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Showing posts from January, 2009

Goff keen to lower tax rates

Phil Goff is thrilled with a Treasury report that offers a whole lot of advice on how to run the country. He's highlighted a few bits that make sense, and given the weight and experience of Treasury, I suppose we should follow it (not that Cullen did unless it suited him). One of the bits of advice was to lower the top tax rates down to 30%. Damn good idea. That must have been the one that Phil Goff liked? With the economy in recession (or is it depression?) there is opportunity for National to push all sorts of reforms through. There may be a bit of horse trading required though. I'd be happy to see taxes leveled to 30% (ideally less) in exchange for a capital gains tax on property sales (where the property is not the main family residence) and a crack down on mis-using trusts and charity status to avoid tax. Actually, a flatter tax system kills many of the reasons to manipulate overly complex tax laws anyway. I see that Obama was furious that millions of dollars of

Friday Night Free for All

Good evening all. Tis Friday and the end of the week is nigh. You may be one of the fortunate that can kick back, have a good meal and a drink, and spend some time reflecting on the week. If so, great. My week has certainly been, errr, interesting and it's no surprise I've never watched a whole episode of Shortland street. I don't need to, I've got real life. I'm not sure what the next plot twist is, but no doubt it's on its way. Drama, comedy or action/adventure? Don't ask me, I'm not the director. How about you folk? Your agent getting you good parts? Here's a tip - careful you don't get typecast, unless it's as the hero or heroine. Well, here comes act 46, scene 251. And......action....

Obama: Savage Sword of Conan

It's already started. Obama appears somewhat frustrated by the inability of his cabinet to work at the same stratospheric level he himself operates at. To turn around US policy he going to need them to toughen up. Crom is hard, unforgiving. Reeds bend in the wind, not steel. Obama must remember this. Full report from the New York Times. Reprinted in the Onion : Obama Disappointed Cabinet Failed To Understand His Reference To 'Savage Sword Of Conan' #24 WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama expressed frustration Wednesday after members of his cabinet failed to recognize his allusion to the 24th issue of the comic series Savage Sword Of Conan during their first major meeting together. Obama, whose upcoming challenges include organizing a massive effort to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, was reportedly unprepared for the confused silence he received upon suggesting that his cabinet "team up with Taurus of Nemedia" to secure the necessary funding from C

Position of the SSPX on the Holocaust

Recently on NZ Conservative, there has been a conversation on Mr Tips' post on Obama and abortion that went into a previously excommunicated person's views on the Holocaust. This person is considered a bishop in a schismatic society, and came into the news because his excommunication of a number of years ago for defying the Pope and being consecrated bishop without permission has been lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in recent days. Please do no use this post as a way of re-arguing the same points made in the comments of the previous post. I put up the statement by the head of the schismatic society to show that the controversial opinions of one man do not represent the society in general, and that would be very much worth taking notice of. The words in red are comments by Fr. Z. Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius

Weapons ship intercepted on it's way to arm Hamas

Interesting. Not just home-made firecrackers, then. [...] informed sources said the U.S. last week intercepted an Iranian-owned vessel found to be carrying weapons, including rockets, mortar and artillery shells. It is suspected the ship was attempting to reach the Egyptian Sinai area. If successful, the delivery would have represented a major escalation by providing Hamas with artillery, something the terrorist organization is not thought to possess. The ship is now docked at an Egyptian port on the Red Sea after being escorted by the U.S. Navy out of the Suez Canal, which leads to the Mediterranean, the defense officials said. Due to complicated maritime laws, the U.S. and Egypt may let the ship sail to the Mediterranean, where either Israeli or Egyptian naval units would need to decide whether to entirely halt the vessel. According to the sources, aside from patrolling the seas, the U.S. has also sent the Army's Corps of Engineers to the Egyptian Sinai desert, bringing with t

Question on Iraq

Could some-one help me out here? I'm just wondering, given all of the people American soldiers have killed in Iraq, if any fundamentalist Muslims have, over the last 7 years or so, managed to kill ANY innocent Iraqi civilians, say using bombs set off in crowded places? And did they catch any of these people?

Helen Clark named Greatest Living New Zealander in Poll

Goodness, I almost choked on my breakfast cocoa while reading this. Helen Clark named as the Greatest Living New Zealander ? No this isn't a satirical post. Are they kidding? Here were the top five nominees and the votes they got - * Helen Clark - 3163 votes * Willie Apiata - 2645 votes * Sir Murray Halberg - 1467 votes * Peter Jackson - 1340 votes * Peter Snell - 1041 votes I don't know how the voting was done or whatever, but this is just ridiculous. The woman has been part of so many dodgy scandals, coverups, and lies it just doesn't make sense. How quickly we forget, I guess. Stalin has just been named one of the greatest Russians ever, so I suppose it's no surprise that Clark can have a similar popularity. People can be such idiots...

Friday night free for all [UPDATE]

Hi everyone, I've been having a bit of a blog and internet HOLIDAY while I take advantage of the school holidays to do all those things that take up lots of time that I normally don't have time to do while I'm homeschooling the kids. But, seeing as there's no FNFFA, yours truly is making a brief appearance to start one up. Come and say hello to me, ok? UPDATE: Missed out the word holiday.

Librarians throw the book at bad law

A secret cabal of librarians have raised voices from a mere whisper to a thunderous murmur, as they point out the chilling effect of changes to the copyright laws and freedom of information. They have widespread agreement. Somehow, the Labour Government managed to "reinsert the clauses in a last minute action, making New Zealand a guinea pig for experimental cyberlaw." An experimental law that could shut down blogs on the basis of guilty until proven innocent. Fantastic. NZ Labour, the gift that keeps on giving. Says ISPANZ (who are not librarians): "On the one hand we're being asked to enable an economy through global networking and ICT efficiency, and on the other hand we're being asked to stop that connectivity by accusation alone, in order to try to solve another industry’s problem with how they make money off their Copyright franchises.” Scoop Article: NZ Cyber Laws generate page 404 errors for innocent users The full force of LIANZA (the aforementio

Obama: The same old change

Every-one seems to be cashing in on the Obama change fest. I had to laugh at Scoops top 8 stories today - all Obama, and the first 3 so typical. First, it was a press release from the leader of the opposition (has anyone told him he's not the PM?) saying how good Obama's speech was. The second story was a press release from the NZ Labour Party gushing over Obama. Tthe chicken just keeps on running even when the head has been lopped off. The third story was a Greens press release. Obama must have mentioned that America was going to ban light bulbs because the story was "Obama's Green Leadership better than National" or some such winge. Obama's inaugural speech was inspiring though. And who better than John Stewart from the Daily Show to pick it apart? Have a look at this: Changefest 09 - Obama's Inaugural Speech And Scrubone takes a more serious look at how much the boat will rock: The same old change

Obama: Reign of Darkness Dawns

Congratulations to Obama, American's first black president. Truly, a great day for the cause of equality. However, it's just a step. Blacks can't say they are truly equal until a black President is as freely vilified as any corrupt white president. An impeachment would do the trick, not that I hope for one. An assassination would be the worst possible thing to happen, not only from Obama's point of view, but for the cause of equality. He would be made a martyr and America would feel obliged to elect a black women as President to compensate. Perhaps the first lady would step in, or perhaps Hillary Clinton with a tan, I don't know. Even if some fundamentalist Muslim organisation, such as the New York Times, took the credit for the "Dallas 2009" event, it would still inspire too many counter-conspiracy theories. Besides, the New York Times doesn't make news, just misreports it. For some, Obama's reign of evil has commenced. It starte

Shooting First

Tumeke and NRT have managed to shoot first and ask questions later. Lucky it was metaphorical. They were complaining about a particular BART enforcement officer who may have mistaken his handgun for a taser, and shot some-one resisting arrest. Whilst NRT see this as proof of how evil America is (I'll explain later), the fact that the incident was investigated and then the officer arrested makes NRT's own tendency to come in with guns blazing somewhat ironic. I'd heap even more abuse on NRT for this, if it weren't for the fact that I'm often guilty of the same crime (although my motives are always purer and my analysis always more accurate and rational, of course). For example, I'm not even going to check for his apology post and just assume he remains seriously deranged. An oversight on my part, to be sure. In the interests of criminal safety though, I shall put myself in the shoes of a "person of interest" and make the following recommendation

History Will Show That George W Bush Was Right

There was an article in yesterday's NZ Herald (pageA18, although I can't seem to find it on the Herald site) reprinted from the Telegraph by historian Andrew Roberts who says that years from now, once all the kneejerk media reaction has died down, George W Bush will be remembered as a good president. History, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the 24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush's presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites. The whole article is worth reading, but some things that stood out to me about Iraq; The next factor that will be seen in its proper historical context in years to come will be the true reasons for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in April 2003. The conspiracy theories believed by many (generally, but not always) stupid people – that it was "all about oil", or

Friday Night Free for All

It's Friday and we are already halfway through the first month of 2009. Time is certainly speeding up, but mostly in retrospect. And the world continues to deliver dilemmas on the tips of the African Rhinoceros and other horned beasts. For example, you can't even buy a cup of coffee without taking some political test. It makes perfect sense to me that Invercargill would be the locale for making a stand on [the Gaza incursion] (insert phrase of preference to suit your view). And whilst we think about defining this conflict, consider how we manage to redefine all sorts of other issues. Maybe I should declare myself a libertarian and announce also that, as a libertarian, I do not believe for one moment in property rights. State Control is the way for Libertarians to go, and we Libertarians need to get with the times and adapt. Now a few Libertarians (but not all) will say I'm talking rubbish, just as Fr Kennedy is when he says he's Catholic. Whilst he appears

Clark Taking Time Off From Time Off

Helen Clark, on her annual European vacation has taken time off from time off to criticise John Key for taking time off. "The rest of the world is aware there's an economic crisis on, they are aware there's a huge international crisis in Gaza, and the New Zealand government is on holiday," she said. Whilst it is obvious to Labour voters that Helen Clark would have solved both of these issues by now, what isn't obvious is that Helen Clark obviously thinks that John Key is the entire government of New Zealand. That may have been the case under Helen Clark, but we have moved away from a dictatorship, and last I looked the size of the bureaucracy rivals a decent sized refugee camp. Although, with the announcement that the Cullen Fund has lost 25% of its value, maybe John Key will cancel his holiday and rush home to attend to a crisis he can actually do something about. At that point, Clark would have to take time off from her holiday to urge John not to be s

Pro-Israel Protest in NYC 'Overwhelming'

Just as a little counter to all those anti-Israel protests you hear about - there was a HUGE Pro-Israel march in New York City on the 6th of January; so big that they were turning people away. Did you hear about it in the Main Stream Media? No, of course not. The last minute, thrown together pro-Israel rally in NYC today was so packed, so overwhelming, they were turning Jews away. You could not get to the rally. The support parade was across from the Israel consulate between 42nd and 43rd. The police could not contain the throngs of happy, peaceful supporters and forced folks off 2nd Avenue. It was unbelievable. I have been to all those Jew hating rallies, and they take over whole swaths of New York (this past weekend, for example) - they are given huge amounts of space, but the cops would not let us into the barricades. The Israel supporters were pouring into the streets. The young and the old - what a stark contrast from the haters' demonstrations. Dark vs. light.

Baby Boom in Gaza

Israel moved out of Gaza in 2005 and the Palestinians rushed to occupy the vacated homes. What happened since then, and why are there so many children (an average of 6 per family)? As the world decries Israel's attempt to defend itself from the rocket attacks coming from Gaza, consider this: When Hamas routed Fatah in Gaza in 2007, it cost nearly 350 lives and 1,000 wounded. Fatah's surrender brought only a temporary stop to the type of violence and bloodshed that are commonly seen in lands where at least 30% of the male population is in the 15-to-29 age bracket. Further on, it raises the issue of how welfare dependency creates more problems than it solves: The reason for Gaza's endless youth bulge is that a large majority of its population does not have to provide for its offspring. Most babies are fed, clothed, vaccinated and educated by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Unlike the U.N. High Commission for Refuge

United Nations Peacekeeping Force Intervenes

Rumour has it a United Nations Peacekeeping force is being prepared for insertion, in an effort to keep the peace. Speculation is that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has asked New Zealand ex-Prime Minister Helen Clark to take responsibility for the force, given her demonstrated experience and knowledge, paving the way for a more senior role in the United Nations if she can pull this assignment off. Said Helen Clark: "This talk of war is counter-productive. I personally think a single state solution is what is required to resolve this. Simple amalgamation into one body would remove all issues about self-determination and who gets what. My job will be to make sure fighting is reduced, casualties are reduced, and once the smoke has cleared, rather than discussing our differences, we will see if we can simply create a single unified body under one local government" OK, this post is obviously satirical - Helen Clark did not say those things. At least, I think she didn

Patrick Dunn's name taken in vain

It appears the recent letter to the editor from Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn is a forgery. Some-one has written the letter in his name. This is either an act of stupidity (it was fairly obvious the lie would be found out) or a deliberately diabolical act to generate more media attention. Probably the former, and right about now whoever did it needs to reflect on the dangers of sin, even when supposedly for a greater good. Unfortunately, Bishop Dunn did not take the opportunity to confirm the sentiment of the letter, and has naively said that he would not comment on issues in another diocese. I say unfortunately, because this issue is not restricted to the Wellington diocese. The bishops of New Zealand must now get together and make a broader statement on this issue, rather than leaving it as a matter for the diocese. It appears that if they don't, some-one will for them. Related Link: Church Probes Hoax Letter *Update 6:32PM - corrected Bishop Dunn's title.

Kiwi Friends of Israel [UPDATE]

10 January 2008 Kiwi Friends of Israel Blog media release Group concerned by Auckland protest A recently formed pro-Israel advocacy group, Kiwi Friends of Israel, says an Auckland protest against the situation in Gaza was hijacked by extremists. The protest's leaders led chants of "Support the Intifada!" and "Allahu Akhbar!", as well as some protesters brandishing signs with the Star of David alongside a Nazi Swastika. One protestor was also seen wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "9/11 was an inside job". Another sign described the biblical claim that Jews were the "chosen people" as "bullshit" "This sort of hate speech does nothing to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It's the sort of extremism that undermines rational debate," says Kiwi Friends of Israel. The word intifada means rebellion or uprising in English, and refers to the Second or al-Aqsa Intifada, referring to the wave of Palestini

Christianity and the worth of the individual

In recent years there has arisen a new atheism that represents a direct attack on Western Christianity . Books such as Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens' God Is Not Great, and Sam Harris' The End of Faith, all contend that Western society would be better off if we could eradicate from it the last vestiges of Christianity. But Christianity is largely responsible for many of the principles and institutions that even secular people cherish -- chief among them equality and liberty. When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal," he called the proposition "self-evident." But he did not mean that it is immediately evident. It requires a certain kind of learning. And indeed most cultures throughout history, and even today, reject the proposition. At first glance, there is admittedly something absurd about the claim of human equality, when all around us we see dramatic evidence of inequalit

Church Leaders Apologize for Actions of Priest

Both Archbishop Dew and Bishop Patrick Dunn have apologized for the actions of Father Gerard Burns in his attack on a Jewish monument yesterday. First a story from the Herald The Archbishop of Wellington has apologised for the actions of a clergyman who attacked a memorial to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin. In a statement released yesterday, Archbishop John Dew moved to distance the church from Father Gerard Burns' actions during a Gaza conflict protest in the capital on Tuesday. "Father Burns was acting on his own initiative, and did not carry out his protest as a representative of the Catholic Church in New Zealand," Archbishop Dew said. "I offer an apology for Father Burns' actions and make this apology to all those who were offended at the desecration of the Rabin monument." Auckland's Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn has also joined calls for Father Burns to apologise for desecrating the memorial to Mr Rabin. And also in the following let

Friday night free for all

It's chat time! I keep forgetting it's Friday, so almost didn't do this post. It is Friday, isn't it? I just feel like a new creation today. Everything is new. It's Day One, and I'm beginning again. For the Catholics out there, I've just been to Confession last night, and received the Lord this morning. I'll stuff it up soon enough, but for now I'm enjoying where I am.

NZ Election results in doubt

I thought we recently had an elections in this country? Whenever an opposition back-bencher makes a comment, are the headlines always going to lead with "New Zealand responds..."? Perhaps this is just to help Ms Clark's resume look more current? Related Link: Scoop escalates New Zealand response

Robbing From the Hoods

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast has accepted the lead role of the Sheriff of Nottingham in this summer's play entitled "Robbing from the Hoods" Explains Kerry: "Wellington has a long tradition of including surrounding neighbourhoods as a source for tax revenue. With the Council's recent declaration that councils as far away as Manawatu and Carterton should be funding Te Papa and the Wellington Zoo, the theatre company obviously saw some metaphorical parallel with the current production and my life experience, although I can't think what that might be". Originally, the play was to be seen as a drama, but as the script evolved, it is now rightly seen as a dark comedy. This was achieved by also casting Kerry in the role of Robin Hood. " I'm prepared to rob from the poor to make them rich. This, I think adds an interesting twist to the old socialist tale. Whereas Robin Hood and his Merry Men were into wealth distribution along lines o

Monkey With Crystal Ball

Monkey With Typewriter gazes into his crystal ball to make 10 very plausible predictions for 2009. These are equal to the calibre of predictions from our top journalists. I'm left wondering if they have typewriters too. You can go read them by following this link: Monkey Business , but that's not why I did this post. Monkey has an interesting survey in his sidebar. I'll repeat the question here, and would be interested in any comments rational folk care to make: Which is most likely to reduce crime? harsher sentences freely available contraception freely available abortion a stable marriage

Tumeke Stats for December 2008 and more

Like lemmings off a cliff, our stats have plummeted rather like a brick. Not surprising really. December was unofficial holiday month. Our output was about half the number of posts as usual. The election was over, and Labour was out. As each week went by, the government accounts grew worse and Goff was no doubt relieved the media couldn't find the energy to castigate them as deserved. National have been off running, rushing and pushing legislation through with ill-considered haste. I couldn't be bothered keeping up. If only they removed bad legislation as quickly. The world-wide financial crisis continued to dominate, with a 40 billion dollar pyramid scheme coming to light. Just the kind of thing that gives capitalism a bad name. To many, capitalism is just another word for greed. That applies as much to the financial institutions and top level management as it does their traditional enemies - the communists, anarchists and too frequently, even the socialist. U

Climate change is a con - UK Environment Minister

“I think in 20 years’ time we will look back at this whole climate change debate and ask ourselves how on earth were we ever conned into spending the billions of pounds which are going into this without any kind of rigorous examination of the background, the science, the implications of it all. Because there is now a degree of hysteria about it, fairly unformed hysteria I’ve got to say as well. I can't wait until NZ politicians start dumping the climate change religion that we've taken on in recent years. Related Link: Environment minister Sammy Wilson: I still think man-made climate change is a con ~ Belfast Telegraph

NZ Parole Program receives international praise

The New Zealand Parole Board has been receiving accolades from far and wide for the introduction of a new parole screening program. Early indications is that their advanced psychological profiling is extremely accurate, with a 100% success rating to date, uncovering a homicidal maniac with violent tendencies just days before his planned release. A spokesperson from the Corrections Department explains: "We release the prisoner into a room with a cute cat, a puppy or a hamster. Over the next few days we monitor him closely. If he beats the small animal to death or tortures it we note that on his evaluation form, and try an animal with bigger eyes or a twitchier nose and whiskers. We leave flavorful morsels for him to feed the critter with, thus establishing an inseparable bond based on trust and love. Following this, we place additional equipment in the room: a catnip toy; piece of cheese, a small chewy ball perhaps and an axe or hammer. Another prisoner is subsequently p

Three jokes

I'm often tempted to post the odd joke I come across, if only they were funny. But then I thought - what if I did three bad jokes? As the Irish say, a turd plus a turd plus a turd adds up to one good one. Quality of Life Last night, my wife and I were sitting in the living room watching a program about palliative care and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug." She got up, unplugged the TV and then threw out my beer. Role Playing A fire fighter is working on the engine outside the station when he notices a little girl next door in a little red wagon with little ladders hung off the sides and a garden hose tightly coiled in the middle. The girl is wearing a fire fighter's helmet. The wagon is being pulled by her dog and her cat. The fire fighter walked over to take a closer look. "That sure is a nice fire truck," the fire fighter s

You think that's stupid?

A man walked into a Chicago bank and handed a teller a note that read "Be Quick Be Quit (quiet). Give your cash or I'll shoot." He got about $400 from the teller but mistakenly left half of his note, written on his October payslip, behind. Investigators found the other half outside the bank's front doors, complete with his name and address. You think that's stupid? Well, Che Guevara wrote copious notes on just how brutal he was, and signed his name to it. You think that's stupid? The left wing intelligensia (such as it is) and gay groups around the world are intent on idolizing him anyway. You think that's stupid? Well, let's wait and see what happens with Steven Soderbergh's latest Che film, which as far as I can tell may be a rehash of previous movies he did on Che stitched into one big one [any-one know]. Soderbergh fuels the inevitable debate: Che's "dream of a classless society, a society that isn't built on the pro