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Showing posts from 2007

Snail in the machine

I had a feeling that not keeping the washing machine lid closed was a bad thing. Today my inability to keep the lid closed created pulverised snail over white sheets. Looks like a quick wash to take advantage of the warm sun before dinner time has backfired. I am officially grossed out right now and need a gin.

Divinity Code Hot Seller

I am just getting started reading Ian Wishart's new book now, but I have to say it appears to be selling very well. It took me ages to find any place that had a copy. First stop was Borders in Sylvia Park who had sold out. Next I tried both Whitcoulls and Paper Plus from my local Westfield Mall and it had sold out both places there as well. Eventually I found a Whitcoulls that had a copy, although it took some hunting around to find it (they also told me it had been selling very well). Looks like it's going to do as well as Eve's Bite, or maybe even better!

EverNote Portable - Full Version FREE today

Just a little public service announcement. The FULL version of EverNote Portable is FREE today only from . You have to download AND install it in the next 12 or so hours. If you've never used it, it's similar to Microsoft's OneNote - you can save snippets of text and data from just about anywhere. This version can be run from a USB stick. EverNote does produce a free version as well, but this download is the FULL version


It is in the child Jesus that we see most clearly the defencelessness of God's love. God comes without weapons, because he does not want to conquer from the outside but to win us over from within and to transform us from within. If anything can conquer the arrogance, the violence, and the greed of man, it is the utter vulnerability of a child: and God has taken on this vulnerability in order to conquer us in this manner and to lead us to himself. ~ Pope Benedict XVI, The Blessings of Christmas

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[This post is satirical in the year 2007] NZ Labour, via the Electoral Commission, are about to release new voting forms in preparation for next years election. "We have done extensive research and we believe this is what the public are demanding", said Helen Clark from her bunker last Tuesday. "I'm particularly pleased with our new "auto-subscribe" option that revolutionizes voting and makes it affordable (time wise) for the masses, proving once again NZ Labour has the interests of the less fortunate in mind." Helen added. "And based on our surveys, we know exactly who the less fortunate are. Us." The new forms look something like this: 2008 Ballot Paper This Ballot Paper proudly sponsored by NZ Labour, democratic leaders of the free world etc. (Approved by H Simpson; Paid for by Parliamentary Service) Name: _________________________* Address: _________________________* * I realise that for transparency reasons, we should not vote an

An inside job

On May 24, within two days of coming on board, Curran was able to report to Comms Manager Neal Cave that the ministry's work had the feel of the "big issue of our time". It required careful stakeholder management. The ministry had to anticipate challenges, bring stakeholders up to speed and be "ultimately marginalising the ones who were intractable"... The coalition "could obstruct" the success of achieving the strategic objectives. The debate needed to be reframed to position the Government's response as "sensible" and isolate the coalition and similar groups. "A dismissive response makes them seem like radicals." Curran suggested how to explain away the fact that a review of climate change policy was "being done in secret", how to offset questions over New Zealand's growing liabilities under the Kyoto protocol and much more in this vein. So, third parties can only spend $120,000 in an election year. That's n

Marketing an Invention

The 11-year-old Auckland boy beat 600 other inventors to take the grand prize in this year's Let's Get Inventin' programme...Toby's Choo Choob invention - a device which makes an asthma inhaler look like a train and therefore appealing to children - earned him a $10,000 prize package which could see him become one of the youngest manufacturers in the country. Good on Toby for cleaning up in a strong field. But, (you knew this was coming, didn't you?) I'm left wondering if Toby has simply invented a marketing campaign. Kids don't like Asthma Inhalers, paint it up like a train. Add a 20% premium, new packaging, run an advertising campaign, and bam! a career in marketing. Personally I thought the other finalists had items that reflected "inventions" more than marketing. Am I being too harsh here? What do others think? The other young finalists were: Melanie Ansell, New Plymouth, with the Gyminator, a device that harnesses the power generated by b

Mangled Carta

In the past 12 years, $14.3 million has been paid to the Crown. In comparison, New South Wales [Pop. 7 million - Zen] has seized more than $100 million in the past 14 years. The law has been criticised as too weak, requiring proof that assets were acquired by crime profits. The Government is introducing new powers to up the stakes, lowering the threshold for proving the assets were obtained through criminal activity. The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill, now before a select committee, will allow courts to seize property even if a suspect is not convicted. The onus will be on the criminal to prove it was legally obtained. The onus will be on the person found 'not guilty' they mean. Technically, they aren't a criminal if they weren't found guilty. But hey, it's a Labour Government. Subtle distinctions like that may be beyond them. Anyway, there are many opportunities for abusing this new power. Maybe we should be a little concerned? I'll just throw one id

Labour spend 5 million on 34 billboards

Now that Labour have pushed through the Electoral Finance Bill limiting third party spending to $120,000 they immediately launch a $5 million dollar billboard campaign. Helen Clark defended the campaign expense: "These billboards are mobile. Therefore they will reach more New Zealanders, and as such, represent value for tax payer money" When asked what messages the mobile billboards delivered, Helen was quick to reel several campaign slogans off: 1. One law for the peasants, another for Labour. 2. A tax cut would mean a reduction in services. Limousine services. 3. Tougher Emission Standards. You, not us. 4. Tougher Emission Standards. It gets your car off the road so we don't queue. 5. My other car is a Ferrari. 6. If you don't like it, plant a tree. 7. Nothing retrospective validation cannot cure. 8. Uses less fuel than a jumbo jet. 9. Uses less fuel than a Ford Fairlane (when air conditioning is off). 10.If you can read this, I'm already at the rugby. Relat

Harawira Speaks True

Third Reading of the Electoral Finance Bill – Tuesday 18 December 2007; 4.30pm Hone Harawira, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Tokerau Over these last few months of intense and passionate debate about this Electoral Finance Bill, one email stood out for me, because it said a lot about who we are as a Maori Party. I paraphrase part of that email here: - We are not members of the Exclusive Brethren. - We are not members of the ACT party. - We are not members of the National party. - We are not members of John Boscawen’s team as Helen Clark scathingly, and incorrectly, called those who marched in Auckland against this Bill. Madam Speaker, we are the Maori Party, and I welcome this opportunity to set the record straight on our party’s position on this Bill. We are the Maori Party, and contrary to government’s claims, this Bill is not being attacked only “by those New Zealanders who are able to pour thousands of dollars into electioneering campaigns to buy influence in government”. We are th

FNFFA History and Code of Conduct Rules

A couple of years ago when I started the Friday Night Free For All, it was a Friday night and I was bored. Nothing much was happening online and I was looking for conversation. So I posted an, does anyone feel like chatting? comment and Murray responded and the rest is history. Over the years, I've seen the FNFFA develop into a chat for regulars. Every once in a while I'd put out the call for new commenters, and occasionally someone I'd never seen commenting before would pop in. This was good. I had been hoping that the chat could attract people from the other side of the political divide as well, but it seemed the ambiance was just too "right-wing" to make the others feel comfortable. But that seems to be changing now and this too is good. When it comes down to it, the FNFFA is where you leave your politics and weapons at the door and engage in a Friday night chat with others whom you may not like normally or may attack on sight (via comments) if given h

No hard feelings mate

An Australian, a South African and a New Zealand cricket fan are all in Arabia, sharing a smuggled crate of booze when, all of a sudden, Saudi police rush in and arrest them. The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offence in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime of consuming booze, they are all sentenced to death! However, after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they are able to successfully appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment. By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day, their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheik decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip. As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheik announced: "It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping." The South African was first in line, he thought for a while and then said: "Please tie a pillow to my back." This was done, bu

Pope Benedict's message on climate change and world peace

Looks like the Pope has caused a bit of a storm with a whole range of people. Andrei has a good post up on the details . Not PC is a little surprised , but then he puts it all down to the advisers the Pope must have. I'd just like to highlight a couple of statements that stood out to me. ... fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering . The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement . This has been my position on climate change all along - I'm so glad I don't need to reconsider! ... the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind. Yes! All those people that are so worried about whales or giant snails - are they at all pertur

EFB a bit of a wake up call for NZ

I'm not going to comment on the details on the EFB as a number of other bloggers (and the media) are doing a brilliant job already. The only thing I want to say is that after the anti-smacking bill, this one has to be a real wake up call for New Zealanders. The anti-smacking bill was not just a blip. What we are seeing is a democratic consolidation of power by the ruling party. While Lindsay Perigo is talking coup ( as pointed out by AJ Chesswas ) - I don't think we are at that stage - yet. Everyone needs to stay calm and see if the bill passes. If you pray, pray for NZ. If you never have prayed before in your life, now would be a good time to start. I don't think it will be enough, but it's worth a try. No, the real test is, will NZ vote the current lot back into power next year? And if NZ doesn't, will the new lot repeal not only the EFB, but also the anti-smacking law? And my personal bugbear, is the Care of Children Act which redefines parents into car

I need air-conditioning!!!

It's 29 degrees in my kitchen right now. Probably hotter right next to the stove. And my kitchen faces west. I'm just too hot. I used to have air-conditioning in my Sydney apartment, not to mention fly-screens. It's like slumming it out here just north of Wellington. Ah well, at least we are close to the beach and I could see the sea from my kitchen window if I had the blinds up and wasn't blinded by the setting sun. Brief respite from cooking ...

Compassion leads to the gas chamber

A couple of years ago when I was deep into the history of the German occupation of Poland during WW2, a German document from that period calling for a humane death for undesirables really struck me. How could people that were in charge of the mass killings of millions talk about being "humane"? Was it a way of assuaging guilt, or maybe it was an attempt at pacifying conscience and making the person feel better about themselves. I was reminded of that document today by an article sent to be by Ignatius Insight on Compassion leading to the gas chamber. The article is based on the following quote: "In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness. And tenderness leads to the gas chamber." For a logical walk through how compassion could lead to the gas chamber, read the article. It certainly makes sense to me. Related Link: Compassion leads to the gas chamber ~ Ignatius Insight

Mayweather prevails

Paul Flynn, the veteran Labour MP, tried and failed to get boxing banned with private member's bills in 1998 and 2005. As a former boxer himself, Mr Flynn acknowledged that boxing has a glorious past but argued it had become an ignoble art and a "degrading spectacle of gratuitous violence that exploits the least advantaged people". They both had impressive records, but Mayweather had the reach over Hatton, and perhaps the psychological edge. Awesome stuff. So obviously, some-one, somewhere wants this carry-on banned. Mayweather has won this fight, but the real battle over personal freedom is by no means over . Are we going to fight for it? Careful that even as the government punishes people for fighting for their lives ; working to ban fighting ; that they are also keen to curb free speech. When we can no longer use words to fight for our rights, you can bet the alternative will not follow the Queens Rules. Meanwhile, back to the match: Mayweather remained unbeaten

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us. God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us. God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us. God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us. Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, pray for us . Holy Mother of God, pray for us . Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us . Mother of Christ, pray for us . Mother of divine grace, pray for us . Mother most pure, pray for us . Mother most chaste, pray for us . Mother inviolate, pray for us . Mother undefiled, pray for us . Mother most amiable, pray for us . Mother most admirable, pray for us . Mother of good counsel, pray for us . Mother of our Creator, pray for us . Mother of our Savior, pray for us . Virgin most prudent, pray for us . Virgin most venerable, pray for us . Virgin most renowned, pray for us . Virgin most powerful, pray for us . Virgin most merciful, pray for us . Virgin most faithful, pray for us . Mirror of justice, pray

Immaculate Conception

Nearly 150 years ago, the young girl pictured above was visited by the most beautiful lady the girl had even seen in her life. On the 16th visit, when asked if she could say who she was, the beautiful lady said: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Just 3 and a half years earlier, in the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God , in view of the merits of Jesus Christ , the Saviour of the human race , was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin ." ~ Catholic Encyclopedia The Immaculate Conception of Mary became a dogma , something Catholics must believe. The beautiful lady that visited the young girl in Lourdes, France 150 years ago was presumed to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today is the Feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception. The young girl pictured above (Saint Bernadette Soubirous) did not

Razing the Standard

Insolent Prick (IP) says it like it is. The poor guys at The Standard and their commenting comrades, have no meaningful comeback to IP's extensive, well reasoned and referenced commentary. Then Peter Cresswell (PC) steps in to pick them apart on another issue. Sometimes, both sides make good points on a long debate. In this case, it is all one way traffic. I could have called this post "A Hanging Offence" but I think I prefer "Razing the Standard". Here's a snippet from the thread, one of many comments by IP: I didn’t spend five years at law school, and a pretty decent chunk of my career interpreting law, to come to the view that a political party that: a: rejects a public consultation process on a fundamental constitutional change b: rams it through the House ignoring the overwhelming majority of submitters c: rejects the key recommendations of the expert officials d: has the Law Society and the HRC saying the Bill is irretrievably bad that it need

Knights of the Realm

I caught some of the debate from our Ministers of Parliament today. They were discussing the Electoral Finance Bill. Rodney Hide spoke well, as usual, proving he understands the value of freedom and the respect due to the voting public. Winston Peters and others spoke of the need to stop the Exclusive Brethren, or any other group, from supporting National in future elections. It was mostly petty and small minded. But it wasn't the worst thing they said. They attacked John Boscawen for having the temerity to spend his own money to publicize the effect of the law changes the Electoral Finance Bill will have on the political landscape. This fact enraged them, and seemingly justified every-thing they said the bill sets out to achieve - stopping him from organising political dissent. The Greens issued a press release playing the bogeyman card . “It is no surprise that a member of the Business Roundtable would pay someone to organise marches against campaign finance reform. Around

A plan for every child

The Children's commissioner is well known for wanting a ' plan for every child '. This involves a massive database, with regular 'interviews' and assessments on how fit parents are to act as parents, with the full force of the State ready to step in and provide that lovable nannying that only a state can provide. Meanwhile, the UK are reeling with personal details continually being lost as they post DVD and CD's around the postal system until they finally manage to lose them. But more importantly than that is the death of a newborn after the mother was discharged from hospital 5 hours after a 30 hour intensive labour. This was on the same day one of the Health Boards suggested $100 grocery vouchers to convince mothers to discharge early. Rather than a 'plan for every child' here is an opportunity for Dr Kiro to drop the bureaucratic posturing of appearing to be doing something, and focus instead of real and meaningful action. A plan for EVERY child?

The law is working

Should Mallard have been dragged into court? Of course. Sue Bradford declared that when Police come around and investigate a parent for an alleged smacking incident, and the parent goes to court and gets found “not guilty” then the law is working. The fact that they get dragged away from work and the social stigma of being accused as a child abuser is irrelevant. The fact that time and resource is wasted compared to working through the backlog of serious offenses is irrelevant. The law is working. Let’s get Mallard in front of the court for hours on end for his alleged abuse. In the words of Sue Bradford: “The law is working”.

Pope Benedict XVI's 2nd Encyclical just released

ROMA, November 30, 2007 – The encyclical on hope "Spe Salvi," which Benedict XVI signed and published today, the feast of Saint Andrew and just two days before the beginning of Advent, was motivated by these factors described in paragraph 22: "A self-critique of modernity is needed in dialogue with Christianity and its concept of hope. "In this dialogue Christians too, in the context of their knowledge and experience, must learn anew in what their hope truly consists, what they have to offer to the world and what they cannot offer. "Flowing into this self-critique of the modern age there also has to be a self-critique of modern Christianity, which must constantly renew its self-understanding setting out from its roots." In this twofold "self-criticism" of modern culture and Christianity, the pope continues, "reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission." Related Links: "In hope we were sa

Friday Night Free For All

It's been a gorgeous day just north of Wellington. Warm, sunny, slight breeze. Today is the last Friday before the Christmas season starts. Last Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King - the end of the Catholic year. So, belated Happy New Year everyone. The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations. Today is the Feast of Saint Andrew, the Apostle, as Andrei reminds us . Last year at this time, it was my first Christmas as a Christian in nearly 20 years. I was acutely aware of when Advent (the countdown to Christmas) started. This year, Advent starts on Sunday on December 2nd. During Advent, we are admonished to: to prepare ourselves worthily to celebrate the an

Mallard punches out Helen Clark

Trevor Mallard is in trouble again for punching out Helen Clark. Dr Cullen has clarified the issue. "This is the most acceptable kind of violence . Mallard was simply defending the Queen's honour." Related Link: Helen Clark insults the Queen Hattip: TBR - Mistress of the text message Excerpts from above links: Prime Minister Helen Clark has been accused of insulting the Queen by text messaging while the monarch was making a speech. ------- Senior Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard was "defending a woman's integrity" when he thumped National MP Tau Henare but his actions cannot go "unnoticed", Prime Minister Helen Clark says. [No - she later gave him more important portfolios]

Helen Kissinger

With the retrospective legislation to vindicate the Election Pledge Card expenditure, and the latest moves to push through the Electoral Finance Bill at all costs, I'm thinking Helen Clark must be an admirer of Henry Kissinger. It was he who quipped: The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer. Unfortunately, not much longer.

Japanese Housewives

Dr Cullen is quick to blame Japanese housewives for our rising mortgage rates. Obviously, NZ housewives are too poor to invest due to Cullen's high tax policies. But the sub-prime market is rather volatile in Japan, and maybe the housewives are in trouble? In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday is was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song while today shares in Kamikaze bank were suspended after they nose-dived and 500 back office staff at Karate Bank got the chop. The Bank of Judo finally tossed it in last week. The fallout from the Bank of Hiroshima blowing its top has still not been quantified and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi bank and staff fear they could get a raw deal... Based on an anon email currently circulating

Liberal doses of stupidity

It's pretty simple. If an adult has sex with an 11 year old, it's rape. An 11 year old cannot give informed consent. If her parents stand by and do nothing, they are party to rape. And possibly pimping. Get them all in front of the court. Instead, over at DPF some seem to be saying there's nothing wrong with the police deciding not to prosecute. The Police prosecute people for defending themselves against violent thugs. The Police prosecute people under the banner of 'smacking'. But the Police allow an adult to rape an 11 year old...? ..and it has no bearing on 'the public interest'? This is just sick. 5:00AM Sunday November 25, 2007 By Stephen Cook Police chose not to lay charges against a 21-year-old who fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl - even though he confessed to police he had been having sex with a minor. The pregnancy was highlighted last week by Children’s Commissioner Cindy Kiro, who used the case to illustrate “the wall of silence” pr

More Labour Vitriol

Just heard about a quote made by Labour President Mike Williams in regard to the change of government in Australia. There were comparisons being made between Kevin Rudd and John Key - both not having been in parliament long etc. So what does Mr Williams come out and say? "[Mr Rudd] is also fluent in Mandarin. I don't think Mr Key is fluent in English." Sorry, how old are you again Mr Williams? 9 years old? It seems like it. That's just pathetic. Start acting like a human being.

Labour vs Labor

Dr Michael Cullen today announced news that NZ Labour's successful policies were the obvious reason over 3,000 Kiwi's have booked return flights from Sydney this week. Kevin Rudd issued an angry denial and argued the credit was entirely due to the Australian Labor Party.

Friday Night Free For All

Chat time! ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Welcome Back

Welcome back, Your dreams were your ticket out. Welcome back, To that same old place that you laughed about. Well the names have all changed since you hung around, But those dreams have remained and they're turned around. Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (Who'd have thought they'd lead ya) Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya) Yeah we tease him a lot cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back, Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back Well, vastly premature, but anything for Mister Kot-tear! Related Link: Marrying an Anglican Hattip: Put Up Thy Sword: Pope Gets Radical

And it continues

A Masterton man is one of the first to be convicted under the law against smacking after he spanked his eight-year-old son three times on the bottom. Post updated 9:15PM This man's crime was to get angry. You shouldn't apply discipline when you are angry. Instead, the issue is cast as "smacking". Do you see the difference? Is it so paranoid to expect a zero tolerance policy towards smacking in the future? One where government social workers remove children from parents immediately if the child should be physically disciplined. We wont hear about such cases, because they will not go to court. Parents will trade silence for access to their children. In the leftist mind, physical punishment is far worse a crime than removing children from parents and placing them into the 'care of the state'. In the leftist mind, they believe smacking inevitably leads to beating children to death. Is it therefore possible to extrapolate that State intervention inevitably

Empty Generosity

I attended the Wellington March. There were not a lot of people (100+ I'd guess), but in my office only one other appeared to know anything of the EFB - and they could only see it in terms of stopping the Exclusive Brethren from spending money on brochures. Apparently, Labour and Green supporters fear that their voter base are easily (mis)lead. They want to be the only ones that can mislead them. Jeanette spoke. She seemed terrified of allowing other people and groups to voice an opinion. Too much free speech is dangerous - it has to be rationed. So who decided that $120,000 is a fair cap? Why is that fair, and $60,000 unfair? Why not $300,000? How much TV time does $120K buy - 30 minutes? Why is it not inflation adjusted? Most importantly - WHY ARE THE PUBLIC NOT GETTING AN OPPORTUNITY TO INPUT INTO THE REVISED VERSION? We don’t have an upper house, we have no special safeguards for the MPS to change the rules that enable them to advantage themselves over any concerted effort to r

What the EFB doesn't cover

So Labour want a level playing field? If that's the case, then we need to look at a wider landscape. Or maybe, they just want to tip the balance in their favour? It started off being about the Exclusive Brethren attempting to influence people's minds. And anonymous donations and parallel funding was also included. Maybe the EFB blocks all these things now, maybe it doesn't. But what else do we need to consider? 1. Press Releases. Presumably, any mob can make a press release and then rely on the MSM to print it, make it a story, or ignore it. The NZ Labour Party are very adept at getting the message out free of charge. The MSM seem to be very keen to regurgitate their 'news'. A canny operator will learn how to make press releases that are irresistible for the Media and get free advertising. Remember the CTU helping Labour with this one: National to fund tax cuts with workers' lives 2. Television Time The big parties get more TV time than the smaller pa

Unions Electioneering

Unions receive money directly (and indirectly) from the government. They also donate money to the Labour party. Effectively, the Government pays for their electioneering using our tax dollars. They have affiliations to maximize their political impact. They have many staffers that go on to become politicians. No surprises so far. In their submission on the Electoral Finance Bill, the CTU wanted the $60,000 cap on election spending raised to $100,000. Perhaps that gives one an idea of their budget? They also asked to limit this amount to external costs. Using staff and members to print and distribute material (free labour) should not be counted, especially in 'market rate' terms. A critical point was also to lobby to make sure 'communications' to members were not treated as political advertising. Last election, at least two unions were dobbed in for leaving these 'communications' in public places (reception desks etc). Within the news letter, they ask

Thank you Californication and TV3

I would like to thank TV3 for putting Californication on TV. While I would never have watched it (as my limit seems to have been Boston Legal) nonetheless I'm sure it wouldn't have ended there. I bet Californication is just the beginning of the next slide downwards to which all of TV programming is being sucked - even if at a milder level. Even the TV ads are bad. Thus, I have finally been given the impetus I needed to save $600 + a year and have cancelled my SKY TV subscription, which I needed to access free-to-air TV as well. Good by TV connection, I won't miss you. Related Link: David Farrar succumbs to temptation

Regional Warming

Just when you thought it was safe to venture from your home, REGIONAL WARMING strikes. Is no one safe? Not in this REGION. That dull humming sound? No, it's not the next door neighbour's lawn mower - its the thundering tsunami created by glacier melt. Arrgh. Related Link: Glacier Melt - A new way to die

National not international

Scrooge is out, it must be coming up to Christmas The National Party is questioning why taxpayer funding is being used to train coal miners in China on safety issues. The party's industrial relations spokeswoman, Kate Wilkinson, said Labour Department officials confirmed to MPs on Parliament's transport and industrial relations select committee that $84,711 had been granted to the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) for "safety training for safety representatives in Chinese coal mines". ..She said it appeared as if the Government was effectively subsidising the Chinese coal industry. "How does that square with Labour's position on carbon neutrality and greenhouse gases?" She said the money would be better spent on workplace safety issues in New Zealand. China are certainly rich and capable enough to spend their own money on their own people. But they don't. China has an appalling safety record when it comes to miners. I for one, do not begrudge this sma

The Exclusive Brethren versus the Greens

Back when I blogged at Sir Humphrey's, I had a look at the EB's brochure and investigated the points they made. Some of my material was lost (long story), but I'll work over the next few days to post here whatever I can find. For the record. [Largely from Sir Humphrey's - 10 September 2005, with minor updates] The Exclusive Brethren (EB) exercised their democratic right to print political brochures. Unfortunately, they bucked the trend and rather than blasting National Policy, they came out with a brochure criticising the Greens. They made 15 points, and provided an assessment of the environmental impact the Greens have had on our Flora and Fauna in the wake of a Labour-Led government. The Greens were quick to brand the brochure as a "campaign of lies". Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greens Co-Leader also referred to the brochure as 50% outright lies and 50% gross exaggerations. Other pro-Green commenters and main stream media seemed to accept that this "cult&quo