Australia

The Aussies get it, does our government? What about the opposition?

Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, has returned from the US and a briefing about foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria…and she is rightfully concerned.

I wonder if our government is concerned as they should be, and I really wonder if the opposition parties, the Greens in particular actually understand the issue at all.

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop says she is “even more troubled” by the threat of foreign fighters in the Middle East following briefings with US officials, as Tony Abbott said he was willing to consider expanding Australia’s military role in Iraq.

Australia is facing increasing pressure to upgrade its military commitment in Iraq after US President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address yesterday to strengthen the international effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State.

Ms Bishop, who is attending high-level meetings in Washington, said the terrorist threat was spreading far beyond that posed by Islamic State.

“I’m even more troubled by the phenomena of foreign fighters because of the way that they are organised, because of the way they are metastasising, that we are seeing al-Qa’ida, al-Nusra, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, claiming to have taken part in attacks so it’s not just ISIL,” she said.

“The focus has been on ISIL but there are many other terrorist organisations upon whom our focus is warranted.”    Read more »

Al-Qaeda use Ed Snowden’s leaks to evade surveillance

al-qaeda-militant-expansion.si

Ed Snowden, one of Kim Doctcom’s friends, has revealed sufficient security services trade craft in monitoring terrorists, that Al-Qaeda have made a training film to teach the terrorists and interested lone wolf gunmen that have nothing to do with Islam updated methods.

Confirming the fears of Western intelligence agencies, Al-Qaeda has released a new video guide on how to avoid being detected. They based their tutorial on Edward Snowden’s leaks concerning Western spying methods, British media reported.

The seven and a half minute tutorial video made by the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and released by its media platform, provides a detailed guide on how terrorists can avoid being tracked… The report says that the video gives a list of countries and companies cooperating with intelligence agencies and provides a list of software packages to protect against surveillance.

That’s the same Snowden that has been trying to destabilise a democratically elected Government and influence an election right here in New Zealand.  He did so while on the payroll of Kim Dotcom who had the singular objective to destroy John Key.

What continues to boggle the mind is that the Green and Labour Parties will back clowns like Snowden in the face of clear evidence that instead of being a whistle blower, he is in fact a traitor and a saboteur to western democracies. Read more »

Which is easier, Andrew Little or Countdown PR job?

We’ve seen the fiasco that surrounded the recruitment process for a PR person to help people discover who Andrew Little is.

Now we see our favourite supermarket owner Progressive Enterprises (owners of Countdown) trying to boost their PR efforts after a dismal 2014.

You’ll remember how Countdown was under the pump while the Commerce Commission investigated more than 90 complaints from suppliers for their strong-arming of local suppliers.

The Commerce Commission surprisingly didn’t find anything… while in Australia, the ACCC investigated a remarkable similar story and slammed a supermarket chain (COLES) with millions in fines.

Countdown has some work to do repairing its reputation with suppliers in New Zealand. So let’s have a look at the job requirements and see how important supplier relationships are to Countdown.   Read more »

So not speed then, a better focus on improving roads

The Police have constantly claimed that lower road tolls are as a result of their focus on speed.

That went spectacularly wrong this holiday period just gone when the road toll ballooned and so did the national road toll.

By constantly claiming it was their actions that lowered the toll the Police set themselves up for failure. If, instead, they had talked about improved vehicle construction utilising side intrusion beams, air bags, crumple zones etc plus discussed roading improvements, then their credibility might still be intact.

As a case in point there is news out of Wellington regarding road design that proves my point.

Wellington’s roads were the envy of Australasia last year, with the region recording the lowest level of road deaths per capita on both sides of the Tasman.

Figures compiled by the Ministry of Transport and the Automobile Association show there were 12 road deaths across Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Kapiti and Wairarapa in 2014 – 2.4 deaths for every 100,000 people living in the region. That was the lowest per capita rate across both New Zealand and Australia.

Auckland was the next best, with 39 deaths, or 2.5 per 100,000 people.     Read more »

Photo Of The Day

 

Photo: Supplied

Photo: Supplied

Journalist T-Shirt With Famous Headline Deemed ‘Offensive’ by Parliament Security

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Nanny statism infects Miliband’s Labour

Just like Labour in this country the Labour party in the UK under the leadership Ed Miliband, is focussing on important things that matter to voters.

Like high levels of fat, sugar and salt in food, plus price fixing power when the market is delivering lower prices anyway, and plain packs for cigarettes.

Nigel Farage gives them a good hard spanking.

So utterly devoid of real policy solutions, and so helplessly out of touch with what the British public are concerned about, the Labour Party are now turning their hands to banning what they call “high levels of fat, sugar, and salt” in food. Apparently, they launched the policy at an event where they served sugary fruit juice, chocolate brioche, and buttery croissants. You couldn’t make it up.

But beyond Labour’s rank hypocrisy and lack of focus on the key issues of the day, we have to acknowledge that before one vote has been cast in the General Election, Mr Miliband is already planning on a major resurgence of the nanny-state ideals that we saw flourish under Mr Blair and Mr Brown.

“Children will need better protection from the pressures of modern living,” the Labour Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, has said. I agree, we shouldn’t shovel sweets and fizzy drinks into the mouths of kids – but here I was thinking this was a matter for parents, rather than one for government.

Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m sure I’ll be lectured on this by some interventionist “do-gooder” – but it’s not really for government to decide what is available to adults on supermarket shelves.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo/ABC

Photo/ABC

Moment in Time

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While Jews are slaughtered, the Left worries about Islamophobia

Brendan O’Neill, in The Australian, writes a brilliant summary of the left-wing and their response to building and growing anti-Semitism.

THE parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly ­exposed last week.

In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.

And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims.

They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.

So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-­Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered The Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.

The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles onThe Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual ­attacks on Jews.

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I agree with Keith Locke, take the tasers off the cops…

It is a new year and so I suppose we didn’t have to wait long for Keith Locke to have a bleat about Police and their use of Tasers.

Police have revealed they fired a Taser stun-gun at an offender five times – the latest incident that has Taser critics calling for a review of its use.

The case is contained in statistics released by police about Taser use in the first half of last year.

A police spokesman said the incident involved a violent offender resisting arrest and fighting with an officer in the Counties-Manukau district with the Taser being pressed directly against the body of the suspect in “contact stun” mode.

“While the Taser was discharged [in contact stun mode] five times, three made contact with the person,” the spokesman said.

“Of the three which made contact, the first two were not effective in bringing the person under control, while the third was effective in stopping the violent behaviour.”

Police said two of the discharges missed the offender as he grappled with the officer on the ground.

The suspect was not injured, but a critic says increased use, and two recent Taser-related deaths overseas, suggest the device will kill someone here.

This week 38-year-old Kevin Norris died after being Tasered by police in the New South Wales town of Mittagong.

According to reports, Norris was conscious when taken into custody but died at the police station. His death is now the subject of an investigation.

Former Green MP Keith Locke, who has been a critic of the Taser since it was introduced in 2007, said the death should send a message.    Read more »

Is Dairy Rooted?

The boom in the New Zealand economy has been led by massive dairy intensification. It is also the driver behind silly socialist projects like the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme where townie councillors have bought into government and Federated Farmers spin about the future being dairy and they are promoting economic models based on boom years that are unsustainable in bust years. Even so the proposals can’t work without massive subsidies or government grants even in boom years.

Yet no one has really stopped to question what the real long-term price of milk solids is, and if it is a sustainable long-term path to prosperity for New Zealand.

After last years boom prices there was not much consideration to what was going on world-wide, especially with the Chinese Market.

In the Sydney Morning Herald, their business editor wrote a good article comparing dairy in New Zealand to iron ore in Australia. I slammed it at the time, but have had a bit more of a think about it, plus some additional research over the holiday break.

Uppity Kiwis feeling boastful about their dollar approaching parity with the mighty Aussie might do well to stick to rugby for their kicks. Their China-driven boom is coming to an end as quickly as Australia’s. And they have less to fall back on when it does.

Meanwhile, reports of Gina Rinehart going long on dairy farms could prove as reliable a warning as many another billionaire diversifying outside his or her area of expertise.

The New Zealand economy’s resurgence has owed much to China’s demand for milk products and getting in early for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Middle Kingdom.

Trouble is, China has been busily investing and encouraging others to invest in increased and globally diversified milking. Just as iron ore miners have ramped up production both from existing provinces and new projects from Africa to Mongolia, New Zealand’s farmers are facing increased competition from South America to Russia and all points in between, including Australia.

[…]    Read more »