Friday, December 6, 2019


but clearly, like measles, its catching.   Up until now I thought Chris Faafoi was one of Labour's better Ministers.    Not any more.  

Playing fast and loose with the cabinet manual appears to be de rigeuer for Ministers in a government that is stumbling from crisis to crisis.

If Faafoi were a Minister in the Key Government he would have been gone by now but, as usual with this mob, when push comes to shove Jacinda Ardern buckles at the knees.


I have returned to the world after another time of peace and calm at "The Gorge".

Rakaia Gorge that is and it was somewhat different this time. The river that ruled Mona Anderson's life inspired her to write of her time married to the then manager of Mt Algidus Station, which lies above the confluence of the Rakaia and Wilberforce rivers, the story related in her first book of nine, "A River Rules my Life". That river was in flood for many recent days peaking at over three thousand cumecs at least twice.

A cumec is a cubic meter of water flowing past a point each second. Just absorb that figure,  three thousand cubic meters every second!

Do the maths.

The Rakaia is one of seven major Canterbury rivers that originate on the main divide of the Southern Alps. The Clarence (northern boundary with Marlborough), Waiau, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Rakaia, Rangatata and Waitaki (the southern Boundary). The first six were estimated to have been flowing almost unimpeded at around ten thousand cumecs during the recent rain event.

The Rangitata has the Rangitata diversion race that flows across Mid Canterbury to Highbank where it spills into the Rakaia when water is surplus to the draw-off for irrigation.

The Rakaia feeds the Central Plains scheme that is still developing.

The Waimakariri has some small scale irrigation takes.

The Waiau feeds the Amuri Plains scheme that has morphed from an inefficient border-dyke system to a piped scheme spraying less water over twice the area.

The Clarence is almost untouched.

At the other end of the region the Waitaki is very developed with enhanced lakes Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo all controlled and the man-made lakes Waitaki, Aviemore and Benmore. These lakes are connected by canals that have left dry the riverbeds that once drained Tekapo and Pukaki - unless the lakes require a spill. The Ohau has now completely disappeared, covered over much of its course by Lake Ruataniwha, with some dry-bed remnant.

If the Upper Waitaki that saves so much water and generates some significant renewable electricity was proposed  in the current climate of no-development-anywhere, it would never make it past the dream stage.

Back to the water flowing to the Pacific Ocean; yesterday Christchurch used 181,165, 000 liters of water which was around 5 seconds of the peak flow of the Rakaia at the gorge bridges.

There is no storage on the Canterbury Rivers apart from the natural lakes on the north branch of the Hurunui - and they have been made sacred as to any controls - and the diversion of the Harper  river to Lake Coleridge.

I accept the high shingle flows make damming the rivers somewhat fraught, but there are still some options for storage away from the streams for summer flow enhancement.

To quote The late John Clarke personna Fred Dagg, "we don't know how lucky we are".

Those were some very impressive flows this week and so much just poured into the sea unhindered while mongs lament any and every use of the resource,  both in situ and planned.


So its official then ... the Coalition of the Losers is corrupt.     Labour, Winston First and the Greens voted down an amendment to the Bill on foreign donations that would have meant that donations to a foundation associated with a political party such as the NZ First Foundation would be treated as a donation to the party and require the same transparency.

You have to ask yourself why would that be ... blindingly obvious really.   Winston said 'No way Hosay' and Labour and the Greens fell into line.    Begs the question ... was NZ Future Forrest Products, this shell company headed by Brian Henry, the eminence grise of NZ First, his son and a certain Jan Trotman and reportedly backed by hidden foreign investors ... the company that has Shane Jones performing verbal gymnastics ... a donor to the NZ First Foundation and, if so, was it the foreign investors who stumped up the dosh.

Poor old Greens having to swallow another dead rat. This from their website on political donations:

'influence of money on politics is one of the greatest threats to democracy. Political parties
need money to run election campaigns but that money can be a source of undue influence on the democratic process. The Green Party believes it is of paramount importance for the public to know who is funding political parties, as an assurance that political donations are not buying policy.'

One could almost feel sorry for them but I don't ... their principles went out the door when they voted for Winston's waka jumping legislation.

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.



Thursday, December 5, 2019


As a relatively junior Captain and for what ever reason (I know not what) I was appointed as the Military Assistant to the Minister of Defence.   I understand I was the first such appointment.   Nowadays it's a Lieutenant Colonel equivalent posting.   Lotsa fun poodle faking; got to wear gold braid and was issued with a Diplomatic (red) Passport which does wonders for you at immigration and customs.

In 1974 we made an official visit to the Philippines where Minister Faulkner who was also acting as Minister of Foreign Affairs was to turn the sod at our new embassy building.   We were given 'Guest of Government' status and one night we were afforded an official State Dinner at the Malacanang Palace hosted by President Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos.

It was a glittering occasion.   Two hundred Filipino and just three Kiwis.   Faulkner and Mrs F were seated at the top table ... I was about as far away from there as you could get as befitting my rank although I had senior military officers seated each side of me.    We had been told there would be 'entertainment' provided during the dinner.

And so it was.   After the entree had been served Imelda stood up and launched into song.   I don't remember what it was but it was bloody awful ... much akin to Madam Edie in Allo Allo.    At the conclusion of her rendition all the Filipino guests went ballistic, standing and clapping and calling for more.   And more there wuz ... I can recall 'Home on the Range' and 'I'm dreaming of a White Christmas' and each one worse than its predecessor lubricated by wine.

I was fortunate.   I had a wine waiter positioned just behind me.   All I had to do was smile and raise my finger.   Her singing got better.    Twas night I will never forget.   Happy daze.

The Mentality of Modern Rich People - three takes

Rich people who don't know they're rich and have all sorts of ideas about how to make you poorer.

Rich people with a sense of immunity from the real world affects of what they advocate for - affects that will hurt you worse than them.

And in this example, there's a dose of entitleism also, as a bunch of Harvard/Yale students take to the football field as part of the Extinction Rebellion rallies currently circling the Western world.

In this case it was only the Harvard-Yale football game that was interrupted, rather than something really important like Ohio State vs. Georgia Bulldogs, but even so.

The sense of immunity and entitleism? When police officers tried to persuade them off the field, some of these students shouted “My father is a lawyer!”

Oh yes, little ones, I'll bet he is, and a high 6-figure lawyer too if you're at Harvard. Mummsy is probably a lawyer also. Ironically they've apparently never taught their kids how to argue, although that hardly matters since it's not a skill demanded by Harvard or Yale nowadays.

Rich people who don't know what it's like to be poor - and have all sorts of ideas of how to make you poorer.
"Some people say, well, taxes are regressive. But in this case, yes they are. That's the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don't have a lot of money. 
And so, higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves. 
So, I listen to people saying 'oh we don't want to tax the poor.' Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life. And that's why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don't want to do."
That's Michael Bloomberg talking about taxes on the little pleasures of life like booze, tobacco and sugary drinks. He's a 77 year old man who is currently worth around $58 billion and is running for the nomination of the Democrat Party to be the next President of the United States.


The Fairy Princess must be beside herself over the latest revelation concerning her errant Minister.   Kiwiblog covers it off here.

The third paragraph sez it all ... 'In any government of good standing this would be a sackable offence'.

But this government ain't in good standing.    The PM's hands are tied,   She can do nowt and WRP and Jones know it.    In a small way I feel sorry for Labour but when you take as a pet a rabid dog with fleas you must expect to be bitten by both.  

Our co-commentator Psycho Milt saw this coming ... He had the smarts ... Labour, not much.

"I will drink your cup of poison."

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


I am pretty much an agnostic on Brexit and await the election results with interest.   They will provide an indication of where the country wants to go.    In the meantime can I share with you a sign seen at a recent rally ... amusing.

Hat-tip to KJ ... one of our loyal readers from the Sandgroper State.

Thank you to Psycho Milt for his expert tutoring.


The Garrick Tremain cartoon in the ODT has people up in arms.    For those of you who have yet to see it go here   

I have links to Samoa and love the country.   Self and Mrs Vet visit it regularly ... I agree that given what's happening there right now (with the death toll  at 55 and the Government declaring a state of national emergency meaning the country has virtually shut down) the cartoon was at best insensitive and in poor taste.

But as ever there are two sides to a story and Karl du Fresne has his thoughts on it here   I am particularly drawn to his concluding remarks ... 'Given a choice between bad taste and puritanical censorship, I'll take bad taste every time'.



I can confirm that the senior prisons manager I referred to in my last post on the subject has indeed resigned.   For him having to address prisoners by their first name was the last straw.

I know 'f' all about prisons and we had an interesting chat over a bottle of good red.   He described medium and high security prisons as a zoo increasingly controlled by gangs where violence was endemic and where corruption was common place.   He said 20% of warders were tough and respected as such.   Inmates thought twice about having them on.   The remaining 80% ranged from those who were prepared to turn a blind eye to what they consider to be minor infringements through to those who were on the 'take'.

In respect of the latter and while not excusing them in anyway whatsoever he said consider this ... a warder, assessed by prisoners as weak, has a mongrel mob/black power member sidle up to him and say 'we know where you live ... we know where your daughter goes to school ... now one of our associates will be in touch with you and give you a package to bring into prison for me ... and there's $100 for your trouble ... now you're going to be a good little man aren't you.'   A  small number will report that but it comes down to a 'he said vs he said' argument and likely little action by management.    That warder will probably then call it quits and resign.   

Which leaves the remainder who, by omission and commission, help make prisons what they are ... a zoo where gangs rule, violence is common place (especially gang vs gang), corruption is rife and where this government thinks that calling criminals by their first name is going to make all the difference ... and pigs fly.

Is It Art?

From the blog site called Sad And Useless, comes a collection of photos of car mechanics. But these are not just any old photos:
Photographer Freddy Fabris had always wanted to pay homage to the Renaissance masters with his photos in some way, but he wasn’t sure how until he stumbled upon an auto-mechanic shop in the Midwest.
You can check on the link to see the full set, but suffice to say that it's both clever and funny. I've included a few here, starting with ones that even I, with my limited Art History knowledge, can relate to the original Masters...

... and some that I can't, although they look familiar. Art Critics are invited to connect them to the originals.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


On the latest Colmar-Brunton poll Winston First will not be back in parliament and National and ACT could form the next government.

On the back of that result the Fairy Princess was at pains this morning to argue that it would be a mistake to write Winston First off ... in one sense she was right, you should never do that ... but the subtext to her remarks is that Labour and Winston First are joined at the hip ... vote Winston First and you get a Labour led gummit.

I urge National to seize the opportunity and make it clear that National will, under no circumstances, go into coalition with NZ First as long as WRP remains their leader.      Winston would rather the question be left hanging ... it's to his advantage.     National can and should act to neutralize that advantage. 

What not to do with a classic

Jeff Wayne - The War Of The Worlds album (1978)

H.G Well's famous SF novel, The War Of The Worlds, has been adapted many times: movies, TV series, radio dramas and even a music album. The most famous was the 1938 radio version narrated and directed by Orson Welles. The first two-thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a news bulletin, and it put the wind up a few people who thought there was a real alien invasion, though the reactions were much exaggerated by the newspapers of the time as they sought to discredit radio "news".

The picture above is from one of the most strangely successful versions of all - it's an album cover from a musical double album of "Progressive Rock" produced in 1978 by an artist called Jeff Wayne. With the imperious voice of actor Richard Burton as "The Journalist", this strange idea somehow worked. It was a massive best-seller and has sold 15 million copies to date.

Other adaptations have not been so good, and the latest version - a three-part BBC series that tries to place itself in the original Victorian setting - has been overwhelmingly panned by professional critics and the public alike. A lot of this seems to be down to the Woke Politics of the screenplay, wherein the British Army is revealed to be as useless and stupid as everything else about Victorian England and the British Empire - except the ladies, who are left to take charge and kick Martian butt, ..... or something.

But my favourite review has to be this one from the IMDB website, "And early in the 21st century came the great disillusionment". If you're a fan of the book you'll recognise parts of this:
No one would have believed in the 19th year of the 21st century, that the BBC was still being watched keenly and closely by intelligences soon to be mocked and insulted. 
Men scrutinised and studied a great fictional work, alas as shallowly as a man with an iPhone might scrutinise the Mona Lisa. With infinite complacency men rewrote the fiction including extramarital little affairs and yammering on about their boring empire versus the Russians. It is possible that the incessant programmers on Netflix do the same. 
No one gave a thought to the older generation patiently forking out our license fee year after year, patiently awaiting a truly grand presentation, but thought only to dismiss the ideas of H.G Wells as impossible or improbable and downright old-fashioned. 
It is curious to comprehend some of the mental habits of those involved in this fiasco. At most, terrestrial men fancied there might be a reasonable BBC adaptation of creatures coming from Mars, perhaps inferior to the novel, but still ready to welcome a quality enterprise. 
Yet across the road in White City, minds that are clearly devoid of intellect, smallscale and unsympathetic, regarded this commission with blinkered eyes, and slowly, and surely, drew their plans against us.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Usman, why do you need me to die? (UPDATE)


The 2012 Bombing and Stabbing Team
The Daily Mail now reports that of the nine original terrorist plotters of 2012, only two are still in prison.

The remaining six were released, like Khan, well before their terms had been served.

Their whereabouts are unknown.

Jesus - look at them! You want to run into any of them down a dark alley? What are the odds that they're all still of the mindset of Mr Usman (pictured middle, bottom-row)?

And it really puts into perspective the idiots who write sarcastic comments like:

No Parole. No Rehabilitation. Make them serve their sentence. 
As if the current "justice" situation in Britain is like that, when the reality is the exact opposite.

History repeats itself, first as farce, second as tragedy.

Usman Khan, 28, had been free a year after serving just half of a 16-year sentence for plotting with eight others in 2010 to bomb such London landmarks as the stock exchange, American embassy, and Westminster Abbey. 
He was still wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet when he went berserk with two long knives after speaking about his own “rehabilitation” during a Cambridge University-sponsored criminal justice conference in London, killing two and injuring three.
Just to add a further touch of farce to the tragedy, that rehab program was called Learning Together.

A specter is once again haunting Europe, but this time all the powers of old Europe are not trying to exorcise it at all. The place is filled with Nikolai Bukharin's, who will learn nothing from this and change their minds not one iota - even as those ideas send them into their own graves.


With the departure of Lord Egbut from the blog you are our only regular contributor resident in the UK and with just 72 hours until the media blackout (in the UK) comes into force it would be fascinating you get your take on what's happening and what's likely to happen come Thursday.

Egbut, before he went, was of a mind that this was going to the Lib-Dems year and that could be right but it appears to me that the Conservatives are doing rather well and could win a clear majority.     But I see any numbers of commentators are calling it that the election has become as much referendum on Corbyn as anything else following a couple of disastrous media interviews and spending promises that don't add up.

Now all this may just be me looking thru blue tinted spectacles and you may see it differently.   Look forward to your response. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019


Nothing more illustrates the disconnect the Labour Party has with provincial New Zealand than the fact that at their conference just concluded the conference booklet welcomed delegates to Whangarei.    Only problem was that the conference venue was Whanganui (or Wanganui as some would have it).

Two cities 472 kilometers distant from each other and these clowns didn't know the difference.    Sez much.

I can hear the people sing now!

This is a truly great scene: a huge crowd of Hong Kong protesters gathered on the day of US Thanksgiving....

... singing The Star Spangled Banner.

At the end they even threw in a few good chants of "USA, USA, USA..."

This is absolutely beautiful to watch. It even beats the HK school kids version of "Can You Hear The People Sing" that I wrote about a few months ago.

It's always great to see people reaching out to a real beacon of liberty. Funny how truly oppressed people always know the sources of actual freedom.

The reason for this outburst of thanks is down to two bills signed into law by President Trump last Wednesday, both of which have overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress.

The first is the The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires the State Department to certify once a year that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to retain its special U.S. trading rights.

A second bill makes it illegal to sell munitions like tear gas and rubber bullets to the Hong Kong police.

Nobody - not least the people of Hong Kong - is under any illusions that either bill will stop the crushing of the protesters by the Chinese Communists if they get desperate. If the choice is between the survival of the CCP and permanently damaging the economic jewel of Hong Kong, the Communist leaders of China will not hesitate in choosing the former option.

But both Acts will at least give them pause for thought, and it certainly got under their skins enough that they issued this statement:
“We are officially telling the U.S. and the handful of opposition politicians in Hong Kong who follow America’s lead to not underestimate our determination to protect Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, don’t underestimate our belief to protect the ‘one country, two systems policy’ and don’t underestimate our capabilities and strategies in protecting our country’s sovereignty, safety, growth and rights. 
This so-called bill will only make the Chinese people, including our compatriots in Hong Kong, further understand the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the United States. It will only make the Chinese people more united and make the American plot doomed to fail"
Heh, heh, heh. It's as if they've learned nothing over the decades about the boilerplate bullshit nature of their Communist language.

Yes, this is "angering" China but they're going to be pricks anyway. Take a gander at just some of the Tweets from some lickspittle toady named Lijian Zhao from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as he went apeshit on the USA:

To be fair those could all be from the editorial pages of The New York Times, Washington Post, the Democrat Party, or any member of the global Left. Most of these talking points are cribbed from them anyway, the CCP propaganda departments apparently thinking it sways Americans to have the bullshit of their own Left-Wing ladled back to them. The USSR tried the same moral equivalence tactics in the 1970's and 1980's and failed. But it continues to this day with Putin also always pushing the whole "You're no better than us, and probably worse" line.

But the key point here is that Hong Kong's protesters at their Thanksgiving rally were not interested in debating the legal and geopolitical aspects of the US laws or even China's "anger".  They were thanking America for standing with them.
We know it's a fight we have to fight on our own," said one 50-year-old man holding up an American flag at the rally, "But it's good to have friends who stand by us." 
"Thank you, President Trump," said one 21-year-old Hong Kong woman, who was wearing a face mask and holding up a sign with an American flag. 
"Thank you to America," said a 25-year-old Hong Kong man, also wearing a face mask, and waving an American flag. He called it a "miracle" that America has passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and said that whatever it amounts to in practice, he is grateful for the basic message: "It told us that we are not alone."
Well, until the tanks start moving across the border, at which point there will be nothing kinetic that the USA or the rest of the world can do.

But in the face of that grim reality, it also seems that the protesters have a sense of trolling humour that the entire US MSM lacked, as they carted around blow-ups of Trump's "Rocky" tweet.

They understand that it was a joke - but they also know it wasn’t only a joke.

I still don't hold out much hope for them to retain their liberty from the Communists, but you never know: in Eastern Europe eventually,  "Das Volk Siegt".


Only this time I have helped create another killer who preferred a knife to bring about the deaths of innocents, only ended when some stupid police person shot him dead.

Usman Khan goes on a murder spree at the site where two years ago an earlier killing spree ended the lives of eight people with another 48 injured.

In a bizarre twist this latest misguided young man was very recently released from prison after a conviction for a conspiracy; he had been deprived of his freedom for planning bad things along with some other people seven years ago, obviously that was a fit up.

Lucky for London he was a follower of a Religion Of Peace! Imagine if he had been a Right Wingnut White Supremacist? Panic and fear might have gripped the Capital with all sorts of possible repercussions: they are truly something to be feared those facists.

Of course his religious and racial background made this crime spree a mystery, totally out of character for an Englishman.

Another little facet of the incident: some of his victims were attending a criminal discussion at a local eatery organised by a couple of Cambridge University professors.

No worries though; Blake, Holden and Co will make sense of it all no doubt.

Ho Ho Ho

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A defence of PM Jacinda Adern's friendship with rapper Tom Scott

2014: Former Home Brew singer Tom Scott
Asked about the the lyrics, Scott said: “I mean obviously I regret what I said. I probably should have said I was going to rape his son.” When asked if he had any regrets, he said: “I don’t regret what I said actually. Screw that."
"Did Tom Scott threaten to rape Stef Key? No, he wrote /rapped he was going to fuck her. That could have been a rape or romance fantasy. Did he get called out on it? Yes, he did. Did he apologise? Yes, he did.Has he grown and changed since 2004? Yes, he has. 
 The Veteran comments on the same thread
"My point is that JA doesn't appear too choosy with her circle of friends ... Scott, Hardcore, a (yet to be named) sexual predator in her office."

I think that you misunderstand what rape means here Veteran. Tom Scott is part of a society oppressed by the white, patriarchal, heteronormative power of people like John Key. In this context “rape” is merely a theoretical construct which does not present as the literal act per se but as a representation of Mr Scott fighting back against his oppressors.

While Max Key may have found himself also brutalised by this process that is simply a regrettable but understandable consequence of his inheriting the power of his class, race and gender. Max could of course check his privilege and ameliorate the problems that Tom Scott faces, but power does not usually yield to good intentions.

Similarly Radio NZ should not have been asking Tom Scott to compromise on his reaction any more than it would think of demanding that a starving Parisian refuse to pick up a pitchfork in 1789. As Mr Scott would be the first to point out, this merely shows how much the likes of Kim Hill are part of the power structure and the problems.

By contrast, the rape culture of people like John Key and Brett Kavanaugh is the status quo situation resulting from class, race and gender imbalances in our society, and since this is the responsibility of our ruling classes it is incumbent upon them to make the changes necessary.

The fact they will not is simply because – unlike Mr Scott – rape is part of the way that they maintain their power and control over society. Sadly Ms Hill’s failure to stand with Mr Scott is simply a reflection of the dominant forces at work within Radio NZ and the rest of our society.

However, Prime Minister Adern's solid friendship with Scott shows that the oppressed of the world can overcome and forgive their differences and of course Scott has refrained from threatening PM Adern or her young son with rape and physical violence in a show of solidarity against the reactionary forces that constantly attempt to divide them.

Still, there is much Progressive work to be done and while Adern and Scott's friendship, as well as that Radio NZ programme, represent small and bright sources of hope it is noted that Adern cannot remain in power forever and the show could only be broadcast on a quiet Sunday morning rather than between 5 and 6pm every week night.


Go here for the story about Jacinda Ardern's private conversations with the rapper who sung about wanting to kill John Key and rape his daughter.   By Their friends Ye Shall Know Them.

Real classy for a PM who will don a headscarf and make an apology at the drop of a hat.    One might be forgiven for thinking that at another time and another place she would shed a tear for Tarrant as a poor misguided youth ... if she thought it would win her votes.

Friday, November 29, 2019


I see in a tweet Labour List MP Willow Jean Prime confirmed her selection to stand in Northland along with Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau.   I guess that finally puts to rest the possibility of Davis standing aside in TTT to give Shane Jones a clear run at the seat which he would win.    Twill be interesting to see what sort of campaign Prime runs up here ... dollars to donuts it will focusing on the Party vote.

But this got me thinking.   In the National Party every sitting MP and prospective MP goes through a formal selection process.   Nominations are called for and advertised in local papers.  Anyone can stand provided they meet certain membership requirements and if they have demonstrated support from local Party members.

Not so with Labour.   I can find no evidence of the Labour Party calling for nominations in either Northland of TTT.   It seems the selection of Prime and Davis as sitting MPs was determined by a secretive cabal at Fraser House without local input.   Sez much for how Labour works.


Many are lauding the Crusaders Board for not appeasing the coalition of anti rugby followers and luvvies by abandoning their "Crusader" Brand.

In my ever humble opinion they have still allowed another small win for the deranged foreign person responsible for the truly awful killing of over fifty unarmed souls.

Churchill defined an Appeaser as one who feeds a crocodile hoping the reptile will devour them last!

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

Tolerance of injustice is appeasement, and it will find you next.

Ben Franklin on freedom:
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
This will not satisfy those who are as woke as the Crusader Board, the bell rings for round two!

Another sad day for those disgusted at Tarrant's rampage.

Movie Review: Ford v Ferrari

The best movie I've seen since The Martian (2015) and one you absolutely should not miss on the big screen.

I'm no petrol head, so have never been much into the mechanics of cars or motor racing. I've watched parts of Bathurst races and appreciated rally car events because they at least drove on the sort of roads I used. But the idea of going to a Formula 1 track to stand in one place watching large slot cars whip around a corner seems fantastically boring. Let alone something like NASCAR where they fly around a rectangular track with exactly two corners.

Added to all this has been Hollywood's increasingly rapid descent into Woke World, where seemingly every movie, even "historical" ones have to deliver at least one, and probably several "Messages" that are approved of by the Modern Left, whether it's LGBTQ, Global Warming, or the evils of the USA and free enterprise ("Big Business"). The two movie stars in this effort - Matt Damon and Christian Bale - are very much plugged into all that.

As a result I had very low expectations going into the movie and only went because of two reviews. I even persuaded my oldest son to go with me and he's even more reluctant than I am to spend money at movie theatres, so...

But the movie is magnificent and it's lot more than a car racing movie.

Carrol Shelby
Ken Miles

It tells the story of two men - Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby - who worked together in the mid-1960's to build race cars for Ford.

And not just any racecars but ones  that could beat the then invincible Ferrari team in the famous Le Mans 24 hour car race in France.

Despite Ford's gigantism, this plays as an underdog story and works as such.

That's because it's not actually supporting Ford as much as supporting two guys up against both Ford, with its corporate "suits" and Ferrari, with it's typical European snobbishness about America.

The Shelby Cobra

Shelby - played by Matt Damon - had actually won Le Mans as a driver several years earlier but been forced out of racing by a heart condition, which is where the movie starts.

He turns his considerable engineering and sales skills to making his own sports cars, including the legendary Shelby Cobra pictured here.

Meantime in the world of corporate cars another legend, Lee Iacocca, then a young executive tyro with Ford Motor Company, is trying to persuade senior management, including CEO Henry Ford II, to "jazz up" their vehicles and appeal to the upcoming Baby Boomers who have jobs and money and want sexy European cars rather than the staid clunkers that Ford is turning out. The attitude is captured perfectly when Iacocca shows a picture of James Bond standing beside his Aston Martin, only to be told that "Bond's a degenerate" (modern feminists would likely agree). Nevertheless Iacocca wins his sales pitch and support for his plan to buy Ferrari, which is almost bankrupt.

But it all goes wrong. Enzo listens to Iacocca's offer but goes with Fiat instead, delivering some choice insults along the way about how the Americans should just go back to "their big, ugly factories" to produce "their ugly little cars" - and that Henry Ford II is not the man his grandfather was.

Bale listens to Damon's Le Mans proposal
Spurred by these insults Ford decides to write a blank cheque to beat Ferrari at the Le Mans race they have dominated for some time.

Through Iacocca they pick Shelby to get it done, and he in turn picks Ken Miles - played by Christian Bale - as his primary driver-engineer.

Miles is an Englishman and a WWII veteran who drove tanks from D-Day to the end of the war and now lives with his wife and son in California.

He loves his family very much and shows it - but he's also loves cars and racing them. More than just a driver he runs a small car repair shop (which has tax problems), understands every aspect of car engineering, and berates the occasional customer for not driving a sports car as it needs to be driven. He's also a very combustible chap.

The two men get to work to build what eventually becomes the Ford GT40. They test the hell out of it at Los Angeles International Airport and after initial doubts, Miles comes to love every minute, even the problems, one of which involves the brakes failing at high speed.

Ford GT 40 Mark II - 1966 Le Mans

But Miles is not liked by some of Ford's management, especially Senior VP Leo Beebe, who does not consider such a volatile man, and a Brit, to be "the Face of Ford".

It doesn't help when Miles, on first meeting Beebe and not knowing who he is, tells him that the newly unveiled Mustang is "a lump of lard".

Rejected from joining their first Le Mans attempt, Miles listens to the race as all the GT40's steadily drop out with various mechanical failures, as he had warned would happen if they did not drive them carefully.

Shelby has to answer to an angry Henry Ford who wants him to give one good reason why the whole show should not be canned after such a humiliation. Shelby's answer is that even with all the failures, one GT40 went down the Mulsanne Straight faster than anything Ferrari has ever produced and that "Old Man Enzo" must know that and be fearful of it.

Ferrari 330 P3 - 1966 Le Mans
The next year Miles gets his shot and the last hour of the movie centres on the race itself and his role in it as one of the co-drivers of the three GT40's Shelby put into the race.

One of the keys to winning is their idea of swapping out the entire brake system, which is within the letter of the law. It's not a spoiler to say that they win: you can look it up on the Internet.

But there is an unexpected, bitter-sweet moment when Beebe demands that all three GT40's cross the finish line together to provide "a great photo", despite Miles's car having to slow down and wait for them since he's leading by almost two laps. And this is added to by the pathos of how the movie ends a little later.

Christian Bale as Ken Miles

Christian Bale is just fantastic as Ken Miles, even if he is aided by getting all the meaty scenes. Although the Oscars have fallen from most people's view, this role should surely net him another win, this time finally for Best Actor: he's been nominated twice for it as well as twice for Best Supporting Actor, with one win for the latter.

Watching the movie I'd wondered what criticisms I'd find later about his wonderful "Brummie" accent - only to find out that his actual British accent is not too different. Perhaps his native heritage is a cheat here but even holding one of his endless "moogs" of tea he looks the part.

But Bale's performance clearly conveys that underneath the language, oil, grease and mechanical knowledge Miles is also an artist, with an artist's temperament; he absolutely cannot stand authority, at one point telling Shelby that the Ford "suits" will destroy them simply because they hate men who refuse to follow the slots and grooves of everyday life.

We can see that he is desperate to do what he was born for, but only on his terms, meaning that he seeks perfection, as he explains to his son in this quiet and beautiful scene:

"The perfect lap. No mistakes. Every gear change. Every corner. Perfect"

Matt Damon is ok as Shelby, although an actor like Matthew McConaughey probably would have been a better pick. Damon just doesn't look right in a cowboy hat and boots with a Texas twang - which he completely gives up on by the end of the movie! But if Bales shows us the artist's temper, then Damon certainly portrays with compassion the pride and ambition of a man as he swallows corporate bullshit and deals with his disappointments - and navigates between the suits and Miles.

"Got a face like a smacked arse now, haven't ya?"
And the two actors do have great chemistry on the screen, in dramatic and comedic moments. They're helped greatly by sparkling dialog:

"They said I’d have carte blanche this time. I looked it up, it’s French for ‘horseshit.’".

And it does not always require dialog. In one dramatic scene Shelby has literally bet the sale of his little company to Ford plus Miles driving at Le Mans, on winning the Daytona 24 hour race and finds Beebe scheming to get the other Ford GT40 team to win by using a NASCAR pit team rather than the build crew Shelby has. Under instructions to keep the engine below 6000rpm, Shelby, near the end of the race and with everything to lose, writes on an instruction blackboard and carries it across to the side of the track where Miles can see it:
7000rpm+. Go like Hell.
In keeping with the joyousness of the whole movie, Miles whoops with delight at being able to unleash both himself and the machine he rides.

The movie's story may be simple but it is beautifully structured and flows effortlessly, with scene after scene that amount to brilliant little movies in themselves. None more so than the last part about the 1966 Le Mans race. There are breaks in the action as drivers swap out and rest, pit stops made and problems - both human and mechanical - are dealt with. It's not forty continuous minutes of racing, which would be boring.

There is some CGI in the film, mainly around the crowd scenes and the accidents, which are fast and brutal but, as from the drivers perspective, not lingered upon. The racing sequences were mostly filmed on tracks with replica cars, and they are some of the most intense and real that I've ever seen, whether externally or as the drivers must have seen it from inside the cars. Whether it's evading the accidents, cornering, passing, watching the brakes become glowing red discs, or ploughing into rain and darkness at 200mph you truly get to feel how dangerous this is. I saw audience members flinch during one accident scene as a car literally comes apart in front of Miles.

But it also captures those quiet moments that Miles reaches for, where he is simply, "a body moving through time and space". And yet even in that there is nothing pretentious about this movie: no reference to Zen.

Also no lecturing buzzkills, no puffed up self-importance, none of the usual "messages". No woke. There certainly is a message told through character and story though and it's a vital one in these days of whining Western self-criticism and self-pity, and that's a message about being your own man, about not getting chewed up and spat out in some corporate or government collective, about sons and fathers and husbands and wives and friends and chasing impossible dreams.

By contrast there were those two reviews I mentioned at the start, from which I'll provide some excerpts. First up is one Hannah Elliott in Canada's National Post:
Ford v Ferrari shows a generation best left dead and dominate the screen for 98% of the time, by my unofficial count..... And when I say men, I mean white, straight men...It’s no surprise to survey this patriarchal wasteland — but it’s no less depressing to see it, nonetheless.
Second is something called L.V. Anderson, in The Daily Grist:
‘Ford v Ferrari’ is the climate change horror film nobody needed...  As wildfires rage in Australia, a record-breaking hurricane season draws to a close, and meteorologists predict that this year will go down as the second-hottest in recorded history, it’s clear that Ford v Ferrari is the wrong movie for 2019...
Thanks idiots, it's called The Streisand Effect.  As soon as I read all that I knew that this was a movie I had to see.

You should see it too - and take your sons and daughters and grandsons and grandaughters as well. They'll probably be able to see past the 98% aspect and know that it's 100% about human beings with a human story that they might be inspired by.

Friday's Fulminations

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Thursday, November 28, 2019


Public buildings, churches and other structures throughout history had a foundation stone often laid with great fanfare and publicity along with a plaque honouring the beginning of construction naming  an officiating Prime Minister, Minister,  MP,  Mayor or or some other notable desperate for a mark of their existence!

Of course with the passage of time, often embarrassingly brief their contribution disappears into the swamps of time.

No matter, the very bit of theatre that is marked by such a "laying" gives a meme of probity accompanying the word "Foundation".

The Bible records in Matthew 7/24-27 some words on foundations with reference to a foolish man who builds a house on "Sand" and suffers the indignity of a failure.

"Foundation" is currently under a similar fate as alluded to by Matthew, with the Winston First Foundation, apparently portraying a rather dodgy base.

Back to the Hepatitis Foundation that many, self included, were totally unaware of its even existing!

State Radio as reported by Farrar today reveals some rather serious lavish expenditure by its Chairman, one "Professor"  Chris Cunningham,  on meals at upmarket Auckland restaurants and extensive travel expenses.

Following a somewhat early retirement from a 45 year career in farming I then volunteered at my own cost for participation,  private  travel for training, and service, in first response, including Fire Service, Ambulance and a Service club, with nary a cent of subsidy from any trough.

Oh there was a couple of remunerated community services, one for the Police as an arms officer where any profit disappeared in travel costs and a few months of Community Board involvement under the Banks Peninsula District Council until amalgamation with Christchurch City where the "morning teas" were to be fair rather embarrassing, when a biscuit and a cuppa would have sufficed and remuneration was again laughable

Not sufficient for Prof Cunningham though, with an entitilitus gene predominating and not limited to the Hepatitis Foundation, this character seems to have found many troughs to sup from, his concept of "public service " seems to require a many faceted sourcing of the pearls found in troughs.

No doubt his "service" will result in a mention in a subsequent Honours promulgation and the simple inveterate trougher will never become aware his memorials will disappear into the swamps to find oblivion faster than blowflies devour a rotting corpse leaving only bones.

Charity activity seems to attract some very avaricious persons who see nothing awry in diverting significant sums of donated money whether from donors who may suffer hardship in their giving, or monies extracted from productive citizens for distribution by a government beautifully encapsulated as a "Grant" to their personal benefit.

To single out the Hepatitis Foundation may seem a tad unfair, it is but the latest exposed, and hepatitis in any form is a debilitating disease often avoidable that needs addressing as a scourge in modern medical practice, and for Cunningham and his fellow beneficiaries to garner a lifestyle from the money is nothing short of an abomination.

It is not "your" money.


Associate Minister for Transport has made her derisive biased attitude to country folk clearer.

In announcing speed limits in the vicinity of schools the Melon Moron is suggesting 40 Km per Hour for urban schools and inexplicably a limit 10 Kph above the existing limits for urban school environments, for rural schools!

Can someone explain how a reduction of 10 kph near town schools is so needed yet a forty tonne behemoth can threaten country children at sixty Kph???

Obviously rural lives have a lesser value as they might just emerge as dirty farming persons or at least support persons.

The silly bint is clearly ignorant of a trial that has been ongoing for years where  all schools including rural schools have advisory signage of 40Kph in The Selwyn Electorate with good observance and very little inconvenience.

Perhaps the American immigrant sees fitter and more aware country children living beyond the urban precinct having  less need for protections such as reducing the speed of passing vehicles to 40 Kph

Much more likely she is just one thick person displaying ignorant bias towards Rural folk being so  busy creating much of the wealth she enjoys spending on cycle ways and public transport while perpetrating a total halt to infrastructure projects across the nation.

Out of touch seems inadequate maybe.


So the 21 year old (related to a Labour Party cabinet member???) who pleaded guilty to two amended charges of assault during a drunken 'orgy' at last years Labour Youth Summer Camp has been discharged without conviction.     Pleads guilty ... discharge without conviction ... go figure.

No wonder one of the victims has spoken out saying he has lost all faith in the justice system.

Welcome fella to a system that puts the offender first and the victim a poor second.    

A Tale of Two Headlines carries opinion pieces from across the political spectrum, predominantly from the USA.

Today there were a couple from Great Britain.  Adolf appreciates the sense of humour possessed by the editor of RCP.

Here they are, side by side.

Jeremy Corbyn? Meet Prince Andrew

If you thought that Prince Andrew's TV interview about his history with Jeffrey Epstein and his "girls" was bad, then you really need to see this one on the BBC with Jeremy Corbyn that happened yesterday in Britain.

Just staggering. At this stage the only thing that seems to be holding Labour up are Remain voters who think that a Liberal-Democrat vote will be wasted.

And Labour's internal pollsters may know that, which would explain Corbyn's wooden-headed determination to continue waffling around how to handle Brexit, including in this interview being unable to say who would lead the campaign for his Brexit deal in a second referendum, in which he has pledged to remain neutral!

Then there's the spending thing, which actually did look like it was under control with tax increases to balance out all that extra spending. Scary, but at least it added up.

Until they sprang a new plan about compensating female pensioners born between 1950-55 for changes made to the pension scheme back in 1995 - the so-called WASPI group (Women Against State Pension Inequality). Trouble is that it will cost £58 billion that Corbyn admitted Labour have not got,  even with their tax increases.

And in then dealing with that whole tax increase thing, Corbyn was rather surprised in the interview to find out that the top 5 per cent of earners, who he has targeted for tax increases, already pay 50 per cent of all income tax. Which is probably why he and shadow chancellor John McDonnell were so gung-ho about such tax increases. It's quite a common Left-wing belief across the Western world that "the rich" don't pay enough taxes, including income tax, or that they don't pay "their fair share", so naturally facts like this do come as a bit of shock.

And of course this then led Corbyn having to admit Labour would breach its longstanding promise not to raise taxes on workers earning under £80,000.

And all this wreckage is aside from what happened with the whole Jew-Hating problem, where Corbyn assured the interviewer that it had been taken care of inside Labour - only to have no response as specific cases were put to him of Labour activists and candidates saying blatantly classic Jew-hating things and suffering no consequences. One example in particular was getting Corbyn to agree - finally - that the following statement is anti-Semitic:
“Rothschild’s Zionists run Israel and world governments” 
After several attempts Corbyn finally got around to admitting the obvious - and was then confronted with the next logical step:
“So we’re agreed it’s anti-Semitic? Right, that’s all I wanted to establish. 
Yet these were the words used by Liam Moore. He’s a Labour member, former council candidate. Your party’s actually been investigating him now for almost a year. … But has he been suspended? He hasn’t been suspended. You said everybody’s been suspended or expelled?”
Is it any wonder that just the other day Britain's Chief Rabbi slammed Labour for how it deals with anti-Semites - and of course Corbyn had only waffle in responding to the Rabbi too.

There's actually much more, but you have to watch it for yourself to get a true grasp of how awful an interview it is for Corbyn. I have seen TV interviews this bad, but usually not with politicians and certainly not with the leader of a major political party.

I'm reminded of the stories around Ouroboros: the snake that eats itself.

In ancient mythology it's supposed to be a story of renewal, but in the case of Corbyn and his Marxist mates it's more a case of living inside a bubble and consuming yourselves because you can't escape your own beliefs.