2012 Budget highlight

Yes, I know. Last Thursday was the day for the pundits to comment on the National government’s 2012 Budget. But I can think of few things more soporific than stimulus packages or more boring than budgets, and last week’s Budget was even duller than usual. David Farrar has a summary of 2012 Budget highlights. See what I mean?

But there is one aspect of the 2012 Budget—not mentioned in Farrar’s list—that should be highlighted. It’s the $78.5 million Finance Minister Bill English allocated to IRD audit. Thanks to atheist Mark Hubbard over at Life Behind the Iron Drape for bringing this to my attention. Here’s his blog post in full.

Zero budget – no. Nazi budget -yes.

In New Zealand’s 2012 budget, Bill English just grew the fascist thug state by an extraordinary extent. The money allocations to health and education sounded like a Labour Party lolly scramble; there is in this budget only the further expansion of the state. As Clive James said of the Soviets, they thought they had free health care, but it ended up costing them everything they had. Well English just imported that hollow ethos to New Zealand. Significantly, the first money allocation in Herr English’s speech was a huge $78.5 million to IRD audit. Now move your eyes up and read my blog by-line again. Read it, the paragraph in italics: understand what is funding every other allocation to the state. $78.5 million into the systematic persecution of this country’s productive, who, unlike this government, haven’t lifted a finger to initiate force on their fellow man.

Bill English, please take this personally, you are a true National Socialist: you are my enemy, as you are the enemy of all free men. I suggest you wear a brown shirt to Parliament from now on. I’m too angry to write anything further. When will there be the Western Spring, to wrest our liberty back?

Visit Mark’s blog to read his blog by-line. Here’s his disclaimer.

Disclaimer: If you pay anything other than the correct amount of tax – as hard as that can be to calculate under our mess of tax law – then you’re a bloody idiot. The state will squash you like a bug.

The Western Spring may be sooner than we think. That the State is allocating an additional $78.5 million to the task of squashing tax defaulters like bugs suggests that socialism is already starting to run out of other people’s money.

Never Happy Again

What words can sooth such agony as suffered by the parents and families of ‘Two-year-old Lillie, Jackson and Willsher Weekes [who] were among the 13 children killed in the fire which broke out in the Villaggio Mall in Doha.’ ???
They express their Loss… “Never Happy again”

Though the pain I feel upon hearing of such tragic yet distant events cannot be compared with that of their kin, Tragic news like this kills me. I die a little every day.
We read that among the causes were, gross human errors, malfunctions, and callousness, yet ultimately people wonder why God Almighty allows such horrific things to happen to innocent children?
As a Christian I know why. The Bible has the answer, yet today I simply wish to pray to the Lord, that he reaches out to the Kiwi Parents of these beautiful children, and the others whom lost loved ones in this tragedy… that he does not allow their hearts to become hardened and hateful, that he takes pity upon them, and has mercy upon them, and draws them near unto himself, that they might find peace and hope in his presence.


Here we have some Anti-American Propaganda.
There is no way we can know if this poor child was in fact killed by an American drone strike. There is every chance that this is a despicable lie designed to stir up hated of America and support for terrorism… none the less *an Innocent Child lies Dead.*

Looking at such a shocking reality… and the story that has been attached to it is a test of ones convictions.
Let me state that I don’t buy into the argument that they are selling.
Let me state that it is possible to hate War, yet still support America’s combat forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
…yet still it is easy to apprehend the futility of it all!
The magnitude of Mankinds Foolishness and evil.
Just how Far We have lost our way!

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3vs19)

The Bible teaches us that the very first Man born of Fallen Adam… in jealousy… murdered his own brother!
(Gen 4vs8)
And that as Mankind Multiplied upon the Earth so too did violence.
(Gen 6vs1-5)

This Propaganda Photo teaches us one very important thing.
That the Bibles claim that Mankind is a corrupt and fallen race of beings is absolutely true! It is validated every single day!
Evolution is a Joke!
Mankind is *not evolving*… not becoming less like beasts at all.

Looking at this photo I ask this question:
In such a world as ours… filled with violence and Evil, who has the right to be happy?
Some people will say… “Nothing really matters”…. “Everybody dies”…. “There is no point in worrying about the way things are”… “You cant do anything about it”… “So just switch off and enjoy the few short moments you have”…

They say this because thats the best answer they can muster.
They say this because if they admit to themselves they really care… they will go insane…
For Me that’s no answer!
For Me that’s utterly tragic!
I simply don’t know how people can go through life with that kind of view of reality!
It’s Amoral.
It’s nihilistic.
It’s shallow and Hopeless!
It is the answer of a Lost soul!

I am so grateful to have found the Hope that is in Christ!
I don’t have write off all the evils I see about me as nothing.
I don’t have to look at that picture and not believe things ought to be different.
And I can do something about it!
The Christian answer to that question is that in a world such as this we ought to appreciate Everyday that our nearest and dearest remain safe and well… and Praise the Lord with thanks giving for his blessed Providence. And in those terrible days that must surely come upon us mortals, that our Loved ones are taken from us, let us be thankful unto the Lord for the relationship we enjoyed upon this rock in space…and the time we had to share and enjoy… and that all is not in vain! We Christians have that blessed hope of being reunited with our loved ones in heaven!
This hope rests in the power of Christs Resurection.
Let us be busy preaching The Gospel which alone can bring salvation to mankind, one individual at a time.
Let us Celebrate with those whom celebrate, and shed tears with those who cry… and most of all let us live by faith and Hope that is in Christ our Lord.
We know the sad truth that only a minority of lost souls will receive the free gift of Salvation, thus let us pray that Christ returns swiftly.
We know that until that day dawns, that we shall need to take up arms and defend ourselves from evil powers and principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places.. and that tragically innocent little children will suffer the most.
Let us spread the Light of Libertarianism, of Tollerance, of Equality before the Law, of Voluntary Charity, and Association.
I have hopes that my Baby boy, and grandchildren live long and happly lives, yet would I wish the Lord to tarry… while millions of innocent children suffer? No!
I pray for the swift return of Christ!
Return O Lord! Prince of Peace and righteousness!
We Human beings cannot Rule ourselves.
We have utterly ruined the world.
Our Children lay dead from our violence and hatred.
Mankind has rejected your Light!
Return Quickly O Lord.
And give us the courage to boldly preach your Gospel of Grace with what time remains.
Tim Wikiriwhi.

“For God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

Read more…

How can a Good God exist when there is so much evil in the world? (part1) Atheist Nihilism.

Car Crash.

‘Brave Boy’ Chace Topperwien.

The hope which is In Christ. Terrible grief shall be turned into great joy!

A High Calling.

Hell is for the Self Righteous, Heaven is for Sinners.

The Boy Mountain. Scott’s towering example.

If ‘property rights’ is the answer, what’s the question?

If ‘property rights’ is the answer, what’s the question?

The question is, how do we allocate scarce resources in a free society?

Here are two common examples of scarce resources.

(1) Tangible, “value added,” goods.
(2) Land.

The answer in each case is the same: privatisation. The institution of private property—which is a societal convention—accords people property rights in tangible goods and land.

Tangible goods to which value has been added are the products of someone’s effort. Other things being equal, we give ownership of the goods to the person who produced them. According to our property conventions, you get to keep the fruits of your labours.

Land is already there. It’s not the fruit of anyone’s labours. So, as a very general rule, we give ownership of land on a “first come, first served” basis. If you’re the first to stake a claim (by planting a flag, perhaps), then it’s yours. (There may be qualifications, for example, it may be deemed necessary to “improve” the land, or to “occupy” it “continuously” for a period of time.)

What about so-called “intellectual property”? Should a free society give ownership of ideas? There’s no disputing the fact that good ideas are (almost) always products of someone’s intellectual effort. And there’s no disputing that good ideas are (almost) never thought of simultaneously. Take any good idea, and there’s (almost) always someone who thought of it first. And, what’s more, it’s (almost) always the case that the person who thought of the good idea first is someone who put in the intellectual effort required to come up with the idea. So, other things being equal, why not give ownership of the good idea to that person, perhaps by way of copyright or patent?

Why not? Because, in the case of ideas, ‘property rights’ is the answer to a question we don’t need to ask. In a free society, ideas are not scarce resources. Tell me what your good idea is, and I have it too. Ideas can be copied. They can be copied ad infinitum. Ideas aren’t scarce.

The notion of “intellectual property” is bogus. The correct account of the nature of property is the scarcity theory of property. The production theory of property is flawed.

Here’s a counter-example to the production theory of property, a third, less common, example of a scarce resource.

(3) Radio frequency transmission bands.

If you and I broadcast our radio shows on the same radio frequency band in the same geographical area, our transmissions interfere with one another. The solution to the problem is, again, privatisation. There’s actually a legitimate role of government here—to endorse, and to enforce the rulings of, an independent body that grants exclusive use, in a given geographical area, of scarce radio frequency transmission bands. On the basis of … what? Fairness? Not on the basis of first come, first served. And certainly not on the basis of the production theory of property. You can’t produce a mathematical range. And you can’t be first to use a set of numbers.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

Love never fails

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

Black Sabbath

This is my final post. Why? Because the world ends today.

What better way to end it than the way it all began? With the very first heavy metal song.
The track is Black Sabbath from the album Black Sabbath. The band is Cultura Tres, leaders of the New Wave of Venezuelan Psychedelic Doom/Sludge Metal.

I’ve scheduled a post for tomorrow. Just in case. If I’m still here Tuesday, I’ll resume blogging.

Minimalist Christianity

Here’s a snippet of a conversation I had earlier today.

C: You’re a christian, so of course you believe in a disembodied consciousness.

Me: That’s a non sequitur.

C: You’ve got me beat then. I’ve never heard of God having a body before.

Me: Heard of Jesus? (John 1:14)

C: Well yes, but God was around before Jesus.

Me: Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

C: And that’s supposed to tell me what? That God had legs? God was the creator of the Universe, apparently, so he was around before there was any need for legs, before there even was legs.

I find it hard to get my head around the idea of a disembodied consciousness. I’m pretty sure that my consciousness can’t be disembodied and remain … conscious. As for the mind of God … I have absolutely no idea.

But I reprise this snippet of a conversation to make the point that the label ‘Christian’ makes people assume all sorts of unwarranted things. It gets annoying after a while. I’m not given to angry outbursts and acts of homicidal violence, but please don’t push your luck with, “You’re a Christian, so you must be a socialist!”

Anyway, in an apparent synchronicity, blogger Glenn Peoples posted an excellent post today on something he calls minimalist Christianity. Here are a couple of paragraphs (but do make sure to read the whole thing).

A number of times the Apostle Paul warned first century Christians about getting into foolish controversies over doctrine. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t believe what they find most convincing about a whole range of things, but they were taking it further, making those things points of contention that threatened to divide the church. When writing to Timothy, a young church leader, Paul urged him no fewer than five times to stay away from – and to urge others to stay away from – unproductive quarrels over such things. But this is what really grabbed my attention recently, prompting this blog post: When Paul was in Athens preaching the Gospel, a number of philosophers asked him to come and speak to them because, here it comes, they wanted to know what the Christian faith was. They were accustomed to examining different worldviews but they had not yet heard of Christianity, so they said to Paul, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean” (Acts 17:19-20). Every evangelist and apologist reading this passage should be on the edge of their seat: They are about to get a bona fide New Testament example of what it actually looks like to sum up the Christian faith. And what does Paul say? I assume that Luke’s record is not intended to be verbatim, and only sums up what he thought was important (which in a way helps me to make the point even clearer). Here’s the whole talk as recorded in Acts 17

Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

Every time I have made this observation, I have been met with almost immediate misunderstanding, so let me labour the point: Nothing that I have said here implies that Christians should believe as few things as possible – or even that it’s a good thing to only believe the bare essentials. I think holding a lot of bad theology is bad for you. It has “knock on” effects into other things you believe and do. When I talk about theology at the blog and podcast, hopefully I make it obvious that I do care about what I believe – and what others believe too – beyond the bare essentials (just as a dietician cares about what you eat beyond the bare necessities needed to keep you alive). There is much growth, intellectually, spiritually and practically, in moving beyond the bare essentials of Christian thought and into the riches of biblical theology. But I have become convinced of this: The acceptance of the Christian faith does not require that anyone shares your convictions (however important they might be to you) on everything you believe that you have found among those riches.

The post in its entirety is well worth reading. Thanks, Glenn.

Here’s some further reading.

I am a Christian
Jesus, Jesus, what’s it all about?
Contentious Christians (exploring the faith)
What if I strongly disagree? … (explorefaith.org)
Christian Agnosticism (Beliefnet Forums)

P.S. Don’t expect Paul’s advice not to get into “foolish controversies over doctrine” to be taken much notice of around here!

Nothing new under the sun

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them. (NIV)

Boy takes swing at US patents

Boy takes swing at US patents

A five-year-old kid from Minnesota has patented a way of swinging on a child’s swing. The US Patent Office issued patent 6,368,227 on 9 April to Steven Olson of St Paul, Minnesota for a “method of swinging on a swing”. Olson’s father Peter is a patent attorney.

The award has generated a mixture of chuckles and frustration at an overworked patent system unable to catch absurd applications. The patent covers moving a swing side to side or in an oval pattern. Children can get bored by swinging back and forth, or by twisting the swing to make it spin, the patent says.

“A new method of swinging on a swing would therefore represent an advance of great significance and value,” it reads. Olson’s alternative is to pull on one chain at a time, so the swing moves towards the side being pulled.

Peter Olson told New Scientist: “I had told him that if he invented something he could file a patent.” His son had not seen sideways swinging because the swings at his school are closely spaced, so he asked his father to file the application.

The patent office initially rejected the application for prior art – citing two earlier patents on swings – but Peter Olson appealed, noting that neither was a method for swinging sideways. The patent was then issued.

The US swing patent does not match an Australian patent on the wheel for sheer absurdity. However, in that case, an Australian lawyer was able to sneak the wheel patent through a fast-track application system. The US patent went through the full application procedure.

Peter Olson says he was not trying to prove anything, just show his son how inventions and patents work. The Australian lawyer who received a patent on the wheel was trying to point out how poorly the system operated.

The US Patent Office says it does not comment on individual patents, leaving it unclear how such an obvious idea won approval. A spokeswoman did say that the patent office uses a legalistic definition of obviousness: “That is not necessarily the conventional definition.”

The swing patent could face reconsideration at the request of the inventor, third parties, or the patent director.

When the laughter stops, silly patents filed by individuals are less a problem than trivial ones filed by large corporations, says Gregory Aharonian, publisher of the Internet Patent News.

As an example, he cites US patent 6,329,919, a business-method patent issued in December 2001 to four IBM developers for a system that issues reservations for using the toilet on an aeroplane.

Lawyer moves to patent wheel

Lawyer moves to patent wheel

An Australian man has registered a patent for a “circular transportation facilitation device” – more commonly known as the wheel.

Melbourne patent lawyer John Keogh said he registered the patent to show flaws in an intellectual property law that came into effect in May, the Australian newspaper The Age reported.

The new law established the “innovation patent” system, which Mr Keogh said did not require sufficient oversight from the patent office.

The new innovation patent can be prepared without professional help and only requires claimants to show “innovation”, not “invention”.

Mr Keogh said it represented the government caving in to claimants who said it was too expensive to obtain a standard patent.

“The government decided to find a way to issue a patent more easily,” he said.

“The patent office would be required to issue a patent for anything. All they’re doing is putting a rubber stamp on it.”

But Commissioner of Patents Vivienne Thom said: “To obtain the patent the applicant must make a declaration that they are the inventor.

“Obtaining a patent for the wheel would require a false claim, which would certainly invalidate the patent,” she added.