Staggered voting

November 2, 2008

Dave Gee  posts on a phony flier put out on in Virginia telling people that because of the high voter turn out that’s expected Republican and Democrat supporters are to vote on different days.

Due to the larger than expected voter turnout in this years [sic] electorial [sic] process, An [sic] emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the following emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial [sic] precincts and ensure a fair electorial [sic] process.

All Republican party supporters and independent voters supporting Republican candidates shall vote on November 4th as prescribed by law.

All Democratic party supporters and independent voters supporting Democratic candidates shall vote on November 5th as adopted by emergency regulation of the Virginia General Assembly.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial [sic] process.

Dave suggests we could try that here:

 I reckon voters gullible enough to consider voting for the Green Party could be persuaded that the day of Sunday 9th November has been specifically set aside to take their votes this election…? 😉

Good idea – and even better New Zealand First supporters could vote on Monday November 10th 🙂


No regrets?

November 2, 2008

It is legitimate to ask questions about the characters of those who want to lead our country.

Although that doesn’t mean we should expect our leaders to be perfect.

We all make mistakes and providing we admit what we’ve done, accept responsibility, apologise, make ammends and learn from the experience we should all be able to move on.

However, that process has to start with the admission and acceptance and what amazes me is that in looking for the speck in John Key’s eye Helen Clark has completely overlooked the log of wood in her own.

There’s good reason for the Biblical caution, let (s)he who is without sin cast the first stone and yesterday’s editorial in the Dom Post  reminded us of some of the things Clark would doubtless like us to forget.

But more worringly her response to questions asked by the  Herald on Sunday  suggest she’s forgotten them too: 

I would like to ask you what your biggest regret is about your handling of politics and policy in the past three years.

I have no regrets, and I wouldn’t even dream of trying to manufacture them.
I’m sure you do have some regrets.

No regrets. Never look back.

Never look back?  That is deeply ironic from the woman whose eyes are constantly on the rear vision mirror examining (but not altering) the “failed policies” of the 80s and 90s, whose attacks on National are on what it did in the past and whose philosophy is shaped by events of the 70s and 80s.

But irony isn’t the worst of it. If to err is human, the inability to accept she’s erred is arrogant and dangerous.

Arrogant because it means she thinks she and her party have done no wrong and dangerous because if she doesn’t accept she’s made mistakes she can’t learn from them and is doomed to repeat them.

If she thinks there’s nothing to regret in the last three years then we can’t trust her to deliver anything better in the next three.


Dansey’s Pass Coach Inn

November 2, 2008

We drove through Dansey’s Pass  to the Coach Inn  to celebrate a 50th birthday yesterday.

The hotel was built in 1862. Renovation and refurbishment have added ensuites and other improvements without detracting from its historic character.

The service was relaxed and the food delicious:


Nats offer bonding for teachers

November 2, 2008

The National Party will offer voluntary bonding to teachers in hard to staff areas and subjects and will commit $19 million to this initiative.

The party has already offered similar assistance to health professionals and vets.

Bonding graduates in areas and disciplines where there are shortages is much better use of tax payers’ money than untargetted assistance for under graduates who may not complete their training and if they do may not stay to work in New Zealand.

The rest of National’s schools’ policy is here.

It includes a commitment to $2 billion of new spending on education over the next four years. This has already been allowed for in the party’s fiscal plan so will not add to projected deficits.


The gate was locked . . .

November 2, 2008

This gate leads on to a private road on private property.

It was locked, but someone wanted to get through it and happened to have a chain saw with them:


Warm hands, warm heart

November 2, 2008

 Yale University researchers  have found that having warm hands can make you treat others with more warmth.

I wonder if one day someone might do research on what makes researchers research such things as whether the temperature of your hands affects the way you treat other people.


Ladies a plate

November 2, 2008

The smell of baking always takes me back to my childhood and the delight of coming home from school to the warmth of the kitchen and Mum’s freshly baked biscuits and cakes. 

My brothers and I liked to help her although, just how helpful we were is a moot point when much of our assitance involved testing the raw mixture in spite of her warnings it would give us worms.

Bought biscuits made very rare appearances in our home and ironically were regarded as treats because familiarity blunted our appreciation of Mum’s baking which was far better.

When I left home Mum’s recipes went with me and baking was a regular work avoidance activity when I was a student.

My mother-in-law was a champion baker, renowned for both the quality and quantity of what she produced. One or her nephews recounts the story of sitting in her kitchen, enjoying her baking as she tipped the contents of a cake tin into the hen bucket to make room for the fresh biscuits.

When I moved to the farm it went without saying that I was expected to bake too so there would always be something in the tins for workers, stock agents and anyone else who dropped in.

And I did for several years then both my farmer and I decided we’d be better off without baking so I stopped.

Our daughter was still at primary school at the time so I said I’d buy biscuits for her lunch. She enjoyed the novelty of that for a while, but then started baking herself because real biscuits were much nicer than bought ones.

While I’ve never gone back to baking at least once a week as I used to, I haven’t given it up completely.

Every now and then when the mood, or work avoidance, takes me; a special occasion calls for something sweet or a treat from the kitchen is required I get back in to baking, and doing it irregularly makes it much more enjoyable.

And I’m not alone in finding this domestic art can be fun because I read that home baking is back in vogue and Alexa Johnston has written a book about it, called Ladies A Plate.

Charmian Smith interviewed her and found:

In the 1970s, as a feminist, she believed political and social change were necessary for women to have control of their own lives, but she still chose to bake as a hobby.

“Feminism is about choice and baking was a choice. For some women it was a huge relief not to have to bake.

“Now where feminism is, it is still possible to make a choice, and I think baking is a better way of spending your time and money than going out and buying stuff – and you end up with a better result, too,” she said.

“When you bake for other people it gives them pleasure as well. It’s a bit of a win-win situation.”

The rest of Charmian’s interview of Alexa is here.


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