Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama still does not know his place

I read this absolutely spot-on piece on HuffPo today - Obama Still Does Not Know His Place.

Here are a couple of choice quotes to whet your appetite:

Now McCain is recycling some version of this superciliousness, heavily aided by a traditional media still so easily scared into thinking it is not tough enough on Obama. McCain can hardly hide his rage at this uppity kid who thinks he can hobnob with world leaders just as he does -- who thinks he has more judgment than a septuagenerian war-mongering former prisoner of war. And who sees no reason to wait his turn when barely 1 in 10 Americans think the country is on the right track, thanks to his elders' enlightened leadership.

That Obama is actually able to listen to facts, absorb them and analyze them should be a good thing. We assume that those skills came in handy throughout his life, not least at Harvard, where he graduated near top of his law school class. This, of course, now makes him an elitist, as he would not be expected by the old DC guard to possess any such competence (charisma perhaps, analytical ability no.)

Both McCain (894th out of 899 at Annapolis) and George W. Bush revel in their under-achieving school days, as if this made these scions of hyper-privilege any closer to real people. This tactic clearly succeeded well enough for Bush to be elected president twice, and McCain to be nominated once. But there is a sense that American voters may not be taken in again and that they may actually enjoy as president someone who isn't an inbred moron or a senile fratboy.

Awesome stuff. Also well worth a read are the 12+ pages of reader comments that follow the article. Go read it!

And also check out the Daily Kos diary that directed me to the article in the first place - Obama Needs to Know His Role (and shut his mouth)

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Good riddance

So Tony Veitch has finally resigned - which, according to TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis, was "the honourable thing".

Actually, no, Rick. The "honourable" thing for Tony Veitch would have been (and still would be) to front up to the nearest police station and give a full, honest and complete account of what he did to Kristin Dunne-Powell - accepting responsibility for his actions and being prepared to take the consequences. That would have been honourable.

I agree with Heather Henare, chief executive of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges, who said today:

"I also think he still shows clear signs of not having a full appreciation and understanding of domestic violence and hope that is something that in time can change. I think what Tony understands as being the right thing to say and do is still not in touch with complete reality and accepting full and unconditional responsibility."

Exactly. We have watched for the past 10 days as Veitch and the top men at TVNZ wriggle and squirm and try to get out of actually admitting to anything. It's pathetic and it makes me sick.

It feels as though no-one will stand up and take responsibility for what they did, what they knew, or what they said. And that really gets to me - as if I wasn't horrified enough already by the alleged details of the assault.

It's what he said in his first carefully-prepared statement "I make no excuse for what I did, except to say..." and then goes on to give a whole host of excuses.

Oh, and casually referring to what he did as 'lashing out'. Good grief! You are alleged to have thrown her down the stairs, kicked her so hard you broke her back in four places, and then left her lying there for 6 hours before you took her to hospital - and all you can say is that you 'lashed out'?

It bothers me that (according to The Sunday Star Times) " has been reported that speech [Veich's initial statement] was co-written by his friend and TRN colleague Paul Holmes."

Especially as Holmes then gets the exclusive, aforementioned 'interview' in the Herald on Sunday a few days later - written, it would seem, entirely to garner sympathy for Veitch, to paint him as the victim in all of this, with scarcely a mention of the real victim, Kristin Dunne-Powell.

Again from the Sunday Star Times: "If Holmes did write that speech, said [media commentator Jim] Tully, there is a relationship which goes beyond being employees in the same company. "There seems to be a conflict of interest.""

$100,000? $150,000? $170,000? Hush money? A bribe? Money to help her out with her medical expenses? Who knows? Depends on what you read and who you believe. But assuming there was money paid out - and Veitch confirms this in his Holmes interview - then it's hard not to come to the conclusion that, on some level at least, he was paying her money to keep her quiet.

What a fucking coward.

He says himself he was dreading the story coming out one day, "And every single time my phone rang I would think "this is it. This is the day.""

And yet it would have been so easy to make all that fear go away - go to the police, admit what you've done, take some responsibility, be a grown-up. Instead he pays her lots of money and they sign a confidentiality agreement.

And then there are the TVNZ bosses and who knew what when. Again, a bunch of guys all back-pedalling like mad:

"Oh we didn't know it was so serious - he only called it a minor fracas! Well yes we did know about the money... but we didn't think to ask why he was paying her so much money for such a minor incident! Well yes OK so the meeting was between Veitch and 4 very senior members of TVNZ but we didn't know in advance that it was anything serious. Er, no, we didn't think to tell the CEO..."

Oh please.

Campbell absolutely nailed Ellis to the wall tonight. It was genius. Go watch it.

Tony Veitch said today in his resignation statement: "At all times I have been honest with my employers and at all times I have tried to do the right thing for everyone."

OK, so in light of what TVNZ bosses have said about who knew what and when, either Veitch or TVNZ are lying. Which is it? Or when Veitch uses the word 'honest' does this actually mean telling a (very) small part of the truth but definitely nowhere near the whole truth? Enquiring minds would like to know.

Enquiring minds would also like to know how the man can possibly say that he's tried to do the right thing for everyone! Good grief! Tony - you did the right thing for YOU. No-one else.

It's NOT OK.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

When I'm old and smelly....

I sat next to a rather whiffy old person on the bus home this evening.

It wasn't a particularly pleasant experience. I spent the whole journey trying not to breathe.

I hope when I'm old and smelly that I have at least one friend brave enough to tell me so.

<paranoid thought> God I hope I'm not already old and smelly, and no-one's told me... </paranoid thought>

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Where the Hell is Matt? 2008

I last wrote about Matt Harding in December 2006, when I showed his first two videos.

Matt's been travelling as Where the Hell is Matt? (and dancing) again. Yaaay!

I'm not sure why, but this new video made me cry like a baby...

It's wonderful! Enjoy!

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

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