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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Comedy Climate hypocrisy

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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

Who’s in charge of the USA?

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Because it sure as hell does not seem to be “President” Biden.

Last week he got interviewed on the long-running American current affairs show, 60 Minutes on CBS, by one Scott Pelly, one of the friendliest Democrat interviewers around.

Predictably Pelly asked lots of softball questions and crucially, did not follow up on the answers – especially after delicately raising the matter of Hunter Biden, where Pelly allowed the President to put only his spin on it (it’s just GOP trouble-making)!

Yet even with such a soft touch, Biden got himself repeatedly in trouble.

First, with dismissive snark about the rate of inflation, denying that it’s a problem (“You’re acting like all of a sudden ‘my God it went to 8.2%’”). When it comes to bad economic news, there are two ways to handle it as a president. The right way is to admit the truth and then lay out a plan – preferably one with numbers – for how you’re going to improve things. Americans are very forgiving of politicians who speak plainly to them, as the likes of JFK, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton knew. On the other hand, the wrong way is to simply pretend that everything is just peachy and that anyone who doesn’t think so is an idiot. Guess which strategy Biden has chosen?

His skin is so thin you can see through it.

He also bragged about using the oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is at its lowest level since 1984, and which was established after the Second Oil Crisis (1979/1980) for strategic defense purposes – not to lower gas prices to ease the pain for the Democrat Party during elections.

Biden says he’ll refill it once things have improved, but that’ll be at $80 barrel. It should be noted that when Trump wanted to top it up at $24/barrel the Democrats stopped him in Congress.

But, incredible as it may seem, those weren’t his worst gaffes. He had two doozies.

Taiwan

Pelly: But would US forces defend the island?

Biden: Yes. If in fact there was an unprecedented attack…

Pelly: So unlike Ukraine – to be clear, Sir – US forces, US men and woman, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Biden: Yes.

Holy shit! The Whitehouse rapidly walked this back, making it clear that US policy has not changed – and that policy is one of strategic ambiguity where they officially will not say whether they would, or would not, defend Taiwan.

The thing is that the WH had the opportunity to wave a big stick at China almost two months ago when Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House and basically the third-most powerful US politician) visited Taiwan (Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing)- resulting in a flurry of threats from China, one of which implied that they might shoot her plane out of the sky.

That last was always an empty threat, but still, in the world of diplomacy it’s harsh and should have been condemned by the Biden Administration – but it wasn’t,

John Kirby (National Security Council): “The Speaker has not confirmed any travel plans and it is for the Speaker to do so, and her staff. We won’t be commenting or speculating about the stops on her trip…Congress is an independent branch of government…the Speaker has a right to visit Taiwan.”
============================
CBS’s @NancyCordes: Why was the Speaker being urged not to go [to Taiwan]?
Kirby: I don’t know that she was…Who urged her not to go?
C: [Biden] said on July 20 that the military doesn’t think it’s a good idea for her to go.
K: [She] makes her own decisions.
====
Reporter: “Why did the president bother w/ this drama…why not call the Chinese bluff or tell them to pound sand?”
Kirby: “What’s the drama?”
R: “Have you watched the [Chinese] briefings the past couple weeks?”
K: “I haven’t seen any drama…you’re manufacturing it with your question.”

So weak as dishwater back then – now yammering about US troops defending Taiwan against a Chinese invasion. It’s schizophrenic.

Admittedly Pelosi was not much better; with her back-and-forth media announcements and initial hesitation in the face of the Chinese threats, she added to the strategic confusion at the White House and Pentagon who opposed her visit, and she never really explained why she was visiting, saying that as a child she used to like China and at the beach would dig in the sand to reach Beijing. Seriously? As historian VDH summed up, her diplomacy was childlike:

In other words, in her eight decades since infancy, Pelosi has not yet learned the difference between Chinese Taiwan and the Chinese Communist mainland and has come up with no greater affinity with the Chinese than remembering as a child vainly digging in the sand to reach them.

The internal administration discord reminded the Chinese that the Biden Administration can still become even more inept than it has been since its inaugural humiliation in Anchorage, Alaska. 

And lastly, Pelosi showboated with loud freedom rhetoric while carrying a mere twig.

So, yes, ostensibly, it was silly for Nancy Pelosi to freelance in foreign policy by going to Taiwan. She has no record of any foreign policy accomplishment. Ever since her first speakership 15 years ago, Pelosi has always seen foreign policy as an arena to embarrass her political opponents.

We remember her dishonest post-9/11 public reversals about enhanced interrogations, and her all-but-rooting-for the surge in Iraq to fail.

We remember her lunatic visit and glad-handing with the murderous, children-killing Assad government in Syria (i.e., “The road to Damascus is a road to peace.”)?

While in Damascus in 2007, Pelosi legitimized the Syrian dictatorship right after it had helped start the 2006 Lebanon war, right during the U.S. surge in Iraq, and right during the influx of Syria’s jihadists across the open border to Iraq to kill Americans. 

The cherry on top was getting snubbed by the South Korean president when she dropped in to visit there.

But Pelosi’s incoherence is no excuse for that of the Biden Administration’s, so the South Korean snubbing of her should not be a surprise. It was aimed at the whole US government.

Covid-19

The other remark that got him in big trouble was his declaration that “the pandemic is over.”

Aside from totally pissing off that part of the Democrat base that never wants to see an end to mask mandates or any other aspect of government control for the disease, it also threatened to blow up his recently announced Student Loan forgiveness program.

Why? Because that relies on an existing piece of legislation, the 2003 HEROES Act, which was passed to relieve the loan burden from university students who might get called up for military service during their studies (these are people already signed on to the military and who have likely done training or even service but are studying at present).

Obviously it was a stretch to use that Act for all students, but the key word was “Emergency” written in the Black Letter law; as long as the Chinese Lung Rot is an “Emergency” the loan forgiveness plan might stand up to court challenges.

But if “the pandemic is over.” then the whole thing collapses. Not a good look with the Mid-Term elections coming up fast. So the The Powers That Be had to throw Biden under the bus on that one too.

You feeling all that experience and competence yet? All the stuff that Biden supporters screamed that Trump had none of but Biden had in spades? Back to “norms” – and no Mean Tweets.

Ace of Spades had a good take on what’s actually going on here:

It is clear to me that he is not fronting any one person or even a small, tight-knit cabal that is actually in charge. What he’s fronting appears to be an enormous complex of competing committees. There have been many examples, but the two big ones in my mind are the Afghanistan withdrawal and the COVID wind-down.
….
COVID has been slower-motion but similar. What I call the “COVID is over” faction starting sending up trial balloons just before Delta hit. The “COVID forever” faction won that round. The “over” faction tried again in December(ish) of last year, just as Omicron was hitting. They were more successful and went harder at it. They have ultimately won the war, though the occasional battle is still being fought.

And Biden has been right there saying that both sides are right all the while. Sometimes COVID is over, sometimes COVID is never over. Sometimes Afghanistan was just bad luck and Trump’s fault. Other times, it all went according to plan and was the Afghan government’s fault. It likely depends on which faction is feeding him his talking points.

That sounds about right. You see such faction fights in all parties, and when the leadership is lost the fights are obvious and destabilising (see Labour 2008-2017 and National 2020-2022).

But being that New Zealand is such a pipsqueak of a nation such things only hurt us. When it’s a US Presidential Administration a lot of people around the world could get hurt badly.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 24, 2022 at 12:23 pm

The Crisis we ignore

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Rather depressing reading in a Kiwiblog post this morning on the increasing failure of young men in the New Zealand education system – The male education crisis get worse.

I was reminded of a post that I did a couple of years ago that’s related – The Patriarchy Must Be Smashed – where I looked at US statistics that covered not just men and education (similar to the results that DPF lists) but men in the workforce, where they constitute the vast majority of those who do the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs in our societies.

I also looked at what this meant for our society in terms of creating families and having kids so that our societies continue.

Woman have always had different goals in seeking a suitable mate and while that’s always been tough the increased education/wealth/income status of woman has begun to crash into those primeval goals and “dating down“. There’s also the advent of Tinder and the like, which enable men to have almost as much sex as they want without even the ties of a steady relationship, let alone partnership, marriage and kids.

Over on DPF’s post I see a number of commentators talking about the “emasculation” of males, but Tinder says no. It would be fairer to say that the current setup rewards a small group of men who make lots of money, have social cache, and have multiple, serial “relationships”. They’re certainly not emasculated.

Meanwhile an increasing majority of men lack the last two, even the plumbers and other tradies who have the first factor of money.

As a result – and this is seen more in Millennials and Gen Z – you’re not seeing family formation as much. The two sexes are looking past each other. Those men are not so much emasculated (Tinder) as unable to find a woman who’s willing to settle for them.

If you really want to see a crisis just watch this discussion and think ahead about ten years. Funnily enough there’s much mention of Social Media and its (non) standards.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 22, 2022 at 9:29 am

Democrats almost as incompetent as Labour

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A couple of years ago I offered to help my eldest son pay off the balance of his university loans instead of just chewing it down slowly via the IRD. He thanked me but said he was confident that the Labour government would wipe his loan sooner or later.

Looks like he might be right, assuming a desperate Ardern Labour government in 2023 decides to copy the Hail Mary pass the Biden Administration has just chucked for the upcoming Mid-term elections:

The Biden administration is canceling up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year, and it’s extending the pause on repayments by four months, the White House announced on Wednesday.

As the Powerline folks point out, this is terrible public policy:

It is cynical beyond belief. Take a hint from the extension of the repayment obligation through to the month following the November elections. It is also incredibly unfair to citizens who have foregone college or paid their debts. Making honest citizens feel like chumps should be beyond the bounds.

Young voters tend to drop off a lot in mid-term elections but this should motivate the ones with student loans. As none other than famous Liberal polling analyst, Nate Silver points out, there’s more cynicism here:

The legal boundaries it pushes also shows how much the Democrats care about laws; it’s based on the outrageous legal stunt of using a 2003 law passed in the wake of 9/11 – the HEROES Act – that allows for the Department of Education to waive or modify student aid programs to respond to national emergencies. But that was aimed at military reservists who might be pulled out of university to serve. In this case the national emergency is the one that was declared around General Tso’s Sickness and which the Administration will be in no hurry to remove. As Nancy Pelosi said on the subject a couple of years ago:

People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an Act of Congress

Still, Franklin Roosevelt invoked the World War I-era Trading With the Enemy Act as legal ground for his “bank holiday.” in 1933 and Obama said on twenty two occasions that he did not have the power to screw the immigration laws – and then went right ahead and did it anyway. His decision is still in place. Same here. Pelosi announced the other day that she’s changed her mind on this, because of course.

But it gets worse:

A new model just published by the prestigious — and non-partisan — Penn-Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania shows that rather than the $300 billion number being thrown around by Democrats as the cost of the student debt bailout plan, the true cost is at least $519 billion for debt cancellation alone. And there are other factors to consider, making the total cost of the plan at least $605 billion and perhaps as much as $1 trillion.

And then worse, courtesy of the US Department of Education:

The White House doesn’t know exactly how many eligible borrowers will actually end up applying for loan forgiveness — or how much it will cost.

The Education Department hasn’t yet released the website where people can apply for loan forgiveness by attesting that they meet the income requirement — and it’s still unclear when that will be released, a person familiar with the matter tells Axios.

“It’s an understaffed and overcommitted organization,” Charlie Eaton, a UC Merced associate professor of sociology and student loan expert, tells Axios.

Now that truly sounds like Labour here. Did anyone in the Biden Administration actually ask any questions as to how this was going to work in practice? How can you fire up a bureaucracy that fast for something that’s only going to end in a few months?

There are two cynical takes on this; either it’s merely step 2 for wiping all student loans (earlier steps were around postponing repayments); or it’s just an election ploy that will be forgotten soon after?

Still, I can’t help wondering if Biden’s advisors have totally failed to read the room when you read stuff like this, Student Loan Forgiveness Is Left-Wing Trickle-Down Economics.

I’m a blue-collar worker, and when I talk to other blue collar workers about student loan forgiveness, it’s one of those subjects where no one disagrees. It gets a resounding, 100 percent “Hell no!” every time it comes up.

This isn’t because we’re anti-college. Most of the folks I work with and talk to have kids in college or have kids that graduated college. But if you ask if college students’ loans should be paid off by taxpayers, the answer is always the same: No way.

Unlike progressives, we don’t see student debt cancelation as an avenue out of poverty. We see it as a tax on those of us who chose not to go to college, who now have to pay for those who already got a big advantage in the labor market by way of their degree.

Or watch this sarcastic advertisement that’s already running.

Biden will get the vote of every person with a degree in Gender Studies who can’t find a job that can pay off the stupid ripoff cost of the university that provided it. But that’s a lot less than the numbers of working class people.

Back to the implications of this for NZ. A few months ago fellow blogger Nick K assured me that the government would not wipe a multi-billion dollar asset (recall that loans are assets for the lender) and I replied that it was merely a line item in this government’s current $133 billion budget spend up. so why wouldn’t they do so in order to get the votes?

Written by Tom Hunter

August 29, 2022 at 6:00 am

IT’S ALL IN THE PRESENTATION

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From over at Kiwiblog the revelation that fewer than 50% of pupils are attending school on a regular basis. Worse for Maori at 33% and worse still for Pacifica at 30%.

No doubt we will shortly see a breathless announcement from the Beehive that Labour has made good on its promise to reduce class sizes.

It’s all in the presentation.

Written by The Veteran

July 26, 2022 at 2:49 pm

Woking the dead

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A couple of years ago in the wake of the breathless death of George “I stick this gun in your pregnant belly” Floyd, there was a frenzy of statue toppling across America as well as all the mostly peaceful riots.

The statues in question were almost all of Civil War Confederate generals, although the mindless mobs did destroy the statue of at least one Civil War Union hero and slavery abolitionist, and when the MSM mob went after Trump about this he responding by asking the entirely logical question as to when they’d start crashing statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the ground, since both men had been slave holders. Naturally this was scoffed at and dismissed by the Democrats, their activist hacks and the MSM as an obvious reductio ad absurdum argument.

Except that before the year was out the attacks were happening, at least politically and in the MSM (of course).

It’s steadily escalating and although the Woke Left is now in the process of eating itself alive, as I posted about in Something, something, Ouroboros, and as DPF recently covered, the problem is that the bastards also damage a lot of other stuff on their way to crashing and burning.

Witness what’s happened to the tours of the homes of James Madison

No American flags fly at Montpelier, Madison’s plantation home in rural Virginia, and not a single display focuses on the life and accomplishments of America’s foremost political philosopher, who created our three-branch federal system of government, wrote the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers, and served two terms as president.

… and Thomas Jefferson…:

Monticello

“The tour guides play ‘besmirchment derby,’ never missing a chance to defame this brilliant, complex man,” Stephen Owen of Enochville, NC, wrote on Facebook.

“People on my tour seemed sad and demoralized,” Jeffrey Tucker, founder of the libertarian Brownstone Institute, told The Post. His guide was “surly and dismissive” about Jefferson’s accomplishments.

I recall that DPF had an enjoyable visit to Monticello a few years back. Looks like he timed it right.

Despite owning no slaves Lincoln will be next – courtesy of none other than these people. Wilkes Booth would be proud of them.

This is far more insidious than smashing a statue; real Year Zero stuff where the Left smashes everything down with the objective of building some Utopia upon the bones and ashes.

What did some famous US President say about this recently? Oh yeah:

Everything Woke turns to shit!

Ideas from the American Heartland

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New Zealand’s economic productivity has been low for decades now, in both the pre and post-Rogernomics era.

Jokes like ACT’s Productivity Commission have predictably not helped, and neither will the insanity of other government ideas like their new energy policies, especially renewable energy, which, judging from the experience of other nations, are going to result in a more unstable and expensive power system that won’t meet demand. Given that our technological and industrial world relies on having plentiful amounts of relatively cheap energy this is yet another marker of serious problems ahead.

Even a difference of 1% per annum between us and other nations productivity growth will, over years and decades, add up to large gaps in GDP, translating into us being outspent by those other nations on all manner of things – like doctors and nurses. In fact it already has, hidden by the cheap products churned out by China’s economy in the last twenty years.

With younger people fleeing the country as soon as the C-19 border controls were lifted, and possibly hundreds of thousands soon to follow, plus the current problems with staffing our healthcare system, with much talk of immigration problems with Phillippine nurses, it should be obvious that those who focus on the future are thinking that New Zealand’s is not so bright. In another twenty years we may not be able to afford those foreign nurses, for the Developing world will be able to pay more.

I’ve already covered some of the basic economic things that could be done to kick-start the NZ economy after our lockdowns and general malaise, using the lessons from Germany in 1948 (A different economic starter motor)

But in the superb web site, City Journal, is a recent article that suggests ideas aimed at something other than theories about economics, taxes and spending. A Heartland Manufacturing Renaissance looks at recent growth in businesses and jobs in the American Mid West, which had the crap kicked out of it decades ago:

Out in the rolling country just east of Columbus, Ohio, a new—and potentially brighter—American future is emerging. New factories are springing up, and, amid a severe labor shortage, companies are recruiting in the inner city and among communities of new immigrants and high schoolers to keep their plants running.

Not long ago, Ohio was a classic Rust Belt state, with high unemployment, massive outmigration, and a prevailing sense that time had passed it by. Between 1990 and 2010, Ohio lost more than 420,000 factory jobs. Then things started to turn around, as the state gained back nearly 100,000 industrial positions over the next decade, until the pandemic interrupted that growth.

It’s not just Ohio either:

Almost all the states with the fastest industrial growth are outside the coasts, led by Texas, Michigan, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arizona, Ohio, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

In Ohio, new plants are popping up in numbers second only to Texas. To put this in context, Ohio is booking new capital projects on a per capita basis at a rate almost 14 times that of California, 

Notably this success does not include the old industrial centres like Detroit and Chicago. There are many factors involved here, starting with governments that don’t treat business and business people as greedy, grasping assholes that need to be regulated on every aspect of their existence.

The Buckeye State, notes Rick Platt, president and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, “never skipped a beat on funding development.” More than 60 such authorities in Ohio work to attract industry with capital financing, infrastructure investment, land preparation, and speculative building development. Such efforts often tend to be largely expensive money-wasters, but in Ohio they have proved more successful.

Many companies created as a result including the world’s first organic baby food company. I thought New Zealand was into organics, and baby food? Why weren’t we the first on this?

There are other factors involved of course and at least two of them should be applicable to New Zealand:

Many Ohio firms, like TDK and Ariel, use cutting-edge technologies like 3-D printers, robots, and computer-controlled machine tools that allow them to produce better and often cheaper products. John Wilczynski, executive director of America Makes, a manufacturing consortium funded by the U.S. Air Force and based in Youngstown, says that these “additive manufacturing” processes open new possibilities for companies to lower costs and craft parts that, in many cases, were previously available only in China or other countries. Wilczynski believes that “digitally distributed manufacturing” is key to helping U.S. firms compete more effectively.

But no matter how clever the technology there’s also the people needed and how they’re educated and then trained.

“We really need practical skills more than anything for our business,” notes Andrew Lower of TDK Manufacturing, which makes components for Tesla as well as for semiconductor and medical-equipment firms. 

As in the USA there has been far too much emphasis in NZ on university education, with frequent reference made to the lifetime income of university graduates being much higher than those who merely finish high school. Those references too often looked at the past, ignoring the rapidly increasing cost of university, leaving young people mired in debt for years:

The up-front investment of college is extraordinarily high—tuition has increased 213 percent in the last 30 years—and returns for many students are not guaranteed.

There’s also the reduction in standards caused by universities aiming for government funded bums-on-seats, with the degradation showing most clearly in qualifications so esoteric that they could only end in low-paid work, with Welfare For Families as a never-ending, dead-end supplement to try and keep the whole creaking structure working.

The conventional wisdom among pundits and politicians is that the big labor shortages are concentrated in fields employing well-educated professionals. President Biden has talked about having factory workers and oil riggers “learn to code.” But companies are crying out most for skilled, dependable workers who can act as drivers, machine-tool operators, and welders. 

Due largely to an aging workforce, as many as 600,000 new manufacturing jobs this decade will go unfilled. The shortage of welders alone could grow to 400,000 by 2024. By May 2021, amid a mild economic recovery, an estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs had no takers. Overall, manufacturing jobs pay over 20 percent more than typical service or retail jobs.

And that’s before we consider the demographic problems that we’re about to hit, as others are also being hit:

One of the main obstacles to reindustrialization is a massive labor shortage. U.S. population growth between ages 16 and 64 has dropped from 20 percent in the 1980s to less than 5 percent in the past decade. The shortage is afflicting most industrial economies worldwide. China, with a population expected to shrink by half in less than a half-century, is already seeing a decline in its under-60 population. A lack of new workers is slowing Germany’s formidable manufacturing sector.

Fewer workers means increasing wages as competition for skilled people rises. Young people need no economics knowledge to see this, only the employment advertisements in Australia and further afield, and often enough it’s for jobs that have seemingly little connection to what they studied here in school.

We need a better emphasis on training for skills and the next National-ACT government could do worse than to take a look at things like this:

The Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education boasts a 98 percent graduation rate, and the vast majority of its graduates find jobs or advance to higher education. Local efforts are important, too. C-TEC (Career and Technology Education Centers) of Licking County collaborates with local companies, high schools, and colleges to train skilled workers. Students who often struggled in high school study subjects such as medical technology and welding and learn to operate complex machinery, including 3-D printers and robotic arms.

We all knew kids like this in high school. They weren’t dumb, they just weren’t interested in academic crap. The same kids now are buried in even more of it, and right through to Year 13 (the old Form 7) which was once the world only of those likely to go on to university but which now consists of almost the entire wing that started high school in Year 9. There’s also this:

Skills-education programs like these do more for working-class families, minorities, and immigrants than any array of “diversity” initiatives. 

Terrence Hayes, who runs Ariel’s 125-person operation in Licking County, suggests that the biggest struggles tend to be not at the top—after all, foreign engineers are plentiful—but closer to the factory floor. “There’s been a period of at least twenty years where we have moved away from practical skills,” he notes. “We would have been better off if there were machine shops in schools like when I was a kid.”

Education has been treated as a backwater by successive governments, with tweaking on qualifications like NCEA and never ending fights about funding being the main topics – yet with increasing truancy rates as high as 40% and significant percentages of people leaving school with little or no qualifications, plus the free market of seemingly endless numbers of “Higher Education” places producing empty qualifications.

It can’t go on as it is and it needs the same focus and energy applied as does Healthcare – and the lessons from places like Ohio. Read the whole thing.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 16, 2022 at 1:04 pm

The Future’s so Bright we have to wear WEF

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By definition conspiracies are efforts to subvert the status quo behind the scenes and which are put together by small bands of people operating in secret. Lenin’s Communist coup in 1917 is a classic example: it was quickly labeled by them as a “Peoples Revolution” because of course the Communists had to convince others that Marx’s theory worked, even though Lenin’s Vanguard Theory was about as far removed from the Toiling Masses rising up as could be imagined.

No, when revolutionaries are talking about in the open air and putting it right in your face it can’t be called a conspiracy any longer, nor can talk about it be called a conspiracy theory.

Take five minutes out of your day to watch the following from the World Economic Forum (WEF) as they make predictions for a future that less than a decade away. It’s important to note that they won’t be living like this.

These are awful human beings and I hope that the next round of politicians will avoid visiting them in future during their annual Bacchanalian debauchery in their Dachas at Davos.

The following article, Davos Death Cults and a Bad Moon Rising, keys off this and while you may sat that it’s stretching things too far, it is merely collecting news stories of actual events from around the world, so it’s not a stretch to extrapolate from the solid base of what these WEF people are saying themselves.

A future (for you) of Energy poverty, Food poverty, Crap education and dependence on the government for almost everything in your life, a place where all we little drones are “nudged” into the approved slots where we live out our lives.

Dutch farmers are fighting for the right to grow food in a Build Back Better world dedicated to mass starvation.  The great and honorable Shinzo Abe of Japan lies slain, while the communists in China and throughout the West celebrate his assassin.  George Soros and Joe Biden have declared war against conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court for daring to weaken the Leviathan’s unilateral authority to dictate how individual Americans must live.  Justin Trudeau is banning firearms in Canada before his subjects gain the courage to depose his regime.  The U.S. government has ceded control of the Southern border to narco-terrorists and sex-slavers.  And, in a disheartening example of how debauched crime and youth culture have become, seven Philadelphia teens recently recorded themselves beating a seventy-two-year-old man to death with traffic cones.

While Biden kills domestic energy production and exacerbates Americans’ pain at the pump, he’s shipping America’s strategic reserve of petroleum to our geopolitical enemies in China.  At the same time that Germany is gearing up to restrict home heating and ration hot water, one left-wing minister is pushing to confiscate guns owned by members of opposing political parties.  Manufacturing plants and food distribution centers are suspiciously burning down all over the world.  And the island nation of Sri Lanka — whose massive public spending and Green New Deal energy policies have predictably produced untenable debt, fuel, and food shortages, and runaway inflation — is now on the verge of collapse.  Oh, there’s definitely a bad moon rising these days.

Two people worth listening to.

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First up is long-time analyst of our social welfare system and one-time ACT candidate, Lindsay Mitchell with The Flaw in The PM’s Plan. That link goes to her website but it’s notable that National Party man DPF has the same article as a guest post:

Between March 2018 and March 2022 the number of children in benefit-dependent households grew by 22 percent or almost 37,000. To picture this increase, imagine about one hundred good-sized schools.

I spent a number of years as a volunteer working with dependent families and came to know the tragic circumstances of a typical child on a benefit. But my sample is small so let me construct a profile based on New Zealand statistics.

What follows is the typical profile of a five year old child on welfare in NZ. It’s grim. She follows up with specific examples that she has dealt with personally. It’s grimmer.

Who asks the hard questions about where all the extra money goes? Who asks why New Zealand has apparently record low unemployment but over 200,000 children relying on a parent on a benefit? Who asks about appalling and worsening school absenteeism? Who asks why New Zealand ranked last in child mental well-being in the most recent UNICEF report card? Who asks why only one in five Maori babies has married parents?

Who cares so long as the PM can pat herself on the back and claim to have achieved what she came to parliament for.

Then there’s Education which seems to be in almost as bad a condition as Social Welfare. Again, this is a guest post on Kiwiblog by long-time educator Alwyn Poole, Our Education System is New Zealand’s “Big Short”. I should note here that I’ve known Alwyn for over a decade, ever since we sent our eldest to his old Mt Hobson school, a decision we’ve never regretted. He is a passionate and smart teacher who has dealt with tough-to-teach kids from low-decile backgrounds. In fact he specialises in them.

Adults have little comparative concern about the NZ education system. Only 6% had high concern about education.

By strange co-incidence 6 (out of 2,600) is exactly the number of schools who bothered to submit to the Education and Workforce Select Committee into school attendance.

We have little medium-term thinking, let alone long-term thinking. Politicians think within their cycle, kids don’t vote, many families know that their children are doing okay, many others are disengaged and/or worried about food on the table and petrol in the car today. Adults worry about themselves and there is no NZ Education Vision or visionaries for adults to support. Hipkins has been the very worst and most inactive Education Minister in living memory – but he has been allowed to be and is rarely challenged by the opposition.

It’s quite incredible that voters pay so little attention to education as a political matter, considering first of all the massive weight of the Public Education sector, and secondly the degree of attention that many parents, at least those who are Middle Class and up, pay to their kids education. Whatever the reason it has allowed the teaching establishment and governments to get away with poor performance, the stats of which he lists and which are as depressing as Mitchell’s SW stuff. Here’s just a few:

  • In the “Southern Initiative” area 32.3% of Maori leavers have less than Level 1 NCEA – i.e. no qualifications at all.
  • Only 14.4% of Auckland young people are attaining degrees.
  • The current Auckland NEET rate is the highest since 2010. In the year to December 2021 more than 10,000 Auckland 15-24yos were Not in Employment, Education or Training.

Not even mentioned is the 40% truancy rate. I know that Alwyn has well thought-out ideas on how to deal with all of these problems and I hope to see them outlined in future guest posts.

Judging from Kiwiblog putting up these two guest articles by “outsiders” I can’t help wondering if DPF is trying to push some of this thinking and analysis into National’s policies in these areas, but I don’t know how much influence he has aside from his polling input.

From the POV of ideas there is at least one thing we can be grateful to the Labour Government for, which is that they’ve have proved that vast increases in spending after “nine long years of neglect” is not the panacea they thought it was and more importantly for that argument, has not even improved the outcomes (same for Health). If anything they’re quite obviously going backwards, which even I would not have believed possible.

I’m sure it scares the living shit out of the Left but with these institutions we are rapidly approaching a Rogernomics-type situation simply because the existing systems are failing so badly, just as the industrial ones were under Muldoon in the late 70’s/early 80’s. My natural Conservatism leads me to not like or trust revolutions – and that includes Rogernomics, which would not have been necessary had we begun making steady, substantive changes a decade earlier. I prefer changes that are less destructive even if they are fundamental, but if the status quo continues defending the indefensible then a revolution in Health, Education and Social Welfare is what we’re going to get.

See also this interview with an incredible headmistress from Britain:

Written by Tom Hunter

July 10, 2022 at 6:53 pm

THE CLUB

with 6 comments

Between 1948 and 1991 over 5000 New Zealand youths, at an average of 120 per year, entered the Army’s elite Regular Force Cadet School or the ‘Club’ as it was colloquially known. Less than 3% of those who applied to join made the grade.  The Army accepted them as young as 15 into its ranks offering continued education, trade training (chefs) and apprenticeships (carpentry & joinery, motor mechanics) along with special to corps courses for those destined to graduate into the ‘teeth’ arms (artillery, armour, signals, engineers and infantry). Most would go on at age 18 to become the backbone of the New Zealand Army serving with distinction in Korea, Borneo, Malaya, Vietnam, Bosnia, Afghanistan, East Timor, Iraq and other regions of conflict as Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). A few (about 6%) would earn commissions as officers.

Initially located at Trentham the RFCS was relocated to Waiouru in 1950. I was ‘incarcerated’ there for nigh on three years joining on my 15th birthday. It was a demanding environment and while most coped a small number did not … it was no place for the non-conformist. Cadets were paid … from memory about 17/6 per day (relatively good money in 1961) plus ‘all found’ plus free travel to/from their home location during holiday breaks. In my third year as the senior cadet I was paid an additional 3/6 per day … such largesse. As I said, it was a demanding environment … rules, some petty, rigorously enforced. Seven days confined to barracks and chasing the bugle plus a five pound fine (work that out on 17/6 per day) was not uncommon and to be avoided. Was there bullying? …. silly to deny … but probably no more than experienced in any boarding school of that era. Most of us thrived simply because we wanted to be there. For me and with RFCS behind me, officer training in Australia was a breeze.

If there was one fault it probably was the lack of female company … not many teenage girls in Waiouru. I was perhaps fortunate … the education wing was only structured to teach up to school certificate level. In my first year the six of us who had school certificate were packed off to Ruapehu College at Ohakune to do UE … called by our peers ‘the cut lunch commandos’ (because of the bagged lunch we picked up at breakfast each day from the mess hall. We were somewhat of a novelty at ‘Rock’ College … wore a smart walking-out dress (civilians), had money, the teachers were loath to discipline us … we had a ball.

Today ex Cadets can be found in leadership roles in all aspects of business, social services, government and politics following their successful careers in the Army and other arms of the services, both at home and abroad. A selection of the notable graduates include …

Bret Bestic, Weir Class 1958, Brigadier, latterly consultant to the United Nations World Food Program

Brian Duncan, OBE, QPM, Young Class 1954, Assistant Commissioner of Police

Hon Ron Mark, Upham Class 1971, Minister of Defence 2017-2020

Don McIvor, CMG, OBE, Williams Class 1952, Lieutenant General, latterly Director NZSIS

Patrick Nolan, Gentry Class 1962, first ever ‘colonial’ appointed as Yeoman Warder to the Tower of London

Rusty Taylor, MBE, BEM, Miles Class 1948, first ever Sergeant Major of the Army

Heemi Taumaunu, Webb Class 1984, Chief District Court Judge

Matt Te Pou, MNZM, MBE, BEM, Crump Class 1957, Maori All Blacks Coach 1995-2005

Coinciding with the end of the cold war the School closed its doors in 1991.

Could it be revived? It cost a lot to run and it would probably be resisted by NZDF who would see it as a drain on resources. I see it differently … as an investment in the nations future. It could/should be tri-service. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Written by The Veteran

July 2, 2022 at 4:47 pm

Posted in Education