Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why do NZ juries keep letting rapists go free?

Don't think I can write much of a post to go with this headline without laying us open to all kinds of litigeous unpleasantness, but seriously - why do NZ juries find it so hard to actually convict a rapist for raping someone? Do we just not care, or what?

When you look at high-profile murder cases, eg Scott Watson, we seem happy to convict on balance of probabilities. Hardly proved beyond reasonable doubt, but not really likely to be anyone else, so buggered if you're going to just let him walk. And yet, with rape cases we seem to be quite happy to just let the scumbag walk. What is it with us?

For This, They Sacked Madelaine Setchell?

If this is the best the Labour appointed spinmeisters at the Dept of Environment can do, they would have been better off to keep Ms Setchell on.

Someone needs to tell the dim witted 'communications' experts that it's a bit unfashionable to use the heading "Key Points" in a report from the PM's flagship Ministry funded electoral campaign, especially when the Frump herself gags at the mention of his name. Thats actually very bloody funny!

And what did the report say? I'll summarise for you.

"We've talked a lot for ten years but we have achieved precious little, if anything by way of good results. In fact, our performance is worse than it was ten years ago."

Save this summary folks, for you will be able to apply it to every Ministry and every loudly shouted goal put up by this gaggle of managerial derilects who call themselves a government.

King blames killings on full moon and hot weather

My God, Liarbour is really scraping the barrel in the excuses department.
Annette King blaming a raft of killings on the full moon and hot weather really takes the biscuit.
Has Liarbour run out of spin doctors? Couldn't they come up with something better.
I bet dear Leader got the choice excuse, blaiming violent crime on the Mother of All Budgets.
Well, I suppose if it was pissing down the crims might stop in.
I must check the UK figures for January 2008 and July 2007 to see if this excuse cuts mustard.
And I guess a full moon does help people see better?
But really, Has Liarbour made us all so ill, we are turning into werewolves?
As for the ten killings being just ' a blip' , I guess Dear Leader has the same view of National's poll ratings.
UPDATE: Simon Power says Annette King is in denial over crime.

Round And Round They Go..........

All Labour's social engineering chooks are coming home to roost.

And there's be many more before we get to election time. No wonder they have closed down public discussion on policy.

This latest piece of socialist idiocy has employers trying to teach illiterate employees to read, write and count. This just a day after Clark's announcement that teachers will be required to manage 17 and 18 year old criminals for whom there is insufficient room in jails.

Lewis Caroll wrote their script.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

F*ck with the boys in blue at your peril

Normally I'd shower contempt on someone speculating about cases that haven't gone to court, but what the hell - nobody's perfect.

For the lawyers out there, this is a strictly hypothetical situation:

Some geezer foolishly clips his kid round the earhole on a public street, having forgotten for a moment the kind of country he's living in now.

Local busybodies call the cops. 6 of them turn up, assess the situation, decide there's nothing worth prosecuting and give the ear-clipper a warning.

All's well that ends without your arse in a cell. But not for long - rather than counting his blessings, the ear-bashing dad promptly blabs all to journo scum. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear. Suddenly it's in all the papes, mouthy git bloggers are pronouncing on it all over the internet and the Police are subjected to the unthinkable: embarrassment.

Foolish ear-punishing dad. Within a short time, a senior copper has "reviewed" the evidence and finds that, ah, it seems Mr Doesn't-Know-What-A-Warning-Means should have been charged after all. Just an unfortunate oversight - should have had his collar felt at the time, how could they have overlooked all this incriminating evidence?

Let me tell you folks: if you fancy continuing to reside at the same address as your kids, figure out what the filth are telling you when they give you a warning. Could save you a great deal of grief.

Adolf's Worked Out What's Wrong

Yessir, Adolf has worked out what's wrong with Labour's lacklustre campaign. They've started out like a Yemeni Cricket team in a test match against Australia. Two wickets in the first two balls and John Key is on a hat trick.

Almost totally ignored by the media; laughed at by commentators for the stupid notion of a 'mole' feeding policy to National; subtly mocked by the unflattering camera angles and assailed by daily reports of murder and mayhem in the streets as Baghdad Annette rushes to sooth the jangled nerves of citizens living in gangland, the Klarkunists will be dreading the next lot of opinion polls.

Look for Labour to dip below 30%.

The trouble is, see, they've got the wrong sheila spruiking the story.

Helen Clark. Photo / Greg Bowker

Photo / Greg Bowker

Instead of the scrawny old bag of sorry bones the Herald showed us delivering her speech, they should have used the Prime Minister. You know, the one from the Labour Party website.

Helen Clark


Hell if they could produce that chickadee, I might even vote for the pricks.

He's Usually Much Better Than This

Only this morning Adolf posted at Poneke's excellent blog a comment about journalists who also blog and in it extolled the virtues of Colin Espiner's blog. Perhaps I was premature but then again everybody has an off day.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/asset/on_the_house_colin.jpg

Today I read Colin's piece on John Key's speech and he took issue with the fact that the assembled multitude tucked into a good lunch after the speech. Well, if it was lunch time, what the hell do you expect. To pile absurdity on top of stupidity, the menu became a subject for scorn. Roast pork, tenderloin steak, oysters and five salads. I don't know what the denizens of the press gallery or the inmates of The Press regard as satisfactory tucker but I can tell Mr Espiner that the aforesaid menu is economic, healthy and tasty.

That kinda sums up how Kiwi voters will feel about National and its policies, come November.

Clarke Ignored By Media

In stark contrast with yesterdays coverage of John Key's opening salvo yesterday, it is difficult to find in the media any commentary of significance so far on Clark's boring and unexciting speech at Henderson earlier.

I haven't read the speech and I probably won't because there's no encouragement for me to do so. I wonder how long it will take her to backtrack on her reported extraordinary remarks accusing National of having a 'mole' in Labour passing its policies to the Gnats.



There's only one moll in Labour and it's the PM.

Update: Earlier, I missed Fran O'Sullivan's piece in this morning's Herald. Apart from providing her usual acute analysis, Fran's piece is subtly hilarious. She actually gives John Key some nice one liners to use against the Klarkunists and almost holds her hand up for his speech writer's job.

There will be muttering and gnashing of teeth on the ninth floor.

A few thoughts for our American friends

A fine post about one of the world's greatest countries has been posted on Crusader Rabbit, created by Roger W Gardner.
As the country concerned considers who should be its president, heres a few things its citizens might like to think about.

"America -- it's time to stop what you're doing for a minute and take a good long look in the mirror.
You have allowed other people to delineate your image for too long now.
You have uncritically accepted their skewed portraiture as truth and bought into their self-serving lies.
You have been bullied by cold-hearted cynics and wrong-headed critics into believing that you are something that you are not, and never could have been.
It's time to stop all that now, America. It's time to remember who the hell you are.
In the words of our late great Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, "Americans need to face up to the truth about themselves, no matter how pleasant it is."
You seem to have forgotten that the world is weak and envious of your strength.
They want what you have and deride you because they need you.
But your detractors are small and petty and vicious; and you are great and beautiful.
You are nothing less than the light of the world, and the hope of all its people.
Without your stalwart protection and the selfless sacrifice of your courageous fathers and sons who have fought and died on foreign soil to protect other people's liberties, the glorious achievements of this whole wondrous Western Civilization would have long ago crumbled into dust and been trampled under the feet of the barbarians.
So listen up now, America. The world needs you once again. Take a good hard look at yourself. And stand tall and be proud.
You are quite simply the bravest, most noble, most generous, most high-minded and judicious nation the world has ever known.
And we love you."

Copycats

Dear Leader is expected to extend compulsory training / education to 18-year-olds.
Granny Herald previews her speech today.
Over at Stuff, I noted some Labour criticism of Key's youth policies announed this week.
Among them is that Key had copied Liarbour policies.
Now, where did Dear Leader get her policies from?
The Guardian presents the clue along with related problems the policy will bring.
So National cannot have 'policies written in Washington.'
But Downing Street is ok?
So when Liarbour accuses National of copying, I say, Pot, Kettle, Black!
Hasn't Liarbour got an imaginative bone in its body?
UPDATE: Speech in full here.

Does Nigella have the right recipe?

If I do go out today, I won't be picking up the Telegraph.
For my dad's favourite tv chef, kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson, has some bad ideas.
She says parents should not leave money for their children and she plans to leave her's penniless.
Nigella believes people must work for their money otherwise they become feckless.
But her hubby disagrees.
Now, a year ago, I was given an advance on my inheritence to help buy me a place of my own.
Have I been feckless or what?
No, but I can see Nigella's point.
The money has helped me sleep at night knowing that come what may, bills can be paid.
I haven't frittered any of it away, but if I have stayed in any hotels, they have been 4 star not three star and if I was hungry I would eat the nuts from the minibar, rather than starve.
No flash car, just a humble Mitsubishi Carisma, that has none.
But maybe I would have chased payment from publishers faster than I have, like I had to in Christchurch a few years back when I was broke.
Anyway, I think Nigella is wrong. One of the incentives of working hard is providing for your family, to give them a better start in life and hopefully help them avoid the hardships you endured. If I had kids , that might drive me further.
I want my parents to have a good and comfortable retirement. I don't mind if they spend much of their wealth on travel, nice cars, etc; just as long as they leave a little something.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

John Key's Opening Salvo

Adolf has just read John Key's Ellerslie speech.

http://www.pansywong.co.nz/eng/images/photo_johnkey.jpg


I thought it was pretty good.

It was simple and ordinary people could understand it. Short on generalities and long on specifics. A bit like a swinging fast yorker for the first ball of a five day test match. The Labour trolls have been screaming for policy and now they are about to get it - right hard into their rib cages or around their ears.

Labour will have a hard time counter punching, because every time they open their mouths about anything, people only have to think 'Never mind what they say, what have they done?' And in all cases the answer is 'bugger all, except try and buy their electoral survival for another three years.'

Labour's legacy has been to consign NZ to the scrap heap while the gummint focused ALL ITS ENERGY on stealing the next election.

As always, a couple of one liners kinda stand out from the rest. There were three in particular which caught my eye.

First; "........ Helen Clark thinks she can hoodwink Kiwi voters into giving her another three years to answer these questions. "

second; "....Not all Kiwis have a surplus to fall back on Dr Cullen. They paid their surplus in tax. "

and third; "...Rest assured, no one will be playing twilight golf or doing sing-along classes."

You know, the funny thing is, if Labour had used its brains and given genuine tax cuts four years ago and since, then I believe National probably wouldn't have had a show of knocking them off this time round.

Carter Defames Green Acres - Wong Talks Sense

It is pathetically sad to see the way Labour will use any group of unfortunates in a desperate effort to curry favour (did you get it?) with the electorate. Today Chris Carter unwisely opens his big mouth outside in the real world where parliamentary privilege doesn't exist.



Contrast this with the cool headed wisdom of National's Pansy Wong:-

http://www.decisionmaker.co.nz/guide2005/hpw%2005/National%20MPs%20images%2005/Wong,%20Pansy.jpeg

"She felt the best way forward was for the police, the Commerce Commission and the Serious Fraud Office to pool their resources for the investigations and come up with with a conclusion swiftly."

Carter's assertion that Green Acres are exposed because the perpetrator of the fraud was working for them appears to me to be pretty thin. He bases his opinion on a phrase used on the company's website - .... "works with the franchise support office"......

I'm not a lawyer but I'd be surprised if he got very far with that one. If the villain of the piece was operating as an independent contractor (and I suspect he was) then Carter has Buckley's chance. In my own case I operate as a broker and I 'work with the underwriting departments of a number of life offices.' This does not make them responsible for any hanky-panky I might get up to on the side.

Some champion!




So Dear Leader has won an award from the United Nations as a "Champion of the Earth."
Some champion!
As David Farrar noted recently , New Zealand's carbon emission record under Clark is worse than that of the US, which did not sign Kyoto.
I'm sure Kiwiblog might remind us of those figures again.
Dear Leader might talk the talk, but can she walk the walk? Do we want her to?
Maybe, I have just read that New Zealand's dams are emptying because of the hot summer so the lights may be out in New Zealand by the time I return in 2 weeks.
Detailed analysis of government energy policy a few months back warned that in a few years from now, brown outs and other power cuts may be commonplace. New Zealand just won't have the capacity to keep the lights on.
And pictured above is Dear Leader's support for biofuels.
You remember those biofuels, the ones that the front page of the NZ Herald reported would cause kiwi cars to explode. The biofuels that need so much land to grow that orang utang habitat is being cleared in Indonesia to grow the palm oil used to make such biofuels.
The Midnight Sun last week noted a European Union Report, that was featured in the respected Spiegal newspaper, that producing biofuels was taking land used for food production so food prices will rise and people will starve.
And of course, as I have also covered on this blog, the making of such biofuels also produces as much greenhouse gases in their production as traditional diesel, so biofuels are not greener emissionswise anyway.
So if you believe Dear Leader is a Champion of the Earth, you truly are green, but only in the sense of naive and stupid, which i guess sums up the United Nations anyway.
Still, by fitting with their line of thinking, it shows Dear Leader may well make it to the UN after all!

Will Kevin be sorry?

Aurora, over at The Midnight Sun, says Adolf's favourite Aussie PM , Kevin Rudd, is going to say 'sorry' over the country's alleged treatment of aborigines.
But it appears Rudd could well be sorry after the legal hornets nest such a move might open up.

Hookers for Jesus?

Apparently so.
I am sure there will be a few in the blogosphere now looking for souls to save in K Rd and Cuba Street!
UPDATE: Clint Heine is a very naughty boy!

UK troops cleared of abuse in Iraq

Thought I'd post this in case no-one saw it Down Under.
Well, as we know, the only good news to come out of Iraq is bad.
So there was no systrematic abuse of Iraqi civilians, just the odd mistake.
The UK Army has done its best to get to the bottom of it and changes in trasining is underway.
Well, we have haven't heard much else either.
So the trouble must be dying down and the surge working.
John McCain seems a wise old bird to have put forward such a policy.
General Petreus has done a sound job.
I'm sure President Bush will touch on Iraq in his final State of the Union speech today.
And give us the reassurance that we need.
That despite its troubles , the War in Iraq was justied after all.
Pity Hillary and Obama will undo such good work given the chance.

Black police chief blames immigrants for rise in crime

One of the joys of the UK media is its diversity, which means all sides are covered.

The industry's competitive nature means nothing is ignored to suit whatever agenda.

And maybe there is no agenda because even if a story does not fit the agenda or prejudices of a paper, papers will run with it because they are too frightened of being left behind.

Yesterday, the Sunday Times broke the story about the head of Kent Police writing to the Home Secretary (you know, the one too afraid to walk in London at night) saying that his force could not cope with the vast influx of immigrants into his county and this was fuelling a rise in violent crime.

Of course, a story like this was manna from heaven for the Daily Express, who led on it today.

What makes it even more delightful is how a few leftist beliefs are found wanting.

Remember when I reported some weeks back how muslims in Bradford were upset that Polish immigrants were 'taking their jobs,' and the followers of 'the Religion of Peace' were violently attacking the East Europeans.

Well, here comes today's irony.

It's not just that the police chiefs nowadays are so pussy whipped and politically correct, to suit the New Labour agenda; it is that the chief of police in Kent making these comments is Britain's first black chief constable. So, a generation or two back, his forebears might well have been immigrants themselves, adding to the strains facing police forces some decades ago!

But congratulations to the chief constable and his family for him making such great progress and a useful contribution to Britain.

You see, there is some good that can come from immigration- and I am an immigrant to New Zealand myself- the issue is all about the quality and quantity of those coming in.

In Britain, New Liarbour has let in too many while the quality is not good enough.

UPDATE: In the meantime. High taxes and crime force native Britons to flee. Are you listening Mr Cullen?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Ride In His Car

The Democratic Party primaries just got interesting. The alcohol soaked windbag from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

If one these days can believe anything written in the New York Times, it appears Hillary's silver haired upwardly mobile pecker begged the good senator not to do it. The NYT has it that this represents a schism in the foundations of the Dopy Donks. The Kennedys versus the Clintons.

Some one should tell Mr Obama to make sure he never takes a ride in Kennedy's car. As some wit remarked a few years ago, more Americans have died in Ted Kennedy's car than have died in nuclear accidents.

How to insult your readers and lose them?

The 'Sinking Sunday Star-Times' is an issue I have covered many times before. But yesterday's editorial attacking 'the right' raises the matter once more.

My argument is that the paper is so left-leaning that its stance causes the paper to lose many readers, particularly the better off readers that its advertisers will love.

I'm not arguing that the paper should become a cheerleader for ACT/National, but such a stance would probably be more in line with the middle New Zealand that tends to favour broadsheets, just as the 'working class' tend to go for tabloids.

In recent years, under its current editor Cate Brett, sales and readership of the broadsheet have been lost by the ten thousand.

True, papers the world over have been losing sales by the bucketload as readers and advertisers flee to the web, and perhaps we don't have the time any more to sit and read the paper like we used to.

But the Sunday Star-Times has done pretty badly, with John Drinnan at the NZ Herald last year describing the sales plunge early last year as 'severe.'

Now, this weekend, the paper lost ACT supporting Lindsay Mitchell after an editorial over a smacking referedum doubted ACT supporters and others could be decent.

The views of 300,000 seeking a referedm can hardly be so contemptuously and I recall there were huge majorities that opposed the smacking bill. Can the paper be so out of tune with , what was it, 80% or more of New Zealand, who opposed the act?

I am sure Cate Brett and Fairfax executives will not tremble over the loss of one reader but under Brett the Star-Times has lost so many more readers like her.

Rather than be representative of a broad cross-section of New Zealand, is the SST just an echo for the Grey Lynn left?

In competitive markets, being in touch with your readers is seen as the pre-requisite for success as well as survival.

Something is amiss here and for the sake of the paper's own survival and profitability the paper needs to assess its editorial stance, especially when its 'liberalism' seems so out of touch with New Zealand and the paper's beloved Labour Party and Clark are lagging so well behind in the polls.

I would hope that the paper's Wellington-based bosses are aware of the problem.

But what about those at Fairfax HQ in Darling Harbour, Sydney?

Shouldn't they be told? Are you listening Captain Kirk?

In the meantime, I expect fresh sales/circulation figures will be due out next month.

I await them with interest.

Dear Leader silences dissent

The Electoral Finance Bill claims its first victim.
Helen Clark has stamped her jackboot on a 21-year-old lad.
Andy Moore of the Don'tVoteLabour website has been forcedto shut down because he refuses to put his home address on the website.
Andy does not want to put his family at risk, and who can blame him.
Trevor Loudon has recently shown how he had been threatened because of his comments at New Zeal.
One of the classic comments from the dodgy days of Tammany Hall politics in the USA, or in 1980s 'Militant' Labour in Liverpool, England was : "We know where you live!"
Andy is not hiding from his own accountability.
Today, he lists his cellphone number and email details.
Let us hope a way round the EFB can be found.
What about http://www.dontvotelabour.blogspot.com/ ?
Oooh! Seems up and running already, so let's see it come to life with regular postings.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Aurora at the Midnight Sun reports UK blogger Lionheart feels his life is in danger .

Are you listening John Boy?

A Herald poll gives National a strong message.
I'm sure John Boy will be listening.
As he will have listened over the Christmas holidays.
Meeting middle New Zealand.
While Dear Leader was in the UK.
Did she go skiing in Norway again?

Hillary Clinton reveals all on the net!!!

Tits , beaver, policies (shurely some mistake, Adolf) , you name it!
It's in the respected Sunday-Times, so it must be true.
Must peruse the link and You Tube next time I have broadband.

Who's fooling who?

OK so I have been reminded that my name is still here as an author. I've been way slack on writing anything since... oh God knows when. In my defence I have only been in Sweden for about four weeks of the last five months having travelled round the world at least twice. There is only so much you can take, even in business class. Do not fly KLM from Stockholm, it is a fucking appalling lounge. On the other hand watching the women queue for a toilet in the lounge at Beijing is funny when the snobby tarts deliberately ignore the little Chinese cleaner trying to point them to the other women's loo. And I did manage to get some culture, among other things the apartheid musuem in Johannesburg is powerful and going to the DMZ in Korea is a must do, even stepping over the border to the North in a room with South Korean guards is psychologically interesting. I did make it back to NZ briefly but did not manage to meet up with the people I wanted to, but apparently came withing spitting distance of Cactus Kate and Whaleoil having a VRWC drink at the viaduct.

And next week I'm off again, to Europe and North America. So there is fuck all time to write anything that isn't a project plan or strategy report. The job is interesting, I get to meet a lot of unique characters and of course I get a lot of money. If one thing was hammered home to me when I came back to NZ (apart from the fact that NZ drivers are fucking terrible) is the sad truth that I would never get a job equal to my talents. My OE has really become my life. Sorry Inland Revenue.

So in lieu of anything meaningful let me instead recommend some culture from the (currently surprisingly warm) north. If there is one thing that Swedes do well it is music. Must be something to do with all the programs on TV here involving singing or talking about singing. Or all the singing they do when drunk. So here is my favourites of the moment:

Sahara Hotnights. Music varying from rock to punk. Been together since they were teenagers so there is quite a lot of music from them. Oh yeah, and they are hot. Tonnes of vids on you tube. Some older punky style in Alright alright. Then they tried to break through in America but didn't quite succeed somehow, with a bit of a change in style in Cheek to cheek. Oh and Visit to Vienna but the video is a bit naff. All good though.
"I hate England," bassist Johanna Asplund says. "It's crappy in every way. I'm going to write a whole book about hating England."

Marit Bergman. Solo artist with a variety of songs and my general favourite. Some very typical Swedish pop style (do not anyone dare mention Ace of Base!) and a very good artist. Favourite is Adios Amigos because it is so damn happy. And the video of the depressed Swedish winter shoppers watching a couple of colourful chicks running around is classic. Also Eyes Were Blue is a much more downbeat but compelling song, with a weird video that must have been filmed in Stockholm as well.

Then there is Hello Saferide. A very folky type of music with pretty but short songs. Also the only artist I've heard include "alta vista" in a song and actually be referring to the search engine. You here some of the typical elements of modern Swedish folk style that turns up a lot of other places too. The lyrics of My best friend no doubt have puritans spinning in missing the point.

Finally Anna Ternheim. A little like Hello Saferide but more up-tempo. Currently Girl laying down is a favourite.

There's something strange about the accents that Swedish singers have when doing songs in English. They are all over the place even from song to song. Must have something to do with where they went to school and what TV they watch.

There we go! We'll see how many more I manage in 2008.

Freddie Starr Ate My Beaver : Not!

A few weeks back, our good friend Barnsley Bill lamented that iconic 80s British TV newsreader Selina Scott was 58.
It's often amazing how people's lives turn out differently to earlier preconceptions.
Now, the tasty Scots-born newsreader breeds goats at a farm in North Yorkshire!
However, Selina this month made it to a reunion of BBC Breakfast tv presenters to celebrate 25 years of their show.
There was no sign however, of former co-star Frank Bough, who was sacked following tabloid revelations of his cocaine wife swapping parties! No sign of that either when Frank appeared with faithful wife Nesta in various BBC tv holiday programmes.
Which brings me onto comedian Freddie Starr.
Tonight he apears in an edition of Celebrity Wife Swap and for a week or so, he had to shack up with another iconic 80s figure.
Not Selina Scott, but former page 3 model, Samantha Fox.
There was barely a lad growing up in 80s Britain, myself included, who didn't enjoy the sight of Sam's ample charms on show in their morning paper. They were the most famous breasts in Britain and Sam insured them for £250,000.
However, as life as its unusual twists, despite being such a symbol of straight sexuality, sexy Sam is now a 41-year-old lesbian and lives with a woman eight years her senior.
Now, the Sun once ran the infamous front page headline "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster."
Well, with Sam batting for the other team , 'Freddie Starr ate my Beaver' will not be running in any tabloids. But while he wanted to try it on with the former topless star, it seems the show has wrecked his marriage after all.
Finally , to jog a few more memories for Barnsley Bill and any other of our readers who came from Britain, Sam's topless colleague Linda Lusardi is now a regular on Emmerdale.
And the Mail on Sunday today ran a piece on Sally Thomsett , who appeared way back in Man About The House. Co-Star Richard O'Sullivan, says the story, now lives in ' a retiredment home for former entertainers.' What an interesting place that must be :)

"Rockin' on the horse-sized pills"

I've posted before on some of the bullshit that gets reported as fact thanks to research in health and the social sciences, but here's one a little closer to home. The general theme is that when people start talking "Studies show..." they generally mean "I firmly believe..." or something similar. Warning - long post.

A while back my doctor prescibed me Lipitor, a statin, which is used for lowering cholesterol. My cholesterol levels are within the normal range for a healthy person, but I'm a diabetic. Diabetics are at greater risk of heart disease, so my "normal" cholesterol was high enough to get me prescribed statins.

Now, I'm the typical sort of dumbass NZ bloke who'll treat almost everything with the utmost skepticism, except when my doctor says "Here, take these pills." Fortunately, my wife is made of sterner stuff. A net outcome is I now know a bit about statins, and can point up some "studies show..." bullshit as a result.


Bullshit 1: "Increased Risk" as a blunt instrument.

My doctor prescribed this over-hyped placebo for me because diabetics are at "increased risk" of heart attack. Well, no arguments there - 65% of diabetics die of heart attacks or strokes. But where does this increased risk come from? Well, diabetics are often grossly obese and suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But what if they don't suffer from those? I weigh 75kg, am physically fit and have normal blood pressure and cholesterol - am I genuinely at a greater level of risk of heart failure than the healthy general population, or have I just had this "increased risk" label slapped on me by virtue of sharing an illness with a swag of morbidly obese couch potatoes? Frankly, I suspect the odds of me popping my clogs via a heart attack tomorrow are actually no worse than yours. It may be that "studies show" diabetics are at greater risk, but in fact it's too blunt an instrument to be useful in this case. Unfortunately, this kind of blunt instrument gets a lot of use.

Regardless of my personal situation, statins are in fact good medication - if you're already suffering heart problems. But there's a big question mark over whether they're any use whatsoever to the rest of us.

There's an excellent article summing up the pros and cons in Business Week, of all things. I'm going to include some excerpts from that article to illustrate:


Bullshit 2: the promotion of "relative" vs "absolute" risk.

You come across this one all the time: stuff along the lines of, "Chewing your fingernails increases your risk of arse cancer by a shocking 50%!" This is "relative" risk. Researchers love relative risk because it makes the result sound impressive. For a reality check, look at the "absolute" risk - ie, the actual numbers. If it turns out that the 50% increase amounted to 3 deaths per thousand people rather than 2, things are suddenly much less impressive. These kinds of studies always need going over with a fine-toothed comb - what's the affiliation of the researchers, who's paying for their research, do they have a history of promoting the abolition of fingernail-chewing etc. How many people were in their study, how were controls established, did the same group of people participate all the way through, how long did it run for, have all the results been included in the findings etc. Given that the guys writing the report will have pulled every trick they can think of to get the maximum significance from their results, how big is the difference really likely to be? Getting to a picture of how trustworthy the study might be is far more work than most of us have the time for, but thankfully there are some people out there willing to put the hard yards in.

The case of statins is an example of Bullshit 2. Here's Business Week:

The drug business is, after all, a business. Companies are supposed to boost sales and returns to shareholders. The problem they face, though, is that many drugs are most effective in relatively small subgroups of sufferers. With statins, these are the patients who already have heart disease. But that's not a blockbuster market. So companies have every incentive to market their drugs as being essential for wider groups of people, for whom the benefits are, by definition, smaller.

(...)

The printed ad proclaims that "Lipitor reduces the risk of heart attack by 36%...in patients with multiple risk factors for heart disease."

(...)

The dramatic 36% figure has an asterisk. Read the smaller type. It says: "That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of patients taking Lipitor."

Now do some simple math. The numbers in that sentence mean that for every 100 people in the trial, which lasted 3 1/3 years, three people on placebos and two people on Lipitor had heart attacks. The difference credited to the drug? One fewer heart attack per 100 people. So to spare one person a heart attack, 100 people had to take Lipitor for more than three years. The other 99 got no measurable benefit. Or to put it in terms of a little-known but useful statistic, the number needed to treat (or NNT) for one person to benefit is 100.

(...)

Plus, there are reasons to believe the overall benefit for many patients is even less than what the NNT score of 100 suggests. That NNT was determined in an industry-sponsored trial using carefully selected patients with multiple risk factors, which include high blood pressure or smoking. In contrast, the only large clinical trial funded by the government, rather than companies, found no statistically significant benefit at all.

(...)

If we knew for sure that a medicine was completely safe and inexpensive, then its widespread use would be a no-brainer, even with a high NNT of 100. But an estimated 10% to 15% of statin users suffer side effects, including muscle pain, cognitive impairments, and sexual dysfunction.

(...)

A 36% decline in heart attacks sounds more dramatic and important than an NNT of 100. (...) But when it comes to side effects, they flip-flop the message, dismissing concerns by saying only 1 in 100 people suffers a side effect, even if that represents a 50% increase.


These highlights are merely a sample of the hair-raising stuff included in the article - it's well worth a read.

Given how long this post's gone on already, I won't go into Bullshit 3: Correlation vs Causation. Suffice to say there's reason to believe the success of statins in reducing heart attacks among existing heart disease sufferers isn't simply down to lowering your cholesterol.

So, by taking these pills, under optimum conditions, if you're someone with a bunch of risk factors for heart attacks, you might be the lucky one in a hundred who gets saved from a heart attack. Far more likely of course, is that you'll be one of the unlucky 10 to 15 in a hundred who gets treated to some seriously dodgy side effects.

I didn't take the pills.

Next week - the bizarre propaganda war over saturated fats.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Labour Laid Bare

Bill Ralston accurately sums up Labour's mediocrity and incompetence in this morning's Herald on Sunday.



This is the first time I have seen such a concise and biting take down of the self opiniated and destructive Clark regime. Some stand out quotes:-

"Historians will look back in a couple of decades at the decline and fall of the Labour Government and lay much of the blame on Michael Cullen and his dead hand as Minister of Finance."

Then this little beauty.

"With many voters, the suspicion remains that most politicians in the Labour Cabinet would be hard-pressed to read a balance sheet."

But there's more,

"the high rate of employment is because more than a million Kiwis have fled to greener pastures overseas."

And the killer punch, Cullen's flagship 'good deed' is becoming an albatross for Labour as voters approach the election and struggle to understand the term 'negative returns.'

"They would have been hoping for a steadily growing pot of loot. Instead their balances will show their money has contracted nastily. Not a lot of gratitude to be earned there by Labour."

It's enough to make a grumpy old Gnat break out in smiles.

How Liarbour's housing 'policies' are failing the poor especially, as well as us all

The Weekend Herald yesterday had a lovely story about the 'high cost of living in paradise.'
Paradise is not something I associate with Auckland but I guess a few days of warm sun, coupled with a few weeks of quieter holiday traffic may make Herald headline writers feel giddy about their homeland.
The article looked at how high house prices were hitting lower income families and lurking lower down another segment of society set to suffer was also revealed- that of the renter.
As night follows day, if house prices and mortgages increases, inevitably so will rentals.
If someone has $500,000 of capital tied up in a bog standard house, espeically if the landlord is paying a mortgage on it, then the investor /landlord will demand a return.
So 5% say of $500,000 naturally means more rent than 5% on a $300,000 house.
And if the mortgage rate is 9%, then that's an even higher cost to pass on.
Now I noted a few days back that much of the buy-to-let market appeared after Liarbour increased the top tax rate to 39% , leaving property a much more effective tax shelter for higher earners.
Cullen has realised this and has proposed the loopholes be closed. But the housing horse has bolted and National wisely realises that if you push on costs to the landlord, they will then pass them on to the renter- so by attacking the landlord, as Liarbour propose, the poorer tenant will suffer even more.
We see this where Liarbour proposes 'affordable housing' – forcing property developers to set aside housing for whoever government deems poor and deserving . And the cost of this will be recouped by making others pay, those buying homes in the open market.
Be it rental or purchase- supply matters. Apartment rentals are much cheaper in the CBD and have stayed low or have fallen in recent years thanks to the boom in supply of CBD flats and 'rats nests' for both the rental and owner-occupier market.
Therefore, the best way to lower housing costs is to increase supply.
If we do not, what will the cost to 'society ' be? I would say quite a lot. New Zealand would not be the egalitarian one it was, it would be one dominated by and divided by housing haves and have nots. This is the society Liarbour's housing policies are creating, intended or otherwise.
Home-owners have a stake in society and the success of the country. The buy-in from renters is less so. It is the rented areas that suffer more from crime because their residents do not have this stake. Rental areas would be tatty too. In Thatcher's Britain I recall that when someone bought their council house, they would immediately install new doors and windows and tidy up the garden.
Renters would feel that if they cannot get a house after years of working, why toil so hard, so national productivity and wealth would suffer. The temptation to just spend it all would be all the greater.
There would be other costs too. And these costs would also fall on the homeowners eventually.
When you retire, you pretty much have the mortgage paid off. Thus your state superannuation might be enough to live on. If not, you can boost it by downsizing or even getting one of those reverse equity mortgages.
Renters have no paid off mortgage to fall back on. They still have rent to pay. So they would need more state rental assistance in addition to their state super.
As cohorts of renters work their way towards retirement, thus the cost of rental support for pensioners will eventually rocket, affecting government spending and taxation plans.
Government might then have to find ways to make up this loss.
Well, if there is a society divided into property haves and have nots, then inheritance taxes will be an easy sell for a left-wing government. Other taxes might be introduced or raised too. No doubt such a government would target 'beastly' and 'greedy' landlords in pushing such measures, when they themselves would be to blame, as now.
Thus, we are all losers from higher property prices.
The best thing might well be a government-engineered collapse in the housing market to bring instant relief, albeit at some instant pain, by boosting supply.
Now to the 70% or so that own your own homes, I say much of your recent wealth gain has been illusory.
Higher prices have probably stopped you trading up as well. I have friends in this position who are stuck in their small start-ups despite needing space now for their growing families.
The higher wealth is only of value to those who are trading down- usually the retired or the property investor who has many homes. So we have a much smaller number of the 'losers' from a property price collapse. And we might only just be asking prices to fall back to what they were, say five years ago.
But think about it? Do we want housing to account for a quarter of our weekly spend, a third or half as we work our way through life? And isn't it this higher portion of our wage going on housing making us all, all the poorer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crises By The Hour

Shocked, she is. Yes the Minister is SHOCKED.

http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/king_annette4.jpg

Shocked by the appalling number of votes Labour will lose as a result of yet another example of all their high sounding talk with no action to go with it.

Yes folks, after eight years of Labour, if a crim shoots and kills your husband you get a nineteen grand bill for hubby's inquest, while the crim gets FORTY GRAND'S worth of surgery paid for by the Labour Gummint.

That's got to be worth at least one percentage point for National's party vote.

Electile Dysfunction

This morning's Herald Digipoll has National's lead over Labour reducing by 3.8%.

Yesterday's Roy Morgan poll has National's lead increasing by over 5% as the Labour Party suffers from that most dreaded political condition - Electile Dysfunction, otherwise known as Sagging Support Syndrome. There is no medication available. This condition is beyond even Viagra and Niagra.




http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/20DFA00E-C988-4053-BAA4-A82123813832/0/7810JohnKey.jpg
So, which poll is wrong? One of them sure as hell is and for my money I reckon it's the Herald. They've been wrong before (Epsom) and they don't tell us how many people were sampled. Roy Morgan is more upfront and 1,588 people were sampled.

Anyway, I like the Roy Morgan result so the other bastard must be the rogue.

Update: So far (0800) Adolf can find no reference to the Roy Morgan poll in any of the Antique Media.

Update: (0955)A commenter at Farrar's place identifies the DigiPoll sample as 600. Need I say more?

Britney Spears - Rest In Peace !

There has been some controversy over stories that the UK media is ready for the death of Britney Spears.
The untimely death of Heath Ledger this week will have caught the media out on a hop, but her recent life of drug abuse means the obits for Britney are in the can already.
I recall in the early 90s, a mate of mine telling me how as a feature writer on his regional daily that he had already written the obit for the Queen mum, 'gawd bless her' and this was some years before she finally popped her clogs.
My mate was a bit of a lefty too and he told me how Margaret Thatcher's obituary was also complete and how he was looking forward to seeing that run too.
I wonder if the under-resourced NZ media are similarly prepared, and whose obits are also in the can? Dear Leader, maybe? And was Sir Ed Hillary, as an older gentleman, also ready to be dusted off?

Islamists target Mark Steyn

One of this blog's favourite commentators on world affairs in Canadian Mark Steyn.
Like me, he's no lover of Islamofacism and he can sometimes be seen as a one -track record.
But he argues his case well, with well researched facts and projections.
His "America Alone" book truly highlights the horror to come from Islamic extremism, even just based on population projections of fast-breedings muslims v Westerners who don't procreate.
Anyway, like a canary in a coal mine, Steyn has raised Inconvenient Truths the Islamists don't want us to hear, so in Canada, at least, they are trying to silence him.
A Muslim group has him before a court to try and intimidate Steyn into silence, causing outrage from those who believe in freedom of speech.
The American Spectator says Steyn is not alone and Newsbusters notes how the story has largely been ignored by the MSM, though the Economist also details the background..
Naturally, I too am outraged. One would not think even Canada was as PC as even Britain, where bloggers like Lionheart also face trouble for speaking out.
When will Fairfacts face threats from Islamists in Auckland or their lapdogs in Wellington, I wonder?
Hat tip: The Midnight Sun.

Blogger gets a scalp

UK Blogger Guido Fawkes is deservedly taking some of the credit for the resignation of Peter Hain, a government minister in Gordon Brown's increasingly discredited government.
Partner in crime Iain Dale also thinks Guido deserves such credit.
Over the past year or so Guido has produced various allegations about Peter Hain and the way he has obtained funding for various campaign, adding to the wider sleaze and funding scandals surrounding the UK Liarbour government.
Now, Kiwi bloggers like David Farrar and Whale Oil have done a tremendous job in making life uncomfortable for Dear Leader over issues such as the Electoral Finance Bill.
The business over the Sub-Standard was a cracking bloggers' exclusive too.
The questions remains, when will us Kiwi bloggers get our first government scalp by uncovering some great scandal?
We bloggers await your scandalous allegations (but please let them be provable).
Either email or brown paper bags will do.
PS: Read on Guido how Gordon Brown airbrushes his old photos like Dear Leader.
PPS: Richard Littlejohn explains the background and pokes fun at other UK events.

How Britain benefits from the EUSSR!

Now, I have nothing against Polish people, not even Bible-bashing Christian ones, and while not all the 1.3 million Polish visitors will have settled in the UK, it does seem a lot , too many for Britain to cope.

And then we have the Romanian gangs. using children as pickpockets, just like in Oliver Twist.
Now, the BBC reporter on the tv news last night said he could not believe such a thing would happen in 21st century Britain.
But it's the Beeb's beloved EUSSR that is allowing such a thing to happen. The beloved Beeb's EUSSR makes it possible for children to move across a border-free Europe to the UK to beg on London streets for more pay than they would get in Bucharest. But perhaps the prospect of richer pickings in London created the incentives for criminals to kidnap them?

But at least UK police forces are able to import German police dogs , even if officers have to learn to speak German themselves to communicate with their animals.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Did Trotter Preview The Roy Morgan Poll?

The commentariat is agog as Chris trotters latest opiniom piece in which he endorses Filk Off as the Labour leader most likely to lead the current band of gangsters to another victory.

Today's Roy Morgan poll tells Adolf that Trotter's analysis might be very accurate.

Apparently the latest Roy Morgan poll taken during January 2008 has national out to 52% of the party vote and Labour declining.

The Clean Out Starts

State Services Commissioner Mark Prebble has removed himself from the fray. Just in time to avoid having to face up to a new ministerial line up after November. For my money, this fellow has been one of the most shameful examples of weak and easily manipulated executives we have seen in the top echelons of government for a very long time.

For his own comfort, one hopes he will find somewhere where there are no breasts, inner thighs or long dangly ear rings.

http://www.ldc.govt.nz/files/img/Board_photos_mark_prebble.jpg

This is the best news the Gnats could have wished for. Clearly, the public service thinks National will be in the chair after November.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Greens want compulsory cooking in schools

It's all about compulsion and control with them isn't it.

Cooking and nutrition is, and should be, taught by parents.

Just like correction by way of smacking should be allowed by parents.

Who took that away again?

So where was Charlie boy?

Not exactly an issue to dump the monarchy over, but even a royalist like me agrees someone from the Royal family should have been at Ed Hillary's funeral.
True, the Queen and Prince Philip are getting on a bit, so they may be excused.
Edward has just become a dad again, so he might be forgiven for not wanting to head south either.
Though you would think one of the royals, either Charles, Andrew or Anne might have taken advantage of some warm Kiwi sunshine instead of a bleak UK winter.
Perhaps even Fergie could have attended followed by some frollicking on a Northland or Coromandel beach.
And I'm sure Camilla would have found some horses to enjoy too.
Now, The Times produces the Court Circular every day.
It appears the royals were quite busy on the day of the funeral.
And the Queen did get the governor general attend, and there was the memorial service at Windsor, but nothing too pressing they could not have skipped out of.
Charles , for example, was meeting with mutton promoters and opening a refurbished Civic building.
Of course, if Charlie was keen to curb his global footprint, then maybe he could have beamed himself to Parnell, like he did to Dubai for a world energy summit, saving 20 tonnes of Greenhouse gases by not flying!
Either way, some major royal should have attended. They were badly advised not to.

Bloggers Drinks London

Fairfacts is planning a trip to 'the smoke' and is keen to meet up with right-leaning bloggers.
I've saved up all my tokens from some of the local papers so can afford the rail fare down and make an overnight stay of it.
So which members of the VRWC would like to come along- either late next week or sometime during the following week?
I haven't been to London for 5 years so I am sure there will be some interesting changes to look forward to.
I am open to suggestions for a venue and date.

Pray tell me, what is an eco-town?

After letting in so many immigrants, the UK government has realised it needs to find homes for them- as well as for those indigenous Brits already living here.

Thus, the powers that be have determined that some 3 million homes are needed by 2020 or so.

It has also developed the concept of an 'eco-town'- supposedly a new town built on 'brownfield' sites of little scenic or agricultural value. The towns would also aim to be carbon neutral

Well, the reality is quite different.

Just down the road, the local council is against plans for such a town, noting the project is slated for green belt- protected open countryside.

Another proposal to the south is encountering opposition, as is 'secrecy' over a planned ecotown in Surrey.

Now, I'm no expert, but I thought building around existing townships might be better, say on undeveloped 'infill sites' where there is already building nearby, not in the open countryside.

Of course, eco-towns are a New Liarbour proposal, so we can reasoably be skeptical over the government spin.

But what can be green about concreting over what is left of the British countryside, mainly to house the immigrants you let in. Immigrants whose carbon footprint will probably be greater than in their countries of origin.

I do not doubt that these homes are needed if younger and poorer people are ever to be able to afford their own homes, but calling them eco-towns seems as much greenwash as any other 'eco' product.

I wonder if we will see them in New Zealand? And if so, where?

Where's Chefen?

I always used to enjoy postings from our Swedish-based commenter Chefen.
I wonder what has happened to him.
Has he been kidnapped by evil , thieving dwarves?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Journo Dumber Than Flasher

When will they ever learn? How to write using the English language, that is.

'A flasher who exposed himself to an oncoming car - unaware it was a policewoman - has been fined $450.'

Was she a Holden or a Ford?

Only dickheads do drugs!!!!

A drug raddled grim reaper is on the loose in celebrityland.
Aussie film star Heath Ledger has now died from a suspected drugs overdose.
And he's only 28.
Drugs is also behind the destruction of Britney Spears, as well as some slapper called Amy Winehouse, who seems very big in Britain, though I can't recall any of her songs.
Now, I know this blog attracts those of a liberal bent, who do not see drugs as destructive.
But these cases, involving young people who have achieved much fame and fortune, and have just about everything, a bar a successful song or movie for the past year, just highlight the evilness of drugs.
I must confess to having a few puffs of the evil weed and I once had half an ecstasy tablet about 4-5 years ago.
The weed just sent me to sleep and the ecstasy tablet did too, though I had some interesting dreams from that, I can tell you- one with white rabbits and candles, the other had characters from Coronation Street.
Anyway, drugs are for losers and they wreck your lives.
These celebrities and their deaths and destruction just highlight this.
I know of people whose lives have also been damaged by drugs too.
I know it's a cliche but just say no!

Death Approaches - For The NYT

As the stricken behemoth continues spiraling in a leftward direction toward the vortex of insolvency, the sharks are circling.



Will it be Murdock or Google?

Symbol
Last Trade
16:04 22 Jan
NYSE
Only Close
22 Jan 08
ChangeVolume
NYT$ 14.4814.48-0.41 (-2.75%)4,373,904


Adolf will LARRRFFF his arse off if Murdock acquires the NYT. Better still, if a new Republican President then decides to prosecute Keller, Rizen and Lichtbau for espionage and treason.

Unrepentant gang rapist? No danger to the community, surely?

Can any of our readers with a legal background offer an opinion on how it is the Parole Board can get away with declaring Peter Macnamara's release consistent with the safety of the community? This is a gang rapist who's not only never expressed remorse, he's steadfastly refused to accept that he did anything wrong - but apparently we're supposed to accept that despite that, the community's safe with him at large in it. I find that very difficult to accept. Presumably the nation's women aren't exactly chuffed with the message the Parole Board's sending either.

No-one seems to have asked yet, but why not - if this guy was a tattooed proletarian gang rapist with a remorse problem, how likely is it the Parole Board would see him not endangering the community? Helps to be white and rich, obviously.

Three Quarters Of One Percent ! ! !

In a remarkable example of sloppy reporting, The Herald trumpeted yesterday's worldwide share market dive - up to seven percent- but missed the real story.

On Radio Left Wing news at 0300 and in today's New York Times came the news that the federal Reserve has cut its base interest rate by a whopping 0.75%, in response to the fears of a US recession. Adolf can't remember such a large movement by the Fed but it certainly appears to have halted the panic. I wonder if Mr Bollard will see fit to follow? I doubt it. We will see the hot money flood back into NZ as we sit at 8.25% compared with 3.5% in the US.

As a direct result of the Fed's move the slide halted and a recovery took place.

"But after opening down by more than 460 points, the Dow Jones industrial average was off about 75 points, or 0.6 percent, at 1 p.m.

Other indexes were down slightly more, but still less than the futures markets had indicated. And European markets came surging back, shaking off early losses to post gains of 1 to 3 percent."


The NZ market posted a significant recovery yesterday, on the back of a falling dollar and associated good fortune for exporters.

Recession ahoy?

The papers and the tv are full of stories about the sharemarket crash on Monday.
There are fears of a global recession, or at least an economic slowdown.
The US situation looks pretty gloomy, despite George Bush announcing some taxcutting policy to keep the spenders spending.
In the UK, the state of the housing market, the government intervention into the Northern Rock finance house is causing jitters.
But i saw somewhere that Australia looks set to be safe as it's economy is strong.
I haven't seen much about New Zealand but the Kiwi dollar seems jumpy.
What about New Zealand? Will New Zealand survive a global downturn or recession?
And if 2008 is tough, what will the impact be politically?
Even in the best economic circumstances in a generation, which we have seen in recent years, Kiwi living standards have barely changed.
Now, we also face higher fuel costs and food prices are rocketing thanks to the Indians and Chinese having the means to eat better and biofuels production taking land out of food production.
It all points to tough times ahead.
How will New Zealand fare and how much will Liarbour get the blame.
For Gordon Brown at least, the omens in Britain are not good.
He has had seven fat years but did not put anything aside for the lean years to come.
At least Michael Cullen can say he has.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Wrong View

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I'm not fond of ideologues, whether of the left or right variety (they don't seem to like me much either, but that's of little relevance to the present post).

A classic example of the right-wing variety is Richard Long, who regularly spouts ugly bulshit in the Dominion Post in his column "The Long View." Of course, nobody except Redbaiter's an ideologist 24/7 - when not acting as an apologist for the ideological extremism of 80s and 90s NZ govts, he goes off on some very weird tangents, today being a fine example.

The headline "Rename Egmont Mt Hillary" should give you a reasonable idea of where I'm going with this - which is, to that automatic, unconscious racism that seems to afflict Whiteys of Mr Long's generation.

Here's the unconscious racism of white gentlemen of a certain age, example 1: they call it Mt Egmont. Long:

It was named by Cook to appease his sponsor, the Earl of Egmont, First Lord of the Admiralty, so the name has no great historic significance.

Actually, it was named Taranaki, rather a long time before Capt. Cook clapped eyes on it. Cook, of course, had no basis for knowing what its actual name was, so no blame can be laid at his door for giving it one himself. We however, are well aware that its name is actually Taranaki, and there seems little reason to continue calling it "Mt Egmont," beyond a steadfast determination that darkies don't count.

So why, we may wonder, should Taranaki be renamed Mt Hillary, rather than one of the South Island mountains Sir Ed actually used to go climbing on? Here we come to the unconscious racism of white gentlemen of a certain age, example 2:

The vast ice face of nearby Mt Tasman and the peak of Mt Cook- Aoraki are the spectacular sights, but their names have huge historic significance.

Er.... well yes, to Whitey they do, sure. Is it really that much of an impossible stretch to consider Taranaki might just, possibly, somehow conceivably have just a small jot of historical significance to certain other people? The non-white ones? The really inconsequential, inconvenient, unimportant ones, in Mr Long's book? The ones that have lived within sight of Taranaki for rather a long time? No?

I was chuffed to see that most people responding to the Stuff poll on the issue could see the point. Ideologues rarely can.

Why New Zealand's Nana's are Grumpy

Bernard Hickey at Stuff raises the familair issue of the exodus over the Tasman.
But this time, looks at the human cost to families.
No doubt we know the economic and political reasons, not to mention the weather, which this blog has covered many times before.
But how many of us already have family on both sides of the Tasman?
As for me, we're on each side of the world!
Hat Tip: Kiwiblog

Another remarkable achievement for Helengrad

Diplomatic relations with Cuba
Fidel Castro , Dear Leader, much of a muchness really.
She'll be getting tips on electoral processes from her Commie friends.
And Trevor Loudon will be apoplectic at the Hispanic Reds under our Kiwi beds.
But it speaks volumes on the company New Zealand now keeps itself with.

Women's rights advance in Saudi Arabia

They will soon be able to pick up their husbands from the pub :)

Adolf Told Them So, Months Ago

The Herald belatedly recognises the the other real driver behind housing unaffordability. The know alls laughed when Adolf pointed this out many months ago. It is the same driver, by the way, which has pushed up farm prices to levels which bear no relationship whatever to economic worth.



Adolf is close to two people who are still waiting to receive their interest arrears from BlueChip. When you talk to them you find that they bought their properties primarily to (a) avoid paying tax NOW by offsetting paper losses from the investment against their current tax liabilities and (b) to reap a tax free windfall upon retirement.

'The other real driver?' I hear you ask? Yes, the first one is Helen Clark's low wage, high tax economy.

Dear Leader to blame for Dear houses

Here's one economic league table Liarbour has taken New Zealand to the top of- housing UNaffordability.
What a marvellous achievement for Dear Leader and her so-called workers party.
Housing is effectively unaffordable for the bulk of the 'working class'.
Property is now the preserve of the middle class and the rich.
Thanks Liarbour!
But need it be this way?
Certainly not.
Unlike the crowded countries of Europe, like the UK, there is no excuse for New Zealand's housing unaffordability.
We are two large islands with relatively few people.
We have the land and we have the raw materials.
True, rising house prices is largely a global phonemenon, though there are some interesting observations we can make from both the local and global situation.
Globally, many countries have adopted restrictive planning policies to protect the 'green belt' or open countryside. And we in New Zealand have much open space. We have room to breathe.
However, Auckland Regional Council and others strictly control the supply of land for development, so it is obvious the price of land will rise.
And if the price of land goes up, then as an ingredient in the recipe to build a house, it follows the price of the finished house will go up too.
If the planning authority expects the developer to contribute towards the cost of roading or green spaces, then that too is a further cost that will be passed on to the home purchaser.
If new build homes then go up to reflect this, it is inevitable that older homes will increase to match newer home prices.
Much 'smart growth' ideology stems from socialist thinking to force people into high density housing to make public transport more viable. So the socialists not only want to take away your front and back lawn but your car too!
Dear Leader and her government have presided over this situation. They control the Resource Management Act and related issues.
In recent years as the housing affordability issue has worsened and become more widely discussed, Liarbour has consistently ignored the land supply issue.
Instead, it has suggested that developers be forced to set aside a share of homes for low paid groups. This 'affordable homes' policy is what Liarbour in Britain has 'achieved.' But if you force developers to provide 'affordable' housing to certain groups, they can only recoup their lost profits on the shrinking share of open market houses. Thus, to subsidise the cost of 'affordable housing' house prices rise ever further for everyone else, and the spiral continues.
Now, land supply restrictions have made property a one-way bet. This has naturally fuelled property speculation. You can hardly blame people as they see property values ever rising. Liarbour's increase in the top rate of tax when it was elected made propoerty a more viable investment and tax shelter. The favourable allowances regime for landlords remain. So you can see why there has been such a growth in the buy-to-let market at the expense of the poor.
Think about it, here we have a Liarbour government allowing property investors/ speculators to make huge gains at the expense of the young and the poor. Property wealth is being transferred from these groups to the rich and the old. It is widening econiomic divisions. It is the anti -thesis of socialism yet Liarbour policies are fuelling this widening wealth gap.
Of course, the banks have made lending easier too and that has also fuelled growing prices , just as we see the global 'credit crunch' now working the other way, helping force prices down or curbing their rise.
Yet the supply side argument remains. The US has various planning rules across its states amid one banking market and , as Demographia notes, the cities with the most flexible planning regulations tend to have the lowest property prices.
You only look at how Auckland has been flooded with appartments, which as they became too numerous this led to their prices to fall, making them a poor investment. But this highlights how supply is a major factor.
Of course, there are other major factors too in Kiwi housing unaffordability and here Liarbour can take more blame.
Rapidly rising government spending has fuelled interest rates, making them the highest among the developed countries, which of course means higher mortgage rates. Another case of where Liarbour has us at the top of the table.
And as taxes ever rise to pay for this government spending, it means we have less money in our own back pockets to pay for these higher house prices and higher mortgage rates.
Thanks Liarbour your housing policies are just wonderful, hitting the poorest the most, your supposed constituency and voter base.
David Farrar at Kiwiblog has also covered the issue, as as Whale Oil, but for me, Peter Cresswell at Not PC offers the best and most thorough analysys, with his comments on the 'land of milk and honey.'.

Meet Mohammed O'Riley

So Muslims, along with other immigrants, such as Poles, are doing their bit to integrate.
They are even adopting British and Irish names when they move to Dublin or the UK.
So who knows, maybe Mohammed may never become the most popular baby boy's name in Britain.
I wonder if Bruce and Jason is set for take off in Sandringham, Mt Roskill and western Sydney?
And what about Kylie for the girls?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Police minister admits her failings

It says it all when the minister in charge of police doesn't feel safe to walk the streets at night.
But that's what British Home Secretary Jacqui Dean admitted in the Sunday Times.
Maybe its because, as the papers also report this weekend,
Violent Youth crime is up by a third in the past three years
Knife crime is up by a similar amount, noted The Sun yesterday
Tony Blair said he would be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.'
And what a legacy he leaves.
Much crime has actually risen during his term of office.
The British people feel less and less safe in their homes or in the streets.
And the minister in charge of police admits to the same fears.
What a damning indictment on her own government and her own role in it!!
I wonder how New Zealand's own Police Minister Annette King feels.
Does she feel safe walking out at night?
And has any enterprising kiwi journalist though of asking her?

Oh Lord it's hard to be Liberal!!!

Wimmin are angry at Oprah Winfrey for backing a black MAN when they say they should support a white WOMAN.

There's only one thing for it- and the Republicans have the answer.

Condaleeza Rice!

A BLACK WOMAN.

A Liberal wet dream even if they might say she's in the 'wrong' party.

Go Condi go! Go Condi go! Go Condi Go!

Muslims are so generous!!!!

I bet you never thought I would say a kind word about the followers of the paedofile prophet- pigs be upon him.
But they have made such a generous offer to Britain, it's government would be foolish to refuse.
They have "offered" sharia law to Britain- a story that was the most read story on the Sunday Telegraph website today.
Still, they have some innovative policies for tacking crime, which our scared Home Secretary might find worthy of support.

I'll be dusting off my CV shortly

When New Zealand's chief spinster is wheeled off the stage, and there are vacancies galore thanks to Dear Leader's politicisation of the civil service, John Boy will need some right-thinking journos to help him.
Mr Key, for six figures, I will be your loyal and humble servant!
I'm open to negotiation too :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Spon-TANE-ious Combustion

It appears the idiots who comprise The Standard have been sprung.



The Labour Party is up to its neck in this scurrilous guts bucket of propaganda and smear.

You can bet your life you and I have been paying for it all, to the tune probably of four to five hundred dollars per month.

From Another Planet

Matt McCarten is usually astute in his political analysis but today about all that is on show is his political prejudice.

Only a blind fool could assert that 'everyone knows the next president will be a Democrat.' Neither Hillary nor Obama is particularly elctable, Hillary because of her husband's wayward pecker and her own history of sleaze and corruption and Obama because of his inexperience and major gaffes on foreign policy and matters economic. For my money, Guiliani will be the next President.



Will McCarten present his next column in braille?

How do we deal with murderous thugs?

Just hours after being released on bail, a teenage thug then murdered a man, which has caused a national outcry.
Ever the democratic and represenative newspaper of a large cross-section of UK society, the Sun is asking its readers how the state should deal with offenders like 19 year-old Adam Swellings.
The paper looks at overseas treatments like the electric chair, canings, and eco-camps alongside UK 'punishments' like safari trips.
I'm a bit undecided myself. I like the German idea of sending offenders to Siberia, which I think Crusader Rabbit liked too. But canings and the electric chair also have their appeal.
There again, I think issuing them with large screen plasma tellies and make them watch endless hours of Eastenders would be ideal purgatory!
And perhaps hugs and cuddles might work after all, from Dear Leader!
What do you think?

politically correct pizza on the menu for kids

Today, I am serving a few decent portions of the 'Current Bun', aka The Sun newspaper.
Topping today's fare is- politically correct pizza.
Kids at a UK school were told to devise a pizza that would not offend anyone.
Thus, no nuts, pork, etc, etc.
Trust Britian's biggest selling tabloid to come up with a pizza that would offend everyone, including portions of whale meat.
The greenies can blubber over that one.
Of course, what should we have on our own non-PC pizza, at this one of New Zealand's most un-PC blogs.
Well, I'll have lots and lots of spicy pork on mine!
What a topping idea!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kiwiblog is the best baa none but No Minister


David Farrar the other day tried to widen his appeal with a pic of a gay actor.
But we at No Minister are not into skinny waifs like that.
No, we like our specimens to have plenty of meat on them.
And since we are a New Zealand-based blog, that obviously means sheep.
But as I am in Yorkshire, I thought I would show you a Swaledale Sheep.
Makes a change from a Merino, eh everyone!
Horny little thing eh!
Now , I know it sounds kinky.
But where can I get some rosemary and some mint sauce.
I'm in the mood for hot fun.
And my lips are licking in anticipation.
I need to find some, chop, chop!
You can see why I spent 4 years in Cumbria, where the fells (hills) have 4 million of these lovelies, and why I have spent the past ten years in New Zealand ! :)

Is this the face of a killer?


Probably not. Maybe it is the former police chief Paul Condon, who apparantly ignored various claims from the Queen of Hearts.
Every day we hear more and more about Diana's life and many loves from the inquiry into her death.
The tabloids are lapping it up, along with the tv news.
But who knows. Strange things have happened within royalty. There were the cases of the Princes in the Tower. Mary Queen of Scots, I think, was killed by supporters of the first Queen Elizabeth.
Maybe the truth won't come out for a hundred years, or until Oliver Stone makes a movie on the life and death of Princess Diana.
Just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they are NOT out to get you!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Has the US Government censored major Gold information website?

The incredibly popular and informative Gold website Gold-Eagle no longer exists. Very strange for a site that produced 300 million hits over 10 years and 20 million in the last month alone.

Its latest articles were spot on the money about the US Fed Reserve, the US$ and the implosion that is occurring, and is by no means over (it's just starting).

Gold-Eagle was frequently scathing of the Fed and the monetary policies of the USA, and was an extremely valuable source of information for Gold investors, which the US Government didn't like. It is no accident the US$ is plunging and Gold is at record highs.

Why is it now reduced to this? trust me, this is not the Gold-Eagle website and there were no announcements about changes. Why would they change it so dramatically when it is so popular?

A previously cached article is here.

What now for Gold-Eagle and has the US Government 'censored' one of the most popular denouncers of the US economy?

Yes phil, He's a Dil

SO the media has awoken from its slumber to tell us one third of the story phil u broke last week - or was it the week before? Nandor is going.

What they didn't catch on to was the story behind the headline, namely the cynical manipulation of the list system by the Greens to get their dozy commo co-leader onto the parliamentary gravy train.

Russel Norman

Russel Norman









I heard the anaemic looking rooster on Radio Left Wing last night. He is incapable of stringing together a coherent sentence. What good news for the centre right this elevation will be. Phil u was right. Many strange creatures eminate from Queensland and fortunately Norman's tenure will be cut short in November or earlier.

Shit, he can't even spell his own name!

When the MSM stopped being the gatekeeper

Top UK blogger Guido Fawkes today recalls how the Drudge blog revealed all about Bill and Monica ten years ago this week- a story the MSM just sat upon.

Over the years the media has lost its 'gatekeeper' role as the bloggers help ensure stories are covered, even if the mainstream would prefer things to be hidden.

In New Zealand, there have also been cases of journos sitting on stories, like Doonegate, though thanks to the old Sir Humphreys site, how Helen lied to cause Police Commissioner Peter Doone's downfall, eventually made it into some of the papers and magazines.

And looking at last year, it seems that David Farrar especially, plus Whale Oil, can take great credit in exposing the Electoral Finance Bill for the dictatorial suppression of free speech that it is.

Had Kiwiblog not started its investigations, would we have seen the great campaign from the NZ Herald and others, I somehow doubt it.

Now some journos may sit on stories because it does not suit them ideoligally to expose them, for other's the media does not have sufficient resources to do the necessary work.

Either way, bloggers like David Farrar, Whale Oil and others are here to expose things the powers that be would prefer hidden.

No Minister is also keen to hear of similar happenings to cause as much discomfort as we can to Helengrad.

Nanny never loses the bottle when it comes to interfering

As if they don't have enough to do, poking their noses into people's lives and UK businesses, Britain's government ministers have another wheeze.
Forbidding the supermarkets from selling cheap alcohol.
I accept that alcohol is behind many crimes.
But shouldn't the police and government focus on tackling the individual criminal rather than punishing the whole of society?
Why should myself or my parents for example, be prevented from buying half price wine because its on special at Tesco this week, because of some evil and idiotic teenagers?
But this is what socialism is all about. Control, control, control. Nanny knows best.
I doubt such a move will work anyway. The bad guys will still find their booze.
Higher prices is not deterring smokers too much.
But at least it will make the politicians feel good, believing that they have done 'something.'
'

Denial is surely the best form of defence?

Well, that seems to be the attitude of the UK government.
It is dropping the phrase 'the war on terror' believing that this glamourises the battle against Islamism, not that Mr Bean's government would ever dare use words like 'Islamic' or 'Muslim' in relation to terror.
Dropping the Muslim link was one of the first things the Brownies did when Gordon made it to Number 10.
Surely, it is time we called a spade a spade to help us all recognise the reality out there.
That many people of the Islamic faith are out to destroy the West and kill non-muslims, particulalrly Jews and Christians.
True, these muslims maybe a minority. But just as it was right to see a link between people of Irish extraction and the Irish Republican Army several decades ago, it is right today to see a link between terror and the muslim faith.
Not all muslims are terrorists but many/most terrorists seem to be muslim.
Mr Bean and his Brownies seem to be burying their heads in ther sand, hoping the problem will go away, rather than tackling it.

UPDATE:
Hat Tip to Crusader Rabbit for finding the government's new term - as reported in the Daily Mail- "anti-Islamic activity.' Makes you wonder when there are so many Islamic people committing such activities and chanting 'Allah akhbar' when they do it. George Orwell would be proud of UK Liarbour.

Forbidden fruits?

What is it with some straight people in England?

It seems they cannot leave gay people alone and want to jump into bed with them.

In just two days I see these two cases of sexual harassment.

First, yesterday, a gay guy was being sexually harassed by a straight woman.

And today, the papers reveal a lesbian in the army is set for a big payout after sexual harassment from a male sergeant?

Is it that gay people present a bigger challenge?

There's an urge to somehow 'convert' them?

Or is it the prospective taste of forbidden fruits?

Isn't foreign aid wonderful!!

Yes, the UK government is funding terror education in Palestine.
Yet another blow to the declining crebility of bumbling Brown.
Which reminds me. I wonder what the Palestinian Authority spent the $500,000 on that Winston Peters gave them.
Were we ever told? Shouldn't someone make enquiries and find out?
And doesn't it also show how cavalier Labour, wherever you find it in power, is in spending taxpayer's money?
Funny thing is, with oil at $100 a barrel, you would think that the Arabic Middle East would be awash with cash to help their fellow Muslims, rather than rely on the evil infidels to aid them.