Unemployment rises

by Christie on February 11, 2019 at 9:00am

Jacinda Ardern cracking Photoshopped image credit: Luke

The bad news continues for this ramshackle government. Unemployment has risen to 4.3%, from 4% in September.

It may be a small increase and the government will be able to play it down as being close to the margin of error, but it is part of an emerging trend. Growth is slowing, unemployment is increasing. The economy is starting to soften and we need a competent government with strong economic management skills to guide us through the storm.

We don’t have such a government. quote.

Unemployment jumped at the end of 2018, as the number of new jobs being created slowed.

Statistics NZ said on Thursday that unemployment climbed to 4.3 per cent in December, up from a revised 4 per cent in September.

The New Zealand dollar dropped on the latest figures, as the market bets on whether the figures make an interest rate cut from the Reserve Bank more likely. end quote.

Adrian Orr predicted an interest rate cut last year but there was no reason to think it necessary at that stage. After a decade of low interest rates, it seems they are about to get even lower. quote.

Most of the climb in the number of unemployed – which rose by 10,000 to 120,000 – was due to unemployed men. The number of men unemployed rose by 8000 to 65,000, while the number of unemployed women rose by 2000 to 55,000.
Economists had expected a small increase in the unemployment rate, after a sharp drop in September, but not to the degree the household labour force survey revealed.

 

“It looks like the best that the labour market has to offer is behind us,” ANZ senior economist Liz Kendall said.

end quote.

The bad news, as always, is that the worst affected group is the young people. NEETs, as they are known, with no training, now have less and less chance of finding employment. The government claims that it will target these people, especially Maori youth, but… well, they also said they would build 1,000 houses by July 2019. quote.

On Thursday, Employment Minister Willie Jackson released a statement describing the unemployment rate as “the second lowest in nearly a decade”, focusing on lower unemployment for women and Māori since the coalition Government took office.

“The results released are in keeping with our expectations for this quarter and we are confident that in this strong economy, if we continue to listen to employers and work with industry, many people looking for work will find more opportunities to do so.” end quote.

Sorry, Willie, but you have got this wrong. The economy is not as strong as it was. The growth numbers for the December quarter are not out yet but they are likely to show a significant slowing of growth. You can no longer rely on the excellent economy that you were handed to get you out of trouble. It is downhill all the way from here. quote.

National’s finance spokeswoman Amy Adams said the figures suggest the economy may be slowing and the Government should take it as a “reality check”, with the number unemployed climbing, while those not in employment, education or training (so-called NEETs) rising by 26,000.
“The unemployment rate is still relatively low, however we have now slipped from having the 9th to the 14th lowest unemployment rate in the OECD. At the same time, jobs growth has stalled and the underutilisation rate has increased.

“These weaker labour market numbers follow the third quarter’s slower GDP growth and point to a change of direction for the New Zealand economy.

Stuff end quote.

With gale force winds blowing our way over Brexit and the China-USA trade situation, an economic slowdown looks inevitable. The real question is how well our government is going to be able to deal with it. I have no confidence in their level of economic competency. It looks as if Shane Jones will not be getting his ‘nephs’ of the couch for some time yet.

Rallies against the UN Migration Pact TODAY 4PM

by General on February 2, 2019 at 6:45am

NZ Sovereignty

Say No to the toxic UN Migration Compact

Nationwide rallies February 2nd at 4 PM

Auckland – Aotea Square

Wellington – Corner Taranaki St & Courtenay Place

Christchurch – Cathedral Square

Keynote speakers across all the political parties.

 

Vaping Increases Risks Of Stroke And Heart Disease, Study Finds

The risks of smoking have been known for decades, and in an effort to kick the habit many smokers have turned to e-cigarettes.

But according to a new study, using e-cigarettes could raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or developing heart disease.

One in 20 adults in the US is reported to vape, and according to the research carried out by the American Heart Association, vaping could increase their chances of suffering a heart attack by almost 60 percent.

People who smoke e-cigarettes are also 71 percent more likely to have a stroke, the study claims.

This latest piece of research, which surveyed 400,000 people, shows a link between using e-cigarettes and blood clots forming in the body, it is claimed.

The study claims vaping could raise people's risk of suffering a stroke by 71 percent. Credit: PA
The study claims vaping could raise people’s risk of suffering a stroke by 71 percent. Credit: PA

The shocking study also says that 66,795 of respondents who actually vaped were 71 percent more likely to suffer from a stroke, and had a 59 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or angina.

This group were also found to have a 40 percent greater risk of heart disease.

However, despite the fact that 4.2 percent of vapers in the study had suffered a stroke, there was no definitive evidence to show that vaping kills, it has been reported.

According to the Mail Online, Dr Larry Goldstein, chairman of the department of neurology and co-director of the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, said a ‘wave’ of heart problems could be heading our way.

He said: “It’s obviously quite concerning. This is a potential chip of the spear, of a wave of cardio-vascular disease, that may be coming in the future, especially since this has been so attractive to young users.

“This is the first real data that we’re seeing associating e-cigarette use with hard cardiovascular events.”

He added: “But it’s quite a concern, especially since nationwide now we’ve seen a levelling off in, and in many instances an increase in the risk of stroke-related mortality in the country. It’s hard to know what contribution this has to that, but it doesn’t appear to be safer, or safe right now from the data that’s available.”

Last year, research was carried out by Public Health England claimed that 44 percent of smokers wrongly believe vaping is just as harmful as regular smoking.

However, according to the study, vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.

Father blames the police for his two teenager’s deaths

by Suze on January 18, 2019 at 10:00am

The charred remains of the fleeing car, which exploded after crashing in Christchurch, killing the three teenage boys inside. Photo credit NZ Police.

The father of two of the three Christchurch boys, who were aged 16 and 13, blames the police for the deaths of both his sons who died last weekend speeding away from the police in a stolen car. The Otago Daily Times reported the father’s accusation and defence.  Quote.

He said his sons were good boys but conceded they had been involved in police pursuits and had stolen cars in the past.” End of quote.

Newsflash: habitual stealing is not a characteristic of good boys. By all means give a kid a break for his first offence, but ignoring multiple car thefts? Absolutely not. Quote.

“They were just kids,” he said.

“They were just boys doing what boys do.”

End of quote.

Actually, no!  Not one of my dozen nephews reached adulthood with a penchant for stealing other people’s stuff.  Their parents did a good job of teaching them to respect other people and their stuff.

Given this father thinks stealing cars is acceptable, he deserves some of the blame for the strife his boys got themselves into. No person has more influence in a child’s life than their parents.

These boys should have been sorted out much earlier – an education that excludes the biff or any other violence.  Kids learn more from what they see than what they are told, and this father has no concept of good parenting. As we now know, he might appears to have missed out in decent parenting too. Quote.

“I knew as soon as this happened what was going to happen with me, with my name – that my brother was going to get brought into it.

“It’s not relevant. The police killed my kids.”

End of quote.

Technically, his kids killed themselves because the police pulled out of the chase before the crash.

And as it happens, there is a history of family violence. The father’s brother, Glen Mcallister, died after a murder suicide rampage in Cathedral Square in 1989.  The father of the dead boys is very quick to absolve himself and his deceased violent brother of blame for the boys deaths, but is he correct to do that?

I think violence in the family affects all members. History repeating itself points to parental neglect and lessons not learned, if taught at all. ‘It’s not my fault’ from the father is a man simply denying his part in his children’s outcome.  Quote.

“It’s not about me.” End of quote.

Actually, it is about you. Your children learned from you and their behaviour is a reflection of your parenting.

This family history of bad behaviour is not unlike what we witnessed this week from the Liverpudlian family who displayed inter-generational insouciance. They thumbed their noses at the environment, restaurants and the general public. Some families really shouldn’t be breeding.

The police get a bad rap each time the media comes out with “police pursuit” and the families of the deceased take the media opportunity to point the finger, blaming the police for the deaths of their loved ones.  Not a bad kid, they say. I guess it’s all a matter of degrees, maybe these errant kids are just not bad enough in their parents eyes.

The police are there to keep us safe from idiot minors, and the courts need to come down heavily on youth who persistently flaunt the law.

If these boys had survived the accident would they have learned anything from it? One would hope so, but probably not.

Don’t bring home the bacon

by Christie on December 26, 2018 at 10:00am

 

The Independent in the UK shows how Britain is so far ahead of us here in New Zealand. It seems that expressions like ‘bringing home the bacon’ are offensive… yes. You read that right. quote.

You may think phrases like “bringing home the bacon” and “putting all your eggs in one basket” are harmless quirks of the English language, but they could be offending vegans and vegetarians, with one academic claiming they might end up being avoided altogether as a result.

As research shows more people are removing animal products from their diets than ever before, Shareena Hamzah of Swansea University says idioms involving animal products could be rendered obsolete because they are out of touch with the zeitgeist. end quote.

Or offending Muslims, perhaps, Shareena? quote.

Writing for The Conversation, the researcher explains how meat-based metaphors are a popular staple of our everyday vernacular but that an increased awareness in the environmental and ethical issues surrounding meat production “will undoubtedly be reflected in our language and literature” and that this language may no longer be so widely accepted. end quote.

This article is about absolutely nothing. It is saying that people might stop using these expressions because fewer people eat meat. Most of us don’t even think about offending vegetarians, or Muslims, when we use expressions such as ‘bringing home the bacon’, because there is nothing offensive in them. The vegetarians that I know seem to cope quite well with a few expressions here and there. Not all vegetarians are snowflakes. They simply choose not to eat meat, for reasons of their own. quote.

“In today’s reality, meat is repeatedly the subject of much socially and politically charged discussion, including about how the demand for meat is contributing to climate change and environmental degradation,” she continues.

“Given that fiction often reflects on real world events and societal issues, it may very well be that down the line powerful meat metaphors are eschewed. end quote.

Let’s think of some other powerful metaphors still in use, shall we?

‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ – how offensive to trees

‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ – why Romans? Why not Somalis?

‘Never look a gift horse in the mouth’ – offensive to horses. Neigh!

‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ – offensive to non vegans

‘Beggars cannot be choosers’ – offensive to our homeless people

You can see how stupid this is, can’t you?

Also, I keep thinking of the song ‘Ring a Ring of Roses’. This is not quite the same thing, I know, but it is believed to be a reference to the Great Plague of London in the 17th century. And ‘bring home the bacon’ has a historical reference as well. The Phrase Finder has all the details quote.

The origin of the phrase ‘bring home the bacon’ is sometimes suggested to be the story of the Dunmow Flitch. This tradition, which still continues every four years in Great Dunmow, Essex, is based on the story of a local couple who, in 1104, impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow with their marital devotion to the point that he awarded them a flitch [a side] of bacon. The continuing ritual of couples showing their devotion and winning the prize, to considerable acclamation by the local populace, is certainly old and well authenticated. Geoffrey Chaucer mentions it in The Wife of Bath’s Tale and Prologue, circa 1395.

An additional invented explanation that links ‘bringing home the bacon’ with the culinary habits of medieval English peasantry is given in the nonsense email ‘Life in the 1500s‘. That, and all the other supposed derivations above, ignores the fact that ‘bring home the bacon’ is a 20th century phrase that was coined in the USA.

One field of endeavour in which one’s body, that is, bacon, is the key to one’s fortune is boxing, and it is in that sport that the expression first became widely used.

Bring home the baconJoe Gans and ‘Battling’ Oliver Nelson fought for the widely reported world lightweight championship on 3rd September 1906. In coverage of the fight, the New York newspaper The Post-Standard, 4th September 1906, reported that:

Before the fight Gans received a telegram from his mother: “Joe, the eyes of the world are on you. Everybody says you ought to win. Peter Jackson will tell me the news and you bring home the bacon.”

Gans (on the right in the picture) won the fight, and The New York Times printed a story saying that he had replied by telegraph that he “had not only the bacon, but the gravy”, and that he later sent his mother a cheque for $6,000. end quote.

Oh dear. The American origins are one of the few positive references to African Americans in the period before World War 2. Do we really want to dispose of a reference to the history of African Americans?

If it was just yet another piece of European history, it wouldn’t matter in the least of course. We are disposing of those by the day. But who do we support the most? Vegans or African Americans? What a dilemma!

A lot of vegans are white people. The black guys will win out every time.

Which means, as soon as everyone knows the origins of the expression, ‘bringing home the bacon,’ it will be perfectly fine. Even to vegans. They might even start eating it. The plant version, of course.

The one day truce where British & German soldiers exchanged Christmas gifts

by Whaleoil staff on December 27, 2018 at 10:00am

World War I

World War I

During the first World War, a general’s letter revealed details of British and German Soldiers playing soccer and exchanging Christmas gifts during a one-day truce in 1914. Quote.

A letter documenting the day when British and German troops laid down their arms, exchanged gifts and played a game of soccer at Christmas in 1914 has been uncovered in England.

The letter, written from the trenches in France by a high-ranking British general to his wife, has been made public to mark the centenary of the truce.

The story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 is already well-known, and has inspired many artistic endeavors, including an advertisement this year by a British supermarket chain.

But the letter, from General Walter Congreve to his wife, is a rare first-hand account of the event.

 

Writing from France on Christmas Day 100 years ago, General Congreve described to his wife how when he took Christmas gifts from his mother of toffees, cigarettes, pencils and writing paper down to the trenches he heard about “an outstanding state of affairs”.

“This morning, a German shouted out that they wanted a day’s truce, and would one come out if they did?” he wrote.

“So, very cautiously, one of our men lifted himself above the parapet, and saw a German doing the same – both got out, then more.”

The general described how the German and British soldiers then exchanged cigars, sang together and played soccer.

“Officers, as well as the men, were out and the German colonel himself was talking to one of our captains,” he wrote.

He also wrote of how the truce had exposed the position of a young man considered the German army’s best shot: “They say he’s killed more of our men than any other 12 together, but I know now where he shoots from, so I hope we down him tomorrow.”

A councilor at the Staffordshire County Council Archives where the letter was uncovered, Ben Adams, said it was a very moving piece of history.

“This was in the middle of the most horrendous war imaginable, the most horrendous circumstances imaginable, so for those men to have an opportunity to almost live a normal life, chat and meet with other men in the way that they would hope to do outside of war, but knowing within 48 hours it’s back to the gruesome business of trying to win – it’s quite extraordinary,” Mr Adams said.

General Congreve did not take part in the truce because he was worried he might be too big a target for the Germans to resist.

Mr Adams said it was understandable given the general’s enormous responsibilities.

“At the time General Congreve was probably in charge of something like 35,000 to 40,000 men – he would have been a real target for the enemy,” he said.

“He actually is a very brave man, he was a holder of the Victoria Cross – he won the Victoria Cross in the Boer War.”

General Congreve survived the war and died in 1927.

His son Billy, also a Victoria Cross holder, was killed in action in 1916. […] E

Former rugby boss calls Jacinda a traitor

by Christie on December 24, 2018 at 8:00am

Jacinda Ardern cracking
Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Newshub reports: quote.

A former top rugby boss has called Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters “traitors”, and warned he’s coming to get them.

Ex-New Zealand Rugby CEO David Moffett, a member of the New Conservative Party, made the comments on Thursday after the Government announced it would support the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. end quote.

The only thing that makes me feel happy about this whole thing is the reaction to it. For the first time in as long as I can remember, people actually are up in arms about a political issue. Not ‘up in arms’ as they were over the TPP, which involved nothing more than orchestrated attacks on the government by left-wing activists; it is ordinary people who are outraged by this action. It gives me hope that the true colours of this Marxist government are starting to be seen for what they are. quote.

“Yes we’ll see whether you 2 traitors are still smiling when we are done with you next year,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Have a good break coz you’re going to need it. Next year will likely be your Annus Horibilis because we are coming to get you.” end quote.

 

Strong words, but deserved. Moffatt is an ex-rugby man, and so people will take notice. The sneaky, underhand way in which the government has handled this matter is now plain for all to see. Like the Sroubek affair, Jacinda hoped that it would all just pass under the radar. It didn’t. Once she was asked questions about it, her furtiveness became obvious and embarrassing. We are not going away, Jacinda. This whole issue of our sovereignty, which you promised you would never compromise, is not going to go away. quote.

The controversial pact would create a non-legally binding way of addressing why people migrate, how to protect them, how to integrate them into new countries, means of returning them home and other issues.

Mr Peters, Foreign Affairs Minister, said New Zealand will sign up after he received legal advice saying it won’t affect national sovereignty.

But the decision has angered Mr Moffett, who called Mr Peters and Ms Ardern “leftards”.

“There are 53million people, mostly from Africa and Sth America ready to invade other countries in the name of migration. They want out of their own countries run by criminals and dictators. The same countries that the UN want us to give $billions to…… Say No NZ,” he tweeted. end quote.

The Crown Law office have only commented on the document in front of their noses, but Angela Merkel let the cat out of the bag last week. Once the compact has been approved, all it will take is for a vote to be taken in the UN to make the compact binding. If two-thirds of countries agree to that, then it will be binding. Because so many countries that have signed up to it want their citizens to be able to migrate, the majority will be reached easily. The Crown Law office has not considered that possibility, because it was not asked to consider it. It has advised only on the document as it exists today. quote.

“You can all be guaranteed that I will not stop fighting for all Kiwis, no matter what side of politics you are on.”

His tweets have been met with some criticism, with one person calling them “a tad aggressive”.

“Hang on… aren’t you a migrant who moved to NZ for economic / job purposes?” a commenter said. end quote.

I too am a migrant who moved to New Zealand, but I went through all the proper channels, did everything right, had interviews with Immigration NZ, filled out copious forms and waited for the required periods for my residency to be approved. To think that someone could just turn up from Africa on a boat and have all the same rights without proper process is horrific. But that is what will happen.

I am glad the government is not going to get away with this, and I am particularly glad that Winston Peters is on the rack because of it. Anyone who has campaigned for all of his political life on lowering immigration, then doing a 180-degree turn and signing this document, is indeed a traitor. At least we have all seen the truth about Winston now. His legacy is truly in tatters. At least some good has come out of all of this.

Health approach to be taken for users of synthetic drugs, harsher penalties for suppliers

By: Lucy Bennett

Political Reporter, NZ Herald

People who make or supply synthetic drugs face life in prison under changes announced by the Government today.

Police Minister Stuart Nash and Health Minister David Clark announced that two compounds found in most synthetics – AMB Fubinaca and 5FABD – will be reclassified as Class A drugs, attracting a maximum penalty of life in prison for manufacture and supply.

A new classification, Class C1, will be created to give police greater search and seizure powers for other new and emerging drugs. It is essentially a holding classification before those drugs are then made Class A.

The move is part of a two-pronged approach to stop those “peddling in death in our communities”, according to Nash – cracking down on makers and suppliers but treating drug use as a health issue rather than a criminal issue.

Police will be told to use more discretion when dealing with people caught using the drugs.

That approach will also be extended to users of all illegal drugs, but Clark and Nash denied it was “decriminalisation by stealth”.

Nash said 52 people had died this year alone from using synthetics, which are often laced with poisonous chemicals.

“Under current laws synthetics and other dangerous drugs are killing people and fuelling crime while dealers and manufacturers get rich. The current approach is failing to keep Kiwis safe and can’t be continued,” Clark said.

“It’s time to do what will work. We need to go harder on the manufacturers of dangerous drugs like synthetics, and treat the use of drugs as a health issue by removing barriers to people seeking help.”

The measures announced today are:

• Reclassifying the two main ingredients found in synthetics linked to recent deaths – AMB Fubinaca and 5FABD – as class A drugs

• Creating a temporary C1 classification for new and emerging drugs to give police greater search and seizure powers

Jacinda is dishonest

by Christie on December 14, 2018 at 9:00am

Oh dear. The prime minister of the open and transparent government is now being accused of being dishonest about her text messages, received from Richie Hardcore, a supporter of Karel Sroubek, because she has pretended, all the way through this farcical situation, that she had no personal interest and a lot of secret information about the case that would change our minds about giving residency to a wife-beating drug lord who is in jail on drug trafficking charges… but is a lovely boy really.

Well, his mother says so anyway.

But the opposition doesn’t think so. Stuff reports: quote.

The Opposition leader claims the prime minister has been dishonest about a text message she received from a friend of Czech drug-smuggler Karel Sroubek.

When asked if he believed that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had lied about a message from Richie Hardcore, National leader Simon Bridges said by omission, she had been dishonest and that was “pretty much the same” as lying.

Ardern confirmed she received the message but said she did not engage with the unsolicited message. end quote.

 

I don’t have the prime minister’s mobile phone number to send a text to. Do you? So Richie Hardcore is a privileged person. Now why would that be? quote.

Bridges said it “beggars belief” that this was the first or only communication from Hardcore to Ardern about Sroubek.

He believed she knew more about Sroubek than she was saying or that Hardcore had been lobbying her. end quote.

 

I have to admit, this makes sense. Hardcore is clearly a close associate of Jacinda and Clarke. He is also an associate of Karel Sroubek. That the prime minister thinks it is okay to give her immigration minister directives to award residency to people supported by her friends is both surprising and very disappointing. That she may have actually done it beggars belief. quote.

“For nearly two months, my colleagues and I have been asking serious questions and the picture painted by Ardern was that she knew nothing about any of this … that’s dishonest.”

He said he did not buy her comment that her phone number was widely available and questioned why she would not release the text message.

Hardcore works in counselling and rehabilitation in Auckland and it is understood Ardern had met him at various events.

He had previously provided references in support of Sroubek (or Antolik as he was then known) to the sentencing judge in March 2016, arguing against him being jailed, and then to the Parole Board in December 2017. His pleas fell on deaf ears on both occasions: Sroubek was jailed in 2016, and the Parole Board refused early release in 2017.

When asked about the message on Thursday, Ardern said she would not release the text because she received a number of communications from a number of individuals in various capacities but she would consider an Official Information Act request. end quote.

You have to ask why she will not release the text. Let’s face it, the reason cannot be good. It is getting harder and harder to believe that Hardcore did not solicit the prime minister… particularly as Sroubek is such a lovely citizen, just grossly misunderstood. Sroubek’s wife, who is in a safe house in fear for her life, is clearly misguided in her assessment of him. quote.

She confirmed she had known Hardcore for a number of years and had proactively shared that she had received information from him, highlighting, it was only after the minister made his decision on the Sroubek case.

“I’ve only been asked in the past about whether I knew anyone that made representations on this case. I’ve made it very clear I knew nothing of this case until it was in the public domain. I do not know who made representations on the case and I could not, hand on heart, say whether anyone who contacted me made representation. I saw yesterday that the opposition were asking very direct questions – made the decision to put out there what contact I had received. I want to reiterate I did not receive this communication until the case was on the public domain.” end quote.

Whatever. What was all the stuff about ‘read between the lines’? She had ignored all representations on this case, in spite of the fact that he should never have been given residency. Not at any point, not at any time.

The prime minister is obfuscating here, and the deputy prime minister is covering for her, but then, as he is one of her henchmen, that should come as no surprise.

Winston was always a master of trying to hold the previous government to account, but he is ducking and weaving like a snake. He may appear smart in the house, but he is fooling no one. This government is probably the most dishonest government ever, and Winston Peters put it there.