Men (in Israel, at least) are the weaker sex

May 31, 2009

It is with consternation that Alf reports on the results of research showing men are the weaker sex.

Scientists have found that boys are more likely to develop complications during a mother’s pregnancy.

Males are more vulnerable to infections, too, and less able to withstand diseases than women.

The findings come from work by a Professor Marek Glezerman, who studied 66,000 births at Israel’s
Rabin Medical Centre between 1995 and 2006.

So it’s no longer an old wives’ tale that boy fetuses are more troublesome in the womb and the delivery room.
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Rankin’s record of missed meetings

May 31, 2009

The media jackals have found fresh Rankin bones to gnaw into.

They have shifted from Christine’s bed chamber ( tittle-tattle stuff on marriage, divorce, suicide and what have-you) and into the council chamber.

The Herald on Sunday has gone there and pounced on Rankin’s attendance record at Auckland Regional Council meetings.

It’s the worst among elected members of Greater Auckland’s major councils.
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Mayor bridles at attendance check-up

May 31, 2009

Good grief. How did North Shore ratepayers finish up with such a grouchy bugger as their mayor.

In today’s report on attendance at local body meetings, the Herald on Sunday says its requests for meeting attendance records received different responses at the five major councils around Auckland.

Manukau City and Waitakere City supplied full details promptly. Auckland City met our request a day later than agreed.

The Auckland Regional Council agreed to provide the figures but later said they couldn’t because staff were away sick. And North Shore City directed the Herald on Sunday to minutes on its website.

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Declaring expenses is admirable (in principle)

May 31, 2009

Gotta say Alf is a tad perplexed by Greenie Russel Norman and Act’s John Boscowen.

The buggers have broken ranks with the rest of us in Parliament during the heat of the Mt Albert by-election battle and disclosed their Parliamentary expenses.

News media and the public at large will be apt to applaud this gesture, thereby encouraging a bloody avalanche of disclosures.

Three cheers, then for our candidate, Melissa Lee, who has refused to reveal what she spends her $14,800 annual expenses top-up on, and how much she claims for accommodation in Wellington, and on taxis, rental cars and airfares.

As the Herald on Sunday reports, if she was to disclose her expenses, it would put pressure on other National MPs to do the same.
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How to keep a Dick from freezing

May 30, 2009

Alf wryly observes that the ODT had no problems finding a Dick to talk about a motor-bike rally this weekend.

Large groups of motorcyclists – the paper said – would be donning warm jackets and riding to Central Otago for the 29th annual Otago Motorcycle Club Brass Monkey Rally at Oturehua.

Local property owner Ken Gillespie said registration numbers were on a par with previous years and a crowd of between 1800 and 2200 was expected, depending on weather.

But the weekend forecast was “not flash”, with a possibility of snow.

Of course, it’s typically cold in those parts at this time of year.

But steps can be taken to minimise the chill.

Wanaka Motorcycle Club member Mark Dick does not want the predicted snow to cast a chill over a first big outing on his “brand new” Honda CB1000R Predator to the Brass Monkey Rally on Saturday, so he opted for a heating upgrade. Fellow club member and Wanaka electrician Brendon Voyce installed an adjustable handgrip warming system yesterday

The Otago Motorcycle Club organises the rally, with help from local organisations, including the Oturehua Winter Sports Club, which supplies food for the event.

Alf will be giving it a miss. He will celebrate Her Majesty’s birthday at his favourite haunt in Eketahuna.

By-election shenanigans

May 30, 2009

The Labour rabble are up to their tricks in Mt Albert – or so it has been alleged – and Alf applauds John Boscowen, who has lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer.

This follows a report that a Labour Party volunteer coerced a voter to vote early in the Mt Albert by-election.

Radio NZ reports:

ACT Party candidate John Boscawen says he filed the complaint following a report a Labour supporter told a Chinese immigrant it was illegal not to vote in New Zealand.

The man reportedly told the Labour volunteer he did not want to vote until the by-election.
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Spare those tigers

May 30, 2009

After the fuss raised by the shooting of the rare white tiger that killed a keeper at the Zion wildlife park, Alf welcomes hearing the case for the defence presented today by one of the company’s bosses.

One concern is that the killer tiger, Abu, was one of only 120 white tigers left in the world. But –

Yesterday, park operations manager Glen Holland said people were wrong to think that the death of white tigers might endanger the population of Bengal tigers.

“I just cannot get over the public of New Zealand saying ‘the poor tiger’ – it really is just unbelievable,” he said.
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F’off Goff

May 29, 2009

Bollocks to Phil Goff and his rabble.

If they bothered to listen to the Budget speech – or had read the Readers Digest version set out in the Executive Summary – they would have learned:

The previous Government increased its spending markedly over recent years. In the absence of any policy response, the future path for Government spending, together with the weak outlook for revenue over the next few years, would result in permanent budget deficits and in Government gross debt rising from 20 percent of GDP to 70 percent of
GDP by 2023.
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Now the bloody Poms will be queuing for booze

May 28, 2009

Alf had never planned visiting Oldham. But if someone had invited him, and offered to pay the fare – well, he might have been tempted.

But no longer.

Not since learning that, under plans drawn up by Liberal Democrat-controlled Oldham Council, all 22 pubs in the town centre will have to comply with barmy new rules requiring customers to stand in queues to get a drink.

Apparently, the 2003 Licensing Act allows British police and trading standards officers to apply for variations in a pub licence if there is concern about drink-related violence and disorder.

And so –

Drinkers in pubs are to be told to stand in a queue and banned from ordering more than two drinks at a time at the bar.
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Mallard gets his just deserts

May 28, 2009

Bruiser Mallard can lay claim to being the first MP this parliamentary term to be tossed out of Parliament’s debating chamber by Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Deservedly so. He went too far while questioning Education Minister Anne Tolley about the importance of literacy and plans to set up trade academies around the country to give young people practical training opportunities while at school.

Mallard pathetically challenged Tolley to spell “academies” and asked how she could promote higher education standards, yet put out a signed document on the issue “riddled with spelling errors”.
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