Why is Fairfax protecting the identity of an ISIS hugging scumbag?

Why is Fairfax protecting a terrorist enabler?

A  New Zealand woman who travelled to Syria last year for what were believed to be humanitarian reasons is understood to be trying to negotiate with Australian officials to return to Sydney.

The woman, who has dual New Zealand-Australian citizenship, was said to be offering to help authorities with information about networks in the region.

The woman, who Fairfax has chosen not to name over fear for her safety, lives in Sydney’s Bankstown and was previously married to a man from the city.

She is the latest in a string of people who have travelled to the troubled region who now want to return home. One member of Islamic State (IS), a former health worker from Victoria, has reportedly told Australian authorities he wanted to return and warn would-be jihadists against joining the terror group.    Read more »

The “Decade of Whaleoil” series:

Decade of Whaleoil

Decade of Whaleoil

June 10 2015 marks the day Whaleoil has been publishing for ten years.   I can’t account for the earlier weeks and months, but there haven’t been any days without content for close to a decade, that’s for sure.  I thought it might be fun to go back through the videos and relive some interesting moments in politics.

Another epic Whaleoil clip that has become a political meme.
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Vegan bastards are killing screaming plants

Many vegans and vegetarians, apart from being fussy eaters, like to claim they do so because they can’t stand the killing of animals.

But new research shows that plants can ‘hear’ themselves being eaten – and become defensive when attacked. Those nasty vegan types are torturing those plants, letting them hear themselves being eaten alive.

Most people don’t give a second thought when tucking into a plate of salad.

But perhaps we should be a bit more considerate when chomping on lettuce, as scientists have found that plants actually respond defensively to the sounds of themselves being eaten.

The researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) found that plants can identify sounds nearby, such as the sound of eating, and then react to the threats in their environment.

‘Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music,’ said Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU.

‘However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration.

‘We found that “feeding vibrations” signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars.’   Read more »


Mental Health Break

Will NZME and Fairfax implement a paywall?

Will NZME implement a paywall?

The answer is probably yes. The reasons are varied, but one reason is that they think they have got their model right and it will be successful. Or at least APN their parent company thinks that way.

Publishers across the world are at a crossroads. There are two alternatives they face at this point: pull up stumps after investing in expensive paid content strategies deciding they’ve hit a barrier they can’t get over, or hold their nerve and look to break the subscriptions ceiling that confronts many of them?

If there was one moment that stood out at the International News Media Association (INMA) 2015 World Congress this week it was when Australian moderator, and former Sydney Morning Herald editor, Robert Whitehead polled the room full of top media executives, from around the world, on their support for paywalls.

Whitehead first asked everyone who had a paywall to stand and, in a room of 200-300 people, maybe 75 per cent stood up.

He then asked (without naming anyone) for those who didn’t think their paywall was working for them to sit. Around a third of those standing sat.

Whitehead then polled the room again asking those who had reservations or who would not recommend paywalls to another publisher to sit, leaving only those “who thought they were doing it really well”. This left only around ten newspaper executives standing.

Those left standing (and yes for the record: News, Fairfax and APN were all in the room) were representatives from the big media brands of the world: The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Media brands with a deep reach who have achieved mass audience and are making it pay on the basis of their global audience.

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Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


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Lianne Dalziel cries a river of tears

Lianne Dalziel reckons she is sorry…for doing nothing.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel has made a tearful apology to residents of east Christchurch, who feel she has let them down.

Dalziel made the emotional apology on Saturday in response to hundreds of submissions from east Christchurch residents on the council’s proposed 10-year budget, known as the draft Long Term Plan. The submissions expressed frustration at the slow pace of recovery and the lack of proposed spending in New Brighton and the eastern suburbs.

Dalziel’s voice cracked with emotion as she apologised.   Read more »

Bullied out of existence by #dirtypolitics wowsers


Some people need a cup of HTFU.  Thanks to the bullying by anti-alcohol wowsers Jennie Connor and Steve Child, a bunch of entrepreneurs have wimped out and are now in hiding.

Last week you may recall the post #DIRTYPOLITICS WOWSERS NOW HATE ENTREPRENEURS. Fairfax reporter Chloe Winter raced around getting the usual spiteful comments from Alcohol Action NZ and the NZ Medical Association chair.   Read more »

Stoush on inside Nat caucus

Richard Harman at Politik reports of a stoush going on inside the National caucus.

I had heard details of this, but not at the level Harman has. He’s been around a long time and his network of contacts is impressive. If he says there is a stoush on, then there is.

A political row within the National Party could ignite this week if a Select Committee does not make major modifications to a one of the Government’s most complex pieces of legislation which will impact every business, workplace and farm and even sports events  in the country.

The Health and Safety in Employment Reform Bill is proposing a substantial overhaul of the way businesses, workplaces and farms manage health and safety issues.

It is expected to be reported back from the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee on Thursday.

The Bill has the potential to anger  National’s small business and farming heartland and already its worrying some MPs.

There are reports that one  backbencher, Maurice Williamson, has already signalled his opposition to the Bill at a National Caucus meeting.

One source even suggested he could cross the floor and vote against the Bill if it was not changed.

However though one senior Minister discounted that claim he told “POLITIK” that “a number of us” agree with him on his concerns about what is in the Bill.

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President Obama – misinformed or plain stupid?


Insurance is a sensible device for managing risk.  We use it everyday for peace of mind and dealing with unforeseeable and catastrophic events.    The premiums we pay are based on very well researched information.  The competitive market requires car insurers for example to know a great deal about various models of car, which ones are susceptible to theft, cost of repairs and much more.

It would be unthinkable to have annual premiums where the cost exceeded the amount agreed to be paid out.  Or would it?  President Obama thinks its OK.

In a recent speech to the military he outlined his plans for reducing CO2.  His aim is an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.  The costs of achieving this are horrendous, even if you use the most optimistic calculations.  One government-based assessment has it at US$13,000 trillion – whatever that amount is.   Reality says it is impossible to even hazard a guess that is going to come in close.  We know from Germany’s very short flirtation with renewable energy, that electricity consumers there are now paying three times more than they were.  The USA situation is potentially much worse, because of their greater dependence on fossil fuels.  And that’s just one aspect of the cost.  An even greater cost is the loss of food production to ethanol production.  Who really cares though about starvation in Haiti or Sudan?  Certainly not the well-fed, cosseted, do-gooder alarmists.  The US Navy has already calculated that biofuels will cost more than four times their present fuel budget.

The proponents of “doing something” are not concerned about the cost.  They argue any cost can be justified.     Read more »