It even took me a while to catch up with the devastating international news story. Now I know that James Blunt has released another album the world just seems a worse place to live in.
Thankfully I have learned that there will always be a kind and cuddly right winger to help me in my time of need. In possibly her most ludicrous column yet written, Deborah Hill Cone tried to convince readers last Friday that right-wingers were only being mean to the poor because they cared. Cruel to be kind, you know. Get off your arse, you lazy poor sick mentally-ill person with drug and abuse issues and get yourself a proper job. It'll do you some good! She might have been more convincing had she not also spoken with some admiration towards the terminally barking mad Lindsay Perigo, who was speaking at the launch of his new TV show (God knows on what TV channel - probably one of those that at any time has no more than ten viewers). If that man has an ounce of compassion towards disadvantaged people he certainly hides it well.
Perigo's speech can be found at his own personal site (I won't link to it, sorry: use Google), a site filled with gushing praise by many for his heroic efforts in fighting off the barbarians and socialists who have tried to take over news and current affairs. Don Brash says of Perigo:
He is very highly regarded for his professionalism, for his integrity, and for his intelligence, and his reputation as a journalist is quite exceptionalThis is the guy we entrusted to find the answer to closing the income gap with Australia. Does Dr Brash also agree with Perigo that President Obama should be assassinated if he isn't voted out?
Brash is very active nowadays, although most of what comes from his mouth or word processor reveals a lack of imagination and an inability to adapt to changing times. In a Herald column earlier this week he attacked an entirely sensible proposition from Fran O'Sullivan that the Government should invest in potentially high-growth sectors, calling the idea "nuts". This is similar to what Singapore does. And, yes, Brash admires the Singaporeans (I can almost hear him saying "my ex-wife is from Singapore, you know"), but only because they have no welfare state and no minimum wage.
Brash may not be so happy at present to learn that the company he was executive chairman of until a month or so ago, Huljich Wealth Management, is now facing criminal charges under the Securities Act for misleading prospective investors. I will let the courts be the judge of whether Brash and his company colleagues have sinned, but if the disclosure information pedalled to Huljich investors was anything like the snake-oil delivered up in the two 2025 Taskforce reports to date, Brash may be in some bother.
The big political story of the last week has concerned travel expenses, thanks to some either inept or corrupt (I'm not going to make a call on which it was) behaviour by National MP Pansy Wong. I had a crack at Pete Hodgson last week for his laughable suggestion that writing "minister" when witnessing a business document amounted to acting in a ministerial capacity. Thankfully for Hodgson (most of whose bombs have tended to blow up in his face in the past), there was more substantial wrongdoing to reveal. I'm not sure whether I owe Hodgson an apology, because maybe the witnessing question was just a warm-up to see how Wong would react. He certainly won the battle, and Wong's career is in ruins. I would be surprised if she does not resign from Parliament, because Key's management approach seems to be to cut away anything that drags down the team, rather than endure the ongoing trauma of bad publicity. Botany's a safe National seat, but a by-election just gives the Opposition more opportunities to be heard.
And the best thing about Thursdays is Grumpy Garth. Today he is in full curmudgeon mode, railing against scientists and researchers.
Day after day in this newspaper and others we are presented with stories in which the first sentence ends with the words "a new survey shows" or "new research reveals" or "scientists have discovered".Finding a few examples of apparently pointless research, and then denouncing the entire scientific establishment for wasting taxpayers' money telling us what we already know, is pretty much a staple for right-wing columnists of the mostly-male always-curmudgeonly type. I suspect it is the first thing they leap to when writer's block kicks in and the newspaper deadline is drawing close.
These items seem to have an irresistible appeal to news editors seeking urgently to fill inconvenient holes in news pages.
Few of these "research" results add anything to the sum of human knowledge for often all they do is confirm "scientifically" what we sentient humans have known either intuitively or by experience ever since we put childhood behind us.
He even gets to quote his favourite book when musing over a survey about cheating Italian men:
That only goes to show that the Bible has it right - one man for one woman for life, and "you shall not commit adultery" - and that God didn't proclaim such principles to spoil our fun but rather to enhance it.I also like to quote the Bible. This bit says it's okay to own slaves:
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. (Leviticus 25:44-45)But this one might cause even Family First's supporters to blush:
For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)Thanks Garth. That Bible book sure has some neat learnings in it. Much more authoritative than all that scientific stuff, eh?