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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tough times? What tough times? 

It was a chilly, blustery Saturday when I was summoned to Westgate Shopping Centre at the end of the northwestern motorway. First stop was a quick moccachino, and from inside the cafe I quickly appraised myself, and Mrs_Red, of our surroundings.

First, the parking lot was full. We're talking jammed to capacity here. Luckily for us, we had secured what appeared to be the last space, without any trouble at all.

Second, vehicles in said lot were generally of a high quality: relatively new, clean, look-like-they-are-fun-to-drive models. Most looked far superior to ours, that's for sure.

Third, people were out shopping with a vengeance. $4 moccachinos weren't the half of it. Every shop seemed to be doing a roaring trade.

Last, the drivers and shoppers referred to in the preceding points seemed relatively cheerful, inclement weather (which had no doubt attracted many to Westgate in the first instance) notwithstanding.

Which made me wonder, really ... where's this recession we're hearing about. Upon relating said observations to Mrs_Red, she responded: "the media wants there to be a recession, so National will get into power. And even if there isn't one, they want people to think there's a recession, which will achieve the same result."

It was about this time that Paula Bennett, MP, former McCully acolyte and self-described as "currently based in Waitakere" (words which suggest less a diehard commitment to the people of West Auckland than a latent desire to return to her native North Shore), drove past in her ridiculous advert-vehicle. Actually, she was a passenger, some bloke was driving.

I resolved that if she came into the cafe, I was going to invite her to open her eyes to our surroundings, and then reflect on whether National's constant bagging of the economy (best supporting actor: the media) was really justified.

But she didn't.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Police brutality 

I can't even be bothered doing the research to ensure my comments are accurate I am so pissed off.

Those FOUR police officers pepper-sprayed and truncheoned ONE man who was acting a bit crazy and refusing to cooperate with them at the police-station.

The brutal and sadistic application of physical force to break the will and make cooperative a prisoner is called TORTURE.

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Satan, laughing, spreads his wings 

I thought this was pretty sweet. Counting method & details here. I'll take my chances with his satanic majesty, thanks.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Get out of my country, McCain! 

John, “I called my wife a cunt” McCain came to Canada today. And the feel in the media is that it is so touching for a U.S. Presidential candidate to come to the country. The Prime Minister hasn’t made much of an effort to meet and greet McCain and it has cost him a bit in the newspapers.

McCain’s creepy presence here is shrouded in a language aimed at reminding the country that we’re not the 51st state (That’s Puerto Rico, apparently). He said, “What a blessing it is for the United States to have in Canada a neighbour we fear only on ice rinks and baseball diamonds.”

Good to know that McCain is a good 12 – 15 years out of date on his sports knowledge, (the Stanley Cup and World Series have not been here for while) but that’s fine.

The real reason why Senator Sleepypants is here is because Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the United States, and there is a big patch of tar-sand oil that if developed further could reduce the fuel costs in this continent. The tar sands aren’t located in the mouth of Al Qaeda territory, no, the only thing holding back unbridled development of “the patch” are trees, bears, cougars, and First Nation’s Peoples. So it would take far fewer soldiers to take control of this patch and develop it to high hell.

But there is something else that holds back the oil sands. That is the simple fact that it is not in the least bit profitable.

It has yet to turn a profit, because the extraction process of removing the oil from the sand is more costly than the refined product at the end of it all. Long story short: 1 barrel of water and 1 barrel of processed gasoline to get 1 barrel of sludgy bilge oil out of the sands.

But this is where financial speculators come in. These assholes can calculate equations and numbers and graphs and shit that will show “short-term profitability” and “long-term potential revenues” to come out of just about any development project from the tar sands to turning lead to gold. It takes about 1 or 2 Presidential terms to prove them wrong, and by that time the money is spent and gone and the next smart-mouthed-stupid-ass Republican is up for office.

McCain is here to bolster confidence in the oil sands development and to talk up energy security with Canada. That’s it and that’s all. The benefits of this plan are about zero. Environmental destruction, massive carbon outputs, speculated capital, and the almost-certain guarantee of a recession forthcoming that will ruin livelihoods.

Can we please kick this fucker out the door?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Hungry World and a Skinny Fidel 

The world just got another glimpse at the former Cuban President, Fidel Castro. (And I do mean former! For fuck sakes, Associated Press get it right…the man is not the current leader of anything).
Cuban President Raul Castro met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to discuss pressing issues ranging from energy consumption to increasing agricultural production for the poor of the Americas. (Here’s a window into the chat).

Cuba’s agricultural system has long been praised as a model of sustainability, what with using local-level organics and basic non-petrochemical inputs. But now with the energy crisis well underway and food prices going up and up, Cuba is thinking about bringing its under-used land into an export-driven system that, through the ALBA agreement, would get food to needy regions of the Americas.

But with this exchange in Havana what did the western press focus on? That Fidel was a little skinny. His beard was whiter. And that there were green on the trees all around. Then a mention on brave new energy policy, a little tidbit about the food plan, and then back to Fidel’s tummy trouble.

Is Western society so perplexed by the cult of personality that we continue focus on how the former Cuban president looks and feels, while the current Cuban President and the current Venezuelan President discuss innovative strategies to feed the poor?

How in fuck’s name is the part of the Americas north of the Rio Grande going to possibly survive another generation when our media habits clearly feed the obsession with personality rather than exposing broader social crisis that actually impact our lives?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What the fuck is the National Herald playing at? 

#1. Shock headline: Labour condemned on liquor outlet issue

It would be just as accurate to lead with: "Mealy-mouthed opposition makes generic criticism of government." But don't expect to see that any time soon.

So how about: "National criticizes liquor outlet plan" or something vaguely neutral?

#2. Readers' views on solution to crime

It's always fun to see what the talkback mob who hang out on the Herald's Your Views section have to say (hint: it's actually conservative populism a la NZ First, not neoliberal conservativism a la National), but here the Herald has highlighted a select few for our special attention. The fifth comment down, from the self-described "Warrior Legend" of Howick:
Prison is a place of punishment. If you look at the prisons overseas, prisoners get tortured and some even beaten to death! This should be the same standard here before more innocent people get killed!

Yes, torture and indiscriminate murders in prison are clearly the answer, as always. Look what they've achieved in the "War on Terror"(tm). Depriving someone of their liberty is never enough for this blood-thirsty mob. "Crims" are not really punished until also deprived of sleep, testicles and, ultimately, lives.

Bear in mind this a comment the Herald really wants us to read.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Define irony 

Am I right? Are people glued to their TV sets watching the nightly news and closely tracking power savings? Are there lots of computer-generated graphics to detail our savings? Are the news anchors presenting from in front of a huge video screen with bright images? Is the studio brilliantly lit so we can accurately gauge (and reflect?) the concern on the faces of our trusted anchors? Are there multiple cameras being used during the news bulletins that cover the crisis? Are there mobile reporting units down in the South (nice time of year, but chilly) sending up-to-the minute details on lake-levels back to the studio VIA SATTELITE?

Why have I not heard or seen anything saying we should save power by, gulp, turning off the TV?

And stop reading this! Unless you're one of those kids in a developing country with a crank-handle laptop. (Where do I get one of those?)

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Bank scum 

Westpac sent me an email the other day. The subject was: Help save 600 trees with Westpac.

It began: "It's World Environment Day, so together let's do our bit. Choose to stop your paper statements and you'll be helping to save around 600 trees every year. That's the number of trees it takes to make the 156 tonnes of paper we currently use sending our statements . It's a small change we can make that'll make a big difference to the where we all live."

A couple of things are wrong with this:

  1. World Environment Day is phony lip-service with corporate sponsors so it peeves me, but that's another post.
  2. I have already switched my statements off, for fucks sake. So much for all the feel-good "a person, not a number" marketing bullshit. Don't bother to check first before you send me an email asking me to do something I've already done or anything huh?
  3. I am doing my bit! How dare "you" lump me in with "your" need to be seen to be good? I don't need "your" tarnished good karma.
  4. re the "you" thing above. Oi! Westpac! Just 'cause you got employees don't make you human! What's with the "where we all live" piece? Jesus Christ! You do not live anywhere because you are not alive! You are a corporation. Corporations aren't human. Corporations are soulless faceless profit machines that consume labour and capital. Make no mistake, corporations might want to appear to be natural entities, as deserving of rights and consideration as real beings, but that should not be further from the truth.

Which brings me to the point. Westpac, any bank, is worried about the environment? Um, gee... ah, well, hmmm, I dunno... ooh! Got it! How about you lay off funding and thereby making possible the constant expansion of industrial pollution-producers all over the world? While you're at it, how' bout cutting off the line of credit that sustains mining, deforestation and land-conversion projects that are destroying eco-systems globally? Why don’t you ‘get’ that you are one of the biggest threats to the environment?

They truly are disingenuous wankers.

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Gods of Nature: 1. U.S. Military: 0. 

Once Al Qaeda gets wind of this I guarantee you that homeland security will put small spray bottles and water guns on "the list."

How to take out a B2 Bomber

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No Ali 

I don't care that we lost the World Cup quarterfinal.

I care that we had to put up with 25 tests over two years without the very best XV being named and I care that we had around 20 Super 14 games with our best players missing (that's close to 50 games of substandard rugby).

And then we lost a quarterfinal because of an incompetent cheating referee which could have happened all along thus rendering the hugest sporting sacrifice of all time completely and utterly useless. And the rocket scientists that run and coach NZ couldn't realise that that might happen?

Please. Just fuck off and give us some administrators that aren't cunts and some coaches that can a) get over themselves and b) teach our forwards how to win a lineout after 6 years of practice and not hit the ball up on their own a metre wide of the ruck. If we weren't the most athletic team in the world year in and year out we would be also-rans. But we aren't. We're fucken awesome. Just no thanks to the coaches, selectors and administrators.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

NRL Round 15? picks 

Shucks, is Inglis impressive in full flight or what. Inspector gadget. Not sure about Origin 3 as it may depend on injuries and selections but you'd fancy Queensland a good chance of pulling it out of their arse in Sydney. NSW will be hugely pumped up though to redeem themselves and the game always starts 0-0. Nice cliches in there.

Roosters v Panthers
Roosters by 10
Roosters will bounce back from an embarrasing display. Losing two games badly in two weeks is usually a sign of a team that is actually not very good so don't expect it from the chooks.

Sharks v Warriors
Sharks by 10
With Tait and Price coming back and what will have probably been a lot of soul searching the Warriors are an outside shot in this game but I think Stuart will have his solid Sharks ready and waiting for whatever we can throw at them.

Raiders v Broncos
Broncos by 6
Fifteen years ago this would have got the mouth watering, but now maybe makes you feel like a small health snack. I have no idea really but if the Broncos can get a healthy team out there they should go OK.

Tigers v Eels
Tigers by 8
Marshall just starting to show signs of his old self so he must be due for a serious injury. Look for the Tigers to develop a bit of consistency for the first time this year.

Cowboys v Knights
Cowboys by 4
Knights won on the road last week v a crap team and they may well do it this week as well but the Cowboys are approaching last chance saloon so MUST win this one.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Difference Between a Korean and a New Zealander 

My wife just screamed from another room and I thought she's fallen off the deck or been shot or something.

I go running out to find out where she is and what has happened and she's discovered the mouse that we suspected was under the kitchen sink in the cupboard.

Now here's the difference. She tells me to get it. I tell her to forget about it and we can buy a trap tomorrow because I'm not catching it and killing it commando style. I'm a wuss. The only time I have killed an animal with my bare hands was a year or so ago when one of our cats fucked a bird up pretty bad and I had to beat it to death with a piece of firewood to put it out of it's misery. That's tha gangsta styles out west.

Anyway, my wife says that she will kill it (but I have to catch it).

So I enquire as to HOW she is going to kill it.

Her reply is that she will flush it down the toilet. I tell her to piss off, that it may get stuck down the pipe for half an hour before dying.

So she says that she will throw it in the fire!

And that ladies and gentlemen is the difference between a NZer and a Korean. A Korean will slap yo face. A westerner will lay a trap for you and kill yo ass anonymously.

And tomorrow I am buying a mouse trap.

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Watch South Park tonight! 

My all-time favourite South Park episode is on C4 Television tonight (Tuesday) at 9:30pm (in NZ).
This episode, titled "Go God Go" is so gobsmackingly good I will leave this post up even after it screens, so all our readers can post comments thanking me for letting them know.

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Baying for blackouts 

Last night I noticed TV3 ("live from beside Lake Tekapo ... but because it's pitch black by 6pm you can't actually see the Lake") has jumped on the blackout bandwagon, salivating at the prospect of night after night of easy stories featuring hard luck households shivering under blankets in rooms lit only by a few pitiful candles, and starting to smell as they're limited to 30 second showers every second day. Never mind that such as scenario is extremely unlikely ... bring it on, says TV3, so we can play the blame game and have some easy, yet dramatic reporting. Despite the very measured warnings from the Minister and the industry, they find a supportive voice in Ben & Jerry Brownlee, for whom (surprisingly)"It's all the gummint's fault for not doing something over the last 8 years."

Right. And how many rivers does Ben & Jerry propose to dam(n) to generate new supply? How many coal-fired plants does he want to commission? How many windfarms would he permit over the heads of whining, National-voting farmers complaining about their rights to uninterrupted views of the very eroding hillsides they denuded? How many naked raindances will be perform at 6.04pm each evening, in front of adoring cameras?

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

NZ Players in the NRL 2008 edition 

Jesus this takes me fucking ages to put together. You all better appreciate it! And there are dozens missing from Toyota Cup sides because I just can't scratch out any info on where a lot of the players were born.

82 NZers have played first grade this year. 6 are in first grade squads but haven't played.
79 NZers have played Toyota Cup this year with a further 22 who haven't got on the field yet. Those are just the players I know of (on the list below). So that's 189 NZ players in those 32 teams. There are of course a whole heap playing Jersey Flegg and NSW Premier League with NRL affiliated clubs. And that's not even starting on NZers in the Super League.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why league is stuffed IN Aotearoa. Imagine NZ rugby if the best 200 players were overseas. We would be left with something akin to the Heartland Championship as our best football. My old man was going on about how a bloke like Wairangi Koopu wouldn't have even made the senior club side he played in in Auckland in the 1960s and 70s. I was thinking they were the ramblings of a drunken man but you know what, he's probably right. The guys whose spot he would have had were all Auckland and NZ reps and great footballers and this was when ALL the best league players NZ had were in NZ. Now we have guys in the Warriors and other NRL and Super League teams who would be average club footballers in Auckland and elsewhere if all the 300 or so overseas came home.

Greg Eastwood (b. Auckland – Manurewa Marlins)
Isaak Ah Mau (b. NZ - Otahuhu Leopards)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Alex Glenn (b. ? - ?)
Jared Kahu (b. ? -?)
Leon Panapa (b. ? - ?)
Wiremu Ratana (b. ? - ?)

Ben Roberts (b. Sydney - X)
Matthew Utai (b. Auckland - X)
Sonny Bill Williams (b. Auckland – Marist Saints)
Tim Winitana (b. Wellington - X)
Lee Te Maari (b. Tokoroa - X)

Lorenzo Ma'afu (b. NZ - X)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Josh Bishop (b. ? - ?)
Jeco Makatoa (b Auckland - Otara)
Mason Pure (b. ? - Northern Storm)
Sene Tala (b. Wellington - Earlwood Saints)
Arana Taumata (b. ? - Te Aroha)
Martin Taupau (b? - ?)

Brendan Hikaka (b. Taranaki - ?)
Paki Afu (b. NZ - ?)

Glen Turner (b. Christchurch – Linwood)

Toyota National Youth Competition

Fraser Anderson (b. Auckland – East Coast Bays)
Luke Covell (b. Australia but repped Kiwis - X)
Misi Taulapapa (b. Auckland – Marist Saints)
Terence Seu Seu (b. Auckland - ?)
Sam Moa (b. Auckland - ?)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Shane Pumipi (b. Dargaville - Waioroa Bulls)
Karlos Filiga (b. Wellington - Harbour City Eagles)
Bracken Karauria-Henry (b. Auckland - Halswell)
Tu’u Maori (b. Auckland - St Pauls College)

Aaron Cannings (b. Auckland - X)
James Stosic (b. New Plymouth - Waitara Bears)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Kingi Akauola (b. ? - repped Junior Kiwis)
Jordan Rapana (b. Wellington - but repped Junior Kangaroos)
Tyson Lofipo (b. ? - De La Salle College)

Billy Ngawini (b. Auckland - Papakura Sea Eagles)
Phil Dumelow (b. West Coast - ?)

Steve Matai (b. Auckland – Ponsonby Ponies)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Kenny Edwards (b. Levin - Whititera)
Michael Tiopira (b. Rotorua - Tokoroa)
Kieran Foran (b. Auckland - ?)
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (b. Rotorua - ?)

Jeremy Smith (b. Christchurch - X)
Jeff Lima (b. Auckland - De la Salle H.S.)
Sam Tagataese (b. Lower Hutt – Hutt Valley Marists)
Sika Manu (b. Wellington - ?)
Clifford Manua (b. Auckland - ?)
Kevin Procter (b. NZ - repped J.K's)
Joseph Tomane (b. NZ - ?)
Adam Blair (b. Whangarei – Northland Carvers)

Toby Roche (b. ? - ?)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Liam Foran (b. ? - ?)
Theodore Stuart (b. ? - ?)
Malo Feterika (b. NZ - ?)

Petera Tamarua (b. Melbourne but NZ parents - X)
Laurence Nathan (b. Melbourne but NZ parents - X)
Junior Afu (b. ? - ?)

Cooper Vuna (b. Auckland - Otahuhu Leopards)
Jesse Royal (b. Waikato - Linton Cobraz)

Tim Natusch (b. Wellington - ?)
Luke Toimoana (b. Auckland - Mangere East Hawks)
Marvin Karawana (b. Wellington - Wainui Lions)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Jason Schirnack (b. NZ - ?)
Manaia Osborne (b. NZ - ?)
Zane Tetavano (b. Tokoroa - ?)

David Faiumu (b. Wellington – Wainuiomata)
Sione Faumuina (b. Auckland – Glenora Bears)
Ben Vaeau (b. Auckland - Mangere East Hawks & Manukau Magpies)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Leo Faagutu (b. Auckland - ?)
Chippie Korostchuck (b. Invercargill - Aranui Eagles)
Darren Tonihi (b. Christchurch - Shirley Hawks)
Daniel Vineula (b. Auckland - Suburbs rugby)

Dylan Smith (b. Auckland - New Lynn Stags)

Nathan Cayliss (b. Australia - X)
Krisnan Inu (b. Auckland - X)
Fuifui Moimoi (b. Auckland – Mt Albert Lions)
Junior Paulo (b. Auckland - ?)
Joe Gulavao (b. Auckland - Manurewa Marlins)
Weller Hauraki (b. Dannevirke - Levin)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Mase Laulu Togagae (b. Auckland - ?)

Geoff Daniela (b. Auckland - ?)
Joseph Paulo (b. Auckland - ?)
Frank Pritchard (b. Sydney - X)
Tony Puletua (b. Auckland - X)
Frank Puletua (b. Auckland - X)
Junior Moors (b. Auckland - X)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Tinirau Arona (b. Dunedin - ?)
Jesse Sene-Lefao (b. Wellington - ?)
Sonny Tuigamala (b. NZ - ?)
Masada Iosefa (b. Samoa but repped NZ at lower grades? - ?)
William Isa (b. Auckland but repped Aussie U15s - ?)
Daniel Penese (b. NZ - ?)
Sam Mckendry (b. ? - Mt Albert Lions)
Junior Tia-Kilifi (b. NZ - ?)
Zoram Watene (b. ? - ? repped Junior Kiwis)
Onesemo Tiatia (b. NZ - ?)

Roy Asotasi (b. Auckland – Marist Saints)
David Fa’alogo (b. Auckland – Mt Albert Lions)
David Kidwell (b. Christchurch – Hornby Hornets)
Issac Luke (b. Hawera - Hawera Hawks)
Eddie Paea (b. Sydney but repped NZ - X)
Jeremy Smith (b. Huntly - X)
Nigel Vagana (b. Auckland – Richmond Bulldogs)
Fetuli Talanoa (b. Auckland - ?)
John Tamanika (b. ? - X)
Eddy Pettybourne (b. Christchurch - Marcellin College ?)

Toyota National Youth Competition

Jason Nightingale (b. Australia - X)
Ben Ellis ( - Turangi Dambusters)
Rangi Chase (b. NZ - Dannevirke Tigers)
Chase Stanley (b. Sydney - X)
Lagi Setu (b. NZ - ?)

Ricky Thorby (b. New Zealand - Central Falcons)

Toyota National Youth Competition

Sam Perrett (b. Auckland - ?)
Iosia Soliola (b. Auckland – Ponsonby Ponies)
Setaimata Sa (Samoa - Papanui Tigers)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Brisbane - East Coast Bays)
Frank-Paul Nuuausala (b. Auckland - Mangere East)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Antonio Winterstein (b. NZ - X)
Dominique Peyroux (b. NZ - Mangere East)
Galu Teo (b. NZ - X)
James Tamou (b. NZ - X)
Mark Talanoa (b. NZ - X)
Mose Mapesone Moseo (b. Wellington - Randwick)

Meli Koliavu (b. Wellington - ?)

Taniela Tuiaki (b. Auckland - X)
Benji Marshall (b. Whakatane - Whakatane H.S)
Dene Halatau (b. Invercargill - X)
Bronson Harrison (b. Auckland - ?)
Ben Te'o (b. Auckland - Hibiscus Coast Raiders)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Benson Tupou (b. NZ - ?)
Soueli Makaui (b. NZ - ?)

Lio Viaga (b. NZ - ?)

Patrick Ah Van (b. Auckland – Te Atatu Roosters)
Simon Mannering (b. Napier – Wellington Orcas)
Manu Vatuvei (b. Auckland – Otahuhu Leopards)
Jerome Ropati (b. Auckland – Marist Saints)
Louis Anderson (b. Dargaville – East Coast Bays Barricudas)
Wairangi Koopu (b. Opotiki – Taniwharau)
Epalahame Lauaki (b. Tonga - Waitemata and Glenora Bears)
Sonny Fai (b. Auckland – Papatoetoe Panthers)
Sam Rapira (b. Hamilton – Hukanui)
Logan Swann (b. Auckland – Mt Wellington Warriors)
Evarn Tuimavave (b. Auckland – Richmond Bulldogs)
Ruben Wiki (b. Auckland – Otahuhu Leopards)
Nathan Fien (b. Mount Isa - X)
Lance Hohaia (b.Hamilton – Taniwharau)
Ryan Shortland (b. Masterton - X)
Russell Packer (b. Huntly - Levin Lions)

Toyota National Youth Competition
Michael Afioga (b. ? - ?)
Leeson Ah Mau (b. ? - Otahuhu Leopards)
Thomas Ah Van (b. ? - Te Atatu Roosters)
Rusty Bristow (b. ? - Manurewa Marlins)
Angus Cameron (b. Lower Hutt - ?)
Jody Henry (b. ? - Otahuhu Leopards)
Isaac John (b. Tokoroa - Pacific Sharks)
Scott Jones (b. NZ - Bay Roskill Vikings)
Kurt Kara (b. ? - Turangawaewae)
Meli Koliavu (b. ? - Wellington)
Francis Leger (b. ? - Richmond Rovers)
Siuatonga Likiliki (b. ? - Marist Saints)
Kevin Locke (b. ? - Northcote Tigers)
Sione Lousi (b. ? - Bay Roskill Vikings)
Alehana Mara (b. ? - St George wellington)
Howie Matthews (b. ? - Mt Albert Lions)
Ben Matulino (b. ? - Te Aroha Eels)
Constantine Mika (b. Auckland - Otahuhu Leopards)
Matthew Neale (b. ? - ?)
Daniel O’Regan (b. Auckland - Mt Albert Lions)
Arron Pawley (b. ? - Otahuhu Leopards)
Mataupo Poching (b. ? - Mangere East Hawks)
Eddie Purcell (b. ? - Mt Albert Lions)
Nafe Seluini (b. ? - Mangere East Hawks)
Elijah Taylor (b. ? - Otahuhu Leopards)
Kurt Tehira (b. ? - ?)
Jason Tou (b. ? - Tamaki Titans)
Bill Tupou (b. ? - Marist Saints)
Ray Wallace (b. ? - Northcote Tigers)

Malo Solomona (b. NZ - Richmond Bulldogs)
Roman Hifo (b. ? - ?)
Daniel Palavi (b. ? - Richmond Rovers)
Wayne McDade (b. ? - Richmond Bulldogs)
Herman Retzlaff (b. ? - Pakuranga Jaguars)
Nopoto Tuimaualuga (b. ? - Pakuranga Jaguars)
Lance Sua-Poe (b. ? - Glenora Bears)
Steve Rapira (b. ? - Hukanui)
Jason Cook (b. ? - Northcote Tigers)
Mika Fa'amausili (b. ? - Mangere East Hawks)
Toleafoa Leaupepe (b. ? - Mt Albert Lions)
Arden Mccarthy (b. ? - Richmond Rovers)

NZ BORN (but traitors)
Karmichael Hunt (b. Auckland)
Tonie Carroll (b. Christchurch)
Willie Mason (b. Auckland)

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Friday, June 06, 2008

NRL Round 14? 

Who knows, lost count.

I wasn't going to post these but thanks to sports freaks computer doing an impersonation of the Bunnies season he's not able to put them up on his site so...

Dragons v Broncos
Dragons by 4

Warriors v Rabbitohs
Warriors by 14
Would ordinarily be a lot more but with a good chunk of our attacking players or key players injured there's no way this side will cut loose. Or are the Bunnies that bad? If the Warriors lose our Toyota Cup side will play in their place next week.

Bulldogs v Knights
Bulldogs by 8
Why or why? If SBW is back then they should get up. But the Knights must be gutted with that shit performance v the Warriors.

Tigers v Cowboys
Tigers by 10
Cowboys mud on the road with no defence.

Eels v Raiders
Eels by 14
Purely venue

Panthers v Sharks
Panthers by 8
Panthers form v Sharks road record makes this a shocker to pick. I've spun the roulette wheel and the Panthers came up.

Sea Eagles v Roosters
Sea Eagles by 4
Roosters missing four to Origin but the Sea Eagles just one.

Titans v Strom
Titans by 6
Storm missing ten players, otherwise you'd have to go with them. Hell, they could still be good enough.

And Sportsfreaks picks are...
Dragons, Warriors, Bulldogs, Tigers, Eels, Sharks, Sea Eagles, Titans. Basically he totally copied me but threw in the Sharks over the Titans to disguise it.

And I adopted the unusual ploy of picking all the home teams... as usual.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The corporate state and the subversion of democracy 

A Truthdig article that transcribes a speech about exactly what the title says. Well worth a read. Nothing new but well said.

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I hate auto-doors 

I got my head stuck in an auto door in Courtenay Central the other day. By auto door I mean those glass sliding doors in shops and buildings everywhere. It was closing as I approached and I assumed it would sense me and open back up, but it didn't. I kept going and it kept closing and I kept going and I only stopped when it was clear that my shoulders wouldn't make it through, even though my head was through already. The door stopped inches from my neck. It must have looked hilarious. Now, I know a normal person might have waited for the door to, if not open completely, at least stop closing, before getting their head in the way. When it comes to auto doors, I'm a wee bit abnormal.

Basically I hate the fucking things and their slow-assed ways. I hate them primarily because they slow me down as I'm walking places and it offends me that I have to wait for a machine to perform a service for me that I could perform faster myself. Why should I have to slow down approaching an auto-door?
Why can't they speed up rather than me slow down? Why can't the fucking machine that has been deliberately invented to help me actually help me rather than hinder my progress? FFS!

It just all rather disappointing you know.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

NRL Needs A Short Back and Sides 

As usual the mid season discussions about how to fix the NRL for the future have begun with all sorts of answers thrown up ranging from shortening the season, cutting teams, relocating them, cutting the salary cap and just plain old blaming others (NSW for their 40% tax on the pokies).

It seems fairly obvious though that Sydney needs less teams. They can talk traditional they like but this is professional sport. Is there a ground more steeped in tradtition in American sport than Yankee Stadium? Well look what they did there.

People can talk about the game being nothing without traditions, it's old clubs, it's old rivalries and all that but at the end of the day if you have too many teams, too many perennially unsuccessful teams, too many teams that don't have a real home ground, and too many teams struggling to remain solvent then you have to face facts.

Gallup came out and said they may need to cut the salary cap from 4 million per club to 3.5. This was met with scorn from people like Willie Mason and Andrew Johns who said "I'd hate to think in 10 years' time we are nothing more than a feeder competition for Super League or rugby union,". Well the problem there is that if they stay with things the way they are they WILL be exactly that. Australian rugby has 4 fully professional teams (though the Western Force are in their own financial poo hole) while there are 16 in the NRL. Of course they are going to have the bank balance to be able to poach players now and then. The Aussie rugby teams averaged 20,191 spectators per match in 2008 for the Super 14, although of course it is easier to attract that for 6 or 7 home games as opposed to 12. If you cut the NRL down to 12-14 teams (John Cartwright suggested 12 teams with Sydney divided into 4 zones) then you cut out a few of the guys running round now who aren't that flash and increase crowds and presumably revenue and that's what can lead to players salaries going up.

Sydney has nine clubs which is probably at least 3 too many. I'm not saying cull the lot by any means but given the financial predicament of many of them and the fact that several don't have their traditional home fields it simply isn't sustainable long term and will only serve to hold the game back. Imagine if they had never expanded to bring in the Broncos, or Cowboys, or Storm, or Raiders, or Warriors, or Knights, or Titans. Hardly 'traditional teams' but all have brought some real colour and in some cases real results to the competition with in the last 18 years (excluding 1997) 15 grand final appearances and 12 premiership titles.

The home grounds is a major issue also. Souths are playing at Stadium Australia and have an agreement to play two games a year in Perth from 2009 and are also playing in Adelaide next year. This year they have been to Bluetongue Stadium on the central coast (home of the central coast mariners) for a home match as well. The NRL have in fact offered 8 million bucks to any Sydney based team to relocate there. The Sea Eagles also had a sneak peak with a match there themselves a few weeks ago.

But for homeless check out the Tigers home games. Round 1 - Sydney Footbal Stadium, Round 4 - Campbelltown, Round 6 - S.C.G, Round 8 - Stadium Australia, Round 11 - Leichhardt.

That's 5 home games for them so far this year and 5 different venues. That's fucken ridiculous. Imagine trying to be a fan of them. Imagine being a Warriors fan and they play at North Harbour Stadium, Eden Park, Mt Smart, Waitakere Stadium and Waikato Stadium 5 home games in a row.

The biggest problem is that assuming there are big changes what form do they take? Do existing teams get relocated like in the US so say the Rabbitohs become the Perth Rabbitohs or do clubs simply merge like St George-Illawarra with Souths?

I've thought about it a bit and I don't really have a clue in a large part because I've never been to Sydney so only have a sketchy view on how close teams and grounds are to each other and the plausibility of merges etc.

But here's a few thrown out there...
West Tigers and Panthers merge and split games between two grounds (both upgraded)
Souths relocate to the Central Coast
Dragons and Sharks merge and pick the best ground and dump some money into it
Sea Eagles stay as they are but increase capacity and quality of Brookvale
Eels stay as they are and where they are
Bulldogs stay as they are but look to uprgade Belmore or burn it down and move permanently to Stadium Australia
Roosters stay as they are and where they are at the Sydney Football Stadium

That would leave 14 teams. I would then look to introduce one in Wellington and one in either Adelaide or Perth depending on where would get better crowds. Adelaide actually got decent crowds for a while when it had a team but turned to shit when they were on their way out.

On the crowds, they have been OK this year averaging 16,989 but they are as usual decreasing most weeks due to the length of the season. They always start strongly and then fall away drastically before picking up again towards the end as the supporters try to bring their team into the playoffs or a top 4 spot.

The record crowd average was in 2005 with 16,468 (don't be fooled, this years will come in a fair way short once 26 rounds are completed), while it then went to 15,600 in 2006, 15,750 in 2007. Given they brought in the Gold Coast Titans two seasons ago and they are averaging over 20,000 each season it points to some disturbing drops elsewhere. The Broncos are also responsible for adding a thousand onto the average. The Warriors have had poor crowds in recent years with thus far in 2008 the worst average of any team at 12,392. The fans want style and substance and recently have had neither.


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