International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Offensive Content Updated

Hi Everyone.

In spite of appearances, I have been doing some work here. I’ve put up the second quarter of the Kiwiblog index for 2007. It’s an unfinished task… and I do like to finish things.

There was a lot of Section 59 stuff, not all of which was included. A lot of the major scandals were a bit played out and coming to their conclusion. Also a lot of griping about Labour’s inability to give meaningful tax cuts in spite of massive surpluses.

 

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Tonight in the Herald:

John Banks took the frail hand of his old foe Penny Bright at her bedside in Auckland Hospital today and held it for a good 15 minutes.

“I haven’t met anyone with more fight than you,” said Banks, who knew he was in her good books when she telephoned and referred to him simply as “John”.

“Whenever you referred to me as John Banks I knew I was in trouble,” said the former mayor of Auckland City Council.

“I only keep good memories and I have good memories of you and when you called me John this morning, you made my day,” said Banks, who recalled driving along Quay St earlier this year and seeing Bright protesting at the removal of trees for a cycleway in the pouring rain.

But Penny had to be Penny.

Asked if she would take Banks’ advice and put things behind, Bright said: “Absolutely not. What has happened to me is scandalous and it can’t happen to anybody else. The big issue here is who is holding Auckland Council accountable to the law? It’s the Wild West.”

“What has happened to me” is that the council went throught the proper legal process to obtain the rates they were legally entitled to. She went out of her way to sabotage the process, which ironically would only have seen her lose out.

She really is such a small person that, even facing death, she can’t just let things go.

It’s sad really.

It has come to my attention that the list of NZ political scandals on Wikipedia is mysteriously lacking many of the scandals that occurred during the Clark years.

Even more odd, the list of non-Labour scandals seems remarkably complete, with wording that immediatly links them to the party… while the few Labour scandals that make the list often avoid mentioning the party.

Were someone prepared to make this list more… complete, I can think of one source that might be handy. I found myself looking through it recently and was stunned at how much was going on at the time. The Clark government really was well past it’s used by date after 6 years.

 

 

Sowell on the welfare stat

Tar and Feathers

Needless to say, I’m hopping mad about this.

blogged last month on an op ed by the Massey Vice-Chancellor, , which caused me concern over her views on . She backed the decision of Phil Goff to decide who can speak at an Auckland Council venue, and said that some of the Hobson’s Pledge campaign against special race based wards on local government comes dangerously close to hate speech.

She even went on to talk about free speech being a tool of colonialism that must be restricted.

We were right to be concerned. She has unilaterally banned Don Brash from speaking on the Massey campus. It is an appalling decision from a Vice-Chancellor as the Education Act states:

academic freedom, in relation to an institution, means the freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions

Her rationale for banning Brash is disingenuous:

The members later approached University management concerned about their ability to meet the agreement’s terms around security after becoming aware of social media posts suggesting the event could lead to violence.

The University considered providing additional security for the event, but decided the risk of harm to students, staff and members of the public was too great, particularly at  time of heightened tension over the issues around free speech and hate speech.

I don’t go on about my past, but I will say this: I spent several years around university academics. They love their academic freedom. Many of them are right pricks about it.

They’re not stupid people. They know all the reasons why they’re granted that freedom, and they’re always looking to widen it and protect it.

Then, they use it to follow the herd. Never actually dare speak against orthodoxy. Even when we have madness like people who decide they will be “gender fluid”, and change sex daily depending on mood. I mean, there’s a lot of soft targets out there.

Well, now a VC at a New Zealand university has used her power to not only discourage a talk by someone she disagrees with, but to actively ban him on spurious grounds. That’s not just wrong, but actually the polar opposite of what should be her bound duty.

It’s like a WWII general, set to land at Normandy, turning around and invading England instead. This is that big a betrayal to the university. And by extension, all NZ universities.

There are times in the past where this would have caused riots. She’d have been physically dragged from her offices and publicly humiliated by a huge angry mob of students.

But no one’s going to do that tomorrow.

You’d be lucky to get half a dozen people with a small sign sitting outside her office.

We’ve had our rights too long. Things have worked for too long. We’ve neglected to teach our children why things are the way they are, because that’s something conservative and boring. Thinking up new ideas and utopias is much more fun, and using those to break down the social order.

I literally saw someone on Facebook today say that a whale being put down was the worst thing that happened today. An animal died, in the least painful way those present could manage. And she thought it was worse than anything else she could think of.

The day before, dozens of people were upset because a farm cow was sent to the freezing works after it attacked a person (they claimed, without evidence, that that person caused the incident). Upset at a farm cow being slaughtered! In New Zealand!

How utterly infantile.

Well, things still stand, for now.

Blowed if I can see how the’re going to get better.

/rant.

Legal Insurrection reminds us that it’s been 5 years since the George Zimmerman verdict.

They helpfully include a list of “myth buster” posts they did at the time. It’s dismaying and depressing how so many of these myths are still prevalent.

Zimmerman Trial Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman disobey police orders to stay in car? A: No. 

Zimmerman Trial Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman “Chase Down” a Fleeing Martin? A: No.

Zimmerman Trial Myth Busters: Did Zimmerman really “racially profile” Martin? A: No.

Zimmerman Prosp. Juror E7: “no conclusions,” but posted on pro-Trayvon, anti-Zimmerman site containing threat against Zimmerman

ZIMMERMAN TRIAL BLOCKBUSTER — TRANSCRIPT — Eyewitness Good: Black guy in black hoodie on top punching down Mixed Martial Arts style

Evidentiary Flashback: Investigator Serino Tells FBI He Was Pressured to Bring Charges

Investigator Chris Serino Demoted to Patrolman by Superiors

Implosion: Police Testify Trayvon’s Father Originally Denied Son Was Screaming

Breaking – Jury will not get to see Trayvon fighting texts

Mid-Day 4 — West’s Cross-Examination of Rachel Jeantel

The Zimmerman Files: Aggregated day-by-day live coverage & analysis

Lies About Zimmerman Trial Just Keep Coming

Of course, I summarised their coverage at the time, by creating an index of the witnesses and how Andrew Branca reported them.

Then there is, Patterico’s analysis of Zimmerman’s 911 calls and how the media tried to make these evidence of wrongdoing and the fact that Zimmerman’s then wife was actually prosecuted for perjury because she said “I don’t know how much money is in the paypal account I don’t control”. It’s astonishing how widespread the lies and dishonesty surrounding this case were – and still are. Why on earth would you prosecute someone for “lying to the court” like that? It’s astonishingly unjustified and totally vindictive, especially compared to the way the prosecution

  • “forgot” to hand over evidence
  • when discovered, fought requests for evidence to the appeal courts
  • created a black-and-white photo of Zimmerman’s injuries,
  • continually implied that the law required not just actual harm, but serious harm before self defense applies
  • tried to use emotional reactions to undermine forensic experts

I note my final paragraph on the latter post.

Indeed, at this point one is left wondering how the lawyers involved can continue this charade. Do they honestly think that this level of dishonesty won’t get them kicked out of the legal profession?

How naive of me.

In the last 5 years I’ve argued a few people on this case on Twitter. Two incidents stand out:

  1. Someone tried to tell me a “witness 26” testified to some blatant racism on Zimmerman’s part. There was no such witness, and of course all the witnesses were named. Assuming these were witnesses interviewed as part of the investigation, their testimony must have been utterly useless, as several witnesses that did make it into the trial were laughably un-credible.
  2. Someone tried to tell me that the forensic expert used by the defense, the late Dr Vincent Di Maio, had somehow been outed as a fraud. In reality, he was one one the foremost forensic experts in the world, near the end of his career.

What’s really sad is how this entire thing ruined Zimmerman. I keep getting told how he’s been arrested so many times now, has associated with people who are clearly racist.

My reply is always the same: if you have 2 death threats per minute, after being cleared in one of the most one-sided trials ever, how is that going to affect your life? If you get told by everyone that you’re a racist, who are you going to end up gravitating to?

Zimmerman and the people around him had their lives turned upside down, by people who didn’t care about the truth.

Well, I care. I hope that’s something.

Elon Musk does not appreciate criticism it seems.

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, the CEO of several high-profile American companies, broadcast to his 22 million social media followers on Sunday an unfounded and disparaging claim about an expert caver who criticized a miniature submarine he made.

Musk attacked Vernon Unsworth, who helped in the rescue mission that saved 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooding Thai cave.

He called Unsworth, a British caver, who lives in Thailand, a “pedo” or pedophile in a now-deleted tweet. The unfounded claim came after Unsworth called Musk’s miniature sub a “PR stunt.”

When I saw Musk launch a car(!!!!) into orbit atop his Falcon Heavy, I was blown away. We seemed to be entering a new era of space travel – maybe soon we will see regular manned flights to the moon.

But for all his impressive achievements, Musk has a lot of projects which aren’t quite so impressive. And his reaction here is going to make a lot of people take a second look at his achievements.

For example, the Hyperloop. Thunderf00t has several videos on the technology, and it turns out to be an incredibly bad idea. And of course, while his Tesla cars are great, his production problems don’t seem to be going away any time soon.

Maybe more engineering, and less ego is in order.

Yawn

104272744-waking_up_son-720x405

Hey, looks like the blog is still here. Didn’t even need remember my password.

Maybe I’ll start posting again.

I’ve had a rest and a break for a few years. Things that have happened while I’ve been gone:

  1. WordPress changed it’s interface a bit.
  2. National won an election on election night but lost in the negotiation… along with most of NZ by the looks
  3. People started talking about “safe spaces”, and “trigger warnings” have gone from being something you only saw on the most ridiculous feminist blogs to being fairly common (on University campuses anyway) to something mocked and derided.
  4. The number of “genders” has ballooned, and no one is actually prepared to say how many there might be.
  5. I attended a course on writing better. It didn’t take much.
  6. Trump decided to run for president and was elected.
  7. Hillary didn’t become president
  8. The world went crazy, we seem to be in the middle of the biggest mass-hysteria event in history, by several orders of magnitude.
  9. I became less partisan… sort of.
  10. Gateway Pundit, a blog I used as a source until I realised the guy didn’t care one whit about the truth, became rather large.
  11. A lot of the people I used to follow on twitter joined me in not liking Trump, then split into two camps – “better than Hillary” and “go away”. Like literally – two have blocked me in the last couple of days
  12. Jordan Peterson, and misrepresenting him, became a thing
  13. I did a big overseas trip to… not telling, but it was totally epic.
  14. Scott Adams become the best person in the world at predicting and explaining the actions of the US president, something no one else seems to grasp
  15. I became a big you-tube user. Not all politics either – everything from engineering and science to history and audio-books. Also, this guy. I mean, it was one of those phone apps which I threw into a big of stuff I never used… and then suddenly it became one of my most-used apps.
  16. I’ve followed hogewash pretty much, and the lawsuits that have happened there. Some interesting stuff, and at times you have to despair about the courts.
  17. I’ve commented from time-to-time on Kiwiblog. It’s not what it used to be, but I still find some good insights there now and then.

Well, we’ll see what happens from here.

A few years ago, I did a compilation of many NZ bloggers’ position on the political spectrum here. It’s been a while, so I think I should start out by updating it.

That survey used a odd-ball quiz, so this time, make sure you use Political Compass test.
Flick a comment on this post, and/or email me.

Looks like I’ve moved towards the center in the last 9 years.

Your Political Compass

Economic Left/Right: 3.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 2.41

personalised chart

 

Here’s a few examples I’ve seen over the last few days of behaviour I simply don’t get.

Firstly, there’s this response (one example, there are thousands of others) to one obscure, self-appointed pastor of a house church telling a single gay man to go away and commit suicide:

hate1

One person who claims membership acts out? Kill the lot of them and steal their money (quick, before they use it to help the poor or something)!

Oh, there are a few more examples, and some good comments on the accountability of pastors to their denomination over at Glenn Peoples’ blog.

I imagine this conversation:

Non-Christian: I’m really upset at this abusive email, it’s not cChristian

Christian: I agree, and I don’t know any Christians who don’t.

Non-Christian: Oh, so I’m actually agreeing with the church here. Huh, ok. Well I guess we all agree then. Hm, maybe this is some sort of media beat-up? Hey, isn’t this guy trying to sell a book?

Christian: Yes, that does seem to be in the article.

Non-Christian: Oh, but what about Brian Tamaki? Did you hear he scattered money all over the place for some reason?

Christian: Yes. He’s a proponent of the prosperity gospel. It’s rejected by pretty much everyone too. Except of course those who use it to make money.

Non-Christian: Oh. I had no idea. So all these people condemning him are also agreeing with the mainstream Christian position.

Christian: Yes, and the funniest thing is that they’re claiming the moral high ground over christians because of it.

Anyway, moving on…

I saw the name Giovanni Tiso on Whale Oil, and decided to google it. Turns out he’s the writer beind a blog who hates Whale, because you know, Whale’s mean. Karl du Fresne weighs in:

One is that he implies she’s a sociopath. Tiso quotes a line from her column – “They are both advancing a political cause” (a reference to Hager and Cameron Slater) – and then adds: “And if you think that, you’re a sociopath”. I’ve read this several times and don’t see how it can be construed as meaning anything other than that Clifton is a sociopath, which my dictionary defines as “someone affected by any of various personality disorders characterised by asocial or antisocial behaviour”.


But hang on. What happened when I took a poke at Tiso in this blog, using a similar rhetorical device against him? (I said he shouldn’t be allowed out in public without a minder, and suggested someone should adjust his medication.) He howled that I was being cruel – “vile” was his exact word – because he had a daughter with an intellectual disability, which he claimed (wrongly) I was aware of. Then he had the gall to whimper about people being unpleasant and indulging in ad hominem arguments.  Well, hello.

Let’s get this straight then: it’s okay for Tiso to call a respected columnist a sociopath because he doesn’t like her take on the Dirty Politics affair, but it’s mean and horrid to suggest that he might be a bit doolally himself. That’s taking unfair advantage.

Thing is with Whale is, he’s not ashamed to be a drag-it-out-and-knock-it-down sort of guy. He knows what it is, and he knows that people disapprove (seriously, what’s with the people who think he doesn’t know that?). It’s the people who claim to be appalled at such behaviour, but can’t maintain their own standards that get to me.

Another thing that I don’t get is the people who are just outraged when people don’t lie down and agree to everything they say. Here’s an example today via Instapundit:

Assertions of injustice by young men are infuriating to some. Caroline Heldman, an associate professor of politics at Occidental College and co-founder of End Rape on Campus, said of the men who are turning to the courts, “These lawsuits are an incredible display of entitlement, the same entitlement that drove them to rape.”

Note, this is in the context of people who’ve been found by colleges to have raped, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

The article the quote is from is (as he says) very long, but well worth your time. There’s some seriously messed up stuff going on in US colleges. Like the guy who’s room-mate face-booked that he was sick of the noise, but the final report said the room-mate was asleep at the time.

Speaking of messed up colleges, check out these pretty flowers:

Columbia University has allowed law school students who feel they suffered trauma from two high-profile grand jury decisions to postpone taking their final exams, the school’s interim dean Robert Scott wrote in a message to students this weekend.

“The law school has a policy and set of procedures for students who experience trauma during exam period,” reads Scott’s message, according to the blog PowerLine.

“In accordance with these procedures and policy, students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled,” Scott continued, citing a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown in August as well as a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for using a chokehold which killed 43-year-old Eric Garner in July.

While people may disagree with the decision, if you consider something that distant to you that upsetting, how on earth do you hope to be a competent lawyer? How are you going to cope when you lose in court?

Finally, check out this face:

2014-12-04_18-40-08-750x400

Apparently, that’s the fact a senior Democratic party official makes when the conservative she’s been slandering suddenly walks in the door and mildly asks for her to correct the record!

Me, I’d not have lied in the first place but hey, I’m pedantic like that. Seriously, I have a bad tendency to tell long stories about how exactly something happened rather than tell a much shorter, but less accurate version. But regardless of whether you’re like me or not, saying someone is a convicted felon when they’re not isn’t cool.

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