as a single earner couple get taxed different amounts. You'd almost think that the government wants to penalise couples who have one partner (typically the wife) stay at home to look after the children while the other goes out to work. I know there are many arguments against income splitting, such as what about single parents and it's not fair on those couples with children. In an ideal world, I personally think that income tax ought to be abolished completely and replaced with GST on everything. The privacy aspect alone of income tax allowing the government to know far more about us than they should is enough of a reason to abolish it completely. However, these things take time and in a country where it is

Poltical Boobs

Stephen Franks dropped a risque Danish road safety video on his blog and it was linked by David Farrar who has RSS readers constantly scanning for " road safety " and " boobs ". Now, had this been Farrar's post, I doubt much issue would be raised by it. However, this is tied back to Stephen Franks. And it's an election year. The more rabid supporters of the Labour Party have sniffed an opportunity to make an attack and it will be interesting to see if they try to pick this up and apply the heat to one of National's most promising new candidates. For example, commenter "roger nome" (aka phillipjohn") comes in on the first comment with an attack on Stephen Franks. However, before we look at what he said, let's see his opinion on the "Boobs on Bikes parade". You will recall the Boobs on Bikes Parade is a topless parade held in Auckland featuring porn stars on motorbikes - a parade designed to advertise a sex expo. roger

Illegal Government?

I am up to chapter 18 of Ian Wishart's book Absolute Power - almost finished it - and it's been very eye-opening. One of the points he makes is that "New Zealand's current political system is [...] technically illegal". This is because when we (the Government, actually) declared ourselves independent from Britain in 1986 the Government lost the right to Govern because they lost the right conferred by British Parliament and there should have been an election at that stage straight away to let voters choose the party they now wanted and to "ratify the new constitutional position", as Ian puts it. Nothing has been done about it since then. Does this mean that every decision that has been made by Parliament since then has been illegal? I would love to see this given to some high-power lawyer and have every decision ever made by the Govt since 1986 made null and void (especially the decisions made since Labour took over in 1999). Then maybe we can all

Who's yer daddy?

It appears that Molly enjoys casual sex with passing strangers confident in the knowledge that any offspring will never take after “daddy”. She hasn't done this just once either. This carry-on has been going on for 70,000 years. Not that Molly is that old. Her mother did the same, and her grandmother and so on. This is the problem you get when the father isn't around. Actually, it's worse than that. The little trollop doesn't even have her father's DNA. Can you imagine the court case when suing for maintenance? "You little tramp - you have wasted the courts time - you look nothing like your father, and the DNA test came up with zilch. So who is the father? Well, Molly is a fish (The Amazon Molly) that needs to "date" males of other species in order to reproduce. There is no male Amazon Molly. And here's the thing that Evolutionary Scientists are agog over: although the sperm of the stranger male activates development of an embryo, n

Friday Night Free For All

Don't know if everyone's away on holiday etc etc, but I'll unlock and put out the Pineapple Lumps (get 'em before the Govt bans 'em !)

Three News Items Stood Out Today

Plans to ban gay jokes rejected by the Lords Comedians and church leaders have claimed a victory for free speech after Government plans to ban jokes about homosexuals were rejected in the House of Lords. In a late night vote, peers inflicted an overwhelming defeat on the Government by amending the Criminal Justice Bill to protect the freedom of speech of comics, rap artists and those who criticise other people’s sexuality. Christians Find Alternatives to Pro-Gay 'Day of Silence' Thousands of students across the nation will participate on Friday in what has become known as "The Day of Silence" – a vow among students to remain silent throughout the day in recognition and protest of the perceived “silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools.” ... In response to The Day of Silence, conservative and pro-family groups have organized themselves to oppose the event, urging parents to keep their children away from school tha

Hillary could 'obliterate' Iran in Defence

There was an interesting response from Hillary Clinton today on ABC's Good Morning America when asked what she would do if a nuclear-powered Iran attacked Israel. "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic." "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel)." I'm wondering, is Hillary (if elected) going to be a President with an itchy trigger finger? And how does that compare to her criticism of the Bush administration going into Iraq?

The Angry Atheist

These are some thoughts I was having about Zen's latest post on the anger of some as regards the death of the young Christian trampers a couple of weekends ago. Some very thoughtful replies on that thread also - John Tertullian's quoting Shakespeare's "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" as regards the rage of the Angry Atheist, as I call him (in general). It strikes me as strange how an Atheist doesn't believe in God but feels the need to bring Him into the equation so he has someone to be angry with, i.e "I don't believe in God, but if I did I'd be very angry with Him". If an Atheist doesn't believe in God then it's nobody's fault and he has no one to be mad at - to him we come from nothing, are here for a short while, and are going to nothing. Perhaps he is angry at Christians because he feels they aren't angry enough at God, but they're the ones who seem to be handling the tragedy best. And what does Je

Condominiums and Abortion

The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act (CS&A Act) was established to prevent easy access to abortion, and yet the actual provisions of the law are being flouted. 99% of the 18,000 plus abortions last year came after a brief consultation and approved on the grounds of "mental health". [SATIRE ALERT] Lawyers warned late last year that ignoring the intent of the law set a dangerous precedent, and opened the way to legally change the way all laws in New Zealand were applied. Their warning was made too late. The most notable adoption of the CS&A Act was a change of policy at Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) last week. The KCDC has responded to public demands to improve the building consent process by embracing the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act. From July 1, all building permits will be subject to the same provisions of the CS&A Act. Any person requiring a “permit” simply sees a licensed “consultant”, who will immediately ap

Faith and Suffering and Listening

My heart goes out to Peter Cresswell who reacted poorly to the recent tragic deaths of six Christian college students and their teacher. Such is his desire to believe there is no God, he seeks proof of his non-existence at any opportunity. His faith in atheism is, well, like a rock. He asks questions, but he also provides the answers. The questions then are not genuine, but simply and opportunity for an attack, and the tone of his post is unfortunately deeply disrespectful. When these young Christians died yesterday, where was their God? When they left their Christian school en route to their adventure, and no doubt prayed to God to keep them all safe, where was God? When they prayed that morning for success in their trek and God's guidance to get them through it safely, where was God? When they listened that morning to the weather forecast, which would have told them that heavy rain was on the way, where was their brain -- and where was God? When the heavy rain began floo

Friday Night Free For All

Yes it's Friday and it's still Free. That's because the government, in all its various guises hasn't yet decided to "solve" another problem by taxing blogs. Or conversations for that matter. The latest new tax idea is a "congestion tax" for people driving into the city from one or two roads. Interestingly, whilst such taxes are often touted as the "fairest thing to do" there is no suggestion of taxing drivers living in the Airport Suburbs, or over Karori way, or driving down from the back roads of Johnsonville. Secondly, this congestion tax is on top of a newly added regional petrol tax, instigated to raise funds for regional roading projects. In addition to our general taxes, rates and the current huge set of taxes on fuel. And the government is also talking of increasing car registration rates, making third party insurance mandatory and the Greens want to add more taxes to pay for carbon emissions. Apparently, there is no pro

Labour Off Key

Whale Oil has the latest video of Labour MP's singing for their supper. I don't think he created it as a satirical piece, this time I think he simply copied it second for second (other than the opening credits perhaps). Obviously, in this music video the Labour Party are off Key. But they really need to change their tune. This stuff isn't clever, or funny, it's just painful. A FTA with China? Sounds more like a Karaoke Agreement with Japan. One we didn't need. On the bright side, the whole thing could hardly have a value of more than one dollar. Shouldn't hurt their campaign budget too much. Equally, National might want to use it in theirs? I didn't see a copyright symbol. Whale Oil provides A link not really worth following, other than so you can warn your friends

The Ugly Truth

I don't pay much credence to this " left wing ugly, right wing beautiful " theory generated by a former Italian Prime Minister. But other people seem to be taking this very seriously. Take the left wing Gonzalo, who obviously felt like life had handicapped him unfairly. Now firstly, how do I know he is left wing? Well, the moment people want to create taxes to "equalize" things we know what we are dealing with. Gonzalo wrote a book called Ugly! which calls for a tax to be levied on good looking people. Given the current working theory that left wing politicians are uglier than right wing politicians, we can see what Gonzalo is driving at: another attack on the right. A tax on the Right Wing, and on those that score 6 or more out of 10. Now, whilst I may be the first to poo-poo this theory, I am willing to offer up another theory that goes some way to explaining things. If you are "beautiful on the inside", then even an average or poorly look

Friday Night Free For All

It's the fifth day. Beethoven's day. Beethoven's fifth at least? Whatever, it's quiet out there. Too quiet. Can you feel the storm brewing? No? Well, let's have a chat and just perhaps keep one eye on the river. It's one of my favourite songs actually: Look out, Mama, there's a white boat comin' up the river With a big red beacon, and a flag, and a man on the rail I think you'd better call John, 'Cause it don't look like they're here to deliver the mail And it's less than a mile away I hope they didn't come to stay It's got numbers on the side and a gun And it's makin' big waves. Daddy's gone, my brother's out hunting in the mountains Big John's been drinking since the river took Emmy-Lou So the powers that be left me here to do the thinkin' And I just turned twenty-two I was wonderin' what to do And the closer they got, The more those feelings grew. Daddy's rifle in my hand felt reas

Words that should be banned

Here is a word that is very dangerous: S H O U L D. I humbly suggest it be immediately banned from the English Language. Naturally, it would completely destroy the majority of left wing ideology (give it a go - explain WHY progressive tax is fair without the word "should") and social engineering would be stopped dead in its tracks. But it goes deeper than that. The word is just plain dangerous. This is not a case of "we should ban it", it is a situation where it MUST be banned. You know I make sense. And Antarctic Lemur and Dr Phil were both very suspicious of the use of the word "But". Yes, but....essentially means "disregard everything I say before the but, and accept everything I say after the but. Capice? You should just say yes - no buts, no maybes. From the Sir Humphrey Archives: Words that make you go "hmmmm"

Hazard of the Job

Surely, it goes with the territory? A hazard of the job. My initial thought simply was "And your problem is???" Two young men who were shot at after committing a string of burglaries and car thefts were scared for their lives, a Wellington Court has been told. Taylor told the court he had been driving a stolen car around the Wairarapa village of Ngawai when he was pursued and fired at. Diamond said the driver of a Hilux had tried to run them off the road while shooting at them. OK, they stole stuff, were chased and fired at and got scared and maybe even wet their pants. And I say again, "the problem is??" The only confusing thing in this article is that the shooter has been charged with "recklessly discharging a firearm". As usual, they put the wrong people on trial. Stick the thieves in jail and make them pay compensation to the shooter for recklessly enraging the general population. If it turns out these guys are repeat offenders, it would

All the tea in China

It's a small world we live in. We've tried to separate sport from foreign affairs, foreign affairs from morals and yesterday Winston Peters tried to even separate foreign affairs from trade . So where has that got us? China spent a fair amount of effort to host the Olympics, figuring they can market the country just as well as Nike can flog products made on the back of cheap labour. They got their wish, and have, in efforts to prove how much they are improving on issues of human rights, demolished many homes and summarily turfed out citizens to make space* for the Olympic venues. They have banned factories and cars from operating in days preceding pollution measurements in efforts to assure athletes to leave the air bottles behind. When it comes to making the games go ahead, they exemplify the Nike motto; "Just Do It". But their biggest problem with the Olympic PR exercise, is that it all seems to be unraveling over the perpetual thorn in their side - T

Mata Nui - Lego Transformed

An epic post from TBR by Ropata on the merits of Lego and Lego Creatures with weapons. Awesome, and I must confess, an essential part of my boys upbringing. Currently, they are into Lego Bionicles. THe most lethal fighting force known to boykind. Which is why the linked "Transformers versus Bionicle" movie is so lame. It's good, but lame. Check out this Bionicle Story first, and then tell me the second video was stacked. And while we are on the subject, Scrubone brings some historical perspective to lego. I'm wondering if a FTA with China will see parallel importing of fake and inferior lego gear. Or will China market completely new lego themes ? Related Link at TBR: Boys Love Lego and Guns Related Link: Bionicle Web Site

Friday Night Free For All

Well, since I'm here first, I may as well open up, turn the lights on, put out the sausage rolls (they're slightly cold, sorry) and welcome one and all to our Friday Night free-for-all. Make yourselves comfortable!

Clark Tries To Defend China Trade Deal

This morning on the TV news they had clips of Helen Clark from an interview she did on BBC World News trying to defend her stance on the Free Trade Deal she is soon to sign with China. She says - "I'm conscious that in my lifetime China will be the world's biggest economy. It will be a super power and it's important to me that we get on the best terms we can with that large and powerful country." OK, well, getting on good terms is one thing but I'm not sure whether because a country will be a super power is a good enough reason to sign up to a free trade deal with them. Would we sign up with Iraq if it turned out they were going to be a super power? Or Afghanistan? It's unlikely that Iraq or Afghanistan will become super powers, but I'm just trying to make a point here. If the world were to become unstable with a conflict developing and battle lines drawn then with whom would we be allied? Communist China? It's worth thinking about.

A Form of Performance Art

When you are a pseudo intellectual PC socialist it is very hard to judge how worthy art is. But somebody without talent has to do it. One thing is clear to such people though: you take tax money and you give it to those projects supposedly most artistically deserving. Thus, under new Arts Council requirements in the UK, organisations applying for grants are being asked to state how many board members are bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian or whose inclinations are “not known”. Audrey Roy, the director of grants, said that the council needed to understand who its audience was and to whom its funding was going. “We see diversity as broader than race, ethnicity, faith and disability,” she said. Actually, it almost seems as if they see diversity only in terms of sexuality. Question 22 of the Grants for the Arts forms, relating to sexual orientation, was not compulsory, she added. Except the form states that it must be answered. Ah, "optional but mandatory" -

Truth in Advertising

An oldie, but perhaps worth another look - in the break below I've dug up a few advertising slogans that, when translated into a different language, for a different market, came out a little differently than expected. Perhaps truth will out? As we prepare for an onslaught of political spin in the coming election year, we can stay on the lookout for similar mistranslations, when converting from Politik into English. Remember the award whinging slogan "You're better off with Labour"? Translated from Politik into English, it comes out as "You've made Labour Better Off". "The Electoral Finance Act" translates to "You've made Labour Better Off". And the recent "chewing gum tax break cancelled" becomes "You've made Labour better off" Can't wait to see their pledge cards this year. ADVERTISING PITFALLS Cracking an international market is a goal of most growing corporations. It shouldn't be that ha

Earth Hour 2008

There are 8760 hours in a year. March 29, 2008 we turned the lights off for one of them. We've saved the world. Crisis averted. Although next time, perhaps keeping the hospital machine that goes "ping" switched on will be on the "excluded" list. Our condolences to the families concerned. You can be part of the tipping point by watching the video and basking in the power of protest. If you missed the event, then turn your lights off for an hour now. Then watch the video. As Earth Hour is being hailed a success around the world, one blogger reports that they discovered something perhaps more important: turning the TV off for an hour . Now that's something I've been advocating (and living by) for ages. I just didn't realise I was an environmentalist.

Political Bribes

A cartel of charities have been accused of accepting money from an unknown political party. Winston Peters was reported to be livid that his party had been described as "unknown" but he really did need to gain a few more percentage points in the polls to progress to "relatively unknown". It was not known how long this cartel had been extracting money from NZ First, and what pressure they had placed on Winston to think of his fellow man and open his wallet. One thing was clear however - the Cullen Charity (also known as IRD) had missed out and was reportedly fuming that they would not have the revenue to invest in health. Dr Michael Cullen, Minister of Finance (and registered as a charitable trust) explained that every dollar directed away from Inland Revenue represented another person dying in Accident and Emergency. Things were reportedly so serious, they were thinking of reducing the waiting list cutoff from 6 months to 5 months in order to improve outcomes