I think our entire New Zealand establishment is pretty much rotten to the core and no longer fit for purpose in a modern state.
My alter ego is a socialist anarchist, so do away with "the state", and I'll be right with you. In reality, I'm a bit Churchillian about the idea of democracy.
As to how rotten the NZ political establishment is, I'm afraid living in Australia has rather jaundiced me. Now, their system and most of their pols are rotten. The NZ circus is rather smaller potatoes (although definitely in the process if joining the same train).
I loathe Key, but I think this buffoon anywhere near political power will be worse. In a different way, of course.
It amazes me how people who rightly point out that running a company isn't like running the nation seem to be giving this circus any credence. I was hoping that Laila would keep her hands firmly on the reins, but if the clown with the chequebook keeps trying to hog centre ring with his fan dances (thanks, Craig), the party's attempts at gaining any political credibility will fail.
So they can get to relay any juicy details and innuendo, with a healthy side dish of "we told you so, already"?
I can sure as hell guarantee there will be no mea culpa statements if the innuendo in this piece is unfounded.
I've got the White Album on original vinyl. I know it's heresy to the vinyl fans, but most of the tracks sound much better to me on the recentish remastered offerings.
I don't see the equivalence here. If you're a sole leaseholder in a shared house, you're not "receiving rents" for the asset you own. You're merely the channel for money that actually does end up in rents to the property owner.
If anyone who actually is a property owner uses that as a justification for avoiding tax on their rented property, I hope IRD jumps all over them when they get audited.
As for the original suggestion, I totally agree there should be a compulsory registration scheme before you can rent out a property. Especially, as George observes, there are likely to be areas where compliancy to certain standards are enforced.
Of course, there will be much wailing and bitching from those who will insist naughty landlords will avoid registration, that the "good guys" will be penalised, and that there will be extra costs in creating such a scheme. Frankly, I think the cost of not doing it, and the ad hocery of what we do now, is much higher.
And it is still often the case today that men's assault services are run as off-shoots of women's refuge services, at least intentionally (don't know what the current state of affairs is in NZ) and are are even less-resourced than the refuges themselves.
I think some context as to why men have been poorly-served that sense might be of interest. Women fought long and hard to set up the original refuges - they didn't get any handouts to do so. Their focus was getting women and kids out of unsafe situations and into homes where the abusers couldn't follow them. But unfortunately, yes, that focus on getting away from the (mostly male) abusers meant of course that male victims were not welcome in the "safe space".
I don't think anyone who works in the sector would deny the fact that men are victimised and women can be abusers. But their remit was originally and still primarily is for women and children's safety. If the Refuge movement were specifically to extend their focus on providing DV victim support to everyone, I would very happily support this and contribute to their coffers as I do now.
But I also think that blaming Refuge for not catering for male victims (and I heard it more than once) is a bit unfair. It came out of a grassroots feminist effort to take care of each other, mostly by women who'd been abused themselves. There has been nothing to stop motivated men from doing the same themselves (like fundraising for prostate cancer getting same awareness as breast cancer). I've actually been surprised that the queer community hasn't stepped up there, although of course that doesn't help straight men.
But again, I think it'd be useful to have some overarching support organisation. With govt kicking in more than they do now.
Sorry about a little bit of the language, guys. I was having a shitty day, and the helmet discussion IS a red herring.
I was relaying some of the general gist of what people say to me about "cycling extremists"- definitely not attempting to characterise anyone here as one of those rude cyclists that gets everyone's backs up. There is a difference between those and all the other considerate and safe cyclists who happen to get around fast and also wear practical lycra.
As for the fact that rude guys who blast around thru red lights (I jump lights myself sometimes - slowly and carefully) and at close proximity to pedestrians wear helmets, of course they do. But they are firmly associated in an lot of the public's mind with the "we don't need no rules or helmets" brigade.
Again, apologies for not making that all much clearer. Definitely not going out on the attack.
Love that take - so to speak - on how "the economy" is often such a bullshit term.
(On another note, can bloggers please consider how medium-grey text looks on off-white backgrounds, particularly with a fine sans-serif typeface? Very difficult to read, esp on small screens. Dark grey is more aesthetically pleasing than stark black, but it still needs to be dark enough to read.
PAS gets the balance pretty right for texty-text. The lighter grey for other text elements is just on the right side of readability for me.
As an occasional cyclist, I can't help but say that my impression of the whole cycle helmet debate is that it's pretty much a red herring. Totally agree with what Kevin is saying.
Fulminating against helmets makes you sound like one of those lycra-encased twunts who blow red lights and scare the shit out of people on shared walkways by blasting by blasting past at 40 km/h (yes, I know it's only a few like this - I'm glossing on comments made by friends & family members).
The concern is about perceived safety, indeed. I've always worn a helmet, and used to happily commute into the city and quite often trundle round the Bays the weekend. I wouldn't do either in Auck now, especially negotiating K Rd or Symonds St at rush hour. Or Ponsonby Rd, even.
Buying a helmet is a small part of the cost of buying a bike. It is not a deterrent, nor, really, the "messy hair" factor. The general impression I get is that helmets seen as not enough to achieve any meaningful safety in busy unseparated traffic. But arguing that an adolescent trundling to school on quiet suburban streets shouldn't have to wear one makes you sound like an idiot.
So yes, emphasise the road safety problem and make reasonable suggestions. Frothing on about helmets undermines that argument by making you sound like an extremist tool. I don't disagree that there will be less of a need for helmets when the cycle infrastructure is made safer, but one step at a time.
Not to mention removing the barriers towards getting any kind of procedure to get rid of your fertility. Women - again, women are the ones who have their sexuality controlled - cannot get hysterectomies or tubal ligations carried out if they choose to.
I have never ever wanted a child. The concept of what sex or (dis)abilities the fetus might have would be completely irrelevant to me if I were to fall pregnant again. I am just thankful I was in the UK when I had to have a termination, because there is a lot less song and dance about it than there is in NZ (although still you need to tell a doctor your mental health would be at severe risk if the pregnancy were to continue - but it's on site at the clinic). Like anyone else I've heard of, I wouldn't undo my decision.
But none of these objections to abortion on whatever grounds explain why exactly it is so difficult for women to get rid of their fertility. I imagine that I would still have problems getting a tubal ligation now, since I have never given birth. Maybe at age 46, I might be "allowed" to have such a procedure. A younger friend of mine - 28 - has been told in no uncertain terms it's impossible for her to get her tubes tied.
The common thread in this is just as simple as denying women agency of their own bodies in some mythological drive to ensure there are plenty of babies (and frankly, there often seems to be more than a slight whiff of racism/xenophobia about "concerns" about dropping birth rates).
I also agree that the reasons women choose or don't choose to have children can be incredibly fucked up - both ways. I know it's not PC to say so, but there are people out there (of any class, ethnicity and nationality) who should not have had kids. So if people can have kids without any "approval" whatsoever, then I can't see how anyone should be denied the ability to choose otherwise (yes, I know that terminating pregnancy and destroying fertility requires medical intervention that is paid for by the state to some degree - so is pregnancy, even more overtly in countries with "baby bonuses").