Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nandor shatters shackles of time


Nandor shatters shackles of time

"Nandor Tanczos left Parliament yesterday, saying he was going away to cleanse his soul and wouldn't need to know the time any more."

^Cleanse his soul... cleanse it with dope perhaps;).

Referring to Question Time: "It's a time when I'm most ashamed of being a member of Parliament," he said.

"You all know what I'm talking about."

That was a reference to the abusive shouting and bad behaviour that go on during question time.

^I agreed. Nandor was/is my favourite green MP. It's easy to disregard him because of his dreadlocks, but he has many positive qualities. He's not from the psychotic far left of the party and advocates negotiating with both sides of the house. He's apparently pretty onto it with IT issues. He also showed good manners in the house - his dislike of shouting matches is something akin to Don Brash.

As a non-dope smoker I respect his principled stand on the issue, and dare I say it, even his right to smoke dope.

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We must go for nuclear power, says AWU NEWS.com.au

""If we are going to be a green Labor government, then we have to look at nuclear," Mr Howes told The Australian newspaper."

"Mr Carr and Mr Howes are pushing for Labor to drop its long-standing policy of rejecting nuclear power. "

"Mr Carr said nuclear power was the critical bridge between the carbon era and energy from renewable resources. "

^Not only are the Australians having the nuclear debate, but it's being debated within the Australian Labor party! Over here Helen Clark has completely shut down debate on this issue within her own party & the nation through scare tactics. It's the hallmark of this PM to put short-term political convenience over the long term needs of the country. She'd rather dick around with anti-smacking laws rather than address the shortfalls in our energy strategy. The irony is that if the lights started going out in NZed, or if the price of electricity sky-rocketed more than it has, domestic violence and smacking is bound to increase. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Smack referendum next year, says Clark


Smack referendum next year, says Clark - 26 Jun 2008 - Politics: New Zealand Political News
"will inevitably lead to voter confusion, congestion in polling places and put at risk the timing of the parliamentary count." - According to the PM.

Helen Clark is right, I'm might get confused in the polling booth and hold the pen upside down. Or get disorientated and think I'm in the toilet - which could be embarrassing.

Perhaps Helen Clark should accompany me to the polling booth; make sure I tick the right boxes

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Espiner on anti-smacking


On the House - stuff.co.nz:

"It’s ironic that National has escaped unscathed despite also voting for it, but that’s another matter."

Yes it is another matter and political junkies like Colin Espiner well know that oppositions don’t set the legislative agenda. The anti-smacking bill was introduced by Sue Bradford with the complete support of the Prime Minister. John Key took a risk by introducing the inconsequential clause and instructing National MPs to vote for it. So I don’t know where Espiner gets off, I suspect he’s playing devils advocate.

If any further evidence was needed to prove NZ First's arrogance, then having Peter Brown shout 'Shut up National' across the house pretty much does it.

Peter Brown is effectively telling 55% of New Zealanders to 'shut-up' as that is National's level of support if the latest option polls are anything to go by.

It's like a mouse roaring at a lion.

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John Armstrong: Denial not a good look for Labour - 24 Jun 2008 - Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage - NZ Herald:

"Seeing [bad polls], voters might desert that party for other options, particularly minor party ones which might be able to constrain a National-led Government.
That was National's fate in 2002 when its vote collapsed to just 21 per cent and NZ First and United Future were the beneficiaries."

As much as I want Labour to be annihilated in the up and coming election, I want them to remain competitive for the following reasons:

1. If a National govt. looks certain, some of their vote may break off to minor parties (as what happened to Labour in 2002).
2. Some of Labour’s collapsed vote may go to Winston Peters - and no body wants that!
3. A close election engerises National and Labour's base, brings out the volunteers, and makes for a fun election e.g. 2005.

In saying that I don’t think National voters are in any mood to risk their vote, regardless what happens to Labour.

So, going by my logic, if I pollster rings and asks who am I voting for, I should say Labour – followed by twenty hail marries and a shower to try and get clean again ;).


Smacking petition runs out of time - 24 Jun 2008 - Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage - NZ Herald:

"Asked why it could not be held at the same time as the election, which must be held by November 15, she replied: 'Just in terms of sheer organisation, I do not think that is possible'."

Yeah right. All be it for me to doubt the exulted Dear Leader, but how hard can it be to stick a tick box on the ballet with the question; do you want to repeal the anti-smacking law. Hell I'll even do it for her on Microsft Word and I'll insert some wing dings to really impress her.

For the record, I would hesitate ticking that box. The the main reason I'd tick the box is as a one fingered salute to Sue Bradford and Helen Clark, because the way they went about introducing the S59 anti-smacking bill with their holier than thou approach was insulting to most New Zealanders.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's Helen's plan?


On the House - stuff.co.nz:

"remember when Labour fell well behind National during Don Brash’s meteoric rise to popularity after he took over as leader in 2003. Clark quickly realised that Labour’s affirmative action policies for Maori were a major turnoff for voters, and after initially calling Brash a racist she accepted that Labour had got it wrong and changed tack accordingly."

When National rose in the polls under Don Brash, Labour launched their 'listening' tour of NZed. Helen also made her big 'bring it on' speech. Labour at least appeared determined to hold onto power.

Fast forward to 2008 & National is streets ahead in the polls & Labour is just sitting on it's hands. Is Helen keeping the leadership dogs at bay with a promise of a 'neutron bomb' she plans to drop on National? I hope not, but I guess we'll just have to wait & see.


Happy with sex ... and Bob Brown NEWS.com.au:

"The proportion of people wanting more sex and nudity had remained at 10 per cent since 2004."

^only ten pecent ;). The result was taken from the latest Trends in Australian Public Opinion report.


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Ex-pats lament Tsvangirai's stand down - Newstalk ZB:

"'He's intimidated them from even running and it is a disgraceful, horrific thing that's going on there.'"

^ Agreed. Of course Helen's intensified language is not meant as a distraction from Labour's woeful poll results. Though she's done it before; remember the strongly worded protest Helen and Goff made to Israel over their spies using NZed passports. The protest was much stronger than what MFAT adviced because at the time it was politically covenant to do so.


Claire Robinson: Inconvenient truth may sink the Electoral Finance Act - 23 Jun 2008 -
Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008
election coverage - NZ Herald

"Once it is acknowledged that a party logo is an advertisement, the implications are immense. Every instance of that logo must be accompanied by the name and address of the promoter, and the expenses that went into its creation must be counted against a party's expenditure limit. Think about where you might have seen party logos already this year. On stationery, cars, electorate offices, pens, backdrops at party conferences, banners."

^ no comment necessary. Surely even EFA supporters must now realise the EFA is bad law.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Blogspot Experiment

Today I transferred my opinion blog to Blogspot from my Windows Live Space to see if I prefer this platform.


I'm also experimenting with a new blog name.  I've another blog name in the pipeline if I don't like 'BrashTalk'.

I'll probably duel post on Windows Live Space and Blogspot until I decide which one to keep. 

As odd as it seems I actually try and stay loyal to Windows Live products.  But eventually even I get frustrated with Microsoft products and find something more user friendly.  The thing is Microsoft products have some good features but are let down by not giving their customers flexibility like having multiple Spaces under one passport account.

Other times it can be something small.  For example I battled to get the Windows Live Toolbar to work for me i.e. open search results in a new tab and the blogging feature.  I emailed Microsoft a couple of times and scoured the web for info., but eventually I gave up and use the Google toolbar.  And since I'm using the Google toolbar the natural progression is to use Google products.

Unlike many people I'm not cynical about Microsoft at all.  So when they start losing customers like me, then they should really be concerned. 

Of course in typical Microsoft fashion they'll probably suddenly improve their products (IE8 beta is just around the corner) and I may regret making the change.



The fact that Australia's Labor is pursuing big public/private sector partnerships and kept the increase in government spending to a mere 1 per cent in its debut Budget shows how out of step New Zealand's Labour-led Government has become with international norms, leading New Zealand into a cul de sac, he says.

Fran O'Sullivan: Coalition mates need to be ready for National's vision - 21 Jun 2008 - Politics: New Zealand Political News, Analysis and Comment including 2008 election coverage - NZ Herald

National has been branded as Labour-lite many times, and not without reason, so it's good to read English's alternative vision for New Zealand; one that won't be curtailed by Winston Peters.


"I don't mean to be impudent," said one reporter, "but why are you wearing a kilt?"

Sibley explained: "It has to do with genitalia. If you are on the smaller side, then pants are not uncomfortable."

Obama, his gay accuser and the lawyer in a kilt - New Zealand's source for World News on Stuff.co.nz

Dunno what's he talking about.... pants are well comfortable ;).

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Labour is slipping further behind in the key battleground of Auckland, with National opening up a lead of 60 per cent compared with Labour on 27 per cent.

Labour voters still prefer Clark - New Zealand, world, sport, business and entertainment news on Stuff.co.nz

And in the same poll:

In a glimmer of good news for the Government, Labour has retaken the lead over National in Wellington

^hello... bureaucrat city.  But National's lead over Labour in Auckland is massive and significant.  There is a view that whoever wins Auckland wins the country.  However this isn't true because National actually won Auckland last election by a narrow margin. 

Pacific Islanders as the only ethnic group now favouring Labour over National.

^the very ethnic group that tipped the scales in favour of Labour last election.  I'm puzzled why this group supports Labour to the extent that they do given Philip Field fiasco.  Also Pacific Islanders tend to be very community based, religious and often socially conservative; hardly in keeping with Labour philosophy.  What I sense is that Pacific Islanders are perhaps ignorant to politics and vote the way their church/community leader tells them.  Labour knows this and are continually wooing/bribing the PI leaders.  I think it's a great irony that Labour's electoral success depends on the stereotype of an ethic group.


Her office later explained to me that while it was true the legislation had been written a year ago, Burton had been “busy” that year and unable to find time to table the bill in Parliament. When I asked what he had been doing, they replied “well, the Electoral Finance Act took up a lot of his time”.

On the House - stuff.co.nz

I always thought that with so much time devoted to drafting the Electoral Finance Bill that something had to give....

What's more important; law and order or fiddling with electoral laws for your own benefit..?  Labour have got to assess the reasons why they're seeking power in the first place.  Because by neglecting law and order they're really betraying themselves.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In the house today


Helen Clark and John Key, back from parliamentary recess, appeared to subtly changed their styles. 

Helen Clark was a touch more conciliatory and actually addressed the questions rather than attacking John Key with condescending rubbish. 

John Key, on the other hand, adopted a more aggressive posture with a showmanship delivery. 

It was an improvement for both politicians.  I suspect Helen has been told to dial back her arrogance in Question Time, but she's going to find that hard with Key going on the attack.



Honda rolls out new zero-emission car

"The biggest obstacles standing in the way of wider adoption of fuel cell vehicles are cost and the dearth of hydrogen fuel stations. For the Clarity's release in California, Honda said it received 50,000 applications through its website but could only consider those living near stations in Torrance, Santa Monica and Irvine."

"The small number of hydrogen fuel stations is the "single limiting factor" for fuel cell vehicles".

Helen should substitute her 'carbon neutral' rhetoric with something a little more realistic such as building hydrogen re-fueling station in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. 


Don Brash: `I've been hiding too long' (+pics) - Focus - Sunday Star-Times

                         Former leader of the National Party Don Brash talks exclusively to political editor of the Sunday Star Times  Ruth Laugesen about life after politics and the direction he plans to take now that his marriage has broken up and he lives alone in a bachelor apartment in the Viaduct, Auckland.
Pic:Lawrence Smith/Sunday News 200508

Dr Brash is my favourite modern politician, so I was eager to read the Sunday Star Times interview with him, the first since he retired from the National Party leadership. 

The interview was a frank and candid reflection on his time in politics.  He revealed his ambitious ideas to scrap the minimum wage, scrap the top tax bracket and cut back on NZ super.  Now if that wasn't enough to put lefties into a tail spin, I don't know what would! 

For the record I actually don't agree with everything he has said, which shows my more moderate standpoint.  For example I don't agree with scrapping the minimum wage.  The labour market isn't competitive enough for employees to demand high wages.  Also young employees often don't know they're being screwed. 

Brash also talked about his regret he didn't unilaterally make some policy decisions, which is a little concerning.  He reckons that if he ran as a conviction politician he may have done better. 

Now I really respect Don and his views, but he sounds frustrated with the process. 

If Don was given a free-hand to run the country would things be better? Absolutely. Probably markedly better.  But you still have to go through the process, as painful as it is.  Of course Brash understands that.  The political process both hinders and helps us.  It hinders us by making it hard to push through tough decisions like cutting backing NZ super (which is inevitable as the population is aging).  But it helps us in the sense that if Keith Lock became leader of the Labour party, most of his communist ideals would have to be left at the door.  I'm pretty sure Clark has toned herself down in order to be Labour leader.

Ultimately I think a Prime Minister Brash is a missed opportunity.  Even constrained by the moderate Nats, he would've reduced the level of government, and returned more responsibility to individuals.  But my main reason for for wanting a PM Brash are his personal attributes.

Former deputy governor Richard Lang on Dr Brash:

His personality was quiet, introverted, retiring.  He was very confident in his own understanding, but never pushy.  Don was polite an sensitive and did not put people down; at times he was a little too generous.  But he had absolute integrity; there was never the slightest doubt that when he said something he meant it.  He was never two-faced.  He dealt with facts not personalities, really got angry, never sarcastic.  If he disagreed with you, he'd sit you down and discuss it in a rational way.  In that way he was enjoyable to work with.

^now doesn't that sound a long way from Helen Clark!

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Rudd Government slips in opinion poll | NEWS.com.au

The poll also reveals that despite climate change being a key factor in last year's election, most voters do not support a small rise in petrol prices to help combat environmental issues.
The majority of respondents (63 per cent) said they would not support a small rise in the price of petrol if the money raised was used to tackle climate change and increase spending on things like public transport and renewable energy such as solar power.

^what a surprise.  Everyone wants to do something about climate change, but no one wants to pay for it.  Now watch as Aussie Labor slowly backs away from real climate change policy, just as NZed Labour have.  Especially now given the current economic climate.

The left are responsible for whipping up hysteria over climate change, yet do bugger all in power.