Friday, May 31, 2019

Rugby World Cup - Helping Shag with his team

This time we move to the inside backs and look at first five eight and half back. The injury to Damien MacKenzie is a big setback for the selectors because of his abiity to cover fullback and wing as well as first five plus his explosive impact off the bench. At first look there is no obvious replacement for him and therefore I am of the view that only two first fives will be taken along with three half backs.

FIRST FIVE EIGHT: Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga.
In my opinion on form Mo'unga should be starting in the big matches this year - he is superior tactically to Barrett and gets his teams around the paddock much better than Barrett does because of his superior kicking game. Where Barrett has the edge is with his explosive pace and his ability to seize opportunities from seemingly nothing which makes him a match winner in broken play. I also expect Barrett to start at least one test at fullback.
If one of these two go down injured who are the likely back ups? My first choice would be Mitch Hunt who seems to have a big match temperament while Josh Ioane looks a player for the future but is probably a year away. Of the rest Otere Black is flakey and both Plummer and Cameron look better suited to the rigours of test rugby.

HALF BACK: Aaron Smith remains number one selection with TJ Perenara clearly favoured by the selectors as his back up. However, if selecting solely on 2019 Super Rugby form Brad Weber would be the first half back chosen for the World Cup - his contribution to the Chiefs has been immense and I for one find it hard to understand how he was ranked so low by the All Black selectors. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (TripleT) is the selectors favoured number 3 but it is hard to see him getting the nod when he has so little playing time for the Chiefs. Of the rest Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond have had All Black time as has Augustine Pulu who seems to have dropped right out of contention.
In summary we are well served in both of these positions but injury to either Barrett or Mo'unga would put the selectors under pressure and leave a huge hole in the World Cup Campaign.

Breaching data privacy for fun and profit


A lot of organisations hold confidential data and have obligations to keep that data secure.  I work for one, and IT security is something I have to take seriously because we provide publicly accessible services on a network that also stores personal information about our staff and customers, confidential administration documents, financial data etc that all must be kept secure from public access.  It's the stuff of nightmares, because the people tasked with maintaining that confidentiality when working with the data are ordinary, fallible humans who make mistakes, while the people who'd like unauthorised access to that data for their own purposes are clever, ingenious, ruthless types who'll find and exploit any mistake they encounter.

It feels like a lot of responsibility to carry (and my share of that responsibility is trivial compared to that of my organisation's IT Security Manager, he must have a whisky habit that would kill a lesser man).

One thing I had, apparently incorrectly, assumed up until now was that at least the nation's politicians are on our side and will take data theft seriously as a matter of the public good. If one of our staff makes a mistake and leaves a security loophole that opens access to confidential data for people who can find the loophole and exploit it, it seemed reasonable to assume that the government would treat as criminals the people who'd exploit that security hole to gain unauthorised access to our data.

It turns out I was wrong. No less a figure than the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges, says that if someone finds such a security loophole in our system and exploits it for unauthorised access to our confidential data, it's "entirely appropriate" for them to do so.  The NZ Police, for their part, don't see anything worth prosecuting in it. This is mind-boggling stuff.

National's supporters, and a range of people who ought to know better, have said that exploiting such security holes for unauthorised access is fine because it's not "hacking." Easy for them to say.  Those of us with responsibility for confidential data have no fucks to give about what's defined as "hacking" and what isn't, there's only authorised access to your data vs unauthorised access to your data, and the people looking for a way to gain unauthorised access to your data are data-thieving scum, whether they meet some arbitrary definition of "hacker" or not.

The activity that Simon Bridges is so proud of falls cleanly into that category of "data-thieving scum."  He's been careful to present it as just having used a publicly-available search engine. As a data custodian of my organisation, I consider that to be a disingenuous excuse from a data thief.

Here's what happened:

  1. The documents were secured on Treasury's web site to prevent public access.
  2. A staff member made a mistake and didn't block the site's search engine from indexing the documents.
  3. Anyone finding those documents via the search engine would find access to the documents blocked, and would know why they were blocked.
  4. However, the security hole caused by the staff member's mistake could be exploited. The search engine displays a brief amount of text either side of the search term it found, so if you bombard the search engine with enough search terms, those brief snippets of text can be collated and a partial view of the secured documents constructed. 
  5. People working for the National Party used the exploit, obtained some of the secure documents' contents, and used them for the party's advantage. 


In other words, National found a security failure, figured out how to exploit it and then exploited it for unauthorised access to confidential data for its own advantage.  That, National, is called data theft and is one of the biggest fears of people with responsibility for the security of their organisation's data. Your claim that it's the victim's fault for not securing their property properly is exactly the kind of claim a thief makes, and the fact that the Police believe our legislation doesn't make such activity illegal is an indictment of our data privacy legislation, not an endorsement of your actions.  You're supposed to be a government in waiting, for fuck's sake.

My message to the current government is: please take data privacy seriously.  Finding and exploiting a staff member's security mistakes to gain unauthorised access to confidential data should be a crime - please make it so.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf

Climate change for dummies.....

Is there a noticeable climatic event going on?........YES

Is it man made?........NOBODY KNOWS

Is the media over hyping and creating a climate of fear..........YES

Are politicians using exaggeration and fear to bolster their profile..........YES

Is climate change a hoax.............NO

Are we able to hold back or change climatic events............NOBODY KNOWS.

This from the Scottish Government research paper...

“Effects of a changing climate observed in Scotland's nature indicate some of the likely future effects. Warming has already caused earlier timing of spring events such as leaf unfolding, bird migration and egg laying. Where species adapt at different speeds this may impact on their populations. For example, caterpillars may emerge earlier than birds' eggs hatch, leading to a lack of food for some bird chicks. Shifts in ranges in plant and animal species have been recorded, particularly northwards, and there may be new species moving to Scotland, such as the comma butterfly. Movements may also occur up hillsides, and species already confined to high mountains in Scotland may be lost as conditions become unsuitable or other species replace them. In the seas, the ranges of some plankton and fish abundance are moving.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Budget 2019 - It just gets worse

Awwwwww....

That is such a cute photo of a single mum and her daughter. Perfect for the 21st century Labour Party to put on the cover of their first ever "Wellbeing" budget.

There's just one problem:
Freeman, who features on the Wellbeing Budget with her 9-year-old daughter Ruby-Jean, said she moved to Auckland at the start of 2018 to pursue her dream. 
While they both got good work – featuring on Shortland Street, Jono and Ben and advertisements including Harvey Norman – she couldn’t afford the financial sacrifice, a brutal realisation after discovering she was paying her 15-year-old babysitter more than she was earning.
Sounds familiar. Beloved Wife has made similar comments about her shit wages looking after special needs kids. Fortunately it's basically milk money for us, but as she says, it's the principle of it that burns her.
She admitted she had given up on New Zealand. . . 
Watching Fonterra's share price drop through the crucial $4.00 barrier, I know how she feels.
As for the photo on the cover of today’s Budget, she said she initially felt it was out of context but then she saw that the Budget was all about happiness and wellbeing which both she and her daughter had now found in Queensland.
Queensland?

But, but, but..... But every Lefty I know and read told me it was simply an awful place, darlings, awful! Especially after they kicked the Australian Labor party in the nads just a few weeks ago.

But maybe the pineapple munchers are on to something.

H/T - Ele at Homepaddock.

UPDATE:

Oh FFS....
. . . 10:30am – In a major blunder, Treasury staff mistakenly handed out copies of the budget to journalists and political commentators. 
Newshub’s Political Editor Tova O’Brien tweeted that she was given one of the top secret documents. When the recipients questioned whether they were supposed to see them before going into the lock-up, she says an official asked “Are you not Treasury?” before hurriedly taking the copies back. . .

EGG MEET FACE!


Yesterday while Bridges was releasing a dribble of Budget details over some hours, several arse-covering specialists were spectacularly failing to make headway in their responses.

Lameduck, time-serving head of Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf was screeching - hack, hack, hack - to anyone within earshot. Just as well his departure is fixed as he would have been stretched to avoid a DCM.

Grunting sweat pants claiming it was all made up, as many of the Nats claims were wrong, but then in another moment of confusion begged National to stop being mean and cease releasing  more of the "incorrect" figures.

Stewart Nash on Hosking echoing.

Jacinda asking what exactly is a budget.

Winston Peters whose support party appears to be the big beneficiary, saying all the figures were made up.

His appointed heir apparent Shane Jones called for the "Hacker to be beheaded with a Maori culturally appropriate weapon of war.

The  Gree Melons were away with the fairies as getting involved would reveal them at their true value,  ie. not very important.

Mark Mitchell on Hosking with Nash was extremely ebullient and emphatic that the information being slowly dripped out by the National Leader was "Lawfully"  obtained and leaked not "hacked'.

The police were called in by Treasury to find and sanction the "Hacker"???

Well 24 hours is a long time in politics especially when everyone is trying to ride the pony at the same time.

This morning, clearly after a long night at the grindstone, the NZ Police informed NZ that the material leaked, not hacked, was obtained from a website able to be visited by anyone with the Masochistic urge to do so.

No unlawful involvement so case closed.

The information was part of a website set up to be published with the Budget information as clone website. This startlingly simple fact had already been ascertained as the most likely scenario by Hosking, asking relatively low-level, computer-savvy people in his office and many others after it all went pearshaped yesterday.

The Opposition were opposing, The wellness budget was just another more welfare budget, no surprises there, and the most inept, out-of-their-depth government in the history of NZ were business as usual.

Now back to Mr Speaker: is he fit for purpose? Well in the court of public opinion the jury is still out, but the time spent deliberating indicates there must be some convinced yes and others no, while those paying for that circus act are still losing money paying for it all.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

USA: Hey, where the white men at?

The Associated Press, in their role as Democrat Operatives With Bylines, recently had a Tweet and a related article about the Democrat Party thinking about their voting base, in particular, White men.
That’s left Democrats wondering whether the nominee should be someone who can cut deep into Trump’s base, picking off large numbers of working-class whites, whether it’s enough to win over affluent, college-educated, suburban men and whether the party is moving too far left to win them both. 
“The white male vote is indispensable, it’s a part of any winning coalition,” said Democratic pollster Ronald Lester, who worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. He noted that successful national Democrats perform well with white men, and that includes Barack Obama, whose strength among white men in the Rust Belt helped fuel his White House victories in 2008 and 2012.
AP being who they are, the article does not really think about that further, but simply talks about the GOP steadily losing college-educated white males and grabbing some examples of men who say they will likely vote Democrat. Ignored by AP were the huge number of comments on their Twitter blog, which were a lot more revealing:
- Have you tried calling them racist? I hear that tests well. 
- That bridge is already burned 
- Good luck with that. After you beat me and call me all kinds of names. You want my vote? I don't think so. 
- But they hate us, they tell us that all the time. Apparently, we are some damn boogeyman to them. No thanks.
- Democrats can forget about white male votes because they forgot about our interests a long time ago. 
Perhaps the Democrat Party could take a look at some of their other voters, like Dr. Catlyn Collins, an assistant professor of Sociology and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies​ at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of a book titled Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. Recently Ms Collins drove past a road construction site and had a bit of chat with one of the crew:

If she thinks this is a problem, perhaps she should have aimed her well-educated mind at the company employing this poor schlub. But as this comment at the Gunfree Zone blog pointed out, that's not what this was really about:
This is why so many on the Right get accused of being anti-academic.  Because this is the shit that we see that makes us hate academia. 
I am proud of my Ph.D.  Mine is in engineering, and I walk a factory floor every day in composite toe boots.  I don’t act like I am better than the people in assembly.  I am there to help them by solving problems with my skills 
This type of academic elitism is all about reminding the non-academic non-elite about their place. 
Think about this guy.  He works hard in the cold rain of the Midwest right now.  At the end of the day he might go to a bar with some coworkers and have a beer, every part of his body hurting.  That is the kind of toxic masculinity that this professor raves against.
As numerous Left commentators noted, Donald Trump’s election in 2016 was due in large part to White voters finally acting like….. an Identity Politics group. White voters thinking was, “why not us?" And all the abusive screaming from the Left about how their "White Privilege" means they're not allowed to think this way, has not only had no effect, it reminds these voters, particularly white men, that their traditional, working-class left-wing parties, are increasingly filled with people who utterly despise them.

Thus it is no surprise to find that the early stages of the Democrat nomination for President in 2020 are being dominated by one of the Stalest, Palest and Malest of old, white men in America.

Who me?

That's Joe Biden, currently leading the Democrat nomination race from twenty-plus contenders, and by substantial margins.

In any other context this would be extraordinary. Biden is a hopeless, brainless old hack. A two-time loser in these nomination races. A swamp-creature buried in Washington D.C. politics for almost fifty years since first being elected to the US Senate in 1972. A gaffe-prone, 76-year old politician so dumb that in the 1988 nomination race he plagiarised the speeches of the almost equally hopeless British Labour leader, Neil Kinnock. A man with private and public behaviours that are distinctly disturbing in the age of #MeToo. So how is he winning so far?

The explanation lies in there being three "lanes" in the Democrat Party at present.

First, the traditional, hard-line Old Left - which sees Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren competing.

Second, the Woke, Identity Politics New Left, in which the vast majority of candidates are competing.

Third is the "moderate" lane; the part that's not Woke, not into Identity Politics, and not that keen on vast, new government schemes beyond what already exist in the form of the troubled Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid programs. The lane that includes the large majority of those white male voters forming Trump's base, which the Democrats are desperate to "cut deep into".

Despite all his handicaps, Joe Biden finds himself all alone in this lane, and his success so far has intimidated other candidates from attacking him on his record, which is otherwise a target-rich environment. Biden is rapidly disavowing most of these past positions to reduce his exposure, as well as reducing his exposure overall, but it's very early days and I can't see him escaping these attacks as the field narrows.

And this is where it starts to become fun. Given the concerns raised about the Democrats getting enough of that "indispensable" white male vote, Biden has on his side the knowledge that such voters are comfortable with him and very uncomfortable with his opponents, plus knowing that it's a narrow front to attack him without also attacking them and burning them off, as Hillary did with her infamous "Deplorables" remark.

Either way I'm looking forward to the prospect of one of these Woke Democrats destroying Biden on their favourite fields of battle and then crashing and burning in the General Election - or sitting there pulling their punches and grinding their teeth in months of slow-burning anger as they support Biden trying to defeat the Evil Orange One.

Can you imagine what it will be like to support a person who represents much of what you despise because he's up against a person who represents everything you despise - and all because you need the votes of many of those you despise. It's a delicious concept.

Too Good To Leave Til Sunday

IS SHANE JONES TRYING TO BRING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT?

Oppositions seldom win elections, governments lose them.   And boy is this government trying hard to do just that.   Over the last few days we have seen the government walk away from Kiwiflop which now rates as the countries greatest ever social policy failure.   Then Speaker Mallard goes ape with some quite injudicious comments which could well see him facing defamation action.   And yesterday we saw the drip, drip of budget leaks leaving the St Jacinda fuming and the Treasury floundering.    Incompetence vs conspiracy and 9/10 incompetence wins going away.

And now, galloping over the hill to put cream on a succession of clusterf**cks, along comes the Jones boy with the revelation that he lobbied the hapless Phil Twyford (of Kiwiflop fame) to get Stan Semenoff, his cuzzie bro (and campaign donor) appointed to the Board of the New Zealand Transport Agency.    No matter that Semenoff  is currently fighting moves by the NZTA to have the operating licence for his logging company suspended with Jones intervening to try and have the prosecution dropped and no matter also that Jones lobbied for Semenoff to be granted an exemption to bring in foreign truck drivers for his company (against the NZF election manifesto policy commitment to restrict foreign workers coming into the country.

I am increasingly convinced that Jones is operating a high risk f**k you strategy against Jacinda Ardern daring her to sack him in the knowledge that she can't without bringing the government down with the fallback position that, acknowledging they (NZF) are in deep stuk with their voter base  (especially their ever diminishing rural support demographic given Labour and the Greens promoting running the culling of every fourth cow with the Zero Carbon Bill) and that should 'she' do that 'they' can negotiate a sweatheart deal with National to take over the treasury benches with their support.    Peters of course can't be seen as having a part in that hence the Jones boy doing the dirty work.

Problem is it won't work.   St Jacinda might sack him but I suspect National would prefer to go to the country.    But which-way whatever, you can guarantee Shane Jones will continue to give the PM nightmares.    The arrogance is in his genes/jeans.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

EMBARRASSING OR WHAT

Not sure what's more embarrassing ... National's drip, drip release of extracts from the CoL's Budget; the Finance Minister's saying some of the numbers were right and others wrong; the feral reaction by the pinstriped dwarf or the Prime Minister refusing to express confidence in the Treasury.

Your call ... embarrassment all round.   Nationals's day in spades.

BTW ... didn't Roger Douglas, as Finance Minister, offer his resignation (not accepted) over reported budget leaks when he held office.  Will Grant Robertson do the same?     Do pigs fly?


WOW AND DOUBLE WOW ... IS MALLARD IN TROUBLE?

Not much I need to say.   Others have done the hard yards on this.   Go to Kiwiblog here to read what the alleged parliamentary rapist has to say along with the comments by Hugh Rennie QC, one of New Zealand's top lawyers. 

Then read what Kate Hawkesby thinks about Mallards handling of the matter here.

So the question ... is Speaker Mallard in real trouble?

PRIME MINISTER OF NZ,


Dear Madam,

Please pardon my rather forward approach, my intentions are honourable.

When approaching a drowning person the greatest danger to a rescuer is the drowning person in an act of desperation may disable the rescuer and both drown.

At my college mid 20th century all third formers were given a basic survival approach based on the Bronze medal level of the Life saving awards as a part  of the Physical education curriculum then in place. This technique could be of assistance to you.

For a would-be rescuer, be aware, approach from a safe direction, grasp the drowning person and reverse them until they are on their back with the rescuer able to back stroke to shore, supporting the patient from behind.

I hope this is of some help in a current situation you seem to be struggling with as evidenced on the wireless this morning.

Best wishes and kind regards,
Gravedodger.

ps no acknowledgement or thanks required, I am aware how busy you are.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Maybe not the only one concerned?


Stuff ran two recent  items that raised concerns on the operational fitness for  the Police personal so widely armed in response to the Mosque Killings, two  months ago.

The first from an area commander lamenting his responsibility in arming all his command as ordered when he knew there were some who had not had sufficient current skill training.

The second from a lower rank, serving cop who also had reservations about the skills of some who were armed precipitously, regardless of established fitness with weapons such as the Glock and Bushmaster.

Both items mentioned lack of training time and funding for range time and ammunition, with an added problem of police being seconded away from the opportunity for scheduled range training.

I am well outside the loop current with police firearms skill updates, but based on my more recent time with fire service as a volly,  if red flags appeared on current training status (most on an annual basis),  access to a truck being manned for a callout was automatically denied, as it should be.

I am reasonably certain that some of those toting weapons could have been a greater danger than a safety factor, should active deployment using the weapons have become needed.

Democracy in action.

The largest  democratic exercise in the western world  has just finished with a mixed bag of results.  From a UK perspective it was encouraging to see more people voting for their MEP’s but the turnout was disappointingly low, 34% in 2014 and 37% for this one.

Even though the Brexit party won the most seats, which was what the polls predicted,  the combined vote for the anti Brexit parties was 40.6% while the Brexit party was 35.4%. That's what happens when you split the vote but indicates that any sensible government will put it back to the people for a final say .

It must be stressed that MEP's only vote on matters concerning the running of the  EU and not on things that impact their own countries sovereignty and that the Brexit party is not a party, it has no MP's or a manifesto...it is a one man band.

The rise of the Greens continues unabated throughout Europe with the centre left and centre right parties taking a hammering from the hard right and hard left...all in all a victory for democracy which gives a lie to those who wish to portray the EU as some sort of Fourth Reich and “unelected globalist elite”  this sort of language is straight from the Kremlin's sock puppets RT and Sputnik.

THE POWER OF 'NO MINISTER'

Our readership is expanding.   I have it from a very reliable source that following my piece on Labour entering into a sweetheart deal with Winston First which would see Kelvin Davis going List only and Willow Jean Prime being parachuted into the Te Tai Tokerau seat  to be replaced with a no-name nobody allowing the Jones boy clean air to try a knock off National's Matt King, the said Willow Jean Prime hit up Matt King at the airport asking him if he had seen the post.   All good stuff.

And a refinement to that suggestion now doing the rounds.    Kelvin to go List with the TTT seat offered to Jones.    Were that to be the case I suspect he would jump at it.   The reality is Jones has little gravitas in Northland (and I suspect he knows it).  He is seen as lazy, expecting things to be handed to him on a plate.      Female voters particularly don't like him.    King will beat him going away.   But it would be an interesting contest in TTT with Hone Harawira likely to stand under the Mana label but in coalition with Bishop Brian Tamaki's mob.    Maori vs Maori; local vs local; ego vs ego; money vs commitment.

Were that to happen I would be watching TTT on election night with a great deal of interest. 
  

A BURNING QUESTION AND THE ANSWER IS SO BLOODY SIMPLE!


A bunch of inner city cafe dwellers in leafy burbs of Melbourne and Sydney sitting around street side tables sipping coffee, often eschewing the milk from cows for soy bean extract or fluid extracted from almond nuts, are the remnant voters for Aus Labor to falsely believe are the only ones who ignore millennia of history of this planet and its existence in the Milky Way, to reach a better place as construed by an educated elite.

No these comfortably off idlers think the thousands of men and women in Queensland who arbitrarily decided that paying an impost to some faceless crats no one seems able to identify who where or what, based on warped logic that suddenly the main driver of the ever changing climate of the planet was being irreversibly altered by the  existence of  'man'. In particularly the use of Carbon and its compounds that have been used for bettering that existence of  humans: now a golden opportunity for wealth diversion begun by taxing those who create the original wealth.

Forget the well understood physics that accompany centuries of study of the solar system. For the sandal wearing souls spending their entire life sitting in ivory towers contemplating their navels and wondering how their next assault on the wealth creators might be exploited to continue their existence in the manner they have enjoyed, have forcibly converted a semblance of control from the clergy of previous religious cults to their interpretation of Science, currently manifesting as the central belief system of the Climate Change high priests (+ esses).

Forget also the people who throughout the centuries have lived with Nature and its sometimes  prejudicial attitude to such folk, battling to feed themselves, their families, their neighbours and today the rest of the world. Not to mention people who will never have the ability to feed themselves to a level that reduces the depredations of poor and insufficient diet to levels that prevent true progress both mental and physical.

To get the gist of my belief system, have a gander at the scriptures of all religions and try to understand that such markers from history that include the Garden of Eden, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Tigris /Euphrates river system, Carthage, and other ancient occupations of areas, are now often lost to desertification, or at least unable to feed local populations without aid and assistance from Western nations using still developing technology and advances in agronomy.

Back to the gabbling idlers, who seriously believe their shallow perceptions of the world, where  digging up coal from a mine in the Galilee Basin - to raise millions of Indians, Chinese and other Third World peoples of the globe to a standard of living they themselves have enjoyed (uninterrupted all through their smug self-satisfied lives) - is bad and must be stopped, and if some tax money can be garnered in doing so then that is a bonus.

Those ignorant Banana bender knuckle draggers living in "The Bush" where many have no access to electricity, computers and aircon, have no right to expect the work opportunities and infrastructure upgrades Ardani and other developments will deliver so that their lives can become more comfortable. Those dummies have, by rejecting Shorten and his Finance expert Bowen, only condemned all Australians to the sudden end of the world by telling Shorton Brains he was seriously deluded in thinking real Australians would just stand by while he, The Messiah and high priest of the Climate Change cult,  can tax all to an equality where every one (except the rulers and masters of course) would be equally deprived in a future of equal poverty.

The Lucky country has a history of fire, drought and floods so established that many plants of that continent now need such climatic extremes to regenerate. That is no mystery, it is Darwin's theory in the laboratory of life. Where Man is seriously compromised in living with such sometimes violent and fatal events Nature delivers, it is in ignoring simple lessons that wiser people have mastered over time but now are devalued as to any understanding of the tenets that underpin the educated elite who dominate Labor c2019.

Gathering  water, The Staff of Life, is a basic driver in most cultures,  in storages for use in times of dry. Build canals and dams in the vast areas of the subtropical north of Australia and feed it to the dry-prone areas to the south. Designer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge,  Dr John Bradfield, made a preliminary design for such a scheme in the years prior to WW2, a scheme that has never gained more than notoriety when costed, due to the simple fact a princess of smug perhaps living in Wentworth Division of Sydney who - in a whimsical mood of support for toy tosser Turnbull - sent one Dr Karen Phelps to Canberra to do a small part in saving Australia. Or another bunch of Melon supporters in the Division that carries the City's name of Melbourne, who in their wisdom send Adam Bandt, a simpleton Melon, to represent them in the Federal Capital.

The State of Victoria in their collective support for all socialist concepts send another Melon, Richard Di Natali, to the Federal Upper house where he manages, in a cohort of obstruction, to thwart much of the infrastructure needed to address population growth and an accompanying surge in water demand in Victoria,  NSW and South Australia, that makes the mighty Murray Darling river system  a sludge canal by the time it reaches that last state downstream.

A modern adaption of the Bradfield scheme could bring more water than ever imagined to the south of the continent. Yes, there would be a massive capital cost, but to borrow a phrase from the Messiah - when he was consistently refusing to put a cost on Labor's guaranteed-to-be-eye-watering-costs for their climate change policies, in his defeat in a Federal Poll - "just consider the cost of doing nothing". Instead of diverting billions of dollars to who or where no-one wants to admit, why not invest those Billions of guilt money annually into some adaption of Bradfield's ideas. The Lucky Country might get even luckier.

Of course airheads - who can always have water by turning on a tap at home or at work with scant regard to its depletion, who are protected from Bushfires by watered green expanses of lawns, berms and Parks watered freely, who probably also believe that Beef is created in the butchery department of the local Coles and milk is made in a factory - can afford such stupid shallow luxury.

Bushfires have been a threat to vegetation and now human occupation of the Australian Continent for Millennia. I still recall the disbelief I came to view with considerable disquiet when - on my first visit to Sydney on a Sunday with nothing planned - took a Bus tour of North Sydney that reached outer suburbs where larger "lifestyle" properties were created from virgin Blue Gum Bush. The fuel for out-of-control fire was frightening. Blue Gum tree bark that in many species cracks, furls, and falls to the ground along with broken branches and larger limbs, continually creates an ideal fuel supply that only needs a spark or even a broken bottle created lens (such as we purloined from an old torch to create smouldering fire as children seventy years ago) to release another destructive inferno.

My youthful attempts at amateur fire-bugging often harnessed such kindling to establish a fire to burn green pine and macrocarpa trimmings. The Blue Gum vegetation detritus was ideal to create the heat source that had a roaring bonfire in minutes, so all that potential hazard was to me totally unbelievable. I now understand how some misguided idiots who see fire prevention from clearing and safe burning at cooler times, should be banned, as such destructive behaviour will prevent the natural cycle of decay to nourish the soils. Such nonsense is all too often adopted in areas where Melon thinking can dominate discussion.

I am wont to repeat a tale of a newer burb of Outer Melbourne some decades ago where such sensible precaution was ignored and even prohibited, leading to total but clearly avoidable disasters that turn up regularly.

This chap and his family purchased a near new home and first step in his mind was to clear the small rural property of all extraneous potential fuel. Hired a back hoe, piled up everything he could, and in a controlled burn, disposed of it safely. Yes along came the environmental aficionado replete with High vis and clip board who initiated legals that resulted in fines to the order of over ten thousand dollars for such un-permitted activity. Fine paid, nek minut a Bushfire destroyed the burb: all except the person prosecuted, whose home miraculously was spared. Fifteen houses, livelihoods and faith in a right to live safely, were destroyed while the person persecuted and prosecuted for environmental vandalism was left to be thankful for his efforts in survival - along with his Insurance company no doubt

A foray into gypsy-style markets and fairs often have for sale some innovative and smart protections that can support the efforts of the victim of Bureaucracy revealed above.

Gutter covers designed to reduce fuel buildup in the edges of roofs where wild fire often begins its destruction of a building. The covers can then be supported by a sprinkler system that can saturate the gutters if fire threatens (and water is still available: often somewhat problematic when the fires threaten).

Garden fences constructed of  rigid plastic piping that, filled with water, can give a chance to slow or even stop a fire by releasing the water when the heat of a moving fire begins its attack on the structure.

A variety of water features for a garden that provide a possible prevention action from a bucket when a small outbreak can be rapidly extinguished with very small quantities of water applied in timely manner.

No use of course in images of infernos much loved by infotainment journalism, but there is always a need for water to fight fire. Alas that water is often all gone or at least in short supply with accompanying restrictions, from some distance when Fire comes a-calling after a prolonged dry. The risk rising exponentially with every day that passes.

With the culling of most of the Turnbull Acolytes who, like him, ended up in the Federal Parliament as Labor-light, and the return to Canberra of Pauline Hanson, Bob Katter and Barnaby Joyce - all very supportive of the Bradfield Dream - and Scott Morrison enjoying a majority and the moral advantage to make the initial beginnings, it is time to make a massive environmental step forward to increase the water availability south from the Monsoon zone in the North, largely avoided and ignored since European settlement began.

Such bold actions would resonate with me. And one wonders if voters smart enough to see stupid just over a week ago, may soon be convinced that this alternative of a spendup on moving water would deliver a better return for Australia - compared to removing billions of dollars from the economy as a sop to the already changing climate.

The impact of regulations

The Reserve Bank has finally made official what had been discussed over the last few months. They're proposing to increase the amount of capital a private bank in NZ must hold compared to what it has loaned out (the so-called risk-weighted assets of the bank). The capital ratio is to be increased from the current 8.5% to 16%. There are other detailed requirements, but they all effectively drive towards the same objective of increased capital and hence, "safety" for the banks.

This will almost certainly result in increased mortgage payments, not to mention increased interest costs on private sector businesses, which are regarded as riskier than houses.

Former Treasury economist Michael Reddell has been studying these proposals for some time now on his Croaking Cassandra blog. He has his own list of reasons why this change is unneccessary, listed in the first of those articles.

Aside from many other problems with the NZ Reserve Bank analysis, Reddell points out that it would see NZ subsidiary banks with higher requirements than exist in Australia for many of the parent banks, which makes no sense, since any banking crisis that took them down would take the NZ ones with them.

There's also a paper he quotes, The 30 billion dollar whim, which summarises the problems with the Reserve Bank's regulatory proposals for private NZ banks increasing their capital requirements and has the following conclusions:

1. Capital increases are unnecessary. 
The banks are already sound. The costs to private borrowers could be very large. Estimates of the net present value costs in the tens of billions would not be alarmist.

2. Risk tolerance approach is actually a backward step.
Trying to quantify the risk on the basis of a metric like capital ratios is not a good way of actually dealing with risk, it just looks like it because "numbers".

3. Modelling analysis is embarrassingly bad.
They not only did very little themselves, but largely ignored the vastly greater analytical capabilities of their Aussie counterparts, APRA, who are far more experienced in these matters given the much larger market they have to regulate. APRA must be wondering what it will be like working with Orr and company if a crisis does hit.

4. Bank missed a double counting in the capital requirement.
Incredible: the Bank's analysis either missed or ignored the fact that they have already increased bank capital demands by 20 per cent by requiring advanced bank capital to be 90 percent of that required under the standardised approach.

5. Impact of foreign ownership continues to be ignored.
There is little point in a subsidiary having a higher capital ratio than its parent; and the cost to New Zealand of increased profits going to foreign owners.

6. Economic cost of a banking crisis is substantially overstated.
The Bank’s estimate is that it would whack about 63 percent of GDP. A more realistic assessment of the marginal cost of a banking crisis, for New Zealand as opposed to the underlying economic shock, would be no more than 10 percent of GDP.

7. Misrepresentation of the social costs of crises.
The Bank has grossly misrepresented the literature it extensively quoted from, on the social costs and longevity of banking crises. The World Bank and the UN did not say that financial crisis have long lasting effects as the Bank claimed. The relevant message from the papers the Bank quoted from is that the social costs in any economic downturn are substantially mitigated in countries, which, like New Zealand, have robust social safety nets. We found no evidence of long lasting ‘wider social costs’ in some relevant New Zealand data. Suicide rates, divorce rates and crime rates did not deteriorate during the GFC recession.

8. Fiscal risks benefits overstated.
Higher capital may not reduce governments’ gross fiscal costs at all if a government feels obliged to top up a banks’ capital to the new higher level after a crisis. Anything less could mean the banking system would continue to be ‘unsound’.

So basically there will be a whole lot of extra cost caused by regulation with no measurable increase in safety. Sounds typical.

In fact it might even reduce that safety factor across the whole economy because any extra money paid in interest is money not being used to reduce private exposure to debt, which means borrowers are more exposed in the next recession.

I don't think the existing government has the intellectual grunt to deal with this and may simply take the word of Orr and company as gospel. However, extra interest payments will also reduce the amount of tax paid to the government, so that may get their attention.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

To tax or not to tax... that is the question.

It has almost become de rigueur for a government on the ropes to leave the treasury empty so the incoming mob cops the blame a couple of years down the track. Liam Byrnes note to the incoming Cameron UK Government springs to mind.."I'm afraid there's no money" it said....not the most diplomatic note a treasurer has left for his successor.

Quite simply, in New Zealand's case revenue must be raised in order to repair what went on before. It is the system to blame for a lot of it. Keep slapping on coats of paint (electoral bribes) so everything looks glossy while underneath it is quietly crumbling, health, justice, education energy distribution, roads etc.

For some bizarre reason the Government that admits it will have to raise taxes ie. income, tariffs, GST, CGT or invent new ones is considered a failure.......NZ is living beyond it's means and that does not happen in two years.

These articles capture only the tip of the iceberg and I suggest anyone who puts country before profit read them...

https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/asce-gives-us-infrastructure-a-d-2017-3

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/state-us-infrastructure

It is interesting to see that it took Trump about five minutes before he walked out of the infrastructure talks with Congress citing the "investigations" as a reason. The real reason is that faced with the evidence of money required he would have to abandon his precious wall and raise revenue in some way.

Tax is what we pay for living in a just society yet I have heard politically well connected businessmen boast of how much the saved by using tax avoidance schemes that bordered on the illegal.
                                                          

Ho Ho Ho

Famous Last Words

"If you don't like our imputation credits policy, go and vote for someone else."

And so they did.  Millions of retirees AND their sons and daughters who could see Labor coming after their inheritances.

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Great things made Ridiculous


That is a queue of climbers, 320 of them in fact, standing on a mountain ridge just a few days ago: Wednesday, May 22, waiting to make the final climb to the summit.

The ridge is at 8000m altitude and the summit is, of course, that of Mt Everest.

Seven people have died on the mountain in the last week alone. Two on that Wednesday, and one of them almost certainly because she was trapped by this traffic jam in "the death zone" for too long. Both of them were in their mid-50's and reasonably experienced climbers.

I get the idea that people want to achieve things, including getting to the tops of mountains if they're climbers. But the Mt Everest summit achievement is starting to get stupid. What sort of boast is it any longer when it's literally a queue to get to the top? Why not tackle slightly lesser peaks like K2, peaks which are no less challenging, sometimes more so from a technical point of view, and in some respects more dangerous than Everest.

Okay. One can say that I don't get it because I've never been into mountain climbing, but by contrast I'm incredibly impressed by the feat of Alex Honnold, who in 2017 free-climbed the 3000 foot high granite wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.


Free-climbing means no ropes or any other safety gear. He used only his feet, hands, body and a degree of mental discipline that is almost literally beyond belief. Moreover he did this after years of practice free-climbing on increasingly long climbs, plus climbing the wall with ropes so as to build up the incredibly detailed plan of the route he would take and how each single step would be done.

He did it in 3 hours 56 minutes.

I doubt they'll ever be a queue for this effort, nor guide companies to help you along the way.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A Smack Behind The Ear

This piece of newspaper commentary on Labor's disaster stood out.
'It was also a rejection of shrill hectoring from goat-cheese-circle bullies who are incapable of understanding how an economy actually works in the real world.'
The writer, John Black, has an interesting background.   And yes, Adolf was a big fan of Labor's Fred Daly, shearer turned politician.  A brilliant debater and great mates with Liberal Party member and QC Jim Killen.

"When it comes to the future for Labor, like most old journalists, I’m usually a lousy judge of leaders, but I think Anthony Albanese will do OK. He is Labor’s latter-day combination of Labor icons Mick Young and Freddie Daly, rolled into the same rumbled suit. He’ll front up and do the job well, but he has to win back traditional Labor voters in seats well outside his demographic comfort zone."
This means not repeating the mistakes of Labor’s campaign and there’s plenty there to choose from.

John Black pioneered election profiling in Australia in the 1970s and is a former Labor senator for Queensland.



O Ariel, Ariel, wherefore art thou Ariel?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love

And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

If you've had kids in the past 30 years then at some stage you almost certainly will have sat down with them to watch The Little Mermaid. It's the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who dreams of becoming human, after falling in love with a human prince named Eric. 

The movie is regarded as a landmark for Disney in that, together with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it revived their animated feature films after over a decade of failure. It was a massive commercial and critical success, and even though it came out in 1989 my kids were all keen to watch (and re-watch) it over a decade later. Famous Chicago movie critic Roger Ebert praised Ariel as:
“a fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively while the fates decide her destiny.”
Or you could have gone with the LA Time's Movie critic take:
“Mermaid's” saucy heroine, Ariel, isn't much like Andersen's sad, noble sea-maid. She's a sexy little honey-bunch with a double-scallop-shell bra and a mane of red hair tossed in tumble-out-of-bed Southern California salon style. She has no gills, but, when she smiles, she shows an acre of Farrah Fawcett teeth.
Yeah, baby!

But that was then and this is now, and Ebert was just another Old White Male trying to pretend he was a feminist. Which is how we get articles like I Regret The Day I Let My Daughter Watch ‘The Little Mermaid’:
I just want my child to have room for plenty of other things in her life that don’t involve being totally immersed in a story about a princess who sets a piss-poor example for little girls everywhere. I wanted to remain blissfully unaware of this princess obsession I kept hearing about but I can only blame myself that it reared its ugly head in my household.
Reading this, I imagined the mother thusly:


Anyway, with all this shite going on I figured you all might get a laugh out of the little ditty in that first clip, which is based on the famous song from The Little Mermaid.

Maybe you'll even show it and the original movie to your grandkids, assuming you're not in jail and that Amazon/Netflix/Hulu are still willing to screen the original.

Actually when you think about it, there's no reason why The Little Mermaid could not find a second life as trans-hero/heroine story. After all, she dreams of becoming human: she's cool with the idea of losing the fish tail, gaining legs and getting married.

And all it takes is a kiss!

LET'S TELL IT HOW IT IS

We are being asked to believe the world is waiting with baited breathe for the delivery of Jacinda Ardern's well-being budget so called.    That's the spin and and its all bubble and froth.   Let's put aside the small matter that 'well-being' is just a rebranding of Bill English's social investment budget approach and just reflect where the country is at with the CoL half way through its term.

#1   GDP growth in 2018 shrunk to just 2.3% recording the weakest growth rate since 2013 and down from the 3.8% predicated in the Treasury BIM.

#2    Kiwibuild is Kiwiflop.  Arguably the biggest social policy failure in recent memory.   The 10,000 new homes per year has been re-calibrated into any number between 1 and $10,000 with 100 a good figure.

#3   The health sector is in crisis.   The number of elective surgeries last year dropped by 15,000 with a commensurate increase in waiting times remembering always that the CoL abolished the setting and reporting of key targets.

#4   New job creation is flat.

#5   Violet crime stats to be released on Monday will show a 20% increase in violent offending.   It goes with the territory when you start emptying the jails.

#6   The Reserve Bank has dropped the OCR to just 1.5% indicating a slowing enconomy.

#7   Teachers will go ahead with their mega-strike next week.   The government, having spent the money on vanity projects, can't meet the expectations it raised on the campaign trail.

#8   The 1,800 new police target is in serious trouble.   The attrition rate among existing sworn staff is increasing.

#9   The Zero Carbon Bill, if passed in its present form, will see the farming sector having to cull every fourth cow and the New Zealand economy shrink.

#10  And the big one ... with the government bottling out on its plan to introduce a CGT the promise  to limit borrowing to 20% of GDP has been scrapped.   The new range is between 15-25% read 25% and signals a return to borrow and hope.   The government has run out of dosh.

The government starts from behind the 8 ball and the billiard table surface has some glaring rips in it getting bigger ... and we're supposed to be excited?.

NOTHING NEW, ASK THE DEANS FAMILY ABOUT UNCLE BOB'S TRY?


Is that all right then?

No it bloody well is not all right. At best a misguided attempt to even things up and if that shafts the Champions then just suck it up.
Sanzar have admitted Joubert got it horribly wrong when he denied Sevu Reece that masterful try when, as TMO, he overruled Nick Bryant's awarding of the try that would have sealed the match in Cape Town last Weekend. In fact he acted well outside his brief when he insisted the onfield referee change his decision.
Braydon Ennor passed to Reece around the halfway mark with the ball clearly coming out of his hands behind him, with all players travelling close to full pace. When Reece received the ball it had travelled forward at the speed of the players and Ennor was still a good meter and a half in front of Reece catching the Pass. Reece then chip kicked regathered and scored in the corner to extend the Crusaders lead to eight points. in the closing ten minutes.
Bryant correctly whistled the try but Craig Joubert, one of the Refs appointed to Japan for the Webb Ellis showdown later this year, saw a different pass, ignored the relevant rule and interfered when the Crusaders were about to take the conversion. Joubert did not suggest Bryant review his awarding of the try but in a "Listen to me" moment insisted it was no-try, forward pass at halfway, and scrum with Stormers ball.

Another penalty, equally dodgy or at least 50/50, a few minutes later gave the Stormers the opportunity to bring about the draw: 19 all is how it played out.

No word Of Louis Luyt and a gold watch yet but watch this space. There are interesting stats available that show a clear advantage to Saffa teams getting penalty counts lopsided to the point of changing results when playing under their home grown referees!! Telling the Cruising Champions they were swindled might not matter this year as at present the Red and Blacks are nine points clear of the second-placed Hurricanes, who incidentally are only fourth due to the "conference rule" that elevates the other two leading conference teams to second and third when they are both well behind the Hurricanes on points.

The astonishing decision by Mr Joubert sees him standing down for this weekend but such a glaring effort in the quiet, reflective space allotted to the TMO, free from the players reactions and crowd influence, indicates a more serious lapse than one under pressure on the paddock in the heat of battle by the on-field referee.

The way the Christchurch based team have overcome adversity and surreal obstacles since 2010, when in the aftermath of those seismic upheavals they travelled twice around the globe to survive the finals, only to fail in Brisbane in the 2011 final is the stuff of "Boys Own".

This year with the March massacre leading to a draw for a cancelled match against the Highlanders, - declared by the local equivalent of the Gin Swilling Old Farts of Twickers - followed a week later by a defeat at the hands of the Sydney-based franchise coached by an ex-midfield Crusader star from the pre-quake days, is almost at a performance level that could trigger a doping test.

Since then a concerted push with Grant Robertson and PM Ardern's sticky fingers all over it, the totally inane change the Crusaders Brand name and imagery that even the Christchurch Muslim Community oppose.

One might be excused for using such cumulative pressure the team has endured, to deliver some truly awesome displays of open, running rugby that may not be the winning of the World Cup but will go a long way to put bums on seats: one of the enduring problems facing the Sanzar Farts, for the rather out of character events that followed the Capetown swindle.

Can the emerging Auckland Blues make hay tonight when they try to continue their progress.
Progress under yet another Crusaders prodigy Leon McDonald who replaced Tana for this years comp.

In the Capetown howler Technology defeated good on field refereeing.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Last Post

It comes as no surprise to read in today's Herald about imminent demise of the Christchurch RSA. It was  a failing business before the earthquakes due to it’s location and while other the other inner city RSA’s were closing, notably Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland the CHC executive thought it would be a good idea to rebuild at a huge cost in the same place with half the car parking which was not a lot to begin with.

Why oh why are ex soldiers with no background in the hospitality industry allowed access to vast sums of money to fritter away on what amounts to vanity projects when any psychologist will tell you that people unconnected with the military do not like drinking or entertaining amongst memorials or reminders of others service.

The RSA ’s that have no customer base should just die a natural death as their economic usefulness is now over, it is different world and until such time as we send 100’s of thousands of personnel overseas again there is no point in flogging a dead horse.

WASTED OPPORTUNITY, THERE WILL BE MORE.


Oh to have a serious media to have taken some of the airbrains aside and seek what they actually understood about their  crusade.

During the socialist Aus Media support show for Shorten and DiNatali one camera crew honed in on a child protesting "climate change". The poor child rapidly descended into a tearful clearly distressing display of the indoctrinated fear she was facing from the coming unmitigated disaster from heat, starvation and pestilence that would accompany "The coming end of life on the Planet".

Well that whole scenario is unadulterated bollocks. Rich Uncle Al Gore's predictions now lie in a swamp of unearned money while his predicted disaster has been on hold for over two decades and continuing in an as yet unpublished followup to his Inconvenient Truth.

Consider for one moment the serious mental health damage inflicted on that vulnerable child who should be motivated and driven to help those less fortunate than her comfortable existence in the leafy suburbs along the Pacific Coast in the Warringah division.

While the current situation is very lucrative for those equipped to harvest from the current crazy tax opportunity knocks, they will need to find new sources of income when the world gets a life and harnesses modern nuclear power and Hydrogen fuel to phase out the hydrocarbons currently being used.

History repeats, it is sad that there are no interwebby records digitally recording the gyrations of those who saw "Peak Coal" as the end of their world c1880s in an eerily similar vein.

Meanwhile there must be many very smug and satisfied teachers and fellow travelling socialists, after yet another example demonstrating their manipulation of developing minds following the religious fervour, when alternatively they could have been developing those agile hungry minds for matters that could be harnessed in solving more immediate problems, such as Lithium substitution, Battery disposal and recycling, transport  options and affordable energy. Not forgetting natural fibres that would have been in short supply at the religious rally

At a wild guess I'd warrant there was precious little clothing, devices and just getting to the venues that did not consume the dreaded hydrocarbons at the heart of their mindless day-off classes, all at the behest of their current socialist indoctrination brothers and sisters.

#SadBritain - Part 1,060,423: The British Police

I guess once you've lost an empire and enslaved yourself to European technocrats there's no point pretending you have any pride left. Still, this is just so sad:


There was a time when individual cops would simply have taken these and distributed them among family and friends, on the sound basis that every kitchen can use an extra knife. But now they're to be "disposed of correctly and... safely". By professionals trained by licenced chefs I'm sure. And they're actually boasting about this. Don't they have crime solution stats good enough to celebrate?

And if all that is not humiliating enough, take a look at the centre-left of that image.

That's right. It's a rusty spoon.

The responses to the Regents Park Police Twitter account show that at least the traditionally brutal sense of British mocking humour is still alive.
What ho lad! Surrender to me the money in thine register, and possibly a Mars bar, or I daresay you shall taste my blade! 
Until you get every spatula, no one is truly safe. 
Narrator: "But they could already taste the rust that flew from the blade as he whisked it through the air..." 
The only way to stop a bad guy with a spatula is a good guy with ... just about anything. 
"They can have my Spoon when they pry it from my cold ice cream soaked hands!
Although one comment did make a good point:
If you think a spoon can't be a weapon, you never made the unfortunate mistake of mouthing off to my grandmother. 😉
From gun control to knife control to spoon control.

At least the following confiscation by another English Police group had a little more it, to paraphrase Crocodile Dundee:


But note also one of the Twitter responses.


There's also this other gem - from the Regents Park folk again.


Scary!

GRUNTER THINKS THE AVERAGE IQ OF HIS COLLEAGUES MATCHES THAT OF THE VOTERS?


Sorry you are wrong "Punchy", most voters are much smarter

Another Labour election promise joins the ever growing bonfire.

The successive mishmash of targets around the master stroke in the propaganda avalanche that fooled  a few voters to think the new look Labour  would really be fairer, the most transparent and transformational administration ever seen in NZ, when it was only another crock of excrement. 

Master of the wardrobe, Twyford slowly reduced the never achievable targets for Kiwibuild from 100,000 in ten years until all targets were abandoned completely when the first year was barely 30 and those few were the result of  the National Governments activity. Of course to anyone with a passing understanding of market delivery of new housing watching the market flatout building houses and selling them so fast the infrastructure demands of such growth have begun to be the roadblock.

Meanwhile Twyfords impossible dream finally delivered tiny boxes with no garage in areas were such "containers" for the "homeless" would never be bought by aspiring first home buyers allegedly "shutout" of the market. So amidst much publicity a couple of relatively comfortable first home buyers became the winners of a lottery, they could never have imagined, A doctor and her current squeeze working in marketing just scraped in before their growing incomes exceeded the upper income limit to qualify and that folks was their idea of proof things were still on track.

That large truck and trailer of BS was so far away from the 'poor people' from 'struggle street'  living in a garage in south Auckland that the whole charade was predicated on in the minds of most voters,  had become an embarrassing fact almost totally ignored in a Media still blinded by the fairydust.

Another set of targets introduced by National in their nine years of neglect where in truth they were focussed on sorting out the expected mess all labour outfits seem to deliver without fail, came with activities in the health sector being measurable and deliverable.  Resulting in significant advances in cancer diagnostics and treatment times,  improvements in emergency department delivery, and primary and outpatient performance, largely from some great work by Tony Ryall.

Mysteriously when Dr (religion not medicine) Clarke came to appointed power things suddenly reduced in delivery,  answer,  take away the targets and no one will be able to prove things are slowly getting worse. Sadly here  in the Village of the Damned, anecdotal evidence is growing beneath the radar that many of Ryall's improvements are slipping away and waiting times for those without insurance are growing. No hard evidence because without a measure and the failings all  burnt or buried,  "no news is good news"

Raising children out of Poverdy another item in the Ardern promise cart, sees a doubling of those deemed to be in that parlous state,  yet again mostly silence in the forest as the crickets chirp.

Now to the latest where the slowing economy and associated reducing tax income sees Stephen Joyce' widely slammed eleven billion dollar hole at election time,  might actually be worse. The answer, totally predictable just remove the target or as the sycophantic MSM are reporting it, alter the promised keep debt below 20% of GDP promise to,  we will make that a "Target Range" 15% to 25% and nothing admitted. The upper limit  not elaborated on, that is what they hope perceptions will reveal while that five percent extra will allow billions to become available with it all a mystery as the compliant MSM wont mention it. With the inconvenient facts around a slowing GDP,  the splashing of money (other peoples,  so what) around like sailers on shore leave, let us access another five or so billion by using that extra 5%.

The voters are not as stupid as those who sit around the table and make Mr  Punchy Grunter look like a modern day Einstein,  while it is clear running out of "Free" money, the ongoing curse of labour governments is becoming apparent to a degree some vacuous bastard might tumble it. So much easier to just change the setting to a meaningless range and assume joe Public wont notice, the old maximum now buried as the middle of the "Range",  will be too thick to see the swindle.

Punchy's con will have a good chance of success, after all who will question it let alone run with it as a scoop when the additional borrowing emerges into the sunlight.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf

Thursday, May 23, 2019

ON BREXIT FROM AFAR

I don't have a particularly strong view on Brexit per se but one can fairly comment on the shambles that has characterised the political process over the past two years.

The referendum was presented as binding.   David Cameron, the then Tory Prime Minister and dedicated 'remainer', was so convinced it would fail that he refused to allow for any contingency planning in the event of a Yes vote.    Post the result Cameron bottled it at the first opportunity and handed the reigns of government to Theresa May (also a remainer) whose first action was to try and lose an unloseable election.   From thereon-in it was all downhill for Brexit culminating in her latest 'New Deal' announced on Tuesday  where she offered Labour a vote on a second referendum as well as concessions on a customs union.    The outrage in Tory ranks was palpable.   Within hours Andrea Leadsom resigned her cabinet post while the number Tory MPs pledged to vote against her Withdrawal Bill quickly reached 65 ... more than double who voted (and killed off) May's previous offer.    By late yesterday the Bill was seen as dead in the water ... about as dead as May who acknowledged at the PM's Question Time that another PM would soon stand at the dispatch box.

The Tories should have bit the bullet right at the start and elected as Cameron's replacement a leader committed to making Brexit happen.

Labour  is not much better.    Jeremy Corbyn was, at best, a tepid remainder and was widely criticised within the party for his failure to campaign actively against Brexit and now, while saying he respects the referendum result, he is reduced to arguing that a second referendum presents the only way forward.   Bollocks.

The idea that you can keep holding referenda until you achieve the result you want makes little sense. Vote Yes again and where does it leave you?    Vote No and the millions who voted Brexit first time round are betrayed.   It undermines faith in the whole political process.   That's too high a price.   

Only the Liberal-Democrats and Nigel Farage's Brexit Party (read UKIP that was) can hold their heads high in this whole sorry mess.   They, at least, remained true to themselves.   They understood what Brexit meant and campaigned accordingly.

So what will happen now?   My money is on May gone by Sunday.   The Tories will have a new leader and my money would be on Boris Johnson.   With him at the helm it will be full steam ahead on Brexit and damn the torpedoes ... and the Tory Party will never be the same again.

One final comment and if we take nothing from the Oz election result it is to beware of polls but ... Poll tracker (the poll of polls) and looking at likely voting intentions in the elections for the European Parliament due to take place Thursday (Friday NZ time) has the Brexit party riding high with 33% support followed by Labour on 20% the Lib-Dems on 16% and the Conservatives on 11% with all the others (Greens/Change UK/SMP/UKIP/Plaid Cymru) as also rans.   Gonna be interesting to see how that plays out.

HE'S NOT THE MESSIAH EES A VERY NAUGHTY BOY


All jokes aside,  as Mr Speaker The Honourable Trevor Mallard is dogtucker, the knacker needs  a call.

What had the potential as a Monty Python sketch has now moved on to be an insult inflicted on the fragile democracy of NZ Inc.

That he was made Speaker came as a travesty to many who follow the workings of the NZ parliament. Only suggestions of making a poacher the Game Keeper were seen as justification.

But in his Chairing of the Parliament and in particular questions for oral answer, possibly the only opportunity for the Opposition to expose the shortcomings of the party(ies) in power, he is an ongoing disaster.

Yesterday, as if things could not get worse, they did and it should worry anyone with any basic comprehension of the need for Mr Speaker to strive to emulate Caesar's wife, or at least have such a state of probity as near as possible to that moral judgement as a goal.

The release of the report on Bullying has come and gone with little criticism of the Master of old fashioned attitudes being held to account. To make reference to the unresolved accusations  around discovered sexual assaults as; "Parliament has a rapist walking the corridors of power",  should have had universal condemnation as the only response from all involved.

Not only did his spontaneous judgemental blurt threaten due process should the evidence referenced result in an attempt by the constabulary to bring charges, how would every female MP or staffer feel about personal safety working in the corridors of power?

The over egged response to Seymour's assessment of the Melon immigrant MP being a danger to NZ as regards free speech, should fall into irrelevance, when compared to the very real threat to Workplace safety that came from Mallard's ill-considered statements. Guess which case is dominating Magic Talk this morning? Statements that became even more worrying when Mr 7% made his burbled clarifications in a failed attempt in seeking relevance.

Talk about the wrong person out of his depth. This evolving circus needs to be shut down. If that results in the ending of the office for Trev the Muss, so be it. One of the departures from the home of our democracy that saddens is the failure to follow the House of Commons practice of leaving The  Speaker in situ on a change of party government hand over. A laudable tradition that has merit if the notion of leaving bias at the door on appointment is to be respected.

When the two most recent occupiers, along with Margaret Wilson and Gerry Wall, are compared to Lockwood Smith, Peter Tapsell, Ronald Algie and similar well regarded Speakers it becomes clear that change needs to be at least considered.

Maybe my headline does not resonate with the seriousness of this matter but I am not the problem.