Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just blame the moon.

Just in case you think that American politics has a monopoly on clowns be assured this is far from the case. Politicians the world over are a species unto themselves -- unfortunately they are not an endangered species. But we can always hope.

New Zealand’s Labour government is pretty absurd. Lead by the vicious Helen Clark this government has more than a touch of nastiness and authoritarianism to it. No doubt in previous life Clark had some experience in the SS or the Stasi. Now New Zealand still remains one of the most economically free countries in the world. And their social liberties are damn good in my opinion -- especially when compared to the sad state of affairs in the United States.

Where Clark and he co-criminals are particularly venomous are in matters having to do with staying in power. They are a desperate lot and they will do whatever it takes, no matter how dishonest, corrupt or despicable to stay in power. For instance they recently “reformed” the election code and basically have forbidden private individuals from expressing public opinions about the Clark regime. Technically speaking these people are still free to speak but they must register with the government, report on what they spend, publicize their home address when they do speak out, etc. And the financial restrictions are so onerous that any organized group would find it difficult to do more than publish one newspaper ad critical of the Clark regime.

In other words they have done their level best to stamp out free speech when it comes to dissent against Clark and her fellow Stasi members. This was pushed through parliament with the help of an unsavory much of miscreants. The Green Party scuttled all pretences at supporting civil liberties in order to prop up Clark on this matter. Still that wasn’t enough. The supposedly Right-wing Christian United Future party supported the bill. But Clark bought them out by offering party leader, Peter Dunne, a seat in the cabinet. Dunne can’t refuse anything that makes himself look important and principles take a distant second to promoting Dunne.

And the worst of the lot is a vile and dishonest politician named Winston Peters. Peters and Clark worked out some deals after Clark nearly lost the last election. Peters got what he wants, which is mainly high salaries for himself, and Clark got Peters to prop up Labour. They bent the rules so far that Clark made Peters the Foreign Minister yet claims he is not part of the cabinet. This highly unusual arrangement allows Peters to travel the world at taxpayer’s expense and make a fool of himself in multiple nations. This is quite a step up for someone used to making a fool of himself in just one country.

But the most recent asinine example of the intellectual types that run Labour came when Justice minister, Annette King, tried to explain away rising youth crime rates under the Labour government.

The tiny nation of 4 million was recently shocked when there were 10 murders in one month. This is about double the normal rate. Now whether this is part of a trend or a mere blip on the screen is not the issue. What is the issue is the lunacy, quite literally, that struck the Minister. She blamed the killings on the “full moon” and a “hot summer”. But then Labour’s friends in the Green Party got tricked into voicing support for banning the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide or H2O. So apparently the Kiwi Left is particularly susceptible to crazy theories.

For the record there is no correlation between full moons and crime. Early studies that thought there were didn’t take into account that the period studied had the full moons falling frequently on weekends. And crimes do go up on weekends. When they factored that into account the spike disappeared. Study after study has failed to find any lunar effect on crime rates. In fact, we aren’t finding evidence that the moon really has any impact on human behavour at all.

The word “lunatic” was originally coined by our superstitious ancestors who believed the moon did change human behavour. Today we apply it to people who are just crazy. New Zealand’s Justice minister qualifies as a lunatic. However, given the moral tenor of the rest of the vermin on the 10th floor of the Beehive (NZ’s parliamentary office building) she may be the least repulsive of the lot.

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