Photo Of The Day

Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.

Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington.
Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.

Communication during the American Civil War

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Midday madness

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change double standard

Climate Change hypocrites abound, every country has them.

In New Zealand we have Lucy Lawless and in the US they have plenty more. Al Gore is int eh A-League for climate hypocrisy, and Leonardo DiCaprio is now in the same league.

His carbon footprint so far in 2014 would be a minimum of 40 million metric tons, more than twice the average American output.

With his speech in front of the United Nations today, Leonardo DiCaprio cemented his reputation as one of the world’s highest-profile activists on climate change.

‘You can make history …or be vilified by it,’ he told world leaders.

After marching with 400,000 others on the streets of New York this weekend to demand tough regulations to cut the amount of CO2 being pumped into the air, DiCaprio opened a UN climate change summit by urging world leaders to crack down on polluters and ‘put a price tag on carbon emissions.’

But the 39-year-old Hollywood star’s own jetset lifestyle reveals a double-standard on the issue of climate change.

In his speech to the UN, he said: ‘This disaster has grown beyond the choices that individuals make.’

MailOnline can report that DiCaprio took at least 20 trips across the nation and around the world this year alone – including numerous flights from New York to Los Angeles and back, a ski vacation to the French Alps, another vacation to the French Riveria, flights to London and Tokoyo to promote his film Wolf of Wall Street, two trips to Miami and a private jet to Brazil to watch the World Cup.

And those were just the trips where he was spotted in public.

Additionally, DiCaprio owns at least four homes: two apartments in New York and mansions in Hollywood and Palm Springs.

He also recently sold an estate in Malibu for $17million.

And this summer, he spent his World Cup vacation on the fifth largest yacht in the world, which is owned by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – a billionaire oil tycoon from the UAE.

[...]    Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

myturn2

Credit: SonovaMin

Key’s first move: remove another Labour policy plank

While the Labour Party is completely self absorbed, Key is moving ahead and cutting off another policy area that has traditionally been Labour’s

Prime Minister John Key has asked his officials for fresh ideas on tackling child poverty.

On his first day back at Parliament since being re-elected on Saturday, Key said he had ordered Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas.

‘‘The recognition I think we all have is that there are some extremely poor children who are missing out,’’ Key said yesterday.

‘‘And so then the question is how do you resolve those issues, it’s not straightforward but there will be more you can do.’’

Key said it needed to be done without narrowing the gap between the incomes of those on benefits and those working, to ensure people were still encouraged into work.

Breakfasts in schools, free doctors’ visits for young children and tax credits for low and middle income families were examples of policies that could be used to tackle the problem, as could programmes such as Whanau Ora.

No resting on laurels, and the trough remains open to keep the Maori Party in cheque check. Read more »

Play or get off the field

As Labour lurches towards utter destruction with David Cunliffe at sixes and sevens there are some out there with good advice.

Lew at Kiwipolitico had this to say about National’s excellence at data-driven campaigns:

I have been criticising Labour, in particular, since at least 2007 on their unwillingness or inability to bring modern data-driven campaign and media strategy to bear in their campaigns — effectively, to embrace The Game and play it to win, rather than regarding it as a regrettable impediment to some pure and glorious ideological victory. Mostly the responses I get from the faithful fall under one or more of the following:

  • National has inherent advantages because the evil old MSM is biased
  • the polls are biased because landlines or something
  • the inherent nature of modern neoliberal society is biased
  • people have a cognitive bias towards the right’s messaging because Maslow
  • it inevitably leads to populist pandering and the death of principle
  • The Game itself devours the immortal soul of anyone who plays ( which forms a handy way to demonise anyone who does play)

But data is not a Ring of Power that puts its users in thrall to the Dark Lord. And, unlike the One Ring, it can’t be thrown into a volcano and the world saved from its pernicious influence. Evidence and strategy are here to stay. Use them, or you’re going to get used. The techniques available to David Farrar and the National party are not magic. They are available to anyone. Whether Labour has poor data or whether they use it poorly I do not know. It looks similar from the outside, and I have heard both from people who ought to know. But it doesn’t really matter. Data is only as good as what you do with it. Whatever they’re doing with it isn’t good enough.

The best example from this campaign isn’t Labour, however — it’s Kim Dotcom. He said on election night that it was only in the past two weeks that he realised how tainted his brand was. He threw $4.5 million at the Internet MANA campaign and it polled less than the Māori Party, who had the same number of incumbent candidates and a tiny fraction of the money and expertise. Had he thought to spend $30,000 on market research* asking questions like those asked by Curia about what New Zealanders think of Kim Dotcom, he could have saved himself the rest of the money, and saved Hone Harawira his seat, Laila Harré her political credibility, and the wider left a severe beating.

That is effective use of data: not asking questions to tell you what you want to hear, but to tell you what you need to know. This electoral bloodletting is an opportunity for the NZ political left to become reality-adjacent, and we can only hope they take it. Because if they don’t, reality is just going to keep winning.

Read more »

National was a vote for good economic times but a vote for Labour-Greens was risking bad times

Some things in what passes as our media are set in stone despite the majority of the population thinking it’s rubbish and the latest Westpac survey should be another smack around the chops for Labour and something our fourth estate should be aware of.

Consumers voted with their wallets at the weekend.

National was a vote for good economic times but a vote for Labour-Greens was risking bad times, according to a bank survey.

The latest Westpac McDermott Miller survey of consumer confidence shows 46 per cent expected good times for the next three years under a National government.

But under a Labour-Greens government just 14 per cent would have expected good times ahead, while 40 per cent would have expected bad times.

“The stark contrast in expectations of good economic times over the next three years under the two putative governments must have been a major factor underlying the return of a National-led government,” McDermott Miller managing director Richard Miller said.   Read more »

Australian Liberal Party mobilises Kiwi voters

andrew_little_labour_simonwong1200

via 3 news

Rachel Morton reports on some special overseas election skulduggery

The Government is still waiting on the special votes to be counted and could be in for a boost, thanks to the Australian Liberal Party.

The Liberals sent an email to members before Saturday’s election: “If you do know a Kiwi, then it’s important to remind them to vote in this year’s election.

Without the party votes of National supporters living overseas, there is a real risk that Labour will cobble together a coalition government with the Greens and other minor parties.”

“In reality it’s a gesture of solidarity amongst centre-right parties around the world, if you like,” says Prime Minister Key.

The extent of the help is unknown until the 38,000 overseas votes are counted.

If that worked, that may be the end of Little Andy.  Another union voice will be lost inside caucus, which can’t be good for David Cunliffe’s prospects.    Read more »

Cunliffe is acting really strange

David-Cunliffe-Labour-leader-1

Labour is in crisis tonight with leader David Cunliffe apparently refusing to give up the leadership, despite the party’s humiliating election defeat.

MPs emerged from a seven-hour-long caucus meeting at Parliament early this evening, with no comment from Mr Cunliffe. The gathering began this morning with Mr Cunliffe calling on them to vote him down so he could take them on.
“I will have my hat in the ring,” says Mr Cunliffe. Read more »

Horse resigns over Maori seat in local council

5899219S0me people have principles…and stick to them:

New Plymouth councillor John McLeod has resigned in protest of a Maori ward being passed at tonight’s meeting.

The councillor handed in his resignation mid-meeting, moments after the council voted seven to six in favour of establishing a Maori ward for the 2016 local body elections.

His resignation from the New Plymouth District Council is effective immediately.   Read more »