Archive for October, 2008

John McCain brings down the house

The US presidential election is a tough call. Personally I think both candidates are very strong in their own way, and in many ways I pity the voters who have to choose between them – especially given the new depths of partisan media hackery we’ve witnessed in recent months.

The clips below were taken from a recent fundraising dinner for the Alfred E Smith (former governor of New York) foundation. Both candidates did very well, but McCain really shone. His material was brilliant – truly hilarious – and the delivery was excellent. Anyone who has questioned his personal depth or ability as an orator should sit up and take notice. I’d definitely score this one as a win for McCain.

And even if politics aren’t your thing you should still check it out – this is one of the most entertaining speeches I’ve seen in a long while.

McCain Part One

McCain Part Two

Obama

And it begins…

The great triennial lolly scramble is now under way, with the dyke PM once again pinning her hopes on the student vote, this time offering a universal student allowance. She’ll be kicking herself if it works (else I’m sure there are plenty of taxpayers who would happily do it for her), ‘cos the estimated $210 million annual cost (yeah, right!) is a hell of a lot cheaper than the billions in student loan interest write-offs she used to buy the last election.

Great to see the good old Electoral Finance Act earning its keep, hey? The Radio Network is facing prosecution for comments made by two MP’s acting as guest-hosts, and Dominion Breweries has been cautioned over a Tui billboard. Yep, gotta keep that shit in check or the whole democratic process goes out the window. But a blatant $250 million bribe? Nothing wrong with that, mate – par for the course!*

I don’t know what’s more depressing – that we have a PM who deplores freedom of speech and displays open contempt for the electorate, or that a substantial partof the voting public (but hopefully not a majority) is prepared to overlook all this in exchange for a well-timed bribe. Come on, people! Wouldn’t it be nicer just to have a thriving economy? Where we’ve all got well-paying jobs? And we don’t get taxed though the ass to pay for ‘jobs for the boys’, a carbon credit trading program that won’t do a thing to halt global warming**, and an unsustainable welfare system that has condemned generations to dependency on the state?

Party vote NATIONAL on November 8 please!

* I possibly wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t my money in play. If you turned up at your favorite restaurant and couldn’t get a table ‘cos someone slipped the maitre d’ a twenty, you’d be pissed off, right? Now imagine he takes that twenty out of your pocket, slips it to the maitre d’ and then takes your table. You’d be set to strangle the bastard! Well this is no different. Government coffers are full of your (our) money!

** First of all, the planet isn’t actually warming. Second, there is zero conculsive evidence to support the myth that global warming is man-made. Now there’s a good reason to cripple business with yet another layer of red tape and compliance costs!

I told you so

As someone who has submitted and reviewed CV’s on several occasions over the years, one of the major challenges I’ve encountered is in differentiating the great ones (including mine) from the not so great. Buried in any pile of resumés there is always to be found a few rock stars, many Joe Averages, and a depressing number of muppets. It’s normally pretty easy to filter out the muppets, but it’s often hard to discern the rock stars from the Joe Averages – they tend to have the same or similar academic backgrounds and experience, helped in no small part by the fact that Joe Average tends to do a very convincing job of blagging his accomplishments, while rock stars often (foolishly) rely on the facts speaking for themselves.

Some people try and use design to stand out, but sadly that just makes it look like they’re trying too hard. I mean, sure – you don’t want so hand in a CV written in crayon on toilet paper, but once you get past neat and professional it gets a little embarrassing. If you must send in a hard-copy, use only white, A4 paper with a single staple in the top left-hand corner. Do NOT use binders or plastic folders – if your CV is so long that it needs binding, you’re showing your prospective employer that you can’t hold down a job and/or don’t understand brevity. Either way, they won’t want to know about you.

So how do you make sure you stand out?

One trick that’s worked for me is to include a set of professional insights – half a dozen thoughts about the industry you work in, and what you think the next year or so has in store. You don’t have to make out like you’re some kind of oracle, and it really doesn’t matter if your predictions are a little off. Provided you don’t say anything too stupid, it always makes for good conversation in the interview, which you must have if you’re to have any shot at all of being hired. It also shows the employer that you’re not just some clock-punching automaton making a career out of getting by – show ’em you really get what you do, and the job is yours for the asking.

Anyhoo, while doing some reading yesterday I was reminded of one of the predictions in my current CV, and – sadly for millions of people – it looks like I was bang on the money.

A substantial ‘adjustment’ will take place in tech stocks this year. That’s right people – we’re headed for another crash. Google will take a big hit, down to $400 US or below.

Exhibit A: Call it a ‘global financial crisis’ if you like, but a crash is still a crash

Exhibit B: Google shares are currently trading at $334, down from a 52-week high of $747.24 and $649.25 at the start of the year (when I made the prediction).

I wish I’d managed to predict myself into a new 911, but it’s been a pretty good year for me so I can’t complain. That said, (obligatory dig at the dyke) there are some rough times ahead and we need a firm hand on the tiller. Party vote NATIONAL on 8 November please!

I’m back. And the wedding was awesome.

I have no idea who these people are, but they were really cool. We ran into them in Arrowtown (mmmmmmm Arrowtown pie) on Friday, and barged our way into their photo shoot. Shit – we were invited to a wedding on Friday, so we were going to a wedding (any wedding) on Friday!