Where the heck am I?

Hemp seed: Light at the end of the tunnel or thin end of the wedge?

An agreement reached between New Zealand and Australian food safety authorities will see hemp seed legalised as food in New Zealand, Food Safety Minister David Bennett says.

Ministers at the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in Adelaide today approved a standard to allow safe levels of low-THC hemp seed as a food.

“I stated my support at the Forum today and was pleased a change to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was approved,” Mr Bennett says.

Mr Bennett says hemp has no psychoactive effect and has historically been used as a source of fibre and oil because it contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and fatty-acids. Read more »

Guest cartoon: Man on the Mountain

Guest Cartoonist: Wormwood is a renowned yet mysterious artist. After serving his time-fighting in the Middle East, he’s committed to making comics, comics so dark they have a 36% chance of getting aborted. Perhaps you’ve met him once on a dimly lit train to Budapest, or in a musty opium den in Shanghai. They’re out to get him, but he’s on the run and always a step ahead. A bit of a drinker. You will find his work at martianmagazine.com

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Austrian president has a shocking solution to Islamophobia

It is bad enough that Saudi Arabia has been elected to the UN Women’s rights commission and that Western Feminists are led on marches by Islamic FGM (female genital mutilation) deniers and promoters of Sharia law like Linda Sarsour but with leaders like the Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in power western, women’s rights are doomed.

The Austrian President’s speech started with promise but by the end he had performed a startling backflip.

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Question of the Day

Mental Health Break

NSFW: What would be removed if FGM was applied to male genitalia?

No one wants to talk about it let alone understand how bad the mutilation of little girls is but it is a conversation that New Zealand society has to have now that FGM is becoming a serious problem all over the Western world as we import cultures and religions that practise it. The lack of prosecutions is not reflective of the lack of mutilations as the recent case in America has shown. During my research, I even found an article about an incident that happened as far back as 1947 in white midwest America.

In 1947, when I was just three years old a doctor removed my clitoris. Female genital mutilation is mostly associated with African cultures, and non-Christian religions, but my FGM happened in white, midwest America. It took place in a church clinic that used a scalpel on girls who masturbated.

-theguardian.com

Details about FGM are over the break. They are in the form of diagrams, not photos but may still be upsetting to some. I will use them as a basis to describe what would be done to male genitalia if a similar mutilation was applied to it.

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Map of the Day

Destinations from Dubai Intl. airport (DXB) by departing terminal

Click here for larger view

Buying an election

Cuts to income tax rates are off the table, but changes to tax thresholds are looking more likely, as Finance Minister Steven Joyce prepares to deliver his first Budget.

Mr Joyce has already talked about wanting to raise the threshold for the median wage. At the moment a 30 percent tax rate kicks in for earnings over $48,000.

But it is difficult to target one particular group of taxpayers, especially those in the lower brackets – partly because it costs so much to give them a decent increase because their earnings are proportionally lower, and also because any changes benefit those in higher brackets too.

The Budget package could therefore also include changes to entitlements like the accommodation supplement and Working for Families – and because it is election year, the package is likely to come with a hefty price tag.

Those unexpected billions of surplus came in just in time.  And they’ll be spent faster than you can write “debt reduction” or “wait, let’s think about this first.”   Read more »

The story of Jacindarella – Part One

Guest post

Jacindarella somehow finds herself in an unknown wing of Parliament, where an elegant ladies’ rest room never noticed before provides some relief from all the work pressure.

Gazing admirably in the mirror as she washes her hands, satisfied with the morning’s contribution to Parliament, the ornate mirror starts to shimmer and ripple briefly leaving a message on its surface. Naturally, Jacindarella is quite shocked by this encounter, yet eventually finds the courage to recite the message somewhat hesitantly…

“Mirror Mirror adhered to the plaster, how can I be the PM faster?”

No sooner had Jacindarella recited the magic message, the mirror started talking to her, showing her various images and glimpses of what could only be the future…

“Hello Jacindarella, what lovely words you’ve spoken, but I’m not a friggin’ miracle worker you know. I’m only a magic mirror that can offer wisdoms and show glimpses of the future…” Read more »