Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath ransacks the newspapers again for stories on issues affecting our freedom. This week: Creech, credit cards and Christ-deniers.
- Atheists claim bias over rejection of ‘No God’ ads – NZ Bus (which appears to be what was Stagecoach, now owned by Infratil) has rejected an offer by a group calling itself NZ Atheist Bus Campaign to run God-denying ads on the sides of its buses. The NZ Atheist Bus Campaign is now contemplating legal action against the bus company, calling the rejection “discriminatory”. And you know what? They’re dead right. It is discriminatory.
These days the term ‘discriminatory’ has gathered such negative associations that it is often used as an insult or an accusation. In fact, to discriminate literally means to distinguish or differentiate; in this case, the bus company has made a distinction between advertising it wants to run on its vehicles and advertising it chooses not to feature .
As owners of the buses, NZ Bus has the perfect right to reject any or all advertising on its buses. The issue here is not only one of property rights; it involves understanding what freedom of speech entails. Freedom of speech does not mean a person can demand a microphone, a loudhailer or the side of a bus from someone else who owns it in order to propagate their beliefs (or in this case, lack of belief). The NZ Atheist Bus Campaign simply needs to find a billboard somewhere else, and to drop any thoughts of legal action against those who own the buses.
They need to realise that others are under no obligation to run their ads.
- Creech wrong for water review, say Greens – Greens leader Russel Norman says former Nat deputy PM Wyatt Creech has too much of a conflict of interest in leading a review of water management in Canterbury. And Mr Norman certainly has a point, with Mr Creech being a director of a dairy company. A “polluting” dairy company.
Just as Mr Norman must consider himself a “polluting” human. I wonder if he purchases carbon credit for the CO2 he emits every time he exhales, a gas that the green lobby keeps telling us is “poisonous”. Except to plant life, that is.
Anyway, Mr Creech and his review team recommended replacing Environment Canterbury with a team of commissioners. Environment Canterbury is another regional council monopoly, with responsibility for such things as monitoring pollution, irrigation schemes, local parks and enforcing the Resource Management Act. Unfortunately governments have a poor track record at preserving the environment in the command-and-control fashion prescribed under that piece of legislation, the prime examples being the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, and the degradation of large areas of East Germany through neglect and pollution by the governing Socialist Unity Party, unchecked by any possible recourse to property rights by the citizenry.
I say well done, Mr Creech. Many of the functions of Environment Canterbury would be rendered redundant if people were held accountable for their actions and could more easily pursue claims for damages. If people were permitted to use their land for productive purposes, as long as they were not harming others the government should take no interest – hence the Resource Management Act could be abolished, with recourse to common law precedent in settling disputes.
The legal system needs to be made cheaper and easier so that justice is not delayed (and thereby denied). Such things as irrigation schemes should be managed by mutual consent between neighbouring properties, not the nightmare of eminent domain. The educational activities of Environment Canterbury could be privatized and run by those with an interest in preserving clean air and waterways, funded voluntarily.
All these layers of state bureaucracy – national, regional and local government – must be coercively bankrolled through taxation.
The Libertarianz Party believes there has to be a better way for people to interact – in peaceful co-existence, not with government seizing an ever-increasing fraction of our earnings to build empires of bureaucrats who might mean well, but who stifle productivity and frustrate those who genuinely want to achieve and succeed with the limited resources at their disposal.
- Ministers sorry for credit card spending – Sorry?! Don’t make me laugh!! Three senior cabinet ministers have proven themselves unable to adhere to the strict guidelines for use of the taxpayer-funded credit card. These same people are part of a government that oversees a multi-billion dollar budget. Do you trust them to be able to control their spending urges with this money? Do you trust them to be able to live within their means, or will they rack up further deficits, to be paid for by our children and grand-children?
But what can you expect from a generation whose main economic influences were Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes? When you are told incessantly that spending money you don’t have is a recipe for prosperity-- as in Greece -- as in other soon-to-be-revealed European basketcase economies -- as in the United States –– then after a while you start to believe it.
It’s so easy, and great fun, spending other people’s money. And if the coffers are running low, just bump up the rate of GST! Fifteen percent is for wimps. Roll on twenty! Hell, the Tories in Britain are planning to do just that.
The credit-card spending of these specimens is just an example in microcosm of their attitude to spending in macrocosm.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny - when the government fear the people, there is liberty.
- Thomas Jefferson