Wednesday, April 12, 2006
As an opponent of anti-trust laws, I don't have a problem with privately owned airlines in an open market getting together. Although Air NZ and Qantas would not have done that had Dr Cullen let Air NZ be 49% owned by Singapore Airlines in the first place, that is now history. Unfortunately Air NZ is now predominantly state owned - and so it is at best, unclear, whether this collusion between Qantas (which so clearly has the political backing of the Australian Federal Government, as it shut out competition for Qantas on one of its most profitable routes) and the state carrier should be allowed.
However, I can laugh at one point - the claim by the airlines that this is good for consumers. Check these claims:
* Air New Zealand customers currently have the choice of 134 Tasman departures per week. Under the proposed codeshare with Qantas this would increase by 63% to 218 departures.
Well, actually customers can choose between all of the airlines. Nobody is forced to use one airline - at best the claim that you can earn frequent flyer points/airpoints dollars on more flights is true.
* Better schedule spread (access to 63 % more flights a week across the Tasman).
OK, there are less flights - are the remainder going to happen at hours that people don't want that much??
* Greater range of connecting options and enhanced seamlessness of service.
You both have deals with each other for connecting to each others' domestic networks already.
* Potential for new destinations and improved frequencies.
So the new route to Adelaide happened because?? You're reducing frequencies - so what is that about?
* Cost savings from extraction of capacity (removal of two aircraft from the Air New Zealand fleet and one from Qantas) will allow sustainability of low fares.
Yes, though there will be less low fares- you use those to try to fill all those half empty planes.
Oh well, as a libertarian I don't advocate the government stop it - but it isn't much good for consumers, particularly those flying from Wellington since only Air NZ and Qantas fly from Wellington to Australia. Meanwhile, remember that this wouldn't have happened had it NOT been for government interference in the first place- why should Dr Cullen have held up Singapore Airlines' investment in Air NZ in 2001?
Ahh New Zealand, land of the parochial soooo:
Things I have missed
Family and friends
Empty clean beaches, countryside, roads
Cheap good fresh fruit and veges
Good edible bread easy to get
More fish than haddock and cod that is easy to get
Sun and blue skies
Relatively good service
Lack of crowds
Things i have not missed
Nauseatingly patriotic navel gazing provincialism, as if New Zealand as an entity is important - it just exists and people there have to do things good to be noticed. Just because it is NZ made means nothing unless it is good.
Nasal drawling accents (LA Air NZ lounge I sat beside a blonde woman with the worst accent I've heard in ages - loud, nasal and SO glad she didn't sit upstairs).
High taxes on alcohol.
Anally retentive customs (you really think most illegal drugs used in NZ come through passengers at airports?)
Low value currency getting lower (good for me for now).
The preponderance of the stupid prickery using the roads (whereas in London they are homeless or riding buses).
Newspapers with large sections dedicated to parish pump pointlessness and bugger all analysis or incisive comment, and virtually no choice of newspapers.
Television virtually devoid of intelligence, unless it comes from foreign channels and awash with cultural cringe.
Radio largely devoid of intelligence (BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4, as leftwing as they are, are like undergraduate tutors compared to National Radio's adolescent students).
The subculture of welfare, drug addiction, crime, abuse and irresponsibility rampant in certain segments of society - and the political tolerance of it (yes I am very aware of it in the UK too, but it is a different but equally troublesome nature).
The perverse criminal justice system that puts a drug trafficker in jail for years, but lets women who beat up kids out in half the time.
The obsession with the road toll - but unwillingess to confront the cause - stupid driving.
OK that'll do, I don't enjoy sitting in front of a computer more than I have to :)
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The emphasis on euphoric happiness can result on people neglecting roles and vocations vital to the future and eproduction of a society, such parenting, mentoring and involvement in the voluntary sector and domestic spheres...resulting in the potential for collapse of a civilisation/people - ie The West meets Islam.
I don't think there is an emphasis on euphoric happiness, just happiness. I think parenting is something people enjoy, as is mentoring and voluntary work. Most people I know doing those things do it because they enjoy it and get satisfaction. I am not endorsing hedonistic self-destruction, but simply enjoying being alive. I think society has existed and progressed because people get satisfaction in producing and teaching and applying their minds and hearts to the world around them. Yes, some people are hedonists and don't give a damn, but experience of groups who have pursued that show that eventually most people give that up because they don't want to live in squalor, and need to work to earn money to get what they want. I don't think people have predetermined roles, but spontaneously, without any central planning - there are people to be doctors, teachers, taxi drivers, engineers, farmers, builders etc - it happens due to freedom, choice and the ambition of most people to live and pursue work they get some satisfaction from.
- People who do not think positively of themselves and their own needs, and as a result have given up a pursuit of happiness largely because of relational disappointments (as relationships are typically crucial to happiness). Such people can be instead prone to destructive behaviour which, because they have chosen it, we redefine as "a pursuit of happiness", discarding our moral apprehensions as a relativistic misunderstanding.
I agree, and it happens in more areas than you would believe. Alcohol and drugs are obvious, sex less obvious, over and undereating as well, reclusiveness, overshopping, overexercising and the rest. Unfortunately, you as an outside observer can never tell if someone engaging in any of the above is being seriously self destructive, going through a bad patch (e.g. post breakup or mourning a loss) or simply exploring different facets of life. Most people overdo something at some point in their life and learn from it, and nothing the state can do will stop it.
.- People who take advantage of the above people, being motivated by perverse and corrupt desires, whose deeds are discounted on the basis of the redefined nature of morality as discussed above.
Well I don't know what perverse and corrupt desires are, although I can guess. For me, it is perverse and corrupt to lie, steal, defraud or force someone to do something. If by perverse and corrupt you mean sexual practices you don't like or approve of, then that is a separate discussion. If two adults agree to enjoy their bodies together then it frankly does not matter to me, and I struggle why it matters to anyone else, unless either of them are in a relationship with another that they are not being honest about.
- The lack of structure and guidance in a less ordered society can pose challenges to maturing citizens looking for guidance and direction, and a meaningful role to play in their community. The sociologist Emile Durkheim discussed the condition of anomie which can result when a person's identity is challenged in this way. Furthermore, a poorly structured society is potentially less effective in responding to an emergency or sudden action (ie The West meets Islam).
I understand the point, but this is up to parents and a good start is to teach the first rule of no initiation of force or fraud. Being honest with people, respecting their bodies and property is a cornerstone of civilisation. Then to apply the mind, and reasoning to problems. A person develops identity as an individual and the more that it allowed to flourish, within the context of respecting others, the happier and better off society will be. I believe people will act and respond quickly in times of emergency, in those situations people are willing to give a hand or to fight if need be - they do so out of esteem and respect for the society of independent and free people. One that does not judge people for actions that are not an attack on others.
PC has also posted some salient points on this that I urge you to read.
also, David Farrar was to respond to my response to InternetNZ's submission calling for the government to remove some of Telecom's property rights over its local lines and for everyone else to be forced to pay for high speed internet infrastructure in certain locations. I await it with antici-pation.... But maybe the rain, isn't really to blame (snaps out of Franknfurter role).
Finland changed its system from being centralised, with curriculum, schools, teacher pay run from Helsinki to deregulating it to schools and teachers. There is no national curriculum in Finland and few national exams. In essence, says the Economist, the formula was “about getting good teachers – and then giving them freedom”. So that means rewarding good teachers and allowing them to teach what they want, how they want.
Finland’s 15yos have the highest level of maths and science skills, and reading literacy of any rich industrialised country. In the 1960s it was one of the worst performers. Finland stands above most European countries, as most European countries are at or below the OECD average for mathematics, the top performers are Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Finland.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
He’s justifiably expressing anger at a monopoly (French air traffic controllers) holding others to ransom, and says they should get back to work or get another job if they don’t like it.
While disagreeing with the language, a Liberal Democrats MEP has said that France and Italy are in a headlong economic race to be the sick man of Europe. Quite right.
France is slowly stagnating under the enormous economic millstone of socialism, which means that companies cannot fire staff unless the company is losing money, will lose money for an ongoing period and there are no other positions for the people the company wants to fire. Imagine that – you can’t cut staff until you are unprofitable, so you could be losing money in several areas of your business, but since you are profitable overall you must cross-subsidise those other jobs.
One final note, noticed how few low-cost French airlines there are? There are none, compared to ten in the UK last time I counted. Fortunately the open internal European market means non-French EU airlines have the right to fly to and from France as they wish – fortunately for French consumers that is.
“ return to the assimilationist model appears increasingly in public discourse, redirecting concern about collective rights and the place of Maori as a people within the wider society, to emphasis on the protection of the individual rights of all New Zealanders, including the rights to equal opportunity, due process of law and freedom from illegal discrimination on any grounds, including ethnicity or race.”
This implies that there are “models” for people treating Maori, instead of simply treating people as individuals. Once the state has no policy for Maori in particular, but treats everyone equally and gives equal respect to individuals of all cultural backgrounds, then all can get on.
However, as Louden explained Stavenhagen is a right socialist busybody. He recommends:
“The Treaty of Waitangi should be entrenched constitutionally in a form that
respects the pluralism of New Zealand society, creating positive recognition and
meaningful provision for Maori as a distinct people, possessing an alternative system of knowledge, philosophy and law.”
Besides being vacuous cultural relativism, what stops Maori using traditional knowledge (though most like using all knowledge at their disposal) and philosophy to act as they wish? As far as law is concerned, if laws are limited to those to protect people from each other and the state – then Maori can choose to sign up to any further provisions that they want socially – but they cannot be “laws” that apply to anyone else. Objective law is not something up for debate.
He also wants iwi and hapu to be able to claim legal aid, regardless presumably, of their wealth. Companies also ought to be able to claim it at this rate, for they are no different, as should incorporated societies. In fact, legal aid should be abolished except for individuals in criminal cases. He also wants more socialist education funding and an independent commission to monitor the media being non-racist – in other words, an attack on free speech.
So what is this all about, besides an insidious interference in New Zealand’s domestic politics?
Why should we listen to a body that is so morally bankrupt that it lets systematic violators of basic individual rights judge New Zealand on its race relations? Unlike many libertarians, I believe the UN should exist -but bodies like the ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights are virtually useless as long as they accept as legitimate members the vilest abusers of human rights in the world. Of course, cultural relativists like the Greens love the UN and think Marxists can teach us something, because the UN almost always supports a socialist state collectivist agenda.
“A Maori voter might make the decision to move to the Maori roll might because they are unsatisfied with the representation they are getting from candidates on the general roll. Yet because the option only opens every five years, they are forced to stay on the general roll for the next election. This seriously undermines the democratic process and highlights the structural inequalities for Maori of the Westminster system we operate under.”
What? So you should be able to shift electoral rolls if you don't like your candidates. Wonderful stuff
I don’t have Maori ancestry (I think) so I’m not entitled to a second option according to Metiria. According to her, it’s just fine that 85% or so of New Zealanders can just put up and shut up if they don’t like representation, but Maori shouldn’t. Furthermore, what are the “structural inequalities” that mean that Maori get two electoral options but everyone else gets one? What sort of Orwellian doublespeak is Metiria going on about? It is unequal and unfair if one group (Maori) get a second option nobody else gets, but can only exercise it every five years?
What unadulterated racist nonsense. Democracy means one person one vote. To suggest that Maori deserve extra is elevating them and denigrating others, and to suggest they need it for democracy is suggesting Maori when they vote on the general roll don’t really count.
This demonstrates the Green Party view of democracy is not all votes counting equally. The Maori seats should go – debates about democracy when just over half of Maori are represented by Maori seats, with MPs who claim to speak for Maori, when Maori views are represented across several parties (and the Green Party is a poor performer in the Maori seat). Don Brash is right - the Maori Party after all, is over-represented in this Parliament because of the Maori seats.
It is not racist to call for separate representation to be abolished, it is the opposite. Don’t let any Orwellian post-modernist cultural relativist socialist convince you otherwise.
Monday, April 03, 2006
I am opposed to the Human Rights Act applying to private activities. If a person wants to discriminate on the grounds of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, hair colour, musical tastes, politics or body odour it is nobody else's business. After all, it is a private contract between two adults. If I am an employer I should be able to choose the employee I want, similarly if if I am a landlord or a shopkeeper.
What? You're racist or sexist? No.