Friday, December 31, 2010

Critical remarks on awards

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Its interesting what the latest awards in New Zealand have thrown up in terms of notable people.
The winner of the Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business was William Gallagher, who has developed his family-owned company from a "10-man" operation into a global enterprise employing over 1000 people. Impressive as this might appear, it strikes me as a fairly typical business owner. If we believed the rhetoric of socialists and socialism this is a guy who ought to be selfishly screwing a new women each week, extorting wealth from employees and shareholders, deceiving customers with poor products or misleading disclosure.
Is that what we are all lead to believe is the basis of capitalism? Well, people are ambivalent I guess. Of course not all participants in the market place are honest people. There is a broader context to people's lives, yet this 'smear' has long been made against capitalism. The idea is that capitalists have to be 'restrained' from their selfish exploits. The point is that most are humble, generous people who do the right thing. Far from being 'selfish' in the misguided sense conveyed by socialists, those deceivers in business tend to be 'altruistic' actors playing the system, or some conflicted hybrid of the two systems. We actually do not live in a capitalist society, we live in a 'mixed economy' with elements of both systems. Do we imagine that Russian business owners are 'suddenly honest' because they have switched to dominantly markets, or do we expect them to behave with some influence from the past.
Now Mr Gallagher might not be a perfect exponent of capitalism. I suspect that he is probably a Christian and a rather concrete-minded person, not a stalwart of ideology, either way. I suspect he does make morally-questionable decisions, but that is otherwise a hard-working, effective leader who has created a successful business. He perhaps rationalises that he is being charitable in the altruistic sense, when in fact he is just being confident and generous. That is the sense of life that I think most 'capitalists' display.

Another winner of the award was lawyer Miriam Dean, QC. Reading her profile I am inclined to think that she is the best exponent of reverse discrimination that we could possibly see.
"Dean was the first woman partner at..Russell McVeagh McKenzie Bartlett in 1987, before going out as a barrister sole in 1995. Through the 1980s she was the firm's sole woman litigator, a situation that has now reversed with Russell McVeagh's litigation team dominated by women.
Speaking to the Herald this year, Dean said there was a growing recognition that the often understated, holistic approach sometimes favoured by women in law - as opposed to the aggressive male stereotype - could be far more effective. More and more cases were being resolved outside the court structure".
This strikes me as a gross generalisation. I suspect she prefers working with women. Do women have their strengths....without a doubt. Is Ms Dean merely expressing her appreciation for women, I don't question. Has she gone too far? Perhaps. The idea that women are more 'holistic' is nonsense. They are generally better communicators, but I would suggest men are generally recognised as better logical thinkers. The idea that men are 'aggressive' is a smear, because it can be equated also with confidence, pride and competitive. Can men also be insecure, vain and complacent; most definitely. So why make any of these points. Is why not unnecessarily elevating women? Does she do women any service by 'artificially' elevating their capabilities? Is this all about drawing attention to her role in elevating the perception of women?
I did not find these comments helpful, but perhaps they were only offered as ad hoc remarks. One of the most difficulty aspects about being interviewed is that one's responses are only as good as the interviewers questions. Its very hard to derive something from nothing.

I am never particularly impressed by awards. I think they don't particularly convey values which are healthy. i.e. Public service gives a person extra points, whereas I think there is no better way to improve people than conditional help rather than the 'unconditional' support offered by 'charitable' people. The other aspect is 'personal autonomy'. It strikes me as far easier to develop a proven business model, as opposed to starting from scratch.
Andrew Sheldon

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New speed cameras for NZ

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Speed cameras are without a doubt one of the most insidious devices invented. Why? Well, they persecute people for invalid reasons. Consider the facts:
1. Driver safety is contextual. The idea that you can place a camera on a road and click when people breach some arbitrary speed limit and declare that to be 'unsafe driving' is just fantasy. If people are to be perniciously persecuted for driving reasonable speeds, then that is bad, and it is going to bite society in the butt. The people most affected by these silly punitive measures are the poor. The problem however extends to the rich and educated as well, as they can more readily see the immorality of these devices. From them we can expect psychological repression.
2. Speed has no correlation with safety. People breach the speed limit for different reasons. Most people don't intend to exceed the speed limit; it just happens because they cannot watch their speedometer all the time.
3. Police cause a safety risk: The greater threat on the road is the police itself. Drivers who feel they can drive safely at speed, or drivers who hang about the speed limit are going to 'react' to the presence of speed cameras. This reaction will tend to cause accidents more than speeding. In those 5-10 seconds the conscious awareness of the driver is going to shift to the police presence, at the expense of their concentration upon on the road. One's eyes cannot help but focus on the police car in front or behind as he pursues you, before you pull over. I have even been 'caught' lapsing in judgement when police have pulled me over for a routine license, warranty of fitness or drink driving test, not because I have done anything wrong, but because I might have breached some arbitrary rule, and because they have these punitive powers. It is akin to being at school. It was wrong then, and its wrong now. The greater travesty is that the police do not even embrace these laws. I know police who flagrantly abuse road rules, knowing that they will not be fined by their colleagues. So there is a double standard as well.

In fairness, I will say that the new technologies which allow the police to monitor the speeds of cars over time frames rather than points is a fairer technology, but they still have a flaw. The punitive nature and arbitrary nature of these technologies remains significant flaws. The fact that police are rolling out these technologies is no stop-gap. The fact remains:
1. Drivers are the best judge of their speeds
2. Accidents are not speed-related as such, but more reflect the state-of-mind of the driver, who happens to be speeding. If you look at the speeds which result in accidents, they are drivers going 50kmph over the limit, not 10-20kmph. Alcohol and drugs are other issues, but still I do not believe speed cameras are the way to rein in peer group pressure, driving or drug taking. On the contrary, the punitive governments are adding to the problem, as opposed to solving it.
3. Punitive governments are oppressing fair-minded people, and compelling them to become defiant and law-breachers. It starts with fines, in progresses to court appearances and $5000-$50,000 fines, and it finally results in mass murders and psychologically scarred individuals with no regard for arbitrary rules.
The government is giving people reasons to externalise what would otherwise be personal problems, and rightfully so. It is not a poor decision to want to solve political problems. The problem is democracy gives them no recourse. We as a society are stuffed.
Andrew Sheldon

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Liberals and the anti-nuclear movement

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Here is another crappy movie by the liberals who brought you 'The Inconvenient Truth' and all that Michael Moore nonsense. Countdown to Zero is a nonsense. Watch the trailer and save your money. The notion that nuclear war can be averted by destroying nuclear weapons is fantasiful. Nuclear weapons have protected us from nuclear war for years.
The solution to nuclear war is:
1. Preventing terrorists from getting their hands of them
2. Running a coherent foreign policy that makes enemies out of rational people; rest assured that the less rational will not have the wherewithal to procure nuclear weapons.
Andrew Sheldon

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The connectivity of Facebook

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A Facebook intern has developed this map of relationships based on the social networking software. As impressive as this visualisation is, it might be more meaningful if it was based on the actual intensity of 'relationships' between people. After all, I get all manner of people wanting to connect with me, and if you are indifferent or easily engaged, then the notion of connectedness becomes less meaningful.
See the article here and a high resolution map of the Facebook connections here.
Andrew Sheldon
Resource Rent Tax
Applied Critical Thinking |

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Intellectual views of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

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As much as I appreciate the efforts of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exposing global governments to greater accountability and transparency, one has to acknowledge that he is no intellectual giant. Intellectually, he is a misguided anarchist at best. The problem with him on these issues is that he advocates small, accountable government, but can offer no intellectual basis for his views. Just he accepts that's the way it should be because that is how it was in the Ancient World, which he romanticises. I agree with him on small government, but I have no confidence in his collectivist, anti-intellectual views. Anyone who favours Roosevelt as a great US president needs a serious intellectual make-over. Roosevelt was the person who gave us 'free money', i.e. Who took us off the gold standard. So much for his belief in accountability.

What do you say of a person who advocates nuclear disarmament. This is pretty silly when Iran is building weapons. The solution is clearly to retain weapons since they tend to keep the peace, and to apply conventional technologies to destroy the capacity of countries like Iran, North Korea. I am still wondering how it is that we allowed North Korea and Iran to develop such capacity. What are we waiting for? These countries enslave their own people - is there any reason to suggest they would have any greater regard for us if given the chance?

Read about the stupid sex allegations concerning Assange.
Andrew Sheldon

Poorly executed privatisation of NSW power assets

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Another abysmal power industry privatisation has occurred under the Australian Labor government - this time its a state Labor government, by arguably the most corrupt political party in the Western world. One suspects there will be millions of dollars flowing into Swiss bank accounts next year - a nice Xmas bonus for some. Aside from selling these assets too cheap, there are other failings in the deal:
1. Selling power assets during recession
2. Selling power assets with a huge contingent liability or albatross circling ahead thanks to this nonsense about global warming.
3. Selling assets to generators who will be able to engage in price collusion
4. Selling assets when you still control other power assets, and thus will be discounted by still having a conflict of interest in the sector.
5. Loaded terms - like the need to refurbish an old power station. Why adopt such terms, unless your intent is to artificially prop up the employment market

I guess the good news is that - the more they sell - the less damage they can do in the long run. Well, you'd think so...but really this is just a precursor to some flawed investment in some other sector. Or will it be a reduction in debt, so it can be blown out again on some poorly conceived investment like wind generation....which will be sold off after the climate change fiasco is deadwood.
Andrew Sheldon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Evasion - The nature of political persecution

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There is no question that government is capable of deceitful acts in order to stay in power. But actually a great deal of government legislation has no such harmful intent, merely the short term, desperate pragmatism which actually does not help the situation, but rather betrays the best interests of people. Here are some examples:
1. Speeding fines: People are dying in car accidents. The government decides to adopt strict speed limits, regardless of the fact that most deaths are caused by very high levels of alcoholism.
2. Suicides: A great many Japanese people are committing suicide. The social impact of people jumping in front of trains and out of buildings is very high. The Japanese solution is to fine the families of the deceased for disrupting train services and causing people to vacant buildings, causing the owners of the apartments loss of income. Here we have the family of the deceased penalised for their actions. More ridiculous still because it highlights the complete disregard for the interests of these people, that they feel compelled to commit suicide.
3. Incarceration is another example. We place people in prison to penalise them, but also to protect the broader community. This of course neglects the total disregard for these people whilst they were growing up. Society takes an interest only when they start killing people. Even then, its only solution is to imprison the perpetrator.

We might ask why these people commit crimes in the first place. Might it relate to the way they were treated prior to their acts. I suggest there are a number of reasons:
1. Resentment for years of abuse by parents
2. Resentment for their lack of preparedness for life
3. Disdain for the values of the community, and still greater resentment that no one cares that they are happy with the system
4. Resentment that they need to comply with laws and rules they don't agree with, that they have no recourse, no effective power.

So what is new? Might it be the fact that we are told we have rights but in fact they have no 'effective' value. We do not realise that political rights which exclude economic rights merely turn us into economic slaves. There is no reason to renounce our political rights as all political or moral values have a 'material' expression, so NO economic rights delivers the same impact as having NO political rights. Witness how quickly a government can close you don't if they have a warranty to freeze your bank accounts. The WikiLeaks episode is a case in point.

You might wonder what the hell are these politicians doing. They are reversing causation. They think they can treat the effect to end the cause. They are not going to stop people from committing suicide by punishing the parents. But of course that is not their intent. Their intent is to manage perceptions. Perceptions are more important than effects. They want you to pretend for their state that society is great, we are all have great fun. Just keep drinking, and you will slide through life no problem. This is the problem with democracy. It is a repudiation of objectivity. It entails no respect for facts. That is hardly justice is it? What made you think modern governments were advocates of justice?
Andrew Sheldon

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sign petition to support WikiLeaks

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There is a petition available where people can support WikiLeaks. Reading this article I am inclined to think that WikiLeaks is not acting with the greatest clarity of respect for human rights, but they are playing an important role in their promotion of human right violations, and I suspect they are getting better at it. Maybe they are hearing some of the criticism - unlike the US and other governments.
I suggest reading this article at the by Richen Patel
Signing the petition at
Andrew Sheldon

Thursday, December 09, 2010

US government arrogance "a threat to lives"

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Unsurprisingly the US government has emerged as a 'threat to lives'. The reasons are very clear. The US government has shown itself to be a brash and arrogant critic of some important values:
1. Accountability
2. Personal expression
3. Citizen's interests

The notion of government protecting whistleblowers has been dealt a serious blow when a government hunts down and even threatens to assassinate you, as some officials like the Arkansas and Alaskan governors have done.
If the US government was serious about these values, it would have negotiated with WikiLeaks to ensure that the organisation acted in good faith. i.e. It only released information which the public had a right to know. I am inclined to think that WikiLeaks did release information it had no business releasing. You can't argue that this is simply public information, and everyone has a right to know. The US government has however set itself up for failure by:
1. Not keeping the public trust - the people are rightly cynical about the US government
2. Shooting the messenger - If there was really a threat to US and other lives, the US government should have sat down with WikiLeaks and negotiated principles upon which 'certain information' would be released.

The government however, by being a creature of coercion, has no respect for people's rights. That is just the rhetoric it spins, in order to keep the public confidence. I think the public are split. Personally I tend to think the public just don't think one individual is important. This is sad because it highlights a lack of empathy for others, and a greater loss of regard for freedom. People are only supportive if they have some bad experience with the government. Unfortunately, too many people just have too low expectations, and they just don't see the tragic waste resulting from government. The problem of course is they cannot conceive of another world, where decision-making is not centralised, where government holds 'common law' principles which apply in context, as opposed to arbitrary statutes which offenders side-step by 'loopholing'. And what about the waste? How many white elephant projects, botched privatisations, poorly run government services do we have to witness. People just say 'but they provide a lot of good', but the reality is that they extort 30-50% of the nation's income to provide their services inwefficiently. The return on public funding is probably in the order of 'negative 30%'. They are a drain on the private sector, much as a cancer can be considered to be. I will go so far as say crime is worse, more marriages fail, people are poorer thinkers because of government. People do not realise the extent of the impact.
Andrew Sheldon

Possible CIA link for Assange's alleged victims

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This is an interesting development to follow. Information is being released about the two women who have accused Julian Assange of rape. There is the possibility of CIA links. Read the Miami Herald for more information.
Andrew Sheldon

Rudd over-rated by diplomats

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According to the NZ Herald a WikiLeaks cable stated:
"Rudd ... undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia's foreign policy".
This strikes me as irrelevant. The guy imposes huge taxes on industries because they make profits after 15 years of low prices. He wants to control the money. He is the worst form of intellectual parasite. The type that needs to be at the centre of the universe. This is not a question of efficacy for such a person, otherwise you don't join the public service. Its all about control. The arbitrary rules and regulations of the public service and government is the only place where this form of low-life can grow. That's why you don't find Rudd's species on planets with no life...he has nothing to live off.
I really think those diplomats were too kind. The notion that he is "abrasive, impulsive, a control freak", strike me as incidental to his ethical premises. Extortion of wealth from Australians who make a profit, and what about those who buy stocks after he arbitrarily decides to apply a huge industry-based tax without warning. The same can be said for Swan, Gillard and Ferguson.
Andrew Sheldon

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dubious sex claims against WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

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The arrest warrants issued by Swedish authorities should not be recognised, and Britain should refuse extradiction for the following reasons:
1. The quality of the allegations of sexual harrassment
2. The expectation that Sweden will use the warrants as a means of delivering Assange to the US authorities.

When you look at the allegations of sexual harrassment, they have no merit. By that I mean they are assertions which a person could easily back out of. Rape is not so vague. These allegations are vague in respect to all alegations. They are a beat up. One need only look at the evidence and the context. Consider the following from this NZ Herald article:
1. The US authorities have a bad reputation of fabricating evidence to persecute people who disclose state secrets. I can cite 3 examples raised in the NZ Herald. In this case, they are acting through Swedish authorities. The women 'raped' are probably CIA operatives based in Sweden.
2. Apparently "one woman accused Assange of pinning her down and refusing to use a condom". Pinning someone down need not be coercive, and of course it need not occur, as its a matter of conjecture. An accusation that they can walk away from. He might have initially refused to use a condom, but eventually consented. Otherwise she probably would not have waited more than a month before making a charge of 2 women.
3. "That woman also accused of Assange of molesting her in a way "designed to violate her sexual integrity" several days later". What does this imply? For starters, what is 'sexual integrity'. Did he tight her tits off, and spit them across the room? And if she was coerced into something, why is she going back 3 days later.
4. "A second woman accused Assange of having sex with her without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home". If she was asleep, how does she remember? She was accosted in bed? The implication is that he demanded using a condom the 2nd time, otherwise she would not have struck around for the first time. He must have run out? So he did the right thing the first time, but he was short a condom the 2nd. This might make sense, but are we to believe that he ran out of condoms with two different women, or this is just part of his sales pitch?
5. Most importantly, "both women only made the claims after finding out about each other's relationships with Assange". i.e. They thought they were special. i.e. Jilted CIA operatives. Nice story.

The idea of having 3 witnesses is supposed to place the issue 'beyond reasonable doubt'. Watch as these accusations disappear. This is the evil US empire at work. Manipulation and 'slight of hand'. I don't believe it. There is far more evidence to suggest that these are CIA operatives fabricating stories to get Assange extradited. Once he is on US soil, these 'witnesses' will slightly modify their stories.

I personally do not think the Swedish authorities are involved. I do think the witnesses are CIA operatives who have been told to get close to Assange because the CIA knew what they were doing, or knew that they intended to release information. The reason I know that is because Assange lacks intellectual integrity, so there are destined to be people within his organisation who are likely to be unhappy with his efforts. Of course, the CIA also have the power to intercept communications, but if Assange is paranoia, then they needed to get close to him because he was going to avoid communications which can be traced. This is why women from Aug 15th are only now making claims against him. This is when the CIA started tracking him.

In this context, the British authorities should not release Assange. If they do, the Swedish authorities ought not to extradite him either to the USA. Australia ought to be taking action as well, since there is no reason to think that Australia does not have a case either, and he is an Australian citizen. Do I expect the Australian government to act? No, they always cow-tow to US authority.

I do think WikiLeaks as acted with a lack of integrity insofar as the information they have released. There is a lack of integrity in the principles, and I dare say, this is because of their concrete, incoherent rationalisations they have made about the US. The way the US has behaved merely highlights the justification for some effort. I just think they could have executed their efforts better. But don't think for a moment that the US would have stopped short of pursuing this guy on the 'off-chance' he would be a 'principled guy'. They were always going to make an example out of him. That is how governments act - 'shock and awe' - fear is their methodology for getting you to do anything from paying tax, to stop speeding, to not disclosing information. This is the way they act. Whistleblowing is ok, so long as you don't 'blow on them'.
Andrew Sheldon

Reinhart move on Fairfax a move for 'fair' speech

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This is a very interesting development. We have a Labor government, and several media groups with a propensity to suck up to government in order to retain ratings. You can't very well maintain relevance unless you court the favour of politicians. Politics dominates everything, not to mention 30% of GDP and more if there was a new mining tax.
Enter Gina Reinhart, the daughter of long-retired iron ore magnate Lang Hancock. She now controls a $5 billion iron ore empire in WA. The bad news is that the government is trying to control it, or extort wealth from her.
So what is Reinhart to do. Well, you launch a takeover bid for a newspaper. She has already spent $50mil to gain a 10% stake of the company. The implication is that she will probably soon be seeking control in order to ensure 'fair' coverage.
Gina, I just want to say that I would love to be a contributing writer to your paper. I am a mining engineer, I hate the collectivist government we have, I hate unaccountable, extortionate and unconditional taxes.
The bad news is that my partner is Filipino. :(
I suspect though she might turn you around, and she is great at search engine optimisation.
The sad reality is that one has to take over a newspaper in order to inject some objectivity into the media. The question is whether Gina can deliver.
Andrew Sheldon

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Information War - WWIII?

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This might go down as one of the shortest wars in history, or acts of terrorism if you like. The problem of course is that some internet cowboys are going to fail to capture the hearts and minds of the public. The problem is that they possess uncompelling values or principles.

The WikiLeaks website is now hosted by the Swiss Pirate Party. Its vice president Pascal Gloor said:
"There is a whole new generation, digital natives, born with the internet, that understands the freedom of communication....It's not a left-right thing anymore. It's a generational thing between the politicians who don't understand that it's too late for them to regulate the internet and the young who use technology every day".
The problem of course is that it was never a 'left-right thing' because that was never a valid political dichotomy.
Their second problem is that its not about control over the internet either. It is about control of money. Why is that important? It drives decision-making. People don't want to love money, and the governments control the banks and business. Soon the government will be reaching into everyone's homes. No data connected to the internet will be private. In fact, there is every reason to think that any device with a wireless or bluetooth connection will be accessible by the government. Big Brother is close at hand. The ability of government to monitor keywords makes it all too easy to trace and monitor conversations and text.
This will be a short lived war because they idealists have no idea. The reality is that people have no power to determine their own destinies. It is improbable that anyone will be able to make a difference unless they can communicate ideas. How can you do that if the government can seize, trace and destroy any source of offending material. Just as the printing press enabled the Industrial Revolution, the ability of the governments to monitor 'sensitive' information, will allow it to destroy any information or person who sponsors the distribution of information. The new war will be fought through old technology. Political activities might need to write certain things online and other things offline.
The collectivists are going to win this short-lived war. It remains to be seen whether the flow of ideas will avert a 2nd Dark Ages. My expectation is that it will. There are already signs of improvement, however it is too early to say.
Andrew Sheldon

NZ is officially a police state

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Welcome to the Fascist States of America, Australia, Britain, Canada and now New Zealand. Australia, NZ and Canada have yet to experience a terrorist threat, so one might wonder why we need laws which allow the government to 'snoop' into people's emails and hard disks. On this note, we have to appreciate that the terrorists have one. Why? We have become one of them. They might well be envious because they have only guns to control their citizens, but the 'British subject' has his thoughts controlled. Yes, everything I think goes onto my hard disk, and those who don't think live in freedom. Its the perfect fascist state. It will turn us all to sheep, for those of you who have not been turned to sheep already.
Why is this a problem? Well, there are several reasons:
1. The law can be poorly executed
2. The law can result in mis-use or treatment of property
3. The law can result in property seizures and confiscations
4. People who are merely opposed to government can have their property seized and destroyed.
5. People who are political opponents of government can have 'incriminating' files placed on such 'seized' property, and probably be incarcerated indefinitely.
6. It allows the government to identify the 'political threats' to its existence and to 'terminate' them.

The problem of course is that these fears do not register in the minds of the general populous, who would never give a thought to political implications. They live at the level of a sheep, never questioning anything. So, what can we expect? Well, non-registered journalists like myself who have a few blogs under a pseudonym the government does not know about, who talk about a broad array of public policy issues like rape, domestic violence, terrorism, taxation, pedophilia, rights, political persecution, are likely to come up on some database as a threat. Because I am not a registered journalist, therefore for some unthinking bureaucrat a 'plausible threat' I can expect a squad of anti-terrorists to break into my property and seize property. If the contents of the computer do not agree with the government, I might well expect to lose them. There is no reason why they could not plant material on the computer. Why? Because they don't like my political opinions. Because I am not tolerable. Because I am an activist showing contempt for what they believe in.
We might wonder why is terrorism getting so much attention. We have many more babies being killed by domestic violence, but we do search and seizures for parenting classes. We do not take a register of people not attending parenting classes; and yet there is an equally good correlation. The difference is that many more children are killed of domestic violence in NZ than by terrorism; for which the number is zero. That is right, we are considering anti-terrorism laws despite NZ never having had a terrorist attack. Over-reaction? I think so.
It gets worse. Governments are the worst offenders of the law, whether you are talking about 'the rule of law', or simply moral law because 'popularity' or 'emergency provisions' or the 'common good' was considered an adequate (but arbitrary) protection of people's interests.

It gets worse. How can we expect foreign governments to adopt rights if we give token consideration to them. If we look like hypocrites to the developing world, or even our own people, what expectation can be have that those people will respect rights. The reason why government is such a threat is because they are not governed by the 'commonsense' common law. They are only accountable to the statutory law prepared by themselves. That's right, we are protected by them for us, but we are not protected from them. They are subjected to no accountability. The token vote you have at the end of the will mean little because there will only be two parties. How can there be a 'charismatic' alternative leader. He would have had his computers seized and evidence planted on him. You, as an unthinking sheep, will not join the dots. No one will risk joining the dots. We already live in a terrorist state. Some 200 journalists go missing or are assassinated in the Philippines each year, more in Russia, the Western governments say nothing....they do nothing. Why? They join us fighting for rights in foreign countries whilst our own rights are whittled away at home. They are not withdrawn, they are just undermined by statutory law. It defines rights in such arbitrary ways, that they are readily loopholed. They are 'arbitrary' laws that have no correspondence to reality. They are specific and concrete, and allow the government to loophole the law in the same way as companies are efficacious at loopholing tax. Which requires ever-more draconian measures to prevent tax evasion. The reality is that business is always going to be further ahead, but now business simply collects tax for the government. This is fascism at its worst, because now we have business organisations sanctioning taxation.

There are no reasonable grounds to suggest that NZ is under threat. People might argue that this intrusion into our privacy is intended to protect us. It might, but the problem is that it will not protect you from government, and they are a 'sovereign' threat to you. Even America will not invade NZ, because it likes these policies as well. So we will have to look to Iran and North Korea for rights, and they don't have any either.
If you want a sense of just how useless the United Station Declaration of Human Rights is, or the NZ Bill of Rights is, simply look at this law. I have long known that we were trending towards fascism. If you want a comparison consider this. In the lead up to World War II, the biggest exponent of animal rights was Hitler....and the national car plan - the Volkswagen. John Key has not found his 'national plan' yet, except perhaps his national day of mourning (Pike River), but we have today more concern for the rights of farm animals (i.e. the prohibition on pig enclosures - sow grates) than we do with human rights. We might wonder whether Hitler ever intended to elevate human rights, or to diminish the rights or value of the human populous.
There is no reason to think that the World Rugby Cup will pose any greater threat than any other event. After all, why would you attempt to blow up a stadium. You will have far more collateral damage if you blog us a shopping mall. Less security, more contained, less immediate threat. The malls are open every day, thousands of people to search, multiple entries, emergency exits. Few if any police. Why would you target a stadium. Better to blow something up when foreign journalists are in town; but does it really matter, as all media is syndicated these days. By todays standards, its the number of deaths which matter. A shopping centre would actually have a greater fear we all go shopping at least once a week, compared to attending the football.
The reality is that the intent to enact these laws is not about justice, its about political control. We never really left fascism. The 'New Deal' of Roosevelt after WWII was not the end of political tyranny, it was the start of a new form of it.
I really think people have to start fighting for their rights, because there is no place left on the planet to hide. I am giving serious consideration to becoming a mindless 'hobo'. Having a mind these days is inclined to give you a bad case of anxiety. Its too late. People carry to much, where its through evasion, psychological repression or simply rationalisation. They will do this to the grave because they do not think long term. They are not interested in the intellectual or political legacy they are leaving their children...they are thinking about the next year tops.
What they do not realise is that...the repudiation of the mind is sending us back to the Dark Ages. We are already close to this point. We are controlled by a mindless majority. Specialisation of industry has delivered vast wealth, but it has left our lives controlled by compartmentalised thinkers performing mindless 'specialised' routines without any thought for politics or morality. Why? Because they have no real vote....just the pretense of one. No one expects their vote to make a difference, so they just turn off. Unless voters turn back on and start protesting, things are going to get worse. It is far worse than they know. It is not the misery of war. It is the misery of centuries of silent defeat and stagnation. This email might well be your last beacon of light. If this legislation is past, anyone who writes such material will disappear, they will be arrested for homosexuality, child pornography. It does not matter. Anything which you can make us, stick evidence on their computers, and arbitrarily detain them in a gaol, and no one will care. We have got to the point where people don't care. There is no empathy. People will say, "He's rich, he can afford taxation", or they will say "If he didn't want to go to gaol, he should have just kept his mouth shut". These comments herald the decline of society into moral relativism. It follows moral scepticism or ambivalence. People do not need to be moral, they need to discover what morality entails. Principles....common law...not arbitrary statutory law.
This law is probably be the most important one in terms of marking our transition to a police state. After NZ, there are less regulated states one could go to, but those options like the Philippines or Thailand are probably going to see you tracked down by local assassins. Its cheaper for the government. If you think this is not happening, consider what is happening to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. The US government is using hackers to undermine his interests, they have discredited his reputation with accusations of two women no less...because who would believe it if it was one....despite the fact that he had no previous sexual offences....suddenly he has multiple offences. In the Philippines, there are about 200 journalists who have been killed under the Aquino Administration. The West might be just about to see its first one...but it will not be the last. Any appreciated blogger could be the next target. We are also witnessing a new form of corporate complicity....the server administrator who will do anything to stop the government hacking its web site. The government of course does not need to acknowledge that it is the acts stealthly....just as those traceless 'radar-proof' planes that fly into foreign territories....with much to hide and without accountability.
The implication is that censorship is outmoded. Today, you might well be identified before you can even 'think' about matters contrary to government policy. Governments will have plenty of support from nationalists. In NZ, it will be mostly the old people. The young will just be indifferent and morally ambivalent. In the US, the military, religious nutters will be foot soldiers for the government, hacking into the websites of people whose values are contrary to the interests of the government. You will still live in a democracy; the term will just simply come to mean something very different to what you thought. You probably did not associate democracy with tyranny, the right of the majority to expunge the minority, but that's what you voted for. You just didn't think. Rights were supposed to be a protection. They were 'natural laws'. They have been supplanted by 'obligations' or conditional rights. Of course gradually there are more conditions, and those rights seem to mean even less. Censorship? Its a think of the past. The media is aligned with the government because they want the press release, and bloggers who get a certain number of hits are subjected to 'warnings' or simply their website is hacked by former military personnel. That is your future.
Andrew Sheldon

Monday, December 06, 2010

WikiLeaks takes an intellectual dive - so does my heroism

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Not surprising, WikiLeaks founder had a short rein as my hero. The reason is that his crusade to topple governments and hopefully bring about higher standards of accountability and disclosure fell apart on philosophical grounds. It seems that Julian Assange is as unprincipled as his counterparts in the government. The reason I say this is because he is displaying poor judgement as to what constitutes 'public information'.
I don't for a moment accept the arguments of the Obama administration or US military that WikiLeaks is placing lives at risk. There is no evidence to suggest that is true. The problem is that he is disclosing information which reflects sensible US defence or security interests, such as the following security disclosure with NZ. Does the public need to know the details of this.

The public needs to know how governments conduct themselves, and the public needs to know that governments are universally corrupt and poorly administered. The reason they need to know is because they need to recognise that they ought to be as small as possible, and accountable as possible. This is not the case now. There is one set of rules for the public, and another set for government.
The problem of course is that Assange is a die-hard liberal who holds a lot of contempt for the US foreign policy. I get that. The US is a shocker! But then so is Assange. There is a 'middle place' between loving government and hating it. That place is not a 'place of compromise', but a place of principles applied and considered in context. I would hope it involves:
1. Reason as the standard of value
2. Open and honest dialogue with foreign countries
3. Standards of conduct between people and nations
Assange is persecuting the US government in the same senseless way that the US is persecuting the world. This is the senseless dichotomy we get from 'left-right' debates. These political poles mean nothing because they are 'false dischotomies' or forms of collectivism. There is little objective regard for principle in what Assange is doing, and their is no objective principle in the hacking of WikiLeaks servers by the US government. They are both perpetrators battling it out in the same sense as kings fought kings. In those days, kings resolved to persecute their citizens instead. We have as much with China and the USA. China is adopting markets and the US is adopting central planning...and we will all drift towards tyranny its all happy happy ever after....happy.
Andrew Sheldon

Friday, December 03, 2010

WikiLeaks founder - defender of freedom

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Julian Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks. The dissident was interviewed by TED TV. The man is considered a hero to those who attended the event. I personally consider him an influential political figure. The problem I have is that, whilst he displays the strength of character and resolve to get things done, he is unlikely to exhibit the personal integrity to achieve any significant change. I do think he is the start....and that political transformation is ultimately going to depend upon other people with greater intellectual clarity.

I personally want to know more about this person.
Andrew Sheldon

Assange - founder of WikiLeaks - a national hero

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The ascension and current persecution of Julian Assange reads like a plagiarised script of one of Ayn Rand's novels about the persecution of the individualist by the state. I am by no means a nationalist, but I am both surprised and proud to know that Julian Assange came from Australia. I would harbour this "criminal" anytime. You might ask why. There are a number of reasons:

1. The dubious arguments for persecuting him

I have just downloaded and read through all the reasons cited by people for the good and bad of Assange's WikiLeaks. These comments suggest that there are a lot of proud Americans, mostly military personnel I suggest, who love their country no matter what it does. One of the problems with these loyal foot-soldiers is they have no education, they come from broken families, and the love of their country is about all they have. They are as dangerous Neo-Nazis as the one's in the Middle East they I would not look for intellectual guidance from their 'carpet bombing' of CNN and Fox News stories. This is a US govt publicity machine easily mobilised by the US military hierarchy. The US govt is managing collateral damage – the difference is that they have the numbers – millions of military personnel, as well as other nationalists in the Christian mid-west…and that is just the Americans. This is an 'inside job' by an American...yet they paint it as the efforts of an anti-American Australian.

2. The efforts made to discredit him

The principle effort to discredit Assange was his alleged rape of two women in Sweden. When one reads the nature of the allegations and the prosecutor’s handling of the case, it very much looks like a political smear, with a Swedish public servant overruling ‘due process’. The problem of course for Assange is that he appears to be defying a judge by breach a court ruling. Fortunately, I guess he can argue ‘gone fishing…international politics is too stressful’. The problem with complying is that he can readily be assassinated by any government agency. He is proof of the fear governments have for accountability – and the efforts to which they will go to prevent its spread. This is the way government functions – by managing perceptions through intimidation. We see little in the way of regulating corporations. Instead they target and persecute high-profile people like Paul Hogan in Australia and Wesley Snipes in the USA. The Australian Taxation Office and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are among the most pernicious authorities in the world. They do not care as long as they get their money and retain their power over unthinking or safe voters….who think they have a choice.

3. The nature of the people persecuting him

People have this misconception that politicians serve an important purpose. The argument is that government protects us from invaders, criminals and protects those who cannot protect themselves. They manage the economy and they preserve the ‘rule of law’. This is fallacy. It was never true. They were never advocates of your interests in the same way that your car salesman is not an advocate of your interests. Why? They are the legal authority, and they are less accountable than the car salesman, but they offer no guarantees or warranties. They do not pay any damages either – the taxpayer does. For CEO and bankers – it’s the shareholder who pays. Do you want to know what happens to one of the government’s own people – a public servant – who defied a government that has no real power to tax – they get persecuted. This women gave evidence in Aaron Russo’s film Freedom to Fascism. I am sure I will be registered on some CIA database for citing this movie.

4. The value of the material he is releasing

The value of the material being released by WikiLeaks is that it will show a number of things. It will highlight the nature of the actions by politicians and bureaucrats; it will give approval to the release of more content by other people. There is a strong divide between the public servant and the corporate world. The reason why politicians prevent private citizens breaking into the political world is because it has its own culture. It is the culture of a 'foot soldier' who unthinkingly performs a "service" in accordance with the rules. The rules are not questioned in this culture. You simply just act. The reason why private people are persecuted by this culture; the reason why the private sector is locked out of this culture is because with private 'infiltration', the culture and its legitimacy collapses. This is why private workers are not able to become public servants. It is why you are either born into or 'migrate' into such jobs. The other powerful consideration is that public servants struggle to get jobs in the 'commercial' arena, so government is a monopoly, so you don't want to upset your single employer, because you quickly run out of options. The same is true for political party-appointed judges. They serve the two major parties because they are the only people who can remove or discredit them....and then where would they work? So much for judicial independence...and of course they are appointed by the two major parties. After a lifetime of court rulings you would think that the political parties would have a good sense of which High Court judges are not going to engage in 'judicial activism'.

World governments are going to persecute Assange like no one else. I am actually surprised he is still alive. I guess the reason is that he has been smart enough to establish a group of geeks who share his values. It is harder to discredit an organisation which is as dispersed as Al Queda. But that is about as far as the analogy goes. These guys use lawyers and the 'rule of (bad) law', so I know the governments will win.....but bad law takes time to make determinations.

5. The values of the people persecuting him

The hypocrisy is not an accident...and its probably organised. I don't think I have been to a country where there are not a plethora of stories of US personnel raping people...Japan, the Philippines, Korea...and yet we have military personnel smearing him....not the US military personnel who leaked the material...something very asymmetrical about that. Killing the messenger? Why this messenger...not the US personnel. The leaker is a US soldier...he is the traitor, yet the focus is an Australian. On this level, he is smeared as 'not journalism' because he just publishes. Yes, that's right. His material is completely uncensored. This makes it particularly embarrassing to the US government. They have no capacity to argue that it is not true; that its 'bias'. Its was said. No one person, even an organisation, could write all this content. This is like a Mars Rover satellite sending back gigabytes of information on the soul of the US government and its says CORRUPT! CORRUPT! CORRUPT! People have to realise that this is not one corrupt man at the top. This is corruption on a systematic scale. This is an Obama administration defending the efforts of previous administrations, knowing that his party is equally culpable.

6. The lengths they will go to stop him

We can expect that the US government will go to any lengths to stop WikiLeaks publishing his materials. I would encourage everyone to download the material and read it themselves from I expect that the US will attempt to use its political links, even coercion and blackmail to shut down the sites; it will use all manner of hacking tools to perpetrate the WikiLeaks site, but also the sites of anyone who supports him. I expect I will be a marked man for supporting him. Frankly I suspect that I am already on a 'blacklist' for governments around the world. One realises when one has been placed on a blacklist. It happened to me in Japan. Suddenly your material does not get published. The large media companies have lists of people for whom they will not publish. Whether its a disdain for ideology or a government list, who knows? Certainly there is a close relationship between the two party duopoly in each country, which have 'rules of engagement' to protect their 'market share', or entrenched political position. Democracy in democracy - nonsense. We are as 'two party' as Russia is a 'one party' state; and as they say, there is not a great deal that divides them.

Aside from the attacks on his website and allies, we can expect the US government and allied governments to take measures to discredit him. We have seen this already, and we have seen people avoiding the intellectual issues by simply smearing him as a 'pervert', a 'rapist'. This is military personnel posting this 'smear'.

I urge you to read the bias of the mainstream US media, and read the contents from people on the website. We might consider them spammers. They have a political agenda, whether its personal-political or organised/paid by the US government. I have seen the same done by the Aquino Administration in the Philippines when he was discredited after his election and gaff over his handling of a mass-murder of HK tourists by one of his police officers. This was a case of govt versus government. Assange will be persecuted by all governments. He represents a threat to all unaccountable, disreputable government.


Author - Andrew Sheldon

Resource Rent Tax | Applied Critical Thinking |

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Attitudes to homosexuality in the US military

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I write so much about sexuality issues people might question mine. Openly straight, but you might wonder because I put out the laundry, clean the dishes, and I have some pretty gay-looking photos. Anyway, I am fascinated by a great many issues, and sexuality is one of them. I have some controversial ideas, but reading about a survey in the US military about attitudes to homosexuality, I am inclined to think that:
We are told that the US military embody 'our finest'? Might it be they are generally the 'lowest' of US values. i.e. mid-Westerners with no purpose, few career prospects, little education or opportunity. Not their fault. That is their educational context. But having being an apologist for it for 17 years because the US govt needs cheap cow fodder for its overseas excursions, might we ask, does the Us military embody US values? When I look at military forces and police around the world, I see tolerance for the worst forms of culture, closer to fascism/collectivism than the freedom/individualism that they purportedly protect? don't we require more than an opinion poll to tell us that they are ready for change?
Andrew Sheldon

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?