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Elon Musk should let results speak for themselves

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.




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.

Political Compass

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


I just don’t get some people

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:


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:


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.

A good summary of Little

Saw this on Kiwiblog just now.

Too be fair, I think we under-estimate Andrew Little at our peril.

Sure, he’s a charisma free zone. And he can’t win his own electorate. And I don’t want a Prime Minister who’s a dour grump.

But he’s got a lot more backbone and determination than his last 3 predecessors. Goff is a conniving back-stabber who wasn’t trusted by his caucus. Shearer is a mumbler who didn’t have enough experience in the House to be leader. And Cunliffe is an out-and-out fantasist and egotist.

Little won’t be talked into holding up dead fish in the house. And he doesn’t have a big swelled head that will turn people off. He’s not smarmy.

What I expect he will do is smack heads together at Labour HQ, strong-arm the dead wood into leaving, and put some structure and consistency into areas like policy.

The writer goes on to suggest that he won’t be able to unite the factions. That, I disagree with. Little has made a solid start, and that’s going to attract support and unity. No one in Labour wants a repeat of the last two elections, and I strongly suspect that a few egos will be kept under control while the party gets back into power.

Another child hurt by poor parenting

This wee lad isn’t yet 5 but he’s spent “months” in pain.

A Christchurch dentist’s last-minute change of heart has spared a preschooler six months of “excruciating” tooth pain.

Zander Loper, 4, had been waking up at night screaming in pain …

He was facing a six-month wait for two fillings at Christchurch Hospital, where the procedure could be done with an anaesthetist.

However, after inquiries from Fairfax Media, he was admitted for treatment at Halswell Dental Centre.

“It’s so hard to see your child in pain,” Zander’s mother Ingrid Loper said.

“Why should you have to wait that long to get a simple procedure done?”

About a week ago, Zander was in “excruciating pain” and had to be admitted at the hospital for a night, Loper said.

The doctor prescribed ibuprofen and antibiotics three times a day and codeine for when the pain became unbearable.

“I’m not happy about giving my kid that amount of medication every day,” she said.

When Loper complained to the hospital dentist, she was told there were worse cases on the list, such as “kids with teeth falling out and children having to be on pain relief constantly”.

Halswell Dental Centre treated Zander earlier this year. They gave him a liquid sedative to extract one of his teeth.

Manager Andrea Campbell said Zander had spat out some of the liquid. He was still sedated enough for the procedure to go ahead but had been agitated.

Sounds all very well, but the real problem is that the kid is… well, a brat.

When he needed a filling, the dental centre tried to do an X-ray but he would not sit still.

The dentist said he would need an anaesthetist and referred Zander to the hospital.

The quality of parenting in this country is appalling, and getting worse at an alarming rate. It’s tempting to blame this on the anti-smacking law, but that only exacerbated an already bad situation.

In this case, we have a child that won’t sit still for the 3 minutes needed for a simple x-ray, leading to fairly serious consequences. A child should be able to sit still for considerably longer than that. It appears that the parent in this situation is more interested in decrying the behaviour of the adults involved – which is curious, because I’ll bet that anyone who could study through a dentist’s degree could sit still considerably longer than 3 minutes when they were 4 years old.

This is why people no longer trust “fact checking” websites

Can’t get much more ridiculous than this.

Politifact, the heavily left-leaning political fact-checking oufit, has truly outdone itself.  The organization crowned President Obama as the 2013 recipient of its annual “lie of the year” designation for his tireless efforts to mislead Americans about being able to keep their existing healthcare plans under Obamacare.  While richly deserved, the decision came as a bit of a surprise because Politifact had rated that exact claim as “half true” in 2012, and straight-up “true” in 2008 (apparently promises about non-existent bills can be deemed accurate).  When Republicans leveled accurate criticisms against Obamacare, they were slapped down by America’s most partisan alleged arbiter of “facts:”

Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think….

I spotted this comment at Frank Richie’s blog. Classic.


Frankly, anyone who writes that badly, nor who calls others fascists, has no business looking down on Whale Oil!

Also curious how “continuing the policies of the previous Labour government” becomes “hardship, strife, mayhem, poverty, [and] depression”. Go figure.

(And of course, bonus points for the I’M A CRAZY PERSON all caps typing.)

Later on, there’s this gem.

Sorry, but promises to slash welfare, cut health and education budgets, shift school funding to unregulated schools, introduce prison labour, keep selling assets, endow multinational corporations with local legislative power – whether you are thinking socially or fiscally, none of these things are ‘centre left’. Keep smirking if you like, but your bubble is smaller than you think.

National has at no stage “promised” to slash welfare, health or education. That’s absurd.

They have supported charter schools, a program which allows the poor options that would otherwise only be available to the rich.

Prison labour has been around for years, they part-sold some assets after winning a mandate to do so, and have given no corporations legislative power.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the intelligent discourse that comes from Labour’s activist base.

Enjoy your years in opposition fellas.

Thoughts on the Election

Some thoughts on the election, many of which you’ll probably see elsewhere too.


  • An impressive result, one which cements National as the center party. Key is not stupid, and he learned well from Helen Clark – something that cannot be said for Cunliffe.
  • In hindsight, should have considered stepping back in Napier. But no real damage done, so no biggie.
  • The “Dirty Politics” book was a tough time, but it was handled well and ended up helping a lot more than it hurt.
  • Getting rid of Collins was the right thing to do. There was a perception beginning that nothing would see her go, actually firing her was actually quite refreshing.
  • I really liked their closing statement. It was professional and didn’t pretend to be something it wasn’t.


  • Cunilffe’s best move would have been to resign, and in doing so unite the party under a new leader.
  • Their closing statement was a professionally produced bad joke. No one believes those were members of the public asking questions. Tip: if you really want to go down this road, chose a few more people who don’t look like they burned their bras in the 60’s.
  • 4 list MPs is a disaster, as is having Mallard winning Hutt South. [huge grin]
  • Labour is seriously factionalised. It’s possible that their long-standing nature may help them recover in the long term, but this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Those factions will continue to fight each other, driving away the center.

As an aside, let’s not make the mistake that the center are people who believe in moderation between the left and the right. Really, the center are people who have no political leanings, and will simply vote on who looks like will make a better government, and can be trusted to hold power. Political boffins can find these people hard to understand, and the more political you are, the harder it is to understand these people.

  • Labour have a lot of very political people in their activist base. While the leadership contest focused on what these people wanted, middle New Zealand was not impressed. If the party is to recover, they need to restructure their party so these people are kept in the background, if not driven away.
  • Labour have serious issues in South Auckland. They lost the pacifica vote, and they will continue to lose more of it as long as their party pays lip service to that community. You cannot expect people to support you if you aggressively push policy which is the antithesis of what they believe. But again, that would involve pushing their activist base into the background, and it’s hard to see how anyone can do that.
  • The “Dirty Politics” book hurt Labour in two ways. First, it took eyes off them, and onto the National party. Second, they were running around smugly stating “we would never do anything like that”, while the man on the street knows full well that all politcans are the same. Worse, the boffins knew full well that Labour is actually worse in that they have bloggers directly on the payroll. It seems the result was that they only fooled themselves.
  • Let’s face it, Cunliffe is crap. He just can’t pull off being a serious and credible, yet likable, party leader. He may get one or two of those, but never all three. Key can, and does it as easily as breathing.
  • While the party said they were running a positive campaign, they didn’t. They can’t. You can’t take a bunch of people who honestly believe their opponents are the devil incarnate and run a positive campaign. That’s not to say they didn’t try, it’s just that reasonable debate isn’t in the DNA of the far left and it shows.
  • I actually clicked on a Labour party link once this past week, on a whim. I was honestly expecting something I would like, but I didn’t. They’ve been quite dishonest, particularly in their claims of costing their policies – you can’t claim that you’ve costed policies when you specifically got rid of the guy who could have done a credible job of doing it.


I’m as shocked as anyone that Labour’s lost vote didn’t translate to the Greens. However…

  • I realise in hindsight, that I was giving their billboards too much credit. I didn’t see what they were trying to say, and it appears that no one else could too.
  • It appears that a number of people who like their “help the poor” ethos were seriously put-off by their extreme abortion policy. Not something I would have expected, but that’s what I’m hearing.
  • The Greens have to decide whether they are an environmental party, or an extreme left party. At the moment, they’re the latter and we already have Labour for that.
  • They should also stop talking about a “green economy”. It’s been done, it didn’t work.
  • They’re quite lucky that most New Zealanders have swallowed their line about rivers. Those sorts of big lies can really backfire badly. Stick to the truth.
  • Finally, how many stories did we have uncritically showing a green leader introducing a policy? Seems that the public are not so fussed on media darlings.


  • There are some principles you just shouldn’t break. The Kiwi Party should not have joined up with Field, and Mana should have avoided Kim the German criminal.
  • Good riddance, one of the big positives of this election!


  • If there were any justice in this world Lilia Hare would be shamed out of public life in New Zealand. However, the far left are sufficiently unprincipled that she’s unlikely to suffer any lasting harm.
  • Perhaps it’d be a good time for Kim to just get on a plane and fly to the US. Go to the courts, put up your defense, and take your punishment (if any) like the man you allegedly are. By all accounts, he’s a really talented guy and I’m quite sure he would do very well in life if he decided to own up to what he’s done.


  • Act needs a rebuild. They’ve started, but there is a lot of work to go. I suggests a 2:3 lose coalition with the conservatives – both could have gained had they done that this election (see my later comments however).
  • Also, find someone who can produce professional videos. Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

New Zealand First

  • New Zealand first continues to be a joke party. However, the joke is on us as they gained several seats.
  • So many times during the campaign, Winston was on the radio making one claim or the other, and when asked for details he’d abuse the interviewer. In other words, he was telling fibs, and really obvious ones.
  • It will be interesting to see how long he can keep up the pace.


  • Have done well with National, but their constituency can’t shake that feeling that they should really be going with Labour. Well, I’m glad it’s not my problem!



  • Conservatives did well, and built their base.
  • They looked a lot better later on in their campaign.
  • They had some seriously impressive people on their list.
  • They were clearly getting under Cunliffe’s skin – his open abuse of them in the last debate was quite telling. (Vote positive anyone?)
  • A little bird tells me that Colin’s “take no s$$t” attitude is actually helping dampen what would otherwise be the open season that usually happens when a party smells llike it might be religious conservative.
  • They didn’t get in


  • They grew during the campaign, but ran out of time. They really had to have a few poll results above 5% in order to not have people withdraw for fear of “wasting” their vote.
  • Their policy platform left something to be desired. This needs tided up.
  • The music in their closing statement was awful, and far too loud.
  • Colin needs time to build a better image, with the media but also with the grassroots.
  • The lawsuit with Norman, while well-founded will attract unwelcome attention whether it’s followed through or dropped.
  • I’m hoping that he’ll take the next 3 years and return for the next election with a sharp, professional team, one that can be taken seriously and contribute seriously. They’re not quite there yet but the potential is certainly showing.




Once upon a time, governments of the west faced down tyranny. They welcomed people running from it, and protected them once they arrived.



I’m not so convinced they’re up to the job these days.


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