Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lost it - and seriously dangerous

Dear Leader has finally lost her marbles. I have always thought of her as the evil genius of New Zealand politics. Now the genius has gone and she is just plain evil

She has in the last two days made a couple of very telling comments. All pretence that she is still on the planet were lost yesterday when she denied what every public opinion poll has been telling her and everyone else for moths - Labour are down the tubes big time. Three polls have come out in the last few days giving the Nats about a twenty point lead and she stands there Canute like and tells anyone who will listen (and there are fewer and fewer of those by the day) that the figures are wrong. Barking.

If that's the lost it bit, the dangerous bit is her preposterous assertion this morning that there is 'no time' to organise a referendum on the Smacking Nonsense to be held at the same time as the General Election. She is now so deluded that no porkie is too far. Who could possibly believe that crap? The general election is five months away. The Electoral Commission can't have printed the ballot papers yet as they don't know who the candidates are. Putting an extra section on a yet unprinted ballot paper would be easy peasy - after all that is just about the only thing an Electoral Commission does. No, the damned woman can't afford to have this matter hanging around like a bad smell whilst she hopelessly pursues a fourth term in power. If the petition gets the numbers (which by all reports it is going to do) she has to have a vote. But she is allowed to postpone it for a year (God knows why) and she will exercise that power for her own political purpose and nothing more. And the cost of this little indulgence to you and me? $10 million - the cost of organising a stand alone referendum. What she wants is for the smacking nonsense to go away until after the election as she remembers the mauling the issue gave Labour a year ago. This must not be allowed to happen. Her trampling on the will of the people must be kept in the forefront of everyone's minds until she is gone.

It would appear that her only motivation in life now is clinging onto power. This is to be pursued at any cost. All but the blind could see that she stopped listening to the people she is supposed to represent (what a joke - the only thing she represents is herself) ages ago but she has stopped even making a show of trying to do the right thing. The heartening thing is that people seem to be waking up to her.

Her behaviour is beginning to look scarily like that bloke in Africa. What his name? Mu something.


Never get a thing done because it is a good idea or because it might be a thing people want to do when you can use compulsion. This bloody government, at the fag end of their time in power, is at it again. Their track record of passing daft, poorly worded legislation to push their warped view of life is as long as it is shameful. We are told what we can put in our kids school lunch boxes. We are compelled to wear fluoro safety jackets when we put the cat out. We are now told that we will have to buy petrol with so many percent biofuel mixed in to it because that is saving the planet. The fact that it will put the cost of gas up (and it has already got a bit more expensive recently if you hadn't noticed) is over and above the fact that it makes proper cars run like a dog. It may be alright in your bloody Prius but I'm buggered if I'm going to put it in the supercharged V8. I mean you don't see Lewis Hamilton telling the spotty youth at the bowser to 'fill 'er up with the 150 octane and top it off with a pint of cooking oil' do you?

A report is issued today detailing the first year of the antismacking bollocks. The feds have 'looked into' a large number (can't remember how many - couple of hundred, maybe) and the end result is zero prosecutions. Whilst all over the country it would appear that the must have accessory for any 21st party is a bunch of thugs with baseball bats and machetes, the boys in blue are wasting their time policing a law that is not needed for no effect. Bloody Bradford has just been interviewed on the wireless and she says this 'proves the law is working as it should'. She is absolutely bat shit mad. She will defend this looney bit of legislation to the hilt whatever happens. She could not reason her way out of a paper bag (the one that should permanently sit over her head) so why should she at this late stage realise that she is just plain wrong.

In the meantime we have our latest bit of compulsion. Squiggly wiggly light bulbs. Thomas Edison patented his version of the light bulb in 1875. It has remained pretty much unchanged since then and has served us well. Having been around for such a long time it has evolved into many forms. There are different shaped ones, dimmable ones and all sorts of variations. They are cheap as chips and when they burn out you bin them and put another one in the socket. Easy. But things move on. These piggy's tails jobbies appear to be very good. They use less power and are cheap to run. All good. Put them up against Edison's model in the shops and see what the punter thinks. Well this punter did and I bought some to replace a couple of 100w globes in the recessed lights on one of the patios. I could get away with 16w the man in the shop told me. Go and vomit in your top hat Edison, I'm onto something here. Take them home and I stood on a chair without wearing a safety harness or fluoro jacket and screwed in my new purchase. Bloody thing sticks out of the bottom of the recessed socket and ends up not being recessed at all. I wait for dusk and then turn on the new wondrous bulb. It is horrible. A hideous stark white light that would look good illuminating the tripwire at Stalag Luft IV.

These bulbs may be eco friendly and cheap to run but they look absolutely disgusting - whether they are turned on or off. So here is the rub. I don't like them and I have been out and bought a couple of old fashioned 100w bizzos that give of the warm glow I want and are invisible in the ceiling when turned off. I am prepared to waste my money on the extra power for the effect and I have the choice so to do.

As of next year I will not have this choice. The damned government is going to tell me what bloody light bulbs I can buy. I may want to put a squiggly wiggly bulb in the laundry cupboard where I can't see it much and the cost savings will be worthwhile (but at a couple of dollars pre annum I doubt it) - and then again I might not. Not a good enough level of control for this mob - you will buy the light bulbs we tell you to buy.

It is as scary as it is pathetic

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wrong - again

If we have nothing to do of an evening most of us would not pick a bracing stroll though Manurewa as a way of passing the time. People getting shot, mugged and run over wholesale in the past few days. These ghastly events have been somewhat overshadowed in one instance by one of the three horsemen of the stupid (policy, process and procedure) where our society mandates that forms are filled out in triplicate to ensure the bad men with the shooters have left while a bloke bleeds to death. No matter, Our Fearless Leader has the answer to all our ills.

We will look into how many liquor outlets there are in South Auckland as it is all their fault. The Liquor Licensing Laws haven't been updated since 1989. Crikey, how long ago is that? New Zealand still held the Rugby World Cup so it was a very long time ago. However just because a statute hasn't been modified for a while doesn't mean it needs changing just for the sake of it. Murder, rape, burglary and the like were all frowned upon a very long time ago but we don't hear calls for a 'National murder whoever you fancy free of fear of prosecution 'cos that's the modern way day' once a month, do we? Labour have been in power for nine years, there is an election this year, we must be seen to do something and so we will look into how grog shops get their licenses. This is because research (undefined) 'shows' that violent crime is related to the density of off licenses. I would like to see the evidence (if it exists - which I strongly doubt) and would bet you a bottle of Captain Morgan that research shows no such thing. Lots of Super Cheap Liquor shops in an area of high crime is cause and effect? Maybe the shop owners naturally gravitate to low socio-economic areas where regular and heavy alcohol consumption and crime is part and parcel of the local way of life. Because that is where they are likely to make more sales and turn a better profit. It is very easy to confuse association with cause and effect. Apparently there are more grog shops per head of population in Howick and Clevedon than Manurewa so if you use Helen's stupid socialist way of thinking the streets of those suburbs should be rivers of blood. But they aren't.

How about the high rate of crime in the suburbs currently copping the flak being due to generations of welfare dependency, loss of family values, negligible education standards, understaffed police force held in no respect by residents, a weak judiciary, limp wristed feminist left wing ratbags running the country, no public floggings and leaving contraceptives out of the drinking water as a real cause?

The damned woman is as wrong today as she has been for all her misdirected life. Her ideas on life as a member of the public are hideous. As Prime Minister they are directly responsible for the underclass that has flourished under her stewardship of the country. The clock is ticking and her tenure is surely nearly at an end. I hope it is not too late for us all to claw our way back from the brink. I was deeply distressed to see that John Key has exhibited that he might not be made of stern enough stuff - he today said that National was going to support Hawkins' stupid and ineffective grog Shop Licensing Amendment Bill. I had hoped he would be better than that - but at least he is not Bloody Helen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sledgehammers, walnuts, certainty and pragmatism

Several thoughts running around what passes as a brain at the moment and I am not entirely sure I can pull them coherently together.

The concept of certainty has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was first smitten by mathematics (which was well before gamefishing) my favourite number has been zero and all the wondrous things it can do. Infinity is its natural bedfellow and is similarly intangible and intriguing. So it is with certainty. There is nothing that lives that can do anything with absolute certainty and that is just the way it should be. If we had certainty in life (I know about the death and taxes nonsense - and taxes is stretching the point in absolute terms) many of the things that make life just that, life, as opposed to an existence would disappear. Trust for instance would not be required and just think how much less rich life would be if that were removed.

No, we have to move through life accepting that the vast majority of things are not certain. Some of this we seem to be able to get our heads around quite easily. I can think of no one who buys a Lotto ticket entertaining the thought that he has certainly bought the winning ticket. But still you hand over your $13 because although you are not certain of winning it is possible that you will. The chances of winning are exceedingly low but the result of winning is very good (loads of dosh) and the result of losing is pretty inconsequential - well to most people. If you are spending $13 on Lotto as opposed to the groceries you have another sort of issue. If you buy a Lotto ticket you are not certain to win neither are you certain to lose. So if we accept that we don't have 0% chance or 100% chance of something happening we are making some progress as to how we have to go through life.

Life is not a box of chocolates, life is a repeated trip to the TAB. Every conscious decision you make is made by weighing up the odds. You try and work out what the chances are of an outcome of an action coming to pass and factor in the benefits and deficits of those outcomes and make your choice. Impossible. Well tough; you have to 'cos that's the way it is. But you do have some help. And your biggest help is the normal distribution curve. This is right up there in the theoretical stakes with the number zero. Everything that naturally happens to anything that lives from a blade of grass to me or you or the lady at number 27 occurs somewhere along this curve. I am below average height. There will be an equal number of people in a suitably large cohort who are an equal amount above average height. If I walk down the road during a thunderstorm the number of times I do it before being struck by lightning is at a point along the normal distribution curve for that activity. I find out where that point is and I take a punt and go for a stroll - or not. My choice. We live under this magical bell shaped umbrella.

What we do not live under is a square wave. You do something and this other thing will definitely and without any shadow of doubt whatsoever happen. No sir it won't - because it can't. This is where all these daft social engineering laws have their genesis of being so stupid. Sure they are embellished and massaged by a bunch of control freaks but the germ of the problem is trying to put certainty where none can exist. If you stand on a box a metre off the ground to do some work and fall off it is very unlikely that you will come to any permanent harm. But you might. Therefore everyone who stands on said box has to wear a safety harness. A sledgehammer, a walnut, a lack of understanding of the concepts we are talking about and pragmatism is down the river. If the box is on the edge of a cliff a sensible bloke would call for his safety harness because in the unlikely event of him falling off the box the consequences are now that he will end up not on a box but in one. Now that is the pragmatic solution to the problem. But to get everyone standing on boxes looking like mountaineers? I don't think so.

But that is the way modern society seems to want to go and The People's Republic is right in the van of the movement. Banning handheld cellphones whilst driving is the latest example. How many people are killed on New Zealand's roads per annum where use of a cell phone might be a contributing factor? I worded that very carefully. The media would say 'How many people are killed each year on New Zealand's roads by cellphones?' You can be killed on the road by a phone if you inhale it or are beaten to death with it but saying you died in a car crash whilst using a 'phone is the fault of the telecommunications device is several logical steps to far. So back to the question. How many? 500? 100? 50? 20? Nope, the answer is 5. How many people use phones when driving? I don't know but instances per annum is surely in the millions. So what are the chances of being killed whilst using a cellphone in a car? Without doing any maths the answer is obviously very, very low. But we are to have a law compelling us all not to do it - at all, ever. Handsfree jobbies are OK though. Good? Well no. There is absolutely no evidence (bloody inconvenient stuff is evidence, just ask Al Gore) that using a Bluetooth headset is any safer than holding the phone up to your ear. So ban those as well then. Will never happen because a) the great unwashed won't stand for it and b) it would be totally unpoliceable.

As would be banning the other distractions to driving - taking the wrapper off a pie, arguing with the kids, listening to Radio Sport, picking your nose, looking at attractive young ladies walking down the street, reading government sponsored billboards telling you that speed kills etc. etc. I think driving with one hand and holding a phone to my lughole is daft and I don't do it - much. I have a handsfree bizzo but I am under no illusion that when I am using it I am driving as well as when I am listening to Radio Sport. I can't even text when lying on a chaise longue let alone when driving a car and so I don't do that. If five people a year got to the TAB and place a fat wad of cash on using a phone whilst driving, lose and die, well tough. If they run into a school crossing well that is really, really tough but those kids probably had a greater chance of being struck by lightning.

Driving whilst using a phone is probably (but not certainly) a bad idea. But we don't need new largely unenforceable legislation to ban it. It'll make a lot of money though.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another must have item

In response to my little tale of power woes at the weekend my good friend The Dead Ant added a link to the real solution to my problems.

I need one of these.

Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.
The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009.

I'm off to found how much they cost - New Zealand would be just the place to pioneer bijoux home nuclear power don't you think?

Monday, June 9, 2008

A glimpse of the future - and it ain't pretty

We are not talking 2050 and Jetsons stuff here but the next couple of months in the Peoples Luddite Republic. By complete coincidence, in the early hours of yesterday morning, I was rudely made aware of issues to which I referred last week.

Power. To be more specific electrical power. At some time between 0200 and 0500 yesterday I was thrust into a world without any. I awoke from my slumbers preparing for a round of golf after a refreshing cup of tea to find that our property had no power. None, not an electron was moving anywhere. Check the circuit breakers in the house (two sets) - no problem. Mumbling and grumbling I set off up the drive carrying a candle lit lantern (I am not joking - I felt like a bloke out of Pickwick Papers) to check the main breakers up by the gate in the tractor shed. These also looked tickety boo. No choice but to get on the blower to Genesis. Now when I moved whare a few months back one of the bonus attractions of the new location was the lack of cell phone reception. At 0530 on a Sunday morning with no power in the house this advantage seems to evaporate. Anyway we get through after standing in the cell phone reception 'special place' (all hunched up right in the far corner of the master bedroom). Is the rest of the road all lit up? One of the advantages of this road is that you cannot see the rest of the road. We agree to skip this bit. Have you checked the circuit breakers? Yes. Have you paid your bills? Rude sod. OK, the Genesis man will be round in '4-6' hours. Great.

Time to assess what I can actually do on my property when I have no electrical power. Answer? Nothing. Nothing at all. I can't get water out of a tap, I can't use the phone, the freezers and fridges start warming up, there is no light (obviously) and no gas as there is a safety cut off on the gas hob that cuts in when the electric cuts out. The garage doors have to be lifted up by hand and to get off the property the electric gates have to be disconnected from the rams. I can't even use the laptops to get on the net as the modem and wireless router have no power. What to do while awaiting the Genesis men? Go and play golf.

Return four hours later and find to my surprise that all is sorted - on a Sunday morning don't forget. It turns out that this little episode is not David Parker's fault. What an enormous disappointment. It would appear that the main switch from the road transformer to the meter had burnt out. And I mean seriously burnt out - like destroyed. Moisture is the best bet. Quite how I don't really understand as the switch box is meant to be in the box where it is and looks to be perfectly sound. No matter, by the time I returned from a blistering two over handicap round, our electrician had replaced offending switch and the Genesis man was up the power pole kitted out in all his OSH mandated kit (you would have thought he was off to the North Face of the Eiger) replacing the 'main fuses'. Have you seen these babies - about the size of Coke cans and rated at a squillion amps - all for me. Flick the switch and we are all hunky dory again.

So six hours after finding the fault it is all sorted (including getting some replacement parts) on a Sunday morning. Genesis were excellent and our electrician better (but I knew that anyway - that's why we use him).

Now the weirdy green beards would say this little tale is evidence of all that is wrong with how I live my life. It shows what can happen when I position myself to be so dependent on twenty first century technology. It shows how much better off I would be living in a cave and cooking my bison over an open fire. Well all I can say to them is bollocks.

I live in the twenty first century and not the eighteenth. The whole point of man's evolution is so I can live a techno life and marvel at aircraft carriers. I see that the Government is today launching the 'Save Power' campaign to cover up for their lack of planning in under supplying the country with electricity generating capacity. I am not going to save one skerrick of electricity - I will use as much as I want (which will exceed the 'as much as I need' figure) and then pay for it.

There has not been an increase in electricity generating capacity in this country since 1990. That is bloody scandalous. I am realistic enough to realise I am not going to get a nuclear power station installed in Albany by the end of the week. However there will be an emergency generator in my tractor shed in the same time frame. The only question I need to address is whether to go with petrol or diesel.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

This is how you do it

If you thought our mob in Wellington were good at the political spin game then you ain't seen nothing yet.

Thanks to Mr Whaleoil of www.whaleoil.co.nz for the clip. I make no pretence that I have done anything other than copy this little gem directly from the marine mammal's site. And it was emailed to him so I have no idea as to its veracity - who cares, its a little ripper even if it isn't true.

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton’s great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: ‘Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1883, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted! , and hanged in 1889.’

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary’s staff sent back the following biographical sketch:

’Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave in 1887 to resume his dealings with the railroad. Subsequently, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor, when the platform on which he was standing collapsed.’

Fabulous. I wish I had such an inventive brain with the English language.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This isn't right

I was not in the People's Republic when it was decided to do away with the First Past the Post electoral system. I was not privy to the discussions that resulted in the form of MMP that we now have. Whatever was proposed that eventually got the nod surely was not what we have ended up with. No one in their right mind could have consciously and with malice aforethought wanted MMP New Zealand style circa 2008 - surely. Or maybe the malice bit belies that.

The Greens are, surprise surprise, at the bottom of the latest total travesty. They are party made up entirely of list MPs - a concept that has me shaking my head in disbelief for starters. They have never had a properly elected MP (and are never likely to) and if they fail to reach the magic and aribitrary 5% threshold in a couple of months time they will be completely wiped out as a parliamentary party - couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of blokes. All that notwithstanding we have had to put up with them for the past years being the tail that has wagged the dog of a country. How far do you think the anti smacking nonsense would have got without MMP?

This bunch of unelected toads was right on Helen's hip in getting the draconian Electoral Finance Act passed. They stood there on the moral high ground of their own imaginations and told us how any electoral process must be fair and transparent and how a vital plank of democracy must not be besmirched by big secret money being paid to 'other parties'. Read National for that as all the cranks who support the Commies wouldn't have two farthings to rub together.

So it is these paragons of virtue who are blatantly fiddling around with the list so that the Ginga Leader can get into Parliament for a couple of months. For what? So he can have a higher profile and I would assume rort some election expenses off me as he is now an MP and the EFA has a subsection c paragraph ii which says he can. Nandor Ropehead wants to stand down (lie down in a chemically altered state more like) and his place has to be taken by the next on the list. We are already stretching the boundaries of the phrase 'has to' here. Mr Next on the List is not Ginga and says he wants to go to Bellamys and Ginga can sod off. What to do? The Green heavies are sent round to Mr Next on the List's whare with the socks full of lentils and wind farm powered bright lights, Mr NotL changes his mind and suddenly it is alright for Ginga to go to Wellington. Well no it's not. If all the above was not bad enough the damned man wasn't even on the list that the stupid people who wasted their vote on the Greens voted for in 2005. All the Greens are doing is putting their own interests in front of any other consideration - including the pretence of a democracy that we have in The People's Republic.

This is a travesty of governance and should be seen as such and no more.