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The dumb Yank is a fallacy 

Type in into YouTube and you get a lot of results. As I chatted to Simon Young, a fellow blogger and an old friend, in person yesterday during his visit to Wellington, we mentioned a clip from Australian series CNNNN. In it, Americans answer questions such as ‘Who won the Vietnam War?’ and ‘How many sides does a triangle have?’ and getting them wrong.
   I believe the image is a fallacy, and one of the usual signs of (propagated more today than during the Reagan era, thanks to the internet). The series probably picked the worst moments. A mere 20 years ago, John Hawkesby was hosting It’s in the Bag here in , with my friend Hilary Timmins. He asked one contestant what the 25th letter of the alphabet was. She insisted it was Z, despite constant clues from John, which included, ‘How many letters are there in the alphabet?’
   Who can forget ‘I’ll have an O for awesome’ on the New Zealand version of ?
   For a more recent example, Eating Media Lunch had one of its stars dress up as a street collector for al-Qaeda, and still managed to get regular Kiwis unquestionably giving him money.
   We are lucky to have a small population, so the examples are fewer. But plenty of people all over the planet are dumb, not just Americans.
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In search of the tribe 

I had the ladies from D-Clutter (actually should be all lowercase: d-clutter) come by today to see if they could improve my office space, and I can’t wait till they start work. Janine and Lianne have analysed my , what needs to be cleared out, and how they can create an effortless routine for me, considering I have used the same space as JY&A head office for 20 years. They’ll even TradeMe-off the junk for me. (I told them I could not figure out how to use the site, based on its ugliness.)
   It’s another little step up after a tough 2006—I see signs like this continually, especially how I’ve learned to surround myself with good people.
   When Janine asked me about how things evolved with my back in the 1990s, I told her that most of my advances were made that decade. I went from a reasonably unknown, local businessman to an international one early in the decade, propelled partly by company presidents and CEOs who thought globally. When the first became a regular business tool, most of the people on it were . We really did believe we could unite the planet and make it a better place. Deals were done rapidly, based on and mutual respect.
   But as the internet grew, as I lamented, we found that the level of education and trust declined. There were more people who were willing to deceive and cheat. And whereas the United States was the most place with which to do business—based on my experience—it had slipped terribly by this decade. Not that we New Zealanders are much better: per capita, we probably managed to bring up as many ratbags as any other nation. Possibly more.
   No wonder have emerged on the internet. I see sites as part of this phenomena. The word tribes has been used many a time already by many other authors, but I feel that the most infiuential one will replicate the heady days of the internet: a of idealists, who are simply conducting business on regular terms.
   The question is: where is this tribe?
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Lucire web preview: Ashley Scott 

[Cross-posted] We haven’t linked this publicly yet, but readers may enjoy a preview of an article on actress Ashley Scott, whom I inter­viewed last year. We didn’t get to use all the pictures by Andrew Matusik, and there was an error in the print edition on attri­bu­tion, so the online one fixes these issues. In addition, we’ve updated the article slightly to reflect ’s work on the TV series , current­ly screen­ing on TV3 in .
   That means we have had three profiles this year on the website about celebrities with connections with the Carolinas. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker has roots, while Laural Barrett and Louisiana-born Ashley have South Carolina ones: Ashley was raised in , , and still believes the Holy City to be one of her favourite places.
   Don’t ask me why, but when I see patterns like this, I believe them to be significant.
   Plus, it is another sign that after Lucire runs a story on you, your star seems to rise. It certainly happened with Ashley and Jericho. Maybe the web article will help boost her again, now that has decided not to renew the show.
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MGs are coming out of Longbridge 

opened again yesterday: , the present owner of the iconic sports’ brand, ramped up assembly of its model at a factory that the doomsayers said, two years ago, would never churn out another vehicle again. Even I had my doubts.
   It has only created 130 —6,000 were there when MG Rover shut two years ago, and at its peak, 20,000 were—but let’s still applaud men such as NAC’s .
   Yu only has a duty to support the worker. NAC, as a , could have happily said, ‘Bugger the overseas markets. Let’s just serve the domestic Chinese market. It’s growing fast enough.’ And he would have saved himself months of headaches.
   Given what the , the NDRC and other Red agencies are like, Yu must have fought tooth and nail to bring some MG production back to the . Sure, 130 is short of 1,200, which the unions had expected, but the investment into the new Chinese plant and the restart at Longbridge are costly. And the cars may be nearly the same as the 1995 MGFs, but there are acclaimed cars such as the Chrysler 300 which have roots that are equally old, albeit more extensively revised.
   I may have concerns about the Red Chinese state, but I also know that this man deserves a huge pat on the back. Give him a chance and the 130 workforce will surely increase. He doesn’t need the sort of criticism that might discourage him and make him take the easy way out.
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You would not call this bloke disabled 

Kyle Maynard is inspirational. Born with a condition where his limbs did not develop—congenital amputation—his parents raised him as an able-bodied son. And he is, essentially, able-bodied, just not in the same way as the majority. He types, writes, eats, brushes his teeth, drives, lifts weights, wrestles for his university team and does ju-jitsu—as some 20-year-olds might. And he is a wrestling champ. Bruce Weber even asked him to model in an Abercrombie & Fitch campaign. As I watched an interview with Maynard (see this one from HBO), I realized what he means by his book’s title, No Excuses. I’ve fully developed limbs and I make excuses for not doing something, or I procrastinate. Daft, isn’t it? (Plus you do not want to mess with Maynard, judging by his wrestling prowess.)
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Will the 2008 MGs be better? 

For those concerned about the quality of Chinese s, this quotation from the Murdoch Press should be a relief:

The [Longbridge] factory start-up was scheduled for next month, but preproduction models have not met the standard has set. Now the best estimate is for the assembly line to be in full operation in the autumn, with the first available to customers at the turn of the year.

   What I take from this is: the new MGs will be of better quality than what was coming off the lines at before the old collapsed. Which is a relief, as according to my regular mechanic who gets his share of English cars, what was being built was rather below par.
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Go, Laural! 

Laural Barrett, photographed by Camille Sanson[Cross-posted] To get people in the mood for Miss Universe tonight (in the US on NBC, 9 p.m. EDT and delayed PDT), my article on , Miss 2007, is now online at the Lucire website. is by London-based Camille Sanson, with by Michiko Hughes. (We may run different ones in the print .) I had wanted Laural to have a glance beforehand, but you can imagine that she’s full-on preparing for the tonight. Good luck to “our Laural”: New Zealand is behind you!
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How safe is the Holden Epica? 

I had been saying at Vox that the was not the car on the market in its day (the Australians gave it a two-plus star rating). The horrid Holden Epicanée —is derived, or at least can trace its lineage, from that vehicle.
   While there are no results for the Tosca that I could find, I was able to locate some information about the car from which it was derived.
   Technically speaking, the Leganza was the car from which the Tosca platform sprung, but in between, there was a major revision when launched the Magnus. It would be unfair to compare Tosca with Leganza; the Magnus is a fairer comparison point. This car was sold in the US as the .
   Back in 2005, the US Government tested the Verona (my italics):

The Suzuki Verona received the lowest rating in driver-side frontal crash tests among passenger cars for the 2005 model year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
   The Verona was the only vehicle tested to receive three stars in the frontal test, which estimates a 21 percent to 35 percent chance of serious injury.

   Even the diehard nut who believes the or Tosca is the bee’s knees should hold off if his or her family’s safety is something worth worrying about. I would wait till some independent safety ratings are published about the Epica, which is, to all intents and purposes, a revised Verona or Daewoo Magnus.
   I hope, for Holden’s sake, this does not prove to be yet another débâcle such as the Holden Barina safety scandal.
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I didn’t have to find myself 

One of the benefits of having been in was that I was allowed to maintain my and discover who I was right through ( to our American friends) and . If we had never left in 1976, I probably would have been stuck in the local system which meant: if I didn’t get into a good kindergarten at 2½ (seriously), I wouldn’t get into a good primary school, which meant I wouldn’t get into a good college, which minimized my opportunity of getting into a good university. By the college years, those of us who were desperate for a decent degree from a respectable uni would have probably lost ourselves somewhat, behaving like the typical good-kid for admissions’ officers from the institutions, maximizing our chances of entry. We would have put in time volunteering so that some member of the Crown would have written an endorsement, and writing a book before 18. I would have been a phony.
   And then what? Would I have then tried to rediscover who I am post-graduation, by going on an OE? Would I ever have “found myself”?
   I’ve no doubt that the old Hong Kong system turns out some amazing people, but I know now it wouldn’t have been for me, either. I did reasonably well in New Zealand, always with my own path, doing what I felt was right for me. It was this environment that allowed me to start my own company as a teen, and at that young age, you can put down 16 hours’ work and still have time to party. Sometimes we are lucky without knowing it.
   At no point should anyone need to sacrifice their characters, to fit in to some idea of what a college kid should be. But sometimes I fear this is what we are doing to our .
   Anyone in my field of will tell you that the successful are those that have a unique character, confident of who they are. The same analogy can be applied to people. It is internally generated, not externally forced upon one.
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Retrospective: from the fashion frontlines, March 2006 

My Irish friend Stefano Sopelza (not a typo) drew this back at the 2006 Vodafone ID Dunedin —at a time, I should note, when he was not with his lovely young ladyfriend. I always said I would it, but due to one thing or another (plenty of those in 2006), I never did. Well, here it is: Mr Sopelza’s . Not suited 100 per cent to the pages of , but at least it’s linked from the web edition. The bald chap in the illustration is, I believe, himself.
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Holden Epica arrives in New Zealand (God help us) 

My fears were well founded as launches the in New Zealand—calling it, as in , the .
   The reports across the Tasman are that the Tosca is about as enticing as a porterhouse steak at a Buddhist monastery.
   The Murdoch Press was not complimentary and believes that the Tosca has been beaten on everything except price.
   At least the Aussies get a four-cylinder model. Here in , where the two-litre mid-sized sedan is a staple, Holden is fielding only a 2·5-litre six.
   Holden believes that the -sourced C was a failure, but given that the company spent cents and peppercorns it, it’s no wonder. It was commercial suicide, despite the Vectra (at least in New Zealand) having plenty of supporters after successful A- and B-generation models.
   But Holden New Zealand seemingly has zero independence. It could have sourced the Barina and Vectra from Opel as before. After all, it was courageous enough to do so back in the 1980s, looking to Isuzu for the 1984 Camira, and to Opel for the Vectra A in 1989. Now, it is stuck with selling rebadged Daewoos, including models that were so horrid that they were originally withdrawn from the New Zealand market some four years ago.
   Vectra C sales dried up in Australia due to the model’s switch to imports, after years of local assembly. Consequently, one could buy a bigger Commodore for Vectra money. Here in New Zealand, I imagine buyers were suspicious why the C sold here had the 2003-model grille—when even the Mexican market sports a facelift. My thoughts—not backed up in any way—are that the “new” New Zealand Vectras left the factory some time in 2005, but certainly not in 2006 or 2007.
   We are not that dumb, . And to think, is meant to be a “car guy”, a bloke who loves Holden a lot.
   Yet despite his presence (and aside from the Commodore-derived models), is flogging us the local equivalent of Oldsmobiles: dull, compliant, but no long-term future or positive .
   Maybe , Holden’s boss and an ex-Olds guy, only has one mode.
   When you are spending thousands on a car, you research it well. And Tosca fails on a lot of counts. Plus, people are more brand-sensitive these days—price, while still important, is less of an issue with private buyers. Unfortunately for Holden, buyers will even look, surprise, surprise, at their rivals’ reviews. Or maybe they weren’t aware of this fact?
   The Tosca—as well as the handsome but slightly inept 5—will do well with fleets, but at the end of the day, they have all the usual hallmarks of underdevelopment.
   It is not the first Holden slip-up. When the Daewoo Kalos returned to these shores as the , it replaced its Spanish-built predecessor, the C, that had a four-star NCAP rating. The Kalos has two stars.
   Now, the new Opel Corsa D is cleaning up in Europe, being a little car that has big-car manners. It’s wiping the floor with fragments of what was the Toyota Yaris.
   Here, Holden has given up that market to the Yaris, which is superior to the Kalos in every respect.
   With the Holden Epica on the market, will be laughing when its CD345 Mondeo is launched in New Zealand (reminding the company of the Cortina v. Sunbird days), and doesn’t seem to be getting many sleepless nights with its Camry–Aurion duo.
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Eurologo time 

I do not always entertain requests for links that come via this site, but there have been a few worth it. One was from Barbara Rogoski at Authentic Matters, whom is now linked from my blog roll in the right-hand column. The second has come from Areti Maniati, who is one of the folks running the European Logo Design Annual (www.eulda.com), encouraging entries in the last four to five days of the competition. My friend and colleague Rex Turnbull is among the supporters of this venture through his magazine Lino, which was what clinched it.
   From Areti’s blurb:

Eulda is a top-level annual. Eulda is the only award scheme in the world endorsed by more than 65 design associations. The winners are selected by an international three-tier jury consisting of 10 top design professionals, 10 managers from major international clients and finally 10 members of the public (provided respectively by the worl[d]wide established organizations BEDA, Aquent and Consumers International). This innovative judging mechanism reflects the actual process that turns any logo idea into a successful logo: the designers decide what to present to the clients, the clients decide what to present to the public, but in the end it is always the public that decides if a is successful.
   The core of excellence generated by this process is collated in a printed annual, rewarding the best and the best clients, and creating an archive that tracks the evolution of tastes, and in Europe, year after year.

   I’m going to watch who wins this with some interest.
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A halo effect for Amber 

I received a very nice email from , the host, who is on last month’s Girlfriend in New Zealand. I must say I do like this Girlfriend : it’s very Amber, and very fresh.
   As some who follow this blog know, Amber appeared as the first New Zealander on a printed Lucire cover (not counting the prototypes we did in 2004). She wrote:

Thank you so much for gracing me with . It has put me in a very different light. It’s amazing what exposure like that does to people’s perceptions.

    was not Amber’s first cover—I remember Madison in New Zealand (the original one, not the Australian one that went and registered the name while the Kiwi one was still running)—but it’s nice to know that after 10 years, we continue to have that positive halo effect for people.
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Chairs to Ian 

I promised a few people over the last fortnight that I would mention their work on my blog. They both deserve a bit of a promo here, each for very different reasons.
   The first is the namesake of a high school friend of mine, Ian Baillie. Ian, formerly in the marketing game himself, is the inventor of the Shelli . The Shelli is hand-pedalled and lightweight. If you can help Ian get the word out, hop round to his website at www.shelliwheelchairs.com.au.
   The second is plain fun—not quite as noble as Ian’s effort but those of you born before, say, 1979, may appreciate this. Michael Maloof is trying to get to make the from the film Part II and believes grass-roots is the way. At The Official McFly 2015 Project, you can sign a petition.
   I have my thoughts on Nike, though I do believe the venture to be a fun one for Michael and those who would like to see ’s character’s shoes in real life, now that it actually is the 21st century.
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Facebook addiction 

[Cross-posted] If anyone is wondering where I have been, the answer is Facebook. Darn, that site is addictive. There are groups on there as well as a function, and my opinion (with my initial opposition) has turned 180 degrees thanks to ’s good service and the tidiness of its interface. The groups themselves have more or less supplanted my interest in Yahoo! Groups. I can even import my blog entries.
   There are half a dozen Jack Yans on there, however, though I imagine you do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out which one is yours truly.
   There is an awful lot of Canadians there, which is interesting. I am not sure if Facebook is a Canadian site, but their nationals seem to have taken to it more than any other group.
   I am not sure why this is more addictive than, say, Bebo or the old group sites. I believe it is the openness of the format: the ability to import blog posts, so you are not duplicating your work, and seeing who are the friends of your friends. Through that, you often find your own comrades. There is a sense of to it all.
   Any friends reading this, feel free to link me. Quite a few of my contacts there appear to be fellow bloggers to whom I am linked through my main site’s blog roll.
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Cellphones and talking bollocks 

My friend Robin Capper emailed me a link about cellphone-safe undies, though I don’t think these are enough to make me use the gadgets. Even if I wasn’t nuking the boys, I can’t afford to have a and be a businessman: I don’t believe the two are compatible.
   The Engadget link he sent was interesting for a Murdoch Press article that was cited in the comments. There is a study that suggests cellphone radiation is hurting male fertility.
   One critic says that the heavy cellphone users are probably sitting more, hence the lower count. This means, the more you use a cellphone, the more likely you are unfit. (If I understand the University of Sheffield lecturer correctly.) Sounds like bollocks to me, and that is, after all, what we are talking about.
   It appears I am on my way to becoming the most man in the country.
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The Tony Blair years 

Ali Ikram promised TV One viewers last night that the broadcast would switch over to the announcement of leaving at 11 p.m. NZST, but it never happened. So, it was off to watch CNN Pipeline online, to catch the PM make his farewell speech, the first of many, then catching reactions there, on al-Jazeera, and on the France 24 news channel.
   The last 10 years have been interesting, as Blair continued some of the policies of his predecessor, such as dealing with (even tried not to touch this political hot potato), and education and the NHS.
   I have been pretty open in the past to say that I helped the campaign in 1997. After all, looked alone as his party crumbled around him, with only a small handful of trusty lieutenants and Norma by his side. His —Arial—said all that was wrong with the Conservatives in that campaign: it was invisible. It was up against a that was -run.
   Major, to me, was the with a conscience, and best reflected my own slightly leftist viewpoints on how to run Britain then.
   He was the first PM in a long time to lose a while the economy was strong.
   I was concerned about Tony Blair. In a lot of speeches I gave around that time—and I carried the gag well into 2003—I joked how most of his 1997 interviews centred around the word ‘Change’. It was about ‘New Labour, New Britain’. Even Major praised his successor for his shrewdness in his autobiography; buzzwords, or spin, worked for Tony Blair.
   Until the public wised up, and spin began biting the Blair government back.
   At the end of the day, little beats transparency, or at least the impression of it—a talent which PM is quite a mistress of. appears to be fumbling as much as his predecessor, with no clear direction.
   I made it no secret that I felt Mr Blair’s spin meant he was covering up for a lack of substance. In Visual Arts Trends, we even received a bit of hate mail when I criticized Blair. Back then, he was a far more popular PM than he ultimately became.
   And as the reviews on the news last night showed, many of us were concerned about Blair being so chummy with —so would the abandon its traditional ally, the , if were to win the 2000 Presidential Election?
   As it turned out, Blair’s loss of popularity was his ability to get on well with both the 42nd and 43rd presidents, and a less-than-popular decision to follow the US in the .
   I gained a lot of respect for Tony Blair that day.
   While I hardly would advocate war as a means to solve our differences, I just cannot, hand on heart, sit here and write that I would not have done the same thing. When it came to , given the of Britain’s own experts (forget the ), and 1990s news reports of having used on the Kurds, again, as a national leader, I can’t say I would not have told George W. Bush in that phone call that I would not join the war.
   Fortunately, I don’t have to make these sorts of decisions in my daily life.
   But I respect those who are . They are, after all, elected to lead, not to follow opinion polls.
   And prior to , I felt that Tony Blair was a follower.
   It was just ironical that my personal support for Tony Blair coincided with the public’s loss of support for him.
   I thought he was more honest in the Commons in justifying the invasion on Iraq using UN Security Council , and having studied international law, I agree with his interpretation. It was a smarter ploy than the one that his American counterpart delivered to his nation, which made it far more of a US war than a UN one. (Yes, I know, there are arguable points there.)
   The master of spin finally decided to look at long-established laws and just told the public, up front, what he thought. Never mind most of us would never read resolution 1441 and the consequences outlined for Iraq. And yes, there are conflicts on its interpretation: I don’t deny that for a second.
   Similarly, I respect those who feel they need to criticize the for his decision to send troops to Iraq. He certainly needs to hear these views and be held accountable for his actions.
   But all in all, I believe Blair will leave a positive mark on . However, it is the passing of an era, just as the early 1990s saw a close on the Reagan–Thatcher years. The world will be very different at the end of the decade, and Blair’s decision to step down after 10 years may be a historical milestone in that change.
   It was a different Britain in 1997: the Princess of Wales was still alive, and Hong Kong was still part of the Empah. Blair’s arrival signalled the ending of that age of the sprawling , while the country wavered between being part of Europe as a small constitutional monarchy and part of an English-speaking union. Which way it will head is anybody’s guess, but I would not expect any real changes till the Brown years come to a close.
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Banned in Red China 

The Politburo has found me! A few months ago, I learned that this blog could still be accessed in , but no longer. According to the Great Firewall of China, the test shows that this site and blog are blocked in the parts of that are not free; but, knowing we , there’ll be some clever buggers coming here through anonymous proxies.
   The cynic in me says the Firewall site is set up by Red Chinese to compile URLs to block!
   No prizes for guessing just what I think about this dubious honour and how it conflicts with my beliefs of a free and borderless internet. I am just happy that, for a time, fellow Chinese behind the had this little beacon.
   I should also note that such tests are not always accurate. I had heard of being banned before, and Great Firewall confirmed then that this site was still accessible.

PS.: It did turn out that the Firewall test was inaccurate, since I have had a comment from a Chinese user.—JY
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Lightning McQueen turns green with anger 

My friend Khalid Muhammad forwarded me the below pair of . The left is a familiar one: Disney–’s Cars teaser. The one on the right: a full-pager for Bank AL Habib.
   Spot the difference.


    lawyers will point out something suspicious here. Assuming the Bank did not get permission to use the original, then there is a clear . The on the right is clearly derived from the one on the left, and any plaintiff should be able to show objective similarity.
   Copyright aside, even if the Bank had sought permission, this shows a lack of imagination—and is a sad indictment on the . Even the type headline size is the same, even if the is different (Myriad versus Rotis), albeit of a similar category. Khalid points out, in addition, that next year will see an international conference take place in —and such advertisements are embarrassments to the local industry. This one is certainly short of world-class, and from a reasonably large group, too.
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Korean dry-cleaners lose pants; client, US judge, sues for $65 million 

I heard about this yesterday on the news, and my friend Zak in Calif. sent this link: ‘Judge presses $65M suit vs. dry cleaners over missing pants’.
   That’s right. A couple lost the guy’s favourite pants.
   They offered to replace them. They even offered $12,000.
   But apparently, this judge, being , reckons he needs to sue Jin Nam Chung and Ki Chung for $65 million.
   Even the Americans I know are shocked by this. They think this judge, Roy L. Pearson, Jr, is off his rocker.
   He plays directly into the American , though his behaviour is anything but American.
   The couple—Korean —have learned all about the and the system now. The Associated Press reports that they are considering moving back to with their son.
   Odd: Americans have traditionally helped legal immigrants. They go out of their way to show off the best side of their nation.
   Pearson has shown the very worst. He seems to be a bully, who cares less for an equitable and just outcome than vindictiveness, flexing his muscles like an impudent beach boy.
   A man of —a judge, for Chrissake—would never do this in Korea. Plus Judge Pearson should be a man of . He is sworn to uphold the legal system.
   Suing a couple $65 million for a pair of pants is the sort of that Americans believe is not representative of them. They do not want their judges presiding over these ridiculous cases, wasting their taxpayers’ funds; they certainly do not want their judges filing these cases. He is clogging up the justice system. Because he can.
   Judge Pearson’s behaviour, which has made international headlines, does his entire country’s a disservice.
   The Democrats do not need the President as their target when they say their nation’s standing is being destroyed. They have . And he needs to seriously get a grip and a reality check.
   He does not seem like a man of justice to me, nor does he seem like a patriot.
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Which US state does Kevin Roberts hail from? 

[Cross-posted] I was over at ’ blog today—no, not where you’d expect someone like me to be. I was interested to note his huge use of American in, for example, his post about the Eurostar. He begins (note even the U.S.):

Traveling by air in Europe is not quite as bad as the domestic pain involved in U.S. air travel, but it’s up there. That’s why over recent years, the Eurostar has become a Lovemark to me. The last time I had meetings in London, I traveled from Paris and back on the Eurostar, returning the same day. It’s two-and-a-half hours each way and you get to leave from the center of Paris and arrive in the center of London.

   All well and good. I don’t have a problem with on American blogs, or even those who opt to use it over .
   Just that Kevin does make a big deal down here about his , and he is English by birth. He even talks about the All Blacks on his blog. In neither country do people like American English. We just think it’s a bit odd, just as an American would get puzzled by our weird-ass spellings for manœuvre and go, ‘Why do those idiots bother?’
   When it comes to a , even the way you spell needs to be consistent.
   Unless he gives a different for the American market?
   In which case, I would advise against it, as citoyens du monde. We need to have one personal worldwide.
   The reality is, probably, that it is written by an American colleague, in which case it really isn’t a personal blog, is it?

PS.: The folks at Sweeney Vesty tell me the image I had of Kevin Roberts earlier was not of this particular Kevin Roberts. Man, white people all look the same.—JY
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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