Saturday, June 10, 2006

Democracy is depressing

Interesting quote e-mailed to me by the Information Clearing House. It highlights the obvious pitfalls of living in a poll-driven society.

"Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion -- and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion ... while Truth again reverts to a new minority.": -- Soren Kierkegaard - 1813-1855) Danish philosopher

Respect with reservations

These guys really do deserve respect and kudos for having the courage of their convictions. Good to see them getting some balanced coverage in the DomPost today. I don't have strong links with the various father's groups but Bruce, pictured here, and I have talked extensively over the years.
My problem with their politics (not Bruce's) is they're not extreme enough! They often don't see or understand the degree to which socialism has contributed to their position. The state displaced them. With no need of their wallet they became redundant to the mothers of their children.
So they often resort to saying, I want my rights in the system recognised. Men should have a Department of Men's Affairs, prostate screening should be free, we should be able to claim the DPB instead of the unemployment benefit so we aren't work-tested, we want paid parental leave too etc etc. Whereas I say, having rights in a system which provides all the wrong incentives isn't the answer.
This, published in The Press, explains why I don't entirely support their actions and ideas.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Worse hospital care for Maori

According to the NZ Herald,"Maori are more likely to suffer inadequate health care than Pakeha and other ethnic groups, a new study suggests......The study's authors say it suggests Maori were more likely to receive "sub-optimum care" in hospitals, but they were unable to explain the reasons."

So much for all the years of cultural safety and Treaty of Waitangi training. I am persuaded by observers who have put the discrepancy down to communication difficulties. Those dificulties are compounded by many medical staff not having english as their first language.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

New blogger

It took me a weekend to get my blog up and running. My ? year-old boy often sits alongside me using our laptop. Asked what he was up to tonight he replied, "Making a blog."
Half an hour later, it was done - more questions than answers

Containing local government

One of our councillors is trying to persuade his colleagues the council housing should be sold. It is making a substantial loss. The Hutt News ran a piece about the issue. Interestingly mine was the only response. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

Road rage gets a handle

Road rage has been dignified with a scientific name; Intermittent Explosive Disorder or IED. According to the LA Daily News, The average IED sufferer will fly into a rage 43 times in their lifetime, racking up more than $1,300 in damage to others' personal property.

Notice the person who has IED is the sufferer, not the person who ends up the victim of it. I suppose it will hold up as a form of legal defence; The deceased D.I.E.D as the accidental result of I.E.D, M'lord. My client therefore pleads 'not guilty'. That's alright then. Mr IED, I sentence you to six months of taxpayer-funded anger management therapy.

Nice little earner for the shrinks. They get to invent the "condition" and then they get to treat it. The real victims look on in disbelief as the state once more turns the tables on them.


He must figure, "If Rodney Hide can reinvent himself, so can I".

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Labour, but not as we know it

Here the World Socialist Website continues its assault on the PM;

The increasing social inequality illustrated by these processes has been developing since the market “reforms” instituted by the Labour government in the 1980s, which saw a sustained attack on jobs and wages and the privatisation of public assets. Throughout the 1980s, the real value of wages declined, while the share of national wealth accumulated by the propertied elite rapidly expanded.

This process was extended by the Nationals in the 1990s, and continues today under the Labour-led government of Helen Clark. Since Clark was elected in 1999, by falsely presenting Labour as a “centre-left” alternative to the right-wing monetarist economic agenda of the previous period, the wealthy have increased their net worth at a greater rate than at any time during the previous decade when the conservative National Party held office.


A man had three girlfriends, and didn't know which one to marry. But knowing the importance of choosing someone who would be good with money, he asked them all the same question: "If I gave you £5,000, how would you spend it?"
"I would spend it on furs and diamonds," said the first, "so I would always look glamorous for you."
"I would spend it on golf clubs and fine wine," said the second, "so you could always enjoy your favourite things."
"I would invest it in the stock market," said the third, "so we would never have to worry about money during our life together."
All the answers were so good that the man still couldn't decide, so he married the one with the big boobs.

Personal grievances up 28 percent

More from our friends at EPMU defending the rise in personal grievance claims from 340 in 2004 to 436 last year. What I want to know is how many of those cases were taken by people who had taken cases previously. I suspect some may make a habit of it.

EPMU says "Taxes a bargain"

New Zealanders might have to work an average 151 days to pay taxes, but they have the use of services like schools, hospitals, roads, parks and a police and justice system all year round, says the country’s largest union.

Let me run that through my reality checker. One massive state high school (roll 1800), a hospital that admits it cannot cope with the elective surgery demand, our local cop seconded to another community, a main highway into and out of Wellington that is to be avoided like the plague, the only access into our community constantly resealed as the contractors don't seem to know what they are doing, a local park which is increasingly littered with rubbish and bottles. A bargain?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stop whingeing for heaven sakes

Here's another National MP in the wrong party (fast becoming the right party). Jackie Blue. Complaining about women having to wait for up to a year for a mammogram. Well no. They don't have to wait that long at all. They only have to wait for up to a year if they want someone else to pay for it. If they stuck their hand in their purse for the price of a new top or pair of shoes they could have one right away.

Not staying mum

Bring our boys home: Mothers say war was 'based on lies'

Tony Blair faces an unprecedented revolt from the wives and mothers of serving soldiers, who want British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

The organisers of Military Families Against the War, set up by the parents of dead armed forces personnel last year, say their movement is supported by hundreds of service families and that more than 100 families and veterans are actively involved.

But are they supported by their sons and daughters?

" The sad decline of something so potentially powerful"

I like to plug some of our very good regional newspaper editors. The Taranaki Daily News is never afraid to call a spade a spade;

It is a pity Donna Awatere-Huata disappeared into the Dark Side, never likely to be rescued and rehabilitated, writes the Taranaki Daily News.

Go you good thing!

Oh the plebs are up in arms this morning! There is only one topic. That dratted, dreadful, Rodney Hide. Why isn't he doing what we pay him to do? Why is he wasting our taxpayer money?

Here is my response just relayed to the NewstalkZB audience.

Rodney Hide will be pulling in tens of thousands of dollars, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars for the St John Ambulance service. Now, if he was in Parliament leading a campaign for increased taxpayer funding for St John's most people would be right behind him. Just as they want Marian Hobbs to spend her time campaigning for taxpayer funding for the Karori sanctuary.

Notice however, that Rodney is raising money given voluntarily whereas Marian wants to use money taken forcibly. Which is, for those listeners who cannot connect the dots, absolutely consistent with ACT's philosophy.

I have never enjoyed spending my money so much as I have keeping Rodney on that show. That's what I call entertainment!

Here comes the NDD

As of July 1, 2006, a National Dog Database will be established. ALL dog-owners will have their details and their dog's details recorded henceforth. The information about the dog will include its date of birth and its breed. The Dept of Internal Affairs have collaborated with the NZ kennel Asoociation to compile an approved list of dog breeds and colours that all registered dogs must comply with for NDD requirements. Mixed, mongrel or unknown breed types can no longer be accepted.

OK. I'll be fabricating a lot of details to satisfy these control freaks. Many dog-owners would have no idea when their dog was born or who or what its mummy and daddy were.

And colour? Here is a anticipated question and the appropriate answer;

"My dog has been registered as a 'Chocolate' coloured dog for the last few years, why can't you just leave my dog as this colour?"

To ensure all Councils around New Zealand have a consistent group of colours by which to register dogs, its important that all existing records are updated to reflect the legislative requirements as defined by the NZ Kennel Club and the Department of Internal Affairs.

If you would like your dog's colour considered for addition to the approved list, then you will need to sumit a request to the Department of Internal Affairs Governing group.

Information about how to do this will be available at registration time (around June 2006).

Say what???

As for microchipping, This includes all dogs registered for the first time on or after 1 July 2006, all dogs classified as dangerous and menacing on or after 1 December 2003, and dogs that are impounded for a second time, prior to their release from the dog shelter.

The micro-chip number will be .... loaded onto the NDD with all the dog’s other details.

Is it beyond the realms of possibility that a microchipped dangerous dog could be mistakenly loaded against the wrong owner? What happens on the day that dog attacks somebody?

Well the chip didn't prevent the attack and now the wrong person is going to be held responsible. Of course, that person is going to deny the ownership. But will he be believed? You see bad dog owners are cunning types. For instance they turn up at the dogpound pretending to look for a dog to adopt when they are really only after their own mongrel. (This is why any genuine adopter now has to pay the release fee). We know how unreasonable and obstinate local govt bureacrats can be. It wouldn't surprise me to see a case dragged through the courts.

The chances of a gross injustice being perpetrated are not high but they are real. Which is why I am nervous about all forms of national database ID schemes.

Monday, June 05, 2006

No more Mum and Dad

This is ludicrous. Sure, a very small minority of children have same-sex parents. What they call them is up to their parents. The idea we should all henceforth be described as "parent" or "carer" for reasons of "sensitivity" is just stupid. In fact it is dishonest. The whole point of language, and the English language is particularly accommodating, is that words should convey as much accuracy, relevancy and information as possible. Having words available that are not to be used is quite a chilling thought.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

These ideas are contagious

If you've got a blood pressure problem don't read on.

Scottish Ministers have decided to make alcohol consumption the next big health issue for the Scots.

Sources have confirmed the plan will focus on reducing alcohol consumption among professionals who buy alcohol at supermarkets and drink at home without realising the harm they are doing to their health....Government advisers also want supermarkets to introduce separate alcohol-only aisles to make the purchase of wine, spirits and beer less easy.

Clash of cultures

A adolescent health expert says statements she made about Maori teen pregnancy and births have been cut from a TV3 programme.

"New Zealand has the third highest teenage pregnancy rate in the OECD, but Bagshaw said Pakeha rates were similar to those in Europe. The rate for Maori teenagers was much higher.

Young Maori women were also less likely to have abortions and the Maori teen birth rate was nearly five times higher than Europeans.

Bagshaw said Maori culture valued pregnancy and there was less stigma attached to young mothers."

With leaders like Tariana "I am intolerant of the excessive focus on controlling our fertility" Turia this isn't going to change.

The problem isn't Maori having babies young. Not so long ago most women had their babies younger than they do today.

The problem is having babies they cannot support. There is a simple matter of the order in which things are done. At a certain age an education or a job should be valued more highly. It used to be that finding a supportive life partner was a priority but that's long gone by the by.

If Maori want to value teen pregnancy and birth that is their prerogative but I am intolerant of the expectation that other cultures will fund that value.