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News Notes

Entry 686, on 2008-02-01 at 19:18:51 (Rating 4, News)

I noticed several interesting articles in today's news which I would like to comment on. First, there was news of the latest storms which are affecting Britain. Then there was a report showing that the future of Afghanistan looks bleak. Finally, there was more bad news for Internet users in New Zealand as Telecom is being taken to court for misleading advertising.

We seem to hear every week about new storms which are unusually severe and many people wonder whether they are a result of global warming. Of course, the global warming deniers say that we have always had bad storms and these current ones don't mean anything unusual is happening. They may be right, because most climate scientists seem hesitant to claim any link. But one of the predicted side effects of warming is more severe storms and more extreme weather so it is tempting to suggest at least a tentative connection.

Reports of progress in Afghanistan two years after a major meeting of the new government and its international backers don't look good. Suicide attacks, beheading, and other violence continues and countries like Australia and Britain are now less likely to want to stay there after changes in leadership. And soon the same will apply in the US. I guess Afghanistan is just another victim of the bungling incompetence of US foreign policy. I don't know what the answer is, but more of the same doesn't seem like such a good option.

Its been a week or two since I insulted Telecom (New Zealand's biggest company and main telecommunications provider) so I'll correct that now. They are in trouble again for misleading advertising of their pathetic services. Actually, this phrase "misleading advertising" is sort of like an oxymoron, except in reverse, because the two words obviously belong together. What's the point of advertising unless its misleading? The very essence of advertising is to fool people into doing something they wouldn't do if they just examined the options rationally. Well, maybe I'm being a little bit too unkind to advertisers there, but I think everyone knows not to take adverts too seriously so I think they subconsciously know there's a lot of truth in what I say!

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