Unfair fact-less bollocks

Readers who regularly partake of the postings over at No Minister will be familiar with the blatherings of a poster called Fairfacts Media. he is anything but a writer of fair facts. Am I the only one who checks his statements? 

One recent post is a case in point — starting with poor analysis, pulling in a bunch of random stuff from wingnut websites and a few genuine MSM sources, then finishing with a triumphant non sequitur. Pure bollocks.

  1. FFM says Obama “calls for a nuclear free world just as North Korea fires a test missile’. Obama’s Prague speech was planned and signalled a long time ahead, and North Korea equally planned their launch to thumb their noses at Obama. Nothing is simple when dealing with Kim’s regime; FFM does his limited reputation no favours by attempting to portray it as simple. 
  2. Thinks it’s interesting that “Even the Obama-phile ABC News notes the timing.” Why would it report the timing? It is news; it is significant. Didn’t FFM learn anything in journalism 101?
  3. A comment on mainland Europeans’ distaste for the Afghanistan conflict takes us to Commentary magazine, a right-wing Zionist organ of American Jewish Committee, aligned to the US neoconservative movement (Its own website bragsabout being the “flagship of neoconservatism“). Like that publication is going to say anything unbiased about a Democrat president! 
  4. A comment about Turkey becoming more Islamic links to another right wingnut blog covering a single protest that reflects a general antipathy by Turks toward most of the West, as shown on the Gallup website. This isn’t a flash in the pan; the Christian Science Monitor reported a few years ago that “during the years of President Bush’s administration, the Turkish public’s opinion of America reached new lows, with a 2007 survey finding that only nine percent of Turks held a favorable view of their NATO ally, down from 52 percent in 2002.” 
  5. And if being rebuffed by Middle East leaders is an indicator of failure, why doesn’t FFM brand Bush Jnr, Bush Snr., Ronald Reagan, and the rest as failures?

Paranoid Whale

Cameron Slater thinks he is being stalked  by global warming religionists.

Whale bleats: “Global Warming … have taken upon themselves to try to “convert” me to their religion of  snake-oil and  false deities who spout inconvenient truths that are actually proven lies.”

They’re wasting their breath. One thing’s for sure; Whale is likely to keep yelling “black is white” till his dying day. The best that one can expect is to put on record that Whale is wrong.

Hockey stick as ‘snake oil’

Whale’s ‘snake oil’ link refers to the now-famous ‘hockey stick’ graph about paleoclimate. The “hockey stick” model created by Mann &et al in 1998 is not ‘snake oil. There is a continuing scrap over that single study, published in 1998, started by economist (note: not a scientist) Ross McKitrick and mining industry shill Steven McIntyre (M&M). Numerous other papers debunk M&M’s rejection of the Mann hypothetis.

If anyone feels the original ‘hockey stick’ study may be tainted, simply ignore it. But don’t ignore the numerous other temperature reconstructions that come to similar conclusions. Although they tend to show more variability than the original hockey stick (their sticks are not as straight), they all support the general conclusions the IPCC Third Assessment Report  presented in 2001. The essence of those conclusions:

  • late 20th century warming is anomalous compared to the last one or two thousand years,
  • the 1990s were likely warmer than any other time in that period (including the medieival warm period).


Twitter – bombing.

 Whale: I have been bombarded [by Tweets] … blah blah blah …”

No you haven’t. You’re following their posts. They aren’t bombarding you; you’re sucking up their tweets. If you don’t like it, un-follow them.


Sad certainty in pathetic denial 

Whale bleats: “…in response to empirical data that shows the opposite of what they believe and  “ The evidence is very clear for anyone who actually wants to look at it and understand it. If 30,000 don’t, too bad.” in response to evidence of  more than 30,000 scientists who aren’t in agreement with “consensus.”


  • Jennifer Marohasy — subject of  the first link to evidence. Marohasy’s scientific background is in biology. I grant that’s a science, but it’s not exactly an ideal foundation for authoritative pronouncements on climate change. Is it? She used to work for the sugar cane industry, which is interested in people believing AGW is untrue. Also, her current context is that she’s a shill for a herd-right-wing think tank (Australia’s Institute of Public  Affairs) , which keeps its funding sources highly secret. Who would believe that she’s unbiased? Be honest.
  • The Oregon Petition – the subject of  second two links to support denial. Oh. Dear. It is a massive fraud. The Oregon Petition is a project by biochemist Arthur B. Robinson, head of the tiny (ie, one-man operation), industry funded so-called Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (see http://tinyurl.com/qxyz9).   But don’t believe me or other people of my ilk; believe the Skeptics Society: http://tinyurl.com/8zvbso. Most of the names on the list (of those that are legit) date back to 1998, in some cases to the early 90s. Like there’s been no updates in the science in the past ten years? 


Science and proof

Whale: “Two things is for sure [sic], the science is most definately [sic] not settled and there is no such thing as scientific consensus when it comes to the new religion called Climate Change.”

Whale, my little cetaecean comrade, science is never settled. That’s the thing about science. Policy can be settled. Decisions can be settled. Court cases can be settled. Babies can be settled.

True scientists WILL admit to being wrong, if they find evidence that contradicts their findings. That’s what it is to be a scientist; all of your conclusions have to be deniable, otherwise you aren’t doing science. If you are saying absolutely that your position is totally certain (isn’t that your position?) then you are either doing mathematics or promoting an idealogy. Which is it for Cameron and the other denial wingnuts? Clue: not many of them are mathematicians.

It’s interesting that there are very very few scientific papers emerging in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Why do you think papers challenging the climate cange hypothesis are:

  • rare as hens’ teeth in peeer reviewed scientific journals and
  • quite common on self-published websites, right-wing non-scientific journals and corporate-sponsored propaganda? LOL!
Here’s a fact worth considering: any scientist that can find and present evidence in a peer-reviewed journal that the theory of anthropogenic climate change is untrue, will make a shitload of cash. He or she will be loved and lauded the world over by presidents, prime ministers and right-wing bloggers! It hasn’t happened. Go figure.


The price of R&R

The government, led by a party that portrayed itself as happy-faced common-sense centrists, is baring its money-grubbing fangs.

Today we hear it wants to allow employers to buy back your fourth week of holiday. It’s not difficult to imagine an employer telling a worker, “Righto, here’s the deal: back to three weeks hols and an extra $1 a year or we’ll need to let you go. There are plenty other people willing to work here with only 3 weeks holidays, so you’re too expensive.”

John Key thinks that $1 will compensate you for the lost nine days with your family at a peaceful DoC campground overlooking an idyllic Coromandel coastline. 

Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater thinks it’s a good idea. He says the fourth week of holiday is “”the single biggest productivity killer that Labour brought in.”

Cam, if it’s a “productivity killer” and therefore a bad thing, why not delete the right to all holidays, Christmas and Easter included? While we’re at it, let’s also remove any restrictions on the working week! 

Cameron and other wingnuts also think it’s a bad thing that Labour ensured the fourth week was inalienable. That’s what made sure that it couldn’t be sold, you plonkers. The enitlement is a protective measure to take the holidays off the employment negotiation table. otherwise, employers are able to adopt a take it or leave it attuitude, with four weeks hols a misty dream for most workers.

As well, wingnuts go on alarming about the breakdown of families and all that. Then they attack one of the elements of employment law that helps to keep families together. A holiday is a crucial social cement for families; if you take away people’s right to holidays, fewer holidays will be given and taken.

The Nats and their supporters need to gain some sense and have a heart.

The other ACC – anthropogenic climate change.

I’ve been involved in a little debate with rightards over at No Minister on the subject of anthropogenic climate change. It’s pretty much the usual we say – they say sort of stuff. It made me wonder what they will say when their heroes in the ACT Party start supporting the government’s position on climate change — that it is true and that something urgently needs to be done to address it.

The ACT Party will be looking forward to a face-saver when Parliament’s Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee eventually grinds out its report. Denial, denial, calls of fraud, and more denial have been the tune  played by the ACT Party and its supporters whilst in opposition and in the party’s first few months in government. Hide said in Parliament just last year:

“the entire climate change and global warming hypothesis is a hoax, that the data and the hypothesis do not hold together, that Al Gore is a phoney and a fraud on this issue, and that the emissions trading scheme is a worldwide scam and a swindle”

Strong, unequivocal words. But Rodney and the other ACT Party pollies know they need to change their position now that they:

  • are in government,
  • have ministers who are not allowed to mislead Parliament and
  • have to make decisions based on truth and facts rather than bluster, corporate propaganda and hot air.
  • need to keep John Key happy

John Key, true to form, has already flip his flop on the issue. In May 2005 told Parliament that Kyoto and the entire climate change concept was “a complete and utter hoax.” In November 2006 he said with a completely straight face, “I firmly believe in climate change and always have.” Before the election, Key promised to:

  • proceed with an emissions trading scheme that would include agriculture.
  • set up and legislate for an emissions reduction target for New Zealand (National’s environmental climate change policy),
  • honour New Zealand’s Kyoto Protocol obligations,
  • support international efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,
  • support the emissions trading legislation because it “believes that a well-considered carefully balanced emissions trading scheme is the best tool available to efficiently reduce greenhouse gas”
  • amend the law within 9 months of being in office. (Thinks: that August deadline is beginning to look pretty tight)

So, grit your teeth, shine up your fake-bronzed visage and imagine you’re the ACT Party leader. You need to to change your position to fall into line with your boss the Prime Minister. But how can you do it whilst claiming that you’ve had the correct position up till now and retaining the support of your fanatical followers who also want to be able to save face? Easy!

  1. Set up a Committee of MPs, witht eh task of to talking about about whether we should have a carbon price, and whether human-induced climate change is actually an issue
  2. stack its Terms of Reference full of elements that will enable a volte-face hors de danger, and
  3. ensure there’s plenty of time (see item 10 in the ToR), so you can say enough in the intervening time to get yourself off the hook.

This select committee can easily delay the implementation of the emissions trading scheme, provide Key with a face-saver for breaking his 9-month promise, and save Rodney’s hide.

A sinister rightwing agenda

The National-led government is taking the first steps in preparing for the dismantling of the welfare state.

Prime Minister John Key’s speech to the Philanthropy NZ conference yesterday calls for rich people to give more to charities. Good on him. He recalls his ‘Burnside speech‘ in January 2007 about the so-called underclass (he’s always going back to this, have you noticed?), in which he spoke about:

“promot[ing] a culture of generosity and giving, and how the Government needs to get behind the community and voluntary groups that make a real difference in our communities.  I said I didn’t think “more government” is the solution to every problem.

Lefty campaigner John Minto responded in his Herald column thus:

[Key] sees the solution as donations from businesses and more government funding for community groups working with families. It’s a charity model based on the philanthropy of Victorian England, whereby the undertaxed rich patronise the deserving poor.

Minto was spot on. Indeed the National Party should be straight up about its real intentions regarding charity. I’ve seen no evidence to persuade me that the thinking on National’s front bench is much different from the Libertarianz policy on social welfare, which says:

“Libertarianz will leave you free to practise voluntary charity. All state benefits – including unemployment, sickness, and DPB – would be phased out to permit the growth of voluntary charities and private insurance.

This is not far off what was happening in the late 1990s, when administration of the the dole and the unemployed was going to be divested from WINZ and handed to charities. Don’t believe me? That’s exactly what the Howard government did in Australia. their equivalent of Work and Income, Centrelink, doesn’t find people jobs; private employment agencies are contracted to do it. These are called Job Network members and include charities such as The Salvation Army and St Vinnie’s as well as private and not-for-profit agencies. 

Are things starting to click now? 

In his Philanthropy NZ speech, Key is saying to his rich mates, “we’re cutting your taxes, so you’re duty bound to stump up some of that to charities. Then we’ll be able to hand over social welfare to charities, slash the public service more, and then chop more off your taxes.”

I challenge the rightwingers out there to put their hands on their hearts and declare on their great grannie’s grave that they don’t want that.

Copyright S.92 piffle

blackout-demoThe anti-innovationists are trying all sorts of channels of persuasion to campaign against Section 92 of the new Copyright Act.

Am I the only one who doesn’t see the sky falling?

One instance among the many — this online video campaign. i’ve also heard to TV adverts including some wannabe artist saying S92a will hinder the progress of his career. At the end his signoff is “My name is Matthew, I’m not signed, yet”. So? When you’re signed, mate, you’ll relish the money and protection copyright gives you, just like all the other artists and creators who are economically successful.

I keep thinking that people are painting RIANZ and the movie industry as such baddies. It’s also ironic that so many right-wingers and libertarians are campaigning against business.

BUT I want U2 and Bruce Willis and David Suchet and Andric Apse and Colin James to make money from protecting their copyright. If they weren’t thus making money, they wouldn’t be there; they would be replaced by spotty-faced oiks from Newtown and Mangare producing mediocre creative content from their garden sheds. 

If the copyright model went what would replace it- YouTube? That’s like saying blogs will save/replace newspapers, which of course is what is happening.

Maybe I’m missing something here but I don’t see how giving things away for free actually makes a business. Somebody please convince me!

Woof whiff

Sue Kedgley is calling for a ban on the importation of dog and cat fur. She’s a clever politician, using a time-honoured technique of prompting emotional acceptance of an idea before asking for reasoned agreement. Why? Because what she’s saying only works on the emotional level.

So here’s the situation; Kedgley, in a statement entitled ‘Stop trade based on Cruelty to Cats and Dogs‘, announces a members bill to amend the Customs Act. You can read her arguments on the Green website. 

She’s pushing a great emotional button. Kiwis feel that farming dogs and cats (for either fur or meat or ear wax, or whatever other disgusting fake medicinal quackery) is reprehensible. They regard it as unethical, immoral, illegal or just plain yucky. They don’t want to buy the stuff, and they don’t want to be hoodwinked into buying it — for example, being told they are buying possum fur. It’s insufficient for it to be illegal to mislabel an item; New Zealanders just don’t want the stuff in the country.

So, what to do? Ban it at the border? Yeah! Make a law! But this is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, surely. I mean, how bad is the problem in NZ really? I want to know. But can’t find out; neither NZPA via Stuff (pathetic reporting), nor the Humane Society (a US lobby group, and the prompt for Kedgley’s statement) nor the Fur free Alliance (the information source for the Humane Society) tells me.

What’s really going on here is a Green MP cleverly using an emotional stalking horse to draw people in to potentially agreeing with a larger set of ideas (in this case, meat market=bad, etc).

I’m not buying it.



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