Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ban Ki-Moon for U.N Secretary General

South Korea's foreign minister kept his spot as the clear favorite in the race to succeed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an informal poll Thursday, the only one among the seven candidates to get the needed majority of votes. There appears to be no mention of HELLen Clark's name at this stage contrary to reports mentioned on this blog before.

Ban Ki-Moon received 13 votes in favor, one against and one of no opinion, China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said. He slipped slightly from the previous poll, held Sept. 14, when he received 14 votes in favor and one against.

Despite that dominating lead, the secrecy of the ballot meant it was not known whether he got the necessary approval of all five veto wielding members of the council, and the ballot is difficult to interpret. The results could either give Ban the momentum he needs to win or clear the field for more people to enter the race. Maybe HELLen is waiting for the South Korean to get booted before jumping in.

The 15 council nations checked one of three boxes for each candidate: "Encourage," "discourage," and "no opinion." Secretary-General Kofi Annan steps down on Dec. 31, when his second five-year term expires. Thank goodness for that. It is time for a change at the U.N.

Bangladesh's U.N. Ambassador Iftekhar Chowdhury said he attended a speech Ban gave on Wednesday and approved.

"He came out quite good mature, balanced, and with the right amount of experience, gravitas, the qualities that you seek in a secretary-general," Chowdhury said. "We think he'll make an excellent secretary-general, of course."

None of other six candidates to succeed Secretary-General Kofi Annan even got the necessary nine favorable votes to make their campaigns viable.

As with the previous two polls, Shashi Tharoor, the Indian U.N. undersecretary-general, was second, with eight in favor, three against and four undecided. Latvia's President Vaira Vike-Freiberga was third with seven in favor, six against and two undecided.

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, who was the first to announce his candidacy last year, received five favorable votes and seven against, worse than last time and likely the result of a coup back home.

The other three candidates former U.N. disarmament chief Jayantha Dhanapala, Jordan's U.N. Ambassador Prince Zeid al Hussein and former Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani received only three votes in favor.

In the next straw poll, set for Monday, the five veto-wielding members of the council will use different colored ballots than the other 10. A veto from one of the five Britain, China, France, Russia or the United States could doom their campaigns.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said he would have preferred the colored ballots Thursday.

"We should have had a differentiated ballot today," Bolton said in a statement. "I look forward to a real vote on Monday, when we'll have two different colored ballots.

Interesting indeed..... Wonder if there is any bribary going on behind the scenes?

White House gates shut on Borat

This is funny just imagining what the guards at the White House in Washington DC were thinking when Borat tried to invite President Bush to the screening of his new movie with O.J Simpson.

I am really looking forwards to seeing the new Borat movie... LOL

Funny stuff

Update: President Bush is due to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev today. The Kazakh President is expected to lay a complaint to GWB about Borat...

Way to go Vodafone

A friend of mine had this idea about 7 years ago when he was in control of a large internet company. I always though that it was a very good idea and I am glad that Vodafone are releasing this service soon.

Check this out

Good idea.

Dow Jones record high.

The Dow Jones industrial average topped its record-high close this morning, reaching a milestone in Wall Street's recovery from nearly seven years of corporate upheaval, economic recession and the impact of terrorism. The previous high close was 11,722.98 set on Jan. 14, 2000.

Lifted by growing optimism about stable interest rates and a soft landing for the economy, the Dow rose to 11,724.86 in morning trading, before slipping back to 11,699.08. It faced one more milestone, its intraday high of 11,750.28, before it could move into uncharted territory.

Where do we go from here...?

Lieberman in the lead

Sen. Joe Lieberman has a 10-point advantage over Democrat Ned Lamont among likely Connecticut voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Lieberman, a three-term Democrat running as an independent after losing the party nomination in a primary, is favored by 49 percent to 39 percent over Lamont in the three-way race. Republican Alan Schlesinger has a lot of work to do as he trails with 5 percent.

The race has tightened slightly since an Aug. 17 poll that showed Lieberman leading 53 percent to 41 percent.

"Ned Lamont has lost momentum," said poll director Douglas Schwartz said. "He's gained only two points in six weeks. He's going to have to do something different in the next six weeks or ... Lieberman stays in for another six years."

The race is seen as many as a referendum on President Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Lamont, a political newcomer and multimillionaire, ran on an anti-war platform to upset Lieberman in the Aug. 8 primary.

Lieberman, the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, is a staunch supporter of the war.

The Quinnipiac poll showed that Lieberman has higher favorability ratings among likely voters, 51 percent to Lamont's 31 percent. While Lamont has slightly higher favorability numbers among Democrats (47 percent to 43 percent), Lieberman far outdistances his challenger among likely Republican and unaffiliated voters. Seventy percent of Republicans view Lieberman favorably compared to 12 percent for Lamont, and 48 percent of independent voters view Lieberman favorably compared to 30 percent for Lamont.

Unaffiliated voters outnumber Democrats and Republicans in the state.

"Lamont wins among those who say Iraq is the most important issue to their vote, but that is only 35 percent of the electorate," Schwartz said. "Lieberman wins on all the other issues voters say matter most to them, including terrorism and the economy."

The telephone poll was conducted between Sept. 21-25. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,181 likely voters and the poll has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

American politics are very interesting indeed.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

National Party up by 11 points?

National looks to have jumped to an 11-point lead over Labour in the latest One News opinion poll released on Sunday night NZ time.

It was the first poll to be taken since revelations about Don Brash's personal life, and was conducted in the middle of the current round of political mudslinging about the sexuality of the PM and her husband.

The One News Colmar Brunton poll puts National up 4 to 49 percent and Labour down 5 to 38.

The Greens are on six, up from 3 percent in the previous poll, with it being the only minor party above 5 percent. ACT is still below 1%, and the Maori Party is steady on 3%.

I guess it is possible for National to get into a majority position without the need to work with any of the other parties, but in the mean time ACT must keep working hard to get above the threshhold. It is possible, but something needs to be implemented very shortly to do so.

The poll of 1,200 people has a margin of error of two-point-eight percent

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jackass #2

Last night I viewed Jackass #2 on the 3rd Street Promonade in Santa Monica.

There was some extremely funny parts of the movie and there was some extremely demented and sick parts to the movie.

Be afraid be very afraid.

They played the trailer for the Borat movie coming out in November.... I cant wait.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Guns and Roses ROCKS

I went to Las Vegas on Saturday to attend a Guns and Roses concert at The Joint in The Hard Rock Cafe. We arrived at the venue, got a mandatory JD and ginger-ale,and proceeded to the club. I was impressed by the smallness of the room, and I really don't think that there was any more than 2000 people there. I was 4 rows maybe 5 from the front and it was standing room only. I was in a great position.

Axl and the band was really on form, and played for close to 3 hours with what seemed like 3 encores. Close to the end of the show Axl sort of slipped in "No he is not here and he's not playing tonight". I was sort of hoping that he "Slash" was going to make an appearance, but I wasn't expecting it. The song of the night was My Michelle, although Rocket Queen, Paradise City, November Rain, Out to get me and everything else simply......


If you are a fan and get the opportunity to see G'N'F'N'R anywhere. Do it.

You will not be disappointed if it is as good as the show I went too. It was outstanding.

Rock on Guns and Roses.

Monday, September 11, 2006

AhMADinejad to visit New York

Iranian President Mahmoud AhMADinejad will visit Senegal on Wednesday, kicking off a major international trip that will also take him to Cuba, Venezuela and the United Nations.

AhMADinejad would then head to Havana for a summit of Non-Aligned Movement leaders which will take place on Friday and Saturday before jetting on to Venezuela for a one day visit with Chavez. It is not my idea of a party with AhMADinejad and Chavez in one room, although it could make for some Borat style humor.

AhMADinejad will then visit New York on September 18, 19, 20 to take part in the general assembly of the United Nations. He will give his speech on the first day of his stay at the United Nations," said Jahandideh.

AhMADinejad had already made clear his intention to travel to the United Nations in New York and even challenged US President George W. Bush to a debate there, a proposal rejected by the White House.

Wonder where he will stay in NY? Probably at the UN as I can't imagine him getting a visa to go site seeing in Manhattan.

September 11th 2006

It has been 5 years. It is eerily quiet today in LA. Let us not forget.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Peter Brock 05 RIP

It is sad to see that my favorite Australian motor racer Peter Brock has passed on after a vehicle accident. Brock was participating in a rally in Western Australia when he lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree.

I always enjoyed watching Brock kick ass in the 05 Holden's at Bathurst.

Peter Brock's adoption of the number 05 was to highlight the Victorian Governments 05 blood alcohol limit to the public. So from 1975, Brock maintained 05 as his car number even when as Australian Touring Car Champion, he was entitled to use the number one.

He raced Fords for a short period and also raced Volvo, but he will best be remembered as the King of Mount Panarama in the 05 Holden's.

One word.... Bugger.

The guy was a legend.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Helen Clark for UN Secretary General?

New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark has been named by Time magazine as a possible contender for the role of United Nations secretary general.

United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan steps down at the end of this year, couldn't be sooner in my opinion, and there has been speculation about who will replace him.

Speculation is that no candidate should come from one of the five nations with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. This ruled out candidates from the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China, although Bill Clinton would probably be good for the job.

To win the post of Secretary General, a candidate must have the backing of all five permanent members. With NZ's interesting attitude towards USA under the leadership of Helen Clark, do you think that she'd get the nod from them?

Helen Clark said last month that she had had no approach about the UN secretary general job and she is enjoying being the PM of NZ. Although she may now need the money to pay back the public. Maybe she should apply.

NZ has had a good record of sending our ex PM's and public figures into the international spotlight in leadership roles. Mike Moore and Don McKinnon are two that come to mind.

The next Secretary General of the UN needs to have a firm handshake, big balls, and can't be a walk over. They can't be overly staunch and one sided, and need to have an ability to get out there and do the business. Helen Clark has not been the most diplomatic PM, but she does like travel, and I wouldn't call her a walkover. I think she has all of the attributes to be the next Secretary General of the UN.

This will also allow for new leadership in the Labor Party. It is time.

Crocodile Hunter is dead

The likeable crocodile hunter Steve Irvin has been killed by a stingray while making a documentary off the coast of Cairns in North Queensland. It seems that the stingray punctured his heart and he was pronounced dead as the ambulance arrived.

Many would have expected him to have been eaten by a crocodile or bitten by a snake, but up to this date his biggest complaint was that of a parrot bite.

He certainly was an interesting and entertaining character, I must say I enjoyed watching his shows.

RIP Croc Hunter.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Apple Ipod 60GB

I took the liberty of purchasing the new black 60gb Ipod from Apple the other day. The ipod mini that was given to me by a friend for a best man gift decided to spit out it's battery, so I had to move fast to get a replacement before my airplane trip to Colorado.

I am amazed on how good the video function is. I downloaded to itunes for a low price of $1.99 a meet the press clip of Ronald Reagan in 1966 when he declared his Republican candidacy for Governor of California. The clip was great and although it was black and white the presentation was magnificent.

Now I downloaded an episode of Jackass and Punk'd both in color which I will view on the way back.

The battery is meant to last 20 hours, but I will confirm that later, and it should hold about 15,000 songs, so I am impressed.

I wonder what Apple will think of next?

Beaver Creek Colorado

I am taking time to review the renovations on the home Distinctive Holiday Homes owns here in Beaver Creek Colorado. The house is about 7000 sq feet and is complete with 6 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, a media room, pool table, spa pool and a couple of steam rooms. The renovations took about 4 months and the house is looking great.

Last night after I arrived here from Los Angeles, I noticed on the news that the terror threat for internal flights within the USA had been increased... I am glad my flights were trouble free, other than a bit of turbulence over the rockies before landing.

Beaver Creek is a magnificent place, the skiing is great, the dining is great, and it is really peaceful here. During the summer months there is golf course which is utalized regularly by the golfers in the area.

If you get the opportunity join Distinctive Holiday Homes and visit Beaver Creek.