Thursday, December 18, 2008

Listener of the Year

Vote for the overnight listener of the year by clicking on the poll on the left of the page.

The finalists are:
Guerard
Kelvin
Shirley
Sue

The winner will get a magnificent trophy from http://www.trophycentre.co.nz/

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bruce Emery

This is the timeline as I understand it, it's taken from media sources in the last 48 hours painting the picture of the death of Pihema Cameron.

Pihema Cameron and a friend were tagging Bruce Emery's fence late one night. Mr. Emery heard or saw what was going on and called out, he then went inside his house spoke to his wife, went down the internal stairs and left the property with a knife. He then took off after Pihema Cameron and his friend and at around 300 meters from Mr. Emery's house there was an altercation.

Mr. Emery claims he was defending himself and Cameron 'stepped into the knife', the crown claims Bruce Emery went after the taggers with the intent to harm them. One has to assume that the jury believed that Pihema Cameron stepped into the knife, making this death have 'no intent'.

I have long said that we need to trust our justice system, it's the only one we have and if we don't then it's time to move off shore.

In saying that I have two questions...
When was the last time we blamed somebody who has died at the hand of another for their own death, especially when the accused left his property and chased after the deceased with a weapon?

And, if we reverse this situation. A Caucasian teenager is breaking a minor property law and a South Auckland Pacific Islander 50 year old man comes out with a knife, chases him and and a friend up the road for 300 meters, and the teenager ends up dead...would it be the same result?

One would hope the answer is 'Yes!', if we believe...and I'm trying...that we are all equal under the law...but would it?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fox News - Fair and Balanced???

Sean Hannity from Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes faces an interrogation expert, Matthew Alexander, who had success with integration of the team of the most dangerous man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, turning them and getting information that no one else could get. This information led to the elimination of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

He used non-violent, gentle, respectful techniques, he apologised to the terrorists for what America had done at the start of the conflict and he used humour to befriend them. Sean Hannity, facing this expert, basically told him he was wrong…Fair and Balanced???


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angel Priscilla

I had a call from a nurse who in the 1960’s, at 19, gave 5 years of her life to attend to people with Leprosy in India. She speaks of working with Paul Brand, if you’d like to know more about him click here

Her name is Priscilla and I don’t think there is any person more qualified to tell us about Leprosy and why we should do what we can.

After she called there was an incredible reaction to her, including these texts and emails:

“You were in the presence of an angel this morning. Absolutely astonishing. Stuart”

“Priscilla is rite-unconditional love transcends language and other barriers”

“Well done Pat, I think u were talking to a saint.”


Click below to hear a truncated version of the conversation...

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2008 Leprosy Appeal

TOTAL AS AT 21:30, Thursday 18th December - $12,457.50

People cured from Leprosy: 39

12 months ago, at a whim I started an on-air appeal to get some money for The Leprosy Mission. I must admit to being ignorant of the issue of leprosy around the world, until I had just purchased an i-pod, the next day across my desk comes a pamphlet that says about what I had spent, could cure someone of leprosy forever...I kind of thought that maybe there was a better cause for that money than making my musical choice easier and more portable.

After 3 weekends we raised around $5,500 which meant we helped cure around 14 people.

If you want to get involved this year there are three ways you can do it:

Option One - Cheques
Send a cheque, made out to The Leprosy Mission, to...
Pat Brittenden,
Private Bag 92-198,
Auckland.

Literally $1 would be worth it. If every listener to Newstalk ZB gave $1, we could cure over 1500 people.

Option Two - Instant Text Donation
The other option is to text the word PAT to 469, this will instantly donate $3 to the appeal.

Option Three - Credit Card
Phone 0800 862 873 and tell them you want to make a donation with a credit card.

Option Four - Internet Banking
Leprosy Mission Bank Account 02-0264-0029018-003
Make the reference 'NEWSTALK ZB'

Check back here to see how our total grows, and see how many people we can get cured this year.

Pat

Atheist Holiday Display at Washington State Capitol


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Want a veggie patch....from scratch?

Check these guys out, they are specialists in helping you get your own veggie patch....from scratch.


Monday, November 24, 2008

All Black versus Wales - haka


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is 'discrimination' okay?

Really interesting article on 3News tonight about a hui for the Ministry of Justice on Maori crime, that Pakeha have been 'banned' from.

The story tells of lawyer Moana Jackson who 20 years ago, wrote a report for the then Department of Justice on Maori offending, Mr. Jackson says that the recommendations of that report have never been followed intimating that the problems we have with Maori offending today may be able to be linked with that non-action. Mr. Jackson is pushing for a separate Maree based justice system and claims that longer prison sentences and more prisons won't help Maori offending.

One un-named manager in the Ministry of Justice in Hawkes Bay has stated that they will not be releasing their Maori staff to go to this hui, Moana Jackson has called this "unhelpful" and "short sighted"

This raises so many questions for me as I can sit here and see both sides of the argument.

Firstly if this was a conference on women's issues, that only women were allow to attend...it wouldn't be in the news. One has to assume that it is in the news because it is being seen as 'discrimination', one could also assume that is why the manager from Hawkes Bay isn't allowing his Maori staff to attend, but seeing all discrimination is deemed the same in the eyes of the law, if you agree that an 'all women' conference wouldn't raise eyebrows...why does this? Race, Religion, Sex, Sexual Orientation and Age are the big five of discrimination...they are all deemed to be equal.

Secondly, there is a feeling that I hear throughout New Zealand that we constantly say that "Maori should sort out their problems with crime and violence!!!"...and now that they want to address it themselves...why the issue?

On the flip side...if this is a Ministry of Justice hui is looking at helping with the issue of Maori crime, and Pakeha within the ministry are involved with that area, then it seems a little ludicrous to ban them from the meeting, rather than having them involved for the betterment of the issue

And finally, one question on the concept of 'helping with Maori offending'. I guess for me, one of the questions I'd like to see addressed is one step back from that concept which is...Do we want to focus on 'helping' with Maori offending (or any group of offenders), or do we want to focus our attention at this time on punishing all offenders?

Friday, November 21, 2008

USA...the 'Christian' country

City officials have ordered 22 New York churches to stop providing beds to homeless people.

With temperatures well below freezing early Saturday, the churches must obey a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week -- or not at all.

Arnold Cohen, president of the Partnership for the Homeless, a nonprofit that serves as a link with the city, said he had to tell the churches they no longer qualify.He said hundreds of people now won't have a place to sleep.

The Department of Homeless Services said the city offers other shelters with the capacity to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches. The city had 8,000 beds waiting.Last year, four unsheltered homeless people died in the city during cold weather, so three dozen emergency outreach teams were prepped to respond to reports of homeless people outdoors or in the subways.

"We really don't want people sleeping on the streets, on grates, on church steps. We want people sleeping in beds," said Homeless Commissioner Robert Hess.

The homeless can be coaxed indoors but not forced unless their life is in danger.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Emma Agnew Dedication


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The best 'bums' in the world

A woman from Brazil and a man from France can claim to own the best bottoms on the planet after winning a derriere competition in Paris.

Judges said Brazilian 20-year-old Melanie Nunes Fronckowiak had best female bottom, while French 27-year-old Saiba Bombote was named the most beautiful male bottom.

More than 45 finalists from 26 countries competed, with the two winners receiving an underwear modelling contract, $15,000 prize money and an insurance contract for their bottoms.

Members of the judging panel included supermodel Adriana Karembeu, astronaut Paolo Nespoli, FHM France Editor-in-chief Lomig Guillo and Sloggi underwear chiefs.

Candidates entered the competition by submitting their photos to http://www.sloggi.com/, where 11,200 entries were received.

More than 31 million votes were cast by the public.

Candidates from all over the world competed in the live finale, held in Paris.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Insane American Ideas

Just watching The O'Reilly Factor on Fox and heard about a story where an 8 year old boy has been accused of shooting and killing his father and another man.

The full story is...
An 8-year-old boy is charged with murder in the shooting of his father and another man in a rural community in eastern Arizona, authorities said Friday.

The boy was charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the death of his father, 29-year-old Vincent Romero, and 39-year-old Timothy Romans, St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick said.

Police arrived at the home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday, Melnick said. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.

The boy, who prosecutors say had never been in trouble before, initially denied involvement in the shooting but later confessed, Melnick said.

Police have not said what they think the boy's motive was.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brewer argued Friday that police overreached in questioning the boy without representation from a parent or attorney and did not advise him of his rights.

"They became very accusing early on in the interview," Brewer said. "Two officers with guns at their side, it's very scary for anybody, for sure an 8-year-old kid."

A judge determined at a hearing Friday that there was probable cause to believe the boy committed the killings. He is being held at the Apache County juvenile detention center.

St. Johns is a community of about 4,000 people about 170 miles northeast of Phoenix.

So the idea being floated on Fox today is that the boy is accused of reloading the weapon, hence this leads to pre-meditated murder and it means he should be tried as an adult.

Come on!!! The may be an argument for some to lower the age from 14 to 12 (not in my opinion personally but for some), but 8.....8? Come on!!!

If a grown man, had the mentality of an 8 year old, no court in the world would find them guilty of an adult crime...there would be an insanity plea, or the person would not be fit to stand trial.

So how anyone even think that an 8 year old should be tried as an adult is beyond me.

Dan Carter on CNN

Airtimes:
New Zealand times
THURSDAY 13 NOVEMBER AT 0300, 1700
SUNDAY 16 NOVEMBER AT 0430
MONDAY 17 NOVEMBER AT 1600

New Zealand rugby star Daniel William Carter, made his debut at the 2002 Under 21 World Cup in South Africa and found himself in an All Blacks jersey soon after. As the All Black's Fly Half, arguably the most flashy and eye-catching position in rugby, Carter is constantly under the spotlight.

Carter is currently on tour with the All Blacks in Europe and on this weekend's TALK ASIA, he gives CNN's Anjali Rao a rugby kicking tutorial, giving out top tips for aspiring All Blacks players and demonstrating kicks from a professional fly half. An soon to be temporary member of the French team USA Perpignan, he also shares his thoughts on moving to France in the upcoming season, hopes for the next World Cup and feelings about being a "sex symbol".

"I have certain cues that keep me in the same place whether I'm at practice or out on a match day or in a field." says Carter about in-game jitters: "So I get to the back of my run up and that's when I take a big deep breath in and tell myself to relax because this is when the nerves can really really kick in... so I sort of take a deep breath in tell myself to relax and then that's when I look up at the post and being a left footer I get a little bit of a natural left to right curve."

When asked about his upcoming six month contract for the French team, USA Perpignan, Carter says that he's looking forward to it: "I really love the French lifestyle and the French culture, and I guess you know I'm going to a new challenge. You know, I've been playing professional rugby for six years, I've been playing in the same competitions, Super-14 and then into the All Black competitions so it is a change for me so I'm looking forward to playing in the French competition and experiencing a new challenge which will be great."

Through TALK ASIA, Carter assures his fans of his eventual return to the All Blacks for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Carter is the first member of the All Blacks to be granted a sabbatical abroad and still maintain his position in the national side: "Got a lot of good friends playing in New Zealand, so hopefully them and I guess the public won't give me too much stick when I come back because at the end of the day that's where I'm going to be for the next two and a half, years until you know the end of 2011 so that's where my future lies long term anyway."

Although he'll be backed by the world-famous All Blacks, Carter shares with TALK ASIA his concerns about his opponents on his current European tour. Carter is confident that the All Blacks will pull through with a good game, even when facing six nation champions Wales: "… they’ve had a great year so far so they’ll be extremely tough but I think all the teams pose a real threat at home, and they’re always a bit tougher ... in the Northern Hemisphere playing at home so you know we’ll just take each game as it comes and you know, we’re out to win every one."

For more program information on TALK ASIA visit http://www.cnn.com/talkasia.

CNN - SKY Digital Channel 91

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The truth behind “don’t get me wrong”

In this day and age when people want to be truthful and accurate in their opinions, but too afraid to say what they really think, we’ve come up with a phrase that either makes us innocent of any offence, or protects us from upsetting someone with a truth. It’s the phrase “don’t get me wrong”.

Let’s look at a couple of examples.
1. Why did the Paralympics get so little coverage, well don’t get me wrong I really admire the athletes for what they’ve achieved and how they’ve overcome their disability, but I guess it comes down to the advertising dollar and not enough people wanting to watch live coverage.
2. Why is Winston Peters getting so much grief from the media, well don’t get me wrong, Mr. Peters has done a lot of good over the years, and will probably continue to do so, but maybe this time he has just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

In both these examples, why can’t we just say the truth? The Paralympics doesn’t rate so it’s not live and Winston has blustered himself into trouble, no need to use ‘the phrase’.

Some may call it being to PC.

I have come up with an alternative and a challenge, the challenge is to stop using the phrase “don’t get me wrong” and the alternative is to start choosing appropriate wording with the bravery to be honest.

If we need to use the phrase “don’t get me wrong”, it only means one of two things, we are about to say something completely over the top and incorrect and we want to cover our backside, or, we truly believe a harsh fact but are too afraid to actually say it.

Choose to be accurate, truthful, brave and not purposefully offensive. We have an innate ability to know when something is appropriate or not, use it. If you have a truth, but the time is wrong, don’t hide behind “don’t get me wrong” just like if it is time to say that same truth, then don’t show fear and dumb it down by using “don’t get me wrong”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s just an idea…give it a crack :o)


Monday, November 10, 2008

American Average Joe

Submitted by Guerard, North Carolina, USA. Posted by Pat

Average Joe from America, but I am not a "Plumber"!

American's enjoy traveling to New Zealand, and find New Zealand to be a friendly, and environmentally beautiful country. American's returning from their Holiday come back to the States, and ask, "Why can't we have the same type philosophy towards the environment, as New Zealand"?

Our new President Elect, Barack Obama, has told all American's that he can not accomplish the necessary work to meet the expectations of correcting our Economic, Health Care, Global issues confronting America without the help of all Americans, as well as our Congress, and Senate.

He has called on all American's for TOLLERANCE, COOPERATION, and UNDERSTANDING.

In my humble opinion, as an American, it is my hope that New Zealander's will support the newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand, and that the Parliament hopefully will follow suit.

There are no "quick fixes" to America's, or New Zealand's economic, domestic, and Global issues. After all, we share a Global Responsibility within a Family Nations who support Democracy over Tyranny.

As John Lennon's song goes: "Give Peace a Chance". How true that song was and is. Let us all give our newly elected leaders a "Chance for Change".

From an American Average Joe

Key may offer Clark an international role

NZPA - Prime Minister-elect John Key says he would be happy for his predecessor Helen Clark to take a role on the international stage if that is what she wanted.

Miss Clark announced she was standing down as Labour leader last night after losing yesterday's election, though she intended staying on as the MP for Mt Albert for now.

Mr Key told journalists today there was a historic precedent for former prime ministers to take on an international role in order to use their abilities after their time in Parliament ceased.

"That would be something that clearly we could discuss in the future, but I wouldn't rule it out," Mr Key said.

"I think most New Zealanders would recognise the enormous service that Helen Clark has done."
Asked if he saw Miss Clark in an ambassadorial role, Mr Key said it was far too early to say, as he did not know whether Miss Clark was interested in such a job.

"I am simply recognising her skills."

Former National prime minister Jim Bolger served as ambassador to Washington.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Result

Seats Won
National Party 59
Labour Party 43
Green Party 8
ACT New Zealand 5
Mäori Party 5
Jim Anderton's Progressive 1
United Future 1
New Zealand First Party 0

Some websites to find more results about the 2008 NZ Election
http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_minisite_index_skin/news_election_08_group

Friday, November 7, 2008

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job

From theonion.com

African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Colin Powell wept at Obama's win



CNN's Hugh Riminton interviews former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is asking all Americans to get behind Obama.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama

Just been thinking about the massive day it is today with the first black man to be elected the President of America, is it bigger than having a woman elected...well women have been oppressed for a lot longer than African Americans, like from the dawn of civilisation until the last 50 years or so, and people with African heritage have been oppressed for the last 500 years or so...I don't know which is/would have been bigger.

Needles to say that in February this year I made a pithy, judgemental and probably somewhat arrogant point on my show saying that "...this year, we would see if America has grown up enough to elect a black man President."

Well they have elected one, but have they 'grown up'.

I don't know the answer to that question, but it has caused me to ask another question...do we need to grown up here in New Zealand with our attitude between Maori and Pakeha, Pakeha and Maori?

As a western country, American is 225 years old, New Zealand is 168. Do we just need more time to get to a point of maturity as a nation? Are we possibly still a tempestuous teenager, while America has turned into a responsible 30-something?

Barack Obama's full acceptance speech
Part One


Part Two

I have voted

For a long time I have been saying I am a center swing voter. Well no longer am I a swing voter, about an hour ago I voted.

I don't think it appropriate that I tell you who I voted for, but let me say this. I didn't vote for either major party and I split my vote giving one vote to the left and one to the right.

I guess that means no matter what the result this weekend...I am a winner!!!

If you want to find out how one group identifies you and your political leanings, the do the test at The Political Compass

My result was...












Which interestingly is about where Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama and Gandi are...jeez, I must be awesome










And here is how Political Compass defines the current NZ political scene

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I am a NZ First Supporter....apparently

Visit Pundit.co.nz and take the political quiz to see what party best aligns themselves with your beliefs.

Apparently NZ First is mine.

My results...
New Zealand First Party 76% similarity

New Zealand First Party shares a 76% similarity with your beliefs
Please click here to visit the website of New Zealand First.

Crime and Punishment 75%
Economy and Taxes 75%
Education 88%
Employment 63%
Family and Morals 75%
Foreign Policy and Trade 100%
Government and Leadership 50%
Health Care 88%
Race Relations and Immigration 50%
Welfare and Superannuation 88%

I imagine that many people would come up with a center party as their result, my second best match was United Future...so the question is, "Why are the center parties doing so poorly?"

The best "Best Man" speech ever


Monday, November 3, 2008

Sarah Palin Pranked By Montreal Radio CKOI’s Masked Avengers

Marc-Antoine Audette and Sebastian Trudel, also known as the "Masked Avengers", pranked Gov. Sarah Palin after convincing the VP nominee that she was speaking with French President Sarkozy.

"Gov. Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Gov. Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C’est la vie."

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Predictions for a 'credit card thin' election

Right, time to put down some predictions for the next government and the make up of it. I'd be interested in yours.

Looking at the number of seats of 123 (it's said we'll have another overhang)
Labour 47 seats
Greens 10 seats
Progressives 1 seat

National 55 seats
Act 3 seats
United Future 1 seat

Maori Party 6 seats

My head tells me that the Maori Party can't go with National, but something dwelling deep within me feels like the next government will be National led.

In January of this year I called this years election 'credit card thin' meaning the results will be so close you won't be able to slide a credit card between them...I stand by that prediction

Is there an irony here?

John Key yesterday spoke of how he had faith in his Manukau East MP Kanwaljit Bakshi and he "accepted his candidate’s word". Mr Bakshi is accussed of having made a fake job offer to an Indian woman who was trying to get residency in New Zealand.

John Key was very critical of Helen Clark when she took Winston Peters word with the whole Owen Glen donation fiasco.

On the 29th August on TVNZ's Breakfast, here is some of the things John Key said of Helen Clark around the Winston Peters situation

On being asked what he would have done..."I'd have stood him down, when she couldn't reconcile the two positions she had no option." At the time Mr. Key took Mr. Bakshi's word, he hadn't even spoken to him...one could ask the question how has John Key reconciled the two positions of these accusations.

When asked what Helen Clark should have done, Mr. Key said, "She had a duty of responsibility to get to the bottom of it." However John Key has done nothing to get to the bottom of these accusations

John Key said that the Prime Minister, taking Winston Peter's word over Owen Glen was "…a compromise of standards to keep her government alive". Couldn't someone argue that this may been seen as a compromise to keep his candidates chances, and in doing so, his election alive?

Just wondering if there is an irony here?

See the Breakfast interview by clicking here

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Government help for home owners

This is still all a little unclear what this is all about, but it would seem that the government has guaranteed money to the banks, in case their pool of international funds dry up.

The unclear part is how this actually helps us other than a loosely explained "Bank Managers will be a bit easier on you if times get tough and provide a bit of slack." How this outworks itself no one seems to know. There are specific examples of what can be done...but not much about who is able to get the help, when and how.

See the stuff.co.nz article by clicking here

What we do know is the seven banks have come on board with the idea, they are BNZ, ANZ-National, WESTPAC, ASB, KiwiBank, TSB and SBS.

On a personal not, my mortgage is due for renewal in November...can I use this to get a deal, or will the banks think that this is already a sweetener?

I'll keep you informed.

My wake up call

I just watched a news item on OneNews and I wish I was the kind of person that uses swear words cause all I was thinking was “that makes me f$%ken mad!”

It was a story from the BBC about the issues in Congo where people where so hungry that they were trampling one another, including children, to get to food.

Even the reporter was involved trying to pull people away from the crush in doing so saving one child who she later reunited with her father.

The thing that made me react to this story is how we, as New Zealanders, live such a safe closed minded little world. We bitch and moan about trifling things like smacking bills and boy racers as we sit in front of our televisions, inside our houses, eating our dinner…while some in the world crush their own children in desperation to get a ‘high energy food bar’.

This post is for me, not you, it’s a wake up call for me and maybe a way I can look at my priorities.

Updated at 8.50pm
See the news item by clicking here

Obama gets testy with media



AP: Democrat Barack Obama got annoyed with the media Friday as he tried to walk down a Chicago street with his 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, who was dressed up in a shiny costume for Halloween. A pool of national photographers, reporters and a video crew traveling with Obama quickly covered the spontaneous moment. "All right guys, that's enough," said Obama, wearing a casual outfit and sunglasses in the early evening. He and his daughter were walking right toward the media on a public street. "You got a shot," he told the photographers. "Leave us alone. Come on, guys."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

YouTube Clip of the Week

NEW York Nets superstar Devin Harris probably thought he was pretty safe when challenged to a game of one-on-one by a pasty Pom wearing jeans.

What happened next has made 28-year-old Stuart Tanner, a part time basketball coach, a YouTube legend, with over three million hits and counting.



Tanner bumped into Nets guard Harris at a coaching session in London. Their game, highlighted by Tanner “nutmegging” Harris, is now legend.

'He is a point guard, my position, so I offered to take him on in a one-on-one. Devin looked at me in my jeans and jumper and thought I was no threat,’ said Harris, who quit playing seriously five years ago when he was cut from the Milton Keynes Lions.

'It was a bit embarrassing for him as you shouldn't ever really get beaten with a nutmeg, but he took it really well.’

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The new raised garden

























































Now all we need is the earth and plants...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Club Physical

Week one is up, managed to make it to Club Physical 5 times this week, did two training sessions with my trainer. I have to admit spent Friday and Saturday finding it difficult to sit down as the quads burned baby burned.

Scale moved in the right direction, down a kilo or so...will need to pick it up though if I am going to hit the 15kg mark.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Club Physical Challenge Starts

Well I have taken in the challenge, my goal is to lose between 15 and 20 kilos before Christmas. The guys from Club Physical are helping me out with a mean as trainer who is going to hammer me at every chance.

Check back here in amongst my personal blogs to see what's happening.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The truth behind the brain drain

There is a message coming out this year, it’s a message to lead us into this election about New Zealanders heading off shore. We are being told repeatedly that 80,000 New Zealanders are leaving each year, this is the fault of the Labour Government and we need to get rid of them to stem the flow and bring New Zealanders home.

I challenge this premise and will show you some statistics that will back up a far less sinister possibility that the evils of the current régime.

From JohnKey.co.nz, “I simply won't believe we have to put up with losing 80,000 of our people every year to other parts of the world.”

So let’s look at the facts, according to Statistics NZ, in 2007 77,081 people left New Zealand. Of that 77,081, 21,436 we not New Zealand citizens. Therefore 55,645 New Zealand citizens left New Zealand permanently. In 2007 22,969 NZ Citizens also came back to NZ to live permanently. This gives us a new result of losing 32,676 New Zealand Citizens, still a very large number, but no where near what some may deem a misleading figure of 80,000. It should also be noted that Statistics NZ class leaving permanently as “anyone who is leaving for more than one year,” which of course include numerous young kiwis doing OEs, and many people who would intend to return to NZ at a later date. Still fair top-line point about a large number of New Zealand citizens leaving.

If we delve a little further, lets look at the last five years and see how many New Zealand Citizens have left NZ ‘permanently and what out net migration number of NZ Citizens was.

Now as you can see, the numbers are no where near as bad as what is being ‘sold’, they are still high, we are still losing more New Zealanders each year than we are gaining but the question is, is it because of a terrible government. The only fair way to answer that is to compare it to another government, say the last National government.

So the last 5 years of the previous National government’s migration numbers, for New Zealand citizens, looked like this.

Now if we look at the net result of the last five years of the Labour government, and the last 5 years of the previous National government, we can see that are pretty similar. However, if we then work it out based on the population at the time, you can see that clearly more New Zealand citizens were leaving under the previous National government, than the current Labour government.

Here’s what it looks like
So we have unequivocal poof that our net result of gaining/losing New Zealanders was worse under a National government than the current Labour government in all bar one of the last 5 years of office for each party.

At best you could say that the numbers are so close that the argument is moot, and maybe just a cycle, at worst the National party seems like it’s saying, “these guys in now are almost as bad as we were in 1999 for losing New Zealanders, you better vote them out before that get as bad as we were in 1999”

That is of course unless the government of that day, be it National in 1999, or Labour in 2008 has little to do with New Zealanders leaving, or returning permanently, maybe it is just our adventurous spirit that has always been there, maybe it’s that young kiwi’s have always wanted to go on a working holiday…and the current crop are moving away from Europe and the OE-du-jour is now Australia.

Maybe it’s all just political spin.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shirley Phelps-Roper Interview

Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church chatted with is this morning, check out the family here and at their website (content may offend)

If you want to learn more about them check out the Loui Theroux documentory made about them called 'The most hated family in America"

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Average Joe on Climate Change

My name is Pat Brittenden, I work as an announcer at Newstalk ZB, I have a wife, two children and a cat, I have a mortgage and the bank owns 70% of my house, I am what some define as 'Middle New Zealand', I am the average Joe.

Some would have you believe that “the debate is over” when it comes to mankind’s contribution to Climate Change. My take is that the question is not whether or not we contribute to Global Warming, but if we can do anything about it. I believe two main things. Firstly, that there is nothing we can do to affect global climate change, and secondly, that our government is selling us a lie that will financially cripple middle New Zealand.

The Lie
According to the latest CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center) report commissioned for the United Nations on carbon emissions we know that New Zealand emits 0.1% of the world’s carbon emissions (28,639,822 tonnes). That’s one tenth of one percent of all the carbon that is emitted globally. We know that about 50% of emissions come from the agriculture sector, and approximately 25% from business and industry. That leaves private householders responsible for the remaining 25%. That 25% equals one-fortieth of 1% of the world’s carbon emissions.

Labour’s target is to reduce our carbon emissions by 25%-40% by 2020 and National’s is 50% by 2050. Using National as our benchmark we would halve our one-fortieth of one percent to make one-eightieth of one percent. That means what you and I are responsible for, over the next 42 years, is somewhere between one-fortieth and one-eightieth of one percent of the world’s carbon emissions, per annum. Try and divide that by 4.2 million people. How much difference is your heated towel rail really going to make? If the theory of man contributing to Climate Change is even slightly true, there are only two countries that can make any difference, and that is the USA and China. Together they make up about 40% of the world’s carbon emissions.

National and Labour are selling us a lie. That lie is that we can do something about Climate Change. Even if it was proven that mankind contributes to Climate Change, the amount of Carbon that New Zealand emits is so minuscule that it negates our culpability.

The Hypocrisy
If both major parties are so keen to fight this nonsensical battle, why haven’t they put their money where their mouths are? Why are they not subsidizing the very things that could enable us to reduce our carbon emissions?

Hybrid cars are around 15-20% more expensive than their petrol counterparts. I’d drive a hybrid if they were cheaper…shouldn’t the Government be trying to get us all into hybrids?

Solar Power is very expensive to install. Why?

According to Solid Energy we export around 2,500,000 tonnes of coal. This coal then gets burnt and emits carbon. It is estimated by The Australian Greenhouse Office and other sources, that between 2.4 and 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide is produced for every tonne of coal burnt. This is an approximate representation of what New Zealand households are being held accountable for. Our government is expecting private householders to subsidise coal exports.

If the government is truly concerned about Climate Change, then it should be investigating nuclear energy. Even the founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, said speaking to the Boise Chamber in April that there’s no proof Global Warming is caused by humans, but that if it is, the “only viable solution is to build hundreds of nuclear power plants over the next century. This is also the conclusion that the UN came to recently. Patrick Moore is joined by many others who also dispute the connection between humans and climate change. These are highly respected scientists and environmentalists. (see the end of this article for a list of over 40 scientists and their credentials).

It is pleasing to hear that the government will not be putting the 10 cents per litre on petrol, but let me remind you this is a moratorium and come 2011 (or the pessimist in me says come after the upcoming election) the Emissions Trading Scheme on petrol will come into effect. Electricity is also sure to have surcharges, and the flow on effect of this will hit all areas of life.

A Solution
Let me say that first of all, if it is true that mankind contributes to climate change, then carbon trading credits are not the answer. All they do is kid the people who can afford them into thinking they don’t have to worry about their carbon footprint, just pay their way out of it. It’s like teaching our children that they don’t have to worry about their actions, because there’s an easy way to get around it… if they can afford it.

Now, in saying all this, I am not advocating that we have a careless attitude to our environmental responsibility. We must take care of New Zealand for future generations, and this includes being responsible about pollution. I am simply asking the question, “What can we do?”If my Government told us we were fighting a ‘War on NZ Pollution’, I would be in boots and all. I am not a fan of breathing car fumes, and wasting our natural resources makes no sense. Energy-efficiency is an extremely worthwhile cause, but not for a false argument that is unattainable and will cost us all money that we already cannot afford. The irony of it all, is that if we simply wage war on pollution in New Zealand, Climate Change could become a non-issue.

What we need to do is to focus inwardly on what we can do in New Zealand to improve the air we breathe, the atmosphere and the environment here in Aotearoa. We need to fight to protect (if not restore) the world’s belief in a Clean Green New Zealand. That way we will be addressing climate change, for the right reasons.

This following is a list scientists and former scientists who have stated disagreement with one or more of the principal conclusions of human culpability for global warming.

Timothy F. Ball, former Professor of Geography, University of Winnipeg
Robert M. Carter, geologist, researcher at the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University in Australia
Vincent R. Gray, coal chemist, climate consultant, founder of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.
David Bellamy, environmental campaigner, broadcaster and former botanist
Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
Antonino Zichichi, emeritus professor of physics at the University of Bologna and president of the World Federation of Scientists
Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathematician and astronomer at Pulkovskaya Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Reid Bryson, emeritus professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
George V. Chilingar, Professor of Civil and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California
Ian Clark, hydrogeologist, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
David Douglass, solid-state physicist, professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, emeritus professor of geology, Western Washington University
William M. Gray, Professor Emeritus and head of The Tropical Meteorology Project, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology
George Kukla, retired Professor of Climatology at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
David Legates, associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware
Marcel Leroux, former Professor of Climatology, Université Jean Moulin
Tad Murty, oceanographer; adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa
Tim Patterson, paleoclimatologist and Professor of Geology at Carleton University in Canada
Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology, The University of AdelaideTom Segalstad, head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo
Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of JerusalemFred Singer, Professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia
Willie Soon, astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the University of London
Henrik Svensmark, Danish National Space Center
Jan Veizer, environmental geochemist, Professor Emeritus from University of Ottawa
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, retired professor of geophysics and Director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Claude Allègre, geochemist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris)
Robert C. Balling, Jr., a professor of geography at Arizona State University
John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Petr Chylek, Space and Remote Sensing Sciences researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory
William R. Cotton, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University
Chris de Freitas, Associate Professor, School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland
David Deming, geology professor at the University of Oklahoma
Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professors of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences
Roy Spencer, principal research scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Craig D. Idso, faculty researcher, Office of Climatology, Arizona State University; founder of The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, former research physicist, USDA Water Conservation Laboratory, and adjunct professor, Arizona State UniversityPatrick Michaels, former state climatologist, University of Virginia