Flag of the day

31/05/2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There’s more than 1500 in the gallery already.

John Ansell thinks the issue is black and white:

To the rest of the world, our flag is not really a national flag at all. It’s a regional flag. And it’s utterly devoid of anything that says New Zealand. (At least the Australian variant features the Commonwealth star, the Fijian flag displays their coat of arms, and the stars of the Cook Islands and Tuvaluan ensigns represent those nations’ islands.)

All the New Zealand flag – one of six to fly the Southern Cross – says to anyone who cares (which wouldn’t be many, given its dullness) is “British colony, South Pacific.” Such mediocrity is hardly good enough for a proudly independent, high achieving nation. Time to get positive about our nation and adopt a national flag!

John Ansell's photo.


Channelling Henry Higgins

11/07/2011

Act’s strength has always been its social liberalsim.

It’s difficult to see quite how anti-Maori rants  fit that philosophy nor why a social liberal would channel Henry Higgins:

“It’s a men’s party. I can’t get them to agree to that but it’s a party for men and women who think like men. “

Ah yes, why can’t a woman be more like a man?

Deborah ahs the answer – our feeble lady brains can’t cope with anything rational.


Did you see the one about . . .

17/04/2010

Tuesday’s poem – a new (to me) blog which features a new poem once a week and links to other blogs who post a poem on Tuesdays (Hat Tip Beatties Book Blog – and also over there is erotic vegan poetry – not the average gift for a politician and 10 rules for writing fiction..

Licensed to kill – Macdoctor thinks the driving age is still too low.

Anzac Day an alternative to wreaths – The Veteran at No Minister asks if we should follow the Australian example of one official wreath and others leaving books to be donated to schools.

That went well/badly – Dim Post’s plot to prove TV news is useless went awry.

PPTA declares war on ministers – John Ansell shows on what teacher unions really want.

Ian Sharp on James K Baxter – Quote Unquote with another 10th annivesary reprint from Quote Unquote.

When freedom isn’t free – the difference between classical and modern liberals at Skeptical Doctor.


Did you see the one about . . .

05/04/2010

Think tank + teach tank = sea change – John Ansell reckons it’s time for the right to use the power of emotion. While you’re there you might find how to say my hovercraft is full of eels in 76 languages entertaining, if not useful.

Foreign investment explained – the Visible Hand in economics fights feelings with facts. He also has an excelent example of price discrimination.

Organ Markets – Offsetting Behaviour on letting donors come before non-donors.

Inglorious grammar – Something Should Go Here laughs at grammar Nazis.

Academic writing in one lesson – Anti Dismal has a wonderful Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

Cut funding better results – Cactus Kate finds under funding leads to success.

Nigel Cox on C.K. Stead followed by the prologue and the last post  – Quote Unquote has a tale of literary revenge.

Question time in the House of Lords. Seriously – Dim Post finds real Hanard transcripts imitating satire. He’s also had a horrible thought prompted by the end of daylight saving.

Fish for freedom – Phillip D at SOLO shows how a goldfish seller got stung.


Flag debate isn’t flagging

11/02/2010

There are more important things to concentrate on than whether or not we change our flag but the debate over it is continuing.

Heartened by John Key’s admission he’d prefer a silver fern, John Ansell has launched a poll to find out which silver fern most people prefer.

Meanwhile, the latest bid on the TradeMe auction for the Prime Ministerial doodle of a flag is $18,888. The winner will also be invited to morning tea with the Prime Minister.


Yes, let’s fly this fern

20/12/2009

John Ansell has made a welcome return to the blogosphere with a post: Lets’ fly this fern.

He makes the case for a changing the flag and offers six designs to choose from, all of which feature a simple fern at the centre.

My pick is F with the blue and green symbolising land and sea.

If you’re interested in the discussion on changing the flag you might like to check out nzflag.com, the website of a trust established to promote debate about New Zealand’s national identity and, in particular, about New Zealand’s flag.

Let’s not be frightened about debating the need for change nor fear the consequences. 

Does anyone remember what Canada’s flag used to look like or the debate about changing it?

It’s time we had a flag which is distinctively New Zealand’s.

Let’s fly this fern.


Hagar: PR threatens democracy

29/11/2008

Pupblic Relations can do as much to hamper communication as to enhance it but this is a bit rich  coming from Nicky Hagar:

The manipulation of public opinion through sophisticated public relations techniques poses a threat to New Zealand democracy, Wellington investigative journalist Nicky Hager warns.

Mr Hager gave a keynote lecture, titled “Imagining a world where the PR people had won”, at the Sociological Association of Aotearoa New Zealand conference at the University of Otago.

Public relations methods had long been used to influence public opinion, but in recent years there had been “a really huge and important change” which now posed “a threat to democracy”, he said in an interview.

I don’t necessarily disagree with his view, especially given the blow out in communications staff in the public service. But there is an antidote to the PR poison and that’s free and intelligent media which delves beyond press releases.

And isn’t there more than a little of the pot calling the kettle black in his proclamation when he wrote a whole book using selected emails to prove his foregone conclusion?

John Ansell showed how he operates here and Hager’s response is here.


Tagged twice

28/11/2008

I’ve been double tagged – first by MandM then by Keeping Stock so I have to:

              *  Link to the person who tagged you

             *   Post the rules

             *   Share seven random or weird facts about yourself

             * Tag 7 random people at the end of the post with their links

So here’s the seven random/weird facts:

1. I had a one-way ticket to Britain when my farmer and I met so he flew 12000 miles to propose to me.

2. My longest friendship is older than my memory – which isn’t a sad reflection on the state of my memory, we met when her family moved next door to mine when we were both two.

3. I lived on Great Mercury Island for a year – employed by Michael Fay & David Richwhite, who own the island, to supervise the correspondence school lessons of the farm manager’s three children.

4. I’ve received a card on every Valentine’s Day of my life – not necessarily because it’s Valentine’s Day but because it’s also my birthday.

5. I lived for three months in Vejer de la Frontera.

6. Most people call me Ele which is a contraction of my name – Elspeth, the Scottish form of Elizabeth.

7. We hosted an AFS student from Argentina and his family is now our family.

And an eighth: I never pass on anything resembling a chain letter and as this could be construed as such I’m tagging the following people as a tribute to their blogs but won’t be at all offended if they don’t want to play the game:

rivettingKateTaylor

Bull Pen

Art and My Life 

John Ansell

Rob Hosking

Something Should Go Here

PM of NZ


Tumeke! rankings for October

22/11/2008

In response to a comment on the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings Tim Selwyn admits he counts the number of posts and comments manually.

That’s a huge task so it’s no wonder it takes two or three weeks for him to do it.

The results of his work show one new entrant in the top 20 – New Zeal moves up 7 to 16 which puts Homepaddock back one to 17.

Kiwiblog retained its first placing and was also first for the average number of comments.

Homepaddock was third for the number of posts – a place I don’t expect to maintain because I’ve been writing fewer posts since the election.

The biggest gain in the top 20 was No Minister which went up 6 places to 4th.

Among my other regular reads Roarprawn gained 2 to 11; Dimpost  dropped 1 to 13; Inquiring Mind  was steady on 15; Poneke  went down 1 to 18 but was 5th for the highest average number of comments (and second in that category for blogs done by individuals rather than a number of contributers.) If I was judging the quality of comments, Ponke would rate highly – he manages to attract mainly intelligent and often witty comments with few which confuse personal invective and debate.

Keeping Stock dropped just 1 to 19 in spite of a decline in the number of posts while cruising for a couple of weeks; and the Visibile Hand in Economics also dropped 1 to 20.

 The Hand Mirror was steady on 22, NZ Conservative was up 1 to 23 and also did well with the average number of comments, due in part to their popular Friday night free for all; Big News leapt 16 to 26;  Anti Dismal gained 8 places to 29 and Something Should Go here gained a couple to 34.

In a Strange Land was down 3 to 52; Monkeywith typewriter gained 1 to 56; exexpat dropped 6 to  59;  goNZo Freakpower  gained 9 places to 87, Cicero made a first appearance at 65 and Macdoctor debuted at 71.

I couldn’t find John Ansell on the list, I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t look properly or his blog is too new to register.


Greens set lawyers on to Act

03/11/2008

Act changed an advertisement  based on the Green Party “vote for me video” after the Greens sent a them legal letter.

The ACT ad used the Green Party image of the little girl but has a different voice-over saying: “If you really want to vote for me you’d give me opportunities not regulations, choices not controls, you wouldn’t tell me what lightbulbs to use, or showers or how many children I could have because if you do I probably will go overseas and all there will be is empty space.”

After a legal letter ACT pulled the ad.

Another version of the ad where the child’s face is different is on ACT’s website.

ACT Party president Garry Mallett said the image was changed enough so there was now no copyright breach. Mr Mallett was double checking legal issues before it screened on television.

He said the Greens should be happy ACT were recycling.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman was unimpressed.

There’s an entertaining exchange of views on the advertisement over at John Ansell.


No means . . .

28/10/2008

The Tauranage Special from the Free Speech Coalition.

Hat Tip: John Ansell


Don’t let them lie together

22/10/2008

The Free Speech Coalition has launched its first billboard:

The authorisation statement starts: Authorised as demanded by LabourFirst’s and the Green’s outrageous assault on free speech . . .

Hat Tip: John Ansell


New word from a glasshouse

19/10/2008

I live in a glass house papered with typso typos.

It’s what happens when you type faster than you spell and proof read for sense so grasp the words but fail to notice that individuals letters have been transposed.

That means I am in absolutely no position to throw stones at other people’s typographical errors but I couldn’t resist this from Matt McCarten’s column in the HOS:

This is the first time most of us have seen Key in a prolonged setting where he was tested, in this case by the prime pinister.

Prime pinister – isn’t that delightful? Especially in this context where Helen Clark was trying to keep Key pinned down.

P.S. In light of John Ansell’s post on McCarten’s misnaming Key as Keys, I noted that the column gets the name right – but that like the typo may be due to the paper not the writer.


But I thought it was . . .

18/10/2008

The mispronunciation of anemone as an enemy several times in a TV programme has inspired John Ansell to compile a list of the most mispronounced words in the English language.

 

I entered the conversation with a little hesitancy because there are a few words I mispronounced for years.

 

I was well into adulthood before I discovered halcyon was not haleycon (which I’d somehow associated with Haley Mills starring in a movie as a woman called Summer).

 

It was only while doing a radio book review that I realised it was badinage and not as I’d always read it bandiage (because I associated it with bandying words).

 

I could perhaps blame those two on the fact I’d seen them written but hadn’t heard them spoken. But that doesn’t explain why I thought the prayer my brothers & I recited every night was asking God to pity mice implicitly and not pity my simplicity.

 

Nor does it explain why I thought Puff the Magic dragon had a friend called Frolicin the Ottumis until someone pointed out to me that Peter, Paul and Mary had been singing frolicked in the autumn mists . . .  


yet another excuse for work avoidance

12/10/2008

John Ansell has joined the blogospehre.

If you don’t need a witty and provocative excuse for work avoidance, you’re better not to go there.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog


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