Wednesday, January 31, 2007


John Key has identified McGehan Close as New Zealand's worst street. For those not familiar with the neighbourhood, it's in Sandringham (not the one where the Queen lives). The following Google Maps picture shows the scene - burning cars, bodies, destroyed buildings, etc:

(You might notice that higher-res imaging is not available - the satellite pilots were too scared to fly any lower)

The scariest thing is that the area is frequently attacked by "gangs from Grey Lynn". These notorious desperados are noted for their pillaging of Auckland - look at these guys for instance:

I hope Mr Key's audience are suitably cautioned by his speech and stay safely in Christchurch - we wouldn't want them venturing into the ghettos of Glenfield, Takapuna or Kohimaramara, would we?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Advice for water-walkers

To avoid unfortunate tragedies like this one, the following safety tips are provided for those at large scale god-botherer gatherings who feel the need to try some aquatic pedestrianism:

1. Beginning water-walkers should start on a shallow pond with no currents.
2. Fast flowing rivers should be avoided for those who haven't managed the art of running on water.
3. As should jump starts from a bridge - you should practice starting from a level beach until confidence has been gained.
4. If you feel the water coming up to your neck, swim for the shore. Pray some more and try again.
5. Don't take the brown acid - even if you got it from the bishop.

Monday, January 29, 2007

First time?

I'm not sure, but this might be the first time that a columnist has used a newspapers comment facility to criticise the subbing of their article. Well done Charlie!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Healthy eating

Popular comedian and friend to Havoc and Newsboy Mike King is in hospital with a stroke.

Hopefully he'll make a full recovery, but could it be that stuffing yourself with red meat for every meal as advocated by the NZ meat industry and its spokespeople isn't all that good for you?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Tribal strumming

Those naiccce girls at Red Confectionary pointed out this article in the Dom Post.

Since anyone can play this game, I've made up the following tribes with amusing acronym names, something the original authors conspicuously failed to do:

ARSEHOLES - Auckland Real Smooth Elegant Home Owning Lifestyle EnterpreneurS
e.g. Michael Boulgaris

SICOES - South Island Church Organising ElderS
e.g. Graham Capill

PRATS - Public Relations Articles To fill up Space
e.g. the article referenced above (ok it's not a group of people, I'm running outta inspiration here)

I'm sure you can think up others!

(Viz. Profanisaurus strum v. = A relaxed tug.)
Johann Hari has an article in the Independent today defending the UK government's proposed integration of state computer systems to share personal information.

I dispute his thesis on several levels:

Firstly, he treats as equivalent a criminal action committed by the state or by an individual criminal. This to me is plain wrong - as an elector I have vicarious responsibility for a cop who makes his dog cripple a child - I don't have such responsibility for the actions of a random psychopath, paroled or otherwise.

Secondly, he uses rape as an example of why it is acceptable for the state to invade personal privacy to prevent a much worse consequence. Leaving aside the likelihood that circumstances, not identity are at issue in most of the 50,000 unsolved rapes he cites, how desirable is a society where crime is suppressed through individual surveillance?

The widespread deployment (in the UK) of numberplate recognition is likely to allow the police to have a list of all vehicles (and eventually faces) that passed near the site of an offence. Given the pressure to make use of this information, it is likely that before long most people will become "suspects" in several serious offences every year. What will it do for the tolerance of policing once everyone gets a regular knock on the door and a demand to justify their movements?

It is technically possible (and becoming easier) to perform random drug testing on the entire population. Given that drug use is illegal, it would be justified in Johann's logic for the state to try and wipe it out by drug testing the entire population and imposing "rehabilitation" on those that fail. Would this be an acceptable use of state power?

It is an unfortunate fact that a largish minority of the UK (and NZ) population are hardline racists, support radical Islam, physical force (Irish) republicanism or other undesirable ideologies. Should the government monitor all communication and discussion in order to blacklist such people and prevent them working in jobs where they might discriminate against or attack other citizens?

I'd suggest to Johann that just as using state power to try and enforce better government on Iraq turned out to be a bad idea, so using state power to try and coerce the domestic population into better behaviour may be a good idea in theory, but a thoroughly bad one in practice.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

My PageRank's collapsed (and then recovered)

My Google PageRank has gone from 6 to 0! No idea why - have they changed the rules so that blogs drop down unless you post at least once a month?

It's been Xmas - I haven't had anything to write about!

Oh: Now I switched to the new Blogger it's gone back up again - must be a new feature to make you upgrade!