Sunday, November 27, 2011

Launch of Mars Rover Trumps Political Mediocrity

I could get quite depressed at the outcome of New Zealand's general election - a triumph of mediocrity if I've ever seen it. But it is a lovely Sunday morning in Wellington and news has come through of the successful launch of NASA's Curiosity mission to Mars. This incredibly advanced robotic rover, if it lands successfully on Mars, will significantly push forward our understanding of the Red Planet and whether any form of life is, or has been, sustainable there.

Amongst the self-indulgent political squabbles, the economic problems that beset the Western world, and the trivialisation of serious issues by the media, such news sticks out like a beacon of hope. Mankind continues to push forward with the use of its intelligence to make better tools that will one day take that intelligence into deep space. This news should cheer the most cynical of us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Won't Pay!

Labour is proposing to fund its election bribes with increases in income taxes and the introduction of a capital gains tax.

I calculate that with the top income tax rate at 39%, GST at 15%, capital gains tax at 15%, ACC at around 4%, plus FBT, rates and exorbitant user pays charges for every government service, I will be paying well in excess of 50 cents in every dollar I earn to the government.

As a self-employed businessman and a member of the 17% of households who pay 97% of the income taxes in this country, I think I pay far too much tax already.

I refuse to pay any more. I will leave New Zealand or stop working altogether rather than hand over more than half of my income to the government. And I think I speak for many of the 17% of New Zealanders who already pay for everything.

So who is going to pay for these Labour Party bribes once those of us in the 17% shrug off the burden of supporting the other 83%? No one.

Think about it, Labour Party voters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Zealand's Mendacious Media

I have blogged before about the state of New Zealand's news media but several recent examples of the depths to which they plunge have prompted me to blog on the subject again:

1) The Wellington daily The Dominion Post opened its coverage of the election campaign by asking the party leaders what they would do if they found themselves caught short without a clean pair of underpants. Another media outlet asked which of the candidates voters would rather sleep with. They consider this appropriate coverage of a parliamentary campaign at a time when New Zealand faces some its biggest challenges - a deteriorating world economic situation, a burgeoning government spending deficit and a country struggling to recover from its biggest natural disaster in decades.

2) The Auckland Sunday paper, The Herald on Sunday, has been caught illegally taping a private meeting between the Prime Minister and a leading candidate of one of the other political parties. The Prime Minister has referred the matter to the police.

3) The Dominion Post (again!) runs on its front page a banner headline (in the sort of typeface that used to announce war being declared or man landing on the moon) announcing the drunken antics in a foreign bar of a prominent New Zealand sportsperson. I was in the country concerned at the time and the incident occasioned no comment in the local press there, so obviously it wasn't particularly serious.

I was discussing these incidents with a business colleague of mine and he told me the story of his niece, a bright young woman who was studying journalism at one of this country's universities. This young woman has decided to drop out after nearly two years of the course. Was it because she wasn't getting good marks? Was it because she couldn't cope with the workload? Or perhaps it was because she decided she didn't want to be a journalist after all?

It was none of the above. The reason she dropped out was ethical - that is, the unethical behaviour being taught and encouraged by the journalism lecturers. She was taught that any means justified the ends of a scandalous story and the advancement of the (left wing) political agenda that the lecturers supported. She had expected to learn that journalism was a noble calling to uphold the truth and to act responsibly but she was disillusioned to discover that precisely the opposite was being taught.

This is why I no longer subscribe to a daily newspaper or watch television news or listen to radio news in this country. They are almost without exception a bunch of mendacious scumbags. If you agree with my assessment, I urge you to cancel your newspaper subscription and vote on the broadcast media with your remote control. You can get all the news that matters on the Internet - news that is more timely, accurate and balanced than anything that comes out of New Zealand's mainstream media propagandists.