Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sold my soul to the devil himself

I got a myspace page the other day.

Zed has one for his music, even he resisted myspace for ages, but its almost compulsory for a band to have a myspace page. After all its how the arctic monkeys got discovered. Soon after Zed got a page I started hearing all this mypace talk at the dinner table (ok we're not that sophisticated, at the TV with dinnner on our laps is more true to life).

"I've got 50 friends on myspace"

"OMG The dead pan rangers have a myspace page! They're in the South Island now. I miss those guys"
(actually Zed didn't say OMG thats pure creative license right there)

" I got a message on my myspace page"

"My songs got 200 plays on myspace!"

Being the dutiful wife that I am I immediately got insanely jealous of Zed having a myspace page. So I signed up and while my page is the epitomy of understated good taste (Zeds page too!) there are some amazing abominations that pretend to be webpages.

Checkout this famous musicians page! If my eyes could vomit, they would!

For the most part its not insanely easy to mod your myspace page. You can do it, but its hard to do with any finesse. People end up with scroll bars along the bottom of the browser window, hideous font colours and background music (which at least you can turn off). Its like myspace is bringing back the horrible web design of 4 years ago. If we could get some animated hamster gifs in there we'd really be partying.

Personally I prefer Blogger which any Moran can use.

So if you want you can go visit my profile. And if anyone has sunk to the level of having a a myspace page can you please add me as a friend. I dont want to be stuck with Tom forever.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Nuclear Powered Penis Waving

I know nothing about this, so todays post is a lively rant down the garden path.

Why is there a nuclear arms race happening? Isn't it so 1960's? Did anyone learn anything from the cold war?

I can't even begin to understand the complexities of middle eastern politics but why in this day and age would any country start a nuclear arms program?
Possibly its all about status, nothing says to the world "I am awesome!" like nuclear arsenal. It a big "Up your arse" to America because apparently only the U.S.A is allowed to have nuclear weapons anyway.

No one can fire a nuclear weapon on a country that also has nuclear weapons. We all know that before the first missile even hits the ground the counter attack will be away. So no one will ever bother using one. (So I would hope.)

What scares me the most about Iran having nukes, is that they have money. Russia never had money so they had one real nuke and twenty cardboard cutouts "defending" the motherland.
The increased amount of weapons grade uranium and plutonium available in the world cannot be a good thing, while governments can be appeased with diplomacy there are groups that would use nuclear devices simply to incite terror. These groups while not usually able to produce such things on their own are capable of stealing them (I've seen it in movies, y'know). Also the world needs more radioactive shit in it. I want a watch that will glow in the dark for the next 500,000 years. (oh sarcasm, perfect for ranting)

I don't know enough about it, I feel hopelessly uninformed and powerless. As usual the rest of the word will be left to pick up the pieces and deal with the consequences.

US funds terror groups to destabilise Iran
Significant Shift in Middle East Strategy

But you cant trust the media. (Especially not ABC)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

America - Now f#cking up the internet too

Save the Internet: Click here

Net neutrality is on the verge of being lost in America. Corporations that own the cables and wires that connect the internets together want to restrict what sites consumers see and how fast they can access them. Oh yeah and they want more cold hard cash for the privilege of doing so!
Corporate giants want to censor the internet. Its already been happening on a small scale. Consumers are prevented from accessing their ISP's competitors. Or from reading websites criticizing their ISP. It sucks to be in America, I get the impression that corporations have taken over congress, democracy and public accountability are jokes and its all about making money.

Im not sure what this will mean for the rest of the world, will we be able to access sites? Will Xtra and Orcon have to pay AT&T to let New Zealand in on the web in America? Or will Telecom take the lead from AT&T and verizon and start trying to put restrictions on the web here! (Ha I'd like to see them try it while Helen is still in power)

If like me you were blissfully unaware of whats going on (WTF is Net Neutrality!?) check out the video on this site. Its short and explains it in a way I can understand.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kiwisaver - Take the money and run.

Its supposedly saving the economy by making us all good little savers but the governments new superannuation scheme offers little incentive to keep saving. When first signing up for the savings program you will be gifted $1000 to the saving account. I expect most people will sign up for as long as it take to get the $1000 credit and then stop.

For one there are no tax incentive for individuals to save into the kiwisaver program. Its 4% of your pretax salary and you still get taxed on that 4%.

Its also inflexible. Its 4% or 8% and thats it. Low income earners should be able to start with a lower amount and gradually build up to 4% and for middle income earners 5% maybe a better option. For me the difference between 4% saving and 8% saving is $74 or $148, while I cant afford $148 I can afford more that $74. So I have to sign up for a private super scheme if I want
to invest more. Or make the manual extra lump sum payments by writing a cheque to the IRD or making payments to my kiwisaver provider. It seems very redundant.

I can already get these savings products. The money from kiwisaver is going to be managed by AMP, ING, ASB and a few others. I can already save regular amounts with these companies and I can have more flexibility, I can put in exactly how much money I want.

Kiwisaver does make it easy for average people to save for retirement. Filling in a form at work is easier than the daunting task of picking a financial institution to invest with and setting up automatic payments and so on. However only new employees get signed up, if you are already employed you have to approach a kiwisaver provider yourself and then take a form to your work and get them to make the necessary deductions.

"All existing employees, including Government employees working overseas, can join KiwiSaver by contacting a KiwiSaver scheme provider directly. They will then need to ask their employer to start deductions at their chosen contribution rate."
I suppose $1000 is incentive enough to get off my arse and do that.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Media whips New Zealanders into hysteria.......again.

So, the anti-smacking bill. Its going to turn us all into criminals for smacking our children. Yep. The media tells us there will be a new law. Yes sir, a law that will ban smacking forever and make it illegal! Thousands of parents could be prosecuted. Courts will be tied up with frivolous smacking cases and the children will run riot. Or so the media has been telling us.

If we actually dig deeper this is only a repeal of a law, section 59 of the criminal act.

"Every parent or person in place of a parent of a child is justified in using force by way of correction towards a child if that force is reasonable in the circumstances."

This has be applied in court inconsistently for years

The word "reasonable" is what is being changed here. "Reasonable" means that a man was acquitted for whipping a twelve year old girl with a section of hose pipe. The whipping had left 15cm long raised welts all over her back. Its the kind of "punishment" that might make us gasp if we were watching it in a movie.

"Reasonable" means a jury let a man off for hitting his 8 year old son with a chunk of wood across the back of the legs, leaving massive bruising.

There is no "new" law banning smacking.

This law affords children the same protection as adults. If I am whipped across the back with a hose till I bleed by my boss, they cannot claim they were using reasonable force as a defense. So why should an adult be allowed to use this as defense for whipping a child?

The United Nations has recommend that this section of the crimes act be repealed so that we can meet our international obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 10 European countries have already done so.

I am sick of one news and three news putting a ridiculous spin on this issue and dissapointed in a nation that believes everything they see on TV.

Action alert: Support repealing section 59
Interest in S59 welcome but fears are unwarranted

Chester Borrows (National MP) proposed amendment