Where in the world were these photos taken?

Bitcoin and FOMO

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a strong driver in any booming market.  But FOMO is not necessarily a good reason to rush into buying anything unless it is the last roll of toilet paper in the shop and you desperately need it.


Simon Black has just posted this which makes some interesting comparisons between cryptocurrencies and “real” money.  It seemed a worthwhile contribution to the series looking at cryptocurrencies, blockchains, tangles, bubbles and other interesting concepts like mining, forks and paper wallets.

[…]How can a string of digits generated from a piece of software possibly be worth $12,000?

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Moko’s death leads to call for ALL children to be monitored by the government

Moko Rangitoheriri

The coroner investigating Moko Rangitoheriri’s horrific death from severe child abuse has called for all children to be compulsorily monitored by government agencies until they are five years old. While there is a case to be made for monitoring at-risk families, monitoring all New Zealand children is a step too far no matter how well-intentioned the idea is.

[…] The Coroner has already compared the three-year-old’s death to one of country’s worst child abuse cases. Moko died in 2012 after spending two months with Tania Shailer and David Haerewa in Taupo.[…]
His injuries included lacerations and haemorrhage deep within his abdomen which caused his bowel to rupture. Faecal matter leaked into his abdomen, causing septic shock.

In findings released today Coroner Wallace Bain repeated a finding from another infant’s death – that of Nia Glassie who died in 2008.
He recommended all children should be registered with government agencies and health providers to allow monitoring to occur.

“That monitoring to include scheduled and unscheduled visits to the homes where young children are living so that the monitoring will ensure that they are kept safe and then provided with the necessities of life,” he said. “That has to apply with even more force today.”

Had the recommendation been in place for Nia or Moko there would’ve been a better chance of Moko’s situation being identified and removed, Coroner Bain found.
If social organisations had monitored they would’ve found Shailer “in distress with depression and mental issues and assaulting Moko, another caregiver recently released from jail with a history of domestic violence….”
He noted a number of “red flags” including the old Child Youth and Family not visiting the toddler.
In a statement a spokeswoman Glynis Sandland for the new ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki said compulsory monitoring “suggests a multi-agency approach is required and that is something for the government to consider.”


The government should not consider it as an overworked and overstretched system failed Moko and by increasing their workload to include children who do not come from at-risk families they will make it much more likely that more children like Moko and Nia will fall through the cracks.

Despite the coroner’s report, the  Children’s Commissioner will not back a register to monitor all children.

[…] In the findings released yesterday, Dr Bain says too many opportunities to help Moko were missed by several agencies in the months leading up to his death.
Ten years ago after the killing of Nia Glassie, he recommended that all children be registered from birth with government agencies. Another 94 children have died in that time.

Dr Bain says whatever the cost, child abuse has to be stopped and a register could save lives.

But Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says it would mean nothing unless the services delivered were high-quality and effective.
He says agencies like Well Child Tamariki Ora and Children’s Teams already exist, and it would be pointless to “reinvent the wheel”.

“That’s why using and expanding existing services is a better immediate first step, and ensuring that they’re well trained.”

Judge Becroft says to end violence against children, government agencies needed to work alongside highly trained community agencies.

[…] But Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, the former head of Women’s Refuge, says the equivalent of three classrooms of children have died since Nia Glassie.

“We can’t be precious in this instance, we have children dying, and they’re dying regularly.

“This is a major recommendation out of a coroner’s report, surely this time it’s going to be acted upon.”

Ms Raukawa-Tait says it did not have to become a negative programme.
She says community groups would need to deliver services because families did not trust government agencies.

Arama Ngapo-Lipscombe is the lawyer for Moko’s mother Nicola Dally-Paki.

She would back a register but adds a word of caution.

“There will be a fear that it’s used to prejudge, prejudice, predetermine and that will lead to professionals making judgements without taking into account a person’s circumstance.

“There is a risk they will look at the register and profile them.”

The only people who should be on a register should be people who have been “profiled” because of their history of drug abuse, domestic abuse, child abuse, child neglect, mental illness etc. Why monitor every family when the most efficient use of time and resources is to monitor those families most in need of support? The child abuse statistics make it clear that child abuse affects more Maori than non-Maori. We do the memory of Moko no favours by pretending that this is not the case.


Photo of the day

The Bill of Rights. Photograph shows reproduction of original Bill of Rights, [between ca. 1920 and ca. 1930]. Prints & Photographs Division

December 15:

On this day in history in 1791 the new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights, which confirmed the fundamental rights of its citizens.

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Diplomacy 101 – Lessons for Jacinda

1. Respect other countries sovereignty.

2. Let them sort out their own issues.

3. If you are going to talk to them at all, talk to them quietly and discreetly, off the record, not via telephone, not via TV.

[and also not via Facebook, Twitter or other social media virtue-signalling platforms.]

Words of wisdom from our newest ex-Kiwi, Barnaby Joyce, as reported by the NZ Herald

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Cartoon of the Day

Open Letter to Chris Hipkins

Guest Post:

Subject: Please Don’t Close Our Partnership Schools

Good day,

We are writing this letter due to our increasing concerns that current government may potentially end the existence of Partnership Schools.

Let us be quite frank and simply state that “one size fits all” (in relation to state schools and all children) is simply a very naïve position to take. The beauty of the human race is our diversity which means we are different with varying capabilities, styles personality and learning styles. While the state school system works well for the majority it does not and never will be able to provide the individualised and personal teaching environment that some children require. For the minority that the larger public schools do not work for, it creates children who feel left out, dejected, depressed and bullied, where every day is a struggle for them to feel “the same” as all the others who learning comes easily to.

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“License to kill” bill lacks safeguards to protect the vulnerable says English

Bill English has described David Seymour’s euthanasia bill as “a very bad piece of legislation”, saying that it lacks safeguards to protect New Zealand’s most vulnerable people.

[…] the National leader said while he was against all forms of assisted dying, the bill presented by ACT’s David Seymour was particularly dangerous, implying it indiscriminately enabled suicide.

[…] it will make vulnerable people like the elderly, people suffering from mental illness, people with disabilities more vulnerable, so I intend to oppose it strongly,” Mr English said.

[…] “It’s going to be a bit tricky for Mr Seymour to answer the question as to why some suicides are good and some are bad.”
Despite his passionate opposition to the bill, Mr English said National Party MPs would be allowed a conscience vote on the euthanasia bill in Parliament today.

In contrast, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was in favour of people having their own individual freedom in terminal health situations.

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How scientists try to shut down legitimate debate by using smear tactics

Scientists are using lawfare as one tactic to shut down debate, from climate science to health outcomes to nutrition.

Nutrition scientists seem to be some of the biggest offenders and one of their favoured tactics to shut down debate is to accuse companies of using “Big Tobacco” tactics in an attempt to delegitimise their input into debate.

The latest target is baby food manufacturers:

An article in World Nutrition invokes the specter of Big Tobacco and its great weaponized ‘playbook’, which is now considered so powerful and effective it’s become mythology, while tobacco companies paid tens of billions in settlements because the playbook actually failed. But opponents of conventional baby food remain conspiratorial, claiming the baby food industry (Big Baby Food) has taken tactics from Big Tobacco to insidiously control and distort efforts at global breastfeeding. All in the name of corporate greed. Let’s be clear at the outset, breastfeeding is good; but some mothers cannot, for a range of reasons, and there have long been replacements. The authors invoke the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes which states:

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WHO: NO public health risks from medicinal cannabis and should not be withheld from patients

The World Health Organisation has released a report about medicinal cannabis that states that there are NO public health risks and it should not be withheld from patients:

The World Health Organization has declared that CBD – the relaxant property of cannabis used in medical marijuana – should not be a scheduled drug.  

As legalization of cannabis has spread rapidly across the United States and around the world, health officials have cautioned that we do not have enough research to rule out any down sides.

But today, after months of deliberation and investigation, the WHO has concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) is a useful treatment for epilepsy and palliative care, and does not carry any addiction risks.   

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