Labour- Get your house in order

March 12, 2010

The Labour Party team dealing with education really need a wake up call.

First you have multiple errors with basic spelling and math from Trevor Mallard, the education spokesperson for Labour.

Now we have basic spelling mistakes from the associate spokesperson of tertiary education.  How can we trust someone who can not spell visitor to run anything to do with education?

Labour, if you are going to attack National on the education front, learn to spell and count.

Trev caught again

March 11, 2010

Since Trevor Mallard has banned me from Red Alert for pointing out hypocrisy, I figured I would continue to point out his hypocrisy 🙂

Exhibit A-

With particular reference to the comment by Mallard…

Trevor Mallard says:

My post will be up this afternoon after one fact check. Will Katrina’s?

That was this morning, we are now after 5pm…. what does Red Alert look like currently?

No sign of that mysterious disappearing post Trev!

A quick look at the page of Katrina Shanks shows that she has come to the party and offered an explanation as to what happened with the poll yesterday!

Dear oh dear Trev, not having a good stint at the moment are we?

Prohibition is good when it suits us

March 11, 2010

The whaling issue has got me thinking about a few things.

First, you have Anette King flip flopping on how National are handling this. On ZB yesterday she agreed that a new approach was needed, then on Sunrise this morning she said that the way Labour was handling for the past nine years was the way to go (because that worked a treat right?).  Then you have the Green’s wanting to ban whaling all together, just another thing to add to their ban list I guess.

What is surprising though is the Green party logic.  They advocate banning whaling outright, yet claim on other issues that prohibition and banning does not work, it would seem that bans are OK when it is something that they do not like, but, if it is something that they do want, like legalized marijuana, banning and prohibition will not work and will just drive it underground.  So, what will be different about whaling?

Surely a compromise as proposed by National would be better for all concerned, clearly the tactics and methods used for the past ten or so years are not working.

The Pirates of the South Pacific have some stats on how many whales are killed each season by Japan here, where they explain that-

This year, the Japanese whaling fleet is targeting 935 piked (Minke) whales and another 50 fin whales,

So, just shy of 1,000 whales a year.  Under the National proposal, what would change? Well, according to Eddie it would be reduced to around 410 a year, so less than 1/2 of what it is now. Seems a sensible solution at reducing the slaughter to me!

I personally am against whaling.  I think the Pirates of the South Pacific are just that- Pirates and should be charged accordingly.  I think Japan should stop all whaling.

Annette 90% Out!

March 11, 2010

Annette King, deputy leader of the opposition.  Key member of the Labour Party road trip.  Can’t do math though!

It would seem that Labour are campaigning for National Standards given their performance with spelling and basic math errors to date.  Annette appeared on Sunrise this morning to be interviewed with Oliver Driver (why I was watching Sunrise is beyond even me!).  She was interviewed on a number of issues, managing to contradict her views expressed on Newstalk ZB with Mike Hosking on the whaling issue fairly well.  The best line though came near the end of her interview when asked a question on GST.

Oliver basically asked her how the bus trip was being received in the small towns, Annette gleefully explained that they were being well received, especially when they pointed out to people that they would be paying 20% more for items like bread and butter.  That made my ears prick up a touch for two reasons.

1- GST is applied to everything, so following the logic of Annette, that would mean a pencil would go up by 20% and a new LED TV would go up by 20%.

2- She is lying.  Say your bread from the supermarket costs you $1.00.  Of that $1.00, $0.11 goes straight to the tax man in the form of GST, giving you a pre-GST price of $0.89.  IF GST is to increase to 15% the new retail price would be $1.02.  So, how does that compare to a 20% increase?  Well, she get the first number right, and that is about it.  A whooping 2% increase.

So, Annette is a massive 90% out on her figures, either she is lying through her teeth or simply struggles with basic math.

I will get the video up later when it is loaded on the TV3 website.

Hypocrisy Alert

March 10, 2010

Trev, astute as ever, has spotted Katrina Shanks (or a staff member) removing a poll. DPF covers the personal hypocrisy of Trevor with removing posts, but on the poll front, let me introduce you to Chris “Stop picking on me because I am gay” Carter.

So Trev,  can you point us to the archive of this poll?  Got a couple more if you want to keep playing this game.

In the mean time, I lay in moderation at Red Alert for pointing out hypocrisy.

Seems Trev can’t Count!

February 26, 2010

Trevor Mallard is taking Tolley to task in the house and rightly so it would seem.  He does his case no good when he makes basic mistakes though.

From Hansard yesterday…

Mr SPEAKER: By my reckoning and from the advice I have received, the Labour Party has now used its 28 supplementary questions, and that is not counting the one where I gave the Hon Ruth Dyson the opportunity to repeat one of them—I did not count that one.

Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know that this is relatively unusual and I am doing something that I have never done before. I am almost certain that I used five supplementary questions. My colleague the whip counted my asking five supplementary questions, which is what I was allocated. Your—

Hon Bill English: Can’t count.

Hon Trevor Mallard: That is the man who should have—

Mr SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat immediately, and that is the end of that point of order.

Turns out Bill English finally got a numerical statement right!

Let us count Trev’s supplementary questions

  1. Hon Trevor Mallard: Has she looked carefully at the asTTle graphs that are available for parents, which most schools using asTTle give to parents; and does she accept that the information in those graphs provides more, more in-depth, and more useful information to parents than the reports that will be provided as a result of her national standards?
  2. Hon Trevor Mallard: What is the difference between the national standardisation used by asTTle and the standardisation required by her national standards?
  3. Hon Trevor Mallard: What is her best estimate of the extra time that teachers will spend, and the cost of using a non-standardised system rather than one that is already standardised?
  4. Hon Trevor Mallard: In light of the Minister’s last answer, for a teacher currently using asTTle—given that the Minister said that the cost would depend on the system that teachers currently used—what is the Minister’s best estimate of the extra time spent by the teacher and the extra cost to the school of using a non-standardised system rather than the already standardised asTTle system?
  5. Hon Trevor Mallard: Did I understand the Minister to just say that asTTle results are based on what students are currently learning; if not, would she care to revise that answer?
  6. Hon Trevor Mallard: Does she accept that the asTTle reports for parents provide more, more in-depth, and more useful information to parents than her national standards will; if not, why not?

So Trev… going to correct your mistake publicly?  After all, you are all for people being accurate in the House.

For someone who is the government’s chief legal officer his lack of understanding of process was surprising to say the least.

For someone who is the oppositions chief education spokesperson his lack of numeracy skills are surprising to say the least.

Interesting Post on Grassroots Labour

February 26, 2010

Grassroots Labour is an interesting place.

I discovered this post last night after a comment by Randal at The Standard (turns out twidemeeopinions is TradeMe Opinions.. Googling twidemeeopinions gets you to the thread at Grassroots Labour

There is some nice conspiracy work going on there! National apparently controls the TradeMe message boards… brilliant…

The solution? Well according to members of Grassroots Labour…

… include the thread monitors who could keep throwing out the Labour line on these networks. Our team actively pursued these ‘opinion formers’ and access to simple Labour commentary is helpful.

Interesting.  Just keep spinning out the Labour line, don’t worry if you don’t agree with it, don’t think for yourself, just keep on message.

You paid 82K for this

February 25, 2010

Taxpayers of New Zealand have paid over $82,000 from 1 October 2009 to 31 December 2009 on Green Party Air Travel so Catherine Delahunty can take her pet Orangutan around New Zealand.

Pastor Supports Anti-God Movement

February 25, 2010

I have a great deal of respect for Frank Ritchie. I believe that he does some great work in promoting humanitarian causes.

Frank works for Tear Fund NZ, an organisation similar to World Vision as their Education and Advocacy Manager, he is also a member of grass roots Labour, (but we wont hold that against him :D) and has recently become a frequent commentator at Red Alert.

I am somewhat perplexed though at a comment he has made in the comments section of this post.

Let us take a look at the post in full first.

Here in Aotearoa (NZ) there has been a campaign to put advertising on the sides of buses that says “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy life.” It’s commonly known as the Atheist Bus Campaign and follows on the heels of the same campaign in the U.K. It has garnered a lot of support and raised the funds necessary to get the messages of the side of buses… but now NZ Bus has backed out of running with the campaign due to complaints from the public

No problem with Atheist Bus having their say, personally think that they are wasting their time and it is a stupid message, but if they want to throw their money at a bus, I will not stand in their way. I am not surprised that the campaign has drawn complaints though.

I am an unashamed Christian. I work for a Christian development organisation, am a theological/biblical studies student, am licensed as a Minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand, consider myself a devoted follower and imitator of Jesus of Nazareth, believe that he was God incarnate, that he died and rose again and I take the Bible very seriously and have devoted myself to studying it.

I’m one of the last people anyone might call an atheist. That said, I wholeheartedly support the Atheist Bus Campaign. I uphold democracy and freedom of speech where it does not incite violence, as great tools of a healthy and functioning society.

Likewise, apart from the licensed Minster part and the biblical studies student (well not at an ‘official’ institute).  I support the Bus Campaign to have their say, I do not support the objectives of the campaign at all.

A good community encourages dialogue and conversation that allows opposing opinions to be voiced. The ability for us to share and be heard whilst also listening to others when they share is critical for the development of empathy and relationship within a community. Shutting down some voices while favouring others breeds divisiveness and resentment. This doesn’t mean we have to agree, but it does mean we have to provide room for varying voices and at the end of the day, if we wish for others to listen to us and give us room to speak, then we must be willing to allow the same in return.

Frank might want to point that first sentence out to the team at Red Alert :D, other than that, I agree with the basic gist of Frank’s comment, I just wish more people would take it on board! Often when debating issues such as AGW, denying AGW is compared to denying the holocaust.

The Atheist Bus Campaign provides an opportunity for a group to be heard. It provides an opportunity for conversation and discussion and it gives room for people to air their beliefs about the existence and nature of God where they might have otherwise felt unable to, whichever side of the discussion they feel closest to. The campaign offers a great opportunity that should be supported by people of all thoughts, those who don’t believe in God, but also those who do. We should be supporting the right for the ad to be put out there in the public domain. NZ Bus, please run with the ads.

Interesting.  Yes, the campaign provides the opportunity for a group to put the point across in a series of ads and yes we should all support the right for the campaign to run just like we should support the right to the Danish cartoonist who drew this, agreeing with the message is an all together separate issue.  It may provide the opportunity for discussion around those issues.  The campaign should not however be supported by those who do believe in God, to do so is counter productive to say the least!

As you can see, it is only the last bit of Frank’s post that I disagree with, why then this post on it? Well, follow me to the comments section.

Mike, thanks for your comment. For what it’s worth, I’m considering throwing a few dollars into the campaign myself, just to show my support for the right of others to have their say.

How can a pastor financially support a campaign that promotes atheism, I find this odd.  Sure, support their right to have a say, you’ve done that by posting a blog post about it on NZ top 100 Blog, but that is pretty much where I believe Frank should stop.  Campaigning further for an “anti-god” campaign on the “official Tear Fund blog” must surely run in conflict of the values that Tear Fund stand for?

Further Discussion with Frank reveals that Humanitarian Chronicle is not the official blog of TEARFund.

From Frank via HC-

Alright, let me address the concern about me possibly giving money to the Atheist Bus Campaign.

The comment I made is this:

For what it’s worth, I’m considering throwing a few dollars into the campaign myself, just to show my support for the right of others to have their say.

Allow me to stress that at the time of writing that comment, as stated, it was/is something I am considering – I have not committed myself to it.

That said, I have no moral or ethical reason for not doing so. To do so does not contradict anything I stand for.

At it’s simplest it would be a case of me putting my money where my mouth is for the one reason that I stated:

to show my support for the right of others to have their say.

Giving a small donation (and I’m only talking about $10-$20) would demonstrate that support beyond mere words on a blog.

Allow me to state for the record that I do not agree with the statement in the campaign that there probably is no God. My disagreement with that statement should be blatantly obvious – but I wholeheartedly support the right for it to be said and I love the conversations that can come from it, the sort of conversation that is already taking place here.

If the bus company had just gone ahead and displayed the ads I wouldn’t bother donating anything or even be considering it… but it hasn’t, so as a Christian who believes in giving opportunity for others to have a voice and as someone who loves to see forums develop where differing voices coming together, by donating I would be, in a sense, helping to create a forum, helping to spark a conversation, demonstrating a willingness to step beyond the boundary of the Christian circle and sit with another group, giving my help.

I can understand why people would struggle with any move from someone such as myself to donate to this campaign even though the statement of the campaign dismisses something I believe in – but I’ve got nothing to be scared of by saying to people I disagree with, I support you and want you to have your say and I’m willing to front up with something from my wallet to demonstrate that.

It in no way changes anything that I believe in or my wholehearted commitment to living as a disciple of Jesus.

My Blogging Comeback :)

February 25, 2010

I have decided to make a come back to the blogging world. A number of issues have arisen that commenting on some other blog will not to justice. So stay tuned for some illogical thoughts and knee jerk reactions from a young right wing person.