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Permalink 17:29:27, by matt Email , 495 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Politics, blog

I met Helen

Well, kinda. I got to shake her hand.
It was an interesting day, yesterday. I got a text from Jordan on Saturday night asking if I could help Labour with a direct-mail campaign. "Free food and drink", he promised, so of course I couldn't possibly decline.
Bowled on up to St Johns Presbyterian church in the city, and learned how to put labels on folded pamphlets so that they could be sent to targeted groups of voters. Quite simple, really. Eventually Jordan asked me to give him a hand trying a couple of alternative ways of ordering the labels and pamphlets, to speed up the process, and we ended up whipping through several sheets of labels with some success.
Then, just before 7, he said, "So, are you coming to this launch?" "This launch" being Labour's launch of its Youth Affairs policy, which was at Indigo. "Sure, why not?"
So off we wandered, meandering by a rather round-about route to Indigo, which was being picketed by a small handful of anti-capitalism protestors. "Youth Rates Suck" they yelled. Well, yes, they do, but since Jordan denies that he's actually Uncle Helen in disguise (and since I saw them shaking hands I am inclined to believe him) we weren't able to offer them any respite.
30 minutes late, Helen arrived, in a very low-key and nondescript fashion. No armies of minders (I counted four, including her driver) or similar excesses of position. Steve "Smarmy" Maharey said a few words, and then Helen hopped up on stage and brandished the pledge card. Interest-free student loans and widened opportunities for youth to make a career on departing school: through increased apprenticeships and more trade training options in schools. Their aim is that by 2007 every young person will leave school to a job or to some kind of further education. A noble goal, and I think it's quite achievable.

What really struck me, though, was how entirely normal it all seemed. In the US there would've been no way that I could just show up at a policy launch, invited there at the last minute and completely unsanctioned by the paranoids-that-be. Certainly a bunch of students and their hangers-on wouldn't have been allowed in the same street as a major candidate, let alone the head-of-government, and certainly not in the same, small room.
Helen's totally relaxed attitude was also interesting. She strolled the room, shaking hands and speaking to many people, most of whom she wouldn't have known. It was charming, really, and a nice reminder that, despite the ugly side of the current campaign, NZ politics is quite a down-to-earth business, more about the people than about the egos who seek election.
The final surprise was the mode of transport. A single saloon, not a street-filling convoy. How very different to Shrub's motorcade of near-ludicrous proportions.

I feel I've helped, albeit in a small fashion, cement Labour's re-election. I hope I have, since the alternatives are just too scary for words.


Permalink 14:54:42, by matt Email , 700 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary

Block-dropper's mate doesn't give a fuck about their victim

Seeing as this article has disappeared from the NZ Herald website, here's the text of it:


By David Fisher

A teenager who kept lookout when a slab of concrete was dropped from a motorway overbridge said he has sympathy for his 14-year-old murder-accused friend - rather than the driver who was killed.

In an interview with the Herald on Sunday, the boy, also 14, revealed what happened in the moments leading up to the death of motorist Chris Currie last weekend.

The pair, and another younger boy, were on the Princes St bridge on their way to a friend's house when the murder accused picked up the 8kg concrete slab from a builders' site.

"He grabbed a big rock. When I saw it, it looked little. I jumped up on the rails to see what cars were coming.

"There was a red car coming. [The murder accused] saw it and he dropped the rock."

As the rock hit the car, the boys were already making their escape.

"We just heard it smash on the window and ran off."

The murder accused ran to-wards his home, while the other two ran to a family member's home.

The boy said he returned to the scene about 30 minutes later and saw police and emergency services by the power pole that stopped the car carrying Mr Currie, his girlfriend Helen McCreadie, and two other girls.

"I just kept on walking."

Asked how he felt about it all, he said: "Sad. Not for that man but for [the boy charged]. He's my mate."

Asked more directly if he felt sad someone was killed, he said, "a little bit", then shrugged.

The boy's house, about 10 minutes' walk from the overbridge, was targeted last Tuesday in what his family believes was a revenge attack over the incident. Bricks were thrown at the house, smashing windows.

The boy, who is expected to be used as a police witness, said he did not discover someone had died until told by police on Monday.

It is believed he found out while being addressed by police at school.

A police spokeswoman said last Friday that there were no other charges expected to be laid.

Dr Nick Wilson, who as clinical psychologist at the Department of Corrections said young criminals sometimes did not realise the full consequences of their actions.

"They can be aware of the immediate consequences for themselves but not for the victim."

While many will blame parents, Dr Wilson believed it was possible to be born bad - although young people still had the freedom of decision.

Crown prosecutor Tim Brewer, who put a 14-year-old behind bars for the 2002 murder of Kenneth Pigott, said New Zealand was increasingly seeing young offenders being prosecuted for the most serious of crimes.

"They are truly a generation being raised in poverty; poverty of morality, poverty of role models, of parenting, of ambition. These kids came from nothing and they don't think they are going anywhere."

Mr Currie's under-20 King Country rugby team took the field against Waikato yesterday in Hamilton, after a hard week filled with grief. Coach Justin Marsh said the team were shaken again when they gathered before the game, realising again their friend would not be playing. "Not having him there is something we have to get used to. It's a testing time and a hard time for all of us."

Before the 1pm kick off, Mr Martin took the team onto the field. "I told them to be proud of who we are and what we are, and at the same time to remember out mate Chris."

Waikato proved too strong; King Country went down 107-0.

If ever there were a candidate for sterilisation, it's this little fucker. Zero empathy, zero compassion. We can but pray that he will meet a nasty end, really, since he's obviously not worth anything to society. He doesn't give a fuck about the man whose life his "mate" ended, the lives his mate ruined. His mate deserves everything he gets, and probably more, but the concept of consequences and responsibility obviously escapes this little thug.
Put him down now, and save society the cost of cleaning up after the sociopathic little fuck in years to come &amp;#58;&amp;#45;&amp;#47;


Permalink 15:47:49, by matt Email , 59 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary

Dog stealers can't cope with the overwhelming "support", it seems

A quick trip to the Animal Liberation website presents me with a "Bandwidth exceeded" message. HAH!
And it sounds like other people aren't impressed either. Good. The more critical people can be of these fruitcakes the better. We don't need that kind of lunacy in NZ - it's up there with the Greens advocating the destruction of trial GE crops.


Permalink 17:43:36, by matt Email , 56 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Social commentary

Why, oh why, couldn't they have liberated rabid lions?


Talk about candidates for sterilisation. What is with these people? I know what isn't: their neural matter.
People like this would happily break into level four biocontainment labs and liberate the monkeys - never mind that the primates were in cages because they're infected with something like Ebola. I hope they're caught, and severely punished. Bioterrorism mebbe?


Permalink 20:22:05, by matt Email , 99 words   English (NZ)
Categories: Internet, blog

That bloody Gupta, he's everywhere

Had cause to do a bit of poking at the IP address of an IHUG DSL customer before, and the whois output gave me this:

inetnum: -
netname: TIG-NZ-6
descr: The Internet Group (ihug) Ltd.
descr: Service Provider/Carrier
descr: Auckland
country: NZ
admin-c: KL47-AP
tech-c: KL47-AP
mnt-by: APNIC-HM
mnt-lower: MAINT-AP-IHUG
changed: 20021009
source: APNIC

person: Ketan Anand Lal
address: 127-131 Newton Rd.
address: Newton
address: Auckland
country: NZ
phone: +64-9-3592767
fax-no: +64-9-3581518
nic-hdl: KL47-AP
changed: 20000918
source: APNIC

He's everywhere, I tell you, everywhere!

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Shocking as it may be, I think, and sometimes those thoughts are almost worthy of public contemplation. So, here are those some thoughts, with no guarantees as to their validity, worth, or utility to the cosmos. All thoughts are my own, representing only my thoughts, opinions and positions, unless explicitly otherwise stated. This blog is not an official or unofficial outlet for any company or government body, or for person other than myself.


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