Thursday, April 27, 2006

Individualism and the stuff its made of

During my conception, what gene was I blessed (or cursed) with that has seen my entire life battling normality, questioning the rules, and fighting the system?

At primary school when learning to write, why did I purposely insist on sloping my letters in the opposite direction to the teachers instruction and every other childs conformity? (and I still do!) Why, when every other player in my football team had black boots, did I have to have white (or red) boots? Why, when all my friends were listening to mainstream or regular bands like Led Zep, Black Sabbath and Hendrix, did I have to seek out wierd and alternative artists (Brian Eno, Ian Hunter, Alex Harvey, Patti Smith?) I was the first guy in town (I'm talking the 70s here) to have my very long hair styled with a spiral perm (mmmm - nice!) What made me "not" join the "young Nationals" with all my friends? The very first time I actually listened to what politicians had to say, and voted accordingly was for Bob Jones's Newly formed New Zealand Party!
I have recently built a new house, and flouted normality from start to finish (much to the building inspectors dismay/disgust/consternation (you should have seen the guys face when he came on site with his little gadget to check the moisture content in the framing timber, only to find the entire structure was made of steel - very unusual for around these parts! - he didn't know where to stick his little probe - if only he had asked me, I could have given him a few suggestions!!!)
The exterior cladding of the house is in corrugated coloursteel, and he was not very happy with the fact that instead of regular windows on the side of the building, I had replaced the steel with translucent corrugated plastic (often used in the rooves ofconservatories and industrial buildings to let in the light.) Not to mention the fact that only one room in the house has conventional gib board wall cladding! - I have used Bricks, weatherboards, Zincalume, Onduline, MDF and Plywood - everything BUT Gib board. He was also quite perturbed by the guttering running along the wall down the hallway. He aked me what it was there for, and I said "in case the roof leaks of course!" (The guttering contains fluorescent tube lights) Where is all this leading? - hard to say really! Just that I guess I have never been "one of the sheeple." I have never just done as I was told without first questioning "why." I have never wanted to do things conventionally just because "that is how they are normally done." Maybe this is what has made me question the likes of Jim Anderton, Sue Bradford, Sue Kedgley, Leila Harre, Hone Harawera, Judith Tizzard and the likes, whom so revolt me with their mindless, inane politics. Their inability to learn from history, and their insistence on the use of bribery, force and threats in their attempt to deliver the population with what is best for them, and to ensure they all remain as conductors on the gravy train. If only I had learnt to do as I was told - just think, I could be a Greenie or an Alliance supporter by now!

Selfishness as a virtue

Recently a contributor to the Bay of Plenty Times Daily newspaper wrote a letter placing the blame of the country’s ills on egoism, or self-interest! I disagree with his viewpoint, and replied with the following!

Your correspondent states the typical altruist / socialist interpretation of the term envy ie. envy of those who have or earn more than they do - indicated by his abhorrence of people spending their own money on things they desire.
Socialism/communism, are supposedly selfless economic theories, however those who subscribe to these ideals tend to be those who are envious of others who have what they do not. Envy is itself a form of selfishness - ie "If I can't have it, no one can." Capitalism however is the exact opposite, as individuals look out for their selfish interest to make money. The ones who cater to the selfish needs of their customers are the most successful. Customers look out for “their” selfish needs by seeking out the companies that have the best products. It's this kind of selfishness that inspires entrepreneurs to invent products and perfect services that drives our economy. Therefore, if everybody denied their self interest as your correspondent suggests, we would be still living in the dark ages.
Not only is it rational to pursue your own interests (read selfishness or egoist,) it is "irrational" not to.

John Stossel wrote recently (here) with an excellent article explaining much more succinctly than I could ever hope to:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

VIctoria Crosses and Property Rights

Although I am saddened that the families of the Uphams and the Hulmes feel they need to sell the magnificent Victoria Crosses (and here) won by their ancestors, as much as I disapprove of their actions, I believe they have every right to, and I stand behind their right to do so! The Uphams and the Hulmes were decorated for bravery, fighting for freedom, and against oppression from the enemy. Little did they realise that the biggest threats to these things in years to come would be coming from their own government! However, the answer to all the discourse concerning this issue is very simple, and it lies in property rights. The medals were passed down to members of the family once the original owners passed away. The current owners should be entitled to "all" property rights concerning them. What the current owners chose to do with them (whether we agree or not) is nobodys business but theirs. Sure, I would be sad to see them go, but it is none of my business - they are not my property. This is half of the problem with this country. Too many people laying claims to things that do not belong to them, but belong to other people. Who taught us, and encourages this sort of behaviour? The plague of socialist governments that's who! It is true that everybody wants something for free, only trouble is, somebody somewhere is paying for it - and one day, that person will be you! How will you like it then?

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Every Saturday morning renews my search for the holy grail! I jump in the car, a map and a scrap of newspaper listing the local garage sales in my grasp, and head off for the morning hoping to find whatever happens to be my latest vintage obsession.

You see, I have a passion for collecting things from the 1970s - fabric, radios, tvs, toys, eight track tapes and players, early computer games - in fact almost anything that is the colour orange, or made of plastic! A strange obsession I know, but an interesting one none the less. Perhaps it was being deprived of all the cool and expensive toys in my childhood that has spurred this on - who knows. It is however exciting and rewarding, but also extremely frustrating at times. It all started several years ago when I purchased an art deco house. I started off trying to furnish and renovate it true to its sytle, but soon found that real art deco pieces were far too expensive for my budget, so looking for alternatives, I started gaining an appreciation for 1950s design and furniture such as formica tables and kidney shaped tables, things made of bakelite etc. In my pursuit of these things I found myself regularly attending auctions in my area. One of the first real what I call "designer pieces" I purchased were 2 early Cobra dial telephones. I remember a friend of mine "Stephen Spinks" had one in the 70's, and I remember thinking it was just the coolest thing. This purchase led to my current obsession with retro - and all things plastic The new plastics, materials and technologies being discovered in these times allowed furniture designers to break away from the traditional designs and shapes of furniture and become more adventurous and experiment. I am still fascinated by the innovation and exciting designs of this period, many of which are being reproduced and copied for furniture today.
After having lived with it for 30 odd years, many people who purchased it years ago, are now sick of it, and thinking it "old and out of date' started chucking it away. Up untill fairly recently many of these artifacts could be picked up fairly cheaply, but with the popularity of the internet and Trade-me etc, public awareness of the possible value of these items has risen considerably, and picking up good scores is becoming harder and harder. I guess you could say that my "holy Grail" at present is a WHITE PYE VIdmatic (Nautilus) colour TV (see pic above) on a pedestal base from the 1970s (I have the Stereo which was brought out at the same time.) But these I am afraid to say are as rare as the proverbial Rocking-Horse shite, and I dont expect to come across one in the near future, but until that time I am destined to keep looking. I am sure somebodys grandad has one sitting down in the basement somewhere, covered over with an old sheet, just waiting to take it to the dump one day.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Funding More Underachievers

I disagree with the editorial by principal Terry Collett in the Bay News, and here is why!

Handing out un-earned sums of cash in funding and grants would be detrimental to the achievement of our athletes. I believe you will just be funding more under-achievers. This is where the saying "easy come, easy go" comes into play. It is also where the politically correct notion of "participation is more important than winning" raises its ugly head. If it is hard work financially for an athlete to afford to compete on the big stage, providing that their "highest value" is to "win," and not just participate, then they will settle for nothing less! If the money is so hard to come by for them to compete, they will not entertain wasting all their hard-earned efforts in fundraising, and training by just participating - they will want to compete and win, because of the effort involved. On the other hand, athletes taking un-earned handouts would be more likely to go just for the experience of it all, and have the attitude of "oh well, maybe I'll do better next time." The experience has cost them nothing, so it has "no value to them." If you want to encourage winners rather than just participants, then if you really feel it necessary to hand out the booty stolen by the government from the taxpayers of this country, then perhaps it would be better spent giving it only to those participants who "win!" - now THERE is an incentive for you! I believe what you propose is similar to the NZ on Air funding of music. Have you noticed what happens to many of those bands that are artificially inflated by the cash handouts of this outfit when NZ on air pulls the rug out from underneath them, and stops the cash flow? - They come crashing back down to where they were "before" the cash artificially inflated their profile. If you are good at what you do, or want to do, and your highest value is to win or succeed, you will do so (providing you have the skills and aptitude required) because you will accept nothing less

I am also disturbed by your statement "there is no reason why both participation and competition cannot sit side by side." So long as strong competition is encouraged, winners are rewarded, and participants acknowledged for just that, then there should be no problem, but in government-run schools in our politically correct climate of today that just aint gonna happen is it? As for the statement "we will never be a nation of winners while many of our young people sit idle in front of computers" try telling that to the young guy that just sold "Trade-me for $700 million!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

MAF Short Ruler Scam

Recently the MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) produced a sticker in the form of a ruler with which recreational fishermen could measure their CATCH, to determine whether it was of a legal size to keep. However the REAL CATCH here, is that the ruler they produced was not the correct size - It is approx 10mm SMALLER than a REAL ruler. Consequently, a local angler was acosted by a MAF officer after a fishing trip, only to find that instead of his fish being the correct size, they were in fact 10mm too small, and he got BUSTED! Here is my letter to the BOP Times concerning this story.

At first I felt sympathy for Warwick Gilmour for getting caught by MAFs "short ruler" scam recently. What a beautiful piece of conmanship that one is! Surely it has to be a winner in the governments "fleece the sheeple" competition! A simple but cunning plan to make the sheeple think they are operating within the law, only to find they are 10% short. Or perhaps it was just an honest mistake, and they mixed this ruler up with the ruler used to measure MAFs intelligence - in either case lacking 10%!
But I digress - as I read on, my sympathy turned to horror as I discovered that although Mr Gilmour was clearly in the right, and had every right to think his fish were of an acceptable size as stated by the MAF ruler, he just rolled over, accepted his guilt and paid the fine! - What a pussy! I would like to say to Mr Gilmour that all it takes for evil to flourish is that good men do nothing! Good men in the past doing nothing is the reason Mr Gilmour finds himself in the predicament he's in now.
This is just another perfect example of bureaucrats changing the meaning of certain words or terms to suit themselves - ie Tax (theft), Taxpayer (slave) Law abiding citizen (cash cow) and now 10 inch ruler (9 inches!)


Welcome to my first foray into bloggery.

As with most things you do for the first time there is bound to be the odd balls-up until you get into the swing of things, but nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.

I have been known as a regular contributor to the "letters to the editor" page of the local daily newspapers, where I have been accused of "lying in wait to pounce upon those I disagree with" - these people are generally those who wish to have a say in what I can and cannot do with MY LIFE, MY PROPERTY, and MY BODY.

I do not in fact lay in wait to prey upon them, as their lives and activities are of no interest to me whatsoever. What I have done is become vociferous in standing up for personal responsibility and property rights in the face of the creeping plague of socialism that threatens the life, liberty and property rights of us all.

On most occasions these letters are aimed at people who wish to use force and compulsion to get me (and others) to comply with things THEY think we should, or things THEY believe are for our own good.

To these people I give a vigorous one fingered salute, (and all the things that salute stands for,) followed by a hearty chorus of BUGGER OFF.

My letters often tend to be based around themes such as:
Keep your hands out of my pocket, there aint a damn thing in there that belongs to you!
Local council should not be in the entertainment business!
OR the prostitution business
Die-while-you-wait Government health system
NaZis on Air Funding
Political correctness gone mad
Tax is Theft
Nanny States one-size-fits-all Brainwashing centres (Government run school system)

I am of the belief that much of what my local council is involved in can be done better and more efficiently by private enterprise, if only they would GET OUT OF THE WAY and let them!

Anyway, if you log in here on a regular basis, no doubt you will get the idea of where I am coming from, and I look forward to hearing from you, so post away.

- and that ladies and gentlemen is my first rant