What the BetFair Market is Telling us About the US Presidential Election

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Although a glance at the BetFair market for November’s US Presidential election looks, on the surface, to be a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton, there are some facts that go against this simple conclusion.

There has been a lot of discussion about Hillary Clinton’s health. Much of the mainstream media, though, seems willing to write this off as an alt-right conspiracy theory.

But at an appearance during a 9/11 memorial Hillary left because she was “overwhelmed with emotion”. Later, the story was corrected to “overwhelmed with heat” (the day was not especially warm). Even later still, the story was changed to “pneumonia”, so we can rightly suspect that there is a major political secret about Hillary’s health that could define this presidential campaign.

The odds of Hillary winning the Presidency blew out when this was reported, from $1.45 to $1.61. It went up and down after that with low volumes being placed, as the market started to suspect that she might be forced to drop out of the race.

There are Democratic replacements for Hillary at short odds, but this is not the same for Republican replacements for Trump. The difference between the two gives us some clues about how much the market suspects Hillary might drop out.

After the 9/11 medical event, Bernie Sanders was paying a mere $38 to win the Presidency, reflecting the belief that, as premiere challenger to Hillary during the primaries, he would be the obvious choice to take over should Hillary’s health fail.

Joe Biden came in to $30 on rumours that the Democratic party had conducted polls suggesting Biden had a 20-point lead over Trump in a head-to-head election.

Tim Kaine came in all the way in to $95 from $1000, reflecting the widespread belief that, for some reason, it is too late to change the candidate and so the Democrats would have to go with Kaine should Hillary become incapacitated.

Using VJM Publishing’s Draw Arbitrage Finder program we can calculate that the BetFair market considers $16.65 to be fair value for any candidate other than Clinton and Trump. Considering that the odds of the closest challenger to Trump, Paul Ryan, are $610, this equates to a roughly 6% chance that Clinton will drop out of the Presidential race.

Also of interest is that Trump is doing much better than Brexit was at any stage of that campaign, including, crucially, the morning of the vote itself. This suggests that the apparent advantage that Hillary has is well within the range of possible outcomes that could be the result of Establishment manipulation.

If Pete Rainey Had a Clue, He’d Put Cannabis Law Reform Before Hone Ma Heke

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Pete Rainey needs to stop crying about Hone Ma Heke and support a policy that will actually benefit the people of Nelson. What Nelson needs isn’t to raise a lynch mob and go after a protester – it needs to legalise cannabis.

In few places on Earth does cannabis have more popular support than among the people of Nelson. This is a hugely pro-cannabis area, with the sentiment only getting stronger the further West from Nelson one goes. Almost everyone here smokes it – young, old or in between. You can see Bob Marley posters in several stores and a handful of others openly sell cannabis paraphernalia.

So a mayoral candidate that promoted such a thing would have the support of the locals.

Also, we need the money here in Nelson. It has been estimated by the Treasury that cannabis law reform would make the country $330,000,000 per year, roughly half of that savings from not enforcing cannabis prohibition and the other half from taxes. If the Nelson area has 1.5% of New Zealand’s population, it stands to reason that we would reap 1.5% of the savings of cannabis law reform.

This amounts to almost $5,000,000 per year.

With the proceeds from cannabis law reform alone, Nelson would save, in ten years, enough money to build a gondola that rivalled the biggest gondola in the world!

That’s the sort of vision Nelson needs – not petty hatred aimed at a guy already at the bottom of the ladder.

The War on Drugs Was Known to be a Failure Twenty Years Ago

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Much recent media attention has focused on the question of whether the War on Drugs has failed in New Zealand. Amazingly, a review of Ben Vidgen’s 1999 book State Secrets suggests that the War on Drugs was widely known to be a failure since at least two decades ago, even at the highest political level.

One of the arguments that John Key has been rolling out to deny the need for cannabis law reform is that it “would send the wrong message”. Apparently his idea is that if cannabis was legalised in New Zealand many vulnerable people would interpret that as a green light to smoke as much of it as possible.

Leaving aside the obvious point that no-one in New Zealand who wants to smoke cannabis is waiting for permission from the government to do so, it’s interesting how much mileage conservatives have got out of that one bit of rhetoric.

On page 33 of Vidgen’s bestseller State Secrets it says that John Howard back in 1998 used the same rhetoric to stymie cannabis law reform in Australia. Noting that already in the late 1990s it was understood by intelligent people that “by removing the profit incentive associated with drug dealing, decriminalisation would, in effect, destroy the capital base from which organised crime’s influence originates,” the book describes how Howard rejected the idea on the grounds of “the wrong message”.

Perhaps depressingly, Vidgen’s book makes it clear that the Establishment has simply ignored the voices of reason for decades now. Writing that the best way to view drug use in society was as a “social and health problem”, it seems incredible that almost twenty years later it would be necessary to make the same arguments.

Given that the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party won 1.66% of the vote in the 1996 election, it’s a shame that we could so stubbornly remain deaf to the truth, even when doing so comes at horrendous expense.

Vidgen agrees with this column that the failure of the War on Drugs is deliberate. He points out in State Secrets that such talk inevitably gets dismissed as conspiracy theory, but that if an objective observer joins the dots it becomes apparent that the legal status of many drugs – cannabis in particular – affords opportunity for extralegal actors to profit immensely from their trafficking and sale.

Some say that intelligence agencies sell drugs in New Zealand to finance off-the-books operations. Probably most people would be horrified to know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

You Won’t Understand John Key on Cannabis Unless You Understand Sadism

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Now that New Zealand has finally gathered the gumption to have a national discussion about cannabis, the end of prohibition is in sight. The reason why it was so hard to get a conversation about cannabis started is that prohibitionists have long known that as soon as it did, inevitably the forces of freedom would win, as they had both evidence and compassion on their side.

But what does compassion have to do with it?

As it turns out, everything. You simply cannot understand the cannabis law in New Zealand unless you understand the compassionate-malicious spectrum of human personality, for cannabis prohibition will not end in New Zealand until it is seen for what it is: naked sadism.

It’s time for a look into the ghoulish horrorscape that is the mind of a prohibitionist.

“In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism.” – H.L. Mencken

H.L. Mencken was an American philosopher-king active in the first half of the 20th century. Realising that satire was one of the only ways to get a complex message through the thick skulls of his fellow Americans, he took the piss out of the cultural peccadilloes of his time, one of the stupidest of which was alcohol prohibition.

In a small, self-published volume in 1926, Mencken observed that “Prohibition has made the use of alcohol devilish and even fashionable, and so vastly augmented the number of users.”

The infuriating thing for anyone who has tried to get the law to reflect justice and compassion, is that exactly the same is true of cannabis today.

What’s the past-year usage rate of cannabis in New Zealand, where growers are jailed? 14.6%.

What’s the past-year usage rate of cannabis in the Netherlands, where it’s sold openly? 5.4%.

That data is from 2008 – if you want something more recent, there’s a report that states teen cannabis use has not increased in Colorado since measures were taken to legalise it a few years ago.

It can be seen that cannabis prohibition has not reduced the number of people who use it – if the objective was to reduce the health problems that cannabis ostensibly causes, then prohibition is, prima facie, a failure. So why has the Drug War raged on for decades despite the lack of evidence that it is effective?

Because it is not effectiveness that is the issue.

Cannabis prohibition does not have to help the nation to be supported by prohibitionists. It only has to harm the sort of person who uses cannabis.

This is why John Key can so glibly claim that the Police are not really prosecuting anyone, and so there is no hurry to change the law – the Police are not prosecuting National voters. Most National voters own their own homes, and so can smoke cannabis in privacy away from people who might dob them in. Most Labour voters live in shared housing, and more often have to risk smoking in public.

Make no mistake: the point of the cannabis law is intentionally to fuck over the sort of people most feared by the control mechanism and its lackeys – the freespirited, the creative, the spiritual, the kind, the young, the rebel, the unbrainwashed.

Why is John Key vicious like this? Perhaps this is revenge of the nerds, Kiwi style. Key, like Peter Dunne, was severely bullied at school, and perhaps supporting cannabis prohibition is one way that they wreak their petty revenge on the braver kids who experimented with life rather than striving to get ahead.

Another possible explanation is the the old, uptight white male that John Key represents deeply resents the ruthless historical process that is stripping him of his privilege and is lashing out.

When I was a barman, the worst customers were not the young men who suffered most of the demonisation but the male menopausal men who felt their plummeting testosterone and the lack of physical dominance that came with it, and knew that their best days were in the past. Perhaps John Key is of an age where his erectile health is no longer reliable, and he bitterly resents the young people who know that using cannabis enhances the pleasure of lovemaking.

The truth is probably that cannabis prohibitionists are simply malicious, petty-minded bigots who support harm for harm’s sake, as long as it isn’t happening to them.

Is it Time to Make Winston Peters the King of New Zealand?

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It’s a question on the lips of very, very few people: should New Zealand replace Queen Elizabeth II with Winston Peters as our Head of State?

Many people are talking about the day when New Zealand finally casts off the last vestiges of British cultural dominance. For some reason, the obvious thing to do when this day comes is widely considered to be to become a republic. A man no less knowledgeable than David Lange said that New Zealand will inevitably become a republic.

There’s a problem with this cozy narrative, though: most republics around the world are shit.

Indeed, if you say “The Republic” to a New Zealander they will probably think immediately of South Africa, which is hardly a country New Zealand wants to emulate. By almost every measure: wealth, crime, education, corruption, healthcare, justice, race relations – New Zealand is a much better country than South Africa.

As Plato could have told us, the basic problem with a democracy is that when the head of state represents the mob, you inevitably end up with a tyranny, as the cruder elements of human nature, left unchecked, express themselves in abusive government.

This is why the Roman Republic ended up with the assassination of Caesar and civil war, why the Weimar Republic gave us Hitler, and why the death throes of the American Republic has presented us with a choice between the buffoonish Donald Trump and the execrable Hillary Clinton.

Not only do republics run a serious risk of being shit, but constitutional monarchies (as New Zealand is) fill most of the list of the decent countries in the world. Almost every decent country in Europe – Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Monaco and Liechtenstein – is a constitutional monarchy, as is Canada, Australia, Japan and Thailand.

Constitutional monarchies, in which the head of state is a monarch whose powers are laid out in the form of a constitution, have some massive advantages over Presidential systems. The foremost, as mentioned above, is that they can avoid putting all power in the hands of a representative of the lowest common denominator.

Another is that, because monarchs have no term limits, the monarch (and their various consorts, princes, dukes etc.) will remain engaged with the government over the course of many decades. The British Government benefits immensely from the wisdom offered by Queen Elizabeth II, who, in the natural course of her business as Queen, has had the opportunity to meet an unprecedented number of influential people.

In this way, the monarch offers a link to the past that allows for a higher, more detached perspective. This is only possible because the monarch does not sully themselves with an undertaking as filthy as politics in the first place. Would any group of American intellectuals call upon the wisdom of George W Bush?

If the argument for a constitutional monarchy is accepted, why Winston Peters?

First and foremost, Winston Peters is actually a Kiwi. He is not a German who lives in England. All other things being equal, this makes him vastly more qualified than Queen Elizabeth II, for whom New Zealand might as well be on the Moon.

Peters is also both Maori and Pakeha, and therefore better represents the blood whose vital energies founded and gave rise to the nation than any foreign monarch could. Not only that, but also more than any Kiwi who was not themselves both Maori and Pakeha. Even better is that he does not identify solely with either group, having previously made a big deal about ending the “grievance industry” beloved of black magicians among Maori elites.

Aside from his crude racial qualities, Peters is of auspicious family: two of his brothers have also been MPs.

Despite that, Peters is far from an upper-middle class twit. He was previously captain of the Auckland Maori rugby side and played in trials for the New Zealand Maori. This makes him a man for all people, from the rugged colonial who hewed the country out of rock and kauri to the gentle statesmen of modern Wellington.

That is not the only way he represents what is innately good about the Shaky Isles. He is also an explorer, like everyone who immigrated to here over the years. He has been to North Korea to meet their leaders when he represented the nation as Foreign Minister in the Clark Government. This is something that can be said of no other Kiwi, and probably few of us would have the gumption to travel to North Korea as a representative of the nation.

His wisdom has been demonstrated by the Winebox inquiry, being right about the need to switch to a Western European pension system, and by being right about the effects of mass immigration on social cohesion. Since most of the impetus behind letting so many immigrants in is to make quick money as soon as possible, Peters’s attitude represents the kind of long-sighted calmness everyone needs in a king.

And his commitment to the nation is unquestioned. Even losing his Parliamentary seat in the General Election of 2008 was not enough to cause him to give up. In this regard he is equalled only by people like Richie McCaw and Edmund Hillary.

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Crucially, none of these things necessarily qualify him for a place in Parliament, which is, of course, a nest of scum-sucking, lying, parasitic whores, and never more so than right now under a John Key Government.

This proposal raises obvious questions regarding whether the position be hereditary or not (it could be ceremonial), and the precise limits to monarchic power.

It seems that the time has come for New Zealand to stand on its own two feet and make Winston Peters the King of the constitutional monarchy of Aotearoa.

Why Adam John Holland is the Only Sensible Choice For Auckland Mayor

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Adam Holland is the only one of the 18 Auckland mayoral candidates whose candidacy doesn’t have some kind of gross defect. If the mayoral campaigns were embryos, most of them would be terminated by the mother after the doctor made clear that there was no chance of viable offspring. Holland stands out from this rabble in a number of ways.

The first is that he is the only one interested in using his position as mayor to enrich Auckland, instead of just enriching himself. Holland has promised to “donate every last penny of my salary to various charities as suggested to me by the people of Auckland“. Considering that the salary of the Auckland mayor is NZD250,000+, this represents a considerable sum of money that charities need.

Coupled to this is the likelihood that the mayor would make it fashionable to donate salary money to charity, which is what this ever more unequal society needs. Considering how shallow and trend-conscious Aucklanders are, magnanimity on the order of Holland’s gesture might be worth tens of millions to the various charities of New Zealand.

Many politicians are fanatically devoted to an ideology and are happy to destroy everything in their path in order to force that ideology upon everyone else. Holland is the opposite of this – his suspension of judgment is so strong that he doesn’t know if he is representing Not A Party or Legalise Cannabis Auckland. Perhaps it is both, or even neither.

Holland is the only candidate with genuine philosopher-king credentials. He says “I won’t do a single thing as mayor just as I haven’t done a single thing for the past seven years of my retirement. Decisions shall be left up to the people, not an elected official in a farcical ‘democratic’ ceremony.”

Here Holland is referencing Book VIII of Plato’s Republic, in particular the passage that covers the five forms of government. For those who have not read The Republic, the belief of Plato was that government begins as an aristocracy and degrades over time, passing through the less perfect stages of timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and eventually tyranny.

The astute listener would interpret Holland’s words here as a warning to us about the further deterioration of our society, especially in this age of greed. Once democracy degrades further, it becomes tyranny. It’s possible to read Holland’s words here as a warning against the darker side of human nature, one that has almost surfaced thanks to the short sighted mismanagement of the Key Government.

Auckland is fortunate to have such an extraordinarily educated individual run for mayor.

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If the above is somehow not convincing enough, consider the state of the field that Holland is running against. Each candidate was offered a free shot of publicity here, and all of them bar Holland disqualified themselves with their responses.

Mario Alupis – professional wrestler. Attached photo suggests a large number of serious knocks to the head. Can’t be trusted to remember what he’s doing.

Aileen Austin – probably too old to survive the term as mayor. Also, Auckland would never vote for a hippie – this isn’t Nelson, dear.

Penny Bright – “Crooked” Penny Bright is running for mayor to distract the public from her impending imprisonment for dodging her rates bill. Auckland doesn’t need a mayor that shifts their debts onto the public.

Patrick Brown – Couldn’t be bothered supplying a photo. Also a communist.

Tricia Cheel – Another old hippie. Will split Aileen Austin’s votes and vice-versa, meaning that a vote for either is a waste.

Victoria Crone – has claimed to “bring 20 years’ experience running major New Zealand companies to the Auckland mayoralty.” What this means is that Auckland will be sold to the Chinese and everyone working in Auckland will be paid $5 per hour.

Phil Goff – no good unless he has Helen Clark telling him what to do.

David Hay – yet another old hippie, Hay is a former Green and thus probably a communist.

Alezix Heneti – serial failure. Eccentric name sure-fire sign of a rampant narcissist.

Stan Martin – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor.

Bin Thanh Nguyen – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo, clearly not up to being mayor. Almost literally nothing is even known about this guy.

Phil O’Connor – Bible-thumper. Hates women. Vote for this guy and you can kiss goodbye to being allowed to buy alcohol on Sundays in Auckland.

John Palino – American, thus disqualified on the ground that we need a Kiwi to be the mayor of our biggest city.

Tyrone Raumati – couldn’t get it together enough to supply a photo or to respond to social media advances, clearly not up to being mayor.

Chloe Swarbrick – probably the next most sensible choice apart from Holland, wants to use the mayoralty as a platform to reshape the world in her image though and therefore cannot be trusted.

Mark Thomas – a plastic candidate in the John Key/Aldo Miccio mold. Soulless.

Wayne Young – basically a complete bum who would have been euthanised in a less tolerant society.

Many, many people have been saying that these reasons make Adam John Holland the sensible choice for Auckland mayor on 09 OCT.

Is It Once Again Time to Boycott South African Sports Teams?

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There has been little discussion about the news that the South African team for the Black Caps’ tour of Africa will be chosen on the basis of race, and not merit. For the first time since the early 1980s, New Zealand finds itself faced with a team that leaves out its best players for being the wrong skin colour.

CricInfo reports that “The two-match series is the first South Africa play since last month’s announcement that CSA will impose selection criteria relating to the number of players of colour in all national teams in accordance with a memorandum of understanding signed with the country’s sports ministry.”

In April this year, the South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula banned Cricket South Africa from hosting international tournaments for one year because of being too slow to reach transformation targets.

The ‘memorandum of understanding’ signed by Cricket South Africa could also be understood as a surrender document.

It sounds unbelievable, but the South African Government has decreed that a maximum of 40% of the South African players can be white. In practice, that means four players in the national cricket side can be white.

This raises the possibility that the injuries said to have been sustained by AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel are a ruse to distract from the fact that some white players have been forced out of the South African team to play the first Test, starting Saturday, by the quota.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo says that “if someone says Hashim Amla or JP Duminy or Dane Piedt is playing because of the colour of their skin, they are smoking something.” He neglects to mention Temba Bavuma, who, as a specialist batsman with a first-class batting average of 38, probably does not deserve a place in the national side.

If the South African cricket team is chosen on the basis of race, and not on merit, it has no business on the international stage.

Probably it’s too early to yet make a judgment, because we don’t yet know if the quota is an honest attempt at transforming a sporting scene that gives undue advantage to white people, or if it’s simply a crude attempt to disadvantage a racial enemy.

For my part, I’ll probably just be happy to see Kane Williamson facing up to Dale Steyn for a few weeks.

– DAN MCGLASHAN