Friday, August 28, 2009
John Key, TVNZ Breakfast, August 10: "If you look at what drove 9/11, those people who put together all those explosive devices..."
Left New York in 2001! Coincindence? Or happenstance?
Hone Harawira, at the Māori Expo in Auckland, August 27: “If a Native American, born on a reservation, can become an astronaut, a kid from Kaikohe can be president of the United States.”
Kaikohe? I thought he was from Kenya!
Labels: embarassed to even write a tag
Monday, August 24, 2009
Opponents of the smacking referendum have been left nursing their wounds after being seriously thrashed in the recent referendum. But despite this beating, they refuse to do what they're told - and continue to act just as lippy, if not more so.
No-vote Lobbyists have been left wondering how big a whipping it would take for these people to learn.
"We're looking for any other instruments we can use to induce compliance," said Larry Baldock, who organised the initial petition. "We'll kick a few ideas around. If the right tool comes to hand I'll give anything a bash."
Baldock has threatened Prime Minister John Key with a similarly heavy pounding at the next election if Key does not do as he's told. "We don't want to, but if Mr Key won't behave, we'll have no choice," said Baldock. "He needs to learn the consequences of his actions."
Mr Key is expected to make some sullen and half-hearted effort to distract Baldock's attention and then run away.
The child advocacy groups who supported the yes vote must surely be bruised, battered and bleeding after their crushing smack-down. But apparently they are used to being abused. This latest walloping - where they were figuratively thrown to the floor and kicked into unconsciousness - has not made them see reason.
But they also refused to admit they were wrong when threatened with a loaded question, so I guess they just won't learn.
The no-vote campaign argued for parents' right to impose discipline with a gentle, loving smack, that has no consequences for the smackee apart from a sense they have been kissed by a pink marshmallow. They agree that the next step must be to deal with New Zealand's serious problem of violence against children.
In related news, a shock agreement is expected between Larry Baldock - who believes a smacking defence can be restored by deleting parts of Section 59 - and Sue Bradford - who initially planned to remove any smacking defence by deleting Section 59.
Speculation that Larry Baldock has no idea what he's talking about is unconfirmed as of press time.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
He proposes simply deleting two clauses in the Bradford law - the key clause banning the use of force for correction, and another stating that the ban on correction prevails over a clause permitting force to prevent harmful, criminal, disruptive or offensive behaviour and to perform "the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting".
Mr Baldock said his proposal, unlike the Boscawen bill, would let parents hit their children with instruments such as a wooden spoon.
"I'm not opposed to the wooden spoon or ruler because you can control things with that better than you can with an open hand."
Now, firstly, I wouldn't think this was the moment for advocating the second-kitchen-drawer method of discipline.
But the main thing is - surely - if you amended the law as he suggests... much as I'm sure he thinks a periodic belting is part of "the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting"... if you deleted (2) and (3) I wouldn't have thought it would make the difference he wants it to: there would still be not actual defence for smacking.
[Mind you, I'm someone who thinks (1) does not allow punishment so much as actual prevention such as restraint or removal of the child. Which makes the law both more stringent and less confusing than I've heard it made out to be. OTOH, I wouldn't think (2) overrides any other defences for assault.]
But my main point was: Not Larry's most un-counter-productive interview, there.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
'The Carbon (Policy) Cycle'
Click to enlarge
The New Zealand Government has announced its plan for 2020 carbon emissions. It wants to achieve (or buy) the equivalent of cuts to at least 10% below 1990 levels. Or, if the rest of the developed world cuts 30-40%, we will agree to cut up to 20%.
Minister will have trouble explaining why this isn't either inconsistent, selfish or openly hypocritical. To help them out, here is a list of handy analogies to help the public understand New Zealand's target.
- It's like when the alarm goes off, and you decide to lie in bed for a bit, then you go back to sleep and when you wake up it's like 9:30 and it would be embarrassing to actually go to work but you can't really call in sick, so you phone the boss and say you're going to "work from home". Like that.
- It's like the All Blacks. You would think we'd be used to being disappointed by now.
- It's like the new Cadbury's blocks, in that, although some insist a bigger one would be too expensive, teenage girls everywhere know it's not enough.
- It's like what we've come to expect from a New Zealand government, but with the added indignity of petulant demands that everyone else save the world for us.
- It's like that bit in Duck Soup when Groucho says, "Gentlemen, Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot."
Because it's a joke. And the more you think about it, the worse it gets.
- It's like a wallet and probably a Blackberry but maybe an iPhone.
Because it's what you'd expect to find when you're in the pocket of big business.
- It's like Michael Jackson's much-anticipated follow-up to his hit album 'Thriller'.
- It's like something that can't even commit to exactly how much it's going to cop out and seems intended to derail international negotiations. I can't actually think of an analogy for this, but it needed saying.
[Update: It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a credible, good-faith negotiating position.]
- It's like something that's a national embarrassment and flies directly in the face of our overseas image. Russell Crowe?
- It's like an area of lower relative air pressure.
Because it sucks.
- As Wikipedia puts it: "Quincy Magoo is a wealthy, short-statured retiree who gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness, or myopia, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem. Affected people (or animals) consequently tend to think that he is a lunatic, rather than just being nearsighted."
- It's like certain 'Honourable Members'. It's big enough to shaft you, but not big enough to produce any of the expected benefits.
- We are going to cut our emissions less than we expect everyone else to because of our unique situation. This is called 'special pleading'.
It's like Clayton Weatherston.
- It's like going around wearing headlamps, ropes and carabiners and so on.
Because it reminds everyone that we have a history of caving.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Noticed this a while back, from Henry Mayhew's no-doubt fascinating immersion into 1840s street life London Labour and the London Poor, and I don't recall sharing.
I was going to mention it in the context of my Punch and Judy researches. I'm clearly falling behind in my bloggage.
It's just struck me that, about a week ago, it would have been doubly topical.
Mayhew gets a lesson from on high theatre from the Punch and Judy Man:
Otheller murders his wife, ye know, like Punch does. Otheller kills her, 'cause the green-eyed monster has got into his 'art, and he being so extremely fond on her; but Punch kills his'n by accident, though he did not intend to do it, for the Act of Parliament against husbands beating wives was not known in his time. A most excellent law that there, for it causes husbands and wives to be kind and natural one with the other, all through the society of life.
And in the spirit of catching up, you'll be reassured to see picture of me in a Punch mask I made:
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
New Hood: Sorry, No Article This Week
Hopefully, I'll have more to say on this. You may notice it's another case of me being influenced by my reading material.