Archive for April, 2006

Spam Lesson No 571

April 30th, 2006 at 9:01 pm by David Farrar

The moment you see in the headers that the e-mail is from “Crown Prince Musa Bolkiah” you know you just really don’t need to keep reading!

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You voted for them!

April 30th, 2006 at 8:09 pm by David Farrar

The Auckland City Council transport committee chairman, Richard Simpson, wants to demolish the Aucjkland Harbour Bridge.

Yes he is serious. I think it is part of the let’s congest the roads as much as possible, so people will abandon cars philospphy.

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A charitable politician

April 30th, 2006 at 4:49 pm by David Farrar

I never fail to be amazed by the information I find through blogs that is hidden or invisible in the mainstream media.

This time it is that US VP Dick Cheney and his wife gave US$6.9 million to charity last year – over 75% of their annual income.

Hat Tip: Sir Humphrey

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Why it’s good to be blue!

April 30th, 2006 at 4:22 pm by David Farrar

Reading this post from Maia, it reminds me why it is so good to be blue.

1) We don’t hold protests outside the US Embassy (well only in support of free trade anyway)

2) If we do hold such a protest, no-one gets offended if some-one says “one thing they could do with was women”.

3) If someone did get offended, then they would not in turn be attacked for trying to impose their middle class values on the working class protesters

4) And even if that had all happened, then one would not attack the person attacking the person who got offended for stereotyping middle class and working class people

5) And even if all the above had happened, we certainly wouldn’t then post all about it on Indymedia.

6) And then we wouldnot have had 30 further posts debating:
* Is calling people ‘middle class’ political slander?
* Is there a moral aversion to working class culture e.g. eating meat and using certain swear words
* whether one should changing choice of cuss words to ones that dont involve specific denigrating references to female genitalia or the subservient position of women in society

Oh yes it is much easier being blue.

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Northern National Party Chair

April 30th, 2006 at 11:44 am by David Farrar

Congratulations to my former colleague, Alistair Bell, who was elected to replace Scott Simpson as Northern Regional Chair for National this morning.

The vote was 119:89, so a pretty good win with 57% support.

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US rich paying more tax under Bush

April 30th, 2006 at 10:31 am by David Farrar

Since 2001 the proprtion of tax paid by those earning over US$200,000 a year has risen from 41% to 47%. Yes, those greedy rich now pay almost 50% of all income tax despite being just 3% of the population.

But it is not because the rich are getting richer – the share of all income earned by the wealthiest 10% of Americans has actually fallen since 2001.

So Bush is pilloried as favouring the rich, but in fact the rich are earning less of the total income, yet paying more of the taxes.

And the taxes he did cut – capital gains and dividend taxes – are now bringing in massively more money – because cutting tax rates can lead to an increase in total tax paid as it reduces avoidance and encourages more wealth generation.

Hat Tip: Tim Blair

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Ad Agency sues Maine blogger

April 30th, 2006 at 9:46 am by David Farrar

A Maine blogger, Lance Dutson, pointed out on his website that some draft adevrtisements for the state tourism agency had the phone number of a sex line on them.

The advertising agency involved, Warren Kremer Paino Advertising, is suing for defamation, seeking over $1 million in damages.

Bloggers from all over are highlighting the case, which will result in 1,000 times more publicity for what the ad agency did, than if they had not sued.

Hat Tip: Big News

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Sinister Overseas Influence in NZ

April 30th, 2006 at 7:11 am by David Farrar

Do you remember Trevor Mallard maliciously inventing allegations about how sinister US interests were funding the National Party?

Well maybe Trevor should be looking closer to home. In today’s HOS Matt McCarten writes:

Our union, Unite, has sent three of our leading organisers to wealthier parts of the world to raise money from other trade unions for our upcoming campaign to win a union employment agreement for McDonald’s workers

Now some of these foreign trade unions are huge – worth hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.

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Eye to Eye

April 30th, 2006 at 7:02 am by David Farrar

Just watching My Sky recording of yesterday’s Eye to Eye. Two observations:

1) Rodney really is looking good with his weight loss

2) The guy is fearless. Many MPs would avoid a panel with Willie Jackson, Chris Trotter, John Tamihere and Ross Robertson on MP’s behaviour but he doesn’t back down and even tells Tamihere to his face what Tamihere did wrong and why he attacked him in Parliament on it.

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Media Wars

April 30th, 2006 at 6:49 am by David Farrar

In today’s NZ Herald Fran O’Sullivan critiques Ian Wishart.

Ian Wishart replies on his blog and seeks a retraction from the Herald’s editor, with legal action threatened if not forthcoming.

UPDATE: Sir Humphrey also blogs with details of e-mails between Antarctic Lemur and Fran, and responds to points made by Fran.

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Judgement Code

April 29th, 2006 at 9:17 pm by David Farrar

Many will have seen reports about the court case over Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. The final chapter in the sags is that the Judge inserted a special code into his ruling by italicising certain letters.

The code was only discovered a month after the ruling was given, and has only now been cracked.

Can’t blame the Judge for not resisting the temptation.

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Keating calls for more tax cuts

April 29th, 2006 at 8:55 pm by David Farrar

Earlier in the week I blogged my delight at Australian Labor calling for tax cuts. The point I was making is that tax cuts in most country is not just done by centre-right governments. NZ Labour is almost unique amongst other centre left Governments in increasing tax rates instead of decreasing them. They are ideologically far to the left of their colleagues overseas.

Anyway today Paul Keating came out and criticised his own party on tax cuts. Not for supporting them, but because they do not go far enough!

Can we import some Australian Labor Party politicians into the NZ Labour Party?

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Prescott’s Second Mistress

April 29th, 2006 at 9:53 am by David Farrar

Oh dear. It appears that John Prescott did not just have one mistress (one of his secretaries) but he in fact has two mistresses. How greedy!

I suspect the media will publish her name soon, but Guido has cheekily published this clue:

artwork.jpg

See if you can work it out for yourself. If not then you can cheat and click on this link.

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Which country is this?

April 29th, 2006 at 7:57 am by David Farrar

The popularity of the foreign troops has fallen 34%

Their mission is meant to be temporary until law & order is restored

The foreign Government though refuses to put a time-table on troop withdrawal saying “would stay for as long as the locals wanted it to.”

The response to critics of the retention of the foreign troops is to say that it would be much worse for the locals if they pulled out.

Many MPs are seen as corrupt, and negotiations to form a Government are dragging on.

No it isn’t Iraq, it is the Solomons.

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Cabinet Report Card

April 29th, 2006 at 7:27 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young gives a six month report card for the Cabinet. The summary of her ratings is:

Phil Goff 9
Damien O’Connor 8
David Cunliffe 8
Steve Maharey 7
Annette King 7
Helen Clark 7
Chris Carter 7
Clayton Cosgrove 7
Michael Cullen 6
Jim Anderton 6
Rick Barker 6
Lianne Dalziel 6
Trevor Mallard 6
David Parker 6
Nanaia Mahuta 6
Jim Sutton 5
Ruth Dyson 5
Parekura Horomia 5
Pete Hodgson 4
David Benson-Pope 3
Mark Burton 2

I have to say that overall I think it is pretty spot on. I never thought I would say this but with Peters as faux Foreign Minister it is a huge relief having Goff there to stop him stuffing things up.

O’Connor has been very smart on his portfolios and likewise Cunliffe hasn’t put a foot wrong to date as Young says. If he gets reform in Immigration and Communications he’ll remove too major sources of irritation to voters.

Cosgrove has (surprisingly) done pretty well to date. I would have Maharey as a 6 not a 7 tough.

My only regret is Ministers outside Cabinet were not ranked. My rankings for them would be:

Judith Tizard – 1
Still a mystery what does she actually do

Dover Samuels – 2
Revealing to newspapers how you attacked another Minister in Caucus is not a smart move

Harry Duynhoven – 6
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable – sometimes too much though.

Mita Ririnui – 4
Quiet plodder

Winnie Laban – 6
Very active in the Pacific community and charming a few audiences

Mahara Okeroa – 4
Not stuffed up, but not achieving much

Winston Peters – 5
Peters has the potential to be an 8 and may get there, but his temper tantrums with the media and his sidelining on trade issues makes him barely a pass. I expect this to rise with time.

Peter Dunne – 8
I think Dunne has shown how one can manage a relationship. He has taken credit for some useful stuff the Government has done, yet has constructively disagreed in other areas. He has some major challenges of credibility ahead though with the budget.

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Auckland Carpark vs Invercargill House

April 29th, 2006 at 7:03 am by David Farrar

The NZ Heralds reports how a carpark in Auckland now costs more than a house in Invercargill.

I’m not sure which city this reflects worse on :-)

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Blog working again

April 28th, 2006 at 10:13 am by David Farrar

No it wasn’t just you – no new posts or comments were possible for the last 18 hours or so. I was in meetings and only discovered it late last night.

Looks to all be working again. I blame flooding in Dunedin :-)

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Great nickname

April 27th, 2006 at 7:40 am by David Farrar

The nickname of one candidate for the presidency of the Italian Senate is “The Prince of Darkness”.

That’s a cool nickname to have. I mean let’s face it, people won’t muck you around with that reputation, and you’d always get good service at restaurants.

Mind you the Italian guy doesn’t just blog about journalists who upset him – he gets them executed!

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Parker is a lucky man

April 27th, 2006 at 7:30 am by David Farrar

David Parker is a lucky man. He thought he was breaking the law, he admitted to breaking the law but it has turned out that in most regards he was not breaking the law.

Basically he gets off by virtue of a legal opinion that Hyslop never became a share-holder again, despite Parker himself listing him as one on several annual returns (at the same time as listing a unanimous agreement not to audit).

Now some have claimed this discredits Investigate Magazine in some way. Well *on this issue* I think they are wrong. On the face of it Investigate found official company returns which clearly contained false statements by Parker. It took a crown solicitor opinion to find some old case law which suggested Hyslop never became a share-holder again. But the fact remains Parker listed him as a share-holder on the returns.

The NZ Herald has a story on the report. Like most of the reporting too much emphasis is being placed on the ongoing consent from the Official Assignee not to have an audit. That only becomes relevant on the basis of a finding that the Official Assignee was still a share-holder and not Mr Hyslop as listed on the returns.

Ian Wishart comments on the report in his blog. He makes three points worth repeating:

1) “If he genuinely believe Hyslop was not a shareholder, why did he continue to file returns for years falsely stating that he was? If the returns were not false because Hyslop didn’t have to be consulted because he was no longer a shareholder, then arguably they were false by continuing to list Hyslop as a shareholder.”

2) “S89 of the Companies Act specifies that the share register is the final proof of legal title, barring a specific declaration by the High Court to the contrary.”

3) Parker thought that Hyslop was still a share-holder, right up until Crown Law told him otherwise

As I said at the beginning David Parker is a very lucky MP. He accidentally obeyed the law when he thought he was breaking it. On the basis of intention alone being insufficient I certainly do not argue with the lack of prosecution. But I would not shout this from the roof-tops as some sort of exoneration. He got a lucky break. Now he is a nice talented guy so good on him for having things go his way, but if anyone tries to paint him as the “victim” he is only the victim of his own mistakes.

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.nz domain names

April 26th, 2006 at 11:57 pm by David Farrar

The Domain Name Commissioner has published the latest monthly stats for .nz domain names.

nz monthly.JPG

The net growth in March 2006 was 5,080 names which is an all-time record. The previous highest monthly growth was 3,937 in March 2000. Not sure why it is so high – possibly the ICANN conference contributed to increased awareness?

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The graph above shows total names since the first records in 1993. In February 2000 we made 50,000, 16 months later in September 2001 made 100,000, April 2004 with a 2.5 year gap to make 150,000 and again 16 months to Sep 05 to make 200,000. We should hit 250,000 later this year.

nz annual.JPG

The annual net increase gives a smoother view of the .nz stats and allows one to speculate on how events may have affected registrations. During the dot com boom in 99/00 the annual growth hit 35,000. In June 2000 the increases halted and started to decrease significantly so that by mid 2002 it was under 15,000. Incidentally May 2000 was when the then monopoly registry/registrar introduced a very unpopular and much criticised new registration system.

The unpopularity of that system, plus other issues such as funding of defamation suits, led to major changes within InternetNZ and agreement to move to an SRS or shared registration system with multiple registrars. This went live in October 2002 which possibly by coincidence is also when the annual increase in .nz registrations started to grow again.

Since October 2002 the annual increase has more than doubled and is now at an all time high. I like to think some of that growth is because we now do have a simple, cheap, flexible and most of all competitive registration system and market for .nz names. Getting the structure right so that competition can flourish does work!

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Around the blogs

April 26th, 2006 at 11:23 pm by David Farrar

Stef puts the debate on female discrimination in what I consider a sensible perspective. A really good post.

Today was the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl . Therefore Trevor Loudon reminds us of Keith Locke’s immortal quote:

“Capitalism cannot be trusted with nuclear power… socialism … would step up nuclear power research in order to make it safe”

PC posts answers to his questions on the biggest issue or threat facing the world, the West and New Zealand.

A hairy geek posts on what “freeview” may mean for Sky. Not pretty if he is right.

And finally for a laugh read Bill Wilmot on why NZ republicans are all guilty of sedition. Wonder if that means I’ll get a cell next to Tim Selwyn :-)

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Naugthy Prescott

April 26th, 2006 at 5:00 pm by David Farrar

UK Labour are already at a 19 year low in the polls, and now Deputy Pm John Prescott has revealed an affair with one of his secretaries.

The secretary was living with her boyfriend, who was planning to marry her. Prescott is married also.

The byfriend got suspicious and checked her text messages.

Incidentially that makes over half a dozen relationships I know of where a partner has been caught cheating through non deleted text messages.

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This is not a joke

April 26th, 2006 at 4:44 pm by David Farrar

“The rising cost of everyday goods and services provides a strong case for tax cuts and major reforms in next month’s budget, Labor said today.

This is a true headline.

Sadly as those who saw the missing u in Labour, it is Australian Labor who are calling for this.

Note that Australia has a smaller surplus (per capita) and lower inflation than NZ, yet still supports tax cuts.

NZ Labour remains also unique amongst both right and left wing Governments in refusing to lower tax rates no matter how large the surplus.

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Surprise Surprise

April 26th, 2006 at 4:11 pm by David Farrar

Newstalk ZB reports that David Parker will not be prosecuted.

He’ll be back in Cabinet by lunchtime.

UPDATE: Scoop has the full report. Basically clears him on false declarations, finds other parts of the Companies Act were breached but are so minor as to not require prosecution.

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Annoying People Examples

April 26th, 2006 at 4:01 pm by David Farrar

Got a spare half hour. Scott Adams has asked people to post examples of annyoying co-workers and bosses.

Great fun to read through all the real life stories posted. No wonder Dilbert is so popular.

Nice thing about being self-employed is that you may still work for a prick, but at least you’re used to him or her.

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