Photo Of The Day

Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images

Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images

Emergency rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher after Dharara tower collapsed in Kathmandu, Nepal on April 25, 2015.

Freelance photographer Omar Havana was at home in Kathmandu when an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit central Nepal.

“Everything started moving and my wife and I could [barely] stand,” Havana tells TIME. “I live in a six-floor house, so we ran downstairs as the building started to crack. It was very scary—people were running, shouting and crying. It was awful.”

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And we think we have dud judges here

I didn’t cover this story at the time:  a lesbian couple in the US created a stink because the bakery refused to make a “same-sex” wedding cake.   It’s one of those manufactured outrage situations.  A bit like pulling a ponytail, in a sense.

But now the whole thing has gone up several notches on the ‘you-gotta-be-kidding-me-ometer’

A judge in Oregon has concluded that the bakery owners who refused, for religious reasons, to make a cake for a gay wedding should be forced to pay [US]$135,000 in fines.

“[T]he forum concludes that $75,000 and $60,000, are appropriate awards to compensate [the gay couple] for the emotional suffering they experienced,” wrote Alan McCullough, a judge for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, who have seven children, say the exorbitant fine could force them into bankruptcy.

This decision even makes Graham McCready look like a legal scholar. Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

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Credit: SonovaMin


Stop the world… scientist to investigate scientist to see if scientist lied about science*

*paraphrased – but essentially correct.

An international panel of scientists will today launch a major inquiry to discover whether official world temperature records have exaggerated the extent of global warming

Hey, someone filled the trough with more money.  This time to discover how-come the first load of trough money didn’t product accurate results.

The panel, convened by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the ‘climate sceptic’ think-tank led by the former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson, will focus on thousands of ‘adjustments’ that have been made to temperature records kept at individual weather stations around the world.

Sceptics have argued that the effect of such adjustments – made when instruments are replaced or recalibrated, or heat-producing buildings are erected close to weather station sites – has skewed the records. Read more »

Reader content: Third term arrogance? It’s more complex than that

For some months I have been reading that the current National government is arrogant and I have been wondering what it is that makes people change to that extent.  After some considerable thought I have come to the view that perhaps the use of the description “arrogant” is a naïve and lazy interpretation of what is more likely a complex issue.

Imagine if for the last seven years you had been doing your job to the best of your ability and you were proud of your governance of the country in what has been very difficult circumstances with the GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes thrown in to present challenges above the normal.  But every day when you read the newspaper, the media is critical, every day you listen to the TV news there is someone who says you are wrong.  You present yourself for media interviews as part of your job and the interviewer is rude and derogatory.  Then you go to parliament and have to listen to tirades of demeaning and very rude speeches again telling you that everything you have done and are doing is wrong.  On top of all that the media runs stories at regular intervals, e.g. dirty politics, Snowden releases and pony tail, that become the issue of the day where the only objective is to embarrass you.  How can everything be so wrong when the governance of the country appears to be going well?

In that environment and under those circumstances, after seven years of it, you would develop a negative and frustrated view of the media and opposition politicians, certainly a dislike and probably a disdain.  But you still have to release press reports to let the people know what you are doing, you still have to present yourself for interview and you still have to appear in parliament.

With that background you have two choices, to tell the media and the opposition politicians what you really think and that they are offensive and rude, or regardless of the questions asked of you or the rudeness of the questioner, you choose to be polite and to answer the questions with patience and dignity.  To be tolerant, polite and to act with dignity is not being overbearing, presumptuous or haughty and therefore is not arrogance.

So, the conclusion that I have come to is that those who are describing the current government as arrogant have not thought it through correctly and perhaps are just as bad as the media and opposition politicians.  But there is hope if the next time comment is made about the behaviour of the current government, the headline is “the National government continues to act with politeness and dignity to rude media and opposition politicians”.


– Doodydah

A comparison of compulsory subjects in two Religious NZ schools.



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Reader content: Have you put your family history down on paper?

I came across this the other day and thought it is apt as we think about the part our ancestors played in WW1

No person can know another person, especially a child about his parents. They were another generation, a different world. Even in families where there’s a tradition of reminiscing, where children hear stories about their parent’s own childhood and youth, volumes must be left untold. There have to be things they owned, cherished or feared, things they did, that will go the graves with them, things that their children will never know. Not necessarily because it was deliberately kept from them, but simply because it was never told, never recorded. Because of forgetfulness, lack of opportunity or because there was never enough time, these things pass out of memory, out of existence. It’s impossible to convey the whole of any person from one generation to the next, even if you wanted to. (David L. Lindsey)

As a young adult I didn’t pay much attention to my heritage I had too many other things going on with my life. Recently I have become more aware and want to know more about what happened with my family in the past. This interest has been spurred on partly due to what other people have written on this blog about their family history.   Read more »

State Schools Cost 500% More to Set-up than Charter Schools

The Press in Christchurch have the details of a new school being developed in Rolleston. The cost is $53 million to set up and then high costs per student through until 2021 when it may finally become full – after starting with a projected 225 students in 2017.
You would expect the Left to be sreaming about cost in a situation like this but Labour and its teacher union allies (PPTA/NZEI) are desperately trying to protect their patch from Charter Schools and one claim is that the Charters are more expensive. The Charter schools get approximately $1 million to set up per 200 students. Rolleston is getting approximately $5 million per 200 students. All State schools currently being developed are in that price range.

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Reader content: Andrew Little to meet with Thomas Piketty

I note that Little Angry Andy is this week meeting Thomas Piketty the French economist and author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, which is a best seller and tome on which the progressives will be banging their fists as their bible for years to come if the hype surrounding it is anything to go by,

Picketty relies on economic data going back 250 years to show that an ever-rising concentration of wealth is not self-correcting.

“Piketty’s solution to preventing this dystopian future is to tax the rich fiercely. He favors progressive income and inheritance taxes with rates as high as 80 percent and a progressive annual tax on wealth levied globally to prevent the owners from fleeing the confiscation.”  (link)

You can see where this is going with NZ’s regressive left lead by Little and why he is joining the race to Picketty’s door to speak to the man himself.

Pickettys 700-page tome has provided something of a clarion call for the “progressives” and as as Stephanie Kelton, chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City explains in the context of the Occupy rallies against capitalism. They will say: “The left was right. The wealthy owed their fortunes to their forefathers and the Congressman who wrote the loopholes for their tax accountants to exploit. It’s a conclusion that confirmed many priors, which probably explains much of its success.”

“In the simplest version of the Piketty model” explains Tyler Cowen
(professor of economics at George Mason University), “wealth grows more quickly than does the economy as a whole and thus the picture changes. The relative losers are no longer low earners but rather anyone who is not a capitalist. Any disparity is due not to their shortcomings in labor markets but rather to their lack of a high initial endowment.” Read more »

Dirty Media – Herald Admits Making S##t Up

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Which part of “we made it all up” haven’t the Herald said here?