Friday, November 22, 2013

McVicar, the mute rooster

Sensible Sentencing Trust rooster Garth McVicar has been unusually quiet over the sentencing of Whangarei psycho nutjob Allan Titford. Usually, this punitive cock would have crowed at the dawn of any case involving such viciousness:
Titford is being sentenced in the Whangarei District Court today after he was convicted by a jury on 14 charges of assault with a weapon, seven of assault, four of male assaults female, three of assault on a child, three of sexual violation, two of arson, and single charges of using a document with intention to defraud, threatening to kill, assault using a weapon, perjury, attempting to pervert the course of justice and discharging a firearm.

The sexual offences were committed against his former wife Susan Cochrane who in an unusual step waived her right for name suppression so Titford could be named.

Judge Duncan Harvey today jailed Titford for a total of 24 years for the offences.
NatRad's Checkpoint went into details the other day, first with a court report and then with Manos Nathan of Te Roroa, who described the mad shit Titford did and blamed on the tribe.

Where's that piercing cry of "lock 'em up and throw away the key" from rooster McVicar?

Others are nodding at the connections that fucking bastard Allan Titford had with certain, er, pigmented parties. I couldn't possibly comment. Suffice it to say that I've long known that the most milquetoast mask can hide the foulest face of reality.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Selective Education

Colin James looks fondly at the legacy of retiring National MP Paul Hutchison:
Investing in children pays a dividend in good and productive citizens. That principle has been slow to work into policy. It needs a different economics from the small-state orthodoxy of the past three decades.

A unanimous report yesterday by Parliament's health select committee chaired by Paul Hutchison encapsulates all three principles. It lays down a big challenge, and bigger potential, to this and future governments.

Paul Hutchison is to the Key government what Tim Barnett was to Clark's one; great talent whom for whatever reason was never made minister, in spite of their obvious talent far beyond some who sat in the cabinet.

Contrast this with John Banks' legacy, a string of Jesus freaks and boot camps called charter schools. While every other school is looking at the sex education curriculum in a new light, these soldier plod academies can teach what they like.

I'd rather have a progressive Nat that a regressive prat.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

There's Plenty More Pikes in the Sea

While one aspect of the kindly ones are marching in centres around the country, another older fury is stirring again, thanks to Listener writer Rebecca Macfie's new book Tragedy at Pike River Mine.

NBR has an excerpt of the book here, and NatRad has an interview with her by a wet dish cloth Richard Langston (Seriously, he's become institutionalised with the "So, how does that make you feel?" schtick that he passed off as current affairs).

From what I've grabbed from the narrative so far, there's plenty of places where bucks should have stopped, and didn't. New Zealand Oil and Gas, who passed off mutton as lamb to the NZ stock exchange. Pike River's Board of Directors who signed off on prospectuses with misleading information on methane levels. The ineffective Department of Labour. The blood from a stone CEO.

And, of course, no-one paid any attention to the geologists.

I can't wait to read the book in its entirety. Between Pike River and the Rena, there's no confidence in the regulatory or business structures, or trust in over-inflated economic benefits of any more novel drilling techniques. Legislating a 500 metre exclusive economic zone in NZ waters around drilling platforms won't prevent another (almost inevitable) loss of life.

And if your kids have asked you for a cowboy outfit for Xmas, I suggest NZ and Gas.

Intersections in Real Time

This week, the NZ Herald discovered a new formula for clocking public interest. No, I'm not talking about the NZ Herald's birthday, tinted as it was through granny spectacles. Nup, there were far too many sports people listed as heroes to consider that seriously.

It was the joint venture between Jared Savage and Keith Ng which shed light on Members of Parliament property holdings not covered by Rod Donald's Pecuniary Interests law. The formula could be expressed thusly: Journo + Geek + Serious Question = Intelligent Hits.

We learn, for example, that National Party Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie runs a tidy little farming empire in the Manawatu. This may or may not explain Federated Farmers' yo-yoing position over the Horizons Regional Council's One Plan.

But as far as I see it, this begs a larger question that I have pondered over for some time. Who owns New Zealand? We know who owns the National Parks, even as co-governance emerges from the mist. But who owns Queen Street in Auckland, or Cuba Street in Wellington, or the main street in your areas of interest?

The current housing crisis babble is just that. The bank economists are jawboning their corner, same as everyone else. No-one really knows what they're talking about. Whether its overseas buyers in the market, or people making hay under the new LVR rules, or which family has inherited the biggest capital gains in the last 150 years, no-one knows. No-one's counting.

Housing NZ is still NZ's largest landlord, followed by Wellington City Council. But who are the top 1000 private landlords? Which landlord has the highest proportion of sub-standard housing? Which church has the largest property holdings? Is there an index of land covenants listed from reasonable to unreasonable?

A convenient example of this interesting point appears in today's DomPost, with the local shopping centre going on the block, as the ailing sole director is forced into a mortgagee sale.

Good luck with that there. Now is not a good time to be in real retail. It's all online, sunshine. Or the Todd family bringing the Albany-sized retail box shops to its airport property a few blocks over. Ah well, at least he didn't blow a crater into the ground and take others with him, like Hubbard or Ross or Lombard, etc.

If a census is good enough for the people, it's good enough for property too. Correlate that undiscovered country, Herald, and I might believe you're not as beholden to the real estate pimps as you appear.

To mangle the words of John "Blind Trust" Key, if the landed gentry have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dire Straits of Malacca

Poor bloody Philippines, the Poland of the Pacific Rim.

When it is not being invaded, colonised, or genocided, its many, many inhabitants are the world's labour pool. Where the Irish or African-American once toiled, today you'll find a Philippine. Whether it's hanging from a scaffolding on a dubious Dubai building site, or slaving away over a hot stove in the bowels of a luxury cruise liner in the Caribbean, you'll find a Flippino.

And, to add injury to rampant Catholicism, now the Philippines are home to a theoretical Category 6 Typhoon (the scale usually goes to 5. This poon went to 11, so to speak).

As ill-timed as Russel Norman's cut n paste of a Philippine climate change spokesperson on Parliament's floor appeared, Norman of Queensland had a point. The funneling effects around the convoluted Straits of Malacca is fairly well-known. As far as climate change canaries in the mine omens go, any prick in chaotic weather systems has a very welcome home here.

What is to be done is another point entirely. According to Kim Stanley Robinson's so-so novel 2312, we are still in the the early years of the Great Dithering. So NZ sends aid packages as says there there, putting off the great migration for at least another electoral cycle. Hercules Returns indeed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Colin in the Lion's Den

If Colin Craig's Conservative Party didn't exist, surely the Nats would invent it anyway.

Their strategists know the score. That yellow bastard John Banks is history. No more mates there for post-election coalitions. The Maori Party has browned out. The appeal of United Future, like the last Spinal Tap tour of the US, has become incredibly select. John Key is looking like Nigel No-Mates the Nat.

Lo and behold, bare weeks before the last election, a gullible but wealthy political neophyte appeared on the horizon. Colin Craig, far-righteous messiah. Hurrah!, sez Key. The obviously clueless Colin would be a doddle to deal compared with Winston Peters.

The ill-suited Craig doesn't even grasp the first rule of politics, that you never throw your own money into the game. Sure, some parties require tithes from their MPs, but most of the legitimacy for their cause must come from the public.

If Colin Craig wants to be a fool readily parted from his money, politics is one of the most efficient ways to do it. If you think home renovations are a money pit, it's peanuts compared to politics. Why do you think the entrenched parties are so fond of sucking off the public tit?

That said, the Conservative Party leaflet fodder sent out before the 2011 election was truly memorable. At a Meet the Candidates Meeting in Whitby, I read through the CCCP's Are You a Conservative? Quiz while waiting for the show to start. Christ, I never laughed so hard at anything else during the whole campaign.

Aside from the McGillicuddy humour value, the Conservatives present a win-win proposition on either front.

Worst case scenario is that Craig blows a few mill of his own cash on a failed bid for a seat or the 5 percent threshold. He'd be replicating Christian Heritage's wasted votes in MMP's early days, sucking up the fundy vote into one useless rotten heap.

Best case scenario is that National gifts a seat to Colin Craig, and hilarity ensues. John Key has forgotten, or just plain desperate enough, to throw caution to the wind and throw his lot in with the CCCP. After all, he ended up supporting Labour over Sue Bradford's Anti-Smacking Bill all those years ago to distance himself from righteous nutters.

If National hitches itself to the Conservatives to stay in power, it'll make the Shipley-Peters gig look like a picnic. No satirist will be short of material. The backlash will be very amusing.

It's moments like this that I recall that the Romans never fed Christians to the lions. They'd kill them more creatively, such as roasting them alive in a hollow brass bull, with their screams bellowing out of the bull's mouth.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A humble suggestion for Word of the Year

Yeah, yeah. I know it's still six weeks til summer solstice, and Public Address' Word of the Year competition doesn't start for another moon cycle. But I reckon the jury is back early for the year twenny-dirteen.

I humbly suggest Panopticmonium.

It has the necessary ingredients of a fistful of Snowden and a pinch of Miranda rights, half a cup of irony of the Huawei embargo, a propeller from an Interislander ferry, as well as a dusting of volcanic ash from the Alleged Pack Rapists of West Auckland explosion.

In addition, Panopticmonium is part of the solution that one could imagine Walter White using if he was denouemented against the goons from the Homeland sitcom, and not another completely different bunch of white supremacist hicks.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

An Attempt to Tap Dance Where Angels Fear to Tread, viz a viz the APRoWA Corruption

Warning: My middle name is Trigger.

Once upon a time in Palmerston North, there lived a criminal lawyer called Trev. All around the district, he was known as the Baddies' Buddy, because of his art of finding reasonable doubt in unreasonable circumstances.

One day, he defended a man accused of rape. He hinged his argument on the matter of consent, seeing how the alleged victim noted in her statement that she had had to help him in, so to speak, with both hands. Regret after the fact may not be rape.

He hassled journalists to ask him whether his client would be seeking name suppression, to which his reply would be, "No! My client wants his name attached to the statement that she had to use both hands emblazoned across the papers!"

This was back in the '80s, and NZ feminism was barely in its teens. The Matrimonial Properties Act was younger still, and the end of marital rape was barely in its twenties. Clint Rickards was still a well-respected cop.

Feminism as it existed would disintegrate into micro factions by the end of that decade, where the Annabel Chong feminists couldn't abide the dungareed anti-porn feminists, and the libertines fell out with the socialist commune types. Marketeers took the slack, replacing the burnt out earnestness with bling and Britney Spears became the new normal.

In defence of the old man, I would note the old goat was an equal opportunity defence attorney. Years earlier than this, he had used what was arguably NZ's first battered wife syndrome defence in a murder trial from Pahiatua. To plant a seed of the landscape in your brain, imagine a country more ManGodded than Vincent Ward's Vigil, but with added unconsenting sodomy and so forth.

In addition, the presiding judge was Deaf as a Post and Trev managed to harangue NZ's first judicial hearing armed with mikes and speakers. So, give the devil his dues.

Sexual politics is like regular politics, except more polarising, with a comparatively vastly spectrum and infinite combinations of non-awareness due to the super-subjectivity of experience.

It is moments like this that I'm glad that I have a voice for blogging and not a face for radio. Willie and JT are mired, and is Andrew Fagan. For once, Matthew Hooton went troppo on air for the right reasons. I'm typing cautiously, whereas my mouth would have had formal complaints ten minutes ago.

The traditional Kiwi response to sexual politics is to shrug, make a lame joke and forget about it, usually by changing the channel, but also by the time tested "this conversation is over". The same formula is used as a wide-ranging tool to hammer down abortion, suicide, drug reform, and every other contentious issue worth a damn. She'll be right. If it's not broken, etc.

Well, I think the cops finally broke the public trust. Not in my forty-three years in this political animal farm have I witnessed in NZ politics such white hot fury as the APRoWA Corruption is generating (Alleged Pack Rapists of West Auckland. I refuse to name these deviants using their nomenclature). She'll be right is not an option.

What kind of sex education do they teach in Avondale? I hope it's an improvement on the nonsense taught when I was in 5th Form, at a conservative state school where they worshiped Rugby and taught the female anatomy presented as a cross section, exactly like a side of beef or lamb. And as for parental birds & bees discussions, I learned more from my two Dad's porn stashes than I ever learned from all five parents.

I doubt things have changed that much 'twixt schools and parents. Same as it ever was, right down to the Mazengarb cross-winds. As always, the kids learn it from the streets and the school of hard knocks. And the knocks leave cracks.

What does former NZ First Law and Order man Ron Mark think about it all? Is there an ethical boundary between one-off situations of young love and on-going predatory behaviour, and can Police tell the difference?

I doubt it. Rather a breath test checkpoint, where the computer sez yes or no. Rather a cannabis bust, where the perp is non-violent and the body armour is ridiculously overdressing for the occasion, let alone calling in the AOS. And all that is needed for a blue star for the career ladder is a working nostril. A reptile brain is all that is required to smell cannabis, no higher brain functions required. Simple stuff.

The simple stuff has ruined the police. Little wonder their recruitment drives end up overseas, where mercenaries are brought back who have no clue as to the lie of the land.

Police Minister Anne Tolley is genuinely livid for being misinformed by her patched minions over the saga. Her IPCA complaint can run its course, but there's mounting calls for a Royal Commission into Police Conduct. It's an entirely reasonable call. If Margaret Bazley can't get heard, you need to increase the calibre of your weapon.

The furies have awoken is this usually stolid land, and they're banging at the gates of Bullshit Towers, aka Police HQ.  Tokens and trinkets will not do any more. The ladies will be sated. Heads must roll, something big must change, or there will be rioting in the streets. That much is reasonable.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Shed

Had to switch off NatRad earlier than usual
The host was whipping Joe Bennett for his
Defence of the pursuit of happiness
In the future we will all die of boredom

Rain on corrogated iron
A superior form of white noise
Filtered through red wine
Squeezed into something new

The random hits the sine wave
Chaos and order clash with wild harmony
Much more tolerance for deviation
In nature than nurture