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The working port

Huge cruise ships full of vacationers do not want to dock at a container port or look at pile of logs. All this talk of 'positivity' about Dunedin is OK for those who are directly benefiting from the magical millions of dollars spilling from the pockets of the tourists, but the large marjority of city residents gain nothing. 

And if the council put as much money into attractive port reception for the ships,as they do into that far-off airport, then the cruisers might feel more inclined to disembark. 

Ad maker's dream

I like rodeo. The bull riding was the only good part of the ad - that and the fact they used an actual up and coming female rider rather than stunt doubles or CGI. The voiceover was just strange. But then I am not the target market! The ad has certainly got mileage from this lot anyway.

At least it's someone to talk to

Call centres are often not where we think they are, due to the practice of setting up customer service in low wage economies. It is embarrassing for the aged Eurocentric to happily enquire 'And how are things in Manila?' to be told 'Finas, finas, last time I was there, but we're all sitting in Auckland'. Paid by piece is piecework. Sweating, Rev Waddell called it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I believe that Key has already made up his mind that we're going to have troops in Iraq.  I believe that he's already given his idol the nod.  When he says "training," what's he on about? Is he talking about training battle theory in a classroom setting, or is he talking about "on the job" training where our troops go with the Iraqis into battle?  We really need Key to be clear on this. 

Furthermore, what is a "potential option"?  An option is an option, there is no potential about it.  Please regard Key's syntax as a softening up gambit. 

You are not wrong....

You are not wrong there, I wonder about National's trenchant opposition to a capital gains tax.  Can it be that National ministers are themselves property speculators?  Or is it simply that they cannot stand the kind of progressive solutions that Labour stands for?

Let's face it, Labour is a building party and National is a destructive party.  Think of the great things that have been done in this country and then see if you can think of any that National have been responsible for.  That's my challenge! 

Pistorius verdict

After an incredible act of carelessness with a firearm (assuming we actually believe Pistorius' version of events), Oscar gets only five years and is likely to be out of jail in less than a year. If this happened in New Zealand, he would get a great deal more jail time and the Reva Steenkamp's family would be in the media saying he got off lightly. In South Africa, the mood appears to be that it is remarkable he is going to jail at all and the victim's family seems pleased with the sentence. 

I know New Zealand has been criticised  for having one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world. Could it be that being from this country, I'm used to higher jail sentences and so Oscar's sentence just seems light to me? Alternately is life very cheap in South Africa and this sort of thing is no big deal in that country?

Perhaps somebody from South Africa could offer an African viewpoint. 

No need to worry

Don't worry about little old me. Just an opinion. It touches a raw nerve any time Dunedin is mentioned in a negative way and that is a good thing as it shows people care. However there lies the problem as the stuck-in-the-muds continue to stick their heads in the sand thinking if they dont pull it out nobody will notice how tired and un inspiring it is here. You show me the growth here, show me where anything is actualy moving forward not just cruising along (pun intended). Try finding a job here in town that is prepared to let you know what the wage will be before you get it, show me where those who loose their jobs will pick up new ones. Time for a new focus on the future rather than the same old rubbish about how lucky we are as fact is we cant live on the view!

Smell of wilding in the morning

This is not pollution; it is woodsmoke. It is the lost aroma of agrarian New Zealand, much missed by city dwellers. Good gracious, some people go as far afield as Fielding for the nostalgia of a good blow. Wanaka, how do you cope with windblown dust and dirt?

Pick a Dilly Circus

Is it just Day Liberty for cruise passengers? This seems a great rush in which to take in Chalmers, the City, Taieri Gorge and 'Albatross?' (no dear, you cant eat them). Stays are short. Do they ever get an overnighter?

Syria

Apologies for the non-reply for 2 years. I  did not look at the online edition.

I do not have an answer, but I have a direction and am a firm believer in the principle 'above all do no harm'.  Hence I believed that the regime of Assad, while not good from some points of view was a reasonable one and not good for the West to help a very motley crew overthrow.  I did not realise how right I would be. The West and various other elements have funded the rise of ISIS, who are now very well equipped.  

Now, even if IS is defeated, who will come in their place?  Syria, the previous bogeyman?  Iraq, where Shia Muslims have been totally excluding Sunnis and asking for help to bomb them?  Iran, another current bogeyman, who the Iraqi Sunnis attacked in the Gulf War?  A new governmentthat the US scratches together? Their track record on this is very bad. Presumably Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are excluded.

The Kurds will have to be helped and clearly Turkey has had its arm twisted by the US, who have said, 'If  you will not help the Kurds we will and they will have even more antipathy to you'.  

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