Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Trans-species??

April 12th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The National review reports:

A male-to-female transgender woman who prefers the pronoun “it” says it believes it was born not only the wrong sex, but also the wrong species, and has been undergoing human-to-dragon transition procedures to fix the problem.

The 55-year-old, who was born “Richard Hernandez” but now goes by “Eva Tiamat Baphomet Medusa,” has already had a whole slew of transformative work done: Tooth extraction, eye coloring, horn implants, ear removal (!), nose modification and a procedure to give it a forked tongue.

So what type of toilet does a dragon use??

No tag for this post.

General Debate 12 April 2016

April 12th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Cosgrove retires

April 11th, 2016 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Long-serving Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove has announced he will not be standing at next year’s election.

The list MP, who has been in Parliament for more than 16 years, said today it was not a decision he had made lightly.

This is no surprise. It was highly highly unlikely Cosgrove would have got a winnable list place. Many in Labour are very angry that he campaigned for Waimakariri by barely mentioning Labour on his billboards, but then took up a spot on the party list, when he effectively didn’t campaign for the party vote for them.

Speaking to the Herald this afternoon, Mr Cosgrove would not rule out leaving Parliament ahead of the election.

The next person on the Labour Party list is former party president Maryan Street, who is based in Nelson.

That would hardly be renewal.

It is a shame in one sense that Cosgrove is leaving – he was one of the few Labour MPs who had ever worked in the private sector.

General Debate 11 April 2016

April 11th, 2016 at 9:18 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 10 April 2016

April 10th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 9 April 2016

April 9th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

The $5.0 billion in subsidies for Tesla

April 8th, 2016 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The LA Times reports:

Los Angeles entrepreneur Elon Musk has built a multibillion-dollar fortune running companies that make electric cars, sell solar panels and launch rockets into space.

And he’s built those companies with the help of billions in government subsidies.

Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support, according to data compiled by The Times. The figure underscores a common theme running through his emerging empire: a public-private financing model underpinning long-shot start-ups.

“He definitely goes where there is government money,” said Dan Dolev, an analyst at Jefferies Equity Research. “That’s a great strategy, but the government will cut you off one day.”

So he has become a billionaire through corporate welfare.

And the other beneficiary of this welfare is wealthy car owners:

Charles Lane of the Washington Post said: “Tesla owes its survival to subsidies from taxpayers, who are usually less well-heeled than its plutocratic customers.” The average household income of Tesla owners is $320,000, according to Strategic Visions, a consumer research company.

Tesla buyers have also raked in $38 million in California government rebates (they receive a $2,500 rebate for each Tesla bought) and $284 million in federal tax incentives (they receive a $7,500 federal tax credit for each purchased Tesla).

The Los Angeles Times calculated that Elon Musk’s three companies, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX, combined have received a staggering $4.9 billion in government support over the past decade. As Kerpen noted: “Every time a Tesla is sold . . . average Americans are on the hook for at least $30,000 in federal and state subsidies” that go to wealthy Tesla owners. This is crony capitalism at its worst.

It’s almost obscene.

General Debate 8 April 2016

April 8th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

A high conviction rate is good, not bad

April 7th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The rate of convictions is the highest in at least 35 years, prompting concerns from lawyers and a politician about the justice system’s soundness.

Statistics New Zealand figures reveal more than 83 per cent of adults prosecuted in court last year were convicted. The rate has risen in 10 of the past 11 years, and in the past two years has been the highest since 1980, the earliest data available.

Former New Zealand Law Society president Jonathan Temm said despite appearing to indicate a healthy justice system, the conviction rate was actually too high, with people being convicted incorrectly.

“It’s heading the wrong way. Our level should be constantly around the 75 per cent mark, and anything over 80 per cent is a reflection that people are pleading guilty to things that in the past they would not have been convicted of,” Mr Temm said.

I disagree.

In a perfect world the conviction rate of guilty would be 100% and the false conviction rate of innocents would be 0%. I don’t think one in four people charged are innocent, and that 75% is the “correct” conviction rate.

The rise in conviction rate coincides with the lowest number of people going through court nationwide since at least 1980. The figure has dropped almost 40 per cent since 2009 – from 127,000 prosecutions to fewer than 77,000 nationwide.

Labour’s police spokesman Stuart Nash said he was concerned about the sharp decrease. “It says to me that the police just haven’t got the resources to catch the bad guys.

Fewer prosecutions is a good thing if there is less crime. And the Victims of Crime survey shows a 30% drop in crime from 2008 to 2013. This is a scientific survey of 7,000 NZers, so is not influenced by Police resources, prosecution decisions, whether crime is reported etc.

 

 

General Debate 7 April 2016

April 7th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

The insanity on some campuses

April 7th, 2016 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Read this and weep:

A university student was threatened with being thrown out of a meeting after being accused of violating “safe space” rules – by raising her hand.

Imogen Wilson, the vice-president for academic affairs at Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA), spoke out against safe space rules becoming “a tool for the hard left to use when they disagree with people”, following the incident last week.

Ms Wilson, 22, was subject to a “safe space complaint” over her supposedly “inappropriate hand gestures” during a student council meeting.

According to the association’s rules, student council meetings should be held in a “safe space environment”, defined as “a space which is welcoming and safe and includes the prohibition of discriminatory language and actions”.

This includes “refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement”, or “in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made”.

Utter madness. How about head gestures? Shaking your head to disagree must be banned also!

General Debate 6 April 2016

April 6th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 5 April 2016

April 5th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Former IPCC boss claims big oil framed him for sexual harrassment!

April 4th, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Breitbart reports:

Rajendra Pachauri, the disgraced former head of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), has produced an ingenious defence against the sexual harassment charges he is now facing in an Indian court.
It turns out that, no he didn’t pester, bombard with emails, and grope the attractive female employee at his TERI climate research institute.

Rather, the whole thing is the result of an evil conspiracy by climate change sceptics and right-wing think tanks, funded by Big Oil. Apparently they hacked into all his computer accounts and, without his knowledge, sent a series of flirtatious emails and love poems to his unnamed accuser.

Wow that Big Oil is crafty.

If – as Pachauri claims – this really was a hack, then his persecutors certainly have a twisted sense of humour.

One of the emails he supposedly sent reads:

“I will go on a fast after a cricket match … I will break the fast only when you believe I love you with sincerity and unfathomable depth.”

Pleased to see his priorities were correct – cricket then fasting.

Sadly, though, it would appear that the Guardian article is already the subject of much ridicule in the Indian media.

First, Pachauri’s claims of hacking have already been rejected by the police investigators, who found no evidence of it.

Also, the offending messages came not only from Pachauri’s computers but also in form of text messages from his phone.

Big Oil knows no bounds!

General Debate 4 April 2016

April 4th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 2 April 2016

April 2nd, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Unaoil

April 1st, 2016 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Have to say the Unaoil investigation by Fairfax and the Huffington Post is great investigative journalism. We need more of this.

Hopefully prosecutions will follow – both of Unaoil executives and of companies that paid them to bribe.

General Debate 1 April 2016

April 1st, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Soda drinks are just 1.6% of average calories

March 31st, 2016 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

In their report on the sugar tax, the Taxpayers’ Union stated that only 1.6% of average calories came from sugary soft drinks.

Now I’m on their board, but I don’t normally get into the details of research publications. I referred to the 1.6% figure, but I started to think that it must be wrong.

Surely no sensible group or person would advocate a tax on soft drinks, if they represent just 1.6% of calories? Could anyone (apart from those who just hate soft drink companies) really think a tax on products that produce just 1.6% of calories would achieve anything, while ignoring the other 98.4% of calories? So I started to doubt the 1.6% figure.

Hence I asked the NZTU staff if they could provide the data to back up the 1.6% claim. And they did. It is from the 2008/09 NZ National Nutrition Study of 4,721 NZers.

The NNS found that 9.9% of total energy intake (calories) comes from sucrose (added sugar). Of total sucrose intake 16% comes from non-alcoholic beverages.

Multiply 9.9% by 16% and you get 1.6%. So the figure comes from the official Ministry of Health nutrition survey.

So the proponents of a sugar tax want to tax something that represents 1.6% of the average calories consumed by NZers. They think this will make a material difference to obesity.

Let’s say that a sugar tax does lead to a 10% reduction in sales of soda drinks. This would see average calories reduced by 0.16%.

So what would be the average reduction in calories? 3.2 a day (off a 2,000 standard).

Now it takes around 9,000 fewer calories to lose 1 kg of weight. So how long would it take for an average weight loss of 1 kg with a sugar tax that reduced soft drink consumption by 10% (and generously assuming no substitution).

2,813 days.

That is around 7 and a half years.

So if you introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks, and it reduces sales by 10% (a generous assumption) and there is no substitution (an even more generous assumption), then in 7 and a half years we might all weigh one kg less.

The definition of obese is a BMI of over 30 and to not be overweight you need a BMI of 25 or less.

if you are average height male (177 cm) and have a BMI of 30.3 you’d weigh 95 kgs. To get a BMI of 25 you need to drop to 78 kgs – a drop of 17 kgs.

So a sugar tax that drop soda drink consumption by 10% and didn’t result in any substitution (highly unlikely) would take around 128 years to get an obese person to a healthy weight.

And for this, they want a new tax that would cost NZers billions and billions of dollars.

General Debate 31 March 2016

March 31st, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 30 March 2016

March 30th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 29 March 2016

March 29th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 28 March 2016

March 28th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Govt wowsers oppose alcohol licence for Twilight Gala

March 27th, 2016 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Maungaraki School Special Licence Decision

You have to read this decision on an alcohol licence. It was granted, which was the right decision. But the amazing thing is the local Medical Officer of Health opposed it. It shows the wowser culture that public health activists are trying to create so some adults can’t have a drink in the school staffroom during a gala.

The MOH argued that this would normalise alcohol consumption for children, while the committee correctly said that the event is a good opportunity to model responsible and moderate alcohol consumption.

What annoys me is that taxpayers are funding this activism. Surely the Medical Officer of Health has more important things to do than try to prevent a one off alcohol licence for a gala.

General Debate 27 March 2016

March 27th, 2016 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel