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Open mike 06/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 6th, 2012 - 24 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

24 comments on “Open mike 06/07/2012”

  1. Charles Chauvel has responded to questions about minimum pricing on alcohol:

    Minimum pricing, “That would still double the price of the cheapest existing wine which can be bought at the moment for $6”

    The purchase age “I am not convinced that voting in isolation to raise the purchase age from 18 would make as much as a difference as a combination of the three measures”.

    The SOPs: “The evidence was that a careful combination of rules about price, availability and advertising could do that while still allowing everyone else to continue to drink responsibly. All this SOP would do is allow price to go into the mix.”

    Plus the Labour approach to the bill – details: http://yournz.org/2012/07/05/charles-chauvel-alcohol-reform-bil/

    • Another worthwhile opinion on our drinking culture:

      It all begins with drinking in the home

      Teenagers are just following their parents’ example when they binge drink, writes high-school pupil Verity Johnson.

      After watching adults, I can see where teenage binge drinking comes from. We’re just following our parents’ example.

      We definitely can’t ban teens from drinking and rely on the Sober Fairy to keep the RTDs away. Both ways will find us peeling people off the pavement.

      Adults need to help teach teens. Set a good example at home. Be a mentor. Otherwise teens might not make it to adulthood.

      http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/215705/it-all-begins-drinking-home

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        You mean Key can’t just raze whole government departments to the ground like he was invincible and had no need to consider the consequences, deal with the obvious additional costs, etc, etc?

        We need an upper chamber so we can slow irreversible rush legislation, and maybe then our teens would not similarly be so gun-hoe.

      • mike e 1.1.2

        Pathetic grovelar why did Dunny vote to put up the price of cigarettes.
        We have $ 6 billion dollars damage to our economy every year.
        So pete we are borrowing billions to subsidize alcoholics.
        Great.

  2. vto 2

    After the finance companies rorts by directors and stakeholders with related party loans and Rod Petricevich and Bridgecorp and Hanover and Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin, it seems that one of the members of this esteemed bunch of bankers has carried on as if nothing has changed.

    George Kerr and Pyne and Gould and Corp and Wrightsons and Heartland Bank and Marac and Perpetual Trust … watch out for them! They been tricky for a long while and seems to be still cant keep hands off what not theirs. Their auditors KPMG quit a couple months ago, clearly highly disgusted in practices. Now the Court of Appeal has descrobed the bad smells too.

    George Kerr the one. One of them so-called blue nosed Cantabs who arrived on one of the first 4 ships (first 4 ships ha – they were late! I would call them the last 4 ships)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7226418/PGC-loses-loan-secrecy-bid

    you have been warned previously and now there is no excuse if you get caught.

  3. RobM 3

    Couldn’t help but think of NZ reading this on Fukushima:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10817744

    “Its fundamental causes are to be found in the ingrained conventions of Japanese culture: our reflexive obedience; our reluctance to question authority; our devotion to ‘sticking with the programme’; our groupism and our insularity.”

    Our elites are full of clever dicks reflexively rationalizing the indefensible. Just lucky we don’t have nuke power.

  4. prism 4

    Discussion on Radio NZ this morning on the kiwifruit PSA debacle and what a new report has revealed. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/110048/biochemist-believes-psa-entered-from-china

    The kiwifruit disaster shows up a lack of efficiency from MAF and that someone changed the wording of the regulations to weaken the border controls shutting out possibilities of entry of infected material. The fact that the kiwifruit industry leaders weren’t in touch with MAF advising of PSA outbreaks in Italy and Chile was also a lack of alertness and effectiveness on their part. And some kiwifruit growers didn’t know that unprocessed pollen was being imported at all. The path of this infected material has been traced.

    Behind everything there seems to have been complacency about how safe NZ is because of being sea-locked. Yet continuing this safe zone is a duty that our irresponsible, cheese-paring, stupid government with well-paid functionaries can not carry out. Even to fulfil their supposed interest in ensuring that industry is productive and profitable. I think that public servant leaders like politicians and those with executive positions should have to pay some of their salaries into a fiduciary account that will help to pay for their failures.

    Mouth and foot remains a possible disaster as one commenter said would “Bring NZ to its knees”. So border and internal controls are necessary. Also screening imports and banning if necessary, not slackening controls through open-arm agreements with other countries. Also we should be leading discussion on making vaccination against foot and mouth world-wide not just wait for outbreaks and then wring our hands, and squeeze our bank balances.

    This morning there was an announcement that three NIWA scientists monitoring the ozone hole were being chucked. There will be eight doing this now, but they say it isn’t enough to carry on their internationally-integrated work considering that there used to be 16 which was pared down to 11, now 8.

    • ad 4.1

      +1.
      Amazing to see the Greens and farmers on the same agenda item.

      Also good to hear Damien O’COnnor having something positive to say.

      But it was the Greens who joined the strongest circle on this one. Hope they do more.

  5. Johnm 5

    Our right wing NeoLiberal Government has a major blind spot in their accounting for deficits!
    Expenditure on the debit side is cut and income on the credit side is cut with tax cuts. They are willfully blind to the fact that deficits can be cured with an increase in income on the credit side.Enough bookkeeping! Will we ever do the sensible thing as the French are now doing?

    “S’il Vous Plaît: France to Tax Corporations and Wealthiest to Address Budget Gap”

    “As he promised throughout his presidential campaign, Francois Hollande on Wednesday introduced a new 2012 corrective budget that calls for, among other measures, a one-off tax levy on the nation’s wealthiest individuals and large corporations to help address the nation’s current financial woes.”

    Link:http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/04

    “What wonderful common sense. Hats off to France. Remember when we used to do this under the socialistic regimes of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Imagine that — taxes to help keep a society intact. Public libraries, public parks, public education. The Commons. I remember those things — and how we paid for them in the good old US of A..
    Viva la France on this 4th of July.”

    Under NeoLiberalism the good old US of A is a economy and society collapsing under the weight of inequality and its working funds being hoarded off by the scrooge 1% percenters and where if you don’t have money you can die from treatable illnesses. This is the order our RWNJs look up to!

    • Johnm 5.1

      Reducing income inequality is critical for a functional democracy.

      The only mistake France is making in its tax rate adjustment is limiting the top marginal rate below 90%. France’s proposed rate changes are modest in my view and are LESS progressive than the US income tax rate at the time of my birth, 1964: top marginal tax in that year was 77% on income over 400,000/yr. In today’s dollars that equates to a 77% tax on each dollar you earn AFTER the first 2,850,000/yr. France’s proposed action will take a small step toward reducing income inequality in that nation–to say nothing of the support it will provide to infrastructure (notably renewable/sustainable energy projects) health-care, education, local food production, the arts and sciences. Reducing income inequality is critical for a functional democracy. Funding those others is critical for a livable society.

      At least France is moving in the right direction. Bear in mind that you cannot set taxes to what they should be overnight. A huge difference between France and the US is that French government actually uses its resources for social benefit compared with the US which just blatantly gives money to rich people while asking so little of them in taxes. The FDR implemented tax rate that ending the Great Depression was 92% for the mega-rich for those of us who know our US history.

      I expect a strong reaction from the rich worldwide that do not want to see this expression of people power spread out of France. Expect to see the EU spring into action soon to force France to submit to EU rule over national sovereignty.

      In the mean time, “Vive la France!”, “Vive la République!”, “Vive la Résistance!”

      We are winning battles against the mega-rich. These victories are just not happening in the United States yet. If only those of us in the know could just break through the ignorance barrier that seems to be so prevalent amongst the average American.

    • Johnm 5.2

      The UK$$$$ now a privatised NeoLiberal A-Hole of a place which has copied the garbage ideology of NeoLiberalism slavishly from the failed state of the U$$$$ and exists through financial scams in the city of London (Refer Libor rate fixing criminal scam) is like us reaping the benefits of a grossly unequel society:

      “Two children in every classroom go hungry as neglect takes its toll ”
      For Pete’s sake The UK$$$ is Supposed to be one of the richest Countries in the World!

      Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/two-children-in-every-classroom-go-hungry-as-neglect-takes-its-toll-7912679.html

      “People don’t understand how brutal the welfare system has become. Cuts to housing benefit will leave many unable to afford food, particularly if they have been sanctioned by the DWP. And it is set to get worse. Universal Credit, the new benefit regime which begins being trialled next year, will feature far more punitive sanctions than even now. The minimum sanction for most ‘offences’ will be increased from one week to 13 weeks, whilst the maximum length of sanction is to be extended to three years. Those in receipt of sickness and disability benefit, Employment Support Allowance, will face an unprecedented regime of enforced job seeking, similar to that currently faced by Job Seekers Allowance Claimants. And perhaps most brutally of all, those with children over the age of 5 will be subject to the same sanctions and conditionality as those with no children at all.”

  6. North 6

    Poor old John Armstrong is outraged !

    The US has earned his condemnation for denying the RNZN a berth at Pearl Harbour.
    The pain of it is all over his column in the Herald this morning.

    Could his reaction be more to do with the one Armstrong claims has “gravitas”, viz. his cuzzy Prime (US Arse Licking) Minister John Key, looking a bit of a dick given the spin that’s put about how internationally esteemed and listened to he is ?

    Never mind Armstrong. I hear Key’s doing Paratai Drive Ladies Luncheon Club this afternoon where he will be welcomed rapturously.

    Perhaps in your next column you can tell us about his common touch as displayed at said luncheon, as confirmed by warmth of welcome at said luncheon.

  7. Descendant Of Smith 7

    I missed the news last night but got bailed up by a property developer this morning incensed about a story that developers who bought cheap properties because they needed strengthening, strengthening that they have not bothered to do, will be bailed out by the tax payer to do this work.

    He sees absolutely no reason why this should happen with the taxpayer paying for the increased value of the property and the developer getting the proceeds.

    They knew what was needed when they bought it.

    He talked about something called due diligence and caveat emptor.

    He said that’s not how honest businessman do business – I’ve known him for a number of years and have never seen him this angry.

    If all you have to do now is buy an old building and have the tax payer meet the development costs to improve it he said ut’s a sad state of affairs and will only cause bad businessmen to be worse.

  8. joe90 8

    More libertarian nonsense from the Pauls.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/the-pauls-new-crusade-internet-freedom

    Kentucky senator Rand and his father Ron Paul, who has not yet formally conceded the Republican presidential nomination, will throw their weight behind a new online manifesto set to be released today by the Paul-founded Campaign for Liberty. The new push, Paul aides say, will in some ways displace what has been their movement’s long-running top priority, shutting down the Federal Reserve Bank. The move is an attempt to stake a libertarian claim to a central public issue of the next decade, and to move from the esoteric terrain of high finance to the everyday world of cable modems and Facebook.

    The manifesto, obtained yesterday by BuzzFeed, is titled “The Technology Revolution” and lays out an argument — in doomsday tones —for keeping the government entirely out of regulating anything online, and for leaving the private sector to shape the new online space.

  9. Logie97 9

    So you need to contact one of many large New Zealand Corporations …
    Do you get through to an operator immediately?
    Probably not, but are greeted by an automaton.
    You are now probably in a slightly raised state of anxiety/agitation …
    So what do they do?

    They play crass/crap music – invariably a pseudo musician wailing into your ear, the result of which is to raise the rate of agitation a couple more degrees.

    What’s to do?
    You daren’t hang up because you will lose your place in the queueing system.
    Put your phone on “speaker”? – hell no that makes the situation worse.

    Just in case someone out there who is in a position of influence might read this, what about some baroque music? Eh?

    I guess that the majority of people managing the phone systems are probably “pop” radio listeners and Kiwiblog readers.

    • Carol 9.1

      AlL our customer service representatives are busy with other calls at the moment. We value your call. Please select the music that you would like to listen to while you wait. Press one for baroque, 2 for rap, 3 for head-banging metal,…

      Or better still, just don’t make customers wait.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      If you call the IRD, they give you the option to leave your phone number and then they call you back. And then they actually do.

    • Vicky32 9.3

      I guess that the majority of people managing the phone systems are probably “pop” radio listeners and Kiwiblog readers.

      WINZ used to just play Jordan Luck (which always makes me laugh – when I worked for the Benefits and Pensions section in 1985, my boss hated Jordan Luck, and tried amny times (failing each time) to deny him unemployment benefit because she ‘knew’ he was using it to live while making albums)…and Housing NZ used to play only Tim Finn singing ‘Fraction too much Friction’ – so deliciously appropriate!
      Now they just play Lift Muzak… 
      Study Link used to play cool stuff! (But I was only ever under their control for a few weeks back in 2009.) I suppose they’d never heard of beneficiaries over 40 becoming students, or they’d have played Tim Finn… 🙂

  10. Heaps of evidence still appearing to prove that our justice system discriminates against Maori and is effectively racist!
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/racism-apparent-in-our-legal-system.html

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