Freshly minted Labour MP Michael Wood has found the Killer Issue

Would a reasonable friend refuse to discuss ‘climate change’?

file picture, not related to author nor friend

Guest post

I am in a bit of a dilemma. I have an older male friend (I am middle aged myself) I met through work some years ago, and he has been very good at keeping up regular contact. He is conservative and a little left leaning compared to me but we can usually discuss any topic reasonably and not be too concerned if we don’t agree. Our discussions never get heated and we never feel threatened by each other.   Read more »

Poor Karl has got a full dose of curmudgeony

Mr and Mrs Quail produced seven chicks. We were proud of our quail family and felt like proxy parents. But then the inevitable happened.

I found the bodies of two quail chicks lying on the lawn. Of the rest of the family, there was no sign.

After several days, the adult birds reappeared by themselves. We assumed that cats had got all the chicks.

They would have killed out of instinct, not necessity. The cats we see are well-fed and don’t need juvenile quail to supplement their diet.

Prior to this I’d harboured no ill-feeling toward cats. We don’t own one, but our section is treated as common ground by all the neighbours’ cats and we constantly see them around.

One took to lurking under the concealing foliage of a weeping Japanese maple, from where it would ambush any bird that came within striking distance. A pile of feathers on the lawn would tell the story.

I could tolerate that. One blackbird less, when our garden is overpopulated with them anyway, didn’t bother me. But the quail chicks were a different story.

At that point I began to have some sympathy for Gareth Morgan’s campaign for controls on domestic cats. But he’s got it only half right, because cats can be a pest for other reasons besides their blood lust.

We often encounter cat excrement in the garden. It’s not only foul-smelling, but potentially dangerous because it can transmit the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis.

My resent-o-meter was cranked up a further couple of notches recently when a cat started making itself comfortable at night on an outside settee. It left evidence of its sleepovers in the form of ineradicable stains on the cushions. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Sgt. Kenneth Decker (from left), Cpl. Margaret Hastings and Lt. John McCollom were the only three survivors of the Gremlin Special crash. They are pictured above at the U.S. Army station in Hollandia, New Guinea, shortly after their rescue. B.B. McCollom.

The Gremlin Special

The Gremlin Special was a Douglas C-47 Skytrain that crashed during a sightseeing flight for U.S. service members over the Baliem Valley (‘Shangri-La Valley’) in New Guinea in 1945.

There was a terrible accident in a harsh landscape, three survivors, a hidden world with a Stone Age existence, and a heroic rescue mission. They soon ended up amidst a cutting edge culture still untouched by the outside world. The locals were known man-eaters, however fortunately for the crash survivors, they chiefly ate their adversary tribe.

On May 13, 1945, twenty-four officers, enlisted men, and women stationed on what was then Dutch New Guinea boarded a transport plane named the Gremlin Special for a sightseeing trip over “Shangri-La,” a beautiful and mysterious valley surrounded by steep, jagged mountain peaks deep within the island’s uncharted jungle.
But the pleasure tour became an unforgettable battle for survival when the plane crashed. Miraculously, three passengers survived – WAC Corporal Margaret Hastings, Lieutenant John McCollom, and Sergeant Kenneth Decker.

Read more »

Guest Post: So you want the freedom to be a racist?

Guest Post: Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. After working as a freelance music journalist, auto worker, railway worker, taxi driver, small business owner, volunteer firefighter and graphic designer, Lushington Dalrymple Brady decided he finally had an interesting enough resume to be a writer. Miraculously, he survived university Humanities departments with both his critical faculties intact and a healthy disdain for Marxism. He blogs at A Devil’s Curmudgeon. Lushington D. Brady is a pseudonym, obviously.

Possibly the greatest freedom we ever experienced as youngsters were those endless days at the lethargic end of summer when we’d aimlessly wander the neighbourhood trying to invent ways to enjoy the liberty of having nothing to do, and endless time to do it in.

Often we’d just drift wherever our feet took us within the world that was our neighbourhood. Other times we might choose to turn down this street, or cut across that yard, with a specific goal in mind: someone’s swimming pool, say. Then there were the times, simply bored with the freedom to go wherever we pleased, that we invented a game: at each corner, we’d toss a coin. Heads turn left; tails, right.

What this reminiscence illustrates is the vital distinction between two different kinds of liberty: negative freedom and positive freedom. These are also known as the freedom from and the freedom to.

Read more »

Question of the Day

Paris Peace Summit

Guest post: name withheld by request

Is the National Government going to make a statement about the Paris peace summit held on 15th January? Or is the English-led government now a no comment government?

Clearly the Theresa May led UK Government thinks the summit was a waste of time and have made a statement to that effect. The Hon Julie Bishop Australian Foreign minister made a statement declaring Australia is not in favour of the wording of the communication released by France. Read more »

27 cents per day or $1.11 per day, which is the best value?


Yeah, what he said…


For those of you who subscribed yesterday don’t forget to log in from now on every time you visit Whaleoil as that is what removes the ads.

The login is under the Incite ad on the left of the screen.

For those of you still without the increased viewing speed that comes from a google ad-free subscription consider this…

Read more »

Voter complains about Murray McCully’s form letter


From: Jason xxxxx <[email protected]>
Date: 16 January 2017 at 19:09
Subject: RE: correspondence from Hon Murray McCully
To: Sarah Boyce <[email protected]>
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]

… this is the same response as news papers cut and paste really and erroneous judgement, 2 years I would say not is not a long held policy. Murray said long held policy????

Now that the public and mentioned Goverments know of the resolution I would note, Theresa May in England has rejected it and condemned it, Australia, and also USA congress overwhelmingly is working to retract the resolution. US Congress Obama own Party has condemned it, That shows it was done in secret and no a consensus of opinion, yet you are saying its long held policy from others?

Doesn’t add up.

Read more »

Wrongly Wrongson is on a roll

They bloody well spend HOW MUCH on make up at TVNZ?

$180k on clothes, hair, makeup for TVNZ stars

Making Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie look beautiful on your TV screens every night does not come cheap.

TVNZ spent nearly $130,000 in 2016 on presenter clothes and an additional $48,000 on hair and makeup for presenters, reporters and guests.

But the state broadcaster says deliberate cost cutting and a change in the number and mix of presenters is saving it money.

TVNZ is a visual medium with a lot of talent to look after.  And guests.  But credit where it is due, every time I’ve seen Martyn on TV, he’s looked like the same low-cost low-maintenance mess.  So for once he’s not a hypocrite.

Surely Martyn wouldn’t pay the minimum wage to the stylists and make-up artists, so $48k for a number of people to do hair and make-up is pretty cheap.  I’m presuming that’s not a full-time job.  Because Martyn and his Et Tu union mates wouldn’t stand for TVNZ paying people minimum wage for something that demanding.   Read more »