Thursday, February 28, 2008

The law is a double-assed baboon

There's not many career options open to a Deaf Mute. Journalism, for example, is not an option. In spite of what you see on My Name is Earl, Deaf lawyers are far and few between. Hell, even buglary is not something to recommend a Deaf Mute. So, it is no surprise to read that one intrepid Deaf Mute outlaw follows the best path to small business outside IT and sells cannabis for a living.

Desmond Brooks, who hit a half-century, also scored home detention for the nefarious crime of growing cannabis. I've never met Mr Brooks, but I'd like to read his charge sheet: "58 convictions in 30 years, 19 of them drug-related." There but for a twist of spacetime, there goes me.

In spite of the brand spanking new NZSL Act, which promises in Part 2, Section 7 to ensure that New Zealand Sign Language is permissible in legal procedings, the DomPost descibes things thusly:
It was a confusing half hour for Brooks as he stood in the dock waiting to know his sentence. At times, he looked anxiously behind him to the public gallery, as a supporter tried to explain. When jail was mentioned, two fists were held together to signal handcuffs. When home detention was raised, his supporter pointed to an ankle, where the electronic monitoring bracelet would go.
Now that's a fucking kangaroo court.

By the way, Desmond Brooks. If you're reading this, a bit of harm minimisation advice. Make hash, not oil.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Interview with the Werewolf

Wednesday will be interesting. Winston Peters returns to the country and the peasants are revolting. Well, the press gallery is. Finally. After much prodding and ribbing from the blogosphere. Wednesday is the day that we find out if the werewolf still has it in him. Journos beware. One cannot let one's guard down to this political animal.

For starters, it would help get your facts straight from the get-go. Loose use of figures might be OK for the public, but it takes a steady aim to hit the werewolf where it hurts. The donation is not "$100,000," as Audrey Young is tossing around. It might be, but that bit of gossip is not out in the public domain yet. Retro MP Dail Jones said between 10 and 100K, closer to 100K. That narrows it down to anywhere between 55 and 100K.

The only categorical statements from Winston so far is that he has denied that the cash came from Owen Glenn, and that Dail Jones is completely wrong. Reckon he won't have too much difficulty with either point.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hillary concedes?

Onegoodmove features the closing statements in the Texas debate between Obama and Clinton. Hillary gets a standing ovation for a speech that essentially concedes defeat. There's also a good clip on the healthcare differences.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gagging on China

While the pollies are swallowing dead rats, there's a rather large china plate stuck in the gullet of the NZ public. The plate features elaborate writing by the IOC, and they want all NZ's Olympic competitors to sign it. Basically, the NZ athletes are to behave like dogs at Crufts.

Unlike John Key, I remember where I was during the 1981 Springbok Tour. Age 11 in Palmy, sitting at the long dining table in Chaytor Street in the middle of a blazing row with the whanau over the Tour. Well, sez Dad, what would you do? I say that Muldoon should have refused the Springboks their visas.

Raybon Kan is right. Everything is political. Generation Y may not quite grasp this, as they have no memory of a time when trade was embargoed. They do not remember that until Apartheid fell in the '90s, you could not buy South African goods in NZ. No oranges, no Amarula, no Chenin Blanc. But the Xers and the older ones remember just fine.

Wasn't Helen Clark a Springbok protester? How far she's come. Have the ethics been completely burned off being so long in the game?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eva Dixon is dead

First they got humped out of Dixon St because of the smoking ban. Now they're getting biffed by Wellington Zoo, who are outsourcing their refreshments to the bland efficiencies of Spotless Catering. The owner-operator model is dying, but why is Iona Pannett to blame?

4:20 News

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest doctors group in the United States, has endorsed using marijuana for medical purposes. And they're not restricting it to the narrow bunch of conditions that NZ intends to do with cannabis extract, Sativex:
"The government should review marijuana's status as a so-called schedule I controlled substance, alongside such drugs as LSD and heroin, given scientific evidence of its safety and efficacy for some medical conditions."
Some sanity, at last!


The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal in Canada has ruled that the smell of burnt marijuana isn't enough evidence to arrest someone for possession of the drug and then search their vehicle without a warrant:
"The smell alone can't constitute the grounds because the smell of burnt marijuana - as opposed to raw marijuana - gives an inference that the material is gone, it's dissipated into the atmosphere. So how can you say you're in possession of something that doesn't exist?"

In 1998, world leaders met and set themselves the ambitious goal of a ‘Drug Free World’ by 2008. After such rabid success with the prohibition model, discussion is being led on whether the "war on drugs" thing is fit for purpose. This Monday and Tuesday, the consultation reaches New Zealand:
"More than 40 delegates from a range of New Zealand NGOs will attend the Wellington consultation, including the Drug Foundation, Needle Exchange Programme, youth health services, treatment services, Māori health organisations, and DHBs."
It will be one of the last before the UN committee reports back on where to go from here. Your intrepid reporter in the field will blog what he can.

History erased

Where have all the Labour MP bios gone? They used to be there and now they're not. In fact, there's bugger all but PR guff to look at.

You'd think that those three lines under Cullen's mug would be hyperlinks, and you'd be wrong. Blank. If some ignorant peasant tripped into this page, there'd be no way for them to tell that Cullen is even Finance Minister. Finally, a history lecturer with no history. And Phil Goff is nothing more than MP for Mt Roskill.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Falun Gong Watch

I was walking past the Chinese Embassy this morning, when four or five goons came out of the Embassy and hassled the Falun Gong silent protest across the road. Being a chivalrous bastard, I stopped and gave the team the evils a bit. Any more reports of stunts like that, post them in comments.

Rich Resigns, Peachey Keen?

Congratulations on Katherine Rich getting her priorities right. It's a bugger for the Nats, but at least the Education portfolio has been taken up by a similarly strong presence. At this juncture, it would be a good time for Peachey to announce that he won't be standing next time either. Like Bob Clarkson and Mark Blumsky, he is just not suited for parliament.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The New York Times is reporting a rise in prime deliquencies. Forget the black man in string vest mortgages. When the predictable start making unpredictable mortgage defaults, get worrying. Many of my mates are battening down the hatches, transferring their mortgages from mainstream lenders to their parents. Listen to Bernard Hickey.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saving Face

Well, that's torn it. I was saving this story for being a local councillor and using it that way, but what the hell.

I was once hired by the Chinese Embassy in Wellington for a function. Helen was there. So was Jim, Don and a few others. I helped serve the courses. In between in each course, we presented a bunch of facecloths, which everyone used to ceremoniously wipe their faces. These cloths were taken out back, rinsed in luke-warm water and freshened with aerosol deodorant, before being randomly recycled for the next break in courses. Thankfully, this was in the days before avian flu.

I spotted a cockroach waddling over one of the courses, a bowl of... something, and alerted the supervisor. He reluctantly pulled the dish. From the look on his face, I could tell that he would have served it anyway, if it wasn't for this necessary foreigner.

As Joe Walding said, we do things differently here.

An unconventional convention

The US of A is facing a weird-shit election, the likes of which has never been seen before. Romney is out and Huckabee should fold soon. No point throwing good money after bad. McCain will get the requisite number of delegates, but he will face a hostile convention now that the hierarchy's favoured puppet has cut the strings. Witness the inane ravings of Tom DeLay at onegoodmove. These guys are absolutely batshit. The neo-cons are preparing to burst a blood vessel if McCain is the Republican candidate.

Over on the Democrat circuit, Hillary and Obama have reasons to be cheerful. Obama for sweeping the weekend's delegate hunt (Washington was an interesting one. The geeks are with Obama). Meantime, Hillary is waiting for Texas to pump some delegates her way. The Dems are still some way from having a frontrunner. If it drags on too long, the party could easily turn into a self-destructing Democrat run for presidency. According to the Independent, there may be a way out:
A less objectionable solution would be a truce between the two runners and the formation of a two-for-one "dream ticket". It's an idea Democrat voters mention often. Howard Dean, the chairman of the party, said last week that some kind of armistice would have to be negotiated if they are still tied in the spring.
But who would be on top? No, I don't think it will come to that. Hillary is dipping into the private fortune to keep up with Obama's warchest, which is not a good sign. Obama's momentum will grow. Obama will still be president.

Some reckon to have the legend of President Obama already mapped out in Dallas. In a room of infinite monkeys, every future is written somewhere. The threat of a disgruntled former Blackwater dude going ballistic is possible. Not that McCain would be immune to such intervention, especially if the VP was the right man.

And then there's Putin...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Die Hard with Fucktard

If Die Hard 2 had have been filmed in NZ instead of Hollywood, it would have looked something like this:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Your retina belong to us

The FBI intend to start a 10 year contract on a $US 1 billion biometric database of its citzens (and anyone passing through). While fingerprints are currently the largest information dump to go in, the database has been future-proofed to include data on palm prints, scars and tattoos, and iris scans. NZ will be connected to this system through the Server in the Sky program. Are you worried yet?

Hat Tip Boing Boing (again).