Sunday, March 31, 2013

Another ban from the statist Nats

If you were a foreigner visiting New Zealand and you asked an ordinary Kiwi what side of the spectrum the National Party was on, you'd hopefully be told they're for less government, and lower taxes, and individual responsibility ovcer state control. 

And if you were this same foreigner watching the news unfold today, you'd swear the person who told you that was a liar.

JESSICA I want to start off by asking you your predecessor in a speech, Phil Heatley, said, 'I'm determined to ensure the mining sector is not hampered by unsafe protest actions by a small but vocal minority.' You've been working on this since taking over. What are protesters in for?
 
SIMON So, that's right. So we are acting, and so two offences are going to be put into the Crown Minerals Bill. Look, the first of those is truly criminal offence. Effectively, what it says is that it will be stopping people out there at deep sea, in rough waters, dangerous conditions, doing dangerous acts, damaging and interfering with legitimate business interests with ships, for example, seismic ships, and what they're doing out there.

JESSICA These seem like very harsh penalties. Are you basically cracking down on protesters?
 
SIMON Look, I don't think so at all. This is not about stopping legitimate democratic protest. 
 
JESSICA But just not at sea?
 
SIMON Well, no, they still can, but the issue here is we are clamping down on what I think should be seen as properly dangerous, actually reckless, criminal behaviour-
 
JESSICA Don't we have the right to protest, though?
 
SIMON that's getting in the way of what someone else is legitimately doing.
 
JESSICA Don't we have a right to protest, though?
 
SIMON Absolutely, and properly viewed-
 
JESSICA Aren't we making it more difficult for people to do that?
 
SIMON No, I don't think so at all. There are a variety, a plethora of ways that people can protest in this country. As I say, if you have a beef with a particular minerals or oil and gas company, you can do it outside their front door. You can do it anywhere in New Zealand. Actually, you can still do it in the Exclusive Economic Zone, but what you can't do is out in these rough, choppy seas, as we have seen protesters do in relation to Petrobras in this country, go out there and suit yourself in the freezing waters in front of these ships - massive ships, small vessels, exceptionally dangerous. And I don't think-

SIMON Frankly, what's it about is stopping people trying to stop other people going about their lawful business after they have got a permit, gone through the hassle involved with that and are doing something that actually is in the interests of New Zealanders.
 
JESSICA Isn't this just about putting commercial interests, though, ahead of the rights of New Zealanders? We saw this- the Government doing this with The Hobbit as well.
 
SIMON No, I don't think so at all. Look, I think what you're seeing is a desire to ensure that really reckless, dangerous acts out hundreds of miles from the shore don't happen. I don't think it's on. I don't think most New Zealanders would think it on. They'd agree with me, I think, that it should be treated as criminal behaviour.
 
JESSICA Don't you think a lot of New Zealanders would agree, though, that people have a right to protest? Even if I'm not out there with a placard, you still support people's right to be able to do it.
 
SIMON Absolutely, and I think, you know, that goes to the heart of being a democracy. I believe that passionately. My point is there are a huge variety of ways which New Zealanders can protest about anything. I would never want to stop that, but what they can't do is dangerously, recklessly interfere with other people's rights to go about their business.

Oh, so it's simply about stopping dangerous protest out at Sea?  Bullshit.  Firstly, they're not "hundreds of miles from the shore", because if they were, New Zealand law wouldn't apply.  They are less than 12 miles out.

Second, is Mr Crown Prosecutor proposing a law that essentially protects people from themselves?  I bloody well hope not.

Finally, he mentions the word "plethora" quite often in this interview.  That's handy, because there is a plethora of laws already in existence that can be used where people endanger others, whether at sea or on land.  I'm sure a fancy Crown Prosecutor can get Crown Law to look them up for him.  I'm also sure a fancy Crown Prosecutor will get advice from the Attorney-General on whether this law is inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.  I'm looking forward to seeing that advice.

I thought his ban on magnets was bad enough.  It seems that was just an entree.

God help us this Easter. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Rolf Rested?

A prominent eighty-two year old Australian entertainier who lives in Berkshire has been arrested on child molestation charges. (There aren't too many of those.)  He is to appear in court in May.

How sad.  What a hell of a thing for an old man to endure, one who has entertained millions with his mastery of impromptu painting and many other facets of entertainment.

Maybe a few years ago he tied one to many kangaroos down.  Who knows?

I hope he's found not guilty of what ever it is.  However, if he is found guilty, then like anyone else, he has to front up and take his medicine.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Unfortunate Headline........

.....from TVNZ:-.

Ryder does not have brain damage, team-mates told


For some year now Adolf has suspeted Ryder suffered from brain damage.  One of the symptoms of such damage is the habitual repetition of something you know will kill off your career.  In other words, a lack of discipline.  Here is the classic synptom.

Police believe Ryder was attacked twice outside a bar in Papanui Road last night,

I'm left wondering what he said which gave rise to the assault.  A bit too much brain dead lip, perhaps?

Yes, the pricks who bashed him up should be taken out and flogged before being shot but Ryder is his own worst enemy.

I wish this story were a hoax, but it doesn't seem to be


Woman fired after outing men's comments

In brief: female IT conference attendee hears men sitting behind her make cringeworthy jokes about "forking" and "big dongles," so takes a photo of them and tweets it asking fellow conference attendees to set them straight about what kinds of things you're allowed to say at such a conference.  Her company fires her for inappropriate behaviour, and one the men is also fired for inappropriate behaviour, for making the jokes.

It's like every clause in the sentences of the above paragraph features a different flavour of stupid.  I would feel so much better about the world if this story turned out to be an elaborate hoax, but it seems genuine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Poll Perlunge

In the continuing Comedy From Canberra, Australian voters have rewarded the Gangster's Moll for her party's record breaking performance last week during which it failed to organise a decent crap at the sewerage farm.

Newspoll has the Coalition at 50% and Labour at 30%.  That means even some of the glued on tribal loons of a fortnight ago have come unstuck and deserted the ship full of rats.

There will not be enough room in the House of Representatives for all Coalition MPs to sit on the Government benches if the September 14 election repeats the results of an opinion poll out today.



It appears yesterday's reshuffle has produced a cabinet of nobodies.  Yet another brilliant Gillard strategy, unrecognized by the commneratti.   When the shit hits the fan, as it must, Nobody will be responsible.

THAT IS NO SURPRISE

EQC has had a massive privacy breach,

Well colour me astounded.

When the seismic events struck CHCH EQC had a staff of a few clerks who accumulated funds from insurance levies and invested them as a reinsurance fund for such a disaster.
How well they performed was never disclosed and the management of the large and ever growing fund was never exposed to sunlight.

Suddenly that staff was exploded into a quasi insurance company and the quality of people employed as assessors, and claim processors was in a word abysmal.
Thick, inept, incompetent, choose any such description, decisions made were evidence enough.

The whole claim system should have been managed by existing commercial entities in the industry and EQC funds accessed by them under the legislation as a reinsurance exercise.

Blundering through a minefield where squeeking hinges get oiled and a massive opportunity for rorting existed, meant that the breach being trumpeted is but a minor event in what is and continues to be yet another, albeit linked  disaster.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Two items that are not unrelated


Item 1One in five babies welfare dependent by year-end

Data released under the Official Information Act shows that 21.2 percent of babies born in 2012  were dependent on a caregiver receiving a welfare benefit by the end of the same year.

Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said that, "Over one in five babies reliant on welfare by year-end is a sobering and sad statistic. But it's worse for Maori at over 1 in 3 or 35.9 percent." 
As ever, when it comes to this subject, Lindsay Mitchell is doing NZ social scientists' jobs for them.  They should all be having a whip-round for her, but the chances of that happening is about as likely as a rich prick paying the proper tax on his income. 


Item 2Dole queues are long but bosses can't get workers


 Dave Connell, vice-president of the New Zealand Contractors Federation and managing director of Connell Construction, who is juggling operations in the Waikato and for the Christchurch rebuild, said 100 people responded to a Trade Me job advertisement for a junior construction role, but not one was suitable to hire.

"We are letting seven people go for every one we keep," he said. 

A commenter at The Standard quite fairly describes this item as "a propaganda piece based on negative and unsubstantiated employer anecdotes attacking the unemployed," but there aren't any media reports on this subject that aren't propaganda for one group or another.

What's the relationship between these items?  Well, duh - the one fucking leads to the other, doesn't it?  If we've got a significant percentage of children who are either meal tickets or considered to be just some shit that happens if you're promiscuous and don't bother with contraception, we're eventually going to have a significant proportion of job applicants whose approach to employers is as described in item 2:

"I had one guy ring me up and say ‘A mate told me about this job, I've been told it is piss easy'.

"After I described it to him he said ‘Oh yeah, I'd be able to piss all over that'."

Jacinda Adern, unsurprisingly, has only platitudes to offer:

"It is important to provide skills and training for the jobs that exist."

But  as one of the employer reps interviewed for item 2 points out, many of these wasters "...allegedly have skills. They just don't have civic skills; they don't know how to be citizens."

Which is exactly the point.  As long as we've got a fifth of babies being born into environments that are high risk for producing wasters, we're going to have a lot of wasters.  There's nothing particularly complicated or difficult to understand about it.  Of course, understanding the problem is one thing, fixing it's quite another - so, although it's easy to sneer at Paula Bennett announcing ineffectual social welfare "reforms," the vexed question of how to get wasters to put a bag on it when fucking each other isn't one anyone has a useful answer to so far.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

What A Bloody Shambles

The Australian Labor Party can't even organise a decent coup d'etat, let alone govern a country.

Today they stuffed up big time.  After finally engineering a leadership spill, Crean proved himself an absolute arse and Rudd choked before the fisnish line.

Adolf finds a remarkable resemblance between Australian Labor and NZ labour.  The only bloke who could possibly lead the party to victory is sidelined because the dickhead MPs 'don't like him.' What ever happened to the concept of loyalty to the party?

For Rudd read Cunliffe.




Sludge Holden by now will have had a stroke.

Quote of the Year

hattip Kiwiblog

From Katherine Rich

"There’s only so much salt, fat and sugar that can be removed from a product before it tastes like cardboard."

Monday, March 18, 2013

What You Don't Know......

.......Won't Hurt You.

It is a peaceful Monday afternoon on the most arid state in the Commonwealth.

Adolf is recovering from the intense commercial activity of Saturday and Sunday, having watered his front lawn which is the sole oasis of green in an otherwise desolate desert called a street.  Now settled with a cigar and a lovely drop of red the cool vespers are being enjoyed.

Suddenly there is a commotion out the back.

The Cook has been sitting for the last hour or so on one of those exquisite white plastic moulded chairs, reading a book.

"Jeesus!  I just turned the chair over to brush off the cobwebs and there was a bloody red back spider."

s

Adolf, ever the solicitous and dutiful husband, inquired - "Did it bite you on the arse ---------- Dear?

The reply was not for tender ears.

Isn't it funny how Australians have such a phobia about spiders and snakes?

They are more scared of you than you are of them.   If you just leave the poor little buggers alone they will not harm you.

Sorely tempted

While on the subject of silly stories seen on Stuff, this one keeps issuing siren calls to me for some gratuitously offensive comments - it's a story in which Millie Elder demonstrates her depth of feeling for her late adopted father, Paul Holmes, by having a portrait of him tattooed on her thigh. 



I've just about had to tie one arm behind my back to keep from typing out various comments on the comedy potential this portrait brings to Millie's future sex life, but in the end my better motives prevailed and I shall offer none of them here. 

No, what really was too much not to point out was the headline Stuff put on the story:

Daughter's tribute to Sir Paul skin-deep

I guess the sub-editor figured this would be a good pun, because a tattoo is skin-deep and skin deep implies deep and meaningful.  Well, it would, except for the fact "skin deep" actually implies vanity, transience and lacking in depth, as in "Beauty is only skin-deep."  I don't think anything I could have come up with would be quite as unfair and just plain rude to Millie Elder as Stuff's subeditors have managed.

Plausible excuses

Note to Jerry Collins:  when giving the cops a bullshit story, you have to consider how plausible it is.  For instance, if you're living in what is by a long way the safest country in the OECD and you're a foot taller than most of the locals, the police may doubt your claim to be carrying a big knife for "self defence."

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another important non-disclosure

Here's a story about a kind, caring employer deciding to pay its staff a "living wage" in 12 months time.  And moreover, they lobbied the Auckland Council encouraging the Council to do the same:
A Henderson tofu maker has become the first Auckland employer to sign up to the living wage campaign, promising to pay its six factory workers at least $18.40 an hour within a year.

Tonzu, a family-owned company, has a current starting wage of $15 an hour and says it would cost $600 a week to lift everyone to $18.40 - a pay rise averaging $100 a week for workers such as 31-year-old mother-of-four Meaalofa Meke.

But brother-and-sister directors Dan and Jesse Chalmers, who took over the business from their parents Lippy and Ricky, believe they will be able to find the money within a year by cutting wastage and other costs.

In the meantime, Lippy Chalmers joined a delegation that asked Auckland Mayor Len Brown to adopt the living wage for his council, and Jesse Chalmers said Tonzu had been working towards lifting wages to two-thirds of the average wage anyway.
What's the non-disclosure?  Jesse Chalmers is a left-wing activist and Green Party member.  She stood for the left wing City Vision ticket at the last Auckland local body elections, and was elected to the Waitemata Local Board.

So essentially, this is a pitch by a local board member to her own council in the guise of a responsible business owner caring for her employees.

Dick Hubbard would be proud.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

GEOFF BRAYBROOKE RIP

I would like to pay my tribute to Geoff Braybrooke who died late last week. Although clearly he and I were on different sides of the political fence I acknowledge and respect him for his work in trying to get recognition of the Agent Orange problem long before it was fashionable to do so. In my experience timing in politics is everything and Geoff would have been hugely frustrated with his inability to progress the issue.
 
In late 1989 and with Labour in power he introduced a Private Members Bill calling for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the extent that exposure to Agent Orange and the like may have had on the health of Vietnam veterans. He would have been disappointed that his Party would not agree to progress this as a Government measure but rather, forced him to take the Private Members Bill route. The Bill did not go anywhere and lapsed in the early 1990s. As I said, part of the issue was timing. In the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s there was no great public sentiment to address the issue. 

But Geoff did not help his/our cause by once claiming in the heat of debate that, while in Vietnam, he shot VC with a crossbow. This led to his Parliamentary nickname of 'Crossbow' used derisively by MPs of all persuasions. I suspect Geoff regretted making the claim which was used by some to discredit VVets as a 'strange lot'.     There is a lesson to be learned in making extravagant claims. They can sometimes come back to bite with a vengeance.

Geoff would have taken great satisfaction that 12 years after he first tried it was a Labour Government (albeit with huge prodding from Judith Collins) who agreed to hold a formal Select Committee Inquiry into the AO issue. He was also present in the House to hear the cross-party apologies that followed the signing of the MoU when he was honoured by being accorded a seat to the left of the Speaker on the floor of the House.

Geoff was an ex London Bobby who emigrated to New Zealand in the mid 1950s joining the Army to serve operationally in Malaya as a medic with 1 NZ Regiment and later in Vietnam with the Services Medical Team. He entered Parliament in 1981 as the MP for Napier, a seat he help for seven terms (21 Years). He was on the Right of his Party as a social conservative and campaigned aggressively against homosexual law reform which would not have endeared him to many of his Labour colleagues. In 1996 and following Helen Clark's election as Labour leader he briefly toyed with the idea of establishing a new Centre Party under the leadership of Mike Moore. Clearly that was not to be. In his final term he was elected Deputy Speaker. On his retirement he was honoured by the Queen being made a Companion of the Queens Service Order (QSO).

You knew where you stood with GB. He had friends across the political divide. There was always the bit of the WO2 in Geoff.  I can remember in the March to Parliament, part of Tribute 08, and GB standing on the sidewalk as you approached Parliament and bellowing out his his best WO2 voice "come on you hairy-arsed medics show them (us) how to march" ... priceless.

Geoff, thank you for all your work on our behalf.  Thank you for your service to New Zealand.   Sleep well.

TV

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WAS THAT A LAST, LAST, LAST CHANCE?

Or should the Rugby Union have made a stand?

Stuff is predicting a return to Super Rugby for the seemingly brainless even if talented Zac Guildford.

Yes he has a problem, I was told that by Hawkes bay insiders when he first came south with Israel Dagg.

He attracted notice in schoolboy grades, not all good and, yes, losing his father during his successful participation in the World Under 19 Tournament would not have helped his progress.

This signal to other potentially troubled young men suddenly being exposed to notoriety and money is the wrong one. Australian Cricket has created a storm in drawing their line in the sand and it will be interesting to see where the chips fall.  Personally, I do not think they had a snowballs chance in hell with the serious problems in team culture, discipline, attitude, or whatever name you give to the clear shambles unfolding on the Sub Continent.

Yes, cutting Guildford adrift could seem harsh but anything less is just lacking in intestinal fortitude and sends the wrong signal. 

GO INTO THE TRENCHES THEN HAVE A GO AT US..

The Herald reports on a Mr Brian Davy who, as the father of a 15 yo yoof who suffered a head injury in an accident, has critisised Ambulance personal who attended for inadequate treatment skills.

A car crashes,
Two 16yo in the front seat are drunk in excess of the adult alcohol level and are uninjured.
The son of Mr Davy is walking with the two 16yos is described by emergency workers as "being Dorks".
Initially the Ambos apparently think the 15yo is under the influence a common reaction.
Young Davy is placed in the truck and taken to hospital, and a head injury is suspected.

Was Davy junior wearing a seat restraint.
Did he co-operate with the rescue services.
Does Davy senior think all ambulance crews include a neurologist and or a brain surgeon.

The reality is often Ambulances are crewed by well trained first aiders  only and just finding sufficient volunteers to man trucks out of 9 to 5hours  is increasingly becoming fraught.

Comments such as those by jerks like Davy senior are a major cause of that problem.

It is not accident fatigue Mr Davy, it is frustrating that such utterly stupid behavior and uncooperative attitudes that can cause what you call inadequate response from us.

So I respectfully suggest Mr Brian Davy, you head on down to a local St John Station and offer to volunteer your services.
I have no idea how they are situated in your home town but here in Paradise we are very near to being unable to man/woman our truck at times.

Oh as an aside the stupid yoof is very lucky and making a good recovery, so maybe the response complained of was adequate after all.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BUT IT IS NOT A MANDATE!!!!

In a referendum on whether the residents of the Falkland Islands wish to continue to remain a territory of the United Kingdom, a 92 % turnout said yes by an over 99% vote with only 3 votes against.
They must have a McGillicuddy serious party there as well.

The idiot Kirchner of Argentina is claiming it is not an accurate indication of the situation there so following on with the GP initiated referendum here on partial float of some SOEs I guess Wed Wussel and the KFC poster girl with a Mere on her cleavage, will set off for The Malvinas immediately.

One way tickets sound a great idea.

DESPERATE GOVT OR OUT OF CONTROL IRD

Mr English portrayed his incompetence in politics with his disastrous leadership effort.
I still cringe when recalling him sweeping into 'Robbies',  a watering hole adjacent to Lancaster Park for a Crusaders game, in a brand new 'driazabone' oilskin to "work" the fans waiting for match time - total plonker, it didn't even rain

Now he sits on his hands as "pick me Dunny" and the IRD seek idiotic new ways to gather tax.

I see some marginal equity in FBT on vehicles and housing but medical insurance and now car parks and on the near horizon, laptops ipads phones.  The first two are essential to a life for everyone and can be seen as a part of an income package. As for the rest and god only knows what else are just a part of running a business. Next toilet access, desks, aircon, protective clothing, Jesus wept.

This fucking bunch of Nats have a death wish, leave that shit to the other bunch of socialist troughers who will be in Govt sooner than you think and allowing the ultimate success in MMP, Dunne,  to perpetrate such nonsence is ensuring your death wish is just over one year away.

It is increasingly being portrayed as a desperate government.
Call off the leeches,  bleeding is rather discounted as a cure in 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

NOW THAT'S INTERESTING

Several blogs are embedding a video featuring a 23 min lecture, part of an hour full length effort on combating desertification by Allan Savory who in the early years of his study advocated culling elephant herds to combat desertification on the vulnerable fringes of the deserts of Africa.  He has now worked out what many graziers have known for years but has remained hidden, due to an unpopular perception stance in great debates on denuding of soils contributing to degredation.

Most farmers I have encountered in over 60 years of life are basically environmentalists, if only because they understand a poorly maintained machine will eventually fail, often with devastating outcomes. Yes, there are some tossers in farming, there is at least one in every bus.

Dung and litter, acting as natures mulch, protects soils from the massive evaporation that turns bare soils to desert, as do soils that are poorly and non grazed soils.

This has some ramifications for significant areas of the South Island that have been retired to the DOC estate in some very low rainfall zones.  Now over grazing is still a real danger but controlled rotational methods that mimic to some extent the grazing behavior of the massive herds of the Prairies and the Savannah  are being promoted by Savory in some of the very endangered areas throughout the world with amazing results.

My efforts at embedding being non existent I can get there by google "allan savory, how to green the desert". Go on - invest 20 minutes of your life, it may surprise you.

GOOD RIDDANCE

An alleged leader of the pack that created mayhem in India with predatory sexual offending has topped himself in custody by hanging while awaiting trial.

Having a stout hook in the ceiling of cells, a short rope and a three legged stool has merit in some cases.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

HYPOCRISY PAR EXCELLENCE

Why am I not amazed at the abject hypocrisy of the Winston First Party's position on the partial sale of Mighty River Power shares?   

When we are in Government we will move to compulsory reacquire the shares at no greater price paid for them by the first purchaser ... Rt Dis Hon Winston Peters 4 March 2013 (conveniently failing to state where the money is coming from, has to be borrowing ... but I digress).

I one stroke Winston has positioned his Party as wedded to the hard left socialist dogma of 'state control of the means of production, distribution and exchange' .... welcome to the Club comrade Peters.

But hold on ... didn't Peters as Treasurer in 1998 hail 'popular capitalism' when he flogged off the Government share holding in Auckland Airport in a $4m ad campaign fronted by Sean Fitzpatrick which attracted 68.000 investors.

Is Peters going to buy those shares back too?   Answer ... no way hosay, and that's why he is a hypocrite par excellence and that's why he's viewed as the New Zealand equivalent of Pauline Hanson and/or Bob Katter.

p.s.   It would help if Labour were to articulate a policy on this.    A bob each way just doesn't cut the mustard.

 

  

 

Friday, March 8, 2013

SIMPSON AND THE DONKEY

I guess there are some unhappy campers in Oz following the release of the report which debunks much of the myth surrounding 'Simpson and the Donkey' at the Gallipoli landings in 1915.    You can read it here but at the end of the day Simpson should be honoured as have done his duty and done it well.   He made the ultimate sacrifice and his exploits were recognised with a Mentioned in Despatches (the same award given to our own Lieutenant Colonel William Malone of Chunuk Bair fame).  

The simple reality is that many war stories grow with the telling.   That is human nature enhanced by the 'fog of war'.

There is a New Zealand corollary to the story which is less well known.   When Simpson was killed 3/258 Private Richard (Dick) Henderson of the 2nd Field Ambulance, NZ Medical Corps, continued the work right through until the end of the campaign using the Murphy the donkey.   "It was easier carrying a wounded man on the donkey than it was on a stretcher or over ones shoulder" said Henderson in an interview in 1950.

Henderson was a teacher at Mt Roskill (later renamed Three Kings) School when he enlisted on 10 August 1914.   Following Gallipoli Henderson served on the Western Front where he was gassed.   At the Battle of the Somme his courage was again on display and he was awarded the Military Medal for repeatedly bringing in wounded men under heavy shell fire.

The personal toll on Henderson was considerable.  On his return to New Zealand he resumed teaching but never fully recovered.   He went blind in 1934.   He died in Green Lane Hospital in 1958 aged 63.

On ANZAC Day we should remember with pride both Simpson and Henderson (and perhaps spare a thought for Murphy).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

All other swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers...


A parent's task is straightforward: you're issued with one small, squalling animal (or multiple thereof) and the sole item on the task list is to turn it into a civilised human being.  The way you carry out the task is up to you, but one thing you can take as guaranteed is that there will be a certain amount of unpleasantness involved.  That's because small, squalling animals generally lack interest in being turned into civilised human beings so your task will inevitably bring you into conflict with your child on many occasions.  As the parent, it's your view of the child's best interest that must prevail, or you'll end up with a large squalling animal at the end of the process, rather than a civilised human being.

"So far, so what," you say. "Stop stating the obvious."  Well, apparently it isn't obvious any more.  If you had your kids within the last 20 years or so, you'll have encountered parents via childcare or primary school who seem to look on their task as something more like acting as a servant to the child and following its instructions.  Consider for example Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, the parents of a "transgender" 6-year-old.  According to news reports, the then-male child Coy Mathis at the tender age of 18 months old declared himself a girl, and the parents, having consulted medical "authorities" on the subject of what a girl is, have treated her as a girl ever since.

I recall that my kids as toddlers made a great many declarations regarding ways the rest of the world must alter itself to suit them, but it never occurred to me to take those declarations as commands.  And it failed to occur to me not because I'm a prick who hates anyone else getting a say in what happens (no, seriously), but because I'm aware that a 2-year-old isn't as well-suited as an adult to make decisions that will have profound consequences for his/her life.

Mr and Ms Mathis are not aware of that, or at least I assume they aren't, because it's hard to imagine them being aware of it and then allowing a 2-year-old to command them to change his gender for life.  Because that's what they've done - regardless of what the long-term outcome for Coy Mathis would have been if his parents had had two brain cells to rub together and had just told him his dangly bits declared him not a girl so suck it up,  she is now transgender, not merely in her own mind but officially in the form of an ID and passport, and publicly in the world's news media.  It's like a particularly elaborate and exquisite form of child abuse.

Coy is in the news because her school decided she wasn't to use the girls' bathroom any more, on the basis of having inappropriate weeing tackle.  Which is shitty behaviour by the school - we're talking 6-year-olds here, after all.  But the Mathis' response to this setback betrays a truly remarkable level of self-deception:  fearing that the school's action might prompt mockery and bullying, her mother said:  "It was going to set her up for a lot of bad things." Oh, it isn't the school that's set your daughter up for a lot of bad things lady, not the school by a long way.

Further background info at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/colorado-transgender-girl-banned-grade-school-bathroom/story?id=18607443

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Train Wreck

Well I finished my third Ironman on Saturday, but it was far the hardest; and well in excess of two hours over what I hoped for. 

The swim went well.  I planned for somewhere between 1hr 5 and 1hr 10.  I touched solid ground at 1hr 8minutes and some change.  I felt good in the lake and stayed out of trouble to the far side of the course.  So although I would have swum a slightly longer course, I had a trouble-free swim and felt good upon entering the transition tent.

But that's where the good times ended.  I knew I was in trouble after about 20 kilometres on the bike.  I simply had nothing out on the course despite eating like a horse and drinking like a fish.  I hoped to get to the turnaround (90k) in 2hr 55, which would have put me on track for my 6hr ride.  I got to halfway at 3hrs exactly, so not far off, but the effort it took was immense.  I was just flat.

I have learned that on days like that you just keep going and eating, and drinking, and you can come right.  But alas, that was not to be.  The second 90k was dreadful.  I really struggled.  My 6hr 40min+ ride was physically draining and mentally depressing.

Onto the run and after about a kilometre, I simply had to walk.  I was beginning to get lightheaded and felt faint and looked white (according to my supporters).  So to cut a long story short, I walked the entire marathon, apart from about 2-3k at the 30k mark when a lady I got talking to from the USA encouraged me to run with her.  But then I got the zigzags so stopped completely when I almost fell over.  

It was a hot day, and I drank what I thought was gallons of water and monitored my sodium intake and carbohydrate loads.  But whatever I did, nothing worked.  I usually get a spark from flat Coke, but even that did nothing.  

So I walked for 42km, and picked up a lump on my left shin which seems to be a  minor case of shin splints or tendonitis.  It has got much better now, so there is a shining light.

At the finish line (I did finish!), I had lost almost 4kgs during the day so that's a sign of problems. Concerned at my state, the medics asked me how I felt.  I commented "About as good as you'd expect after 14hrs of exercise".  

I almost collapsed when I got home. But I bounced back well and was fine on Sunday.  All in all, quite bizarre.  

The team I was in raised close to $3,000 for Cystic Fibrosis so that was pleasing.  Although times were tough for me on Saturday, those kids with CF suffer every day.  My pain was nothing.  

It's time for a rest now and a debrief.  And then there are a couple of small triathlons to do before the end of summer - subject to shin injury.   


INTERESTING COMMENT

I have just finished reading the the book 'Injustice' by the British author Clive Stafford Smith.    The bi-line has it that the book deals with "Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America".    It centres on his campaign as a 'crusading lawyer' to free British businessman man Kris Maharaj, arrested for the brutal murder of two ex-business associates in Miami, and defended by a less than adequate lawyer with the result that he was found guilty and sentenced to death in the electric chair.

The book details a whole raft of evidence that was either tainted by the prosecution or not presented in court (nor revealed to the Defence) because it would have cast doubt on the Prosecution case.    The author also highlights major issues around the sentencing procedure.  

The death sentence was quashed on Appeal but Maharaj remains in prison.

But the bit that got me was his thesis that the Democrats themselves in the influence they exert over the American justice system (and wider) differ only slightly from Republicans.  That distance colours perspective.   He argues that President Obama doubtless believes himself to be far to the left of George Bush Jr and that from where he sits he probably is.    However from the vantage point of Europeans he is seen as very closely aligned (with the Republicans) as are all Democrats.

He points to a study where he reviewed the voting patterns of Margaret Thatcher as contrasted to Teddy Kennedy on the principle that she was vocally on the right wing of the Conservative Party while he was deemed to be the most liberal member of the Senate.   The study showed that Kennedy's votes were consistently less moderate than Thatcher's.   He made the point that, for the most part, American politics begins at the right wing of the Conservative Party and that, with limited exceptions, American political discourse is all to the right of all European debate.

Interesting comment.



Don't make promises you're not going to keep


"A woman was yelling that she was going to die," one witness said.

Monday, March 4, 2013

GRATITUDE????

Last night TVNZ's 20/20 Janet McIntyre ran a tale of a young man 19 yo who started life in Russia then was adopted from a Russian orphanage by a ChCh woman  at that time in a relationship with a German  man but unable to have children.

Andrei Schwaab is now a problem for us along with his apparently separated mother.
He has a record of offending that is impressive . Over 200 car thefts and other law breaking up to an AOS encounter involving two Helicopters and god knows what other resources.

I know it is eyewatering what it actually costs to keep a scumbag such as this prick in gaol but perhaps it could be put into perspective if ALL the costs said scroat has cost, were totaled and annualised;
vehicle damage,
loss of vehicle use,
police costs,
legal aid,
court costs,
corrections costs
and welfare to name a few.
Keeping him incarcerated might just be a cheaper option as he shows zero intent to change his ways.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

ON ABUSE OF PROCESS AND THINGS

Now that the Supreme Court has put to rest the challenge to the partial sale of Mighty River Power and others by the nobody Maori Council and an increasingly dysfunctional Tanui Iwi led by their Clown King with Tuku pulling the strings, it remains only for me to write my cheque and line up with what a expect to see a long line of Kiwi investors wanting first crack at the share float.  

What's left?    A petition, organised and funded, in the main, by the Green Party using public monies, calling for a CIR into a decision of the National Party which it foreshadowed and campaigned on in an election which it won convincingly.    The referendum, if it takes place, will be a Clayton's referendum into a done deal.    It is estimated to cost in the order of $9m and so anyone who just misses out on a hip operation can rightly say f**k you Greens (and their Labour lackeys) for your abuse of process.

People have already voted on this issue in the best referendum of all.  The proposed CIR is a charade by political parties fighting long lost wars and wedded to locking our kids and grandkids into an ever increasing mountain of public debt.   They oppose each and every attempt to reduce Government expenditure while, at the same time, keep proposing new programmes without a thought to where the money is coming from apart from increasing taxation for 'Rich Pricks' defined to edit out their own voter demographic.

Heaven forbid that they should ever get their grubby hands on the levers of power again.    The good news is that recent opinion polls say they won't.

SOMETIMES SH*T HAPPENS.

On a more sombre note, a family mourns a young man who died at Murawai Beach doing what thousands do every day, having a swim, riding the surf, snorkeling or any number of ways we enjoy our close association with the sea

The OTT response of the media and their "talking empty craniums" can only be described as woeful.
Statistically almost invisible, to die in an apparent shark attack is shocking and stirs emotions of horror and intense sphincter tightening responses.
The idiotic, and on that occasion,  tasteless remark from the tv infotainment purveyor that will survive for all time; "we now cross live to Murawai Beach" should haunt that person as long as breath is drawn.

Seriously folks, the victim 'invaded' the sharks world and a rare but understandable event occurred.
Viewing episodes of "Piha rescue" reveals a continuous  procession of people flirting with imminent death in the sea, avoided only with a combination of good fortune and the efforts of the lifeguards.

For the unfortunate young film maker such luck or intervention failed to avoid the tragedy and a family mourns his very sudden death.

RIP Adam Strange

GET OVER IT, ITS A SUMMER TO DIE FOR.

With the abysmal efforts of Sainsbury's  successors, our remote has drifted swmbo to TV3 at seven pm.

Campbell has been trying to "create news" out of the "dry" that is causing difficulties throughout a large swath of NZ

To the dairy industry, stop whinging, you have remedies and forgoing income with an early cessation of milking may be a best management decision so get on with it.

My first 12 months farming with all the risks falling to us with a young family, c1969/70, our rainfall was 13 inches or 325mm, that was a f**king DRY. The second season was much better at 16 inches (400mm). Character building, my neighbor Johnny Corbett called it.

To the whining bunch who are running low on "tank water",  try a few simple savings measures and maybe look at your storage capacity.

At the beginning of the year I posted on a contretemps when a rat family set up a home in an overflow that ended with the dumping of over half of our 50 000 liters total storage.  This coincided with a visit of the family for Xmas for nearly two weeks and we breezed through it without any drama.
Simple things such as not running the tap while brushing teeth and washing vegetables, doing full loads of laundry and dishes,  showering in less time, using the half flush on the toilets all resulted in no deprivation and six people used less than 800 liters per day, a shade over 33 gallons each.
 With minimal rainfall we are still ahead of the game.

2012/13 has been the stuff of childhood memories for me, hot, sunny, little wind, brown lawns, sunburn, vine ripened tomatoes, a few bevvys in the shade and sultry days.
My last week spent on the river banks jousting with the mighty Salmon in conditions that required a 0500 hrs start. Bloody marvelous.
In spite of the doomsday merchants a really good summer flow still pouring out at the mouth of The Rakaia enticing the Chinook overstayers to make their last run upstream to continue their lifecycle.