Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

The Aussies get it, does our government? What about the opposition?

Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, has returned from the US and a briefing about foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria…and she is rightfully concerned.

I wonder if our government is concerned as they should be, and I really wonder if the opposition parties, the Greens in particular actually understand the issue at all.

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop says she is “even more troubled” by the threat of foreign fighters in the Middle East following briefings with US officials, as Tony Abbott said he was willing to consider expanding Australia’s military role in Iraq.

Australia is facing increasing pressure to upgrade its military commitment in Iraq after US President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address yesterday to strengthen the international effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State.

Ms Bishop, who is attending high-level meetings in Washington, said the terrorist threat was spreading far beyond that posed by Islamic State.

“I’m even more troubled by the phenomena of foreign fighters because of the way that they are organised, because of the way they are metastasising, that we are seeing al-Qa’ida, al-Nusra, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, claiming to have taken part in attacks so it’s not just ISIL,” she said.

“The focus has been on ISIL but there are many other terrorist organisations upon whom our focus is warranted.”    Read more »

Slater: Losing is like kissing nana and she slips the tongue in

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This morning I was on Radio Live with Mark Sainsbury to discuss my upcoming boxing match with Jesse Ryder.

Mark Sainsbury speaks with Cam Slater [RADIO LIVE]Auckland - 100.6 "Mark Sainsbury speaks with Cam Slater"

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Who is Andrew Little? How did Little go at Ratana?

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Who me? No it’s Andrew Little not Stuart Little

If you look at media reports Andrew Little didn’t do so well at Ratana.

And those media reports are subtle but brutal showing that the as yet un-filled PR position in his team is going to have a hard job getting two positive stories about a dopey looking, dour, grumpy leader into the media.

The photo the Herald used on Saturday was dreadful.

The comments by Claire Trevett worse.

Andrew Little has survived his first address to Maori at Ratana but was well and truly upstaged by NZ First leader Winston Peters when it came to wooing the nannies.

Beforehand, Mr Little admitted to having butterflies in his stomach given the historic relationship between Labour and the Church followers.

He was also the third Labour leader in as many years and the Church speakers had issued a warning that Labour had to up its game after the faith Maori placed in it in last year’s election.

It may have helped that none of his predecessors – David Cunliffe, David Shearer and Phil Goff – attended this year. But the pressure went up when he discovered he’d also have to give his address in front of National MPs.

Usually the Government parties and Opposition are welcomed on to Ratana separately, but this year delays prompted the organisers to opt for a joint powhiri.

Mr Little managed to get through his speech without looking at his notes. He even managed to get in a few jokes, saying of the prophet Ratana that he was “80 years ahead of Gareth Morgan. And he didn’t have a book to sell”.

However, he didn’t get many laughs, possibly because Dr Morgan was on the paepae alongside the Ratana elders, having been welcomed on yesterday.

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John Key is not a legitimate MP. Ergo: he isn’t PM either

Someone’s been out in the sun a bit too much I think

Career criminal and jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor is going for his biggest scalp this week – the Prime Minister.

John Key’s lawyer Peter Kiely, a partner at Kiely Thompson Caisley, Adjunct Professor of Employment Law at Victoria University of Wellington and Pro Chancellor at the University of Auckland will face Taylor, no formal legal qualifications, over 150 convictions, escaped twice, in the High Court on Tuesday.

Taylor, a serving prisoner, has petitioned the High Court claiming Key’s election as MP for Helensville was unlawful because the law had excluded hundreds of potential voters from the electorate – namely, the 650 or so prisoners currently housed in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.”

Key’s lawyers deny Taylor’s claim and add that Key won the electorate by 18,000 votes over his nearest competitor, the Green Party’s Dr Kennedy Graham who received 4,433.

The Prime Minister’s lawyer, Peter Kiely, has submitted to the court that even if all 8,727 serving prisoners in New Zealand voted for Graham, “even in this improbable scenario, the respondent would still have won the election with a majority of 9,650 valid votes”.

Answer me this:  why does a court let a serving inmate take out legal action against a Prime Minister when the law currently says that incarcerated people don’t have a vote, and therefore there is no case?  Why did it get this far?  Where a lawyer for Key and this muppet will square off on the taxpayer’s dollars?   Read more »

Halal Hell

Check this out

So, here’s the problem.  All the meat we buy is Halal certified.  And many other products are quietly adding “halal” as part of their labelling.   Are we already living under a little Sharia Law?  Or do we see it as hocus pocus to drain some more export and retail dollars from Muslim bank accounts?   Read more »

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Comment of the day

George wrote:

There is something troubling me at the moment: It is the opposition parties leadership.

I want to be serious here. Of course we criticise them mercilessly, and rightly so, they are such easy targets. However, what concerns me is the entrenched ignorance that motivates their vindictive, nasty and insulting commentary in the belief that, some how, it is appealing to voters. It was evident from the results of the last election that middle NZ’s were not impressed with this strategy, however they have continued in this vein, thus raising the question; Why?

As much as I detest their philosophy, I have to concede that there must be a degree of intelligence, however misguided, in their collective makeup.   Read more »

Apparently, 3 million Germans are in poverty

Statistical poverty hits again.  And no surprises, Oxfam and the UN are quoted.  Wait until you see what income they define as the “breadline” in Germany.  You’ll be immigrating the same day.

Bonus:  You get to learn a new word.

Being employed in Germany is no longer enough to make ends meet, as around 3.1 million workers receive salaries below the country’s poverty threshold. People have been forced to cut back on food and heating in order to survive, German media reported.

You’re going to love what that threshold is.

The number of workers living in poverty surged 25 percent between 2008 and 2013 – SaarbrĂĽcker Zeitung newspaper citing Germany’s Federal Statistical Office data. In 2008, there were just 2.5 million workers living below the minimum income deemed adequate.

In 2013, the German poverty line was a salary of €979 (about USD$1,097) per person.

That’s an annual salary of NZD 76503.96.   Read more »

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Face of the day

oldlady

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving.

Many conservative Saudi women do not support loosening traditional gender roles and restrictions, on the grounds that Saudi Arabia is the closest thing to an “ideal and pure Islamic nation,” and under threat from “imported Western values”.

-Wiki

I wonder if today’s face of the day thinks that Western Values are currently under threat by ‘ Pure ‘ Islam  in the UK?

Whatever her personal views I just love this true story of how she was not afraid to offend King Abdullah.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died yesterday aged 90, and there has been some controversy over the tributes paid by world leaders to the ruler of a repressive regime that carries out public beheadings and bans women from driving.

Amid debate over whether flags should be flying at half-mast from government buildings, and Westminster Abbey, out of respect for Abdullah, it turns out, however, that our very own Queen had nailed the best way to handle the Saudi ruler many years ago.

This story, taken from former Saudi ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles’s memoir Ever the Diplomat, was widely shared on social media on Friday; mainly because it’s amazing.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 14:  Queen Elizabeth II is seen reflected in the wing mirror of her Land Rover as she follows The Duke of Edinburgh as he competes in the Driving Grand Prix Competition B - The Marathon event during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle on May 14, 2005 in Windsor, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

WINDSOR, ENGLAND – MAY 14: Queen Elizabeth II is seen reflected in the wing mirror of her Land Rover as she follows The Duke of Edinburgh as he competes in the Driving Grand Prix Competition B – The Marathon event during the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park, Windsor Castle on May 14, 2005 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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