The Kingmaker Debate

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, March 31st, 2008 - 150 comments
Categories: election 2008 - Tags:

crown1.jpgTV7’s Kingmaker debate was an opportunity for the leaders of the smaller parties to promote themselves without being overshadowed by Clark and Key. It’s shallow to give out points for a debate like this or announce winners but the debate did highlight the leaders’ strengths and weaknesses.

Anderton did bloody well. He pointed to where his party stands part from Labour, did an excellent job standing for the Progressives’ well-known and clearly defined principles, and rapped the Right on their constant negativism and ‘New Zealand Sucks’ campaign, while providing a fair amount of humour. On the topic of bottom-lines and who parties could work with, Anderton aid down the gantlet saying voters have the right to know which major party they might be putting into government by voting for a minor party.

Dunne was his dull, say-whatever-the-centre-wants-to-hear self and provided no real vision or reason to vote for United Future. He clearly leans to National but will work with whoever gives him the most power.

Fitzsimmons presented  a clear set of principles and an optimistic vision of a future New Zealand. The debate showed that many parties had moved their policies towards the Greens on a number of issues, especially climate change, of course. But once again the Greens’ skill at being right before everyone else was let down by their political skills. Fitzsimmons appeared almost timid, too often she portrayed the Greens as victims their contributions ignored or underrated by media and other parties alike. And her comment regarding tax-cuts that ‘anyone will take a lollipop’ is not the way to win votes. Fitzsimmons needs to work on her media skills.

Hide answered every question by saying we need tax cuts for the rich. The only interesting thing he said was that, following Key’s rejection of the possibility of having ACT’s Roger Douglas in a National-led Cabinet, a number of National figures had approached him saying they do see a place for Douglas in Cabinet under National. That people in National have gone behind Key’s back to make such comments to ACT suggests a deeper level of dissension in the ranks than previously thought.

Sharples appeared under prepared and uncertain at times. He couldn’t give firm answers to a number of questions, saying his party would need to consult with supporters before it could answer basic questions like which of the major parties it would prefer to govern with . Politicians from other parties would be rewarded for this ‘vagueness’ but the emphasis on consultation plays well with Maori.

Peters didn’t show, officially because of a prior arrangement but really because he considers NZF above the minor parties, a mistake that made him seem arrogant and a lost opportunity to appear in a forum in which he surely would have starred.

All in all, the debate was very good. Let’s hope there are plenty more as we head into the election.

150 comments on “The Kingmaker Debate”

  1. it was great to see a discussion lie this outside of the 4 weeks before an election. let’s hope TVNZ7 continues with civic orientation and doesn’t follow TV1 and TV3 into purely audience driven commercial consumer-based programming.

    “an opportunity for the leaders of the smaller parties to promote themselves without being overshadowed by Clark and Key”

    true of Clark perhaps, but i doubt Key is capable of over-shadowing Anderton or Peters. nevertheless it was a good idea and a good production, hats off to 7.

  2. Renee van de Weert 2

    Absolutely. My beef is that those of us without access to 7 are going to miss out on all this information. Infuriating.

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    Yeah, it’s a good reason to get set up with freeview. The debate was peppered with ads for the new channel, looks like some good stuff including a political show broadcast from the Backbencher hosted by some young fella I’ve not heard of – with any luck the reporting might be less of the formulatic stuff we often get from the press gallery now.

  4. i guess TVNZ are trying to push people to take up the decoders asap, but it does seem a bit ironic that its first genuine attempt at PBS since the NZBC is being limited in terms of who can get it. you’d at least expect 7 to be available on the TVNZ on demand site.

    steve, there’s a piece on 7 and Wallace Chapman’s Backbenchers on RNZ’s mediawatch here:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mwatch/mediawatch_for_30_march

  5. Tane 5

    Heh, sprout, I was just about to flick you the same link after reading your earlier comment.

    Listened to the piece on a bus trip yesterday and for the first time in years I’m hopeful we’ll finally get some decent public service television.

  6. deemac 6

    yes, it’s brill that at last there’s TV for grownups in NZ. The cost of a decoder is a one-off, unlike a Sky subscription, so it’s a bargain. i thought Dunne came across as dull but dependable, which presumably appeals to a certain audience, while Hide looked like a shifty second-hand car salesman – where DID he get that suit? Sharples was awful, amateur and unprepared; surely Maori voters deserve better?

    captcha: the blacklist !

  7. Draco TB 8

    you’d at least expect 7 to be available on the TVNZ on demand site.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/497100/1612045

    I can’t actually watch it though. I suspect this is because I’m using Linux and TVNZ uses Microsofts proprietary DRM codecs for its video on demand. So much for a public broadcasting service and a free market.

  8. agreed, it does sound promising. well overdue, but promising.
    without some kind of PBS parties are largely at the mercy of how private media conglomerates decide to portray them.
    with the exceptions of RNZ and our nacent blogosphere (unfortuantely both of which have minor audiences compared to msm tv), NZers have been fed a pretty consisitent diet of neo-liberal ideology via their msm for way too long. hardly surprising then that weve had such a lurch to the right in the last two decades.
    i can only hope that TVNZ7 will begin to address that deficit by maintaining a public service orientation and not just schedule to attract the greatest number of potential noel leemings shoppers.
    oh, and i hope it’s not too late for NZers to re-acquire a taste for PBS before National tries again to sell it.

  9. Steve Pierson 10

    Oh, it’s Wallace Chapman – sorry Wallace, I have heard of you, didn’t recognise the face is all.

    The new channel is going to have a tv verison of mediawatch too, should be good.

  10. thanks for the links stephen, draco – glad to have been corrected on that one.

  11. ak 12

    Lazy I know, but how does one go about getting this “freeview” thingammy? (more to the point, how much will “free” sting us?!)

    The associated poll was interesting. Most poignant factoid: 43% think Maori are the most privileged sector.
    Seems the Orewa One poison remains potent – a fact that won’t be lost on the tory puppeteers should the Maori Party heed its supporters and reject Slippery’s overtures prior to post-election negotiations.
    Memo to Pita: when you flirt with the devil, use a strong chastity belt.

  12. Steve Pierson 13

    ak. you can buy a set at Dick Smith and the like – appearantly you should get one with HDTV capability, its a little more ($400) but more stuff is being broadcast with it. And I guess you need a dish or soemthing – there’s a freeview website freeviewnz.tv

    Fitzsimmons had a go at TVNZ and Colamr Brunton over that ‘most privileged ethinc group’ question, calling it purposely divisive,probably her strongest moment. Not a surprising result, the bulk of the population is Paheka and they said Maori are most privileged and themselves the least.

  13. [Sharples] couldn’t give firm answers to a number of questions, saying his party would need to consult with supporters before it could answer basic questions like which of the major parties it would prefer to govern with

    That’s their kaupapa, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. In fact, it would be nice if more parties had this attitude.

    (a poll taken for the debate showed most Maori Party supporters supported a deal with Labour)

    No it didn’t – it showed that most members of the public thought the Maori Party would work best with Labour. There’s a big difference there (I emailed Colmar-Brunton and checked, since I was originally worried about overinterpretation of data based on small sample sizes. But they asked each participant which major party they thought a minor party would best work with).

    Watching it again, Guyon Espiner presented this in a highly misleading way, saying in case that “73% of your [Green] voters think…” – which is just plain wrong.

  14. Steve Pierson 15

    I/S. in the debate, Guyon said the poll was talking about Maori Party and Green voters. My comment was based on that, which is obviously wrong. Thanks for the correction.

    And, you will note that I said Sharples might have looked bad compared to a ‘conventional’ politicians but within the context of Maori voters it would have come across better.

  15. Conor Roberts 16

    I didnt see it. How was Guyon?

  16. misrepresenting the poll sample like that is pretty poor journalism. i misunderstood who the data had come from.

  17. Occasional Observer 18

    I thought Guyon chaired it well.

    Disagree about Anderton. Thought he was his rambling, pompous old self, who didn’t present any clear reason as to why Labour needed him. Sanctimonious to the point of being excruciating.

    Dunne was dull. Like Anderton, sanctimonious and full of himself. Doesn’t have a lot of credibility when referring to taking issues to caucus and their voters for consultation when they’re polling 1%.

    Hide was on-message and forceful, and successfully niggled the other minor leaders. Was the only minor leader bold enough to spell out bottom lines, and quite cunningly put the highest marginal tax rate on the table.

    Fitzsimons was on message and well-prepared. Wasn’t flummoxed at all. Clearly spelt out that the Greens would make it clear before the election who they would support in a coalition.

    Sharples prevaricated over coalition preferences, and was inconclusive on that. TVNZ sideswiped him with the poll question on Maori Party coalition intentions: the issue isn’t who the general public believe the Maori Party should support, but who Maori Party voters believe the Maori Party should support. Wasn’t as fluent or dynamic as he could have been, and looked a bit off.

  18. Jameson 19

    Pierson: “Hide answered every question by saying we need tax cuts for the rich.”

    No, actually he said he wanted to get rid of the “Envy tax”, the so-called ‘modest’ 6 percent Helen added to the top tax rate when she first came to power. He also pointed out that this was an entirely unnecessary tax, as evidenced by the enormous surpluses.

    Helen’s tax punishes the hardest working people of New Zealand, and now, if anyone tries and give them some relief of this extra penalty they’re roasted by the ‘love and giving’ socialists for advocating “Tax cuts for the rich”? An envy tax is exactly what it is…

    Pierson: “The only interesting thing he said was that, following Key’s rejection of the possibility of having ACT’s Roger Douglas in a National-led Cabinet, a number of National figures had approached him saying they do see a place for Douglas in Cabinet under National. That people in National have gone behind Key’s back to make such comments to ACT suggests a deeper level of dissension in the ranks than previously thought.”

    Yes, well, this is what happens when you watch a debate with one eye. Guyon asked him if these were National Party insiders, to which Hide responded, “No, they were National Party supporters.” Hardly dissension in the ranks, Steve.

  19. jameson, what on earth makes you think the highest earning are the hardest working?

  20. Jameson 21

    Because, sprout, they’re the ones who studied the hardest to gain their skills, and toiled the hardest to hone those skills. They’re the ones who choose the more difficult road to success, who opted for the jobs fewer people are prepared to do.

    Sure, the council road worker sweats. But anyone can sweat. The guy in the suit in the air conditioned office was sweating it when the other guy was smoking behind the school bike sheds.

  21. Matthew Pilott 22

    Good spotting Jameson, “Envy Tax” was the term eh? The one bigots use because they think progressive taxation is purely to punish the rich, and that everyone else is merely the dirty, unwashed masses with nothing better to do than pine after the lifestyles of their betters?

    Cheers for reminding me where Hide is coming from.

  22. Steve Pierson 23

    Jameson. I’m confused are you being serious or is that parody? Because it sounds like good parody. Especially the bit about sweating – it sounds like a mock version of something an Ayn Rand fan or a similar crack-pot would write.

  23. Matthew Pilott 24

    For anyone intersted, the cost of this “Envy Tax’ the bigots whine about would be an extra $2,400 to someone earning $100,000; the margin is therefore 2.4% over and above the next rate.

    It rises to $8,400 for someone on $200,000 (4.2%) and $56,400 (5.6%) for someone earning $1,000,000 p.a.

    Puts it in perspective somewhat.

  24. Jameson 25

    Mat, are you saying that progressive taxation DOESN’T punish the rich?

  25. Graeme 26

    Watching it again, Guyon Espiner presented this in a highly misleading way, saying in case that “73% of your [Green] voters think ‘ – which is just plain wrong.

    A BSA complaint on day one, I/S?

  26. Jameson 27

    Pierson, when you’re ready to address the point instead of doing a mock Cullen-chuckle to evade it altogether, I’ll be ready to offer a considered retort.

  27. Matthew Pilott 28

    Jameson – punish is a subjective word. It actually means to impose a penalty on someone for an offence, no I’ll go with “no”.

    You miss my point – the use of the term ‘envy tax’. Belongs in the gutter with the scum who think it’s a fair or apt term to use.

  28. Jameson 29

    Pilott: Jameson – punish is a subjective word. It actually means to impose a penalty on someone for an offence, no I’ll go with “no’.”

    …………………………………..

    So when Mao delivered the death penalty to the intellectual who hadn’t committed any offence it wasn’t really a punishment after all?

    …………………………………..

    Pilott: “You miss my point – the use of the term ‘envy tax’. Belongs in the gutter with the scum who think it’s a fair or apt term to use.

    …………………………………..

    … and where do you think the term ‘rich prick’ belongs?

  29. Steve Pierson 30

    Jameson. Progressive taxation eases the burden on those who can least afford it by shifting some of the burden to those who can most afford it. Ceteris peribus on spending, you would need a flat tax of something like 25% – dropping taxes for some and lifting them for most. In moving away from the current system you are promoting a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the rich

  30. r0b 31

    Jameson – is progressive taxation a Bad Thing? Not according to the experts:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax

    “In most western European countries and the United States, advocates of progressive taxation include the vast majority of economists and social scientists.’ Only Wikipedia, but note the references.

  31. Jameson 32

    Avoiding the point, Steve… you were ridiculing my definition of the ‘hardest working’. Care to elaborate?

  32. Matthew Pilott 33

    Jameson, when you’re ready to discuss the bigoted use of the term ‘envy tax’ let me know.

    And no, Jameson, that would be murder, not a punishment. Do you expect me to leap to Mao’s defence or something?

    Do you expect me to leap to the defence of the term ‘rich prick’ as well? That’s a fairly limp response.

    Do you agree that it is bigoted to use the term ‘envy tax’ or have you got a few other pointless comments you’d like to toss in first?

  33. Steve Pierson 34

    Jameson. I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve worked in roles where I’ve been paid in the top 10% of wages in the country, and I’ve worked for minimum wage – both within the last five years. I had to work harder on minimum wage.

    why isn’t hard work rewarded with more money? Because its people with no other option work the shittiest jobs – the ones where you work hardest and get least because you are being expolited and you’ve got no other choice.

  34. Jameson 35

    To envy is to feel peeved and pissed off because someone else has something you don’t have, but wish to have. Cullen’s ‘rich prick’ comment voiced the attitude held by a great number of his constituents towards those who are better off than them.

    Envy Tax is exactly what it is.

    ……………………………….

    Mao: “Punish those whom the public identifies as bad elements.”

    For the intellectual that often meant capital punishment — which was not considered murder by a billion or so Chinese. I use this example for two reasons: a) to illustrate that people are punished all the time for things which a majority deems an offence, and b) Mao was a leading advocate for your brand of politics and economics.

    But if the word punish is so disagreeable to you, Pilott, would you accept that progressive taxation ‘penalises’ the wealthy?

  35. Jameson 36

    Pierson: “Jameson… I had to work harder on minimum wage… why isn’t hard work rewarded with more money?”

    So you think we should be paid according to the amount of calories we burn?

  36. Jameson 37

    rOb quotes Wiki: “In most western European countries and the United States, advocates of progressive taxation include the vast majority of economists and social scientists.’

    The tyranny of the majority at work again. When are you going to start using principles to defend your position?

  37. r0b 38

    “The tyranny of the majority”. Ho ho. Persons holding extreme fringe views just love that phrase. Gives them something to cling to.

    And Jameson – I could talk principles ’till your ears bleed, but there’s no need. My “position” doesn’t need defending, because it’s not under attack (unless you count mindless repetition of the phrase “politics of envy” as an attack, which I don’t).

  38. Jameson 39

    Equivocating Cullen-chuckles don’t wash with me, rOb.

    Do you believe, as a principle, it’s right for the majority to dictate their will upon a minority?

  39. Ari 40

    I find it amusing that you bring up the tyranny of the majority here. Usually the right are just fine with telling us off about what economists think when it favours them. It seems a bit of a double-standard to pull out the tyranny of the majority on economics 😉

    The fact is, Jameson, that research suggests that progressive taxes work so well because poorer people circulate money more, and that this money is likely to be given back to the rich through spending anyway. Thus, by redistributing it back through progressive taxes and high spending on social services and fighting poverty, we essentially create a “money cycle”, rather than just have it all flow upwards all the time.

    The “trickle down effect” has yet to manifest itself significantly in any major studies.

    Pragmatically speaking, progressive taxes are good. They tax people as a function of their disposable income, rather than as a function of their overall income, which avoids them being over-burdensome on the poor- or regressive. I agree that the principle of equal taxation for all is a good one, but progressive taxation has actually shown to be the closest outcome to that in practice, because of the distorting effect of fixed costs.

    I also find it a bit amusing that Rodney suggests that people won’t work harder because taxation is aimed more at the rich. There are very few people who work to get rich. Most work for a goal- a house, a family, etc… Some work because they enjoy their jobs- they provide a meaningful service, they’re in a field they’re passionate about, etc… Only the hugely rich care about money other than for the sake of spending it. Labour may be taking in a lot of taxes, but it is also providing a lot of services, and returning taxes to a lot of people who are probably working for a goal through the Working For Families package. This is a very good fiscal policy, and that is reflected in our economic growth, and the fact that we are avoiding a national recession despite a global one brewing due to waves from America’s mortgage disaster and its implications for investors globally.

    Anyway, by far the most interesting part of this debate for me was Jeanette and Pita’s answers to that terrible poll question. Now THAT is politics of envy, ladies and gents- people think MAORI are advantaged. As you can see by all their fancy suits, expensive cars, and upmarket townhouses. 😉 I was glad that Jeanette put the responsibility for that perception clearly where it belongs- with the media.

  40. r0b 41

    Do you believe, as a principle, it’s right for the majority to dictate their will upon a minority?

    I believe that it is more right than a minority dictating their will upon a majority. Do you agree Jameson?

  41. Dean 42

    Steve:

    “why isn’t hard work rewarded with more money? Because its people with no other option work the shittiest jobs – the ones where you work hardest and get least because you are being expolited and you’ve got no other choice.”

    And that the way it ALWAYS is, right?

    You’d give an aspirin a headache, Steve.

    Why don’t you just unite the proles and start the revolution tomorrow?

  42. Dean 43

    Rob:

    “I believe that it is more right than a minority dictating their will upon a majority. Do you agree Jameson?”

    Agreed. That is the point in having a democracy.

    In which case, I’d like to hear your opinion on just exactly why it is that the Labour lead colation government has refused to hold binding refereda. After all, you seem to be a believer in the majority over the minority – how about we let the public have their say on important matters instead of getting to vote once every so often and then trusting various lobby groups to determine nationwide policy?

    If you mention terms of government or any of the mindless prattle Clark comes out with then please don’t bother. I’d like to hear your honest, non-partisan opinion.

    Case in point – getting rid of the privvy council, or the lack of promised referenda on MMP.

  43. r0b 44

    Agreed. That is the point in having a democracy.

    Ahh good, do please explain that to Jameson if he shows up again.

    In which case, I’d like to hear your opinion on just exactly why it is that the Labour lead colation government has refused to hold binding refereda.

    I don’t know much about it Dean. In general I like the idea of referenda, but they’re expensive and fiddly to run, so it’s not the sort of thing that you want to do too often. Which is why the particular form of democracy that we have is called a “representative democracy”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy
    a term which was invented (or at least popularised) but the American “founding fathers” I think, and as is practiced in most “Western” countries.

    As I understand it there are legal circumstances that can force a referenda – a specified number of signatures – and this is what for example the “Family First” types are trying to achieve. We haven’t had any referenda recently so I guess those legal circumstances have not been met on any issue, but do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  44. Jameson 45

    In a truly civilised society one man may not force his will upon another – other than in the act of self-defence. The doctrine that allows one group to impose their will upon another group, regardless of their respective sizes, is evil — pure and simple.

    Nazi German was a democracy. Hitler was elected democratically. A democracy without a constitution protecting the rights of the individual is potentially just as dangerous as country without a vote at all. Without restrictions to power, a democracy is nothing more than a collective mob who may rule that alcohol be banned, that your property be confiscated, that Jews be disenfranchised.

  45. Jameson 46

    *Nazi Germany

  46. Jameson 47

    Have you people forgotten that Cullen spent a million bucks of OUR money getting an independent review of our tax system? Their recommendation: a flat tax. Cullen the Commie spewed, “I can’t believe I spent a million dollars to have ACT’s economic policy fed back to me!!”

    Even the reds in Russia have figured out that a flat tax is best:

    “Russia dramatically reduced its higher rates of personal income tax (PIT) in 2001 establishing a single marginal rate at the low level of 13 percent. In the following year, real revenue from the PIT actually increased by about 26 percent.”

    http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:D9QNxr52pWgJ:www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2005/wp0516.pdf flat tax working&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=10&gl=nz

  47. Dean 48

    Rob:

    “Ahh good, do please explain that to Jameson if he shows up again.”

    Jameson is just a trolling libertarian, and you can’t convince those people of anything. I’m sure neither of us will waste our breath.

    “As I understand it there are legal circumstances that can force a referenda – a specified number of signatures – and this is what for example the “Family First’ types are trying to achieve. We haven’t had any referenda recently so I guess those legal circumstances have not been met on any issue, but do feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.”

    The problem is that the family first type of groups deserve to be heard, too. I disagree with them vehemently, but if you try to shut them down, you end up looking stupid, just like the comments cabinet ministers have made about the EB. We all want to appear tolerant, don’t we? Isn’t that why Labour had an MP that didn’t have a problem with throwing stones at homosexuals, as long as it happened in the correct country?

    And what of the absolishment of the privy council? This kind of decision should not have been made without a referendum.

    National and Labour have both run roughshod over any kind of informal constitution we may have had in the past, and I’d say both have done so equally. Perhaps it’s the same sort of thing as loudly blaming the benefit cuts of the early 90s, while refusing to reverse them after 8 years in power.

    But apparently Labour are more prinicipled than National. Therefore it would seem to make sense for them to consult the public on such matters? Plenty of other western democracies manage it without much ado.

  48. r0b 49

    Have you people forgotten that Cullen spent a million bucks of OUR money getting an independent review of our tax system? Their recommendation: a flat tax.

    I have forgotten actually. I’d be interested if you could supply references.

    Cullen the Commie spewed

    No need to be rude Jameson.

    Even the reds in Russia have figured out that a flat tax is best

    But aren’t the Russians Commies like Cullen? Come on Jameson, get your story straight.

    In a truly civilised society one man may not force his will upon another

    I quite agree, and when you find a truly civilised society you get right back here and let us know. In the mean time the rest of us will muddle through with imperfect democracy, just doin the best that we can.

  49. Jameson 50

    Dean: “Jameson is just a trolling libertarian, and you can’t convince those people of anything. I’m sure neither of us will waste our breath.”

    Well you’re certainly not wasting your brain cell. Is that the best response you can muster to the criticism of your simplistic view of democracy?

  50. r0b 51

    Jameson is just a trolling libertarian, and you can’t convince those people of anything. I’m sure neither of us will waste our breath.

    Why Dean! On this one matter I must confess that your wisdom exceeds mine. I just can’t help myself from replying sometimes. I think I need a 12 Step Programme.

    The problem is that the family first type of groups deserve to be heard, too. I disagree with them vehemently, but if you try to shut them down, you end up looking stupid

    I’m not disagreeing, if they get their signatures of course they should get their referendum.

    And what of the absolishment of the privy council? This kind of decision should not have been made without a referendum.

    Why not?

    But apparently Labour are more prinicipled than National. Therefore it would seem to make sense for them to consult the public on such matters? Plenty of other western democracies manage it without much ado.

    Be interested to hear about that. Which countries, on what issues, how often, binding or not, how are they implemented?

  51. Jameson 52

    rob, the independent research was actually commissioned by Inland Revenue, which recommended we have a flat tax rate of 22 percent to 23 percent of GDP. Cullen spewed and threw it out. It’s public record.

    Yes, the Russians are commies like Cullen. When are you lot going to come around to your fellow comrade’s way of thinking and adopt a flat tax?

    ……………………….

    Jameson: “In a truly civilised society one man may not force his will upon another…”

    rob: “I quite agree…”

    ……………………….

    I’m glad you agree with the libertarian principle of non-force, rob, but until you actually demonstrate this in your thinking I’m calling you a liar.

  52. r0b 53

    rob, the independent research was actually commissioned by Inland Revenue, which recommended we have a flat tax rate of 22 percent to 23 percent of GDP. Cullen spewed and threw it out. It’s public record.

    Well if it’s public record then it shouldn’t be hard to find some readings on it. Come on Jameson, a bit of homework here, let’s see the primary sources.

    I’m glad you agree with the libertarian principle of non-force, rob, but until you actually demonstrate this in your thinking I’m calling you a liar.

    Go ahead Jameson. My point was that dream worlds of perfect civilisation are free, and sure in a dream world there would be no need for coercion of any kind. In my dream world Jameson I have a flying pony.

  53. Jameson 54

    Cullen: “One example of extreme non-interventionist thinking was the research commissioned by Inland Revenue that suggested we should have a flat tax rate of 22 percent to 23 percent of GDP.”

    http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/press/speechifa180200.html

    ……………………..

    You can’t to have it both ways, rob: either you agree with the Non-Initiation of Force principle, or you support the unlimited power of the majority. One is the basis for a civilised society, and the other permits Jews being sent to concentration camps.

    So, which camp are you in?

  54. r0b 55

    Interesting Jameson, let’s have a slightly fuller quote shall we:

    One example of extreme non-interventionist thinking was the research commissioned by Inland Revenue that suggested we should have a flat tax rate of 22 percent to 23 percent of GDP. I was pleased to see Inland Revenue thoroughly debunk such nonsense in the briefing papers I was given as incoming Minister of Revenue.

    The date of that speech was 18 February 2000.

    Now let’s compare with your claims.

    Have you people forgotten that Cullen spent a million bucks of OUR money getting an independent review of our tax system?

    Wrong. That money (if indeed it was a million dollars, you probably got that wrong to) was spent by the previous National government. It was all done and dusted when Cullen got the briefing papers as part of the incoming government.

    This is the second time you have been shown to be wrong in your claims on simple matters of fact Jameson. I am forced to wonder just how much of your world view is buttressed by such self deception.

    Cullen the Commie spewed, “I can’t believe I spent a million dollars to have ACT’s economic policy fed back to me!!’

    Cullen, who is a Social Democrat (not a Communist) indeed rejected the proposal, as did Inland Revenue who commissioned the the study. As far as I can see no vomiting was involved.

    You can’t to have it both ways, rob: either you agree with the Non-Initiation of Force principle, or you support the unlimited power of the majority. One is the basis for a civilised society, and the other permits Jews being sent to concentration camps.

    Are you really that big a fool Jameson?

  55. Jameson 56

    I already corrected my original assertion, rob — keep up: “… the independent research was actually commissioned by Inland Revenue…”

    Of course the IRD ‘debunked’ it — the report directly undermined their livelihoods. A radically simple tax regime would have cost thousands of agents their jobs. And of course Cullen was pleased — it undermined his Keynesian, Nanny knows how to spend your money better than you do, regime.

    It was a million bucks and Cullen was very shitty about that indeed, but I’m not wasting my time looking for evidence because it’s not that germane.

    …………………………………

    Now, answer the question, rob: do you believe in the limited or unlimited power the majority?

  56. Jameson 57

    power *of* the majority?

  57. Jameson 58

    By the way, you’re right — calling Cullen a commie is inaccurate… he’s more of a fascist.

  58. r0b 59

    I already corrected my original assertion, rob

    Ahhh – was that a correction was it? No doubt an apology to Cullen will also be forthcoming – it was those terrible Nats who spent all OUR money.

    Hint for future comments Jameson – try and get the facts right.

    Now, answer the question, rob: do you believe in the limited or unlimited power the majority?

    Limited.

    Do you believe in the limited or unlimited freedom of the individual?

    But I don’t really see much point in debating Libertarian “philosophy” with you Jameson. You believe in a perfect form of government which does not exist and has never existed. Anything short of that you claim is the moral equivalent of the holocaust. It’s not really possible to have a sensible discussion with someone holding such a world view.

    calling Cullen a commie is inaccurate he’s more of a fascist.

    Why stop there Jameson. He’s probably a reincarnation of Genghis Khan, don’t you think?

  59. Matthew Pilott 60

    Jameson, at 5:00 pm: “To envy is to feel peeved and pissed off because someone else has something you don’t have, but wish to have. Cullen’s ‘rich prick’ comment voiced the attitude held by a great number of his constituents towards those who are better off than them.

    Envy Tax is exactly what it is.”

    Jameson, the reason you are a bigot for believing this is manifestly simple. I’ll explain it to you. Most people hold a political-economic belief system because they think that it will improve people’s lives. Some believe redistribution of wealth is the way to achieve this. Some believe that this, on a very very limited scale, whilst minimising interference in the global economic system, will be better. Some take it even further and think that any interference is plain wrong (yet these people seem to have a few flaws as to the role of minimal government, but let’s not start there just yet).

    There’s something in common with all of these views, Jameson, and that is that the holders of all these views genuinely blieve their way is a way to improve the lot of society as a whole. I’ll be charitable and say that Libertarians believe ths, although you could say that Libertarians believe that society’s lot will be improved by independance from authority more than anything else – good for them, there’s nothing fundamentally evil/selfish/spiteful in this – I believe such a view is held with the best intentions..

    Some bigots, on the other hand, make assertions, a-la ‘envy tax’ that people hold poliical-economic views, not out of altruism, but out of jealousy, spite and envy. People who hold such views of ohers are, prety much, scum and bigots. You’re not just attacking a belief system (fair game) but the core motivaton behind the people who espouse those views, and push them in a geniune effort to improve society; I find that plainly abhorrent.

    Ibid: Mao: “Punish those whom the public identifies as bad elements.’

    For the intellectual that often meant capital punishment — which was not considered murder by a billion or so Chinese. I use this example for two reasons: a) to illustrate that people are punished all the time for things which a majority deems an offence, and b) Mao was a leading advocate for your brand of politics and economics.

    But if the word punish is so disagreeable to you, Pilott, would you accept that progressive taxation ‘penalises’ the wealthy?”

    Grow up, lad, not all Social Democrats are Maoists. You used this example, indvertantly, to illustrate your (presumably, couldn’t take it for much else but feel free to correct this assumption) libertarian black-and-white view of the world which is little more than an interesting intellectual exercise that has absolutely no grounding in reality.

    You see, you call it punishment. This, I’m afraid, illustrates that your thinking is little removed from our pre-human ancestors (hopefully you believe in evolution, but I can make another comparison if you don’t get it). You can’t think beyond the next deer you’re going to stalk, and where you’ll sleep tonight. You can’t think beyond individual take-home pay, to what may benefit society as a whole.

    If you’re a true Libertarian, you won’t be offended with that, nor will you disagree, as the enitre notion of society or community is probably some Marxist invention – it’s all about number one right? Different strokes, Jameson, but thank God the Social Democratic movement (sorry, I meant Maoist-Trotskyite-Stalinist Cabal) are doing better than the libertarians 😉

    (sorry this was so long, all)

  60. Gobbler 61

    Good to see some people losing the plot on here….

    I think the main beef with regard to taxation is that the top tax rate in New Zealand kicks in at about 1.4 times the average wage (please correct me if I am wrong) while the OECD average is about 5.6 (ditto).

    In a world where highly-skilled labour is a scarce commodity that exhibits relatively elastic supply; NZ needs to ensure that it isn’t missing out on this global talent pool because of that rate.

    Unfortunately $70,000NZD isn’t a lot of money anymore. I certainly don’t advocate Nurses; Teachers policeman etc. being in the same top tax-bracket as Gordon Gekko look-alikes handling advertising accounts and looking for the next big deal.

  61. IrishBill 62

    Gordon Gekko look-alikes

    God, that takes me back. Gobbler, the problem with your argument is that the “top tax rate” of countries varies considerably. The top tax rate sitting around 80% and kicking in at 5.6 times the average wage (which would be around $300,000)with the 39% rate coming in in higher than it does now (perhaps $100k) and another step in the middle. That situation would fit your parameters but I suspect would not be one you would argue for.

  62. Gobbler 63

    Certainly wouldn’t be pushing for that at all IrishBill!

    Perhaps it would be more useful to conduct a mass ‘census’ of would be migrants to New Zealand and of the supposed ‘exodus’ that National is always harping on about to see what considerations they make on choosing a destination to live.

    It may be to nauseatingly close to market research for some to stomach (probably because Gordon Gekko would head up the list of consultants!) but it could prove to be much more useful than the status quo of stumbling around in the dark in terms of building a knowledge base that will undoubtedly have a large proportion made up by overseas migrants.

    I still do believe that the highest rate kicks in to low but I’m sure that will be addressed come May….

  63. Jameson 64

    Okay, rob, we’re getting somewhere. So you believe in limiting the power of the majority. Good.

    How do you determine the limits?

    ……………………………………………

    In answer to your question: I believe in unlimited individual freedom AND the Non-Initiation of Force principle.

  64. AncientGeek 65

    I still do believe that the highest rate kicks in to low but I’m sure that will be addressed come May .

    The difficulty in NZ is that the range of incomes is also a lot less than most countries. We don’t have that many people on really extremely high incomes. Our highest tax bracket kicks in pretty low. But it was set when less then 5% of us were in it for a proportion of our income. It has spread a bit, but probably not that much. Probably still less than 10% and definitely not even in the same order of tax that the government get from the under 33% tax brackets.

    I suspect that the boundary between the lowest two brackets is the one that needs the most attention. I can’t remember the last time that moved at all. I must look at what the spread currently is, and the number of taxpayers in each 10k bracket. Haven’t read the data from the 2006 census yet.

    The current tax system is a lot better than when my father was paying a top rate of 60 odd percent in NZ. Those kind of numbers really made you expend a lot of effort and money in working out how to finese the tax laws. It is easy to see – just go across the ditch to aussie. One of the major entertainments is playing taxhole theory.

    It is an exercise that makes accountants and lawyers rich and the society a lot poorer. Glad we got rid of most of it here.

    Mid you if you want to see a really complicated system – try the VAT in the UK, or those interesting state sales taxes in the US. The churn cost of running those systems must be an immense burden on their public economies.

  65. Jameson 66

    600 words, Pilott — could you be any more verbose?

    Let’s see if we can cut to the chase:

    1) Who should own the invention: the inventor who toiled to make the discovery or the public who did nothing?

    2) Who should own the production of the invention: the investor who risks his money or the workers who risk nothing?

    3) Who should own the profits of the invention: the inventor and the investor who created the wealth, or the government who created nothing?

    (And by own, I also mean control.)

  66. Jameson 67

    “We just don’t believe in tax cuts – it’s against our fundamental philosophy – after all we are socialists and proud of it”.


    — Dr. Michael Cullen

    ………………………………

    Ah, I was wrong again, rob… he’s a Socialist after all.

    Just like Adolph.

  67. the owl 68

    Getting back to the original comments about “kingmaking”, I was really disappointed in Maori Party rep Pita Sharples. It was clear in the last election and the polling again shows that most of the party vote from the Maori roll votes goes to Labour. In Sharples seat, the party vote went overwhelmingly to labour. But its clear from his recent musings that this group wants to go with National. Is this because Turiana has not got over her rift with Helen? The bit about the abolishing of the Maori seats is simply an attempt to get National to drop that election plank so that the Maori Party can feel righteous about going with National. Never mind that National has no policies that benefit Maori. Talk about self-serving.

  68. higherstandard 69

    National has no policies that benefit Maori really ?

  69. r0b 70

    Okay, rob, we’re getting somewhere.

    Ahh Jameson, I very much doubt it.

    How do you determine the limits?

    Not so fast, I want a proper answer to my question first.

    In answer to your question: I believe in unlimited individual freedom AND the Non-Initiation of Force principle.

    Either you believe in limited individual freedom or you don’t Jameson, you can’t have it both ways. So which is it – individual freedom – one word answer – limited or unlimited?

    “We just don’t believe in tax cuts – it’s against our fundamental philosophy – after all we are socialists and proud of it’. — Dr. Michael Cullen

    Once again Jameson I’m moved to enquire as to the original source of this “quote”. Note that repeating it from a right wing blog won’t do (unless that blog has the original citation). Let’s have the original source for this “quote” please.

    Ah, I was wrong again, rob he’s a Socialist after all. Just like Adolph.

    Trying to reduce opposing points of view to Nazism is juvenile in the extreme Jameson, all it shows is that you have nothing sensible to contribute. Go do penance in front of an image of St Godwin. And if you want to actually learn something about the complicated politics of Nazi Germany, then you could do worse than to start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism

  70. r0b 71

    Hitler was elected democratically.

    Incidentally Jameson, you are wrong again. That’s three incorrect factual claims on your part. Not looking good.

  71. Matthew Pilott 72

    Jameson,

    No response to anything substantiative, but points for effort. oh, wait, you’re recycling some old juvenile hash – no points for you, lad! I’ll take it as a concession that your espousal of progressive taxation as ‘Envy Tax’ is indeed bigoted. Interesting you’re comfortable with that.

    But just for kicks:

    1, 2 & 3) Research, the end result of which would benefit all society, should be publicly funded. The invention is therefore owned by the public that funded it (via taxation), and everyone can benefit from the advantage given to society by implementation of the invention. The inventor should be suitably rewarded. In this way, society as a whole can benefit, as opposed to a select few. Proceeds from the invention, which would be minimal (as the stakeholders demands would not be to wring profit from users of the invention, but to maximise benefit to society) would credit the inventor, and go towards further funding.

    What a bleak and awful world that would be, eh? What would you have happen, Jameson? You see, you don’t even realise that in asking such childish and limited questions, you’re further revealing the classical Libertarian black-and-white view of the world.

    I’ll just wait for you to use typical flawed reductivism to distill Social Democracy down to some form of historical evil. Tell you what, I’ll give you a challenge. You’ve already said that anyone slightly left-of-the-right is akin to a Hitler, or Mao. Try and link it with Pol Pot this time for a bit of variety, cheers.

  72. Jameson 73

    Oh you think you’re so clever, don’t you, rob… Unlimited.

    Now, before you get a little boner, let me say that this means unfettered freedom for EVERYONE. In other words, one man’s freedom may not impose on another’s, and to do so would be to automatically forfeit your right to that freedom.

    I’d add here that unlimited individual freedom is a corollary of the Non-Initiation of Force Principle. If I were to make a clear statement about my position on personal freedom I would simply say, “I believe in the Non-Initiation of Force Principle.” I wonder how succinct you would be when posed the same question.

    Got Cullen’s quote here:

    http://thinkexist.com/quotation/that-new-zealand-should-compare-so-well/454337.html

    Admittedly not the most reliable source, but relatively moot as far as I’m concerned; his hatred for tax cuts has been wholly evident in every screw-you McScrooge budget for the last eight years. The point I’m making is that fascism, communism and socialism are all variants of totalitarianism, and all issue from the same dark, dank and dirty ink well of Karl Marx.

    The common denominator is your love for the redistribution of other people’s wealth (Number 2 in the Manifesto: “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax”.)

    If you’d like to make a distinction between a Socialist and Social Dem, go right ahead. But I guarantee you think a portion of my wealth, which is a portion of my time earning that wealth, which means a portion of my life, is yours to own, control and distribute. In other words, rob, you and all the other stinking socialist scumbags on this planet would have me as your part time slave.

    And let’s be clear on exactly how part-time, how ‘heavy’ that portion is: 30% income tax, plus 12.5% GST, plus all the levies on petrol, alcohol etc… we’re talking upwards of 50% — half my life!!

    And you socialists think this is civilized?

    There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall.

    As a matter of self-defence of course.

  73. higherstandard 74

    MP

    As an aside who would decide which research would benefit society prior to the fact.

    Nice hypothesis but I it is unrealistic to have conpletely state funded research due to the different priorities that there will always be between the State and private enterprise.

    Perhaps a better model for yourself is that employed by the National Cancer Institute in the USA who partners with both industry and institutions.

    Jameson in answer to your question regarding an invention

    IP law is explicit that the owner of an invention once registered and patented is the owner of the IP and has the right to exploit the invention for a certain period of time.

  74. r0b 75

    Unlimited. Now, before you get a little boner, let me say that this means unfettered freedom for EVERYONE. In other words, one man’s freedom may not impose on another’s, and to do so would be to automatically forfeit your right to that freedom.

    OK – so it’s unlimited personal freedom except that it’s limited personal freedom (because it “may not impose”) and it can be taken away from you. That’s your position?

    Got Cullen’s quote here:

    http://thinkexist.com/quotation/that-new-zealand-should-compare-so-well/454337.html

    Admittedly not the most reliable source

    Certainly isn’t. Probably added from one of the right wing blogs that you are quoting. Mysteriously, there seems to be no authoritative primary source for this “quote”, hence I’m tempted to conclude that it’s another error of fact on your part. That’s four.

    There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall. As a matter of self-defence of course.

    And that is how you apply your sacred “non-initiation of force” principle is it Jameson? What a very, flexible, interpretation of the principle you must have.

  75. Jameson 76

    Pilott: “Research, the end result of which would benefit all society, should be publicly funded.”

    This raises two more questions:

    1) In your ‘bright and awesome’ world, would the inventor be allowed to use private funding? And if so,
    2) Who would own the invention then?

  76. Mike Collins 77

    “OK – so it’s unlimited personal freedom except that it’s limited personal freedom (because it “may not impose’) and it can be taken away from you. That’s your position?”

    If I may wade in here. Wouldn’t it be a contradiction to say the following:

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and property.

    Without the corollary:

    So long as that does not impact on anyone elses rights to life liberty and property?

    Without the corollary, so called positive rights are enabled. For example it says I have the right to property. Sweet lets go appropriate some off some other bugger (thereby abrogating his rights to that property).

    That is absurd. I suggest you may understand that r0b and you are getting into semantics for no real purpose other than to obfuscate and avoid jamesons valid points.

  77. Jameson 78

    Reductio absurdum, rob…

    I’ve stated my position on personal freedom in four words: “Non-Initiation of Force Principle.”

    Now you try it, smart guy.

  78. Matthew Pilott 79

    Jameson, if they wanted to make a new type of rainbow socks that tickle your toes when you walk, then by all means go private. I doubt tax payers would be too interested in that.

    HS – I agree, although I would state CERN as a good example too, and from what I understand that’s because it’s so expensive, and perhaps too risky for investors to get involved with. I think the CDC also reporesents a public research model that is of greater benefit.

    Deciding who owns the invention will always be tricky when discussing something like this. That’s why I’m hesitant to start playing these games as Jameson has begun. Tell me though, what would you have happen in the series of questions you just asked, Jameson; no skirting around it this time eh?

    Here’s one. AIDS retroviral medication. Better that a private company owns the IP, makes huge profits from it and excludes the developing world from accessing these drungs, or that they were publicly owned and cheaply available (i.e. at the cost of production and research, not twenty times that to return profit on an investment).

  79. r0b 80

    If I may wade in here.

    Please do, because I’m starting to feel guilty about beating up poor Jameson. He does need some help here.

    Wouldn’t it be a contradiction to say the following:

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and property.

    Without the corollary:

    So long as that does not impact on anyone elses rights to life liberty and property?

    I agree that it would be a contradiction without the corollary, and that the phrasing above makes perfect sense.

    Where Jameson gets himself into an intractable muddle is that he’s trying to argue that everyone has unlimited rights with the limitation that they must not impact on others – which is just a non sequitur.

    And as to Jameson’s “valid points” – ah – what might they be?

  80. Jameson 81

    “That is absurd. I suggest you may understand that r0b and you are getting into semantics for no real purpose other than to obfuscate and avoid jamesons valid points.”

    Thank you, Mike… nail on the head. Socialists don’t like an honest debate because it exposes their chronic inability to think critically.

  81. Jameson 82

    Case in point:

    Questions:

    1) In your ‘bright and awesome’ world, would the inventor be allowed to use private funding? And if so,
    2) Who would own the invention then?

    Answer:

    Jameson, if they wanted to make a new type of rainbow socks that tickle your toes when you walk, then by all means go private. I doubt tax payers would be too interested in that.

    Pathetic… and he calls me childish!! Ha!!!

  82. r0b 83

    Reductio absurdum, rob

    The phrase is “reductio ad absurdum”, and your grasp of its meaning must be as poor as your grasp of its phrasing.

    I’ve stated my position on personal freedom in four words: “Non-Initiation of Force Principle.’

    That’s a soundbite Jameson. It clearly doesn’t describe your actual beliefs, which run more to the tune of violence against those you disagree with:

    There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall. As a matter of self-defence of course.

  83. Steve Pierson 84

    Jameson. I’m going to take a guess. You’re about 19 or 20, you’re an under-graduate doing a commerce degree, and you’re from a wealthy family.

    Everything in your arguments, not least of their total lack of sophisication and cliche remarks like ‘hitler was a socialist’ has been said over and over again by other young tories with no knowledge. We’ve seen it all before, and it remains as dull and unchallenging as ever.

    captcha: ‘on Bossism’ – Marx for the 21st century?

  84. Jameson 85

    Back to the debate… if you can — or dare — rob.

    You’ve skipped across all the major points in this discussion, picking holes in the minutiae, and scoring points on syntax (on a blog that prevents editing one’s mistakes and grammatical omissions) when the important philosophical ideas are being side-stepped altogether.

    Your inability to pick up on humour is sad… “There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall. As a matter of self-defence of course.”… This, of course, was said in jest, though I would argue that facing the threat of losing half my life to a totalitarian would totally justify such a measure.

    I’m just about ready to call this a victory (by default) and move on. Your ‘nah nah nah-nah nah’ BS is boring, rob with a small ‘r’.

  85. Matthew Pilott 86

    Jameson, I answered your questions, raised an example about AIDS medication and make a joke about socks as I assumed you were referring to trivial inventions that would not benefit society.

    So thus far we’ve concluded you:

    Are a bigot for using the term ‘Envy tax’;
    Are unable to answer your own five questions relating to ownership of inventions (don’t some people hate ‘means of production’);
    Failed to mount a single defence for private research or land a single criticism of public research;
    Have done nothing but ask spurious questions and relate anyone left of the extreme right to Mao and Hitler.

    You’re not much good at this are you? Be humble though, it’s all you have left…

  86. Jameson 87

    Ah, welcome back, Pierson: care to answer this now?

    ……………………………..

    Pierson: “Jameson I had to work harder on minimum wage why isn’t hard work rewarded with more money?’

    So you think we should be paid according to the amount of calories we burn?

    ……………………………..

    Once and for all, Adolf Hitler was a Socialist:

    “Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism—not such trifles as the private possession of the means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them then own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper… Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”

  87. Jameson 88

    “Jameson… I assumed you were referring to trivial inventions that would not benefit society.”

    How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion, Pierson?

    “… I answered your questions, raised an example about AIDS medication and make a joke about socks…”

    You have abjectly failed to answer the simplest of questions — so once more with feeling:

    1) In your ‘bright and awesome’ world, would the inventor be allowed to use private funding? And if so,
    2) Who would own the invention then?

  88. r0b 89

    important philosophical ideas are being side-stepped altogether

    What important philosophical ideas? This “non-initiation of force” that even you don’t believe in?

    Your inability to pick up on humour is sad “There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall. As a matter of self-defence of course.’ This, of course, was said in jest

    Ahhh, is that so. How about this one?

    North Korea should be taken out as soon as possible and I’m sure their time will come.

    Joking again? How about this one:

    The allies had EVERY right to invade, as I’ve stated, as a matter of pre-emptive self-defence.

    Here’s another great example of non-initiation of force:

    I never said they dropped the bomb to save Japanese lives; their only concern was the lives of their own and rightly so. Do you have a problem with that motive?

    And let’s not forget the merciful A-bombing:

    A blockade of Japan would have slowly starved millions of Japanese to death. Being vaporised by an atom bomb is far more merciful.

    So Jameson, according to your own words you believe in force, and plenty of it, applied to anyone you don’t like. The concept of “non-initiation of force” is just a flag of convenience that you would like to fly as an “argument” for why you shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Pathetic.

    I’m just about ready to call this a victory (by default) and move on.

    I think you should certainly do that Jameson. Congratulations! You Win! Good bye!

  89. Jameson 90

    Correction… that last volley was for Pilott. Of course.

    Geez, another point to rob.

  90. Jameson 91

    Could you be any dumber, or more equivocating?????

    Self-defence, rob…. Self. Defence. It’s the right of every man to protect his own life and prevent the violation of that right. Non-Initiation of Force does not equal passivism.

    Piece of advice: if a megalomaniac says he’s got a gun and he’s going to use it, you should take him at his word.

    …………………………………….

    “Congratulations! You Win! Good bye!”

    Well, that was easier than I thought. Shame, I was looking forward to reading your position on personal freedom. Perhaps you don’t have one…

  91. Matthew Pilott 92

    Jameson, I think you have me confused with Steve.

    I came to that conclusion, because I said that all inventions that would be for the public good would , ideally, be publicly funded. Other inventions, therefore, could be easily classified as trivial. As HS points out, it’s the issue of identifying such inventions. As said – that’s why I’m not into playing these largely worthless games – my ideal theory is probably not much more likely to occur than your Randian fantasy novel becoming reality – the end results would be quite different, no?

    So, your inventor can indeed use private funding, and is welcome to their invention.

    But please, come back when you’re ready to have a shot at your own questions. When you’re talking about an ‘invention’, use AIDS medication as the example. Until then, challenging someone else to answer your simple questions (in more ways that one) just further illustrates your innate inability to do anything apart from make spurious comparisons with any one left of yourself.

    And please, for the love of god, please read a text book from a first year philosophy course, or preferably one at a lower level than that, if available.

    If all A’s are B, it does not follow that all B’s are A.

  92. r0b 93

    Self-defence, rob . Self. Defence. It’s the right of every man to protect his own life and prevent the violation of that right. Non-Initiation of Force does not equal passivism.

    So you believe in the sacred principle of non-initiation of force unless you decide that you need to “pre-emptively” initialise violent force. Is that right? What if the other guys look like they might pre-emptively defend themselves? Is pre-pre-emptive initiation of violence OK?

    It’s the right of every man to protect his own life

    So if you have food, and I’m starving, is it my right to protect my own life by stealing your food?

  93. Jameson 94

    “So, your inventor can indeed use private funding, and is welcome to their invention.”

    Finally. So, now, who should own the means of (privately funded) production and control of the profits?

    ………………………………………………..

    “I came to that conclusion, because I said that all inventions that would be for the public good would, ideally, be publicly funded. Other inventions, therefore, could be easily classified as trivial.”

    Among the thousands of Thomas Edison’s inventions, one of his greatest was the creation of the world’s first industrial research laboratory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison

    Go there and search: ‘government’, ‘publicly’ and ‘funded’.

    Edison’s achievements were not something of a fantasy novel, Matthew. His commitment to invention was not for the public good, but for his own good. As a capitalist, perhaps the greatest capitalist of all time, he created things which the public needed. His contribution to society was a side effect of his genius, not the reason for it.

    And he did it without a single penny from our pockets.

    ………………………………………………..

    “If all A’s are B, it does not follow that all B’s are A.”

    In Aristotle’s Law of Identity, A is A, Matt.

    ………………………………………………..

    I will answer your AIDS hypothetical later…

  94. Matthew Pilott 95

    Jameson, can you point out where I said that private inventions had done nothing for humanity?

    Otherwise your little pro-capitalist spiel is moot – I don’t disagree and it is irrelevant – name one invention with similar effect, invented in the last 10 years, that is creditable to a single individual? Just one will do…

    As for your question, as I said in the post above (this is like spoon-feeding a baby!) they are welcome to their invention.

    Now, your turn – how wonderful would it be, in this hypothetical plain you libertarians must inhabit, if Edison’s inventions were all owned by the state and were freely usable at a minimal cost by the whole of society? You wouldn’t like that, tell me why?

    Great, so a socialist is a socialist – your powers of deduction do…nothing to me! Is ther an adjective that is to ‘mediocre’ what ‘amazing’ is to ‘amaze’? For the record, do you believe all socialists would gas six million people if they had half a chance, or was that just an aside?

  95. Jameson 96

    rob: “So you believe in the sacred principle of non-initiation of force unless you decide that you need to “pre-emptively’ initialise violent force. Is that right? What if the other guys look like they might pre-emptively defend themselves? Is pre-pre-emptive initiation of violence OK?

    Goes like this, rob:

    Two men , minding their own business, come face to face. The Non-Initiation of Force Principle states that neither of them must stop the other on his path. If one man initiates force upon the other HE BREAKS the principle. Once force has been initiated, the innocent man may rightly defend himself while remaining faithful to the principle; he is NOT the one who initiated the action.

    Truman and Hirohito come face to face. Hirohito initiates force. Truman defends himself. Hirohito persists. Truman demonstrates his ability to annihilate his sworn enemy. Hirohito surrenders. The American DID NOT initiate force, the Jap DID.

    George and Kim come face to face. Kim says he’s got a big bomb and he’s going to use it. George warms him against it. Kim says he’s got a big bomb and he’s going to use it. The U.N. warms him against it. Kim says he’s got a big bomb and he’s going to use it. George accepts the word of his sworn enemy and neutralises him. The initiation of this conflict was made by Kim, NOT George.

  96. Steve Pierson 97

    except that, as everyone else reading this knows, real life is more complicated than that.

  97. Jameson 98

    * warns…

    this freakin’ 4 point type is giving me a migraine…

  98. Jameson 99

    Of course it is, Pierson, that’s why it’s vital to have one’s premises in place before hand… So let’s see yours… when are you gonna answer the bleeding question?

  99. Jameson 100

    Pilott, can you point out where I said you said that private inventions had done nothing for humanity?

    My point is, inventors don’t NEED your stinking government grants to do what they do. Edison did more for humanity than all of history’s socialists put together.

    You said inventors should be funded by the taxpayer. Why should they? You’ve made the assertion, Matt, YOU back it up.

    ..

    Pilott’s answer

    As for your question, as I said in the post above (this is like spoon-feeding a baby!) they are welcome to their invention.

    to Jameson’s question

    So, now, who should own the means of (privately funded) production and control of the profits?

    Yes, it’s just like spoon-feeding a baby.

    I’ll take turns in answering questions still your turn.

  100. r0b 101

    Goes like this, rob:

    In your Libertarian dreams Jameson. Steve has plainly stated the point that I was trying to make via the Socratic method, that the real world is more complicated.

    Once force has been initiated, the innocent man may rightly defend himself

    Stop trying to rewrite history. You have argued many times for the pre-emptive use of force. And once you make that argument, you’ve pretty well stuffed the credibility of your “non-initiation of force” principle.

  101. Jameson 102

    Not rewriting anything, rob — the principle remains intact.

    ………………………………

    Socratic method… funny. 🙂

  102. Robinsod 103

    I wouldn’t indulge this creep if I were you, Rob. J’s pretty much a sociopath with a whole set of delusions carefully organised to protect him from the reality of his failings. He likes to talk about Edison because he is desperate to identify with individual greatness. The irony is Edison didn’t invent things he just patented the ideas of his workers – then again Jameson probably thinks that’s greatness too. In fact I suspect Jameson is simply a malcontent projecting his self-loathing onto the world as some kind of sub-conscious survival technique.

    How does it feel to be a sociopath, J?

  103. Matthew Pilott 104

    Edison did more for humanity than all of history’s socialists put together.

    Yes Jameson, for those who could pay for it. When you’ve got the point we’ll move on…

    Don’t forget to add libertarians in there if you’re getting catty and flustered.

    Just to highlight the vacuousity (is that even a word? Even if not (vacuousness being an alternate, but not as aesthetically pleasing), I like it) of your claim, you have to use the example of the single greatest inventor in history to claim that researchers/inventors don’t need funding? So why all the questions on who should benefit, the investor or the government? Why must the two be mutually exclusive? Do you curse the very name of CERN, CDC and other reputable organisations that took ‘stinking government grants’? Does the work they do for the public good disgust you, their evil, anti-capitalist research ethos?

    I wish you wouldn’t soil Edison’s name with your ideology by the way; in your own link to wikipedia, Edison is mentioned as a free thinker so to claim that he wouldn’t need ‘stinking government grants’ is pathetic – you’re going to claim that every decent inventor would turn down a government grant if offered? Another flaw in your libertarian fantasy – you assume that others think as you do, or would if they were intelligent enough. Looks like I can add narrow-mindedness to bigotry…

    So I repeat: Now, your turn – how wonderful would it be, in this hypothetical plain you libertarians must inhabit, if Edison’s inventions were all owned by the state and were freely usable at a minimal cost by the whole of society? You wouldn’t like that, tell me why?

    And: For the record, do you believe all socialists would gas six million people if they had half a chance, or was that just an aside?

    Your questions are piling up…

  104. Matthew Pilott 105

    “Pilott, can you point out where I said you said that private inventions had done nothing for humanity?”

    Read what I said straight afterwards, Jameson. I didn’t say anywhere, that you said that I said that private inventions had done nothing for humanity – I said that unless I had said it, your point was moot. And I hadn’t. Classic non sequitur there champ, seriously, Phil 101, it will do you wonders.

    (how was reading that for the headache?? 8) )

  105. r0b 106

    Good advice ‘Sod. I think it’s run it’s course anyway.

  106. Jameson 107

    Pilott: ” Edison is mentioned as a free thinker ‘

    Exactly, and who’s maneuvering to own his thinking? Need a reminder?

    “Research, the end result of which would benefit all society, should be publicly funded. The invention is therefore owned by the public ‘

    …………………………………………………..

    “I wish you wouldn’t soil Edison’s name with your ideology ‘

    This demands clarification: how does my philosophy soil the name of Edison?

    …………………………………………………..

    I’ve answered all your questions up to the one I asked you that remains glaringly unanswered, Matt:

    Q: Who should own the means of (privately funded) production and control of the profits?

    As I’ve stated, I will answer your questions, but not out of turn.

    …………………………………………………..

    Re your last point — conceded. Misread in the mire of this thread.

  107. Jameson 108

    rob’s beat.

    Two down, two to go… (Robinsod KOed himself with a lazy ad hominem).

    ………………………………………….

    By the way, rob, your conspicuous evasion of the call to state your position on individual freedom has not gone unnoticed.

  108. r0b 109

    By the way, rob, your conspicuous evasion of the call to state your position on individual freedom has not gone unnoticed.

    Nor has your conspicuous incoherence on your attempts to state yours! Seriously Jameson, there is not much point in trying to conduct a rational discussion of my beliefs with someone who:
    (1) thinks pre-emptive attack is consistent with non-initiation of force (i.e. can’t tell black from white), and
    (2) regards all non ideal forms of government as equivalent to Nazism and the holocaust (i.e. has the mental age of a 2 year old).

    I’m not usually as blunt in my opinions as Robinsod, but on this occasion I’m inclined to agree with his assessment of you.

  109. Jameson 110

    Down but not out, rob — and still you evade… where I have not.

    I’ve put my position up for scrutiny, but clearly you haven’t the courage, or perhaps the cognition, to do so yourself.

    “(i.e. has the mental age of a 2 year old)”

    Dangerously close to ad hominem, rob, and another KO…

  110. Robinsod 111

    Jameson you fuckin idiot – Rob has pointed out your numerous errors and you have offered no real argument or fact. So you see pal, there’s nothing but your poor mental state to argue. In fact bro, your desire to try to score a debate you are clearly out of your depth in is only further conformation of your failure to even understand self-reflexivity let alone how to apply it.

    You seem to think you are fighting some good fight here with your trolling. Don’t you have kittens to drown or something?

  111. Jameson 112

    You tripped in this debate before you even got out of the gates, Robinsod… ad hominem is the last bastion of the truly desperate.

    At least your comrades are approaching this with some mettle. You clearly have nothing in your armoury except unsubstantiated spittle.

  112. Robinsod 113

    You tripped in this debate before you even got out of the gates, Robinsod

    Y’see that’s exactly what I’m talking about boyo, you’ve failed to control the debate with facts because you have none so instead you try to construct yourself as setting the parameters of discussion by imagining you have some authority to grade the responses of others. It’s textbook delusion and narcissism and I would imagine that you have real difficulty in your personal life with this shit.

    Let me guess – you feel constantly as if other are conspiring against you because they are scared of the fact you are so much better than them?

    I’ve got a newsflash for you champ, you haven’t made a single sound argument throughout this whole thread. You know the phrase “ad hominem”? Well done but you seem to fail to realise it is one of the tropes you use over and again. Just for the record you also seem to be a big fan of the non sequitur and the false dichotomy. I could go back through your artless prose to find examples to properly elucidate your discursive failings but I can’t be fucked because mate, you just are not going to learn and I’m not gonna waste my valuable time trying to teach you. I suggest that you spend a bit of time reflecting on why you have adopted this psychopathic Randian fantasy as an ontology and a bit less time proclaiming yourself king of the blog. You may even find people start to like you if you fix this…

  113. Jameson 114

    My position on individual freedom, for those who’ve turned up late to the game:

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    Unlimited individual freedom protected by the Non-Initiation of Force Principle.

  114. Robinsod 115

    Nobody cares, Jameson.

  115. Jameson 116

    … as I said, Robinsod, unsubstantiated spittle.

  116. Jameson 117

    … ha! You seem to be caring quite a lot!! 🙂

  117. Robinsod 118

    Goodnight, Jameson.

  118. Jameson 119

    Now this is fucking funny…

    …………………………………………..

    Robinsod: “It’s textbook delusion and narcissism and I would imagine that you have real difficulty in your personal life with this shit.”

    “He may well be the most reviled leftwing blog commenter in New Zealand…”

    — Robinsod’s profile on NewZblog

    — AND —

    Robinsod: “Let me guess – you feel constantly as if other are conspiring against you because they are scared of the fact you are so much better than them?”

    “[He] isn’t going to tell you anything that could identify him because of the plethora of violent threats that have been made against him…”

    — Robinsod’s profile on NewZblog

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    …………………………………………..

    … 5 Smileys Funny 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  119. Pascal's bookie 120

    “Unlimited individual freedom protected by the Non-Initiation of Force Principle.:”

    And ‘pop’ goes your property rights.

    On account of your bottomless fucking idiocy that has been demonstrated by others, I’ll ellaborate just a little for you Jameson.

    Let’s say I develop a certain strain of apple tree.

    This apple tree is unique in that it is a direct descendant of the tree of knowledge. Through the discipline of selective breeding I manage to concentrate certain traits in the strain to the point that one bite of the fruit of this tree is good enough to endow even you with a proper understanding of terms like ‘ad hominem’ and ‘reductio ad absurdum’.

    I have this tree growing in my yard. While I stand there preening with onanistic randian pride, along comes you and you see the apple tree, and feeling peckish decide that you might take some fruit.

    Your ‘unlimited individual freedom’ combined with your presumed physical capability to pick an apple, gives you the right to eat an apple. By the ‘non initiation of force principle’, I can’t stop you.

    Any sort of fence, guard, police force, law, or extra judicial use of a shotgun would be an initiation of force by me.

    Your picking of an apple from a tree that I planted is not force, even if I try to claim that I have a property right, because that claim itself is ultimately a use of force.

    So, just to be clear, your maxim I quoted above, negates property rights. So if you believe in the property rights of inventors, that maxim is absurd. (BTW This type of argument is a reductio ad absurdum.)

    Objectivist maxims are nonsense. You may or not be young. You may or not have recently discovered randian thought. In any case the folks here know all about it and you haven’t said anything that we haven’t heard said a lot better a million times before.

    There are good reasons why libertarianism, objectivism and their crappy bastard offsprings have never anywhere been put into practice. That’s an objective fact you might want to start exploring the reasons why of.

    BTW “you’re an idiot’, when it is the conclusion of an argument, is not itself a logical fallacy. So your bleetings about ad hominem are tragically self defeating, idiot.

  120. Jameson 121

    Pascal, the Non-Initiation of Force Principle protects you too — and everything that belongs to you.

    Trespassing on YOUR property is an initiation of force on YOU. Ripping off your fruit would be a further violation of the principle. You would be well within your rights to kick my ass back over the fence after the first violation. And YOU WOULDN’T be breaking the principle because I would be the one who had initiated the force; you would simply be acting in self-defence of your property.

    I must say, Mr. Bookie, I’m heartened to see a socialist defending property rights. Looks like libertarianism IS getting through. 🙂

    BTW, America, though flawed as it may be today, remains a living testament to liberty and libertarianism. The United States Constitution was the first of its kind, a document which specifically forbids the government to violate the individual rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and property).

    So, may I ask you, Pascal (since no one else here seems brave enough to attempt it), to succinctly convey your position on individual freedom?

  121. Jameson 122

    * an individual’s rights to… life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (and property).

    [lprent: Around this site the property rights are wielded by the sysop (me) and moderators. I’d suggest improving your argumentative techniques rapidly because I don’t like people starting flamewars so they can calculate their score as you have been doing in the above discussion. See the Policy page]

  122. Jameson 123

    Sysop:”[lprent: Around this site the property rights are those of the sysop (me) and moderators. I get irritated with people running inflammatory techniques. I’d suggest improving your argumentative techniques rapidly because I don’t like people starting flamewars so they can calculate their score as you have been doing in the above discussion. See the Policy page]”

    I assure you, sysop, that my motive for being here is not to start some idle “flamewar’, but to challenge the premises of socialist thinking.

    I’ve read your policy, which states, “… we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.”

    Of course I respect your property rights. What I question is your objectivity.

    Let’s have a look at who’s being marginalized and personally attacked:

    [Directed at them]:

    “Could you be any dumber?’

    “… stinking socialist scumbags… There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall.’

    [Directed at me]:

    crack-pot
    trolling libertarian
    fool
    your thinking is little removed from our pre-human ancestors
    juvenile
    bigoted
    childish
    you are a bigot

    please read a text book from a first year philosophy course, or preferably one at a lower level than that, if available.

    I wouldn’t indulge this creep… J’s pretty much a sociopath… I suspect Jameson is simply a malcontent projecting his self-loathing onto the world as some kind of sub-conscious survival technique… How does it feel to be a sociopath, J?

    (i.e. has the mental age of a 2 year old)

    Jameson you fuckin idiot… So you see pal, there’s nothing but your poor mental state to argue.

    You seem to think you are fighting some good fight here with your trolling… Don’t you have kittens to drown or something?

    It’s textbook delusion and narcissism and I would imagine that you have real difficulty in your personal life with this shit.

    your bottomless fucking idiocy

    There are good reasons why libertarianism, objectivism and their crappy bastard offsprings

    BTW “you’re an idiot’

    Are you warning everyone, or just the non-socialist?

  123. r0b 124

    Jameson: Let’s have a look at who’s being marginalized and personally attacked:

    [Directed at them]:

    “Could you be any dumber?’

    ” stinking socialist scumbags There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall.’

    You missed a few from your list Jameson – please also add:

    Belongs in the gutter with the scum who think it’s a fair or apt term to use.

    Cullen the Commie spewed

    Well you’re certainly not wasting your brain cell.

    I’m calling you a liar

    By the way, you’re right — calling Cullen a commie is inaccurate he’s more of a fascist.

    Ah, I was wrong again, rob he’s a Socialist after all. Just like Adolph.

    Now, before you get a little boner

    And so on… In any case, that was not lprent’s source of concern. Lprent wrote: I’d suggest improving your argumentative techniques rapidly because I don’t like people starting flamewars so they can calculate their score as you have been doing in the above discussion. .

  124. Jameson 125

    > “Belongs in the gutter with the scum who think it’s a fair or apt term to use.”

    That was directed at me by Matthew Pilott. Twice.

    > “Well you’re certainly not wasting your brain cell.”

    Yep, that’s one of mine: Non-Socialist 3 – Socialists 24 … (not that I’m keeping score)

    > “I’m calling you a liar”

    Mmm… that’s an objective fact until proven otherwise.

    > “Now, before you get a little boner”

    Okay, fair enough… 4 – 24

    > “Cullen the Commie spewed”

    > “By the way, you’re right — calling Cullen a commie is inaccurate he’s more of a fascist.”

    > “Ah, I was wrong again, rob [Cullen is] a Socialist after all. Just like Adolph.”

    Oh boy. Okay, well if attacking MPs is breaking the rules of the blog you guys would be out of business.

    Two words come to mind, rob: Straws. Grasping.

    ………………………………………….

    sysop: “I’d suggest improving your argumentative techniques”

    Any reasonable observer would see I’m one of the few here who’s making a concerted effort to have a healthy debate… rob and Pilott would be the others.

    If anyone should be censured for inflammatory attacks and terrible argumentative skills, I suggest you review Robinsod’s posts: full of hate, slander, epithet, and not a single germane point addressed or made.

    ………………………………………….

    sysop… I ask again… Are you warning everyone, or just the non-socialist?

    [lprent: I warn anyone.
    The moderators look at things like language.
    I look for behaviour patterns that I consider are likely to move beyond robust debate and into flaming. I’ve been on the nets for about 20 years so I find it easy to pick the patterns. You also should understand that I don’t read the comment threads, just the comments across all threads in chronological order. I look for a pattern of behaviour from a guest, not what they managed to provoke from other people.
    I also do not get into discussion about it.]

  125. Matthew Pilott 126

    Jameson, (apologies for the absence…)I would like to make one correction, WRT this: ‘“I wish you wouldn’t soil Edison’s name with your ideology ‘

    This demands clarification: how does my philosophy soil the name of Edison?

    “soil” wasn’t the right way to put it, my apologies – I’d use inflict but it also has a negative connotation, so how about ‘impose’. You’re laying your belief system on the deceased and using their supposed ideals to defend it. Unless you can conclusively prove Edison was a libertarian (and you may, in which case I entirely retract the original assertion), I wouldn’t use him as an example of the Libertarian Ideal – he may have secretly been a rampant Socialist, but I wouldn’t impose such a notion upon him.

    As for the rest of it- I’ll leave it with where I began. All research would, ideally, be funded by the government. In practice, well, I won’t be the one to work it out, try as I might. 🙂 In this way, inventor owns invention, investor owns output, and both share in the output of means of production etc as you were questioning. With private inventions, as also said right at the start, I’m not fussed – inventor, investor, they can have it all.

    Here’s a simple division, an interesting exercise – if the invention is necessary to protect someone’s inherent rights, as defined by libertarians, then the invention should be funded by the government and made as widely available as possible. Otherwise, let private industry/investors/inventors go at it. How is that for a logical compromise…?

  126. Jameson 127

    Apology accepted, Matt, though none needed… 🙂

    I didn’t say Edison was a libertarian, I said he was a capitalist, and perhaps the greatest one of all time. This excerpt from a biography pretty much sums up what I was driving at with regards to how his ‘selfish’ motivation benefitted society:

    ‘Because of his continuing desperate need for money, Tom now made a critically significant adjustment in his, heretofore, relatively naive outlook on the world of business and marketing…. From now on, he vowed, he would “never waste time inventing things that people would not want to buy.”‘

    However, his hero was Abraham Lincoln, who was a Republican, and he had this to say about Thomas Paine: “Paine was too great a libertarian to be satisfied with the independence of America, so he went abroad and sought freedom for England with his “Rights of Man.”

    …………………………………………….

    “… inventor, investor, they can have it all.”

    Hey, I think there may be a libertarian in you too! 🙂 I wonder, though, how many of your comrades think the same?

    “… if the invention is necessary to protect someone’s inherent rights, as defined by libertarians,…”

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Could you rephrase it?

    Thanks for your straight answer, BTW — and I haven’t forgotten about your AIDs drug hypothetical… I’ll get to it tomorrow.

  127. Jameson 128

    > sysop: “I warn anyone.”

    No, you specifically warn THIS one, and NO one else.

    > sysop: “The moderators look at things like language.”

    Yes, and as the greatest hits list showed, Roinsod’s and Pascal’s posts were far more profane and a great deal more personal than anything I wrote.

    > sysop: “I look for behaviour patterns that I consider are likely to move beyond robust debate and into flaming.”

    You mean like this…

    Robinsod @ 4:31: “I wouldn’t indulge this creep… J’s pretty much a sociopath… I suspect Jameson is simply a malcontent projecting his self-loathing onto the world as some kind of sub-conscious survival technique… How does it feel to be a sociopath, J?”

    > sysop: “I’ve been on the nets for about 20 years so I find it easy to pick the patterns.”

    You mean like this…

    Robinsod @ 7:21: “Jameson you fuckin idiot – Rob has pointed out your numerous errors and you have offered no real argument or fact. So you see pal, there’s nothing but your poor mental state to argue… Don’t you have kittens to drown or something?”

    > sysop: “I look for a pattern of behaviour from a guest, not what they managed to provoke from other people.”

    You mean like this…

    Robinsod @ 8:03: “It’s textbook delusion and narcissism and I would imagine that you have real difficulty in your personal life with this shit… Let me guess – you feel constantly as if other are conspiring against you because they are scared of the fact you are so much better than them?… I’ve got a newsflash for you champ, you haven’t made a single sound argument throughout this whole thread.”

    Not a single sound argument in this whole thread… well, I think we both know that ‘the most reviled left-wing blog commentator in New Zealand’ has a big log in his one and only eye, and I trust you’ve observed that he has yet to even make an argument. He got a whiff of libertarian blood and went straight for the jugular instead of the germane points in the debate. Ask yourself, honestly, how many posts like these would I have managed to fire off before I was blocked — let alone censured?

    I understand you don’t like to enter discussions on matter like this, sysop, but this has raised some very serious questions about your editorial policy, your objectivity, and ultimately, your integrity.

    [lprent:
    I warn people at least a couple of times a week – you don’t have to feel too paranoid that you are being singled out.
    Robinsod just got banned for a period by one of the moderators in another thread. But there he was provoking the argument rather than being provoked.
    I actually wrote a comment in another thread about the ‘editorial’ policy – read it here.. Perhaps you should get around the site a bit further than a single thread before making generalisations.
    As I said before. You really need to work on your technique. You don’t exactly seem to impress anyone in this thread.]

  128. Jameson 129

    rob, it occurred to me that maybe you’re misinterpreting “Non-Initiation of Force” as “No Force at all.”

    Violation of the principle pertains specifically to the initial action taken. With that in mind does this make more sense?:

    Two men, minding their own business, come face to face. The Non-Initiation of Force Principle states that neither of them must stop the other on his path. If one man initiates force upon the other HE BREAKS the principle. Once force has been INITIATED, the innocent man may rightly defend himself while remaining faithful to the principle; he is NOT the one who initiated the event.

    And with regards to preemptive force:

    A neighbour is revealed as being a pedophile. He may or may not be reformed. The your daughter comes home and says he threatened her verbally. At that point he has initiated an intent to use force, which requires you to take preventative action — by force if necessary; a principled use of force because you have not initiated the event.

    As you know, this is a real-world occurrence. When we take forcible action against a imminent threat we need to know that the action taken is moral. That’s why I advocate this principle.

    If you have a better one, that could be applied to these scenarios, I’d genuinely like to hear it.

  129. Jameson 130

    > sysop:
’I warn people at least a couple of times a week – you don’t have to feel too paranoid that you are being singled out.’

    Ah, but it’s not paranoia: it’s objective fact. There have been far greater breaches of your policies on this thread than mine and yet I’m the one who HAS been singled out.

    > sysop:
’Robinsod just got banned for a period by one of the moderators in another thread. But there he was provoking the argument rather than being provoked.’

    As I recall the initial shot fired was his and it wasn’t aimed at my argument:

    Robinsod
    Apr 1st, 2008 at 4:39 pm
    “I wouldn’t indulge this creep if I were you, Rob…’

    > sysop:
”Perhaps you should get around the site a bit further than a single thread before making generalisations.’

    I’ve been extremely specific.

    > sysop:
’As I said before. You really need to work on your technique.’

    Could you be more specific?

    > sysop:
’You don’t exactly seem to impress anyone in this thread.’

    I’m not here to impress. I’m here for a robust debate.

  130. Jameson 131

    In light of Matt’s last post, where he acknowledged the right of private enterprise to retain IP and profits, it’s possible I’ve got you all wrong.

    I’ll make a deal…

    I will forever refrain from associating you with famous communists and national socialists if one of you would tell me the difference between their fundamental economic policies and a social democrat’s.

    Answer this and I’ll consider all my unanswered questions answered, and the debate can end here. Unless you want to pursue it of course.

    IrishBill says: No, Jameson. The debate ended days ago when you failed to back up your arguments and resorted to haranguing other commenters. If you continue to comment in this manner you will no longer be welcome.

  131. Jameson 132

    IrishBill:

    1) Where have I failed to back up ANY of my arguments?

    2) Where have I harangued the other commentators?

    3) Comment in what manner?

    4) When was I EVER welcome?

    I’m looking for a fair debate here, I’ve since asked some very valid questions about sysop’s objectivity, and now suddenly you guys are wielding executive powers — without backing up ANYTHING.

    “We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views.” — Standards’s Policy

    Yeah flippin’ right.

  132. Jameson 133

    *Standard’s

  133. Indy Pendant 134

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhiule now I’ve enjoyed the debates and comments. But I have to say I’m disgusted by the treatment of the dissenter on this topic.

    Jameson has done his best to answer the heaps of questions he has been asked and all he seems to get in return is ridicule and abuse. And now you are saying he is the one who is harranguing you.

    As a Labour voter and member from way back I have to say I do not know anyone who would treat someone this badly or rudely. He has raised some very valid questions about the objectivity of the administrators of this blog and I think he deserves a reply.

    He has been made fun of, been alienated, and now he is being warned with a kick-off, when others here who have broken your own policy rules with much more venom have been completely let off.

    This blog is at risk at giving socialism as very bad name. Please could one of your administrators answer his point about your objectivity?

  134. Jameson 135

    Welcome to The Double Standard, Indy.

    Cowards are the creatures most attuned to the sense of being cornered; they won’t be back to defend a position that’s so obviously indefensible.

    In chess parlance it’s called a ‘bind’.

    If synops doesn’t respond to such a serious charge, his credibility is shot to bits: my entries are now being moderated by him, so we know his absence is not simply a case of having turned his back on the argument.

    If he does come back he’ll have to justify the most astonishing lack of objectivity I think I’ve seen on a political blog.

    Of course, as with all Neo-Socialists, there’s always a third way: offensive defence — piling on more ridicule and dismissing the dissenter as insane and “too unreasonable to waste any more time on’. It’s what I call the Cullen-Chuckle Choke. In chess it’s when the other guy topples his own king and walks off.

    But thanks for own objectivity — it gives me some hope for the integrity of socialists. 🙂

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    And just in case this doesn’t make it past synops at all…

    “I win, Cyclops, and you and I are the only ones who need to know.” 🙂

    Victoriously,

    Apollo

  135. Tane 136

    Jameson, I haven’t followed this debate because I’ve argued enough with libertarian idiots in my time to know not to bother.

    As far as I’m concerned you’re welcome to post here, but if you’re rude and abusive to people and post comment after comment of boring Randian dogma then don’t be surprised when people get fed up with you.

  136. IrishBill 137

    And Jameson, pretending you are someone else to back-up your own argument is just silly. Especially when you do it this badly.

  137. lprent 138

    I didn’t even bother warning him – he wasn’t worth it.

    Just made a comment about his way of losing friends and winning enemies. Definitely has that Rand way of thinking – rather paranoid and very russian.

  138. Jameson 139

    objectivity – noun: judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices

    Is this Randian dogma, Tane?

    Until you’ve caught up with this ‘debate’ and seen who’s been dishing out the abuse, may I ask you to keep your uninformed, unsubstantiated opinions to yourself?

    ………………………………………………….

    Jameson: “Of course, as with all Neo-Socialists, there’s always a third way: offensive defence — piling on more ridicule and dismissing the dissenter as insane and “too unreasonable to waste any more time on.”

    Tane: “Jameson, I haven’t followed this debate because I’ve argued enough with libertarian idiots in my time to know not to bother.”

    The Cullen-Chuckle Choke in action, folks. 🙂

  139. Jameson 140

    IrishBill… You guys have had your objectivity and integrity questioned, and that’s the best you can do?

    To let this charge slide without the slightest defence is to sanction the accusation.

    Not to mention gutless.

  140. Tane 141

    Until you’ve caught up with this ‘debate’ and seen who’s been dishing out the abuse, may I ask you to keep your uninformed, unsubstantiated opinions to yourself?

    See, this is why people think you’re a prat. Because you act like one. You have the libertarian’s belief that they know all and the rest of the population must be stupid for not seeing the world like you do. It’s arrogant and it gets you nowhere.

    The Cullen-Chuckle Choke in action, folks.

    I imagine that’s a joke of some sort. Go look at the argument here and see if you’ve got anything more offer than Roark did.

    Arguing with libertarians is about as pointless as debating with a fundamentalist Christian.

  141. Jameson 142

    Total evasion, Tane.

    You’ve accused me of abuse, without substantiation, without having even read the thread.

    Could you be any more narrow-minded?

  142. Tane 143

    IrishBill You guys have had your objectivity and integrity questioned, and that’s the best you can do?

    To let this charge slide without the slightest defence is to sanction the accusation.

    Not to mention gutless.

    When someone with credibility lays a charge it pays to answer them in the interests of your reputation. But by your own obnoxious behaviour you’ve discredited yourself to the point that it’s more effective to ignore you and let others judge for themselves. I can’t speak for Bill, but I imagine that’s what he’s doing.

    Now I’m not big on banning, but I’m starting to see the others’ point. If you’re going to come on here and start personally attacking the site owners then you can expect be banned. It’s in the policy, and it’s there for good reason. We don’t run this site so we can field abuse from the likes of you.

  143. Tane 144

    You’ve accused me of abuse, without substantiation, without having even read the thread. Could you be any more narrow-minded?

    I’ve skimmed it, and I’ve watched your behaviour over the last half dozen posts you’ve made. You’re an abusive troll, plain and simple, and you contribute nothing to the debate. It’s not your politics that I object to here, it’s your attitude.

  144. Jameson 145

    Here it comes… from abusing the man, to personally attacking the man, to banning the man — without sysop ever having addressed the argument.

    So, Tane, you’re saying it’s obnoxious to question the host’s objectivity — despite the mounting evidence that suggests he has none?

    Banning me would be final proof.

    And total victory.

    [lprent: what argument. All I see is you making a total twat of yourself, and lacking the objectivity to see it. I can’t see anyone on this thread having anything apart from contempt for your argumentative skills. Well there was one – looked like you with a different alias. How about growing up a little?]

  145. Jameson 146

    This argument, sysop:

    I’ve read your policy, which states, ” we’re not prepared to accept are personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.’

    Of course I respect your property rights. What I question is your objectivity.

    Let’s have a look at who’s being marginalized and personally attacked:

    [Directed at them by me ]:

    “Could you be any dumber?’
    “Well you’re certainly not wasting your brain cell.’
    “Now, before you get a little boner’
    ” stinking socialist scumbags There needs to be a revolution alright, and you lot should be first against the wall.’

    [Directed at me by them ]:

    crack-pot
    trolling libertarian
    fool
    your thinking is little removed from our pre-human ancestors
    juvenile
    bigoted
    childish
    you are a bigot

    please read a text book from a first year philosophy course, or preferably one at a lower level than that, if available.

    I wouldn’t indulge this creep J’s pretty much a sociopath I suspect Jameson is simply a malcontent projecting his self-loathing onto the world as some kind of sub-conscious survival technique How does it feel to be a sociopath, J?

    (i.e. has the mental age of a 2 year old)

    Jameson you fuckin idiot So you see pal, there’s nothing but your poor mental state to argue.

    You seem to think you are fighting some good fight here with your trolling Don’t you have kittens to drown or something?

    It’s textbook delusion and narcissism and I would imagine that you have real difficulty in your personal life with this shit.

    your bottomless fucking idiocy

    There are good reasons why libertarianism, objectivism and their crappy bastard offsprings

    BTW “you’re an idiot’

    Are you warning everyone, or just the non-socialist?

    >>> Followed by this exchange: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1511#comment-26273

    >>> And this one: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1511#comment-26302

    So how about you attack the ball instead of the man?

    [Can you please move on, Jameson? Relitigating who attacked whom is not interesting. SP]

  146. Jameson 147

    It should be understood that the first 10 cases of abuse on this thread came from your guys.

    I thought I was a miracle of self-restraint. But I guess on this blog, libertarianz are only expected to TAKE the abuse.

  147. Jameson 148

    “[Can you please move on, Jameson? Relitigating who attacked whom is not interesting. SP]”

    Look, Pierson, I know your gross lack of objectivity must be exceedingly embarrassing for you, but to keep ignoring it like this is to say the least, cowardly.

    You asked me, “What argument?” as if there were none, I repost it for your convenience presenting the overwhelming evidence of your astonishing double standard, and once again you wave your hand as if there’s nothing to answer for here.

    This isn’t a relitigation, Pierson: it has yet to be litigated at all.

    Socialists are a slippery lot, but you guys are proving to be a bunch of [personal abuse deleted. honestly, bro. last chance. SP]*. Is there none among you with the courage to address this inconvenient truth?

    * objective metaphorical fact – not ad hominem [how can a fact be objective and metaphorical?]

  148. r0b 149

    Just popped back to this thread briefly. Ahhh, the happy memories!

    It should be understood that the first 10 cases of abuse on this thread came from your guys.

    I think you’ll find that “our guys” were just pre-emptively initiating verbal force because they recognised you as a potential threat of verbal force. Nothing wrong with that is there Jameson? You’ve told us many times that it’s Ok to pre-empt a potential threat, so why whine about it now?

    (Or, perhaps, do you now begin to perceive the flaws in that doctrine?)

    Anyway, on behalf of “our guys”, I’m sorry that we hurt your feelings Jameson. Goodbye.

  149. Jameson 150

    Right. Well, this is amusing to say the least.

    So it goes like this:

    When a libertarian associates a socialist with a [deleted] as a metaphor for his persistent acts of [deleted] — and backs it up with oodles of evidence (ergo, not ad hominem) — you censor the epithet and issue a final warning.

    But when a socialist calls the libertarian a “creep”, a “sociopath” and a “fuckin idiot” without a single substantiation (ergo, ad hominem) it’s A-Okay.

    Thank you, Pierson, for providing the clearest case of double standard yet.

    ………………………………………………..

    rob, you may be right. Could you point to where I initiated the action which precipitated the verbal attacks.

    As far as feelings getting hurt — ask yourself who’s about to excommunicate whom.
    [We don’t spot every personal attack, and of those we do it’s only a) ones that are particularly bad and b) those directed at the writers of the blog that is hosting your comments that get deleted. But really this thread is no just about your ego. Get over yourself, no-one cares about which insults were hurled five days ago. You’re not in moderation becuase of anyone’s feelings, you’re here because you’re not contributing anything and going on and on and on about yourself. It’s boring. Go to a current thread and try to contribute something substantive]

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