Walls Come Tumbling Down (Showbiz – 1986)


Oddities of the New Left, making them weaker than the Old Left

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Continuing my series describing how both Left and Right in America have become unmoored from their roots and adopted strange new beliefs. This post looks at the New Left. These evolutions have made the Right stronger and the Left weaker.

“Using the hijab as a symbol of women’s liberation & empowerment is like using the hammer & sickle as a symbol for free markets & expression.”
— By “IllimitableMan” on Twitter.

Old Left - Friedrich Engels

The latest wave of feminism

Lots of articles like this during the past few years: “The hijab has liberated me from society’s expectations of women” by Nadiya Takolia, an op-ed at The Guardian — “Wearing the hijab doesn’t have to be about religious dedication. For me, it is political, feminist and empowering.” She is a researcher at Engage.  Another is “The Freedom of the Hijab” by Ayesha Nusrat, op-ed at the NY Times. She…

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A Gaza border closure not deemed newsworthy by BBC News

BBC Watch

Over the years BBC audiences have been regularly exposed to descriptions of the restrictions imposed by Israel on the import of munitions and dual-use goods to the Gaza Strip and the policies on entry to Israel from that territory that include inaccurate portrayals of the measures imposed and the reasons for them in distinctly partisan language. For example:

“Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade around Gaza aimed at preventing attacks by militants there, though the measure has been condemned by rights groups as a form of collective punishment.” [emphasis added] BBC News website, February 13th 2017.

“…the stifling border closures the Israeli government says are for security, the people here say are for collective punishment.” [emphasis added] BBC World Service radio, February 1st 2017.

“Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent Hamas receiving materials that could be used for military purposes, but the…

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Ayaan Hirsi-Ali – A question and answer session with one of the world’s most high profile critics of Islam

The Logical Place

From the Australian Rationalist (Melbourne), v.104, Autumn 2017: 16 – 19. Journal of the Rationalist Society of Australia, www.rationalist.com.au

The Somali-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi is one of the world’s most prominent critics of Islam and how Islamic societies treat women. In particular, she has targeted the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation, which she was subjected to.

Hirsi has had an exceptionally high profile career in politics and in other areas of public life. In 2003, she was elected to the Netherlands’ lower house of parliament as a representative of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), but a controversy relating to the validity of her Dutch citizenship led to her subsequent resignation.

In 2004, she collaborated on a controversial short movie with Theo van Gogh called Submission, which depicted the oppression of women under Islam. This resulted in death threats against the two creators, and the eventual assassination…

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Comparing ACC investment returns to NZSF’s

croaking cassandra

I’ve written quite a bit over the last few weeks about the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.  My argument is not that they have done badly –  indeed, some evidence suggests that over a relatively short period (since their own self-assessment benchmark is a rolling 20 year horizon) they have done rather well – but rather that what they do isn’t worth doing at all (for citizens and taxpayers).   Total returns have been rather risky – interviewed on Radio New Zealand the chief executive called it a “high octane” fund – and don’t stack up that well against rate of return requirements the government generally expected over that period for discretionary investment projects, or with the sorts of hurdle rate private sector entities typically use in evaluating projects.

One reader has suggested several times that I show the data for the ACC investment performance.  The value of ACC’s total assets is currently quite…

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Response to my OIA on #HitandRunNZ


Is it not standard journalistic practice to put your allegations to the subject of your investigation prior to publication? Hager testified in the High Court that

… where the allegations were serious and the evidence was far from being solid enough to publish with confidence, I would definitely have gone to the person being accused to hear their side. Not only is that fair to the person concerned but also it would form a vital part of the checking of the facts. The person’s response would be very important as to whether I proceeded to publish the allegations about that person.



A Wellington journalist who should have known better wondered why the New Zealand Army took so long to respond to Hit and Run. The reason was they received no advance copies. They were still reading it into the night.