The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Sport down under. 

This will have to be quick cos I ain't got much time and maybe I'll tidy it up later.

Pat Lam was a surprising choice to me and most others as Auckland's NPC coach this season and it's alright though because he won't last much longer.

The Tri-Series is going to be expanded in 2007 so that each team plays an extra two matches. That sucks. It's already crap.

The Central Coast bid that failed to make the NRL for 2006 is now planning a bid to become one of the two new teams to join the Super 12 in 2006 instead. Since subscription is required here's the gist...
Central Coast Stadium chairman and syndicate spokesman Russell Tate said yesterday that if a proposal was made to enter the prestigious provincial competition it would not be a knee-jerk reaction to the NRL's decision against admitting a Central Coast side in 2006.

"That [Super 14 bid] probably would have been the case regardless of the NRL decision," Tate said. "But it has been brought into sharp focus when it became clear the Bears weren't going to happen in the foreseeable future.

"Bears, or no Bears, we're still hopeful of having half a dozen NRL games on the Coast and there are some fundamental reasons why an NRL team would be a success and why a Super 14 team would be a success on the Central Coast.

Club rugby in Sydney must be stuffed as Penrith played Randwick in the weekend and these are the scores in the top 4 grades.

1st Grade
Penrith 0 Randwick 100
2nd Grade
Penrith 0 Randwick 127
3rd Grade
Penrith 0 Randwick 157
4th Grade
Penrith 0 Randwick 90

The Blue Bulls coach in the Super 12 is saying that they will be at a "disadvantage" in teh Super 12 next year as they have an end of year tour to Europe which won't give the players enough time to rest before the Super 12.

As if they aren't stuffed before it even starts with all their travel. However look out NZ teams because when Aussie and South Africa get teams in then it will mean more travelling for them but a lot more for us. So our days of domination may well rest strictly on the talent in those countries being spread out. But we can't rely on them to be behind for much longer so look to see us miss out on the silver wear after the Super 14 gets up and running. yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Gordon Tallis has announced his retirement at the end of this season. He injured his neck in a tackle in May and so is calling it a day. Fantastic player in his prime. Seems Brad Thorn will make a nice replacement when he heads back over to Queensland.

On the result front, North Queensland are into their first ever finals series after beating the Tigers easily (I bow down to the tipping maestro bennyasena), and the Sharks coach has threatened to punch anybody in the nose who tries to tell them the result from the Tigers v Knights game played earlier in the day. If the Tigers win then the Sharks are gone, but if they lose then the Sharks have a chance of qualifying by whipping the Cowboys up at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

The Knights are going to miss out on the playoffs for the first time in several years, and if Johns doesn't come flying back next year at full fitness then it's hard to see them qualifying then either.

Speaking of the playoofs theirs been calls to change the system. And here ye can read abooooot it.

And Frank Endacott reckons the Kangaroos will get the wooden spoon at the tri-nations later this year.

I guess that means they will win it by 20 points in the final then. Like Graham Lowe at times, Endacott can come from the Pele school of predictions. In other words put money on the other guy. A WHOLE LOTTA MONEY!

The big mouth 

I have just consumed the third edition of AUT's student publication Te Waha Nui - the big mouth - which is entirely student produced and refreshing in its complete lack of advertisements.

From the US presidential elections, to Northland school closures, to Sport 365, reviews and sports coverage the paper offers fresh, youthful perspectives.

Te Waha Nui doesn't get a mention in the Listener's recent media column on student journalism yet its cross-town rival, the NZ Herald produced, Fuse does:

Russel Brown wrote the paper demonstrated the difficulty "of tapping into the student media tradition of challenging the Establishment when you are published by the Establishment".

"It contained many brief advisory articles and comments – and plenty of prominent commercial sponsorship – but little to threaten the news pages of its daily big brother, or scare the editors of the better student publications."

While Fuse may not try and scare the editors of "better student publications" its parent body sure did.

In Te Waha Nui's first edition a student reporter wrote a rather benign story on the NZ Herald having fired its cartoonist Malcolm Evans.

The NZ Herald responded by sending its high profile lawyers to intimidate the week-old newspaper and its student editor with legal action - way to go to encourage beginner journalists - pricks.

But the Herald's bullyboy antics worked and I don't think its questionable antics have ever been reported.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Why the NRL maybe isn't all that just yet 

Well my timing is impeccable to be writing about this subject since today I've spied this story in at It's regarding the length of the season with NRL boss David Gallop basically conceding that the season is too long but because of the financial problems they have to have it at the current length to guarantee each team has 12 home matches so they can make some dosh.

But on to what I drafted up in the days before seeing the article...

Check out the scores from this seasons competition and tell me it doesn't need a few weeks shortened from it. Having 24 games spread over 26 weeks plus three State of Origin games, a test match and City v Country for NSW players thrown in there BEFORE heading into a month long playoff series surely CANNOT bring the best out of the players and teams week after week. Or even anything near it for that matter. This isn't supposed to be the Super 12 y'know.

Here's the scorelines by margin:
Tight Games
6 points or less: 47
7-12: 39

Comfortable Wins
13-20: 38

Non Events - Right Bollockings
21-30: 26
31-40: 10
41+: 13

In practical terms two matches a round out of the 7 are 'thrashings', and roughly 1-2 are comfortable wins and the other 3-4 are good contests.

But the real proof lies in the first half and second half split. In the first half of the season there were many more close games than in the second half. Rounds 1-13 saw 48 of the 90 games decided by 12 or fewer points with the majority in the 0-6 point range. In the second half however there have been just 38 of the 83 games to date in that range with more than half of them in the 7-12 point range. What's more the first half of the season yielded margins of 30 points or more on just 7 occasions, compared to the 16 thus far in the second half.

You have to bear in mind that as the playoffs draw near teams try their best to tighten up their efforts to either a) avoid the wooden spoon, b) sneak into the playoffs, or c) get themselves a home semi final. This led to several tight games in this last weekend which would not have ended that way had they been played a month ago. If you basically chopped out say rounds 18-24 then I think you would be looking at a much higher standard of play and tighter games all season.

To add to all this, on 36 occasions to date this season (34 last year) the victorious team has scored 40 or more points.

Teams are more attacking these days than say they were a decade a go and the speed of the game combined with the referees cracking down on slowing the play the ball type tactics doesn't do defences any favours, but as it's the same for both teams the scorelines shouldn't be blowing out so much should they?

Look at the distribution of scores of 40+ over the seasons:
11 in the first half of last season (13 weeks) and 23 in the second half (13 weeks).
13 in the first half of this season and 23 in the 12 weeks of the second half of the season.

My solution as I've said before a few times is to shorten the season by about 4-6 weeks. Put the State of Origin games on Saturday nights with bye weekends for the NRL teams. That way those guys wouldn't have to back up a couple of days later and they could actually build up to the games during the day rather than on weekdays as they do now. And that opens up our (my) puppy idea of having a NZ origin series played at the same time with all the NRL Kiwis in action. North versus South (which includes Wellington) on the Friday night with New Zealand Maori v Bartercard Cup game as a curtain raiser or something similar. Now tell me that wouldn't get a bigger crowd along to Ericsson Stadium or where ever than the Warriors would (in any kind of form).

The shortened season is surely inevitable. Take a look at the National Football League in the US. It's hugely popular with every team bar one of the 32 averaging over 53,000 per home game (the Washington Redskins thanks to the high government official wining and dining/'free lunch' scene average 80,499 a game).

But the regular season lasts just 16 games over 17 weeks. With the playoffs featuring just 12 of the 32 teams and lasting only 11 matches with a two week break before Super Bowl Sunday.

The reason for this is because the games are so brutal that teams simply cannot sustain a high level of performance any longer than that. Bones start to break, ligaments get torn and first choice players fall by the wayside.

Getting back to the NRL, there has been a measured increase in the number of players staying on the field due to injuries because of the limited interchange rule. I would say that having followed both sports fairly closely over the last few years (St Louis Rams fan) that the number of injuries are roughly the same between the sports. For a comprehensive and live and updated list of all the injuries in the NRL this season check this rather valuable list out which even includes links to information on each injury.

I particularly 'like' this write up:
Jon Olzard knee ACL Injury:Rnd 7 Returns: Next season
In Premier League, attempting to save a try by sliding under Shannon Hegarty, he ruptured everything in his left knee including his hamstring and calf muscles. His common peroneal nerve was one of the few structures left in tact holding his knee together. Extensive rehabilitation required.

Or Mark Gasnier (yeah the phonecall guy)..."He played the last 25 minutes of origin III with a broken collarbone. Re-injured it falling out of a car".

Or Glenn Morrison..."Fractured two thoracic vertebrae and cervical ligaments when head compressed making a low tackle".

getting back to being semi serious for a minute. Here is an article from a couple of years ago regarding the players physical futures after they retire from the game.

I'd like to just cut and paste the whole thing because it's a very good article but I'll just do a decent chunk and you can follow the link for the lot. Most of the expert comments are made by John Orchard who is responsible for the above website on NRL injuries.
All season they are bashed and bruised, concussed and left bleeding, stretchered off the field in neck braces, bandaged and strapped, pumped full of painkillers and local anesthetic, lining up in the surgeries of Sydney's best orthopedic surgeons.

But what we don't see is the unspoken legacy of all this macho biffo, the old players crippled with arthritis, bow-legged and hobbling around at 50 like men of 80, enduring the endless torment of bone grinding against bone in hopelessly damaged knees, ankles and shoulders....

"It's hard to know what arthritis feels like 30 years down the track when you're 20," says Roosters team doctor John Orchard, who constantly has to balance the long-term health prospects of his players against their desire to get back on the field as fast as possible.

For instance, removing damaged cartilage from the knee of a young player gives him 100 per cent pain relief for five to 10 years. But if he keeps playing on the uncushioned knee he faces arthritis in 20 to 30 years....

Orchard says surgical advances have lessened the risk of long-term injury to younger players, although the benefit is counterbalanced by the fact the bigger, heavier players of today collide with greater force.

He lists on his website 26 first-grade players this season who have undergone or will soon undergo ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) knee reconstructions. Footballers face "extreme risks" of degenerative conditions of the joints, he says. Their chance of having a knee or hip replaced is five times greater than for the rest of us....

Then there was Warriors forward Kevin Campion, with blood gushing from a nose split wide open at the bridge and 12 stitches still fresh on his forehead from a Y-shaped gash a week earlier. His once-handsome face mangled, Campion is lauded for extreme toughness. Commentators spoke in awe on Sunday of the fact Campion has averaged 100 stitches per season in his 11-year career....

Another league legend whose game was about "getting split" every week was St George and Test forward Johnny Raper, 63, who says the legacy of his brilliant career becomes more apparent by the year.

Last week he had a litre of congealed blood drained from his knees, a biannual chore. There is no cartilage left in either knee and bone just grinds on bone, which has him gritting his teeth at the end of every day. He is woken at night by the pain of arthritis in his shoulders, a legacy of all those low tackles for which he became famous. And if it's not his shoulders it's the radiated pain from the vertebrae crushing a nerve in his neck....
And to go full circle back to the article in the nrl website today look at these quotes from Gordon Tallis and Wayne Bennett:
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett and captain Gorden Tallis questioned the pressure being placed on rugby league's elite by the demands of a 24-game NRL season as well as the extra load of representative football.

"You only have to look at the good quality players that are running around and how they played in round 12 or round 14 to how they're playing now," Tallis said.

"It's no disrespect to them because they're still great players and they're trying their guts out. But the quality of the football that they play is not the same.

"That's what the fans pay their money for. The fans pay their money to see the good players play every week and play good football."

Bennett was equally effusive on the subject.

"We're sitting at the end of it now like all the other teams waiting to start the play-offs and just going through the motions," Bennett said.

"When you're loaded up with injury, we just have to get through next week now.

"They're not going to change it but that doesn't mean I have to sit here like a dummy. I'm with the players a long time and I know where we're all at.

"Most of the other clubs are in the same boat."
Since the NRL still has their current broadcasting deal until either 2006 or 2007 they really aren't sure of themselves cash wise, and also the NSW pokie machine money can't be guaranteed for much longer either but it would be nice to think that when broadcasting rights come up again and somebody forks out a bucket of cash that we might see a few of the things I mentioned about come into play.

Won't be holding my breath though.

Be the Blues! 

Had quite a good time last night watching the gold-medal game in the women's handball, featuring Korea (in blue) versus Denmark (in red). It was a close-game, featuring some great goal-keeping, especially by the robust Korean lass, and only decided in Denmark's favour after overtime and then the handball equivalent of a penalty shoot-out. I cheered on the Koreans, on the basis of the Yamis connection, but I have to admit the Danish girls were better looking, especially the one called Anderson (who I nick-named Hans Christian). What can I say, gentlemen prefer blondes.

The other observation I had is that handball looks quite easy, especially if you've ever played a bit of basketball and indoor soccer. Plus not many countries are any good at it. It's about time NZ takes this sport seriously, we could be guaranteed a medal in the men's and the women's competitions every time. Easy peasy.

Taking back control 

OK I've decided that as of today I'll run the best press release of the previous week on Monday morning.

Last week was a tough one, especially with the New Zealand Freemason Society announcing that it will be holding an open day, freaky. Check that out on Scoop.

But taking the cake was this release from the "freedom fighter" Libertarianz health spokesman:

Blowing Smoke at the Wowsers
Libertarianz health deregulation spokesman Richard Goode will tomorrow enjoy a cigarette gifted by Timaru publican Geoff Mulvihill.
At 4pm on Sunday afternoon, at the Carlton Hotel in Timaru, Mulvihill will risk a $5000 fine to protest against oppressive new anti-smoking legislation that could put him out of business.
"This is a courageous and principled stand taken by a man whose livelihood has been put at risk by busybody bureaucrats," said Goode. "I'm more than happy to accept the hospitality of a fellow freedom fighter."
The Libertarianz Party advocates the scrapping of the Smokefree Environments Act and promotes instead that property owners are left free to set their own smoking policies on theuir own property. Echoing Mulvihill's own comments, Goode said, "Who are the government to tell Geoff how to run his business? These control freaks should just get out of the way and let people run their own lives."
Mulvihill and Goode will be taking back control of their lives at 4pm on Sunday 22nd August at the Carlton Hotel, 66 Stafford Street, Timaru.

(Move over Annette King)

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Mad Headlines 

This is a classic and from our esteemed Herald to boot albeit from Reuters.

Annus must give sample or lose gold

I think they need to cut the guy some slack. I mean they are asking for a urine sample for gods sakes!

Meanwhile I see I may have been a bit harsh on the NRL. I just came across this article from the Sydney Morning Herald online. I don't recall it being reported in NZ.

In it Gallop mentions that they do have a plan for the future. Just that it's a secret. Weird.

NRL partnership directors yesterday discussed offering clubs financial incentives to relocate after turning down applications from the Central Coast, Gold Coast and Wellington to join the competition in 2006...

But in a major development with wide-ranging implications for the future of the game, News Limited and the ARL mulled over the possibility of revisiting 1998, when teams were offered grants of $6 million - later increased to $8 million - to merge. Six took the bait, forming three mergers of which two survive today.

Under the proposal tossed around yesterday, similarly generous grants would be on offer to existing clubs - as long as they moved to strategically identified areas headed by yesterday's unsuccessful applicants, Central Coast, Gold Coast and Wellington.

"You have asked me whether there was some discussion about relocation incentives - I can confirm it was discussed," NRL chief executive David Gallop said last night. "There was some talk about it. Beyond that, I can't comment.".....

"There is a possibility there of financial incentives."

Gosford, Carrara, Wellington, Christchurch, Perth and Adelaide are all in line to host premiership games next season....

"What we've said always was that if a club was to come to us and say they were interested in relocation ... we're not going to force it on anybody but we've certainly got an open mind to it....

Gallop reiterated that the competition does have a strategic plan - never made public - and revealed it called for the competition to "define and achieve an appropriate geographical spread".

That spread has now been defined as "dominating the heartland" - including Gold Coast and Central Coast - and then going national on both sides of the Tasman. "It's obviously a fair way off, to be as widespread as - say - the AFL but it is something that's in the back of our minds for the future," he said.
It's worth checking out the rest to help piece all that together.

And what's with the Rabbitohs?!

Drawing 34-34 with the Broncos. Their for and against is still so much worse than the Warriors that even though have drawn level with them now they will still be in the wooden spoon position. I think if they'd beaten the Broncos it may have motivated the Warriors more though so it wouldn't have been a terrible thing. Oh well.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Been a bit busy in the last few hours aye?! 

Well you go and teach a couple of classes and then hurry in and check how the Triathlon went and low and behold if we didn't scoop the Gold and Silver medals. Fantastic effort Hamish and Bevan!!! Why is it though that we can't really swim for shit compared to the Aussies and Americans, can't win much in the cycling bar Ulmers gold, and haven't won a medal for running for god knows how long, but when you combine the three into one event we sweep the top spots?!

With three gold and one silver so far I'd like to emphasise how it's all about quality over quantity FOR SURE BRO!!! And I strongly recommend looking at the medal tallies which have number of gold's listed first rather than total medals. It look a bit better from our perspective (18th v 31st).

Moving along to my specialty area, I see that the Warriors have snared Ivan Cleary and Kevin Campion as coaching assistants next season.

If Steve Price, Nathan Fien, Ruben Wiki plus those guys involved don't turn the club around then nothing will. If you'd asked me, or probably any other Warrior fan a couple of months ago who they would like to see brought into the club then I don't think you would find a better list of names. And in this case it's all about the quantity of the quality.

But wait, there's more! Monty Betham has announced (tearfully) that he will step aside as captain of the team for 2005. My mother never really rated the guy as a leader and initially I never even rated him as a player. But I admit that he impressed me much more later on and there's no questioning his work ethic and commitment to the team. He should make a great vice-captain or stand in leader should Price or Wiki be injured next season (which I'm sure they will be).

And finally I've noticed a brief yet important piece on the Central Coast bid for the NRL. In it chairman of the consortium behind the team, Russell Tate says:
"There is nothing more we can do in terms of presenting the case for the Central Coast Bears other than waste more time and money and build false hopes for the people of the Central Coast," he said.

"It is now clear to us that expansion was never going to be allowed at this time and we frankly don't see that changing under the current NRL administration/control.

"The financial underwriting for our bid was subject to a licence being granted by September 2004 and in the current circumstances that underwriting will now lapse."

Tate said the position would only be reviewed if the NRL's decision-makers clearly stipulated expansion would proceed and firm criteria was provided.
I don't necessarily disagree with the NRL's decision to keep the status quo for at least another two seasons, although I wouldn't have minded some fresh blood from outside Sydney, BUT I think they have fucked up big time by basically providing no direction for the coming years. Surely it wouldn't have been that hard to say to the Gold Coast bid "you will be in by 2007 at the latest" and something similar to the other two bids. They want to expand the league into the three bid areas, so why not put a time frame on it. They don't have to guarantee it in stone but they could at least show that they have some kind of clear strategy up until 2009. They are called five year plans and most decent sized and even small sized businesses have them.

Anyways it's off to try and beat the missus at Athens 2004 on the play station 2. She keeps thrashing me, but at least we've beaten them in the team sports at the real games (hockey, men's and womens, and the womens basketball). She hasn't taken it too well so I'd better continue to let her beat me.

But for those who hate sport and are wondering how they managed to read this's something scary. Twenty one million "tube" wells have been drilled in India to get at ground water. We're fucked folks. Regardless of our 'efforts' to save the planet for future generations we haven't got a shit show and we'll be handing them a dust bowl and telling them to eat it.

Calling a spade a spade?  

When Act MP Richard Prebble said the Government was deliberately letting in "illiterate Afghani camel drivers" at the expense of English-speaking immigrants it drew criticism from Amnesty International and numerous others, including one writer published on Scoop who mentioned there had been an anti-racism march "barely a day before" in Wellington.

I'm no fan of Act and its policies, although I respected Prebble for having the guts to come to Auckland University's quad several years ago- where he was egged - and debating/defending his principles.

Not often you see politicians prepared to cop such a hostile audience - Don, Helen!!

While his "illiterate Afghani camel drivers" comment might be offensive to Afghanis, I feel he's got a point.

When I finished tertiary education and was looking for a job I applied for the dole as I had numerous unpaid "work experience" days lined up with different organsiations over a four or five week period.

When I went to the compulsory dole sign-up day I was rather bemused to see that 1) I was the only one who had a solid grasp of english there and 2) I was the only NZ European as the census brackets me.

Probably six or so were elderly Asians while the other two or three were Middle Eastern in origin.

I feel it is noble and considerate that we let in 750 vulnerable refugees each year; refugees who understandably may not have a good grasp on english.

However, if my WINZ experience is anything to go by, - and I take it the other 9 were not all exclusive vulnerable refugees - then we're letting in, and the public is paying for, a whole lot more than 750 non-english speaking people who never had a realistic chance of employment.

It's not even english that is the key here either, if a french speaker wants to come here, has work lined up, hey that's cool.

But what seems really shit is that recently I had a British flatmate who was working happily as a secretary for a three-person business and the Immigration Department denied her an extension on her work permit, and residency, and she had to leave.

This was despite her employer writing to the immigration service and saying that her presence was essential to their business.

It seems counter-productive that New Zealand will deny constructive members of the workforce a place in our country while promoting and subsidising the inclusion of those who are, by comparison, economically worthless - or often worse than worthless as the case may be.

Prebble's illiterate afghani camel driver comments might have been a cheap shot but I there are a hell of a lot more than 750 immigrants coming here each year and living off the State.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Stephen Franks is a blow-hard 

Russell Brown is firing on all cylinders today (at least his blog entry is - wasn't able to catch him on Linda Clark's radio show) - providing an incisive commentary on the civil unions bill and the blackshirts, etc. Now I had this misfortune of hearing Stephen Franks, ACT List MP on the radio myself yesterday, and like Kent Brockman I'd like to add my two cents.

Franks made a number of absurd comments (I'll come to them in a minute), but more generally his argument (if one can call it that) was utterly lacking in logic.

His case for opposing the reforms was something along the lines of ... some people who support civil unions are part of a "homosexual lobby" or "malignant left" that also seeks to toughen hate speech regulations. I don't approve of the latter - because of the potential free speech implications - and I think religious believers & others who disapprove of homosexuality should be able to do so, loudly and frequently. And therefore ... I oppose the Civil Union Bill.

See the leap there? He opposes the Bill because some people who support it have a view he doesn't like ... on a completely different issue. He didn't have a case for opposing the actual institution of civil unions, or even suggest there was something inherently wrong with them.

Indeed, he specifically stated he'd actually support the Civil Unions Bill ... provided there was an amendment to say it didn't imply goverment endorsment of the relationships covered (read: homosexuality), and it wasn't a crime to criticize either homosexuality in particular or the institution civil unions in general. Wake up, clown, no one is proposing the institution of civil union be above criticism, or that the Civil Unions Bill prohibit people saying they don't approve of gays. For crying out loud, it's not a crime to criticize marriage either, and from time to time I do, either in particular (x and y probably shouldn't have got married) or in general (marriage is a problematic institution because historically it involved the contractual transferral of a woman from her father to her husband).

Franks also made a number of spurious claims about "the situation in Canada", specifically Quebec, where he quoted Marilyn Waring as saying that churches were being "forced" to marry homosexual couples (by the state, presumably), etc. In fact, I suspect he misquoted Waring. There have been disagreements within churches about whether or not to marry homosexuals, and sometimes disagreements between "head office" and particular diocese. In a couple of cases, head office has directly individual ministers or diocese to conduct ceremonies ... but there's absolutely no state coercion involved. In one instance, a gay couple tried to seek a court order for a church to marry them, but it was denied. And rightly so.

More generally, I'd like to claim there is absolutely no legitimate argument from "religious freedom" to oppose either Civil Unions or same-sex marriage.

The state is not forcing any religious institution to marry those it doesn't think should marry (and indeed, churches commonly place all sorts of restrictions on which heterosexual couples they will wed, often requiring them to be practicing believers).

The state is not forcing religious believers to marry anyone they don't want to marry (not even the blackshirts of the Destiny Church).

So there is no intrusion on religious freedom here. State coercion is completely absent. What religious opponents of civil unions and same-sex marriage are really saying is "we don't like the state recognizing homosexuality, purely because of our religious teachings/reading of holy texts". This is not a secular argument, it's a theological one, and it has no place in the governance of a secular society.

Olympic Sports 

Quickly before they finish!!!

What sports would you like to see in the olympics or at least think have as much right to be there as synchronised swimming, mountain biking and dressage???

I can think of a few...

Ten pin bowling, snooker, nine-ball, darts, skateboarding (half pipe, 'street skating' etc). Before you scream at seeing skateboarding cast your mind to the winter olympics where we now have the aerial snowboarding event and the halfpipe. Having people like Tony Hawk (probably past it now) busting moves at the Olympics would interest a huge number of young folk who probably don't really get into the archery, judo and clay bird shooting like some of us wankers do. The olympics should be for all generations as well. How about crayon drawing too?

I also reckon they should split the olympics completely into a team olympics (including sports such as rugby, rugby league, cricket, mens softball, etc) and the individual (or pair) olympics. One could follow the other by a year. Which would then be followed by the winter olympics. Having a big global sporting festival each year would help secure world peace as well and that's why I would like to be Miss Universe.

It seems a logical type arrangement as more and more sports want to get in and the IOC really can't keep some of them out as they have as much right or more right to be in there as many other sports.

Plus it would mean we could get back to a more traditional type olympics with all the individual events which was much how it was originally intended to be.

Any opinions?

Remember change is inevitable so it's a matter of bringing about the change you want, not waiting and letting other people f*ck it up!!! Which the IOC will anyway.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

NRL playoff frame 

Well just two weeks left till the REAL action starts in the NRL. I've been hearing how great the NRL is these days all year and again today from something on their website but I disagree somewhat and I'll tell you why next week when I get back on my regular schedule. These morning starts and evening finishes are killing me. I mean I forgot what it was like to get up before 8:30am on consecutive days. It sucks! The basic reason for my believing the comp is not all that is to do with the scorelines but more later when I can show you some examples from the season...

Right, on to the next two weeks.

Roosters (38) v Warriors (a) win, Eels (h) win
Predicted points and ranking: 42 points; FIRST

Bulldogs (38) v Knights (h) win, Warriors (a) win
42 points; SECOND

Broncos (36) v Rabbitohs (a) win, Panthers (a) loss
38 points; THIRD

Panthers (30) v Eels (a) win, Broncos (h) win
34 points; FOURTH

Dragons (28) v Sea Eagles (a) win, bye
32 points; FIFTH

Storm (28) v Sharks (a) win, Sea Eagles (a) win
32 points; SIXTH

Raiders (26) v bye, Rabbitohs (h) win
28 points; SEVENTH

Cowboys (27) v Tigers (a) loss, Sharks (h) win
27 points; EIGHTH

Tigers (24) v Cowboys (h) win, Knights (a) loss
26 points; NINTH

Sharks (24) v Storm (h) loss, Cowboys (a) loss
26 points; TENTH

Knights (22) v Bulldogs (a) loss, Tigers (h) win
24 points; ELEVENTH

Eels (22) v Panthers (h) loss, Roosters (a) loss
22 points; TWELTH

Sea Eagles (20) v Dragons (a) loss, Storm (h) loss
20 points; THIRTEENTH

Warriors (16) v Roosters (h) loss, Bulldogs (h) loss
16 points; FOURTEENTH

Rabbitohs (15) v Broncos (h) loss, Raiders (a) loss
15 points; LAST

If it finishes like that then these are the week one playoff match ups (home teams first):
Panthers v Dragons
Broncos v Storm
Bulldogs v Cowboys
Roosters v Tigers

I'd say the two most likely upsets would be the Dragons over the Panthers who have been quite inconsistent this year and the Storm over the Broncos who haven't had a great record at Lang Park in big games. The Storm are the kind of team that could knock them over as they would be playing without pressure as a) they won't be expected to win and b) they probably won't be knocked out even with a loss.

It's possible the Cowboys and Tigers won't make the eight but regardless of whether they do or not the Roosters and Bulldogs shouldn't be troubled by whoever they play. And it's possible that the Storm and Dragons may swap places but both teams are capable of winning in week one regardless.

What you didn't read 

Read some of the strange quotes below, and think what it is that Police might be hinting at:

NZ Herald 20/08/04:
"Inquiries into the death of a Dunedin woman mauled by her dog suggest the animal was not treated properly - but police say they will never know what triggered the fatal attack. Police had evidence that the animal had been badly treated, but he would not give details."

"People who knew Carol Leeann Taylor and her dog Sytan - which she nicknamed Tutties - have given police a "better picture", said Senior Sergeant Phil McDouall.

It seems out of fears of offending the public's sensibilities, or their advertisers, the mainstream news media - Herald, Sunday Star Times, et al - have ignored a very disturbing angle in this case.

Too hot to touch perhaps?

Anyways, bloggingitreal's 15 odd incisive readers will at least be able to guess at the "real story" as opposed to the daily media's countless thousands.

Fuck censorship.


Can someone explain to me why the only story coming out of the US Presidential Election race, for well over a week, has concerned the ads trying to discredit Kerry's Vietnam stint? Everyone knows the ads are lies told by lying liars, aka Republicans. Why are they being given so much credence? And why doesn't a group of Democratic supporters fight fire with fire, and show mock-ups of Bush and Cheney in chicken suits, and say "these two chickened out of Vietnam and can't be trusted to lead the country." This would, of course, be much closer to the truth than the utter crap being levelled at Kerry by Republican cronies.

Oh, and Russell Brown has a first-person account of his encounter with the blackshirts.

Monday, August 23, 2004

For the sake of it 

So tired from work, but have to ask.

Why did somebody find our site after trying to find "Karmichael Hunt's house address"?


Why did somebody show up at our site looking for info on "hookers in Daejeon" (a city in Korea)?

While I have the strength, well done to the twins (easier to type than their names) and to Sarah Ulmer. Female prime minister and now all our medalists as well. It's a womens world, this is my world. I am woman hear me roar. Women, Women, lot's of pretty women....................

Sure there was something else I wanted to say as well.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Puff, puff, and ... don't pass 

From our high crimes file, comes a ridiculous story out of Saskatchewan. Don't our societies have more to worry about than a consenting adult passing one joint to another consenting adult? Apparently not. This constitutes the terribly worrisome crime of "trafficking", for which one can be sentenced to 3 months in the slammer. At public expense.

Don't we have better things to spend tax dollars on than trying and imprisoning those who puff, puff, and pass? Honestly, I feel like withholding that proportion of my taxation that goes into enforcing the criminal status of cannabis.

Only complete morons like Tony Ryall and Peter Dunne support this kind of abuse of sovereign power. It's interesting that the Right is willing to slash spending on public health care and education to pay for its precious tax cuts, but is willing to spend a vast fortune to harass those adults who voluntarily engage in victimless 'crimes.' Dicks.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Flagging II 

A bit of futher reading suggests there are only five colours in general use in heraldry (the principles of which have largely been followed in flag design): red, blue, black, green, and purple. There are also two colours known as 'metals': gold (yellow) and silver (white).

So that helps to explain why the "silver fern" is actually white when it appears on a flag. Glad I've got that sorted.

Colour is not normally placed on or immediately adjacent to another colour, nor metal on metal, as they are too indistinct at a distance. This helps to explain why the four red stars on the NZ flag have white outlines separating them from that boring blue background.

The upper left hand corner of the flag (called the canton) is the position of honour. The fact that it's occupied by the Union Jack arguably implies our continued subservience to Britain. Of Commonwealth countries, only New Zealand, Australia, Tuvalu and the Republic of Fiji still include the damned thing in their flags - and Niue has a stylized one. If Papua New Guinea can have a distinctive flag that reflects aspects of its own, unique identity then you'd think New Zealand could too.

Then there's the issue of perhaps replacing the New Zealand and Australian flags with the Maori and Aboriginal flags respectively. First, it's hard to see how these could become unifying symbols. Second, is "the Maori flag" that of the United Tribes, or the Tino Rangatiratanga flag? The latter (like the Aboriginal Flag) is of very recent invention, is probably someone's intellectual property, and is probably politically unacceptable given its association with various Maori sovereignty/independence claims.

And now, just to pre-empt some geezer or crazed monarchist from proclaiming "We fought under the New Zealand flag", well it appears that you probably didn't, if the Australian experience is anything to go by:

Australians have rarely "fought under" the present flag. The only war (undeclared) where servicemen "fought under" Australia's current flags was the Vietnam War. The Union Jack was the only flag used on our side during the Boer War, the Union Jack was again predominant in the First World War (it being the senior flag until 1953). And there was confusion among the Union Jack, the Red Ensign, and the Blue Ensign. The famous Changi Flag, which flew at the liberation of Singapore in 1945 was a Red Ensign. The United Nations flag was the flag we "fought under" in the Korean War. In any event, Australians did not literally "fight under" any flag. Flags were not used in battles lest they be beacons for opposing forces.

Finally, check out some of the great designs proposed in Australia. I particularly like this one.


A small contribution to what might one day become "a flag debate" in a society deeply suspect of change ....

Two nights ago watching the bloody equestrian events (see below) I inadvertently found myself cheering on an Australian, having mistaken the Australian flag for the New Zealand one. Which I found to be just another reason for changing the damn thing ... it really relates in no way to the New Zealand I know, from its oppressive Union Jack staring down at us colonials from the top corner, to its deeply boring deep blue background.

The current "leading candidate" for a replacement appears to be this version of the silver fern on a black background. Except the fern is highly stylized, and it's white not silver.

I can't say I care for it too much, in part because I find the black rather macabre, and also because my mate Bob informed me that traditionally flags have excluded black, because of its association with piracy. And indeed a white fern on a black background isn't too far removed from a white skull-&-crossbones on a black background. And although piracy might seem like good fun (think "Pirates of the Caribbean") let's not forget Peter Blake here.

I must say I prefer this design, which is altogether more colourful, optimistic, and evocative. Unfortunately it does seem to have slipped from public view of late. A slightly blander variation on its themes can be found here.

Monday, August 16, 2004

NRL Expansion A No Go 

Been busy as a monkey in a fruit tree these last few days. How's a man supposed to go to a friends for a gathering of drunk gambling eaters, travel for miles to a 6 a side soccer tournament, teach 30 classes a week, get fitted for wedding photos clothes, go jogging, watch the olympics, send out wedding invites by the hundred nicely folded, stuffed in envelopes and boxes along with a book, and blog at the same time?

The answer is he doesn't. He just waits till one is finished and then very quickly starts the next.

Well the big news of the day for yours truly was that the NRL have decided against expansion and say they will look again next year with a view to adding one or more teams in 2007. Looks like a crafty move as even though the Gold Coast and Central Coast bids have implied it's all over for them FOREVER if they don't get accepted now, they may be able to hang on one more year for another crack. Although the NRL will need to send out very favourable signals over that time or else I feel they won't bother hanging in there. There's only so long you can string people along for.

The Southern Orcas on the other hand most certainly are not going to collapse if they are told to wait a few more years so expect to see them in the NRL in about three-five years.

Kind of stupid though as they would easily have the playing strength as it won't be long before there are 100 NZ born or developed (or with parental ties at least) on NRL squads. It could get to the crazy point where most of the players are eligible for NZ and Aussie stops breeding the best altogether (well to a point anyway). It would be nice if we had another team to send our up and comers to apart from the Bulldogs and Storm (who have about a dozen NZ players running about between them).

Anyhows, interesting rumour bennyasena has heard there. You do have to wonder what the hell they have been playing at lately though. I mean when was the last time NZ went four tests for a total of four tries? It might be worth checking out but I can't remember a stretch like that off the top of my head. Maybe it's not so far back as it seems.

Olympics have been a hard watch in Korea. So far I've been bombarded with Korean badminton, table tennis, judo, volleyball, basketball, hockey and god knows what else and been stuck on the internet trying to monitor our progress although....

I did just see the New Zealand v Korea womens basketball game live on tv. Cool watching it with my Korean wife. I never knew she could be such a sore loser. Turning the tv off, bad mouthing our players, sitting in front of the tv so I couldn't see, trying to change the channels, scratching my eyes...

Our sailors seemed to do quite well on Day two after a pretty ordinary opening day I thought. Lets put it this way, on day one I saw a lot of double figure placings while on day two we were inside the top 10 most of the time. In these races there are a lot of competitors and you have to fight the elements and get a little luck so you can win a medal simply by consistently placing in the top ten and never finishing in the top few or winning a race.

Our dressage team were doing ok with (sorry forgotten the name) sitting in second spot which is good for NZ as we are better at cross country and show-jumping) and apart from that it's been mainly losses with the odd victory here and there in match sports. Still I think we've been doing pretty good so far.

Right then, Im off to count commas. Muhahahahaha. Thanks for the link Mr. Brown. 210 today and counting. Going to beat our other highs of just over 200 on three other occasions (all coming from the same direction).

Gossip and innuendo 

I hear that the frequently quoted media guru Jim Tucker, head of journalism at Taranaki Polytechnic has relinquished his grasp on academia and is heading back to good old fashioned reporting.

Or rather is heading to take up the chief reporter's role at the Sunday Star Times. Here's what Tucker said about the SST in a mediawatch comment in July 2001:

"About one Sunday a month I need an hour or two to get through its in-depth reporting, entertaining columns and enriching new information.

But the other three weeks, well, it just doesn't hit the mark. No new stories, a falling back on tabloid-like sensationalism, an over-development of the week's news sagas that don't warrant the effort of wringing them of every spot of blood."

Good luck turning it around buddy.

He goes on to say that the paper's rugby reporters are crap too, so he should be well recieved when he first arrives.

Speaking of rugby though I've also heard the rumour that backline coach Wayne Smith is going to get the arse very shortly.

Friday, August 13, 2004


Only here in the land of the long white cloud could a convicted paedophile organise a marathon relay race, from inside the prison where he has been sentenced to preventitive detention, to raise funds for a children's charity.

Under the scheme inmates would have run a 10-hour relay with funds going to the Child Cancer Foundation.

A Radio NZ report said the director of a sex offender programme was "suspicious" of paedophile Roy Bailey's motivation for wanting to get involved in a charity for sick and vulnerable children.

Yeah well you'd fucking hope a sex offenders programme director would be suspicious of a paedophile getting involved in a childrens charity wouldn't ya?

In other crime related news I'm surprised that the jury found the homeless loser Phillip Edwards not guilty of the murder of interior designer David Mcnee.

McNee picked up Edwards off the streets and took him home, reportedly so Edwards could masterbate in front him for $120.

But the deal, according to Edwards, was that McNee wouldn't touch him and when he broke that deal, Edwards beat him to death and stole his car and possessions.

I wonder if I had gone home with a woman under the same agreement, which she then broke, and I punched her 30-40 times in the head if the jury would find me not guilty of murder?

That reminds me I was once hanging out with a Dutch girl friend in Holland and were reading that country's Lonely Planet, which said that unwanted male attention was a big problem for girls there.

She burst out laughing and said she couldn't get any attention whatsoever, no matter how hard she tried.

Also I'm pleased to see that the United States is currently invading Iraq's holy city of Najaf, if attacking sites sacred to Muslims doesn't curb terrorism I don't know what will.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Acknowledging Greatness 

You know I was looking back at some of our older blogs in the last couple of days and it's really obvious that (without exaggerating) we are the most fantastic blogging site on earth bar none.

So come on, tell your friends, your mother, your sister, your brother and your bus driver all about us.

They'll thankyou for it.

What's more bluebeardnz is back in the country tomorrow (actually he's been doing an eight week stretch for peddling moonshine in a Seoul subway station but we tried to hush it up).

And I'll be checking out sweatepz on Saturday to try and see if they can log into the site (part of the technical strife after the Korean servers banned all blogspot sites for a while there).

Anyway as I was saying.

We are fucking brilliant. Get down on your knees and worship PEASANT. Oh and did I mention I'm an egalitarian (that means I don't eat eagles).

Right now if that lot didn't lose the 18 readers that stumble upon us each day then I don't know what will.

NZ Olympic Team Schedule 12th-16th 

This is a bit odd because Keith Uprichard is scheduled to start firing away on the archery range on Thursday the 12th, two days before the opening ceremony.

Anyhow, here's the opening weekend for you.

Note, all times are local time.
THURSDAY the 12th
5pm Keith Uprichard - Individual men ranking round

SATURDAY the 14th
9:30am Mixed doubles v Canada
2:00pm v ???

2:30 Womens Team v USA

3:01 Soulan Pownceby v ???
9:01 Soulan Pownceby v ???

Cycling (road):
12:45 Mens Final (Heath Blackgrove, Jeremy Yates, Julian Dean and Robin Reid)

8:30 Sonia Waddell (Single Sculls - Womens heats)
10:10 Coxless Pair - Womens heats
10:30 Coxless Pair - Mens heats
11:00 Double Sculls - Womens heats
11:50 Coxless Four - Mens heats

1:00 Dean Barker
1:00 470 Mens
1:00 470 Womens
1:00 Yngling Women

10:00 Dean Kent (400m Individual Medley - Mens heats)
10:31 Elizabeth Coster (100m Butterfly - Womens heats)
10:58 Moss Burmester (400m Freestyle - Mens heats)
11:41 Helen Norfolk (400m Individual Medley - Womens heats)
12:15 Ben Labrowitch (100m Breaststroke - Mens heats)

Table Tennis:
11:00 Doubles (Womens first round)
12:30 Li Chunli
1:15 Li Chunli
6:00 Li Chunli
7:00 Li Chunli

and I'll do sundays later

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

New Zealand Olympic Team 

OK, well to be honest I'm actually doing this for me, so as I know who to follow, who our medal hopes are with and when they are competing. Reason being it's notoriously hard to keep track of these kinds of things come olympic time and also I'm out of the country so won't be able to see much, if any of our athletes nor have any warning of when they will be on.

So, check the fantastic New Zealand Olympic site out for all the details or read below to get the basics.

ATHLETES (by my count 149 are in Athens + an astonishing 126 officials, trainers, managers, helper-outers... who I shall not name)

Valerie ADAMS, Michael AISH, Craig BARRETT, Stuart FARQUHAR, Beatrice FAUMUINA, Melina HAMILTON, John HENWOOD, Liza HUNTER-GALVAN, Kimberley SMITH, Jason STEWART, Dale WARRANDER, Nick WILLIS and Jonathan WYATT

BADMINTON - Mixed Doubles (2)

BASKETBALL - Both Mens and Womens Teams reprazent'n

Women: Megan COMPAIN, Rebecca COTTON, Gina FARMER, Sally FARMER, Aneka KERR, Donna LOFFHAGEN, Angela MARINO, Julie OFSOSKI, Jody TINI, Tania TUPU, Leanne WALKER and Kim WIELENS

Soulan POWNCEBY (heard of him I'm sure)

CANOE/KAYAK - Flatwater (2)
Steven FERGUSON (son of Ian) and Ben FOUHY

CYCLING (total: 17)
MTB (2)
Kashi LEUCHS and Robyn WONG

Road (6)
Heath BLACKGROVE, Melissa HOLT, Michelle HYLAND, Joanne KIESANOWSKI, Robin REID and Jeremy YATES

Track (9)
Hayden GODFREY, Timothy GUDSELL, Greg HENDERSON, Peter LATHAM, Anthony PEDEN, Matthew RANDALL, Hayden ROULSTON, Marc RYAN and Sarah ULMER

EQUESTRIAN (total: 10)
Dressage (never seems to have been our strong suit in Equestrian) (1)
Louisa HILL

Eventing (5)
Matthew GRAYLING, Daniel JOCELYN, Andrew NICHOLSON, Blyth TAIT and Heelan TOMPKINS

Jumping (4)

FENCING (if this was real fencing, like the stuff used to keep animals contained we would be guaranteed of sweeping the field) (1)
Jessica BEER (don't mind if I do, Lion Red thanks)

HOCKEY (Mens and Women's teams frontin' once again)
Men: Ryan ARCHIBALD, Gareth BROOKS, Phillip BURROWS, Dean COUZINS, Dion GOSLING, Bevan HARI, Blair HOPPING, Wayne MCINDOE, James NATION, Umesh PARAG, Mitesh PATEL, Kyle PONTIFEX, Hayden SHAW, Darren SMITH, Simon TOWNS and Paul WOOLFORD


JUDO (1)


Thomas ASHLEY, Dean BARKER, Andrew BROWN, Linda DICKSON, Sharon FERRIS, Shelley HESSON, Jamie HUNT, Kylie JAMESON, Barbara KENDALL, Sarah MACKY, Hamish PEPPER and Joanna WHITE

Nadine STANTON and Ryan TAYLOR

Nathalie BERNARD, Moss BURMESTER, Annabelle CAREY, Elizabeth COSTER, Alison FITCH, Cameron GIBSON, Dean KENT, Ben LABOWITCH, Rebecca LINTON, Hannah MCLEAN, Helen NORFOLK, Corney SWANEPOEL and Scott TALBOT-CAMERON

TABLE TENNIS - Women's Doubles (2)
Li CHUNLI and Karen LI


Hamish CARTER, Bevan DOCHERTY, Nathan RICHMOND and Samantha WARRINER

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Full Credit to the Boys 

Hey! Where's my mention in Russell Browns article in the Listener?

The outstanding example so far has been the Colmar Brunton poll on capital punishment that led a TV1 news bulletin recently. "Nearly a third of New Zealanders," viewers were informed, wanted a return of the death penalty. The implication of the report was that the public, tired of crime, had swung in behind the ultimate sanction.

The reality, as National Radio's Mediawatch reporter Tom Frewen discovered, was that the 28 percent (closer to a quarter than a third) support for restoration of the death penalty was not only the lowest in any published poll of New Zealanders, but may well have been the lowest ever recorded in any national poll on views about capital punishment taken anywhere in the world.
When this is WHAT I WROTE the day the story appeared in ...

I see in they have this story about how "nearly one in three New Zealanders want it [the death penalty] back".

"Justice Minister Phil Goff says the government has significantly toughened sentencing and parole laws, but that is not enough for the 28% who want to bring back the death penalty.

The poll found 67% do not want the death penalty and 5% don't know."

Now forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't 28% closer to 25% than it is to 33.3%?

So surely they should say that "just over one in four New Zealanders want it back".

Anyway, it seems about right. I mean I dislike 28% of everybody I meet, I don't mind 67% and I don't know about the other 5% worth of shifty buggers I come across.
Just kidding. Anyhow that seems to be his first real bitch slapping in his new Wide Area News column (three efforts young now). Though I should go back and reread the others but I can't be arsed.

Well worth a read (with the added bonus of finding ONE sentence (top of page two) with TEN commas in it). Now that's Chomskyesque. Good god, has my life now fallen so low that I have to count punctuation frequency for kicks? I do have a little statistical analysis of NZ cricket, rugby and league coming up though for all you stattos out there. At least I have the hypothesis, now all I need is the manipulated stats to back it up. It'll come after my Olympic thingee though I think. Got a pleasant 5 classes on Thursday and three on friday so should have time to knock them up then (or not).

Changing subject to blogging anonymity now.

Why do I remain anonymous? Well basically it's because it gives me a little more freedom to say what I want. I'm not well known so there's really no need for anybody to worry that I might be John Hart, Judy Bailey or Shrek the sheep. Though if I have all my mates reading this and then bringing it up whenever I see them at footie or in the pub or whereever I'll start to go nuts. It's a private little exercise for me to let off steam.

I don't make any money from it and it's just a hobby. So call it anonymous blogging losers rights. Also when I become a high school teacher back home there is no real way I can see how I would be able to keep blogging. I would either be politely asked to stop by my higher uppers after blogging about how I got smashed on friday night, woke up in a gutter in front of a gas station and thought I was Xavier Rush. The only alternative would be to eliminate all occupational talk, all private life talk, all talk on controversial subjects and all fucking foul language, thus there's nothing left worth reading (not that there was in the first place I hear you say, Oh really?! well then what are you doing here reading it?! Busted, SUCKA!!!).

That reminds me. Did I mention that my friend reckons he met Booker T before he hit the big time. On a red eye across the States of course, on his way to wrestling school.

Media freedom is your freedom 

Or so says the slogan on the back of my t-shirt from the Vanuatu Trading Post newspaper which I purchased quite some years ago.

Ironically, I just did a google search on the Trading Post and saw the following comments on the Commonwealth Press Union's website:

"In January 2000 the publisher of Trading Post was deported by the Sope led government following investigations of corruption and fraud by the Prime Minister over bank guarantees.
Three months later the Sope government fell and the following year the ex prime minister was jailed on fraud charges"

Yeah, fool.

Continuing on the media freedom angle the American-led Iraqi government has just banned Arabic news organisation Al Jazeera for a month.

Predictably, there's an excellent article on it in The Guardian, a couple of pars from which read:

"During the war, the Americans were furious that al-Jazeera was able to broadcast from behind 'enemy lines' without permission of coalition forces.
It was able to prove that Basra had not "fallen" as the coalition forces had claimed, because it had supplied locals with cameras and satellite phones before the war.
It showed that the Americans were continuing to bomb Fallujah after a truce had been declared."

It seems that Al Jazeera's coverage of militant groups and their statements/thoughts/hostages and what is happening on the ground is unacceptably real and leads to unfair Iraqi coverage, or as Iraq's interior minister put it:

"They have been showing a lot of crimes and criminals on TV, and they [send] a bad picture about Iraq and about Iraqis and encourage criminals to increase their activities."

Newsflash dork, there are a lot of crimes going on in Iraq with - surprise, surprise - criminals perpetrating them.

Perhaps only Fox News could paint a "good picture" of postwar Iraq:

"These little children used to be bored with life but now thanks to President Bush and the American public they now have these funky little, multicoloured, unexploded bomblets to play with." (satire)

Just to throttle the media freedom subject entirely lets turn to the most recent Cracker blog on public address. In it Damian Christie elegantly describes the difficulty of running a long-term blog:

"The problem with sometimes having opinions on stuff is that – by definition – sometimes you don't. "

(God, that sounds like something Yamis himself could have written)

Christie goes on to say that many blogs fall silent following the removal of the author's "veil of anonymity".

I see his point that many commentators are vociferous only when they can mouth-off unknown.

At bloggingitreal all bloggers blog from behind the security of blogging psedonyms however there are numerous practicle reasons for this:

For me, first and foremost, it means my employer can't see how many hours I spend at my desk each week writing blogs. (1 hour 25min today alone, muhahahaha)
2nd: it means that my employer will never realise the "balding prick" commentry I once proferred was directed at him.
3rd: I can talk freely about political opinions/drug use/thoughts-in-general while remaining semi-anonymous.

(God forbid that a journalist would reveal their political leanings: aka John Campbell.)

Its not that I am unprepared to defend the comment in my blogs, just that its nice to have a rant without the Man watching ya.

(My preparedness to defend my blogging is entirely hypothetical as in the six months that I've been blogging, feedback has ranged somewhere between the non-existent and sweet-fu*kall range!)

NRL week 20 something and the run to the playoffs II 

Round 22 to be precise
St Geo-Illawarra 34 Melbourne 14 (12,960)
Warriors 14 Brisbane 21 (9,710)
Penrith 72 Manly 12 (13,573)
Newcastle 20 Canberra 14 (16,491)
Canterbury 36 North Qld 16 (10,988)
Wests Tigers 56 Souths 6 (19,402) *club record
Easts 12 Cronulla 26 S.F.S. (13,742)

The NRL run home to the playoffs…

Roosters (34) v Panthers (h) win, Raiders (a) win, Warriors (a) win, Eels (h) win
Predicted points and ranking: 42 points; FIRST

Bulldogs (36) v Broncos (a) loss, Storm (a) win, Knights (h) win, Warriors (a) win
42 points; SECOND

Broncos (34) v Bulldogs (h) win, Tigers (h) win, Rabbitohs (a) win, Panthers (a) loss
40 points; THIRD

Panthers (28) v Roosters (a) loss, Cowboys (h) win, Eels (a) win, Broncos (h) win
34 points; FOURTH

Dragons (24) v Warriors (h) win, Knights (a) loss, Sea Eagles (a) win, bye
30 points; FIFTH

Storm (24) v Raiders (a) win, Bulldogs (h) loss, Sharks (a) win, Sea Eagles (a) win
30 points; SIXTH

Knights (22) v Sea Eagles (a) win, Dragons (h) win, Bulldogs (a) loss, Tigers (h) win
28 points; SEVENTH

Raiders (22) v Storm (h) loss, Roosters (h) loss, bye, Rabbitohs (h) win
28 points; EIGHTH

Cowboys (23) v Rabbitohs (h) win, Panthers (a) loss, Tigers (a) loss, Sharks (h) win
27 points; NINTH

Sharks (22) v Eels (h) win, bye, Storm (h) loss, Cowboys (a) loss
26 points; TENTH

Tigers (22) v bye, Broncos (a) loss, Cowboys (h) win, Knights (a) loss
24 points; ELEVENTH

Eels (18) v Sharks (a) loss, Warriors (h) loss, Panthers (h) loss, Roosters (a) loss
18 points; TWELTH

Warriors (16) v Dragons (a) loss, Eels (a) win, Roosters (h) loss, Bulldogs (h) loss
18 points; THIRTEENTH

Rabbitohs (15) v Cowboys (a) loss, Sea Eagles (h) win, Broncos (h) loss, Raiders (a) loss
17 points; FOURTEENTH

Sea Eagles (14) v Knights (h) loss, Rabbitohs (a) loss, Dragons (a) loss, Storm (h) loss
14 points; DEAD LAST

It's nice and tight. There are four teams tied for eighth spot with 22 points and seven teams seperated by two points. They are essentially fighting it out for four spots in the playoffs (and the right to be hammered by the Bulldogs, Roosters, Broncos and Panthers in the first weekend of the playoffs).

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Our 212th post 

I thought I had better mark the landmark occasion of our 212th post by ...... blogging

One million thoughts from this weekend

Panthers 72 Sea Eagles 12 (what's the bet the Sea Eagles beat the Knights at Brookvale next week?). That was the Sea Eagles biggest defeat in their history, eclipsing their 61-11 defeat at the hands of St George back in 1947.
They need to introduce one new team for next season to make it 16 teams and shorten the season by about 4-6 games. You could break the 16 teams into four groups of four. Each team plays each other side once except the other three teams in their group who they play twice. See above for the reason (not to mention the Tigers beating the Rabbitohs 56-6 this avo). Less games equals higher standard and windows for rep football.
Southern Orcas perhaps?
The Warriors got the expected result yesterday. While I picked them to upset the Broncos I thought it would at least be close but we haven't been winning the close ones like we used to.
The ABs need to sort their lineout out... again. The stats aren't bad (14/17) but there were several shambles where we won it but then lost it soon after.
The ABs need to have a flexible approach when it comes to the backline and hit the ball at pace so our wingers get it with space and time.
We also need to stop kicking in behind the defensive line when we are on attack. We almost never score from it (near misses mean diddly shit on the scoreboard) and it gives away great attacking ball needlessly.
Changes I would make: Tuitupou in for Carter (assuming he is fit). Carter has been a real disappointment with the ball in hand this season. I was expecting big things of him. I'd say it has a fair bit to do with the lack of room he has been getting lately. The other change I would make would be to start with Mehrtens. If they are going to persist with standing shallow then he is better suited to it than Spencer.
Hayward has been bloody good when he's been on the pitch this year, while Meeuws needs to sort out his handling and also get around the pitch a bit faster.
Johnathon Kaplin needs to see a psychiatrist.
Aussie played very well and deserved to beat us.
Who the hell can pick the score next week against the Springboks? If we go that is.
Racism is alive and well in North-eastern Asia. The two Korean sides don't particularly get along, the North Koreans despise the Japanese and the South Koreans don't think much of them either (Japan has still failed to apologise for many ofthe atrocities comitted during their long occupation of Korea last century). The Japanese think the Koreans are inferior, the Koreans dislike the Chinese and the Chinese hate everybody (perhaps something to do with their growing affluence and world domination aspirations). Oh well the nuclear war with America should sort the both of them out.
The Asian Cup was insane.
Korea were knocked out 4-3 by Iran in the quarterfinals.
Iran lost to China on penalties in the semi-final.
Japan beat Jordan on penalties in their quarterfinal after they were down 2-0 after the first 4 had been taken. They complained about the penalty spot being rubbish (ala Beckham) and so the penalites were moved to the opposite end. Jordan started missing and Japan started hitting.
Japan beat Bahrain 4-3 after the scores were locked at 3-3 after regulation time in the semifinal.
The third/fourth playoff was won by Iran 4-2 over Bahrain but was marred by three sendoffs and handbags at ten paces in the last few minutes.
And to the final...

China lost 3-1 to Japan. Chinese fans had booed and jeered throught the Japanese anthem for the entire tournament. Japanese fans had been instructed to avoid large groups and not wear their Japanese shirts while in China. 6,000 riot police were used to make sure there was no violence on the part of the locals. There was still violence by the locals. The Japanese supporters were locked in the stadium for three hours after the game for their own safety. The Chinese coach (a foreigner) refused to accept their silver medal.
When Korea played in China earlier this year in Beijing the Korean supporters were spat on, had urine thrown at them and various others objects (such as bolts) thrown at them.
It doesn't look so good when they are hosting something called the OLYMPICS in 2008. Which reminds me, Ill do a bit of a breakdown of the NZ team at the Athens Olympics during the week. Just names and medal hopes.
I won't be watching much of the NZ athletes mind you. I'll get plenty of the Koreans winning their twenty odd medals and US athletes standing on the dias since I get the American military channel beamed live into my bedroom.
Why won't Zack de la Rocha (former Rage Against the Machine frontman) ever release his bloody solo hip hop album??!!
Twenty people drowned in Korea today (in calm seas). They really do need to learn how to swim. Everyday there have been drownings lately and in the weekends it's been ridiculous. It's not like there are no lifeguards either, and they are anal as well. I remember once I was swimming here in about 7 feet of completely calm water and was asked to go closer to shore by some turkey in a boat.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Ripped Off in NZ III (Urban Expedition) 

Well, as promised, an initial installment on "the cost of living in NZ", driven by the broad observation of Yamis and myself that it is "too fucking high."

A 20-inch flatscreen TV cost me $192 in Canada ($223 in NZ dollars based on today's exchange rate), so I went out and tried to find one in Dunedin. Well, to tell the truth, I just went to the Warehouse, which I figured would generally be at the cheap end of the market. The closest they had was 21-inch screen for $399. Assuming you might save $40 or so on the slightly smaller one, let's say $350 vs. $223. And that is 1.57 times the price.

And bear in mind that's taking into account the exchange rate (relevant for goods bought and sold on the global market), and the fact that the Canadian sale price included 14.5% sales tax, not 12.5% as is the case here.

More depressing news met me at Pak-n-Save, where 500g of frozen spinach was $2.79, compared to $0.99c in Canada ($1.16NZ). So there was a price difference of 2.4 times, slightly exaggerated by the fact that Canada has the humane attitude of not charging sales tax on 'essential' food items (i.e., everything except junk food).

Can't help but think the single best thing the Government could do to help "ordinary low-to-middle income New Zealanders" would be to cut and eventually abolish the GST. Bugger this tax rebates for parents nonsense ... everyone should be able to afford 500g of frozen spinach.

In other news, anyone who finds it difficult to get out of bed in the morning will find this Guardian commentary on the joys of idleness absolutely fucking hysterical. As will anyone who enjoys wasting time drinking, or writing blogs, etc. etc. Best writing I've read all year (and there's more to come in a book). Here's an excerpt to whet your appetites:
A part of me would like simply to toy with my mistress for days on end under the lotus tree or on an enormous pile of velvet cushions, while smoking, drinking and laughing.

Amen to that, brother. On an unrelated note, Cracker has an interesting commentary on being a blogger, and charts the disappearance of various right-wing NZ blogs which arrived with a bang and disappeared without so much as a whimper.

NZers in the NRL Part II 

Well I beat them to it, so I'd like some sort of recognition and a hefty fee thanks very much.

Especially since my list is bigger than theirs.

I'm just gonna cut and paste theirs and compare it to mine. I assume they are more accurate than me but I might have the odd bloke who has escaped their attention.

NRL players tagged for eligibility and availability checks

Broncos: Karmichael Hunt, Tonie Carroll.

Raiders: Ruben Wiki, Tyran Smith.

Cowboys: Paul Rauhihi, David Faiumu. [I also have Hale Vaasa.]

Sharks: Nigel Vagana, Andrew Lomu. [I also have Jason Williams]

Eels: Nathan Cayless, Fui Fui Moi Moi, Aaron Cannings. [I had Vaealiki but he has moved to England I think]

Roosters: Jason Cayless, Anthony Tupou.[I didn't have Tupou]

Eagles: Solomon Haumono, Sam Harris, Kylie Leuluai.

Tigers: Bronson Harrison, Dene Halatau, Benji Marshall. [I also have Gray Viane]

Bulldogs: Matt Utai, Jamaal Lolesi, Sonny Bill Williams, Hutch Maiava, Roy Asotasi, Reni Maitua, Willie Tonga, Jonathon Thurston. [I missed the last two]

Knights: George Carmont.

Storm: Stephen Kearney, David Kidwell, Alex Chan, Glen Turner. [I also have Robert Tanielu, Fifita Moala and Antonio Kaufusi]

Rabbitohs: David Fa'alogo, Willie Manu. [I also have Mark Leafa, Filimone Lolohea and a question mark over a Mark Meredith. I didn't have Manu though]

Dragons: Henry Perenara. [I also have Edwin Asotasi and Stacey Katu]

Panthers: Tony and Frank Puletua, Joe Galuvao, Paul Whatuira, Frank Pritchard, Peter Lewis. [I didn't have the last guy, Lewis]

Warriors: Brent Webb, Clinton Toopi, Jerome Ropati, Lance Hohaia, Stacey Jones, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Monty Betham, Sione Faumuina, Awen Guttenbeil, Vinnie Anderson, Karl Temata, Evarn Tuimavave, Epalahame Lauaki, Wairangi Koopu, Jerry Seuseu, Francis Meli, Thomas Leuluai.

Super League:
Bradford: Robbie Paul, Shontayne Hape, Tevita Vaikona, Toa Kohe-Love, Lesley Vainikolo, Joe Vagana, Logan Swann.
Castleford: Michael Smith, Motu Tony.
Hull: Richard Swain, Richie Barnett.
Widnes: Julian O'Neill.
Leeds: Ali Lauitiiti, Willie Poching.
Salford: Cliff Beverley.
St Helens: Willie Talau, Dom Feaunati.
Wakefield: David Solomona, Albert Talipeau, Semi Tadalala.
Warrington: Danny Lima, Henry Fa'afili.
Wigan: Craig Smith.


ABs by 10 in tonights test


The Aussies are cheating with lineout codes now. For the best write up on it check out Paul Waite here. Anybody who uses the word "fuck" uncensored when writing about sport is writing correctly.


I bought the book Troy in Korean comic book form. This means that if I don't understand a word I can just rent it on video, but if I do understand any of it then I'll have still wasted money as it was 9,500 won whereas the video is 1,000 overnight.


Latest rumours regarding the NRL are that a Victorian AFL (Aussie Rules) team has approached the Gold Coast about relocating there and helping upgrade the ground. This of course means that an NRL team being plonked there would be dealt a severe if not fatal blow as the team doesn't have the population or history to support both codes.

So unsurprisingly the backers of the Gold Coast NRL venture are using this development to their advantage by pressuring NRL HQ.

You can read the latest about all of it here (you may need to register to read it but it's free and probably the best source of decent online NRL stories and news). It's getting quite interesting. A right wee soap opera. Even though Gallop keeps coming out and saying don't be surprised if there are no moves to expand the comp I wouldn't be surprised if they do let one team in and make veiled promises to the others in order to encourage them to keep working away.

Also Rabbitohs, and Australian rugby league legend John Sattler has come out and said that the Rabbitohs need to relocate to the Central Coast in order to survive as they have no real home ground and their old ground at Redfern is a rather unfriendly place both inside and out. The club chariman has said something along the lines that "while we respect his opinion, shut up we aren't moving".

And the Tigers are going to have FOUR home grounds next season!

News of a possible move emerged two weeks ago. It is understood that next year, the contract will probably mean four home games at Telstra Stadium, one at Christchurch's Jade Stadium and the rest split between Leichhardt Oval and Campbelltown Stadium.

Apparently Boxing promoter Don King is an Eels fan.

Controversial boxing promoter Don King has announced that he is a Parramatta fan.

"Eels, that's my team," King said at a press conference in Las Vegas yesterday promoting this weekend's World Boxing Organisation heavyweight title fight between Australian Kali Meehan and champion Lamon Brewster.

Meehan has been training with Parramatta in the lead-up to the bout and it's obviously rubbed off on King, who has been sent an Eels jersey. "They're the top in rugby . . . they're the top in whatever they do," King said.
Um yeah Don, right.


And to the moralising twat below who is probably a mate taking the piss (muhahaha)...

Check out Lee Hyo-ri.

It's a song about just wanting ten minutes for a quick shag.

If I believed in god I might be worried about threats of hell. But as I don't it's kind of like me telling you a plague of locusts are about to sweep through your house and eat your bibles. Not really woried are you?


And to close things off. I asked my fiance how many people her father is inviting to our wedding.

The answer...

One thousand. We are currently cutting one thousand address labels out to put on the invitiations. Any bigger and we will have to invite the paparazzi.

Friday, August 06, 2004

David Lange 

Well, Dunedin might have no international cricket, but last night we had the now rare opportunity to see David Lange speak, this time on the topic of "New World, Old Faiths." The lecture theatre held 550 people, and they had to turn at least 20 or 30 extras away - a full house. Unfortunately it was reported on TV1 news last night as "more than 300 people" ... when there's a bloody great sign outside saying "Seating Capacity 550" it wasn't hard to calculate that there were over 500...

Pretty bloody amazing - he really took the arguments for invading Iraq one-by-one and totally demolished them, and then really emphasized the importance of not misuing religion to justify terrorism or these wars ... plus he was funny of course. Australia received some deserved criticism for undertaking a venture that isn't even tenuously connected to its national interest, while New Zealanders would have been interested to hear his view that "nothing good" could come from our Army Engineers being in Iraq. Indeed, their presence implies our support for the whole bloody (literally) enterprise, and may be seen to lend some legitimacy to it.

I don't want to focus on Lange's ill-health, as opposed to his message. When he slowly shuffled in the audience gave what I thought to be a totally spontaneous standing ovation. This was followed by another after his talk, and a third as he left. I think he appreciated it., just as the audience appreciated the tremendous effort he'd put in.

Update: I remember thinking last night that Helen Clark & others could take a leaf from Lange's book, and be more willing to have the courage of their social democratic convictions. Let's see Helen get on the front foot and really take National to task on its narrow-minded, ill-thought out policies. Like its on-again off-again support for the Iraq war ("Brash would have sent young New Zealanders to die in Iraq" would make a memorable headline come election time).

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Ripped Off in NZ II 

Over the coming days, weeks and possibly even years dc_red and myself (along with any others who want to join in) will take a practical look at the cost of living in NZ. It's worth pointing out that while this may deteriorate into a bitch-fest at times we will try and maintain some balance and it won't be all one way (just mostly).

Hopefully we can highlight how ruddy much the govurmint takes, what we are left with and how much it costs to get by (in other words how much the funking corporate bigwigs, Multinationals and indeed even your local handyman take from your wallet for something that should cost 272% less).

Where possible we will refer to our experiences in other countries so you can see relative costs and then we can all try and work out why a cd in Korea costs a touch under $17NZ whereas in Kiwiland the same cd retails at about $20-35 depending on the level of wankership of the store/chain owners.

Just for starters think of this. Note I use the example of a teacher as that is what I am so that is what I can relate best. The same or similar applies for untold other occupations out there...

Your average high school teacher in NZ requires a university degree and a one year diploma. So roughly speaking your average high school teacher MUST HAVE SPENT FOUR YEARS AT A UNIVERSITY OR SIMILAR in order to be able to teach at a high school.

So being realistic they will be leaving with a debt of around 15,000 in this day and age. Perhaps they were lucky and had parents pay, or perhaps they worked every spare moment and scraped by without much of a loan but as we all know, most young folk have a loan in that region if not a damn sight higher.

So off they trundle to work, catching the bus and living at home with their parents still (as they will have to be for the next decade)

to be continued...

What's Korea coming to? 

when they ban fantastic tv ads like this for being too erotic?

Go Jeon Ji-hyun.

Haven't they been to a Korean nightclub?! They're all like that. Well, sometimes.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Flat Backline Rubbish 

What is it with this flat backline that the ABs coaching staff keep preaching about?

Is'nt it incredibly naive to simply go into a game telling the opposition what style you will play and basically having no faculty to be able to change it if they keep rushing up at you and making you look like idiots getting smashed and dropping the ball all night?

Surely there should be three backline formations that get used during a game to mix it up a bit? You would think that in 2004 with all the time that goes into preparing the teams, the video analysis, the amount spent training and so forth that they would allow you to have time to prepare plan B? Hell there's probably enough time to prepare and practice plans C and D as well.

The three backline formations I'm talking about might be a) a more old fashioned one from past seasons, b) the current flat one they are intent on trying until it has to get binned because finally when guys have learnt it they get injured and the replacements can't pull it off and c) a third backline which would be something in between which keeps the opposition guessing.

The idea behind this flat line is that teams can reach the advantage line quicker and also if they get the ball wide fast enough they will catch the opposition out, but as I see it the defence doesn't have to go far to crunch the ball carrier and on top of that the defence is going to be well aware of the ball being flung wide quickly.

Not to mention our halfbacks famous passing speed not exactly suited to a flat standing first five. Which is clearly one of the reasons that Spencer has looked aweful with the ball in his hands every test this year and has been kicking all the time. Badly I might add.

Don't be surprised to see the Aussies rushing up and maybe the odd intercept as well.

Anyway, I'm just dumb and not getting paid anything for providing these thoughts.

Meanwhile, if you don't mind the odd stoush on the footie field then you will probably enjoy this website.

Era of the Biff!!!

More 'debate'... 

Here's an interesting contribution to whatever debate it is that NZ is having about race/ethnicity/the Treaty/rights/law, and one which sheds some light on notions of citizenship and indigeneity.

There is at least one claim I'd like to take issue with:

The insistence that the politics of indigeneity emphasise a Maori preferential access to healthcare, to education funding or to exclusive access to the foreshore and seabed has entered popular mythology - not because these extra rights are claimed by Maori but because it suits a fear-generating political agenda to encourage its emergence.
In some senses, this is correct, but at least in the field of education there's a claim to be made. It's hard not to see that the "quota" systems historically operated by the medical and law schools at Auckland University to ensure Maori entry into the programs aren't preferential.

Whatever title they were given, they were basically fairly conventional affirmative action schemes. They have given Maori preferential access to areas of tertiary education, and thus (albeit somewhat indirectly) to education funding. This may not be a 'right' claimed by Maori, but it was an option some were able to use. And fair enough - why not take advantage of such institutional arrangements?

Whether or not you believe these quotas are a good thing, the fact is that they're preferential ... they have operated to give members of selected ethnic groups access to areas of education that they might not otherwise have received (otherwise why have the schemes?) An 'ethnic' dimension has been added to more conventional 'academic' considerations for entry (assuming that 'identifying as Maori' isn't an academic criterion).

Logically, places that may have been filled by others on strictly academic grounds, were filled by Maori instead. That's preferentialism in my books.

In unrelated news, Dunedin is an especially dangerous place to be a pedestrian ... better stick to driving then ... but at $1.19/L?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Google searches 

Like most websites we get some boomers here.

Perhaps from time to time we could share some of them (like now).

In the last few hours we have had somebody looking for video clips of Daniel Vettori (playing cricket I hope).

several looking for info on Renee Kiriona

Somebody looking for photos of Jacque Kallis and his girlfriend (let us know how you get on, did they do something dirty, topless poolside perhaps?)

And somebody looking for clips of the Seo Taiji video "Heffy End" which I linked to a while ago. It's in the archives somewhere folks. If you are really desperate email us or else put a comment in below and I can be more specific and direct you straight to it.

And to the lady (I assume) who was looking for naked pictures of Brad Fittler a while ago.... who'd you go in the end? Have any luck? Actually I'd rather not see any finds if you had any.

right I'm off to read ma book.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Player Transfers 

Sheesh, I remember a few weeks ago there being a bit of a discussion about mid season wheeling and dealing on the transfer market in the NRL. Well that's nothing compared to what goes on in Major League Baseball.

I'll get to the baseball in a moment. But quickly to recap the NRL case briefly, in the NRL teams have a short window of opportunity mid year (finished a few weeks ago) to sign players from other teams for next season. You should recall that the Warriors signed Ruben Wiki and Steve Price during this time. The rest of the year any form of communication or contact with opposition clubs or players is a no-no.

So anyway the problem some people had with it is that it's a distraction to the fans and teams while they are playing their footie. And so some have been suggesting that the transfer (also called "anti'tampering") period should be pushed back until after the playoffs. The problem there is that teams who don't make the playoffs probably won't sit there doing nothing and so the teams in the playoffs are at a disadvantage and also if there are any scandals during the playoffs they will take away from the onfield action. Not to mention that with the off seasons being relatively short it doesn't give much time for players to prepare with their new teams.

Personally I say leave it how it is. It's all forgotten come playoff time and at least teams like the Warriors can start planning for next season earlier rather than poncing around in the off season scrapping over player dregs.

Anyhow back to baseball.

A few days ago the deadline for transfers just finished. Now I watch baseball every morning as I start at 1 pm most days and the Korean networks show any teams featuring Korean players on live in the mornings. So I had built up a bit of support for the Florida Marlins as Choi Hee-seop was playing for them at first base and doing quite well I thought. Now low and behold if I wasn't watching him get a hit for them late last week when I tune in yesterday to see him playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers LIVE!!!

That's right, he was traded along with about half a dozen other guys in a swap deal with the Dodgers, who in return sent a couple of their better players the way of the Marlins.

Now that is some f*cked sh*t if you ask me.

I reckon I'll have to just settle on a team rather than following one because they are on the tellie everyday due to the Korean player.

And I think I'll go for the hard luck stories, the Boston Red Sox (who also have a Korean incidentally but he's not pitching much for them these days I think). Besides that, they are one hairy team. And they are pretty good too. So sorry Marlins but you can f-off, and well I'll watch Choi hitting for the Dodgers but no more of this mid week team switching shit.

The same thing happened in Korea recently as well with their footie. Half the foreigners were given the boot or switched teams. It's too much of a circus for me. Can you imagine that one week Justin Marshall turns out for the Crusaders then the mext week he's playing for the Hurricanes because they needed a good halfback and so they gave Jerry Collins and a couple of substitutes to the Crusaders in exchange?

Arse up tit it is.

Next some businessman in Auckland will buy the Highlanders and the Crusaders and move them to Ericsson Stadium and North Harbour Stadium.


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