Display name

I am using OpenID whenever I post on blogspot blogs now. Unfortunately there is a glitch in that which means my display name is now “sjdennis” on those blogs, rather than “Mr Dennis” as usual. Just pointing it out in case of any confusion, and hopefully WordPress will fix this sometime.

Ban it

The runaway success of The Family Party video The Gamble, the most-viewed NZ political video on Youtube, has shown how a party outside parliament can better the big parties on the internet. The Family Party has three videos now, which can be found here and are well worth watching.

Now another minor party is jumping into this medium – Libertarianz. I wouldn’t normally be promoting a video produced by an opposing party, especially ultra-liberals, my job is to promote the Family Party. But this video is aimed primarily at exposing the communist ideologies behind the Green party, and as such it is well worth watching, especially for anyone who was considering voting Green. Very amusing too!

Now having seen why not to vote Green, here is our new video The Choice, which will hopefully help you decide who to actually vote for:

Is smacking Old Testament?

Following confirmation that there will be a referendum on smacking, there has been more discussion of this issue on the blogs. As usual, those of us who believe it is the parents’ decision whether to smack or not have been accused of wanting to beat our children, of following an “Old Testament” style of discipline, and (new to me) of contradicting the Sermon on the Mount.

Most people, whatever their religion, know the difference between smacking and beating, so we shouldn’t need scripture to back up this basic principle. But as we are challenged sometimes using the Bible (smacking is often referred to as “old testament”), I may as well back up smacking from the New Testament.

Hebrews 12:5-7

“…“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”

Note that the word translated “disciplines” can be translated as “educate, discipline, or instruct”, so would correspond to non-physical punishment. The work translated “chastises” can also be translated “flog” or “scourge” – physical punishment in other words.

So God Himself is referred to as using both non-physical and physical discipline, and this is described as what every father would be expected to do.

As I said before, we don’t need scripture to back up what everyone knows anyway. But if there was ever any doubt, the New Testament does support both smacking and non-physical discipline.

Analysis of the IPCC

Jeff Id has a number of well-researched posts on the IPCC over at The Air Vent, if you want to see a critical analysis of the organisation.

Family Party response to National Climate Change policy

The National Climate Change policy restates their commitment to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) within 9 months, but never once mentions what this trading scheme would be expected to achieve. It is an environmental policy that hardly mentions the environment.

The policy describes an ETS that would be less expensive than that proposed by Labour, but as a result would be expected to achieve less for the environment. As Labour’s scheme would achieve no significant emissions reductions according to Greenpeace, National’s policy can be expected to achieve less than nothing, if that is possible.

But it will still impose significant costs on New Zealand families and businesses, in order to achieve nothing.

Then if human-induced climate change turns out to be incorrect, which a number of scientists are suggesting, this money would have been completely wasted.

It is good that National recognise the need to engage major emitters like China if global emissions are to be reduced, and that they are wishing to “defend our economy”. If climate change does turn out to be correct, and we have to deal with the effects of it in coming years, we would need a strong economy to cope. But their idea of defending seems to be not damaging it quite as much as Labour would. This is not how we define defending.

An Emissions Trading Scheme would be the largest change to our economy since Rogernomics in the ’80s, and we will not approach it lightly. It would hit agriculture particularly hard as agriculture is responsible for 48.5% of NZ’s emissions but a much smaller percentage of GDP. So half NZ’s emissions (the half that is arguably the most difficult to reduce) must be paid for by this small sector of the economy. Many farmers are struggling to pay the bills at the moment, an ETS could put these farmers out of business.

The Family Party would have a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Global Warming, to determine whether humans are in fact causing global warming, and if we are, what response is appropriate for New Zealand to take. This approach allows our policies to be based firmly on the best advice of scientists and economists. We would also reduce costs for businesses and support the export sector, while National is proposing extra costs for businesses and would damage many exporters.

National needs to justify scientifically that an ETS is necessary, that it would actually help the environment, and that it would be affordable. None of these three vital questions are addressed in their policy.

National’s policy is vote-winning rhetoric, not a plan for New Zealand’s future.

Referendum on smacking confirmed

Finally, we have confirmation that there will be a referendum on the smacking law.

This is great news. It probably won’t happen at the election, but at least the s59 repeal’s days are numbered, provided whoever is in government actually listens to the will of the people next year.

Pharmac funding flavoured condoms

Pharmac is now funding flavoured condoms (among many other novel varieties), to help “promote better sexual health practices”.

I understand the reasoning behind Pharmac funding contraception, even though I have some issues with it of course. But the whole point of flavoured condoms is that they are not being used for contraception, when you think about it…

This particular example is government subsidised “entertainment”, with absolutely no health benefit whatever way you look at it, and is taking money away from providing real health services.

Email to Greens on ETS

This is the email I have sent to the Greens on the ETS. They do seem genuinely interested in figuring out how to vote, because it is a tough decision for them. Either way they’ll be disagreeing with half their supporters.

I would recommend you vote against the ETS:

Assuming human-induced global warming is correct:

– It won’t help the environment much if at all, even according to Greenpeace.

– It will cost a horrific amount of money for something that does no good. This money could be used to actually help the environment.

– It could force businesses off-shore, probably to Asia, where they will use coal for electricity. It may actually increase global emissions as a result.

– It will depress our economy while favouring foreign countries like China. China is a major military power ruled by a communist government, and may turn out to be one of the largest threats to international peace over the next few decades. We should not be giving them money to strengthen their military at the expense of the West.

Assuming human-induced global warming is incorrect (it is increasingly disputed, each week some new piece of evidence against it seems to come to light), or is correct but we cannot stop it through emissions reductions:

– This certainly won’t help the environment, as it would be based on a false premise.

– It would cost money, force businesses off-shore and depress our economy completely pointlessly.

Best wishes making this decision. I know you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, you’ll annoy half your supporters if you vote either way, so you’re in a rough situation on this one. Stick by what is best for the environment and the economy, and vote against it. Think practically rather than wondering which way would get you more votes (you’d never figure out which way would give you more votes anyway). That way you’ll make the best decision for the country.

It will be very interesting to see how they vote on Tuesday, as it will show whether they are serious about helping the environment (and vote against it), or are more interested in passing green-sounding legislation simply to gain votes (vote for it).

Chinese Olympic performers treated inhumanely

I did wonder about the conditions the thousands of performers in the opening ceremony were working in while training. Now we know.

One more example of China’s disdain for human rights, following on from my previous comment on Christianity. Hat tip: Adam Smith

Greens ask for opinions on ETS

The Green party is asking for people’s opinions on how they should vote on the Emissions Trading Scheme. Even though my gut feeling is that it is just an attempt to gain more votes, either as:

  • A publicity stunt to make them sound like they are listening to the public (even though they completely ignored the public over the smacking legislation), with the decision already made in a back room somewhere… OR
  • An attempt to figure out which way they decide will annoy less of the population and so lose them less votes…

… I still feel it is a nice change for a political party to be actually asking for input from the public. Email them your thoughts, if they do actually listen it might delay the ETS until after the election. Then the issue will be making sure National doesn’t introduce one.

More info here.