Photo of the Day

15-spending-spree-kv003646-w1680-h1117” Steel Butterfly”

“They?went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes.”

-Imelda Marcos

The Marcos Regime is primarily known for its brutality and corruption. However, Imelda Marcos is known notoriously for her love of material things and most infamously shoes.

Imelda Marcos, in full Imelda Romu?ldez Marcos, n?e Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romu?ldez (born July 2, 1929, Manila, Philippines) public figure in the Philippines who wielded great power during the 20-year rule of her husband, Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. She remains one of the richest politicians in the Philippines through her collection of clothing, artwork, and jewellry, along with money in offshore bank accounts under the pseudonym “Jane Ryan”. As a result, she has been called a kleptocrat by her critics who accuse her of plunder.

The harsh rule of?Ferdinand?Marcos?and the Marcos regime led to much of the poverty in the?Philippines?and suffering. Yet, Imelda and the presidential?family?hardly suffered. They lived a lavish,?ostentatious,?glamorous, royal?lifestyle?at the expense of their people. Draining most of the funds from the Philippine?government,?Imelda?Marcos purchased extravagantly. Imelda travelled to New York and other?destinations?to buy fashions, high-end jewellery and other luxury items. She visited all of the major palaces and cities of mankind and purchased items left and right. Imelda bought the world’s biggest diamond in 1983. She bought a Michelangelo piece?for three and a half million dollars. In addition, she bought a 26 story?skyscraper?in Manhattan.

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National goes Green and everyone gets upset


One doesn’t normally associate the National Party with forward-thinking conservationist policy. That’s more the territory of the Greens, who battle valiantly for the protection and sustainability of the environment and its biodiversity in these dark planetary days. It’s the Greens who normally fight the good fight against the chop ’em down (trees) and fish-till-you-drop brigade whose numbers are legion.

So it came as a pleasant surprise to recently read that the government has proposed to set a marine reserve around the Kermadec Islands, which would raise our marine quota from 0.4 per cent to 15 per cent, 5 per centage points above the target set by the United Nations, to which New Zealand is a signatory.

You’d think everyone would applaud. But no. Read more »

Planning to murder parents gets man 11 months in the naughty corner

Ben Bathgate updates us on the genius that tried to hire an undercover cop to off his mum and dad

Alan?Barlow has been given 11 months’ home detention for?trying to recruit a hitman to murder his parents.

The sentence was handed down in?the High Court in Rotorua this morning, with the judge saying it reflected a dysfunctional family background, and the fact that Barlow was no threat to any other member of the public.

It had taken a jury last month less than an hour to find Barlow guilty of trying to procure a hitman to kill his parents Diana Noeleen?Barlow?and Kevin James?Barlow.

Over two days the court heard a story of toxic family relations, property disputes and eventually, a plan to conduct two murders.

At the trial, the court was told the murder-for-hire plot started in August last year when Barlow contacted a distant relative via Facebook.

Aware of the relative’s anti-CYFs activism, and believing he had underworld contacts, Barlow provided him with the names of his parents and alleged they were mistreating children in their care.

“Alan used the word kill,” the relative told the court.

“At this stage I got scared. I’m not a murderer, not a hitman, so I called the police.”

His call to the police set the wheels in motion for a sting operation involving an undercover special operations policeman who contacted Barlow via phone, a conversation the police recorded and played to the jury.

Not jut dysfunctional, also very, very stupid. ? Read more »


Comment of the Day: The politics of envy

Ron wrote

I do get upset with generations younger than us Baby Boomers who consistently refer to owners of two houses as the greedies, and being responsible for them not being able getting their own houses.

It was never easy to get a first house.

Most of us had at least two jobs and no “OE’s” gallivanting around the globe, coming back with nothing, no holidays, not even a night at the pub, until we had mustered the deposit. It took us at least two years income saved to get a deposit.

We have spent our lives saving like crazy to firstly own our dwelling and then if successful, to acquire another house as a means of income in our retirement – when we stop work. Do they expect us to live on the poultry retirement benefit? This too they begrudge us receiving and want to put it off until we are past a living age.

Most of us so called “Greedies” are simply trying to get to a position that we are not liabilities on our children or the State. I suggest our accusers wake up because their clock is also ticking fast.

Greedy? It is the exact opposite.


A rivetting read


?My darling husband,? wrote Vicky Soteriou in the birthday card she gave her husband Chris. ”Thank you for loving me so much, your wife who adores you.”

It was the afternoon of January 2, 2010, and that night Vicky, Chris’s wife of almost 17 years and mother of his three children, would try to kill him. It happened so fast.

One moment Chris and Vicky were strolling arm in arm to their car down a dark Fitzroy off-street, having enjoyed a raucous dinner with five friends for Chris’s 44th birthday at Greek restaurant Alpha Ouzeri in Brunswick Street. The next moment a man in a hoodie pulled on Chris’s hair from behind and slashed his throat with a knife. Chris felt the blood gush from the wound, but as he gasped “run” to his wife and then ”I’m dying”, she just stood there, watching impassively, from a few metres away.

Then the stranger was on top of Chris, stabbing him six times in the chest, abdomen and arm. The pain gave way to a soft light washing over him and he felt this was it. ”Vicky. Just look after the kids … I love you,” he pleaded, looking up at his wife, before stumbling backwards against a fence.

A new book about the case, Love You to Death: A Story of Sex, Betrayal and Murder Gone Wrong by crime writer Megan Norris, tells for the first time the full story of the crime that shocked Melbourne: how the glamorous, pampered housewife from Watsonia North plotted with her lover, the stranger in the hoodie, 48-year-old Ari Dimitrakis, to bump off her wealthy engineer spouse. If it wasn’t for an incredible strike of luck, she might have succeeded.

At the very moment Dimitrakis was plunging the knife into Chris’s chest, two off-duty doctors, Christopher O’Loughlin and Kate Bryan, happened to be parking at the other end of the street. Hearing a commotion, they went to investigate. As they approached, a woman screamed and a man shouted, ”I’ve been stabbed!”

O’Loughlin yelled, ”Mate, the cops are coming!” causing Dimitrakis to drop the knife and flee in a dark hatchback idling nearby. The doctors called 000 and staunched the blood pouring out of Chris Soteriou’s deep wounds. Vicky, dressed in high heels and a sparkling purple Christian Dior party dress, was all over the place: one minute screaming, the next mute and in the foetal position. When the paramedics arrived, they checked her blood pressure and heart rate. Both were fine.

Chris was not so good. The knife cut deep into his liver, punctured his lung and ruptured his diaphragm but, incredibly, missed his windpipe, heart and carotid arteries. He was rushed to Royal Melbourne Hospital, two kilometres away; he lost litres of blood. For days he hovered between life and death, while Vicky played the shocked wife at his hospital bed. ? Read more »


If it appears to be too good to be true, it usually is.

That’s the warning for any kind of miraculous windfall coming your way.

Through the Internet, they’re coming for your money.

A retired policeman and a chartered accountant are among 55 New Zealanders fleeced for $1.7 million by a Malaysia-based scam.

And, despite being humiliated, a woman who lost $18,000 has decided to speak out in a bid to save others from the same fate. “I want to stop other people being caught up in this the way I was,” she said.

The woman, who holds multiple university degrees, made three payments, the first in July.

“By August, the penny dropped. I know it’s my own fault this has happened. I didn’t get dreadfully upset or anything, because I just thought well, you’ve been silly. I’m not as much ashamed as embarrassed and humiliated.” ? Read more »

No surprises there

? NZ Herald

No?surprises?that?the?vested interests and greedy iwi of the Waitangi Tribunal have called for a halt to asset sales so they can better evaluation how much koha the taniwha is going to need to be appeased:

The Waitangi Tribunal has urged Government to delay its planned sell off of state assets until a claim over Maori water rights has been resolved.

In a recommendation returned this afternoon, the tribunal said a planned partial sale of state assets should be halted until it delivers its full findings on a water rights claim in September.

It said selling shares in state assets before the Tribunal delivered its full findings could “cause a significant disadvantage to [Maori] claimants” if their claims were subsequently found to be well-founded.

As a result, it said the status quo should be maintained and the Crown should not proceed with asset sales until the Tribunal had completed its report into the issue, expected in September.

Ignore them.