A gift

To quote Robbie Burns:

Scotland's favourite son, poet Robbie Burns, 1759–1796 (image: guardian.co.uk)

Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel’s as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
And foolish notion.

With appreciation to Steve Goodey for offering me a gift this week. I mean it. Thanks for the feedback.

Steve still hasn’t published my 31 August comment in reply to his ‘smear smite and bash’ post about thePaepae.com … a full five days later, it’s probably a lost cause.

So I guess in Steve Goodey-speak “I’d really like to hear your opinion” … translates as “I’d really like to hear your opinion unless you’re Peter Aranyi (or you disagree with me)”?

That’s a pity — and contrasts with the approach I try to take with critics (even ‘Anonymous 3.27am‘ and ‘Slapper’) — which has no doubt been influenced by my background and experience. Refer to my former ‘Morning Report’ colleague Kim Hill’s comments about public disagreements quoted in this post. – P

The truth can be harsh

Respected business journalist/commentator Rod Oram’s assessment of the collapse of the HUGE South Canterbury Finance and supremo Allan Hubbard’s role in the demise is less confrontational than Bernard Hickey’s Please say sorry and thanks ‘open letter’ piece — but in its way, just as scathing.

Ask Allan Hubbard if he thinks 'ALL publicity is good publicity'. It's not really true, is it?

Failing to respond to criticism has become one of the themes of this blog, and Allan Hubbard’s story could serve as a salutary lesson (yes, I know that’s a ciché) to those whose response to awkward questions is to pull up the drawbridge.

As I said earlier, I don’t know enough to make a judgement about Allan Hubbard — and anyone who has been in a financially tight situation, with cash flows turning against you and pressure building MUST sympathise with the circumstances he found himself in and the heavy personal cost. I certainly wish him no ill.

Hubbard was chairman of South Canterbury Finance until earlier this year; his board was small and made up of local business partners and friends; a high proportion of its lending was to related parties; its auditor was a tiny Timaru accounting firm and its trustee was Hubbard’s second employer as a young man.

Hubbard’s fierce loyalists say that’s how business is done locally. Sadly, that’s true. That might be OK for a small business owner when he’s on personal terms with all his lenders and borrowers.

But it was no way to run South Canterbury Finance, even back in 2000 when it had only $400m of assets. And once it began soon after to aggressively drum up deposits [Comment: SPRUIKING, in other words?] and seek ever-riskier investments, it started down the slippery slope to failure. Continue reading →

Te Radar’s Eating the Dog — well done

Last night I was packed into a school hall with a bunch of my neighbours — not because we’d been evacuated from earthquake-damaged homes like the afflicted of Canterbury, although they were on our minds — as part of the audience of a very clever, well-written and well-delivered ‘romp through the pages of our history’.

Very funny, and I learned something. A night well spent. (click)

Te Radar’s Eating the Dog show was a delight. Packed with wit and banter, oozing with quirky facts and wry observations, this show really did have something for everyone. Raconteur and satirist Te Radar was wearing his full ‘likeable twit’ persona (and historical costume complete with #1 Shoe Warehouse women’s boots [$49.95] he revealed), skilfully navigating a multi-media show that was funny, informative and thought-provoking … and good history.

Being a sickly white liberal myself (to reclaim Winston Peters’ term as a badge of honour), I enjoyed his obvious respect for the Maori dimension of this country’s short recorded history. He weaved an honourable, fair-to-all-sides picture of some the events he discussed in his exploration of ‘the bumblers and the near-do-wells [sic], who personify the archetypal “she’ll be right” spirit that epitomises this country’.

Good on him. Get along to a show if you can. You’ll enjoy it. He’s currently on tour as a fund-raiser for Scouts, which is what last night’s gig in Howick was. There’s a Tour Schedule on his website cunningly disguised as www.radarswebsite.com

Nice job.

Celebrating quirkiness

I’ve just set up an album on The Paepae’s Facebook page to collect and display those quirky error messages etc.

Collecting -- click to visit the album at Facebook

Feel free to contribute any more!

The worst stuff isn’t even in there?

Wow, I thought the ‘It came from Wasilia’ profile on Sarah Palin by Todd Purdue was eye-opening. She also came off pretty badly in that book I hoovered up over a wet weekend Race of a Lifetime … but read this piece from the current Vanity Fair – ‘Sarah Palin: the Sound and the Fury’.

Carried forward on a tide of deceit? (image: Vanity Fair - click)

The writer has already come in for attack for his account (what’s new?) and said, that as a Christian who really tried to keep an open mind about Pailn, figuring she’d had a bum ride with the media, he was shocked at the repeated and confirming testimony from people/witnesses who described how she has operated.

Michael Joseph Gross said on “Morning Joe” Thursday. “I couldn’t believe these stories either when I first heard them, and I started this story with a prejudice in her favor.

I have a lot in common with this woman. I’m a small-town person, I’m a Christian, I think that a lot of her criticisms of the media actually have something to them. And I think she got a bum ride, but everybody close to her tells the same story.”

In the profile, Gross paints Palin as an abusive, retaliatory figure with an extreme ability to lie. “This is a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about,” he said. “She lies about everything.” — Huffington Post

Other quotes from the profile:

There’s a long and detailed version of what they had to say, but there’s also a short and simple one: anywhere you peel back the skin of Sarah Palin’s life, a sad and moldering strangeness lies beneath.

Interesting comment about her ‘team’ protecting her from criticism and questions on a ‘Conservatives4Pailn’ discussion forum: Continue reading →

A denial and a clarification … well, not really

Just as well some people have such a GREAT sense of humour!

It all relates to my ‘A little backlash?‘ post here on www.thePaepae.com … where I suggested a possible interpretation of some innuendo-laden bloggings by property spruiker Dean Letfus about holding back dirt on a ‘white knight’ was that they referred to me. [Or maybe it doesn’t.]

Yup, it’s not absolutely clear, but a statement today by Dean Letfus seems to indicate (maybe, if I read it right) that there’s another side to this whole thing.

Apparently I wasn’t even on Dean’s mind when he wrote that bizzo in his blog about ‘supposed white knights’ in ‘the industry’ ‘spreading lies’ about him and how he was holding back ‘information’ which had ‘come into my hands’ which he could ‘expose’ to ‘retaliate’ … nope. Not me.

Seems he was talking about a DIFFERENT white knight that he has ‘information’ on that he could expose to retaliate. (Well, if you recall, I did say I couldn’t think what possible ‘dirt’ he could have on boring ol’ me, didn’t I?) Continue reading →

The future?

image bookgalaxo.com (click)

I saw Andrew Kirtzman’s book BETRAYAL at Wellington airport recently. Striking cover.

We’d already discussed Harry Markopolos’s frustrating experience in Tall poppy syndrome: last refuge of the scoundrel?

Gee, I thought, what has Madoff had to build inside himself to handle this level of opprobrium? (Assuming he IS ‘handling’ the ignominy OK.)

I wonder if any local ‘personalities’ are going to face this kind of attention and pressure as a result of their own downfall.

Seems pretty tough. Actions have consequences, though. I guess.

Please say sorry, and thanks …

I don’t know enough to make a judgement about Allan Hubbard, and I point to this only as an example of a journalist, in this case, publishing his (strong) personal opinions … I find that refreshing and encouraging because it’s clear he’s based them on his own considerable research and experience.

Good on you Bernard. (Although, to be fair, I sometimes detect a faint whiff of anti-Capitalism in some of your stuff — just saying. It’s an impression I get. Sometimes.)

Click for video

Watch the video below the fold.
Or read Bernard Hickey’s extensive open letter to Allan Hubbard.
Continue reading →

And then a bug flew in the window(s)…

ATM: ‘Welcome’. Card in. PIN typed in. Oops, instant BLANK SCREEN. Keypad doing nuttin’. Hmmm.

Looking, looking, then up came the NCR logo white on black. For a loooooong time.

‘Have I broken it? I muttered. I went into the bank and explained my plight.
A teller went and had a look: ‘Oh it’s just re-booting, it won’t be long.’
Um, OK. Re-booting?
Waiting, waiting — held hostage because my card was in the machine. Then, to my surprise, look what I saw:

We apologize for the inconvenience but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this. ...

Windows! Er, not my skill set.

I went into the bank again and said, ‘Hey, look, I know people who use Windows… I haven’t got that sort of time to waste. Can you open the little hatch and get my card for me?’
Sure thing.
I walked away, leaving the bank to get their machine working again. Maybe. Good luck with that. NMP (Not my problem.)

Life’s too short to wait for a computer, eh? (Did you know those things ran Windows? I didn’t.)

See comments for more examples. Add yours, if you want.

Breathtaking, powerful writing: Put up or Shut up

Read this blog post from Roger Ebert. Wow.

Click to read this excellent article

In part, discussing the hateful manipulation of segments of the public by so-called ‘moral leaders’ Ebert refers to the billionaire who said closing tax loopholes was like invading Poland. Hyperbole and exaggeration are good indicators of a ‘con’.
Seriously, read it here.

One of the best lines:

Our political immune system has only one antibody,
and that is the truth.

Tis the season?

I heard about this charges-laid-charges-dropped-investigation-re-opened circus targeting whistle-blower Julian Assange on the BBC … crikey! Remember TIME magazine’s little put-down about his mental state? Paranoid? Oh really?

'A pathetic attempt to smear' ... (click to watch video at ABC)

This extraordinarily courageous man wears a bullseye on his back. I wish him well.
He’s up against people and organisations who present fake documents/bogus ‘evidence’ and pretend things that aren’t true for a living.

NZ Herald report.

A little backlash?

The thoughts I’ve recently shared in these pages about the operations of certain very smooth salesmen have sparked a reaction of sorts. Oh dear. As might be expected, there are indications of some outrage and hurt feelings in the spruiker’s camp … and questions being asked, notably:

White knight and two black rooks (image: freewebs.com/abdnhockeyclub2/)

Ouch! What the hell?

What can we do to get Peter to SHUT UP?

How can we smear this ‘white knight’ to reduce his credibility and defend ourselves from his unflattering portrayal of us as shallow money-grubbing manipulative spruikers?
(What? Too much? OK, maybe they’re not describing themselves as ‘shallow money-grubbing manipulative spruikers’, but you get my drift.)

See, here’s the tricky thing:

Smearing me by innuendo and implication doesn’t really cut the mustard. You need some FACTS.

In a recent self-promotional blog, Dean Letfus took another mealy-mouthed swipe at me (well, maybe me, maybe not, but that’s how I read it). He reprises his sleazy implications that I’m (a) just a nasty hypocrite who is (b) spreading (unspecified, of course) lies about him. Sigh.

His latest attacks on me — by innuendo, not directly — also imply that he has ‘information’ that has “come into my hands about our industry and the supposed white knights in it” (moi?) that he could ‘expose‘ to ‘retaliate‘ … viz: Continue reading →

OK, it’s a little funny … Mark Zuckerberg wants privacy

On Reuters

'Privacy' and 'Facebook' ... bwahahaha! (click to read story at Reuters)

Yeah, it’s a cheap laugh, but <snort>…“uncover unnecessary details about his private life” <chuckle>. Oh, poor Mark Zuckerberg. The indignity.

I wonder how it will all work out? Lawsuits can be sooo unpredictable, I’ve learned.

Using your marketing ‘assets’

It’s OK! I’m not going to give the top ten tips for attracting more eyeballs to your website … this is just an example of good marketing, in my opinion. What worked. Well, sort of.

It started at the East Village Takeaways (in Howick, not NYC, as my recent visitors from the East Village, New York and I chortled together). I was waiting for Special #4 when I glanced at a poster of a beautiful woman with a mane of golden hair. Wow. Stunning — a real retro look with a timeless face.

Call me ignorant if you want, but I hadn’t heard of Katherine Jenkins before. And call me shallow, but that face was alluring… What sort performer is she? I wondered. What’s this ‘Believe Tour’? When is it?

There wasn’t a lot of detail on the poster so I made a quick mental note in writing (as Olly Newland says) and a few days later popped her name into Gary Google. Images of this stunningly beautiful woman poured out of the interwebs, including this one from GQ magazine, reproduced at the Daily Mail (er, good golly): Continue reading →

A gushing review from Steve Goodey

Well, the reviews are in: Wellington property spruiker and US tax liens “educator” Steve Goodey tackles the complex and intellectually demanding task of identifying the raison d’être of www.thePaepae.com.

Steve Goodey in happier times — spruiking for Richmastery (RIP)

(If the name is familiar, I discussed some of his past … um … ‘activities’ in this post Property spruiker Steve Goodey: let’s join the dots.)

In a clearly heartfelt blog post entitled ‘Why do we need to bash the competition?’ Dean Letfus’s accomplice business partner cries out to the world in anguish: ‘What’s wrong with us?’

What boggles me is the tactics that a lot of the people in the industry use to promote themselves, or rather to discredit each other. … surely there must be a better way to market ourselves than to figure out who the competition is and start taking pot shots.

For instance I’ve had many conversations with Shaun Stenning who knows and [sic] awful lot about the Australian Seminar, Wealth creation and internet marketing industries, and he is bemused and appalled with how this country acts.

In Australia it seems there is a gentleman’s agreement that you don’t “Bag” the opposition for your own gain.

The only real exception to this rule is if you really genuinely feel that someone is fraudulent and in danger of injuring the industry in which case the serious fraud office is probably the first place to go rather than giving someone a public bashing.

Apparently (according to Steve) unlike the civilised rapprochement operating among spruikers in Australia…

“…right here in New Zealand we have a large number of websites, blogs and educators who seem to think that the best way to promote themselves is to drag down any and everyone else.”

A “large number of websites”, Steve? Any in particular? Got any examples?
Why, it’s as if he read my mind! …

This line of discussion wouldn’t hold much water without an example but in giving one I risk looking like the same type of person that I’m rallying against so I apologize if it comes off that way.

Having said that a prime example would be the blog www.thepaepae.com,   [Comment: Aye Carumba!] this is a blog site written by Real Estate publisher Peter Ayrani. [sic] Continue reading →