Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Mobile in Christchurch

The Christchurch Libz team has sent me this photo of their mobile billboard (right).

As all the ACT supporters in the country head to Epsom, the balance of the country is left open to the rest of us.

Protecting a predator

Do you fancy having one of these things (right) chewing through your surfboard? Or your arm? Or your loved one? It does happen.

The chance of it happening has increased with Conservation Minister Chris Carter announcing he is adding Great White Sharks to the list of species to be protected. Herald story here.

This directly pits the anti-concept of 'intrinsic values'-- which environmentalists employ to say things should be protected 'as is, where is'--against real human values, such as the value of human life, from which all real value is actually derived.

This isn't just a semantic argument, as you will find if you do see one of these things appearing at the end of your surfboard. A similarly stupid three-decade Australian ban on hunting crocodiles has seen numbers jump from 5,000 to 70,000, and an increase in savage croc attacks.

David Graber, research biologist with the US National Park Service, once declared on behalf of mainstream environmentalism that “We are not interested in the utility of a particular species or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value—to me—than another human body, or a billion of them... Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.” City University of New York philosophy professor Paul Taylor adds: "[T]he ending of the human epoch on Earth would most likely be greeted with a hearty 'Good Riddance.'"

Graber gives the game away by declaring the notion of 'intrinsic values' itself to be valuable to him: as trees, rocks and mud puddles can’t speak for themselves, environmentalists like Graber must be paid to do it for them. (I discussed this phenomenon the other day.) Responding on behalf of human beings, Glenn Woiceshyn argues:

While extreme, these anti-human sentiments are logically consistent with environmentalism's "intrinsic value" philosophy: Since man survives only by conquering nature, man is an inherent threat to the "intrinsic value" of nature and must therefore be eliminated. Environmentalism makes man the endangered species. The only antidote to these haters of mankind and their anti-human philosophy is to uphold man's right to pursue his own life by means of his productive activities.
The real endangered species, says Michael Berliner, is us:
There is a grave danger facing mankind. The danger is not from acid rain, global warming, smog, or the logging of rain forests, as environmentalists would have us believe. The danger to mankind is from environmentalism.

The fundamental goal of environmentalists is not clean air and clean water; rather it is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization. Their goal is not the advancement of human health, human happiness, and human life; rather it is a subhuman world where "nature" is worshipped like the totem of some primitive religion.

The history of how a love of nature has turned into a preservationist religion is traced briefly here by Robert Bidinotto. Chris Carter's announcement is just one more example of that policy: Protecting a killer as some sort of 'totem' is a clear threat to the rest of us.

Fortunately, one person at least came out against Carter's stupidity. Me.

Bye Bye Helen

The lovely Paula has for sale some T-shirts with the large slogan 'Bye Bye Helen'. Black w/white words, or white w/black words. Order yours now at researcher@orcon.net.nz. You'll have to be quick. :0)

Power outage in LA

A major power outage has hit Los Angeles, which will no doubt affect internet traffic and many websites. Says the San Francisco Chronicle :
Outages were reported from downtown to the coast and north into the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power did not immediately have an explanation for what happened.

A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department said the Department of Water of Power was investigating the source of the outage. Terrorism was not suspected, according to Sgt. Catherine Plows, though the department went on "full tactical alert," meaning no officers were allowed to leave duty...
Bloomberg reports:
Edison International's Southern California Edison, which provides power to areas not covered by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, said none of its customers were affected.

``At least the areas we serve are fine,'' said Susan Heard, a spokeswoman for Southern California Edison.

Don't invest in crooks

The headline above might look like voting advice, and as advice for a voter on Saturday it is of course sound. More importantly though, how does a small amateur investor protect themselves against fraud, or find the true value of Enron or WorldCom, when the fraudsters are so good?

James Glassman points out that it's unlikely American companies have radically changed their ways since the fall from grace of these two paper giants.

Have corporations mended their ways since the scandals came to light? Don't count on it. American International Group, the giant insurer, on June 1 issued a new financial report restating five years of results and knocking $2.3 billion off net worth. Among the adjustments: AIG improperly counted tax credits, to the tune of $731 million, as net investment income, "a measure closely watched by insurance-industry investors," according to the Wall Street Journal.

But don't despair. There are ways to invest intelligently even in a market of deceivers. Here are some guidelines...

New party leaders?

A week is a long time in politics. Now we have the cliché out of the way, doesn't this last week of the election campaign seem like a week too far? Hasn't the pressure come off just a little, rather than being ramped up? An eight week campaign seems to have bored everyone, including the politicians.

And something else that hasn't been talked about too much is the enormous upcoming change in the political landscape by the imminent departure of some major dominating features. We know some of the minor parliamentary parties may not survive this election, but this is also almost certainly Helen's last term, so win or lose they'll be jostling for the leadership over on the red benches. And Brash has already indicated that this election is his only roll of the electoral dice, so if the Nats don't win, the blue benches will be needing a new leader too. Has that jostling started already?

So by this time next election there now seems every chance that NZ First and ACT will have disappeared, and one chance in four that both of the big old parties will have new faces being airbrushed on their billboards. Whose faces do you foresee on them? Leave your suggestions below.

In the Hutt South Lions Den with Dullard

A report from Luke Howison on the Eastbourne Lions meeting for the Hutt South electorate.

Colin, Nik and I attended the Eastborne Lions Club candidates meeting last night in support of Phil Howison running for Hutt South.

There was a good turnout and Phil spoke well about some core issues including getting the government out of our lives, and on the issue of tax: "Tax is not an economic issue or a family issue. Its a moral issue. Tax is when the government takes money from you without your permission. Tax is - tax is theft! (looks around at other candidates) These people are advocating theft!" There was some great reaction, with enthusiastic applause.

The other candidates were the usual grey nothings.

Trevor Mallard was even more of a boring Labour git than usual, and the doddery Greens candidate going on and on and ON about the most boring topics imaginable (Arctic permafrost methane emissions anyone?) left everyone nodding off. Rosemarie Thomas (National) made a great point by holding up Labour pamphlets and handouts which were produced "with your tax money", and reminded us to pick up our free Labour pen - "You paid for them!"

Another highlight was the NZ First candidate (a nice guy, whats he doing with the slimeballs?) acknowledging the great job Phil is doing as the youngest candidate, which got Phil another round of applause!

In general I enjoy most of these meetings, especially when Labour candidates get defensive (which is all they are currently able to do), but it's also stifling having to listen to so much socialist bullshit. Thankfully there was no Alliance candidate there tonight! Another thing I like is how friendly the candidates are to each other. The Destiny NZ candidate especially is a
super-duper nice guy. Its funny though; as soon as these politicians get into power the charisma becomes slime ....

There are no more meetings for Hutt South, but we're all set to do a huge leaflet drop around Wellington tomorrow night, and put up the last of our signs which have been suffering muchos vandalism recently.

Hopefully thats a good sign that the message is getting out there and they're scared of us. :-)

For Freedom!

Monday, 12 September 2005

One Country, One Law, and One Electoral Roll

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This was one of the few valuable observations made by the otherwise foolish Margaret Mead, and one I was reminded of yesterday when old friend Warwick Malone showed up at the Auckland Central candidate's meeting made infamous since by Hurricane Judith.

Who the hell is Warwick Malone and why should you care? He's a thoughtful committed person who supporters of the National, ACT and NZ First Parties need to thank for making respectable their policy to abolish the Maori seats and to rid ourselves of racial favouritism before the law.

Warwick launched his petition to abolish the Maori seats just four years ago at Hamilton's Anti-Apartheid Convention put together by Tim Wikiriwhi, another thoughtful committed citizen, to highlight the tide of race-based separatism that is engulfing the country & to lay the groundwork for turning that tide around. It promoted the view that all New Zealand citizens, regardless of skin colour, should be equal before the law.

Following the launch of the petition, Warwick took to the road with petition forms, a ute, and a desk. Showing up in the main streets of towns across the North Island, Warwick would set up his desk and collect signatures and plaudits. The enthusiastic responses indicated this was clearly an idea whose time had come, and he was happy to be the catalyst for it.

Just four years later that policy is now mainstream. Time to say "Thank you, Warwick."

You can download a large version of the petition form here. It quotes the words of former slave and abolition advocate Frederick Douglass from 1883:
In a composite Nation such as ours, made up of almost every variety of human family, there should be, before the law, no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no black, no white, but one country, one citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny for all.
His words are as true today as they were then, and just as relevant.

Don't you love MMP?

A report in from Susan on Leighton Smith's interviews this morning with the various leaders of the minor parliamentary parties.

Gee thanks, Rod. You'll happily tax the bejesus out of me for my own good. You want to protect the environment, but you won't protect private property rights - which is the only way to protect the environment! In short, like a good socialist, you know everything!
ACT: Well Rodney, Act's demise this weekend will mean that if you're going to talk 'freedom', you better mean what you say! Don't just tinker with tax, welfare and the RMA ... scrap them altogether! After Saturday, come on home to the Libz. We have principles!
UNITED FUTURE: Peter Dunne-bugger-all wants to be in a govt coalition. Well, why not?! He's been a member of every party that ever there was, so he'll feel right at home anywhere. Hope he voted in favour of prostitution law reform, because he's the biggest political prostitute we have!
NZ PROGRESSIVES: I'm delighted to say that I have NOTHING in common with Jim and his Anal Retentives. So nothing's non-negotiable, eh Jim? In other words, you're unprincipled. The only 'no-brainer' is your party.
MAORI PARTY: Atareta says the Maori party was created because the Maori minority couldn't have their say in other parties. Hmmm. On the one hand they want freedom from the state regarding property - but on the other they still think it's ok to put their hand in other people's wallets. Unprincipled AND separatist. Just what the country needs!
Don't you love MMP?

The Poll poll

A new site poll over there on the sidebar, asking you to tell us how many times you've been contacted by pollsters to tell them where your vote is going on Saturday. I'm curious.

Results of the last site poll show that you're all sending confidential emails all the time. Outside of your significant other, the Exclusive Brethren and Don Brash were naturally the most popular recipients of your wisdom--and as we know, offering your wisdom to your significant other is not always as welcome as we often think it should be. Rather how Don Brash and the Brethren are now thinking I suspect.

The great Skyhawks going out of business sale

When Clinton left the White House, there was a last-minute going-out-of-business-sale of pardons, and a rash of legislation intended to tie the hands of the Bush administration.

Now, in a week before our election, the Labour Government is having a similar going-out-of-business sale of the mothballed Skyhawks, tying the hands of the next Government by increasing the difficulty of restoring the air combat wing, and indicating perhaps the Labour Party's level of confidence in they themselves being that government: This is an admission that their confidence is not high.

Ron Mark was right on the money yesterday, saying "Labour knew full well that other parties had plans to restore the air combat capabilities. [Mark] says Labour has sold the aircraft from right under their noses to ensure the final nail has been put into the air combat wing's coffin."

Have you even seen the 'offending leaflets'?

If you haven't yet seen the Brethren's offending anti-Labour and ant-Green pamphlets yet, then you can find PDFs of them here: Anti-Green here; Anti-Labour here.

Don't say I never do nuffin' for ya.

A wanker with a ponytail

What a sad little man. American sociologist Jonathan Pontell (right) has invented another one of these bullshit psudo-concepts that PR wankers devise over a long lunch and then build their careers by travelling the world talking it up. 'Generation Jones' is his invention--a "Lost Generation!" breathlessly trumpets Entrepreneur magazine-- supposedly referring to people between forty and fifty that people interested in these things have up to now apparently ignored as a significant demographic, until Pontell bothered to notice them and point out the oversight. Yawn.

Now he's here in New Zealand talking himself up, but apparently his ego has been insufficiently stroked by local luminaries so he's throwing hissy fits and threatening law suits--or so he just ranted to Linda Clark. The first suit would be against the Christchurch Press because they had the acumen to call him a hoaxster. That made poor Jonathan unhappy (cue violins) and also made him call his lawyers.

In a bid to show how locally 'connected' he is, he's also been quietly hinting that he's been "consulted" by a "major local party," but his bluff on that one has also been called. Every "major local party" has issued a "Nyet" to his claim, making him look even sillier than he already does, and the National Party went even further and also called him a hoaxster. To restore his fragile and damaged ego he has to sue them too.

What a sad little wanker. Perhaps he and Judith Tizard could contrive to get stuck in a lift together sometime.

[UPDATE 1: Russell Brown has some background on the whole ruckus in a PS at the foot of this post.]
The Grauniad has the story of Pontell's similarly duplicitous shenanigans with Britain's Tory Party. [Hat tip IP at DPF's]

A Tory spokesman said: "CommunicateResearch came in to pitch for business, but they are not employed by us in any way. He came in with them for a chat and is certainly not giving us any advice."... Mr Pontell told the Guardian: "Yes, I have advised a political party here about targeting Generation Jones. I can't say which party it was." He had met officials and provided follow-up information on request.]

Tizard swings the handbag

Judith Tizard, Auckland Central MP, former Minister in Charge of Helen Clark's handbag, and a woman with all the people skills of a large rodent managed to give a room-full of 100 Auckland Central voters a master class yesterday in how to acquire those skills for oneself.

Aaron has his own report here of Labour's eighteenth-ranked candidate arriving late to the meeting, heading to the podium and immediately recoiling at the humorous 'news' that the media "had been excluded from the room." She immediately picked up her toys and her flunkies and flounced out saying there was no point in talking to us peasants then, leaving behind her bemused Epsom colleague Stuart Nash to stand in for her, and we bloggers to stand in for the fourth estate.

If this is Tizard on her best behaviour, I would not like to see her at her worst. As a charm offensive, it was definitely the latter, rivalled perhaps only by Pete Hodgson's wrestling match last week. Under 'arrogant,' see Labour MPs.

About Town's Tristan (whose colleague Xavier did stay) commented at DPF's, "the only people there were candidates or supporters of the Libitrians (sic), ACT, National, Destiny, Direct Democracy and the Maori party... not exactly a friendly audience." Poor lamb. Fancy having to face an unfriendly audience, and not a journalist in sight with whom to sympathise.

[UPDATE: National's speaker at the meeting , Dr Jackie Blue, has given her own account of Tizard's hissy fit. And bar owner and Auckland Independent candidate Thomas Forde has just told Radio Live that he at least was there to be swayed, and he will certainly not be voting Labour this election. He's certainly managed to gain some excellent advertising for his bar out of all this.]

"Lose the beard."

Julian sheds his hair, gets coverage, girlfriend is happy. Just the beard to go now. :-)

And you can hear Julian's latest speech by following this link.
Who's in charge of your life? You are. However, if you ask ANY of these people behind me, they'll say: "Yes, BUT..."
Is a vote for Libertarianz a wasted vote? "No!' says LibertyScott, and he explains why. I had a go at answering this question myself yesterday. Says Scott:
So I am voting Libertarianz because it is what I believe in - in its own marginal way, I am telling the main parties that I believe in freedom, and I know several thousand other New Zealanders will do the same - at a time when there is immense pressure to vote for National to get rid of the People's Republic of Clarkistan - I will vote according to what I want, not third best!

Epsom declaration: "Rodney Hide must be stopped"

"Rodney Hide must be stopped." The words of Epsom's Labour Party candidate Stuart Nash this afternoon at the Forde's Frontbench candidate's meeting in Auckland Central.

Asked to confirm what he meant by that, Nash told me, on the record, "The official word is: Electorate vote Worthless. Party vote Labour."

This Epsom voter will have trouble doing either.

[UPDATE: Nash has just confirmed this news on Linda Clark's 'Nine to Noon' show.]

My speech for Forde's Frontbench candidate's meeting

Good evening ladies & gentlemen. I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.

Believe that, and you probably still believe in Santa Claus. Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem. More government; less freedom. More government; more problems. You’d think that lesson would by now have been well and truly learned.

No, I’m not from the government, I’m Peter Cresswell from the Libertarianz Party, and before I start properly I’d like you all to throw up your wallets please. I want your money because you can’t be trusted with it. Well, what do you know? Nobody seems to want to hand over their money! But you give your wallet to these people every day! They keep telling you that you can’t be trusted with it; they keep demanding more and more out of it, they keep getting fat off your efforts… and you keep voting for more of the same.

Who’s the idiot?

It’s not their money. You earned it. And you’re entitled to keep every darn cent. Isn’t it strange how we’re taught as kids, that it’s wrong to take what doesn’t belong to us … and yet as adults, you let these people here do just that! You don’t just let them. You beg for them to do it.

Isn’t that disgraceful?! They keep offering you more theft, and they keep offering to fix things they shouldn’t even be involved in, and they keep taking your money and bossing you around with it… and then you keep voting for more of the same.

Who’s the stupid one?

Tell me, who do you think runs the country? That’s right, you do. Helen doesn’t. Winston doesn’t. Pansy, Judith and Don don’t. You run the country, each of you every day by planning, producing and taking those moral actions you need to so that you and your family can stay live and keep flourishing. You run your life, and your business, so what do you need these people to boss you around for? And why do you keep bending over and taking the bossiness from them like you’re taking medicine from Nanny? It’s got me beat.

It’s for your own good!” says Nanny as she stuffs her medicine down your throat. And what grim medicine.

Nanny says, “You must surrender half your earnings to her, and she’ll decide what to do with them.”

She says you must pay no-hopers to breed.

She says you may not cut trees down on your own property.

She says you may not end your own life when you want to.

“You may not smoke in bars,” she says. “Not even in a cigar bar. It’s for your own good…But you can still smoke in jail.”

She says you may not smoke marijuana anywhere, and has police out on the beat wasting their time making sure you don’t, doing you over when they should be protecting you.

She says you must surrender your children to her indoctrination centres, or be arrested if you don’t.

She says you must keep surrendering your money to pay for her die-while-you-wait health service, even if you have made alternative arrangements to make sure you don’t have to.

She says you may not fire staff, whatever their employment contract says.

Nanny says you may not open your business on days Nanny specifies.

She says you may not advertise for young female employees… so I’m not sure how Hooters are going to manage in opening a bar here full of young, attractive women. They might have to have a quota of ugly women just to keep Nanny happy.

Now this is just wrong, isn’t it? This is ugly, isn’t it. If someone offered you such a deal… if someone offering you such a deal showed up on your door step and offered you such a deal you’d tell them to bugger off, wouldn’t you? It wouldn’t matter how nice the seller was, because you’d know that deal they were offering was poison. Half your earnings in return for taking control over your life, your children, your property, your business and your happiness: and you don’t tell them to bugger off, do you? You keep voting for more of the same!

You don’t need Nanny holding your hand telling you what you can and can’t do. So why do you keep voting for exactly that?

These people up here today are all nice, all nice--apart of course from Judith--but the deal they’re offering you is poison. Don‘t keep buying it. I urge you not to keep buying it. They’re not Santa Claus—although some of them think they are, don’t they Judith—they’re not Santa Claus, they’re the living embodiment of Nanny. And it’s time you told them to bugger off.

Now I’m not here representing Nanny. I’m from the Libertarianz Party, and we think Nanny stinks. We’ve been around for ten years now, and we think politicians should be out of your pockets, out of your face, and out of your life. Gone by lunchtime. Gone for good.

There are 20 parties this election. 19 of them think it’s OK to help themselves to your money and boss you around with it. We don’t. We say that’s wrong.

We say that at this election there are twenty parties but only two choices: Nanny State in nineteen different guises, or Freedom, and Libertarianz.

Our philosophy is very simple: we stand for more freedom and less govt. In other words: you mind your business and I’ll mind mine.

In a truly free society the only laws are those that rightly prohibit the use of force and fraud and respect contracts that have been made voluntarily. You may not act forcefully or fraudulently toward others. That requirement should include the state and its agents.

To that end we recognise that tax is theft. Because that money, YOUR money, is then used to blatantly vote-buy. An election is an advance auction of stolen goods. Your goods. It’s time you asked for them back. It’s high time you stopped allowing yourself to be bribed with your own damn money.

It doesn’t matter which of this lot is in power, it’s used to buy votes. It’s a wonder Michael Cullen hasn’t buggered his wrist lately, he’s been writing so many cheques. And finding more money behind the cushions as he writes them. And John Key just wants to buy your vote with borrowed money. Unlike sensiblke peoplewho understand that to cut taxes you must also cut spending, he doesn’t want to cut government spending, he wants to increase it. Which you will have to pay for later. Enter Muldoon, Version 2.0.

These bloody socialists, both the Labour Socialists and the National Socialists, will tell you that they need to steal from you so that they can provide you with certain services, which is their sole justification for stealing all that money in the first place. Bollocks! What do they provide?

  • Die-while-you-wait hospitals.
  • Dumbed-down schools. Precisely the kind of dumbing down guaranteed to churn out hordes of brainless, gum-chewing, hip-hop loving Labour voters indefinitely. That produces kids who can’t read, write or add… but who do know all the latest, state-mandated nonsense about the Treaty of Waitangi; who do know all about cultural relativism.
  • Compulsory charity, so that 300,000 New Zealanders are now beneficiaries of your charity.

Judith and Stuart (Labour Party hacks, ed.) will boast that New Zealand has only 4% unemployment. Easy, when you’re throwing benefits at 300,000 people. Some of those people are in this room. Do you know the highest paid beneficiary here today? Judith, who just left after throwing a hissy fit at your disrespect.

Truth is, you don’t need these people and their theft any more than you need a Ministry for Education or a Ministry for Health… or a Ministry for Shoes or a Ministry of Women’s or Maori Affairs. Leave them be and let them organise their own bloody affairs.

In fact, leave all of us be. You don’t need the government organising your life. All you need it for is to protect me from you and you from me, and outside that just to leave us all the hell alone.

Just let people make up their own minds, and leave them free to run their own lives, and make their own mistakes, and let them learn from them. Give them all their money back, so they can spend it where they deem best, with people who do know how to run things! Not central or local planners who patently don’t.

I know what’s best for me. The state doesn’t. The Libertarianz understand the balance between freedom and responsibility – because the two go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. To paraphrase PJ O’Rourke: there is only one basic human right and that’s the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the one basic duty: to accept full responsibility for your actions!

So why am I here tonight doing this when I so clearly detest politics and politicians, as I do?

Because I own my life. As an adult, I don’t need the state to interfere in my workplace, my home, my bedroom, my body (in terms of what I choose to do with it), my business, my property, my family or my wallet. Conversely, these buggers all want to interfere in some way, shape or form. I’ve got news for them: people were not born to be bossed around by bureaucrats or by politicians! To paraphrase Voltaire, the world will be a better place when the last politician is strangled with the guts of the last bureaucrat. It is the job of we libertarians to bring that happy day about.

I repeat: It’s a simple philosophy ladies & gentlemen: you mind your business, and I’ll mind mine. I don’t want your money and I don’t want to run your life.

But there are 19 other parties full of politicians who do. What’s the best thing you can say about politicians? Let me tell you a brief story to close.

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patient to operate on. The first surgeon says: I like accountants because when I open them up, everything is numbered, and I never lose track of where I am. [laughter] The second one says: I like electricians a lot better because when I open them up, everything is color-coded, and that makes it really simple. The third one says: I prefer a librarian, because everything is alphabetical. I don’t have any trouble with that at all. The fourth one says: I would pick construction workers; construction workers are really good. If there are a few parts left over and it took a lot longer than you thought, they don’t care, they understand that. [laughter] And the last one says: you guys aren’t even close. I like politicians. They have no guts, no heart, no spine, and the head and the butt are interchangeable!

At this election, I urge you to free yourself from the politicians. Cast a vote for your life, and for your liberty. Cast it for Libertarianz. We may not be in parliament this election, but you can be damn sure our ideas will be. Your vote will help that happen. Any other vote is just a vote for more of the same.

Thank you.

Sunday, 11 September 2005

Brushfires of liberty

Let me answer a couple of questions about Libertarianz that ACT supporters often ask us by re-posting a comment I made on Aaron's blog:

Andrew asked me, "Do you plan to get more votes than last time?" Here is my reply.

Clearly every party does, Andrew. Clearly too, none of us have any control over the number of votes cast, do we? But not all of us judge success in this way.

"By the way, you still haven't really answered my question on your party's outrageous claims that you "promise to get Govt out of your pocket, out of your face, and out of your life." How will you do this??"

Short answer: Cultural change. Longer answer: by making a revolution in people's minds for the idea that their life is their own. As Samuel Adams said (quoted by somebody recently I understand ) "It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

But there are no shortcuts, as ten years of ACT parliamentary activity and scandal-mongering has surely shown you. As we Libz always say, our aim is not necessarily for our candidates to get to parliament--we are nothing if not realistic--but for our ideas to get there. Rest assured they will be there long before we ever will. A political party is just one vehicle for those ideas to be heard, argued, expounded and thought about; one giving a platform that wouldn't otherwise exist, and one that helps to get the ideas there.

Actually Andrew, if you read my blog regularly you would find that rather than shying away from the question, I've answered this question numerous times, here for instance, especially in the article linked from that post.

In short, you don't measure the truth of ideas by how popular they are, you measure them by whether or not they're right; and if you're keen and honest you then work to ~make~ the right ideas popular. And as I said, there are no shortcuts. I challenge you to spend your three years in the wilderness by joining with us in trying to make that happen.

If you really do want a longer argument, have a look at this: Putting the 'P' Word into Politics.

And if you really think ACT is "75% libertarian" as one delusional obsessive claimed here on my blog this morning, then in this last week of a campaign in which they're going down anyway why don't they stand up for what they say they believe in. As I said months ago, here's five things they can do to ensure they at least go down with the principles they claim to have, rather than trying to stay alive by living on their knees.

Join me this arvo

Blog-lite today. Billboarding this morning, and speaking this arvo at another candidates meeting. Join me if you like: 3pm at Thomas Forde's Frontbench bar in the old Station Hotel, 2 Anzac Ave. It's your chance to shout me a beer. :-)

Saturday, 10 September 2005

Hide: Desperate & soon-to-be dateless

What's the definition of desperate? Let's say that just a week before the election a TVNZ Colmar-Brunton poll showed that your candidate was fourteen points south of the leader in the race for Epsom's electorate vote, and he was only ten percentage points north of the third-placed candidate. You'd express disappointment, right? Resolve, maybe? But desperation?

ACT Party president Catherine Judd has chosen the latter aproach, with a carefully worded email to everyone in her address book, incuding me, confessing how desperate her party is. Her evaluation of a fourteen point deficit? "The trend in both the public polls and our polling is clear - Rodney is on track to win the seat next Saturday," There you go. The poll showing Rodney well behind actually shows he is going to win. No surprise that in her day job Catherine is a professional spin merchant. Aaron got one of Catherine's emails, and he has the whole thing here.

"ACT on track to win Epsom but we need your help" is the headline. Half of it is true. They do need help. I wonder if this would work? Why won't National help? I explained why a few weeks ago: any further investment in ACT would be what economists call malinvestment, something ACT's Hayekians should at least understand.

Fun in the Whangarei electorate

Julian (who has gone from hippy scruff to a freshly shorn man with a mission) has the report from Hooch Helen's Whangarei meeting here. Some highlights
Helen was extremely articulate, as usual, and the crowd was responsive, with many shouts of "hear hear"...

Muriel was speaking for Act. She let herself down time and again by starting off with something libertarian in principle, and then saying that it could only happen if government did this or that for the people. So close... but not quite. Phil Heatley from National was following the new trend by stealing the Libertarianz economic principals, which was all good, but a bit suspicious....
Read on here.

Seven things before breakfast

The seven things meme, pinched from Ruth:

7 things I plan to do before I die:
  1. Write a novel. Or two.
  2. Visit every building by John Soane, Carlo Scarpa, Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, Thomas Jefferson, Bruce Goff, Louis Sullivan, Pier Luigi Nervi, Santiago Calatrava, Felix Candela and Frank Lloyd Wright--and then a) write a book about the link betweeen them all, and b) design a building at least as good as all of them.
  3. Attend Bayreuth's Wagner Festival and go to every single session; and then visit the Rodin Museum ... when it's open.
  4. Watch at least one AFL final live.
  5. Own an original Newberry, and an original David Knowles.
  6. Pass a law allowing capital punishment for spammers.
  7. Make it possible to introduce a Constitution for New Freeland.
  8. Drive an E-Type Jag across Europe.
  9. Change the rules of a meme once I've started. :0)
7 things I can do:
  1. Talk nonsense.
  2. Build a house.
  3. Design a house.
  4. Talk nonsense to planners, buiding inspectors, and arborists so someone can build a house.
  5. Edit.
  6. Cook.
  7. Drink.
7 things I cannot do:
  1. Hold a note.
  2. Vote for an authoritarian.
  3. Abide respectability worshippers, clever-dick hairsplitters, cynical nihilists, bigots, poseurs or fakes.
  4. Listen to the Bee Gees without feeling nauseous.
  5. Listen to Nick Smith without feeling nauseous.
  6. Listen to Fidel Castro at all.
  7. Swim to Australia.
7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
  1. Intelligence
  2. Passion
  3. Energy
  4. A soul
  5. Wit and humour
  6. Insight
  7. Big tits
7 things that I say most often:
  1. Ooh. A Crownie, thanks.
  2. Hey, who stole my [insert object sitting right in front of me].
  3. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Property and Happiness.
  4. For fucks sake!
  5. Unprincipled arsewipe!
  6. As X said...
  7. Bugger.
7 celebrity crushes:
  1. Diana Rigg
  2. Ingrid Bergman
  3. Audrey Hepburn
  4. ?
7 people I want to do this:
LibertyScott, Julian Pistorius, TinCanMan, Beethoven Pleydenwald, Alan Howard, Richard Goode

Friday, 9 September 2005

The compassion of statists

The compassion of statists is hogwash says Helen at Speakeasy. I can't disagree. Isn't compulsory charity an oxymoron? And aren't the bloody anti-Green Brethren leaflets just a shining example of free speech? Susan the Libertarian thinks so.

Some more questions

  • Does anyone genuinely give a fuck about the Exclusive Brethren's leaflets? Or is it all manufactured heat and spin? Have you actually seen them? Why is so much goddamn time being taken over how they were produced, rather than what they actually say?
  • What's really wrong with a leaflet attacking the government when we're in the middle of a fucking election?
  • Chris Trotter suggested yesterday that Helen Clark would win last night's TV debate just by staying on message and just avoid smirking. Did she?
  • Didn't Pita Sharples seem sensible on the debate? How long do you think that will last once he's in Parliament?
  • Will he be in Parliament? Will John Tamihere? Will Winston? Will Atareta?
  • Do you think Winston knows he's losing it? Does Rodney?
  • If Peter Dunne is just a doormat for both Big Old Parties, then is Rodney just a lapdog for Don? And what does that make Winston and Jeanette? An old dog that can't learn any new tricks, and the sort of dog that leaves hair all over your clothes? Are these metaphors really as pathetic as they sound?
  • Wasn't Helen's make-up simply splendid? Did she get the Woman's Day team in to do it?
  • Aren't the TV debates better without that shagging worm. And John Campbell.
  • Was Rodney talking to the country in last night's TV debate, or just to Epsom voters? Did anyone hear him say 'Party vote Act' more than once?
  • Have you noticed the frequency with which the words 'individual liberty,' 'freedom,' 'responsibility' and 'property rights' have appeared around the hustings? Shame none of the wankers using the words intend to do anything about them, but lip service is at least progress.
  • How many times did you hear the words 'family' and 'common sense' last night? Is there such a thing as word inflation by which the value of words diminishes with over-use?
  • What the fuck does Peter Dunce's Family's Commission do all day, and why should we keep paying them to do it?
  • Does anyone remember what Bill English looks like? Is that a bad thing?
  • The top ten bloggers (measured by number of posts) produced 1663 posts in August, roughly 390 per week. How many posts do you think these ten will produce the week after the election? The month after? Do you think Tim Selwyn could offer odds on some different combinations?
  • Has anyone actually availed themselves of Tim Selwyn's Election Book? Or is he just talking in the dark?
  • Does anyone actually understand what the fuck Tim Selwyn is on about, or is it just me?
  • Was the best headline about the Brash-Dunce meeting this one: "It's Rodney. Hide."
  • If the Epsom poll shows Hide in the lead, will Helen openly ask Labour voters to hold their nose and back Worthless? Will they listen?
  • If National lose another election, will their 'strategist' for three successive election defeats fall on his sword? And who the fuck ever decided Murray McCully to be a strategist?
  • How much do political scientists get paid to deliver wisdom that consists of either the bloody obvious, or the bloody stupid? Why are these people taken seriously? Are they?

Candidate meetings at VUW and Karori

A report in from yesterday's VUW and Karori candidate meetings:

Another day, another (two) meeting(s).
The first, at the University at lunchtime was largely a waste of time. It was cold and damp and the audience consisted almost entirely of candidate fan clubs. Very few actual punters were apparent. The sound was atrocious and it was virtually impossible to hear what any of the candidates said.
Karori Rotary ran a much better meeting. The format was standard - five minutes from each candidate (thankfully down from ten) followed by questions, with the addition of a two minute close from each candidate when the questions ran dry. The audience were generally polite although many of the questions were quite abrasive.
The usual waffle was in evidence. United Future likes families. Families are groups of people. This was pretty convincing and as I'm often part of a group of people I'll probably change my vote now. One of the Greens' four main planks is "appropriate decision making", presumably in opposition to all the candidates who were promoting inappropriate decision making.
Highlight of the night was Marian Hobbs' closing address. Think about it. It's nine days until an election that's too close to call in an electorate that's too close to call. She only has one real opponent, so who does she go after? Li'l ole Libz! Ranting on about how "you can't privatise the air" and generally raising eyebrows all around the room. Except for "eyebrows" Blumsky himself who was too busy pissing himself laughing.

Thursday, 8 September 2005

Forcible evacuation

  • The remaining citizens of New Orleans are to be forcibly evacuated say the headlines Much like the forcible exacuation of the Israeli citizens in Gaza. Or the forced deportation of Elian Gonzales. Is there another way? Maybe. Not everyone involved seems eager to carry out the order. "We personally will not force anyone out of their homes," said Art Jones, a senior official in the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Let us wait and see.
  • The Interdictor won't be dragged out at gunpoint. "Everyone keeps asking if we're going to comply with the mandatory evacuation order," says the site. "We're exempt."
  • "This is a disaster the likes of which we are only beginning to understand." Once again that leitmotif is heard, that the immensity of this disaster in the midst of a first world country is utterly unlike anything seen before, the likes of which, the causes of which, and th eblame for which (if any) we are only, perhaps, beginning to understand. This time it is heard in a plaintive email from one of the volunteers at the Houston Astrodome, trying to come to grips with the tragedy, heartbreak and just pure out-of-this-world abnormality of what he's seeing before him.
    I fear that my three day trip to Houston, Texas, to help in the early stages of this relief effort, is only a glimpse into what our nation faces next.
    Mark has the email.

  • Cox and Forkum, cartoon above, have some links on the blame game.

Best comment on Winston's announcement

I love this. Says Krimsonlake in a PS:
I recently proclaimed that the NZ politician I'd be most likely to shag would be Winston. I'm quite serious about this, if I was pushing 40 I'd find him kind of hot. It's just a pity that he wouldn't announce his preference until after the performance.

Is Rodney really going to win Epsom?

There is a new poll for Epsom announced tonight on TV One which might help resolve a problem.

We all know that politicians are economical with the truth, but doesn't it set your teeth on edge edge when a party runs a radio ad saying "It's safe to vote for us, because we're going to win electorate seat X" when not one independent poll shows anything remotely like that being the case. Tonight's poll might resolve that problem.

The only independent poll taken in Epsom to date is that performed by the Herald, which shows National's Richard Worthless on 55.6 per cent support, Labour candidate Stuart (call me Walter) Nash on 23.1 per cent and Rodney Hide on just 14.8 per cent. National and Labour internal polling in the electorate concurs with the Herald's numbers, as confirmed just yesterday on Radio Live. Not a good result if you're an ACT supporter or an ACT MP, because if you don't have Epsom on September 18th then you don't have a party.

But despite this abysmal poll result for them ACT now have a nationwide radio and on-campus campaign telling voters that it's now safe to vote for ACT because 'we know ACT are going to win Epsom.' Really?

Based on what exactly? Based wholly, solely and entirely on two internal tracking polls conducted by the ACT Party themselves, not exactly the expected sources of saintly independence and honesty one would like to rely on. The "Capitol Research Polling" that ACT cite is not independent polling, but as Mike Collins carefully said when first announcing it, "it has been controlled and verified by Capitol Research." So this is not polling run by Capitol Research or even "Capitol Research Polling" but polling "controlled and verified by Capitol Research." [Emphasis mine.]

Those are very different things, aren't they, and as Aaron commented at the time, "my pick is that the poll was run by ACT volunteers from a script that was authorised by the Australian company." Mine too, especially as that was not denied.

And when those same volunteers can so easily morph 362 respondents into "approximately 400" or even 500 as they do when talking about their poll, then I think there is a right to reasonably wonder just how relaxed those volunteers are about the truth, particularly when the actual question asked of respondents has not even been released.

That this dodgy internal polling run seemingly by ACT's own paid volunteers has within the space of eight days become the basis for calls of 'ACT is Back!', 'You can vote for us now!' and a national radio campaign trumpeting their results--calls and ads which are wildly at odds with both the Herald poll and the Labour and National internal polling--then this all gives a clue to ACT's desperation, and to their fickle hold on the truth.

So how about you: do you think it is dishonest to run nationwide radio ads saying 'Vote ACT because Hide is winning in Epsom' if the only independent poll in the electorate shows that he isn't? I do.

The Colmar-Brunton poll conducted for TV One and aired tonight will give the first independent clue since the Herald poll a fortnight ago just who might win Epsom. Might. The reaction to that poll will be demonstrative.

Keith Locke has already committed himself to running naked through Epsom if Hide wins. I think it only fair and honest that if tonight's TV One poll shows that Hide is not in the lead that he commits to pulling his party's somewhat duplicitous radio ads and on-campus campaign saying that he is?

If this poll tonight shows otherwise, then fine. But if not, then he would have a radio ad peddling a lie, despite what his 'internal polling' purports to show.

Would you be happy about that?

Rod Donald a capitalist?

Did anybody else see Greens co-leader-person Rod Donald describe himself as a "radical capitalist" on Kim Hill's show last night? It's true, as he says, that he has run a business or two, but he's not exactly the "radical for capitalism" that Ayn Rand was when she described herself that way, or even the radical for capitalism the guy is over there on the right.

Still, politicians used to show lip service to socialism. These days, they're paying lip service to capitalism. Even Jim Anderton wants company tax cuts these days.

Maybe those Celebrate Capitalism guys are making progress (read their declaration here). Anyone want to sign up to be a coordinator for a New Zealand city next year? It can be fun as the Worldwide WalkForCapitalism showed, and the organisation for next year's event starts now.

The 'right' to a view

Someone asked me the other day about 'the right to a view' (see, I do come back and answer questions). The man who asked me is a property owner denied use of his own land because his various neighbours want their existing waterfront views protected, and his planned house would remove their view. These neighbours have political pull, you see. Their 'right' to that view takes away his right to use his own property.

A related issue is the 'arboreal killing' around Lake Manapouri, reported in this week's Listener (but sadly off-line). Seemingly, beech trees are being poisoned because some people would like their sites to get a better view of the lake. Says Jack Murrell, whose family have been there for 116 years and owner of a block of sites, "We had a valuer in...We've got a block worth $60,000 now, but if we could see through the trees, we'd have the best view in Fiordland. It would be worth$1.25m."

His 'right' to a view would add enormous value to the sites and the people who buy them, but that right can't be secured.

Does that mean property rights are a nonsense, and need at best to 'balanced'? No, because under the present regime those with political pull are the ones doing the balancing.

Does it mean that removing the present legislative regime would cause widespread damage to the environment as anarchy and chainsaws run riot? No. Enter, common law.

The protection of common law was once the guardian of both property owners and the environment, and could be once again if the present legislative regime was removed. Voluntary agreements and the use of easements and covenants is the key.

If, for example, I want to protect my existing view over your land, then I can negotiate with you to buy an easement over it for that purpose, and that easement would be registered on the title, and legally protected. It might be that my neighbour doesn't want money; it might be that he values very highly the stand of trees on my property. How highly? Highly enough perhaps to ask for a restrictive covenant over those trees to be registered on my title, in his favour. We shake hands. We have agreement. We each have want we want, we each have security over what we want, trees and view are both protected, and not a bureaucrat or resource consent was needed to do it--just common sense, the tools of common law, and respect for each other's property rights.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it.

Comments reset

I've had to reset the comments section in order to get rid of the spammed comments, which is up to my arse like alligators in a swamp. Sorry to those for whom the verficication system doesn' t work, but the spam is too much.

Jobs for the boys at the New Orleans Levees Board

Everything is under investigation in New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington DC, not least the New Orleans Levee Board, directly responsible for the bursting levees and rampantly corrupt--apparently spending taxpayers money on a casino, a private airport for its planes, and a private dock for its boats. In this story at Canada Free Press "Congressman, now Senator David Vitter [says] "corrupt, good old boy" practices were apparent in the New Orleans Levee Board just one year before the collapse of regional levees."

More here in a radio presentation by Charles Goyette about the jobs for the boys, and the political plums awarded to the political hacks on the Levees Board--a reward for raising money and getting their friends elected.

Why is it that people still want government in charge of anything important?

[UPDATE 1: Story on the Levees Board is approx. halfway through.]
[UPDATE 2: Where the Levees are: the BBC have a graphic showing what and where.]

'Nice' candidates at the GABA

The Gay Auckland Business Association last night hosted a candidates meeting at Auckland's Birdcage Hotel. Unsurprisingly, no Density or United candidate put their heads into the lion's den, but seven other candidates did.

All seven came across as nice people, but all but one were selling snake oil. Actually, all but one were nice: the exception was sitting Auckland Central MP and Minister in Charge of Helen Clark's Hand-Bag Judith Tizard, who bared her teeth when I asked her when Labour were going to stop putting their hand in my pocket to pay for their social programmes. "I'm sick of that argument," she snarled, "that taxation is theft." Good. It's one she's going to keep hearing. Tax apparently is the price I'm paying to be in civilization, and my tax has paid for her cancer treatment, so I'm just being selfish. So there you go.

Winston First's Susan Baragwanath was nice, and sharp, and clearly in the wrong party. She undertook if elected to persuade NZ First's bigots of the error of their ways. Good luck. She did however buy a Free Radical, so she does at least have the ammunition to help her in that task.

Andrew Bates from the Libertarianz told the audience that government should stay out of the boardroom, and out of the bedroom--a message that was well received. Less well received was the message that Libz have eight pages worth of departments and ministries that should be gone by lunchtime. Oh well. He did sign up two new Libz members who they said "had never heard anything like it." As we often say, people are deluded en masse, and enlightened two at a time... or something like that.

National's Pansy Wong was feisty but evasive. The good: New Zealanders needs to get government out of their lives. Woh! The bad: The best answers apparently appear on a postcard, she said. Hmmm. Nandor didn't have answers that would fit on a postcard, and despite trying to bore for Britain got the biggest hand of the night. Oh well.

Rodney Hide didn't win the night, but he did have the two best moments. Regressive candidate Trevor Barnard claimed he "felt the odd one out, I suspect I'm the only gay candidate up here." Shot back Rodney: "I haven't made my mind up yet." Asked later if he's seen Don Brash recently, he said he sees him often. "Not on TV," challenged his interlocutor. "Said Rodney: "I bet you do lots of things too, Sir that don't appear on television." "Not for want of trying."

Rodney was less light-footed when asked how he could call his party 'socially liberal' and the 'freedom party' when so many of his MPs voted against the Civil Union Bill. No answer. Rodney left early.

Independent candidate Thomas Forde (that's him above) finished the night with a graphic demonstration of what gives Winston Peters pleasure: he brought the house down. Come along to his bar Forde's Frontbench ("Auckland's answer to Wellington's Backbencher Pub" he claims) at 3pm on Sunday for the next Auckland Central instalment, at which I'll be putting my hand up for Libz.

The undecided voter

Cartoon by Richard McGrail, from the latest Free Radical. Subscribe here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

How would Libz handle coalition?

So Winston's going to sit on the fence about the coalition question, and trust that no-one notices the scars on his backside. Fortunately, the more he evades, the more irrelevant he becomes. The thing is, if he had principles he would be fine. How so? Let me explain by pointing out how I would see a Libertarianz caucus of six behaving in parliament. It would be unlike that of any other party, and something only a party of principle could manage.

First of all, we would declare that we would support every single measure of any party--every one--that advanced freedom by any degree, just AS LONG AS IT INVOLVED NO NEW COERCION. None. At all.

Simple. And who could be against that? This would offer certainty--absolute cast-iron assurance--to any politician themselves eager to take the state's foot off our throat, but too timid to go the whole way. And at the same time it would focus attention from politicians, media and commentators alike on what 'freedom' and 'coercion' actually look like.

Have a look yourself at those two links above defining 'freedom' and 'coercion'--if our support were needed, those definitions would become very well aired indeed, and once aired the question of why ANYONE would support any coercion would become a real one. Why would they? (More on this including more links here.)

Our support would not be bought by promises of paper tigers like a 'Freedom Commission' or a '2025 Office' whose recommendations would be ignored, but only by real, concrete gains in freedom and the inexorable, ratchet-like removal of state coercion.

This principled policy would over time bring about principled change.

Second, our caucus of six would not waste our time throwing mud in Parliament's chamber, asleep in Select Committees, or engaged in endless meetings in Bowen House and Bellamy's bar, none of which have done or can do any freedom movements any good at all.

We might open a shop-front MPs office on Lambton Quay, but of Bellamy's and Bowen House there'd be little seen.

We libertarians realise that if we are to effect any long-term change in New Zealand in the direction of freedom that cultural change is the real key to that change, and that being in parliament would simply offer another, higher-profile platform to help us effect that cultural change: A bully pulpit for the sort of revolution John Adams realised was the real revolution in the battle for America's independence, the one inside people's heads. “What do we mean by the Revolution?" asked Adams of Thomas Jefferson many years later. "The war? That was no part of the Revolution. It was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people, and this was effected from 1760 to 1775.”

The revolution our own country needs is the one inside people's heads, a revolution in which understanding of and a demand for liberty set brush fires in people's minds.

 How then would we use parliament to set the brush ablaze?

 By this means: What motivates libertarians across the country is the injustice and iniquity we see across the country. A property owner whose life's dream is taken away by bureaucrats and busybodies; a business owner ruined by Inland Revenue or red tape; a bar owner shut down for allowing people to smoke on his property; young people giving up and heading to Australia because of the suffocating nannyism that has taken wing in this formerly blessed country; a farmer whose farm is confiscated for having a hidden marijuana crop on it.

A caucus of libertarians would fan out across the country and put these people up on the steps of parliament and in front of the country's media and the faces of television viewers and say "LOOK!" "Look what your laws and regulations and bossiness and busybodying has done to this person. THIS is what your vote achieved: this person's ruin!"

 We wouldn't root out hidden scandals about what Cabinet Ministers did in a school room many years in the past, or about how fast a PM was driving, or about what the PM said to a journalist about a policeman... we'd highlight instead the scandals that are right out there in the open when these politicians go to work: the laws they pass, the coercion they empower, and the good people they are doing over. We'd highlight these iniquities, and we'd make sure everyone in the country knows that THEIR VOTE helped in the ruin of these people--YOUR vote--and we'd explain carefully and simply how the philosophy of libertarianism and the ideas of Jefferson, Rand, Mises, Locke (John), Blackstone et al would make such ruin by government a thing of history.

 All libertarian political activism is primarily about cultural change, not political change--as John Adams recognised, that is the real revolution.

 Are you up for it?

Grey Power meeting in Kerikeri

Julian has the news on yesterday's Keri Grey Power meeting here, including this 'soundbite':
During question time [says Julian], I upset quite a few busybodies and environmentalists by saying that an individual's property rights should be inviolable by the majority or by government. I used an example of the planned 7-storey building in the middle of Kerikeri, opposed by many in the area. I asked them whether, if they really objected so much to it, why don't they club together and buy the land?
They could then put an easement on it and re-sell it. Why do they feel the need to use the government as a gun to tell other people what they can do with their property? Didn't they realise that this makes it possible for the government to tell them what they can and can't do with their own property as well? At this stage I could see the eyes of a few farmers in the audience light up...

Have I got news for you

Have I got news for you? Sure have.

First, the good news. Angus Deayton's 'Have I Got News For You' (right) has been so sharp for so long that Touchdown's Julie Christie has just announced she is producing a local version of the news quiz for Prime TV, 'Out of the Question.' Now, the less good news: her top choices for panellist are Michael Laws, Paul Holmes and Mike Hosking (can anyone say "tired" and "witless"), hardly the cutting edge wit we got from Paul Merton, Ian Hislop and Deayton, which was sometimes so sharp they cut themselves.

Paul Holmes himself promises in the Dom a "lively, boisterous, honest exchange of wit and views"--presumably that will be on the evenings on which he is unavailable.

What does seem out of the question at this stage is using the razor wit oft produced by the cast of the local radio show 'Off the Wire,' itself loosely based on HIGNFY: Te Radar, Mike Loder, Russell Brown, Jo Cotton et al. Shame. Maybe they'll get themselves a slot if they promise to keep their humour confined to the ad breaks.

Aro Valley and Manukau candidates meetings

LibertyScott and Richard both have the run-down on the Aro Valley meeting--"THE candidates' meeting for Wellington Central every election"-- and I've got the report below of the Manukau meeting at which Susan the Libertarian had jaws dropping on the floor.

LibertyScott's summary of the Aro Valley evening (for which Richard has the pictures):
All in all a great evening out, a wonderful chance to heckle and hear some bloody quick witted remarks from an audience that was not QUITE as leftwing as at previous elections.
My correspondent's summation of Susan's presentation: "A riot."

[UPDATE: Gman has more pictures here of the Aro Valley meeting, with a report coming. DPF, Kakariki, and Keith Ng also have reports, although Keith's isn't exactly of the meeting itself, more about the aftermath.]
[UPDATE 2: Luke has more pictures of the Aro Valley meeting. You'd think that the thief would be on one of the photos, wouldn't you.]

New Poll: To whom do you send confidential emails

A new poll this morning over there on the sidebar (as always, vote early and vote often), and the results (below) of the last one. And let me just say that I can smell the uranium on the breath of all 143 of you, bless you. You make me proud to have you as my readers.

Pete Hodgson: Bully

Pete Hodgson (right) is facing police inquiries after apparently 'heavying' a woman protestor at Otago University today. Story here. She was apparently attempting to wave a "Speed Kills" sign behind Helen Clark when Hodgson grabbed her and "pinioned her arms" in order to keep the sign from the TV cameras.

ACT's Stephen Franks has already drawn parallels with Gerry Brownlee's heavyhandedness last election. Says Franks, who has promised to "help the woman in any court case":
On the basis of her statement to the police he's a goner. The law is simple. Any uninvited unwelcome and intentional touch can be an assault. Before the last election Labour wallowed in outrage when Gerry Brownlee shoved a man downstairs. My recollection is that the man had been abusive to Mr Brownlee. Mr Brownlee nevertheless apologised. The Hodgson incident is more sinister because it was done in cold blood to censor the protest and Hodgson refused to release her when asked. It seems that Mr Hodgson targeted the women after he was upset by the release of tennis balls alluding to his colleague Mr Benson-Pope.

The irony here is the name of the woman: Madeleine Flannagan (right). I look forward to ACT supporters now lionising one whom they demonised just a short while ago.

Postcard secrets

This is priceless: there is a site called Postsecret to which people mail postcards depicting their secret thoughts and obsessions.
The instructions [are] simple enough. 'You are invited to anonymously contribute a secret to a group art project. Your secret can be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire, confession or childhood humiliation. Be brief. Be legible. Be creative.'
Story here. Site here. Sample over there to the right. [Hat tip here: The Goodness]

Susan the Libertarian gives her report...

Hi everybody .. Elliot's provided a very good precis (below) of what happened last night. Not having done this before I wasn't sure what to expect; but I had my suspicions, all of which were founded. The audience of 60-70 constituted the party faithful; I don't think there was a single member of the public there who wasn't associated with some party.

The Destiny Church were there in full along with one solitary Act candidate from Pakuranga (no. 10 on the list) who spoke very well. Most people there were Maori & Pacific Islanders, many of whom were bellyaching about poverty, Maori seats and the usual communist crap. Good, I thought. Bring it on! Let's flush out the racists. (Which never takes long!)

I had to do a wee bit of last-minute editing due to their strict timekeeping - as I wanted to end on my terms, not theirs. I thought it went really well and I certainly had their attention! (The old ploy: grab them at the beginning and you've got them whether they like it or not!)

I was watching their faces all the way through. They were listening. I didn't pull any punches, but as there's only so much you can say in 6 mins, I just wanted to distinguish ourselves from all the others. Freedom v Nanny.

Unfortunately, nobody asked me a question at the end directly; the racists went on about the right's 'travesty' in trying to do away with the Maori seats. They really are deluded and, I suspect, very worried as they sense their days are numbered, hence the increasing vitriol. I was dying for someone to ask me that. I'd have bloody shot them down with both barrels.

However, I could contain myself no longer when the young woman, obviously opposed to Sue Bradford's proposed anti-smacking bill, posed the question (as per Elliot's report) to the Filipina United Future candidate, the latter of whom couldn't answer.

I just barged in (being blessed with a louder voice than most women!) and told everybody that ''I'm not politically correct, never was and I'm sure as hell not starting now! Sue Bradford's bill will create a Hitler Youth situation where kids inform on parents. No legislation will stop a mongrel from brutalising a child with a bit of 4x2 and if you think that it will, you're sillier than I thought you were. If someone can't tell the difference between a smack on the hand and brute force, they should be kept as far away from kids as possible because they're patently clueless. We already have laws that prohibit brute force .. we don't need anymore. This bloody country has a history of throwing more laws on poor laws, all of which is a waste of time. If you can wipe your own bums, sort out your own insurance and raise your kids to be decent people, you can do anything. You do not need interfering bloody bureaucrats to tell you want to do!"

The Destiny Church, the Maori Party & assorted Pacific Islanders all applauded .. one bloke with full moko (who prior to this had only shown interest in retaining the racist seats) suggested I join the Maori Party (!) Even the huge Pacific Island lady who had gone on ad nauseum about poverty within the PI community in Manurewa and what was the National Party candidate going to do about it, was right into my rave.

The only two who were not cheering were the caucasian Alliance & Green women, two deliciously unlovely communists. I was very happy to irritate them!

All in all, I recognised from the outset that I was up against it, so I just went for it. If nothing else, those people know about the Libertarianz now. Speech attached.


At a candidates meeting with Susan the Libertarian

A report in from the Manukau National Council of Women candidates meeting:

If you get invited to a National Council of Women meeting, my advice is to go to it. It's like visiting your Auntie. Club sandwiches, grapes, cheese and biscuits, wine, cups of tea....mmmmm. Go especially if Susan the Libertarian is speaking. It's a riot.

The Winston First candidate didn't turn up, and the Hard-Labour candidate had a man as a stand in - he was told by the meeting chairwoman to put on a dress before he spoke - and then it was nothing more than the usual Labour blather that we all know and love so dearly.

The Alliance Retard lady looked like Santa, with green and red curly ribbons around her neck. She spouted on about the usual distribution of wealth, minimum wages, "fairness", exploitation... need I go on? [No, Ed. This was probably Alliance Leader Jill Ovens: Head Santa]

The Density church leader Richard Lewis chewed through 3 minutes of his allocated 6 by prattling on about "Family Values" - all jolly nice warming decent stuff, that we all probably respect and understand, but also a bit like being attacked by a rabid blancmange. Basically, he said nothing. Too nice, too fluffy. Nothing of substance. Well, yes there was the odd Socialist reference in there, but all too sleep-inducing to worry about. His swastika was well-hidden beneath his nice suit and tie--not even a black tee-shirt to be seen. Later on he showed his true racist colours, by attacking the ACT candidate about Maori seats.

He then handed over the next 3 minutes to Density's Tamaki Makaurau candidate, Tauwehe Hemahema-Tamati who began grovelling to the assorted Maori attendees with references to ancestors and gods. More time wasted on tribal fluff.

The Green candidate was pathetic. She spent 5 of her 6 minutes showing us a PowerPoint slide show of carefully orchestrated shots of pollution and plastic bags. The final 1 minute was spent talking about pollution and plastic bags. Oh, and" fairness" and "inclusion" and giving money away--ours of course. Very nice.

She certainly didn't like my 2 questions later on: firstly about Sue Bradford's policy from the previous election, about the taxpayer being forced to support the indolent and those who were not interested in working even when work is available-- she wormed out of that one by expressing no knowledge of previous campaigns. My second question asked was if the avowedly anti-American Keith Locke had expressed public sympathy for the victims of the hurricane in the Southern U.S. region. "Oh, of course he has", was the reply, then "it's all because of lack of funding."

I see no press release of the sort on the Green website, so consider her (Irene Bentley?) to be a big fat greenie liar. (But I repeat myself.)

The Maori party fielded a large transvestite - Mama Tere Strickland - who spouted the usual separatism and independence-with-other-people's-money. There were glimpses of humour, and more references to ancestors and gods. The tribal mentality is alive and well in Manukau. Very careful to say "superannuation at 60 for those who have a shorter life-span", rather that "superannuation at 60 for the Tangata Whenua."

The ALCP speaker I felt sorry for. Her points were good - the usual reasons for legalising cannabis, reducing victimless crime, industries that would spring from the crop - clothing, fibre, motor oil, however she unfortunately threw in the race card, the victimisation of Maori and how they always get busted for possession, whereas the white / white collar person did not. That sort of made my interest wain, but I still accept that the bulk of her speech had valid points.

The ACT Pakuranga candidate Bronny Jacobson spoke well, but was grilled by the largely Maori and Polynesians audience over the ACT Party's lack of Maori candidates. It didn't seem to matter to them that ACT have an Indian or a Chinese candidate. No Maori = Racist!

The National Candidate, Fepulea'i Ulua'ipou-O-Malo Aiono, (I admit, I did cut and paste the name--just like Don Brash does)) shuffled like a nervous school girl when asked if she backed the removal of the Maori seats. We could see she didn't personally, but she said she had to be a team player, and that as a National candidate, had to support their abolition. No principles in that area, obviously. However, she firmly believed in a hand up, not a hand out. She was very proud of her Samoan parents coming to NZ, seeking a better life for their family, and even more proud of them not receiving a benefit when they did it. A very experienced, articulate and well travelled lady. Her CV is quite a read. Go to the National website.

Hurricane Susie then stepped up to the plate - unfortunately the meeting organiser couldn't pronounce "Libertarianz," (how many can?) but nevertheless, Susie made it quite clear who she represented. Her opening line was followed by the sound of 60 jaws hitting the ground:
Hello, I'm Susan Ryder, and I'm representing the Libertarianz Party. Now, before we start, I'd like you all to give me your wallets please. Your wallets, please - Now! - give them to me!
Even I was gobsmacked. She made the pertinent points about government theft, taxation, regulation and interference. Susie basically spent six minutes saying "the Government can bugger off out of my life," and the applause at the end of her speech indicated that what she had said impressed people. Although with only six minutes to speak, I'm not sure they all fathomed just how far Susie wanted the Government to bugger off!

Six minutes sounds like a long time, especially if you're the speech writer, but when you have a great orator like Susie, those minutes just fly by.

As always Question Time provided the most fun. A young lady questioned the United Future candidate, Hannah Baral, about United's support of the anti-smacking legislation and her concerns that if she disciplined her child in a shopping mall she could end up in jail. Ms Baral obviously didn't have a clue. Susie then launched into the topic - "defending parent's rights! government busybodies! utter bullshit! if you can wipe your own bum, you can raise kids! bad laws, followed by stupid laws!" - it almost had me on the floor!

Susie received approving noises, and 'kia ora's' and light applause from around the room. The greenie candidate was looking at the floor - her taut mouth indicated she had been sucking on a lemon, and obviously did not like this one little bit. Oh dear! It might upset Ms Bradford!

Predictably, the Commie-Santa was a believer in the socialist mantra: "nanny state knows what's best for your children." During Mount Susie's small eruption, the Communist-Alliance Santa tried to butt in, however our Susie told her to "bloody well shut up - you've had your turn", and continued.

The Density Church people even approved of her speech. She even gave one of our Libz brochures to a Density church member. Cheeky. Love it.

[UPDATE: Susan's speech is online here. Make sure your jaw is safely wired shut before you read it.]