Friday, October 29, 2004

and now, the time is near (blah blah blah) MY WAY (sung badly)

well, i'm proud to say that statcounter records that i have two readers! congratulations, since you already know each other there's little point with formalities. the tea/coffee is in the other room, make yourself at home in the living room.

i'm poised on the edge of the conclusion to the thesis, but am having trouble getting a right angle into it. i'd like to think that i could simply start a diatribe on societal culture, but that leaves too many gaps where other theories have been used to plug the inconsistencies in his kymlicka's theory.
i'm thinking of maybe exploiting the obvious failings of 'civic nationalism', but that is too much of a digression away from the core theme of the thesis, which is 'engagement' as a means to mediate the boundaries of nation-building between divergent domestic groups.
but then, on the other hand, it is true that 'civic nationalism' is an idea that specifically inhibits diversity in nation-states. and, what's more, it does so despite professing to be a means of cultural permissability,

i might need a strong coffee after lunch and get back to it. gym tomorrow.

the veils

all things considered in this case of burka removal, it is definitely right that the women in question remove them if so required. sure, it may be an affront to their sense of decency, but if it is handled in a sensitive way then there is little reason why they should lose face (if you excuse the pun).
the trick is that this is completely within the bounds of liberal tolerance of diversity. several moderate liberal authors argue that in the case of voluntary migrants the individuals in question choose to enter a host society. they are therefore obliged to abide by the host's rules. of course, the rider is that the hosts rules have to be reasonable. the host completely prohibiting aspects of the migrants culture and lifestyle is not reasonable or fair, because cultural expression is both a form of freedom and a 'satisfier' increasing social-wellbeing.
non-voluntary migration complicates matters, but again, if the migrant is for example a refugee they're around because of majority goodwill, and shouldn't therefore abuse this generosity.
the real problem is the idea of majority tolerance. if the majority is unreasonable in what it tolerates, then the minority has the right to contest this intolerance and thereby try and achieve a compromise. so for example, telling japanese girls they can't put little toys all over their dashboards is unreasonable.
but, prohibiting FGM or slapping round the missus is clearly not.
likewise, wearing a full burka in public may offend some people, but this doesn't mean that it is intolerable. after all, if it's worn voluntarily it is essentially a private action (because dress is a private decision), and you're drawing a long bow to call burka 'indecent' (because 'decency' is the raison d'tre of burka).
and its hardly less offensive than wearing a kilt.
weirdos.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

before i go nuts

so here's the skinny on what i'm trying to work out at the moment. if you want to read this, prepare for a bit of stream of consciousness.
oh, and fyi, i just worked out the word total to be 83067. so far. yeehaw granmaw.

anyhow, the central idea is that in the area of what kiwis like to call 'race relations', but which i prefer to call 'intercultural engagement', there is too great a propensity to use 'structures' to manage relations. consequently, once an issue is identified, a governance body will (as is its wont) institute means to formalise or organise the appropriate solution to the issue.
so, as an example, historical grievance. at first, national was negotiating extensively with various iwi/hapu groups, and learning lots of lessons. as the negotiations processed thru several years, patterns began to form, and eventually you have a set, formulaic method applied to treaty 'negotiations'. consequently, now a group fronts with a claim, and ots dips into its bag of 'negotiation stencils', drawing out the appropriate one for each group.

while this is all good and well, there's little point reinventing the wheel to suit each negotiation, if this same method is used throughout the bureacracy there's a tendency to limit interaction between the mainstream and minority to these structural forms.
what i'm trying to emphasize is that in order to perpetuate minorities structural interaction is not bad, and provides the institutional basis for why kymlicka calls 'societal cultures', but that there has to be a capacity for ongoing negotiation between majority and minority.
much like the usefulness of the waitangi tribunal in constantly determining the boundaries of equitable treatment for maori, the structures that underwrite modern maori society, have to be constantly updated to modern settings, as does the role of the state in its interaction with these groups.

the trick is accepting that maori society is constantly evolving within the parameters of the 'new zealand nation'. all too often it is assumed that nationality is a zero-sum game. but plainly it is not. maori form a distinct nation, yes, but they necessarily do so within the nzl nation. it is impossible to ever conceive of a territorially separate maori nation in the same form as nunavut or quebec in canada, which is kymlicka's benchmark for societal cultural cohesion. but, the distinctiveness of the maori nation/society within nzl is undeniable.
it appears then that the societal culture concept may not be applicable to nzl? (or australia for that matter).

i think not though. the trick is this issue of engagement. kymlicka specifies that societal cultures like quebec need to be able to negotiate their relationship, both structural and otherwise, with the majority.
what i've managed to demonstrate is that by cementing their presence as a cultural minority (and not just culturally distinct generic citizens), maori and aboriginal people still have a strong claim to societal culture status. this is because by making this claim and constantly negotiating their interaction with the majority they are in effect perpetuating their themselves culturally (because utilising cultural difference to secure culturally-relevant services for example perpetuates the difference it serves). but even more importantly, they are perpetuating themselves in a modern, and not traditional sense. (i.e. its all about gesellschaften, not gemeinschaften).

sure, aspects of the indigenous cultures remain traditional, but this makes them little different to any national group. adherence to tradition is what partially defines a nation. more importantly, it allows the minority to modernise without westernising.
in doing so, it fits very neatly with kymlicka's premise of liberalisation of minorities in order to secure their inclusion, because minorities will inevitably engage with majorities using liberal arguments to secure both distinctiveness and inclusion.

hmmm.

cha-cha-chains...

its raining like a bastard in melbourne for the first time in ages and the damn sound of tinkle is giving me the screaming shits. as soon as the weather breaks for awhile i'm going to have to head out there with a handy hand-held drill and some chain or heavy string.
a mate reckons the water'll run down it and not make that farking noise.

in the meantime, that article rb points to in todays hard news looks interesting. as i've always maintained, democracy is a shouting match, it has been since athens BC. the trick i reckon though is to try and ensure the 'elites' use reason, after all, that's why we have elites. otherwise we'd all be on communal farms growing lima beans for "the leader".

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

violence

after making an off the cuff comment to just left i went on to notice that much of the left blogsphere seems to be in agreement that violence is bad. true, very true, and i know the arguments about violence when there is absolutely no other recourse.
tricky one that. i can profess non-violent tendencies and make myself a hypocrite by advocating violence against the violent, and feel no qualms about it. i guess that once again it's the old conflict between violent emotions and the act of violence.
maybe what you're all advocating is some kind of stoicism in the fact of an abstract violence, and if you're not careful, the right is going to take you to task for being weak-kneed. christ only knows those fuckers love any excuse to make serious and smart people look like pussies.
i say we go kick nzpundit's ass before he can make a move on us.

groupies

and i'm sticking to my guns. why in the hell don't intellectuals have rock-star status?

tamihere

so why no comment on jt? because there's a marked difference between politics and scandal.

one of the things i've noticed about indigenous politicians is that they're particularly prone to media attention in regard to the latter. and i won't be part of the problem.
if it proves that he has committed a crime, then he gets prosecuted, but sanctimonious finger-pointing is useless.

ouch.

in this article Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative rips a strip off bush.

it includes such great lines as:
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion against a country that posed no threat to the US, the doling out of war profits and concessions to politically favoured corporations, the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed on to the nation's children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliche about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy
alrighty. good to read the conservatives know a moron when they see one too.

Monday, October 25, 2004

farkingfarkinfark

so i'm editing the theoretical Part of the thesis and i go and notice not one, but two fairly glaring errors.

not only have i argued that teleological theories of nationalism have no capacity for consideration of developmental momentum and therefore contradicted myself (because teleological theories imply by definition there must be some kind of momentum, proceeding from a cause as it does), but i've also argued that william connelly's theory of the ethos of engagement has insufficient grounds for the consideration of engagement between minorities and majorities (but wait a minute, isn't a theory of engagement?
convoluted? you betchya. annoying? more so....

trying to unpack this and make a coherent theoretical conclusion out of it will be... interesting.

damn deleuze and guattari. smart-arse surrender monkeys....
that's thelast time i try and incorporate any fancy-smancy po-mo theory into an otherwise straightforward work.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

little johnnie

gerard henderson said something interesting on the insiders this morning, which is a surprise in an of itself, but only because it was only partially true.
talking about howard he referred to him as 'not a federalist, but a nationalist'. while this is true, henderson tried to characterise howard as standing out from other pm's because of this fact'. ok, it is true, but the real nationalist was keating, and howard is also a nationalist.
what distinguishes the two is that keating tried to shape australian nationalism in a progressive direction, while howard is very much the traditionalist. while conservatives like to characterise keatingesque lefties as 'culture warriors', they often overlook howards agenda in relation to reshaping the australian history away from the 'bad' things and focusing on the 'three cheers for australia' mythology (i.e. what they call 'the australian acheivement').
which should imply that howard is as much of a culture warrior as keating?
curious.

Friday, October 22, 2004

religion and politics

maybe next week i'll have to talk about the demand that xtianity gets a gurnsey in politics, especially by moral conservatives you'd like to see a little more 'rigour' infused into the nation-state.
what these turkeys seem to assume is that xtianity has too little a voice in modern society, despite the fact that our nations are fundamentally xtian (no pun intended). what the fuck is with these people? near all of our major holidays are xtian, allowing for national discretion (no ANZAC day in the US of A), our legal system is largely based on the new and old testaments, allowing for societal evolution, and our morality is still drawn from the holly bibble. here is another test, who is noah? how about moses? how about kali? how about indra? if you instinctively know the first two, you've ben brought up xtian.
i think i might have had a wee rant before about the way in which conservatives will often use the bibble as a means to justify what they already think. in other words, if they don't like it, they can find a place in THE BOOK to indicate wrongdoing.
the trouble is, it's ind of hard to know if they don't like something because they've been socialised into xtian values, and therefore are unconsciously offended by some things, or whether they use the xtian values to justify an opinion they've formed 'independently'.
the trouble is, that Western nations are so infused with judeo-xtian values and morality that it's a bit of chicken and egg argument.
which really only justifies my point. why do you need to publically acknowledge or entrench xtianity when it's already the basis for our morality?
i'm inclined to think that much of the 'xtianity in politics' thingo is really a lapse, or regression back to 'the good old days' when morality hadn't been made so relative by the liberal revolution of the midC20th. in other words, a backlash.
what's perhaps necessary is to remind xtians, if they've become politically active, that our societies are not 'Christendom democracies', even if xtianity informs much of our socialisation. the idea of the liberal democracy is that the state at least attempts to not favour any one group.
my concern is that democratic pressure from xtian groups will compromise this accord struck between church and state in the Enlightenment.

PS. the Veils. listen. that's an order bucko.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

?!

ok, i'd better get hitched before my ears get any damn hairier....

he may have a point

first against the wall has made a very good point about my preoccupation with the think tank idea. after all you can't argue with that thing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

what a toerag....

i have it on very, very good information that the email bhatnagar is running with is 100% bogus.

yup, kick a bloke when he's down. good one aaron, you smarmy git.

actually

so, this is my third post today, and all before lunch!

maybe what i'm noticing is a contraction of society into a new homogenisation? after the shattering and fragmentation of the liberal revolutions (both social and economic), are our societies undergoing a 'unwrinkling'? if so, then now is the time to foster the next wave of dissent at the fringes.
if societies do wax and wane in diversity and ideology, then is it time for progressive thinkers to begin to foment new forms of thought for application to the homogenous centre?
after all, the likelihood is that the centre will gradually begin to splinter again after a period of conformity, meaning that progressive and 'new' means will again be sought. it is the obligation of intellectuals to not only interpret the changes in 'the mainstream', but also to supplement them for the benefit of your society itself.
the key to this process is not to view intellectuals as an elite, but merely one type of specialist like any other. personally i can't see any difference between the genius of a philosopher and the art of any number of influential musicians, or the skills of a good bricklayer.

WARNING!

if you're about to read the next post, be warned, it's a bit of a stream-of-consciousness rant.

i promise to elaborate when i find time.

in the meantime, here's an anti-kiwi joke you might find amusing.

Q. how do shepards find their sheep in the long grass?

A. delightful.

derrida

i was just reading this piece on onlineopinion and a few thoughts occured to me about this ongoing think tank rant i've been indulging in.
one of the characteristics of totalitarian governance is the demand that all thought/discourse is controlled by the centre. this is simplifying matters, but essentially everything is administered by the 'elites' at the heart of the nation.
this is possible because the imagining of what the nation itself represents is controlled by the propaganda machine of the elite. the consequence is "aryans" = "germans" and "jews" = "non-germans". but as argued by mosse for example, the jews were very active in turning pre-1933 germany into an early liberal democracy. what changed is that national socialism made a conscious decision to exclude the objective category 'jew' from the imagined german nationality. this then allowed them to act in the manner to whcih they saw fit, because 'jews' = 'foreigners', even though pre-1933 (this date is abritrary), they were germans of a sort, i.e. german citizens.
so why am i deconstructing german nationality?
because my current niggle is that we are undergoing a similar sort of 'exclusion from the national imagination' of a series of groups under the right-ward shifting governments of the early-C21st.
there's been a lot of murmur about 'fear' in much of what i'm reading lately. the fear of terrorism, the fear of inetrest rates, the fear of the demise of 'family values', but i think that this isn't a new thing. IMHO what really characterised the 1990s was the profound lack of fear. the evil empire had collapsed under its own weight, the world's economies were recovering after liberal reforms etc. etc. call this rose-coloured 20-20 hindsight, but the 1990s were a time of optimism for people in my generation.
but now we're back to being afraid again, just like we were of nuclear holocaust in the 1980s.
maybe people just like being afraid of something.
anyhow, combine this with the ever increasing movement of populations in liberal democracies towards a centrist, middle of the road governance regime of alternative economic managers, and you have a potentially frightened population (i don't think people are always frightened, i think its just there waiting to be triggered. "terrorists!!" = "eeeek!!!").
here's the kicker though. in a totalitarian nation-state you'd have to worry about this type of problem, because totalitarian regimes are characteristically modern, meaning centralisation, confinement to the limits of the sovereign nation-state 'container', exclusion of non-national ideas and persons, use of internal production and minimal interdependence with 'outside' economies except in trade etc etc. totalitarian governments are able therefore to harness and use fear, to exploit it to their own ends.
but we live in decentred, open and liberal societies. whether the munters on the right understand it or not, we live in post-modern democracies. the centre and try to control the discursive structures and processes that occur in the public sphere and the national imagination, but the most they can truly manage is a strong influence over them.
the problem of the homogenisation of the middle-class we can do nothing about. and why would you? they're the economic powerhouse of any contemporary system. without the ugg-boot and track-pant clad masses buying great stuff the marginalised groups of society would not have access to cheap stuff to make their lives easier.
as long as you can ensure that dissent isn't suppressed, a real threat in contemporary australia, you can ensure than the marginalised and minorities can have voice in the public sphere, or at very least within minority public spheres. this is the clincher. the left needs to harness and harvest minority opinion and praxis for introduction to the mainstream. the middle consumers are open to the market-place of ideas, the trick is to not let the economic governance elites do all of the national imagining.
a left-think-tank needs to identify and illuminate new means and methods to diversify both society and the nation, to ensure that the boundaries of inclusion are constantly expanding and shifting, and to ensure that the marginalised and metics of the post-modern state have the ability to access the benefits made available to the middle consumers.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

safran's antics

if you can't get john safran's "safran vs. god" on you tv you have sorely missed a very, very funny show.
over the past few weeks we've seen safran worshipping odin (yawn), participating in a voodoo goat-scarificing ceremony (horrifying and hilarious all at once), trying to join the KKK (he's jewish, and almost managed to get in on a technicality), and having a fatwa put on popular channel10 presenter rove mcmanus.
now, if that isn't enough for you, last night he went to an american exorcist to have his demons purged from all this 'demonic activity'. i'm a skeptic at the best of times, so watching john participate in all these rituals has been fun, mostly because there's been a lot of revulsion on john's behalf, and a lot more taking of the piss (when he visited a zen buddhist temple his cameraman had to break the zen riddle).
but watching john go into convulsions and refuse to speak the words that would have 'freed' him from demonic possession was frightening. maybe it's the judeo-christian roots, but my skeptical side was dented for a short time there.
until this morning i was thinking it thru, and it really did look like a kind of hypnosis? in my opinion all religion is hypnosis, so there's nothing particularly bad about what the exorcist did. and i think i may have isolated the moment in which the guy really grabbed safran's imagination.
what he did was make sure safran maintained eye contact with him. then kind of talked a lot about how much trouble he was in for participating in all this demon-worship. he then talked a lot about jews have historically 'wandered from the path' of their true calling. this obvious shook safran a little. but, then comes the clincher. the exorcist gets safran to say that he forgives hitler.
from then on safran was completely under the guys power. 100% hypnotised, in all the screaming, unexplainable glory of it.

but damn it was good tv.

lest we forget

in the midst of all this crowing about how great howard and the coalitin is, lets not forget what he's really delivered to the world.

thanks to the Age for putting up this story again, of the iraqi's who died trying to escape saddam but were allowed to drown.
there's a skeleton in the closet, who will one day be remembered and the true story told.

Friday, October 15, 2004

good news for hard news

it seems that publicaddress may be turning into something of a "feature blog".

i wonder, if RB gets enough advertising revenue going, will he start to impose editorial standards?

if he does, do i ask for a staff writer salary?

what a minute....

NRT in this post on the third way says.
the Third Way is a broad path (so broad that one critic has compared it to a carpark), and there are many different variants. Blair's version seems to be little more than Thatcher in drag;
waitaminute.... wasn't thatcher already in drag?

good post though. my understanding of 3rd way is as an ongoing adaption of the modern democracy. one of my gripes with conservativism is its tendency to stifle societal evolution, we need to constantly adapt our social philosophies to contemporary realities. it's amazing how security is all too frequently high on the priority list for updates, but society is expected to bubble along without reflection in governance.

and i think i'm reading too much NRT. that's two mentions in two days...

Thursday, October 14, 2004

quality control

there's a very good point made by NRT about this think tank idea i've been struggling with.
he's dead right about 'think tanks', they should be centres for contributions to political discourse. in a habermasian sense think tanks should be regular contributors to the public sphere, so i agree that they should be fully engaged in the ongoing critique of common-market ideas and the like.
for starters, it's a very liberal role. meaning that ideas are pushed out into the world and expected to take on a life of their own in daily discourse.
but again there's that problem of audience.
lets use the example of the blogsphere. being a bandwagon-jumper here i'm relatively knew to this environment. admittedly, i did try to get into the game last year, but it fell thru when my 'political science' circuit developed a hardware conflict with my 'computer geek' circuit. i had no idea how to get one running. so thanks to thepoint and click guys at blogger.com. you legends!
so being late, i'm still discovering the blogs i like to read. in practice, this means i browse lots of blogs and start to ignore ones i don't like, ones that piss me off, or ones that are too infrequently written to. in other words, i'm becoming some bloggers' audience, but not everyones.
i suspect that think tanks work in a similar fashion. i stay away from anything published in certain journals because they're at odds with my political viewpoint (despite my apparent dedication to political agnosticism). even though i try to be objective about some publications, i just can't. if they're wankers or dicks, i simply can't maintain my objectivity. or, if they're too "right on" or "so hot right now" they also piss me off.
once again, audience.

so it's for this reason that i agree with NRT about think tanks just kind of 'existing' as constant contributors to the public sphere. but. this still doesn't answer the question of what 'left' think tanks should focus their energies on.
as i say, it's all good and well to simply oppose conservatism and be 'progressive' (my new favourite term for what used to be the left), but simply reacting to the conservatives isn't going to cut it. perhaps progressives can take the same approach as the Greens or other types of third party, and attract enough of audience to unnerve conservatives into adopting some of their policy and win back voters, but this is useless in atmospheres of high tension (e.g. when hawks talk about nailing any muslim) and/or fear.

as NRT says, the thing to do is get "the good guys" into parliament, and then have them implement progressive ideas. but, how do we do that if conservatives are running a constant scare campaign? frighten the electorate even more? this type of outbidding is foolhardy and can only result in greater difficulties for progressives to be progressive (because such a campaign would necessitate a follow-up on promises).

sound like a bit of a catch-22?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

my last word at least.

ok, so i deigned to read this article by janet albrechtsen today. normally won't go near her, and considering how sick i am of hearing partisan commentary about saturday by everyone including myself, something had to make me comment.

this bit in particular made me chuckle
While our left-wing cultural warriors in the media are crying foul and wanting to elect a new people, the rest of Australia dispatched a powerful message on Saturday. Conservatism is cool.
bad news janet. conservatism isn't cool. it is like a phranga. something you put up with because it's helping you get what you want.

sweet jesus.... again... third time lucky

this article in the age is more than a little frightening.... i think i'm going to have to do some immediate reading into the re-christianisation of politics.
look, i'm all for morality and good public behaviour, but more often than not christianisation of politics is about restricting diversity and choice. all too often it's the JC way or the highway.
having lived in bible-belt baptist texas, i'm not about to sit around and watch more libeal democracies succumb.
actually, maybe we need to reformulate the clash of civilisations to include "liberalism vs. fundamental christianity".

and, thank you very much to No Right Turn for his comments on the special theory of relativity. Of course, i agree 100% about the elegance and simplicity of good theory.E=mc2 and all that.
so, not trying to be petulant here, but, (there's always a but), try and disprove a great theory, and you'll see how really hard to understand they are.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

again with the think tanks

i still haven't really got a handle on how a decent left-leaning think tank should focus its energies.
i was trying to think it thru for club politique, but it fell thru when i tried to explain exactly what a good leftist think tank would argue in the face of a fear campaign like the federal election.
an example is the forestry issue. as i may have said, it's all too easy to have depicted that case as "trees or jobs", but in reality it was all about trying to preserve the forests by upskilling the loggers from button-pushing pulpers to something like 'cabinet-makers' for example. look, 'forester' doesn't mean you have to clear-fell, in the "good ol' days" it meant managing forests.
when you mention this though, the right will often spring onto some arse like arguing that latham wanted to turn loggers into 'cocktail waitresses'. but this is plainly wrong, for starters they'd drive buses. no cafe in their right mind would hire these idiots.

at first i thought that the idea would be to have the left try and present viable alternatives to right-wing hysteria, but latham tried exactly that and failed. sure, you could argue that he should have released his policy earlier, let the public digest it, etc etc, but as hugh mackay has pointed out, the election was really lost last year. latham did a good job stopping labor disappearing up its own ass in a series of leadership disputes post 2001.
much like the democrats that is.
so, how does a leftist think tank contribute to an atmosphere in which hysteria and fear are the driving factors? just trying to tell people to "chill the fuck out" seems to do little. look at the screaming match that was the lead up to iraq.
sure i'm all for trying to bring rationality into the equation, but if people refuse to listen to it you have to use something to grab their attention. after all, that's what demomcracy is all about, nto some fanciful notion of 'the will of the people'.
democracy is all about audience. as a leader you have to sell your ideas to an audience. in return, they give you a (relatively) free hand to govern and make decisions on their behalf.
so what happens when fear gets used to win a poll, but a separate system of policy is implemented as a 'rider' to whatever people worry about.
my concern is that the public becomes so obsessed with their consumer lifestyle that the government of the day has a free hand to enact whatever social policy it likes. in other words, people are really voting for the perpetuation of consumer capitalism, an idea that i have little problem with, its delivered huge amounts of 'stuff' for me, but what accompanies that policy is a series of reforms that suppress other aspects of modern society to ensure the wealth keeps flowing.
suddenly fahrenheit 451 seems that little bit closer.

again, this boils down to audience. people just don't seem to want to hear anything but 'we're going to make sure you enjoy the good life'. it is an incredibly short-sighted method of politicking that i have no answer to. it seems that as long as there's an audience for this, one you can frighten into complacency, there is little we can do.

ok, so maybe like everyone is saying "it's the economy stupid". but do we really want to live in a world run by economists?

Monday, October 11, 2004


"did i just follow thru.....?"

the conspiracy theory to end all theories

those americans really hate the iranians. i mean, they really hate them. every chance one of their conservative nutbars notices a chance to have a go at the iranians they do. they'd blame them for a bad hair day if they could.
and all this because they threw out a puppet government and installed an islamic regime.
so, my conspiracy theory? iraq is really just an excuse to harden up a few american soldiers. you know, turn those pussy-ass inner city punks and iowa farm-boys into hardened fighting men.
so then iran develops the bomb, which it is their right to do. after all, being a responsible democratic country didn't stop anyone in the history of the bomb from threathening other country to maintain their own safety. nuke proliferation treaty? who cares! throw it out like the ABM treaty!
meanwhile, israel is wetting its panties about being nuked, so bombs the bejeesus out of the facilities being used to make the fissile material/missile components etc. iran cracks the shits, starts gearing up for war, the USA invades out of their bases in iraq using the new preemption doctrine, for which they've been preparing in one long war-game since deposing saddam.
and then we're all involved in one colossal shit-fight.
china however, remains neutral, and picks up the pieces after the war to become the new and strongest power of the twenty-first century (the US having bankrupted itself fightening everybody in the middle east).

Sunday, October 10, 2004

why do people respond to hate and negativity?

you idiots.

Friday, October 08, 2004

for christ's sake

now, i'm all for indigenous rights. i'm on the record as being a 100% supporter of the Treaty and the rights it accords maori individuals, iwi and hapu.
but this airspace thing?
this is a greedy money grab. ngati tuwharetoa must be joking. i'm not sure that any culture in the world claims resource rights to air, so their effort has no precedent i'm aware of.
charge for use of the lake including landing fees? sure. but....

addendum: i read somewhere that this 'airspace' idea may just have contained a little too much journalistic 'discretion' in interpretation. much of the idea apparently rests on the concept of paymnt/royalty for use of space immediately above a property. so tuwharetoa might be able to argue for royalties for say bridges, that are immediately over a river or the like. in other words, structures or activities that exploit the space between it and the river/lake.
still a longshot methinks, but at least its at least within the bounds of reason.
as opposed to charging commercial airlines for crossing the lake, which would be ridiculous.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

at much as i hate to admit it

i think after seeing insiders last night i'm going to have to begrudgingly give this election to the libs.
which infuriates me. hopefully there is enough disaffection amongst the undecideds to still turn the tables on little johnny, the nasty rodent.
so, maybe howard two 3 seats? (at an guess)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

please god. let the guy i've never heard of win.

now, i'm not saying that anyone out there actually listens to me. but it's good to read that bob clarkson will be running against winnie in tauranga, i'm putting that one down to "vibes" reaching the national party from this blog. me? i'm advising everyone i know to vote national, labour traditionalist or not.
in fact, i'm thinking very seriously about trying to get some stuff into the bay of plenty times.... hmmmmm.... the bay times. better do a reccie and see if i can't get something into the op-ed. maybe they'll fall for the allure of a "phd from melbourne university line" (sure as hell doesn't work on 'the ladies'), and then let me publish under an alias so winnie doesn't sue my sorry ass.
i'm thinking "lionel hammerstein".

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

who to win friends and influence people

now that i have my own spot on public address i also have my own email contact with the 'outside world' of blog readers. while most of the feedback i got yesterday was positive, i did get one email from a rather upset young aussie.
it seems that things like contrast and irony were entirely lost on the poor wee tacker because i am apparently 'puerile'. geeeez.... at least when RB was getting the emails he could edit out the bad ones. i know this for certain because a friend once tried to email me that i was a 'dick' and i never got the comment.
this is all a bit like being a fledgling and finding there's pissed off parrots out there.
ah well. if you can't play with the big kids, stay out of the sand-pit.

Monday, October 04, 2004

no wonder he can't play golf...

this is tiger and his girlfriend.

must be a bit like a particular aussie tennis star named after a rocket.

ooopsie

so we spent the better part of saturday sitting out on the front porch drinking carlton draught and interviewing potential housemates. only one turned up, which meant we had ample time to put away the beers.
by the time red and marco rolled in simon and i were well pissed, and i later made the foolish decision to take a bottle of clean-skin shiraz to a party that was planned for the evening. i shouldn't have bothered. not only was i too drunk to finish the thing without destroying myself (i'd only been putting away beer in the sun for 5 hours by this stage), the party was a little lame and i was snobbed by the bunch of private schoolers. dickheads.
much of yesterday was spent trying to get comfortable on the couch.
but, by late afternoon i was ready to let the rest of the potential housemates thru, and did another few interviews. boring, so, so boring.
the highlight was a dude fresh of the boat from new zealand. i say, "so where you from?" he says "new zealand", i go "oh, yeah. where you from?", he goes "knee-oooo zeeeeee-land..." with a tone like "have you heard of it". ah... kiwis.
anyhow, the rest of the time was spent trying to fix up a koi pond outside my office. i was cruising up the street to get some hangover cure (bacon, orange juice, already had eggs at home), and noticed some pvc piping lying about in the hard rubbish collection.
i swiped that, and cut it up into sections to replace some down-pipes and not destroy the land-lords property.
i jury-rigged the down-pipe, and because it's so close to the wall i had to put another bit out at about 95 degrees so the water could be channelled out to where the terracotta pot for the fish is. was a bit of a mission, most fence posts etc over here are made of hardwoods, so nails often have to be helped with a pre-drilled hole.
i digress.
what made me write this post is that the first bit of rain fell this morning, and th first little bit of water came down the pipe and into the pond! but, it now means i get to enjoy the sounds of pissing. i have built a urinal sound effect 5 feet from my computer.
good one.....

Saturday, October 02, 2004

someone please explain

one of the things that always pisses me off about newspaper is misrepresentation of the facts of an article, and probably by a sub-editor.
so, this article has a headline stating, "faster ocean currents -not global warming- could be behind the [florida/carribean] storms".
presumably this means that we can all spark up more carbons, because its the ocean stupid, not the atmosphere that causes the devastation recently seen in the carribean.
but. then later in the article it states that yes, the warmer the water in the atlantic, the faster it moves and the (potentially) bigger the storms. isn't the implication that global warming will make for warmer water? or at that's at least what the article suggests.
i'm glad i gave up science. my brain hurts.

Friday, October 01, 2004

you heard it here first

met a friend last night at a place that runs a "alcohol stock market".
the drinks fluctuate between a high and low based on customer demand!
there must be something about a place full of tvs and numbers because i had the time of my life. you can expect this type of place to start popping up everywhere. mark my words.