Monday, September 22, 2014
Mr Key has the keys to New Zealand
NZ is a nation of only 4 million people so might seem of no importance. But for people tired of the squabbles of the big world it could be very important indeed. It is about as far away from Europe as you can get and has a very large ocean separating it from the USA. And perhaps most importantly, NZ consists of two large and beautiful islands (imaginatively named North Island and South Island) with a very mild climate. Even in the South of the South island, snow very seldom stays on the ground for long. And they speak English (in a rather odd way) and you can drink the water! And you never have to Press 1 for English. Worth thinking about -- particularly for soon-to-be snowed-in residents of the Northern USA
New Zealand's ruling National party secured a third term in government in the election on Saturday, winning an outright majority on a platform to continue strong economic growth.
Prime Minister John Key's centre-right party received 48.1 per cent of the vote, giving it 62 of 121 parliamentary seats and improving its performance on the previous vote in 2011.
The 53-year-old former foreign exchange dealer triumphed despite allegations of dirty political tactics involving government ministers, and claims that a government spy agency had planned mass secret domestic surveillance.
The National Party was set to make electoral history under the proportional voting system by being able to govern on its own, but is seen as having strengthened its majority by renewing support deals with minor parties which formed the previous coalition government.
The leader of the opposition Labour Party, David Cunliffe, conceded defeat yesterday, with the centre-left party winning 24.6 percent of the vote. "The truth is, the party vote has returned a National government, and over the coming days and weeks we will need to reflect upon why," Mr Cunliffe said in his concession speech. He said he had called Key to congratulate him on his victory.
"It is rare for any government to be defeated while surfing an economic rebound with around a four percent growth rate, even though the longer-term problems remain to be addressed," Cunliffe added.
Key said he was "ecstatic" about the result. "It's a great night," he said. He added that people could see the nation was moving in the right direction and that he was grateful to them.
Key campaigned on the government's record of economic management and strict controls on spending, which helped New Zealand record decade-high growth.
The Scottish Fascists showed true Fascist form
Nationalism plus socialism is the formula for Fascism and the Scottish National Party embodies both of those. And the behaviour of many of their supporters recently was much like that of the supporters of Hitler and Mussolini. If you doubt that, read on
By Jim Murphy (A Scottish Labour party member of the British parliament)
I always knew the independence referendum would be the most important event I would ever be involved in, the most important event for Scotland. Because of that I decided to campaign in a totally different way, going back to an old-fashioned politics predating social media and spin doctors. I embarked on a 100-stop tour of open-air meetings across my beautiful country.
It was just me, my microphone, my makeshift stage of two Irn-Bru crates and whoever turned up.
And I loved most of it. I visited places I’d never been to before and discovered that the best comedians aren’t only found at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Many were in the crowds with a wry comment or a well-timed put-down. I’m not sure I got the better of every exchange.
However sometimes it became far more sinister. There is a dark corner of Scotland where an intolerant Scottish nationalism lives. We all know that no political movement is without its idiots. But what went on at times in the referendum was of a different nature altogether – it wasn’t the occasional fool but an orchestrated campaign.
In places like Motherwell, Dundee and Kirkcaldy, Yes groups organised big crowds of their followers to drown out our events, preventing undecided voters from joining open-air democracy. In their dozens and sometimes in their hundreds they screamed ‘Traitor!’, ‘Scum!’, ‘Quisling!’ and even ‘Terrorist’.
And there was one more vile insult they hurled at me. In the midst of the campaign, new details appeared in the media about alleged 1970s child abuse in and around Westminster. To some of my opponents, it didn’t matter that I was in primary school when these terrible cases were alleged to have taken place. Instead it became a regular insult to scream ‘Paedophile!’ at me throughout my street meetings.
An anti-English group, Siol nan Gaidheal – or ‘Seed of the Gaels’ – boasted that they had been ‘following Murphy’ for ‘in-your-face confrontations’. And there was a lot of publicity for the least-skilled egg thrower – it took him four eggs before he hit me. But I couldn’t care less about an egg thrower, what was worrying was their determination to deny us space in Scotland’s streets.
And it wasn’t just me; Ed Miliband and others were also in their sights, and the BBC’s Glasgow HQ was targeted by Yes protesters because of unfounded allegations of anti-independence bias at the BBC.
I know the vast majority of Yes supporters would never dream of behaving like this. They decided to support the Yes campaign because they believed it was best for their family and our country. They are decent and honest people, many of whom are hurting this weekend.
But wherever we went there was often a noisy crowd that followed us. Rightly, nothing like this ever happened to Alex Salmond or the Yes campaign.
After a while my meetings became impossible places to guarantee public safety – I had to halt my tour and seek police advice. To this day, I still don’t know how high up in the Yes campaign these actions were sanctioned, but I do know how widespread they became.
I lost count of how many No voters told me they were too worried to wear a sticker or display a poster. The effect was that visually, the Yes campaign appeared to speak for the majority. If the vote was decided by which campaign had the most window posters, then Scotland would be independent.
Fortunately windows don’t vote.
Chris Brand has further details of Scotland's descent into Fascist street thuggery. He lives in Edinburgh so saw some of the aggression personally.
A German's View on Islam -- from a few years back but well worth repeating
I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War II. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.
'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’
‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'
‘We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’
‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.’
‘The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China 's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.’
‘The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?
‘History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.’
‘Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.’
‘Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario , and, yes, in Ottawa , too, while the Lord's Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.’
‘In Australia , and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation's shores.’
‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of "no-go" zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’
‘As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts - the fanatics who threaten our way of life.’
ObamaCare, the gift that keeps on giving for Republicans
ObamaCare is the political gift that keeps on giving for Republicans hoping to take control of the U.S. Senate. Not only are millions of Americans projected to tragically have their insurance policies cancelled due to the law's onerous regulations, but in the state of Minnesota, the largest provider to those who signed up using the state's health insurance exchange has found that they cannot afford to continue doing business in the state under the law.
But cancellation notices are not the only way that ObamaCare will negatively impact Democrats' political fortunes. Voters will be hit hard later this month and in October with notices that their insurance premiums are rising 7.5 percent on average, or more than four times this year's inflation rate.
Quite a different story than what was promised during the president's push to pass the bill.
While most people remember the "if you like your health insurance, you can keep it" lie, the other major sales pitch for passage of the failed law centered around the promise that health insurance rates were going to go down by $2,500.
This claim was laughed at as being absurd, given the law's increased mandates on what and who health insurers had to cover. In spite of legally mandated increased costs, somehow advocates of the law claimed that health insurers were going to magically be able to significantly lower rates.
Now that health insurers have had a year to digest the underlying costs of providing coverage with the exchanges in full effect, this naive or deceitful promise is being laid to waste by reality.
Supporters of the law are expected to take two tacks in explaining away the increase. Most will say that a 7.5 percent increase is a good thing, because it was less of an increase than they feared. This ignores the fact that the average annual income for workers has declined nearly $5,000 for the median worker since 2007, and this past year remained virtually the same as the year before.
Into this reality of stagnant wages, an ObamaCare-triggered 7.5 percent health insurance increase is devastating to families just trying to survive, and poison to Democrats who imposed it on the people.
And contrary to the assertions of some, it isn't the health insurers' fault. This is an ObamaCare-driven cost increase passed directly onto the consumer. No matter how much supporters of the law may scream desperately trying to shift blame from themselves, those who voted for the law own the higher cost to consumers.
The premium notices arriving in the weeks prior to the election should serve as a painful reminder to voters about their member's ObamaCare vote. If the rates had decreased, you can be assured that Democratic politicians would be bragging about their support for the law. Instead, they can only hope that voters can be convinced to blame someone else.
For those who opposed ObamaCare, this final vindication that the cost savings pillar of the law is falling should not bring glee. Their constituents are hurting, and rather than crowing, they need to redouble their efforts to repeal this poorly conceived law.
There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc. This time with additional commentary of Scotland's independence referendum
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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Posted by JR at 12:33 AM