Sunday, December 30, 2012

RIP TONY GREIG

Antony William Greig  was not the colossus that bestrode cricket of say Tendulkar, Bradman et al but as a dominating influence in the latter half of the 20th century world of cricket, Tony, "Greigy" was right up there.

Born in the apartheid  Republic of South Africa with a qualifying UK ancestor the young Tony took up an opportunity to trial for Sussex County, where growing success led to the England team and ultimately its captain.

Always the innovator and with his ultra competitive streak he caused more than his share of upsets in the staid olde world dominated by the always quaintly eccentric Marylebone Cricket Club.  England only played "tests" touring teams were MCC teams. This was a world that still included the annual Gentlemen Vs Players game where the paid who could never captain an MCC team played the Amateur Gentlemen.
One of his "moments" occurred when at close of play in a test in the West Indies Alvin Kallicharan left his crease before the Ump called stumps and Greig threw down his wicket, appealed and in a near riot outcome the batsman was adjudged, correctly, as out.
By next day Kallicharan was reinstated after the England Captain "withdrew" the appeal and went on to make 150.

Hard but fair, over  6'6" with a shock of blonde hair, Greigy scored over 3500 test runs and was a very useful medium bowler who added Off spin to his repertoire, taking enough wickets to be regarded as a true allrounder.

When Kerry Packer made his move to bring cricket, kicking and screaming into the modern professional era, Tony Greig was one of his main lieutenants, he was the difference and like it or not something had to give as five day test cricket is not the global marketing opportunity mass audiences and TV in particular need to be viable, outside of the UK, Australia and India.

Following the Packer  revolution Tony Greig became an integral part of the Channel 9  Commentary team and with his very distinctive SA accent and a deep understanding of the game in all its facets.

Diagnosed with Lung Cancer last October his brief illness removed what had become part of the public face of the game throughout the world. From a niche as a trailblazer "mercenary" of cricket foreswearing his birth nation to rise to the top in the UK world of red and yellow striped ties at Lords, Tony Greig leaves a rather large hole in the true global game with his death from cardiac arrest in his adopted land, Australia.

RIP Tony Greig, the world of cricket was made richer by your presence

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ignore All The Evidence, Impugn The Motive

Some readers in New Zealand will have been following the quite extraordinary saga of Liberal bon vivant,  sleazebag and small time crook MP turned Labor stooge and Speaker, conveniently turning a Gillard parliamentary majority of one seat into two.(Unless I am mistaken.)



Amidst all the visits to brothels, taxi chit rorting, riotous living and extensive travel - all on the tax payer - Slipper managed to sexally harass one of his staff - a young bloke, no less.  Eclectic are the tastes of Mr Slipper who looks as though he should be well past all that nonsense and who makes Shane Jones look like a small town Vicar.  He has since resigned (tearfully) as Speaker.

Anyway, the harassed staff member brought criminal charges, backed by strong evidence, against Slipper - only to have the case dismissed on account of his motive allegedly being political.  Of course the staffer is appealing the decision to throw the case out.

I'd appreciate some advice from practicing lawyers as to whether such a reason for dismissal is a first.  I've never heard of anything like it.  Let's face it, any criminal case against a politician will involve political motives. 

Philip Field was charged because he threatened to damage Helen Clark's Labour Party.   If only he could have called on the Slipper precedent, he might have remained a free man and an MP.

Who said the law is an ass?

Oh Dear, Oh Dear, Oh Dear!

On December the 27th, 2012, the good ship Sranka was torpedoed and sunk without trace at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia 460
 
SL 156 & 103

Also lost was three days worth of high priced TV advertising and three days worth of gate takings.

Greater tragedy seldom has been inflicted on one group of men by another.

Never mind.  Just send the Ocker cricket squad to Christmas Island and all those bloody Srankan illegal immigrants will swim home rather than face the fire of Mitchels Starc, Johnson and co.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ONE WAY TO SOLVE UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE USA

My post a couple of days ago dishing the call to arm teachers in American schools produced the rather predictable response from the rabid Right.   

Now I see that the National Rifle Association  have suggested the way to go is to station an armed policeman in every school.  

Interesting proposition.  The latest statistics that I have been able to access have it that in 2008 there were 111,486 schools in the United States both public and private.    That's an additional 111,486 police officers which, calculated at the average wage for a police officer at $40,000, would cost $4.459 billion per annum.

But you can't stop there.  Yesterday two fireman were ambushed and killed by a gun crazy ex con.   To follow the NRA proposal through to its logical conclusion would require and additional 64,000 policeman to provide 24 hour coverage to the 32,000 fire departments across the nation.

But hold on ... what about the gunman who went on a killing rampage in a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, five months ago.   Can't leave places of worship undefended can we.   There are an estimated 350,000 of them = another 350,000 police officers.

So, it appears the NRA are advocating employing an additional 454,000 police officers at an annual cost of $21.019 billion and that excludes both start-up and overhead costs.

All this against an American budget out of control.

I am comforted however that Representative Ron Paul, Americas leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, and honest money, slammed the proposal stating "School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America” and “Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?” ......

Sanity from the Libertarian Right.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

A very merry Christmas to my fellow bloggers Adolf, Barnsley Bill, Gravedodger, Lou Taylor, Psycho Milt, Nick K and Pdm and to all those who respond to our various posts in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

And to those who froth at the mouth and substitute abuse for argument, may your Gods go with you too (although I suspect they are Pagan ones).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

ARMAGEDDON DID HAPPEN FOR THE RAT FAMILY

Mr and Ms Rat set up home in the overflow of our reserve rainwater tank.

A connection had partially separated in the Sept 4th 2010 quake that left just enough gap for a front door.

Swmbo saw traffic accross the plastic tank so the great white hunter was given his Orders.

Things went a little awry when the family decamped back into the tank and 'swam for freedom'.

The trusty .177  slug rifle, (already employed to dispatch a thrush and a silver eye caught stealing raspberries earlier that day),  was the killers weapon of choice as the biggest gun battle ever witnessed in 'Alzheimers Valley' unfolded late on the date predicted by the Mayans all those years ago.

The outcome, Mrs Rat died of gunshot wounds and all the members of her family slaughtered in the fussilade at the not so ok water tank.

Mr Rat alleged to have abandoned the marital home when the pregnancy was discovered.

Now the 25 000 litres of water will be dumped and the pensioners will be hoping the wet weather predicted for the holiday period eventuates.

"shooting rats in a barrel", was an apt description as the tragedy unfolded for the rat family on that date predicted all those years ago.

The pensioners on the other hand seemed to have dodged that particular Apocalypse.  Five decaying corpses in the tank, undiscovered ,might just have changed all that though.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

AN 'ACCIDENT' WAITING TO HAPPEN

There is a lot of comment floating around concerning the crash of Iroquois Black – the ANZAC Day flight where Black 2 (the No. 2 aircraft) crashed with only one survivor. Some of this is from politicians who should know better and some from members of the media interviewing their own word processors from a limited knowledge base. 
 
So, I have decided to give you my two-penny worth. I agree my aviation knowledge is limited; my log book records less than 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command in fixed wing aircraft (not helicopters). I am instrument rated qualified.    I have only limited night flying experience and virtually nil formation flying experience. But given all that there are some basic truths that most aviators can identify with no matter what their experience.

The first and most simple is that rarely it is a single error alone that causes an aircraft to crash. There will be a matrix of errors, each one taken taken in isolation and no big deal but collectively they spell disaster. The second is the truism that 'there are old pilots and bold pilots but there are very few old bold pilots'.

It is clear to me that both these apply in this case.

The Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the crash is a comprehensive document. It was peer reviewed by members of the Royal Australian Air Force Aviation Air Safety Directorate who reported that “the methodology used in the investigation is both thorough and systematic” and that the “CoI is adequately resourced in terms of both the numbers and competency of its members”. The Report identifies a large number of contributing factors to the crash. To my mind three stand out.

But before discussing those I want to highlight some matters in relation to Iroquois operations as these are important to understanding what happened. The CoI records in para 39 that “Iroquois pilots interviewed all stated a clear preference to avoid Instrument Flying (IF) in the Iroquois. The inherent instability of the aircraft, limited fuel capacity, lack of de-icing/anti-icing equipment and limited navigation equipment all add up to make flight under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) very difficult to achieve safely. Consequently, most Squadron Operating Procedures (SOP) are designed to remain under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and to avoid flight into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC)”.

Coupled with this the Report in para 230 highlights the differing views concerning Night Vision Goggles (NVG) viz a viz IMC as seen by 3 Squadron (parent squadron of the Iroquois) in their training documentation and the United States Air Force in theirs ... I quote

  • 3 Squadron ... ‘Although not strictly an emergency, inadvertent IMC with NVGs is worth a mention. There are only a couple of points to stress as the procedure remains the same as for unaided inadvertent IMC recoveries.’
  • USAF ... ‘One of the most dangerous situations that can be experienced during NVG operations, and one with which students should be thoroughly familiar, is flight into undetected meteorological conditions. This has been and continues to be a real threat in all rotary wing communities, and has been implicated in several NVG related mishaps.’
Iroquois Black was a low level VFR, close formation transit, using NVG, flown by crews, some with only limited experience (see para 66), in marginal weather conditions.     It can be argued this task was pushing the envelope and deserving of close and detailed scrutiny.   The CoI records this was not the case.

I will now focus on what I consider to be the three main causes of the crash.

The failure to Pre-Position the Aircraft in Wellington

Para 47 of the CoI records that the ANZAC Day flypast was tasked by Headquarters Joint Force New Zealand (the organisation tasked with the control of all land, sea and air operations in New Zealand and o’seas) on 13 April and included the specific directive that the aircraft were to be pre-positioned in Wellington on 24 April.   For whatever reason or combination of reasons (and there were three advanced) 3 Squadron took it upon themselves to ignore the directive and instead opt for a night transit.
 
I find it disturbing that a junior headquarters felt it could override a directive of a senior headquarters. Others I have spoken to and whose opinions I respect immensely have commented on the breakdown of the principle of ‘Unity of Command’ i.e. a headquarters only answers to a single headquarters. The CoI comments on this in Para 284 which highlights the problems caused following the introduction of Project Refocus in 2001.   

Under Refocus 3 Squadron answered to two separate headquarters dependent on the task. The CoI records “Frustration in the system was apparent with witnesses describing the situation in 3 Squadron as like working under divorced parents, Mum is in Auckland and Dad is in Upper Hutt’.  

If the aircraft had been pre-positioned the night before as directed the ‘accident’ would not have occurred.
 

Route Planning and Authorisation

The CoI identifies many deficiencies the the planning and execution of the flight up until the moment the decision was made by the flight commander to turn back.   It highlights that at no stage was any consideration given to a high level transit which might have involved going IFR, presumably for the reasons advanced earlier, although it is worth noting in para 20 that Black 1 (the lead aircraft), after executing the so called escape turn, climbed back above cloud at 5,000 feet and was vectored onto a safe approach into Wellington airport by Air Traffic Control.   

Perhaps the decision to go low level is reflected in the ‘can do’ culture prevalent in 3 Squadron discussed at length in the CoI.  
   

But to my mind the main issue highlighted in para 100 was the disregard of DFFO 2.196 © which requires that “before authorising cross-country helicopter operations using night vision systems, the Flight Authorising Officer is to ensure that routes have been surveyed by day. An unsurveyed route must be flown above 500 feet MSD” i.e. above the highest point of ground.  

A route survey was not conducted and the route was authorised to be flown Not Inside (NI) 250 feet MSD.

The “Escape’ Turn

Iroquois Black tracked south along the Kapiti coastline with SH1 on their port (left) side.   Abeam Paekakariki the formation leader (Black 1), facing poor weather conditions, called the aircraft into tail formation (they had been flying Vic), in preparation for a return to Paraparaumu. He then ordered 180 degree port turn i.e. towards land.

There is a very good three-dimensional view of the flight path followed by the three aircraft at para 143 of the Report. Where I have a major difficulty is that drilled into me at flying birth (and all pilots) when flying a coastline route at low level and you need to execute a reverse turn you ALWAYS turn away from ground i.e. towards the sea.   

If Iroquois Black had done this there would have been no crash.

This is my take on the ‘accident’ with all the caveats that apply to a lay commentator.    Some of you will disagree, that is your privilege. It was a difficult post to write. I am a graduate of the RNZAF Command and Staff College. The airforce that I knew took pride in its professionalism.  I have many friends ex airforce. I know this incident has caused them great distress.   The RNZAF will learn from this.   They need to.
 

But I want to end with this.  The CoI comments on the ‘can do’ culture in 3 Squadron at the time. The military is steeped in a can do culture.   It part of the Westminster tradition.   When successive governments of all political persuasions cut defence spending (and cut it yet again) they inevitably trumpet that this will not impact on front end capability and the Chief of Defence and the Service Chiefs say yes sir and get on with it .... but it does in a myriad of ways    

Oh for the day when we have a military leader prepared to front up to the Prime Minister in full dress uniform and say this is all bullshit, enough is enough.   Order me to implement this and I will resign and tell the county why I am resigning. Now that is REAL leadership, not of the ersatz type ... but I doubt very much we will ever see a Service Chief with the balls to so act.
















All you need to know....

About Brendan McCullum is contained in the snippets below. Lifted from this article on the front page of the Herald site.


"New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was unapologetic for his team's approach after South Africa trounced them by eight wickets with 47 balls to spare in the first Twenty20 international on Friday."

"That is the way we are going to be, that is the way we are going to put them under pressure.
"We were probably a bit too keen."


And so the disgrace and comedic bumbling continues.
You just know that if McCullum faces three or four dot balls he is going to have a massive brain explosion next ball and so it was again last night.
What farking pressure you boof head? They were laughing at you.

Never one to be handicapped with the weakness of humility and  self awareness our new Captain is a modern day version of the Black Knight from Monty Pythons Holy Grail.
His batting temperament should have been a massive warning sign for those clowns who knifed Ross Taylor.
The dim glimmer of hope is the new boys who despite being surrounded by Turkeys managed to soar like eagles.
Sadly they will get "Black Capped" and be as shite as the rest of them by the end of the tour.
Meanwhile, in Auckland last night we were treated to a fantastic spectacle of cricket with only a few fielding blunders dotted around like the odd fly in your favourite soup.
A sprinkling of aging internationals who played well, some young guys playing out of their collective skins and a nuggety old professional captain who played like his life depended on it and deserved the win that just escaped them.
Get along to our domestic 20-20 if you get a chance and leave the TV alone. The cricket is better and less likely to give you arse ache.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Great Australian One Eyed Honk

For those who enjoy cricket, Australian commentator Bill Lawry is either revered or despised.





Lawry was an exceedingly successful captain of his nation's team and has a wealth of cricket knowledge and experience, some of which he occasionally brings to the microphone. An opening batsman able to bat for long periods and once described by an English journo, who must never have seen Boycott, as 'a corpse with pads on', Lawry captained Australia though twenty-five test matches before being dumped in 1970.  Whatever you might think of him as a commentator or cricketer, no man deserves the treatment he suffered.  The ACB didn't bother to tell him he'd been dumped.  The first he knew of it was by way of a radio broadcas and harassment from reporters.

Anyway, one thing is for sure.  If you listen to Lawry's commentary, you need to be a competent linguist.

Here are just a few examples of  Lawryisms, developed over thirty years of commentary. 

Verbal bounce

Beaufill day

Sranka

Straya

Ovis

There was one priceless moment during the Hobart test against Sri Lanks.  Lawry was extolling the virtues of opening batsman Phil Hughes who was on 87, praising his temperament as an opener, citing his history of first class hundreds and his almost unique ability to make 'big hundreds.'  Before he hd finished uttering that fateful 'big hundred,' Hughes was clean bowled.

Did Lawry even flinch?  No.  Without drawing breath he breezed on to some other unrelated subject.

For what it's worth, my favorite commentators are Ian Chappell and Tubby Taylor.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

POSSESSION IS 9/10 OF THE LAW OR IS IT.

Over a quarter of a century ago James Takamore left his ancestral home in Tu Hoeand moved south to follow his dreams in Christchurch as a builder,  oh how his talents would be in demand today.

Nothing so unusual there. He did what many young people, some with Maori in their genes, did.

He met and established a home with Denise Clark and raised a family, still pretty much normal.

After some 20 years of aparent happiness that all came to a sudden end when James died.

His family in keeping with James' culture had his body lying at his local Marae in the Eastern Suburb he had made his home.
Not exactly a common practice here in our city but not unknown and becoming more widely adopted as accepted method as to how some deal with death in multi cultural New Zealand, both those who consider themselves Maori and non maori.

Then a very unusual occurrence happened with a cultural clash between his long standing partner and executor and his more or less now distant  family from Tu Hoe. His Native family from a past he had largely abandoned in a relationship sense, went to the Marae removed his  body into the back of a station waggon and drove it north to their homeland where they  interred it in a Urupa there.

This all seemed a little odd to most down here in the village James had made home. The police were aware of what was happening and to the dismay of his wife and children made no attempt to intervene only "shadowing" the entourage.
Now after five, yes five years of legal wrangling, the NZ Supreme court has ruled that as executor of the will, Denise Clark is the sole authority as to what happens to James Takamore's remains. The lower court order for exhumation and reburial in accordance with Denise's wishes is to be upheld.

With Tu Hoe's established track record of selective use of "white mans law" good luck with that, then it will be interesting as to who pays, as it has not been and will still not be, cheap.

Not much of a fifth Christmas wrangling over what many thought was a basic right to rest in peace for a comparatively young man whose untimely death had brought enough grief to his surviving family.


UPDATE
Have heard an opinion from Denise Clark's lawyer who is suggesting that rather than upholding the rights of the deceased through an executor appointed by the will, to carry out the wishes of the  the dead person they have added rubbish about the "rights of the extended family and  cultural issues that weakens the law as most understood it".

May have been a "claytons" victory.

And I thought the Parliament was the place to create law, the collective intellect of the SC seems to be of a different opinion.

Thanks a bunch Helen Margaret et al.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DR JOHN LOTT - DICKWIT

 ,Cards on the table.   After some decades in the military and with some exposure to using guns to kill make no mistake about it, I am against the unfettered right of civilians to bear arms.    And so it is that I have no hesitation in awarding Dr John Lott, supposedly one of Americas leading gun experts, dickwit of the 'weak' award for his call in the light of the latest school massacre for a repeal on the Gun Free Zone (read Schools) legislation and for teachers to be able to carry concealed weapons as a matter of course.

According to the good Dr this would even up the playing field and make it less likely for events such as what has just occurred to happen again.

So, instead of one sided shootouts we can now progress to two sided battles with (presumably) the kids crouched in the middle caught in the crossfire.

I am amazed at such torturous reasoning.   I acknowledge the US Constitution confers upon Americans the right to bear arms but very few rights are absolute and the pro-gun lobby should run a mile from the likes of Dr Lott.   With friends like him they don't need too many enemies.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

WHERE DO THEY FIND THEM

Flipped onto TV One tonight for some weather info, not for what they say but the satellite images and the Isobar map are a bit of a guide.

The blonde 'bimbo' announced;
"relief for farmers' with 250 mm of rain predicted for Fiordland.

Jesus wept, there are no bloody farms or farmers in Fiordland it is a "NATIONAL PARK".
There are a few in adjacent South Westland and Western Southland but as far as I am aware they are not in the throes of a pending drought.
On the other hand I understand parts of The Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay are in need of rain, and for your information, you pretty, slender airhead, those areas are quite a distance to the North East and in the other freekin Island.

MAYBE IF WE JUST HAD A DAILY ONE.

My ancestors clearly survived the Roman invasion of the UK, although to be fair the advancing Legion must have brought mortality into sharp focus for the waiting Celts.

History is littered with predictions of impending doom.

The plague,
Famines,
Revolution,
World war,
The Holocaust
Steam power,
Industrialisation,
Peak oil and now "fracking"

Then there are the manipulations of those who discover a belief that threatens an end to the world for those present at the time know it.

Armageddon has been around for a bit only to be superceded by the very real threat of nucear annihilation in my lifetime. The film of Neville Shute's novel "On The Beach" was reasonably thought provoking.

Education and the freedom of access to information has enabled many thinking people to cope with those who would use the threat of some form of impending doom to satisfy a seemingly endless opportunity to have a serious disruption to a future as a means of dominance over their followers, not to mention the opportunity for a bit of graft .

Hence, we, having negotiated volcanoes, earth quakes, the "29 crash, Joe McCarthy, Britain joining  the EU, The oil shocks, Thatcherism, Reganomics and Rogernomics, not forgetting Jim Jones ( it didn't turn out too well for the congressman and Jimbo's followers though), George Orwells 1984, Y2K, and recently Harolds Bloody Raptures (he had a couple didn't he), now we are faced with yet another potential problem next Friday.
An obscure Mayan prediction has been redated to bring yet another "end of the world event".

Now here in godzone we are at the early bit of the globe that gets to start the dawning of the "21st",  before most, so will we get a days grace or should I cancel the poultry order at le boucher or whatever he calls his meat market here in Akaroa.
Then there are the beautiful little girls and their very useful partners flying in to Harewood on the 24th, will they make it or not.
I have a significant date on Jan the 3rd with a nought on it do we make plans or will we be wasting time, money and effort.
Should we even cut the freekin lawns.

The bastards don't make it easy so I am proposing we have a daily threat, "it is all over each morning"  to deny Oxygen to the nutters.


Enjoy next Friday, I will or it wont matter.

IT'S A LAUDABLE AIM.

So Owen Glen is going to fund an inquiry into the appalling degree of child abuse in New Zealand with $80 million of his own money.

He is gathering a list of notables to assist with the mission.

My question is, will the inquiry allow its quest to include the pernicious degradation of the human spirit and the financial advantages that our current welfare system delivers to many of the perpetrators of child abuse in NZ.

I await with interest but not with great expectation.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I find myself in the highly unusual, bordering-on-inconceivable situation of...


...feeling actual, genuine, sympathy for Judith Collins.

I was berated by various commenters at the Dim Post (including Andrew Geddis, no less) for holding the view that Ian Binnie's report on David Bain's compensation claim shows he doesn't understand "balance of probabilities," without actually having read the report.

Well, they did have a point, so I read it.  I still maintain that Binnie's conclusion (that Robin Bain is more likely to be the murderer on balance of probabilities) is all you need to know in order to conclude that he doesn't grasp the meaning of balance of probabilities, but having read the report, I feel like it's even worse than that.  Fisher went relatively easy on Binnie in his review, as far as I'm concerned.  Hence the sympathy for Collins - I'd be wildly fucked off if I was carrying the can for this decision and found the report my predecessor had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on was a crock of shit.

Not only has Binnie failed to understand balance of probabilities, he seems to have approached the evidence on the basis that the onus is on the Crown to prove David Bain guilty (it isn't - the onus is on Bain to demonstrate that he is innocent on the balance of probabilities), and he is egregiously unfair to Robin Bain.

1.  Failure to understand balance of probabilities.
In this case, there are only two people who could be the murderer.  In working out which of them is more likely to have done it on balance of probabilities, the question is what evidence there is to suggest either one of them did it.  You've watched enough TV to know what to look for: fingerprints on the weapon?  Bloody handprints? Footprints? Blood-smeared clothes? Injuries left by the victim who fought for his life?  Evidence under the victim's fingernails?  Items left behind by the killer?  And so on. In the aggregate, which way does the evidence point?  Binnie works through such evidence produced in court - most of it implicates David rather than Robin. Of course, for each of the items implicating David, his extensive and well-funded team of legal and technical experts has a "Yeah, but..."  Accordingly, Binnie writes off each piece of evidence on the basis that the "Yeah, buts" raised make each individual item of evidence less compelling than the piece of evidence implicating Robin - the 28 cm bloody footprints on the carpet.  Unsurprisingly, Robin, what with being dead an' all, has no "Yeah, but..." to raise regarding these footprints (and there's a fucking obvious one, if he had someone to raise it, which of course he doesn't), so Binnie finds this single piece of evidence more compelling than the entirety of the evidence against David.  Which brings us to:

2. Unfairness to Robin Bain.
Binnie makes the point early on that he has to take into account that Robin Bain isn't around to speak for himself, then proceeds to ignore that point for the rest of his report.  He interviews David Bain at length, finds him intelligent and polite, concludes he's a credible witness and therefore whatever he says about the events is to be treated as true unless someone can prove otherwise.  So, if David says he didn't change his clothes that morning, we can assume he didn't unless the Crown can prove he did.

Seriously, What.  The.  Fuck.   If Robin Bain were around to be interviewed, wouldn't he also prove to be an intelligent and polite interviewee?  Wouldn't he also say that he didn't change his clothes that morning?  Would that mean the balance of probability was that neither of them was the murderer?

Along the same lines, Binnie raises and lets David rebut all the witness statements about his bizarre behaviour and possible motives for killing his family.  Robin? Yeah, not so much, what with that being dead thing.  He gets to let anything that witnesses have said about him stand.

3.  Assumption that the onus is on the Crown to prove David's guilt.
This one is another gobsmacking WTF.  As Fisher points out, Binnie takes into account the 2009 jury's verdict as being relevant to the task at hand.  Er, no.  The 2009 jury's verdict was relevant to the question of whether the Crown had proven David Bain guilty beyond reasonable doubt.  (It hadn't, and the jury found him not guilty.)  Binnie's task was to find whether David could back his claim for compensation by showing that he was innocent on balance of probabilities - in this instance the Crown doesn't have to prove anything.  This error is throughout Binnie's treatment of the evidence, ie he consistently asks whether the Crown has demonstrated guilt rather than whether David Bain has demonstrated probable innocence.

Honestly, and I write here as someone who loathes Judith Collins and has nothing but contempt for pretty much everything she's come up with in her various ministerial portfolios, I believe Judith Collins has treated Binnie's report with more kindness than it deserves.  The fact that we've forked out a shitload of cash for this annoys the hell out of me.  It's time that the government stopped throwing good money after bad and made a decision.

AN EARLY XMAS PRESENT FOR BILL





On a day when our thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims of the school massacre tragedy in the United States (I wonder if anyone will have the temerity to term this a case of 'extreme workplace violence' ... again) here's a good news story to help balance the books (only a little I grant you).

Some of you may recall the story brokered by Barbara Dreaver, Pacific Affairs correspondent for TV1, regarding Bill Framhein and his quest for a Veteran's Pension to be paid to him in the Cook Islands.

Long story short.   Bill served his country with distinction in Malaysia, Borneo and was the only NZ serviceman to complete four tours in Vietnam.
He is in receipt of a War Disability Pension and would be entitled to the Veteran's Pension if he were resident in NZ ... he's not, he's resident in the Cook Islands.   There is legislative provision for Bill to receive the Veteran's Pension in the Cook Islands but there is a qualifying time-bar which Bill doesn't meet.    There is no discretion in the Act for the Minister of Social Welfare to intervene (MSD administers the Veteran's Pension).

Following extensive lobbying by Don McIver, President of the Royal New Zealand Returned & Services Association, Alfred Ngaro MP (NZs first MP of Cook Island descent) and others, the Hon Nathan Guy, Minister of Veteran's Affairs, has just announced that the Government has agreed to pay Bill a special annuity equivalent to the Veterans Pension effective immediately.   This is in addition to his War Disablement Pension.

This is a win for the veteran community and especially for Bill.   It's a one-off.     I acknowledge the willingness of Minister Guy to recognise the special circumstances of the case, engage with his colleagues and argue for for what might be considered an 'elegant solution' obiviating the need for legislative change.

Footnote .... the Veteran's Pension is available to all veterans with qualifying operational service and who receive a War Disablement Pension at the 70% level or higher.     It is paid at the same rate as NZ Superannuation and subject to the same residential qualifications as apply to NZ Superannuation.    There are some important add-ons.   Unlike NZ Superannuation, the VP continues unabbated if the recipient goes into long term hospital care.    On the death of a recipient of the VP the estate receives a funeral grant while the surviving spouse/partner is entited to a special pension in addition to any other pension he/she may be entitled to (the Surviving Spouse Pension).    If the spouse/partner of a recipient of the Veterans Pension dies their estate is also entitled to a funeral grant.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

SOME LIGHTENING UP NEEDED.

As the nation divides and morphs over whether an elected MP is correct in questioning the report of a Canadian Judge, who seems to have an inflated opinion of his value in jurisprudence, on the balance of probabilities as to "did David Bain commit murder", Ms Wozniack a skinny white caucasian, is being called a racist for doing a send up on the very different body shape of the current leading lady of tennis.

Sheesh!!!,

I dont think many would say Plod did the very best  investigation when David Bain called into Ambulance communications with the babble about the scene at his very own house of horrors, 65 Every street.
Binnie appears to this layman to have made a simmilarly botched attempt to make any sense of the task Pantywaist Power appointed him to do.

Does that mean David and Goliath, sorry I meant Joe Karam, should be given the Jackpot, this blogger says no.
David and Joe, just value the fact you have the chance to get on with your lives, a simple fact that has been denied Robin, Margaret, Arawa, Laniet, Stephen and the House of horrors that was dispatched in a ball of fire with unseemly haste after the killings.

Whilst I accept that David Cullen Bain may have been convicted wrongly all those years ago there was too much evidence that pointed to him as the perpetrator for him to be  found "innocent on the balance of probabilities". A very different test.

The timing, the computer turn on time, the evidence of DCB's return time, the message, the blood on his clothing, the scratches on his hands, the struggle  Stephen had put up, the washing, the gloves, Davids alleged controlling behavior, his talk of using the "paper round for an alibi, Robin's  full bladder, the almost theatrical scenario for Robin to have shot himself, the chaotic personal lives, and subsequent growth in the incest legends, could all be used in isolation to muddy the waters.
Half a century ago DCB could have dangled at the end of a rope and without the advances in evidence manipulation, revisiting evidence and indulging in minutiae we have today, we would be just considering the early death of another member of a somewhat disfunctional family that entered the growing legend of NZ criminal justice 18 years ago.

As for the skinny white Russian, it was theatre FFS, now I will have a measure of what Granny Clampet called 'medcin and toddle off to bed.

Fisher slays Binnie

"In this report I have expressed final conclusions on the principles to be applied to an inquiry of this kind; found that those principles have been misunderstood in the Binnie Report; and concluded in consequence it would be unsafe to act upon the Binnie Report".
 Oh dear.
 Now what?

Pointy-haired boss

For some reason it completely fails to surprise me that, in her handling of David Bain's compensation claim, Judith Collins fails to do the right thing and instead misuses her position to bad-mouth the people she's in disagreement with.  That's all BaU for her (and Paula Bennett, for that matter).

Of course, it's fair to say that her predecessor has put her in a difficult position.  The decision whether to compensate Bain or not for his imprisonment is a political one, ie it's Cabinet's choice.  Back in 2010, Cabinet could have made a choice, very easily.  It would have taken very little time and involved very little expense for the various lawyers in Cabinet to draft an official response - something along the lines of:

Dear Mr Reed
With reference to the matter of your compensation claim for Mr David Bain on the basis that he is innocent on the balance of probabilities of the murders for which he was imprisoned, Cabinet makes the following responses: 
1.  Ha ha, pull the other one, it's got bells on.
2.  You must be fucking joking.
3.  Tell the lanky git to count his blessings. 
With best regards
Your faithful servants
etc

But Cabinet didn't do that, and thereby made an unpleasant bed for Judith Collins to lie in.  And it's still lacking the bollocks to do it, hence her usual obnoxious bluster and blatant misuse of her position to try and defend the indefensible.  I guess it's all wonderful entertainment, but it's not coming cheap for the long-suffering taxpayers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SENSIBLE JUDGEMENT


 

The High Court decision dumping on the application by the Maori Council and Tainui for a declaration that, in essence, would have it that Maori own the 'rain; is a victory for common sense and, more importantly, reaffirms the primacy of Parliament.     
 
National was elected on the back of a specific promise to partially privatise selected assets as a means of reducing debt and funding improvements to infrastructure.   
 
It is a sensible policy recognising that those who would have it that the way forward is to print money are in la la land.
 
Let the process now proceed apace.  I for one will be investing in Mighty River Power.
 
The rage from the dark side of politics is acknowledged.   I refer them to one of their own who said [famously] "we won, you lost, eat that".   
 
The so called Maori Council and Tainui at the behest of their clown King need to takae a long hard look at themselves.    Their cargo cult mentality is holding back Maoridom and does them no credit.
 
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

If you saw someone in a skirt you shot him and nicked his country.


This post at the Hand Mirror reminded me I'd meant to write a post about this article in Stuff featuring that well-known unrepentant convicted criminal, Phillip Taito Field.

The Hand Mirror post notes Trans Tasman putting Labour MP Rajen Prasad and Natonal MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi on its worst-performers list and comments on it as a matter of Whitey not taking "people of colour" seriously.  (Yeah, me too - if I wanted to make a case for "people of colour" MPs being as capable as Whitey, I'd be looking for candidates other than Bakshi and Prasad, who've earned their low places on Trans-Tasman's ranking.)

It reminded me of the Stuff story about Field, because that story highlighted one of the less-wonderful outcomes of reflecting ethnic diversity in Parliament. 

While I was working in Kuwait, I was talking one day to an oil industry contractor about the sorry state of the country's infrastructure, given the wealth the govt and major local companies had available to them.  He pointed to the locals' tendency to staff their departments and companies with people from the Third World - primarily India (NB: Christians and Muslims only, heathens like Mr Bakshi needn't apply), Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia. His view was that if you bring in people from the Third World, they bring the Third World with them.  And if you use them to build your infrastructure, your infrastructure will have the problems Third World infrastructure generally has.  It was a view that certainly matched our experience - despite being wealthier than NZ, Kuwait was also rich in unexplained power cuts, drains that didn't drain properly, telecoms systems characterised by impenetrable bureaucracy, building sites featuring rickety wooden scaffolding that occasionally left dead construction workers littering the area, and so on.

So, what does that have to do with Phillip Field?  Well, here he is:

 He maintains that the undervalued work done on his property by Thai tradesmen, who he helped with immigration to New Zealand, was a mere discount between friends, not an act of bribery.

"They were friends, they were like extended family. I paid what they told me to pay, what's the crime?"

In other words, he's brought the Third World with him.  From his point of view, there is no crime.  In the Third World, the whole point of being in a position of influence is to use that influence to help others, in exchange for reciprocal help from them, with you making on the deal because... well, you're an influential man and these supplicants are... well, not.  In that sense, he was quite literally just doing his job, as it's done in the great majority of the world's countries. The rather obvious point that what makes places like NZ attractive migration choices for people in the Third World depends on things like the fact that we'll issue you with a prison term for that kind of business-as-usual, is lost on him.  From his PoV, we're just richer and snottier.

So, yeah - ethnic diversity in Parliament.  In one sense, yeah, it's great. In another sense, yeah, not so much.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

An Old Bugger Strikes

To all our resident trolls who take delight in bagging 'old buggers,' I give you Peter Senior.

At fifty-three years of age he saw off all the so-called young guns and took the Australian Open in conditions more atrocious than you will ever see.

Well done, Peter Senior




POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD

 On 5 November 2009 at the Fort Hood Army Base Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed 13 servicemen and servicewomen (one of whom was pregnant) and wounded another 32 others all the while reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great).    Prior to this happening Hasan had been in contact with the Islamic extremist Anwar al-Awlaki who, in a sermon on his blog on 15 July 2009 wrote "Blessed are those who fight against [American soldiers] and blessed are those shuhada [martyrs] who are killed by them".

The US Department of Defence set the tone by describing the incident as a case of "extreme workplace violence" rather than call it for what it clearly is ... a terrorist act by an Islamic terrorist.    Ever since then Hasan has been treated with kid gloves and afforded every protection and more as his case comes to trial.

The latest move in this saga happened just 5 days ago when the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (a civilian Appellant Court) ordered the Military Trial Judge, Colonel Gregory Gross, dismissed and a new judge found.   What led to this?    Colonel Gross had ordered that Major Hasan present himself to the Court clean shaven in accordance with military regulations.    This apparently (in the eyes of the Judges of the Appeals Court) constituted judicial bias against Major Hasan.

One has to wonder what the families of the dead and the 32 wounded think of all of this.    Are they being treated with equal 'respect'?    Knowing the way the military functions I suspect that those still serving have been told just to get on with their lives while those who have since left have been cut loose.

This is political correctness gone mad by an administration that would run a mile not to cause offence to radical Islam and bugger the feelings of the rest.

 



Saturday, December 8, 2012

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT VERY MUCH AT ALL

I guess this post is going to get me into trouble given the tragic death of the nurse at the centre of this mess but I think the media has got it all wrong in going after the two Oz 'pranksters' who made the telephone call to King Edward V11 Hospital pretending to be the Queen and the DoE and asking for an update on the health of the Duchess of Cambridge.

One commentator even suggested they could be guilty of Treason in attempting to impersonate the Queen .... give me a break.

IMHO anger should be directed at the hospital for failing to have protocols in place to screen out hoax/unwanted calls.    King Edward V11 Hospital has many 'celebrity' patients and I would have thought that it was axiomatic that the hospital switchboard operator be given a simple codeword that would identify genuine callers.   Not rocket science and it certainly happens in a number of other like circumstances.

Guess I'm feeling particularly grumpy this morning and don't even get me started on NZ Cricket and Ross Taylor.

  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And I found it at the Dim-Post

I have been trying to sum up my thoughts on the decision of Judith Collins to seek a review of the Bain review.  Sanctuary nailed it over at Danyl's place:
Personally, I think David Bain killed his entire family in cold blood and concocted a preposterous charade to try and evade responsibility for his actions, for which he was entirely and properly seen through and convicted and jailed. And there it would have sat, had he not had the great good fortune of attracting the attention of an outsider and a rather strange rebel in search of a cause, one Joe Karam, who unaccountably put his fortune at Mr. Bain’s disposal until such time as they was able to generate enough obfustication and obscuration to secure an over-turning of the verdict.

That is what I think, personally.

But we live in a system where what I personally think doesn’t amount to diddly squat, and frankly neither should it. If the state says he is innocent, and therefore the state wrongly imprisoned him, then the state has to pay for that. John Key might think the state should be flexible enough to accomodate his amateur hour Bainimarama impressions, but I think I’ll stick to the rule of rule – good, bad and indifferent.
 Apart from most of the last sentence, maybe Sanctuary and I were separated at birth.

JUST REVEALS HOW STUPID THE SYSTEM IS.

Brendan Horan was an assett for Winston First.

A telegenic Native from a high profile position at TVONE news as a weather presenter was siezed on by Peters to add mana to his coterie of tailgaters. It was a successful move as Horan was the top polling NZF electorate candidate nationally and very nearly consigned the Labour candidate to 3rd place in Tauranga with 4600 votes.

Now his polished personna is somewhat tarnished over his personal life to the point where the Main Man has demolished Brendan whithout any opportunity to defend himself.

The most serious part of this clusterf#*k is that Horan who was voted to the parliament as part of a "LIST" now wishes to stay at the trough as an independant. What a complete load of bollocks, his only tenuous link to holding a seat was under the umbrella of NZF, with that now a figment of his imagination and evapourated by Winston with precious little due process, surely his place belongs to the next on that list.

Dont blame me I have opposed the whole MMP system from the get go and this person who came closest to winning an electorate among the whole bunch of NZF "dog tuckers"still could not find enough support in Tauranga whose voters had the best opportunity to gage the worth of him.

A very vivid illustration of another of the many travesties that MMP delivers.

Monday, December 3, 2012

RWC 2015

England will win.*
The complete demolition of the All Blacks was the most complete performance by an England side I have ever seen.
And I have watched every England test since the late 70's.
The England team that clinically dismantled 100 years of carefully crafted myth is brand new,
less than a handful of survivors from the RWC 2011 debacle.
New coach, new captain, new attitude.
They were all huge, I don't know what they are feeding them but it ain't Sanitarium Weetbix. They completely dominated in every position, they ran with the ball, they ran onto passes, they were superb. It was like watching a team with 8 Lorenzo Bruno Nero Dallaglio clones in it.
With Steve Hansen  being confirmed this week as coach until after the next RWC he needs to act now. A season or two needs to be sacrificed to give them a shot at retaining the cup.
Every player over 30 needs to be dropped. I would start with Mccaw. If Hansen should need any inspiration I recommend the movie Logans Run.

* If Hansen has the nuts to wield the axe it might not be too late.


IT'S A NO BRAINER, SAVE THE DOGS WITH 4 LEGS

The clamour from animal rights this time has merit.

We do not need to employ any animals for safty testing of party pills.

There are a multitude of two legged morons just slavering for such an opportunity.

Put the volunteers into a laboratory with flashing lights, loud music and booze and for the unlucky ones who find their functionality is impaired, euthanase them, humanely, if  you want.

Problem solved.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Headlines need to catch but that is desperation surely.

Stuff were very economical with facts again, employing a headline this morning claiming;  "failure by police causes  death of a man in Coromandal cave".

Jesus wept, the 40 yo and his 49 yo fellow scumbag died when they were overcome in a disused mine shaft  from fumes creatd by a portable generator while they were operating a P Lab.

The headline relates to a failed prosecution some months earlier following a large stash of methamphetamine being discovered during a response to a child welfare related raid on the 40 yo's home being ruled inadmissable by a Judge hence the druggie was "free" to continue his chosen work.

Now call me old but dont call me stupid, a more accurate Headline would be "danger of engines in confined space kills again". The fact that another parasite has met an untimely end from manufacturing P is in no way connected to any form of "Police failure".
In fact it was for me a very satisfying outcome.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Even Ian Healey Can Only Splutter

Australia six down for forty five runs at The WACA

THAT MYTH IS UTTER BULLSH*T.

Akaroa is having around 85 cruise ship visits this summer season.

Many of you are led to believe that is a boost for the town and surrounding area.

The truth is somewhat different as many of the locals, both residents and businesses only receive disruption and inconvenience.

Many of the passengers do not even come ashore. Around a third in fact,  another third wander the streets and the other third take  a bus tour out of the area.

A majority of the visitors appear to have spent their budget on the cruise and associated pre booked addons.
Very little spending with local business is occuring.
Traffic management undertaken by STMS is staffed by out of towners with little understanding or consultation and chokes the narrow streets with waiting tourist coaches.

Yesterday four emergency response volunters being paid nothing spent over four hours, mostly waiting on the wharf to treat and transport two passengers and for the second one, Air1 the Westpac Helicopter waited for half an hour on the ground here while the liner and its crew made no attempt to assist with timing to lighter the Patients ashore. At least the chopper crew and medics were being paid. Sad that the vollys were not.

The arrogance of the companies and their captains is unbelievable, culminating a couple of weeks ago with around 800 passengers being stranded ashore when predicted weather eventuated and completely overwhelmed already fully booked accomodation.
The ships don't tie up, they anchor out in the middle of the harbour and lighter the passengers ashore 100 at a time. A passenger requiring evacuation is held on board and only put on a lighter as a single passenger after all the other passengers are dealt with, hence the waiting for our ambos.

Many of those who visit our historic town on day trips are very welcome even if they spend bugger all and leave their rubbish and sewerage but the belief  that the town is enjoying a boom is a MYTH.
For many the reinstatement of berthage at Port Lyttleton cant happen soon enough.