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Now then who does not count?

March 5, 2014

Scan 2-03-2014 6.33 pm-page11The little piece above is from Monday’s DomPost.

Labour are taking their so called Best Start policy to the people. Don’t you just love that patronising tone. Though to be fair the phrase might have been the journalists.

The reason for the post is two fold, as the item can be read two ways at least.

Initially Adam thought the item illustrated why National Standards in reading, writing and arithmetic were a good idea. Because 4 Labour MPs were named in the item, but headline read trio. So perhaps the journalist, trained and skilled as WhaleOil is wont to say, needed remedial arithmetic. Then a more subversive thought occurred to Adam. Perhaps the DomPost was making a subtle point. Perhaps the item inferred that although 4 were named, the quartet was in effect only a trio as one of their number was of no consequence.

Therefore Adam wonders if his readers could assist him in identifying which of the winsome 4, is the man or woman of no account?

Five little letters

March 4, 2014

It was Helen Clark, a consummate politician it must be said, who once opined that elections were about trust. Trust is a small word with only five letters, but it means a lot. By and large NZ voters do not trust their politicians all that much. Therefore, it is of concern that David Cunliffe so recently elected Labour Party leader appears to embody so few, if any, attributes required of one who seeks to lead the nation. Why is Adam concerned about this. Well like it or not and Adam detests the thought, Cunliffe could be elected later this year as head of a party able to form a ruling coalition and thus become NZ Prime Minister. A ghastly thought he knows, but all too possible given the vagaries of MMP.

So let us look at Mr Cunliffe against the background of those 5 little letters forming the word trust:-

T – is for truthful. Well there we seem to have a problem, because it seems that this is not quite the case. Take the case of his claims regarding off shore oil drilling. Comprehensively shown up for falsehoods by Minister Amy Adams.

R – is for reliable. Again we seem to have a problem, because as shown by the baby bribe speech and subsequent multiple explanations what Cunliffe said on Day 1 was not in fact the policy as it is intended to work.

U – is for unethical. As we have seen in the last couple of days Cunliffe seems very prepared to skate close to the line, if not over it when it comes to donations. No less a person than leading left wing blogger No Right Turn wrote - The thing about values is that you live them, and they’re instinctive. Cunliffe’s aren’t. When faced with a choice between transparency and corruption-enabling secrecy, he chose the latter, and then tried to cling to that choice when it was questioned. These are not the actions of an ethical man who believes in open politics – they are the actions of someone trying to get away with something they know is wrong. And actions like this are yet another example of why the New Zealand public thinks all politicians are liars, cheats and scoundrels.

S – is for smarmy. One definition has smarmy as ‘ revealing or marked by a smug, ingratiating, or false earnestness’. Cunliffe tries to hard to appeal to everyone. The end result is that he appeals to few. He in some ways epitomises the famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln ‘ You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.’ It seems to Adam that Cunliffe is rapidly demonstrating the truth of that maxim.

T – is for two faced. Cunliffe has a propensity for telling audiences what they want to hear. Therefore he tells the unions one thing and then quietly tells business the opposite. Consequently people do not know what to believe. This led Duncan Garner to write as part of an editorial piece on his radio show ‘I’m starting to wonder just who Cunliffe is. What does he stand for? Is he anti-business or pro-business? Does he care about the poor? Or hang out with the rich? My big question really is this: Who is the real David Cunliffe? Is he a fake?

So there we have it . David Cunliffe as defined by the 5 little letters which spell Trust, but in regard to Cunliffe spell out so much more. Which makes Adam wonder just why the supposedly astute Matt McCarten hitched his wagon to this particular socialist star.

Not an adherent of Voltaire then, Mr Little

March 4, 2014

Last year there was an awful lot of metaphorical  frothing at the mouth by journalists and others over what was labelled a major attack on the rights of the Fourth Estate. This was of course the media firestorm around the Dunne/Vance issue at the heart of the leaking of the Kittredge Report. Much was made of how in a free and democratic society the media had a right, nay duty, to report upon the doings of elected and unelected officials in power. Allied to this is the oft quoted right to protest, invoked for example when Green activists invaded a Russian oil platform, breaking Russian law in the process or when drilling ships off the NZ coast have their legitimate business impeded. Indeed there should be a right to protest in a free society and the right to report what officialdom is doing without undue constraint being placed upon those who do. This should encompass the freedom to do this even when the majority may well disagree with what is being said or done.

Many journalists are apt to write at length, as noted above, on how free speech, protest and the like is an essential bulwark against state oppression.

These freedoms and their defence are not new, indeed writing in the eighteenth century Voltaire, the French philosopher, writer, dramatist and political activist in 1770 in a letter wrote  “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write”.  Thus it can be seen that Voltaire with this and other writings was a significant contributor to the development of freedom of thought and expression; particularly with regard to the written word .

Therefore it was with some surprise that Adam read in last Saturday’s NZ Herald a column under the by-line of Paul Little, one of the Herald’s stable of left leaning hacks. Little, Adam assumes it was he, wrote:-

It’s time to shut down – or rather shut up – the ragtag bunch of malcontents who are giving their lives meaning by hounding silly old Len Brown every time he appears in public. These shrieking, self-righteous harpies are one length of rope away from full-blown vigilantism.

Really! They are asserting their right to protest, nothing more or less. They may well be annoying, but that is the price of democracy. As far as Adam knows they are not proposing to lynch Brown, so the use of the phrase ‘one length of rope’ is pathetic at best and outrageous in reality conjuring up images of people hanging from lamp posts. It raises as well just how Mr Little proposes to shut down or shut up these people. Is Mr Little suggesting that we should treat these people like Putin’s stooges did Pussy Riot? Is he suggesting that New Zealand should act like an oppressive police state so that Mr Brown should not have to face up to his transgressions.

As is often the case with high-visibility critics, the fault they most lament is one they display themselves – in this case letting a wild passion overcome the better counsel of reason.

Would Mr Little have said the same about the Greenham Common protestors in the UK? Would he have said the same about those who protested the Springbok Tour of 1981? The right to protest is not one where you get to pick and choose who can or cannot protest, and for how long. Voltaire for example went into exile in England because of his writings running afoul of rich and powerful interests.

Then just when Adam thought the comments could not get any worse, we reached the nadir with this:-

More importantly they are disrupting the democratic process by trying to prevent an elected official from getting on with his job. The rest of Auckland is over it. The city and the mayor have more important things to worry about.

These protesters are not disrupting the democratic process. They are part of the freedoms we enjoy in a functioning democracy. Freedoms which people like Brown are elected to protect. Just because Mr Little abhors the continuing protests does not mean they should stop. Just because many might find them irritating does not mean they should cease. Indeed, Adam might take the view that because he disagrees with what Mr Little writes that the NZ Herald should be compelled to stop publishing his columns. However, Adam is capable of accepting that is not acceptable in a democratic society and that plurality of views and means of expression is a good thing, even if often uncomfortable.

What was most concerning about Mr Little’s comments was his desire to muzzle free speech and freedom of assembly just because he did not agree with the protests. Clearly he would never have joined Voltaire on the barricades.

It no longer surprises Adam that those from the left espouse the principles of freedom, but practice them only when it relates to issues supporting their point of view.

Great day today – have now lost 39kgs, walked over 10 kms

February 16, 2014

Adam was delighted this morning when he weighed in and found he had now lost 39 kgs since he started his diet and exercise regime in May 2013.

His delight was increased when he achieved 2 more of his exercise goals for 2014 as well. on a lovely day for a walk, especially along the Hutt River, he walked just on 11 kms. The best bit being that he did 10kms in just under 2 hours. This meant that Adam had met his 10 km walk target earlier than his goal of June 2014. In addition he achieved 2 other goals, one was to walk 5 kms at an average of under 12 mins a km. This was done. Furthermore the 10kms was covered at an average of 11 mins 50 secs per km. Now this is probably not much to a power walker, but for Adam this is a great change from just a few months ago.

In fact since 2 January Adam has now walked a total of 198 kms in measured walks. Currently he is trying for an average of 5 kms per day, 6 days per week.

Adam uses MyFitnessPal and Runkeeper as tools to help him and the Walking Burn Calculator. These work for Adam, but others might find alternative approaches work for them.

Key to the whole issue has been Adam’s recognition that he needed to deal with his weight problem. He is doing so. This is not something that can be done for him or enabled by soda taxes, fat taxes or regulation. Adam has had to, as they say, own the problem and deal with it. No one else can do it for him.

Caption Contest

January 30, 2014

BfMehsiCUAAgG6D

1 So I can definitely count on your vote then?

2 Mr Cunliffe fobs off questions on Baby Bonus

3 Voters want to know where Cunliffe got his tie

 

Updated weight loss – 38kg so far

January 30, 2014

Adam has now lost 38kgs since he started his diet. In addition since January 1, he has walked some 116 Kms.

His waist has shrunk markedly, as has his chest. He feels much healthier.

Which one is the comedian?

January 24, 2014

One a politician the other a well known comedian, but which one

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