Top sausage

November 12, 2008

Canterbury company Hellers won the Supreme Award for its Kransky sausage in the Great New Zealand Sausage competition.

Hellers won the top award for its bacon earlier in the year.


Disease with attitude

November 12, 2008

Public Health officals have announced the country’s facing an epidemic of psychosclerosis.

 

It’s a nasty condition precipitated by a hardening of attitude.You probably won’t find the term in a medical dictionary but you’ll have no trouble recognising the condition when you meet someone afflicted by it.

 

The symptoms of PS vary but the disorder is characterised by complete closure of the mind, dangerously low levels of flexibility and chronic ill-humour.

 

PS short-circuits the normal intellectual processes so those who contract it become incapable of using or understanding rational arguments. Instead they rely on emotional pleas, never allowing the facts to get in the way of the prejudices, frequently founding their cases on baseless assertions and employing half truths to substantiate their beliefs.

 

Sufferers are resistant to change and tend to be dogma-dependent with a dangerous reliance on well-worn phrases and clichés.

 

Although managing these statements with ease the typical PS sufferer struggles with simple sentences such as “I’m sorry,”, “you’ve got a good point there,” or perhaps I’ve made a mistake”.

 

As PS advances, it leads to significant impairment of the senses. The eyes are first to fail, resulting in short-sightedness, tunnel vision and the inability to see any point of view but the sufferer’s own. In severe cases PS causes such disruption to the visual pathways that those afflicted become totally one-eyed.

 

Another consequence of the condition is colour-blindness, leading to a predilection for seeing everything in black and white so people with even mild symptoms can’t understand that most issues come in many shades of grey.

 

PS also impairs the hearing so those with the condition suffer from selective deafness and an unwillingness to listen to reason.

 

People afflicted by PS exhibit characteristics which might be regarded as virtues if there were directed positively, but because all energy is channelled negatively they become vices. Hence where a healthy person might be single-minded, tenacious or determined, someone with PS is simply pig-headed.

 

With mild cases, PS is limited to individuals, but in more severe outbreaks it become highly infectious, spreading rapidly through communities until much of the population is infected.

 

The disease isn’t difficult to diagnose, but it is usually chronic and results in a steady deterioration in quality of thought for the sufferers and those in contact with them.

 

Treatment depends on a high degree of patient co-operation, which is rarely achieved, because sufferers believe the rest of the world is at odds with them and only rarely accept that the reverse is actually the case.

 

Transfusing with tolerance may provide temporary relief of the symptoms, but a total cure requires frequent injections of both love and laughter.

 

Patients who fail to respond to this find the hardening spreads from their attitudes to their hearts, and although that may not be fatal, the consequences are so painful for them and those close to them it might as well be.


2000 comments & where to now

November 12, 2008

In the post election euphoria I overlooked the posting of the 2000th comment so I counted back and discovered it was a compliment from Adolf of No Minister  left on the failed policies of the noughties on Monday.

I started blogging at the end of April and it took more than four months to get 100 comments, the 1001st comment was posted by Inventory 2 of Keeping Stock on September 12 .

That the next 1000 came in less than half that time is pleasing, but to keep it in perspective Kiwiblog probably gets that many in two or three days.

Still, this isn’t a competition, it’s just a bit of fun and that’s what I’ve been having. However, I’ve been thinking about where to from now and there will be a little less politics and a lot more life so I’ll be reducing the quantity of posts with the aim of increasing the quality.

I appreciate the feedback, even – and sometimes especially – when it takes a contrary view to mine, so I hope you’ll keep dropping by and if the mood takes, leaving your thoughts.


Otago clan beats Auckland clan

November 12, 2008

Auckland University wondered if when Siobhon Cervin became the sixth and last sibling from her family to graduate it was a New Zealand record.

But of course Otago can better that.

A Dunedin family can not only go one better, but two.

The eight children of Malcolm and Lyn Farry have all graduated from the University of Otago – half of them more than once.

In fact, Yasmin (38), Victoria and Gareth (37), Damon (35), Sasha (34), Lukas (30), Alysha (29) and Samara (26) have amassed a remarkable 16 degrees and diplomas between them, and there is another diploma in progress.

The family has had a graduation ceremony to look forward to for most of the past 20 years, including a memorable day in 1995 when four siblings graduated at once.


Brown brighter than Green

November 12, 2008

The Green Party entered parliament as part of the Alliance in 1996 but has never had a minister in its ranks.

The Maori Party has been in parliament only one and a bit terms (after Tariana Turia’s resignation from Labour) and could well have a ministerial post this term, although it may be outside cabinet.

John Key’s determination to include the Maori Party, even though he doesn’t need their support to govern, is a sign that his desire for inclusive government is not just empty rhetoric.

If they accept the invitation and use the power it gives them wisely and successfully it will be good for New Zealand and strengthen the Maori Party.

The party vote in the Maori seats suggests their supporters lean more to the left than the right. But only about half the people who identify as Maori are on the Maori roll and many of those who are don’t vote so the election results don’t refelct the voice and views of all of what Tariana calls “our” people.

Regardless of that anyway, Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira,  Te Ururoa Flavell and Rahui Katene understand what the Greens don’t – the power under MMP lies in the centre.

As long as the Greens are radical on social and economic issues they will be isolated on the left, bound to and dependent on Labour.

The Maori Party wants to achieve something and they want to be an enduring political force. They know they can’t do that unless they are in, or working with, the government.

If they accept National’s offer of a ministerial role they will have the ability to influence policy and achieve something for all of us because New Zealand can’t succeed while large numbers of us fail.

They will also be the strongest wee party in government.

Act, in spite of protestations to the contrary, is to the right of National and so is very, very unilkely to play a significant role, if any, in a Labour led government.

The Greens have marooned themselves on the left and have chosen to achieve nothing rather than work with a National-led government.

The Maori Party was disappointed to win only one more seat and gain only 2.24% of the party vote in the election.

If they accept a minsisterial role and perform well this term they will have achievements on which to campaign in three years time and establish themselves as the only party prepared to go right or left.

In doing so they’ll have power and influence regardless of which of the two bigger parties is leading the government.

Macdoctor  approves the politics of inclusion and notes:

It is very brave of the Maori party to go against that background and it graphically illustrates the huge Mana that Turia and Sharples have with their people, that they can risk this. It also illustrates how much more they are interested in their people’s well-being, rather than political gain, than is the average politician.

It also shows they’re much brighter than the Greens who should learn from this. Environmental concerns cross the political spectrum and if they were more interested in environmental improvement than social engineering they’d achieve more.

Unless they accept that their green policies will continue to be handicapped by their red ideology, the Maori Party will cement itself in the centre and the Greens will continue to languish on the far left.

UPDATE: Roarprawn is excited by the opportunity to have 11 Maori MPs working together.


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