Friday, September 29, 2006

An attempt to be Moari

Being as I read the Herald to keep up to speed with what people are thinking as opposed to gathering news, Fridays are relatively easy going as there are great globs that can be ignored. Silly Red Glasses is a lost cause and Rudman gets back on track by wasting his entire space on trees. There's half a page that doesn't need reading right there. Factor in the Golf Warehouse, Bunnings and Briscoes ads and there is only about a page left that is worth reading.
The Editorail is usually worth scanning, but it's bloody trees again. The bulk of the comments page (remembering that Silly Red Glasses is here and can be ignored) is taken over by an article from Pita Sharples. Ignore the fact that he shares a hairderesser with Brian Connell and I much prefer Jason Eaton's mullet. Ignore the shells around the neck - what are they all about? Ignore all that and his piece really ought to be read. This so for two reasons in my estimation. 1) he is not stupid and 2) he has a position of influence and deserves a hearing. You do not have to agree with what someone says to listen to them say it. This article is very heavy going. I'm sure there are some valid points in there somewhere but it is very hard to tease out the wheat from the chaff. He is trying to address the question of what it is to be Maori. He is obviously going to struggle to get this sorted in three half columns of newsprint. There are some valid points well made interspersed with a load of rot. The concept of whakapapa is stressed a hundred times if it is mentioned once and the overwhelming prominence that this has over blood purity seems to be the central plank of his argument. I think I'm going to have to read this again (if I can be bothered on such a nice sunny day) before I decide if it is a valuable contribution to my somewhat rudimentary understanding of all this. I suspect it is not and I will remain largely a non understander.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Zealand's obsession with trees

What is it with New Zealand and trees? Why have these risen to deity status in this gwate country? There is a pecking order in the regard which trees are held much like there is in the the army - officers and other ranks, or more aptly, the All Blacks - All Blacks and Great All blacks. There are exotics, and they are OK, and then there are natives. These demigods of the aborial world require you to genuflect before tham and only mention their names in a suitably deferential hushed voice. Rimu, totara, Buck Shelford and ......cabbage tree (which is not a tree at all but a lily). What a truly spectacularly unpleasant and messy object is the cabbage tree. Give me an elder or a silver birch any time. But you have to think the sun shines out of the cabbage tree's phloem because it is a bloody 'native'. If you are a tree, preferably a native, (or Colin Meads) in New Zealand you can do little wrong. If you and seventy of your mates live in Queen Street and Big Ears decides to cut you down you earn yourselves acres of newspaper space for days and even merit an Editorial today. This Editorial is a waste of trees. It harps on for a full three quarter column as to how the trees must be saved because even if they are to be replaced with 95 others we will have to be the victims of a treeless street for ten years. Good grief a whole ten years, how can we possibly survive. I'll tell you how, exceedingly easily because most of us couldn't give a stuff. How long ago did the country come to the brink of Armgeddon when they, like thieves in the night, transformed One Tree Hill into None Tree Hill? We've been through several All Black selection committees since then and they have yet to name the Pinetree's successor. The 'process' is obviously a lot more complex than finding a worthy wearer of the 13 jersey. Let's get over damned trees and concentrate on things that really matter. Waste a tree and another grows back. To be fair some take a longer time to grow than others, but them's the breaks.
Garth George is into trees and other things creationist this morning. He scribes a very pleasnat, non threatening pastoral piece about spring. All very saccharine laden and designed to put you in a good mood for the day.Very nice. But in there is bloody Nanny State again. Garth has just been fitted with hearing aids. Where is this going you may ask? He tells us that these marvels of modern technology and miniaturisation cost the GDP of a small country but then drops the bombshell. It doesn't matter because ACC paid for them. Eh? He, being awash in old fashioned values, never thought of applying for the cost but was encouraged so to do by his audiologist. How so? 'You, being a journalist must have worked surrounded by noisy printing presses in the pre desktop publishing era?' 'Well, yes' 'Please go to window five and collect your ACC cheque for a squillion dollars for the hearing aids necessitated by the auditory trauma thus suffered'. Just like that. Nuts.

Below this there is a truly nauseating piece about that stupid woman in South Auckland who paid $35,000 for a Rav4 worth about $9,000. There is a bleeding heart barrister opining that the government should protect 'victims' like this from loan sharks. How are the poor oppressed masses going to afford cars to take their offspring to the doctors etc. etc. Who in their right mind believes half of this bollocks? Hands up all those who last bought a vehicular conveyance because they wanted to take their kid to the doctor? You buy a car, let me see, to go to work, to look cool, to do donuts, to have something to wash on a Sunday morning. But to take your kid to the doctor? - give me a break. This woman is stupid for a) buying a naff car and b) signing a loan agreement that was ripping her off. If she didn't understand what she was sigining then don't sign it. The only protection required around this case is us being protected from her by stopping her procreating.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Panem et circenses

Slim pickings this morning. I was looking for a bit about the Smoking Nazis wanting to ban smoking in cars but this wasn't mentioned in the rag and so it doesn't count. But.... Sod off. I hate smoking but if you want to smoke in your own car, go ahead and don't let anyone beat you around the whiskers with a health and safety stick.
I thought I was going to draw a complete blank as I sailed past the Queen street trees (complete with Photoshop efforts even I would be ashamed of) and an attempt to explain why the pledge card spending is wrong - is there still any dement left in the country who hasn't got their head around this yet? Boring bit about Brian Connell, a tedious piece about touching children and then we have to wait until A20 to bring a smile to the visage. After yesterday's syndicated savaging of Jeremy Clarkson the Herald has been even handed enough to publish a another syndicated piece in his defence. This perhaps, not surprisingly, comes from the Daily Telegraph - a right wing rag that has been referred to as the Daily Torygraph. The author of this piece has most eloquently put down all the ideas I have rather amateuishly referred to in my scribblings on this in the last couple of days. He blows a raspberry at the 'healthensafety' idiots and even quotes Juvenal - although 'panem et circenses' would have looked a lot more classy than 'bread and circuses'. He lauds the program as being what it is - good, peurile, totally politically incorrect fun. Hell, we so much need more of this in the increaingly safe world we are being forced to live in. Apparently there is a lobby in the UK that would have the BBC tone the program down and have reviews of the Prius and comparisons of safety triangles. For the second time this morniing - sod off.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This is a bit of me

The Herald has come out with a nausea special this morning – packed to the gunwales with trees, eco friendly this and that, politically correct claptrap, bureaucratic nonsense and a stinging attack on Jeremy Clarkson. It’s a shocker.

We are told that the new viaduct over the river at Waiwera is a eco-triumph or some such. It’s main claim to fame is that it will protect a couple of semi flightless (how can you be ‘semi-flightless?) birds and the only regret is that it cannot be extended to traverse a couple more streams. I would assume that these streams will be four feet across and building a bridge across them will only cost ten mil or so per rivulet. What a load of bollocks. The bridge is a sodding great lump of concrete which is well overdue to take traffic away from a dreadful piece of coastal road (ask Bushie what he thinks of this stretch of State Highway One – SH1, give me a break). We have a whole section on the latest on what the are going to do to trees in Queen street. 70 trees out to be replaced over ten years with 90 odd other ones. And this is being done, shock horror, without consultation. Who gives a stuff. The teachers Union is coming up with guidelines on how teachers might touch pupils. I scanned this briefly for references to boots and backsides but was rewarded only with copious references to ‘appropriateness’ and ‘encouragement’ all couched in the flowery meaningless language of the left. We have an article about how the founder of Fruitworld has, after over two years of wrestling with the men with clipboards, been given permission to build a house on land he bought on the understanding he was going to build a house on it. We have the revelation that a committee has given a research grant to some wally (or was it wallyess) to write thesis on the History of Auckland’s sexuality and the modern orgasm (I’m serious). Now this is patently just plain stupid. What is more worrying is that this is our money and even scarier is that the same Committee has awarded six mil of similar money to themselves. People sitting on this board have been awarding research grants to each other. When such a decision is being made the intended recipient has to be out of the room - so it’s all right. Is it bollocks? Even the Headmistress opines that this is a bit on the nose. This coming from one whose ideas on how to spend public money has come under a bit of scrutiny recently.

All this just served to get me into the mood to read A14. I had some idea of what I was in for from the promo on the front page but it prepared me poorly for the tirade of effete hand wringing that greeted me. The article is syndicated from the Independent and is written by an absolute embodiment of everything I detest in an attitude to life. I’ll come clean right away. I am writing this at my secondary place of employment which I attend once a week. I have to drive half an hour to get here. I do this in a 390bhp 4 litre supercharged V8 car using on average 16 litres of high octane petrol per 100km. I own two other four litre cars, a two litre number and a 200hp 2.6 litre outboard into which I happily pour 130 litres of petrol a day during the gamefishing season. My political leanings are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. I detest fairness and love discrimination. I am sure speed cameras are revenue gathering machines and ‘man is wrecking the planet by causing global warming’ is a complete crock. I hate hand wringing lefties and ‘green’ politics. I think people should work for their money and not just put their hand out for the government to fill it. I like big civil engineering projects, military hardware (especially of the naval variety), expensive hi tech toys and blowing things up. I hate most of what OSH stands for and the 'Nanny State’ it represents. I take responsibility for what I do and I chose what I want to do in the danger department. Jeremy Clarkson is my kind of bloke with bells on. My only regret is that he is much smarter than me because he has managed to make a shed load of money out of just being himself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

No raw material

No Herald this morning. Looked up from the Marmite soldiers to be greeted by a bench full of zero in the newsprint department. The paper boy will be beaten within an inch of his life. But...........
Latest opinion poll shows hopeful progress in decline of Labour's popularity and the rise of some other mob - any other mob, please. All expected but the thing that astonishes me is that bloody Helen is still the preferred PM in the eys of nearly 40% of the population. Why? I really am not understanding.
The Exclusive Brethren. Now here's a very odd kettle of fish. That they are getting a slating from the left is entirely expected but let us not forget that they are not illegal, and they are spending their own money. Being odd is what makes life interesting - I hear there are people who livebait for marlin. What really strikes me as odd is that this mob is prepared to spend an awful lot of money trying to influence the politics of this country and yet flatly refuse to vote. Very strange. Let us not also forget that all this would not have come to prominence if the headmistress did not need a smokescreeen to hide the fact that she has stolen money. I'm sure you will recall that she stole this from you and me.
I really am a bit hamstrung without some raw material

Friday, September 22, 2006

Junk food & the Hamster

Things I wish I'd thought of in order to make shed loads of money for very litlle effort include velcro, catseyes and bottling water. The last in the list rears its head as an adjunct to all this food police stuff that our all controlling government announced yesterday. This was accompanied by pictures of pondscum Mallard dancing - yuck. I have several beefs with all this the principal of which is the familiar 'We know what is good for you and you will do as you are told'. All the press releases are awash with 'new regulations', 'compliance' and the like. Obesity bad? - yes. In most instances it is the result of personal choice that one ends up this way. Removing 'junk food' from school tuck shops a good idea? Probably and certainly defensible. Stopping kids going to the dairy and buying a mince and cheese number if they want to a good idea? Hell no. Teachers as an arm of the state looking into pupils' lunch boxes that have been prepared by their parents with a view to regulating what the kid eats? No way Jose. If people, despite the evidence, want to be fat - fine by me. But what about all the costs to the health system the ensuing health problems produce? Easy, user pays. If your health problem is deemed to be self inflicted you pay for it - and you can't claim a 'benefit' for it either. I think it is called personal responsibility. And how is all this going to cost $68mil of my money? I assume advertising is going to chew up most of that. Well, before that money is spent I want evidence that the propsed advertising has a good, no make that excellent, chance of achieving its aims. What of the bottled water? Rudman (that man again) points out that the substitute for the Coke being taken out of the schools should be the tap and not the snake oil of the 21st century, designer water.
We are not alone. I, like many, am deeply saddened by the Hamster's plight. I really like him and the entire Top Gear triumverate. I wish him a speedy and as complete recovery as possible and my thoughts are with his family. I hear this morning that a secondary focus in the UK surroiunding this is being led by their OSH equivalent. We hear that Top Gear has been in 'trouble' before for 'glorifying speed', for 'failing to emphasise the relationship between speed and danger'. Puuulease. Is driving a car at 100 mph dangerous? Yes. Is driving a car at 200 mph very dangerous? Certainly. I've never done this but would love to have a go; its sounds grrreat. Is driving at 300 mph exceedingly f***ing dangerous? Hell yes. I've never done this, don't want to, but really want to watch someone else doing it. This someone would be doing it of his own free will (not the sort of thing you do by accident or at the direction of the courts is it?) and they would also have the knowledge that it was potentially exceedingly f***ing dangerous. Their choice. F1 motor racing dangerous? Ask Ayrton Senna. Do people want to watch F1 motor racing? Ask Bernie Ecclestone. OSH would have you watch Top Gear for the mobility scooter reviews. I watch it for the car/boats, the Ferraris, the Atoms, the Aston Martins (especially the Aston Martins) and the humour of three very intellligent people having fun of their own volition in expensive and potentially dangerous bits of kit. They make squillions out of that show and I don't begrudge them one penny of it.
I see the state of California is suing six major car manufacturers for the damage their products cause to the state's evironment through global warming. What an apt post script and commentary on the state of play in the world this Friday morning.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Top hats & frock coats

Enough of the Headmistress and the other denizens of the staff room, I'm having a day off from all this crap.
Garth George supplies the entry to a few things worth pondering this morning. Apart from giving a couple more reasons to disregard Mallard as a member of the human race he gives us a quote from Herbert Spencer, the 19th century philosopher, and it is something that we all, and I very much include myself in this, would do well to think about before we open our mouths.
'There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is a proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation'
I am happy in my own mind that I know enough about all those I currently hold in contempt, so much so that I really don't want t know more.
A few more things from the 1800's worth pondering.
'Objects we ardently pursue bring little happiness when gained; most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources.'

'Society exists for the benefit of its members, not the members for the benefit of society.'

'The ultimate effect of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.'

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

An introduction to Whaleoil

Mr Rockhopper, I thank you from the heart of my bottom. I knew these things were around on Youtube somewhere but I couldn't find them. Mr Whaleoil is a very clever video editor and appears to like the current administration even less than I do - I didn't think that was possible. The link RH supplies leads to probably Whaleoil's best offering to date - all the rest are very similar and get a bit samey if you watch them back to back.
Didn't get to bed until way past my bedtime last night (BigFishBob knows why) and so I haven't given the daily rag my normal amount of cerebration. However I did have the attention span to get through the Editorial. It focuses on wretch Carter and over and above the usual it opines that the dimwit doesn't realise the magnitude of the judgement that has just been handed down against him. That would be right. He has been on the receiving end of an opinion of someone who is cleverer, better educated and more even minded than him. He has run across someone who has been trained to be impartial and has been selected for that role in society by dint of being better than his peers at something. I know this may fly in the face of the Marxist toad's ideas that everyone is equal. Well sorry, sunshine, that is bollocks. You have just been bowled by an intellectual Mack truck and you didn't even notice.
I have had a gutsful of equality. I want this place to be run by clever people - not clever devious like we have now but clever clever. The sort of clever I knew as a lad when clever people went on to further education to prepare themselves for a responsible place in running society. Not clever like being a school teacher, not being very good at that and so it might be a clever idea to get into politics. Not clever like I'll go to University ('cos I can do joined up writing) and study Women's Studies 'cos that's a clever way to get into politics. Not clever like I'll be head honcho of the Union for the Unemployed (there's a definition of an oxymoron right there) 'cos that would be a clever way to become a list MP. I want old fashioned bright people running the place. I want the Minister of Finance to be someone who has experience in something really radical - like economics. I want people at the head of Ministries who are answerable to their electorates and not their parties. I want the country to be run like a business not a bloody collective where any damned minority with a voice holds sway over the largely silent majority. I want to see the back of wastrels like Mallard, Bradford, Field - oh the list is endless - having inordinate sway on my life. I want to see an end to seeing my hard earned tax payer's dollar being wasted on ratbags who find any bloody excuse not to work. I want to see an end of government funded initiatives to do things they have no business in trying to do and have no show of achieving ($10mil - ten f***ing mil - to get South Auckland youth off the streets this moring. Sod off). I want this damned administration out, out, out - and yes, by lunchtiime will do nicely.
Whaleoil for PM

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Punch on da teefs

A day I'd been awaiting for a while has arrived with that obnoxious nematode Chris Carter getting the punch on da teefs he so richly deserves. It ain't over yet but the little toad is running out of options. The judgement is apparently a 'strong one' - are they like cups of tea? - and would be unlikely to be overturned on appeal. The Marina wallahs have been given leave to apply for costs. Or so Mai Chen tells me. I would imagine employing this young lady don't come cheap but the Marina Society has spent their money wisely. There was a profile of her in one of the Sunday papers a few weeks back. Seriously impressive woman. Head prefect and Dux of Otago Girls High, degree in law at Otago and then her Masters from Harvard before setting up a law partnership with Sir Geoffrey Palmer (with her name in front of his) by the time she was thirty. I am delighted to see proper quality at the helm of a case winning over a Governemnt Department headed by a useless wretch like Carter. I know nothing of his background before he decided to waste my tax payers dollar in Parliament but I bet he wasn't Head Girl at Otago Girls High - although later behaviour might put that in doubt. When it comes to costs the Marina Society are in this to the tune of about $1.5mil over the ten years (ten years for God's sake) all this has dragged on. If and when Carter has to back down (i.e. he loses) he will be out of pocket to the vast sum of $0.00 He can go around causing unconstitutional mayhem and when he stuffs up he just walks away at no personal cost. Wrong. The bottom line of all this is that the Minister should have not been in a position where he could have made the decision in the first place. The Environment Court needs to be the last station on the line and then worthless toads like Carter won't even be tempted to put their hands in the Cookie jar.
Remeber that Carter's minions told him before he made his decision in March that he was on shaky ground and he didn't listen. His web of emails and 'I didn't take things I heard after the Environment Court decision into my deliberations' bollocks have been found out because he was so pig headed that he thought the rest of the world was wrong and he was right. I would assume wise counsel will advise him to not apppeal this and reverse his decision. However, recent events have shown us that these ratbags are nothing if not inventive in their methods of doing what they damned well like and bugger the rest of you. Very interesting to see what he does next. An evil part of me hopes Carter does appeal and then lose but I really should have grown out of amusing myself by pulling the wings off flies by my stage in life.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What is newspaper?

Piece of equipment not ready for another 25 mins, so.......

What is the function of newspapers? To deliver factual news, perchance? I think not. I think the function of newspapers is to deliver opinion. Hence, in most civilised parts of the world you have a choice of newspaper that you may make up your own mind as to the facts underlying the articles. We are not afforded that luxury in Auckland - or Wellington or Dunedin. I suppose I could subscribe to the Dom Post and the ODT but I can’t be bothered. If you are the sole supplier of opinion you are in a very powerful position. Totalitarian regimes have known this for centuries, of course. You couldn’t pick up a copy of the New York Times from the same news stand that you got you Pravda from, for instance. I listen to quite a bit of radio – mainly Hauraki to be fair, but I do listen to Larry Williams on Newstalk ZB most days as this is more a news program than a damned talkback show. As an aside can anyone here listen to more than 30 seconds of Danny Watson without vomiting or driving their car into a bridge abutment? I digress. It never ceases to amaze me that after listening to Lazza I sit down for my tea with one of the TV 6 o’clock news programs and the ‘news’ is different. The underlying facts are the same but they are presented in a totally different way. This is spin. It is inevitable, a natural human thing to do and impossible to avoid. This is fine as long as you recognise this as such and look for your facts else where.

What brought all this on was a seemingly innocuous piece about a woman, her collar bone and ACC. This is reported in the tone of aggrieved woman vs. mindless bureaucratic ACC. Woman good guy, ACC bad guy. She had unending pain, intolerable financial hardship and all her concerns are met with armies of heartless men with clipboards enforcing stupid rules to the letter. What is the truth? (Who cares what is the truth is probably a better question, but we move on) The truth, as usual, is at an unknown location some where between the two stances. Obvious. The Herald would have us believe that this place is a lot closer to the woman’s stance than the ACC’s because that is what they want us to think. To find out the truth we would have to do some work. Nobody could be bothered in this trivial example and, I suspect, nobody can be bothered to ferret out the truth behind most of what is in the newspapers when it concerns matrers of much more substance.

With the rise of alternative ways of getting news to the proles (satellite TV, the web etc.) there will never be another Auckland daily newspaper and so it behoves us to use all these alternative methods of gaining info so that we are not hoodwinked by the sole purveyor of print medium. I am very aware this morning that newspapers would be better termed spinpapers.

The stadium

I flatly refuse to go anywhere near the Pope or Peter Davis.
The venue for the final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup has me very confused. Not that we are debating it, but that we are debating it now and not a year ago. Surely all this would have been sorted before we submitted our bid and not eleven months after. The idea that Pond Scum Mallard floated all this last week to divert attention from the Pledge Card abhorrance is becoming more attratctive by the minute. Superficially the idea of a National Stadium on Auckland's waterfront is both an attractive one and stupid. Who are we going to nick the land off? Where are we going to park the cars? What about the RMA? - although I still think this in itself might be one of the drivers of the idea. Where are we going to find a couple of years containing 600 days with which plan and build the thing? Most importantly, who is going to pay for it? The goverment has pledged $20 mil and the Rugby Union $10mil and so that's the toilets paid for. Only about $450 mil short but I'm sure the Mad Butcher can polish that off with suausage sizzles in no time. All very strange. Disturbungly I heard a rumour at the weekend that IRB will pull the pin on New Zealand as the venue at all if all this is not definitely sorted by December - that is two months away. When did you last see a big decision involving either local or central government settled inside two years let alone months.
A woman, her collarbone and ACC set off a train of thought about the function of newspapers but that will have to wait as I have to go and do some work.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Submarines and Tiger Woods

A new departure for the Herald this morning - pornography. There on page A11, in all its resplendant bow wave, is a quarter page colour picture of a nuclear powered submarine. I'm all a tizz. Nearly spilt my tea down my shirtfront such was the quiver of anticipation as I savoured every word of the accompanying article. Sherrif Bush wants a trifling sum of money (US$700mil or something) to modify all these beautiful beasts in the weapons department. Take out a couple of nuclear ICBMs and replace them with stuff that throws non nuclear hardware around. Like a metal slug that can demolish a multi-story building. Some mollusc that - and certainly more useful than the silly creatures DoC have baled up in ice cream containers in a fridge. Or a missile that sprays tungsten rods through your cozy corporate meeting - if your corporation happens to be Al Qaeda, that is. The missiles that deliver these inventive bits of kit are the standard things that get up to 6 km/sec in a couple of seconds and have a range of 11,000 somethings - Kms ? Miles? Can't remember but certanly far enough to piss off your mates in Invercargill if they get up your nose. Something else to go on the Xmas list.
All that is worth reading this morning is confined to A10 and A11 which is handy as it saves you the effort of having to keep turning over the pages. Silly Red Glasses is gone. Unreadable. If he has got some good ideas in there somewhere I'm not going to know as I've given up on him.
Editorial tries to put some perspective on Don's current little woes. I think I agree with most of what they say. Having a mistress (sorry, allegedly having a mistress) is no cardinal sin in most people's eyes and, in itself, should not be enough to end his political carrer. They also quote the example of Bill Cllnton. Unfortunately Don just does not have enough of the native cunning to survive in his late in life chosen environment. This does not mean that the events of the past 48 hours have halted the opposition's march completely. As suggested yesterday, the groundswell of opinion is that Labour is coming out of all this at least as badly, if not worse, than the Nats courtesy of the Bovver Boy's demeanour. Don will probably not lead them into the next election but he does not have to be gone by lunchtime. I see John Key has been on the blower to his personal trainer and will be fronting up for the Captain's Run today - giving a speech somewhere. Meanwhile Don will be out and about in Dressmart this morning hoovering up a few seconds that he hopes no one will be able to spot. But Don wouldn't do that, would he? He's an honest bloke, remember.
Just below the totally gorgeous picture of a serious bit of naval muscle is a very grubby picture of an SUV. This accompanies the worst piece of journalism this week. Well it's not really journalism but more a party political broadcast by Nanny State. This is awful. It is written by someone who at least has the courage to admit he works for the Ministry of Transport in, I think, the environment division. It's all about car exhausts and asthma. What I really hate about this article is his use of pseudo science to push his politically motivated point. He quotes 'studies'. These plonkers think the proles go all glassy eyed when confronted with 'studies' from boffins. Anything that comes from a bloke wearing a white coat and sporting a clipboard and a concerned expression has the same status as the stuff that bloke with the long white beard bought down from the mountain chiselled on lumps of stone. You say that what you are going to say has been shown by 'studies' ('clinical studies' are better - sound much more authoritive) and you can then quote little bits of said studies totally out of context and they are gospel. The MoT man has dozens of these this morning. The silliest is that a 'study' shows that most children who have asthma come from areas where there are more roads. Well of course they do. Most roads are found in big conurbations which is where a larger number of people live. This study, however is reported by Nanny State's bloke as 'proving' that cars cause asthma. But fear not, dear citizen, we are bringing in more regulations (what a surprise) that will protect you from the evil automobile by checking for emissions of QZ43, arsenic and marmalade from every vehicle put onto New Zealands so called roads - and you can pick up your state subsidised bicycle from the distribution Depot next to the rope sandal shop.
Tiger Woods. This bloke fascinates me - not least because he is one of the few people on the planet who could afford to buy a seriously armed warship. The thing I like about Tiger is his brain. I particularly like the way that he got it to where it is now - starting from holding good old fashion family values in the highest regard. The place his parents have in his psyche is one of the rare examples of where sportsmen can be role models for kids. His regard of his late father is well documented but I suspect his mother has an as important, if less publicised, role in the way he ticks. He carries this on into his own family life. The chance of Mrs Woods appearing on the cover of NW are approaching zero. Like wise all the little Woods as and when they arrive. He lost last night in the World Match Play Chamionship at Wentworth, Surrey. I suspect that he won't go that well in the Ryder Cup next week - he hasn't in the past. His focus is on him - end of story. He competes in stroke play tournaments now for things that I can't get my head around at all - he's hardly on the bones of his bum. He was at Wentworth to get a bit of matchplay practice for the Cup next week. He doesn't give rat's about next week (he can't and won't admit this of course) and by extension he doesn't give a rat's about Wentworth. A few years ago he was the best player in the Universe by the length of the straight. Not good enough. Take the swing to bits to become better. I rarely use this espression but - awesome.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Political honesty?

Not the point at all. It could be philandering, nicking lollies from the corner dairy, not paying a $12 parking fine or anything. The problem is that he is perceived as not being honest. In the moral cess pit that is the Beehive Don was thought to have honesty on his side if nothing else. As of yesterday that is gone. Easy to lose, next to impossible to regain.
However on the brighter side, that lowest form of parliamentary pond life, the Bovver Boy, may have inadvertantly done himself and his odious mates more harm than he has already done to the Nats. There is a real feeling amongst people I have talked to this morning that Labour is really now beyond the pale in dragging someone's personal affairs through the mire. Remember the backlash Senator Starr copped when he forced Bill to famously say 'I did not have sex with that woman'.
I've no idea how this is going to pan out but I'm slightly less depressed than I was even six hours ago.

Trev & H2

Well, now we know what the Bovver Boy was on about last week don't we? I really don't understand this - no, I mean I really don't understand Brian Connell. National have Labour on the ropes like we haven't seen in years and this so called National MP comes out and shoots the party in both feet (and hands and scrotum). Connell - what's he on? 1) He needs a haircut. 2) He has publicly stated that being a National MP is of little importance to him (eh?). Who's fault is this ? Probably National's for picking him in the first place. If he thinks being a National MP is a calling beneath his dignity life should get a whole lot easier for him pretty soon as I can't see him being one for very much longer. All this is very bad for the opposition. Brash's only real appeal is that he is an honest bloke. Take this away (and it certainly has been) and what are you left with? Not much at all really. Unfortunately there is not much waiting in the wings. John Key looks a likely lad but he appears to have been skipping an awful lot of training sessions recently and and is certainly not match fit. If Don goes now all the hard work over the pledge cards and Phillip Field could go down the dunny in days. Mallard must be waiting outside the Headmistress' office to get his merit badge at this very moment.
This, in an oblique sort of way, leads us onto Heather Simpson. There is a rather longer than usual piece (the Herald must think its target audience has the attention span of a decerebrate stick insect for most of what it offers) on the funding of political parties on the comments page. As is my custom, I glanced at the bottom to see who it was written by before I started reading (bad practice this; bit like reading the last page of a whodunnit half way through) and was dismayed to see the author had once worked for the Alliance. Fearing a left wing diatribe (why should I knowingly put myself in a bad mood for the day) I tentatively sallied forth. Turned out to be very interesting. Did you know that the membership of both major political parties is down by 90% compared with several (can't remember how many) years back? The author puts the cause for this as being the state funding of political activity - of any flavour. If parties have a guaranteed source of income they no longer rely on individual member subscriptions/donations. They don't recruit as vigorously as before and membership falls. This in turn makes their allegiance to their fundamental principals less strong. Is Labour still the party of the opressed worker? Patently not. Is National still the party of big business and farming? Maybe not so obviously not. That both major parties are now a different shade of grey around the centre is undeniable. The argument goes that all state funding of poilitcal activity should go and parties raise their funds from recruited party members who will only cough up the folding varities if they are being given what they are promised. The central funding of political parties also bring about objects like Heather Simpson. She is paid for by tax payers dollar and is answerable pretty much only to the Prime Minister. I have long thought that the three most powerful people in the country by dint of their positions and untouchability are Helen Clark, Margaret Wilson and Heather Simpson. I also think they are the country's most dangerous triumverate. I freely admit that I am of the second opinion because I don't like their ideas - not one little bit I don't. If they had ideas I liked I'd think they were good blokes - but they aren't 'cos they don't have a Y chromosome amongst them. Funny that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bovva boy's stadium?

A couple of days of nothing worth getting excited about allowed me to spend my morning post prandial hour gainfully emplyed searching the web for pictures of battleships firing broadsides but today it's back to reality with a thump courtesy of Hodgson and the Bovver Boy.
What do I think of Hodgson? Nothing really. Pity maybe. Sorrow that a bloke who can be quite affable on a one to one basis (I met him last year when he gave away the prizes at my daughter's gaduation in Dunedin and had a chat about nothing in particular - reasonable enough sort of cove) can actually believe what he is required to say in Public. Maybe he doesn't believe it which makes things even worse. That Labour weren't going to pay the money back has been obvious for a while - they can't 'cos they haven't got it. Talk about 'validation' (Cullen was given that line to read) was particularly badly received by the great unwashed (quite right too) and a new idea had to be found. 'Tell the ungrateful sods that we can do what we like and we aren't going to pay whatever anybody says' is the current line and Pete, as 'Party Strategist', drew the short straw. See how all this is being put out into the public domain by 'senior' party members but never the senior party member. She must keep herself at arms length from all the day to day messy stuff.
Wish we had an election tomorrow because this mob would not survive - no argument. But we haven't and Helen will be able to pass her latest election tampering Bill - she is quite happy to do the talking on this one. Good editorial today about this blatently anti Brethren stuff. This is along the lines that their being so secret squirrel about who was putting about all the anti Green stuff was not good but if they are open and up front they have every right to participate in the electoral process. They would have a bit more credibility if they actually voted, but never mind. All this 'we can't have truckloads of cash flowing into election advertising from outside agencies' should read, of course, 'we can't have truckloads of cash flowing into election advertising from outside agencies who have opinions I don't like'. I'm not the first to point out the glaring omission of Trade Union money in all these arguments. The editorial goes onto point out that confining election input to registered political parties is only a short step away from confining input to approved registered political parties. All together now, in the key of C 'Gimn Sovetskogo Soyuza'
Bovver Boy. A new National stadium on the waterfront seating 4 squillion, costing $4.50 and ready by next Thursday. Where did all this come from? The Resource Management Act is my guess. Consider this. We got awarded the 2011 World Cup about a year ago with a six year lead time. Eden Park redevelopment was not only the prettiest girl at the party she was the only female around. Redevelopment at $350 mil was agreed by all as the way to go. Auckland needs another stadium like a fish needs a bicycle. Then Bovver Boy zooms in from left field yesterday with an idea that should have had the men in white coats round at his house with the staightjackets faster than you can say 'Barking'. I reckon that the Eden Park mob have filed some of their RMA stuff and the road ahead is looking very rocky. Thre is a bloke in Reimers Ave who thinks lager vomit on his dahlias will be an infringement of his human rights or something. The land Looney Tunes Mallard wants is owned by one or all of the 27 Councils that run Auckland so a lot of RMA problems are gone right there. And Auckland is very good at building waterfront stadiums - aren't they Bender? Bet I'm right.
Much more fun searching out maritime ordnance.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Big boys' toys

Nothing, nix, nowt.
Except, with my penchant for absurdly expensive toys, the CERN particle accelerator would appear to be something worth saving up for. 27km of circular tunnel generating enough kinetic energy to reduce an aircraft carrier to the mass of a 20c piece (was looking for something to do with my left overs) is my kind of entertainment. They have a great vocabulary as well. Lots of 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' and they are going to make 'mini black holes' - you know, the budget version you buy when you haven't quite got the readies to get a real one. Apparently this thing is so f***ing powerful that some wowsers think it shouldn't be turned on as it might be able to destroy the planet. The CERN spokesman cheerily brushes this off as being vey unlikely only having a probability of 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 - but it could happen. Cool.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Permafrost in MIlford

As promised, nothing about parliamentary sleaze this morning. I will ignore all comments made by silly red framed glasses as he does not possess my strength of resolve.
I thought OSH might come to my rescue but two other firm family favourites, global warming and nuclear power, step into the breach. Before this we see Simon Dallow making the front page complaining that he has to read too much 'fluff' on the TV1 6 o'clock news. How the hell else does he think a country like this going to fill up an hour news program? I'm surprised we don't get scone recipes as a regular feature.
An energy conference in Wellington which would appear to be sponsored by energy companies floats the idea of nuclear power for NZ again. Jolly good idea, as I've said before. All spoilt a bit by a Photoshop effort as to what a nuclear power plant might look like parked on the river at Dargaville. This photomontage is complete with the obligatory smokestacks belching 'smoke'. This is of course predominantly steam - jolly dangerous stuff is steam. Think of the harm we are all exposing ourselves to boiling kettles for tea.
The South Island's glaciers are smalller this year. All the fault of 'global warming', of course, which in turn is all our fault. Let's just ignore the fact that for the two previous years the same glaciers have been bigger than normal. Oh yes, I remember, we had global warming turned off for 2004-5. This phenomenon is explained away by some plonker from NIWA as being because New Zealand's glacier situation is more complex than in other countries. Eh? Mountains, prevailing westerlies bring weather containing snow and we get glaciers. Sounds much like everybody else's to me. The piece below this is about melting permafrost and the release of the methane it contains. This is poorly written but the bottom lines are a) it is all our fault, b) we are entering a downward spiral of impending doom, c) my front room will be awash by next Thursday and d) there is thankfully no permafrost in Milford.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Bovva boy

Trevor Mallard. Haven't heard much of him recently but his ugly mug graces the front page this morning. Labour appears to wheel him out as the neighbourhood bovver boy whenever they want someone 'seeing to' - know wot I mean, like? Our Trev is effectively saying to the opposition 'If you don't stop asking entirely justifiable but very embarrassing questions about the filthy lucre I'm going to start telling tales of knee tremblers behind the National bicycle sheds'. a) This is dragging gutter politics past the sewers and on into the settling ponds and b) they just don't get it do they. Listen up, Trev and your minders, we aren't interested. You have had your hand in the public till and have been caught. We aren't the slightest bit swayed by your obfuscation and blathering about what someone else might have done. We all want you to pay the damned money back - to us. No if's, buts or Bartercard vouchers but cold hard cash. And we want it done preferably after you've all crawled under the door to come clean in person. Is all that too hard to understand?
Garth George day. He really shouldn't get paid this week as his column is too easy to write. 1000 words on NZ politicians behaving badly - I'll give you $3.50. Easy peasy. Koha/lofa - bad. Pledge card money - bad etc etc. He does earn a bit of money by pointing out that we are reaping what we sowed with MMP. MPs are now answerable to their parties and not their electorate and are therefore totally shameless. Even if you, as the electorate, throw an MP out at an election they pop right back up again courtesy of the list. I was not here when the referendum over MMP was held but apparently we were all promised another referendum in 2002 to judge how it was all going. Don't remember seeing that - but then again I don't remember the last time turkeys were asked to vote for Xmas. We ain't never going to get that second referendum, are we?
Phillip Field - remember him? The Editorial goes on about the inordinate amount of power individual Ministers hold - Chris Carter and the Whitianga Marina springs inistantly to mind (what ever happened to the High Court decsion over that?). Did you know that Phillip Field took 262 Immigration cases to the the Minister of Immigrtion (or his Deputy, can't remember which) between 2002-5? Thats over one a week- every week. Minister then makes a decision which overrides any decision made by his department. I don't know which way all these decisions went but it wouldn't be hard to work out. All very wrong. No smoke without fire.
I'm going to try and find something tomorrow that has nothing to do with all this sleaze. OSH, where are you when I need you?

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Beginning of the end?

Only one thing worth reading in the Herald this morning and that is the Editorial. Well worth a read as it encapsulates beautifully the position Labour now finds itself in over the pledge card crap.
I at last am coming to believe that this is the beginning of the end for this regime and its odious ideas. The two basic mistakes that have made is that they actually believe that it is alright for state money to be used for political propaganda and that when they transgress a law it is alright to change that law retrospectively to cover things up. Wrong and wrong. State funding of political propaganda is the stuff leftist totalitarian (and, to be fair, rightist totalitarian) regimes thrive on. Who paid for the block long billboards of Stalin in Red Square? It has no place in a democracy that I want to live in. Changing the rules to cover up transgressions after the event is just plain obnoxious. On both counts the great unwashed have seen through this lot's smoke and mirrors and they are in the pooh over all this in a way we have not seen for ages. Goody goody. The wheeze to 'pay back' the inappropriately used funds by 'underusing' the next couple of years money is a double whammy for us, the poor taxpayer. Using legitimate funds to pay for illegitimate purposes means we get stung twice - second time round for the money not being used for what it was really meant for. Labour's clutching at straws trying to bring the Exclusive Brethren into the argument is just that - clutching at straws. The EB's money (if it did go to Don and the boys and there is doubt surrounding this) is EB money and not public money. The pooh gets deeper by the minute. The underlying idealogical world in which these wretches exist and which they wish to foist upon us is really coming to the fore now - and it is 'orrible.
And speaking of the hideousness of a left wing way of looking of things I will not put myself into a bad mood by dwelling on the fact that striking distribution workers are now drawing 'emergency benefit' 'cos they are not getting paid. Is this country nuts or what?

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Growing your hair & koha

Colin James jumps on the obald bandwagon this morning pointing out to the slower of the populace the progress of the headmistress's changing stance on the Phillip Field business. I likened it your hair growing but Mr James much more eloquently (as befits a bloke who does this for a living) uses George Washington, the axe and the cherry tree as his analogy. Same point being made - change your stance incrementally in very small aliquots in the hope that the great unwashed won't notice. CJ gives us all a timely reminder of previous instances where Helen has just bluffed her way out of trouble (paintings, sprint to footy match etc. etc) but opines that this time she may be getting it wrong. Oh, I do hope so.
Editorial on the koha/lofa/bribes business. There is going to be an awful lot of time wasted here on legality when legality has nothing to do with it. What these jokers are (or are not) doing does not have to be illegal to be wrong. A couple of the articles on this stress the concept of reciprocity surrounding koha. Game, set and match. The overwhelming perception of the majority of the majority of the population is that what is alleged to have happened is just plain wrong - not illegal, but wrong. The fact that a majority of a few minorities think it is OK has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Elected public servants do not accept gifts - full bloody stop.
Helen has a cunning plan re the election pledge card money. It goes like this. We owe about $800,000 so we will underspend our 'allowance' by $400,00 per annum for two years and all will be jakes. Oh, no you don't. Pay the bloody folding varieties back. But a wee silver lining in that coming up with said cuuning plan is an admission of guilt as to events of a year back.
All in all there is a little hope that some of this mud might be startinig to stick. Just no one reach for the waterblasters for a year or two.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Eric & Hone

I need a holiday. Last time I had any time off work was for the Houhora One Base and I'm rooted. It was, therefore, with a heavy heart that I scoffed the last Marmite soldier, put down the paper and got into Britain's finest example of automotive engineering for the short drive to the fields. Everything is better now as Hauraki was playing Cream's live version of Robert Johnson's 'Crossroads' off the 1968 'Wheels of Fire' album to fill the journey - I told you it was a short trip. Crank up the Harman Kardon to warp factor 23 and the world's troubles disappear. This track contains the best bit of guitar work ever in the history of the universe bar none. No, no, no I don't want to hear any 'But Hendrix on....' or any of that twaddle. You are all wrong. 'Crossroads' live by Cream is unsurpassable.
Certainly takes the mind off the cess pit that is New Zealand politics. The arrogance of Honewera Whatisface is at the same time staggering and predictable. If you accept a place in the white man's parliament you play by the white man's rules, Sonny Jim. And, while we are on it, they ain't the white man's rules they are everybody's rules. You cannot pick and chose which bits of an evolving society you want to adhere to, do what you like on other bits and say 'It's our way'. An integrated society doesn't work like that. I feel like a rant over Society's rights and obligations versus those of the individual coming on but that would disturb the inner calm that Eric Clapton has just bought me so it can wait for another day. I've no doubt at all another opportunity will present itself before long.

Friday, September 1, 2006


I should have kept my powder dry last evening because I'm left with very little worthy of comment this morning. The purveyor of nothing but the truth yields very slim pickings on the first day of spring. The cacophony of censure over the recent conduct of the government continues for the time being but it will die down a bit over the next couple of days as I intimated last night. 81% of Labour supporters think that Labour should pay the election rort money back and, of the remaining 19%, 13% think passing retrospective legislation to make the spending all right is OK. I assume the missing 6% have a skerrick of common decency left in them. This nearly one fifth of a sample are presumably the same sort of peple who were interviewed on the box last night opining that Phillip Field was a good bloke and was being picked on. There really is no hope left for this place if these people are allowed to vote and procreate.
Whether you are stroking a ball through the covers, performing stand up comedy or running a country timing is everything and unfortunately the timing of all this entirely laudable assault on the bastions of power is all wrong. The next election is two years away and the headmistress et al can, and will, hang on for the duration. Their hope, and this founded on an entirely reasonable expectation, is that the great unwashed will have forgotten about all this by the time it comes to trot down to the primary school after golf one Saturday morning. The recent polls that give all right minded people such short term hope still rate old crooked face as preferred Prime Minister by the length of the straight - this in spite of all the faecal material coming out of the opposition howitzers. Apparently incumbents always poll better than wannabees - but by 2 to 1? The trick now is to keep the current level of public disapproval at the current level for two years. A very big ask indeed.
The police drivers in Timaru get their convictions quashed - not many naysayers there I would imagine. What a top way of spending my tax payer's dollar that all was. And who walks away from it all as if nothing had happened? The person without a Y chromosome sitting in the back seat at the time. I don't like her one little bit, in case you were wondering.