Mental Health Break

Rodney Hide on the travesty of MMP

Come September we could be watching the most popular political leader in the Western world, and the most popular party sitting on the sidelines as a coalition of the losers forms a government because of MMP.

Rodney Hide examines this with his column at NBR.

John Key is the most popular prime minister since polling began. It’s an extraordinary achievement. More remarkably, he’s the Western world’s most popular elected leader.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama must look on Mr Key’s numbers with envious eyes and considerable wonder.

His popularity drives support for his party. National consistently polls a third higher than Labour. And so Mr Key’s a shoe-in this election, right? No. It’s looking like a very close thing. That’s because we persist with a mongrel electoral system.

It’s not the party with the most votes that wins with MMP but the one that cobbles the support needed to govern. Mr Key and National could easily find themselves out in the cold.

I owe my entire parliamentary career to MMP, so I suppose I should be thankful. But I was never a fan of the system. My first serious political involvement was in opposing it. It was the first of my many political losses. Read more »

Map of the Day

Hurricane Map

 

Every detected hurricane and cyclone since 1842

When does a political scandal take its toll?

There is a great deal of talk about political scandals at the moment. Most of it is beltway and of no consequence, with the scandal largely manufactured by an opposition out of real ideas.

The polls should give them a clue as to what the public believes.

THere is some evidence though, actually quite a lot of evidence, to suggest what it is precisely that finally bites when a scandal runs.

Your allies may be quick to abandon you during a scandal if you’re expendable (think John Edwards), but if you’re, say, the president, they may be more likely to rally to your side. Scandals may also be more damaging for black candidates (PDF) than for white ones. Additionally, scandals may be more likely to emerge when the opposition party has a lower opinion of the incumbent and when it’s a slow news week (PDF). Voters think worse of scandals involving financial problems than they do of sex scandals, especially when abuse of power is involved. They are also quicker to forgive (or forget) sex scandals than financial ones (PDF). Read more »

Don’t be a dud root, smoke weed

Emily Yoffe gives some advice to a couple where the wife can’t have sex unless she is drunk.

Those are some loaded questions: Is it a problem that your wife has to get intoxicated to enjoy sex with you, or should you be delighted she’s willing to get intoxicated to have sex with you? From your account, your wife was never that interested in sex, and so you are one of those couples who decided to pair up despite your mismatched libidos. I do wonder about people who think love will overcome this problem, because surely everyone knows marriage and kids rarely heat up things. I have suggested scheduling sex, which doesn’t sound sexy, but having sex turns out to be more sexy than not having it. In most of these cases, though, the partners have established that they enjoy each other in bed—they’re just not getting there often enough. I think you need to get to the primary source of your wife’s resistance. Is it more that she lies there thinking: “I’ve got to make appointments for the kids’ vaccinations tomorrow. Are we out of bread? Olivia has a recital Thursday afternoon, so I have to arrange to leave work early …”? That is, her domestic life has subsumed her erotic life, and instead of sex being a release, it just feels like another obligation. Or is she saying to herself, “I hate when he touches my nipples. I hate when he kisses my neck. I hate when he wants me to stroke his …” This inquiry into your wife’s feelings needs to be sensitive, even oblique. So I suggest you start by reading Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel and The Return of Desire by Gina Ogden.

See if these books offer insights or case histories that speak to your situation. If you find these, you can ask your wife to look at some passages. Or you can just act on what you’ve read, taking a page from other semi-moribund couples who have been jolted into bed. Since you applied my suggestion about scheduling sex, I’m going to make another one that I can’t even believe I’m advocating. Consider taking a trip together to Colorado or Washington state. For one thing, when the children are far away with their grandparents or a trusted babysitter, your wife won’t be distracted about the need to make their lunches. For another, you two can explore the new world of legal marijuana. To get aroused your wife has to shut off the competing voices in her head. So join with her and share a joint. Because this letting go will be somewhat subversive, I hope it gets you two laughing your heads off and tearing your clothes off. No, I don’t think becoming potheads is a permanent solution. I’m just suggesting that casting aside your routines and responsibilities might be a way to create some new sparks.

Read more »

Back in ya box: Mark Steyn discusses the silencing of dissent

Mark Steyn is confrontational, he is also challenging and there are some out there that don’t like that, including Michael Mann (inventor of the hockey stick climate fraud) who is suing him for defamation.

Steyn is fighting it with the best defence of all, the truth.

In his latest offering at The Spectator he discusses the left’s willingness to shout down dissent, to silence opposition, and to use whatever means necessary.

These days, pretty much every story is really the same story:

  • In Galway, at the National University of Ireland, a speaker who attempts to argue against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) programme against Israel is shouted down with cries of ‘Fucking Zionist, fucking pricks… Get the fuck off our campus.’
  • In California, Mozilla’s chief executive is forced to resign because he once made a political donation in support of the pre-revisionist definition of marriage.
  • At Westminster, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee declares that the BBC should seek ‘special clearance’ before it interviews climate sceptics, such as fringe wacko extremists like former Chancellor Nigel Lawson.
  • In Massachusetts, Brandeis University withdraws its offer of an honorary degree to a black feminist atheist human rights campaigner from Somalia.
  • In London, a multitude of liberal journalists and artists responsible for everything from Monty Python to Downton Abbey sign an open letter in favour of the first state restraints on the British press in three and a quarter centuries.
  • And in Canberra the government is planning to repeal Section 18C — whoa, don’t worry, not all of it, just three or four adjectives; or maybe only two, or whatever it’s down to by now, after what Gay Alcorn in the Age described as the ongoing debate about ‘where to strike the balance between free speech in a democracy and protection against racial abuse in a multicultural society’.

I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

‘Cocoon’ | Jeneil Williams by Julia Noni for Vogue Germany Jeneil Williams:  Jamaican model. Tomboy....Loves fashion ...loves her job

‘Cocoon’ | Jeneil Williams by Julia Noni for Vogue Germany
Jeneil Williams: Jamaican model. Tomboy….Loves fashion …loves her job

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Oscar Pistorius’ own defence pathologist refuses to testify [ POLL ]

via The Star

via The Star

From the “oh dear, that can’t be good” file:

A star pathologist hired by Oscar Pistorius says he will not testify at the athlete’s murder trial, in another blow for his defence after a week of savage cross-examination.

Private forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal – who joined Pistorius’s hand-picked team soon after Reeva Steenkamp was killed on Valentine’s Day morning 2013 – will not take the stand, amid suggestions his post-mortem findings support key parts of the prosecution’s case.

Perumal was hired by Pistorius in time to attend the model’s autopsy.

When asked if he would testify, the Durban-based pathologist told AFP “no, ma’am”.

“I think you’re aware that I can’t say anything right now.”

The man isn’t going perjure himself, but is aware that truthful answers will be helping the prosecution’s case, so he’s preferring to not testify at all.   Read more »

What do Kim Dotcom and Colin Craig have in common?

Clark as the architect of Labour’s woes

I have said for years that labour is deep trouble, and my reasoning has been that Helen Clark so dominated Labour in the late 90s and up until 2008 that she built the party in her image and required that those selected as MPs beneath her would never be of a calibre to ever challenge her. She maintained a strict ratio of the factions and indeed created more factions.

Once she left however the wheels started to come off the trolley.

Kiwi in America writes at David Farrar’s art, lifestyle, fitness and travel blog about this precise issue. It is TL;DR to most but I have taken the time to read it and found the best bit.

Cunliffe’s failings as LOO have been well canvassed on this and other right leaning blogs and in the mainstream media. They are real and look set to seal Labour’s fate in 2014 barring some catastrophic scandal from Key and the Nats. But really the premise of this essay is that Labour would be in this pickle regardless of who in the current caucus was the leader. Clark made sure that no charismatic rising star would ever make it to caucus or Cabinet to interfere with her goal of winning four elections and eclipsing Holyoake as the longest serving NZ PM in the modern party era. I alluded to one such person I met in my time in Labour who, absent Clark and the sisterhood’s purge, would be causing Key and National major heartburn if he were the LOO today. Clark dispatched him and many others like him. Look at Labour’s entire caucus. Who in there could seriously challenge Key? There is no one. Read more »