Friday, February 29, 2008

Tony Edmunds insults all Chinese

Oh My God
Tony Edmunds spokesperson for the sister of Pumpkin Xue said

"in Chinese culture there is no comprehension of giving selflessly... "

Which sounds to me like an insult to an entire culture at a level I haven't heard for some time. Somthing equivilent to 'Chinese are all purely selfish' and 'thats why they attack so bad'

I doubt that is the sisters words...
Tony tony tony.....

Xue caught

nai yin xue has been captured .
Not quite the police shoot out sort of situation that would have made this a 'super story' or the 'kung fu showdown' that it could have become with the local Chinese group deciding to capture him - but still quite interesting. According to tv1 yesterday there was only a minor struggle (talking to the marshals) according to tv3 (talking to the hotel manager or something) they 'beat the tar out of him". It starts a discussion about whether in New Zealand we would see such people as heros or as reckless or worse yet criminals who assaulted a criminal.

I personally thank them for catching Xue, and if they were a little over enthusiastic and hit him a few times, I can overlook it - no permanent harm done. It is good to see members of the public taking some ownership of the justice system.

I note Xue thinks he was a bit hard done by - he said "you betrayed me" (in mandarin I presume). Hmm - the idea that you should somehow be loyal to a murderer - sorry 'accused murderer on the run' more than any other group... thats pretty ridiculous.

Also Kudos to the grandmother and to Grace for not making a huge publicity fuss over this besides the obvious "happy about it" from the grandmother and the natural "mixed feelings" from Grace.

Monday, February 25, 2008


OK considering how labour has lost ground in the last few months without much in the way of defense I have to come to the conclusion that labour is clearly too incompetent to win an election.
So National to win the next election - and govern alone...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

people power

Whale oil thinks he has found the people behind "people power". Sounds pretty plausible to me.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Bush and tourture

NRT notes that Bush is on the hook for torture . Of course to be honest one should look at it either from a pragmatic perspective which is

Bush will not be convicted of torture under this presidency nor is it likely to happen under any other - so in effect he is 'not guilty'. No point getting people whipped up about some technical breach when it counts for naught.


Bush is guilty now, he was guilty before - nothing new to see here.

Word inflation from NRT & Russel

No right turn engages in some word inflation with russel norman
"Those who attack the offices of democratically elected officials in an attempt to intimidate them are attacking democracy itself."

Not that I support this action - but an attack against democracy?

As I understand it the guys involved go to reasonable lengths to ensure they don't hurt anyone so it isn't really a physical threat - but instead more of a publicity stunt that jsut happens to have some similarities to such a threat. This makes it rather like a happy valley protest or a foreshore march or anything else where people get excited and protest.

Sure Russel could say 'protesting in front of the offices of a elected official in an attempt to intimidate them is attacking democracy itself" but really that is so overdramatic.

Public private partnerships

No right turn highlights some failed public private partnerships overseas.
He has a good point that we should keep in mind.
If public private partnerships are about the private sector taking some of the risk we need to be confident that either
1) the private company has huge resources that are exposed (i.e. not protected in some sort of a shell that could declare bankruptcy)
2) that the government will be OK with just walking away if the contract fails

Otherwise the state is really taking all the risk. In most cases (2) will be false and (1) will provide only limited cover. Now it is possible that a private company will do it more efficiently when they will get more of hte profits than if they were doing it just as a contract - maybe - but the risk sharing argument appears to be flawed.


For the record - big swing in the "head to head" statistics vs McCain of Hillary and Obama. it is at at 5% difference and it will probably grow when the oldest polls renew. Voters and super delegates to take notice of that - and when it comes to 'knocking heads - quite likely the pressure will be on Hilary for the good of the party.

Obama now the favorite (his extra money also helps). Impressive indeed.

Election predicitons

OK so McCain won - I'm happy that he did and in recent weeks would have picked him to win (its just crazy to go against 90% odds at the betting agencies) - but that would have been a bit cheating since the results were already half in by that stage. I knew I was pushing my luck trying to pick the republican candidate from so far out in such a competitive field - but he still had a chance up until Florida.

This from kiwi in america

"Campaigns often turn on a dime and the clincher for McCain was Gov Crist’s endorsement in FL 3 days before their primary. Crist’s team run a smooth machine and that machine was in full campaign mode over Amendment 1 to the FL Constitution (an extension of the property tax break). Crist’s people were polling constantly and their internal polls had McCain losing a point a day in the week before the FL primary culminating in an 11 point deficit by the Saturday. This accelerated when Romney whooped McCain in the St Petersburg debate on the Wed and was compounded by the growing chorus of right leaning commentators like Rush hammering McCain and endorsing Romney. Crist had told all the GOP candidates he was not endorsing however, he is a close friend of McCain and so he changed his mind and decided to endorse him but, more significantly and crucially for Romney, he threw his entire FL political machine that was in full campaign mode behind McCain and his endorsement. Crist’s people used every media connection to ensure maximum exposure of the endorsement in the FL media and twisted the arms of every GOP county chairman to mobilise behind McCain. This resulted in a huge turnout of the more moderate undecideds who broke for McCain and overwhelmed Mitt’s conservative base.

Had Crist not endorsed McCain, the political old hands in FL believe Romney would’ve won and it would’ve been he not McCain who would’ve clinched the close Super Tuesday races in CA and MO and it would’ve pushed Romney over Huckabee in GA. That would’ve given Romney a slight lead in the delegate count and given Romney momentum to finish the race in places like TX, OH and PA not to mention sweeping all the smaller caucus states (he had won all previous caucuses) in between."

I think Guliani leaving and Huckabee stubbornly staying in (something that I should have picked I guess) was part of it as was Huckabee's strategy of keeping a fairly amiable relationship with McCain - resulting in Romney being the only attack dog.

Anyway I hope I am again wrong in regard to Obama vs Hillary - an Obama vs McCain race would be interesting.
Still I think I am still better than almost any other political pundit in actually picking what the contest was going to be from a couple of years out and not changing my mind every week based on whatever random insignificant things happened.