Photo Of The Day

Carl Tanzler (via Florida Keys Public Library); & Carl's Dream Woman (via Florida Keys Public Library)

Carl Tanzler (via Florida Keys Public Library); & Carl’s Dream Woman (via Florida Keys Public Library)

The Undying Love of

Count Carl Von Cosel

Count Carl Von Cosel was not a real count. His actual name was Carl Tanzler and came from Germany where he lived with his wife and two daughters. He claimed that he had nine university degrees, was a submarine captain and an electrical inventor. In truth he was a lonely man living in a fantasy world

While working in the Marine hospital he met a 22-year old Elena Hoyos, a beautiful young Cuban girl who contracted tuberculosis. Even though she consistently resisted his advances, he fell madly in love with Elena. Von Cosel knew that Elena only had a short time to live and convinced the young woman’s family that he could cure her with his special machines combined with daily doses of tonics.

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Is Russell Brand the UK’s Charlie Sheen?

Russell Brand is the UK version of Charlie Sheen.

He is largely irrelevant, has nothing useful to say and just drifts from one inane situation to the next.  Meaningless, but outrageous enough to get press.

Russell Brand has sparked outrage by criticising the UK’s act of remembrance for victims of the beach shooting in Tunisia last week.

Last Friday, 38 holidaymakers, including 30 British tourists, were gunned down at a resort in Sousse and they were remembered back home in the UK a week later with a minute’s silence across the country on Friday (local time).   Read more »

A family of 12 disappear to Syria, Katie Hopkins says: good

Katie Hopkins thinks that if people leave for ISIS they should go and never come back.

I agree.

A FAMILY of 12 from Luton is believed to have travelled to Syria.

Relatives are concerned the 12, aged between one and 75, may have left to start a new life with IS.

Well, here’s my reaction to that, my friends: Splendid!

Splendid if another swathe of Luton has pushed off to Jihadi Junction and left our shores.

As long as we are not planning to use taxpayers’ cash to fly them back, or waste police time looking for them, as far as I am concerned it’s a good news day.

Equally, I am hoping that I don’t have to watch Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe prostrate himself at the relatives’ feet, begging for forgiveness because the Met Police are somehow to blame for yet another family being incapable of getting a grip on its own.

The family was due to come back from holiday in Bangladesh in May but instead stopped off in Turkey and disappeared.

Where is the normality in that? If you had a baby and a frail grandpa rocking up at Gatwick, together with ten others, you’d think you’d have a few plans in place to help them out.    Read more »

Schools spend their budgets on food, not teaching, and not a peep from the unions

Schools are digging into their teaching budgets, in some cases relying on donations from principals and teachers to feed children who turn up hungry.

A nationwide survey of lower decile school principals has indicated how many kids don’t have breakfast or lunch, with those in some areas reporting up to 80 percent of students arriving without food each week.

Most of the 270 schools who responded to the New Zealand Principals’ Federation questionnaire said they fed some of their students, with more than half feeding at least 20 per cent each week.

Principals reported using up to $5000 of their operations grants on feeding children each term and many also paid teacher aides to co-ordinate available programmes or help at breakfast and lunchtime. Read more »

Why I have no sympathy for the socialist Greek ratbags

An article in the Daily Mail explains just why it is the Greeks have become broken arses…basically they are nation of corrupt bludgers.

Greece in teetering on the brink of ruin – and it is hard not to feel sympathy for the pensioners crying in the street and the mothers facing empty supermarket shelves.

Yet those reading a new book may find themselves feeling a little less compassionate towards the Greeks. It reveals an eye-popping catalogue of benefits scams and tax avoidance schemes that have robbed the public purse.

James Angelos’ The Full Catastrophe: Travels among the New Greek Ruins lays bare the corruption which filtered through all levels of society – from the islanders who pretended to be blind, to the families who forgot to register their parents’ death and the doctors who ‘earn’ just €12,000 a year – yet live in Athens’ most exclusive neighbourhood.

It was the rumours of an ‘island of the blind’ which first bought Angelos, a journalist, to Greece in 2011.

He had heard that on Zakynthos, something like two per cent of the population were registered blind.

All was not quite how it seemed, however, and it transpired that 61 of the 680 ‘blind’ residents were quite happily driving around the island.

In fact, an astonishing 498 of those 680 were not blind at all – or even partially sighted.

But being ‘blind’ had its advantages – in particular, the €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills.

It was a scam which could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official, which was estimated to have cost the country €9 million.

And, as Angelos discovered, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

How big is the problem of disability benefits fraud, Angelos asked the then-deputy health minister Markos Bolaris.

‘Very big,’ came the accurate, but short, reply.

Indeed, when those claiming disabilities were asked to present themselves at government offices so records could be updated, 36,000 failed to do so.

That translated to an immediate saving for the government of €100m a year.

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Losing my religion

I was brought up Catholic and tried really hard to make sense of what I was taught and to find meaning in it. I disliked some of the stories in the bible and questioned whether they should be used as examples for modern day Christians to follow as they reflected the attitudes of the time which were counter to modern thinking.

I questioned why the Pope had to be a man, why women couldn’t be Priests and why Men couldn’t be nuns. I couldn’t see the point of celibacy and thought that it was harmful and un-natural. Jimmy Carter who was President of the United States from 1977 to 1981 has reflected on sexism within religion as a whole and has late in life severed ties with a religious group that he used to be a part of. He makes some very good points that clarify for me one of the many reasons I no longer consider myself to be religious.

religion--jimmy carter, religion used to subjegate women.preview

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BREAKING: Colin Craig wins as last original board member resigns [UPDATED]

John Stringer has decided to resign from the Conservative Party Board to move the focus away from “Colin vs John” and to allow the Board to focus on the issues of due process. [See resignation email below].

“A principal reason for stepping aside for now, is the online abuse my wife, myself and Board members are receiving from the Craig camp.

“Also, the difficulty the Board is placed in re neutrality. As the only person prepared to speak up against Colin Craig, who persists – despite being suspended from the Party – in running a media ‘corporate raiding’ campaign against the Conservative Party (with illegal use of our confidential database) is I feel it is incompatible to serve on a neutral Board at this time.”

NOTE: “There was no earlier legal “suspension” by Brian Dobbs as cited by sacked Party member Colin Craig, or any “Board disciplinary session.” The latter was not moved or seconded by any Board meeting, and John Stringer has never been invited to attend any suspension or disciplinary hearings in the past.

~ John Stringer
Conservative Party of NZ.
Outgoing Interim Acting Chair


From: john stringer <j.stringer@clear….
Subject: Resignation: John Stringer
Date: 2 July 2015 10:32:16 AM NZST
To: Board
Cc: Nathaniel Heslop <nathaniel.heslop@icloud….> Party Secretary

Dear Board Colleagues. CC Nathaniel as Party Secretary.

I think it best in the current circumstances, after a long and weary season of wrestling with oddities in the Conservative Party; that I step aside from the Board. This will allow you all space to try and resolve what are now complex matters separate from distractions
over “Colin vs John.”

I wish to take the heat and focus away from the personalities; I have never wished this to be a confrontation between Colin and myself, but unfortunately, that is what it has become.

There is now acrimonious debate and division on various Party websites, and we, and you, are suffering significant abuse from different factions within our Party on private pages.

It is also very problematic trying as a Board member and de facto Acting Chair, to speak in the media in answer to untruths and provocations from one side which places the Board in a non-neutral circumstance. I cannot do that to you.

Stepping down for now, will allow me, however, to speak openly, and to counter a campaign against myself and the Board. I will continue that as a free person in the interests of transparency and truth..

My goal always has been, and remains, to salvage the Conservative Party for the future, and try and build a future for it. That remains unchanged, and if at a later date, when things have settled, I am more than happy to accept a nomination to sit  on the Board in the future, especially representing South Island members.

So, please accept my resignation from the Board at 10.30pm today, Thursday 2 July.

For the record:

a) I believe the current Board is legitimate.
b) That Colin Craig’s suspension from the Party is necessary and proper.
c) That the so-called “Stringer suspension” of a week ago (25/6) was a contrivance and cannot stand up to any scrutiny.

My very best regards and wishes for the future.





Well well well.

An opinion piece that deserves wider coverage

This opinion piece in the Waikato Times by Peter Dornauf deserves a wider audience than their 26,610 circulation figures.

That a child should die in this country because the house it was living in was too damp and cold and a heater couldn’t afford to be run is a shocking state of affairs. This is the kind of thing we associate with Third World countries.

The other thing we connect with those places are children going hungry,  where poverty reaches such levels of deprivation that there is not enough food to go round.

New Zealand as a place where children go hungry in a welfare state, where large sums of money are spent each year on aid and assistance, suggests something is radically wrong here.

An equivalent time in this country’s history where such conditions pertained would be post 1929 and the Depression. I’m not sure if any child died because of those dire circumstances, but the welfare state had not yet been invented.

So something just doesn’t add up.

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Professor Doug Sellman finds a new whipping boy

Scientists keep complaining that media are critical of them, and they should just be left alone to practice science unencumbered by plebs having opinions.

Problem is, these scientists aren’t pure and very much driven by money.  There are so many government-filled money troughs, that truth really takes a back seat.

Take this example

Alcohol Healthwatch has joined the National Addiction Centre in calling for the sale of alcohol powder sachets to be banned or tightly regulated.
The alcohol sachets cost about $1.50 and have the strength of 0.4 of a standard drink.
They also contain 20 percent alcohol, and can be mixed with non-alcoholic drinks.

Director of Alcohol Healthwatch, Rebecca Williams, said they were not quality drinks but give people a quick hit.  She said they were predominantly used by young people trying to smuggle alcohol into restricted areas at sports and music events.

Doug Selman head of the National Addiction Centre said the sachets would take the country backwards. He said the sachets can be bought in some bottle stores, and are a cunning way for people to bring alcohol into events.

Professor Sellman, who is also the medical spokesperson for the lobby group, Alcohol Action New Zealand, said these sachets were simply a clever method of making alcohol more available.  “All the evidence points to the fact that if you make alcohol more accessible, more alcohol will be consumed and if more alcohol is consumed you’ll get more alcohol related problems.

“So what we have to do in New Zealand, where alcohol is still relatively out of control, is decrease the accessibility and these sachets are just taking us in the opposite direction by increasing the accessibility of alcohol, but in a rather sneaky and secretive way,” he said.
Professor Sellman said the Government currently had no policy on alcohol sachets and he was urging it to look seriously into regulating or banning them.

Certainly sounds like a potential problem.  Until you actually look into a little further:   Read more »

Explaining is losing, so Steve Joyce refuses to answer

As we all know explaining is losing, but there is an alternative, which Steve Joyce used on The Nation…refusing to answer.

Of course that just then leads to accusations of hubris and arrogance…something Steve Joyce has in spades.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce is dismissing talk of an economic recession but admits “the job isn’t done in the economy”.

The economy is facing some challenges but they must be kept in perspective, Joyce told TV3’s The Nation on Saturday.

“We shouldn’t talk ourselves into a funk. We should focus on what we now know works for New Zealand, and that is we’ve seen a recipe over the last five or six years which is really working for this country. This is a reminder that we keep pushing in those directions, that we keep opening up to world trade, that we keep encouraging investment in our economy, that we keep building the innovation in our industries. Those are the things that are important,” Joyce said.

His comments came as a bank economists pointed to further cuts to dairy payouts, interest rates and economic growth forecasts.

[…]    Read more »