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, May 25, 2007

Puff Pastry 

This addition to the Tauranga Herald doesn't look too promising.

Also, methinks it is a pretty blatant ripoff of this.

It will also contribute to the ongoing stupidification of the local rag.

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Round 11 

Bulldogs - Cowboys - Cowboys
Raiders Dragons Raiders
Manly Storm - Storm
Sharks Roosters - Roosters
Titans Rabbits - Titans
Broncos Knights - Knights
Panthers - Tigers - Tigers
Eels - Warriors - Warriors

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Michael Moore: the world may be watching, but likely not listening 

Christ another year older. Might as well broadcast some thoughts:

I have this deep-down sentiment that Cuban healthcare has it right, and while they do everything that they can to offer assistance to the world’s most needy, I they could do wonders to teach the north how to run community-based, low-cost, highly efficient health services.

Saving lives in the developing world is easy. Clean water, food, medicines, and primary healthcare can do wonders. The Cuban, and Cuban-trained, physicians working in 101 countries around the world perform these minor miracles every day.

The bigger challenge is overcoming ignorance and indifference to the possibility that we could make healthcare more equitable, affordable and universal. I wish that it was enough to say that indifferences stem just from rich nations, but really it is a battle between the rich and poor of all nations. Maybe we can overcome indifference with stunts like Michael Moore’s forthcoming film Sicko. You might know that Michael Moore is set to release his attack against the inequity in the U.S. healthcare system at the end of June. Moore took rescue workers from the World Trade Centre to Havana for advanced treatment, and as a result he was handed a threatening letter from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Already reaction is mixed about this. Take letter writer J.R. Dubro in Today’s Globe and Mail, commenting about “The Cubans warmly receiving and treating the workers are clearly involved in a propaganda exercise.” He goes on: “While it is true that Cubans, like Canadians, get free health care they also get a go-directly-to-jail card for saying or printing anything critical of the Castro Government….It is sicko, indeed, to hold up totalitarian Cuba as a shining beacon of compassion.”

And here we go.

Dubro’s critique isn’t a unique one. In fact it’s one that I hear a lot. The idea being that since it is illegal to open up a newspaper in Cuba the success of healthcare should be discredited. Someone make this connection for me! Please! Because I don’t get it. Why does the right to publish op-Eds supersede the right to receive medical treatment? And why are these two things relational? I don’t see, or understand what sort of direct relation there is.

Besides, guys like Dubro give us the impressions that if you say anything fowl in Cuba, you’ll wind up in a North Korean-like prison. Not so. First off, what stands as being critical? In Cuba, if you have complaints about the inefficiencies of the infrastructure, the economy, political representation, let them rip. There are amazingly open forums in Cuban society to express discontent (community organizations, student organizations, women’s groups and others), and most institutions are very self-critical and consistently undergo restructuring to improve practices. And think about this, how likely would it be to start my own free press here in Canada? Sure the state might not shut me down, but the economy will. And in terms of the online culture in Cuba….It’s there baby. Hell there are even Cubans on Lavalife for god sakes.

But if you start dropping hints about overthrowing the government and removing the head of state, you bet there will be a backlash. In what society would there not be one? About a year ago we were told that 18 Muslim kids were going to behead Canadian Prime-Minister Stephen Harper, and they all went to jail, are still there, and have yet to be charged. If being critical calls for the forced removal of the head of state, then I would think in any society there would be a backlash.

The other thing I like to do with people like Dubro is push them on the details. Ask them how individuals are persecuted, what the police custody process is like, how does the trial operate, where are the detention centers, who works there? Not a single creditable human rights agency in the world is crazy enough charge Cuba with torture or institutional abuse.

Then ask the details about healthcare provision. Who gets treated, how do they get treated, how much time is spent with patients, what role do nurses play, and who becomes a doctor and why?

Michael Moore’s involvement in Cuba worries me a great deal. For two reasons. For one he has already said that those who believe that he is promoting the Cuban experience will be disappointed. I just wonder what he has up his sleeve and if his American nationalist politics will distort the image of Cuban healthcare from how it behaves on the ground. Second, I’m not sure that Michael Moore could go up against people like Dubro who believe that poor healthcare is acceptable as long as there is a free press.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Boy Racers 

There's a bit of publicity at the moment for boy racers (actually there is every other week) about cracking down on them for shitty driving behaviour. Now that's fair enough but as long as the police crack down on all shitty driving (and I've seen it from all and sundry, often middle aged men and beyond) then that should be good enough.

The death and injury rates from automobile accidents is way, way the fuck lower now than it was in the 1970s. People often say that's because of better roads and safer cars. But if that was the case (which it was), why didn't people show more common sense by driving to the conditions and to the ability of their car to cope? People now are quick to talk about a lack of common sense from todays yoof, but seem to forget the fucken dumb arse shithead driving from back in the day. I should ask my dad again about all his mates killed on motorcycles in the 60s and 70s or about the mate that was decapitated while hanging out the side of a car and a passing vehicle quite literally... did what you think might have happened. Or the vehicle that plowed into the back of him killing a young girl occupant in the rear vehicle a couple of decades ago.

Also the two worst cases of driving I have seen this year were by a man who looked in his late 50s who was literally driving within a couple of metres of my bumper up a winding rural road in wet drizzly conditions as the sun was going down. The cunt had the balls to abuse the shit out of me and pull the fingers as I pulled into the driveway. This is a road I have driven up and down a few thousand times so i'd like to think I know a normal speed to drive at on it.

The other shit hosue driving was from a middle aged male bus driver on a school trip with a bus full with teens who decided he would overtake the other bus on a double yellow line on the open road and with a car coming the other way which we forced off the road. Luckily the other vehicle had enough sealed road to cross on to.

Ban all men from driving I say. And Asians too. And women are banned from roundabouts and intersections and are not allowed to parallel park. And elderly people are hereby banned from all forms of travel, bus, car, train, mobility scooter, skateboard, you name it. Dig up the roads and turn them into cricket pitches.

But the big question I want answered is.... where in fucks name do these teenagers get the money to soup their cars up to the point where they would almost need a mortgage to pay for it? Surely they aren't working?! I mean all young people are drug addict bums, with no respect, no aims in life, no conscience, no common sense and no jobs, sitting at home smoking pot, drinking booze, playing PS2, mouthing off at their mums because they drove their parents to divorce, organising parties so they can fight, throw bottles at the police, terrorise the neighbourhood, tag fences, hoon round getting hospitalised, murdering people and wasting tax payers money. On a good weekend.

PS I see Russell Brown has done a fair better job than me.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

NRL Round 10 

Alrighty, so we have some seriously depleted NRL teams this weekend with State of Origin coming up next week and a few teams that might be ripe for an upset.

And we've got two teams paying about a 400% return on your investment.

The Roosters are currently paying $4.10 against the Storm who have five of their best players out...the only problem is the Roosters have their best three away on origin duty too - and the Storm still have about 8 brilliant players on the paddock - so I'm still going with the Storm here.

But I reckon the Baby Broncos have a decent chance against a depleted side at Brookvale this weekend - the baby Broncos have dropped from over $4 to $3.80.

Dragons v Titans - Dragons

Eels v Cowboys - Cowboys

Storm v Roosters - Storm

Bulldogs v Sharks - Sharks (my heart says Bulldogs but my brain says Sharks - shit look at all the money that's been bet on them:
$7,500 @ $1.95 ON CRONULLA -1.5 V BULLDOGS
$18,000 @ $1.95 ON CRONULLA -1.5 V BULLDOGS
$11,000 @ $1.85 ON CRONULLA V BULLDOGS

Warriors v Tigers - the mighty Warriors

(Tigers have never won in Auckland, and I wanna see your tips in advance of your haha-hindsight-when-will-you-learn-smart-arse comments Randominity, yeah suck on those hyphens bitch)

Manly v Baby Broncos - Broncos.

Onthepunt's league expert ain't exactly writing the team off:
The 2007 version of the ‘Baby Broncos’ is once again, stacked full of potential, but when they are challenged by a fully fledged NRL side, backing them would just be guess work. They have a smattering of experience once again, but placing my playmaking reliance on Shane Perry would give me little, if any confidence. Manly will miss their two star centres as well as Kite, but they still have more than half of their ‘guns’ available and in good form (Orford aside). To give the Broncos no chance is not in my vocabulary, but I can’t see them competing at Brookvale, unless the Sea Eagles take them very lightly (or maybe Brett Stewart withdraws to play Origin in place of Minichiello).

And at $3.80 it's gotta be a reasonable punt.

NRL round 10 - judgement weekend 

State of Origin duty really throws a whole suitcase of question marks over this round.

But this shall not deter me.

Dragons v Titans - Yawn, can barely manage to think about this game. In fact, I forgot all about it in my first post. Maybe the Dragons have a slight edge, so I'll go for them.

Eels v Cowboys - Eels by a slither. Should be very close, with only home advantage for the Eels separating the teams.

Storm v Roosters - Storm. You can bet on it.

Bulldogs v Sharks - The question here is whether the Sharks can keep rolling on, or whether the Dogs will be good enough to break their streak. Some say yes. Since the Sharks aren't hit by Origin duties, I say, no. Sharks by a few points.

Warriors v Wests Tigers - The Warriors are not stupid, they just play like it sometimes. Warriors to reverse their fortunes, and win by 6 points.

Sea Eagles v. Broncos - Good grief, the Sea Eagles. You can bet on it, but I bet the odds would be crap.


Thursday, May 17, 2007


Not too sure what I think so far ... there's not much doubt it will create a savings culture, so if that's what floats your boat.... The introduction of compulsory employer contributions will no doubt cause much whining, but my employer already contributes to my super plan (dollar for dollar up to 5%) and that definitely makes my position more appealing. It will also improve our ability to compete with Australia on that ground.

But removing the tax bracket adjustments scheduled for next year is just mean-spirited. I can't help but wonder that if inflation is such a problem, why not increase taxes to, say, 100%. That would fix it pretty damn smart.

And the regional fuel tax, intended largely (but not exclusively?) to fund trains has its drawbacks, as Yamis has noted. If trains go nowhere near your suburb (which they don't in my case, or in the case of, say, anyone living in the North Shore), you're going to have an uphill battle convincing people to pay for the damn things.

Let's face it, trains are fuck-all use unless you happen to live and work really close to the stations.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And another thing... 

Since my NRL tipping skills apparently leave something to be desired, let me turn to more familiar territory ... a rant about some chosen aspect of society or politics.

My topic for today: the media's frequent gross misuse of the term "legal blood alcohol limit." The limit refers to one thing: the maximum level of alcohol permitted in one's blood when operating a motor vehicle.

There is, thankfully, NO legal maximum in blood alcohol for such other everyday activities as walking down the street, playing playstation, watching rugby league, or blogging. And with good reason. Seeking to enforce a maximum in such cases would be akin to prohibition: impossible to enforce, a gross invasion of individual liberties, and serving no clear public interest.

Yet how often I am struck by the media's use of the term in cases where it is irrelevant: "man sustains RSI using playstation while three times over the legal limit" etc.

More seriously, take this Canadian example where a man riding a bus was involved in a fight leading to his death. Now, it is conceivable that intoxication made him act in an aggressive or reckless manner, but there is no fucking legal maximum in blood alcohol for riding a fucking bus! In fact, are we not often reminded that taking the bus is a good option if you've had a few and are not fit to drive? That was my modus operandi for many years.

In this particular case, it sounds like the guy would have had better luck just driving.

Update: while I'm on the topic of crap reporting, check out today's NZH leads: a tanned model, and a story with a capitalized "NO" and "tax cuts" in the same line. Hmm, why not "check out our page 3 girl!" to up the classiness a bit? No disrespect to Lara Bingle intended.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

NRL Round 9 

After nailing both of Friday nights games last week I thought I was sitting pretty...then I missed every other fucking game!

Still doing just as well as the tippers in the Herald...

Sharks v Broncos - Broncos

Manly v Eels - Manly

Knights v Warriors - Warriors (but after last week how can I tip them - jesus christ they were shit) Then again we quite often do OK against the Knights.)

Rabbits v Raiders - Raiders - any team that can score 30 points against Manly like they did last week has got to be a decent chance of rolling the rabbits.

Cowboys v Panthers - Panthers - both these teams run hot and cold and when they're cold they're both fucking dreadful...It'll be a big ask for the boys from the Blue mountains but I figure they're normally up for the big games like when they thumped the Bulldogs half a dozen rounds ago.

Roosters v Titans - Titans

Tigers v Dragons - Tigers

Storm v Bulldogs - Storm, though could be close.

NRL round 9 

I'm getting in on the tipping game.

Sharks v Broncos - Sharks by a snout
Manly v Eels - Sea Eagles
Knights v Warriors - Warriors
Rabbits v Raiders - Rabbitohs
Cowboys v Panthers - Cowboys
Roosers v Titans - Titans
Tigers v Dragons - Tigers
Storm v Doggies - Dogs


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That's just not on! 

I refer to the dismissal of the Subway worker in Dunedin, and subsequent pressing of charges. By that standard I'm a felon for absent-mindedly taking the odd pen and paper clip home from work. (In fairness, some pens and paper clips migrate in the opposite direction).

So, I, dc_red, am joining the boycott of the buggers. And I used to eat there about twice a week. I encourage the rest of the BIR team to shun them too.

Hat-tip: Russell Brown.

Subway bloggers


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Doesn't Sound So Bad 

Pre-script? This is our 993rd post. We intend on making the next 8 the same as the other 992. Real and nothing but the real.

So Paris Hilton is off to the LA Hilton in June. 23 hours with nobody to bother you. Plus three square meals brought along at the appropriate times.

Man I'd catch up on some reading. I assume she can read.

Paris Hilton heads for real 'simple life' in jail
By Steve Gorman
Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail for violating probation.
LOS ANGELES - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton, star of the reality TV show The Simple Life, will really be going back to basics when she checks into a Los Angeles County jail next month to do time for violating her probation.

Unless her lawyers win an appeal, she will forsake her designer clothes, cell phone and other accouterments -- along with her freedom and privacy -- for an orange jumpsuit and a small, spartan cell with twin bunks.

"She's going to be assigned a two-person cell, and most likely have another inmate in the cell with her," Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said today, adding Hilton, like all inmates, would be confined to her quarters 23 hours a day.

She will be allowed out of her cell once a day for an hour to shower, stretch her legs, use the telephone or watch television in a jailhouse day room, he said.

The cell -- 2.4 metres wide by 3.7 metres deep, with an 2.4 metre ceiling -- contains "two bunks, a table, a sink, a toilet and a sliver of a window." Hilton's cellmate, if she gets one, will be another individual serving time for a serious driving infraction or other nonviolent offense, he said.

While the facility houses roughly 2,200 women, Hilton will be segregated from the general population in a "special-needs" unit designed for such high-profile prisoners as celebrities, former police officers and public officials, Whitmore said.

Hilton will get three meals a day, all taken in her cell, but like the jail's furnishings, nothing fancy -- cereal or yogurt with fruit for breakfast, a sandwich or hamburger for lunch, and a hot meal such as chicken for dinner.

"She'll be given the same food that is served to every inmate in the jail, he said.

The jail's schedule also will make it hard for Hilton to keep the late hours she is accustomed to. Breakfast is served between 6 and 7.30 am, and lights are turned out at 10 pm

Whether Hilton will serve all 45 days of her sentence is unclear. Under state sentencing guidelines, inmates receive one day credit against their sentence for each day they serve. This means Hilton would effectively complete her term after 22.5 days in jail, unless the judge's order stipulates otherwise.

She also could get out early due to overcrowding, as was the case with actress Michelle Rodriguez of the TV show Lost, who was reported to have served just four hours and 20 minutes of a 60-day sentence for a probation violation last May.
Shucks, 4 hours and 20 minutes of a 60 day sentence?? Hardly enough time to even get beaten up in the showers. Or worse.

Went to watch the Warriors on Saturday night. Without a doubt the worst 80 minutes of League I can recall seeing since I was playing for Te Atatu in the under 6's in 1982.

Forget signing Tate for 450,000 dollars. You actually need decent halves before you can go spending up on backs who will never get any decent ball.

Sack Witt asap and spend the 450,000 plus his salary on somebody with a decent running and passing game.

All we ever do is
a) bomb for the corners on the last tackle
b) shovel the ball along the backline
c) put runners in motion with the same move that Jones used (very successfully) to free up space out side.

But there just never seems to be anything spontaneous or creative from our number 6. Rovelli has his moments in the 7 jersey but he needs some help. And christ did Rovelli have a shocker on Saturday. What the fuck were those grubber kicks in behind the line early in the count with not a single chaser? You wouldn't expect that from a reserve grade halfback in club football and even coaches in shitty grades I played in would have screamed out "what the fuck was that?!".

Nevermind, at least the Blues are a cohesive unit.

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Friday, May 04, 2007

NRL Round 8 

St George v Panthers - St George
Broncos v Rabbits - Broncos
Warriors v Sharks - Warriors
Tigers v Storm - Storm
Eels v Roosters - Roosters
Raiders v Manly - Raiders
Bulldogs v Knights - Knights
Titans v Cowboys - Titans

Although to tell the truth the only game I reckon is a sure thing here is the Warriors!

Nearly every other game could swing either way....even the pro tipster at onthepunt is basically just watching this weekend...

In saying that quite a lot of money has gone on the Tigers with a 7.5 point NZ our TAB only gives us a 5.5 head start at $1.92.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

John Key, I hardly knew thee 

The Electoral Commission proposes that suburban Massey be moved out of the Helensville electorate, and into the Te Atatu electorate. So John Key will no longer be my local MP. Or Yamis'.

Me thinks neither Mr Key, nor Te Atatu MP Chris Carter, will be too upset about this redistribution. Key's electorate becomes more strongly rural/conservative, and Carter's electorate picks up some lower-middle class suburbia.

As for myself, I'm saved from voting for some poor shmuck who will lose to John Key by over 10,000 votes. Instead I can vote for a Labour candidate who stands a good/excellent chance of winning.


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