Thursday, September 10, 2009

“Leave Us the Hell Alone!”

Do you like your day job?  I do.  My day job is designing people’s houses – or as I like to call it, building people’s dreams.  How could you not like that?

You know what I don’t like most about my job?  I don’t like all the nannying bastards who get the hell in the way of my clients’ dreams, and my working day.

Days spent trying to get a flower instead of a weed out of the system. Days wasted trawling through gobs of rules to produce truckloads of paperwork for bureaucrats who can’t understand it when they see it -- and when they do see it they decide that they’ve got their own rules anyway, so they want more.  Days spent arguing on the phone with delicious bastards absolutely disinterested in anything getting done, telling me yesterday’s paperwork is no good because the bastard has changed his mind about what’s required. (I have several broken phones as testament to how these conversations went.)

People often ask me why I spend so much time on blogging and on activism.  I’ll tell you why. It’s because this stuff gets so far up my nose that if I didn’t try to beat the bastards back somehow I’d go postal. Who the hell wouldn’t?

Do you ever feel like that?  Mad as hell and not going to take it any more?  Feel like yelling “Leave us the hell alone!” Then read this tremendous rant from someone who has.

You might call it A Day in the Life of a Subject:

    “This morning I woke up on my "don't remove the tag" mattress, walked through my building code compliant house, used the federally compliant toilet, dressed the kids and drove them to their "state certified" charter school where they'll eat a state approved lunch.
    “I got back in my state registered, emissions compliant, insured (by state requirement) car and drove the legal speed limit back to the house. I then walked through my Scottsdale code compliant yard (no weeds in our "desert" landscaping")into the house, drank pasteurized (USDA required) juice, and ate cereal processed in an inspected facility with milk from an USDA compliant dairy. I then took my FDA approved prescription pills (from a licensed pharmacy of course) and played with the state-licensed dogs. . .”

Read on here. [Hat tip Crusader Rabbit] It’s a rant for everyone who’s ever been pissed off by Nanny.

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46 Comments:

Blogger Greig McGill said...

I saw this on your twitter feed this morning PC. It summed up exactly what's wrong with this damn world. The perfect rant.

9/10/2009 11:32:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Yeah, what makes it all even worse is that the world is filled with statist meddling, capitalism is shackled hand and foot, yet when things go tits up it's always capitalism or "deregulation" that get the blame!

Aaargh!

9/10/2009 11:37:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

"Do you ever feel like that? Mad as hell and not going to take it any more? Feel like yelling “Leave us the hell alone!”

Oh yes. Yes indeed. There's a certain tree of liberty that urgently needs watering right now....

And many thanks for the link PC. :-)

9/10/2009 01:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe if you took the majority of everyday people, they would think exactly like you. The problem is the government bureaucrats, commissions and lobby groups.

Think back to the smacking referendum. 85% general population have 1 view while Families Commission, Bernadoes, CYPS, etc all have an opposite view that does not reflect society.

Saw an idiot last night on the news fronting a new anti liquor lobby. He was frothing all about how we need to ban this and ban that and regulate this.

Trouble is that the people who make decisions do not consult you and me, they consult with and within themselves. I have never been asked my opinion on anything. I lie - I voted in the smacking referendum and John Key said he would ignore me anyway. GRRRR

9/10/2009 02:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Michael Jackson already said the same thing almost 20 years ago.

9/10/2009 02:30:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

There's a certain tree of liberty that urgently needs watering right now....

I'm sure you mean Jefferson's quote "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

Timothy McVeigh was wearing a shirt that carried Jefferson's words when he commited the worst act of terrorism in America's history.

Not surprising you support that sort of thing - and you have the gall to call me a fascist on other sites. Someone emailed me saying you are a neo-nazi thug.

May we ALWAYS remember to be cautious with the history we fail to understand.

9/10/2009 03:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

"I believe if you took the majority of everyday people, they would think exactly like you. The problem is the government bureaucrats, commissions and lobby groups."

Quite so - In regione caecorum rex est luscus - In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.

9/10/2009 03:19:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"Not surprising you support that sort of thing - and you have the gall to call me a fascist on other sites. Someone emailed me saying you are a neo-nazi thug."

lolol! Someone eh..that mythical someone....if you want to call me something wee Wuthie, at least have the guts to do it yourself rather than attribute it to an anonymous, unknown, probably mythical person.
And if a love of liberty makes me a neo-Nazi then I happily plead guilty--after all, I'm in very fine company.
By the way--Oklahoma city wasn't "the worst act of terrorism in America's history". That happened on 9/11 in case you've forgotten.
And Wacol and Ruby Ridge were also acts of terrorism committed by the U.S. Government.

What was it you babbled again? Oh yes.."
May we ALWAYS remember to be cautious with the history we fail to understand."

Fuckwittery is amusing but displaying it publicly is unseemly, especially from one of Key's anal hygiene team.

9/10/2009 05:15:00 pm  
Blogger Kiwiwit said...

Christ, I know what its like. I also have to deal with the bastards every day. Going postal looks a pretty good option at the moment - especially now we've all realised our new government is just the old one in drag (actually John Key as Helen Clark in drag is pretty funny, now I think of it!).

9/10/2009 05:21:00 pm  
Blogger Shane Pleasance said...

It's my response when asked of my political aspirations; I just want to be left the fuck alone.

9/10/2009 06:27:00 pm  
Blogger Ruth said...

I already know a lot about you KG - because you have been reported to the American Embassy along with Perigo because of your death threats against the President. You are a potential security risk for American interests like Citibank NA in NZ.

That one American terrorist McVeigh was and is the biggest American mass murderer in American history. Don't get mad at the truth!

9/10/2009 06:44:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

bawaahahaha! In the first place Wuth, I somehow doubt you're privy to American intelligence operations. In fact, not to put too fine a point on it I believe you are a liar and/or a fantasist.
Secondly, demonstrate please for the benefit of other readers where I have ever made a "death threat" against Obambi.
You can't, because I haven't.

"That one American terrorist McVeigh was and is the biggest American mass murderer in American history."
Aaah..so now you clarify/change/lie about what you said, which was:
"..when he commited the worst act of terrorism in America's history."
Not quite the same thing, is it?
If you wish to attack me, here's a useful tip: Try to at least be honest and accurate--it really helps. :-)

9/10/2009 06:54:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Ruth, what exactly are you trying to say?

Because, to the best of my knowledge, rather few libertarians want to go and kill 168 people (including a number of children in a day centre) in Oklahoma City.

On the other hand, are you trying to say that it's wrong to be angry about the current state of nanny-statism in NZ (and worldwide)?

9/10/2009 09:34:00 pm  
Blogger Danyl said...

Here's a question PC - have you ever lived in a country that didn't have central and local government bureaucracy? I have - your day goes something like this:

Wake up and walk through my house that's leaking like a sieve because there are no building codes or industry qualifications. Have a cold shower because there's no central body regulating the power industry so there's no continuity of supply. Use my toilet that flushes all my sewerage directly into the street because there aren't any public health regulations preventing me and its cheaper to build it that way. Drive my kids to the local religious school because thats the only affordable education in the area, where they'll eat a meal that may or may not give them food poisoning because there's no body that has oversight into hygine. Get back into my car that is not emissions compliant because there is no such thing, drive through pollution so bad it looks like thick brown fog. Avoid the packs of stray, starving dogs outside my house because there's no animal registration or control . . .

I'm not saying New Zealand is perfect, but I'd be amused by your reaction to the low government alternative offered by, say, Patna, or Lagos.

9/11/2009 07:55:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

Danyl, do you think it's possible your house might have been leaking like a sieve cos you were too bloody lazy to get out a hammer and nails and do something about it?

9/11/2009 08:32:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

Danyl, do you think it's possible your house might have been leaking like a sieve cos you were too bloody lazy to get out a hammer and nails and do something about it?

Oh to live in Galt's Gulch where everyone spends their spare time machine tooling their own roof tiles . . .

9/11/2009 10:05:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

So you're justifying the levels of bureaucracy (as per the article) that currently suffocate most of the first world, by comparing life in the third world?

And with the exception of the bit about the 'religious' school, you've just described life in an Eastern European village before the Wall came down.

Are you suggesting those delightful spots were short on bureaucracy?

You're not totally wrong, though. Of course NZ's not perfect. It's socialist.

9/11/2009 10:15:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

And with the exception of the bit about the 'religious' school, you've just described life in an Eastern European village before the Wall came down.

Are you suggesting those delightful spots were short on bureaucracy?


Yes, the Soviet states had terrible local government and basically no regulatory oversight. You seriously think they had emissions control or building regulations? If you said bad things about the government you were in trouble but if you were an architect who (say) wanted to build apartments that had no fire escapes or sprinkler systems the state was more than happy to leave you the hell alone.

9/11/2009 10:27:00 am  
Blogger vet said...

@ Sus: I think you may be overlooking the fact that the linked rant is set in America, not NZ. The country where they're so suspicious of Nanny State that they routinely take guns to political meetings.

And see how that's working out for them.

Like it or not, bureaucracy is the price of civilisation. Always has been, ever since Hammurabi invented the whole idea of "laws". Danyl is quite right: you don't like it, try living in Africa for a while.

9/11/2009 10:32:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Danyl:
"You seriously think they had emissions control or building regulations?"

Of course they didn't.

But they *did* have central control, which you support (in opposition to the article's author). Which is the material point.

Vet:
Bureaucracy the price of civilisation? Jesus, we *are* fucked!

Civilisation, by definition, is civil. Or peaceful.

Bureaucracy, on the other hand, is a form of force .. which is decidedly unpeaceful.

Much better to allow people to make their own arrangements, don't you think?

After all, Danyl's beloved bureaucracy & regulations saw how many leaky homes offically signed off during the 90's?

9/11/2009 10:42:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

And why the hell would I want to live in Africa with all those despots?

Surely you've just shot your own argument, Vet: the world's worst hellholes are the same countries in which people's freedoms are virtually non-existent. You think bureaucracy *prevents* that sort of horror?

Surely we should be working to reduce bureaucracy, not justify or increase it.

If the key to prosperity and success, etc was regulation and central control, the former Soviet Union would have been Paradise.

9/11/2009 10:48:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

"Oh to live in Galt's Gulch where everyone spends their spare time machine tooling their own roof tiles . . ."

It's hardly a utopian suggestion. When my roof was leaking I didn't sit down and bitch about the government not looking after me enough, I got up there and squirted Selleys All Clear in the holes until it wasn't leaking any more. Forcing your neighbour to pay for your laziness or poor decision making is not just morally wrong, it makes you both poorer over the long term.

9/11/2009 10:55:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

Here's the flaw in your argument Sus - every single civilisation has regulation and central planning, so it's pretty safe to say that the problem with the soviet states was not that they had these things, but with the kind of planning and regulation that they had.

It's hardly a utopian suggestion. When my roof was leaking I didn't sit down and bitch about the government not looking after me enough, I got up there and squirted Selleys All Clear in the holes until it wasn't leaking any more. Forcing your neighbour to pay for your laziness or poor decision making is not just morally wrong, it makes you both poorer over the long term.

I'm the kind of person that also fixes simple problems around the home, so that little moral isn't very powerful in this instance. Let's take another example:

I'm about to get gas central heating installed in my home. Because I'm not a libertarian I'm too lazy to become an expert gas fitter and do it myself, so I'll hire someone else to do it. Since I don't really want my house to blow up or be gassed to death in my sleep I'd better pick the right person.

Now, who should I go for - someone who has a government approved qualification and is registered with the appropriate authority and follows all the regulatory guidelines, or someone who doesn't worry about red tape and getting all those stupid little details right, and just wants everyone to leave him the hell alone?

9/11/2009 11:03:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

How about someone with a reputation for doing good work?

9/11/2009 11:04:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

How about someone with a reputation for doing good work?

That's what I've done, but this is a hypothetical argument - so let's say I'm new in Galt's Gulch.

9/11/2009 11:10:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

You have a tongue in your head, Dan. Ask around.

Isn't that what you do when you move to a new area re restaurants, hairdressers, plumbers, etc?

I've lived in many countries -- and that's what I've always done.

9/11/2009 11:26:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

"Now, who should I go for - someone who has a government approved qualification and is registered with the appropriate authority and follows all the regulatory guidelines ..."

Which brings us right back to the leaky homes ...

Dare I say that your argument has holes, Dan? ;)

9/11/2009 11:27:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

" .. every single civilisation has regulation and central planning, so it's pretty safe to say that the problem with the soviet states was not that they had these things, but with the kind of planning and regulation that they had."

Ah, I get it.

It's not the drinking; it's *how* we're drinking!

9/11/2009 11:29:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

Amusing as it is to see you guys twist and turn to avoid the question I'm afraid I insist: no one you know has any advice. You have two choices - which is it? The one that is simple common sense but refutes your whole argument, or the option that fits perfectly with your libertarian worldview but you'd never actually take in real life? (You see what I did there?)

9/11/2009 11:31:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Twist & turn to avoid the question?

You mean the bona fide example of the leaky homes drowning your theory?

9/11/2009 11:35:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

And since when has "simple common sense" been synonymous with imposition of bureaucracy, ie force?

You gotta hand it to authoritarian newspeak!

9/11/2009 11:38:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...


You mean the bona fide example of the leaky homes drowning your theory?


1. The leaky buildings were about deregulation of standards around building materials.

2. Besides which, I'm not saying that regulation is perfect and will never have problems, just better than the alternative.

So if you like, who will probably do the better job, the qualified guy or the leave-me-the-hell-alone guy?

9/11/2009 11:39:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

You could choose by seeing which one had a certificate from an industry organisation that you trust (say a gasfitters guild) saying that the person had fulfilled their standards of training. It doesn't have to be a government organisation, and many aren't, and the work isn't necessarily any better once it's been ticked by some state imposed functionary.

There are many examples of this sort of thing working, especially in the building industry to fill the inexplicable hole caused by govt regulations still not guaranteeing quality building work.

9/11/2009 11:39:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

Danyl, you're attempting to force a false choice through increasingly conditional and arbitrary arguments.

You are making the following assumptions:

1. That the regulated party actually does quality work, as opposed to just complying with minimal regs, or is incapable of doing poor work just because they have a certificate. As Sus pointed out above, regulation does NOT prevent leaky building problems.

2. That the unregulated party does poor quality work, despite the fact that if this were the case, they would not remain in business very long, as word would get around and nobody would deal with them.

Refusing to answer a question which is extremely unrealistic and is posed simply to force an answer you want to hear is not "twisting and turning to avoid it", it's simply not wanting to misrepresent ourselves as idiots by answering something which is a false choice and really CAN'T be answered honestly.

Also, please consider dropping the sarcasm, and focus on the debate, should you actually wish to have it.

9/11/2009 11:41:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Thanks for the response which came through the same time as TW's note, whose comment matches my own belief.

You're correct re point 1, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that a *state official* signed off the houses.

I've been working in the health sector for last 14+ years. The degree of ineptitude by the health bureaucrats -- none of whom are accountable; by the time their fucked-up theories have been proven disastrous, they're long gone -- is staggering. I'm leaving shortly and I shan't miss it for a second.

9/11/2009 11:49:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

I reject the assertion that I'm giving you a false choice - what I'm doing is giving you a real world application of your argument that makes your argument look foolish, so you've decided to pretend it's a false choice.

9/11/2009 11:51:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

"1. The leaky buildings were about deregulation of standards around building materials."

Including the green-is-best, anti-nasty chemicals, etc school of thought.

9/11/2009 11:55:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

I just went back and read your initial comment. You've been answered -- emphatically -- numerous times since.

Which country was it, by the way?

9/11/2009 11:57:00 am  
Blogger Greig McGill said...

Reject it all you like. I'm certainly not wasting more time on this. I've explained why.

9/11/2009 11:58:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

"I'm afraid I insist: no one you know has any advice."

I'm afraid I insist: why the hell wouldn't they? Were they living under a rock as well?

"The leaky buildings were about deregulation of standards around building materials."

You have got to be kidding. All those failed building materials were certified by BRANZ -- the government testing laboratory.

All those systems were certified by the Building Industry Authority -- at that time the largest building bureaucracy the country had seen, now shut down because it was so abjectly unable to do the job it had taken on, replaced by the Department of Building and Housing who are different only in a) being bigger, and b) having a different name.

And by the way, the courts have decided that neither of these entities could be sued, by anybody -- bureaucrats are above the law, you know -- so the consequences of their mistakes and misdirections are now being visited upon the licensed and unlicenses, the registered and the unregistered, all of whom built and designed houses on the basis that the materials and standards were "certified," and all of whom now suffer the consequence of that false sense of security.

But if you still think the leaky buildings were about deregulation of standards, and you agree that a picture speaks a thousand words, then how do you explain this.

In the end, I can only agree with Frank Lloyd Wright, who know a thing or two himself about building:

"The building codes of the democracies embody, of course, only what the previous generation knew, or thought they knew, about building..."

9/11/2009 11:59:00 am  
Blogger Danyl said...

Thanks for playing. Next!

9/11/2009 12:00:00 pm  
Blogger Danyl said...

I'm as likely to convince a libertarian that deregulation was the problem as I am to convince a babtist that Jesus ain't coming. There's an overwhelming correlation between the deregulation of the industry in '91 and the proliferation of leaky homes. The fact that the government agencies supposed to have oversight failed to do their jobs isn't an argument against government agencies, its an argument against incompetent government agencies.

And looking back I see that no one has answered my original question about living in a country without robust governence.

The reason I ask is because I used to be a libertarian (I was very young and silly then) and when I was backpacking though Asia and the Middle East I often found myself saying things like:

'They should put up street signs so people could find their way around.'

'They should stop people from piping their sewerage directly into the street.'

'They should do something about the increible levels of pollution.'

'They should do something about the packs of wild dogs everywhere.'

And realised that what I meant by 'they' was government. When you're living in a country with good local government you don't stop and appreciate how nice it is not to be wading through raw sewerage when you step out of the house, or be woken up every night by packs of savage dogs fighting in the streets, so we only see the bad, irritating dimensions of councils, governments etc.

9/11/2009 12:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Simon said...

I have spent a lot of time in South Korea and know the country reasonably well. The conditions that Danyl described could be South Korea 1960. Eight years after the end of the Korean war the country was still a mess. Used to be a lot of rats there.

In 1960 there was a military coup and an army administration took over the South Korean government. The military admin basically built the country up from scratch (1960 it was the poorest country in the world) of which development of the Chaebol system (govt / ptve partnership) played a key roll.

The people of South Korea turned the country around but the government got the basic functions going that people were able to work through.

9/11/2009 12:54:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Danyl & Simon,

The third-world troubles of which you speak are the product of poverty and lack of government.

I'm in favour of neither.

Further, Danyl, you say that you'll never "convince a libertarian that deregulation was the problem." But you haven't tried to. You've simply asserted it, to which I pointed out that we haven't had deregulation. Quite the reverse.

In any case, just as I'm not an anarchist, neither am an anti-regulationist. I'm all for laws and regulations that protect me from you and you from me -- that protect the property and the reputation of good people, and that punish thieves and fraudsters when they appear.

But we ain't got that. I say again, we have the reverse.

9/11/2009 01:15:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"The fact that the government agencies supposed to have oversight failed to do their jobs isn't an argument against government agencies, its an argument against incompetent government agencies."
Echoes of that immature argument: "there's nothing wrong with Communism, just the way it was applied."

ANY argument against government agencies is an argument against incompetent agencies--because they're incompetent by nature.

9/11/2009 04:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Sinner said...

The third-world troubles of which you speak are the product of poverty and lack of government.


Nope! Wrong again PC. Because there are very very nice bits of the "Third World" that do not have rats in the streets, do not have open sewers, do not have pollution, do not have crime, etc etc etc". The problem is poverty, pure and simple.


The question is what do we do about poverty. The government / left solution is that we Take from the deserving to give to the undeserving. So the poor get their sewers, live long, have more babies, who carry on being poor, etc etc etc.


The simple fact of the matter is that if Otara had packs of wild dogs running down the middle of an open sewer in the street, NZ's economic performance would be far better than it is now. What's more, any realistic plan for improving NZ's economy performance should ensure that open sewer goes back into Otara and anywhere else people aren't productive enough to pay for their own "civilisation".. Like Lambton Quay, for example.

10/02/2009 03:04:00 pm  

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