Thursday, August 17, 2017

Melanie Phillips: How totalitarianism is winning in the west

Credit to the left-leaning Atlantic magazine for running a piece by Peter Beinart, who has actually looked at what is happening in American society and reached an uncomfortable conclusion which would be hard to find elsewhere in the media – and which is all-too pertinent in the wake of Charlottesville.

For Beinart warns that the left is lurching into totalitarianism and violence. “Antifa” purport to be anti-fascist. But they define as fascist anyone they disagree with including mainstream conservatives. Hence their violent suppression of commentators and scholars such as the conservative columnist Ann Coulter, the Breitbart controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos and the political scientist Charles Murray.

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - Auckland airport must have rapid transport

Things you know that ain't so - Auckland airport must have rapid transport.

At the moment, the politicians are going all out with promises of rapid transport – Winston Peters favours heavy rail, while Jacinda promises light rail within a few years.

Mole News

Whetu Cormick – focusing on Māori achievement 
I am pleased about is the way the current administration has shone the spotlight on Māori education. They may have presented us with the wrong solution in that national standards will certainly never assist us in lifting Māori student success rates, but they have challenged us to think hard about how we do improve the learning of our young Māori people.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: An Inconvenient Split?

Some Of The World's Largest Non-Polar Glaciers Are Expanding, Despite Global Warming

In this newsletter:

1) An Inconvenient Split?
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 13 August 2017

2) Some Of The World's Largest Non-Polar Glaciers Are Expanding, Despite Global Warming
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 11 August 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Matt Ridley: In its energy policy, Britain keeps picking losers

Shortly before parliament broke up this month, there was a debate on a Lords select committee report on electricity policy that was remarkable for its hard-hitting conclusions. The speakers, and signatories of the report, included a former Labour chancellor, Tory energy secretary, Tory Scottish secretary, cabinet secretary, ambassador to the European Union and Treasury permanent secretary, as well as a bishop, an economics professor, a Labour media tycoon and a Lib Dem who was shortlisted for governor of the Bank of England.

Genuine heavyweights, in short. They were in general agreement: energy policy is a mess, decarbonisation has been pursued at the expense of affordability and, in particular, the nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset is an expensive disaster. Their report came out before the devastating National Audit Office report on Hinkley, which said the government had “locked consumers into a risky and expensive project [and] did not consider sufficiently the risks and costs to the consumer”.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Greens pay the price for one woman's hubris

This was going to be a Turei-free column. Honest. But how can anyone ignore what has been arguably the most tumultuous fortnight in politics since 1984?

My colleague Tom Scott had a cartoon in Wednesday’s paper in which a priest asked a boy: “What has Metiria Turei’s admission of benefit fraud and the Green Party’s subsequent meltdown taught us?”

The boy’s answer: “Never admit to making a mistake even 25 years later.”

That’s a legitimate interpretation of what happened, but my take on it is slightly different.

NZCPR Weekly: Super Policy Under Scrutiny

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we examine retirement policy, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Michael Littlewood outlines the advantages of our present superannuation system and decries the lack of research and evidence underpinning many policy decisions, and this week’s poll asks whether you would support the retirement age being increased from 65 to 67. 

With Parliament sitting for only one more week before rising for the General Election, this is your last chance to contact Members of Parliament – all MP email addresses can be found on our website HERE.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
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GWPF Newsletter: New York Times Admits Its Frontpage Climate Story Was Wrong

Lord Lawson Blasts Al Gore For Obsession Over Climate

In this newsletter:

1) New York Times Admits Its Frontpage Climate Story Was Wrong
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 9 August 2017

2) Lamar Smith Slams NYT 'False Allegations', 'Fake News' of 'Leaked' Climate Report
CNS News, 9 August 2017 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Met Office Accused Of Misleading BBC Audience Over Extreme Weather

BBC Defends Lord Lawson Climate Change Interview

In this newsletter:

1) Met Office Accused Of Misleading BBC Audience Over Extreme Weather Claims
Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 11 August 2017

The BBC asked Peter Stott (Met Office) about extreme events, and specifically storms, but Stott responded by talking about heat waves. What we see here is another example of the self-destructive ‘circling the wagons’ policy. The sceptic has to be attacked, and the warmist defended, even when the IPCC report supports the sceptic.

Frank Newman: Political manias and meltdowns

The election campaign has already brought up its share of extraordinary events: the self-mutilation of the Green Party leadership and the rise of Jacindamania. With those two events the campaign has been transformed as support shifts from NZ First and the Greens to Labour - although based on the latest polling it looks like NZ First will continue to hold the trump card come election night.

In amongst the manias and melt-downs there have been some policy announcements. Prior to the election I will summarise the party policies that particularly affect property investors, but one that is particularly eye-brow raising in a weird way is the announcement by the Opportunities (Gareth Morgan) Party (TOP).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Karl du Fresne: Shakespeare would have loved it

Greens co-leader James Shaw on Q&A yesterday was saying he was shocked at the hatred for the poor that had been exposed since Metiria Turei went public about her benefit fraud. What bullshit. 

Turei is still being characterised by her admirers as courageous and virtuous. That’s bullshit too. 

She made a calculated and cynical political decision and it backfired spectacularly. While she was gazing down the track at a shimmering city of votes floating like a tantalising mirage in the distance, a 100-tonne locomotive was bearing down on her from behind.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Mike Butler: The story behind the Titford story

Northland farmer Allan Titford steeled himself on Thursday for a long time locked up when he found out that his appeal against conviction and sentence was rejected. Now, with the appeal over, the other hidden story may be told.

Titford, who was jailed in 2013 for 24 years on 39 charges including the rape of his wife, burning his house down, and assaulting his children, found out about the failure of his appeal from a friend who saw it in a newspaper.

Ron Manners: Australian Native Title Act - this may surprise you!

I posted the following article about the Native Title Act on my website recently and it's a topic that's been generating quite a bit of discussion in the news. Although I reflect on my interactions with the Act and Aboriginal people in the article, as I've charted the Native Title Act process from 1977, it's also a tale of lost opportunities and political correctness.

Have a read for yourself and let me know your opinions on this legislation. Does it surprise you?

To anyone who assumed that the Native Title Act was designed to ‘assist our Aboriginals’, think again. Like most legislation there was much going on behind the scenes that only became obvious after the economic damage was done.

Brian Gaynor: Will Jacinda make the markets take notice?

The general election campaign sprang into life this week with the election of Jacinda Ardern as leader of the Labour Party. Until then it had been a big yawn as far as investment markets were concerned - mainly because of the figures in the accompanying table.

Support for Labour has steadily declined since the 2005 election, and opinion polls were indicating that the left-of-centre party would be no threat to National on September 23.

Labour's recent election peak was 41.3 per cent in 2002, when party leader Helen Clark gave National's Bill English a hiding. The post-election position was Labour with 52 seats, National 27 seats, New Zealand First 13, Act and the Greens with 9 each, United Future 8 and Jim Anderton's Progressive Party with two seats.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: Ireland and Canada grapple with polygamy

A few weeks ago, the Irish caught up with most of the rest of us when their Supreme Court recognised the first, but not second, marriage of a Lebanese man with two wives whom he had married under Sharia law, which is accepted as legitimate marriage law for Muslims by the Lebanese State.

The recognition of marriages concluded in outside jurisdictions is commonplace worldwide. As a rule of thumb, a jurisdiction will recognise the marriage of a couple where the State authorities of the jurisdiction in which they were married recognises them as being legally married, unless the marriage would have been disallowed in the jurisdiction being applied to. 

Melanie Phillips: Going wherever the evidence leads

At present, a person who wishes to change gender must apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. This requires a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria certifying that the individual has spent two years of living in the opposite gender. All that will be needed in future is for a man to say he is now a woman and vice versa for their birth certificate to be changed.

Such a birth certificate will thus be a lie. For whether or not the person should be recognised as having changed sex now, he or she was born a girl or a boy. This Conservative government – conservative! – will thus be putting legalised lying onto the statute book.
This is why the Conservative Party has lost its way.

NZCPR Weekly: A Long Week in Politics

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week, we look at the state of politics and the extraordinary events of the last week, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Bryce Edwards outlines the media’s response to the Labour Party’s leadership change, and this week’s poll asks whether you believe the Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei should resign from Parliament.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Karl du Fresne: "Progress" has become a matter of what's possible

Some people fret about the threat posed to humanity by climate change. I fret about the threat posed to humanity by technology.

A couple of weeks ago, I used my smartphone to get directions to a motel that I’d booked in Auckland. I only wanted to know how to get there from Queen Street, but of course my phone interpreted the request literally.

Within moments it had mapped out a route all the way from my home in Masterton. It had plotted every turn along the way, precisely calculated the distance (602.2 km), estimated the travel time (7 hours and 25 minutes) and advised me how to avoid the Manawatu Gorge road closure.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: German Scientists Claim Climate Change Is Cyclical

'Global Cooling Coming Soon'

In this newsletter:

1) German Scientists Claim Climate Change Is Cyclical, Global Cooling Coming Soon
P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 1 August 2017

2) The UK Met Office's Model Muddle
GWPF TV, 3 August 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mike Butler: Wrecked rivers, iwi demands

Rapid changes in land use leading to polluted water and wrecked rivers have prompted a new book titled Water Quality and Ownership. Author Bill Benfield is a Christchurch architect and vineyard owner who, as a keen angler from an early age, has witnessed the progressive degradation of water quality in rivers and streams.

How has this happened? Benfield goes back to the Muldoon “think big” projects of the early 1980s that produced cheap nitrogen fertiliser from natural gas which enabled greater use of fertiliser.