Saturday, December 31, 2011
"GDP growth is now expected to total 8.3% over the next three years: back in September the Reserve Bank's forecast was for 9.1%. Volatility from the Eurozone and a 'modest' downturn in the hitherto booming Asia-Pacific export markets are all cited as reasons for a more restrained growth path.
"A 'soft' domestic economy is the other main reason.
"Several factors are driving this: the almost daily news diet of economic crises in the north Atlantic economies is having an effect on consumer and — to a lesser extent, surprisingly — business sentiment. The noises of financial panic from offshore will also have a more tangible impact on retail interest rates."
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of December 17, 2011.
"Compared with other Western democracies, New Zealand seems to be keen on sending its citizens to prison," Roger Brooking comments at Pundit.
"Our prison population has been rising for the last 50 years, and in October 2010 reached a total of 8,892 inmates. New Zealand now locks up 199 people per 100,000 of its population.
"According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at Kings College in London, this gives us the second-highest rate of imprisonment out of 29 countries in the Western world. This is higher than Britain and Canada, even though those countries both have greater rates of violent crime than New Zealand. And it puts us in the company of Third World countries like Gabon, Namibia and Libya (currently in a state of civil war), which have very similar rates of imprisonment to ours. It even puts us higher than Colombia, despite the drug-related murder and violence going on there."
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of November 8, 2011.
The response comes in no uncertain terms from the electorate (which returned Key's National Party to power nonetheless).
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of November 7, 2011.
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of November 4, 2011.
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of October 14, 2011.
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of October 11, 2011.
Think Big was an interventionist state economic strategy that saw the government borrow heavily overseas and use the funds for large-scale industrial projects. "Some commentators believe the schemes delivered net benefits to the private sector only," says Wikipedia.
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of August 31, 2011.
"We now have what is being called a 'deeper relationship' with a nuclear superpower.
"It has helped New Zealand almost close a deal that could double trade by one billion dollars virtually overnight and be as big as that with China over time.
" 'The India-New Zealand relationship is poised for all round expansion,' says Mr Singh.
"John Key says that both nations see 'potential for far deeper and richer cooperation'.
"Translated, that means opening up the 10th-biggest economy in the world to Kiwi exporters is 'oh so close'.
"India has certainly been welcoming, even if the opening tune was a little offbeat.
"But New Zealand had to give something back — and this was the surprise.
"Mr Key revealed that New Zealand and India will also be working together to deepen their defence relationship.
"India is a nuclear superpower whose armed forces number one and a half million; New Zealand's number just 14,000."
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of June 29, 2011.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
"Contractors carrying out property inspections of quake-damaged Christchurch homes are being paid about $4000 a week.
"The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has employed 414 contractors to carry out the assessments on its behalf, Radio New Zealand reported.
"Builders and contractors had inspected almost 20,000 damaged homes in Christchurch, EQC said.
"Contractors are paid $75 an hour, while the builders, who inspect the damage, receive $60 an hour, the broadcaster said.
"Contractors who are not from Christchurch are put up in EQC-selected hotels and given a daily allowance of $70.
"If they choose to arrange their own accommodation they receive $130 a day to cover expenses."
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of June 9, 2011.
Long's voiceover ads ran several times each night late in 2007 saying, "This One Weather update is brought to you by Hanover, a New Zealand business with the size and strength to withstand any conditions."
At the time of writing, there is a possibility of legal action being taken against Long. But even if it isn't, there is no chance of Long endorsing anything again. He has zero credibility.
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of June 4, 2011.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of June 1, 2011.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
"A hearty laugh lengthens your life."
That's the comforting assurance of a Swedish proverb that is gaining increasing support from the medical profession.
So a sense of humor is possibly as important, as we grow older, as diet, exercise, and "good, wholesome living" — as my abstemious grandmother used to call it.
But where does one go, on a daily basis, for a guaranteed chuckle, if not always the kind of convulsive laughter that will have everyone within earshot wanting to know what you have discovered?
Well, the answer could be "to uberhumor.com" — a site that bills itself as "the funniest on the Net", where you will find galleries of funny pictures, videos and photos that are constantly expanding.
I have just spent half an hour browsing in its "Top FAILs of the day" gallery, where I found several of the journalistic gaffes that every headline and/or advertising copy writer prays to avoid.
"The average North American consumes more than 400 Africans" reminded me of a newspaper headline that appeared shortly after the end of World War II: "Hitler's body not yet found. Famine looms."
I was also amused by the photo, labeled "Ultimate Laziness FAIL", which shows a roadside white line — designed to keep errant drivers out of the ditch — carefully skirting a protruding fallen branch. This reminded me of a similar white line along the side of a New Zealand road, which had gone right over the top of a dead possum.
But whatever your interest or flight of fancy, you are sure to find plenty to keep you entertained at uberhumor.com. It's a site that will lighten the dullest day — as the 212,789 people who have liked it at Facebook will surely agree.