Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I’ve never been a fan of US laws that allow you to shoot intruders in your home. But having just read about the vacuum cleaner salesman who spent three hours (until 10.45 pm) in someone’s home trying to sell a $4,500 vacuum cleaner, I’m prepared to concede such laws may have a place in New Zealand!No tag for this post.
Stephen Rice, the producer who spent two weeks in a Lebanese jail, appears to have taken the fall for the 60 Minutes child snatch fiasco, despite a so-called “independent review” recommending that no individual be sacked over the matter.
The interim report into the saga, handed down on Friday, blasted the 60 Minutes operation for systemic failures at every level.
The report’s authors – Gerald Stone, the founder of 60 Minutes in Australia in 1979; senior Nine executive David Hurley; and Nine Entertainment Co’s in-house counsel Rachel Launders – found that a number of “critically relevant questions” relating to the decision to film the attempted rescue-cum-abduction of the children of Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner in Lebanon were never raised “by the executive producer who approved it, the senior producer who proposed it, or the reporting team that volunteered to participate in it”.
Amongst the questions the report says were never asked are:
Would payment to the child recovery agency encourage an unlawful act?
Could such a payment backfire on Nine?
Would Nine’s staff be participating in an unlawful act?
What were the potential consequences if the act failed?
What would be the impact on the reputation of Nine and 60 Minutes if the operation failed or resulted in injury? and
Did the public interest in telling the story outweigh the risks involved?
So these geniuses never even considered whether what they were funding was illegal and what might happen if it failed. Incredible. They’re lucky only one of them was sacked.
Further exacerbating the situation was the fact that 60 Minutes had come to operate with a degree of autonomy so great “that the executive producer saw no need to consult with the director of news & current affairs on the wisdom of commissioning this story”.
This is what surprised me. That a producer could decide to fund a televised kidnapping and not need to even consult with the director of news!
A comprehensive quiz to determine which 2016 Presidential candidate you most side with.
A slight worry that I side most (95%) with John McAfee who is slightly mad. But to be fair I got between 90% and 95% for all the libertarian candidates.
My other scores are:
- Ted Cruz 88%
- Donald Trump 67%
- Hillary Clinton 41%
- Bernie Sanders 36%
A Wellington furniture-maker is being forced to pack up his tools, after the death of his longstanding benefactor.
Rick White secured his workshop in Leeds St 31 years ago, thanks to a handshake deal with former district court judge Ian Borrin.
But Borrin died in March, leaving the building as part of a $30 million bequest to create a charitable trust.
White, owner of Waywood Furniture, was paying $800 a month in rent, which never changed while Borrin was alive. The commercial monthly rate today would be about 10 times that.
So for 31 years he paid a peppercorn rental. And the owner has died, and now that no longer applies. What is unexpected or unusual about that?
He planned to carry on working there until he died, happy, over his workbench.
Then he should have approached Judge Borrin and asked him how much would it cost to buy the building.
He said he had a duty to the judge’s estate and the foundation to “maximise the revenue stream” from his properties. There was a prospective new tenant who had made an unconditional written offer to take a lease and redevelop the property.
Patterson said he spoke to Borrin before his death, and it was his wish that the redevelopment proceed. There was no written record of the judge’s wishes with regard to White’s workshop: “The judge wanted him to exit in a friendly manner, but also in a timely manner.”
White had now been given 3½ months to leave.
“He’s getting on a bit, he’s just trying to maximise the value of his tenancy. The world’s moved on, I’m afraid.
“We’re now in a commercial world, and I’m afraid Rick is a minor casualty.”
Nikau Foundation manager Louise Parkin said the group did not yet have Borrin’s assets in the trust, as they were still in probate.
She confirmed Borrin had the discretion to hold White’s rent unchanged for 31 years, and said the full commercial rate for the premises would be about $80,000 a year.
But at present, once rates and insurance were paid, the property was actually losing money.
“Strictly, it would be unethical for us to subsidise an individual business owner at the trust’s expense, for charitable purposes.”
If Judge Borrin wanted him to retain it for life, he would have said so in the will. If I was Mr White I’d be grateful for the 31 years of peppercorn rentals, rather than complaining they have ended.
An interesting table from 538. Their focus was on why Sex in the City had such a low rating despite seven Emmys. The average of 7.0 was below the average of 7.3 for all shows.
It turns out women gave it an 8.1 but men a 5.8. This does not surprise me.
Looking at the table above, I’m not totally surprised that Game of Thrones is the top rated show, but am surprised it is top for both women and men.
Also a bit surprising that Dr Who rates higher with women than men.
Richard Harman writes at Politik:
This weekend sees the last of National’s regional party conferences.
Over the past three weeks, hundreds of party members have met in Hamilton, Auckland and Wanaka and will meet on Saturday in Palmerston North.
And Richard has attended most or all of those conferences.
I regard Politik, written by Richard, as a must read. It comes out at 5 am every morning and is my first read of the day.
It almost never talks about who said what in the House, who won question time etc. But almost every day I read something there which gives me an insight I don’t get anywhere else.
Richard is focused on policy and policy issues.
He attends not just the national conferences but the regional conferences of the parties. He talks to members to get a feel of where the party is at. I see him at obscure briefings such as the 40 year energy forecast from Exxon Mobil.
I’m not sure if he even bothers to attend question time, but when I do see him at Parliament he is almost always engaged in a discussion with an MP – gathering intelligence and insights. And I think MPs are much happier talking about stuff to him, than other media – because it’s not about a headline that will sell newspapers, or get click throughs for advertising. His model is providing valuable content and insights that people will pay for.
In no way do I mean to disparage the many good journalists in the press gallery who provide some excellent reporting and also analysis. But the nature of the media they work for means they can’t do what Richard does. Their employers won’t pay for the cost of sending them to regional conferences just to gather intelligence. They need stories every day to justify their investment.
As the media look at the very challenging commercial environment, they could do worse than look at the model of Politik – a daily newsletter that provides enough insights you don’t get elsewhere that you are willing to pay for.