Wednesday nightCap

Photo Of The Day

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Brownie gets the milk as Blackie waits his turn

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Brownie gets the milk as Blackie waits his turn

Udder Bliss: One Cow, Three Cats and Some (Very) Fresh Milk

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West Coast feral nearly kills baby after smashing vehicle into house


Not the West Coast of New Zealand, but the West Coast of the US, in Lakeside California.

A speeding motorist crashed a vehicle into the bedroom of a Lakeside house early Thursday, narrowly missing a baby who was sleeping in his crib on the other side of the wall.

The crash happened just after 2 a.m. in the 8800 block of Los Coches Road in Lakeside.  Read more »

Photo Of The Day

© Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS :  This may have been the last photo taken of James Dean with his silver Porsche 550 Spyder; it was taken at a petrol station a few hours before his fatal crash on 30 September 1955.

© Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS :
This may have been the last photo taken of James Dean with his silver Porsche 550 Spyder; it was taken at a petrol station a few hours before his fatal crash on 30 September 1955.

 The James Dean Death Car was just a stopping ground for Dean, he thought, waiting for his ultimate racing machine a superior Lotus MK X that was delayed. So it starts with the Spyder, it wasn’t even the car Dean was after. But being able to race again Dean wanted a car for the races at Salinas California. Read more »

And you thought that un-mown berms was a problem

Ok, who farted?

Ok, who farted?

With all the fuss over un-mown berms you’d think we had very few problems in Auckland, except for a dodgy rooting ratbag of a mayor.

But have a heart for the residents of La Jolla who are a wee bit upset about bird poo and seal shit.

A group called Citizens for Odor Nuisance Abatement is suing the city of San Diego and the state of California over the “foul odor” caused by bird and sea lion poop at La Jolla Cove.

The civil lawsuit was filed in San Diego Superior Court on Dec. 19 on behalf of the group. The city has 30 days to respond. The smell, attributed first to bird guano and then to sea-lion poop, has long plagued the wealthy La Jolla neighborhood.   Read more »

Makes Luigi’s $13,000 look insignificant

The media were all agog last week, because shock horror someone got paid to work on a campaign.

And the truly horrifying amounts…just $13,000. More fuss was made of that payment to Luigi Wewege than the hundreds of thousands shovelled through Len Brown’s secret trust.

Now look at the US and wonder at the stupidity of our media. A recently settled campaign finance case in California shows you just a snippet of the amount of cash trucking around for political campaigning.

The just-settled California case offers an example of both gambits, along with a textbook case of the new dark-money shuffle. The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission traced $29 million raised to run ads about state ballot measures through a daisy chain of 501(c)4 tax-exempt groups, which are not required to identify donors—hence the “dark money.” The lynchpin for this maneuver was the Center to Protect Patients Rights (CPPR), run by a former Capitol Hill staffer named Sean Noble. Operating out of a post-office box in Arizona, CPPR’s sole function is to accept grants, then turn around and make grants for a network of conservative nonprofits.   Read more »

Journalists trained and skilled

A candidate for the Green Party?


‘Smart Growth’ causes bubbles

One of Len Brown’s catch-cries, apart from ‘Meet me in the Ngati Whatua Room’, is that Auckland must have ‘smart growth’.

This he tells us is why we must accept his unitary plan.

The only problem with that is the evidence the world over says otherwise.

In 1950, Florida had only 3 million residents, ranking 20th in population in the country. By the mid-2000s, it boasted about 19 million residents and had moved up to fourth in state population, behind only California, Texas, and New York. Recent years, though, have seen this upward arc broken. Florida was hard hit when its housing bubble burst in 2007—ahead of the national meltdown that triggered the financial crisis and subsequent recession. When its economy imploded in 2008 and 2009—unemployment eventually rose as high as 11.7 percent—Florida, long a haven of opportunity, became a less attractive place to stay in or to move to. The state’s six-decade run of positive annual net domestic migration (that is, more people arriving in the state than leaving it) came to an end.

Florida’s restrictive land-use policies (better known as “smart growth” or “urban containment”) helped inflate its property bubble to massive size, making its bursting all the more economically painful. Such growth policies limit urban expansion, prohibiting new housing except in small sections of already dense metropolitan areas. As Brookings Institution economist Anthony Downs argues, these policies can destroy the competitive supply of land, driving land prices up (other things being equal) as demand rises sharply in relation to supply. These higher prices get passed along to prospective homeowners in higher home costs—often made even pricier by various other regulations and fees. The rapidly escalating housing prices, in turn, create the potential for extraordinary profits for speculators—or property “flippers”—who, jumping into the real-estate market in considerable numbers, increase the excess of demand over supply, driving prices higher still, until a bubble begins to expand. It’s no surprise that markets with more restrictive land-use policies have much greater housing-price volatility, as research by economists Edward Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko has shown.   Read more »

Governor Moonbeam vetoes anti-gun bills

Good on Jerry Brown, Governor of California, he has vetoed two anti-gun bills.

Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, of California, vetoed two anti-gun bills today. The bills had passed the state legislature and combined they would have banned the sale and possession of semi-automatic “assault weapons” by name and banned semi-auto rifles that accepted detachable magazines if Brown had signed them into law.

But he didn’t.  Read more »