Non-Tweeters & Non-Texters Disenfranchised

With the 2011 elections three weeks away, TVNZ held the first Leaders Debate last night and the nation was encouraged to text or tweet their opinion as to who had won the contest of ideas.

Text or Tweet! On behalf of most pensioners the slaves were outraged and She leapt to the complaints line to point out that many TV watchers neither text nor tweet and might prefer to register their opinion via the telephone as always used to be the case. (She doesn’t tweet but does text – when she can (a) find her phone and (b) the battery is charged). Both are rare events.

She was very pleased with herself after the call as the man she spoke to agreed with her, saying that yes it was unfair and her complaint wasn’t the first…..TSk tsk. Doesn’t she realise that his response is simple media training. He’s probably been told to agree with all callers regardless of what they say. That defuses a complaint, satisfies a caller and and puts TVNZ in a good light.

I watched the show with interest and can report that Phil Goff, the Leader of the Opposition was surprisingly good, while Prime Minister John Key showed an unexpected capacity for gutter fighting and for once the journo-chair Guyon Espiner, actually tried to be even handed rather than push his usual leftism.

The results of the demographically skewed texting and tweeting showed the usual 61% support for John Key and National and only around 30% for Labour so TVNZ’s dishonest little effort to skew the outcome didn’t work.

The Rena and the Disappearing Volunteers….

Although 7500 people volunteered to clean oil from Bay of Plenty beaches after the Rena struck the Asttrolabe reef in Tauranga harbour, only 160 of these generous souls have actually showed up to do any work.

Too bad that a public holiday weekend got in the way and oil free beaches suddenly proved more attractive.

People should be more like cats i.e. honest and not make promises they have no intention of keeping. A cat would never volunteer for an unpleasant boring task. We are true realists and interested only in pleasing ourselves and doing things that we enjoy.

In any case aren’t there a lot of feral humans, normally kept under lock and key, who could be encouraged (suitably guarded) to get out there and scrub the sand and seabirds?

R.I.P. Roger Lawrence Kerr……

New Zealand has so few real intellectuals who are also genuinely good people, that it is a great shame when one dies too early.

At only 66 Roger Kerr should have had many more years of worthwhile constructive contribution to this country’s social and political debate, but sadly that is not to be.

The slave was in the same classes at school as Roger from the age of 12 to 17 so she is a tad subdued this weekend, spending her time muttering “too soon….too soon”.

But as the Great Cat tells us, Life is not fair, we just have to make the best of what we are given – and work to improve it.

Goodbye Roger, NZ is the poorer for your passing.

Here Comes Chickensaurus…….

Scientists in the US and Canada are attempting to recreate dinosaurs by reverse evolving chickens. Some steps toward this have already been taken at Harvard where researchers have manipulated genes to give chickens dinosaur-like snouts rather than beaks.

I’ve spent the last week trying to create a link to the article below but have to concede defeat. So. I’ll send a message to the WordPress Happiness Engineers telling them that I’ve followed all the instructions, searched all the forums and ‘how to’ articles but still can’t make links work. Perhaps they’ll solve my problem….

Anyway, read about Frankenchicken at this web address:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/09/ff_chickensaurus/all/1

Usually I would think this a great idea but with one caveat. They must leave a few chooks for cats to chase…..

How Relevant is the UN?

The UN wants a report and investigation into exactly how Gaddafi, the late Libyan dictator died.

Hang on a moment. Isn’t Gaddafi the man who promised “no mercy, no pity” for the citizens of Benghazi when they held out against his troops? The man whose soldiers carried out summary executions of captured rebel fighters as well as civilians. Whose African mercenaries (paid by the nation’s wealth) were actively encouraged to use rape as a weapon of war. The man who allowed his troops to use cluster bombs and heavy rockets against civilians in Ajdabiya and Misrata. The dictator whose atrocities were recorded by the UN’s own Human Rights Watch.

Although the UN backed the no-fly zone earlier in the year and authorised “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, their position over the last ten months has been remarkably low key. And now it is over they seem to think that everyone should play nicely and be civilised.

Can’t they see that the world is an infinitely better place without dictators, accept what has happened (a just, if messy death), move on and turn their attention to the truly important task at hand, the rebuilding of the Libyan nation.

Humans and the UN can be so stupid.

Cats at war would be so much more efficient. That’s because we believe in the Law of the Jungle, you know – kill or be killed, show no mercy, be smarter and move faster than your enemy, might is right……oh dear…err…um…sounds a bit like the late Gadaffi doesn’t it?

Speciesism Again!

I have to admit that I’m never quite sure about the spelling of speciesism and a quick paw through the dictionary hasn’t helped. However, I have another rant arguably of more importance than a mere question of spelling.

For days the media have been obsessed (when not drivelling on about the Rugby World Cup) with the skittling in a crowded Chinese market and subsequent death of a two year old girl child.

Sad I know…..but….what about all those animals shot dead in Zanesville Ohio? After all, some 18 of them were endangered Bengal tigers. Honestly, I ask you, don’t you think it time that humans acquired a sense of proportion? Eighteen to one!!!! As you can see I’m only counting the cats, not the bears and wolves which we can regard as collateral damage. Plus, the numbers massacred would be even worse had I included the non-endangered lions, leopards and cheetahs – but I wasn’t paying enough attention to count them too.

Almost the worst aspect of the whole sorry affair is that a mentally unstable human was permitted to keep so many animals in captivity with the local authorities stating that his establishment met “the minimum requirements” necessary. This was even though there had been 35 complaints about his “zoo” in the preceding seven years. It sounds to me as though the local rules and regs should be reviewed.

Malt Whisky Comes First…..

They’ve done it again! my slaves have been off to another malt tasting evening and had to buy two bottles because they each liked a different brand.

Now Oban and Glenkinchie have joined the Arran and Glengarioch leaving me seriously worried.

What if they can’t afford all this extravagance and decide to cut back on the contents of my dinner bowl? It doesn’t bear thinking about…