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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Blogging

Hello,
As you may have noticed I am not blogging at the moment.
I have simply run out of time with all the things I have on at the moment and things dont look like they are going to get any less hectic for the moment.

I may start up again next semester.

Cheers
Conor

Monday, February 28, 2005

Hate is not a family value

Got this email from the good folks at "Not my destiny" who are organising an event in the AUSA quad this Saturday in opposition to the not so good folks Destiny Church who will be huffing and puffing their way up Queen Street the same day. Pass it on to people who might want to come.

> On Saturday March 5th Destiny Church under the> banner of 'Defend the> Legacy' is marching in Auckland. They are walking up> Queen Street> into Myers Park for a rally. Because of the hatred> that the Destiny> flock is spreading, and the experiences of many> Civil Union> celebrators during the Wellington Enough is Enough> march we feel it> will not be a safe place either physically or> emotionally for those> with a differing view. > > Don't hate, celebrate! is a peaceful response the> Defend the Legacy> Destiny Church rally. Join in the fun, family> festival; Don't hate, celebrate!> March 5th at the University Quad, Princess St,> Auckland Central 11am - 2pm> > Bring your family, a picnic and enjoy entertainment> including Chris> Knox, Christine White, inspiring speakers, a kid's> corner, stalls and> face painting for the young and old. See the website> for more information> www.notmydestiny.org.nz (operational 27th Feb)> > We are also requesting donations [financial or> useful products for> the event] because we are not an organisation rather> just a few> individuals who want to make sure Destiny Church are> not the only ones with a voice.> Please send cheques made out to cash to P.O Box> 44-067 or contact us> if you want to make alternative plans. > > Any donations will be used to cover the costs of> printing posters and> flyers, hire of sound equipment, cleaning> requirements, t-shirts,> media promotions all individuals involved are> donating their time and> expertise and will not be paid for their services.> In the unlikely> event of excess funds, these will be distributed> evenly between those> community groups participating on the day.> > Any support would be appreciated, we look forward to> seeing you there.> > Annalise> Don't hate, celebrate!> > For more information on the 'Defend the Legacy'> march check out> www.legacy.org.nz

Friday, February 25, 2005

The week before O week

God I am busy.

It is the week before O week and we are flat stick getting ready for it (that and moving into the new place)

I'll let you all know how it goes next week.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Summer school

No blogging over the weekend as I was away at Young Labour's excellent summer school.

Oh and my friend just texted me to say that Hunter S. Thompson has died, may he rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

He said it...

Interesting.

I had it pointed out to me that I had made some rather interesting posts on David Farrar's blog.

David is rabbiting on about how Helen is to blame regarding the problems with the NCEA.

In the comments section I apparently stated:

helen clark is right the government are not accountable for what nzqa do and thats that labour have done a great job with educationand you should all stop taking cheap shotsand the pm and her team.Posted by: conor at February 15, 2005 08:30 AM

A few things of note.

I am awake at 8:30am but not normally at a computer.

I always use a capital in my name as I am worth it.

I do not have an email address constar@yahoo.com I always leave my proper email address for fanmail.

I write much wittier posts and comments than they one that some moron came up with and whilst not normally the best at spelling or punctuation I dont write like that.

Of course all the thinkers out there jumped on it:

And halt the presses again - a Labour Party activist declares Helen is right and that it should be illegal for people to criticise Helen and her team.
After all it is more important that people do not criticise Helen, than oh you know students actually have a fair qualifications system.Posted by David Farrar at February 15, 2005 08:36 AM
Jeez, in my day, the youth were ANTI-government, full of fire and spunk; not soft "stop being mean to our PM! We love our dear leader!" government stooges.Posted by Glenn at February 15, 2005 09:12 AM
Someone get conor a hanky and some councilling! After that attack on his Mum...er Helen by the beastly Farrar he needs hugs and cuddles.Oh the humanity!Posted by James at February 15, 2005 09:43 AM

Is this going to be the death of blogs? when people have things attributed to them which they had nothing to do with? Come on, grow up.

What the journos say about National and Brash

Jane Clifton: "It's uncanny how meticulously National times its own pratfalls. The churls won't let us sit in on their caucus meeting's but I'll bet at least an hour is taken up with small-arms instruction: "You hold your gun - so! You hold four foot - so! Now, point and shoot, point and shoot."[1]

"...what National MPs have managed to tell us, before the first parliamentary sitting of election year, is that they can't get on, and are therefore unelectable."[2]

Otago Daily Times (editorial): 'Losing spokesmanship may be attributed to the ruthless gamesmanship of politics in election year, but the demotion is the specific action that reflects poorly on Dr Brash and his advisers. While he might think Mrs Rich's relegation demonstrates his strong leadership, it will in fact further exacerbate the divisions within his caucus and the wider party over both policy and his erratic leadership style.'[3]

Barry Gustafson: "You had four prominent women I thought you could take into the next election - Georgina te Heuheu, Lynda Scott, Katherine Rich and Judith Collins - but it's a bit like bottles on the wall and I'm down to my last bottle." "It's not a good look."[4]

Jonathan Milne (NZHerald): "There has been much comment about the relegation of National's women MPs: of the six, only first-termer Judith Collins has anything remotely resembling a real portfolio now. Georgina te Heuheu was sacked as Maori issues spokes-woman last year, and Lynda Scott has announced her retirement and appears to now be an angry MP with nothing to lose."
"Moreover, Auckland-based Brash has upset five of his seven South Island MPs since taking the leadership. He ousted Bill English as leader, took the deputy leadership off Nick Smith, angered Scott and Brian Connell, and demoted Rich. Only deputy Gerry Brownlee and supporter David Carter remain."[5]

Timaru Herald (editorial): 'Just as it looked to be re-establishing credibility with the electorate, leader Don Brash has not only shot himself in the foot following his Orewa call for a tougher line on beneficiaries, he has removed the entire leg....His ability to handle caucus, his attitude to women and his motives in attacking beneficiaries are now all being debated.'[6]

John Armstrong (NZHerald): (5 Feb)"If Brash's own welfare spokeswoman could not swallow his more hardline ideas, what hope does he have of convincing the rest of the country of their validity?"[7]

Cook Strait News (editorial): "Don Brash is starting to show his age" Orewa II "...highlighted just how the good doctor is edging towards a twilight of shuffling around the kiwifruit orchard in slippers, making unsolicited and longwinded small-talk with passing strangers."
"...he's started coming up with schemes that were disastrous in the middle of the last century, but now have a certain nostalgic appeal to anyone who was young then."[8]

[1] Listener 12 Feb 2005
[2] Listener 12 Feb 2005
[3] Otago Daily Times, 3 Feb 2005
[4] Marlborough Express, 2 Feb 2005
[5] Herald on Sunday, 6 Feb 2005
[6] Timaru Herald, 4 Feb 2005
[7] NZHerald, 5 Feb 2005
[8] Cook Strait News, 1 Feb 2005

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I like doing this caption thing. I might keep it up. Here is one for that interesting fellow Mr Murray McCully. Posted by Hello

mccully.no.gays.org

You have to wonder what is going through the mind of Don Brash's chief adviser or "Parliamentary Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition " when he comes out with email newsletters like this one.

Understandably Jordan and Xavier take issue with his musings.

I mean this guy is off the planet.

I guess when the headline says: "Sisterhood Markets Homosexuality" you had better be weary about what rant is about to take place.

He then goes on to declare that we do not need to worry about which team the McCully team is batting for by stating that the people of mccully.co display "unambiguously and rampantly heterosexual proclivities" Rampantly eh? Being a heterosexual myself I find myself drawn to their office. Sounds like fun in there! Any jobs going?

Anyway, "We are now well past the debate on legalisation of homosexuality. And all manner of protections from discrimination against gays now exist in the law of the land." Good eh? People not judged about what they get up to in the bedroom. I'd agree with that. Always seems funny to me that Tories are so quick to moan about the government in our lives but then seem to see fit to judge what people do in their bedrooms.

"Cynics suggest that its subliminal message is clearly that homosexuality is officially endorsed by the Government of the land (which has gone to the trouble of buying the ad) as one of the lifestyle options to be carefully considered by young people." What the hell? I can only guess that you are one of the cynics you refer too... So you don't think that young people already carefully consider their sexuality? I guess that you mean to say that people simply make up their mind on their sexuality over their morning bowl of cornflakes and that the socialist government is trying to destroy the family so as to bring about the revolution...

"Above all else, the ad will simply cause offence to many people. The ad is being pushed hardest on TV2, where the largest audience of young people is to be found." So I guess the ad causes offence to you Murray. It must disturb you that there are people out there continuously performing sodomy. That people you know could even be doing it too. Its a shame your email newsletter didn’t deal with the problems of rising sexually transmitted infections but rather cheap populist point scoring crap.

"The Sisterhood will no doubt defend the advertisement on the basis that it delivers a health message." Aside from the fact that I doubt that Helen had much to do with the ad, yes I am sure that the sisterhood would agree that trying to get people to wear condoms is a good idea. Whilst Xavier and Murray don’t like the 'No rubba, no hubba hubba' slogan, I do. I am sure they must have focused grouped it with the target audience so it was probably the best they could come up with. I am also grateful that another slogan has been added to our lexicon, this has given rise to many humorous pisstakes...

"But they could easily have done that without graphic depictions of sexual encounters of any kind." Umm, two people kissing on a couch counts as graphic depictions of sexual encounters? Maybe working at mccully.co wouldn’t be as exciting as I first thought.

"And they certainly did not need to spend taxpayers’ cash rarking up the very un-gay folks at the worldwide headquarters."

I cannot fathom why any homosexual person would ever vote for the National party. The good folks at rainbow labour shouldn’t have a hard time convincing their communities that the National party doesn’t give a shit about them. McCully was surely instrumental in having the Don renege on his support for the civil union bill.

I wonder if it was one of McCully's mates that walked into the lions den of the Big Gay Out proclaiming sodomy to be a perversion. If not then it should be remembered that this guy seemingly shares the same sort of views about a part of our community as Mr McCully.

Whoever elevated the narrowminded and seemingly intolerant McCully to be the strategist for the National party has done my party a huge favour. Thinking about it I believe that McCully simply believes that some kind of conservative backlash a la United States is going to take root here and thrust him and his other arch-conservatives into office. I happily believe that he is wrong. New Zealand is not narrowminded and intolerant.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nothing this evening

No blogging tonight. I finished off a piece about other people's piece's for my 'side project' group-blog "About town"

That should keep them happy for a few days.

Upcoming seminars at Uni

FYI:

Monday, Feb. 21, 4pm Department of History, Monday, Feb. 21, 4pm
David Wright, McMaster University, Industrialization and the Institutional Confinement of the Insane in the Western World The rise of the lunatic asylum remains one of the most controversial events in modern social and medical history. For several decades, the historiography of the mental hospital was dominated by a group of historians and sociologists who argued that these institutions were largely instruments of social control, conceived by the medical profession but supported by elites within society eager to incarcerate marginal and dangerous elements within society. Over the course of the last ten years, however, this 'revisionist' thesis about the mental hospital has come under attack. An unprecedented investigation into the characteristics of asylum patients has demonstrated repeatedly that women, the elderly, and vagrants were not disproportionately incarcerated in these purpose built institutions.
This paper will summarize the principal findings of the new history of asylums, and particularly the confinement of the insane in various industrializing countries. After outlining the broad socio-demographic characteristics of the patient population found in most mental hospitals, the paper will seek to outline a new over-arching thesis of institutionalization, one based on the demographic and epidemiological impacts of industrialization. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of migration and in-migration on kin-availability, as well as the changing role and status of women in industrialized societies. Directions for future research will also be discussed.

16 February Professor Virginia Berridge: Visit to University of Auckland, February 2005
, 6pm: Public lecture and Keynote opening address to 'Health and History: International Perspectives', the 9th biennial conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine, 16-19 February 2005.
Can history predict the future? Reflections on the role of history in policy. Abstract: History is a popular public subject. Tracing family history has stimulated interest in ' roots'; and historical programmes are a staple of television scheduling. Historians are recognisable public figures, and history books on war or biography top the best-seller lists. History has entertainment value. But is it now time for it to move on? Another role beckons, the use of history for policy makers. This lecture will analyse the role of history and of historians in policy making for health. Should historians be activists in policy and what are the implications of getting involved? Is history the best means we have of predicting the future?

22 February, 12.30: School of Population Health
An historical perspective on tobacco control

23 February, 11am: Department of Sociology
'Doing contemporary health history and being activists in policy - the historian's role?' This will be a follow-up talk and discussion to the public lecture on 16 February.

24 February, 4pm: History Department
The Sources Bite Back: Oral History and the Study of Elites in Contemporary History'

25 February, 3pm: Seminar Series in the Social Science for Public Health Programme (location: the School of Population Health)
Changing places? Using drugs, alcohol and tobacco since the nineteenth century

Fixing the worlds greatest democracy.

Got the below email from Hillary Clinton asking my help in fixing their democracy.
First step in a build up to a presidential challenge in 2008 maybe?
God knows they need help, I cant believe that you cant get a print out of your vote from the diebold voting ATM machine. I heard from someone that the new Kiwibank ATM's are from the same company, does anyone know if this is true? I certainly hope not...

HILLARY CLINTON

Dear Conor Roberts,

It's time to tell those who celebrate elections and voter participation in countries around the world that we must make sure every vote is counted in elections right here at home!
That's why I am asking you to sign on now as a citizen co-sponsor of vitally important election reform legislation.

http://www.friendsofhillary.com/CountEveryVote

Next week, I will introduce the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer. This comprehensive election reform bill will:

Provide a verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic voting machines.

Set a uniform standard for provisional ballots, so that every qualified voter within the state will know their votes are treated equally and will be counted.

Require the Federal Election Assistance Commission to issue standards that ensure uniform access to voting machines and election personnel in every community. It's outrageous that some people in predominantly minority communities had to wait up to 10 hours to vote, while people in other communities often voted in minutes!

In 2004, I introduced legislation similar to the Count Every Vote Act. But it never saw the light of day. I couldn't even get a hearing for my bill before the Senate Rules Committee. We can't allow this new legislation to suffer the same fate.

The Republicans who control Congress don't want to address this issue. So we've got to build grassroots momentum to make sure they don't have any choice but to act. That's why I am determined to keep moving forward -- on the Hill, with advocacy groups, and with all of you!

http://www.friendsofhillary.com/CountEveryVote

Will you join me in calling for action to Count Every Vote? Will you sign up to become a citizen co-sponsor of this bill, so that we can demonstrate that the American people won't sit still for inaction on legislation so essential to our freedom?

Please forward this e-mail to your friends, and ask them to join us. Together, we will restore the credibility of American democracy, and make sure that we count every vote.
Sincerely,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

P. S. I thank you for all you have done to build a stronger Democratic Party. Now, as we say goodbye to the outstanding leadership of my friend Terry McAuliffe, I look forward to working with Governor Howard Dean and the new DNC leadership. Let's make sure that our hard work counts on Election Day!

- You go girl.

My flag is catching on...

See here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Change of flag?

David Farrar notes that another reason to change the flag is that Iti couldn't even tell them apart at close range and had to shoot an Aussie flag (because the Warehouse had run out of our one). Can I suggest that Mr Iti may well be happier with this design? Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

Act effectively throws in election towel.

Aside from the idea that after 5 and a half years of a Labour government contributing nothing to New Zealand's economy... this weeks 'Letter' from the ACT party contains a revealing paragraph on their view of the election outcome.

The ACT party states:

IT'S THE ECONOMY Last year's 4.5% growth was the second highest in the OECD, the last five years have been amongst the best economically in most voters lifetimes. While economists point out that the foundations were laid in the Douglas/Richardson reforms, it's the government of the day that claims the credit. The Labour government is not doing everything wrong economically. It is passing free trade agreements and has left much of the reforms in place. Governments are hard to beat when the economy is growing.

Such a defeatist view from a party I once use to listen to say that it looked forward to being in government with its 9th MP (Iti's mate Brash) as the Prime Minister.

Look for the ACT 'Letter' that comes out at the end of September with one of their 'we told you so, the Letter predicted way back in February that Labour would win because of the way they managed the economy' self referential rants. Well, we will have to see - there may not be a September ACT 'Letter' - they may have reverted to a sweaty male university debating club.

Defeat so far out? Have a bit of heart, you still have a huge election campaign budget to get through.