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Open mike 07/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, January 7th, 2014 - 152 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 right up to the mike …

152 comments on “Open mike 07/01/2014”

  1. amirite 1

    Paul Buchanan said on radio yesterday that Snowden is about to release files about NZ as one of the Five Eyes spying partners. The files may show that NZ was spying on China which could worsen our economic relations with that country.

    The MSM’s re-modelling of Colin Craig as Nats’ potential coalition partner continues. But it looks like that no matter what the media is trying to do, the general public’s perception of Colin Craig as a nutter will not be changed. The December polls seem to suggest so.

    Also, it seems that Rodney Hide will have a go at Act’s leadership. This Sunday on Radio Live, he was adamant that Act will win again in Epsom but would not disclose who will lead Act in 2014 on the way to election.

    Interesting times ahead.
    Vote the bastards out!

    • geoff 1.1

      Also, it seems that Rodney Hide will have a go at Act’s leadership.

      Didn’t the dark lord Douglas recently say that Rodney Hide shouldn’t be ACT leader again?

      Edit:
      Ah yes, here it is..
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11174085

      Not that it matters, neither the ACT party, Roger Douglas or Rodney Hide are worth two knobs of goat shit.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Be careful. Craig Colins may be unelectable but could get in on the list.

        Bennett is going up against her thinner blonder? self in North Harbor.

        The thinking I suppose is National voters may see no difference and know Bennett will get in on the National list.

        Then whats her name will then get over the line, and drag Craig with her.

        That’s what the freak show needs to be exposed, National extremist gambit in the North Auckland seat, putting in a religious right into parliament.

        You see instead of whatshername winning on her record, she gets cover from the Craig and legitimacy from pounding the pavement against Bennett in a sideshow of vacuous sound bites.

        Its why Key wouldn’t do away with the single member party loophole.

  2. Tracey 2

    Amrite

    interesting indeed. Nicky hager is the first I recall reading of 5 eyes. I tip my hat to him. Corngate. Hollowmen. Five eyes and his fabulous bruce jesson speech.

    imo he is a homwgrown hero for his digging and head above the parapet.

    • Anne 2.1

      And don’t forget “Other People’s Wars” Tracey. It’s a tome, but well worth ploughing through…

      That book came about because a group of concerned military officers – some very senior – were appalled by the lies and misinformation that was being reported about New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan in particular, and were willing to talk to him. He told a group of us “we would be amazed at just who was willing to come forward and talk to him”.

      A repeat performance of “The Hollow Men” in many ways.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        Arise Sir Nicky then. (Though I would hope he would tell them where to stuff their knighthood.)

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.2

        “Other People’s Wars” is well worth reading and rams home the senselessness of our having anything except a coastguard and some sort of peace keeping and disaster response ability. The RNZAF might as well wear USAF uniforms and as soon as our admirals get blue water ships, they sail off and mix themselves up in adventures on behalf of the yanks. If they won’t take orders from civilian authority, I don’t see why civilians should pay their salaries. I would say the spooks are even less interested in working for us.

        • greywarbler 2.1.2.1

          Murray O
          +1

        • Anne 2.1.2.2

          Agree Murray Olsen.

          I spent five years working in a civilian capacity on an Air Force base. During that time I had direct contact with flight crews on a daily basis. I don’t mind telling you I was impressed with their professionalism and the work they did. There were the Orions flying out on daily missions (almost) policing our 200 mile fishing zone. Hercules aircraft were constantly shifting equipment and personnel from one place to another. A couple of Boeing aircraft did the shifting of large numbers of Defence personnel around the country and overseas. There were search and rescue missions of one kind or another almost on a weekly basis and weather related emergencies. The Air Force did an exceptional job during the Cyclone Bola emergency – travelling backwards and forwards 24/7 for several weeks without let-up. They deserved a collective medal for that alone. And finally the overseas peace-keeping and “re-construction” missions. More than enough to keep a small but very professional group of people in full time employment.

          We can fulfil out international obligations without fighting and scrapping in “other people’s wars”.

          • thechangeling 2.1.2.2.1

            Always wondered what the inflight entertainment and catering was like on airforce Boeing flights? Do they have flight stewards just like on civilian aircraft with free food and grog?

  3. Tracey 3

    Amrite

    maybe hooten is standing. Apart from calling garth george a socialist he has been quite moderate for him lately.

  4. Tracey 4

    Lanth

    had been thinking about that but never underestimate the ego to take one in a contradictory direction.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Viewing that clip of the ‘Judge asking questions” suspected of getting him fired from Fox News
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=52b_1329796059
    I was struck by and enjoyed his clear diction, something which with notable exceptions is largely missing in New Zealand reports and interviewees as with most of what emerges from around the world.
    Which is a primary reason that the written word has such an attraction for me when one works through the typos and mis-spelling so common these days as people simply either do not know or do not check what they have written.

  6. what david cunnliffe needs to do..in his state of the nation speech..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/the-us-declared-war-on-poverty-50-years-ago-you-would-never-know-it-comment-what-cunnliffe-must-do-and-how-about-that-glaucoma-madnessblindness-eh/

    and how about that glaucoma-madness..?..eh..?

    (excerpt..)

    “….and as an aside:..here is another example of the madness that labour/the next progressive govt must tend to..

    ..did you know that if you get glaucoma..that you can get a relatively simple operation to fix that..or you can slowly go blind..

    ..now..these (uncaring/randite-madness-driven)tory arsewipes who currently rule over us..

    ..have ordered that if you get glaucoma when you are over the age of sixty..

    ..and you don’t have the few grand it costs to get the operation private..

    ..that you can just get fucked..

    ..you can just go slowly blind..

    ..now..do i have to point out to readers the utterly mindfucking madness of a policy like this..?

    ..and how these shortsighted-fools (pun intentional) obviously have not factored into their brilliant cost-saving policy..

    ..the costs to the country of caring for those soon to be blind elderly..

    ..utter..fucken..madness..

    ..and as for the human costs to those slowly going blind elderly new zealanders..?

    ..they just don’t fucken care…

    ..and there you are mr cunnliffe..

    ..there is a populism-drenched idea/promise for you to both easily make..

    ..and to use as an example-club of how these tories are both totally uncaring for the poor citizens of this country..

    ..and fucken economically-illiterate..

    ..their greed-driven neo-lib/randite ‘beliefs’..

    ..seeming to shield them from viewing the human outcomes of what they preach..”

    (cont.)

    phillip ure..

    • Corokia 6.1

      They don’t give a shit. Check out Homepaddock ‘Saving species nearly killed it’, Ele Ludemann making analogies about DOC wasting money saving genetic lines that she says should have been left to die out and likening that to welfare spending. G Edgeler called her out on it and she back tracked, but not before showing her true colours.

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        and of course ludemann is a part of that huge number of rightwing voices on national radio afternoon..

        ..and she usually trots out absolutely ancient internet-drivel..

        ..(leavened with neo-lib-seasoning..)

        ..ludemann is as funny as a piece of wood..and as insightful as a rock,..

        ..i dunno what she is meant to be doing in that slot..

        ..(some kind on online/new-journalism/blog-expert..?..oh dear..!..)

        phillip ure..

        • Corokia 6.1.1.1

          Her right wing blog is promoted by her being on Afternoons. The blog is nothing but pure right wing spin. As seen by the post I mentioned, her views are extreme.

          • Red Rosa 6.1.1.1.1

            Well spotted. That blog has everything…the preachy-teachy far right lines, direct from Nat HQ. The ‘let them eat cake’ condescension, almost a self -parody. Relentless farming coverups for the usual suspects..pollution and destruction. Sort of ‘twinset-and-pearls on steroids’.

            Should be subtitled ‘The Red Neck with a Blue Rinse’…;)

  7. jcuknz 7

    There is talk of pardoning Snowden but I think he should be given the Medal of Honour for bravery in taking on the largest and most powerful country/ group of countries in the world, or perhaps a Nobel Prize with its monetry tags would be more useful

    • McFlock 7.1

      I tend to agree – he id’d an issue, recognised the action he could take at great personal risk, and executed that action intelligently and with care for the safety of himself and others.

      • aerobubble 7.1.1

        I think the argument that he exposed national security, which he has, is wrong since who was handing out state secrets to contractors, not Snowden. How was Snowden to know they would harm National Security, he’s not suppose to have National Security secrets, he’s not a government employee.

        Its hugely chilling to democracy to find out that private firms could be working state databases for profitable opportunities. Were the contracts auctioned? Did partially foreign owned entities win contracts? Will companies from five eye nations get to bid in the next round.

        When the government spends billions collecting data on everyone on the planet and only private entities with connections in washington can harvest that information, protected by state national security laws, then we all better start worrying.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          Well, yes he did compromise the state security apparatus by revealing the extent of their surveillance (and thus the fact they has misled their political overseers, for example). It’s now working its way through the legal system – and I wonder if even Scalia can argue it’s constitutional…

          What he didn’t do (AFAIK) was compromise the safety of individuals, agents, or informants (other than himself).

          Giving secrets to contractors can be a required part of the job – they just get bound by security agreements etc. Whether such work should be privatised is another argument altogether.

  8. Tracey 8

    If you wondered who is able to afford lakeside holiday homes, wonder no more…
    A bit of nimbyism from our tourism chief?

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11182176

    • weka 8.1

      I don’t know Tracey. On the face of it, it does look like there are reasonable issues to object on. I’m sure there is more to the story than we can see in that article, but it does seem an odd design if you want cyclists and walkers to use the same track. Plus the concrete is ugly as, at least in that photo.

      • Bearded Git 8.1.1

        Rubbish Weka it’s rank nimbyism. If people like Sneddon get their way there will be no new public tracks through NZ, with their obvious massive economic and health benefits. Agree on the concrete though.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          You must have read a different article to me then. Looks like they were objecting to the way the path was being constructed, not that it was there (looks to me like the access has been there for quite some time, that berm isn’t new). Plus my points about design stand. Where are you getting your information from?

          The current focus on putting tracks in everywhere is a mire of conflicting needs. Simplifying that down to a catch-cry of NIMBYism is not helpful.

          “An even worse situation is where the lessee of a Crown Pastoral Lease has, for no good reason apart from rank selfishness and nimbyism, absolutely refused access across Crown Land beside Lake Roxburgh causing the cycle/walking trail between Alexandra and Roxburgh to be discontinuous, necessitating an expensive and inconvenient boat trip for several kilometres, a situation that puts off many cyclists/walkers.”

          Selfishness and nimbyism, how do you know? What has the farmer said?

          • Bearded Git 8.1.1.1.1

            It’s been well reported in the press down here Weka. Basically the farmers say it is our pastoral lease so stuff you. Admittedly there might be very slight, and I mean very slight, adverse effects from the track on farming, but these have to be weighed against the purposes of the Crown pastoral Lease Act which aims:

            “to promote the management of reviewable land in a way that is ecologically sustainable………… to enable the protection of the significant inherent values of the reviewable land…………and to make easier the securing of public access to and enjoyment of reviewable land” (Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998, S.24).

            • weka 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you sure there is not more to it than that? Often in those situations there is history that needs to be resolved. And I still don’t see how you can make the same judgement about the Taupo situation unless you have more facts than the rest of us.

              btw, last time I drove through the Millenium track from Miller’s Flat to Beaumont, I thought what a complete fuck up. Trees being removed, big fences put up, an increadibly beautiful piece of landscape made ugly (not that the farmers don’t contribute to that as well). I’m sure in time some of that will sort itself out, but bike tracks aren’t always the bees knees. Increasing numbers of access sometimes takes things away. Fuck tourism and this idea that development is always good.

              • Bill

                What if the idea of trespass was dumped but access by way of neat little suburban like paths wasn’t provided?

                Lack of trespass works well in other countries. And whereas tourists and ‘day trippers’ might be drawn by the idea of a nice stroll down a tarmac/concrete/rubber/gravel walkway, they might not be so drawn to walking/scrambling over ‘natural’ countryside.

                And yes. Agree. Fuck the tourism.

                • Ennui

                  As a trout fisher I am very aware of the erosion of access to prime spots in particular. There is not only encroachment by way of development (as around lake shores) but also the denial of access over surrounding land to public waters. The latter is often a result of a “deal” between landowners and tourist guides to effectively privatise Crown riverbeds to all except those willing to pay for access across private land.

                  What we are seeing is the constant erosion of the public domain where ever somebody sees a way of deriving an income from it, or of giving themselves a privileged position.

                • Bearded Git

                  Weka and Bill-I read a few weeks ago that a big percentage of the people using the Otago Rail Trail come from Auckland and environs.

                  Weka-tracks always take a while to “bed-in’ Have a look at the Miller’s Flat-Beaumont track in 3 years time. (I agree when tracks are first built there are adverse effects). My understanding is that parts of this track have had to be put in beside the road because adjacent landowners refused access along the old rail line which they were given for a song.

                  Bill-go and say “fuck the tourism” to the people of Omakau and Lauder and Middlemarch and see the response you will get. The Maniototo’s economy has been boosted by the huge success of the rail trail.

                  Ennui-agree entirely.

                  • Tim

                    so I wonder what they’d say if a gubbamint came along and said ….. hey chaps, we’re going to re-establish the railway?

      • Pasupial 8.1.2

        Concrete is indeed ugly (and its manufacture also produces much CO2), but Sneddon et al only seem concerned with their particular patch; which would substantiate Tracey’s claim of NIMBYism on his part, given:

        “The track, popular with walkers and cyclists, begins 10km away in central Taupo.”

        When I read the article in the ODT earlier this morn, I was mainly struck by this:

        “While the donation and the plan for the concrete track were notified in council agendas, letters to houses in the area, council press releases and media coverage, objectors with holiday homes say they had no knowledge of it until construction started in December.”

        Surely it was the responsibility of the house owners to ensure that the council had an alternative address, or to have their mail redirected, while they were non-resident if they wanted to be consulted. They must pay rates on the properties after all, which means paperwork going somewhere.

        Also Sneddon’s criticism of the track seems rather incoherent:

        ‘ The objection wasn’t against the path, which “goes nowhere”. “All it does is finish a little further on.” He said it was not properly suitable for cycling. “You can’t ride two bicycles side by side on this path.” ‘

        Which, if anything, seems like an argument to have the track widened to better serve both pedestrians and cyclists.

        • weka 8.1.2.1

          “They must pay rates on the properties after all, which means paperwork going somewhere.”

          Yes, generally councils send important letters to the ratepayer’s prefered address, not a letterbox drop. It’s not unusual for councils to do things without notifying people properly.

          “Also Sneddon’s criticism of the track seems rather incoherent:

          ‘ The objection wasn’t against the path, which “goes nowhere”. “All it does is finish a little further on.” He said it was not properly suitable for cycling. “You can’t ride two bicycles side by side on this path.” ‘

          Which, if anything, seems like an argument to have the track widened to better serve both pedestrians and cyclists.”

          Yes, and I’m sure that they would prefer to not have more people crossing in front of their yard than before, and so they are trying to find ways to mitigate the problem. But that doesn’t make them wrong. Sedden is most likely a complete hypocrit given his day job (although he may not be responsible for his wife’s actions either), but I really don’t understand why people who object to impacts are automatically labelled nimbys and selfish. Not all development is good, and not all development that benefits in some ways is without negatives in other ways.

          • Pasupial 8.1.2.1.1

            Weka

            “It’s not unusual for councils to do things without notifying people properly.”

            They did seem to have made the effort here though via “notifi[cation] in council agendas, letters to houses in the area, council press releases and media coverage”. That the holiday home owners didn’t pick up on any of this seems to speak more of their disengagement from the community than the council’s negligance.

            “Not all development is good, and not all development that benefits in some ways is without negatives in other ways.”

            I can definitely agree with you on that point, though remain in favour of expanding cycle-ways.

    • Bearded Git 8.2

      Nice post Tracey.

      An even worse situation is where the lessee of a Crown Pastoral Lease has, for no good reason apart from rank selfishness and nimbyism, absolutely refused access across Crown Land beside Lake Roxburgh causing the cycle/walking trail between Alexandra and Roxburgh to be discontinuous, necessitating an expensive and inconvenient boat trip for several kilometres, a situation that puts off many cyclists/walkers.

      My understanding is that the tenure review in question is up for review in 2017 (?) at which time the goverment of the day can create a marginal strip outside the pastoral lease land where the cycle/walkway can go as of right. Better hope that Labour/Greens are in by then because National will never go against its farming mates.

      It is possible that when Labour/Greens get in later this year they could legislate to push the cyleway through the pastoral lease land as a matter of public interest.

  9. Morrissey 9

    TV3 dignifies a science-denier by calling him a “skeptic”
    TV3 News, Monday 6 January 2014, 6:10 p.m.

    As even the supremely insensate John “Cabbage” Banks must have noticed, it’s been hot in New Zealand lately.

    At the same time, however, it’s been extremely cold in the United States and Europe, and a couple of boats have been caught in the ice in Antarctica. This naturally calls into question the whole idea of global warming, as the intelligent folk at one of our premier blogs have noted….
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/01/ice-veteran-slams-ship-fools/

    With all this heat in the air, the producers at TV3 News evidently thought it was time to assign ace reporter Emma Brannam to come up with a short, sweet item about the heat wave. A “balanced” item, of course, which means that you balance up the bias of scientists by countering it with the well reasoned denials of cantankerous fanatics who insist the world’s scientists are engaged in a massive scam along the lines of the Illuminati conspiracy, the Harold Holt defection to the USSR or the 9/11 “inside job”.

    The item began with shots of Aucklanders swimming, rubbing sunscreen on their bodies, and eating ice cream. All this served to establish the theme: it’s hot. Emma Brannam then gave about twenty seconds of air time to the leading climate scientist Professor Jim Salinger.

    This was “balanced” by going to a crank, Bryan Leyland, one of the New Zealand advocates for Screaming Lord Monckton, the infamous science-denier who caused a fuss recently when Victoria University refused to treat him as a serious person…..
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-17042013/#comment-620413

    In the interests of “balance” rather than accuracy, Emma Branham called Leyland a “skeptic”, as if he were some kind of Voltaire, rather than a science-denying fruitcake.

    Since “balance” is obviously the watchword for TV3 News, I guess we can expect to see a Holocaust-denier interviewed every time World War II is mentioned, an Elvis-worshipper brought on to assert Elvis is still alive whenever any mention is made of his death, and a member of the Flat Earth Society hauled out to refute the scientific establishment’s socialist propaganda every time an item on space travel is aired.

    • “..In the interests of “balance” rather than accuracy, Emma Branham called Leyland a “skeptic”, as if he were some kind of Voltaire, rather than a science-denying fruitcake..

      (heh..!..)

      phillip ure..

    • Ennui 9.2

      “Ace reporter”…..At this juncture I tend to blanch, I have since I left Uni (sometime in the Jurassic) met, socialised with, know (some are even children of my old friends) several TV “jornos”. They have two things in common: they talk nicely for the camera, they look good and presentable on the screen.

      This adds up to one thing: they are talking heads. Without being too mean to people I like I cant think of one who has life experience, actual knowledge, etc. That is because in the role it is not needed, it is light weight / follow the script stuff. To assign intelligence to them (and I am not saying they are unintelligent) is to miss the point. So “ace”, wtf does that convey? I gave up listening to mainstream news eons ago for this very reason.

      PS If you want to see some good reporters asking difficult questions try the Russian TV reporters (RT).

      • phillip ure 9.2.1

        some ‘good’ news sources most may not know of are..

        ..alternet..information clearing house..salon..utne reader..mother jones..the nation..boing-boing..

        ..and for newspapers..the guardian..and the independant..

        ..and of course (ahem..!..that local scurrillous-rag..that whoar.co.nz..)

        ..that lot’ll see ya right..eh..?

        phillip ure..

    • alwyn 9.3

      Please Morrissey, you must get the story right.
      Harold Holt did NOT defect to the USSR.
      He swam out to sea and was picked up by a Chinese submarine. In other words he defected to China.
      Everybody knows that. Please don’t confuse them by mentioning the USSR.
      As an aside there is a memorial to Holt in Melbourne. Sombody with a macabre sense of humour decided that a suitable memorial for someone who had drowned would be a public swimming pool!

      • Morrissey 9.3.1

        Indeed, alwyn, I learned of the Harold Holt Swim Centre (in Malvern) many years ago, while reading Barry Humphries’ fantastically funny book about Australian kitsch.

        The Australian establishment’s capacity for irony is almost as keen as the South African establishment’s legendary black humour.

      • phillip ure 9.3.2

        mandela astride a springbok..?

        ..too soon..?

        phillip ure..

  10. Tracey 10

    Yes… perhaps those who think human pollution is impacting climate for the worse should be called

    Nonsense skeptics

  11. Tracey 11

    Anne

    absolutely. I couldnt recall the name.

  12. greywarbler 12

    Listening to the radio this morning I think I got some insight.

    1 There was an item on the difficulties that Disney had opening a theme park in Paris and it nearly went broke. Something the management found was that with the sale of food, Europeans are different to the USA who tend tosnack a lot between meals. Europeans don’t they focus on the meal at meal times. And in buying stuff, Europeans tend to buy I think good stuff, infrequently unlike USA frequent purchases.

    Maybe the snacking is what has changed the USA shape dramatically wider and heavier of late decades.

    2 The hunting of whale oil. Sir Geoffrey Palmer was talking about eating whales and referred to a part of the scientific whaling clauses that say the whales should be used for something of value after the ‘science’. He referred to earlier days where whale oil was important but that died away when they discovered oil in Pennsylvania, I think.

    That is what the Japanese are anxious about. I don’t think they have any or not much oil (and also may be one reason for getting uptight about nearby islands being taken over by Chinese, apart from the security angle). There may be oil reserves in the waters there.

    Also any thinking country knows that oil supplies are getting tight. The Japanese would not like a scenario where they have to beg for oil from others, and be under their thumb, and have to pay big time for it. Also they know how a country can suffer when there is hostility and war, and they had the two atomic bombs and the fire storm in Tokyo. And their own filthy record to consider which they wouldn’t enjoy in reverse. The Chinese notice that they don’t hesitate to pay homage at the memorials of some of their dastardly military and scientific leaders. The Chinese haven’t forgotten the Manchurian atrocities at the beginning of the 20th century.

    So the Japanese would think, better to ensure some independence in oil for the future by keeping on with the whales and want to keep this ‘pipeline’ open which also would provide food for their large population.

    • Murray Olsen 12.1

      I think whale oil was mainly used for lighting, soap, and margarine. It was gas and electricity, plus the killing of too many whales, that cause its use to die out. I doubt if there is enough oil in all the whales in the sea to make a difference to the Japanese energy budget. I also don’t think they’re ever going to manage to feed themselves with whale meat. The whaling they do seems to be one of the last remaining ways that they can express their nationalism.

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        Murray O
        Sir G Palmer mentioned the whale oil at the same time as he mentioned oil finds in the USA so thought that he connected them. Yes the nationalism thing could be strong – you can’t push us around stuff, but they must be looking at the global energy and political power too. Was I right that they don’t have their own oil reserves? I haven’t looked up.

        • Murray Olsen 12.1.1.1

          Some whale oil was used for domestic lighting, but it stunk. Kerosene was used as one of the replacements. In the US, this was originally distilled from coal, but the process of distilling it from crude oil was more effective, and I think that started in Pennsylvania around 1850.

          As far as I know, Japan has no oil reserves on their own territory. This was one of the causes behind WW2, where they wanted access to South East Asian oil. It’s also a factor in the number of nuclear power plants in Japan.

  13. Bearded Git 13

    Surely Key will call and election before Banks is sentenced? See:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/9580345/Banks-faces-daunting-new-year

    • weka 13.1

      Early election either way.

      Anyone know what Banks’ parents were jailed for?

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        locking him under the stairs for 18 years? That would explain a lot (as would consorting intimately with demons).

      • NZ Femme 13.1.2

        From memory, they were bootleggers and provided illegal abortions.

        • karol 13.1.2.1

          Archibald Banks, John’s father & his mother:

          I know John Banks — we were hosts at Radio Pacific at the same time and I got to know him well.

          He’s a good man. His background is well enough known — his bank-robber father was a crook and his mother an abortionist, both had serious drinking problems. He grew up in Auckland’s underworld of the fifties and sixties.

          As if a bank-robber wasn’t always a “crook”?

          • McFlock 13.1.2.1.1

            As if a bank-robber wasn’t always a “crook”?

            Have to differentiate the shotgun-holders from the managers somehow :)

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.2.1.2

            Well, there are those thieves with, and those without, honour…

          • phillip ure 13.1.2.1.3

            sheesh karol..!..ever heard of rehabilitation..?

            ..getting yr act a bit more together..?

            ..(i speak as an ex-junkie/ex-con..eh..?..’always’ one..eh..?..)

            ..and as banks’ parents were abortionists..

            ..shouldn’t they be heroes to many here..?

            ..hasn’t that penny dropped yet..?

            ..(just saying..!..)

            phillip ure..

            • NZ Femme 13.1.2.1.3.1

              See, that’s not how I took Karol’s comment. I thought she was pointing out the redundancy of the word “crook” in the original sentence she quoted:

              “…his bank-robber father was a crook…”

              I mean, it’s not really needed. It could have just said:

              “…his father was a bank-robber…”

              YMMV of course!

              • @ nz femme..

                ..i re-read it..and nah..!..

                ..karol is saying once a crook..always a crook..

                ..if i am incorrect in that reading..

                ..i will withdraw and apoligise..

                ..but from here it just looks like a cheap-shot..

                ..and spilling the sins of the father onto the son..

                ..and that ain’t right..

                ..in fact it gives every appearance of being the kind of nz small-town curtain-twitching janet frame skewered/detailed so well..

                ..eh..?

                phillip ure..

                • karol

                  Oh, really, phillip. Of course it’s what NZ Femme said. The crook phrase was redundant – maybe just to stress Archie was a crook?

                  I thought it was a small point – an aside, but also so obvious it didn’t need explaining.

                  • @ karol..so..were you being pedantic/tautology-alerting..?..and not sneering..?

                    ..if not the latter i withdraw and apologise..

                    ..but that’s bye the bye..

                    ..perhaps weka cd explain why she kicked off this witch-hunt on banks..thru the ‘sins’ of his parents..

                    ..and i really would like an answer to the question..

                    ..as banks’ parents were abortionists..

                    ..shouldn’t they be hailed as heroes..by many here..?

                    ..and i include yrslf/weka in that question/category..

                    ..phillip ure..

                • NZ Femme

                  I can’t speak to Karol’s intent obviously, (I’m just not seeing what you are) but when I responded to Weka’s original question, it was off the cuff facts from memory, with no judgement attached. I don’t hold John Banks accountable for his folks, only himself.

                  :::Snap::: @ Karol :)

            • Murray Olsen 13.1.2.1.3.2

              I did not get the same impression of karol’s comment, phillip. I thought she was pointing out the redundancy of describing Archie as a bank robber and a crook. I could be sensitive on such issues if I felt like it. I don’t.

      • veutoviper 13.1.3

        Archie Banks was a notorious career criminal and Banks’ mother Kitty was an alcoholic (Mayor Banks does not drink) and they were both jailed while he was attending Avondale College (after failing to get in to Auckland Grammar for being a “drongo”. Banks is a strange mix of boasting and self-deprecation.)
        His parents’ crime was procuring abortions; this is all spelled out in an authorised biography written some years ago by Paul Goldsmith who is now on the council.

        From this article
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=10662438

        • Ennui 13.1.3.1

          Deuteronomy 24:16 – The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

          So long as Banks gets “put to death” electorally for his multitude of sins.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.3.1.1

            the drone strike case of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and then his US born 16 year old son 2 weeks later seems to contravene this.

            • Ennui 13.1.3.1.1.1

              Wish I could smile CV (or do one of hose smiley objects). If it was not so tragic, but American “Christian” morality is rather odd as the Archdruid points out http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=50

              Try this
              Here are the passages I found in which Jesus tells his followers that they have a duty to take care of children, the poor, and other vulnerable people:

              Matthew 18:6, 18:10, 19:21, 23:14, and 25:31-46; Mark 9:36-37, 10:21, and 12:40; and Luke 10:30-37, 11:41, 12:33, 14:12-14, 18:22, and 20:47.

              Here are the passages in which Jesus tells his followers to pay their taxes without complaining:

              Matthew 5:42, 17:24-27, and 22:19-21; Mark 12:14-17; and Luke 6:30 and 20:21-25.

              Here are the passages in which Jesus tells his followers that they aren’t supposed to obsess about other people’s sins, but should leave that to God, and attend to their own moral failings instead:

              Matthew 7:1-5 and 9:10-13; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 6:37, 6:41-42, 7:44-48, 15:2, 18:10-14, and 19:7; and John 8:2-11.

              And here are the passages in which Jesus tells his followers to blame the poor and vulnerable for their plight, direct benefits toward the already well-to-do at the expense of everyone else, refuse to pay their fair share of taxes, and obsessively denounce and punish the sins of people they don’t like while finding every opportunity to excuse their own sins and those of their friends:

              Deliberately left blank until somebody can find some…

              • chrs 4 that ennui..

                i’m gonna lift it wholesale for whoar..

                ..v.good..

                ..i have felt for some time that we will never get real progressive-change..

                ..until we get the churches onside/beside us..

                ..this is good religious agit-prop to use to help achieve that alliance..

                ..phillip ure..

              • Colonial Viper

                +1

              • greywarbler

                Ennui
                If you want to do a smile – press the key for colon – then it’s colonsmilecolon and same for these –
                😀 😛 💡
                😯 😉 😎 :sad:
                Moving mouth 😆

                • greywarbler

                  Ennui I just meant to list the icons but of course copied them with the colons so got the faces not the names – so match the face with the design –
                  grin razz idea shock wink cool sad
                  lol.

          • veutoviper 13.1.3.1.2

            Agreed, Ennui – that is to you last sentence.

            Good quote from Deuteronomy, also. Like you, I changed my ‘pseudonym’ – previously Deuto, short for …. Not so much to do with the bible, rather more to do with cats and ‘Cats’. Know cattiness when I see, hear, read it. Used to be something of an expert myself, but have mellowed with age.

      • Murray Olsen 13.1.4

        Archie’s main claim to fame was as a fence. Apparently he was an honourable man, his word was his bond and all that stuff. John’s mother doesn’t have such fame in the folklore, which is possibly a reflection of the times.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      It wouldn’t surprise me if John Key announces the election date this month, like he did at the start of 2011, to be seen to be ‘principled’ and above petty politics.

      Furthermore, this belief that the government would fall if Banks lost his seat is, once again, incorrect. The government has a confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party so will be able to win any vote of no confidence. I daresay that breaking that agreement would hurt the MP more than it would hurt National. Banks leaving parliament means National would only have trouble passing right-wing legislation, which seems like it wouldn’t be a problem in this case as there would only be a few months left of the term – they can arrange for urgency before then to pass any legislation that would require Banks’ vote.

      Finally, calling an election because a minor party MP is removed from parliament really taints National a lot – they want to keep as much distance from Banks as possible, so it’s better to carry on with ‘business as usual’.

      • Bearded Git 13.2.1

        Lanth, I was talking more about the ordure that will fly around Banks’ sentencing and it’s association with Key (let’s have a cuppa) dragging down National’s poll ratings.

        Well aware the ‘orrible twosome have hitched themselves to National for this term, and so ending the Maori Party.

        • Lanthanide 13.2.1.1

          I can’t find Banks’ actual court dates, but it’s scheduled for 10 days in May.

          Are you saying that John Key will shortly announce an election before May? Or that after Banks is convicted but before he’s sentenced, Key will call an election then?

          Since the budget is delivered in May, and National definitely want to get in a 6th one, I think we can rule the first possibility out.

          I’ve already described why I think the 2nd won’t happen, not the least of which is that by that point it will be ~6 months until an election in November anyway so the Epsom seat can be declared vacant and not filled anyway.

          • veutoviper 13.2.1.1.1

            The trial has apparently been set to start on May 19 according to this MSM article

            http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8769177/act-leader-banks-returns-to-court

            As Lanthanide said, it is expected to take 10 days. So, unless Key and Co break with convention, the trial will coincide with the lead up to, and aftermath of the 2014 Budget – usually held in the second half of May. Convenient somewhat?

            My money is on an early election – possibly as early as early/mid July, or in August/September – announced after the Royal visit or on Budget Day with a short lead-in time only (can be as short as six weeks’ notice).

            Key will want to capitalise on the warm fuzzies, photo ops etc from the Royal Visit in early April – and also overshadow both the Dotcom compensation hearing in March, and possible extradition hearing currently scheduled for April, but expected to again be delayed until July, with possible ‘revelations’ unfavourable to/re Key.

            I don’t believe he will leave it until November, as he will be hoping to attend the G20 Summit in Brisbane on 15/16 November 2014. NZ is not a member of G20 but Australia is hosting the 2014 G20 meetings and have invited NZ to attend the meetings for the first time.

            http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/1770-New-Zealand-to-join-2014-G20-meetings.html

            • Lanthanide 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Good point, I hadn’t thought about the G20 summit. Still, October is still a feasible target.

              • veutoviper

                Yes, an October election is possible. In addition to the issue in my earlier comment, my gut feeling is that Key will not use the same strategy as in 2011 – ie announcing the election at the beginning of the year – but will go for the opposite this time around.

                IMO he will not want to give Cunliffe the time to establish a following/presence for too long, or give too much forewarning in the hopes that Labour will be behind in developing/announcing policies, getting their electorate candidates sorted etc. The number of Nats who have already announced their retirements etc suggests that National are well ahead in sorting their list.

                A mid-winter election could also result in an even lower voter turnout than in 2011 due to weather, which would probably also work to National’s advantage.

                • Lanthanide

                  But don’t forget that ‘early’ elections don’t reflect well on the incumbent.

                  Labour and Helen got a lot of flak for going early in 2002 (which prevented me from voting, as I turned 18 in October). The strategists reckon they did better by going early, but we can’t really know for sure.

                  • Bearded Git

                    mmm given the above discussion maybe you (Lanth and Veuto) are right and I’m wrong-election is likely in Sept-Oct. Banks is likely to be lead of to the cells in July, having been booted out of parliament earlier.

                    IMO this is close enough to the election for Key/National to suffer collateral damage in terms of loss in poll ratings. Labour and Greens cannot say “John Key’s mate John Banks is in chokey” often enough during the campaign.

                    • veutoviper

                      I am still of the opinion that it will be earlier – eg July – but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge in the next few months, so anything could happen based on the ever-changing situation in 2013.

            • Tim 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Moral of story: LABOUR, GREENS, be prepared to go AT ANY TIME! Surprise will be just one of Natzis tactics, alongside Mr Slip Slime Dirty Trix and his enterage of the 10% including a compliant media (playing their last round).

              • Anne

                Cunliffe has been well aware of the possibility of an early election from the time he was elected leader. I think that is why we didn’t hear too much from him in the last couple of months of the year. He was busy doing the behind the scenes campaign preparation – putting strategy into place etc. That’s my understanding anyway.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yep. Got my LEC campaign meeting tomorrow, Anne. Got a superb candidate, a small but perfectly formed team and a will to win. Bring it on!

                • McFlock

                  dec-jan always quiet politically, and difficult for opposition to get coverage. No point doing king-hits when they’ll be quickly enveloped and forgotten by the election.

                  The hubbub will start up in late feb – I’d expect about 50% of policy announced before campaign starts, with a couple more flagship lab/grn/mana complementary policy announcements (like NZpower and housing). Grn on 12-15% and lab on 36-40% by start of campaign is my hope.

                • Tim

                  “I think that is why we didn’t hear too much from him in the last couple of months of the year.”
                  Exactly my thoughts ….. although hopefully he’s not losing sight of the old guard a-wishin an-a-hopin he fucks up, and occasionally completely stuffing things up with media pronouncements and pontifications – after having looked at their gorgeous image in the mirror.
                  [Looks at Parker, Maid Marion, Billy Bunter from Wainui, and others sideways]
                  Foot shooting and clinging to romantic notions of how life could have been (if only) are trademarks of a certain clique that only have their egos to cling to (and by GOD they’ll hold out – probably even after I, and a few others piss on their graves.
                  (I’m sorry your honour, I was drunk at the time after visiting the local supermarket and taking advantage of a loss-leader item, and didn’t know what I was doing!
                  Awwwe – you poor poor thang – I sentence you to a King Hit – stand down!)

                  Btw … there’ll be quite a few gerries up on that charge before the sun goes down for the last time (I’ll be the one in the wheelchair)

            • lprent 13.2.1.1.1.3

              The trial has apparently been set to start on May 19..

              As Lanthanide said, it is expected to take 10 days. So, unless Key and Co break with convention, the trial will coincide with the lead up to, and aftermath of the 2014 Budget – usually held in the second half of May. Convenient somewhat?

              Have a look at what type of trial it is. Jury or judge.

              The difference are that a judge will often reserve their judgement decision, often for several weeks. Whereas a jury will (usually if not hung) deliver a decision at the end of the trial (and the judge will frequently reserve the their sentencing decision).

              If you look at the rules on MPs, only a *conviction* of the offense is required (ie based on potential prison term) to cause the effects on the coalition.

              Timing details are everything

      • Will@Welly 13.2.2

        I agree Key will go early, but I’d be very surprised if he announces the date prior to calling the election, like he did in 2011. Then National outsmarted the opposition, by refusing to debate anything whatsoever until after the Rugby World Cup. That left just 5 weeks. Democracy it wasn’t.
        My pick, and the one hesitation is what’s happening rugby wise, is that Key will call the election the day after Will and Kate leave New Zealand. Call me a cynic, not really, but the Woman’s mags will be lined up to print stories, Key will be featured right in the middle of it all, the right wing media will be fawning themselves over Wills and Kate, and all that publicity will too much to let slip. Key’s ratings should be sky high because of their visit.

        • McFlock 13.2.2.1

          the other point is that if banks goes the MP might decide to go at any time (I have the ompression that they’re still in the midst of a generational leadership transition). So if Key declares a Nov election in Jan, and loses confidence in June, he looks weak.

          But if he “spontaneously” calls a snap election after a royal visit, he looks like the same fuckwit that’s worked for him for years.

          • Lanthanide 13.2.2.1.1

            “So if Key declares a Nov election in Jan, and loses confidence in June, he looks weak.”

            Does he? Or do the Maori Party look petty for bringing an already-scheduled election forwards for purely political reasons, breaking their promises in the process.

            That has to be countered with the ‘mana’ the MP might gain from bringing down a right-wing government. I suspect there’s probably more mana in keeping your promises than breaking them, though, especially if the resultant election sees National win again – the MP would be unlikely to get another deal from Key.

            • McFlock 13.2.2.1.1.1

              The Maori party can choose any pretext for knocking out the govt. If the pretext holds up to the electorate, then it’s not a petty reason and key looks bad for being incapable of holdng a coalition together. If the pretext looks petty, then Key can’t even hold a coalition of children. The Prime Minister cannot look like a victim of a smaller party’s whims.

              That’s why I think Key would be stupid to announce a november election this far out.

              I suspect a lolly scramble budget following a royal visit and using the pretext of Banks’ trial (regardless of outcome) would be the most opportune time for the nats to announce/hold the election.

              • Lanthanide

                4th quarter election is running at 80c on iPredict, so if you’re right about your 3rd quarter prediction you could make a good return on it.

                Also I don’t think the MP will turn on him, not this close to an election, and take the risk of not getting back into government if National were to win.

                Unless there were some extreme circumstances, like Key retiring as leader & PM and the MP used that as an excuse, or National just had terrible polling (say around 39-40%) so it became clear that Labour would win the election, the MP could then claim they were doing the public’s will. But otherwise I just don’t see it happening.

                • McFlock

                  I’m not discounting a 4Q election, I’m just doubtful that key will be announcing the election well in advance like he did last time – the possibility of a steep nat plumment after the early year’s good-news events would be too great, and that would make their current and future partners shaky.

              • veutoviper

                The Maori Party may not even need to choose a pretext. They have not supported every piece of legislation put up by National – eg asset sales – where the Dunne/Banks votes have been vital.

                Another factor is the absentee rules in respect of voting. As I commented on a number of times in 2013, the MP only registered two votes, not three, on many occasions due to absences from Parliament due to these rules. IIRC, it would only take all three of the MP members to be absent without prior approval of the Speaker for their votes to drop to one or nil (I cannot recall the rules exactly, and don’t have time now to check) – thereby ‘inadvertently’ allowing a crucial (to National) vote to fail, if the Epsom seat was also vacant.

                Labour’s numbers in the House are now back up to full strength after being down for various periods in 2013 due to Parekura Horomia’s death and Dalziel’s departure; so National will need all their coalition numbers in 2014.

                These are also reasons why I believe that Key will call an early election, in addition to those in my two earlier comments above in this thread,

                • Lanthanide

                  “The Maori Party may not even need to choose a pretext. They have not supported every piece of legislation put up by National – eg asset sales – where the Dunne/Banks votes have been vital.”

                  But that’s the entire point of their supply and confidence agreement. They guarantee their vote on matters on supply and confidence only. So far they’ve kept their word and there’s no reason to break it.

                  • veutoviper

                    Agreed, Lanthanide, re supply and confidence agreement; and that they have kept their word on that. But also often with only two votes, not three due to the parliamentary absence rules. (The particular ‘quirk’ in the rules only seems to affect the MP at present).

                    But Turia and Sharples are often absent from the House, and it would not surprise me if this increases with their impending retirements and they forget to get the required approval to allow them to still register the one vote they can get when they are both absent. Time will tell.

                • Rosie

                  Thank you Lanthanide, veutoviper, bearded git, Will@Welly, Tim and McFlock. I really enjoyed that discussion about election timing possibilities. Something I had been wondering about given the influence of scheduled events around Dotcom and Banks.

                  Wish the Windsors’ weren’t popping in with the new bubba though. It’s an unwelcome candyfloss coated distraction in what could otherwise be a glee fest of come uppances for the high tard of Nu Zuland.

              • Anne

                +1 McFlock @ 3:41

                Bear in mind also Dotcom’s extradition hearing. The last I heard, the FBI were looking to have it delayed until October 2014 on the pretext they weren’t going to be ready sooner. Now that would fit in nicely with an election around August wouldn’t it. Anything negative that comes out about Key – and there clearly is something – isn’t going to matter.

                • veutoviper

                  Hi Anne. I am interested in your comments re the FBI seeking to have the extradition hearing delayed until Oct. Have you any links etc for this information? I obviously must have missed this, despite following the case closely.

                  Would not surprise me, but I also think the separate but related ongoing legal issues /hearings re the release of seized records back to Dotcom to allow him and the others to prepare their defence will also affect matters and timing of the extradition hearing.

                  Thanks also for you unnumbered comment re Cunliffe being well prepared for an early election. Did not doubt that he would be doing so, but as you are closer to the inner workings of Labour, that is reassuring. I also understand that electoral candidates will be finalised by the end of Feb, which is also good.

                  • Anne

                    I think it was brought up by someone (an American I think) during an interview on Radio NZ in December. Trying to trace it but no luck so far. The FBI are just requesting a further delay at this point… so it will be some time in Feb/March before it will actually be heard and a decision made. It’s getting suspicious in my view – these FBI initiated delays.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There are a number of possibilities. One set revolves around the Federal case having suffered a major (or fatal) set back of some kind. Whether it is legal advice received which indicates charges against Dotcom would fail (perhaps for reasons of technicality), an inability to find or access incriminating data they had made assumptions about, or some other factor in a similar vein. I can hope against hope, but sadly seriously doubt, that lack of cooperation from NZ authorities plays a role somewhere.

                      Which leads to a related second set of possibilities. Letting Dotcom off scot free is no doubt politically unpalatable to some parties on both sides of the Pacific. So the delay may be related to special law which is to be passed specifically targeting Dotcom (such special law being a favourite of totalitarian regimes still interested in maintaining sack cloth like rags of legitimacy), waiting to see if his new services eg MEGA somehow incriminate him, or perhaps simply stalling the whole process in order to not make it obvious to one and all that the whole thing has been a contrived bloody cockup from the get-go.

                    • Anne

                      …or perhaps simply stalling the whole process in order to not make it obvious to one and all that the whole thing has been a contrived bloody cockup from the get-go.

                      That’s my pick.

  14. tricledrown 14

    Weather skeptics reasoning the weather goes up and down like that waving his finger up and down wow is that the comefy section of the news.

  15. Bill 15

    I won’t be commenting on this.

    I’m merely providing the link because I found it a thought provoking and insightful and think that some people might appreciate it being signposted.

    Link fixed.

    • weka 15.1

      Very good Bill, lots of layers in that. It’s a shame if you don’t comment as I think your perspectives would be helpful (given your relative semi-neutrality).

      • greywarbler 15.1.1

        I like this bit from the link Nuclear Unicorn – It’s a thoughtful piece and heartfelt.
        So much online social justice activism has become hyper-vigilant against sin, great or small, past or present.

    • just saying 15.2

      Hi Bill,
      I read the link. I think it’s a pity that you don’t want to comment because beyond all the anger (note – not rage) I also wanted to understand. Maybe that’s one kind of ‘walking and chewing gum’ that just can’t be done, and I think there are tight limits to what can be achieved in a forum like this anyway.

      I love this song – it has always felt like it was written for the family I grew up in.

      Like Soldiers Do – Billy Bragg

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpIbPh44pH4

      Blue eyes fighting the gray eyes
      Fighting the tears
      Armed to the teeth for a war of words
      Reachin’ all the years

      I advanced across a poppy field
      I saw the gleam as you raised your shield
      And love screamed down
      With the sun behind its back

      Our fathers were all soldiers
      Shall we be soldiers too?
      Fighting and falling like soldiers do

      Nothing is clear in this tactical
      Unclear war
      I can’t be bothered to find out
      What we are fighting for

      No one can win this war of the senses
      I see no reason to drop my defenses
      So stand fast my emotions
      Rally ’round my shaking heart

      Our fathers were all soldiers
      Shall we be soldiers too?
      Fighting and falling like soldiers do

      Blue eyes fighting the gray eyes
      Fighting the tears
      Armed to the teeth for a war of words
      Reachin’ all the years

      I advanced across a poppy field
      I saw the gleam as you raised your shield
      And love screamed down
      With the sun behind its back

      I knew once again I was under attack
      So stand fast my emotions
      Rally ’round my shaking heart

      Our fathers were all soldiers
      Shall we be soldiers too?
      Fighting and falling like soldiers
      Fighting and falling like soldiers
      Fighting and falling like soldiers do

    • KJT 15.3

      Appreciate the link, Bill.

      Helps to put some things into perspective.

  16. Tracey 18

    ” GOP critics have said the Fed has inflated stock and real estate prices by pumping money into the markets, creating investment bubbles that could burst and wound the economy anew.”

    We didnt have qe, as advocated by the green party, but we have an inflated auckland property market.

    put money in. Pull money out. Both equal inflated house prices…

    weka

    I say nimbys for a couple of reasons…

    prof people with access to media
    sneddon a lawyer and one other named. Lawyers are very good at wanting to stop something for self interest and the ability to make it seem altruistic.

    my brother is in a similar socio econmoic bracket to these folks and he is very protective of his part time piece of paradise… despises the building going on in what used to be paddocks by his beach front and the noise of people it brings.

    lastly I wanted to provoke a discussion. Thanks to your queries and others responses I learned a smidge more but remain convinced the white upper class wants separation from the great unwashed

    • Murray Olsen 18.1

      Thinking of their attitude as nimbyism sits comfortably with my prejudices about the rich and their rural retreats. Once their particular mansion is finished and the road is sealed, they generally want all development to stop. I say why wait that long? If they don’t like what happens on public land, they shouldn’t have built there in the first place.

      There has been a similar problem over here, on the Gold Coast. Some people with houses near the beach are annoyed about a walking track that passes in front of their sections. The local right wing politicians want to privatise the land and sell it to them for a song, so they won’t have to see the great unwashed crossing their lines of sight.

  17. Saarbo 19

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11182520

    More brilliance from the NZ Herald. Reckons that Onion growers plan to place forward cover for sales at a “higher” cross rate rather than take the predicted lower spot rate in march…just weird. They are exporters not importers, locking in the higher rate with forward cover will cost them money.

  18. (this is your life..)

    “..You must not paint your house a wrong color – collect rain water – or hand out sandwiches to the homeless –

    – but a uniformed pervert is free to diddle your pudenda before you board that jet plane – ma’am.

    Just be glad you ain’t on that no-fly list.

    we must donate half of our shriveling paychecks to the health extortionist company.

    An army of goons are also overhearing our phone conversations – and reading our emails –

    – and the top thug of all can even have any of us snagged – medievally tortured – or shot –

    – without charge – and in secret –

    – and if we rebel – we’re only doing it in the prescribed manners –

    – by abusing or mutilating ourselves – lashing out at other hapless sinkers –

    – or best yet – waving cute signs for an hour or two.

    Meanwhile – those who have herded us all into this quicksand – are glorified and worshipped.

    Too often – our hatred of suffering is transformed into a contempt for sufferers –

    – and – as programmed – we marvel at the undeservingly or criminally powerful.

    Over and over again – we vote for our own doom –

    – and the more serious our predicament –

    – the more trivial the news that’s jammed down our throats…”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37314.htm

    phillip ure…

    • Tim 20.1

      +1
      We’re on the way here too phillip.
      Imagine if you will, two international students (conned by one of those tertiary institutions – since gone under – promising the world but delivering SFA through false advertising)
      Imagine their folks raise the tens of thousands necessary to get their kids to the land of milk and honey
      Then imagine after they complete their ‘degrees’ with flying colours, they find work (minimum wage of course and after paying various consultant and government dept fees).

      Imagine they get bashed up, their documentation and only means of communication stolen by a few who’ve been let in by the local alcohol pumping station, and who as a result have gone feral.

      Imagine getting dawn raided (of course we don’t do that anymore, OH NO) by ‘officials’ looking for ‘illegals’ – luckily photocopies of passports were held elsewhere.

      Then imagine the costs of replacing doccumentation AND the time taken to do so (travel, time of work to do so, fees – such as over $100 for a replacement sticker ffs!). Time taken off btw posing a threat to their continued employment.
      ….. all up …. well over 2 grand including GST, plus racist jibes from gubbamint officials in various agencies.

      What a nasty, petty, punitive, fascist little state we’ve become!

      Kind of Rough Justice if you ask me! I’ll be checking out the antidote tomorrow at the Pines, Wellington

      • Tim 20.1.1

        …. oh, and btw
        there are local bodies right here in little ole NuZuln who are for all practical purposes, enforcing (or at least attempting to) those same limitations on rain water collection.
        …. all the while not-so-much-concerned with collecting the alternative ( of shit-laden H2O – o…o…oh) ‘water’ from a stream – somewhat downstream from those lugzurrrryis images of the truly green green 100% (only slightly tainted with cow ahit – BUT …. apparently better than rain water).
        Fuk ’em all Phill. Ignore it – best policy, but be prepared to shuv it up them if ever they have the balls to contest

      • Murray Olsen 20.1.2

        The biggest difference I can see from the original dawn raids is that the current ones are televised and turned into entertainment. NZ On Air pays to make crude propaganda for racist immigration policies so that NAct voting morons can sit on their fat arses thinking about how that bunch of Asians won’t be stealing their jobs. It’s not hard to see how fascism would be popular.

  19. (heh..!..(that’s all i’m saying..!)..heh..!..)

    http://boingboing.net/2014/01/06/passive-aggressive-notes-bes.html

    “..The annual best-of collections from Passive Aggressive Notes are always a great read –

    – and this year is no exception..”

    phillip ure..

  20. aerobubble 22

    India, Sir Lanka, Sub-Sahara, Arab nations all sign an agreement, to dna
    all state public servents. Charities, involved in sex and slavery crimes
    likewise collect familiar matches with the missing, enslaved and raped
    (and also fetuses).

    Cross matching is automated for anonymity, but when matches are found
    between say military officers and raped Tamils fetuses. Or sex slaves
    in a NY, London, Dubai brothel is matched with their African sub-saharan
    families enslaved daughter.

    Children in the future worried about their heritage could
    also match their own dna against these databases and find their parents
    aren’t theirs but paid to buy them, or worse, kept the offspring from
    their real enslaved mothers.

    Now imagine the immediate threat, when any public servant, any slave
    trader, any brothel owner, worried that they may in future be criminally
    charged. It would have immediate effect to chill rapes in India
    and Sri Lakia, to sex slavery in major global cities. Its would
    show those countries also who are supporting global slavery,
    the sex trade and rapists, that need servants of the state to ply their
    criminal trades.

    So is there a dna database without borders? Such a powerful tool.

    I dedicate this post to Caroline Cox, her emotional voyeurism, her
    spiritual conceit, and her unwillingness to take the wrongs to the wrong
    doers, in a NR podcast 15 dec.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      A powerful tool indeed. Consider also the cross database access that the intelligence services have. Their ability to match information that was never intended to be matched or alter/add/subtract records in various ways is, I believe, unparalleled, and the implications for civil life as yet, barely thought through.

    • Murray Olsen 22.2

      I suppose you’ll tell me that if I don’t keep sub-Saharan sex slaves, I have nothing to fear? No thanks.

    • McFlock 23.1

      your inverted perspective strikes again

    • Pete 23.2

      On the one hand I’m thinking “yay, jobs for the beleagured Dunedin economy”, on the other hand I’m thinking “this is not going to help climate change”. On a third mutated hand I’m slightly worried the fracking might trigger an earthquake and tsunami, obliterating my beloved home town.

      • McFlock 23.2.1

        I’m worried about the cruise ship season if the pipe breaks.

      • Morrissey 23.2.2

        “yay, jobs for the beleagured Dunedin economy”

        That’s a technical way of saying: “Yay, the shareholders of Shell, OMV and Mitsui are going to get a lot of money, and the New Zealand taxpayer will clear up the mess.”

      • weka 23.2.3

        On the one hand I’m thinking “yay, jobs for the beleagured Dunedin economy”, on the other hand I’m thinking “this is not going to help climate change”. On a third mutated hand I’m slightly worried the fracking might trigger an earthquake and tsunami, obliterating my beloved home town.

        Not to worry, think of the helicopter tourism when the next lot of icebergs float past. There’s always the disaster tourism if things go badly. Plenty of jobs there.

      • Pasupial 23.2.4

        Pete

        What jobs for Dunedites? The exploratory ship and workers will all be from overseas. There may be a bit of a boost for the town’s; hotels, bars, and brothels if any of them ever come ashore, but that’s about all I can think of.

        Also, this seems more of a conventional drilling operation (albeit in very deep water), rather than one involving fracking. I have to assume that you’ve been eating produce from Taranaki’s “landfarms” which would explain that “third mutated hand”.

  21. karol 25

    That cyclist killed at the Parnell Rise incident. It’s depressing. My condolences to all concerned.

    I have long felt there was always an accident waiting to happen at that intersection. However, I had thought it would be a pedestrian that would be hit. Motorists continue to turn at the lights after the lights turn red. Lorries/trucks, especially long ones, are the worst for pedestrians as the trucks take so long to clear the intersection, often after the pedestrian green light has turned red.

    Haven’t been there for a while, so maybe they have improved the intersection recently. And maybe that truck driver wasn’t rushing to take the turn rather than wait for the next green light.

    But, for a truck and cyclist to meet and impact – something wrong with the road provisions.

    • McFlock 25.1

      In dunedin, the scenario that seemed to really take a toll on cyclists was when drivers of parked cars opened doors into cycle lanes without looking, cyclist couldn’t stop in time and goes under truck. Last one I read about, the truck driver didn’t even know the cyclist had gone under his wheels – he’d purposely left good distance between the two and thought he’d passed without incident. Cops managed to tell him on the outskirts of town.

      Since then they’ve roughly doubled the width of the cycle lanes – hopefully that will really cut things down (although I’ve noticed more pricks driving with their wheels in the cycle lane – although it seems to be about the same numbers as cyclists who cruise through red lights).

      • karol 25.1.1

        Well, we can all make bad moves on occasions, but I think that cyclists and trucks shouldn’t be anywhere near in the same traffic stream.

        • McFlock 25.1.1.1

          yeah, dunedin’s fecking abysmal like that – no hgv bypass, with the main highway going straight through the middle of town, right next to the regional tertiary care hospital and going through the university campus. Throw in a moronic and user-expensive public transport system, and frankly I’m surprised we don’t get more traffic fatalities.

  22. TA 26

    Stop someone voting National – Legend

    • Rosie 26.1

      Great to hear it thanks TA.

      There is so much good craic going on on Open Mike today, barely time to reflect and no time to respond except to say that the music will always amplify the voices of the collective thought and experience of those who are itching for change. Big ups too to just saying for the classic Billy Bragg.

  23. joe90 27

    About that big freeze.

    Snow and ice are disappearing from the Arctic region at unprecedented rates, leaving behind relatively warmer open water, which is much less reflective to incoming sunlight than ice. That, among other factors, is causing the northern polar region of our planet to warm at a faster rate than the rest of the northern hemisphere. (And, just to state the obvious, global warming describes a global trend toward warmer temperatures, which doesn’t preclude occasional cold-weather extremes.)

    Since the difference in temperature between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes helps drive the jet stream (which, in turn, drives most US weather patterns), if that temperature difference decreases, it stands to reason that the jet stream’s winds will slow down. Why does this matter?

    Well, atmospheric theory predicts that a slower jet stream will produce wavier and more sluggish weather patterns, in turn leading to more frequent extreme weather. And, turns out, that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing in recent years. Superstorm Sandy’s uncharacteristic left hook into the New Jersey coast in 2012 was one such example of an extremely anomalous jet stream blocking pattern.

    When these exceptionally wavy jet stream patterns occur mid-winter, it’s a recipe for cold air to get sucked southwards. This week, that’s happening in spectacular fashion.

    http://qz.com/163636/how-global-warming-can-make-cold-snaps-even-worse/

    Interestingly the Arctic ice is very near its all-time low for this time of year.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    And the process was predicted in 2004.

    By disturbing a massive ocean current, melting Arctic sea ice might trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.

    That’s the paradoxical scenario gaining credibility among many climate scientists. The thawing of sea ice covering the Arctic could disturb or even halt large currents in the Atlantic Ocean. Without the vast heat that these ocean currents deliver—comparable to the power generation of a million nuclear power plants—Europe’s average temperature would likely drop 5 to 10°C (9 to 18°F), and parts of eastern North America would be chilled somewhat less.

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/

  24. Philj 28

    Xox
    As the climate changes, established weather patterns will change, causing freaky weather to happen. The IPCC has detailed modelling showing a range of forecasts. A huge amount of of information.

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    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    5 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    6 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

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