The relationship between wireless networks in a neighborhood (number, names and encryption type) and the socio-economic properties of the neighborhood. (Inspired by seeing an unsecured network called ‘ToddSuxCock’ pop up on my smart-phone while driving past Newlands in the weekend).
September 3, 2012
Stuff has an article about the breast-milk ‘Brestapo’. It’s a signifier of how obsessive and deranged many mid-wives are about breast-feeding vs formula that they’ve managed to turn the irrefutable fact that breast-milk is healthier into a raging controversy.
September 2, 2012
New Zealand Anarcho-communists – who claim that all property ownership is theft – won a surprising ally today, with former ACT leader Rodney Hide writing in the New Zealand Herald:
Who would have believed it? Singing a song can make a river yours. Plus give you a chunk of a power company and a say over how that company’s run.
Well, that’s what the Waitangi Tribunal says . . . Grown-ups have written this report. And you work each week to pay them to do it. It’s extraordinary stuff.
It is a pretty crazy idea – the concept that simply singing a song, or, now you mention it, marking some symbols on a piece of paper, or changing bits in a database – signify ownership of a piece of the planet! But anarcho-communists shouldn’t get too excited. Hide is still a staunch defender of most private property rights. He just thinks we should set a statue of limitations on property litigation laws to ‘ensure certainty’, and, coincidentally, preclude Maori from exercising their historic property rights. Everyone else’s property rights are really important.
September 1, 2012
I’m reading Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon. This is (a) a very good book, and (b) cursed with one of the most annoying cover-blurbs I’ve ever seen:
For my part I know of no better way to pass the time on a plane from Nice to Athens or, say, from Rangoon to Singapore, than to read one of Simenon’s novels.
- Somerset Maugham
August 30, 2012
August 29, 2012
The government has reversed its position on child poverty and announced tough new measures to combat the growth in poverty amongst young children after an intensive campaign by key players in the influential but secretive impoverished children’s lobby group.
The dramatic reversal comes after late night, closed-door meetings between senior Ministers in the National government and powerful representatives acting on behalf of very small, very poor children, including six year old Otara based Ruby Savea and political king-maker Liam Wehi, a four year old boy from Northland with type-I-diabetes, referred to by Beehive insiders as ‘the Prince of Darkness’.
The children also had international support when they were joined by a high-level delegation of emaciated ragamuffins from the slums of Santiago and Karachi, who were welcomed at the airport by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, then sprayed with jets of high-pressure water and deloused before being whisked to the Prime Ministers residence in a convoy of crown limousines.
A spokeswoman for Prime Minister John Key has described the talks as ‘frank and productive’. ‘The two parties ate fairy-bread, listened to the Wiggles and then hammered out a detailed plan.’ She denied rumours that the talks came to an early end because the Prime Minister became cranky and needed a nap.
Details of the agreement include tax-rebates for insulation rental homes, improved access to high quality early childhood education, and the development of low-decile schools as ‘community hubs’ aimed at providing social services to poor children. Business leaders are crying foul at the government’s u-turn, describing the policy reversal as ‘cowardly’, and questioning the level of influence small, starving, filthy children have on government Ministers.
‘These policies will result in warmer homes and lower levels of respiratory disease in young children,’ warned National Business Review editor Nevil Gibson. ‘And guess who lives in a freezing, damp home and suffers from chronic bronchitis? Ruby Savea, the very same person babbling adorably in the Prime Minister’s ear and influencing policy decisions. It’s classic pork-barrel politics.’
Criticism has also been leveled at the level of access very poor children have to Parliament where they can influence legislation directly, without public oversight. Dr Oliver Hartwich, Director of the New Zealand Institute, alleges that the extreme thinness of poor children allows them to wriggle through ajar windows and the gaps above the automated parking doors, then make their way through the ventilation system to Ministers’ offices, sit at their knees and stare at them reproachingly with huge, liquid eyes. ‘For politicians to actually see the people most affected by their policies undermines the entire integrity of our political economy,’ Hartwich cautions.
Finance Minister Bill English has come under particularly strong criticism for his links to diseased, desperately miserable children, in the wake of revelations that he played ‘Pirate tag’ on a rusty, abandoned truck parked outside a derelict factory with both Ruby Savea and Liam Wehi. ‘Was there a quid-pro-pro?’ demands former ACT leader Dr Don Brash. ‘Did Wehi and Savea show him their secret shortcut to that burned out truck in exchange for funding a hot meal every day at their schools? These are questions the New Zealand public deserves answers to.’
Business leaders allege that the power of starving children over the public sector goes beyond simple lobbying of Ministers, extending throughout the public service, citing reports that many senior Treasury staff spent their winter holidays with key players in the impoverished children sector huffing butane on the banks of the Waiwhetu stream. The Auditor General is investigating the claims.
August 28, 2012
Also via the Herald, MPs are coming under pressure not to support Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill, which has it’s first reading this week. Because no one really makes money out of gay people marrying, or not marrying, this is one of those rare opportunities when your local MP will actually care what you think, and if they only receive messages from people opposed to marriage equality it could swing some votes.
So here’s a list of where New Zealand MPs currently sit on the issue, and here’s a list of their contact details. I’d recommend contacting your electorate MP (although mine is Grant Robertson, who is probably not soft on this issue but is probably sick of hearing from me), and/or a list MP who stands in your electorate, and/or a list MP for whichever party you vote for who is currently undecided.
Have at it.
The Government is battle-ready for any court-based challenge to its partial share float of the Mighty River Power company in the wake of the Waitangi Tribunal’s call for a delay.
‘Battle-ready’ for court, huh? I take that to mean they have a comprehensive communications strategy prepared, with slogans, talking-points, meetings with senior political editors, talk-back hosts and publishers scheduled, strategic leaks planned, pre-written op-eds to be published by sympathetic columnists or pro-National blogs, and a receptionist tasked with finding out the Attorney General’s extension number.
I don’t know how this debate over Maori proprietary interest of water-rights will play out, but I do know that any time Key’s government goes up against an opponent that isn’t Labour (environmental movement, teachers union) they routinely suffer a humiliating defeat. So I’m predicting a painful back-down by Key, followed by the obligatory flurry of Herald columns praising him for his visionary CEO-like leadership style.
August 26, 2012
Snapped this from the car while waiting for the lights to change at the Ngaio gorge intersection.
I like the way it takes a simple wholesome message of target-marketing very young girls and haunts it with the ghost of pedophilia.
August 24, 2012
Lobbyists for the alcohol industry have rolled out tough new counter-measures to get tough on Justice Minister Judith Collins and prevent the government rolling out tough new counter-measures or getting tough against them in the battle over alcohol regulation.
Multinational liquor companies and local breweries have combined forces to crush attempts to regulate the alcohol content of ‘ready-to’drink’ beverages. The harsh new measures will make Justice Ministers more accountable to industry pressure and curb attempts to make multi-national liquor companies and local breweries more accountable.
Although National has cautiously welcomed the brutal crackdown on itself, veteran campaigner Sue Bradford has denounced the changes. ‘This Judith Collins bashing is just another example of powerful corporations victimising the weak and powerless,’ Bradford said while being bundled into the back of a police-car by Parliamentary Security guards dispersing a pro-Collins protest at Collins’ request.
The Justice Minister announced the changes to the Alcohol Reform Bill via a photo-essay of photo-shopped cat photos posted to Instragram, and defended them via the TradeMe bulletin board. The Minister’s Yahoo chat profile was set to ‘busy’, so she was not available for further comment.