We need to stop listening to the broken record arguments about terrorism

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Laura McNally is a psychologist, author and PhD candidate and her article discusses the broken record arguments that we are forced to listen to repeatedly whenever we discuss terrorism.  After a terrorist attack, the most important issues are sidelined.  Instead of productive discussion about the problem, people focus on apportioning blame and making excuses.

Our discourse on terrorism is a bad record that has been stuck on repeat for decades. And it won’t matter whether I write this today, in a week, a month, or a year. Because with each new attack, the dialogue is only pushed deeper into discord and away from examining terror.

Rather than terror attacks inciting a more thorough and informed understanding of terrorism, there is a predictable tsunami of excuse-making, victim-blaming and sidestepping of the actual issue.

While it’s great that some people believe sharia law can be interpreted in a positive way, or that Muslim people are their best friends, this is not actually addressing terrorism. This political point scoring is increasingly blocking the public from developing better understandings of, and solutions to, terrorism.

Argument 1: Islam has nothing to do with terrorism

Read more »

It’s back!!! New Zealand’s Dodgiest Local Government Politician Award

In 2013 Whaleoil provided a public service and ran a competition seeking New Zealand’s Dodgiest Local Government Politician ahead of the local body elections.

With the help of readers we successfully outed a bunch of crooks, ratbags and bludgers who were attempting to fix themselves firmly on the public teat. We also outed politicians who love spending ratepayers money on stupid projects that go chronically over budget.

In 2016 we will be running the same competition again. Readers can nominate any candidate, though if they want candidates to get publicity the nominations need to come with links or PDFs to support claims. Email  tipline @ whaleoil…. with your nominations.

We are also considering a “Silliest Local Government Politician” as well, as some politicians are just plain silly, not dodgy. If you want to nominate anyone in this category please send the information through.

Auckland intensification and the banks

The NBR has exposed a major problem with Auckland’s Unitary Plan:  the banks won’t fund it.

Banks don’t like tiny apartments: a flaw in the Auckland unitary planAuckland’s unitary plan has done away with minimum sizes for apartments and wants to see greater housing density but the banks may stymie the building of small apartments by refusing to advance mortgages on them.

Previously, Auckland Council limited apartment size to no less than 40sq m after an outcry against the “shoe-boxes” being built in the inner city.

Some banks struggle to admit it but you could say they’re justified in not wanting to lend in what is a particularly volatile segment of the housing market.

Auckland-based Loan Market mortgage broker Bruce Patten says banks have always been wary about lending on apartments and don’t like very small ones at all.

“It’s probably one of the things in the unitary plan that I think they’ve made a bit of an error on in not consulting with the banks on whether they will lend on small apartments,” Mr Patten says.

“The reality is the banks don’t like them, they never have and I don’t see them changing their policy around that,” he says.

“Really, anything that’s less than 50sq m, or certainly the absolute bare minimum at 40sq m, I just don’t see the banks having any interest in lending on or taking as security.”

Oops.  So the only way that the poor can get ‘affordable’ apartment living will be if the council or central government act as social housing providers.  Read more »

How Climate Change and Islamic Terrorism are the same

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Lorry Goldstein at the Toronto Sun has figured it out

Our politicians spend a lot of time debating whether they should call Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorism.

Many, like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama, don’t.

This raises the concern of how we can solve a problem if we’re not prepared to say what it is.

This also applies to climate change.

If I had a dollar for every time I hear a politician misuse the phrase “climate change” I could almost finance Ontario’s $300 billion debt.

It’s so ubiquitous, I often do it myself.

To be clear, no one is fighting “climate change”.

Last year’s Paris accord is not a treaty to address “climate change”.

Despite David Suzuki’s doomsday warnings in a ridiculous Ontario government ad designed to scare the bejeebers out of children, “climate change” is not a problem they will have to solve.

No one can stop climate change. The climate has been changing for billions of years.

How did we find ourselves in this position?   This is how:

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Why do TVNZ insist on keeping the manchild employed?

If Jack Tame caters for a demographic that does not overlap Whaleoil commenters, then that would go some way to explaining his continued existence at TVNZ.  The man is an embarrassment to the profession, unless his job is to just look good, in some twisted “the women have made it” fashion where they keep some eye candy on the screen.

This isn’t just a random hit-out at the poor boy.  There is some evidence to back it up.

Yesterday Hillary Clinton had her big speech at the Democratic Convention, and apart from you agreeing or disagreeing with her policies, she had a few good one liners in there.   One of them was directed at Trump, and it was a doozy.

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Agree or not, that was a great line.  And our own politicians reacted to it.  Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.

Face of the Day

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He’s one of ours, he’s Tapeboy, and he’s through to the semi finals in America’s Got Talent one the strength of this performance.  Meet comedian Sam Wills. Read more »

Word of the day

The word for today is…

allotrope (noun) – A structurally differentiated form of an element that exhibits allotropy. Graphite, charcoal, diamond, bucky-balls and graphene are all allotropes of carbon.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : 1847, back-formation from allotropy “variation of physical properties without change of substance,” from allo- + -tropy

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 29

2When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.

Friday nightCap