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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rotting from the Inside

You do not know them, probably. They are the faceless people. They answer the phone with their first name. You can't 'track them down'. They hide behind files. No, I am not talking of telemarketers or scammers, but of fine upstanding men and women in our government departments. Most are graduates, class of 2000.  Marx's finest. 

They are at all levels of the Education Empire that exists in each State and Federally. They do as they are told. And they are in the schools too. Heads, Principals. Teachers. All useful. Some, a few, scared.

Of course, Marx was an 'intellectual', not like that other Socialist. Ol' Karl prefers a different sort of storm trooper. 

Did it not occur to you that Roz Ward of La Trobe University didn't just 'strike lucky'?  Do you think that any old academic can just write a curriculum and get it all implemented in schools ? Did you think that a woman or a man with a PhD in Divinity could just forward a lesson plan in a fancy binder, along with ten carefully written books to get teachers to take kiddies through the finer points of altruism, and stand a chance?

It comes as a shock. Julie Cross spoke in the Oz Room
Gender lessons ‘bordering on pornographic’, says parent
A PUPIL at a northern beaches school was left “violated” after being asked to analyse sex scenarios of fictional middle-aged people as part of a personal development lesson.
The girls were asked to categorise a number of examples of sexual behaviours of middle-aged fictional characters, including “Joseph”, a middle-aged married man who fantasises only about men but talks negatively about homosexuals, although he is attracted to other males.
Another involves a promiscuous heterosexual woman, “Zarita”, who has multiple sexual partners during her 16-year marriage.
And “Philip” was a further example — he started having sex with adult men as an adolescent.
The material, a teaching resource from the NSW Education Department available to all state schools, was brought to the attention of a P & C committee member at Northern Beaches Secondary College, Mackellar Girls campus, who took it to principal Christine Del Gallo.
While Ms Del Gallo was reluctant to comment she said she had “reviewed” the material and had decided to “modify the case studies for future lessons”.
The Principal had not seen the materials? Are they expecting anyone to believe that? 
It is believed the examples were used in a personal development class and was heavily based on the Safe Schools program.
 Christine Del Gallo is the Principal of Northern Beaches Secondary College, Mackellar Girls Campus.  This is she >>>>>>
How did such a know-nothing persom get to be a Principal? 
The program has been criticised for encouraging teachers to “de-gender” their classroom language and promoting activities that encourage students to think about sexuality as not exclusively masculine or feminine.
P & C member Ali High, 44, said her friend’s Year 10 daughter surreptitiously took a photo of the document on her mobile phone because she felt “shocked” and “violated”.
Anyone else outside of a school feeling 'shocked and violated' would have been able to invoke Section 18c for such an offence, or one of half a dozen 'ombudsmen'. But not for this. It's official. Protected.
“Adult behaviours such as those described, should not be relevant to the lives of these underage girls,” Mrs High, a Manly mother of four, said.
“It borders on the pornographic.”
She said her daughter was in the younger years at the school, but she would not want her first idea of sex to come from these examples and her husband was concerned about how middle-aged men, like himself, were being portrayed.
Mrs High said she was also saddened they had used an example of a married woman as having “many” sexual partners.
She said she supported the idea behind the Safe Schools program, which advocates creating safe, non-bullying spaces, but said this material was not relevant.
Mrs High said she was pleased the principal had acted “quickly and decisively”, but she was concerned about the source of the material.
“I’ve sent a letter to the Department of Education with my concerns,” she said. “How is this happening? It is very sad.”
The Department of Education said the resource was supporting a PDHPE unit of work linked to the Teacher Toolbox and to the Stage 6 Crossroads program.
Boxes within boxes; files behind files. All 'approved' through goodness knows how many public servant's in and out trays. No-one raised a red flag? Of course not. Career. Salary. Do as you are told. Someone higher can always veto it.

Except they do not, of course.
“The Minister for Education has asked the Department to review the Teacher Toolbox and the gender diversity material in the Stage 6 Crossroads program,” a spokesman said.
Review, eh?  Well that should fix it. 
Meanwhile, NSW premier Mike Baird is considering a fundamental change to the Safe Schools program where parents would have to “opt in” to the program rather than the current situation where all students take part unless their parents choose to “opt out”.
How about scrapping it? How about firing twenty of thirty people starting at the top? 
Do you object to something your child is being taught? 
WELL Mums and Dads 
'They' Are Attacking YOUR Children

And pay attention. Michael Cook has been on the case for a while and he is standing up and he is souting it out.
The new religion of transgenderism in Australian schools
Australia's Safe Schools program is so bizarre and fact-free that you can describe it as a cult, says an academic
Around the world, at least the English-speaking world, parents and politicians are under pressure to accept the scientific and moral validity of same-sex relationships and the transgender lifestyle. 
Fortunately, there has been a pushback from academics dismayed by the lack of academic rigour in many claims. Today we feature the main ideas of a report by University of Sydney law professor Patrick Parkinson. Tomorrow we will summarise the ideas of a landmark article by Kansas State University sociologist Walter Schumm. 
One of the biggest setbacks for same-sex marriage in Australia has been the uproar around curriculum materials produced by the national Safe Schools Coalition (SSCA) for children in years 7 and 8.
These are supposed to stop bullying of homosexual and transgender students, but they also involve educating all students about sensitive topics, including sexual morality. 
Hundreds of schools, mostly government-run, have signed up. After noisy protests from parents, religious groups and politicians, the Federal Government stepped in and forced the SSCA to make significant changes.
However, the state of Victoria decided to forgo Federal funding and maintain the original program. Its Safe Schools group, based at La Trobe University, seceded from the national coalition and the state government plans to roll out its curriculum in all of its schools.
Perhaps because opponents are being painted as homophobes and knuckle-dragging right-wingers, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of the program (although MercatorNet did publish our own analysis last December.) The Federal Government commissioned a critique by a professor at the University of Western Australia, Bill Louden – but he had a mere two weeks to cobble his whitewash together.
Now, however, an Australian expert in family law, Patrick Parkinson, a professor at the University of Sydney, entered the fray. 
His review, posted on the internet over the weekend, is scathing.
Academically, he says, the Safe Schools program is so bad that it presents “a reputational problem for La Trobe University”. 
Medically, its guidelines are reckless. 
Legally, it offers misleading advice.
“There is certainly a place for an anti-bullying program that addresses the issues with which the Safe Schools program is concerned,” he writes, “but this program needs to be rescued from its progenitors.”
Professor Parkinson has several serious reservations.
Dodgy statistics. As MercatorNet pointed out last December, the Safe Schools program invents statistics about the prevalence of homosexuality and transgenderism. It claims that 10 percent of people are same-sex attracted, although only a few years before the La Trobe team reported that this figure was only 1 percent. The statistic, he says, “cannot be validated by any reliable research”.
The volatility of same-sex attraction. Parkinson says that the Safe Schools program is stuck in the psychology of the 1980s, when it was believed that a stable and fixed sexual orientation emerged in adolescence. But all the evidence suggests that most teenagers with same-sex attraction grow out of it. “It is not the case that someone who identifies as being same-sex attracted at 13-14 years of age has a fixed and stable orientation,” he points out. “Teenage same-sex attraction may or may not say anything about their adult sexuality.”
Insisting on a fixed identity could be dangerous. Most same-sex attracted children do not aspire to live as homosexuals. So insisting that they are doomed to live in the LGBTI lifestyle, never to have children of their own, could lead them to despair. Instead, they should be “assured that it is a very common, and normal, aspect of teenage psycho-sexual development which may or may not say anything about what they will grow up to be as adults.”
This may well be a message that is likely to prevent depression and suicidal ideation. 
Conversely, educational materials which are premised on the idea that sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence and remains fixed, so that it is sensible for young adolescents to identify as “gay” or “lesbian” as if this were a stable identity, should now be regarded as.. 
 unscientific and irresponsible.
Transgender statistics are wildly exaggerated. The curriculum claims that 4 percent of the population is transgender or “gender diverse”. But this figure is based largely on surveys of high school students. “A gender identity disorder cannot be diagnosed by survey,” Parkinson writes. “It is a medical diagnosis requiring careful medical assessment.” 
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5, the bible of the American Psychiatric Association, estimates that .. 
a maximum of 0.014 percent of the population have a gender identity disorder. 
This implies that the Safe Schools estimate is wrong by about 30,000 percent. 
“It is really not clear why it is thought that year 7 or 8 children need to learn anything about such rare conditions,” Parkinson comments acerbically.
Medical hazards. What if a student is thinking about transitioning to another gender? “Remarkably, nowhere in this document is there any reference to the need for any advice from a psychologist, doctor or psychiatrist, let alone anyone expert in the field,” he points out. “There is no requirement even to involve parents.” But international guidelines insist on the need for great caution and “careful and expert clinical management”. The Safe Schools program is throwing caution to the winds.
What’s behind the lack of common sense?
A number of critics have detected a Marxist plot to capture the hearts of school children. 
The manager and co-founder of Safe Schools Victoria, Roz Ward, is a La Trobe University academic and an unreconstructed Marxist (a species of intellectual which still flourishes in some Victorian universities). 
She told a conference last year, for instance, that “Marxism offers both the hope and the strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinarily new and amazing ways that we can only try to imagine today,”
So the Red label is tempting, but Parkinson prefers to describe the ideology of the Safe Schools movement as a religion, a bit like Scientology, with its own language and rituals. 
The differentiation made between sex and gender, and the notion that gender is fluid and may be socially constructed, lie at the heart of the Safe Schools program … This is now quite a widespread belief system, especially in parts of the western world. This belief system is deeply held by some, and has many characteristics of being a religious belief …[It] is not the more rational because it is a belief that is sincerely held. Sincere people hold all sorts of strange beliefs.
Perhaps religious fervour explains the dodgy statistics. Convictions which are not based upon empirical observation do not need to be validated by facts. Parkinson continues:
Should such odd and unscientific beliefs, emanating from philosophy and gender studies departments rather than medical faculties, be taught as fact to primary and secondary school age children? There would be uproar if the beliefs of Scientologists that the personality or essence of oneself is distinct and separate from the physical body or the brain were being taught in state schools through state-funded programs. Yet the belief system that what gender you are is a matter for you to determine without reference to your physical and reproductive attributes may not be dissimilar in kind.
It will take more than one report to uproot an ideology which is defended so ardently by its supporters. But Patrick Parkinson’s attack on its academic credibility is a good beginning. A lot is at stake. Not only are young children being indoctrinated with ideas which would horrify their parents, but troubled young people may be shunted into a lifestyle which will make them bitter and unhappy adults.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.
I can understand the views of the professor in all but one point.  The analogy to a 'religion' draws a long bow. A religion may well be a 'belief system' but not all belief systems are religions. A religious person may have 'fervour' and may prozletise, but not all fervent people are religious and not all prozletisers are religious. 

A better descriptor of the Roz Ward type - and more accurate - would be 'Fanatic'. Indeed a host of technical and commonplace terms would also. Pervert, for example. Mentally deficient: morally bereft

Marxism is not a religion anymore than that other perversion of thought, Islam. And the fact that the people we elect and those we appoint to run our schools cannot see the danger of these obsessive, compulsive mental disorders is as much a worry as the content of the Safe Schools scheme.

From my place behind the bar, I would like to see all of those involved in pushing this filth and stupidity into and through the Departments of Education and implemented in our schools, named and shamed.

These faceless corrupters and destroyers of your children might be living in your street.

Drink deep.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Moving Tavern

I was reminded of a Japanes cartoon film 'Howl's Moving Castle' the other day when someone told me that the Tavern had moved. I had actually noticed that my walk to the front door took just a little longer lately and had put it down to old age or that Hollywood cowboy practice of getting off one's horse a long way from the hanging tree one is appraoching. But no. The place itself is indeed moving. 

For those who like Japanese films, Howl's Moving Castle is actually a fantasy (not real, like the Tavern) novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones, first published in 1986; it won the Phoenix Award twenty years later, recognizing its rise from relative obscurity. In 2004 it was adapted as an animated film of the same name, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Howl's Moving Castle is the first novel in the series of books called the Howl Series. This series also includes Castle in the Air, published in 1990, and House of Many Ways, published in 2008.WorldCat reports that Howl's Moving Castle is the author's work most widely held in participating libraries, followed by its first sequel Castle in the Air.

For the idea Jones "very much" thanked "a boy in a school I was visiting", whose name she had noted but lost and forgotten. He had "asked me to write a book titled The Moving Castle."

But I digress. The Tavern has moved and along with it, it seems the entire continent of Oz, dragging Tasmania with it. It is causing some problems too. (Not the Tavern: where Oz actually is). 
That map of Australia you have? It’s wrong. 
And the whole country is going to officially relocate to correct the error.
The trouble is caused by plate tectonics, the shifting of big chunks of the earth’s surface. Australia happens to be on one of the fastest-moving pieces of all, and by geological standards it’s practically flying: 
about 2.7 inches northward a year, 
with a slight clockwise rotation as well.
People on the ground may not notice, but the Global Positioning System does. So Australia needs to adjust its longitudes and latitudes so they line up with GPS coordinates.
Four times in the last 50 years, Australia has reset the official coordinates of everything in the country to make them more accurate, correcting for other sources of error as well as continental drift. 
The last adjustment, in 1994, was a doozy: about 656 feet, enough to give the delivery driver an alibi for ringing your neighbor’s doorbell instead of yours.
“You might think, ‘Where’s my pizza?’” said Dan Jaksa of Geoscience Australia, the government agency that worries about the coordinates. But something bigger is at stake, he said: intelligent transportation systems that rely on the finer accuracy that will come with the next generation of GPS technology.
The next adjustment, due at the end of the year, will be about 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) — not really enough of a discrepancy to throw off consumer-grade satellite navigation systems, which are generally accurate only to within 15 to 30 feet.
But the next generation of GPS devices, using both satellites and ground stations, will be accurate to within an inch or less, and new technologies that depend on precise location will be important to Australia’s future.
The mining company Rio Tinto already has 71 immense ore trucks rumbling around iron mines in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia that are guided remotely from an office in Perth, 930 miles away.
Pilots who patrol the Anna Creek cattle ranch in South Australia must pick out small water bores in the ranch’s 8,880 square miles of dry pasture, an area larger than Israel, where small errors can equate to big misses. “If we get a new pilot, he’s relying on GPS until he finds his way around landmarks,” said the ranch manager, Norm Sims.
Not to mention driverless cars. 
“If you’re 1.5 meters out,” Mr. Jaksa said, 
“you’re potentially on the wrong side of the road.”
One can see the problem. I can't have my customers being on the wrong side of the bar, now can I?  

The local Uni is on to it (which also reminds me that I have some experiment going on over there on Monday: I am a 'subject' in a study of really really brainy older folk. I think I may be the only subject over 900 years old). They are seeking some likely lad or ladette to do a bit of research and get a PhD for their effort.  They advertised thus:

The ongoing motion of Australia's crust 

is dominated by horizontal tectonic motion of approximately 6 cm/yr towards the northeast. This motion is relatively well-constrained by geodetic measurements including GPS, VLBI and SLR (Altamimi et al., 2012; Argus and Heflin, 1995; Tregoning et al., 2013). 

Recent analysis of GPS data observed across the continent reveals a large portion of the Australian Plate (excluding the SE region) is deforming at < 0.2 mm/yr, making it one of the most stable crustal regions in the world (Tregoning et al., 2013). 

Non-linear post-seismic relaxation is however clearly evident along the along the east coast of Australia, occurring in response to the 2004 Macquarie ridge earthquake. 
By contrast, the vertical motion of the Australian continental crust is much less well known and observations and theory appear to be in conflict. Recent GPS measurements have suggested the vertical motion of the crust at about a dozen sites across Australia is between zero and -1 mm/yr (Altamimi et al., 2011; Burgette et al., 2013; King et al., 2012; Santamaria-Gomez et al., 2012). 

By contrast, large scale geophysical models and tectonic theory suggest the motion of the crust should be much closer to zero or slightly positive (Mitrovica and Milne, 2002; Tamisiea and Mitrovica, 2011). If the observations are correct this suggests the existence of an unknown large-scale geophysical phenomena; if the observations are biased they will in turn bias estimates of sea level change around the Australian coastline and suggest implications for such measurements globally.
This PhD project will examine a new and spatially extensive GPS data set for Australia, combined with data from new and long-term VLBI sites, to provide the most spatially comprehensive vertical velocity field for the continent. 

Sensitivity of determined rates to analysis strategies will be explored in order to establish bounds on potential systematic errors. The GPS observations may be biased by errors in the realisation of Earth's centre of mass and/or scale, and global vertical motion estimates will be explored to determine the magnitude of such errors. Considering the measurement uncertainties, the observations of Australian continental vertical motion will be compared to geophysical models of crustal uplift, notably those that consider glacial isostatic adjustment. The project may be extended to apply the new GPS vertical velocities to sea level studies by correcting tide gauge measurements for vertical land movement.
Hey, don't gag. This is good stuff and should keet the Post Grad student interested and busy for a few years. And don't forget you are going to pay for it.

But wait: there's more. Shocking news !!!

We always thought Tasmania was different, and now geology can explain why. New discoveries from Tasmania’s oldest rocks at Rocky Cape reveal that about 1.5 billion years ago Tasmania was not part of Australia, but wedged between two other continents. The geology of north-western Tasmania may have more to do with North America and Antarctica than it does with the rest of the Australian mainland.

All this has some bearing on the sea levels, which the Greenies and Global Warming fraudsters are always banging on about. It is fortunate that we have a free-lancer, unencumbered by  University Policies and Government (that is, taxpayer's ) funding in Jo Nova. She keeps an eye on such matters.
It’s hard to measure sea levels, because land often moves up and down too (which is known as “isostatic“). But Australia is stable tectonically, so the Australian sea-level record is more useful than most. It preserves the holocene era and the rises and falls, and correspond more with glacio-eustatic (ice equivalent) sea-level changes, rather than changes in land masses.
During the coldest days of the last ice age (known as a glacial maximum) 20,000 years ago, the oceans were 125m lower than today. They peaked at around 1 -2 meters higher than present between 9000 and 5000 years ago, and have been trending down ever since. Our current rate of 30cm/century (if that continues) hardly seems unprecedented or highly unusual. 
And 10% of that is apparently due to an isostatic “adjustment”. Worse, if you look at the raw data, the rate is closer to zero. Hmm. Lucky we have all those adjustments eh?

Just so long as the Tavern does not slip down from its hiding place on the Mountain, I shall not worry.

Enjoy, drink up, and..... perhaps you will miss the formatting cock-up.


Friday, September 23, 2016

The 'Other' Antipodean

There are folk who come into the Tavern who have no idea where they are or even what this part of the world looks like.  Some mistake Tasmania for New Zealand. Can you imagine that !! Just how they find their way here, up the mountain, in the forest, hidden from eyes that cannot see, beats me.  I take it that my Supplier sends them here.

The Tavern's place in the world - on the map, that is - is about as far south as Christchurch. Serendipity, I suppose.

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, what is now New Zealand could have been a State of Oz, just like Van Deiman's Land.  They were contenders. They were included in the 'talks'.

A chap claiming to be Spartacus in the Catallaxy corner was overheard talking about it. He was, I think, disparaging South Oz, for some reason. I could be mistaken.... I was busy at the time. But it led to a fine lesson in Economics - a subject with which most are unaquainted, thank goodness. Who enjoys the dour company of an economist ? 
Is it possible to trade South Australia for New Zealand
A long, long time ago, in 1890, the Federation Conference was held in Melbourne.  Politicians from the 6 Australian Colonies and New Zealand got together to discuss creating a Federation, a Common Wealth.
It came to pass that the 6 colonies got together to form Australia, but New Zealand decided to sit it out.
He is a photo from the 1890 conference.  The fellow, standing second from the left, the one with the stand out light suit, was New Zealand’s representative, Captain Russell MP, Colonial Secretary.  The fourth fella standing from the left, with the white bushy beard was Sir Henry Parkes.

Looks a little like the Tavern Keeper, if truth be told. 

But, onward. As I moved out of hearing he was mentioning another fellow: Dan Mitchell, who it seems rather likes some of the things our eastern off-shore cousins have been doing with their economy that we have not. Nor many other anglophile countries. Perhaps some note might be taken. It is a salutary tale he tells.

The Unsung Economic Success Story of New Zealand
When writing a few days ago about the newly updated numbers from Economic Freedom of the World, I mentioned in passing that New Zealand deserves praise “for big reforms in the right direction.”
And when I say big reforms, this isn’t exaggeration or puffery.
 Back in 1975, New Zealand’s score from EFW was only 5.60. To put that in perspective, Greece’s score today is 6.93 and France is at 7.30. 

In other words, New Zealand was a statist basket cast 40 years ago, with a degree of economic liberty akin to where Ethiopia is today and below the scores we now see in economically unfree nations such as Ukraineand Pakistan.
But then policy began to move in the right direction, especially between 1985 and 1995, the country became a Mecca for market-oriented reforms. The net result is that New Zealand’s score dramatically improved and it is now comfortably ensconced in the top-5 for economic freedom, usually trailing only Hong Kong and Singapore.

To appreciate what’s happened in New Zealand, let’s look at excerpts from a 2004 speech by Maurice McTigue, who served in the New Zealand parliament and held several ministerial positions.
He starts with a description of the dire situation that existed prior to the big wave of reform.
"...........New Zealand’s per capita income in the period prior to the late 1950s was right around number three in the world, behind the United States and Canada. But by 1984, its per capita income had sunk to 27th in the world, alongside Portugal and Turkey. 

Not only that, but our unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, we’d had 23 successive years of deficits (sometimes ranging as high as 40 percent of GDP), our debt had grown to 65 percent of GDP, and our credit ratings were continually being downgraded. 

Government spending was a full 44 percent of GDP, investment capital was exiting in huge quantities, and government controls and micromanagement were pervasive at every level of the economy. 

We had foreign exchange controls that meant I couldn’t buy a subscription to The Economist magazine 

without the permission of the Minister of Finance. 

I couldn’t buy shares in a foreign company without surrendering my citizenship. There were price controls on all goods and services, on all shops and on all service industries. There were wage controls and wage freezes. 

I couldn’t pay my employees more—or pay them bonuses—if I wanted to. 

There were import controls on the goods that I could bring into the country. There were massive levels of subsidies on industries in order to keep them viable. Young people were leaving in droves."
Does this sound familiar, even in part, to others? 

Maurice then discusses the various market-oriented reforms that took place, including spending restraint.
What’s especially impressive is that New Zealand dramatically shrank government bureaucracies.

"..........When we started this process with the Department of Transportation, it had 5,600 employees. When we finished, it had 53. 

When we started with the Forest Service, it had 17,000 employees. When we finished, it had 17. 

When we applied it to the Ministry of Works, it had 28,000 employees. I used to be Minister of Works, and ended up being the only employee. 

…if you say to me, “But you killed all those jobs!”—well, that’s just not true. The government stopped employing people in those jobs, but the need for the jobs didn’t disappear. 

I visited some of the forestry workers some months after they’d lost their government jobs, and they were quite happy. 

They told me that they were now earning about three times what they used to earn—on top of which, they were surprised to learn that they could do about 60 percent more than they used to!
And there was lots of privatization.

…we sold off telecommunications, airlines, irrigation schemes, computing services, government printing offices, insurance companies, banks, securities, mortgages, railways, bus services, hotels, shipping lines, agricultural advisory services, etc. 

In the main, when we sold those things off, their productivity went up and the cost of their services went down, translating into major gains for the economy. 

Furthermore, we decided that other agencies should be run as profit-making and tax-paying enterprises by government. For instance, the air traffic control system was made into a stand-alone company, given instructions that it had to make an acceptable rate of return and pay taxes, and told that it couldn’t get any investment capital from its owner (the government). We did that with about 35 agencies. Together, these used to cost us about one billion dollars per year; now they produced about one billion dollars per year in revenues and taxes.

Equally impressive, New Zealand got rid of all farm subsidies…and got excellent results.
…as we took government support away from industry, it was widely predicted that there would be a massive exodus of people. But that didn’t happen. To give you one example, we lost only about three-quarters of one percent of the farming enterprises—and these were people who shouldn’t have been farming in the first place. In addition, some predicted a major move towards corporate as opposed to family farming. But we’ve seen exactly the reverse. Corporate farming moved out and family farming expanded."
Maurice also has a great segment on education reform, which included school choice.
But since I’m a fiscal policy wonk, I want to highlight this excerpt on the tax reforms.
""...........We lowered the high income tax rate from 66 to 33 percent, and set that flat rate for high-income earners. In addition, we brought the low end down from 38 to 19 percent, which became the flat rate for low-income earners. We then set a consumption tax rate of 10 percent and eliminated all other taxes—capital gains taxes, property taxes, etc. 

We carefully designed this system to produce exactly the same revenue as we were getting before and presented it to the public as a zero sum game. But what actually happened was that we received 20 percent more revenue than before. Why? We hadn’t allowed for the increase in voluntary compliance.''
And I assume revenue also climbed because of Laffer Curve-type economic feedback. When more people hold jobs and earn higher incomes, the government gets a slice of that additional income.

 Let’s wrap this up with a look at what New Zealand has done to constrain the burden of government spending. If you review my table of Golden Rule success stories, you’ll see that the nation got great results with a five-year spending freeze in the early 1990s. Government shrank substantially as a share of GDP.
Then, for many years, the spending burden was relatively stable as a share of economic output, before then climbing when the recession hit at the end of last decade.
But look at what’s happened since then. The New Zealand government has imposed genuine spending restraint, with outlays climbing by an average of 1.88 percent annually according to IMF data. And because that complies with my Golden Rule (meaning that government spending is growing slower than the private sector), the net result according to OECD data is that the burden of government spending is shrinking relative to the size of the economy’s productive sector.
P.S. For what it’s worth, the OECD and IMF use different methodologies when calculating the size of government in New Zealand (the IMF says the overall burden of spending is much smaller, closer to 30 percent of GDP). But regardless of which set of numbers is used, the trend line is still positive.
P.P.S. Speaking of statistical quirks, some readers have noticed that there are two sets of data in Economic Freedom of the World, so there are slightly different country scores when looking at chain-weighted data. There’s a boring methodological reason for this, but it doesn’t have any measurable impact when looking at trends for individual nations such as New Zealand.
P.P.P.S. Since the Kiwis in New Zealand are big rugby rivals with their cousins in Australia, one hopes New Zealand’s high score for economic freedom (3rd place) will motivate the Aussies (10th place) to engage in another wave of reform. Australia has some good polices, such as a private Social Security system, but it would become much more competitive if it lowered its punitive top income tax rate (nearly 50 percent!).
I am a Tavern Keeper, Knight and an ex-King who never levied a groat in tax on anyone, so this 'ruling with a light hand' is well in my experience.  I don't charge tax on what I dispense in the bars either. 

People with a socialist bent love to levy taxes. It is a pleasure to see the effects of taking the heavy weight off.

I like New Zealand. I like Kiwis... the people and the birds.

I drink to our Anglophile cousins who keep very quiet about their successes.


Todays Oppressed Young Women

Pulling pints and listening to the chatter in the Tavern one gets to hear all sorts of tales, some of joy and some of woe. The main woes seem to come from very unlikely quarters considering the mess in the world. As if they have not heard of the devastations in the middle east with millions finding bombs raining down and vicious soldiers in the streets - not unlike their grandparent's generation - todays young women have never complained so much. Poor, hard-pressed little flowers.

Today my friend Doug came by to have a pint in the UK room, and to wander in for a chat with our resident Russian Prof who runs the Irish Bar. Lana was pleased to see him as he seems to have been missing for a few weeks, very busy with crises in the anti-misandry bizzo.

He brought report from the dire British countyside, as seen by some 'charity' for girls. Even the newspapers had heard.
Generation of young women is 'wracked by anxiety, 
lack of confidence and despair' caused by financial, work and housing problems 
Large numbers in late teens and twenties are worn down and defeated
Survey was carried out by the Young Women's Trust, a campaign charity.
Of course. A Campaign to keep middle-class women suitably employed writing funding applications. 
A generation of young women is wracked by anxiety, lack of confidence and despair, a report said yesterday.
It found large numbers in their late teens and twenties are worn down and defeated by financial, work and housing problems.
Dr Carole Easton, of the Young Women’s Trust which compiled the study, said: ‘While life is hard for many young people, our survey shows it is likely to be considerably tougher if you are a young woman. 
The mind boggles. One might have thought being a homeless man, driven to despair by the loss of his children and home in a woman-led divorce epidemic might have been having it tougher. But.....
'We are talking about a generation of young people in crisis.’
But critics pointed out that women far outnumber men in universities, women under 30 are likely to earn more than men of the same age, and young men are more likely to be unemployed than young women.
Ahhh but lets us take no notice of that. They are just boys and men. Get with the program and sympathise with young women. And give some money. 
A survey of more than 4,000 young people, carried out by Populus Data Solutions, found 54 per cent of the women and 39 per cent of the men lack confidence.

Oh dear. Perhaps if they actually tried to do something.... 
Nearly half of young women, 46 per cent, and 38 per cent of young men, said they felt worn down.
Almost four in ten young women said they were worried about their mental health, against nearly three in ten young men.
Some 39 per cent of the women said it was a struggle to make their money last to the end of the week, compared with 27 per cent of the men. More than seven in ten young women said they faced discrimination at work.
Of course. Work is such a dreadful minefield where people (very often men people) will criticise you when you stuff up or slope off early. Its is just so unfair. Better accuse them of something.  
Dr Easton said: ‘At a time of life traditionally characterised by youthful confidence and optimism, it is distressing that so many young people, especially young women, are struggling to make ends meet, and are increasingly worn down and worried about the future.’ 
She called on Theresa May and ministers to 
‘focus on better understanding the needs of young women who are at real risk of being left behind’.
Left behind whom?  
However, figures released last month by university admissions service UCAS show 27,400 more young women than men won places at the first time of asking this year.
Data compiled by the Office for National Statistics shows that last year women in full-time employment aged 22-29 typically earned pay packets 0.8 per cent fatter than those of men in the same age group.
Don't point that out ! What's the betting that the ONS is staffed mainly by men, eh? What... there are more women there?  
The trust, which aims to represent women aged 16 to 30 who are ‘struggling to live on low or no pay’, claimed Brexit may be to blame for some of the anxiety. 
Hahahahahaha. It is that sudden? 
The number of young women worried about the future rose from 38 per cent to 55 per cent in a year, its research said, adding that ‘a Brexit factor … cannot be ruled out.’
Nor can the immanent threat of an Alien attack or a possibility of an Anthrax epidemic any day soon. 
The charity counts Deborah Mattinson, polling adviser to former prime minister Gordon Brown, among its trustees, along with Baroness Sue Nye, who was Mr Brown’s trusted aide in Downing Street.
Academic Belinda Brown of the Young Foundation said: ‘There is research which shows that if you tell women they are discriminated against all the time it actually reduces their levels of self-esteem … young men have more problems.
Makes them anxious. They should read something different !
‘We should just think about young people and stop setting them up against each other, which is what feminist stuff often does.’ 

Douglas himself had a few words to say.
Of course she says it is harder for women: we could not expect anything else, could we?
Young women have better educations than young men. 
Young women have better hourly earnings then young men. 
Young women are more likely to have a job than young men. 
Young women are more likely to have an apprenticeship then young men. 
Young women can access free drinks on nights out, unlike young men. 
Young women can still rely on the principle of gynocentrism that says the man is the one who should pay for a night out.  
Young women draw more social security than young men. 
Young women are less likely to be homeless then young men. 
Young women are committing suicide at around a quarter of the rate of young men.
So of course young women are finding things harder than young men. I mean, it's obvious, eh?
Finding life hard, young woman? Welcome to young men's world. Aren't you glad you support feminism?
The field has been tilled and tilted in favour of girls for an entire generation.  And it still is not enough to raise even a smile and a tiny bit of gratitude.

Lana keeps her eye on things in Ireland, that place of lucky shamrocks and the Blarney Stone - the latter which I fear the good Dr Easton has had her lips glued to for a while.  Lana said:
I think that a lot of young women and especially feminists do really believe that life is more difficult for women. It is really not surprising because they have been told since they were in kindergarten that the whole world would conspire against them all their lives. 
But there is a strange contradiction here too. Girls as far as I can see at least in Ireland are taught from a very young age that they have the right to expect everything to be handed to them on a plate; that it is the duty of all of society to make them feel safe and comfortable; that they have a right to a reasonably well paid job and that they have an entitlement never to have to encounter anything that makes them feel even a modicum of discomfort. 
They have also been educated to believe that they should eschew any kind of relationship with a male until they are at least in their thirties and only then, if he is prepared to compromise everything for her while expecting no compromise in return. 
We live in the age of the 
"we're worth it ; you go girl" 
and they really do believe this. 
They are wrapped in cotton wool all through school and college. So it is not surprising that when they finally go out in the real world and get slapped in the face with reality, they quickly buckle under the pressure. 
They can thank feminism for their complete inability to deal with anything other than safe spaces and glowing praise too. 
I have seen young South Dublin princesses chanting "we are women hear us roar" one minute and then shrieking in horror and almost having a melt-down the next because there was a fly in her salad. I am not making that up. Imagine her actually facing a real problem.

I pulled them both a fine drink.

You had better have a few too.

But Rod Liddle was a tad fairer. He had his oar in too. He pointed to a delusion amongst the adults too.
A lecturer at a reasonably well-respected northern plate-glass university was somewhat perplexed by a student who complained about her poor marks for an essay. 
She had a statement of Special Educational Needs. She insisted that this had not been taken into account in the marking of her paper. 
My acquaintance was hauled before the university authorities to explain why he had marked her so low. 
‘Because it was awful work, the work of a cretin,’ he replied. Ah, perhaps, they told him. But you haven’t taken into account the fact that she has Special Educational Needs. That’s why the paper was awful. So you need to allow for that fact and mark it as if it had been better.
That is, the exasperated lecturer told me, as if it had been written by someone who wasn’t thick. We have to pretend.
You can get one of these statements, or their replacement, the Education Health and Care plan, apparently, for a whole host of real or fictional disabilities — i.e., things that mean, quite simply, that you aren’t very good at academic work. 
Dyslexia is the main one — a diagnosis which in nine out of ten cases these days simply means: middle class but really not very bright. 
Indeed, my acquaintance’s gripe came to mind this week because my daughter has just taken her 11-plus and I know for a fact that up and down our county, Kent, middle-class parents have been desperately trying to get certificates proving that their brats are ‘dyslexic’ rather than stupid, so that they can have an extra 20 minutes to complete the exam and have all the questions read out to them nice and slowly. 
I’ve cited plenty of scientific evidence before suggesting that both dyslexia and its lumpenprole counterpart ADHD are now so overdiagnosed as to make both terms almost meaningless. 
Dyslexia usually means just thick; 
ADHD usually means vicious feral halfwit. 
Most of the time these fashionable diagnoses are simply cloaks for the parents to wear. Cloaks that make them feel better about themselves. 
But delusional cloaks, if cloaks can be delusional.
Not cloaks: Hoodies.