Every day, someone is pointing a finger at someone else to blame them for the unaffordability of New Zealand housing. Many fingers are pointing in many directions: at John Key, at Chinese investors, at developers, at Auckland Councils, at greedy speculators and at the world economy.
What the media isn’t willing to admit is that the housing crisis is a natural consequence of the culture of New Zealanders. What we have to accept is that we’re not actually a very nice people.
This country was essentially founded by the sort of person who sells other people’s land out from under their feet, and the sort of person who buys the land anyway. Some parts of Wellington were ‘sold’ by people who didn’t even live there. We’re still like this – when we sell a house, we don’t give a fuck who is moving into our old neighbourhood, as long as they bring the cash.
Our current record immigration levels are also a natural consequence of our culture. The land-owners are in power, so if we open the floodgates to everyone demand for housing will increase, which means the value of the land-owners’ assets increase, which means they can sell them for the highest price.
We’re a pack of whores in this country. Let’s just accept it so that we can make sense of what’s happening.
Nowhere is the short-sighted, greed-crazed mentality that defines the New Zealander of 2016 more evident than in Auckland. The “Auckland housing crisis” (as it is dubbed by the Auckland-based media) is an outgrowth of that same mentality that South Islanders refer to when they say that Auckland has no soul.
Because it doesn’t. It’s just a bunch of whores trying to get rich at each other’s expense. Auckland is like Los Angeles: a superficial, shallow plasticland of hustlers, grifters and straight out bullshitters. No-one there trusts anyone else, and neither should they. Pull out a bunch of cash in either city, though, and you can have someone sucking your dick within seconds.
New Zealanders are whores because we treat each other like whores.
We don’t build decent houses because that costs more money, so we let our kids get asthma instead.
We don’t have a capital gains tax because that would inhibit our ability to get rich from property speculation, so we have empty houses owned by foreigners while our young people live in cars.
We close down rape crisis centres and slash mental health funding because we’d rather have tax cuts.
If we take an honest look at our own culture, we have to accept that there is no real housing crisis in Auckland – it’s merely another great chance for some of us to get rich at the expense of other New Zealanders. If we are honest we have to accept that we want it that way because it gives us profitable avenues through which we can exploit our countrymen.
With the Black Caps to begin their South Africa leg of their tour of Africa with the first Test on 19 AUG, attention turns to the composition of the team ahead of the main challenge of this tour.
Three of the positions in the batting order are as certain as they have ever been. There is no doubt about Tom Latham opening, about Kane Williamson at 3 and Ross Taylor at 4.
With the bowlers there is no doubt about Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and the middle order is certain to feature both Mitchell Santner and wicketkeeper BJ Watling.
Regarding the second opener’s position, Martin Guptill probably did enough to retain his incumbency as an opener, and is therefore expected to start over Jeet Raval. The 27-year old Raval, who is yet to play a Test, has a first-class average of 44 and is probably the strongest first-class opener yet to play Test cricket since Mark Richardson.
Henry Nicholls will probably continue to bat at 5, with New Zealand unlikely to put Luke Ronchi in the position. Nicholls might have the most tenuous claim to a place in the team, but the Black Caps management seem willing to give him a decent run in the side because he is only 24.
Regarding the bowling options, New Zealand might find itself in a good position to gamble on a four man pace battery, on account of that the spin doesn’t look threatening enough to help take 20 South African wickets.
Ish Sodhi took eight wickets at 25 on the Zimbabwe leg of the tour but was far from convincing. Although he occasionally bowled a dangerous ball, he put down a haul of full tosses and long hops that even Zimbabwe’s batsmen could easily put away. His economy rate of 3.29, compared to Mitchell Santner’s 2.15, is evidence that he does not yet have the control to tie down an end.
Santner, for his part, seems to be improving as a bowler. His economy rate reflects that his bowling was tight against Zimbabwe, rarely straying away from an off stump line, even if the spin was gentle.
Given that Santner will almost certainly be chosen for his all-round value, and that Martin Guptill has shown himself capable of tidy spin bowling should the need arise, it may be that Sodhi is deemed to have very little value to the team for the South Africa leg.
Neil Wagner has become indispensable as the Black Caps’ third seamer. His Test bowling average has come down to 30.43, which is lower than that of Tim Southee. Wagner also has the quality of being able to pose a threat with the old ball, which gives him value in the same conditions that Southee and Boult are less dangerous in.
This leaves a fourth seamer spot open for either Matt Henry or Doug Bracewell. This column believes that Bracewell is unlikely to possess the application to develop much further as either a bowler or a batsman, and that neither is true of Henry. Although Henry is yet to impress in his four Test career, he has 51 ODI wickets at a world-class average of 22.17, and so his potential appears much higher.
If Guptill is capable of bowling in the case we need two spinners, and if Santner is capable of bowling a large number of tidy overs as he did against Zimbabwe, the best team choice for the Black Caps might be to drop Sodhi and go with a four man pace attack.
This would give us a Black Caps side of:
1. Martin Guptill (6)
2. Tom Latham
3. Kane Williamson (c)
4. Ross Taylor
5. Henry Nicholls
6. Mitchell Santner (5)
7. BJ Watling (wk)
8. Matt Henry (3)
9. Neil Wagner (4)
10. Trent Boult (1)
11. Tim Southee (2)
– DAN McGLASHAN
The black comedy Weekend at Bernie’s was the story of two young insurance agents whose boss dies. For a variety of reasons, all related to the agents’ short-sightedness, stupidity or naked opportunism, they have to pretend he is alive, at a party hosted by him, for the rest of the weekend.
The outcome of the current political shitshow in the USA, to be decided in November, may be that Hillary Clinton becomes President. If this happens – and at the moment the outcome is only paying $1.31 on BetFair – then she will assume the Presidency at the age of 69. In all of American history, only Ronald Reagan was that old when he became the President.
This is bad because Ronald Reagan was crippled by Alzheimer’s by the middle of his tenure, and was basically brain dead by the end of it.
Hillary Clinton’s physical health is not believed to be the best, as is suggested by the attached image of Clinton’s assistants helping her stand and negotiate a set of stairs. She is widely thought to be an alcoholic, which, to be fair, is common of political types.
As for Clinton’s mental health, let the following clip – in which she talks about the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was sodomised to death with a knife after a US-led invasion not long after announcing plans to expand a billion-dollar national engineering project that was not funded by borrowing from international banks – summarise her personality.
Hillary is clearly not a woman in good health. 69-year old alcoholics don’t tend to live much longer, and there is a very real chance that Hillary will die on the job.
Would the Establishment let Hillary simply die? Or would they, in preference to the instability created by a change in leader, keep Hillary Clinton’s body alive?
It ought to be possible to hollow a person’s body out and replace the bones and muscles with a robotic endoskeleton, which, when combined with modern audio technology and AI controlling for realistic facial expressions, could create a realistic imitation of a human being, especially when viewed through a television.
Those of us out here in meatspace now have to contend with the very real possibility that the US President is some kind of android, and will simply do and say what it is programmed to do by unseen handlers. The suppliant mainstream media will naturally go along with this, as the few of them with the wit to see through it will be paid off like the whores they are.
The purpose of this program is to calculate the fair return on a soccer or Test cricket match, given that you know what the odds of both teams winning are (or at least what’s being offered on those sides).
You would use this program if you were a BetFair user and wanted to find an opportunity for arbitrage on a soccer or Test cricket match.
The program starts with all values at 3 00. This represents $3.00 in the decimal system of odds measurement. To change the odds for either Team One or Team Two, click on the green or red buttons next to the starting values. The green buttons increase the value and the red ones decrease it. The number (-1 or -10) represents by how many cents the value will change when you press that button.
When you change the values for either Team One or Team Two, the fair odds of a Draw will change. They are calculated on the fly so that the odds for Team One, Team Two and the Draw all add up to 100% exactly. In other words, as the odds for either team go up, the odds for the draw will go down, and vice-versa.
The most obvious use for this program is to calculate the arbitrage points for betting on the draw.
Using the above as an example (screenshot taken at Lunch on the first day of the Black Caps vs. South Africa Test in Durban, 2016), you can enter 2.16 for Team One and 5.9 for Team Two.
The most basic way to use this program is to calculate if the draw if overvalued or undervalued, and, if either, to lay or back it respectively.
Doom and gloom abounds in the public consciousness. A popular line of reasoning at the moment is to follow the parallels between the rise of totalitarianism in the early 20th century and the current global political situation. Predictably, fingers are being pointed, but those of us with an understanding of history are reluctant to do so just yet.
A currently popular NZ Herald article outlines the reasoning. In short, “there are chilling similarities between the terrifying dictators who led us into WWI and WWII and modern politicians such as Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe and US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump”.
Apparently our world is in an especially precarious place right now because of countries like Russia, which is “a dictatorship with a charismatic leader using fear and passion to establish a cult around himself”. The article goes on to predict that a great war is coming because politicians are running for power based on a platform of division and scaremongering.
The joke is that every authority figure does this – setting the people against each other is simply the only way to stay in authority! It isn’t limited to Hitler and Trump – every king, every prime minister, every president, ever, has always stoked fear and chaos for the simple reason that only scared people will give their power away to authority figures.
If you disagree, try to name a single politician who has ever been voted to power on a platform that stoked up no hate against anyone. It’s impossible! At the very minimum, the left always stokes hatred against the rich and established and the right always stokes hatred against the poor and disenfranchised. The libertarians have created a niche by stoking hatred against both the right and the left, and the Greens have found a niche stoking up passive-aggressive hatred against the working classes. In wartime the enemy is some foreign tribe, and in the absence of anything else politicians can always stoke hatred against the Jew.
The problem is not that Trump and Putin are shamelessly taking advantage of a “perfect storm” of adverse factors. The problem is that authority figures have consistently failed us – every time we have given them our power, they have used it against us to control us, to steal money from us, to send us to die on military adventures or to put us in cages.
It’s time to realise that this is the very nature of authority, and that crime is what we will get by continuing to submit to it.
George W Bush and Tony Blair have not faced prosecution for their illegal invasion of Iraq that killed over a million people. Hillary Clinton blatantly broke the law and was nominated for President anyway. Barack Obama has committed war crimes with the US drone program and will not be prosecuted. All authority figures in the West have persecuted their own people with the War on Drugs, and no-one has been held to account. It seems that once a person achieves a certain level of authority, we are happy to let them be above the law.
This problem cannot be solved by voting for a different authority figure! The constant use of bait-and-switch, in which the ruling class gives us all manner of choice for leader but only within a very narrow, controlled band, guarantees that we will never get an authority figure in power who actually cares about the people. And if anyone stands up who does, the media will tell us that he is a populist and therefore the next Hitler!
We, the people of the West, need to take back our power from the authority figures that have failed us.
Do not give your power to politicians by voting.
Do not give your power to the Police by dobbing in your neighbours for victimless crimes.
Do not give your power to the media by giving your attention to their squawkings and hatemongering.
Do not give your power to the corporate machine by buying things you don’t need.
Do not give your power to religions that claim God has declared another group of people to be inferior. It doesn’t matter if it’s gays, women, or outsiders – do not give your power to any priest that tries to divide you against others.
Do not give your power to the usurers by borrowing money for short term pleasure.
Do not give your power away to anyone claiming to be an ‘expert’ who cannot demonstrate a superior capacity for reasoning and honesty.
Do not give your power away by believing anything you are told, including this article.
If we, the people of the West, do not give our authority away to incompetent bullshitters and swindlers, we will be able to build a decent world from the ashes of what’s coming.
The West is awake!
The West is awake!
This photoessay, to be taken between now and November, will chart the failure of Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid. The medium chosen is the form of screen captures of my BetFair account, in which I document making heaps of money as Hillary’s campaign goes down the toilet.
01 MAY (the day God told me Hillary was going to lose)
03 AUG – Hillary storms back into a dominant position! Must be time to load up on Trump some more…
04 AUG – Over three months until the election, Hillary is in to $1.33. The Donald has blown out to $4.50, are we going to look silly here going against the Clinton machine?
11 AUG – The Donald collapses on news that he has been encouraging his supporters to kill Hillary Clinton in event of him losing the election.
14 SEP – after surging for a while, concerns about Hillary’s health come into play when she falls ill at a 9/11 memorial.
The title of this article is the subject of today’s psychology lesson. When we read about history, and we read about the sort of thing that humans are capable of doing to each other, we often come to ask ourselves how it came to be that humans are so willing to do terrible things to each other, and if there is any way that the rest of us could prevent it.
Almost implicit in this line of reasoning is that we, ourselves, would of course not have done such terrible things had we been there. We would not do those evil things because if an authority figure told us to, we would simply refuse. Simple as that, right?
Evidence suggests that this line of reasoning is based on a flawed understanding of human psychology. When it comes down to it, the vast majority of people will obey almost any order given to them by someone they consider an authority figure, even if that order is to directly cause the suffering of another human being. This was demonstrated by the Milgram experiments conducted in the 1960s.
The most surprising thing about the Milgram experiments may not have been how willing people were to hurt other people on command from an authority figure. Arguably more surprising was the fact that very few people, not even those with an education in psychology, anticipated this result. The vast majority of people believed that very few experiment participants would go as far as inflicting a high voltage electric shock to someone who had already been electrocuted unconscious, merely because the person telling them to do so was wearing a lab coat and therefore looked like an authority figure.
The truth is this: human beings are, for the most part, craven, arse-licking cowards. Mostly it’s our own egos that prevent us from accepting this fact.
If this argument is not fully convincing, consider the following thought experiment.
You are at war. You have not slept for 72 hours as you have seen constant combat. Your body is agony from adrenaline shock. The inside of your pants are covered in sticky shit, as you shat yourself when a shell went off near you yesterday and the shockwave almost stopped your heart, and you haven’t had a chance to do anything about it. Every time you catch a moment to breathe, you see an image of your buddy who had his head blown off about 200 metres back.
Your squad has taken some men captives, and your officer is trying to work out if they are combatants or the civilians they say they are. The people you have detained are young men, some probably teenagers, just boys.
Then a message comes through the radio. Your forces have suffered a setback on a nearby ridge and your company is to be pulled out from their current location to plug the breach. There is no longer any time to determine if the men are combatants or not, and if you let them go they might come back and kill you or your buddies.
Your commanding officer decides that most of them are of fighting age, and those who are not soon would be anyway. The next thing you know, the captives are up against a wall, you’re looking at them over the barrel of your rifle, and your commanding officer gives you an order to fire. The last thought you have before you hear the order is that there are certainly some innocents among them.
In that situation, do you pull the trigger?
If you know much about human psychology, you will know that fewer than one person in ten thousand would refuse to pull the trigger in a situation like that. Not out of hatred, not out of sadism, not out of inherent malice or anything like that.
Because it isn’t hatred that leads to mass murders. It isn’t prejudice. It isn’t things like saying that blacks have low IQs, or that Asians are cruel, or that Europeans produce an inordinate amount of sex offenders.
The human quality that leads to millions of innocent people being stuffed into gas chambers is obedience.
If you believe that any other person has the right to decide who you should kill and when, you are already a murderer in potential if not in deed.
Angela Merkel and Adolf Hitler are in many ways very similar, and in many ways very different. Both have been absolute disasters for Germany, but in entirely different ways, reflecting the 50-60-year cycle of the oscillations of the Great Pendulum of history.
Hitler was a disaster for Germany because of an excess of masculine energy. His time as leader was marked by ceaseless aggression against all enemies, real or imagined. In a world where only those with the will to commit violence were worthy of life, to rest was to die. His hubris was to believe that through an act of genius it was possible to go to war with France, Britain, the USSR and the USA all at the same time and to win.
If the fundamental masculine error is attacking when one should have stayed peaceful, the fundamental feminine error is a failure to act when one should have acted. In our societies today, this manifests as an inability to draw distinctions. It is not fashionable to say that another group of people is in any way different to ourselves. Drawing any distinction is seen as prejudiced – an act of hatred, which is one step towards building gas chambers for the undesirables.
Merkel’s passivity in the face of what amounts to an invasion of foreign, military age men, will prove to have been a disaster for Germany because of an excess of feminine energy. Ample warning was given as to the likely consequences of throwing open the borders. Merkel was told that some Islamists would use this as an invitation to enter Europe and commit acts of terrorism. She chose not to act on these warnings, perhaps naively trusting that the refugees would be good-natured.
After all, yin energy is against the very concept of borders as this necessitates a division of the Earth, which is of course a yang action.
We are currently in a feminine age as a consequence of the fear and shame created by the masculine excesses of World War II. This has been positive and negative. On the positive side, recent decades have been marked by a heightened degree of compassion towards many of the vulnerable in our own societies. On the negative, we have failed to act in time to protect ourselves against environmental and demographic threats.
This column believes that we are in an age of change. It is possible that, in the same way Hitler’s excesses led to a feminine age of tolerance and compassion, Merkel’s excesses may lead to a masculine age of confrontation and division.
The title of this article is the truth, whether it’s admitted or not. The mental health system of New Zealand is the way it is as it’s a cheap short-term solution that we voted for because, as a people, we love cheap short-term solutions.
There’s simply no way around the basic equation. People don’t work for free. If you don’t want to pay people to take care of the mentally ill, then cheaper ways have to be found. Currently our system works like this: if you report with a problem, you’re given sedatives until you stop complaining. Everything else, like spending time with an actual person who can help you solve your problems, is off the table because it’s too expensive.
The average national per capita funding for mental health services in New Zealand is $243 per year. This amounts to probably one hour with a psychiatrist (and associated clerical duties), per New Zealander, per year. Because of this tight funding, mental health care has to be denied to as many people as possible unless absolutely necessary.
I was once told that I was capable of taking 30mg of Olanzapine per night (a dosage which caused me to sleep for 12 hours a day), of working full-time and of completing a Ph.D., all at the same time. The sort of clown that can tell a mental health patient something this stupid is the sort of person that gets hired by a system trying to do everything on the cheap, because if you pay poor wages you get the dregs of the labour market.
Other ways of saving money include a policy of treating everyone who needs an invalid’s benefit as if they were malingering, lying, thieving scum first, and then maybe later as a fellow human being in need of help. Presumably the logic is that by treating everyone who comes to the mental health services as a probable benefit fraudster, many people with marginal cases are discouraged from seeking further help, which saves money.
If the mental health services are cut far enough, savings will be achieved when the most desperate kill themselves. Don’t think for a moment that this calculation is too cold-blooded for the Government – it isn’t. Every 25-year old mentally ill beneficiary that kills themselves saves the country about half a million in benefits over the course of their lives.
Consider that a study sponsored by the Academy of Finland found that “Well-developed community mental-health services are associated with lower suicide rates than are services oriented towards inpatient treatment provision” – in other words, paying to do mental health properly, rather than just putting an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, results in fewer people killing themselves.
This article from February describes how mental health services are being cut in Canterbury due to a lack of funding. If one takes into account that suicide is the second most common way for young people to die in New Zealand, it becomes apparent that recent efforts to save money by cutting mental health funding results directly in deaths by suicide.
Maybe New Zealand, as a nation, does not wish for anything else, as New Zealanders consistently vote for a political party that has a policy of underfunding mental health services.
Our mental health system may be a disgrace, but it’s one that we want to be a disgrace because it’s cheaper that way.