Delayed coverage from Wellington NZ


Archive for the ‘politics’ Category


You’ll need to be registered at Salon to view this article, but here are some points I found particularly interesting:

More urgently, the Bush administration’s delusional state about the progress of its war suggests that it is incompetent to safeguard the nation’s security.


The Sunni Arabs, who largely did not vote, have only 17 members in the 275-seat parliament. They therefore are grossly underrepresented among the voting delegates on the committee charged with writing a new constitution, a situation that has contributed to the ongoing insurgency and threatens Iraq’s future. The Shiites and Kurds both voted enthusiastically. The Shiite religious parties that had been close to Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian hard-liners swept to power in the Legislature.


As journalist Sarah Whalen pointed out in the Arab News, the increasingly effective guerrilla war has vindicated Baghdad Bob. “Baghdad Bob” (his real name was Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf) was the spokesman for the Iraqi regime who issued an endless stream of ludicrous pronouncements about how the mighty Iraq army was turning Baghdad into a mass grave for Americans, and so on. Today, many of his predictions, such as the one that the Iraqis would hurl “bullets and shoes” at the invading U.S. military, not bouquets of roses, have come true. But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Sahhaf has been honored on a higher plane. His rhetorical strategy, of simply denying reality, has now been taken over by his arch-nemesis, George W. Bush.

Roseneath, Wellington, Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Busy busy…

Not much time for bucketFountain at the moment. Have just launched my first big (by my standards) PHP/MySQL site for a client in the UK. The application is OK. I mean, its all CSS, it’s generally fully compliant and accessible HTML, but as its also a CMS so I need to catch a few more things in the way of user input to make sure that it stays that way. Then maybe I’ll post a link here….

Happily I have found a work around for the IE4 issue I was having on my cross browser machine. Simply open URL’s by using ctrl + L, rather than typing them in address bar. I declare that running multiple versions of IE on one machine not only possible but freaking easy (thanks to the fine efforts of sidesh0w and skyzyx)!

National Radio’s Morning Report celebrated its 30th birthday on Friday, and I was surprised to learn that the most excellent Geoff Robinson has been there since the beginning. Well done – I grew up listening to that programme.

Sadly, Papa in Roma is near to the end. Sad although this is, surely we should be paying a little more attention to the appointment of Wolfowitz to the World Bank. He aims to get ‘real success’ in reducing poverty. And with no strings attached, I bet….

Roseneath, Wellington, Saturday, April 2nd, 2005

World Bank Madness

Some mornings you wake up and the world is even madder than it was the previous day. Yesterday I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news that Paul Wolfowitz had been nominated to head the World Bank. An attempt by the Bush administration to further dominate weak developing countries? If I was from Mars I would think it odd to suggest appointing the current Deputy Defence Secretary to such an important development role. From the Independent Newspaper:

So far, the US has shut the World Bank out of the reconstruction process in Iraq, a decision in which Mr Wolfowitz was almost certainly involved. Much of his credibility in the new job is likely to rest on his ability to bring the World Bank back into that process.

And, the last word to z-magazine:

The respected liberal economist Joseph Stiglitz did bring a fresh air of dissidence to the Bank, but he was quickly shown the door out. That became a typical play during Jim Wolfensohn’s regime at the bank. Other independent-minded people were kicked out or told to tone down their analysis. With Wolfowitz at the helm, the bank’s climate is likely to get worse, not better.”

Roseneath, Wellington, Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Roseneath, Wellington, Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Person of the year

I had to buy TIME magazine when I saw that they had made George W Bush their ‘Person of the year’. Not at all surprising seeing that 2003’s person of the year was The American Soldier. 2004 is Bush’s second time, he is in the company of Hitler (1938), Stalin (also named twice, in 1939 and 1942), Nixon (1971 and the following year with Kissinger), along with a number of US Presidents, saints, innovators and groups of people (the twenty-five and unders of ’66 for example).

TIME regularly name bad guys, this selection includes two commies, an Ayatollah and Adolf. No bad guys from the US of course, they probably don’t exist.

You can find a complete list here at .

Mornington, Wellington, Friday, December 31st, 2004

Tegal – you couldn’t wish for worse?

While I was sussing out the NZ web design scene, I came across the company that designed the Tegal poultry site. Tegal is New Zealand’s best known brand of cook-at-home-chicken and turkey, and I was relieved to read that all their chickens are barn raised (scroll to the bottom of the page):

Broiler chickens are raised in large, modern, well equipped barns. They are free to move around, with access to food and water 24 hours a day.

Excellent. But then I thought, what does barn raised really mean? I had a quick look on Google and found this on the Auckland Animal Action web site.

Broiler chickens are chickens raised for their meat. They are reared in packed sheds, with up to 45,000 other chickens. This often gives each chicken a space the size of an A4 piece of paper. They live in these sheds for the whole of their 6-7 weeks lives…


As if the life of a broiler chicken wasn’t hellish enough, their death is even worse.

I haven’t eaten much chicken over the last few months because I suspected that most UK/European chickens lived and died in appalling conditions. I had thought that chickens in NZ would have space to roam, but being naive I underestimated the power of the profit motive.

That about wraps it up for Tegal – I think I’ll go organic from now on.

Mornington, Wellington, Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

The Power of Nightmares

Check it: The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis. A great doco about the role of fear in modern politics, looking at neo-conservatism and radical Islamists. It challenges a range of conventional notions such as the presence of an organised terrorist network like al-Qaeda and it sheds light on the neo-conservatism.

Maida Vale, London, Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

This is how we treat Nazis in NZ

This is great – let’s all keep it up now people!

Maida Vale, London, Friday, October 29th, 2004

‘Al Jaz’

I like to check out Al-Jazeera for a truly different perspective. Since I saw the superb doco Control Room I have been interested in the angle the much maligned Al-Jazeera take. As they say at the station, nothing is taboo, everything must be reported.

On a trivial note, the web site doesn’t quite render in FireFox. An appeal to FireFox users who like their news lies opinion in different flavours: please visit the Aljazeera site and leave them a solid reason in form of a server log entry so they get their site working correctly in the browser of choice.

Maida Vale, London, Friday, October 29th, 2004

Respect to Mike Moore

Yep. Gotta hand it to the man. If you care to watch the last edition of the BBC’s most excellent Question Time you’ll see what I mean. Mike, do me a favour, you’re at your best live so quit it with the crappy books already. He (Moore) excels live or at least on screen and this is a textbook example of his humour defusing an argument and winning people over….

Maida Vale, London, Friday, October 29th, 2004


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