Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

General Debate 5 October 2014

October 5th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 4 October 2014

October 4th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 3 October 2014

October 3rd, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Volunteers sought for Kiwiblog

October 2nd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Earlier this week Kiwiblog joined the Online Media Standards Authority. That puts the same responsibility on Kiwiblog as the mainstream media, but without the resources, Kiwiblog has no paid staff. It has myself, and a couple of existing volunteers.

I’m making a call for anyone who enjoys Kiwiblog, and can make an ongoing regular time commitment to consider volunteering to help both maintain Kiwiblog, but also expand it.

I don’t have any set roles in mind, but I do have a number of things I would like to be able to do.

  • Have someone go through the comments each day and select a particularly insightful or funny comment as Comment of the Day, to be given its own blog post
  • Have someone go through the comments each day and select a comment that argues in opposition to a post I have done as Dissent of the Day (as Andrew Sullivan does)
  • Have someone do a quarterly analysis of MP and Ministerial questions, press releases and news stories (take around 8 – 10 hours a quarter)
  • Have someone monitor the decisions of the BSA, ASA and Press Council, pointing out the more insane complaints which get rejected
  • Have someone read other blogs and do a daily or weekly “Best of the Blogs”
  • Have a person or persons as additional moderators to do warnings over abusive comments
  • Have people read various online columns and editorials, broadly classifying them as pro or anti a particular party, so that we can do a regular analysis of which columnists and newspapers are most often in agreement with, or opposition to, each party. This would be an incredibly interesting exercise. With half a dozen people it would probably be just an hour a week.
  • Have people listen to Seven Sharp, Campbell Live and other current affairs shows and if a segment is political, classify it as pro or anti a particular party .

I’m also open for suggestions as to what other regular features would be welcome, if we had the resource to do it.

If you are interesting in volunteering, then e-mail me and say what areas might be of interest to you – or suggest a new one.

There are those who basically want to silence voices on the right. I want to build them up to be even stronger, and provide even better analysis of politics and the media.


General Debate 2 October 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Kiwiblog now a member of Online Media Standards Authority

October 1st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Kiwiblog has been accepted as a member of the Online Media Standards Authority.

The other members are TVNZ, Mediaworks, Maori TV, Sky TV, The Radio Network and Radio New Zealand. Kiwiblog is the first blog to apply for and be accepted as a member.

There has been some redrafting and simplification of policies. These are all in the sidebar, under Pages.

The key policies are:

Onwards and upwards!


Orthodox idiots

October 1st, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men delayed a flight and then caused an “11-hour nightmare” because they refused to sit next to women.

The men were travelling on an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv, Israel, last Wednesday to celebrate Jewish new year in the Holy Land.

But when they boarded the plane they realised they would be sitting next to women, so they asked people to swap and offered cash to those who refused, reported. 

The ultra-Orthodox follow a strict policy of gender segregation.

In Israel, they have insisted women ride at the back of buses.

When the men were unable to get the women to move, and after a considerable delay, they sat down for takeoff but stood and prayed for the remainder of the flight.

One female passenger described her trip as “an 11-hour-long nightmare.”

Another passenger, identified only as Galit, told YNetnews the ultra-Orthodox passengers suggested she and her spouse split up to better accommodate their desired seating arrangements.

“Why should I agree to switch places?” she said.

After she refused, the man seated next to her conceded, but it was only temporary. “I ended up sitting next to a man who jumped out of his seat the moment we had finished taking off and proceeded to stand in the aisle.”

A large portion of the ultra-Orthodox travellers took to the aisle to pray throughout the flight which crowded the aisle and caused the flight to be unbearable.

They should have kicked them off the flight.

A flight is not the place for a prayer session. It is rude and inconsiderate.

If your beliefs are so screwed up that you think it is unholy to sit next to a woman, then don’t fly on a public airline. Charter a private plane.

No tag for this post.

General Debate 1 October 2014

October 1st, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 30 September 2014

September 30th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

100,000 jihadists

September 29th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Peter Bergen at CNN estimates the total number of Islamist Jihadists in the world, over the dozen or so areas where there are conflicts.

If we tally up the low and high estimates for all these groups, we can begin to have a sense of the total number of jihadist militants that are part of formal organizations around the globe. We found that on the low end, an estimated 85,000 men are fighting in jihadist groups around the world; on the high end, 106,000. …

(We excluded from our overall account the armed forces of Hezbollah and Hamas, because these organizations also engage in conventional politics and governing and also do not attack American targets — all facts that make them at odds with al Qaeda and its affiliates and splinter groups).

In one sense the approximate number of 100,000 is reassuring as it represents just 0.006% of the total Muslim population of 1.6 billion.

But I also find it a frighteningly large number, as this is not an estimate of conventional forces, but of people willing to die as part of a jihad, including suicide attacks.

By historical standards this is hardly a major threat. At the end of the Cold War, Soviet and other Warsaw Pact countries could muster around 6 million men to fight in a war against the West, a number that is some 60 times greater than the total number of militants estimated to be fighting for jihadist organizations today.

And, of course, the Soviets had a vast supply of nuclear-armed, land-based missiles, nuclear-armed submarines and nuclear-armed bombers and many other highly sophisticated weapons systems that jihadist organizations have never acquired and are quite unlikely to.

The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that the threat posed by jihadist organizations around the globe is quite inconsequential when compared with what the West faced in the past century.

I don’t think it is comparing apples and applies. The nature of warfare has changed. Look what damage a dozen terrorists did on 9/11. They may not be an existential threat, but they are a significant one.

The vast majority of the estimated 85,000 to 106,000 militants fighting with militant jihadist groups around the world are fighting for purely local reasons, for instance, trying to install Sharia law in northern Nigeria or trying to impose Taliban rule on Pakistan and Afghanistan, while only a small number of these militants are focused on attacking the West.

That is some relief (except for the locals), but once they succeed in forming Islamic states with sharia laws, will they become safe havens for those who want to attack the West?

Having said that, the best outcome in Iraq and Syria might be to let ISIS rule the area they already have, rather than try to bomb them into submission. Let them have their own mad evil country, and watch it crumble as they try to govern with no ability or resources.


General Debate 29 September 2014

September 29th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 28 September 2014

September 28th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 27 September 2014

September 27th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 26 September 2014

September 26th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

McLeod on the election

September 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Rosemary McLeod writes:

The big guy’s not wrong when he admits he was toxic for the Internet-Mana Party. Actually he’s toxic for New Zealand. We don’t admire personal feuds and personalised attacks on this scale in our part of the world, and to tag it on to a general election was too much.

Dotcom’s squeals of pleasure, as his tame speakers attacked John Key, would have turned many stomachs, not just mine. They knew nothing about Key that could justify their attack on his character, and the only good thing about their display of viciousness ended up being that it perversely gave a landslide victory to Key at the end of the most bizarre campaign I can remember.

Who would have thought Harre and that martyr of all Left-wing causes, John Minto, would be enticed by big bucks? Was that how truly principled paragons of the Left should behave? Dotcom has looked and behaved like the epitome of the kind of fat cat they would normally deplore, throwing his money around, but that very money had them mesmerised.

They threw away their credibility, and it can hardly have been worth it.

A sadder case is Hone Harawira, who threw away his ability to advocate in Parliament for issues he genuinely believes in. Did he think Maori voters would follow him blindly?

They were too intelligent for that.

Hone and Laila were genuine principled advocates for their beliefs. And then they sold out. They took the money, and aligned themselves with a rich criminal’s jihad against John Key, as they thought it would get them into power. The former staunch unionists had not a word to say about the allegations of his former staff who claimed Dotcom paid them $5 an hour only.

Even the sainted Nicky Hager, who the overseas speakers lauded for his series of indignant publications, is tainted by the campaign waged against Key. It was a cynical and calculated gesture to publish his book so close to an election, hoping to derail National’s predicted chances. He managed to knock Judith Collins out of the running, and WhaleOil will never look so beguiling again, but he doesn’t look any cleaner for it. When you’re praised by the kind of crowd that whooped and hollered in the Auckland Town Hall you’re not in classy company. At least he had the good sense not to be present.

Both Hager and Dotcom made the same mistake – doing their attacks during the election campaign. New Zealanders don’t like gotcha politics like that. Any serious issues they had would have been far more effectively considered if they had released them three to six months before the election.

And for those who are about to attack McLeod as being a cheerleader for National:

I voted Labour – out of nostalgia, though I knew it would fare badly. …

And for the record, I’ve never voted National in my life.

And I suspect never will.

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General Debate 25 September 2014

September 25th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Gareth Morgan calls for a Bluegreen Party

September 24th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Gareth Morgan writes:

But for me, the most frustrating aspect of the election result is the entrenched inability of the Green Party to grasp that the environmental message is something that appeals to middle-of-the-road New Zealanders, not just Lefties.

Sadly the Green Party’s policies for environmental sustainability have always come with a nasty fishhook – the out-dated edict that social justice can only be achieved by rehashed socialism. This has rendered the Green Party a real melon to mainstream New Zealand – a watermelon to be precise, far too red on the inside for middle New Zealand to stomach. …

The time is overdue for a Bluegreens political party, one that is happy to work with whoever is the senior party in government, and is focussed properly on improving our environment, society and economy together. Without this there is a large swathe of voters who are not represented adequately in Parliament. Can the Green Party assume that role? I doubt it very much, theirs is very much a socialist heritage and they exhibit an ongoing reluctance to get real on the importance of the economy. With their voter support capped at 10% (about the same as the craziest party in parliament, Winston Peter’s conspiracy theorists), the electorate continues to see no hope for the Green Party – the adverse impact on jobs and incomes is unpalatable. …

A Bluegreen party would emphatically express New Zealanders’ preference for clever and clean as the way we want our dollars earned, while leaving National and Labour to fight over how social justice is best promoted – via National’s preference for capacity building through education and training, delivering more flexible employment and wage-setting practices; or via Labour’s penchant for widening and lifting of social assistance, greater progressivity of income tax, widening the tax base on income from capital, and greater protection of labour in the workplace.

That is why today I am calling for a Bluegreen party – a party with a true environmental focus rather than a socialist party in drag. Tomorrow we will look at some of the policies such a party could pursue, policies that without a Bluegreen party are being left off the political agenda completely.

I’d love there to be a Bluegreen party that could constructively work with National to continue to improve our environment and conservation estate. It would be great.

However I should point out such a party has existed in the past. It was called the Progressive Greens and got 0.26% of the votes in 1996. While we have the socialist leaning Green Party, it would be hard to get much oxygen for a Blue Green Party. But if someone can do it, good on them.



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General Debate 23 September 2014

September 24th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 23 September 2014

September 23rd, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Kiwiblog in Iran

September 22nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar


This is what you get if you try accessing Kiwiblog in Iran! I guess I’m blocked :-)

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General Debate 22 September 2014

September 22nd, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 21 September 2014

September 21st, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

Organic coffee drinker needs longer breaks

September 20th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Canberra Times reports:

A Canberra public servant told her boss she needed longer breaks than her colleagues, saying she had to find a café that served organic coffee with soy milk.

When the Australian Taxation Office bureaucrat was warned about her absences from her desk and told she had to adhere to time management requirements, she took her case to the Commonwealth government’s workplace authority.

After the appeal was dismissed, the Executive Level 1 public servant went on stress leave and claimed workers compensation, arguing that her ATO supervisor’s approach left her with “adjustment disorder”.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has dismissed the worker’s appeal against the decision to reject the claim, finding the Taxation Office was reasonable in its dealings with the public servant.

Amazing it got that far.

Also fascinated by the claim that being unable to get organic coffee with soy milk led to an adjustment disorder!


General Debate 20 September 2014

September 20th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel

General Debate 19 September 2014

September 19th, 2014 at 8:00 am by Kokila Patel