BIG NEWS: 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Alfie Patten, the alleged 13-year-old parent, may open his DNA test live on TV

Alfie Patten, who was pictured the other day in a hoody top giving a middle-finger salute to the media outside his mum Nicola’s house, is allegedly considering an offer to have the DNA results opened on a television talk show.

His father Dennis, 45, who does not live with the boy and deserted his family soon after the boy was born, has "discovered" his son and has reportedly boasted about how much money he can make from the situation. It is he who is allegedly considering an offer to have the DNA results opened on the talk show.


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Ignorance of the law is no excuse - but knowledge of the law can get you off

It's clear that those who have knowledge of the law and are in a position of authority use that knowledge to get off crimes. Being legally correct is better than being morally right.

Now, we all know that many in the police are morally corrupt, but if you were out drinking one night and a police officer stopped at your door after you drove home drunk, would you agree to being breath tested? Under the law you don't have to unless you have been pursued at the time. Would you tell the cop that you've been home all night. There is no law against lying.

Now, read this and see what the head of Police prosecutions at Police National Headquarters did . After refusing an initial breathtest, I wonder if he was asked to take an evidential breath test.

Refusing the second breath test is an offence. But we won't know whether he was asked to do so as nobody is answering questions on that.


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Friday, February 27, 2009

Living in a recession

So, families with two incomes, two cars, several cellphones and two mortgages - one on an investment property or bach - are going to find it tough this year in a recession if their income drops.

Well, they are not going to find it tough, they just have to live a little more simply. They may have to sell the investment property, they may have to reduce to one car - even share a cellphone. They may not be able to buy clothes when they feel like it. They may not be able to go away on overseas holidays and stay in top motels - they could holiday in New Zealand and say in a cabin. They may not be able to pay the debt on their credit card as fast as they would like with income they no longer have. They may not be able to spend $500 on their kids' birthday parties. They may have to look at the specials in the supermarket. They may have to paint the house themselves rather than getting tradespeople.They may have to get out in the garden and grow veges on Saturday mornings instead of going to cafes for brunch. Especially if they are on one income.

Welcome to the real world, where people live within their means. As many of us have been doing all our lives. However for families that live like money grows on trees - and lose their income because both partners have lost their jobs , they are going to find it really tough adjusting to living within their means on a ReStart package - even before going on the dole.


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Large newspaper to shut down?

The San Francisco Chronicle is a big newspaper. Founded in 1865, it is San Francisco's main paper, employs 275 news staff and is the 12th-largest in the United States, according to the U.S. Audit Bureau of Circulations, with average weekday circulation of 339,430. It is the 19th-largest paper by Sunday circulation. It is read by more than 1.6 million people weekly. It also operates SFGate, among the nation's 10 largest news Web sites.

But it lost more than $50million last year and may be forced to shut down if there is no buyer next month. Advertising revenue has not even enabled the paper to break even for some time. Perhaps people are getting sick of all the gay marriage stories.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

We did it!

Great news. Section 92A of the Copyright Act has been delayed until 27 March so a voluntary code of practice can be nutted out. If there is no agreement on it, S92A will be suspended.Even if an agreement is reached, the Act will be be reviewed and monitored by the Government in the first six months.

That's what happens when a group of people get a viral protest going, it gets support and gets into the mainstream media before midday and into the Aussie papers and into the Cabinet agenda.

The Herald story is up.And Boing Boing (one of the widest read blogs in the world) has its third article on the protests.

Background to the protest is here.


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Like most of the political bloggers, I was blacked out this morning in protest over impending copyright laws. Thanks for visiting Black News this morning. I was obviously blogging something worthwhile as I got nearly double my normal daily readership. Hope you got the message.

I'm glad all main centres media covered the protest. Creative Freedom Foundation spokeswoman Bronwyn Holloway-Smith told NZPA thousands of sites, from political blogs to news sites such as Scoop and even a Shortland Street discussion board, joined the blackout. Even the Sydney Morning Herald covered the NZPA story on our protest.


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Greens leadership

Jeanette Fitzsimons is to resign as the Greens co-leader. Russel Norman will remain but the two main contenders for the other post are Metiria Turei and Sue Bradford. If the Greens had any sense they'd pick Turei in June. At least she understands the law.


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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blackout and S92 of the Copyright Act

Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act assumes guilt upon accusation of copyright infringement, and forces the termination of internet connections and websites without evidence, without a fair trial, and without punishment for any false accusations of such copyright infringement. It says that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to cut people off the Internet if accused of copyright infringement. There’s no trial, no proof, and no accountability to get it right - and the law comes into force this month despite a viral protest.

The provisions were inserted into the Bill by the government after the Select Committee had told it to do the opposite and then passed the bill by a large majority in the House.

So what was the government up to? Mark Harris has the best post on the background of this whole mess, focusing on S92A of the Act, which adds a requirement that an ISP must have a policy for terminating the accounts of repeat copyright infringers. In a nutshell, the original Bill contained section 92A up until it went to Select Committee, which removed it. While the Bill was in Committee in the House and after the Select Committee report, Judith Tizard introduced Supplementary Order Paper 193 on her own bill which put it back in. In the Committee stage, Christopher Finlayson (now Attorney-General) spoke in support of the requirement that an ISP must have a policy for terminating the accounts of repeat copyright infringers.

But being treated guilty based on an accusation is wrong. Our ISPs should not have to police what their customers do on the Internet, plain and simple. That is why many people have blacked out their avatars on Facebook, Twitter and on Monday, their blogs, in protest. What's more, under the new law, anyone who provides any form of services over the Internet is an ISP. That means libraries, councils, schools, businesses, government offices, you name it. If you share your Internet connection with your flatmates, you're probably an ISP too under the new act.

Lawyer Andrew Wasterbrook has a good and interesting post as to why S92C of the Copyright Act sucks.

Jack Yan also has a good post on the issues: Copyright Act amendments sign of a clueless government. Read it. Learn more about it. It's a lot worse than the US equivalent - which you can read about here. And you can sign the petition here.

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Jesus saved?

Jesus Christ is not going to be shot after all, they've decided. And I had a friend who was going to do it. Disappointing. But there's plenty of room in the Inn, now.


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Government cancels another summit

The National Government has cancelled another conference, with Prime Minister John Key describing it as "a waste of public money at a critical time".

During a line-by-line review of spending by the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Key discovered the so-called "Summit on Employment", which was to be held in Auckland on February 27.

The summit, which was organised by bureaucrats, was to gather business leaders together from around the country to have a bit of a chat about employment-related issues.

"Employers are the life blood of our economy," said My Key, "We don't want them swanning around at some fancy conference venue eating sausage rolls - they should be at work employing people!"

More info here


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Women's Affairs

Pansy Wong is the Minister of Women's Affairs. This National Party website gives an idea of how busy she is in the portfolio. So I rang the ministers office to find out the policy. They said look on the website. So I asked which website. She said the National Party one. I asked he if she knew or could supply the URL.

She didn't even know the URL for the National Party website. Is that why the page is blank?


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Four day week

There's talk that the Government is suggesting that workers in businesses that are thinking of laying off staff should should work a four day week and take a 20 percent pay cut while doing Government-compensated community work or " skill training" on the fifth day. M'kay, I would have though that if anyone should undertake skills training it should be the unemployed. Although a few public sector employees could probably do with some basic literacy and numeracy training.

When I was working for a particular Government department and we had unlimited sick leave, a decent number of the staff in our office worked a four day week. That's because they had Fridays or Mondays off on sick leave and then came back in on Saturday to do overtime. After people started noticing this, the unlimited sick leave was scrapped and staff could only work 10 four day weeks a year.

Given the talk of the Government compensating earners for the non work day, we could *all* be public servants for a day a week. Whats the bet that everyone will want to have Friday/Monday off every two weeks, flag the "community work" every tow weeks and have a four day weekend every month as well as a four day week. And have every fourth Wednesday off as sick leave. Then once things settle down they could get a part time weekend job and still have days off. The Government would hardly make people do community work on their day off if they were working weekends as well - it`ll be unjust to make people work seven days a week - when will they spend quality time with their families?

I see TVNZ has to cut costs due to falling advertising revenue. How about making Sunday a blackout day for TVNZ? Could call it "online day".


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fake Twitter sites II

Prime Minister John Key is on Twitter. Except he probably doesn't know it. So is David Carter, and TheStandard. Most of these sites look fake, and look like stalker sites. All are friends with Labour activist Sonny Thomas, who tweets here. One of Thomas' tweets was “contemplating actually doing something today, as yesterday was a total drunken right off.”

Right off?

Even Phil Goff has a fake site. Helen Clark has two fake sites with no tweets. Wonder who set these up?

More fake political Twitter sites here.


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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fake political twitter sites

Some clever idiot has created a whole host of fake political Twitter sites. Twitter is a microblogging and social networking site. The fake sites include @NationalParty, @NZFirst, @EPMU, @NZGreenParty, @NZUnitedFuture, @FamilyFirst and @NZPolitics. There are about 24 sites that have been created. The National Party's one is here and you can access the rest from that page.

All carry news links to stories from Voxy, and nothing else, and all sites follow each other. Some people have been sucked in to following them and are getting hit with all the relevant Voxy stories.

I have reported them all as Spam. Looks like all have been created by the same person. I wonder if it is someone from Voxy that is doing this? Both the Greens and the National Party have legitimate sites on Twitter, The Nats are @NZNationalParty and the Green Party is at @NZGreens.


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Monday, February 16, 2009

Brendan Sokaluk, accused Aussie fire starter, was a failed fire fighter

Brendan Sokaluk, the man charged with starting the fire that killed at least 21 people in Gippsland, Australia was turned down as a volunteer member of a country fire brigade, whose members cheated death fighting the bushfire.

There was a court ban stopping anyone reporting on who he is or even hinting at his identity, but he was named in the weekend. on this blog. His image is still suppressed.

Sokaluk is facing charges of arson causing death, of intentionally starting a bushfire, and of possessing child pornography. He had a MySpace page with Kevin Rudd as a friend. On the site which has been cancelled, he says that he had a “ failed relationship with someone called Alexandra which resulted in a profile comment of “my interest are to enjoy life to the fallest [sic] and not with alexandra because she roots behind your back and lies a lot. Writing about himself he says: 'I'm a young happy male who wants to meet a young loven female to marrid.'

As to who he would like to meet, he writes: 'Like to meet my sole mate not some old hag.'

However, remember, he is at present, innocent. I wonder if he`ll get a fair trial?


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Alfie Patten: A child dad and his childish dad

This would make a great script for a play.

The press is agog with the story of young Alfie Patten who got his 15 year old girlfriend pregnant an age 12. Particularly as he looks about eight and his voice hasn't broken.
It is interesting to see what kind of families these kids come from. Turns out Patten's dad is a father of nine who got two women pregnant at the same time. He later married another woman, cheated on her several times and then left her for Patten's mum ( pictured below), then left her for a teen friend of one of his daughters, who he now lives with. Alfie’s half-sister Jade, 19 also had a child when she was 13.

Now that his 13 year old son is a dad, Dennis Patten wants to make a quick buck. He and his former wife are fighting to sell their sons story to the papers without each others knowledge.Dennis, who abandoned his kids for his various partners reportedly said: ‘I’m taking Alfie to London with me. I want to sell his story because I’ve heard people can get us loads of money for Alfie’s story". Dennis Paton's mother, Susan, said she was loath to talk about her new granddaughter – because she did not want to "interfere with my son’s business interests".

Meanwhile young Alfie's girlfriend, Chantelle Stedman, lives with her unemployed parents in a council house. Alfie has had a spare school uniform at her house in case he needs it to get to school in the morning after staying overnight.

What the bet that this young kid's story will be bought and spread across the gutter-press because it is ‘in the public interest,’ and then guess what? Children of eleven will be pushed into having sex by families hoping they`ll have a baby and so, a story to sell.

O what a tangled web they weave, when they first practice to conceive.
Technorati tags Alfie Patten


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

The same old cycle

And so it goes on... This is a man who joined the Black Power at 12, didn't put his son at school until he was 12,( but a few years years later this son was breeding). A man who was happy for his other son to move in with a woman nearly twice his age five years later, he has has now joined both these sons in prison for the murder and abuse of Nia Glassie, the child of the woman his son moved in with. Another of this man's sons had already killed himself. You can read more about this family here in an earlier blog post Inside the chaotic home of Nia Glassie.

The guy is simply a loser. As are his sons. The family was more dysfunctional than the Kahui family. Now we are paying $270,000 every year to keep these losers in prison. We should put them all in the same cell to save some money - call it a family cell. They could share food as well. Then spend the money saved on truancy officers to keep kids in school.

What would have prevented this? I'm not sure but what I am sure if is that if all these three men went to school and got a decent education instead of bumming around at home smoking dope, drinking and playing playstation games they would not have had time to do all this abuse. What I have noticed is that many of these Maori families who, abuse kids, tag garages, and commit crime do not have a good education, therefore they don't have good jobs. Neither do their parents. Less than 50 percent of Maori do not have NCEA level 2 when they leave school. Nearly half of all people on TOP training for second chance learning are Maori.

Unfortunately it is now, when many kids have been abused and killed, that things are slowly starting to change in Maori education.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

There goes the world record

In "breaking news" today, Lee Edmonds, who had the world's longest fingernails, has lost them in a car crash. Lee Redmond of Salt Lake City sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the accident, and her longest nail was 2 ft 11 inches - her thumb.

She will now be able to wear gloves. And do up her seatbelt.
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Is Ian Wishart about to get sued. And will he win?


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A tale of two New Zealands II

Yesterday I wrote this:
Two New Zealands came face to face with each other in a Hastings courtroom last week...

One was a woman widowed when her husband was stabbed while trying to assist someone who was being assaulted. The other was the mother of the stabbed child - an angry sickness beneficiary who is now in prison for contempt of court.

It happened again today. Two New Zealands in a court room. One was the sister of a boy who was stabbed to death. The other was a businessman who stabbed the boy after believing he was tagging his garage. Manurewa businessman Bruce Emery claimed he took a knife for self defence and after a 300 metre chase the teenager, Pihema Cameron, was stabbed in the chest and died. The boy's sister said she hated Emery and wanted to rip his eyes out. But what does she do all day? "I just stay home, bum from my dad, get some money, go get stoned, drink alcohol and do whatever," she said.

She's 15, about 18 months younger than her former brother. Does she go to school?

What’s the bet that the young teenager has got no qualifications and was not doing too well at school. What's the bet that Emery has a better job than most of the Cameron whanau, had more qualifications than Camerons mother and father, gets drunk less often and takes less drugs. What's the bet that had the poor kid been encouraged to do well by his parents, instead of his sole parent taking off to Australia on her own, he would still be alive today.

I`m not defending Emery's actions at all. His actions were despicable. Had he not reacted the way he did the boy would also be alive and Emery would not be in prison. But what is our society turning into when people get stabbed to death for helping someone, and killed for petty crime. And why, of late, is it Maori families who are running around courtrooms with the head of their dead offspring plastered on their t-shirts - the same dead offspring they should have cared for a little more when they were alive.

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That's it. I`m not voting Green again

I have voted for the Greens in previous elections. But as the Greens have refused to support the repeal of the Electoral Finance Act if means their principles are screwed on this issue. Their stand on the EFA is worse than their support of the smacking legislation. I will never vote Green again until there is a change of leadership, MPs and direction. I'd rather vote Labour than Green at the moment.

The Greens need to stop bitching that they are the only Party in Parliament that has not been in Government and start being responsible members of Parliament.

Whens the next poll?


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Poor Judith

Former Labour MP Judith Tizard can't get a job.After sucking on the public tit for more than 30 years, nobody will employ her and only small newspapers will interview her. She has revealed why she was lazy in Parliament, and asleep on the plane while she was an MP.
I get terrible headaches if I do too much. It is a non-specific viral hepatitis. I am still sleeping 10-12 hours. Its hideous(but) I'm very proud of my achievements for Auckland. I don't think I could have worked harder.

Shes probably working harder now she's not an MP - cleaning the house, filling the dishwasher, driving a car, going shopping, changing the TV channel, taking more panadol for the headaches caused by the extra workload. But as she's got viral hepatitis (and I wonder how she got it?), that may qualify her for the Sickness Benefit. But she wants to run for the Auckland mayoralty because her mum was a mayor and ran for the mayoralty at about the same age as Judith is now. When will she get the time to do her 10-12 hours sleep a day if she does, let alone knit?

The full article is here, thanks to WhaleOil.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A tale of two New Zealands

A great editorial in the Dominion Post today.

Two New Zealands came face to face with each other in a Hastings courtroom last week.

One was the New Zealand of Paula McCutcheon, the young mother widowed last month when her husband, Mark, was stabbed while trying to help a woman who was being assaulted outside a Hawke's Bay pub. Hers is the New Zealand most inhabit a land in which citizens go to work each morning, take pride in standing on their own feet, abide by the law and teach their children to respect others.

The other was the New Zealand of Victoria Stevens. It is a New Zealand in which adults healthy enough to rob and to steal, and to wrestle with the police, prefer to claim benefits than to go to work and in which mothers show their love for their sons by barking like dogs. To most New Zealanders theirs is a foreign country, but it is a foreign country that coexists alongside mainstream New Zealand.

Stevens is the 43-year-old invalid beneficiary who was jailed for contempt of court last week after barking like a dog a Mongrel Mob gesture of support during her [unemployed] son's court appearance. Her son, Hulio Ataria, is the Mongrel Mob associate who has been charged with Mr McCutcheon's murder.

What’s the bet that Victoria Stevens, a sickness beneficiary, has more of her whanau involved in crime than the McCutcheon whanau. What’s the bet that Stevens is more overweight than McCutcheon. What’s the bet that those in Steven’s whanau drink more alcohol, have more tattoos, take more drugs and left school earlier with fewer qualifications. What’s the bet that had McCutcheon had sons they would have shared the same surname as her, unlike Steven’s kids.

You can read the entire editorial here

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Aussie bushfires

Aussie bushfire death toll is now 181. Leonard Cohen has donated $A200,000 to assist. Now, go and buy his records.


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I have a dream.. of flames... rising uncontrollably

Here we go, a classic that will give religion a bad name. A fiery Aussie Penticostal pastor had a dream on October 21 last year and that he woke with "a flash from the Spirit of God". Basically the dream was that God's protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for decriminalising abortion. Hence the bushfire tragedy. ( HT No Right Turn)

The weird thing is that he is from " Catch the Fire" ministries. Here's the media release.
In my dream I saw fire everywhere with flames burning very high and uncontrollably. With this I woke up from my dream with the interpretation as the following words came to me in a flash from the Spirit of God. His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb.”

These people are are free to come out with the garbage in this media release, and I’ll defend their right to do so - just as I`ll reserve my right to name it for what it is.

Reminds me of a dream I had actually. When former President George Bush directed a war in Iraq there were fires started after bombs went off. Cars were burned out. Buildings were destroyed. God told me that Bush should not have gone into Iraq. Consequently he was holding his blessing from all western nations that befriended Bush.

Hence the "bush" fire in Australia.


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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Using your blog to promote Twitter

Most people would know now that Twitter is a microblogging site. Some bloggers use Twitter, and it is now one of the first points of call for my international news.

So if you wondered why there is a drop off in blogging on Big News, here's one of the reasons why: I also use Twitter. Those who do tweet on Twitter will know that Darren Rowse from Problogger is an avid user of Twitter and has set up a popular site called Twitips (Twitter Tips) to assist people in their use of Twitter.

Here's an article I wrote for his site: Using your blog to promote Twitter. It was published this morning. Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter here.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Goff calls on National to do what Labour refused to do

The Government has raised the minimum wage to $12.50 per hour so those on a low income can meet their essential bills on their extra $3.60 per week. Labour leader Phil Goff said it should have been raised to $13.00 an hour, yet Labour had no policy to increase the minimum wage on April 1 or to even draft a bill to legislate for any regular increase, despite what the fat boy from the whanau says.

If you are a low income person on the minimum wage and you run out of money, you`ll be entitled to WINZ food grants which will be more than your annual pay increase - particularly if you have kids. So make use of them.


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Striking a pose

Here's Prime Minister John Key grooving on stage at the Big Gay Out. He's a better dancer than former PM Helen Clark, by the looks of things. The video is here.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hands up if this song brings back memories

This is a journey into sound. A journey which along the way will bring you new colour, new dimensions, new values.


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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Children's Commissioner wastes $2500 on unnecessary legal fees

Some time back outgoing Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro had her feelings hurt by Radio Live announcer Michael Laws - and, upset, initiated a vindictive complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority and lost. The BSA decision is here. The background to the story, including what Laws said, is here.

Kiro even hired a lawyer and these legal fees cost the taxpayer nearly $2500.00.Public servants should not be using taxpayer money to pay pay for personal legal complaints when their feelings are hurt.

Radio Live programme director Mitch Harris said that the decision by the authority raised real issues about the actions of this senior public servant.


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Friday, February 06, 2009

Waitangi Day

While it would have been be nice to write a post on the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi and its relevance for today, and Maori/State relations in general, that will have to wait for another day, because I've been drinking beer and eating with friends today.

Instead, why don't you take this quiz and see if you can beat me. I got nine correct.

The quiz is here


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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dixon lawyers says Corrections stuffed up

Really? Surely not. The Department is now undertaking an initial investigation to determine what happened. I wonder what they`ll find?

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Unemployment at 4.6% - more than 100,000 out of work but just 30,000 on the dole

Unemployment has risen to a five year high. But the number of people employed increased by 21,000, driven by males in part time employment. I wonder how many of them get the abated dole as well.

I also wonder how many more are not eligible for the dole because either their partner works, or is on ACC, or both partners work part time and are thus ineligible for the dole, given that just 30,000 get the dole.


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Mad killer Antonie Dixon found dead in prison

Apparently the mad killer was suicidal as well.. That saves the country some money, as he was appealing his conviction and seeking a third trial.

Corrections didn't want to confirm the death. Initially anyway. They've confirmed it now it's in the media, blogs and social networking sites.


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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Treaty debate

I was aware for some time that there is a Treaty Debate series at Te Papa. I couldn't make it last week but I intend to go this Thursday, at 6:30pm, where Philip Joseph (who opposes the Maori seats) and Derek Fox (who supports their entrenchment) will debate the Maori seats and the role of Māori in Parliament. Radio New Zealand is recording it.

But what I didn't know until recently is that there will be a live webcast from Te Papa’s website, so anybody can watch it. Also, people can ask questions through the Te Papa blog, or by email. I've sent mine off.

Good stuff. Plus, its free. If you miss it, and the RNZ broadcast, it will be available as a download from the Te Papa website.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Social media conference

There's a social media conference in Wellington in April. Weird thing about the advertising for this is that the site has "connect to us" badges you should be able to click to link into their Facebook, Flickr and Twitter sites. Like, social media. Try clicking them. Their badges aren't links.

You'd think the social marketing advocates would get that right.

However, their sponsors are linked. That's important, isn't it. If you're keen to go, check out their huge discount. If you want to shout me, get in touch!

hattip @problogger


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Oops, I did it again

A 14-year-old pregnant girl has for the second time been nabbed for allegedly being over the breath- alcohol limit while driving.

But she is improving - she was only five times the legal limit, whereas last week she was six times over the limit. I wonder what kind of mother she has- and where her father is - and why CYFS have apparently given up on her.


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