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 28, 2007

Last NRL pick 



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

National Does the Unthinkable 

That's right. National have unvealed a policy. I believe it is their first since the 1990s.

And guess what? It's to put doctors fees up. Or rather to take the caps off doctors fees now at the rate of inflation and let doctors set them to what they like because, errr, well that's what free markets are all about and errr, we thought we should stop sounding like Labour playing in a blue shirt and do something right wing.

Only problem is the logic behind it is shite. Key seemed to think that fees won't go up because well, people will just go "down the road" if their doctor puts their fees up.

What fucking planet do you live in knob, whoops, I mean Key?

Yeah, people will just jump in their ferrarri and nip a few hundred metres down the road to the next GP because they are on every corner of every street of course.

Doctors will put their fees up, call their mate in the next suburb and tell him to do the same. Then they'll have a good laugh about it whilst out waterskiing in the Coromandel with National party MPs in a couple of summers time.

Competition has done wonders for petrol stations hasn't it? Doctors clinics aren't like garden centres where you can take it or leave it. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go. When you need to go somewhere you need to buy petrol and when you need to stop crapping every 30 minutes you need to go to the doctor and get a recommendation. They may well suggest listening to National unveil policy as that would fix it, though I suspect you would be swapping the runs for a bout of constipation which is something John Bracewell would know more about.

Whatever National may assure us if they implemented that policy then in three years time we would have independent studies showing that doctors fees have gone up nationwide at twice the rate of inflation or whatever shitarse amount and when asked about it National will say something vague like "now the fees are inline with what they should have been and for too long NZers have been getting luxuries like cheap medical care". And then they will be asked why less people are going to the doctors and they will say "it's not because they can't afford it its because of the healthy eating policies that we implemented in schools in 2007.... errr....".

And then National can fuck off and we will get 9 more years of Labour cleaning up after them.

Left-wing and proud.

And another thing... 

Both NRT and the Holden Republic marked the centenary of New Zealand becoming a Dominion ("a what?" - Joe Public) to call for a Republic. And good on them: the arguments in favour are, frankly, overwhelming.

But where I part ways with both Idiot/Savant and Lewis Holden is in the characterization of the Governor-General as our "de facto Head of State."

Given that the Governor General is: (a) appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister of the day; (b) exercises executive power only on the advice of this Prime Minister; and (c) is answerable to the Prime Minister ... why not just call a stone a stone, and say the Prime Minister is the de-facto Head of State?? They are the primary representative of the nation, and the Executive branch, at home and abroad.

As I've argued before, I think the Governor General is better characterized as the de jure Head of State's local proxy, who serves at the whim of the de facto Head of State. In other words a diminished figurehead position (notwithstanding the possibility of exceptional circumstances like the dismissal of the Whitlam government).

And another thing: while matters constitutional should be considered, at least from time to time, the TV news media remains obsessed with the internet development de jour: quote online social networking sites like bebo and facebook endquote. For the last two evenings, TV3 has been "reporting" on these sites by about 6:06pm. In other words, they're lead news. On both occasions I shouted at the TV: "reading bebo is not fucking journalism!"

So, yeah, don't expect to learn anything about the merits or otherwise of a Republic on the evening news any time soon.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Spare us your indignation 

Would it really have mattered if he'd used the sword or not to kill his wife? The police still gave him back a weapon capable of killing with ease.

That he chose to use his hands or some other weapon hardly seems relevant.

It's like saying "I handed the 4 year old a glass of poison but I didn't do anything wrong because he was run over by a car half an hour later so stop your whingeing because I was totally professional from the outset".

I'm going to the pub, I may be some time 

Haha, this is gold:
Man 'took forklift home from the pub'
A man who rode his push-bike into town had a few drinks and allegedly decided to upgrade on the way home to a forklift.
Police found the 37-year-old Taradale man heading home in the vehicle, through Ahuriri, Napier at 7am on Sunday.
A breath test showed he was over the legal limit.
The man's father told The Dominion Post he hadn't seen him since the day before but his son "was always looking for trouble".
"I didn't know he could drive a forklift. He's always up to something new," he said.
Police were trying to find out who owned the forklift.
The man is due at Napier District Court tomorrow to face drink-driving charges.

Sound familiar?

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Second Coming 

The Greatest Band the World Has Ever Known may be gracing us with their presence once more.

So check yo'self before yo wreck yo'self.


This really grinds my gears. Harassed and assaulted for wearing a sweatshirt of a particular colour on a public bus, then assaulted again outside the bus, and responded in a way that was, according to the judge, ""over the top", because "When you use a knife like this, you are literally millimetres away from causing a death," the judge said.

The final point is, undoubtedly, true. But it is also irrelevant.

I put it like this:

You are being harassed by a group of belligerent, drunken youth - who contrive to take offence to the colour of your sweatshirt. Well, they would have found a reason. You may have reason to suspect they are carrying a collection of weapons (this fear is well grounded, as they are later found to be concealing "hammers, spanners, a flick-knife and metal bars") They outnumber you, they are clearly a "gang" of sorts ("the Aranui Town Maori" as it turns out), and every indication is that they intend to bash the shit out of you.

You have a limited number of options:

(a) ignore them and walk away, and quite probably get the shit beaten out of you
(b) run away, and either escape or get a worse beating
(c) tell them to fuck off, and almost certainly cop a severe beating
(d) stand your ground, throw a punch or kick or two, and get a severe beating possibly resulting in your death or at least permnanent disability and disfigurement
(e) use a instrument you happen to by carrying as a weapon (a chef's knife in this case, but it could easily have been a builder's hammer or whatever) to level the playing field a bit, and likely stop all of your attackers by completely incapacitating one of them.

Hmm, I'd say (e) is a reasonable option by anyone's standard. As it happens (e) wouldn't be an option for me (a pen isn't much of a weapon), so I would have had to try (b).

Unlike the enthusiasts at Sensible Sentencing, I wouldn't recommend this guy for a medal, but his conviction and sentencing is absurd. But the real question is, which dumbass attorney advised the poor bastard to plead guilty to a charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm? (Perhaps there was a deal here, since the original trumped up charge was attempted murder?).

Not guilty by reason of self defence I say.

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NRL semi-final weekend 

Manly Sea-Eagles vs. North Queensland Cowboys - Cowboys by 13+

Paramatta Eels vs. Melbourne Storm
- This would be a no-brainer if played in Melbourne. But Sydney levels the playing field somewhat. Hard to call. Storm by 1-12.

Now read Yamis' post. That father was a real piece of work: Nai Yin Xue injured his baby daughter, Qian, in a violent domestic dispute last year before attacking his wife with a knife, court documents show. Who knew you could still get away with that shit just because the wife won't testify?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two things getting on my tit today 

First off. How fucking utterly unbelievable that the Police let a dead body sit in the boot of a car outside what is now obviously a murder scene for two days is completely so far beyond me that they may as well be in China.

"We needed a warrant". What the fuck?! You could have broken into the thing any fucking time at all under the possibility that she may be in there um....... ALIVE you dick brains.

What if she was in their unconscious, or bound and gagged waiting to be found?

Well folks. She would have literally died waiting while the fucking morons wandered past the car waiting for the paperwork to come through.

And first we get the "we needed the paperwork" excuse and then it changes to "we didn't think the car was of great significance". Errr... um, I don't know about the planet they live on but where I'm from cars are often used for things like hiding stuff and moving shit. And then they top it off by saying on the news tonight that "if there had been any suggestion that she may be alive in the boot we would have opened it. Holy Fuck if that isn't nearly the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Nah mate, we thought that if you heard scratching sounds from in there you would have figured it was a cat and left it. And how the hell would you know if somebody was unconscious or in no state to make a noise to get attention in the first place?

Maybe it went something like this:

Police knocking on car boot. "Excuse us maam but if you are unconscious could you please make a tapping sound and describe your surroundings". "If you are bound and gagged and unable to move could you please make a video recording of your situation and mail it to eh nearest police station as soon as possible". And "If you are dead please feel free to just lie their and we will be with you in two days".

I mean who would have ever thought. A body put into a boot to conceal it??!!!! What next? A murderer wearing gloves??!!

On to an even easier target. The husband. I'm anti-capital punishment but if somebody wants to chop this guys head off then I might be able to help out. By god he'll be in for it if he ends up in a NZ prison. He'd better brush up big time on his martial arts with lots of maneuvers that involve protecting his a-hole.

And now onto the thing that has got onto my other tit.

Jonathon Thurston gets off for his dangerous throw because according to his lawyer, due to shoulder injuries he is unable to lift anything over 100kgs above the horizontal.

So I guess we all fucken imagined it then. It never happened. Koopu jumped into the air and did a backflip onto his head.

It wasn't me your honour. I never touched him!

Right. Now I feel better. Pool anyone?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Trophy Wife of Canadian Cities. 

G’day! Sorry it’s been so long.

So now that I’m sort of back to civilization, I heard word that Air New Zealand is going to offer non-stop flights to Vancouver from Auckland. Good move. Now you can reach North America without the bullshit of U.S. customs. Also, the Olympics are going to show up in a couple of years, so Air NZ was pretty clever to get some airport space now.

But, strategic business sense aside, beware of that place: Vancouver. I see it as the Trophy Wife of Canadian cities.

Yeah, she looks good, you can showcase her, brag to your friends about her, and even dress her up for a night out now and then.

But make no mistake, it’s all a display. When you get her home, live with her, you realize that you’re in a false relationship, one that’s based on material emptiness and complete disconnection. She don’t put out. Not like Montreal…man, does she put out!

There is no place in Canada more costly to live (save for Iqaluit). Food, housing, transportation, and even a pint of beer are all grossly above the national average (speaking of which, happy fucking luck getting a pint in Vancouver! They have Sleeves, which cost more than a pint, but measure up nowhere near). New condos are springing up under the pretense that somehow a two-week sporting event in 2010 will boost their value immensely. These places are also being built with next to nothing in them. $250,000 can buy you a box in the sky where the bed almost has to come out of the wall, and you have next to no kitchen, because the asshole who designed the thing expects you to take your meals out.

No city in Canada is as inequitable as Vancouver. Unbridled wealth versus unbridled skid-row. You get both, but the city only advertises the first bit. The city’s doctors, politicians and newspaper columnists are all leaders in trying to destroy universal healthcare in Canada, as they all actively seek out new excuses to grossly overcharge people for their services.

But you know three things that are truly not right about Vancouver?

1) A 24 hour a day, seven days a week traffic reporting station. Yup. Some prick is making money knowing that he can sell advertisements alongside traffic updates every minute of the day, even at 2:10am on a Wednesday. That’s not good at all.
2) The city has Canada’s first “dedicated transit police force.” Violence on the public transit was so extreme that the bus company Translink had to go as far as to create a special police force to bust out your teeth, handcuff you and turn you over to a judge. These are not special coppers from the Vancouver police or RCMP. No no, a dedicate police force. Usually when society needs more police, things aren’t right. And yet, Vancouver is actually bragging about the fact that its buses come with dedicated service from Wyatt Earp and his gang.
3) You can’t buy tools in the downtown! On my brief return this summer, I had to fix an alternator. Doing this downtown in public was apparently my first no no, as city ordnances prohibit automobile repair in public. But, I needed a ratchet with a socket. Simple 3/8 ratchet with a 12mm socket. Not a single store in the downtown core could provide me with such a device. In the Lotusland of condos, sushi shops and 16,500 starbucks, you can’t find tools to fix shit that’s broken. Meaning, that any time something goes sideways you’re expected to call up a guy in a van, and he’ll come and fix it.

24 hour traffic, cops on the bus, and an endemic culture of service provision, it’s a society ready to explode.

I want no part of it.

That’s why my two bedroom apartment has become two back-packs, and it is back to the road. I’ll be in touch again, the next time I see electricity.

Friday, September 14, 2007

NRL secondary quarter finals (or whatever) 

Bulldogs v Eels -

Hard to call. Good god the Eels were boring against the Warriors. Maybe the Dogs have more attacking flair? Plus I'm tempted to say Dogs just so we can delight in watching them be absolutely massacred by Melbourne next week. But the Eels are strong on defence, and if they're good enough to beat the Warriors in Auckland.... Might as well flip a coin.

I'm going to go with the theory that there's a reason the TAB has the Dogs at $1.70 and the Eels at $2.12. Quasi-home advantage or something for the mutts.


Cowboys v Warriors -

Those who follow my tipping (all 3 of you) will know I always pick the Cowboys to win at home. But this year their regular season home record was the same as their away record, with 8 wins from 12. Their home losses included the Rabbitohs and even the lowly Panthers. The TAB (which still thinks there is a team called the NZ Warriors) puts the North Queensland team at $2.00 and the Vodafone team at $1.80.

My heart says Warriors. My head says Cowboys.

Fuck it.



Monday, September 10, 2007

More politics, more league 

I note with interest the continuing success of the National Party in the polls. It is, of course, each individual voter's right to cast their votes as they please. Nevertheless, polling - I think - assumes a certain basic level of knowledge among those being polled.

So, for the near 50% of the population that states it currently intends to vote National, I raise the following questions:

1. Correctly spell the name of the leader of the National Party.
(Explanation: even in an educated context, I estimate that 50% of people I hear referring to him, pluralize his name to "John Keyes". And no, I never bring up politics just to test people.)

2. Name, and outline in at least one coherent sentence, any two National Party policies.
(Explanation: just a hunch, but I bet the majority of those intending National Party voters could only manage two words: tax, and cuts)

3. Name any two National Party frontbenchers (i.e., members of the "shadow cabinet"), other than the leader.
(Explanation: I anticipate plenty of blank looks in response to this one).

If prospective National Party voters fail on, say, any 2/3 of these tests, then methinks their choice isn't well-thought out or "educated"

Now on to league: bit of a grim game at Mt Smart on Friday. The crowd was something to behold, especially in the south stand where I hung out. It was eerily reminiscent of a Guns N Roses concert actually. As for the game itself, Bennyasena said afterwards: "I can't think of anything that would go on the highlights reel."

Tipping: both Yamis and I got 3/4, so our season averages now stand as:

Yamis: 107/172 (62.2%)
DC_Red: 63/104 (60.6%)

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sport ... and who is New Zealand's real head of state? 

First things first, my tips for the weekend's all-important NRL matchups:

Warriors vs Eels - hell, I'll be there cheering the Warriors to victory myself. Warriors.

Cowboys vs Dogs - I'll go with my usual approach of always picking the Cowboys to win at home. It has served me well in the past. Cowboys.

Eagles vs Rabbitohs - Hard to go past the home team in this one too. Eagles.

Storm vs Broncos - Amazing the Broncos even made it to the final 8. I fear their unfortunate season will end in Melbourne, but if they want to prove me wrong, please go ahead. I can afford to miss one pick, and this might as well be it. Storm.

I need to get at least 3/4 picks to keep my average up above 60%.

Now on to politics, or matters constitutional really.


The formal answer is, of course, Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand. Or something along those lines.

The "the Second" part is informative, as there has be no Queen Elizabeth "the first" of New Zealand. Literally, Betty Windsor is the first Queen of New Zealand with the name "Elizabeth".

This serves as an interesting clue as to the real identity of the Queen: she "the Second" Elizabeth only in the UK, "the First" in New Zealand, Australia, Canada and so on. This leads me to suggest that calling her "Queen of New Zealand" is something of a fiction. She is really the Queen of the UK ... and only Queen of New Zealand et al. by virtue of that fact. If the Brits abolished the monarchy tomorrow, and became a Protectorate or Republic, would New Zealand really cling to the monarch, or look to elect a President quick smart? An interesting question, but rather by-the-by for my purposes.

Queen Elizabeth the Second (sic) of New Zealand, like Queen Elizabeth the Second (sic) of Canada, is a Head of State who does nothing of any political consequence. She possesses no practical power, and exercises no practical power. A figurehead, as is well known. A de jure Head of State whose role is ceremonial/symbolic, not practical/political.

For real intents and purposes, most of the powers one associates with the Head of State (leader of the Executive Branch of government and all that) is the Prime Minister. This is particularly obvious in unitary states like New Zealand, but is also true in federal states like Australia and Canada. The Prime Minister does the real business of leading the country, for better or worse, albeit theoretically dependent upon the consent of the de jure Head of State.

But the de facto Head of State (the Prime Minister) seldom interacts with the de jure Head of State (the Queen) directly. Rather, he or she goes through the de jure Head of State's local proxy, the Governor General. And who appoints this person to the job? Not "we, the people" but ... the Prime Minister.

How fucked up is all this? We have a de jure Head of State, who is only in the position by virtue of being the de jure Head of State of another State (the UK), and fills a purely symbolic role. But she's not even really our symbolic Head of State in any day-to-day sense, this role being filled instead by a local representative, who is also a figurehead. (In Canada and Australia, add Lieutenants-General to this mix and you begin to sense high farce coming on).

And just to hammer home the point about who is really in charge of the state, this symbolic representative of a symbolic foreign Head of State, is actually appointed by the Prime Minister.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

NRL regular season tipping round up 

Yamis 104 correct out of 168 picks = 61.9%

DC_Red 60 correct out of 100 picks = 60.0%

Bennyasena 65 correct out of 114 picks = 57.0% (retired)

Some weird/disappointing results for me this weekend: like the Eels beating the Broncos by more than 40 points ... after losing to the lowly Dragons the previous week. And the hapless Knights chalking up a win against the Tigers.


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