Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Taking Down The Dom - Friday’s Dom Post Dictatorial & Those Anti-Social Thugs in the Bottle Store. The Morality of Tax Avoidance.



‘Selfishness is not living as you wish; it’s making others live as you wish’.

(Oscar Wilde.)



Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.


(T.S. Eliot)



German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt accused Jewish leaders of abetting the slaughter and, most controversially, coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to advance her principal idea: ordinary people, even nobodies, can commit evil acts if they simply renounce the duty to think.


(Film Review: Hannah Arendt.)



I’ve been writing a series of posts – upcoming – critiquing identity politics and the alarming legal outcomes proponents of identity politics are trying to achieve, including the harm of reversing the burden of proof in rape cases, and then along comes an example of such harm, albeit on the surface looking to be unrelated. I can tell you with certainty what happens when the burden of proof is reversed and there is no innocent until proven guilty, because tax cases are the only existing category of ‘crime’ persecuted prosecuted on that basis; what it does is put the individual accused on the back foot,  far more likely to face a miscarriage of justice than otherwise, leading in the tax realm, certainly, to the tax state ascendent, an individual's freedom at its discretion, especially as happens when new tax precedents are policed retrospectively, which over time cowers a population, and stops people thinking dangerous, un-stately thoughts, until we get editorials like last Friday's in The Dominion Post, which evidence the final capitulation of a Western civilisation that held so much hope.


I don't read The Dom, although if I did this editorial would have cured me of it. No surprise this publication serves the city our Fortress of Legislation resides, and the legions of bureaucrats whose job it is to wrap our lives in the millions of words that are printed into statutes to embalm us with. This appalling editorial can be summed up by quoting the first and last paragraphs:


Aggressive tax avoidance has gone the same way as smoking: once common and even respectable, nowadays it's seen as a vice. Wealthy people like to make a fuss about the difference between tax avoidance ("perfectly legal") and tax evasion (a crime). But morally there is no difference. Both are forms of theft from the common weal and both are a breach of the social contract which requires all members of the community to contribute.


Perhaps with time this backlash against tax avoiders will become more widespread, like the campaign against smoking. Tax avoiders might come to be treated as pariahs, just as smokers are. In fact, of course, the tax avoider is far worse than the smoker. The smoker is an addict and is a genuine victim of Big Tobacco. Tax avoiders are anti-social creeps who have no-one to blame for their sins but themselves.


Perhaps we’ll include this paragraph also; note the tawdry, emoting use of selfishness to describe someone who simply wants to keep half (HALF only) of their own income:


Singer George Michael and actor Michael Caine were among a herd of celebrities who tried to shelter inside [aggressive tax scheme] Liberty. Caine never made any secret of his selfishness. He had threatened to move to the United States if the British government raised taxes above 50 per cent.


This editorial is unutterable evil; pure communism. Plumbing the shallow depths of The Dom's lexicon, ‘perfectly legal tax avoiders’ are anti-social creeps. The philosophy bereft editor who wrote this has a mind which has renounced the duty to think, negating reason and the entire Western Enlightenment, settling for an infantile feeling about issues instead. It’s an editorial uninformed on every level, so on every level, I shall demolish it, noting particularly the false assumptions I have underlined in the above.


The editor writes on the social contract, but doesn’t know what that is, confusing it instead with nothing less than a slave contract. As I have written previously, the social contract in the original was concerned with the rights required for an individual’s freedom and so the civilised society:


… the originator of the term was Rousseau in his 1762 treatise 'The Social Contract'. Significantly, that document starts, quote: 'Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.' Moreover, Rousseau argued that in a society founded on laws devised upon mans’ reason, that is, the rule of law, no man would, or should, logically, surrender his freedom for a state of slavery. The contract was at its heart about safeguarding rights to property, and better, an individual was free to exit such a contract, and be as free again as when he was born.


… the social contract, according to Rousseau, and according to classical liberalism, was only ever about creating the conditions for a civilising freedom, by protecting that smallest minority in any society: the individual. Under the rule of law the state would protect that individual from the use of force, on the understanding that individuals would exercise those responsibilities that make it possible for us all to live in a free society – the primary responsibility being for one’s own life, and the acknowledgement that no man’s need forms an enforceable claim on the life of a total stranger (that is solely in the realm of compassion, namely, the noble acts of generosity and charity). The problem is that under the cynicism of the Left, of Statists of all hues, the state has now assumed those responsibilities that should solely have been in the purview of the individual, and so we have had voted in, on the bribes of irresponsible and immoral politicians, the Thug State, where the Thug State is the chief abuser of my rights as a free man, and is consequently the chief initiator of force. We are far closer to the trapped, slave society of Soviet Russia (for KGB, secret police, read IRD – they have all the same powers of snooping, search and seizure), than to the civilised free society envisaged by Rousseau made possible by his social contract. And listening to Statists, including every politician in parliament, [or this editor of The Dom], use the social contract as the justification of the state’s use of force on me, makes my skin crawl, as it would have Rousseau’s.


Let me remind the editor what has made the West, in terms of human rights, living standards and liberty, once the pinnacle that any civilisation  had reached, and the reason, indeed, for why this editor has a free press to spout such offensive politicking nonsense from: it was classical liberalism, the philosophy, economics and politics of the free society. A classical liberal society was not one where the state spend, as it is now, makes up almost half the economic activity of an entire economy to create unparalleled, unaffordable, inter-generational dependence, and the poverty that comes from that; nor where government departments have been given police state powers above a necessary privacy legislation to run tax surveillance states that interfere in the minutiae of people’s lives who are doing no harm. The classical liberal society was:


that philosophy of limited government and liberty of individuals: freedom of speech, markets, religion, assembly, of thought and intellect, and a free press - the state as servant of the individual, protecting their person and property, not the state as tyrannical master, plunderer by force of property and liberty.


It was this ideal that the ANZACs were fighting for, and died for: men and women. And incalculable more men and women have died trying to escape the state tyrannies they were born in, be it the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, North Korea, et al, to be perhaps capable of the chance of living free lives.


That quotation was from a post where I explained how the expression of classical liberalism in the tax field, the Westminster Principle of 1936, pursuant to which an individual could structure their affairs in ways that suited them, without regard to the taxing authority, has over the last fifteen years in New Zealand been destroyed by an airhead judiciary as unthinking as this editorial, and I gave the reason for how this has happened:


It is a disgrace that in New Zealand even this principle has over the last decade been destroyed, and destroyed utterly, in the very courts that were meant to be the individual’s buffer against the tyranny of state. I’ve explained why on this post: the minds of our children have been captured in the classroom, generation after generation, and immured on the treacherous reef of belief in a statist theocracy; 95% of our secondary school teachers belong to that hard Left union, the PPTA, with a similar percentage of primary school teachers signed up the NZEI. These teachers preach the forced sacrifice of the individual’s liberty on the bloodied altar of the common good, and the state as redistributor of private property in a morality turned on its head. Our School Curriculum Document imposes this Soviet ethic into the basis of our very curriculum [and like a virus it thus now informs our judiciary in every precedent they set.].


Note my closing reference to the ‘common good’; I’ll be coming back to that, for this editor wants to chain free individuals to that hoary, barbaric old fallacy as well. But first, the legal advantage the destruction such statism and this editor’s mentality has is explained by Daniel Horowitz:


“We must understand that there is an imbalance of power in the political system of any democracy in that the forces of statism have an innate advantage over the defenders of freedom. It takes but one legislative or administrative victory for statism to succeed in guiding society on an indelible path towards dependency. We cannot perpetuate the free-market, but we can perpetuate statism by creating inveterate dependency constituencies. Statism enjoys the inherent advantage of self-perpetuation through its own pernicious activities that engender a continued need for the government programs.”


The price of the Westminster principle being squashed, the burden of proof turned against the taxpayer, is that the state has come to own us, our liberty destroyed, meaning as the editor admits, indeed, pursuant to IRD’s latest draft policy on what constitutes tax avoidance, everything is tax avoidance, circa the twenty first century, because everything is illegal if the state says so, thus we can be herded and coerced: 


And so in New Zealand every business and estate structuring and transaction that doesn’t involve paying the maximum amount of tax is now tax avoidance, no matter you may be trying to achieve ends that have nothing to do with the tax take. It’s that point where the pragmatism of IRD bureaucrats mindlessly pursuing their job descriptions, plus judges, [editors], and politicians who don’t believe in property rights or the Free West anymore, as George Orwell wrote at the end of his nightmare novel 1984, becomes like a boot kicking the face of our liberty forever.


Over the course of writing the above piece, an apt quotation has been posted on CafĂ© Hayek, from Bertrand de Jouvenel’s 1951 The Ethics of Redistribution:



The role played by the state in transferring incomes evidently entailed some increase in the volume of public encashings and payments, but this volume has grown out of all proportion to the needs of this function.  Such growth has encountered only the weakest opposition; my argument is that a change of mind toward public expenditure has been induced by redistributionist policies, the greatest gainer from which is not the lower-income class as against the higher but the State as against the citizen.



 What we almost achieved as that wonderful peak of human cooperation and innovation, the classical liberal, peaceful, capitalist Free West, where the state was our servant, is no more: there has been a war of ideas, and those totalitarian ideas have won, yet again.


The harm here is inestimable. We have had our freedoms voted and legislated away from us to make huge welfare states we can’t afford. Worse, the editor might want to read my post Beneficiary Fraud Versus Tax Evasion, which starts:


Jacinda Adern, along with Massey University Tax lecturer, Deborah Russell, on news last week of the beneficiary fraud turned up by government departments sharing data, have been opining that tax evasion is a bigger scourge on society, with much bigger numbers: which is, of course, to compare rotten apples erroneously with political persecution: to confuse benefit abuse, with abuse of the power of state.


Tax evasion and avoidance versus benefit abuse is the difference between an individual trying to hold onto the money they have earned from their risk taking, their effort, and employing their capital, versus those who think the property of such individuals is their own simply to be taken and lived on due to an artificial right created by the state; that right being the only real fraud in this story. It’s the vacuum in people’s heads that has destroyed the free West.


Or better, the editor could spend a weekend reading Lindsey Mitchell’s blog to learn how tax dollars are turned into creating dependency and learned helplessness that justify to the mindless more and more welfare, setting off a cycle of poverty that is destroying first the lives of human beings, then whole countries, as we are herded down our road to serfdom. And while on that, would the editor want to take a bet those four vicious thug-childs aged 14 to 16 we saw on our screens last week brutally beating up a shop employee, had their thieving little ruthless lives procreated and funded by tax dollars? Theirs was certainly the ethic of welfarism: no responsibility for their actions; no respect for the property – including to life itself – of others; a belief that which they haven’t earned, is theirs for the taking, and no responsible parent loving them and guiding them wisely so they would know better, and would have boundaries in their lives. Such is the moral vacuum the welfare state leads us, a vacuum replicated in this editorial. Regarding the welfare state, David Schmidtz’s and Robert E. Goodin’s important 1998 book, Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against, pinpoints the central problem and the welfare state's failure:


If communitarians are right to say Western society has been atomized, then surely one of the causes has been the state’s penchant for making itself (rather than the community) the primary focus of public life….


What explains market society’s unparalleled success in helping people to prosper? The key, I have argued, lies in background institutions, especially property institutions, that lead people to take responsibility for their own welfare….


The welfare state would have made people better off if it had led neighbors to rely on each other and on themselves, but it seems to have done the opposite.

And so to the editor's related invoking of the ‘common weal’. Perhaps the most lethal fallacy born of emoting that has crippled the West, and which forms the central ethic of life destroying creeds of communism and socialism, is the notion that individual lives and liberty are to be sacrificed by decree and the sanctimonious for the good of the mob. Whereas in truth societies that try to found themselves on such common good are characterised by greed, by selfishness,  by incivility, and ultimately, by our private lives being hollowed out or betrayed under the brass knuckles of out of control surveillance states, followed by the viciousness of the snitch society the likes of which were created in every hellhole state in human history. There's a depressing movie called The Lives Of Others, about life behind the Iron Curtain in East Berlin before the Wall came down, chronicalling how life grinds down to a frightful animal existence when lives of individuals are spied on, tracked, and classifed by the state in the pointless, always barbaric, perpetuation of its own existence, that existence justified as the mechanism serving the common good: its the society this editorial envisages. The philosophical underpinning of my argument is simple:


… the common good has been the battle cry of almost every tyrant throughout history. The common good has been so important, apparently, that hundreds of millions of individuals over the twentieth century had to be exterminated or killed by the state for it. Rights cannot attach to a collective, when you try you open the gates to tyranny and atrocity. …. To be meaningful, and cause no harm, rights can and must only attach to individuals. A society must only base itself on protecting the smallest minority: the rights and property of an individual (and especially from the abuse of state).


 Or to shine the light of reason on the evil that flows from the common good in a manner more intuitive; this, talking of how children in the UK were in a school education unit being taught to dob in suspected tax evaders in their neighbourhood (including mum and dad presumably):


Look at the ‘good citizens’ these children are taught to be in our schools, with all these ‘obligations’ to each other. And so strong is the programming, that I am confident more than ninety percent of those reading this would feel, deep down, that they have to agree with the teachers’ ethic here, with what this tax course in the schools is founded on: that self-sacrifice for the common good, is a noble thing, and the needs of others are what social democracies must hold at their centre. This is what New Zealand Socialist commentator, Chris - The Fist - Trotter forces on us.


 But it’s a magic trick, an illusion, that’s been done in our minds by Gramsci, a linguistic sleight of hand, all the more evil because it initially appeals to our 'better natures'. All we need do to understand it, see the reality of it, is change the focus, the narrative point of view, and see what it really says, which is that for you to live your life, it is acceptable that the lives of others, total strangers, be sacrificed to you, their pursuit of happiness destroyed for you, and that the state will initiate force to back you up in this, and mince up the livelihoods, and freedom, of those who will not bow down to you. And part of being a good citizen, now, is for you to dob these people in, so they can be dealt to.

 Free men know that the civilised society is not based on such an extinguishment of life, but founded on a bed-rock of the non-initiation of force, particularly the state against the people, and on each individual being responsible for themselves, and self-reliant. That a civilised society works on the natural love and affection between families and loved ones, on compassion and charity freely given for strangers, and on voluntarism.

So that’s the social contract and the common good arguments dealt to regarding this communist tract printed in The Dom, now to move from the philosophical to the mundane: some questions I’d love to see answered by this editor.


First, why the – envy ridden – concentration on the wealthy?  There are oft quoted figures from every western country to the effect the wealthy pay by far the greatest proportion of income tax. In New Zealand families earning under $60,000 are paying no net tax after transfers, that’s near half the families in the country, while 12% only of households, the high income earners, are paying 75% of the tax take. Indeed, in terms of running public services, and providing  a good portion of the population with a  living, never was so much owed by so many to so damned few, yet The Dom’s ethic, that of a philosophically bankrupt West, is the wealthy must yet be put to the Income Tax 2007 and plundered again and again.


More particularly, why no mention of that huge contributor to tax evasion, being the cash economy: tradies doing cash jobs, beneficiaries being paid under the table, and online trading? Last estimate had the black economy at $7 billion per annum. Read that again: $7 billion per annum. Does it not fit the communist ethic of The Dom that these people are perhaps ‘anti-social creeps’ also? Just put your jackboot into the wealthy, because they have become the new scapegoats for the insidious cult of redistribution promoted by mindless, state worshipping brochure rags like The Dom promoting big brother Soviet styled society from which frankly we're better off dead?


Secondly, is there some tax rate at which these anti-social wealthy tax creeps, and even the poorer ones making up the $7 billion cash economy, become entitled to defend the property right they have in their incomes? 50%? 60%? Perhaps as in France, 75% Are they allowed to get just a little pissed off with only keeping a quarter of their income. I challenge the editor to watch the below clip on how over half – that’s not hyperbole - of France’s young would leave France if they could as they see ‘no future in a country that hates the rich at political level’; and French businesspeople are prudently leaving their country in droves in protest at its 75% income tax rate ‘and its unsustainable addiction to welfare.’ In France government spend is currently 57% of its entire GDP.




Tax it; destroy it, including countries, where whole populations – at least those left who can’t escape - can become equal in poverty thanks to over-spending, bribing, corrupt, crony, incompetent, airhead, philosophy bereft, irresponsible politicians, judges, editors and voters wanting the illusory free lunch.


And which is more anti-social: a country that taxes so irresponsibly its citizens are clamouring to leave, or those wisely leaving so they can own their lives again, look after and love their families, and pursue their goddamned happiness free of the clutches of the greedy, selfish, communist, power crazed, and frankly insane, such as this editor, who like every well intentioned murdering tyrant throughout history, demands an individual's liberty, effort and property,  be sacrificed for total strangers  who are apparently not expected to show any constraint! There’s no compassionate, caring society to be found here, only a vicious thug state, read the goddamned history of the twentieth century, then move along.


Thirdly, can anyone tell me what The Dom’s editorial position was on the GCSB, NSA spying scandals? I hope they weren’t so hypocritical as to express concern for our privacy, as David Cunliffe has just done. I have already linked in this piece to the police state powers given IRD to run a tax surveillance state that has to operate outside of our Privacy Act, indeed, that must have no regard to a taxpayer’s privacy, or their right to be left alone. Statists such as the editor of course turn a blind eye to the contradiction because they see themselves serving a higher (blood soaked  im)morality with their cult of redistribution, with these mighty powers required to force and coerce us to be good to one another: for them any power, including those of the full blown police state, are justified to feed their bottomless pit of a tax take.  The problem is with this, that over just the last two months, with the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) implementing that piece of US tax colonialism known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), we now look at rank corruption in the use of that power:


 These are the facts spelled out. The supply by New Zealand financial institutions – … including every bank - of the requested information to IRS [on all account holder US citizens in New Zealand] would rightly contravene the most sacrosanct provisions of our privacy legislation. Thus, under a cynical work-around IGA between US and New Zealand governments, which allows them to avoid the political fallout of breaching that privacy legislation and creating second class citizens in New Zealand, these same financial institutions now simply provide that information to the IRD which can legally, albeit immorally, send it to IRS given our privacy provisions do not cover IRD

And:


Our politicians have signed the New Zealand taxpayer up to FATCA which has no benefit, indeed, is a cost, to taxpayers and to every New Zealand bank and financial institution account holder, given the US government is reimbursing no costs to administer ‘their’ law. FATCA was cynically put on us via the privacy law circumventing IGA only to provide the US information on its citizens, and to fund the US tax take, not New Zealand’s. There is absolutely no benefit for New Zealand.


Thus we have an IGA that cynically uses IRD’s shock and awe powers, which in a free society represent an excessive abuse of the power of government, for nothing to do with the tax take, but to allow spying and information swapping on US nationals. Can the editor point me to the editorials they must surely have that are rightly appalled at this, for if one government can so easily abuse the powers given our taxing authority  in this manner, then the precedent is set and future governments will follow. In fact why not just carry out GCSB and SIS operations via IRD? Even that Lefty organisation Techliberty wrote worried ditties about FATCA and the NZ/US IGA, so where are The Dom’s please?


Finally, I challenge this editor to take the test not a single politician or bureaucrat has been up to: answer for me what you think the ‘fair’ from your fair society means, in terms of the tax take, and the three scenarios I set on this post. A post which opens with my blog masthead:


Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.


Or perhaps Thomas Sowell says it more succinctly:



I can’t believe this editorial, yet it is wholly unsurprising: it is the Soviet Union served up in a New Zealand daily, and cannot go unchallenged. Here's the deal, if I am doing no harm, then I can do what like, and it's nobody else's business. If you are a businessperson subscribed to The Dominion: don’t. This editorial shows it's bottom feeder copy, mindlessly loading your mind with emoting, dangerous drivel, and as producers and capitalists, despite you bring us choice and via capitalist free markets the best standard of living any civilisation has seen, this editor hates you, seriously hates you, anti-social creeps. And that even if you give charitably in ways you know won’t create dependency, but create self-sufficiency, and for causes that promote prudent life decisions, not the dreadful ones subsidised and promoted by welfare states the massive size they are now.


To the editor, also search my blog for ‘wowser’, I can guarantee from reading this piece you’re one. In fact start with this post, Scarlett Johansson and the context of joy, wherein if France doesn’t have enough problems being closed up with all that life destroying taxation, their judiciary are doing their best to close down even the French wine industry. No really, their wine industry, astounding as that is. The trouble is socialists are so immured of the idea there is a bottomless pit of stolen booty to draw on they end up with no instinct for survival, so they end up destroying all lives, although before that, the reason for an individual living at all. Free men and women love ‘living in the village’, but in the Free West, the village doesn’t ruddy well own them, so editor, get a life, and stop advocating your ownership of mine. And stop writing this tripe.


I’ll end this post with the Gorbachev quote of my last post, because it aptly fits almost every post in here, and The Dom may as well print it into their masthead. I’m off to try and calm  down over a martini (if I drink enough I’ll forget the 75% excise tax on the gin.) Might also put on a Michael Caine movie – I’m starting to like him a lot - with a bit of George Michael playing in the background; even though his music is shite, it's better than this shite spewed across the page of The Dom.




For government officials – and by the way Mr/Mrs/Ms Editor, they mine my blog, as with social media and publications like NBR just like the Stasi did in East Berlin; great, ain’t it – as ever, please read my disclaimer at bottom of page. I do not use any type of tax scheme such as the one this editorial is written on, I complete my taxes conservatively so the state can spend my money on the whole range of initiatives I have no agreement with and which are destroying human lives by funding generations born on the scrapheap of dependence; I do not use such schemes, for I do not want to spend any of my life going bankrupt fighting a pointless court battle with IRD which I cannot win because this is no longer a free world, and any case will be judged by an emoting ‘mind’ such as this editor. Proof, read their dictatorial in The Dom.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Fallacy Of The Common Good & Viciousness Of Snitch Societies Modelled On It.


This is a reference post, created by amalgamating various other posts because it will be handy to have a single post I can link to in hope of demolishing the emoting nonsense of the statist argument a caring society must order itself around that bloodied altar of the common good. Such a society is anything but caring: it is characterised by greed, by incivility, and ultimately, by the collapse of our private lives under the brass knuckles of out of control tax surveillance states, and then the viciousness of the snitch society the likes of which were created in every hellhole state in human history.
 

First from my post The Tyrants Call, the philosophical basis:
 

… the common good has been the battle cry of almost every tyrant throughout history. The common good has been so important, apparently, that hundreds of millions of individuals over the twentieth century had to be exterminated or killed by the state for it. Rights cannot attach to a collective, when you try you open the gates to tyranny and atrocity. That same common good is currently being used in Christchurch – [post-earthquakes] - to usurp private property rights on a breath-taking scale. Just as the common good is used as the excuse to steal the property and effort of productive individuals while making those individuals victims to a department of state with literally the powers of the true Orwellian police state. To be meaningful, and cause no harm, rights can and must only attach to individuals. A society must only base itself on protecting the smallest minority: the rights and property of an individual (and especially from the abuse of state).
 

Then to narrow the focus, from this blog’s most read post, still with hundreds of weekly reads, and growing, despite having been written in 2012, 1984 Comes to 2012, talking of how children in the UK were in a school education unit being taught to dob in suspected tax evaders in their neighbourhood (including mum and dad presumably):

 

Look at the ‘good citizens’ these children are taught to be in our schools, with all these ‘obligations’ to each other. And so strong is the programming, that I am confident more than ninety percent of those reading this would feel, deep down, that they have to agree with the teachers’ ethic here, with what this tax course in the schools is founded on: that self-sacrifice for the common good, is a noble thing, and the needs of others are what social democracies must hold at their centre. This is what New Zealand Socialist commentator, Chris - The Fist - Trotter forces on us.
 

But it’s a magic trick, an illusion, that’s been done in our minds by Gramsci, a linguistic sleight of hand, all the more evil because it initially appeals to our 'better natures'. All we need do to understand it, see the reality of it, is change the focus, the narrative point of view, and see what it really says, which is that for you to live your life, it is acceptable that the lives of others, total strangers, be sacrificed to you, their pursuit of happiness destroyed for you, and that the state will initiate force to back you up in this, and mince up the livelihoods, and freedom, of those who will not bow down to you. And part of being a good citizen, now, is for you to dob these people in, so they can be dealt to.
 

Free men know that the civilised society is not based on such an extinguishment of life, but founded on a bed-rock of the non-initiation of force, particularly the state against the people, and on each individual being responsible for themselves, and self-reliant. That a civilised society works on the natural love and affection between families and loved ones, on compassion and charity freely given for strangers, and on voluntarism.

 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mark Hotchin & the Uncivil Society – When Will We Wake Up?


I wrote the below on New Zealand businessman Mark Hotchin, director of failed finance company, Hanover, on 1 June, 2012:

 

This being the first day of June, 2012, I am simply publishing a piece I first penned December, 2011, to mark the then first twelve months of ex-Finance Company director Mark Hotchin's asset freeze, not only without trial, but without a charge having been laid. Nothing has changed from when I wrote this; Hotchin now enters his nineteenth month without any criminal charge by the state, and it's sadly looking like, when his assets and his - and his families - lives were frozen, the state had no criminal case in prospect of prosecution. What a shameful indictment of the (lack of) the rule of law in New Zealand, as I define this in my article following.

I don't know Mark Hotchin, I'm neither defending nor attacking him: we simply owe it to ourselves to dispassionately understand the nature of the society we live in, and most of us would know what sort of a state practices detention without trial; well, an asset freeze with neither trial nor charge, for nineteen months, is a police state. When we smugly watch the nascent protests against Putin in Russia, and draw the obvious conclusions about that state, we are all missing the jackboots standing inside every room in New Zealand.

More and more I ask myself how can this happen? Every NBR and interest.co.nz thread about Hotchin is full of personal vitriol against the man, with no one seemingly able to grasp the desperate principles underneath his frozen life. I suspect it just shows how slavish as a society we have become behind the IRon Drape, in which the unprincipled hate of people laughing at the state-built gallows of their own lives, is part of the course in a country where a vigilante TV show consistently tops the weekly ratings.

 

This week we find from NBR:

 

The directors and promoters of the failed Hanover Finance group of companies will have their day in court in the middle of next year, more than three years after civil proceedings were filed against them by the Financial Markets Authority.
 

[Snip.]
 

The hearing date comes more than a year after the Serious Fraud Office completed its $1.1 million, 32-month probe into Hanover, which raised some concerns around the lender's behaviour but found nothing that crossed the threshold to warrant a criminal prosecution.
 

[Snip.]

Principal Mark Hotchin's assets have been frozen since December 2010 by the FMA's predecessor, the Securities Commission, including the proceeds from his multi-million dollar mansion on Auckland's exclusive Paritai Drive.

 

So after the Serious Fraud Office can find no case to make Mark Hotchin answer, yet another government department, the draconian Financial Markets Authority (FMA) can in a yet to be held civil case, keep this individual’s assets frozen for five years without trial. Justice this slow is not justice at all.
 

In one of my very first posts on Hotchin, four years ago now, I raised the nature of my disquiet over a state so powerful it can negate an individual’s rights like this:

 

Nothing attracted vitriol to my old blog Life Behind the IRon Drape more than the pieces I wrote on Mark Hotchin and Allan Hubbard (no relation). I may soon put them up again here, over December. For the coming one year anniversary I'm writing of is the freeze that was put on Mark Hotchin's assets over December, 2010. I have no idea whether Hotchin will be found wanting in respect of the laws of New Zealand, but he has now had his life frozen by the State for a year and not only has never been given the chance to defend himself in court, he's still not had a single charge laid against him.

To me, this denotes a State with far more power than I'm comfortable with, and no justice for the individual of Mark Hotchin, no matter what you think of him. The champagne thieving bureaucrats at the SFO need to charge Hotchin, or not, and give him his day in court (and unlike Mr Hubbard, don't make him have to sue to use his own money to defend himself). This isn't Putin's Russia, is it? It's New Zealand. Perhaps the difference is far less than we would all like to think.

 

Well the SFO didn’t charge him, they couldn’t make their case, so I guess that puts New Zealand firmly into Putin’s sphere rather than the Founding Fathers. Indeed those bullying statists of the Left take cynical glee in telling libertarians like myself we are utopian dreamers: and I agree, New Zealand is far closer to those big old state gulags, than to my fantasy of the free, civilised, prosperous Western society. We truly are in times when everything is tax avoidance, and everything is illegal, if that’s what the state decides, and where the God-like powers of departments like IRD above our privacy legislation are used to spy on citizens in programs that have nothing to do with the New Zealand tax take.
 

Finally, regarding Hotchin’s civil case in a year’s time, I repeat why that is not appropriate:
 

1) I contend the rule of law does not encompass the State taking a civil case, using taxpayer money, against Hanover. Surely this is outside the role of the State in a free country, as the losses borne are between Hanover and its investors: it's a private matter to those two parties, to be worked out through civil claims. The FMA should take no civil case for the same reason not one government should have bailed out one bank, and New Zealand should never have had legislated the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, with the disastrous unintended consequences it entailed. That is, just as the State and the Church were separated historically, to further the cause of freedom, so now must the state be separated from the economy and functioning of a free market, by which I mean, given the market is simply where individual needs and desires find their expression and resolution, separated from the lives of individuals, period.

2) My real concern, Mr Hotchin has had his assets frozen for over one [correction, four ]year[s] now, and still no criminal fraud charge has been laid, and prosecution of same would be the only appropriate role of state (which civil cases may well flow from). Nobody seems to have difficulty understanding that detention without trial is a practice that denotes the totalitarian State, not a state of freedom, well, how is Mr Hotchin having his life effectively frozen for over one year without a trial, or even a charge, any different (no matter what you might think of the man)? Does he get access to his funds to fight the State now in this civil case? Surely, even if it were legitimate the State take the civil case - it's not, but bear with me - then any criminal wrongdoing must be proven first?
 

Regarding that last, I repeat, no case for criminal wrongdoing could be made, so decide for yourself what sort of society that denotes, although I'll leave you the following words to ponder (hattip Sue@English_Woman:

.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Euthanasia Debate III: Fact File: Pain Remediation Alone Is Not The ‘Answer’; Polling of British Medical Association has a Lesson for NZ Medical Association.


In the upcoming euthanasia debate that will be held in New Zealand post-election around Labour MP Maryan Streets die with dignity bill, I hope MSM reporters are going to make the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) answer the questions I have posed them in my last email: it is not right they will get to (overly) influence the debate, when they refuse to justify their position against a reasoned argument: there is no basis argued by them for stating euthanasia and assisted suicide are ‘unethical’ in what constitutes a policy statement on euthanasia which is first deficient, then negligent in stating that despite euthanasia being – for whatever their reason, it is not explained – ‘unethical’, it is yet ethical to give pain medication in doses that may ‘shorten life’. That remains an ethical mess that could see medical professionals put needlessly in fear of their careers, or freedom, given the current actions of the Chief Coroner MacLean to change the death certification process, so such doctors who are over-medicating can be found out, and presumably convicted; a course of action taken by Judge MacLean which NZMA has plainly not anticipated. Furthermore, the evidence grows that worldwide, as within their own association, there exists no consensus against euthanasia amongst medical professionals.


The majority of this blog is my mind working my life out, I’m not interested in simply copying and pasting the dailies with a one line opinion attached, however, on this post – and throughout on this topic - I will be deliberately derivative simply to show the wealth of educated, knowledgeable and wise support for euthanasia that exists, and also the facts surrounding the science of medicine that still leaves many of us inevitably dying in pain. The below is a summary of two articles that appeared in The Guardian over the last week, namely:






The UK is debating its own dying with dignity legislation, known as Lord Falconer’s assisted dying bill, which comes up for its second reading on July 18, meaning there are many facts coming out of their national discussion, relevant to the coming debate here, and I’m glad to say, all of which backs up virtually the totality of my points made previously in correspondence with Dr Mark Peterson, Chairman of the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA). To begin with, the position of the British Medical Association, like our own Association, following the World Medical Association, is against euthanasia, however, the British Association has polled it’s members, and 61% of them believe it appropriate their Association remain neutral in that country’s debate, because as I stated to Dr Peterson, the issue of euthanasia is not about the medical profession, it’s about us; our lives and deaths; our choice as patients.


many supposedly representative medical bodies have a stance of opposition to assisted dying. This is despite the view of the majority of doctors (some 61% in a recent poll) that organisations such as the British Medical Association should remain neutral, as this is a matter for society, not the medical profession, to decide.


Furthermore in response to Dr Peterson’s scaremongering to our press a fortnight ago that if euthanasia were brought in ‘where would it stop’, the mentally incapacitated, the elderly and infirm, et al, overseas experience in those many jurisdictions where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal show this simply isn’t the case; regarding, by way of example, the state of Oregon:


The 17-year experience of the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon has shown that a law similar to the one proposed by Falconer (though the latter has more safeguards) can be administered safely. The worries expressed by opponents that it might have adverse consequences for medical care and society have not been realised. The Oregon Hospice Association initially opposed assisted dying. It withdrew its opposition after eight years of the law, finding that there was "no evidence that assisted dying undermined Oregon's end-of-life care or harmed the interests of vulnerable people".


The British campaign has benefited over recent months, by one of Britain’s most senior medical professional’s publicly supporting Lord Falconer’s bill: Professor John Ashton:


Doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients end their lives days or weeks before they die, one of the leaders of Britain's medical profession has urged.


Terminally ill patients should be provided with the professional equivalent of midwives to help ease the pain and suffering and if necessary shorten the end of their lives, said Prof John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health.


He demanded a change in the law so that doctors caring for people who are dying can end their suffering by giving a lethal dose of drugs to those who want it without the risk of prosecution.


He is the most senior doctor yet to publicly back patients' right to die.


Regarding assisted dying, Prof Ashton states:


"All over the country people are spending their last days and weeks in major discomfort because their medical carers are not willing to accept that it's the end of the line and to give them the necessary sedation to just speed things up a bit."


Just as midwives help babies come into the world, some terminally ill patients in pain may seek the help of a health professional to end their life. "We have midwives; we need an equivalent of a midwife at the end of life," he said.


He also urged the NHS to stop "keeping people going at any price" when they are near death by doing everything possible to prolong their lives, such as using drips and trying other forms of treatment, which he described as "a big problem".



And striking at the heart of our Dr Peterson’s claims to a medical consensus against euthanasia, I note this quotation:





Prof Raymond Tallis, the chairman of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying, a 1,000-strong group of doctors and nurses, backed Ashton. "It's totally appropriate that they should have the assistance of physicians if they have intolerable symptoms. It's very much the humane response to human suffering," said Tallis, an ex-professor of geriatric medicine at Manchester University.

Ashton had previously said that he "absolutely" supported doctor-assisted suicide. "As a humanist I believe each person as a citizen has an exclusive right to the final freedom – the choice of when and how to exit life," he told the BMJ.



Before I end this round up, I want to press home a point that exists indirectly in all of the above, that being palliative care leaves many, still, dying in barbaric suffering:


Ashton's call for "midwives for the end of life" is a response to a serious problem in the way the medical profession approaches the care of dying people. In part, as Ashton points out, this is driven by the false expectation that there is a medical answer to every problem and an unwillingness to recognise when medical interventions are futile, or worse, compounding the patient's suffering.


The development of palliative care, in which Britain has led the way, is partly a corrective to this unthinking attitude. It begins with the acknowledgement that there is a time to move away from aggressive treatments and the illusion of cure to a focus on symptom control. But we need to recognise that while this serves the needs of the majority of patients, many still suffer terribly.


A recent survey has found that even in hospices (which offer the best possible care) 2% of people – at least 6,000 adults - have no relief during the last three months of life. We can anticipate that this proportion rises for the final days and hours.


No civilised society can ignore this level of suffering. On grounds of compassion alone, the Falconer bill must command our support. If it is passed into law it would be possible for terminally ill, mentally competent adults with a settled wish to die to be given a life-ending prescription by a doctor.


For people such as me, we look on this debate in confusion at how, by the twenty first century, any individual or body could deny a compassionate euthanasia. But we don’t have to look far for the cause. As I explained in my email to the NZMA, that Association hides behind their deficient policy which merely channels a darkness from our past in the form of those who are the vanguard of that belief the lot of humanity is suffering ordained by some ridiculous, arbitrary and monstrous God: Christians. Back to the situation in Britain:


Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian lobby group Christian Concern, led criticism of Ashton. "To say that it's care for a doctor to kill is … a complete denial of their Hippocratic oath," she said. "A doctor is there to care for the patient, not to kill the patient. Midwives joyfully bring life into the world. It's not a doctor's place to play God at the end of life."


Here’s an idea Andrea: grow up. Thankfully, unlike Islam, we in the West had our Enlightenment to blunt the sword of an infantile obsession with Christian myth making; please don’t hold our lives, and the nature of our deaths, our choices, to your medieval faith and superstition. Your cruel God does not own my life, I do. And Prof John Ashton is very clear about what those who would deny us sovereignty over our own bodies are dooming some portion of us to:


Those who oppose the bill must recognise that in doing so they are riding roughshod over a fundamental principle of medicine and medical ethics – respect for patient choice. And they should also remember the alternatives to medically assisted dying: botched suicide attempts, death by voluntary starvation and dehydration, pilgrimages to Switzerland and help from one-off amateurs who have the threat of prosecution hanging over them.


And I note already, sadly, Prime Minister John Key is on record this weekend he won’t be voting for Maryan Street’s bill because it goes ‘too far’ - and before you get to it, go to hell, John, with the watered down 'political' version you're no doubt worming your way toward. We are so badly served in New Zealand, where our choice seems to be between a left wing that will destroy us economically, while tethering our individual lives tighter and tighter to the Big State, or right wing conservatives who still hold the Big State front and centre of our lives in issues such as euthanasia (abortion, et al).  There is no choice for freedom loving capitalists who are social liberals, so be warned right wing: you’ve had my vote up until this election simply because of economics, however, this election, I may yet make a protest party vote to Labour, for the only reason of giving Maryan moral support. Now if you read my blog you’ll understand what a sacrifice that would be, but from that, right wing parties, you better start figuring this out, because the issue of getting such civilised law through that for once defends my rights, and my sovereignty over my own damned body, is that important to me I will party vote Labour, this once.


For those of you who support euthanasia, Maryan is going to require all the help and pressure she can muster to prick the consciences of the too many old fogey authoritarian social conservatives in our Fortress of Legislation: email them, lobby them, and then email Dr Peterson, care of the New Zealand Medical Association, that perhaps he might want to put pen to paper and responsibly answer my last letter to him: you can read that letter here. Because if we can get the NZMA to at least stand on the side-line, there may be the inkling of a chance. Not otherwise though.




Footnote:
 


Whaleoil is running the partisan line that John Key is the hero in the piece who is prepared to discuss this issue prior to the election. Unfortunately Key’s statement came from a mere discussion, and his stance will be counter-productive. My thoughts on it are as I have posted to Whale’s post:
 


Unfortunately Key will only support a watered down version of Maryan's upcoming bill, thus he will be voting down that bill. His comments were only from a general discussion, there is no talk of him changing the current rules, so by not voting for that bill, we will be even further away from civilised assisted dying legislation. That's a disaster, especially in light of the chief coroner's current efforts to change death certification process so those doctors currently mercifully over-prescribing pain medication in such circumstances can be found and convicted.
 


Key's better approach would be to work with Maryan to ensure we get legislation in the statute books (and he should tell Judge MacLean to pull his head in.)
 


Update 1:

Well my offer to give a party vote to Labour hasn't lasted long. On David Cunliffe's mooting of changing the burden of proof in rape cases on a Labour win, that is, that every person charged with rape no longer must be proven guilty, but must instead prove they had consent, I would be voting for a basic individual right - euthanasia - at the expense of the very foundation of a free Western society, for once you take away innocent until proven guilty, there's no free West left anymore.

Note the burden of proof already is reversed in tax cases to run the tax surveillance state, so there is no free West, but extending that to criminal jurisdictions such as rape is *the* end. Mind you I had foretold in this earlier post how identity politics and Marxist feminism would lead to this.


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