Homer Simpson

Rodney Hide demolishes Russel Norman and his Carbon Tax

Rodney Hide tears apart Russel Norman and his unwanted Carbon Tax.

Financial whiz Dr Russel Norman is promising a new tax, one that will make us rich. His CO2 emissions tax will make “New Zealand households … several hundred dollars better off every year.”

Cool. A tax to make us rich. I don’t know why other political parties haven’t thought of it. Their old-fashioned taxes only make us poor. They, too, should be doing a Russel-Norman.

I also don’t know why Dr Norman isn’t doubling his tax. Why be stingy? Doubling it would make us thousands of dollars better-off. If he quadrupled it, we could all retire.

But maybe that’s his plan. He says his tax will “initially” be set at $25 a tonne.

Politicians normally deliver a new tax promising it won’t go up. But not Dr Norman. His only promise is for the initial rate. He clearly has a higher rate in mind.

Good. The higher he cranks it, the richer we get.

Fascinating isn’t it. In the old days people who made promises like Russel Norman were called snake oil salesmen.

I don’t profess to understand how his tax works. Somehow he taxes us on our CO2 emissions but then gives us back the money through tax cuts. I sort of get that bit.

But I am struggling to see how he gives back more than he takes. That’s what he promises. There’s something about the Russel-Norman that multiplies the money as it passes through government.

It could be that taxing CO2 is special or that Russel Norman himself is special. Certainly, no other tax returns more than it taxes. But the Russel-Norman does.

All other taxes also distort prices leaving us making poorer decisions than otherwise.

Income taxes discourage investment and employment. Capital gains taxes discourage trade, investment and entrepreneurship. And so on.

The resulting cost is what is known as the deadweight cost.

But it seems there’s no deadweight with a Russel-Norman. Sure, it changes our behaviour. That’s its point. It’s to make us give up the V8 in favour of the bike. And to plant trees where we once grazed cows. Read more »

The culture of “shut up”

Jon Levett writes at The Atlantic about modern society’s propensity to shout down those who we don’t agree with.

A recent example is the ostracisation of the Mozilla CE for daring to democratically put his money where his personal beliefs lay, and for daring to support one side of a democratic argument.

Then there is the case of Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty being bullied off air, and the moves by the media and the pro-warming crowd to silence skeptics on global warming who dare to challenge their views on the matter.

Teacher unions and scientists use this technique all the time…”Shut up, when was the last time you were in a classroom teaching”…as if that is a valid argument for the right to have a say on education. “Shut up, what is your science degree in relation to? Was it in climate science” using the same childish argument to silence critics.

Homer Simpson once said that alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And I kept thinking: That’s actually a pretty good description of the Internet and how it’s changing our discourse. It’s basically the cause of, and solution to, everything that plagues our culture.

That’s an exaggeration, of course. The Internet didn’t cause Donald Trump, and it certainly can’t solve Donald Trump. The way you defeat Donald Trump is by getting the ring of power into the hands of a pure soul, a hobbit, say, and that hobbit must journey to Mount Doom and release the ring into its fires. But the Internet: Did you know that every single day, the Internet produces more speech than was created between the dawn of civilization and the year 2006? You didn’t know that, because I just made it up. But it feels true. We are all bombarded. We are drowning in information. It’s no longer thrown on our doorstep each sunrise, or even just broadcast into our living rooms; it’s in our hands every waking hour; the endless stream of talking, as we spend all day moving our eyes from screen to screen to screen; it’s the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see before we go to bed. The shower is the last safe space, which is why it’s the only place where we have decent ideas anymore.

In many ways this is good and getting better: We have unlocked the gates and we are removing the gatekeepers. We aren’t beholden to the views of the three green elders in the village. (See, I tied it back.) But what happens next—how we face the downside of so much connectedness—will determine whether or not this revolution empowers us, or once again empowers those gatekeepers. And I don’t want that to happen, because those gatekeepers suck. They’re arrogant and easily swayed by big, nice-sounding dangerous ideas; they’re ambitious and careerist and forgetful and unimaginative and shortsighted; they’re subject to groupthink, beholden to corporate interests, and enamored of fame and power.

I don’t want those voices to drown out the diverse and compelling voices that now have a better chance of making it in front of us than ever before—even as we still have a ways to go. And what I think we have to do, then, to protect this new wonderful thing of ‘a good idea can come from anyone anywhere’—is we need to stop telling each other to shut up. We need to get comfortable with the reality that no one is going to shut up. You aren’t going to shut up. I’m not going to shut up. The idiots aren’t going to shut up.

We need to learn to live with the noise and tolerate the noise even when the noise is stupid, even when the noise is offensive, even when the noise is at times dangerous. Because no matter how noble the intent, it’s a demand for conformity that encourages people on all sides of a debate to police each other instead of argue and convince each other. And, ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.  Read more »

Warning – contains scenes of Homer Eroticism!

Since it seems to annoy Peter Aranyi that I post Harlem Shake videos (one, to date, Peter.  But happy to make your rant more relevant), here’s another one.

Homer votes in 2012

Annoyed Grunt

Ever wondered where Homer’s moans and d’oh come from?

Tasmania moves first

Sydney Morning Herald

The Tasmanian State Government is moving to allow marriage equality and they view it as a tourist bonanza as other states dither.

Tasmania may become the first Australian state to legalise gay marriage – possibly as early as this year – after Premier Lara Giddings today vowed Labor would legislate it in this term of government.

The proposed laws would also be drafted to allow gay couples from across the country to get married in Tasmania – with Ms Giddings arguing that would help generate an economic boost and more jobs for the state.

The Premier told her party conference that its MPs would back new laws allowing same-sex couples to marry – and had obtained legal advice from the Solicitor General that there was no obstacle to stop it legislating on marriage at a state level.

Looks like they will be raking it in just like Homer Simpson.

 

Investigate digs deeper in latest issue

Investigate magazine has released yet another expose into Police corruption.

Ian Wishart has again exposed the systemic corruption that clearly still exists in the NZ Police, particularly in Dunedin. He also exposes the butt covering and lying that is going on from the Minister to the Commissioner and right on down the chain.

I agree with Ian, it is time for a Royal Commission and it is time for a Labour minister to resign.

[quote]“POLICE MINISTER’S SOURCE HAS MAJOR QUESTIONS TO ANSWER”

Investigate magazine has dramatically upped the ante in its battle to get a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police, with revelations that the former policeman who sprang to Howard Broad’s defence last month is himself a corrupt officer.

The magazine has published damning revelations in its latest issue, out today, that disclose private investigator Peter Gibbons has been using his police officer son-in-law to execute search warrants in favour of Gibbons’ lucrative private investigation business.

The magazine has also documented a major credibility blow for Gibbons that is also threatening the career of Police Minister Annette King – court transcripts obtained by Investigate suggest Gibbons has lied on oath to a judge – one of the most serious offences that a police officer can commit, punishable by up to 14 years’ jail if proven.

Investigate is also releasing portions of a tape recording of Peter Gibbons talking to an undercover police officer and justifying a decision by other police officers to lie to an official inquiry in order to protect their own interests.

The magazine reveals that Gibbons’ business earned $172,000 in fees from the ACC last year doing investigations, and that Gibbons used a family connection inside the Dunedin Police to obtain and execute search warrants for his own financial benefit.

Investigate also has a sworn affidavit from a witness who alleges Gibbons tipped off other members of his family whilst he was a police officer, in advance of a drug squad raid on that family member’s house.

The accusations of alleged misconduct involving Gibbons, which span nearly three decades, cover incidents as recently as just a few months ago.

Investigate editor Ian Wishart is calling on Police Minister Annette King to resign:

“Annette King is the Minister who relied on the word of a liar without bothering to check his background out. On the basis of his whispering in the Minister’s ear, she embarked on a massive PR campaign to vilify and defame both Wayne Idour and Investigate magazine.

“Ironically, it appears it was Howard Broad or Police National Headquarters who put Peter Gibbons’ name forward to the media and the Minister, so if the Minister wants someone to blame for the acute embarrassment she’s now feeling she need look no further than her police top brass.

“Annette King must resign. In one massive backfiring PR stunt, the Minister has single-handedly delivered explosive new evidence of police corruption in Dunedin and has managed to drag the government-run ACC corporation into it as well.

“This must rank as one of the most astounding own-goal’s the Helen Clark administration has ever scored against itself, an absolute public relations disaster. But even worse, the Minister recklessly defamed people as a result, exposing taxpayers to the risk of litigation.”[/quote]

Awww…this is starting to hurt

From Investigate magazine.

 This is from 1998, one year after the "forgotten" incident.

1998 DBP

 

 

Looks like they are going to tough it out

Looks like they are going to tough it out. They have even rolled out the Poodle to help.

Investigate magazine has little choice now but to publish more, or as the Prime Minister put it "put up or shut up"

Well looks like the "put up" option is going to be taken with revelations that David Benson-Pope kneed a boy in the groin.

Investigate has also suggested possible Crimes Act breaches DBP and his supporters. 


S107. Contravention of Statute, which carries a possible one year jail term. It is alleged Benson-Pope is liable under this section because in smacking a girl’s thigh with a ruler, he breached s139A of the Education Act 1989, which banned corporal punishment in schools.

S195. Cruelty to child, which carries a possible jail term of five years for “anyone who – having custody, control or charge of a child under 16 wilfully ill-treats…or willfully causes or permits the child to be ill-treated, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering, actual bodily harm, injury to health, or any mental disorder or disability”.
Investigate alleges this clause would cover both the direct physical assault on a schoolgirl, but potentially any physical or mental harm caused to other students by David Benson-Pope as well.

S196. Common Assault. Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year who assaults any other person.

S209. Kidnapping. This section was considered applicable in the earlier investigation of David Benson-Pope, because it doesn’t just cover abduction, but also detaining a person without her consent or with consent obtained by duress. In the case of girls trapped in the showers because Benson-Pope was allegedly standing right outside their cubicles, the kidnapping section could apply although the scale of offending would be at the lowest end of a punishment scale of up to 14 years’ jail.

The statute of limitations on these recent offences does not expire until 2007.

Additionally, former and current Bayfield High School teachers who made false statements to police that there had been no complaints against David Benson-Pope could be prosecuted under:

S111. False Statements or declarations. This section carries a jail term of up to three years for anyone who makes a statement to any officer of the law which would equate to perjury if made on oath in a judicial proceeding.

S116. Conspiring to defeat justice. If police could establish that there was an agreement by two or more teachers not to tell police about the complaints, the conspiracy sections of the Crimes Act could deliver a jail term of up to seven years for the teachers involved.