Blog Bits

February 28th, 2008 at 9:35 am by David Farrar

Cactus Kate celebrates the Government giving out NZ5.5b of because they took in too much tax.  And that is on top of the fact the top marginal tax rate is 17%.

Craig Foss is outraged over the sacking of the democratically elected Hawkes’ Bay District Health Board after just 72 days in office.

has the top ten reasons why lefties should hate Castro.

Russell Brown covers the issue of some favourable parliamentary edits in to National MP’s pages. I agree with his conclusion that if you do more than one or two minor edits you should register a profile rather than just do it from your IP address.

A friend gave me an article in New Scientist a couple of weeks ago, about how political persuasion may have a genetic basis.  They found identical twins has more similar political views than fraternal twins, which is quite fascinating.  I had been planning to blog it, but Kiwiblogblog have covered it with links to an extract of the original research.

Daily Tech finds that a 12 month drop in world temperatures has wiped out a century of warming.  From what I can tell this doesn’t mean that human activity is not contributing to warming, just that other factors such as solar activity still have far more influence. Comments from those more up to date with the science here are welcome.

Tim Selwyn at Tumeke has a post on ’s interview with ’ and how she seemed unsure how to handle questions criticising her performance not from a right wing perspective but from the left. He also compares how was unable to come up with a single nice thing to say about John Ke, while Key had no problem supplying an admirable quality of Clark’s the previous week. If someone can get the interview onto You Tube I’ll link to it.

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40 Responses to “Blog Bits”

  1. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    That’s a “goodie” on Fidel Castro. Here’s another one:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=1108FA89-5019-4FE5-A2FA-612C1B38C9D5

    Read it and weep. Lefties and Righties. (Lefties and Righties will weep for different reasons)

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  2. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    If Communism is defined as the size of the state and its control over the economy, New Zealand is more communist than Hong Kong, and the rest of China as well.

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  3. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    Hey, I like the Craig Foss item. Nice to see a Nat MP saying it so straight.

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  4. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    Here’s another article hot from Humberto Fontova: “Fidel’s Bloody Little Brother”

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=8EC853DA-5E57-4AA3-A6B9-2DFF5C901E9C

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  5. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    It’s a funny thing about the tax takes of countries with LOW taxes to start with: the actual REVENUE they raise tends to increase along with the size of their economy. Funny, that.

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  6. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    More on the latest global temperature developments:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/02/26/eaice126.xml

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  7. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    And MORE on the latest global temperature developments:

    http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/global_warming_or_cooling/2008/02/19/73798.html?s=al&promo_code=457E-1

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  8. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/global_warming_or_cooling/2008/02/19/73798.html?s=al&promo_code=457E-1

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  9. PhilBest (5,112 comments) says:

    AND STILL MORE:

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/iWeb/Global%20Warming%20Politics/A%20Hot%20Topic%20Blog/F73BBE5E-E714-4429-ABC1-E99A2F1D17C9.html

    (This is Climate Scientist Philip Stott’s Blog)

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  10. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Well on the up side Clark is certainly going to get better at answering those tricky questions from the left.

    Practice makes perfect and she can anticipate plenty of practice.

    Still no move on that limited responses for those addressing themselves sugestion then David?

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  11. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    For those interested, I have resumed blogging at http://www.nicholasokane.wordpress.com after a three month lapse.

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  12. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Perhaps a seperate “link whoring” post each day for those who need it would help David.

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  13. georgedarroch (305 comments) says:

    And this is what the report on global climate actually says – http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2008/jan/jan08.html#global

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  14. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    Great idea Murray!

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  15. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    If Communism is defined as the size of the state and its control over the economy, New Zealand is more communist than Hong Kong, and the rest of China as well.

    That’s probably part of the reason communism isn’t usually defined that way.

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  16. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Philbest I worked in the UK in the mid 70s when the top rate of earned income tax was 85% and unearned income 95% When the government of the day reduced the tax rates accountants like me and lawyers said damn and bugger. Clients all ahd a tax treasehold and so at a point were prepared to pay the required tax rather than pay us to devise schemes. the total tax take rose.

    It would happen in NZ especially as we have so many self employed or SMEs where the owners can structure their affairs.

    Hell Im on a salary but can still partake some tax minimisation as I perfer to call it.

    Simple low flat rate tax schemes will always produce the maximum revenue

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  17. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Who’d thought that lefty pinko thespian Driver could be so nasty to the hand that feeds? I’m disappointed I missed it now.

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  18. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “That’s probably part of the reason communism isn’t usually defined that way.”

    So how do you think communism should be defined then?

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  19. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Communism is defined “retrospectively”.

    Just like their history and legislation.

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  20. pete (428 comments) says:

    From what I can tell this doesn’t mean that human activity is not contributing to warming, just that other factors such as solar activity still have far more influence.

    One of the predictions made by climate science is increased climate variability. So a large fluctuation in annual global temperature is evidence in favour of global warming, as are the accompanying record weather events.

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  21. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    The Wikipedia editing issue is an interesting one. I previously commented on that issue on Public Address, saying:

    It’s what I call the “Wikipedia effect” – the “broadcaster” of the information imbues that information with a level of credibility it sometimes doesn’t deserve, as evidenced by the number of people in blog comments referencing Wikipedia articles as fact when they’re probably, on average, about as accurate as the average Fox News broadcast.

    I was thinking, of course, of the various commenters here who link to Wikipedia as though it has some authority and use it to support their arguments when in fact it has little more authority than their own unsubstantiated opinion. I was immediately pilloried by Russell’s smart-arse commentariat, who made the startling claim that Wikipedia was “as accurate as Encyclopedia Brittanica” and asked whether there was “any chance you’d be interested in joining the fight to ban the dangerous chemical Dihydride Monoxide?”

    Now that their leader has highlighted just how easily Wikipedia can be manipulated to present as fact information that doesn’t support a left wing perspective of the world, I’ll await my apology.

    Yeah, right.

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  22. Peak Oil Conspiracy (2,772 comments) says:

    Rex:

    I was thinking, of course, of [the commenter] here who link[s] to Wikipedia as though it has some authority and use[s] it to support [his] arguments when in fact it has little more authority than [his] own unsubstantiated opinion.

    There, I’ve fixed it for you. :)

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  23. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    There was a study published a few months back that came to the conclusion that wiki had about 3 errors/page vs Brittanica’s 2.

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  24. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    So how do you think communism should be defined then?

    How about “Like what they have in countries which profess to be communist”?

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  25. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    Ahh, so you don’t think there’s a reasonable dictionary definition? I suppose we can define democracy as “Like what they have in autocratic banana republics which profess to be democracies”?

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  26. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Whats the bet Cactus Kate’s blog isn’t one of sullens top 10 sites. The high tax rate in NZ has more to do with the socialist mindset, that the state is all powerful and knows what is best for the people. Sullen, without a doubt would know that lower tax rates would generate a higher tax take but then the state would matter less to the people. I for one would like to see alot less government control over our lives. The morons in the Liarbore party are busy exporting our most valuable resource, this countrys best and brightest. The country is like a pond without oxygen, a stagnent shit hole with a big fat toad (government) parked in the middle. Lessen the tax take, cut red tape, kick the parasites out of office and stop telling us how to run our lives.

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  27. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Andrew, you could if you like. I don’t see what the advantage of insisting on one particular definition is. If you think you learn something deep by saying NZ is more communist than China, great. I think you want to say that because you also believe that communism is a word tainted by it’s association with the totalitarian regimes of China and Russia, and you’d like to taint NZ with a bit of that, and so you pick your definition to suit. However, most people will scratch their heads wondering what the hell you are on about if you use NZ as a model for talking about communism, and that’s what I was saying. Be a word fascist if you like, but don’t be surprised when your rhetoric just sounds nuts.

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  28. baxter (893 comments) says:

    So Pete…If the temperature stays historically consistent in it’s diversity is that also evidence of global warming.

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  29. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “I think you want to say that because you also believe that communism is a word tainted by it’s association with the totalitarian regimes of China and Russia, and you’d like to taint NZ with a bit of that, and so you pick your definition to suit.”

    ?? I should leave you to flail around in your own illogic.
    I started off by giving what I thought was a reasonable definition of communism, “the size of the state and its control over the economy” ie big state, more control over economy = more communist, simple? Now clearly (if the tax take figures are an indication) the state is smaller in HK than in NZ so isn’t, by the economic definition, NZ more communist than HK?, now if you actually look at the size and growth of the private sector in China, all those privately owned factories employing a huge number of people etc, is the public sector in “communist” China still bigger than it is in NZ? I’m not arguing that NZ under Clark is as autocratic as the Chinese government, clearly it isn’t, I’m disappointed and hurt that you could even suggest that that’s what I was saying.

    Oh, my Collins dictionary defines communism as “a theory or system based on the ownership of all property by the community”. No mention of totalitarianism there.

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  30. Swampash (114 comments) says:

    Re: the “cooling” claim…

    Daily Tech says:

    Twelve-month long drop in world temperatures wipes out a century of warming
    … All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

    What NASA GISS *actually* says:

    The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis.

    OK, so Daily Tech has it totally wrong.

    Summary: while 2007 is the second warmest year on record, January was slightly cooler than an average January. Somehow Daily Tech turned this into “twelve month long drop”. Then somehow just pulled “erases a century of global warming” out of its ass.

    Summary of the summary: Daily Tech lied.

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  31. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    stott is a climate-change denier…

    whose area of specialty is lichen’..

    ’tis unfortunate he has never written anything on climate-change that he has/has been subjected to peer/academic review..eh..?

    but..that’s ‘good enough’ for phil-the-inferior..eh..?

    fool..!

    phil9whoar.co.nz)

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  32. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    Poor phil whore;clearly the drugs have eaten his brain away and it must look like a hunk of Swiss cheese.
    (not in word BB)

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  33. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Andrew W says:

    There was a study published a few months back that came to the conclusion that wiki had about 3 errors/page vs Brittanica’s 2.

    That astounds me. Against what reference were both checked, I wonder? Brittanica is a product which relies for its sales and thus profitability on accuracy. Its existence pre-dates that of Wikipedia by a considerable amount (and thus there’s been more time for errors to be found and corrected). It has a hierarchical and controlled editing process which Wikipedia tries to mirror but cannot. In short, I find that very hard to believe (the study, not you Andrew).

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  34. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    That was from memory, I thought I’d better have another look:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7070/full/438900a.html

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  35. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    AndrewW, there’s no ‘illogic’ whatever that is. I’m simply stating that most people don’t define communism the way you do, for the simple reason that it would lead to the stupid conclusion you have made, that half of the developed world is communist. It is a simple definition, sure, perfect for the kind of thing you pick out of dictionary, but it’s also not what is meant by most English speakers when they use the word. The claiming of the word by the two superpowers has led to it becoming associated with them, and that, if you stop being disingenuous for a second, is your intention in flailing around to conclude that NZ is communist. You’ve simply shown what a poor definition you have made. You can continue to use it though, now that you’ve made it clear what you personally want it to mean for the convenience of your argument, but it doesn’t change anything about China or NZ. It’s just word play.

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  36. pete (428 comments) says:

    If the temperature stays historically consistent in it’s diversity is that also evidence of global warming.

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “historically consistent in its diversity”.

    If you mean that quantitative temperature variability remains constant, then that would be evidence against current climate models. This hasn’t happened though; variability has increased.

    If you mean that temperature variability remains the same in a qualitative sense (i.e. “weather continues to be changeable”) then that’s not really evidence of anything.

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  37. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “there’s no ‘illogic’ whatever that is. ”

    If you don’t know what it is, google “define illogic”

    If you incorrectly associate communism with totalitarianism that’s hardly my fault, if you check out the political compass you’ll find the two terms are on different axis, ie they’re independent of each other.

    “would lead to the stupid conclusion you have made, that half of the developed world is communist.”

    I never said that, I’m saying that in communist China arguably the state is less economically controlling than in NZ, and, it’s fair to say than many other OECD countries, that just shows how far we have drifted towards increased state control over the decades, while communist China has moved towards less state control. So I would argue that in objective terms we are now MORE communist, not as you suggest, fully communist.
    This explains in part why their economy is growing faster than ours, and faster than theirs did prior to their economic liberalisation.

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  38. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    If you incorrectly associate communism with totalitarianism that’s hardly my fault

    I don’t. I think communism is like what they had in communist Russia and China, like I said. The association with totalitarianism comes fairly naturally since both places were/are totalitarian.

    I get what you’re arguing and how you’re arguing it. You are trying to equate state control with communism, rather than seeing like most people that there’s more to the common understanding of communism than state control. There is also the fact that it arises from a working class revolution setting up the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. This has never happened in NZ, and I think it’s unlikely to, whereas it did happen in both Russia and China. So to conflate their mode of government with NZ’s simply on account of taxation levels is simplistic.

    Again, if you like your simplistic definition, then by all means use it, but don’t try to tell me we’re going down the same path that China and Russia have turned their backs on. A simple examination of history will show you that their communisms both happened after enormous bloodbaths that were reactions against extremely dysfunctional feudal societies, set in the context of World Wars.

    Furthermore, no matter how much less communist (in your definition) China is than NZ, I’d still much rather live here, thanks, for all your glorification of their growth rates, founded as they are on the impoverishment of an enormous pool of labor, and a total lack of political freedom. And even if I bought your definition, I don’t buy your statement that their economy is more liberal than ours anyway. I actually know people who live in China, and nothing they have told me about the internal economy tallies with your assertion other than the widely known total lack of any rights for workers.

    That is not to say that China isn’t better than it was. But it was pretty bad.

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  39. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    “The association with totalitarianism comes fairly naturally since both places were/are totalitarian.”
    OK, but that doesn’t make that association of communism with totalitarianism correct in that in principle one can exist without the other, we certainly have totalitarianism without communism, Marx dreamed of communism without totalitarianism, plenty of communists were appauled by the totalitarianism that became established in the communist giants, as you say, “A simple examination of history will show you that their communisms both happened after enormous bloodbaths that were reactions against extremely dysfunctional feudal societies, set in the context of World Wars.” absolutely, but was it the totalitarianism or the communism or both that were the product of this “reaction”?

    I never said “we’re going down the same path that China and Russia have turned their backs on.”

    Anyway, to some degree I have been playing devils advocate, as you know from our past discussions, I’m a strong believer in the free market over centralised planned, the guts of what I’m asking is:
    Has China now got a productive sector that is largely privately owned that is as, or more, laissez faire than our own?
    Has the term “communist China” become a misnomer?
    Isn’t a totalitarian state with a largely free market closer to fascism than communism?

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  40. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    I’ve just come across this graph, it shows the 12 month rolling average in global temperature from the leading sources and, I think, puts the cooler temperatures over the last few months in perspective.
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/giss-had-uah-rss_global_anomaly_12avg_1979-2008.png

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