Kiwi Polemicist

January 13, 2010

• Bar owner’s property rights wrecked by human rights

In my earlier post titled There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act (you have to love a snappy title like that) I said

I am a classical liberalist and you’re probably thinking that I’m strong on human rights, but that is not true: I believe that there is no such thing as “human rights”.
The present definition of “human rights” is subjective and invites such evils as the EFA, the anti-smacking law and hate-speech laws. Only when “human rights” are redefined as property rights and personal rights in accordance with the non-aggression axiom can we have a consistent, logical and objective set of rights.

Let’s have a look at another injustice inflicted in the name of human rights:

The Human Rights Commission has warned a newly-opened Kapiti Coast bar over its ban on admitting under 20-year-olds, after young drinkers ruined the drinking establishment’s opening night with bad behaviour.

The commission told Jamie Williams, owner of the $2 million Monteith’s Brewery Bar’ at Paraparaumu, he could not discriminate against which customers he chose to let into his bar based on their age, the Dominion Post reported.

“While bars have the right to refuse entry they should be careful not to do so on the grounds of age, sex or ethnicity,” commission spokesman Gilbert Wong said. (source)

Can you see what is happening here? That bar is private property, but the state is forcing the owner to allow people aged under 20 to enter, even if he doesn’t want them on his property.

The Human Rights Commission website has a prominent piece of fiction:

The Commission works for a fair, safe and just society, where diversity is valued and human rights are respected.

What is ‘fair’ and ‘just’ about using legislation to take away this bar owner’s property rights? Diversity is valued by the state, but only that diversity which is considered acceptable by the state: banning bar patrons under 20 is a form of diversity, but it is not considered acceptable by the state and therefore it is illegal. How is society ‘safe’ when bar owners are forced to admit people that they know are likely to turn violent?

In my earlier post titled I am Pakeha and I am oppressed I said

Socialism/Marxism creates two groups in society: the victims, who are “oppressed”, [in this case, people under 20] and the “oppressors” [the bar owner]. The Socialists then set about righting these (usually imaginary) wrongs by oppressing the “oppressors”, thereby doing just what they accused the “oppressors” of doing [the bar owner is being oppressed by the socialist state].

Laws prohibiting sexual and racial discrimination, as well as other types of discrimination, are nonsensical because everyone discriminates. No one objects if a black American man is a looking for a black wife, but he is discriminating against white women*. He wants a female partner, so he is discriminating against men. He wants a good looking wife, so he is discriminating against people who aren’t good looking. He wants a young woman, so he is discriminating against older people. He wants a wife who can bear children, so he is discriminating against infertile women: the list goes on and on.

Homosexual men discriminate against women by wanting only male sexual partners. Lesbians discriminate against men by only wanting female sexual partners. All heterosexuals discriminate against half of the population, the half that shares their gender.

Section 21 of the Human Rights Act forbids discrimination against sexual orientation, and if this is taken to its logical conclusion homosexuality and heterosexuality are illegal; only bisexual people are in compliance with the law, so bisexuality should be made compulsory. Either that or we can get rid of ridiculous laws which deny the reality of the fact that everyone discriminates.

If you take away the politically correct terminology, “discrimination” is in fact “choice”.

My position is simple: that bar is private property and, as part of his property rights, the owner should be free to make a choice about who can and cannot enter his property. The route to a fair and just society is not a complicated one: just restore everyone’s freedom to do whatever they want, and punish them if they violate the personal and property rights of others.

What do you think about the bar owner being forced to allow people under 20 into his bar?

Related post:

Property rights are a part of human nature



June 4, 2009

• Tiananmen Square: 20 years after the massacre nothing has changed

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I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the Chinese massacred hundreds or thousands of protesters in Tinananmen Square.

Calling it a “square” probably conjures up the wrong image: it’s the biggest city square in the world at 40.5 ha or 100 acres. It’s 880×500 metres or almost the area of 63 rugby fields and contains such delights as a brutalist mausoleum containing the embalmed body of Mao Zedong and the Monument to the People’s Heroes. It’s in the centre of Beijing, next to the Great Hall of the People (where China’s farcical version of a parliament meets) and is across the road from the former imperial palace, commonly known as the Forbidden City. So it’s a place loaded with history and symbolism that’s able to hold a great many people. It’s believed that a million people gathered there for the June Fourth Movement of 1989.

As we all know, the Communist Party of China didn’t like these protests so sent in troops, tanks and so forth to ensure that the people Party retained control. What has been interesting is how the Party has reacted on the twentieth anniversary. There’s a huge police and/or military prescence, they’re keeping journalists out, and dissidents have been effectively placed under house arrest. Below there’s a link to a tragicomic video where security staff are trying to block BBC cameras with umbrellas – and that’s outside the Square.

The events of 1989 do not appear in textbooks and children born around that time or afterward know little or nothing about it (see link below). I am reminded of the Memory Hole in Orwell’s 1984.

Twenty years after the massacre nothing has changed because truth, free speech and freedom of association clearly remain persona non grata in China. On the bright side, all these security measures indicate some trembling on the part of the Party, which rightly fears the people because only a government that is truly a servant of the people has no need to fear them.

Interesting links:

What are your thoughts regarding the events of 1989 and today?

Related post:

There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act

(Click on the photo for a larger size) View from the Tiananmen Gate of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) looking south over Tiananmen Square. In the centre of the square is Mao Zedong's mausoleum (tomb) and to the right is the Great Hall of the People. Photo from Wikipedia.

(Click on the photo to enlarge) View from the Tiananmen Gate of the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City) looking south over Tiananmen Square. In the centre of the square is Mao Zedong's mausoleum (tomb) and the Monument to the People's Heroes. To the right is the Great Hall of the People. Photo from Wikipedia.


March 6, 2009

• ACT Party tramples on freedom to get three strikes law

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I have previously covered the Gang Insignia Bill here and here.

This is from the NZ Herald in regard to the Gang Insignia Bill:

Mr [Rodney] Hide said that while he objected to the ban “on principle”, the party had flip-flopped to try to get National’s support for its proposed “three strikes and you’re out” law. He denied it was part of a deal.
“We voted for it [the patch ban] because what it’s going to do is get three strikes through this Parliament.”
At its first reading in April, Mr Hide told Parliament he would happily vote against the bill because it was against the principles of freedom.

“Freedom is about the individual, and the measure of a free society is how we move to protect the minority from the majority. If the majority thinks that people wearing glasses should be locked up, that is not freedom or democracy,” he said.
[ACT MP] Mr Garrett is a hardliner who this week told the Herald that if three strikes was found to breach fundamental human rights, the solution was to change the Bill of Rights.

So, by Hide’s own definition the Gang Insignia Bill is against the principles of freedom and democracy, and Hide is now also opposed to the principles of freedom and democracy because he has voted for that law*.

Basically ACT is saying “We will sacrifice our principles and trample on freedom in order to keep our election promise of a three-strikes law. If that three-strikes law breaches the current definition of fundamental human rights we will simply change the definition of fundamental human rights”.

This illustrates the great danger that lies in the concept of “human rights” and in legislation that defines it: the definition of “human rights” can and does change without warning. As I said in my earlier post, there is no such thing as “human rights”, there are only personal and property rights. Only when personal and property rights are defined according to the non-aggression axiom are we safe from the depredations of politicians.

Laws such as the Bill of Rights are simply a means of restricting our rights to those which are defined in the legislation. If we were truly free there would be no need for such legislation, but instead we only have those rights which the state kindly allows us to have this week.

I really did expect better from the ACT Party, who should stop trampling on freedom and instead make a stand for it.

What do you think about ACT’s actions and the Gang Insignia Bill?

*Compare this with what ACT MP Heather Roy said in September:

“Such moves are wrongly-focussed, token-ist and entirely predictable – hard-line policies to deal with gangs are reeled out by different Parties in the run up to every election,” Mrs Roy said.

“Clearly none of these ‘flash in a pan’ policies have worked – because they focus more on addressing the mayhem that individual gang members cause, rather than on initiatives that will hit gangs hardest and make it harder for them to operate.

“Legislation outlawing gangs and their insignia is just more law – we don’t need more laws, we need to enforce the ones we already have and give police the power to tackle lawlessness where and when it happens.
“This is political spin at its worst. Enforcing the laws and by-laws we already have, and following the money rather than the mayhem – a view reinforced by South Australia Premier Mike Rann in Auckland yesterday – is the real answer to dealing with gangs in New Zealand,” Mrs Roy said.


March 5, 2009

• Gang Insignia Bill takes a step forward, freedom takes a step back

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

The NZ Herald in reporting that the Gang Insignia Bill has passed its second vote in parliament. This evil law is intended to prevent the display of gang patches/insignia in Wanganui (it says as much in the Bill) and opens the door for state suppression of other groups that are found to be inconvenient.

Furthermore, this law is unnecessary because another law covers this situation: there’s more about that and the wider issues in my earlier post. The penalty for breaking that other law is $4,000 or 6 months prison, yet the select committee wants to make the penalty under the proposed new law $2,000. So they’re adding to our massive burden of legislation and bringing in a smaller penalty at the same time. How daft is that?

The select committee also says

We recommend an amendment to insert new clause 8, which would allow the police to stop a vehicle, without a warrant, if they had reasonable grounds to believe that an offence had been committed under this legislation. Police would not then have to use other legislation to stop a car with an occupant displaying gang insignia, and we consider this amendment necessary for the efficient enforcement of the provisions of this bill.

Simply displaying a gang patch does not violate the non-aggression axiom and therefore should not be illegal. When the state prohibits the display of certain insignia and gives related stop-without-warrant powers to police that state is a police state and freedom is dying.

What do you think about this law and the points that I have made?

Related topic: Police checkpoints


January 30, 2009

Pure evil: social workers give children to gay couple for adoption despite wishes of grandparents

The Daily Mail is reporting that social workers destroyers in Edinburgh have given a five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister to a male homosexual couple for adoption, despite the children’s grandparents wishing to adopt them:

The couple, who cannot be named, wanted to give the five-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister a loving home themselves. But they were ruled to be too old – at 46 and 59.

For two years they fought for their rights to care for the children, whose 26-year- old mother is a recovering heroin addict.

They agreed to an adoption only after they faced being financially crippled by legal bills.

The final blow came when they were told the children were going to a gay household, even though several heterosexual couples wanted them.

When the grandfather protested, he was told: ‘You can either accept it, and there’s a chance you’ll see the children twice a year, or you can take that stance and never see them again.’ *

Then there’s the illness excuse:

But council social workers became worried that the grandparents’ ages and health problems meant they would also be unable to care for the children properly.

The 59-year-old grandfather, a farm worker, has angina while his wife is receiving medication for diabetes.

There are so many issue here that it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll confine myself to four points, based on the assumption that you don’t want to read a 10,000 word essay:

1) First and foremost: the state has no right to steal these children

By taking control of what happens to these children the state has stolen them. Even if the children were given to a heterosexual couple despite the grandparents wishing to adopt them I would describe that action as evil and totalitarian.

2) Children need and want stability

It would appear that those grandparents are the only stable thing in the lives of these children. Children who do not have stability are far more prone to mental health problems.

3) Children need one male parent and one female parent

In case you’re thinking that I’m just a fuddy-duddy christian I’ll quote two people who have commented on this case.

Melanie Philips says

The reason why adoption is so successful at raising healthy, well-adjusted children is that it replicates as far as possible the biological mother and father whose presence in the family is so crucial to the well-being of their children. * [She’s hit the nail on the head there]

The prevailing argument that all types of family are as good as each other as far as the children are concerned simply isn’t true. While some children emerge relatively unscathed from irregular households, children need to be brought up by the two people ‘who made me’ – or, in adoptive households, in a family which closely replicates that arrangement.

Where that does not happen, the child’s deepest sense of his or her identity as a human being is at some level damaged.

A child needs a mother and father because their roles in bringing that child up, and the way the child sees each of them, are not interchangeable. They are different and complementary, which is why if one of them is absent the child suffers, in many cases very badly indeed.

For very young children the absence of a mother, whose nurturing role cannot be replicated even by the most loving and attentive of fathers, is particularly tragic.

Therefore to say that depriving children of a mother figure is in their best interests – as the Edinburgh social workers have said – is clearly ridiculous.

Amanda Platell says

It appears that social services, despite all the evidence to the contrary, still believe that all relationships are equal when it comes to raising children. Indeed, in this case they seem to have decided that a gay relationship is preferable to a couple of opposite sex.

This is simply not true. They are not equal when it comes to the things children need most – commitment and stability. Yet is is regarded as heretical even to state the facts: which are that marriages last longer than cohabiting heterosexual relationships and they both last longer than gay relationships.

Those are the cold, bare truths. It is too soon to know the statistics on same-sex marriages as there has not been enough time to assess the trends and many same sex couples enjoy enduring and truly fulfilling relationships.

But if commitment and stability matter most to children’s happiness and success, the least suitable place for them to be raised is by a gay couple. That’s not homophobia, that’s not bigotry, that’s a fact – unpalatable as it might be to the Left consensus.

4) Social workers are hypocrites

Peter Harris of the Grandparents’ Association in the UK says

Lynn Chesterman, the Chief Executive of the Grandparents’ Association, and I have both, when talking to audiences of social workers, undertaken the following exercise.

We asked our audiences to say whether they would ask a family member, in particular a grandparent, to look after their children if they became incapable of doing so themselves. Almost universally they raised their hands in assent.

When asked whether they would prefer social services to do so – guess how many of their hands went up!

I’ll bet you a chocolate fish that they don’t put their hands up the second time because to do so would mark them as opponents of the liberal left/feminist agenda that is a loose in their departments like a fox among chickens. These two children are in the mouth of that fox.


The traditional extended family structure is one that contains multiple layers of redundancy, e.g. if the parents of a child die in a car crash there are potentially four grandparents (and other relatives) able to step in: this is the most natural order of events. Indeed, before rest home care was common many grandparents lived with their families and earned their keep by caring for grandchildren and doing other jobs around the house. If anything happened to the parents the transition to care by the grandparents was easier for the child because they were already familiar with the grandparents (that’s stability, point 2 above). Yes, there were plenty of families with problems, but there were also plenty of families akin to what I have described; sadly this traditional family structure has largely disappeared in Western cultures.

Strong family units are essential to a healthy society, so totalitarian, politically correct and evil actions by social workers will only hasten the Left’s plan to destroy the foundations of our society.

What do you think about the state forcing these children to go to a gay couple against the wishes of their grandparents?

Click here for an update to this post.

Hat tip: Samuel Dennis

* emphasis added

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