Map of the Day

A good judge tells fatty jazz fan she was pissed, too fat and clumsy

Looks like the UK has some top judges that don’t let fools trifle with the courts.

An 18-stone jazz fan who sued for compensation after an accident at Ronnie Scott’s was fat, drunk and careless in her high heels, a judge found.

Eren Hussein, 53, blamed dim lighting at the world famous Soho club after breaking her wrist and elbow falling down stairs after a party in 2012.

She wanted thousands in damages, but after a civil trial this week, a judge threw out her claim, saying the fall wasn’t the club’s fault.

Judge Heather Baucher QC said Mrs Hussein was intoxicated, obese, wearing shoes with high platform heels, and not taking care by holding the bannister as she descended.

“In her inebriated, obese state on three-inch platforms, that would be an obvious, simple step for anyone presented with what they saw as a hazard,” she said.

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Ron “I’ve heard of the SAS once” Mark gets one right

Steve Askin, the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who died in a helicopter crash while fighting the Port Hills fire, didn’t have life insurance.

New Zealand First MP Ron Mark is fired up about insurance premiums being charged to former New Zealand Defence Force personnel.

He says ex-servicemen and women are available for call up as reserves so insurers charge higher premiums.

The issue was highlighted when it was revealed Steve Askin, the former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier who died in a helicopter crash while fighting the Port Hills fire, didn’t have life insurance. Read more »

Hooton on Little’s racist attack on the Maori party

Matthew Hooton thinks that Andrew Little’s attack on the Maori party was racist:

[T]he Mana leader is unquestionably a genuine representative of a certain kaupapa of a minority within Maori society.  Equally undeniable is that the rival Maori Party gives voice to another genuine Maori worldview and mission, albeit one that is more positive and optimistic.  The temporary truce between the two parties indicates that both believe Parliament is richer that the other is represented, despite their differences.  They are almost certainly right.

Labour leader Andrew Little takes a contrary view.  In a Monday morning rant every bit as hate-fuelled as Mr Harawira at his worst, the failing Labour leader – a white man from Wellington – declared the Maori Party was hopeless, had achieved nothing for its people and was “not kaupapa Maori.” He savaged Mr Harawira, who has been nothing if not consistent through his many decades as a radical activist, as “all over the show.”

Mr Harawira was first out of the blocks, defending not just himself but also his Maori Party rivals. In an interview all the more devastating for its unusual restraint, Mr Harawira called Mr Little’s premeditated attack inappropriate and nasty, and declared that Maori did not need “white guys like Andrew Little telling us what to do and what our aspirations should be.”   Read more »

Photo of the Day

These Serial Killer Sisters Murdered So Many People They Broke A World Record. Like so many murderers, the González sisters’ crimes were exposed after police picked up one of their relatives on a routine bust. They suspected the relative, Josefina González, was involved in the kidnapping of a local girl, and upon interrogation, Josefina unravelled a horrific story about what is now known as the “bordello from hell.”

The “Bordello from Hell”

Busting The González Sisters

In the 1950s and 1960s, Delfina and María de Jesús González ran a large-scale prostitution ring in Northern Mexico. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the sisters also partook in a massive killing spree—targeting prostitutes, wealthy men, and illegitimate babies.

Delfina and María de Jesús González were born into poverty in El Salto de Juanacatlan, Jalisco. Their father, Isidro Torres, was abusive and expected his children to follow a rigid set of rules; ironically, he was also part of the local grass-roots police force that patrolled the remote area of Mexico on horseback. It wasn’t unheard of for the head of the González house to shoot innocent people during arguments or abuse his power, and he often locked the sisters in jail as punishment for wearing sexy clothing or makeup.

The González sisters (known as “Las Poquianchis”) were two sisters from the Mexican state of Guanajuato, located 200 miles north of Mexico City. From the 1950s until the mid-1960s the sisters ran Rancho El Ángel, called the “bordello from hell” in San Francisco del Rincón.

Like so many murderers, the González sisters’ crimes were exposed after police picked up one of their relatives on a routine bust. They suspected the relative, Josefina González, was involved in the kidnapping of a local girl, and upon interrogation, Josefina unraveled a horrific story about what is now known as the “bordello from hell.”

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Rodney Hide on Climate Change

Rodney calls time on the busted flush that is the climate change industry:

The glaciers are retreating. The glaciers are retreating. Humans are cooking the planet!

Hang on, the glaciers are advancing. They’re advancing. Humans are cooking the planet!

That’s the conclusion of NIWA and Victoria University scientists in a paper published in Nature Communications this month. I am summarising their findings.

Here’s the background: at least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced for the 25 years between 1983 and 2008, with Fox and Franz Josef glaciers advancing almost continuously during the period.

That advance is neither here nor there in the debate about whether burning fossil fuels is dangerously cooking the planet.   Read more »

Whaleoil Music Quiz

ACT – tough on crims? Not anymore

Yesterday ACT and Mike Williams teamed up to announce it was going to cuddle crims instead.

Prisoners would have their time in jail slashed if they complete literacy, numeracy and driver licensing courses, under new Act Party policy.

Former Labour president Mike Williams, now with the Howard League for Penal Reform, strongly backs the policy – and says Corrections chief executive Ray Smith has expressed enthusiasm.

Act leader David Seymour announced the radical new policy in his keynote speech to Act’s annual conference in Orakei today.

Eligible inmates would earn up to six weeks for every year of their term, depending on the types of courses completed. For example, a person sentenced to three years in prison could get up to 18 weeks deducted from their time in jail.

Act is known for its hardline law and order policy, and was behind the introduction of the controversial three-strikes legislation.

Today’s policy is a significant departure from that approach and focuses on rehabilitation.

I have no problem with rehabilitating those who are capable and willing.  There is no point in destroying more lives for the sake of it.   But it does leave ACT’s messaging confused.

With prisons overflowing and crime up, the electorate wants to hear how more of them are going to get locked up.  And that’s traditionally the area ACT have been strong.  Three Strikes for burglary would be welcomed, if not Three Strikes for anything that has a minimum two year jail term.

Almost 65 per cent of the men and women in prison fall below NCEA level one literacy and numeracy.

A keynote speaker at the Act conference in Auckland’s Orakei is former Labour Party president Mike Williams.

Williams is now the chief executive of the New Zealand Howard League for Penal Reform, which runs literacy programmes that aim to get prisoners to a competent reading level, enabling them to read books to their children, take driver tests and have a better chance of finding work when they are released.

Last year Seymour joined Williams and Bill English at a prizegiving ceremony at Rimutaka Prison, where inmates who had completed the league’s literacy programme and learnt to read spoke about what it meant to them. Tutors who volunteered in the programme also spoke.

“He came to me afterwards and said, why aren’t more prisoners doing these courses,” Williams said. “I said, well there’s just not the demand. And he said, how would you create the demand?”

Seymour then developed the policy, which Williams said the Howard League strongly supported.

Once again, no problem in principle.  But there is an opportunity cost to this.  And the price ACT is paying is that they are now no longer tough on criminals.   Fake that you’re no good at reading or maths, do some tests and presto – time off your sentence.

Williams said the policy could save the country millions of dollars, given it cost about $2000 a week to keep someone in jail. He said it could cut reoffending by as much as 50 per cent.

Those who want to and can should get the opportunity to so what it takes to stay out of jail.  And if that requires government help, I’m good with that.

Strategically, in an election year, I don’t see this as smart ACT policy.  Not when crime is up, police are straining to keep up, and the public are sick to death of pandering to criminals.

 

– Nicholas Jones, NZ Herald

Whaleoilers trapped in “No man’s land” are decreasing

Photograph from an album of 22 official photographs (and one newspaper cutting) showing scenes from the Western Front, 1916-1918 (c). Associated with World War One, Western Front (1914-1918).

We had over one hundred Whaleoilers trapped in the no man’s land of pending subscriptions thanks to problems with Paypal and some readers’ dislike of Paypal. Since we introduced Stripe as a second payment platform that number has dropped as loyal readers complete their subscriptions.

We currently have 91 readers who started the subscription process sitting in no man’s land. If there is anything we can do to help you make it to the other side please don’t hesitate to ask. Any problems, any issues we want to help.

I can be contacted juana.atkins at gmail.com

What Mike Williams and David Seymour have in common

Mike Williams the CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform spoke at The Act Party conference yesterday. As an ex-president of the Labour party and also their past campaign manager of four elections, I didn’t expect him to share any common ground with a party like Act. After all one of Act’s flagship policies was the three strikes legislation which is all about the stick and deterrence.

Mike Williams or Fat Tony as Cam has always affectionately called him, made a strong case for the power of volunteering where the cost to the taxpayer is zero. More to the point he illustrated examples where the cost of removing barriers was insignificant compared to the savings to the taxpayer when an offender was removed from both the justice system and the benefits system.

The barriers he mentioned were:

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