How to cut tomatoes

Mitchell Muscles up on Dodgy Dotcom

Mark Mitchell has accused Kim Dotcom  of meddling in our parliament under parliamentary privilege today.

He outlines an altercation last year where  Kim Dotcom made threats against the Prime Minister. Mark is no sook, he’s stood up to scumbags like Joseph Kony, Victor Bout, Muqtada al-Sadr, all of whom came off second best. The incident in An Nasiriyah was perhaps the most brutal:

The closest Mitchell and his men came to being killed was in 2004, during a five-day siege of the An Nasiriyah compound, home to diplomats, officials, coalition forces and security staff.

The uprising Shi’a militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, was putting coalition forces under pressure across the country. The Italian-controlled compound was surrounded and under sustained attack. Mitchell was charged with defending it.

“They’d hit us during the day with mortar fire, and at night mount a physical attack. My team’s responsibility was the roof. We were very exposed. It was hot, dusty. We didn’t get much sleep and we had to ration our food. I saw every human emotion over those days.”

Armed with AK47s and two 50-calibre machine guns, they kept the militia at bay until coalition forces regained control. Their efforts would later be rewarded with a commendation from the Italian government.

The compound was evacuated and within 48 hours, Mitchell was having a barbecue and talking to his neighbours in Taupo. “That was surreal. I couldn’t really talk to people about it, as it was hard to comprehend.”

Did he kill anyone? “We were fighting for our lives, and the lives of the diplomats. There were casualties on both sides.” That’s all he’ll say on the matter.

During the siege, Mitchell worked closely with British Governor Rory Stewart, who headed the compound’s diplomat contingent. Stewart has made the leap into politics, and is a Conservative MP for Penrith, England. Stewart wrote a book on his time in Iraq, and Brad Pitt’s production company has bought the rights to his story.

So who’ll play Mitchell in the movie? “I’m hoping George Clooney, rather than Danny de Vito.’

He’s certainly not afraid of an overweight sour Kraut.

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Crisis in the regions? Yeah, Nah

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This sounds like jobs to me… in the regions … where there’s a crisis… according to Labour… and an activity the Green Taliban want to stop.

Taranaki is now the biggest producer of methanol for the world’s single largest supplier, as global demand soars.

Canadian company Methanex can make up to 2.4 million tonnes of methanol each year at its Motunui and Waitara Valley plants.

In terms of production potential this puts it way ahead of any of the company’s five other facilities in Trinidad, Egypt, Canada, Chile and the USA.

Methanex’s Canada-based chief executive John Floren said yesterday it was an important part of the company’s global business.   Read more »

Random Impertinent Questions about the Dodgy Socialist Dam

The dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay looks like it is going to fall over with the council taking several weeks to decide whether to proceed or not.

The Board of Inquiry didn’t buy into the HB Regional Council’s now discredited model that said they only needed to limit one nutrient.

This leads to a series of questions:

  1. Was the HBRC aware that their decisions were being made based on a model that had not been adequately peer reviewed and would not have stood up in the environment court because it was not released to other submitters?
  2. Why did the HBRC think it was so special it could turn a river toxic by setting N levels at Toxicity?
  3. Why did the HBRC think it was so special it could only limit P, not N, while every other river in the country has to limit both?
  4. Why didn’t the HBRC listen to staff who dissented on the TRIM model?  Read more »

A stupid policy from a stupid, stupid man

Paul Henry comments on Labour’s new transport policy?

Add to that Labour also released their keep cyclists safe policy yesterday…hmmm…quite how moving trucks to the left closer to cyclists is going to aid that policy is beyond me.

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And then there is the issue with the Auckland Harbour Bridge issue, where trucks are forbidden to use the outside lanes due to cracks on the clip ons. Sw now, under Labour’s policy the trucks will all have to travel in the left hand lanes and then transition to the inside lanes somewhere in the vicinity of spaghetti junction so they comply with NZTA requirements for trucks to travel up the centre lanes of the bridge.

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A rare example of a terrible truckie

Taken by Whaleoil Ground Crew just a few hours ago

winston aggregates

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Remember: during Easter, the speed tolerances are 54 and 104 km/h

via sunlive.co.nz

via sunlive.co.nz

Nikki Preston has little good news for those of us who are sick of watching that the speedo doesn’t drift past 104 km/hr.

A survey by Horizon Research has found more people approve of the lower speed conditions than oppose them as the 4km/h reduced speed threshold is rolled out from Easter to Anzac weekend.

Of the 3104 surveyed, 42.6 per cent supported police lowering the tolerance to 104km/h during holidays, compared to 30 per cent who did not.

But New Zealanders were divided over whether it should be lowered outside holidays, with 42.6 per cent supporting it, compared to 37 per cent against.   Read more »

Cry Baby update: Cry Baby wins

We covered Cry Baby Jaclyn Philpott yesterday, who wanted to use her deceased Dad’s airpoints, was told she couldn’t because her Dad was dead, and ran to the media with her sob story.

Turns out, had she properly informed Air New Zealand and applied for the points to be transferred to Dad’s estate, all would be OK.

A Christchurch woman who was told her father’s shared Airpoints were void after his death has successfully used them to book flights to Hawaii.

Jaclyn Philpott said she was “dumbfounded” when an Air New Zealand call centre worker told her she could not use her father’s shared Airpoints – or Shairpoints – to book flights only a week after his death.

Before he died of lung cancer on April 5, John William Philpott made Jaclyn and her mother members of Shairpoints with Air New Zealand.

The 62-year-old had thousands of Airpoints Dollars from travel with his work as a software and hardware designer.

Those points, combined with Jaclyn and her mother’s, covered return flights to Hawaii for the three of them with an excess of only $370.

But when Jaclyn rang Air New Zealand on Monday to ask about business class upgrades her father had earned, she was told she could not book the tickets because “Dad was dead”.   Read more »

Mental Health Break

Headline of the Week

From the Courier Mail in Queensland.

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The story itself is hilarious:

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr was last night labeled “arrogant” and “foolish” for risking diplomatic ties after leaked extracts of his new diaries revealed him complaining about taxpayer-funded first and business class travel and questioning whether top US leaders had plastic surgery.  Read more »