A little reflection on the days tweets

I read an update on twitter today, thought ‘ho hum’ and obviously filed it away until my brain was ready to process it.  Well I was ready to think about it when I was driving home from netball this evening.

Here’s the tweet

Beenie Man kicked off BDO line-up

Soooo…..a little background.

Dance Hall artist Beenie Man has been scratched form this years Big Day Out line-up because of his homophobic antagonistic lyrics.  Gay rights activists launched a FB campaign, got some publicity and the promoters pulled old Beenie Man.

What I find ironic or moronic about the tweet by djsevere is his indignation at ‘conservative’ New Zealand.  Ummmm, I could be wrong but in my experience it’s the homophobes of the world who are generally classed as the conservatives in ANY equation.  My hash tags would be #headdesk #fail @djsevere.


This is what 'socialist' medicine looks like

What I had suspected was a particularly nasty case of Man-Flu has turned out to be a bit more serious as Dave is now into his 24th hour in residence at North Shore hospital. Maybe it’s his appendix maybe it’s giardia WE JUST DON’T KNOW. I wish someone would figure it out. We are visiting him at the moment and Ethan is alternating between being fine and getting really upset about his daddy having to stay here .
Dave’s amazing optimistic attitude keeps shining through – he can’t believe that this is the reality of free health care. It really makes you wonder what all of those rednecks are fussing about.

Daddy and Ethan geeking in hospital PIC132

Cadbury, let's just put the past behind us shall we?

This is an awesome example of a major corporation putting things right;

Cadbury you have redeemed yourself in 5 ways I never thought possible.  You listened to me when  I told you I wasn’t down with you killing Orangutans (OK indirectly…) to make me fat happy and high on choccy.  I couldn’t believe it when you commented on my blog last week and said you wanted to make ammends, set things right and send me a present!  and then you found me on twitter and whispered the same sweet nothings.

And then today, you (OK  Courier Post) came through with the goods.

Yeah – Cadbury loves me AND DAMN-IT I LOVE YOU TOO CADS!

All is forgiven, I’m pretty sure that I can forget about that whole Palm Oil fiasco, just don’t be putting any more nasty shit in our chocolate again and things will be just fine.

Your letter was sweet though, don’t be mad that I am sharing  it, but I think everyone needs to know that you are truly sorry and are working to make it up to the chocoholics of New Zealand.

It’s nice to have you back Cads

Love Melissa, your BFF xxxx

You're back in my goodbooks Cadbury

Is this New Zealands finest twitter moment?

Outrageous Fortune on Twitter

The Outrageous Fortune final was last night and it was insanely insane.  The ending was the ultimate cliffhanger (Pascalle or Sheryl?) and as a result Twitter exploded.  #outrageous quickly became a trending topic followed by Outrageous Fortune.  Two New Zealand topics in the top 5 trending topics!  Madness, fly the flag OF!

You can watch the now infamous episode here for the nest 7 days, swear to god that typo was unintentional, but fitting)

Dog Control………Where you need it most

So I recently spent $99 on registering our guard dog Louie with our new local council.  This is the type of burn-your-money expenditure that comes with dog ownership and that is a fact of life.  However, we received in the mail today a Dog Owners Welcome pack, sent out by the council.  How nice!  It explained the dog bylaws, had info about puppy training classes and other useful ways to waste paper – I gave you my email address people!

All that aside, I did skim read the material and was especially intrigued by the section on dog control;


Hmmmm, yes.  Control of dogs in public places – very important.  But what’s that?  Is that a sticker…..right there….



Ahhh, that’s what I thought it was meant to say!  I often worry about dog control in pubic places and now I can rest easy knowing that there is a desktop publishing saboteur working for my local council who has put my fears out there, at the fore of every dog owner in the district!


Where was I?

You know what I’m talking about.

I was on my way to work.  I had just left the ghetto-assed place where I was staying / nannying in Atlantic Beach, Florida and was heading for my lovely job at video production company Atlantic Video in Jacksonville Beach.  It was one of those weird mornings when you get in your car and you’re not listening to the radio, you just keep flicking stations trying to find some music.  That’s what I was doing.  I was flicking stations but there was no music on any of them.  That’s when I started listening.  It was 8.46am and flight 11 had just hit the north tower of The World Trade Centre.  I don’t remember the drive to work, but it was probably quick.  I do remember calling my boss and telling him to turn on the news now.

I got to work within 5 minutes and flicked ALL of the TV’s on – it was a video production company so there were monitors everywhere.  The networks were going crazy and as we all know there were cameras rolling in New York after the first plane hit.  I saw the second plane hit at 9.03am and like the rest of America I was knocked back in my seat and couldn’t take my eyes of the screen for the rest of the day.

I grabbed the phone and called my parents in New Zealand.  It was the middle of the night and I told them to TURN ON THEIR TVs NOW.  It was awful, it was impossible to convey what had happened to my family on the other side of the world who had been sleeping only moments ago and could in no way comprehend the enormity of what had just happened on US soil.

Thirty minutes later it happened again, this time into the Pentagon.  Thirty minutes after that it happened again, this time in Pennsylvania.

David and I will never forget that most horrific of all days.  Though it was without a doubt the worst day in living memory, I am so glad that I was in America on that day.  It sounds like a strange thing to say, but having lived through it with my American friends and then later marrying a US citizen, I will never forget how the country stopped and we all cried together that day, how everyone hurt so bad for all of the victims, and how the Super Power that so many around the world hate so much, became so human to me.

I love The United States and will never forget September 11th, 2001 and the hideous suffering that occurred that day, and every year since.

New Zealand Telethon & the mass hatred of the underclass

I wasn’t going to weigh in on this topic but my opinions on the matter keep running about in my head and what’s a blog for if not your own personal soapbox right?

Background (for the foreign peeps)

  • This weekend past, New Zealand’s first Telethon in 15 years was broadcast.
  • What the?  Basically, it was a 23hr long televised event to raise money for charity
  • Who benefits?  The charity this year was KidsCan
  • What do they do?  KidsCan helps kids in need by providing basic items (raincoats, shoes, socks, food, toothbrushes).   These items are not distributed at a family level, but rather through schools in low income areas
  • Why is this important?  Kids can’t learn if they are freezing cold, sick or starving.  If kids can’t learn, there is no hope of escaping generational poverty.
  • How much was raised? $1,944,225 NZD

What the haters are saying

  • Why should we support other peoples kids?
  • Why, in a welfare state, are people unable to provide basic necessities for their children?
  • The people that recieve this help are mostly islanders, why can’t they get their shit together?

What I think (this is the important bit of course)

(I get really fired up about topics such as this so the bullet points are helping me stay on track!)

  • New Zealand is not a third world country, there is NO excuse for any of the kids in our country to be going to school hungry or cold.  This goes for EVERY other wealthy nation as well.  If parents are shirking their responsibility to provide or are simply unable to do so, there must be an agency to ensure that these kids are ready to learn with full bellys and shoes on their feet.
  • When we are talking about THIS event and THIS charity, is there even a need to discuss what people are doing with their money, their income or their benefits when the fact of the matter is – THERE ARE CHILDREN WITHOUT SHOES!  If the National Government, specifically Prime Minister John Key, has failed to deliver an oft touted election promise to “challenge the business community to work with us in backing a programme of providing food in low-decile schools for kids in need”, then lets give a rousing cheer of  ‘hell yeah!’ to charitable organisations such as KidsCan for picking up the governments slack.
  • The Big Night In Telethon was not about the merits of low income parents, the ability, inability, willingness or unwillingness to work, their budgeting skills, whether or not they send money home to the islands or the rest of the right-wing population’s argument for why they didn’t donate to KidsCan.  The whole shebang was simply about making sure kiwi kids in low decile schools have basic food and clothing.
  • If the telethon had been raising money for Child Cancer, would there have been such a backlash, and staunch denial of charitable funds?  No.  People in New Zealand believe poverty is a choice – even if you are 6 years old apparently.  Kids are born into poverty, much like those unfortunate souls who are born with debilitating illnesses and neither is a lesser affliction in my opinion.
  • KidsCan provide to children that attend low decile schools, what does this mean?

From The Ministry of Education website, the five factors that make up the decile rating are:

  • Household income – percentage of households with income in the lowest 20% nationally.
  • Occupation – percentage of employed parents in the lowest skilled occupational groups.
  • Household crowding – number of people in the household divided by the number of bedrooms.
  • Educational qualifications – percentage of parents with no tertiary or school qualifications.
  • Income support – percentage of parents who received a benefit in the previous year

If there is a high population of Pacific Island or Maori students at these schools, what difference does it make to your donation dollar?  Are we really just skirting around that nasty word that rhymes with mace-ism?

I don’t know New Zealand, I loved the Telethon but I really thought that 2 million was a pretty weak total, that’s not even .45c per person!  Surely we could have done better than each donating FORTY FIVE CENTS!

Full List of Stuff White People Like « Stuff White People Like

Full List of Stuff White People Like

How classic is this!  The stereotype is so perfectly broken down by this list that it MUST have been written by a white person – though I doubt that they would be able to call themselves a redneck.

I love this so much I am going to comment on the Top 50, and add my own whitey / kiwi spin on it for ya; 

  • #50 Irony – yes, and?
  • #49 Vintage – yes.  I have a vintage set of dresser drawers in our bedroom, our TV sits on a vintage table, and I love retro styling.
  • #48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops – Yes, don’t eat torture – pork!!!
  • #47 Arts Degrees – Snap.  Got one, major Sociology, minor Ancient History.  I know, WTF was I thinking?
  • #46 The Sunday New York Times – They don’t deliver to NZ and my interweb time is already busy enough as it is with, twitter, FB and blogging
  • #45 Asian Fusion Food – meh, ‘sokay
  • #44 Public Radio – LOVE IT.  Ethan and I were glued to the lappy on election day listening to Obama slay the republicans on NPR 
  • #43 Plays – ho hum, haven’t seen one in a while, but I was Frenchy in our High School production of Grease
  • #42 Sushi – oh yeah, watch me roll up
  • #41 Indie Music – pretty much all we listen to in this house, though I had a kick-ass dream last night that I saw a live acoustic set performed by Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love!!
  • #40 Apple Products – still pluckin on pc’s but we have a 4 ipods of varying descriptions
  • #39 Netflix – loved it whilst stateside
  • #38 Arrested Development – ROFLMAO
  • #37 Renovations – yes, minor because we rent but watch out future mortgaged house
  • #36 Breakfast Places – not so much now we are in NZ, but in SD and Jax used to eat out for brekkie all the time
  • #35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report – Still watch it here, love it
  • #34 Architecture – is cool
  • #33 Marijuana – never been a fan, smells soapy to me
  • #32 Vegan/Vegetarianism – been there, done that
  • #31 Snowboarding – hell yeah, this season is looking good
  • #30 Wrigley Field – hmmm, I’m guessing this is a baseball reference, so,  negatory
  • #29 80s Night – oh yeah, every night from 19-21 was 80’s night with the girls
  • #28 Not having a TV – sorry, no
  • #27 Marathons – I’m sure Dave will get around to this one of these days, I’ll be cheering him on eating ice cream and drinking bourbons
  • #26 Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!) – sadly never been
  • #25 David Sedaris – ?
  • #24 Wine – You got some?
  • #23 Microbreweries – Oh yeah, pretty much the only time I drink beer is when visiting a microbrewery
  • #22 Having Two Last Names – We were considering bestowing this upon our son, but I do like my short and snappy new name so figured he would too
  • #21 Writers Workshops – online ones
  • #20 Being an expert on YOUR culture – not so much
  • #19 Traveling – YES
  • #18 Awareness – like……how we all live in a global community?
  • #17 Hating their Parents – no way, my parents rule
  • #16 Gifted Children – yeah, I picked up one of those about 4.5 years ago
  • #15 Yoga – downward dog, my friends!
  • #14 Having Black Friends – can’t even articulate a response to this one sorry
  • #13 Tea – it’s growing on me, I like fruit tea
  • #12 Non-Profit Organizations – What?  They do good work!
  • #11 Asian Girls – Pretty much every boy in my form class in 3rd & 4th form married asian chicks
  • #10 Wes Anderson Movies – def
  • #9 Making you feel bad about not going outside – Get some vitamin D yall!
  • #8 Barack Obama – is my homeboy, Ethan wonders why he can’t live here and be the boss instead of John Key?  I also wonder this ‘CAUSE I DIDN’T VOTE FOR YOU JK!
  • #7 Diversity – is good
  • #6 Organic Food – is better
  • #5 Farmer’s Markets – are the bomb
  • #4 Assists – I don’t know what this is but I think a football reference maybe?  In that case, SO not interested
  • #3 Film Festivals – in my student days for sure, oh wait I’m still a student, in my YOUNG student days
  • #2 Religions their parents don’t belong to – well that pretty much opens it up to ANY RELIGION IN THE WORLD
  • #1 Coffee – No, don’t partake
  • So I guess I’m pretty white, though not as pale as some of you I bet!

    Reply from John Key's Office

    Thank you for your correspondence concerning the treatment of intensively farmed pigs and the footage screened on the ‘Sunday’ programme.

    The conditions depicted in the footage were highly disturbing and unacceptable. The Minister of Agriculture has made it clear to his officials that animal welfare is an absolute priority of this Government and that we would not accept cruelty to animals under any circumstances. 

    The pig farm at the centre of the ‘Sunday’ story has been identified by MAF, and animal welfare investigators have carried out a full inspection of the farm. 

    If the farm is found to be in breach of the Animal Welfare Act then MAF has the power to prosecute the responsible parties. 

    Individual housing systems were created to help manage the health and welfare of the animals, in addition to increasing productivity. The purpose of individually housing pregnant sows in stalls is to prevent aggression between them, which can lead to the loss of their piglets. Farrowing crates are used to protect the piglets, once they are born. 

    The impact of these systems (principally in restricting animals’ ability to perform their natural behaviours) is now also widely recognised. 

    The Animal Welfare Act 1999 (the Act) is the principal legislation on the care and welfare of animals in New Zealand. There is also an Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare 2005 (the code), developed by the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) and issued by the previous Government under the Act in December 2004. NAWAC is an independent expert advisory panel whose membership includes SPCA and Maori representatives, veterinarians, and animal welfare experts. 

    The code expands on the Act’s general requirements by setting minimum standards and recommending best practices in relation for the care and management of pigs. 

    When developing the code NAWAC considered all of the then available evidence for and against various production methods and housing systems, as well as the public submissions received. NAWAC agreed that the long term use of sow stalls and the use of farrowing crates can restrict the animals’ ability to perform natural behaviours and was far from ideal. 

    However, it considered that the alternatives available at the time did not guarantee a better overall outcome for their welfare. For this reason, NAWAC did not recommend a prohibition on these systems in the 2005 code. It did however recommend that a number of measures be included to improve the welfare of pigs under existing management systems. 

    NAWAC will review the code of welfare for pigs this year and preliminary work as part of this review has begun. The Minister has instructed NAWAC to treat this review as an absolute priority due to the high level of public concern about this issue. 

    As such he would expect to issue a new code of welfare for pigs by the end of the year. 

    NAWAC will ensure that it is fully aware of the latest research and developments from New Zealand and overseas, especially in the area of animal housing. There will be an opportunity for the public to make submissions on any proposed changes to the code. I urge all concerned New Zealanders to take this opportunity and make their views known to NAWAC. 

    If you wish to be notified when the draft revised code is released for public consultation, please send an email to MAF at animalwelfare@maf.govt.nz with your request. 

    It is important that animal welfare policy is developed reflecting good practice, scientific knowledge, public expectations and ethical treatment of animals. The NAWAC process takes these factors into account, and I am confident will deliver a revised code that meets the high expectations of the Government and the New Zealand public. 

    Thank you again for expressing your concerns. 

    Hon John Key

    Prime Minister

    MP for Helensville

    Oh yeah…that's why I used to be a vegetarian

    News in New Zealand this week is the much publicized disclosure of video demonstrating the vile state of the pork industry.  Local comedian Mike King, formerly the spokesperson for the NZ pork industry snuck into a pig jailpig farm and filmed the undersized sow cages that farmed pigs live in.  It’s abhorrent and torturous, the pigs can’t move, some can’t even stand and are horribly afflicted.  The “Old Boys Club” that is The New Zealand Pork Industry, only admitted tonight on live TV that the images that were aired may be offensive to ‘consumers’ who were not aware of pig farming practices.  WTF???  obviously those farmers who make a living by lining their pockets from the inhumane  farming of these animals who enjoy no quality life what-so ever, do not find these horrific images offensive.  New Zealanders who are so proud of our world famous lamb and beef exports would never allow cows and sheep to be cage-farmed so why is it accepted practise to farm pigs this way?

    Read more here

    In cynical kiwi style the footnote ending the article notes “The pork industry’s board had postponed the annual Bacon of the Year awards in response to the programme.”  How Sensitive of them.

    Visit http://www.lovepigs.org.nz/ and get involved by refusing to buy NZ torture-pork

    Click here to sign an e-card to lobby your local MP to change the current Pig Farming legislation