Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Declaration of “rights” to subsidised separatism [update 3]

My what a brown nose you have
As you may have noticed, the Government you voted for has signed you up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—something Helen Clark herself was opposed to, citing fears it would create “two classes of citizenship and … give indigenous people veto rights over laws made by Parliament.”

But we already have two legal classes of  citizen, don’t we—something confirmed by Doug Graham when, as Minister in Charge of Treaty Capitulations, he told taxpayers, “The sooner we realise there are laws for one and laws for another, the better."

So one law for all is officially dead. Pita Sharples grand-standing announcement merely throws another shovelful of dirt on that particular colour-blind aspiration.


Instead, we now have another aspiration. One endorsed by your government without any conditions whatsoever, despite John Key’s insistence that the Declaration itself is “aspirational and non-binding.”
Now naturally, Hone Harawira and co have a different view.  Hone has already been on radio insisting the Declaration will be used to support a gravy train of claims for other people’s property, and for truckloads of taxpayers’ money—and one suspects he speaks for many others when he says that, including those who will sit in judgement on such claims.

And Mai Chen, eager to get in on the gravy, insists the declaration will “have an impact.”
   "‘Declarations … are international obligations and they do form part of the backdrop, the context within which courts do interpret, but it's not just courts its the Waitangi Tribunal and its also direct negotiations… [T]he entire country would appear to fall within the scope of the article, and [the text of the Declaration] generally takes no account of the fact that the land might be occupied or owned legitimately by others.’
    “Ms Chen said the Declaration would "shape" Maori expectations in negotiations.”
And the Declaration itself begins by affirming its “good faith in the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by States in accordance with the Charter.”

So one suspects that this government signing up to the Declaration is going to involve more than just a little “aspirational” window-dressing.

So what does it contain?  It should be no surprise to find that a UN Declaration with “rights” in the title contains a welter of manufactured “rights” that do over real ones.  And if it were simply an enumeration of genuine rights—rights to life, liberty, free speech, the pursuit of property and happiness—it would hardly need the modifier “rights of indigenous people” added to it, as if by virtue of their indigeneity some individuals are more endowed with rights than others.

As if to confirm that, The Declaration’s preamble talks about being “the basis for a strengthened partnership between indigenous peoples and States”—affirming as clearly as one could that “there are laws for one & laws for another.”

It speaks of affirming to “peoples their right to self-determination”—ignoring that such a right pertains only to individuals, not to a collective.

And the Declaration itself outlines specific “rights” which it says shall be upheld by “the States” who have affirmed it:
  • “the right [of indigenous people] to freely determine their political status”
Which “right” is a recipe for separatism.
  • “the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs”
Which “right” is a guarantee that separatism will be upheld by “the State.”
  • “the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture… States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for [this]”
Which “right” requires the State to subsidise for ever whatever parts of indigenous culture claimants will assert are being destroyed.
  • “the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned”
The “right” to subsidised separatism, in whatever form of tribalism that will manifest itself.
  • “the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.”
A “right” to the subsidised education of tribalism and mysticism, and to the re-naming of New Zealand.
  • “States shall … take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children… to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language.”
The “right” to kohanga reo for ever.
  • “the right to establish their own media in their own languages”
The “right” to Maori TV for ever.
  • “the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.”
  • “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.”
The explicit creation of two classes of citizenship, and the “right” to veto that Helen Clark was so concerned about.
  • “the right … to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security.
    States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions…”
The “right” to special racist welfare.
  • “the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources”
The “right” to dream up a new basis of land claim for any part of New Zealand whatsoever.
  • the right "to own use, develop or control lands and territories they have traditionally owned, occupied or used"
As New Zealand's former permanent representative to the UN, diplomat Rosemary Banks, says “the entire country was potentially caught within the scope of that article. ‘The article appears to require recognition of rights to lands now lawfully owned by other citizens, both indigenous and non-indigenous ... Furthermore, this article implies indigenous peoples have rights that others do not.’"
  • “the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equitable compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.”
Providing the basis for a whole new cycle of claimants to ride a new gravy train.
I could go on, but I suspect you already get the point. 
This is simply a whole litany of bogus “rights” with which the Hone Harawiras and Tame Itis of this country will have a field day.  For them and their lawyers, this is like Christmas in April.

The affirmation of these bogus rights is John Key writing a blank cheque on taxpayers to buy the Maori Party for a generation. And just in case you think this isn’t the sound of someone putting their hand in your pocket, take a look at Article 39
    “Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.”
The Declaration is nothing less than a manifesto for subsidised separatism.
As Ayn Rand said of a similar list of entitlements “rights”:
    “A single question added to each of the above eight clauses would make the issue clear: At whose expense?     “[These so-called rights] do not grow in nature. These are man-made values—goods and services produced by men. Who is to provide them?     “If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.     “Any alleged "right" of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.”
Take note here that “The State” itself has no money of its own—every dollar must first be taken from others. The bogus “rights” affirmed here, to which New Zealand is now a signatory, require of taxpayers that they provide a cradle-to-grave ATM machine for whatever tribalists want, including the property of taxpayers, creating “two classes of citizenship and … giving indigenous people veto rights over laws made by Parliament,” just as Helen Clark feared it would.

One law for all is officially dead.

And parliament’s One-Law-For-All party?  The party propping up a government giving tribalists more even than Helen Clark was prepared to? What about them? Fear not, punters, for fearless leader Rodney Hide says the Declaration and the secrecy with which it was announced “is not a deal-breaker."
Given what ACT supporters have already swallowed, one wonders if anything ever would be.

UPDATE 1: Good commentary here from PM of NZ:
Article 39 Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international cooperation, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration.

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76 Comments:

Blogger big news said...

There is a lot of errors in this post, Peter.
1. It is impossible to " sign up" to a UN declaration.
2. As this treaty is not legally binding, agreeing to it does not create two legal classes of citizen.
3.The endorsement does have conditions.Whether you think they actually mean anything is another matter.
4.The declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples is also about collective rights in some articles.
5. Saying that this declaration giving indigenous people veto rights over laws made by Parliament is just crazy and misinforming your readers.sapas

4/21/2010 10:05:00 am  
Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

“the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs”

Which “right” is a guarantee that separatism will be upheld by “the State.”


You oppose this? I'm not a big political theorist, but I'd have thought this was a libertarian ideal.

“the right to establish their own media in their own languages”

The “right” to Maori TV for ever.


Are you saying the Government should ban Maori from setting up something like Maori TV? The Government should be guaranteeing that Maori - hell everyone - can start a newspaper in whatever damn langauge they want. This is something libertarians (or at least you) now oppose?

Wow.

4/21/2010 11:05:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Big News: Well, one of us is in error. Let's see.

1. From Stuff: "Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has flown secretly to New York for a speech to the United Nations signing New Zealand up to a declaration on indigenous rights..."

I think everyone is aware that "signing up" is a metaphor. Call it an aspirational one, if you like.

2. Advice from Crown Law and Mai Chen suggest otherwise:

'"Declarations … are international obligations and they do form part of the backdrop, the context within which courts do interpret, but it's not just courts its the Waitangi Tribunal and its also direct negotiations."

'Ms Chen said in 2007 the then Labour Government decided not to affirm the declaration based on Crown Law advice, over concerns the whole country would be caught in the scope of the declaration.

'"They talked about the provisions on redress and compensation, again the entire country would appear to fall within the scope of the article, and the text generally takes no account of the fact that the land might be occupied or owned legitimately by others."

'Ms Chen said the declaration would "shape" Maori expectations in negotiations.
'

3. The "conditional proviso' promoted to by John Key's unofficial press agent Mr Armstrong is little more than window dressing.

4. Which, as I point out, are illegitimate.

5. Saying that this declaration giving indigenous people veto rights over laws made by Parliament is the advice that was given by Crown Law to Helen Clark, and presumably to Smile-And-Wave as well. Sadly, only one of them took that advice seriously.

4/21/2010 11:11:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Graeme: "You oppose [a guarantee that separatism will be upheld by “the State"]? I'm not a big political theorist, but I'd have thought this was a libertarian ideal."

Rangatiratanga (independence) at others' expense is not a libertarian ideal, and this is what this offers.

"Are you saying the Government should ban Maori from setting up something like Maori TV?"

No, I'm saying it should be under no obligation to set it up and maintain it--which is what this bogus right appears to support. More below.

"The Government should be guaranteeing that Maori - hell everyone - can start a newspaper in whatever damn language they want."

If a guarantee like that was all that anyone was after, then all that would be needed would be a simple declaration of a right to free speech. But that's not what this says, is it.

4/21/2010 11:19:00 am  
Blogger KG said...

"The Government should be guaranteeing that Maori - hell everyone - can start a newspaper in whatever damn langauge they want."
Sure..provided they pay for it themselves.
But we know damn well that Maori expect taxpayers to fund Maori "rights".

This treaty is simply another mechanism by which Maori will be able to plunder taxpayer's money.

4/21/2010 11:22:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Big News: Oh, and regarding your point 3, the Minister of Maori Affairs also disagrees with your interpretation: "Dr Sharples told the UN there were no caveats to New Zealand support..."

4/21/2010 11:23:00 am  
Blogger Graeme Edgeler said...

I'm not saying there aren't things in the declaration with which I disagree, but the problems you're raising and the bits you're quoting don't seem to match up. Not all the the rights make mention of funding (the one about assimilation does, but not others, etc.) and you've highlighted opposition to some not very startling propositions (take what you've written you're opposed to, and phrase them as negative statements and you might see my point:

PC/Libertarians oppose:

Maori governing themselves autonomously in relation to their internal affairs (presumably you believe the internal affairs of Maori should be controlled by someone else, e.g. the state);

Laws prohibiting forced assimilation and the destruction of culture by governments.

Laws allowing Maori to set up Maori language newspapers.

etc.

I can see why a libertarian might be opposed to a requirement that "States shall … take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children… to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language." because it mandates state spending etc. but opposition to something like article 16(1) astounds me:

"Article 16
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.
2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity."

There's nothing about how "states shall take effective measure to ensure that Indigenous peoples can establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.", but a simple affirmation that freedom of the press also applies to Maori and you've a problem with it.

Maybe I've misunderstood libertarianism?

4/21/2010 12:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard McGrath said...

@Graeme:

Libertarians have nothing against Maori or anyone else setting up their own media outlets, and forming voluntary associations, with their own money.

But should someone whose DNA contains a smattering of Maori genes be able to choose which justice system - NZ or "indigenous" - processes them if they are arrested? Presumably self-determination means being able to set up your own justice infrastructure.

4/21/2010 12:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Fred Stevens said...

What a great divided country New Zealand has become....two flags and now two peoples.

4/21/2010 12:51:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

@ Graeme Edgeler:

Affirming the right to free speach does not require any talk of race or collectives - Maori or otherwise. As someone once said, the smallest minority on earth is the individual - and it's on that level that any genuine rights get affirmed.

In context, it's abundantly clear that Article 16 infers that taxpayer money should support Maori broadcasting, and that the state should bully private broadcasters into including Maori content.

If my money is taken from and used for purposes I may or may not agree with - and private broadcasters forced to broadcast content they may or may not want to - how is that consistent with free speech, and individual freedom?

And what do you think libertarianism is all about, if not that?

4/21/2010 01:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some time ago, I came to the opinion that John Key was not stupid, but he was sinister. I think he has realised that being the head of a government is not as exciting or as easy as plotting office coups. I do not believe he has the backbone or the core principles to be a PM and his tme is limited to one term. That term hinges on Maori support and if he is out, they are out. In order to get NZ from the mire, radical reform has to take place. The reaction to such is normally hostile. The casualties would be politically unacceptable. So it's business as usual complete with the usual sophist compromise, manipulations and manouvering. His next step is to set himself up for a nice job. Who best to smooth his path [to perhaps world bank president?] than a bunch of UN indebted tribals who are grateful he was here, but grateful he will go as he will be an albatross around their necks. The ever-dim public would vote in another Nat off-course substitute and the till keeps ringing for Maori.

Someone on No Minister summed it up when they wrote: He sold a nation to buy a race.

I am yet to be convinced he is not self-serving and sinister.

George

4/21/2010 01:57:00 pm  
Blogger The Tomahawk Kid said...

As KG said - there is nothing wrong with them being able to do all these things "so long as they pay for them, and not expect the taxpayer to. - which of course we know will not be the case - same as usual - they will want everything, and expect others to foot the bill for them.

4/21/2010 02:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Most of you would like to pretend that Indigenous peoples did not get comprehensively beaten in a colonisation that stripped them of many of their rights.

When an indigenous people have had their rights forcibly taken away at gunpoint. Then you expect that everyone should just pretent it never happened and say everyone should be 'equal'.

Your idea of equal rights is that you punch someone in the face and then just before they can retaliate or ask for redress you say "Ok we start our equal right from......now. And you cannot ask for redress of anything before now.
"

Maori culture was lost because of colonisation and forced eradication of maori in public schools.

The government has an obligation as part of redressing this loss of culture to support financially efforts to revive maori langauge and culture.

But you will just argue that your memory only goes back as far as is comfortable for you to remember.

That is what Auzzie and the USA do and it is why they didn't sign. Because an accurate account of peoples rights in those countries would mean the giving back of vast tracts of land and compensation for decades of government sponsored genocide.

4/21/2010 02:18:00 pm  
Blogger big news said...

Declarations … are international obligations and they do form part of the backdrop, the context within which courts do interpret, but it's not just courts its the Waitangi Tribunal and its also direct negotiations."
Indeed, which is why this is relevant for the Waitangi Tribunial. And courts can give or take what the Waitangi Tribunal says, in exactly the same way as this UN Declaration. We may well disagre whatthese " international obligations" are.

Sadly, only one of them took that advice seriously
That's right. That person was Helen Clark.

I'm saying it should be under no obligation to set it up and maintain ( Maori TV) -which is what this bogus right appears to support
That's clearly incorrect.

4/21/2010 02:19:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"Most of you would like to pretend that Indigenous peoples did not get comprehensively beaten in a colonisation that stripped them of many of their rights."
Which rights, Barry? Please list them.

4/21/2010 03:37:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Barry, I wasn't born when (if) Maori (assuming that as a whole, they did) had any rights taken off them. Why should I pay taxes to right a perceived wrong just because the wrongdoers have the same skin colour as me?

Graeme, I can't think of any examples anywhere in the free world where indigenous people have been prevented from setting up a radio station in their own language, therefore it is likely that this clause is there to force someone else to pay for it.

4/21/2010 04:01:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

@Barry: For the sake of argument let's accept that certain Maori suffered injustices from certain white men during colonisation, as you claim. Let's even accept that this was common and widespread. On that basis, could you answer two questions please:

1. If I didn't commit the injustices, why should *I* pay for them?

2. If those who suffered the injustice are long since dead and buried, why should others who haven't suffered - but happen to have a similar skin colour, get the benefit of any compensation?

4/21/2010 04:35:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Incidentally, using the same warped logic, shouldn't I get paid commission by the people who now enjoy the benefits of civilisation? I've got the same skin colour as the colonists.

4/21/2010 04:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

KG, TWR and Mark:

You have absolutely no knowledge of the history of what happened in this country do you?

Maori children were punished for speaking maori in schools until 1960 - effectively killing their language and culture.

Secondly, Vast tracts of land were taken from maori by British soldiers working on behalf of the NZ/ritish government in supposed retribution for Maori people refusing to sell their lands and the Maori participation in the Land wars between 1845 and 1870. Do you have no knowledge of what went on?

Maori lost both their traditional homelands and their language through explicit acts of government force.

The same government is in existence today so their is an obligation of redress on the government.

That is why Maori are so against a NZ Republic because it will extinguish their historical grievance against the Crown.

Maori Beef is with the government which represents all of NZ. You can argue that you don't wanna pay tax but that is between you and the government. This grievance is not with you but between Maori and government.

Or do you not believe that the government should be held accountable?

Is government above the law?

Does government not have to observe human rights?

You cannot deny Maori their right to redress simply because you have a problem of paying taxes because your grivance does not cancel out the Maori one.

I would not deny you a rightful claim against government for some gross nelgigence or abuse of your rights on the basis that any compensation you received came party from my taxes - even if I don't believe I should pay taxes.

You are looking only at your selfish rights and neglecting the legitimate rights of others.

The government which injured Maori is still in power (the Crown) so they want redress.

Should you be denied redress from government for abuse of your rights simply because it happened 5 years ago and you are still fighting to get compensation?

How would you like to not be able to speak your language in school and have to speak Maori would you have liked that? Isn't that an abuse of your cultural rights?

You guys are way off and have absolutely no knowldge of NZ history. Sad.

4/21/2010 05:28:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

@ Barry:

You've sorta answered my 1st question, but you've ignored the 2nd.

So let me repeat it; why should compensation be paid to someone who wasn't around when these alleged injustices happened? Why should you get the benefit of compensation purely by virture of your skin colour?

Or are you saying the great injustices were commited on the current generation of Maori?

If so, what are they? Is being encouraged to speak the language of the land in schools (i.e. English) in the 1960's the great atrocity you're talking about, or are there others? Enlighten me, please.

4/21/2010 06:05:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Barry, I made no comment whatsoever on the history of New Zealand, so I'll thank you not to make stuff up and then abuse me for it.

You might ask yourself "Are Maoris better off now than they were in 1840?". Since your knowledge of NZ history is so encyclopaedic, I'm sure you can work out the answer.

I'm perfectly happy for the people who committed your claimed atrocities to compensate those who suffered (and presumably they can do so between their respective graves), but I fail to see why the fact that I went to work today or bought some lunch or drove my car makes me liable to pay for it.

if you wish to reply, please use some facts and stay on topic, otherwise don't bother.

4/21/2010 06:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Simon Tuck said...

It is Barry who is glossing over NZ history.

Pre colonial Maori lived in abject filth. Charles Darwin noted Maori as having the worst living conditions of any primitive race in 'Voyage of the Beagle'

Today they have roads, hospitals, electricity and running water. So the current Maori generation owe a debt to the crown if anything.

As for banning Maori in schools, you have to be realistic. Without learning English to a good standard Maori would have no chance of success in society, so banning Te Reo in schools was the right choice.

4/21/2010 06:42:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

Well, Barry leaving aside your assumptions about people you don't know, I'd say Maori ought to be eternally grateful that colonisation saved them from inter-tribal warfare, slavery and cannibalism.
Perhaps the descendants of those who saved them ought to present their descendants with the bill?
That would be entirely consistent with your logic.

4/21/2010 07:24:00 pm  
Blogger Viking said...

"subsidised separatism"?

Cool!
South Africa had a thing like that. It was called "Apartheid". It proved unpopular!

4/21/2010 09:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

If anyone thinks that someone has to be forcibly taken over to have access to a better life...I feel sorry for you.

You didn't invent computers or the internet. Funny how you have access to it now.... how did you get it? Did someone have to colonise you to improve your life?

So why did maori's have to be colonised?

Japan was never colonised.

neither was china.

Most of the significant advances in history have been transferred to these countries and then exploited successfully though...you guessed it...free trade.

Instead of affirming Maori rights and trading with them on equal terms the English Crown chose to exploit it's power and diminish those of the Maori.

Many Maori have shown themselves well capable of leadership and they have successful businesses.

To suggest that Maori society was so backwards that it could not develop through trade which included respect for property rights is to ignore history.

There were many examples of fair and gainful trades between maori and Pakeha and these were occuring both before and after the raids and smash and grabs by the Government.

And whatever you think about the usefulness of English that does not give anyone the right to deny someone the use of their native tounge because by doing so yuo contribute to the loss of their culture since culture and language and extremely intertwined.

It is sad how little you know about your own country folks.

4/21/2010 09:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Twr seems you cannot understand English.

The same government which exploited and colonised Maori is the same government in power today.

So what Twr is saying is that he is happy to have no redress against government for any wrongs it does against him. We are understanding you correctly arent we? Because you argue Maori should not get redress but if government decided to build a road through your house would you be happy to live on the street with no compensation? If you are happy to live on the street and ask nothing back from government then that is fine...you are just crazy.

If you do ask back from government then you have just nullified your own argument because you already said that government should not pay you a cent! he he

Seems logic can bite you in the (&%^(*& sometimes eh!!

4/21/2010 09:49:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Funny how someone who accuses others of not being able to understand English spells a plural word with an apostrophe. People in glass houses...

For some reason (reading comprehension?) you don't seem to want to acknowledge that the "victims" of these alleged injustices are dead, so they can't be compensated, and throwing other people's money at their part descendents not only achieves nothing, but it's trying to claim that two wrongs make a right.

If you use your ridiculous argument, the descendents of Anglo Saxons could demand reparation from the descendents of Normans (ie themselves) for the death of the old English language and the loss of their lands.

You need to realise that not only is your suggestion morally indefensible, it will cause more trouble and conflict than accepting that the blame lies with dead people and then moving on with life.

So, to summarise for those with short attention spans, your argument about getting redress for your house being knocked down or you feeling bad about your language not being forcibly taught to people who don't need or want to know it makes no sense if you yourself are not alive to enjoy the fruits of any compensation.

4/21/2010 10:33:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Barry, your whole argument is based on compensation, that if a wrong is committed against a person or a group of people they have a right to get what they lost back from the perpetrator.

The problem is that only works with the original two parties to the wrongdoing, e.g. the robber has to compensate the victim for his loses. Using this example, what you are saying is that the wrongdoing automatically places the robber's children (and all descendants) in indentured labour due to decisions that they could never possibly have had any control over, due to accident of birth!

This idea, that we owe reparations to other people due to accident of birth (I'm not sure anyone chose to be Maori or Pakeha) is as twr stated, morally indefensible.

Not only that, it serves to sharpen racial distinctions, and create a "victim" culture based not on hard work and responsibility, but on handouts.

4/21/2010 11:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Barry, after a long debate with you & others, right here on Not PC blog on climate science and global warming just before last Christmas, which you were clearly exposed there (i.e., on the deficiency of your scientific knowledge of climate science). You popped in for a quick comment on the other thread yesterday on the topic of market crashes, where you wanted me to cite you some references on their causes, etc,... and today, you're here again, arguing that commentators on this thread don't know much about NZ history.

Here is my advice. Try to stick to your area of expertise, because you're trying to step in to a domain that you haven’t done much reading on. You talk about rights but what's the definition of rights? Start from first principles and here is a hint for you? There is a link on the top left hand side of Not PC blog main page, where you can click and read about PC's excellent series in Cue Cards: Libertarianism. You'll find some articles there related to rights. Once you read them and familiarized yourself with those concepts & what they mean, then you can come back here and engage with others in the debate/discussion. You're argument here is all over the place with no solid foundations.

4/22/2010 12:24:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barry,

You have been sold a pup. It is you who has no grip on NZ's history. Waitangi was a mutual arrangement at the behest of maori; a collection of tribes of the one race who had decimated each other and recognised that was a dead end future. They signed a document agreeing to become subjects of the Crown, subject to it's laws like all of us today. Go back and study the wars, starting with Heke. Then go back and study the numerous Land Court decisions either compensating or denying claims of lost land as a result of these wars. It stretches to this day, a trail of full and final settlements and mutual respect under the law.
Now you liken it to the 'genocide' of tribes in the USA and Australia and want different laws to apply.
You are re-writing history.

Get lost.

George

4/22/2010 08:46:00 am  
Blogger The Tomahawk Kid said...

Please keep it civil folks - I am enjoying this debate.

Barry is making some valid, if misguided points, so don't abuse him - but please keep trying to change his mind.

I have enjoyed his input to this, and some things he has said I have found thought provoking.

He may not be correct to our point of view, but it would be how many others perceive the situation.

4/22/2010 10:15:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Barry isn't making valid points.

He's regurgitating the same tired, left wing talking points we have all heard for decades.

And then he accuses those who counter him with being ignorant of the country's history, and shows no sign of even listening to any other point of view.

Respect is a two way street.

EXOCET

4/22/2010 01:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

So what I hear Callum and the rest of you saying is that you would not want any compensation from government if it put a road through your house?

Because that is exactkly what you are saying.

Since I can guess you are not that silly, then why do you continue to pretend that you haven't just said that you are entitled to compensation from government but other people are not?

Rights are for everyone are they not?

Just a thought!

4/22/2010 02:06:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Reminds me of "How to Argue Like A Progressive"

4/22/2010 02:06:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"So what I hear Callum and the rest of you saying is that you would not want any compensation from government if it put a road through your house?"

Because that is exactkly what you are saying."


Barry, read the post. Reply to what I did say, not what I haven't.

"Since I can guess you are not that silly, then why do you continue to pretend that you haven't just said that you are entitled to compensation from government but other people are not?"

Who on Earth here said that they should get compensation from dead people for things that happened to their ancestors, but Maori shouldn't? I know of at least one occasion in which my ancestors were massacred. I don't demand compensation for it.

"Rights are for everyone are they not?"

Really? You are the person here saying they should be based on accident of birth.

4/22/2010 02:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Unfortunately Callum you have precious little knowledge of anything you are talking about.

Maori lands were held communally and the structures which held those lands are still intact. As is the organisation which took them away (Government).

Maori language restrictions injured following generations by destroying both their language and the culture inherent in it. so government has a responsibility to reverse its wrong.

You still have not answered whether you expect government compensation tomorrow if a road was put through your house...is that because it ruins your already flawed argument?

4/22/2010 02:59:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"Maori lands were held communally and the structures which held those lands are still intact. As is the organisation which took them away (Government)."

Barry, how many people who form today's government were responsible for the crimes you discuss?

If the people who committed these crimes still existed today, they would need to pay compensation - because they were the people who did wrong. NOT their descendants!!!

"Maori language restrictions injured following generations by destroying both their language and the culture inherent in it. so government has a responsibility to reverse its wrong."

How, by forcing people to speak Maori?

The government has poured millions of dollars of taxpayers' money at education programs specifically designed for Maori, with no (or a negative) effect. If people want to speak Maori, they'll speak Maori. Do you understand that?

"You still have not answered whether you expect government compensation tomorrow if a road was put through your house...is that because it ruins your already flawed argument?"

No, because it has nothing to do with what we're discussing, as well as demonstrating your rather selective memory.

We're discussing the 'right' of a group of people to claim money and property from other people due to accident of birth, NOT due to acts of wrongdoing actually done by them. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

It might also be worth noting that once again, you have not replied, at all, to my previous post. You have been attacking a strawman.

4/22/2010 03:36:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

I think it's time to give up on any meaningful discussion with Bazza.

Several people, including myself have asked him the same thing numerous times - and he's consistently and repeatedly avoided answering it.

The basic question, which has been phrased and rephrased various ways is this: Why should anyone today, who wasn't the victim of these alleged injustices, be entitled to compensation, regardless of how bad they were?

What is the link between those who allegedly suffered, and those he's saying should be compensated. Their's only one as far as I can see: their skin colour.

Either he's evading the question, or his collectivist outlook is so entrenched, he doesn't understand the question. i.e. to him, an injustice done to one Maori is an injustice done to all Maori - present and future. To Barry, individuals don't matter. All that matters are groups, and skin colour....

To the extent that this mindset is common in Maoridom, this is what is holding them back, not what happened decades or centuries ago to their ancestors.

4/22/2010 04:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Jack said...

twr's link sounds exactly like how Barry tries to argue. He did the same thing a while ago with AGW as well.

as for Maori language and culture I have no interest in learning about either. If you run a private school and want to teach them thats entirely up to you.

4/22/2010 04:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

There is no need to give up Callum, you were trying so hard.

Even if you haven't yet even attempted to answer why Maori should not have redress for wrongs against them. The reason as we all know is that you expect that you yourself would get redress from government for wrongs against you but someone else should not. Because you think you have more rights than others.

Mark on the other hand believes that if government succeeds in destroying a culture in one generation then this does not affect the following generation. As if the culture that was systematically destroyed just magically springs up out of thin air years later. People are entitled to not have their culture destroyed by overt acts of government who take lands and ban languages (through which cultures are transferred). Taking culture from the parent also takes it from the grand children.

Mark your eyes are well closed. You just don't want to open them. It is sad.


Seems you are living in a fairy land where things grow on trees. According to you no-one would have to compensate anyone for anything because whatever was taken will magically spring back into being the next day. Sad...tryly sad lack of thinking there.

So the "basic question' which I have already answered many times and have just done again has been aswered for you Mark. Maori people of today had their lands and culture stolen.

Communal lands are passed down from generation to generation. These lands were stolen many years ago but were still taken from people today. The answer is they have to be given back and also compensation given. Simple. If you open your eyes.

4/23/2010 01:48:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Barry, you are answered in every reply, but you choose to ignore the answer. So, here it is again:

Q: Why Maori should not have redress for wrongs against them?
A: Because they are dead.

4/23/2010 03:23:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Barry, let me ask you:

Are you illiterate?

If not, why have you completely avoided answering what I have actually said, rather than evading the issue at every point?

I have re-iterated my point numerous times now. You keep pretending that I've said something that I haven't, and have not answered anything I've said to you.

The fact that you can't avoid slander speaks volumes, also.

I'll repeat my point, one last time, in that bizarre hope that you might just get it, eventually:

"If the people who committed these crimes still existed today, they would need to pay compensation - because they were the people who did wrong. NOT their descendants!!!

"We're discussing the 'right' of a group of people to claim money and property from other people due to accident of birth, NOT due to acts of wrongdoing actually done by them."

4/23/2010 03:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Cullum, TWR and everyone else. Barry is again using trolling tactic to wear down his oppositions. He used exactly the same tactic here last christmas on AGW.

As TWR said, Barry has been answered in every step, but he chooses to ignore those deliberately thus preferring to do trolling instead.

4/23/2010 05:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Unfortunately Callum, acts against maori were not committed against Maori by individuals acting in their own capacity.

Acts depriving Maori of land and culture were committed on behalf of the government of NZ.

If you buy a tv and it is faulty you have no recourse on the salesman for Samsung, only on samsung company. And you still have a claim as long as that organisation exists.

As long as an organisation exists which has committed wrongs then that organisation is still liable for any claims against it.

You have never attended a Law101 class.

The responsibility goes right up the chain in actual fact to England. Because they oversaw and ordered policies against Maori.

The Crown devolved authority AND responsibility for NZ governance to the NZ governor general and NZ Parliament.

the ORGANISATION that committed the breaches of rights still exists and therefore is still liable.

people who work for government as workers or even politicians do so under the strict proviso that their actions, when they are within the bounds of their duty and allowable activities, do not put them under any risk of personal liability. They pass all responsibility to the organisation.

Such is the matter of life when you are dealing with an ORGANSATION.

You obviously have no idea about what an ORGANISATION is and how they deal in the world interacting with individuals.

You want to whittle everything down to individual v individual but in the case of an ORGANISATION it is not like that. The organisation is liable.

If organisations were not held liable for their actions they would not be able to act as an organisation in public spheres.

There would be no such thing as a company. No-one would work for any large company or do anything important because of the knowledge that one action by the group could lead to them being bankrupted so badly that they would never recover. Even though it wasn't their fault.

You need to go to the dictionary because you ARE illiterate if you do not know what an ORGANISATION is and what it means for interactions in the community and in business.

Who would be a soldier if they were to be held accountable for the war?

People who work in government today explicity accept their organsation's risk of liability for past and present wrong doings. Even if you think that they should not that is not relevant because our government DOES. That is their decision which they made. Without your input! imagine that?

The government accepts the responsibility because it DOES give back land to Maori and it DOES support Maori tv.

You don't like paying your taxes to government but that is a separate issue. You are free to not pay them. Just see what happens. Your taxes are taken by force because our government is the biggest GANG in the land and until you can make or find a gang to replace them you just do what you gotta do.

You decry governments feeling of responsibility towards those it has wronged in the past. But you disagree with many things about government and the only thing you can do is like it or lump it.

Vote in your own government or overthrow the current one if you wanna put in people into office who wanna forget their past.

That is your choice. But most people in NZ with a brain thought otherwise and the current government represents them and their belief that government is an ORGANISATION which takes responsibility for its actions past and present.

Real life 101 lesson over.

4/23/2010 06:16:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Yes, the government is an organization, Barry. Pleased you noticed.

Unfortunately that doesn't change the nature of the argument, because the victims of the injustices are, well, dead* - along with the perpetrators. Only when the victims are alive is the argument of liability valid. Otherwise, twr's argument would make perfect sense:

"the descendents of Anglo Saxons could demand reparation from the descendents of Normans (ie themselves) for the death of the old English language and the loss of their lands."

*I know what you'll say now, Barry. Sure, the original victims are dead, but the resulting ills live on as a result.

The problem with this is that the Jews went through something far, far worse, but do not demand reparations for it. They don't demand to be treated separately from everyone else. Instead, they use their freedoms to successfully build good and happy lives for themselves. Why should Maori be treated separately?

Lastly, answer me this, Barry: In your opinion, if we replaced the NZ Government tomorrow, would the new government also be liable for the wrongs of the past?

This is where your 'organization' argument falls down. If the people who did commit those injustices simply decided to reform themselves into a new organization, there would be no liability for their actions. Yet people who could never have any control over such actions (due to being born 100 years + after they happened) are liable, simply because they are part of the same organization.

4/23/2010 06:53:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

I should add that twr's argument makes sense because the same government that invaded England in 1066- nearly 1000 years ago, is the same government that still exists today.

4/23/2010 06:59:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Barry, you claim to be an expert on everything, but in your last post specifically organisational law and business.

You might want to note that there are well defined laws around continuity of ownership of businesses, particularly when it comes to tax losses. You can't claim tax losses from a business if the percentage ownership has changed by more than a certain amount. So, even with organisations, your liability can't go on for ever.

Furthermore have you ever heard of someone suing an organisation because their negligence caused the death of their great grandfather? Of course not. It's patently ridiculous, like your argument.

Still, I doubt you'll stop trying to shout everyone else down until they get bored with you and leave you as the last no-mates kid in the sand pit.

4/23/2010 07:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Unfortunately for TWR tax losses are a special case and not similar to liability for damages. Liability for damages never cease from an organisation no matter how many times ownership changes.

Pity I used to be a tax lawyer and know how silly TWR's argument was in the first place.

Callum on the other hand still cannot understand how communal land and aspects of culture can be taken away from later generations. Specifically because these things are passed down they are taken away from future aswell as present generations. So even just there Callum's argument falls completely flat.

There is a liability.

Secondly, the NZ government is an institution which operates from the same authority and fundamental constitution from election to election. Their liability lasts until government is replaced by an organisation which formally denounces itself from any responsibilities or liabilities from the past. None have.

So Callum is 100% wrong.

Again Callum mistakes someone not asking for redress for them not having the right to it.

Many Jewish people asked for reparations. The germans were made to pay reparations for World wars one and two. They finished paying these off years and years later.

If wshat Callum says is tru then the NZ government could simply wipe the national debt and also would have to give away all its assets because they not longer own these after a period of time. if liabilities are extinguished then how can organisations like a government hold a debt? ONLY if the organisation still exists in a capacity to continuously hold debts. When has this ever been broken since 1840? Never. The government has reetained the same form and ability to both hold assets and debts.

So Callum loses. Thanks for playingthough. It has been nice. Easy but nice.

4/23/2010 10:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

The NZ government has not reformed itself into a new organisation at any time since 1840. It has been one continuous government, first ruled from England then power devolved over years to NZ but still the same government with a queen as head of state.

So TWR and Callum are sadly wrong.

4/23/2010 10:04:00 pm  
Blogger Viking said...

"The germans were made to pay reparations for World wars one and two. They finished paying these off years and years later."

Yes, and reparations for the first indirectly led to the second!

I'm enjoying this debate and am not going to get involved as it really doesn't need another voice at this stage.

Barry made some valid points, particularly about past actions having ramifications on present generations. I don't think anyone disagrees with this, but I see the major differences are over to what extend present generations are to engage with it. Giving equal rights under the law is probably the best way to do this and as far as I know in NZ that has been done.
Creating classes of 'formerly offended' and 'formerly offender' will however lead to many, many problems.

4/23/2010 10:13:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"Callum on the other hand still cannot understand how communal land and aspects of culture can be taken away from later generations. Specifically because these things are passed down they are taken away from future aswell as present generations. So even just there Callum's argument falls completely flat."

So, what is it that makes communal land different from privately held land, apart from being owned a number of people instead of just one or two? You've never bothered to say.

And what is currently preventing Maori from participating in their culture? They have full freedom to do so, without being paid out of government coffers. Once again, you've never bothered to say.

And once again, you've been evading what I've been saying. Once again.

"Secondly, the NZ government is an institution which operates from the same authority and fundamental constitution from election to election. Their liability lasts until government is replaced by an organisation which formally denounces itself from any responsibilities or liabilities from the past. None have."

I'm quite well aware of that, Barry. We're not debating what is legal, but what is right.

And once again, you've been evading what I've said:

"This is where your 'organization' argument falls down. If the people who did commit those injustices simply decided to reform themselves into a new organization, there would be no liability for their actions. Yet people who could never have any control over such actions (due to being born 100 years + after they happened) are liable, simply because they are part of the same organization."

"Many Jewish people asked for reparations. The germans were made to pay reparations for World wars one and two. They finished paying these off years and years later."

True, but most didn't. Many Jews immigrated to nations like the US and NZ to start a new life based on the fruit of their labour, not government handouts.

"If wshat Callum says is tru then the NZ government could simply wipe the national debt ... if liabilities are extinguished then how can organisations like a government hold a debt? ONLY if the organisation still exists in a capacity to continuously hold debts. ... The government has reetained the same form and ability to both hold assets and debts."

Indeed, but is this relevant to whether it's right for a select group of people to demand special privileges from the people of New Zealand?

The public debt is a general expense; what you are advocating is that part of the taxpayers' money goes, not in fact toward his benefit but to the benefit of people, who by chance, happened to be the descendants of people who had injustices committed against them some 150 years ago. That, by accident of birth, they get special privileges, and by accident of birth, everyone else has to fund them.

You'll start up your 'your problem is with taxation...' argument by now. As much as I dislike taxation, it still must be paid under threat of government force. As thus, it should come back to the people who actually paid it.

"So Callum loses. Thanks for playingthough. It has been nice. Easy but nice."

Barry, please go at least one post without embarrassing yourself.

"The NZ government has not reformed itself into a new organisation at any time since 1840."

Neither has England's government since 1066. Does this make twr's argument valid?

4/23/2010 11:11:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

"Thanks for playing though. It has been nice. Easy but nice."
Making smug and arrogant comments like that doesn't make you right. Another trick to distract from the fact that you haven't addressed a single point made by another commenter. And also noteworthy that you claim to have won an argument despite the fact that *everyone* else on this thread still disagrees with you. I think the easy part was making yourself look like a pigheaded ignoramus.

You've made no attempt to justify why people who by an accident of birth or travel should be liable for things they haven't done. Incidentally, this seems to be one of the main characteristics of a meddling socialist government, and the cockroaches that support them.

You've made no attempt to explain why people should be compensated for things that weren't done to them.

You haven't explained why governments can legally take action removing some people's property (taxes) and not others (land). Would you be happy if the govt instituted a 100% inheritance tax (perfectly legal and not far from what has been done elsewhere over the years) Mr Pretend Tax Lawyer?

You haven't explained why people who are not even descendend from the perpetraitors of your alleged crimes and arrived decades later are liable for it because of their skin colour.

You haven't addressed any issues of why maori "culture" and language still seem to be quite healthy without the transfer of large amounts of money from people of one skin colour to people of another.

Despite the moral irrelevance, you haven't addressed how giving handouts will help anyone, how you could even calculate how much is the right amount, and where it could possibly end.

So, either answer some of the other commenters' points, or fuck off, you sanctimonious arse.

4/24/2010 06:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

I do feel for TWR. He simply cannot read. I gave detailed explainations and reasons for my point of view.

It is sad when someone like TWR actually can bring nothing to a debate. Seems more like a troll really. At least Callum tried valiantly to give reasons and points.

TWR's inability to come up with anything except character assasinations is telling in that he actually validates my reasons and points by not directly challenging any of them.

By the way TWR. "No" is not a reason nor is it much of a point. Unless you are a 2 year old. So you just gotta do better.

TWR just lives in dream land denying that people actually said something. All TWR had to do was actually read the previous posts. But he didn't. I really wonder if he can read at all.

4/24/2010 07:11:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

Barry, if you had ever actually been any kind of lawyer, even a tax one, you'd be able to come up with something better than that. You do seem to be quite good a lying though, so that's a start.

4/24/2010 08:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Yet another post by TWR that plays the man instead of the ball.

Because he actually knows nothing useful about this topic.

Don't you get tired of trolling discussions without offering even one single useful point? Either way, please. Just show you have a brain please. For once.

4/24/2010 08:49:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"Yet another post by TWR that plays the man instead of the ball."

You're also guilty, Barry. Especially so. Some examples:

"You have absolutely no knowledge of the history of what happened in this country do you?"

"You are looking only at your selfish rights and neglecting the legitimate rights of others."

"You guys are way off and have absolutely no knowldge of NZ history. Sad."

"It is sad how little you know about your own country folks."

"Twr seems you cannot understand English."

"Unfortunately Callum you have precious little knowledge of anything you are talking about."

"There is no need to give up Callum, you were trying so hard."

"Because you think you have more rights than others."

"Mark your eyes are well closed. You just don't want to open them. It is sad."

"Seems you are living in a fairy land where things grow on trees. ... Sad...tryly sad lack of thinking there."

"You have never attended a Law101 class."

"You obviously have no idea about what an ORGANISATION is and how they deal in the world interacting with individuals."

"Real life 101 lesson over."

"Again Callum mistakes someone not asking for redress for them not having the right to it."

"So Callum loses. Thanks for playingthough. It has been nice. Easy but nice."

"So TWR and Callum are sadly wrong."


You haven't replied, coincidentally, to my last post.

4/24/2010 09:41:00 pm  
Blogger twr said...

I asked you at least six questions at 6:40 Barry. Try answering them rather than being a hypocrite.

4/24/2010 09:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Actually your questions were all answered in previous posts.

Try learning to read.

Also try posting intelligent points as opposed to the rubbish you keep trolling with.

4/24/2010 10:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Actually Callum your post didn't raise any questions that weren't already answered in previous posts.

Are you sure you and TWR are not the same person/troll?

4/24/2010 10:25:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"Actually Callum your post didn't raise any questions that weren't already answered in previous posts."

Yes it did. An example:

"And what is currently preventing Maori from participating in their culture? They have full freedom to do so, without being paid out of government coffers."

"Are you sure you and TWR are not the same person/troll?"

Let me check:

No, I'm not twr.

4/25/2010 11:12:00 am  
Anonymous Barry said...

Sorry Callum/TWR, those questions were answered.

You failed to actually read any of the posts in this thread.

4/25/2010 11:49:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

@Barry, you said" "Sorry Callum/TWR, those questions were answered."

Then just to avoid confusion, how about you post them again, with your answer posted under each respective question it purports to answer.

If you actually have posted answers, we will all be able to appreciate them.

If you haven't . . .

4/25/2010 12:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

I'm sorry but I don't see what prevents Callum/TWR from actually reading the posts.

Repeating the same questions (over and over) and then falsly claiming those exact questions have not already been answered multiple times in the thread is just trolling by TWR and Callum and is a waste of everyones time.

For sake of proving my point I will placate just one of their time wasting multiply-repeated questions with the following cut and past from further up the thread. The rest they will have to go back and read themselves like they should have in the first place instead of trolling.

QUESION BY TWR: "You've made no attempt to explain why people should be compensated for things that weren't done to them." Referring to why Maori today should be compensated for stolen lands and destruction of their culture through banning of their langauge in schools.

ANSWER IN BARRY'S PREVIOUS PRIOR:
"if government succeeds in destroying a culture in one generation then this does not affect the following generation[?] As if the culture that was systematically destroyed just magically springs up out of thin air years later. People are entitled to not have their culture destroyed by overt acts of government who take lands and ban languages (through which cultures are transferred). Taking culture from the parent also takes it from the grand children."

Just a small snippet of the previous posts that TWR never bothered to read before trolling.



There can be many such examples given because as I said none of their questions were new but had already been answered in the discussion. They are merely trolling.

4/25/2010 12:25:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Barry: No, the repeated back-and-forth "you did" "no, you didn't" is more time-wasting.

If you've posted answers to those specific questions, then it's only the work of a moment to copy and paste your answers beneath them.

I invite you to do so.

4/25/2010 12:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

It is also but the work of a moment for TWR and Callum to actually read the thread.

My point was proved already since TWR stated that I had "made no attempt to answer" his question which I obviously had already done.

I invite TWR and Callum to actually read the thread.

4/25/2010 12:43:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

@Barry: The thread is now encumbered with "you did" "no you didn't."

So either post your answers as I've invited, or make your last word.

4/25/2010 12:49:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Barry, you still haven't answered the question:

"And what is currently preventing Maori from participating in their culture? They have full freedom to do so, without being paid out of government coffers."

And although you have made an argument about government liability, you still haven't explained why money should be forcefully taken from taxpayers to give to Maori due to accident of birth.

4/25/2010 03:35:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

In fact, let's model what you've been saying:

Let's say I find out that the government has given, say $300,000 of someone's tax money over the years to different Maori tribes.

According to you, they should be able claim the money back due to it being taken by force. Just as Maori can claim back land taken from them by force.

Yet also according to you, the Maori have a right to the money, because they had land and other objects taken from them, 150 years ago.

So, by your logic both parties should have the same money, because something was taken from them wrongly. But nevertheless, Maori still have the 'right' to the money taken by force.

This is the logical end of your argument. What you are saying is that it's alright to take something from someone by force, because someone else's ancestors had something taken from them ... by force!

All due, of course, to accident of birth.

You talked about government liability. It could be a valid argument, if the government were a private organization. What you ignored is that governments obtain money by force - use of taxes.

4/25/2010 03:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Actually Callum you will find that I did in fact answer that exact question in detail in an earlier post.

You inability to have read it calls into serious question your ability to read.

Here are a few lines from that answer I gave earlier:

"You don't like paying your taxes to government but that is a separate issue. You are free to not pay them. Just see what happens. Your taxes are taken by force because our government is the biggest GANG in the land and until you can make or find a gang to replace them you just do what you gotta do.

You decry governments feeling of responsibility towards those it has wronged in the past. But you disagree with many things about government and the only thing you can do is like it or lump it.

Vote in your own government or overthrow the current one if you wanna put in people into office who wanna forget their past."

To distill it - you are saying that YOU should pay but you are not. Government it. Government takes your taxes but you have no direct say where that money goes. You have as much say about where your taxes go as you do about the person that you buy the coke from.

Government takes your taxes by force and gives you no right to dictate where that should go. Never has. Probably never will.

Government represents the strongest group of NZ'ers and it is they who are forcibly taking your money and giving it to maori.

Therefore the decision to pay reparations is based on the morality and decisions of the groupd of people who hold power in this country.

People who didn't vote disagree with ALL government spending.

You act like government spending is done on the basis of maorality Callum. Government spending is done on the basis of forcibly taking money and spending it elsewhere. If you think there is any place for affecting that decision on the basis of YOUR specific individual morals you are dreaming.

I never said that any money SHOULD be taken from taxpayers. I have said that government ACCEPTS their responsibility and their acceptance is a rational decision made by people who voted in the government.

Government then takes the $ it needs from you and me. It never asks and it doesn't offer you a choice where it is spent.

You are trying to make a connection between the taxpayer and Maori but there isn't one.

Maori have a rightful claim against government. Government is and will in future honour this claim.

You also have a grievance against government for taking your taxes without asking. You are not a shareholder in the government. You get a vote but if you don't win your choice you have three options - fight the government, run a way or just pay your taxes.

You are similar to the person who buys a car and then tells the car yard they cannot spend any of that money at the casino. You have no ability to influence what they do. Even if what you tell them is in everyones best interest. You just have no ability. You can withhold buying the car if you don't want them to spend it at the casino, but can you withhold your taxes? I would like to see you try.



You ask whether taxpayers SHOULD pay for maori reparations? Taxpayers don't. Government does. Taxpayers pay taxes and have no direct influence over where their $ go.

Governments live by force. They don't have to convince you of where they should spend their money. They just gotta convince enough people every 3 years.

If you are unhappy with paying your taxes, discuss that. Where your money is spent is not something that is related to your payment of taxes (even though it is the same money).

You feel you have the ability to control where the money goes like it is yours. It ceased to be your money once government took it and from that point on the people who control this country used it in their interests.

What are ya gonna do?

4/25/2010 04:14:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

So basically, what you are saying is that it is indeed right to steal from someone to give to someone who has been stolen from, because the person now being stolen from has no say in how their money will be used.

Well, at least you've now made your position clear -you're a full-fledged advocate of a gangster state. Nevertheless, I still don't see how that makes it right.

4/25/2010 05:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

Now you are creating strawmen. It is laughable. You only actually read the first sentence of posts eh? Ha ha...sad.

I simply stated fact. I never said I agreed with your taxes being taken from you but they just are. Deal with it any way you like.

Where those taxes are spent is decided by government without your direct influence. Where you think your 'stolen' taxes SHOULD be spent is just your dreaming.

When you give your money freely you can expect to influence where it is spent.

In this case you cant.

And we have already dealt with the fact that government is not taxpayers. Government is government and at the moment it has decided it has a moral obligation to Maori.

You don't think you would if you were in Government. But you are not. You are a taxpayer, you have no right to say where your taxes go. That is not my ideal but it is the case and fact at this point in time.

The group which holds power at the moment in NZ has chosen to steal your money and give it to someone else. You are complaining who they give it to when most people would be worried about it getting stolen in the first place. Neither situation can be analysed from a SHOULD perspective because SHOULD relates only to personal preference and since your preferences were thrown aside when the taxes were taken from you, you seem silly to keep arguing about where the money eventually went when you have no influence over that either.

Either pay your taxes, don't pay them or leave. But wasting your breath complaining about what government spends money on can last all year because everyone from every part of the political spectrum has their gripe. You are just the only one who thinks his 'gripe' is more worthy than other peoples'. Actually it is just your opinion.

Next time just preface your statements with "I think..." because you are only stating your personal preferences not any general moral principles.

4/25/2010 05:18:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

"That is not my ideal but it is the case and fact at this point in time."

So why the heck have you been arguing as though it was!?

You've been denying any idea of government accountability to the taxpayer to justify your belief that taxpayer money should be given to Maori, and now say that this is "not your ideal".

It's a yes or no question Barry. Answer me truthfully:

Do you believe it's right for money to be forcefully taken from taxpayers to be given to Maori?

If you answer yes you're an advocate of the gangster state, because you believe that money can be taken by the state and used whichever way it likes, without the victim having any right to it back.

If you answer no, please be aware that you've been debating as though your answer was yes.

4/25/2010 07:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Barry said...

I have already stated multiple times that I do not think that people should have their money taken in the first place.

However that already being that case, I do agree with the legal basis for government having a right to compensate Maori for damages even though those damages were inflicted centuries ago.

There are two parts to the issue:

1. Are Maori owed anything?
2. Who should pay?

I say yes for the first question because their claim is no different to you if a road was planned through your house tomorrow. I would never deny anyone their right to compensation for wrongdoing. This compensation can still be enforced as long as the entity in the wrong is still in existence - and the government is still in existence since it committed the wrongdoing.

Are you saying that if the government put a road through your house before the election they could just walk away after the election because different people were in power? No. It is the same entity with the same liability as the day before. It has the option to renounce all its debts and obligations but none of our governments ever has. This would be akin to revolution or national bankruptcy.

And for question 2 who pays...you are entitled to say not taxpayers. That is your choice. In my case I see no perfect answer. If taxpayers don't pay then Maori are left with no compensation. If taxpayers do pay then they are left out of pocket. No situation results in everyone happy. Whichever way you choose is simply based on your relative value judgements. I go on the side of Maori because more than just them I also support our government acting responsibly and upholding its obligations.

In your case you just wanna choose the taxpayer over government. I respect that personal preference.

My main point is that it is only your personal preference. Nothing more than that. SO it doesn't make you right or wrong that you prefer taxpayers to maori with grievances.

4/25/2010 07:54:00 pm  
Blogger Callum said...

Thank you Barry, for clarifying your position. Now, let's get down to business:

"I say yes for the first question because their claim is no different to you if a road was planned through your house tomorrow. I would never deny anyone their right to compensation for wrongdoing. This compensation can still be enforced as long as the entity in the wrong is still in existence - and the government is still in existence since it committed the wrongdoing."

I think you may well have a valid point, if the government were a private organization that was entirely self-funded.

The problem here is that the government is not self-funded; it is paid from the involuntarily collected money from taxpayers. As thus, saying that the government has an obligation to pay compensation to Maori is the same as saying that taxpayers are obliged to pay money to Maori, through the use of force. It is this part that I object to - that Peter should be robbed to pay Paul who was robbed in the past, even though Peter was not the robber himself.

Which leads us directly onto question 2, who pays:

My answer is: no-one. Once again, this comes down to the fact that taxpayers would have to be the ones paying the bill, despite having not done any wrongdoings themselves. Robbing someone to pay someone else who was robbed in the past simply multiplies the injustices.

If a crime has been committed against Maori because their land and possessions were forcefully removed by the government, the taxpayer would have the same grievance due to the same use of force against him. As two wrongs don't make a right, it is therefore wrong that the government steal to give to previous victims of its robberies.

Once again, you'd have a valid point if the government were a private, self-funded organization. But the fact that the use of force (taxes) comes into play changes the nature of the situation completely.

To use an example: if a court ordered a criminal to pay back the victim of a past theft, it would not be proper for him to steal from someone else to do so. The same principle applies in regard to the issue of Maori compensation.

4/25/2010 09:31:00 pm  
Anonymous PaulB said...

Hi Barry,

Thanks for summing up your position - nicely put.

One of the problems I have with it is there doesn't seem to be any end point i.e.at what stage can we stop having money taken from our wallets for these supposed wrongs.

Do you think there should be a statue of limitations on these past actions? Or should we just hand the money straight to the moriori?

It is also difficult now to ascertain who the actual victims are, if any.

And then there is the morality of taxing some Maori to pay other, better connected Maori.

Cheers
Paul

4/25/2010 09:33:00 pm  
OpenID ropata said...

Thank you PaulB, many NZers have mixed heritage and just want to get on with life not live in a stone age commune with mad ideologues. I have no desire to scrabble for a handout, it's demeaning and self-defeating to go through life with a chip on your shoulder.

4/26/2010 02:40:00 am  

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