Lyndon Hood - Christmas Shopper

Thursday, December 22, 2005


A Man Called Peters by Adrian Heyter (Hodder and Stoughton, 1977)
Jacket design by Errol McLeary

I have a chocolate fish on offer for the best novel written to match this cover.

The actual book is, according to the dust jacket, "basically a story of conflict between the human and spiritual world and the machine-dominated, impersonal world that could be developing now". A world that apparently involves copious amounts of computer punch tape.

Says Heyter: "This book like my previous four is autobiographical, and also a mixture of fact and fiction. I leave each reader to decide, if necessary, which is which; but to me all of it is true. The central character is my friend Peters who I hope will demonstrate what I can only express, that 'something more than total', with the help of which others may succeed where I have failed."

For all I know this could be a piece of political fiction of equivalent magnitude to Atlas Shrugged. But right now, I don't intend to read either.

Just so you know, his first book, "Shiela In The Wind" was about sailing solo from England to New Zealand.

Lyndon Hood - pre-King Kong fan, Wellington

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

If you're not in Wellington and you'd prefer a live action King Kong Premire party, check out the Scoop/R2 live stream.

The CityLink Courtenay Place webcam also has its own stream (which is just as well, cos it seems to be 15 minutes between Jpeg updates).

Entertainment starts now-ish New Zealand time, celebrities at 6 and movie at 7.

Lyndon Hood - Logi-to-the-shiz-ician, Lower Hutt

Thursday, December 08, 2005

This is just getting ridiculous. You'd think, with all the material in the police files, someone determined to find David Benson-Pope guilty wouldn't have to resort to sophistry.

But now there's all this hue and cry about whether 'not remembering' something is consistent with thinking it didn't happen.

What's the other option?

Let's suppose someone asks you about a particular event.

Let's suppose that you really do have no recollection of it.

If it's something you think you would remember if it had happened, you might say, "It didn't happen".

If it's something you consider implausable, you might say, "It didn't happen".

Of course if you were being unfailingly intellectually honest, you would in both cases say "I think it didn't happen" or just "I don't remember".

And yes, you might also say the latter if you felt it was something that could have happened and that you might have forgotten. Or you might say "I don't know".

All I'm saying is that not remembering and saying it didn't happen utterly consistent and since DBP hasn't backed down from either he hasn't - as far as this goes - been caught out.

If you think something didn't happen it goes without saying that you can't remember it.

I can't believe I felt the need to write that down.

The fact that a parliamentarian would bother trying that one on is another reason why the Privileges Committe would make a lousy court of law. Of course, if they're just trying to break him, i tprobably doesn't matter what shit they come up with.

Seeing as I've raised this - it also applies to the students' testimony. I'll say now that anything below is based on something other than the police reports because I haven't really read them.

First, in that saying it "didn't happen" amounts, in the circumstances, to saying you don't remember, but more assertively.

Second, in that anyone not remembering supports the contention that it didn't happen. It's the opposite of corroboration - the absence of evidence that (allowing for what follows) should be there.


One: People could just say they don't remember to make the police go away.

Two: They might have actually forgotten. This of course hinges on the idea that such an event could actually be forgettable.

Those involved seem to agree that the tennis-ball thing - at least as initially presented in Parliament - would have been well out of the ordinary at Bayfield at the time. I get the impression word would have gone round the school like wildfire. You would have thought that people would remember if it happened.

On the other hand, there is the possibility of an actual incident, but less blantantly traumatic - something one could be in the same room as with some equanimity.

I do think a lot of people not remembering is very meaningful. Mind you, so is a lot of people independently remembering.

So there.

Lyndon Hood - Considering a blood test, Lower Hutt

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You're lucky I'm sick again, otherwise I'd give you a lecture on the interpretation of evidence such that you would reel from it.

Come to think of it, if I felt better I would be out improvising. But let's pretend.

Anyway, I'll give you something to be going along with. We start with the presumption of innocence. We do this even if we're not a jury, because otherwise the moment someone was accused they would suddenly be found guilty.

Then you try your best - in a manner not unlike the scientific method - to disprove the case against the accused.

This has consequences for Africa.

The worst offence against process I've noticed was Rodney Hide. On the radio this morning he said that the evidence in the report was why Benson-Pope had been "convicted".

But many of the arguments over the questions of fact in the case that I've noticed have started - subtly or otherwise, knowingly or otherwise - from a presumtion of guilt or some other fallacy. In ways that I may mention in that 'well person' post we discussed earlier.

Not that people aren't allowed to say what they like. I couldn't even tell you if their conclusions are wrong. I just don't think it's especially fair.

Conversely, all of my arguments unimpeachable.

Anyway, since we're not talking about the disputed facts:

It looks like Benson-Pope is, as I proposed in June, being tried by the media. Unfortunate, considering that the media has neither the training, inclination or performance record for the job. And that he (or his staff) have just royally pissed the media off and added the spectre of breach of confidence and hamfisted attempts to decieve the New Zealand public to an issue that you would have thought wouldn't - for better or worse - have been so huge issue if it hadn't all been tied up with Parliamentary privilege.

Cullen's 'more-on-anger-than-in-sorrow' defence in Parliament last week probably wasn't that helpful either, though both sides have attempted to distort the meaning of prima facie, which is kind of amusing.

With what's in the police files, I'm inclinded to think, from a procedural point of view, he should go before the privileges committee. Will be disappointed in Wilson etc etc.

But I'm not very dogmatic on this, because the result would be a farce. A political committee is not the body to decide question of criminal guilt or innocence. Which is what they'd effectively be doing, if only for the public record.

Should he resign anyway? His credibility with the public has surely been gutted. Dover did time in the wilderness in the face of less evidence. But it would be sad if a minister of the crown had to resign in the face of what is still, technically, just an allegation.

I've been waiting for when all the evidence was out before blogging anything definitive but as far as I can see things have just gotten more uncertain.

But perhaps that's the paracetemol talking.

Bit off topic, but does anyone listen to that guy Hooten on Linda Clark? He the one that's "from the Right". He seems to think that people's political memory get reset every election cycle. It seems the foreshore legislation is all Labour's fault. Or the shabby way Te Wananga o Aotearoa was treated, just because it was a maori success story. And not, for instance, the way National was there demanding something more draconian in both cases.

Sneery man. Makes my fists itch just listening to his tone of voice. Bit like Tony Ryall, in that respect.

Also claimed Benson-Pope not being charged was political. I think thats ... not correct. But that kind of thing will only get worse when they don't charge Hodgson.

Lyndon Hood - Digester, Lower Hutt

Sunday, December 04, 2005

New Hood: Parliament Must Stockpile an Anti-Tennis-Ball Vaccine

Over recent weeks the public has become more and more aware of a major risk. One that threatens the stability of our country. One that stikes unexpectedly and leaves the helpless victim - though he might not know it for months - as good as dead.

It has already shown its potential to attack the highest levels of state. If it strikes again, our country could be left leaderless in the midst of a crisis.

We must ask: is our Government doing enough to fight tennis-ball related accusations?

Read the rest on Scoop.

... or, if you would prefer to cast you mind back a little ...

Somewhat dated Hood: Parliament Decries State Interference in World Cup Bid

Parliament, meeting today for the first time after New Zealand's successful world cup bid, decried it as another example of Labour party political interference.

Flexing its muscles against the minority Government, the House passed a motion condemning the Prime Minister's open support of the bid and the proposed large-scale state funding of the event.

Read the rest on Scoop.