Friday, June 18, 2010

Unpatriotic Swine!

It's schadenfreudelicious! New Zealand has only appeared once before in the FIFA World Cup, back in 1982. We went home after pool play with no competition points, and while we're back in the compeition 28 years later we are only rated 78th in the world, so the smart money's not on us. Neither, it would appear, is the stupid money.
All Whites' goal costs punter $40,000
An unlucky punter is no doubt ruing a last minute decision to drop a whopping $40,000 on Slovakia to beat the All Whites - just one minute before betting closed.

The internet bet, placed in the 87th minute, was made as Slovakia was paying just $1.02 for the win.

The punter would have taken home a profit of just $800 had the bet came through.

However a 93rd minute goal by Winston Reid saw the All Whites draw even.
Now back to our scheduled program of doom, gloom and despair with fries, aka life.

(The name "All Whites" for our national Soccer side reflects the colour of their uniform, and mirrors the national Rugby team's "All Blacks" monicker and uniform.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

What we have here is a failure to listen to the words

What is it about anthemic songs and Republicans? When Ronald Reagan in 1984, and later Bob Dole in 1996, co-opted Born in the USA for their campaigns, it could only have been for the visceral arrangement and the chorus, because the verses didn't exactly have the singer living in that "shining city upon a hill".

British band Muse have been with us for more than a decade now, but only with their latest release, The Resistance, have they cracked the American market. The debut single from that album, Uprising sat at the top of the Billboard Alternative chart from September 2009 to January 2010.

Sayeth Wikipedia,
The song has been interpreted by some to have a libertarian message, and has been used by some in the liberty and Tea Party movements as a popular anthem. The song played as conservative commentator Glenn Beck took the stage at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference.

One small problem:
Lead singer Matt Bellamy explained: “The lead single, ‘Uprising’, was kind of inspired by the G20 protests which took place last year. I was in London at the time and I saw it all going on outside where I live.”

He added: “I sort of found that whole protest quite inspiring really; just the idea that people just having a good time, putting together a peaceful protest but the police still do their best to make it become violent and I find that quite aggravating. So, that’s what the song’s about.”
(emphasis mine)

I expect Teabaggenführer Beck would point to the quote,
“I sort of wanted to write a song that summed up that feeling like you’ve been done over by people you’re supposed to trust. That’s kind of where the song’s coming from really.”
for some sort of justification, but it's the likes of Beck that have had the trust placed in them by their audience...

...who should be paying more attention to the words, and thinking about just who "the fat cats" of the song actually are.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Truth About Teabaggers

Whatever they say, you just know this is what they mean.

The "Tea Party" Movement in a nutshell

Monday, August 10, 2009

What if?

What if some man-made disaster killed a quarter of a million Americans, the cause was linked to allegations of neglect or incompetence by senior government officials, and just a day or two after the disaster the president left for a holiday in Scotland? What if?

The population of the Kingdom of Tonga is 108,000. Around midnight last Wednesday, the ferry Princess Ashika sank at sea with an estimated 149 people on board. There were 54 survivors — do the math.

Only two bodies have been found, and none of the 33 women and 10 children on board survived. Tragically, they had been given preference for the cabins below decks, and the ship sank so swiftly none had time to wake and escape, along with more than fifty men.

The ferry had just recently been acquired by the Tongan government, but was 34 years old, and only intended as a stopgap measure while a modern replacement was built:

Meanwhile, debate is raging in Tonga about the seaworthiness of the Princess Ashika, which was bought by the government-owned Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, from Fiji just two months earlier.

The MV Pulupaki was the first ship to arrive at the scene and pulled survivors from the water. Its owner, Tu'i Uata, said the Princess Ashika "was in bad shape", Radio New Zealand reported.

Workers trying to take rust out of it when it first arrived in Tonga were able to punch their hammers through the hull of the lower deck, he said.

Missing from the vigils was King Tupou V, who surprised many by leaving for a Scottish holiday soon after the disaster.

Is it any surprise that the King's first name is...


Please take a moment to spare a thought for the people of Tonga. Almost everyone has lost someone they knew and loved.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Because David Vitter still has a job...

...I'm gonna recycle this.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Victory was certain...

...once Obama had the feline vote sewn up.

Congratulations on starting the long, slow journey back to civilization.

This weekend, I too will be heading to the polls. Because we operate a three year cycle, and the election date normally falls around this time of year, every twelve years New Zealand's general election will be within a week or three of the US presidential elections.

Some time on Saturday, I will take the Easy Vote card I received in the mail a week or so back to a convenient polling station and exchange it for a piece of paper on which I will make two ticks with an orange felt tip marker - one for a candidate, and one for a party.

My son got his letter from the electoral commission after he turned 17, inviting him to register on the roll so that he will be eligible to vote from his 18th birthday. It all works very smoothly; no mess, no fuss, and no fraud.

A final thought: has Karl Rove's strategy for a Thousand Year ReichPermanent Republican Majority turned out to be a successful eight year suicide bid? Let us tempt fate - tweak the Devil's foreskin, as it were. Which of these would work best for you? Show your working on a separate sheet.

  1. 2008 - Obama
    2012 - Obama
    2016 - Clinton
    2020 - Clinton
  2. 2008 - Obama
    2012 - Clinton
    2016 - Obama
    2020 - Clinton
  3. 2008 - Obama
    2012 - Clinton
    2016 - Clinton
    2020 - Obama

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mitt vs Reality