Never has there been a Presidential Inauguration quite like this one

I am amazed that our New Zealand Media have decided to not provide live coverage of President Trump’s inauguration as it is going to be like nothing that has ever been seen before.

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The Democrats sore losers are planning many protests and acts of disruption to try to ruin the day such as chaining the trains but such is Trump’s popularity that hordes of bikers have off their own bat decided to provide protection and a human blockade to stop the protestors.

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Map of the Day

Assange is a weasel

The attorney for Julian Assange said President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence does not meet the conditions of the WikiLeaks head’s offer to be extradited to the United States if Manning were pardoned.

Obama on Tuesday commuted Manning’s sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, leading many to wonder whether that meant Assange was ready to surrender to the Department of Justice. Read more »

“At least we would be back in Auckland where things are normal”

Looks like Paula’s scheme to pay people to leave Auckland isn’t as perfect as this woman expected

Standen and her two children lived in New Lynn for 13 years, until five months ago when she accepted a Housing New Zealand (HNZ) relocation grant of $3510.50 and moved to Hamilton.

She says the Hamilton suburb of Nawton is a “hellhole of a town” and she will do anything to move back to Auckland.

The reason Standen, a beneficiary, wants to move is due to the dangerous area she says she lives in.

She says there are gangs and a drug house nearby.

Damn.  She’s right.  No gangs and drug houses in Auckland.

Standen says her 12-year-old son Reece was burned by a student on his first day at his new school and spat at on his second.

He is now too scared to leave home, in fear of boys who tell him if he does not commit a burglary with them they will “smash him”, she says.

“We are basically prisoners in our own home.” Read more »

More from the Oxfam “Do as we say, not as we do” file

Oxfam has organised a letter, signed by over 300 economists, calling for a crack-down on tax avoidance.

But what of Oxfam’s own tax practices? Some of them look remarkably like tax avoidance.

One of Oxfam’s tax planning vehicles is Oxfam Activities Ltd, which enables it to avoid tax on the profits of its £15 million trading operations. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Theodore Kaczynski lived an austere life — no running water, no indoor plumbing — in this 10-by-12-foot cabin in rural Montana for 20 years. This photo was taken shortly after Kaczynski was arrested. (Courtesy Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The Unabomber

For 17  years, an elusive criminal sent homemade bombs targeting universities, airlines and computer stores, killing three people and injuring 23 others. The FBI branded him “Unabomber” — shorthand for his early targets: universities and airlines..

How do you catch a twisted genius who aspires to be the perfect, anonymous killer—who builds untraceable bombs and delivers them to random targets, who leaves false clues to throw off authorities, who lives like a recluse in the mountains of Montana and tells no one of his secret crimes?

That was the challenge facing the FBI and its investigative partners, who spent nearly two decades hunting down this ultimate lone wolf bomber.

The man that the world would eventually know as Theodore Kaczynski came to the FBI’s  attention in 1978 with the explosion of his first, primitive homemade bomb at a Chicago university. The Unabomber eluded the FBI for 17 years, despite an investigation spanning eight states and involving 500 agents, he mailed or hand delivered a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs that killed three Americans and injured 24 more. Along the way, he sowed fear and panic, even threatening to blow up airliners in flight.

In 1979, an FBI-led task force that included the ATF and U.S. Postal Inspection Service was formed to investigate the “UNABOM” case, code-named for the UNiversity and Airline BOMbing targets involved. The task force would grow to more than 150 full-time investigators, analysts, and others. In search of clues, the team made every possible forensic examination of recovered bomb components and studied the lives of victims in minute detail. These efforts proved of little use in identifying the bomber, who took pains to leave no forensic evidence, building his bombs essentially from “scrap” materials available almost anywhere. And the victims, investigators later learned, were chosen randomly from library research.

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The olive branch and the pistol

Would you trust a guy with an olive branch in one hand and a pistol in the other?

With a gun on his hip, on November 13, 1974, PLO chief Yasser Arafat stood before the UN General Assembly and made the West an offer that it didn’t refuse.

At the end of a long speech in which he rewrote history to erase all connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and criminalized the very notion of Jewish freedom, Arafat declared, “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

Trump will take office on Friday. He will be faced with dealing with Arafat’s replacement, Mahmoud Abbas who is repeating Arafat’s original offer.

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Cartoon of the Day

 

Poll: Should the taxpayer pick up the bill for uninsured quake damaged homes?

A group of uninsured homeowners in Christchurch’s red zones have lost their bid to avoid costs for a legal battle with the Government.

The “Quake Outcasts” will have to pay more than $50,000 to cover the costs of a legal challenge which aimed to get the same Crown compensation for quake-damaged properties as insured homeowners.

Following the Canterbury quakes in 2010 and 2011, residents with uninsured properties in the worst-affected areas were offered half the value of their land by the Government.

The group of around 40 “outcasts” took the Government all the way to the Supreme Court to challenge this offer. After the court found in the group’s favour, the Government last year raised their offer to 100 per cent of the value, but of the land value only, not the building’s value.

Some of the Quake Outcasts then unsuccessfully appealed in the Supreme Court last year to get an improved offer, similar to insured homeowners. They are appealing the court’s decision.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority sought costs of $55,605 plus additional payments of around $2,400. Read more »

New Zealand Media accused of anti-Israel bias

Despite some people claiming that our coverage of UN Resolution 2334 was a beltway issue of little importance to New Zealand the New Zealand mainstream media eventually decided to cover it. Over the past three weeks, the New Zealand Herald published in total 46 articles, letters and opinion pieces on UN Resolution 2334. It was good that they covered it so well but was their coverage balanced? According to an article on honestreporting.com, it wasn’t. Twenty-three items were for the resolution, fourteen were against and nine were neutral.

Mainstream New Zealand media published some opinion pieces which drew attention to the imbalance and faults of UNSC Resolution 2334 and gave some historical context for the Arab Palestinian/Israel conflict. The unusual alliance with the undemocratic nations of Malaysia, Senegal, and Venezuela to sponsor Resolution 2334 led to serious questions within New Zealand and abroad.

A diplomatic crisis with Israel ensued…

…Some commentators have crossed the line from legitimate criticism of Israel into anti-Semitism or straight-out lies. Below are a selection of the worst offenders, in chronological order. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the ignorant and hateful writing we have seen.

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