Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas!

TheDUDE

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Compete To Find The Solution

38 years ago President Kennedy launched a pledge to land a man on the moon – and 30 years ago it was achieved. But this was no race against time. It was a race against the Soviet Republic.

The competition needs to happen again. This time we need a pledge to create emission free energy for all our needs by 2020. This can come from the US, it can come from China. It can come from any country that wishes to prove itself the most technologically advanced - and the saviour of the human race. Surely this is something to do.

(I have seen online comments from many Americans deploring the lack of sovereignty demonstrated by the US recently. Well this is a matter they can demonstrate sovereignty on, and supremacy in, by rising to the challenge of developing emission free energy that can supply the world. Get to it.)

TheDUDE

Monday, December 21, 2009

CO2 Level Means Emission Reduction Not Negotiable

The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the hotter the planet. The hotter the planet, the higher the oceans. More heat, means more energy, means more extreme weather conditions.

“…our carbon dioxide levels have gone up so quickly, in just over a hundred years we’ve gone up from 270 to 389 parts per million – remember that in the last 3 million years it’s never been more than 270 before, never been more than 270, we’re already at 389. It’ll take the planet about 30 years to catch up with that change, so the next 30 years of climate change is in the pipeline whatever we do now. Then, after that, it all depends on our behaviour now. If our carbon dioxide levels keep going up then by the end of the century we are going to see a very significant change.” Professor Sir David King (UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor 2000-7), BBC Newsnight, 20 Dec 2009.

“There’s no reason why the European Union cannot unilaterally go for 30% [cut in emissions] instead of saying if China did this they would do that – there’s no need for this! This is not a negotiation! You cannot negotiate with the laws of the physics! You cannot cut a deal with Mother Nature! This is not a negotiation!” Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, BBC - The World Debate at Copenhagen, 20 Dec 2009.

TheDUDE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Aren't The French Bizarre...

How does Google propagating French literature endanger French culture?

It must be a kind of 'If-we-don't-let-other's-access-it-they'll-want-it' kind of attitude.

They can keep it.

[French Publishers Toast Triumph Over Google]

TheDUDE

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Manners Mall - A Bus Lane!

Manners Mall in Wellington, New Zealand, was ruined several years ago when Prendergast and Council removed all the bricks that paved the area in the same manner as the rest of the city, and lay down a swath of grey that dulled and uglified what was before at least a reasonably attractive (if somewhat tired) place to sit. All the usual park benches were ripped out in the makeover and replaced with ugly yellow plastic and concrete constructs that had no back to lean on.

In other words, Prendergast first ruined the mall she is about to make a bus lane. If Manners Mall isn't a place we want to go (and it really isn't anymore) it's because Prendergast and Council made it that way. But now, rather than admit to that mistake and rectify it with an attractive area we will visit (and that could very well be done - it is a natural center of convergence) Prendergast is going to use the excuse of its unpopularity (whether tacitly or explicitly) to rip it out altogether. This is poor. Something attractive could be done here, and it should be. The opportunity is about to be lost again.

(It looks like Lower Cuba is to be swathed in grey as well - it's ugly. Don't let them do it Wellingtonians.)

[Facebook - Talk Your Walk Wellington]
[Facebook - Save Manners Mall!]

TheDUDE

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Common Purpose Manifesto

The manifesto is published! The first edition on 10th December 2009 (NZ) - Human Rights Day. How appropriate and hopefully auspicious.

Available only through Blurb at the moment. Check it out.

The Common Purpose Manifesto

TheDUDE

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Human Rights Day December 10

Though of course our rights are ours everyday, even if infringed on. (Are any of yours?) Here’s a selection…

We have the right:
- to rest and leisure [A.24]
- to material interest from our ideas [A.27.2]
- to not be subject to arbitrary interference with our privacy or to attacks on our reputation [A. 12]
- to be presumed innocent until proven guilty [A.11.1]
- to equal treatment (before the law) [A.7]
- to not be tortured or subjected to cruel or degrading treatment or punishment [A.5]
- to not be held in servitude or slavery [A.4]

TheDUDE

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is It "White" We're Afraid Of Or Redressing Wrongs

Hone responds to an abusive email with a similarly abusive email like most of us might. These personal emails are released to the media and the Human Rights Commissioner calls Hone's (or both of them?) "racially abusive", appealing to the Maori Party and parliamentarians to deplore the words used.

The worse thing is Human Rights Commissioner Joris de Bres allowing himself to be made a tool of censorship, in fact willingly participating in it. He is not the Commissioner of Bad Language, he should not be encouraging the censorship of politians who use bad language, that is an abuse of our rights.

MP's are people. Personally I'm damn happy when an MP behaves like a normal human being. This is not the kind of behaviour we, or the Human Rights Commission, should be censoring. It is not Joris de Bres' role to say what demeans the role of MP, no matter what he may think personally.

If anything the Human Rights Commission should be concerned about the number of people who believe Hone (a Maori) should be punished for using the term "white" and ask why? What are these people afraid of? Hone's angry at what the British did to Maori in the past - wrongs that need to be put right. Could it be this process of restitution and redress that people are really afraid of?

[Buddy Mikaere's email in part]
[Hone's email in full]

TheDUDE

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Phil Goff's Replacement

Perhaps the reason why John Key can get away with anything is that Phil Goff keeps criticising him, and we're thoroughly sick of it.

Isn't it about time there was more talk about Phil Goff's replacement? C'mon media commentators, political pundits, what's the story?

There are many new labour MPs and from what I've seen they are a good bunch. There's plenty that aren't Helen Clarke dopplegangers and boring critics.

Labour, don't wait 'til just before the next election, or worse, after. Start now with a new leader that's really new. Start fresh.

TheDUDE

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Teflon Prime Minister

John Key, joint prime and tourism minister of 'Pure' New Zealand had for many weeks thought it a good look to be the only developed-country leader not be represented at the Copenhagen climate change conference. Hmmm. Not that the media in New Zealand had much to say about it.

Key gave a good impression that Greenpeace, Jim Salinger and Lucy Lawless's petitions for him to be there had absolutely no impact on his decision. Even if John does deny climate change, as has actions seem to imply, he might have had the good sense to see that not attending Copenhagen might put the lie to New Zealand's 'Pure' credentials. But he didn't, well not 'til today - a bit slow perhaps? Why wasn't The Green Party making more of fuss about of this, perhaps they just weren't getting media coverage...

Don't get me wrong though, I think Key's a good PM, especially for a National party PM, and I don't know that Kyoto (or similar) is the best way to go to resolve climate change. But I do wonder about his good-sense compass when it comes to the image of New Zealand overseas and his role as tourism minister/ambassador - surely New Zealand's leader being the first to step up to Copenhagen would have been better for the country's image than being the last... And sometimes perception is vital - a good leader knows this - it is their job to demonstrate and articulate what their country is about (the vision, the story, the culture, and so on). Obama knows this.

TheDUDE

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ageist New Zealanders

On TV1 Breakfast (25 November 2009):

"Right up I’ve got to say you look very young to be heading up this organisation." Paul Henry
"Why thank you." Peter Beck (rocket scientist)

"I’m glad that you’re taking that as a compliment! And it should be a compliment I suppose because I’ve looked at your qualifications and you’re highly qualified to do this, but you do – how old are you?"
"I'm 32."

"32! Oh well, you look younger than your age."
"Great."

...

Is there really something about being (or at least looking) young that makes people inherently incompetent or is this just a naive bias that discriminates and insults?

And why is this bias so common and blatant in many New Zealanders?

If you think others are incompetent because they look young (or black or female or have long hair or whatever) then it's you who's incompetent, not them.

TheDUDE

Friday, November 27, 2009

Spread The Message

Hi. I've started a shop called TheTshirtShop at www.thetshirtshop.co.nz (that's why I haven't posted for a while). Go there for headline posts from TheDUDE on a T-shirt. Spread the message. Check it out.

TheTShirtShop

TheDUDE

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Join The 21st Century Network

Check this out: 21st Century Network. Consider joining. The 21st Century Network is an English-, but also internet (so global), based network for people who care about creating a world for all people, not just a few. This means, in my definition, a world of people contributing in ways that fulfil them without harming others fulfilment.

For the 21st Century Network this means “that the values of tolerance, global compassion, personal self-discovery, shared development; planetary concern and a love of community are essential for our survival. By ... getting together with all religions and none, we hope we can help to strengthen the humanist principles of tolerance and diversity.” (21st Century Network website)

I have a big interest in the kind of areas 21st Century Network is involved in (I’m printing a book on this soon). 21st Century is the closest group I’ve encountered to my interest in bringing on a world of fulfilment without harm for everyone – fulfilment being the common purpose of us all.

The group has a presence on Ning and MeetUp (networking sites both worth checking-out in their own right), as well as on Facebook and MySpace, and, of course, their own website and blog.

Exciting and interesting meetings are taking place fairly frequently right now in London (see their Meetup presence) and will soon be available as sound files, podcasts and perhaps even live internet broadcast. Joining the network means you get updates on the various interest groups and can participate with your own feedback online.

If you have an interest in a better world, take a look.

TheDUDE

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FEEDBACK

This is what every website should have on it - a FEEDBACK button that is obvious and loud where any user can simply and immediately write their feedback.

This is what is absolutely vital to organisation's websites. And they don't just need it for their external sites, it is just as vital for their internal so that all organisation members can feed in and back to the rest of the organisation.

This is a very simple concept, but for some reason it just isn't implemented. The reasons are not just technical, but cultural (organisations don't want real feedback from employees and employees are too scared to give it). Anyway, for the technical issues this company has a solution (for those who can't come up with their own): GetSatisfaction.com.

I don't know how good it really is, but it does float a Feedback button on all areas of a website. StumbleUpon is currently using it so have a look.

Organisations, get your feedback and start being a bit more democratic with it.

TheDUDE

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is Auckland A Failed State?

After driving down Great North Road in Auckland yesterday I realised the signage system is even worse than I had already noted. It is a bloody disaster, or, it’s like a disaster has occurred and the damage never repaired. Is Auckland a failed state? What is going on in this city???

I was directed at least three times off Great North Road by the flow of the traffic, the direction of the road and the dreadful signposting (if it existed at all). Halfway through the signs all changed colour and moved to the other side of the road. Further along the street numbers dropped down from the 4,000s to the 300s. Weird.

There’s so many issues with the signs and roads in this city I could start a website on it and never run out of content – this I think I might do (perhaps www.aucklandstreetsignssuck.com). I don’t want to clutter up TheDUDE with all this CRAP.

TheDUDE

Saturday, November 14, 2009

To Lower Prices, BUILD HOUSES

If the State wants house prices to fall it needs to build more houses. By building more houses and charging the fair price of land and construction (not the retail price of the market) it will increase supply and lower prices.

The current housing market does not work to lower prices, except in crises (when everything falls). The house price bubble is reinforced by the vested interest of all suppliers. They effectively form a collective monopoly whose only interest is higher prices. This bubble will not be burst without the intervention of a supplier whose interest is not in higher prices, but fair prices. This may be social entrepreneurs (no sign of them yet), but could most likely and reliably be the State, as it already owns land.

If the will is there, more houses, at fair prices, built well-insulated and secure, can be supplied to break the back of the housing market. Putting a plentiful supply of quality houses at fair prices on the market will force the price of the existing housing stock (which is generally poor) to compete on price, and the price will fall.

If we want this, we can have it. Demand it.

TheDUDE

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Maori Party Controllers

The Maori Party leaders believe they are a party of control, their control. But a truly democratic party is not controlled by its leaders, it is led by them, and in a really good party all members are leaders.

The designated Maori party leaders believe they can decide who is in the party or not. How can it be their choice? This is the “Maori” party. If you are Maori and want to be in the Maori party can you be refused?

A good party has a diversity of views as well as views in common. The two can be told apart. Maori Party ‘leaders’ attempts to control members’ views crushes the party’s ability to act democratically and damages the essential human right of its members to freedom of expression.

None of this is to say that any of the other parties (perhaps the Greens?) are any more tolerant, diverse or democratic. There is a long way to go before any political party has the openness, tolerance and respect to let in and allow the free responsibility of it members in all their diversity while still accentuating the critical policies they have in common.

I for one will welcome the debate we get when we do, and will even more welcome not having the controllers come crushing down on it. (Of course it doesn’t help that most of the media eggs on controllers.)

TheDUDE

Is New Zealand Becoming Alcatraz?

It is becoming increasingly difficult for New Zealanders of British descent to return to the UK. As Britain grows increasingly attached to Europe so those of British descent are getting locked out.

The UK is continuously raising the bar for New Zealanders of British descent wishing to return to Britain. If a working visa can be obtained it now takes 5 years to gain citizenship, one more move in the trend to increase criteria for British descendants returning. There is a risk that the descendents of those who chose to leave will not have the choice of returning.

New Zealand is part of the Commonwealth and the former British Empire. Not long ago, New Zealanders of British descent were regarded as British subjects, by ethnicity they still are. New Zealanders by nationality, British by descent. New Zealanders fought easily for Britain because they were British New Zealanders, sharing the same Queen and the same legal system.

The hardening criteria on British New Zealanders returning is a worrying trend. The UK should not turn its back on its people, wherever they are. But it is. We must fight for our ethnic rights, even our right to an ethnicity.

TheDUDE

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Empire Wants To Strike Back

Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Media Empire, wants to strike back at the freedom of the internet and the rebel leader Google.

Murdoch says he will block Google from listing all news stories from the Empire and start charging web users for access.

But what the Emperor doesn't understand is that he must work with Google, not against. Any block and charge policy that excludes Google and other rebel leaders from free access to the Empire will result in the Empire's exclusion, as free web denizens everywhere will go where such restrictions do not apply.

The web is for free and fair, maybe the Emperor and his Empire don't belong here at all.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/09/murdoch-google


TheDUDE

Friday, November 6, 2009

Israel-Palestine / Palestine-Israel

What about a one state solution? Two peoples, one state. Perhaps a Treaty of Jerusalem. Sound familiar Aotearoa-New Zealand?

Obviously it does, as in New Zealand (for the benefit of those not from here) we have a Treaty of Waitangi between the first peoples to the country (the Maori) and the British (who came next). This is regarded as New Zealand's founding document, and Aotearoa is widely regarded as the Maori name for New Zealand, with Aotearoa-New Zealand an emerging title for the nation.

So a two-people's, one-nation solution for Israel-Palestine. A Treaty of Jerusalem for a shared democratic nation. In the end, the only thing that's going to break the deadlock there is trust, and that isn't going to happen without sharing, open borders, pooled resources. They both have rights to their shared land and they both need to live there. There's only one real solution, one nation, two peoples. They can do this.

TheDUDE

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's Over For Microsoft (As A Monopoly)

Slashing jobs, sales down. Finally the internet and tech savvy are becoming a force who won't accept the monopoly prices of MS and have the courage to use the alternatives in force.

Adobe is next (their prices are scandalous!) and the statistical, big customer relationship management databases that really do so little.

TheDUDE

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Police Bullies

I'm of the opinion that the police in Dunedin cause the kind of friction that escalates happily drunken behaviour into anger at police.

On a student celebration Dunedin police will deliberately (or just incredibly stupidly) pick on a drunk student in a sea of celebrating drunk students for a minor infringement. The outcome is obvious.

Why? Because Dunedin police (perhaps all police, but Dunedin's the best place to practice it) like to practice 'riot' control on students. Either that or they're just stupid. But no, they actually like a bit of violence (and of course that's pretty stupid too).

TheDUDE

Chill Phill Goff

Phill Goff remove that tie, open that top button and stop being such a critical prig. You have an image problem. Stop being negative, start being positive. Start being likeable, relaxed - CHILL OUT!

You don't need the motorbike, that's a bit extreme. But do loosen up. Definately don't be Helen Clarke (she was fine as her, but we don't want another right now).

Go on Phil, give it a go.

TheDUDE

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Auckland Street Signs SUCK!!

What is it with Auckland and its street signs?! Where the hell are they?! Why the hell are they where they are when they are there?!!

So many times in Auckland I've come to an intersection and there's no indication of the road I'm entering or even the one I'm leaving. How are we supposed to get around this place?!

On the motorway I don't get signs telling me this is the exit to Takapuna or Devonport, I just get a sign saying a street name! How the hell does that help?!!

When I look for a street sign I look at the entrance of the street for the sign. Why does Auckland have them on the other side??? (If it has them at all, which it usually doesn't).

On some main roads, even on the motorway, the sign saying where to exit (or just the bloody street name) is not visible until you're right beside it - there's not a shit show in hell you'll make the turn without an accident (and you're probably in the wrong lane) - it's ridiculous!

Photo evidence is coming.

TheDUDE

Te Whenua o Maori

Maoriland or perhaps more precisely, Land of the Maori, which in the native tongue is, Te Whenua o Maori. This is what New Zealand should be called or should be called if it ever becomes a republic. As this is what New Zealand really is. It isn't some new Zeeland of the Netherlands, it is the land of the Maori.

Just like France is named after the Franks, England after the Angles, Scotland after the Scots, so New Zealand should be Maoriland - Te Whenua o Maori - after the Maori who live here.

What would it mean? Well think about it. It would identify this land, this country with Maori. Maori would become more than just an ethnicity, it would also become a nationality. If you lived here, and adopted this country (and this country adopted you) then you would become a Maori for the purposes of nationality. You might be called an English Maori or a Chinese Maori or an Indian Maori, but that's how it would be.

So how about it?

TheDUDE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TheDUDE is here!

Just created TheDUDE!