Lyndon Hood - foreign domestic policy junkie, Lower Hutt

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I'm sure we all cherish a chance to be alarmed by George W Bush. To enhance the effect, remember it's best not to attend to what he says are the reasons for his policies or the effects they're supposed to achieve. Or, for that matter, what he says his policies are.

Thus we have tort law reform to prevent small businesses being subject to frivolous law suits and most notably to prevent large businesses being subject to genuine law suits. If it's anything like his tax cuts most of the benefits will be felt at the rich-folks end.

Similarly with helping people with low incomes afford health care with tax credits.

And, of course, social security. While he's busy listening to anyone with a good idea, he wants to privatise a good chunk of it into personal funds. This is of course disproportionately helpful to people with high incomes, but it's worse than that.

America's social security has the same problems everyone elses does - the current taxpayers pay for the current retirees rather than their own retirement. And the population is aging so we can't keep it up.

The privatisation idea takes money out of this system - whatever long-term solution is tried will cost more if Dubya gets his way.

Oh, and I am I being overly cynical if I suggest that freedom from fear wasn't actually one of the founding principles of the United States?

And so on. Have a guess what he would propose for his next term, it'll probably be there, explicitly or implicitly. Don't know why he bothered making the speech, really. Guess he just likes being applauded.

And because I won't feel like a real blogger until I've segued randomly into a gig review: I saw Minuit at the weekend, playing at the Jackson Street Carnival in Petone. My first real experience of live mostly-electronic music (I don't get out much) and it was a blast.

As a performance, they had more of a physical relationship with the music than a lot of bands I've seen (I'm from Dunedin).

Maybe they've worked out that, with two of them twiddling knobs on big black boxes and one singing, they need to put some effort into looking interesting. Or maybe it's just that, not having to keep the beat going with an actual instrument, they're free to dance to their own music. Literally as well as figuratively.

Still, at least one of them seemed to be doing something important to the music at any given moment.

As they played their last number - apparently she doesn't like guns - the sun was setting and we could finally see the effects of the smoke machine and the lights that had been flashing on and off during the whole show. The crowd was also filling out with rather bemused-looking people who were there to see the Black Seeds.

I feel this relationship between the genre of the acts and daylight hours was rather unfair on the people who were selling glowsticks.

I wasn't dressed for the night chill. And the for the first couple of Black Seeds songs to sounded to me like they were playing too slow and gradually getting slower. I could hear them livening up a bit as I headed home.