International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Idiot/Savant’

Benefiting the “Vast Majority”

Looking through No Right Turn last night, I came across a lot of the usual nonsense. But this one takes the cake – and I’m not even going to talk about how he quotes John Minto (which in itself is a massive fail).

170 houses between 59 MPs is almost three each – and the last those MPs will want is to see the value of their major assets drop. So the sorts of policies which would solve the housing crisis – a capital gains tax, or a government building program – are off the table,
I’m actually considering setting up an interview with someone I know who is in something of a position to know about affordable housing. I asked him the other day what it cost to build a house (and most people would associate the houses he helps build with the very essence of affordable) and his reply staggered me. When I asked why, he said the big reason was compliance.
I mention that only to point out that Idiot doesn’t seem to think reducing compliance costs to be a problem. Perhaps it would be a better idea to ask why the private sector can’t keep the cost down before we declare the solution to be “more government”.
…replaced by weak measures like enabling the private sector to fail for a while longer. Its a perfect example of how the interests of the vast majority of New Zealanders are overridden by those of a tiny wealthy elite who are massively over-represented in Parliament.
That highlighted bit is why I’m posting this though.
Now, cheaper housing is indeed a worthy goal. I’m not  disputing that. But cheaper housing is mostly a problem if you don’t already own a home.  Idiot seems to be implying that “the vast majority” of New Zealanders are in this group.
But that’s absurd.
The stats are a bit old, and yes, the trend is in the wrong direction. But even taking those things into account, it is perfectly safe to assume that most New Zealanders still own their own home. In fact, our high level of home ownership has long been one of our defining characteristics!
So is parliament acting against the interests of New Zealand? Well, given the majority own their home, parliament taking steps to increase the value of that home is actually benefiting the majority of people in this country.
Worse, what Idiot is calling for actually could seriously harm a portion of the country that can literally least afford it. If house prices plunge, renters aren’t going to see much benefit (only landlords) unless they can purchase. But people who have purchased will see their equity wiped out.
Even if you disagree with that, there is really no way to claim that the “vast majority” is being disadvantaged.
Yes, housing (especially in Auckland) should be cheaper. Yes, keeping it expensive in theory arguably benefits MPs who own houses. But instead of making up silly “99% attacked by the 1%” conspiracies, how about we stick to the facts?
Even better, how about finding some common ground that we can all agree on, so that we might actually get somewhere solving the problem?

A picture is worth a thousand words, but about whom?

The saying is “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

I agree. I think this picture illustrates quite nicely just how unhinged the left are.

idiot spy

Even stupider, Idiot is on record on his blog making the most outlandish excuse for another piece of legislation which allows a government department to not just spy on, but to utterly destroy the lives of any of a very large group of New Zealand citizens.

In fact, Idiot has called on the government to use that law for that very purpose – to destroy the families of those who have dared to make “the wrong” political stand.

I speak of course, of the Section 59 law changes, and I/S’s infamous post-referendum post which I discussed here.

To this day, I still consider that post to be the most disgraceful thing ever said by a New Zealand blogger. I cannot think of a single instance where anyone has ever tried to push for political dissidents to be silenced by abusing state power.

But Idiot said that, and he still to this day supports the law that makes is possible.

Frankly, allowing the police to use GCSB computers is pretty tame by comparison. And unlike the GCSB, we’re not talking about fat Germans with more money than ethics. We’re talking about real, everyday New Zealand families who no jury would ever convict – indeed, even some who have gone to court and had their case dismissed!

I’d include a link to FF’s site on the topic, but it appeasers that dissent is still intolerable and they are undergoing another round of DOS attacks. So I’ll leave my readers to ponder the irony of the tolerant left.

(And yes, I’ve made this point before.)

You don’t get your own facts

It’s often said that you get you own opinions, but you don’t get your own facts.

Back in the 90’s, the government privatised Telecom. The new owners immediately ramped up dividends while under investing in new technology. The result was a second-rate phone network.

Now, technically it is true that Telecom was privatised in the 90’s, in that it was sold in 1990. (Though this article puts the announcement in 1989.) But in reality, it was the Labour government of the late ’80s that sold it. By saying “Back in the 90’s” this implies that it was the National party who government almost all of the ’90s who did the selling, which is absolutely not true.

So that’s the first sentence.

How about “The new owners immediately ramped up dividends”. To be honest, I have no idea, and it would be sort of tricky to find out since the company was privately owned for several months until it was listed on the stock exchange!

How about “while under investing in new technology”? Well, this one is what we call a weasel statement. Did Telecom invest in new technology? Absolutely. But did they invest enough? Well, what’s “enough”? What standard do you apply?

Certainly they had to pull their socks up. Clear communications came in with a hiss and a roar and started stealing toll customers. So they had to do things like improve their billing from rounding to the nearest minute down to the second to beat Clear’s 6 seconds.

The fact is, Telecom was badly run for years under the government. It was grossly overstaffed for one thing, with maintenance crews comprising of 4 men, only one of whom was usually needed.  This was changed so that staff worked one man from a van, and called in another van/man in the rare cases when they needed an extra hand. It had been improved as an SOE, but it was still something of a fixer-upper.

What about “The result was a second-rate phone network.” Actually, the second-rate network was what was privatised.

But the other question is, at what point in the past did private ownership result in a second-rate network? Because we certainly don’t have one now. Idiot’s statement implies that somehow the immediate effects of being sold caused our phone network to deteriorate. But Telecom is today still privately owned and today it’s as modern as any other telco.

When was this supposed low point? He doesn’t say.  Of course, he can’t, because he’s relying on people not remembering that under private owners and competition, Telecom’s phone service has steadily improved over the years. It hasn’t been asset stripped under any definition of the word. No one in their right mind would claim otherwise.

But Idiot has.

Tranz Rail was something of a mixed bag. It did well for a while, but it became increasingly clear that rail just isn’t viable in New Zealand. So the labour government of the time bought back the rails for $1 so they could waste billions of tax dollars subsidising it.

(In fact, talking about asset sales being bad is one thing, but how and examination of asset purchases? It is universally acknowledged that purchasing back the trains was a massive fail by the Labour government, grossly overpaying for old trains while Toll was left with the nicely profitable trucking arm of the company.)

But then there’s this:

Now Mighty River Power is signalling that its new foreign owners can do the same to our electricity system, raising its dividends to 110% of profits to provide them a quick buck for stealing a public asset. Its a political decision of course, to make the sale a “success” (for the buyers). And the result will be the same as that seen in earlier cases: the company will be asset-stripped and run into the ground, while the thieves laugh all the way to the Cayman Islands.

Now, it’s perfectly possible that the dividend rise is to make the company look good to sell. But given it’s the government who’s selling, what’s wrong with that? If we get a higher price, it’s a win for the taxpayer.

But for a guy who talks about elections so much, you’d think that Idiot would know that you have to have a majority stake in order to change a company’s policy. Let alone the financial moronicness behind calling an increased dividend an “asset” strip.

In reality, the “new owners” will get the dividend the government majority owners approve, and nothing more and they will have no way of changing that.

The government should sell assets for a profit without selling them

Just noticed this on No Right Turn.

Again, the government’s reluctance to borrow money – even for investment, even when it is profitable – prevents them from seeing the solutions which are right in front of their eyes

Gee, why wouldn’t the government borrow money to purchase an asset and sell it later on for a profit?

Who could possibly object to that?

Yep, that’s a real puzzler.

 

Hokitika airport and Idiot/Savan’ts insistence on staying in the gutter

Hokitika is extending it’s airport.

Every small town wants to be a big town. Most settle for building a giant fibreglass vegetable to “put them on the map”. But some have grander plans. For example Hokitika, a dipshit little town of around 4,000 people, wants to have an international airport, and so is spending millions of dollars extending its runway, on the theory that “if you build it, they will come”.

The airport in fact serves the West Coast region (33,000 people acording to Wikipedia) and particuarly the town of Greymouth which is only a short drive away. The article above states that the extensions will enable (among other aircraft) Boeing 737’s to land. 737s hold about 130 passengers, and are the most common passenger jet in the world. If anything, it seems odd that Hokitika can’t already land these aircraft, because there is certainly no where else on the coast that can.

Now it might be that the region won’t get tourist flights out of this extension. That’s quite possible, though they certainly won’t get any 737 flights without it. But if there’s a case to be made, make it truthfully and without the  fundamental stupidity of basing your case on abuse and sexual inuendo.

Finally, am I the only guy who noticed that the guy who describes Hokitika as “a dipshit little town” so often looks down his nose at other blogs for such abusive language? One wonders where that came from, perhaps it’s something to do with coming from Palmerston North?

—–

Heck, while I’m at it, I might as well do the next post too.

Utterly inappropriate

That is the only way to describe Kylee Guy’s letter to the Attorney-General asking for a harsh sentence for the man who according to a court did not murder her husband. [snip snark lecture on the legal system]

Its also fundamentally stupid, in that the letter with its public pressure may very well hand Ewen Macdonald grounds to appeal his sentence. But I don’t think the advocates of lynchmob justice think very hard about that – or indeed, at all.

It does appear that Kylee Guy doesn’t understand the role of our politicians and officials in the justice system. And there is no getting away from the fact that MacDonald was found not guilty of the murder.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Mrs Guy was a victim of several crimes, including the murder of her husband. The other crimes were committed by MacDonald, and on that basis I have some sympathy for her in what she is trying to do.

But I don’t see the point of making a great fuss over it. Reading the coverage, it seems that officials and politicians do in fact understand their place.

So why does Idiot see fit to use his blog to abuse the widow of a murdered man? Is it really worth it to call a grieving woman “fundamentally stupid” and imply that a victim is an advocate of lynchmob justice? Or does he consider that Ewen MacDonald, a man who has admitted a string of vindictive crimes, is the real victim here?

Was Chavis Carter shot by Police?

No Right Turn has discovered corruption in the American police.

On July 28, Chavis Carter, an American man, was arrested in Jonesboro, Ark. He was search, twice, his hands were handcuffed behind his back, and he was placed in the back seat of a police car. He was then “found” slumped over in the car with a gunshot wound to his head. The cause of death? “Suicide”, according to the Jonesboro police:

The police pretty obviously murdered a man here. They arrested him, handcuffed him, then shot him in the head. Having murdered him, they have destroyed evidence – dashboard-cam footage mysteriously does not show the killing, but shows before and after – and are engaged in a coverup (including a rather laughable show and tell where police officers try and demonstrate how a man with his hands cuffed behind his back could shoot himself in the head). Their excuses are simply an insult to our intelligence.

My first reaction was to agree, while wondering why Idiot would get so het up about an obviously unsuccessful cover-up in a country thousands of miles away. Then I did some research.

To my surprise, few stories seemed to be jumping to the same conclusions for several reasons:

  1. While the man was searched twice, the gun could have been missed on the first, cursory  search and then hidden in the cop car during the second, through one. It’s called a mistake, and they do happen.
  2. As far as I can tell, the dashboard cam footage has not mysteriously “disappeared”. It just hasn’t been released to the public. I can’t imagine why the police haven’t issued footage of someone blowing their brains out, can you?
  3. The autopsy revealed he was high on various drugs at the time, including (if I’ve read this right) “P”.
  4. And finally, there was a (one presumes dispassionate) witness who put the police “several feet” away from the cops when the shot was fired in broad daylight.

It’s possible that the cops decided “hey, one less drug dealer” and a witness agreed to cover for them. It’s also possible that a drug dealer, high on his own product, managed to hide his gun from the police then shot himself while they were otherwise engaged.

But we shall see I suppose.

Fix child poverty – it’s easy.

No Right Turn has a go at Labour, but I’m more interested in this statement.

Last election, the Labour party did a good thing. After years of denying that its discriminatory Working For Families “in-work” payment denied assistance to those who needed it most, they listened to the evidence, and agreed to (slowly) universalise it in order to eliminate child poverty.

Got that? The in-work payment will eliminate child poverty.

Now, if you’ve got a family income of less than $36,350 a year (pretty sure the dole is more than that) and 4 kids you get $286/wk from Working for Families. (data here)

That means your income has gone by $14,872 a year to $51,222. About 30% of your income is now from Working for Families.

The IWTC brings you up to $55,122 – $3,900 more.

Which means that your income is now:

  • 66% your original income
  • 27% WFF Tax Credit
  • 7% IWTC

Now, I grant you that that $75 a week is something. It’ll certainly help people.

But will a payment of $75 really eliminate child poverty, when a payment of $286 didn’t?

What makes $75 the magic figure I wonder? What is it about that last $75 that is so important that without it, we have children dying in the streets, while with it we have eternal bliss?

Who knew it was so hard?

Take head, apply to brick wall

I was reading a fairly routine blog post on NRT, when I just realised my irony meter broke.

This has all been done very quietly, and Mackey hasn’t issued any press statement on it; given the lack of attention paid to Member’s Notices of Motion (which are usually used to formally congratulate people MPs want to suck up to in their electorates), I’m wondering whether she was hoping to have the regulations disallowed by stealth. While this would show up the Minister, its democratically dubious. Debating the motion forces both government and opposition to make their case, and lets the public judge which is the stronger. Unlike politicians, I happen to think that is a Good Thing.

Gee, so so I guess that means when you say something stupid and people tell you so, this is now a good thing?

I wonder what’s going to change first – the post or the “no comments” policy.

Note, I happen to agree absolutely with the above. As I always say, I keep comments open so people can tell me when I’m being an idiot (yet, I’m still here… :) )

Inventing BS by quoting half an answer

Idiot/Savant yesterday called the government out on their answer to SCF.

Today in Question Time, Finance Minister Bill English refused to hold a public inquiry into the collapse of South Canterbury Finance. His excuse? The government didn’t have the resources to do it.

This is just bullshit.

Oh, it’s bullshit all right.

3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Labour—New Lynn) to the Minister of Finance: Will he agree to a full public and independent commission of inquiry into the collapse of South Canterbury Finance?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : No. We do not see anything to be gained by such an inquiry at this time. In the first place, the Government needs to focus what is actually a very small resource of people and expertise on getting value for the taxpayer, who has paid out $1.6 billion, and now we need to recover somewhere between $1 billion and $1.2 billion, which is a high priority for us. Secondly, should any issues arise around fault, or cause, or responsibility for what has gone on with South Canterbury Finance, there are any number of regulatory agencies that could investigate those questions. Finally, the Government will be shortly releasing proactively all the relevant papers that can be released, subject to commercial confidentiality, which will allow the member to scrutinise in detail all judgments and processes followed by the Government.

So the actual answer was: No, because it’s a waste of the time of our financial experts (who are busy making sure that more money isn’t lost) to repeat what’s probably going to be done anyway.

Quite reasonable, since the SFO and other regulators have already been investigating Hubbard for weeks now.

But to continue…

To point out the obvious, it just spent $1.7 billion on bailing out South Island gamblers and giving wealthy sharks a guaranteed return.

I’ll just point out that there are several errors here. The money was not “spent”, once all it settled it will be a fraction of that amount, it was not a bailout, they were not exclusivly South Islanders, neither were they gamblers (given Hubbard’s reputation, quite the opposite) or “wealthy sharks” (sooo many things wrong with that last one).

Just about the only thing correct in that sentence was the “guaranteed return”. That is a problem, but it’s a problem in the design of the scheme when it was put in place.

If it can afford that, it can afford an inquiry.

Now, at least I/S’ origional statement was partially correct – the government doesn’t have the resources. But by implying (“If it can afford that“) that the issue is money, he then turns a half truth into a whole lie. Bill’s answer was that is not about money, it’s about the fact we have very few people qualified to delve into the finances of SCF, and those people are already doing so.

And we can’t get more by spending money either: these people spend years gaining the expertise necessary, you can’t simply walk into the warehouse and whip out the credit card.

Now, there is a legitimate question in my mind as to whether we need such experts to conduct an inquiry. Possibly not, but I/S ignored that angle.

Idiot concludes that the real reason is because government has something to hide.

I say Garbage in, Garbage Out. Try reporting on the answer next time.

How to deliberately misread your opponents motives

First, we frame the debate.

Yesterday, the goverment ruled out raising the alcohol excise tax. Today, they’ve thrown the House into extraordinary urgency (which means they sit as long as it takes until the bill is passed) to immediately raise the excise tax on tobacco. The reasons given are the obvious ones – to make smokers pay the social cost of their actions, and discourage use. But those reasons are equally applicable to alcohol.

Then, we apply conspiracy theory.

The hypocrisy is astounding. But this is National we’re talking about. And all that matters to them is votes. Thanks to years of campaigning and stigmatisation, few people smoke. But lots of people drink. You can target the small group, but not the bigger one. Its that simple.

But there’s no conspiracy here. There’s no need to paint National as pandering to their voters. Because the two drugs are not the same.

Alcohol, if used correctly is actually slightly beneficial. Tobacco is bad no matter how much you use. It’s the danger of tobacco which has lead to stigmatisation.

As anyone who’s listened to the news knows, the Maori party wanted Tobacco tax increases (think they were talking about it some time ago actually) because smoking kills a disproportionate number of Maori. The recommendation to increase the tax on booze came from outside parliament, and the government chose not do pursue that option.

I neither smoke or drink and I’ve got no problem with that – once all the facts are on the table. My preference would have been for both or neither, but I do understand that the Maori party’s concerns have a legitimate basis, and I hope the law change decreases deaths from smoking. (It won’t increase the tax take, given the last increase reduced it – that’s why it hasn’t been raised for so many years.)

I suspect that Idiot’s line will change once he realises that it’s not “big bad National” who pushed for it.

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