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BEING A HALFWIT IS NO DEFENCE

The news media report that Banks are currently gunshy on lending to farmers. Other considerations aside, who can possibly blame them after the recent Court of Appeal decision regarding some Taranaki dairy farmers and interest rates swaps?  The case involved the current media whipping boy, the ANZ, who sold interest rate swaps to a group of Taranaki farmers a decade back.

The Newsroom report described “swaps” in emotive language as “a financial derivative “product” (it’s not a product as so commonly financial accounts misrepresent, but simply a contractual arrangement) so complicated that most of the bank managers selling it didn’t understand what could happen if things go wrong”. What nonsense. A 10 years old could understand it.

GENEAOLOGY SILLINESS

Top Aussie tennis player Ashleigh Barty is of indigenous heritage, so we are told by the media. Why? It’s not true. In fact she’s of English ancestry but through a great grandmother, is one 64th aboriginal.

So too with Trump who was right to taunt Democrat Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas’ after she idiotically claimed to be the first native American member of Congress. Once when filling out a form for her bar admission in Texas she identified herself as “American Indian”. On another occasion, contributing to a celebrity cookbook, she described herself as Cherokee. In fact according to her DNA records one must go back between 9 to 10 generations to find a trace of native American. That far opens up tens of thousands of different ancestors.

Warren is an intelligent woman with an impressive back-story. Why would she mar her record with this scatterbrain nonsense?

“REVEALED: Parts of New Zealand to be hit hardest by our next big quake”

That heading is currently the lead item on the New Zealand Herald’s website. I think you will agree it’s unequivocal.

But does it reveal parts of New Zealand to be hit hardest by our next big quake as the heading proclaims? No, instead in a detailed account it outlines current efforts to do so and includes this line: “Presently, there’s no way to predict where, when or with what force a large earthquake will be unleashed in the future.”

The article was written by the Herald’s Science Reporter Jamie Morton. If Jamie bowls into the Herald’s office and viciously attacks, indeed even murders, the drooling halfwit responsible for that heading, no court in the land would convict him. Go to it Jamie. Do your duty.

THE AUSSIE SPIRIT

What an amazing gesture by Aussie bookmaker Sportsbet in refunding nearly half a million to punters backing the Black caps in the World cup final. Who else in the world would have done that?

It’s indisputable that on two counts New Zealand was robbed and nothing evidences that more than Sportsbet’s magnanimous action. “It wouldn’t be fair to take money off New Zealand fans after the Black caps technically didn’t lose”, their spokesman was quoted.

My only quarrel with that are the words “technically didn’t lose”. In fact, “technically” is superfluous. Under the rules which are quite clear, New Zealand won.