You need your head read to stay in Christchurch

I have to first put all my cards on the table. My default setting is one of cowardice and I have only ever felt one earthquake in my life, but I think people who are stubbornly staying in Christchurch need their heads read.

I understand if you are stuck there by owning a property. The value has dropped and you have a mortgage you would need to service if you left on a property you were no longer in, but those people who are choosing to stay there, especially in the East need their heads read.

The idea that your Cantabrian pride is keeping you in a situation where any moment a deadly quake may roll though your neighbourhood…again…seems just mental to me. I know what you’re thinking…”a deadly earthquake could happen anywhere at any time” or “you guys in Auckland live on volcanoes they could blow at any time”. these are actually true statements but if you take a place that has had 10,000 earthquakes in 18 months, or a place that hasn’t had a volcano go off in hundreds of years I think I’d feel safer.

I guess I am saying that hindsight is 20/20 and it’s completely feasible that if another major quake came through Christchurch people would be saying, “Yes, you’re right, we should have left, we should have known.” For those, especially in the East what are you waiting for? I am seeing the quake maps now showing some of these aftershocks of over magnitude 5 happening out at sea. What about threats of tsunamis?

As I read back over this I realise that what I have written may be taken as scaremongering, I guess that criticism is fair enough…I don’t want to ‘Ken Ring’ the people of Christchurch and actually put fear into your heads, I guess what I am trying to figure out is why you would stay other than being stuck there by owning a property.

If you look 20 years down the track do you want to be the Cantabrian who swallowed his or her pride and ‘was beaten by the earthquakes’ and left? Or the one who arrogantly stayed where you were…and have a power pole fall on you after another quake. Would you rather be a cowardly grandparent in 20 years who ran away? Or a long dead 40 year old?

I am sure I will get some critical feed back about this post, but it’s just me being honest and wondering why anyone would stay in quake ridden Christchurch if they had the ability to move out. I think you guys need your heads read.

General Debate: Free money – what would you do?

So here is the question for y’all.

From Stuff.co.nz

Accidental Millionaire in Court

The man known as the “accidental millionaire” has appeared briefly in Rotorua District Court this morning but will remain behind bars for now.

Leo Gao, 31, faces 16 charges of theft and 11 of money laundering after Westpac accidentally loaded a $10 million overdraft on his account in April 2009 rather than the $100,000 he had applied for.

The overdraft was to keep his struggling business, a Rotorua service station, afloat.

When he realised the bank’s error he allegedly skipped the country with his partner Kara Mary-Jo Hurring and the bulk of their windfall.

Gao had intended to apply for electronically-monitored bail today but instead that application will be lodged on January 23.

The delay is so a report can be prepared on the suitability of his listed bail address.

If the court determines the address to be suitable, then bail may be granted.

Honestly, what would you do if somehow there was $8 million in your bank account accidently?

What would you do?

 

 

Greed and some other deadly sins at the Ports of Auckland

The Ports of Auckland is currently being held to ransom by it’s workings looking for better pay and conditions. We can never know exactly what the ‘behind the scenes’ conditions are like but let me lay these details on you and you can make your own mind up.

Ports of Auckland has lost $27 million per annum of trade from this strike, that means Auckland City has lost income and the economy of Auckland will be worse off for it. The Maritime Union of New Zealand workers have been in negotiations for better pay and conditions since August 2011. What I want to know is what do they currently get, what have they been offered and what do they want?

According to a Damien Grant article in the NZ Herald on Sunday Port workers currently earn $91,000 per annum and seem to work just 26 hours a week. If this is accurate then that’s an hourly rate of $67.31 per hour…not bad. Without sounding too right wing and judgemental, these workers are typically unqualified and lowly educated. Some of them will have qualifications in areas such as operating special machinery or vehicles, but on the scale of a teacher, nurse or doctor there isn’t too many that would get turned away from this job…if there were any vacancies.

What they are being offered is as follows.

  • A 10% rise on hourly rates.
  • Performance bonuses of up to 20% on hourly rates.
  • Retention of existing entitlements and benefits.
  • And a new roster system that will provide increased operational flexibility while allowing workers to plan their rosters a month in advance.

So that’s a salary of more like $100,000, a bonus scheme which could take the total to more like $120,000, no losses of current entitlements and benefits and more flexibility to plan their work/life balance. Seems a pretty good deal to me.

What do they want? The answer is ‘More!’

I don’t have a problem with people striking, I also don’t have an issue with Unions and how they represent their members. My big issue with this from the Union side of things is that they now have a strangle hold on the Ports of Auckland, they know this strike has cost the Port $27 million so far (let alone what they are losing on a daily basis) and if they keep their foot on the throat the Ports will fold to their every demand. That doesn’t seem like negotiation to me, it seems like thuggery and bully-boy behaviour. How many Kiwi’s would like the chance to earn upwards of $120,000 per annum, in a little or no skilled job. What happens next when the Ports of Auckland lose more business and then need to lay people off due to their workload dropping…what will the Union do for those members then?

The remaining question is this. Is the Maritime Union currently doing what is best for their members? If they are then I guess they should continue this action, if they are not they are ultimately going to hurt the people who employ them to speak on their behalf.

Why Obama will win again in 2012

The answer is simple. Barrack Obama will win in 2012 because of Romney, Perry, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul. For the sake of the GOP I hope this isn’t the complete list of candidates to take on Obama in 2012, I hope for their sake there is a dark horse hiding somewhere in the wings that may give them a fighting chance. Anyone of the 5 names mentioned above is an ‘own goal’ for the Republican party. None of them can shine a light on Barrack Obama, all of them have ‘issues’ that I don’t think the American public can overcome.

Ron Paul is a libertarian with the GOP catch cry of getting big government out of Americans’ homes. That is the catch cry of all GOP candidates but Paul takes it to an extreme. In fact if I am honest he is probably the only candidate who takes that belief to its logical conclusion. In FOX News debate late last year he made it clear that marijuana, cocaine, heroine, prostitution and gay marriage should be legal. He is consistent, incredibly consistent, but the problem with that consistency is that he will come up against a public that really deep down likes their hypocrisy. The public that doesn’t want Muslims to have the same access to mosques as Christians do to churches, the public that don’t want homosexuals to have the same rights to marriage as straight people and the public who deep down actually want the government in their homes, telling them what to do ala the Patriot Act. His consistency will be his downfall.

Newt Gingrich. Ironically Gingrich began to gather some support when Herman Cain stepped out of the running for infidelity issues, the GOP support then went to Gingrich who has a past of serious and multiple infidelities. He has been married three times; his first marriage was to one of his high school teachers. He had an affair on her, for a sustained period including while she was in hospital for major surgery. He said of this first wife that “she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.” He then married the woman with whom he was having an affair on his first wife…and proceeded to have an affair on her with a woman 23 years his junior. This was all going on while he was he was in charge of the investigation against President Bill Clinton for perjury over his affairs. He then married again with the younger woman to whom he is still married today…or at least was at the time of writing this piece. How can a public trust a man who is untrustworthy with the person he is closest with in the world. They can’t…and won’t.

Rick Santorum is probably the person with the best chance of upsetting Obama is you put them head to head. He is a lawyer, 53 years old, has held numerous high level positions within the House of Representatives and the US Senate…but the problem is his name…well maybe not his name…but what his name means. You see in 2003 Santorum was support a bill to make sodomy illegal. When this bill was lost he compared homosexuality, amongst other things, to incest, bigamy and adultery. This incensed a gay rights activist who then set up a website to redefine what Santorum means, it’s pretty graphic but you can Google it and it’s still there as the number 1 and number 3 result. If you are of weak constitution thought you might not want to do it. In 2010 the activist offered to take the site down if Santorum donated $5 million to a group advocating same sex marriage. This did not happen. So whilst he looks a good solid candidate, I think the American public would be a wee bit gun shy of putting this man…with his newly defined name…in front of the world. Although it would be great for comedians.

Mit Romney is Mormon, now that may not sound like a failing to your and I, but to a religious country like America, where Presidents needs to be all about the baby Jesus, if Romney is selected there will be an aggressive advertising campaign to explain the difference between LDS and Evangelical Christian. I would go so far as to say that it would be a greater leap to elect a Mormon as President as it was to elect a black candidate, or as it would be to elect a woman. Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers; they also believe that women will be pregnant for all eternity populating their own planets. Mormons believe that God is an exalted man and we can all become Gods ourselves. Now I have no problem with Mormons, what I am saying is that if Romney is the candidate this is the information that will be broadcast to tell America why they shouldn’t vote for him.

And finally Rick Perry, just three little words for him, he’s a moron.

None of these men (and no I haven’t forgotten Michelle Bachman, I just think she is out of the picture) on their own, or as a candidate are necessarily bad, they may not be bad politicians, they are not bad Americans…but they are all bad choices to go up against Barrack Obama.

Barrack Obama is healthy, clean cut with a great marriage; he is young and vibrant and still have a solid base (30%-40%) of support. Say what you want about Obama, with the birth certificate tomfoolery, accusations of being a Muslim and even his lacking record in his first term are enough to remove him from the top job. It won’t be the margin it was in 2008 but there isn’t enough bad blood for a winning percentage of voters to back any of the top 5 Republican candidates. Not even an American wants to score an own goal in this economic climate.

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