Another Romney flip-flop over gas prices

Mitt Romney, the king of ‘flip floppers’, has done it again and this time it’s around gas prices.

Yesterday he spoke out about why prices were so high.

“When he campaigned he said he wanted to raise the price of gasoline,” Mr. Romney said of Mr. Obama at a pancake breakfast here Sunday. “He said that under him energy costs would skyrocket.”

So yesterday it was Obama’s fault that gas prices were so high less than a month ago…

“I think the American people know that to a certain degree gas prices are driven by what’s happening around the world, supply and demand.”

Mitt must not have gotten the memo sent out by the Republican Party to make sure places like FOX News were not talking up small improvements in the economy but focusing on gas prices and unemployment.

So what’s all the hub-bub about with gas prices? Sure the prices has gone up in America…but to what?

Prices in the weekend averaged $US3.81 a gallon.

$US3.81 id $NZ4.61 and a US gallon is 3.79 litres

That means in America they are paying the equivalent here in NZ of $NZ1.22 per litre, close to half what we are paying here…I think it’s time to get over it America and count your blessings

Gary Parsloe concedes PoA have the right to contract out work…which leaves Auckland with an impasse

Gary Parsloe, the President of the Maritime Union, confirms the Ports of Auckland has the right to contract out jobs however there is no way forward in the dispute between the Ports of Auckland and the Unions.

Now I have extrapolated slightly, but not illogically, from a conversation I had with him this morning.

We spoke for more than 10 minutes of which about half was spent trying to get Mr. Parsloe to answer the question, “Does the Ports of Auckland have the right to contract out the work?” The answers from him ranged from “No” to “We’re challenging it” to “We don’t believe in the way that they have done it” until I was finally able to explain in great details what I was asking him.

“I am not asking you have done it incorrectly? I am asking you do they have the right?”
“Yes they have the right to contract out and even if we’re working they have right to contract out parts of their business.”

An answer, I thought I had better double check…

“We agree then, that the business then, has the right to contract out the work?”
“Yes”

Which moved me onto the part of the conversation that actually interested me.

“If they have the right to do it, what did [the Ports of Auckland] need to do to end up with contracting out the work?”

To which the response was varied, but the theme was definite.

“We don’t want the contracting out!”
“We don’t want it to happen!”

So the Maritime Union, via its President is telling us that they are not going to negotiate around the contracting…they don’t want it and as I said in my interview, come hell or high water they will do what they can to stop it.

Now if you are a Union person you might think this is fair enough, I think it’s at best mischievous…and at worst down right dishonest as all we are hearing from the Union is that the Ports of Auckland are not bargaining “in good faith” that they are not participating in “good bargaining”. I would say that if one side wants to move towards contracting, and that is something that the other side refuses to even discuss, it would be the latter that is not working in good faith.

A couple of other interactions with Gary Parsloe to make sure I was 100% clear

“You don’t want them to contract out the work, so you will do anything to stop them contracting it out.”
“We’re trying to convince them not to.”

“Isn’t the truth you just don’t want to stop the contracting full stop.”
“We don’t want contracting.”

To which we come to the inevitable conclusion

“They have the right to contract, if they want to stick by that right to do, there is an impasse correct?”
“There is an impasse”

City of Auckland…there is an impasse

Click here for full interview Gary Parsloe for WEB

Crafer, Crafer everywhere with not an valid point to be seen

Oh my goodness! Are we still talking about why the ‘Chinese’ shouldn’t buy Crafer farms? This conversation has been going on for what feels like an eternity…and just like Christmas…it’s back before you know it.

The Overseas Investment Office authorised over 1,000,000 hectares of NZ land to be sold to foreign nationals or consortium’s from Germany, Australia, Canada, South Africa and many other predominantly ‘white’ countries…all I am looking for is consistency.

I don’t think NZ land should be sold off shore, although it’s not as serious as many would have you believe for a couple of reasons. One, they can’t take it anywhere, and two, when the foreign entity wants to sell it, NZers have the first rights again to buy it i.e. it’s not ‘lost forever’. However I think that leasing is the sensible option for overseas investors…but then again if I am a farmer and I want to sell…and no one can afford to buy my property…leasing may not be an option so why not sell to the highest bidder then?

Consistency would be showing the same kind of abhorrence to any international sale as we do to “the Chinese”. I think it’s undeniable that there is massive xenophobia and maybe even racism over this sale.

I wrote about this last year on my old blog. The audio link is no longer working in that post so here it is again, your typical talkback caller with no evidence, just rhetoric, posturing, xenophobia and ‘gut feelings’

We have a couple of possibilities here. One is that Crafer Farms does not sell, two is that it does sell. If it sells to a NZ company or individual it’s likely it will be for far less than an international bid…but it’ll be NZ owned (blah. blah, blah). If it sells to an international group they will inject far more into the economy to get the farms up and running. If it is bought by one of these Chinese groups they will make the milk powder in NZ, employing more Kiwis, and then send it to a part of the world where the children desperately need this kind of product…where is the dilemma?

The latest news is that ‘the latest’ conglomerate from Asia that wants to purchase the farms with the same old people wanting to block it making their loud voices and creating fear amongst Kiwis that ‘we’ll soon be paying to rent our own land’. Well that decision is out tonight or tomorrow. I am sure talkback will be busy.

Is it too late for Sarah Palin to be the saviour of the GOP?

The ‘War’ for South Carolina is happening as I write this post. The winner of the South Carolina Primary will be the GOP nomination to go up against President Obama in November’s election, how can I say this so confidently? Every single nominee for the GOP to run for President in the past, 100% of them, has won South Carolina.

In an earlier post I wrote why Obama will be reelected, I still believe that in fact the events of the last few days have done nothing but confirm my thoughts that America could never elect one of the two front-runners for the Republicans.

Sadly for supports of the Conservative right, your choice will either be Newt Gingrich, or Mitt Romney. Both who have demonstrated hypocrisy to an unbeliveable degree over the past week or so.

Mitt Romney is the GOP favourite at the moment, but more and more is being revealed about his financial past and how he has amassed his vast wealth and it doesn’t fit with the GOP narrative. Before we get into this let me state that I have no problems with a person becoming wealthy, I am not an ‘occupier’, I am not someone who thinks that ‘rich people are bad or evil’, but when your wealth becomes a problem to the message, then we need to figure out the disparity.

Mitt Romney is reportedly worth about a quarter of a billion dollars, which he amassed by forming a private equity firm called Bain Capital. What a private equity firm does is come into failing businesses, or purchase businesses with good potential for leverage and ‘streamlines’ them i.e. they make cuts, then borrow against them. The companies then tend to strip the companies, sell them on in parts and make a big fat profit. The issue that Romney has with all this is that GOP catch cry is “Save jobs and stop borrowing”, but his whole business credentials which he is using to say why he should be President, is one of laying people off and borrowing to make quick cash. That on top of the revelation this week that Romney pay’s ‘in the vicinity of 15%’ tax on the money he makes from investments makes this an embarrassing week for him.

P.A.Y.E in America starts at 10% and the most you pay is 35% depending on your income, but Romney’s income is made from his investments which classifies it as ‘capital gains’, hence Capital Gains Tax is applied which in America is around 15%. So Romney earns millions a year and pays the same percentage in tax as the guy driving his campaign bus. Romney said in the last debate the ‘top tax rate should be down around 25%’, yet he only pays 15%. Another catch cry of the GOP is we are taxed too much, well it would appear Romney is not.

Mitt Romney needs to stop trying to sell the idea that his is ‘working class’ and own that he is the richest politician in the run for President, and one of the richest politicians in America.

Now we move onto Speaker Gingrich.

With Rick Perry pulling out this week, and endorsing Gingrich as his candidate you might think Newt would have a jump in the poles, but the Romney camp is using the issue of ‘ethics’ to derail and momentum that Gingrich may be getting…and rightfully so. As I have already pointed out, Newt Gingrich seems to have a penchant to sleeping with women that are not his wife and you have to ask the obvious question that is we know about these ones…how many others are there?

Again you could argue that if it doesn’t impact his ability to govern then it shouldn’t matter…but it doesn’t fit with the GOP Christian, conservative, ‘family values’ narrative.

This week we find out that according to Gingrich’s second wife (of three) that he wanted an ‘open marriage’ where he could have a mistress AND keep his wife as well. All this while the Speaker is still standing up for the ideals of marriage “as the union of one man and one woman.”

For Gingrich, ‘the Gays’ are not to be married as it would be ‘an abomination’…but cheating, lying, and multiple hetero marriages is to be defended as ‘God ordained’ and ‘natural.’

All of this happening with many GOP supporters acknowledging that these two the ‘best of a bad bunch’ just confuses me when you have Rick Santorum with a great CV and actually world political experience on the sidelines along with Ron Paul who is really the only ‘real’ small government, less tax candidate. Ron Paul is what Republicans should be…if they weren’t hypocrites.

Finally, I have to admit to being a little intrigued about a very…very…VERY unlikely scenario. Even though she has said she would not run for President and it is contrary to my opening paragraph, I just wonder if we might hear from Sarah Palin as a late entry. The field is so weak, if she came out of the blue with her rock star persona, the ground swell might be there for a Sarah Palin nominee.

Now would it be a bad decision? Well it couldn’t be any worse than a choice between Romney and Gingrich.

America still using Atom bombs all these years later…except this time it’s in the form of SOPA

Kanye West 'Loves MegaUpload'

The latest news in this whole Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delayed the debate until Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time).

Firstly so we have an understanding, these bills work together, they are ‘sister bills’, SOPA in Congress and PIPA in the Senate.

The purpose of these acts is to “tackle the problem of foreign-based websites that sell pirated movies, music and other products.” For me, that in itself is not a bad idea, there is a problem with illegally downloaded copyrighted product, and I do think that taking a song, album, piece of software or movie is theft, however we get into problems when we try to figure out who is to be held responsible for these downloads and how we hold them accountable.

Yesterday, on behalf of the FBI, NZ Police raided the old ‘Chrisco Mansion’ in Coatsville and arrested several NZ Residents for their involvement sharing copyright property via their website MegaUpload.com which is said to be the worlds largest file sharing site. Not that we have the full story yet but I think this case will go far beyond the SOPA and PIPA issues as in news reports of the last 24 hours numerous more serious charges have been laid against these gentlemen like ‘racketeering’ and ‘money laundering’, that just says to me there’s more to this particular case than sharing the latest Rhianna album. It also needs to be noted that SOPA and PIPA haven’t even gotten close to being passed yet so whilst this has become the poster child for the potential power of those acts, it really doesn’t relate to them.

That all being said I am a little uncomfortable with three elements of this case.

  1. NZ Police doing the dirty work for the FBI
  2. The site http://www.MegaUpload.com being taken down by American officials, doesn’t American law, like ours, tell us we are innocent until proven guilty…how can that decision be made already without these accused men having their day in court
  3. Many celebrities, the kinds of people who should want their ‘intellectual property’ protected support, use and voice their ‘love’ for MegaUpload

Something doesn’t seem quite right when all these artists are singing…literally…the praises of this ‘evil site’.

This conversation then splits into several ‘strands’. The first is internet piracy.

I am completely against the idea that someone, somewhere can get for free, a piece of art (be that music, movie, software…whatever) when they should be paying for it. If you or I had intellectual property to a physical item, we wouldn’t be happy about someone taking for themselves, then copying that item and passing it around for free. This would effect our sales. To me internet piracy is theft, there is no other explanation…taking something for free, when the owners of that item want to you pay for it…is theft.

The second is, “who are the pirates?” Which becomes cloudier. Example, I watched an episode of South Park the other day on line because I missed it on the TV. Now it was free to air on FOUR, but technically what I did may have been illegal…have I committed a crime under current law, or under newly proposed copyright law? I am not sure. If it was ‘free’ on FOUR then is getting it for free on the ‘net seems ok. But technically maybe not. And then there’s also the issue of copyright holders ‘losing revenue’. I wouldn’t ever use this as an excuse for ‘stealing’ but there is truth in the idea that some people who download copyrighted product from the internet will never purchase that item, so there is no money lost. This is a weak argument for ‘stealing’ but there is some truth for ‘a few’ internet users.

The third is who should be responsible for that theft and how should they be held accountable. Well again that becomes cloudy. If it was a physical item being stolen, then it’s the person who takes the item from the shop that you would charge…but these are not physical items and there needs to be many complicit people involved to make this file sharing work. Therefore it would seem that the logical conclusion to to make the site accountable…easier said than done.

If the site is active in the distribution of the copyrighted material, then fair enough, hold them accountable. But what is someone uses the site for reasons it wasn’t intended. MegaUpload.com seems on one level to be a valid way of people sending their files around the world, just like DropSend or Box.net and many others. So what if the people running that site are just being used as ‘pawns’ for illegal activity to happen around them? It could be the difference between lending someone your car to rob a bank, and having your car stolen and it then being used in a bank robbery. In one case their is active accountable…in the other there isn’t. That’s what sites like Wikipedia are worried about, someone puts a link on one of their articles, then technically they will be in breach of these new laws.

Jon Stewart had an interesting take on it, click here to see as WordPress doesn’t allow flash to be embedded.

To me it seems like this is an issue of Corporations wanting their pound of flesh, and they are entitled to it. The Corporation pays for the album, movie, television show…whatever…and they don’t want it stolen. It’s a little different in places like NZ because our artists, especially music, really do struggle. In larger societies I don’t think downloading the latest Coldplay album would effect Chris Martin’s net worth…but done enough times it would affect Capitol Records profits, dones over 100 artists at Capitol Records…well you can see how it works. But what always seems difficult to understand is how Corporations get the support of, and action taken by, federal agencies like the FBI so quickly.

In 2010 the Supreme Court of the USA decreed that Corporations have the same first amendment rights as people when it comes to Freedom of Speech, it’s called Corporate Personhood.

Corporate personhood is the status conferred upon corporations under the law, which allows corporations to have rights and responsibilities similar to those of a natural person. There is a question about which subset of rights afforded to natural persons should also be afforded to corporations as legal persons.

This gave Corporations the right to spend as much money as they want on political campaigns but I think it has gone so much further.

I think today, in America, Corporations have far more rights than people. And one of the scarier parts of this is that Corporations, in America, have more rights than people who may, or may not be doing some illegal, in a mansion in Coatesville.

Revisiting the idea that these guys who run MegaUpload may, or may not, have committed crime(s), yet their site has been taken down. The power that these Corporations wield to get a sentence carried out, before a court case even happens is frankly scary. Imagine if this was a ‘person to person’ theft or crime. Would the accused be subject to action that you would expect with a conviction…the answer is ‘No!’

It seems that the legislation is far too heavy for the issue at hand and will catch out many whom the acts are not aimed at. I wouldn’t say it was using a sledgehammer on a fly, as the issue of copyright infringement is much larger than a ‘fly’ but maybe it’s something like demolishing a building with an atomic bomb.

It’s not about Race or Age or Gender or Religion…it’s about Poverty

For a long time I have had a bit of an untested theory. I’ve come to a place where I don’t think the negative statistics in New Zealand are about race, age, gender or religion.  I think they’re about poverty and the by products of poverty.

Let me back up a little and give you an example of a common ‘talkback’ conversation.

The headline reads something like, “Another baby dies at the hands of its caregivers.” This is what happens on talkback; ‘Owen’ from Nelson phones in as this is his pet topic. Within 60 seconds ‘Owen’ has already told New Zealand to “wait and see…they’ll be native…their whanau will support them…you just wait.” Now sadly ‘Owen’ is right far too often, but is his underlying racist bias accurate? Is being Maori a significant factor in killing your kids? That’s where I think the conversation becomes interesting.

I would put to you that being Maori is not as much of an issue in this as many may think. Let me ask you this question. How many wealthy, well educated Maori (or any race) are killing their kids? The answer is, “Not many…if any!”

So if being Maori means you’re over represented in our sad statistics, why are not wealthy, well educated Maori over represented in this, or any, negative social issue?

Poor Maori over represented…wealthy, educated Maori not…hmmmm.

Just for context, contrary to some commentators child abuse is not an issue exclusive to Maori as I demonstrate in this post on my old blog ironically posted exactly one year ago to the day. In there you can read that former Child Commissioner Ian Hassall says…

“Roughly the same number of Maori and non-Maori children are killed in New Zealand.”

Martyn Bradbury came to  the same conclusion in a post in the middle of last year.

No one is arguing that Maori are not over represented, but my question is, “Why?”

Well lets look at another people group.

How many European/Pakeha/White (whatever word takes your fancy) are in these negative statistics? How many Pakeha lawyers or Doctors kill their kids? Again I think you’ll find the answer is, “Not many…if any!” What about Pakeha in poverty, the underclass, white trash…those guys…how do they feature in the negative statistics? Well coming back to my first point, without having had the research or data in front of me, I have assumed, and many of you would agree, that they would be over represented in those statistics, especially compared to their wealthy, educated Pakeha counterparts. I think that is a fair and safe assumption.

Well it has been an assumption…until now.

Today has seen a longitudinal paper released which has followed over 1,200 people for 30 years. The study looked at children born in Christchurch who grew up in either poor, or rich, families

Those from poor families were more likely to leave school without qualifications, have babies before they were 20, commit crimes, go on welfare and have addiction and other mental health problems in adulthood.

Most of these effects were explained by factors which tended to vary in line with family incomes, such as parents’ education, addictions, criminality and marital conflict and breakup, and the children’s own intelligence.

But study director Professor David Fergusson said the effects of childhood income on later educational and career achievement persisted even after allowing for all other factors

So if you grew up poor, you tended to stay poor. If you were poor you were also a much higher chance of being a part of those negative statistics we were talking about earlier. The key factor here is that this extensive study shows us that the main contributing factor to being a part of negative statistic in society is poverty and the by-products of that poverty. Not race.

It also showed that if you were raised in a poorer family you were also more likely to have mental health issues.

The study asked detailed questions about people’s lives which also enabled the researchers to diagnose whether they had depression, anxiety disorder, drug or alcohol addictions or anti-social behaviour.

On average, those from poor families had slightly more of these disorders than those from rich families.

Here are some of the key findings of the report

Schooling
Almost 40 per cent of those in the poorest fifth of families left school without qualifications, compared with fewer than 10 per cent of those in the richest fifth.

Pregnancy
A third of those from the poor families but fewer than a tenth of those from rich families fell pregnant, or got someone pregnant, before they were 20.

Crime
A third of those from poor families, but only a sixth from rich families, committed a violent or property crime between the ages of 18 and 30.

Welfare
20 per cent of those from poor families, but only 4 per cent from rich families, spent some time on welfare before they were 30.

Income
Those from poor families earned an average of just under $40,000 a year by age 30, while those from rich families averaged $60,000.

I wrote earlier in this post that “being Maori is not as much of an issue in this as many may think” but it does impact these negative statistics, but not because they are Maori… because so many Maori are ‘poor’.

What the mainstream media needs to understand, and needs to address, is that these issues, these negative statistics in our society, issues like crime, mental health issues, physical health issues, low education, addiction, incarceration are issues of poverty and the by products of poverty, are not issues of race, age, gender, religion or anything else.

Why are Maori over represented in these statistics…because they are over represented in ‘being poor.’ If more of them are poor…then more of them come up in the negative statistics.

So do we solve this problem?

Well I firmly believe that we cannot solve any problem until we acknowledge the issue and seeing as mainstream NZ would try to convince us these are issues of race…or religion…or age…then we are doomed to keep this sad cycle of negative social statistics going.

Let’s acknowledge the problem, then maybe together we can find a solution.

If society can be judged by how we treat the least, then the death of ‘Blanket Man’ tells us we suck

Ghandi is credited with saying it first in a modern context, or at least an unknown variant of it, but the bible is probably one of the first places you can look to a way of being judged by how we treat the dregs of society.

Jesus said was speaking to two groups of people. One he was ‘thanking’ for looking after him and one he chastised for ignoring him.

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’

They people were confused, they asked Jesus when they ever ignored or rejected him, he replied,

‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

Maybe a modern translation would be when you ‘ignore’ a Blanket Man, you ‘ignore’ anyone in need.

I heard an interview with Maxine Dixon this morning on the wireless. Dixon was Ben ‘Blanket Man‘ Hana’s lawyer and knew him better than most.

The interviewer made the statement, “Some people thought he was brilliant, other people thought he was a pain.” Dixon, stumbled markedly over her words upon hearing the ‘brilliant‘ tag and responded by saying, “He was an intelligent man…I don’t know if he was brilliant.

For the interviewer to have so little understanding of what this homeless man, and other homeless people around the country go though to describe him so flippantly as ‘brilliant‘ showed the gap between the haves and haves not and the disconnect that comes with money and privilege. This man was not, and should never be described as ‘brilliant‘. What he was was a sad indictment on our society, a tangible example of how we could care less about these kinds of people.

After being asked how Hana come to live like this Dixon responded by telling of how he moved from Tokoroa, where he lived in his car, to Wellington. After the move he was left homeless because “he could not afford both accommodation, food and his beloved [cannabis].” She went on to say that this man’s disposable income was about $60 a week.

The death of ‘Blanket Man’ and the media may-lay is disgusting. This is not a story, its an example of how we suck as human beings and how when push comes to shove we really don’t care about our fellow human being.

‘Blanket Man’ was a drug addict whose habit was large enough to keep him living on the streets…and he died from what appears to be malnutrition and exposure…how the hell can we flippantly laugh at cute little anecdotes about this man?

To be fair the interviewer in question probably has never knowingly spoken to a homeless person, never sat under a bridge and spoken with one, never visited an smelt their place under the Vic Park flyover, and before you ask…”Yes, I have”…so he cannot relate to this story…it’s a good yarn and filled a total of 2 mins and 38 seconds of the breakfast show I listened to today. Ben Hana’s life was worth 2 minutes and 38 seconds of ‘entertaining’ radio giving everyone a chuckle. It should have made you cry.

I don’t care what you think about the bible, but there is some pretty good advice there about how we treat homeless people. Here’s the challenge, next time you see someone sitting on the kerb outside a shop in your town or city. Buy them a pie, maybe even two. Buy them some milk…even a fizzy drink. If you really want to help contact an agency to come and check up on them…that’s their job. Do it, you’ll find it more rewarding than the person who receives the pie and drink. Feed, clothe and house those that cannot feed, clothe and house themselves.

I spoke with Diane Robertson from Auckland City Mission and she gave me some frightening statistics. Within 3kms of Auckland’s Sky Tower they estimates there are 100 people ‘sleeping rough‘, of those 100 people 2-4 die every year, normally in hospital having their lives shortened by the way they live and that’s just Auckland Central. Blanket Man is not alone in his sad demise.

Robertson made the point that she was “sad that a homeless person is an icon of Wellington.” That sat me back. All these people online today saying, “We’ll miss you Blanket Man” I’d ask where the hell were you in the middle of winter when he actually needed you. What about all the other ‘Blanket Men’ out there that you notice, the ones that don’t…and won’t get 2 minutes and 38 seconds of nationwide exposure on a breakfast radio show…what about them?

I’d rather hear ‘we will help you Blanket Man‘ any day as opposed to people now missing this sad story of a man that helped us see the worst of ourselves.

TVNZ lead again with Destiny Church

I have to say again that the news seems slow at the moment. I don’t mean that disrespectfully to Destiny, but this doesn’t seem to be a story news worthy of leading our largest source of daily news.

Is it a story? Yes! Is it interesting? Yes again! Is it something to be concerned about and spun how media outlets are portraying at the moment? Hell No!

The story is…Destiny Church purchases land to build a community on…that’s it.

I wrote about this last week saying something similar and then Richard Lewis from Destiny tweeted me.

 

 

 

I tweeted Richie back, and I’ll say it again here. Yes, that tweet is a very newsworthy story…but that’s not the story that the media is telling us about. We are being told to be wary of Destiny. Why? It is being inferred that something is wrong here. What? It’s being hinted at that the wool is being pulled over peoples eyes. How?

Tonight on TVNZ the lead story was “Brian Tamaki suggests the government gives him money, instead of building more prisons.”

The truth is, Destiny Church…or any group…who follows the rules, ticks the boxes, crosses the t’s, dots the i’s is eligible for funding from the government to start a school, or run programmes to keep people out of prison. Why the immediate mistrust when Brian Tamaki’s name gets mentioned?

Again I’ll say it, I don’t agree with everything that Brian Tamaki says, or everything that Destiny believes, but there is no question that Destiny does some good work in the community.

Would you rather live next door to a Destiny Church member…or a gang member?

I hope that all we say tonight was a slow news night, because if TVNZ and TV3 are going to chase this non-angle (is that better Richie?) all year until Destiny takes possession of the property in December it’ll make for pretty boring news.

A City of ‘Destiny’

Last night TVNZ was scraping for news so as one of its lead stories brought importance to an issue…that isn’t an issue.

Destiny Church is buying some land and building a community there.

Sorry…is that it?

Like minded people since time immemorial have been living together, how is this…at its core…any different?

Ask the Catholics, Anglicans, Presbyterian in fact any other religious denomination how they would fund a new initiative from a present for their Vicar to a new swimming pool (I’m looking at you SHC), where do you think that money comes from…the members of the group.

I find it interesting that last night was TVNZ’t turn and today TV3 has it on their website and I am assuming that it’ll be a lead on 3News tonight.

I am sure John Campbell is a little annoyed that he is not on air at the moment to make the most of this non-story as usually Campbell Live embarrasses themselves by looking for issues that are not there when it comes to Destiny Church.

Now this is not to say that I am in full agreement or comfortable with everything that Destiny Church does, or everything they teach, but I have always been confused with the ferociousness at which the media sees a story when the words ‘Brian Tamaki’ or ‘Destiny Church’ are used.

Some ex-Destiny members are unhappy with their experiences there, others say that because of their experiences at Destiny they are alive today. That’s called life and everybody seeing things differently.

Whom would you rather live beside, a Destiny Church member, or a gang member? A Destiny Church member or a flat of 18 year olds? A Destiny Church member or a Satanic Church member?

To testify how this is a non-story, it was actually spoken about, according to TVNZ, on New Years Eve, and they only ‘broke’ the story last night. Surely if this was a real story of  interest and concern, it would have come out on Jan 1st…wouldn’t it?

TV3 has asked the question on their website Does Destiny Church’s influence concern you? of which most of the early comments are negative.

Why does TV3 ask these kinds of questions about Destiny, but not other areas of life…has anyone ever seen “Do the Greens influence concern you?” or “Does women’s influence concern you?” or “Does the Mongrel Mob’s influence concern you?” The answer is that those groups, or any other, are not as easy a target as Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church.

I am not concerned of the influence of Destiny Church, and I don’t think you should be either.

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?