Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union

George W Bush stated amongst other things that by 2025 he wants to cut USA's dependency on middle eastern oil by 75%. This will be done by investing in technology to create 0 emmission coal power plants, wind and solar technology and clean safe nuclear energy. The President is expecting more research into creating better batteries for hybrid vehicles, along with more advanced research on hydrodgen and ethanol not only from corn, but from woodchips and grass within 6 years.

I am particularly fond of hydrodgen technology and would like to note that BMW is well advanced in their research and will be releasing a hybrid hydrodgen / petrol engined vehicle to the public (probably USA) within the next 4 years.

The State of the Union is still being presented by President Bush. I hope you get to see it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

What would you do if you were Rodney Hide?

If you were all of a sudden Rodney Hide, the great MP for Epsom and Leader of ACT..... What would you do to set ACT up for a successful NEXT election? Lets say winning Epsom, plus 5 seats plus 15% of the Party vote. Would you leave things alone, or make some rather large changes......? ( No personal attacks on Rodney please ) What would you do?

Off to Tahoe for day or two

I am off to Squaw Valley for 2 days to check up on the house and take the car for a drive in the snow. I will look fowards to checking all of your comments when I get back.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Prank on Chirac

HAHA here

A new slogan for ACT

Trevor Loudon Here has picked up on Daniel F Kings comments on this blog Here about ACT's "The Liberal Party" slogan. I personally DON'T like the slogan and think that ACT would actually be better of without it. Question is..... What would be a better slogan for ACT, should ACT drop a slogan all together, or do you like "The Liberal Party" slogan?

ACT The freedom party, Stand up for NZ ACT, ACT A better New Zealand, ACT A stronger New Zealand, ACT The deciding factor. ACT The right choice, ACT Your party.

There are plenty more.

And don't say "The Peoples Party" that would be very un APT.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A great post about Canadian Politics.

Upon reading David Farrars blog, he linked to a great posting by American Thinker about the state of the Canadian political system and an explaination about Liberal and Concervative thinking in Canada. Well worth a read. Here

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A photo I like

Canadian PM Elect Stephen Harper with US President George Bush in 2004.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A right wing Canada.

Canadians awarded Conservative Leader Stephen Harper with a minority government Monday, putting an end to more than 12 years of Liberal rule.

As of 1:00 a.m. ET, the Conservatives were in line to take 125 seats, versus 103 for Paul Martin's Liberals.

But prime minister designate Harper was denied the 155 seats needed to lead a Tory majority, meaning he'll have to rely on the backing of at least one opposition party to survive in the 308-seat House of Commons.

The NDP also gained more seats than previously handing them the balance of power. I was hoping for a Conservative majority, but I will watch closely as PM Harper makes Canada a better place and works with other partys to steer through the muck that has been created by the Liberals after 13 years.

Ousted PM Paul Martin is to resign as the leader of the Liberal party. He will still work his seat that he won, but will let others take control of the Liberals.

Congratulations Conservative Party and Stephen Harper.

If you were the ACT Party President?

If you were elected as the President of the ACT party, and if you had the power and ability to make some big changes within ACT what would that be and how would you impliment it? I am not looking for what ACT shouldn't be doing, but what you think ACT SHOULD be doing to get 15% of the party vote and at least 5 MP's voted in. It is possible for this to happen, so don't bother telling me that it is impossible. People from all parties are welcome to comment. No holes barred. What would you do?

Hitting the town with Phil Goff

Tonight I have been invited by Hon. Phil Goff, New Zealand's Minister of Trade, and Defence, and KEA to attend a movie screening of NO.2. I wonder if there will be NZ wine and lamb chops... HMM. Anyway if I get the opportunity to chat with Phil I think I will ask him what US Pacific Command head Admiral William Fallon, the PM and he had to say to each other on the 20th in Auckland. I would then push further and ask if he was in the USA to buy some F16's and if NZ is planing on sending more troops to Afganistan and or Iraq. It would be interesting to know if he is going to visit Washington DC.

I would then request some more wine, because if Ambassador Wood is there it will be a good night...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

This is what I'm talking about.

Canadian Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

Elections in Canada tomorrow and it is about time that a right wing party party had control after 13 years of Liberal mayhem.

Save Yourself taking off...

Way to go..... If you are in USA keep an ear out for the song coming to a radio station near you.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Where is Cactus Kate? Question of the DAY

Where is Cactus Kate? Is she still in NZ, did she get lost on the Barrier, is she being held by customs in NZ or HK? I have not heard of any planes disappearing, no shark attacks on any ex pats, and no young ladies from NZ being wrongly held for import/export of any illegal substances, so?

What has happened to her? Maybe as with a few others out there, she has gotten too busy to deal with the blogsphere anymore......?

Come back we miss you.

Ronald Reagan inaugural speach 1/20/1981

Today is the 25th anniversary of Ronald Reagan taking office as the President of the USA. Below is his first speech.

Senator Hatfield, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President, Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale, Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw, and my fellow citizens: To a few of us here today, this is a solemn and most momentous occasion; and yet, in the history of our Nation, it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place as it has for almost two centuries and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

Mr. President, I want our fellow citizens to know how much you did to carry on this tradition. By your gracious cooperation in the transition process, you have shown a watching world that we are a united people pledged to maintaining a political system which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree than any other, and I thank you and your people for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic.

The business of our nation goes forward. These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions. We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained inflations in our national history. It distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?

We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding we are going to begin to act, beginning today.

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem.

From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.

Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this "new beginning" and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

If we look to the answer as to why, for so many years, we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here, in this land, we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter—and they are on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They are individuals and families whose taxes support the Government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God.

We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?

Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic "yes." To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow—measured in inches and feet, not miles—but we will progress. Is it time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles, there will be no compromise.

On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of.... On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."

Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children and our children's children.

And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope for those who do not now have freedom.

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.

As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it; we will not surrender for it—now or ever.

Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have the best chance of never having to use that strength.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.

I am told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I am deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.

This is the first time in history that this ceremony has been held, as you have been told, on this West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man: George Washington, Father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence.

And then beyond the Reflecting Pool the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.

Each one of those markers is a monument to the kinds of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such marker lies a young man—Martin Treptow—who left his job in a small town barber shop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.

We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.

Greg Johnson rapidly gaining popularity in USA

Ted and Greg at some Air Force installation we went too.

Greg Johnson from New Zealand and his band who includes the talented Ted Brown are bracing themselves for a lot more touring, gigs and shows up here in USA. The song "Save Yourself" off the -Here comes the Caviar- album is rapidly gaining popularity here in USA. This week the song has been released to at least 14 radio stations across this country. The reviews have been fantastic and all the hard work they, and Gregs manager Michelle, have been doing up here for the last 3 years is starting to pay off.

WBOS in Boston was the first radio station to really push Greg's music in the last part of 2005 and the domino effect has begun from there. If you don't have his album from www.cdbaby.com, or have not downloaded his songs from i-tunes (North America) then log onto www.wbos.com . With the song(s) really taking off, you'll certainly be hearing Gregory Johnson at a radio station near you.

Those of you who have visited me in LA, would have more than likely been induced into joining me on a Sunday evening to watch Greg and co warm up for the week over a couple of Renee's specials and a few great songs..... Those nights are always fun and have become quite legendary, especially when I offer my assistance in singing... HA.

So keep up the good work guys, big things are happening from the release of your music here in USA..... WOO HOO

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Osama Bin Laden offering a truce?

According to Fox News television, a new tape has been released to Al Jazerra television which seems to be Osama or (Usama) Bin Laden making more threats on the USA and condeming fighting Muslims on their own territory ie:Iraq. It has not been since December 2004 that a message has been released by the terrorist Bin Laden.

The tape has just been known to Fox within the last hour. The CIA and the FBI are thoroughly investigating this tape as I write this. They are looking to see if there is any time references to identify when it was taped, and voice records to verify if it actually is the worlds most wanted terrorist.

Supposidly Bin Laden is offering some sort of truce in Iraq and Afganistan, but is telling USA to expect more terror attacks. Sounds very fishy to me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sharks at Omaha

According to the NZ herald today, Omaha beach just by Warkworth was closed for an hour yesterday after three large sharks were spotted in the water by a helicopter.

Climatech Lifeguard patrol captain Jamie Piggins said: "We couldn't find them and then a huge 12-foot [3.6m] shark passed right underneath our inflatable rescue boat."

My parents spend time in Omaha regularly, and their small boat would not be the sort of thing I'd want to be in if a huge shark should attack.

Note to Mum and Dad: Get a bigger boat, and or a shotgun please.

The sharks were believed to be makos ranging from 2m to 3m long. Not so bad, but where there is one breed of shark there may well be another.... DA DA.

On Saturday lifeguards at nearby Waipu beach also had to get swimmers out of the water when sharks were spotted.


Conservatives on cusp of majority

It doesn't seem that many of you out there are interested in the Canadian elections happening on January 23rd, but I am. SO it is great to hear that the Consevative party is polling on the cusp of being able to form a majority government. THat is great news as Canada has been run by the Liberals for the last 13 years mostly on a minority government. A majority will give the Canadians some more stability in Government and a switch to the Conservative right will also be a nice fresh change from the Liberal left. If your in Canada vote Stephen Harper and the conservatives on election day.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

David Lange's classified documents.

David Lange created a problem with the USA when he pulled the anti nuclear policy out of his back pocket. It is not surprising to me that the US was a bit wary of NZ after this issue came up. The New Zealand Government will look into how a top-secret report, which should have been tracked and carefully monitored, found its way into a box of archives left by former Prime Minister David Lange, according to the NZ Herald.

The document indicated that the United States had threatened to spy on New Zealand in the wake of its anti-nuclear stance. I am quite sure that the US intellegence agencies has their finger in a lot of pies all over the world. With the current government in power I would think that the work for the US has been upgraded.

The report, by the Government Communications Security Bureau, was among the private papers retained by Mr Lange, who died in August.

The Sunday Star-Times was given permission by Archives NZ - after it gained Cabinet approval - to view the documents, which were kept secret until Mr Lange's death in August.

Among them is a letter from former minister David Caygill, written on March 21, 1986, in which he describes a lunch with United States ambassador Paul Cleveland.

"The ambassador asked me if I realised what was at stake in the dispute between the two countries," Mr Caygill writes.

"I asked him what he meant. He replied trust. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that until now the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand had had a unique relationship. 'We have not spied on each other. If you go ahead with your policies we will not be able to trust you'.

"I took the clear implication from his remarks that if our relationship with the US deteriorated further, then the US would no longer feel any inhibition in conducting intelligence gathering operations against us." Thanks David...

Also contained in Mr Lange's papers is the 1985-86 annual report of the Government Communications Security Bureau, the Government's electronic spying agency, which is marked "top secret" and "umbra" - the highest security classification given to intelligence documents.

The report lists the countries and agencies on which New Zealand was spying. They include targets that have never been officially acknowledged, including UN diplomatic communications, Argentine naval intelligence, Egypt, Japan, the Philippines, Pacific Island nations, France, Vietnam, the Soviets, North Korea, East Germany, Laos and South Africa. Very interesting to see NZ was involved in spying. I wonder if anything like that goes on anymore?

Mr Hager said the documents would provide insights into New Zealand's intelligence operations and its relationship with the US during a critical period.

There is still critical issues over the NZ US relationship. The government of NZ should be working hard to get back involved with the ANZUS treaty. The P.M needs to send a friendler message to Washington than has been portrayed up until now. Some work need to be put in.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Stephen Harper taking on the PM

Otawa Canada. Conservative (right) Leader Stephen Harper has for the first time displaced Liberal Leader (left) Paul Martin as the politician Canadians most favour to lead the country, a new poll shows. This is good news as the Conservative Party is also gaining a great amount of popularity ahead of the Canadian Elections on January 23rd.

Riding a surge of support in British Columbia, the Prairie provinces and Quebec, Mr. Harper has the trust of 32 per cent of voters, compared with 25 per cent for Mr. Martin and 17 per cent for NDP Leader Jack Layton. It is looking very good for Canada and Canadians that Stephen Harper will be the next Prime Minister of Canada.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Governator doesn't have a motorbike license

Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger received 15 stitches in his lip Sunday after he and his 12-year-old son were involved in a motorcycle accident near their Los Angeles home.

Schwarzenegger was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle with his son Patrick in the sidecar when another driver backed into the street, spokeswoman Margita Thompson said in a statement.

"The governor was unable to avoid the vehicle in his path and collided with it at a low speed," she said.

Well it turns out that the Governator does not have a motorbike license. He had one in Austria prior to his arrival in USA in 1968, but never bothered to get one when he arrived here. He has not been charged as the police never attended his accident, and it seems that the CHP is saying that because the bike has a sidecar it was a 3 wheeled vehicle and he can drive it with a car license.

The fine for riding without the proper license is between $100 - $250. I wonder if Arnold will be popping down to the DMV sometime soon?

President Mahmoud AhMADinejad of Iran goes nuclear

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday said that the Iranian nation is determined to defend its right for access to nuclear technology and will not let the enemies deprive it of such a legal right, and therefore removed the seals on it's nuclear plants.

Problem is that he is already using the word enemy. This is a man who doesn't think that the holocaust even happened, and that the state of Israel should be moved to Alaska or Eastern Europe. Is the enemy he is talking about Israel, USA, UK or New Zealand? I am sure that the first 3 are on his list, but with Nuclear power this guy could and probably will cause havok.

The President of Iran was born on October 28th 1956, Ahmadinejad was the mayor of Tehran from May 3, 2003 until June 28, 2005 when he was elected president. He is widely considered to be a religious conservative with Islamist and populist views. Ahmadinejad was a civil engineer and an assistant professor at the Iran University of Science and Technology before his mayorship. He seemed to be good news for the west when he was elected, but now the power may have gone to his head, and he is quickly making a mockery of himself internationally with his proposterous remarks and desire to get the nuclear power ramped up and more than likely weapons in his war chest.

With the Prime Minister of Israel Sharon in hospital and unlikely to return to power, I am concerned. It is relative common knowledge that if intelligence was proven that Iran was preparing nuclear weapons, that Israel would go in and destroy the manufacturing of the weapons as they did in Iraq on 7th June 1981. Will the next PM of Isreal have the balls to go in and continue with PM Sharons mandate? I hope so.

The UN is looking at the Iran nuclear problem right now, but knowing their track record it may take a while for them to get tough......

Lets hope this gets settled peacefully, but I am thinking that Iran may be the next hotspot to target.

Canadian Election Polls

I am delighted to see that the Conservatives (right) are enjoying between 7-12% more popularity in the polls over the current party in power the Liberals (left). It will be fantastic for Canada to go right and prosper. Now is the time for the people of Canada to make the correct decision for the country and vote for the Conservatives on election day January 23rd.
Poll here

Senator John McCain on Free Trade

See my post on this at goodfactor.blogspot.com Here

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Harry Belafonte possibly insane?

In Caracas, Venezuela. The American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" on Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. I think that Belafonte may have possibly lost his mind. Chavez is a good friend of Saddam and is still in power despite 3/4 of the population voting against him.... Seems like he has taken some advice from the previous Dictator of Iraq.

Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez's television and radio broadcast Sunday. Why would anyone want to meet with Chavez in the first place? Danny Glover should be ashamed of himself.

"No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people ... support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast. Belafonte and his peers traveling with him are probably the only supporters of Chavez in USA.

The 78-year-old Belafonte, famous for his calypso-inspired music, including the "Day-O" song, was a close collaborator of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and is now a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. He also has been outspoken in criticizing the U.S. embargo of Cuba. The embargo of Cuba could do with some modification, but if I was the head of UNICEF, I'd be telling Belafonte to stand down.

Chavez said he believes deeply in the struggle for justice by blacks, both in the U.S. and Venezuela. Chavez is trying to cause havok.... He is untrustworthy.

"Although we may not believe it, there continues to be great discrimination here against black people," Chavez said, urging his government to redouble its efforts to prevent discrimination. There should be no discrimination anywhere. People need to be educated correctly and taught that everyone is equal.

Belafonte accused U.S. news media of falsely painting Chavez as a "dictator," when in fact, he said, there is democracy and citizens are "optimistic about their future." Right..... as I said in my title......

Dolores Huerta, a pioneer of the United Farm Workers labor union also in the delegation, called the visit a "very deep experience."

Chavez accuses Bush of trying to overthrow him, pointing to intelligence documents released by the U.S. indicating that the CIA knew beforehand that dissident officers planned a short-lived 2002 coup. The U.S. denies involvement, but Chavez says Venezuela must be on guard.

Belafonte suggested setting up a youth exchange for Venezuelans and Americans. He finished by shouting in Spanish: "Viva la revolucion!"

Maybe Belafonte should visit Gitmo and sing to the prisoners when he is not in treatment.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Hell-en for UN Secretary General???

If Prime Minister Helen Clark could avoid an American veto of her nomination, which would be a very hard call, she would be a serious possibility for United Nations secretary-general, Green MP and former UN employee Sue Kedgley says. Well I would take what Sue Kedgley says with a pinch of salt.

Ms Kedgley, who worked for five years during the 1970s in the women's secretariat at the UN's New York headquarters, said the organisation was "well overdue" for a woman at the top. It is time for a change at the UN, but the best person for the job must be the best person for the job whether a man or lady takes the position.

Ms Kedgley has described the present secretary-general, Kofi Annan, as an old friend from her days at the UN, when she also organised international conferences. I wonder if Kofi feels the same way about Sue????

Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright and the prime minister were among 18 qualified candidates put forward by international women's group Equality Now to follow Mr Annan, whose second term ends in December.

"New Zealand has a pretty good reputation for being a reasonably independent and non-aligned nation, so the possible chances of someone like Helen Clark would be quite good," Ms Kedgley said.

The governor-general, however, probably lacked the administrative and political experience to be shortlisted. "But in the end I'm afraid it comes down to purely pragmatic politics."

Miss Clark's biggest stumbling block could be avoiding a veto by one of the Security Council's five permanent members, she said. That is an understatement.

"The way the Americans are trying to throw their weight around you couldn't get past the American veto for a start. But you never know. A woman secretary-general would be long overdue and I think somebody like Helen Clark would be a serious possibility."

Though New Zealand's nuclear-free stance would be a bonus internationally, the United States might still "have a problem with it". You think? HMMM, Sue is starting to realise the problem.

Mr Annan's predecessor in the role, Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, was blocked from a second term by a US veto, and so will Helen Clark's nomination.

According to British daily The Times, America's UN envoy, John Bolton, has said he wants to settle on a successor to Mr Annan by July. John may need to bite his tongue.

So if Sue gets her way and her beloved Helen gets the top job what would that mean to the job of PM? Would she keep both jobs or would Michael take the PM Position?

What is the time frame for changing of the UN Secretary General after a election or nomination of a new person for the job?

Maybe this is a good way to get rid of Helen after all?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy new year. I am back in LA now from my travels to Vancouver Canada, and Squaw Valley, Tahoe California. It was particularly cold in Tahoe going as low as -2C with lots of wind. Nearly missed the plane as the weather was bad, and narrowly missed a land slide that happened 1/2 hour after I passed through the area. There was a power cut on New Years Eve, so we stayed at the house and drank a sangria type tequila concoction the neighbor brought over to the house. But it was great to see family and friends over the break. New photos coming soon to my website. Now it is time to buckle down, and sell some real estate.

Have a great 2006.... All the best to you.