Sunday, November 4, 2007

Time to make a stand.

Okay, it's been a while since the last post - not because there's been nothing happening, but more because I've been way too busy and there's way too much to write about. Yay for me - I got promoted at work so now I'm one step higher up the ladder and kind of like Sir Ed on Everest the day before the assault - not at the yop yet, but you can definitely see it.

Anyway, the big news that I want to write about today is the 'terrorist' camps in the Ureweras. It seems to me that the police have been getting a lot of bad press in the last year or more, and this case really just tops it off. There is a very large, radical fringe in society which is coming closer and closer to the mainstream; a sector that actively mistrusts, and deliberately disobeys, the police. They've been using this whole incident as 'proof' that the police force is actually some quasi-fascist paramilitary that is dedicated to suppressing the rights of the citizenry. What worries me more is the civil disobedience which is being advocated by such groups. And these camps seem to be part of it.

One of my good mates at uni was from the Ureweras. We went to his marae for a few days for a staff training camp, and another mate and I went back once or twice in the next few years. Very isolated, very socio-economically disadvantaged by the effects of the various fiscal policies and global changes over the past three decades. I remember when I first found out that Tuhoe hadn't signed the Treaty, when I was in my second year at uni. I hadn't thought much of it then, but as I looked around the area a few years later I could see why they hadn't been able to survive as a sovereign state anyway - not that there had ever been one there. And it is the same reason they'd not be able to today. I can't see separatism actually working here in New Zealand - we're far too small as it is, so any smaller state completely surrounded by us would not be able to survive without a generous amount of financial support. But if anyone would be advocating it, it would be Tame Iti. There's just something not quite right about this guy. Quite frankly, they should have strung him up after he shot the flag a few years back. The only thing that stops me trampling and spitting on the Tino Rangatiratanga flag every time I see it is that I really don't want to get beaten up over an insignificant piece of fabric which means nothing to me.

But back to the point. A few weeks ago we have new of this police 'swoop' on a number of 'terrorist training camps' in the Ureweras, and on a number of people around the North Island who were connected with the camps. Most of the people arrested were charged with firearms offences, rather than terrorism. In fact, I don't actually recall EVER hearing the police themselves say anything about terrorism. The only people saying it were the media, who were all excited about the coincidental timing of the raids just before new anti-terrorist legislation was coming up before Parliament. This same media then goes and interviews various friends and relatives of those arrested, many of whom claim that the suspects were peace loving and didn't even know what guns looked like, and certainly would never plan a terrorist attack.

Let's face it, this debacle is of the media's making. I don't know if there is a plot to wage an insurrectionist war against the people of NZ to secure Maori sovereignty and an end to GE trials, or whatever the reason was for these people to be working together. To be frank, I think most of those who have been accused of it probably spend way too much time pipe dreaming and pot smoking to be able to organise a Girl Guide biscuit stall, so I'm not imagining that a fully fledged plot to overthrow the state apparatus was ever even partially conceived. The only one I really think is involved in all this is Tame Iti - along with his secret cronies in the Green Party and what I like to call the Revolutionary Underground Front for Undermining the State (RUFUS). But what I suspect is that some relatively clever liberal civil rights activists (and yes, there ARE some relatively clever liberals out there, especially now they run the universities and can eliminate the teaching and even speaking of subjects and theories which they disagree with), along with some cronies in the leftist dominated mainstream media, have worked together to turn this simple case of firearms offences into some massive terrorist plot, which they can then present to the public as a farsical police operation to further besmirch the good name of the boys (and girls) in blue. The erosion of trust in our public institutions is an important step in the neo-socialist agenda to circumvent the machinery of the state, thus making it easier for them to overthrow everything else and begin creating their New Society, starting with a new flag and a new name, 'Aotearoa' - which Maori themselves never used because there was no unified nation in New Zealand until after the Western colonisation.

Watch this space - there will be very little proof, police credibility will take another hit, and more and more people will begin to doubt the integrity of the state. Less and less will participate in the democratic process, leaving the way open for the radical lunatic leftist fringe to sweep through and establish a puppet Clarkocracy under the 'beloved leader' of the mainstream socialist front organisation. Behind the scenes, however, you can be sure that the Lockes, Bradfords, Tanczos', Itis, Harawiras, McCartens etc will all be carving up this nation into a number of little Bantustans under customary tribal law. This is only the thin end of the wedge. We must stand firm and support the maintenance of law and order in our society. If we do not, if we let the Leftists have their way, then we are truly lost.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Child Abuse - A National Tragedy

Q. What do Nia Glassie, Jhia Tua, the Kahui twins, Pirimai Simmonds, Jonelle Tarawa, James Whakaruru, Mereana Edmonds, Lilly-bing Karaitiana Matiaha, Tamati Pokaia and Delcelia Witika all have in common?

A. They’re all Maori kids, and they’re all dead.


Two weeks ago no one had ever heard of Nia Marie Glassie - and the chances are, given her socio-economic background, no one ever would have either.

She achieved fame through victimhood - yet another young New Zealander who has been smashed to a bloody pulp by those that are supposed to protect her.

I always thought Kiwi kids were Weetbix kids, not beaten kids.

Of course, this is not the entire issue - nothing is ever this simple.

Glassie is - or at least, she was - Maori. Which suddenly propels this even further into the media spotlight and into the dining room conversations nation wide.

I’d like to think that there would have been this much attention to the case had she and her abusers been from a white middle class family rather than a Maori dependent-class whanau, but I’m not quite sure.

The discussion around this seem to fall into two camps - either it is a major problem for Maori, or at least a sub-group of Maori, and an indication of the failures of Maori leadership; or it is all to do with the Cultural Separation Anxiety endured by Maori since 1840 and therefore “whitey’s” fault.

I don’t think you’re going to beat your kid to death just because you’re Maori. If this were true, there wouldn’t be any Maori kids left. But I also think that this is a problem more particular to Maori than any other group in society. And that CAN be proven. According to the analysis by a former CYFS employee, Mike Doolan, deaths caused by child abuse has fallen steadily over the past 20 years, down from 0.92 deaths per 100,000 children in 1987 to 0.60 in 2006. At the same time, though, deaths of Maori children from child abuse have increased from around 1 per 100,000 20 years ago to 1.34 in 2006. The silver lining to this cloud is that the rate was up to 2.40 killings per 100,000 kids in the mid 1990s - the highest rate in the Western World. So I guess some progress is being made.

It is interesting to draw a link with some other statistics here - such as the fact that the number of Maori in paid work dropped by 15% between 1986 and 1991, at a time when the total national employment dropped by only 6%; or the fact that 26% of the Maori workforce was unemployed in 1991, compared to the national average of 9%. This coincides with the increase in Maori child abuse in the early 1990s. Today, Maori unemployment stands at 8.6%, compared to 3.7% for non-Maori. The Maori child homicide rate is double that for non-Maori: 50% of the babies under one-year-old taken into state care are Maori. Maori comprise 40% of the 2000 critical and 25,000 general child abuse cases reported annually. So is there a direct link between unemployment and child abuse? According to the UN report on child abuse world wide, released in August 2006, (http://www.violencestudy.org/IMG/pdf/English.pdf), and based on WHO analysis, children in lower income countries are twice as likely to die from child abuse than in the wealthier ones - the comparative rates are 2.58 per 100,000 vs 1.21 per 100,000.

Let’s look at a comparative study. Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of around 80% thanks to Robert “Liberal poster-child of the 1980s” Mugabe’s fantastic ‘majority rule’ debacle. According to an article on the HIV learning centre web pages (http://www.iolhivaids.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=1591&fArticleId=3553717) one child in Zimbabwe is abused every hour. There were 8,600 cases of child abuse in Zimbabwe in 2005 - of which more than half involved sexual abuse. Given the prevalence of AIDS in the area, and the ongoing myth that sex with a virgin cures AIDS, this can be understood somewhat. The lack of any official census in Zimbabwe since 1991 makes it impossible to know how many kids there are in the country now. However, an estimate from the EarthTrends Environmental Information Portal (http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/population-health/country-profile-205.html) suggests that it is somewhere around 6 million kids. So, if we say 4000 cases of non-sexual child abuse, out of six million kids, we come up with a rate of 2.4 per 100,000 - the highest rate endured by Maori in the mid 1990s. So according to my admittedly amateurish research, there may well be a link between unemployment and child abuse.

However, this neglects the fact that Lisa Kuka, Nia’s mother, was NOT unemployed. She is a kiwifruit picker. This is more a seasonal employment than a long term career but nonetheless she was actually contributing to society when her baby was tortured and killed.

I’ve not found any employment details on the thugs behind the beating, but this case does highlight several other concerns.

What I find most interesting is that Ms Kuka is in her mid thirties, and one of the five who are being charged over this case, Wiremu Curtis, her partner of two years, is a 17 year old. Why has this not attracted more attention? I find it difficult to imagine a 30 man shacking up with a 15 year old girl and getting away with it, yet if we change the gender that is basically what has happened here.

Of course, most media discussion has centred around the Maori issue. Peter Dunne is quoted as saying "It's time to stop pretending that the kind of child abuse suffered by Nia Glassie and the Kahui twins is not a Maori problem. Until Maori leadership accepts that they are the key to finding a solution for child abuse by Maori, we will continue treading water waiting for the next child to die."

Labour MP Shane Jones (a list MP, it must be stated) said the Maori families who abused their children were only a small minority "who are gripped by a poverty of spirit and an impoverished morality", and called for "rapid and ruthless intervention" to remove children from such families. Is the ‘Howard Solution’ one which NZ can tolerate? I for one can’t see the bleedin heart liberals in mainstream NZ allowing poor Maori kids to be taken from their whanau and placed with well educated non-Maori middle class families - although I do recall a great Bro’Town episode on this a couple of years ago!

Pro-Maori groups are blaming a lack of culture for allowing this to happen. Anglican priest Bert McLean, a kaumatua for the Navy, blames this statistic on the generation of young Maori parents born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s who had lost contact with their culture and identity. Apparently there were 102,000 Maori who stated in the last Census that they did not know their hapu, iwi, language or culture - 18% of all Maori. "This is the subculture that are now having children," Mr McLean said. "They do not know their culture and language and tikanga and everything else, and have created a culture of their own.”

Bentham Ohia, CEO of Te Wananga O Aotearoa, believes that learning Te Reo can help Maori, as many who learn the language find they have a greater interest in their own learning and their children's learning. This, supposedly, would prevent the abuse - although I’d love to see the figures which prove that Maori who speak Maori do not beat their kids.

Pita ‘It gets more Maori votes than Peter’ Sharples, co-leader of the Maori Party, also hits out at the accusations levelled against Maori as a whole and Maori leadership in general. "How do I feel when I hear they're Maori? I feel ashamed. I feel guilty," he said in the Sunday Star Times last week. He stated that problems of child abuse stemmed from a dysfunctional culture which happened among poverty-stricken and underachieving communities, a group in which Maori were too highly represented. "It's ridiculous to blame this problem on ethnicity,” he added, “and it's equally ridiculous to think Maori aren't doing things about it. To say that it is related to genes or a culture, an ethnic group, is absolutely wrong. I don't say that Pakeha have a gene for big business fraud or anything like that... I'm not making excuses.”

Rawiri Taonui, a professor of Maori studies at Canterbury University, goes further than Sharples. He says, in an opinion piece in today’s Sunday Star Times, that it is simplistic to blame Maori. “Do we condemn all white men because they have the highest incidence of child pornography and paedophilia? Vilify all Christians because of sexual and physical abuse by Catholic nuns and priests?”

What I find REALLY interesting about Taonui is his next statement.

“The abusive `Once Were Warriors Syndrome' we have today did not exist in pre-European times; it is part of a colonial legacy that afflicts impoverished and alienated indigenous minorities the world over.” According to him, therefore, no Maori ever beat their kids to death before 1840- and because they couldn’t read and write, there will never be any proof to contradict this argument unless we invent time machines.

Taonui blames a whole raft of colonial-related issues including: “theft of land reduced Maori to poverty; suppression of te reo produced cultural alienation;” urbanisation exacerbated the effects of both. “Rejected by the dominant culture and distanced from their ancestral culture, concentrated in poor housing, working for low wages or on welfare, and subject to across the board racism, a generation of young urban Maori parents born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s entered an intergenerational cycle of poverty, alcohol, drugs, hopelessness and frustration…It is not the original indigenous culture that causes the cyclic child bashing, but the absence or distortion of culture. The highest rate of cyclic poverty, alcohol, drug and child abuse in Western Europe is in the Glaswegian south-east of Scotland - the descendants of white Highlanders who lost their lands, language and culture.” This of course neglects the majority of the population who are descended from Lowland Scots and Scots of Irish, Italian, and Asian descent, as well as the large number of refugees who have been settled there by the UK government over the past few decades, but it is an interesting point.

Still, according to Taonui, “Maori culture is not the problem, it's the solution.”

I don’t think Maori culture is to blame either. I know a bit about it - growing up in Rotorua is a culture-intensive course in tikanga all by itself. Certainly there is nothing in what I learnt about Maoridom which suggests that spinning kids around on clothes lines, practising wrestling moves on them, making them run around the house naked, leaving them outside in freezing temperatures, or putting them in a clothes dryer are seen to be normal. This is malicious, aggressive, violent, psychopathic behaviour by people who have no sense of empathy or compassion.

Personally, I think the problem is young, poorly educated, unemployed, alcohol- or drug-abusing, welfare-dependent thugs. Many of them happen to be Maori, and there have been countless initiatives to attempt to remedy this. And I see far too many of these ‘graduating’ our schools every year to believe that this will change any time soon.

Which brings me to my final point on what has been a very long post. In today’s Sunday Star Times, Lisa Kuka said she was "angry and hurting" and wanted "the mongrels" who tortured her little girl to pay for her death. She went on to say "I'm angry there's nothing being done about the mongrels that did this. Them being locked up means nothing to me. I'm just so upset because nothing has been done to them yet."

She added that it felt like she was paying for their crime.

It looks like she is trying to absolve herself of any guilt in this. But she is just as responsible. She may not have fired the trigger, but she provided both the gun and the bullets. What was she thinking, leaving her children in the care of a 17 year old son of a Black Power member, and his mates? If she’d been a responsible parent she would have left her child in the care of her own mother, who could provide a proper environment for the toddler. Instead, she left her in the house with a bunch of teenagers preparing for another 21st birthday party. What an idiot.

I’ve written a lot about this, so I’ll stop shortly. You see, for me, this a slightly more personal issue. The abuse happened on Frank St in Rotorua - the street on which my Mum grew up. She and her ten brothers and sisters all lived in that house as kids, and many of the older grandkids also spent many happy hours playing in the house and the vast section on which it was built. My grandfather’s house was one of the first to be built on Frank St - as far as I know, it is still there, although there is now a small unit in the front yard and a larger house in the back of the section as well. It is a place which holds many happy memories for me. Today I read that Kuka and Curtis met at a 21st birthday party held at Lisa's sister Louise's flat, well-known for its frequent parties, in nearby Old Quarry Rd - the road I grew up on; my parents’ first house was at number 58, on the other side of the fence from Western Heights High, and just down the road from Selwyn Primary, where I went to school. It shocks me to realise that these places where I had such a fine childhood are now tainted forever by this act of evil. The word ‘desecration’ is foremost in my mind.

Your neighbourhood will be next. Unless we cut through the rhetoric and the blame and just take action.

Confiscation of children, and compulsory sterilisation, of those who cannot look after them. Don’t keep the children in the whanau - that doesn’t work. Farm them out to well educated, well off NZers - who cares what ethnicity they are? Teach the kids proper values and give them a proper home filled with love and caring. That will break the cycle. Ethnic solutions be damned.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10454811


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=252&objectid=10454524

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10454813

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=146&objectid=10453939

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=146&objectid=10454501

http://nz.news.yahoo.com/070804/3/1496.html

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4153173a6619.html

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4153195a22678.html

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4153194a22678.html

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Transformers - More than meets the eye

As a kid, I loved Transformers. They were better than GI Joe, they were better than MASK, better even than Voltron. Not quite as good as Lego, but hey - what is? My brother and I had a whole bunch of Transformers between us - he had Optimus Prime, but I had the five Aerialbots who combined together to make Superion, a much bigger robot. They were technically both Autobots but as we didn’t have too many Decepticons our battles were basically an Autobot civil war.

I must admit, when I heard of a Transformers movie I was sceptical. When I heard that it was to be live action rather than a cartoon, I was incredulous. So it was with some trepidation, and minimal expectations, that I went to see it tonight.

I was blown away.

This is the best movie I’ve seen since Revenge of the Sith - and, if I am to be perfectly honest, outdid even that movie in terms of its general excellence. Sith relied far too much on the green screen, and it showed. Transformers makes a huge use of CGI as well, but it is so seamless and realistic that you often forget that what you are seeing is the result of months and months of painstaking work, moving thousands of individual components on each robot to effect the transformation.

Bumblebee’s metamorphosis into a Camero rather than a VW Beetle was something I lamented, but having seen the movie I now agree that it added to his value rather than diminishing it. I’m still not sure about Megatron - the traditional Walther P38 into which he used to transform was a favourite of mine, whereas the new Cybertronian jet design will take some getting used to. And no Soundwave? Okay, they have Frenzy who fulfils that role, but I always liked the dynamic where you had the ever loyal Soundwave reporting on what the other Decepticons were doing to Megatron, and the rebellious Starscream who is always positioning himself to take over. Optimus Prime was awesome and probably the one who most closely resembled the traditional model.

Unlike the old toys, which as robots still looked very much like their pre-transformed forms, the Transformers in this movie look very robotic - perhaps a little too robotic, for my taste, but that is a purely stylistic and aesthetic thing.

Oh yeah, and Megan Fox? More like Mega-Fox if you ask me. Very nice.

Overall, however, the movie was extremely well done and I think that most of the 80s generation who loved the original Transformers will appreciate this film. We - and those who are being introduced to Transformers for the first time - will unite in our eager anticipation for a sequel - perhaps with Galvatron to lead the Decepticons this time?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Down and Out - and on Top of the Heap!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10449319

I wish I didn’t have a job.

I wish I couldn’t afford to rent my own place.

Then I could do whatever I wanted, confident in the government’s willingness to give me dole money AND a house.

I am always interested to see how many of the ‘assisted housing’ projects have Sky satellite dishes on the rooves. I can’t afford Sky - and if I could, I’m working too hard to get to watch it, other than the occasional rugby or cricket highlights if I was lucky. Yet somehow the bottom rung of society lives a better life than I do.

Now, apparently, not only do they NOT have to get jobs and actually contribute to the society which looks after them, but they can also do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, without fear of being thrown out of the house which the state has provided them.

The Auckland Tenancy Tribunal decided that Sharon Salt and her family, who were accused of terrorising the neighbourhood, can stay in their state house. Apparently, there was ‘not enough evidence’ to enforce the eviction sought by Housing NZ.

Somewhere, some loose connection is ringing out. Oh, yes. At least one of the suspects from the recent terror alert in London had previously been investigated, but not held ‘due to insufficient evidence’. Trial by jury, habeas corpus, and all that lovely ‘innocent until proven guilty’ stuff was all very well for a while, but now it is destroying our society. Unfortunately, until we have an impeccable and incorruptible police force and judiciary, we can’t get rid of it.

Back to the Salts. (And if any decision was an ‘assault’ on reason, this would be one!) Apparently some good has come of all this - Mrs Salt now no longer allows the worst of her nine children (NINE? Where are we, the African jungles in the 12th century? Population control, people - this planet isn’t big enough for us all to have NINE children!) to live in the house, and apparently the family’s behaviour has improved. Some say, however, that this is the result of media scrutiny - so maybe the NZ Herald can permanently employ a photographer to stand out on the public footpath and monitor the family for the next two decades, just to ensure some peace?

Oh, and this HAD to happen - Mrs Salt's lawyer (I can’t afford a lawyer! How can people who can’t afford a house somehow afford a lawyer? Oh, I forgot - Legal Aid. We’re paying for her lawyer as well. Isn’t life grand? No, apparently they are not using Legal Aid - so WHERE is the money coming from?) indicated that they were thinking about seeking compensation for police harassment, and considering action to recover the costs of fighting the HNZ eviction. A lawyer specialising in humans rights issues (therefore costing MORE money than a normal lawyer) has also been asked to review the case. (Where have they found all this money if they are not using Legal Aid? And if it was that easy to find, why can’t they rent their own house rather than a State House?) And we all know what this liberal ‘I feel so guilty for being well-off’ lawyer will come out with.

Would anyone else like to join me in seceding?

New Zealand's (in)Justice System

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10449235

What do people have to do to be permanently removed from society?

Ask Roger Kahui, who was convicted yesterday on 26 counts stemming from his repeated rape of a Pukekohe woman in her own home - less than a year after his release from an eight year sting in prison.

Kahui (yes, related to THOSE Kahuis) had already racked up an astonishing 140 convictions, including rape and indecent assault, before appearing in court on the latest charges. And, surprise surprise, he claimed it was not rape - no, Your Honour, it was consensual. According to his statement, the ‘devil’ came out of him when he went to the woman’s home to get money to support his P habit. (What another surprise - are there any criminals left that DON'T have a P habit?) He also expressed regret for the consensual sex which he claimed to have ensued - and maybe I’m doing it wrong, because I didn’t realise that while having consensual sex with someone you have to put a pillowcase over their head, and afterwards you have to make them take a shower to remove DNA traces. How romantic.

"I'm not a rapist," he said. "I don't care about these chicks, I'm not worried about them."

This prince of a man will be up for sentencing soon, and the Crown will be asking for preventive detention with no definitive parole period. Let’s hope the presiding judge shows that he has some balls and actually gives this scum what he deserves.

Oh, and ask yourself what is more inhumane - the death penalty for repeat serious offenders, or releasing them back into society so they can inflict more pain on more people?

The only sentence which guarantees a 100% non-recidivism rate - Death. Think about it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Terror in London

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/world/europe/01britain.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article2013255.ece

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article1729043.ece

Trouble in the Mother Country - a wave of terror has narrowly been averted, but who knows what may occur in the coming days and weeks?

On Saturday June 30 two men slammed a modified SUV - modified into a bomb, that is - into Glasgow Airport’s entrance doors, less than two days after two car bombs were found in London. (Apparently Thursday night is ‘ladies night’ at Tiger Tiger, the bar outside which one of the two cars was parked - while some authorities suggest it shows the disdain of the bombers towards the supposed promiscuity of Western women, I think it is actually because they were sexually frustrated ugly bastards who couldn’t get a date because none of the women liked their beards.) The attempted attacks came almost two years after suicide bombers killed 52 people in London in the ‘Tube Bombings’ of 7/7, and amid heightened awareness of the threat which is present in today’s world. All of this coincided with the first days of Britain’s new Government, under Gordon Brown (aka ‘that Scottish Git’) - the final end of English independence. Could this have been an unknown group of English Nationalists at work to destroy the foreign government?

No. Not unless English Nationalists wear turbans and shout ‘Allah, Allah’ as they are struggling with police.

The United Kingdom is now on a critical threat level - another attack is thought to be imminent - and once again those of us in the Western world have to ask ourselves why some people in the Middle East and Islamic World hate us so much as to constantly attack civilian and metropolitan areas. What can we do about it? We can only thank our lucky stars that the people behind these attacks were rank amateurs who couldn’t follow instructions from the internet adequately enough to make the bombs go boom - which any Year 12 Chemistry or Physics student here would be able to manage within half an hour.

Interestingly enough, none of the five who have been arrested for the attacks so far are British citizens - which is part of the reason for why MI5 and police were taken so completely by surprise. There are over 2000 British residents under surveillance to prevent or bust a home grown terror plot, but it is hard to keep an eye on every single foreigner that comes into the country.

It does make you wonder how many of the 2000 are natural born British citizens though. I can’t help but think back to Omar Khyam, who went on trial while I was over in London at the start of the year for planning to kill thousands of people with a 590kg fertiliser bomb in a shopping mall or a nightclub. He, apparently, was British born, yet that did not stop him from taking full advantage of the benefits free society had to offer, exploiting the freedoms he sought to destroy with such evil purpose, and betraying the country that gave him every advantage in life (as said by Mr Justice Astill as he sentenced Khyam and his cronies to life in prison two months ago).

Astill also spoke of the “spiral of contamination” which began with “the teachers and preachers of hatred and revenge who so often lurk in the shadows”. And he was right. We allow fundamentalists - not just Muslims - to poison our people with hatred and bigotry, and then wonder why they want to destroy us.

Our free society is working against us. All the freedoms which we give our people are being utilised by those who hate us, and yet we pander to foreign cultures with our political correctness and unwillingness to offend anyone for any reason whatsoever. These people laugh at the notion of freedom. They willingly risk and end their own lives to bring about international traditionalist sharia law, ending all of the freedoms which we enjoy today.

The next time a Muslim woman claims the right to wear her hijab, ask yourself if non Muslim women have the freedom not to wear them in those countries. Last month Malaysia’s highest civil court ruled that Lina Joy did not have the right to convert to Christianity - and therefore prevented her from marrying, as Muslims are not permitted to marry non-Muslims unless the non-Muslim converts. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/7387C841-E8C8-455E-9AFC-5B0A132FF4CD.htm And this is in a supposedly secular country! Compare Malaysia to Iran, where you could face the death penalty for converting from Islam.

The problem is, the West still needs oil and much of it is in the Islamic world.

I actually think the oil crisis is the best thing that can happen to us, and I urge everyone out there to figure out how to create and use alternatives to oil. Not for any environmental reasons, although this would be a great side effect. Simply, if we no longer need oil, we no longer need the Middle East. And once we no longer need it, we can demand that the governments there control their people - or we won’t give them any aid. Europe needs to act now my three step programme to end the War on Terror.

I) Widen the Bosporus to at least 30 km wide (this will mean the destruction of either East or West Istanbul, and believe me as an historian I am mighty upset about that, but we’ll just have to make the sacrifice and live with it), and then either dig a 50 km canal from the Black Sea to the Baltic, or build a massive wall and keep the next 50km on the eastern side completely uninhabited and desolate, with underground microphones all around the place to detect tunnelling.

II) Ban ALL flights from the Middle East, Northern Africa and South East Asia into Europe, the UK, the Americas, Australia, and NZ - and ban anyone coming from anywhere else in the world if they have been there or were born there. (If South and Central America don’t tow the line here, then it will be a lot easier to dig a canal along the Mexican-US border, and a wall is already being built in places anyway!)

III) Accept the fact that religious freedom comes at a price - extreme fundamentalists of ANY religion will either be exiled or executed for their beliefs. We cannot live in a safe society while people within the society want to destroy it.

If Russia, China, India and other parts of the world want to remain a part of the proper world, they will have to adopt the same measures. Unfortunately our consumerist society still depends on a lot of the Third World to fuel the production of cheap and useless consumer items, so we are going to have to make a few sacrifices - and the big companies will just have to stop exploiting poor countries so that we can get cheap stuff. We have enough lowly educated people here to do all the donkey work which we normally import people from those countries to do for us (and, let’s face it, we already have more than enough over qualified taxi drivers!) - and we’ll see how the rest of the world likes living without the capitalist democratic society which we enjoy so much.

I know, I know, I should be the UN Secretary General …

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another Stolen Generation or just plain common sense?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10448242&pnum=0

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21977190-601,00.html and assorted links from this page.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/welfare-crusade-seen-as-a-land-grab/2007/06/26/1182623909300.html and other links.

This has been quite an interesting story, the first major intervention by the Australian government since the Stolen Generation days ended in 1969. (And let's not get too hung up on THAT example - we're talking about 10% of Aboriginal offspring according to some estimates (admittedly the lowest ones), all of them mixed-race rather than purely Aboriginal; but that is another debate for another time.)

Let's look at why this is all happening. Recently, a Federal government inquiry issued the Little Children are Sacred report. This was an analysis which compiled years of reports documenting sexual abuse and violence suffered by Aboriginal children throughout the Northern Territory into an account which all but forced Australian Prime Minister John Howard to announce last week that he would wrest control of remote communities from the Territory Government. (Remember that NT is NOT a state of Australia, but merely a territory; this gives the Federal government much more power to intervene than it would have in one of the six states.) Howard banned the sale of alcohol and pornography from within the affected area last week, and has now despatched members of the Australian Federal Police, supported by elements of the Australian Army, to remote parts of the Northern Territory to assess the extent of child sexual abuse and to restore law and order.

Some indigenous families, however, are reported to be fleeing their homes and taking refuge in the bush because of fears their children could be removed. According to Howard, “The whole object of the exercise is to help people, to protect people, to secure people, to reassure people ... It's got nothing to do with the election, it's got nothing to do with politics, it's got everything to do with caring for indigenous children and I don't really care what other people say about our motives, our motives are correct”. Various white professional-class liberals who should know better have been generating all kinds of scaremongering accusations, abetting the conspiracy theories of a small number of Aboriginals who believe that the Australian government want to steal their children and their desert. 90 welfare and indigenous organisations released a statement attacking the Howard Government's plan as a smokescreen to hide a land grab. Pat Turner, a former head of the now-defunct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, warned that "We believe that this Government is using child sexual abuse as the Trojan horse to resume total control of our lands."

However, the Australian Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has assured Aboriginal parents in NT that children will neither be forcibly removed nor subjected to medical testing without their permission. "The health checks for children are just part of helping make these communities safe and to have better lives in a civil society," he told The Australian. The penalty for non-involvement would be similar to refusal to participate in child immunisation - a modest reduction of welfare payments.
One of the settlements being targetted is that of Mutitjulu, near Ayers Rock / Uluru. Community leader Bob Randall said the townspeople would welcome anybody who will make things better, seemingly concurring with the comments of Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough, who defended the government's drastic action by telling the Ten Network: "Tonight, tomorrow night, and the next night, kids could look forward to more hell. Well now we hope we can break that cycle ... Yes we know this is far reaching and interventionist -- but nothing else has worked till now."

On the other side of the rabbit-proof fence, Harry Wilson, a local resident, proclaims that this is another Tampa-like electioneering stunt, saying that this was "black children overboard … this Government is using these kids to win the election". His words echoed a joke drily recounted earlier to the Herald by one local official that the Prime Minister, John Howard, the magician politician, has pulled a rabbit out of his hat. "Only it is a black rabbit." Some locals question how much this action is to do with alleged abuses and problems - some of which they recognise, though they say they are now in the past - and how much relates to their proximity to the huge rock representing some of the richest tourist geology on the planet. "That bloody rock," observes one old woman, is the problem. Every day, to enter or leave their community, the people of Mutitjulu pass the parading silhouettes of the minga - literally ants but colloquially tourists - filing up and down Uluru. Pointing towards Uluru, Wilson asks: "As one of the poorest people living in one of the richest places in Australia - why is this community relying on government handouts?"

Meanwhile, at Cape York Institute's Strong Foundations conference, visiting academics and local figures have also been throwing their two cents worth into the mix. Leading US civil rights campaginer, Michael Myers of the NY Civil Rights Commission, has advised Aborigines to abandon their land and assimilate into the mainstream to escape their impoverished conditions. He said that indigenous cultures were an antiquated concept and Aborigines needed to move away from the land if they were to improve their lives. "People have to move out of their ghettoised attitudes, get away from the idea that people belong in certain lands." Mr Meyers said white Australians were threatening towards Aborigines and race relations were at least half a century behind the US. "It's like Australia is in the 50s compared to America," he said. "I've noticed that there is reticence and fear on the part of indigenous people in how they interact with white Australians. There is also an arrogance and intimidation on the part of white Australians towards indigenous people. There is very little opportunity for genuine interaction… I find it profoundly disturbing that we are still living in a world that we still think of people as indigenous."

Ken Henry, Secretary of the Treasury, blames decades of misguided government welfare schemes for consigning many Australians, especially Aborigines, “to a life of economic and social exclusion.” He said that the welfare system had discouraged recipients from seeking work that could lift them out of poverty. He suggested the creation of a system that encouraged people to leave home to find work if there were no opportunities in their community. Dr Henry said a couple with three young children could access about $36,500 a year in income support payments and family tax benefit without working. "The level of income support can discourage people from entering the workforce. The higher the base income support payment, the less likely it is that a person will enter or re-enter work after they become unemployed." He added that passive welfare had done little to encourage people, particularly young people, to embrace education. Achieving better results, he said, meant ensuring Australia had a welfare system that rewarded work and study above a life of "passivity and dependence".

Australia's opposition leader Mr Kevin Rudd said an important part of Labor’s Pearson reform plan for welfare was ensuring indigenous children attended school. This involved establishing a Family Responsibilities Commission, whose membership included local community elders and had the power to warn parents who were not sending their children to school. If that warning was ignored, it could "redirect" welfare payments to the person who was actually caring for the children.

Much of this seems to have been inspired by the comments of US poverty expert Lawrence Mead, head of politics at New York University, who told the conference yesterday that the welfare policies of the 1960s and 70s in the US had led to an increase in crime, a breakdown of families and made sections of society dependent on the dole. A reversal of these policies in the 1990s, the enforcement of existing laws and the restoration of the family had been the best way to tackle long-term poverty, he said.

Mr Mead said that "You need explicit policies to enforce work and restore the family. Dependency happens when parents do two things - first, have children outside of marriage, and second, when the men decline to support the family by working regularly. In America, research has shown it was not lack of jobs or childcare that kept people out of the workforce, but that welfare itself discouraged people from working. That's one reason why welfare and other societal problems such as crime all got much worse in the 1960s and 1970s. Since the 1980s, law enforcement has improved, and we've seen a recovery of order in American cities."

Professor Mead also said the best way to end welfare dependence was to let poor people know they were required to work. He claimed that the main reason long-term unemployment fell in the US was because people were told it was no longer acceptable to live on welfare. Mead's comments were echoed by the Young Australian of the Year, Tania Major, who said passive welfare, violence and government inaction had so ravaged indigenous communities on Cape York they were on the verge of collapse. Ms Major said sexual abuse, violence and alcoholism was now endemic on Cape York, and many communities would not recover unless they restored respect for their elders and improved educational opportunities. "We need positive social norms, which do not tolerate excessive drinking, which assume school attendance is compulsory, which condemn sexual and any other form of abuse," she said. Young people on the Cape grew up without educational or employment opportunities, were reliant on welfare and lived in communities that gave little hope. "The idea that Aboriginal people will die prematurely from diabetes and other preventable diseases, the idea that suicide is just a part of everyday living, the idea that excessive drinking is normal and necessary to prove one's blackness - these are the ideas that now underpin the identity of too many young indigenous people," Ms Major said.

Personally, my views are simple. The less government intervention in people's lives, the better. BUT if those people are dependent upon the government, and accepting welfare payments which are earned by the sweat on the brow of the honest hard working average citizens, then there should be some requirement that they do something for it. Nothing comes for free. If you take money from the government, then that same government is perfectly within its rights to investigate how it is being used. Remember, this thing isn't JUST about health checks on children. The Federal Government has put a six month ban on alcohol and pornography in place in the affected areas as well. And just as well. If these people have enough money to spend on grog and porn then they are obviously being 'paid' too much by the state.

Oh, and don't throw this whole 'cultural practice' thing at me. Cannibalism used to be a cultural practice just about everywhere in the world, but now its a crime and you can't do it. Full stop. I'm sure in some cultures, and not just in the Appalachians, it was once a cultural norm to ensure that your daughter or sister didn't go to her wedding bed without being 'broken in', but we're past that now too. It was once 'cultural' to hang or burn people that believed something a little different from you, or happened to be pretty hand with herbal remedies. Cultures are only alive if they move on and stay in touch with modern changes - otherwise they are dead, and therefore worthless.

I'll be watching developments with some interest.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

16 years old: can't choose food, can choose government

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10447064

With apologies to the late Johnny Cash (RIP), but no apologies to Ms Bradford - why does God only take the good ones?

A Karl Goddard original, "Sue"

She's got a mental age of somewhere round three
And she seems to have fallen out of her tree
'Cause she crazier than anyone I ever knew.
Now, I don't blame her 'cause she's raving mad
I just wish she got the help that she could have had
Before the Greens went and hand picked dear old "Sue."

Well, she must of thought it was quite a joke
As she got the doobie and took-another toke,
That she could be in Parliament before the year was through.
And October came, and we went out to vote
And I don't recall, but I didn't note
That anyone even voted for the MP named "Sue."

Well, it was Helengrad in mid-July
And we couldn't hit our kids and make them cry,
Because of Bradford's law that was still new.
And I guess she missed, seeing her name
On the front pages, so she had to claim
That yet another bill was being drafted by "Sue."

She thought to herself "When I was 16,
Back before I even heard of the Greens,
Back in the days when Social Credit was new,
And I was out of piss, and I was out of weed
And I couldn't smoke but I sure could breed
Well, voting would have been real cool to do.

"So if 16 year olds had an education,
Then surely they could run this nation
And couldn't do much worse than those who do."
But that was then, and this is now,
And 16 year olds can't even choose their chow
But she'll get them the vote, sure as her name's "Sue".

And I wish that I lived in Wellington
And had me a real nice shiny gun,
So I could practice 'til I always hit bulls-eye.
And I'd wait outside with some aggression,
Until she left a Parli-ment'ry session
And I'd say: "Your name is 'Sue!' How do you do! Now you're gonna die!!"

Cause I'm getting sick of all Parliament's shit
With un-elected MPs running it
And trying to tell the rest of us just what to do.
And I can tell you, if she were to die,
I'd laugh so much I'd start to cry
And thank the Lord that He saved us all from "Sue.'"

But don't despair, ladies and gents,
For this country of ours ain't quite yet spent,
There's an election next year, in case you never knew.
And if we're really smart, and we're really wise
And we just vote for all the right wing guys
Then the Greens will be out and we won't have to worry 'bout "Sue".

And she can crawl back into the hole she came from, too.



Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Sue Bradford? To reiterate - I'm in a locked room, with a revolver, six bullets, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Fidel Castro, and Sue Bradford; who do I shoot? That's right. Sue Bradford, six times. Then I'll probably club her head in just to make sure.

Seriously though, as much as I hate democracy, I've got to admit that Sue Bradford, just by being in Parliament, helps my cause more every day than a highly trained force of 500 paramiltaries could ever hope to help by staging a coup and inviting me to be the 'interim' leader. The more she opens her mouth, the more our people will realise that NZ democracy is not only a crock, it's also anti-democratic. Any system of government which has people within it who have not been directly elected by the people is, by its very nature, not a democracy. If we are going to harp on about the 'virtues' of democracy, maybe we should actually have one first? Otherwise, lets all just install me as the head of a totalitarian state and I can tell you what to do, instead of us letting Sue do it all the time. At the risk of sounding big headed, I could hardly do any worse!

16 years old! From my recollection of being a 16 year old, I can tell you who I'd have voted for. Katherine Rich, every time. Not because she's in National. No. Because that fox is a real honey-pot!

Case closed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bush is best in Albania

Don't you love Albania?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/world/europe/11prexy.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

George Bush certainly does. This may be the only country in the world where George 'Dubya' Bush’s popularity is higher than Bill Clinton was at college. They have a 21 gun salute for him, crowds gather dressed in big tall Uncle Sam hats, and waving American flags, chanting “BOOSH-Y! BOOSH-Y!”, and turning the presidential visit into “a virtual mosh pit” according to the New York Times. Hands grabbing for him, women kissing him, men trying to kiss him - Bush is a rock star! Did I mention that this country has a Muslim majority?

Why is he so popular here?

Mainly, Bush wants what Albania wants - an independent Kosovo. The Russians and Serbs et al oppose this, but the UN is considering an independence plan and Bush thinks it is a good idea (and so do I, by the way). Oh yeah, that reminds me:

Several days ago - Bush: “At some point in time, sooner rather than later, you’ve got to say, ‘Enough is enough — Kosovo is independent,’ ”

Saturday, Bush: “In terms of a deadline, there needs to be one. It needs to happen.”

Sunday, Bush: “First of all, I don’t think I called for a deadline,”

The press remind him of what he said the previous day.

Bush: “I did? What exactly did I say? I said deadline? O.K., yes, then I meant what I said.”

The reporters laugh.


Here’s another reason, according to the NYTimes - “This largely Muslim country, population 3.6 million, is just the kind of nation Mr. Bush likes best: a nascent democracy whose history includes a dramatic break with totalitarian rule.”


Albania has THREE postage stamps featuring Bush (more than the USA, I believe), and the street in front of Parliament has been named after him.

Oh, and here’s why Bush REALLY loves Albania:

“U.S.A. have the right and responsibility for all the world to protect the freedom,” said Ilir Lam├že, 37, a financial analyst who was among those waiting for Mr. Bush, using English to express the views of many. “This is the right war.”

Sami Berisha, who drove seven hours from Kosovo to see Mr. Bush, said he could not understand anyone who would take part in a protest against the president. “I think these are crazy people,” said Mr. Berisha… “because democracy begins in America.”

Sadly, there are no direct flights between Auckland and Tirana - so I guess I won’t be going to God’s Other Country just yet …

Should suicide be encouraged in prisons?

"Let mass murderer take his life: euthanasia advocate"
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10444869
(NZH Monday June 11)

Martin Bryant is in the news again; this is the guy who supposedly killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, back in 1995 - although check out this theory by that fantastic conspiracy magazine Nexus, which I regularly read and occasionally adhere to:

http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/MartinBryant1.html.

Apparently he’s attempted suicide five times since he’s been imprisoned - fair enough, he’s never going to get out of prison so what does he have to live for?

Leading euthanasia spokesperson Dr Philip Nitschke reckons Bryant should just be allowed to go for it and top himself - and I agree with the guy.

Actually, I think anyone weak, selfish or stupid enough to kill themselves should be allowed to do it. What says ‘Loser’ any worse than failing after an overdose, or not quite hanging yourself correctly? Its not like there’s a shortage of people on the planet.

In fact, I’d go a step further than this. Repeat offenders in prison for serious crimes (murder, aggravated assault, rape etc) should be ENCOURAGED to top themselves - think of how much money the state would save in prison accommodation, not to mention further trials etc when they eventually get out and then break the law again. I mean, rehabilitation doesn’t seem to work for most of our inmates - because they have it so much easier on the inside, so of course they can’t wait to get back in! All you need is for someone to go into their cell and say “look, mate, there’s no Sky TV anymore, no internet, you have to pay to use the gym or get a degree by correspondence, you’ll be eating porridge for the next five years and big Bubba over here will be sharing your cell. On the other hand, here’s a nice shiny pill which will get you out of it all. By the way, your wife has found out about your pen-pal “girlfriend” and they’re both pretty pissed off.” Easy peasy lemon squeezy. (Ah, remember the old days when you could say ‘Japanesey’ and it wasn’t racist?)

I wish I was Minister of Prisons …

Monday, June 11, 2007

Anderton no closer to retirement ...

"Anderton in no hurry to join exodus" (NZH)

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10444779
(New Zealand Herald, Monday June 11)

Jim “I’m so cool I had a party named after me” Anderton, who turns 70 in six months time, seems likely to stay in Parliament for at least another term yet. The former Labour Party President, who entered Parliament as a Labour MP in 1984 for Sydenham and has retained the now renamed seat of Wigram since then, is a dead cert for another term if he chooses to run again. This man is a legend. Okay, he’s awfully left wing but that doesn’t mean you can’t like the bloke. He has more class than a secondary school. So far he has belonged to five political parties - Labour, New Labour, the Alliance, Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition, and now the Progressive Party. What other NZ politician can you name who has had a political party named after himself? Even Winston Peters has to make do with the NZ First Party, as the Winston First Party was not well received.

I have a great affinity for Jim. Again, leave aside the whole left wing thing and hear me out. He’s a qualified teacher, like I am. He’s a Catholic, as I am. (Well, I’m more of a Unitarian Universalist these days but I’m banking on the baptism and First Communion to get me through if I’m wrong about other things.) He was born in Auckland, just like me. He loves cricket, ditto, and Canterbury, ditto. Plus we both know my father - Dad ran for Parliament in 1990 on the New Labour ticket and Jim and his wife Carole came over to our place in Rotorua for dinner one night several weeks before the election.

I have one question for Jim Anderton.

Why not just accept the fact that you are part of the Labour Party again and get rid of this one-man party you have?

Of course, you get a tonne more money for being a party leader in Parliament than for just being a party member, but Jim has never been about the money.

Let’s face it, Labour has re-branded itself back to somewhere near the left-centre position it used to hold, and Jim has never been that far left of centre himself, apart from on monetarist policy. There is not a lot of difference between the two parties, and Jim seems pretty comfortable in Cabinet - he was even Deputy Prime Minister for a while there, and currently holds a number of portfolios.

So, come on Jim - by all means, stay in Parliament another few terms (although, are there ANY other MPs in today’s Parliament who were born BEFORE WWII broke out?). But do the voters and taxpayers a favour by calling it a day on the minor party (which has never polled above 2% and only ever gets any support when Jim puts his name in front of it) and going back to your spiritual home - even if it is the dwelling place of the devil.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Greens: "Cut power prices to aid poor" - Yeah Right!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10443640

I don't know why I continue to be surprised by what the Green Party says. They have moved so far away from their traditional roots that they might as well change their name - although no one will vote for the 'Lazy Bums on Welfare' Party.
Cheap power means more power will be used - this will mean that more power needs to be generated - which means the Huntly coal station will be needed - which will pump more CO2 into the air - which is bad. So we give the poor cheap power, or else the Greens will complain; then the Greens complain about the pollution caused by this.
I'm unclear as to whether The Green Party knows what it wants.

The article starts by suggesting "an electricity pricing scheme... so families on tight budgets can afford basic power needs."

Three paragraphs later, it describes "a progressive pricing scheme would give every household a basic block of power units at a low cost each month.
Progressively higher prices could be charged for subsequent blocks of units".

I'm all for the second idea - for ALL households. As a middle class NZer I am extremely sick and exceedingly tired of being expected to pay more and more so that others can become more and more dependent. Why SHOULD I have to pay for someone else's power? So they can play PS3 all day while I'm working? How pathetic.

According to Jeanette 'I've been cooped up in an office with Sue Bradford for so long that I've forgotten what I really stand for' Fitzsimons, "This is a way of making sure households can afford the energy they need to cover their basic needs, but pay more for luxuries or wastage. So if you're using electricity to heat spa pools or have an enormous house with every room heated, or leave lights on all night, then you pay a higher price for that power." That makes sense. Perfect sense. She goes on to explain that "progressive pricing would help people on budgets, such as pensioners, because they could better manage their power use, reducing it when nearing the limit. She said the main cost increase for a large household was in water heating, which could be mitigated by measures such as having children share bath water." Okay, getting close to unhealthy touching issues in later life here but we can ignore that.

The problem I foresee is this - we have a lot of 'poor' families at the school at which I work. I can tell that this is the case because of the number of kids that can't afford to pay their school donation (but it isn't compulsary so it doesn't matter), or to buy a uniform (but we have a 'special fund' to pay for those kids), or to buy school shoes (but we have free shoes for those who can't afford them) or stationary (but we have free stationary for them as well). Many, not all, but many of these kids CAN afford to buy lunch every other day (when I was a kid we bought lunch once a year - on our birthday - and boy did it suck if your birthday was on a weekend!), and wear designer clothing (in violation of the uniform code, for not wearing the uniform they could not afford), and have flash cell phones and MP3 players which shouldn't be at school anyway. Many, not all, but many talk about watching things on Sky, which I can't afford, and playing games on PS3, which I can't afford. Many, not all, but many need to be reminded to turn lights and other appliances off when they leave the classroom. You see Jeanette, this progressive pricing scheme would be great for me, because I try to conserve power. A lot of these families use a hell of a lot more power than you think they do - so this is actually counter productive.

It's okay, go and sit in the nice green room and listen to the tui birdsong you have on CD until you are calm. Just try not to think about how much power the CD player may be using.

Let's face it, the Green MPs need to leave their comfy Beehive chairs, look out over their six-figure salaries and realise that middle NZ is not as rich as they are.
Here's a new idea - why doesn't the Green Party pay for the power bills of the poor. It can come out of their membership dues.

That way, we'll either get rid of the problem of power bills for the poor - or we'll get rid of the Green Party.

Talk about win-win.

Definitely not "Black" power

The sad Muliaga saga goes from bad to worse.

If you've just crawled out from under a rock and missed it, in May (2007) Mercury Energy sent a contractor to cut the power at the Auckland home of Folole Muliaga, a mother of four, after her family fell $168.40 behind in its bill payments. Without power, an electric pump supplying Muliaga's oxygen stopped; she died shortly afterwards.

Now the family spokesperson, Brenden 'oh why was I cursed with a white skin?' Sheehan is accusing the police of racism because they had the nerve to interview the family in English!

What????

How long have these people been in NZ?

As far as I'm aware, the only foreigners allowed in NZ without passing an English test are those with more than five million dollars to invest in the country - and if the Muliaga's were in this category, I REALLY hope their investment advisor has found another calling.

According to the article (http://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?l=3&t=0&id=2313) the family have been here six years. Well, I think about it like this - in NZ, you can start learning a language in Year 9, and sit Level 3 NCEA in that language in Year 13, by which time you are proficient in that language - after speaking it one hour a day, often less than five days a week, for five years of between 35-40 weeks each.

So the Muliaga family is either a) academically challenged, or b) lazy. If I went to live in France, I'd learn to speak French. If I moved to Germany, I'd learn German. Samoa, I'd learn to speak Samoan. And I'd hope that after two years of speaking French, or German, or Samoan non stop, that I'd be pretty fluent. My sister spent a year in Italy on an AFS exchange, and came back pretty fluent in Italian despite having known almost nothing before she went.

So Brenden, whose fault is it that they are not able to speak English? Probably the white middle class's fault - everything else seems to be. Maybe we need to make it compulsary for all the palagis to learn Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Tuvualuan - oh, not to mention Maori, of course.

Isn't this guy a union organiser or something? Seems to me that he knows an awful lot about stirring the pot anyway. Here's a great quote that sums it all up for us: "These people are victims. What hope has any brown person got if they are a suspect in a case in this country?" Notice the word 'brown'. HE is making this a racial issue. No one else is. Funny how the first person to use the race card is usually complaining about something.

Oh yeah, whatever happened to 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do?' If women from NZ go to Iran, they put on a head scarf - because that's what you do over there. They don't go to a Christian mass - because if you do that in Iran, you can be executed. So we respect other people's cultures in other people's countries. In Samoa, we'd respect Samoan tradition.

I just looked on a map. Yes, just as I thought. Samoa is NOT New Zealand. The Muliaga's were happy enough to move here for the better lifestyle opportunities and the higher pay. They have to accept some kind of trade off. Imagine the chef in some high priced restaurant who is told to make an omelette, but doesn't want to break any eggs to make it. How long will that chef keep his job?

Oh, and what was this about demanding that the police stop investigating the whole incident? There is DEFINITELY something else going on here.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Gunshop worker walks free - finally!!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10444165

Our justice system makes no sense.

A guy walks into a gun shop brandishing a machete, and the guy behind the counter goes to court because he doesn’t let him steal the guns.

That’s what it comes down to.

Personally, I think ALL gun shop workers should be armed. They need an armed guard in a bullet proof booth at the front of the shop, who can pop out of the booth if and when bad guys come to rob the place.

Also, anyone who tries to rob a gun shop with a knife must have serious mental problems. It’s like turning up at a fencing tournament with a potato peeler.

The law needs to make it clear that if you choose to break the law, you are no longer covered by it. Ricky Beckham broke the law by choosing to attempt to rob the store. Greg Carvell did not break the law by taking reasonable precautions to protect the community.

This is not some dairy operator with a shotgun under the counter, pulling the weapon out and blasting the homies who are shoplifting his coke cans. Coke cans don’t kill people (unless thrown at extreme velocity or from an overbridge), so usually the theft of coke cans is not an endangerment to the community.

This is a gun store. They sell guns. And while we all know that guns don’t kill people (people with guns kill people, people without guns kill people, so no people = no people getting killed! It’s like the saying - aborted foetuses don’t kill people; Unaborted foetuses kill people!), guns in the wrong hands certainly lead to an increase in community endangerment. Here‘s a fantastic quote from the man himself about why he should be armed: "It can be a dangerous place, a gun shop. There are a lot of desirable things for undesirable people."

Give Greg Carvell a bravery medal for having the guts to shoot a criminal before he can kill his co-worker, not to mention he himself.

And give the cops the address of the nearest Black Power house and let them do something useful with their time rather than trying to prosecute good honest citizens.

Climate change, man-made or not - we still need to take action, and fast!!!

http://environment.independent.co.uk/climate_change/article2617440.ece

Apparently scientists are concerned that 300 glaciers in Antarctica have begun to move more quickly into the ocean. They believe that the accelerated movement of glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula (up 12% on previous years) reveals that rising temperatures are causing glaciers as far apart as Alaska, Greenland and now Antarctica to break up and slip into the ocean at a faster rate than expected. Sea levels are now predicted to rise between 20 and 43 cm over the rest of the century.

I'm not one to point the finger at key allies and the defenders of Western Civilisation, but US manufacturers really need to come to the party on this. However, there are some basic things that we can all do to promote climate change action.

Number one, get out of your cars and use public transport! Imagine it - a 50c per litre tax for personal and business use of motor vehicles, and a 50c per litre subsidy for buses. More buses, more often, more networked to the train ... um ... network.

Number two, boycott anything made in the USA and China.

Not that I have anything against the Americans or the Chinese people per se. Obviously their government is a heartless, godless, communist/capitalist hybrid and secretly I wish I were in charge. (Not to mention China! Just kidding Georgie - you know I'm your biggest fan.) The US is constantly attacked for its environmental record - and Bush is actually trying to do something (although it is nowhere near good enough yet). But according to their recent climate change plan, China's "first and overriding priority" is economic development.

Think about it. According to Greenpeace (which usually tends to inflate figures as a general rule but these happen to be the only figures available from non government sources) China is the world's biggest driver of rainforest destruction, by a long shot. China has the world's largest timber trade, but they are not encouraging sustainable logging - I have no problem with logging as long as you plant 6 trees for every five you cut down. But China's economic development seems to be sucking in more and more of the earth's natural resources, at a time when we are becoming more and more aware of their scarcity. Apparently (according to the International Tropical Timber Organisation) almost five out of every 10 tropical hardwood logs shipped from the world's threatened rainforests are now heading for China. China, heavily dependent upon coal generated power, is about to overtake the USA as the world's leading greenhouse gas emitter - es, and thus become the biggest contributors to global warming and the destabilisation of the climate. If they remain uncontrolled, the growth of China's carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years will dwarf any cuts in CO2 that the rest of the world can make.

Second, China already has 1.3 billion people, and an economic growth rate of 8% pa. If current increases continue, by 2031 China's population is likely to be 1.45 billion and the average income will be equivalent to that of the US today. China's grain consumption will be two-thirds of the current grain consumption for the entire world. By 2031, the Chinese will be consuming 99 million barrels a day - and the whole world is currently producing 84 million barrels a day. Twice as much paper as is being produced in the entire world today will be consumed by this future society, if current rates continue. If only every 2nd person has a car (and it is more likely to be closer to three out of every four), the Chinese will have a fleet of 800 million cars - this is how many there are currently in the entire world. To drive them all, they will need more roads - about the same area of land as they currently have planted with rice.

Already, five of the 10 most polluted cities worldwide are in China; acid rain is falling on one-third of the country; half of the water in its seven largest rivers is unusable for any purpose; a quarter of China's citizens lack access to clean drinking water; and one-third of the urban population is breathing polluted air. This will magnify exponentially in the next 25 years.

Now think about this - by 2031 China will have the world's second largest population. India will be larger - and we need to think about boycotting its industry as well, for similar reasons.

Quite frankly, the current Western industrialised model just will not work if the entire world does it - it is not sustainable now, and it only involves less than 1 billion people.

I'm not saying we should all run to the hills, abandon the cities and become peasant farmers (aka the Khmer Rouge model of sustainability). I have faith that our scientists and engineers will come up with something, provided that the reactionary busy bodies let them be.

It is obvious, though, that we need to move away entirely from the fossil-fuel, throw-away consumer economy based on personal automobiles, and towards a more sustainable 'renewable, reuse and recycle' economy based on a diversified public transport system. If we do not, we will be dead. And I'm not talking about next century or even the next generation. I'm talking about us. Right here, right now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Putin says new arms race is on

Maybe I should post links for these stories ...

http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=21832

Apparently Vlad 'The Impaler' Putin has got his knickers in a twist about the US plan to deploy missiles in Poland and stations for the new missile defence system in the Czech Republic - both former Iron Curtain countries and one time Soviet satellite states. So he's threatening to point missiles at European cities in retaliation.

If I were the US, I wouldn't care - Europe spoke volumes about how much it dislikes the US global stance when it refused to get involved in Iraq.

Anyway, after almost two decades it'd be nice to have an enemy we can actually find ...

Greens 'sitting on fence' ... Newsflash!

Yes, my favourite party of all time (right up there with the Screaming Meemies) has had a conference over Queen's Birthday weekend (how typical - no long weekend for you plonkers, off to the party conference!) and decided to sit on the fence.

I wonder if any one has told them that the only thing you ever get from sitting on the fence is splinters up the jacksie?

Closer examination reveals that they will work with the party most in sync with their views on the environment and the poor - which counts National out because they actually want to make some poor people work for a living, God forbid! (And since when were 'the poor' environmentally friendly any way?)

Does anyone else miss FPP? It wasn't perfect but at least the Greens wouldn't be in Parliament ... neither would Winston 'Hmm, polls are low, where's some immigrants to slag off?' Peters - sounds like a win-win.

Of course we'd still have Jim 'What party am I in this time?' Anderton, Peter 'Which party have I merged with this time?' Dunne and Rodney 'Bulldog' Hide (not to mention Hone 'I can't be racist, I'm Maori' Tarawira, Tariana 'I'll say holocaust when I want, thank you very much' Turia, Pita 'if I spell it with an i and an a it looks more Maori' Sharples et al) but at least they all got in legitimately.

MMP? More Morons in Parliament.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"G-8 protests turn violent" - surprise!

Trying to find a link to this article ... I can't find the USA Today article but here is a reprint of it :

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/45514/protests-for-g8-summit-turned-out-to-violence.html

This headline from USA Today - "G-8 protests turn violent" - really made me laugh.

It's like some fat guy sitting at McDonalds, eating his third Big Mac, turning to his buddy and saying 'This stuff is fattening?'

Here's another way of putting this - imagine the headline "People breathe". No shit.

I'm waiting for a non-violent G8 protest.

I feel kind of sorry for the long haired hippy peaceniks who organise these things. They think people can just come along and responsibly exercise their democratic right to express their opinion in a peaceful march. All power to them.

Of course that lasts all of 60 seconds before the neo-socialists, crypto-communists, anti-capitalists, anti-globalists, sleeper-agent terrorists (aka "asylum seekers"), anarchists and the lunatic fringe of the Wild Greens take over, and start throwing cobblestones.

Have they ever stopped to think that if they DIDN'T protest, maybe the G8 summits would achieve more? And maybe the millions of dollars spent in security and repairing property damage could be better spent on helping Africa sort itself out.

According to USAToday:

"It was an unruly start to what is expected to be a week of rallies against the three-day G-8 summit beginning Wednesday in the fenced-off coastal resort of Heiligendamm, 14 miles from Rostock.

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host the leaders of Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Russia, Canada and the U.S. for discussions on global warming, aid to Africa and the global economy. The summit, like past ones, is attracting protesters opposed to capitalism, globalization, the war in Iraq and the G-8 itself...
The protest was organized by several dozen groups under the motto "another world is possible.

" 'The world shaped by the dominance of the G-8 is a world of war, hunger, social divisions, environmental destruction and barriers against migrants and refugees'," organizers said in leaflets handed out on the streets...

"Police put the size of the demonstration at 25,000, while organizers said it was 80,000...

Some 146 police were hurt, 25 of them seriously. Police said they made 17 arrests."


Here's my two cents to sense - what's WRONG with globalisation? Almost all the problems in this world stem from the fact that we're all so different. It strikes me as ridiculous that the same people who bleat and whinge and moan about how we're supposedly all equal then turn around and say globalisation is evil - if we can create one world, with one economy, and freedom and justice for all, then where is the problem?

The problem with globalisation is that, instead of levelling the playing field like it was supposed to, it has lowered it. Who would have thought that the Third World governments would opt to keep their low rates of pay and standards of living in order to lure Western companies to relocate in favour of wages at a fraction of what they pay here, corrupt safety inspectors, and lax or non-existent regulations governing the factory floor? You can't blame the companies or their boards of directors - they are in it to make money for their share holders and investors. How about the UN get off its butt and do something constructive - an international, global minimum wage, and an international commission to ensure health and safety regulations are observed in all countries. Of course it won't, because we all know the UN is run by the hand-picked appointees of the corrupt Third World governments.

Wouldn't it be nice if we actually WERE all equal?

Mind you, if we were all equal then I'd be just as likely to win the next Olympic gold in the 100m sprints as Asafa Powell of Jamaica (the current world record holder - 9.77 seconds). See you at the finish line.

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