Tilted – Christine and The Queens

Spotted on Graham Norton… Wow.

Opening lyrics …

I’ll die before Methusalah / So I’ll fight sleep with Ammonia

And every morning with eyes all red / I’ll miss them for the tears they shed

But I’m actually good / Can’t help it if we’re tilted …

Copy editor slacking on the job 

Nice to have some assistance with this latest book project. But look at her slacking on the job. It’s hard to get good help these days.

Let’s Enhance

Let's Enhance (HD) from Duncan Robson on Vimeo.

Lovely. Some of my best friends are clichés.

h/t to @thegrugq

I’ve got an idea who should replace Mike Hosking on TVNZ

Do these petitions actually ever work?

click to read at stuff.co.nz or archived below

click to read at stuff.co.nz or archived below

(Stuff story archived here because sometimes stories about Mike Hosking mysteriously disappear.)

So … Mike Hosking. 14,000 and counting want him OFF the telly.
That’s quite a response. What an extraordinary thing to have occurred.

The criticisms seem genuine and well-founded and, I can’t recall any similar such outpouring or uprising against a TV ‘host’. Oh, hang on — except that one where people didn’t want Mike Hosking to chair the political leaders’ debate at the last election. I remember that.

Oh, and I remember this:

Hosking_biased_survey

It’s as obvious as anything else that’s really, really obvious that Hosking is as biased as hell.

He is not just using his state TV platform to perform as a National Party support organ, but he often acts as a vociferous promoter and counter-puncher for the Nats. He appears to me (and, judging by the petition, some others, too) to be a John Key apologist/propagandist/labradoodle.
Continue reading →

They laughed when I stuck tape over my web cam…

I’m not kidding. One of the first things I did at a new workplace was stick a small rectangle of Post-it note over the web cam. It provoked a few comments re “paranoia”, but did I care? Nope.

Then, months later, I read that FBI director James Comey did the same thing, citing people who were smarter than him about these things.

Now look at this photo of privacy busting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — and ask yourself: Hmm. Why not?

Tape on his web cam & (maybe) his microphone – click to enlarge Pic: Chris Olson @topherolson

Zooming in …

Zuckerberg_s_MacBook_Pro

See?

– P

Link to Chris Olson’s tweet here.

Will Congress listen?

A campaign calling for global responsibility (click for link to eff.org)

Just between us

Wanted-poster-2400

I am, of course, a fully paid up member of the Vast Yet Peculiarly Secret Left Wing News Media & Trade Union Conspiracy to Deprive Cameron Slater of Free Speech* although I can’t get to all the weekly meetings.

Still, the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS monthly newsletters produced by the bright young interns in the research department are always gold. Here are a few extracts from the latest issue which, naturally, reports in full on the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS secret-yet-crowd-source-funded defamation action being taken against Cameron Slater’s puppet master Carrick Graham and Slater Jnr in order to (naturally) silence them. This is, of course, fully in keeping with the objects and constitution of our secret conspiracy, you understand.

All of us in the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS have had enough of these propagandists and their inconvenient (cough) examination of our secret-yet-publicly-funded-publicity campaign to improve the health of New Zealanders by mercilessly plaguing the completely legal and bona fide business enterprises of big tobacco, big liquor, big sugar, and the fast/fat foods industry who always pay their taxes in full and contribute to society by employing deceitful propagandists to dishonestly smear, demean and harass public health advocates.

Oops. Have I let the cat out of the bag?

Peter_Aranyi_on_Twitter

For context, when considering this ‘threat’ to embroil an online critic in legal action, it’s worth knowing that Slater Jnr has very recently aided and abetted a delusional time-waster who (it seems to me) has over six months sought to clumsily abuse the Court process to pursue personal vendettas against his critics.

So, although one might think Slater has his hands full bailing out the sinking way loyal waka  … you just don’t know.

As for this …  Continue reading →

On our way back to summer

Breathe in, breathe out. Don’t stop.

Some of my Northern hemisphere friends are grumbling about a less than convincing summer so far.

But here in New Zealand we’ve just had the longest night and I took this pic (above) out my kitchen window at 7:22 this morning — the morning of the shortest day.

Yay — we’re on our way back to summer.

– P

Tedeschi Trucks Band – ‘Anyhow’

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Anyhow” (Live in Studio)

via Horus @real_Deity 

Apparently this choir boy and his glove puppet are being sued for defamation

Carrick Graham, Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for British American Tobacco, poses for a photograph September 9, 2005 in Napier, New Zealand. BAT announced today that it will close its Napier plant with the loss of 170 jobs. The Napier plant, formerly the Rothmans factory, produces up to 2.2 billion cigarettes a year for the New Zealand and Pacific Island markets. September 09, 2005| Credit: John Cowpland

Carrick Graham when he was employed as a flack for British American Tobacco. (click to view at Getty Images)

It’s hard to believe, I know, that such an innocent looking guy (above) could possibly be involved in a protracted, commercially motivated series of smear campaigns, taking advantage of a half-wit and his website to personally and repeatedly demean and attack public health advocates.
But look:

Boyd-Swinburn-tweet

And here it is in the news, citing Carrick Graham’s (and his easily-led accomplice’s) apparent “campaign of deliberate and sustained defamation.”…

click to read at stuff.co.nz

click to read at stuff.co.nz

Given what we already know from Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, it seems to me Professor Swinburn, Professor Sellman and Shane Bradbrook should be quickly able to dispense with any ‘honest opinion’ fig leaf/defence offered by the slippery PR flack and his ethically-challenged hireling. Continue reading →

On arrogance and credulity

One of these two head bangers infringes the privacy of other people to attack them. Oh, hang on – they both do. (Pic: Rachel Glucina)

One of these two head bangers infringes the privacy of people to attack them. Oh, hang on – they BOTH do. (Pic: Rachel Glucina)

I’ve had cause to think about privacy issues recently, and situations where people and organisations can fairly be said to have ‘interfered’ with someone’s privacy (well, mine, in fact, but that’s a story for later).

Today I stumbled across a 2012 non-apology letter from then Social Development Minister Paula Bennett who faced an adverse finding from the Human Rights Commission over her release of a citizen’s private information. Ms Bennett had responded to criticism of government policy relating to social welfare beneficiaries by releasing personal information about one of the critics. Nasty.  Continue reading →

Wow. A rocket landing

One of my interests is rocketry and photography. This, from Space-X, is amazing.

Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?

Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance.

Click to enlarge

Chilcot report preview – click to enlarge

I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at the ‘sexed-up dossier’ and manipulation of dodgy so-called intelligence about Sadam Hussein’s alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Among other things, the report disclosed that Blair’s cabinet wasn’t properly informed or consulted because Blair conducted a ‘sofa style’ of government, where important decisions were made by a small close group, who keep their discussions off the record by excluding official public service record keepers (like the Cabinet Secretary) from recording the inner circle’s decisions, or taking notes.

In other words, decisions about the most serious of issues facing a nation were taken not just in secret, but in an improper undemocratic manner by a craven little cabal. The way the WMD dossier was used, and the stifling of voices who didn’t buy Blair’s spin (e.g. about Sadam being able to launch attacks on the UK in “45 minutes”) or the in David Kelly‘s case, the extinguishment of those skeptical, truth-telling voices should be a lesson to all who seek government accountability.

Whistleblowers, people of conscience, can be like a safety valve. Are they perfect people? No, they’re human and screw up like we all do. But they’re people who speak up, to try to call attention to abuses of power.

No wonder the abusers of power, the holders of dark secrets of illegal actions, and those guilty of misleading their citizens fear them so much.

This video by the ACLU is worth considering, whatever your view of whistleblowers.

9/11 Saudi links. “Let the evidence be seen.”

“Let the evidence be seen.”
Hard to argue with that, but whether a link to the ‘Saudi Government’ can be made seems questionable. The sovereign immunity angle is also messy.

Good on Terry Strada and the other 9/11 families for pushing for legal accountability. It’s their right.

– P

On disagreements among friends

image: hollingerapplebutter.wordpress.com

image: hollingerapplebutter.wordpress.com

Recently in another venue I had occasion to disagree, publicly but in a minor way, with an online friend who’d published an article that I agreed with – mostly, but not entirely.

It’s not the first time that’s happened. Indeed, I’ve said before, in the context of my criticism of my beloved PropertyTalk discussion forum, I can be an uncomfortable friend to have. Sorry.

As an act of discipline, I try to be ready to accommodate people perceiving my own words and actions – no matter how robustly expressed – differently to how I see them.

Sometimes I can appear to see things, or portray them, in black-and-white terms. Even with the abundant qualifiers, modifiers and softeners I deploy to emphasize that I’m only sharing my view of things, my opinion or conclusions based on what I’ve observed, it still comes out pretty harsh sometimes. (Maybe it’s a bit of the Asperger’s or something? Dunno.)

As someone who on occasions issues tough criticisms of other human beings, I know the truth of ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. So is ugliness, eh? I know I’m repeating myself, but I do really try to take this approach: “Oh, good, we see things differently. Let’s discuss this.” (That is, of course, a lot easier when it’s not your spouse ‘differing’ with you.)

So, no big deal, but this friend and I disagreed about an aspect of what she wrote. I frankly misjudged her reaction to me saying so (which, yeah, that happens) and copped a bit of heat back. Bokay. No tears. That also is going to happen.

Let me say the writer is someone I respect and admire for all sorts of solid reasons. She’s also someone who has influenced my thinking about a number of things, I’ve said as much, and she’s still well and truly in the ‘credit’ column as far as I’m concerned. I *think* we’re OK, but it got chilly for a little bit.

Anyway, it got me thinking.  Continue reading →