Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No sign of 'freedom' for Kiwi taxpayers, yet!

Roger Kerr has assessed the day when we stop working for the taxman.
Apparantly, it was yesterday, April 29.
But if we include local government, then we will be working for the taxman until June 4.
Mr Kerr looks at central government spending, which amounts to a third of the economy, and if we include local government, the share devoted to the public sector, as measured by the OECD is now 42.4%, larger than most of our economic competitors, particularly the US and Australia and the UK.
As the NZ economy grew in the 1990s, extra government revenues pushed Tax Freedom Day forward to reach April 10 by 2001, but afterwards Liarbour ratcheted government spending so much, we need to work an extra 19 days to fund Cullen's spending.
The Business Roundtable expects the trend to continue, with us having to work a couple more days over the next few years.
And indeed, chartered accountants Staples Rodway last year noted some worrying trends for New Zealand as we go backwards, compared to Australia, where Tax Freedom Day falls a month earlier than us, based on the wider measure including local government.
Otherwise, based on central government spending, Tax Freedom Day for Australia fell last week.
Of course, why should this matter?
Well, do we want to spend nearly half our time working for the taxman, or have one partner in each couple doing so.
And if you get to earn the fruts of your labour so much sooner in Australia, then a jump over the Tasman, might be just too tempting.
Furthermore, countries where the state takes over 40% of a country's wealth for itself are not known for economic growth.
Hat tip: Not PC.

so what will it be, the environment or a job and a home?

It's all well and good if you're working in the public sector and like the idea of touchy feely feelgood policies, but look at what Liarbour's carbon trading, emmisions regime might bring.

Today, the New Zealand Economic Reserach Institute warns the policy will bring 'more pain than necessary' and "could cost New Zealand 20,000 jobs, reduce agriculture exports, cut wages and slash almost $6 billion from gross domestic product."

The NZEIR report continued:

"In 2012 the equivalent of 20,000 jobs will be lost as the economy adjusts," he said.
"By 2025 GDP will fall by almost $6 billion, household spending will be down by $3000 per household and hourly wage rates will be down by $2.30 in today's prices."
With New Zealand the only country in the world known to be including agriculture in an emissions trading scheme, the rural economy would be particularly hard hit, Layton added.

Furthermore, "dairy land could fall in value by 40 per cent, Layton estimated, with sheep and beef farms losing 23 per cent of their value."

And all because the government wants to lead, where others do not follow, despite our own carbon emmissions being just 0.4% of the global total.

It might not be so bad, if such emmissions trading scheme might work, but the independent Cawthorne Institute warns it might actually be environmentally damaging!

The institute warns of "significant environmental effects" from the Government's drive to lower greenhouse gas emissions, including the loss of indigenous ecosystems such as regenerating forest, scrubland and tussock grasslands, increased pressure to dam or divert rivers for hydro-electricity generation, and the effect on natural character and landscapes from afforestation and the use of wind turbines.
"Because it is so far-reaching, covering all sectors and all gases, the ETS-plus could also cause a range of unintended adverse environmental consequences unless response measures are put in place to address them," the institute says.

And then there is the health impact of higher power prices on the poor to consider!

Indeed, much of the cost of complying with the legislation would fall on householders.

Brian Fallow in today's NZ Herald notes another report saying 90% of a $4 billion bill over 5 years would fall on household, small busineses and road users.

And this on top of similar reports from the Employers and Manufacturers Association this week,

and Business New Zealand and the Greenhouse Policy Coalition, who made their submissions to government earlier this month.

So as we look at our growing food and energy prices, caused by in part by governments making it harder for firms to supply fuel, or farmers to grow more food, consider the impact of Liaour's emissions policy on your own household budget.

You might be fine if you work in the public sector and I am sure there will be some jobs created for bureaucrats to administer th scheme, but otherwise, what will it be?
Do you want New Zealand, which produces 0.4% of global carbon emmissions, to obey Kyoto; or do you prefer a job, a house, a car you can afford to run, and even food on your table!

Liarbour trying to buy votes with our money, again!

Ah, election time is approaching and what does Liarbour do?, but ramp up government spending on advertisements!
In March 2008, government departments spent $8 million on advertising, some $2 million or 33% more than last year.
I'm sure there will be many ads to come and as well as ads for Kiwisaver, I increasingly note ads for Kiwibank (are they included?) and Welcome Home Loans.
The taxpayer funded advertising of government initiatives comes as Liarbour tries to silence the opposition through the Electoral FinanceAct, while raiding the public purse.
Is it working? Certainly not if the polls are anything to go by.
Indeed, as the Electoral Commission assesses how much taxpayer funding parties should receive, Liarbour says the commission should not take polls into account, as apparantly they re not as accurate as they once were.
Liarbour fears that taking polls into account would favour National, who has conistently led in the polls for sometime. Even though, this was a policy Liarbour supported in 2005!
While the Herald notes this delicious double standard, Stuff raises another from Liarbour Party secretary Mike Smith.
Smith say the commission should account for the $100,000 or so in GST that National forgot to account for in its spending returns in setting tis year' allocation.
But obviously he forgot to mention the $800,000 or so pledge card money that Liarbour unlawfully spent in 2005, despite advice from electoral officials not to,.
If the commission accounts for that, Liarbour's unlawful spending from 2005, that would leave the party well and truly a spent force.
I do hope National raised Liarbour's unlawful spending, or aren't they quite so vindictive?

Anothe Nail But Why Be Coy?

This morning's Herald-Digipoll drives another nail into Helen Clark's political coffin with National's lead ballooning out to 15%; John Key regaining the lead as PPM and pulling more of the female vote; and the Greens hanging on by the skin of their teeth. (An anti smacking referendum just before the election will finally see them off.)

What is so frustrating is that nowhere can I find the actual figures from the poll. I'd like to know how ACT and the Maori Party are polling. Further, I'd like to see ALL the figures with last month's figures alongside.

We are told that 'undecideds' are polling at 6%. Where were they last month? Are they swinging to National or Labour? (By my calcs, if 65% of the undecideds go National in the polling booth, then National's margin over Labour would increase by 1.8 percentage points.)

It looks as though we may be heading for a decisive FFP result.

John Armstrong reckons this poll has just about killed off any chance Cullen has to get some releif from his upcoming budget.

".........Budget Day is the one day Labour will have voters' undivided attention. If the polls don't budge, then what? The load on Cullen's shoulders just got heavier."

Governments to blame for 'the coming economic meltdown.'

Just how much of the current econimic strife from high food and energy prices down to the actions of government- and I don't just mean our's in New Zealand.
It seems quite a lot and much debate is now emerging over how the 'success' of government in restricting supply, is causing what others claim is 'market failure'.
Yes, both energy and food markets are seeing a huge increase in demand from India and China, both to fuel their growing economies and to better feed their richer palettes, as they seek a more 'Western' diet.
But if government regulations restrict supply, then what?
Obvious a commodity becomes scarce and its price will rocket.
This is true whether it is oil, rice, or as we have seen in other debates, land and housing.
Over at Not PC, Peter Cresswell notes how government restrictions on oil supplies, with large areas of the US 'off limits' to oil exploration' is preventing the market from meeting the demand for extra fuel.
Had the market being allowed to supply the extra demand from India and China, oil prices would not have risen to $100 or more a barrel.

It's not a failure of markets, it's an obvious success of government: success in stifling production of the very stuff of industrial life, and in burying the ability of producers to respond to price signals in the way they need to.

The same applies to global food markets, where in some countries governments are now banning the exports of foodstuffs, thus depriving farmers the chance to make the best return and deterring them from increasing production.
Creswell links to other surveys and reports saying as much.
And then there is the whole biofuels debacle, where government policies have promoted the growth of foodstuffs to feed cars rather than people; which is also increasing our food prices and causing starvation.
Indeed, I have come across a worthy article from The Intellectual Conservative, which refers to government and energy's role in 'the coming economic meltdown.'.

Government policy over the last several decades in all fields of energy production has had the direct impact of restraining energy supply while demand has grown.
This government interference has reached a crisis level where high energy prices will sap the strength of the United Sates economy and create a condition of stagflation.
As these policies have impoverished the United States they have enriched Middle East, African and Venezuelan oil suppliers.
In addition, this policy has undermined the security of the United States by weakening the United States economically, destabilizing the LDCs (lesser develope countries) by food shortages, and through direct payment “leakage” to terrorist organizations.
It is rather doubtful that United States energy policy could have been more poorly formulated.

Indeed, a full read of the article will also note the folly of following many so-called 'green' policies.
Not only are such policies fuelling recession and inflation, as their higher costs take money and spending power out of the pockets of workers/consumers, they typically have as many or more environmental drawbacks than traditional policies.

So when in New Zealand, Liarbour plans an emissions trading regime, look at how it will hit you and your employers' pocket.
And when Liarbour prevents the building of a coal fired power stations in New Zealand, think how that will impact on your own power bill.
Not to menton whether it truly is any greener!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

State-run media talks recession

What's happening at our state-run tv station?

First, there was Guyon Espiner, only a day late, noting the arrival of those new government limos as Kiwis increasingly struggle to pay their bills.

Of course, guess who was pictured first in a limo, but Helen's esteemed handbag and consort, Judith Tizard MP.

But what followed next, was remarkable.

The whole of Close-Up focussing on on hard times in New Zealand, which the programme noted was also hitting middle-New Zealand.

Shoppers were moaning about big bills, the car dealers were suffering, mortgagee sales are on the up. Only the repo man was doing well.

Have we really come to this when for years Liarbour trumpeted its own economic successful and 'skilful' handling of the economy?

The issue gave Mark Sainsbury a chace to dive into something meaty, which he obviously enjoyed, particularly when two 'experts' were wheeled in- some woman from a parenting organisation and economist Gareth Morgan.

Morgan blamed much strife on individuals spending too much and getting into debt. His opponent raised rising food and fuel causes as the main causes of current suffering, even for those with little or no debt.

Now, I hope Cullen and Dear Leader were listening, but both agreed tax cuts would offer better help than increased welfare. And this on TV1!

Even the closing music from swing singer David Campbell sounded positively 30's Depression era!

Musings from Murapara

Over the holiday weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Murapara, about 40 minutes drive south-east of Rotorua.

My friend wanted to catch up with whanau, so why not.

The road to town on wide straight roads built for forestry was fast and as you arrive into town, you see a fine sitting of forest clad hills, a river, and potential for tourism.

But the township? Oh what a shit hole! It makes Kaikohe look like Remeura.

As we drove past the roughest of wooden bungalows, with paint peeling from the outside, we saw a car racing around with a Maori sovereignty flag on it. Well, if Tuhoe want independence, let them have it, and WINZ can cut the money tap off too.

We approached 'uncles' house, one of the roughest on the street, with even more peeling paint. Uncle was there, and was having steak and eggs with his missus. The wallpaper was peeling off too. It was shabby to say the least the least. And they have about 4 kids too.

Outside, a grey kitten limped between the abandonned cars and in the garage, two 'cuzzies' were getting stoned. Well, they faced a long bus ride from Rotovegas to Wellington that afternoon, so maybe getting wasted would help them face the ride. Dad didn't mind they were doing this, he said they were, and his young teenage daughter was happily smoking cigarettes in front of him.

I looked back at the streetscape outside. Shabby houses , half with satellite tv. Now either aerial tv reception is poor or sky tv is very popular. People also sat on the decks outside their homes and unlike, sy Auckland or Orewa, kids actuallyplayed in the streets.

Soon after I asked Uncle about what work there was for him on Murapara. He replied he didn't work, his job was to look after the kids. I didn't ask if that was the wife's job, who incidentally had just bought a $900 from Vodafone and claimed billing problems with it.

Anyway, the two cuzzies needed a ride into town. While uncle had what probably was the flashest car in town, a late model Holden V8, we did the honours with my mate driving and the cuzzies smoking dope on the way. I kept the window open to avoid getting stoned as well.

Well, Murupara certainly feels another country to New Zealand, even to Rotorua. And uncle's place was quite a contrast to staying in the Heritage, where we went soon after the bus stop drop-off.

Heading back to Auckland, we stopped off at another cuzzies, who lived in Hamilton buy a busy junction. The shabby unit had a broken window and five kids played in the garden, sectioned off by a metal fence. The mother looked old for he 30 or so years, but her kid number 5 was on its way. The father looked quite stapping in his black singlet. There was no word of work for either, just my mate noting his cousin was just 'popping out babies.'

Later that day, I told my mate's brother about his uncle having such a flash car when the house was a wreck. "Must have been a good harvest'" he replied, obviously not referring to wine or grain. And among the books lying in his house was a well-worn copy of Maori Heroes by Alan Duff, which noted a former acting-PM of NZ was Maori. So hopefully some family members get a different message.

Yes Maori can achieve like the rest of us, but so many, Pakehas too, need a kick up the backside.

As I reported a few months back with a similar trip up north:

"People do not succeed or fail because they are Maori or whatever. They succeed or fail because of their own efforts or lack of them and how they apply themselves in life. And if there is any party or government that can spread this message, it can only be good for all New Zealanders."

And that applies to all those suffering poverty, brown or white. The answer and responsibility for their predicament lies within themselves and with government for allowing such fecklessness.

The answer to child poverty is not a $4 billion programme as touted by campaigners but rather a revolution in attitudes and policy.

John Boy gets it right, again!

National Leader John Key is right to suggest scrapping fuel tax rises planned to cover biofuels requirements, regional petrol taxes and emissions trading legislation.

As government grapples with the failure of its economic policies to generate sufficient wealth to help kiwis cope with the hard times ahead, we need to consider too what is best for ourselves as individuals and as a nation.

First of all, I agree with Dear Leader, John Key and David Farrar and others that it would complicate tax systems if GST was removed from certain items like food.

However, dropping GST to 10% might have some merit. Making the first $10,000 of income tax free has a case too.

But fiddling around with Working for Families will only exacerbate the poverty trap caused by people being little or no better off by working.

So let us look at fuel prices, which business groups are aready warning about.

As we know, just about everything we depend on depend on fuel to some extent for delivery.

So dear fuel prices will mean dearer food, as that too needs transporting.

It's not just a matter of us all paying for higher petrol or higher energy bills.

Indeed, even bus fares would consequently have to rise too!

Oh, and the emissions trading scheme, the added costs on business it will bring might just might destroy our economy and put many of us out of work.

So once again John Boy comes up with the right answer.

And like his previous comments on wanting home ownership to remain commonplace for Kiwis, Key shows once again he is closer to the pulse of the nation than Dear Leader.

Growing child poverty under Liarbour

Once more the bleeding hearts are whinging about child poverty.
And the Child Poverty Action Group says the problem has worsened under Liarbour.
I am going to blog more on this later, based on some of my weekend experiences.
But there is more to eradicating child poverty than simply throwing money at the problem.
By making single motherhood a lifestyle option, or making unemployment a lifestyle option, it makes child poverty even worse.
Quite often the people who should not be breeding, the dumb and stupid who can least afford kids, tend to be having the most.
And they and their partners expect the rest of us to pick up the tab.
And doesn't it say it all, when you hear ads on their radio stations, like Mai FM , telling these dumbfuck mothers to have milk in the fridge instead of giving their kids fizzy drinks.
What kind of society gives such unfit parents, too stupid to avoid pregnancy, too stupid to raise their kids properly, the option, the lifestyle choice, of having a bucketload of kids instead of working like the rest of us.
Obviously a society with a government that is equally dumb and stupid!
Yet the problem will continue to worsen under present policies. We don't need bleeding hearts, but wise heads, whose hearts might seem made of stone.
Too many children are suffering under the government's welfare policies. Change might seem harsh but if you cannot afford kids, you should not have them. And if there weren't so many sprogs needing taxpayer support, the more poductive elements of New Zealand society, who are struggling under a huge tax burden, caused in part by hving to support other people' offspring, could perhaps afford to breed too.

Monday, April 28, 2008

In case hard times befall Cactus Kate

The magnificent Cactus Kate has once more been treating us to the delights of a top class luxury hotel.
Her Westin Auckland Review follows on from the Westin in Macau.
Sadly, we at No Minister don't have pockets quite so deep. We also tend to believe in fiscal prudence. So instead we offer the following taken from Anzac Weekend.
Bella Vista Motel: Part of a nationwide chain, the Bella Vista Rotorua seems one of their newer motels and is certainly much nicer than their effort in Invercargill, or was it Hanmer Springs, they are all so alike, it's easy to forget. Anyway, the Rotorua motel has free plug-and-play broadband. Compact rooms but clean and tidy. Comfortable queen beds and nice bedding but the beds too soft to be Heavenly, like those at The Westin. Cost a reasonable $115pn, especially as it was one of the few places with vacancies on Saturday. All the other chains were full.
Heritage Rotorua. Much better value and luxury for little more. I have an Entertainment Book, which would have afforded 50% off the Rack Rate- $117 for a standard room or $135 for a superior in the new block. B&B options were available on Sunday for $150 and $170 , so we had breakfast in a superior. Much nicer rooms with two king size beds, though like the Bella Vista, the tv was CRT, not flatscreen. Quite enjoyed some of the movies on Sky though. There was a minibar, but I much prefer to stock up in PakNSave beforehand and enjoy $10 bubbles. The buffet breakfast was okay but nothing flash. No mushrooms or poached eggs, but rice and spaghetti, in addition to the usual bacon and scrambled eggs, reflecting the internationl clientele.
Sited next to Whakarewrera Thermal Area, the Heritage has a pool and spa pool. Maori concerts take place nightly. But alas the pools did not have that distinctive Rotovegas smell, so lacked authenticity to me, even though the waters were warm.
Luke's Place, Hamilton. A select family hostelry in the rough suburb of Nawton. The mattress was ok but the room on Friday was freezing. Fortunately, the family cat snuggled between my legs like a lovely hot water bottle. I hope I didn't catch it's fleas. As it's Nawton, make sure you lock up your car. Cost, some groceries as my mate cooked dinner for his brother Luke this evening on the return leg.

Look what the Ministers received today!

As tales of hardship dominate today's newspapers and tv, look what arrived for our government officials and ministers.
Such great timing eh!
At least the first passenger was the President of Singapore. We could hardly pick him up in an old Holden.
At least Dear Ledaer was spared the ignomy of being the first official passenger.
But , as we enjoy ever higher food and fuel bills, its great to see our tax dollars being spent wisely :)

The Danish civil war and genocide of European muslims

Late last week, I posted about future scenarios of muslim domination of Europe and the USA, which are attracting the attention of novelists.

I was quite flattered to receive responses from one of those novelists, Tom Kratman, who has just published a book 'Caliphate' on the issue.

Of course, it will be interesting to see if Hollywood ever develops the balls to turn any of the books into movies, or will they be too scared to, or do such books offend their PC sensibilities?

Anyway, will the world turn out the way these novelists imagine and fear? Is there an alternative? There could well be, but this alternative is not a happy scenario either.

Over at the Gates of Vienna, we see a post outlining how indigenous Europeans might have to remove the muslims from Europe and in the article 'surrender, genocide or what', the future looks bloody

Little Green Footballs accuses Gates of Vienna of 'genocidal porn' for even considering the issue, also responding with a psychonalytical view. Gates of Vienna denies advocating genocide and it has led to further discord between the two blogs.

This latest post at Gates of Vienna follows an earlier post late last year in which the author El Ingles outlined a possible scenario for a future civil war in Denmark.

Both makes interesting reads, not that I'm advocating genocide either. But both posts outline the grim prospects ahead for Europe.

Of course, there is always surrender as Brude Bawer outlines is already happening from a combination of both political correctness and fear, in a post LGF posted today, so obviously no nasty talk of genocide here.

Our new best friends the Chinese

Hate to sound like Winston Peters.

But the violent reactions to opponents from some of the pro-China demonstrations, which may have been organised by its government, leaves me fealing a little uneasy.

To think we have several thousand ethnic Chinese with such strong ties to the motherland that they will protest and some will turn violent to those who support a free Tibet.

And there was similar violence from Pro-communist Chinese in Canberra too.

Crusader Rabbit recently noted how Chinese 'heavies' were allowed into Australia.

And yes, there was violence from the pro-China demonstrators, with involvement from the Communist regime strobngly suspected?

While the bulk of our Asian immigrants will be decent law abiding folk with much to offer New Zealand, how many might be a fifth column to ultimately cause our downfall? I'm sure I'm not alone in fearing what seems like organised Communist trouble in our corner of the world, amid our 'benign strategic environment.'

PS. In the meantime the Chinese are allowed to buy Vector for $785 million, which somehow aint strategic. But Cullen will break international law and deny $1.7 billion to shareholders of Auckland International Airport to stop those evil Canadians from owning a share.

UPDATE: And Bernard Hickey notes Dear Leader will have to choose between hypocracy in accepting the deal and stupidity in turning it down, with Bernard opting for hypocracy.

UPDATE2: The Briefing Room links to an Investigate story with revealing stuff about the new owner of Vector.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

David Finally sees the light on Hussein Obama

So at long last, the Lord of the Blog, David Farrar, is finally going off Barack Hussein Obama 'big time.'
Well, both Adolf and I have long being pointing out the failings of the Muslim-raised Messiah for a long time.
Indeed, David today even ran some links to articles we at No Minister ran on Thursday!
Anyway, we welcome David's realisation that Obama is a dangerous tax and spend socialist with most undesirable backers and a very dodgy foreign policy.
And you don't even have to read Little Green Footballs to know this, though if you do, you will read of Obama's possible links to terrorism and so on.
Anyway, PM of New Zealand puts the presidential contest in he most simple terms, by revealing a letter published on an anti-Liberal blog.
We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.
On one side, you have a bitch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, and a lawyer who is married to a bitch who is a lawyer.
On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a woman with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.
Is there a contest here?"

Union boss attacks Liabour on lack of taxcuts

In one of those flying pig moments, we see a union leader attacking Liarbour over the lack of taxcuts.
EPMU boss Andrew Little has slammed Cullen for "dithering" over taxcuts.
One week the government was saying the cuts would take place this year, and then the next week it was suggesting they would be next year.
"People are looking for some sort of relief now. People need it, and the government should understand that very clearly."

The comments come as the EPMU also backing National over John Key's fibre-to-the-home plan.
Now, please remind me, which political party Andrew Little was meant to aspire to be its president.
Or is is just a 'red herring' and Little is now finding Key's National Party muc more amenal and discredited than Helen's tired old bunch of socialists. Perhaps he ha noted his own members fleeing from Liabour in droves.
Perhaps, if the EPMU is allowed to register as a third party under the EFA, it might be working against Liarbour rather than with it!

A most unfortunate government logo

The new logo for The UK Office of Government Commerce was unveiled yesterday to much delight... followed by much embarrassment when one thoughtful worker turned their head 90 degrees and noticed that it looks like... well - look for yourself.

How very appropriate for the Liarbour Party or perhaps a fictional Organisation of Government Campaigners.

Hat Tip: Barnsley Bill

Class Action Against Labour - Woopeee!

Fran O'Sullivan takes a hard hitting look at the scheming machinations of our Finance Minister Michael Cullen and his shady dealings over Auckland Airport.

It turns out Treasury made it crystal clear to Cullen that his proposed action in blocking the sale was (a) unjustified on logical or economic grounds; and (b) was damaging to NZ's reputation and the future governance of the Airport company itself and (c) would result in a massive loss to shareholders. Here's what they said to this flea brained history teacher.

"If that's not enough, Treasury also noted Government intervention in this sale process would arbitrarily change the property rights of existing shareholders, which may cause both domestic and foreign investors to be sceptical about the certainty of New Zealand's regulatory environment and therefore be more wary about investing in Kiwi firms.

But the crucial factor as far as the NZX is concerned is that Treasury also noted the Auckland Airport share price was likely to drop immediately following an announcement and existing shareholders were likely to see the Government as responsible for the immediate loss in value of their shares and as such, "potentially liable for the full difference between the new share price and the full value of the CPPIB offer"."

Adolf calculates that loss to be in the vicinity of $1.7 billion dollars.

That's the fiscal time bomb Shady Cullen is leaving for John Key to fund, when the government has to pay out the shareholders.

As corporate crooks and other thieves go, Shady Cullen makes Ron Bryers look like a saint.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Liarbour's "Rich Prick."

Politics would certainly be duller without Liarbour Party President Mike Williams.

The Weekend Herald's Michele Hewitson produces a fine profile on the confused and loose chappie.

As well as spotting some more 'confusion', David Farrar lists a few other roles Mike performs in addition to his Party role, giving the 'rich prick' an income of more than $180,000.

Of course, it all helps when you have 'mates' in government.

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog

Rocketing food prices

The Weekend Herald has performed a fine piece of journalism including much original research by looking at growing food prices.

It has discovered supermarket food prices for an “average” trolley have gone up 29% in the last year.

This, David Farrar notes, is more than the official food price index, which is weighted to what people actually buy, but both the official and the unofficial surveys show that food inflation is strong and growing.

Of course, much can be put down to the biofuels balls-up as government's try to be 'green', and rely less on imported oil.

But growing fuel prices also impact on growing food prices, not just because food often needs to be transported.

It certainly makes a mockery of planned government-led fuel price rises for emissions trading regimes, and allowing regional councils to impose petrol taxes.

Thus, Liarbour has a double whammy in store for us. Higher fuel prices which in turn will mean even dearer food.

Six of the best for Dear Leader

A deliciously delightful serving of six spankings for Dear Leader from the Saturday papers.

1- Fairfax Poll in the Dominion Post having National 18% in front.

2- The same poll reporting one in ten Kiwis eyeing up Aussie. So on top of the growing kiwi exodus which the Double Standard was playing down this week, we see Kiwis increasingly considering the ultimate act by voting with their feet against Dear Leader and her government.

3- A scathing and sarcastic editorial against Liarbour in today's Dom-Post.

Granny Herald also praises John Key.

4- Colin James noting how John Key is taking the lead and is a man of the future by promoting broadman while Liarbour is the party of the past, wanting instead to buy back rail.

5- Fran O'Sullivan says Key's safety first leadership is paying off, though he needs to show more leadership to defeat Clark and reverse the country's continuing decline.

6- And Liarbour wouldn't be Liarbour without a bit of corruption within a ministry- this time Immigration.

Happy ANZAC Weekend Helen!

Friday, April 25, 2008 : When do we get our New Zealand edition?

Our good friends over the Tasman have suddenly found themselves with a similar problem to us Kiwis.

They have a lying , duplicitous and hypocritical Prime Minister.

Thus, a website has been created called

"This site is dedicated to exposing his lies, dishonesty, duplicity and hypocrisy.
Kevin Rudd is dishonest and insincere because he:
bare-faced lies;
distorts the truth;
duplicitous and hypocritical;
senseless policies.
Kevin Rudd is a serial liar and Australia does not deserve such a Prime Minister! Learn more about RuddSpeak

The website is not connected to the Liberals or National and its authors claim to have counted 22 bare-face lies, 8 distortions of the truth, 9 instances of hypocrisy and 5 idiotic policies.

And they still have 70 pages of data to sift through.

Indeed, columnist Andrew Bolt notes how Rudd claimed to be brimming full of ideas,prior to his election but has just held a major 2020 summitt to gather some.

Ideas that were hidden during the campaign were raised at the event such as taxes, the republic, a treaty with aborigines and bans on coal fired power stations.

Kevin Rudd indeed does lie!!

Just like our own Dear Leader.

So when do we kiwis get our own such website?

KRudd is certainly taking a leaf out of Dear Leader's book.

So many lies so soon. Australia's own equivalent of Ian Wishart won't have to wait three terms before writing the Ockers' own 'Absolute Power.'

Hat Tip: The Midnight Sun.

The Iraq Mess Worsens - For The Democrats

You don't hear much about Iraq these days, except when the armchair generals of the political left and MSM commentariat leap into print to interpret the latest positive moves as disaster. Such was their stupidity in the reporting of recent events in Basra, where PM Maliki successfully cleaned out the extremist Shiite militia and set the scene for some hugely significant political moves towards stable and lasting government.

We see the latest of those today with the major Sunni block moving back into the political mainstream. Note also a very small piece in the NYT. (Greater prominence was given to some apparent criticism of George Bush by John McCain.)

Of course these moves were the very things the defeatist Democrats were demanding as signs of success in Iraq, back when they never believed such moves could ever happen. Now that these 'benchmarks' have been met you can rely on the duplicitous, despicable Democrats and their international handmaidens to dream up a new batch of unreachable benchmarks.

It is beyond their feeble minds and moral dishonesty to admit the reality that all along George W Bush might have been right.

Had it been up to this bunch of modern day Democrats, the US would have shrugged its shoulders in December 1941 and offered to give the Japanese a free hand in the South Pacific. After all, that's in Japan's back yard, not America's, so why not just leave them to do their own thing?

For the fallen

Can’t let an ANZAC Day go by without raining on the right’s “They died for freedom” parade. These guys went through stuff we’ll never even have to imagine, so let’s do them the respect of not glorifying what it was about. Here’s a prayer you won’t hear this morning:

Here’s to the soldiers. All of them. The ones who died and the ones who lived. The ones from NZ and from every other country, from the ANZACs to the Waffen SS, who got sent off to kill and be killed in misery and squalour because their bosses were greedy, stupid or overly loyal when it comes to sacrificing someone else’s life for the local hegemon.

In NZ, we remember our brave men whose lives were thrown away because the British Empire was competing with some other empire in some part of the world we have no interest in – places like Turkey, France, Libya, Italy. We remember the brave men whose lives were thrown away because our local hegemon had a preferred form of Third World dictatorship it was backing – in places like Korea, Malaya and Vietnam. We remember that on the only occasion NZ was even remotely threatened by a conflict, that between the US and Japan, our soldiers were too busy fighting to keep North Africa British to be able to offer much assistance.

Let us remember, and be smarter next time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Alternate realities offer strong ANZAC message

As many of us mark Anzac Day, no doubt we will hear talk of needing to avoid the horrors of war.

Now, there are two ways to do this.
Either you stand up for what you believe in, or you succumb and roll-over and let the aggressor have their way. A bit like the old 20th century saying 'better Red than dead.'

But because we stood our ground during the Cold War against the former Soviet Union, we are neither.

Now, we might want to reflect where the threats to peace are coming from in the 21st Century.

Well, there is our new 'best' friends the Chinese, who are building up a huge army as it becomes a military superpower in the Asia-Pacific.

Now, the Chinese say they have no global ambitions, which is so unlike the other threat of today: Islamism and Global Jihad.

But rather than treat you to one of my usual anti-Islamist tirades I thought I would leave the message to come from novelists.

Just as the 1980s led a few books and movies to feature Soviet invasions of the US, Britain or Europe, or radical marxists raising the red flag over Whitehall, we have a new development, what I might call 'Islamofacist-fiction.'

This month, I have been noting ads on Little Green Footballs for a novel called Caliphate by Tom Kratman, noting the logic of Mark Steyn's America Alone and set in 22nd Century Europe.

Demography is destiny. In the 22nd century European deathbed demographics have turned the continent over to the more fertile Moslems. Atheism in Europe has been exterminated. Homosexuals are hanged, stoned or crucified. Such Christians as remain are relegated to dhimmitude, a form of second class citizenship. They are denied arms, denied civil rights, denied a voice, and specially taxed via the Koranic yizya. Their sons are taken as conscripted soldiers while their daughters are subject to the depredations of the continent's new masters.

There are other recent examples: Robert Ferrigno's A Prayer for the Assassin, set in an Islamofacist 2040s America divided between the Islamic States of Amercia and a Christian Bible Belt. A second book Sins of the Assassin has just been released, with the trilogy due for completion next year. As well as a Wikipedia entry, the marketing for the book also featured a fictional news website for the fictional Islamic States of America: Republic World News.

Just as disturbing was Glenn Reinsford's Age of Tolerance: A Novel of Alternate History from Al to Allah. The novel charts the evolution of the USA, as Al Gore becomes president in the late 90s and following 9-11, the USA takes a PC leftist line and in its multiculturalism, eventually becomes Islamified and 'defeated by its own tolerance.'.

The books form part of a wider genre of Islamic Alternative Histories and Islam in Science Fiction Literature.

They have a long history, with one book GK Chesterton's The Flying Inn written in 1914 and set in the near future of the time, featuring a Britain taken over by muslims, that has banned alcohol and implemented Shriah Law.

The main characters smuggle alcohol and try and sell it in a new multicultural PC Britain.
A lot of the details of this enlightened "tolerance" ring disturbingly true when juxtaposed against the excesses of the present day.
Like "Gulliver's Travels", "The Flying Inn" is both a serious social comment and a lot of fun. There's a reason it's still in print after all these years," said one reviewer.

Indeed, what have our forefathers made their sacrifices for? Why did they go to Gallipoli, the Somme, the Pacific, Vietnam, or wherever they served?

They did it for freedom, to protect their way of life, our way of life. Things to be defended, things worth fighting for, not things to be given away. They did not die to let us let that happen.

So as we remember the fallen this Anzac Day. Let us honour and remember the sacificies made and how we owe it to them to continue to protect and preserve the freedoms, the culture and values that they so valianty fought for.

The open society and its enemies

Over in Britain, a debate has erupted over the state of the left and liberalism, a debate that is just as valid here.
Indeed, it echoes much of my 'whats left/ liberal facists' post earlier this month.
The Guardian kicked off the UK debate, with playwright David Edgar noting a raft of former leftists in 1960s Britain becoming backers of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Anyway, Edgar writes:
"Just as past generations sought to reposition the fault-lines of 20th-century politics (notably, by bracketing communism with fascism as totalitarianism), so, now, influential writers seek to redraw the political map of our own time."
Next in the Guardian debate, Journalist and author Andrew Anthony refers to the story of former Islamic radical Ed Hussein.
"If you can really view someone who leaves an imperialist, anti-semitic, anti-democratic, ultra-religious party like Hizb ut-Tahrir and comes out in favour of democracy and religious tolerance as a defector moving rightwards, then it shows your political - not to mention, moral - compass is in urgent need of repair.
Edgar's complaint seems to be that when leftwingers criticise some aspect of the left, they then jump the centre and head straight for the right. Well, it's easy to name examples where that's true, but really what Edgar is arguing is that unless you sign up to his vision of the left, you have by definition joined the ranks of the right."
Indeed, Anthony looks at the views of many leftists today.
"We are still told by members of this "alliance" that it's racist to oppose Robert Mugabe, imperialist to applaud Tibetan protesters, that religion is the vanguard against Enlightenment liberalism, that people are defined first and foremost by their ethnicity and religion, and that if you strongly object to these positions, you can take the door marked "neocon defector".
It's all very well calling yourself progressive, David, but whatever happened to progress?"
Indeed, as Daily Mail and Spectator writer Melanie Philipps notes of such 'defectors':
"they have merely understood that one cannot be a true progressive and at the same time support the continuation of certain tyrannical regimes that enslave and murder their populations, even if they do belong to the sainted third world".
And Phillips come up with some fine quotes I am sure the leftists who read this blog will surely enjoy:
"The left believe a wide range of lies.
Others believe in the truth instead.
Therefore to the left, those people are ‘right-wing’.
Therefore truth is actually a right-wing concept.
Therefore truth is evil.Therefore truth has to be relabelled lies while lies of course remain unchallengeable truth."

"It is no exaggeration to say that, since the vast majority of the media and intellectual class in Britain are on the left, this mindset has quite simply poisoned British public debate and brought us to our current state of suicidal irrationality in the face of an unprecedented global threat."
And noting how the left always believe they are right, Phillips recounts her own journey from a soft-left journalist of the 70s and 80s discovering socialism wasn't working; to today where her conflict with Islamism, now means Phillips is now pilloried as a member of a Zionist far-right.
"The thing is, I don’t think I was ever really left-wing: more a soggy liberal just going along with the consensus. Then I was mugged by reality, as the saying goes; and the rest is history. But I still believe, as I always have done, in creating a better society; still believe in encouraging the good and discouraging the bad; still believe in fighting harm and tyranny rather than appeasing it."

Indeed, as a follow up to a recent post when I referred to the facism of the left, I was attacked over it. On other occassions I have been branded a facist myself.
I support 'family values', a minimal state and free markets where possible. I'm tough on crime and hawkish on defence.
But I support gay rights, I have no issue with gay marriage or something similar; I support women's equality, I support a woman's right to choose upto a certain age limit of the foetus; issues leftists supposedly support but now their multiculturalism threatens these tolerant western values.
The rise of Islamism, the neocons, the George W Bush presidency and the War On Terror has created turmoil within the left due to the left's many contradictions. Perhaps, this is why we have what I have called left-wing facists, while seeing myself as a conservative liberal or a liberal conservative.
Indeed, any leftist who is soft on Islam needs to look at the ideology they are supporting.
An ideology that oppresses women.
An ideology that wants to kill gays.
An idealogy with imperialist ambitions of global takeover.
An ideology that also opposes free speech.
An ideology that is non-secular, that is not based on reason, and is as barbaric and primitive as the worst forms of Christian fundamentalism.
So Liberals, whose side are you on?

The reality of an Obama presidency

While Right Wing bloggers, including myself on a good day, have demonized Barack Obama as a Muslim-raised, tax and spend socialist extremist in bed with Islamic terrorists, we have heard little from the Mainstream Media other than adulation of the Black Messiah.
However, the Wall Street Journal has presented a fine view of what Obama's America might look like. It does not sound a wonderful place and it will have implications for the rest of us.
"He promises higher taxes, more regulation, less trade and less opportunity,".says columnist Pete Du Pont.
Du Pont expects theDemocrats to increase their majorities in both houses "and that will result in a broad-reaching, socialist-leaning, greatly expanded American government."

"Four significant public policy changes are certain: the size, scope and spending of the federal government will substantially expand; income taxes will go up; protectionism will replace free trade; and a commitment to global internationalism will saddle America with a broad Kyoto global warming agreement that, according to the U.N. Climate Treaty Secretariat, should exempt China and India.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have proposed increasing annual federal spending, respectively, by $226 billion and $303 billion – the Obama total being about a 10% increase. Neither of them as president would likely limit any spending – not entitlements, not earmarks, not farm subsidies."
Recent taxcuts from George Bush have helped create growth and they will be reversed.
"He is indeed a redistributionist," said blogger and Obama supporter Andrew Sullivan.
Obama is also a protectionist, policies which caused the 30s Depression.
He also supports laws ending conservative talk back radio, nuclear power and the opening of new coal-fired power stations. Trade Unions would also gain sweeping new powers.
"With such policies, we would be a far more regulated, far less prosperous nation offering far less opportunity. The 23% of Americans who identify themselves as liberals may applaud, but for the rest of us it would be an unfortunate outcome."
Former Bush advisor Karl Rove also reviews Obama's latest performance against Hillary Clinton in the Wall Street Journal and not surprisingly is unimpressed with either.
First, he says of Clinton:
"The Democratic Party has two weakened candidates. Mrs. Clinton started as a deeply flawed candidate: the palpable and unpleasant sense of entitlement, the absence of a clear and optimistic message, the grating personality impatient to be done with the little people and overly eager for a return to power, real power, the phoniness and the exaggerations. These problems have not diminished over the long months of the contest. They have grown. She started out with the highest negatives of any major candidate in an open race for the presidency and things have only gotten worse."
And after noting Obama's links with his extrmist preacher, his inability to connect with working-class America, his failure to lead in Congress, and his constant whining.
"No one likes a whiner, and his old-style attacks undermine his appeals for postpartisanship.
Mr. Obama is near victory in the Democratic contest, but it is time for him to reset, freshen his message and say something new. His conduct in the last several weeks raises questions about whether, for all his talents, he is ready to be president", Rove conludes.
Finally, don't ask Obama about the Middle East. As ABC News reported, he will reply:
UPDATE: Obama campaign collects from dead people.

Blessed little cherub finds God, Maori culture and freedom

On the right, is the angelic face of a killer.
New Zealand's youngest convicted killer- Bailey Junior Kurariki.
On the left is how he looks today.
And the little cherub has just been given parole. What a caring, compassionate and forgiving judiciary we have!
So the life of a pizza delivery man- Michael Choy- is worth but a mere seven years.
Apparantly, Bailey has found God and Maori culture and is "of the lowest possible risk." A lovely, loving sweetheart ready to say 'sorry'.
Now, aged 19, Bailey will be kept at home with electronic monitoring.
One can only hope he has no access to a phone and is not able to ring 0800-838383!!!!

Slumping so fast- even the Reserve Bank notices!!

So interest rates stay where they are, and Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard hints rates may come down sooner rather than later, perhaps even this year, as he sees the economy slowing faster than he expected.
As the table in the link shows, Cullen has left us with a legacy of the highest interest rates amongst our main competitors.
Bollard also makes some interesting comments, not all of which will amuse Mr Cullen.
The Herald reports of Bollard:
But he also pointed to the impact of repeated increases in food and energy prices which, he said, played a large part in short term inflation being likely to remain persistently high.
"There is a risk that wage settlements respond to these short term price shocks rather than adjusting to the changing economic conditions, thus perpetuating inflation pressures," Dr Bollard said.
Over time, the weaker economy would ease accumulated pressure on resources and reduce inflation pressures, but the labour market was still strong and New Zealand's key international commodity prices remained high. Government spending plans and the possibility of personal tax cuts could also be expected to limit the economic slowdown.
So let us get this right. Higher fuel cost will cause inflation and keep interest rates high.
Now, side from the international situation, what do we see at home? We see government policy on biofuels, emissions trading and allowing regional council petrol taxes, could see a further 40c a litre on current fuel prices
Thus, by driving up fuel prices, government policy will fuel inflation and thus keep interest rates high, thus deepening our impending recession!
Mr Bollard also advises unions to keep a lid on payrises, so any inflationary pay rises, will be lost in higher mortgage rates too.
And he notes the'possibility' of tax cuts will be good for growth, in helping to stave off recession.
Brian Fallow today notes how the economy has been mismanaged under Liarbour. There has been no productivity miracle, creating real wealth, just an inflationary, credit card fuelled spending binge on the back of rising property prices.
Right now we face the aftermath of an extended borrow-and-spend binge.
Consumption grew faster than incomes and faster than the economy's productive capacity, propelled by the wealth effect from an exceptionally strong housing boom.
The result has been a toxic build-up of inflation, a blowout in the country's external accounts and 71 per cent increase in mortgage debt over the past four years.
And looking at the biggest causes of current inflation, he reports:
The ANZ National Bank's economists have looked at the past two recessions, in the early 1990s and the Asian crisis. In both cases non-tradeable inflation did indeed abate quickly, lagging activity by about a year.
But they point to factors that might make this cycle different and inflation more persistent, especially in sectors immune from competitive pressure. Among them are the impact of fuel surcharges, the emissions trading scheme and relentlessly rising local body rates.
So when you see your high mortgage bill, and the current economic troubles, you know who to blame, but Liarbour!

Not even a Perky Nana republic!

If anything shows how much we have become a Nanny State in recent years, it is this story concerning the Public Health Bill.

Dear Leader has not made any pronouncement yet on any banning of Pineapple Lumps or Perky Nanas, but her new bills does give health officials the power to.
However, look how the Helengrad years have led to such dictatorial attitudes amongst some.
Yesterday, Fight The Obesity Trust spokeswoman Dr Robyn Toomath told the parliamentary committee considering the bill that was exactly what people wanted.
"People are desperate for Nanny State's help. Parents are desperate for help to get children to eat healthily," she said.
While she did not want to see regulations governing what people ate, it was essential the Government had the ability to do so as a backstop in case voluntary self-regulation by food manufacturers did not stem the obesity epidemic, Dr Toomath said.
Now, whatever happened to personal responsibility?
Whatever happened to parents having the brains to make the right choices for the childrens' diets?
Whatever happened to their ability to tell their kids not to have sweets before meals, etc?
Have parents become so dumb that they do not know right from wrong? Have parents become afraid to tell their offspring they should not be eating so many sweets? That taking the Perky Nana out of a kid's mouth is now tantamount to assault, worthy of a police raid?
So, parents aparantly feel that Nanny State must say no more Perky Nanas or Pineapple Lumps. Parents have abandonned responsibility for their own actions and their own children!
After all, it just follows the trends of recent years.
But the law might back fire on the government.
"No, Johnny, you cannot have Pineapple Lumps anymore, 'Aunty Helen' has banned them! "
And up grows a generation of libertarian rebels.
"Liberte, fraternite et la drioite au manger Perky Nanas!"will be the rallying cry!

Dumb, Dumber And Dumbest

Isn't this is the sort of thing you'd expect from Gordon Copeland?

This photo was taken in Chicago, 2008 - not Berlin, 1938.

When asked if he was a Nazi or sympathized with Nazis or white supremacists, Zirkle replied he didn't know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it.

"This is just a great opportunity for me to witness," he said, referring to his message and his Christian belief."

NACTional Governs

The first Roy Morgan poll for a month puts National and Act into a comfortable coalition with a majority of two seats.

National are up three at 50%, Labour up 1 at 35.5%, Greens are down at 6.5% and Winston Peters is where he deserves to be. Out on his arse.
arty name Party Votes won Party seat entitlement No. of electorate seats won No. of list MPs Total MPs % of MPs
Act New Zealand 1.50% 2 1 1 2
Green Party 6.50% 8 0 8 8
Jim Anderton's Progressive 0.00% 0 1 0 1 * 0.80%
Labour Party 35.50% 44 0 44 44
Maori Party 2.50% 3 7 0 7 * 5.60%
National Party 50.00% 62 0 62 62
United Future New Zealand 0.50% 1 1 0 1
Totals 96.50% 120 10 115 125 100.00%


The Broad Defence

When this fellow gets to court he won't even need a lawyer.

All he has to do is tell the judge he was following the example of the Police Commissioner.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ice Age ahoy! as global warming runs into a (sun) spot of bother

What delicious timing!
Dear Leader is recognised by the UN as a 'champion of the Earth' for her work in setting targets on carbon emissions.
But the reality behind the rhetoric, shows New Zealand has a worse record than George Bush and John Howard (see earlier post).
And in today's Australian newspaper, we hear an Australian-born scientist and former astronaut say because how sunspot cycles work, we could be set for a new mini Ice Age.
This, on the same day Australian business warn their carbon trading programme will cost business A$22 billion.
Now, how much was our equivalent policy going to cost? And to think, we might soon be needing carbon emissions to curb an impending ice age!
UPDATE: Gore voter debunks global warming fears, plus independent lobby group Icecap has more.

Is 'Sir Humphrey' at Number 10?

For some weeks, like a politician eagerly awaiting the latest opinion poll, I have been awaiting the latest blog rankings from Tumeke.

Bomber and co seem a little late this month, so I thought I would have a look at the latest Alexia ratings for a guide.

Obviously Tumeke uses other factors too in their rankings, blog post numbers and comments maybe, so the rankings I obtained will differ from what Tumeke reveals in its next line up.

In the Alexia rankings I obtained this afternoon, Kiwiblog remains the firm leader at 83,878, with David Farrar clearly a part of the national fabric and did you see the TV cameras focus on him as John Key announced his broadband initiative?

Regular appearances in the Sunday papers, Pork Chop one week, Bridget Saunders the next, plus biting commentary, puts political pornographer Whale Oil in a strong second place at 165, 728.

Frogblog is third at 239,271 with Public Address apparantly slumping to fourth at 257,918 on the Alexia ranking. Former runner-up Russell Brown may have been round forever, he maybe influential , on tv and a government favourite, but can Public Address compete with the relative newcomers? It seems not.

Peter Cresswell and Not PC is number five on 300,467, with Labour lapdog blog, The Standard, sixth on 336,244. I am sure the relatively new blog has been well promoted among the labour movement and it is a good looking blog, with well argued content, even if the arguments differ to those usually found here. Tane and co have done well on taxpayer support.

The Hive, another relative newcomer and strong performer with sound postings and commentary, is at number 7, with a ranking of 401,160.

Kiwiblogblog is eighth on 512,828, with the marvellous Poneke ninth on 528,214, showing strong growth from fine postings, some of which have attracted global media attention.

No Minister is at number ten according to the Alexia rating of 567,888, hopefully better than the 13th in the latest Tumeke ratings, which were for February, and down from the 11th of previous months.

Dave Gee is now at 11 on 616, 493, followed by the well-presented and argued Tumeke on 796,199; Cactus Kate is 13th on 841,290; New Zeal 14th on 845,290 and No Right Turn, apparantly slumping fast at number 15 on 849,058.

Keeping Stock is doing well, at 16 in my table, followed by Silent Running. NZ Conservative appears not too far behind, but there may be others I have missed and don't even know about.

Of course, how accurate these rankings are, I do not really know. I guess there are other ways of assessing blogsite popularity too.

Either way, I for one await the latest Tumeke rankings with interest. And it will also be illuminating to see how the rankings change in what will be an increasingly vocal and probably bitter election campaign.

Helen, the would-be kitty killer!!!

I'm going to wait until I have read all of Absolute Power before I do a proper book review.
But I thought I would share with you the first few paragraphs of the first chapter.
There is a story told by an old schoolmate of Helen Clark's, of the time when they were both 15-year-olds in the Waikato farming settlement that the Clark family called home. One of the local girls had just become the proud owner of a litter of kittens, and invited the other teenagers around for a look.
"Ugh", was 15-year-old Helen Clark's response when she saw so many squirming kittens trying to feed from their mother. "How horrible. There's just too many. You should just drown them."
It certainly left an impression on those in the room.
Indeed, what a kick-off to the 330-0dd page book, which has attracted little comment, though I noted Danyl McLaughlin doubting the truth of this particular story on another blog.
Clark can cheat, Clark can lie, Clark can committ forgery, steal an election, any crime she likes. But really, wanting to kill kittens is certainly beyond the pale. Don't forget to tell your children.

Don't we know? Mickey knows best!

Can't we just shut up and accept the wisdom of Michael Cullen?
Treasury has obviously had another one of its 'ideological burps' in supporting the Canadian bid to buy 40% of Auckland International Airport.
So what if Treasury reported the sale would 'breach international agreements, scare foreign investors and damage the economy.'
What do those experts in Treasury know that our history professor does not about the world economy? We cannot have grubby foreigners buying our 'strategic assets' unless they are Chinese wanting to buy our Vector power company and we Kiwis must still be able to buy foreign airports like Infratil owns in Prestwick, Scotland.
We must listen to Dear Michael, who has such a fine record of economic management, that has given kiwis burgeoning wealth and prosperity, and left government finances in such a sound, fiscally prudent state, with much better public services all round :)

Some champion! Some award!

The United Nations has declared Helen Clark a "Champion of the Earth."

So, let us look at her environmental record.

The last set of greenhouse gas figures, before the election, was released this week, and NZ is 26% over its Kyoto target. By comparison Australia and the UK are on target to meet their target.
Now Labour in defence says that okay we may have an appalling actual record, but we do have some good policy. But what is the record:
*Biofuels legislation slammed by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
*Tradeable Emissions scheme legislation slammed as near useless by Greenpeace
*The deforestation disaster
*The Fart tax debacle (the issue wasn’t that it was a tax so much as the hypocrisy of taxing for carbon debits and not letting farmers share in carbon credits)

One other such winner was, of course, proven liar Al Gore.

Of course, how seriously can we take the United Nations? Not much. Especially its Human Rights Council, which in recent weeks has called for an official study into the role of 'neocons' in causing 9-11, following the appointment of 9-11 'troofer' Richard Fall.

The HRC , backed by its Islamist members, recently called for a curtailment of freedom of expression, particularly where criticism of Islam was concerned.

And in case you're wondering, this Human Rights Council contains such members as Egypt, Angola, Qatar, China, Russia, Cubia and Saudi Arabia- all noted for their fine records on human rights, personal redom, etc, etc.

But there again, considering how she behaves in government, Dear Leader is getting recognition from ideological bedfellows, bedfellows she undoubtedly will feel at home working for, hopefully quite soon!

Update: I thought the news had a familiar ring to it. The announcement was actually in January and Dear Leaer should have accepted her prize in Singapore this week. But we can enjoy more such fun in New Zealand on June 5, when the UN's World Environment Day stages its main celebration in Wellingon..

Update 2: David Farrar notes New Zealand's record is worse than that of George Bush and John Howard. Even the Greens and other lefties aren't impressed.