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."