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Permalink 22:14:06, by matt Email , 60 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

We don't need to steekin proof-readers


Nicely spotted, Mark.
Where DO they find the clowns who proof these ads? I wonder how I could get a job doing poor-quality proof-reading of advertising copy. I'm sure I could do it at least half as badly as some of the work I've seen recently.
Whatever happened to a company's public appearance being a reflection of the company itself?


Permalink 13:57:20, by matt Email , 372 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Fuck there are some arrogant tossers out there

At our company Christmas party last night - and a very good night out it was - I found out something that is by turns amusing and enraging.
In this post on usenet, I'm fairly blunt about my opinion of the operations staff at CallPlus. This contempt springs from my distaste for the Operations Manager, who's a very angry little man with a bad case of "angry little man" syndrome, and also my general antipathy towards a company that couldn't find its arse with both hands and a flashlight.
What I found out last night is that that post triggered a reaction from said Operations Manager. He e-mailed the MD of my current employer and asked them to reign in my "defamatory" comments. Sorry, what? The post was made in my own time, from my home computer, through a personal 'net connection. How is that possibly relevant to my employment? And what's defamatory about calling them monkeys who don't read usenet?
I never even heard about the complaint at the time, as it was rightly considered completely groundless by both the MD and by the Technical Director to whom I directly report. It does make me wonder what that Operations Manager will do if I make a similar comment when I'm at university, though. Will he e-mail the faculty and ask them to reign me in?

It's amusing because it bothered him so much. Bravo to me. It's also amusing because he obviously thinks that employers should have jurisdiction over the things their employees say privately, with nary a reference to their employer, on their own time, and using their own resources.
It's enraging because he had the temerity to try use my employer to do his bully work.

Oh, and Simon, if you're reading this, you really are a little toerag. If you have a problem with me, and I know you do, have the spine to take it up with me. Don't go grovelling to third parties, hoping that they'll do things for which you lack the guts.
My e-mail address is all over the web, and if you were half as smart as you think you are you could get my home phone number and my address in under a minute.


Permalink 17:53:09, by admin Email , 222 words   English (NZ)
Categories: International events

We did not torture that prisoner


For some convoluted definition of torture. Obviously one of the things the Republicans do admire about Bill Clinton is his way with words - and the way he defines words to dodge a bullet.
No, grabbing someone's shirt or slapping their face (once) doesn't constitute torture in most peoples' books. But the US standard doesn't define a limit to the number of slaps, and being slapped back and forth for hours is torture. Similarly sleep deprivation, which can kill people, is psychological torture. As for water-boarding, well, it waddles like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it's got webbed feet and a bill, and it has feathers. Blow me down if it doesn't look like a duck from every angle.

Between Cheyney and Shrub, the top of the stack is firmly against making US forces and intelligence officers behave in line with the standards of decency that they claim to be seeking to bring to the rest of the globe.
Civilised countries don't use torture. It's very simple. The information gained is suspect, to say the least, because a prisoner who's being tortured will say anything to make the pain stop. If you need good leads, torture's not any kind of certain way to get them.

It's yet another example of the complete moral bankruptcy of the very top of the Republicans.


Permalink 21:09:32, by matt Email , 245 words   English (NZ)
Categories: International events

Only $75,000?


At first I thought it had to be a mistake. A man suing the CIA for allegedly subjecting him to the process known as "rendition", taking him to Afghanistan where he was detained for five months and, he says, tortured, and he's only asking for USD75k plus an apology.
I figured it had to be a typo, and someone had missed out a zero or five. Then I found another article that had the same number in it.
Then the penny dropped. The man isn't American. The idea of getting obscenely rich from this unfortunate incident may well have never even occurred to him, or if it did (or was mentioned by the good folks at ACLU) he obviously decided that this is a matter of principle not crass lucre. Which is a little silly, since for such a meagre sum the CIA will likely settle just to keep it out of court. Sue them for nine figures, refuse to settle for less, and see them in court.

In some ways his position is admirable, but in others it's somewhat concerning. This could all end up being swept under the carpet, unless the lawyers make the terms of the apology so explicit and verbose that the CIA simply won't agree to its publication. That may be their plan - I hope it's their plan - but if it's not I foresee another fizzle in the attempts to bring the CIA to the heel of civilsed behaviour.


Permalink 20:30:03, by matt Email , 34 words   English (NZ)
Categories: blog

Phoar, imagine squeezing one of those out


Spotted this basket on a trip to Wairarapa today. They're about the size of an infant's head! My hand was meant to lend some scale to them, but it didn't quite work as planned.

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Shocking as it may be, I think, and sometimes those thoughts are almost worthy of public contemplation. So, here are those some thoughts, with no guarantees as to their validity, worth, or utility to the cosmos. All thoughts are my own, representing only my thoughts, opinions and positions, unless explicitly otherwise stated. This blog is not an official or unofficial outlet for any company or government body, or for person other than myself.


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