No Minister

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Die MS… Wait! What?

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We need a trusted public broadcaster because national identity is incredibly important and no longer do people trust New Zealand television or New Zealand radio.”**

I’ve been running the Die MSM, Die series since I started writing for No Minister and the list of failure to accurately report the news – due to shallowness, stupidity, ignorance and ideology is endless.

And that’s when they’re not just outright lying.

So it’s nice, to say the least, when you see an example of an MSM reporter who goes after a story with The Narrative already set in her mind – and then changing her mind when she discovers the facts say otherwise.

If you’re not familiar with the name J.K.Rowling then you’ve somehow been very isolated from modern culture over the last twenty five years.

Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter stories, an astonishingly successful series of best selling books for young adults which covers the high-school life of the eponymous hero, a young boy who discovers, on his 11th birthday, that he is actually a wizard.

The books have sold half a billion copies since the first volume in 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, (twelve publishers rejected it before Bloomsbury took it on). That first book alone has sold 120 million copies, making it one of the most successful books in history.

The film series that followed has been just as successful. The whole franchise is estimated to be worth about $US 25 billion.

Obviously this has made Rowling very rich and somewhat famous, with years of speaking invitations. She was viewed as a heroine for the oppressed (most of the characters of the books are in some way or another) and much was made of her feminism, even though that’s not much apparent in the books – although it’s there in a Feminist 1.0 form of witches being accorded very much equal space in their world. She was viewed as being on the Left and in many respects she is – although her take on the bureaucracy and an over-powering State, via her imaginary Ministry of Magic in the books, would warm the cockles of any anti-Establishment citizen.

However, in the last few years something has gone terribly wrong as it became clear that Rowling was so much a feminist that she had little time for the new, aggressive attitudes of the modern Trans community, especially the male-to-female ones who insist that they actually are woman just because they think so (even without the drugs and surgery). Rowling, like most people, was happy to be tolerant of the Trans community for years – up to a point, that point being males who were clearly using it as a cover to abuse females in all sorts of ways.

To say that she is now hated by the Trans community is an understatement. She’s been deemed a TERF (Trans-Exclusionary-Radical-Feminist) and for that has received countless death threats and threats of violence, as well as Hollywood actually not inviting her to the 20th anniversary of the first film’s release. There have been plenty of other de-platforming efforts as well, many of them sadly successful,

Through all of this Rowling has maintained a happy warrior attitude: not getting nasty, keeping a sense of humour and not backing down to the worst of the Trans assholes attacking her.

Still, even for a multi-millionaire, it’s got to be pretty wearing, especially when the MSM is also going into bat for what they think is the Latest Leftist Cause. Rowling has had almost no backing in the MSM of the Western world, with what little existed painfully trying to explain away the nasty excesses of the Trans community.

So it’s with no little measure of astonishment that I recently read the following:

Huffington Post and Pride.com writer E. J. Rosetta was like many left-leaning writers. If you said the name of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, she would probably look like she just smelled something awful and begin ranting and raving about the transphobia that the much-despised woman represents.

Rosetta was ready to bring the axe down on Rowling’s neck with an article titled “20 Transphobic JK Rowling Quotes We’re Done With.” The article, as you can guess, was meant to explore the horrific transphobia of the Potterworld author, further damning her to a life of social exclusion and cancelation.

Only something went wrong. Rosetta did something that the left hasn’t seen in a long, long time…journalism. As she posted in a Twitter thread that’s worth reading in its entirety, the HuffPo writer began with the goal of vengeance and by the end of her research she easily concluded that everyone is “burning the wrong witch.”

“Right, I’m done,” she began. “3 months ago, I was tasked with writing an article detailing “20 Transphobic JK Rowling Quotes We’re Done With” After 12 weeks of reading her books, tweets, full essay & finding the context of these “quotes”, I’ve not found a single truly transphobic message.”

Holy shit! I can’t imagine that this is going down well with her fellow scribes. I can actually see Rosetta getting dumped and shunned into the same bucket as Rowling, such is the power of the Cancel Kulture at work on the Left for this issue (funnily enough it has many of the elements of the various Witch trials in history, as I’d bet Rowling has amused herself in knowing). As Rosetta says of her group:

“Shame on those who have framed her under the guise of “reporting” when you must know, deep down, you are just chucking out clickbait & stirring up hate,” she wrote. “Shame on those who followed that propaganda without critical thought. You’re burning the wrong witch. I stand with [Rowling].”

Oh dear. Kudos to at least one member of the MSM – but she’s about to discover that her side does not suffer from shame or embarrassment. They destroy with consciences cleansed by the burning fire of the will to power.

** I put in Willie Jackson’s quote from a Parliamentary debate the other day on the merging of TVNZ and RNZ because the cognitive dissonance on display is awesome to witness;  reverse the population’s growing mistrust in the NZ media by merging two untrusted broadcasters.

================

This is also an excellent read on the same issue, How did I, a mild-mannered mother-of-two, trigger a meltdown at Cambridge University by daring to debate trans issues:

The answer is simple: I wrote a book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, which was published in July 2021.

The idea behind the book is also simple: biological sex is fixed, it is binary. And transgender ideology — which replaces sex with subjective claims of ‘gender identity’ in law and policies — does serious harm.

To anyone not blinded by this dogma, the argument is obvious. You cannot let men claim to be women just because they feel like it and thereby gain entry to women’s toilets, women’s changing rooms, women’s refuges, women’s jails. It puts women at increased risk of male violence. It is not acceptable.

I haven’t always been so worked-up about all this. Until four years ago, I thought ‘trans rights’ were compassionate concessions for a tiny, suffering minority, people so ill at ease with their sex that they sought hormones and surgery to change it.

But then a chance remark by a colleague at The Economist, the magazine where I work, inspired me to look more closely.

And what I discovered was this: during the past two decades, ‘trans rights’ have morphed into a totalitarian project the aim of which is to make the very concept of biological sex unsayable.

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Some female assembler required

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Programming computers has now reached the stage where it almost does not seem like coding at all, he laborious process of writing hundreds or thousands of lines of computer program language – BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, C++, etc – to get the machine to do what you want it to.

We’ve come a long way from the days when computers were “programmed” by re-wiring the suckers, which is not surprising when you see how similar things like ENIAC are to normal telephone switchboards of the era.

In effect all these plugs were the physical representation of ones and zeros, the basic building blocks of digital computing (Analog computing, based on the mathematics of cogs and wheels, had been around for decades and was used in things like the Norden bombsight and submarine torpedo targeting)

10110000 01100001

One step up from binary code was “machine code”, of which the following is represented by a hexadecimal sequence:

B0 61

But even that was pretty clunky. There had to be a a better way and in the early 1950’s, Kathleen Booth invented it: Assembler Language, of which a sample is shown here to do the job above: you can even add a commentary to explain what’s going on (amazing how many developers don’t do that with their creations).

MOV AL, 61h       ; Load AL with 97 decimal (61 hex)

It doesn’t look like it but it’s actually a programming language and the “Assembler” converts it into machine code. It was incremental stuff, but in a short space of time Booth pushed it a long way. Here’s a sample.

[She and her future husband returned to England from the USA and] co-wrote General Considerations in the Design of an All Purpose Electronic Digital Computer (Apexc), and went on to make modifications to the original ARC to incorporate the lessons learnt. Kathleen devised the ARC assembly language for the computer and designed the assembler.

In 1950 Kathleen took a PhD in applied mathematics and the same year she and Andrew Booth were married. In 1953 they cowrote Automatic Digital Calculators, which included the general principles involved in the new “Planning and Coding”programming style.

Here she is loading a program into that Apexc computer that she co-designed with her husband Andrew.

I rather liked writing Assembler code as it made you feel you were in direct control of the machine, and given that the language is often tailored to a specific machine that’s true to a certain extent. Much of the programming of the Apollo spacecraft computers was done in Assembler since there were no technical computer programming languages written to control such unique machines, and that remained true even into the era of the Space Shuttle in the 1980’s.

Booth paved the way for people like one of my personal IT favourites, Margaret Hamilton, who worked for NASA on the Apollo programme and basically invented Software Engineering, the next step along the road to building computer systems.

Kathleen Booth died a few weeks ago at the age of 100 in Canada, where she and her husband had moved in the 1960’s. It would seem that she remained productive to the end of her long and fulfilled life.

Kathleen remained active into her retirement, carrying out research into neural networks which led to the development of a program to simulate the ways animals recognise patterns.

Her husband died in 2009 and she is survived by their son and daughter.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 23, 2022 at 8:32 am

Posted in Britain, Technology

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This is free trade?

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Although I don’t follow British politics closely I still like to take an occasional glance at the political blog site, Guido Fawkes (also known as Order, Order), to get his often waspish perspective on the subject.

In 2014, at Guido’s tenth anniversary party, London MayorBoris Johnson said that the site “has long been the dung on the rosebush of politics”.

The man behind the site is one Paul Staines, a British-Irish right-winger/Libertarian, and he seems well plugged in to the system, with personal contacts among politicians, activists and media people. The result is that his blog is very popular, as it should be with writing like this:

Does the Tory Quarterdeck, its High Command, fear putting someone of talent, presence, capacity, personal force and experience in as Chief Whip?

Do they not realise that the Labour Whips are a lethal force? That they are wily with every sort of procedural innovation? That they operate a disciplinary regime that would have been illegal in Nelson’s navy? That their motto is, “We can make you want to be dead”? Do they not know what they are up against?

But it was this little throwaway piece I saw that made me laugh.

It’s a good reminder of how the State continues to be involved in “Free Trade”.

Written by Tom Hunter

November 2, 2022 at 7:35 am

Iron Lady? Meet Tin Lizzie

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The recent Tory backdown on cutting taxes, especially the highest rates, sadly came as no surprise to me, even though the wind and noise generated by new Tory PM Liz Truss, was an impressive change from the Green world of Boris.

After several days of the markets shitting themselves over the increased debt and various other forecasts, Liz backtracked. Obviously the Supply Side arguments that worked for Reagan in the early 1980’s – no direct spending cuts to compensate, with economic growth spurred by the tax cuts doing the job instead – did not work this time. Perhaps the Conservative Party, which the Financial Times somehow ridiculously thinks is now the most right-wing party in the world, didn’t support the tax strategy, and threatened Truss’s tenure as PM? It’s what did Thatcher in at the end.

But let’s compare these Massive Tax Cuts to other things that cost the government money.

Oh yeah, that’s some blow to fiscal stability.

Gerard Baker summed it up well in the Wall Street Journal:

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that, after these measures, the size of the U.K. tax burden has gone all the way back to what it was in 2021. . .

Try to shave a little off tax to improve incentives for work and investment and raise Britain’s abysmal productivity, and you are cast by the vast army of U.S. and international financial bureaucrats, socially conscious asset managers and media organizations as a heartless Hayekian tyrant, kicking away the crutches that keep Brits from being consigned to the poorhouse. . .

The wider message for conservatives everywhere: Any effort to depart from the trajectory of expanding government will be met with fierce resistance. Flinch and watch as the ratchet moves higher.

That laughter you hear in the background is me looking at the ACT posters that are already up: Real Tax Cuts.

And as for that Ratchet of State Power, I was amused by this from Guido Fawkes:

“I always knew that it was going to be a political problem. I mean, let’s be honest, this was a political trap that was set by Gordon Brown in the dying days of his role as PM, right. And I paid the 50% tax. I was in business then. And I remember how devastating it was because actually, it meant you were paying about 65% tax. And there’s something in your mind, which is like, really, you know, only 35% for me? And I’m doing all these hours. I was a business person, then it was set as a political trap…. In theory it [the top rate of tax] should never have been there.”
– Foreign Office Minister Gillian Keegan 

A bomb designed to blowup David Cameron twelve years ago finally exploded. As Guido points out, the additional laughter you can hear is that from Gordon Brown.

 Even the IFS’ Paul Johnson thinks in revenue terms “It might plausibly cost nothing at all”The tax was not about raising revenue – it was about political positioning.

Stop laughing. What do you think Labour’s 39% income tax rate on those earning $180,000+ was really all about here in NZ?

I very much doubt that Liz has this poster anywhere near her.

Nor is she probably aware of this speech by Thatcher to the Conservative Party conference in 1980:

It isn’t the State that creates a healthy society. For when the State grows too powerful, people feel that they count for less and less. The State drains society not only of its wealth but of initiative, of energy, the will to improve and innovate, as well as to preserve what is best. But our aim is to let people feel that they count for more and more. If we can’t trust the deepest instincts of our people, we shouldn’t be in politics at all. . .

To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase the “U-turn,” I have only one thing to say: You turn if you want to: The Lady’s not for turning.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 7, 2022 at 10:02 am

What will happen when the “Empire writes back”?

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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.

The Not-Snowflake

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One of the many things you have to worry about in a war is that you never know if you’ll have to end up fighting against people like this:

That’s Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart and according to Wiki:

He served in the Boer WarFirst World War, and Second World War. He was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; was blinded in his left eye; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a prisoner-of-war camp; and tore off his own fingers when a doctor declined to amputate them. Describing his experiences in the First World War, he wrote, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war.”[4]

He was also awarded the Victoria Cross in World War One for one action on the Western Front in 1916.

The phrase “unkillable” comes to mind. But perhaps it was just consecutive throws of the dice of life coming up sixes?

Written by Tom Hunter

September 27, 2022 at 6:00 am

Posted in Britain, Humour, Military

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A Union boss speaks the truth

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Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB, tells the New Statesman’s Rachel Wearmouth…

We import a huge amount of fracked gas and we import methane from America, which is basically fracked gas… Now we have a choice: we are either going to import gas that has been fracked somewhere else in the world and put on diesel-bombing ships or we take responsibility for our own carbon. If it can be done safely, and that is demonstrable, then it’s time that we took responsibility for our own carbon emissions. …the idea that the future is going to be all about electricity, or that we’re moving to a future simply about renewables, is just not true. … listen to unions that are in the energy sector, such as the GMB.

We should not get caught up in a bourgeois environmental debate driven by the bourgeois environmental lobby …The debate on the left needs to seriously talk about climate change, but it needs to be focused on jobs. And the renewables industry, and many of those who espouse it in politics, have no interest in jobs for working class communities. And we should stop pretending that we’re in an alliance with them. The big winners from renewables have been the wealthy and big corporate interests. Invariably the only jobs that are created when wind farms get put up, particularly onshore wind, have been jobs in public relations and jobs for lawyers.

hat/tip Guido Fawkes quote of the Day

Written by Whiskey&Pie

September 23, 2022 at 10:00 am

Man clubbed to death – live on CNN

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This is what happens when you’re a cretin and a TV anchor (but I repeat myself) with all the Lefty soundbites needed for TV, but a birdbath deep knowledge of history – and you come up against someone at least as verbally slick as yourself – but smarter and more informed.

She was brilliant in agreeing with his premise and then turning the tables on him. The look on his moronic face and his silence when she finishes talking is just priceless. You can almost see the gears turning upstairs and – he has nothing so ends the segment.

Lemon was recently demoted to some CNN morning show and was on tenterhooks about getting fired like Stelter, John Harwood and others. This won’t help his employment prospects, let alone promotion back to prime time.

For future reference in case that Twitter link gets killed, here’s what she said:

“Well, I think you’re right about reparations in terms of, if people want it though what they need to do is you always need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain.

Where was the beginning of the supply chain? That was in Africa, and when it crossed the entire world, when slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? The first nation in the world to abolish it, it was started by William Wilberforce, was the British. In Great Britain, they abolished slavery.

Two thousand naval men died on the high seas trying to stop slavery. Why? Because the African kings were rounding up their own people, they had them on cages waiting in the beaches. No one was running into Africa to get them.

And I think you’re totally right. If reparations need to be paid, we need to go right back to the beginning of that supply chain and say, ‘Who was rounding up their own people and having them handcuffed in cages?’ Absolutely. That’s where they should start. And maybe, I don’t know, the descendants of those families where they died in the high seas trying to stop the slavery, that those families should receive something too, I think, at the same time.”

Before you get too excited about the words of one Englishwoman who’s not going to accept such debate framing, you need to take a look at these other members of England:

Written by Tom Hunter

September 21, 2022 at 1:55 pm

CHARLIE AND CHARLES

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I suspect my old friend 38168 Staff Sergeant Charlie Fraser is looking down from on high and saying ‘that’s my boy’. Charlie was a proud Scot. He was our signals platoon sergeant in Malaysia 1967-69 and during that tour he also saw service in Vietnam. After leaving the military he retired to Kaitaia with his wife Gwneth.

His relationship with the royal family makes for a fascinating story. In 1952 and aged 9 (I think) and living in the little town of Balleter some 11k from Balmoral he was called into the Headmaster’s office at the school he was attending to be told that his time there was at a end and there was a big car waiting for him outside to take him to the castle (where his mother worked). He arrived there to be ushered into the Queen’s presence who spoke to him about this and that and a short time later told that with his mother’s agreement he was going to live at Balmoral and be a companion to Charles. Although there was an age difference the Queen thought it would be desirable for Charles to have an older ‘commoner’ playmate. And so it happened.

At the end of the Balmoral season Charlie was kept on. He was given a first class train ticket to London to be met at the station by a royal limousine and transported to Buck House where he remained until Charles started school at Cheam. I have seen some delightful photographs of Charlie in formal pages dress (breeches et al) attending Charles but he was always very circumspect in talking about the private time he spent with him.

It was at Buck House that Charlie met Gwneth who was employed there as a domestic. With Charles now at school Charlie asked to be let go and promptly joined the Royal Marines where he served with distinction until transferring to the NZ Army. It was with a smile on his face that Charlie told the story that as a very young RM recruit and on his first day in uniform he proudly wore his Coronation medal to be hauled up by some grizzled old drill sergeant and told to ‘get it off clown or I’ll rip it off’. Charlie’s response … yes sergeant but you had better inform the Queen who gave it to me personally. Charlie 1 vs sergeant 0.

Charlie is long gone but we see Gwneth occasionally at Vietnam veteran reunions.

Written by The Veteran

September 17, 2022 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Britain

Tagged with ,

It’s been long path

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from…
“God save the Queen.
It’s a fascist regime”

“God save the Queen
She ain’t no human being”

“God save the queen
Cause tourists are money

And our figurehead
Is not what she seems.”

…. to this ….

Released in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee. The weird thing is that I still think this is as a great song as when I first heard it as a young teenager.

And I think this quote fits:

It’s probably the most punk rock thing ever to act like an adult over the queen’s passing, when academics and talk show hosts are using her death as a platform for cliched rants about racism and colonialism:

Written by Tom Hunter

September 12, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Art, Britain, History, Humour, Ideologues

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