Wednesday, January 31, 2007

John Key, future leader or present fool?

For a guy whose being touted as some sort of National party sviour, this dude sure is a let down.
Good old divide and conquer politics, with plenty of emphasis on the us vs them mentality of decades of old.

Good on ya mate....














Someone please bring back Don Brash, at least he was human and I did find his bumbling way very endearing.

As for Mr Keys crap about New Zealanders becoming more and more anti American and Australian... dude check out what them morons have done to Iraq... amongst other nations and tell me why we should see their leaders as anything but warmongers whom deserve nothing but our disgust....

What is Nationals policy? To hand another election to Labour

If so that may be the most intelligent thing they have going right now.

*yawn*

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Slogans

Slogans... slogans....

The world needs more slogans!












Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bands, beer and a little summer sun.... ahhhhh














With Voom, The Tutts, State of Mind, One Million Dollars, PNC and Tangent

I really dig the Summer Series, a day in the sun getting boozed with good friends accompanied by some solid music

Yep life sucks

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A nation is not like a coffee cup, where you break the handle and glue it back together again

There is no solution. We’ve destroyed Iraq and we’ve destroyed the region, and Americans need to know this. This isn’t Rwanda where we can just sit back and watch the Hutus and Tutsies kill each other, and be ‘like wow, this is terrible should we do something?’ We destroyed Iraq. There was no civil war in Iraq until we got there. And there was no civil war until we took certain steps to pit Sunnis against Shias. And now, it is just too late. But, we need to know that we are responsible for what is happening in Iraq today. I don’t think Americans are aware of this. We’ve managed to make Saddam Hussein look good even to Shias at this point. And what we’ve managed to do is not only destabilize Iraq, but Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran. This is going to spread for decades, the region won’t recover from this, I think, for decades. And Americans are responsible.

Nir Rosen


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Simple Tech

The internet keyboard of the not too distant future

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Big Day Out - a review of sorts

Ok so I attended the Big Day Out (BDO) on Friday.

I was underwhelmed - I'm not sure if this is due; to my having attended 11 or 12 of the things previously, if it was a reflection on my age and music tastes (not much of appeal this yr for Bob), or maybe a bit of both plus a touch of not feeling 100% on the day.

It must have been the second biggest crowd wise BDO and whilst the crowds were unavoidable, the place handled the numbers better than it has in the past - no doubt a reflection on the promoters planning and the small but significant changes to the stadium and thus venue area over the years.

Anyway, there were a lot of people (45,000 tickets sold + comps + workers etc), from the moment we arrived at the gates it was a day of queueing, I reckon almost three quarters of my day was spent in queues with the rest spent at where ever I was queueing for - I don't like huge crowds nor queues.

I was disappointed by the lack of 'emo' kids on display, I had expected to be surrounded by the polite young things but alas it was like all other BDO's, a crowd made up of all the differing tribes associated with youth and those not so young. I do like the way that the BDO is one of them events that still attracts a good number of older folks.

Anyways, the day itself is all about music and I did see some acts:

I didn't think much of The Vines, so not my sort of band
Hot Chip, fuck me a wanna be new New Order who butched Everythings Gone Green, sorry but I can see the appeal but these guys were arse
Peaches, a 'raunchy' stage show doesn't hide the fact your day has been and gone musically lady
David Kilgour, more suited to a smaller venue but very pleasant
Luciano, disappointed, expected dancehall madness got rootsy styles - guttered. Maybe cause his DJ was denied entry into NZ
4 Corners, think it was them, on the Hip Hop stage, quite good but didn't hold me long
The Turnaround Crew, laidback styles to drink and sun one self to, cool
John Cooper Clarke, who was the only act I had made the effort to see and didn't disappoint, he wasn't brilliant but he was very entertaining and his performance was, well, special

Acts I saw from afar (read from the comfort of the Immortals Lounge thus sound was well patchy to put it mildly)
My Chemical Romance, couldn't hear to to my location and the low volume, but the crowd didn't go as mental as I had hoped, maybe cause it was so early in the day and also very hot whilst they played
Blindspott, hate their style of music but they got a real good crowd response which is cool
Scribe, oh dear.... small crowd and well I do believe his day has been and gone, especially from other reports I've heard
Jet, nothing these guys could would impress me, rubbish band
Muse, don't like this band but I can see why many do

Highlights of the Day - John Cooper Clarke @ Lilyworld, a nice enclosed bar area a bunch of cool to crazy performers.... good place to drink, chill and sun oneself in
- Frujus, yep I managed a fruju at one point as I wondered a round, possibly the only part ofthe day I had a big dopey grin on me face

Lowlight - the fact not one act made me stop dead in my tracks and go, "wow". First BDO this hasn't happened

I left earlyish and managed to get home in less than half an hour - huge bonus result!

Things that I'd like to see changed:

The venue, unfortunately I can't think fo one place that could host the event any better... maybe North Shore Stadium but not without a lot of work (investment). The palce works, it holds the people but as a venue that requires a lot of moving between stages and areas its not ideal, far too many bottle necks and areas that just become a pain in the arse to get through

The lineups, the BDO has increasingly got more and more mainstream and musically dull. I'd like to see a more balanced lineup, more acts that are on the up and fewer repeat bookings and the 'dance' acts need some serious addressing

Prices - everything inside the venue is simply over priced. Service is non existant

So that was the Big Day Out 07... after the obligatory three months of promotion and hype it is a day that simply doesn't live up to the build up.

Rather than a festival of fun it seems to be some sort of endurance test that only the young and fit can really endure.

I didn't enjoy this BDO as I have many in the past, it was more than the music and here I don't discount my mood - I had been sick that week and I felt run down on the day, which is so not the place to be at my point of life when confronted with such a long day.

I did have fun, more so for them I bumped into and hangout with. I saw a few faces I seem to only see at the BDO aso had our annual catchup.

So that was that, if giving a grade I'd say the BDO 07 gets a C+, could try harder, could do better but still relevant (even if not so much for me).

Cheers to the promoters, the huge number of people who work on or perform at the BDO. A massive undertaking that each and every year they make just a little bit more user friendly.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I Feel Love

Thirty years young this song is, this year.

After all this time its still simply stunning.






















Its on you tube too.... and then so is Mother Goose as I discovered today.

Tis a strange world in which we live

Things to do on a Sunday

Read the paper (oh why did I bother...)
Listen to some CDs
Go out
Come home
Watch Al Jerreza
Watch a really shite TV movie

*reminds oneself that books are not the work of the devil*

The Day After

By rights I should be feeling shabby, but I am not, for one simple reason, I didn't drink too much.

Such a simple solution to them hangovers. Why had I never figured this out before.....

I didn't have a huge day out, just a big one.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Whats going on

Nothing

nothing at all

Summer is on hold til I feel better

alright

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Shit that is going to get real boring

I see the media are gearing up to make this the year of climate change - or maybe if I am jumping the gun some bright spark has decided this 'quiet' time of year is going to be....

I'd like to say its due, that media spent more time on informing us on what climate chnage is and how its going to impact on our fragile ecosystem. This is the single most important issue facing our species.

Last night I predicted the demise of our kind.... We are dooomed.


Why you might ask

Well if every single climate change story is concerned (as they were last night) with the economic impact of said change and concerns itself with the financial repercussions we deserve to die out.


Does something need to lose its net worth for us to get concerned?


Is a dip on the sharemarket the only thing that motivates some?


I am afraid so, these are our weakest links...


If we could find a economic benefit in climate change I guess our species facing possible extinction would be painted in a good light.



"hey, you're dead but your stock portfolio increased its value by 35% this year"




Monday, January 15, 2007

A weekend of nothing leads to...

...a huge desire to repeat the nothingness on the Monday.

Alas that is not an option.

Reminds oneself to buy a lotto ticket this week.... must fulfill my destiny... of doing not much of anything, real well.

Righto the new week awaits.






Saturday, January 13, 2007

Nothing

Checklist:
  • CDs
  • Books
  • Puter
  • Couch
  • Food and other supplies

Sorted!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

looks like we got ourselves a reader

Can't be arsed typing this morning...


So here's some links to some of this weeks reading grab a coffee and join me for:
Terrified Soldiers Terrifying People by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
Actually that lot should last a few coffees or possibly a pot or two of tea.
On the using up ya bandwidth for the month front:
We have DJ sets by Henrik Schwarz, Rahaan part one & part two, PopnTuck by Bn1 & micarl
Stronghold Legends demo, a bit oldish now but I have a hankering to build a castle
and finally a picture of the area in which I live









Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I don't get it

The aftermath of Saddam Hussein's trial continues...

I read an article yesterday about the trial of Saddam's associates with regards to the Kurdish gassings that took place whilst he was leader - around 100,000 may have died during this particularly horrific campaign.

According to the article all charges against Saddam were dropped, which has me rather stumped.

The proceedings - on Monday local time - began with the judge officially dismissing all charges against the dead president, including genocide, in relation to the Anfal campaign against the Kurds in which more than 100,000 people were killed.

Article here

Why would the charges be dropped?

Of course the answer would have to have something to do with the fact the defendant has just been butchered.

And those whom have read about such events in Iraq's darker days will know that if Saddam had been taken to account for this crime and many others the support of the West (US et al) at the time would have been called into question, possibly the defence would have called such people as Rumsfeld to the witness stand, which would be very embarrassing to the USA, to put it mildly.

I assume we won't be hearing much about this trial for from my perspective this simply further reinforces the notion of the whole sorry affair being a kangaroo court, a show trial and a ugly act of vengence. Which is not what our media likes us to think.

Is it me or does the whole sorry saga of US imperialism seem to be falling apart.

In such a few short years the Bush regime has shown the world just how evil the US is. Worse the US public and the so called opposition (Democrats) have responded by only showing their concern for the Americans trapped in the conflicts their leaders have comitted them to. There is more to having a foreign policy that simply focusing on your own.

I see plenty of reports at the outrage at US deaths and the increasing calls of bringing the 'boys home', yet little is written on the plight of the people that have had to suffer the most, except often as an afterthought.

How long do we have to wait before the mainstream start to ask the most obvious questions?

How long before people in the US stop trying to shift the blame on the Iraqis and start to actually do something that might help this nation that they were once so prepared to 'save'.

How long before countries like mine start to actually stand up and ask the much needed to be asked questions in the international forums?

Its one thing not to have been one of the Coalition of the Willing and all that crap, but surely as a nation that prides itself on our foreign relations we should step up and say something.

Is the price of our silence worth some export dollars and potential US favouritism in the future?

Seems to me we westerners have the option of either doing something real soon about making our planet a much safer and nicer place to live for all (lead from the front) or we face a really nasty violent period in the not too distant future, a period that potentially will make the wholesale slaughter of the second world war look quite civil.

Man I've too much time on my hands, I should be drinking and falling over not reading and writting about such things as this so early in the year.... and then its hard to stick ones head in the sand with the knowledge that tens of thousands of people are destined to die this year for the simple fact that dickheads rule certain lands.

Theres a lot to be said for apathy and ignorance and fuck all for trying to be informed when one considers the mulitiple diversions and fun one can have due to the luxury of our place in the world.

is it 2008 yet?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Black Gold... then and now

"By 2010 we will need [a further] 50 million barrels a day. The Middle East, with two-thirds of the oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize lies"

Dick Cheney; US Vice-President, 1999

From studying the history of the past fifty years, the Iraqi Baath party was frequently used as an instrument in accomplishing US and UK policies in the Middle East and the Gulf.

It was the major tool used in the bloody coup d'etat of 1963 against the Kassim regime and the progressive movements in Iraq. Ali Salih Al-Sadi, the Baathist leader who headed the coup and consequently became Prime Minster, later admitted that they came to power in a coup organised and financed by the CIA and British Intelligence Services, in order to freeze Law 80, which was declared by Kassim in 1961 to remove over 99.5% of Iraqi territory from the control of the international oil companies and return it to Iraqi sovereignty.

On July 17, 1968, the Baathists returned to power for the second time and then on July 30, 1968 there was a coup within the coup, the purpose of which admitted Saddam Hussein was to dispose two of the original putschists who were representing the CIA.

In 1980, the Baath regime started an eight year war against Iran to bring to a halt the spreading of ideas and influence of the 1979 Iranian revolution, in line with the objectives of US strategy in the Gulf. The Baathists were supported militarily, politically and financially by the US, UK and all the Arab reactionary regimes in the area during this war.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1990, the US were no longer interested in a partnership with the Baathists and instead shifted their policies to the direct and full control on the Gulf area. This meant that the US now had no more need for the Iraqi Baathists and that is how they succeeded in achieving their objectives -- by letting the Baathists attack and occupy Kuwait, which led to the fulfilment of all the US plans in the Gulf region.

Today Iraq's oil reserves are the third largest in the world, with an estimated 115 billion barrels waiting to be extracted, are a prize worth having. As Vice-President Dick Cheney noted in 1999, when he was still running Halliburton, an oil services company, the Middle East is the key to preventing the world running out of oil.

Now, unnoticed by most amid the furore over civil war in Iraq and the hanging of Saddam Hussein, the new oil law has quietly been going through several drafts, and is now on the point of being presented to the cabinet and then the parliament in Baghdad. Its provisions are a radical departure from the norm for developing countries: under a system known as "production-sharing agreements", or PSAs, oil majors such as BP and Shell in Britain, and Exxon and Chevron in the US, would be able to sign deals of up to 30 years to extract Iraq's oil.

PSAs allow a country to retain legal ownership of its oil, but gives a share of profits to the international companies that invest in infrastructure and operation of the wells, pipelines and refineries. Their introduction would be a first for a major Middle Eastern oil producer. Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's number one and two oil exporters, both tightly control their industries through state-owned companies with no appreciable foreign collaboration, as do most members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec.

Critics fear that given Iraq's weak bargaining position, it could get locked in now to deals on bad terms for decades to come. "Iraq would end up with the worst possible outcome," said Greg Muttitt of Platform, a human rights and environmental group that monitors the oil industry. He said the new legislation was drafted with the assistance of BearingPoint, an American consultancy firm hired by the US government, which had a representative working in the American embassy in Baghdad for several months.

"Three outside groups have had far more opportunity to scrutinise this legislation than most Iraqis," said Mr Muttitt. "The draft went to the US government and major oil companies in July, and to the International Monetary Fund in September. Last month I met a group of 20 Iraqi MPs in Jordan, and I asked them how many had seen the legislation. Only one had."

Britain and the US have always hotly denied that the war was fought for oil. On 18 March 2003, with the invasion imminent, Tony Blair proposed the House of Commons motion to back the war. "The oil revenues, which people falsely claim that we want to seize, should be put in a trust fund for the Iraqi people administered through the UN," he said.

"The United Kingdom should seek a new Security Council Resolution that would affirm... the use of all oil revenues for the benefit of the Iraqi people."

That suggestion came to nothing. In May 2003, just after President Bush declared major combat operations at an end, under a banner boasting "Mission Accomplished", Britain co-sponsored a resolution in the Security Council which gave the US and UK control over Iraq's oil revenues. Far from "all oil revenues" being used for the Iraqi people, Resolution 1483 continued to make deductions from Iraq's oil earnings to pay compensation for the invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Excerpts culled from:
Political Observations Concerning The Immediate Future Of Iraq
Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity


How many lives, how much waste and carnage are we going to witness due to this most vital commodity?


Is it crazy to think perhaps diplomacy and fair trade might not be a better route to follow than the cynical and destructive desire by a very few to control the resources needed by so many by brute force and coercion?








Monday, January 08, 2007

Like a sleeping Giant

New Zealand will slowly awaken today and head off into 2007.

I wonder when the breakfast TV show will start again... there are only so many fishing shows one can stomach first thing in the morning... or at any time to be honest. Thankfully Triangle offers me DW TV and Al Jarezza, can't complain about that.

Righto, coffee calls...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mooching

Is there anything better than a day of mooching round - ie. doing nothing much?

No there isn't.

Sunday come on down.....

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cricket, lovely cricket

except when New Zealand plays



At least I didn't make the effort to go, like my brother who found over priced lite beer as the 'entertainment' enhancer on offer.



And we thought we could build a waterfront stadium




Friday, January 05, 2007

Degenerate Music: "It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing"

Günter Discher, born March 20, 1925, in Hamburg, became a fan of swing music early on. He succeeded in avoiding service in the Hitler Youth. He also managed to get around the difficulties in obtaining jazz records, difficulties imposed by Nazi prohibitions and limitations.

He became an expert in the phonograph record black market. By having soldier friends, who were stationed in occupied countries, send him records through the military postal system he was able to supply himself with the coveted disks. He sold them to friends and fellow fans, and also to the dance halls of the jazz scene in St. Pauli. For these reasons, the Gestapo arrested him when he was seventeen years old.

He was interned in the youth concentration camp of Moringen as Number 852 on the basis of the following Schutzhaftbefehl [Order for Protective Custody]:


Secret State Police (Gestapo)
Berlin SW 11, January 15, 1943
Secret State Police Headquarters
Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse 8
IV C2 Arrest-No. D. 10446

Order for Protective Custody

First and last name: Günther Leonhard Johannes Discher
Birth date and place: October 20, 1925, in Hamburg
Occupation: business apprentice
Marital status: single
Citizenship: German Reich
Religion: Evangelical Lutheran
Race (mandatory for non-Aryans):
Street and city address: Hamburg 19, Charlottenstrasse 21


Reasons:

He (She), endangers, according to the evidence of the state police, proven by his (her) behavior the existence and security of the people and state, in that he (she) brings substantial unrest into the population by his subversive and harmful
activities.

(signed) Müller
Certified
Criminal Councilor

Thursday, January 04, 2007

One of 4000 to die this month

Saddam's legacy for those in Iraq will be short lived, his presence shall soon be overshadowed by more carnage on the streets of Iraq.

Iraqis are too worried about staying alive themselves to lament or rejoice very long at the execution of the man who ruled them for a quarter of a century.

Its time to sit back and dread the Whitehouses next phase of milestones for this nation a nation that is in big trouble, to quote River:

You know your country is in trouble when:
  1. The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.
  2. Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.
  3. The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.
  4. The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.
  5. An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country's 'Golden Years'.
  6. Your country is purportedly 'selling' 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.
  7. For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it's going to cut back on providing that hour.
  8. Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is 'sectarian bloodshed' or 'civil war'.
  9. People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that's been missing for two weeks.

Her views on Saddam's execution are worth a read, for them in a clicking mood.

So what next from the Whitehouse - some more executions perhaps.

I say the Whitehouse, for if you think the Iraq government is deciding such things you are smoking crack.

Meanwhile in sun drenched Auckland its cricket we are slowly turning our minds too.

I've found Triangle's scheduled screening of the English Al Jazeera channel. Tis first thing in the morning, so suits me big time. Bloody good it seems too - TVNZ & TV3 news types please take note.

Righto, slap on the sun block, the sun (UV levels) is hellishly intense, and its not even that hot....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm angry, why?

News of Saddam's death reached me the day after, due to the blissful isolation one wraps oneslf in whilst beaching, boozing and BBQ'ing over New Years.


















I'm disgusted.

I'll elaborate on this another time, for right now I am still giving the brain as much time off as possible - its a delicate wee thing.

I feel guilty too, I'm confused, for I feel sorry and saddened by Saddam Hussein's execution, a man I should have nothing but loathing for. He was not a good man, nor a great man. he was pretty much all our western news tells us.

Yet he and his many victims deserved better than a kanaroo court show trial and a hanging on the eve of a very significant Muslim holiday - a holiday that is all about forgiveness.

Our US friends in power have created a martyr and to be able to do so with such a vile character as Saddam is truely a show of the skill Bush and co weld. they are the magic men.

I feel angry, very very angry about it all.

Welcome to another sad chapter in the fall of the USA....

*yawn*

Its time for them that have dealt so many death cards to be held accountable... Blair, Bush, Howard and co. you are the mass murderers of our time, I wish you the same fate as Saddam Hussein - only with a fair trial. Your guilt is unquestionable and you should not be allowed a comfrotable retirement milking the speech circuit or as boardmembers of them companies you have so ably assisted.

Happy fucking New Year people, hold tight 07 has started