Wednesday, May 27, 2020

YOU DON"T SAY?


It is oft repeated: "A week is a long time in politics".

Yesterday in a few minutes the New National Party leadership ended any realistic, if long-shot, chance of denying the Ardernearly one person-band another three years in government.

Tyro leader Todd Muller folded up his entire integrity and tossed it into the waiting rubbish bin being held by the media pack.

He had a Trump MAGA hat: so what, he also had Killary buttons. So  instead of asking the very first media whore who questioned such a minor blip, do you have a "Che T Shirt"?, the dopy fool said it was all now boxed and hidden away.

I assume his testicles are now in a jar of formalin as well.

That wound became a life threatening blood loss for the now struggling bunch of inept wets who, in a lemming like rush to a cliff top they are still building, compounded that strategic error into a total disaster when challenged on the "diversity" of the post-Bridges shadow line up.

Instead of trumpeting the gender imbalance that even the Melons might agree with, as in three well- regarded-by-others-as-talented humans who were claimed as the female gender,  Nikki Kaye - who I suspect may have been so successful in denying Ardern in Auckland Central by being so far left it was a genuine toss of a penny - then launched an episode of foot-shooting rarely seen live on State TV.

Cripes, even Kelvin 'the invisible man' Davis looked good by comparison.

A media that assisted in the annihilation of of two part-Maori who held the two top positions in the National Party, then went for Mullet's lineup where the most senior part-bred was at seventeen in Shane Reti. The two dopes then pulled out their now empty pistols and aimed for each others feet in a Keystone Cop routine that made slapstick a returning genre in TV entertainment.


More years ago than I care to remember I was in Gisborne on an Annual Hereford tour where the ensemble were bussed to a valley that, after WW2, was divided up into twenty farms for settling returning soldiers. The Mangatu Corporation had bought back the entire twenty farms and were running an integrated farming operation where one of the farms ran a Hereford Cattle stud to provide genetics for the  enterprise. Another former farm was dedicated as a Romney sheep stud.

During this tour, with what was an impressive bunch of Maori leaders taking control of their recent past without any Waitangi Tribunal BS by just being smart business operators,  I got into a conversation with an older Maori man and asked, amongst other inquiries, if the leadership used the clear-to-me opportunity to advance the youth connected to their tribal group.

His rather startling reply was very brief and to the point, now revealed in the very successful Nhai Tahu setup: "We seek and employ the very best we can discover for each and every position without reference to any qualification other than expertise involved in the job to be done." Race, gender and any other aspect just did not register in such searches, from shepherds to executives.

The only National MP to emerge from the Mullet "muck dumping in their own driveway"  yesterday was Collins who merely asked if it was a problem, her being "white"?

I have some background that maybe puts some relevance into the bear trap Muller and in particular Ms Kaye lept into as regards Heke Goldsmith.

Around the closing decade last century, in a moment of exasperation at the idiocy contained in the scheduled census was exposed when I came to questions on ethnicity, I put a line through the options and wrote in "I am a native born New Zealander". That resulted in the claimed secrecy of the data being somewhat compromised when Sir Paul Reeves and others in succeeding years offered me assistance to discover my Iwi, even my Hapu, when the actual facts as far as I know, were that my blood lines consist entirely of Ngati Celt from various areas of Scotland.

So, Mr Heke Goldsmith, if it would be of any assistance, just make it up and then stick to it. You might as well, as in succeeding years with statistics and electoral do-goodercrats,  it is much harder to get out than to get "in".

I am still regularly offered the "Maori Roll" option while Swmbo is never treated to such taonga and she has Brown eyes???

History never repeats?

My Photo
Oh yes it bloody well does, and with more than rhyming Mr Twain.

In The Vet's post the other day, What Has Louisa Wall Done To Offend?, he made the point that her being challenged for her seat from within the Labour Party was a mystery given that she ticks so many boxes for them: Maori, Female, Lesbian, smart, high achiever in sport, academia and now politics...

Amidst much discussion some points were made about Chris Trotter's constant raging against the Identity Politics Warriors like Wall messing up his beloved Class Warfare purity that he thinks Labour should return to. I was reminded of a piece of satire that Danyl McLauchlan wrote a few years ago on his old blog, The DimPost. Once he started writing serious stuff for places like The Spinoff he made his blog private, but thanks to The Wayback Machine, a commentator's suggestion, and more searching than I usually care to do, I found it: Chris Trotter on Party Central (2010):
So “Party Central” is no longer central to the party that is central to the party at the centre of our party politics. 
Am I the only Kiwi who experiences tightness in my jaw and a numb feeling in my left-arm when I contemplate the disarray that has befallen Auckland governance?
...
we have all supped from the golden poison chalice of satanic robot run regional and local government only to find ourselves regaining conciousness yet again in our neighbour’s toolshed with our clothes drenched in urine.
 
Danyl really should try satire again, although it may be that he can find no one to pay for it. But it was the next section that I remembered the best:
It was the radical right-wing feminist government of William Massey that spread open the labile pink floodgates of change and swept away the egalitarian order in a wave of capitalist frenzy, separatist Maori entitlement and so-called-women who threaten to press charges because that is what their liberal puppetmasters at our elitist universities have brainwashed them to do. 
Like most real New Zealanders I yearn for the days when our great little country was ruled by stocky, moustached trade-unionists but I fear that those days are gone forever, swept away by a great wave that swept everything away like a wave.
During my history search I found a 2014 article by Trotter advocating pretty much the treatment that Wall is getting, Labour's Caucus Still In Charge, where he admiringly quotes Matt McCarten from 1988:
"So we should call a special conference of the party and expel them … The Labour Party made a mistake selecting these people so sack them. Throw them out and let them stand against us. They’ll lose and the Labour Party can rebuild itself.”
To be fair, Chris appears to now be in total thrall to "the labile pink floodgates of change". Funny how  winning elections and obtaining a measure of power can do that.

Speaking of which, during my search I also found an old comment of mine from Kiwiblog in 2011, in a thread which dealt with us losing people to a more successful Australia and DPF's lament that we need to boost productivity and lift wages.
Shorter message: Vote for us because we suck less than the other guys.
Actually that’s the entire National message as NZ slowly reverses into the 21st century. And it’s an effective one as they undoubtedly know; the smug, cynical response being who else are you going to vote for? 
And they’re correct.
As far as the media coverage is concerned I say to all lefties, welcome to our world circa 2000-2005. The shallow, pathetic coverage of stories combined with gushing over various aspects of [PM Key] is really very little different than in Clark’s time. Sure, there are the blogs but they aren’t there yet in supporting a narrative the way the old MSM still can. 
But don’t worry. National and Key will tire sooner or later, Labour will find some “new” material as candidates and even a fresh leader, the pendulum will swing and you will find yourselves benefiting from exactly the same uselessness of media coverage. 
Yeah. History repeats all right.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Delusions of senior management



In announcing the success of his coup against Simon Bridges, Todd Muller offered us the following as an example of what he'd bring to the job of PM:

"Yes, I’ve run businesses. I can read a balance sheet and a profit and loss account.  I can tell a good one from a bad one.  And yes, I’ll bring those skills to the Prime Ministership."

There are some questions arising over the first sentence, for example whether he really has "run businesses" and why he mistakes the government for a business, but my interest is in his proclaiming his ability to read a balance sheet as though it were an important skill for a Prime Minister rather than an accountant.

This seems to be a common delusion of senior executives, and from my conversations with public servants it's a common delusion of cabinet ministers as well.

In my experience, if you write a report that's to go to the senior leadership team of a large organisation, their gatekeepers immediately demand that it be simplified.  All the complexity of the factors going into the decision and the nuances of the downstream effects of different choices are rejected. "They'll never read all that, let alone understand it - give us one page with bullet points, and make the rest of it an appendix in case any of them are mad enough to read past the first page." So you go away and bludgeon it into a simple, nuance-free something that a dullard could base an uninformed decision on and tell themselves it was "evidence-based," and that's what's given to the executives.

However, when it comes to the financial info, it's a different story. The numbers that could easily be condensed down into one page of bullet points by a competent accountant must be handed over in their complicated entirety. "No need to precis it, I can read a balance sheet!" bray the VIPs, as though accountants were a precious resource that mustn't have their valuable time wasted by mere senior executives or cabinet ministers.

That's what Todd Muller is promising us he would bring to the role of Prime Minister. I have to admit, it does explain a lot about the National Party's approach to government, but it's still a mystery as to why people would vote for it.

A Tale of Two States

My PhotoThe hotspot for Chinese Lung AIDS in the USA has been New York, with a death toll of almost 30,000, together with neighbouring state New Jersey at 11,000 and Massachusetts at 6,400 - and all with population death rates vastly exceeding the likes of European disasters like Belgium, Italy and France.

By contrast the state of Florida has suffered an order of magnitude less infection and death than these three states, despite having a larger population. Similarly with Texas.


And yet the opinion polls for approval / disapproval of the various state Governors show that Cuomo has had a huge jump of 32% points from 47% to 79%, while DeSantis has actually dropped by 7 points to 51%!

Given the terrible disparity in the numbers that mark the difference between success and failure the only explanation is that the MSM still have the power to influence approval / disapproval and that the NY media's oversized influence on the rest of the USA has also contributed.

There's no question that Cuomo has come across well in his regular press conferences. As lovers of the written and spoken word the MSM are drawn to such displays, even if they hide very negative information. The New York Times last month called Cuomo’s delivery “articulate, consistent and often tinged with empathy.” The paper also likened the briefings to a “tender embrace.”

And this influence applies in the opposite direction as well. In the USA, as across the Western world, the MSM has decided that lockdown - and lockdown in extremis - was the only option, and they have vigorously defended politicians who have deployed it and strongly attacked those who did not.

But it should be noted that even here the bias of support has been for Centre-Left politicians: Centre-Right politicians such as Boris Johnson in Britain and Scott Morrison in Australia were attacked early on for failing to toe the line to the degree demanded. At least in the case of Morrison that has faded away as it has become clear that Australia has been at least as successful as New Zealand. It's notable that the snark and mockery of early April by NZ Lefties in comparing their heroine Jacinda to "Scotty From Marketing" have faded to nothing.

In the US context this has meant that the GOP Governors of Florida, Texas, Georgia and South Dakota have been attacked constantly. In perhaps the most disgraceful example the once respected magazine The Atlantic held the Georgia strategy to be an Experiment in Human Sacrifice, which is a headline more to be expected from The Nation or Jacobin or the Democrat National Committee for that matter.

But as with Australia those attacks too have faded as Georgia has suffered no surge, let alone spike in COVID-19 infections or deaths since re-opening on April 24.

Similar results in Texas and Florida finally led the Texas Governor to release a table on May 18 comparing the four big states, and in more than just COVID-19 deaths:


To say that this is not a good look for New York, Cuomo and the Democrat Party is an understatement. In the wake of Abbot's table Florida Govenor DeSantis let the MSM have it right between the eyes:

So we succeeded and I think that people just don't want to recognise it because it challenges their narrative.
Ah yes, The constant drumbeat of The Narrative: the story they settle on before writing anything or looking at the facts. In another interview DeSantis was more specific:
“I don’t think any governor has the authority to restrict anyone unless there’s a direct relationship to combating this virus,” DeSantis said in response, cautioning governors against acting like a “dictator.” 
“If you look around the country, clearly there have been examples of really draconian, arbitrary restrictions that have nothing to do with public health, like you can’t plant a seed in your front yard in your garden, you can’t walk around the neighborhood with your daughter or something like that.” 
Some of this stuff I think has devolved into social control.
That last comment really nails the attitude of many Democrat Governors and to be fair, a few GOP ones as well. DeSantis followed a reasonable, logical program of containment and is now reopening Florida. Democrats won’t admit it, but it worked.

Back in 2012 the Democrats ran an attack ad showing a Paul Ryan lookalike rolling a wheelchair-bound granny off a cliff, which I have to admit was pretty funny. But all Ryan had done was propose Medicare reforms. Cuomo has literally got thousands of grannies and grandpas killed. In a sane world with a nonpartisan media, DeSantis should be enjoying improved poll numbers, while New Yorkers should be gathered in front of the governor’s mansion with torches and pitchforks.

Yet the Washington Post felt the need to ask on May 11, “Does Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis know what he’s doing?” If the New York Times gave a damn about its own city, they’d be demanding the heads of Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Instead, they’ve been running scare pieces on Florida.

When even the very Leftie and somehat fringe media site, ProPublica, gets stuck into the lack of planning and preparation as well as the actual response of New York, then it's clear that the MSM is lost.

But I don't think the MSM can ignore Cuomo's screwups forever, not with 30,000 dead on his hands, almost a third of the US total. There were obviously terrible mistakes made, starting with a very late reaction after spending February and March dismissing the pandemic. But even then he and NYC Mayor, de Blasio, couldn’t come to an agreement on how to handle the crisis in the early days of the spread in the city and state. NY made critical mistakes in their handling of the outbreak well after it started, allowing it to spread to other states as wealthy New Yorkers escaped. Just two weeks ago reports on the godawful state of the NYC subways trains finally led Cuomo ordering that they be cleaned and sanitized nightly!

But even amidst all those screwups, the worst decision, without question, was Cuomo's order in late March to empty out hospitals and create space for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients by forcing nursing and retirement homes to accept elderly patients who had the virus. In light of what Cuomo already knew about them being the highest risk group for this disease that decision beggars belief, and the results were entirely predictable:
... more than 2,300 New York nursing home and assisted facility residents have died from Covid-19, with another 2,500-plus presumed to have died from the virus,
As has been pointed out, almost all leaders around the world have seen their approval ratings increase in this crisis; it's a human reaction to turn to their leaders. But this is not something that will finish soon, even with the end of lockdowns and the like, and such leaders will soon find their stocks falling as a clearer picture of good and bad decisions emerges as well as the wreckage of human lives from the economic impact becomes the focus, and they find that coming out of a lockdown will be much harder than getting into one.

To that end, Cuomo got a taste of this near-term future just the other day, with this impassioned plea in one of his hometown newspapers. Yes, it does need to end now. But how can it?


Monday, May 25, 2020

No. It's Not The Babylon Bee

It's the Singapore University of Technology and you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried for three weeks.

"Coronavirus pandemic could be over in the U.S. by November 11
A new scientific model predicts the virus will continue its steady decline with no second wave.
The coronavirus pandemic in the United States could be over as early as mid-November, new modeling has shown.
Researchers at Singapore University of Technology and Design have created a complex model predicting the exact date the pandemic will end in the US, UK, and other countries around the world.
According to the data, the US is on track to be coronavirus-free by November 11, while the UK could see an earlier end date of September 30.
The model predicts the trajectory of the spread of the virus over time while tracking the actual number of new confirmed cases per day in a given country."

I didn't know the Democrats had infiltrated the Singaporean halls of academe.

WHAT HAS LOUISA WALL DONE TO OFFEND?

Louisa Wall is being challenged for her Manurewa seat which she has held since 2011 since taking it over from the hapless George Hawkins.    So what has she done wrong to upset the Labour Party hierarchy so much so that they are attempting to parachute one of their own into the seat.    It has gotten messy and ugly with Wall now taking legal action against her own Party.

It can't be that she's dumb ... she has a Masters degree (in Philosophy) and has worked as a policy adviser and policy analyst for the Children's Commission, the Families Commission, the Human Rights Commission, AUT and the Counties Manakau DBH.

It can't be because she's a female ... the Labour Party places great store in promoting female MPs (although one suspects the likes of Clare Curran and Meka (the Muss) Whaitiri will have given them cause to reflect).

It can't be because she's gay ... the Labour Party does gender diversity in spades.

It can't be because she's Maori ... the links between Maoridom and Labour are strong and Maori make excellent voting fodder (much like the Greens).

It can't be because she's never achieved anything in her life ... NZ Women's Rugby Player of the Year, a World Champion Black Fern and a Silver Fern (Netball) from 1989-1992.   Been there, done that.

So what is it?    Too independent and an unwillingness to toe the Party line perhaps ... thoughts.

The British Lockdown

My PhotoGeorge Orwell set his dystopian story, Nineteen Eighty-Four, in Britain for the simple reason that it was the place and people he knew best.

But while other nations actually did suffer something close to that horror story I've always thought that the particular nature of the British people was better suited to the tale than most others around the world. The buttoned-down conformity, the in-built Class structure and its forelock tugging, the Boxer-like attitude towards enduring while being screwed over by higher powers.

For all of Simon Schama's lofty talk about the long history of the British people's fight that "tied together social justice with bloody-minded liberty", and some recent evidence of the latter in the Brexit vote, the response to their government's lockdown of the nation to deal with the Wuhan Flu has been sad to see.

In a superb piece at Spiked Online, editor Brendan O’Neill explores aspects of the damage this has done to Airstrip One
Covid Britain feels like a one-party state. Normal political life has been suspended. Political protest and industrial action have been banned. Even small gatherings that question the ruling ideology of this strange new nation – the ideology of lockdown – are violently broken up. Witness the police brutality that was visited upon lockdown sceptics in Hyde Park a few days ago. You dissent at your peril. 
The role of the citizen in the Covid dystopia is to applaud the state, not question it. Every Thursday night, on your doorsteps or your balconies, you must clap for the benevolent state and its gracious health service. Big Brother loves you and you must love it back. Vast propaganda billboards remind us of this duty.
But he points out the degree to which blaming the government or the Police is diverting responsibility:
Snitching is the only thriving business. By the end of April, British police forces had received 214,000 calls from Covid Britain’s willing army of spies. ‘Always the eyes watching you’, as Winston Smith put it.
...
There will be no hugging of people from outside your household until autumn at the earliest, says Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for human touch. A survey found that some people (possibly as high as one in five) are breaking lockdown to have sexual intercourse. Sex is an illicit activity in Covid Britain, as in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Hancock is our one-man Junior Anti-Sex League keeping a watchful eye over citizens and their wandering hands. In Orwell’s dystopia, ‘the sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion’. Same here. Just ask Neil Ferguson.
To be fair to the British I'd bet there's been a lot of booty calls going on that breeched the lockdown rules. The old instincts never run far below the surface of civility.

But O'Neill points out that, aside from instinctive desires, there's been almost no thinking opposition:
Public debate has disintegrated. Do not for one minute be fooled by the noisy media discussions of the government’s failures or the pantomime yelling matches between TV presenters
...
All of this takes place within the lockdown ideology. The only ‘dissenting’ view you may hold in Covid Britain is that the lockdown didn’t come early enough / wasn’t severe enough / is being eased too early. The media-government spats over the Covid crisis are the narcissism of small differences.
...
In lockdown Britain, there’s one way to think and one way to behave. You must accept the lockdown or risk being demonised as a hateful individual and possibly being beaten by the police.
Sounds familar, even from our comments section. And as Public debate collapses so too does Political debate:
Every clash and row takes place within the parameters of acceptable thought. Genuinely demurring voices are notable by their absence. Lockdown scepticism is staggeringly absent. Jacob Rees-Mogg is right to say that MPs must get off their Zoom calls and physically return to the Commons. 
But it isn’t their physical absence that’s the problem – it’s their intellectual absence. Where are the voices for reason and liberty and a return to work and production? The speed and thoroughness with which our allegedly conflictual political system was bent to a singular, myopic cause raises profound questions about the health of our democracy.
He points out that the lockdown long ago achieved its objective of "flattening the curve" so that hospitals were not overwhelmed, and that people cooperated with that. But the cases never came in the numbers predicted, hospitals are now half-empty, and lockdown has now become something else entirely:
...lockdown has become a political, ideological cause, not a medical one, on to which so many of the elite’s prejudices – about the harmfulness of economic growth, the undesirability of mass society, the unimportance of liberty, the need for mass compliance to expert advice – have been projected. The lockdown is now separate from the pandemic. It has its own logic. It is the ruling ideology of our age.
As with other societies that have gone down this route, it has been enabled through fear multiplied far beyond what science said:
Government adviser Professor Robert Dingwall is right to say that officials have ‘effectively terrorised’ people into believing that coronavirus will kill them. We have been incited to fear not only a disease, but each other. Misanthropy is the fuel of the lockdown ideology. Steer clear of people. Do not touch them. Do not sit next to them. They might be diseased. And you might be diseased.
And similarly the result may end up backfiring on the conservative government because such terror has worked too well.
Polls show that many people are now reluctant to go back to normal life. Many want schools to remain closed. There is fear about returning to work. Things are so bad that the government is having to redirect its resources, away from terrorising us to stay indoors towards trying to coax us to come out again.
Return to your tasks subjects! The economy needs your enterprise and labour. The Welfare State needs your taxes.

Johnson himself is quoted as joking that "I’ve learnt that it is much easier to take people’s freedoms away than give them back.", to which O’Neill responds pungently:
That isn’t funny. The use of terror to cow much of the public, decimate economic life and suspend everyday liberty is not a joking matter. Terror has consequences, especially in a situation where any form of meaningful dissent from the terror was demonised and even criminalised.
One of the most pathetic aspects of the old communist regimes was that their leaders always ended up wondering why The People slowly turned away from their slogans and exhortations and turned to drink and apathy. They seemed surprised that decades of fear and terror and repression and ugliness should induce such behaviour.

It would be ironic if the same thing happened to the victors of the Cold War, and it would be richly deserved.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Three stories of courage

My Photo
There are many different types of courage but in peaceful times it's usually only seen with people in services such as Fire Fighting, Police, search and rescue and so forth.

But with the rise of the new strategy of "lockdown" exercised by governments around the world, there has been a chance to see glimpses of a different type of courage; the courage needed to face down the overwhelming power of the state and taking the consequences: the ultimate test of whether one really does believe in civil disobedience.

I'll start with the best one. Shelley Luther is a hairdresser in Texas and she finally opened her salon when it was obvious that their was no pandemic erupting in Texas and that the rules of social distancing were'nt actually based on any solid science. Even so, she made it clear that she'd follow some of the dictates around internal gatherings; masks and so forth. It didn't matter. She got arrested anyhow and appeared in front of a judge.

But it's what happened next that's interesting. The judge told her that if she admitted to her wrongdoing and that she'd been "selfish" and groveled out an apology she'd be released with only a fine. That demand and her answer, polite and respectful, can be seen here, starting at 1:14.

"I have much respect for this court and laws. I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”
What a profoundly powerful way to say "NO". The answer of an ordinary person, a layperson, probably not a particularly well-educated person. A worker. A deplorable.

So off to jail she went, as well as paying $500 per day in fines. But not for long as Texas exploded, starting with the Governor himself:
Compliance with executive orders during this pandemic is important to ensure public safety; however, surely there are less restrictive means to achieving that goal than jailing a Texas mother.”
And the Texas Attorney General:
“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table.
...
The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas."
It will no doubt surprise people who know of Texas as a Republican state that there are patches of it - like Dallas - ruled by Democrats, and that they were keen to follow the extreme lockdown policies of their Democrat brethren across the USA.

The Texas Supreme Court did not mess around, ordering her release. When she was let out of jail two days later there were crowds greeting her and GoFundMe campaign that was already well on its way to raising $500,000 for her appeals to get this charge off her history. Personally I think she should just leave it there as a badge of pride.

POS Keith Ellison
Next up is something similar from the state of Minnesota, where a few days ago a small businessman named Kris Schiffler, who owns six restaurants across central Minnesota as they suffer under one of the worst lockdowns in the USA. Two weeks ago Schiffler publically announced he would re-open his restaurants  and this led to threats of $25,000 fines and so forth.

The great irony here is that these threats were leveled by the state's Attorney General, one Keith Ellison, who two years ago endorsed the fascist Antifa movement in the state. Yeah - BIG double standards, as is usual for the Left.

They went ahead and opened the restaurants anyway at noon. A crowd of hundreds of ordinary people (note no Antifa masks, black garb or weapons) assembled outside one of the restaurants. Luckily for the maintenance of law and order the cops turned up just in time, driven by a restraining order obtained by Ellison.

As with Schuller a GoFundMe page was set up to fight the fascists. Their goal was $100,000: inside 48 hours they had raised $200,000.

The final story comes from the other side of all this: law enforcement.

From Seattle comes an impassioned plea from police officer and military veteran, Greg Anderson:

A cop who thinks about Civil Liberties?
“I’m seeing people arrested or cited for going to church, for traveling on the roadways, for going surfing, opening their businesses, going to the park with their families, or doing nails out of their own house — using their house as a place of business. And having undercover agents go there and arrest them. And charge ’em with — with what? With a crime?
The crime of being selfish I guess.
“Fourth Amendment violations — illegal traffic stops to check for papers? What are you, the Gestapo? Is this 1930’s Nazi Germany? You don’t get to stop people unless you have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they have committed a crime. And I know people that have personally been stopped, saying, ‘We wanna see papers showing that you are essential.’ That is not how our job works…”
Papers please! Showing that you are ...."essential". Officer Anderson has been suspended pending an "inquiry". Of course.
"...we need to start looking at ourselves as officers and thinking, ‘Is what I’m doing right?’ I wanna remind you that regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus, we don’t have the authority to do those things to people just because a mayor or a governor tells you otherwise. I don’t care if it’s your sergeant of your chief of police, we don’t get to violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise. It’s not how this country works.”
Heh. It's how many parts of the USA have worked in recent weeks, and it's how all of New Zealand has worked, aside from those gangs who have never obeyed the law and laugh at the cops every day.

You will never see anything like this from a NZ Police Officer of course. But then the population from which they are drawn from would never dream of doing anything like what Shelley Luther or Kris Schiffler did.

And here's Luther giving haircuts just a few days after this kerfuffle. You'll note all the safety precautions, just as medical advisors are asking for in internal spaces, and exactly as she said she would do. No need to shut down such places.



SAID IT WOULD HAPPEN AND IT HAS

In an earlier post I opined that Jacinda Ardern had let the genie out of the bottle by her failure to act against illegal road blocks being set up all over the country by Maori as 'their' contribution to saving the country from Covid-19.    I suggested this would embolden the more radical elements within Maoridom to bypass the law in seeking to promote their own agenda.

Last week (with Covid-19 level 2 in place) Matt King, the MP for Northland along with wife Sarah, decided to take his parents up to Cape Reinga as an anniversary day out for them.      North of Te Kao he was confronted by fence posts and farm gates blocking SH1 and manned by Iwi from Ngati Kuri.   He was told that 'they' had placed a rahui (tapu) on the road which would remained closed to everyone but Ngati Kuri until it was lifted at the end of the month.    He was further told that while Transit NZ owned the seal 'they' owned the ground under it and that if he (King) tried to break through the road block they would 'drop him'.    And all the while the lone constable from Te Hapua stood by telling King he had been instructed by his superiors not to intervene.    King, to his credit, concerned about the physical safety to his wife and parents backed off.

To compound the situation ... I am advised there is a police e-mail between two Police Inspectors which refers to the roadblock as 'ILLEGAL'.   WTF.    This turning a blind eye to the situation has the hands of the odious Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha all over it.

Ngati Kuri received $23.23m from the Crown in full and final settlement of their Treaty grievance claim.    There are elements in the Iwi that wanted more.    There is major concern among tourism operators that the roadblock is a precursor to the Iwi demanding a road toll/visitor tax/protection koha from anybody seeking to visit the Cape.   Unattended vehicles at the Cape are subject to more than their fair share of break-ins.   It would be but a small matter for buses to be interfered with.

This against the backdrop of the hapless Kelvin Davis, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, MP for Te Tai Tolerau and Minister of Tourism, calling for the country to embrace tourism and here, in his own backyard, one of our iconic tourist stops is been placed off limits by his constituents to 99.96% of the population.    Have you heard a peep from Davis ... No.   Have you heard a peep from Northland's Labour List MP Willow-Jean Prime ... No.   And from St Jacinda ... the silence is deafening.

This folks is the new normal.   New Zealand the way you've got it.   

Stormy Weather


What a day we have in store!  Gusts up to 120kph forecast.

The poor buggers from the Council haven't even finished cutting up and carting away the trees blown down a fortnight ago.

NOW IN BUNBURY

Updated at 05:50 WST

19.3°C

Feels like 15.5 °C
Dew Point
2.2 °C
Gusts
13km/h
Relative Humidity
32%
Pressure
Wind
ENE 11km/h
Rainfall
0.0mm

BUNBURY SUNDAY FORECAST

Windy with rain
Windy with rain
12 °C
21 °C
90%
20-40mm
Bunbury for Sunday
Cloudy. Very high (near 100%) chance of rain, most likely during this afternoon and evening. Damaging winds and heavy rain possible in the afternoon and evening. Winds NE 20 to 30 km/h increasing to 25 to 40 km/h in the early afternoon then turning N 40 to 50 km/h in the evening. Daytime maximum temperatures between 17 and 20.

Ho Ho Ho





















































stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, cnn, coronavirus, thunberg, IQ 83, Herzog

Governor Unveils Innovative 37-Step Plan To Reopen State Over 
The Next 10 Years

STILTON’S PLACE, STILTON, POLITICAL, HUMOR, CONSERVATIVE, CARTOONS, JOKES, HOPE N’ CHANGE, sibelius, heathcare.gov, obamacare








Saturday, May 23, 2020

Competent or incompetent government


In the comments thread under yesterday's "misfortunes of one's political enemies" post, I commented to Kimbo that I'd consider this government an improvement on the previous one even if it managed no other achievements beyond ending the meth testing scam. 

I was entirely serious about that, because the meth testing scam was one of the most evil things done by a NZ government that I can remember.  As usual, Danyl McLachlan can explain it much better than I can, and has done as an aside in a post about Bridges' and Bennett's demise:

(And on a personal note, I’m glad to see Bennett is no longer part of the leadership team of one of our major political parties. The meth-testing scandal is probably the worst thing I’ve ever seen in New Zealand politics: the government wasted over $100 million dollars throwing the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country out of their homes during a housing crisis, for no reason other than they wanted to look tough on drugs. It ruined lives, it was utterly pointless and evil, and while there was a lot of blame to go around, Bennett was minister of social housing and one of the major architects of the policy. She never apologised for any of it, and she should never be in any position of responsibility, anywhere in this country, ever again).

I'd go further than Danyl and say that it was not only because they wanted to look tough on drugs, but  perhaps also because they had friends in the industry, not least a certain National MP who must not be named due to court suppression rules.

Competence isn't the only measure of a government's worth. The Key government was very competent in its deliberate mistreatment of the poorest people in the country, but that's not a recommendation.  It's also fair to say the Key government was more competent than the current one (the current government's three-party structure alone would make that inevitable), but at least I can be confident the current government isn't competently inflicting a great evil on the country.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Thank you for your service.


So in a significant swerve further to the Left,  Muller and Kaye have prevailed.

It has oft been said Kaye beat Ardernearly twice in Auckland Central with her clear comfort with much of NZLP philosophy being a factor.

Muller is 'of the Land',  yes his family grew fruit but his enamoured construct with the global warming rorts only moderated when addressing rural audiences is but one signal NZ Inc is not going to value risk, enterprise and entrepreneurship any time soon.

It is to be hoped the new leadership of National lurching to cover the center will have a renewed ACT party with three or four MPs to hold the line so successfully begun to roll welfare as a lifestyle back. A policy instituted by Bill English that was making a real difference before the toxic gnome torpedoed the whole shebang.

Any chance NZ Inc can survive and rebuild from the tsunami of welfare both personal and corporate will need at a minimum a return to smaller government and encouraging small business to take root and grow to make a significant return to the path English and Joyce managed to begin under the Key administration.

There is no way in hell standing in a bucket and trying to raise it will ever work. Socialism will fail yet again even if the planners think they can do it better, it will still only last so long as there is other funding available  from taxpayers, that well is going to be very shallow and close to going dry for some time to come.

So thanks to the now vanquished leadership that held the line until the Chinese virus entered the race, and a media purchased for fifty million dollars decided that asking legitimate questions could be avoided by a stare and a change of subject.

Mr Bridges and Ms Bennett kept National right up there so I say Thank you very much for your service.

The misfortunes of one's political enemies are always entertaining


It's official! The National Party has given up on any chance of winning this year's election. Or at least, that's the only thing I can conclude from its MPs replacing their leader with someone no-one's ever heard of and whose anonymity is well-deserved, to the extent that one of the MPs planning to vote for him couldn't remember his name.

Todd "OK, Boomer" Muller takes over as leader from Simon Bridges.  Muller, a Bay of Plenty-based Christian conservative, should immediately make a strong contrast with Bridges, a... er... Bay of Plenty-based Christian conservative.  Of course, it's also possible that Muller is just a placeholder for eventual replacement by Chris Luxon, a very different kettle of fish indeed, being a... er... Oh, yes!  Auckland-based Christian conservative.  Ah, what a broad church the National Party is - it has both Catholics and Protestants!

AIN'T THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH JUST GRAND

Hasten to say this isn't TDS in play but when Donald Trump revealed the results of his daily coronavirus test yesterday by saying he 'tested positively towards negative' that would surely have had some people scratching their heads.

Ain't the Queen's English just grand (said with great respect to our North American cousins).