Key’s panda dreams provide big stick to bash government

John Key wanted to change the flag. It remains to be seen whether or not he will get his wish, but these are the things John Key wants to invest his considerable voter support in lobbying for…along with other important things like…pandas.

But with each of these vitally important issues for the nation to grapple with there are other priorities which makes these issues and personal projects of John Key big sticks with which to beat the government.

There will always be other priorities for funding other than changing the flag or cuddling pandas…and so expect a long line up of stories about an uncaring John Key cuddling pandas while he isn’t funding this treatment or that treatment or some other actually important issue.

It’s a lazy argument but one that gets traction.

Linda Ashley has decided against dipping into her retirement fund to pay for her cancer treatment – at a cost of more than $200,000, it’s not known to what extent it would prolong her life anyway.

But Government spending of more than $26 million on a flag referendum, and potentially $1.3m on a pair of giant pandas, has Ashley questioning why she should have to make that decision.

The retiree is battling ocular melanoma – a rare form of the disease, because of where it’s placed in her eye.

“The prognosis was the cancer would spread so at that time I was a little bit desperate anyway – I didn’t know anything about what was to come,” she said.

“That was a fairly rocky road through that whole process, and then in June, after a battle to get six-monthly ultrasound scans… the ultrasound showed lesions on the liver, so it did develop rapidly.”    Read more »

This guy makes our troughers look like rank amateurs

Another scandal has erupted in climate science, this time over the trougher who organised a letter to Obama insisting he use RICO laws to shut down climate sceptics.

It seems he is in deep trouble.

James Delingpole explains:

The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their ‘global warming’ skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called “the largest science scandal in US history.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, has written to Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, in Virginia, requesting that he release all relevant documents pertaining to his activities as head of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Global Environment And Society.

Smith has two main areas of concern.

First, the apparent engagement by the institute in “partisan political activity” – which, as a non-profit, it is forbidden by law from doing.

Second, what precisely has the IGES institute done with the $63 million in taxpayer grants which it has received since 2001 and which appears to have resulted in remarkably little published research?

For example, as Watts Up With That? notes, a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to one of the institute’s offshoots appears to have resulted in just one published paper.

But the amount which has gone into the pockets of Shukla and his cronies runs into the many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Shukla and his wife enjoyed a combined income in excess of $800,000 a year.

Read more »

Mental Health Break

Rome shows its true colours


The Vatican has come under fire after dismissing a high-ranking Polish priest on the same day he revealed that he was gay.

Father Krzystof Charamsa, who held a post in the Vatican’s branch for protecting Catholic dogma, urged the Catholic church to change its ‘backwards’ attitude to homosexuality. Read more »

Map of the Day

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The most frequent occupational surnames in Europe

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Why has no one noticed this before?

Put on your tin foil hats I have noticed something disturbing about the Red Peak flag design.


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Yeah nah


I’ll give a her points for trying.

Emma Taylor has launched an ambitious GiveaLittle page asking one million people to give her $1 each.

The Palmerston North mum of two young boys is not holding her breath – “but stranger things have happened”.

She wants the money to buy her family their first home.

“I have made it clear that I am not sick, I don’t have cancer and I don’t want to take money away from the deserving people who do, but I wanted to give it a go,” she told the Herald on Sunday. Read more »


Selfish and unrealistic? Or just fine and hard done by?

She has run through the hottest deserts on earth, over the world’s two highest mountain passes and clocked up enough miles to span the globe three times but now top ultra-marathon runner Lisa Tamati is facing a completely new challenge – trying to have a baby.

At 47, Tamati is trying to beat a different kind of clock to conceive with fiance Haisley O’Leary.

The couple have attempted IVF treatments and had a heart-breaking miscarriage after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

“I had this wonderful midwife come in,” Tamati tells Native Affairs in a programme to screen tomorrow. “She said to me, ‘Baby’s here in the room with you, baby’s spirit is with you, and just let baby go.”

The runner is one of an increasing number of older New Zealand women turning to IVF treatment. According to fertility experts, one in four New Zealand women and one in five men experience fertility difficulties by their late 30s.

It’s one thing to have fertility problems when you’re young, but should you selfishly push your own needs along for most of your life and then rely on science to give you a present at the end of it?   Read more »


Photo Of The Day

Gloria Ramirez

Gloria Ramirez

Gloria Ramirez

At 8:15 PM local time on February 19, 1994, paramedics brought 31 year-old Gloria Ramirez to the emergency room at Riverside General Hospital in California. While the medical professionals who worked on Ramirez did what they could to keep her alive, they were ultimately unsuccessful, and 45 minutes later, Ramirez, suffering from late stage cervical cancer, died.

But Ramirez’s case was special. During her forty-five minutes in the ER, three of the people who worked on her ended up losing consciousness and passing out.  In total, 23 of the 37 people working in the ER that night fell ill, to one degree or another, with five requiring hospitalization.  The events were serious enough — and scary enough — to spur Riverside General to evacuate its ER into the parking lot.

The details show how quickly this all unfolded.  Ramirez came into the ER disoriented from her disease with a slower than normal heartbeat and irregular breathing patterns — at this point, all reasonable symptoms given her disease. She was given sedatives as doctors and nurses continued with varied treatment, including defibrillation. Along the way, the medical staff began to notice some odd details. Ramirez’s body had a soft luster to it, as if she had a thin layer of oil on her skin. Her breath smelled garlicky. And when registered nurse Susan Kane went to draw blood from Ramirez, she noticed an ammonia-like smell coming from the tube.

Read more »

Another “lone wolf attack” in Australia…but it isn’t Islam…oh no…not Islam at all

There has been another “lone wolf” attack in Australia, this time against Police:

NSW Police have confirmed that a 15-year-old boy was the lone gunman who shot dead a police employee outside the state’s headquarters in Sydney’s west.

The teenager shouted religious slogans before firing one shot in the back of the head of a police finance worker as the employee was heading home on Friday afternoon.

The police employee has been named as Curtis Cheng, a 17-year veteran of the police force. Police say the shooter is of Iraqi-Kurdish background and was born in Iran.

“We believe that his actions were politically motivated and therefore linked to terrorism,” NSW police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione told reporters in Sydney.
Mr Scipione said police had no information to suggest the gunman posed “this type of threat”.    Read more »