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Open mike 12/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 12th, 2012 - 117 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…

117 comments on “Open mike 12/09/2012”

  1. wyndham 1

    WOW !!

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?feed=rss2

    [lprent: probably this post on ECan and the pretty obvious intent by the government to remove democracy from Christchurch and cantabury ]

    • just saying 1.1

      Freaking outstanding. A must-read.
      Thanks for linking.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        +1. Frightening and should be a call to arms! :twisted:

        • grumpy 1.1.1.1

          It’s no secret that I am a big fan of Puddles and last time I got into an exchange of views with her, I got my arse delivered in a sling. However……I have another view on ECAN.

          I have had horrific experience of the “old” ECAN and the subversion of science by politicians both inside and outside the organisation. I have been in meetings where ECAN staff have stated that “no matter what the science showed, they would not budge”.

          Series of restructuring robbed ECAN of a lot of it’s best technical staff to the extent that now most of the expertise on Canterbury groundwater resides in external consultancies.

          During the Rakaia Selwyn hearing before commissioners, the commissioners took the unprecedented step of issuing a memo of concern to ECAN that they believed that ECAN may not follow the commissioner’s findings.

          A few councillors with strong links to green causes and a few key activist staff had subverted a good organisation, driven out it’s top scientists and were waging a war against ratepayers, other councillors and the remaining competent technical staff.

          I see that those making most noise currently fall into that camp.

          • Puddleglum 1.1.1.1.1

            Hi grumpy,

            Your description of your experiences of the claimed ‘unscientific’ arguments of some members of the ECan staff is a good example of one of the main points I was making: The idea that collective decisions (i.e., political decisions) should increasingly be seen as technical matters that can be made through objective, science-based, technical procedures.

            So, thanks for demonstrating my point :-)

            The post, in any event, wasn’t about my views of how ECan was or is operating (at the operational level), so I’m not sure why you believe you have a different view from me on that.

            My argument is a simple one: Any problems that may have existed with ECan – and that point itself has been debated (e.g., Kerry Burke’s letter to The Press in this morning’s paper) – should have been corrected through the democratic process.

            There’s a value in democratic processes that goes far beyond the pragmatics of getting things done. It’s about how best to hold a group (e.g., society) together over the long-term by distributing power evenly (or as evenly as possible).

            If you’re right that ECan was ‘hijacked’ by some greenies who scared off all the scientists, then let that be part of the debate during the next ECan elections. That way ‘we’, the people, will hear all sides of that particular argument and ‘we’ will decide who we believe or support.

            Democracy, after all, is just a ‘free market’ in arguments aimed at persuading each other. And, there’s good reason to believe that, human reasoning evolved through, and in, argumentative contexts.

            As the authors in that link argue, better decisions get made, on average, in groups than by the ‘best’ individuals who comprise the group, largely because our reasoning abilities are all about trying to promote our own argument and trying to find holes in the arguments of others, rather than to get at ‘the truth’. In fact, ‘the truth’ is better attained at the group/collective level.

            That’s why humans evolved to do so much arguing:

            While there can hardly be any archaeological evidence for the claim that argumentation already played an important role in early human groups, we note that anthropologists have repeatedly observed people arguing in small-scale traditional societies (Boehm et al. 1996; Brown 1991; Mercier, in press a).

            At the group level these argumentative reasoning skills get used – by the collective – to come to better decisions than anyone could make alone.

            That’s one reason I prefer democracy rather than rule by experts.

            The interesting thing, grumpy, is that my preference is based on the relevant science – now you wouldn’t not be persuaded by the science, would you??

            [And, if it’s any consolation to people who argue a lot on blogs, the authors conclude:

            we note that the argumentative theory of reasoning should be congenial to those of us who enjoy spending endless hours debating ideas – but this, of course, is not an argument for (or against) the theory.“]

            BTW, I appreciate your comments here. 

            • Grumpy 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem with the “democratic process” as regards ECAN is that there really isn’t one. The low voter turnout ( around 25%) threw up a disproportionate result, so that a minority political view was able, with management and staff collusion, to take over – or at least subvert the operations of the council.
              The subsequent hounding out of those with different views, usually scientists, led to an organisation ruled by dogma.
              ECAN started to lose every hearing on the science.

              As you say, I would be persuaded by the science. As an engineer, I think quite a bit of science, that is why I hate to see it bastardised.

              It was telling, that in my case, you got diametricaly opposed technical opinions depending on which scientist gave the opinion – and the management refused to allow peer review.

              I guess the government just don’t feel enough has changed. Bear in mind that Labour almost got around to the same action but was saved by the election and that cleanout then fell to National.

    • ad 1.2

      Terrific writing. Great stuff. Loved that quote no technocratic rationality reigning righteous over democratic input when solving problems – had the same kind of suspicion as Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology. Lots of ways to use this article in the office here. Very helpful.

      • prism 1.2.1

        Yes great writing. Would it be presumptuous to ask for some paragraphs. Then can read and pause to take in the points then continue. At present it is a wall of words.

    • Carol 1.3

      When people post a link, could people please say what it is to, and why we might be interested in reading it. My browsers have been loading very slowly for the last day or so. That link won’t load at all…. just keeps spinning & then times out.

      [lprent: I am unsurprised. It is a RSS feed link. I have put a link to the actual post on a note. ]

  2. redfred 2

    Given the likely demographics of Herald online Poll of The Day “Which Party would get your vote in an election today?” The Nats must be bloody worried, although it looks like Colin Craig could have been busy on his VPN services.

  3. Amongst the continuous bene bashing and the falling apart of the asset sales program a further issue has dodged the headlines but in the long term may be more important than any other issue.

    The Governments Climate Change Response (rendering the ETS practically toothless) Amendment Bill is making its way through Parliament.  The bill is 79 pages of highly technical law changes but essentially does a couple of things:

    1.  It postpones indefinitely Agriculture’s entry into the NZETS,
    2.  The price cap for carbon will be extended,
    3.  It further subsidizes polluters by extending the two credits for one scheme for a further three years.

    The process is eye watering.  The bill was introduced on August 20 and submissions closed on September 10, a short four weeks later.  The select committee report is scheduled for October 17.  The Government is smashing this through.

    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright has in her typical blunt style said that the bill will render the ETS “almost toothless”. 

    In 50 years time what does the Government expect us to say to our children?

    • Dr Terry 3.1

      What will our children say about this Government and the many who support it?

      • fisiani 3.1.1

        Our children will probably say that the

        OECD says NZ spends greater proportion of govt spending on education than any other country. 21.2% vs OECD average of 13%.

        Great that National proves it values education and disproves the ranting here.

        [lprent: Fis, do you remember that you should link to support your assertions of fact? Or say why you are not. Not doing so is troll tactic to generate meaningless conversations. I get irritated because the resulting discussions are boring to read – and I don’t like being bored. In this case as Mickey points out the figures you were quoting were probably from the 2009 report and reported the Labour governments performance. So I suspect the omission of a link was deliberate.

        One month ban for being a stupid troll again and not linking… You have actually doing pretty well about avoiding moderator attention this time, so we won’t play the full doubleup anti-troll response. See you on Oct 12 and we’ll see if you can resist your old habits then. ]

        • mickysavage 3.1.1.1

          Oh Fisi it was for 2009 which is directly related to the 2008 budget.  You should be thanking Helen Clark.  I am sure the figures are now worse …

        • BillODrees 3.1.1.2

          Fisani
          Our children will probably say that the

          Federated Farmers ( the Farmere Trade Union) and Fonterra had very very well funded Lobby operation in Parliament that give then 1st dibs on any policy they choose. And that their members contributed heavily to the National Party election fund.

          Our children will probably say that the

          2012 generation were very easily fooled and bought by interest groups who wanted profit now, without any investment in the future. They will accuse us of massive inter generational theft, greed and stupidity.

        • Urban Raskal 3.1.1.3

          Don’t let the date get in the way of your cool story though.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The Government is smashing this through.

      I’m amazed that they didn’t just eliminate it but, then, I suppose they have to at least try and look like they’re doing something about climate change even though they’re not.

  4. Logie97 4

    Free Trade Talks – Key on Morning Report this morning

    Apparently the Japanese governement has the difficult position of having to placate its strong “agricultural lobby” – very influential apparently.

    Strong agricultural lobby has never ever been a problem for countries like New Zealand in its free trade talks. Yeah Right.

    In fact try to get any government policy change in any area (even social ) and the first port of call for cabinet is “what do the cow-cockies think …?
    …Broad Band?
    Water rights?
    Driving license age?
    ECAN?

    • Bill 4.1

      About Japan’s agriculture. Remember that wee incident at Fukushima? Given that more radiation was released than at Chernobyl and given that radiation is still being released. And given that there are still areas in Europe where food production is prohibited (eg certain farms in Wales, areas in Germany etc) because of persistent radiation contamination from Chernobyl…What is this fucking government doing with regards monitoring imports of fish, monitoring of migratory fish catches, monitoring of Japanese food imports and the monitoring of non-food imports from Japan?

      • Bill 4.1.1

        The process of monitoring and – where potential risks are identified – testing, is the same approach as that being taken by other countries. (Like the US policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’…ie, no possibility of identifying potential risk? -B) Our assessment and targeted testing activity will complement our work with international food safety agencies and importers to monitor the situation. To date no relevant food has arrived from the areas of interest and as such no testing has been required.

        So the tuna and the mutton birds (migratory) and theseaweed, noodles, wasabi etc are all A-OK. Because no fucker is monitoring fuck all. That’s a relief. Pass the soy sauce will you….

        http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/japanese-earthquake/maf-monitoring-japanese-imports.htm

    • AAMC 4.2

      What Japan is weighing up is whether to go West with the TPP or to hook into the Chinese Block, squabbling over islands suggests this may not happen, but Governments can be very pragmatic when it comes to their trade interests. Which don’t necessarily lie with Washington.

  5. uke 5

    An interview with Anna Osborne, whose husband Milton was killed at Pike River, on the World Socialist Website. This interview gives a much fuller account from the perspective of one of the miners families than anything I’ve seen on the MSM.

  6. Blue 6

    How do we like them cuts eh?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10833423

    Ambulances will not be sent to 111 calls deemed ‘non-urgent’ such as:

    “abdominal pain, allergies, animal bites, assaults, back pain, falls, headaches, exposure to cold, lacerations, and feeling sick.”

    I’m not a doctor, but it strikes me that some of those can be pretty damn urgent.

    The Ministry’s response?

    “no significant funding increases were planned, the spokesman said.

    “St John is making excellent progress with introducing new ways of working that will enable it to manage demand growth within existing resources.””

    • Dr Terry 6.1

      St John’s Ambulance scare. I have very recently joined their emergency alarm scheme and already I am getting worried!

    • Tiger Mountain 6.2

      We likes “them cuts” very much indeed thank you nice Mr Blue. We glow and warmly thank the poor stressed funders as we humbly look forward to expiring unattended from various hideous medical events.

    • McFlock 6.3

      Two points on that:
      a 4% increase a year with 10-15% of current calls being “non-urgent” means that any benefit of cutting “non-urgent” services will be gone in 2 or three years;
             
      Quite a few conditions that get worse over time can be prevented/treated at the start by going to a GP. Barriers to primary care include a lack of funds (both for the GP and for transport). So it gets left until it gets worse. At which time an ambulance is called if they can’t get to ED themselves. But of course now the ambulance most likely will be delayed until the call centre know it’s an emergency.  So the poor who were denied primary care also get delayed secondary/tertiary treatment. But who cares how many of the poor drop off due to something that could have been treated with a GP script days or weeks before? They’re non-productive economic units.
           
      Fucking Nats. 

    • muzza 6.4

      This is no surprise.

      I am aware of a situation where a house was being burgled, while the occupants were inside, they called 111, and when spoke to the operator, was told they would have to make a complaint which would be responded to in 48 hours, or they could come to the station.

      When it was explained again that there offenders inside the house, the message was repeated that they could go to a station, or wait 48 hours!

      Can’t see why Ambulance would be any different if this is the response to peoples safety by the police.

      Next up fire brigade – I’m sorry sir, only your lounge is on fire, we are unable to send an appliance until at least 3 major sections of the house are ablaze!

      • Dv 6.4.1

        I guess the response is to lie and say the intruders have gun.
        Or better still, you have a gun and have shot them!,

    • Murray Olsen 6.5

      What do they actually consider urgent? I can see how all the things listed could be fatal. Will the NActoids be happy when they’ve finally got the situation that I remember in 2000 in São Paulo? One of my students had the people who pick up corpses knock on his door to ask if he had any gladwrap. Someone had died in an adjacent flat and the body was so decomposed that they couldn’t get a decent grip on it. The City Council had cut their funding for gloves on some totally spurious basis and this was what it led to.
      In many ways, Brazil has improved since then. Our country hasn’t, and won’t until we change the way of doing things.
      Back in good old NZ, a friend of mine was a doctor in the Nelson area. He told me how it was virtually impossible to get an ambulance to a rural address because all the despatching had been centralised in Auckland. Third house on the right after the bridge by the burnt out barn was not something the operators understood as an address.

  7. marsman 7

    No ‘economic benefits’ from heat pumps so they scrap the grants.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7658669/Clean-heat-grants-quietly-scrapped

    • weka 7.1

      Glad to hear it. Heat pumps are evil on so many levels. 

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      The decision to wind down the heating grants was made after an Economic Development Ministry report found insulating houses provided much greater benefits than subsidising clean heating, particularly in low-income households.

      The report found the $330 million cost of the scheme had delivered $1.2 billion in benefits, mostly in health savings from warmer, insulated houses.

      It found no clear economic benefits associated with grants for clean heating, which it said might be because clean heating improved health only if people were able and willing to pay the ongoing energy bills.

      Gee, what a surprise.

      I actually suspect that people ran out to get a heat pump when they should have done the insulation and then found that it didn’t work because the house was inherently cold (but were, of course, blaming the heat pump).

    • Bill 7.3

      What?! There were subsidies available for oversized fan heaters????

  8. vto 8

    Tuhoe have reached a settlement involving a form of governance over the Ureweras. Water rights issues are heading through the process. Wind rights have been glanced at. Rights over here and rights over there. It becomes all very confusing.

    I propose settling all things once and for all by providing to Maori a consistent 10% ownership in everything in the land. Then we can be done with it. This can reflected in, say, a 10% slice of all taxation going to them for use rights by the wider population. A regular tithe, poll tax, call it what you will, but lets just pay it and be done. Then we can move on from the flaws of the treaty. A specific broad tax payable to people on the basis of their race, and the treaty. Sure, some detail would be lost and gained here and there but broadly the concept is consistent.

    Alongside the pan tax there could be a separate set of laws and regulations, criminal justice system, etc. Even separate schools and welfare systems. I think this is good and appears to be what many have argued for.

    Let’s do it.

    • weka 8.1

      Why 10%?

    • Murray Olsen 8.2

      Give Maori 100% and hope they’re nicer people than pakeha have been.
      I was once asked how many seats Maori should have in parliament. My reply of “All of them” met with outraged shock. Personally, I wouldn’t be worried at all. I’m far more worried about carpetbagging pakeha in suits than I am about Maori in the Urewera.

  9. Can a bad/useless/corrupt/putwhatyoulikehere government do good things? Can a bad person do good things?

    Obviously this has been a point of discussion around other areas and putting value judgements of what ‘bad’ is aside I want to thank finlayson (I don’t think he’s ‘bad’), personally and as a representative of the government, for saying these things

    “Ngai Tuhoe’s history shows clearly why it is so important to settle genuine historic Treaty grievances,” Finalyson said.

    “The conditions in Te Urewera, which contains some of our most deprived and isolated communities, show the very real and continued effects of the Crown’s Treaty breaches on the daily lives of Ngai Tuhoe people in the present.”

    Huge areas of Tuhoe land were wrongly confiscated and more purchased unjustly, Finlayson said.

    “Military campaigns against Tuhoe prisoners and civilians were described even at the time as extermination and the Crown employed a scorched earth policy in Tuhoe settlements.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7653374/Historic-Treaty-settlement-for-Tuhoe

    This settlement is a strong step towards mana motuhake for Ngāi Tuhoe and I congratulate them.

    It is not perfect but it is a step in the right direction and as Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger has said, “he believed the tribe had ultimately won what it was seeking, which was control over the park.”

    I wonder about the figure of 170M – is that figure used for relativity or do they calculate it some other way?

    edit – snap vto, interesting to see our different perspectives…

    • vto 9.1

      snap true mr marty.

      On the one hand we have the treaty and colonisation which must be dealt with. On the other we have the settings required for a healthy society as we tootle into the future. As you know, I don’t think the two things lead to the same result. There must be a way that can be achieved but lordy it seems difficult.

  10. just saying 10

    A few odd things happening to the comments section on the top right of the screen – periodically disappearing, or turning into an overlaid mess, but only for a few seconds, then back to normal again.

    Could well be my computer which is particularly sluggish today.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I’m having to press F5 fairly often to reload The Standard, as it seems reluctant to load correctly the first time around.

  11. Dr Terry 11

    If that Herald poll was accurate, it surely says that the worse this Government behaves the better the voters like it! How many people who have protested the sale of assets, really been sincere?

    • Mark 11.1

      Read it and weep losers. You will be smashed in any referendum.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        :cool:

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        Well then you better get out and get more signatures for the petition. Have to ensure that the referendum goes ahead so that we’ll be trashed.

      • fatty 11.1.3

        If you look at polls of who is against the sale of assets, the age range and which people are active voters, its difficult to see how the referendum will end up backing the sale of assets.
        Where do you get that idea from Mark?
        Please don’t say the Herald

        • Anne 11.1.3.1

          Where do you get that idea from Mark?

          It comes out of is head fatty. What goes in and what comes out are two totally different things.

  12. mike e 12

    The herald poll was an on line poll how many working class and poor have access to time and computers or read the herald, how many repeat votes no limit on the number of times you can vote Its pure BS.
    Opinions in the herald blogs have changed quite markedly as more and more are against govt.

  13. redfred 13

    @Dr Terry – I wish the herald would release some readership demographics, I suspect it would show a significant portion of reader are “likely” to be of the centre right persuasion, hence an artificially high support figure for the Nats.

    You could be onto something a good farming friend of mine (National Voter) expressed the following
    “I don’t want the assests sold but what are we going to do about the debt” Unfortunately Labour have not been doing a good job of articulating an economic alternative. Although the conservative policy is a no to assest sales.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      What do we do about the debt?

      1) You identify all the corporate income streaming out of NZ and you turn them back to NZ.
      2) You sort out our exchange rates so that our manufacturers and exporters are not being crippled.
      3) You increase tax rates on the wealthiest 5% of NZers so that we do not have to borrow that same money from China, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
      4) You put 50,000 people back to work building up the country so that they are not on benefits.

  14. In response to Iprent calling my support for a new and independent investigation an obsession here is why: 50 different forms of cancer have been added to the list of ailments First responders (Some 70.000 of them) can claim compensation for. That has been an 11 year struggle. For them 911 never ended.

    What is really baffling is that in the longs of first responders Nano Thermite residue has been found. Nano Thermite can only be produced in high security Military laboratories in the US. I wonder could the 19 young Muslims who after all were able to evade the US airforce and break the laws of physics also have gained access to those laboratories?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bzyQfHj6fq8

    [lprent: You’re treating it as if it was a pejorative expression? Obsessions are what can eventually change the world. Ask any scientist or programmer or blogger or campaigner for any cause through any era. You have to be obsessed with something before you can achieve much beyond the norms. Of course the vast majority of obsessions don’t bear any fruit.

    However supporting obsessional people is worth the effort – which is why many people are tolerated commenting here. But I can’t see much reason to be particularly nice about it. I’m afraid that testing an obsession to destruction is about the only effective way to find out if it has merit. ]

    • weka 14.1

      That link doesn’t really explain your obsession though. 

      btw, what do you think is going to happen in Chch once the long term effects of toxic dust become evident? 

      • travellerev 14.1.1

        Nano-thermite should not be in those lungs for starters Weka and a lot of us have been trying to help first responders and support them in their battle so that sort of kept 911 alive as they were dying. You don’t have to be obsessive just concerned and puzzled by the total lack of support from the US government for these heroes will do.
        What relationship does the Chch earthquake and the dust in the air on that day have to do with 70.000 First responders in New York on 911?

        I haven’t given it much thought but with the authorities blatantly lying in New York I gave the dust in New York a lot of thought on that day.

        It would be an interesting research project though and I would hope that Chch dust victims won’t have to fight for 11 years until they got medical help and compensation like the heroes of 911 had too.

        • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.1

          “It would be an interesting research project though and I would hope that Chch dust victims won’t have to fight for 11 years until they got medical help and compensation like the heroes of 911 had too.”
           
          The statement above is untrue. The US Government has been funding medical help for First Responders from the start. All that has changed in yesterdays announcement is that a further 50 types of cancer are now also recognised as potential 9/11 related claims. In other words, the scheme that already exists has been widened in scope.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1

            TRP said:

            The statement above is untrue. The US Government has been funding medical help for First Responders from the start.

            Yeah except your statement is too vague to be useful. It really means nothing in fact when monthly medical bills for one person can add up to tens of thousands of dollars, and the Federal Gov might pay for a pittance.

            See here for an example of Republicans voting down health care funding for 9/11 responders:

            http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-30/politics/9.11.responders.bill_1_simple-majority-vote-majority-rule-benefits-bill?_s=PM:POLITICS

            A verbal flash-fire erupted on the House floor Thursday night over nine-year battle to pass a benefits bill for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the 9/11 attacks.

            Frustrated with Republican votes against the $7.4 billion measure because Democrats suspended the rules to prevent them from offering unrelated amendments — and at the same time requiring a two-thirds majority to pass — Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner excoriated the minority party.

            • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Facts aren’t vague, CV. They’re, um, facts. I wasn’t clarifying the quality of the US Government assistance, just confirming that it has existed all along. So it was a factual and, therefore, useful contribution dispelling some fact free and, therefore, useless hyperbole in the original comment.

              • Colonial Viper

                Facts aren’t just facts mate. Are they complete? Are they accurate? Are they contextualised?

                Regardless, you do accept that the US Congress stalled for years a multibillion dollar health package for 9/11 responders?

          • travellerev 14.1.1.1.2

            For those of you who unlike TRP really want to know how the 911 First Responders fared after they outlived their sell by date as propaganda props to help the Bush administration use the events of 911 to invade and destroy the Arab world which to this day Obama and the other head of the dragon continue to do, here is a link to the Feal Good site. The Feal Good foundation is one of the most important Foundations to provide aid to the First Responders.

            This link leads to the News page which gives a good chronological list of the history of the battle for free healthcare for the First Responders, many of whom have died along the way leaving their spouses and Children destitute and with debilitating healthcare bills to deal with.

            John Feal who started the Foundation was a 911 First responder and lost half a foot while in the Pit (the name for what was left of the WTC complex) when a steel beam fell on it. He had no money but began to help his former colleagues and people started to give money and help as his project became more known.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Under TRP’s criteria, 9/11 emergency workers being given free boxes of sticky plasters would be counted as “government assistance”.

              • Te Reo Putake

                You’re being a dick, CV. I have no such criteria, I was just pointing out one of Trav’s many mistakes.

      • Bill 14.1.2

        There wurrn”t and isn’t none asbestos in Ch/ch. Nones I tell’s ye!

    • Iprent,

      Obsession=a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces its way into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mental illness.

      Commemorating an anniversary of what is arguable one of the most devastating and globally influential catastrophes (Mostly so for Afghanis and Iraqis who had nothing to do with the events) and asking questions about puzzling questions that remain does not constitute an obsession.
      If it does thousands of Scientists, Architects, Engineers, Fire fighters Military personal etc would have to be classified as obsessed.
      In Germany, most Arab countries, Russia and large areas of the US 80% of the population would be obsessive as those are the numbers which come back as either believing that the US government did no tell the truth or was involved in the events.
      In New York 50% believe the official story is rubbish and more than a 100.000 signatures were collected to get a new and independent investigation.
      In Italy Judge Ferdinando Imposimato who is the honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy, and former Senior Investigative Judge, and who presided over several terrorism-related cases, including the kidnapping and ultimate assassination of President Aldo Moro, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, other political assassinations and kidnapping cases and several cases against the Mafia. He is a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations, stated that he would refer the case to the International court of Justice.

      Italy has a long history with State Crimes against Democracy and both a former president and this judge have no problem accepting that we need a new and independent investigation.
      You also remarked that: Even her science is well argued even if I personally think it is more hopeful than accurate.

      I understand that to argue as a moderator with a commentator is a colossal waste of time but I would really like to hear your argument as to how you come to the hopeful bit. Are you arguing that I hope that the events of 911 were perpetrated by our own leaders?
      To say so means that you have absolutely no idea how painful it is to have to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t an outside enemy who attacked us but rather a shady group in our own midst. You can fight the enemy at the gate but an enemy in your midst is more devastating and hellish than anything I can think of. Not to be able to trust your own is a hideous thought. To go there is lonely, scary and dangerous and infinitely sad.

      Maybe that is why it is so hard for you to actually have a look at the information on offer. Maybe if you did you would understand that to do so means to leave all hope behind.

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        Attacked “us”? Didnae attack me.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.2.2

        Would you say that that Italian document is about as solid a presentation of the case as one can expect Eve?

        Alternatively, do you think it is strong?

        You say that you have reluctantly come to the conclusions you hold. Does that presentation of the case strike you as convincing? When you read it, do you quite often think, ‘well, that’s not quite the whole story there Judge, you are leaving out some very important deatails that go against your conclusion’? Things like that.

        Because that’s what I found myself thinkng when reading it. Quite a bit.

        And that’s leaving aside this little gem:

        The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has described
        very precisely why the hypothesis of controlled demolition should be taken into
        consideration.

        Honestly, what is one to make of that? Is it a typo?

        If not, why should I listen to an authoratative theologian with regard to a hypothesis of controlled demolition?

        The judge doesn’t tell me why I should, I wonder if you can.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      There’s a peer reviewed article about something consistent with nanothermite being found in the dust:
      The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31
      This journal is open access and available to anyone for download of articles. Just google it.
      I have absolutely no idea how rigorous the peer review process is for this journal, but I know one of the associate editors personally and might ask him if I can ever spare an hour or so for a quick answer. As soon as I get time, I’ll have a more critical look at the article itself. I can actually make a meaningful analysis of a published work much more easily than I can of a youtube video.
      BTW nanothermite is even used in fireworks these days. It’s more available than it was in 2001, and appears to have been commercially available in applications since at least 2010:
      http://research.missouri.edu/otmir/mte2012/featuredtech/abstracts.html
       

  15. The government has a costly group of business beneficiaries who they encourage to continue acting irresponsibly, while parent beneficiaries get bashed again by Bennett with a draconian form of social engineering: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/polluters-benefit-beneficiaries-bashed.html
    I note that Eddie has said similar things to me.

    • aerobubble 15.1

      Capital gains are free of tax, which means there’s an incentive to finalize business endeavors
      early and take the capital gain. An incentive to short change and cut corners. Oops, look at
      our housing stock, cheap nasty, thrown up on unsuitable land… …our government is corrupt.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Seen on Shearer live a few minutes ago:

    Comment From Colin
    So does your answer above mean you are for the decriminalisation of marijuana?
    12:38

    David Shearer:
    It means we don’t want to see people getting criminal records for smoking a joint.

    Yep, it seems that he’s still trying the confuse and misdirection method of hiding the fact that he doesn’t have a point.

    • Murray Olsen 16.1

      People don’t usually get criminal records just for smoking a joint anyway. In most cases the cops ignore it, and have done for years unless they’re after you for some other reason. He has less than a point.

  17. calltoaccount 17

    Newsflash: Brownlee says what he thinks!

    On the day we find what our equake $$$ are being spent on, Gerry tells us what he really thinks about equake people.

    Half a million is revealed as the cost for the chch eq blueprint launch (lunch??), and Gerry drops the mask and calls us names. Big time! Read the comments on the second link, couldn’t be hotter, 50 to 1 against Gerry. What a complete idiot.

  18. Carol 18

    Shameful goings on in the House today, on the part of the PM and Speaker!

    Shearer’s question 1 was originally to the PM and was changed to be to the Minister of Ed:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/f/3/00HOH_OralQuestions-List-of-questions-for-oral-answer.htm

    DAVID SHEARER to the Minister of Education: Has she been informed whether the Prime Minister stands by all the statements he and his Ministers have made regarding the Reading Recovery Programme?

    .

    Shearer withdrew the question because he is now no longer able to hold the PM to account.

    Peter’s has been protesting because it has impacted on his planned supplementaries.

  19. In an attempt to energize the base, National releases new ad campaign

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Nice work, William, probably a bit intellectual for National Party activists though. Iwi/Kiwi is about as challenging as they can handle.

    • Bored 19.2

      Lovely! I printed it out and put it on the front door of the office.

  20. Carol 20

    oooo…. but, sir, that’s pure godw1n!

  21. chris73 21

    So Nationals throwing down the gauntlet to Labour already, how will Labour respond?

    • Te Reo Putake 21.1

      Wow, that’s a pretty random comment, Chris. Well up to your usual standard ;) Funny how it’s almost interchangeable with this one. Were you and CV seperated at birth?

      • chris73 21.1.1

        Not really, Labour came out swinging with the food for selected students and now N ational have counter-attacked with welfare.

        Will Labour be able to withstand the onslaught or will it be up to the Greens to tag in and make some headway

  22. joe90 22

    Glaciers and Climate Change: Mauri Pelto Interview

    This summer I accompanied a team to the cascades wilderness in the pacific northwest to document the front line, boots on the ice field work that is revealing the emerging story of global climate change.
    This is the first of a series of videos documenting what I learned, and what I saw.

    more at

    http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/

    http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/

    http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/easton-glacier-assessment-washington/

    http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/easton.htm

  23. Hammer 23

    Canada left the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming  [CAGW] group-think last year after listening to their scientists;  now Germany is preparing to leave the sinking ship

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/09/10/german-academy-of-sciences-and-engineering-calls-off-climate-ctatstrophe-coping-will-not-be-a-problem/ 

    German Academy Of Sciences And Engineering Calls Off Climate Catastrophe – Coping Will Not Be A Problem
    By P Gosselin on 10. September 2012

    UPDATE: reaction from Die Welt journalist Ulli Kulke here (in German), who says this is a welcome but not surprising conclusion.
    ***    ************************** 
    So they will now persuade the rest of Europe that the hoax is coming to an end;
    economics [aka Global Financial Crisis /unsustainable subsidies for wind/solar etc] always trump feel-good bullshit like socialists “saving the planet” from the nasty capitalists.
     
    Now – if we could just get the Global Warming to open the Desert Road, Rimutakas etc etc we could get on with enjoying the Spring.

     

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    And Banks has come out with his excuse for being corrupt – it was the law’s fault.

    ACT Party leader John Banks says he welcomes changes to the local body laws governing donations, saying he was the victim of a law that is unclear and unfair.

    Yeah, I don’t think too many people are going to see him as a victim.

    • mike 24.1

      “As Charles Dickens said in 1838 the law is an ass – and it’s important that the Government cleans it up. No candidate for public office should go through what I had to go through.”

      Now that one actually gave me a laugh. The man is an utterly shameless piece of sh*t. First why throw in the exact year that Dickens said that? Showing off. Practiced that line in front of the mirror did we John? Second the only reason he got away with his blatant law-breaking is because of the technicality of the incident occuring more than 6 months ago. His second sentence should be “No candidate for public office should be able to get away scot free after fiddling the books like I did.” But he’s the victim here? He had to put up with a tough time because of this silly law? Tui ad?

      To me Banks is an even bigger candidate for narcissistic personality disorder than Gerry Brownlee. (Google: narcissistic personality disorder arrogant “never wrong”.)

    • Balanced View 24.2

      Agree.
      That guy is political poison

    • prism 24.3

      Ha Ignorance of the law now is the Banks (John that is) excuse! Good at passing them, bad at understanding what they mean these pollies. What we pay them for I don’t know. If we worked at Parliament in shifts ourselves we could make as big a mess at a quarter? of the cost, and our canteen would be Bellamys. We would still keep Bellamys, there have to be some perks.

  25. xtasy 25

    A bit on the new ACC Board:

    Not long ago the new ACC board was announced. It will be headed by Paula Rebstock, who already heads the newly created Social Welfare Board as well. I wonder what else she is in charge now. One other board member is Dr Des Gorman, who has over many years been advising ACC on a wider range of claims cases, apparently making some questioned and disputed assessments.

    Dr Des Gorman as one new board member of ACC, working alongside the new head of ACC, who is Paula Rebstock (former business operator, Commerce Commissioner, senior Welfare Working Group member), does send serious warning signals. It does show anything else but a supposed “change of culture” at ACC.

    Also does he already hold such a wide range of high ranking, key positions in the health and health related training sector, one must ask, can this be in the public interest?

    His involvements can be viewed in the following:

    Dr Des Gorman’s appointment to the ACC Board, announcement National Party website:
    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=39319

    Dr Gorman’s qualifications, summarised background and reference to his senior position at the Medical School of the University of Auckland:
    https://www.alumni.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/af-des-gorman

    Dr Des Gorman’s controversial assessments and recommendations:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCecwuwCHb4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QknNdOhOkr8&feature=relmfu
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCecwuwCHb4&feature=relmfu

    Dr Des Gorman’s involvement in the appointment of the Health and Disability Commissioner:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/11451-des-gorman-involved-in-appointment-of-health-and-disability-commissioner/

    Dr Des Gorman as Executive Chair of Health Workforce New Zealand (a new business focused organisation set up within the Ministry of Health in 2009, by Tony Ryall):
    http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/about-us/board-members

    Health Workforce NZ’s Annual Plan for 2011-2012:
    http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/HWNZ%20Annual%20Plan%202011-12.pdf
    http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/HWNZ Annual Plan 2011-12.pdf

    Health Worforce NZ’s influence on GP training by the Royal NZ College of GPs:
    http://www.healthworkforce.govt.nz/our-work/gp-training-review
    http://healthworkforce.govt.nz/our-work/gp-training-review/discussion-paper-and-feedback

    http://healthworkforce.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Discussion Paper – Workforce Requirements for New Models of Service Delivery.pdf
    (see especially the already commenced training program to enable GPs to complete some additional modules in training, equipping them with basic “mental health” qualification, to be used for treating and assessing mental health clients, also of course, for WINZ)

    Dr Gorman’s involvement with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners:
    http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/home/SearchForm?Search=Des+Gorman

    Dr Des Gorman as member of the National Health Board:
    http://www.nationalhealthboard.govt.nz/who-we-are/our-members

    Dr Gorman’s attendance NZ Healthcare Congress 2012:
    http://www.healthcarecongress.org.nz/page.php?ref=programme

    He is not popular on the ACC Forum website, not surprisingly. There is some interesting info to be found on assessors:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/forum/58-acc-asessorscontractors/

    So Dr Gorman seems to have his hands into most of the health sector somehow. That does scare me, as his influence, combined with other peculiar new ACC board members, is likely to change little, and lead to more secrecy in the way they will operate. ’60 minutes’ last Sunday exposed what has already been going on.

    http://www.tv3.co.nz/September-9th—Exit-Strategy/tabid/1343/articleID/79380/Default.aspx

    Also I noted new updates in an older thread of discussion they have. And to my surprise they indicate, that the Principal Health Advisor of MSD, who introduced and managed the training of “designated doctors” and also his own internal staff (Regional Health and Disability Advisors, Health and Disability Coordinators, all advising case managers at WINZ) in 2008, is now MOVING OVER TO A JOB AT ACC:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/7309-drs-anthony-djurkov-david-bratt-peter-jansen/
    (see post or page # 12 and so)

    And although not finally confirmed, a WINZ client has informed me, that some informations he has obtained, do indicate, that at least for now, and already for some time, the involvement of “designated doctors” by MSD and Work and Income for medical examinations and assessments has been stopped!?

    So some major changes are happening. Very, very interesting, but maybe also worrying, what will come next.

  26. Te Reo Putake 26

    The US ambassador to Libya has just been killed. A rocket attack on his vehicle, apparently.

  27. Tiger Mountain 28

    Alan Bollard: goodbye and good riddance. What a dodgepot.

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