Photo Of The Day


“I Am His hands. He Is My Eyes.”

Blind Mr Haixa scales a tree with the help of Mr Wenqi, so that he can find fresh cuttings to plant in the ground.

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The NRA should just give Obama a life membership

Barack Obama is the world’s greatest gun salesman, it is getting beyond a joke now.

Breitbart reports on the surge of concealed carry permits:

Concealed carry permit applications are surging in states like North Carolina, as they have been surging nationally under Obama, “amid safety fears.”

For example, in North Carolina’s Buncombe County, the number of permits issued in 2014 were up “101 percent” from 2010.  And this county-level jump is in line with a national jump under Obama, whereby the number of concealed carry permit holders rose “136 percent” across the United States between 1999 and 2014.

According to the Citizen-Times, the reasons behind the surge in NC are based on both politics and safety. While Republicans like state Representative Jacqueline Schaffer (Dist. 105) are pushing to lessen the restrictions on law-abiding gun owners in NC, Democrats keep fighting back, pressing to keep as much gun control in place as possible.   Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  Roger Price

Credit: Roger Price

Fairfax announces it’s own restructuring. I’m offering a translation

Fairfax (the Stuff people) made an announcement yesterday.

Further changes for Fairfax newsrooms are likely, with management unveiling plans on Thursday to restructure editorial staff into local teams and specialist areas – and away from being clustered around the company’s newspapers.

Staff were told of the proposal – which is another step in the media company’s refocus to digital news – in a series of meetings across the country. There will be a period of consultation with final decisions expected in mid June.

Many jobs have been earmarked for disestablishment, others will be rescoped, and new roles will be created. Fairfax declined to provide numbers of how many roles were affected but executive editor Sinead Boucher said the proposal was not about reducing headcount.

“We are boosting our reporting capability in small and large communities, and by streamlining our print-focused production processes, increasing the ratio of content creators from just over half to almost two thirds.”

“We need digital-first, socially driven newsrooms that are structured to produce quality journalism for different audiences and across platforms – and this is an exciting structure geared towards building a dynamic, responsive newsroom.

“It’s an entirely different way of operating that puts our journalists even closer to the communities they cover,” Boucher said.

Let’s go over that again.   Read more »

My good friend John Key is trying to polish a turd



My good friend John Key is trying desperately to polish a turd.

Only a few people are turning up public meetings to discuss the flag, but Prime Minister John Key insists the gatherings are still “part of the democratic process”.

Fourteen attended in Christchurch last night, continuing a trend of low numbers at meetings around the country, Fairfax NZ reported.

But today, Mr Key said the low turnout wasn’t relevant because he bet his “bottom dollar” there’d be plenty of debate once the top four designs were put to a referendum.

“I don’t think whether people turn up to the meetings is really that relevant or not,” he told reporters.

“I don’t think there’ll be any lack of engagement from New Zealanders but it’ll happen probably in the comfort of their own home in discussion with their family and workmates rather than in some sort of public meeting.”

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Pimping the Poor, World Champion Contender

Darryl Evans via TVNZ

Darryl Evans, via TVNZ

This is a reader-contributed article

A few days ago, WO posted a grizzle from trougher Darryl Evans of the taxpayer funded Mangere Budgeting Service, whining about a new Government initiative to protect the hard-done-by.. To illustrate his case, Darryl trotted out one Margaret Perry, a “randomly selected” victim.

Well guess what, and it isn’t surprising – Margaret the hapless victim seems to be the go-to example for moaning Darryl.

Let’s look at a few years – yes years – of history:

So back in 2011, our Margaret was Darryl’s hard-done by victim of Chrisco.

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Dirty deeds done with sheep: Bribery, Lying and Michelle Boag

The Dirty Deeds done with sheep saga (I refuse to call it Sheepgate) is getting smellier and smellier.

NewstalkZB carries the headline “McCully accused of lying, bribery

I wonder what Red Radio will say if NewstalkZB is carrying such a headline?

Foreign Minister Murray McCully is being accused of lying and bribery after admitting a threat of legal action by a Saudi businessman was withdrawn a year before he was delivered a multi-million dollar payout.

Hmood Al Khalaf, a prominent Saudi Arabian businessman, received $11.5m in taxpayer dollars for his demonstration farm in the Saudi desert. The opposition claim he got the cash in compensation for New Zealand banning live sheep exports in 2003 and not dropping the ban when National returned to power.

It’s also alleged that Al Khalaf ensured a free trade deal between the two countries failed.

A legal threat was made by the businessman, with the help of lawyer Mai Chen, rumoured to be worth $30m. Yesterday, McCully admitted that the threat had been dropped by the time the payment was made.

McCully had previously used the potential legal threat to justify the payout.

Labour Party trade spokesperson David Parker claims the Foreign Minister has mishandled the whole incident.

“He’s misleading, he’s misleading his cabinet, he’s wasted millions of dollars of government money and he has paid a facilitation payment in order to advance the Saudi free trade agreement which in other countries is called a bribe,” he said.

Parker believes the government being sued was never a real possibility, as it was outside the time limits on when legal action could be taken.

“This deal was done in 2013 therefore any course of action had to arise from 2007 and later. I’ve gone back to 2005, these excuses from mister McCully are utterly baseless.”

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Cut it more I say

Well done National, Labour and Clare Curran are saying that National has cut public broadcasting by 25%

That has to be up there with John Key’s best work.

Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“A seven year funding squeeze for Radio NZ and NZ on Air, after accounting for inflation and population growth, means public funding of broadcasting is now at an all-time low.

“While it appears there’s been a tiny increase to public broadcasting funding in Budget 2015, the amount is actually unchanged from last May, as the Government reduced NZ on Air funding following Budget 2014.

“Given the increased size and diversity of New Zealand’s population over the last six years, Budget 2015’s provision for public broadcasting is now at the lowest level of any Budget in modern New Zealand history.

“While the slashing of funding is bad enough, the quality of decision-making regarding the use of public broadcasting money has also been highly questionable under National.  Read more »

Auckland Council is beating the developers

Auckland Council is winning. It’s now some two months since the Council secretly voted to suspend Special Housing Areas in greenfield areas.

The Council has always preferred its compact city plan. The troughing Councillors all want it and the hungry planners want it even more. They hate the idea of people owning a house and want everyone stacked into same same communist styled apartment buildings, riding trains and doing precisely what they are told.

And so what has the Government done about this? Nothing.

Developers are now sitting on vast land holdings they can’t develop. In good faith they have gone out, borrowing tens of millions to buy land because they were led to believe the Special Housing Areas were going to make consenting easier, faster and with less hassle from Auckland Council.

Except that hasn’t happened. The Council has cut off the supply and left the greenfield developers stranded. Withholding infrastructure, Auckland Council is wielding an iron fist over greenfield expansion.

And in the meantime, the Council is also thumbing its nose at the directions advice of the Independent Hearings Panel on the Unitary Plan.

In short Council is doing what it wants. Screw everyone else.   Read more »

The (2nd) Great Whaleoil Census – Part 9: How many registered vehicles in your household?


Good morning.  About two years ago we ran a “census” to get an idea of what our audience was all about.  We’re going to do that again, but this time it will be one question per day, each morning.  I will attempt to collate the previous questions as we go along, so that anyone who misses one can find a reasonably easy way to have a vote or to review the results.

Although we have a huge list of questions to work through, feel free to suggests ones that are close to your heart in the comments.

Part 9:  – How many registered vehicles in your household?

As we head into a long weekend, some of these questions will be a little snooze inducing.  I don’t want to do the important ones while a lot of readers are away.

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