Richard Branson

Branson wants to turn NZ into the Silicon Valley of Pot

“You should legalise it, grow it, tax it, regulate it,” he told Newshub.

“I think that would be wonderful because obviously the amount of dairy cows that New Zealand has is damaging the rivers, if you could put some of that land over into growing cannabis would be just as profitable for them, if not more profitable.”

He said he envisaged that in 10 years time cannabis will be as socially acceptable as a glass of wine.

It’s already socially acceptable.  The problem is that it is illegal.   Read more »

How long has Snakk Media got?

I have been closely following Derek Handley and his latest imminent failure Snakk Media.

This guy is a shameless self-promotor who usually starts conversations like Pearl Going does, by mentioning that he once worked with Richard Branson, or held his dick while he took a leak on an island or some other inane story.

But it looks like Snakk Media has had a gutsful of poor performance.

Snakk Media [NZX: SNK] founder Derek Handley will step down as chairman of the mobile advertising technology company by the end of the year in a wider boardroom shuffle.

Mr Handley, whose interests own about 15% of Snakk, will leave the board of the firm he co-founded in 2010, and Michelle Kong will retire after the September 16 annual meeting, the company said in a statement.

Their exit is part of a boardroom rejuvenation, which will install Australian cloud hosting business Macquarie Telecom’s chairman, Peter James, as executive chairman. He will be based in Sydney along with chief executive Mark Ryan. Broadfield Advisory principal Martin Riegel was appointed to Snakk’s board in June.   Read more »

Richard Branson hands in his man card to become a fussy eater

Richard Branson has decided that he won’t eat meat anymore.

Richard Branson gave up beef earlier this year.

“More and more people recognise that conventional meat production can have truly devastating environmental impacts,” he wrote in a blog about producing food for future generations as part of World Food Day on Thursday.

“It’s one of the reasons I gave up eating beef earlier this year, and it looks like I am not the only one. Surprisingly, for myself, I haven’t missed it at all.

“If we could get many other people to do the same, we would be healthier, and we would help sustain the beautiful biodiversity we are losing in the rainforests.”

Branson is referring to the increasing demand for meat as the world’s population of  7 billion grows and the impact this has on the environment.   Read more »

Editorials on Air New Zealand sell down

The NZ Herald and Dompost editorials put a few things into perspective regarding the government sell down of Air New Zealand.

First up the Herald editorial:

According to the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe, the timing of the Government’s selldown of shares in Air New Zealand is arrogant. Describing it as astute would have been far closer to the mark. Shares in the airline have been trading at a five-year high and investment advisers have voiced their enthusiasm for them. What better time could there be for the Government to reduce its holding in the national carrier from 73 per cent to 53 per cent?

The selldown has been criticised because it is being done just before a referendum on the part-sale of state assets. That complaint is misplaced. The focus of the Government’s mixed-ownership model strategy and, therefore, the referendum has always been the part-sale of the state’s three power companies, not an airline that the government acquired essentially by accident. Air New Zealand is very much an ancillary part of that strategy. After the disappointments of the Mighty River and Meridian part-floats, it may, however, produce the best result. The $350 million to $400 million that the Government will gain from Air New Zealand will go some way to alleviating the power companies’ shortfalls.  Read more »

Psychopaths and Entrepreneurs

Be wary of people who claim for themselves the title of entrepreneur…there is a good chance you are actually talking to a psychopath.

Charles Manson and Richard Branson may have more in common than rhyming surnames and big hair.

New research from the Australian School of Business at the University of NSW suggests that psychopathic tendencies can also make for good entrepreneurs.

“Psychopaths commit an offence, go to prison, then come out and commit the offence again, because they fail to learn from the prison experience,” said PhD student Benjamin Walker.

“Our study showed the novel result is that participants high in entrepreneurial intentions showed the same pattern.”

Psychopaths the like serial killer Charles Manson are born with temperamental differences that lead them to being risk seekers, impulsive and fearless.

These personality traits also allow a person to persist in risk-taking and succeed in business, the study found.

Assessing the results of 605 participants across three laboratory studies, Mr Walker and Professor of Business Psychology Chris Jackson found that people with either psychopathic or entrepreneurial intentions persisted through adversity in a risk-taking task.   Read more »

Breaking The Taboo (Trailer)

On December 7th, a documentary will be released on YouTube (yes, released on YouTube, not MSM).

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this groundbreaking new documentary uncovers the UN sanctioned war on drugs, charting its origins and its devastating impact on countries like the USA, Colombia and Russia. Featuring prominent statesmen including Presidents Clinton and Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo and expose the biggest failure of global policy in the last 50 years.

Bookmark this page if you like to view it.

 

No charges over radio show

NZ Herald

Watch the opposition parties whine like turbine engines about this:

Police will not lay charges against Radio Live over its decision to broadcast an hour-long programme hosted by Prime Minister John Key weeks before the 2011 election.

Radio Live hosted “The PM’s Hour” on September 30 last year.

It featured Mr Key interviewing famous guests including Sir Peter Jackson and Richard Branson in what was billed a politics-free hour.

The show was referred to police by the Electoral Commission after it found breaches of election rules.

Detective Superintendent Rod Drew said police had considered the findings of the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Electoral Commission before making a call on prosecution.

“We have determined that there is insufficient evidence to satisfy the requirements for prosecution.

 

Did the Mad Mayor take his dog for a walk this morning?

I recieved the following missive from the North Shore City Council this morning;

9.20 AM
30 September 2009

The North Shore City Council is passing on advice from the Ministry of Civil Defence advising North Shore residents to keep off the beaches for the next hour.

Although the Ministry of Civil Defence is not predicting a major event in New Zealand, sensible precautions should be taken in the light of this morning’s tsunami alert.

According to information received by the Ministry, a tsunami of 1.5m was generated in Samoa as a result of a 8.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Samoa.

Waves can be expected to be smaller in New Zealand, estimated at 1m at the East Coast and Bay of Plenty.

Wave heights outside of these regions will be advised as soon as possible, but it is unlikely that territorial authorities will need to expect a wave of any height greater than 1m.

The Ministry advises that areas of concern in New Zealand are Northland, the Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast north of Gisborne.  The threat is in particular to people in small boats and on the beaches.

I was waiting for the follow up email from the Clown of Campbells Bay, the Mad Mayor of North Shore, Andrew Williams advising us all to ignore official warnings and that just so long as you took your dog on a leash and wore a lifejacket that it was perfectly alright walking the Northern beaches and that he intended to do just that despite all the advice to the contrary.

Container Prisons – Why re-invent the wheel

Container Prisons are cheap, real cheap, but that doesn’t mean they are nasty. The US Government knows they built one to house 408 prisoners for just $9.7 million. That is only $23,700 per cell compared with the $500,000 per cell the last prison cost.

Delta was thrown together for $9.7 million by a private contractor, Brown and Root Services a division of Vice President Cheney’s old company, Halliburton which flew in low-wage contract labor from the Philippines and India to get the job done, in much the same way that Asians were once brought to the Caribbean to harvest sugar cane. The cell blocks are assembled from the standard forty-foot steel boxes called connex containers that are used in international shipping: five cells to a container, eight containers to a cell block, with four lined up on each side of a central corridor where the lights and fans are installed. Welders cut away three sides of each container, replacing them with sidings of steel mesh, leaving the roof, floor, and one steel wall into which a window was cut. Floor-level toilets were installed, the kind requiring squatting, traditionally described as ” la turque” and now these are sometimes mentioned as an example of American sensitivity to the cultural needs of the detainees.

Better still construction time is short as well. Construction on Camp Delta started on February 27, 2002 and was completed mid April the same year. The prison was fully operational and housing 408 prisoners before month end April 2002.

Container PrisonEach detention unit is 8 feet long, 6 feet 8 inches wide and 8 feet tall and constructed with metal mesh material on a solid steel frame. Approximately 24 units make up a detention block. The facility has indoor plumbing with each unit having its own floor style flush toilet, metal bed-frame raised off the floor, and a sink with running water; none of which was available at Camp X-Ray where portable toilets were used instead. Areas at Camp Delta are also better controlled than Camp X-Ray and detainees are out of the sun more. There are also two recreation/exercise areas per detention block at Camp Delta. The maximum security portion of camp Delta is made up of three detention blocks.

And if we hire Sheriff Joe then I think Corrections would be well on the way to earning its keep.

Oh and for those who are squeamish about using the prisoners to build their own prison, well we only need to look at the success of Sydney, where some of the best judges in England selected prisoners to go and live there and also locally to Invercargill Prison. Apparently Invercargill Prison was built by prisoners taken from Dunedin Prison to live in tents while they did it. It was designed to be beautiful inside, and parts of it were. When finished it was considered to be one of the finest and most progressive prisons in the Empire.

O Winston, Winston wherefore art thou Winston?

David Farrar has the looney email from Brendan Horan.

Let’s keep our chins up and get pro-active. Our policies are working for New Zealand and this will become more obvious as time wears on.

Soon New Zealand will be calling for New Zealand First and Winston. When that time comes we must have our infrastructure in place so we are ready to answer that call.

– talk about deluded!

Brendan Horan, former pub quiz master, failed weather presenter and now NZ First “Media Liasion (sic)”, needs to work on his spelling and punctuation. Strange that it’s being left to Horan to communicate to the members, and not Winston. Is he even still alive?

I wonder too whether the NZF website should still promoting its key people as ministers and MPs and using the Parliamentary Crest, when the party is no longer in Parliament.

In the end it probably won’t matter especially if we ahve the perfect storm of an extremely cold winter, high power prices and Swine Flu. That’ll see of most of the NZ First membership for sure.