Archive

Archive for 20 June 2013

The “right to bear arms”…

20 June 2013 6 comments

… does it include death ray guns?

When the USA’s Second Amendment was adopted on 15 December 1791, the “right to bear arms” referred to weapons like these,

.

1797 flintlock pistols

.

1797 flintlock rifle

.

I wonder what the American Founding Fathers would have thought of 21st century weapons like an Xray “death-ray” weapon?

.

 

FBI Foils Plot To Build Strange X-Ray Weapon, Possibly Targeting President Obama

Acknowledgement: ABC News – FBI Foils Plot To Build Strange X-Ray Weapon, Possibly Targeting President Obama

 

.

In the years and decades to come, as technology produces  more and  more highly advanced direct-energy (ray guns) weapons – capable of god-knows-what destruction – will the American appetite for guns finally be quenched?

If I was the NRA, I’d start to be worried.

Some buildings make awfully good targets. Especially for those who are pissed of at the gun lobby after losing loved ones to gun violence…

.

NRA

.

.

= fs =

Advertisements

Babes and boofheads…

20 June 2013 6 comments

It seems that the sexualisation and exploitation of our daughters continues unabated,

.

Facebook 'Babe' page taken down

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ – Facebook ‘Babe’ page taken down

.

A bunch of anonymous kids say  “they don’t see much wrong”  with  taking images of  girls from various  Facebook pages, and reposting it on a sleazy ‘Babe of the Day’ page.

‘I and the other two admins of the page are aware that the page may look a bit creepy but as all three of us are high school students and under 18 ourselves, we don’t think we are doing too much harm.”‘

Acknowledgement: ODT – Concern at pupils ‘babe’ web page

These kids did not ask for permission to use the girls’ pics – there is no consent implied or given. And the kids responsible for the page seem utterly oblivious to a practice which objectifies these girls.

If I were a father with a daughter, and her pic had been lifted and exploited in this way,   I would take a dim view of a bunch of adolescent  boofheads portraying my daughter(s) as objects for someone elses’ gratification.

Our society is sex mad already enough already, without Gen X (or Y or whatever) adding their bit to it.

And the irony of this entire sleazy affair?

One of the administrators of the site, who wished to remain anonymous, defended the page when contacted yesterday.

Acknowledgement: IBID

The administrators of the site, who wished to remain anonymous…”

So they value their anonymity, do they?

I wonder why? If their little past-time is as inoffensive as they believe, why don’t they come forward?

And put their own pics up for people to gawk at?

It appears they value their own privacy.

.

.

= fs =

What’s the beef, guv?

.

COMPOSITE

.

The recent spectacle of our meat exports to China stuck at their ports raised eyebrows, hackles… and a few questions.

The news broke on TV3 on 17 May,

New Zealand’s beef and lamb is still being blocked from entering China.

The meat industry says it’s a huge concern and is already costing a lot of money.

The issue was revealed on 3 News last night and it’s understood the problem arose because Chinese authorities weren’t informed of the name change of a New Zealand government ministry.

The meat is not allowed into the country and hasn’t been now for nearly a week.

Acknowledgment: TV3 –  Meat held up in China costing NZ industry

The reason given, at the same time the story broke was that there was confusion over “paperwork”,

The problem is believed to have arisen after the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries recently became the Ministry of Primary Industries and Chinese border controls aren’t recognising the new names and logos on the export certificates.

The Government says they are working hard to resolve the issue.

“We’ve got MFAT officials and MPI officials working around the clock to resolve this,” says Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye. “We’ve been providing technical documentation through to Chinese authorities and we remain confident that this will be resolved in the near future.”

Acknowledgment:  IBID

It’s interesting that the TV3 report stated, “The problem is believed to have arisen after the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries recently became the Ministry of Primary Industries and Chinese border controls aren’t recognising the new names and logos on the export certificates“.

Why?

Because MAF (Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries)  became MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries,  well over a year ago,

.

MAF to become Ministry for Primary Industries

Acknowledgment: Beehive – MAF to become Ministry for Primary Industries

.

Note the dates in the Beehive media release: 30 April 2012. One would assume that all forms, letterhead, and other paperwork would have been re-printed in time for the 30 April launch of the new  Ministry of Primary Industries? Government departments and ministries are noted for spending considerable sums on new stationary.

It seems curious then, that the Chinese authorities have only now realised that the MAF had been replaced by a completely different name, acronym, and logo? Why now?

If I was of a suspicious mind (and why should anyone be suspicious of this National government?), I would be wondering if this recent event had anything to do with the blocking of our meat exports to China,

.

NZ close to Taiwan free trade agreement

Acknowledgment: Fairfax Media – NZ close to Taiwan free trade agreement

.

The above story goes on to state,

Officially, both Taiwan and China claim sovereignty over the other, a situation which has maintained since the Communist Party took control of mainland China and established the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

China makes adhering to a One-China policy a pre-condition of diplomatic relations.

New Zealand’s relations with Taiwan are now maintained through an office of the Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce of Taipei.

Sources say the issue of free trade with Taiwan was raised when Prime Minister John Key led a major trade delegation to China in April, as part of an established ”no surprises” policy of keeping Beijing informed of our relations with China.

Trade Minister Tim Groser declined to comment.

Acknowledgment: IBID

Mainland China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, which it regards as a “renegade province”. Had it not been for US support, China would have re-occupied the island as it did with Tibet in the 1950s – over which it also claims suzerainty.

A suspicious mind would wonder if something has gone awry between China and New Zealand, and the former was flexing it’s super-muscle to remind the Beehive just who’s boss around here.

It just seems to much of a coincidence that the blocking of our exports happened at a time when NZ officials are negotiating a free trade agreement with Taiwan.

It’s interesting that, as the above report states,  “New Zealand does not officially recognise Taiwan as a country“.

If so – then did Beijing demand a voice in any FTA deal with Taipei?

And were NZ officials (or politicians) foolish enough to dismiss those demands?

On Radio NZ, Primary Industries minister, Nathan Guy stated,

“I’m very disappointed in my officials – issuing export certification is really their core business. And I’m disappointed in how this issue has come to bear. Normally, we have a very strong system and this is very unusual.”

However speaking on Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint programme, Nathan Guy refused to be drawn on whether any disciplinary action will be taken against staff for the blunder.

Mr Guy said that was a matter for MPI director-general Wayne McNee.

“By and large, MPI do fantastic work and we’ve had an issue here, and I’ve asked the director-general to get to the bottom of it.”

What’s the bet that this entire issue sinks quietly out of sight and nothing is ever heard about it again?

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 24 May 2013.

.

*

.

References

Beehive: MAF to become Ministry for Primary Industries (6 March 2012)

Fairfax Media: NZ close to Taiwan free trade agreement (19 May 2013)

TV3:  Meat held up in China costing NZ industry (18 May 2013)

Radio NZ: Minister blames officials for meat blockade in China (23 May 2013)

.

.

= fs =