…and now for something completely different

lego1

Someone went through the effort of making 10 digital LEGO figures of New Zealand politicians.   Over the break, the same image, but with the names in place.

Have guess, see how close you can get.  I managed 9 out of 10.  After all, the one I missed out, they all look the same, don’t they?   Read more »

Guest post: The Polarising Effect of Dotcom

Guest post:

 

The last few weeks in politics have been revealing in more than a few ways, but none in a good way.

There has been the triennial ritual by the news media to go after an incumbent government; this time aided by the cynical release of Nicky Hager’s book “Hacked Prose, Email Segments and Other Dubious Assertions”.

Most insidious however has been the eclipsing presence of Kim Dotcom, who’s keyboard worn fingerprints are all over the book, the criminal activity perpetrated to obtain information contained within it and the drip feed of said illegally obtained emails to the Blutwurst loving media.

Am I surprised? Not really. Dotcom has signalled for some time his avowed hatred of John Key, Judith Collins and anyone who dares challenge his carefully crafted media persona or threatens his continued freedom behind our laws. He is well resourced, technologically savvy and has ample motivation.

There are a number of aspects to this however that I do find extremely disconcerting.

Firstly, the overall compliance of the main stream media in continually propping up Dotcoms image. By doing so they have become the chief enablers for all the questionable, deplorable activities and behaviours he has been proven of and in some cases; accused of.

But why is this? Is it the need to perpetuate what they might consider news? Fear of well financed reprisal? Or are there other machinations which have yet to be revealed? Read more »

Tagged:

Mental Health Break

Green’s policy auditor criticises their own fiscal plan

russel-piggie

Never mind about the details, feel the bribe!

The Green Party tax revenue estimates take no allowance for a decline in the tax base and as such must be viewed as high-end estimates. We think it would be prudent to base fiscal estimates on considerably lower revenue estimates. — Green Party Policy Auditor:  Infometrics

That’s a bit inconvenient.   Read more »

Map of the Day

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Countries in the world where more that 50% of the population follow a single religion.

Click here for a larger version.

“Dirty Politics isn’t journalism. It’s political activism, enabled by crime. We have to question it”

Hacked this from Farrar’s blog

…Yes, Slater’s blog is nasty and vindictive. So is Martyn Bradbury. So is The Standard. If you think they’re not fed gossip by Labour/Mana-Internet/Greens you’re dreaming. Typically in their case it’s about destroying their own team so no one cares.

What concerns me most is how my colleagues have reported on this so breathlessly. They have repeatedly used the term ‘hacking’ to describe Jason Ede accessing an open website. And accepted without question this idea that it’s like walking through the unlocked door of a private house. It’s not. It’s more like a young Nat heading to the Labour Party’s booth at a university political rally, scanning through their leaflets and finding a clear file stashed in the back marked ‘donors’. Clearly it’s not meant to be there but, well it is. So they read it, take some snaps on their iPhone and humiliate Labour with it, rather than just quietly telling them about the mistake. Politics.

But what is most disturbing about this, is that the majority of media think it’s acceptable to hack Slater’s email and Facebook, for no reason other than that we hate him. Hager even justified the break-in of Mark Mitchell’s office as just how leaks happen. He is an MP. It is unbelievable that anyone can think it’s acceptable, simply because they have opposing politics.

Hager doesn’t want to know where this material has come from. He believes the hacker’s motives aren’t political. For a smart man, at best he is being willingly ignorant. There is no doubt in my mind that Hager is being played. The problem is he doesn’t care. A real journalist would. Read more »

While we’re all distracted, the public service troughs are being topped up

Appears that Andrea Vance managed to turn a government hacked document press release into what resembles some kind of reporting:

New MPs are in line for even higher taxpayer-funded travel and housing perks, after a review of entitlements.

The Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs’ pay, is today set to publish a new determination.

It is understood MPs elected next month can look forward to a Wellington housing allowance of $28,000, up $4000 from the current payment. Ministers can expect $41,000 – or $789 a week – towards their housing costs. The accommodation allowance subsidises the cost of renting or buying a house in Wellington if the MPs are from out of town.

“It is understood” = someone leaked this to Andrea before the actual release.

As well as free travel, the spouses, partners or children of MPs will also get 20 free flights a year. However, the independent authority has rejected MPs’ requests that this be raised to 30 flights.

The rules around claiming these flights – when the MP is on parliamentary or ministerial business – have also been tightened.

A plea to boost the amount politicians can claim for hotel rooms in Auckland and Christchurch has also failed. MPs wanted $210 a night, plus breakfast, parking and internet access – but the authority has set the limit at $210, up from $180 a night.

Politicians won’t lose out – they can now claim meals, internet use and parking on expenses. Read more »

Protecting Israel’s civilian population with the Iron Dome

Me with the Iron Dome    Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Me with the Iron Dome Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

As you may have heard Hamas has broken the ceasefire and launched rockets again at Israel.

Israel is firing back and they won’t ever stop until Hamas gives it up.

Today I went to an Iron Dome battery in the South of Israel near Ashdod. Now you might think I shouldn’t say where it is, but Israelis and media can drive up and park and watch them in operation. They have to stay back 300m, and media can get within 150m.

We were able to get a little closer but had to remain behind the launchers. Still after a few shots we were asked to go back to 150m.

Before we started we were briefed on procedures should an alert be issued. That would require us to shelter behind a small hillock on the leeside from the direction towards Gaza. The rockets in this location fly low and fast and so the hillock would cop it not us.

Fortunately this battery didn’t fire while we were there. The one near Askelon did though. The battery we were at had engaged 4 rockets during the day out of 80 fired from Hamas. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

The luxury ocean liner SS Normandie lies capsized in the icy Hudson River after catching fire while being converted into an Allied troop transport ship on Feb. 9, 1942, New York.

The luxury ocean liner SS Normandie lies capsized in the icy Hudson River after catching fire while being converted into an Allied troop transport ship on Feb. 9, 1942, New York.

Destruction of SS Normandie in 1942 at New York Pier

Read more »

Media Hypocrisy

qweqwe

I’ve not written about this, because it would be like shouting into a storm.  But a reader has put the argument so well, it deserves and airing:

Dear Cam

I think the MSM frenzy over Nicky Hager’s book needs to be considered in light of the MSM’s behaviour over events that took place last year over the GCSB bill , the Henry Report , alleged contact between Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne , the Kitteridge Report , etc .

As would be expected the MSM (with all the usual suspects involved) have completely “lost the plot” over Hager’s “book” and have created  in effect the “Teapot Tapes” saga part 2 with the obvious intention of preventing National from forming the next government . But what is truly astonishing is that the very same people who screamed blue murder over the GCSB bill  , alleged spying on Kim Dotcom and you will recall the leaking of the Henry report to a Fairfax journalist (and the fallout from that) are the very same people who apparently have no issue what so ever with Nicky Hager writing a book based upon private emails which were stolen /hacked from your computer system .

Please find enclosed [snippet above - ed] a copy of the article written by Andrea Vance which was published by Fairfax on 1 August 2013 . You will recall that the MSM at the time were in absolute apoplexy over the fall-out from Andrea Vance supposedly having her movements around parliament being tracked by Parliamentary  Services and the possibility of her phone records having been accessed . Read more »