Tuesday, June 28, 2005

KING KONG

The New King Kong Movie preview.............

http://www.kingkongmovie.com/ef239524432ba87f1ca8f70eed4b1fa7/en_large.html

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Strokes

I have discovered yet another group that I now like. The Strokes. I have "This is it" and "Room on fire"CD's and have had to put away my Cold Play CD and change it for "This is it" by the Strokes. Its great....................

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Only in America

CHICAGO -- It sounds like the ultimate recipe for road rage:

A ticket for parking at a meter that was installed after you park your car.According to a spokeswoman for the city's revenue department it was all just an innocent mistake. Efrat Dallal said the vehicles were parked on a stretch of roadway where the meters were temporarily removed during street construction. Then, she said, the meters were put back and the vehicles parked in front of them were ticketed.But some motorists wondered if that was the case after at least one of the tickets was apparently postdated several hours after it was placed on a car."The city is strict enough in its parking restrictions already," said Vince Tessitore. "Chicago gets plenty of revenue ticketing people by legal means without having to be deceptive."Police department spokesman Dave Bayless said the department employee, whom he said is a traffic aide and not a sworn officer, said she mistakenly put the wrong date on the ticket.Whatever happened, none of those ticketed on that short stretch of West Illinois Street last Tuesday night will have to pay up, Dallal said.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.

I'm 50..............

Todays my birthday. I'm 50. Its a birthday that I thought that I would never see. When I was younger, I always thought that I would die young. Even when I was a child, I use to pray every night, "God dont let me die tonight or tomorrow." Either I was silly or God answered my prayers and here I am, 50 years young.

I dont feel 50. I feel 20. I dont know if this is right or wrong. I have tried to feel 50, but it just doesnt happen. I wonder if you feel 30 when you are 60 or will I still feel 20?

Anyway, happy birthday to me.........

I found a good web site this morning. Why Didn't I Think of That
It's a dictionary that displays the definition as it's typed in real-time. Each character narrows the possible matches until your term is defined.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Cold Play

Warning to all readers:

Coldplay's latest album (x&y) is ridiculously addictive.

Be careful.

Pink Floyd to Reunited.

Pink Floyd reform for Live 8 show

Roger Waters left Pink Floyd in the mid-1980s to pursue a solo career

Rock band Pink Floyd's classic line-up will be reunited on stage for the first time in 24 years at next month's Live 8 concert in London. Roger Waters will join band members Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright for the show in Hyde Park.Waters last performed on stage with them at London's Earls Court in 1981.The Live 8 concert, organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to help fight African poverty, is one of five taking place around the world on 2 July.

Pop Idol

You have to check this guy out.

Barbie girl

I'm a barbie girl, in a barbie
worldLife in plastic,
it's fantastic!
you can brush my hair,
undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

Come on Barbie, let's go party!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

You have got to be joking

Now I have seen it all.

In-Souls inserts are designed to provide a tangible support to assist Christians to literally walk in the word of the lord..........http://in-souls.com/index2.html

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

United Future Achievements to Date

Stability
as at April 2004, United Future’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour had already outlasted the ill-fated National-NZ First coalition 1996-1998.

as at 29 March 2005, United Future’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour will have outlasted the Labour-Alliance government that was supported by the Greens (1999-2002)

Families
secured $28 million of funding over four years and the passage of legislation to establish the Families Commission, which will ensure that all government legislation will be tested for its impact on families (as per the supply and confidence agreement)

ensured that Family Support payments and family tax credits are indexed to the cost of living from 1 April 2004.

secured another $230,000 over the next two years to extend the social workers in schools programme (2004 Budget).

convinced the government to take the first steps towards improvements in family income assistance as part of the 2003 Budget, comprising $59 million over four years.

contributed to the extension of the government’s Working for Families 2004 budget package to middle-income families, and the creation of a gap between working families and those on a welfare benefit through the in-work payment; over $1.1 billion per annum when fully implemented.

Law and Order
ensured that the long-delayed Victims' Rights Bill, welcomed by victims' rights support groups throughout the country, could be passed (as per the supply and confidence agreement)

lobbied for an increase in funding for Victim Support, which subsequently received an additional $2 million in the 2003 budget to establish a new district structure.

convinced the Government to amend censorship legislation to clarify and re-establish the censors’ ability to classify lurid images of young children through the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Amendment Bill.

amended the Consumer Credit Bill to increase the maximum prison sentence handed down to convicted perpetrators of property buy-back schemes from 3 months to 12 months

ensured the passage of the long-awaited Boy Racer legislation under urgency after it had been held-up through a lack of parliamentary support.

secured $4.4 million over the next four years for restorative justice initiatives, in an effort to support successful programmes that reduce future demand for spending on police and corrections services (2004 Budget).

secured another $1.5 million in funding for victims’ support groups(2004 Budget)

strengthened the provisions of legislation that compels convicted criminals to provide DNA samples, through the addition of a whole range of offences to capture those on the trajectory of violent criminality (e.g. sexual offences, firearm offences, willful damage).

Education
initiated a select committee inquiry into the implementation of the NCEA qualifications system

lobbied successfully for more money for schools and NZQA to implement NCEA, to overcome the deficiencies identified by the select committee inquiry (2003 Budget)

secured another $66 million over the next four years for schools’ operations grants (2004 Budget)

successfully lobbied for an increase in the parental income thresholds for student allowances, thereby widening eligibility for allowances for an estimated 36,000 students. The ultimate impact of this measure will be to reduce reliance on the student loan scheme and the long-term burden that creates.

Drugs
ensured that the Government has not moved to change the legal status of cannabis, despite the obvious agenda of many Government MPs to do so (as per the supply and confidence agreement)

secured a further $39 million over the next four years to fight the methamphetamine scourge (2004 Budget)

Health
convinced the Government to launch a probe into the recent deaths of patients on waiting lists at Wellington Hospital at a time when the private Wakefield Hospital had spare capacity

successfully lobbied for a Ministry of Health study into the effects of spraying for the painted apple moth for those who live in the spray zones.
secured $250 million extra over the next four years for mental health, to ensure that the government maintains its commitment to the Mental Health Commission’s blueprint (2004 Budget).

Transport
worked closely with the government to ensure that the Land Transport Management legislation provides local communities with the option to bypass Transfund and seek alternative funding for major projects that will help to unclog congestion (as per the supply and confidence agreement)

ensured that the Land Transport Management legislation required Transit New Zealand to take economic efficiency into account when deciding on roading projects

ensured that a greater proportion of the revenue collected nationally from the petrol excise tax will be distributed on a regional basis. The entire five cents per litre of new petrol excise tax has been secured for the National Land Transport Fund, with none being diverted into the crown accounts.

from day one, called on the government to make major investment in roading infrastructure, resulting in Transfund’s announcement in 2004 of the largest increase in funding for over a decade.

successfully advocated the use of ‘infrastructure bonds’ to fund new roading and other infrastructure investments.

Environment
enabled the government to pass much needed amendments to the Resource Management Act that had previously been stalled for over three years.

Amongst other changes, United Future ensured that meaningless terms like "spiritual", "cultural landscapes", and "ancestral landscapes" were deleted from the proposed legislation so they couldn’t result in further uncertainty and delay for resource consent applicants.

secured agreement from the government for a process of ongoing review of the Resource Management Act, including the introduction of further amendments this to term to address concerns with the Act.

Treaty of Waitangi and the Constitution
argued successfully for more resources for the Treaty settlements process to reflect the desire by all New Zealanders to see these claims resolved expeditiously and fairly. As a result, the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Waitangi Tribunal received additional funding in the 2003 Budget directed specifically at means by which the claims process can be accelerated
worked to convince the Government that the full legal and beneficial ownership of the seabed and foreshore should be vested in the "people of New Zealand" via a public domain title, instead of the original proposal that ownership would not be vested in anyone.

initiated a commission of inquiry into the status of the New Zealand constitution, including the place of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Business and the Economy
successfully proposed the independent annual review of Air New Zealand Ltd by the Finance & Expenditure Committee

tidied up the clumsy and expensive board structure originally proposed for Television New Zealand and its subsidiary companies, by recommending that TVNZ and THL be separate stand alone Crown companies, rather than the original cumbersome arrangement of an over-arching board of directors, with additional boards for each company.

successfully lobbied the government to reduce the costs passed on to exporters resulting from tighter border security legislation.

ensured clearance for the export of manuka and kanuka manufactured products, such as fuel for smoking and barbecuing meat.

ensured that building societies and credit unions are able to use banking trademarks.

Superannuation and Savings
convinced the government to reduce the withholding tax amount on employers’ contributions to super funds from 33% to 21% for employees earning under $38,000, and 15% for employees earning under $9500. This will help prevent over-taxation on employer-based super schemes and further encourage long-term savings

Local Government
ensured that new dog control laws do not create compliance costs that are too onerous on dog owners, while supporting increased public safety measures. Changes were also made to ensure local authorities will be accountable for their enforcement of dog control.

ensured that the fiscal impact of the Government’s decision to give local authorities the power of general competence will be reviewed by the Local Government Commission, after the Act has been in force for five years with the option of a review after three.

Energy
secured a doubling of EECA funding for homeowners to take up solar energy in their homes and to encourage other home energy efficiency improvements (2004 Budget)

persuaded the government to increase the maximum amount of non-renewable generation investment by electricity lines companies from 25 megawatts to 50 megawatts.

successfully called for an audit of the proposed Project Aqua on the Waitaki River following the cancellation of the project by Meridian.

Gambling
amended gambling legislation to ensure that the Government’s ability to levy the gaming industry would be transparent and accountable to those paying, and that an independent Gambling Commission to oversee gaming law was established.

Charities and Voluntary Sector
initiated the government’s decision to match donations to flood relief efforts in the lower North Island resulting from the February 2004 floods on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

ensured that the matching of donations was repeated in light of flooding in the Bay of Plenty in July 2004.

ensured that the matching of donations was repeated in light of the Boxing Day Tsunami in Southern Asia

Justice
successfully amended the Retirement Villages Bill (by SOP) to increase the ability of Statutory Supervisors to protect the interests of residents
successfully lobbied for the removal of the reference to lesbian partners as 'fathers' in the Care of Children Bill

successfully lobbied for the inclusion in the Care of Children Bill of a provision stating that it is in the best interests of a child to have regular ongoing contact with both parents

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dont Waste Your Vote

How Your Vote Could Help A Party You Don’t like

We all know the basics. Every three years we’re asked to vote for people and parties that represent our views in Parliament. We’re given two votes – one for the electorate candidate who best promotes our area and one for the party that best represents our views. Under MMP the number of seats each party has in Parliament is decided by the Party Vote i.e. the proportion of votes cast for each party. However to have any representation at all a party must win either at least 5% of the total party vote or at least one electorate seat.

The key point is that if a party fails to clear either of these hurdles then its votes are effectively reallocated amongst the successful parties on a proportionate basis. What that really means is that if, for example, the party you give your Party Vote to does not clear either of those hurdles your vote might end up helping a party you had no intention of supporting! For that reason, whatever you do with your Electorate Vote, you need to think very carefully about what your Party Vote will actually accomplish.

You need to ask yourself if it is likely that your preferred party will win at least one electorate seat or gain at least 5% of the vote. If, in all probability, the answer is "no" then you should ask which party that, realistically, is likely to cross one of those hurdles best represents your views.

There are other considerations as well. What if the party which least represents your views looks likely to do well? Will they be able to govern alone or will they only be able to govern with a support party? If so which support party is most likely to pull them towards your position?
Think about what happened at the last election!
The result in 2002 was:
Party Seats
Labour 52
National 27
NZ First 13
ACT 9
Greens 9
United Future 8
Progressive Coalition 2
Total 120

That gave three possibilities:-

Centre-Right Gvt National 27 ACT 9 NZ First 13 United Future 8 Not able to form a government
Centre- Left Gvt Labour 52 Progressive 2 United Future 8 Did form a stable government
Left – Far Left Gvt Labour 52 Progressive 2 Green 9 Could have formed a government
(but who would have wanted it?)



What’s interesting is what happened to the votes cast for the unsuccessful parties. In 2002 the following parties did not get at least 5% or one electorate seat and so were ‘wasted votes’.

Christian Heritage 27,492 1.35%, Outdoor Recreation NZ* 25,985 1.28%,
Alliance 25,888 1.27%, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis 12,987 0.64%, Mana Maori Movement 4,980 0.25%, One NZ 1,782 0.09%, NMP 274 0.01%
TOTAL 99,388 4.90%
*Since affiliated with United Future. Their votes would have given United Future two more MPs!

Because these votes were given to parties who didn’t cross the theshold, the proportion of the vote given to the parties who did clear the threshold was increased with the following result:

Share of votes on Share after unsuccessful
Labour 41.26 43.28%, National 20.93 22.01%, NZ First 10.38 10.92%,
ACT 7.14 7.51%, Green 7.00 7.36%, United Future 6.69 7.03%, Progressive Coalition 1.70 1.79%

By comparing these figures it’s easy to see that the 99,388 excluded votes swelled the percentage of the votes going to the other parties.The real effect of these excluded votes is that they gave additional seats to the successful parties.
Three to Labour (Helen Duncan, Dave Hereora, Ashraf Chaudhary); two to National (Pansy Wong, Katherine Rich); one to NZ First (Brent Catchpole);
and one to the Greens (Mike Ward).


Interestingly, if United Future had gained another 502 votes we would have got another MP!

So why should I give my Party Vote to United Future?

Your Party Vote will count one way or another. And if you give it to a party that doesn’t make it into parliament it could easily end up helping a party you don’t like. Because Peter Dunne holds Ohariu-Belmont with one of the biggest majorities in Parliament (12,564) and has held his seat for 20 years, it is safe to assume that United Future will cross the theshold and be back in parliament to continue to work sensibly and constructively with whichever party is in government.

A wasted vote is a lost opportunity.
Vote for a party that is sure to be successful – United Future

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