New York

Key swings from one lost cause to another: the TPP

Prime Minister John Key has reinforced the benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York today.

Mr Key told the Council he welcomes the priority that the US Administration has placed on TPP’s passage through Congress this year.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries,” says Mr Key. “It will provide better access for goods and services to more than 800 million people across the TPP countries, which make up 36 per cent of global GDP.

“For New Zealand, it’s estimated it will boost our economy by at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030. It will help diversify our economy and create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders. Read more »


New Zealand signs up to Climate Change subterfuge

Leaders from 175 countries, including New Zealand, signed the climate change accords in New York this morning, potentially paving the way for the agreement to come into force years ahead of schedule.

The Paris Agreement covers more than 90 per cent of the world’s emissions with 188 countries taking part in the negotiations held in France in December last year.

“We are in a race against time,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the gathering.

“The era of consumption without consequences is over.”

Many now expect the climate agreement to enter into force long before the original deadline of 2020.

Some say it could happen this year.

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says while New Zealand’s 2030 target of reducing emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels was ambitious, she is confident of success.

“The next step is for more of the operational details to be fleshed out so New Zealand can consider timing and the best way to ratify the agreement,” Ms Bennett said.

So we signed up to something and we have no idea how to achieve it.  We actually have to still figure it out.  How’s that for awesome?   The thing to remember is that the agreement is non-binding, so yeah, whatever.

John Key’s put all his eggs in the “technology will provide the answer” basket, but to be honest, none of the politicians that are making decisions about climate today will be around to answer for the results, or the lack of them, when it actually becomes clear in 50 years time how much of the whole thing was actually true.

Some decades ago, the world decided to attack pollution.  Clean up the air and waterways.  And that’s a good thing to do no matter what your political persuasion.  Most of the western countries have stopped discharging untreated waste, and we are all better off for it.

And so it is with measures that mitigate climate change.  They may not actually have the desired effect, but the general environmental and life-style improvements that the search for “greener” production will generate is something we can all benefit from.

You may have seen this earlier this week.  If not, I recommend you watch it.  It makes it extremely obvious that by tackling climate change, we need to be looking ahead, and not apply bans and taxes.


– One News, TVNZ

Photo Of The Day



“The Toughest Cop in the World”

Here’s how Johnny Broderick handled ordinary smart guys. There were three of them, standing outside a downtown restaurant, looking for trouble. Johnny smacked them around for a while, then he picked them up one by one and flung all three of them through the restaurant’s plate-glass window. Then he ran them in for malicious destruction of property, and the judge gave them 30 days and made them pay for the damage.

Here’s how Johnny Broderick handled racketeers like Vannie Higgins. Dapper Vannie would come around to Madison Square Garden for a sporting night out on the town, and Johnny would be waiting for him every time, and Johnny would just pick him up and send him crashing through a phone booth and make him leave. Vannie complained about this to the fixers on several occasions, but it never got him anywhere.

Here’s how Johnny Broderick handled Legs Diamond, who blustered one night that he’d had enough of this Broderick and he was going to take the lousy copper for a ride. Word of this came to Johnny, who went out looking for a showdown and soon found Legs and his boys at Broadway and 46th. The boys fled at once. Legs gulped. Johnny dumped a trash bin over his head. Then he made him crawl away on his hands and knees as the whole Stem watched.

Here’s how Johnny Broderick handled Two-Gun Crowley. Crowley was holed up at West End and 90th, fending off tear-gas bombs, challenging 300 cops outside to come and get him. Johnny stomped upstairs by himself, bashed down the door, ordered Crowley to come along and marched him out by the scruff of his neck.

Read more »

“Record-breaking” blizzard in USA in the “hottest year on record”



A winter storm has dumped nearly 58cm of snow on Washington DC and Baltimore, before moving on to Philadelphia and New York, paralysing road, rail and airline travel along the US east coast.

At least 10 states declared weather emergencies on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time), aiming to get a handle on highways made impassable by the drifting snow and to shore up coastal areas where the blizzard conditions raised the danger of flooding.

High winds battered the region, reaching 110km per hour in Wallops Island, Virginia, late on Friday (Saturday NZT), said meteorologist Greg Gallina of the National Weather Service.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

© Estate of Diane Arbus. Diane Arbus photographing the Doppelgänger Twins.

© Estate of Diane Arbus.
Diane Arbus photographing the Doppelgänger Twins.

Go Places You Have Never Been

Adore your subjects

Photographer Diane Arbus’s distinctive portraits showed the world how crazy (and beautiful) New Yorkers were in the 1950s and ’60s.

Arbus took a lot of photographs of marginalized individuals in society (transgender, dwarfs, circus people, etc) and of course she had her natural prejudices when she took photographs (as we all do). Her individuals would try to present themselves to the world in a certain way, but other people might perceive them in a different way.

For example, if someone dressed up as a rock star with chains and spiked studs, they may feel that they are giving off the image that they are powerful and cool. However an outsider might see this as frightening, and something abhorrent.

“Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still adore some of them, I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe.

There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

Read more »

Yeah, because banning toy guns will stop murder

Only the most slow-witted politician could ever think that banning toy guns is going to reduce gun crime.

It appears that New York has a good amount of slow-witted politicians.

Three dozen online retailers will no longer be able to sell realistic-looking toy guns in New York, according to PressConnects.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement this week with 30 online toy gun retailers who sell their products through Through Amazon, those retailers sold over 5,000 “imitation weapons” – toy guns that look real – in New York that are illegal because they did not meet state safety standards.

In August, Schneiderman had announced an agreement with, Kmart, Sears, Wal-Mart and California-based ACTA for them to stop selling imitation toy guns. They also had to pay a $300,000 fine.   Read more »

Jack Tame gets bitch slapped

Gobby TV and radio presenter Jack Tame got a lesson on why blokes with the body of a half sucked throatie shouldn’t get into fights.

TVNZ journalist and Newstalk ZB host Jack Tame has been punched in the head after he tried to intervene in a fight in New York City.

Tame, who lives in New York as TVNZ’s US correspondent, said he was leaving his apartment in Spanish Harlem when he saw a couple arguing in the street.

“They were swearing and yelling at each other when suddenly the man hit the woman really hard in the side of the head,” he told the Herald.   Read more »


Photo Of The Day

Photo: Library of Congress. Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver at Pan-American Exposition reception, Sept. 6, 1901.

Photo: Library of Congress.
Leon Czolgosz shoots President McKinley with a concealed revolver at Pan-American Exposition reception, Sept. 6, 1901.

President McKinley

Shot By A Lunatic

 President William McKinley was shot by an anarchist on September 6, 1901. McKinley was in good spirits after the assassination attempt, but he died from gangrene a week later. The people attending to the President—and even McKinley himself—made mistakes that made his death more likely.

Leon Czolgosz stood in line and counted the people between him and the President of the United States. Nondescript, dressed in a dark suit, and wearing an innocent expression, Czolgosz (pronounced chlgsh) looked younger than his 28 years. He had waited for more than two hours in 82-degree heat on September 6, 1901, for his turn to shake hands with President William McKinley, who was visiting the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

It was the first year of the new century, a perfect time to reflect on the nation’s rise in world prominence and to speculate on the future. The exposition, a world’s fair that celebrated the Americas’ industrial progress and achievement, had attracted visitors from around the world. The event was more than halfway through its six-month run when President McKinley, the most popular chief executive since Abraham Lincoln, arrived.

McKinley’s final public appearance in Buffalo was an afternoon reception in the Temple of Music, an ornate red-brick hall on the exposition grounds. Since being elected president in 1896, McKinley had been notorious for discounting his own personal safety at public appearances, and he had repeatedly resisted attempts by his personal secretary, George Cortelyou, to cancel this event. Cortelyou had argued that it wasn’t worth the risk to greet such a small number of people, but the 58-year-old president refused to change his mind. ‘Why should I?’ he asked. ‘Who would want to hurt me?’

Read more »

Photo Of The Day


Photo: David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images. Ground Zero Tour. Lee Ielpi and Tania Head take former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the first guided tour of Ground Zero. The tours, were organized out of the planned Tribute Centre starting in October, and led by survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11.

Photo: David Handschuh/NY Daily News via Getty Images.
Ground Zero Tour. Lee Ielpi and Tania Head take former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the first guided tour of Ground Zero. The tours, were organized out of the planned Tribute Centre starting in October, and led by survivors and family members of those who died on 9/11.

A Crazy Need To Be A Star!

No-one did any Fact Checking on Her Story for About Six years..

Why didn’t anyone sense something was amiss?

Tania Head was full of lies.

Tania Head, was a wonderful 9/11 impostor—She was The President and Spokesperson for the World Trade Centre Survivors Network, despite Not being a World Trade Centre survivor… and also a prominent advocate for 9/11 widows who had Not, in fact, lost a husband. Or a fiancé, as she referred to a man named Dave, who had actually died in the attacks.

Dave’s family had never heard of Tania, which is no surprise, since she was a Spanish business-school student who had spent September 11, in Barcelona.

Alicia Esteve Head, a.k.a. Tania, Head claimed she lost consciousness while still in the North Tower and awoke five days later, in a hospital, to learn her fiancé had died there.

Her story had more holes in it than a pair of fishnet stockings, and it’s not like she invented concocting fake 9/11 stories to get attention. Still, when a victim crawls from the rubble of a countries worst disaster with a dead fiancé, it’s a very risky move calling bull. So, nobody did.

America took Head into their hearts both as a victim and as the woman who publicly fought for the cause of the 9/11 survivors, she became infamous as the woman who made it all up.

Head had never worked for Merrill Lynch, which she claimed as her employer at the time of the attacks, and had never visited the offices of the Fiduciary Trust Company, on the 96th floor of the South Tower, where she claimed she was when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. (She had reached the 78th floor and was waiting for an express elevator down, she said, when the second plane made impact above her.) On her way out of the building, she often told trauma groups, reporters, and 9/11 victims, she encountered a badly injured man who passed her his wedding ring and asked that she return it to his wife.

Read more »

How much spent on an apartment? Haven’t these guys heard of AirBnB?

Murray McCully’s department is out of control.

MFaT has blown more than $11 million on an apartment for our ambassador to the UN.

Hells teeth even at New York prices that is a whole lot of hootenanny gone a begging when it would have been cheaper to rent.

The Government has shelled out almost $11 million on a luxury New York apartment for our man at the United Nations.

Gerard van Bohemen, who was previously deputy secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and responsible for multilateral and legal affairs, was appointed New Zealand’s new permanent representative at the United Nations in February.

The US$7.9 million pied-a-terre in Manhattan’s Zeckendorf Development’s 50 United Nations Plaza lists the buyer as “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of New Zealand”.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the apartment in New York had been bought as the residence for the Head of Mission.

He said it cost $10,975,228.

“This follows a decision to sell the old residence, which is now on the market.”

Read more »