Kiwi Polemicist

January 4, 2010

• No need to make cellphone use while driving illegal

In my earlier post titled Cellphones aren’t allowed while driving, you naughty children I slammed the recent law which made driving while using a cellphone illegal and proposed a better alternative. Now, there’s an article in the NZ Herald which supports my contention that there is no need for yet another law in this police state which tries to drown us in a stinking swamp of legislation.

Here’s the article in its entirety:

A Dunedin woman who was too busy texting her friends to notice the patrol car following her has been charged with dangerous driving.

The 25-year-old, who was returning from a trip to Naseby, was spotted by members of the public crossing the centre line on State Highway 1 between Waikouaiti and Dunedin, Senior Sergeant Mel Aitken said.

She was also alleged to have reached speeds up to 140km/h, Ms Aitken said. A marked patrol car followed the woman, with the officer observing her car crossing the centre line and exceeding the speed limit.

The driver was pulled over before Pine Hill where she admitted she had been texting a friend. She is to appear in the Dunedin District Court this month on the dangerous driving charge.

I simply cannot see any need for a ban on using a cellphone whilst driving when there are already laws that cover the results of doing such a thing in a dangerous manner.

Can you see what is happening here? Instead of merely wanting to punish wrongdoing (as in the case of the woman above [1]), the state is wanting to prevent wrongdoing, by making the use of cellphones whilst driving illegal. The only way to prevent wrongdoing is to take away the freedom of people by putting up fences around them and that, in my humble opinion, is unadulterated evil. When Big Brother and Nanny State start copulating we get cops controlling what you and I do in the course of our daily lives.

I believe that talking and texting while driving is dangerous and inconsiderate of others, but I do object to making it illegal.

Please read my earlier post in order to see a better way of dealing with people who use cellphones whilst driving.


1. I would not classify what this woman did as wrongdoing because she did not breach the non-aggression axiom. I would classify what she did as stupid and inconsiderate of others in the extreme (I’m not saying that she’s stupid – I’m saying that she did a stupid thing).



November 14, 2009

• So-called abused children to go onto database

The NZ Herald is reporting that

Child abuse alerts are to be placed on a national health database, so that doctors will know if there are past concerns about a family.

The little-known Medical Warning System, run by the Ministry of Health, has been traditionally used by doctors to check for patients’ allergies to drugs. But as part of an upgrade, doctors and officials plan to add notes about any record of child abuse.

So, you take little Jonny to the doctor for an ear infection and the doctor sees an alert, therefore he takes a close look at your child for signs of abuse. This is simply a means of turning doctors into unpaid policemen, if they aren’t that already: Big Brother is watching you. To put it another way, your family doctor is the eyes of Big Brother. This is a classic example of what civil rights activists call ‘function creep’, i.e. something helpful is turned into something harmful. This database plan shows that the government will take any opportunity that allows it to increase its control of citizens.

What’s the definition of abuse, the threshold for putting a child on this database? No one is sure yet, but the NZ Herald says

Starship hospital paediatrician Dr Patrick Kelly said a working group was still discussing the criteria to be used. He believed the minimum threshold would have to be a notification (a complaint about abuse or neglect) to Child Youth and Family.

If the definition of abuse is a complaint then thousands of children will be on the database without good reason, because many complaints are made when no abuse has occurred. Even if the definition of abuse was a so-called proven case of abuse we would have a major problem. Why so?  Because we live in a country where smacking ‘for the purposes of correction’ is illegal, and therefore constitutes child abuse in the state’s twisted view of the world.

So, if you give little Jonny a swat on the rump steak to teach him that flushing the cat down the toilet is a naughty deed and then Child, Youth & Family find out about it, your family doctor will be told that you’re a child abuser.

Do you, Joe Public, get any say in any of this? Of course not.

Less government, more freedom I say.

The government ignored overwhelming public opposition to the anti-smacking law.

Join the March For Democracy on November 21.


November 7, 2009

• Cellphones aren’t allowed while driving, you naughty children

The police state has slain another freedom: now talking on a hand held cellphone whilst driving is illegal [1]. This is from the NZ Herald:

For frontline road police such as Sergeant Ashley Gore, the ban on using hand-held phones while driving could not have come soon enough.

“We have been waiting for the cellphone ban to come in because we have seen a lot of bad driving and so many near-misses,”

Naturally the policeman and the NZ Herald trumpet the party line, whilst ignoring the fact that talking on a hands free phone while driving is about as dangerous as talking on a hand held one.

The NZ Herald goes on to say

Even before the ban, police were able to charge motorists caught driving erratically while on the phone with careless use of a motor vehicle.

Great, so now if you drive erratically whilst talking on a hand held cellphone you can be prosecuted for two offences instead of just one [2]. That’s like having state executions where they shoot people twice in the head despite the fact that once would suffice.

The cop’s statement typifies the attitude of those people who rule this country:

We have been waiting for the cellphone ban to come in because we have seen a lot of bad driving and so many near-misses

The key phrase there is “near misses”. Most of the time people manage to talk on a cellphone without causing any problems, but the state punishes the majority in order to ‘protect’ them from the minority [3]. Again and again our masters see something that causes occasional problems and they decide that it must be made illegal in order to maintain social order and justify their parasitic careers. It Is Important To Be Seen To Be Doing Something is their motto. It’s the same with the anti-smacking law: a tiny minority of people beat their children to a pulp so giving a swat on the rump steak was made illegal for everyone [4].

Here’s a better way. Talking on a cellphone while driving doesn’t violate the non-aggression axiom, so make it legal. At the same time, bring in restorative justice so that those who damage person and/or property as a result of driving whilst talking on a cellphone bear the full cost of the consequences of their actions, including medical care for the injured [5]. At present the cost of medical care for the injured is borne by every taxpayer, so offenders are shielded from the consequences of their actions. When people see what the potential cost of driving whilst talking on a cellphone is – far, far greater than a $80 fine – the sensible ones will stop the practice. The foolish ones will continue their habits no matter what system is in place, but at least with my plan they will receive a huge and just self-inflicted punishment rather than a paltry $80 fine from the state.

Making people bear the full cost of the consequences of their actions is a fair and just way of reducing the dangerous practice of driving whilst talking on a cellphone. It is also consistent with the laws of nature: when a child puts his hand on a hot stove the pain teaches him to stay away from hot stoves.


Related posts:

The NZ Herald delivers state propaganda

What is a “social contract”?

Referendum on anti-smacking law: John Key gives the finger

1. Arguably it’s not a slaying of a freedom, but rather a removal of a permission. Experience shows that any ‘freedom’ we have only exists because the state allows it to exist. If you have trouble believing this, consider the fact that the state can take your house and property at any time, it can take your children if abuse is even suspected, it can force medical treatment upon you and your children, it controls what you put into your body, and it can take as much of your money as it wants to. New Zealanders have no legal means with which to to control the government, therefore the government is the de facto absolute ruler over them. You are a vassal, a pawn controlled by the state.

2. You can also be prosecuted if the phone is not ‘secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle’. That’s right, you can’t put the phone on the seat beside you and use a hands free kit. For the full details see clause 23 here (PDF 96KB). The plain-English version (it’s as close to plain English as a bureaucrat can get) is here.

3. Who needs enemies when they have friends like that? The ban on using cellphones whilst driving is fundamentally a violation of property rights, i.e. it violates your right to do whatever you like with your property unless you violate the non-aggression axiom in the process. Think about it: Nanny State (Big Brother’s sister) is sitting in the back seat of your car and telling you that you cannot pick up the cellphone that you own.

4. That was one of the publicly stated motivations for the anti-smacking law. Here’s my version: our masters believe that smacking is wrong so they force everyone to parent as they do. This action arises from their conviction that every child is the dominion of that state not the dominion of their parents (as shown by the fact that parents must get permission from the state before they can home school their children). See footnote 1.

5. If someone is killed the offender should provide for that person’s dependents, providing what the deceased would have otherwise provided. At present every taxpayer bears the cost of providing for the dependents (via the welfare system) and therefore the offender is shielded from the consequences of his actions.


September 4, 2009

• Nanny-state proposal for reducing smoking

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

This is from the NZ Herald:

A proposal to license tobacco retailers and turn cigarette packs into plain packages bearing only health warnings has found strong support.

In planning for the “end game” of widespread tobacco use, researchers canvassed public health physicians, policy officials in the Ministry of Health and other departments, and journalists.

They floated five proposals:

[1] Creating a Smokefree Commission that could require licensing of retailers, ban sales near schools, take over wholesaling, and end the glossy branding of tobacco and cigarette packets, turning them into generic, plainly packaged products displaying only health warnings.

[2] A weaker form of the commission, with licensing, but keeping existing links between suppliers and retailers.

[3] Progressively reducing tobacco import quotas, which would probably force prices up.

[4] Changing the law to make it easier to sue tobacco firms successfully.

[5] Making the tobacco industry responsible for reducing smoking, with stiff penalties if it failed to meet targets.

There is so much wrong with this insane and evil plan that it’s hard to know where to start. Here’s a partial list:

  • I find it hard to believe that anyone would be so naive as to think that this would actually reduce the consumption of cigarettes. Illegal drugs almost always come in plain packaging and as far as I know no one has said “I don’t like buying marijuana when it’s wrapped in tin foil so I’ll quit right now”.
  • this is yet another example of state employees trying to tell everyone else what’s good for them
  • this scheme would also be a violation of property rights, i.e. it would control what cigarette companies do with the packaging that they own (as do the current regulations)
  • “take over wholesaling” – sounds like Communism to me
  • banning sales near schools would be a violation of property rights that would effectively be stealing money from shop owners (by reducing their profits)
  • a Commission would be yet another waste of taxpayer’s money
  • licensing would be yet another compliance cost for businesses that are being bled dry by the government
  • when it comes to suing tobacco companies I have no sympathy for the claimants because nowadays everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. I understand that there was a time when tobacco companies told lies and hid the truth, but even then common sense would have told people (if they’d listened) that inhaling smoke that makes you cough is bad for you. Making it easier to sue tobacco companies is a Marxist notion based on the belief that big business is bad
  • making the tobacco industry responsible for reducing smoking? Have these people been smoking something that isn’t tobacco?

Where do these totalitarian nanny-state ideas come from? From a bunch of university academics of course. It’s no coincidence that these people – who are state employees – almost always come up with ideas that further the state’s plans. All around the world we see that academics are hand in glove with the state, history shows that most of the leftist ideas come from academic circles, and a great many politicians come from academic backgrounds. Why do people teach in universities (or any school)? Because they want to control what future generations think, and people who want to control other people are attracted to politics, so a move from academia to politics is perfectly natural. Just think about Helen Clark’s career.

The bottom line is this: the state has no right to control what people put into their bodies. Furthermore, it is unjust to penalise shop owners and tobacco companies when attempting to control what people put into their bodies. The state should butt out and mind its own business, because it has no business taking an interest in tobacco in any way whatsoever (no pun intended).

I hope to see a free world where shops can sell whatever they like to whoever wants to buy it and each smoker bears the cost of their decisions, rather than having taxpayers bear the cost when they are dying of emphysema. The cost of health insurance would be a true and just disincentive for smokers.

What do you think about this proposal and the points that I have raised?


Related posts:

The pointless death of an undercover policeman

The minimum drinking age

Sue Kedgely can’t force people to live healthy lives


August 6, 2009

• MP Nikki Kaye wants to interfere with your life

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

The NZ Herald is continuing its anti-smacking campaign and quotes Member of Parliament Nikki Kaye as saying

New National MP Nikki Kaye said she could not comfortably vote on the [referendum] question.

“My worry is that many people I talk to see a ‘yes’ vote as a vote to reduce family violence and a ‘no’ vote as a vote to stop the Government interfering and telling them how to bring up their kids. I believe in reducing family violence and Government interference in people’s lives.”

I believe in… Government interference in people’s lives“.

It doesn’t get any plainer than that, and her statement confirms what I’ve been saying since I started this blog. Sorry, but I can’t resist this: I TOLD YOU SO.


Paula Bennett is also a totalitarian, so she and Nikki Kaye should start a club. The details are in my earlier post titled…

Paula Bennett claims ownership of all New Zealand children

How many other National Members of Parliament are eligible to join this evil cabal?


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