Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Omnivore and Global Warming

It depends on what you eat rather than turning vegetarian that makes you responsible with regard to global warming. An Op-Ed from NYT.

The 'do-gooders' are at it again

This report tells of a new requirement coming into force in the United States which requires all toys to be tested for harmful content ... a result of the lead scandel of a year or two ago. Consumer Groups are pushing the law despite the harm it will do to backyard producers and stores selling their products who use safe products.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mixed Gender Juries

From Heather Roy this piece ...

On October 26 1942 the Women Jurors Act came into effect. This meant for the first time, women aged 25-60 could be included on the jury list on the same basis as men if they so desired.

Driven by the demands of war on the country and the fact that so many men were serving overseas, this Act was one of a number of historic milestones achieved for New Zealand woman during the 1940s. It was only a year before - in October 1941 - that New Zealand's first female police officers completed their training.

Despite the passing of the Women Jurors Act, however, very few women actually added their names to the jury pool. This lasted until 1963, when the Act was amended so that the names of all adult women were added by default - however they still had absolute right of refusal.

Over subsequent years the jury responsibilities of men and women have been equalised. Today everyone enrolled on the Electoral Roll, aged 20-65, and residing within a specific distance from a court is required to attend if summoned. If they wish to be excused, they must prove that sitting on the jury would cause them hardship or serious inconvenience.

It's a far cry from the statement of New Zealand's first ever female juror, Miss ER Kingsman, who suggested that one day New Zealand might even have female judges - an idea considered completely outlandish at the time!

Single's Advert .... Atlanta Times

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting....
Please scroll down ....

[[[[[[[ If I could copy it you would see a beautiful black labrador bitch but sadly I can't copy it off the email I got.]]]]]]

Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

If you don't pass this along, a dog
Will come out and pee on your computer

[[[Well I did try .. sorry doggies :-) ]]]

Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

If you don't pass this along, a dog
Will come out and pee on your computer

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Today's Photo -- Dazzle

RIPA for Big Brither

I dreadful case of official powers and how it was missused, though of course the authorities say is was perfectly kosher .. they would wouldn't they.

A woman';s activities surveyed covetly for three weeks in connection as to if she and the family were living within the 'school district' for entry by her daughter.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today's Photo -- Chips Flying

Festival Week and the centre of town is closed off for demonstrations

Friday, October 16, 2009

Today's Photo --- A bug

This poor fellow was happilly asleep in the garden until I dug himher up in mid winter and brought himher in to be photographed ... at the time I was dead keen on getting juicey close-ups of the natural world. Himher is a cicada I believe.

Child suspended from school for drawing a gun

Crusader Rabbit reports a 12yo boy 'doodled' what looked like a gun so the school suspended him.

When I read reports like this I am more and more convinced that we as much as the schools have lost the plot with regard to punishment. A strap or two, the cane once or twice and the school has expressed its disaproval of whatever the child has done ... but suspension interupts the child's schooling, and that is what a child should be getting, discipline not freedom to play the streets.

Schooling is an essential part of growing up and it is immoral to interfere with it.

The teacher with sense and concern for the welfare of the child would encourage the child to improve on the drawing until it was better 'than just a doodle' and the child has learnt a skill.

That teachers are in the main female these days and may not have the ability to physically discipline a child then a solution could be to employ a 'school marshal' to maintain order and administer punishments. The way communities used to have marshals and sheriffs before our modern law enforcement system was established.

Crusader Rabbit of course goes on about the weak and wippish left wing teachers but we should remember the abuse that rightwing teachers inflicted on their charges. Common sense determines that we shoukld aim for a middle path with this as with anything. Extremes are the bain of our civilisation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Today's Photo -- "Brighton Beach'

Brighton is down along the southern coast from Dunedin. Used for horse training and walking. Maybe some surf fishing not that I have seen that taking place on my visits. Rather different from the UK Brighton which is stoney gravel beach if I remember from my youth.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today's Photo -- "Beat the Clock"

An annual event as part of Festival Week here in Dunedin is a race around the Octagon as the Town Hall clock strike ten of a morning. The idea is to do the circle before the clock finishes the chimes.

An effect of the Israeli blockade

On the Gaza Strip there is a Zoo which wanted a zebra. However the cost of smuggling one in through the 'tunnels' is prohibitive. So the zoo painted stripe on a couple of donkeys. It is not as far fetched as you might think becuase in the local lingo a zebra is a 'wild donkey'. One can only hope that somehow in the not too distant future sanity will prevail to give the Gaza residents free access in and out of their country so that proper zebras can join the zoo along with lots of other benefits of living in a free country that the rest of us experience. Gaza is Israel's concentration camp. Sad that a race which suffered so much from such things imposes one on others these days.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The cost of drop-outs to the Nation

A report published and reported by the NYT suggests the cost to the nation of young Americans dropping out is nearly $300,000 each with blacks much more likely than whites or hispanics.
I wonder what the figures are here in New Zealander and for pacific islander/maori?
The potential for un-skilled workers is drying up. People worry about the situation but surely the answer is to send them back to school, not regular schools where they are likely to be the dummies in class but special schools designed to cater for their needs and potentials. Better than putting them in the crime university ... prison.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blogged and Sold

That is the title of an Op-Ed at NYT which reminded me of a period in my past.
The Link ...

Back when I joined TVNZ my mentor was Don Montgomery and he used to get quite worked up when the numerous 'stringer' cameramen happilly included a firms name or advertising sign in their shots. TVNZ had but one cameraman in those days and relied upon casual cameramen around the country for coverage. Our job at Head Office News was to re-arrange items from around the country, there was no network in those days, for distribution to the centres that had not already seen it 'last night'. We also received items from around the world for use on NZTV. Now the point to Don's irritation was the fact that in his earlier life when working for Pacific Films his livelihood depended on only showing things in the background which had been paid for in some way. I remember one shot Pacific had in a sequence at Trentham Racecourse in which a Tip Top truck slowly arrived at the main stand, nothing to do with the story of course.

They Rave On

From the UK via Crusading Rabbit ...
A jobsworth ambulance boss refused to allow his staff to enter six inches of water to treat a man with a broken back - because it breached heath and safety.
Stricken Brian Bendle, 45, suffered the agonising injuries as he stood in shallow water at a leisure lake in Somerset.
He was waiting to take his £10,000 jetski out onto the water when he was hit by another rider travelling at around 50mph.
......They floated the dad-of-three in the six inch ankle-deep water, where they supported him until an ambulance arrived amid fears moving him would aggravate his back injury.
But they were stunned when a paramedic arrived and refused his pleading staff to enter the water - because they weren't trained to deal with water rescues.
They had to slide a spinal board under him themselves and carry him to ambulancemen, who were stood on the bank just 6ft away.
One onlooker said: 'The paramedic wouldn't treat him.
'Two colleagues arrived in an ambulance but he stood in their way and told them, 'I'm incident commander - you aren't getting into the water.'
'The ambulancemen were pleading with him. I reckon a good ten or more minutes were wasted.'
Steve Cox, 47, who runs the Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington with his wife Julie, said: 'The first bloke insisted they had to wait for the fire brigade.
'He kept saying, "Health and safety won't let me get in".'
......A spokesman for the South West Ambulance Service said only fire crews were trained for water rescues.
He said: 'The incident was managed in accordance with procedures.'
CR comment ....
"in accordance with procedures"...that bland, meaningless, gutless response of bureaucrats the world over.
This, in a country where ordinary people once tore through the rubble of unstable and dangerous bombed buildings with their bare hands to rescue survivors....
What have we come to?

But what CR ignores are the reasons why these people are scared to NOT follow procedure... becuase somebody will complain and expect damages to compensate them for not following procedure. There is nobody to blame but ourselves for the way we have screwed up the system in our desire for SOMEBODY to look after us.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Healthcare should be a moral consideration

"A healthy body can be a more rugged individual"

Another view of the American Right

From Paul Krugman ....
The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern.

Anyone surprised by the venomous, over-the-top opposition to Mr. Obama must have forgotten the Clinton years. Remember when Rush Limbaugh suggested that Hillary Clinton was a party to murder? When Newt Gingrich shut down the federal government in an attempt to bully Bill Clinton into accepting those Medicare cuts? And let’s not even talk about the impeachment saga.

The only difference now is that the G.O.P. is in a weaker position, having lost control not just of Congress but, to a large extent, of the terms of debate. The public no longer buys conservative ideology the way it used to; the old attacks on Big Government and paeans to the magic of the marketplace have lost their resonance. Yet conservatives retain their belief that they, and only they, should govern.

The whole article

Sky is not 'free to air'

It is quite wrong for Maori TV to go for the World Cup becuase for all the Minister for Maori Affairs says Sky is not free to air ... you cannot pick it up with a regular TV set like I have .. you need extra gear to do so. Not that I will be wasting my time watching the silly games, likely by then I won't be watching any TV becuase I don't see any point in spending money on something which I watch just half an hour a day. ... but it is a mis-use of public funds.

Originally I only bought a TV as it was the cheapest way to get a monitor when I bought a video camera, and it is several years since I last used that thing too :-)

Paul Krugman on the American Right

Commenting on rightwing comments about 'America loosing the Olympic Games for Chicago'

"So what did we learn from this moment? For one thing, we learned that the modern conservative movement, which dominates the modern Republican Party, has the emotional maturity of a bratty 13-year-old.

But more important, the episode illustrated an essential truth about the state of American politics: at this point, the guiding principle of one of our nation’s two great political parties is spite pure and simple. If Republicans think something might be good for the president, they’re against it — whether or not it’s good for America."

It also is an apt comment on the likes of Crusader Rabbit who deleted a comment from myself .. something they crit the leftwing blogs for doing but apparently are quite capable of doing themselves.

My comment was "America has not lost the Olympics, it has just gone south"
America is more than just the United States and it seems fair to me that it should go to a continent which has not previously hosted the games ahead of one which has hosted it three times already.

Those Poor Animals

I believe that it is very painful for cows who are not milked and have to retain the milk in their udders[?]. I can understand that human life is important but surely the answer is to provide bodyguards for farmers to milk their cows. Bringing in extra police or the army. Could also be a problem with farm storage tanks being full and then the problems if the milk is run onto farmland and polution of waterways. Altogether a complicated situation. Compounding all is the practice of people saying "Why didn't they do SOMETHING" when a farmer gets shot by the person being searched for ... which is what this thread is doing of course ... but those poor animals depending on us humans.

Update ... at lunchtime Tuesday I heard a report from Fontera that Police had escorted farmers to milking last night, while I had heard earlier in the day, perhaps a dammed provocative advert for one of RNZ 'news' programmes where a farmer was complaining at the lack of help to milk his stock.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The United States popularity in the world

This article from the New York Times starts with a quote about how unpopular, the least popular nation actually, the states were in 1926. That was despite coming to the rescue of France in 1917 to end WWI.

This unpopularity is repeated in 1943 in the UK and perhaps can be summed up by the popular Briutish quip of the time "Ove Paid, Over Sexed, Over here". Perhaps heaven forbid that the States should retreat back into isolationship.

I have thought for some time that the very struggle to make a place in their society and the character it develops is the problem. The successful tend to strut about with a superiority complex, justified by their success which permits them to travel the world, but which makes them unpopular.

The article points out that people prefer to be givers rather than receivers. Perhaps if we provided free travel and hospitality to Americans we would like them more.

I have American family members and like them a lot, have travelled quite a bit across the States and met very few with who I didn't get on, but it doesn't alter my reserve about America and my intense dislike of the American accent on radio and TV.