Macskasy: “innocent until proven otherwise”

Frank Macskasy is a stalwart at The Daily Blog. Yesterday in response to comments he said:

So, Jollo, the guy has been charged – but not convicted of any offence?

Does the term “innocent until proven otherwise” mean anything to you?

And:

Does the term “innocent until proven otherwise” mean anything to you?

I don’t determine a person’s guilt. That’s up to a court of law.

Or does several hundred years of jurisprudence meant nothing to you – especially when a “leftie” is involved? Hmmm, I thought you Right-wingers were big on Law & Order?

But he has different standards when it suits him, like in this post John Key: Profile of a trichophiliac.

There is nothing wrong, per se, in having a harmless hair fetish. Many in the population have fetishes – another example of the wide spectrum of human nature and sexuality.

Where the problem arises is when Key has harassed a cafe worker, and is also seen to have some sort of proclivity to touching other peoples’ children’s hair.

This is just not acceptable.

It must stop, or the Prime Minister must step down and seek professional help.

Meanwhile, the consequences of Key’s actions – if he doesn’t resign in disgrace – will be long-lasting. Just one implication of his behaviour, as I outlined in this letter-to-the-editor of The Dominion Post;

.

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date: Thu, Apr 23, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor

.
The editor
Dominion Post

.
Every parent in the country will now be keeping a wary eye on John Key whenever he’s around their kids or daughters…

I’m sure teachers will be hovering around in the background, along with journos and photographers. The moment he touches a kid’s hair, a dozen cameras will be going off like machine guns…

For the rest of his career, people’s eyes will be on him – and not in a good way.

.

-Frank Macskasy

It would appear that Macskasy’s standards of evidence and proof of guilt are different when demanding the Prime Minister resign are concerned.

That’s not a one off. For example: Are Cameron Slater and Judith Collins bare-faced liars?

“It appears that Collins has attempted to hide her Facebook tracks”

“It appears that Slater and Collins are being pathetic in their attempt to be ‘cute’”

Conclusion

It is simply not remotely credible that Collins and Slater did not converse via Facebook.

I’m not sure that Collins has been found guilty yet.

And somewhat ironically following his conclusion:

There must be something truly awful in the works if the Nats are expending so much effort to smear an anonymous leaker.

The propaganda mill has just be churned into over-drive.

Macskasy is also active in comments.  Like:

CLEANGREEN says:

Gobsmackinglly good tight critique of this cum Carpetbagger slimy operator.

The MSM orchestrated & carefully painstakingly massaged the PM’s “façade” or image as a friendly bloke the traitors.

This was never his real manner, which on any occasion in Parliament he displays everything else but this character which Key has carefully cultured since he was playing monopoly with his sister as he was cheating her at the same time.

No this man is a product of the far right and manicured to because “Our smiling assassin” by the Global elite at the Bilderberg “Club” he frequents just to rob our country of all our assets for them as they are doing to NZ and eyeing up Greece next.

Thanks for the laughter you engendered as I read this great piece of work Frank.

Who needs evidence? He thanks for Cleangreen for the compliment without any reference to the claimed MSM conspiracy theory and the Bilderberg  conspiracy theory. Funny.

Daily Blog poll denial – “trying to manipulate” opinion

The Daily Blog fires a double barreled blast at the One News/Colmar poll with two posts calling foul – after they claimed their own self selecting online poll might be predicting the future. It predicted the opposite of what has happened.

Martyn Bradbury claims We have nothing to fear but TVNZ Polls.

Oh the National Party that is overseeing the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 waterfront lockout while contributing to the inequality that is dooming so many has enough support in the latest TVNZ Poll to govern alone? 

Really?

So despite this being landline poll, despite 13% don’t knows, despite it being held over summer when most Green Party supporters are out in the sunshine, John Key is sooooooo popular he can govern alone is he?

Really?

These opinion polls are not reflecting public opinion, they are trying to manipulate it.

Don’t believe the hype!

I wonder if this reaction has anything to do with the poll saying the opposite of what Christ Trotter and Bradbury suggested last week – that a Daily Blog poll showing Greens ahead of Labour was a sign of changing support. See Canaries In A Coal Mine: Has The Daily Blog Poll anticipated Labour’s Collapse?

This poll showed an apparent collapse in Green support from 14 to 8% and Labour holding steady.

And Frank Macskasy is also in denial in Latest TV1-Colmar Brunton Poll – Back To The Future IV?

It was a shocker of a poll on Sunday evening (23 February); the TV1-Colmar Brunton poll had National soaring to stratospheric heights.

It was a shocker for those hoping for and predicting something quite different.

There is no figure given for Undecideds/Refused to Say, which kind of makes the stats a bit dodgy. 

The “Don’t Know/Refused to say” was a whopping 13%!

That’s a sizeable chunk of voters who could yet decide the election outcome.

But how credible is a polling figure of 51% for any political party?

The answer? Not very.

It’s credible within a 3.1% margin of error at 95% confidence – that’s polling 101.

The highest Party Vote for any political party since the introduction of MMP in 1996, was 47.31%, achieved by National in the 2011 election.

So is 51% a credible indicator for National’s re-election chances?

Again, not very.

That’s different. It’s many months until the election, many things could change before then. But it’s a strong indicator that National is in a strong position right now.

In a February 2011 TV1-Colmar Brunton poll, National stood at… 51%. In fact, the 2011 Poll is a remarkable mirror of the current Colmar results; 

So it’s credible poll result now then, it’s a result that National has achieved before.

It is further worth noting that the actual election night result on Saturday 26 November 2011 was as follows;

  • National:  47.31%
  • Labour: 27.48%
  • Greens: 11.06%
  • NZ First: 6.59%

No other Party breached the 5% threshold.

At 34% current polling (by Colmar Brunton), this is still 6.52 percentage points above the 2011 election night results. Not a bad starting point to go into an election.

But 51% for National? Not in the realm of possibility. That is the polling they started from in February 2011 – and still they finished at 47.31%.

It is in the realm of possibility.

One thing that Macskasy fails to mention is that Labour got 33% in the February 2011 poll, so they dropped more than National, to 27.28%. Going by Frank’s logic 34% shouldn’t be a credible result for Labour either.

In any case this election is quite different to 2011.

  • National look like benefiting from an improving economy.
  • Labour have dumped two leaders since the last election and are struggling with their third, and have so far failed to show any sign of rebuilding, or retiring dead wood MPs and re-neweing talent.
  • Greens held their 2001 surge in support until recently but are starting to frighten some people, plus have had negative news with Norman’s association with Dotcom revealed, his confrontation with Colin Craig and Metiria Turei’s jacket and castle publicity.

I think it’s very likely National will drop below the 50% line, under MMP we have never had a single party with a majority and that’s most likely to continue.

But Bradbury and Macskasy sound like they are flailing about and lashing out in denial of a series of unfavourable poll results.

And they might be a little disappointed that their own very dubious blog poll was not the grand soothsayer they hoped.

It’s more than a bit ironic that Bradbury accuses One News and Colmar Brunton of deliberately manipulating opinion when that’s what he has just blatantly tried to do – unless he really believed in his own bull.

 

 

 

 

Comment censored at The Daily Blog?

The Daily Blog had been good at letting comments go through moderation, but I just posted there this afternoon and a comment that initially seemed to be accepted has since disappeared.

My first experience of message control or blocking people they don’t want, or maybe The Daily Blog can explain? If not this doesn’t bode well for a blog that has ambitions of being a credible major blog.

I was responding to a comment by Frank Macskasy in the post A Dunne Drama: Let’s focus on the important bit – the policy as follows:

It might devolve to the Green and Mana Parties to lead a counter-revolution against our growing Surveillance Society.

Russel Norman is backing Peters’ call for a police prosecution of Peter Dunne for leaking the report. And more – he wants to force Dunne to give up all evidence and confess.

“Yesterday, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the inquiry into the leak to Fairfax Media does not confirm whether Mr Dunne in fact did it, and police need to investigate and force Mr Dunne to release his email exchange with Dominion Post journalist Andrea Vance.”

And Grant Robertson is suggesting similar.

Bryce Edwards warns:

“There’s always problems when the Police get involved in the political and media realm. It can have a very chilling affect on politics and journalism,” Dr Edwards says

The threat of prosecution for any political leaks or whistle blowing is indeed a chilling prospect.

So may you’ll have to rely on Mana without the Greens.

Feed the Kids – unanswered questions

It’s very difficult to get answers on important questions about the Mana led Feed the Kids campaign. A more typical response to queries is this from Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog:

And i think you reek of poverty denial and are floundering badly in terms of offering up any actual argument against feeding the poorest children in the poorest schools with your crocodile tears about all the other kids. You are using that as a barrier to progress.

After your baby boomer nostalgia and inflated hysteria over the cost you actually offer nothing to the debate.

Very ironic being accused of “floundering badly in terms of offering up any actual argument”, Bradbury has been short on argument and long on inflated criticisms. He has avoided answering questions, responding instead with abuse.

I have tried to debate on facts but they are hard to come by.

How many hungry kids?

The Feed the Kids fact sheet quotes a common number:

Using official household income statistics, it is estimated that 270,000 (25%) children live in poverty…

That is an often quoted figure, but it’s based on statistics and does not measure how many kids go hungry. And the website makes no attempt to quantify it.

Because of that level of poverty many children go to school without a proper breakfast and lunch.

Frank Macskasy’s Daily Blog post Why Peter Dunne won’t “Feed the Kids” was as vague.

Many are going to school without breakfast or lunch.

That’s a major omission in their argument. The Community Campaign for Food in Schools does put a figure on it:

…an estimated 80,000 children regularly arriving at school hungry…

I don’t know what criteria or research that is based on. It’s a lot of kids, but far less than the poverty figure.

How many kids go to school?

According to School Roll Summary Report: July 2011 there were 2,548 schools with 758,094 enrolled children.

That makes an estimate of 10.5% of hungry children.

How many in decile 1-2 schools?

Decile 1-2 schools are 20% of schools but have only 14.8% of children at school – higher decile schools tend to have have bigger rolls. That’s about 112,000 children.

How many hungry kids in decile 1-2 schools?

I can’t find any breakdown on that, but it must be less than the estimated total of 80,000 hungry kids but it will be higher than the 10.5% (which would be 11,580).

How much is the Feed the Kids policy?

Mana have costed their policy at $100 million per year. That’s $890 per year per child, or $17 per week.

Assuming that less then half of decile 1-2 children are ‘hungry’ that is $34-$50 per week per hungry child.

Is the money best spent across all children who go to the schools? Or would it be better targeted at families who would benefit the most?

Just a start?

A number of people say the policy is just a beginning. Bradbury:

We need universal food schemes like they run in most developed country’s around the world.

Mana Party policy:

MANA policy priorities are to:

Provide healthy meals for all children at school.

If Feed the Kids was extended to all schools the cost would $600-700 million per year.

Is feeding all kids in schools the best way to spend this amount of money?

Is this what parents want?

I think more information and more debate on this is necessary.

Abusing anyone who questions whether the Mana bill is the most sensible approach will condemn the bill to failure, and will discredit the motives of the bill’s supporters.

And that won’t help any kids.

Perhaps there will be some more immediate assistance anyway, this year’s budget will be revealed on Thursday.

For the record – I’m interested in exploring options and discussing/debating the hungry kids and poverty issues. I don’t hate kids. I don’t want poverty to get worse. I don’t want kids to starve. Frank, Martyn et al – how about some mature debate?

More information: Hunger for Learning brochure

 

I hate children and want them to starve…

…is the sort of accusation being used by supporters of Mana’s “Feed the Kids” bill. Abuse like that has been directed at me.

The “you’re with us or against us” approach to promoting policy usually doesn’t work well.

Especially when “you’re against us” is extended to “if you don’t support a bill that does a little at the bottom of the cliff then you hate children and want them to starve”  style attacks are used to try and guilt people into changing their minds. It’s more likely to have the opposite effect.

Here are more examples of the emotive rhetoric being used to try and promote the “Feed the Kids” bill:

Frank Macskasy at The Daily Blog:

As a nation, it is almost as if we have embarked on a deliberate course of increasing poverty and ensuring the advent of the next generation of impoverished New Zealanders.

It’s ridiculous to suggest that anyone in New Zealand wants to embark on “a deliberate course of increasing poverty”.

Why is there money to subsidise irrigation in the South Island or grants to businesses – but not put a bloody bowl of fucking weetbix and milk in front of a starving kid???

Frank, the Government (actually the taxpayers) already give a considerable amount of money to families and directly and indirectly to children.

Ah, and did you realise that irrigation allows cows to produce milk for the Weetbix? And did you realise that milk was already being given to schools?

Macskasay again in a new blog post, Why Peter Dunne won’t “Feed the Kids”:

So what’s up with Peter Dunne and his awful, cold-hearted response to the crisis of child poverty afflicting this country?

One could imagine ACT and National MPs voting against the “Feed The Kids” Bill – those people either have freezer coolant in their veins, or are ideologically wedded to rugged Individualism and Personal Responsibility (except when National is held to account for it’s stuff-ups and policy failures) that includes perpetuating poverty on a nationwide scale.

That sort of language is what you would expect from a activist wanting to try and score political points, not someone who genuinely wants to try and get support for a bill. Abuse and overstatement rarely gets anyone to change their minds.

And in comments on a previous post here, Macskasy:

So what you’re really saying is that we have to let children starve, in order to teach parents a lesson?

I said nothing like that, nor do I think that. Theodore disagreed:

…that’s PRECISELY what you’re inferring Pete. Own your comments. That’s exactly the consequences of your words.

Actually Frank was referring to someone else’s comment. I didn’t infer anything of the sort. But disagreeing on the best way to deal with the problem results in bizarre accusations without any foundation.

And Martin Bradbury has joined the accusers:

But it’s true Pete. If you allow your self sanctimonious and astounding self-rightousness that blames the parents for hungry children as your justification of not supporting feeding the kids – you do hate children.

Pathetic nonsense.

The very people who sing the ‘blame the parents’ right wing song and dance routine are the exact same fucking people who have NO IDEA that the mother of all budgets set the benefits just below the nutritional minimums so that those on welfare are hungry enough to not want to stay on welfare.

Blaming the parents is a disgusting cop out and should be denounced with the contempt it deserves.

Some parents are to blame.

Most parents see feeding their kids as a priority and do their best, some in difficult financial circumstances.

I grew up in a very poor household, often food was very basic but I always had food. Most of my clothes were hand me downs, I used to help my mother unpick old jerseys so they could be recycled, my socks sometimes had more darns than original wool, and the only family holiday we had I don’t remember because I was a baby at the time. My father had to get extra work, my mother worked night shifts. I know what it’s like being a poor kid. But I was never a starving kid, because food was always made available by my parents.

Some parents have addictions to things like drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and they don’t always put their children’s needs first.

And some parents are simply poor parents.

Excusing all parents of any blame and just giving them more money will not solve poor parenting.

And giving all kids more (kids already get substantial state assistance from before they are born) means there is less available for those who really need extra help.

But this debate is unlikely to address or solve any of the issues due to the nature of the debate – too much emotive and abusive rhetoric. It’s much easier to dismiss that than a reasoned and reasonable argument.

By the way, for the last ten years I have donated each month to a charity that helps families and communities to feed their kids better. I also provide support within my family, to my children and my grandchildren.

Of those of you who are making accusations that I and others hate kids and want kids to starve, how much do you personally contribute to feeding children?

Can we afford inefficient social welfare?

Frank Macskasy as posted a detailed plea at The Daily Blog to “feed the kids” in (some) schools:

Can we afford to have “a chat on food in schools”?

While no one wants to see kids going hungry this is ineffieciently throwing money at one small part of a much bigger problem, and it doesn’t even address any of the causes.

I commented the following on his post:

I see two significant problems.

There’s no dispute that some families really struggle, they really struggle caring for their kids, feeding them, clothing them, providing them with a decent place to live, giving them decent medical care.

Social welfare is not enough for many people. Wages and tax credits and other means of assitance are not enough for many people. And this obviously affects a lot of kids.

We also have a problem with a huge social welfare cost.

All governments have to make decisions about how much money is provided and how much is allocated to “people in need”.

There are a wide variety of circumstances and needs.

The country cannot afford to just keep giving more money across the board.

Choosing one small part of this problem like hungry kids in schools and giving a sub group of kids going to school more will help some kids, but it will also give to kids who don’t need it.

Mana say their Feed the Kids bill will cost about $100m a year. That’s not much out of the whole budget.

BUT

It gives more than is necessary, not all the targeted kids need it.

And you could pick many small groups to target. Governments have been doing this for decades. It helps some and gives more to others who don’t need it.

And all these small innefficiencies in targeting add up to huge inefficiencies.

And some like the Feed The Kids bill doesn’t even address the causes of the problem.

I don’t think trying to guilt people into supporting a small well meaning but inefficent programme to feed some kids helps.

There are much bigger problems that deserve far better attention.