Thursday, July 2, 2020

I AM A LIBERAL CONSERVATIVE

Both the Labour and National parties are, to a certain extent, broad church parties as is ACT and the Greens albeit somewhat less so.  They all comprise separate factions.    Beyond that we have the fringe (odd and some decidedly odd) parties who exhibit a more narrow focus and, by extension, are less tolerant of internal dissent.

Looking at Labour and on the left you have the Arderns and Lees-Galloways while the right is represented by the likes of the O'Connors (Damien and Greg) with the vast majority of all other MPs falling somewhere in between.

Same with National.    On the right have the conservative faction comprising the likes of Collins and King and on the left what you can fairly call the liberal faction with Kaye and Bishop as leading lights and somewhere in between you find the rest who will gravitate between the two factions depending on the issue at hand.   Hardly surprising because National came into being from the fusion of the Reform (Conservative) Party and the United (Liberal) Party.    They represented two somewhat different traditions and there was always a degree of creative tension between the two and just as it was then so it remains today with the 80/20 rule in play and the recognition by the players that consensus politics plays to middle New Zealand where elections are won and lost.

For myself I stand in the liberal tradition but not exclusively so.    I admire the likes of  Ralph Hannon who championed the removal of the death penalty, the Jack Marshalls, the George Gairs, the Chris Finlaysons and the John Keys who all embraced that tradition to a greater or lesser degree.    But one of the strengths of National is that you can fairly move between the two camps on various issues.   I opposed the anti-smacking legislation as virtue signalling of the worst kind; I have no great issue with same-sex marriage; I will be voting NO on the cannabis referendum (we need to legalise another drug like we need a hole in the head); the changes to the firearms law was a knee-jerk reaction to a terrible event and we are paying the price for rushed legislation while for the criminal fraternity its business as usual; I will be voting YES in the end of life referendum (the safeguards are there),  I firmly believe in hand-ups rather than hand-outs, government certainly does not have all the answers and it certainly can't tax its way to prosperity.   

I hope I am seen by others as having a social conscience not of the 'let them eat cake' variety.   I am a liberal conservative.


THE HON REVD DR RESIGNS

The odious David Clark has resigned ... or was he pushed and is the Pope a Catholic?    Sheesh ... those internal Labour Party polls must be really bad.

Hipkins as Minister of Health.   That's a new one.   Don't think that in our recent history a single person has held both the Education and Health portfolios ... happy to be proven wrong.    Goes to show how the talent pool that Ardern has to draw on is as shallow as a birdbath.

Clark was/is the archetypal arrogant socialist and those are his good points ... plenty more David Clarks in the Labour Party caucus.



PRESIDENT FOR LIFE

On a projected turnout of 64% and with 87% of ballots counted it appears 77% of voters have approved amendments to the Russian Constitution designed to keep Putin in power until 2036 ... yep, you read it right, 2036.

Andrei will be breaking out the vodka.

The Seeds of 21st Century Socialism?

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I'll finish off this series on where Socialism might be going in the future by putting out an example of how thinking on capitalism may be changing with the generations.

Coming of age in the 1980's meant passing through the world of Thatcher, Reagan and, here in New Zealand, Roger Douglas. A world of privatisation of government-owned businesses, deregulation and the general encouragement to get out there and make big bucks.

All of this was more than just a political moment. It was cultural as well. There were TV characters like Alex Keaton of Family Ties, who appalled his Baby Boomer, hippie-values parents with his Right-Wing, pro-business attitudes, as well as keeping a framed photo of Nixon beside his bed. The series was pitched to studio as "Hip parents, square kids": some things never change. Then there were movies like Risky Business and The Secret of My Success, Working Girl, Trading Places, among many others.

But the one that probably had the biggest impact was Wall Street in 1987, Oliver Stone's acidic take on the 1980's financial world. 

And of all the scenes in the movie it's the following one that has stuck in people's minds, as actor Michael Douglas chews up the scenery on his way to winning the Oscar for Best Actor as Gordon Gekko, giving the famous "Greed is Good" speech explaining to the stockholders of Teldar Paper exactly how the company's management has screwed them over while creaming it themselves.

It certainly is a speech for the ages, and to the horror of Stone and Douglas, has resulted in countless people telling them over the years that it's the reason they got into financial trading.

America has become a second-rate power. Its trade deficit and its fiscal deficit are at nightmare proportions. 
2020: Hold my beer!
Now, in the days of the free market, when our country was a top industrial power,..
Sound familiar with any recent political rhetoric? Paens to an American past:
The Carnegies, the Mellons, the men that built this great industrial empire, made sure of it because it was their money at stake. Today, management has no stake in the company!
And in a strange way, perhaps because of Stone's beliefs, he puts words into the mouth of a corporate raider that might have come from any enraged Socialist raging against the Rich: 
... you are all being royally screwed over by these,.... these bureaucrats, with their steak lunches, their hunting and fishing trips, their corporate jets and golden parachutes.
... our paper company lost 110 million dollars last year, and I'll bet that half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. 

A few years later in 1991, came a movie that I regard as superior to Wall StreetOther People's Money. It never made as big an impact, perhaps because the moment had passed, it originally being a play written in 1987.

As in the former movie one of the key points occurs during a stockholders meeting as an old company, New England Wire & Cable, tries to fight off another corporate raider, this time Larry "The Liquidator"Garfield, played with deliciously brazen evil by Danny DeVito. 

There are two scenes here, the first where the Chairman of the Board, Andrew Jorgenson, played by the great Gregory Peck, pleads - in fact almost begs - the stockholders not to sell. Like Gordon Gecko he too appeals to a past America, but the nature of the appeal is different and I've always thought that Peck, in what would be his last prominent role, could have written the words himself, as one of the Old Guard Left in Hollywood who believed in FDR's New Deal, most other Left-Wing causes and who was publicly appalled by the Age of Reagan.

There is the instrument of our destruction. I want you to look at him in all of his glory, Larry "The Liquidator," the entrepreneur of post-industrial America, playing God with other people's money. 
The Robber Barons of old at least left something tangible in their wake -- a coal mine, a railroad, banks. 
So it's not just corporate raiders making that appeal. But Jorgenson, calls out to something that Gekko does not.
God save us if we vote to take his paltry few dollars and run. God save this country if that is truly the wave of the future. We will then have become a nation that makes nothing but hamburgers, creates nothing but lawyers, and sells nothing but tax shelters. 
And if we are at that point in this country, where we kill something because at the moment it's worth more dead than alive -- well, take a look around. Look at your neighbor. Look at your neighbor. You won't kill him, will you? No. It's called murder and it's illegal. Well, this too is murder -- on a mass scale. Only on Wall Street, they call it "maximizing share-holder value" and they call it "legal." And they substitute dollar bills where a conscience should be. 
Dammit! A business is worth more than the price of its stock. It's the place where we earn our living, where we meet our friends, dream our dreams. It is, in every sense, the very fabric that binds our society together.
I was lucky enough to see the original play in a Chicago run and during this speech the guy playing Larry The Liquidator - who was built more like Pavarotti than DeVito - would stroll up and down the aisles of the audience and burst into songs from the musical Oklahoma and other classics. It was an excellent way of showing the contempt he held for Jorgenson.

Larry gets his turn to respond and unwinds one of the greatest pro-capitalism speeches ever. There's a better quality clip at this site.

You just heard The Prayer for the Dead, my fellow stockholders, and you didn't say, "Amen."  
This company is dead. I didn't kill it. Don't blame me. It was dead when I got here. It's too late for prayers.
...
You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies makin' buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?
 
You invested in a business and this business is dead. Let's have the intelligence, let's have the decency to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.
I've actually sat in one or two meetings where the buggy whip analogy was used, though luckily about systems rather than entire companies. 
"Ah, but we can't," goes the prayer. "We can't because we have responsibility, a responsibility to our employees, to our community. What will happen to them?" I got two words for that: 
Who cares? 
Care about them? Why? They didn't care about you. 
They sucked you dry. You have no responsibility to them. For the last ten years this company bled your money. Did this community ever say, "We know times are tough. We'll lower taxes, reduce water and sewer." Check it out: You're paying twice what you did ten years ago. And our devoted employees, who have taken no increases for the past three years, are still making twice what they made ten years ago; and our stock -- one-sixth what it was ten years ago.
==================

The reason I've put these clips up, plus the 1980's background, is that a couple of weeks ago my kids had some of their friends around for a post-lockdown catchup and they watched a couple of movies. They're all into Media Studies and History and Mathematics and Science and so forth, but not Economics. They're interesting to talk to, so I showed them these three clips - none of them had ever seen either movie - and asked them what they thought of the ideas and arguments expressed in each.
  • The Wall Street clip elicited anger at the useless, fat-cat managers of Teldar while knowing that Gekko was obviously just using those sentiments to screw people and make money for himself. They didn't admire him one bit.
  • The first OPM clip caused rolled eyes. Yes, Jorgenson seemed like a decent man but all this mythologising of the past and the idea of a company being the centre of a community just seemed unlikely. But (shrugged shoulders) if it worked for people then why not try to save it?
  • But the second OPM clip with DeVito's speech brought forth anger: real hatred of the character and what he was about to do. Why could the company not be saved? Why could investments not be made to grab those new opportunities in fibre optics and the like? Why did it have to be destroyed? What would happen to the town that depended upon it?
I was fascinated by these reactions, which were mostly the exact opposite of me and my peers when we watched these movies thirty and more years ago.

I also informed them that, as with most Hollywood fantasies, the dream is saved at the end of Other People's Money: investment is found to make hi-tech metal fibres for airbags.

By contrast the play had no such happy ending, only grim reality. Larry takes over and the company shuts down. The jobs, and likely the town, go with it. He even gets the girl at the end.

So there you are. A new generation that thinks somewhat differently than I do about capitalism, free enterprise, free trade and local communities, including nations. Perhaps the socialism of the 21st century will have new soil in which to grow and new seeds from which to raise warriors for the working day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE ....

Unraveling as we speak.    Labour is gaffed by NZ First over cameras on commercial fishing boats; the Minister of Fisheries contradicts himself; Shane Jones is caught out telling porkies; Winston Peters throws Jones under a bus and why ... read on.

Kiwiblog sets it out in exquisite detail here.  Short story.   Yesterday Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash claimed that 'New Zealand First has not been the cause of delays on cameras' (on fishing boats).   But back in 2018 Nash was singing from a different song-sheet.   Newshub obtained a secret recording on which Nash can be heard saying ' I've got to play the political game in a way that allows me to make these changes. Now, Winston Peters and Shane Jones have made it very clear they do not want cameras on boats'.

Enter the Jones boy claiming NZ First hasn't delayed anything and blaming the pandemic 'I'm not the Fisheries Minister, but I suspect that COVID has got a lot to do with it' only to be thrown under a bus by his leader who, in an interview with Newshub acknowledged that NZ First was involved in the delay.   Peters said this 'Do we listen to industry representation, yes. Are we concerned about families and their economic representation? Yes. Are we the cause of that delay? Well, we are part of the representation that has ended up with a more rational and sane policy, yes'. Asked whether that was a yes to the original question (was NZ First responsible for the delay) Peters responded 'yes'.

Why ... it's always helpful to follow the money trail.    Talleys (fishing company) donated $26,950 to the dodgy NZ First Foundation and another $10,000 to Shane Jones to fund his 2017 campaign to take the Whangarei seat (where he ended up a very poor third).   Good 'investment' by Talleys.    They got the delay worth x hundreds of thousands to them.   Rhetorical question ... guess who might be funding Jones' 2020 campaign. 

Lesson for Labour.   When you cavort with a flea ridden dog you can't claim foul when one of those fleas bites you.    Seems the message is getting through.   Ardern is avoiding Peters like the plague (good metaphor).    Oh dear, how sad, move on.




ANOTHER "LITTLE" CROCK OF SHITE.



On September the 19th 2020 NZ Inc will vote on who will maintain the welfare state as an option.
Also on that day a referendum to confirm the Socialist dream of decriminalising the  "recreational' use of weed under the direction of the wonderful talented Andrew Little.

There are some increasingly worrying aspects to this legalising a drug that has as many known health issues as the demon drink only they have a propensity towards Mental health degradation particularly when the modern genetically more toxic product than the rather hit and giggle substance that in part fuelled such as the now historically iconic "Woodstock" event of the sixties last century, is imbibed by the young.

The current buildup has other disquieting facets. In the 'red' corner supporting the Little push to change is the Government funded NZ Drug Foundation that is spending  money extracted from both those wanting change and those preferring the status quo to lobby and openly campaign for the lovely little dream.
Now there is a US based anti Cannabis group that is giving assistance to campaigning for rejection of the Little Bill/Act (not sure where a duly passed Bill from the House of the people stands when its final stage hangs on a referendum. That messaging from NZ citizens who have sought assistance at their own cost from a US anti Cannabis outfit garners a typical cloth cap reaction from the ultimate Little person claiming we should ignore "foreign" interference. ha ha ha.

Of greater concern to me personally is the clear conflation of legalising Cannabis use with still in its infancy Medicinal Cannabis therapy in combating several often intractable medical issues such as nausea from prescribed drug use, chronic pain relief, and some neurological conditions.
I have to declare an interest here as My love of sixty years is dealing with Parkinson's disease  and although not yet employed we occasionally discuss various publications around using the medical cannabis with no THC component in conjunction with the prescribed drug regime or as alternative palliative therapy.

There is zero connection to any introduction of medicinal Cannabis product in the referendum to be voted on come September, but sadly that has held no responsibility for those wishing to enable people to get stoned thereby putting many employment opportunities beyond the pale in a shameless act of omission in disregarding the attractiveness for med weed to assist in an increasing slow degradation of support for the weed that results in a high.
Current polling suggests the referendum will reject the Little dream and I for one will have no dismay if that should come to pass.

Mister Little seems to have a clear alliance to lost and improbable causes, Pike River mine where right up to the fatal explosive end as representative for around half the dead in a union role,  continuing to laud the "safety" of the doomed mine, two embarrassing failures to win New Plymouth seat previously held comfortably by Labour now almost a fortress seat for the National incumbent,  a dismal. leadership sojourn of his party, and since being appointed to a bit part in the executive by the forty year charlatan who has entrenched the MMP system to his personal advantage,  a less than stellar performance as Justice supremo.
Will this referendum be just one more step in a career that has yet to actually enhance the very large ego of a man,  Little in more than one measure.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

White Privilege Autophagy

My PhotoHmm hmm. Man I love me that taste of schadenfreude.

So yesterday in St Louis there were some more BLM "protests", consisting largely of White people, as they tend to do.

And protesting out in the street was not enough. As the crowd drifted past some wealthy gated mansion they obviously felt that it was time to bring that message home a bit more directly by crashing through the gate and into the large property that “They were just peacefully walking past”. The Washington Post "forgot" the gate-crashing part.

And it was at this moment that they encountered the home owners.


Armed home owners too, though obviously not that well trained, judging by the way the largish woman is holding that fucking pistol like something out of Austin Powers. And the guy's trigger discipline on the AR15 is pretty shit as well.

Still, credit where credit is due. With a mob on their hands outnumbering them at least ten-to-one, no cops in sight and recent events on their minds they decided to defend their home in a meaningful, practical way - and the wife is there beside her man.

And there's video.

Well darlings, as you can imagine the MSM and social media went absolutely APESHIT on this story, which screams White Supremacy, White Privilege, Gun Nuts and NRA members.

And Racists. Of course!

Just one example being one Jerry Taylor,  President of Niskanen Center, a Leftist D.C. "Think Tank".


Fascists too. Of course.

You know I think I've seen the same claim here in the comments section of NoMinister. I mean if an "Anti-Facist" says that you're a Fascist then you are!

Naturally the likes of ABC, CBS and the rest of the MSM were all in on this narrative too and they used video that made it seem as if the crowd were just moving along the street beside the house, just to make the couple look even crazier and more racist/fascist/, etc, etc.

And then the terrible truth came out, courtesy of the couple's attorney.

You can also read and watch an interview with the guy here.
At that point, everybody got enraged. There were people wearing body armor. One person pulled out some loaded pistol magazine and clicked them together and said that you were next. We were threatened with our lives, threatened with a house being burned down, my office building being burned down, even our dog's life being threatened. It was, it was about as bad as it can get. I mean, those you know, I really thought it was Storming the Bastille that we would be dead and the house would be burned and there was nothing we could do about it. It was a huge and frightening crowd.
...
I do civil rights cases. Right now, I'm representing a young man who was assaulted by the police who is sitting in prison right now for being involved in a car accident after which the police came in and assaulted him. It's on video. I'm not some kind of extreme, you know, anti- Black Lives Matter guy. I do these cases. I have been doing them for decades. 
I mean, I have on the wall of my conference room, I've got an anti-slavery broadsheet, the abolitionist broadsheet from 1832. It's been there as long as I've owned this building. I mean, I'm not I'm not the enemy of people that really care about the Black lives,
Heh! I don't think any of that will save their White butts or that beautiful house in the future America envisioned by BLM or those White Antifa kids. Still, it does sound like he's getting a clue:
.. but I'm apparently the enemy of the terrorists and the Marxists that are running this organization.
The Bastille? Marxists and terrorists running things? Death threats! Do tell! Same things are happening in Beverly Hills:
Several arrests were made in Beverly Hills after Black Lives Matter activists marched through a Beverly Hills residential neighborhood. The group of marchers was chanting “Eat the rich!” And “Abolish capitalism now!
Holy shit! Burning down the homes of Democrat-supporting, multi-millionaire celebrities? Where do I sign up?

The truth is you can never meet the demands of such fanatics. In the case of the St Louis lawyers my bet is they'll try and appease their attackers as they are doing in that statement, and perhaps donating to both Democrats and the GOP or only the Democrats, just to be safe? Having said that there are other signs aside from the "Marxists" note that they're starting to figure it out:
The only thing that stopped the crowd from approaching the house was when I had that rifle and I was holding there. The only thing that stemmed the tide.
The schadenfreude always tastes better with a red pill.


NEVER GET TOO GREEDY!


A central basic meme for anyone contemplating a fraud, rort or other too often quasi government compliant effort to extract money.

Fair go is littered with examples where sheer greed buries little people trying to get something done when the smart bastards enter the provider ranks.

Wellington's new "Mallard Stand" on the parliament lawn one more example of a wide boy or maybe  girl evidently charging almost 300k for a slide that would normally come in at around a couple of grand tops. Then un-named permit grinders took a similar amount to garner official sanction, mentioned were design consent and other ticket clippers,  taxpayers are forced to fund every day.

Such arrant waste and extortion seems to be a pandemic affliction in almost every area where other people's money is available.

Todays headline has "The Waikato River Authority" seeking ten cents a liter as a "Levy" on water taken from the Mighty River by Auckland City to solve their total mismanagement of providing the "Staff of Life" for its citizens and industry.

Now in almost every shopping trolly where a few plastic containers of vastly over priced water, are to be seen, ten cents a liter seems paltry, however when applied to water already having incurred costs that are truly eye watering already, for infrastructure and treatment it becomes a massive wealth transfer from rate payers of an increasingly dysfunctional town council to the impressive sounding "River Authority".

That triggered a bit of research as to just who might be going to be rorting somewhere in excess of five billion dollars a year and for water that was once said is "owned by no one",  delivered/taken to provide a necessity of life for a city a short distance to the north.

Shock horror it seems to be another  sanctioned transfer of money taken by state fiat to a race based group who daily receive advantaged funding based on  ethnicity.

The Grand sounding Waikato River Authority bequeathed by those nasty Nationals currently under fire for reducing the tangata whenua  component of their parliamentary ranks.

My rather lazy research effort very quickly took me to a page published by the Office of the Controller and Auditor General. A couple of excerpts;

Appointment and composition of membership

The Authority has 10 board members – five appointed from each river iwi (Tainui, Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, and Maniapoto) and five Crown-appointed members. The regional council nominates one Crown member and one is nominated by the territorial authorities. The Minister for the Environment appoints one of two co-chairpersons; iwi choose the other.
The Authority's investment committee consists of the co-chairpersons and deputy co-chairpersons, and two others. It gives the full board recommendations on applications for funding. In 2015, one of the deputy co-chairpersons chaired the investment committee.

Accountability

The Authority is a unique public entity. It is not subject to the Official Information Act 1982 or the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. Trustees do not have to make minutes of their meetings public or publicise where meetings are held, and can hold meetings behind closed doors. One interviewee told us that the Authority is "at arms length from government". However, the meetings are of interest to many and the Authority gives iwi boards a written summary of its discussions.
The Authority's annual report to the Minister for the Environment is presented to Parliament. The annual report includes financial statements and a summary of attendance at meetings.
The Authority must monitor its activities and achievements and the clean-up initiatives that the Trust funds. The Authority must report at least once every five years to the Crown and river iwi on the results of its monitoring.

Says it all really.

So where regional and unitary authorities are set up across the nation to monitor and control the flow of water within their delegation, for some reason the "Mighty River" that traverses the North Island from the Desert Road where much of the water that used to flow south and west via the Wanganui is added to the river that generates much base load  electricity before entering the Tasman Sea near Raglan requires another layer of "authority.

An Authority that has discovered a windfall opportunity to exploit its asset to many billions of dollars  a year in a sort of Koha I am guessing.

That is not merely "Greed" it is Grand Larceny.

The Reading List: Life’s a riot with Meghan Markle

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Random reads from the Interweb.

Today's edition is from the Spectator USA and takes a snarky look at Meghan Markle's approach to recent activities in the the USA.

A quick sample:
She didn’t say much about race in American when she and Harry rented a fortified citadel, high in the hills above the gangs and guns. There was more important work to be done: catching a thermal from the hot wind emitted by Greta Thunberg and her end-times followers, preparing for the long haul by setting up the Sussex Royal brand and the Archewell tax dodge.
Read the rest with Life’s a riot with Meghan Markle.

Monday, June 29, 2020

MORE HAPPY MISCHIEF

Always great when things start falling off the back of trucks ... nine days ago Shane Jones held a soiree at his whare to discuss his campaign to win the Northland seat off National's Matt King.

They conducted a sort of SWOT analysis with the start point being that their electorate organisation is virtually non-existent having less than 60 paid up members.    With that in mind the plan is to draft in nearly all of their MPs to work the electorate pretty much full-time from outreach 'hubs' to be established in Kaitaia, Kaikohe? Kerikeri and Dargaville. 

Winston Peters and Fletcher Tabuteau (whoever he is) will be left to show the flag in campaign meetings outside Northland focusing on provincial New Zealand while, in the electorate, Tracy Martin is being given the task of reaching out to the voluntary sector; Ron Mark to the RSA and veteran community; Mark Patterson to the farming sector; Jenny Marcroft to women (acknowledging Jones' vulnerability with that demographic) and Darroch Ball to the education/small business sectors.   Riding shotgun over the lot will be His Eminence Shane Jones.    Peters will make forays into the electorate working the Grey Power circuit.

The one MP unlikely to be involved is Clayton Mitchell given the sensitivity around his involvement  with the NZ First Foundation currently under SFO investigation for electoral fraud.

Money is not expected to be an issue.   Jones' championing of the commercial fishing industry and particularly his campaign to have monitoring equipment removed from the boats will have its reward in dosh.

You read it first.

DUMB GREENS JUST DUMB - NOTHING CHANGED

There is much in the Greens just announced (increases to) Tax policy to criticise but for now I'll focus on just one of their brain farts ... the imposition of a wealth tax of 1% on those with a net wealth of over one million dollars and 2% for those with two million dollars plus ... ignoring the fact that many in that category will have their assets tied up in Trusts and escape it anyway. 

But here' the real kicker ... it would only apply to assets owned outright meaning that anyone could skip it by mortgaging their home for $1.    Dumb Greens, just dumb.

But tax the rich pricks has a good ring to it and will appeal to those to subscribe to the politics of envy.

The Minneapolis Riots: Looking back - and forward

My PhotoOver the last eighteen years one of the US political blogs I've enjoyed reading the most has been Powerline, run by four guys, three of them retired lawyers.

Interestingly two of them were communists and Vietnam War protestors in the late 60's / early 70's, something highlighted in my article from last year, Vietnam and Dartmouth. All are now Republicans of course.

Probably their most famous break was in 2004 when they, in concert with another blogger, discovered that damaging documents about President Bush's National Guard service in the 1970's had been forged and used to fool CBS news. This ultimately led to the downfall of CBS news anchor Dan Rather, a just ending for a prick whose partisan animus against the GOP had been obvious for years.

Normally the blog just covers such national politics and ignores the local stuff of where two of them live - Minnesota. One, Scott Johnson, had already been drawn to covering the local news of that state's insane lockdown efforts in combating Chinese Lung Rot over the last three months, asking the questions the local reporters seemed incapable of asking - until his press access was cut off, which is now being pursued in a law suit.

But both he and the other man, John Hinderaker, found themselves witnesses to the riots, looting and arson in Minneapolis, starting with Minneapolis on Fire, which contained nearly live Twitter video feeds via a young friend who went into the heart of the insanity.

"We got a Blackhawk down. We got a Blackhawk down".
But as is the case with blogs they focused more on the story behind all this news, starting with Minneapolis Goes Baghdad, which analysed the hopeless response of the Mayor of the city, the boyish Jacob Frey and the almost equally hopeless Governor of the state, Tim Walz. They're both Democrats of course; it's a very Deep Blue state:
I watched the shellshocked press conference live at 1:30 a.m. overnight, but cannot find a video of it this morning. One needs to view it fully to comprehend the trouble we are in.

There are videos supplied and it was a cringe-inducing performance from both "leaders", as Walz tried to patch things up with Frey, whom he'd basically thrown under the bus earlier in the day for having pulled the Police back and losing control of the situation, describing the city's response as an "abject failure."

But this was nothing new for the mayor or the city. In fact it had been coming for a long time as the Powerline folks had pointed out with a couple of posts in 2019. First up was a Sep 29 piece that described the increasing crime rates in the city, complete with a horrific video of a gang of Black youths beating the shit out of some White guy right outside the downtown major sports stadium. The four professional sports teams that play in the city wrote an Op-Ed in the Star-Tribune pleading for increased policing of the area:
We are not alone. This opinion is shared by many who call Minneapolis their home. A recent survey found that an overwhelming 68% of Minneapolis residents supported adding 125 police officers, and 63% support adding 250 officers. 
But Mayor Frey and his council would have none of it. They proposed just 14 extra officers with one council member saying that they needed to do “a better job with our youth violence intervention strategies to support the youth who are in the downtown area between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.”.

The idea of "supporting" the people being attacked by those "youths" is apparently an obsolete idea, probably because they're the oppressors of such youth. As the head of the local police union put it:
The city council…ran on an anti-police agenda and they all made it. It’s ultra-left. It’s been [an] extreme Democrat-controlled council. It’s been that way for 22 years. …
It’s an ultra-left agenda that the police are the problem. [They say] it’s a racially biased criminal justice system here, and we need to de-police. That’s the overtone of our council.
Sure, but it should be noted that the same Police Union has supported the Democrat Party in all elections and the favour is returned because the Democrat party loves public sector unions. When Trump visited the city in October 2019 the violence really unloaded on the streets:
They battled police officers. They attacked Republicans leaving Target Center. They set bonfires and burned patriotic regalia. They carried the flag of the defunct Soviet Union.
...
They assaulted an uncounted number of normal citizens leaving the Target Center. They struck a woman across the head with a piece of lumber. They waved a sign that said, “Blue Lives Don’t Fucking Matter.” The Minneapolis Chief of Police reported, “
Objects containing liquid believed to be urine were hurled at some of my officers along with bottles and rocks. Police horses were also assaulted by protesters striking them with sticks.”
The recent riots should therefore have come as no surprise to Mayor Frey or Governor Walz, but obviously he and his fellow Democrats thought they could use such mobs as weapons against the GOP, never imagining that the mob would one day turn on themselves and their city. Obviously this has also come as a shock to the voters who put such people in power.

Nor should the calls to defund the police have come as a surprise, although even the Powerline guys were taken aback when first reporting on June 3rd that a single member of the Minnesota Legislature - one Aisha Gomez - had demanded the abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department, How Crazy are the Democrats? This Crazy. The title well captures their amazement as well as the notion common on the US Right that these are just a few crazy fringe individuals.

They, and everybody else, quickly learned that was not the case, as they noted Mayor Frey getting booed off-stage for opposing defunding...

Mayor Frey: not sufficiently Far Left




... and then watched the City Council on June 7 get a veto-proof majority for defunding.

The city's charter requires that it have a Police Department but just the other day the Council unanimously voted for an amendment to that. It still has to be approved by the Charter Commission and then voted on as referendum in November, but at this stage it would be no surprise to see it clear both hurdles, when you see things like this from the City Council president, Lisa Bender.

So being able to call the Police when your home is being invaded "comes from a place of privilege".

The proposed replacement is the Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention (I'm surprised they didn't call it the Committee of Public Safety).

In the meantime there are businesses and people that are not waiting around to see what the fruits of all this will be, having finally had their eyes opened as to where such thinking has already led:
A Minneapolis manufacturing company has decided to leave the city, with the company's owner saying he can't trust public officials who allowed his plant to burn during the recent riots. The move will cost the city about 50 jobs. 
"They don't care about my business," said Kris Wyrobek, president and owner of 7-Sigma Inc., which has operated since 1987 at 2843 26th Av. in south Minneapolis. "They didn't protect our people. We were all on our own."
Well of course they were. He's a class of people that the modern US Democrat Party cares less about than their new, cool friends in BLM. They're what win elections for the Democrats.

Wyrobek's company was one of some 500 businesses that were damaged or destroyed by arson, looting and simple destruction of property: some $500 million of damage. Many of the businesses were owned by minorities. When you add in the high taxes and endless regulations, driven by the overall attitude of hostility towards such businesses from the Democrats in power, there really is no point in staying in Minneapolis or Minnesota. And how true is that of other Democrat controlled locales?

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Ho Ho Ho



Written by adolffinkensen Edit
June 28, 2020 at 11:02 am
Posted in Uncategorized

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Bindi Patrol

And now for something boring.

At this time of year, Adolf sneaks out every other day on the 'Bindi Patrol.'

No, this is not a search for nubile young black women but simply the eradication of a pest much more irritating than the multinamed Rex Barron or that poor bastard Gustavo Fink.

The Bindi Patrol is the methodical eradication by hand of Soliva sesselis, a particularly nasty weed of West Australian lawns.

Beating the bindi infestation - ABC Brisbane - Australian ...


The bindi seed is a hard spiky burr abut three mils across and by hell it hurts.   If you have bindi in your lawn the lawn becomes out of bounds for kids, dogs and cats.

Treating Bindii (jo-jo) - Lawn Solutions Australia

A particular problem in my neck of the woods is the postie who insists on riding his motorbike over the lawn instead of using the driveway.   Yes, his tyres pick up the bindi burrs from neglected frontages and deposit them on my lawn, where they germinate the next year.

So, one has two remedies.   Rogue the lawn (that'll have you running for your dictionary) before the little buggers set seed - usually July/August - or spray with a mixture of Dicamba and MCPA.  The latter remedy can do a fine job of buggering your roses so Adolf prefers the Bindi Patrol.

CAUSE FOR REFLECTION

If you could fit the entire population of the world into a village comprising 100 people, maintaining proportionality, that village would consist of ...

57 Asians; 21 Europeans; 14 Americans (North/Central/South) and 8 Africans.

There would be 52 women and 48 men; 30 Caucasians and 70 non-Caucasians: 30 Christians and 70 non-Christians and 88 heterosexuals and 12 homosexuals.

6 people would possess 59% of the wealth; 80 would live in poverty; 70 would be illiterate; 50 would suffer from hunger and malnutrition; one would be dying; one would be being born; one would own a computer and one would have a university degree.

8 would have money in the bank and in their wallet/purse.   92 wouldn't.

Despite our bitching (fair or not) NZL is still a pretty good place to be living in remembering always that everything is relative.


THAT WILL NOT CUT IT Mr MULLER.


On Thursday the 25th he came to a small rural center, but because it was an almost secret affair and with me currently bludging off people not very distant from the meeting place, apparently beyond what his advisors considered sufficient publicity, the current leader of a suggested major political party following  a "et tu brute" event in Wellywood might just have made another misstep in the dramatically shrinking days to a possible "Armageddon".

Having later discovered by chance that at 1400 hrs on that day National's great white hope was to speak at Maraekakaho, before going on to Havelock North,  his arrival delayed when his plane was involved in an electrical fault leaving for a roady to make his appointment, he evidently "Veni Vedi Veci"  except my sources have a hiccup with the Vici bit.

Once off the prepared script it was less than convincing: a common reaction.

Now I was of the school that Bridges suffered the entirely expected results of a person opposing,  hogging the TV screens daily in response to a largely manufactured scare campaign over a variant of the Common Cold. National were wrong to give their chosen one a knife in the back after holding his party on the cusp of a victory come September 2020 with polling over a two year span very close to a  "Party" victory until a certain puppet was manipulated into Saviour by a micro managed campaign to destroy the nation's economy in saving eighty thousand citizens from an early death.  All intended to be kept beyond scrutiny until enough of the mindless have cast their votes before the reality becomes apparent in eighty days time.
Every bloody day that charade was perpetrated on the scared citizens in house arrest it should have carried an election statement authorisation.

Now that the strategy has morphed into a "put the high polling person with a predilection for obfuscation mixed with lies" into the lime light for good news and hide her away when things are less rosy, leaving hapless minions and public servants out on the podium to take the flak, in truth Mr Bridges might well have seen polling very close to what the Muller was rewarded with two nights ago for the National Party vote.

I accept there was a rather hard to explain lack of support as measured in polling for Bridges personally, but his ethnicity and clear abilities to think and stand up contemporaneously leave his replacement somewhat in a nether world for all those who regard management and work as better measures of ability over  TV images. 

As for the selected sop to the soft left and wets as Deputy, the less said for now is a good strategy. Sure Ms Kaye did defeat the current puppet in Auckland Central but that must have had an influence from Ms Kaye's clear confused image as a National person when measured against what were once regarded as established Principles of the party and still held as relevant for large numbers of members and supporters. The defeats of the now MP for H 1's  old seat were merely a collateral windfall not an indication of a wonder woman in play.

Friday, June 26, 2020

NATIONAL'S SECRET WEAPON

By any measure Labour and the Greens have to be odds on the win the election but, should they fail at the last hurdle, then perhaps they need to look no further than the Hon Revd Dr David Clark, Minister of Health, as the author of their misfortune.

It takes a fair bit to head off Twit Twyford, Minister for Kiwiflop and the Auckland Light Rail debacle but Clark manages it in spades with his demonstrated arrogance and incompetence.    Many within the medical profession have it that he is the worst Minister of Health in recent memory and his standing will have taken a further knock this week when he threw the  Director General of Health under a bus after disclaiming personal responsibility for the shambles at the border.   Not for him the HST dictum that the buck stops here.

Every time he appears on TV he presents as the arrogant socialist personified and long may he continue to do so because, in effect, he's become one of National's secret weapons.

Heh ... if you think this is partisan politics then you might care to read Chris Trotter's latest post at Bowalley Road here.

LUV THIS PIECE FROM DUNCAN GARNER

Here .... especially the bit about the Ardern government being barely able to deliver a letter.

The Beehive will not be pleased.


Gumbies or Kittens? You Choose!

My PhotoReaders of this blog will likely know or suspect that I'm not particularly excited at the prospect of a National-led government after this year's election.

However, there's no denying that the current Labour-led government has got all sorts of big problems to deal with, almost all of their own creation, and with almost a zero track record on implementing their ideas - for which I am grateful. The last thing we need is a competent Socialist government like that of Peter Fraser's.

This has been the government of "NO" - which works well with banning things and telling everybody to stay home for a few weeks under pain of arrest and prosecution.

Saying "YES" to things is a different matter. Building or creating stuff that will last - stuff more substantial than yet another government Department or Ministry - is much tougher to do, especially when government is already such a big part of our society.

As such I figured that it would be better to have a comedic analysis of our situation, and of the following two comedy items, I can't decide which is the better take on our current government and politics.

So readers are invited to listen and watch, and then make a choice. Please try not to let the cuteness of the second item influence your choice.

First up is an audio-only version of Monty Python's effort to perform Chekhov's famous play, The Cherry Orchard, using the Gumby Players. I'm reminded of this every time I read something about the latest adventures of Cabinet Ministers Twyford and Clark.


The second is video of kittens having fun with a $2 thrift-shop purchase of a WrestleMania toy. Bonus points for choosing which parties they represent: my choice is that the two light-coloured ones are Labour and National, while the red-headed step-child is the Green Party.

**NOTE: You have to click the link "watch this video on YouTube" as the owner has disabled it playing on other sites.