Trumped by Democrats

Donald Trump for President? Perhaps in America it could happen but it looks more like he will disrupt the Republican chances.

Trump is the leading Republican contender in polls but also the most opposed. And he lags behind all the leading Democrats in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

Favourability ratings (all voters):

  • Donald Trump 27 – 59
  • Hillary Clinton 40 – 51
  • Jeb Bush 43 – 42
  • Scott Walker 36 – 27
  • Joe Biden 49 – 37
  • Bernie Sanders 32 – 25

Republican voters for:

  • Donald Trump 20%
  • Scott Walker 13%
  • Jeb Bush 10%

Republican voters “would definitely not support”:

  • Donald Trump 30%
  • Chris Cristie 15%
  • Jeb Bush 14%

Jeb, the third Bush to try for the presidency, looks to be battling too.

Hillary Clinton also tops both the for and against but on quite different levels to Trump:

Democrat voters for:

  • Hillary Clinton 55%
  • Bernie Sanders 17%
  • Joe Biden 13%

Democrat voters “would definitely not support”:

  • Hillary Clinton 9%
  • Martin O’Malley 8%
  • Lincoln Chafee 8%

Match-ups (all voters) are interesting:

  • Clinton versus Trump 48% – 36%
  • Clinton versus Bush 41% – 42%
  • Clinton versus Walker 44% – 43%

I’m surprised Joe Biden is a serious contender but:

  • Biden versus Trump 49% – 37%
  • Biden versus Bush 43% – 42%
  • Biden versus Walker 43% – 43%

It’s only fifteen months and about 15 billion polls and dollars until the US election.

Once in a Blue Moon

Today we have a blue moon – the second full moon in July 2015.

Image result for blue moon

An average lunar cycle is 29.53 day so two full moons can sometimes fit into one calendar month, but it depends on what time zone you are in as this list from Wikipedia shows:

  • 2009: December 2, December 31 only in time zones west of UTC+05.
  • 2010: January 1 (partial lunar eclipse), January 30, only in time zones east of UTC+04:30.
  • 2010: March 1, March 30, only in time zones east of UTC+07.
  • 2012: August 2, August 31, only in time zones west of UTC+10.
  • 2012: September 1, September 30, only in time zones east of UTC+10:30.
  • 2015: July 2, July 31.
  • 2018: January 2, January 31, only in time zones west of UTC+11.
  • 2018: March 2, March 31, only in time zones west of UTC+12.
  • 2020: October 1, October 31 only in time zones west of UTC+10.

Sometimes (rarely) the blue can actually look blue-ish.

The effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere, as has happened after forest fires in Sweden and Canada in 1950 and 1951, and after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which caused the moon to appear blue for nearly two years.

Other less potent volcanoes have also turned the moon blue. People saw blue moons in 1983 after the eruption of the El Chichón volcano in Mexico, and there are reports of blue moons caused by Mount St. Helens in 1980 and Mount Pinatubo in 1991

Ella Fitzgerald does a nice Blue Moon (Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, 1934),

You have enemies? Social media psycopaths?

It’s difficult not to acquire enemies in social media, particularly in politics, no matter what you do. Some people engaging in political debate seem to want to find, label and forever condemn people they think are enemies.Embedded image permalink

That was before the internet. You don’t even have to stand up for something to be labeled an enemy now. I’ve been enemised for allegedly being bland, beige, for being a non-committal fence sitter.

All you have to do is to be present and not agree with someone, particularly someone with extreme views, to be labelled an enemy in today’s online political world.

If you stand up for something the stakes go up and the risks of acquiring enemies goes up.

And if you stand up against crappy behaviour the chances of bad reactions from bullies is high. They think they can get away with unfettered bad behaviour, and escalating their behaviour is a common progression.

Social Media Psycopaths

Is Social Media Making Us More Like Psychopaths?

The rise in social media is having a disturbing effect on our behaviours. Are we becoming more self-obsessed and displaying psychopathic tendencies? We’ve taken a look at four psychopathic traits of a social media user. You be the judge.

4 Psychopathic Traits of a Social Media User

  1. Untruthfulness and Insincerity:
    • A survey of 2,000 women found that nearly 30% had lied about doing something when home alone.
    • 25% of Facebook users said they falsified some of their account information.
    • 20% were not truthful about their holiday activities or their jobs.
  1. Disconnection: Could We Be More Antisocial?
    • 24% of people missed important moments in real life because they were too busy trying to share them on social channels.
    • In a survey, 51% of respondents said they check social network sites at dinner.
    • Almost two in five people spend more time socialising online than they do face-to-face.
  1. Pathological Egocentricity: We’ve Become Self-Obsessed
    • 46% of participants in a Trakur survey had Googled their own name within 24 hours of taking it. Only 6% never have.
    • 37% of LinkedIn users change their profile picture regularly.
    • Individuals usually spend 30 to 40% of their conversations “informing others of their own subjective experiences.” On social media, this is closer to 80%.
  1. Poor Behaviour Controls: We’re Exhibiting Worrying Behavior
    • Cyber bullying has spread widely with 42% of young people reporting they have been victims.
    • A study found that 28% of children aged 11 to 16 have experienced bullying on the Internet or via a mobile phone.
    • 25% of people admitted to difficulties in relationships because of “confrontational online behaviour.”

What’s Your Verdict?

51% of people say social media has not changed their life for the better. You decide.

Source: Is Social Media Turning Us Into Psychopaths?

The Dirge

I agree with Andrew Little about our second National Anthem, except that it’s worse than a dirge, it’s a dirge with embarrassing lyrics.

The Maori version sounds better, if we must keep The Dirge we should stop after the first (Maori) verse.

It’s good to see Andrew Little stand up for something better. Will he pledge to engage the people of New Zealand in choosing a new anthem if he becomes Prime Minister? If he was seriously anti The Dirge then he would.

And another view or two:

Winston Peters: “I’ve never heard anyone singing our anthem when they’re happy.”

Hmm. NZF opens conferences with national anthem every year.

Funny.

Craigs’ media statement

The Craigs’ media statement on the release of their booklet about the Dirty Politics Brigade and an announcement that Colin Craig would take defamation action for a total of $1,550,000 against Jordan Williams, John Stringer and Cameron Slater.

Colin and Helen Craig Media Statement re: Dirty Politics Brigade
29 July 2015

Colin:
Thank you for coming. My wife (Helen) and I will be making statements after which I will be taking questions from the media.

It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party. I did so because it had become clear to me that there was a strategy (involving some characters identified in the “Dirty Politics” book) to remove me as leader of the party.

Standing down enabled me to better understand the strategy being run against me and gave me time to plan and respond. We have made good use of that time.
There is in this country a group of people who believe that they can manipulate political outcomes. They have been labelled the Dirty Politics Brigade and last year in his best selling book “Dirty Politics” author Nicky Hagar shed some light on who these people are and how they operate.

Today is a good day because this is the day we start to fight back against the Dirty Politics Brigade who have been running a defamatory strategy against me.
The first of the 2 major announcements today is the publication of a booklet that outlines the dirty politics agenda and what they have been up to in recent weeks. There is a copy here for each of you to take away after the statements today.
Although I was broadly aware of the dirty politics agenda, I have after all read Nicky Hagar’s book, I had not expected to have such close and personal attention from them.

In our booklet we reveal that there has been a campaign of defamatory lies to undermine my public standing, a campaign that in the Dirty Politics Brigades own words they describe as a “strategy that is being worked out”. I shall briefly cover some of their lies so you have a taste of what the booklet contains.

The first false claim is that I have sexually harassed one or more persons. Let me be very clear I have never sexually harassed anybody and claims I have done so are false.
The second false claim being bandied about by the Dirty Politics Brigade is that I have made a pay-out (or pay-outs) to silence supposed “victims”. Again this is nonsense. Take for example the allegations around my former press secretary. Let me be very clear, the only payment I have made to Miss Macgregor since her resignation is an amount of $16,000 which was part payment of her final invoice. It was a part payment because I disputed her account which I had every right to do. Claims of any other amounts being paid and especially the suggestions of large sums of hush money being paid are utterly wrong and seriously defamatory.

Again in a similar vein is the false allegation that I have sent sexually explicit text messages or “SEXT’s” as they are known. Once more this is not true. I have never sent a sexually explicit text message in my life.

The fourth false claim that we highlight in the booklet and that was being spread about by the Dirty Politics crowd was that of another alleged “victim” of sexual harassment.

It is here that that many of you, the media, started to get suspicious and to “smell a rat”. A number of you in private conversation with me expressed concerns about a smear campaign and doubts that the story as it was unfolding in the media was true. While I am grateful that many of you chose not to run the “other woman” story I do wish that the same good judgement had been exercised earlier with other false allegations.

[I trust that you will be co-operative in retracting and correcting false reports that you may have posted/reported.]

The second announcement today is that we will be taking legal action for defamation against the Dirty Politics Brigade. It does not serve this country well to have a group of people who influence public opinion through a web of deceit and media manipulation.

We identify in the booklet 3 key people in the campaign against me. Each of these will be held to account for the lies they have told. Formal claims are being prepared and I expect these persons will have formal letters from my legal team within the next 48 hours. Due to the serious, deliberate and repetitive nature of the defamatory statements I will, for the first time, be seeking damages in a defamation claim.

The first defamation action is against Mr Jordan Williams. I will be seeking damages from him of $300,000.

The second defamation action is against Mr John Stringer. I will be seeking damages from him of $600,000

The third defamation action is against Mr Cameron Slater. I will be seeking damages from him of $650,000

Today the line is drawn. Either the dirty politics brigade is telling the truth or I am. The New Zealand public need certainty about the truth of these claims. This is about who is honest. Is Colin Craig telling the truth or is it the Dirty Politics Brigade. Let the courts judge this matter so we know whom to trust.

Helen:
This is about who you can trust ….. and you can trust my husband, he is a good and trustworthy man. In the nearly 28 years I have known him, Colin has proven himself to be a man of integrity and honesty, one who owns his faults and doesn’t dodge responsibility. And that is why I again choose to stand with him today and why he has, and will continue to have, my full and unwavering support.

For those of you who will wrongly assume, once again, that I have been dragged into making a media statement by Colin you are, once again, wrong. I am here today because there are important things which I want to say for myself.

Indeed, I have to say, I find it very surprising that some commentators have criticised my choice to speak out. We have good women in this country and a good woman knows how to stand with her man when he is under attack.

The last 6 weeks have been a very difficult and surreal experience for us. It has not been fun to be victimise by those responsible for a series of false allegations.

I have been astounded with each new allegation and wondered what absurd thing they could come up with next. I did not expect politics to be easy but I did hope it would centre around fair debate of the issues. Such a determined campaign of defamation was not something I ever expected and I do wonder how the Dirty Politics Brigade can sleep at night.

On a more positive note, however, there have been our many dear supporters. I did want to again say thank you for the wonderful love and care we have been shown as a family. To family, friends and the many hundreds of supporters whom have taken the time to contact us I want you to know it has made a difference and encouraged us more than words can easily say. We so appreciate you and can’t thank you enough.

That is all I have to say today and I won’t be answering questions. Thank you.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1062974263713507&id=146745782003031

3 News video of the media conference, report and a copy of the booklet: Colin Craig takes ‘Dirty Politics Brigade’ to court

Note that Craig begins with “It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party.”

But as posted here, Craig still acting as Conservative leader

Labour’s internal polling

A lot is being said online about a claimed internal Labour poll. Anthony Robins at The Standard has posted Internal polling apparently good.

The word is that Labour’s internal (UMR) polling has them up 6 to 35 with National down 6 to 41. I’d be inclined to dismiss that if it wasn’t similar (same 6% move) to the most recent Roy Morgan just 10 days ago.

But he also posted:

So we at TS don’t usually write on the occasional rumours that we hear. (No – we don’t have any writers who are Labour staffers so we have to rely on rumours like everyone else.)

That’s a bit of a stretch, particular after Te Reo Putake admitted recently of being in high level Labour meetings with Andrew Little. Te Reo Putake is very active commenting on the post.

Is the poll right? It’s possible it was at one point in time. It could also be a cynical attempt to try and manipulate public opinion.

But without knowing the polling period, the size of the poll, the questions asked and the order of the questions then ‘rumour of internal poll’ is meaningless.

That’s if the poll actually existed.

New Zealand “third highest” material standard of living

“Most Kiwi families have a high standard of material wellbeing relative to our international peers.”

There are frequent claims that New Zealand is becoming a basket case and that the standard of living is terrible for most of us. For example Union leader Robert Reid on Q & A on Sunday:

“New Zealand is not doing well.”

“When are working people going to catch up?”

“There’s not those opportunities and yes you can always find one individual who’s gone from the child of a widow in a state house and perhaps become a banker but it’s not about one individual, it’s about where most people are”.

“Working people don’t even have enough money every week to be able to buy their food and their rent.”

“This is the problem in this country, we’ve actually got the elite represented by the Government and Michele (Boag) with where most working people are.”

I know that it’s financially tough for a significant number of people, but I also see examples of working families who are managing ok. Consumerism seems to be surviving successfully.

And a study claims things are not all bad, reported by Stuff in New Zealand has world’s third-highest material standard of living – report

Researchers at public policy research institute Motu used data from 800,000 households across 40 countries to create the new measure for wellbeing, which took into account homes that included a 15-year-old.

The measure is based on ownership of possessions such as books, internet connections, whiteware and cars, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a house.

MOTU Wellbeing IndexMotu senior fellow Dr Arthur Grimes said the results should call into question the widespread negative impression of living standards in New Zealand compared with other developed countries.

“Our results show New Zealand is still a great place to bring up children, at least in material terms.

“Not only do we have wonderful natural amenities, but contrary to what GDP statistics tell us, most Kiwi families have a high standard of material wellbeing relative to our international peers.”

Grimes said New Zealand’s level of average material wellbeing in part reflected its high number of cars and bathrooms per household.

New Zealand had the second- and seventh-highest average possession rate for cars and numbers of bathrooms in 2012.

And despite claims that inequality in New Zealand is terrible on an Inequality Index we are very middle of the pack.

MOTU Inequality IndexNow this is just one study. But it does suggest that the quality of life isn’t as bad, generally,  as some people try to portray.

Sure there are numbers of people for whom life is very difficult, and we should be doing whatever we can practically to address that.

But generalising doom and gloom merchants detract from targeting the real problems because many people know their claims don’t apply to them.

New Zealand is a great place to live in. We just need to make it better for more of us.

MOTU report links:

The Material Wellbeing of New Zealand Households

A new measure of material wellbeing based on actual household consumption rather than on their incomes, shows that New Zealand households have amongst the highest material living standards in the world. Using country averages for households that…

Touting for prison business?

Cameron Slater makes some good point ion his post TIME FOR NATIONAL TO STOP REACTING TO UNION LEAKS, AND TAKE CONTROL:

This Serco hit has been long in the making, and once again, TV3 and the Herald acting as Dirty Media are at the forefront of the Dirty Politics hit to assist Labour.

It’s now forced the Prime Minister onto the stage and he’s taken a position that Serco is going to be history if it is found to be incompetent.

Just what the Union wants to hear.

Because they, and TV3, the Herald and Labour have a long list of incidents to work through.

If that happens what’s the bet they will be all targeting Serco managed prisons.

But here is the thing…if Labour cared so much about the care of prisoners why have they sat for so long on this information while more prisoners got injured…and why did they lie and make up stories when the truth is bad enough.

This could be tough on Davis, he has been trying to raise attention but was until recently seemingly ignored by the Government.

Kelvin Davis’ claims regarding one prisoner are completely false but we haven’t heard the media baying for his apology have we?

I don’t think it’s been proven one way or the other yet.

But the problem for Labour is this…no one cares. I challenge the media to find someone on the streets of Auckland who give a flying fig about whether or not some prisoner got the bash inside.

Prison welfare is a real problem not just at Serco but in prisons around the country. See Government is Hiding the Truth Behind the Serco Debate. But in that post Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara makes these points:

  • Prisons are the way they are because the public is largely uninvolved, and is not actually interested in what goes on inside.
  • Most of the general public don’t actually care about what happens to prisoners – they get what they deserve … unless violence is put in the public face, as in the recent Serco revelations.

So Slater may well be right on that. The he finishes with:

If Serco were smart they’d be hiring their own Dirty Politics crew to counter the unions.

Sounds like he’s touting for business.

Prison overcrowding, Springhill, worse than Mt Eden

Someone with inside experience considers there are bigger problems with the New Zealand prison system than Serco and Mt Eden.

Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, who describes himself as ‘Former political prisoner of Spring Hill Corrections Facility’, details serious issues and claims that avoidable problems are mostly caused by overcrowding.

What I want to discuss here is my experience in Spring Hill and to some extent in the remand prisons in relation to the current public outcry about the standard of the Serco private run prison because the Serco debate is diverting attention from the atrocious standard of management in state run prisons.

On getting the message out about overcrowding:

There is no real means for prisoners to get the message out to the general public. They are forbidden internally from talking to journalists. The internal process of escalating these issues is nothing short of a whitewash and cover-up, and prisoners WILL experience prejudice for putting in official complaints.

For this reason, some prisoners in units higher up the hill from where I was began planning in January 2013 what is now known as the Spring Hill Riot which took place later that year. There haven’t been many full blown riots in NZ prisons. A couple of riots in the 1960s, one in 2004, and the one at Spring Hill in 2013.

Typically the cover up system kicked in with the then minister immediately calling it gang related, and the final report whitewashed the riot as being frivolous. But let me be clear, the initial report that this was gang related, and the final report putting the riot down to home-made alcohol was a total, utter, whitewash.

The intention of that riot was to raise the issue of overcrowding I have detailed, and a recent UN report confirmed.

This is the number one issue prisoners have in Spring Hill, it is the only issue they want fixed (even though I will provide what I believe are fixes for all of the above except prison justice), and I promised them that when I had completed my parole period, I would get this message out to you all.

He concludes:

Summary

The UN Committee Against Torture actually identified these three areas I addressed in its latest report to the New Zealand Government, which the current minister of Corrections has soundly rejected.

Among other things, the report identified overcrowding, inadequate health services and over-representation of Maori in prisons.

Now you all have a better idea that all of that is true and have some ideas of how to fix this without building any new prisons.

These measures only address what the Justice System and Corrections can do to fix this issue.

You will always have high levels of crime and gangs while your society is so unfair to the less fortunate.

Get over it or do something about it.

Your call…

Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara
Former political prisoner of Spring Hill Corrections Facility

It’s worth reading the whole post. All MPs should read the full post.

http://www.putatara.net/2015/07/serco-debate/

Our prison problems are far bigger than Mt Eden and Serco. This isn’t a surprise, but politicians need to be pressured into addressing things – the Government in particular should take note but Opposition parties could also do far better by  drawing attention to the whole problem, not just things that suit them to complain about for political gain and on ideological grounds.

Weird accusation by Lauda Finem

Yesterday Lauda Finem posted The Standard’s Lynn Prentice, gifted sys·op, complete idiot or plain nasty cyclops?

In this they make serious accusations against various people, particularly against Prentice and the NZ Herald and some of their journalists. I’m familiar with a lot of what they post about but they add a lot of detail.

But in amongst all this they have included me in their accusations against Prentice.

Prentice has likewise castigated LF, using the Standard and other blogs such as Pete Georges “YourNZ”, attempting to paint a picture so far from the truth as to be seen as unrecognisable. Prentice’s obsessive hatred of Slater and by default anyone who sticks up for the bloke, boarders on dangerous.

As regular readers here will know Prentice has been allowed to comment here like anyone else. And I expect it will have been fairly clear that I have strongly opposed Prentice and he has strongly attacked me.

Further on:

Of course Prentice has not been alone when deploying this stratagem. LF has obtained irrefutable evidence that New Zealand Herald senior investigative journalist David Fisher has also wilfully lied in much the same way, producing false accounts of events and facts, often by ommittion, for his readers consumption. In the case of the New Zealand Herald team LF believe that both malice and intent were present when David Fisher deliberately wrote an article designed to mislead his readers and damage the credibility of the victim of the newspaperscommercially driven malice.

Of course when it comes to anything Blomfield and the MSM David Fisher has not been alone, there are a raft of current and ex APN journos who have assisted Blomfield over the years, each and every one of them having played no small part in facilitating the legal and financial rorts and frauds Blomfield has managed to execute.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 12.17.55 pm

A particularly dirty dozen – just a few of Blomfield’s known bent Kiwi media mates, MSM, Bloggers and their industry associates

So they claim I am one of “a particularly dirty dozen”, and “bent” and “every one of them having played no small part in facilitating”.

It’s true I’ve allowed Matt Blomfield to have his say here, I give him as much right as anyone else to put his views across. And Prentice. And anyone from Lauda Finem, I haven’t taken sides. I have tried to give a chance for any side of any story to be given.

I’ve actually strongly challenged Prentice on unsubstantiated claims he’s made against Lauda Finem.

I’ve backed things Lauda Finem has said on their blog and on Twitter. But I’ve also challenged them on making unsubstantiated claims, just as I’ve done with Prentice and others.

All I can guess is that they have not liked being challenged, which seems as intolerant of being held to account as Prentice.

Claiming that I’m some sort of accomplice of Blomfield and Prentice is laughable.

Accusing me of being dirty may not be the dirtiest thing they might try, but it gives me cause to question other claims they make if they can be so far off the mark as they have been I this post with me.

But they have answered a few wee uncertainties for me.

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