Saturday, April 30, 2005


How do you solve the problem of a lack of police available to investigate crime?
Many people would say get more police but Im not sure that adreses the key problem.
the key problem is that there are lots of other things that have to be done before and after the police catch a criminal making it a frustrating procedure for them and tying up resources. How much of a policemans time is spent arresting people? how much is spent doing paperwork etc?

the balance is between us making sure the government and the police do not go crazy and start abusing power and us tying their hands so much that they cannot do their job.

One way to improve both would be to give police many extra powers as long as they video taped themselves doing it.

Forget about all the paper work and just archive all the raw data in case it is needed - you can have an independant department to investigate credible complaints and random cases - and have some pretty harsh punishments for breaches of the trust placed in them.

ok - why not?

Friday, April 29, 2005

Flat tax

Arguments for
1) there will be no additional incentive to hire two people to do a job one person could do better - this is significantly more efficient since it leaves these two people to find other jobs.
How this works is that if you have lets say 60,000 dollars you could hire 2 people at 30,000 or 1 at 60,000 but the fellow on 60,000 is getting less in dollar terms than the other two people put together.

2) It is simpler (the argument used most widely)
It is harder to abuse a simple system

3) Poor people are encouraged to go overseas while rich people are encouraged to stay.
This soulds like a cynical benefit but basically if we stack the country with rich people standards of living go up as does our stock of talented individuals

Argument against
1) Fairness - the first dollar you earn is actually a lot more valuable than the last dollar you earn. This means that if I take one dollar from a poor person that prevents purchases in regards to food lets say if you take money from a rich person that may prevent purchases of European cars.

2) Incentives - The flat tax supporters would say that a progressive tax rate creates negative incentives to work BUT this is wrong.
First everyone realises that it is harder to earn your first dollar than your last dollar. For example take any book on getting rich and they will note that having money helps you to make money. ALSO a poor uneducated person will find it harder to make one dollar than a rich person. A worker would therefore apply a certain amount of effort to get a certain amount of benefit (not distorted) there should be a progressive tax rate that increases as income increases.

3) Sustaining capitalism
The problem here is that capitalist economies are driven in a sense by the redistribution of money from those that cannot manage it to those that can. BUT as time goes buy the economy draws on this resource of equality as certain people accumulate money and others loose it. If this is allowed to continue eventually the system breaks down because money becomes far too concentrated in the hands of a few there is no longer a mass market, but instead just a few people trading amongst themselves and the economic system (plutocracy) no longer even vaguely approximates democracy.
Taxes like death duties and progressive tax systems alow the government to build the system back up again so htat the rest of the system can then use up that equality.

I think argument 2 against is the strongest as long as we assume people are not too mobile or that we could have mutual taxation agreements with other countries. On the whole I think that is the case.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

racial studies
No right turn loks at a project to tracing human migration patterns using DNA.
A professor in NZ opposes cooperation since it may undermine traditions.
NRT notes

The only reason for opposing investigating those stories (whether through archeology or genetics) is because you know that those stories are untrue. But then if you know they are untrue, why believe them?

Well maybe we should all pose ourselves a certain question - regarding how committed we are to such logic since there is a related but vastly greater danger in this field than the one to which the professor refers.

WHAT IF you found out that, For example, maori are almost identical to asians ancestors a few hundred thousand years ago and, for example, koreans are found to be genetically predisposed to having higher average IQ's to the degree that a random korean will almost always be smarter than a random maori.

In that case some might say that racism becomes "justifyable" for example one might hire koreans if they think they are beter workers or refuse to do so because one sees the potential of a vast korean conspiracy.

If that is indeed the case (and it may be) then do we want anyone to know? It is relevent just after ANZAC day in that these are the concepts some of our ancesters fought to wipe from text books.

If future generations dont know - they cant use it to create racism and even if it is true - a constant flow of disinformation from academia might just be able to fight back the tide.

So do we allow such research that might jsut come to this conclusion or do we oppose it in principle as someting that either is of no value or is dangerous?

I leave the question open.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Damn Blogspot

If Blogspot continues to be as useless as it has been lately I could be tempted to go back to an old blog!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Just left on tamihere II

Jordan is still not taking comments on tamihere - particularly frustrating bcause that means my post got deleeted

The jist of course is that
"With respect to the Holocaust, the Labour Party believes it to have been genocide and as such one of the most repugnant and ferocious events of human history.

The pain caused to the Jewish community and to others who suffered in the Holocaust by these thoughtless comments is acknowledged and deeply regretted by the Labour Party."

the erronious implication is that John said it was not genocide - (somehow I doubt that) - and that he thought it was neither repugnant nor ferocious (strange since that is basically the same as what he said - see lower on this page).

Oh well - I guess the Labour party wants to hang him anyway.

NoRightTurn political survey

No Right Turn 2005 election candidate survey


Well I am not a candidate but I will answer it anyway in the spirit of my comments about blunt honesty being good for society

Do you support or oppose:

...legalizing marijuana (or pharmaceuticals based on it) for medical use?

Yes, they should be legal in pill form or something similar - don’t just give it in joint form - that will be hard to control and cause lung damage.

...decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use?

I'd like to have a close look at the costs and benefits - If it was legal it would be likely to face a steep tax.

...raising the drinking age?

Yes but it would go up slowly - I don’t want to make current drinkers unable to drink suddenly. I might put other regulations on alcohol also.

...allowing same-sex couples to adopt children?

No problem if they can offer a better home than the next heterosexual couple.

...amending the Marriage Act to allow same-sex couples to marry?

Civil unions are ok I think.

...voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide?

In general if you can’t kill yourself using the available methods you’re not ready to die. However if your going to withdraw medical support / food (like in the case in the USA) a quick direct death is better than a slow starvation one. This can be a consensus of doctor’s decision.

...the retention of sedition as a crime in the Crimes Act?

We shouldn’t have laws we don’t plan on using. So that gives us two options.

...the retention of blasphemous libel as a crime in the Crimes Act?

We shouldn’t have laws we don’t plan on using. So that gives us two options.

...further restrictions on hate speech?


...the use of indefinite detention without trial for those subject to a security risk certificate?


...Georgina Beyer's Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill?

I dont se why gender identity should have a higher status than lest say 'social affiliation. so While I am not too upset about such a law ideally it would be done by protecting individuals against anyform of discrimination that does not relate to performance. Impractical? well if that is the case then the next best option is to protect individuals rights if they apear likely to be unfairly discriminated against and there should be some attempt to do so systematically as opposed to on an issue by issue basis.

...Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill?

Opposed - sounds like another attempt to bind hte hands of government - although I do support the idea of compensating people for confiscation.

...entrenching the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act as supreme law?

No - if we did that it would need to be changed a bit.

...New Zealand's participation in the International Criminal Court?



How do you think the government should have handled the Ahmed Zaoui case?

Send him away immediately - no detention, no processing. In his place an additional person from a needy country like Sudan should have been allowed into New Zealand. Fly over there and offer a couple of them citizenship I bet they would be very grateful.

Tamihere antisemite?

there are alot of people very angry at tamihere for saying this

“The Weisenthal Institute is the same. I’m sick and tired of hearing how many Jews got gassed, not because I’m not revolted by it - I am - or I’m not violated by it - I am - but because I already know that. "
“How many times do I have to be told and made to feel guilty?”

I think it is a storm in a tea cup.

Tamihere in this very quote denies being a holocaust denier or a suporter of the holocaust. As such there is nothign revolting about it.

I think that there is a problem here because if you attack non revisionists when they say somthing that is not anti-jew, and even worse is a widely held belief (rather like many people are sick of hearing about the maori wars), you run the risk of alienating the public from you. You become the kid who cried wolf. I dont think tamihere said anything worth screaming about.

The only answer to tamihere is "well we are going to keep telling you about it anyway because your SUPPOSED to feel sick! thats what genocide should do". And you definitly have the right to do that.

You will only confuse him for an antisemite if you are a pretty superficial follower of politics unlike the genuine anti-Semites.
If there are so many real antisemites out there (and there are quite a few) you should save your energy for hunting them down.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Tamihere and labour supporters

Jordan comments that he wont be commenting on tamihere, I was wiling to bet money that was the case. For some od reason the left seems unwilling to consider the possibility that analysis of their party internal politics might be interesting.. Closing ranks? Of all poeple the Labour supporters and further left should be VERY interested in Tamihere's comments. After-all surely no one thinks he was lying.

Monday, April 04, 2005


NZ herald gives us the low down on the tamihere saga.

Al I have to say is hats of to tamihere, not only is he a real mans man but he has the blunt honesty that we need in parliment. I wish we had one (and only one) of him for al lthe major parties, then the voters could decide who they wanted to vote for based on the truth rather than the sugar coated image they wish to portray.

"You can spend two hours with Maharey and walk away none the wiser but you've got three screeds of paper full of notes. So there's operators like him who are very smarmy, very clever, but no substance. It's all about status.'

"We wouldn't survive without (Finance Minister Michael) Cullen -- he can cut a deal on a piece of legislation, he can change a single word in a piece of legislation without those other bastards (coalition partners) knowing about it."

I always thought Cullen was all class. Hats off to him.