Word of the day

15/11/2011

Losel – good for nothing, worthless.


Wild greens behind urbane front

15/11/2011

This media release from the man who wanted to be known as Jo Henky was made at 11:23 this morning:

We were saddened to hear National Party president Peter Goodfellow attacking the messenger on Checkpoint last night, rather than responding to the message.

If National disagrees with the policies “The Rich Deserve More” and “Drill It! Mine It! Sell It!” they should simply say so.

To our knowledge no billboards were harmed in the delivery of this message. The stickers can be easily peeled off.

We do not represent a political party. We are private individuals who are disturbed by the policy directions of the current Government, and who seek to engage in the political process at election time in a light-hearted and hopefully humorous way.

Yet by then he had already been outed as Jolyon White, a Green Party member.

NewsTalkZB’s Felix Marwick tweeted more than an hour earlier that the Green Party might have been behind the sabotage and that Russel Norman was going to front the media. He followed up with a tweet saying it was the partner of Norman’s EA.

Norman continues to deny any knowledge of the attack on the billboards:

Dr Norman said he learnt of Mr White’s involvement only after other Green members recognised his voice in a radio interview this morning.

I accept his word and that the actions of White and whoever else was involved, whether or not they were Greens, were not acting on the party’s behalf.

Norman’s EA has been stood down and White has resigned from the party.

I have found no reference to any assurance from any other MP or office holder in the party. Until they give one it is legitimate to ask did any of them know anything about the plan or its execution before this morning?

Regardless of the answer to that question, Dim Post gets to the nub of the damage this has done to the more moderate brand the party has been striving to cultivate.

He says it highlights the disparity between the party’s target voters who aren’t anti-National and its activist base who are a bunch of anti-National anarchists.

The Greens are often criticised for being  watermelons  – a green shell with a red centre. This episode shows that for all the effort the party has put into taming its image, there are still some wild greens behind the urbane front.

 

 

 


7/10

15/11/2011

7/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.


Hypothetical questions, Politics Daily, World #1s,

15/11/2011

The power of the hypothetical question opened discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today.

While on matters political we also looked at:Politics Daily, Dr Bryce Edwards’ excellent round-up of political news and views; and the Listeners equally compelling read for political tragics – NZ Election Live.

We finished with international number ones – because every country is best at something; and a selection of absurd signs and disclaimers.

I found the last two sites via Ideaolog’s newsletter Daily Bacon to which you can subscribe here.


Let down by volunteers

15/11/2011

This morning Whaleoil joined the dots between the messages on the stickers defacing National Party billboards and the distribution and came up with something green.

He was right. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has admitted the man behind the vandalism is the partner of his executive assistant.

Dr Norman said he had had no knowledge of the vandalism in advance, and only found out who was involved on Tuesday morning.

Whale deduced this looked like a green network. It looks like it was also at least partly a Green one, albeit without the knowledge or authority of the party.

All parties run the risk of volunteers getting carried away by their enthusiasm and doing something that will embarrass the organisation.

This is a particularly well organised and funded embarrasment. Parties of the right would be vilified if their supporters were stupid enough to do something similar even if it was done without their knowledge or authority.

Will some of the mud its supporteres have been also stick to the Greens?


The purpose of government

15/11/2011

Quote of the day:

“We’re not in the business of doing things businesses could be doing. Our business is to provide the environment so businesses can get on and do business.”

The speaker was a local government employee but her words apply just as much to central government.


Remembering those who aren’t free to write

15/11/2011

Today is the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer, which is marked in New Zealand as Courage Day.

Every 15th of November throughout the world, PEN (the international writers’ organisation which champions freedom of expression) holds events to mark the International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

The New Zealand Society of Authors which incorporates PEN honours this event as Courage Day, named jointly after James Courage, a novelist and poet whose novel A way of lovewas banned because he dared to express homosexuality in his writing prior to the setting up of the Indecent Publications Tribunal in 1964, and his grandmother Sarah Courage whose book describing colonial life in New Zealand was burned by neighbours who resented comments she made about them.

This year we are commemorating the 42 writers who lost their lives since Courage Day 2006 as well as the 1000’s of writers, editors, broadcasters and journalists worldwide whose lives are endangered for speaking out against repressive regimes and human rights injustices.

Three writers will feature in our Courage Day events – journalist Anna Politkovskaya, whose work won her the description of “Russia’s lost moral consciousness” and whose murder in October 2006, made headlines worldwide. Turkish-Armenian writer Hrant Dink was shot dead in January 2007 outside his office, after being convicted of “insulting the Turkish identity” after writing about a mass murder committed ninety years ago. And, Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed 10 years ago along with eight others for campaigning against the devastation of the Niger Delta by international oil companies.

PEN is also asking for letters of support for five writers imprisoned for expressing their views –

Cuba – Normando Hernández González– a journalist imprisoned under crackdown on dissidents in 2003 and since held under dire conditions;

Gambia – Fatou Jaw Manneh– a journalist on trial and facing a heavy sentence on charges of sedition for her articles criticising the Gambian president.

Iran – Yaghoub Yadali– a novelist given a one year sentence for his fictional characterisation of the ethnic minority of which he is himself a member;

Uzbekistan – Jamshid Karimov– a journalist who has covered human rights abuses, and wrote critical articles and who has been held in psychiatric detention for over a year.

Yemen – Abdel Karim Al-Khaiweni – former editor of the online publication Al-Shoura who has been under threat since June 2007 for his writings and continued harassment by the military.

It is easy to take freedom of expression for granted in a country like New Zealand.

Courage Day is a reminder of the value of that freedom and of the people in other countries whose writing endangers their freedom and their lives.


The $158,000 question

15/11/2011

The $158,000 question still hasn’t been answered: when is Winston Peters going to repay the money he owes us?

Credo Quia Absurdum Est has tried to find out:

I have asked him – in person (never seen an about turn so fast), via email (several emails, no answers) and during a phone-in interview on the radio where they activated the kill switch, the pinkos.

Someone might also want to ask how he’s funding this campaign since he can’t do it at the taxpayers’ expense.

Would there be any link between that funding and all the advertisements on Trackside?

There were certainly links between funding and racing when Peters was last in a position to dispense largesse.

I blogged on that three years ago and included this which was in the print edition of the Sunday Star Times but not online:

What Racing Has Done For Winston:

* Vela family, with interests in NZ Bloodstock at Karaka and Pencarrow Stud in the Waikato, reportedly donated at least $150,000 in amounts under $10,000 between 1999 and 2003 to NZ First.

* Wealthy breeder Sir Patrick Hogan, of Cambridge Stud, launched his own campaign to get NZ First back into parliament, spending thousands of his own money on newspaper advertisements. The racing industry also backed the party through its Fair Tax campaign.

* Billionaire expat Owen Glenn, a racehorse owner, donated $100,000 to NZ First’s electoral challenge of the 2005 result in Tauranga.

What Winston Has Done For Racing:

* Reduced totalisator duty to 4% from a headline rate of 20%, pumping around $32 million a year into the industry.

* Decreased the tax write-down period for stallions and broodmares, encouraging more people to buy racehorses for tax advantages and potentially benefitting breeders by millions.

*This year’s Budget allocated a further $19m for a co-sponsorship scheme over a three-year period to enable “substantially higher prize money offered by the creme de la creme of New Zealand races.”

It is most unlikely that Owen Glenn will be donating to Peters this time round but others in the racing industry might not yet have had their fingers burned. If they were thought they were likely to make money from more of this sort of policy helping his campaign wouldn’t be so much a donation as an investment.


November 15 in history

15/11/2011

655 – Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria.

1315 – Battle of Morgarten the Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft ambushed the army of Leopold I.

1515 – Thomas Wolsey was invested as a Cardinal.

1532 – Commanded by Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto met Inca leader Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca.

1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.

1708 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1769 The British flag flew in New Zealand for the first time.

British flag flies for first time in NZ

1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.

1791 – The first U.S Catholic college, Georgetown University, opened its doors.

1854 – The Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was given the necessary royal concession.

1859 – The first modern revival of the Olympic Games in Athens.

1861 The first issue of the Otago Daily Times was published.

<img src="/files/images/odt.preview.jpg" alt="First issue of Otago Daily Times published” />

1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, Georgia and started Sherman’s March to the Sea.

1889 – Brazil was declared a republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca and Emperor Pedro II was deposed in a military coup.

1891 Erwin Rommel, German field marshal, “The Desert Fox”, was born.

1903 – Stewie Dempster, New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 1974).

1905 Mantovani, Italian-born composer, was born (d. 1980).

1920 – First assembly of the League of Nations was held in Geneva.

1923 – The German Rentenmark is introduced in Germany to counter Inflation in the Weimar Republic.

1926 – The NBC radio network opened with 24 stations.

1932 Petula Clark, English singer, was born.

1935 – Manuel L. Quezon was inaugurated as the second president of the Philippines.

1939 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.

1942 Daniel Barenboim, Argentine-born conductor and pianist, was born.

1942 – First flight of the Heinkel He 219.

1942 – The Battle of Guadalcanal ended in a decisive Allied victory.

1943 – Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered that Gypsies be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.

1945 Roger Donaldson, Australian- born New Zealand film producer/director, was born.

1945 Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad, Norwegian (By Birth) singer (ABBA) was born.

1948 – Louis Stephen St. Laurent succeeded William Lyon Mackenzie King as Prime Minister of Canada.

1949 – Nathuram Godse and Narayan Apte were executed for assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

1951 – Greek resistance leader Nikos Beloyannis and 11 resistance members, were sentenced to death.

1966 – Gemini 12 splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean.

1966 – Pan Am Flight 708 crashed near Berlin, killing the three people on board.

1967 – The only fatality of the X-15 program occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams lost control of his aircraft which was destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.

1968 – The US Air Force launched Operation Commando Hunt, a large-scale bombing campaign against the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1969 – The Soviet submarine K-19 collided with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.

1969 – 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the Vietnam War, including a symbolic “March Against Death”.

1969 – In Columbus, Ohio, Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s restaurant.

1971 – Intel released world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004.

1976 – René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois took power to become the first Quebec government of the 20th century clearly in favour of independence.

1978 – A chartered Douglas DC-8 crashed near Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 183.

1979 – A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski began smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

1983 – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded. Recognised only by Turkey.

1985 – A research assistant was injured when a package from the Unabomber addressed to a University of Michigan professor exploded.

1985 – The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.

1987 – Continental Airlines Flight 1713, a Douglas DC-9-14 jetliner, crashed in a snowstorm at Denver, Colorado Stapleton International Airport, killing 28 occupants, while 54 survive the crash.

1987 – In Braşov, Romania, workers rebelled against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

1988 – In the Soviet Union, the unmanned Shuttle Buran was launched on her first and last space flight.

1988 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An independent State of Palestine was proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council.

1988 – The first Fairtrade label, Max Havelaar, was launched in the Netherlands.

1989 – Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as an international cricketer.

1990 – Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with flight STS-38.

2000 – A chartered Antonov An-24 crashed after takeoff from Luanda, Angola killing more than 40 people.

2003 – The first day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings, in which two car bombs, targeting two synagogues, explode, killing 25 people and wounding about 300.

2005 – Boeing formally launched the stretched Boeing 747-8 variant with orders from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

2007 – Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, killing an estimated 5000 people and destroyed the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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