- Mt Albert By-election Candidates Named – The fifteen contestants for the vacant Mt Albert electorate seat were named yesterday. There are three independent candidates, and no New Zealand First presence. Apparently NZF are going to wait until there are demonstrations in the streets demanding the return of Winston before they test the waters in a by-election. Might be a long time between drinks, guys.
The mainstream parties have wheeled in some big guns – Labour have flown their carpetbagger in from the Middle East, National have scourge-of-South-Auckland-burglars Melissa Lee and the Greens have co-leader Russel Norman standing. I hope Russel rides his bike to Auckland, or catches the Overlander train (for which his party fought so hard to keep taxpayer subsidies) every time he comes up from Wellington, rather than flying. Student candidate Jackson Wood also hails from Wellington. Last election, Russel only turned up to a few candidate meetings in Wellington (or was it only one meeting, Russel?). United Future are standing their party president. There are some gimmick parties – Bill and Ben, People’s Choice, People Before Profit, Human Rights.
Then there are the more earnest, principled representatives of established parties – ACT, the fledgling Kiwi Party, the one-issue Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, and Libertarianz.
The Libz candidate is Julian Pistorius, who at least lives in Auckland, and who is fighting for the rights of hundreds of homeowners currently threatened by government theft of their land for a new motorway. The Greens, on the other hand, who wring their hands and cry crocodile tears, want to steal land from the residents of Mt Albert so they can play with Michael Cullen’s train set.
- Investigation at Named Pig Farm – No-one likes to see animals mistreated. But let’s get this straight: animals do not have rights. Their actions are not based on a process of conceptualization, reason, ethics and a sense of morality. Their survival depends on instinctual reaction and physical attributes such as sharp eyesight and muscular strength. They are not capable of respecting the individual rights of a human. Thus, it would be absurd to accord them the same rights that humans – who, by virtue of their capacity for reason and the fact that their actions are chosen, possess rights.
Having said that, the images of pigs cramped into very confined quarters were disturbing to many people. But the sensible way to approach this is via the free market: if people really want their meat from well-treated sources, then animal welfare agencies could request access to all farms, ask to inspect the farms, and award a grade depending on how they like each farm according to their own criteria. Other organizations could do the same, and consumers could choose whose farm they wanted to support with their disposable income. Animal mis-treaters and those who refused to allow inspection of their farms could be publicised online or in mailouts, billboards, advertisements, etc. A tick from the animal welfare agencies might be a positive selling point. But the process has to be voluntary and self-funding, not another millstone around the taxpayer’s neck.
- Wakefield Health Surges – Amid the doom and gloom of the economic correction, there is news that a private hospital operator has increased revenue by 10 per cent, and profit by 40 per cent. Looks like people are waking up to the fact that public hospitals are death-traps. Last week my daughter waited five hours to be seen in such a place, with what could have been a serious surgical condition. When we were eventually discharged, there were people in the waiting room who had been there for eight hours and still hadn’t been seen. In other hospitals, waiting times of more than 24 hours are common. If this happened in a private hospital, its company directors would have their entrails torn out at the next AGM by enraged shareholders. And that’s just one of the differences: accountability.
- Depression Analysis Also Applies To Climate Change – American jurist and “scholar” Richard Posner has just published a book on the causes of the current recession called A Failure of Capitalism. He blames the asset bubbles on “uncertainty about the possible effects of major innovations.” He ignores the regulation that distorted markets, particularly in residential property, instead blaming deregulation. If only!
There is ample evidence to suggest that regulation -- for example, that under the Clinton administration which forced banks to lend money to high risk customers – had a lot to do with the current state of the world economy. Posner regards political reaction to alleged anthropogenic global warming as “taking insurance out against a potentially catastrophic risk.” The precautionary principle, in other words. Nothing evidence-based, of course, just scare-mongering and superstition, in the absence of hard facts and objective science. But that, my friends, is all the anti-freedom global warming alarmists can offer us.
See y’all next week!