Samuel Dennis shooting

If, like several others, you have ended up at my blog searching for information on the recent shooting of Emmanuel Bartuoh by Samuel Dennis, somewhere in the USA, I can happily assure you that you have found the wrong Samuel Dennis, and can find more information on the right one here. Much as I would like one, 9mm pistols are heavily restricted in NZ, so I have to make do with larger guns.

It is quite amusing the search terms people use to find my blog sometimes!

Blog Stats – Halfdone

Halfdone is compiling monthly NZ blog stats, like Tumeke. However the Halfdone stats use a simpler formula so are available sooner. While the Tumeke stats take into account numbers of posts and comments, the Halfdone stats only measure readership and links to the blog. Each system has merits and problems, but the Tumeke stats are more detailed.

This blog is #55 in the Halfdone stats for November, up from #79 in the October Tumeke stats.

I am down to #6 in the MandM Christian blog rankings, based on Halfdone, because Put Up Thy Sword has taken a massive leap into 5th place – well done!

Blog rankings

The Tumeke! blog rankings are out for October, which takes in most of the pre-election activity except for the final week. I have moved up one spot to #79. No Minister has done well, jumping up six places to #4 – and this is well deserved, it is an excellent blog.

The MandM rankings of Christian blogs, based on the Tumeke rankings, are out too. I am sitting on #5. MandM are still #4, but have jumped 27 places in the Tumeke list to #50 – a great achievement. Kiwipolemicist is listed for the first time, and is #6.

If you want to find out a few good Christian blogs to follow, the MandM rankings are a great place to start. Thanks heaps Tim Selwyn, and also Madeleine, for the work you’ve put in.

More dumbing-down of the curriculum

If you thought children these days weren’t taught to the standard they used to be, look out. The new curriculum will dumb down classes even further, and could see studying Shakespeare dropped in some schools in favour of studying blogs. Much as we all like blogs, I’m sure we can agree that there is a lot more to be learnt about the English language from studying Shakespeare than studying the English you often confront in the blogosphere… Furthermore there is a lot more scope to choose blogs that reflect the political or moral views of the teacher and subtly indoctrinate the children, we had enough of that when I was at school through the selection of heavily feminist literature to study, this just opens the door even wider for abuse.

This erosion of the standards of English is strongly reminiscent of Orwell’s “Newspeak” (from his book “1984”), where the language was being dumbed down heavily, a bit like text language, in an effort to suppress free thought in the population. For example, instead of the words “good”, “excellent”, “great”, “bad”, “poor” etc, you had “good” and “ungood”. This limited vocabulary made it more difficult for people to express dissent. Although I doubt there is any blatant plot to do the same here, and Orwell’s example is obviously extreme, the effect is still concerning. Shakespeare expands the vocabulary in a way that blogs are unlikely to.

This is why we need to encourage private schooling and home schooling, rather than allowing the State to indoctrinate our children.

Hat tip: NZ Conservative

Who decides the election

Homepaddock has an excellent illustration of the problem every political party faces:

I’ve just picked up today’s papers from a dairy and commented as I passed them over to the young bloke serving me that these are interesting times politically.

He replied, “What’s happening?” …  “Are there elections this year?”

Read the whole post. It is voters like this young man who will decide the election this year, and every year. People who aren’t really interested in politics and will make their decision based on a small amount of information. They may always vote for one party, or pick between Labour and National depending on the mood of the times. Or they may pick one issue they like the sound of and just vote on that (“I like the environment so I’ll vote Green”, “Maori have it rough so I’ll vote for the Maori Party”, hopefully “I care about my family so I’ll vote for the Family Party”), or sometimes “That poor guy Winston Peters is being hassled by the media again, I’ll vote for him”.

I am not criticising these voters at all. These voters are busy working in the real world, and don’t care about politics. In focussing on day-to-day life they are being more practical than those of us who do spend time on politics in many ways. But ultimately politics will affect their lives somehow, and they will vote one way or another.

You can’t reach these people through political blogs – they aren’t interested in politics so won’t be reading them. You may be able to reach them through the newspapers, but some of them may not read the political articles if they aren’t interested in them. You may reach them through TV and radio, but broadcast advertising is strictly regulated. The most effective way of reaching them through TV is by getting onto the news and current affairs programmes – which Mr Key has been doing a great job of throughout the recent Peters controversy. Leaflets and billboards may work too, although leaflets can be just thrown in the bin.

How do you reach people who aren’t interested in politics?

Suggestions welcome!

Kiwiblog login

I sometimes have difficulty logging in to Kiwiblog, and this lasts for a day or so usually whenever it occurs. This is frustrating when people are asking questions about your comments but you cannot reply. Does anyone else have this problem?

Sorry to anyone waiting for an answer from me, if you want a question answered when I don’t seem to be active on Kiwiblog post it here.