Sunday, May 29, 2011
A new parenting programme targeted at Maori tells them that prior to Europeans arriving, children were considered gifts from the gods and Maori families shunned child abuse. The researchers suggested abuse arose only after Maori were introduced to corporal punishment in missionary-run
In the very first paragraph, Edmonds gives two examples of the sort of ‘wingnuttery’ he is talking about. One of these is resisting the challenge of ‘climate change’. I suppose he means by this, expressing doubt about the thesis that the planet faces a serious problem concerning anthropogenic global warming. I also suppose that he intends us to understand that persons that have such doubts, such as, for example, Associate Professor de Freitas at Auckland University and Dr de Lange at Waikato (as well as all members of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition) are unhinged activists, etc... The 31,486 American scientists who recently established a website dedicated to this same proposition, presumably fall into the same category.
Throughout his appearance, he was gesticulating and waving. At one point he made a defiant gesture to the TV camera. The reporter told us the man appeared to be conducting a conversation, using signs and gestures, with someone in the body of the court.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Last week the Northland Regional Council (NRC) heard submissions to its Annual Plan. The main point of contention was the Council’s proposal to hike rates 19% largely to create a funding pool for “worthy” projects.
Their reason for doing so, in the words of one councillor, was because the market place had failed to uplift the region. He pointed to the fact that Northland was disgracing itself by lagging behind all other regions in key social statistics like crime, household income, education standards, life expectancy, and so on. His point was this. Because the free market was failing to deliver the desired social well-beings, the NRC would have to do so.
We have gone down this path before. The last Labour-led government raised the rate from 33 to 39 cents, ostensibly to gain more revenue for social spending.
The move was unnecessary. With economic recovery and reasonably prudent spending in its first term of office, that government soon found itself with large fiscal surpluses.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Today life on Earth is going to end. We know this to be true because Christian evangelist, Harold Camping, says "The Bible guarantees it!”.
And if Harold is not right then we know it will end soon anyway, because environmental evangelist, Al Gore, says "science guarantees it!”. Al Gore is in fact a lot smarter than Harold Camping, and for a number of reasons.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Turia said Parihaka Day would commemorate November 5, 1881, when villagers in the coastal Taranaki settlement peacefully awaited arrest by 1500 colonial troops. The invasion of Parihaka was not something to be proud of, but was part of New Zealand history, whereas Guy Fawkes was not, Mrs Turia said.
But what would a Parihaka Day commemorate -- passive resistance to white settlement, or an aggressive colonial government asserting the law? I guess it would mark resistance to white settlement.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Of particular interest to me over the last two weeks has been the performance of National Radio’s Mediawatch. In the first treatment of Stephenson’s story (on 1May), we were treated to a gushing interview, with no probing of the evidence on which it relied and no critical questions, such as why, when his ostensible concern is human rights, he did not ask Colonel M* of the Crisis Response Unit about the treatment of captives in his charge.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I wonder how many television viewers there are like me for whom watching the six o’clock news on TVNZ or TV3 was until recently a staple of their daily routine but who now repair to online sources for their news because the network bulletins have become unwatchable—or more precisely, unlistenable? An army of airheads has been let loose on the airwaves who have no business being anywhere near a microphone sounding the way they do. They don’t speak, they quack. Many newsreaders and most reporters on flagship news bulletins now sound like panicked ducks at the start of the shooting season.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
If National MPs are not worried, they should be. And they have only themselves to blame. Political arrogance has once again come at a price.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Brash’s hostile takeover of the ACT Party had the potential of raising the eyebrows of political commentators around the world since it was unusual and unexpected. But such a takeover was made possible by the failures of ACT Party leader Rodney Hide AND National Party leader John Key.