Photo Of The Day

Delphine La Laurie

Delphine La Laurie

The Twisted Tale Of Delphine La Laurie

And Her House Of Horrors

Over 200 years ago, a torture chamber was discovered in the attic of a wealthy socialite. Through the years, the tale of her brutality has grown and shifted, and today, it is difficult to discern fact from fiction in the story of Delphine La Laurie and her house of horrors.

Born in 1775 to Barthelmy Louis Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable, the Macarty’s were prominent among New Orleans society, having emigrated to the Big Easy from Ireland in the 1730s.

The extent to which slavery impacted Delphine’s early life is difficult to tell. Some accounts say that her mother (and others her father) was murdered by a slave, while others hold that her uncle was killed by his slaves shortly before she was born. Still another version of the tale states that her family was affected by the slave revolt of 1811. In any event, none of these are confirmed by objective sources.

Although one authority says she was 14 when she first married, it is more likely she wed her first husband, Don Ramon de Lopez y Angullo, a Spanish officer of high rank, in 1800. Together they had one daughter before Don Ramon died, sometime around 1804.

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The House Today #nzqt

Question time/Questions for oral answer starts at 2 pm today.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Questions to Ministers

  1. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: How has the New Zealand economy been affected by recent international economic developments?
  2. ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “it is highly unlikely, actually, that the Government will have to pay any more through Pharmac. But on the basis that it had to pay a tiny bit more, the Government would fund that increase”?
  3. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health: What advice, if any, has he sought or received on threats to public health in New Zealand?
  4. Dr JIAN YANG to the Associate Minister of Education: What investment is the Government making in Auckland schools to manage growth?
  5. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements? Read more »

Why social media is a dud bet in politics

The left wing loves social media. Mainly because some tool claimed it was how Barack Obama won in the US.

They of course have tried themselves and failed using the same techniques so we can safely assume it wasn’t social media.

Helen Lewis at the New Statesman explains why this is.

Here’s my melodramatic theory: social media lost Labour the last election and it’s going to lose Labour the next one, too.

It sounds bonkers, doesn’t it? But look at it like this: “political Twitter”, the small subset of the social network that isn’t tweeting about One Direction or surfers being ­attacked by sharks, is undeniably skewed to the left. Twitter probably evolved into lefty heaven as a reaction to the right-wing dominance of the printed press, and because of the many arts and comedy bigwigs who imported their existing followings on to the platform. Most progressive commentators and columnists are on there, tweeting away several times a day, while their right-wing equivalents avoid the service altogether, or venture on very occasionally to share a link to their piece.

Then there’s Facebook, a much bigger fish, which ought to be more reflective of the wider population because it’s made of networks of schoolfriends, former colleagues, and parents and children. But news on Facebook travels through “Likes” and shares, and people won’t Like a crackdown on benefits, even if they secretly support it. A lot of what happens on Facebook, as with Twitter, is “virtue signalling” – showing off to your friends about how right on you are.

It was this “Tyranny of the Like” that had many social media users convinced that Ed Miliband could squeak the election; after all, their friends seemed to be lapping up the mansion tax and the action against non-doms. No one seemed enthused about taking £12bn off the benefit bill, or reducing the help given to disabled people.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Speculation: Colin Craig’s presser today


Ex-Board members are speculating this will either:

a) announce Colin Craig is stepping out of politics altogether and will arbitrarily seek to wind up the Conservative party without reference to the Board OR,

b) more likely, trumpet an “overwhelming” response from selective party members (using the stolen party database) to “Please please come back Colin.” He may use his ballot to establish some legitimacy for a dubious (ie unconstitutional) process to arbitrarily return as Leader a bit later, perhaps at a party conference that he may also arbitrarily announce today (and then organise). The positive responders to his ‘ballot’ will be invited to that ‘conference’. Others will not.   Read more »

Does John Kerry actually know shit from clay?


It appears Murray McCully is John Kerry’s bitch…or maybe not.

Oh how nice, thanked for the Iran deal…at least we will know who to blame when it all turns to custard, which it will.   Read more »

Kids’ obesity all Richie McCaw’s fault, says doctor


Some anti-sugar lobbyists think they’re doing a great job in the battle to stop Kiwi kids getting fatter.

Then there are some like Dr Rob Beaglehole who sadly, start to believe their own kool-aid and lose perspective. Today we see such an example.   Read more »

It’s plain Greed. And the stupid pay their stupid tax

People who have $275k to invest in the first place are plainly not stupid.  But they are greedy.

Greedy enough to believe in the Indian Tooth Fairy.

An Auckland businessman has gone to police after paying $275,000 to a witch doctor on a temporary visa who skipped the country hours after receiving the cash.

It appears all the other astrologers offering to rid New Zealanders of black magic are also on the run.

The astrologer businessman Amir Ahmadian visited to get investment advice in Papatoetoe has vanished, gone without a trace back to India, with $275,000 of his money.

“They say you are going to get $22 million, which we do for you as an investment, within seven days,” says Mr Ahmadian.

He is one of hundreds of Kiwis sucked in by the influx of “witch doctors”. Promised prayers by 100 gurus in India, he handed over the $275,000 expecting a hefty return on investment.   Read more »


Key wants a new flag, Little says Kiwis prefer the Australian anthem

Strange, risky behaviour?

Strange, risky behaviour?

What the hell is wrong with Little?

Labour leader Andrew Little has described the national anthem as a “dirge” and said many New Zealanders preferred to sing along to the Australian anthem than our own.

A dirge you say?



The man really is a walking disaster area.   Whenever he starts to freestyle he puts his foot in it.  He won’t actually need two dead stinky fish, his mouth will continue to get him into trouble.

Seriously, what a way to charm voters:  to tell them they prefer the Australian anthem over their own.


– Claire Trevett, A newspaper


Honey honey, don’t conceal it

In the world of real estate Martin Honey’s always been considered safe as houses. Now the walls are closing in on the high-flying Auckland agent. The lyrics of ABBA’s Honey, Honey says “Honey honey, don’t conceal it, ah-hah, honey honey”. In the third part of a special Whaleoil investigation, we examine what it was that he did conceal with the help of the Real Estate Agent Disciplinary Tribunal.

by Stephen Cook

THE INTEGRITY of one of the key players in the Martin Honey real estate saga is in serious question in the wake of compelling new proof suggesting clear bias against the men who first raised the issues.

The allegations are included in a detailed affidavit obtained by Whaleoil from Lois West, who six years ago worked as a real estate agent with Honey, who is now facing the possibility of career-ending misconduct charges.

She is demanding a top-level inquiry into the tribunal’s handling of the case. She believes the tribunal did not act “legitimately” and arrived at a decision that based on the evidence was clearly wrong. Read more »