Friday, 31 October 2008

A modest proposal - a bipartisan approach to dealing with censure of Winston Peters

From the Sunday Star Times:

"All polls have [Winston Peters'] National opponent, 31-year=old former Crown Prosecutor Simon Bridges, comfortably ahead in the Tauranga electorate which ejected Peters in 2005."

I propose that, regardless of whether National or Labour lead the next government, the following should be considered if Peters and New Zealand First are no longer in power:

i, Cease all political squabbles involving donations and forgive NZ First any irregularaties relating to their coffers.

ii, Invoke the Biosecurity Act.

iii, Stick a stake through Peters' heart (if it can be found), cut off his head, fill his mouth with holy wafers, burn the body, and scatter the ashes at a crossroads.

iv, Pray.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Fear of a black planet

Something people seemed to have missed.

Forty years ago, 17 October 1968, three men stood up on a podium at the 1968 Mexico Olympic games. The gold medallist for the 200m run was Tommie Smith, and the bronze medallist was John Carlos. Both were black.

And you've probably seen that picture of them raising their fists in salute of black power.

After that, they got sent home by the International Olympic Committee and the American team. There were death threats. Carlos' first wife killed herself because of the backlash. They couldn't find jobs, and struggled to feed their families. Smith's mother, age 57, died after receiving a parcel of dead rats in the post.

Smith is now a professor of sociology. He has never been inducted into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame, despite his 1968 achievement.

And now Barack Obama looks set to become President of the US, and I have to tell you, the screams of barely muted racist horror at the prospect from certain areas of the right sound sweet.

I bet Smith is going to be laughing his athletic ass off when that result is announced...

Friday, 24 October 2008

Greenspan - "I was wrong"

Now, this is interesting. Alan Greenspan has admitted that his ideology of the past 40 years was flawed, and needed to be changed in light of the recent financial meltdown. He doesn't seem to have mentioned the recurring cycle of bubbles and crashes which might prompt government.

Well, regardless of any other bones you might pick with Greenspan, this puts him head and shoulders above the Bush Administration and the wingnuts who support them. Congratulations, Alan.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Monday, 20 October 2008

I want you to know I am not making this up...

Joseph Hatch, 1837-1928. Mayor of Invercargill, 1877, and MP for Invercargill 1884.

Made his money from 1890-1920 by boiling penguins for oil. I am not making this up. Macquarie Island, about 200,000 a year, killing off about three million of them. Elephant seals as well, but penguins proved more economic.

There must be some way to work "penguin-boiler" into teh conversation around here...

On imagining $30 million

Well, the good news is I managed to get 5 numbers and the Powerball.
Now, I just have to work on getting them all on the SAME line.

Pity. I have now officially reached the age in which I engage in Real Estate Porn, an activity for which I have previously twitted particular women of a Certain Age. They had a habit of drooling of pictures of English country estates.

I, much to my shame, spent hours over the weekend spiritually masturbating over pictures of multi-million dollar apartments in Brisbane. Down to the point of considering furniture and home-area networks.

I feel so sticky.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Jump, you bastards, or we'll have you jogging as well!

Associated Press - Porky porpoises

"Dolphins at a Japanese marine park are on a diet after developing potbellies and struggling in their performances. Kinosaki Marine World said its 19 dolphins have been on a diet since August, when they started failing to hit jumping targets."

This is what losing looks like...

George Bush, 21 Nov 2005:

George Bush: 'We will stay in Iraq until we have achieved victory'

Our goal is to defeat the terrorists and allies - and their allies at the heart of their power. And so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq.

BBC World News, 17 Oct 2008:

The US says it is considering a draft agreement with Iraq on the role of its troops there after the UN mandate for their presence expires later this year.

Details have not been released, but officials say it would see US combat forces withdrawn from Iraqi towns and cities by the middle of 2009.

Iraq Today:

Thursday Oct 16th 2008
A roadside bomb in Baghdad's central Palestine Street area [...]
#4: A roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in Waziriyah [...]
#5: An adhesive bomb detonated under a civilian car [...]
#1: A suicide attacker disguised as a soldier [...]
#1: A roadside bomb detonated in Buhriz town (about 3 miles south of Baquba). [...]
#1: A suicide car bomber detonated near Balad police station around 4 pm. [..]
#1: Seven Iraqi soldiers were wounded by a hand grenade in eastern Mosul, [...]
#2: Two people were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded west of Mosul, police said.
#3: Two children were wounded by an improvised explosive device [...]
#4: Four civilians were wounded when Iraqi troops fired shots [...]

Wednesday Oct 15th 2008
MNF-Iraq is reporting the death of a Multi-National Division - Baghdad soldier [...]
[...] a body and four wounded persons as a result of a bomb explosion [...]
[...] an adhesive bomb stuck to a sedan detonated in Karrada neighborhood [...]
Five mortar rounds landed in an unoccupied area [...]
#6: Two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession [...]
#7: Three policemen were wounded when a bomb exploded [...]
#8: Three policemen were wounded on Wednesday in a bomb explosion [...]
#9: A least four civilians were wounded when mortars fell [...]
#1: A bomb went off on Wednesday morning in Baquba [...]
#1: A civilian was killed on Wednesday by unknown gunmen [...]
#1: Iraqi national guards found 22 unknown bodies in a mass grave[...]
#2: Major-General Ali al-Hamdani, [...] injured in a roadside bomb blast[...] #1“An explosive charge went off targeting an Iraqi army vehicle patrol [...]
#2: “Nine civilians were injured in a roadside bomb blast [...]
#3: Police killed one attacker when gunmen attacked their patrol [...]
#4: A police patrol mistakenly opened fire in central Mosul [...]
#6: Two children were wounded in a bomb explosion in Mosul, [...]
#7: One gunman was killed in clashes with police in southeastern Mosul,[...]

Tuesday Oct 14th 2008
CNN is reporting the death of a U.S. - led coalition soldier [...]
The Washington Post is reporting the deaths of three ISAF soldiers [...]
AMS issues fatwa prohibiting long-term pact:
Iraqi official calls U. S. troop accord unlikely: [...]
Five Turkish soldiers wounded in PKK attack in Turkey:
Moldova to pull out of Iraq by yearend:
#2: Three civilians were injured by a roadside bomb in Talbiyah [...]
#4: Five persons were injured on Tuesday night [...]
#1: Police forces found two bodies, one male one female, [...]
#1: Iraqi police said eight mortar rounds landed in the U.S. base Anaconda [...]
#1: Two separate roadside bombs wounded five civilians [...]
Five civilians were injured by a bomb in Tuz Khurmatu market place
#1: An explosion struck a secondary pipeline transporting unrefined gas [...]
#1: A bomb went off on Tuesday in front of a church in central Mosul,[...]
#2: One civilian was killed and another wounded in a drive by shooting [...]
#3: Two policemen were wounded when a bomb hit their patrol [...]

Connect the dots.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

How to maintain a reputation as a literary maven in one easy lesson...

...fake it.

Dispatch from the class wars...

From the Guardian:

Super times for superyachts as billionaires buy into maritime bling

Monte Carlo boat show finds demand for floating palaces higher than ever

While others panic about the financial crisis, this weekend's Monaco Yacht Show proved that the mega-rich have never been richer. Yacht brokers describe an eastern European new rich, boosted by oil wealth, keen to outdo their rivals. Middle Eastern viewers and occasional Latin Americans are following suit.

As the number of multi-billionaires grows, the superyacht industry is enjoying such a boom that demand for the most expensive models outstrips supply. Boats built to personal specifications have grown to such vast proportions that the labels superyacht and megayacht are no longer enough. Those on the dockside now talk of the gigayacht - multi-storey, 120-metre floating mansions that resemble cruise liners. The cost of the biggest new boats exceeds €200m

200. Million. Pounds.

This is going to make it difficult for the hordes of peasants with pitchforks and flaming torches.

But we'll figure out a way, you fuckers, we'll figure out a way...

Huge amounts of drugs and drink to drown the heartache...

"Scarlett Johansson has married actor Ryan Reynolds in a hush-hush ceremony in his native Canada."

Why, Scarlett, why? Weren't the letters enough to intrigue you? The threats to your dog not sufficient motivation? The soaking in gasoline and offer to immolate myself outside your house not sufficient proof of my devotion? We both know your heart said "Yes, yes", even if your lawyer said "Restraining order!"

And with a Canadian, no less!

Once again, we must turn to modern ballads to express our feelings.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Spending tomorrow for tax cuts today (with Southpark)

Interested in a simple explanation comparing the effects of National vs Labour tax proposals?

Watch this.

Also useful - Paul Krugman's "Pop Internationalism".

New Zealand suffers from a basic macroeconomic flaw - we use way too much overseas capital. We must increase domestic savings. Kiwisaver is one component of such an effort.

And National want to gut it in order to win this election. If you have children aged 12 or less now, they won't be thanking you for this by the time they enter university. Indeed, I expect that it will form a major part in any first year essay on "Why is the NZ economy so fucked up now?" come 2015.

But, hey, Helen Clark is just too annoying - time for a change, right?

Me, I'm going to complete my qualification and position myself to shift to Australia if need be...

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

In the long run, we're all dead anyway - so why not party?

Now that we've established that (i) Wellington has not blown into the sea (yet) and (ii) I am a credulous fool (and, S. - "gullible" is SO in the dictionary!), via the Wellingtonista:

Forwarded without further comment

From: Richard MacLean []
Sent: Tuesday, 7 October 2008 1:36 p.m.
Subject: Bogus Wellington storm-damage report - please ignore

1.30PM - 7 October 2008

Bogus storm-damage report - please ignore

A bogus storm-damage report is circulating today on email groups around Wellington - containing information from a storm in August 2004.

Advice from Wellington City Council is to ignore the email - a copy of which is attached below.

The email contains extensive lists of streets closed by slips around Wellington, reports of damage at Wellington Airport, details of extensive delays to trains and buses, school closures, and 'huge seas' blocking Moa Point Road.

The City Council has received a number of calls from people anxious about the emailed report - headed WELLINGTON WEATHER WARNINGS - however we stress that the information is entirely incorrect.

While there have been strong northerly winds in the Wellington region today, and heavy rain - none of the incidents on the email being circulated have occurred. They all occurred during a fierce southerly storm in August 2004.

The City Council will attempt to find out how and why the email was initially circulated - but in the meantime our advice is please ignore it.

For further details please contact:
Richard MacLean - Wellington City Council Communications, tel 04 801 3578 or 021 227 8180.

These are my testicles. Please kick.

Ah, Wellington - known for its perfect weather...

Weather update 7 Oct 2008 approx 1 pm

Updates on storm as follows


Makara Rd, Homebush Rd, Fairview Cres

Trees Down,

Plimmer Steps, Mahoe St, Tawa, Kimberley Way Karori, Herald Mitchell St, Branscombe St, Arlington St Karori, Shortt St, Moffat St, Abel Smith St, Barnard St, Oban St, Tarikaka St, Houghton bay Rd, Taiaroa St, Beacon Hill Rd, Rintoul St, Konini St, Waipori St, Cnr Townsend Rd, South Karori Rd, Constable St, St Michaels Cres, Chater St, Mark Ave, Bell St, Mortimer Tce, Akaroa Dr, Hallswater Dr, Mornington Rd, Glen Alton Ave, Boundary Rd

Lines Down

Milne Cres, Lyall Bay Rd, Ellice St, Washington Ave, Carlton St, Cheeseman St, Para St, Wingfield Pl, Ohariu Road, Makara Rd, Cheeseman Rd, Akatea St, Ellice St, College St, Barnard St, Kekerenga St, Mark Ave, Bedford St, Amristar Rd, Glen Alton Ave

No Power

Severn St, Queens Drive, Darlington Rd, No Power in most parts of Wadestown, College St, Lucknow Tce, Simla Cres, Helston Rd

Road Closures

Onslow and Ngaio Road.
Moa Point Road is closed due to huge seas breaking over the southern end of the Wellington Airport runway.
Stewart Duff Drive, on the eastern side of the Airport, is closed because cladding is being blown off a hangar.
The Hutt Road is closed between Ngaio Gorge Road and Onslow Road because of lifting roofing at the Placemakers site.
Makara Road and Ohariu Valley Road closed by fallen trees and power lines.
A big slip has closed Homebush Road, Khandallah


Raw sewerage flowing down Wakefield Street Clutha Ave Nicholson Rd


Public access to the Basin Reserve has been closed. Approximately 15 windows in the RA Vance Stand have blown out.
Fulton Hogan working on Airport roof which is lifting
Council Parks staff have closed off the walking tracks on Tinakori Hill due to the danger caused by many falling trees.
Power poles are in danger of toppling on the seafront at Lyall Bay.
No power to about 40 homes in Karori
Hutt Motorway one lane north bound reopen between Melling and Maungaraki but south bound closed

Traffic lights out

Trafic lights facing wrong way
Kent and Majoribanks St

All Trains Cancelled

Buses from Hutt Valley cancelled

Glass all over footpath and road in Cambridge tce Northern Landfill
closed closed the transfer station Not operating Library Mobile bus -
Karori Today All flights cancelled the rear section of roof of Shed 6,
on Waterfront has lifted and gone the South end of Events centre Roof is
lifting and is likely to go vehicle entry to Waterfront including
Dockside, Shed 5 and the Helicopters is now closed.
Johnsonville badly affected No Power

Onslow College closed, other schools will follow Raroa Intermediate
closed Pump stations out Johnsonville Library closed - no power Flooding
in Hutt - Locations Affected WAIWHETU Haywards Tce and Wainui Rd.
Eastern Bays Marine Drive - debris and surface flooding Croft Grove -
surface flooding WESTERN HILLS
SH2 - slips and debris between Melling and Haywards
SH2 - Maungaraki and Melling one lane north bound re-opened> WAINUI HILL
RD - Gracefield Road on and off ramps closed. Gracefield Road closed
between Bell Rd and Wainuiomata Hill Rd closed.
RIVERSIDE CARPARK - is now being closed
BLOCK ROAD - is now closed
Road to Eastbourne closed
Electricity has been cut to parts of Korokoro, Petone, Naenae, Melling
and Coast Road Wainuiomata.
Other parts of the city may also be affected by power cuts

I do so love springtime in the Capital City - it's so bracing...

Monday, 6 October 2008

"As God is my witness, I thought this turkey would fly!"

An American Carol - Opening Weekend 3-5 Oct 2008.

Opening Weekend:$3,810,000
(1,639 theaters,$2,325 average)
% of Total Gross: 100.0%

Bowling for Columbine - opening Weekend 11-13 Oct 2002.

Opening Weekend:$209,148
(8 theaters,$26,143 average)
% of Total Gross: 1.0%
= Worldwide:$58,008,423

An Inconvenient Truth - Opening Weekend 24-26 May 2006

Opening Weekend:$281,330
(4 theaters,$70,332 average)
% of Total Gross: 1.2%
= Worldwide:$49,749,351

Gosh, I bet each and every one of the 1,639 theatre managers who choose to air THAT piece of crap have some explaining to do to their bosses.

Hmm - anyone care to explain how, if Hollywood is controlled by liberals, "An American Carol" managed to get such a huge initial opening - without previews for the critics?

BTW, production budget is not available, but judging from Zucker's other movies, would run in the $20-$40 million. Judging from the opening weekend performance, it's going to die almost immediately, and gross around $10 million altogether. This doesn't even begin to consider the outside production expenses.

Why don't studios make conservative orientated movies? Because they lose money, big time.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Ragnar Danneskjöld lives!

Many times on the Internet, libertarians have been pointed at the one true utopia, the only country on Earth which follows their mantra of the minimum possible government, the glorious paradise that is Somalia.

And now we see news that entreprenuers are following in the footsteps of one of the characters of "Atlas Shrugged", liberating goods funded by government theft.

I think we should applaud these independent libertarians, and all those on the Net who aspire to turn their own countries towards this model of freedom.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Memory failure

Memory failure

There’s a poem by Sappho;
I read it once.
She talks about her lover leaving.

Like clutching harder and harder
    On the blade cutting into your hand.
Like the coldest winter day
    Beauty in the eye and your lungs freezing.
Like the tsunami charging in
    The rush of power and the loss of hope.
Like the whisper through the lines;
    The things unsaid, the things never to be said.

I’d like to send it to you,

I can’t remember the title,
and I can’t find it again.
It’s out of reach
as well.

B.order/line (Will Christie)

B.order/line (Will Christie)

this is the event of fire
sleeping in
town and the roof is phat with birds
it is a very dogged
lust that wolves us

lying beside u
feels in motion
like the photo of a fall
the language body seethes
u make me
nerve us

come a bit close
desire's a pleasure
that erases
evidence of its own fullness
danger sharpens the attention
I love because u r

this is a stroke of the heart
your context is coming loose
I am an object
with feelings
increase yourself to my needs


All I'm saying is that, if you're put under pressure and you immediately start talking about dungeons and sex, trying to claim that they were only cucumber dungeons doesn't cut it. There's psychotherapy in your future...