Friday, July 18, 2014

One Thread

There is at least one fundamental thread woven through the fabric of recent scandals that seems to have been left out of the dialogue so far.

Whether it's the GCSB shitmagnet, the rape culture flavours of West Auckland's Roastbusters, Wellington's diplomatic thrusts, or other examples of official intransigence, such as the recent night raid on children in a Taranaki marae, there is at least one common thread.

I don't know if there's a Latin name for the principle, but it runs thusly: Citizens can do whatever they like as long as there's no law or regulation prohibiting their actions. The benefit of the doubt lies on the side of the citizen. Reasonable doubt, for example.

Conversely, government officials (military, police or bureaucrat) can ONLY do what the law or regulations permit (acts and omissions, blah blah). The onus is on them to prove they stayed within those regulated margins.

It's a concept that frequently eludes the powerful as well as the powerless. For instance, police union mouth Greg O'Connor regularly spouts that the cops can bend and break rules with impunity for the greater good. He's talking bollocks with a side order of smeg.

It's a lesson that might have to be learned the hard way. Beware the political backlash. Such things tend to over-compensate.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dogs of War

Back in the dawn of the 1980's, my old man tried his hand at running kiwifruit on a farm out west of Tauranga. We lived in caravans next to the shed, right across from the neighbour's battery chicken farm.

The neighbour's dog, a mangy beast with something short of a full Labrador in him, used to wander onto the farm and hassle our dogs, two German short-haired pointers called Kaiser and Rommel (like another certain disruptive entrepreneur, the old man liked his Germans). Kaiser was a 12 year old former gun dog champ, brown-coated and freckled with white patches of hair. Rommel was not even three, dark liver hair and whippet thin.

After a week of skirmishes between men and dogs, where the dog kept coming across the fence and my old man kept telling the neighbour he'd put a .22 bullet behind its ear, the day of the final dogfight arrived.

The old man was out on his tractor working on one of the nearer blocks. The dogs were with him, and it wasn't long before the neighbour's dog caused trouble. It had caught Kaiser unawares and had latched onto the old dog's throat. Out of nowhere, Rommel zipped in and nipped the dog firmly on its arse. The dog yelped out of pain or surprise, giving Kaiser his escape. It turned to see the source of counter-attack already halfway across the block.

Nor did the dog see the bullet that hit him. It yelped in receipt of it and retreated to less painful territory, limping badly and leaving the old man wondering whether the wound was mortal or merely a winging. Rommel and Kaiser preceded the old man on his tractor back to the shed by a good minute, seemingly none the worse for wear.

The old man put the rifle away and went across to tell the neighbour the news. The neighbour accepted the dog's fate, and we all went out searching the borders of both lands looking for the missing hound. I found him, curled up on a corner section under a tree as if sleeping. The neighbour took the dog away, to a grave or an offal pit is uncertain.

Kaiser and Rommel lived largely happy lives until they died. Kaiser was put to sleep aged 16 years after his legs gave up. Rommel went walkabout off the farm a few years after this summer skirmish, presumably ending up with a short life span in the illegal dog fighting circuit. He was always a better runner than a fighter.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sex and Agriculture

The old man and I were walking along Mayoral Drive in the Auckland CBD one afternoon back in the '90s. Another even older man had just walked out of the Pan Pacific Hotel and headed towards us. My father, aged sixty-mumble, did something I'd never see him do before.

He lost the expression of a man wearied by sixty-odd years on the clock, and reverted to a mumbling child as he praised former child actor Mickey Rooney in person. This crinkly polite Yank - accosted on the streets in a strange land by some quixotic stranger in the three piece armour of an attorney - had brightened my Dad's day considerably.

Needless to say, Mickey Rooney's golden days of Hollywood were a bit before my time. Growing up two generations prior to my existence, the old man grew up on tales of conquest by proxies of the British Empire in books, as well as the pulp fiction churned out by Hollywood, leeched as it was of reality by the censors and purveyors of moral rectitude.

The Ten Commandments of Hollywood back then, summed up in one picture, were:



An artifact of this celluloid puritanism popped up last week, nicely raising the profile of Eva Green and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in the process. In America at least, nipples are still considered Satan's cherries.

In contrast to the old man, all my heroes were outlaws. I grew up with '70s cinema and early '80s auteurs, the golden era of the film director. Years before the blockbuster killed the independent studios' diversity with superheroes and cloned plots, it was all Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Bugsy Malone, the Blondini gang from Goodbye Pork Pie, Bruno Lawrence, Sam Lowry in Brazil, Buckaroo Banzai, David Lynch, etc.

Moral ambiguity, anti-heroes, irony and pathos were main ingredients. Ultra-violence was used as allegory or hyperbole (A Clockwork Orange, The Evil Dead), as opposed to today's serious yet CGI carnage purely for the sake of it.

But I digress. The Mickey Rooney intersection came into mind on Thursday, as John Banks walked out of court a guilty man. My old man shared airtime with Banks on Radio Pacific. Of all the things Banks could have said as Michelle Boag quietly photobombed away in the background, Banks had to come out with an esoteric 1930's song about standing in puddles. A man so pole-axed, the child came out.

Three days later, John Banks announces he is exiting the political stage once more. Up until this afternoon, it looked like he was blithely looking at hanging around in Parliament, upstaging the election theatre cast from Jamie Whyte to John Key, before crashing through the footlights head first into the orchestra pit.

Farewell then, John Banks. You will be forgotten. Cannabis will be legalised. Look who's stupid then. Auckland will one day reverse your rates poll tax (aka the Uniform Annual General Charge), as well as your puritanical Brothel and Commercial Sex Premises bylaw. Charter schools will be folded back into the integrated schools system, where state accountability sits in judgement over religious schools.

Everything John Banks did will be dirt.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dirty Wars and Ignored Laws

Toby Manhire pointed out in Friday's NZ Herald that the country seems to have sleep-walked into a war. No-one appears to have noticed a New Zealander getting a collateralised death sentence by US drone. Not the prime minister, who has all but given up the ghost of an independent foreign policy for gimp status that would make Reek flinch with recognition. Not the public, which seems inured against war crimes or seem indifferent as long it doesn't affect their day-to-day grind.

As the Snowden NSA papers come closer to our shores, threatening to wash up all sorts of dirty security laundry, NZ may well have to face their complicity in atrocities. As a thought experiment, imagine John Key appearing before The Hague for aiding and abetting war crimes.

It's not such a mad proposition after reading this transcript from today's The Nation between Paddy Gower and Dirty Wars author Jeremy Scahill. Whether Key & Co know it or not, they're donkey deep in a very dirty war. A morsel (vid here, interview transcript here):
I can’t disclose specifics on this but what I can tell you is that I have seen dozens of top secret documents that the New Zealand Government has been provided by the United States, because of the Five Eyes status of New Zealand, that indicate that New Zealand is extremely aware of the extent to which the United States is engaged in drone strikes around the world and is briefed fully on the infrastructure of that programme. And the fact is that New Zealand through signal intercepts is directly involved with what is effectively an American assassination programme. People can say ‘oh well we are just giving them intelligence on terrorists’. The fact is that the world – most countries of the world – view what the United States is doing as rogue actions.
Never mind the fluff of polls, PR and show ponies, this stuff is important. It goes to the guts of sovereignty and statehood. NZ was one of the founding members of the League of Nations after WWI. It was a founding member of the United Nations after WWII. John Key's government has blithely swept all that precedent away by including NZ materiel and labour in these many crimes against International Law, including the Geneva Conventions.

The Nats have sold our century of pacific soul to Hollywood. Do you feel horribly short-changed yet?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hanging Out with Beck, Whodini and Queen Camilla

Please pardon my break from blogging. Although I've been following the headlines, watching the gossip on Twitter, and occasionally popping into the House to witness some absurd theatre, I've really been preferring the company of chickens.
Kapiti Gothic; Beck and Queen Camilla. Whodini AWOL, as usual.
Sartre was wrong about a lot, but not Hell being other people. If the Psychoactive Substances donut wasn't bad enough, here's a sample of righteous puritanism from today's headlines alone:

One (vanilla) farmer gets fined $7500 for gross animal cruelty, while another farmer (with a Maori name) gets fined $15,000 for stubbornly refusing to wear a quad bike helmet on his land. Don't quibble the obiter, the law is still an ass. Actual harm > potential harm.

The coronial inquest into the Masterton balloon tragedy continues, with cannabis still being the whipping boy for the mess. Never mind an almost identical accident occurring in the US (wind changes, balloon hits power lines). Never mind testimony saying there's no evidence cannabis played any role in the balloon failure, the government is welcoming drug testing in the tourism industry.

NZ I love you but you still really piss me off.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Do Focus Groups Dream of Synthetic People?

April was one of those months. Vanilla skies with no news, followed by a vanilla religious holiday, concluding with a vanilla hailstorm of moral panic complete with pitchforked lightning and a flood of recanting politicians.

The Easter shopping anomaly went to 11 this year, with everything open in Wanaka over the mandated religious period except the pubs. Apparently the town was tipped off that there would be no enforcement of the archaic law against Easter trading (unless you were a pub or an unsuccessful special event applicant, in which case there would be). This fickle absence of enforcement gave Wanaka an excemption reserved in legislation only for Taupo and other listed 'tourist towns'.

Alcohol was still available at the traditionally excempted premises. If you were middle class enough to afford to dine in licensed premises, you could drink booze uninterrupted over Easter. This exclusion is an artifact from before the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, when every Sunday was Easter Sunday and all the pubs were closed. Churches could still serve booze (to minors!) in the Eucharist, Synagogues could still serve booze (to babies!) at circumcisions / genital mutilations. For the secular Gentile others, we had to stockpile booze at home over Easter like a survivalist.

Survivalism sounds like what is increasingly a pastime for the residents of the Flockton sinkhole. The recent rains have washed away more hope from them, with the balance between fight and flight swinging inexorably towards the latter. Winter is coming, and there may be more once-in-a-century floods on their way. There's no sign of help from King Gerry, who has kicked the problem firmly into the city council's realm to deal with.

Not entirely dissimilar to the buck-passing bug in last year's visionary Psychoactive Substances Act, which led to hicksville mayors around NZ landed with responsibility for a new and complex regime they knew absolutely nothing about. The upshot of this led to the government siding with vigilante arsonists in banning legal highs outright last week.

In retrospect, all the signs were there. Nationwide protests that looked like a working class Sensible Sentencing Trust lynch mob took place. Associate Minister of Health (and temporary drug czar while Dunne was in the naughty corner last year) Todd McClay agreed with a Rotorua crowd that legal highs were bad. Labour party shadow drug czar Iain Lees-Galloway appeared in Palmy saying legal highs were bad. Only Peter Dunne was singing the Act's positives until last Sunday night, when Dunne finally capitulated and agreed that legal highs were, as they say, bad.

Blame for this vanilla victory rests firmly with National and Labour. National for under-funding the project to the point of sabotage, and its ignorance of what was at stake beyond "The focus group said no." Labour for the inane local government authority bug they inserted into the Psychoactive Substances Act, demonstrating that they have learned precisely nothing from the local government fallout over the Prostitution Reform Act. Secondly, Labour's populist crusade ran counter to their support for the original bill.

It shows bad faith from both main parties. A lack of imagination from the Nats is to be expected, but Labour's faults are unforgivable. Thank Dagg for MMP and third party software, because there's too much salt sown in the fallow fields of Team Blue and Team Red.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I Joined the Green Party

Week four of the news drought and still the muse is unamused at the menu. Instead, here's something off the menu from last year. It is the introduction note I sent to the Greens after I joined the party:

I recently joined the Greens on Winter Solstice, after Russel Norman's realpoliltik dropping of the QE policy. That showed political bravery and pragmatism from the Greens, both in suggesting new policies, and dumping old ones that can't be sold to the public. Next year's election is pivotal to the long term future of New Zealand. Booting QE clears the deck for a clear and concise platform to take to the people next year and seek their mandate.

The Greens MPs have shown to be an outstanding Opposition to the Key government, with a better bang for buck ratio than the rest of the Opposition parties combined. Putting aside a few speed wobbles, the party is changing up and consolidating its base, without losing its purpose. I can well imagine expanding on that success, eating into the Maori and Blue Green voting blocs, as well as Labour's bloc and the General Enrolled Non Vote.

But enough flattery. Let me introduce myself. My name is Will. I was born in Palmy on a political animal farm. My first political battle was when I was eight, accidentally leading the faction of Labour Party kids on a school playground at lunch time on Election Day 1978, as a plane flew overhead trailling the banner "Labour is Winning!".

Labour didn't. The old man's Labour lost the Manawatu electorate contest to National's Michael Cox, although Labour's Joe Walding regained Palmerston North after the narrow loss to National in 1975. The lesson here? Every seat is marginal, given the correct circumstances.

Since then I have scrutineered, stuffed envelopes, leaflet dropped, petitioned, databased, policy wonked, and generally volunteered across part of the political spectrum. In chronological order: Labour, Act, Libertarianz, Act, Labour, ALCP and now Greens. If that seems a bit messy, it makes more sense when mapped to my position on the Poltical Compass, which defines me as a Left Libertarian. In short, Ayn Rand was a nutjob (Please excuse the perjorative term. I just wanted to annoy the NSA/GCSB).

I voted Greens in 2011, partly as a protest to Labour's disarray, but mainly because the Greens offered a better alternative team and platform. As a Half Deaf, I was especially pleased to have helped Mojo Mathers enter the House. There is still a long way to go for Disability Rights, especially as National mimics David Cameron's welfare crackdown on the sick and infirm in the UK here in NZ.

I intend to not only vote Greens next year, but hope to encourage others to do so as well. Now more than ever, there needs to be a party that stands with the people, not just giving them lip service such as the main two parties continue to do.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Gated Reverb and Other Sounds of the '80s

One of the great tragedies of the NZ Left is that they have swallowed whole the myth of the Fourth Labour government. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Lange is still revered as a saint instead of the dithering Billy Bunter he was, and Rogernomics is still vilified as voodoo economics.

The Douglas revolution was all but air-brushed out of the Labour Party narrative at the 90th anniversary party at the Beehive, and at other times it is passed off as an aberration. In reality, old Labour MPs such as Joe Walding supported Rogernomics whole-heartedly.

Alas, the false narrative has become the accepted history. This may or may not explain why the party is currently resorting to circling its ever-decreasing wagons.

The tragedy can be summed up in one day; December 17th 1987. Here's Mervyn Wilkinson Hancock's take on it, from the excellent The Sixteen Members of Parliament for Palmerston North 1871-2005, Chapter 15, pg. 511:


Lange broke Cabinet collective responsibility and cancelled the package with his cup of tea. It was clear enough that Lange was exercising a veto power that he did not have, but what can you do? Lange pulled a Muldoon v Fitzgerald where the courts could not go to enforce it, in Cabinet.

Fast forward to today, where Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn complains that the Greens are the only party with a Universal Basic Income policy. If you throw that Rogernomics promise of $370 a week in 1987 dollars into the Reserve Bank's Inflation Calculator, it comes out in 2014 money just shy of $700 a week. That's a reasonable sum for a subsistence family to live in some dignity.

Instead, we're stuck with this hopelessly complex bewilder-beast of WINZ which dribbles out far less to scrape by on, enforced by pains in the forests of paperwork and performance art.

NZ, I love you, but you piss me off.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

News Drought


We're into the second week of news drought here in NZ. Nothing continues to happen. In lieu of news, mirages are common. They look like news at a distance, but upon closer inspection are nothing but the shifting sands of time.

For example, a Kiwi Sleb's Lear jet joins the search for the AWOL MH370. It looks like a match made in clickbait heaven, but turns out to be less than the sum of its parts. Traces of the missing Malaysian airplane continue to elude the search team over the South Indian Ocean, who have only found an ocean full of unrelated human flotsam and jetsam so far. Alas, the man-made Plastic Gyres of inorganic refuse are not news either.

Another cyclist is dead. Police are considering whether to press charges against a 70 year old truck driver who ran over and killed a 22 year old student nurse cyclist.

Sharla Haerewa was wearing a reflective vest and bike lights for Africa, as well as apparently riding in the designated cycle lane. If the police don't charge this truckie with careless driving causing death, THAT would be news.

It would be even better news if the Dutch way of law was introduced here, where the burden of proof always lies with the person in charge of the multi-ton speeding hunk of metal. Fair trade for the freight-friendly Roads of National Significance, eh.

The thinking person's gym bunny, Rachel Smalley, Punk'd herself with a live mic, inadvertently setting off a wrestling match with some self-identifying heifers. It's a fight as old as nerd versus jock but, like alcohol and other drugs, it is a cleavage that feminism has yet to resolve to its satisfaction.

It looks like I picked the wrong week to join Twitter. Just as I join in search of news and novelty, Herald journo David Fisher calls it quits. I can see his point. The signal to noise is so lopsided, I get an idea what SETI must feel like. It's like being in a Kakrafoonian Pub.

At least Towel Day is only a month away. A hopeful thumbs up til then. You're never lost as long as you know where your towel is.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Problems

The NZ Problem Gambling Foundation has been effectively defunded after a Ministry of Health review recommended dumping Gambling Foundation services in favour of the Salvation Army. The membrane between state and religion grows ever thinner, and there's a weird funk in the air.

Let's get this clear at the get go. It's not that I wish to pick a fight with the Salvation Army. I have had their Bell Gully law jockeys pissing in my ear on a Friday afternoon when I'm getting my drunk on before. Captain Buzzkills, for sure.

I'd just like to know why the Problem Gambling Foundation was dropped after a long and respectable history, and whether it was the Sallies' tax exempt status that helped undercut the tender for rehab and support services. Unfortunately, the only evidence being presented so far is a series of black boxes.

When casinos were first legalised in NZ, the Casino Control Authority set many conditions on licences. One of those was a gambling levy, which would be funnelled directly towards NGOs funded to be the casinos' nemeses. Some kind of watchmen duality would keep the system in check for the public good.

The NZ Problem Gambling Foundation was a product of this levy. Over the next 20 years, it provided a secular national service for problem addicts, and provided the Problem Gambling literature that casinos must by law have visibly displayed in their premises. The advocacy was separately funded through donations, and worked to minimise problem gambling at the source, through supply control of the gambler crack of pokie machines.

In contrast, the Salvation Army is a more generalised provider of government welfare services; a bit like Serco, the private company behind the Auckland Remand Centre and new Wiri prison, but tax exempt through religious status (The Seventh Day Adventists do the same thing with Sanitarium. Don't get me started on Jesus Freaks and breakfast communions. Suffice it to say, coffee and cigarettes is my rite).

So, after twenty years of internationally recognised excellence in treatment, research and lobbying (Sinking Lid? That was them), why have the NZ Problem Gambling Foundation lost their meal ticket? Well, no-one's saying.

The independent report by the Ministry of Health hasn't popped up. Associate Minister of Health Peter Dunne did, on Checkpoint, where he failed to illuminate the why of it either. Nor did the Sallies, who weren't going into specifics. There was unfinished contract haggling to be had yet, and the whole deal was commercially sensitive (My paraphrase, not a quote, m'lud). Unfinished business indeed.

The Ministry of Health is feeling pretty damn sure that the God botherers can improve on the precedents set by the Problem Gambling Foundation. Faith-based even. And which secular NGO is the next to get gobbled up by the Salvation Army's market share and scales of economy?

It's a new monopoly. Pass God. Collect $200.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Born to the Purple

Congratulations to Lewis Holden for becoming the Nat candidate for Rimutaka. I first met Lewis during the NZ Flag campaign, and later got to know him on the occasional times I'd turn up to Republican Movement meetings. Nice choice, Nats. Lewis goes head to head against Labour incumbent Chris Hipkins. Skippy and me crossed paths at Vic Uni, so this election marks the first occasion where Facebook mates square off against each other for a seat.

Labour's candidates Rob McCann and Tony Milne are also known quantities. Rob McCann is an old school mate from way back, who ended up in the public service. He's the true Labour heir to the Otaki electorate, after Darren Hughes pulled the wrong pin and Mitchell jump-seated the last election. I hope Rob unseats Nathan Guy there. Doing so would raise the IQ of both Labour and National caucuses.

Tony Milne was (former Labour Chief Whip and current Labour Party Secretary) Tim Barnett's Mini-Me back in the early 2000's when I began learning the art of lobbying the hard way over drug reform. I met them for a short consultation in Auckland, where I was informed that Peter Dunne has rooted the numbers after the 2002 election (after the worm, which was after Corngate, which was after everything else). Tony Milne is well-suited to run for Christchurch.

But it becomes evident that Labour's Got Talent is picking from an ever-decreasing puddle. The student activists and broad union base has dried up, and Labour is resorting to fellow travelers in the political or media classes; career politicians and bleeding heart journos. It could be, it might be worse. Lacking any unifying principles beyond autocracy, NZ First and the Maori Party have reached for weather presenters in the search for Beta demagogues to keep up appearances.

If Labour can't stop Spinal Tapping around in the wilderness and disappearing in a raspberry cloud of self-indulgent alienation, this fate or worse awaits. They're already onto their third lead singer in six years, and their fifth drummer, Matt McCarten, has joined the band after the last drummer exploded in shingles. Matt McCarten's drum solos are known for their originality, not their longevity.

It's academic as far as I'm concerned. I joined the Green Party last Winter Solstice. While I might not agree with all the ingredients that go into the Green Party sausage factory, what comes out at the other end in the way of policy doesn't make the public violently ill. Take their latest policy to get kids to school without SUVs, for example. The NZ Herald yummed it up, Hooton reckons the Nats will probably grab the idea, and there's not a squeak from the Soccer Mums. Anyone who can defuse a Soccer Mum has my respect.

The Greens aren't looking to be a minority coalition partnership with Labour. They know that if Cunliffe had a choice to rebuff the Greens and go into government with NZ First, he would do so. Longer term, the Greens are aiming for a majority. The Greens equivalent of Labour's Rob McCann, Wellington's James Shaw, has been likewise pushed up the provisional Green Party List. McCann and Shaw are both organisers. They make shit happen.

So Labour and the Greens both know what's ahead and what's at stake. In the adaptability stakes, my money's on the Greens.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Intersection of Ford and Cribb

If you enjoyed The Luminaries, Top of the Lake or True Detective (or, at least, its unmined potential), you'll enjoy this 80 page sequel of sorts from the Independent Police Complaints Authority, involving the framing of 17 year-old Maori Shane Cribb by Alexandra Police. The innocent are punished, the guilty walk free, and at the end, nothing changes.

Follow the exploits of Constable Dairne Cassidy, the token female in a cast of cocks. Convicted in court of attempting to pervert the course of justice, she is but one of two anti-heroes. The other being belligerent shit stirrer Stephen Potter (Cribb's girlfriend's Dad). It is Potter's nagging of the IPCA that eventually sees this miscarriage of justice seen to.

It's a sad state of affairs when the best conclusion that the IPCA can produce late on a Friday afternoon is that they found no evidence of police conspiracy. Almost as sad as the vacant recommendations, seeing how the the Policing Act 2008 apparently fixed everything.

If you prefer the audiobook version of the main plot points, tune your ears to Mary Wilson's cross examination of Stephen Potter, or the carefully chosen words of District Commander for Southern Police, Superintendent Andrew Coster.

There's a beer token waiting for ex-cop Dairne Cassidy and bush lawyer Stephen Potter here. Valid at the local Raumati pub. No expiry date.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mojo's Fulcrum

If it were possible to send a soundbite back in time to myself as a child, it would sound something like "You're Deaf! You're Deaf! You're fucking Deaf!" This cryptic advice, if heeded, might have saved a lot of soul-searching along the way, as well as a considerable amount of collateral damage.

Alas, pretensions of normalcy demand otherwise, even now. Consider simpleton Sym Gardiner, who insists his cochlear-implanted daughter not learn a second language because it will mess with her head:
"Their identity is all wrapped around the (NZSL) language."

"The reality is, it's probably not really a living language."

"We have no desire for my daughter to particularly identify with the deaf community."

"Our desire is that she's completely mainstreamed and she's just like any normal kid."

The best cure for stupid shit like this is the Four Deaf Yorkshiremen joke.

Katya is one of mine; born Deaf in a world of Norms. She differs from other tribal Deaf, such as those who go Deaf from occupational hazard or illness such as Otosclerosis, or old age. There used to be an informative Brit vid on YouTube pointing out the subtle differences between these tribes, but it was taken down for copyright reasons (possibly for the use of execrable '80s pop song AEIOU).

Regardless of what Sym says, his daughter will have a rich and well-stocked interior monologue. Her eyes will grab what her bionic ears cannot. She will be better read than her father, and probably less subtle in her opinions.

Thank Dagg Mojo is in the House, trailblazing through the many barriers still in place to Deaf participation. Even the Nats have u-turned on their ACC policy to the newly-Deaf, as well as expanding aids to children.

But the big ask is yet to come. You can have disability employment services out the wazoo, but if the employers are still too timid to hire, nothing changes. There still needs to be a shock to the system.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Westminster Duality

Big ups to Arts & Letters Daily for throwing a link to this discourse on the genetic differences between liberals and conservatives. A few observations:

The monkey that used the first weapon in 2001; A Space Odyssey was a liberal.

Somewhere in the dark distant past, at least one of Colin Craig's ancestors fucked a Neanderthal.

The Act Party should stick to third or fourth cousins at least for the greatest genetic diversity.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Bush Toasts Police Cannabis Conservation Efforts

RNZAF's Green Hornet, fresh from seeding the Waitakere Ranges

Police Commissioner Mike Bush today praised Police efforts in their annual cannabis seeding project.

"Every year, the NZ Police spends millions of dollars in an attempt to conserve the endangered cannabis plant. In association with the NZ Air Force, Police locate fertile female cannabis plants, uproot them, and fly them over dense bush land, in an attempt to spread cannabis seeds over as wide an area as possible," said Commissioner Bush to an assembled group of police and selected members of the media.

"The NZ Police has a long and proud history of planting things," said Commissioner Bush as he set alight a Wicker Man full of cannabis. "Normally, possession of cannabis seeds is a criminal offence. There is no statute of limitations on the growing of cannabis. It falls to the NZ Police to fulfill this duty."

"We sow the seeds. Nature grows the seeds. We seize the plants. And so the circle of life is complete," chanted Commissioner Bush from amidst the smoke.

After a few minutes, Commissioner Bush re-appeared.

"I have spoken with TolleyMachus. This year's budget will be bountiful," Bush concluded, before retiring to the lunch buffet and finishing off a platter of sausage rolls.