The REAL REASON petrol prices are so high
PASS IT ON!
Inspired by an article on the best blog in the WORLD - NotPC, I decided to initiate my OWN SPAM email, based upon the old "pass this on to 10 people and Bill Gates will send you $100, or something good will happen to you" chestnut.
The only difference here is that something good really will happen! You will be bringinging awareness to people that it is BIG GOVERNMENT that is responsible for the high fuel costs! maybe 1 or 2 will actually NOT VOTE for MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL in the future.
Oh well - we all have a DREAM I suppose!
The REAL REASON petrol prices are so highWe’ve all received those emails telling us to boycott BP/Mobil/Shell/Caltex to “send a signal” that their “profiteering” has to end, and pump prices come down.Profiteering? If you want to know who takes the largest chunk of local pump prices think again -- it’s not the oil companies, it’s your government.Despite economic illiterates bleating about the “exorbitant profits” oil companies are making, the money ripped of by the Government from oil and petrol dwarfs the amount earned by the oil companies who actually produce the stuff.Personally, I am happy to contribute to rising profits of oil corporations and I thank them for delivering the goods successfully. At the same time I am annoyed at politicians, both domestic and foreign, who are hobbling production efforts, collecting enormous taxes, and promoting false sympathy for the consumer’s pain. For all that money that the unproductive (government) steal from the productive (oil companies) motorists get the joy of watching most of their money head down the black hole of big government to buy even bigger government with even greater powers to hobble production, collect more enormous taxes, and cry more crocodile tears over the motorist’s plight.Think about this next time you pull up at the pump, or receive one of those illiterate emails. Would you rather give more money to those whose goal appears to be the long-term strangulation of oil production? Or to those who make the long-term reduction of oil prices possible? In fact, don’t just think about it: do something. Next time you hear a politician saying there’s nothing they can do about high oil prices, write a letter saying “Bullshit!”
The Right Note Column - Taurangas WURLITZER
Before I get in to my column this week, I must first explain that I am not a Bay of Plenty Times “reporter!” My column is not really intended to publicise coming events, or give exposure to up-and-coming talent. It is more about celebrating the phenomena that is the Tauranga music scene. Introducing you to some of the interesting characters and events that have shaped the intriguing, ever-evolving theatre of musical entertainment in this area through my own experiences (where possible) and via stories related to me by some of the characters themselves.
I am what may loosely be described as a “rocker!” A local musician with a few years experience in the rock/blues music fraternity. Therefore my knowledge and experience of a “wurlitzer” is limited to the swirly writing on the front of a juke-box, but what I do know is that everybody loves a good old-fashioned mystery with a plot and a story with more twists and turns than a Winston Peters party political broadcast!
Yes, the Wurlitzer Organ - what a fascinating and mysterious creature she is!
I say creature because it is like an organic, living thing, that is tended and nurtured by its supporters, and has the ability to “grow” and attain new “voices” according and attributed to the activity of its care-givers!
I mean, what other instrument do you know of that has its own “society” or group, dedicated to its health and welfare! What other instrument has a dedicated PA (personal assistant) with the auspicious title of “keeper of the organ?”
To me she has the aura of a 1940s murder/mystery, or of a secret society like the royal antediluvian order of buffaloes, or the phantom of the opera. I mean, where is she? - We have all been to Baycourt before, so where does she live?
Where are all the pipes and stuff? Before I reveal some of her secrets, let me tell you of some of her fascinating life. The Wurlitzer organ was shipped to New Zealand from North Tonowanda, New York, USA in October 1926 and was installed in the De Luxe Theatre Cinema, Courtney Place, Wellington, and made its debut in 1927 with Sydney organist Emanual (Manny) Aarons It’s main function being the accompaniment to the silent movies of the era. With the demise of the silent movies, she was put up for tender in 1958.
Some crazy guy from Tokoroa (Mr Eddie Aiken) scored it, and installed it in a “Honey Shed!” where he held many concerts for friends and locals until 1967, when it found a new home in the Tokoroa High School. (no disrespect intended Mr Aiken, but I can’t think of any other way to describe installing a monster like this in a honey shed! - I mean - wherever did you find room for the honey? - or the bees for that matter! - crazy!)
In 1971 the organ came up for tender once again, when the now extinct (no thanks to the local council who enforce compulsory community spirit via your rates) community service group called the 20,000 Club purchased it and in a superhuman effort, with over 5000 VOLUNTARY man hours, and tremendous VOLUNTARY material support from sponsors, installed it in the Tauranga Town Hall.
When the council demolished the Town Hall a new home for her had to be considered, and after many months of repeated hard work, she was installed into Baycourt, and the inagural concert was held on 17th December, 1988.
The organist, Dennis James, came from the USA for this very special occasion.
The organ society was formed in 1987 to provide support, and continual maintenance for the organ, and who now work closely with Baycourt management and friends of Baycourt to meet the needs of the grand old girl. Concert-goers get to watch, as she rises majestically from her home under the stage with a great flourish and ceremony, as the curtains draw back on both sides of the proscenium (part of the theatre in front of the curtain) to reveal the thousands of pipes and traps in the sound chambers, that produce the amazing voices of this grande-dame of the theatre age.
Now, the Wurlitzer is a rare and specialised creature, and those who can play it are apparently few and far between, but I can’t help but imagine if somebody like local keyboard legend Grant Winterburn was let loose on it!
Now, I do not suggest for one moment that he roll around and wrestle with it on the stage, or throw it to the floor and play it on his knees like I have seen him do with his own keyboards on many occasions - (One) because it would be impossible, and (two) the society members wouldn’t let him out of the theatre alive - besides, he has matured quite a bit since those days (I think!) BUT, a bit of dry ice, a light show, and the spectacle of the beast rising out of the smoke - Grant Winterburn astride like on a giant Harley Davidson - to join an amazing rhythm section and guitarist like he brought to the recent Jazz Festival, and he would have the old girl - and the audience - singing like never before to a brand-new generation and set of devotees.
Anyway, enough from the fantasy world, and back in reality, the Wurlitzer Society have a concert already planned.
Please get along to Baycourt on Saturday the 7th June to hear premiere organ entertainer from the UK, Chris Powell put this amazing piece of “world musical history” through its paces, and marvel at the spectacle of the Opus 1482 Wurlitzer.
Once again - right here in Tauranga!
On behalf of myself, my children, and the people of Tauranga I would like to thank the volunteers who gave up their time and efforts voluntarilly and without compulsion to provide us with the opportunity to experience this early wonder of technology.
And to all you compulsion-touters out there may this be a lesson in how real community spirit is achieved - Amen!
Christian values and FORCE
My reply to a Christian woman, complaining about schools teaching contraception and vaccines to enhance immunity to HIV diseases.She says the REAL CANCER is "its your choice", brandished through media, family planning and schools. and the solution is to force them to be educated with a return to Christian values.I say the REAL CANCER is busybodies wishing to enforce their will upon others*************Margaret Muir - I would love for you to be free to have your children educated by the principles of your religion, unfortunately, it sounds like you would not return me the courtesy of letting me have mine educated by principles that I value, and would like to force MY children to be educated under them also. The REAL cancer you talk about is not “freedom of choice” upon which you misguidedly lay the blame - it is in people like you, wishing to enforce your beliefs upon others! - The cancer you seek is called FORCE!You are forced to pay for an education system that does not meet your principles. That’s not my fault - it is yours! I refuse to vote for those who would take away my right to provide the best healthcare and education for my family.Remove the state from the education sector, and you would be free to send your children to a school that teaches christian values and creationism etc, and others would be free to send their children to a school that teaches evolution and contraception. That way everybody gets what they want, and nobody is forced against their will! The only people unhappy are those who wish to impose their will upon others by force. Unfortunately there’s no vaccine in New Zealand to cure the epidemic of busybodyism, so I have to make do with trying to expose spreaders of the disease via letters to the editor!
TECT Refunds and Property Rights
Here is a brief rundown of the situation.
A Power Company in the Tauranga area gave shares of the company to all the people who used it.A board of trustees is elected each year by the shareholders (I am one)Every year profits are shared out to the shareholders, and we each get a cheque of about $150-200.It recently was brought to the publics attention - (not that the situation was ever HIDDEN,) that if they sent the shareholders ALL of the profits, they would get about $300 - $400 EACHThe TRUSTEES who have been voted in, chose various CHARITIES, and give out money to those they think are worthy - some of whom are community things like the Rescue Helicopter. - some are golf clubs or Kindys etcOne is an ARTS group (ref to Tracey Ruddock below)A couple of people have been voted onto the board by saying that the money belongs to the SHAREHOLDERS, and it should ALL go to them.It has become quite a topic with all the looters and beneficiaries of TECT handouts trying to talk people into voting these people OFF, otherwise their handouts would cease.I do not deny that some of the charities are worthy, community causes, but the fact remains that there is a lolly scramble for other peoples money, and it is not RIGHT.Besides, people are quite able to donate money to charities of their own choice should they chose to do so. The more money in peoples pockets, leaves them in a better position to AFFORD to give to charities.Many of the trustees of TECT have such a low opinion of people that they think they must be FORCED, and I am against this.Here is a letter to the editor of the BOP Times. I doubt it will be published as it is over 200 words long. MEANWHILE, the LOOTERS are out in FORCE - several letters to the editor, and 2 columnists - Tracey Ruddock, and Tommy Kapai pleading for TECT Shareholders to vote away the rights and property of others.****************Imagine what life would be like without property rights!If you wanted something, all you would had to do was take it by FORCE! If somebody had money, and you wanted it, all you’d have to do was take it off of them, perhaps persuade some friends to help you take it off of them - strength in numbers!This is how savages, and those who do not live in the civilised, world gain - and lose - wealth! - By conquest - Strength and brute force!Property rights, capitalism and freedom of the individual, are amongst the most SACRED things in a CIVILISED society, yet all I hear lately are people attempting to destroy, remove and DISTORT them.This is why people - like myself - spend so much time trying to defend and educate people on the importance of property rights, and the immorality of force, whether by the individual, government or council!I am talking about the TECT lolly-scramble with other peoples money!I agree that many of the charities of the TECT lolly-scramble are worthy causes, but will just one person admit that It is NOT their money - Pure and simple FACT - it belongs to the Trustees.What is more, the sound of the squealing from those whose “funding” is at risk is pitifull and demeaning.Have these LOOTERS become so dependant on other peoples money, that they no longer know how to earn it?The arts community will not suddenly collapse just because Tracey Ruddock doesnt get her $250,000 worth of other peoples money!Now Tommy Kapai invites you to VOTE AWAY the property rights of others. He seeks to accomplish or achieve a “GOOD” via IMMORAL actions, and that is WRONG, and despite the fact that the charities of which he speaks have existed for DECADES funded by un-forced community spirit and charitability of VOLUNTEERS!It is NOT community spirit - it is THEFT!Charity is a VOLUNTARY thing, NOT a thing of FORCE or SLAVERY.If we agree to hold other peoples property rights with such disregard, then perhaps we could all vote on what charity to donate Tommy, Tracey, and Graeme Purchases wages to - it is the SAME THING.There’s much talk of TRANSPARENCY, yet some seem happy to hide behind words of deception like TAX and FUNDING, when it suits them, regardless of the MORALITY of their actions.
Underground Jazz Club in Tauranga, circa 1962
In 1962 I was 4 years old when Ken Hayman (trumpet) and Ken White (reeds) Stan Day, and Del Peterson and a bunch of other Jazz and big band enthusiasts started the 17 piece Bay Big Band in Tauranga, and which is still going today!
They already had a 4 or 5 piece band regularly playing at a venue in town which had attained for itself the grandiose title of “The Starlight Ballroom!” Rumour has it that this name came about because Ken White imported from America a kit to make the first mirror ball ever to make an appearance in Tauranga.
Nobody had ever seen anything like it before, and you can imagine the impact it would have had at the time. The venue was the St John ambulance hall which was in the building on Cameron Road where the YMCA is now.
Anyway, these guys thought is would be a good idea to put a Glen Miller style swing band together to play the dance music of the era, and this was the seed from which our present jazz festival blossomed into! The Jazz Society itself was started by Dave Hall, and was inspired by the movie “Jazz On A Summers Day” and the very first Jazz Society gig was actually called “Jazz On A Summers Day” and then continued on to become the Tauranga Jazz Festival more or less like we have it today.
This is just one of many intriguing little stories I listened to, sitting down over a beer or two with Dave Proud and his neighbour Brian Geoghan recently.
Now, I have been a party to a great many of the musical (and otherwise) escapades associated with the music business in these parts, but just listening to these two talk about the exciting stuff that was going on while I was still in nappies brings into perspective that what I was doing a few years ago, and what some of the kids are doing today has all been done before!
For example, In the late 80s I had a band called Austin Texas, and we played the late shift downstairs at the St Amand, while Hard to Handle were playing upstairs.
When they had finished, they would come downstairs for a drink and a jam until closing time when Scotty, Wendy and Fraser (the Scots) would kick everybody out, and they would lock the place up.
Actually, while I am on the subject, of kicking out stubborn punters, Fraser Scott had a most unique and effective way of getting those last stubborn stragglers out of the bar. He would put on a cd of this insane whistling, which although was undoubtedly most skillfull, actually became unberable in a very short period of time, and the bar would clear as if by magic!
Anyway, once all the strays were on their way, the fun would really start - jamming until daylight, and then staggering out onto the Strand in bright sunlight early the next morning.
We had amazing and inspirational jams back then, and for the privileged few punters, hospitality staff and those in the “in-crowd, these times have left us with priceless memories (and hangovers).
These goings on though were nothing new at all in fact! In the early 1960s, in a corrugated-iron shed called “the Sample Rooms” situated on the Strand extension, down towards the Harbourside - so called because this was previously where the commercial travellers stored all their samples - there was an illicit, underground jazz club happening.
All the local musicians would finish their gigs at about 12 or 1, and then make their way to this little den of iniquity, where they would often jam away till 5 or 6 in the morning!
They even sold their own booze at the club, which was stricly illegal of course, on top of the fact that it was 10 oclock closing in those days, and who was going to give a licence to a bunch of debaucherous, musicians of ill repute?
Now, I wrote a couple of weeks back about how Cloud - a 70s band got their gig closed down because the music they were playing was “too way-out” well, this was 10 years earlier, and this was pretty much the same view that respectable folks had of the Jazz musos at the time!
There was nothing “too dodgy” going on in here (well, not that these two characters would admit to anyway) just a bunch of grown-ups pushing the boundaries of respectability, playing music and having a whale of a time. This early Jazz club went for some time, and was the regular haunt of members of all the trusted and vocations lawyers, accountants, police, car dealers, you name it - they all turned up here to let their hair down (and all of whom shall remain anonymous - all cash deposits gladly accepted!)
Anyway, one night some guy was too drunk to be served any more drinks (how about that? - people used to be responsible without all the bureaucracy of today!) and was told to be on his way.
This guy went and made a nuisance of himself at the local pie cart, (remember the pie cart on the Strand?) so they called the Police, who immediately came and arrested him, took him back to the station, where they asked him to empty his pockets before they gave him a bed for the night!
He proceeded to empty a handfull of green tickets onto the table, where upon questioning it was discovered that these were drinks tickets from the “sample room!” Word got back to the organisers that the police inspector had got wind of their little operation, and that they had better put a stop to it, as they (the police) were planning a raid. (spoilsports!)
In those days, the police were a respected and feared institution, and as these were all mostly respectable people, they didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the law, so they took this warning in and that was the end of that.
And mores the pity I say! I can feel the buzz right now and see the band through the thick haze of cigarette smoke jumping and swinging.
This would be as close to the real McKoy as you could ever hope to get - right here in Tauranga!
Margaret Bloody Wilson back in Town - aaarrrrrggghhhh
Now that Margaret Bloody Wilson has quit her job as speaker of the house, she is looking for something new to do.
Lucky old Tauranga looks like it will be the benefactor of her activities, as it was reported recently that she is moving back to Tauranga, and has become the new figurehead and patron of Creative Tauranga - a council funded group that interferes in the arts etc.
One area Margaret intends to interfere in (or develop as SHE puts it) is Taurangas Music scene!
WTF!!!She wants to see more venues for musicians, especially those trying to break in to the industry.
What! like supplying them with sound gear, or free practice rooms etc?
There is a saying that goes” The result of saving men from folly is to fill the world with fools!” Well, this can be equally applied to the music business! “The result of saving musicians from paying their dues is to fill the world with CRAP MUSICIANS!”
Tauranga has one of the most vibrant and successful music scenes in the country, which it has achieved through merit and achievement, fuelled by passion and desire to achieve, and NOT by artificial council-funded sponsorship.
I mean you dont see “sponsored by the Hackney city council” on the back of the Iron Maiden CD covers do you? NO! These guys did it because music was their life, their passion, and they would have done it if they had to walk over broken glass, and not because it was made easy for them by being given other peoples money to rehearse.
However did we manage before she came along?
What the FUCK does she know about the music scene? (sorry about the profanities, but this really is something to get angry about)
The best thing ANY bureaucrat can do for the Tauranga music scene is get out of the bloody way.
The Tauranga music scene needs Margaret Bloody Wilson like a guitarist needs a broken string.
There have been several article in the local paper lamenting the lack of VOLUNTEERS for anything. Here is MY take on the situation.
Humans are a naturally benevolent lot! - It’s in our nature to help those who are in trouble, suffering, or in danger. That’s why we have heroes - people who put their own lives at risk to save the life of another. They don’t do it because they’re FORCED to do it, they do it of their own free will - it’s a natural reaction, and part of the human psyche.
When people are FORCED - through taxes - to be benevolent, they become of the mind that they have “done their bit,” and are paying for somebody to be benevolent on their behalf - (council, government etc) and THIS is the reason we have so few VOLUNTEERS for anything these days.
They have already made their (forced) donation, havent they done enough? Why should they donate even MORE.
In the past if an area needed a playground, a group of concerned people - usually service groups like Lions or Jaycees etc would get together, fundraise, find sponsorship, pool their skills, and then get together on a Sunday morning, and dig holes, pour concrete and paint things.
This was called community spirit.
The demise of public spiritedness, has come about because instead of doing the work, groups like mother-for-museums just hold their hand out, and plead a NEED.
It is greed for things that belong to other people (a disregard for property rights), and the use of force that are denying us of our natural benevolence.
You will not find a solution to this problem until you admit to what is the cause of it!
Socialist Berserkers in a bloodlust for other peoples money!
Joyce Adams and her ilk would love it if I stopped complaining! - They would then be able to go about the business of taking other peoples money and property unopposed.
It must be very inconvenient when individuals put up a fight whilst being robbed of their rights and private property! - If only they would keep quiet like the majority of the sheeple!I have a deal for all the chardonnay socialists out there. If they stop trying to take my money, dictating what I can and cannot do with my life, and taking out mortgages on my grandchildrens life to pay for museums etc, then I will stop complaining about it, but until they put a stop to their thievery, I will fight them every step of the way!Like Mothers for museums who want to take the subject of the museum “out of the political arena” Why? So they can harrass council - unopposed - for a share of the ratepayers loot! It’s much easier when nobody puts up a fight.I have better things to do than be on the constant lookout for thieves, and looters who all have a better idea how to spend the money I earn than I do, but they just wont leave me alone.I spend a great deal of my time in an effort to expose their immoral addiction to other peoples money in the hope of helping others beat the addiction of dependance on state and council, but some people are like a shark with a taste for blood - they just can’t stop themselves.
If only these people would just go home and slip into something more comfortable . . .!
Like a COMA.
Greed Beats Need
It’s an over abundance of those who believe their “needs and wants” are enough to justify the theft of other peoples property that truly gets my back up, and the editor smugly entitling my letter “Greed beats Need” is a prime example of this mentality in operation!
If what I say is so wrong, explain why “taking other peoples money by force (otherwise known as THEFT!!!!) is more moral than a persons property rights!
You wish to attain social benefits through the most immoral action one man can take upon another - the use of FORCE! - Why is this OK? How is this a MORAL thing to do? Isn’t stealing BAD? Why is it different because government or council do it? Why is trying to PROTECT private property from the grasp of THIEVES called GREED by the editor?Justifying these actions as “for the benefit of the community” is twisted logic! - The community is but a collection of individuals - Those whose rights you would deny!The editor appears to define “greed” as somebody trying to keep hold of their personal property!I define greed as people who are not happy with just their OWN property, but truly believe they have a right to other peoples property also!PROPERTY RIGHTS RULE! - Ask anybody who doesn’t have them, yet all some do is want to abuse them! - CRAZYNESS