Map of the day: How close Nazi Germany came to dominating Europe

How close Nazi Germany came to dominating Europe. Map by Morgan Hauser via Wikimedia

The Ballad of Stan Graham


Stan Graham was a man as rough and tough as guts

From down Hokitika way,

He had a steely stare which meant beware

Or so the old cockys used to say,

And he was always out working and swinging an arm

Even in the hard driving rain,

But he never ever seemed to make ends meet

So he couldn’t keep the wolves away,

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Are some benefit fraudsters more equal than others?

Matthew John Roberts was sentenced to five months’ community detention in the Napier District Court yesterday for his involvement in benefit fraud totalling more than $36,000. Photo / Duncan Brown
Hawkes Bay Today

Guest Post:

Yesterday Chelsea Hibben and John Roberts were sentenced in the Napier District Court after pleading guilty to benefit fraud and using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage.   Both received 5 months of community detention with curfews between 6 pm and 6 am with Hibben receiving an additional nine months of supervision and Roberts an additional 80 hours of community work.

The pair defrauded the New Zealand taxpayer of more than $36,000 in offending which Judge Bridget Mackintosh described as “serious” and involving “a breach of trust because it is the taxpayers that are paying the benefits and, of course, if you’re telling lies to get money you’re not entitled to; money that is hard-earned by members of the community.”

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Guardian angels who deserve our thanks

Angel credit Getty Images

The Israeli PR machine, if there actually is one, does a pretty stink job. Israel’s public profile is not rated important enough for serious attention. They just don’t care what the rest of the world thinks of them.

Presented as the monster of the Middle East, Israel is constantly berated by the UN, labelled a bully and held responsible for the Palestinian’s inhumane existence. Most UN members fall into line, including New Zealand who foolishly supported several anti-Israel UN resolutions. The current government, unless it actually does its homework, will continue to do so. Reprimands and attacks on Israel are political puffery and nonsense, except to the ignorant.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israeli intelligence foiled an ISIS attack on Australian soil last year.  

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View From Your Window

Where do you think today’s photo was taken?


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The murder of Rene Duckmanton

Photo: POOL
Sainey Marong sits in the dock during his trial in the High Court.

A noticeable lack of grace, empathy and professionalism has once again been displayed on the Stuff news website in its recent reporting into the murder trial of Christchurch woman Rene Duckmanton.

Apparently, the reporter in question, Sam Sherwood, seems to find nothing wrong with further besmirching the name of an innocent woman whose only apparent crime was to come into contact with the foul subhuman specimen who so violently and callously took her life.

It was of course left to the representative from the Royal New Zealand Police Force to remind everyone that the victim was not first and foremost a ‘sex worker’ but first and foremost a human being with a family who were still grieving.

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Whaleoil news quiz

Book review of the day: The Fighter

You can help. Send your book review to [email protected] and we will put it up when it is your turn. Please set your submission out with the name of the book, then the author and then describe in your own words what the book is about. Also if you happen to be a commenter please include your username.

This year we are going to review books daily until the reviews run out. By doing this for individual books this gives people a chance to do their own research on the books and authors by using the links provided and not miss out by being bombarded by a whole lot at once like we have done in previous years.

Each post is set out as comprehensively as possible with the name of who submitted it, the name of the book and author and a short review in the form of a comment from whoever submitted it.

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Auckland Council spending on overseas travel

Business class travel

Auckland Council spends a lot of money on overseas travel.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants council bosses to end business class travel and fly premium economy on long flights.

The revised rule comes as a Herald survey of overseas travel by the chief executives and leadership teams of Auckland Council and the six council-controlled organisations (CCOs) shows they are taking fewer offshore trips after Goff began a crackdown last year.

The survey found council and CCO bosses racked up $524,487 on overseas trips to Asia, the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia in the first 11 months of Goff’s leadership from November 2016 to mid-September last year.

Goff is still concerned with the level of spending and told the Herald that staff across the entire council will fly economy for flights of less than eight hours and premium economy for any over eight hours.

“Business class will be available if the relevant chief executive determines that the staff member must work immediately on arrival and there is no reasonable alternative,” he said. […]

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Dear straight Cam

Guest Post:

Dear straight Cam,

Being a reputable gay man and having helped the so-called gay community in the past, I am becoming profoundly embarrassed about all the ridiculously pathetically absurd “political correctness” you addressed in your ‘alphabet soup’ article, et al akin.

When the now-called gay pride movement started back in the 70s, it was all about recognising that homosexuality was not a medical condition that could be cured; it was about acceptance, normalisation and positive legalisation of same-sex sexual orientation into society.

At a time, well before the internet, shocking display tactics, such as leather and nudism, were valid as a way of ensuring visibility.

It has been almost half a century since then and in many countries, such as NZ, although non-reproductive sexual orientation has now become whatevs and no longer an issue for the majorities, queerness is showing symptoms of a new medical condition.

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