Right wing tantrums

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, September 10th, 2010 - 172 comments
Categories: act, child discipline - Tags: , ,

The mind set of your typical far RWNJ (Right Wing Nut Job) reminds me of nothing so much as a spoiled greedy baby. Never more so than after reading a couple of notable right wing tantrums lately. Here’s the first:

Our Five Million Dollars: Not Yours To Give, John

Tuesday, 7 September 2010, 4:02 pm
Press Release: Libertarianz Party
Our Five Million Dollars: Not Yours To Give, John

Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath has attacked Prime Minister John Key’s decision to divert five million dollars of taxpayers’ money to victims of the Canterbury earthquake, saying acts of charity should start at the individual level, not with central government.

“If John Key wants to donate five million dollars to the people hit by this disaster, he should use his own money, and not dip into the pockets of other people.” …

“The role of central government in this situation is to maintain law and order and protect private property while people repair damage to infrastructure and rebuild their homes or move away. Police should be drafted in, if necessary, to combat looting and other opportunist crime.” …

“What is clear to me, though, is that the five million dollars that John Key so glibly promised was not his to give. It was yours, and mine.” …

Charming, don’t you think? And here’s the second:

Pro-smacking lobby angered by rejection

Lobby groups have blasted the Government for last night rejecting a bill that would have effectively repealed the so-called ‘anti-smacking law’.

The bill, drafted by John Boscawen and sponsored by David Garrett – both ACT MPs – was voted down 115-5.

“Parliament has tonight shown utter contempt for the people of New Zealand,” The Kiwi Party’s Larry Baldock wrote in a statement titled, “Real democracy in NZ steps closer to the Grave”.

“We’re pretty gutted by the ‘spit in the face of voters’ – as ACT MP David Garratt (sic) said,” wrote Family First’s Bob McCoskrie. Mr Baldock pointed to last year’s referendum as evidence “our elected representatives have turned their backs and blocked their ears to the clear voice of the people of New Zealand”.

Let it go guys, just let it go. S59 was rewritten and the world didn’t end. And if you want an honest measure of public opinion then ask an honest question in your referendum. Sheesh.

So there you have it. Voices from the right wing heartland. Thank the gods that these people will never run the country. What a cold and barren place that would be.

172 comments on “Right wing tantrums”

  1. RWNJ’s essential problem is they hate the collective. The idea of all of us doing something together raises this feeling of hatred amongst them that blinds them from realising the benefit that collective action can achieve.

    So McGrath wants his $1.25c back and is totally indifferent to the suffering of the people of Canterbury.

    It is hard to understand how his lot and the left can be members of the same species.

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      Easily because it appears to be a psychological and/or brain structure difference.

      Some people have advanced empathy parts of the brain and some just don’t with the typical full spectrum including the advanced cases you see in the media. A severe case of this is called a sociopath and a morbid case a psychopath.
      That is why they appear like greedy little babies. That area of the brain most of us have developed to some extent is not fully developed.

      To be humane is human. These people are not humane. Thus…

      Anyways. An mostly unresearched theory although I have seen the odd article in terms of democrats vs repubs etc.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        An mostly unresearched theory although I have seen the odd article in terms of democrats vs repubs etc.

        Actually, it’s very well researched and comes to the same conclusion as you allude to. These people are psychopaths and yet we have them in our government.

    • Armchair Critic 1.2

      RWNJ’s essential problem is they hate the collective.
      Not quite true. They use it to their advantage in the form of limited liability companies with shareholders and investors, and even cooperatives (like Fonterra, for example) and they work quite well for getting RWNJ’s what they want. They just don’t want anyone else getting the same advantage. So much for a level playing field..

      • Rosy 1.2.1

        and expect to use the collective to protect their property from physical threat…

        “The role of central government in this situation is to maintain law and order and protect private property while people repair damage to infrastructure and rebuild their homes or move away. Police should be drafted in, if necessary, to combat looting and other opportunist crime.”

        Surely libertarianz should expect people to pay to for security to protect their own private property and combat looting and other opportunist crime of their own properties themselves.

        • felix 1.2.1.1

          Yeah, I’ve noticed that they’re never keen to explain exactly why this is an appropriate use of collective strength/state coercion but every other application of the same is apparently illegitimate.

        • Tigger 1.2.1.2

          Yeah Rosy, how dare they use my taxpayer funded police to protect their own property.

          Honestly, who told the Libs that crapping on earthquake victims would get them respect?

          • Armchair Critic 1.2.1.2.1

            While I have no time for the Libertarianz or ACT, I think on the whole I prefer the Libertarianz. Both groups are selfish and stupid, but the Libertarianz are more consistent in their selfishness and stupidity.

      • prism 1.2.2

        But real RWNJs harbour a wish to detach Fonterra from the co-operative. They are sort of like gulls picking at the eyes of live sheep that are cast. If Fonterra doesn’t put up a spirited defence they’ll pick the eyes out of the co-op.

        Turners and Growers have been trying to do it to Zespri. Our little country against the world – but they would dismantle the controls that strengthen Zespri so they can pursue increasing the individual wealth of the company and its shareholders, rather than the country and its stakeholders, us. How’s that for a tantrum!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      No, what they hate is the idea that they’re not special.

    • Jim Nald 1.4

      The RWNJs don’t like the collective but act to divide and conquer.
      It’s about power.
      It’s about putting themselves at the top of hierarchical power.

      • mcflock 1.4.1

        and it’s about keeping them in power, often via the use of centrally funded police to enforce their “property rights”.

  2. ABC 2

    Would it be possible for any writer here to post an equal “Left Wing Nut Job Tantrums”?

    I ask because while there are interesting observations in the original post, it’s easy to descend into the kind of silliness that makes the left an easy target for the RWNJ. An example is further up the page: RWNJ aren’t human, the untermensch if you like, and should be re-educated (read: tourtured an killed in the style of well known leftwing organisations in history) How can one say, to be left is to be human is to be humane, then the next say, yes, but some people aren’t human? The two perspectives are exclusive.

    Which left winger absolutely refutes the simple principle of people supporting each other in times of trouble, of their own free will, that underlies the libz statement? (ok, the libz made unethical use of a natural disaster for their media gain, and they appear to misunderstand the process of how their ultimate goal would be implemented without gross hardship for many, but the basic principle is sound) Or would the “true leftist” withold water or food from a starving man until the official government supplier arrived on the scene, watching him die if necessary?

    When I see these kinds of posts that single out a group, the element of projection is never more obvious.

    • lprent 2.1

      I’d probably post it if it was as clear a case as r0b made in this post. Quite simply he pretty much damned them with their own words.

      But from observing posts looking at the LWNJ’s (and as a devout centrist), I’d have to say that there is only one person who manages to do that. That is Danyl at DimPost.

      Most of the posts I’ve ever seen are so full of coded ramblings and implicit assumptions that they amount to idiots dogwhistling to the faithful.

      If you have a look at the two quotes that r0b put in the post you can see this tendency even in these short examples from the RWNJ’s. They raise more questions than they answer about the personality defects of the idiots.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Can’t see any element of projection in the post. In fact, the only time I do is from RWNJ comments where they’re obviously projecting their own psychopathy.

    • ABC

      Feel free to post an equivalent left wing example of comparable idiocy.

      For me I cannot get my head around McGrath demanding his $1.25c back from the Christchurch Mayor’s fund.

      • ABC 2.3.1

        Trotter used to do it quite often, but of late seems to have discovered opium. Paul Holmes did a few days ago, the column was commented on here too. Though I personally doubt the label of leftwing for Paul Holmes, he was being hailed here as a leftwing blogger. Anywhere where the us and them mentality breaks down into explicit “I hate them…” type comments. The well known “we won, you lost, eat that” quote sums up the same one up, one down, attitude the Left say they don’t possess. It is after all, human nature. Glass houses and all that. Anyway, probably laboured the point.

        • The Voice of Reason 2.3.1.1

          ‘laboured the point’ No pun intended, I’m sure!

          You make some good points, ABC. The left has it’s fair share of ‘one true pathers’ who are as annoying as any RWNJ and often waste more time and energy, because they appear to come from a genuine perspective, only to eventually expose themselves as shallow sectarians with a dull axe to grind. And no, I’m not going to name names. You know who you are, people!

          Trotter is only a few columns away from blurting out his love for Winston Peters and his time as a faux lefty will cease.

          The Holmes thing was tongue in cheek, as I read it. I don’t think it was meant to suggest he’s genuinely left wing, but I’m old enough to remember the Grunt Machine, when he certainly was anti-authoritarian at least. And I think he once accused an Archbishop of being a drunk, getting himself fired as a result. But that was all a long time ago …

        • lprent 2.3.1.2

          Though I personally doubt the label of leftwing for Paul Holmes, he was being hailed here as a leftwing blogger.

          Read the post again. What the author was incredulous about (and what the post was about) was that if you didn’t know the author, the Holmes article read just like a agitated left-wing blogger. Of course if you did know the author, then it looked like a lot of extra virgin oil sales expiring.

          Basically I’d have to say that you appear either to have a incredibly selective memory or a clear inability to read. Which is it? Or are you just a bit of an ignorant dipshit?

      • Richard McGrath 2.3.2

        Yep I want it to go to the people of Chch via the Salvation Army, not through the Re-Elect Bob Parker publicity machine.

  3. insider 3

    NEWSFLASH! The Libz attack those who don’t conform to their fundamentalist vision. is this unprecedented in the history of NZ politics?

    Err well no, it happens just about every week. It’s about as unusual and newsworthy as Chris Trotter’s weekly disputes with his fellow leftists.

    They are hardly typical right wing heartland. A dogwhistle to the faithful if ever there was one.

  4. randal 4

    rwnj’s are special psychological cases.
    for them there is never enough and the only way to get more is by climbing on top of other people.
    i.e. if I am one up then YOU must be one down.
    and the whole things is based on winners and losers.
    If I am a winner then you must be LOSER.
    simple really but it works for them because as marx pointed out we all suffer from false consciousness and our basic desire is to emulate our peer group so we are locked into accumulating more and more garbage to externally reference ourselves and co-incidentally trash the planet but hey thats the long run dudes and in the long run we are all dead!

  5. randal 5

    forgot to mention the ideas of extortion for fun and profit for expenses.

  6. millsy 6

    speaking of child beating:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4116139/Teacher-admits-assault

    Personally I dont see it as acceptable for a parent a hit his child in the head for leaving their shoes at school, but Baldock and McCroskie, as well as McVicar and Rankin [Too far millsy…RL]

  7. Jewish Kiwi 7

    Objectivism: Rationalising selfishness since 1943

  8. joe90 8

    From 20 June 2010

    What’s wrong with libertarianism.

    First, the worship of the already successful and the disdain for the powerless is essentially the morality of a thug. Money and property should not be privileged above everything else– love, humanity, justice.

    Second, it’s the philosophy of a snotty teen, someone who’s read too much Heinlein, absorbed the sordid notion that an intellectual elite should rule the subhuman masses, and convinced himself that reading a few bad novels qualifies him as a member of the elite.

    Third, and perhaps most common, it’s the worldview of a provincial narcissist,

    In short, they’re spoiled, and they’ve evolved a philosophy that they should be spoiled

  9. prism 9

    Brownlee threw a tantrum this morning at specialists, geologists talking about future earthquake possibilities. He was really patronising about their expertise and desire to inform the public. He makes the point that people are upset already and are getting too much information, but really it goes against his preference not to think ahead and take cognisance of future problems – boring!

    His approach is to be active, to charge ahead and push any problems down the stairs. Come on let’s sign up to deep water drilling and pretend and fudge the issue with, 1 We are only looking for oil, not drilling for it, and 2 That there is no risk of anything going wrong, because the nice men from ‘overseas’ are all technical experts and can be guaranteed to do everything perfectly with no possible mishaps.

    • lprent 9.1

      Brownlee usually* comes across as truly dedicated moron on any topic. He either doesn’t understand or can’t be bothered doing the work to get at least a working knowledge of an area he is meant to be supervising.

      * actually I can’t think of when he hasn’t…

    • Loota 9.2

      Wait, he poo-poos our local geologists, then reckons the overseas geologists are all pro’s to be trusted? Sounds like foreigner-money worship to me.

  10. peterlepaysan 10

    I presume Richard McGrath supports the looters in Christchurch.
    these are people helping themselves being oppressed by servants of the state, like the police.

  11. peterlepaysan 11

    I presume that Richard McGrath supports the looters in Christchurch who are being oppressed by
    servants of the State, like the police?

    After all looters are independent citizens helping themselves without government support.

  12. For me it isn’t the fact that the Nats voted alongside Labour and everybody else in the smacking bill.. but that the referendum was so swiftly ignored despite millions of dollars spent on it and 87% of Kiwis opposed to it.

    That kinda bugs me more.

    • Maynard J 12.1

      The money spent was really a major thing for you? Surely not!

      The lies put forth from the fundies bugged me more than anything. I had an interesting conversation with a friend, she’s also a teacher, about what she could and could not do and she believed all those lies from them about breaking the law if you stop a kid running out in front of a car and all that rubbish. She was about as annoyed at them as I, if not more so, after I’d explained – and she wished she could have taken her signature off the referendum, which she considered another lie! But hey – that’s what they got for their millions – lies accepted as truth. Lucky money can’t buy ‘democracy’ if you ask me.

    • r0b 12.2

      Stupid questions deserve to be ignored. What if the question had been “Should beating a child with a stick as part of a violent outburst be a criminal offence in New Zealand”? What sort of response do you think that would have got? Would the smacking lobby have thought it a reasonable question?

    • lprent 12.3

      It was a useless question. Do you beat your wife style.

      Blame the idiots that asked the question

    • prism 12.4

      Smacking being rejected by 87% of the total NZ population? Or was it a vote against wounding attacks against children? And like many referendums (referenda) it’s a yes/no and didn’t offer alternative methods and a program for better child handling, guiding.and control. And typical NZ mess-up – the refernda don’t even have to be written in a straight-forward manner with one definite proposal, therefore always leading to mixed ideas on what is being voted for.

    • millsy 12.5

      Hey Clint (remember me from studentz.co.nz back in 2001?),

      Would you have pushed for a referendum for homosexuality to be decriminalised in 1986 seeing as similar number opposed the Homosexual Law Reform Bill?

      And finally, do you find it acceptable to belt a child with a jug cord, or any other implement found in the kitchen or garden shed?

  13. randal 13

    chinese whispers and right wing tanties gets bogged down in puerile attempts at the dialectic.
    get real folks.
    right wingers just like tormenting those who cant fight back.
    till you realise this then you are either one of them or severley stunted when it comes to class consciousness.
    and the way they do it is by the unsaid premise that if you are inferior then you are sexually inferior.
    work that one out.

  14. Richard McGrath 14

    Just a few points to those who have commented without reading the full Libertarianz press release:

    1) It’s amusing to read criticism of a political party that aims to devolve power AWAY from politicians and political parties and BACK to the people as hateful and power-hungry.

    2) Forcing others to contribute to a cause you feel is worthy and deserving of money is NOT showing empathy, but employing coercion to force others to act as you think they should. Donating out of your own pocket by voluntary choice, prioritising what limited funds you have, IS showing empathy. In case anyone was wondering (and I notice this was conveniently left out of the excerpt at top of the page – I wonder why?) I donated fifty dollars to the Christchurch earthquake fund via the Salvation Army on Tuesday. So much for my “indifference”, my “crapping on earthquake victims”. How much did you donate – R0B, Armchair Critic, mickeysavage et al?

    3) For the record, I oppose the concept of limited liability companies. I believe in enforcement of contracts and that a debt should stand until paid off.

    4) The role of government is to protect individual rights – yes, it is up to property owners to insure themselves and take reasonable precautions against looters and burglars, etc., but the police are there to help people defend themselves against criminals. They are a legitimate arm of government. And they do not necessarily have to be funded coercively either – if you can get your heads around that.

    It is important to distinguish what is meant by individual rights – libertarians believe in negative rights – the right to be left alone to improve one’s life through peaceful interaction and trade with other people, rather than the right to receive positive benefits at the expense of others.

    • felix 14.1

      The role of government is to protect individual rights

      Why?

      …the police are there to help people defend themselves against criminals. They are a legitimate arm of government.

      Why?

      What makes that arm of govt legitimate and others not? If you could answer without resorting to circular arguments I would be most obliged.

      • Richard McGrath 14.1.1

        Libertarians view government as the body that serves to protect the freedom of individual New Zealanders when this freedom has been threatened or damaged. The police/justice and national defence arms of government step in when a New Zealander’s rights have been violated, providing retaliatory (defensive) measures against criminals and foreign invaders respectively.

        Again, one should repair to the notion of negative rights – that people are entitled to act in pursuit of happiness through voluntary peaceful interaction with others, and if they are prevented from doing this (for instance if they are assaulted, robbed, raped, defrauded, or murdered) then the government should step in on their behalf to ensure victim compensation.

        By way of contrast, no-one’s rights are violated when there is an earthquake, as this is a natural phenomenon, so government doesn’t need to step in, unless looters and others are committing opportunistic criminal acts. It is up to insurance companies, charities and those individuals whose financial situation and priorities allow them to make monetary or labour contributions, to provide aid for earthquake victims. I felt I could spare fifty dollars, but I would not expect everyone to be able to do so. I did not give a thousand dollars because I still have pills to pay, children to support, etc. However, I would expect anyone who advocated taxpayer funding for earthquake victims to be contributing significantly themselves in a private capacity.

        • felix 14.1.1.1

          So it’s just “what you reckon”.

          Thanks for clearing that up.

          • Richard McGrath 14.1.1.1.1

            And if I could ask everyone on this discussion group again: did you each make a significant financial contribution toward the earthquake fund, as you clearly expect others to do on your behalf?

            If you did, good on ya!

            • felix 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Yawn. Is it still charity if you attempt to gain some sort of leverage from it, however pointless and sad the leverage may be? In my experience most people tend to believe that any sort of personal gain from a given act negates the charity of the same.

              Anyhoo…

              Would you please state clearly – so even penniless guttersnipes like myself can understand – exactly why the police are a legitimate arm of government but so many other arms are not.

              Please note: I’m not asking you to state that you believe that to be the case as you did last time I asked, but rather to explain why you feel such an assertion can be stated as fact rather than opinion (which you did above, prompting my query ).

              I remind you, I’m particularly slow-witted so I’ll only understand if it’s spelled out very simply and clearly. Thanks.

              • Richard McGrath

                Yep, giving money voluntarily still comes under the broad heading of charitable acts. I wasn’t aware that one then had to sign an affadavit under the Official Secrets Act not to tell a living breathing soul about it. Must remember that next time.

                So… any sort of personal gain from a charitable act negates the act. So feeling good that you’ve helped someone wipes out any good you might have done. One must feel comletely neutral about it or, better still, suffer in some way, such as having to default on a debt or send your child to school without shoes. Thanks for the clarification.

                I know this is repeating some of what has gone before, but here goes: The police are a legitimate arm of the NZ government because they help execute the only legitimate function of government – protecting the people of New Zealand against acts of violence (murder, rape, theft, etc.) and fraud. That’s not to say I agree with everything the police currently do, but they are there to enforce laws which uphold individual rights, which in turn are necessary if we are not to sink into anarchy.

                Same reasoning applies to justice and defence. Part of this job includes monitoring immigrants in order to protect New Zealanders against foreign criminals.

                • RedLogix

                  So tell me again, why am I forced to pay taxes for the police who protect your property? That just has to be a theft of some kind surely.

                  • felix

                    I never consented to it either, RL. Can’t possibly be legitimate.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Yep it is theft if the money is obtained by coercion. Now just remind me once again, where’s that rule that says the police have to be funded coercively?

                • felix

                  Richard.

                  You’ve already told me what you think the only legitimate function of govt is. Twice now.

                  And twice (thrice now) I’ve asked why.

                  Are you unable to answer or do you need more time?

                • Loota

                  The police are a legitimate arm of the NZ government because they help execute the only legitimate function of government – protecting the people of New Zealand against acts of violence (murder, rape, theft, etc.) and fraud.

                  So being murdered via a sudden violent act needs to be prevented by the Government and the full exercise of its powers, but being murdered by neglect, slow starvation and untreated ill health doesn’t?

                  Yeah right mate.

                  Same reasoning applies to justice and defence. Part of this job includes monitoring immigrants in order to protect New Zealanders against foreign criminals.

                  Forget the foreign criminals its clear the worst ones are already here.

                  • KJT

                    Yeah. The police are doing great in protecting us against white collar crime? Let alone things that should be criminal offenses like: shorting the NZ currency , asset stripping viable companies to burgle their super funds and starving millions of people by futures trading in food.

  15. ABC 15

    Randal, you seem to describing narcissism. A great deal of the expectations of what I call “aspiration to the middle class” encourages/propagates/condones narcissism. I think RWNJs are just a subset of that. It is possible to earn a living in the modern world without expressing narcissistic traits, but it requires time for reflecton that’s difficult to reach while a person works 12 hour days.

  16. Richard McGrath 16

    The label right wingers is not appropriate for libertarians in any case, as right wing policies are often anti-freedom. Right wing politicians and thinkers tend to promote miltary conscription, laws dictating adult consensual sexual behaviour, censorship, drug prohibition, corporate welfare, central banking, and high taxes and government spending, all of which libertarians oppose.

    The antithesis of libertarianism is statism, in which government is big, personal freedom is small, the incentive for self-improvement is decimated and living standards drop (remember East Germany?).

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      Seeing you’ve already said you think there are legitimate roles for the state, then nah, you’re not the antithesis of ‘statism’. And seeing libertarians line up with the right every day of the week, and spend most of their time attacking the left over taxes compared to the pitiful complaints they make about the right, (which are more often than not about they don’t go far enough re the tax cuts) then nah, you count as rightwingers.

      Strangely, you seem to think that what is ‘legitimate’ for a state to do is a seperate question from what the people want their government to do. You think that things that the overwhelming majority of people want their govt to do, are in fact, illegitimate.

      When you consider that well over 90 percent of people think that the state has a far greater role to play than that which you would allow them have it do, then the idea that it’s ‘your way or East Germany’ looks like nonsense, don’t you think?

      But don’t let me stop you from answering felix

      (edit: i see you did attempt to answer felix)

      • Richard McGrath 16.1.1

        Pascal – statism = big government
        libertarianism = small government
        anarchy = no government
        totalitarianism = total government
        So, once again I contend that statism and libertarianism are direct opposites. OK with that? It’s a metter of degree.

        Libertarians will take issue with moves by any government that increases state power at the expense of personal freedom, whatever the governing party happen to be. Right or left doesn’t matter. Also, if the government does something good, that empowers individuals and broadens general freedom, we will commend it for doing so.

        • r0b 16.1.1.1

          Blah blah blah.

          Hey Richard, if an individual is starving to death, should the state step in to help her, or should she be free to just die?

          • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.1.1

            I see you’ve come up with the ‘lifeboat’ argument that fans of an all-knowing all-powerful government bring up to support their case. I note you don’t ask the obvious question – why are they starving in the first place?

            In this situation, I would firstly ask – is the starving person a child? If so, her parents are responsible in the first instance for providing adequate nutrition. If they love and value that child, one of their priorities will be to ensure the child is fed, warm, sheltered and safe.

            If parents are unwilling to provide the necessities for that child, then the wider family should be the next party with responsibility to look after her. If my niece was starving, and my sister couldn’t feed her, I would offer to step in and help – wouldn’t you, for your own family?

            Next would come neighbours – doesn’t everyone take an interest in how their neighbours are doing? There was ample evidence, if any was needed, in the massive concern the people of Christchurch showed for one another over the past week. How about the two thousand or so university students who chipped in and helped clean up people’s homes – that was awesome.

            After neighbours come iwi groups, community groups such as foodbanks, charities such as Red Cross, Salvation Army, volunteer groups and service clubs such as Lions, Rotary, Freemasons, etc., who could also provide support for a starving child.

            If that person is an adult, and determined to starve themselves to death, does the state have a right to step in against their wishes and force feed them?

            If they are starving because of depression, they could be offered help and supported by friends and family and hospitalised if they collapsed.

            If they are starving through lack of money or knowledge, there are household budgeters who can help once the immediate crisis is dealt with via foodbanks and charities along with help from the person’s family and social network.

            You seem to assume people exist in isolation – they don’t. Everyone has family, friends and/or a social network that doesn’t involve the government. These people will step in and help a friend or family member in need. You may not want to become personally involved, but most people would.

            • rosy 16.1.1.1.1.1

              RM, this is almost new testament. And it’s the left that usually gets accused of idealism. Wow. Can you give a few examples of where these ideas work for more than a few days please? How orphans in places where everyone is hungry get the food and healthcare they need through family and NGO charities only? Or how these ideas worked in the industrial revolution or postwar Britian (where the welfare state, and the NHS in particular were considered essential to fill the gaps that charity was not filling). Or what about disfunctional families where children are either abused or neglected by all? Do you think orphanages and workhouses are appropriate for abused, neglected, abandoned kids? Because in the long run that’s what you’re advocating.

              And we haven’t even started on what happens to adults that don’t have the capacity to care for themselves, have no family capable of supporting them, or any of those social networks that you assume ‘everyone’ has.

              • Richard McGrath

                That wasn’t idealism, those were concerte and practical suggestions. For years in Britain and other places charities, trade unions, lodges and friendly societies provided support for workers/members and their families. The massive growth of the welfare state through its coercive method of funding and its politicisation killed off private charities to a large degree.

                The NHS is unsustainable and a basket case, as are Medicare and Medicaid in the US.

                You obviously didn’t read what I’d written. I would suggest family and friends provide foster care ahead of orphanages.

                As for adults without the capacity to care for themselves, why couldn’t charities fund crisis intervention teams to offer such people assistance? Why would you and I not be able to fund such charities from our own pockets?

                The only ‘advantage’ of state welfare is its coercive method of fundraising and its ability to incarcerate its wards in hellholes such as Porirua Mental Hospital and Lake Alice Hospital (where a nice state psychiatrist, Selwyn Leeks, is alleged to have put an ECT machine on the breakfast table as an incentiviser for children to eat everything on their plate – so I guess there were no starving children at Lake Alice!).

              • prism

                I have read of injured people on the side of the road in NZ begging for a lift from cars which continued to pass although the injured was very visible. The drivers must have been libertarians who decided not to stop because the injured must have been waiting for family help. In other words decision of SEP.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Ever read about hitch-hikers pulling knives on drivers who stopped to offer them a ride?… perhaps that might explain your little statistically insignificant anecdote.

            • r0b 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Blah blah blah,

              It’s a simple question Richard, it needs a simple answer. If an individual is starving to death, should the state step in to help her? Yes or no?

              My answer is yes, by the way.

              • Richard McGrath

                No. Someone may need to approach the starving person and offer assistance. That doesn’t have to be the state. What’s stopping each of you on this discussion group joining a charity for the purpose of preventing starvation in your respective communities? Nothing. But many of you prefer to leave the to someone else and, better still, make someone else pay for it.

              • r0b

                Well I have to give you some credit, you’re the first libertarian I’ve ever met who would answer the question, and what’s more answer it honestly.

                So, no, in your opinion the state should allow people to starve to death. Fantastic. You people are sick.

                • rosy

                  RM you are making huge assumptions about whether people on this site are involved in charities, or not.

                  Ad yes, you people are sick. And dishonest.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Then please, someone on this group, if you are involved in a charity, speak up. I will have only admiration for your choice to help others.

                    Rosy – so, “we people” are sick and dishonest. How, pray tell?

                    • r0b

                      Then please, someone on this group, if you are involved in a charity, speak up

                      What would that prove exactly? I have monthly auto debits on my cheque account for three separate charities and I make occasional donations to many more. I have been a volunteer worker for three charities, and (for years) the chair person of a charitable trust. I’m sure many readers of this site have similar records – but so what? Charity will never be enough, supporting society’s weakest members requires the systematic efforts of the collective state.

                    • rosy

                      It’s a sick political philosophy that advocates the law of the jungle, and dishonest to go off on a rant about how the NHI needs reforming rather than dealing with the examples of failures of charity. Although all those societies you mentioned provided charity it was never enough to prevent life from being short sharp and brutal.

                      And BTW if a child is abused and neglected by all in its family having family foster it will not help. We see today that children are fostered by anyone but their families in more than one or two cases.

                      You’ll never convince me that you’re even a little bit right.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Rosy, I think you deliberately misunderstand things. “Law of the jungle” implies tacit approval of the initiation of force. Libertarians oppose that.

                      Your take on “failures of charity” is interesting (does such a thing even exist?). If I give to a charity and the money gets to where I want it to go (someone in need of help), to me that’s success.

                      I’m not being dishonest saying the NHS needs reform – although I note you fail to mention that the NHS does not do all it is supposed to – would that be “NHS failure?” and were you being dishonest in not mentioning it?

                      I have plenty of children in my medical practice that are fostered by grandparents, or don’t they count as “family” in your book? And by foster families I include families unrelated to natural parents that are willing to foster children.

                      Life may have been short, sharp and brutal in Britain during the Industrial Revolution but it was better than starving to death out in the country – wealth and life expectancy increased for most demographic groups. Were you being dishonest in not mentioning this?

                      Hey guys – off subject a bit – hate to crap on your picnic and all, but someone earlier on mentioned trade union. In the NZ Herald today Fidel Castro was quoted as saying last week that Cuba’s economy doesn’t work, and has brother has laid off half a million people from useless government jobs, begun privatising some industries and leased land to private farmers. How could the only trade union allowed in Cuba, in bed with the ruling Communist Party, ever allow this? Will NZ trade unions be organising a boycott of Cuban goods in solidarity with the layoff of their Cuban brothers? I’ll be watching with interest.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Your faith in the Almighty State is touching. But your comments beg the following questions: Why does it have to be the state that steps in? How close to death does that person have to be before the state incarcerates them and forces food into their stomach down a nasogastric tube or rams wide bore cannulae into their veins or a central line into their chest?

                  What if the person had a distressing terminal cancer or was aged 106 and had unremitting pain and decided to starve themselves to death? How vigorous should the state be in saving the starving person – should that person be force-fed until they reached the age of life expectancy? Should the state make refusal to eat a crime, because of all the expense of stepping in to ‘save’ people? Would doctors and nurses who tried to let a demented person die peacefully and naturally be prosecuted, and the Alzheimic anorexic have the life-without-quality and possible suffering that they cannot communicate to their caregivers prolonged further?

                  The issue is a complex one. And the state does not have a great track record in ensuring humanitarian treatment of psychiatric patients, prisoners, and wards of the state, does it?

                  • r0b

                    The state never has enough resources – largely because of people like you Richard. But even so the record of the state is far better than the record of no support at all…

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “But even so, the record of the state is far better than the record of no support at all.”

                      Your evidence for this statement… ?

                      By the way, you offer a false dichotomy – the alternative is “help offered by sources other than the state”.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “I have monthly auto debits on my cheque account for three separate charities and I make occasional donations to many more. I have been a volunteer worker for three charities, and (for years) the chair person of a charitable trust.”

                      I salute your charitable efforts at helping others, Rob. Bravo!

                    • r0b

                      Your evidence for this statement… ?

                      History. And, having spent considerable time in a country where the state is unable to provide support for all its people, and observing the consequences.

                      I salute your charitable efforts at helping others, Rob. Bravo!

                      Very kind of you I’m sure, but unfortunately my charitable instincts are a drop in the bucket compared to my taxes. Which is why taxes are always going to be needed. Goodnight.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “Your evidence for this statement… ? ”

                      The fact that the people voted the govt these powers would be a start, and the fact that people that want to go back to the old way tend to garner a bit less than half a percent support.

        • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.2

          statism = big government
          libertarianism = small government
          anarchy = no government
          totalitarianism = total government
          So, once again I contend that statism and libertarianism are direct opposites.

          I see what you mean, but still think it’s a bit of a nonsense. If statism means anything, it would mean believing that the state is necessary or desirable. Whether you think it has a big role or a little one are the matters of degree. Ignoring that, even saying that the two centrist positions (statism/libertarianism) are opposites seems likewise, a nonsense. It’s not an antithesis if you agree on the basics and disagree only on the scale.

          I also have a problem with the fact that the formulation positions libertarianism here as one side of the centre line and statism on the other, even though ‘statism’ contains far more variation in degree than libertarianism. So much so that on the libs side of the central line you have what? less than half a percent of the population? and on the other you have evrything from sarah palin and roger douglas to chavez to thatcher, ken douglas and all points north south east and west.

          I’m not saying it’s not how you see things, just that it’s not convincing to those outside the half a percent.

          It seems to make more sense to just leave the anarchists out of it, as they reject the notion of the state, and just talk about where libertarians belong on various continuums of statists. In this reckoning they are to the hard right with regard to property rights, and generally act as such, and to the hard left with regard to civil liberties, although here they tend to have more problems. For example, there are not too many schisms with regard to taxes, or property rights. With social/military issues though there has been a fair amount of intra-libertarian squabbling, I think it’s fair to say. (perigo, ahem, Iraq, ahem, homosexuality, ahem, rand, ahem)

          Yous aid before that you oppose ltd liability. Good oh. I assume you would agree therefore that there are many rules the state has enforced that have enabled corporations to extract various ‘immoral’ rents. It seems to me that therefore that the libertarian case for cutting business taxes would at the very least, be contingent on removing those rent seeking opportunities, as the taxes at least partly recoup some of those rents. If we cut taxes for these corporations whose existence is unduly helped by state laws but leave those laws in place, we are making things worse. No? But we never seem to hear that from lib parties.

          that’s why you get lumped in with the right. It might not be fair, but there it is.

          • Richard McGrath 16.1.1.2.1

            Wikipedia expresses statism thus: Statism (or etatism) is a term assigned to political movements and trends that are seen as supporting the use of the state to achieve goals, both economic and social… The term statism is sometimes used to refer to state capitalism or highly-regulated market economies with large amounts of government intervention. It is also used to refer to state socialism or co-operative economic systems that use the state, through nationalization, as a means of running industry.

            Your suggestion to leave anarchists out of the picture is sensible. They advocate a truly dog-eat-dog society with no single authority to oversee dispute resolution, and that is where they fall down – you end up with warlords and factional fighting – Somalia, in other words.

            Libertarians actually do believe the state is both necessary and desirable, but to the smallest degree compatible with protection of individual rights. They believe coercive action by the state, such as taxation, state ownership of industries, and most existing regulation of private activity, is undesirable.

            You need to make a distinction between Lindsay Perigo and the local Objectivist movement, on the one hand, and the Libertarians political party on the other. Objectivism is a philosophy which provides answers to questions of the nature of reality, knowledge, ethics and aesthetics. Libertarianism is the political expression of Objectivism, which deals with the relationship between governments and the people they govern. The Libertarianz Party has no direct link with the Objectivist movement, and Lindsay Perigo long ago distanced himself from the Party. Libertarianz welcomes those who hold religious views, as long as they also believe that small government and personal freedom are worthy goals. Objectivists, on the other hand, tend to oppose religion, and often vigorously attack the apostles of religion, often for very sound reasons.

            Libertarianism holds that it is wrong for a person – or government – to initiate force against a person or group of people. The state should be there to protect people against acts of criminal aggression, but apart from that should leave people alone to get on with their lives. The government should not be there to influence the non-criminal behaviour of its people, and should not work to transfer wealth from one sector of the economy to another – markets are quite capable of doing that.

            If you are suggesting that I should oppose corporate welfare, I very much agree with you and do indeed support all moves to remove businesses from state (taxpayer) support, including removing monopoly privileges and suchlike. I totally agree that the government should not play favourites with its pet industries. I support tax breaks for private industry – in fact for everyone, particularly those on low wages (Libertarianz wants the first $50k of a person’s income to be untaxed, as a first step in trimming taxation back).

            In my own vocation (medical practice), on several occasions I have called for an end to the taxpayer subsidy of doctors. People on low wages are taxed to put money into the pockets of high-earning professonals – doesn’t someone else think that is wrong?

            Libertarianz absolutely opposes the right-wing habit of cronyism – of the state providing subsidies for exporters, and imposing import tariffs and taxes which protect local industries and removing any incentive for them to increase productivity and remain competitive in the face of international prices. We support free markets. Government interference in markets always results in unintended consequences and needless suffering.

            • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.2.1.1

              So like I said, you are a statist. And you need to read up on anarchy. And true scots men.

              And amongst all the verbiage, I missed the part where you said you would oppose tax cuts for companies if they did not coincide with the removal of what you term crony benefits. If you do not do so, then that shows where your priorities are.

              • Richard McGrath

                Pascal – much easier just to cut the crony benefits and give everyone a tax cut. But yes, I would oppose tax cuts for companies still receiving state handouts.

                • felix

                  You would or you do?

                  If it’s not part of your tax policy your words ring hollow, Richard.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  But yes, I would oppose tax cuts for companies still receiving state handouts.

                  Glad to hear you are consistent, hypothetically speaking at any rate. So how about your good self then. I understand you are in reciept of state handouts in the form of subsidies. What will you be doing with your tax cut on Oct 1st?

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to come up with that. I no longer receive a taxpayer subsidy for each patient I see (the old General Medical Services payment), nor any sort of practice nurse subsidy. The main company I work for receives a capitated payment per patient. My contract is with that company and I am paid by the hour. My other work is with a methadone clinic run by an NGO and I’m paid by the hour, and for the police with a fee for service.

                    My tax cut on 1/10/10 amounts to less than 2% by the time increases in GST and ACC levies are factored in. I’ll probably use it to repay debt.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      A bit unclear there Richard. Does the company you work for recieve state funds, or not?

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Yes I believe the company I work for receives state funding, but this is on behalf of each patient, and those patients can take that funding with them if they see someone else or move to another practice. In fact if a patient of mine is seen at a medical practice outside Wairarapa, the company is billed one consultation subsidy. If the patient is seen more than 4-6 times away from their own practice in a year, the practice will actually lose money having them on their books. Betcha didn’t know that.

                      Back in the days when I was claiming a subsidy directly on behalf of each patient, I offered to forgo this subsidy if the IRD would give me a tax rebate for the same dollar amount. They declined. Later on, a colleague of mine in Taranaki started sending his patients to WINZ each day to claim their patient subsidy. The government changed the rules and stopped him from sending forty people a day to the social welfare offices to claim their rebate.

                      Also, in case you’re interested, there are government-imposed restrictions on how much general practices can charge patients. Most of the doctors I work with have 50-100 percent more than the recommended number of patients, because of the difficulty attracting doctors when fees restrictions limit how much the company can afford to pay them.

                      I have 2023 registered patients; three other GPs here have over 2000 patients (one has 2974); the recommended patient load for a NZ GP is somewhere around 1300. We’re never short of work!

  17. I hope The Standards readers are more knowledgeable about the political scene than the writer of this awful piece!
    First of all, Richard McGraths party – the Libertarianz – are equally as opposed to the immoral acts of theft and compulsion imposed upon the population by the left as they are from the right (or to be more factual from the left and Far left)

    Mickey Savage is also incorrect – He finds it “hard to understand” because he refuses to “THINK”
    There is nothing wrong with the COLLECTIVE, so long as people are not FORCED to be part of that collective!

    It is the use of FORCE that they oppose – you know – (or maybe you don’t!) Force is the most uncivilised thing that one human being can inflict upon another.

    I thought the definition of being charitable was to give or donate something at your own expense to a cause of your choice.

    Forcing people to be charitable is an oxymoron.

    I believe McGrath offered to donate $50 of HIS money voluntarilly because it is a cause he values.
    He simply states that being FORCED to donate is immoral, but some of you just dont see it that way.

    It is pretty easy to be CHARITABLE[sic] with other peoples money

    You think it is civilised to use force on people to respect things you value.

    I think YOU are the uncivilised ones – shame on you all

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      Taxation isn’t charity graham. If you don’t understand that, then perhaps you should refrain from trying lecture others about political knowledge.

      The way it works it is we elect governments, we acn also unelect them and get someone else in to do the job. People wanting the job outline what they will do if given the job. Being elected gives them the mandate to do things. Having the government do things costs money. That’s where taxes come in.

      No charity involved.

      • Graham Clark 17.1.1

        Sorry Pascals bookie – I think I may have been misunderstood

        I did not mean to infer that taxation is charity – I do understand that it is NOT charity.

        I understand and agree with everything you say in your post above.

        (Why did you think I meant otherwise?) 🙂

        • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.1

          Given you understand that it is not like charity, it doesn’t make sense to argue that it’s not real charity. No one I know of thinks it’s charity. Most people think it’s a good thing for the state to do and, therefore, fund out of taxation.

          Their motovations for thinking this are probably varied, but libertarians just assume it’s something to do with ‘charity’ rather than ‘pragmatic policy’ or ‘justice’ and start with the screaming about ‘looters!’ and ‘That’s not charity!’ and ‘Help, I’m being oppressed!!!’ and ‘What evil morons you all are!!!”

          This is probably why they get an actual order of magnitude fewer votes than the Bill and Ben party.

          • Graham Clark 17.1.1.1.1

            Real charity is when you donate something of your own free will – ie without compulsion

            As opposed to being FORCED to donate.

            There is no doubt that the people of Christchurch are worthy recipients of donations and charity – This is just another example of government interference which is DESTRUCTIVE to community spirit, and to personal responsibility

            Now that the GOVERNMENT have donated money (on our behalf) some may be of the impression that they have done their bit, when really they may have been a lot more charitable had they made a donation of their own free will.

            There would hardly be a single New Zealander that does not feel for the people of Christchurch, so why have they all been FORCED to donate?

            In the old days fundraising ventures and acts of charity and Community spirit were HUGE.
            Now that councils and governments have taken over the responsibility for providing us with everything we DEMAND, voluntary charity and community spirit are not so prevalent which is a damn shame.
            The more you demand government and council do for you, the more they must pillage from you to deliver those things

            • Pascal's bookie 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah.

              There’s no charity involved with what the state is doing here. they are not donating naything. Nor are they donating on anyone’s behalf. It’s not charity, therefore, not donating.

              The people expect the govt to do this stuff. They want them to, they really do. It’s not a trick the govt is playing. It’s not some nefarious plot, it’s a govt doing what the people it derives it’s authority from want it to do.

              As I said before, in a comment you said you agreed with, govts are elected to do things. If people don’t like what they do, they can throw them out.

              This means that govts tend to do what the people want. As the people are not of one mind about this, it’s a messy business, but on the whole it works.

              Govts don’t do things that overwhelming majorities of people really don’t want them to do,
              and they don’t fail to do what overwhelming majorities of the people really want them to do.

              To do what the people want, the govt must have revenue. That comes from taxes. So once again, what on earth are talking about with regard to ‘charity’? There is no charity involved here.

              • Thank you Pascal for explaining yourself (again!) I did not understand what you meant before – Now I do, so thanks.

                It is just made messy by the majority rules factor
                It is not charity to those in the majority who want the government to donate money
                It is FORCED charity to those who are not in the majority.

                I guess I just have a problem with the majority, making decisions for the minority. This means minorities have no rights.
                You are correct that it is a messy business, but whether it works or not is debatable!

                I guess it works if you are in the majority.

                I do not agree that just because more people agree with something that they are necessarily right

                • Maynard J

                  Nope, and because there’s no opt-out of our wonderful statist collective, you’re stuffed, unless you can get enough people to subscribe to your worldview. Fortunately, there’s very little chance of that happening and the awful sadistic world which you idealise becoming a reality.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Sadistic perhaps, Maynard, but only because a few of us might enjoy the prospect of others having to adjust to a world where they could not expect to live off the efforts of others as bloodsucking parasites.

                    • Maynard J

                      There’s about as few of you as there are of them, so I guess you’re welcome to them. The rest of us, the 99% who put in what they get out, or put more in but are happy and consider it a small price to pay for a civilisation, we’d leave you to it if we could, mark my words.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      That’s the thing, Maynard, I don’t think you, or any regulars in this discussion group, would allow someone to opt out of a system that relies on a small number of net producers to nourish a majority of parasites. You couldn’t afford that! The whole house of cards would come tumbling down on you, wouldn’t it?

                    • felix

                      You won’t opt out though Richard, because you like using all our stuff and you need us to protect your stuff.

  18. peterlepaysan – you should refrain from PRESUMING too much, as the conclusions you are jumping to just prove to others how uninformed and how little you know

    One of the Libertarians foremost principles are (according to their website)
    The protection of property rights (see below pasted from their website) which you can also read instead of making assumptions

    PRIVATE PROPERTY
    Each person has the right to create or lawfully acquire property – real, and intellectual – and to control its use.

    VOLUNTARY ASSOCIATION
    All interaction among adult human beings, in all spheres of life, should be voluntary. Voluntary societies are civil societies, coercive societies are not.

    I am really surprised at how some people are quick to make such uninformed attacks

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      “peterlepaysan – you should refrain from PRESUMING too much, as the conclusions you are jumping to just prove to others how uninformed and how little you know”

      And you should work on your irony setting, Graham. It’s way too low at the mo.

      The reason posters here are ‘uninformed’ about the finer points of the Libertarianz policy position on anything at all is because its laughingly lunatic, outstandingly unpopular, blindly based on the ravings of madwoman and ultimately, it’s because no one here gives a flying one anyway. It’s just funny to see their spokesthing make a tit of himself so publicly.

      Good luck with the blues fests and I trust you are sending some of the profits to the family of Lee Brilleaux, seeing as you are using his name without permission. Or is that sort of thing OK in RandLand?

      • Richard McGrath 18.1.1

        VoR: are you actually capable of arguing an issue in conceptual terms rather than resorting to denigration?

        • The Voice of Reason 18.1.1.1

          No, you’ve got me, Richard. I can’t argue in conceptual terms at all and the pity of it is that I’ve been faking it all my life and it’s only now, at this late stage, that you’ve exposed me for the shallow fool I am. I am desperately sorry and very, very grateful for your noble intervention. All hail the all knowing Ubermensh! Forward to the Past!

          • Richard McGrath 18.1.1.1.1

            If you can, how about addressing some of the points raised, rather than regressing to childish abuse?

            • The Voice of Reason 18.1.1.1.1.1

              “If you can, how about addressing some of the points raised, rather than regressing to childish abuse?”

              Ha, that’s an ironic comment given your media statement and, hence, this post’s title. But I’m game. Here’s a question for you, Richard.

              Given that unions are NZ’s largest democratic organisations and are very much association by choice, I assume you are a fervent supporter of the CTU’s campaign against the loss of employment rights the NACT/MP Government intend removing later this year. Will we see you at the rallies?

              • Richard McGrath

                How is a person’s assertion of property rights childish abuse VoR?

                (And, interestingly, why does does nearly everyone in this discussion hide behind a pseudonym?)

                But to address your question – I believe every worker has the right to belong to a “union” (one example group of like minded people striving for a common goal). In fact I belong to a union of sorts (the NZ Medical Association), and act as the local branch organiser!

                However unions do not have special rights that allow them to act in breach of an employment contract agreed to between employer and employee.

                Some of the “rights” that unions believe they have are bogus. Any rights enjoyed at a cost to others are bogus.

                So, no, I won’t be protesting in support of bogus trade union rights, just as I would probably pen a press release in protest if our Tory government tried to create bogus rights for employers.

            • mcflock 18.1.1.1.1.2

              FWIW I’m finding VoR’s current approach rather more interesting than reading yet another tortuous debate with a mid-functioning sociopath who likes to imagine he’s in the Atlas club.

              Normally I tend to at least feel guilty about writing off entire political party membership, but I’ve yet to meet a libertarian who displays any capability for guilt or empathy (although thankfully out & proud libertarians are somewhat thin on the ground).

              I’m fed up with jerks who pretend that something like ChCh would be rebuilt half as quickly without taxpayer money “stolen” from other citizens, and how it’s sooooo bad because, like, we give money freely so we’re much nicer than people who voted to make us give money.

              Richard, if you really want to look for alternative points of view, I’m sure responses to your religious doctrine has been recycled many times here. Use the search engine.

              If not, sally forth VoR!

              • Richard McGrath

                Typical – play the team and not the ball. Label a person who has put his money where his mouth is – possibly the only one involved in this discussion who has done so – a “sociopath”.

                I’d be quite capable of feeling guilt if I’d committed a crime; what makes you able to gauge whether I am capable of empathising with others?

                If you can’t understand the difference between people who give money freely to help others, and people that are forced to give money – that one act is done by voluntary choice, the other through fear – then I don’t know what to say.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Thing is ric, this is the internet. No one knows if you’ve actually donated a cent, and even if you have, it looks like you’ve only done so as a rhetorical gambit to beat people over the head with. Everyone else knows that 1) donating acent isn’t an argument, and ii) nothing to about about in any case.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    Yep, you’re right. No-one knows if I actually gave that money – though my credit card statement will verify it – and it does appear to be a rhetorical cosh. Thing is – I did it. Without being forced to. That’s what counts.

                • mcflock

                  The discussion has already been made, repeated and bogged down ad nauseum.

                  It’s not a game: the main performance indicators of governmental policy, including social policy and taxation levels, are the quality, freedom and length of the lives of the citizens that the government serves (1 out of 3 is not a pass mark). I am familiar with the difference between voluntary donations and taxation. I also know which one raises more money (or do you donate more to charity than you pay in tax?).

                  Maybe you’re a fully-functioning guy – then why you’re repeating the same arguments that I’ve only encountered from arrogant and essentially amoral folk boggles the mind.

                  Have fun recycling the same old-same old.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    You obviously view the productive as less than human – they can be milked of any accumulated wealth to whatever degree you consider necessary for your social ends.

                    Once again you miss the point – one reason I can’t donate more to charity, or spend more in free exchange with others, is that I am taxed so heavily (about 75k last year). This is money I could have used to help people I want to help, rather than it (for example) being given to strangers such as drug addicts on sickness benefits, for people like the Kahuis to waste, or to keep that tub of lard Mark Lundy alive.

                    Yep, I offer arguments that have been used before – and why shouldn’t I? Your ilk can never provide satisfactory answers to them.

                    And surely you aren’t claiming that because taxation (the coercive extraction of money using threats of asset seizure and imprisonment) currently raises more than voluntary charity, that one is better than the other? Or that charity is necessarily superior to the purchase of goods and services in a free market?

                    • mcflock

                      “You obviously view the productive as less than human – they can be milked of any accumulated wealth to whatever degree you consider necessary for your social ends.”

                      Nah – I just view libertarians as psychological invalids.

                      Your comment about drug addicts highlights that one of the big problems with private charity funding is that it is biased towards the “deserving poor” or “cute” charities. That’s why WWF has a panda on the logo, not some manner of endangered leech. Similarly, while funding (public and private) for children with disabilities is inadequate, funding for intellectually disabled adolescents and young adults is woeful. About the only significant funding is government-sourced.

                      Taxation provides more funds and tries to target them equitably for all people in need. Then MSM and lobbyists get in the mix, and funding gets cut or allocated less than optimally, like Herceptin funding. The system isn’t perfect, but it’s better than neo-capitalist Hobbesianism.

                      I haven’t seen too many of your “debates”. But I’ve seen your style of argument a hundred times. When the wealthiest 5% of the system are called victims of the system,… that’s a self obsessed, empathy-free and genuinely fouled up doctrine right there.

                      As a compromise, I might consider the possibility that the alleviation of need and suffering of others could be individually and entirely voluntary, but only when the imposition of that need and suffering is equally as voluntary.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  If you pay tax through fear, you are a coward. Most people recognise that we have a political system that we can use to effect the changes we want to see. It is not easy, but that is because we have a wide variety of viewpoints and need to construct coalitions, with all the compromise that entails. Part of that compromise is a recognition of taxation and our duty to pay it as determined by the law.

                  YOu would seem to prefer that our political system prevent the people from having their govt do what they want it to do. By this I mean to say that you seem to think the government should not be constitutionally allowed to do many things that it now does with the support of the people. How is that freedom, when you seek to tie the polities hands, all to fit your own extremist and unpopular view of property rights?

                  In this sense you are no different from the commun1sts, in that they refuse to accept that any definition of property other than ‘communal’ is legitimate, while you refuse to accept anything but ‘private’ property. In reality, property is a legal and societal construct. It is not in any sense a natural thing. It is a compromise worked out between people, as they see fit.

                  • RedLogix

                    Or in a nutshell:

                    Without society, there is no property.

                    Without laws, there is no freedom.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Yes. Without society, there would be a whole lot of isolated self-sufficient individuals. If these individuals ever met, there would need to be recognition of ownership of possessions. Hence, a need for property rights.

                      Freedom requires respect for the rights of others, and laws to secure these rights.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      If these individuals ever met, there would need to be recognition of ownership of possessions. Hence, a need for property rights.

                      Fair enough. But you seem to think that property rights can only have one legitimate form. There has never been, to my knowledge, any society anywhere that uses the sort of private property rights that libertarians bang on and on and on about. It’s almost as if that sort of set up wouldn’t work, or goes against actual existing human nature.

                      Most societies set up laws that allow property rights in complicated ways, and almost always there is the idea that society has legitmate claims on property over and above those of individuals, to greater or lesser degrees. And yet you seem to think this is illegitimate. Theft even. Which is moronic. theft will determined by what the society decides theft is. ‘Taxation is theft’ is precisely as meaningless as ‘property is theft’.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    “If you pay tax through fear, you are a coward.”

                    I guess most of us are cowards then.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Speak for yourself.

                    • Maynard J

                      A libertarian claiming to speak for ‘most of us’.

                      Irony of the year award is hereby awarded.

                      Your signed copy of the Communist Manifesto awaits.

                      Enjoy.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Maynard J : Touche! Ya got me. How presumptious I was. And I hope that\’s a first edition Communist manifesto you have for me, I\’ll get more for it on TradeMe. But do ya think I’m right?

                    • Maynard J

                      Do I think you are right? No. I believe the majority of people pay taxes somewhat begrudgingly, but are aware of the value of services bought.

                      I suppose you could argue that people would skive off paying them and freeload if they could get away with it, but such is human nature (much like, for example, how many freeload off the dues of union members who collectively make a difference to employment conditions).

                      If, as you could argue, people therefore pay taxes because they fear the consequences of not paying them, what if they were informed of what would not be available to them in exchange?

                      I truly believe most would fear that more. (this being a mental excercise, please keep in mind, there is no possible way that this could be practically applied to individuals as I’m sure you’re more than aware)

                      (You’d get more for that than a first edition of the collective works of you-know-who-shrugged)

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      UIt’s not like we don’t have regular elections where people could vote for the libertarians or anything. On no that’s right, we do, and they don’t. Looks like people prefer paying taxes to not having the govt do what they want it do to.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “Looks like people prefer paying taxes to not having the govt do what they want it do to.”

                      Oh dear, Pascal, you’ve left out the best bit – it’s not about being willing to pay for government-provided services, it’s empowering the state to take money from other people as well, to pay for these services.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Look at the numbers. Try and follow the argument. Do you really think that the insignificant number of people who vote for the libs are carrying the rest? If not then people are voting to pay their taxes. You’ve already acknowledged that your own livelihood is at least partially derived from looting me, to use your terminology. I don’t expect gratitude, but a little consistancy would be nice if you are going to play from the normative moralistic deck.

                      You can bleat as much as you like, but the fact is that people overwhelmingly think your notions are idiotic, impractical and not worth pursuing. That doesn’t mean they are not correct of course, but if you believe in freedom, you must believe in the freedom to be wrong. You’ve already said that you think the people should be prohibited from having the government they want, if that govt is one you disagree with.

                      You claim to believe in a role for the govt. You are, as noted, a statist. But you do not believe that the consent of the governed is what gives a state it’s legitimacy. Rather you seem to think that legitimacy comes from a govt governing in concordance with yuor own idiosyncratic views. There are words for that type of system, but they don’t tend to fall on the ‘liberal’ side of the divide in wetsern political thought.

                  • Yes I think you are starting to see where I’m coming from, and I appreciate your insights.

                    You are correct in saying the current political system allows people to use it to effect changes they want. My gripe with it is that people use the system to force others to act in ways they might not otherwise choose to act, to benefit people they might not necessarily choose to benefit (e.g. Catholic taxpayers being forced to find state abortion clinics).

                    Yes, I would prefer that our political system did not allow people to use others for their own ends by the use of force. If someone wants to achieve a social goal, why not use their own time and money, and convince others by rational argument that their idea is a good one and worthy of support?

                    Yes, Libz do want a constitution that limits government to its core function: protecting individual rights. Your idea of freedom, where the state can decide how much money its citizens will be allowed to keep in their pockets, what recreational substances they can enjoy, what they can do with their own land, might be interpreted as very intrusive on the lives and freedoms of others. Put another way, I believe my freedom ends where your nose begins.

                    My “extremist and unpopular” view of popular rights is grounded in the belief that it is wrong to initiate force against other people. Simply stated, libertarians hate bullies. Even when that bully is the government.

                    “Popularity” has no relationship to morality – just ask the people of North Korea, whose government regularly receives an overwhelming mandate from its starving voters – in fact I think the count was 100% for Kim Il-Sung at one election. I wonder if any of those voters were “cowards”.

                    Yes you are right about my view of property rights as being rather rigid, i.e. as individualised (or co-operative, as in owned by multiple individuals, such as shareholders in a company). In that sense I guess I can be compared to communists. However, non-recognition of people as individuals no doubt contributed to the slaughter and starvation of the citizenry by various comminist regimes over the last century.

                    • felix

                      “Yes, Libz do want a constitution that limits government to its core function: protecting individual rights.”

                      You keep stating this as if it were an established fact. I keep asking you why you believe this to be the case.

                      When someone asks you to explain why you believe something, there are really only three options:

                      (1) attempt an explanation
                      (2) refuse an explanation
                      (3) admit that you have no explanation

                      So far you haven’t really done any of the above, but the character of your responses leans toward (2) which tends to suggest (3).

                      I’ll ask you again: What is it that makes the protection of individual rights a legitimate function of government while precluding other functions of government from claiming the same status?

                    • Loota

                      Oh they do love their property rights. Thats the only “rights” they give a **** about. Someone’s life, nah go right ahead and forefeit that, its cheap as chips.

                    • BLiP

                      I know! As an individual, I have the right to:

                      free speech,

                      education,

                      access to health care,

                      financial support when times are tough through no fault of my own,

                      be treated with dignity by employers,

                      go about my lawful business safely,

                      safely travel via my own means where I like, when I like, if I like,

                      believe/practise whatever I wish so long as others are not harmed,

                      . . . I have all sorts of individual rights and the state, as a manifestation of our collective will, has the responsibility to ensure those rights are maintained and strengthened.

                      I’m sure that’s what he/she/it means.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “My “extremist and unpopular” view of popular rights is grounded in the belief that it is wrong to initiate force against other people.”

                      So you must hate fences then. People have a natural right to roam. Born free as free as the wind blows, etc.

                      But oh noes! property riights. Sounds like looting and theft and the initialisation of violence to me. Speaking of which, exactly how big are these subsidies you mentioned you are in receipt of? More or less than the 75k you reckon you pay in tax? No one is holding a gun to your head to accept the taxpayers dollar.

                      I’m opposed to unnecessary violence myself. However when a govt won’t do what 99.5 percent of it’s people want it do, what to do? Sounds like oppression to me, and again, the initiation of force.

                      How about those American revolutionaries eh? You guys often want to talk about them, hilariously. So tell me “has any society anywhere ever come close to getting things right, as you see it?”, he asked, sweetly.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Felix asked: “What is it that makes the protection of individual rights a legitimate function of government while precluding other functions of government from claiming the same status?”

                      Libertarians hold that a government’s job is to protect its citizens, but in doing so should not benefit any person at the expense of another. That’s where the distinction lies. Therefore the forced redistribution of wealth is a non-starter, as is any programme (or “function of government” as you put it) based on the notion of positive rights (a right to receive a state-provided service at someone else’s expense).

                      I refer you back to the notion of negative rights (the right to be left to live one’s life peacefully, unmolested by bureaucrats and criminals) as the basis for libertarian thought.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Loota, don’t forget property rights are derived from the right to further one’s life (pursue happiness) by mutual trade and co-operation with others, i.e. the “right to life”. However your right to life does not mean you can prosper at my expense – the relationship should be symbiotic, not parasitic.

                      Human life is cheap in societies that disregard individual rights, such as totalitarian socialist states.

                    • felix

                      Richard.

                      We have long ago established that you believe property rights are the only thing the state ought to be concerned with.

                      We all know that you believe in negative rights.

                      What we are all waiting for is for you to tell us why.

                      Hint. “Property rights should be the only concern of the state because they are the only thing the state should be concerned with” is not an answer.

    • joe90 18.2

      If 49% want one thing, and 51% want another that means 49 people have to suffer! What is so good about that Mr Lowden?

      Just ask the Jews in nazi Germany what THEY think of this concept!

      Mr Clark, oh my, you really do out yourself as a spoiled provincial narcissist.

  19. r0b 19

    I see the crack libertarianz world wide web rapid response team has discovered this thread (at last!).

  20. Thank you for your wishes for the blues festivals

    but there you go again – making assumptions

    The family of Lee Collinson (aka Lee Brilleaux)- (Nick and Shirley) are thrilled that I should respect their husband and father by naming my band after him. Nick likes the band very much.

    besides – I wasn’t aware that peoples names were copyright!

    and for your interest, any songs that are not my own that are performed are declared and have royalties paid via apra

    • The Voice of Reason 20.1

      Thanks for the clarification, Graham and it’s great to hear that Lee’s family are supportive of your music. Still not sure that it’s entirely kosher to directly use another musicians name, even with the obvious respect you have for Brilleaux. Certainly it is possible to have ownership of a name in commercial terms. The Hilton hotel people are pretty hot on it and I seem to recall an up and coming South Island clothes designer being sued for using her own name by an established label with a similar name a couple of years ago.

      But that’s just quibbling and I appreciate you doing the right thing in giving credit where it’s due. Good on ya and, as Neil Young says, keep on rockin’ in the free world.

  21. Loota 21

    Wow that McGrath is a real sociopath.

    Except sociopaths are usually better at hiding it.

    I vote for putting him and the rest of his ilk on to their own island paradise and letting the rest of us get on with building great, supportive, interlinked communities.

    • mcflock 21.1

      “I vote for putting him and the rest of his ilk on to their own island paradise”

      Write a poorly constructed book with distasteful leading characters and disturbing concepts about how the intellectual elite should be treated by everyone else. You could call it “Atlas Got Shrugged” 😉

    • Richard McGrath 21.2

      Loota you’re so unimaginative. Can’t string together a cogent argument so play the man not the ball. Goodbye.

      • mcflock 21.2.1

        Two points, Richard:

        1) you might want to get your evil levels tested. That last “goodbye” was a bit too Dr No (just before he drops an underperforming minion into the shark tank). Either that or you’re still frustrated about your failed audition to be MC of “The Weakest Link”.

        2) You still don’t seem to have explained why upholding property rights is a function of government, but preserving health is not. You’ve said libs think property is a good thing (as do most people), you’ve said that theft via taxation is bad, but if the property rights being upheld by the state aren’t funded via taxes, how are they funded?

        • Graham Clark 21.2.1.1

          Because property rights are the thing that distinguish civilised people from savages.

          Without property rights you have nothing. – nothing at all!

          That is why property rights are worth defending from looters and bludgers who all wish to get their hands on as much of what belongs to other people as they can.

          most of those who wishe to live in a civilised society would be prepared to pay government to protect them and their property so that they may prosper and live a safe and happy life free from the thugs and looters who would take things from them by force

          Without property rights nobody would be able to have a hospital or machinery or goods required to take care of sick people

          Property rights are the very most important thing to a civilised society – THAT is why they are sacred and should be protected at all costs

          I hope that answers your question

          • mcflock 21.2.1.1.1

            Nope. Although surprisingly, I agreed with most of it (sans foaming spittle, of course).

            Property rights are good, no argument there.

            You say “most of those who wishe to live in a civilised society would be prepared to pay government to protect them and their property”. But why should I pay to protect YOUR property? Especially if I’m not forced to pay money to save your life? I would describe somebody who has more than they need but refuses to part with some of the excess, even though it will help a child survive, as a “savage”.

            Without life you really do have nothing.

            • Graham Clark 21.2.1.1.1.1

              Nope:
              Its amazing how the looters start to froth at the bung when anybody questions the source of their loot

              You don’t have to pay to protect my property – that is YOUR CHOICE – no force
              This is what you refuse to understand.

              I believe in VOLUNTARY interaction between consenting adults

              YOU believe in using FORCE

              You say “I would describe somebody who has more than they need but refuses to part with some of the excess, even though it will help a child survive, as a “savage”. ”
              and I agree with you but what has that to do with what we are discussing – it is a straw man

              I believe there are alternative ways to get things done that do not require the use of force.

              You refuse to consider any other means to those that you have been brainwashed into believing are the ONLY way, and because you are in the MAJORITY therefore you must be right.

              While you are all still squabbling about who should take how much from somebody else to fund the things you want, whilst moaning about it the entire time because you are not getting your bit of it.

              I find this sickening but then you are getting what you demand aren’t you!
              Failing health system that reduces its waiting list not by doing more procedures, but by making it harder to get ON THE LIST
              A government-run education system perpetuating the system that leads the population to believe what it wants them to know and pumping out drop-outs and illiterates faster than ever. etc etc etc

              • mcflock

                Ah, so rather less delicately you’re following the McGrath line below.

                So does you pay the government for protection/oversight of your property rights, or
                will it be an open market?

                Capitalisation notwithstanding, what evidence do you have that the health system is “failing”?

                What evidence do you have that the education system is “pumping out drop-outs and illiterates faster than ever”?

                How have I been “moaning about it the entire time because you are not getting your bit of it”? Please provide examples where I have moaned that I’m missing out.

        • Richard McGrath 21.2.1.2

          “If the property rights being upheld by the state aren’t funded via taxes, how are they funded?”

          I think you mean “if supervision of property rights wasn’t funded by taxes, how would it be funded?”

          Answer: By the government asking nicely for contributions. Everyone who thought funding it was a good idea would be likely to contribute in the same way they would to an insurance scheme. In fact insurance companies might very likely end up footing most of the cost of policing and passing the costs onto premium holders. Those with a big investment in property would be very incentivised to make sure there was a system in place to deter thieves, burglars, vandals and fraudsters as well as murderers, thugs and rapists.

          The justice system could be user-pays, which would further encourage out of court mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism.

          • mcflock 21.2.1.2.1

            Oh okay – so I’m not actually obliged (or even “incentivised”) to protect your property rights, either.

            You miss an important point: “Those with a big investment in property would be very incentivised to make sure there was a system in place to deter thieves, burglars, vandals and fraudsters” … from targeting them, but have no incentive to protect anybody else.

            Justice, and health, will only be provided to those who can afford it.

            You seem to be essentially describing law enforcement and the insurance practices of ancient Rome, where legal rights were enforceable only so far as one had the power to influence the courts (via money or political meddling). Just a tad corrupt.

            Oh, and “supervision” is pointless unless whatever is supervised is “upheld”.

            • Richard McGrath 21.2.1.2.1.1

              Felix, I can access lots of enjoyable “stuff” overseas. And I have insurance arrangements that will compensate me for the loss of any of my “stuff”. So I don’t really have a pressing need for anyone to help me protect it. But others might. And that’s where the police have a role in preventing crime and intervening when it does happen.

              • mcflock

                SO:

                how, in your view, are the police going to be funded? Voluntary donations?

                And why should the police be run by the government, but not the health sector?

                • Richard McGrath

                  The police could be funded by private donation/subscription, with contributions likely to be significant from entities such as insurance companies who have a vested interest in minimising crime.

                  Think outside the square. There could be neighbourhood policing on a very small scale. New subdivisions could be designed with security in mind, making policing efficient and cheaper. Private suburbs with greater use of CCTV cameras would be a deterrent. That’s just off the top of my head. I don’t have all the details of how to improve infrastructure to lessen crime, but it can’t be that difficult.

                  There would need to be safeguards in place to ensure that the police remain neutral, apolitical, and impartial. with minimal levels of corruption.

                  • Armchair Critic

                    …with contributions likely to be significant from entities such as insurance companies…
                    The rational decision by the insurance companies could be to compete on price, to maximise return to investors. These investors would need to be convinced of the greater good of making such a contribution. I think your assessment is overly optimistic.
                    Think outside the square. There could be neighbourhood policing on a very small scale.
                    That’s not thinking outside the square, it’s the same cliff with a slightly different ambulance at the bottom.
                    There would need to be safeguards in place to ensure that the police remain neutral, apolitical, and impartial. with minimal levels of corruption.
                    Who would pay for the enforcement of these safeguards? Surely you don’t support coercing the funding from taxes. So the funding would come from parties interested in maintaining the appearance of a neutral, apolitical and impartial police force. I put to you that obtaining only funding from interested parties would automatically remove the possibility of neutrality, impartiality or political influence.
                    All up, I’d say you have an interesting theory that won’t work in practice.

                  • mcflock

                    What AC said.

                    Have you actually said why the police should be only run by the government?

                    Oh, and one of the main forms of corruption to look out for would be that subscribers don’t get preferential service (or lack thereof). And of course your support for ubiquitous CCTV surveillance seems to be a bit contrary to the concept of “freedom”. Do us both the respect of thinking very carefully before bringing up the “nothing to hide” argument.

              • felix

                Then opt out.

                If we need you but you don’t need us then just do it. Don’t need our stuff. Pffft. Get off my telecommunications infrastructure you bludging parasite.

                Btw do you see any irony in your insistence that the police are necessary and therefore must be funded by coercion although you claim not to require them yourself? You’re not trying to tell us how to spend our money on things that don’t concern you, are you Dickie?

        • Richard McGrath 21.2.1.3

          The goverment does not need to involve itself in the health industry. Private operators should be more than capable of managing demand.

          • MikeG 21.2.1.3.1

            “…managing demand” That comment is quite telling – in the real world private operators manage the demand by pricing out those they don’t want to supply their services to.

            What happens to those who have health conditions that the private operators don’t want to treat? We end up in the public system, and then the private operators start shouting about how ‘efficient’ their services are, where in effect they are comparing apples with pineapples.

            • Richard McGrath 21.2.1.3.1.1

              Mike you are quite right. Pricing is the way in which private vendors maximise their return and, incidentally, ensures that what they are selling ends up being sold to people who value their wares highly. It is a form of rationing because, like it or not, whatever is being sold, its supply will be finite.

              Who are these patients that “the private operators don’t want to treat”? What about the patients I send to the public health system, that the public system doesn’t want to treat? I spoke to a man this morning who has waited five months to get a painful cyst on a finger removed. Hasn’t heard from the local public hospital. I expect they won’t even let him on their list; he’ll end up being sent back to me. He could have had the operation that would resolve his problem within two weeks by one of our resident GPs here who has done surgical training. Our system wanted to treat this man, I offered him treatment, he declined. That’s no fault of the private system. If he wants the operation done with us, the waiting time is still two weeks from now. He hasn’t even had the courtesy of a letter or phone call from our shiny newish public hospital.

              • mcflock

                Who are these patients that “the private operators don’t want to treat”?

                Easy one – the people who can’t afford the treatment.

                Oh, and if taxes were higher and the public health system was effectively funded, your chap with the finger cyst wouldn’t have had to wait so long. I take it you were planning to charge him $$ for kindly removing the cyst. Point nicely demonstrated, unless he clearly stated it was a political choice.

                • Richard McGrath

                  He could easily have paid for it, but insisted on going \”public\”, as he\’d paid his taxes for the privilege already, even when I suggested he might be sitting in line ahead of a person that didn\’t feel they could afford to go privately.

                  Would have cost him less than $200 – far, far cheaper than going to a specialist surgeon.

                  • mcflock

                    okay, so the other patient who couldn’t afford to go privately needs the public health system.

                    The ones who can’t afford to go private are the ones the private health system doesn’t want to treat. Point stands: if capitalism was the sole provider, those without capital would miss out on the necessities of life.

                    BTW, I found your wee story about someone sitting behind a desk as they sent poor people to WINZ for their rebate most illustrative. As someone who was once on a benefit, a bill of $40 or $50 caused a huge amount of stress and hardship. Getting a portion of it back from case managers who would have shocked Kafka was almost as stressful again. Thank your colleague on my behalf. And also thank him from hospital staff, as attitudes like his probably helped with their ambulatory sensitive admission tally.

                  • Armchair Critic

                    It seems to me your patient made a rational choice, based on his personal circumstances and the information provided to him. I think your implied criticism of his actions is inconsistent with your libertarian beliefs.
                    Your use of this patient as an example doesn’t seem to support your postulation that “Private operators should be more than capable of managing demand

      • Loota 21.2.2

        so play the man not the ball.

        Yeah usually I would agree with you but in this case its crystal that the problem is the man, and yes, we can all see it.

    • If that means not having looters and parasites hanging round my neck, that would suit me just fine.
      A a civilised place that doesnt have as its main ideology the use of force, or mob or gang rule, where people would be free to deal with each other by consent, not by force or threats

      • Loota 21.3.1

        I do believe the threat of starvation or the threat of being abandoned in illhealth are real and present threats.

        So a civilised place would do away with such phenomena, yeah?

  22. Richard McGrath 22

    Felix wrote: \”We have long ago established that you believe property rights are the only thing the state ought to be concerned with. We all know that you believe in negative rights. What we are all waiting for is for you to tell us why.\”

    Your first sentence is not quite right – libertarians believe the state\’s concern should be protection of individual rights.

    Libertarianism is based on the principle that it is wrong to coerce others for your own ends, or for others (including the government) to do it on your behalf.

    The reasons I believe this to be the case are as follows:

    1) There is an absolute reality to which living organisms must adapt.

    2) To survive, humans must think, i.e. use reason to adapt to reality, in order to survive.

    3) Humans have free will, and each person must choose either to think or to evade reality. Each person is the master of their destiny and must think for themselves – as soverign individuals.

    4) Each person is an end in him- or herself, not a slave to the wishes of \’society\’.

    5) To live and function in society, people need what some have called \’freedom of action\’ (i.e. liberty). We each need to respect other people\’s right to act in support of their own existence. A right is a moral principle that defines a person\’s liberty in a social context.

    6) The coercive use of force can render a person\’s mind useless, thus rendering it useless as a means of survival; therefore every person has the right to act in self-defence.

    7) People can delegate to government part of their right to act in self-defence, placing the use of retaliatory force under objective law.

    8) Government action should be codified and subject to limitation under a constitution, in order to protect the people from criminals and politicians.

    Libertarianz is not an objectivist political party, as it does not promote any particular philosophy; what it DOES promote is capitalism (much of the above is paraphrased from a website called capitalism.org).

    Hope this serves to enlighten a few of you. I haven\’t got time to reply to any further questions. Cheers for now

    Richard

    • mcflock 22.1

      lol

      my favourite bit:
      “Libertarianz is not an objectivist political party, as it does not promote any particular philosophy; what it DOES promote is capitalism (much of the above is paraphrased from a website called capitalism.org).”
      Written after a list of generally unrelated assumptions, categorical statements about “ends in themselves”, and a definition of “A right is a moral principle […]”.

      Nah, not philosophical at all. Heck, it doesn’t even cut the mustard for 100-level political philosophy.

    • felix 22.2

      Jeez Richard, it took you two days to come up with that? Fuck me. That’s your idea of coherent and consistent principles?

      As mcflock notes, you’ve (yet again) just stated a list of assumptions. They don’t logically flow from one another and there are still no clues as to why you think these things are true, beyond “I just do”.

      (Not that there’s anything wrong with saying “I just do” to justify your own beliefs, but it’s a piss-weak way of convincing anyone else to take them seriously.)

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  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    1 week ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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