Tuesday nightCap

Are you enough?

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Today’s Trivia

via people.com

via people.com

JFK was a surprisingly unhealthy chap. (source)

 

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Living with cats and autism

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I like the cellphone ones

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Whaleoil Backchat

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The fight is getting nasty, buy more popcorn

As the nasty knife fight inside Labour gets underway we can see that David Cunliffe is still at sixes and sevens.

Last night on Campbell Live he had this to say:

David Cunliffe: The reality is National has never gone out in two terms; that it’s very rare for a government to go out on [a] % growth rate, and it’s very, very hard when you’ve got distractions like Kim Dotcom

John Campbell: The 4% growth rate was predicted. It was very much in Treasury’s books when you made that speech 12 months ago . You promised Labour you could do it. You got 24%.

DC: 24.7% … Nobody is saying this is good enough … the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who needed a fresh start were disappointed by it.

JC: Why didn’t they vote for you?

DC: That’s the subject of a review.

JC: Hold on a sec. You are a leader, and you are a bright man. Why didn’t they vote for you?

DC: I think at the end of the day, people wanted stability. They wanted prosperity. They saw the current government, for now, delivering that for them, and they weren’t prepared to take what they saw as some kind of risk for a change.

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Chris Trotter on why changing leaders won’t be enough for Labour

Chris Trotter is a wise man of the left, more’s the pity that they don’t listen to him more often.

WHY DOES LABOUR do this to itself? Yes, they have just suffered an unprecedented (post-1922) election defeat, but that’s only because the 2014 General Election was itself unprecedented (post-1951).

And, besides, I’m tempted to say ‘so what?’ In 2002 the National Party suffered an even more embarrassing result when Bill English led his party to its worst defeat ever. National’s Party Vote plunged from a bad 30.5 percent in 1999, to an even worse 20.9 percent in 2002. (A whopping percentage point slide of 9.6, compared to David Cunliffe’s 2.8.)

The interesting thing about that debacle, however, is not what the National Party did in response, but what it didn’t do.

For a start, it didn’t change its leader. National understood (as Labour apparently does not) that a debacle on the scale of 2002 has many more contributing factors than simply a poor performance by the party leader. Defeat on such a scale is clear evidence of systemic – as well as personal – failures. Which is why the first priority of National’s hard-headed businessmen and farmers was to give the party organisation a very solid kick in the bum – not to sack Bill English. (He would keep.)

In the months following its 2002 defeat National thoroughly renovated itself: achieving for the Right what Jim Anderton, between 1979 and 1984, had achieved for the Left. Namely, the transformation of an ageing party into a vehicle more appropriately aligned to the economic, social and political context in which it operated.

Crucial to the success of such operations is the concentration of decision-making power in the hands of those best equipped to wield it. Under MMP, one of the most important functions to streamline is the formation of the Party List. National has achieved this by means of an all-powerful board of directors; the Greens by giving the job to their party members. For Labour, however, the list formation process remains the Party’s Achilles’ heel.

Bluntly, party list formation in the Labour Party is a colossal rort; a travesty of democratic principle on the scale of the “rotten boroughs” that once allowed the British aristocracy to control the composition of the House of Commons. More horse-trading takes place during this dangerously opaque process than at an Irish county fair – with considerably worse outcomes.

It’s ironic really, because Labour once boasted the most ruthless and centralised mechanism for selecting candidates of all the political parties. Seventy years ago it was the selector representatives of the all-powerful Labour Party Executive who called the shots – and they seldom missed. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then National, when renovating its structures, post-2002, paid Labour the most fulsome of compliments.

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How long before union muscle tries to destroy the franchise industry?

The Washington Post has an article outlining how the union movement in the US is marshalling its forces to attack franchise operators.

Those slimy SFWU scumbags will want the same for New Zealand.

The franchising industry in NZ worth about $20b. Unions wanting to unionise entire franchise systems would destroy much of that value.

Learn from the US, what happens there eventually comes here.

Franchising, one of the great American business success stories, is increasingly and unfairly under attack. Lawmakers need to pay attention and ask some questions.

More than 770,000 franchise businesses operate in 100 different business categories in the U.S., including restaurants, hotels, business services, retail stores, real estate agencies and automotive centers. These businesses employ 8.5 million workers and contribute more than $494 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, or 3.1 percent of total private sector GDP.

Unfortunately, franchising is the target of a well-financed, national campaign by the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU has launched a multi-pronged assault at the local, state and national levels of government.

The SEIU wants to undermine franchise contracts so it can more easily unionize entire franchise systems. The union and its affiliates want government officials to designate entire franchise systems as a single unit rather than the collection of separate, small business owners they actually are.

The reason is simple: It is much more difficult for unions to organize employees of thousands of independent small businesses than to unionize a single, large entity.

The effort is a desperate, special-interest ploy to replenish the union’s dwindling coffers and declining private-sector membership. The policy advanced by SEIU is meritless and stands in sharp contrast to years of federal and state legal and regulatory precedent.    Read more »

Are Muslim mothers in law nicer?

A married Premier League footballer has been caught out marrying a second woman in his native Ivory Coast – to the fury of his mistress.

Cheick Tiote, who earns £45,000 a week playing for Newcastle United, reportedly wed Laeticia Doukrou in a traditional ceremony this month, despite already being married to first wife Madah, 25.

The 28-year-old midfielder lives with Madah and their two children in a £1.5million mansion in Ponteland near Newcastle.

But he also has a one-year-old child with mistress Nikki Mpofu, who was furious when she discovered he had married for a second time, it was said.

The 33-year-old Zimbabwean ended her three-year affair with the footballer, claiming he had promised to make her his wife

She reportedly told a friend: ‘He met my mum and said he’s permitted to have several wives. I was comfortable with that.

‘He’s used me like a mop.  He’s just a pig.’

A pig.  That’s pretty harsh for a Muslim Read more »

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