Thought for the day ...
TAGS: Quotes, Politics
. . . promoting capitalist acts between consenting adults.
Herr letter dated 17 November, is three months after the expenditure was incurred, two months after labour Party Secretary (Mike Williams) gave a written undertaking to include the expenditure in the party’s electoral return. And one month after the undertaking was reneged upon.Read the Herald article to find out just how deeply enmired in mud Bernard Darnton's case against the Helen Clark and Parliamentary Services has put this chinless wonder. And just imagine what that means for the mud still to come.
Labels: Bernard Darnton
It is commonly called "campaign finance reform," but it's nothing of the sort. It is simply the assertion by the government of a new, audacious 'right': the right to determine the timing, content, and amount of political advocacy about the government. It is the most astonishing slow-motion repeal of the First Amendment anyone could imagine.The First Amendment of the US Constitution, if anyone reading this still recalls, is the one that protects free speech. It is something about which liberals both here and abroad used to be entirely in favour.
Exactly right."Allegations of corruption are intolerable in a Western liberal democracy." - Helen Clark.
No, Miss Clark. Corruption is intolerable. When allegations of corruption are intolerable, it's no longer a Western liberal democracy.
The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting 'Off with his head!' or 'Off with her head!' about once in a minute.[Hat tip Oswald Bastable]
Alice began to feel very uneasy: to be sure, she had not as yet had any dispute with the Queen, but she knew that it might happen any minute, 'and then,' thought she, 'what would become of me? They're dreadfully fond of beheading people here; the great wonder is, that there's any one left alive!'
1. Describe what you see.Our own personal evaluation of a painting (or any work of art or architecture) will depend to a very large extent on what values the painting expresses, and on how important those values are to us. It will also depend on just how well the painting expresses those values -- in other words, whether the painting has sufficient scope, depth, technique and integration to express the artist's intended value judgements.
2. The canvas is the Universe.
Approach each and every artwork as if it is a universe in itself. Simply substitute "universe" for "canvas" and a whole new outlook will become apparent.
a. Look for the size of humanity in relationship to the canvas. This is symbolic of humanity's importance in the universe: is humanity larger than life or tiny and insignificant?
b. How is humanity placed within this universe? At the top, bottom or center?
c. What is the most prominent feature within the canvas/universe and what is the main focus? d. For non-figurative work, what are the outstanding things and how are they placed in the canvas?
3. What is the relationship of subject or person to their environment?
This will tell us how important humanity is in relationship to society or nature.
a. Is there a significant difference of sizes between the setting and the subject?
b. Look for the possible symbolism of the objects and/or their relationships. For example, a barrier to freedom symbolized by a chain-link fence. Or, the state buildings are all-powerful above and humanity is crushed below.
c. Is there more emphasis placed on one thing more than another? For example, is there a disregard for the setting and is all the focus on the main figure?
4. Body language.
a. What are people doing? Are they bent, awkward or upright and elegant?
b. Think about the symbolic implications of their posture: are they approaching life as a servant, a thug, or a hero?
c. What are the most notable facial features?
5. Use adjectives to describe the style, color, and light.
This is not a substitute for the facts that are represented in the painting, but using adjectives first to describe a general impression helps you find the facts. We are not analyzing whether the means of the painting are good or not, merely trying to get at the mood of the piece, just as how you might describe the weather outside as cheerful or crystal-clear.
a. Is the painting distorted, smeared, vague or is it orderly, in focus, complex?
b. Are the colors murky, dull or vibrant, bold? Are they in harmony or do they clash?
c. Is the light in the painting subdued or brilliant?
d. The symbolism of light and shadow cannot be missed: are the objects or persons dim and the unenlightened? Or are they enlightened by a radiant universe?
7. Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830.
In Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix notice the woman charging forward with her out-thrust arm raising the French flag aloft. Notice her location at the top of the canvas. She is inspiring a rabble of soldiers, dandies, and regular people to carry on even over the obstacles of death, which lie literally at her feet. Though we don't know whether she and they will achieve their goals, it is startlingly clear that they are not the playthings of destiny, they are acting to fulfill their aims.
8. Goya, The Shootings of May 3rd 1808, 1814.
On the other side of this volitional issue we have Goya's painting of an execution, in which the these poor men have been lead like sheep to their slaughter. Notice that in the background that the State buildings are above the scene, the implication is that the state dictates to the humans below. There is a line of faceless universal soldiers, heads bowed, carrying out their orders. The main victim thrusts his arms out in the gesture of "why". Notice how the light box is turned towards the victims, they are bathed in its sympathetic glow while the soldiers are in the shadow. Also notice that the color of the light box and the main character is identical gold and white, the implication being that he is the light. Goya paints an empathic portrait of these victims plight but victims they are; hopeless playthings of the mysterious State lurking in the background.Read Newberry's whole piece here for much more on this important subject (and I'll try and persuade him to fix his yellow-on-white text).
Labels: Bernard Darnton
Mrs Turia said the issue was a "property rights" one and she doubted that ordinary people realised what actually happened when the legislation passed because it was "sold to them" as being a battle over access.It could cause a few headaches. And it might even help get property rights back on the agenda. Here's what I've said before on this, here and here.
The bill could cause a few headaches around Parliament if it is drawn from the ballot because several parties have hinted that they could vote for it.
For Diamond, societies are entities that act independent of the actions of individuals. He sees societal ascent or collapse as being contingent upon the extent to which societies embrace a centralized structure and management. But in so doing, he ignores institutions critical to peaceful, prosperous social interaction and the formation of society: (1) private property rights and (2) human action leading to division of labor and emergence of cooperative monetary exchange. With these institutions, individuals are able to avoid conflict and rationally reckon both scarcity and capital. Without these institutions, societies such as the Soviet Union and Easter Island are seen to have a common fate in that scarcity implies conflict, chaos, ‘waste’ and eventual collapse.
"Much of what has been written about Easter Island is little more than speculation," says Terry Hunt of the University of Hawaii. "When you start to search for the actual evidence for some of these claims, often it just isn't there." There are ... problems with almost all aspects of [the much-cited 'Collapse'] story, say Hunt and his colleague Carl Lipo of California State University in Long Beach.
In 2002, Paul Rainbird of the University of Wales, Lampeter, investigated the idea of eco-disaster on Rapa Nui and concluded that there is no compelling archaeological evidence for any of the key claims of societal dissolution and breakdown before the 18th century.
Labels: Property Rights
If a government can knowingly and deliberately break the law and then ram through retrospective validating legislation then it can do anything. We have a government composed of people who simply do not recognise the concept of government under law.That is the issue that all the noisy outbursts are designed to conceal. What they cannot conceal is that if the Prime Minister and her advisors ever understood the line between liberal democracy and dictatorship, then seven years in power have destroyed it.
1. The Whangamata Marina Society: they first met fourteen years ago to nut out the project. They got DoC permission for their marina plans eight years ago, Environment Court approval three years ago, a ministerial veto a few months ago and a High Court veto of that veto two days ago.Thank the property-rights-destroying RMA and its two chief architects Geoffrey Palmer and Simon Upton that things in New Zealand have come to this. As I've said before, it's time to drive a stake through the heart of this monster, and stop it sucking the lifeblood out of innovation and enterprise.
The marina is already a million dollar, fourteen-year-old project, and not a sod has been turned (not of dirt anyway) -- and the latest veto only means that the ministerial veto needs to be reconsidered.
2. Here's the story of another million-dollar project: Wellington's 'Wharf Hilton' has finally got resource consent. Two years to build. Thirteen years to get consent. George Middleditch, the developer died a few months ago waiting for this - and it's still not a full green light: the consent decision is "subject to a fifteen-day appeal period," and the project's opponents have already signalled they're appealing.
3. I watched a film recently at the Auckland Architecture Film Festival in which a London architect explained to a Swiss banker that he wouldn't be moving in to his new building quite as soon as he thought he might. "In London," explained the architect patiently, "the building is the easy part." The cinema audience roared with laughter. In New Zealand now too, as everyone in that audience knew, the building is the easy part. I don't say that like it's a good thing.
Labels: South Auckland
Hungary PM says "we lied" to win election - Reuters Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany admitted to a Socialist Party meeting in May his government had lied about its record to win April's election and said it had done nothing in four years but hold on to power.There's a lesson here for politicians everywhere, and given the lying and corruption now apparent in our most recent election in New Zealand, a particularly relevant lesson for our own political leaders here.
True lies: Hungarian leader blurts out the truth on the economy - Times Online The riots, the worst since the end of communism, were ostensibly sparked by the publication of a leaked tape on Sunday in which Ferenc Gyurcsany, the Prime Minister, was heard saying that he and his Socialist party had lied for four years about Hungary’s budget in order to win a general election in April.
"Obviously we lied throughout the past one and a half, two years. It was completely obvious that what we said was not true."
"Meanwhile, we have done nothing for four years. You cannot tell me of any significant government measure we could be proud of... If we need to give an account to the country what we have done for four years, what will we say?"
"I almost died of having to pretend for the past year that we were actually governing. Instead we lied day, night and evening."
RELATED: Politics-World, Darnton V Clark
[A summary of a recent debate at my blog 'Not PC' on architecture, art, and architectural favourites]Here first up is the post that started it all:
EXCERPT: Painting, movies, literature, sculpture, music, architecture ... all have the ability to make us cry, to make us laugh, and -- just occasionally -- to make us feel ten feet tall. Why is great art so powerful? -- why does it have this profound ability to affect us? Simply, because it speaks personally to each of us. It is our shortcut to our very souls. When we experience art that truly touches us, we don’t just feel, “I like this;” if we have souls we feel “This is Me!”
Why do we need art to see the world when we’ve already got eyes and ears and fingers and hands with which to experience it ourselves, and a brain with which to organise those experiences? Answer: We need art precisely because of the nature of that brain, and because of the way it organises the experiences.
EXCERPT: Our crucial need for art comes from the nature of our human consciousness, and by virtue of the way we hold and form our ideas. Our conceptual form of consciousness means that our view of the world and our place in it is represents the very widest abstractions our minds are asked to hold, and the integration of those judgements with our emotional assessment of them are visible to us only through art -- it is only art that allows us to see our most fundamental view of the world and our place in it as a single mental unit, and what could be more important or profound than that!**ARTICLE: 'The Scream ' has been found. Two cheers.
EXCERPT: Here's an example of something that is good art -- very good art -- that I don't like at all. If anything better expresses the dis-ease and dislocation expressed by twentieth-century 'thinkers' -- of the nausea and helpless angst and the "blooming, buzzing confusion" of Jean Paul Sartre; of A.E. Housman "a stranger and afraid in a world [he] never made"; of William Butler Yeats for whom "things fall apart, the centre cannot hold"; of Dostoyevsky's Underground Man*, whose "irritability keeps him alive and kicking"; etc; etc. -- then it is this piece.
How much sordid meaning to pack into one piece of canvas: in it we can see almost the whole of the tortured twentieth-century.
EXCERPT: “Architecture,” as Aldo van Eyck once said, “is about making a ‘home for man’.” The space we build is space for human life, for us to inhabit, and from which we can emerge to 'do battle.' It is a place that expresses what a home for man looks like, smells like and sprawls like; it is here that we begin to find the meaning in architecture: and the meaning resides in how it makes its home for man.**ARTICLE: What is architecture?
In the act of making and placing our buildings in the world, we make decisions about what’s important in the world. What values need to be 'built in' and made concrete. What should we include from around us? What should we keep out? Early morning sun is good; later afternoon sun isn’t. Gentle breezes are good inside the house, heavy rain is not; views of the lake and the trees and the beautiful hills about us are wonderful – views of the local slaughterhouse are not..
EXCERPT: "Architecture ... does not re-create reality, but creates a structure for man's habitation or use, expressing man's values," identified Ayn Rand in The Romantic Manifesto. Architecture is primarily about making spaces for human beings to inhabit, and in doing so expresses what it means for man to inhabit this earth.**READING LIST: So you'd like to study architecture
The work is utilitarian, but not primarily so - in the words of the late New Zealand architect Claude Megson: "The architect is creating, not merely an object, but a whole universe for ourselves to inhabit." The architect creates an integration of structure, function and ornament according to the architect's own implicit values in order to make a home for man. The stuff with which the architect works is space - human space. To paraphrase Protagoras, man is quite literally the measure of all architecture.
This is an important and overlooked point, and much criticism concluding that 'architecture is not art' arises when architecture is considered only in a two-dimensional fashion, as being only a simple skin-deep armature made up of more or less elegant facades and gorgeous surfaces. It is not; it is a space for man to inhabit. Architecture is more than just the raw materials that make up a building - what is crucial is what those raw materials delineate.
EXCERPT: So you want to study architecture?
You want books and readings I might recommend for someone beginning architectural education?
Here’s a ‘top twenty’ list to get you started...
Tell us what you think. Which are your favourites, and why?
PC 5: House for an artist, Wairarapa - Organon Architecture
"So in this case then for my own personal NZ favourite I not so humbly submit one of my own sketch designs, as yet unbuilt, for an artist's house in the Wairarapa. It largely follows my own ideas on the promise of the New Zealand house."
PC 4: John Soane House, London - John Soane
"He was perhaps the pre-eminent Architect of the Enlightenment -- using reason, ingenuity, the limited materials and technology of the day and what was known about the nature of architecture to develop a totally new conception of stylised space, with man at the centre."
PC3: Taliesin West, Sonora Desert, Arizona - Frank Lloyd Wright
"In one of the most inhospitable habitats known to man, in the desert north of Phoenix and sitting just beneath the McDowell Mountain Range. there we find a heightened sense of life writ large; a life built in a particular context that fits SO WELL it could be nowhere else. Whereas with Fallingwater one gets the sense that there man has completed what nature had just suggested, at Taliesin West we realise that in this place man has produced something that make an oasis out of what was before only raw desert; a place with "a view of the rim of the world."
PC 2: Price Tower, Oklahoma - Frank Lloyd Wright
"Here tonight is Wright's only completed tall building: the Price Tower, or as so he often called it, 'the tree that escaped the crowded forest'."
PC 1: Bavinger House, Oklahoma - Bruce Goff
"Goff's best work is this house pictured here, the Bavinger House. Built in 1955 for a young family in Norman Oklahoma, it brings together locally quarried 'ironrock,' mine tailings, coal rejects, glass cullets, airplane wire and a used oil-rig drilling pipe for the mast..."
Den 5: Jewish Museum, Berlin - Daniel Libeskind
"To return to the original point I made, that this building demonstrates architecture's power to speak, think about what Libeskind has done. By taking themes of absence and presence, and working these into the design in a concrete, tangible way, the architecture moves beyond something which must be explained - a piece of art that you have to read a pamphlet before you can sagely nod, grasping your chin - and into the realm of 'speaking' architecture: one forms one's own opinion, but is forcefully guided by powerful, masterful narrative."
Den 4: Peregrine Winery, New Zealand - Architecture Workshop
"The building is sits in an exquisite natural setting, and it resonates with the Murcutt project I posted earlier, in a number of ways. The twisting, translucent blade which is the most striking feature of the architecture, is seen to float over the countryside, forming a visual break between what is 'natural' and what has been 'grafted' on to the site. The relationship between the groundplane and the hovering translucent element is dynamic and uneasy - and exciting."
Supplementary post: Tropical architecture in Darwin
"I'm posting these pics here partly because they help to understand the context of the 'shearing shed' that Den posted below. These are photos of one of Darwin's few remaining original, pre-air-conditioning tropical houses, restored after Cyclone Tracy. I took them about ten years ago. As you'll see, many of the features are replicated in Murcutt's own tropical house."
Den 3: Marika-Alderton House, Northern Territory, Australia - Glen Murcutt
"The above is an Aboriginal phrase used as a design credo by auteur Aussie architect Glenn Murcutt, and one can see the direct translation from principle to built form in his entire body of work. This house combines a sensitivity to local culture and heritage..."
Den 2. Fallingwater, Bear Run, Pennsylvania - Frank Lloyd Wright
"This is probably not far from the top five buildings of anyone interested in architecture. Gotta be quick! It was designed as the private holiday house for Edgar Kaufmann, in a sum total of three hours..."
Den 1. Rail Switchtower, Basel, Switzerland - Herzog + de Meuron
"This building demonstrates that 'architecture' is not simply for the elite - that there is no distinction between 'architecture' and building. True inspiration can spring from the most banal and mundane requirements."
Stop with the blog already. When I’m pressed for time, distractions like blogging and hoovering become very compelling. Knowing this makes it easier to resist...
Judge Not, YetGo visit, and see what you think.
Give people time and let them show you who they are.
Ask the next bearded young man who stops you on the street and asks you to donate to Greenpeace any one of those questions, and see what answer you get.
First, if, as Mr. Krautter asserts, Greenpeace should not be characterized as opposed to the use of DDT in malaria control, why should the organization describe its use in malaria control as a "cycle of misery?" Furthermore, why does Dr Santillo consider that the restricted and careful use of DDT for malaria control is "a step in the wrong direction?"
Second, please, could you detail the financial commitment that Greenpeace itself has made to developing new malaria control technologies, and include any details of the success achieved? Given that Greenpeace informs us that it is "committed to seeing more effective methods for combating malaria," we assume that it has followed that up with actual investment.
Third, please, could you detail the lobbying and advocacy efforts that Greenpeace has undertaken to ensure that public and private funds are invested in the search for chemical alternatives to DDT?
Africa Fighting Malaria applauds the constructive and positive role that [some other environmental] organizations have taken with regard to DDT for malaria control. The criticism that Greenpeace has leveled at the WHO, and by implication, some of the world's leading malaria experts and scientists is damaging to malaria control programs and ultimately will cost lives in Africa.
WHO Sides with Humanity Against Mosquitoes and Environmentalists
Irvine, CA—The World Health Organization, conceding that alternative methods to fight malaria have failed, will start encouraging the use of DDT around the world.
"For anyone who cares about human life, this is excellent news," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "The widespread use of DDT against malaria-carrying mosquitoes can prevent the infection of hundreds of millions of people every year and save millions of lives."
Before environmentalists managed to ban or severely restrict its use, DDT led to a dramatic reduction in malaria cases wherever it was used.
"The decades-long environmentalist opposition to DDT never had any basis in science: for half a century DDT use has been proven safe to humans and deadly to mosquitoes.
"The environmentalists responsible for banning or tightly restricting the use of DDT are responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people and for the untold suffering of hundreds of millions more, most of them children.
"The environmentalists' persistent opposition to the use of DDT shows that they are indifferent to human suffering. This is because environmentalism places the 'preservation' of nature above the requirements of human survival and prosperity. Given the choice of eradicating malarial mosquitoes with a man-made pesticide or condemning millions of people to suffering and death, committed environmentalists have consistently opted for the latter..."
LINKS: World Health Organization (WHO) Announces New Policy Position On Indoor Residual Spraying For Malaria Control - Medical News Today