International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘No Right Turn’

When in a hole: Then and Now


My Right has taken issue with my post yesterday and missed my point. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the Government’s tax policies, if you are in a financial hole you

should stop digging.

But nowadays, it’s all the fashion to argue that you should dig and dig and dig. I mean, are there really consequences for deeper holes? Besides, if we stop paying the diggers, they’ll be unemployed and that would be bad.

And this is why the economy is failing and economic statistics continuously fall below Treasury projections: because the government is strangling the economy. Its public justification for doing so – fear of higher interest rates – is a myth; there are no “bond vigilantes” punishing governments who borrow when interest rates are low. But they persist in inflicting their zombie economics on us, because anything else would involve admitting they were wrong.

I myself find the old “when in a hole” prescription from No Right Turn to be the correct one. I also find some issues with the latter.

Problem no. 1: is Idiot seriously suggesting that credit downgrades (bought on by reckless spending) won’t increase the cost of debt? Outside of the credibility issues of his source  we are not the US. People buy our debt if it’s priced right for the risk.

Problem no. 2: the government isn’t strangling the economy through austerity.  Because it’s not doing austerity and the economy isn’t strangled. I remember the 90’s, when National did do austerity  The fact we have the incredibly generous (read: wasteful) Working for Families is proof enough that this government has stayed well away from the sort of cuts that would count as austerity.

Problem no. 3: the US has followed the route that Idiot likes. The result has been an increase in debt that dwarfs anything ever seen in the history of the world. But if this approach works, then why does the US have tent cities, and we don’t? Why has their economy done the exact opposite of what was predicted?

Fact is, we’re in good financial shape. That allows our government to maintain a good level of service while taking on a little debt. The US is not in good shape, but their president doesn’t seem to care.

I don’t care much for our current government but they are running a good compromise between savage cuts and outlandish spending, and it’s working admirably.

Quote of the Day

From Idiot/Savant:

Update: And according to the Herald, Henry has made the usual non-apology, “apologising” that “ome[sic] people have taken what I said in a way that I never intended”. In other words, its not his fault – its ours for being “hypersensitive”. What a prick.

Tuck that one under your hat for the future… I know I shall.

A week is a long time on some blogs…

Funny how stories change.

So, after a week of bad press, the Maori Party has had enough of Hone Harawira, and want him out. This seems a little disproportionate – Hone is a loose cannon and a dick, but his recent behaviour doesn’t seem to justify eviction from the party. So what else is going on? Turia’s statement is revealing:

This is not just about a jaunt to Paris or bad language. It’s been an ongoing issue and it’s reached its end, very sadly

(Emphasis added)My guess is that Hone has been calling bullshit on the Maori Party’s increasingly subservient relationship with National and its support for policies which directly harm his constituents. And the leadership – which does very well out of that relationship, thankyou, with crown limos and a flag and a sense of utu – doesn’t want to put up with him rocking the boat anymore. In a sense, he’s being sacrificed to preserve Turia’s relationship with John Key.

(Bold Italics is mine)

But just the other day

And that’s the problem in a nutshell: we pay for public service, we get self-interest. If Harawira was an employee, he would unquestionably be sacked for this. But he’s not an employee, he’s a politician – and so we have to put up with him until 2011, and the only hope we have of getting rid of him is that the voters of Northland will tire of these sorts of abuses of the public trust.

So on the 5th of November, his behaviour was so bad he’d be sacked if he were an employee.

But today, after using a racist tirade to “defend” himself, it’s ok. Not only that, but any attempt to get rid of him is pandering to coalition partners.

Thing is, respect from the general public is essential for the Maori party to stay part of the Government. They need to be part of the goverment to get their agenda progressing – something they’ve done pretty well with under their partnership with National (far better than their “last cab off the rank” relationship with Labour!).

You can’t retain public respect if a member of your caucus is going around stiring up racial hatred.  Even worse if he’s doing it while defending skipping out on his duties as an MP.

But of course, all that has nothing to do with it –  Turia just wants to rid in a limo again.

It must be to attack the poor!

Why would schools want to exclude people living in their area?

A group of “elite” state secondary schools are asking the government to vary their zoning regulations to allow them to admit the children of past pupils, regardless of where they live. They’re spinning this as “maintaining tradition”, but there is one reason and one reason only for this move: to perpetuate privilege. It will allow the children of the privileged – and it is overwhelmingly the privileged who attend these schools – to elbow others out of the way, and gain an even greater lock on educational advantage.

Lack of simple logic is so pervasive on the left.

So if it’s ” overwhelmingly the privileged” who attend these schools, isn’t it going to be “the privileged” who’ll be excluded?

Doesn’t the mere fact that this claim can be made mean that the current system actually favors “the privileged”?

This may be acceptable to Americans – George Bush famously got grandparental into Yale – but it is not the Kiwi way.

Letting only the rich locals into schools is certainly not the way Americans do it, and it’s not what we want in New Zealand either.

To people in this country – at least, those of us who live outside of Remuera and Fendalton – the idea that children should be legally advantaged because of their birth, rather than being allowed to rise or fall on their own merit, is simply abhorrent

Of course, by this we don’t mean advantaged because of the location of the birth – that’s quite ok.

I really wonder at the left sometimes – they must loose so many supporters who actually want some proper logic in their politics.

How useful is the nanny state?

No Right Turn attacks the opponents of the nanny state:

Complaining about the “nanny state” has been a key theme of National’s campaign, even if they have to make up things to complain about. But here’s something which might want to make people think. Tomorrow night is Guy Fawkes night (yes, when we celebrate an audacious attempted act of terrorism / enact a mindless anti-Catholic ritual / set things on fire for the hell of it). And for the second year in a row, fireworks will only be on sale for four days, only in packs, and only to over-18’s – a perfect example of Key’s “nanny state”. But as a result of this, my newspaper is completely empty of the “child loses eye to fireworks” stories we usually see. In fact, according to a Newstext search I just did, there have been no reported injuries so far (there has however been one dead horse).

Now, I’m a conservative. I’m not a libertarian. That means that I believe in a sensible, but minimal amount of regulation.

The problem people have with the nanny state is not regulation per se, but the fact that everything is regulated “for our own good”.

Yes, in the case of fireworks, I support this – it’s worked. It’s saved millions of dollars in fire callouts for starters. I blogged about this last year.

But why does the goverment find it nessessary to stop parents from smacking their children? Why does the goverment see fit to dictate how efficient my light bulbs must be, or how efficient my hot water must be?

The biggest looser if I have inefficient hot water is me, though higher bills. Ditto for lights. I have made it clear that I have in fact replaced all my light bulbs since starting this blog, purely because it saves me money. I am looking at my hot water now, but again, I am the direct looser if my system is inefficient.

Now, should a parent smack their child using reasonable force, there is actually by definition no harm whatsoever to anyone. At best, this saves 1 lawyer every two years from having to argue a case for child abuse. Of course, the fear is that this law will mean that good parents will be persecuted by CYFS and perhaps the police.

So state regulation can be beneficial, harmful, or just pushing people to do what they know is in their best interest.

Clearly if you get rid of the latter two categories, we would all be better off. But somehow the government doesn’t seem to trust us anymore to make simple decisions, even if those decisions make us better off. So instead of legislation covering problem areas, we have legislation in every possible area, needed or not.

Worse, every time people are not trusted to make a decision, the mentality that “someone else” should be responsible gets more ingrained, the expectation of “safety” from ill becomes greater. And the government finds yet another area there people are not doing what they are supposed to be, and we get another law.

That’s the nanny state. Treating adults like babies, removing decisions at every turn “because it’s for your own good”. Whether or not any given regulation works or not is completely and utterly irrelevant.


NRT talks about overhang

Peter Dunne has launched an attack on the Maori seats today, saying that they “distort democracy” and “pervert the will of the voters”. Unlike Rodney Hide, he is at least making principled arguments based on proportionality, rather than simply appealing to naked racism. At the same time, it has to be asked: why is he only talking about the Maori seats? Under MMP, any electorate can lead to an overhang. And yet the only time anyone ever mentions the word is when it relates to Maori representation.

Dunne’s hypocrisy aside, I agree with the goal of eliminating overhangs to ensure proportionality.

I trust that he will be condemning this too.

That means that if you’re a Progressive voter the smart thing to do is to give your party vote to a different left-wing party, one that can benefit from it. Giving it to the Progressives is not going to help change the outcome for the Progressives.  But you can help the Greens or Labour get another seat.

We’ll respect your beliefs under our terms

Some people just don’t get it.

…But worse, they object to a clause which imposes a positive duty on medical practioners to save the life of the mother by performaing abortions in an actual emergency, regardless of any belief they have to the contrary. According to the Catholic Church, women in these circumstances should simply be left to die….

I respect the freedom of conscience of Catholic doctors to refuse to perform abortions, but at the same time the wishes of the patient are paramount. The requirement to make an effective referral is a good compromise on this issue. As for refusing to save lives in an emergency, this is simply depraved indifference, tantamount to murder, and if Catholic doctors are unable to perform their duties, they simply have no business practicing medicine.

Why do christian doctors (not just Catholics) refuse to perform abortions? Beacuse it’s murder. That’s their belief.

Let’s say someone comes to you and asks you to kill their wife. You refuse, because you blelieve murder is wrong. Why would it be any less outside your ethics to tell that person where to go to undertake this henous crime?

What if in some twisted fate two people had become entangled and the one who was concious told the doctor to kill the unconcious one to save his life. Does that seem ethical to you?

Well, it might. But some doctors would say that it is not.

One’s is something one has to live with for life. Doctors have difficult decisions to make at times, and it should not be up to the state to force people into taking lives over the conscience of those that have to do it. A doctor who is presented with an emergency has to make a decision that he will live with for the rest of his life, I for one would rather not prejudge such situations.

But it appears that respect for the belief’s of others only goes so far as convienience for some.

Many Catholics believe the bill is hypocritical, saying that after years of non-Catholics complaining that the church was trying to impose its conscience on society, the Government is trying to impose on the conscience of Catholics.

That’s liberal tollerance for you.

More Public Transport Nonsense

NRT publishes this little chart from the Greens.

“Orange and red all over the map – they don’t have decent trains or buses, and so are forced to take the car. As oil prices rise, life for people in those orange suburbs is going to become a lot more expensive.”

Except that’s not true.

The chart does not show “inequalities of transport”, it shows what people are doing, what they choose to do. There are for example, some very good public transport services going straight through some very red areas.

The reason why people don’t use public transport is because they have made the choice not to use it. If costs go up, they’ll switch to the public transport available when they make that decision, or maybe they’ll find their own solutions.

It’s also entirely possible that many of those people will never have suitable public transport, no matter how much government money is poured down that particular drain.

Of course, you could just trust people to run their own lives, coming up with their own solutions (such as purchasing a house near work), but I guess there’s no fun in that but it seems to have worked ok so far.

Losing the War – at the behest of the left

Sometimes one just has to shake one’s head.

Last week’s massive operation by Nato forces to move a dam turbine 100 miles across Helmand was reportedly brought forward at Washington’s insistence to help John McCain’s candidacy. It cost some 300 Afghan lives. Every one of those lives invites revenge against that dam.

Now, it’s potentially true that some recruits are gained to the enmy when innocents are killed.

One has to wonder why this is always a one way street though. Given these radicals have much, much less respect for human life than the NATO forces why exactly would their sympathies not lie with them? In fact, that’s precicely what we have been seeing in Iraq.

The quote then goes on to talk about how solders would rather call on air support than walk into a potential firefight.

Now, remind me please. Who is it that is emphasizing each and every individual American solder who dies in the war? Is it the right, or the left? I guess we should have just offered the Taliban tea or something, and they’d have rolled over and given up.

No, if they didn’t want wedding parties bombed by accident then they shouldn’t have harboured a terrorist who killed innocent people on purpose, and continues to do so.

We didn’t start this war, but we’re going to do our best on our part to make sure innocent people do not get killed as we finish it.

NRT Launches Vicious Attack Against Extreme Left

The left has been getting pretty bad, but I had no idea that things were so bad that even their own cheerleaders are starting to see where they are heading.

This is what happens when you pursue a conscious strategy of whipping up hate and pandering to extremists to radicalise the party base for the election, when you create an environment where extremism is the norm: some of the loonies take the rhetoric seriously and act on it. In the US, this has led to actual terrorism and hundreds of deaths;

Not sure how many Bush supporters have died because of the hatred towards him and his policies, or whether blood was actually shed in the acrimonious battle between Obama and Hillary.

He’s right though – here in New Zealand, we’ve had Tim Selwin (known Bush hater) actually put an axe through the PM’s window. No idea who performed this latest stunt, but it’s fair to say that most blogs on the left need to take a good hard look at themselves, and the hatred they routinely propagate.

NRT would do well to examine his own blog, as I’ve regularly seen posts that are promoting class warfare, false accusations of racism, legalizing child murder, anti-Americanism and constant

When Three News’ Duncan Garner pointed out that this would mean that the public wouldn’t be able to do anything about it and asked whether this too was National party policy, Key turned to his DPS bodyguard and said “Arrest that man!”


According to The Standard, the National Party has offered $10,000 for the identity of the person who exposed their secret agenda. So, one of our largest political parties is now behaving like the mafia and putting prices on people’s heads. Nice…


…on this issue they have returned to the good old 90’s policy of beating up on the poor. Solo mothers on the DPB (who according to Key are “breeding for a business”) will be forced into work at the expense of their kids, the long-term unemployed will be forced to reapply (presumably in the hope that some will forget) and face the ongoing threat of having their benefits cut off, and those malingerers on the sickness and invalids benefits will be work-tested. Dying of cancer? On a waiting list for medical care? Not good enough, sorry. I guess they must be going for the nasty vote.


They want a disproportional electoral system precisely because it excludes other voices from power, returns politics to a cozy oligarchy favouring their party of rich dead white males, and increases the chances of winning absolute power (and thus being able to ram through a policy program without having to go through the tiresome business of seeking consensus for it). This is a deeply anti-democratic agenda, and one all New Zealanders should oppose.


In other words, they’re not interested in making this work; instead, its simply about stigmatising and punishing society’s most vulnerable members for electoral advantage – just as Don Brash did to Maori in 2005.


From its energy policy [PDF] released today, National clearly favours the brown path. The focus is very much on scaring people over security of supply in order to justify gutting the RMA and removing the ban on new thermal generation. It is a policy written for large business interests – those who sell gas, such as Shell and Todd Energy, who want a continuing market, and those who want cheap power, such as Rio-Tinto. Neither gives a damn about the ongoing environmental effects of their activities.


Colour me disgusted.

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