Greens want to cancel Dirty, DIRTY gas power plant

Time is running out for the Government to decide whether people will get a say on Nova Energy’s proposal to build a large gas-fired power plant in south Waikato with significant impacts on the environment and climate change, the Green Party said today.

“The Government should ‘call in’ Nova’s application to build a new gas-fired power plant as a matter of national significance so everyone gets to have a say, because it will affect New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” said Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“New Zealand has committed to reducing our climate pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement, so it would be ridiculous to allow big new sources of climate pollution to be built.

“It would be a massive failure of policy and leadership to allow a new power plant that could emit an estimated 425,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution a year and dismiss its impacts on the climate.

“Almost 3000 people have signed a petition asking Nick Smith to show leadership about this power station.

“The Resource Management Act says that whether a project is relevant to New Zealand’s international obligations to the global environment – like the Paris Climate Agreement – is a factor in deciding if it’s a matter of national significance that can be ‘called in’.

This dirty power plant could need another 17,000 trees planted to suck up all the CO2 pollution it could spew out.

17,000 trees.   To combat the DIRTY power plant. Read more »

Retirement age, National and using ACT as a Trojan Horse

ACT Leader David Seymour is commending Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell for starting the conversation New Zealanders need to have about Super and retirement, and challenging other leaders to put their cards on the table for younger voters to see before next years’ election.

“ACT is the only party in parliament willing to have this debate, with every other leader running a mile from a sensible discussion,” says Seymour, “the figures Maxwell provides speak for themselves, with the number of over 65s doubling, the cost of super tripling, and the number of workers supporting each retiree falling from 4.4 to just 2.4 over the coming 20 years.”

Last year ACT proposed having a referendum on Super instead of the flag, but could not gain cross party support for taking on the issue.

“Ultimately this is about what sort of character we want in our governments. Do we want a Government that looks into the future and confronts difficult challenges, as the Retirement Commissioner is doing, or one that tells younger New Zealanders we’re not even allowed to discuss the future.

While there are a number of possible changes, ACT supports a gradual increase in the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, at a pace of two months per year every year beginning as soon as possible. Read more »


Photo of the Day

Digitally manipulated photo.

Digitally manipulated photo.

Project A119

U.S. Had Secret Plan to Nuke Moon During Cold War

The U.S. considered detonating an atomic bomb on the moon in an effort to intimidate the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War

During 1958 and 1959 the US Air Force studied project A119 which called for the explosion of a nuclear weapon on the surface of the Moon. This project remained secret until 2000, when Leonard Reiffel, a former scientist of the Illinois Institute of Technology revealed its existence.

It may sound like a plot straight out of a science fiction novel, but a U.S. mission to blow up the moon with a nuke was very real in the 1950s. At the height of the space race, the U.S. considered detonating an atom bomb on the moon as a display of America’s Cold War muscle. The secret project, innocuously titled ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ and nicknamed ‘Project A119,’ was never carried out.

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into low earth orbit. It was the planet’s first artificial satellite—and much to the apprehension of the Pentagon and U.S. policymakers, it belonged to the Russians . The Space Race had begun and America was losing.

The decades that followed were a parade of Cold War paranoia, technological innovation and bizarre military strategies. Both the East and West wanted to make sure the world knew who was the top superpower. But how?

Being the first to the moon was the top prize. In the early days of the Space Race, both countries thought the best way to prove they’d been to the moon was to nuke it.

Read more »

It happens rarely, but Labour and I agree on something


via Stuff


The government shouldn’t help Joseph Parker’s bid for the world boxing title in Auckland in December, Labour says.

Parker’s promoter Dean Lonergan has asked the government to help pay the bill for hosting the event.

Lonergan is reported as saying the bout may need seven-figure contributions from sponsors and the government if the fight for the WBO world heavyweight title was to go ahead.

The government said the application was being assessed and it didn’t yet have a view on it. Read more »

Whaleoil Labour Day Quiz

Cheese eating surrender monkeys march backwards on carbon tax

Carbon Tax

The Cheese eating surrender monkeys are marching backwards on carbon tax.

The French government is set to drop plans to introduce a carbon tax, French financial daily Les Echos said on Thursday.

The newspaper, quoting several sources, said the socialist government will not include the carbon tax in a draft 2016 budget update currently being discussed.

Environment Minister Segolene Royal had said in May that France would unilaterally introduce a carbon price floor of about 30 euros ($33) a tonne with a view to kickstart broader European action to cut emissions and drive forward the December 2015 United Nations-led international climate accord.

The plan had pushed power prices higher in the spring.

Read more »

Screwing the Social Justice Bully Scrum

Sydney University has female trouble because a cheeky bloke decided to screw the Social Justice Bully scrum by identifying as a woman in order to win an executive position in a student election.Even though it was a prank the SJB’s have been forced to accept his application at face value because it is politically incorrect to demand that a person proves their gender.

It’s perhaps the single greatest prank in the history of University of Sydney student politics. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

A male staffer for a Liberal MP attempted to identify himself as a woman as part of a sneaky factional deal to win a $12,000 executive position in a student election.

Alex Fitton, who works for New South Wales state MP Mark Taylor, vowed he was not a cisgender male in order to become joint general secretary of the University of Sydney Students’ Representative Council on Wednesday night.
In a saner age, this would be accepted as middle-tier banter, laughed at, and dismissed out of hand. But this isn’t a sane age. And now the Left is has fallen on the sword of gender-identity it’s wielded so deftly for so many years.

Read more »

The future of unions is the slow painful demise they deserve

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Unions are no longer relevant to NZ society

Bryce Edwards writes a big long whinge about the future of unions at the NZ Herald.

It is a bit forlorn, but he tries to fill it with hope and promise. The bottom line though is unions are no longer relevant for modern workers. The numbers show that.

Many of the tributes paid to Helen Kelly in the last week acknowledged her success in raising the profile and positive perception of the union movement. More than ever before, unions are less reliant on industrial muscle and more on winning the public relations battle – getting consumers and voters on side with their campaigns and political interventions.

Kelly was a talented leader but the hard reality of union health remains grim. The movement she led has been barely holding its own after a catastrophic collapse in the 1990s.

The public isn’t necessarily convinced about unions. According to UMR’s 2016 Mood of the Nation report, unions are the second least trusted institution – with only 30 per cent of those surveyed having confidence. This is more than the media (26%), but less than big business (31%), churches (33%), and banks (44%).

Read more »

Missing million? One more found – 999,998 to go

A tennis coach jailed in the US for soliciting sexually explicit photographs from a youth player is being lined up for deportation to New Zealand.

Rex Haultain, who was born in New Zealand and became an American citizen in 2012, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay US$15,000 ($21,000) restitution after pleading guilty to one count of soliciting child pornography.

Missouri-based Haultain was indicted by a federal grand jury for the District of Kansas on February 13, 2013.

The latest court documents, from September 12, now show the child porn offender is trying to fight the US Government’s move to withdraw citizenship and ultimately open the way for deportation to New Zealand.

On October 15 last year a trial attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation – a division of the Department of Justice – filed a complaint to “revoke Haultain’s naturalisation”. Read more »

Guest Post – I give my kids all the screen time they want

It’s a modern-day parenting nightmare – how much screen time is too much?

It seems the age at which a child is swiping and scrolling is getting younger.

Now, American doctors have put out new advice on how long – or little – kids should spend in front of a screen.

On a sunny day, there’s little excuse for children being stuck to their screens. But this is a digital age, and they are now part of everyday life – a part more and more parents are trying to control.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued new recommendations around how much time children should spend watching TV and tablets.

It says for those younger than 18 months, there should be no screen time. Ages two to five – up to one hour a day, and only educational programmes. And once the kids are older than six, parents should decide.

“Media use cannot displace sleep; it can’t displace physical play; it can’t displace family meals and social interaction,” says Dr Corrine Cross. “Those are really the jobs, if you will, of a young child, and they need to do those before they’re using media.”

Our Ministry of Health has similar recommendations. It also believes those aged five to 18 should spend less than two hours a day – that’s not including school hours in front of the TV and computer.   — Newshub

It’s not screen time that’s the problem.  It’s not managing your children’s lives in the first place.  My kids have screen time almost all the time.  Weekends are wall to wall screen time.


They are put to bed early compared to their peers.  The last hour of the day is not screen time, but book time.  That’s to disconnect their brains from the games.    They excel academically.  One of them being at the top of his school.

As parents, we could not see the logic in restricting screen time when

  • we were on screens all day long
  • they were healthy, happy, well socialised, rested, fed and academically successful

Perhaps our family is unusual, but in our experience, limiting screen time would be like limiting anything.  It’s kind of arbitrary.

When we were growing up, the same arguments existed about TV.  Too much TV watching, blah blah.  And look at us now.  We clearly ended up OK.  Ish.

Screen time these days is much more interactive compared tot he days TV had us captured.  My kids are solving problems, they are socialising and learning about team work, they are learning about technical things like programming, or solving a problem that the computer has developed.  And it is all organic.

The screens are not a substitute.   We keep a careful eye on their moods, their state of mind, how much rest they are getting, and so on.  And once we get that right, they can have computers, iPads and phones until the cows come home.

I think the problem with screen time isn’t the screen itself.  Once again, as Cam frequently says, the real problem is shit parenting.

Don’t get me wrong: sending the kids outside is absolutely fine.  Just don’t tell me that my kids having lots of screen time every day they’re not at school is damaging them.   It patently is not.

And if we are honest with ourselves, all the “experts”, medical “professionals” and “psychologists” that haunted our parents about letting us watch too much TV were wrong.  Nothing wrong with me.  Or you.  Nothing that the TV caused, anyway.


– Jessica