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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Full Disclosure

This post had the potential to take a while. I decided to line up a couple of drinks to keep me going, one hot, and one cold. Red Seal have a very yummy flavored Black Adder Licorice Tea, ideal for a long blog. My juice of choice is the Mango and Calamansi (Lime) flavored juice from Just Juice. I like it. Maybe you should try it next time you are down at Pak n Save.

So, how important is full disclosure? Jordan Carter, as Campaign Manager for Marion some-one or other, sees nothing wrong in reeling off a letter to Dom Post as a concerned citizen to wax lyrical about matters political. The Dom Post, with apparently no investigative reporters and very few people that actually read the news, see fit to publish his letters as they arrive, with no mention of his day job. I noticed two letters last month they ran, one centre page. I don't think you'd see the same standard in the Herald. And I think their subscription rates might be better. Email me for their subs department and I'll see what I can do.

Meanwhile, in America, a couple of famous bloggers got jobs on the side to provide some consulting services to help with a Political Campaign. I read this through my excellent subscription to KeepMedia. I'd mention the party, but even providing a link to the parties web site might soon be construed as a political donation, and with the sway this blog holds over the American public, the donation would likely be considered substantial. Of course, the WSJ (Wall Street Journal for those living south of Christchurch) may have exaggerated the story a tad and inferred these guys were paid big bucks to blog. Still, the story is in the detail. Daily Kos (oops, let the cat out of the bag. I really need memory pills) does tend to get paid for political adverts in his sidebar. I thought you were only allowed to place Amazon Dot Com in the sidebar. Or Google.

So what's the problem? Some people say that an idea stands on its own merit, and the name that is underneath it, means nothing. To them I say: "Who said that?" Well, I think Jordan Carter did, but he would wouldn't he? He's the topic of the debate. It's moments like these that we can turn to those possessing known wisdom for advice:
Smoking is good for you
Rothmans, Benson and Hedges et al [It is 1920. Discuss.]

Smoking is bad for you
"Brother national socialist, do you know that our F├╝hrer is against smoking and think that every German is responsible to the whole people for all his deeds and emissions, and does not have the right to damage his body with drugs?" [It is still 1920. We can trust Hitler. Keep discussing.]

iceberg, right ahead
Frederick Fleet, Titanic [The irony of evaluating that information is in the report]

Beware of small expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
Benjamin Franklin

Beware of big expenses; a big leak will sink a great ship.
Enron accountant [Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Discuss.]

Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
Colin Powell

The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
Amnesty International

The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
George Bush

[If two people say the same thing we can agree the idea is popular and has merit, right?]

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.
George Bernard Shaw

"We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again...My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time...
Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."
Neville Chamberlain
So, it is a tricky subject. Tricky, in that I might have to spend too long explaining just what the hell the above quotes mean. But I suggest instead you just go have a quiet sleep. Here's the end of the story: I expect nothing less than full disclosure if you have a strong financial interest in the topic at hand. I'll leave a tighter definition of what that might mean to another blog.

By now, Jordan's twigged and he is getting his friend to write in to the Dom Post. Let's all just keep it our deep dark secret shall we? If I don't blog about it, no-one has to know, right?

Note: I was not paid by a left OR right wing political party to post this blog. However, in the event I was on a benefit, I would of course disclose that I am fully funded by a left wing socialist party and appreciate the extra $40 per week due to my medical condition of RSI caused by writers cramp.

Further Disclosure: What if I made up all of those quotes? Does it matter? Doesn't the overall idea stand on its merit?
[Click to Expand/Contract]

Posted by ZenTiger | 6/05/2005 11:27:00 pm


Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

With all your claim of disclosure surely you should disclose your real name, all political affilations, income range (to see how much you make to gain if their were tax cuts), etc. etc.

6/06/2005 07:47:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

phantasmagoric political junkie, anyone who comes here knows they are going to get a completely biased view of NZ politics. We're not pretending to be something we are not. So what difference would it make what are real names are, how much we earn etc, etc.

The only real relevant info is that this site is not paid for by any political party. I personally don't belong to any political party, nor have I ever donated to one.

6/06/2005 08:14:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

PPJ: So there was nothing you agreed with in the post then? Why?

6/06/2005 08:33:00 pm  
Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

The person who says it does matter, I agree. But only in so far as whether they are paid to say it. I dont't think attacking Jordan would be fair as he has no financial interest in the Labour govt continuing (as he has previously stated on this blog).
But if you are going to argue for full disclosure, then I would say you are being hypocritical hiding behind a psuedoymn (spelling?). We can never be sure that you are not a National/ACT staffer when you are behind a false name. It is a matter of trust.

6/07/2005 10:52:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Junkie, Jordan has stated on this blog that he is not paid by the govt or the Labour Party. He has not said that he has no financial interest in the Labour govt continuing, nor has he stated whether the NGO equivalent that he works for is publicly funded.

6/07/2005 10:58:00 am  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Just the thing I expect to hear from a Labour/Green staffer PPJ. Ooh, I am so suspicious. Not that it would actually matter one jot.

It is interesting that a declaration "I swear that I am not a member of any political party nor have I been paid to make these statements. My day job is working in a small software development company."

and repeated statements across the blog that "I prefer National over Labour (just barely) and ACT will get my party vote this election"

and we position ourselves as a right of centre blog site

and you still think we are hypocritical.

I think that's very silly of you. I'm sorry, but I've said it. Silly. I was trying to be nice, but that was just too much. Any more of this nonsense and I'll step up to "baloney".

6/07/2005 11:00:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

One last thing, so as to not appear to be sidestepping the question, I am not a National/ACT staffer either. My day job includes writing stuff like the following:

procedure TfrmLibPref_.Filter_Change(Sender: TObject);
i,x : integer;
strName, strCheckName: string;
With Filter_ do
strName := items[itemIndex];
For i := 0 to FSearchNames.count - 1 do
strCheckName := fSearchNames.ValueFromIndex[i];
x := pos(strCheckName, ';');
if x > 0 then
delete(strCheckName, x, length(strCheckName) - x + 1);
If strCheckName = strName then
Filter_.Tag := strToInt(fSearchNames.Names[i]);

6/07/2005 11:05:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

BTW, I haven't tested it yet, so I'm sure it works.

6/07/2005 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Damn, that was NOT sure, rather than sure.

6/07/2005 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Phantasmagoric Political Junkie said...

I know you are right-of-centre. But as you maybe able to tell, there is always going to be questions when people are hiding behind pseudoymns as I do.

Full disclosure does mean full disclosure. Thus if you do seek that people fully disclose things then it is fair that you do so as well.

But it still does not change the validity of view points. You may point to say students having a financial interest voting on the left but so to do rich people have a financial interest in voting for the right. It does not lessen their standing, it is still 'one person, one vote' (okay, two under MMP...).

6/07/2005 01:51:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

PPJ: It is one thing to read a letter to the editor from Joe Blow and another to visit a web site with (for example) an authors name of "Right Wing Death Beast" and be totally surprised at the site content and wonder where on earth the political disclaimer is.

The one man one vote would explain why Michael Jordan gets paid $20 million for wearing Nike shoes and you would presumably be offered around $1.50. I say this with no idea how tall you are, and your prowess on the basket ball field, but I'm willing to take the odds.

The whole point of propganda is to spend the time up front so that all of the "one man, one vote"rs follow their gut instincts that have been carefully shaped by the very methods I just mention.

But I detect progress. Are we agreed some disclosure is appropriate then?

If so, maybe we can go have a chat to Cullen about the Transpower deal to loan 732 million, and not want to tell anyone.

6/07/2005 04:03:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Sorry, last line corrected:

If so, maybe we can go have a chat to Cullen about the Transpower deal to loan 732 million - because he does not want to disclose any information at all to the tax payers, who are backing the financial viability of this enterprise with their tax dollars.

6/07/2005 04:08:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Ok, if anyone was looking to the above code as proof of my programming prowess - it didn't work. The x := pos(.. etc, I had the substr and the string around the wrong way, and I ended up taking out a chunk of it and putting it in it's own function and referencing it, thus being able to call it twice. I always hope just to write someone and then have it work straight off, but generally there's something wrong with it. So if anyone's copied that bit, I'm just saying - it doesn't work!

6/07/2005 09:47:00 pm  
Blogger Lucyna said...

Does blogger change words randomly? I'm sure I wrote "something" and it changed it into "someone".

6/07/2005 09:48:00 pm  

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