First Charter School gets glowing ERO report

Radio NZ is reporting that one charter school has completed their first Education Review Office report with flying colours.

The first Education Review Office report on a charter school has been made public.

South Auckland Middle School has distributed the report, which is positive about the publicly-funded private school.

The report says the school has made a good start and its students are responding well to their teachers’ high expectations.   Read more »

Ongoing conspiracy

Once everything is out in the open, it will be clear that Dirty Politics was part of a much larger criminal conspiracy.

The involvement in this is so wide-ranging that it surprises me that the Greens and TV3 have revived the issue by putting pressure on John Key in the house and then, of course, whipping it into a storm in the ‘media’

The Prime Minister has had the heat put on him by Opposition parties about his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater during the first question time since the Dirty Politics book was published.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman led the attack on John Key, asking him how many times he had spoken to or sent text messages to Slater since November 2008.

“None in my capacity as Prime Minister,” Mr Key replied.

“I think it’s been well-established in this House for a long period of time that Prime Ministers wear a variety of different hats – that includes as leader of the National Party, and can include as a citizen.

“I happen, for the record, to use my ministerial service-funded cellphone to ring my wife. When I ring my darling wife and I put the cat out at night, I do that in my capacity as a husband, not as Prime Minister.”

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s book, released in August, drew connections between Slater and a National Party staff members and Ministers.

The book says Slater was fed information from National Party sources to use in attack posts on his blog.

The book has no proof.  Only inferences.  That doesn’t stop the media from pretending it is hard fact.

Read more »

Greens want to work together with National

I don’t think they really do.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei acknowledged in notes for a speech to Parliament today that many of the party’s supporters – and even those who did not vote for the Greens – would like them to have more influence at the table.

“Since the election I’ve received a number of letters, even from National Party members, pleading with us to from some kind of arrangement with National because they feel guilty about voting for a party with such a poor record on the environment.

“The idea apparently is that the Greens could act as some kind of foil to National’s anti-environmental agenda if only we just focused on environmental issues.”

But Turei said the Greens were a movement based not just on environmental principles but on the principles of social justice and democracy.

“This is who we are. We couldn’t stop caring about our environment, or our people, or our economic direction for that matter because it might be politically expedient to do so. It’s not our job to move to the centre; it’s to move the centre.” Read more »

The land of the free?

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First they came for our dogs and I said nothing because I didn’t have a dog.
Then they came for our cats and I said nothing because I didn’t like cats.
Then they came for our education system and I said nothing because I didn’t have children.
Then they imposed Sharia Law and I said nothing because I was a woman and my place was under a Burqa.

 

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Support Terrorists? Find yourself liable for their attacks

A US court has found Arab Bank guilty of aiding and abetting terrorism for helping launder Hamas money and helping to finance acts of terror.

A U.S. jury on Monday found Arab Bank Plc liable for providing material support to Hamas and said it must compensate victims of two dozen attacks attributed to the Islamic militant group in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Jurors needed less than two days of deliberations to reach their verdict after a six-week trial in Brooklyn federal court, which lawyers described as the first terrorism financing civil case to reach trial in the United States.

A trial on damages will be held later. Similar lawsuits are pending in New York against Bank of China Ltd, which is accused of providing services to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and Credit Lyonnais SA, which is accused of aiding Hamas. Those banks have denied the respective allegations.

Nearly 300 Americans who were either victims or related to victims of attacks linked to Hamas had sued Arab Bank in 2004.

They accused the Jordanian bank of violating the Anti-Terrorism Act, a law that lets victims of U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations such as Hamas seek damages.

“It has been a long haul,” said plaintiff Maida Averbach, 76, who said her son was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2003 suicide bombing and died in 2010 from complications. “Unfortunately my Steve isn’t here.” Averbach spoke to reporters by phone.

Arab Bank said it would appeal. In a statement, the bank said the verdict “comes as no surprise” after a series of what it considered legally incorrect court rulings that kept it from mounting a proper defense, and effectively “put Hamas on trial.”

The bank also said the verdict exposes banks such as itself to “enormous liability” for providing routine banking services.

Shand Stephens, a lawyer for Arab Bank, predicted that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals “is going to reverse this.”

Mark Werbner, a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said the verdict sends a message that “when a bank opens its doors to terrorists, they’re going to be held accountable.”

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Mental Health Break

Comment of the Day

One of our commenters makes an astute point:

Has Grant unshackled himself from the green caboose? He will have to publicly do that before Winston will talk to him in any meaningful way.

Spot on Euan.

Winston won’t do a deal with the Greens, so if he is alive at the next election Grant will need to work out how to shaft the Greens and do a deal with Winston.

Someone in the MSM should talk to Winston and find out who he reckons should be Labour leader.

Meanwhile new lefty blogger Josh Forman explains his own thoughts on Winston Peters and Labour.

With Winston Peters embarking on what is almost certainly going to be his last term in the New Zealand Parliament he is looking to secure the future of the party he founded after splitting with National in 1993 after being sacked by then PM Jim Bolger to years earlier.   Read more »

Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal

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Babylonian clay tablet map.  600BCE

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“National might think it is all over. It might be just the beginning”

The NZ Herald are sitting on a pile of unused (and still stolen) Dirty Politics information, mostly the stuff that came from my emails.  When it became clear that they weren’t destroying Whaleoil, nor National, it was as if a switch was thrown – overnight, all leaks and coverage stopped.

Now that the election is over, the conundrum of how to deal with me still sits up.  They don’t just need a Cameron Slater Killer Whaleoil Killer, they need a Freed Killer as well.

But there is a much more personal reason for many Herald journos.

A number of NZ Herald journos have fallen silent after trying to frame their involvement with Dirty Politics from their perspective.  I’ve not responded to these in public in any detail – instead I’ll present the Inquiry with the evidence instead.  They can sort out the wheat from the chaff.

In the mean time, the NZ Herald have run out of people who can publicly attack me that aren’t already compromised by having been part of Dirty Politics.

It seems John Armstrong has drawn the short straw now.

National is hardly keen to resurrect the matter. The Prime Minister’s success in shooting the messenger to kill the message, National’s subsequent stunning victory at the ballot box, and the thrashing handed to Labour and that party’s post-election meltdown have pushed the contents of Dirty Politics well out of the political limelight.

The rotten smell lingers, however. And National should think seriously about acknowledging it is badly tainted and do something which shows it is genuinely cleaning up its act.

No doubt many in the party are instead quietly revelling in what comes close to state persecution of Hager for the trumped-up crime of exposing the ugly truth about the true level of National’s adherence to New Zealand’s fundamental democratic and constitutional principles. No doubt many think the party has got off relatively scot-free despite indulging in some pretty abominable behaviour.

Keep in mind that the NZ Herald are donkey deep in this as well.  They are trying their hardest to frame the issue so Dirty Politics might just, finally, take out yours truly as well as become the constant irritant for National during this term. Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union slams Joyce for his expanded corporate welfare programme

Since the opposition is asleep at the wheel the job of holding a spendthrift government to account falls upon the shoulders of the Taxpayers’ Union.

They are holding Steven Joyce to account for his expanded corporate welfare programme.

Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare, Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money, a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:

“Mr Joyce defends over $3 billion in subsidies to KiwiRail and Solid Energy under his watch by saying that they are state owned. Bailouts are not the role of ministers as shareholders. Since 1986, state-owned enterprises have had a statutory duty to operate as a successful business and to be as profitable and efficient as comparable businesses not owned by the Crown. The whole idea of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 was to bring an end to bailouts and permanent deficits.”

“Instead of putting a failed business in the hands of receivers, Mr Joyce defends throwing good money after bad by blaming the previous government for buying KiwiRail. That was three elections ago. Elections are supposed to count for something. $3 billion in taxpayers’ money cannot be handed out in subsidies with ministers bobbing and weaving about responsibility for the amount and wisdom involved. The Treasury Benches come with a full ministerial responsibility for every single dollar of taxpayers’ money spent under your watch.”    Read more »