Home' Greymouth Star : December 1st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1792 - Under the leadership of William
Leith, a party of men and supplies are
left ashore at Dusky Sound to begin New
Zealand’s first commercial sealing.
1861 - Just two weeks after its
first issue the building housing the
Otago Daily Times is destroyed by
fire. Rival publication the Colonist
assists with the ODT’s ongoing
1873 - Westland achieves full
provincial separation from Canterbury.
1880 - The first telephone is installed in the
1917- New Zealand hotels are ordered to
close at six o’clock as a temporary war measure.
The law will remain in place for 50 years and
brings on the ‘’six o’c lock swill’’.
1947- Rationing of clothing in New Zealand
1955 - Rosa Parks, a black seamstress,
defiesthe law by refusing to give up her seat to
a white man aboard a Montgomery, Alabama
city bus. She is arrested.
1967 - Former Olympic bronze medallist Sir
Arthur Espie Porritt takes office as the first
New Zealand-born Governor-General.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Mary Martin, US actress (1913-1990);
David Doyle, US actor (1929-1997); Woody
Allen, US director (1935-); Sandy
Nelson, US musician (1938-);
Lee Trevino, US golfer (1939-);
Richard Pryor, US comedian-actor
(1940-2005); Bette Midler, US
singer-actress (1945-); Gilbert
O’Sullivan, Irish musician
(1946-); Wally Lewis, Australian
rugby league player (1959-).
“The only people who attain power are those
who crave it.” — Erich Kastner, German
author and poet (1899-1974).
“ Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men of courage; be strong.”
— (1 Corinthians 16:13).
A roar of applause
at Victoria Park’s
on Saturday night
gave no doubt that the public welcomed the
choice as West Coast Sportsman of the Year,
of the lean D unollie distance runner Dave
McKenzie. The 5ft 3in, red haired 22 year-old
was applauded continuously for two minutes as
he moved up to receive the presentation of the
large handsome cup from 1960 Olympic 5000
metres champion, Murray Halberg.
Halberg is particularly pleased because it
was he who began these sportsman of the year
dinners — an institution now national which
brings in thousands of pounds annually.
McKenzie compiled a total of 2207 points,
compared with the 1105 awarded to out-of-
luck Runanga, West Coast and South Island
rugby league player Bruce Mann who finished
Posters on the window of Mackay Street
watchmaker Peter Lawler’s premises read
SALE. But apparently the interpretation of the
word was not fully grasped by one would-be
burglar who attempted to force entrance by a
side window on Sunday night. Two louvres had
been removed for the toilet window when Mr
Ray Harris, manager of the adjoining Robert
Francis Ltd, disturbed the burglar who fled
before the police were phoned.
“ Naturally I am very disturbed about the
whole incident for it could have cost me
thousands of pounds,” said Mr Lawler.
This was not the first attempt to steal from
his shop. About five years ago, someone had
attempted to break the lock on the front door,
and hammer marks are still evident on the
door’s wooden framework.
uFood for thought
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f anything is proven by the Prime
Minister’s $26.4 million taxpayer
funded flag referenda, aside
from confirming 65% of New
Zealanders want to ‘Keep our
Flag,’ it is that Mr Key ’s crassness
knows no bounds.
Mr Key recently told Paul Henry:
“Here’s the silver fern. Front page with
one frond coming off like a tear with
Jonah Lomu and his years. Amazingly
powerful that ’s New Zealand. Where was
our flag? Nowhere. I’ll tell you around the
world everywhere you go people know
the silver fern and that ’s the thing they
use when we’re doing well and when
we’re hurting. That ’s our flag not some
union jack ....”
People can decide on the
appropriateness of bringing the late
Jonah Lomu into the flag debate. Suffice
to say, there is a wonderful photo of
Jonah and Eric Rush together at the 1998
Commonwealth Games holding a flag
many New Zealanders will recognise.
If we put Mr Key ’s botanically incorrect
white, as opposed to silver fern to one
side, the perfect retort to Mr Key ’s “pop
history” comes from Pahiatua World War
Two veteran, Jack Martin.
After turning 100, Mr Martin’s son
Russ captured it perfectly: “It’s simple for
dad, he fought under the flag and sadly
lost cobbers in World War Two from as
far back as his school days ... From dad’s
room at Waireka he can see the flagpole
while sitting in his lazy boy looking out
across the lawns. The flagpole was a bit
tatty and had no flag. Bryan James the
Pahiatua RSA President refurbished
the pole in time for dad ’s birthday and a
brand new flag was presented to the pole
in a ceremony involving soldiers from
Linton camp. Now dad can see our flag
flying proudly every day ”.
Does not that response contrast with
an increasingly narcissistic Mr Key, who
seems more Prime Minstrel than Prime
The sad truth is that Mr Key and the
modern National Party do not care for
history, or for tradition or for ser vice.
When Justin Bieber contradicted Mr
Key ’s narrative on the Canadian flag, Mr
Key ’s petulant response was: “ When we
change the flag and we have one of those
beautiful new ones, there will be a whole
generation of New Zealanders that won’t
know we had an old one, but what will
they will know is that they ’re so proud of
that new flag ”.
Just think about Mr Key ’s words for
a moment. Everything we have ever
achieved under our Flag since it was
gazetted in 1902 counts for nought.
Our Olympic gold medals, our World
Cup and famous sporting victories, our
sacrifice in war and our achievements in
art, culture and science do not count in
Mr Key ’s myopic branded world. Only
his flag will make New Zealand great
and this has got to be Mr Key at his most
If voters want to stop any more waste
of public money, imagine the pressure
hundreds of thousands of real voters
protesting in the first flag referendum will
create. We say this because Mr Key is a
serial flip-flopper proven by 50,000 ropey
Facebook “likes” that saw another flag
option added at the 11th hour.
If you are among the 65% of New
Zealanders repulsed by this gratuitous
waste of your money then you could vote
for one of the options, not one of which,
has a “silver” fern. You may decide to
abstain, and that is your choice. However,
there is a third way. It is to cast an
“ informal vote” rejecting all of Mr Key’s
logos by leaving him with this message
on the ballot paper — “Keep our Flag or
Winston Peters is the leader of
New Zealand First and MP for
Key’s logo designs
On-line fraud spikes during the
Christmas shopping season, as people
searching for the perfect gifts take to
cyberspace and head to traditional stores
armed with their smartphones.
“The Pandora’s box of cyber attacks is
about to open,” says Pete Tyrrell, chief
operating officer for Digital Guardian,
a Waltham, Massachusetts-based data
protection firm. “ The cyber criminals are
getting more and more creative — and
at the end of the day, it is your personal
information at risk. ”
Here are some tips for protecting
yourself and your information from on-
Beware of gifts of free wi-fi
It is awful tempting to sign on to a store’s
free wi-fi while you are out shopping,
especially since store walls are notorious
for blocking or weakening smartphone
data connections. But fraudsters also may
be lurking on the networks, ready to use
that connection to steal credit card or
other personal information.
“People may want to log on to their Best
Buy or Amazon accounts to check prices,
but open wi-fi is probably the least secure
place to do that,” says Michael Kaiser,
executive director of the National Cyber
And never use open wi-fi connections to
check bank account information. The last
thing you want a hacker to have is a direct
connection to your bank account.
If you are tech-savvy enough to use
VPN software — short for “virtual private
network,” a technique for shutting would-
be eavesdroppers out of your connection
— o n your phone, then free wi-fi is safe
so long as you have the VPN on. For most
people, though, it is simply best to stick to
your cellular connection.
Shoppers also need to be on the lookout
for less high-tech thieves when shopping
on-line in crowded public places like
coffee shops, says Nitin Bhandari, senior
vice president for products at Opera
Software Solutions. That means keepings
your screens out of the views of others —
even smartphones, which are bigger and
easier to read from a distance than they
used to be.
Swim away from potential phish
Phishing spikes during the holiday
season. E-mails that offer great deals on
holiday gifts or donation pitches from
charities could actually be attempts to
steal your credit card or login information.
Another popular trick: fake e-mails
supposedly sent by on-line retailers or
shippers such as FedEx or UPS, saying
that a payment for an order did not go
through, or that an order did not ship.
Don’t click on links in these e-mails.
It could contain malware or take you to
a fake website that looks very much like
that of a legitimate company. Instead of
getting help, you will most likely have your
personal information stolen.
Panic over the possibility of not getting
a gift in time can make people click before
they think, Kaiser says. So, it is best to
slow down. If you think an e-mail is
genuine, just go directly to the company in
question’s main website.
Check your accounts for
Both during and after the holidays,
shoppers need to keep a close eye on their
accounts. The easiest way to do this is to
use the same credit card for all of your
holiday shopping. Never use your debit
card; if hackers get a hold of your
number, they could clean out your bank
A dedicated e-mail account can also help
keep things organised.
It is also a good idea to use different user
names and different passwords for your
various shopping accounts. That way if
one is compromised, it is less likely that
the others will fall to hackers as well, says
Tim Francis, the head of “cyber insurance”
policies at Travelers.
If it looks too good to be true ...
Websites and e-mails that advertise hot
deals on popular or hard-to-find gifts,
along with free or deeply discounted gift
cards, are probably scams. “I still haven’t
been able to buy an iPad for $7,” Tyrrell
It is best to stick with e-commerce sites
you know are real and go directly to those
websites. Do not click on web ads.
Shopping on the websites of companies
you have previously done business with
can also save you time and hassle, says
Steve Platt, a vice president at credit
monitoring company Experian.
On-line retailers will be on the lookout
for fraudsters too. That means they might
be more likely to flag a transaction “ and
slow down your shopping “ if they have
not dealt with you before.
“The more information they know about
you and your purchases, the more likely
you will have a seamless experience,” Platt
says. — New Zealand Herald
The hidden dangers of free store wi-fi
By sheer coincidence,
a book I wrote called
Don’t Panic: Islamic
State, Terrorism and
Today ’s Middle East was
published just before the
terrorist attacks in Paris.
So naturally everybody
interviewing me about the
book asked me if it is time
to panic now. They could
not resist it. Of course I replied no, it is not
time to panic.
If a train derailed in the Paris Metro,
killing 130 people and injuring over 300,
the story would dominate the news in
France for around 24 hours, 48 hours
tops. In other countries it would definitely
be only a one-day story: just one more
transport accident, in a world where trains
collide, planes crash and ships sink from
time to time.
But if it is not an accident — if human
beings deliberately caused those deaths —
then the media feeding frenzy starts. The
story is 20 times as big, and it can dominate
the news schedules for a week. Most people
in Europe, North America and the Middle
East have watched at least several hours
of coverage of the Paris events and their
aftermath — as long as a feature film —
and even in more distant parts of the world
it has been the event of the week.
There is nothing puzzling about this
phenomenon. It is perfectly natural for
people to be more interested in murder
than in mere mechanical malfunctions. But
the sheer volume of the coverage makes a
terrorist attack feel like a much bigger event
than it actually is. Even if you live a very
long way from where the real action is.
If you live in Syria, the threat is not just
terrorism. Islamic State is already a major
threat to the many Syrians it hates (Shi’ites,
Christians, Druze, and even Sunni Muslims
who have worked for the government or
fought in the army). If IS gained control of
the whole country, the number of Syrian
refugees would double or triple.
If you live in Iraq, you are much less at
risk, for Islamic State has little hope of
expanding into the Shi’ite-dominated parts
of the country still under Baghdad ’s control,
or into the areas under Kurdish control.
If you live in Turkey or other Arab
countries — indeed, in any other Muslim
country — you may face a serious threat
from home-grown extremists, but all they
get from IS is encouragement and maybe
a bit of training. It is really a domestic
If you live in France or the United States
or China, your only worry is the occasional
terrorist attack that may have been
encouraged by Islamic State — but the
people who carry it out are mostly locals.
You deal with that sort of thing just the
way you dealt with other terrorist threats
in the past: border controls, enhanced
security measures at public events, and good
If western air forces want to bomb
Islamic State too, by all means do so, but
they will be all alone in that job. The Arab
States that are allegedly part of President
Obama’s “coalition” have all withdrawn
their air forces and are bombing Yemen
instead (under the delusion that the tribes
of northern Yemen are really working for
Iran). The Turks are almost exclusively
bombing the Kurds (including the Kurds
fighting Islamic State.) .
The Russian and “coalition” (mostly
American) bombs falling on Islamic State
have stopped its expansion, at least for the
moment, and the recent air attacks on the
tanker-trucks that carry the black-market
oil out have certainly cut into its income,
but it is not about to fall.
As for “boots on the ground ”, forget it.
The only people fighting Islamic State on
the ground are the Kurds and what is left of
the Syrian army after four years of war. The
Syrian army was on the brink of collapse
last summer before the Russian bombing
campaign saved it, and it still lacks the
strength to recapture much territory.
Islamic State is going to be around for a
Stopping western air attacks on Islamic
State might save some western cities
from terrorist attacks, but even that is not
guaranteed. Islamic State is competing with
al Qaeda for support in the Muslim and
especially the Arab world, and spectacular
acts of terrorism are good recruiting tools.
Islamic State also thinks it is following a
divinely ordained script, which makes it
relatively imper vious to normal calculations
of strategic advantage.
Does this mean terrorist attacks inspired
by Islamic State will continue for months
or years no matter what the west does?
Within living memory western countries
have fought real wars that killed millions
of their citizens, and they did not buckle
under the strain. The scale of the threat
they face now is so much smaller that it is
ridiculous to call it a war at all, and yet they
flap about like frightened poultry.
If terrorist attacks on the scale of Paris
are the greatest threat facing the west, then
these are very fortunate countries.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Terrorism: A relatively minor issue
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
PICTURE: Getty Images
Members of the public view candles and tributes left opposite the main entrance of
Bataclan concert hall, in Paris.
Free wi-fi in stores and phishing scams can compromise your cyber security while Christmas shopping.
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