Serco contract to be torn up. Oh, wait …

The Spinoff – August 2017

Those evil private enterprise people running our prisons had to be stopped. No longer would fight clubs and prisoner assaults on prison staff be permitted. Kelvin Davis made that quite clear when he was the opposition spokesman for Corrections. Quote.

Mr Davis said everything he had been told by prisoners about violence in prisons had been backed up by the reports.

“They are privileged prisoners that basically run the show and staff just turned a blind eye to it and allowed people to get assaulted at will.

“It just beggars belief, to be honest, that this is going on in New Zealand.”

Kelvin Davis, 2016

“This is New Zealand, not Guantanamo Bay. We can’t have this sort of stuff going on here in our country in 2015.”

Kelvin Davis, 2015

Labour’s corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says “prisoners had taken control of the prison”.

He says private prisons have no place in New Zealand. End quote.

Kelvin Davis 2016

Now that Davis is Minister of Corrections, how’s it all panning out? Quote.

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4.5 windfarms per yeah/nah: Part 2

Never mind the view, feel the green

Continuing our look at our energy future: The dear Dr Woods who is pinning our future energy security on commissioning 4.5 windfarms per year has not, to my knowledge, ever specified the nameplate capacity of these proposed windfarms.

There are figures at the MBIE site for the future energy projections. I took the MBIE figures and extracted just the proposed windfarms from their projections out to 2050. The resulting table looks like this:

Extracted from EDGS_Results_Disruptive_BL.xlsx. MBIE

The average of the capacity ratings for these 16 windfarms is 176MW. These 16 windfarms are projected to be commissioned over 26 years, or 0.6 windfarms per year. Given the Coalition of Losers track record to date, 0.6 counts as a win against a target of 4.5 per year. The fact that 6 of the 16 are ‘generic’ is a tad concerning. But, no matter, there is always hydrogen!

Let’s get back to Matt Ridley and his article in The Spectator. Quote.

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Well, she never saw that coming

Marama Davidson

Foot in mouth disease is such a dreadful affliction for anyone to suffer. Opening the mouth to change feet only provides temporary relief until the next utterance turns around and smacks you in the face. We mere mortals fear the contagion but imagine the horror of this diagnosis when you are a politician an MP.

In October 2018, Ms Davidson was on her high horse about campaign funding and how dangerous it was for political parties to receive large donations. Quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wants to hear from New Zealanders around issues with donations but believed the current system is robust.

But Ms Davidson said under current rules donors can corrupt the political system.

She told Morning Report powerful businesses can gain influence with large donations.

“I think New Zealanders would be quite keen on a conversation on how we get big money out of politics,” she said.

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Truth is the first casualty of global warming

Image:OMICS International

As we have discovered recently in New Zealand with Stuff and Nonsense the title of this post from Bjørn Lomborg is so very accurate. Truth is the First Casualty of Global Warming. quote.

The latest global climate summit in Poland has generated familiar predictions of doom and disaster from environmental activists. Climate change seems to freeze our capacity for critical thinking: we are too eager to believe the problem is far worse than science shows, and – conversely – that our solutions are far easier than reality dictates.

Consider weather events: it is second nature now to link these to climate change. Whenever a flood hits, the media blames global warming and warns that floods are increasing. But the most authoritative conclusion by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that it is not even clear whether floods have increased or decreased globally over the past century.

Both European forest fires and US hurricanes are blamed on global warming. But, despite getting more news attention than normal, forest fires in Europe 2018 have affected less than half the average area burned; in Europe’s southern countries, which contain 90% of the affected forest, the burned area has halved over 35 years. On hurricanes, IPCC scientists say there have been “no significant observed trends” globally over the past century. The frequency of all US land-falling hurricanes has actually been declining since 1900, as has that of major US hurricanes.

The truth about climate change is nuanced: it is real, and in the long term it will be a problem, but its impact is less than we might believe. According to the IPCC’s last major report, unrestrained climate change would result in an average reduction in income of about 0.2-2% by the 2070s. That is equivalent to the impact of a single economic recession over the next half-century.

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4.5 windfarms per yeah/nah

Never mind the view, feel the green

Our beloved Minister of Energy and Resources, the Hon Dr Megan Woods, (who seems to have a well-rounded approach to her portfolios) has assured us that all we need for future energy security is to commission 4.5 windfarms per year.

Last year we missed that target. Along with planting (or was that mulching?) a million or so trees, building 1000 Kiwifarce houses, halting immigration, fixing child poverty, achieving a zero road toll and opening a mine. But these are minor matters, I am sure that everything is actually tickety boo. Indeed, we exceeded all targets for the number of working groups, commissions of enquiry and such like. Quote.

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And one site to rule them all

As anyone who has had any interaction with computer technology in the last few years knows, the most popular website in the world is Google. Google has the most clicks, the most traffic, the most visitors, the most however-you-like-to-measure-it.

For many years the way to measure a website’s world ranking has been to use Alexa. The lower the Alexa rank score the busier and more popular is the site. The Alexa rank for Google is, therefore 1. The BBC website rank is 98, for example.

Idle curiosity allows you to check the ranking of any website you like.

So how does TVNZ compare with the BBC, say? The site has a ranking of 17,147 which puts it at number 39 in the New Zealand popularity list. On a world ranking basis that is not too shabby.

I read somewhere that if a site’s Alexa number is lower than 500,000, it has some influence. If it is lower than 200,000, it is a player. The coveted ranking is a number lower than 100,000. Any site lower than 25,000 is major. 

What about other news sites here?

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Fact check? Stuff? Nah.

Our dear friends at Stuff and Nonsense have excelled themselves once again by rushing to print a hard-luck sob story without the most basic fact checking. If they can get the one provable fact in the story incorrect then there is little hope for the rest of the tale that they expect us to accept as accurate. Quote.

A woman whose 7-year-old son posted a video of his little sister’s buttocks on YouTube has lost access to her Gmail account that includes over 20 years of email. End quote.

Well that can’t be right. Here is my first email from Google, dated 9 September 2004 and stating that it was in test mode.

Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004, and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009. So even if this woman got an invite to join the test program on April 1, 2004 she still would not have 15 years of email for a few months. Hint to Stuff editorial team: The Internet has all manner of useful answers to questions. Quote.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, says her son used her account to post the three-second video in November and she’s been locked out of her YouTube and associated Gmail account ever since. End quote.

And why did your 7-year old son have access to your email account? Ever heard of passwords and/or screen locks? Quote.

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‘Western culture, philosophy & science is basically crap’

David Seymour tweeted this exchange with a link to published figures about the Environmental Performance Index of various countries and the finding that “The top 18 are Western. The bottom 22 are non-Western.” Something that anyone with half a brain can readily discern. Hence Marama’s statement.

The professor tweeted: quote.

ok, I’m going to say it. Western culture, philosophy & science is basically crap, because at no point did it occur to anyone to emphasize “not fucking up our living environment” as a possible priority of thinking and life. end quote.

Professor Julia Steinberger

And Davidson replied. quote.

Thank you. This is brave leadership saying what many of us have long known. end quote.

After Seymour picked this up and commented on it, the lefty twitterati climbed into him in a big way, including Genter with: Quote.

Do you think that has anything to do with all of the goods consumed in “Western” countries (often at low cost to westerners) that are produced in the countries at the bottom of the list? End quote.

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Strong voice crumples like a cheap suit

The week ended with news that Alfred Ngaro had the record for the most number of questions asked of government ministers by a member of the opposition. Of the 42,000 questions submitted to ministers by the opposition in the first year of the NZ First led coalition, 4,500 were asked by Ngaro with around 1000 on one day alone.

It is the role of the opposition to hold a government to account and when those sitting on the Treasury benches are as open, honest and transparent as the current incumbents it easy to see why the opposition feel the need to ask so many questions. Good on them for doing their job.

The fact that Labour asked approximately the same number in the entire last parliamentary term does not show that National are being vexatious, rather it shows that Labour were lazily asleep at the wheel, with no work ethic. Hence the need for umpteen working groups to sort out the policies and options they should have been working on whilst waiting their turn at the helm. Quote.

[…] [Melissa] Lee said the reason she, and National, were “very active” with their questions was because the Government would not provide straight answers.

A Newspaper
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The Sunday Roast

Who did the readers give a good old Kiwi roasting this week?

Well, we did not have to wait long to find out who was the prime cut for this week’s Sunday Roast, did we? Our roastee stepped forward at 8 am on Monday and was never in danger of being toppled for the rest of the week.

When the concept of this column was floated it was a fairly sure bet that Golriz Ghaharaman would be a guest when the roast was carved one Sunday, and here she is.

It all started over a curious Twitter spat between a lesbian and a TERF. Basically, the lesbian suggested that she was sexually attracted to women, which if memory serves me right is the textbook definition, and that she would therefore not date a transwoman. A transwoman is, as you are aware, actually a man with a mental condition. So this Tweeter was simply telling the world where her sexual preference boundary lay.

Why anyone would bother to tell the world this is another issue altogether but a Trans Rights Activist got her knickers in a twist over this and shot off an angry Tweet in response.

Step forward the Green List MP who is the party spokeswhatever for Human Rights. You know, the ones that talk about freedom of association and such like. (Honestly, you couldn’t script this stuff.)

Suddenly, according to Golriz, lesbians caused homelessness for 1/3 of “rainbow youth” and it all went downhill from there.

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