June 2012

David Byrne & Amanda Palmer – “Burning Down the House”

I have been a Talking Heads fan for ever…here is Amanda Fucking Palmer and David Byrne performing “Burning Down the House.”

Dogs more deadly than Al Qaeda


Is it time to declare victory over Al Qaeda?

Al Qaeda hasn’t conducted a successful attack in the West since the bombings on London’s transportation system seven years ago that killed 52 commuters. And the terrorist group, of course, hasn’t carried out an attack in the States since 9/11.

Even terrorists influenced by al Qaeda-like ideas have only killed 17 people in the United States since 9/11.  About the same number of Americans are killed every year by dogs. In other words, in the United States during the past decade, dogs have been around ten times more deadly than jihadist terrorists.

When will National take Training Activists Serious?

I’ve told the truth about how inept National is at training candidates, and how useless their candidate college is. This is supported by the stupidity in not training
campaign teams in electorates properly, or at all.

Last cycle National were useless at selecting candidates, with the myopic president saying “we are too busy governing” to select candidates in 2010 like Labour did.
Unfortunately for the president the party has no role in governing, so this excuse is either a lie, or the statement of an exceptionally stupid man.

So National offered their standard day long training in Wellington for campaign teams in early February, before many of the candidates had been selected. Despite knowing the election would be in late 2011 National didn’t have candidates selected, so many campaign teams missed out on the training session. Not that the training session offered much by all accounts anyway, it was more just a series of peacocks preening in front of a captive audience.

With such a large caucus National should delegate some of the better campaigners to help build the grass roots campaign of the party. The man I would like to see lead this is my oldest friend in caucus, good fiscal conservative and MP for Coromandel, Scott Simpson.

Scott has been around campaigns for as long as I can remember, including the by-election in East Coast Bays where Muldoon stitched up Brash. He taught me much of what I know about the negative side of campaigning, and isn’t afraid of breaking a few laws to even things up when Labour are breaking laws, unlike the squeamish beltway faux warriors in National. The Eden campaign of 1987 was a study in practical campaigning, where I learned a huge amount about the law of
the jungle from the current MP for Coromandel.

Lets see Scott take responsibility for training an entire generation of National activists.

Mental Health Break

Have a nice trip

New York City Subway Stairs from Dean Peterson on Vimeo.

National Selection FAQ, Ctd

What  is the maximum age you need to stand if you want to become a Cabinet Minister ?

Depends, people like Grosser or Finlayson or Parata are of relatively advanced years but got into Cabinet quickly. This is not typical, and it is more likely you will have to serve time before you get into cabinet. Older candidates do not make it, and age is an issue, so I recommend getting into parliament before you are 45 if you want a cabinet position.

At 45 you have plenty of time to last several cycles, meaning you can afford doing time in opposition.

Can you beat the robot?

Nope, because the robot is a cheating bastard:

In this research we develop a janken (rock-paper-scissors) robot with 100% winning rate as one example of human-machine cooperation systems. Human being plays one of rock, paper and scissors at the timing of one, two, three. According to the timing, the robot hand plays one of three kinds so as to beat the human being.

Recognition of human hand can be performed at 1ms with a high-speed vision, and the position and the shape of the human hand are recognized. The wrist joint angle of the robot hand is controlled based on the position of the human hand. The vision recognizes one of rock, paper and scissors based on the shape of the human hand. After that, the robot hand plays one of rock, paper and scissors so as to beat the human being in 1ms.

This technology is one example that show a possibility of cooperation control within a few miliseconds. And this technology can be applied to motion support of human beings and cooperation work between human beings and robots etc. without time delay.

Landing on Mars

NASA scientists sex up what would normally be a glaze inducing, mind numbing boring explanation of how difficult it is to get a lander onto Mars:

Why asset sales isn’t the silver bullet for Labour

NZ Herald

John Roughan explains why asset sales isn’t the silver bullet Labour would like to think it is:

John Key’s achievement this week deserves more recognition than it might ever receive. In a year or two, when the power companies are all on the sharemarket and it seems entirely normal that they would be, it will be hard to credit how much opposition there has been.

Key was heavily criticised, by me as much as anyone, for excessive caution in his first term. When eventually he committed himself to some partial asset sales and said he would go to the country with the programme first, it was brave.

But I didn’t realise how brave.

One of the four power companies had been privatised long ago. A float of minority stakes in the other three, plus the coal mining operation and Air Zealand, didn’t seem drastic.

It was incremental, logical. It hardly compared with the courage of the fourth Labour Government or National in the 1990s, though neither of them had dared to put privatisation to a public vote.

That is the single key difference between the past and the present. National put a stake in the ground and took it to the public:

Labour, however, staked its whole campaign on opposition to asset sales.

The Opposition did far more than Key to ensure the election was a referendum on them.

Mercifully, I wasn’t here to see what happened but it seems to be agreed National was returned despite its programme, not because the nation was reconciled to it.

Labour and the Greens were sufficiently heartened by opinion polls then and since to oppose the sales all the way to the enactment of the necessary legislation this week.

Polls continue to find most people against the idea but the Government has not suffered very much.

Its polled support is down to around 47 per cent, which is high considering the state of the economy and the steps it is taking.

The election result and everything that has happened since can be explained, I think, by Key’s business credibility.

Labour have bet the farm on asset sales twice now. The election and polls haven’t really budged. Labour and the Greens are now going to bet the farm again on a referendum, which will be held long after the minority shares have been snapped up by Kiwisaver funds, ACC and the NZ Super Fund. In two years time it won;t be a touch stone issue.

Of course Labour and the Greens total campaign against the policy has been based on lies, and they haven’t resonated with the public. It hasn’t stopped them using them though. In two years time their lies will be shown up for what they were. The sharemarket will be straightened, the majority of shares will be Kiwi owned power prices won’t have increased dramatically and Labour will have not a leg to stand on as people wonder what the fuss was ll about.

Random Impertinent Questions

Who is Chris Eglinton?

Who is Chris Glen?

Who is Chris Egerton?

Will they meet sometime soon?

Will it be at a political party meeting?

Or in a tent illegally pitched somewhere?

What political party does he REALLY support?

And did he seek National’s permission to use its logo?

Why are they/he creating fake astroturf events?

Answers on the back of a postcard and post into a shitty doss house in Parnell somewhere.

Voter registration has begun in Fiji

Newstalk ZB

Progress is being made in Fiji, despite the efforts of the New Zealand and Australian governments to hinder progress. The first voters are now being registered now in Fiji.

The Fijian Prime Minister has kick started the voter registration process.

In a ceremony marking the launch of the electronic voter registration machine, Frank Bainimarama completed the new and simplified process.

Attorney General and Minister for Electoral Reforms Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says registration will be opened to the public on July 3.

He says 1,000 registration clerks will have the task of registering 600,000 people in eight weeks.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says adopting the system will add integrity and credibility to the elected Government in the 2014 elections.