Thursday, May 31, 2012

Heart Of Darkness

I happened on a blog today by Theodore Trefon   

" Jaynet Kabila, sister of the President and Member of Parliament put Prime Minister Matata on the spot last week. She raised the question in Parliament how the government plans on implementing its social and development objectives without knowing how many people live in the country. Matata’s five-year plan outlines six objectives. Deputy Kabila (representing Kalemie in Katanga) called for a comprehensive population census to be added as a seventh objective. question and recommendation obviously make sense."

I am a reader of the blog  No Minister and the post " You Have to wonder about the worth of the UN " is fair and valid criticism it is a good blog and would be far better without the racist ramblings of Adolf.

" when they announce that Robert Mugabe, and his Zambian sidekick, Michael Sata, have been appointed United  Nations international tourism ambassadors in recognition of the promotion and development of tourism in their countries.

That made me think about the UN, they do a hell of a lot of good things but as The Veteran points out they dropped the ball on this. New Zealand I would have thought might be in a better position than most nations to correct this fucking stupid decision. Clark is in reality the second most powerful person in the UN if the NZ government was to take the moral high ground and demand that this be reversed backed by the good offices of Clark we might just convince the world that a Kiwi SG and a seat on the Security Council is a bloody good outcome not only for us but for the rest of the world.

More importantly rather than masturbating the ego's of two evil men maybe we could try and alleviate the issues that are building up in the Congo, put UN resources into sorting things out, small things like holding a census, big things like making sure people have food, security and freedom.

Mugabe and Sata are a cancer on humanity. The UN's inability to impose order in the Congo is a cancer. We are in an interesting historical ( potentially ) position. We have been here before and won the moral high ground ( nuclear weapons )  lets do it again.

NB. McCully yup they have resources as do we.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Snow Falling On Cedars is a book by David Guterson it is a book that forces the reader to look at perspectives, it is set in a immediate post WW II American setting, American  and Japanese American relationships are examined.

George Gwaze has been acquitted on charges he sexually violated and murdered his 10-year-old niece for the second time.

Wait on this has already happened.  It happened again today.

This allegation has ended.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

TV 3 you are full of shit

For the last two nights TV 3  has delivered up an investigation into maritime safety that should have us all very worried about the state of journalism in New Zealand.

" By Brook Sabin
There have been calls for major changes to maritime safety after a 3 News investigation uncovered some terrifying near misses.
This report focuses on situations merely metres from disaster."

I have no idea who Brook Sabin is but this investigative genius has discovered Maritime NZ Incident Reports that are released on a monthly basis by Maritime NZ and for that matter published in Professional Skipper magazine  that sort of stuffs your scoop up a bit Brook.

I have no idea who was talked to and ignored in producing this fantastic piece of investigative journalism but I can say I read the reports and most of them are minor

Arahura, ro-ro passenger ship, 148.4 m Gogetem, recreational powerboat,4.7 m
October 28, Tauranga near miss/close quarters.
The two vessels were involved in a near miss incident. 
Now that is a representative report. What the TV 3 items fail to recognise is that the commercial skippers involved are the people providing the information. I agree with TV 3 that licensing is a good idea but the sensationalist nature of the TV 3 reports does nothing to advance that.
" By Hamish In Auckland
There have been calls for major changes to journalistic credibility after a 3 News story covered some terrifying sensationalism
This report focuses on situations merely centimeters  from plagiarism disaster."

Fixed it for you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Anglo Saxon Fist

Chris Trotter is a bloke who recognise's  crap and today we have crap. The " Anglo Saxon Fist " is a Trotterism ( on the domestic front he also invented Waitakere Man ) it was Trotter's way of explaining  complicated concepts to idiots like me. Trotter assumed the Anglo Saxon Fist was broken and New Zealand had moved on, no longer beholden to the UK or USA, but mates with  Australia.

Radio New Zealand  reports

"The meeting with Mrs Clinton followed discussions earlier in the week between Mr McCully and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York.
At a media conference on Friday, Mr McCully told reporters he believes New Zealand dealt with difficulties well, and its bid for membership would bear any scrutiny.
"We think it is very important that smaller countries are able to achieve their opportunity to be represented on the council, and we're very proud of the way in which we've conducted ourselves as a member of the security council in the past."

The Anglo Saxon Fist remains, that we accept it scares me. We need to be on the Security Council without American endorsement, we need to stand for smaller countries and we don't need  Clinton applying a band aid to a broken fist.

Let's amputate and find our own place.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Farrar at Kiwiblog has a post up on gay marriage detailing the views of our parliamentarians on the issue

  • Kevin Hague – in favour
  • Stephen Whittington – in favour
  • Annette King – in favour
  • Clare Curran – in favour
  • Catherine Delahunty – in favour
  • David Shearer – in favour
  • Holly Walker – in favour
  • Carol Beaumont – in favour but not high priority
  • Grant Robertson – personally in favour but Labour policy just to modernise relationship law
  • Heather Roy – would vote in favour but state should not be involved
  • Rahui Katene – undecided, thinks civil unions are enough
  • Simon Bridges – undecided, but relaxed about civil unions
  • David Cunliffe – supports civil unions, but guided by public opinion on gay marriage
  • Hone Harawira – against
  • Peter Dunne – against, as civil unions sufficient
  • Winston Peters – against, wants a referendum
  • Bill English – against, has changed view on civil unions which he is now relaxed about
  • Tim Macindoe – against
This is for me a no brainer we can ditch marriage as an institution and allow everyone civil unions or we can grow up and support gay marriage. Everyone has the right to a mother in law.

 Grant Robertson – personally in favour but Labour policy just to modernise relationship law
 David Cunliffe – supports civil unions, but guided by public opinion on gay marriage

What the fuck ?  The deputy leader of the Labour party and the aspiring leaders ( both ) to Labour.

I have never been a fan of Cunliffe but Robertson needs to pull his head out of the sand. Incidentally the reason why David Shearer is the right man to lead Labour is above. He has the right instincts.

Oh and the leader of Mana  the party that will save the left

Hone Harawira – against

Fuck you Hone. And fuck your political movement, and fuck your mates.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Great Italian Grate Plate

I spent today at the Hutchwilco Boatshow  and caught up with some  old friends . I am constrained but I had several conversations with people who are not and more importantly understand the reality that we face something Kiwi Blog doesn't shy away from today.

It was great to see a new innovative product from Italy at the show.

" The Culture of Rome refers to the arts, high culture, language, religion, politics, cuisine, architecture and fashion in Rome, Italy. Rome was supposedly founded in 753 BC and eversince has been the capital of the Roman Empire, one of the main centres of Christianity, the home of the Roman Catholic Church and the seat of the Italian Republic. Due to its historical and social importance, Rome is often nicknamed the Caput Mundi, or "capital of the world".

And we have this.

"The Original Italian Grater Plate is the amazing plate that grates. It grates cheese and purees garlic quickly and easily with no mess. Perfect for zesting lemons, limes and oranges. Also for chocolate, cinnamon, nuts and even coconut. The Original Italian Grater Plate comes with a silicone garlic peeler and a handy basting brush. The Original Italian Grater Plate is also excellent for other products, such as Nutmeg, Parmesan Cheese, it's great for ginger Root and transforms rough ginger fiber into a smooth paste in just seconds!"

Yup, that is it people and at $15 dollars each or three for $30 you can own the most amazing plate and I am guessing it comes from China.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shewee - Hygienic urination for women, Mr Williams

Tomorrow I am at the Hutchwilco Boatshow I am not a huge fan of shows the Auckland International Boatshow just about kills me on an annual basis it is hard work but we are not exhibiting at the Hutchwilco show so I get to walk around and meet people and discover interesting new products.

A few shows back I bumped into a mate who is a TV news cameraman, he asked me what I had seen that would make a good news story, I am guessing he was getting impatient with the reporter but maybe he thought my judgement on newsworthy was worth considering.

I gave him two new to market products that I thought might be of interest.

The product they ran with that night on the news was Shewee 

" Shewee is a moulded plastic funnel that provides women with a simple, private and hygienic method of urinating without removing clothes whilst standing AND sitting.
When positioned securely under the crotch, and with underwear pushed to the side, Shewee directs urine away from the body to a suitable place, such as a toilet, a container or a conveniently located tree! "

I missed last nights news but I didn't miss this.

" Inquiries with two bar staff revealed Williams had been drinking red wine at the establishment since 4pm. Six hours later Williams left GPK alone and headed down Hurstmere Rd towards the offices of the North Shore City Council, where he has been mayor since 2007.
On his way he stopped, pulled down his trousers and urinated on a tree outside the council offices. "

The ability to urinate on a tree is a politically important ability and Shewee opens options up for women in fact it could catapult you to parliament.

 'It's been clear for some time that Mr Williams is under a lot of stress and is not handling it well... it's time for him to go.' – Rodney Hide.

Rodney, I miss you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wonderful Now - not really

Jackie has written her last post and I am sorry she is leaving us.

" There was a time when i needed Wonderful Now. There was a time when it was my only friend - when i was in that in between place after having left that hideous life behind me where i no longer associated with people from my past but i had yet to reconnect with my real friends and family. There was a time when this darn blog was my only friend. "

Wonderful Now was / is Jackie's blog and it was a place where Jackie demystified her life, a life that had been beyond my ability to understand until I read her blog. My initial reaction to Jackie was not good but if there is one person I despise in NZ public life it is Michael Laws and Laws attempted to misrepresent Jackie to his advantage failed. Jackie fought back through Wonderful Now.

" I guess what i am saying is that it is time to end the Wonderful Now. I want my privacy back and i want that for T and his children and our future as well.
Wonderful Now seemed like a good idea 3 years ago - but it no longer does."

Jackie - I love you

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ele at home paddock has declared war on mice.

We almost always get signs of invasions in autumn and early winter and this year it’s particularly bad. I’ve spent three hours this morning cleaning out the pantry after spotting mouse dirt there and am about to attack a cupboard in the hall where we’ve never seen evidence of them before.

I can so relate to this. Rodents piss me off. I had been fortunate that I had a cat that held similar views but Smudge at 22 resigned and her replacement a far more personable cat Alf (named by my nephew and niece)  I am sure would love to rid the world of vermin he has 3 legs and it isn't going to happen. Anyway here is my response to Ele's blog.

" I spent weeks trying to get rid of a mouse infestation. Every day droppings appeared, every day I would check traps and poison stations and to no avail. I had redone my kitchen linoleum and the installers had made a small hole and welded it, I was furious but having extracted a 10 year written guarantee from them I placed a black rubber mat over the weld as it was a high traffic area, the mat was covered with little bits of upstanding rubber points that when they broke off look exactly like mice droppings. What is embarrassing is it took me 3 months to click."

As you can see 5 " mouse droppings " except they are rubber and from the mat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The ODT and other things

The Otago Daily Times will always be my favorite paper, I worked for them for many years, much as  love Auckland I consider Otago home. Dunedin is part of me, running home down Larnoch Rd and on to Shandon Rd. and into Mrs Brockbank who scooped me up and took me into her house, because I needed a haircut ? No, although I probably did, because Mrs and Mr B were determined a little boy from Scotland would be a Southern Man, a concept in many ways yet to be born.

I have no way of knowing what Ivan and Ruth Brockbank would make of their little Scot today, but I can say they would look at the ODT they would have read it. They would have read along time ago about a building that was going to be a 5 star hotel.

Well that plan as been scrapped and now we have this.

Except we don't. That plan has also been scrapped. Instead we have a new plan and the people of Dunedin have this.
Or is it this.

I am fan of the ODT but for please, please do your job.

This will not happen.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brass razoo's

On Thursday I look forward to Ele's quiz over at Homepaddock I usually can determine the theme and then try and craft answers to questions I don't know around them, today Ele left it up to her readers. Which brings us nicely to brass razoo's and to Sailworld and a sobering warning. I work in the marine industry

" I remember reading, following the Space Shuttle Columbia crash, that the finger of blame could be PowerPointed at a slick 'sales pitch' which took precedence over earnest engineering evaluation.
Vital diagnostic information was glossed over in PowerPoint and a briefcase-sized piece of foam struck the wing, compromising the thermal tile protection … and it was all over, Red Rover, for the crew. 

Similarly, it took only a failed O-ring to turn the ill-fated Shuttle Challenger into a cumulus cloud. 
The field of engineering is littered with such tales of the $2 part causing catastrophic failure to a machine worth many thousands, and ultimately costing lives. Race car drivers have been let down by parting nuts, boat races have been lost with the breaking of a shackle. The difference is, these failures were accidental. What if a someone knowingly used an inferior part that caused a vehicle to crash or a boat to sink? What if they did it just to save a few dollars, or euros?? 
Queensland-based naval architect Peter Brady claims that it’s happening in Europe with the use of inferior skin fittings and seacocks in production boats. 
Apparently the CE Standard was rewritten in 1998 to require that fittings need only be corrosion resistant for five years. Some boatbuilders quickly began using common brass instead of DZR brass, silicon bronze, stainless steel or composites for skin fittings and valves. 
Common brass is much cheaper."

Life is worth more than a brass razoo.

German debt

Sometimes pictures can be instructive these are great for giving perspective.

Why stop at $100
or for that matter $10,000
or for that matter $1,000,000 lets go for it.
How about $100,000,000

" Germany is considered the flag-ship of European economies. Germany holds a 78.8% debt ratio to economy, above the 60% limit standard set by EU for stability ..."

That looks like this.

Then we have France

" Each story of the debt stack is $10 billion USD. The total debt of France is higher than the Eiffel Tower.
The French are among the countries attacking Greece and the piigs for their bad economic behavior, but are increasingly finding themselves in the same economic situation.
Their credit rating was downgraded from AAA to AA+ recently and hold a 83.5% (2011) debt to economy ratio, above the 60% set by EU for economic stability standard.
French banks are also among the financially weak banks
that pose a danger to the French economy."

Fun times ahead.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A bridge to Far ?

The Telegraph today ran a feature on British bridges. It is well worth a look, in the interests of chronology I will start with the Forth Bridge on the grounds that I was born in Edinburgh and I would guess it was the first major bridge I crossed.

” Connecting Edinburgh with Fife, the Forth Bridge is one is Scotland’s most-loved landmarks. Opened in 1890, for over two decades it was the longest single cantilever bridge in the world. Over 60 men are thought to have lost their lives during its construction.”

Now I spent a few years in Dundee so it would seem appropriate to include the Tay Bridge. I am guessing I crossed it a few times.

” The foundation stone of the Tay Bridge, connecting the city of Dundee and Wormit in Fife, was laid on July 6 1883, though it did not open for another four years. Another bridge previously existed on the same stretch of river, but famously collapsed in 1879, killing all 75 people on board the train travelling over it at the time.”

Actually the only Dundee bridge I can remember is the Seven Arches Bridge that connected Monifieth to Dundee I gather the rail tracks had been ripped up and sent to Japan to fuel a booming car industry, how the world has changed ?

It doesn’t feature in the Telegraph article but I remember it well.

OK I have concentrated on Scottish bridges  but British bridges would not be complete without the most famous bridge in the world.

” There is perhaps no bridge in the world more famous than London’s Tower Bridge, which has stood in the capital since the late 19th century. Famously, in 1952 the bridge opened while a double decker bus was crossing it. The driver made the decision to take the vehicle over the gap, and landed safely on the other side.”

Walking across Tower Bridge is a must do. The Empire is fading but sometimes you can get a feel for it.

” Tonight I am feeling for you
under the state of a strange land
you have sacrificed much to be here
‘there but for grace…’ as I offer my hand
welcome home,
I bid you welcome,
I  bid you welcome welcome home
from the bottom of my heart
out here on the edge the empire is fading by the day
and the world is so weary in war
maybe we’ll find that new way “

( Dave Dobbin Welcome Home)

Hat Tip Not PC

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Logo ?

John Key today announced that he is changing the symbol for Parliament to a CONDOM, because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.... A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of dicks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually being screwed!

Monday, May 7, 2012

European FUBAR

Chris Trotter at Bowalley Rd quoted Ron Suskind on  the new reality of political ethics.

 “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors  . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do’.”

It is an instructive insight into the Bush Presidency and effective when applied to national security threats of the Al Qaeda variety, you can launch a war against terror commit atrocities and walk away from all consequences. As Trotter suggests this is the new ethical reality political leaders espouse. The problem is that real threats to national security ( I am not belittling 9/11 ) can't be solved by creating a new reality as the Europeans are now discovering.

The Guardian reports,

" For two years, Europe has been force-fed a diet of unrelenting austerity. The crisis began in the private sector – in over-leveraged banks and wild financial speculation – but such was its impact on consumer spending, investment and trade that governments have seen their public finances dive deep into the red. Spending cuts have been imposed, pensions have been made less generous, and taxes have gone up. The policy has been an economic disaster. Growth has collapsed, unemployment has soared and – unsurprisingly – budget deficits have been much bigger than forecast. Election results from France and Greece show that it has also been a political disaster: voters have decisively rejected Euro-sadism and made it clear they want their politicians to chart a different course. Democracy has trumped austerity."

So much for a new reality. History's actors are caught, voters in France and Greece have rejected the right wing inspired austerity solution.

" Europe is heading deeper into a double-dip recession, the banks are on life support, and there is nothing resembling a Plan B as opposition to austerity stiffens. As Tristan Cooper, sovereign debt analyst at Fidelity Worldwide Investments, noted: "The irresistible force of German austerity has clashed with the immovable object of Greek popular resistance." There is now a stark choice. Unless the terms of Greece's bailout are made less onerous, it is heading for the euro exit door. The warning signs for the commission, the ECB and the IMF are there: sow the wind and you will reap the whirlwind."

For Greece I can see no other option but to walk away from the euro and that brings in the possible domino effect with Portugal, Spain and Ireland. What have they got to lose ?

" Iceland experienced one of the most severe recessions in the world when the markets crashed in 2008. Economic output fell by about 12 per cent over two years. But the latest report on Iceland by the International Monetary Fund shows that growth is resuming. GDP is expected to increase by a relatively healthy 2.5 per cent in 2011. The Icelandic public finances are on a sustainable path too with government debt projected to fall to 80 per cent of GDP in 2016."

I would expect that the implications are not lost on the nations of Southern Europe.

" Depreciation has helped too. The value of the krona fell by 50 per cent against the euro from peak to trough. This has delivered a boost to Iceland's two main exports, aluminium and fish."

Leaving the euro would return economic sovereignty to Greece

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"....because I'm too damn lazy to..."

You got to love get rich quick schemes, these guys took my bait about 3 hours after I took theirs 

" Hi Iain,

Can I promise you something? In about two minutes I will change your life forever. Ready to see how? Then listen up, Iain, time is running out and you might be late already, so please - no distractions. I'm in no way more special or better than you, but I did truly make about 32k just this past week. Now think about that amount: 32 grand a week! Hard to believe right? Well, what if I told you I only worked about 8 hours last week? Still don't believe me? It's ok, you will, because I'm about to give you access a tool that will let you tap into an infinite amount of wealth.

Here is the truth: What made my results possible for me is a top-secret, push-button super software that only a handful of privileged people have access to. And those privileged individuals are mostly super affiliates that make millions a month or huge Internet companies. I've created a spot for you to become part of that club, today. So brace yourself, because this software will give you a giant boot in the pants.

And here is the scary part: My results are actually pretty small, because I'm too damn lazy to spend more time using the software. It's completely up to you how much you make. So... Are you in or are you out? Are you ready to start leading a lavish lifestyle?

( link disabled by me )

P.S. Almost forgot, don't forget to thank me personally when you are buying a sports car next week. "

Now do I attempt to con the conners ?

I agree with Adolf

Adolf has posted about a foolish butcher and he is spot on the guy is an idiot.

" A butchery manager at an Auckland supermarket was fired for unwrapping packed chicken which had reached its best-before date and re-packaging it.
Michael Dick then attached a reduced price sticker and returned it to the shelves with a best-before date of the next day, according to an Employment Relations Authority finding released today."
 I am of the opinion that you probably shouldn't eat many products until they hit the best-before-date.
Mr Dick claimed the store had a practice of rewrapping and relabelling meat to reduce waste and said Countdown wanted workers to keep the value of wasted meat below a set amount. An ability to meet that target helped earn a bonus, he said.
 Authority member Rosemary Monaghan found Progressive Enterprises, which owns Countdown, had acted fairly and reasonably when deciding on and implementing the dismissal said and his sacking was justified. 
I am not going to argue with  the employment authority but I do have concerns about the pressure Dick was under to meet the targets. Adolf points out,
" All he had to do was cut the price and put a "manager's Special' sign on the package.  It's not illegal to sell stuff on or just after its 'best before' date.  It is illegal to sell stuff after its 'use by' date."
Had he done that Progressive Enterprises who are from my consumers perspective total wankers, wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.