2005/03/28

Can you Christians stop controlling me?

Easter, a time when someone who lived 2000 years ago apparently rose from his grave. Sorry, I don't believe in it. I'm an Atheist.

So can I have the right to buy alcohol this weekend? No, apparently it violates Christian beliefs. Excuse me, but Jesus drank WINE at the last supper.
Furthermore, do Christians have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do? Do they respect the Muslim holy days and follow those practises? No, then why am I expected to follow theirs?

I agree that people should get holy days off. But ones holy to them, not to others. People should be given say 5 holy days a year in which they can decide what days they want off. If they have to work them (like many people do at Easter), then they get paid time and a half with a day in lieu. That would allow Muslims to take days off special to them, Jews to take days off special to them, Christians to take days off special to them etc. etc. And us Atheists? Well I'm going to extend my hangover recovery time from New Years and take my birthday off, thank you.

47 Comments:

If you are truly a believer in atheism, why does any religious symbol, which you take as meaningless, matter at all? Are you so weak in the head that you can't withstand the "torment", lol????

What “free exercise” of atheism is hampered by permitting those holding other faiths to practice their beliefs freely in public observances?

What acts are required of atheists to remain atheists in good standing, which are restrained by the presence of others engaging in acts consonant with their own religions? Are atheists so weak-minded that the mere propinquity of those of other beliefs causes them to lose their faith?

Am I using words too big for you to understand, lol???
3/28/2005 03:59:00 am  
You bring an interesting point about days off which are tied with religious events. I guess it made sense in the days when State and Church were one. But it seems rather out of place nowadays.

As you point out, if every religion was to be treated with the same consideration, there would be lots and lots of nationally proclaimed days off - I'm sure the entrepreneurs would be deligthted with the idea of paying ppl for staying at home because it's Xmas or Easter, multiplied by however many religions there are out there, LOL.

I think a fair thing would be to allow ppl of various faith to take the various days off, but un-paid . See how many REAL believers are out there, hahaha!

As to christians telling ME if I'm allowed to drink, or muslims if I'm allowed to eat a pork chop, well they can jump off the nearest cliff. But thankfully it's not the case here. Greg, are saying that in NZ the public at large is not allowed to buy alcohol on Easter weekend? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 04:27:00 am  
"What “free exercise” of atheism is hampered by permitting those holding other faiths to practice their beliefs freely in public observances? "

Cao,

Greg is saying nobody can buy alcohol in NZ on Easter. Is that not enough hampering  for you? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 04:38:00 am  
What! You haven't stocked up like the rest of us? Luckily for you Greg, the supermarkets are open today (well, Pak n Save). It was open Saturday too. 

Posted by looke
3/28/2005 05:14:00 am  
Greg - I agree with you, the majority of the people I work with aren't Christians, but they receive the days off anyway. In order for them to take their own religious days off, they have to use their vacation time. I agree that there should be a number of days per year allowed for religious time and you can take them at anytime throughout the year.

looke:

In Canada (Ontario at least) the Supermarkets were open on Easter, but we can only buy alcohol from the government operated "Beer Store" or the "LCBO" which are closed of course ;)

So we had to stock up on Thursday. Plus the bars are still open all weekend too. 

Posted by Jim
3/28/2005 05:57:00 am  
I agree Greg. We should have no Easter holiday. That way there would be no need to pay staff time and a half and a day in loo. Business's wouldn't have to pass on surcharges to customers because of the ridiculously expensive cost of this employment legislation and could open like they should be able to 365 days a year.  

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/28/2005 05:58:00 am  
"We should have no Easter holiday ..... ...... Business's wouldn't have to pass on surcharges to customers because of the ridiculously expensive cost of this employment legislation and could open like they should be able to 365 days a year. "

Absolutely. There should be something in the legislation to allow believers to be given the right to have the day off, but unpaid. Actually, this isn't fair to atheists. So here is a fairer proposal:

The legislation should give everyone the right to demand a number of days in the year, say 5 or 10, that they can take off, unpaid. The particular days would be at the choice of the individual. Everybody of every faith denomination as well as non-believers would then have an equal treatment.

And, as you say, allowing businesses to operate 24/365 would lower the costs of "holy days" extra pay, and allow them perhaps to pay their employees decent wages they could survive on instead of having to rely on overtime to make 2 ends meet. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 06:31:00 am  
Damn those big scary boss people! They are unbelievably responsible for individuals problems.

Here's a quote for all of you:

"The reality is, your boss's job is not to make you rich. Your boss's job is to make sure you get your paycheck. It is your job to become rich, if you want to. And that job begins the moment you receive your paycheck. If you have poor money-management skills, then all the money in the world cannot save you." - Robert T. Kiyosaki

And another:

"The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is what they do in their spare time" - Robert T. Kiyosaki 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/28/2005 09:19:00 am  
"Am I using words too big for you to understand, lol???  "

Cao, do you understand the word 'egocentric'? One can tell you really impress yourself.

No one is saying we cannot participate in our religious holidays only that we shouldn't be paid for what is clearly a personal choice and those that are not participants in said religion should not be forced to participate in our religion. Of course, if you live under a theocratic form of government this is entirely a different matter as religion is no longer a personal choice but a government dictate.
Those citizens who are not religious do have rights don't you think? What upsets you about them voicing their complaints?

Leaving the founding fathers out of it, I don't recall Jesus telling his followers to 'force' those that weren't to follow him. 

Posted by Dianne
3/28/2005 10:03:00 am  
"The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is what they do in their spare time".

What do the poor do in their spare time? How about trying to spend some quality time together. Generally both husband and wife work trying to make ends meet and of course they work different hours. This means they see each other and their children rarely.
For many 2 jobs are necessary just to meet the basic requirements of living. Of course, I'm talking about the poor who managed to keep a roof over their heads. Those that live in the street are a whole other subject.

I don't think I need to list what the rich do in their spare time. The gossip columns in newspapers and magazines fill us in quite well.
3/28/2005 10:21:00 am  
"Here's a quote for all of you: "

Brendan,

Going by quotes is indeed an easy cop out to excuse the rapacious behavior of the rich. But I prefer to go by facts. It's more .... factual .

Here are a couple of facts for you since you're too ignorant to know any:

1. Half the population of this planet (a mere 3 billion ppl) earn less than $2 per day (oh, yeah, I'm sure they are really enjoying their spare time as well as the bulk of their lives)

2. Over 8 million ppl died from starvation last year (I guess they don't have to worry about their spare time any longer, do they?)

Yep, clearly the poor is just complaining about nothing. They're just fuckin' whiners! 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 11:08:00 am  
We can only not buy alcohol on Sunday here. Which means the bars have to close at 12. 

Posted by Greg Stephens
3/28/2005 11:38:00 am  
Diane:  

There are many ways to spend quality time with your partner. One way I strongly recommend would be including investing in your financial education together. Two minds are really better than one. The rich tend to have more quality time together as a direct result of years of hard work. Why do some people who are initially poor manage to raise children well, while building a business, also find time for quality time with their partner and then become financially successful? What amazes me about your comment and many other comments like them is that you at least appear to take such short sighted (mentally trapped) view.

Do you believe that you will always have to be poor Diane?
If so then there is no need for you to reply as there is nothing that can be done for you (bar a communist revolution – in which you would still be poor).

Would you like to have more time with your partner and children?
If the answer is yes then I really suggest getting out some good books from the library (it's free - but only if you return the books) on budgeting, investing, entrepreneurship etc. This could be a really positive start in a road that few walk. I won’t lie that the road is full of great risk but it is the currently the only road that can provide you with such opportunities for quality time. Denying you live in a capitalist state is not productive.

As for your comment on what the rich do in their   spare time. I really have no idea what they get up to. I would suggest that even if it is illegal that it is none of my business or yours. Why is it if you have a bit of cash then your personal life is no longer personal? It’s sick. If you choose to subscribe to Woman's Day or watch the E channel I'm sure you will catch up on all the juicy goss. Personally I don't have time to read or watch such trash. I find that I have better things to do with my time.

The cup of opportunity really is half full, but only if you believe it to be so. I recommend - 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill. I'll even lend it to you (interest free).

Why Not
Those nasty rapacious bastards! I like your facts, it shows me that there is much work to be done to improve the prosperity of all. What a wonderful opportunity to be given.

However I suggest you read the blog topic and my post in context. What on earth gave you the idea that I was referring to the third world? I have to admit that $2 isn't much and it’s sad that this has to occur. Unfortunately western nations also went through such a process of industrialisation. I'd rather earn $2 a day then die of starvation. Ultimately these countries will benefit from this time of change they are undergoing.

How many billions of dollars have you personally donated to the United Nations or any other charity? Or invested in a growing nations infrastructure? Do you buy any products from China or Korea? What kind of clothes do you wear? Have you in any way supported the phenomenon called globalisation? If you haven't - well done (let me know your secret).

I suppose that you really have to look at the context of a post before bringing out the socialist handbook of 'Evil Nasty Capitalist Doings'. Love your work. 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/28/2005 03:07:00 pm  
The Cao makes me laugh. An absolute idiot who thinks "oxymoron" and "irony" and synonymous. Then have the unmitigated gall to reference someone else's understanding of her "big words" .

Of course, this comes as no surpirse as the source is a sadly lacking coward and mental midgit who disables comments on her own site but seeks to comment here and further display her ignorance.

Cao, honey, better stick to things that you know about, like " fellatio". Or is that word a bit too big for you?  

Posted by deviant1
3/28/2005 03:35:00 pm  
Greg,

I feel your pain. We still can't buy booze on Sundays 'round these parts and there are a host of other 'blue laws' related to the purchase/sale of alcohol. Hell, we still have "dry counties" that border this one and are scattered throughout the South. Due to the high ratio of moralizing assholes to the general public.

Sadly, though, this will not be changing until the White, Protestant majority is seriously challenged in their hegemony of representation. Until there is enough of a population of non-white, non-anglo, non-protestant folks around, the holidays and blue laws will still represent the will of the majority. When that majority is finally a minority, I believe there will be a call for pluralism (and, of course, the usual reactionary backlash). I, for one, would love to have Dia de los Muertos off and considering the neighborhood I live in, I don't think it's that far off.  

Posted by eponymous
3/28/2005 04:05:00 pm  
Brendon  if you're going to go all bold at least get the spelling right. It's Dianne

"There are many ways to spend quality time with your partner. One way I strongly recommend would be including investing in your financial education together. "

I think the point was and is, the lack of quality time and lack of investment funds. But, like other capitalist we've had on this site no doubt, you don't and won't ever get it.

There is also no doubt a few have lived the rags to riches story but very few and I would like to know any that did it without trampling the little guys beneath them. Of course, all is fair in your game isn't it?

"Do you believe that you will always have to be poor Diane?"

Did I tell you I was poor?

"What on earth gave you the idea that I was referring to the third world?"

Does it matter where the poverty is or who is suffering it?

"How many billions of dollars have you personally donated to the United Nations or any other charity?"

Tell me about your billions and I'll tell you about mine.

"Love your work. "

Thanks, we do to. 

Posted by Dianne
3/28/2005 05:26:00 pm  
"Cao, honey, better stick to things that you know about, like " fellatio". Or is that word a bit too big for you "

Definitely too big, D1. The only ones she really understands are "guns" and "hate". Oh, she masters "slander" pretty good too. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 06:14:00 pm  
"Denying you live in a capitalist state is not productive. "

Brendan,

We're not denying it, and it is the very reason why we are fighting its excesses. When ppl in some European countries and in the US cannot survive on minimum wage while the executives live like millionaires, there is clearly something wrong. In our books anyway. And if there is nothing wrong in your book, then it's pointless discussing any further - you'd just be yet another selfish asshole, and certainly not the first one, as they abound everywhere.

Your arguments seem to indicate that:

1. It's normal to be poor if you're just an employee
2. All you have to do to get out of poverty is to start your own business

On point 1, I'm afraid our moral values differ completely. It is not  normal ppl who are on the factory floor can't make 2 ends meet. We don't expect them to be wealthy, but to have a minimum of decency in their lifestyle.

On point 2, your vision of the world is clearly appallingly elitist, unless you are sugggesting everybody on this planet should be in business, in which case I'd be curious to know where we're all gonna find the factory floor workers. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 06:21:00 pm  
Brendan, I will just come right out and say it: you are clearly an immature human being who has experienced not one millisecond of hardship in his life.

Yours is the bullshit argument that well-off folks always comfort their nagging consciences with, that somehow income is a reflection of character - that rich folks are simply smarter and harder workers, that God somehow is rewarding you with money. This is a known falsehood, as many rich folks can, and do, attest to . I suspect you have never experienced a day of poverty in your life, nor have you ever bothered to spend time with those who are poor (call yourself a Christian, Brendan?) You are either very young, or extremely self-involved, or both.
All of us here are wealthy by most of the world's standards, because this includes anyone who can afford to type away on a computer. What you do not see Brendan, is how much help you had to get where you are, and I suspect you had more help than most. You really think you did it all by yourself? Think again. None of us did, we are all interconnected and our societies do not enable or reward their citizens equally. There is a huge imbalance of wealth in this world, and your arrogance serves merely to perpetuate it - are you so proud that you have succeeded on the backs of so many dead children? The very least you could do is recognize and be grateful for your wealth first, then see what you can do to change it. If you plan on sticking to your disgusting and hypocritical argument, then I say you should have the guts to set yourself down in the middle of say, Sierra Leone or Ethiopia with the same resources the population has (that would be zero, and no, your cell phone is not allowed), and lets see how long you last. You spout things you hear from other people, you sound off about things you have read in books, but you have not one fucking clue what you are talking about and you know it.  

Posted by Sarah
3/28/2005 08:09:00 pm  
"but you have not one fucking clue what you are talking about "

Hah! Now, I understand what *I * was trying to explain Brendan, but somehow got lost in my own rhetoric of desperately wanting to give the opponent the benefit of the doubt.

Geee... methinks Marxist nutcases like me are just too soft-hearted - that's our problem, don't you think? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/28/2005 10:17:00 pm  
Dianne 
You are poor because you think poor.

If you are going to use bold you may as well spell my name correctly also. It's Brendan not Brendon.

What better time could be spent with your partner educating each other about money so that ultimately you will have more time together? Obviously you don't understand that it is possible to make investments with next to no funds to invest.

Me? Billions? Not yet. However I do pay high taxes (most probably like you do) and my government donates money to such causes. However I would prefer to donate on my own accord. I also work in a student association - helping out with the bread-run and other assorted poverty orientated activities. Don't even pretend to misunderstand my point.

WhyNot:
I'm not in the United States. I'm in New Zealand. The only way in which we will solve the world’s problems is if we can sort out our own first. I detest the idea of anyone going with out, however I even more detest people blaming the wealthy.

My friend, if I am selfish then you are ignorant.

When we both die we should have our families compare our life long accounts. It would be interesting to see if you continue to talk about helping these people all your life rather than actioning any of it.

Me a hypocrite? How many of you so called socialists are brave enough to admit you buy products from third world countries. Clothes, toys, even the computer parts you're using to type on. You will single out areas to attack right wing points of view on and will not respond to the real challenges I am putting forward.

In relative terms employees are 'poor'. Typically because they feel a greater need for security and are fearful of losing money. Their fear is real as long as they believe it to be. However you can learn how to budget, you can learn how to invest safely and learn to do so over the long term. Why aren't we teaching our children this? You don't have to start your own business however I would strongly recommend educating people to become financially literate.

If that minimum level of decency you talk about could be achieved but corporations would profit through it being achieved, would you still have a problem?

Since when did I say everyone should be in business? I am no elitist. According to the American Heratige Dictionary and elitism is, "The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources."  I believe none of this. However do socialists not believe that because of the lower classes perceived insuperiority, as in intellect, social status or financial resources, that they should receive favoured treatment?

If you think my views are appalling, so be it. However do you not also advocate for freedom of speech, thought and being? You criticize and I attempt to be constructive. You see only what you want to see, I try and see what you see.

Sarah
Assumption is the mother of all f*** ups.

Why would I even bother debating anything with you? You’re obviously a conceited, closed mind individual as not only have you assumed my life story, you have also told me that I must either be ‘young or very self involved’ and hence have no idea what I’m talking about and then proceeded to tell me that I know all of this. Good to see you are a ‘free thinker’. 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/29/2005 01:29:00 am  
I'll tell you this Brendon:

I live in Canada in the top 15% of incomes. I pay almost 50% of my income directly to taxes. I don't have a problem with this in the least.

Where I live it means more to me that those that are too messed up to make a go of it on their own have some basics and at least a semblance of an income in order to at least have the potential of doing better, being better. Furthermore, I work for a finacial institution that is nothing if not capitalist in the extreme.

Believe me: I understand the corporate world of "dog eat dog" as well as anybody. It has served me well. If someone wants to compete with me, great! I just don't want to play with those that can't play because they never had\didn't have the same opportunity as me to compete.

I think that would have to start with the basics. Like Whynot was talking about.

 

Posted by deviant1
3/29/2005 02:58:00 am  
Wow, the temperature of the debate is a little high. Anyway, I am an atheist too. The best that atheism has given me is the ability to regard all faiths as equal. It has made me a better citizen of the world. In addition, it has given me the strength to solve issues on my own, without the psychologic support of a deity. Finally, atheism has helped me understand how little we are in this universe, i.e, we are not the supreme creation.

I agree with Greg, the whole idea is to treat all faiths and non-faiths as equal.  

Posted by Dr. Marco
3/29/2005 03:16:00 am  
Brendan, I have no patience for a privileged child like you pontificating about poverty, which you clearly know nothing about. You aren't fooling anyone with your "I help out in the bread line" comment. Talk to us again when you have logged a few years in the real world. 

Posted by Sarah
3/29/2005 03:29:00 am  
Deviant1: 

When I quoted Kiyosaki I was in no way referring to the third-world. It was an assumption made on behalf of others. Many people such as yourself pay high tax. Wouldn't you prefer to keep more of that tax income so you could donate/use it in ways to help these people as you see fit? Or do you have the utmost faith in your government to direct the funds towards these nations?

Sarah:
You are not ignorant, you are an arrogant fool. Don't profess to be a free thinker and then ridicule another person as you have me. Don't talk down to others that may be younger to you. It win's no respect both from people of your own beliefs and of differing beliefs. You my friend act like the child. 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/29/2005 03:58:00 am  
Read this blog post from the top. We were clearly talking about the Easter holiday in western nations. Somehow it was warped into an attack the right for world poverty argument. No logical flow at all.

Why won't any of you answer whether or not you have supported third world labour through the purchasing of goods manufactured in such nations?

Sarah 
You are not ignorant, you are arrogant. You make assumptions about the life experiences of others. You belittle those of different views and yet proclaim to be a free thinker. These are the words and actions of a hypocrite. As for playing the life experience card, how pathetic. I don't need to fool anyone, most particularly you, as you are already a fool. Reply when you come back down to earth.

Deviant1:
Wouldn't you rather pay less tax and contribute directly to those in need? Do you trust your government to the extent whereby you think they are directing your hard earned tax dollars to causes you would specifically wish to support? 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/29/2005 04:50:00 am  
Brendan your position within VUWSA is Activities Officer. The bread line position is the Welfare Vice-President (Nick Kelly). Although you may help out, it is not your position.
You went to the same secondary school as I did. Wellington College is a decile 10 (1 being poorest, 10 being richest) school. It is rich enough to buy its own observatory, buy computers at will, has produced four Governor-Generals, and has excessive wealth. The students drove better cars than the teachers.
Do you think all schools are like that?
Brendan, you are privileged, so am I. Use that privilege wisely and for the greater good, not to make yourself even more privileged. 

Posted by Greg Stephens
3/29/2005 05:16:00 am  
Brendan,

I'm not in the United States. I'm in New Zealand ”

And so what? Do you not have atlases in NZ? Or is it that anything that is not NZ news does not concern you? Does poverty not exist in NZ? If so, lucky you, and in this case you really should get the old atlas out and start wondering how the other 6 billion ppl on this planet could have a life. Or perhaps you could invite them all to paradise NZ? I'm in neither place btw, I'm in the EU.

I detest the idea of anyone going with out, however I even more detest people blaming the wealthy

Really? What an interesting concept. Are you saying the reason for ppl going without is their own fault? Are you saying the CEO who rakes a million bucks a year in salary (+ the perks like car, lodging, cell phone, etc, as well as the dividends from shares) but can't pay his factory floor worker enough for him to feed his family is not to blame?

Mmmm... perhaps you're right and workers should get off their asses and go for a proletarian revolution and take over the assets.

"...socialists are brave enough to admit you buy products from third world countries"

What's that got to do with the price of fish? Do you think perhaps ppl who can't make 2 ends meet should be the ones to buy the higher price goods 100% made in NZ? Or perhaps you think that 3rd world countris are not poor enough and it would be doing the right thing for them not to buy any of their produces so that we, the western nations, can get richer and richer while the rest of the world dies of hunger?

You don't have to start your own business however I would strongly recommend educating people to become financially literate

This is the second time you bring this up, and together with your repeated statements that employees don't not know how to manage their budget and that “their fear is only real because they believe in it”, clearly indicates that 1) you are indeed an elitist for blaming the underpaid for their own poverty by inferring non-stop they are too stupid to manage their income, and 2) Sarah is right and that you have not a single clue of what it's like to be at the bottom of the human food chain.

For, if your did, you'd find that when your salary is so low that you cannot afford the necessities of life, when as a result you have to work a full time day job + a part time night one, you'd get off your high horse real fast and start screaming injustice in turn. "Manage budget", "invest"... sheesh you really are talking through your asshole, aren't you? How do you fucking invest anything when you can't even pay the electric bill? How to you "manage your budget" when your income is lower than what's need for the basic necessities in life?

Explain this to me, I can't wait.

If that minimum level of decency you talk about could be achieved but corporations would profit through it being achieved, would you still have a problem?

In a nutshell: no .

See that 45 degree angle banner at the top right of our page? That's what it's all about. The day when poverty is eradicated, this site will no longer exist. Or perhaps it will get involved in the next step for a better, fairer world, and go on fighting the gross inequalities and injustices that corporations inherently generate, but at least the battle for basic human rights will have been won.

if I am selfish then you are ignorant.

Thanks for the ignorant bit, LOL, although I doubt I beat you in that department from what I've read of you so far. But more interesting is the fact you took my if statement as positive, and therefore find my "selfish" label applicable.

Let me remind you: I said "if there is nothing wrong in your book with ppl not being able to survive on minimum wage while executives live like millionaires, then you'd be just another selfish asshole".

I guess you've answered my question, right? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/29/2005 06:00:00 am  
Brendan and I went to the same secondary school. It was the most disguisting place in so many ways.
Students drove better cars than teachers. Coolness and wealth seemed to be strongly linked. The school owns its own observatory. Spare money existed to buy more computers at will. Four Governor-Generals went to the school (the Queen's representative in NZ). The uniform was overpriced. The school was wealthy. And that is the type of enivironment that both Brendan and I grew up in.
I use the privilege that I have to help those without it. My aim is to help others. Brendan though seems to believe that he should use that privilege for himself.
Brendan- your position within VUWSA is Activities Officer. The breadline help is the role of the Welfare Vice President. Although you may help out there, it is not within your area of responsibility. 

Posted by Greg Stephens
3/29/2005 06:09:00 am  
Brendan,

Read this blog post from the top. We were clearly talking about the Easter holiday in western nations. Somehow it was warped into an attack the right for world poverty argument. No logical flow at all ”

Funny you should mention this. I re-read the entire thread, and guess where it started going off topic? Let me quote it for you:

I agree Greg. We should have no Easter holiday. That way there would be no need to pay staff time and a half and a day in loo. Business's wouldn't have to pass on surcharges to customers because of the ridiculously expensive cost of this employment legislation and could open like they should be able to 365 days a year

Ring a bell? 

Posted by WhyNot
3/29/2005 07:32:00 am  
Greg - I didn't drive a car. I also wasn’t part of the 'cool' squad. The observatory was restored and is for the use of high-school students from schools all around Wellington. The observatory is also owned by a charitable trust and not the college. The government owns the college. I don't see how having govenor generals come from our school is wrong. There was a second hand uniform stall (which I had to use). And Greg, college is only part of the environment that we both grew up in. You can call me selfish and if wanting to develop myself is selfish - then no doubt I am. I want to develop myself in order to help others as I help myself. I'm going to have my cake and eat it too. I'm also going to share that cake with people who otherwise would have none. I also happen to be aware of what my position on VUWSA is Greg. Thanks. Are you trying to say that because it is outside my area of responsiblity that I shouldn't help with the bread run. It seems you all think just because I’m right-wing that there is no ounce of heart for humanity within me. That is disturbing and incredibly cynical.

Thank you for all being so open minded. You have helped me realise that socialists are indeed a bunch of educated, defeatist, bigots. You will rant your whole lives and achieve little. It was a nice distraction but I must get back to achieving my goals for myself and society. 

Posted by Brendan Jarvis
3/29/2005 07:36:00 am  
Check it out Greg.

http://gifford-observatory.wellington.net.nz/
3/29/2005 07:38:00 am  
Brendan,

Wouldn't you rather pay less tax and contribute directly to those in need? ”

No. At least with taxes, we know  the money is there to be used for those in need. Are you insinuating that the rich spontaneously "directly" contribute to those in need when they don't even have the decency to pay their factory floor workers wages one can live on? Do you take ppl for complete imbeciles, Brendan?

Do you trust your government to the extent whereby you think they are directing your hard earned tax dollars to causes you would specifically wish to support?

HHAHAHAHA!! Your hard earned stock market dividends eh?

Well, I'd certainly trust our government 1 million times more than any entrepreneur. And if the gov is really fucking things badly, I at least have a chance to kick it out of office next election. No such luck with my CEO.

Oh yeah, you're painting your picture pretty clearly by now. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/29/2005 07:52:00 am  
Brendan,

You have helped me realise that socialists are indeed a bunch of educated, defeatist, bigots ”

Instead of whining and crying momy, why don't you answer even a single one of my questions? Can't think of anything?

I want to develop myself in order to help others as I help myself

Tell me more. Sounds like it should be juicy. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/29/2005 08:00:00 am  
Hey! What happened to my previous post? Damn, at least three paragraphs and I forgot to do a backup. Here's the condensed version: Time Magazine, interesting article on poverty March 14 2005 issue. It would make both left and right wing people think, as it outlines the main problems, which are not really about left/right issues.

Anyway, Sarah, re Sierra Leone "with the same resources the population has (that would be zero...)

Sierra Leone has oil and diamonds. The population may not have direct access to them, but that it a different issue. 

Posted by ZenTiger
3/29/2005 09:29:00 am  
"Thank you for all being so open minded.  "

Do you mean open-minded as you are, Brendan? Did you enter this forum with an open mind? Be honest now. Or, did you enter this forum with a condescending attitude toward the lowly socialists?
Ignoring literally millions of people on this planet who believe capitalism is a destructive force in their country is truly bigoted and ignorant. You might better spend your time trying to discern why, if you care at all. Perhaps you don't think they have a right to their opinion or do you think they are just as ignorant as we are and need to read some of your books?
 

Posted by Dianne
3/29/2005 10:06:00 am  
"Hey! What happened to my previous post? "

It's Blogger going nuts yet again, ZenTiger. Sorry about that, but there is nothing we can do about it.

We're soon moving to another platform because we are all fed up with it. In the meantime, make sure you type your draft in a notepad or something, and only delete it when you're managed to post your comment.  

Posted by WhyNot
3/29/2005 11:16:00 am  
Brendan, if you are so kind and sharing, then why do you oppose ensuring that EVERYONE is covered? What do you have against all people in poverty being reached rather than just those who happen to live near nice people?
The observatory is an example of how absolutely rich WC was, it is an absolute waste of money when it could have been used for much better purposes (from books, to helping other schools, to providing less intelligent kids with extra help).

"You have helped me realise that socialists are indeed a bunch of educated, defeatist, bigots. You will rant your whole lives and achieve little."
-well that  was open minded of you 

Posted by Greg Stephens
3/29/2005 11:26:00 am  
Brendan,

I think thats why charitable donations are tax deductable here.

Secondly, if its a choice between the governemnt and "invisible market forces" when it comes to the welfare of the people, well, thats no choice at all.  

Posted by deviant1
3/29/2005 03:54:00 pm  
"Wouldn't you rather pay less tax and contribute directly to those in need? Do you trust your government to the extent whereby you think they are directing your hard earned tax dollars to causes you would specifically wish to support?"

My hard earned tax dollars. Hard earned, thats true. I am just curious how much more hard I work than the guy at the local McDonalds works. People don't yell at me all day because they didn't want "special sauce". I have far greater respect for the entry level guy working his ass off for a minimum wage that leaves him and his family under the poverty line than any CEO with his cushy ass life.

Here in Canada, the founder/CEO/head cheese of Magna International, Frank Stronach, paid hiself some 50 million CAD last year. At the ripe age of 72.

Must be a hell of a guy to be worth that much in a single year. I figure that would take me several hundred years to make that. Apparently though, his contribution to his company is so ovewhelming that He is worth it! Makes me feel rather like a useless layabout comparatively. I mean I'm 32, this guys a step away from depends and dementia, and He is kicking my ass royally, if you measure contribution by pay.

No worries though I'm sure the "invisible market forces" have made sure that this is a fair and equitable distrobution of wealth. Thats why I feel so totally useless in the face of this man's contribution to his company.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1110927009835&call_pageid=970599119419&DPL=IvsNDS%2f7ChAX&tacodalogin=yes

Oh yeah, and that same dude working the double shift at McD's? I figure the sun will burn out faster than He could make that kind of money, the useless fucking layabout.  

Posted by deviant1
3/29/2005 04:20:00 pm  
Deviant 1,

"the useless fucking layabout "

Yep. That's exactly what they are. useless fucking layabouts !

Methinks they should work 3 shifts a day. My, after all there ARE 24 hours in a day, right? Lazy motherfuckers!

Speaking of juicy CEO stories, some French dude (can't remember his name now - in his mid/late forties) became the CEO of Vivendi, a huge multinational involved in multimedia and shit.

Anyway, that was some one to two years ago. He was so good at his job (hey, when your salary is some 10 million euros a year, you gotta be real hot!) that within his short reign he managed to make Vivendi be in deficit to the nifty tune of some few billion euros. Oh, and it wasn't because he started increasing the wages of the sweepers, no fear of that, LOL!

There was an emergency shareholders meeting, and it got quite rowdy since everybody wanted him booted out, but he seemed to have a different opinion about it. Kind of like "you elected me, I'm staying!".

Eventually, he agreed to let go of his throne, on the condition that, to compensate him for his loss of prestige (not to mention revenues), he'd resigned himself to accept a little farewell token of appreciation for his brilliant piece of hard work. The little "farewell" gift? A mere 20 million euros.

Hey, it's good to see entrepreneurs are so altruistic, don't you think? I mean... if it weren't for them, can you imagine the poverty in this world? But thank goodness, they are here to generously give to the poor so they can eat. 

Posted by WhyNot
3/30/2005 04:06:00 am  
I can understand why brendan stopped posting on here. You all assume you know his 'type' so well.

Greg, Just because Brendan went to wellington college doesnt actually say anything about his financial background or the type of family life he had etc. i went to a high decile semi private school but we sure as hell didnt have girls showing up with Prada bags, my parents did this little thing called saving, its where you take what little money you have due to nasty taxes and put it aside for your childrens future. Forward thinking some might call it, responsibility is another word that springs to mind. now just think if our poorer families kept more of their hard earned money so that they could have a direct financial input into thier childrens future instead of this "working for families" crap, how much more of an impact that could have on our useless education system. and also isnt it a good thing that brendan works outside his portfolio area at VUWSA, i dont know why you would portray it any other way. we are here to serve students after all, and brendan puts in the extra miles... thats a good thing!

Sarah, Brendan was right Assumption is the mother of all f**kups.
You assumed to know him so well, now i know brendan pretty darn well, and yes as you all might have guessed our politics are fairly similar, but you are way off the mark in the way you talk about him. You wouldnt know the first thing about his upbringing or his worldly experience, you wouldnt know that he is a great friend and will help out as much as he can whenever he can, you wouldnt know that hes a young entreprenur and is really going places, and i think you dont want to know, why? cos it is easier for you and others to label him as immature, uncaring, bigoted etc because hes rightwing. that way you can deny everything he argues on those grounds, i just dont get it.

deviant1, You have more respect for someone who works at maccas than a CEO. ok i see your point about working hard, but having worked at maccas and other shitty jobs i wouldnt call McD's hard work.. id also like to add CEO's dont appear out of thin air, infact alot of people in managment have worked thier asses off in entry level jobs and at UNI etc to get where they are today. My father was in the army for 25 years before he ever worked a mangagement desk job. CEO's work hard, anyone who says they dont needs a slight reality check. I wasnt going to use famous people as examples but Richard Branson is a perfect example of how people can work thier asses off and build something from nothing. HelLs Pizza here in NZ is the same, those guys are legends!!! and id like to see you tell them they didnt work hard.

and now for my comment on the actual topic of this post...
I was brought up in a catholic family, im not a practising catholic now but i am christian, and i dont believe religious/political holidays should be forced on anybody. esp when it comes at such a high cost to employers. (my brothers company decided to open over easter as it was cheaper for them to pay the fine and open than stay shut for the day) however i also dont want to force employers into this whole 5 day leave thing or whatever it was you were proposing.



 

Posted by Hannah
3/31/2005 12:46:00 am  
Hey Greg, i went to Wellington College also, and whilst it is prestigious, and may be one of the oldest schools in New Zealand, it still remains a state School, i.e. you can choose to pay the "Donation" or not. The way you describe our great school makes me think there are two "Wellington College's". As for students driving better cars than the teachers, i drove a Mini 100, which i brought for NZD200, which is not a lot of money. I had a part time job at the begining of third form, and this helped me pay for my lunch at the Cafeteria. On The matter of the Observatory, if u remember, donations were asked for during the 5 years i was at wellington college.

Greg, i have told you before to reaserch before ranting, shame you havnt learnt!


and all you other pinko whingers, are you just jelous of others achievements? is this why you constantly slag others off? Take a look at yourself, work hard, and become successful instead of whinging and whining. Then you can pay all the tax you want and work toward this little ideology you have been lamenting about for the past 100 years.. Marx, Engles et al are dead and so is the idelogy
 

Posted by ducboy
3/31/2005 12:51:00 am  
Go the VRWC! 

Posted by ducboy
3/31/2005 12:53:00 am  
OK You people really need a wake up call.

1) I have read this blog from the top and Brendan was the first to be personally attacked by others. I think that's disgusting since you don't know him so how could you possibly assume what he is like. I actually know him and he's a good guy. Get to know someone before you judge them.

2) Your socialism is sickening. Greg, you're telling us you went to a rich school too? So, aren't you also simply assuming what it's like to be poor??? How the hell do you know what it's like?
Tell me how any of you know what it's like to be starving. I only help people that try and help themselves. If people don't try and pick themselves up from their boostraps and start trying a little bit harder, then I won't give them a leg up. The argument that they are oppressed and don't feel like they can because they have no self esteem is bullshit. It's an excuse not a reason for being poor.

I would like to make a point about the homeless. Someone on my blog said to me that the homeless are there because they are struggling, etc... WELL I have actually gone out and spoken to blanket man, amp man and other well known homeless on the streets on Wellington and they CHOOSE to live that way. Most of them have houses they can go to, they don't have to live on the streets. Go and talk to them yourselves in you live in the Wellington area. Don't make assumptions about people.

Capitalism reflects human nature. It is survival of the fittest people. I worked my ass off to be where I am in this world. So did my parents. Let me tell you a little story. My Dad was bloody poor. His Dad (my grandfather) used to sell hot chips in the market place. After my Dad left a shit school, where he worked hard to get good grades because that's one of the only ways to pull yourself out of poverty, he worked at the port documenting exports and imports - BY HAND. Then he received (through good grades) a scholarship to Cambridge where he studied Geology. Then after he got an honours degree he didn't go straight into an exec position in a high rise oil company, Mum and Dad moved to Libya where Dad worked on the oil rigs in the Sahara Desert. They moved all around the Middle East and finally Dad worked his way up through the corporate ladder. He now runs his own oil exploration business in NZ and my family is not rich but well-off.

Now what does this story mean and why did I waste my time telling you all about it. Well, this goes to show that everyone can make it in a capitalist world, even the poor. You work hard and you'll get there. I am sick to death of people complaining and the poor. Well, my Dad WAS POOR and he still made it.

However, the key to his success wasn't a fancy school or money from parents or government grants (my Dad won a private scholarship from someone else who knew that education is the key). It was working hard at his education and getting the grades. So many of the poor in NZ leave school when they are 14 or 15. It makes me sad that these kids are creating their own crap future by leaving what will make them have a decent life. All it is is poor choices. You choose to leave school early, then why expect a hand-out from others. Help yourself by getting a decent education and then we will think about helping you out. As I said before, I don't help people that don't help themselves (apart from small children who really can't help themselves).

There's something wrong with people if they think that everyone shoudl have exactly the same in this life. Same pay, etc. Look, some people are smarter, some people are stronger, some people ave brown hair, etc. We are all different and to say that smart people who save their money and invest it are oppressing others is a pathetic argument.

I have shares because I saved $5 a week when I was 10 and by the time I was 14 I had $1000 to invest in the market. That will be my partial retirement fund. It's all about forward thinking. $5 a week isn't very much. You could get that from a newspaper round if you are a kid. Instead kids these days are lazy and would rather play XBox than earn some money and think about their future. Some people live for today and some live for today and the tomorrow. Those in the last category are the ones who have a decent lifestyle. The others need to get their head out of their ass.

BTW every single socialist I know here in NZ has either a trust fund or wealthy parents. These people cry for the poor and make assumptions about it but they have never experienced it.These people make me angry.  

Posted by Kerry
3/31/2005 01:16:00 am  
Hannah, Ducboy and Kerry, I'm not sure what you hoped to prove by this little gangbang but your nappies are full and you're smelling up the place.  

Posted by Dianne
3/31/2005 06:21:00 am  
Kerry, ducboy, Hannah:

Capitalism reflects greed, an aspect of human nature, not all of human nature. If it were true that it did we wouldn't be ghaving this conversation would we. Why wouldn't we? Well, if that were the case we would all be happy with it, it being rfelective of human nature and all.

Quite obviously, thats not the case.

You other two on the "work hard, get better" kick:

First off, thats the obvious answer in any situation. It says absolutely nothing about inequitable systems or needed reform to any economic system.


Ducboy:

"and all you other pinko whingers, are you just jelous of others achievements? is this why you constantly slag others off? Take a look at yourself, work hard, and become successful instead of whinging and whining. Then you can pay all the tax you want and work toward this little ideology you have been lamenting about for the past 100 years.. Marx, Engles et al are dead and so is the idelogy"

You can go fuck yourself. Everything I have I created for myself. I put myself through highschool (while raising my daughter who was born when I was 16), I put myself through college and university, all with absolutely no support from my family. When I frist got into my field I made shit money. I worked my way up, now I have what I have.

That doesn't mean that its ok to have injustice in society. It doesn't mean that everyone should have to go through what I went through to make a decent life for themselves. I had to claw my way out of poverty. For a short time, many years ago i was forced to rely on a food bank. It shouldn't have to be that way.

People should not be forced to work full time jobs while attending 6 fucking 4th year UNI courses at the same time in order to succeed. I don't think most people can, in fact.

Incidentally, I am fortunate enough to live in Canada where this is possible due to our decent social programs. I had to borrow money in order to attend uni and college. I am proud to pay my high tax rate to help out others.

So to reiterate: you three can go fuck yourselves and your own assumptions about who WE are and what our backgrounds are.

You make a pack of greedy, self-interested fucks who don't have an ounce of humanity between you.

 

Posted by deviant1
3/31/2005 04:15:00 pm  

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