An own goal

March 5th, 2011 at 11:39 am by David Farrar

I think almost everyone in NZ has been impressed with the Student Volunteer Army in Christchurch. They formed from a good idea and a Facebook page for the 1st earthquake and sprung back into life for the second earthquake.

Green MP Gareth Hughes blogged a post in praise of them. I agree with him saying:

The volunteers and organisers I met today represent the nation at its best. Simple and humble community-service and hard-work mixed with cutting edge online tools and organisational software (with a large dose of fun mixed in). They all deserve medals.

But then Gareth had to go for the cheap political jibe, concluding with:

The image of the lazy, selfish, and drunk student or the inept and corrupt student association so favoured of ACT and National Party arguments is well and truly busted.

I commented:

Oh Gareth you were doing so well before you went for the cheap and nasty political jibe. You could have just praised the students for the wonderful job they have done.

Before you embarrass yourself further, you might want to reflect that the student who organised the SVA, and whose idea it all is, is a National Party member. So maybe your little smear against National is rather stupid.

The SVA is not political, and it was only when Gareth tried to politicise the great job they have done, did I point out how ludicrous his position is.

And kudos to UCSA for getting behind the SVA and providing support to it. UCSA is one of the better run student associations, and I’ve blogged this in the past – in fact held up the market research they recently did on what services students want as a model for other campuses.

To make things worse for the Greens, my comment was deleted from the blog after it was made. It later reappeared (along with Whale’s – see his blog here) and the disappearance was put down to technical issues.

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FAQ on Climate Change

September 20th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Frog Blog has written about a site which has around 100 FAQS on scepticism about climate change.

This is an excellent way to deal with an issue. I’m not saying I agree with all the responses, but it is a very effective style to list each claim, and the response to each claim.

Now the responses are not conclusive. For example the response on how Kyoto will only lower temperatures 0.1 degree is pretty weak. Really it is just saying we have to start somewhere. Nowhere is there any analysis that the benefits outweigh the costs.

Likewise the article on China and India not playing their part is weak also. Firstly it is out of date as China is now a bigger emitter than the US. Secondly it only deals with an extreme case of should the US do nothing, because China and India have no targets. That is answering the wrong question. The right question is can one be successful at reducing overall emissions without China and India. The answer is probably no.

But the overall format is good. What would be good is to have another site that responds to some or all of the articles on the Grist site. Debate is good.

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Frog on RMA

December 12th, 2008 at 11:14 am by David Farrar

Frog is upset about Rodney Hide wanting to restrict appeals from deecisions of consent panels to directly affected persons.

Frog thunders:

And in a society governed by rule of law, the citizens should be able to appeal the decisions of council hearing panels to the courts. But I guess all Act’s talk about ‘rule of law’ is only when it suits them not when it might stand in the way of making a buck at the expense of the environment.

This sounds superficially appealing, until you realise Frog is not talking about being able to appeal against what Councils do with public land but appeal against what citizens do on their private property.

Does Frog then think I should be able to appeal to the Enviornment Court his or her decision to paint their house a particular colour? Even when I’m not a next door neighbour, but live 1000 kms away?

Those who are affected by a resource consent should be able to follow the legal process around that consent. But I don’t see why me in Wellington should be able to delay for months and years a resource consent in Dunedin, if it has the support of everyone in Dunedin.

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Frog on Pharmac

December 1st, 2008 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Frog has an interesting post on Pharmac. I disagree with Frog about banning advertising and the conspiracy theory about the drug companies writing the story in the SST about Pharmac and drugs it won’t fund.

However I do agree that the Pharmac model is fundamentally a good one, and the best way to get further drugs funded is to increase the budget for medicines (which National is doing) rather than try and reverse Pharmac decisions on particular drugs.

There is always a limit though to the ability of the public health system to fund every medicine we would like. This is why I think peopel should be encouraged to have their own health savings accounts which can be used to meet exceptional health care costs. The Singapore model is one worth investigating.

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Hypocrisy from the Greens

November 29th, 2008 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

Frog is complaining that National has ditched the panel that was set up by Labour and the Greens to get them state funding of political parties.

Labour appointed the panel, without any consultation with National. This was inappropriate. In fact Green co-leader Russel Norman blogged that he agreed with me such appointments should not just be made by the Government of the Day.

If you and you mates act in a blatant self serving partisan manner, don’t be surprised when the new Government doesn’t feel any need to respect those decisions.

Personally I am a fan of citizen’s juries having a role to play in electoral issues. But the experts panels that advise such juries must not be unilaterally selected by the Government of the Day. By doing so, you can almost guarantee the outcome – and that is what the Greens and Labour tried to do – set up a process that would introduce their cherished dream of full taxpayer funding.

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Reaction to Privileges Report

September 23rd, 2008 at 1:51 pm by David Farrar

I’ll start with Colin Espiner:

On the privileges committee report, I think the committee did an excellent job. It cut through all the Peters verbiage and red herrings and bluster. It simply didn’t believe him and rightly found him guilty of misleading Parliament. It recommended his censure. That is an extremely serious step, and any minister of the Crown would be sacked for such a finding.

Indeed. Someone commented the last Mp to be censured was in 1975. Could the historians amongst us find the last time a Minister of the Crown was censured and lost his job.

Except Winston Peters. Labour’s handling of this crisis has been nothing short of shameful. Every day Prime Minister Helen Clark and her deputy on the committee, Michael Cullen, have found a different excuse for why Peters should not be sacked. There is simply no wiggle room left. So instead they’ve started attacking the committee itself. And this is perhaps the most shameful approach of all. The privileges committee used to be seen as beyond reproach – powerful, elite, Parliament’s highest body. Its decisions were unquestioned.

Labour claims the committee has been politicised and it has – by Labour and NZ First. The only attempt to hijack its findings was made by those members, not those who questioned Peters and found his answers wanting. How Labour can say it is National that has hijacked the committee when its own support parties – the Greens and United Future, and the Maori Party – all sided with National and Act beggars belief.

I think it is the maxim that if you repeat a lie enough time, then some people will believe it.

If, in Parliament today, Labour again attacks the committee and tries to vote down its findings, Parliament will have reached a new low in my opinion. Labour should accept that it lost the fight at the committee and respect its majority verdict. That’s what happens in our justice system when you’re found guilty by a jury of your peers.

I predict Labour will spend most its time attacking John Key and not taking the censure seriously.

Next we have John Armstrong:

Winston Peters’ letter of resignation as a minister ought to be on the Prime Minister’s desk this morning.

It won’t be. However, the damning report of Parliament’s privileges committee demands nothing less, even though its finding that Peters is in contempt was not unanimous.

You really have to wonder sometimes why Helen Clark refusesto take any meaningful action against Peters. Instead she runs attack lines on his behalf against the Privileges Committee and the SFO.

But he cannot get such accusations to stick when it comes to the Greens, United Future and Maori Party representatives who made up the remainder of the majority view. Those parties had no axe to grind with Peters. They simply reached the only conclusion that could be drawn from the evidence – that Peters had “some knowledge” of Glenn’s intention to make a donation.

The next time Clark runs the line that the Privileges Committee finding is politically motivated, ask her why Peter Dunne (one of her Ministers) and Russel Norman support the finding?

The big question is whether she can ever trust him again. With National not wanting a bar of him, it would now seem inconceivable that Peters could again become a minister even if Labour wins the election.

Not at all. If Peters makes it back and can give her a fourth term, of course she’ll have it back. Why else would you go through all the pain now, if not to do a deal later.

Labour’s reluctance to upset Peters with rigorous questioning during his appearances in front of the committee was understandable given Labour’s dependence on him for the past three years and conceivably for the next three as well. But it is to Labour’s eternal shame that it behaved thus.

In the end, the majority verdict is a victory for principle over expediency and for the integrity of the privileges committee.

Eternal shame is a good phrase.

We also have Frog from the Greens:

It does make me wonder weather the Team LPG fanboiz should really be getting so grumpy at Green supporters for not wanting to declare our undying love to Helen Clark and Labour. Because it seems from its recent behaviour that Labour has already found its preferred coalition partner, and it’s Winston Peters, come what may. But then I guess Labour doesn’t have so much to gain from a internet campaign for Team LNZF?

Can one imagine Helen Clark defending a Green MP to the extent she has defended Winston?

You also have comments from two of the MPs on NZPA. First Peter Dunne:

United Future leader Peter Dunne said he had gone into the committee with an opinion: “I entered the committee thinking this was probably a beat up.”

But after hearing evidence he changed his mind.

Mr Dunne said Mr Peters had repeated opportunities to give his side.

“Really I think the committee genuinely tried to get to the bottom of what went on and reached its conclusions accordingly.”

Mr Dunne said crucial for him was contradictory evidence and then “cute” recall of events by Mr Peters’ lawyer Brian Henry after evidence was presented.

So Dunne went from thinking it was a beat up, to deciding on the evidence that Peters knew about the donation and should have declared it.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman disagreed [with Helen Clark]. He said he went into the inquiry with an open mind and based his decision on the evidence put before him.

So is Helen calling Russel tainted or unfair?

Dr Norman said the committee’s chairman, National MP Simon Power, ran a fair process.

In fact even Michael Cullen went out of his way to say that Simon Power was very fair as the Chairman. I think that is a huge credit to Simon for the way he has conducted himself.

As one minor example of his integrity I was talking to him on an unrelated issue a few weeks ago. I had heard on the radio that Owen Glenn would be testifying but not whether or not it would be in person or by video conference. So I just asked Simon whether it was in person or not as I happened to be speaking to him. Simon, just to avoid even the possibility or suggestion of having an inappropriate conversation, just referred me to the press release the Committee had put out. Now I wasn’t asking for anything which wasn’t public, but Simon erred on the side of caution by not even answering my question but just referring me to the press release. He has bent over backwards to be fair and impartial in this matter.

Finally, I note that Jim Anderton is going to show a tiny amount of spine and abstain rather than vote against the Privileges Committee recommendations. Don’t give him too much credit though as he repeat the bullshit from the PM that the process has been unfair to Winston. He does at leats ping Peters for his hypocrisy:

“NZ First was clearly accepting donations at a time when it was attacking everyone else for taking money from big business. For that the party has some explaining to do to the voting public,” Mr Anderton said.

Perhaps Mr Anderton could offer an opinion on whether he, as a member of the Cabinet, felt he should have known about the donations from the Velas to Peters, when he voted to go along with Winston’s generous funding for the racing industry?

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Various

August 29th, 2008 at 12:14 pm by David Farrar

Listen to John Key on Nine to Noon. Key rules Peters out even if cleared by the SFO and Privileges Committee because he says his credibility is still too damaged. It is not just about criminal behaviour but ethical standards.

David Cohen has a 20 point test on whether you are a journalist or a blogger. I got 13/20 which makes me a “mid-grade hack” :-)

Frog Blog asks if Helen Clark may be regretting choosing go go with Winston instead of the Greens?

Idiot/Savant blogs on Day Two of the MMP Symposium. The panel session was interesting (in my rather conflicted opinion) and if things slow down I might try and do an extended post on it.

Bryce Edwards has an excellent piece of research on the funding of NZ First. It is not a scandal breaking story, but some detailed academic research, well referenced. We need more like this.

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Bits and Bytes

August 14th, 2008 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Lots to cover in brief. First the Australian political party leader who told off his 17 year old daughter on Facebook, exposing her drunken party photos to the world! Also wonderful is the conversation between two of Alexander Downer’s children on Facebook about why he was so pompous in a photo :-)

Bernard Hickey complains (as I often have done) that we are paying $79 million into TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 yet they won’t make them available on Sky TV. He quotes former TVNZ Head of News Paul Norris in support – they have a reponsibility to make them widely available and could extend them with a flick of a switch to 700,000 households overnight.

Andrew Bolt has a fascinating exchange with an academic over the “stolen generation”. While there certainly is much in Australia’s past that was deplorable (as in NZ), it is apparent that certain portions of it such as the “stolen generation” have been over-hyped. He cites the example of one Aboriginal leader who claimed to be part of the “stolen” generation who was “taken from my family” but in fact was put up for adoption by her father who could not cope with five children.

Lindsay Perigo writes a moving account of his last face to face meal with Anna Woolf, who is dying of brain cancer. Even just reading his account makes the eyes water – I can’t imagine how hard it is for those who are close to Anna, let alone Anna herself.

The Telegraph points out that if Michael Phelps was a country, he would be coming 5th on the Olympic medal table – ahead of Italy, Russia, Australian and Great Britain.

Frog Blog joins Nick Smith on wondering why DOC is spending so much money on a new corporate brand, when it has just laid off 60 workers to save money.

Liberty Scott exposes Sue Kedgley’s scaremongering over cellphone towers. Good God, this debate was settled over a decade ago in terms of science. I’d be more inclined to take Sue’s campaign against the towers seriously if she’d give up her cellphone.

Lindsay Mitchell covers the launch of a second Maori based party. The Hapu Party is led by David Rankin, and three policies to date:

  1. To have Maori eligible for the pension at age 56, because of the lower life-expectancy of Maori
  2. To introduce a flat rate 18% personal tax and GST rate.
  3. To immediately allocate all treaty settlement money directly to hapu and marae

They have me with policy No 2. Policy No 3 is between Iwi and Hapu to resolve in my opinion, and Policy No 1 has no chance. Worryingly for the Maori Party, Rankin also talks of financial irregularities with a Maori Party MP and a SFO complaint.

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A half denial

August 5th, 2008 at 1:24 pm by David Farrar

Whale Oil has a scan of a letter to a newspaper from one of the Standard authors. It is a classic case of denying something one has not been accused of and refusing to comment on what actually was alleged. He says that The Standard is not funded or directed by the Labour Party. But that is not what I claimed a few weeks ago. What I claimed was that two of the bloggers there are Beehive staffers, a third is a Labour Party Head Office manager and one or two others are employees of Labour’s largest union affilitate.

What is interesting is that on five occasions the Prime Minister’s chief press secretary has been asked by media to deny that Beehive staff blog at The Standard, and on every occasion they have chosen not to comment rather than deny it. I guess there is a reason they passed up the opportunity to say “Farrar fucked up and has it all wrong, none of our staff are involved”.

Amusingly the letter to the editor claims The Standard is the most read political website in New Zealand. That is also as amusing as the claim that they ensure comments from readers are civil, as the author of the letter repeatedly makes references in the comments there to my weight and girth. And he is one of the moderators!!

I have no particular desire to get consumed in a flame war with The Standard. My issues are not with the authors (I have had perfectly civil conversations with Clinton, think “Eddie” is a lovely person and many of my friends who know “All your base” speak highly of him) but over the decision not to be transparent over the involvement of ministerial staff in the blog.

This will probably come off as patronising, but I offer it as sincere advice. Their biggest weakness at the moment is their shrillness, and aggressiveness. And this is often a function of mainly being anonymous. One of the good things about blogging under either your name, or with your associations known, is it moderates what you say. But each to their own – my unsolicited advice to them is probably as welcome as pork chops at a synagogue :-)

Danyl (who is definitely on the left) at the Dim-Post did a scathing post on The Standard last week. I will resist quoting large segments of it here. Rather than flame him for his comments (and they were well very very robust), it might be worth considering what motivated him to make them, and the fact he is far from the only person on the left who thinks that way.

On a more positive note, I am enjoying the new gblog for Green Party members. Not that I agree with much said there, but I do think it is good value. Oh, and talking of the Greens, if you really want to be scared, read on Frog Blog about the first time Metira Turei had sex. I hope this won’t be a precedent for other MPs to detail their first time :-)

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Televised Sports events

July 11th, 2008 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Not content with nationalising the planes and the trains, jim Anderton has a new target – sporting events. Yes he thinks these should be confiscated off sporting codes (with compensation) and made the property of the state to broadcast on free to air TV.

Frog Blog has a thread on this, and I’m pleased to say even over there the vast majority see this as a step too far.

My favourite quote is from Toad:

With essential services I’m not a great fan of user pays (because some users can’t afford to pay) but I don’t rate television sport in that category, so tend to agree with you on this one BB. I’m quite happy to fork out my Sky sub each month so I can watch live sport.

I don’t expect to get into the ground for free to see the match, so why should I expect to see it free on television?

Indeed the next logical step would be for the state to hand out free tickets to sports events on the grounds of fairness.

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Blog Bits

July 4th, 2008 at 9:07 am by David Farrar

The Hive quotes from the Wall Street Journal on how Obama is adopting Bush’s policies. He’s gone to the centre on gun cuntrol, on wiretappaing and now embraced faith-based initiatives. He’s also defended General Petraeus, started to embrace free trade and welfare reform.

We await Obama’s announcement to stay in Iraq and invade Iran.

Frog Blog has a copy of Labour’s script for responding to questions in the House from National:

  • Attack National for hidden agenda
  • Talk about how bad things were in the 1990s and how most problems today stem from that
  • Comment on the questioner’s intelligence or physical appearance
  • Shake with outrage at having one’s authority questioned (Some minsters can pull of this act better than others)
  • Change the topic
  • Insult Gerry Brownlee
  • Await a patsy from the back benches where you get to laugh at something stupid a National Party MP said at some point in their history.
  • Try a little bit more outraged shaking.

Therese Arseneau at TVNZ asks and answers the question of how reliable are opinion polls:

Labour says a 95% confidence interval means one poll in 20 may be a “rogue poll”. This term is misleading. A 95% confidence interval simply means one poll in 20 may produce a result outside the stated margin of error – and it could be just 0.1% outside. But the chance of all three polls being outside at the same time is more like 1 in 8,000 – statistically possible but highly improbable. …

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Blog Bits

June 25th, 2008 at 6:45 pm by David Farrar

Gordon Campbell looks at National policies and has many legitimate questions about them. He may or should regret this line though:

In Ryall’s opinion, money isn’t the main issue anymore in health care – its more about the cultivation of fruitful and personally fulfilling caring, on current rations. “Money talks, but it is not the only, or even the prime, motivator.” Lean thinking, Ryall concludes, is bringing nurses at Middlemore hospital back to the bedside, and lean thinking is allowing them to do what they had trained to do. “They’re happier, enjoying work and doing more.” Truly, as the sign used to say over the gateway to Dachau concentration camp, work will make you free.

That goes beyond tacky.

Frog blogs (?in support) of a James Hansen who is trying to prosecute CEOs of large oil companies for “crimes against humanity and nature”. And their crimes:

Undermining public understanding about global warming

Is that not the most scary thing you have read? This mad bastard wants to lock up or execute people (normal punishment for crimes against humanity) because they disagree with him on global warming. There are fanatics and there are eco-fascists.

Frog doesn’t offer a view as to whether the Greens support jailing and execution of climate change sceptics.

Whale Oil is detecting some photoshopping amongst Labour.

No Minister notes the irony hypocrisy in the following sentence:

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Winston Peters, said it was of “grave concern” that Shameem and the military were using what appeared to be hacked private emails.

Truly no shame.

Paul Walker looks at some research on campaign finance reform, and how mostly it benefits incumbents.

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Blog Bits

June 16th, 2008 at 5:41 pm by David Farrar

Barnsley Bill blogs on the 35 kg stone which was flown first class to China as it was culturally insensitive to have it in the hold.

Frog Blog has a look at parties on Facebook. Frog has even found a Winston for PM group – but with slightly less members than the Bring back the Good Night Kiwi group.

American Thinker mentions NZ’s Trevor Loudon, and his work on Obama’s past.

Dim-Post looks at the options for Labour with the ETS:

  1. Rush the hastily amended, highly complex legislation into law by buying off the Greens and Winston Peters, paying a high political price now and ensuring at least six months of dire headlines as horrible mistakes and unintended consequences in the law are bought to light repeatedly embarrassing the government right in the middle of an election campaign they’re already losing.
  2. Admit the bill is dead and face a couple of days bad news focusing on the failure (which you can mostly blame on National).

And his prediction:

Scenarios like this are when Clark’s ultra-competitive personality undermine her own self-interest and that of her party – she’ll press for a parliamentary victory even if it is spectacularly pyrrhic one.

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Frog endorses a market response

May 16th, 2008 at 11:56 am by David Farrar

Frog Blog notes that Afghan farmers are converting their farms from poppy growing to wheat due to the low prices for heroin and high prices for food.

Good to see Frog so approving of a market solution to a problem, rather than a regulatory solution.

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Salem Witch Trials

April 2nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm by David Farrar

Colin Espiner, Political Editor at The Press, has blogged on an amusing Hollow Man song, but more pointedly on the TVNZ beatup last night, which I blogged on this morning.

Colin takes a similiar view to myself:

On another issue, is anyone else puzzled by TVNZ’s lead story last night? Two National MPs, Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson, allegedly don’t “believe” in climate change. What? Quelle horreur! Have them arrested at once! Surely this is a hanging offence now in this country?

For a start, I’d be amazed if the Right-leaning and ultra-dry, cynical and conservative Locky or Maurice did accept the science behind climate change. Not that TVNZ had any proof of this, besides the pair’s refusal to state on the record that they were “believers”.

It has been going around the traps that both MPs have made scoffing noises at a couple of private gatherings about climate change. But so what? Both told TVNZ they accepted and supported National’s party policy, which is that climate change is a real and present danger. So what’s the problem here? I’d be staggered if all 48 National MPs did accept climate change. After all, Key himself is a relatively recent convert.

David Parker, the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues, has put out a braying release this morning taunting National for having a couple of MPs with the temerity to suggest his portfolio is not as important as he would think. He should be careful. I’d be equally staggered if every MP in the Labour Party accepted climate change either. In fact, I can think of a couple of names off the top of my head who I’m pretty sure think it’s a load of bunk.

Isn’t it interesting the religious overtones that have crept into this debate? We talk about “believing” in climate change, and having “converted” to it. It’s like a new branch of Scientology.

Personally I accept the weight of scientific opinion that the planet is warming, and that human activity is at least partly responsible. I am, however, unclear as to whether the efforts being made to date to mitigate this are anything more than political tokenism and window-dressing.

I also defend the right of Lockwood Smith and Maurice Williamson to remain dubious about it. I just wish they’d have the guts to say it in public.

Salem witch trials, anyone?

Colin has been blogging for a while now and he is often forthright in putting forward blunt opinions on how he sees things. That’s the whole point of blogging.

What is somewhat noteworthy on this issue, is that the journalist who fronted the TVNZ story is One New Political Editor, Guyon Espiner,. As many know, Guyon and Colin are brothers. Now I don’t point this out to embarrass or cause hassles for either of them. I respect both Espiners for the jobs they do (while reserving the right to criticise on individual stories).

I just think it is a healthy sign that the sibling relationship didn’t stop Colin from stating his disagreement with the TVNZ story. And that is not to suggest that he has done so in the past – it is just the first time I can recall a fairly direct (albeit unnamed) criticism in such a situation.

On the same topic The Greens made some fair and useful points:

Labour’s attacks on John Key and various National MPs for not believing in climate change are interesting, but ultimately a bit of a sideshow. It doesn’t matter whether Cullen and his team believe in climate change or not if their actions are not doing anything to address the problem. Believing is a relatively easy step to take given there is a global scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by humans.

Cullen and Clark can talk about sustainability and carbon neutrality as much as they like, but they are currently responsible for an increase in coal mining, dairy conversions and carbon emissions. Greenpeace says that their own target for the acceptable level of global warming is not low enough. On this issue Labour’s record is not significantly different than National’s.

Indeed. The percentage increase (which Kyoto is based on) of greenhouse gas emissions for NZ under Clark has been higher than for the US under Bush and Australia under Howard.

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Clark compared unfavourably to Bush

March 7th, 2008 at 11:05 am by David Farrar

A blog has compared Helen Clark to George W Bush. Their headline:

Bush leads fight against climate change, Clark following fast

It goes on to compare Bush’s rhetoric to Clark’s and find some comparisons.

So which awful blog has done this? Is it Whale Oil? Insolent Prick? Cactus Kate? Ian Wishart? No Minister?

It’s the Greens’ Frog Blog!

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Frog Blog celebrates Leap Year

February 29th, 2008 at 10:41 am by David Farrar

Frog Blog has declared Leap Day today as the Day of the Frog. And with some very good humour, they preview what other blogs might say:

And of course I’m sure other blogs will be writing about Leap Day too. Kiwiblog will be uncovering the story of a frog advocacy group that has been silenced by the Electoral Finance Act, the Standard will discuss how John Key pulls the legs off frogs when no one is looking. I expect No Right Turn to have detailed policy analysis on possible legislative action relating to the Maud Island Frog. Hard News will report on the cultural impact that Archey’s Frogs had by releasing a song of their mating call exclusively to iTunes. Whale Oil will continue to amuse his readers by photoshopping Jeanette’s head onto a frog (guffaw).

Heh, I like it.  It gets Whale Oil and The Standard perfectly :-)

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