World

Finally I’ve found something that does eat cats

The other week I posted a photo on Facebook of a cat that I ironed out with a .22-250. That little 40gr Hordany varmint round had torn its head right off.

People were outraged…some defriended me, one person threatened to punch my face in.

We left the cat lying in a paddock and nothing touched it. The hawks ate the hare and the rabbit we shot but nothing touched the cat. I’ve never seen anything eat a cat until today.

Cat owners have been warned of the dangers their feline companions face when venturing outdoors after video emerged of bald eagles feasting on the body of a dead cat near Pittsburgh.

Footage from a live web camera mounted at the Hays bald eagle nest, located a few miles from the center of Pittsburgh, showed the eagles serving up the cat to hungry eaglets. Concerned cat owners bombarded the local Audubon Society about why the eagles had preyed upon the cat. Read more »

Tagged:

Food producers need to learn lessons from Big Tobacco

I’ve given speeches around this topic, I’ve written before about it.

Sugar is now being demonised like tobacco, and the same tactics are being used against producers as those used against Big Tobacco.

Two years ago at a food conference I told the packed room that they were next in the health battle. Food manufacturers giggled as I explained how they were next in the firing line. The only people in the room who weren’t giggling were the tobacco companies.

It turns out that I was right and they were wrong. They are now in a fight for the life of their business.

If sugar is the new smoking, then the makers of fizzy drinks and fattening cakes need to learn some lessons from big tobacco.

Big food companies have achieved pariah status, with sugar taxes already implemented in Mexico and France and a levy planned for the U.K. in two years’ time. Last week, sugar producer Associated British Foods accused the government of trying to demonize the product and questioned whether that strategy would help reduce obesity rates.

But it is just that outsider status that has helped lift tobacco companies’ performance. Over the past five years, big tobacco has handed investors a 101 percent total return, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Global Tobacco Product Manufacturing index, well ahead of the MSCI World Index’s 42 percent. That is a phenomenal performance for a class of securities shunned by some investors on ethical grounds.

Slapping taxes on cigarettes has hurt the volume of sales. But it also made it easier for tobacco companies to slip through price increases. Food companies need to use emerging sugar taxes to take control of pricing. Big tobacco has traditionally been reluctant to engage in price wars. Not so the food sector, which often gets dragged into supermarket price skirmishes.

And while the initial going will be tough for food companies, the inevitable industry turmoil that will arise from tough regulation will pick off weaker players and make for a stronger group of survivors. That has worked for big tobacco.

Read more »

Tagged:

Australia’s home-grown terrorist failed a deradicalisation programme

The 16-year-old Australian-born son of two Australian parents was already put through a deradicalisation course.

Didn’t work, did it?

A 16-year-old boy charged over a foiled terrorism plot allegedly tried to learn how to make a bomb and said he wanted to “terrorise” Australians on Anzac Day, a court has heard.

The boy was arrested on the day before Anzac Day, just hours after police allegedly intercepted him sending encrypted messages via a social networking app saying he wanted to get a firearm and a bomb-making manual.

During a bail application on Monday, his father wept as he promised he would monitor his son 24/7 and said he thought he was doing the right thing by giving the boy, an apprentice electrician, privacy and space to spend time alone in his bedroom at night.

The alleged messages were sent on five nights between April 16 and 24 to an undercover officer posing as an overseas extremist, according to police documents tendered in Parramatta Children’s Court on Monday.

And what if he was talking to a real extremist? One with real contacts and resources?  Read more »

Get ready for a “non-linear climate event”

A brief summary on the Climate debacle fraud so far

  • We have lots of unreliable data, that keeps being changed
  • This is plugged into climate models, that keep predicting doom
  • The real world readings, even after fiddling with them, don’t match the most conservative of climate models
  • There is an arbitrary 2 degree “dooms day scenario” for this century that has no basis in fact

It is with this in mind, I want to pull up this author’s last paragraph first.

I’m not a scientist, but 10 years ago I spent almost a year interviewing almost all the world’s leading climate scientists for a book I was writing. I learned that all our calculations for dealing with climate change could suddenly be swept aside by a non-linear event — and this could be it.

Gwynne Dyer is an independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

Now I’ve set the scene, get ready for the next panic in the Climate Change Circus:  non-linear climate change.

Most people think of global warming as an incremental thing. It may be inexorable, but it’s also predictable. Alas, most people are wrong. The climate is a very complex system, and complex systems can change in non-linear ways.

In other words, you cannot count on the average global temperature rising steadily, but slowly, as we pump more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It may do that — but there may also be a sudden jump in the average global temperature that lands you in a world of hurt. That may be happening now.

“We are moving into uncharted territory with frightening speed,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, last November. He was referring to the fact that the warming is now accelerating in an unprecedented way.

2014 was the hottest year ever — until 2015 beat it by a wide margin. 2016 may beat that record by an even wider margin. It was the hottest January ever — and then the average global temperature in February was a full fifth of a degree Celsius higher than January.

That was a huge jump, since the “average global temperature” is an average of all the temperatures over the seas and the land in both the summer hemisphere and the winter hemisphere. It is normally a very stable figure, changing no more than a few hundredths of a degree from year to year.

I love how they contradict themselves.  How can it normally be a very stable figure when they have been telling us for decades that it has been increasing at an alarming rate?   I’m also just a journalist, and not a scientist, but come on now, you can’t have it both ways. Read more »

Refugees: Does NZ really want more?

Andrew Little wants to double the refugee quota

Andrew Little wants to double the refugee quota

Nearly overnight we’ve arrived at a point, without any debate or public input, that we’ll have more refugees.

After years of lobbying, Amnesty International is finally confident the Government will increase New Zealand’s refugee quota.

Every party in Parliament has publicly backed raising the quota, except the one that counts — National.

Labour and the Greens want it doubled to 1500 at a minimum, with ACT and New Zealand First supporting a less dramatic increase. Read more »

Calling out Corbyn over anti-Semitism

As predicted, with revelations of Jerney Corbyn’s own anti-Semitism, there are now calls for Jeremy Corbyn to denounce his ‘friends’, as he calls them, in Hamas and Hezbollah.

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah ahead of the local elections next week as members of his inner circle were accused of “vilifying” Jews.

The Labour leader, who has previously called the controversial groups “friends” has launched an inquiry into antisemitism after he was forced to suspend MP Naz Shah and former Mayor Ken Livingstone last week.

Mr Corbyn faces growing pressure from his own MPs amid rumours of a coup to remove him from office if the party does badly in the local elections.

Last week the Labour leader claimed his party does not have a problem with antisemitism and today Diane Abbott, a close ally, warned it is a “smear” to say the party has an issue with anti-Jewish remarks.

It came as Len McCluskey, boss of the union Unite, said the anti-Semitism row has been whipped up in a bid to oust Mr Corbyn.

Read more »

This is the guy inquiring into anti-Semitism in the Labour party

Jeremy Corbyn has initiated an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

He has his own anti-Semitism problems.   Read more »

Can Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Well, the pundits say no, or have said no up until recently.

They all thought he would get spanked by the GOP machine but it turns out it was Trump dishing out the spankings.

Now the pundits are having to recast their thinking. They are starting to realise that all head-to-head polling to date hasn’t accounted for Donald Trump attacking Hillary Clinton directly. He will start doing that soon…he’s already got a nickname for her ‘Crooked Hillary’.

How would Donald Trump fare in a general election against Hillary Clinton? The conventional wisdom is that he wouldn’t stand a chance. The GOP is divided. His campaign, despite a recent spate of landslide primary wins, appears to have its own civil war going on. His favorability numbers are at historic lows for a nominee.

The case against Trump’s electability is strong. But it is also perhaps overstated. The Manhattan billionaire does have a narrow path to the White House. In fact, he may be the GOP’s most electable option at this point, at least among the candidates who are actually still running for the job.

John Kasich argues he’s the only guy who can beat Clinton, an idea mostly predicated on his performance in head-to-head election polls. But head-to-head polls this far out, historically speaking, are not all that predictive, and Kasich has struggled to turn his on-paper attractiveness into actual votes at the ballot box.

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, would likely be the most right-wing nominee since Barry Goldwater. His act appears to have worn thin among even the Republican grassroots, his natural constituency. Cruz might somehow still manage to pull the nomination away from Trump, but there’s approximately zero reason to believe he can win over the swing voters who typically decide presidential contests.

So back to Trump, who still has a few things going for him. His general election strategy, such as it is, seems to be predicated on two strategies: pivot left as far as possible and launch a scorched earth campaign against Clinton.

Read more »

Public transport is for other people…

I loathe public transport. The only redeeming feature of it is loads of other people take it…and aren’t on my roads or in my way.

Politicians love to push people on to public transport…but it seems more and more are ignoring their pleas, especially millennials.

More than a quarter of U.S. government spending on surface transportation goes to mass transit, and yet mass transit accounts for less than 2 percent of total trips taken nationwide. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Marc Scribner attributes this eye-popping mismatch to a persistent “falsehood peddled by the transit lobby:” If you build it, they will come.

A stunning chart put together by the University of South Florida’s Steve Polzin illustrates how transit supply has failed to create its own demand.

The blue line represents transit ridership; the red line shows the expansion of the country’s mass transit infrastructure going back to 1970. Their divergence is a “report card on productivity that mom and dad would hardly be proud of,” Polzin writes. It’s also a statistical representation of a sad yet all-too-familiar scene in American cities: empty light rail trains chugging along main streets in deserted downtowns.   Read more »

Shhh…don’t tell anyone but Gerry Brownlee is in Israel

Gerry Brownlee in Israel

Gerry Brownlee travelled to Israel after his visit to Iraq. He’s also tried to keep it very quiet, with it not even being reported in NZ media.

Pity, he went for a visit with ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon though and the Israelis know how to use Facebook.   Read more »