Alasdair Thompson of the Employers Manufacturers Association said the unsayable: the "nigger" for those with one eye to the "glass cieling". He said the unthinkable: women are less productive because once a month women have an "illness".
It was a dumb, probably statistically accurate but not a politically correct thing to say.
Thank God women that have periods, without that or us they couldn't get pregnant.
But what about Marae that don't let women speak, or Marae that make women sit behind men: what about the way Islam treats women... hmmmm?
Do you think maybe it has more to do with him being a "right-wing tory bastard"?
Our horse-drawn dial-up only afforded limited viewing of the beast, apparently named after a fighting bull famed for its tenacity. The still shot angles I could see - without waiting 20 years or so for the full download - showed yet another version of 'Countach revisited', slightly rounded. Other angles present a beast with a purposeful stance, but a mildly incongruous, chubby, little insectile smile. I'll have to wait 'til Jeeves brings mine back from the 'shop before I can check it again 'in the flesh'.
FYI: it's an Italian supercar, but its built properly, by Volkswagen Audi Group. Like most products from those meticulous sharks, mine rarely has much that needs fixing, so its only in the 'shop for it's gold-plated servicing. Oh, & to have mud flaps, a tow bar, a 'monsoon' & a roof rack fitted. I want mine to be a bit different from the rest, & even more practical than it already is.
For some reason the technicians were most reluctant to fit the extras I wanted. Bless them, they relented in the end. I was most comforted by the nice Service Manager's assurance that nobody would have another one like mine - ever. I was worried about a vein bulging in his forehead as he agreed to the additions though. Perhaps he's got stress in his personal life or something.
Getting back to how the Aventador looks again, a mate came around for a gander at mine before Jeeves left for town. My mate obviously sees the 'insect in it' too: 'I think it has a sort of brooding quality...'. At this I found my wannabe-mysterious-macho male ego starting to shine. He seemed to take forever to finish with: '...nah, overall my first reaction to the look, the colour and the lighting is that it reminded me of a cockroach. Low, flat, curved, & armoured.'
Hmm, not quite what I wanted to hear, but now I think on it, I can see what he means. But love is ultimately blind of course. The boy in me, whom idolised a yellow matchbox car Countach as a kid, will live happily with such a... brooding pest.
The [mostly sober] adult in me knows I could only live with the Aventador if:
* someone else was paying for it
* someone else was paying for the upkeep - & fuel... & if,
* we had another few hundred worlds to rape & plunder the resources of
& even then I couldn't have one in good conscience. Yep, it looks good in an slightly retro-meets-agro-bug kind of way, but it also represents so much of what is wrong in a global society going through resources like we're... a swarm of ravenous insects.
Actually, my mate's almost verabtim comments I wove into the 'Personality A' story were right I reckon; it does look like a brooding cockroach - & it's ugly.
Hi Group, my name's Freckles and I have a Trademe problem...
If you've ever been suckered into buying something you don't want on Trademe, you're not the only person, because I have too. The first step to overcoming a problem is talking about it so here it is:
Firstly there's this: you buy your goods based on an online picture, however because most sellers are amateur photographers at best, their snap-shot doesn't always tell you the whole story. This is a trap for newbies who are used to purchasing from retail stores where the photos are professionally taken and they have to adhere to the Consumers' Guarantees Act which keeps them basically honest. Consciously or not, without the proper resolution, lighting or perspective the item being sold might be vastly different from how it appears in real life. For example I brought a pottery jug off Trademe, which looked good in the photo but in reality it was nothing like it appeared, leaving me feeling cheated and out of pocket. The photo was taken from an angle which hid the true shape of the jug from view. Obviously made by an amateur, photographed by an amateur and ultimately brought by an amateur too.
Secondly, while attempting to be idiosyncratic yet familiar, the description is more often than not inaccurate, incomplete or ineffectual. Most Trademe sellers want their products to sell so they try to 'enhance' their otherwise lacking descriptions by making them sound more special or exotic. A week ago I learnt the hard way by wasting time trawling through listings, that many items are routinely described as being 'Art Deco', when the only thing 'Art Deco' about them is that description! For instance, a 'Stunning Art Deco Lounge Suite' turned out to be a bog-standard seventies couch. I'm not sure why sellers do this, possibly either to cash in on the popularity of Art Deco or to get their items listed on the most viewed pages in the hope that they will sell. More often than not it is probably just plain ignorance of what Art Deco actually is. But having said that, by searching through the rubbish heap you might occasionally find a beautiful gem.
Thirdly, the temptation for a newbie to Trademe is to bid on an item long before the auction closes and to get into a bidding war with another bidder which ultimately increases the end price for whoever wins. The desire to win for the sake of winning can end-up with you paying a premium for a piece of crap.
My main point is that there are always traders on Trademe trying to find the latest superlative to describe the item they are selling, which ranges from sweat-shop junk to genuine antiques.
Obama's roots have been traced back to Moneygall in County Offaly, Ireland in the 19th century. Moneygall has a population of 298 people. Obama had previously remarked, "There's a little village in Ireland where my great-great-great grandfather came from and I'm looking forward to going there and having a pint," prompting the Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen - also a native of County Offaly - to invite him to do so. Wikipedia
The Obama administration have been quick to claim that Barak Hussein Obama is a long-lost Irishman.
Well fair enough I guess, most US Presidents claim to have a touch of the Blarney running through their veins.
I've done a fair bit of Geneological research over the years, so I know that over generations a person's gene poole usually gets quite dilluted. If most people were to trace their family tree they'd find links to a number of different cultures. For example: I have Scottish, English, Irish, Australian, American & Scandinavian genes in my closet. So I don't dismiss "Paddy O'Bamas" claim.
I just think it is such a desperate hoot - the black leprechaun!
Reminds me of an Irish joke:
Warning: Gratuitous Irish joke follows
An Irishman went to his local pub to relax with a pint or two after a hard days toil.
Propping up the bar, he found a Stetson-wearing American, camera slung around his neck, looking for-all-the-world like he was the biggest celebrity in Ireland.
After a night of listening to how great America was, the Irishman finally had enough and thought to himself, "I'm gonna teach this loud-mouthed yank a lesson..."
The yank was saying, "Why hell, we're so advanced, we sent a man to the moon"!
The Irishman said, ah well, Pish posh, Ireland's so advanced we sent a man to the sun".
Rolling his eye's in disbelief, the yank said, "Yeah right, he'd have gotten incinerated before he even touched down".
Not to be out-done the Irishman grinned wrily and said, "To be sure, to be sure, but we're not as silly as we look, we sent him at night"!
I've been a bit slack in reposting the articles I get via email, so, sorry Joshua, just been a bit busy doing "stuff".
A stimulating article on John Key, Sodomy, & Christian Charity
I found the following revealing, thought-provoking & spiritually 're-focusing'; its a sign of the times too perhaps
Some Christians losing love for John Key
By Tapu Misa
7:00 AM Monday May 23, 2011
Some Christians I know who voted for National in the last election because they liked the look of John Key and disliked Helen Clark and her godless gay-loving feminist anti-smacking family-unfriendly Labour Party have changed their minds.
A few were under the impression that Key was a believer. He isn't (unless he's undergone a recent conversion), but it was an easy mistake to make given that Key was said to attend church regularly, had been endorsed by a couple of popular Christians (Michael Jones and Va'aiga Tuigamala), and was hard to pin down on the subject.
For example, he'd told one journalist in 2006: "If you're asking me if I'm religious it depends how you define religion. I look at religion as doing the right thing ... I go to church a lot with the kids, but I wouldn't describe it as something that I ... I'm not a heavy believer; my mother was Jewish which technically makes me Jewish ... I probably see it in a slightly more relaxed way."
Which is a very roundabout way of saying Key is an agnostic.
But it's easy to see why he was the darling of conservative Christians. Unlike Don Brash, who'd left two broken families in his wake, and Helen Clark who, despite her own solid marriage, was seen to stand for a raft of supposedly anti-family social policies, including the legalisation of prostitution, civil unions and Sue Bradford's child discipline law, Key was seen as the embodiment of family values: he was a devoted husband and father who had voted against the civil union bill.
And even if he wasn't a Christian, as National Party member and Catholic Terry Dunleavy told the Sunday Star-Times in 2007, "I believe John Key in his life and his values reflects much more openly and strongly the Christian values that I hold. He's still married to the same woman. There's no question about his morality or his dedication to family life."
But is the love affair over? Weeks after getting so much love at Christian music festival Parachute this year, Key was pictured at the Big Gay Out, arm in arm with a semi-naked (male) organiser, talking of the possible return of an annual gay and lesbian mardi gras many thought they'd seen the last of 10 years ago when the debt-ridden Hero parade was cancelled. It felt like betrayal for some.
The Christian family is a very broad church, and I've never understood the preoccupation with homosexuality.
Last month, the Young Conservatives of America urged other conservatives to stop using the word "gay", which they described as "a left-wing socio-political construct designed to create grounds for fundamental rights [based on] whimsical capricious desires". They favoured a return to words like "sodomy".
This was ironic, as Jay Michaelson pointed out in the Huffington Post, "because 'sodomy' in the Bible has nothing to do with homosexuality. It wasn't until the Medieval period that the word was even invented - as a legal classification for sins of Catholic priests - and in the Bible itself, the sin of Sodom has to do with inhospitality and greed, not sex".
He argued that homosexual rape was the means, not the essence of Sodom's wickedness, which as the prophet Ezekiel declared (16:49) was actually "pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness ... neither did [Sodom] strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".
That seems an apt commentary of our times. The real Sodomites are the increasingly distant and indifferent rich.
Jesus focused on poverty and justice and helping "the least of these". Yet many Christians seem inclined to see morality in narrow terms. But what is more destructive to family values - the lack of a living wage, or the legalisation of same-sex marriages?
American religious leaders fasted in protest this year at proposed Budget cuts in the United States.
Pointing to the immorality of a Budget that would slash spending on programmes for the poor while increasing military spending and adding unnecessary billions to the deficit by extending Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 per cent of Americans, they argued that budgets weren't just about numbers but moral statements reflecting a nation's values.
Budgets "reveal our priorities, who and what is important, and who and what are not", said the Rev Jim Wallis, one of the fast's organisers.
It's not a question of whether we should reduce deficits, but how we reduce them that matters. "It's about choices."
Indeed - and thanks to the Budget the choices and priorities of our own Government are crystal clear. Borrowing so the top income earners in the country continue to get generous tax cuts they don't need. Chipping into Working for Families assistance for households earning as little as $35,000 a year. Tinkering with KiwiSaver, despite the need to encourage more saving.
Expecting a billion dollars worth of unspecified cuts in the public sector over the next four years. And flogging off parts of strategic assets, the money from which has already been "banked".
Is this what we want? Come November, the choice will be ours.
Wikipedia definition - Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one's current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.
Got that? Clear as mud... Thought it might be, so I'm going to try to shed some light on yet another "Set to be big" geeky buzzword.
Definitions are one thing. Seeing them "at play" in the real world is another.
But before we do all that, a bit of background is called for.
Let's start off with another geeky buzzword "Mobile computing".
Now that's not such a mystery, I mean, most people know what a lap-top is, now there are even iPads and stuff of that ilk. All allowing you to take your computer and go mobile with it.
Let's not forget the extremely powerful LITTLE computing device that most of us carry around, pretty much everywhere.
Cellphones - which are rapidly becoming much, much more than devices you can just make calls or (more commonly) send text messages on. Over time cellphones have been increasing their utility to us far beyond those two primary functions. As costs have come down and features have improved (in a strangely inverse proportion for supply and demand) They've become little computers.
They always have been, but now they are actually functioning like a personal computer. You can download a new application, install it and run it. The best thing is, there are thousands… tens, hundred of thousands, of applications to choose from.
Not all cellphones are capable of this, a rapidly growing number are though. The two big-boys on the block are the iPhone and phones which run on Google Android
That's enough background, let's move back onto the topic of Augmented Reality.
There are a number of applications (programs) that you can download to your phone, for FREE, that use augmented reality.
Key to these cellphones (and augmented reality) are the sensors that these phones have: GPS, gravity, compass.
Now all the geeky bits have been mentioned; onto the cool part: A few examples of Augmented Reality in the real world!
The first (and perhaps the most obvious) application is the compass. What this application does is use the image that you see through the cellphones camera and overlays a compass on it
Like astronomy? Point up to a "star" at night. Is it a star, constellation, planet or a UFO?
Most people wouldn't have a clue.
Imagine being able to point your cellphone at the sky and see a map of exactly the part of sky you are looking at, with the name of the heavenly bodies in it.
In the future you'll be able to do just that: na, just kidding, you can do it now with Google Sky maps!
I can't help but be captivated by the night sky, the enormity of it all fills me with a mixture of awe & curiosity, but actually knowing what I was looking at was rather a hit & miss affair, this little application is incredible. I've fully tested it and it works perfectly, encouraging me to do more star gazing!
Google Sky Maps definately has its uses; but let's face it, we're not going to be star-gazing most of the time, so what else is there?
Well, enter Wikitude; by overlaying what your cameras "sees" with what the phone's sensors are telling it about its location, you get the benefits of a library, phonebook, map and compass!
Big brother issues aside, the future is looking more and more plugged-in.
This article was written for another purpose but I was kindly given permission to use it as a blog entry.
Tolerance is a very board subject; to discuss it in a New Zealand context presents a number of contradictions. After framing the question, I will go on to discuss why we should be tolerant towards each other. But before I begin, for the purpose of clarity, it is important to give a dictionary definition of Tolerance; this definition is taken from the Collins Dictionary (2001):
1. The quality of accepting other people's rights to their own opinions, beliefs or actions.
It is only natural to like a person with a similar view point or personality, as the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together". Liking a person because their personality is close to our own is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it makes us favour a certain person or group in some way which is unfair, unjust or unmerited. For example, take when a number of people apply for a job and a person is chosen based on any other criteria other than merit: this is when the infamous "Slippery slope" creeps in.
The phrase "Slippery slope" is very appropriate as once you have started on the slope of intolerance (lack of tolerance), with little or no effort you can slide down to perform much more heinous acts.
In its most extreme forms intolerance can manifest itself in the oppression of entire communities, as evidenced by the Holocaust; the genocide of six million Jews in World War Two, but more about that later.
The issue of intolerance is perhaps most obvious when discussing RACIAL intolerance: the lack of tolerance based on a person's, or groups, race.
The more intolerant people are of communities or individuals, the less likely it is that there is any real communication between them and the resulting lack of understanding can lead to mistrust and bigotry and to para-phrase Dr Martin Luther King Jr, it is natural to fear that which we don't understand.
A major driver of racial intolerance is negative stereotypes, an example of a negative stereotype is: a black man steals a car and therefore assuming that all black men steal cars. Although simplistic, this is an example of a negative stereotype because it gives a false impression of a person or a group of people. It is often the case that when people of two races have different points of view that negative stereotypes may lead to that person's view being coloured (pun intended). Negative stereotypes may often go unspoken, but they can be intimated through outward signs and can often be more obvious than saying them aloud. They may be shown through a presumption of inferiority, poverty or inability as in the short story 'After you, My Dear Alphonse' in which the character of Mrs Wilson revealed her stereotyping of black Americans when she presumed a black boy's father was a labourer. Racial Intolerance can manifest itself as something as relatively minor as a bigoted comment to something as extreme as the Holocaust and the attempted extermination of the Jews.
As I have briefly mentioned, the racial intolerance that lead to Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party's pogrom on the Jews, intentionally exaggerated the notion that Germans, the Ayrian race, were superior to Jews and that Jews should be blamed for the hardships faced by Germany after World War One. In the beginning of this regime, the Nazi party "only" prevented Jews from the rights afforded to Non-Jewish Germans. But that was just the beginning of Hitler's plan for the Jews which culminated in rounding them up and having them taken to concentration camps like cattle, were they were tortured, experimented on and eventually gassed, shot or starved to death, with the lucky few being worked to death as slaves. Six million Jews were killed in these ways.
In a much less drastic, but similarly insidious way, the racial tolerance issue can be brought into a New Zealand context.
Maori were deprived of speaking their language up until the mid 1950s in New Zealand schools, which is the reason well-known Maori activist Tame Iti has given as to why he feels resentment towards the Crown. At a 2005 Powhiri for a Treaty of Waitangi event he performed a time honoured tradition and bared his buttocks (whakapohane) at officials and then went on to shoot the New Zealand flag. Actions that show how intolerance can have flow on effects in this case as Tame Iti was shown intolerance in his education he later on showed intolerance towards the crown.
If we show intolerance we run the risk of creating disharmony in society, but there is another issue and that is when tolerance is taken too far.
There is a wealth of research that links the exploitation that vulnerable women face with the organized crime, drug use and violence which surrounds prostitution. Despite the NZ Police Association vociferously warning the Labour government not to, the government went ahead and decriminalised prostitution. Moral issues aside, I fail to see how this, in any way, protects those women that are at risk of being exploited by the illegal periphery which hang on to these women like an insidious shadow.
Certain types of behaviour in our society are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. When we tolerate exploitative and objectionable behaviour, we are effectively giving a tacit, or in this case explicit, approval of it. What is considered unacceptable behaviour varies between people depending on such things as legality, culture, beliefs and values, nevertheless groups of people also have similarities between what they consider unacceptable. When a behaviour is tolerated it can be almost always be guaranteed that it will continue if not become widely spread. As an example, consider the Televison programme "Hell's kitchen" which features the world renowned Chef Gordon Ramsay. The programme fulfills the voyeuristic desires in us to see other peoples' misfortunes; in turn, this is played out under the guise of entertainment. By pandering to the worst side of ourselves we train ourselves to be more tolerant of appalling behaviour, allowing that behaviour to become our normal reaction, therefore pushing out the boundaries of what we find tolerable and intolerable.
To answer the question should NZers be more tolerant, as I discussed, we can be too tolerant just as we can be too intolerant. In general we do need to be more tolerant, but the price of that tolerance is vigilance, as we must carefully watch that we are not "killing ourselves with kindness" by tolerating the intolerable.
Robert Ludlum & Gayle Lynds write in 'The Altman Code' p321:
'One mans' patriot is another man's terrorist... [but it's] not quite that simple. The crux of the matter is, does the action of the freedom
fighter or terrorist benefit his cause & his people? If it doesn't, then he's simply an egomaniac, a fanatic for whom the 'cause' matters
more than its goal... [it also depends] on what is in the self-interest of the powerful nations'
As a person whom likes the notion of a civil society/world, I don't like brain splatter, blood & guts. I also generally believe in the subjective notion of justice - irrespective of whether it fits with the current rule of law. Unfortunately history & current times are littered with too much of the former & blatant corruption of both law & justice by those in power & others. In the end, what is 'right, just & legal' is determined by those whom do the hanging.
With regard to the protestors against Petrobras doing surveys for oil, some questions are raised:
1. Should they have any, will civilians be able to address concerns to the ombudsman about actions of the military involvement in any police action?
2. If they do eventually go ahead & drill, what net percentage of the earnings will NZ get from it?
3. According to National Geographic, experts estimate that the massive (over ten times the area of New York City) spill will cost billions to clean up. Can we as a country afford any more potential billion dollar cleanups (let alone all the other collateral costs?)
4. How will interim suffering be accounted for? If in doubt about this, ask Christchurch residents how it feels to be in a mess that is going to take up to decades to fix.
5. Some pro-drilling advocates, say that all one has to do is make sure there are sufficient precautions taken. Given how many countries are reviewing their nuclear power programmes now, I'd say it shard to know what are adequate risk/benefit precautions. For example & quoting Nat Geo: In order to stop the oil rig well fire, the oil fuelling the fire had to be cut off. Because it was submerged 5,000 feet under water, the Macondo well was difficult to reach. My question is, if the Raukumara basin is 2,000m deep on average, how much better will our relatively puny country do in managing any accidents?
A glowing future: The Pros and Cons of nuclear power
Written by: Pereta
As I understand things for now & the foreseeable future, the biggest cons against nuclear power in a 'shaky country' like NZ include:
1. If an accident is big enough, many significant effects cannot be undone for tens of thousands of years.
2. Spent nuclear fuel stays toxic for thousands of years too. It is extremely difficult & expensive to store. Waste sites need to be monitored & maintained for as long as the waste stays toxic.
3. Big accidents are costly & difficult to fix - witness Chernobyl.
4. As was found with Christchurch, the more seismically-active a country is, the harder negative outcomes can be to predict. As Japan may yet testify, nuclear accidents provide extra headaches they don't need.
5. Significant radioactivity-generated genetic damage cannot be undone, it gets passed down human generations & their food chains indefinitely.
6. Like the other major energy fuels in use today, uranium is not sustainable either.
As they have come up during the week, these things have been bouncing around in my head:
1. Lady Ga Ga put some clothes on. On the one hand she makes these statements about not being a piece of meat on the other she dresses like she is one step away from being a porn star.
2. Is the Green party a party that cares about environment issues or the standard of living for the poor? I swear I can't tell. The biggest threat to our environment that has occurred this year was the Government granting a permit to Petrobas (to explore for oil off the East Cape) and the Greens didn't say anything about it until after it was granted. Why weren't the public told about the Petrobas' consent to test until after? Could it be that the Green Party were focussed on socioeconomic issues and not looking at the environmental issues.
3. The answer to the student loans scheme fiasco is simple - introduce a return of service in exchange for an entitlement to a student loan. If it was introduced students would have to stay and work in New Zealand for a set period, say of three years, once they had completed their qualification.
4. So, we like trashy food hence the arrival of KFC's double bypass downer burger proving NZ is only one step away from a giant caravan park.
A study on who we think is attractive showed that we rated older women as the most attractive. Curious, then that marketing executives predominately have a preference for younger women whose faces show no signs of aging.
I haven't watched 'Drop Dead Diva' but it doesn't sound very plausible to me that a good-looking guy would pick a fat plain woman as his partner. From what I understand she had been a supermodel but switched bodies with another woman and is now fatter and less attractive than before.
Some women would consider it a bitter blow if that happened to them. What does she do? Try to date a different class of men, or does she feel sorry for herself because she doesn't look like she used to? Somehow I doubt that it is the latter, a heroine doesn't usually fail so perhaps she will broaden our appreciation of what it means to be beautiful.
But, my gripe is not about this programme although it still has potential to come a close second. What did annoy me waas an article in the Palmerston North Guardian about a local woman making it as a successful international model. According to the article anybody can be a model, you just have to work hard. It is an expectation that is unrealistic for many women. Too many women try to conform to a beauty ideal that leaves them feeling dissatisfied and unhappy with their own bodies. Why should the majority of woman punish themselves because they are not like the ideal minority?
This post was inspired by the the 1979 Classic song by English rock band Pink Floyd.
Listening to the song at ear-splitting volumes that would have my audiologist in a severely bad mood (Yes, I have one: nanana), the parallels between the song and New Zealand Society seem too delicious to ignore.
I look around, see people from all political spectrums: Right wing, left wing and flightless...
I have to ask... Are we getting what we want from politics, are we happy abdicating our responsibility?
If there was a political party for disabled people; I'd be in like Flynn, not just as a member but as an MP, but lets face it, that's about as likely as Helen Clark beating Jennifer Lopez in a "Walk-off"!
Never say never in Politics I guess; but I'm not going to be holding my breath
See, as much as you able-bodied people like to have your little jokes about us and subtly (or blatantly) discriminate against us; One very unpalatable fact (or inconvenient truth for you lefties) remains: We are you.
And I can prove it... incontravertibly and for all time...