Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lecretia Searles Takes Her Fight to Die With Dignity to High Court | MIA: Our MPs.

I’ve written on lawyer Lecretia Searles before: she is dying from brain tumours, and though saying she would not necessarily avail herself of euthanasia, she does, however, sanely want that choice, and so in a legal first for New Zealand is taking her case before a judge at the High Court. Unfortunately her case will be particular to her circumstances and not precedent setting, but it may add more impetus for the growing demand to have legislated this basic individual right/choice for all of us. Best of luck Lecretia, let’s hope you get the humane hearing in court that doesn’t seem possible from our law-makers.

On being headed for the courts, the fight for euthanasia will generate plentiful publicity for – hint – a classical liberal party to wear for itself if it weren’t so gutless, Mr Seymour, and it means euthanasia truly becomes the terminally ill elephant in every ante-chamber of the Fortress of Legislation, sitting with a  gun or some such wretched, violent device, knowing it faces no choice other than to blow its brains against a cold concrete wall, or perform the lonely struggle for oxygen with its head in a plastic bag, because our political masters haughtily won't deign to leave aside the mundane everyday matters of their tax-paid careers, currently being entertained on something as irrelevant and unimportant as the Northland by-election and let us not forget, of course, flags – FFS – and grant us the rightful ownership of our lives and deaths.

Everything I said in my previous post stands, there’s little need for me to repeat myself, other than to note the RNZ audio interview with Lecretia on that link is worth a listen, and this one thing more, which is to say it’s a shame, no, disgusting, Lecretia has to spend the last of the time she has fighting for this right in the court system, when she has better things to do: this is a matter that wouldn’t need be in the courts if we had a representative legislature which philosophically understood the nature of rights in a free society, per my earlier post:

…the fickle path of a private members bill [or a court action] is not good enough for a matter so intrinsic to our lives as this is. Assisted dying legislation needs to come from responsible government: John Key has promised this, and his failure to keep to his word damns him. As with his intention to water down Maryan Street’s very good bill.

Although as bad as our MPs are, the Christian monsters of Family First, within an hour of Lecretia’s piece, Saturday, insensitively nailed to the cross of their sadistic brand of inhumanity, a press release commanding we must suffer for their fairy tale god of war and pestilence, and arrogantly – that word so often synonym for ignorantly - proceeded to tell the legal and policy advisor to the Law Commission, 41 year old  Lecretia Searles, she should not be allowed self-management of her own health issues:

Family First NZ says that the heartbreaking situation that Lecretia Seales faces should not be solved in the courtroom or by a change in law, but through the guarantee of the best palliative care that the country can offer her and others in a similar situation.

In this damnable press release, and I'm talking direct to you Bob McCoskrie, is yet another Arrogance of contemptible, arrogant, meddling fools. How dare you use a word like heartbreaking when you have no hearts at all. Just bugger off with your Stone Age faith teaching suffering for no purpose at all, and thinking it’s your right to have your nose in my face and my life, and in Lecretia’s affairs.

Palliative care simply does not work for all, not by any stroke and for some is unacceptable according to their rational value system – even if drug cocktails of palliative care were to mask pain in some type of vegetative or, for them, undignified state. But more importantly, no one has the right to judge another’s unhappiness as these Christian brutes would do here. Those who don’t agree with voluntary euthanasia are not being forced into anything against their volition, so have no right to be heard, and my life must not be handed by Parliament to the cruel cold hands of a dead God: Family First’s press release is the voice of the school yard bully, pulling the wings off Lecretia’s volition over how she wants to live, and how she wants to die, which is no business of theirs.


[Note about my father, currently in palliative care, redacted, as last thing I would want to do is offend any of my (Christian) family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Horror Files: StudyLink’s Definition of Income. Students, Debt, Keynes ...

Sitting in a grey, dimly lit roomful of tax (stereo)types at the Timaru TEO 2015 tax updater course last week, a topic came up which caused as much rebellion rumination as I’ve seen; alarming, indeed, to witness the ordered world of double-entry sundered so outrageously with the unsightly uncrinkling of bowed necks and a vigourous nodding of balding heads raised in surprise over document filled desks attesting to lives lost amongst Section, (Subsection), and (Clause; (nested sub-clause)), and the unspoken bored angst of wrong career turns and stunted inner lives. Noting I don’t use a word like ‘vigourous’ of such a gathering lightly. Or stunted. Indeed, it was a matter of such extreme emotion that the course convenor rashly rushed (blasphemy given this context) to judgement of the perpetrator: ‘stupid’.

Regardless of your view on the state in education, and mine is as dimly lit as that room was, students have an entitlement – that’s the contract for their parents paying tax and their own futures doing so - to an allowance which abates according to how much their parents earn. The problem is some of the most deserving of their entitlement are being refused or abated in their allowances due solely to StudyLink’s incompetence in not being able to grasp some basic concepts about the nature of income.

In defiance of accounting definition and any category of good sense, StudyLink class a businessperson/couple’s drawings in excess of their income for a year, and thus loan drawdowns to cover drawings if the owners have no savings, as income.

For example:

Business couple X are struggling: over the year their business only generated a net profit, that is, gross taxable income (akin to a gross wage), of $30,000. Because their personal outgoings were higher than that - paying the mortgage on their house, tax payments on the previous year’s income which was higher, plus provisional tax for current year, also two of their three children still at high school with books, uniforms and school camps to provide for, and extraneous unexpected dental and medical expenses over the year - they had to extract drawings from their business of $40,000. Of course that was not possible out of income, and as they had no savings, the excess $10,000 funds were supplied via their bank overdraft. So at the end of the year they are that much more in debt than at the beginning.

The problem for their third child applying for an allowance to complete her first year of tertiary study, is StudyLink's equation here is parental income equals the $40,000 drawings, not the $30,000 income earned from their business: apparently their additional debt makes them better off than before they drew it down.

In confirmation of this fact, the last StudyLink officer I talked to several weeks ago had rung to ask me if the parents concerned in that case had drawn down any loans over the year, intending to increase their parental income by such new loans. I told the officer this was ludicrous, ‘what the hell was she thinking’ then asked if she had felt rich with a surplus of income the year she pulled down her mortgage … alas, she was renting.

I no longer know how many ways in which to write how fatuous and wrong-headed this is. Albeit I’m willing to admit what a wonderful world it would signify.

Below is one of the most expensive cars money, or love, can buy; it’s called a Maserati.

It’s getting to the stage only $600,000+ incomed and salaried bureaucrats, lawyers and Kim Kardashian can afford them unfortunately, although, in StudyLink’s fantasy world I could, in theory, buy one, and none of that old-time having to chore away at the day job for years first, foregoing current pleasures to save for future goals, because according to StudyLink debt is income, therefore buying the Maserati creates the income required for the purchase.

Brilliant! Who says our bureaucracies aren’t innovative.

What a pity StudyLink’s policy in no way connects with reality. Worse, even more so than the frustration of dealing with ACC, where after the final internal injustice victims at least have recourse to the district court, there doesn’t appear to be a review process for StudyLink decisions. It's impossible to go outside StudyLink to get an independent, knowledgeable, oversight on falsehoods such as this which parents and students are having enforced on them, which will be ensuring some of the most deserving families Parliament meant to have student allowances, will not be.

Although there’s an even funnier twist in the tail of my sorry tale. Essentially, to continue the fantastical theme, this deluded free-lunchism based on an orgy of debt – and the assumption must be on it being income it doesn’t need repaying, (that’s certainly where the Greek socialist Finance Minister is heading toward) - is the basis our Western command economies have been largely managed on for some decades, after the political class have been convinced by that socialist fraud JM Keynes they are the answer to all societal ills. While destroying our literature and arts as a culture of individualistic resistance to unbridled state power, Keynes was at the same time preaching the Big State to those loving the notion of the power to exact it on us, conceiving of economies not as complex structures based on human ingenuity, needs, desires, and voluntary transactions, but a simpleton’s machine with levers that can be manipulated by our all-knowing simpletons in the Fortress of Legislation and Central Banks, while turning the screw to extract taxes to fill the intellectual deficit of fiat money and irresponsible state spending and growth. That’s how the West has become yet another cage, because you can’t live free of your economic self, and it explains the debt leveraged civilised human calamity being wrought, again. We are not the generations living at the peak of a Western Civilisation that was built on self-reliance, freedom and capitalism: we are the generations living in the ruins of it, waiting for the next crony tyrannies which are already bred and well learned in their evil craft of domination and surveillance over my volition.

So, StudyLink warns us of the end of the civilised world: unsurprising. Fortunate the world has this blog. Off to buy my Maserati and a holiday in Greece: see you in debtors court.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Letter to Editor: Euthanasia Does Not Devalue Lives of Disabled.

According to Ken Joblin, Press 12 March, voluntary euthanasia quote, ‘makes people with disabilities feel less valued’. The arrogance of that remark is breath-taking: no person can judge another’s unhappiness. To say an individual must die in agony against their will because a total stranger might feel ‘devalued’ is non-sequitur, offensive and selfish; and this applies even if that stranger is living in similar circumstances of pain they yet find acceptable. The apt word in voluntary euthanasia is ‘voluntary’: it’s only for those who want that option, as many do. Every argument against voluntary euthanasia is the busy-body argument an individual must be left no volition over their own life. Adults self-manage health issues throughout their lives: managing one’s death is merely the end of that grown-up process. The disabled rightly tell the able-bodied to see issues from their point of view: well I’m afraid the opinion voluntary euthanasia devalues the life of a disabled person is as blind as Mr Joblin is partially sighted. No disrespect Mr Joblin, but please remove your opinion from those who have died or are dying in circumstances, sometimes appalling, against their wishes; just over last 12 months to put names to this issue: Rosie Mott, Faye Clark, lawyer Lecretia Searles – who still argues superbly for her right to that option as she manages life with brain tumours - Clare Richards and the list continues to grow, as long as we have no civilised euthanasia law.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bureaucratic Horror Files: Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Who's On First ...

In the modest number of claims I’ve made on private insurance policies over the last quarter of a century, I have had no issues with process or result, some claims dealt with only via a phone call and emailed photo. Not so Government EQC in Christchurch which after over four years of wrangling we’ve given up on; they will pay up to their cap on our earthquake damaged house, we - with no recourse to our private insurer, somehow, (don't ask me how) - will pay the $70,000 remaining required to fix our house, and then there’s our mandatory government insurer Accident Compensation Corporation – for my overseas readers –  ACC. There’s a bit of a fracas amongst the know-all Crusader class residing in the Fortress of Legislation currently regarding ACC’s funding; just as there is only the micro level in economics – you and me voluntarily transacting – no macro, I reckon on the micro-level I’ve discovered ACC's problem, although one point to Labour Leader Andrew Little first …

The Scenario:

Here’s the problem facing me. A farming couple, client, beef finishing, life time of low(ish) profits, some year losses, but they loved the lifestyle, (and they were exceptional about animal welfare – which I respected them for), have been paying ACC on default option (which worked fine: if you’re an insurance broker, please don’t contact me, and yes, most of my clients are on Coverplus Extra, and as great as you probably are, every time you happen to pick up one of my clients, no, I don’t want you dropping in for a cuppa to try and sell me on your services; I know what they are ... sorry, back on track).

All swimmingly well until they sell their farm and retire. They have enough from farm sale to retire comfortably, but modestly, as the income tap is now turned off, however, they find to their horror after I file their final (partnership) tax returns, the two biggest ACC bills they’ve ever seen, and face having to pay these in their retirement, knowing they will never have a claim on ACC.

The reason for big premiums are ACC ‘now’ – because I’m sure they didn’t use to – class depreciation recovered on sale of the various farm assets, in this case $88,000, as income. I ring ACC and ask how ACC are defining ‘passive’ depreciation recovered as ‘personal exertion’ assessable for premiums under the governing act (as that legislation nowhere states depreciation recovered as ‘personal exertion’). Answer on the phone was it is considered ‘mental exertion’. So, I have filed request for review form ACC33 with the department based on following:

Limb I: selling the farm was done by an agent, it did not involve ‘mental exertion’ hence ‘personal exertion’, and so was passive income and therefore not assessable. (I don’t expect to win on this limb - 23 years of being broken down by bureaucracy has taught me this, even though this particular instance seems a change of policy by ACC.)

Limb II: if this does constitute ‘personal exertion’ then selling the farm asset is not the activity of farming, with its very high risk and premium rate, thus the premium should be set on the most lower ‘holding property’ premium rate. This reflects the process of a farm sale, and also how for management purposes stewardship of the farm asset is different to farm trading (hence many farms traditionally owned in family trusts and leased to farming trading entity.)

Given wife and husband’s cases are identical in every respect – 50/50 partners; identical premiums charged; identical principles involved – I simply wrote both of their details on the ACC33 form, with a letter stating their case. I also put on this I was taking my clients’ case for no fee (principle), I would soon either be on holiday, or attending to my father’s affairs (who has been given, a week ago, between one week and six months to live, and no, that timeframe is not helpful), thus I wanted to keep this brief, succinct, and conducted by email, not telephone as I won’t be in Geraldine for near on three months.

Bureaucratic Problem the First:

On receiving my ACC33, an ACC legal advisor emailed me the following:

Dear Mr Hubbard

We have received the application for review for your above clients dated 27 February 2015.

We note that you are the authorised contact person for the accounts.

 While we acknowledge that the application is for a married couple, the application relates to two separate accounts. An application for review must be filed for each separate account. Should the matter proceed to a review hearing the reviewer will more than likely require each hearing to be heard separately.

 Please also note that for an application for review to be valid, the application must refer to a specific decision and the date of that decision must be completed at section 2 of the application. I see that this has not been completed on the current application.

 An application for review must be received by ACC no later than 3 months from the date of the decision or else ACC has no jurisdiction to review its decision.

 For your convenience I attach an editable word version of the ACC33. We look forward to receiving the application for reviews shortly.


[Name Reacted], Legal Advisor, Legal and Commercial, ACC

In case you missed that, I haven’t got to first base yet because a) I put both clients’ names onto same form (given their cases are identical); I need to file a separate ACC33 for husband and wife, and b) I didn’t write into the ACC33 filed the date of the decision – (noting this was because the review was not vis a vis ‘a decision’, but simply the basis of levying two premium invoices.) I emailed the following in reply:

You've got to be kidding!!!

My review with attached letter contains, succinctly, everything reasonable people will need to look at the issue. It is not in relation to a 'specific decision', it is in relation to the levies my two clients (identical cases) have been charged. My submission is very clear on this.

I have no time for doing all this again, and in duplicate, [snip] … Again, the form and substance of what I sent is wholly sufficient for the requested review.

Please advise, noting that if my original ACC33 is still deemed unacceptable, then I want a phone call, please, from a very senior officer from your legal.

Mark Hubbard

(Partial) Resolution The First:

Per phone call with a senior from their legal department, it appears the problem is with a dispute resolution service ACC use called Fairway Resolution – (that word ‘fair’ again; meaning you’re probably not going to see any of it.) Fairway Resolution governs all these procedures, apparently, and doesn’t want to see my client’s review knocked out on a technicality. Of course we have to put the client through hoops for good of the client. It was thus decided, as follows:

Firstly, that I shall photocopy the copy of the ACC33 I originally filed – thankfully I kept a copy. I shall strike out the wife’s name on that copy of the original copy I kept; on the copy of that copy I shall strike out the husband’s details; I shall then re-file both ‘separate’ copies, but not before I take a copy of the wife’s-name-redacted copy, now the husband’s copy, and a copy of that copy’s copy, now the wife’s copy, with husband’s name redacted, the further copying of which I will do, of course, for safety sake, (FFS), in case I get forcibly looped back into this process again. Or something gets lost. I shall thus be filing a separate copy of the original ACC33 for each spouse, with the other spouse’s details redacted by ‘lining them out’ – technical term: ‘to put a neat line through’ - with a copy of my original letter stating their case attached to each separate copy of the ACC33s refiled. To be precise, I shall send two identical copies of my original letter, one copy each attached to both the new spouse-redacted ACC33s, which are copies of the copy of each spouse’s, spouses’, sorry original joint copy – no! I got that wrong; they will be copies of the original form filed. I was wrong in that latter part because the original form filed with ACC was not a copy: the copy was the document I kept which has allowed me to shortcut the whole longer process by copying it again. The whole process, vis a vis spousal separation, now technically correct, so no technicalities lurking like a pond of poo on the farm they sold for us to fall into at some future date.

From memory, I believe while ACC were capable of performing the copying of the original ACC33 filed with them, the further necessary redaction of spousal names was totally beyond their comprehension. Either that or with no lump sum payments for trauma anymore, they couldn’t allow a staff member to deal with that (ref: Section 404, clause 58 of Department’s Work and Safety Manual).

Secondly, that I would write onto the husband’s copy of the original copy, and on the wife’s copy of the copy of the original copy, before both the copy and the separate copy of the copy are re-filed, the date of their invoices, that being the ‘date of the decision’ my review was requesting reassessment of, thus fulfilling this requirement (per officer’s original email to me). Fortunately the second officer via our phone conversation was able to give me both dates given the invoices were issued by, well, by ACC obviously, meaning they hold that information anyway.

On the positive side, we are now on first base. On the negative side when I asked re the initial email, if this goes through to hearings will I REALLY have to ‘litigate’ both husband and wife hearings separately, meaning at each stage in what I suspect may be a labyrinthine process leading up to such hearings having to repeat all my points twice to their points which will be twice made, presumably, despite both cases are identical?  The answer was, as near as I could tell, yes, I would have to do just that. To repeat myself, I will have to repeat myself, often.

I don’t think this is going to go well, and it may be foolish to believe it will be going quietly into the night as some poet said. Anyway, coincidentally on my email just in, I see a useful upcoming CCH course, ‘Managing Difficult People’: I’ll send it onto the nice officers at ACC with my re-submitted review.

Sorry, review(s). Two, separately, one for each spouse (the other redacted by lining the other spouse’s details out, like so.)

Further Misadventures.

Well, I guess this was predictable. After coming to the aforementioned agreement with ACC, and writing this blog entry sound in the knowledge I had a copy of my original submission, I went to copy that copy of the original ACC33 to find that my memory was playing tricks with me and I didn’t take a copy of the original ACC33, proper, at all, I simply posted it to ACC without copying. As if this blog post needed to find proof of the sanctity of copying, there it is.

So, I am not yet on first base. Fortunately I now have an email address for the senior ACC officer concerned; I’ve just emailed her the following:

Hi [name redacted]

I guess this was predictable given the course of last week, but continuing from our phone call Friday I find I have not kept a copy or scan here of the ACC33 submission on behalf of my client. Between writing that, and this, I have changed computers and while transferring all my data, that data did not include a temporary folder I always keep on computer being docs, etc, for issues such as this that I don't need to keep long term in respect of matters with Inland Revenue.

So, could you scan and email back my submission in order than I can copy here, twice, redact appropriately, then scan and send back to you.

Sorry for inconvenience.

Regards Mark Hubbard

I’ll keep you updated on my ultimate failure. In the meantime file this under post-structuralism, and a final thought, ACC could also stand for Abbot Corresponding with Costello, those guys must have dealt with a few government departments in their time: