Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Stupid Little Girl......

......has written a column for the H on S in which she lambastes the National Party for something which was never said.

Speaker Mallard says he heard it but 'it' can be found neither in Hansard nor on the parliamentary TV sound tracks.  (Do they still have radio broadcasts?)

I never cease to be amazed at the number of different ways telling the plain truth about someone or something can be found somehow to be 'unparliamentary.'

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ho Ho Ho

ON CHURCHILL

While o'seas I had plenty of time to indulge my passion for history ... TV programs in Swahili aren't all that riveting.

In doing some in-depth research into Churchill I came across this letter sent to him by his father Randolph when he managed (on his third attempt) to pass the entrance examination for the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.   Winston may have been expecting something warmer .... instead he got this ... it's brutal .... I guess the only thing you can say in Lord Randolph's defence is to note at that time he was suffering from late stage syphilis ... dementia paralytica.

18 August 1893

My dear Winston

I am rather surprised at your tone  of exultation over your inclusion in the Sandhurst list.   There are two ways of winning in an  examination, one credible the other the reverse.   You have unfortunately chosen the latter method and appear to be much pleased with your success.

With all the advantages you had and all the abilities which you foolishly think yourself to possess & which some of your relations claim for you, with all the efforts that have been made to  make your life easy & agreeable & your work neither oppressive or distasteful, this is the grand result you come up with among the 2nd rate & 3rd rate class who are only good for commissions in a cavalry regiment ... now it is a good thing to put this business plainly before you.   Do not think  I am going to to take the trouble of writing to you long letters after every folly & failure you commit and undergo.   I shall not write again on these matters and you need not trouble to write any answer to this part of my of my (sic) letter because I no longer attach the slightest weight to anything you may say about your own acquirements & exploits.

Make this position indelibly impressed on your mind, that if your conduct and action at Sandhurst is similar to what it has been in other establishments ... slovenly, happy-go-lucky, harum scarum ... then my responsibility to you is over.   I shall leave you to depend on yourself giving you merely such assistance as may be necessary to permit of a respectable life.   Because I am certain that if you cannot prevent yourself from leading the idle, useless unprofitable life you had during your schooldays & later months, you will be a mere social wastrel one of the hundreds of public school failures, and you will degenerate into a shabby unhappy & futile existence.   If that is so you will have to bear all the blame for such misfortunes yourself.   Your own conscience will enable you to recall and enumerate all the efforts that have been made to give you the best of chances which you were entitled to because of your position & how you have practically neglected them all.

I hope you will be the better for your trip.  You may apply to Capt James for advice for us to your Sandhurst equipment.  Your mother sends her love.

Your affte father
Randolph S.C.

I guess that letter does much to explain his affection for his nanny Mrs Elizabeth Everest (Woom).   When he heard she was gravely ill he raced to her home in North London to sit with her until she died.   He recalled that moment in his book 'My Early Life' ... She still knew me, but she gradually became unconscious.  Death came very easily for her.   She lived such an innocent and loving life of service to others and held such a simple faith that she had no fears at all  ... she had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole twenty years I had had lived.

It is hard to define/describe Churchill ... Titanic orator. Drunk. Wit. Patriot. Imperialist. Visionary. Tank designer. Blunderer. Swashbuckler. Aristocrat. POW. War hero. War criminal. Conqueror. Laughing stock. Bricklayer. Racehorse owner. Soldier. Painter. Politician. Journalist. Nobel Prize-winning author. The Greatest Englishman ... the list goes on.   Each label taken alone fails to do him justice; when  taken together they offer a challenge on a par to tossing twenty jigsaw puzzles together and expecting a single unified picture to emerge.    Churchill was not that sort of man.

We have seen more 'ink' expended on him than perhaps any other person in  history ... excluding God.

Fascinating person. 


  

Friday, May 25, 2018

WOTS RACIST

Back ... a little sun-burnt while Memsahib treated the credit-card on the basis that the world is ending well before the bank gets nasty.

NZL featured zilch in the news and wi-fi wasn't so I've been having to do a fair bit of catching up.

One item that caught my attention was the outburst by Tamati Coffey, Labour MP for Waiariki, where he labelled the good burghers of Whakatane, Palmerston North and Kapati as 'racist' for having the temerity to vote down a proposal to establish separate Maori Wards in their Council areas.

One might be forgiven for thinking it's a bit rich for a Maori MP elected in a racist seat to be banging on about the result being an attack on democracy.

The National Party has long held the view that the retention (or otherwise) of the Maori seats is for Maori to determine.   That policy is outdated.   The  Maori seats were established to give Maori a voice of their own in Parliament.   MMP changed that.   All major parties understand the need fror them to go to the hustings with a balanced list reflecting NZL society.    Maori are over-represented  in Parliament.    Six of the eight leaders or deputy leaders of the four major parties have Maori blood.   Close to a quarter of all members are Maori.   The rationale for the Maori seats has been overtaken by events ... they are an anachronism.

Maori in the Maori seats ain't gonna vote for their abolition ever ... do turkeys ever campaign for an early Xmas?  

It's time for the National Party to stand tall on the issue.   By that I mean walk the walk.   Not like the Peters Party who, last the election, talked the talk and then wimped out at the first opportunity.   And to the National MP in a general seat who once told me that if all those on the Maori roll in his electorate voted the same way as they normally did then his majority might be at risk ... then I say 'nuts' fella ... that's democracy.

Racist seats and racist wards have no place in New Zealand in the 21st century.

I Hope You'll All Be Very Happy Together

I'll bet your Tooth Fairy PM never thought anyone would take her seriously.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is willing to consider a New Zealand offer to resettle some refugees held in offshore detention, but only if they are banned from ever coming to Australia.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf'

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Unbelievable!

Yarloop is a small saw milling town on the South Western Highway between Perth and Bunbury.

Yarloop was wiped out a couple of years ago by a devastating bush fire, with a number of lives lost.  Just up the road is the town of Harvey where today a large number of fires are burning, with winds currently gusting a 70+ kph.  Gusts of up to 120kph are forecast.

These fires have been lit by farmers burning off.

I hope they are prosecuted.

The Noose Tightens

Witness the ultimate lack of self awareness

When I read this, I thought I was reading someone critical of erstwhile FBI director James Comey.

"Dangerous time when our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything. "

Then I saw it was a tweet by James Comey.

Labour is cranking into it now

From the classic playbook of Helen Clark, the government is squashing dissent.

Get rid of the next possible police commissioner so your guy (or girl?) can get the job.

Stop the government being held to account in parliament.

I said it here first: The next Commissioner of Police will be Tusha Penny.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tweet of the Week

Bracing For.........

......one hundred and twenty kph wind gusts tomorrow accompanied by forty millimetres of rain.

Might be a heavy day for blogging and internet Spanish language lessons.

I can just see the headlines on Their ABC.

Global Weather Disruption strikes.  It's all because of carbon.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ho Ho Ho

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf'

Budget uber irony

Winston Peters, who rallied against tax breaks for the bloodstock industry during the Winebox inquiry in the late 1990's, asking for and getting tax write-offs for the bloodstock industry in 2018.

Won't he just retire already.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Trump's trying to refill the swamp

Donald Trump has done such a good job draining the swamp, that it's completely empty and needs to be filled up.
“Follow the money.” That Watergate meme is now poised to dominate the Donald Trump-Michael Cohen investigation for this news cycle — and beyond. The impetus is a document released by lawyer Michael Avenatti, confirmed by the New York Times, that revealed that a shell company Cohen created and used to pay off the porn star Stormy Daniels received $500,000 from a company linked to a Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin.

That’s not all. Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, received a total of $4.4 million in payments from a range of sources with an interest in influencing Trump, including the pharma giant Novartis AG, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. and AT&T Inc., seeking to pull off its merger with Time Warner Inc.

The giant question that follows from the payments to Cohen is what they were for — and whether any of the money in the shell company made its way into any entities owned or controlled by Trump himself.
The tremendous irony in all of this, and there are many, is that on the very day this article appeared on Bloomberg, Trump had a rally in Indiana where he led a chant of "Drain the Swamp" (I've tried to embed the video, but clearly my time away from Blogger has made me rusty).

I know, I know.  Trump rejected the money just like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders stated at the press conference, which proves he's draining the swamp.

If you believe that, then the alligators that have come from the swamp that Trump just drained have just flown past your window wearing pink tutus.

Kiwibloggers rejoice....oh hang on

Over here we have an entire thread of criticism of the Labour budget by supposed right-wing "fiscal conservatives", with their furious writings based on the fact Labour didn't spend as much as National did last year.

Weird.

This One's For Andrei - Some Musings From An Inexperienced Onlooker

Adolf saw an interesting opinion piece the other day, on the possibility of a rapprochement between the USA and Russia. 

Later in another piece, there were a couple of phrases which, as I like to say, fell out and clattered onto the floor.


"......The Geneva Agreement had all the underpinnings of the Munich Agreement. The comparison is apt. Just as Munich gave Hitler more time to build up his Panzers, the Geneva Agreement gave the mullahs ten years to build the bomb.

Just as in 1930s the world failed to stop Hitler, while the viper was still in its crib, and tolerated Germany's violations of the Treaties of Versailles to allow her to rearm, the world de facto allowed Iran to ignore United Nations Security Council resolutions and continue the development of a nuclear weapon. Just as Britain sold Czechoslovakia out in 1938 to appease Hitler, the United States sold Israel out in 2013 to appease Iran........"

and

"Western democracies that failed to prevent two world wars suffer historical amnesia and appear to be unconcerned with the replay of Munich. Feeling safe under the American military umbrella, the leaders of the UK, France, and Germany have been imploring Trump to salvage the accord with Iran. Just as in the 1930s, the slippery slope of greed and appeasement is driving Europe toward more disasters. Paraphrasing Lenin, they are vying with each other for the rope contract."


For some time now I've wondered about these and other similarities between geo-politics of the late 1930s and those of the present day.   Some of the similarities are, I think, remarkable.

The two Asian super-powers of their respective times, Imperial Japan and Communist China both were remarkably short of strategic resources.  Things like coal, oil and iron ore back then and now.  China uses it's economic strength to buy what it needs while Japan used it's military strength to steal what it needed.

Japan made plenty of noise about its military strength and was able to conquer many smaller and weaker nations and later eject the naive and foolish British from Singapore. However, when push came to shove Japan was defeated by the might of the US economy.  Yamamoto predicted as much straight after the pearl Harbour raid.

I suggest that is where China sits currently.

Today, China makes makes a prick of itself in the South China Sea while Japan, South Korea,The Philipines and others try to look the other way, as if to say "Well we can't do much about it, so why worry?"

I suggest once Iran has been settled down by Israel, the US and their friends, the next venue for competition will be Asia with China as the centerpiece.   One sees little commentary on the relationship, if any, between China and Russia but with such a long mutual border there is potential for mischief from either side of it.  (Would China invade Russia?  Possibly.  There's a  hell of a lot of oil and agricultural potential to be had.)

At one stage I wondered if we might wake up one morning to find Putin and Xi had done a Molotov/Ribbentrop deal.  But then, if you take that analogy a step further, you would not be surprised to see shortly thereafter, Russia, The US and Western Europe in an alliance, albeit tense, taking on Red China.

For me, the enigma in the whole shebang is trying to work out 'What is China's game?   What is it really after?

('Some Musings' is what happens when you come out of hospital and have a day for the anesthetic to wear off.)





Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How fitting


It would be hard to imagine a more fitting illustration of the Trump presidency than the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem:  at the ceremony, various wealthy and corrupt blowhards of the US and colonial governments make pompous and self-aggrandising speeches, while a short drive away the colonists' security forces are murdering the indigenous darkies who are protesting the event.

It will be interesting to see whether we can distinguish the US government from the Russian or Turkish ones by the time his presidency comes to an end.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Nothing But Respect

Who are the politicians, past and present, for whom you have nothing but respect?   Exclude those for whom there are equal amounts of contempt and respect.      Here's my list:-

(Yesterday I posted the list of those I consider 'the bad guys.')

Australia

Curtin, Menzies, Howard, Hawke, Keating, Court, Bolte, Askin, Costello,

New Zealand

Moore, Key, English, Prebble, Douglas,

USA

JFK, Trump, Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Kissinger,* Marshall,* Clinton, Bush (Snr,) Giuliani,

* They were not politicians but had more influence over affairs than did most politicians.

Other

Lee Kuan Yew,  Netanyahu, Churchill, Thatcher, Meir, Modi, Mubarak, Imran, Sukarno, Bainimarama, Pinochet


Monday, May 14, 2018

Nothing But Contempt

Who are the politicians, past and present, for whom you have nothing but contempt?   Exclude those for whom there are equal amounts of contempt and respect, along with those who were simply tyrants.      Here's my list:-

(Tomorrow I'll post the list of those I consider 'the good guys.)

Australia

Turnbull, Gillard, Rudd, Weatheril, Andrews, McMahon

New Zealand

Peters, Ardern, Hipkins, Mallard, Harawira, Robertson, Hughes, Carter, Benson-Pope, Rowling, Palmer, Anderton

USA

Obama, H R Clinton, Kerry, McCain, Reid, Waters, Ellison, Edward Kennedy, Gore, Quayle, Biden

I'M ORF

Mrs Veteran and I are off tomorrow to play with crocodiles and eat exotic food and try and learn a new language.

Very limited blogging until we return at the end of the month.

May the budget be all you want it to be but I suspect not. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

GUMMIT GETS SOMETHING RIGHT

I do not share Simon Bridges' concern over the increased package of aid to pacific countries announced this week.   This is our backyard and this is where our focus should and must be.

The reality is that there is an aid gap and the Chinese government is ready, willing and able to to step up to the plate in return for .... you tell me.   

They've been quietly (and not so quietly) buying up influence in the region for the last couple of decades and we let that continue unchecked at our peril.   In that context it is heartening to see the Australian government and the EU signal their preparedness to do more because more is needed.

Like it or not we're players in an aid war where recipients can become the equivalent of  'rice Christians' ... countries prepared to play off one side off against the other in return for ever more aid. Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, the Samoan Prime Minister said as much earlier this week.    The trick for the NZL government is to ensure our aid monies is directed at enhancing the living standards of ordinary people and not on political vanity projects (or politician's pockets).  

I suspect I'm telling MFAT what they already know in spades when I say that any aid provided to Tonga requires special scrutiny.    Tonga remains a feudal kingdom beset by endemic corruption.   It is a parliamentary democracy in name only.    The real power is in the hands of Tonga's 33 'noble' families who control the land leases and a Privy Council who does the King's bidding. 


Ho Ho Ho



Saturday, May 12, 2018

THE MALAYSIAN ELECTION

As a keen student of Malaysian and Singaporean politics I never thought I would see the day when the Barisan Nasional (BN) alliance would lose power in Malaysia.    The alliance, in its various guises, but always with the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) as the dominant partner, has been in power since Merdeka in 1957.

The BN was decimated reduced to 79 seats in the 222 seat Dewat Rakyat (Parliament) down 54 seats.    This is spite of a clear gerrymandering of electoral boundaries earlier this year in a move designed to shore up BN support.

The election saw the Chinese and Indian components of the BN (the Malaysian Chinese Association and and Malaysian Indian Congress - MCA and MIC) almost wiped out and reduced to one seat and two seats respectively.     Out of the twelve States the BN only has a majority of seats in three of them (Sabah, Perlis and Pahang).

The catalyst for the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (Party of Hope) victory was the decision of the 92 year old Mahathar Mohamad  (Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister 1981-2003) to quit UMNO in 2016 over the continuing corruption scandal that has haunted Najab Razak, the outgoing PM, and the UMNO Party for the last five years. Mahathar became the titular head of Pakatan Harapan.

While Mahathar has already been installed as the countries seventh PM it is an interim measure only.
He has indicated he will seek a Royal Pardon for the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (his erstwhile Deputy when he was PM and who he himself had jailed on what are widely considered to be trumped up charges of sodomy ... whoever said Malaysian politics was boring?).   

UMNO lived 'high on the hog' for many years running roughshod over the opposition.    It will be 'interesting' to see how they adapt to being in opposition.   Just as interesting is how the opposition will react to being in government.   61 years is a long long time to be waiting in the wings ... not far behind Charlie boy.

On Healthy Living

Every evening Adolf enjoys a half corona cigar before dinner and another after dinner, the latter accompanied by a generous dram of single malt.

Readers will understand how it is Adolf's attention was drawn to this piece.




I salute you, Richards Overton.  Twelve large cigars per day at 112 years of age.

Phil Twyford, BA

Phil Twyford's profile page on the Labour Party website contains this:

After studying politics at Auckland University, Phil worked as a journalist and union organiser before becoming the founding Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand.

I presume, although I cannot find confirmation anywhere, that he graduated from Auckland University with a BA.

So going forward, I will address him as Phil Twyford, BA.

The BA stands for Bullshit Artist.

MEANWHILE DOWN AT THE KUMARA PATCH

NZL is enjoying near record low unemployment and strong economic growth all per courtesy of the last National government.

Yesterday self and Mrs Veteran were at a luncheon where we were seated next to a farmer from Ruawai who runs a major kumara growing operation.   He was tearing his hair out ... reason ... no workers.   Yesterday he needed fifty ... he got two.   Said that many referred to him by WINZ don't last.   Some walk off the job after one day and don't even bother to return to pick up their pay packet.

And all this from a gummit pledged to cut immigration numbers.   Labour by 20-30,000 and NZ First from 70,000 down to just 10,000.

Against that backdrop would it be churlish to ask that nice Mr Jones how he proposes to make good on his promise to get his cuzzie bros off the couch planting those one billion trees.

Meanwhile back at the farm gate kumara are rotting in the ground.    


Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf'

Thursday, May 10, 2018

SOMETHING IS HAPPENING IN NORTH KOREA

Problem is we don't know quite what.

As I write this an aircraft is about to touch down at Andrews AFB just outside Washington with three Americans freed from prison in the DKR on the orders of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

Last week in Wellington I was party to a briefing on North Korea by a senior MFAT diplomat.    He made the following points:

#1   The economic sanctions, engineered by Trump and Xi Jinping, have had a devastating effect on the North Korean economy.

#2   Kim Jong-Un is his own man.    Western educated he is NOT like his father.

#3   The North Koreans had the measure of Obama.    Talk tough but when push came to shove he wimped out.   With Trump it's different.   His very unpredictably has them 'spooked' (my words).

#4   Up until now Kim has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with his Generals but that may be changing as technocrats in the ruling Workers Party appear to be challenging the old guard leadership with the support of Kim.

#5   Underpinning the talks that are about to talk place between Trump and Kim is the reality that the North Koreans have reneged on every agreement they have ever signed regarding their nuclear weapons program.    The West will insist on unfettered and ongoing access to the DKRs nuclear sites in return for the lifting of sanctions.   It is moot whether North Korea will agree to this.

#6   The talks could either go very well or very badly.

#7   North Korea has the largest military in the world.   The KPA has 1,106,000 active and 8,389,000
reserve and para military troops.    How will the Generals react to any attempt to scale back the military ... how does an essentially peasant economy absorb any significant demobilization?   

No-one knows for sure how this will play out.

Point #7 is mine. 


It's A Very Old Swamp

Adolf has just red an essay on Franklin D Roosevelt's inaction for two years (1942 to 1944) on the matter of Nazi persecution and murder of German Jews.   The following paragraph fell out and clattered all over the floor:- 

Understandably, FDR had other priorities and was troubled by and hindered by various factors – for example, interagency battles within the administration and the hostile swamp of the State Department in which Breckinridge Long, former ambassador and assistant secretary of state, played a major role in blocking visas for German Jewish refugees, and deliberately preventing information about mass murder of Jews from becoming known to Congress and the media.

Image result for breckinridge long


Brekenridge Long seems like a role model for the traitorous dupe John Kerry.

I must say I'm not sure what the hell FDR was supposed to do, other than win the war.   Apparently there are some who said and still say the USAF should have bombed Auswitz.  That seems to me to be a mighty strange way to help the Jewish inmates.