Saturday, March 24, 2018

Mole News

Māori voters get to choose between Māori and general rolls
The Electoral Commission is stressing Māori can vote for whatever party they want regardless of whether they shift between the general and Māori rolls.

From 3 April to 2 August, Māori voters will have the chance to choose which roll they're on for the next two national elections.

Matt Ridley: Good news is gradual, bad news sudden

‘Deadly new epidemic called Disease X could kill millions, scientists warn,” read one headline at the weekend. “WHO issues global alert for potential pandemic,” read another. Apparently frustrated by the way real infectious diseases keep failing to wipe us out, it seems that the nannies at the World Health Organisation have decided to invent a fictitious one.

Disease X is going to be a virus that jumps unexpectedly from an animal species, as happens from time to time, or perhaps a man-made pathogen from a dictator’s biological warfare laboratory. To be alert for such things is sensible, especially after what has happened in Salisbury, but to imply that the risk is high is irresponsible.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Stephen Franks: Barack Obama is not too busy with golf and Sir John Key to write to me

Today Obama emailed me personally despite his busy schedule in Auckland. He asked me to get active for the Democrats. Im sharing his message with you, at the end of this post.

Former NZ PMs often regard it as bad form to stay active in partisan politics after retirement. There is a feeling they should give their successors a reasonable shot at maturing into office and effective leadership without a predecessors sniping.

That was also a convention in the US.

GWPF Newsletter: BBC Forced To Retract False Claim About Hurricanes

John Stossel: The Paris Climate Fraud

In this newsletter:

1) BBC Forced To Retract False Claim About Hurricanes
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 22 March 2018 
2) Big Oil Lawyer Emphasizes Climate Change ‘Uncertainties’ In Wonky Court Tutorial
McClatchy, 21 March 2018 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

GWPF Newsletter - Green Madness: Europe’s Growing Dependence On Russian Gas

Turn Off The Russian Gas Tap And Get Fracking

In this newsletter:

1) Europe’s Growing Dependence On Russia May Leave Britain Left Out In The Cold
City A.M., 20 March 2018

2) Blackout Threat To Britain From Russian Cyber-Attack
The Sunday Times, 19 March 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Frank Newman: The Future of prosperity

I recently outlined some of the proposals included in the Future of Tax, a background discussion paper to encourage submissions about how tax should be collected in the future.
I made the point that the review is not comprehensive, nor is it impartial. 

The discussion excludes areas that the government considers politically unacceptable, like a capital gains on the family home. It promotes possible tax breaks for those involved in the Maori economy. It plans to use the tax system to address environmental issues like global warming and biodiversity. And it sees the tax system as the way to address house affordability issues.

Richard Epstein: Pension Abuse In California

One of the main themes in the blockbuster case of Janus v. AFSCME—currently before the United States Supreme Court—is the risk of having unions sit on both sides of the table in public-sector contract negotiations. 

Nowhere is that risk more pronounced than in California, where the perverse and pervasive effects of union political influence are on display in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, now before the California Supreme Court. Between 2009 and 2013, California law allowed state and local employees with over five years of service to purchase with their own funds up to five years of “fictional years of retirement service credits”—commonly called “airtime”—that they could then add to their years of actual service in order to increase the value of their pensions at retirement.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

NZCPR Weekly: A Tax Sham

Dear NZCPR Reader,

This week we question the integrity of the Government’s new tax review, our NZCPR Guest Commentator, Frank Newman outlines his concerns about the political nature of the review and shares his analysis of the issues, and our poll asks whether you support Labour’s plan to introduce a capital gains tax.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Monday, March 19, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: The Worsening Cosmic Ray Situation

Implications For Climate Change

In this newsletter:

1) The Worsening Cosmic Ray Situation
Tony Phillips,, 5 March 2018
2) Henrik & Jacob Svensmark: The Connection Between Cosmic Rays, Clouds And Climate
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 13 March 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Russia Hints At Squeeze On Europe’s Gas Supplies

US Shale Cargo Turns Towards UK As Spat With Russia

In this newsletter:

1) Russian Sabre-Rattling: Putin Hints At Squeeze On Europe’s Gas Supplies
The Australian, 16 March 2018
2) ‘Britain At The Mercy Of Russian Gas Giants’ As Reserves In Europe Reach Record Lows
Daily Mail, 15 March 2018

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Michael Coote: On the Money - Phony War Looms in Parliament

The National Party has gone through revolution since the abrupt resignation of its former leader, ex-prime minister Bill English.  This greyest of grey men was not likely to have relished time as the humiliatingly outflanked opposition leader facing acting prime minister Winston Peters for six weeks whilst prime minister Jacinda Ardern took maternity leave from her job.

Political commentator Barry Soper recalls that Mr English seconded the motion to expel Mr Peters from National in the early 1990s.  The reversal of fortunes looming must have been relished by Mr Peters and dreaded by Mr English.  Far better for the latter to drop out of Parliament, grab hold of one of former National prime minister John Key's reinstated mates rates knighthoods, and, transmogrified as Sir William, sally forth boldly in search of fat corporate sinecures to cash out any residual value of his extinct political career.  That path was already well worn by Sir John in service of his own personal chivalric cause.

Bill Wirtz: Banning Plastic Bags Isn't Just Bad Economics - It's Bad for the Environment

In January, the British government announced its intention to extend their plastic bag tax to all shops.  As of now, only establishments which have more than 250 employees need to impose the charge on single-use plastic bags. In the United States, certain states or cities even go beyond a tax and put an outright ban on them. But the UK government's own research suggests that this is actually bad for the environment.

In 2011, the UK's Environment Agency published an earlier-drafted life cycle assessment of supermarket carrier bags. The aim: establishing both the environmental impact of different carrier bags which are in use and their reuse practice. The intention was to inform public policymakers about the impact that a crackdown on plastic bags could possibly have.  Needless to say, politicians had little concern for the actual assessment the report presented.

GWPF Newsletter: Russia Gains Gas Foothold In Britain As Relations Deteriorate

Trump Ousts Tillerson: What’s Next For The Paris Climate Treaty?

In this newsletter:

1) Russia Gains Gas Foothold In Britain As Relations Deteriorate
Financial Times, 14 March 2018  
2) Trump Ousts Tillerson: What’s Next For The Paris Climate Treaty?
Marlo Lewis Jr, Competitive Enterprise Institute, 13 March 2018 

Matt Ridley: Britain's housing crisis is caused by the wrong kind of regulation

Sajid Javid, the Housing (etc) secretary, is right – and brave -- to go on the warpath about Britain’s housing crisis in his new national planning framework, to be launched today. Britain’s housing costs are absurdly high by international standards: eight times average earnings in England, 15 in London. A mortgage deposit that took a few years to earn in the early 1990s can now take somebody decades to earn. Average rents in the UK are almost 50% higher than average rents in Germany, France and crowded Holland.

Britain really is an outlier in this respect. Knightsbridge has overtaken Monaco in rental levels. Wealthy, crowded Switzerland has falling house prices and lower rents than Britain. Over recent decades, most things people buy have become more affordable – food, clothing, communication – and the cost of building a house has come down too. Yet the price you pay for it in Britain, either as a buyer or a tenant, has gone up and up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Karl du Fresne: The snarling and hissing of the illiberal Left

It’s hard to imagine now, but censorship was a cause celebre in the 1960s and 70s.
The banning or restriction of movies, books and even records was never far from the headlines. Post-war liberalism was colliding head-on with traditional morality and the official censors were struggling to draw new boundaries between what was acceptable and what wasn’t.
The film censor featured in the New Zealand media so often in those days that he (it was always a “he”) became virtually a household name. Between 1957 and 1973, cuts were made to 37 per cent of films because of sex, violence or bad language.

GWPF Newsletter: The New Lukewarmers

Scientific American Turns Down The Heat Over Global Warming

In this newsletter:

1) The New Lukewarmers: Scientific American Turns Down The Heat Over Global Warming
John Horgan, Scientific American, 8 March 2018
2) New Study: Cooling Clouds Caused Global Warming Hiatus
Jun Yin and Amilcare Porporato, Princeton University 

NZCPR Weekly: Will President Trump Bring Down Power Prices in New Zealand?

Dear NZCPR Reader,   

This week we examine New Zealand’s electricity sector and look into the potential repercussions of President Trump’s tariffs on aluminium production, our NZCPR Guest Commentator, Bryan Leyland outlines concerns over the future of our electricity system, and our poll asks whether you believe it’s realistic for the Government to aim for 100 percent dependence on renewable energy generation in New Zealand.

*To read the newsletter click HERE.
*To register for the NZCPR Weekly mailing list, click HERE.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Frank Newman: The science fiction of pre-fab' homes

GWPF Newsletter: Saudi Arabia Set To Join Shale Revolution

UK Eyes ‘Fracking Friendly’ Policy Changes

In this newsletter:

1) Saudi Arabia Set To Join Shale Revolution
Bloomberg, 7 March 2018 

2) UK Eyes ‘Fracking Friendly’ Policy Changes
Upstream Online, 7 March 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Alexandra Burnett: Teacher Education Must Rise Above Political Correctness

Increasingly, Canadian universities seem to be more concerned about political correctness than educating students. prominent illustration of this is University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson’s public battle with university administrators, professors and some students over his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns when referring to students with varying sexual orientations.

A less well known but arguably much more serious example is the increasing tendency for Canadian faculties of education to use admissions criteria that are unrelated to the characteristics and skills needed by effective classroom teachers. At the University of Windsor, for example, special consideration is being given to candidates who reflect “the ethno-cultural and social diversity of Ontario’s schools”. And, last September, the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba went even further by aiming to admit 45 per cent of incoming teacher candidates on the basis of their self-identification as members of marginalised groups, such as indigenous, disabled, LGBTQ, minority ethnic or socially disadvantaged.