Shania Twain

Ballads for Bunny Boilers

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I have blogged about this wierdo before, but she is back for more. Her songs are certainly aimed at the Bunny Boiler market:

In April we introduced you to Texan Lisa Gail Allred and her music video to Three Second Rule. And we know, most of you wish we hadn’t, as it was one of the worst music videos we’ve ever had to suffer through.

Despite the clip going viral for all the wrong reasons (or because of it) Allred is back with a new banger in Coffee or Tea.

Disappointingly there’s far less slap bass and cowbell than 3 Second Rule, but it’s certainly just as haunting.

According to her website, Lisa Gail Allred began singing in the Texas Girls Choir before launching her own career. She believes she sounds like Shania Twain and Faith Hill.

And apparently she does have fans who like her style of music. One is even asking on her website if there was sheet music available for any of the songs she’s written. The admirer who goes under the moniker Sing Out thought it would be fun to sing one herself.

Allred answered quickly she would check with her producer Desi, which makes the mind boggle as to what qualifications are needed to call oneself a producer.

The Repeaters all singing from Labour's songsheet

It looks like the mainstream media repeaters are all singing from Labour’s prepared songsheet this weekend. The problem for them is that they all went tp press at the same time making themselves all look like…well…repeaters.

Fran O’Sullivan, Tracy Watkins and loyal Labour mouthpiece John Armstrong are all running the ame lines; that the government isn’t controlling the media like the last government!

OK so, let’s get this straight, they want a return to the micro-managed inside snippets, approved and released by the ninth floor. They want this because…

Well they want it because they are now having to think and write for themselves and repeaters don’t like doing that especially when they can have ready made articles churned out by a bevy of taxpayer funded spin flunkies.

Which is probably why more and more people read blogs and particularly those blogs that refuse to run spin.

WORLD FIRST: Whaleoil Wrong, Admits it

In a world first, I can reveal that I made a mistake in a blog post. Over the weekend, I criticised Fran O’Sullivan for suggesting that Police Minister Judith Collins could launch an inquiry into the dodgy business of Howard Broad’s politically corrupt handling of the “investigation” into the theft of Don Brash’s emails and subsequent cover up.

In fact, Fran was right and I was wrong.

According to the Cabinet Manual and the Department of Internal Affairs’ very useful document “Setting Up and Running Commissions of Inquiry“, any Minister, including the Police Minister, can set up a Commission of Inquiry. Commissions of Inquiry can inquire into any matter of major public importance or concern to the government of the day. Any Minister may propose an inquiry, but must consult the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General first, prior to submitting the proposal to Cabinet. Before giving its approval, Cabinet should seek advice form the relevant Minister’s office, the relevant department, DPMC and the Crown Law Office.

So Judith Collins can act. And she should. She has previously said she is worried about the public perception our police bosses are politically corrupt. If she doesn’t act, it looks like the new government is hiding something.

PS. Over at Kiwiblog, Farrar made the same mistake. Will he admit he was wrong, and join WOBH’s call for an inquiry?

Fran O'Sullivan : Police excuses ring hollow

Fran O’Sullivan : Police excuses ring hollowFormer National Leader Don Brash cuts a rather pathetic figure as he fruitlessly tries to get to the bottom of who stole the cache of his emails Nicky Hager used as the basis of his book The Hollow Men. There are plenty of theories… [NZ Herald Politics]

Fran O’Sullivan has taken up the cudgel in the increasingly smelly Police investigation of the stolen Brash emails. Unfortunately in her attempt to find out what is happening she attacks Police minister Judith Collins.

Brash has had no help from Police Minister Judith Collins either. Collins was Brash’s close political chum during the dying days of his leadership when it seemed as if he might just survive. But she has not asked for a review.

Now if Fran had actually bothered to read the law pertaining what a Police minister can and cannot do, she would know that Judith Collins actually can’t order such a review. The relevant section is Section 16 of the Policing Act. I have taken the liberty of doing Fran’s research for her. Here is what Section 16 says;

Responsibilities and independence of Commissioner

  • (1) The Commissioner is responsible to the Minister for—
    • (a) carrying out the functions and duties of the Police; and
    • (b) the general conduct of the Police; and
    • (c) the effective, efficient, and economical management of the Police; and
    • (d) tendering advice to the Minister and other Ministers of the Crown; and
    • (e) giving effect to any lawful ministerial directions.

(2) The Commissioner is not responsible to, and must act independently of, any Minister of the Crown (including any person acting on the instruction of a Minister of the Crown) regarding—

  • (a) the maintenance of order in relation to any individual or group of individuals; and
  • (b) the enforcement of the law in relation to any individual or group of individuals; and
  • (c) the investigation and prosecution of offences; and
  • (d) decisions about individual Police employees.

So you see Judith Collins has her hands tied. It is probably for the best that the law preculdes this lest other less judicious adherents to the law started directing the Police. One wonders though whether previous Police Ministers and indeed Prime ministers have somehow circumvented this aspect of the law.

Whatever, though, the continued whitewash of the investigation can only lead one to presume that their is omething smelly in the Police Department.

This case would be one of the reasons I would use to establish a wide ranging Independent Commission against Corruption which would contain the resources of the Serious Fraud Office, the Police Complaints Authority and a rotating panel of judges. We need to root out corruption form everywhere it appears to be festering and a good start would the three op people at the Police National HQ.

Fran O'Sullivan: Time to milk sacred cows

Fran O’Sullivan: Time to milk sacred cowsWhat a great opportunity for John Key to show some bottle and tackle the sacred cows that block a major economic resurgence in New Zealand. Risk-taking is in Key’s blood. He’s been a high-flying global currency trader. Unlike his… [NZ Herald Politics]

Fran O’Sullivan suggest milking some sacred cows, I’d suggest a step further. I’ve always thought sacred cows make the best hamburgers.

Instead of shrugging off the OECD’s latest prescriptions as telling Kiwis (or their Government) nothing they do not already know, Key is ideally placed to be more courageous than his predecessors and use the report to drive the essential changes needed to put the economy on a sounder competitive footing.

The report was hardly a harbinger of doom (save those words, please, for a full-on currency crisis).

But it is a much-needed reality check.

By taking some leadership and convincing the New Zealand public it needs to face up to the country’s economic predicament instead of following lemming-like down the Icelandic or Irish paths, the Prime Minister will win on political points, and could save the country from the ignominy of joining the growing list of sovereign downgrades.

Key has strong salesman skills. Kiwis have already bought his frequent line that a “diet of debt” is not sustainable.

It is time to wean ourselves off of fifty years of creeping, stealing, robbing socialism. I think we have had plenty of time to see if handout instead of hand ups work. It is clear as the lists of people waiting for hip replacements, lining up at WINZ, ACC or their doctor for the sickness benefit. Fifty plus years of rampant government spending and socialism hasn’t worked in making poor people better off. Arguably they are worse off and even more arguably we borrowsed for the mad experiment.

I don’t agree with Fran that National should abandoin itrs promises over tax cuts. The prescription shouldn’t be to cancel the tax cuts, it should be to cancel the wasteful, bloated welfare state that isn’t working. Like a household we should cut our cloth according to our income even when that income drops. We shouldn’t be raiding the pockets of the taxpayer to pay for things we can’t afford and never could afford.

So too, the debate over the ownership of non-core assets like electricity generation, the railways and banks.

On this score, Key seems concerned that National should not break its election promise not to advance privatisation in its first term in office. This pledge should not stop the Government from exploring other creative alternatives in the meantime, like issuing State-Owned Enterprise bonds and extracting capital from SOE balance sheets to either reduce the projected debt profile, or reinvest elsewhere.

It was in the initial SOE legislation after all and will be attractive to New Zealand retail investors.

Exactly….and I’d go further and suggest that we should look at some less obvious areas for full privatisation like Corrrections for example. Almost no-one sees Corrections as an asset and yet it is if you look at the balance sheet.

When faced with a decade of deficits we should be looking at ways to increase revenue and minimise expenses. Capital costs for expanding corrections is an area that could and should be funded privately.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

Then there is the urgent need to focus attention on the looming long-term structural imbalances which will occur as too few taxpayers try to sustain the health and livelihoods of New Zealanders post the age of 65.

With nearly a quarter of the population offshore and not even contributing to the tax base, it is frankly barking to offer universal superannuation to all New Zealanders once they reach 65 years on the condition that they have lived here for a mere 10 years since aged 20 (five of the 10 years since reaching 50).

Given the demographic projections, it has all the makings of a full-scale tax revolt. Then there is the nonsense of the current age of superannuation entitlement. The reality is that in 1950-52, the life expectancy at birth for NZ males (who were the substantial taxpayers) was 67.2 years.

By 2002, it was 76.3 years.

The “retirement” age has not increased enough yet to keep pace with the longer life expectancy.

It is barking barking mad to continue witha universal superannuation scheme that gives peanuts to many monkeys. Far better to scale back universality and reward individuals for looking after themselves rather than having a population becoming bludgers from the cradle to the grave.

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Mythbusting: Helen Clark

Helen Clark: Myths BustedThis blogger is over the felching from some quarters and the MSm in general about Helen Clark. It is time to bust some myths.

Fran O’Sullivan thinks it would be “churlish to spend too much time on the accumulation of domestic baggage which put paid to Clark’s chances at the last election”. I disagree.

Patrick Crewdson, somewhat, fawningly, writes in the DomPost the first myth of Helen Clark, “that Her new role is considered to be the most heavyweight international position ever held by a New Zealander – more significant even than Mike Moore’s time as head of the World Trade Organisation.”

I think Crewdson must be taking Clark’s or at least Darren Hughes press releases at face value. They ignore history and achievements of other fine New Zealanders.

Crewdson and other similar MSM history re-writers forget all about Sir Leslie Monroe who was President of the UN Assembly in or around 1952, and I think held other positions with the UN.   He was also ambassador to the UN, although I suppose that’s a bit different.

From Wikipedia:

Munro was a founding member of the New Zealand National Party, and held significant executive positions in the party, helping it to victory in the 1949 general election. In 1952 the new Prime Minister, Sidney Holland, appointed Munro the New Zealand ambassador to the United States, and the permanent representative of New Zealand to the United Nations. In that capacity he was president of the Trusteeship Council from 1953 to 1954 and President of the United Nations General Assembly for its twelfth session (1957 – 1958). He was also three times president of the Security Council, and was serving in that position at the outbreak of Suez Crisis in 1956. At the UN he was an outspoken critic of the Soviet response to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and was appointed the special representative for the ‘Hungarian question’.

Interestingly it was an act of retribution on behalf of the Second Labour Government that saw him removed from his position as permanent representative in 1958. He remained a special representative until 1962, and was also secretary-general of the International Commission of Jurists from 1961. To now say Clark now holds a position that is the highest any Kiwi has held before simply re-writes history and diminishes the achievments of Sir Leslie Munro.

The second held myth of Helen Clark that needs busting is her penchant to claim, along with others of her ilk that she was the first elected woman Prime Minister of New Zealand. She was not. This is a specious argument that holds no water upon close examinsation. That it is oft repeated by lazy journalists is crass and an indictment on their ablity to see through spin.

New Zealand does not vote for a Prime Minister. She was elected to the Leadership by her Party Caucus. Jenny Shipley was New Zealand’s first Woman Prime Minister, end of story.

Bill English should be sacked

Fran O’Sullivan: Conservative’s push may be anything butBill English is a self-admitted conservative who may yet prove to be the type of Finance Minister who will push for big economic shifts – like proposals to make Auckland a super city – to send strong signals about the way this Government… [NZ Herald Politics]

In Fran O’Sullivan’s piece this morning Bill English openly criticises the Prime Minister. This might be ok if Bill English ever had any original ideas of his own but frankly he should just STFU and implement what John wants. Could you imagine Brian Talboys voicing opinions contrary to Robert Muldoon? Or Cullen being openly scoffing about Clark? Not even Winston at his worst in the Bolger days would slur a word from the Green Parrot against his Prime Minister. Bill English is simply out of line.

His silly opinions are not warranted and frankly not wanted. This country needs vision and innovation not his tired second-hand poorly learned policies from Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas. John Key was elected to provide that vision and the sort of ideas that netted him $50 million. All Bill English has managed to do with his life is father 6 children, lose a boxing match and get the lowest ever party vote for the National party ever. He sure as hell doesn’t have a cool “Fitty” sitting in the bank. Mr 20.9% should pull his head in or John Key should cut it off.

While we are at it on the sorting out non-performers how about booting Nick “the Pinko” Smith to touch, the man (can I still call him that) is a liability.

If we continue to have loose cannons like English and Smith in cabinet then this will be a one term government. I think we need to look to the Australian model again and re-introduce the concept of a Treasurer. Someone visonary with balls to front popular yet innivative solutions to the issues we face. Clearly Sir Roger Douglas would the best person for this role but unfortunately he is politically unpalatable. The clear front runner for this role would be Stephen Joyce. He has no baggage, has shown innovation in the past though the election campaign was rather brown bread it was at least successful. Bill English can then be the Finance Minister but answerable to the Treasurer. Bill is far more suited to the more boring nuts and bolts and orders following than trying any original thought. At if we try this model again the treasurer won’t be a drunken sot propping up the bar at the Green Parrot.

Outstanding Commentary on Israel

I noted Fran O’Sullivan’s little tirade the other day and ignored it as a rant from someone ill-informed about Israel and history. This was disappointing from Fran and I would have expected better. I found better though in my inbox as a loyal reader sent me a link to perhaps one of the most outstanding commentaries on Israel and Hamas to date.

Humanitarian Israel
By David Solway
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 08, 2009

As we observe a mounting and increasingly pervasive campaign to censure Israel for defending itself against the Hamas thugocracy, we are also witnessing a likely self-induced blindness among both elite institutions and ordinary people. The UN, the media, the NGOs and proliferating altruistic organizations, the European governments (with the exception of Germany), the intellectual panjandrums and a vast popular constituency appear utterly incapable of recognizing the obvious. Israel is in fact under no obligation to lend its support to its self-avowed enemy. It is under no imperative to provide Gaza—whose population elected Hamas by a wide margin and supports terror attacks against Israel by an even wider margin—with medical treatment, diesel fuel, electrical power and food shipments. The Geneva Conventions which assign responsibility to the occupying power for the welfare of the occupied people do not apply in this situation since Gaza can no longer credibly be described as “occupied.”

So the question needs to be asked. What other nation in the world heals and victuals its enemies, while at the same time allowing its own population centers to undergo relentless bombardment? What nation in its right collective mind would go on supplying sustenance to and serving its attackers’ energy needs? Russia, for example, is not under attack, yet even in a non-conflictual situation it has no compunction in cutting off Gas supplies to the Ukraine and threatening to do the same to Europe—in the middle of the winter no less—yet the General Assembly sits on its hands, Amnesty International is deafeningly mute, the streets are empty of protesters. Innocent people can freeze to death for all they care.

But Israel is routinely denounced for supposedly depriving its mortal enemies of food and material. Gaza, let us recall, is a hostile “state” which persists in trying to abduct Israeli soldiers, laying explosive devices at the border, sniping at Israel’s labor force and firing rockets daily at its civilian communities. But what is even more preposterous than such false and hypocritical defamation is the fact that Israel, apparently bowing to pressure or subject to some misguided sense of noblesse oblige, continues to act as Gaza’s fuel pump and breadbasket.

Whatever way we look at it, the situation is so absurd and self-defeating as to defy belief. The many “well-intentioned” peace outfits and most of the world’s governments have not seen fit to acknowledge the plain reality of the overall situation. To repeat: Israel is under no obligation whatsoever to cater to or initiate relations with another state or people. Such is the rule the Muslim nations have adopted wholesale vis à vis Israel . It is the assumption behind the anti-Zionist divestment campaigns of the Churches, NGOs, universities and trade unions, and, indeed, it is an axiom the “world community” has sanctioned for its own members, with the hypocritical exclusion of the Jewish state. This is a basic principle of the jus gentium: there is no legitimate compulsion for a competent authority to “do business” with or provide succour to those it does not wish to.

And thus there is no ethical, legal or political justification for imposing this responsibility upon Israel, especially as Israel has been under attack for years from the very entity it is expected to sustain and subsidize. Nevertheless, from the unreflected perspective of the rest of the world, Israel, which owes nothing to Gaza, must go on furnishing its adversaries with their stipulated requirements. Simply put, Israel is the victim of what we might call negative exceptionalism. Unlike any other country on the planet it must work against its own interests. It is as if there exists among its many enemies a shadowy, perhaps unconscious, realization that only one country in the Middle East is capable of defeating Israel, and that is Israel itself. And therefore, in the current conflict, it must be bullied and constrained to furnish Hamas with the ammunition, so to speak, that can be used against it.

That, I believe, is for much of the world what Gaza is all about. Against all common sense and natural law, Israel must be forced via moral condemnation and political pressure to feed, equip, endow and replenish Hamas and its Gazan electors until the Jewish state finally succumbs to a process of physical and military erosion, and becomes something other than a Jewish state. The world demands that Israel defeat itself in the absence of any stronger opponent in the region to complete the task. And Israel, at least up to now and despite its belated military response to continued Hamas aggression, seems perfectly willing to comply.

Fran O'Sullivan : Let's get off our backsides

Fran O’Sullivan : Let’s get off our backsidesHats off to the two Kiwi citizen politicians who are leading the debate on how we should respond to the global economic crisis, while our two putative Prime Ministers remain in ostrich mode. Mark Weldon and David Skilling are not… [NZ Herald Politics]

Fran puts on her kicking boots this morning;

Clark is shamefully resting on her Labour-led Government’s laurels. She points to the near decade of fiscal surpluses delivered by her Finance Minister but does nothing to head off the decade of deficits staring her in the face.

Clark is getting a free ride at this election as journalists ask for her response to inanities such as the completely anodyne (“secretly taped”) comments by National’s finance spokesman, instead of putting the acid on the Prime Minister to say what her Government would do to confront the real issues if re-elected.

This is barking mad stuff coming straight from the Michael Laws school of media manipulation: Stamp “secret” or “confidential” on a document (or in this case tape) and journalists will lap it up faster than Pavlov’s dogs irrespective of the fundamental lack of substance.

TV3’s Duncan Garner knows that if he doesn’t beat-up the latest tape from the malevolent secret bugger at National’s party conference, the next so-called scoop (tape) will go to TVNZ’s Guyon Espiner. But, like the breathless economists – whose unchallenged demands dominate local television news coverage of the crisis – this is outrageous hyperbole, not journalism.

Where is Clark’s plan to halt a decade of deficits? Where is the plan to confront the financial crisis befalling the earth? Labour are missing in action.

Coward and Crook

Fran O’Sullivan : Donations wrangle obscures the real Peters scandalIf Winston Peters was man enough he would apologise to leading New Zealand political journalists for the outrageous way he attacked them for questioning whether Labour’s major donor Owen Glenn had contributed anonymous funds to New… [NZ Herald Politics]

Fran O’Sullivan essentially calls Winston Raymond Peters, 63, Member of Parliament of no fixed abode a coward and a crook.

She doesn’t hold back in pointing out the utter hypocrisy of WRP, 63, MOPONFA in his false stand against the media.

Oh and WRP, 63, MOPONFA, where the fuck is our $158,000 you still haven’t paid us back!!