How’s this letter to the editor from one regional New Zealand broadsheet.

I read a brief in a newspaper that reported a man who was found guilty of manufacturing P and wounding a police dog was sentenced to three years’ jail time.

This man could be out on parole in 15 to 18 months’ time. Where are the consequences for his crimes?

Without severe consequences, authorities will never achieve a reduction in crime.

Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, which is why those with criminal intent act in secret, after dark, in disguise, and with weapons and intimidation.

Without knowing the full details of the above case, this level of punishment for these crimes only encourages criminals.

But the UN protocol on prisoner treatment (among many other UN accords signed by various New Zealand governments), seeks to do just that – encourage criminality – which is one of the many causes of a breakdown in society, leading to the UN’s “One World Order” intervention in our country.

Many have forgotten, including the current crop of politicians, that it was under the duress of the UN that we, and most other Western nations, abolished the death penalty for murder, rape and treason.

There are many other aspects of our lives that are controlled by the UN; spiritually, morally, socially, economically, militarily and so on, and all this from an organisation which boasts to be a “forum for world peace”.

Where does one start? The letter begins simply enough; as the usual right-wing argument of “to solve crime we need to make sentences harsher”, but somehow it degenerates into a full-blown conspiracy theory claiming the United Nations is responsible for the ills of society.Whoa. I’m all for being skeptical and reading between the lines, but “One World Order”? You’ve got to be kidding me. I was planning on dissecting the “ideas” raised in this guy’s letter, but to be honest I can’t even be bothered.

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Hyphen fail

July 29, 2010

This blurb ran on a story in today’s Viva pullout in the Herald:

Viva’s eating out editor Nici Wickes takes us on a personal tour behind the scenes of her new TV cooking/travel show, World Kitchen

Don’t forget your hyphens, kids.

This year’s film festival has come and gone, well Auckland’s screenings at least.

Like previous years, the selection of films on offer posed the challenge of deciding on what to see. This was left a bit late this year but I still made it to six features, along with a couple of short films too.

I Killed My Mother opened the festival for me on a high note. The French-Canadian film depicts the tense relationship between a teenage boy and his mother with all the intensity of teenage emotions.  The melodrama did an excellent job telling the story of how both characters go about dealing with each other on a daily basis and their inevitable clashes over issues big, and small.

The Double Hour followed. It’s an Italian film that made fantastic work of a popular plot base that could, and often does, rapidly disintegrate as these films approach their conclusions. Without giving anything away, it did an amazing job at keeping you hooked, even after the audience ‘works it out’. It’s a toss up between this and I Killed My Mother as my favourite feature from this year’s festival.

I say feature, because for me the best film was the short preceding After The Waterfall. I wasn’t impressed by the Kiwi After The Waterfall (I reckon its force dwindled drastically after the first climax) but the 19-minute short, Manurewa, totally blew me away. Perhaps it set the standard for the night to which  After The Waterfall couldn’t match. Funny how the free opening film can upstage the feature I’d actually bought tickets to!

In an incredibly tight piece of cinema by director Sam Peacocke,  Manurewa tells the story of the shooting, and subsequent death, of liquor store owner Navtej Singh. Singh died after being shot during a robbery at his South Auckland liquor store in Manurewa in June 2008. The shooting was a massive story at the time and received a great deal of media coverage, and rightly so. A lot of criticism was directed at the police for delays in giving the all clear and allowing medical personnel behind their cordon to attend to Singh. For many, the delay was hard to fathom considering the robbers had clearly fled the scene and customers were coming in and out of the store.  The police were later criticised in a report by the The Independent Police Conduct Authority, criticism the police refutedManurewa tells this story – from all sides – with such intense fairness that it shook my opinions of the event. If a film can make you stop and rethink about a complex issue in as little as 19 minutes then I have nothing but praise for it.  Laying no blame on the police or the guy that pulled the trigger, it still left you feeling ‘satisfied’. That’s unusual because blame is often used to create closure for audiences, you know, here’s the good guy, here’s the bad guy, and this is how it happened. I felt sorry for everyone in the film – Singh, his colleague, the shooter, the police, Singh’s family, paramedics, the community of South Auckland – they all lost something that night. With poignancy, Peacocke’s film made me realise that people aren’t necessarily bad, they just do bad things, bad things that can happen in a split second. I’d highly recommend Manurewa, it really is superb.

The other short was A Love Story which was a beautifully rendered film of two parallel story lines converging in the climax. Belgium’s The Misfortunates made for a good laugh; its mullet-haired protagonist telling his story of actually getting somewhere in life, despite being prepped to be nothing more than an alcoholic slob.

I ended the festival with A Screaming Man, the sad tale of Chadian man’s two loves and his eventual loss of both.

The biggest upset, which was ironically the film I was most looking forward to, was How I Ended This Summer. This Russian film was touted as a deep and beautiful nail-biting psychological thriller. It tells the story of two guys – one old and experienced, the other young and naive – going about their duties at what is presumably a weather station in an isolated arctic area of northern Russia. To be blunt, this film bored me. It went on for too long, and although I can appreciate the beauty its cinematography, it failed to render the characters as well as promised. Neither men were overly believable, nor was the young man’s ‘King Lear descent into madness’. Give it a go, I certainly don’t regret watching it, but I’m happy to go against the high acclaim its received and say I didn’t like it.

I’m looking forward to next year’s festival. It’s certainly a highlight every July.

Scammers

July 18, 2010

I’ve decided it’s time to sell my thou, pictured below. I just don’t get out enough on it to justify keeping it. So up on Trade Me it goes. I’ll miss it as it’s a beautiful bike with plenty of character, but it’s better someone gets to ride it like it should be. This said, I’m planning on getting my RS250 back on the road as a weekend weapon.

But back to the Mille, some scammer tried to have me on today. Check it out. Needless to say, there was no reply after my last email. Bastards, they try this on people and it’s sad that some people actually do fall for it and get taken for a ride.

2003 Aprilia RSV1000R Mille

Text from ‘Latham’ @ 11.22am

I want to know if your bike on TRADEME is still for sale as i am intending to buy it right away.email me on lathamrose@yahoo.com plz email only

Email from me @12.20pm

Hi Latham,

Are you after the Aprilia motorcycle, or are you referring to the Claud Butler bicycle frame I had listed around a week ago?

Best regards,

Dave

Email from ‘Latham’ @ 12.21pm

talking about the Aprilia motorcycle

Email from me @ 12.46pm

Awesome.

Would you like to come check it out this evening?

I’m just at work now but I’ll be home from 6pm onwards. How’s this for you?

Address is X Xxxxxxxxx Street in Grafton.

Cheers,

Dave

Email from ‘Latham’ @ 12.49pm

Hello,
Thanks for the swift reply, I am pleased with your price but I want you to get back to me with more pictures of it because i am presently in China on business trip and could not come over to check it out,but no worries as i am willing to handle the pick up of this vehicle through a legitimate shipping agent based in china, it will be picked up after payment, so i really need to know the mode of payment because i need this vehicle urgently. Hope to read from you asap.

Email from me @ 01.13pm

Hi mate,

Thanks for your offer but I’m going to have to decline your offer.

This all seems too good to be true.

You’re more than welcome to come see the bike in person when you get back from China, provided it has not sold by then.

Regards,

Dave