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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Full Credit to the Boys 

Hey! Where's my mention in Russell Browns article in the Listener?

The outstanding example so far has been the Colmar Brunton poll on capital punishment that led a TV1 news bulletin recently. "Nearly a third of New Zealanders," viewers were informed, wanted a return of the death penalty. The implication of the report was that the public, tired of crime, had swung in behind the ultimate sanction.

The reality, as National Radio's Mediawatch reporter Tom Frewen discovered, was that the 28 percent (closer to a quarter than a third) support for restoration of the death penalty was not only the lowest in any published poll of New Zealanders, but may well have been the lowest ever recorded in any national poll on views about capital punishment taken anywhere in the world.
When this is WHAT I WROTE the day the story appeared in ...

I see in they have this story about how "nearly one in three New Zealanders want it [the death penalty] back".

"Justice Minister Phil Goff says the government has significantly toughened sentencing and parole laws, but that is not enough for the 28% who want to bring back the death penalty.

The poll found 67% do not want the death penalty and 5% don't know."

Now forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't 28% closer to 25% than it is to 33.3%?

So surely they should say that "just over one in four New Zealanders want it back".

Anyway, it seems about right. I mean I dislike 28% of everybody I meet, I don't mind 67% and I don't know about the other 5% worth of shifty buggers I come across.
Just kidding. Anyhow that seems to be his first real bitch slapping in his new Wide Area News column (three efforts young now). Though I should go back and reread the others but I can't be arsed.

Well worth a read (with the added bonus of finding ONE sentence (top of page two) with TEN commas in it). Now that's Chomskyesque. Good god, has my life now fallen so low that I have to count punctuation frequency for kicks? I do have a little statistical analysis of NZ cricket, rugby and league coming up though for all you stattos out there. At least I have the hypothesis, now all I need is the manipulated stats to back it up. It'll come after my Olympic thingee though I think. Got a pleasant 5 classes on Thursday and three on friday so should have time to knock them up then (or not).

Changing subject to blogging anonymity now.

Why do I remain anonymous? Well basically it's because it gives me a little more freedom to say what I want. I'm not well known so there's really no need for anybody to worry that I might be John Hart, Judy Bailey or Shrek the sheep. Though if I have all my mates reading this and then bringing it up whenever I see them at footie or in the pub or whereever I'll start to go nuts. It's a private little exercise for me to let off steam.

I don't make any money from it and it's just a hobby. So call it anonymous blogging losers rights. Also when I become a high school teacher back home there is no real way I can see how I would be able to keep blogging. I would either be politely asked to stop by my higher uppers after blogging about how I got smashed on friday night, woke up in a gutter in front of a gas station and thought I was Xavier Rush. The only alternative would be to eliminate all occupational talk, all private life talk, all talk on controversial subjects and all fucking foul language, thus there's nothing left worth reading (not that there was in the first place I hear you say, Oh really?! well then what are you doing here reading it?! Busted, SUCKA!!!).

That reminds me. Did I mention that my friend reckons he met Booker T before he hit the big time. On a red eye across the States of course, on his way to wrestling school.

Interesting point you make at the end there about needing to watch what you say when you're a teacher. There is a relatively widespread notion that teachers need to be 'morally upstanding' in their private lives, in a way that carpenters and accountants do not, and that this is somehow a professional requirement.

In Canada, there are some formal expectations along these lines. One interesting case involved a female teacher who was fired after a photo of her semi-naked appeared in a magazine - her dismissal was upheld by the courts.

Like I've said before on this blog, I don't give a toss what people do in their private lives short of the most egrerious criminality, or perhaps outright hypocrisy (e.g., when Bill Clinton lectured the poor on sexual morality, one might argue his own private life became relevant).
I also have a problem with an 85-year old virgin, living a sheletered and academic life in Rome, lecturing to illiterate and undernourished Africans about the evils of birth control.

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