Easter trading

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, April 7th, 2012 - 296 comments
Categories: capitalism, law - Tags:

It’s the annual Easter ritual:

Shops caught breaching trading law

Twenty-two shops across the country have been caught flouting the Good Friday Easter trading laws, according to the Labour Department.

The breaches come in the wake of a new poll which shows opinion is split on whether stores should be allowed to trade over the Easter weekend. The Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal Act 1990 specifies most shops must close on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and until 1pm on ANZAC Day. There are exemptions to the Act, with dairies and service stations allowed to sell essential items and pharmacies able to trade as usual. …

Of the 38 shops visited by labour inspectors today, 22 were open, the Department said. … Those found guilty face a fine of up to $1000.

But the latest Colmar Brunton poll found Kiwis were nearly evenly split on whether businesses should be able to trade on Good Friday and Easter Sunday if they chose to. …

By all means let’s have the debate, and make a decision. If we keep the current law, then I think we must also increase the derisory fine. It makes a mockery of the law to have it so widely flouted.

For the record, I’m in favour of the current law. There are enough days in the year to shop – let’s preserve some as widespread holidays.

296 comments on “Easter trading”

  1. Where is the law and order brigade in all of this?

    Every year the same companies ignore the law.  There should be a three strikes law for them, after the third strike their shops are crushed.  Such blatant lawlessness should not be tolerated … 

    • Balanced View 1.1

      Agree, larger fine and two strikes you lose your licence to operate.

    • Richard McGrath 1.2

      And if all shops decided to open, crush the lot of them?

      • fender 1.2.1

        That seems to be the word on the street should crusher collins be next nat. leader.

        So the hunting paid off dick

      • IcI 1.2.2

        If everybody ignores the law, you have civil disobedience.

        If everybody ignores the law, does that law represent the community? Therefore, is it still valid?

  2. Rusty Shackleford 2

    If shops want to close for the Easter break, they are free to. As they are free to close for Ramadan, Christmas or Lunar New Year if they so choose. It isn’t the govt’s job and a perverse display of coercion to be forcing people to observe religious holidays.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      It isn’t the govt’s job and a perverse display of coercion to be forcing people to observe religious holidays.

      Except for the case of every country in the world since antiquity, you are correct.

      • Rusty Shackleford 2.1.1

        This is the exact same logic my mum used. Everyone’s doing it, so it must be cool. Water tight.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Yours is the same logic we all used as children. “Don’t tell me what to do, I’ll do what I want and you’re not the boss of me. I can still live in your house though, right? when’s dinner?”

          • Rusty Shackleford 2.1.1.1.1

            No, my logic is that used by the parents. Let me do as I please in the house or business I own.

            • felix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You fail to understand the analogy. You want to do as you please in the society that we all “own”.

              • Richard McGrath

                So I “own” your car then, do I? Can my son borrow it this Saturday night? Do I also “own” your children?

                • felix

                  lolwut?

                  Rusty isn’t asking to use anyone’s private property.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Are you acknowledging that private property exists? Isn’t it just a construct of greedy capitalists? Isn’t everything in society owned by everyone?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Private property rights exist.

                      Like all rights, private property rights are constructed by societies.

                      Societies can and do construct all sorts of regimes of property rights.

                      Those are subject to change.

                      Can you point me to any society that has unrestricted absolute private property rights; ie, a society that does not acknowledge that society has the right to decide on its system of property rights and alter them should they see the need?

                      And to save time, no the US constitution does not even come close to that.

                      It explicitly states that the state has the right to deprive people of their property against their will; which is to say, it presupposes that a prior right to all property esists such that it belongs to the people as a whole and that this prior right can be exercised by the government.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Private property rights exist.

                      Like all rights, private property rights are constructed by societies.

                      Societies can and do construct all sorts of regimes of property rights.”

                      You are correct in saying property rights exist. But they are not a construct of “society” i.e. the government of the moment. What the government gives, the government can take away.

                      Rights are inherent, are present at birth by virtue of our humanity, and are independent of whatever the government thinks it can do. We all have equal rights and freedoms. Property rights are definitely NOT bestowed upon us by politicians. Why the hell should we have to be pathetically grateful to scum politicians for our rights?

                    • McFlock

                      Oh really, it’s “inherent”?
                      But, say, healthcare when you’re sick isn’t?

                    • felix

                      “Why the hell should we have to be pathetically grateful to scum politicians for our rights?”

                      You tell us Richard, you’re one of them.

                      btw your train of thought went off the rails when you swapped P’s b’s “society” for your “Government” as if they were interchangable terms.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Richard, if your rights are inherent, and not socially constructed, then you would have no need for a government to protect them.

                      A right that isn’t recognised by other people, isn’t a right that you actually have.

                      It might be a right that you would like to have, or that you think it’s obvious that you should have, or that it’s terrible that you don’t have; but it is not a right that objectively exists.

                      A right can only be said to exist, when people agree that this is how they will behave with regard to each other, and set up a system for transgressors of that agreement.

                      In any case, can you point to any place in history where your idea of individual property rights has been established; ie, actually existed?

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Why the hell should we have to be pathetically grateful to scum politicians for our rights?” You tell us Richard, you’re one of them.

                      OK: I don’t think I, or any other politician, should have the power to deprive others of their rights.

                      btw your train of thought went off the rails when you swapped P’s b’s “society” for your “Government” as if they were interchangable terms.

                      Not really; society doesn’t make or change laws that directly affect our rights, the government does.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Richard, if your rights are inherent, and not socially constructed, then you would have no need for a government to protect them.”

                      Why not? There are always criminals out there who would violate other people’s rights and freedoms were it not for the ‘thin blue line’.

                      “A right that isn’t recognised by other people, isn’t a right that you actually have.”

                      Nonsense. If my right to privacy is breached by a person who breaks into my home, that doesn’t all of a sudden negate that same right.

                      “It might be a right that you would like to have, or that you think it’s obvious that you should have, or that it’s terrible that you don’t have; but it is not a right that objectively exists.”

                      You’re saying rights are subjective, arbitrary, subject to the whim of dictators. Of course my rights objectively exist. And they don’t change over time.

                      A right can only be said to exist, when people agree that this is how they will behave with regard to each other, and set up a system for transgressors of that agreement.

                      “In any case, can you point to any place in history where your idea of individual property rights has been established; ie, actually existed?”

                      What you don’t realise is that individual rights existed before any governments and laws. The purpose of government is to protect its citizens against violations of their rights. People in the socialist paradise of North Korea enjoy the same individual rights as New Zealanders, and as the people of Europe 1000 years ago did.

                    • McFlock

                      What I don’t get is why you think property rights are intrinsic, but rights to a humane standard of living and healthcare are not.
                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yep, that’s the bolierplate.

                      I’ll deal with it later this evening, but for the nonce, I’ll just say that you are deeply confused about many things if you think that, objectively speaking, North Koreans have all the same rights that we enjoy in NZ.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Oh really, it’s “inherent”?
                      But, say, healthcare when you’re sick isn’t?”

                      Yep, we possess rights by virtue of being rational human beings.
                      There is no right to to have endless high-tech health care provided, paid for by someone else.

                    • McFlock

                      But we do possess the right to healthcare by virtue of being rational human beings. 
                         
                      See, I can make shit up, too. Why property rights but not healthcare?

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “But we do possess the right to healthcare by virtue of being rational human beings.

                      See, I can make shit up, too. Why property rights but not healthcare?”

                      Yes I know you can make shit up, you do it frequently.

                      A right to receive unlimited healthcare paid for by others is a positive right, i.e. it imposes a burden on others to provide that service.

                      Property rights, OTOH, are negative rights, i.e. they impose no burden on others, save the right to be left unmolested to use said property peacefully.

                      A critical distinction, really.

                    • McFlock

                      The distinction isn’t so much “positive” or “negative” as in what makes a “right” inherent.
                            
                      See, you argue that a piece of land is private property. Let’s say, for the sake of arguent, that I think it is public property. What gives you exclusive dominion over that land? By what authority, given that your “people in north Korea” argument suggests that government doesn’t count, and your “tyranny of the majority” argument suggests democracy or society doesn’t count. What makes your “right” to own land “inherent”, but the public’s rights over the same land not inherent?

            • Foreign Waka 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Your assertion is that NZ is an atheist country. I may point out to you that this is not the case by a long shot. The question is as to what belief NZ affiliates closest. This is as much about religion as it is about social and political coherence. To celebrate the birth and commemorate his death these holidays are recognized. In the same way as Maori are allowed to take extended leave when a loved one dies, Christians are allowed to take time off for their faith. And by the way, taking the meaning away also takes the means for the greedy away to make more money. Because this holiday is about to pause and think about the meaning and compassion of life not to make more money for one person whose greed is the only celebration in their life.
              If people want to garden etc, they can – no one is holding them back. One day of not shopping will not make any difference. A business is NOT the underlying foundation of society, never has never will. It is a means to express value of the day for goods produced and distributed. Not more and no less.

              • Ed

                The law should however make sense. With garages selling petrol turning into mini-supermarkets selling all sorts of things, is it fair that gardening centres have to close while a service station around the corner continues to sell pot plants?

                There was an ad for Bunnings this evening saying how Easter is a good time to start home jobs – are they open on Easter Sunday, or were they just drumming up business for Easter Monday?

                • Foreign Waka

                  Exceptions have been made to allow for the tourist trade to be supported. This is why you can get petrol. No other business is allowed to trade. Now you can argue that they should then be closed too. If this would make the point that NZ belongs to the western world in which the christian laws are the ground rules for the secular laws than so be it. Otherwise, NZ would than either on the official map be an atheist or pagan culture.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The law should however make sense. With garages selling petrol turning into mini-supermarkets selling all sorts of things

                  Yeah, shut it all down apart from petrol sales I say. After all consistency is so important.

              • Nobody even said the word atheist. The argument that was being made was that New Zealand ought to be a secular country with mostly secular holidays, with which I agree.

                After Queen’s Birthday, Easter is next on my list of public holidays that need replacing. Christmas can stay because it has become secularised- in part due to its commercialisation, and the fact that there are multiple celebrations at that time.

                • Foreign Waka

                  Matthew, you seem to be going strong on semantics. That’s fine. However, I am not for taking away the CHOICE of the individual to observe the holiday as a Christian one. Businesses are NOT the center of all being and people will want to have the time to celebrate, commemorate and honor according to their belief.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    If this would make the point that NZ belongs to the western world in which the christian laws are the ground rules for the secular laws than so be it.

                    This sort of comment always intrigues me, (similar thinking crops up around discussions about ‘Christian values’). The ‘west’ pretty much kicked off during the enlightenment, which was, in its political aspect, a reaction against notions of the ‘divine rights of kings’ and related ways of seeing things.

                    Most of our political ideas stem from Greece and Rome, not Jesus.

                    Jesus himself was pretty explicit that his was not an earthly kingdom, and that Caesar was Caesar and not really relevant to his project.

                    The idea of Christian laws, or Christian government therefore have always struck me as being both somewhat sacreligious, and in relation to the governmental philosophies that we have, just plain wrong.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Here is a History 101 on “Origins of Western Thinking” – you can find it on the web: http://www.etap.org/demo/history_10/instruction1tutor.html
                      Perhaps it helps with my comment prior:
                      From the concept of written law we move on to the laws themselves. Every culture around the world has its own idea of right and wrong stemming from tradition. In the West our concept of right and wrong comes from what is known as the Judeo-Christian ethic. Religion plays an important role in guiding societies’ views of right and wrong. In ancient times, and even in some cultures today, religious law and non-religious, or secular, law often have the same importance. In Western societies Christianity forms the common religious view. Thus, it has influenced Western law. Christianity originated from Judaism, the religion of the Hebrews.
                      The Hebrews had a set of written laws known as the Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue.
                      Hebrew tradition states that the Decalogue was given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai. It serves as the basis of Jewish laws. Commandments such as “thou shalt not kill,” and “thou shalt not steal,” are not only religious but social laws too. The Decalogue commands that offspring respect their parents, and people “not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” which is lying. The Decalogue reflects the values of the Hebrew people in addition to their religious beliefs.
                      The Christian religion also follows the Decalogue, calling it the Ten Commandments. Many people have heard of the “Golden Rule,” which basically says “treat other people the way you wish to be treated.” This idea combined with the ones included in the Ten Commandments is what makes the Judeo-Christian ethic, which makes up a major part of our modern Western concept of law and ethics.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yes yes, that’s the common response, or something like it.

                      But there is nothing uniquely Christian about laws against theft and murder, or perjury, or anything else. And the golden rule is found all over the place. Buddhist teachers, stoics, pretty much everyone.

                      Much of Hebrew law was cribbed directly from the Babylonians, and so on and so forth.

                      The argument seems to be that because the west was largely Christian, then therefore Christianity was the causative thing that made us what we are. But the thing is that most of what we have is not uniquely Christian at all. They are not Christian laws given a secular tinge, but secular laws that have, at times past, been said to have come from God.

                      the religious laws have been done away with for the most part, ie blasphemy laws and susch like.

                      And importantly, it is the abandonment of those religious laws which is more uniquely western. The thing that differentiates the modern west from its past is precisely the abondonment of religious reasoning around law and government. That’s not a bug to be fixed, its the whole point.

                      And that’s leaving aside the actual words of Jesus with regard to government. Hint: he was that interested in it, didn’t like religious power figures, and was explicitly against the notion of a state being established under his name.

                • Vicky32

                  After Queen’s Birthday, Easter is next on my list of public holidays that need replacing. Christmas can stay because it has become secularised- in part due to its commercialisation, and the fact that there are multiple celebrations at that time.

                  Wow, how very generous of you! Why? Purely because you’re an atheist?
                  Religion is not the issue here. The issue is workers’ rights… I see that the Standard is a very middle class blog, and that Standardistas are over-whelmingly not the people who have to work in retail.
                  However, your shopping is at their expense.
                  (Before someone raises the issue of nurses, as someone did in the Facebook discussion on Darien Fenton’s page) I accept the need of health professionals to work 24/7, as do my family members who are health professionals.

              • Richard McGrath

                Sorry, NZ is a country of individuals, each with their own mind and their own choices to make. I choose not to believe in goblins and ghosts. You believe in spooks if you want to. if so, you have my sympathy.

                “One day of not shopping will not make any difference.” Obviously from someone who has never owned a business.

                “A business is NOT the underlying foundation for society…” What, then, is society but a group of individuals interacting and trading for mutual benefit, ideally respecting each other’s beliefs and tolerating behavioural differences provided the freedoms of others are not infringed?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  What, then, is society but a group of individuals interacting and trading for mutual benefit…

                  A community cooperating for mutual benefit. The “individuals interacting and trading for mutual benefit” is a fairly modern invention and, so far, a complete failure as it benefits a few people and forces the majority of people into poverty.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Of course, the “community cooperating for mutual benefit” was such a success in Soviet Russia, wasn’t it? Individual interaction offers incentives for hard work and effort to improve one’s life; the “poverty” of which you write would be unimaginable riches for the kings and emperors of two hundred years ago.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      No Richard, it is people like you who only see themselves as the center of wisdom and espouse that everybody else bows to it. Well, sure under such circumstance you don’t need any other belief as you are omnipotent. And by the way, I have been running businesses – how about you? I have also been training young people, how about you? I have also been involved in volunteer work, how about you? And while we are at it, all that counts for nothing if only one person would benefit and the rest would get poorer. The principle of business these days is to take the client to the cleaner and one can easily see how a small section gets everything and the rest gets nothing. I have been to the States – the land of the free to be greedy – and by god, if this is what you want then we need some faith and hope because nothing else will help through the worst displays of greed, envy and dishonesty the planet has seen. Communism? Soviet Union? You haven’t seen anything yet.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “No Richard, it is people like you who only see themselves as the center of wisdom and espouse that everybody else bows to it. Well, sure under such circumstance you don’t need any other belief as you are omnipotent.”

                      Sorry if you got that impression. It may shock you to learn I am not omnipotent and don’t believe anyone should be forced to accept my point of view. That’s why I enter debates such as this one – to try and counter erroneous beliefs such as the thought that socialism doesn’t involve a gross violation of individual rights.

                      “And by the way, I have been running businesses – how about you?”

                      Me too. Good on ya.

                      “I have also been training young people, how about you?”

                      Ditto. More recently I have helped train young graduate doctors.

                      “I have also been involved in volunteer work, how about you?”

                      Yep. Member of local Lions club, currently fundraising for accommodation at regional cancer centre for families of cancer patients.

                      “And while we are at it, all that counts for nothing if only one person would benefit and the rest would get poorer.”

                      What if just one person gets “poorer” and the rest got “richer”? Would that count for anything?

                      “The principle of business these days is to take the client to the cleaner”

                      Not the business I’m involved in – yours perhaps?

                      “I have been to the States – the land of the free to be greedy – and by god, if this is what you want then we need some faith and hope because nothing else will help through the worst displays of greed, envy and dishonesty the planet has seen. Communism? Soviet Union? You haven’t seen anything yet.”

                      The UK is even worse. The cause of social decline in the US and UK is a drop in educational standards, moral collapse, multiculturalism, moral relativism, and the rise of the misogynistic Islamic death cult.

    • rosy 2.2

      If shops want to close for the Easter break, they are free to
      Shops aren’t people. They can’t be free to do anything.

      You’ve missed the idea of citizens choosing and a representative government legislating that choice.

      • Rusty Shackleford 2.2.1

        Shop owners, then.

        There’s no need to legislate as choices don’t remain constant across time. People may change their preferences and therefore choices, but as a choice from the past has been legislated as the one and only best choice for all people for all time we get stuck with the sub-optimal “choice” we have today.

        • felix 2.2.1.1

          Yay, Randian fantasyland!

          • Rusty Shackleford 2.2.1.1.1

            Go back to North Korea.

            • felix 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Because I don’t subscribe to your idea, expressed clearly above, that all legislation is pointless?

              How totalitarian of me.

              • Colonial Viper

                Rusty seems to be struggling this morning.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Only struggling in the sense that I’ve deigned to lower myself to the level of discourse that prevails amongst the majority of the muppets on this board. I’m a little hung over and cranky today, yes.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.1.1.2

              No need, I’m sure if we made John Key our Dear Leader, he’d do just as good a job. 😉

        • joe90 2.2.1.2

          Here’s an objectivist trying to prove his point Rusty but can you tell me why he’s got it all so wrong.

          Here’s a clue.

          • Richard McGrath 2.2.1.2.1

            He ain’t got it wrong. Note that the beach and water in the second link you gave are almost certainly not privately owned. If they were, there would be no dispute over who should be surfing.

            • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Rubbish, Richard. Even if some countries sadly do have private beaches, no one owns the waves. How would ‘owning’ a beach stop someone paddling over to the waves in front of that beach?

              • Richard McGrath

                The waves could be owned (or more precisely, the first 100 metres of water from the shore) which would probably be a solution to any clashes over use of the waves.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Hilarious! How are you gonna enforce that, Richard? Call the Coast Guard? Deputise dolphins?

                  • Richard McGrath

                    As long as ownership could be organised in such a way (e.g. beach + first 100 metres of surf), enforcement should be easy. Someone trespasses, they are given a warning, a further breach they are removed. Simple enough.

          • joe90 2.2.1.2.2

            . In the first video the libertarian asserts that there is an unwritten code of conduct but the second video shows the reality that in the surfing world that there’s only ever been might.

            In over forty years surfing I’ve lost count of the number of serious assaults I’ve witnessed and it’s always the same. Fools paddle out where they’re simply not welcome and with a sense of entitlement and they get thumped for their trouble. Their cars get vandalised and their gear is stolen and if they persevere with their presence the intimidation escalates until they’re literally to scared to ever return.

            It doesn’t matter who owns the beach, there is no code and might has always been and always will be right.

            • rosy 2.2.1.2.2.1

              The thing is, even if there was a code it’s not property rights at all. It’s regulation.

            • Richard McGrath 2.2.1.2.2.2

              Yes, more’s the pity, a good example of the tragedy of the commons.

              • rosy

                Heh – regulation to allow use in an orderly manner, without anyone being excluded, is the tragedy of the commons.

                I won’t even go there – your concept of the world is so far removed from mine that I could not bridge the gaping hole in between.

        • rosy 2.2.1.3

          Shop owners, then.
          That’s right – they’re the people who choose. Not the shop workers. And unless the workers have enough land for a vege patch, to run a few chickens and can milk a cow, they must take the work their employers dictate.

          Having said that, it’s not even the shop owners who are choosing any more. For those operating in malls it is the owners of the mall who dictate to the shop owners what their hours are.

      • infused 2.2.2

        Businesses are people, by legal definition.

        • rosy 2.2.2.1

          Businesses are people, by legal definition
          Irrelevant. Rusty was ascribing human thoughts to an inanimate object.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.2

          The dumb US supreme court ‘corporations have human and citizens rights’ bullshit

          Fuck off.

        • Foreign Waka 2.2.2.3

          Absolute nonsense. Businesses are entities run by people. Legally, an LLC can be foreclosed and the person who has been running the business into the ground can get off Scott free, with some good money in the trust fund. Under the Limited Liability a business can be set up as such without the owners taking fiscal responsibility when the when thing turns to custard. In the legal sense the company is treated as a corporate personality.

      • Richard McGrath 2.2.3

        “..citizens choosing and a representative government legislating that choice.”

        AKA tyranny of the majority.

        • McFlock 2.2.3.1

          better than tyranny of the dollar.

          • Richard McGrath 2.2.3.1.1

            Rubbish. Economic power and political power are completely different things; the former can be earned legitimately or inherited and relies on voluntary exchanges of goods and services; the latter overrides and squashes individual rights.

            • McFlock 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Oh bullshit. If necessity wasn’t involved nobody would pay anything. As soon as necessity is involved, the producer has power over the consumer.
               

              • Richard McGrath

                Yeah. I really really need an iPhone but for some reason haven’t bought one. I really really need meat and veges to eat, but we grow our own veges at home and have sheep in the paddock who will soon be looking at the inside of a freezer. I really really need a car but have biked to work on occasion. I’m not completely dependent on any producer; I can do without if the situation arises.

                • McFlock

                  So because you’re pretty self sufficient, everyone else is, too.
                      
                  I have a relatively limited number of food suppliers because I live in a “city” with “other people”.
                     
                  iphones are a good point – people only pay that much for overpriced gimmicks because the marketing has conditioned them to. They really do feel it is a “necessity”. And if you doubt that, a dude sold a kidney to get one.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    “So because you’re pretty self sufficient, everyone else is, too.”

                    Where did I say that?

                    “iphones are a good point – people only pay that much for overpriced gimmicks because the marketing has conditioned them to.”

                    Bollocks, they buy them because they make a conscious decision to do so.

                    “They really do feel it is a “necessity”. And if you doubt that, a dude sold a kidney to get one.”

                    What a moron. But his choice. A lesson for others.

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting level of empathy there.
                           
                      So other people’s “needs” are what you define them to be? If a purchaser feels enough desire to sell a body part for something, but you don’t regard it as essential, it’s just a “want”? The guy obviously felt it was a need, possibly in error but then maybe he regards social participation and interaction with others as an essential part of his being. Unlike a sociopath.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Interesting level of empathy there.”

                      Hard to empathise with someone who would sacrifice a limb for an iphone. I do empathise with him having the freedom to choose. Who knows, he may be reluctant to lose another body part on a whim next time.

                      “So other people’s “needs” are what you define them to be? If a purchaser feels enough desire to sell a body part for something, but you don’t regard it as essential, it’s just a “want”?”

                      I regard ‘need’ as requirement for survival. In some extreme circumstances I agree an iphone could be essential. But I remain to be convinced that the benefits to this fellow of possessing an iphone was greater than the risk inherent in losing 50% of his renal function.

                      “The guy obviously felt it was a need, possibly in error but then maybe he regards social participation and interaction with others as an essential part of his being. Unlike a sociopath.”

                      Check your definition of sociopath, a description which relates more to empathy and respect for the rights of others than interaction per se.

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      “organ”, not “limb”.
                            
                      As to semantics, I would ask what you would call it (“antisocial personality”? “asocial”? “fuckwit”?) but then your perception lacks the empathy required to perceive a difference between not caring about self-harm in others and normality.
                            
                      But it’s an interesting point that the argument about power over others existing merely because one possesses more money than they do rests solely on your subjective definition of “need”.
                          
                      Kind’ve fucks the entire argument about equal employer:employee negotiations if you’re wrong, even in “some extreme cases”, doesn’t it?

                    • Richard McGrath

                      [“organ”, not “limb”.]

                      Not sure where I got ‘limb’ from – it was a kidney as I remember.

                      [As to semantics, I would ask what you would call it (“antisocial personality”? “asocial”? “fuckwit”?) but then your perception lacks the empathy required to perceive a difference between not caring about self-harm in others and normality.]

                      I think ‘asocial’ was closest to what you were meaning. Antisocial personality, sociopathy and psychopathy are interchangeable terms in the jargon of current psychiatry. I’m not sure you can really make judgements on my level of empathy. You seem to feel qualified to make sweeping assumptions about me without knowing me at all.

                      [But it’s an interesting point that the argument about power over others existing merely because one possesses more money than they do rests solely on your subjective definition of “need”.]

                      You are referring to economic power which is not the same as political power.

                      [Kind’ve fucks the entire argument about equal employer:employee negotiations if you’re wrong, even in “some extreme cases”, doesn’t it?]

                      To what does the abbreviation “kind’ve” expand?
                      Not sure what you were getting at, but a hypothesis can be disproven by one negative observation, even if a million observations support it.

                    • McFlock

                      “economic power” equals, or at the least is very easily converted into, “political power” or even “negotiating power”. Most crudely in party donations, but even in having the ability to delay or walk away from negotiations, e.g. strikes & lockouts.
                             
                      Which means that negotiations between parties on different economic levels are negotiations between parties with different levels of power.
                             
                      Which means that employment negotiations are almost never between equals.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    [“economic power” equals, or at the least is very easily converted into, “political power” or even “negotiating power”. Most crudely in party donations, but even in having the ability to delay or walk away from negotiations, e.g. strikes & lockouts.]

                    I see what you’re saying but it works both ways – employees can withdraw their labour.

                    [Which means that negotiations between parties on different economic levels are negotiations between parties with different levels of power.]

                    True. But the world isn’t made up of people with equal economic power. If it was, as soon as someone earned more than someone else, he would be forced to hand his excess earnings to the gummint for redistribution, regardless of the effort made and risks taken to earn that money. THAT’s what redistributionists wilfully ignore.

                    [Which means that employment negotiations are almost never between equals.]

                    True. Get over it.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3.2

          Rule by the majority, by definition, cannot be a tyranny simply because most people simply won’t stand for it. That bit of false logic indicates the bit you don’t like is that, when living in a community, you must live by that communities rules. This makes a you a libertarian, ie, a dictator hiding behind liberal values. If we left it to the way you want things we would have tyranny – it would be the tyranny of the rich.

          • Richard McGrath 2.2.3.2.1

            A majority forcing its will on a minority will be supported by the majority, so of course such a tyranny could exist. I don’t mind living in a community and abiding by its rules. So long as the community can be as small as I want, makes its own rules, and where exit and entry are voluntary.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.3.2.1.1

              “So long as the community can be as small as I want, makes its own rules, and where exit and entry are voluntary.”

              Sounds pretty indistinguishable to democracy; apart from that first clause which doesn’t seem to mean anything at all really. Or at least, if it does mean something then it appears to contradict the other clauses.

            • McFlock 2.2.3.2.1.2

              Oh, well then. You’re not forced to stay in NZ, but you choose to stay and agree to live by the will of the majority. As countries go NZ is pretty small, and it makes its own rules through parliament, and then if you don’t like it you can always leave.
                 
              Oh my god:
                  
              New Zealand is Galt’s Gulch!
                
              Meh. If you don’t like NZ (and a shout out to Rusty, here) fuck off to Somalia.
               

              • Richard McGrath

                Yep that good old straw man, which is still being dragged out by the left: Somalia. Where property rights are upheld under the Rule of Law. Yeah.

                • McFlock

                  Natural byproduct of smaller government is larger competitors.
                   

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I think you mean more competition.

                    • McFlock

                      No, larger competitors for the community power vacuum and social services vacuum left by government. i.e. power blocs better positioned to challenge the government for control of the state.
                          
                      E.g. Hamas vs the Palestinian Authority, religious social and education services growing into extemist political competitors. Even failure to centrally invest in infrastructure creates warlords who realise the fact that their locality is logistically and socially separated from the capital, and that “protecting property rights” is unenforceable.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “No, larger competitors for the community power vacuum and social services vacuum left by government. i.e. power blocs better positioned to challenge the government for control of the state.”

                      Somalia is a poor example to use, as its government has failed to enforce the rule of law and uphold the property rights of the less well-off.

                      Libertarian-style small government does not allow for competition in the areas of policing (the staff of private security firms employed to protect people and their property are still subject to scrutiny and arrest where justified by a state-run police ), and justice. Anarcho-capitalists and anarchists have a different view. Libertarians would not want a situation where there was insufficient government to keep the peace, as the country would likely descend into civil war between gangs in the way you seem to be suggesting.

                    • McFlock

                      On the contrary, the state’s failure to maintain social and economic infrastructure weakened its ability to maintain law & order via the support of the populace. Additionally, by retreating on economic and social works it also enabled local support for non-state players who filled that vacuum, initially “warlords” and lately Al Shabab.
                              
                      Any enforcement of property rights requires the active assistance of the community. Done well, it is also a largely invisible function. This means that if an organisation only does policing, it becomes only a rarely seen authority figure. Other organisations that provide visibly helpful things on a daily basis, such as education, healthcare or spiritual support, will get the community support that the policing organisation needs. The other organisations will then be in a position to challenge the policing organisation.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      What’s that?

                      In a state of nature type situation, where all people have to rely on is their inherent and naturally occuring rights, things rapidly descend into a war of all-on-all and many of the rights we like to enjoy disappear? And that in order to enjoy greater rights, people have to come together and decide what rights it is that they would like to have, and form some sort of government to protect those rights, rights that would otherwise not exist?

                      The devil you say.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “And that in order to enjoy greater rights, people have to come together and decide what rights it is that they would like to have, and form some sort of government to protect those rights, rights that would otherwise not exist?”

                      Good point. But in the scenario you raise, people’s rights do exist but there is no government to protect those rights. In the final analysis, whether you believe rights are inherent or otherwise, a government is required in order to protect them.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      In the final analysis, whether you believe rights are inherent or otherwise, a government is required in order to protect them.

                      Or something very much like it yes.

                      If they are inherent, or natural rights, I can’t see why that would be the case, but we’ll get that later.

                      Firstly we need to work out what rights the government will be protecting. This is a very tigtly related question to the one of where does the government get its right to act from.

                      1) it either gets its authority from the consent of the governed, which means that the rights it will be protecting will be established democratically, in one way or another;

                      2) or it claims its authority from somewhere else, and the consent of the governed be damned.

                      If 1 is true, then you have a system whereby rights are constructed socially, and are subject to change, depending on the chagning wishes of the governed;

                      if 2 is the way of it you have something else entirely. It’s hard to see how that something could be defined as ‘freedom’.

                • RedLogix

                  Well it’s the same old problem that libertarians always run into.

                  The only thing they value is property rights, and the only thing they demand of a state is to protect and enforce those rights.

                  Which logically and bizarrely enough makes them 100% statists.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    You are a victim of your rather narrow stereotypes.

                    Libertarians place a high value on property rights, but they are not the only thing of value. But yes, we believe the function of the state is to protect each person’s rights and freedoms and to provide a system of restorative justice for those times when individual rights are breached, e.g. when a farmer pollutes someone’s waterway, or representatives of a large company defraud a small person, or when a small person defrauds a large company.

                    “Statists” believe, among other things, that the state should expand its role to running businesses, deciding how people will spend their money, deciding what is ‘art’ and what sort of art they will financially support at the expense of someone else’s planned use of their own money, etc.

                    Libertarians want people to have maximal freedom to employ their resources as they wish, provided they don’t harm others (i.e. impinge on the freedom of others to act in a similarly self-interested manner), as opposed to the government taking lots of their money and spending it on things that might appall them (such as Catholics being forced to fund abortion services, or libertarians being forced to fund state radio stations that have to broadcast a certain quota of rubbish-grade local music).

            • Foreign Waka 2.2.3.2.1.3

              The last time I looked NZ’s form of government was that of a democracy. If you feel that you need a smaller community, how about Stewart Island?

              • Richard McGrath

                Not a bad idea, FW. Govt could make it a tax haven.

                • felix

                  Ah, so you want to go Galt but you want the rest of us to subsidise it.

                  ITT, the ironing piles up.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I would never ask anyone to subsidise me. What are you on about?

                    • felix

                      You want the govt (us) to give you a tax haven.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “You want the govt (us) to give you a tax haven.”

                      Ah, I see what you mean. The other side of the coin (which I had assumed you would infer as the quid pro quo for no taxation), is that anyone joining this haven would have to to forego taxpayer funding on ‘public’ services on the mainland and accept that if, for example, one fell ill and used a hospital on the mainland, one would be liable for the full costs – which could, of course, be anticipated via medical insurance. I imagine in time that this tax haven would have its own medical services, welfare systems, etc., organised on site.

                      It would probably be easier to allow Stewart Island to cede (if that is the correct term) from NZ and form its own independent nation. Not that I would necessarily want to live in that fairly cool climate.

                    • felix

                      Don’t forget to put enough aside for a good defense force.

                      Otherwise after we sell you the island we might just take it back, eh?

                    • felix

                      Hey Richard, perhaps you could pool resources with these guys: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=246672792090197&id=107356852688459

                    • McFlock

                      Lack of a defence force let the libertarians down in the Republic of Minerva. Apparently Randian Superheroes were no might for the Tongan military.
                          
                      Just something to keep in mind, Richard, when you do actually practise what you preach and shrug off.

    • Vicky32 2.3

      It isn’t the govt’s job and a perverse display of coercion to be forcing people to observe religious holidays.

      And here we go! Rusty, you are the first but not the last, to bring religion is a distraction from the issue, which is the right of workers to spend time off with their families!
      I’ve seen this weekend, atheist lefties sowing confusion (I suspect they are themselves confused) – by saying that no ^&*% religious person has the right to tell them what to do and they’ll shop/drink/garden if they want – oh, but, err… workers should have the right to choose another day off just so long as it’s not a bleeping stinkin’ religious one!
      So, in their case, atheism trumps human rights… How does that work exactly?

      • Richard McGrath 2.3.1

        “..you are the first but not the last, to bring religion is a distraction from the issue, which is the right of workers to spend time off with their families.”

        So, Easter was about workers spending time off with their families… nothing at all to do with a crucified Jew.

        • Vicky32 2.3.1.1

          So, Easter was about workers spending time off with their families… nothing at all to do with a crucified Jew.

          Oh don’t be deliberately stupid! You knew what I meant, that Easter + religion and Easter public holidays, are separate issues. You’re hoping I am stupider than I am. Tough.
          BTW, my son is a nurse. I already said that I am fine with health professionals working Sundays and religious holidays. But only emergency workers and health professionals, not ‘business’. Shutting for 3 and a half days is not gonna kill you.

          • felix 2.3.1.1.1

            Trouble is, Vicky, in Richard’s fantasy the emergency services are businesses, no different to any other.

            Just people in desperate need of life-saving medical procedures contracting the services of other people with vans, drugs, and hacksaws.

            Everyone making rational decisions to maximise their utility.

          • Richard McGrath 2.3.1.1.2

            So GPs should shut their doors at weekends, and the hospital emergency departments stay open to deal with emergencies? What about the forty people I saw on Easter Sunday and Monday who weren’t dying but were sick and wanted advice and treatment?

            The seven year old boy whose scalp I sutured together yesterday, who wasn’t dying, could have waited until today, I guess.

      • Richard McGrath 2.3.2

        “..you are the first but not the last, to bring religion is a distraction from the issue, which is the right of workers to spend time off with their families.”

        You forgot to add the important bit at the end: “At someone else’s expense.”

      • Richard McGrath 2.3.3

        “..you are the first but not the last, to bring religion is a distraction from the issue, which is the right of workers to spend time off with their families.”

        So, if all hospital workers, nursing and medical staff wanted to spend time with their families, you’d be OK with them walking off the job? Do they have the same rights as other workers, or are they slaves of the state – it has to be one or the other by your logic.

        • McFlock 2.3.3.1

          Yes, because a stat hol arranged years in advance is exactly the same as downing tools and walking off the job with no notice.
          And you know what? Essential staff still get a day off, just maybe not the same one everyone else gets.

          • Richard McGrath 2.3.3.1.1

            A stat hol arranged years in advance gives the employer time to arrange cover for a missing worker; a sudden strike doesn’t.

            Why shouldn’t “essential” staff all be allowed the same day off as everyone else?

            • McFlock 2.3.3.1.1.1

              Look up “essential” in the dictionary.
               
              The pop over to the department of labour website and look up the rules around keeping staff on in stat hols, particularly time off in leiu.
                
              btw, “Walking off the job” implies a sudden strike. Not leave arranged well in advance.

              • Richard McGrath

                Hmmm… not sure how humankind survived for thousands of years without “essential” services such as modern medicine with its MRI scanners and other modern technology. Can’t have been that essential can they?

                • McFlock

                  Not if you’re happy with an average age of 35, and a double-digit percentage maternal mortality rate from pregnancy.
                             
                  But obviously, as a libertarian you don’t see other people’s quality-adjusted life-years as a good thing.
                   

                  • Richard McGrath

                    You’re deliberately avoiding addressing the concept of “essential” by throwing in some insults based on laughable assumptions. Well done.

    • Richard McGrath 2.4

      Agree, Rusty. Why should Hindus or Sikhs (or atheists) be forced to observe a Christian commemoration?

  3. The current laws are a selective uneven mess. Some businesses are allowed to open legally, some aren’t. Movie theatres were open yesterday but gardening shops weren’t supposed to be, does that promote popcorn over home grown vegetables?

    While I’d like to see less consumer addiction and I’m happy to go for days without using the plastic it’s impossible to be fair on businesses when some are given preference over others.

    Restrictions are even a nonsense in countries where Sunday shopping is supposedly not allowed. For example in Switzerland supermarkets that are a part of railway station complexes can open on Sundays but their opposition aren’t.

    Having shopping free days is a quaint old theory that doesn’t work in practice. It needs to be all or nothing, and nothing is too flawed.

    You don’t have to go shopping on days you don’t want to.

    • rosy 3.1

      Only parts of supermarkets – the essential kind of stuff that NZ dairies are/used to be allowed to sell. Non-essentials are covered. Supermarkets at railway stations are not the gigantic barns you might have in mind. And if you’re going to use a European example remember many places don’t trade on Sundays either (except for central/tourist restaurants and railway food shops). So no, not quaint.

    • felix 3.2

      Couple of questions.

      1. Why should every business be treated exactly the same if they’re not exactly the same? A commercial kitchen is regulated in ways that a petrol station forecourt isn’t and vise versa, for very good reasons. Why pretend that everything performs the same functions and has the same intrinsic value when that doesn’t seem to be the case at all?

      2. If you’d really like to see less “consumer addiction”, something you often write about, why so quick to totally dismiss any restriction of the consumption?

      • 1. Why should I be allowed to watch movies and buy junk food and not buy plants?

        2. Because it needs to be resolved by consumers. They dictate when it’s vialble for a business to be open.

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          So all your talk about how we’re all too busy consuming unnecessarily is ultimately trumped by your worship at the alter of the market.

          Good to know.

        • Because sometimes people need to eat without buying groceries on public holidays, but nobody needs to go out and buy a last-minute plant, that’s what weekends are for.

          • Vicky32 3.2.1.2.1

            Because sometimes people need to eat without buying groceries on public holidays

            So why can’t they do as we did before all this 24/7 shopping came in? Saturday shopping (one half day) came in in about 1982-3, I remember well how upset my brother was about having to give up his saturday mornings.
            We used to plan ahead! It’s not brain science or rocket surgery! Only homeless people can’t cook on a public holiday (any moron can boil an egg! 🙂 ) and homeless people can’t afford restaurants.

    • mike e 3.3

      puerile git people are not machines and need time off for what ever reason research has shown that people are more productive when they have good holidays.
      nAct seem to think people should work every day of the year.
      NZ has some of the longest working hours in the world.
      But we have the lowest productivity.
      Need I say any more follicle freak!

    • Dr Terry 3.4

      Too good to be true! You just had to pop back out of your hole!

      • Dr Terry 3.4.1

        A reply to myself! What I said above was NOT intended for Mike e, but for Pete. On second thoughts I apologise to Pete, sorry to sound malicious. Let me, therefore, wish Pete the joys and blessings of Easter. I shall make an effort to better understand your points of view (with which I do not ALWAYS disagree!)

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I think shops should be open over Easter but instead of being forced to pay fines for breaking the law, instead the pay rate should be 2.5x standard pay + 1 day in lieu for anyone working on Friday or Sunday. Existing 1.5x + day in lieu to continue for Monday and this should also be added to Saturday.

    This way, it is entirely up to stores to stay open on the holiday and if workers don’t get the time off then they will get a very nice wage bump instead.

    Current provisions:
    Friday: Closed
    Saturday: Normal pay
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 1.5x pay + day in lieu

    Proposed:
    Friday: 2.5x pay + day in lieu
    Saturday: 1.5x pay + day in lieu
    Sunday: 2.5x pay + day in lieu
    Monday: 1.5x pay + day in lieu

    As usual, the full benefits above apply to people who would normally work on that day and do. If you don’t normally work on the day and do, you only get the increased wages, not the days in lieu. If you would normally work and don’t, then you receive your normal 1x wage, as under existing holiday law.

    As a lot of companies currently flouting the law say they have no problem paying fines of $14,000, and shops that currently stay shut don’t pay any wage bills or fines, I can’t see anyone having logical objections to this sort of pay regime.

    • Rusty Shackleford 4.1

      Where did you get those figures from? Wouldn’t 10X pay plus a week in lieu for (figures pulled completely from the ether) workers have the same effect as current legislation? Those shops who choose to open would basically be paying the fine to their workers instead of the govt.

      I can’t see the point in removing coercion in one area then adding it in another. Why not leave it up to the businesses and the workers?

      • felix 4.1.1

        Because we reject your Randian paradise as a deceptive myth.

        • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1

          Why do you act so stupidly? Actually say something substantive or go back to North Korea where you obviously belong (see how stupid that sounds?)

          • felix 4.1.1.1.1

            Yep Rusty that sounds incredibly stupid, glad you can admit it so readily.

            How is my statement worse than you rejecting, out of hand, the hundreds of years of struggle to provide some very basic minimum working conditions for ordinary people?

            • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1.1

              A. “rejecting, out of hand, the hundreds of years of struggle to provide some very basic minimum working conditions”
              Where did I do this? Working conditions are extremely important.

              B. Easter closing has nothing to do with worker rights. It’s an archaic sop to religious tradition that favours some businesses over others.

              • Lanthanide

                “B. Easter closing has nothing to do with worker rights. It’s an archaic sop to religious tradition that favours some businesses over others.”

                The lack of progress in parliament to change the law hinges very heavily upon the worker rights aspect.

              • felix

                Rusty, you said “Why not leave it up to the businesses and the workers?”

                Having read plenty of your dross before I took a wild leap of logic and presumed that you’d apply the same principle consistently to pretty much any aspect of industrial relations.

                Please forgive me if I’m way off the mark.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Yes, I tend to be consistent.

                  All that can happen when the govt legislates things it sees as a problem, you get second best solutions, at best and favours for buddies at worst. When people negotiate amongst themselves, optimal solutions tend to be the result.

                  • felix

                    Then my criticism stands.

                  • RedLogix

                    When ‘people negotiate among themselves’ you get an outcome that reflects the relative power imbalance between them.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    When people negotiate amongst themselves, optimal solutions for whomever holds the most power in the relationship tend to be the result.

                    FIFY

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Both parties have the power to walk away. The worker has no moral claim on the resources of the business and the employer has no moral claim to the labour of the worker. There is no power imbalance. Certainly none that the govt can solve by ordering people around.

                    • felix

                      That’s right Rusty, workers always have the right to starve.

                    • RedLogix

                      Because all the means of production have been privatised, workers do not have the choice to walk away from work. Without work they are ruined.

                      By contrast the owners of the means of production suffer no consequence if any single worker walks away. There is always a queue of desperate people…

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “…workers always have the right to starve.”
                      This is overly simplistic. For a start, a person with no work has plenty of time to grow their own food (if I’m being facetious) or they have the right to work for themselves or for somebody else. It isn’t a work in this one particular job or starve dichotomy. There are other options on the continuum.

                      “Because all the means of production have been privatised,”
                      Erm… I’m not even sure what this means. It’s false for a star. The govt still owns assets, but that isn’t really what we are talking about here. Workers can start their own businesses if they choose. That is how all businesses start.

                      “…workers do not have the choice to walk away from work. Without work they are ruined.”
                      Where have I said this? People can work for whomever they choose. Businesses aren’t some monolithic entity where if you walk away from one, you walk away from them all. People can go down the street to the next business or they can start their own. Unemployment is a logical absurdity, after all. Looking out my window the range of jobs I could be doing is only limited by my imagination and technical know how.

                      “By contrast the owners of the means of production suffer no consequence if any single worker walks away.”
                      If a business owner doesn’t offer sufficient wages, he will be unable to attract skilled labour and go out of business.

                      “There is always a queue of desperate people…”
                      Hell, you have a dystopian view of the world. Most people aren’t desperate. Some are, but they are by no means a queue.

                    • RedLogix

                      For a start, a person with no work has plenty of time to grow their own food (if I’m being facetious) or they have the right to work for themselves or for somebody else.

                      Not been unemployed recently have you? For most people with no assets or capital these choices you are offering them are out of reach.

                      Workers can start their own businesses if they choose.

                      Most people cannot because they lack access to sufficient capital. Most small businesses fail within their first few years for just this reason. Because capitalism concentrates capital into the hands of a few, only a few can realistically start successful businesses.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m unemployed right now, but I made the correct life choices in order that it is not a great burden on me. Why should I be financially penalised for making those choices?

                      “capitalism concentrates capital into the hands of a few”
                      How would you know? We’ve never lived under a capitalist society. In those economies where markets were freer, capital tends to flow to those who can best utilise it, which results in lower prices and higher quality goods. Where we have markets being curtailed we have high prices and low quality goods. Ever driven a Yugo?

                    • McFlock

                      I’m unemployed right now, but I made the correct life choices in order that it is not a great burden on me. Why should I be financially penalised for making those choices?

                       
                      Because it wasn’t just you who made choices that resulted in your life of comfort where missing one pay will not crush your finances.
                           
                      The government made a choice to create an environment where you could make money, and probably contributed to your edcation. And there was also a certain degree of luck involved, e.g. that you weren’t hit by glass falling from a tall building, or didn’t have an overwhelming predisposition to alcohol addiction, or even just in randomly meeting someone who could offer you work at an opportune time.
                         
                      But no, Rusty is master of his own destiny. Fucking sociopath.
                        
                       

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    When people negotiate amongst themselves, optimal solutions tend to be the result.

                    Bollocks because, in the capitalists socio-economic system we use and you support, one person will be in power over the other meaning that the negotiation will always favour that one person.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Exactly. And notice how hard the capitalists fight against anyone but themselves having all the power?

                      The capitalists understand this better than anyone else; they also know that Government can easily reshape the balance of power, hence neoliberalism always seeks to sideline government in favour of the markets.

              • Vicky32

                B. Easter closing has nothing to do with worker rights. It’s an archaic sop to religious tradition that favours some businesses over others.

                Nonsense. Religion as distraction again.

          • locus 4.1.1.1.2

            I’ve lived in several countries where the shops are open every day of the year and several other countries where they’re shut one day a week. In the latter, society has adapted so that there’s a strong emphasis on family time and it’s fun sharing that day off with everyone. The former were also fun but I think they’re missing out on something special.

        • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.2

          “Why not leave it up to the businesses and the workers?”

          “Because we reject your Randian paradise as a deceptive myth.”

          Boy, that’s helpful. Answer the question, FFS. Why can’t business owners and workers negotiate their own terms for Easter employment (which might be more generous than current arrangements)?

          • felix 4.1.1.2.1

            Negotiate terms and conditions more generous than the maximums that are legislated for?

            Oh hang on, there are no maximums legislated for. So go right ahead.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.2.2

            lol:

            Why can’t business owners and workers negotiate their own terms for Easter employment

            from the guy who thinks “employment” means:

            just do what you’re told or lose your job

             
            That’s a great start for penal rate negotiations 🙂

            • Richard McGrath 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Ever heard of employees having “job descriptions”? They take their job on by choice, but once hired are directed into a specific role with expectations and measurable output. How long since you had a real job?

              • McFlock

                Got a nice one at the moment, thanks.
                    
                Funnily enough, it’s not a case of “just do what you’re told or lose your job”. Good faith, tests of reasonableness, and consultation are all involved, too. And frequently get better production than dictatorship by employer.
                  
                PoAL are in the process of learning that one.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Agree with the good faith, consultation, reasonableness bit. Common sense in any business.

                  • McFlock

                    Shame they need to be legislated because some bosses lack common sense.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      That encapsulates one of the problems with socialists. They treat adults like children, unable to learn from their mistakes (and therefore prevented from doing so).

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, because employers have learned common sense?
                          
                      If people haven’t figured out that murder is a bad idea, then what’s the probability a bully-boy boss will realise by himself that being a jerk does him more harm in the long run? Close to noe. Better he learn it first time around via a clearly defined disputes resolutions process.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        The point of this is that allowing trading on easter weekends is seriously in favour of the businesses and the people who lose out are the workers. So this tips it back in the favour of the workers to a significant extent that doesn’t exist in any legislation.

        Clearly the grid-lock in parliament has been about giving workers guaranteed time off vs allowing businesses to stay open. In fact there would actually be a lot of workers that would prefer to work over easter weekend but the current legislation prevents them from doing so. This is a compromise down the middle.

        Actually there are some businesses that would complain about this law change: businesses that are currently allowed to open such as cinemas, restaurants and service stations. Screw ’em.

        • Richard McGrath 4.1.2.1

          “..allowing trading on easter weekends is seriously in favour of the businesses and the people who lose out are the workers.”

          Yep, just a Marxian zero sum game. And business owners never actually do any “work”.

          “…businesses that are currently allowed to open such as cinemas, restaurants and service stations. Screw ‘em.”

          Yeah, fuck them. Why should they be allowed to trade for mutual benefit of business and customer?

    • Jenny 4.2

      As NZ is an increasingly secular society, Lanth I see some merit in your proposal.
      If these retailers are prepared to pay $thousands in fines, it would be better paid to the workers. However I do also respect the argument that workers in NZ have comparatively few real breaks compared to other countries. I would like to suggest that your idea that the wage penalty to be paid to the workers be increased to such a level as to make staying open during this break totally unrewarding to the retailers. Possibly even with the ability to tack the worker’s lost holidays onto their breaks at other times.

      Sounds fair to me, what do you think?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      As usual, the full benefits above apply to people who would normally work on that day and do.

      Actually, that law is a load of bollocks. In a service job that runs on a lot of part timers (especially young part timers) very few people would “normally” work on that day due to the roster making sure that they didn’t. You need to have it so that anybody who works on that day gets the penal rates and the day in lieu else the system gets gamed.

    • Carol 4.4

      Current provisions:
      Friday: Closed
      Saturday: Normal pay
      Sunday: Closed
      Monday: 1.5x pay + day in lieu

      Except currently Easter Sunday is NOT a public holiday. At my workplace people have to take it as annual leave or a day in lieu.

      People working in retail get Easter Sunday off as part of a law specially for them.

      • Lanthanide 4.4.1

        Ahh, you’re right. How very curious.

        The public holidays are Friday and Monday only. Retail shops must be closed Friday and Sunday. So any non-retail business that is open in a Sunday doesn’t treat it as a holiday.

    • David H 4.5

      And what about AAFCO locking people out just to get around the paying of the Statutory days??

  5. Uturn 5

    I agree with the face value of your words.

    The debate then becomes far more complicated in how a business can fairly treat a diverse selection of employees over that period, as I do not think that asking employees to choose between their religion and making a living is a moral thing to do.

  6. Uturn 6

    My comment at 5, should be attached to comment number 2.

  7. ianmac 7

    Bring back the weekends! Lets get agreement from all shops in town to close late on Friday night and remain closed Saturday and Sunday whether it is Easter or not!
    Keep open Petrol sales and fish’nchip shops oh and Mcdonalds.
    Families could plan on family weekends and picnics and parties and picnics and dances and all.
    (First Friday in April a Public Holiday.)

    And in reference to Micky above, every employee be allowed 3 X Strikes each per year.

    • rosy 7.1

      Can’t say I disagree. We have Saturday shopping, but not Sunday. People still go into town, because it’s an ambient place to be, but stroll around as families – Spain is the same. There are also lots of parks, paths, cycle ways for generally mooching about. And being a compact city with decent public transport it’s easy to get out of town for the day. And yes, they have certain rules for the employees who work on Sundays to keep the city running.

      In these days of recession surely it would be better for business not to open everyday, it’s not like the customers are spending more because they have a 7th day to shop.

    • Jim Nald 7.2

      Bring in holidays aligned with the changing seasons, which most religions/cultures mark and celebrate with particular festivities and specially prepared food, for workers and families and their children.

      So after the holiday season for the northern hemisphere winter solstice (ie our southern hemisphere summer solstice), let’s celebrate the equinox (northern hemisphere’s vernal, and our southern hemisphere’s autumnal) holidays about this time of the year.

      And let’s have a holiday marking our winter solstice, instead of or in addition to, Queen’s birthday. And then again for our vernal equinox, eg Aug/Sep (which would be much appreciated since there is such a long wait till Oct Labour weekend!).

      Private member’s bill, someone?

      The sky won’t fall if the shops don’t occasionally open on one or two days a week. It is a matter of planning when to get our groceries. It wasn’t so long ago when shops weren’t open every day of the week.

      • ianmac 7.2.1

        I like the sound of that too Jim. The change of seasons fascinate me and what a great time to celebrate equinox and solstice. The weather might be screwed up but the inexorable march of the seasonal change is a constant where religious aspects are fickle to say the least.

        I wonder if shopowners stay open weekends because the others might steal a march on them if they don’t but with cooperation….

      • Foreign Waka 7.2.2

        Jim, Christmas and Easter would do the same – closing for a celebration of the birth and mourning of the death of Christ is an option. Your suggestion is part of a pagan ritual that has many earthbound gods. Do you suggest that NZ is becoming a official pagan state?

        • McFlock 7.2.2.1

          Well, I suppose we could have non-trading stat hols on Labour Day, May Day, the day of the year women got the franchise, and the birth and death days of Michael Savage, Norman Kirk, Archibald Baxter, Te Whiti o Rongomai, Tohu Kakahi, Te Whetu, James Cook and Keir Hardy.
             
          The lack of prominent business criminals (sorry, “leaders”) wiuld piss off the tories, but then they’d be against the principle, anyway.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2.2

          Do you suggest that NZ is becoming a official pagan state?

          Great idea. Can I suggest the ancient Roman calendar?

      • David H 7.2.3

        “The sky won’t fall if the shops don’t occasionally open on one or two days a week. It is a matter of planning when to get our groceries. It wasn’t so long ago when shops weren’t open every day of the week.”

        Tell that to the people that fill the supermarkets every time they are closed for a day, anyone would think that they have not heard of a new fangled invention called a refrigerator. To say nothing of the Freezer.

        • deuto 7.2.3.1

          LOL – great remark. Not to say that I wasn’t one of those at the supermarket today doing the stock up…………..

        • Vicky32 7.2.3.2

          Tell that to the people that fill the supermarkets every time they are closed for a day, anyone would think that they have not heard of a new fangled invention called a refrigerator. To say nothing of the Freezer.

          Exactly! It drives people who work in supermarkets round the bend…

    • Richard McGrath 7.3

      “Bring back the weekends! Lets get agreement from all shops in town to close late on Friday night and remain closed Saturday and Sunday whether it is Easter or not!”

      What if the shops want different closing days – restaurants wanting to close on Mondays, etc. ?

      “Keep open Petrol sales and fish’nchip shops oh and Mcdonalds.”

      No, fuck McDonald’s, they’re a multinational corporation who force kids to eat their food and get fat. And petrol causes greenhouse gas production and fish and chips are carb and fat-laden junk food.

      “Families could plan on family weekends and picnics and parties and picnics and dances and all.
      (First Friday in April a Public Holiday.)”

      Why not make every Friday a public holiday? “Whether it is Easter or not!”

      “And in reference to Micky above, every employee be allowed 3 X Strikes each per year.”

      What, only three? Why this limit on the right of every person to withdraw their labour as often as they wish?

  8. millsy 8

    The simple solution to this would be to have a national referendum and let the people decide if they are willing to allow the shops to open on Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

    Back in 1967 the government decided to do this about the 6 o’clock swill, and in 1946/47 in regards to off course horse betting.

    A repeal is inevitable, and I would rather have this decided by the wider electorate, rather than National and ACT party pollies getting sore ears from the hospo and retail barons.

    Having double time on these 3 days would be a suitable compensation.

    • Rusty Shackleford 8.1

      We already have a mechanism in place for people to decide and it doesn’t require an expensive debate and referendum. It’s called personal choice.

      • felix 8.1.1

        Unless you’re poor in which case you just do what you’re told or lose your job.

        • burt 8.1.1.1

          felix

          We all trade our dreams for our realities. Everyone, rich and poor need to decide which issues they are prepared to die in a ditch over.

          My reading of the situation with the latest round of holidays act changes is that the whole concept of religious holidays is being relaxed. IE: I might choose to work Easter friday like any other day but take my own birthday off without it effecting my annual leave.

          That being the case, the need for punitive hourly rates seems somewhat more elastic.

        • Richard McGrath 8.1.1.2

          “Unless you’re poor in which case you just do what you’re told or lose your job.”

          That’s what being an employee means. It’s got nothing to do with being poor. If you want to give the orders, start your on business – but of course it won’t be yours, because everyone owns society.

          • McFlock 8.1.1.2.1

            Funnily enough, in NZ “employee” does not mean “just do what you’re told or lose your job”.
               
            Indeed, I would suggest that this is a psychotic perversion of the employer:employee relationship, in the same way that “wife” does not mean “screwon demand or get thrown into the street”.

            • Richard McGrath 8.1.1.2.1.1

              “Funnily enough, in NZ “employee” does not mean “just do what you’re told or lose your job”.”

              No, of course, I forgot, an employee just does what he or she likes, without reference to the wishes of the employer. Thanks for putting me right on that one.

              “Indeed, I would suggest that this is a psychotic perversion of the employer:employee relationship”

              Yes, absolutely bizarre, I don’t know what possessed me.

              “in the same way that “wife” does not mean “screwon demand or get thrown into the street”.”

              That comparison, on the other hand, is beneath contempt.

              • McFlock

                 
                Faux outrage from a libertarian.
                   
                Anyway, if you really think an employment relationship is just “take it or leave it” from the manager, then you’d be a shit manager. Except for bankers, because sociopaths expect to be treated like shit.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Where did the “manager” enter the conversation? I was talking at the level of employer and employee, the two parties to an employment agreement. And when did bankers become managers?

                  Of course, I had forgotten, all bankers are sociopaths, aren’t they. Strange though, my personal banker here in little old Masterton is a nice lady who I’ve known for 20 years, lives just around the corner, and is a lovely caring person. I’m sure it will come as news to her to learn she has an antisocial personality disorder.

      • millsy 8.1.2

        I’m talking about repealing the laws.

  9. burt 9

    rOb

    I would expect you to want to keep the law like it is, I think the only thing you are ever passionate about it status quo.

    • felix 9.1

      I always reckoned r0b for someone with far better taste in music than that.

    • burt 9.2

      I’m sure he likes the music that’s playing right now – not yesterdays and not tomorrows.

    • r0b 9.3

      Burt my dear, you understand me about as well as you understand everything else in the world. Here’s some non status-quo things I’m in favour of:

      – capital gains tax and close loopholes
      – increase top tax rate
      – free education
      – stop spending on highways
      – start spending on public transport
      – carbon tax
      – tax incentives to transition to renewable energy
      – polluter pays
      – Tobin tax
      – reduce GST

      And that’s just for starters.

      • burt 9.3.1

        6 (arguably 7) out of 10 are tax and intervention related.

        OK, so when I think ‘rOb is pro status quo complicated and distortionary tax systems’ I need to remember it’s more granular and ambitions than that.

      • Richard McGrath 9.3.2

        – capital gains tax and close loopholes

        Which won’t put anyone out of work, of course, and won’t drive any businesses offshore.

        – increase top tax rate

        Preferably to 100%. Really good incentive to work harder to improve your family’s financial security.

        – free education

        Except to the person that pays for it. And the 20% who emerge from our currently “free” state school system functionally illiterate.

        – stop spending on highways

        Leave them full of potholes so the ministerial limos blow their tyres

        – start spending on public transport

        Just gotta love those steam trains and quirky old trams.

        – carbon tax

        Yep, great for business and employment.

        – tax incentives to transition to renewable energy

        Renewable expensive energy like wind farms that chomp up thousands and thousands of birds, bats and insects.

        – polluter pays

        Agree. Based on common law restorative justice when someone’s person or property is damaged.

        – reduce GST

        Yes, to zero.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.1

          Which won’t put anyone out of work, of course, and won’t drive any businesses offshore.

          No it won’t. What it’s most likely to do is create more businesses as the economy rebalances away from getting capital gains.

          Preferably to 100%. Really good incentive to work harder to improve your family’s financial security.

          Once you’re working 40 hours per week your pretty much at your limit and no amount of money can get you to work harder.

          Except to the person that pays for it. And the 20% who emerge from our currently “free” state school system functionally illiterate.

          The community pays for it and we’re in the 95%+ literacy bracket.

          Leave them full of potholes so the ministerial limos blow their tyres. Just gotta love those steam trains and quirky old trams.

          Yep, you’re an idiot. Obviously we maintain the existing roads and stop building new ones. Trains will be nice new electric ones.

          Yep, great for business and employment.

          All costs need to be accounted for. It’s because we haven’t accounted for the cost of carbon that we now stand on the verge of an anthropogenic extinction level event.

          Renewable expensive energy like wind farms that chomp up thousands and thousands of birds, bats and insects.

          It’s cheaper, once we take into account the full costs, of fossil fuel based power generation.

          Agree. Based on common law restorative justice when someone’s person or property is damaged.

          Considering that our rivers and lakes have been thoroughly damaged by farming you would obviously support them being closed down and the farmers forced to pay for the clean up.

          • Richard McGrath 9.3.2.1.1

            “Once you’re working 40 hours per week your pretty much at your limit and no amount of money can get you to work harder.”

            Speak for yourself. I can’t remember when I last worked less than a 60-90 hour week.

            “We’re in the 95%+ literacy bracket.”

            Functional literacy means being able to read a train timetable or similar. Not exactly an impressive return on ten or eleven years of compulsory state-run education…

            “Yep, you’re an idiot. Obviously we maintain the existing roads and stop building new ones.”

            The words were: “STOP (my emphasis) spending on highways”

            “All costs need to be accounted for. It’s because we haven’t accounted for the cost of carbon that we now stand on the verge of an anthropogenic extinction level event.”

            Oh, please, dispense with the melodrama. Global temperatures haven’t risen despite increases in CO2 since 1998.

            “It’s cheaper, once we take into account the full costs, of fossil fuel based power generation.”

            Don’t forget shale oil/gas, very cheap and plentiful, my V8 will run nicely on it hopefully.

            “Considering that our rivers and lakes have been thoroughly damaged by farming you would obviously support them being closed down and the farmers forced to pay for the clean up.”

            Yep, assuming the level of damage caused by each party can be proven.

  10. captain hook 10

    this is a christian nation and heir to the western intellectual tradition but there are always some whose desire for the thirty pieces of silver overrides any and all moral and ethical considerations.
    they are the same people who want freedom to do what they want at all costs.
    basically the human equivalent of greedy pigs.
    and tory voters.

    • Rusty Shackleford 10.1

      I’m neither christian nor a Tory voter. Why can’t I be left alone to buy a beer or a pint of milk whenever I want from whomever is willing to sell it?

      • millsy 10.1.1

        If your hot water cylinder burst, how much would the plumber charge to fix it over this weekend?

        • Rusty Shackleford 10.1.1.1

          And why are the rule enforcement officers allowed to work on good Friday but not supermarket workers?

        • burt 10.1.1.2

          millsy

          Probably about 2.5x what they would normally charge – in keeping with what Lanthanide is suggesting. Perhaps he/she is a plumber ?

          • millsy 10.1.1.2.1

            My point is that if workers are required to give up their holidays, they should be paid accordingly.

            • burt 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Totally agree. I have no issue with rates being varied under any reasonable negotiation between employer and employee.

              Problem is we are debating religious justification for complete lock down of selected parts of our daily life with pay rates for working on days we would rather not work. I’m not sure which separate issue we’re arguing about, perhaps none.

        • David H 10.1.1.3

          The last one had me checking out the cost of Amputations.

        • Richard McGrath 10.1.1.4

          “If your hot water cylinder burst, how much would the plumber charge to fix it over this weekend?”

          A sum agreed in advance between myself and the plumber. If I was keen enough to avoid damage to the house, I would get him out same day, whatever day it was.

    • burt 10.2

      overrides any and all moral and ethical considerations

      Right… so we can use ethical and moral considerations to shut the shops for one day (all of them) but the next day we can do what the hell we like again. Waaaa-ho love that Christianity – do what the hell you like and repent once a week and feel all high and mighty about being ethical and moral.

    • Foreign Waka 10.3

      Agree with Captain Hook
      Hear, hear

  11. burt 11

    You can’t do that because rOb will tell you others were doing it too and therefore we should just move on.

  12. ak 12

    No surprise at all to see tories and their whores continuing their pathetic efforts to have the lessons of Easter swamped by greed and selfishness. Barbarians whining and sour-graping at a civility they can never experience.

    Pleasant surprise but, to see the very christian act of forgiveness so graphically enacted here: our modern-day Judases and the dreary blowflies around their recta not only permitted to comment but treated with a repect completely incommensurate to their abilities or conribution.

    Onya, bros and sissys, keep to the high road. The money-changers are withering one-by-one and there’s a star in the east.

  13. Sanctuary 13

    All this song and dance over one of only three and a half days in the year retail outlets must shut. You only can trade as you please on three hundred and sixty one and a half days in the year! ZOMG! Liberty and freedom are under seige. FFS.

  14. captain hook 14

    its all about meeeeeee.
    if I wake up at 2:30 in the morning there should absolutely positively be a shop open somewhere where I can get some toothpicks and some whine gums.
    the whole world is here just to satisfy meeeeeeeeee.

    • Richard McGrath 14.1

      “its all about meeeeeee.”

      Just like going on strike for higher wages is also all about meeeeee. Why is one type of greed good and the other not?

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Oh I like it, idiot right wingers trying to position putting enough food on the table for the family, and being recompensed for being on call through the weekends and nights as being “greedy”.

        Please fuck off.

        • Richard McGrath 14.1.1.1

          “Oh I like it, idiot right wingers trying to position putting enough food on the table for the family, and being recompensed for being on call through the weekends and nights as being “greedy”.”

          Get a grip, you tosser. The original scenario concerned some punter who wanted toothpicks and “whine’ gums in the middle of the night.

  15. captain hook 15

    the rule enforcers are working today because they work to uphold the law.
    they are doing their christian duty.

    • Richard McGrath 15.1

      “the rule enforcers are working today because they work to uphold the law.
      they are doing their christian duty.”

      FFS. Their Christian duty to stop people working. Onward Christian soldiers.

    • Richard McGrath 15.2

      “the rule enforcers are working today because they work to uphold the law.
      they are doing their christian duty.”

      Let them try and stop me working tomorrow – as I worked today – seven hours at $80 an hour. Less than I normally earn, granted, but the rest goes toward the quarterly company dividend which has saved me tens of thousands in tax over the years. Awesome arrangement!

      Also, managed to slip in breakfast, lunch and dinner with my daughter and my partner’s family today. Helped look after my step daughter’s week-old baby for half an hour as well. So plenty of family time today, in case anyone was starting to get their panties in a lather.

  16. Reagan Cline 16

    “Looking out my window the range of jobs I could be doing is only limited by my imagination and technical know-how”

    R Shackleford
    7th April 2012

    I suggest you take a stroll outside and think about the spanish “paseo”. Be aware you could enter unknown, perhaps frightening parts of your imagination.

  17. Rosie 17

    I loooove it when everything closes up at easter. It so nice to see folks out and about walking in the sun and enjoying the outdoors. Its one of those rare times that we aren’t obsessing about consumerism. I won’t pretend to have a religious viewpoint but I do know from being a shop girl for many years that having a public holiday where you don’t have to work is like a dream. Its one of the very rare ocassions you get to socialise with family and friends. Most of the time you work anti social hours. And don’t start with the “Its a personal choice to work in retail, blah blah” Firstly its not always a choice and secondly retail workers, like all workers need work life balance.

    Before the ECA came about in 1990 shops weren’t open the absurd hours they are today. That was because we got paid penal rates for over time. Once the ECA came in and penal rates were scrapped we started opening longer and longer hours. Trading probably needed to open up a bit, but we went over board. For the worker, it was good bye to decent pay and hello to social death.

    The shops are closed 3 and half days a year. Why do people cry about it – every year?

  18. Cactus Kate 18

    The real poor do without Easter eggs.
    Too hot in Bangkok
    They melt.

    • Jackal 18.1

      Catcus, your wine cup runneth over with trivial factoids of little significance. Off you go… your favourite Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is having another rerun.

  19. infused 19

    I really don’t care either way. Easter weekend has always been a weekend of doing nothing for me. The holiday shouldn’t be a religious one, however.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      It’s not a Christian holiday it’s a pagan one. Originally, at least.

      • Foreign Waka 19.1.1

        EASTER is a Christian feast and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament.[2][3] Easter is preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating Maundy and the Last Supper,[4][5] as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus.[6] Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The festival is referred to in English by a variety of different names including Easter Day, Easter Sunday,[7] Resurrection Day and Resurrection Sunday.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter Section from the description what Easter is.
        It is a Christian Holiday as well as the celebration of the Jewish Passover.

        • Pete George 19.1.1.1

          That’s what it is for some people.

          To others Easter is a long weekend with varying dates, sultana and spiced bread, and more chocolate than usual.

          To some people it’s both, and to some it’s neither.

          • Te Reo Putake 19.1.1.1.1

            Pete misses the point again. Well done, chap!

          • Foreign Waka 19.1.1.1.2

            No Pete, this is WHAT EASTER means. Not what you like to think it is. If you want to do away with EASTER, that’s fine but don’t distort historical issues when you do this.

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.2.1

              You’re not looking wide enough I’m afraid. Notice how that wikipedia article says nothing of the Spring Equinox/spring fertility festivals which had always occurred around the same time of year?

              http://news.discovery.com/history/what-does-easter-bunny-come-have-to-do-easter-120406.html

              Why are these traditions so ingrained in Easter Sunday? And what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?

              Well, nothing.

              Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. These tropes were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

              According to University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration — and the origin of the Easter bunny — can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.

              • Foreign Waka

                It is true that i.e Christmas Tree, Easter Bunny, Fertility rituals (spring/autum) have been adopted by the rulers of pre Christian traditions to mitigate the resistance of adopting to the new religion. However, the issue at hand is the meaning of Easter and it is the death and resurrection of Christ and thus a religious occasion. Following by your comments Christians should drop their rituals because some are adopted from over 2000 years ago. You want to shop and that’s that?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Nah I think all shops should be closed every Sunday afternoon, for starters.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    “I think all shops should be closed every Sunday afternoon, for starters.”

                    Yep, fuck those kiddies who want a Sunday afternoon ice-cream, let them suck on a stone.

                    • McFlock

                      Like you give a shit.
                       
                       

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Like you give a shit.”

                      My sons, daughter and nephews have enjoyed many an ice cream at the Renall St dairy in Masterton. So yes, I give a shit.

                    • fender

                      FFS Dick, cant you and the kids make an ice-cream from the 2 litre in the freezer at home a couple of days a year? Are the other 360 odd other days not enough to visit the Renal St. dairy in a year ?

                    • Carol

                      I grew up back in the day when most shops, grocery stores etc, were only open Monday to Friday. As I recall we still got icecreams & iceblocks at weekends from dairies.

                      We were never short of food at weekends. The expansionof opening hours has risen as business owners seek to find more and more ways to get people to part with money in order for the businesses to maintain/increase their profits. We are nearing the end of these days, as economies continue to wane.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My sons, daughter and nephews have enjoyed many an ice cream at the Renall St dairy in Masterton. So yes, I give a shit.

                      Don’t be a fucking dick, just plan your shit, I know you can because most stores in Masterton have closed by 2pm on Sundays for years and years.

          • mike e 19.1.1.1.3

            Pompous git politics 101 less is more

        • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.2

          And prior to Christianity usurping it it was a pagan festival celebrating the return of life to the land hence the use of bunnies (ie, fucking like bunnies) and eggs (symbolism of new life) and why it happens at the first full moon of April (beginning of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere as determined by the pagan calendar).

    • Vicky32 19.2

      Easter weekend has always been a weekend of doing nothing for me. The holiday shouldn’t be a religious one, however.

      ROFLMAO! It’s up to you! (It’s not a religious holiday if you don’t want it to be.) Want another whine gum?

  20. captain hook 20

    just been on the hotline with God.
    next year only christians will get the public holidays.
    pagans and idiots will have to go to work?

  21. captain hook 21

    just been on the hotline with God.
    next year only christians will get the public holidays.
    pagans and idiots will have to go to work?

  22. Pascal's bookie 22

    Is there any place on earth more windswept and unlived in, any el dorado more in need of its adherents, any dream as unrealised, any battlefield as abandoned, any flag run up a pole to a more pathetic salute, than Galt’s fucking gulch.

    It’s been decades. Have at it.

    Shit, or get off the pot.

    But for gods sake quit your bleating.

    tweakers.

    • Richard McGrath 22.1

      “Is there any place on earth more windswept and unlived in, any el dorado more in need of its adherents, any dream as unrealised, any battlefield as abandoned, any flag run up a pole to a more pathetic salute, than Galt’s fucking gulch.”

      Yep, you just keep believing that. Any such “Galt’s Gulch” has to be in a secluded valley just as Rand described it. Don’t, whatever you do, use your imagination and consider that perhaps GG could exist at different levels, on a smaller scale.

      “But for gods sake quit your bleating.”

      Who’s bleating? I’m happy to have a job.

      • Pascal's bookie 22.1.1

        Hahaha, Libz never fail to disappoint. never.

        So you’re engaging in a small scale, very quite little gulch, all quite legal, not telling anyone about it, and no one even knows.

        Awesome, that’s totally the point of it of course.

        And yes, you’re bleating.

        Bleat bleat bleat, like a spoiled widdle lamb.

        You complain about a tyranny of the majority. A tyranny that offers you the absolute and unrestricted freedom to fuck off if you don’t like it. And yet you stay, and make silly little arguments about your alleged slave status.

        And, no, you haven’t made an argument on this thread that society treats you as a slve, but I’ll bet you have somewhere at some time.

        • Richard McGrath 22.1.1.1

          Sounds like I touched a raw nerve there somewhere. But you do at least acknowledge that a ‘gulch’ can exist on a much smaller scale than Rand’s fictional setup.

          Don’t delude yourself that anyone has the unrestricted freedom to leave this country if they like. That’s way too laissez faire for any likely government in NZ.

          • McFlock 22.1.1.1.1

            You can buy or build a yacht, can’t you?

            • Richard McGrath 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep but try leaving without permission.

              • McFlock

                Really? “Permission”?
                I can see how getting back in would be an issue, but what’s stopping you just sailing away, like that norwegian dude?

                • Richard McGrath

                  The getting back is the issue. Besides, I don’t have a heavily tattooed shipmate called Busby to keep me company.

                  • felix

                    Why come back? It’s so restrictive living here. The tyranny of society.

                    Surely you’ll be better off out there on your own without all the parasites dragging you down.

                  • McFlock

                    Oh, so because the government would penalise you upon your return for leaving without getting a stamp on your passport, you don’t have the ability to leave?
                        
                    But wait, the idea was for you to quit whining about how NZ is so horrible, show some principle, and fuck off to a country sans government. No return planned, so no penalty to fear from the NZ government.
                                
                    Your plaintive whine about not being free to leave is like a scene from Hot Shots Deux.

          • Pascal's bookie 22.1.1.1.2

            Surely the point of a gulch is that you withdraw yourself from society and deprive it of your awesomesauce leading to all the moochers crying and eventually your glorious return with a decade long speech.

            Not withdrawing from society, or just withdrawing a little bit but staying completly within its systems and designs isn’t a gulch at all. It’s not a ‘little gulch’, its a pretend, playtime gulch. An objectively non-gulch.

            It’s just a toy to massage your ego with.

            • Richard McGrath 22.1.1.1.2.1

              Yep, a pseudo-gulch, a gulchette of sorts, certainly a non-gulch as far as the gummint is concerned. Nothing else is possible with my limited income and means.

              And yes, my ego can never be massaged enough!

              • Pascal's bookie

                “Nothing else is possible with my limited income and means.”

                Income’s got fuck all to do with it. What libertarians lack, is heart, gall, and support.

                So yeah, the means.

                • Richard McGrath

                  I’m living within my means – be good if the gummint could do the same, instead of posting the bill for their profligate spendups to my kids.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Govt can easily live within its means by taxing the tens of billions of currently untaxed private wealth in this country at 0.25% p.a.

          • Pascal's bookie 22.1.1.1.3

            But you do at least acknowledge that a ‘gulch’ can exist on a much smaller scale than Rand’s fictional setup.

            Found it, even:

            http://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/icanhasgalt.jpg

            Which actually exagerates global libertarian actual doing shit levels.

  23. captain hook 23

    finally worked it out.
    richard old boy is the bonedome dipstick now in charge of the Wairarapas drug fiends.
    he seeks to ratchet up his his caring and giving into some sort of political postion.
    well if you are the libertarian you claim to be richard old chap then there should be free drugs for everyone.
    man like Easter, dude is just so groovy….wow!

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    This is in response to Richard at 4:47 the italics in the blockquotes are from my comment that his was in repsonse to

    “Richard, if your rights are inherent, and not socially constructed, then you would have no need for a government to protect them.”

    Why not? There are always criminals out there who would violate other people’s rights and freedoms were it not for the ‘thin blue line’.

    You’re begging a few questions there.

    The fact that they are ‘criminals’, and that there is a police force, pre-supposes that society has determined not to allow them to do what they are doing, or at least to apprehend them once they have done so. Those things, (laws which determine criminality, police forces, etc), are not natural, they are things that we need to create and maintain in order to have the rights they protect. Without them, and without the will of the society to maintain them, we simply don’t have the rights.

    “A right that isn’t recognised by other people, isn’t a right that you actually have.”

    Nonsense. If my right to privacy is breached by a person who breaks into my home, that doesn’t all of a sudden negate that same right.

    Again, the right to privacy is created and maintained by society because it recognises and acknowledges that this is a right the society wants to have. If society did not acknowledge that right, then it wouldn’t be there to be negated. I know you have strong disagreements about this, and I can hear you shaking your head from here, but we’ll get to the crux of it soon enough.

    “It might be a right that you would like to have, or that you think it’s obvious that you should have, or that it’s terrible that you don’t have; but it is not a right that objectively exists.”

    You’re saying rights are subjective, arbitrary, subject to the whim of dictators. Of course my rights objectively exist. And they don’t change over time.

    No. Flat out wrong.

    1) I am not saying rights are subjective. I am saying they are objective, and defined in law. Defined and created by society and maintained by society.

    When I say I have a right to do something, I am not saying that I subjectively think I ought to able to do it or anything so wishy fucking washy and muddle headed. I am saying that I have a legitimate reality based expectation that no one will try to prevent me from doing it, in this world as it exists, and that if they do I will have some sort of recourse. ie, I have a right to do this.

    2) I am not saying they are arbitrary. I am saying they are clearly defined and agreed upon. That we have courts to judge areas of disputes and all the rest of it. That I’m not counting merely on my own feelings, or some argument I have that I happen to think is profound.

    3) Not subject to the whim of dictators in my neck of the woods, and I am exceedingly fortunate and grateful for that. They are subject to the whims of dictators in North Korea. Our society has established a system of rights, and a system for establishing which types of rights we have, that I am extraordinarily fond of, though like everyone, I think it could use some tweeks. Thankfully, the ability to tweek it is included in the system. Should a dictator arise that tried to remove or destroy that system, I hope I’d have the courage to do something about it.

    That is because I value rights that are actually, objectively, existing. In reality.

    I don’t think that ‘moral rights’ or the sort that you claim the North Koreans are ‘enjoying’ are worth a pile of shit. They are just claims. Anyone who claims a moral victory in a sports event does so becuase they didn’t have a real one.

    A right can only be said to exist, when people agree that this is how they will behave with regard to each other, and set up a system for transgressors of that agreement.

    “In any case, can you point to any place in history where your idea of individual property rights has been established; ie, actually existed?”

    What you don’t realise is that individual rights existed before any governments and laws. The purpose of government is to protect its citizens against violations of their rights. People in the socialist paradise of North Korea enjoy the same individual rights as New Zealanders, and as the people of Europe 1000 years ago did.

    And there we have it. The calim that rights objectively exist in a place where if you exercise them, you will be killed, if you are lucky. This is part and parcel of the claim that our rights don’t, and can’t, change, BTW.

    Think about it. If you know for a gosh darned certainty what rights we ought to have; what rights are truly objectively just, and 99% of people disagree with you, then the moral course is clear , is it not.

    tyranny of the 99%

    • Pascal's bookie 24.1

      To clarify that last, ‘tyranny over the 99%’, who would be objectively wrong about justice and will just have to put up with it, for ever and ever, Aynmen.

      • Richard McGrath 24.1.1

        No point in correcting what you wrote, you were right the first time: tyranny of the 99%, if they can determine (dictate) the rights of the 1%.

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1

          If you don’t want to live in a community with the other 99% then fuck off and form your own hermitage with the 1%.

          Because from what I observe, the sociopathic 1% like yourself is completely comfortable making up rules and dictats for the other 99%.

        • Pascal's bookie 24.1.1.2

          By the same token, you are saying that the 99% don’t have the right to live in a society they want to. that because you think you know better, they must live under your rules, with the rights you say they should have.

          It’s pretty clear which is the more tyrannical.

    • Richard McGrath 24.2

      People still have rights, regardless of what sort of environment they are in. Whether others, even 99% of others, choose to respect those rights is irrelevant.

      Contrary to your assertion, if a person chooses to exercise their right to act in self-defence, they are far less likely to be killed.

      You’re claiming rights are objective and aren’t arbitrary, but in the next breath saying that if 99% of people disagree that I have a right to (say) defend myself against physical aggression, then I’m wrong, and that 99% can suddenly render my right(s) null and void. Hmm.

      • McFlock 24.2.1

        Contrary to your assertion, if a person chooses to exercise their right to act in self-defence, they are far less likely to be killed.

        Oh wow, so there’s also an “inherent” right to self defence?
        Got any stats on the number of e.g. robberies in NZ where people die after “defending themselves” vs just handing over the money? Or is your counter-argument baseless?
         

        • Richard McGrath 24.2.1.1

          We’ll have to agree to disagree. As I see it, people have equal rights which do exist. Some governments and individuals choose not to recognise and abide by these rights. However a person whose rights are not recognised does not automatically lose those rights.

          • McFlock 24.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, but where do your rights come from? What makes them “inherent”? What is the filter that differentiates the concept of “rights” you’re saying here from, say, the idea that “everyone has an equal right to exist regardless of income“?

        • Richard McGrath 24.2.1.2

          Yes there is an inherent right to act in self defence. Wouldn’t you try to defend yourself against an attacker by whatever means were available?

          “Statistics” have nothing to do with it. We’re talking of a moral principle here.

          • McFlock 24.2.1.2.1

            I might have an impulse when scared to try to fuck octopods, but it doesn’t make it an “inherent right”.
                
            And you’re the one who said that someone acting in self defence was “less likely to be killed”. So that was “morally less likely to be killed”. Nice. They might have been beaten to death with their own baseball bat, but “morally” they survived. Marvellous.

      • joe90 24.2.2

        Contrary to your assertion, if a person chooses to exercise their right to act in self-defence, they are far less likely to be killed.

        Libertarian heaven.

      • Colonial Viper 24.2.3

        People still have rights, regardless of what sort of environment they are in. Whether others, even 99% of others, choose to respect those rights is irrelevant.

        Apparently only property owners have (enforceable) rights in your world.

      • Pascal's bookie 24.2.4

        You’re claiming rights are objective and aren’t arbitrary, but in the next breath saying that if 99% of people disagree that I have a right to (say) defend myself against physical aggression, then I’m wrong, and that 99% can suddenly render my right(s) null and void. Hmm.

        ‘Hmmm’ a little harder, read a little slower, and focus on what is being said. Unless you’re an idiot you’ll start to understand.

        I’m saying that rights only exist when they are recognised. A right places a duty on people to respect that right. That must be achieved somehow. Just asserting that you have a right, can never bring a right into existence. It’s just a claim at that point. In order to make it real, to bring the right out of the realm of things that don’t exist, and into the realm of things that do exist, you need to get people to agree that they have the duty.

        You are sying that if you think you have a moral right to do something, then that right just, ‘poof’, exists, and that people are bound to respect it whether or not you have their agreement on the rights existence.

        ‘Hmmm’ for little while and think about what ‘subjective’, ‘arbitrary’ and ‘reality’ mean outside of the solipstic little fanstasy world randians exite themselves in.

        Solo passion indeed.

        Think anout what you are saying man. ‘North Koreans right now, in this world, enjoy all the same rights that we do’. That’s not objectivism. That’s not reality. That’s insanity.

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