The first legislation passed after the so-called wellbeing Budget is to legislate for an extra $360 million worth of fuel taxes over two years, National’s Transport spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“We didn’t hear too much about this in the Budget, but these fuel taxes place a huge additional burden on Kiwi families. Prices at the pump are at some of the highest we’ve seen in years.
“The extra fuel taxes swamp any benefit to be gained from the potential handouts of the budget. This Government gives with one hand and takes more with the other.
“More galling is the fact that motorists are getting less for all the extra taxes they are paying. The Labour, Greens, NZ First Government has cancelled, delayed or gutted a dozen major transport projects – such as the East West Link, a decent road north of Tauranga, south from Christchurch and in many other places.
“Meantime, the new projects they promised, such as the slow tram down Dominion Road, are nowhere near even the development of a business case.
“They get to pay more fuel taxes so that the Government can find new ways to frustrate them out of their cars, with their primary focus on ‘mode shift’ – code for getting people out of their cars and on to their bike or public transport.
“The result is a hole in progress on reducing congestion.”
What we have witnessed this week is the worst week of this Government’s term – and by quite some margin.
They have had their individual bouts of ineptitude. The Clare Curran fiasco, the ongoing disaster that is KiwiBuild, the Meka Whaitiri scandal – but what made this week record-breaking was not just the cock ups and shambles, but the cock ups and shambles in a week that should really have shone bright for them.
Budget week is the crowning glory outside of an election victory, Budget week is the cream on the cake of the fiscal year.
It’s the facts, the figures, the intention, the outlook, the projection, the forecasting of all you are and what you stand for as a government.
It’s your annual parade of fiscal and political brilliance. It is your crowning glory, because it’s got money, handouts and results – and a summation of all the reasons you are in government.
And yet they took this week and blew it up.
The KiwiBuild confession, given the size of it, was remarkable in itself, but was the least of their problems. Given we already had been well versed on what a mess it is, adding mess on top of the mess seemed by yesterday to have been just another chapter in the saddest and most incompetent of policy attempts in many a year.
They now confess that by the time their first (and possibly last) term of government comes staggering to the finish line that they will have built 1600 houses – not the 16,000 they said. It’s laid bare, yet again, the cold hard truth about their ability to oversell an idea, and under-deliver it.
Then came the Mallard scandal. If the man Barry Soper talked to is the same bloke Mallard called a rapist, and if the man’s story matches with the investigations held, in other words the complaints were unsubstantiated, then Mallard should have quit, or been sacked, or failed a vote of no confidence – or all three.
He is a bully, and don’t get me started on this Government’s treatment of unsubstantiated bullying allegations against Diane Maxwell, the Retirement Commissioner.
Here is where this Government is coming to pieces in the eyes of so many. This is the Government that has bent over backwards to talk about kindness, mental wellbeing and inclusiveness. This is the most open, honest and transparent government we have ever seen – and yet this week has shown that between Mallard, Grant Robertson, and Winston Peters they are nothing of the sort.
Mallard, in further irony, got bumped out of the headlines because along came Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf, and his bumbling mates Robertson and Peters yelling hack, hack, hack.
Not only did they have no clue about technology. They, like Mallard, took a bad situation, and in a play straight out of the Mallard ‘bullying tips for all MPs’ book, dumped all over the National Party. Only to have it blow up in their face.
And do we see apologies? Of course we don’t, that’s not what bullies do.
For those of us who aspire for this country to be great, this is the frustration. This lot are hopeless, they’re amateurish, they’re beginners in a professional game. They are taking this country, this economy and its hopes and aspirations, and butchering them.
And to make it worse, they’re obfuscating, stalling, blustering, blundering, and generally behaving appallingly.
And it’s all come to a catastrophic, shambolic head this week. And they’re only halfway through the term.
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union
Our team has just returned from the Beehive, where we attended the media and analysts’ lock-up event for the government’s new “Wellbeing Budget”. This year’s Budget was accompanied by some level of turmoil, with leaks, alleged hacks, and a (very brief) police investigation all entering the headlines throughout the week.
We’ve had two and a half hours to file through the fiscal documents and spending announcements. We now want to give you an insider’s look, before the spin on the 6pm news.
Our overall impression of this Budget is, glossy marketing aside, it is a classic welfare-spending, rail-worshipping, Michael Cullen-style budget.
The government is holding up its big spend on mental health services as evidence of a fresh new “wellbeing” approach, but the figures tell a different story. The government is spending almost three times as much on rail ($2.14 billion / $1,175 per household) – including KiwiRail, regional rail and the Auckland City Rail Link – than on direct mental health spending ($823 million / $452 per household).
The “wellbeing” focus appears to be nothing more than a communications strategy from the government. Budget 2019 is indistinguishable from any other normal Labour Budget, with more money for welfare recipients and no room for tax relief.
KiwiRail: An additional $1 billion ($549 per household) is being allocated for KiwiRail including $375 million for new wagons and locomotives and $331 million for new track and infrastructure. As a State-Owned Enterprise, KiwiRail is expected to be profitable – but it has never paid a cent in dividends to the government. An additional billion dollars will not change reality – KiwiRail is a fundamentally unprofitable enterprise. Click here for my comments to the media.
Mental health: An extra $823 million ($452 per household) is being spent on mental health and addiction services. It has high aspirations, but few plans for judging value for money. As Scotland learned in the 1990s, a lot of extra money can go into mental health with little or no effect on measured outcomes. Click here for Louis’ comments to the media.
Venture Capital Fund: Wealthy tech entrepreneurs rejoice! The government is allocating $300 million ($164 per household) for a venture capital fund to help tech entrepreneurs who can’t convince investors or the bank to fund their projects.Worst of all, the project is being routed through the New Zealand Super Fund, which should be focused on delivering returns for future retirees. We say socialism for tech nerds is still socialism. Click here for my comments to the media.
Maori, Pasifika initiatives: Much of the spending on education, health, and even business is targeted on the basis of race, including an $80 million ($44 per household) injection for the Whanau Ora programme. We say targeting spending on race will lead to unfair and inefficient outcomes. Click here for Louis’ comments to the media.
Welfare changes: Following the release of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s report, the government has chosen to spend $535 million ($293 per household) to boost up the welfare system. Benefit sanctions for breaking the rules are being withdrawn and beneficiary payments will be adjusted upwards annually in line with wages, rather than inflation. Click here for my comments to the media.
The economy itself is expected to track slightly weaker in coming years (forecast GDP growth is set to average 2.6 percent in the next five years) but is not projected to enter recession or enter serious headwinds. Business investment growth, however, is expected to fall off a cliff in 2019 (0.7 percent growth) compared to 2018 (6.8 percent growth), which could be a reflection of weak business confidence in response to plans for a capital gains tax and international trade sentiment. The government also still expects to meet its self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules, including reducing net debt to below 20 percent of GDP by 2022.
Dear Princess Cindy Pants
I caught you on the covers of many magazines while I was buying my groceries. I couldn’t afford to purchase the magazines as being a small business owner things are tight. I saw you took a quick trip a Paris to talk to others about the internet. I’ve never been to Paris but I hear it’s nice. Running my small business keeps me very busy at less than minimum wage.
I saw your Well Being Budget today Cindy and I was wondering if you have ever thought about me. I’ve been paying taxes all my life and apart from a 6 month period when I left school I have always been employed. I wondered today if you knew I have a few part time students who never got your free uni handout, working for me to pay their way. They are such lovely people who study hard and work hard to make ends meet. I pay them well above minimum wage, not because you told me to but because I value them and they work hard for me. Did you know they earn more than me? I am sure that I’m not alone.
You told me today that YOU are lifting children out of poverty. Well done YOU. I suspect you are going to be quite tired. Just a question, do you think it’s possible for small businesses like mine to be a better solution to this child poverty problem you speak of? I realize you won’t get as many compliments but as they say, many hands make light work. Imagine just not fixing a problem for the period of time it takes someone to buy a packet of smokes…. but end it by empowering people to empower others. Your bandaids will come off in the first shower sadly, but I’ll still be toiling away, needing help but not being able to afford to employ anyone.
I saw Robbo give you a hug today, I do hope Trev doesn’t report him for rape. It’s a little silly for me to think like that, but I fear that under you that is how things are going. I hope you had a great day and I’m sure 340,000 people are happy. Is that true, that 340,000 rely on the government? How can that be? Anyway, I look forward to you smiling on another cover or jetting off to solve other peoples problems… I’ll still be here working hard and trying to make ends meet for my awesome wife and kids. They are my life and I will do anything for them. I wish many others felt that way as well
Christian groups have reacted in vastly different ways in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks – many offering empathy and support, others warning darkly of an Islamic threat. In part two of our series ‘God in the Time of Terror’, Tony Wall reports on some evangelicals who believe they’re in a spiritual battle.
When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a hijab and spoke in Arabic during a Muslim call to prayer in Hagley Park a week after the deadly mosque attacks, the world saw a strong, compassionate leader sending a message of inclusion and tolerance.
Pastor Ross Smith just saw red.
To Smith, a motorbike-riding pentecostal preacher, this was the leader of a western country essentially asking people to “bow down” to Allah and embrace a dangerous ideology.
It might seem paranoid, but Smith and other conservative evangelicals see this as the first step on a road that leads to the “deletion” of the Christian God, the rise of Islamic radicals and eventually the implementation of Sharia law in New Zealand.
“Do we want to go down that track? Because that’s the reality of the hardcore side of that ideology,” says Smith, pastor of Wellington’s Celebration Church.
He says it’s time for Christians to get political.
“I think it’s a wake-up call. The church has been quiet for too long.”
After the mosque attacks, churches of various denominations around the country made symbolic gestures of support, invited Muslims to pray with them and gave money.
Examples included Mormons inviting imams to speak at conferences; the All Souls Church in Merivale, Christchurch, laying out 50 pairs of painted white shoes to represent each victim of the massacres; the Tauranga Central Baptist Church including an Arabic greeting on its billboard and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ponsonby, Auckland inviting Muslims from the mosque across the road to pray with them.
But some of the more fundamentalist branches of Christianity reacted angrily to all this outpouring of support for Islam.
Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki tweeted his objection to the national broadcast of the call to prayer, saying “this is offensive to all true Christians … our national identity is at stake”.
Destiny’s senior Christchurch pastor, Derek Tait, was photographed comforting a Muslim man at the peace vigil in Hagley Park on March 22 – a month later he led a crowd of people who gathered opposite the Al Noor Masjid, scene of the deadliest massacre, and loudly proclaimed Christchurch a Christian city.
Tait told Stuff at the time the gathering was not inappropriate, “because in that very same place the decree was put out by our Prime Minister and the Muslim community to declare that Allah is the one true God, which I emphatically disagree with”.
The idea that Ardern was somehow declaring New Zealand an Islamic nation by having the call to prayer broadcast on state TV and radio was shared widely in conservative Christian circles. It seems to be based on the words of the call itself.
The call, or adhan, recites that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Ardern’s office says all decisions she made in the aftermath of March 15 “were in the intention to show respect for the Muslim community during a time of grief”.
That’s not good enough for the conspiracy theorists.
In the days and weeks after the massacres, Carl Bromley, a pro-Trump, pro-gun pastor with the Life Connection Baptist Fellowship in Christchurch, was busy on social media.
His Facebook page filled with posts about attacks on Christians by Muslims in Nigeria (which he claims went ignored by the media), criticism of moves to tighten gun control, outrage at calls to drop the name of the Crusaders rugby team and numerous links to articles on an anti-Muslim conspiracy blog.
“Those who drive Christianity out of society are paving the way for Islam,” he wrote.
Bromley declined an in-person interview but says by email there is a “huge discrepancy” between the concern expressed over the Christchurch attacks, which were “heinous and evil”, and attacks on Christians overseas.
He says he read the gunman’s manifesto before it was banned and believes his motives have been misrepresented.
“If it wasn’t for our neo-socialist government banning the … manifesto, any thinking person could have read that the issue was about immigration and not Muslims.
“With access to facts being suppressed the powers that be are free to make the incident [about] ‘Muslims’ and ‘Islam’ rather than ‘immigration in general’.”
In fact, the alleged gunman’s manifesto, officially classified as objectionable by the Chief Censor, is full of diatribes against Islam and states that creating an atmosphere of fear among Muslims is one of his aims.
In addition, as he drove to the first mosque the alleged gunman played a song idolising Radovan Karadžić, who was jailed for genocide against Bosnian Muslims. Inscriptions on his rifles referenced Charles Martel, who is hailed by white supremacists for defeating an invading Muslim force in 732.
Every one of the gunman’s 51 victims was Muslim, killed at places of worship on their most important day of prayer, jumah.
But in Bromley’s conspiracy world view, the Government is using the actions of a “psychopath” to promote and advance Islam.
It’s a theme pastor Peter Mitchell of Radikal Kingdom Ministries International in Queensland echoes.
In a widely shared Facebook post, Mitchell called on Ardern to stand down for “forcing … by strong suggestion” New Zealanders to “submit” to the Islamic call to prayer.
“I am getting a little sick of you as the PM and the media using Islam as a race card,” he wrote.
It’s not just fringe preachers who allege hypocrisy in the reaction to March 15 – broadcaster Leighton Smith wrote a column for the New Zealand Herald titled ‘The War on Christianity’, in which he lamented what he saw as a subdued reaction from world leaders to the Sri Lanka church bombings compared to Christchurch.
This is all part of a “rumbling undercurrent of nervousness” – especially within conservative Christian groups – about the way Islam has been portrayed post-March 15, says Professor Peter Lineham, an expert in religious history.
“There seemed to be a fear around that Muslims were taking advantage of the sympathy and were in some way profiting from it and as a result greatly improving their status within New Zealand.”
Because these conservatives have felt that everything they say gets criticised, Lineham says, they haven’t taken kindly to Muslims being in public favour.
“They have felt at the edge of quite a degree of public hostility, especially as a result of LGBT issues and so they’ve felt pushed to the boundary, when a group they regard as a real threat … [has been embraced].”
Dr Geoff Troughton, religious studies director at Victoria University, says this small group of Christians is involved in what they see as a spiritual battle.
“There are some groups who have been very concerned about what they perceive as a public acknowledgement given to Islam – they are concerned that … it’s a rival for hearts and minds.”
The recitation of Koranic verses in Parliament was a big deal to these groups, Troughton says.
An imam was invited to deliver a prayer in Arabic – the first time Parliament had opened to a Muslim prayer – on the Tuesday after the attacks.
As is normal after any major incident in which there is significant loss of life, party leaders gave statements about the Christchurch attacks; Ardern started her speech with “Al salam Alaikum — peace be upon you”.
Troughton says to some Christians, this was not merely symbolic.
“[They believe] it’s spiritually potent actions … that activate spiritual powers that they believe are malign or not working in the nation’s interests.”
Ross Smith was furious about the Muslim prayer in Parliament, particularly given that Jesus’ name was removed from the Parliamentary prayer last year.
He founded the group Jesus for NZ, aimed at having the name restored. He says even some Muslim leaders agree with him on the issue because they see the removal of Christ’s name as diminishing God.
“I don’t hate Muslims, it’s the ideology I don’t like,” Smith says.
He repeatedly quotes Lebanese-American author Brigitte Gabriel, whose anti-Muslim statements are popular with the alt-right in America.
“As she said, the peaceful majority … are irrelevant, because it’s the radicals you have to watch for.
“You come back to the hard core element who will not stop until this nation is declared under the flag of Islam.”
Smith can provide no evidence for this claim; police and intelligence officials have said only a small number of people sympathetic to radical Islam are on their radar.
Gul Zaman, co-president of the Council of Christians and Muslims, says Smith is “in a dream world” if he thinks Muslims want to take over.
“My suggestion to him would be come and have a dialogue with a Muslim, have a conversation, sit down and talk.”
Zaman says Islam is peaceful, but like all religions it has a history of war and political conflict and there are some “nasty characters”.
New Zealand Christians on the whole have been very supportive of Muslims, he says.
“After 9-11, after the London bombings, some people threw stones at our mosques and … the church groups came in support of us immediately.
“After the Christchurch incident, we still have that good, friendly, loving reaction from all the church groups. Everybody opened their hearts.”
The religions can co-exist, Zaman says.
“The root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is the same – it comes from Abraham.
“There are a lot of similarities in the scriptures. Islam has a whole chapter on Jesus Christ and his mother Mary, we respect them as prophets.”
Smith rejects the suggestion that his claims about an “Islamic threat” constitute hate speech of the very type that motivated the Christchurch gunman.
“I don’t think it’s insensitive to talk about these issues … we’re talking about ideologies.
“We sympathise with the people … we have compassion, that’s a gimme. I think it’s probably the perfect time to talk about it.”
Smith says he would like to read the gunman’s manifesto and objects to it being banned.
People should be able to choose whether to read it, he says.
“Otherwise we have the powers that be telling us about this guy from their own perspective/agenda, which may or may not be the whole truth.”
To Smith, Ardern and other leaders are sending confusing messages.
“She’s already said there was no Christian foundation in this nation, which is rubbish … there she is wearing the [hijab] and expecting everyone to bow to Allah. What are we expected to do?”
Smith notes that many Christians posted the national anthem after March 15.
“It’s very timely – God defend New Zealand. We don’t want more of this stuff.
“We don’t want Muslims hurting people – they’re not doing it in this nation – we don’t want white supremacists doing it either, we don’t want anyone doing it.
“So God defend New Zealand – it was a written as a prayer, I think it’s a fantastic anthem.”
* This story is the second in a four-part series examining the reaction of the Christian community to the terror attack at two Christchurch mosques on March 15. Other stories in the series include reports on: members of the South West Baptist Church in Christchurch, who helped victims of the mosque attacks; an Auckland suburb where the two religions live side by side; a retired minister who has spent much of his life fostering Christian-Muslim relations
This week John Black is volunteering at a leper colony in East Africa. His place is taken by a well-known television reporter…
THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT BROWN SUPREMACY IN NEW ZEALAND
A brave expose by a very brave and important reporter.
Being a fearless reporter that is also brave, when the boss asked me to investigate brown supremacy in New Zealand I knew things could get rough. What I didn’t realize was how rough. What I uncovered almost made me soil my Barker’s Menswear suit (the Hampton charcoal with waistcoat). Yes, this investigation was to take a serious personal toll.
I would even have to leave the office.
True, it was only to get a soy latte, but I needed it to stay awake while I surfed the internet all night.
That’s where I started. The internet. I hadn’t really been a fan previously. I mainly used it to order handmade Italian ties and book Austrian skiing holidays. But I thought I knew its dangers. Once when the wife was away I got lonely, locked my bedroom door and spent three hours googling myself.
I felt ashamed after. Only three measly hits.
But now I looked into the internet more, I was shocked. Did you know that you can pretty much say anything on the internet? Including terrible, terrible things like ‘Gas the Jews’ and ‘I don’t like Jacinda Ardern’.
I was shocked.
My fearless investigation into brown supremacy started on YouTube. I found grainy footage of a Mr Dun Mihaka exposing his buttocks to royalty back in 1983. I was shocked. So shocked I spilt my soy latte all over my Gucci loafers (the tan ones with off-white soles). Here was a man motivated by the sick ideology of brown supremacy. He certainly wasn’t motivated by the superiority of his buttocks, which were rather flabby. I had to look into this further.
I joined a Facebook group called ‘Kohitanga Aotearoa’ posing as ‘Hone Jones’. Discussions by the members of this group centred on how they as ancestors of the original brown inhabitants of this country deserve special rights. Based on their genetics they claimed ownership of land and natural resources. Some even wanted their own legal system. One guy called ‘Harawira298’ claimed he wouldn’t let his daughter date a white guy.
Pure brown supremacy.
It took a while, but I began to understand their code words.
I decided I needed to consult an expert. Professor T. Spoon at Massey University is the country’s foremost expert on racism. After twenty years of study, he’s concluded it’s not a good thing.
‘In some ways this country was founded on brown supremacy’ he explained. ‘Look at our founding document – the Treaty of Waitangi – it entrenches brown privilege.’ ‘We still live with the repercussions today’, he went on, ‘look at the All Blacks, the national team of our national sport. It’s a team disproportionately dominated by brown skinned people’. I paused and loosened my tie (a silk Armani, cornflower blue). I was feeling shocked. I asked about the brown supremacist movement.
‘Oh, brown supremacists are everywhere,’ he told me ‘They could be your next door neighbour, your yoga instructor or even your cat’. This was insane, I thought. Fluffy was white.
‘Most obviously the gangs’, he continued. ‘Black power, Mongrel Mob etc., they are open brown supremacists’.
My investigative reporter nose started twitching. I formulated a plan. I would bravely go undercover in one of these gangs to bravely expose their menace to society. I might need a few hours in a tanning salon first but no sacrifice is too big when you are seeking the truth. Professor Spoon offered to connect me with some contacts he had in the Mongrel Mob that very evening. Then I remembered it was my wife’s book club evening and it was my turn to make the cheese and onion dip. ‘What about tomorrow?’ Professor Spoon, asked helpfully. But that was my Pilates class.
It was impossible.
I put down the phone and started thinking. My brother-in-law’s hairdresser was beaten up by a Samoan. At school a Maori kid called Hemi used to steal my play-lunch. Logically this means that brown supremacy must be everywhere. Embedded deep within New Zealand society like Christianity and marmite. I promised myself I would bravely continue my brave fight to expose brown supremacy in New Zealand.
I was embarrassed I’d never covered it before.
And very, very shocked.
The Whale Meat Big Bacon
Bacon, ONLY bacon, with bacon.
So what is Whale Meat Company bacon really like?
But wait…there’s more…
I am not generally a bacon person… often the taste can be a bit strong for me, and generally, I try to avoid it. However, I wanted the steak pack, and the best one of those included bacon. There was no getting away from it.
(I just want you to know at this point that Nige was horrified that I said I didn’t like bacon. I lost ALL my brownie points because of it.)
However, when the pack arrived, I decided to give the bacon a go. And wow. Just wow.
Tasty, succulent, no water pouring out of it, it was absolutely delicious. It was the way bacon used to be. And, honestly, it was the way that bacon should be.
I have completely changed my mind about bacon, but forget the stuff you get in the supermarket. I have learnt, to my great cost, that you cannot compromise on quality. This is the best bacon I’ve ever had.
There was half a packet of Whale Meat bacon in the ‘carbonara’
I think it is in the public interest to highlight the risks of this highly addictive substance.
(I have to say that the bacon was very much better than the crap that you get from supermarkets these days, no ‘juice’ at all when it was diced up for the carbonara – I even had to add a bit of fat to the pan).
Wally Betts’ Sock
Did you know that our bacon is a health food? (As if you needed an excuse!)
Many Whale Meat Company customers have had their lives changed forever as they have tried Whale Meat bacon and found that they could never go back to the soupy, tasteless offerings that proliferate in the supermarket chillers.
Bacon is your healthful breakfast food.
There is no sugar in Whale Meat Bacon and here are 5 other healthy reasons to make Whale Meat Bacon part of your diet:
Healthy Nutrients In Bacon
Bacon has healthy nutrients that make it a useful part of a healthy diet. Bacon contains thiamin, vitamin B12, zinc and selenium, which are all vital nutrients the body does not naturally produce.
The B vitamins are a necessary part of fighting anaemia and maintaining high energy levels throughout the day. Since bacon contains natural B vitamins, it is healthy for the body.
Zinc and selenium are vital antioxidants that are necessary for immune health. Bacon is useful in fighting health problems because it contains healthy antioxidants.
Fat in Bacon
Bacon does contain fat, which resulted in the concerns to personal health. While bacon has some fat, it does not contain the most harmful form of fat. According to the website FillYourPlate.org, bacon does not have any trans fats. The most harmful form of fat is trans fats, which are created fats designed for preservation.
Bacon does contain fat, but the amount is exaggerated.
The low fat content when compared to the amount of nutritional value is surprising. Bacon has the highest protein to fat content of any meat, which makes it a great option when following a high protein diet or after exercise.
Bacon is surprisingly nutritious and good for mental health. Bacon is a natural mood enhancer that helps encourage positive mental states. According to Visual.ly, the umami in bacon is an addictive substance that has a neurological impact on the brain.
Since stress is a serious complication to physical and mental health, it is important to take measures to control the harmful emotional state. While several other options are available to reduce stress, many solutions take time. When time is short, grabbing a piece of bacon can help enhance mood and reduce stress levels within a short period of time.
Protection To The Heart
A surprising fact is that bacon is healthy for the heart. Bacon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are the same nutrients found in fish. The healthy benefits of omega fatty acids are the reduced cholesterol and improved overall health in the heart.
Reduced Rates Of Brain-Related Illnesses
The health of the brain is vital for the entire body.
Choline in bacon is not only useful for the heart. Choline is a necessary component for the health of the brain.
A diet that contains choline on a regular basis will show reduced rates of memory loss over time. It is used in treatment for mental impairments, including Alzheimer?s Disease and similar dementia diseases. Studies have shown that choline improves memory, intelligence testing and reduces the speed of damage to the brain from dementia.
Bacon is not bad for the body or health. Since the meat contains a high level of nutrients, it is a useful addition to any diet. The key to eating bacon and gaining health benefits is keeping the portions to reasonable sizes. When eaten in proper portion sizes, the amount of salt and fat is a negligible concern and the health benefits will outweigh the possible downsides associated with the meat.
Trade Me has recently started selling T-shirts with the message – “It’s OK to be white” on them. Trade Me are not selling them themselves, of course. A local seller is making the T-shirts available on Trade Me, and apparently they are selling like hot cakes.
Enter the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. Yes, that’s right. quote.
The ‘controversy’ began when “it’s okay to be white” t-shirts and stickers were sold on a New Zealand auction site called Trade Me.
“Wear this shirt as a white person to troll your local Communists, or wear this shirt as a brown person to troll stuck-up middle-class urbanites. Either way it’s funny!” read the description to the products.
The Human Rights Commission said they don’t see the funny side and that the message “it’s okay to be white” has “no place” in New Zealand because it conveys “a message of intolerance, racism and division”. end quote.
But… a T-shirt saying – “It’s OK to be black” would be perfectly OK, wouldn’t it? quote.
To its credit, the Trade Me website refused to pull the items, saying the slogan didn’t break its rules.
“While we know there is some debate about this slogan we don’t think these items cross that line,” said head of trust and safety, George Hiotakis.
Summit News. end quote.
Good on Trade Me for trying to stand up to the rabble, but we all know this is going to end badly for them. Once the hysterical lefties start their screeching from high places, Trade Me will be forced to back down. Just watch.
Personally, I think it is perfectly okay to be white, and many people are exactly that. Many people are not, and that is okay too. What is not okay is that, in this world of racial division, some people feel that it needs to be said.
What is even worse is that it is not okay to say it.
We look back at the role of Andrew Little and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union in the Pike River mining disaster.
I don’t usually repost my own posts and, in fact, this is the first repost I’ve ever done. But I think it is worth giving this story another airing given the rise in political prominence of Andrew Little. I considered rewriting the story but I think the original post speaks for itself. It outlines the role of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) in the Pike River mining disaster, which saw 29 men lose their lives.
Labour Party leader Andrew Little was national secretary of the EPMU at the time. This story was first published on 8 November, 2012.
Last month Andrew Little went to Pike River to attend the memorial to mark the fourth anniversary of the tragedy. He told the media that he attended the commemorations to stand alongside the families.
WHEN THE Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Pike River mining disaster issued its report this week, the response of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) was immediate. It issued a press statement welcoming the report and is encouraging the Government to implement the recommended changes as soon as possible.
The statement quoted EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell who declared that the report should mark a turning point for mine safety in New Zealand:
This report is a damning indictment of New Zealand’s deregulated health and safety regime. Pike River Coal Ltd should never have been allowed to operate in the way it did, and in other countries it wouldn’t have been allowed to.
The report makes clear that the tragic loss of life at Pike River could have been prevented with stronger regulations, an independent and well-resourced mine safety inspectorate and genuine worker involvement in health and safety.
We hope the failings exposed in this report spell the end of the deregulated health and safety regime of the last 20 years. This vindicates the union’s repeated calls for improvements in mine safety and for the reintroduction of check inspectors.
This statement represents a complete change of heart by the EPMU officialdom because it was never critical of Pike River Coal (PRC) during the time that the mine was open. The EPMU represented approximately half of the 140 miners on the site.
After the first explosion the EPMU strongly defended the management of PRC.
EPMU National secretary Andrew Little (now a Labour MP) told the New Zealand Herald on November 22 2010 that there was “nothing unusual about Pike River or this mine that we’ve been particularly concerned about”.
He then appeared on TVNZ’s Close Up to again defend PRC management.
He told Close Up that underground mining was inherently unsafe and the risk of gas explosions, particularly on the West Coast, was high.
While the industry was aware of the risks and took the necessary precautions, unfortunately these kinds of incidents still happened, he argued.
On November 26, 2010 the Dominion Post ran an article that denounced ‘wild’ rumours that the mine was not safe. It declared that “Any suggestion of obvious or known safety lapses does not find traction with unionised staff or union leader Andrew Little.”
Andrew Little’s conciliatory views toward PRC management were echoed by Labour MP Damien O’Connor. He suggested that no one was responsible for the accident and that the disaster was “just one of these things that the West Coast unfortunately has had to get used to over the years”.
Little and O’Connor’s views would of found favour with the Minister for Energy and Resources, Gerry Brownlee. He insisted that PRC had “an absolute focus on health and safety”.
So here we had the Government, the Labour Party and the EPMU all lining up to defend the management of PRC.
At the time this writer commented: “All workers at the mining site should be seriously concerned that the EPMU has such a benevolent view of its safety standards.”
The views of Andrew Little and the EPMU flew in the face of expert opinion.
While Andrew Little was defending PRC an Australian gas drainage engineer, who wished to remain anonymous because he feared ‘recriminations’, said he visited Pike River in 2009 and observed that its operating standards were “extremely poor”.
He said that he had been told by miners that the mine was flooded with methane gas about three weeks before the first explosion.
He said miners had bored through ‘high flow methane holes’ without any risk assessment conducted or procedure on how to manage gas flow from the hole in place. He was critical that PRC has not yet implemented a gas drainage drilling regime that could relieve the pressure when there was a build up of gas by drilling a hole in the coal seam.
The New Zealand Herald, also in November 2010, quoted Gerry Morris of Greymouth, a former writer for Coal magazine, who said he had heard regularly from contractors at the mine “over the last two or three years that this mine is unsafe, there’s far too much gas, there’s going to be a disaster here one day”.
But despite the overwhelming evidence that there was something seriously and dangerously wrong at the Pike Rive mine, the officials of the EPMU did nothing.
The mine opened in November 2008 and on not one occasion did the EPMU initiate industrial action or even criticise PRC’S safety standards, even after a group of workers walked off the job to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment.
The walk out by miners was revealed by miner Brent Forrester. He told TVNZ’s Sunday on December 5 2010 that he once helped organise a walkout of about 10 miners to protest the lack of basic emergency equipment, including stretchers and an emergency transport vehicle. They received no support from the EPMU. Andrew Little even insisted that PRC “had a good health and safety committee that’s been very active.”
It was exactly this benevolent attitude by the EPMU that allowed PRC – and the Department of Labour – to continue as if it was just ‘business a usual’. It appears that no-one was protecting the interests and concerns of the workers on the mining site. The EMPU failed to organise industrial action to address safety concerns at the mine in favour of ‘cooperating’ with management, what it and the CTU sometimes refer to as ‘modern unionism’.
There won’t be any resignations from within the EPMU for dereliction of duty and, of course, Andrew Little has escaped to Parliament.