October 2015

Saturday nightCap

Why media “Experts” are useless


Today’s Trivia


Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can you figure it out tonight?

Whenever a hurricane has had a major impact, any country affected by the storm can request that the name of the hurricane be “retired”. (Source)

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James Bond’s Very British Irony

M4DGOLD EC004Are you ready for Spectre? The New James Bond film is set to open in New Zealand on November 4 and – as is the way of these things – we can expect a full-on media blitz of all things Bond and his glitzy promotion of the innate supremacy of the Brits. At least you have to give them credit for trying. In fairness, Bond’s creators are nothing if not self-aware – all that ‘Britain is best’ rhetoric is delivered with tongues firmly in cheeks. Bond plays to a worldwide audience now.

Whatever the critics may say, you certainly can’t argue with the success of the bond franchise at the box office – Skyfall is reckoned to have taken more than US$ 1 billion worldwide and Spectre is already doing eye-catchingly good business in the UK.

Endearing undertone
There has always been something about Bond that has made him just that little bit more endearing than so many other equally trigger-happy super agents. You could argue that Ian Fleming’s novels of the 1950 and 1960s were simply the ideological products of their era and that Bond’s old world poise was a reflection of that. Maybe it’s that inescapable whiff of nostalgia that gives the Bond franchise its contemporary edge. Certainly, having Daniel Craig cast as an all-too evidently aging Bond offers a way to carry that sense of a long back story into the present production. Read more »

Daily dose of Awww


Charter school success stories worth celebrating



Daily Roundup


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Whaleoil Backchat

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All that is left of the unions are the officials


When I wrote Dodgy Unions I was highlighting just how parlous the situation of unions has become. Falling membership, lack of relevance but the organisations have accumulated vast war chests of cash from past members that the officials keep on dreaming up battles to fight.

The union movement continues to lose workers, but they have transformed themselves into an employment agency for political operatives.

Judith Sloan looks at the demise of unions in Australia.

If the trade union movement in Australia were a company, it would be thinking of filing for bankruptcy. In the early 1990s, its market share was 40 per cent. It is now 15 per cent.

In the private sector, only 10 per cent of workers are members of trade unions in their main jobs. In absolute terms, there are 1.6 million trade union members in their main jobs or 1.7 million in total. Note that there are 11.8 million employed people in Australia.

What are the explanations for this catastrophic decline in union membership? Is there anything the trade unions can do to arrest the decline? How is it that the influence of the trade union movement has not fallen in line with its falling membership?     Read more »

One more sleep

Well.  Here we are.  First thing tomorrow New Zealand meet Australia in the Rugby World Cup final.

I’ve popped up the usual discussion post to start at 4:30 am.  In time for the 5:00 am game start.

This post is so we can predict the score.   I’m putting up a Whaleoil Cap for the person who gets it right.

I’m claiming  19 – 14 to the All Blacks


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