Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Chicken Licken

The Stern report (what an apt apellation) has predictable cracks appearing in it already. The 'flying a kilo of Kiwifruit to Europe generates five kilos of carbon' BS has been exposed as just that already and without any help from me. We don't fly the comestible any where, it all goes by ship. So how much more of the report is based on lies? Quite a bit I would wager. It reminds me a bit of that Monty Python sketch. 'What have the Romans given us - nothing?'. 'What about roads?'. 'Well, yes, roads - but nothing else'. 'Houses?'. 'Alright, roads and houses - but nothing else'. 'Democratic system of government?'. 'OK, roads, houses.............
'Well, Kiwifruits are shipped by sea, but the rest is true'. 'What about the Mann Hockey Stick being a crock?'. 'Alright, kiwifruit travel by sea, the sicence is shonky but the sky really is falling in - Chicken Licken told me so.'
Our mob of reprobates will buy into this hook, line and sinker beause they want to believe it. They have already indicated that this is the talisman they are looking for to drag them out of the pledgecard/Phillip Field/we got no dosh mire. As I've opined before believing all this global warming crock really suits a left wing agenda and its current upsurge in popularity has the added bonus of diversion. Don't be swayed by all the smoke and mirrors.
Selwyn Bennet will need a new job soon. The Beehive would be a good place to lok as he seems ideally suited to a job in the Chamber. He is stupid, has the hide of a rhinoceros and can tell porkies on prime time telly without missing a beat. He doesn't know the difference between his grandmother and his great grandmother and then says there is none. He has cheated the Kiwis out of their points gained against Great Britain (or should that be Britain?), as they will surely be nicked off us before the sun goes down, and he carries on Phillip Field like as if nothing has happened. The great Kiwi propensity to have pratts in charge of things seems to go beyond the country in general and has even infiltrated Rugby League.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Back from Oz

Well I pretty much managed to keep out of the Herald for three weeks as I had hoped, and it was a pretty good time to do so. I was obviously unable to insulate myself completely from the ways of the world but I did not have to stick the matchsticks under the finger nails and read the Herald's spin on things. New Zealand is not that gwate a place at present
but I detect a growing groundswell of opinion that wants to do something about it.
Reluctantly opened the magnificent purveyor of opinion this morning and nothing has changed. Global warming appears to be flavour of the moment with a report coming out from Britain this morning that the bankrupt rulers of our lives seem bound to grasp with both hands as they have decided they are going to make 'climate change' as the new central plank of their existence. Forget the crime stats, forget the health service, forget the unsustainable drain on the economy that is the benefit system, we'll concentrate our minds (and my money) on something we can do nothing about. We are told that flying one kilo of kiwi fruit (why not bauxite or books or manure or bricks or All BLacks) to Europe generates five kilos of carbon. I am gobsmacked at the sheer inanity of such a statement. It is totally meaningles. It means absolutely nothing at all. Are we talking carbon fibre, a lump of graphite, coal, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ethyl lcohol (quite a bit of carbon in that) or what? Just a small example of the pseudo science BS that surrounds this entire subject. The headmistress has announced that New Zealand is striving to make a real difference in this srea - give me a break. One silver lining in all this though is that if Labour is going to put so much of its effort and credibility (sic) behind such arrant nonsense they are going to come an even bigger cropper than seems likely at the moment sooner rather than later.
Are we still only on page 2? Trees in Queen street are still makinng the paper below an article of RMA twaddle. Some building owners in Queen Street stand to be fined $40,000 for painting their shopfront incorrectly. The have painted the walls without highlightinig the pointing. No, wait a minute, without highlighting the pseudopointing.We also hear that there is an opinion that they should have got resource consent before even starting the work. The RMA, although probably well intentioned when it was conceived, has grown into a behomoth of silliness that is slowly strangling progress in this country.
My first trip to the comments page for a while and I am greeted with a picture of Bill Bryson. This has the desired effect in that it seduces me into reading an article that doesn't really merit such consideration. I quite like Bill's books; a good airoplane read generally. I try and gloss over the fact that an American writing about the English language ain't quite proper. The decline of standard of English is something that annoys me. The spoken word, a minor irritation. The written word in places that should know better really gets up my nose. I accept that all languages are evolving beasts, and I'll put my hand up to slipping in the odd split infinitive here and there, but I really shake my head in dismay at the barrage of TXT SPK that I am constantly exposed to. I have recently started texting, but only since I got a phone that has a QWERTY keyboard on it so I can punctuate my missives correctly without havig to go through five keystrokes for a comma. Any way, the picture of Bill is surrounded by an article by someone who is not Bill and who tries to base his argument on not being bothered about the difference between 'disinterested' and 'uninterested' because the difference has been eroded by common usage. I'm sorry but he's going to get nowhere with me with shonky thinking like that.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Off to Oz

My last morning on the planet before going to Aussie on business related affairs for the rest of the week to be followed by two weeks off doing nothing. During this two weeks I am going to try and read no newspaper (except maybe the Sports pages) and listen to no radio or TV - doubt I'll succeed.
Radio Aerials. The North Shore City Council have found some new trivia to waste my not inconsiderable rates money on before fixing the storm water system, cleaning up the beachs, stopping houses falling off cliffs etc. I wouold have thought that the number of ham radio enthusiasts - you know the sorts, arran sweaters, scone recipes and chess games to Uzbekistan interspersed with earnest discussions on short wave propogation in the pre-dawn ionosphere - on the Shore would not rise to the numbers approaching insignificant. But they have to be reined in as they are a threat to us all especially on the health and safety front with all those death rays spreading over Rothesay Bay. In an attempt to 'consolidate' (or something) legislation concerning the environment there is to be a restriction on the number and dimension of radio aerials and satellite dishes allowed on dwellings, private, residence for the use of. Only allowed two and they can only be 3m high and be out of sight. This is nuts. I am no radio expert although I own a VHF (and have all the licenses and paperwork before you ask), but putting a dimension restriction on an aerial if it is to be used as such without taking into consideration its location is bonkers. Same height if you live on a ridge or in a valley? Also, if you want one of these lobotomised aerials you have to apply for - wait for it - resource consent. This will all come into effect in June 2006. Oh, wait a minute that was four months ago. Why, why, why do we let them get away with this?
Not making the Herald this morning, so it doesn't strictly count, is a story that the Police Commissioner might be unduly soft on Labour. Really? I hadn't noticed. This was raised by Michelle Boag, remember her? ( her mother is a friend of my wofe's and she makes really nice scones). Ms Boag cites the Police's decision not prosecute the Labour Party over the pledge card business and contrasts this with the alacrity with which Tony Ryall was rushed in front of the beak for driving a tractor up Parliament's steps during the fart tax debacle. Add to this Benson-Dope, the headmistress's paintings and the commissioner meekly tugging his forelok and agreeing with Annette King that last week's crime statisitcs were just a reporting adjustment and I would say it is game set and match.
The wastrels in Wellington get their nose back in the trough this arvo (why can't they work in the morning like the rest of the world) and I will be glad to be out of here for a while as I think it is going to get very vomit worthy later in the week. Let's see what sort of spin the Adelaide papers put on the ways of the world.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Apologies - yuck

Helen Clark is pathetic.
In addition to her other crimes against my sensibilities, the list of which is so long it would fill the fishing.net servers to overflowing, this apology of a public figure has the back bone of a mollusc. The front page of the Herald this morning carries her apology to all cancer sufferers for her calling Don Brash cancerous and corrosive. She doesn't want to cause offence to any suffers from uncontrolled mitosis. I assume tomorrow we will get the apology to all those whose cars have just failed their Warrant of Fitness on account of excess rust as she might have retraumatised these poor victims by making them relive the horrors of walking from the Inspection Station with the ticks in the wrong column. Pathetic. But this apologist way of doing things is typical of the way she leads her life and, through the policies she would foist upon us, wants us to lead ours. Look at all the treaty settlements. You get 4 trillion dollars, 5 squillion square miles of forest, a couple of lake beds, fishing rights to the Auckland Islands, the infra red part of the electromagnetic spectrum and.........an apology. No one must ever offend anyone. You certainly musn't do this by pointing out that they might in some way be inferior to you in any way. If you even suggest that two people are not totally equal in every way your reponse must be to go back into the room under the door and apologise. Pathetic. Listen up woman, if you think Don is a cancerous, corrosive wretch, say so and have the balls (sic) to stick to your guns. I think you are pathetic - and don't ask me what I really think, because I'll tell you and won't apologise afterwards.
Colin James writes a very interesting piece this morning which doesn't really fill its potential. It starts with the state the terrorists of the planet have got the rest of the law abiding world into. You know the sort of stuff, you can't take more than 85ml of your contact lens solution on to the plane, shoes off at the check-in desk. All this done by blowing up a few bits and pieces, but more importantly theatening to do it again. Nothing new here and the sort of mindset that terrorsits strive to achieve in their targets. The interesting part to my way of thinking is the idea that this fire is being fuelled by our obsession to be risk aversive. For example the chances of anything untoward happening on any given flight out of pretty much anywhere are low - even if you are flying from Baghdad. The chances of anything untoward happening if you are flying out of Auckland are very much lower than even this. Approching - but not reaching - zero. They can never be zero. Nothing that is not a but of machinery can be predicted to do anything in the future with a probability of 100%. But, and here is the interesting bit, we as a society are prepared to put an inversely proportional amount of effort into the infinitessimly small part of the equation. It is bonkers to my mind. You have to take a risk in everything you do. You must not be overtly stupid, but - and here comes the rub - we, in many things in life, have set the risk bar at totally the wrong level. This is where OSH has got it so wrong - rules for Africa for which compliance is demanded all the time for events that are almost certainly never going to happen.
Be safe and when in doubt, apologise. Yuck.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Socks with sandals

Thanks RH for those public service announcements. I make a point of only reading the sports section of the SST (likewise the Saturday editon of the Herald) and so have missed Trotters's bit, but your quote suggests I could write it down now without having seing it. I've mentioned before the power of the handling (or mishandling) of information over the swathes of time. Same still pertains but it is now less controllable with the rise of(amongst other things) the internet. Look at the enormous lengths China goes to in the largely vain attempt to stop the populace gaining access to the web - and they aren't doing that to stop people getting free downloads of smilies to add to their emails. The chilling inferences surrounding the headmistresses quote on corruptoin is just that - chilling. Hooten quite rightly points out in his rider to the piece that her ideas are filtering into policy with all the proposed changes into the laws surrounding dissent. I keep harping on about history (and this from one who happily gave it up in the fourth form - misguided youth that I was) and I am not the first to warn that we ignore the lessons of history at out peril. There is very little new in the world - it has all happened before if we would only look. Stifling public dissent is a very common prodromal sign of a very serious illness some way down the track.
Orewa. the town as opposed to the speech. A few of the denizens are very worried that development might be coming their way. They don't want high rise buildings (I think 'high' here is seven stories), they don't want expansion etc. etc. It would appear that after getting a motorway to deliver unlimited traffic to their doorsteps (and the huge economic benifit this would garner for the town) they want the conurbation to remain timewarped in the sixties with the streets being populated by A35s, Ford Anglias and men wearing socks with their sandals. This refusal by some people to believe we live in a wider world brings us on nicely to a piece in the Editorial column about New Zealand's internatonal credit rating. The mob who dishes these out (they live in New York, I think) warns that NZ's insistence on having a policy dictated economy largely insulated from the realities of world economics is a very dangerous road to tread. It could lead to our downrating from A++ to something less spiffy. This in turn would lead to us 'having to' rely more on a policy led economy and so on and so on as we spiral downwards towards the Zimbabwes of the world. There are none so blind as those who will not see are there, Dr Cullen?
Don Brash puts pen to paper this morning - at least he can do writing as well as hard sums. He defends himself against those who would take him to task over his latest 'one law for all' stance and the perceived racial overtones. He shouldn't have to bother defending this as it patently obvious to all that he is right. In amongst the usual politician-speak he gives two very good examples as to where the hand wringers have got it so wrong. Maori are over represented in the lung cancer death statistics. There are those who would have you believe this is because of a government failing and in particular their failing to honour the Treaty of Waitangi. Quite what mind altering substance you would have to be on to think this is beyond me, but there you are. This is stupid. Maori are over represnted in this part of the health statistics because more of them choose to smoke. Moari are under represented in Law School (this despite positive discrimination to get more enrolled, as there is in medicine). This has nothing to do with governmental failings but everything to do with personal choice. Obviously more Maori want to spend their lives designing cathedrals as opposed to defending the stupid in court.