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Elon Musk entering Twitter HQ

with 3 comments

The guy is a legend. I would love to know what the woke employees are going to do.

Turns out that Libs of Tiktok knows. Thanks Tom

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Written by Whiskey&Pie

October 27, 2022 at 11:25 am

The chilling effect of China authoritarianism

with 3 comments

Why we will never be sure Covid was a lab leak.

Scientists seeming to care more about the professional opportunities presented by collaboration with China than with truth.

https://twitter.com/Biorealism/status/1580397245525942272

We should not forget US pharma not wanting to admit the Covid vaccine was needed for them to make money rather than effective but out of patent and safe treatments like Remdesevir.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

October 14, 2022 at 8:52 am

Posted in China, Science, USA

Tagged with

ACT seems to have lost its way.

with 21 comments

I was an ACT voter for over 20 years. I had been comforted, despite the fact I might not have agreed with all of their policies in detail, in the belief they were “classic liberals”. Pro market, pro free choice, pro individual rights.  Having been along to a public meeting to listen to what David Seymour had to say, I am horrified to see the direction ACT has headed.

Firstly, to hear him describe a tax cut as “crazy”.  Kwasi Kwarteng is a very sound Conservative politician who wanted to make it clear that the UK is open for business so dropped the punitive top rate of 45% on the pound.  Seymour did not like that. When you consider that British earners also pay 12% National Insurance on top of their income, every right-thinking person should support tax reduction.  To be fair the argument is that it should not be funded by deficit but Reagan knew he needed a growing economy and did not want to penalize people for success.  It was a booby trap left by Brown at the end of his reign and should have gone years ago.

Secondly, I asked him about Ardern’s speech at the UN and her proposal to clamp down on free speech. I expressed disappointment that he did not stand up for the rights of the anti mandate protestors, as Rodney Hide did and asked how he was going to win my vote back.  Seymour waffled about some of them being not nice people and stopped the people of Wellington going about their business.  Never mind that the protestors were on public land and deserved to be listened to. He dismissed the question as being the path to a 2% vote. Never mind that 30% of the population are anti mandate and nobody trusts Winston First.

On the third element I thought he was pandering to an elderly NIMBY audience by describing the Medium Density Residential Scheme (MDRS) as the 3 (houses) and 3 (stories) right to build as being “crazy”. So, I followed up after the meeting with him directly and also looked online.  It turns out ACT, David Seymour and Brooke Van Velden are TO THE LEFT of Labour and the Greens in standing up for the rights of property owners. This is one area where Labour and the Greens have worked in a bi partisan way to deliver good long-term policy, but ACT oppose MDRS.

“It could mean floor to ceiling windows on the third floor looking into your living room, with no thought for existing homeowners.” 

“The alternative is that we’ll get sewage in the streets…”

Scaremongering shite of the worst kind. There are rules for height to boundary. Councils take a long term approach to Infrastructure, as they should. They can predict increased demand and if, like Wellington, they have under invested then that should not affect the rights of property owners.

MDRS is using the power of the market by increasing the supply of land in built up areas through increased density.  Entirely sensible policy.  Europe encourage much more dense housing and it is far more preferable to intensify housing in built up areas than to keep building over green space.

I happen to know something about the MDRS and it is a great thing.  It allows property owners more certainty about being able to develop more densely instead of being subject to discretion of council.

Seymour says it is all about infrastructure and the fact there are monopoly providers of infrastructure.  Perhaps he has not heard of the development contribution which is about $20,000 to build a housing unit in Auckland as well as an additional charge of about $15,000 for Water and wastewater infrastructure.  Infrastructure is being funded by levies on new housing units.  It takes decades to make a difference but the funding policy is right.  Gains go to developers so a levy on new build is simply user pays.  The ACT policy of 50% of GST going to local councils is not a bad policy but should be in addition to MDFRS, not instead of.  Aucklands latest Unitary plan has plenty of exceptions to the MDRS, taking discretion for permit back into council hands.

Auckland property building is proceeding at a huge pace compared to 20 years ago and I assume private owners in other regions are also providing new housing. The state houses in Glen Innes, Pt England etc are all being replaced by townhouses and multiple units. I know of a specific example where 1 ex state house is being replaced by 7 town houses. I compare that to the situation 20 years ago with a similar size piece of land where I had to buy the back 3rd of the neighbouring section and use the back third of my section to add one more unit.

Look at this graph from Auckland council showing an increase from under 5000 units to over 20,000 units per month in the last 12 years.  Kiwibuild has been incompetent in providing low-cost housing but a change of policy has allowed private industry to step into the breach.

Auckland Building Consents by month

I will send this note to ACT and am curious to see what response, if any, it evokes.  One of the bloggers here is pro ACT so I am curious to see what he thinks of the ACT lurch to the establishment authoritarian left. It seems more about appealing to the older ex Winston first voter than having principles.

ACT still won’t get my vote.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

October 4, 2022 at 8:59 pm

Its only a stolen election if a Republican wins

with 3 comments

Spend less than 5 minutes watching this clip, demonetized by Youtube. Just to understand the hypocrisy.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 30, 2022 at 11:16 am

Simple real graphic

with one comment

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 30, 2022 at 8:48 am

What will happen when the “Empire writes back”?

with 10 comments

Fascinating piece on the impact of internet use in India on the English speaking world

TLDR: Some key quotes below but worth a read if you have time

…Indian academics stop thinking that their life’s goal is to “graduate” from India to become part of the western elite, and instead decide to take up their role of being prominent voices of a re-emerging civilizational identity. If and when this happens, India will have a lot of interesting things to say to the world.

Indians, irrespective of region and religion, are still largely a conservative people, who believe in antiquated notions like faith, family, virtues, togetherness of communities, etc.

Indians will not fall in-line on many of the projects of the western liberal elite – call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in boring old concepts like national borders, in organizing society not to maximize the profits of the shareholders or to re-engineer society to achieve ideological ends, but to the benefit of families.

The Western elite and their media houses are already grappling with these unfortunate realities. They look at India and see a billion people who would be conservatives if they lived in their western countries, and that scares the hell out of them.

For those of us of a more conservative bent it is welcome news.

The patronising racism from the likes of Kelvin Davis who believe “brown” people must support the left will become difficult to sustain. Telling ACT’s Karen Chhour that she cannot be a true Maori because she does not agree with leftist propaganda is just racist.

The US and British left are equally guilty. They dismiss true thinkers like Clarence Thomas and Thomas Sowell. What struck me about the UK Tories was how little it mattered or was remarked upon that the last 4 participants in the UK leadership election were not white males. A Labour MP described Kwasi Kwarteng, the new UK Chancellor of the Exchequer of being “superficially black”. He is of Ghanaian heritage. He is very sound.

I look forward to the coming strength of support for families over woke socialist ideology.

Ardern wants to suppress free speech.

with 26 comments

Via Zero Hedge

Ardern lashed out at “disinformation” and called for a global coalition to control speech. After nodding toward free speech, she proceeded to lay out a plan for its demise through government regulation:

In our glorious leaders own words

But what if that lie, told repeatedly, and across many platforms, prompts, inspires, or motivates others to take up arms. To threaten the security of others. To turn a blind eye to atrocities, or worse, to become complicit in them. What then?

This is no longer a hypothetical. The weapons of war have changed, they are upon us and require the same level of action and activity that we put into the weapons of old.

We recognized the threats that the old weapons created. We came together as communities to minimize these threats. We created international rules, norms and expectations. We never saw that as a threat to our individual liberties – rather, it was a preservation of them. The same must apply now as we take on these new challenges.

“After all, how do you successfully end a war if people are led to believe the reason for its existence is not only legal but noble? How do you tackle climate change if people do not believe it exists? How do you ensure the human rights of others are upheld, when they are subjected to hateful and dangerous rhetoric and ideology?””

Back to Tyler Durden

As the great civil libertarian Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Authoritarian, socialist, ignoramus propagandising. Thank feck there is an election next year.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 27, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Things that are sad but true

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The newly transitioned to Italian Sam Hill

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 26, 2022 at 5:14 pm

Posted in New Zealand

The 3 waters reforms are anti democratic

with 4 comments

If you have infrequently and not really avidly followed the 3 waters debate, you are like me and no doubt most NZ voters. Cranmer provides an invaluable service by analysing the detail.

It is much, much worse than I thought. In my innocence I believed that the 3 waters reform would enforce consultation, but that is not the same as control. The reforms are providing for control by unelected iwi of council assets paid for by ratepayers over decades.

Section 140 of the Bill simply states that “mana whenua whose rohe or takiwā includes a freshwater body in the service area of a water services entity may provide the entity with a Te Mana o te Wai statement for water services”.

Once received, the board of the relevant water services entity has an obligation to engage with mana whenua and prepare a plan that sets out how it intends to give effect to that Te Mana o te Wai statement. And that is where it ends. The Bill is silent on what can (and cannot) be included in the statements and provides no guidance as to the outcomes that the statements are intended to achieve.

In short, there are no limits to the scope of Te Mana o te Wai statements. The relevant water entity board must simply give effect to those statements “to the extent that it applies to the entity’s duties, functions, and powers”.

Their importance in the governance structure of Three Waters cannot be overstated.

That is layered on top of the understanding that iwi get 50% control directly then whatever additional they can obtain via council and government.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 26, 2022 at 9:46 am

Posted in New Zealand

Comedy Climate hypocrisy

with 5 comments

Climate strike activist tells people that flying to Fiji for a holiday is not acceptable. Then admits to HPDA that she went there on holiday a few months before. It is a hilarious interview. Must listen

When I first heard this, I thought it was hilarious but felt some sympathy for a young woman. She sounds like a good-hearted person, albeit utterly misguided.

Clearly, she has (at least one) parent to blame. Her mother writes a cry bullying response, clearly missing the point. Her daughter was interviewed on public television about her views and was shown up.

Commentators like du Plessis-Allan don’t give a shit about climate change. They don’t care that Arctic ice is melting at four times the expected rate, or that we are seeing more and more extreme weather events killing and displacing people across the globe.

Turns out that the mother is (allegedly) so hypocritical and blind that she had a helicopter fly her new kitchen bench to her home whilst spouting this crap. That gets even better. The mother teaches her daughter to pretend to believe in climate change but will do nothing whilst expecting the rest of to change our behaviour. GTFOH.

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 26, 2022 at 9:26 am