Sunday, February 27, 2005

Suppression Play

The New Zealand Herald reports with mock incredulity that a British website lists the name of the 'current All Black' who plead guilty to domestic assault and got off with no conviction and permanent name suppression.
So the facts the media have been allowed to report is that he
- appears to be a 'current All Black' living in West Auckland in close proximity to his extended family.
- due to the timing and location of this week's court hearing could only realistically play for the Auckland Blues
- already has a child
- He was granted name suppression in early December while all but 11 'current All Blacks' at the time were on a European tour.
- 3 of those 11 currently play for the Auckland Blues.
-edit- Those 3 players were Xavier Rush, Carlos Spencer and Sam Tuitupou
- According to the judge the player's age "has an effect of some sort" - not something one would normally say of a veteran player

With this in mind my question is why did this guy bother applying for name suppression at all? It's obvious who he is, yet the suppression order creates unwarranted suspicion of innocent players.
Oh well, 'Whoever this guy is' I hope he doesn't have a nickname that could be considered in poor taste to use this season.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

No Benefit to anyone

The Government today announced the forever delayed "Single Benefit" scheme. Of course there were no specific details released showing this up to be the cynical public relations move that it is. When the system is finally introduced in 2021, it will supposedly reduce time spent on administration of benefits by combining various categories of benefit into a single benefit with 'add-ons'. This makes no sense whatsoever. All beneficaries will need some form of 'add-on' for their particular circumstance, which WINZ staff will need to administer, which in turn use up even more time for WINZ staff than under the old system. Then in 2026, the Labour opposition will come up with the great idea of having different benefits for beneficaries in different circumstances to reduce administration costs.
And so continues the circle of life.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bye Rube

Hunter S. Thompson is dead.

Bushweed.

A recording of W admitting cannabis use in his youth (youth = pre-40) has come to the surface. So why did Dubya lie about this in the 2000 election campaign? For the children of course!
But you got to understand, I want to be president. I want to lead. I want to set -- Do you want your little kid say, 'Hey, Daddy, President Bush tried marijuana, I think I will?
Good to see his moral compass is set correctly, smoking cannabis would be far worse than 'Hey, Daddy, President Bush drove drunk and was a self-confessed alcoholic, I think I will' or 'Hey, Daddy, President Bush exploited the aftermath of 9/11 to invade another country under false pretences, I think I will'

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Untied Future?

NoRightTurn has an interesting post on the Future of United Future. It now seems a rite of passage for a junior coalition partner to implode in the final year of its term. Much like Jim Anderton, Peter Dunne is assured of returning after the next election but how many MPs return with him is highly questionable.
If a Christian/Pagan split does occur in United Future, as NRT suggests it would likely leave Dunne a with 'sensible, mainstream, centre party'. The problem being the potential constituency and electoral success of a 'sensible and mainstream' centrist 3rd party is the same as that of the 'Progressive Coalition' ( aka 'Jim Anderton+1') .
What looks to be interesting is where the fundamentalist 'Christian' members of the party end up, would they join Christian Heritage? Would they ressurrect Future NZ? or would they join Destiny?

Destiny seem to be the ideal vehicle for United's fundamentalists to continue their crusade of imposing their beliefs onto others.
If not for political success at least for the amusing policy discussions a potential Destiny-United coalition would have
Paul Adams: I think we should hang sodomites.
Bishop Brian: No! Stoning is the way of the lord! It is written in the scripture!
Richard Lewis: Perhaps we could stone them then hang them?
Bishop Brian: No, that's the punishment for abortionists.
Whether Destiny are a snug fit for Paul Adams et al remains to be seen, Destiny's policies certainly seem compatible, however the affilation to Destiny the Church could prove unpalatable even for a guy that goes on a hunger-strike over civil unions.

Despite flying under (or above?) the mainstream media radar, Destiny have been steadily growing their support and now have many more supporters and potential voters than most people realise, and although this support has yet to be proven in any significant number in an opinion poll.
In the end the major hurdle for Destiny will be the same one that smited the Christian Coalition in 1996 - the 5% threshold. I'm philosphically opposed to the 5% threshold as it is undemocratic, though in this case I'm glad to make an exception as it's the only thing preventing Destiny having their mouthpieces participate in our next parliament.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Porn to Run

The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Amendment Bill passed its final reading last night, with only ACT opposing the bill based on their long thought forgotten belief in free speech. A fundamental belief which, according to United Future's Marc Alexander is 'nauseating and sanctimonious'. The Greens disappointingly voted against the five year amendment, but then voted for the final bill, which I'm sure makes sense to someone in the party, if not anyone else.
It's a sad day when ACT are the sole voice of reason in our parliament.

"I've never heard of Johnny Farnham"

Our fearless leader has inflamed Australians with bad taste in music by "banning" John Farnham from this year's ANZAC commemorations in Gallipoli. Tim and Neil Finn will not be playing there either, but this has not stopped some Australians taking this as a personal affront to their popular culture. Although this decision has apparently been made because of the solemnity of the occassion, this is a gift to our redneck cousins, the gift of 21st century culture. Move forward Australia, the 1980s are over now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Irony alert.

TV3 news - Products of an NCEA education or gleeful ironists?

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

No sense of proportion

Distributors of 'child porn' and other 'objectionable material' could now receive sentences of up to ten years. Because apparently weirdos who share sick shit on the internet should be incarcerated longer than some rapists, killers and child molesters. Even though if they are actually involved in producing the crap they can be dealt with under existing sexual abuse laws, and receive a far longer sentence than ten years.
What is most disturbing is the bill creates the new offence, 'knowingly possessing objectionable material' with a maximum sentence of 5 years jail. While obviously including child pornography this law by definition seems to include computer games, music and films considered 'objectionable' by our benevolent Government.
You could soon be facing a jail term for owning a copy of 'Manhunt' or 'Postal 2', computer games deemed too dangerous for NZ consumption.
The maximum sentence for owning a banned game could soon be ten times greater than that for possession of heroin. And don't you dare think about getting rid of that game on trademe or passing it to a friend, you could face a ten year maximum sentence - greater than that for grievous bodily harm.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Holmes and Away

Well, the new Holmes showed debuted tonight, I was reasonably impressed, well compared to 'Close up at 7' anyway. While 'Close up at 7' chose to go with a tedious 'fear and outrage at crime' themed show, Holmes chose a publicity stunt in planting a tree on One Tree Hill as well as a couple of ratings-grabbing interviews with Wacky Pastor Tamaki and Jonah Lomu. Although he won't have, he definitely deserved to outrate state television.
There were a few negatives, among them bad camerawork, editing and sound. And I don't really like the few centrimetres of space between Sir Paul and interviewee, small man's sydrome perhaps? However this will increase the likelihood of physical assault on his Paulness at some stage, so that's a good thing really. However these faults are understandable and are insignificant in comparison to the sheer awfulness that is the viewer interaction element. The 'talkback' element does not and cannot work, especially allowing callers to interview subjects. And the vile misspelt 'txt msgs'' flashing up on the screen. Ugh. I thought with the demise of 'Flipside', people would have learnt their lessons, but no it's created a trend, perhaps soon 'KaTe UR TOPZ R da BOMb' could crawl across the screen on the late evening news .
Although she was merely doing a puff piece on Cherie Blair, recent domestic-violence victim Alison Mau looks like she could become the star of the show. She seems much more assertive and in control than she was at state tv, she'll kick some ass at election time. I'll also be watching with interest to see how Lindsay Perigo behaves, I'd love him to be the crazed loose cannon that he wants to be.
But yes, Paul Holmes, if you cut down on that viewer interaction garbage, I'll watch your show, at least until 'A John Campbell Affair' begins.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sexism is not 'culture'

It says something about the timidity of our elected politicians that it takes an unelected and supposedly non-partisan official to take issue with the treatment of women by Maori.
There is no excuse in the year 2005 for customs that seek to limit the participation of women or people of other ethnicities, any more than we can tolerate the notion that one ethnic group is superior to another.
Silvia Cartwright has said what has long needed to be said. This primitive tradition of belittling and subjugating women has gone on too long.
Had our 'popular and competent' leader actually attended Waitangi commerations at Te Tii Waitangi Marae on Saturday, she would have not been allowed to speak because of her gender and been made to take a seat behind a religous fundamentalist and a criminal maori extremist. What other modern country would allow their elected leader being treated this way purely because she is a woman?
Why do we allow this blatant sexism to continue under the guise of 'cultural sensitivity'? I've heard some Maori and politically neutered Pakeha justify it by claiming 'it's our protocol and our decision', which is true, just as it should be our Government's decision to refuse to endorse or financially contribute to activities of any Maori iwi (or any other ethnic/religous group for that matter) that continue to practice antiquated traditions.
I've also been told that I 'just don't understand Maori culture', that's correct, much like Islamic extremists and the use of the burqa I don't understand a 'culture' that promotes treating women as less than equal. It is 2005, not 1805. Much of the world has matured since then, it's time the sexists joined us.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I shot the flag, but I didn't shoot Ken Shirley

Now that Tame Iti has been charged with desecrating the New Zealand flag, ensigns around the country can sleep easy at night. George Hawkins has made a total hash of the affair as usual, letting ACT make him look foolish yet again, his days as Minister of Police are numbered. But thank you ACT for 'keeping this country safe' by forcing police to waste their time charging Iti with an offence he will not be convicted for. ACT whine about police 'wasting time on speed tickets' but seem more than content to use the police for petty political frivolities like this.

It's fun to shoot people

No doubt next in line for beatification from NZPundit
Introducing Lt. General James Mattis
Actually, its a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. I like brawling.....
You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for 5 years because they didn't wear a veil, you know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.
America! Fuck Yeah!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Duh.

Well, so much for Katherine Rich being a non-issue, I can't honestly believe the National leadership could be so incompetent to allow this to happen. What a total cock-up. Don Brash should go now, as this election campaign is rapidly becoming a slow walk to execution. He really just doesn't get it, for example today, when he was asked about the newly male-only front bench, "I'm not going to be driven by political correctness in saying I've got to have a woman on the front bench", yes, true, he shouldn't be driven by 'political correctness' but by political neccessity, I'm pretty sure we still make up 50% of the electoral roll. Honestly, can he really be this naive? Why not just say something like 'the numbered order of my MPs does not matter, it is the contributions they make to the party and NZ that counts'. Anyway, you'll have to excuse me now so I can go back to banging my head against a wall which seems a more productive activity than trying to understand National's election strategy.

Katherine the Gone

Wow. 'Orewa II' turns out to be 'The Matrix Reloaded' and totally blow, now to make it even worse, Don Brash has sacked Katherine Rich. Heck, if National's designated party blogger doesn't even attempt to spin this as 'strong leadership' or 'setting a clear direction' you know you're in trouble. The election is now over for National before it's begun. I guess this is one way to take the lead headline away from Labour's 'State of the Nation' speech on this afternoon, probably not the method I would have chosen though.

So what are the odds now of Brash being replaced as leader before the election?
($3.75 in my estimate)

Update - I have updated our arbitrary Election predictor to reflect this latest blunder.
(-3 N, +2 UF, +1 NZF)

The 5 percent threshold

Well the Herald poll is out, even if it isn't linked to on their frontpage yet. National gets a 5 point bounce from 'Orewa II', that has to be disappointing for them. Apparently, Katherine Rich is going to get the chop as well, so let's see, shut out Maori, now push out the women? Good strategy guys, keep it up! As for the herald, the decision to publish the misleading partial results of this poll on Saturday looks even more stupid now.

Also to celebrate the misleading use of opinion polls, to the right of your screen we present our prediction of the outcome of the General Election with an arbitrary and non-scientific 'magic' poll made by a team of experts and a six-sided dice. Although it appears to be absolutely meaningless, it is in fact more accurate than any 'Close Up at 7' poll.