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Open mike 04/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, May 4th, 2014 - 111 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

111 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2014”

  1. karol 1

    While Paula Bennett has thrown a sop to women’s refuges, it seems a government report on domestic violence has been buried.

    • RedBaronCV 1.1

      Having seen some of the committee in action it may well be that it concludes “no problem more along here,support the staus quo”

    • Tracey 1.2

      that cant be… this government is serious about domestic violence

  2. it is sunday..and these will make you go ‘whoar!’..

    “..The Most Stunning Stained Glass Windows In The World..”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/03/stained-glass-windows-photos_n_5256052.html

    • ianmac 2.1

      Yep phillip. Stunning. Beautiful. But the cynic in me wonders how much it all cost while the peasants starved.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        i get that same feeling when staring at inequality-stats..

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        A man’s soul cannot be fed by food alone. And at least in days gone by, there was an appreciation and value of fine craftsmanship and the beauty which it could create.

      • Foreign Waka 2.1.3

        This could be said for many cultural artifacts, sculptures and artist contribution to the world generally. Thinking along those lines has almost a Stalinist connotation and I for one do not agree with this.

  3. Tigger 3

    Judith Collins is (a)trying to muddy the field and (b) setting up a defence in advance when digging shows her doing favours for her mates.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11249106

    The example she cites (a policewoman wanting time to train for sports) is so far beneath what Williamson did to be laughable. But it pulls in Labour which is why she used it. Desperate. What’s she got in her closet? Only someone with something to hide would bring up such a crazily irrelevant ‘example’.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Judith is becoming the comic stretching stretching stretching ……. twang!

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Weird comment. As if checking out staff entitlements is the same as interfering in a police investigation.

      • freedom 3.2.1

        a police investigation into domestic assault no less

        we are not talking traffic infringements here

      • ianmac 3.2.2

        Yes. very strange. Perhaps the strain is getting to her. Does her comment benefit her by being published or will she be on the phone to the reporter…

      • Mary 3.2.3

        The pressure is causing her bullying and narcissistic tendencies to show. She knows she’s lying and that it’s going to come out. Great fun to watch.

    • Treetop 3.3

      Robertson raised an issue with Collins and Collins needs to acknowledge that she asked the police.

      I have had to learn the hard way that when a person goes to the minister of police because of cycles of police complaints, misleading and inaccurate statements coming from the police in reply to the minister contacting the police, that there is NOTHING that the minister of police can do to help.

      When a cop has used his position to silence and bully a 19 year old because they were going to expose him that he perjured himself at an inquiry, I consider this to be a serious matter. The office told me to my face years later “that if you did it and I didn’t report it.”

  4. David H 4

    Cunliffe on Q&A here we go the KiwiSaver policy and other stuff…

    • Ant 4.1

      Cunliffe is doing well.

      LOL Brash, Miller, and Williams panel, here we go… Hopefully Williams fires.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Cunliffe clear, concise and in charge of the interview. Now perhaps people will start to see the real Cunliffe and not the one depicted by JK and the media.

        Williams very good in my view. I agree with a comment at the bottom of the screen. Williamson is the scapegoat for the Collins affair. Not denying he behaved in an entitled and stupid way, but the saga smacks of an attempt to keep Collins out of the limelight. My God, they must be scared of her!

        • Ant 4.1.1.1

          Yeah I think Williams was quite good too.

          Watched The Nation before Q&A was on, do Farrar et el send Key actual audio files of his lines to memorise or do they employ the same media trainer? Their phonetics and speech patterns are amazingly similar, seems to go beyond sharing a similar regional NZ accent.

          • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.1.1

            In Farrar’s case, it’s possibly semi-conscious mimicry of someone he absolutely worships. When I was about 3, I wanted a Lone Ranger mask and I’d say this is similar.

        • Treetop 4.1.1.2

          “My God, they must be scared of her!”

          Collins has nurtured her off shore friends/contacts and she will not piss them off or risk losing face by being a mere MP, yes status is important when doing business.

        • Rodel 4.1.1.3

          Interesting to watch Brash’s body language on Q & A. When he refers to ‘rich,’ sorry ‘higher income’ people, he shouldn’t point so enthusiastically with both hands to himself.

          Cunliffe on Q & A, again straight up, no Keysneers and no slippery circumlocution. Good PM material.Makes you want to vote.

          Also the interviewer Michael Parkin of TV1 asked real but searching questions, not the innuendo ridden trolling one sees from TV3.

      • Skinny 4.1.2

        Williams has lifted his game today, pushing the positive Labour narrative. He even talked over the other panelists. I put it down to watching Bob Reid last week and seeing he needed to smarten his act up.

        Meanwhile Bent Bankie’s performance was solely aimed at pet loving Judges. I loved the ‘rats have rights.’ I heard there is a Auckland Judge who has pet rats, Bankie pins his hopes the judge is an animal lover.

        Btw I will give him credit for previously being the only MP in parliament sticking up for animal rights. With high numbers nationwide protesting in the support of animal rights, and being election year it’s little wonder Labour has a petition opposing testing on animals. And slimy Key using animal testing as the hold up in banning drug testing.

        • Pete George 4.1.2.1

          Btw I will give him credit for previously being the only MP in parliament sticking up for animal rights.

          That’s not right. Greens strongly opposed animal testing and put forward an amendment to the Bill on it, unlike Banks who only voted against the Bill.

          Greens voted for the Bill because after pushing as hard as they could for animal rights and other improvements they decided the overall good was the most pragmatic option. That’s a practical reality of our democratic process.

          • phillip ure 4.1.2.1.1

            pigs’-arse..that was a sellout of basic principles..by the greens..

            ..they could/should have voted against the bill..

            ..for just those reasons..

          • Skinny 4.1.2.1.2

            Oh right the ‘pragmatic view’ by the Greens. What are you saying this is the ‘new Green/Blue’ way of thinking? It’s a far cry from the Greens of old who stayed out of Government with Labour on the caged chickens issue.

            Now we have every political party screaming the house down about animal rights. Watch for how many of them do a complete belly flop and voice strongly for animal rights ( including the rights of rats) and hello support any amendments to that effect. One can not help be cynical and say ‘it’s a populist issue and there are plenty (more so than they realised after recent protests) of votes in it.

            Once again I say the record says Bent Bankie was the only MP to vote against the Bill on the grounds of animal rights. Your not disputing the facts are you Pete.

            • Pete George 4.1.2.1.2.1

              In 4.1.2 you said “Btw I will give him credit for previously being the only MP in parliament sticking up for animal rights.”

              In 4.1.2.1.2 you said “Once again I say the record says Bent Bankie was the only MP to vote against the Bill on the grounds of animal rights. Your not disputing the facts are you Pete.”

              Two different claims.

              There was a lot of “sticking up for animal rights” in the Bill process. In the third reading Clare Curran:

              I also want to commend the Greens for the amendment that they put forward on animal testing. We did support that amendment. We do not want these drugs to be tested on animals. National refused to give up animal testing, but we in Labour are proud of the fact that our MPs were able to get the Government to agree to changes to the bill to ensure that there were alternatives to animal testing—that alternatives exist that cannot be used in the evaluation of these substances. Although Mojo Mathers’ amendment did not pass, at least there will be some safeguards now around that animal testing.

              Kevin Hague:

              This could have been a great bill. [Interruption ] Not quite, Barbara. It could have been a great bill, but there are three major problems that hold it back from that. I am disappointed that the Government either has not understood its own bill or has needed to appease different factions within its own camp, which has resulted in these problems. One is the issue of animal testing, about which I have spoken and colleagues across the House have spoken, and I acknowledge John Banks’ particularly passionate support on that particular issue. The Green Party’s Supplementary Order Paper 260 on the bill would have ensured the same level of protection for humans but would have also resulted in protecting animals from harm, and it is a source of considerable regret that the House did not take the opportunity to ensure that that occurred.

              Kris Faafoi:

              I have not finished yet. I used to be a member on the Health Committee in the previous Parliament and I found that Mr Hutchison always acted with dignity. I thank the Health Committee for its work and for making sure that most of the submissions were listened to. I know there is some scepticism as to why some submissions around animal testing were not heard, and that is something that this side of the House is very disappointed about.

              http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20130711_00000044/psychoactive-substances-bill-%E2%80%94-third-reading

              Banks is the only MP who voted against it…

              Ayes 119 New Zealand National 59; New Zealand Labour 33; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 7; Māori Party 3; Mana 1; Independents: Dunne, Horan.
              Noes 1 ACT New Zealand 1.

              …but he is not the only one who stuck up for animal rights.

              There was much more sticking up for animal rights in the second reading, including the Associate Health Minister at the time Todd McClay:

              The Ministry of Health established an interim expert committee, including experts on toxicology, pharmacology, and animal welfare. Mr Dunne asked that committee for advice on non-animal tests, clearly articulating his strong preference for a regime that excluded animal testing. The committee’s advice was that some animal testing would be necessary at first to ensure that the risk of products was accurately assessed. The committee went on to advise that there were some alternative tests that could be used immediately, and that it would continue to work to identify other alternatives.

              After receiving this advice I asked the Health Committee to consider an amendment to the bill that would put controls on animal testing, and put a duty on the expert advisory committee to actively seek alternatives. I am very pleased to say that the committee members agreed unanimously to these amendments, which are in clause 11A of the revised bill.

              The expert advisory committee will actively seek alternatives to animal tests, and, again, I want to make it clear that there will be no animal testing where there is a suitable alternative. The overriding principle remains the need to make sure that the products sold in New Zealand pose no more than a low risk of harm. The importance of that principle is why this bill is before the House.

              http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/50HansD_20130627_00000020/psychoactive-substances-bill-%E2%80%94-second-reading

              • Skinny

                Yes Pete but but the old cliche of “talk and do” applys.

                I’ll give you an example;

                Labour’s draft Policies came to our LEC, when we got to the raising super age from 65 to 67 there were some of us who spoke against the draft policy. When it came time to vote, of the 4 who spoke against the rise only 2 of us registered for the record as voting against it. My point is if you feel that strongly against something you do more than talk, you actually follow through with your convictions.

                In summary the cliche is, “Talk is cheap actions speak louder than words.”

          • Treetop 4.1.2.1.3

            I may have the solution to who should test synthetic highs!

            The people who import and sell the product. “I endorse and stand by my product …”

        • Rodel 4.1.2.2

          Of course JB will stick up for rats..its called kinship.

    • Ad 4.2

      Also on fire at Living Wage campaign event. He rocked it.
      Great crowd.
      Winston Peters also spoke – crowd was just polite.

  5. anker 5

    Cunliffe did brilliantly

    Brash fudging the Oravida affair “I have been out of the country”….yeah right.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    These bonds are, like all bonds, supposed to be loans that will eventually mature and be repaid, but as the economist Michael Hudson, who first began observing the phenomenon in the early ’70s, noted, they never really do:

    To the extent that these Treasury IOUs are being built into the world’s monetary base they will not have to be repaid, but are to be rolled over indefinitely. This feature is the essence of America’s free financial ride, a tax imposed at the entire globe’s expense.

    What’s more, over time, the combined effect of low interest payments and the inflation is that these bonds actually depreciate in value – adding to the tax effect, or as I preferred to put it in the first chapter, tribute.

    Debt: the first 5000 years by David Graeber

    And that’s how the US became the biggest economy in the world – tribute from the rest of us via being the ‘reserve currency’.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      ZeroHedge – Reserve currencies do not last forever

      Since the 1400’s Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, France, UK and US have taken turns at having the benefit of being the world’s major reserve currency.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-08/40-central-banks-are-betting-will-be-next-reserve-currency

      IMO China doing bilateral currency deals which exclude the USD, and Russia etc. starting to cut deals to trade oil without using the USD – these are all early signs of a shift away from the dollar.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Will this bring more stability or less stability to the markets we trade with?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          NZ being a small country on the Asia Pacific rim has to walk a fine line between major powers, for the next few decades.

          In 2011 NZ formalised a currency swap facility with China, equivalent to RMB 25B / NZ$5B, thereby allowing trade between the two countries to be settled without the use of say, USD.

          Facilities like this give the global economy capacity to deal with any shocks the USD might face BUT transitions to and from reserve currencies are also always times of economic power redistribution. We can’t tell which way things will go exactly, but IMO we also don’t want to be putting all of our eggs in one basket. US imperial reach is waning, but we also have a good understanding and relationship with them developed over many years. It’s obviously not a relationship of equals, however and it would be naive to think that.

          NB I understand that in terms of ‘purchasing power parity’ China’s GDP has now exceeded the US. This has occurred several years ahead of when most economists were expecting (and is partly a result of much less than expected growth from the US over the last several years).

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        There shouldn’t be a reserve currency.

        What that’s actually describing is the Central Banks trying hard to hold on to what they know while it collapses around them.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          Countries have always wanted to have a valuable, widely accepted currency stashed away in their national treasuries ready for instant use. There is a lot of economic functionality in having a currency which can act as that kind of on-hand “reserve.”

          Gold bullion was the de facto reserve currency of choice for a very long time; in the early 20th Century pounds sterling was the choice of currency for settling international trade and hence for holding in reserve, and currently it’s the USD.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.2.1.1

            I think it’s always desirable for there to be ‘a’ reserve currency. In fact in a globalised world it seems pretty much inevitable that there will always be one currency that is desired above the rest.

            Probably the only situation where there could be multiple reserve currencies would be if multiple countries had effective monopolies over essential resources. Oil is the current kingpin, but gas and coal are gaining more prominence as well; but the US has a sizeable resource base in all 3.

            China has got a big advantage in the rare earth market, but it’s still not a monopoly (and trade treaties exist that require them to supply it).

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Here is the IMF list of reserve currencies. The Australian dollar was added on to the list a year or two back, but as you can see, there isn’t very much holdings of it reported.

              https://www.imf.org/external/np/sta/cofer/eng/

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.1.2

              In fact in a globalised world it seems pretty much inevitable that there will always be one currency that is desired above the rest.

              Actually, the exact opposite. A currency is only backed by its economy but a reserve currency becomes more in demand thus pushing its value beyond what it should be on the forex.The nation of that currency thus creates lots of it and uses it to buy huge amount of resources cheaply from elsewhere but eventually the amount of its currency far exceeds what its economy can support resulting in a crash of its value. This is the state that the US$ is in now.

              Probably the only situation where there could be multiple reserve currencies would be if multiple countries had effective monopolies over essential resources.

              You don’t have a reserve currency at all – not even multiple ones. What should happen is that a currencies value should be based upon that countries trade balance. More imports drops the value of the currency while more exports increases it. Eventually, all currencies will be close in value to each other and international trade will be almost non-existent.

  7. reports are coming in from around the country..of viewers of both q & a/the nation..

    ..they are calling/inundating emergency services..

    ..after coming down/being stricken with maurice-overdoses..

    ..(and a simplistic-cliche-overdose is a dangerous/ugly thing to behold..)

  8. geoff 9

    Regarding Maurice Williamson and party donations.

    Fran O’Sullivan says nothing to see here, move along….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11248567

    That is because while our Cabinet ministers might seem unbelievably naive when it comes to making judgments over people like the two Lius, or Dotcom – there is no suggestion that investors are asked to stump up to party coffers in return for residencies or citizenship approvals at political levels.

    Thanks, Fran. I’ll just forget all about it now and go back to my knitting.

    • Tracey 9.1

      collins and maurice, collins especially, is not naive. fran makes herself look foolishby typing it.

    • Weepu's Beard 9.2

      Some investors even get a bit crazy and overbid each other at auctions so they can win prizes to play golf with the Prime Minister, whose favourite charity happens to be his own party.

      Frank O’Sullivan

      She bent over backwards to spread the muck over all parties in this article but I still laughed at that line.

  9. re obesity/sugar-tax..

    ..it is quite enlightening to go and watch some nz film/doco-footage from the 1950’s..

    ..and marvel at how fit and healthy everyone looks..

    ..at this time there was coca cola..(brought by the gi’s..)

    ..there was the fish and chip shop..and the ubiquitous chinese restuarant..

    ..(the release of the new drink ‘fanta’..was quite a big deal of/from the day..)

    ..and then the first kfc opened in takapuna..(to much acclaim/long queues..)

    ..and it was all on..

    ..which brings us to here/now/today..

    ..processed-food etc crammed with sugar..

    ..low-fat crammed with sugar..

    ..junk-food chains every ten metres..peddling ill-health..

    ..and children offered a dazzling array of drinks crammed with sugar..

    ..and now caffeine as well..(!)..(w.t.f. is with that..?..how the hell did that get past the gate-keepers..?..was it their day off..?..)

    ..and all of this delivering us a diabetes-epidemic…

    ..so..what to do..?

    ..just taxing sugar clearly isn’t enough..

    ..maximum amounts of sugar in products must be set..(with warnings on packaged-food having warnings similar to cigarette-packets..?..pictures of diabetes-outcomes..?..amputated limbs/stumps..?..)

    ..there are healthy-food options..there are better ways of doing this..

    ..and one thing you can guarantee..

    ..is that the free-market will not deliver this to us..

    ..they will just continue to peddle this poison..for as long as there is a dollar in it..

    ..they need to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck..

    ..and made to do it right..

    ..the freemarket that allows this wholesale poisoning of the populace..

    ..is the lead-pipe-plumbing of our age..

    • Kevin Welsh 10.1

      And probably not a single loaf of bread produced in New Zealand would pass the French bread law for ingredients.

  10. Papa tuanuku 11

    ACT got two stories and a panel rep on Q and A today. Or 3 of 8 of the manuhiri roles. How the hell does the 1% get almost 50% of the talk time?

  11. Clemgeopin 12

    Peter Dunne is such a petty and pathetic man. He has complained to the election commissioner about the logo of the Internet Party claiming that it clashes with UF’s purple colour.

    The logos are so different and the UF just a tiny bit of purple while the entire background of the Internet Party logo has a lot of it. Dunne claims the logos will ‘confuse’ voters! Duh! In any case UF doesn’t get too much more than 0% party support anyway, and if any voter gets confused, it will be to UF’s advantage!

    See the two logos yourself and decide if you too would get confused like Dunne, the drama queen.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Dunne-Internet-Partys-purple-could-confuse/tabid/1607/articleID/342379/Default.aspx

    • felix 12.1

      Pete attracts what? 0.01 percent? Is he worried the I.P. is going to knock him down to 0.005?

      pfff irrelevant man seeks attention.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      UF should be hopeful that people accidentally vote for them instead of the IP.

  12. captain hook 13

    andrea vance in SST this a.m. Gift giving is okay in China and also China is a corrupt society but there is no connection in either collins or williamsons case. Yeah right!

    • Tracey 13.1

      executing people who oppose thegovernment is ok tpoo, or did she leave that out.

      we are now so reliant on china for the economy to look passable we have become their bitches. steve braunias produces comic gold in sst this morning.

    • ianmac 13.2

      Didn’t a Labour MP end up in prison for accepting gifts a few years back? Koha really.

      • Tracey 13.2.1

        yup. the lack of ethics is not confined to this govt, despite their promise to have higher standards than the previous govt.

        its why the number of parties i will vote for is diminishing. but you have to start somewhere.

  13. Rodel 14

    I found Wayne Brittenden’s analysis of the Ukraine situation interesting.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2588325/wayne-brittenden%27s-counterpoint

    • greywarbler 14.1

      Rodel
      I think Wayne Brittenden always worthwhile. Very good interesting points I haven’t heard before.

      So nice to hear something of value, cf to Radionz constant reporting in the News the Piss Stories from South Africa and any tragedy overseas they can get cheap access too, particularly minute reports from the street, the sherriff, the fire department, tghe civil emergency spokesperson, on the latest tornado/shooting outrage.

      Enough to make you weep – wasting our precious minutes set aside for information news used for sensation, shock, horror stuff of this kind.

    • Paul 14.2

      Seamus Milne from the Guardian on the Ukraine also very good.
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

  14. amirite 15

    I’m worried that Labour is being led into a trap by the media and the RW spinners to announce a retirement age rise as their cornerstone election policy. I’ve been following the MSM this week and there’s a continuous spin line that we have to raise retirement age because we won’t be able to afford it later and blah blah blah, the usual spin. They know Nats aren’t going to change things and that’ll be to their advantage in this year’s election. If the Labour goes ahead, you can expect a big publicity followed by a barrage from all sides, especially by John Key who has put his premiership on the line rather than raise the retirement age.
    Because there has been a good amount of scandals in the National camp, the media must deflect attention from it and redirect it to the debate that is likely to polarise people. This is where Labour will be vulnerable, and boom – the election goes to the Nats, despite all the shit that has come out.
    IMHO it will be a huge mistake for Labour to announce a change to the retirement policy in this election.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      Australia is raising the age to 70. The UK has raised the age to 68.

      It is inevitable that the age will be raised. The only question is how much notice those who are going to be affected will have. That is why we need to do it sooner, rather than later, to provide the most notice.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Australia is raising the age to 70. The UK has raised the age to 68. It is inevitable that the age will be raised.

        More TINA, Lanth? No alternative other than austerity for the masses? Tell me, what are the 1% being asked to give up in terms of their lifestyle and wealth?

        Why do you advocate for pushing up the size of the labour pool even further when there aren’t enough full time jobs available in most western developed countries, let alone decent paying ones?

        You do realise that adding to an already surplus labour pool will simply depress wages for ordinary people further, right? Why would you agree to such a thing?

        • Skinny 15.1.1.1

          I find it incredible that such idealogical nonsense of raising the age of eligibility for super can go untested to the fact that the jobs will not be there for the majority of people let alone people above the age of 60 year olds. Computerisation & robotic’s is set to wipe out probably 50% plus of many jobs, and not just manual labour at that. When are citizens really going to stand up and force Governments to trim back the power of the rich elite and multi corporations. Until this happens the future looks terrible for the masses.

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.1

            When are citizens really going to stand up and force Governments to trim back the power of the rich elite and multi corporations.

            All indications are that it will happen when the citizens initiate the French Option – again. The politicians will go with the rich.

            • TheContrarian 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Hopefully without that whole ‘Reign of Terror’ thing, right

              • Colonial Viper

                The problem is that trans-national capitalism and the power elite are never self-limiting. They never ever say “OK, that’s enough money, profit, consumption and resource extraction for now, let’s just hold things here for a while.”

                Therefore the only concept they have is that of “more.” They will keep pushing harder and harder until everything eventually breaks; communities, society, the ecosystem, all of it.

              • Draco T Bastard

                When Saddam Hussein made the bold move of single handedly switching from the dollar to the euro in 2000, followed by Iran in 2001, this was quickly followed by American bombing and military occupation. How much Hussein’s decision to buck the dollar really weighed into the U.S. decision to depose him is impossible to know, but no country in a position to make a similar switch can ignore the possibility. The result, among policymakers particularly in the glbal South, is widespread terror.

                Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber

                You mean that sort of Reign of Terror?

                • TheContrarian

                  No I meant more the wholesale beheading of the nobles. So when you talk about the “french option” I’m guessing you mean to skip the guillotine bit.

                  Secondly, and kind of off point, have you, like, only read two books? You seem to quote exclusively from Debt: The First 5000 years and The Entrepreneurial State. While those works may be of importance and value (having read neither myself I’ll assume they are quality works – they are on my ever growing list though) you should probably expand your reading.

                  I was always fond of Goodnight Moon.

                  It should also be pointed out that the US has been gunning for Iran since the 1970’s and Iraq for nearly as long so the dollar vs. Euro debate is probably moot.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No I meant more the wholesale beheading of the nobles. So when you talk about the “french option” I’m guessing you mean to skip the guillotine bit.

                    If it can be avoided.

                    Secondly, and kind of off point, have you, like, only read two books?

                    No, I’ve read quite widely – even got a couple of standard textbooks around here on micro and macro economics. They tend to be rather dry though. I tend to quote those two because they happen to put the fallacy of our present economic system into stark relief.

                    It should also be pointed out that the US has been gunning for Iran since the 1970′s and Iraq for nearly as long

                    Generally speaking, that’s called a Reign of Terror.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “If it can be avoided.”

                      But you wouldn’t be averse to the idea? Because you seem kind of flippant to the practice.

                      “Generally speaking, that’s called a Reign of Terror.”

                      Yeah but it wasn’t ‘generally speaking’, it was specifically speaking in light of the historical narrative you raised. At any rate, it far predated the dollar vs. Euro argument.

            • greywarbler 15.1.1.1.1.2

              DTB
              What an interesting page you directed attention to. The French Revolution. Seeing the vague details I knew set in a timetable with summarised information I learned a lot. I liked this piece about a financial controller, whose dismissal by the King aroused hostility amongst the people who felt he represented them and their concerns.

              In May 1776, finance minister Turgot was dismissed, after he failed to enact reforms. The next year, Jacques Necker, a foreigner, was appointed Comptroller-General of Finance. He could not be made an official minister because he was a Protestant.[9]

              Necker realized that the country’s extremely regressive tax system subjected the lower classes to a heavy burden,[9] while numerous exemptions existed for the nobility and clergy.[10] He argued that the country could not be taxed higher; that tax exemptions for the nobility and clergy must be reduced; and proposed that borrowing more money would solve the country’s fiscal shortages.

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.2

            Until this happens the future looks terrible for the masses.

            Wait until the energy needed to run a global economy becomes progressively less affordable and climate change effects start to bite harder.

            Presently our civilisation is caught in the ‘Red Queen Syndrome’, having to run harder and harder just to stay in the same place, and the political + business elite are making things worse not better.

            • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1.2.1

              So what are the chances that people of my age are going to get a state pension at all? Seems fairly dismal…

              • lprent

                Don’t worry about that now. I said that back in 1978 right after I looked at the stats departments demographics. I’d had a look at the half-arsed superannuation policy that Muldoon sicced on us.

                So I’ve now had about 35 years of paying for a superannuation policy that I haven’t expected would have been worth much in my old age, if still present. I’m still of that view.

                The immigration boost helped quite a lot. The boost of the age to 65 helped. The money put into Cullen fund helped the most before English canned it favour of economically useless tax cuts.

                At present kiwisaver and other savings looks like the best hope for me even it it does mean that I’m still paying for my parents superannuation, having just finished paying from grandparents and great-grandparents before that – all the time whilst expecting to have to pay for my own.

                So forgive me if I think you are running a bit late on this issue.

            • greywarbler 15.1.1.1.2.2

              Could my comment at under 15 1 1 1 etc at 6.56pm be taken off moderation?

              [lprent: We’re all a bit slack here during the weekends. But less than 35 minutes would be good for during the week. ]

              • greywarbler

                Thanks lprent
                I am not sure why I was put in moderation. And it means that my comment is so far out of the order that it is almost irrelevant. Would it not have been put in moderation if I had properly logged in? It takes longer but if it would help the comment fit into place I will just have to do it.

        • amirite 15.1.1.2

          CV & Skinny, +1,000

    • Treetop 15.2

      What about Dunne’s early retirement option at 60?

      I have observed that Key has a fair bit of Muldoonism about him. The 1975 election was lost by Labour due to Muldoon cancelling compulsory super. This was followed by the retirement age being lowered to 60.

      Since 1987 Labour have been bruised by not having compulsory super, had Muldoon not cancelled compulsory super Rogernomics may have been a lot milder.

      Were Labour to build 10,000 state single retirement dwellings, raising the super age to 67 would not have the same financial impact. The accommodation supplement can also be increased or a new supplement introduced so that anyone between age 65 – 67 is no worse off if they meet the threshold.

      Raising the super age really only affects those with poor health, the unemployed or older people with dependants.

    • greywarbler 15.3

      I noticed that it was reported on radionz this morning that Labour and ACT both backed the move to 67 for super. Deja vu. Back to the future etc.

      Why does Labour have to set itself up as little goody two shoes doing the ‘right economic thing’, the commonsense Party, when new economic thinking and methods are needed. Why not raise the productivity of retired people somehow. We don’t want to be bludgeoned by the departmentus horribilus WINZ, or WANZI as a suitable acronym the W standing for Wonder or Wan..er.

      We oldies don’t want to be whipped into stocking shelves at the supermarket, being dangled on a chain store’s roster key ring, sort of like a living charm bracelet bedecked with skulls. Those employers certainly don’t care about their employees as people.

      Find some other way for olders to contribute. If you got down to it with suitable people to discuss, and foster thought and go through the country making the points to the older group and inviting them to comment and vote on the points raised, and also canvassing their own ideas brought to the meetings. It would initially be a conference and papers from people, academics probably who have done numerous papers on co-operative businesses and social aspects of small business, and some of us who actually think about things would contribute.

      But Labour is hoist on its own petard, they’re the Un-NACTs who stand for the people who aren’t into National. Not`for’ some people, just against NACTs. And if they do think of the people who are struggling they come out with David Shearer’s roof comment, a fine piece of snotty putdown from a man who has made his name from administering professional charity to the obviously poor and needy. Nothing learned to transfer to those in NZ who haven’t or can’t jump high enough to reach the upper step from low skilled wages and uncertain, irregular employment periods of days, weeks, hours, who knows further than next week.

      • greywarbler 15.3.1

        Asking myself why Labour keeps on with such poor policies that have damaged the Party and the country. I thought Groupthink.

        Wikipedia says bout this –
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink
        Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or disfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

        Loyalty to the group requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making, and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup”). Furthermore groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”.

  15. Lanthanide 16

    Bill English admits National has no mates and is unlikely to win the next election:

    Winning a third term would likely require it more than matching its 2011 election result where it registered 47.31 per cent support, which National claims is the highest of any political party since the 1951 waterfront strike.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10006820/Election-will-be-close-English

    • felix 16.1

      Yep the fear is showing.

      English might be all kinds of fuckwit, but unlike many of National’s slurping slobbering supporters he knows how to count.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 16.1.1

        Fear is National’s best strategy.

        Fear for National voters. “Don’t be lazy, you have to vote, it’s going to be close, if you don’t vote, who knows what might happen.”

        Fear for floating voters. “Ah, come on, have we all died yet? No. See, we’re doing a pretty job. It could be a whole lot worse. Like if Labour wins.”

        Bill English isn’t showing real fear, he’s showing calculated fear.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        Funny how English happens to be list only now for this particular election.

  16. “..Uruguay marijuana legalisation..

    “..Authorities in Uruguay have explained how marijuana will be produced and legally sold in the country –

    -with licensed pharmacies expected to sell the drug for under $1 (59p) a gram.

    The public will be allowed to grow 40g (1.4oz) per month –

    • and each household can grow up to six cannabis plants –
    • a bill expected to come into force next week has set out.

    However it will limit the amount people can purchase to 10 grams of marijuana per week.

    The legislation was proposed by President Jose Mujica –

    • who argued the global drug war was failing –
  17. and said the bill could help tackle organised crime –

  18. and drug cartels..”

  19. (cont..)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/uruguay-to-sell-marijuana-for-60p-a-gram-9319758.html

  • yeshe 18

    somewhere far, far, far away from all the probs .. this is special to contemplate if you need a moment …

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/02/saturn_s_rings_to_scale_thinner_than_paper.html

  • aerobubble 19

    I went to my political shop today, and heard the
    Farrar principle, that I can eat more sugar because
    the US uses more sugar (or carbon), and I shouldn’t
    worry about becoming diabetic (or climate change) since it
    will create jobs and save money if I get ill.

    Yes, you heard it, Farrar wants to keep his job and the money paid
    him, and if that means more diabetes and climate change, or
    whatever he’s paid to spin at the moment (paid obviously for an
    issue some wealthy interested party has at the moment).

    Farrar just doesn’t get it, change happens, and those issues that
    are consequent, have no status quo wealthy benefactor.

    So Farrar will always inevitably be wrong and on the wrong side of history.

  • aerobubble 20

    Sorry, its not clear. Farrar said on The Nation that we are doing enough on climate change, since China pollutes more. This is like saying Americans eat more sugar, so its okay we don’t consider sugar taxes. The idea that we aren’t all harmed by climate change, or obesity, i.e. in taxes to adapt, is obvious, or should be.

    The simple practice of the Nation, to have in some right wing dumbnut, who is exposed for complete drolling of neo-liberalism, only next week a new twerp spouting do-nothing, means that all we get is the tired old how-to-refute lazy thinking politics. Instead what we need is a right of center party that can defend its policies and has some notion of integrity.

  • Draco T Bastard 21

    ooops, someone broke it. At 17 by the looks.

  • Draco T Bastard 22

    WILLIAMSON SHOULD NOT STAND FOR RE-ELECTION IN PAKURANGA OR ELSEWHERE

    There are of course those who think that Williamson has done nothing wrong. I find that deplorable. The general argument is that there was nothing questionable suggested in the phone calls so he shouldn’t have been forced to resign. But this ignores that there was no actual need for the phone call in the first place. The accused surely had a Lawyer to represent his interests, so there could be no other reason for Williamson to make the call, unless he thought his position of power had some influence in the building of the case against the accused.

    Williamson is unfit to stand for re-election in either the Pakuranga electorate or elsewhere.

    Williamson really should be heading for prison. He, apparently, broke the law and, as it stands, he’s getting away with doing so.

  • Clemgeopin 23

    A very funny leader!

  • Not a PS Staffer 24

    Tories everywhere are selling their legislative powers for donations from Cigarettes multinationals.
    Priti Patel, a Conservative MP for Essex at Westminster, who is leading a rebellion against plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes is a former tobacco lobbyist and chairs a parliamentary group whose secretariat is provided by two tobacco industry-funded organisations.

    Priti Patel, a member of David Cameron’s influential policy advisory board and chair of the all-party parliamentary small shops group, argues that plain packs will be the “final nail in the coffin” of hundreds of newsagents.

    • Te Reo Putake 24.1

      It’s more a case of a failing business model, replaced by the supply of booze and mobile sims and topups. Cameron is claiming something called the conservative recovery and the errant MP is cutting across that message.

  • captain hook 25

    NEWSFLASH! John Key says he will test drugs on himself. “after all the coke we snarfed during the 80’s this sort of shit wont even make a dent.”

  • joe90 26

    Close.

    .
    A small asteroid about the size of a city bus zipped by Earth at a range closer than the moon early Saturday (May 3), but posed no threat to our planet.

    The newly discovered asteroid 2014 HL129 came within 186,000 miles (299,338 kilometers) of Earth when it made its closest approach on Saturday morning, which is close enough to pass between the planet and the orbit of the moon. The average distance between the Earth and moon is about 238,855 miles (384,400 km).

    http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroids-meteors-meteorites/bus-sized-asteroid-buzzes-earth-closer-than-moon-140503.htm

    http://www.space.com/25739-space-rock-to-zip-between-earth-and-moon-orbit-animation.html

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