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Open mike 06/10/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 6th, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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…

64 comments on “Open mike 06/10/2012”

  1. BLiP 2

    .

    Picked up a copy of the Wilkinson/Pickett updated “The Spirit Level” which has additional data and counter-arguments to the idiocy which masqueraded as criticism of the original issue. If you are unable to trust the conclusions, at least gather the courage to examine the data: its irrefutable. Interesting also in just how prescient the 1980 Brandt Report was in its conclusion that fixing what ails society is intricately bound up with the environment. Alas, it seems only a catastrophe will be sufficient to spur anything other than lip service – if we’re still around and functioning as a society.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks for the recommendation.  The wiki page on the Brandt Report, doesn’t mention the environment – its more about the north (developed, manufacturing based countries)- south (providing raw materials) divide.

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        .

        I took a liberty – the environment issue was less of an overt official conclusion and more of a basis for discussion which has stemmed from the report’s data. The prescience is my interpretation rather than a statement of fact, although I am not alone in this regard. Still, thanks for checking and pulling me up on it. Here’s something which might elucidate:

        . . . Two decades ago, the Brandt Commission reports, North-South and Common Crisis offered the international community a forward-looking plan for balancing the creation of wealth with the provision of public goods and the preservation of the environment . . .

        From here: http://www.brandt21forum.info/

  2. Logie97 3

    According to the Herald, this guy made a comment about Dotcom in passing to Key.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838732
    Quote…
    “The PM confirmed that the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, Chris Dodd, had raised the Dotcom Megaupload issue “in passing” during the dinner.

    “He just essentially noted that the case was ongoing in New Zealand, and I just confirmed that and said yes. He didn’t dwell on that.”
    … unquote

    They didn’t dwell on it ???

    Quote …
    Mr Key said the studio heads at the dinner “talked a bit about intellectual property, but really more in the context of TPP and those negotiations”.

    “Obviously they’re making the case that they invest hugely in the creation of intellectual property and it’s critically important for their capacity to continue to be able to invest for that intellectual property to be protected.”… unquote

    Would seem to be a bit more than just a passing comment, Mr Key.

    • karol 3.1

      Ah, now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty – the TPPA and intellectual copyright – and Aussie, Canada, NZ and the UK falling over each other to host the filming of Hollywood movies.
       
      The journalist is not presenting a balanced view of these issues, but it’s all the government’s view on these.  Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above?
       
      Meanwhile last night’s TV news was all focused on Key’s expensive dinners and celebrity photo ops (while many Kiwis on low income struggle just to put food on the table), and a once-over-lightly of the government-Dotcom tussle.

      • BLiP 3.1.1

        .

        . . . Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above? . . .

        Deliberate under resourcing on the part of the owners. The last thing they want is an informed readership. Far better to keep the punters placated with notions of “everything is okay, good people are onto it and taking care of your concerns, no need to worry your prettly little heads, oh look – celebrity”. Among the reasons for this approach is that readers are more likely to respond positively to advertising if they are not angered or thoughtful about something they might have read.

        I have to confess to being less than supportive of the MSM grunts but I do believe the majority are good people who want to present the full picture but lack the resources to provide it. And then there’s the whole “deep capture” thing as well. Long live the Fifth Estate – but perhaps we citizen journalists should help out the MSM wage slaves? Just wondering.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Ah, now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty – the TPPA and intellectual copyright – and Aussie, Canada, NZ and the UK falling over each other to host the filming of Hollywood movies.

        Yep – the actual reason for Key to be in Hollywood.

        Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above?

        But they don’t. If they did then out of 1000 articles we’d get 999 telling us how bad it is and one which was an obvious load of bollocks from the Climate Science Coalition.

    • Logie97 3.2

      If he is visiting Hollywood in an official capacity, then perhaps every conversation is minuted and therefore we should, in the fullness of time, get a transcript…

      • freedom 3.2.1

        The PM made an obvious point on departure for LA LA Land that the dinner was a “purely social affair”. Yet it certainly sounds like Government business was openly discussed so roll out the minutes. Or is this just one more slip by the hamfistd haggard of Helensville and the MSM will let it slide.

        Oh and spreaking of hamfisted haggards, what the hell is with Armstrong’s declaration that the DotCom affair is all over and let’s just move on shall we as there is really nothing worth looking into and besides there are more inportant things to discuss like . . .

    • marsman 3.3

      The bit I liked about the John Key in Hollywood news coverage was the showing of tweets by Kim Dotcom e.g. ‘Keynochio reporting to his puppeteer Dodd’, that was the Patrick Gower report I think.

  3. And now there is a problem with Key’s comments about legal changes to the Immigration Act and the effect on Dotcom’s case.  It appears that the change in the law did not have the effect he said it did.

    The story is at  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838744

    How Key must hate the Dotcom case. Every day there is a new disaster for him …

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Although it is only just approaching the first anniversary of the second term, why has this John Tui Government got quite a distinct feel like it is the penultimate year of the third term??!

      No doubt the bankster in the seat of power has a few secret agenda but, being mired in one scandal and lie after another scandal and lie, this Tui government seems to have lost control of the legislative and policy agenda for the public record.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        this Tui government seems to have lost control of the legislative and policy agenda for the public record.

        Jim, that’s what happens when you are taking instructions from abroad, and the script loses a few pages.

        Our legislature and policy would almost exclusively be directed by offshore interests now!

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Our legislature and policy would almost exclusively be directed by offshore interests now!

          That’s what happens when we get empiricists (NACT) in power.

        • Jackal 4.1.1.2

          You’ve got to wonder about exactly how much “governance” National is doing while they’re spending most if not all of their time trying to cover their own asses?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1

            I think you’ll find that National think that covering their own asses is governance.

    • freedom 4.2

      I think Haier Appliances will be changing their tack and putting a bid in for the PM’s media team instead of F&P, as the PM seems to have a more powerful spin cycle

    • ianmac 4.3

      John Key mutters and swears under his breath. “Now what!”
      “Sorry Prime Minister. We did warn you that what you were going to say about Citizenship was totally wrong.”
      “Yeah but Johnny Public trusts me. I reckon I can say anything and the suckers will believe me. A boyish grin a quick quip and they worship me. Hang on my every word. I am God to them all.”
      “Er Prime Minister. There are quite a few who are baying….”
      “Get out scum! How dare you criticise me! I am The Leader. Send that idiot to Afghanistan. Put him on mine disposal detail…”

    • deuto 4.4

      Graeme Edgeler now has an interesting post up at Public Address which provides more detail of the differences etc between the previous immigration legislation on residency visas and permits, and the changes that came into effect just before KDC moved to NZ in Dec 2010.

      http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/kim-dotcom-all-the-fault-of-the-immigration/

      Edgeler’s analysis explains why a cursory examination only of the before and after legislation could lead one to conclude that KDC would not have had protection from GCSB surveillance; but concludes that this is incorrect if the legislation is examined more fully. [haven’t put that well; see his actual post]. But what he also explains is why Key’s statements were incorrect.

      Another attempt at whitewash on Key’s part?

      Just read that Key is back in NZ in the next day or so as he is meeting the Singapore PM in Wellington on Monday. No Hawaii holiday this recess, it would seem. Could be another interesting week.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    John Roughan. All I can say after today’s howler column in the Herald is dear oh dear oh dear….

    The guy basically stakes out a position that would be comfortable to the right-of-ACT Libertarianz (guess he’ll be sure the Herald writes lots of glowing columns and editorials endorsing them in the lead up to the next election then).

    Auseful column, if only to show exactly how extreme right Roughan is. So much of the nonsense he writes suddenly makes sense.

    No point linking to his ruubbish; You’d be better off spending your time watching cartoons.

    A quick edit: I just see that economic dinosaur Fran O’Sullivan is having a tanty at quantative easing. Two of the neo-liberal yesterday having a rant in the paper as the world in 2012 leaves them behind stuck in the 1980s. Sad, but quite invigorating all at once.

    Both being flushed out and forced into clearly staking out such radically right wing positions shows that their days are over; increasingly they are no longer players – now they sound more like cranky old people observing from beyond the border.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The powers that be – i.e. those in the global billionaire banker/investor class – are quite willing to hang out to dry the idiot millionaires who, to date, have served as useful idiots facilitating the neolib programme.

      The top 0.01% are currently in the process of consuming the top 10%.

      O’Sullivan and Roughan have no clue.

  5. Dr Terry 6

    They might sound like “petulant young people” as well.

  6. Dv 7

    What happened to the big story of Tiwai point that was headlined yesterday in Stuff?
    It seems to have gone.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Was on the National Radio News this morning. David Cunliffe was given time to point out the connection between the walkout of up-for-sale Electricity and the disaster that the close down of Tiwai Point would be.

      • Dv 7.1.1

        Yes, but I thought such a big story would have some follow up in the print media , and there is/was NOTHING in the herald!

        • OneTrack 7.1.1.1

          The herald are too busy writing about dotCom. There isn’t any other news – is there?

    • tc 7.2

      Tiwai and Norse skoggs Kawerau reduction on demand ARE the real reasons MRP was parked, bashing those pesky maaris about dem water rights and getting Bill ‘ you’ve been a bad boy’ Blinglish to front the sham ‘consultations’ was pure diversions.

      The water rights is still an issue but it’s not the one that’s going to floor the price of wholesale electricity like these 2 power sucks will, and the Nats know that.

      Where’s some serious pieces on that in the MSM !

  7. RedBaron 8

    Reading Brian Gaynor in the Herald on Haier’s bid for F & P.

    Now here’s an idea for all those “Mum & Dad investors that are waiting on Power Company shares..” Any chance of some of our major kiwisaver and investment funds getting together burying out Haier (keeping a marketing relationship) and returning the company to largely NZ onwership. I believe that it has some solid intellectual property of the type that the government says it wants to encourage for the countrie’s benefit. Deal anyone?

    • millsy 8.1

      4 words: New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

      I am fully aware that the government is not supposed to direct the NZSF to by F and P, but this can be circumvented by pulling aside the chairman of its board and having a quiet whisper about how it would be a ‘win-win’ for all concerned if a large shareholding is purchased in our premier whiteware company to keep it in Kiwi ownership..

      Same thing could have been done with the Crafar farms.

      • BloodyOrphan 8.1.1

        Old Johny Sparkles should have thought about that 4 years ago.

        • tc 8.1.1.1

          Johnny sparkles probably did but why would he want to retain local ownership, he’s all about lining his foreign masters pockets, US, china whoever as long as its hollow.

          IMO the game was up for F&P once Haier were allowed in as that allowed them access to whatever R&D was going down, easy to replicate and mass produce a lot cheaper.

          Commodity industries are getting slaughtered by china and F&P isn’t a high margin, high quality brand like Miele, Bosch, Asko etc. I’ve heard they owe a lot to a large euro brand they’ve borrowed some ideas from over the years.

          All in all can’t say it’d be something I’d put the farm on being consumer demand driven also.

  8. Georgecom 9

    A team of 4 people collected over 200 signatures on the asset sale petition at an event this morning. Another 200 signatures toward the 300,000 needed.

    If there was another 4 such events around the country today thats an extra 1000 signatures. Week by week we get closer to John Key having to face a vote on the issue.

  9. A direct approach to John Ansell on Kiwiblog today :)

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/10/rotary_cancels_on_ansell.html#comment-1030809

    FYI

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Here you go John Ansell – perhaps you would like to respond directly on Kiwiblog?

    I’m sure that there will be a lot of interest in your reply?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    YET TO BE PUBLISHED COMMENT ON NBR REGARDING JOHN ANSELL’S PURPORTED SUPPORT FOR ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL':

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ansell-details-colourblind-state-launch-ck-130190#comment-587615

    If John Ansell so believes in ONE LAW FOR ALL – does he believe that John Banks and Don Brash should have equally been prosecuted for the strict liability offence (Securities Act s58 (3) ) of signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 which contained untrue statements?

    (To see copies of the above-mentioned Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 – check out http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz )

    Does John Ansell believe that ‘3 strikes and out’ should equally apply to ‘white collar’ criminals?

    If not – why not?

    On 24 September 2012 – the Commerce Select Committee of the ‘Highest Court in the Land’ – effectively decided that ‘one law for all’ does not apply to former and current ACT Party Leaders – Don Brash and John Banks.

    “The Commerce Committee has considered Petition 2011/5 of Penelope Mary Bright and 307 others, which requests “that the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the decisions regarding prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009”, and has no matters to bring to the attention of the House.”

    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/E9BE559F-179A-4AB6-878379ECF71C2387/241261/DBSCH_SCR_5602_Petition20115ofPenelopeMaryBrightan.pdf

    Does John Ansell support John Banks effectively being politically protected – given that 5 out of 9 Commerce Select Committee members are National MPs?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs/Default.htm?pf=CommitteeShortName&sf=Commerce&lgc=0

    Commerce Member Bakshi, Kanwaljit Singh National Party, List
    Commerce Member Borrows, Chester National Party, Whanganui
    Commerce Deputy-Chairperson Cosgrove, Clayton Labour Party, List
    Commerce Member Cunliffe, David Labour Party, New Lynn
    Commerce Member Curran, Clare Labour Party, Dunedin South
    Commerce Member Lotu-Iiga, Peseta Sam National Party, Maungakiekie
    Commerce Member Mathers, Mojo Green Party, List
    Commerce Member Mitchell, Mark National Party, Rodney
    Commerce Chairperson Young, Jonathan National Party, New Plymouth

    Does John Ansell support the House conducting an urgent inquiry into the decisions regarding prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009”?

    If not – why not?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  10. dancerwaitakere 11

    I seem to be having some problem access the standard on my Chrome browser.

    It says that there are too many redirect loops, I have cleared the cookies, I have also made sure that third party (whatever they are) things are allowed.

    Anyone able to help a brother out?

  11. ianmac 12

    I thought that this was well worth the listening time given the direction that our Government is taking us. Puts perspective on National Standards, League Tables, Child Poverty:
    Pasi Sahlberg – improving education
    Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) in Helsinki, Finland, and expert in educational reforms, training teachers, coaching schools and advising policy-makers, who is visiting New Zealand to speak at the annual meetings of the NZEI and PPTA. ”

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  12. Georgecom 13

    Quiz – Can you be the NZ Prime Minister?

    Answers at the bottom of the post.

    Q1. A Minister in your government is shown to have tried to hide election donations. The Minister denies all knowledge of receiving the money or the donor and ‘can’t remember, can’t recall’ the events. He is proven as lying on the matter. As Prime Minister do you:

    a. Investigate thoroughly and if the charge is substantiated, sack the Minister.
    b. Investigate and if the charge is substantiated, demote the Minister and warn him of the need for honesty.
    c. Do nothing, read nothing and try to avoid the issue.

    Q2. A Government spy agency is shown to have illegally eaves-dropped on a NZ citizen or resident. You were informed of the illegal eaves-dropping. As the Minister in charge of the agency do you:

    a. Make a full public disclosure and apology of the eaves-dropping and your lack of oversight. Get it fully investigated and offer your resignation if it shows you are at fault.
    b. Make a full public disclosure, get the matter investigated, explain your part in the event and how it will not happen again.
    c. Release as little detail as possible, blame other people and deny any involvement whatsoever.

    Answers
    a. If you answered “a”, congratulations, your leadership is what NZ needs. You should consider standing for Prime Minister
    b. If you answered “b”, you should consider standing for Prime Minister as you can bring a ‘higher standard’ to Government.
    c. If you answered “c”, then you ARE the prime minister.

  13. FYI folks!

    ANOTHER ‘YET TO BE PUBLISHED’ COMMENT ON NBR:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/scorecard-media-hungry-sfo-boss-feeley-checked-andready-weekend-review-gb-130168

    So – why didn’t Adam Feeley ensure that the SFO prosecute John Banks and Don Brash for signing Huljich Kiwisaver Registered Prospectuses date 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, which contained untrue statements?

    A strict liability offence under s.58 (3) of the Securities Act?

    Oh – of course – silly me.

    ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ doesn’t apply to those politicians who may be pivotal in holding the balance of power in this country ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt in the world’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

  14. NickS 15

    Ug.

    While I’m awake enough:

    Some of you probably think I’m pro-GE and to a certain extent I am, as 3 years of undergrad uni education + bits of pieces of readings in my own time have made clear the opportunities that genetic modification tools provide, along with the issues. So when confronted with downright stupidity over GMO’s that inflates risks beyond teh evidence, my reaction (influenced partly by my depression) is usually to whip out the clue-by-4 and have fun. And since the usual reaction to that from the anti-GMO crowd is usually to pull out more crap there’s usually not an opportunity to treat the subject matter fully, plus my depression causes me to loose interest a bit to often. Which leads unto no chances to actually discuss the damn work and implications.

    Especially when certain people go off on tangents about stuff, like how change in science is totes bad, which frankly is the same approach creationists and climate change denialists use to poo science.

    Anyhow, the work AgriReseach has done is actually pretty interesting in it’s own right as it makes use of microRNA’s to alter the expression of the target gene. How exactly? The technique makes use of part of our innate gene regulation and innate immune systems, by the name of RNAi, which was discovered in 1998. Depending on what sort of miRNA or a siRNA you use (dsRNA, anti-sense RNA) and the sequence of the RNA, you can get very fine control over gene expression. Usually though in biotech, this is used to greatly lower the expression of a targeted gene via methylation of the targeted gene, and with the right technique can cause inheritable epigenetic gene silencing. A hell of lot more reliably than the usual technique for knockout mutations, although RNAi still results in a very low basal level of expression. And while RNAi is promising as a medical tool for treatment of many cancer types, as well as viruses, unless you package it (say, in a virus, tailored to target a particular tissue type*… Or a bog standard cell membrane vesicle), the immune system will recognise and degrade it. Which means at present RNAi is limited to use on epithelial tissues, and anything close to the surface, or single cells (such as fungi, animal or plant cell cultures or gametes) so thus it probably wont be seeing any mainstream usage for a while.

    As for whether or not AgriResearch’s recent work has any utility, from a purely economic perspective, it’s ROI is pretty crap. As there’s already plenty of alternatives for those who suffer milk allergies already avaliable. In fact the market is probably not worth even trying for given the anti-GE phobia in our EU export markets, and indeed it will take decades to produce a sufficiently large enough herd via conventional breeding, plus there are uncertainties on how many generations the change in gene modification will last for. Although if we look at natural, stable hybrids and compare gene expression profiles vs human made ones, typically there’s very close patterns of gene expression, even when the natural and lab hybrids are breed over multiple generations. However, in terms of teh science, it’s a very useful test of RNAi techniques in a large mammal, which provides data on how well it works and potential issues, Like the calf’s missing tail.

    So yeah, frankly not the best idea to try and spin it as having dairy industry applications, but given the “your idea must make money” meme that’s infiltrated western universities and government research bodies since the 1980’s, it’s a trade off. One I’d rather do without actually, due to the costs involved to research, in which certain areas are potentially neglected and the pressure to spin research proposals and results towards profit making.

    And concerning risks, our environment is full of miRNA and siRNA’s from the food we eat and the bacteria and such we share our bodies with, but that’s what we have an innate immune system response for 😛 Plus rather awesome gene expression networks and cell suicide triggers. Anyhow though, chemically lab made RNAi sequences are no different from natural ones, so any risk claims centred on that alone should be ignored and the originator nommed on for essentialist stupidity.

    What matters is which gene is being targeted, what is it’s place in the gene expression network(s) it’s involved in and does the RNA being used have high specificity to the target gene or will it affect other genes?

    With other GMO’s, particularly plants, we need to also take into account escape risks, gene transfer into non-target populations, changes in post-translational protein modification, gene expression patterns, toxicity issues and organism health. Plus ye olde “who owns the fucking patent rights” and the environmental/economic impact of the GMO And no, I do not give a flaming goat to religious/cultural sensibilities vis anything with the phrase “unnatural”** and all synonymies. Because frankly they are useless for risk assessment.

    And of course, I hold to the precautionary principle, but with a modifier that asking for absolute safety is batshit insane vis epistemological uncertainty*** and a dislike for anything not backed by strong statistical analysis, preferably done via an independent team.

    Me go blob now /meeeeeeeh
    _______________________________________
    * In theory, pretty easy to do, as it’s merely a modification of present virus based GE techniques: take an immortalised animal cell, transform with viral genes, bar ones for packaging the viral genes, and instead get it to package up your RNA of choice and let stew until you have enough modified viral particles with your chosen payload.

    **Which carries with it all sorts of stupidity vis defining “natural”, vis philosophy of science and epistemology issues, which I boil down to “artificial is a subset of natural, and human culture/tech is just an extended phenotype”. i.e. death unto the whole “natural = good” meme…

    ***aka “philosophy is fun and melts your brain”

  15. joe90 16

    Paul Broun, a member of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology: Evolution, Embryology, Big Bang Theory Are “Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell”.

    Broun and Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, RWNJ fundamentalist young earth creationists with a belief that science is a tool of Satan, are tasked with overseeing science at the highest level of the US government.

  16. ianmac 17

    Paul Broun at highest level? Unbelievable. But wait. John Banks believes as Broun believes and is at the highest level as buddy to the high flying John Key. Amen.

    • NickS 17.1

      Not really surprising given the strong fundamentalist christian factions and fractions in the US :(

      • ianmac 17.1.1

        Just politely turned a Jehova Witness away at my door. Lovely smile from a nice appearing lady but potty in my book. She is welcome to her ideas but….
        Who was that Scottish madman who shouted through his front door to the pair of female evangelists waiting for him to answer his door.
        “I am naked! I have a huge erection and in 5 seconds I will open my door! 1, 2,3,……”

        • prism 17.1.1.1

          ianmac
          Was that a rhetorical question? Sounds like Billy Connolly. I could just imagine him putting that into his stand up routine.

  17. joe90 19

    Please let this be true.

    http://front.moveon.org/legal-analysis-outlines-potential-crime-in-mitt-romneys-financial-disclosures/

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/107160020/New-Legal-Analysis-Finds-Strong-Possibility-of-Romney-Criminal-Liability-for-Misrepresentation-He-Made-in-Federal-Financial-Disclosure-Filings-in-2011

    CONCLUSION

    The facts known about Gov. Romney’s role in Bain Capital entities after 1999 strongly suggest that Gov. Romney made a false statement in violation of the False Statements Act in categorically asserting, in 2011, on his Financial Disclosure Form, that since February 1999, he had not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way. At a minimum, the facts call out for a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice

    • OneTrack 19.1

      Are you worried Obama isn’t going to win except by default?

    • ianmac 19.2

      No doubt Mr Key will contact Mr Romney and explain the strategy of deniable ignorance and the usefulness of memory loss.

      On the other hand would Mr Obama already have known about the possible charges which may follow so he would be wise to lie low during the debate, and wait for a week or two.
      Aww fantasy!

  18. muzza 20

    Oh well, looks like NATO has successfully got a war “officially” started with Syria, using Turkey…

    Old news now I guess – Its all so staged, now its become like the staging is staged…

    • David H 20.1

      Yeah but if you go back and see how WW2 started then look at whats happening now then a WW3 ain’t far away.

      There was the global financial crises 1928- 1935 2007-20??
      lots of little wars
      over population
      bankers playing both ends against the middle
      big corporations selling to both sides
      arms dealers having a field day
      yep the hate mongers are having fun, and wars on the way.

      And when its all over the bankers and business men will congratulate each other and rape the losing sides land and resources.. The Military will be happy as they will have been able to play with all their toys and invent lots of new ones, due to the increase in budget.

    • Vicky32 20.2

      Oh well, looks like NATO has successfully got a war “officially” started with Syria, using Turkey

      So it would seem! My Turkish student came in late and terrified, I was told by his other teacher… he is less concerned about the rights and wrongs, and more worried about his girlfriend and family…
      Poor guy.
      The maddest story I’ve heard is that the Syrian regime was responsible for the shopping centre fire in Qatar. Do you know what became of that accusation, muzza?
       

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

    The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.

    Which is what I’ve been saying for awhile.

    • joe90 22.1

      League tables really are a wonderful idea…dontaren’t they?.

      can we have the edit function back ..please..

      • OneTrack 22.1.1

        Our teachers are only interested in the children so that sort of thing would never happen here.

        • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1

          Put in place what this government are as far as education goes and you put in place the incentives for corruption.

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    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    16 hours ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    18 hours ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    20 hours ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    2 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    2 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    2 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    3 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    3 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    6 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    7 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    7 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    2 weeks ago

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