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Showing posts from May, 2010

In the news today

A hodge podge of stories, with little time to comment on them in depth, but then again perhaps there is no need to. Linley Boniface fights for the rights of breastfeeding mothers, pointing out that this very natural and healthy practice is increasingly considered an inappropriate activity in public. That's possibly because everything is sexualised as much as possible, so even breastfeeding gets the "ooh err" treatment. Which is ridiculous, but that's modern society for you. So here am I, a male, Christian who sees nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. And so Linley finishes up with this strange quote: it's particularly ironic that conservative Christians seem to be among the most vociferous opponents of public breastfeeding..." . You might need to check your anti-Christian bias meter there Linley, given the Conservative Christians I know have little problem with it. And Andy Haden has apologised. So everything is alright then. Dennis Hopper

The Race Is On

Just quickly, before I dash out the door, thought I'd comment on Helen Clark calling New Zealanders a pack of racists . Well, of course we are in the general sense, because Maori are determined to make everything about race. It ends up sounding racist just stating this fact. And Andy Haden, as a former All Black and current World Cup Ambassador has tried a "cheeky darkie" style comment that has got him in hot water. Does anyone see the irony, given Maori MP Hone calls non-Maori " White Mother F***ers "? Is that an example of the pot calling the kettle black? Will we apply the same standards of "do nothing" to Haden that we apply to Hone (and Dr Pita Sharples for that matter)? Although this view that we are racist I disagree with in general. More on that later, gotta race off.

Friday Night Free for All

It's Friday and if not officially winter, it's still doing a good job of feeling like a winter's day. And not the "walking in a winter wonderland" winter's day, but the kind that I remember well from my paper run days many years ago. Bitterly cold, dark and periods of driving rain. I actually had a couple of different types of paper runs. First was the one night a week delivering the local rag - around 200 letterboxes to fill, but first a walk of a mile or so to my delivery area. Then the same again on a Saturday. Plus another occasional run of around 500 letterboxes delivering those plastic bags for clothing collections. Eventually, I moved to Canada and progressed to a daily paper route of only 50 customers, but the papers were a little bigger. Especially the Saturday Paper - huge and heavy. It was great delivering them because the bag got markedly lighter with every drop off. Although the Winter delivery there provides a whole new level of "

ETS (and Kyoto) is like a Nigerian Scam

Once you find out that you've made a deal to pay Nigerian scammers a shitload of money, do you: a) refuse to back down, and insist you'll honour the agreement, otherwise you fear others will not deal with you in the future, or b) cancel, now you know you are being scammed, confident that no one will hold it against you? Obvious, isn't it? This comment inspired by a comment I made at KiwiBlog on how business really works.

A Restaurant Tax Story in Pictures

I recently decided to dig up the old restaurant tax story to preserve on this blog as a handy reference. [ A Restaurant Tax Story ] Scrubone has decided to add to that story by putting it in pictures - a series of handy graphs illustrating the nature of proportional taxation and the effect of proportional rebates, and notes that the usual complaints about tax reductions "for the rich" are never discussed in context of the proportions they are first applied. No wonder the criticisms often seem faintly ridiculous.

Bad Korea Move

Things are escalating over in North Korea . Sorry world, but you are just going to have to start paying more attention. A while ago I discussed a Good Korea Move from Clinton, with Obama sitting on the sidelines. Obama is still on the sidelines, and so is the UN. China is urging calm, and North Korea is acting anything but calm. South Korea have a very difficult time ahead as they balance dealing with their disturbed neighbour and preventing an economic meltdown as business investment (confidence) dries up. Bad Korea Move coming our way.

A Restaurant Tax Story

( written by Victor Boc, and told on his radio program ) Every day, ten men went to a restaurant for dinner. They always ordered the same meals, and the bill for their food always came to exactly $100.00. They did this day after day, year after year, without variation. They did not divide the cost of the bill up equally among them, however. Since some of the men were more wealthy than others, they all agreed that an equal split would be unfair to those with less money. So, the men decided to pay the bill in precisely the same way we all pay our income taxes.

North Korea a threat - careful some-one might get killed

Forensic evidence examined by three independent experts and the South Korean government confirms what was suspected all along : the 1200-ton Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo while cruising in South Korean waters near their common maritime border, with the loss of 48 lives. That seems like a pretty good reason for the United Nations to spring into some sort of action. Or continue the theme of being useless when it truly counts. No response yet, but that's because Ki Ban Moon is waiting for the official complaint to be filed . And Obama describes killing 48 people as " threatening ". Threatening? Threatening? I'm sure Obama would not like it if his family were threatened that way. But it's important not to take these issues too seriously. It might only encourage more "threatening" behaviour. At least, that's what we are told to believe.

Nigel Latta's review of S59 was bogus

Just noticed via HalfDone that TBR has a news release up showing how Nigel Latta lied on behalf of the National Government on the impact of the S59 (anti-smacking) law change. Investigate magazine has blown open the smacking debate by publishing documents that show the review headed by Nigel Latta was effectively a farce , and that parents have indeed been prosecuted just for a light smack. That review, whose findings were announced just before Christmas by Prime Minister John Key and Nigel Latta, claimed to have fully examined cases referred to it by lobby group Family First, and discovered the families had not been “honest” about the events leading up to arrest or CYF intervention. “In all cases”, stated Latta to journalists, there were serious “aggravating features” that the public were unaware of. Latta highlighted those “aggravating features” in his report, but a joint investigation by Family First and Investigate magazine has found Latta’s review got its facts wrong , and ba

Budget non-event for me with ETS looming on the horizon

A while back, a small article appeared in the Dominion Post on a happiness survey. Not surprisingly, the survey found that those on in excess of a $200,000 annual income were consistently more happy than any other group. Who said that money can't buy happiness? I would guess that is because at that level of income, the normal stressors wouldn't apply. A sudden growth spurt by your teenager necessitating a complete new wardrobe every four months would just be an excuse to shop. The car needing major repairs in excess of a thousand dollars might indicate the need to upgrade the car. A tooth imploding without warning, necessitating a root-canal would be paid for as part of that month's expenses. No sense of dread would accompany the power bill or the three-monthly rates bill or even an interest rate rise (unless you are seriously over-mortgaged), or the coming ETS tax . Two hundred thousand dollars a year means that a single income earner would still get $143,000 net salary

Google Pacman!!

For the 30th anniversary of Pacman. Google has turned their logo into a playable game of Pacman (use the cursor keys!). Just go to google.com!

And After the Budget?

My take on the GST rise "GST should only be increased if it were accompanied by comprehensive tax reforms that saw all tax rates dramatically reduced. It is lower Government spending, coupled with dramatically lower tax rates that would best encourage productivity. "Just like the Maori Party, ACT must support the increase in GST as part of our Confidence & Supply Agreement with National - but, that doesn’t mean we like it," Sir Roger said. [Roger Douglas - ACT Party] In theory, I'm in favour of increasing GST in return for lowering income tax rates. And this is what the budget has done, but like ACT, the Maori Party and the Greens I'm suspicious that taking on a bigger GST is really going to stress the lower incomes once other factor kick in. One of the big factors would be the ETS. Unless it too comes with radical tax reform, I'll be fighting hard against an ETS. And why start the GST increase in the middle of the tax year? Small businesses

Comments bug

There is something strange going on with the comments right now. I get every comment emailed to me, so I know that Ozy made the last comment on Authorities fearful about people protecting themselves . However, the comment doesn't show up (beyond increasing the comment count on the main page) until another comment is made. Then that comment doesn't turn up until another comment is made, etc, etc. Very annoying, and hopefully it will be fixed soon. UPDATE: I know, I will start bumping comments to make them show up! UPDATE 2: Hmmm, didn't work. Must be on a delayed batch post, or something. Maybe my bump will work when I get the email. UPDATE 3: Here is Ozy's comment for now: KG I would like to disagree with you but on the whole you are correct. Your comment that teachers aren't doing a good job is interesting and we could debate till the cows come home. I dont teach a year 10 english class but even in a high decile school that is hard hard work. You have

Biting the Apple to avoid sin

The players: Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers Ryan Tate, writer for gawker.com The position Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, says his company will not be a party to the pornography industry and hopes that the iPad and iPhone revolution will help lead to a porn-free world. The Argument Does the iPad represent a revolution? That's perhaps too lofty a term suggests Ryan. "Revolutions are about Freedom" Tate writes in an email to Jobs.

Authorities fearful about people protecting themselves

Bullying is a problem. How do the authorities respond to the news that students are arming themselves with knives to protect themselves? The suggestion that bullying may be connected to these cases is very worrying because the alleged reaction is so extreme and violent Will a light bulb go off? What if the reaction was considered normal because bullying was seen as extreme and violent?

Condolences to family of Jason Palmer [UPDATED]

My condolences to the family of Jason Palmer, who died yesterday. Jason Palmer, 33, a former member of the United States Marine Corps who came to New Zealand eight years ago, died yesterday after an inmate at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, about 65km south of Auckland, punched him in the head about 1pm on Saturday. Mr Palmer was one of three officers unlocking an inmate's cell when the attack happened. The punch threw him to the floor, where he hit his head. He was taken to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital suffering massive head injuries. Life support was turned off yesterday afternoon. He leaves behind his wife, Tracy, and children Riley, 5, and Abbey, 2. What a senseless, waste of a life. UPDATE: The newspaper article that I quoted from has not included another child from a previous relationship that Jason Palmer never got to meet. A son, Taylor Palmer, aged 13. Related link: Gang link to guard's death ~ Stuff

WELLYWOOD

Well, the hill looks fairly bare at the moment, so maybe several large letters wouldn't go astray. Here's the sign generator to play with. I came up with three signs.

Friday Night Free For All

Evening all. Most of us have got through to the end of the week. I just heard that Sir Robert has won his court case and picked up $100K. Mainstream journalism seems to be suddenly obliged to take care to stick to facts when they offer up their opinion. A very frightening development in the media business. If they cared. I wonder how they'll report it? "Advertising rates to increase dramatically"? Time to interrupt my Friday ramble. A late start means dinner is behind schedule. Back after I've sorted the Friday night dinner.

Good Advice

Mr Key said he thought Tuhoe would get the joke, but it appears they were not amused. Of course they are not amused , he didn't finish with a down trou and a baring of his bum cheeks in their general direction, or taking the Maori flag and shooting it, or offering huge sums of compensation for historical satirical moments. Some good advice for Tuhoe - respect the Pakeha's ability to be irreverent. It's a cultural thing chaps. Dr McAnulty said people should not eat raw slugs or snails and should ensure they wash their hands after touching them. Fair enough. It wasn't on my list of likely activities, but obviously, some people need to be told .

A new book by Michael O'Brien

One of my favourite authors has a new book out:  Theophilos, A Novel. St. Luke addressed his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles to a man named Theophilos. Who was Theophilos? Scripture scholars do not know, making him a fit subject for Michael O’Brien’s vivid imagination. In this fictional narrative, Theophilos is the skeptical but beloved adoptive father of St. Luke. Challenged by the startling account of the “Christos” received in the chronicle from his beloved son Luke and concerned for the newly zealous young man’s fate, Theophilos, a Greek physician and an agnostic, embarks on a search for Luke to bring him home. He is gravely concerned about the deadly illusions Luke has succumbed to regarding the incredible stories surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, a man of contradictions who has caused so much controversy throughout the Roman Empire. Thus begins a long journey that will take Theophilos deep into the war between nations and empires, truth and myth, good and evil, and into une

iWorship

Oh, this is too good not to repost here. Four guys in the studio making music with nothing but iphones! Hattip: MacDoctor

More On Street Preacher UK Arrested By Police For Beliefs

More information on the case of the street preacher who was arrested by police for giving his view that homosexual conduct is a sin. It now turns out that he wasn't originally preaching publicly on the subject until prompted by police to give his view, whereupon he was subsequently arrested and charged. Hattip: Brendan Malone at Semper Vita

Anglicans argue that having too many kids breaks the commandment to not steal

The Anglican Church [of Australia] wants Australians to have fewer children and has urged the federal government to scrap the baby bonus and cut immigration levels. The General Synod of the Anglican Church [of Australia] has issued a warning that current rates of population growth are unsustainable and potentially out of step with church doctrine - including the eighth commandment "thou shall not steal", Fairfax newspapers say. In a significant intervention, the Anglican Public Affairs Commission has also warned concerned Christians that remaining silent "is little different from supporting further overpopulation and ecological degradation". I'm just stunned. Related link : Anglicans argue for fewer kids ~ Sydney Morning Herald

Greece Sold To Major Blogging Consortium

I'm proud to announce that NZ Conservative has purchased the country of Greece today, for an undisclosed sum (actually, it was NZ$11.50). I'm not quite sure what we will do with the country now that it is ours, but I had the cash and thought "why not"? The first order of the day was to get Greece out of debt. This was easily accomplished by suing the EU for collective use of Pythagoras' theorem without royalty. The EU hadn't realised it, but they had created such convoluted copyright laws they walked right into it.

CEO versus teacher pay rises

Gordon Campbell thinks that the push for teachers to get pay rises of 4% is fine, especially as CEO's have averaged a 5% pay rise, and their salaries are considerably higher. You can read about the reasons, the outrage and the justifications on the link I just provided. I just have a couple of comments that cover things Campbell didn't explore in his article:

Friday Night Free For All

Friday again. The week has several things to talk about: the UK Election, an upsurge of vampires, mining on conservation land, taxes, traders and warriors, John Key being criticised (unfairly) for attending the funerals of the NZDF airmen, and many other newsworthy stories. All became rather abstract and unimportant for me, as I sat around waiting for my sister to come through major surgery. She has, and is doing well but the journey she is on with this illness is not a short trip. I hope there are plenty more opportunities to stop and smell the roses. Hope your week was good, although that is a relative term. Freedom is a funny thing. Sometimes the only freedom you have is to decide how you are going to feel about something. Feel free to drop by and say hello.

REAL Type Comes To The Web

Excellent news . Type companies are putting their fonts online which web designers can reference when creating a site. Fonts may be licensed from Webkit (and there is a free 'Trial' option which allows two fonts to be used from quite a large library, as long as monthly traffic is under 5GB). No more sites where the main reader typeface is Arial, Verdana, or Times New Roman.

Auckland Rates Revolt Brewing

I see that a rates revolt is brewing in Auckland. Citizens and councils are considering a plan whereby any rates paid are put into a temporary financial management fund or escrow until there has been more time and thought given about the so-called Super City. Citizens and councils are considering a legal rebellion 'No vote, no pay' local body boycott , writes John Landrigan. Sire, sire, the peasants are revolting.

$134 million win - do you have a ticket?

Prime Minister John Key and Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia Thursday announced $134m in spending on the programme over the next four years , drawn from the Government’s $1.2b Pathway To Partnership fund. The programme seeks to appoint whanau ‘navigators’ to monitor up to twenty families each and liaise with health and welfare providers for them...The $134m would be a starting point and would not include funding for existing contracts. Turia added that figure would rise over time to a value of $1b as Housing, Justice and police agencies are integrated. $134 million for 20 families? I wonder how the 20 families were selected? Was it last week's Lotto draw, a scratchie or every-one who had $100 to win on "Whar Lap" on the 4th race last Tuesday at Trentham? Turia says it's not about the money. That's because it's not hers, and tax is a bottomless bucket. I hope that $134 million includes some very detailed reporting on where the money went, and w

Traders and Warriors and the Prime Minister

Here we go again. A week ago I defended the Warrior class from those who venerate the Trader. That discussion was esoteric and abstract. Today, we see the practical application. When the three NZDF airmen tragically died on ANZAC day, John Key cancelled his plans to attend a trade delegation and headed back for the funeral. He has received unjustified criticism from a few people who broadly argue that the trade was more important than showing respect for some fallen warriors. They are wrong.

Murderer let off again

A burglar who terrorised a woman has dodged jail, despite a previous conviction for attempted murder after stabbing a sleeping teenager in his bed. There's the first problem. Some-one breaks into a house to kill some-one is not a burglar. Some-one who chases a women out of the house attempting to catch her was not looking to steal property - they could have made a grab for valuables and run off.

Smoking!

At least two robberies reported of cigarettes since the tobacco tax rise a few days ago. It's dangerous to work a convenience store. It might explain why John Key prefers a visit to Afghanistan than a walk down to the shop for a loaf of bread and a mugging.

Has it really come to this?

A street corner preacher was arrested and locked up for seven hours for saying that according to the Bible homosexuality is a sin. Dale McAlpine was handing out leaflets to shoppers when he told a passer-by and a gay police community support officer that, as a Christian, he believed homosexuality was one of a number of sins that go against the word of God. Mr Mcalpine said that he did not repeat his remarks on homosexuality when he preached from the top of a stepladder after his leafleting. But he has been told that police officers are alleging they heard him making his remarks to a member of the public in a loud voice that could be overheard by others. Mr McAlpine has been charged under the Public Order Act of 1986, an act designed to deal with football yobbos but which has now been deployed to shut down those who would quote Holy Scripture in public. How long before St Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians and the Romans are banned as offensive? Can't be too far away if

Mining Protest Biggest in History

Almost as big as the Boobs on Bikes parade, and nearly as much as 1/30th of the number of people that voted against the anti-smacking laws, organisers claim the protest march in Auckland on Saturday was the biggest in history. Some 50,000 people walked down Queen Street to protest against mining in conservation land. If we also include the protesters who tunneled under Queen street in protest, we can probably add another 2,000 people, 61 rabbits, 16 badgers, 34 gophers, 128 moles and 2 groundhogs to that number. Although I think the groundhogs were professional protesters and the moles were traitorous insiders actually working for mining interests.

When is it time to stop drinking?

OK, so I don't smoke but I'm against the latest set of tobacco price rises. That's a little bit liberal. But I'd quite happily agree to make it illegal for those under 18 to smoke. I thought it was, but it isn't. But what about drinking? The idea of closing down for business at 2am or 4am would hit the vampire community where it hurts, but as voting is always held during daylight hours, I doubt National would suffer a back lash from the blood sucking lobby. Vampires, that is, not the pro-tax groups, they would undoubtedly love to suck the blood out of us via a tap on the wallet.

The shoe is on the same foot

Finlay MacDonald is outraged in today's SST. How dare National take on Labour's role of the Nanny! How dare they go along with Helen Clark and the Green's anti-smacking bill even after a referendum result of 88% gave him the mandate to reverse it! How dare Key put up tobacco taxes! So many things that Labour could be promising to do in the next election are now under threat - the drinking age, the driving age, cell phone use, pub closing times, folic acid in bread - will there be any nappy unpinned, any freedom left unfettered by the time Labour arrive to govern?

Blog Stats for April 2010

Author activity is down considerably this month, and so is the visitor count. On the plus side, we passed our 200,000th unique visit mark in the past week which is some sort of milestone on the internet highway. With the media attention on the Catholic Church, one of our old posts has a high visit count for the month: Vatican City and the Age of Consent and also another post has found high hits: The Latest Papal Scandal - The Facts . My satirical post, New Scandal Rocks the Church caught a momentary blip, but might pop up again when the Pope visits the UK. Although now that the entire foreign office has been exposed as completely anti-Catholic , one has to suspect that sort of virulent anti-Catholicism persists across all UK government departments. (Note: That sentence was satire. Nod if you get it.) We started the month with Easter , and ended with a discussion on wondering how far left of Labour is John Key ? With signing on to the UN DRIP in secrecy , then pushing thro