Steve Smith a Colossus as Australia Win First ODI

stevsmith

Steve Smith had the sort of day that all cricketers dream of. From the moment he won the toss and elected to bat it was his day. Smith scored 164 out of Australia’s total of 324/8, then he took a flying screamer of a catch to dismiss BJ Watling and Australia won by 68 runs.

New Zealand won the first session, with movement on the grassy Sydney Cricket Ground pitch inducing both Australian openers to chop on. They were in an excellent position at the fall of the fourth wicket, which came when a solid straight drive from Smith went through the hands of Jimmy Neesham and ran Mitchell Marsh out at the non-striker’s end. At that point Australia were 92/4 and it felt that only Smith stood between competitiveness and disaster.

He then embarked upon a 127-run stand with Travis Head, who was fortuitously dropped by Matt Henry at mid off early in his innings. When Head was brilliantly caught and bowled by Trent Boult, Matthew Wade joined him at the crease, and the two went on the counterattack.

They scored 83 runs in 6.1 overs, and even a flurry of wickets at the end couldn’t stop them from posting a very strong total, in this case 324/8.

Australia won the early session much like New Zealand had, accounting for Tom Latham and Kane Williamson for single-digit scores. Jimmy Neesham came in at 4 in place of Ross Taylor, and was able to hit through the line well, scoring 34 off 36.

Perhaps the decisive act in the match came again from Smith, only this time in the field. A short and wide ball from Marsh to BJ Watling was dispatched, but Smith threw himself to his left and caught the ball at full stretch on his thumb, taking a face plant into the SCG turf so as to not spill the ball.

From there it was up to Guptill, and while he and Munro put on a brisk 45 Guptill was dismissed against the run of play, slapping an Adam Zampa long hop to Glenn Maxwell at midwicket. Guptill had scored 114 from 102 balls and looked set for another titanic innings, timing almost everything out of the very middle, before the dismissal.

At that point New Zealand still needed 140 runs in 17 overs with 5 wickets in hand, but the run rate was accelerating out of range of their hitting power.

Colin Munro and Matt Henry gave the Black Caps some late hope, getting them to within 72 runs before Henry was deceived by a clever Pat Cummins slower ball, which he skied to George Bailey for 27 off 15. When Munro was next out in a very similar fashion for 49 off 59 the Black Caps were unable to offer further resistance and were dismissed for 256.

Despite the loss, New Zealand will take heart from the performance, and may be regretting the decision to not review an lbw shout on Smith when he was on 13. Replays showed the decision would have been overturned and from there it would have been a very different match.

In the end, the catching skill of Australia was probably the decisive factor, as a Watling-Guptill partnership at that time of the match might have brought the Black Caps very close to a win.

The series continues in Canberra on Tuesday.

Are You a Coincidence Theorist?

conspiracy

If a paranoid person earns themselves the title “conspiracy theorist” by seeing connections where they do not exist, then a coincidence theorist is someone who does not see connections where they really do exist. There are various reasons why patterns are not seen: stupidity, naivety, or simple lack of data are some.

The subject is discussed at length in Ben Vidgen’s State Secrets, in which he notes the contrast between the scientific approach which is concerned with truth, and the political approach taken by the political classes and the corporate media, who “try to lull the public into believing that things happen by accident – the so called ‘coincidence theory’.”

It promulgates a state of mind akin to actually being a sheep, which is perhaps why it is so common in New Zealand. As George Carlin said, “Think of how dumb the average person is. Well, half of them are even dumber than that.”

However, it is the average intellect who, by the sheer weight of their numbers, sets the public discourse in this country. They are the ones who buy the products advertised in the gaps of the mainstream media.

But if the public is too thick to join the dots then the mainstream media will not discuss the subject with them. There is no obligation to enlighten, to illuminate or to elucidate: short-term profit is the only prerogative.

The mainstream media is McDonalds, soccer, Hollywood – it is the lowest common denominator of culture. This lowest common denominator serves as a gatekeeper that excludes all subjects too complicated for the plebian hordes. Thus, any intelligent discussion of issues is naturally driven underground.

stuffisshit

Above is an example of the kind of mindless drivel the mainstream media promotes – this from the 7th most popular website in New Zealand cyberspace.

Vidgen in State Secrets notes that a belief in coincidence theory is “a bit like thumbsucking. It is non-threatening, it doesn’t require any thinking or stressing out…”

It’s hardly surprising, then, that the mainstream media has, by 2016, completely abandoned any pretensions it may once have had to investigative journalism. Apart from one notable Kim Hill interview of Anne Tolley, they seem to have given a free pass to the establishment pedophile rings who have been revealed in Britain and America.

Perhaps a belief in coincidence theory is the natural thing for people who still have a childish and naive approach to life? After all, it takes a particularly cynical and adult mindset to properly grasp the volume of malicious lies spewed out by the political class and their tools in the mainstream media – not all have the grit for it.

For decades, dumb people have been able to shut down intelligent points by saying “Hurr, durr, conspiracy theory.”

Perhaps this needs to be turned on its head. We need smart people being able to shut down stupid points by saying “coincidence theory.”

State Secrets

state-secrets-cover-iii

Buy a copy of State Secrets for Kindle by clicking this link.

At a critical crossroads in New Zealand history, VJM Publishing releases the second, e-book edition of New Zealand best seller State Secrets by author Ben Vidgen. Read retrospectively, the 1999 best seller is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand what is now happening in the country known as Aotearoa.

State Secrets correctly forecast the emergence of major threats to New Zealand national security (and its status as a genuinely democratic state). Threats which come from the rise of multinational trade blocs intent on accessing New Zealand’s considerable natural resources.

The agents of these threats, Vidgen maintains, are supported by neoliberal political elements within and outside New Zealand’s own Government, such as its media structure, quick to take advantage of the simultaneous rise of a highly dangerous violent criminal class within New Zealand.

The 1999 book argues the rise of organised crime in New Zealand is nothing less than a second front in an economic war being deliberately waged on New Zealand sovereignty by those who seek to end New Zealand democratic traditions from the shadows.

For example, State Secrets demonstrates how large scale money laundering and white collar tax evasion was rife long before New Zealand was named in the Panama Tax haven bank scandal more than 60,000 times in 2016. State Secrets argued, well ahead of the mainstream pundits, that New Zealand’s role as the largest “washing machine” in the South Pacific was having an impact on the housing market and the New Zealand way of life.

Viewed in hindsight, the analysis – written by a veteran New Zealand investigator, with a research background in academic political science and New Zealand military intelligence – was dead on the bulls-eye every time.

State Secrets forecast the failure of the war on drugs, predicting a massive surge in the meth trade, financed by white collar businessmen, being simultaneously tied to the super escalated growth of American styled super gangs. A claim then considered unlikely but now indisputable for anyone who read the headlines today.

State Secrets correctly assessed that the collateral damage of this ‘evolution’ of New Zealand organised crime would serve to make lower socio-economic communities dysfunctional and would disempower swathes of the wider population as its impact overwhelmed the capacity of our health, education, social services and correctional services – in the process conveniently enhancing the argument for privatisation.

State Secrets identifies the enemy within: a neoliberal American and New Zealand Business Round Table alliance who today can be found to have dug their fingers deep into all sides of the New Zealand Parliament (and increasingly the state judiciary and security forces), the political spectrum, and even its underbelly.

It is driven by the motives of those addicted to the lust for absolute power and maximum profit. Forces seduced, as State Secrets forecasts, pre 9/11, by the largely self-made (self-armed) bogey monster of terrorism.

The enemy within chooses to ignore dealing with the real threats New Zealand faces by placing control on foreign investment and New Zealand, notoriously relaxing banking and company law.

Instead it seeks to opportunistically erode New Zealand civil liberties and strengthen a transformative State: one full of secrets which has broken its covenant with the people, serving a corporate master at the expense of the rest of New Zealand.

Gutless Government Washing Its Hands of the Victims of Its Drug Policy

syntheticcannabis

Damage from legal highs use is booming in Christchurch, and the Government has washed its hands of the human casualties.

Peter Dunne has said that nothing will happen until a review of the Psychoactive Substances Act in 2018, meaning that the door is closed to further drug law reform until after the next election (when Dunne might well be gone).

This newspaper pointed out at the time that the purpose of the Psychoactive Substances Bill was to delay drug law reform as long as possible. This warning went unheeded by the moronic sheep in Parliament, who rolled over on their backs and passed it with their full support.

So it looks as though Peter Dunne, the whore of the tobacco and alcohol industries, has successfully stymied all drug law reform for the nine years of National’s three terms.

Remember when the mainstream media was heralding this criminal as a drug law reformer on the basis of a few words in a speech in Vienna? They’re still puking out Government propaganda, this time calling the drugs “synthetic cannabis.”

Has anyone, in the history of New Zealand, done more damage to the youth of this country than Peter Dunne, who not only brought the plague of legal highs upon Kiwis but propped up a Government that slashed mental health care funding?

With Dunne’s support, the National Party withdrew funding to assist the same mental health casualties they themselves had created through allowing legal highs over cannabis. Dunne is symbolic of a conservative Government that has washed its hands of the very same human suffering that it has created.

The linked Stuff article cites District Court Judge Jane McMeeken, who, typical of the Baby Boomer generation and their complete lack of imagination, says “No easy answers existed on how to stop people using synthetic cannabis. Prohibition did not appear to have worked.”

Any idiot knows that legalising cannabis would remove, at one stroke, most of the demand for legal highs. In Colorado there is no market for legal highs, and nor is there one in the seven other American states that have now legalised cannabis.

Why do we continue to let our youth suffer from the plague of legal highs when, on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, the entire American West Coast has now legalised cannabis?

The Answer to the Martin Guptill Question is Nathan Astle

nathanastle

What do you do if you have a fantastically successful ODI opening batsman whose skillset is not particularly well suited to opening in Tests but on talent grounds alone cannot be left out of the Test side? There was an easy answer when the batsman in question was Nathan Astle 20 years ago.

The answer back then was simply to bat Astle at 5. Astle played 100 Test innings at 5 or lower, and averaged over 37 there. His most notable innings was the then fastest Test double century – 222 runs off only 168 balls.

Although the team that Astle came into in 1996 was far weaker than the one Martin Guptill is trying to break into, it seemed natural for the free-spirited, hard-hitting Astle to begin his career at 5.

Guptill never had the easy luxury of simply slotting into 5, mostly because Brendon McCullum had that spot nailed down and partly because the Black Caps were so desperate to find a decent opener that anyone with notable skill was thrown into the breach.

Nathan Astle averaged 34 with the bat in ODI cricket, and three runs more in Tests. Martin Guptill averages 42 in ODI cricket – three runs more would see him averaging 45. Moreover, Guptill’s world-class fielding adds at least five runs to his value per innings.

A value of fifty runs per innings at No. 5 might sound fanciful given the returns we have so far got from him opening the batting. It should be emphasised, however, that opening the batting in Tests is not only very different to opening in ODIs, it is also very different to batting further down the order, as the opening Test batsman faces a swinging ball, first-choice bowlers who are not tired and an aggressive field.

Although the sample size is very small, Guptill has already played 6 innings at No. 5 – and he averages 68 there.

The other medium-term options for the Black Caps at 5 are Henry Nicholls, who has so far been less impressive there than Guptill was at opener, a promoted allrounder such as Anderson, Neesham or Santner, or blooding a youngster such as Will Young or Tom Bruce.

Guptill at 5 would be better than all of those options. Leaving a player of his talent out of the side because he did not succeed in a role not suited for him, when there is a vacant role perfectly suited to him, is madness.

State Secrets by Ben Vidgen – Out Now!

state-secrets-cover-iii

At a critical crossroads in New Zealand history, VJM Publishing releases the second, e-book edition of New Zealand best seller State Secrets by author Ben Vidgen. Read retrospectively, the 1999 best seller is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand what is now happening in the country known as Aotearoa.

State Secrets correctly forecast the emergence of major threats to New Zealand national security (and its status as a genuinely democratic state). Threats which come from the rise of multinational trade blocs intent on accessing New Zealand’s considerable natural resources.

The agents of these threats, Vidgen maintains, are supported by neoliberal political elements within and outside New Zealand’s own Government, such as its media structure, quick to take advantage of the simultaneous rise of a highly dangerous violent criminal class within New Zealand.

The 1999 book argues the rise of organised crime in New Zealand is nothing less than a second front in an economic war being deliberately waged on New Zealand sovereignty by those who seek to end New Zealand democratic traditions from the shadows.

For example, State Secrets demonstrates how large scale money laundering and white collar tax evasion was rife long before New Zealand was named in the Panama Tax haven bank scandal more than 60,000 times in 2016. State Secrets argued, well ahead of the mainstream pundits, that New Zealand’s role as the largest “washing machine” in the South Pacific was having an impact on the housing market and the New Zealand way of life.

Viewed in hindsight, the analysis – written by a veteran New Zealand investigator, with a research background in academic political science and New Zealand military intelligence – was dead on the bulls-eye every time.

State Secrets forecast the failure of the war on drugs, predicting a massive surge in the meth trade, financed by white collar businessmen, being simultaneously tied to the super escalated growth of American styled super gangs. A claim then considered unlikely but now indisputable for anyone who read the headlines today.

State Secrets correctly assessed that the collateral damage of this ‘evolution’ of New Zealand organised crime would serve to make lower socio-economic communities dysfunctional and would disempower swathes of the wider population as its impact overwhelmed the capacity of our health, education, social services and correctional services – in the process conveniently enhancing the argument for privatisation.

State Secrets identifies the enemy within: a neoliberal American and New Zealand Business Round Table alliance who today can be found to have dug their fingers deep into all sides of the New Zealand Parliament (and increasingly the state judiciary and security forces), the political spectrum, and even its underbelly.

It is driven by the motives of those addicted to the lust for absolute power and maximum profit. Forces seduced, as State Secrets forecasts, pre 9/11, by the largely self-made (self-armed) bogey monster of terrorism.

The enemy within chooses to ignore dealing with the real threats New Zealand faces by placing control on foreign investment and New Zealand, notoriously relaxing banking and company law.

Instead it seeks to opportunistically erode New Zealand civil liberties and strengthen a transformative State: one full of secrets which has broken its covenant with the people, serving a corporate master at the expense of the rest of New Zealand.

State Secrets by Ben Vidgen – Out Next Week!

state-secrets-cover-iii

Early next week VJM Publishing will publish the second edition of Ben Vidgen’s 1999 New Zealand bestseller State Secrets.

This book is guaranteed to shatter your easy perception of New Zealand as a sleepy corner of Polynesia.

Extensively researched by Canterbury University graduate Vidgen, State Secrets explores the world that the corporate media doesn’t have the guts to.

Gunrunning, drug smuggling, people trafficking, “peek-a-boo” banking, passport fraud – and it goes up to the highest level.

The Kindle edition of State Secrets will be available next week and the print version before the end of 2016.

Why are the Tribal Huk More Effective Than the New Zealand Government?

jamiepink

Frustrated by the feeble responses from local law enforcement to requests for help cleaning out crystal methamphetamine dealers from their community, a street gang made up of mostly underprivileged youths takes the problem into their own hands with immediate and complete success, decommissioning a dozen meth houses within 24 hours. Something from the fringes of a dystopian cyberpunk novel like The Verity Key, set in the 2070s? No – this is the small rural Waikato town of Ngaruawahia, population 5,000, in 2016.

Achieving this was possible because the locations of and locations from which the dealers sold were all known. All it took was a public meeting organised by Tribal Huk President Jamie Pink (pictured above), at which he stated that crystal meth dealers had 24 hours to leave Ngaruawahia or they would be physically removed from the town.

This throwing down of the gauntlet has apparently resulted in a town free of dealers of the drug. The question then becomes: why could the Police not have done this?

The least secret reason is that the Police are the army of the rich, and the residents of Ngaruawahia do not make large tax contributions to the upkeep of the New Zealand Police force. Like all poor communities, therefore, they are of the lowest priority for protection by law enforcement.

Moreover, the rich generally do not have problems with P dealers making offers to their sisters and daughters as the rich drink alcohol.

The main reason, however, is this. The Tribal Huk actually has more community support among the disadvantaged than the New Zealand Police. This is a fact widely known and accepted by the poor whose neighbourhoods house the crystal meth dealers, and is much less understood by the wealthy.

The Police are not considered by the poor to be on their side because they put the poor in prison for cannabis offences, and because they give the poor car fines to keep the roads clear for the rich.

The opposite situation occurs in places where cannabis is not illegal and where the Police are properly funded through adequate taxation, such as the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, cannabis users (the proportion of whom in the population is less than 40% of the New Zealand figure) have no inherent reason to distrust the Police as their possession of cannabis is not a crime.

In New Zealand the Police are like an occupying army if you are a cannabis user. Distrust is the natural consequence of the accumulated fear brought on by the possibility that the Police might aggress against you in the enforcement of cannabis laws.

This community support might be a result of the Tribal Huk’s successful ongoing efforts to feed over 500 Waikato schoolchildren, something that the Ministry of Education has not been able to achieve. The Tribal Huk deliver their sandwiches to 25 different schools within the region.

There are no national food in schools programs in New Zealand because we don’t want to pay taxes to feed other people’s kids. There is not sufficient solidarity in New Zealand for such a thing to be acceptable.

Pink himself, in the article linked above, refers to the link between feeling hungry and feeling angry, something that is obvious to any poor child but is a lesson from another dimension to the crusty, distant old men who make decisions in this country.

Anyone with any sense knows that if you are a hungry child, being told to sit down in a classroom on concentrate on anything other than food is going to make you angry. Few adults could handle such a thing without anger.

And yet, despite a full stomach being absolutely necessary if a child is going to learn anything meaningful from school, the New Zealand Government has failed to provide something as simple as sandwiches.

Perhaps the Tribal Huk should have some Police and Ministry of Education funding diverted their way?

The conclusion appears to be that government works best when there is sincere mutual support with the people it governs, and the precise structure or ideology of that government is, next to this, unimportant.

Another way to put this is that government will only work when there is sufficient solidarity between the people being governed and the people doing the governing, and this is true whether the power structure involves the State or a local street gang.