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Thursday, May 31, 2007


News that we are a nation of callous pricks that allow people to die from having unpaid electricity bills is worldwide news! Hold that chin up high Kiwi!

NZ police probe power cut death
A New Zealand woman on an oxygen machine died after an energy firm switched off her power supply because of unpaid bills, her family claims. Folole Muliaga, a 44-year-old mother of four, died within two hours of the electricity being switched off at her home in the northern city of Auckland. Police said they were investigating the circumstances of Mrs Muliaga's death. The power company, Mercury Energy, said it had been unaware any disconnection would put her life at risk. Relatives of Mrs Muliaga, a schoolteacher, said she had been off work since February with a heart and lung condition. Because of this, the family claim, she had fallen behind with her energy bills.

Breakfast news on Alt Tv/Fleet FM

Kia ora Aotearoa, this is your news from the Alt Tv newsdesk for Thursday the 31st of May

Your national headlines at 7.30am
Mother said - Just give us a chance
Hooked up to an oxygen machine and seriously ill with heart and lung disease, Auckland woman Folole Muliaga pleaded "for a chance". But her plea fell on deaf ears and a contractor cut off her power after saying he was "just doing his job". About 2 1/2 hours later the 44-year-old mother of three was dead. Mercury Energy has described the death as "an absolute tragedy" and has launched an internal investigation. ‘Absolute Tragedy’ – no my Mercury Energy corporate killer friend, this pointless and needless death isn’t an absolute treagedy, it is a public relations nightmare from which there is no end, and may Mercury Energy suffer and suffer and suffer. The very same contractor had only 24 hours earlier shown discretion by not shutting the power off to a retirement village, so the contractor had the option of not shutting the power off – oh and what is the price of one dead brown person in NZ?A $160 unpaid electricity bill.

In other national news
Clampdown on dirty dairy farm habits
Dairy farmers who consistently flout pollution standards face being shunned by milk tanker drivers, as Fonterra and regional councils throughout New Zealand join forces to clamp down on dirty farm practices. Fonterra's new "effluent indicator system" will be introduced from the beginning of the 2007/2008 season, which starts tomorrow. Farmers who refuse to comply with rules that prevent pollution of land and waterways may face reduced payouts from the very company they own shares in, Fonterra. But that would take 3 years of flouting these new so called rules, Fonterra is finally doing something to look like they are clamping down on Farmers and the dirty waste they make that pollutes our beautiful country because there are so many bloody diary farmers now and their filthy dirty waste is starting to seep into water ways and pollute drinking water and the public might start noticing cow shit in their taps. With environmentalism now starting to effect the choices more and more NZers make as consumers each day, Fonterra is terrified they might get burnt by a more socially conscious society.

In International news at 7.30
Peace activist gives up fight
WASHINGTON - The war in Iraq has claimed another victim - leaving the United States peace movement without one of its most genuine and inspirational voices. Activist Cindy Sheehan has announced she is standing down from her position as the "face" of the anti-war movement, citing frustration with apathy of the American public over Iraq and the failure of the Democratic Party to do more to bring the troops home. She said she had been routinely abused by conservatives and liberals and accused of being an "attention whore" after becoming involved in the peace movement after her son Casey was killed in Iraq. "I have sacrificed a 29-year marriage and have travelled for extended periods of time away from Casey's brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings." The land of the free, home of the brave.

And in other international news
Firm sued over secret CIA flights
A US civil liberties group is suing a subsidiary of Boeing for allegedly helping the CIA fly suspects to secret overseas jails where they were abused. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed the lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan on behalf of three men allegedly abducted by the CIA. The Bush administration acknowledges its policy of "extraordinary rendition" but denies any suspect is tortured (bullshit). Jeppesen has said it cannot confirm whether or not the CIA is a customer. International law and most domestic law around the planet considers it illegal to secretly kidnap people, fly them out of a country secretly to a secret CIA run torture prisons in Europe to be secretly tortured, but President Bush points out those factors are all technicalities. Apparently freedom tickles sometimes and democracy requires electric shocks to be applied to testicles.

Corporate Murder

So Mercury Energy has one of their thugs shut the power off to a Pacific Island family which switches off the oxygen machine to a mother with heart and lung disease and she dies. Can anyone of us imagine a more despicable corporate action? Last week it was government owned dirty filthy coal companies paying to put a spy into environmental groups, this week it is State owned Enterprises killing people for a $168 debt. It is difficult to shrug off the feeling that this would not have happened if the family was white – the very day before the Mercury Energy thug switched off the life support system in this home, he was at a retirement village 24 hours earlier showing discretion NOT to switch off the power – so the thug had the discretion to turn it off, he decided not to for an old persons home but yes for the pacific island home.

Welcome to NZ.

Mother said - Just give us a chance
Hooked up to an oxygen machine and seriously ill with heart and lung disease, Auckland woman Folole Muliaga pleaded "for a chance". But her plea fell on deaf ears and a contractor cut off her power after saying he was "just doing his job". About 2 1/2 hours later the 44-year-old mother of three was dead. Mercury Energy has described the death as "an absolute tragedy" and has launched an internal investigation.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Breakfast news on Alt Tv/Fleet FM

Kia ora Aotearoa, this is your news from the Alt Tv newsdesk for Wednesday the 30th of May

Your national headlines at 7.30am
Action on gang patches
A bill proposing to ban the wearing of gang insignia in Wanganui's public places will be lodged with Parliament in about a month. Wanganui District Council unanimously decided at a council meeting to proceed with its Prohibition of Gang Insignia Bill, and right after we have banned gang insignia, let’s ban the colours Red and Blue because some gangs use those colurs, and while we are at it let’s ban Brown people, Young people, Brown Young People and anyone else that scares white middle class European NZers.

In other national news
Burger King to fight decision on bikini ad complaints
Burger King is to appeal against an Advertising Standards Authority decision upholding complaints against two of the fast-food company's TV ads. After a number of complaints, the authority found the advertisements for two different burgers, each featuring three bikini-clad women, breached an advertising code of practice forbidding the use of sex appeal simply to draw attention to a product. Burger King said yesterday it would appeal the decision, which had caused the two "highly popular" advertisements to be withdrawn. Marketing manager Megan Denize said she was disappointed the commercials had had to be withdrawn as they had received approval from the Television Commercial Approvals Bureau before being broadcast. "We believe this is a much better indicator of community reaction than the small number of complaints received by the Advertising Standards Complaints Board," Ms Denize said. The message of the adverts are that no matter how successful, or how wealthy or how intelligent a woman is – to every dribbling meat loving red blooded male women are always ever going to be a slut in a bikini. And this exercise in objectifying women to mere slithers of bikini is all for selling junk food hamburger meat to men whose sexual appetites are manifested in mouthwatering simultaneous hunger as the advert slow-mo’s over a huge steaming Whopper sold by 3 women who look like they have never kept a meal down long enough to digest. Human meat to sell animal meat – it’s post-modern mass media lunacy at it’s most cancerous and delightful.

In International news at 7.30
Bubble feared as China's index soars beyond 4000
China's main stock index has crashed through the 4000 barrier for the first time, fuelled by demand from individual investors despite warnings that a stock market bubble is being created. Shanghai's benchmark CSI 300 index soared 2.2 per cent to close at 4072.58, and the value of shares traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges hit a record US$50.9 billion ($69 billion), exceeding the US$43.9 billion that changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange on May 25. Whenever you bring together greedy, ill-educated people in a massive environment of financial speculation run on crony capitalism, the chances of total stockmarket collapsed is looming every week, and seeing the global melt down that occurred when the Chinese government looked to reign in unregistered stock traders earlier this year that saw a 9% drop in one day, that bubble has the ability to burst and effect global markets. With America owing China, if China suddenly needs money, it will be the American economy that will explode as well, starting of a world wide stock collapse.

And in other international news
Bush toughens sanctions on Sudan
US President George W Bush has announced fresh sanctions against Sudan over the four-year Darfur conflict. Mr Bush said more Sudanese companies and individuals involved in the violence in Darfur would be barred from trading or banking with the US. He also said he would push for a new UN Security Council resolution to put more pressure on President Omar al-Bashir. It has only taken 200 000 dead Africans, tens of thousands of rapes and the fact China is now taking a huge amount of Sudanese oil before Bush has done anything. What a hero.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I don’t like Investigate Magazine either, but really…

The Police Complaints Authority amazingly has decided NOT to investigate claims raised in Investigate magazine that Dunedin police officers were involved in corruption, drug-taking, rape and child-sex rings. Now I don’t like Investigate Magazine either, but the grounds for the refusal of the Police Complaints Authority are ludicrous, their counter to their inaction is that no specifics were mentioned, and as such they can’t investigate. Doesn’t that just astound you, not only does the Police Complaints Authority heavily censor any of their decisions anyway, not only are they cops investigating cops (and we know from the Bazley report that cops lie and protect one another, and are unlikely to change on their own), but the Police Complaints Authority also get to decide if any accusations are ‘specific’ enough for them to investigate – Jesus Christ on a bicycle, the accusations revolve around corruption, drug-taking, rape and child-sex rings – I can’t imagine more incentive to make sure those accusations are baseless than a full investigation!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll keep saying it – we need an independent police complaints authority NOW!

No investigation into sex, drugs claims against police
Allegations that serving and former police officers were involved in crimes including rape and drug-taking will not be investigated by the Police Complaints Authority. The historic allegations came to light in an article published in Investigate magazine, which claimed that Dunedin police officers were involved in corruption, drug-taking, rape and child-sex rings. The magazine also revealed that a pornographic film involving bestiality with a chicken was screened in 1981 in the Dunedin home of Howard Broad, now the Commissioner of Police. Mr Broad has admitted the film was screened but said he was unaware it had happened until later. Police Complaints Authority head Justice Lowell Goddard, QC, said yesterday that no claims from the magazine required investigation or action by the authority without specific complaints. Deputy Commissioner of Police Lyn Provost said police had not received any claims about the allegations but would investigate any if they arose.

Bikini sluts to sell MEAT (the NZ dream)

I remember watching the BK adverts, you know the ones that have 3 women, each profiled as brilliant, or successful or wealthy – but in each scene they were in bikinis. I wondered what message that was saying to every young girl watching it, that no matter how smart you are, how successful, or how wealthy – to every dribbling meat loving red blooded male you were always ever going to be a slut in a bikini. And what was this exercise in objectifying women to mere slithers of bikini all for? Selling junk food hamburger meat to men whose sexual appetites was manifesting in mouthwatering simultaneous hunger as the advert slow-mo’s over a huge steaming Whopper sold by 3 women who looked like they have never kept a meal down long enough to digest. Human meat to sell animal meat – it’s post-modern mass media lunacy at it’s most cancerous and delightful.

Bikini girls banned from TV
Fast-food chain Burger King has withdrawn two television advertisements deemed sexually exploitative through their "cheesy" use of bikini-clad women. The Advertising Standards Complaints Board, in decisions issued yesterday, found both commercials breached an industry code of practice forbidding the use of sex appeal simply to draw attention to a product.

Breakfast news on Alt Tv/Fleet FM

Kiaora Aoeteroa, this is your news from the Alt Tv newsdesk for Tuesday the 29th of May

Your national headlines at 7.30am

Bikini girls banned from TV
Fast-food chain Burger King has withdrawn two television advertisements deemed sexually exploitative through their "cheesy" use of bikini-clad women. The Advertising Standards Complaints Board, in decisions issued yesterday, found both commercials breached an industry code of practice forbidding the use of sex appeal simply to draw attention to a product. Its decisions were in contrast to a board ruling last year that dismissed complaints against a Burger King advert featuring three young women on horses at a beach, and the food chain intends to appeal. Burger King's management was unavailable but its Auckland advertising agency, Y&R, said it hoped to win support from the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeals Board for resumed screenings. In one advertisement the women are depicted as wearing bikinis in professional jobs, and then dropping everything they are doing to ride to the nearest Burger King. Effectively the woman regardless of brains, money or executive positions, were simply bikini sluts to be used to sell meat, and we wonder why young women have a fucked up sense of themselves via the media images they are bombarded with every day.

In other national news
Lockout sparks unholy row
An international conference aimed at countering "religious radicals" opens at Waitangi today - with New Zealand's Christian radicals led by the Destiny Church consigned to the streets. Destiny's Bishop Brian Tamaki will lead what are expected to be hundreds of supporters in a protest outside the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Dialogue, which is being opened this morning by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The three-day, Government-sponsored meeting of "moderate" religious leaders from 15 nations is officially aimed at enhancing New Zealand's security by "having real potential to foster tolerance within our religiously diverse region and to counter religious radicalisation". But Bishop Tamaki, who said he applied to join an "observer" group only to be told it did not exist, plans to issue his own alternative "Waitangi Declaration" affirming that New Zealand is still "a Christian nation". And what a Christian nation it is, the self-proclaimed Bishop who hears God everyday, also believes homosexuals should be imprisoned and claims that a woman leading the country is proof that Satan, the prince of darkness is actually running things. How very Christian.

In International news at 7.30
US warns Iran over arming Iraqis
The US has called on Iran to stop arming militants in Iraq at their the first bilateral public talks between the two countries in almost 30 years. US envoy Ryan Crocker said his Iranian counterpart had rejected the charges at the four-hour talks in Baghdad, which focused exclusively on Iraq's security. Both countries agreed that a secure and stable Iraq was in their interests. The irony of America admonishing Iran after themselves illegally invading Iraq on a base of lies seems to have been lost on the Americans. Meanwhile more bodies were found tortured and dumped in Baghdad, those Iraqi’s are loving the Freedom and Democracy America has brought them.

And in other international news
Poland targets 'gay' Teletubbies
A senior Polish official has ordered psychologists to investigate whether the popular BBC TV show Teletubbies promotes a homosexual lifestyle. The spokesperson for children's rights in Poland, Ewa Sowinska, singled out Tinky Winky, the purple character with a triangular aerial on his head. "I noticed he was carrying a woman's handbag," she told a magazine. "At first, I didn't realise he was a boy." Ms Sowinska wants the psychologists to make a recommendation about whether the children's show should be broadcast on public television. Perhaps Poland would like to investigate why Donald Duck never wore pants or why Winnie the Pooh only had male friends.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Breakfast news on Alt Tv/Fleet FM

Good Morning aoteroa from the Alt Tv News desk this is your news for Monday 28th May

National headlines at 7.30am

Solid Energy boss unrepentant over use of student for spying duties

The head of a state-owned mining company accused of using a spy to infiltrate a protest group has rejected calls for his resignation, saying his firm will do whatever is necessary to protect itself. Solid Energy chief executive Dr Don ‘Big Brother’ Elder has come out swinging against the "anarchist" Save Happy Valley Coalition, after it was revealed that a student was paid to supply information to a private investigation firm contracted by the company. The spy, Ryan Paterson- Rouse, admitted being paid $100 a week to provide inside information to Auckland's Thompson and Clark Investigations. Mr Paterson-Rouse, 25, told the Herald he provided information about numbers at public meetings only because "I wasn't privy to much else". He thought he was supplying the information to a journalist. He said he believed in what the protesters were doing, and saw the spying as a way to make some easy money. "I'm a poor student, mate." Peace Action Wellington believes it was also infiltrated by a spy working for Thompson and Clark Investigations.

And in other national news
Water bills to soar by 140pc in 10 years
Water bills are set to soar from $717 to $1711 over 10 years for the average Auckland City household to offset rate rises and boost the region's water supply. Councillors and officers have known about the 140 per cent rise for more than a year but done nothing to alert ratepayers of pending financial hardship. What's more, councillors voted last week for even bigger water bills by supporting a proposal for the region's monopoly water supplier, Watercare, to pay councils a dividend. Watercare sells water at "least cost" to six councils, who own it. About one-third of the $1000 increase is to pay for new capital works by Watercare. The rest will go into Auckland City's coffers for spending on stormwater. Money earmarked for stormwater will be spent on other areas, prompting some councillors and critics to label the increases a "rates rise in drag". What of course is actually happening, is a slow hidden movement towards privitising your water without anyone realizing what they are doing.

And your International News at 7.30

Reds not so Pink
A gay rights demonstration in Moscow degenerated into violence for the second year running as right-wing and orthodox extremists attacked gay rights activists and supporters of the unauthorised demonstration. GayRussia leader Nikolai Alexeyev was bundled into a police van and driven away moments after arriving outside the offices of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who has called homosexuals "satanic". Mr Alexeyev was attempting to deliver a petition signed by more than 50 MEPs urging Mr Luzhkov to allow such events. British veteran gay rights activist Peter Tatchell was punched in the face by an anti-gay rights protester. After receiving the blow, he leaned on a lamppost and shouted: "Someone protect me, Someone protect me," before being roughly arrested by riot police. The pop group Right Said Fred, in Moscow for a concert, turned up at the protest. Band member Richard Fairbrass was hit on the nose and ran away with blood on his face. Russian pop duo t.A.T.u also appeared briefly to show support. One Italian Eurpoean MP cried out to the Police as he was attacked, “Where are the police? Why aren’t you protecting us”, seconds before the Police arrested him.

In other International News
Israel PM vows more Gaza action
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says a crackdown against Hamas will continue, after an Israeli man was killed by a rocket fired from Gaza. "No-one involved in terror has immunity," Mr Olmert told his Cabinet. Apparently he wasn’t referring to the Israeli Defense Force. The Israeli man died after shrapnel hit him in the neck in the town of Sderot. Hamas militants said they had carried out the rocket attack because the Israelis have been occupying Palestinian land for 40 years now. About 40 people have been killed in Gaza in 12 days of Israeli air strikes designed to stop the rocketing. Hamas fire home made sky rockets that are wildly inaccurate where as the Israelis fire American made laser guided multi launch high explosive missiles.
Mr Olmert hinted that any Israeli action would be open-ended.

"I'm just a poor student mate"

How dare a dirty filthy coal company owned by the Government be allowed to infiltrate and pay for spies into environmental groups – I think we understand if they (Solid Energy) wanted to monitor the protest groups, they are after all right next to your place of business, as paranoid and tasteless as having men in camouflage watching protestors is, I think we all understand Solid Energy’s position BUT to hire a student to go into the group and spy on them is way beyond anything any Government agency (that isn’t directly the SIS or Police Department) should ever be allowed to do. We have massive checks and balances (supposedly) within the SIS and the Police to over see such surveillance, allowing a Coal company to plant a student spy, who would urge other protestors to break the law is something Solid Energy should be punished for.

Oh and Mr Paterson-Rouse, you are a fucking traitor for a coal company of all things, how very, very dirty. What goes around Mr Paterson-Rouse, what goes around.

Solid Energy boss unrepentant over use of student for spying duties
The head of a state-owned mining company accused of using a spy to infiltrate a protest group has rejected calls for his resignation, saying his firm will do whatever is necessary to protect itself. Solid Energy chief executive Dr Don Elder has come out swinging against the "anarchist" Save Happy Valley Coalition, after it was revealed that a student was paid to supply information to a private investigation firm contracted by the company. The spy, Ryan Paterson- Rouse, admitted being paid $100 a week to provide inside information to Auckland's Thompson and Clark Investigations. Mr Paterson-Rouse, 25, told the Herald he provided information about numbers at public meetings only because "I wasn't privy to much else". He thought he was supplying the information to a journalist. He said he believed in what the protesters were doing, and saw the spying as a way to make some easy money. "I'm a poor student, mate." Peace Action Wellington believes it was also infiltrated by a spy working for Thompson and Clark Investigations. Save Happy Valley Coalition spokeswoman Frances Mountier said Dr Elder should resign immediately over the episode.

Reds not so Pink

You can always judge the tolerance level of a place by the way they treat homosexuals, if it’s ok to be queer in public, its generally a safe place – but if being queer in public earns you a bashing, well then that suggests some underlying tensions, and so it was with yesterdays gay pride march in Moscow where even two visiting western European MPS were attacked by far right homophobes and then arrested by Government homophobes after they complained about being attacked by the far right homophobes.

Oh those Russians.

Arrests at Russian gay protests
Two West European MPs and a Russian gay rights leader have been arrested in Moscow, as violence broke out at a banned protest by gay rights activists.
Anti-homosexual protesters threw kicks, punches and eggs at the gay rights group, chanting "Moscow is not Sodom". The gay rights demonstrators were trying to deliver a petition to the mayor of Moscow, demanding the right to stage public marches. MPs from Germany and Italy were reportedly among those arrested. Veteran British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was arrested, along with the leader of GayRussia, Nikolai Alexeyev. Mr Tatchell was punched in the face before being detained. Italian MEP Marco Cappato was kicked by an anti-gay rights protester and then arrested when he demanded police protection.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club

On the Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club today (11am Sky Digital 65), NBR journalist, Ben Thomas and news guru, Bill Ralston.

Spies in the house of love – SST
An Auckland private investigation firm is paying agents to infiltrate and spy on environmental, peace and anti-vivisection groups for its clients, including state-owned enterprise Solid Energy. Who is spying on peace groups? Why is a government agency sending in spies to environmental groups? Doesn’t this stand for everything we don’t like as NZers?

Prison Riot – SST/HOS
A clash between rival youth gangs yesterday forced the lockdown of Wellington's Rimutaka Prison and the callout of 50 riot officers. Rimutaka has become the most corrupt prison in the country with new revelations that Guards were bribed for good behaviour reports. When Corrections chief executive Barry Matthews told reporters earlier this year that it was only a couple of bad apples and not a culture of corruption within the prison system, was he lying or showing how out of touch with the reality of the situation he is?

Balmy May weather just too warm for skiers – SST
The balmy May weather might be a tonic for some but it is threatening to delay the start of the ski season. Most fields are due to open in early June, but say they have only a thin or non-existent snow base. Welcome global warming, this May is shaping up to be the warmest on record, how are we going to adapt to change like this? Will sking become a thing of the past?

Boy Racer terror – SST Drink Driving - HOS
All week we’ve had moral panic over boy racers, how ridiculous has the coverage and knee jerk reactions been? Thankfully Anthony Hubbard puts the break on the nonsense with a brilliant piece looking at the actual impact of boy racer deaths, only 5% of deaths. Where is the same outcry over our appalling drink driving stats?

Leader Change – HOS
Oh come on, a couple of bad polls and Helen Clarke is gone? If we did look at it though, we know Mahary can’t do it, but who could Helen’s replacement be?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

NZ not racist and other myths

When the chief executive of TVNZ attempts to claim that he is meeting public television charter requirements when considering Maori content by playing Police Ten-7, you know things have gone from bad to worse in terms of race relations zeitgeist, it’s almost as if we are living in the 1980s again. How quaint, how garden variety racist, how very NZ.

Just saying 'kia ora, bro' doesn't make it Maori TV – Sharples
Simply saying "kia ora bro" on television does not make it Maori programming, Pita Sharples said today. The Maori party co-leader said it was "degrading" and played to stereotypes to include Police Ten-7 and Shortland St in a list of programmes supposed to show TVNZ was meeting its commitments to Maori. Dr Sharples told Radio NZ: "Sure there's Maori in Shortland Street. But you know just saying 'Kia Ora bro' doesn't make it a Maori programme. Game of Two Halves, just because Mike King's in there, I mean is that how the Maori element is in that programme." Television New Zealand chief executive Rick Ellis yesterday told a parliamentary committee that programmes such as Police Ten-7, Shortland Street and Game of Two Halves offered a Maori presence that met charter requirements.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More boy racers

I was watching Paul Henry and John Campbell huff and puff last night about boy racers. I heard the exact same questions from both of them, the exact same sentiment that all boy racers are a social plague and that Police either needed extraordinary powers of shoot to kill or a massive kick up the bum to get them to police the boy racers. A terrified Transport Safety Minister, Harry Duynhoven, blinked a lot trying to excuse the Police and every other sin in the country, he explained that the cops had chased lots of boy racers, impounded 2000 cars and had pushed the separation of powers to their liberal democratic breaking point by giving the Police totalitarian discretion of immediate judge, jury and executioner.

All of which was about as enlightening as talkback radio opinion on the treaty gravy train, solo mothers having children just for the benefit and how hard done by white men are. It was just all so clear last night, Boy racers are irresponsible and dangerous and harsh punitive measures are demanded to deal with them.

Glad we got that sorted.

See I think that young men and speed have always been a problem, whether it was cars, horses, competitive hot air balloon racing – see there is a little risk taking circuit inbuilt within us all that forces us as a species to take risks, that’s why we are at the top of the evolutionary tree, it is within our nature to take risks, and we take the most amount of risks when we are young, because that’s what we do as human beings, we make mistakes as teenagers – THAT’S HOW WE LEARN. Now that is in no way a defense for young men to smash up public space or crash or kill people, but it is an explanation of the problem we face, and if we are determined to change the problem we have to understand why it happens. It’s all so painfully simple, and this is where the debate needs to start – with that understanding, not the usual ‘bloody boy racers’ nonsense. Exacerbating this truth of human teenage nature are 5 things:

1: Cheap Cars
Young men can get finance at the drop of a hat, they are sucked into the credit culture right from the beginning, probably following mum and dad into credit card debt. With 80% of the population earning less than $30 000, we are an incredibly low wage society with first world consumer addictions. This culture of debt brings with it loan sharks and things can get real ugly at that level of the debt chain. We want to start turning the issue around, crack down on easy cheap money with inanely high interest rates for teenagers.

2: Access to pop culture
We live in a 24/7 digital world, 8 year old kids can watch the fast and the furious, play computer games and generally desensitize reality. We have to accept the massive influences that can swamp young people, I’m not suggesting we attempt to ban the internet or force censorship, with an on line world, Pandora is well and truly out of the box and has moved down the road, happily married with 12 children. What we need to recognize is that parents have to from a very early age explain the clear difference between reality and fiction, which slides nicely into the third exacerbating factor…

3: Father and Son
Dads need to talk to their sons. They have to talk about how to handle those sudden surges and desires and anger and show their sons through their own behaviour. Fathers have to show their sons how to be men by preparing them for those moments where the brain switches off and the hormones take over.

4: Booze
Another exacerbating factor is our insanely accessible booze culture, the problem isn’t lowering the drinking age to 18, it’s that we now sell booze at every dairy corner and supermarket in the country and we don’t police those venders whatsoever. Every year community groups catch out over half the local venders not asking for age ID when a young person buys booze! We have turned on all the taps of accessibility by liberalizing our alcohol laws to a country with an obvious drinking problem and then can’t understand why our teenagers are drink driving.

5: Police
Which brings me to the final exacerbating factor, Police powers. Clayton Cosgrove, that Labour party Union thug who should be in the National Party (they have Police looking thugs) passed a knee jerk bullshit ‘boy racer’ law giving cops extraordinary powers of judge, jury and executioner. Generally speaking liberal western democracies steer clear of letting the separation of powers merge into one, and the resulting immediate roadside impoundment based on the non-challengeable discretion of the police has nothing whatsoever to do with police chases that end miraculously seconds prior to crashes from spooked teenagers attempting to out run an impoundment, and anyone who says otherwise is a communist.

But all that debate didn’t surface at all from John or Paul last night, they seemed much happier to whip the boy racer debate until it became frothy, neither wanted to understand why boy racers raced, they both wanted to be the voice of angry suburban NZ who are awoken at night to the alpha male muffler mating call of the late night neighborhood tom cats, partly worried it is their daughters they are prowling for, partly worried at what that sound might mean to their property valuations.

Meanwhile, the parents of the teenager killed this week buried their dead son.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Want to know why our unemployment rate is so low?

Taking into account the massive part time work force, the reason why the unemployment rate is so low in this country is because we now have one of the largest prison populations ever. 8000 NZers are now behind bars, so much so that the Corrections Department is looking to keep remand prisoners in police cells. This is a recipe for corruption and violence and a situation that simply can’t be allowed to go on, 2 new prisons are on their way but again it seems we have to look at this recent trend towards punitive imprisonment and knee jerk reactions to blame for the worsening situation inside our prisons.

Police cells not fit to live in
Prison space is bursting at the seams and now the Corrections Department is under fire for looking at alternative accommodation. It is considering turning police cells into make shift prisons but the prison reformers say they are not fit for people to live in. With prisons at capacity, police cells are increasingly being used to keep remand prisoners. Inspector Brett Kane says extra staff are being brought in to supervise the prisoners at various sites, who are being kept occupied with entertainment including TVs, books and other reading material. Kane says Corrections officials and police are working to remedy the situation and a decision is due soon on whether to make the Papakura Police Station south of Auckland a Corrections facility. Figures released on Saturday show that New Zealand prisons are packed with 8,076, behind bars, forcing around 150 prisoners to be temporarily held in police cells last month.

The Whitehouse calling Carter irrelevant? The final frontier of reality

I’m sorry, the Bush Whitehouse, the administration that has napalmed every bridge with the rest of the world and who has done more to damage global relationships than any past administration calls Jimmy Carter irrelevant? For a lame duck President that even his own party are shunning with fear that the upcoming elections will be a bloodbath for the Grand Ole Party to call Jimmy Carter irrelevant surpasses farce or satire, with that statement the Whitehouse have gone to another place, a place where no one is listening anymore.

White House calls Jimmy Carter 'increasingly irrelevant'
CRAWFORD, Texas - The White House today fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him "increasingly irrelevant" a day after Carter described George W. Bush's presidency as the worst in history in international relations.
Carter, a Democrat, said yesterday in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that "as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." White House spokesman Tony Fratto had declined to react on Saturday but on Sunday fired back. "I think it's sad that President Carter's reckless personal criticism is out there," Fratto told reporters. "I think it's unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments."

Boy Racer bullshit

I love the fear and the screaming and the gnashing of the teeth about the sudden and recent phenomena of ‘boy racers’ except that they aren’t new or sudden at all, in fact my suspicion was the second the cave man had finished the wheel, his caveboy son was off racing around the valley scaring the hell out of all the mammoths and keeping Neanderthals neighbours up all night. Young men seem to love speed because it kicks off that weird risk taking element built into our brain that gives human beings as a species that tiny edge over every other creature vying for top dog position on the evolutionary food chain. A much better option may be rising the driving age rather than MORE POLICE POWERS – I’m never a fan of giving the Police more power they already have an extraordinary amount of power handed to them by the Union thug looking Clayton Cosgrove (that guy who is in Labour, but should be in National), under the ‘boy racer’ law cops can impound your car for anything, they have become judge jury and executioner of the law, a situation most democracies attempt to avoid, you know, for all those annoying little things like judicial separation of powers, so to cry out from the top of Talkback radio that Police need MORE powers to tackle boy racers is like saying America needs more handguns.

One might say the recent law that allows the cops to impound your car has led to an increase in car chases between young people and cops, you know the ones that tend to end in the young person dying while being chased by the cops, yeah those ones, it could be suggested that kids who get spooked race off because they think their car will be impounded, leading the cops to chase the kids, leading to the cops ‘calling off the chase seconds before the car crashes’ amazing that, seconds.

Hundreds of cars seized
Scores of cars are being taken off the road from boy-racer hotspots as police crack down on illegal street racing. Storage depots in the boy-racing meccas of South Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch are crammed with cars impounded in swoops by police and other authorities. South Auckland police say they have been seizing more than 50 cars a week since tougher legislation came into effect in May 2003.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hicks home

These are the issues I’ve always had with the whole David Hicks thing, the guy was charged with a crime that didn’t even exist at the time he committed it, he wasn’t allowed legal representation for years, was allegedly tortured and was kept in part from testimony from other Guantanamo Bay prisoners who had been tortured. Now I’m not saying for one second that David is as pure as the driven snow, hell he joined a radical Islamic training group, but to suggest that David was a bigwig mastermind terrorist is just nonsense, if David Hicks, a confused and angry Australian who chose to stand on the other side of America’s cultural war, is the best Bush had in terms of important detainees who threaten democracy, we’ve already lost the war on terrorism.

Detainee still in jail but finally home
CANBERRA - David Hicks will wake this morning in a South Australian cell remarkably like the one in which he spent the past five years at the United States military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, His overalls will be white, rather than orange, and he will still be held in isolation from other maximum security prisoners who include Snowtown "bodies-in-the-barrel" killers Robert Wagner and John Bunting. The 31-year-old Muslim convert from Adelaide captured as a Taleban fighter in Afghanistan will also remain surrounded by controversy, with renewed calls for his immediate freedom and a royal commission into the Government's handling of his case. And despite a US ban on speaking to the media imposed as part of the deal under which he was transferred by private jet to Edinburgh RAAF base, Adelaide, Hicks will next year be free to tell his story - as long as he does not profit from it.

Ban boy racers

What is it with banning things at the moment, let’s ban party pills, let’s ban gangs, lets ban boy racers, while we are at it could we ban crime and ban world hunger? Let’s just reflect on how one would or could ‘ban’ boy racers, see I think the laws are tough enough and strong enough to deal with the problems of boy racers, hell cops can impound their cars off them now, it is whether police have enough resources put aside to deal with boy racers. There is one issue I would bring up though and that is the ease with which young guys can buy fast performance vehicles and how easy it is for them to get finance for those cars. My thinking is that you should need a specific license for high performance cars rather than the open slather system now, but then that would be a limit to consumer choice, so I’m doubtful of any move in that direction.

Death spurs plan to ban boy-racers
Police in Tauranga say they are hard-pressed to deal with boy-racers who travel there from as far away as Hamilton and Auckland for illegal street racing and "burnouts". An anti-boy-racer bylaw that imposes rolling street curfews is expected to be adopted in Tauranga after a young man was killed by a car in a street race. Scott Jarrod Finn, 20, was killed early on Saturday by a car travelling at 160km/h as he watched an illegal car race in Mt Maunganui. The drivers of both cars in the race have been charged with manslaughter.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club

On the show today, Auckland activist Miriam Pierard and AUT media lecturer Wayne Hope. SNBC 11am Alt Tv sky digital 65

1: TV News ratings are down – Herald on Sunday
The call has gone out to relook at the 6 oclock news time slot with latest ratings showing that the 6pm TV news audience are at a 7 year low. Will that solve it? Isn’t the issue with content? And if news makers are concerned with losing the youth audience, doesn’t that have more to do with the way those news networks have always negatively portrayed young people stereotypes to older viewers?

2: We can’t take more inmates – SST/ Jails feature HOS
Our love of throwing people in prison has led us to the second most imprisoned population for our population size in the world, and now our prisons are saying they can’t take anymore and a police station is looking to be nominated as a prison, while the HOS reports the ‘few bad apples’ in corrections seems to be getting larger and larger with reports that 4 prison staff have been stood down for using Prisoners to do work for them on their private homes. No one ever won votes making life more pleasant for prisoners, are we doomed to build more and more prisons?

3: Sexual health of young people: HOS
Congrats on the HOS for running such a good story on the sexual health of young people, it turned up the issue that we still don’t have a compulsory sex education course in schools as the sex ed component of schools is still the only part of the curriculum a school can choose to ignore. Is it any wonder that we have one of the worst STI rates in the OECD, teenage pregnancy rates AND teenage abortion rates?

4: Bain retrial: SST
Hasn’t the public reaction to Bain been amazing? NZers seem very pleased and happy that he is out – but now a new trial looms – is the justice system now on trial?

5: Greens going Blue? SST
Feeling disappointed by few budget gains, the Greens have started becoming restless with more talk that they could look to cut deals with National – how possible is it for the Greens to go blue? Seeing as they are currently polling as the third largest party, could the Greens become smurfs?

6: Wolfowitz resigns: HOS

Friday, May 18, 2007

Virtual War

I’m fascinated by this claim from Estonia that Russia is attacking it virtually, with new tensions between America and Russia, could the next cold war between them be a virtual war?

The cyber pirates hitting Estonia
As Estonia appeals to its Nato and EU partners for help against cyber-attacks it links to Russia, the BBC News website's Patrick Jackson investigates who may be responsible.
Estonia, one of the most internet-savvy states in the European Union, has been under sustained attack from hackers since the ethnic Russian riots sparked in late April by its removal of a Soviet war memorial from Tallinn city centre. Websites of the tiny Baltic state's government, political parties, media and business community have had to shut down temporarily after being hit by denial-of-service attacks, which swamp them with external requests. Some sites were defaced to redirect users to images of Soviet soldiers and quotations from Martin Luther King about resisting "evil". And hackers who hit the ruling Reform Party's website at the height of the tension on 29 April left a spurious message that the Estonian prime minister and his government were asking forgiveness of Russians and promising to return the statue to its original site.

Needing oxygen

One of the parts I’ve never understood about the rights reluctance to admit global warming is the mindset that we can pollute the planet as much as we like without any repercussions whatsoever. It is a bizarre belief that undermines any credibility they may attempt on the issue, here’s a case in point

Oxygen supplies for India police
Police stations across the Indian city of Calcutta have been equipped with oxygen devices to enable police to offset the effects of pollution.
The extra air is for the benefit of hundreds of traffic policemen in the city who have to brave some of the worst pollution in the world. The move follows a recent report which said that some 70% of people in the city suffer from respiratory disorders. It said that traffic police were among the worst hit by poor air quality.

Oxygen concentrators
Ailments include lung cancer, breathing difficulties and asthma, the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) study said. The CNCI is one of India's foremost research bodies, and its investigation - published earlier this month - took six years to complete. One of its key findings was a direct link between air pollution among the 18 million people of Calcutta and the high incidence of lung cancer. Calcutta tops all Indian cities when it comes to lung cancer - at 18.4 cases per 100,000 people - far ahead of Delhi at 13.34 cases per 100,000.

Does this man know no shame?

Well obviously Wolfowitz doesn’t, I mean apart from the fact he runs an organization set up to create even more power for Western corporations who force trade arrangements on poorer countries which in turn get flooded by mass subsidized product from the West, which in turn makes the poorer country even more of a basket case. Apart from what Wolfy did as a warmonger at the Pentagon, apart from supposedly being anti-corruption yet appointing his girlfriend to a position – APART FROM ALL THAT - the guy doesn’t take the only honourable out and resign. His attitude is truly outrageous.

Wolfowitz crunch talks to resume
The World Bank's board is set to resume discussions over the fate of its embattled president, Paul Wolfowitz.
He has been mired in a row over alleged favouritism involving his partner, prompting calls for him to quit. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that Mr Wolfowitz is trying to negotiate terms for his departure. President George W. Bush said he "regretted" the situation had arisen, while saying he believed all those involved had "acted in good faith".

You don’t say

Latest report from a UK foreign policy think tank states that Iraq will collapse into many civil wars and the only way out is to sit down with Iraq’s neighbours and honestly negotiate.

You don’t say? That was something that millions of people warned President Bush and Prime Minister Blair before they went into Iraq, and lo and behold it comes to pass. But of course pointing this out makes one, ‘Anti-American’.

War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse'
Iraq faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation, UK foreign policy think tank Chatham House says. Its report says the Iraqi government is now largely powerless and irrelevant in many parts of the country. It warns there is not one war but many local civil wars, and urges a major change in US and British strategy, such as consulting Iraq's neighbours more.


Blair is on his last trip to Washington for his final hurrah, for a man who promised to stand shoulder to shoulder with America, Blair has spent most of his time on his knees kissing Bush’s arsehole. Blair’s despicable sycophantic relationship with Bush has been the greatest disappointment in modern political liberal history, it has bankrupted Blair intellectually and made all the promise with his election a tasteless lie. And after this disgrace, how does Bush describe Tony Blair? Bush describes Tony as “Effective”. Effective? After following Bush into an abortion wrapped in lies and defending that position against all reason, all Tony gets is “Effective”? Fuck me, after all Tony has sacrificed in terms of respect, the only bone Emperor Bush throws his favourite dog is “effective”?

Who knew Tony’s soul was so cheap to buy?

Bush and Blair defend war record
Tony Blair and George W Bush have reaffirmed the decisions they took over war in Iraq and said their countries would stay united against terrorism.
The British prime minister is on a final trip to Washington before stepping down at the end of June. The two men - close allies for six years - praised each other's record. Mr Bush called the British PM "a clear, strategic thinker". Mr Blair said the US president had been "unyielding, unflinching and determined". Mr Blair insisted he would take the same decision again to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with America in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks. He predicted that after he steps down and is succeeded by Gordon Brown, Britain would "remain a staunch and steadfast ally in the fight against terrorism in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and elsewhere". Mr Bush said that when he had met Mr Brown recently he thought he was "a good fellow".

Israeli air strikes

I love it when Israel responds to glorified skyrocket attacks by Hamas for occupying Palestinian land with air strikes. Nothing sums up the oppressor/oppressed equation in Palestine as much as a flattened neighborhood on the receiving end of high explosive group punishment.

Israel launches Gaza air strikes
Israel's aircraft have struck a number of targets in Gaza after it vowed a severe response to rocket attacks on its soil.
A Hamas commander died in an attack on a car and another militant was killed in a housing unit, both in Gaza City. A raid on a Hamas office also killed one person and injured at least 45. The attacks came as efforts to end five days of fighting between rivals Hamas and Fatah again appeared to fail. At least 40 people have now died. Correspondents say the rocket attacks into Israel appear to be an attempt to draw it into an internal Palestinian conflict.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

press release

Alt TV to play most extreme NZ music video ever made

To truly celebrate NZ music month, Alt TV will broadcast the most extreme New Zealand music video ever made at 1.30am, Saturday 26 May.

“Celebrating NZ music month isn’t just about playing the same mainstream NZ songs over and over and over again”, says Bomber, Alt TV’s Programme Director, “Alt TV celebrates the fringe boundaries by finding the creative edges and leaping off - it’s about pashing the envelope, not just pushing it!"

Directed and produced by Lord of the Rings prosthetics make-up artist, Andrew Beattie, the music video promises to be a jaw-dropping television spectacle like none other ever witnessed in New Zealand's broadcasting history.

"Alt TV pays more than just lip service to NZ music in NZ music month", says Alt TV Managing Director, Thane Kirby, "to back these words with action, Alt is going to play the video uncensored."

Due to the extremely violent and sexual nature of the video clip, it will be broadcast on Alt TV's Alt After Dark show at 1.30am, Saturday 26 May. Adults of adults only please.

The most extreme NZ music video ever made on Alt after Dark: Alt TV, SKY Digital 65, 1.30am, 26 May – NZ Music Month.

For more information on Alt visit www.alttv.co.nz

Victims should tell criminals how they feel.

I am angered that the Court are attempting to censor what Kevin McNeil is wanting to say to the man who killed his mother. I’m all for better conditions inside prison’s and prisoner rights, but equally I believe that people who have been wronged must be allowed to be heard and their anger and fury must be heard by the person who has wronged, to have a situation as you do here where officials are stepping in to rob that of him is simply another insult to injury.

Let victims speak out: law expert
Nothing in the law should stop the son of murdered Tokoroa teacher Lois Dear from telling her killer exactly how he feels about him, a victims' expert says. Peter Sankoff, a senior lecturer in law at Auckland University and a researcher on the interaction between victims and the criminal justice system, says the Victims' Rights Act 2002 allows victims to talk about any effect of a crime on them - and this could include comments directed at the offender. But he says judges have interpreted the law conservatively and case law now dictates that victims not criticise the offender or the justice system, confining their comments to the crime's impact on them personally. "I think that's an inaccurate interpretation of what victim impact statements are designed to do," Mr Sankoff said. "If a victim feels let down by the system, they should be able to say so, and I can't see any good reason why they shouldn't. That to me is part of the harm they've suffered." His comments follow a report in the Herald yesterday about Kevin McNeil, the son of murdered Tokoroa teacher Lois Dear, who was asked to tone down a victim impact statement he plans to read to his mother's killer, Whetu Te Hiko, at Te Hiko's sentencing tomorrow. Police told Mr McNeil that critical comments he directed at Te Hiko and the justice system would not be accepted by the judge or prosecution. Mr McNeil has vowed to read the statement and said he would give it to media if prevented from doing so. "It's 30 hours of work and tears that have fallen on the paper," he said. Victim impact statements were introduced under the Victims of Offences Act 1987, marking a change in the victim's role - or lack thereof - in the criminal justice system.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The face of NZ justice

Where are my pro Prison bloggers at? Where are my pro police bloggers at? As I watch the abortion of Bain's trial finally lanced by his bail, I can't help but notice how silent the sensible sentencing get tougher on crime band wagon is, not a squeak from any of them. Could it be our overcrowded, racist and violent prison culture and the idea of throwing innocent people into it from flawed and incompetent cop work may ping NZers conscience a little? Look at Bain's face folks, that's your NZ justice system right there, we should all feel a lot less proud about our country.

Free and happy - Bain plans for time with friends
Dozens of people sat in highly charged silence in the courtroom awaiting their first glimpse in more than 10 years of a man at the centre of a crime that had fascinated the nation. The tall, lean figure of 35-year-old David Bain strode quietly into a courtroom focused entirely on him, with his head held high. Clean shaven and dressed in a neat black suit jacket and trousers, a crisp white shirt unbuttoned at the neck and well-shined black shoes, Bain was a far cry from the awkward, acne-faced young man photographed in loose woollen jerseys after he was charged with murdering his family in 1994. Yesterday in the High Court at Christchurch, Bain's brown hair was cut short and had thinned heavily on top. His metal-rimmed rectangular glasses gave him the image of a well-groomed professional. He walked slowly into the court from a side door and smiled briefly at supporters as he took his seat. He sat bolt upright in his chair alongside a prison guard, his hands clasped in his lap, staring straight ahead at Justice John Fogarty. Stony-faced through most of his bail hearing, he occasionally allowed himself a hint of a smile as things appeared to be going his way. It was not until the judge confirmed he would be allowed bail that his face lit up in a huge smile. Asked later what was going through his head as he listened to the judge, he replied: "Nothing. Just trying to keep going minute by minute by clasping on to the strength that Joe [Karam] has given me over all of these years." Outside the court, Bain told the crushing throng he didn't really expect the hearing to go his way. "I was preparing myself for the worst," he said. On the steps of the court building, Bain thanked all the supporters who had kept faith in him. "I have had a lot of friends that have kept me going. They have all kept me going." He made sure he exercised the night before the hearing "and got myself tired so I could get some sleep". Bain was heading to the upmarket Clearwater Resort, 15 minutes from central Christchurch, for his first night of freedom after more than 12 years behind bars.
Tariffs at the resort start at $436 for a lakeside room. Last night, while inmates at Christchurch Men's Prison ate spaghetti bolognese with two slices of bread and a piece of fresh fruit, resort guests could choose from entrees of Cleveland Coast oysters in a crayfish bisque at $21.50 and pasta mains with green beans, gourmet potatoes, chopped parsley and basil pesto with shaved parmesan at $27. Bain said he wanted a "nice salad" and time with friends for his first night away from prison bars. Earlier, in court, Bain's supporters broke into applause as it became apparent the hearing was going in his favour, prompting Justice Fogarty to ask for quiet. "This is a very difficult job to do," he said. He suppressed all submissions relating to the Crown case. Both tiers of the public gallery were packed with more than 200 Bain supporters, police and court security officers. About 30 journalists filled the jury box, the court dock, and extra seating lining one wall of the room, with another 20 stationed outside. As the hearing ended and Bain turned to his supporters, the public gallery erupted. Bain embraced his chief supporter Joe Karam in a bear hug, before being led out of the court. His first taste of "freedom" was being met by by reporters, photographers and camera operators all jostling for position. He appeared calm and composed. Asked what this whole experience was like, he replied, "pretty scary", and gave a nervous laugh.
- Additional reporting NZPA

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This is what we should be investigating the Police for

As much as I dislike Investigate Magazine (and sweet Jesus do I dislike it), it is about time the media stopped their focus of a bullshit story regarding Police Commissioner Broad watching a blue movie in the 1980s during a rugby fundraiser where a man screwed a chicken, and started focusing on the much more serious issues that have been brought to our attention thanks to Ian Wishart.

The problem for me is that these allegations have been made by Wayne Idour, the private investigator who only last year breathlessly claimed that he had information that would destroy the government…….and we waited, and waited and realised that Wayne didn’t have the goods. Wayne is good at making allegations, whether they stand up or not (and looking at the history of investigate magazine, I’m not putting any bets on it) – but the suggestion that cops raped prostitutes and robbed them in the 1980s doesn’t surprise me and judging the rampant misogynist mentality that reeks through the Police it does sound credible. But this is fuel for the demand of an independent Police complaints authority, not to hold Investigate Magazine up as the source of all good journalism.

Minister calls for probe into corruption
Allegations that Dunedin police in the 1980s and 1990s were corrupt have been passed to the Police Complaints Authority by Police Commissioner Howard Broad. Police Minister Annette King said last night it was up to the authority, Justice Lowell Goddard, QC, to decide whether to investigate the allegations in Investigate magazine but, despite it being straight after a three-year inquiry into police behaviour, she added: "I urge her to."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Surge is failing

I hate to point this out, but Bush’s ‘Surge’ is failing badly. This ‘Surge’, the one Bush decided to do against the advice of all his top military chiefs, was supposed to provide security, one measure of that was the amount of dumped and tortured bodies that turn up in Baghdad each month. Last month 137 tortured bodies were found, this month (after the ‘Surge’) 234 tortured bodies were found.

It’s a lovely war isn’t it dear?

Death squad tally rockets
BAGHDAD - The United States military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of death squads in Baghdad. In the first 11 days of this month 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - have been dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period last month. Improving security in Baghdad and reducing death-squad activity were described as two of the key aims of the US surge of 25,000 additional troops, the final units of whom are due to arrive next month. In a further setback, the US military announced yesterday the loss of an entire patrol south of Baghdad, with five soldiers dead and three others missing, after they were ambushed by insurgents in the town of Mahmoudiya. The new figures emerged as the commander of US forces in northern Iraq, Major General Benjamin Mixon, admitted he did not have enough soldiers to contain the rising violence in Diyala province, which neighbours Baghdad and has become the focus of the heaviest fighting between largely Sunni insurgent groups and the US Army.

Let’s judge cops on things worth judging them on

I think we all know how I feel about cops, but I’m only about flaying people for flayable crimes, news that Police Commissioner Broad had a porno movie where a guy screwed a chicken played in his house during a rugby club fundraiser in the 1980s, is not a flaying offence. Was it childish? Was it all a bit puerile? Was it a bunch of blokes late at night having a giggle like a bunch of naughty school boys looking at pictures they shouldn’t be looking at? Yes, yes and yes – but let’s in no way focus on something as puerile as this when there are actual issues regarding police culture that we should be demanding answers for, to take our focus off the real issues and allow Investigate Magazine of all people to allow moral outrage to cloud reasonable debate is not a step in the right direction.

Broad: Public can judge me
Police Commissioner Howard Broad expects his fate to be decided "in the court of public opinion" after revelations that a pornographic movie featuring bestiality was shown at his house early in his career. He hopes the incident will dispel any impression that he is "holier than thou" as he works on introducing a police code of conduct recommended by the recent Dame Margaret Bazley inquiry into the police handling of sexual complaints. "If I'm not the right person to do this then others will point that out to me," he said.

The beginning of the end for Labour?

News that Helen is no longer the preferred Prime Minister for the first time in 8 years should scare the hell out of Labour, and the country – for all the ratbagging of Helen, National under John Key still don’t have any policy and a clear direction they will take the country in, the old saying that disaffected NZers only vote Governments out and never in may come back to haunt those hooded eyes of Helen.

Key ends Clark's 8-year reign as preferred PM
The soaring popularity of National's John Key has pushed Helen Clark off her throne as preferred Prime Minister, a position she has held unassailed for eight years. And Mr Key's role in getting a compromise on the anti-smacking bill may have been a big factor, something even Helen Clark concedes. Thirty-two per cent of voters prefer Mr Key compared with 30 per cent for Helen Clark, according to last night's TV3 poll conducted by TNS. His two-point lead reverses her nine-point lead in the same poll six weeks ago. She has lost seven points and Mr Key jumped four. National also leads Labour in the TV3 poll by 48 per cent to 36, which would get it close to being a single-party majority government. Labour's poor showing is expected to put more pressure on Finance Minister Michael Cullen to deliver a Budget this week that will reverse the retreating tide of support. Helen Clark yesterday attributed the result to recent events, including the backlash over the anti-smacking bill, which outlaws physical punishment of children.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Sunday Newspaper Brunch Club

Joining me this morning on the SNBC, live from Verona on Alt Tv, 11am is Kiwi FM breakfast host, Wallace Chapman and folk hero Lindon Puffin

The David Bain conviction quashed: SST/HOS
So many issues, the Privy Council’s savaging of the Police investigation and our Appeal Court process, the mental impact on Bain and the horror of 13 years inside for supposedly killing your family, Joe Karem is an absolute hero in every sense of the word – can we trust our judicial system?

Kirwan campaign a success, but no services for men needing to talk: SST
We are an uptight and emotionally damaged bunch here in NZ, men have to live up to a weird macho masculinity that robs them of any emotional vocab other than anger – so the $6.4million John Kirwan ad campaign asking for men to reach out is great, except for the fact that the services don’t exist to help men cope, in stead of counseling most GPs are forced to write out anti-depressant medication.

NZ Judge slams Blair for war crimes: SST
Justice Ted Thomas in a hard hitting essay published in The Spokesman has attacked retiring British Prime Minister Tony Blair in legal terms for effectively being a war criminal – what will Blair’s legacy be?

Tests on Vets: SST
Massey University tests are due out tomorrow that will show NZ vets who were used as guinea pigs during Christmas Island Nuclear Tests have had their DNA damaged by radiation.

Trouble at TVNZ mill: SST
Bill Ralston’s wife has walked from TVNZs Close Up programme because of the restructuring – at a time when TVNZ is pulling ahead in the news ratings while Campbell Live trips over itself to be a magazine programme for rich white women living in Parnell. Will TVNZ home goal while Campbell Live home goals? Who is winning the current affairs battle, and are we the Public better informed?

‘Fishing Tragedy’ and ‘rude film’ played at Police Commissioners house in the 1980s: HOS
Tabloid yawns from the HOS – attempting to paint the family of the two kiddies drowned last week as pot smoking drinkers is distasteful and the ridiculous beat up on the cops over a blue movie played at a rugby club fundraiser in the home of the current Police Commissioner in the 1980s based on all things from an investigate magazine report is so underwhelming one can only imagine how desperate the HOS editorial team were when dreaming this headline up.

Friday, May 11, 2007


My God, HE WAS INNOCENT – I have been deeply suspicious about the way the Police handel criminal cases ever since we moved (as a cost cutting measure) from a system of investigation that once collected ALL the evidence and a team of experienced Detectives would go where the evidence led them, it was time consuming and expensive, but it usually saw the right conviction, now we have a method of investigation that goes to a crime scene, profiles the most likely candidate to have committed the crime and then connects whatever evidence the Police have to whoever has been unlucky enough to be profiled by the Police – this is cheaper but calls into question the process, and with Bain’s conviction quashed, I’m even more suspicious of these cops and their prosecutions. How many other innocent people have been thrown into our hell hole corrupt, violent and racist prison system? This can’t be easy for our sensible sentencing bandwagon, hang ‘em high brigade because they see the cops as shining white knights, but maybe we need to start looking again at this system that is sending innocent people into prison.

The major issue with keeping a Privvy Council is that the cops who made the arrest of Bain and who have now been promoted into more powerful positions of control and influence would never allow a second look at the conviction that has helped build their position, and as Bazley herself found out when trying to investigate cops, even she was threatened. By having an outside body free of cop influence look at these issues, we get the truth, can we be assured the supreme court here in NZ is free from such cop influence?

Bain conviction quashed
The Privy Council has quashed the 12-year-old murder convictions of David Bain for killing the five members of his family but he will have to stay in jail while the authorities here decide if he should face a retrial. The Privy Council last night said there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice but it was up to the Crown in New Zealand to decide whether Bain should be tried again. Bain, now 35, has maintained his innocence since being found guilty in May 1995 of murdering his mother, Margaret, father Robin, sisters Arawa, 19, and Laniet, 18, and brother Stephen, 14, in the family?s Dunedin home in 1994. Lawyers for Bain in March laid out nine arguments why his convictions should be quashed and the Privy Council last night agreed. "In the opinion of the board, the fresh evidence adduced in relation to the nine points summarised above, taken together, compels the conclusion that a substantial miscarriage of justice has actually occurred in this case." It said the convictions should be set aside. "For all these reasons the board concludes that, as asked by the appellant, the appeal should be allowed, the convictions quashed and a retrial reordered. The appellant must remain in custody meanwhile." Bain will have to wait in Christchurch Prison until a decision is made on a fresh trial. "The order of the board for a retrial does not of course restrict the duty of the Crown to decide whether a retrial now would be in the public interest," the Law Lords said in their written decision, handed out after a very brief court hearing last night in London. They said where issues were not fully and fairly considered by a trial jury, it was not the role of appeal courts to decide whether Bain was guilty. "At any retrial it will be decided whether the appellant is guilty or not, and nothing in this judgment should influence the verdict in any way." The Privy Council made detailed comments on each of the nine points raised by Bain?s lawyers. Among reasons for finding there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice was that there was substantial doubt whether Bain would have been convicted if evidence discovered post-trial had been put to the jury. Robin Bain?s mental state was discussed, with mention of journals found in his school office containing stories of the mass murder of a family. "Many of those facts are highly contentious and the evidence could well have influenced the jury?s assessment of them." Robin Bain?s potential murder motive was also discussed. "If the jury found Robin to be already in a state of deep depression and now, a school principal and ex-missionary, facing the public revelation of very serious sex offences against his teenage daughter they might reasonably conclude that this could have driven him to commit these acts." In New Zealand, Detective Superintendent Malcolm Burgess said police would examine the detail of the Privy Council decision before deciding how to proceed. He said he could not comment on the specifics of the case as the matter was now sub judice. The Bain case was the final New Zealand one ever to be heard by the Privy Council, which has been replaced by the new Supreme Court. In 1994, Bain was arrested four days after making a frantic 111 call from the family home. Police responding to the emergency found him huddled in the house babbling incoherently. All five of his family members had died from .22 gunshot wounds to their heads. Bain was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 16 years. He has argued that his father killed the family then himself while he (David) was out doing his early morning paper run. At his last-ditch appeal to the Privy Council in March, Michael Reed, QC, told the five Law Lords that Bain could not have committed the murders because bloody sock-prints found at the murder scene were too small to fit his feet and had to belong to his father. Robin Bain had been identified as "clinically depressed" and perhaps "psychotic" and had a motive because he was in an incestuous relationship with a daughter and was likely to lose his marriage, career and freedom if found out.

The case

* June 1994: David Bain charged with murdering five members of his family.

* May 1995: High Court jury finds Bain guilty. He is later sentenced to at least 16 years? jail.

* December 1995: Court of Appeal dismisses Bain appeal.

* May 1996: Petition to Privy Council seeking leave to appeal fails.

* June 2000: Aspects of case referred back to the Court of Appeal.

* September 2003: Court of Appeal hears case and decides retrial is not needed.

* June 2006: Bain?s legal team wins right to a full Privy Council hearing.

* March 2007: Five-day Privy Council hearing in London begins.

* Last night: Privy Council quashes convictions and says NZ authorities can order a retrial if they wish.