Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Modesty Aside

Because this is my blog I will just note I did top my Mates List for the Virtual NPC this year by a comfortable margin. Some will note their absence in an attempt to dilute the achievement. Others will note their rugby depth may have been challenged by the detailed focus needed on a wide range of teams across 2 divisions.

I do see this as a real achievement of head over heart - with Auckland playing so poorly, one couldn't exactly get to this point by backing your own team every week! Will be interesting to see how the AB's squad to the Northern Hemisphere performs with some form selections.

Good to see star and AB captain in the making Jamie McIntosh be rewarded for strong form. Great to see Messam there. Interesting to see Corey Jane effectively leapfrog Paul Williams in the absence of Leon MacDonald. And odd to see Corey Flynn recalled ahead of Hikawera Elliot - if you're going to take a 3rd string hooker, take a young guy who can throw straight! Rudi Wulf the unlucky fill-in wing to miss out.

Not sure I mind the Donald/Carter experiment. It somewhat comes back to the combination issue and also who is the better 'raw' player - does one prefer Donald at 1st V or Nonu at 2nd v? And perhaps its the selectors asking whether a Carter-McAlister pairing in 2009 could work if he does indeed return.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Many Headed Monster

John Key is waxing lyrical about his own Gorgon - the 5 headed monster coalition that Helen Clark is building to defeat John Key.

But I'm more worried about this:

What kind of deal is Frank brokering with Helen?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Excellence of Humility

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)

“Every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (1 Peter 5:5).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Jedi Encounter

Yoda: Matters much, poor quality, it seems, hmmm?
Paduin: Yes Master Yoda, it makes me feel worthless when things around me are poorly executed.
Yoda: Worthless you are not, child of God you are, hmmm?
Paduin: Yes Master Yoda, but....
Yoda: "But", an answer it is not, a question it is, yesss.
Paduin: But...
Yoda: Hmmm. Feel...
Paduin: The Force?
Yoda: No. Just feel.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Night in Politics

So the public thinks John Key was a 2-1 winner in last night's leaders debate. Perhaps thats because they expected Clark to spank him and she didn't gain that kind of superiority. There's no question Clark performed well - she is a past mistress at these debates. However, at times she seemed rattled in a very un-Helen kind of way. I think she has herself to blame - at the last election various news agencies reported the following:

Prime Minister Helen Clark has poured scorn on claims by National Party leader Don Brash that he took mercy on her in their TV debate because of her sex. "Sounds like an excuse for losing to me," Clark said yesterday. "I think after the event he's trying to work out what happened to him. I think in this day and age you don't treat women differently because they are female. "I've grown up in a New Zealand where girls can do anything and we expected to be treated as equals," she said. Clark said she found Brash's attitude "quaint, a little old- fashioned -- patronising".

Last night, a feisty John Key seemed happy to give Helen an equal opportunity spanking leading Helen to squeal in protest:

"You're not going to shout me down, John. You may get away with that at home..."

Did she really say that? Most of the news media are only reporting the first half - I thought the second was more revealing!

Monday, October 13, 2008

World Crisis: Helen's Saviour?

It's been interesting watching the global credit crisis mess completely with John McCain's campaign. With all the baggage of being a Republican and therefore "incumbent", Obama's message of change is winning the hearts and minds of voters. Only entrenched racism will stop him now you'd think.

Meantime, the incumbent here, seems to be gaining strength from the crisis, despite a horror show "opening of the books" last week. The governments big announcement on "guaranteeing" bank deposits here will have a lot more clout than it should - its never likely to be needed. But the timing couldn't be better and the advantage of diplomatic channels with Australia being open to the government, leaves Helen with the advantage of playing the incumbent card in a way which Key can't.

Then the tax bribes, I mean cuts, got cut. Which doesn't motivate me, but it will mean something for the electorate.

Then there's Kiwisaver. Its just not a good look cutting the employer contributions in half. Businesses will be happy no doubt, but again this will carry more clout than it should. People are more passionate about Kiwisaver now that its being taken away from them (to some extent) than they ever were when faced with the prospect of voluntary contributions to the scheme from their pay packet!

Say what you like about Helen Clark: she is a leader. She may well outshine John Key in the crisis management department. And Labour may just avoid the stain of an appalling financial disclosure last week, that should have been enough to sink them forever.

While Frank's blog is flirting with the benefits of voting Maori Party, this voter is struggling to work out how he will exercise a vote at all. The breakdown:

Labour - no longer trustworthy - need a good kick in the bollocks to promote a return to a less radical social agenda
National - never voted National and not likely to start now - Key and English are a bit "deer in the headlights" for me
Green - hahahahaha
Progressive - who? Old Labour.
NZ First - wiNZton First
ACT - don't have a chance so a wasted vote
United Future - a spent force unless Peter Dunne can win Oharia-Belmont - no worm in sight to save Peter this time
Maori Party - don't be fooled this is a party for Maori with a radical bi cultural agenda. Honest about it though and some salt of the earth types involved

All in all, the only thing I can think to do is to with hold my vote from Labour and not vote. But that doesn't sit well with me. At least with cars, I can pick on colour...

Monday, October 06, 2008

In Memorium

All Blacks - World Cup 2007 Quarter Final

The moment it all went wrong