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

Friday, September 30, 2005

Drugs in Your Own Backyard 

The New Zealand Herald can exclusively reveal that a drug known in various circles as "alcohol" is openly being sold at "liquor stores" throughout New Zealand. Herald sources say that this "alcohol" is "swallowed" from either a glass or else consumed straight from the bottle.

"Alcohol" comes in various strengths, colours and flavours in an attempt to appeal to as many people as possible and coerce them into purchasing and consuming this potentially dangerous and harmful drug.

One bottle chosen randomly off the shelves named "Coruba Jamaica Rum" is scandalous in its brazen labelling which doesn't even attempt to hide its content. It states that "Coruba is a dark, full flavoured Jamaican rum in the traditional style". Clearly Jamaica has been under the evil spell for some time as the "traditional Style" suggests and sources say that this particular brand of rum has been bottled since 1889. The label goes on to say "The Rum Company of Kingston, Jamaica [possibly an alias] has blended this fine example from a selection of pot and column still rums aged in small oak barrels". Investigations are still in their early stages but it appears as though "pot" (a commonly used nickname for marijuana, pronounced ma-ri-wah-na) may be a key ingredient. This "pot" as it is called here has the effect of making the "user" (the person that consumes the drug) feel very relaxed, often causing them to find many unusual and trifling things deep and meaningful and in many cases the "user" is driven to eating large amounts of junk food and giggling at b-grade movies in the bits that aren't even funny.

Whilst the "alcohol" goes on to state that it produces "a robust, full-bodied character with a smooth, mellow finish, resplendent with aromas and flavours of brown sugar, cocoa and caramel". Clearly the makers of this "alcohol" are trying to push their product at children with their inclusion of "cocoa and caramel" while they are also trying to get their brand secretly served at social events suggesting that it be used in "rum drinks, tropical cocktails and punches".

Tommorow our revealing insight into the undergroung world of "alcohol" continues with a look at another form known as "beer".

Thursday, September 29, 2005

One of Those Nothing to Say Blogs 

By god it's been ages since I posted on absolutely nothing whatsoever.

Well what have I been up to in my private life I hear you ask (or you were about to c'mon!)???

Well not much really. I haven't washed for about 5 days but I'm on holiday so fuck it. And my wife is only just showering for the first time in 5 days as we speak so she could hardly complain. We were off for a few days in Tongariro National Park cruising around in the drizzle and if that cat meows one more fucking time I'll... go and check that it hasn't caught another Monarch Butterfly! I managed to save the first one but the second had too many holes in its wings and the defibrolater just set it on fire.

Excuse me while I... that's right, the Park. Well highlight would have to have been the 'confidence course' that I did just north of Taupo on the way home. First requirment was to walk along a log which was about 12 metres off the ground to the far end and then walk backwards.

But that was the easy one. The next was to climb to the top of an upright log about 14 metres high, somehow position myself standing on top of it and then leap off it to catch a trapeeze. I managed to achieve this (fear gave me wings as well as soiled underwear).

And then for my third and final idiotic, how did I get myself into this stunt I climbed up another pole even higher (about 16+ metres) to drop off into an enormous swing. I thought the more I think about this the less chance there is that I'll do it so basically jumped as soon as I was hooked up.

After plummeting 7 and a half metres before the rope took the slack I was thinking "I'm never, ever, ever doing anything like this again". But fuck, I'm just about dumb enough to do it again one day so who knows. Especially after a guy on the ground told me he went bunji jumping for his 50th birthday and a grandmother described in detail her experience jumping out of a plane "with a man strapped to her back" as she put it.

Right, Tigers to win the grand final this weekend and my duty free rum my parents bought from their trip to Seeedney (where they saw the Tigers flog the chokos, I mean Broncos) to not last too many more episodes of my Sopranos dvd viewings.

And how shit were the Eels and the Dragons? muhahaha

And do you think it would be in the NZ Herald if they found out that all of us posterers at BIR had "smoked" some o'that bad shit?

Hell if they think that's cool they should try spotting it off a kitchen stove with the wedding knives through a makeshift plastic bottle bong.

They should just stick to this kind of shit which is way more concerning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

NZ Herald pretends drug talk is exotic, unusual 

What a pitiful piece of piss-poor reporting in the Herald this morning:

Ellis asked if they were the same ones "as the other night" that were "smooth on the come down" - a reference to the after-effects of Ecstasy which can act as a depressant after an initial high.

The pair agreed to buy 10 tablets because, Ellis said, two female friends at the 60th birthday party they were going to, "Carla" and "Nicky", would both want one.
So, Ellis wanted a pleasant drug experience then, unlike ... say ... every other user of recreational drugs. There is really not a lot difference between this and saying you like a bottle of wine with a nice aftertaste and which is easy on the stomach. (And I'm not talking about that fine Columbian vintage).

And ecstacy can "act as a depressant after an initial high"? Goddam, no wonder it's illegal and we as a society are outraged over Ellis' consumption! As for depressive effects, have these people never drunk gin before?? (Err, of course they have, they're journalists).

The only newsworthy item here is that Ellis was taking the pills to a 60th birthday party ... what a champion, beats drinking Lion Red I guess. And he was in the company of two ladies with names that suggest they just might be strippers. Err, exotic dancers.

Then the Herald moves on to that other miscreant, Brent Todd:

In June this year, former league player Todd, a regular guest on television's Celebrity Treasure Island, rang an unnamed man to ask if a friend who was coming to Auckland could buy some cannabis.
Goddam! He did? Wow!

Later in the day, the unnamed man phoned Todd, telling him he had the "file" for Todd's friend and the pair arrived at the man's apartment that evening. Todd declined to buy any himself, saying he would take a small amount of his friend's supply if he wanted a "smoke" later.
Why the fuck is the word smoke in speech marks? Is this some exotic drug talk with which the public is unfamiliar? I for one can't believe that a middle-aged person with a job might try to hook a friend up with the devil's weed, and then imply he may partake in the smoking of it at some later date. This man should be extradited from Australia, immediately!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ecological Guardian 

National is ambitious for New Zealand’s environment. We want the “100% Pure” brand to be much more than an advertising gimmick. We want to advance a practical environmental plan that will make real progress on real issues.New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, beautiful scenery and special recreational opportunities must be conserved for future generations.

Oops, looks like this eco-nazi bitch Sandra Goudie didn't see the press release on the National Party's conservation policy ey.
A National MP says a regional council will have a revolt on its hands if it tries to take legal action against her or anyone else involved in an illegal chainsaw attack on mangroves. Two-term Coromandel MP Sandra Goudie, re-elected with a 9787 majority, joined about 120 protesters the day after the election to clear a mangrove patch the size of two football fields in Whangamata Harbour.

National's conservation policy included the establishment of a "$7m Mainland Island -The purpose of the fund will be to protect native flora and fauna."

I can't wait for National law and order spokesman Tony Ryall to issue a statement urging the Govt to prosecute his colleague to the full.

Last week he was saying: “It’s about time Labour woke up and stopped being such a soft touch."

That was after the police, not Labour, decided to send a criminal immigrant home rather than have the public pay for his incarceration, and then pay to send him home.

If you would like to lay a complaint Norightturn points you in the right direction.

Update: Ms. Gouldie is the latest to claim the title of Tosser of our Times.

The BIR Dishonour Roll:

I Murray "Culture War" McCully
II Robert "Pie in the Sky" Milton
III John "Smarmy Tosser" Tamihere
IV Matt "Regressive" Robson
V Peter "Bigot" Dunne
VI Jim "Drug War Warrior" Anderton
VII Peter "Silly Hair" Dunne (again!)
VIII Sandra "Mangrove Massacre" Gouldie

Cheer Up 

It's Monday morning and many of you will be dreading another week just beginning in the office. On the bright side of things at least these guys will be having a much worse week than us:

Where the money went (WEEK THREE FINALS)....
$65,000 @ $1.60 ON ST GEO ILL V WESTS TIGERS
$50,000 @ $1.30 ON PARRAMATTA V NTH QLD
$30,000 @ $1.30 ON PARRAMATTA V NTH QLD
$20,000 @ $1.60 ON ST GEO ILL V WESTS TIGERS
$15,000 @ $1.55 ON ST GEO ILL V WESTS TIGERS
$15,000 @ $1.60 ON ST GEO ILL V WESTS TIGERS
$15,000 @ $1.80 ON PARRAMATTA (-9.5) V NTH QLD
$12,000 @ $1.85 ON ST GEO ILL (-4.5) V WESTS TIGERS
$11,250 @ $1.80 ON PARRAMATTA (-9.5) V NTH QLD
$10,000 @ $1.80 ON PARRAMATTA (-9.5) V NTH QLD
$10,000 @ $1.60 ON ST GEO ILL V WESTS TIGERS
$6,000 @ $1.28 ON PARRAMATTA V NTH QLD
$6,000 @ $1.85 ON PARRAMATTA (-9.5) V NTH QLD
$6,000 @ $1.85 ON PARRAMATTA (-9.5) V NTH QLD

Neeldess to say Nth Queensland gave Paramatta a hiding and the Tigers thumped the St George Dragons.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Old tosser does good deed ... new tosser required 

Jim Anderton has stopped blathering incoherently about drugs, and played a major role in saving the life of some poor unfortunate. Time for a new tosser. We are now taking nominations. Suggestions for a new legend of late also welcome.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thursday Blog Times Reveals Deeply Divided Nation 

The Thursday Blog Times can exclusively reveal that the nation is deeply divided over the issue of the supposed existence of New Zealand citizens who don't support the All Blacks, speed to reach their every game, place $50 on them to win at the TAB, and join unseemly scrambles to buy tickets to godforsaken, rainswept terraces.

When asked about these semi-mythical non-AB supporting creatures, the good god-fearing pot-smoking citizenry responded by labelling them as follows:

a) Bloody traitors! = 100% (of rugby heads)

b) They're broke and can't afford the ridiculous ticket prices used by the NZRFU to buy the players everything they could possible need for the rest of their lives = 73% (of people on an average wage)

c) They're justifiably sick to death of the All Blacks playing against South Africa, the Wallabies, and anybody else for that matter since international rugby is actually quite weak at the moment and has been for a few years but nobody seem to have noticed = 0% (of NZ journalists)

d) Wondering how we called you on this number, since you've had it delisted after getting polled by the Sunday Star Times every week for the last 4 months? = 37% of elderly residents in the Tamaki electorate.


"White collar drug ring"

If you scream it enough times maybe people will start believing it.

This's the approach taken by the media to a bunch of Aucklanders who bought, or knew people who bought, illegal drugs.

Now that most of the offenders have been convicted and sentenced - with fines ranging between $120 and $350 we read today that Lana Coc-Kroft will not actually be charged with anything.
Television personality Lana Coc-Kroft has sought and received an assurance from police that she will not face charges in connection with the so-called celebrity drug ring. The guarantee means she will be reinstated in the publicity roles she stood down from - with Healtheries and Starship hospital - while there was speculation that she was involved.

Which begs the question why did the cops drag her name through the mud?

Can anyone say defamation three times fast?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

This answers the question 

There's been a lot of talk about whether Tiger's star Benji Marshall will play for the Kiwis this year but this story shows he won't.
But for star five-eighth Benji Marshall, who trained yesterday in his Balmain jersey from the NRL's recent 1970s week, the end of the campaign will mean an operation on the shoulder injury he admitted was "a time bomb".
"If the Tigers lose this weekend, and I hope they don't, then Benji will probably have Mad Monday and a couple of days to get the alcohol out of his system and then go into the Mater hospital next week," said Marshall's agent, Martin Tauber.

In other league news the big punters are rolling into town for this weekend's semi-final matches and one has $50,000 @ $1.30 on the Eels to take out the Cowboys.

The last time the Eels ($1.25 at TAB in NZ) played the Cowboys (3.70) was in round 9 and the Eels won 50-12.

While the other semi-finalist match sees the Tigers ($2.35) play the Dragons ($1.55) - they've met twice during the season, both were high-scoring affairs, and are one a piece.

In round 8 at Telstra the Dragons won 40-32.
In round 16 at Oki Jubilee the Tigers won 32-24.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Too stupid to vote? 

Can't help but think there are 5000 pretty fucking stupid Labour supporters in Epsom - I know some geeks will argue you should cast your vote for the people who best represent your interests but jesus christ, even Labour's own candidate was saying vote Worth.

Way to go to boost the right- dickheads.

If they had all cast their votes for Worth he would have won by several thousand and Act would be goooooonnnneee.

I wonder if the Sunday Star-Times will retract its Act euology?

But it wasn't only the media/bloggers that wrongly counted Act out and the friendly Newmarket buisness association is offering to help Green MP Keith Locke "run naked through the streets of Epsom".
“We don’t want our electorate to be the home of the first broken campaign promise. Hence the local business association is prepared to make it very easy for Mr Locke to deliver his promised goods,” said Cameron Brewer, General Manager of the Newmarket Business Association.

Haha, dork.
Returning to the SST, yesterday it reported:
David Carter's victory in Banks Peninsula is his first time claiming an electorate in a general election. The National list MP was last elected as an MP in August 1994's Selwyn by-election to replace Ruth Richardson.

He didn't - Labour's Ruth Dyson won with a 1700 majority.

All in all though, I thought the media's coverage of the election, particularly TV, was excellent!

I never understood though, and still don't, how Brash took such a hiding over the Freakish-Brethren pamphlets and got off so lightly about National's alleged, albeit disputed, asking the Americans for help to sway the NZ public against being nuclear-free.
Labour has plunged National into another embarrassing controversy over the nuclear issue by ambushing it with a claim that senior MP Lockwood Smith asked United States senators for help from a US think-tank to sway New Zealand opinion. National leader Don Brash acknowledged the seriousness of the issue last night by saying it would have been inappropriate if Dr Smith had sought such assistance. But Dr Brash, who was at the same meeting as Dr Smith in January last year, said he did not know if Dr Smith made the comment. "I'm neither confirming nor denying, said Brash......

Which issue raised bigger questions about fitness to govern - outsourcing foreign policy or knowing about a ridiculous pamphlet written by a bunch of hypocritical Christian wierdos?

I say hypocritical because: the EB's claim to spurn the outside world yet are happy enough to accept outsiders' money for their businesses, claim to spurn the media yet are close to being the biggest advertisers in rural media in the country, don't vote yet engage in political campaigns....all the public wants is a little consistency.

In other news, the Tigers were simply sensational in their thumping of the Broncos last night which followed from their 50-6 win over another semi-finalist the Cowboys the weekend before.

Friday, September 16, 2005

NRL Finals Round 2 

Bennyasena's tips for the weekend:
Storm versus Cowboys - Storm
Tigers vs Broncos - Tigers

Tips for other competitions:
Labour vs National - Labour
Tamihere vs Sharples - Sharples
Tamihere vs Garner - Garner
Winston vs Clarkson - Clarkson
Winston vs Sobriety - Winston

Our Call: Red & Green 

The BIR team announces to a readership of thousands its preferences for tomorrow's election: PARTY VOTE LABOUR or GREEN.

If you live in a lefty household, make sure at least one person gives their party vote to the Greens, as they're likely but not certain of making it over 5%.

If you really enjoyed the years 1991-93, featuring such luminaries as Richardson, Upton, Shipley, Birch & Creech destroying the social fabric of the country, and feel like more of the same, then you already know what to do. That Don is a dirty rat with a not-so-hidden far right agenda.

In most cases, we'd like electorate votes to go to LABOUR. Except in Epsom, Tauranga and Mangere where you should vote for the National candidate (but not the party). It is especially important to get rid of those who neglect or kill kittens. That means a vote against John Tamihere and for Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau, and against Brian Connell and for Tony Milne in Rakaia.

The Progressive party is not progressive.

One thing almost all of us might be able to enjoy on Saturday night - even Dinkas and Wiremu1306 - would be the demise of the Peters party.

Update: Good reasons to vote Red & Green here, election night drinking game here, drunken election night commentary on the Great NZ Discussion Forum to your right.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Itchy Crotch and the Sanctity of Marriage 

So Winston Peters is back to his best dredging up all sorts of historical accusations to fling at National's Tauranga candidate Bob Clarkson.

Clarkson responds to the allegations by releasing a press release denying the allegations and then when asked for an interview by a young good looking female TV3 reporter - grabbed his crotch in front of her saying it was sore, or itchy.

Apparently his campaign manager and Tony Ryall who were in the office at the time both put their heads in their hands and told him to shut the fuck up.

Way to go to douse those flames of sexual harrassment suspicion Bob ...As Don would say - "it was a joke, but not a funny joke Bob."

It would be nice to see the major parties inject a bit of Peters' mongrel into their campaigns. The right have elements that are happy to scream "lesbian" at Helen Clark but we the public want some proof.

And perhaps Labour could tip someone off to a certain someone's liasons with Diane Foreman of the Business Round Table, not that most political reporters don't already know about it!

What is their job again?

And to think National says Helen doesn't respect the sanctity of marriage.

Hate to Rain on England's Parade 

But, aren't they getting just a little bit carried away?

It's not like they are the first team to ever beat Australia. In fact the amazing thing is that they have been shit for so bloody long.

They have twice the population, invented the game and have more players to choose from and a large and professional county competition.

oh and the small matter of having home field advantage.

Significant Moments in Australian Cricket in the last 2 decades

Australia routs England 4-0 in a 6 test series in 1989 to claim the Ashes

New Zealand defeats Australia by 9 wickets in a one off test to take the Ashes (we wish) in 1990.

West Indies defeats Australia 2-1 in the Carribean in 1991

Australia draws test series v New Zealand 1-1 in 1993

West Indies beats Australia 2-1 in Australia in 1992/93

Pakistan beats Australia 1-0 in Pakistan in 1994

India beats Australia in one off test in India in 1996

and then India beats Australia 2-1 in that legendary test series a few years ago.

England bitch slaps Australia 2-1 in England to take back the Ashes.

So four countries beat Australia in test series (I include us naturally out of blind patriotism) between England losing the Ashes and winning them again. West indies, New Zealand, Pakistan and India. South Africa managed to draw one or two (more than England achieved I might add).

I have to admit it though, England were very impressive (fucking awesome might be a better description). Their batsmen smacked the Aussies all over the place and their bowlers were aggressive and intimidating. Be interesting to see how they fair next time out in Aussie. Expect HUUUGGEE crowds downunder.

Morality Poll Shock 

What's your idea of "morality"?

Whatever Murray McCully tells me it is = 1%
(respondent answered phone saying "Actually, Don

Nuclear weapons = 2%

Whipping insolent children = 12%

Stoning adulterers and gays in accordance with
Bible/Koran = 28%

Adults being free to make their own decisions in
matters affecting them = 34%

Calling talkback radio to complain about something =

Fuck off, I'm downloading porn here = 97% of
respondents aged 12-20.

Resisting temptation to covet neighbour's ass 69%

Good News Relegated to the Side Columns 

The SST has this little fact in its sidebar. Lucky I even saw it.

NZ most business-friendly economy - World Bank
[That's right ladies and gentlemen. In the fucking WORLD!!!!]
14 September 2005

New Zealand has again topped a World Bank survey of business-friendly countries.

The bank rated 155 economies in January last year and confirmed New Zealand was the easiest place to do business.

While this was the also case the previous year, the bank said the two results were not comparable, because it based its ratings on 10 indicators this time, an increase of three on January 2004.

Singapore was second in the latest survey, United States third and Australia sixth. Zimbabwe was last.

The bank said all the top-ranking countries regulated businesses, but did so in less costly and burdensome ways.

The five Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden – rated between five and 15.

The bank said they did not regulate "too little", but had simple regulations that allowed businesses to be productive and focus intervention where it counted, in protecting property rights and providing social services.

The ease with which people could do business in a country was related to employment, the World Bank said. New Zealand had 4.7 per cent unemployment when the survey was done, while Greece, with the worst OECD country rating of 80, had 10.9 per cent unemployment.

New Zealand performed consistently well across all 10 indicators for the survey. It was first for ease of registering property and protecting investors, second for dealing with licences and fourth for starting a business, hiring and firing, and enforcing contracts.

It was 15th for trading across borders, 16th for paying taxes and 21st for closing a business.

New Zealand introduced no major regulatory reforms during the year.

While many countries performed poorly because they lagged in encouraging business with regulatory reform, New Zealand had been one of the more "aggressive reformers" over the past 10-15 years, said Caralee McLiesh, senior economist on the World Bank's Doing Business project.

The bank had been speaking to the New Zealand Government over changes it had made or was making, but she said it was difficult to pinpoint any areas that were a major weakness.

"We know there are very various other plans under way for continuing to improve and streamline regulations, largely through the use of electronic services of government. . . and combining the different government services and agencies so an entrepreneur can face one point of contact for government rather than many."

The World Bank said it took a "leap of faith even in the best circumstances" to start a business, and that countries should make it easier, not more difficult, for entrepreneurs to establish companies and create jobs that help their national economies.

New Zealand Finance Minister Michael Cullen hailed the result.

"That New Zealand should compare so well internationally is a credit to the quality of our regulatory regime and to the government's economic management," he said in a statement.

Reason not to vote National # 341 

From the crew at keepleftnz

I'm still yet to hear anything which isn't going to do more harm than good come out of Donnie and has mates mouths. They actually don't like people. That's the conclusion I've come to. Unfortunately the one-two greed and racist sucka punch has worked quite nicely for them sucking about 20% of New Zealand in big time. The other 20% that always vote National are just haters of (wo)mankind.

Back to the 90s: Work for the Dole.
14 September, 2005

So in a shockingly surprising move, Don Brash and National want to re-introduce a work for the dole scheme. Didn’t we tell you they wanted to go back to the 1990s? Didn’t we tell you that National was bad news for the unemployed? Exactly.

This time, National are trying to pretty up their work for the dole scheme by saying that the ultra-cheap labour will be put to good purpose – saving the environment. We’ll deal with that part in a second, but it doesn’t change the basic character of the scheme – you don’t get the unemployment benefit unless you show up and work.

To recap from the debate we all had on this in about 1998, here is what is silly about work-for-the-dole:

First, being unemployed should be about looking for real work, but this scheme takes away a lot of time people could be spending searching for work, at interviews, undertaking training courses, etc. It condemns the short term unemployed into becoming the long term unemployed. National’s targeting of this scheme at, among others, “young unemployed” people makes this effect even harsher and more unfair.

Second, the skills “learned” on these schemes (often involving chain-gang style manual labour) aren’t helpful for getting people into real work, certainly in the ‘knowledge-wave’ or skilled-trade sectors that are forecast to be growing. They’re only helpful for one thing – working harder in a future work for the dole scheme.

Third, it involves the government ripping off its citizens. If the government really thinks there is a problem with the environment and it needs fixing, maybe it should (gasp!) actually employ people to fix the important problem and (shock!) pay them above the legal minimum wage. Work for the dole schemes exploit unemployed people at less than livable wages with less than legal minimum employment rights.

We at keepleftnz agree that there are environmental problems that need fixing around here, but we don’t agree that the best way to fix them involves exploiting the least fortunate in society in the process. The cost of Brash’s tax cuts are clearly in view – the extra $92 a week for Dr Brash comes at the expense of the job prospects of unemployed Kiwis, who now are forced into state-sponsored exploitation simply to put food on the table.

And to further underline the cynical and irresponsible nature of this policy, we notice that National hasn’t budgeted for the $100+ million cost of this policy. Anywhere. What the hell kind of fiscal responsibility is that? Morons.

What’s a better solution? Oh, how about the one that has got us the lowest unemployment rate in the developed world? One where unemployed people undertake training and pound the pavement looking for work. That is what has worked so well for this country over the past six years. This system not only isn't broken, it's working very very well, so there's no need to screw around with it.

This Saturday the choice is clear – Back to the 90s with National or forward to the future with team LPG.

Bugger the Pollsters 

No good news for Labour today, with National 6 points ahead in the AC/Nielson poll and 3.5 points ahead in the ODT poll. Official response of BIR bloggers: fuck.

But ... I think there are questions to be asked about the polling techniques (he says optimistically). Rodney Hide has pointed to the strange nature of the TV1 questions in Epsom, which to say the least did him no favours, and now an office mate reports to me that she was polled on Monday night - she thinks by AC Nielson - who asked such leading questions as:

"Which party do you think will fix health care?"


"Which party do you think will crack down on crime?"

These questions (a) assume there are problems in both areas; and (b) correspond almost perfectly with National Party campaign slogans. At the very least, by suggesting/taking for granted that there are significant problems in these areas, the poll implies that the government is at fault and only a party in opposition can fix the problem. Let's face it, the implied answer to both questions is "National".

Although I'm not sure if these questions were before or after the all-important "which party will receive your party vote?" question.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

End of the world as we know it? 

Scoop Editor Selwyn Manning has made his predictions for interesting electorates, tipping basically every marginal electorate as well as a couple of the "safe" Labour seats to fall to National: Northcote, both the Hamiltons, East Coast, Whanganui, Wairarapa, Aoraki, Otago, Invercargill, and maybe Napier for good measure. As well as losing Te Tai Tokerau and Tamaki Makaurau to the Maori party.

The only Labour victory he sees in a seat of interest is Wellington Central, which seems like a bit of a foregone conclusion at this point.

He's not willing to call Tauranga which seems a bit strange, but does predict a National hold in Epsom. Which I think is also heading towards "well, d'uh" category.

These are big swings to National here ... if all of the above unfolds as Manning predicts, then National will also win the Party vote by a large margin, surely, making electorate battles generally just matters of human interest.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm willing to call it 

A highly scientific election predictor, based on 1/3rd polling, 1/3rd hunching, and 1/3rd bullshitting:

All Important Party Vote

Labour 41%
National 39%
Greens 7%
NZ First 5.5%

United Future 2.5%
Maori Party 2%
Act 1.5%

Others 1.5%

Interesting Electorate Face-Off Predictor

Aoraki - Labour
Hamilton East - National
Hamilton West - Labour
Epsom - National
Tamaki Makaurau - Maori
Tauranga - National
Te Tai Tokerau - Maori
Northcote - Labour
Otago - National
Wellington Central - Labour
Whangarei - Labour

Faintly Possible Upset of the Night
Wigram - Labour

Resulting Numbers of MPs (Roughly)

Labour 49
National 47
Greens 8
NZ First 7

United Future 3
Maori Party 4
Act 0

Others (Progressives) 1

BIR Poll Scandal I !!! 

BIR unveals shock made up poll scandal!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Computer users can download a "porn scene" for Grand Theft Auto. How much does this bother you?

a) As a Christian Heritage voter, I'm very concerned 12%
b) What is this "computer" of which you speak? 28%
c) I thought Grand Theft Auto was already a crime? 31%
d) Quiet, I'm downloading porn 54%
e) My god, has anyone told the Sunday Star Times? 1%

Margin of error (dunno).

Survey reveals that well over half of all pollsters are dirty, filthy, ordinary people!

In other surveys, 100% of those surveyed found the German porn mag which his Korean friend brought back from a trip to Sydney was moderately interesting but due to language difficulties the erotic stories didn't quite grab him.

These ones at this site did though. Except Julliette and the Cockworms.

Knights Win, Knights Win!!! 

Went to their first NZ game and thought they played very well after about the 20 minutes mark. probably fair to say that the game was very even. but like the Knigz did, they shipped some soft as jelly goals late in the game to give the points away.

Anyway, a 2-0 win over the pre-season winners the Central Coast Mariners (that's just north of Sydney), and un beaten after a win and a draw.

Good to see them score late and win as well with both goals coming in the last 20 minutes. One from Simon Yeo. I have a Yeo in one of my classes. Find out on monday if they are related. I figure that two Chinese people with the same surname must surely be related to each other, after all, how many of them are there?

And Auckland have booked their semi final spot in the NPC already. 24 points plus a game v Northland and they will almost surely be playing at home in the semis. The winner of the Auckland - Canterbury game will guarantee a home final (plus Ranfurley Shield) and they will probably meet in the final anyway.

i'd have to give a slight edge to Canterbury because they are at home in the roud robin which should give them a win and home seme and home final and a 6th (or 7th?)title.

Still about half a dozen behind Auckland though!

But who the fuck cares.

Storm upset Brisbane and the dragons wina tight one over the Sharks.

So long as the Eels take care of the squaky birds tomorrow it will be them and the Sharks pissing off out of the 8.

Storm v Cowboys and Broncos v Tigers.

50/50 games.

and it's raining in the cricket and I am having to listen to country music on Australian radio. I knew they were a pack of inbreeding mongrels.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Saturday Morning Y'all 

What a lovely quiet morning is. Perfect to get onto sport for a while. Only thing is I'm feeling a bit lazy. Anyway...

NRL crowd averages for the regular season:
TOTAL: 2,964,288
AVERAGE: 16,468

1,533 up on last year which was the previous highest in the comps history. Obviously it's been down to the competitiveness of the competition. There was only about 16 points between the top side and the bottom side compared to 26 points last year and 30 the year before.

It would be hard to see the crowds increase too much next year but a similar figure may be expected. The Warriors were one of the only teams not to string many wins together and get on a roll which every other side did at some stage which captured their supporters imaginations. Well with the exception of the melbourne Storm who averaged a miserable 8,898. They are aparently going to pump more into promoting the game down there and upgrade their ground wich is a shitter. If they don't add a few thousand to that in the next few years though they are no chance of remaining in the comp.

The Warriors ended up averaging 13,101. Their 6th highest figure in 11 seasons which is probably a fair reflection of how they played. Competitive but fuck all results. I think they may have needed 14,000 to break even.

Brisbane averaged a huge 30,331. Built on two things. Firstly their fantastic venue at 'Lang Park' and secondly their hot form until about round 21. That's the 4th highest average in their 18 years in the comp.

Manly had the highest average in their history. Not bad for a team that came 8th. They've done a fair bit better than that in the past though it's the first time they have made the playoffs in about 7 seasons. The Cowboys had their 2nd highest average in their 11 seasons. Theyw ere about 1,000 behind their debut season figure. The Eels had the 3rd highest average in their history as did the Panthers. St George Illawarra had the highest in their short 7 years together. And the Tigers beat their previous highest by about 5,000.

So all up an outstanding season. Nothing like a bit of stability along with an even competition.


Right. On the decision to sack Kemp at the Warriors.

I think he is not up to the job and is not intelligent enough to take this team very far.

On the other hand I'm a little bit concerned that Cleary will not be able to take the side he will have anywhere either. They might well wind up finishing a few points outside the playoffs next year and then what do they do? My guess is that they will not make the playoffs next season but will make a couple of decent buys and stick with Cleary.


And how about those Tigers. What a flogging. 50-6 over the Cowboys. The Cowboys looked OK with the ball in hand but lacked a bit of cohesion in the face of a very enthusiastic Tigers defence. But the Cowboys were badly let down in the middle of the ruck area where their defence parted like a levee in N.O. all night.

The Cowboys might bounce back but it's hard to see their confidence not being shattered. Perhaps they will stand an outside chance of an upset next week (assuming they are still alive) but with Webb missing and Rauhihi not at his best it's hard to see them going anywhere.

The Tigers look like a bunch of kids but they are fizzing. I look at them and a few other sides in top gear and then look at the Warriors and wonder what fucken planet they are on if they seriously think they have one of the most talented teams in the competition. Based on what exactly? They couldn't put the sword to a single team this season and could only manage two straight wins. Even Souths had hotter streaks than that.

Another thing that does fuck me off though is seeing Benji Marshall running about like a spring chicken and then low and behold in 7 days he might well be saying "sorry NZ I'm off to get my shoulder poked and prodded" because I have to play for the Tigers in ... five months!!! If he plays all the semis and the final then maybe, just maybe he has a case to only play the games down under. But he hardly had to do anything last night apart from wreak a bit of havoc with the ball and if they get knocked out next week then I'm sure he has 4 or 5 internationals in him.

The NRL HAS GOT TO shorten itself to 20 games though. 24 is still way too long. I can see them averaging 20,000 a game in a few years if they cut back. State of Origin to be played on Friday or Saturday nights head to head with Super 12 games in OZ with no NRL matches those weekends. Add in a Kiwi test v France or Papua New Guinea or else NZ origin games on a different night.

Trust me, it'll work and take the sport to the next level.

The reason they don't do it now is because each team needs 12 home games each year for financial reasons. But with a better, shorter comp they should improve crowd averages a bit which will even it out.


My picks for the following games
Broncos to pip the Storm
Dragons to beat the Sharks by 20
Eels to hammer the fuck out of the Sea Eagles.


And Korea has it's second player in the Premier League.

Lee Young-pyo for Tottenham.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Leader Debate Highlights 

Below are a few loosely paraphrased highlights from last night's TVNZ leaders debate:

Best Comment Award: Winston Peters saying to Don Brash about the Exclusive Brethren -

"You know what I can't understand about all this is why would you go and see a bunch of people who don't vote a month before the election."

The, Oh My God I'm Agreeing With The Right Award:

Act's Rodney Hide arguing there should have been exceptions granted to specialist cigar bars from the smoke-free legislation.

If You Don't Like It, Bite Me Award:

Jeanette Fitzsimons on cannabis law reform - "we don't do this because we want votes we do it because we think it's right'.

Out of Leftfield Award -

Jim Anderton claiming National's policies would lead to massive debts and citing truly absurd figures - then pissing himself laughing each time as Brash took the bait.

Refuse to Confirm of Deny Award -

Pita Sharples, when asked by Winston Peters if Maori were part of the Crown.


In other news if I hear another sorry-ass Petrol companies experiencing increasing numbers of people driving away without paying news story I'm going to start firebombing the pricks.

Last night on the news there was a petrol manager fulla saying the situation was getting out of control and his staff couldn't sleep at night because of the drive-offs....which begs the question why do his staff give a fuck?

They're poorly paid, considering the multi-million dollar profits their companies reap and it ain't their petrol people are driving off with.

When is a reporter going to look at Shell et als ever increasing profits and report that these companies are robbing the fucking public blind day in and day out?

Or how about a little story on price fixing?


OK my tips for the NRL Round 1 finals

Tigers vs Cowboys - Cowboys
Broncos vs Melbourne - Broncos
Dragons vs Sharks - Dragons
Eels vs Manly - Eels

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's Official 

Tony Kemp is sacked.

Coach: Ivan Cleary
Assistant Coach: Jon Ackland
Skills Coach: Kevin Campion
Football Manager: Don Mann

and John Mayhew (spelling is wrong?) is the bloke who will be fixing the broken bodies.

If I have time I'll blog about this + NRL season + playoffs in the next day or so.


So Sean Plunket has been suspended by Radio NZ after his treatment of Greens co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons yesterday.
“While I felt Sean was unnecessarily rude and abrasive during our interview, I neither complained to Radio NZ about the interview nor requested that any disciplinary action be taken.” Ms Fitzsimons said she felt Plunket’s treatment of the leaflet issue had not been balanced. “While he interviewed me very aggressively, he was much more placid in the subsequent interview on the same topic with National’s Gerry Brownlee. However, I want to make quite clear that Radio NZ’s decision to suspend Sean must have been a result of complaints from the public. It was not my doing.”

But isn't Radio NZ part of the New Zealand media's left-wing bias community?

Meanwhile those calling for some violence on the campaign trial are in luck.
Labour's Wellington Central MP, Marian Hobbs, was hit in the face with a custard pie after an Aro Valley candidates meeting on Tuesday.

And eating a burger in NZ is about to become a whole lot more fun.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oh the rapture 

"Rapture" isn't a word you hear too often in NZ politics, but the other day Peter Dunne told a local radio station that audiences around the country gave him "rapturous" receptions, and now the bloody exclusive brethren are in on the political act, presumably because a rightwing government will bring forward the date of the rapture (or is that move it back, the media doesn't seem to know).

Helen Clark spoke to an over-capacity crowd at Otago Uni yesterday (I had to stand on tip-toes and lean my head to one side to get so much as a glimpse), although I did see a deshevelled woman and her crappy sign to the effect that "speed kills" - amongst all the balloons and Green and Labour party workers, and I couldn't actually figure out at the time what the hell she was on about. Let's just say that it was rather obtuse in that context. God it's amazing what can pass for an assault in this country through ... I say let's get John Prescott over here to really bring back the biff. (I wonder if Peters' will be spoken to by Police after he was involved in a minor shoving match with a student a week or so back?) It's also amazing that such minor incidents pass as news, come to think of it.

Finally, a thoughtful post from Che Tibby today.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I hate to blame Bush again... 

But fuck, he does leave himself wide open.

The following excerpts are from an article by Sheila Grissett which appeared in the June 8th, 2004 edition of the Times-Picayune.)
For the first time in 37 years, federal budget cuts have all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, a complex network of concrete walls, metal gates and giant earthen berms that won't be finished for at least another decade.

"I guess people look around and think there's a complete system in place, that we're just out here trying to put icing on the cake," said Mervin Morehiser, who manages the "Lake Pontchartrain and vicinity" levee project for the Army Corps of Engineers. "And we aren't saying that the sky is falling, but people should know that this is a work in progress, and there's more important work yet to do before there is a complete system in place."


"I can't tell you exactly what that could mean this hurricane season if we get a major storm," Naomi said. "It would depend on the path and speed of the storm, the angle that it hits us.

"But I can tell you that we would be better off if the levees were raised, . . . and I think it's important and only fair that those people who live behind the levee know the status of these projects."


The Bush administration's proposed fiscal 2005 budget includes only $3.9 million for the east bank hurricane project. Congress likely will increase that amount, although last year it bumped up the administration's $3 million proposal only to $5.5 million.

"I needed $11 million this year, and I got $5.5 million," Naomi said. "I need $22.5 million next year to do everything that needs doing, and the first $4.5 million of that will go to pay four contractors who couldn't get paid this year."


The challenge now, said emergency management chiefs Walter Maestri in Jefferson Parish and Terry Tullier in New Orleans, is for southeast Louisiana somehow to persuade those who control federal spending that protection from major storms and flooding are matters of homeland security.

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay," Maestri said. "Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."


Levee-raising is only part of the flood-related work that has stopped since the federal government began reducing Corps of Engineers appropriations in 2001, as more money was diverted to homeland security, the fight against terrorism and the war in Iraq.

Southeast Louisiana Project funding:
Army Corps request: $11 million
Bush request: $3 million
Approved by Congress: $5.5 million

Army Corps request: $22.5 million
Bush request: $3.9 million
Approved by Congress: $5.7 million

Bush request:$2.9 million

Incidentally this amount that Bush had earmarked for the project for 2006 is LESS than the amount that Rowing New Zealand is getting to spend thanks to Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) for the four year period between the Athens games held in 2004 and the Beijing games in 2008.

That's right folks. Those 4 gold medals at the World Rowing Championships that we are rejoicing over came at the the cost of 4.5 million NZ dollars plus for winning them they received a 1 million dollar bonus.

So little old NZ can spend more on a bunch of athletes sitting on their arses rowing up and down a lake for 4 years than Bush can ask for from congress to save lives?

We live in strange times indeed.

Prophylactics: on the philosophy of saving lives and preventing the itch. 

Prophylactics are great aren’t they? Whether it is a sordid vacation in lands unknown, or for day to day use around the homestead, you just can't beat them. Nor can you beat the philosophy that goes with them, preventing a problem so that one doesn’t have to deal with a bigger, uglier, itchier one later. Be it dealing with the wee itchies, unwanted children, heart disease, or hurricanes, a prophylactic treatment is almost always the desired means of dealing with trouble before it becomes embarrassing chaos.

From the perspective of humanity, it makes good sense to employ a prophylactic philosophy. For simple tasks like keeping the unit its normal healthy colour, it’s not that big of a deal, but in terms of readying a city, state, or country for a hurricane, it can be a huge process.

Right now, we’re playing the blame game, and indeed this is good. The situation in New Orleans became too critical too fast, and answers are needed. As Dinkas has done well to point out, the blame does not entirely rest with Mr. W. in the Whitehouse. We can look at the Louisiana level where there are allegations floating around that state officials defrauded the hurricane relief purse earlier this year. There are also questions concerning the nature of policing in New Orleans. Telling are the pictures of white cops with automatic weapons squaring off against unemployed blacks with shopping carts.

At all levels one thing stands quite clear in that New Orleans, Louisiana, and the U.S. are not cohesive enough to handle a situation like this, let it be in a reactionary or prophylactic fashion. How do you deal with a situation like Katrina? You do so by investing in human resources and infrastructure from day one. By working with communities and individuals so that preparedness measures are known and can be effectively carried out. But in the Big Easy, no such cohesion exists to allow for this. Now, we’re faced with a series of reactionary gestures.

Cuba gets beaten with hurricanes every year. In the past 46 years the country has developed one of the most sophisticated hurricane preparedness networks anywhere. It is really quite something to watch. Sweating through hurricane Dennis, I was able to see how it all plays out. These guys have their shit down cold. People are evacuated with speed and care. Electricity, water, and gas are cut 12 hours before and after the storm, and then it is restored in about 20 hours. People are well informed of he wind speed right to when the next evacuation shuttle is scheduled to arrive.

Seeing that Katrina was heading for New Orleans, Fidel Castro contacted Washington to offer 1,100 doctors, medicine, and civil engineers. This offer was made on August 30, and was repeated on September 2. The response from Washington was “no!” And, “could you please not tell the North American media about your offer.”

While not a prophylactic method, definitely a humanitarian one; one that has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with getting services to the poor. Washington, either too proud, too stupid, or too afraid of Cuban doctors getting shot at in New Orleans, refused much needed immediate help, and also blew a great opportunity to build dialogue with a country that is well versed in dealing with hurricanes. Admittedly though, for the U.S. to take preventative measures for hurricanes Cuban style, some major philosophical shifts would have to take place I reckon.

The odds of that? Well, we’ll probably see Pope Benedict IX handing out Durex Pure Pleasure® at mass before we see the Bush administration giving serious thought to humanitarianism and social cohesion.

For more information about the benefits of using prophylactics in your day-to-day, please contact your family physician.

Monday, September 05, 2005

To Dinkas or not to Dinkas 

In the comments sections of posts below we've had readers arguing that the responsibility for the 10,000 odd estimated deaths, and the piss poor official response to Hurricane Katrina is not the resonsibility of United States' leaders.

Dinkas wrote:
While I think what happened in New Orleans is a tragedy, I am somewhat surprised with some people blaming the government, but not looking at themselves.

Update: No Right Turn has a nice summary of this line of argument:
Brian Wolshon, an engineering professor at Louisiana State University who served as a consultant on the state's evacuation plan, said little attention was paid to moving out New Orleans's "low-mobility" population — the elderly, the infirm and the poor without cars or other means of fleeing the city, about 100,000 people.
At disaster planning meetings, he said, "the answer was often silence."

Then, having abandoned New Orleans' weakest citizens to their fate, government officials are now turning around and saying they "chose" not to leave. People in wheelchairs, people who could not afford cars or other transport, and people too old to travel all "chose" to stay behind - despite the choice of leaving not really being available.

And here is what some US Republicans are saying:

The President is now facing a political hurricane of his own, with criticism, even from inside his own party, for failing to heed warnings of the city's vulnerability, cutting spending on its defences to pay for the wars on terror and in Iraq, and responding sluggishly to the worst natural catastrophe to hit his country. Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans - also under fire for poor leadership - said that every day of delay had caused hundreds of deaths. Louisiana's Republican Senator, David Vitter, gave the Bush Administration "an F grade" and Senator Chuck Hagel, a leading contender for the Republicans' nomination to succeed Mr Bush, said: "There must be some accountability". The criticism is all the sharper because the President did nothing to alter his holiday schedule for 48 hours. Vice-President Dick Cheney remains on holiday in Wyoming and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shopped for several thousand dollars of shoes and attended a Monty Python play, Spamalot in Manhattan as New Orleans drowned.

I liked this excert from a story in the New York Times too:

Mr. Bush's arrival coincided with long-awaited deliveries of aid to the flood zone. (Bennyasena's note: coincidence?) But the president did not interact much with storm victims, and at one site, a Salvation Army truck in Mississippi, those he did see had first been screened by Secret Service agents with metal detectors.
Mr. Bush flew back to Washington from New Orleans without paying a visit to the chaotic makeshift trauma center set up in one terminal at the airport, where many patients evacuated from the city's hospitals were dying before they could be airlifted to other cities.
For the first time, Mr. Bush acknowledged that the government response to the catastrophe had fallen short. "The results are not acceptable," the president said as he left the White House about 9 a.m., his face grim.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Iraq's really paying off! 

This story from The Observer suggests that in the half-assed evacuation of those remaining in New Orleans (you know, those without the means to drive themselves out during the laissez-faire pre-storm evacuation), it's Americans first and to hell with everyone else?
Although assistance was offered to US residents, British nationals were told they would have to fend for themselves. According to those who remain stranded in the stricken city, police had visited hotels and guest houses on the eve of the hurricane offering to evacuate Americans, but not Britons.

The order meant UK holidaymakers without cars were left helpless in the face of the hurricane. Some have been trapped in hotels and guest houses since the hurricane struck at 7am local time last Monday.

One family from Liverpool, trapped in a flooded section of the city, told relatives yesterday of their bewilderment when they realised US citizens would be offered preferential treatment.
Special relationship my ass.

The Brazilians have got the right idea. A little more reciprocity might make US authorities realize that this sort of preferentialism is unacceptable (assuming it is systematic). When the quake strikes Wellington, will the emergency services have a "New Zealanders First" policy, and leave everyone else to fend for themselves in knee-deep sewage?? I'd fucking hope not.

Brash on those Maoris, III 

Further to my last post, and randominanity's helpful transcript of Brash's interview, the NZH has picked up on the story:
Prime Minister Helen Clark said she had never come across a dignitary who had been horrified or offended by powhiri.

"He doesn't know what he's talking about. I greet many international visitors, heads of government, and everyone says how special New Zealand is because we include something from indigenous culture as well as the formality of the formal welcome with a military honour guard. It gets a very good reception."

Dr Sharples, who trained powhiri performers for the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, said it was up to organisers to decide whether a powhiri was a welcome addition to a ceremony and Maori did not force the custom on others.
Two important points here: 1) a powhiri is entirely voluntary and up to the organizers of the event to request, or not. It's not a case of Maori forcing anything on anyone else. 2) it is bloody unique, and I would have thought a welcome break from the usual international protocols.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard, who is also Race Relations Minister, sparked an outcry in September last year when he criticised the duration of some Maori welcomes and the way they sometimes consigned women to a minor role.
Clear left-wing media bias here. :) Suggesting that some welcomes are overly long is in a different category from suggesting the welcomes are out of place, a la Brash. On his second point, the marginalization of women in some protocols can be seen to conflict with basic notions like equality. The welcomes to which he refers may be undertaken by "private" groups, but they're in "public" fora, so such notions may be relevant.

Dr Brash said yesterday his reference to "pale-skinned Maori" was meant as a judgment on how much Maori heritage performers claimed.

"What I've said on a number of occasions is that you get into definitional problems as to what constitutes a Maori if you have different rules for Maori than for non-Maori. From my point of view it doesn't make any difference.

"But as you're well aware there are some people who claim the particular rights of Maori even though their Maori heritage is very slight."
Well, yes and no. On the yes side, where legislation makes special provision for Maori participation in public decision-making, etc., the issue of who is a Maori is clearly relevant. But, in practice I imagine it is relatively easily resolved in that the right of participaiton is conveyed by membership of a group - iwi, etc. And those groups have their own criteria for membership. On the no side, Brash seems to be wandering into the "there aren't any real Maoris left anyway, are there?" type of redneckism. Next will it be: "they're not really indigeneous, they just killed off the Morioris"? If someone has Maori heritage, and identifies as Maori, that's their business, not Don's. Sure, it might be helpful for individuals to recognize all aspects of their heritage, to the extent these are known, but it's not for the state to tell them so.

To use words Brash himself might identify with, "Frankly, I'm not entirely comfortable with a Prime Ministerial candidate commenting on people's skin colour, or making allusions as to how they should identify themselves."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

How About We Plug the Stock bank Breaches in New Orleans with National Party Members? 

Adding to dc_red's post below, check out Russel Brown's discovered letter from Brash to Tony Blair.

Once we have shut up maori with duct tape and told them they can't have any control over their lives and culture, and then either deported everybody who isn't like us in terms of skin colour and culture, or else barred them in the first place then we can start segregating white people on regional differences meaning we need permits to travel to Hamilton. Then we can divide our cities and towns into groups depending on who supports which club team and what kind of music they like. Then we can divide kids into schools dependent on what their parents occupations are (factory workers children can go to the industrial school while doctors kids can go to law primary school).

Then of course we will make sure those gays don't get near any poor unfortunate mainstreamers (nevermind if they are related to millions of them). We will make sure they paint their houses pink so 'normal' people know to cross the street just in case one tries to talk to us. And as for solo mums, well, it's the caravan parks for them!

Oh and if you are on a benefit of any kind, it's best if you save up you pennies and then in about 20 years you will be able to afford a dinghy and you can just quietly slip out of the country to meet your fate.

Welcome to our world......... won't you come on in........ it's twoooooo thhousand and fiiiivee but National thinks it's twoooo thhoooussand and fiiivee BEEE CEEEE....

Ugg Ugg.

Brash on those Maoris, II 

Thanks to randominanity, a transcript of Brash's latest "thoughts" on Maori, previously encompassing the "rule of eighths" in the TV1 braying mob debate:
I mean, I think there is a place for Maori culture but why is it that we always use a semi-naked male, sometimes quite pale-skinned Maori, leaping around in, you know, mock battle?
Damn paleskins frightening visitors. Or, as Paul Holmes would put it, "cheeky mostly whiteys!" I'd have thought a powhiri helps to distinguish arriving in New Zealand from arriving in other parts of the world as a VIP, to be met by the yet another "handshake and honour guard." This is perhaps one example of the way in which Brash's policies will marginalize Maori in the public realm, and how the vision of equality he espouses is a vision "to be just like me" the upper-middle class universal subject.

Update: For Brash to comment on skin colour in this way for a second time is eerily reminiscent of racial categorization practices that have occurred elsewhere. It's one thing to say that New Zealanders of mixed Maori and European ancestry would do well to recognize all aspects of their heritage (I have no particular problem with that suggestion, although it's not really any of Brash's business), and quite another to cast doubt on how "Maori" some individuals really are based on his assessment of their skin colour. Perhaps he'll produce a nice colour chart on "how to spot a real Maori" in time for the election.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The best of the Suicide Bombers would be hard pressed to match this. 

Hurricane Katrina couldn’t have picked a worse part of the United States to ruin. New Orleans, a place where the poorest of the poor live. A place known for throwing a good party, and a place that until this day, maintained the Cajun tradition of crying when someone is born and celebrating when they die. A hurricane, combined with failing infrastructure, poor cohesion, dismal emergency preparedness networks, and an incompetent federal state is giving New Orleans its greatest reason to weep yet. Bodies are floating in the streets. There is no potable water. There is no food. The hospitals have few drugs and now armed gangs are robbing them blind. The sick are dying at an amazing rate. The coroner’s have set up mobile morgues, and preserving bodies is a challenge.

Security is gone in New Orleans. Homeland security is scratching their nuts trying to figure out a plan to return the ruined city to a civil state, but all this department has experience in is making up bullshit airport rules about using plastic cutlery and not using the bathroom thirty minutes into or out of Washington D.C. No idea how to handle a situation like this; no idea of the needs and realities of their own nation. They are failing to do anything at all in this time of crisis.
George Bush keeps Americans safe by stuffing Guantanamo Bay full of supposed terrorists, and beating the shit out of Iraq, which had the nuclear capability of a microwave oven. This does wonders for playing into nationalism and false mind set of the needs of the nation-state. When it comes down to really protecting Americans, i.e. keeping the poorest of the nation from getting killed by the weather, he shits his pants.

A little too critical on the Texas golden boy? He’s the president, not a weather maker you say? Well, consider the deliberate restructuring and organizing of federal money towards foreign conquest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that depleted any and all resources for real national emergencies. 10 billion for Louisiana? 88 billion for Iraq. In the fight against phoney threats, the phantoms get it all.

The worst story in this whole tale is that of the Louisiana national guard. A branch of the military specifically trained to cope with natural disasters, offer medical services, keep public order, and fix the problems of the national front when need, has most of its members fighting and dying in Iraq - a job that they should, under the U.S. constitution have never been sent to. When BBC interviewed persons in the Louisiana national guard whom are in Iraq, some replied as saying that they would not return home to help, because their priority still rests with protecting America from terrorism. That’s it. You’re house is gone, your family starving, your neighbor and the poor guy down the road are dead, and you’re chasing a six foot Saudi on dialyses around the desert. The real crisis breaks, and the national imagination triumphs. A classic example of the fox who has been trained to swim, and yet he thinks he’s supposed to live in the lake.

Hurricane Katrina has killed more than the Taliban could ever have dreamed of. It would take hundreds of suicide bombers going bump in the night to repeat the carnage, lawlessness, and utter human suffering that this bit of weather created. And yet, the U.S. government, its army and allies are afraid to rebuild New Orleans. They were unwilling to invest in human and infastructural resources from the beginning, ones that could have helped to cope for this scenario, and now, I reckon that most people would rather take their chances in Falujah over Bourbon Street. With the police running out of gasoline, and the red cross getting shot at, all is lost in New Orleans.

When the U.S. awakened from the aftermath of this storm, a challenge arose to rebuild and heal. But the greater challenge still lingers: awakening from the national amnesia of "national security as the war on terror" to really ask why the nation’s poorest are floating in the sea, why no one bothered to see this coming, and why no one is really willing to selflessly help out, without selfish regard for personal safety, as they do in droves in the Persian desert.

I Think I'd rather be in Zimbabwe 

Friday September 2, 02:12 PM
New Orleans descends into anarchy

New Orleans has descended into anarchy as corpses lay abandoned, fights and fires broke out, cops turned in their badges and the governor declared war on looters who have made the city a menacing landscape of disorder and fear.
"They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said of 300 National Guard troops who landed in New Orleans fresh from duty in Iraq. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

Four days after Hurricane Katrina roared in with a devastating blow that inflicted potentially thousands of deaths, the fear, anger and violence mounted.

"I'm not sure I'm going to get out of here alive," said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. "I'm scared of riots. I'm scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire."
The chaos deepened despite the promise of 1,400 National Guardsmen a day to stop the looting, plans for a $US10 billion ($A13 billion) recovery bill in Congress and a government relief effort President George W. Bush called the biggest in US history.

New Orleans' top emergency management official called that effort a "national disgrace" and questioned when reinforcements would actually reach the increasingly lawless city.

About 15,000 to 20,000 people who had taken shelter at New Orleans convention centre grew ever more hostile after waiting for buses for days amid the filth and the dead.

Police Chief Eddie Compass said there was such a crush around a squad of 88 officers that they retreated when they went in to check out reports of assaults.

"We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten," Compass said. "Tourists are walking in that direction and they are getting preyed upon."
Col. Henry Whitehorn, chief of the Louisiana State Police, said he heard of numerous instances of New Orleans police officers - many of whom from flooded areas - turning in their badges.

"They indicated that they had lost everything and didn't feel that it was worth them going back to take fire from looters and losing their lives," Whitehorn said.

A military helicopter tried to land at the convention centre several times to drop off food and water. But the rushing crowd forced the choppers to back off. Troopers then tossed the supplies to the crowd from 3m off the ground and flew away.

At least seven bodies were scattered outside the convention centre, a makeshift staging area for those rescued from rooftops, attics and highways. The sidewalks were packed with people without food, water or medical care, and with no sign of law enforcement.

An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

"I don't treat my dog like that," 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair.

"You can do everything for other countries, but you can't do nothing for your own people," he added. "You can go overseas with the military, but you can't get them down here."

The street outside the centre, above the floodwaters, smelled of urine and faeces, and was choked with dirty nappies, old bottles and garbage.

"They've been teasing us with buses for four days," Edwards said. "They're telling us they're going to come get us one day, and then they don't show up."

Every so often, an armoured state police vehicle cruised in front of the convention centre with four or five officers in riot gear with automatic weapons. But there was no sign of help from the National Guard.

"We are out here like pure animals," the Issac Clark said.

"We've got people dying out here - two babies have died, a woman died, a man died," said Helen Cheek. "We haven't had no food, we haven't had no water, we haven't had nothing. They just brought us here and dropped us."

Tourist Debbie Durso of Washington, Michigan, said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, "'Go to hell - it's every man for himself."'

"This is just insanity," she said. "We have no food, no water ... all these trucks and buses go by and they do nothing but wave."

FEMA director Michael Brown said the agency just learned about the situation at the convention centre and quickly scrambled to provide food, water and medical care and remove the corpses.

Speaking on CNN's Larry King Live, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the evacuation of New Orleans should be completed by the end of the weekend.

At the hot and stinking Superdome, where 30,000 were being evacuated by bus to the Houston Astrodome, fistfights and fires erupted amid a seething sea of tense, suffering people who waited in a lines that stretched 800m to board yellow school buses.
Some of those among the mostly poor crowd had been in the dome for four days without air conditioning, working toilets or a place to bathe.

An ambulance service airlifting the sick and injured out of the Superdome suspended flights as too dangerous after it was reported that a bullet was fired at a military helicopter.
"If they're just taking us anywhere, just anywhere, I say praise God," said refugee John Phillip. "Nothing could be worse than what we've been through."

New Orleans' emergency operations chief Terry Ebbert blamed the inadequate response on the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"This is not a FEMA operation. I haven't seen a single FEMA guy," he said. He added: "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."

FEMA officials said some operations had to be suspended in areas where gunfire has broken out, but are working overtime to feed people and restore order.

A day after Nagin took 1,500 police officers off search-and-rescue duty to try to restore order in the streets, there were continued reports of looting, shootings, gunfire and carjackings - and not all the crimes were driven by greed.

When some hospitals try to airlift patients, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan said, "there are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, 'You better come get my family."'

Several thousand storm victims had arrived in Houston by Thursday night, and they quickly got hot meals, showers and some much-needed rest.

While floodwaters in the city appeared to stabilise, efforts continued to plug three breaches that had opened up in the levee system that protects this below-sea-level city.

Helicopters dropped sandbags into the breach and pilings were being pounded into the mouth of the canal to close its connection to Lake Pontchartrain, state Transportation Secretary Johnny Bradberry said.

The next step called for using about 250 concrete road barriers to seal the gap.

In Washington, the White House said Bush will tour the devastated Gulf Coast region and has asked his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former President Clinton to lead a private fund-raising campaign for victims. [There will be a few people lining up to take potshots at that helicopter I imagine]

The president urged a crackdown on the lawlessness.

"I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this - whether it be looting, or price gouging at the petrol pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud," Bush said. "And I've made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together."

Donald Dudley, a 55-year-old New Orleans seafood merchant, complained that when he and other hungry refugees broke into the kitchen of the convention centre and tried to prepare food, the National Guard chased them away.

"They pulled guns and told us we had to leave that kitchen or they would blow our damn brains out," he said.
"We don't want their help. Give us some vehicles and we'll get ourselves out of here!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

NRL Round 26 


It's time for the world famous Bennyasena versus Peter Jessup rugby league tipping competition.

Well it's not quite time, but i figured since I'm leading by 2 games I should file my picks before Jessup does his in the Herald tommorrow because otherwise I could just take all his tips and ensure victory.

After 159 NRL matches Jessup is on 87/159 while Bennyasena is on 89/159.

So here are this weekend's matches:

Eels vs Broncos - Bennyasena Eels Jessup Eels

(I heard the Bronco's coach saying he only wished they could default this game, so bad are their injuries. Could be possible he's trying to lure Eels into a false sense of security but the punters don't seem to think so)

Sharks vs Rabbits - Bennyasena Sharks Jessup Sharks

Cowboys vs Storm - Bennyasena Cowboys Jessup Cowboys

Raiders vs Sea Eagles - Bennyasena Sea Eagles Jessup Raiders

(not that I think the Sea Eagles are the better team just that if they win they'll make the 8 while the Raiders are already out. Then again, it is the Raiders last home match and they'll put in a big effort for their fans)

Roosters vs Bulldogs - Bennyasena Roosters Jessup Roosters

Dragons vs Newcastle - Bennyasena Dragons Jessup Dragons

(All the talk about Andrew Johns being able to win the game for Newcastle is just that - talk)

Tigers versus Penrith - Bennyasena Tigers Jessup Tigers

(Although I hope the Tigers lose in the first round of the finals. That way Benji "my shoulder's fine for the NRL finals but too bad to play for the Kiwis" Marshall can get all the time to recover he needs.)

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