Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mole News

Māori war veteran gets pension back
Mr Clarke's veterans pension and disability allowance were suspended in November, after he was issued with an arrest warrant.

The kaumatua was part of an occupation of Kaitaia Airport last September and was arrested for trespassing.

The warrant was dropped this week and Work and Income New Zealand said Mr Clarke's payments could resume.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Matt Ridley: Staying in the European Union could be the riskier option for Britain

Public opinion about the European Union is divided, like Gaul, into three parts: one third are already firmly in the “leave” camp, one third would remain in whatever happens, and the tussle is over who gets the middle, undecided third. It’s like pulling a Christmas cracker — part of it will go one way, part of it the other; it’s what happens to the middle bit that matters.

The infighting that has broken out among those campaigning to leave is partly about personalities, of course, but it is also about how to appeal to those swing voters in the middle.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Richard Epstein from the US: Why Fiscal Stimulus Fails

Over the past several weeks, we’ve once again seen how the Federal Reserve’s stimulus policy has done nothing to help the economy. Fourth quarter growth for 2015 was a disappointing 0.7 percent, and there are no obvious signs of improvement in sight for 2016. Nonetheless, as the U.S. economy continues to smolder, the Fed acts as though pulling levers on interest rates will get us out of this seemingly endless trough.

In December, the Fed thought that the economy was turning around and accordingly raised the federal funds rate from one-quarter to one-half percent, with the prospect of further increases down the road.

Viv Forbes: Cosmic Cycles, not Carbon Dioxide, Control Climate

Those who think the political war on carbon will lower Earth’s temperature or keep climate stable need to study climate history.

Temperatures on Earth dance to a cyclic rhythm every hour, every day, every month, every season, every year, and to every beat of the sun-spot and glacial cycles.

The daily solar cycle causes continual changes in temperature for every spot on Earth. It produces the frosts at dawn, the mid-day heat and the cooling at sunset. It is regulated by rotation of the Earth.

Karl du Fresne: Masterton deaths bring out the excuse-makers

Driving down the main street of Masterton last Sunday morning, I noticed a cluster of traffic cones on the footpath. A few metres further on, a photographer was taking a picture of the street.
I didn’t give it another thought at the time. It was only later that I learned two 15-year-old boys in a stolen car had hit a pole and been killed while fleeing from police. A 14-year-old survivor has since been charged in connection with the crash.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bryan Leyland: Things you know that ain't so - 2015 was the hottest year ever

Things you know that ain't so - 2015 was the hottest year ever”

The mainstream media has inundated us with reports that 2015 was the hottest year ever. But was it?

Of course not. Many reliable records show that it was warmer in the mediaeval warm period, the Roman warm period and the bronze age warm period.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek: The return of the Cold War – the upside

The Cold War is back. Or maybe we could call it Cold War 2 given that CW1 was with the USSR and CW2 with the Russian Federation. Some say it (re)started with the Ukraine, some say it (re)started with Syria. Either way, it’s back.

Those who speak thus usually do so in despondent tones. But is a ‘Cold War’ such a bad thing? I’d like to put the case that it could actually be a good thing.

Lindsay Mitchell: " incentive to work."

A Blenheim single mother of three (aged 10,15 and 17) has found she is only $34 better off working.
"When you weigh it up, is it worth going to work? The Government is trying to get everyone off the benefit but there is no incentive to work."
This line bugs me. The incentive to work lies in being self-supporting, in joining the community that provides the productivity and taxes to run the benefit system. In being a giver instead of a taker - especially after having been a taker for an unspecified time.

Matt Ridley from the UK: The ecological restoration of South Georgia

The success of a bold bid to rid a subantarctic island of rats and deer - how South Georgia's environment has been repaired.

In claiming the Falklands, the Argentinian government also claims South Georgia, even though it is 700 miles further away from its coast, was unambiguously claimed by Captain Cook when uninhabited, and is run as a separate territory by the British government. Indeed, as I found out last week when I was lucky to visit courtesy of the island’s government, it is a place where something truly astonishing has been achieved in the world of conservation.

Michael Gousmett: "Voluntary" Donations - a National irony

There is a (N)ational irony in the recent debate about state-funded “free” education and “voluntary” donations.  The irony is that it was a National government which introduced the concept of a rebate, now known as a tax credit, for donations “to approved charitable, educational, and welfare institutions.”  That was back in 1962, just over 50 years ago, and the rationale for the rebate as stated by Keith Holyoake when he was on the election campaign in 1960 was “to encourage a greater degree of community self-help and initiative.”  

When debating this concession in Parliament in 1962, Holyoake stated that the rebate on donations of up to £25 a year would be “an incentive to our people to give.” 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mole News Archive 3

31 January 2016

From the NZCPR archives by Michael Bassett: 
The Waitangi Industry

There are few futuristic ideas that have lost their sheen as quickly as the notion that settlements of Maori grievances would improve New Zealand’s race relations. Our ancestors were sceptical. There were inquiries into grievances in 1921 and 1927, and Prime Minister Peter Fraser told Maori in the 1940s that he would settle the eleven sets of identifiable grievance that Maori had against the Crown. Several “full and final settlements” were made between 1943 and 1947. But most of the money paid to Maori trust boards was wasted.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Frank Newman: Echoes of Orewa

Twelve years ago Don Brash, as the then leader of the National Party, delivered a landmark speech to Orewa Rotary:  He dared to confront the issue of separatism. While the response from some was predictably shrill, the message resonated with enough voters to rebuild National's support from what had been a crushing election defeat under Bill English.

This week it was Winston Peters at the podium in Orewa and Don Brash in the pews, but the message was the same - that racial privilege was dividing the country.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Karl du Fresne: Why replicate the conditions they've fled from?

Let me see if I can get this straight. Millions of oppressed, dispossessed Muslims have risked their lives fleeing the Middle East and North Africa.

They are mostly victims of Islamic regimes from a part of the world where democracy is virtually unknown (Israel aside). They are escaping sectarianism, persecution, civil war, anarchy, corruption and starvation.

None of them want to go to other Islamic countries. Why would they, when Islam represents all that they’re trying to get away from?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

David Whitehouse: 2015 Global Temp, Or How Some Scientists Deliberately Mistook Weather For Climate

The data for the global temperature of 2015 is in, and its a shattering record. It is claimed that global warming has resurged, terminating the warming ‘pause’ for good. But an important factor has been downplayed and one ignored altogether.

Nasa says that 2015 was 0.13°C+/-0.10°C above 2014. The UK Met Office said that 2015 was 0.18°C +/- 0.10°C above 2014. Noaa says 2015 was 0.16°C+/-0.09°C warmer than the previous record which was 2014.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Richard Epstein: Why Democrats Could Win In 2016

With the hotly contested Iowa primaries only a week away, the level of political polarization is higher than it’s been in decades. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are veering sharply to the populist left as they each champion a brand of democratic socialism.

 On the Republican side, the rise of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz reveals the rise of a muscular conservatism that appeals to the far right. By November, this political divide will become more pronounced. No one will be able to say, to quote George Wallace’s oft-repeated remark, that there is not a “dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties.

Prof Ian Plimer: A Tribute to Professor Bob Carter

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Professor Bob Carter on 18th January 2016, aged 74 years. He never recovered from a massive heart attack at his home in Townsville. 

I first met Bob as the newly appointed Professor and Head of Earth Sciences at James Cook University of North Queensland (JCU). He was appointed from the University of Otago as an international expert in sedimentology, marine geology and palaeontology. His academic career started as an assistant lecturer at Otago after his Cambridge PhD.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Brian Arrandale: The Great Migratory Invasions - Western Civilisation’s Greatest Threat?

The vast exodus from Syria and Africa continues unabated, despite the very obvious implications that these refugees bring with them the very seeds of a new Muslim European Empire. This will eventuate in time into a Caliphate, where democracy as we know it will be nonexistent.

What will happen to Western culture its ideas, and the hard won rights of free speech and a freedom of religion? Does this not signal an end to Western ideals with the very obvious factor that an ever increasing Muslim population will exceed that of its European inhabitants?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Lindsay Mitchell: Why suppress evidence of welfare abuse?

Bear with me while I go back in time. The relevance will become apparent.

In 2011 work was undertaken on behalf of the Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment or MBIE) which involved matching data from the Household Labour Force Survey or HLFS (the official source of our unemployment rate) and Ministry of Social Development benefit data.

If individuals on the HLFS also receiving a benefit were providing accurate information to both departments - Statistics New Zealand and MSD - the data should provide no surprises, right?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Viv Forbes: Paris Climate Party agrees . . . to have another Party

Premature Celebrations by Sceptics

Many climate sceptics are celebrating that “nothing in the Paris deal is legally binding.” They should look deeper. They have suffered a huge political defeat.

Skeptics are winning the climate science debate, but the main battle is no longer about facts and science – it is about propaganda and politics. There were few scientists at COP21 talking about atmospheric physics - just politicians, bureaucrats and green activists discussing emission targets, carbon taxes, climate reparations and who will pay.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Frank Newman: How a private equity investor made $500m

The receivers have been called in to Dick Smith Electronics (DSE), which operates 331 stores in Australia and 62 in New Zealand.

Another retailer getting into trouble is not earth shattering news, but the history behind the company is an interesting one; in particular how  a private equity firm was able to extract half a billion dollars from their short-term investment in the company.