Archive for December, 2005

Auditor-General investigating Greens funding

December 31st, 2005 at 11:25 am by David Farrar

Excellent to see that the Auditor-General is going to investigate the Greens getting some staff funded out of Vote Ministerial Services despite not holding any Government warrants, not being in coalition, and in fact not even pledged to vote in favour of confidence and supply.

I thought it was an awful precedent, and it will be interesting to see what the AG recommends.

No tag for this post.

Dec 2005 Blog Stats

December 31st, 2005 at 11:19 am by David Farrar

Those bloggers not on holiday may want to send me through their Dec 2005 stats for no. of posts and no. of comments. Will publish tomorrow a summary.

Tags:

It’s tought being a Marxist

December 31st, 2005 at 10:04 am by David Farrar

Trevor Loudon should apply for some grant from the Govt for his stellar work in documenting the NZ Communist movement over the decades, and what all these fine supporters of Stalin and Mao are doing today.

His latest is on the Undergraduate Education Dean of Canterbury University.

Back in 1990, just a few months before the USSR dissolved, Mr Freeman-Moir wrote how “As a university teacher I have found it increasingly difficult to argue the case for socialism and the transition to communism”.

Even worst he found his students found the idea of socialiam and communism as funny and outdated. True children of the 1980s :-)

I find it interesting that he sees his job as to convert students to socialism and communism. Silly me thought it was to teach. But hey I only pay the salary.

No tag for this post.

Harry Potter Book Seven Movie

December 31st, 2005 at 8:56 am by David Farrar

Saturday Night Live has a video preview of the next Harry Potter Book!

Tags:

Nice quote

December 31st, 2005 at 8:17 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post editorial reflects on the year that has been. I had to laugh at this section:

For sports fans it was a stellar year, excepting the performance of the Black Caps, whose contracts obviously do not require them to regularly score runs or take wickets.

Tags:

Another US President quiz

December 31st, 2005 at 8:05 am by David Farrar

Which President ordered the CIA to destroy Al Qaeda?

Which President when asked what should be done with the people captured said “That’s up to you”?

Under which President was the “renditions” program started, which involved moving prisoners without due legal process to countries without strict human rights protections?

The answers are here.

Tags:

New Year Honours

December 31st, 2005 at 7:46 am by David Farrar

The official list is on the DPMC Website.

Nice to see Ralph Norris honoured. He would be Sir Ralph if they hadn’t got rid of the titles.

Most amusing entry was find out Bic Runga’s full name – Ms Briolette Kah Bic Runga. I think Briolette is a cool name – just never heard of it before.

Tags:

Party Pills

December 31st, 2005 at 7:37 am by David Farrar

I am not an expert on party pills. I’ve never taken one. I’ve never taken a non-medicinal drug full-stop. Yes pretty boring, but I have enough fun without them.

However I’m bemused by the furore about the “party pills” and people wanting to ban them, simply it seems because lots of people enjoy taking them.

It is nice to see some common sense from Ross Bell of the Drug Foundation, who points out they are not addictive, don’t kill you and an expert committee recommended they not be banned.

God next some people will want to ban sex because it’s fun. Oh wait, sorry they already do!

No tag for this post.

100 things we didn’t know this time last year

December 31st, 2005 at 5:35 am by David Farrar

The BBC has a list of 100 things we didn’t know this time last year. It is UK based but still interesting. Some highlights below:

2. Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.

3. While it’s an offence to drop litter on the pavement, it’s not an offence to throw it over someone’s garden wall.

35. The name Lego came from two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning “play well”. It also means “I put together” in Latin.

38. Nasa boss Michael Griffin has seven university degrees: a bachelor’s degree, a PhD, and five masters degrees.

45. C3PO and R2D2 do not speak to each other off-camera because the actors don’t get on.

52. You’re 10 times more likely to be bitten by a human than a rat.

54. Deep Throat is reportedly the most profitable film ever. It was made for $25,000 (

Tags:

More astro-turfing

December 31st, 2005 at 5:26 am by David Farrar

Long-term readers will remember the fun we had locally when Half-pie posted criticism of Ticketek and tehn when these pro-Ticketek comments appeared on his blog, he traced them back to surprise Ticketek.

Francis Till links to a story about how a blogger posted his experiences of a rip in the fuselage on an Air Alaska jet. He attracted criticism in some of his comments, and guess what they cam from Air Alaska IP addresses!

Tags:

The Empire Strikes Back

December 31st, 2005 at 5:20 am by David Farrar

Generation XY has hit back at a certain critic, by giving him his own cover. Heh remind me to not piss them off unless I want alll-out war :-)

Tags:

The top ten, top ten lists

December 31st, 2005 at 5:12 am by David Farrar

Alternet has a list of the top ten, top ten lists for 2005. They are:

* Top 10 most-looked-up words of 2005 (integrity is No 1)

* most commonly reported birds of 2005 (Northern Cardinal No 1)

* Top 10 Global YouthSpeak Words (Crunk: A Southern variation of hip hop music; also meaning “fun” or “amped.”)

* Top 10 Most Commonly Encountered Hoaxes and Chain Letters

* Top 10 Baby Names of 2005 (Emma & Aidan)

* 10 Worst Jobs in Science (heh No 5 is Kansas Biology Teacher)

* Top 10 Grocery Lists of 2005

* Top 10 List of Data Disasters

* Top 10 Out-of-Print Books of 2005 (No 1 is the 1992 Sex by Madonna!)

* FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives (Osama bin Laden still on there)

And also last year’s World’s Ten Worst Dictators is linked to (No 1 is Omar al-Bashir of Sudan)

Hat Tip: Whoar

Tags:

2nd article on Canadian election

December 30th, 2005 at 2:39 pm by David Farrar

My second article for NBR on the Canadian election is up on their website. It is about how events can suddenly change the nature of an election – something politicans over the world would know first hand.

Tags:

Treaty of Waitangi Principles

December 30th, 2005 at 10:26 am by David Farrar

Rodney Hide has done a series of three posts to date on how we eneded up with Treaty of Waitangi principles in legislation. Is very well done – logicially ordered and easy to follow. Go read.

Rodney’s bill to define the principles will be interesting. Labour, Greens and Maori Party will vote against but that is only 60 votes out of 121. NZ First and United Future will have to see how votes match with pre-election rhetoric.

No tag for this post.

Heh a great line

December 30th, 2005 at 8:53 am by David Farrar

JMMP relates how she is trying to entice her boyfriend to bed early, and as motivation says “We could f*** and watch Battlestar Galactica …”

She seems upset that this wasn’t greeted with the enthusiasm it deserves!

Talking of Battlestar Galactica, aren’t the Cylons much more sexy in this series? :-)

Tags:

Yes Minister was true!

December 30th, 2005 at 8:42 am by David Farrar

Margaret Thatcher used to say that one of the reasons she loved Yes Minister was because how accurately it portrayed the civil service.

Now who remembers the episode called “A Victory for Democracy” (Yes PM, S1, E6) which has the Foreign Office portrayed as being totally anti Israel, voting to censure it at the UN even against the PM’s wish to abstain.

Well now read about how in real life “Foreign Office officials were so concerned about Margaret Thatcher’s pro-Israeli sympathies when she became Tory leader they wanted her to break off links with local Jewish groups”.

It gets better – “One official even suggested that she should give up her Finchley parliamentary seat in north London – with its large Jewish community – for somewhere more palatable to Arab opinion”.

Incredible. Explains so much though.

Tags:

Mike Munro

December 30th, 2005 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post has an interview with Mike Munro who is retiring as Helen Clark’s chief press secretary after ten years.

There are very few people with a bad word to say about Mike. He is a genuinely nice guy, always pleasant, and never one of those who “hates the enemy”. He also wouldn’t bullshit that black is white and would happily admit to it when they were having a bad period in the media.

No tag for this post.

A silly poll

December 30th, 2005 at 7:56 am by David Farrar

To invent news during the silly season, the NZ Herald has a summer poll series, and today’s poll is on whether surcharges on public holidays are acceptable.

Personally this is a silly thing to ask people, as it doesn’t matter what they think. This isn’t an issue decided by law – each restaurant can charge what it likes, and if you don’t like it you won’t go there for dinner.

If a restaurant wants to, it could announce a 30% surcharge on Thursdays. Or a 20% discount if you dine while Coronation Street is shown on TV.

Tags:

Bad retrospective legislation

December 30th, 2005 at 7:26 am by David Farrar

Back in April I blogged that I thought it was a bad idea to have a retrosepective law change to ban people previously convicted of murder or a serious sexual offence from operating a taxi.

Not that I generally stand up for murderers and rapists. But if someone did something 30 years ago, has not re-offended, and been a model taxi driver, then the law change would penalise him or her unfairly.

How a Labour Government which claims to support rehabilitation could pass such a dopey law, I do not know. But they did and the NZ Herald reports today that a 60 year old from Huntly is going to lose his job driving buses because of an offence in the 1980s.

Also caught up in this silly law is a man who was convicted 40 years ago of sleeping with a minor. Never mind he later married her and had children with her – bang goes his passenger licence.

I don’t know how Harry Duynhoven says he had only recently become aware of the situation. It was obvious back in April this would happen.

No tag for this post.

The Ten Worst Americans

December 30th, 2005 at 5:39 am by David Farrar

Captains Quarters has published his list of the ten worst Americans. They are:

10 Jimmy Carter
9 John Walker Jr
8 Aaron Burr
7 Joe McCarthy
6 Richard Nixon
5 Stephen Douglas
4 Nathan Bedofrd Forrest
3 Benedict Arnold
2 John Wilkes Booth
1 John Edgar Hoover

His criteria were “that the status of American had to be part of their “crimes”. In other words, simply picking someone like Ted Bundy or Charles Manson would be too easy. Their evil, though real and in most cases worse than what you’ll read on this list, doesn’t have to do with their innate American heritage. I went looking for the people who sinned against America itself, or the ideal of America. Otherwise, we’d just be looking at body counts”

Excluding anyone active in the 1980s or later (so we avoid Bush. Clinton stupidities), who would be on your list? I have to say I agree with much of the above list – especially Nixon, McCarthy and Hoover. I would actually not list Carter. I might be tempted to add on Charles Lindbergh for his pro-Nazi support.

Tags:

Driving Penalties

December 30th, 2005 at 5:06 am by David Farrar

Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven has proposed an automatic loss of licence for running red lights, or “bad” overtaking.

Both these activities are dangerous, and I certainly support increased penalties there. However I think losing your licence for bad overtaking is somewhat too harsh – that’s putting it in the same category as drunk driving.

No tag for this post.

Kids – priceless

December 30th, 2005 at 4:52 am by David Farrar

Stolen from Andrew Sullivan:

One of my nephews, Dominic, was in a Nativity Play. In the scene where Mary and Joseph arrive at the Inn, Mary asks the Innkeeper, played by a lad of seven, if he has any room. “Yes”, he says. “Mary, you can come in, but Joseph, you can fuck off”.

In the stunned silence that followed, it transpired that the Innkeeper had played Joseph himself the previous year and had taken his ‘demotion’ very much to heart.

It reminds me of the time at a scout camp, one of my co-leaders had her five year old daughter with her. The daughter was blond, adorable and looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Her mum asked her to go fetch her purse from her tent, and adorable five year old daughter turns around and says “No, get fucked”. Her venturers, who had obviously trained her up to say this without telling her what it means, burst into hysterical laughter as everyone else is shocked into silence. Some corrective discipline was applied al la Section 59.

Tags:

64% support NSA interceptions

December 29th, 2005 at 9:22 am by David Farrar

Oh dear. Just as people were getting excited talking about impeaching Bush, a Rasmussen poll shows 64% of Americans support the NSA being allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States, and only 23% are against it.

Tags:

Generation XY

December 29th, 2005 at 8:21 am by David Farrar

Generation XY is fast becoming a must read. Their top ten list of things Aaran Bhatnagar now does instead of blogging is just the right amount of satire, without being harsh.

But his fake Ralph covers are hilarious. In response to the Whig’s request for Hayley Westenra to appear in Ralph, the cover below was produced.

ralphhayleywestenra.jpg

The inside story titles are very funny also. Especially the revelation that Cadmus is Darren Hughes :-)

ralphcover.jpg

The day before a Kate Hawkesby unwrapped mock cover was produced. Nice photo-shopping (I’m presuming that isn’t really Ms Hawkesby!).

Tags:

Judging the Case for War

December 29th, 2005 at 8:12 am by David Farrar

The Chicago Tribune has done a very useful service. It has spent six weeks analysing the nine reasons Bush gave for the war in Iraq, and judging whether or not he lied, exaggerated or was correct in his reasoning. It is a lengthy and rational analysis.

Overall they have found the White House wound up exaggerating allegations that proved dead wrong, but they did not lie or try to mislead. Don’t think this means the article is pro-Bush. It criticises him in several areas. In fact it is a far more effective portrayal of the weakness of some of what the White House said, than the hysterical Bush Lied rants from the moveon.org crowd. You see it is rational and balanced.

The nine issues, and their conclusions are:

Biological and chemical weapons

There was no need for the administration to rely on risky intelligence, putting so much emphasis on illicit weaponry meant they advanced the least verifiable case for war when others would have sufficed.

Iraq rebuffs the world

Hussein had shunted enough lucre to enough profiteers to keep the UN from challenging him. Hussein was enabled to continue his brutal reign and cost untold thousands of Iraqis their lives.

The quest for nukes

For five years, the official and oft-delivered alarms from the U.S. intelligence community had been menacing.

Hussein’s rope-a-dope

Had Hussein not been deposed, would he have reconstituted deadly weaponry or shared it with terror groups? The least possible to declare true or false.

Waging war on terror

The drumbeat of White House warnings before the war made Iraq’s terror activities sound more ambitious than subsequent evidence has proven. The argument that Hussein was able to foment global terror against this country and its interests was exaggerated.

Reform in the Middle East

The notion that invading Iraq would provoke political tremors in a region long ruled by despots is the Bush administration’s most successful prewar prediction to date. A more muscular U.S. diplomacy has advanced democracy and assisted freedom movements in the sclerotic Middle East.

Iraq and Al Qaeda

No compelling evidence ties Iraq to Sept. 11, 2001, as the White House implied. By stripping its rhetoric of the ambiguity present in the intel data, the White House exaggerated this argument for war.

The Butcher of Baghdad

The White House assessments were accurate. Few if any war opponents have challenged this argument, or suggested that an unmolested Hussein would have eased his repression.

Iraqis liberated

The White House was correct in predicting that long subjugated Iraqis would embrace democracy. And while Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites have major differences to reconcile, a year’s worth of predictions that Sunni disaffection could doom self-rule have, so far, proven wrong.

Tags: