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The Standard

Open mike 17/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2013 - 163 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…

163 comments on “Open mike 17/01/2013”

  1. just saying 1

    An interesting sideline from a Herald article on the popularilty of Facebook in NZ, this morning:

    The next highest ranked site was Blogger, with a monthly unique audience of 803,000.

    Seeing as many blogs (like The Standard) don’t use the Blogger site, it might well be that about a quarter of the population visitis the blogosphere every month. That’s a hell of a lot of shut-ins sitting in darkened rooms, and an audience that politicians ignore and/or deride at their peril.

    From memory, the four most popular blogs according to the sitemeter data, are all political.

    Also, useful data in answer to R0b’s questions about the importance of the blogosphere. Maybe the answer is ‘significant and growing’.

    • tc 1.1

      With the obvious partisan nature of our MSM Blogs will continue to rise in their relevance and weight on many issues.

      It’s the new media containing fresh and open commentary that people are up for more and more these days rater than the tired hacks and pundits everyone’s seen peddling their bias for decades.

      Obama showed the power of the web via social, blog and webcast bypassing the old world media.

    • Aww 1.2

      The neat thing about websites, including blogs is that everything on the internet can be checked and tracked. Like site demographics for example. You’d think someone would be smart enough to utilise this.

      http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/blogspot.co.nz#demographics

    • karol 1.3

      As I recall, Anthony said something about facebook having more of a role in the future than blogs. My preference is for blogs because they can have more of a group or community focus. Facebook is designed around individuals and their links and it is also increasingly becoming a means of delivering individuals to commercial interests. Yes r0b said:

      I also think that blogs may be peaking, and that other forms of media (Twitter, Facebook groups) may come to assimilate their role.

      I think blogs are a necessary corrective to the corporate dominance of the MSM. Not that everything that appears in the mainstream news/media is bad, but everything needs to be considered critically.

      • Populuxe1 1.3.1

        Not that everything that appears in blogs is impartial or fact-based either. And given most blogs only have one admin or mod, they are often just as much about the indivual – Cf. FailOil and that funny little man who looks like an evil baby (his name escapes me – sounds like “farter”?)

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        FB is under pressure to demonstrate revenues matching its overblown valuation. Which means that their ads and other commercial intrusions are going to worsen over time. Making it more likely that people will get sick of the in your face salesmanship and wave goodbye to them.

    • Pete 1.4

      Google Zeitgeist also provided some interesting information about user searches.

      The top news searches were:

      Kim Dotcom
      Tongariro
      Transit Of Venus
      Belarus
      Marmite
      Margaret Mahy
      Jock Hobbs
      White Island
      Give Way Rules
      Sophie Pascoe

      Aside from Dotcom, they weren’t very political in nature. Nor were the top trending searches for New Zealanders.

      Valerie Adams
      Kimbra
      Sarah Walker
      Margaret Mahy
      Mahe Drysdale
      Nick Willis
      Lisa Carrington
      Mark Todd
      Jock Hobbs
      Martin Henderson

      As politically inclined as we are, we may be in a bubble as to what interests the average NZer.

      • millsy 1.4.1

        Speaking of Dotcom, I wonder if he will run for Parliament? I am actually picking he will, on a platform of internet freedom, copyright reform and civil libertarianism.

        I also think the extradition charges will be dropped.

        • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.1

          Is he a NZ citizen. He could stand for the NZ Pirate Party. He’d probably get in.

          • Populuxe1 1.4.1.1.1

            As the Pirate Party keeps it’s membership status secret, it’s possible he already is… Or isn’t…

  2. millsy 2

    Just when you thought Radio NZ was safe from the neo-liberal barbarians who want to turn it into just another commerical station with hate-filled talkback, endless Katy Perry reruns and crude DJ’s making fun of Louisiana trailer park inhabitants with spontaenusly combusting private parts…it looks like CEO Peter Cavanagh is resigning, and the search is on for a new CEO who would be less resistant to things like sponsorship and more commercial enroachment.

    Fate is not without a sense of irony. In 1966 a few mates sought to buy a tramp steamer, fit it out with broadcast equipment and sail into international waters to broadcast Radio Hauraki, challenging an NZBC monopoly that was seen as stuffy, conservative and set in its way, with the government going all out to stop it.

    Now, almost 50 years laters, it is the private commerical radio sector that is out of touch, stuffy and set in its ways, with the non-commercial, community sector, as well as Radio NZ seen as the innovators and the ‘something different’, and the government, at the request of the commercial broadcasters, is seeking out to smother it.

    ===========================

    Already the articles about zoning are starting to filter out. with parents paying top dollar for houses in the Auckland Grammar zone, and parents who miss out deciding to send their kids to private school instead. Nothing disgusts the new ‘mum and dad’ kiwis more than their kids having to learn along side working class and beneficary children. All sorts of bad ideas and nasty diseases can come from them.

    ============================

    Another round of tenders goes out for NZDF housing (supposedly surplus). Would love to know why the media isnt looking into this more closely.

    Some looking round Facebook and the messageboard forum reveals NZDF personell who are reportedly being turfed out of NZDF homes, as part of the Defence cuts. And another thing, while I accept that our service people want to find their own accomodation and buy their own houses (not like they cant afford it), why isnt the surplus houising being used to alleviate our housing shortages, rather than be snapped up as holiday homes and farming accomodation?

    • The Al1en 2.1

      “Nothing disgusts the new ‘mum and dad’ kiwis more than their kids having to learn along side working class and beneficary children. All sorts of bad ideas and nasty diseases can come from them.”

      One can only hope the benefits of private education makes the children turn out a lot smarter than their parents.
      It’s rightly said that inter generational benefit dependency is a bad thing.
      Sons and daughters of Epsom man, cast off your chains.

      • kiwicommie 2.1.1

        National wants a US styled class system in New Zealand, when National is finished NZ will be have even more inequality and poverty than parts of the US. The difference in the US though is that employeers care, no employeers care any more in New Zealand. One US supermarket chain Giant (which I go to) helped pay for one of their staff member’s medical treatment (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars), don’t get compassion like that in NZ any more.

      • vto 2.1.2

        Rightly said. We are a country divided. For the first time in eons I read Rosemary McLeod’s piece in the Press this morning. Normally she is like a wishy washy laundromat but she hit a nail on the head describing how our nation is becoming more divided.

        To support this she pointed to Kawhia and the attack on the copper, plus the recent Featherston murder. She is correct, and though she did not state it, it was clear the divide is along financial lines, racial lines, lifestyle lines, the whole lot lines. I have noticed it more too in our wider circles – people are quicker now to spark up on these lines. People are unhappy, on both sides of the line.

        And this National government,,, well, it is pretty clear which side of the lines they represent. Bash the beneficiary, give money to the private schools, take money away from the local schools, bring back the class system, introduce drug testing to every sector except your own, give welfare to the farmers and the businessmen, villify the poor.

        And then you get wankers who post on here and of course publicly state the same like Wayne and King Kong yesterday who refer to people who can’t get jobs as “lazy losers’. Well it is no wonder we are divided and it is no wonder that people such as Wayne and King Kong are the ones who feel they have to cross the road for fear of being the next one to get ‘stuck’.

        There is no truer saying than one reaps what one sows.

    • just saying 2.2

      Great round-up Millsy.
      A post in itself, in fact.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      …and more commercial enroachment.

      That’s possibly the most accurate misspelling I’ve ever seen 😈

  3. Only in America …

    Obama has proposed the restricting of the availability of assault weapons and his proposal has been met by the usual response that he wants to take away all guns from all americans, even the sane ones.

    The Republicans have responded by indicating they will oppose. The NRA has released an ad asking why should Obama’s kids be protected by armed guards but everyone else’s kids are not. I thought the answer was simple. There are far too many gun touting nuts in the States who have a pathological hatred of the President. Attacking his kids in this way is bound to harden Obama’s resolve.

    And the conspiracy theorists have started suggesting that the Sandy Hook was a Government sponsored hoax. Some poor guy who helped out some kids from the school has been harassed and accused of being part of a Government hoax. There is even a youtube video doing the rounds which hints darkly at how it is all a conspiracy to remove guns from decent Americans.

    It seems a sizeable number of Americans occupy a different planet to the rest of us …

  4. karol 4

    A piece of NZ research (findings to be published later this year) shows that “money can buy happiness”.

    Except, reading down the article, it’s more that a certain level is more likely to result in happiness than being in poverty – what a surprise!

    “Poorer people tended to report more stress, less happiness, lower levels of satisfaction with their lives, and a lower ability to meet basic needs and life necessities.

    “The comforting belief that poorer people are compensated by increased happiness and less stress is a delusion in the New Zealand context, and a dangerous one at that.”

    But when it came to the link between income and quality of life, the dollar amount wasn’t as notable as a percentage jump in pay packets, Mr Sengupta said.

    People whose income doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 reported the same boost in happiness as $100,000-earners whose income rose to $200,000.

    “Income does predict how happy people are going to be with their lives . . . regardless of how much they earn.”

    But the sample surveyed has a noticeable gender imbalance:

    The research was based on statistical analysis of phone surveys of 2746 women and 251 men.

    The median household income of those surveyed was $65,000.

    While the survey was done in 2008 the results were unlikely to vary much today, because international research showed similar results at different times, Mr Sengupta said.

    I’m not sure how that would skew the results.

    • Chris 4.1

      I remember reading a few studies like this when I was at uni – they all pretty much showed that money increases happiness significantly while it increases to a certain point. Once you get past this point (its the point where you no longer have to worry about money) the returns are diminishing.

      On a similar vein when deciding on what motivates you for a job the amount you get paid isn’t a motivating factor, it can demotivate you if it isn’t high enough though. The thing that motivates you is the potential for future pay rises.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Yep, that’s it Chris.

        Money doesn’t make one happy – that’s looking at the wrong side of the mirror.

        It is in fact that the lack of money makes one unhappy. Or rather actually – lack of ability to provide for one’s self makes one unhappy.

        Money has an effect. That effect is a negative one if there is insufficient. There is no positive effect – it merely removes the negative effect.

      • KJT 4.1.2

        Just as well for New Zealand that, for most of us, money ranks behind satisfaction in what we do, as a motivator.

        Except for financial and management types, who, it seems, will only work if they get paid hundred of thousands.

  5. bad12 5

    The Minister of Social Development has claimed National’s welfare changes,(stage 1),of being a raging success as the numbers of those receiving benefits has fallen to 2008 levels, apparently a drop of 17,000,

    Paula of course hasn’t bothered to track where these 17,000 people went after they became Her idea of a raging success,

    Should She have bothered, to find out where the individual beneficiaries ‘found work’ that is, She need look no further than the organizations of charity such as the City Missions in various cities who are now the sole means of support for a number of Paula’s success stories, with most of the other 16,000 and something having been driven from New Zealand to Australia as economic refugees,

    Never mind Paula, when ‘the dream’ for you in particular and this scummy National Government is all over you seem to have a natural talent as a travel agent,(liars not being in demand anywhere in the economy)…

    • xtasy 5.1

      Bennett was interviewed on Radio NZ’s Checkpoint, but strangely, there was nothing to be heard from Ardern, or for that sake any other politician from the opposition, putting another kind of critical spin onto this story. Shame, shame, shame to Labour, I’d say!

  6. TheContrarian 6

    Had this guy been the CEO they would have given him a big bonus.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414357,00.aspx

    • McFlock 6.1

      Hmmm.

      Should have put together a VPN from china to a server at his home, then had that flip through on the work VPN.

      Mind you, other than vetting the subbies who receive the data I’m not sure what they think the problem is: they apparently received high quality work for a price they thought was fair.

    • bad12 6.2

      LOLZ, takes employment to it’s logical conclusion, 10 years from now China will be the source of all ‘labour’ and ‘Bob’ was just getting in ahead of the inevitable,

      On a deeper note tho it simply highlights the failure of the Global Free Market Ism, should all currencies and all minimum wages of all the economies engaged in this little ‘competition’ have been of an equal value at the time the ‘competition’ began we all would have something like a coherent fully functioning economy…

  7. bad12 7

    Another Minister who it would seem has a questionable grasp on reality has Her Ministry,(Corrections), again appearing in the High Court at Auckland where an inmate of Paremoremo Maximum Security Prison, Arthur Taylor, having successfully argued before the High Court previously that the blanket ban on inmates smoking in New Zealand prisons was unlawful is now challenging Correction and the Minister over the labeling of Tobacco as ‘contraband’ thus denying the inmates who have the legal right to smoke in prisons the possession of Tobacco,

    From news reports on RadioNZ National it appears that while Corrections have conceded that inmates have the legal right to smoke tobacco in their cells ‘other’ laws allow them to ban anything they want as being contraband,

    You are excused if your reaction to such a quixotic situation is initially ”what the f**k”, and i dare recommend that the Minister in question, Judith Collins,(who else), might consider seeking psychiatric assistance as not only has Her moral compass become confused,(if She ever possessed such), but Her and Her Ministry appear to have not only been treating prison inmates unlawfully, they appear to have taken every step possible to continue that unlawful behavior simply to circumvent the previous decision of the High Court…

  8. end o times viper shorts 8

    some light hearted & amusing comments to help pass your afternoon for those not adverse to twitter – #keyinantarctica

  9. bad12 9

    In news this morning ‘the HairDo’ (from Ohariu) Revenue Minister Peter Dunne signaled moves to close at least one tax loophole to the accompanying squeals and shrieks of rage from some Bizness spokesperson from some obscure Bizness organization i missed the names of,

    Dunne says He plans on passing regulations where companies of a multi-national nature declare their profits in the lowest taxing jurisdiction in which they operate and declaring losses in the highest taxing jurisdiction,

    It seems that for more years than i find it good for my mental health to consider such companies have been allowed to claim that what produced the ‘profit’ here in New Zealand was the part of the company registered in whichever tax haven and what produced the loss was down to the New Zealand arm of of the company even when any actual ‘physical business’ that produced that loss wasn’t done in New Zealand,

    Who would have thunk it, export ya profits and import ya losses and RORT the New Zealand tax system every which way, now that’s Bizness efficiency for you,

    Sounds to me like the whole f**king lot of them need locking up in a jail cell someplace…

  10. kiwi_prometheus 10

    Gay Propaganda 101 ( co-requisites: Wymin Studies 106, Men Are Rapists And Murderers! 108 )

    Gay guy says gay All Blacks have to be outed.

    Of course he assumes that there are gay All Blacks.

    What would he know? Dream on girlfriend, LOL.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10859605

    • millsy 10.1

      Of cource, if a gay AB came out, rednecks like you would have him lynched from the Eden Park goalposts.

      Though the rest of us would more than likely accept it.

      • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1

        I’m not a red neck.

        I wouldn’t care as long as he didn’t go on about ‘gay marriage’.

        • millsy 10.1.1.1

          Dont like gay marriage? Dont marry a gay man, or go to a gay wedding, simple really.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1.1.1

            Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.

            Otherwise you lot wouldn’t be so hell bent on it.

            • millsy 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We are hell bent on it because it IS a “mind your own business keep your nose out sort of thing”. There are bigger threats to society than 2 blokes getting hitched. Neo-liberalism being one. Even conservative right-wingers used to warn of the dangers of unleashing the capitalist system.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Even conservative right-wingers used to warn of the dangers of unleashing the capitalist system.”

                I know that.

                Parties of the Left an Right fell into the thrall of neo liberlism, plus the postmodernist/feminist/identity politics crowd have helped suck the life force out of the Left.

                “There are bigger threats to society than 2 blokes getting hitched.”

                It’s the principle. Besides its still going to be socially corrosive. And the push is coming from the radicals – feminists/deconstructionists/neo marxists – not the real Left.

                • millsy

                  Socially corrosive my arse. Youre as bad as McCroskie, who by the way, has refused to deny that he wants the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 repealed.

                  • kiwi_prometheus

                    When have I ever said anything like that?

                    It pisses me off when anyone who doesn’t tow the party line gets a political necklacing.

                    • millsy

                      Im talking about McCroskie, not you.

                    • McFlock

                      word to the wise: in debates involving sexuality, best avoid colourful but unpopular figurative expressions. Or at least specify what type of “necklacing” to which you refer. Somewhat distracting at first glance…

                    • Kevin Welsh

                      To be fair McFlock, the pearls did not get a mention…

            • The Al1en 10.1.1.1.1.2

              “Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.”

              If the state denies a freedom of choice because of sexual preference, then it goes way beyond institution and social honouring. It’s discrimination at it’s basest form.
              Judging by most poll results I’ve seen, marriage equality is not much an issue unless one is a bit of a twat, so like most people, I say if it’s okay for one, it’s okay for all.

              “It’s the principle.”

              Is it bollocks. It’s just bigotry and ignorance.

              “Besides its still going to be socially corrosive.”

              I’m guessing mostly in yours and colin craig’s houses, but do feel free to march down Queen Street in opposition and get the public recognition and honouring you types really deserve.

              • Rhinoviper

                “Marriage isn’t a “mind your own business, keep your nose out!” kind of institution – it is a social/public recognition and honouring.”

                What is the purpose of a law?

                The issue is the recognition given by the state to the arrangements of people in personal relationships or in corporate relationships of other kinds. Assuming that the church and state function separately (and to argue otherwise would be to argue for theocracy – and be my guest if you wish to do so), the state has no “moral” role whatsoever. The law’s role is purely to ensure that the “mechanism” of society functions with as little friction and as much constancy as possible.

                OK, on those terms, then let heterosexual marriage be honoured as much as you like. Are laws created for the purpose of honouring? Are laws supposed to govern all social intercourse… such as the respect and honour we give to other people? Should a law determine how much respect and honour I give to another person? If not, why not? Suppose I don’t like someone – should a law tell me that no matter what I think, I should like them? The law does not require you to like or “honour” anything else, so why do you suppose that it requires you to like a gay couple?

                Laws do not exist and are not made to “honour” people.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.2

      “Gay guy says gay All Blacks have to be outed.”

      If you’re going to tell lies, it pays not to link to the thing you are lying about, liar.

      • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1

        He says ” the reality is that having an out gay All Black is important and overdue. ”

        We all know where that is leading. After all it would hardly be a new tactic employed by radical queer activists, would it now?…

        And if there aren’t any, whats he going to do, demand an Affirmative Action quota – make it compulsory!!?

        Very assuming.

        • millsy 10.2.1.1

          Speaking of outing All Blacks, I have heard names being bandied about — not going to repeat them here though.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1.1.1

            I’m not aware of any All Blacks acting in an effeminate manner.

            • millsy 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Not gay blokes are effeminate. You’ve been watching too many ‘Carry On’ movies..

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Not [sic] gay blokes are effeminate.”

                I bet felix and QofT don’t like those ones very much.

                And just because they might have a bit of a play now and then doesn’t make them gay either.

                • felixviper

                  Nearly there…

                • QoT

                  Your new fixation seems to be on my and felix’s sexual preferences. Interesting.

                  • Rhinoviper

                    “New”?

                    • QoT

                      Well he seems to have become bored of putting “rape culture” in scarequotes every five minutes. New shiny toys were required.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s not some weird obsession with your private lives where most people would mind their own business, think of K-P’s attention as a “social/public recognition and honouring.”

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Back to the crazy assertion that marriage is a private matter, “Nobody elses business!”

                      But the whole point is marriage is the public recognition of a particular relationship – that’s what you lot are demanding. You want the state and/or society to recognise a particular type of relationship.

                      Not surprising though, considering the poor philosophical foundation of neo-marxism/deconstructionism/feminism.

                    • McFlock

                      So you do actually have an unhealthy interest in speculating about the sex lives of commenters here? You weren’t just honouring them with public recognition?

                      Bit of a sick, obsessive little turd then, aren’t you? Why should anyone give a flying fuck about the moral opinions of a pervert like you?

        • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.2

          “We all know where that is leading.”

          no we don’t. You’re just telling lies still.

          The piece explicitly talks about people outing themselves, and you claimed he said “gay All Blacks have to be outed”.

          Liar.

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.2.1.2.1

            If you read between the lines it means outed one way or another…

            He assumes there are gay All Blacks, which indicates his fixation with the issue.

            Like I said they’ve employed the tactic before.

            • McFlock 10.2.1.2.1.1

              “Read between the lines”?

              Oh, you mean “make shit up”.

            • Rhinoviper 10.2.1.2.1.2

              I assume that there are All Blacks who are mammals. That indicates that I must be fixated on mammals.

              A little more seriously, considering that there are a constant percentage of the population who are gay, and that being gay is irrelevant (since it has not been positively proven to be otherwise) to one’s ability to play rugby, then the odds are that there are or have been in the recent past and near future, if not the present, gay All Blacks.

              I also suppose that there are photons with a frequency of 6000 angstroms, without referring to any particular photon or photons in general.

              I guess that I’m one of “They” who promote the 6000 Angstrom agenda. Or the mammalian agenda. Or something.

              On the other hand, Occam’s razor would however suggest that KP is a bit of a loon who has a peculiar obsession with homosexuality verging on paranoia.

            • QoT 10.2.1.2.1.3

              “As of December 2012, 1118 players have been All Blacks.” – Source

              There are no good stats on the rates of same-sex attraction in the general New Zealand population, so let’s limit ourselves to what we can absolutely establish: people in committed relationships who’ve sought state recognition via civil union or marriage.

              (Imagine how many more are just fucking.)

              301 same-sex civil unions registered in the year ending 2011 out of (76 hetero civil unions and 20,231 marriages) = 1.5% of people in same-sex relationships committed enough to marry.

              1.5% of 1,118 All Blacks = possibly a minimum of 16-17 non-heterosexual All Blacks over the history of the team.

              Unfortunately there are no more accurate stats on actual rates of non-heterosexuality in the population of NZ, but this survey of youth returned a rate of 7.8% experiencing some level of attraction to their own sex.

              So the odds that there is currently or has been a gay All Black are pretty good.

              Of course, this probably just establishes my “fixation” with the concept of gay All Blacks, unlike the commenter who chose to initiate a conversation on the topic by blatantly misrepresenting what a columnist said and who categorically cannot accept the notion of an All Black liking the cock because it clashes with his notions of masculinity.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                You keep referring to non hetrosexuality in your stats then jump to gay in your final statement.

                You are just pulling it out of your arse.

                You are one of those deconstructionist/postmodernists/neo marxists feminists, no?

                If so you are totally contradicting your own philosophy which dismisses science and any possible objectivity or concrete reality to relate truth statements to ( statistics included).

                • QoT

                  You are one of those deconstructionist/postmodernists/neo marxists feminists, no?

                  I don’t know, old chap, you’re the one who keeps saying so.

                  All I did was use non-exclusive language while conveying my own thoughts and then echoing your own stunted understanding of human sexuality when referring to yours.

                • GregJ

                  It is quite clear that Knight is saying that those in rugby (presumably players, caoches and administraters) should be supporting elite athletes about being open about their sexuality (if they choose to do so). One assumes you either didn’t read the column properly or deliberately misrepresented it.

                  You do realise that being homosexual is no longer a crime? Stop being a prat.

                  Aaron Mauger and Adam Thomson are at least 2 All Blacks that have been supportive of LGBT issues – hell it’s even happening in the US where Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo has been openly supporting LGBT issues and even raised the issue of gay players in the NFL and former fringe NFL player Wade Davis has now come out openly about being gay and other gay NFL players. If there are gay players in the NFL you can be damn sure there have been gay All Blacks (and almost certainly gay players at Super Rugby and ITM cup level).

                  • karol

                    Well, there’s certainly one ex- Wales rugby captain who is an out gay man. Not someone who I would describe as effemonate.

                    And then there is an ex-Aussie rugby league player who is also gay.

                    • I must admit I was really surprised when Roberts came out. He was IMHO the toughest forward in the league at the time.

                      He came out during his career and no one seemed to batter an eyelid.

                      All I can say is RESPECT.

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Hello my little post structuralist tweety bird!

                      At least unlike QofT you aren’t evasive about your chosen school of philosophy.

                      But post structuralist don’t believe in an objective reality, knowable via science – so you have contradicted yourself in a previous post.

                      And here it has to be asked – you claim to be on a crusade for “inclusiveness” and “social justice”.

                      But according to post structuralism they are basically meaningless terms – arbitrary constructs you have created. No more right or wrong than the Nazi construct of “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer “.

                  • QoT

                    Along with Ayanbadejo I’ve got to plug intensely-awesome dude Chris Kluwe of the Baltimore Ravens Minnesota Vikings, who notably said gay people “won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster”.

                    (Edited for team misnaming, in my defence they both wear purple)

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Well, he’s just done a Godwin Version 1.2 anyway, so debate in as light or as serious or as absurd or as sarcastic a tone as you like. A decade ago he’d have said “Feminazi” – which is version 1.0, then a couple of years later he’d have said “I didn’t call you a Nazi – I just said that you were exactly like a Nazi”, which is Version 1.1, but now it’s “Now I’m going to say that you’re saying things about me that I say that they said about Nazis!” I wonder how recursive 1.3 will be?

                    • GregJ

                      Yes – The Ravens (AFC) and the Vikings (NFC) are my 2 teams in the NFL – never really thought about them both having Purple playing uniforms before. Hmmm

                      (And although the Vikings are out of the playoffs, the Ravens play for the AFC Championship this weekend – after an extremely exciting win over the No.1 Denver Broncos last Sunday – and then hopefully it’s the Superbowl!)

                      Ravens dark wings, take to flight, Dive in and show them your might

                      Ummm – Sorry – back to the regular political discourse!

                    • Rhinoviper

                      Redacted – due to misplacement (I can’t delete). See below.

                  • QoT

                    Poor k_p. I guess because he’s in constant battle mode, he’s developed an us vs them mentality.

                    He’s left exasperated and confused when he can’t squeeze someone into one of a few leftwing pigeonholes.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m beginning to think K_P’s a satirical character in the style of Ali G or David Brent. Basically with the objective of being interviewed by Rush Limbaugh and called “too extreme”.

                      I mean, the line where he said you were pulling “gay” out of your arse is too obvious a reference to me missed by someone who is that obsessed with other people’s sex lives, but then they would have used at least an exclamation mark, and maybe a smiley face, just in case someone missed how much of a comedic talent they possessed.

                    • Rhinoviper

                      McF. Maybe, but in my experience, there really are people that thick, and lots of them. There really are people amazed and utterly baffled by the demand that they produce evidence to support their assertions and think that name-calling and robotic blithering about deconstruction, the Jews or whatever is equivalent to reasoned argument. And they vote.

                      The other side of Poe’s Law, I suppose… It doesn’t matter if KP is real or not because there are people who think like that and their arguments must be opposed publicly.

            • Populuxe1 10.2.1.2.1.4

              You do realise that statistically it’s impossible that there aren’t gay All Blacks. I really can’t do much about the rest of your woeful ignorance, but if you are going to be a pathetic bigot (probably a self-loathing closet case internalising all that homophobia), you could at least acknowledge reality.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    Labour’s Summer School 2013 is just over two weeks away!

    Labour’s annual Summer School is a unique opportunity for Party members of all ages from all over the country to think about and discuss some of the biggest issues our country is facing in a relaxed environment. It encourages Labour members to think beyond day-to-day politics and to push the boundaries of what we can achieve.

    This year the programme includes the first speech of the year from leader David Shearer. David will speak on Labour’s political priorities for 2013 in a media inclusive session on the Sunday afternoon.

    Where: Brookfield Scout Camp, 562 Moores Valley Road, Wainuiomata
    (only 40mins from Wellington)

    When: Friday 25 January – Sunday 27 January 2013

    Summer School is organised by Young Labour.
    You can contact them at summerschool@younglabour.org.nz.

  12. millsy 12

    Just got an OIA request back from Housing NZ.

    It seems that in the past 5 years, 864 state houses were sold. Of that number, 269 were sold in the past year (The highest number).

    ..and the HCC about outsourcing:

    “……The major activities we currently contract out include:

    • the operation of the three waste facilities such as the Refuse Transfer Station, Recycling Centre and the green waste recovery at the Hamilton Organic Centre.
    • road construction and maintenance (including footpath, street lighting maintenance)
    • waste and recycling collection
    • legal services

    Everything else from graffiti removal, CitySafe patrols, noise control, parking enforcement, parks and gardens and visitor information are all managed in-house. These are all listed in the “Our Services” section of the Annual Report….”

    The annual report can be found on the HCC website.

    • karol 12.1

      Thank-you, Millsy. Useful information. Have any other state houses been bought to replace the ones sold?

      • millsy 12.1.1

        The response I got was that “the proceeds were re-invested in new housing stock”, but there was no mention of numbers or locations.

  13. kiwi_prometheus 13

    Here’s a question that I would like an intelligent response to:

    If gay marriage is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage, then surely polygamy is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage?

    • Rhinoviper 13.1

      Oh, too easy. How does the restriction of marriage to straight folks affect gay folks?

      You talk in pseudo-scientistic (ref, “scientistic” = “scientism”, not science) about “objective” reality, therefore you have to prove that marriage is as grounded in objective reality as Keplerian dynamics. I’d like an intelligent, empirical response to that.

      If gay marriage is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage, then surely polygamy is ok because it doesn’t affect a straight guy or his marriage?

      Aside from the deliberate and disingenuous red herring of invoking the slippery slope argument, what is your objectivist reason for calling it wrong? No metaphysics please.

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.1.1

        “How does the restriction of marriage to straight folks affect gay folks?”

        They don’t get to marry. But how has your question answered my original question?

        “you have to prove that marriage is as grounded in objective reality as Keplerian dynamics.”

        More evasiveness in the form of meaningless jargon. Are you a post modernist like Karol?

        Here’s a good example of mumbo jumbo from the oracle of Deconstructionism, Derrida:

        “The Einsteinian constant is not a constant, is not a center. It is the very concept of variability — it is, finally, the concept of the game. In other words, it is not the concept of something — of a center starting from which an observer could master the field — but the very concept of the game. ”

        You can see why I think you might be a devotee of his, Rhino, LOL.

        “deliberate and disingenuous red herring of invoking the slippery slope argument”

        Pretty straight forward question, why can’t the “No harm to YOUR marriage” argument be applied to polygamy or love between a brother and sister?

        You can’t answer it can you, Rhino, that’s why you’ve freaked out.

        • Rhinoviper 13.1.1.1

          They don’t get to marry

          Illogical, circular argument which does not address the basis for the argument.

          Are you a post modernist like Karol?

          Irrelevant insinuation and argumentum ad hominem.

          Here’s a good example of mumbo jumbo

          Distraction. A broad categorisation and insinuation is irrelevant to this case.

          Pretty straight forward question, why can’t the “No harm to YOUR marriage” argument be applied to polygamy or love between a brother and sister?

          Irrelevant. Prove empirically the basis of your argument and – this is crucial – show that it applies as an objection to marriage equality.

          You repeatedly state that your beliefs are somehow “objective”. If this is the case, it should be possible to do so using references to generally accepted scientific principles. Cite them. However you refuse to do so, instead you use the “Ew, postmodernists!” argument, which is not an argument at all. It’s name-calling – you may as well say that I’m a ginga.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.2

          um – love between a brother and sister has negative genetic repercussions in the case of procreation, but also often involves consent issues relating to the power relationships within the pre-existing familial structure, plus an issue relating the desired margin for error in addressing those issues on a case by case basis.

          Inbred, usually fucked up, and too difficult to fairly separate out the few non-fucked-up situations without letting through a few fucked up ones.

    • GregJ 13.2

      Personally I have no problem with it between consenting adults but there are much more involved legal issues with polygamy which would have to be dealt with. Although this in an American context you can look at some of the issues here .

      Don’t see why marriage between same sex couples needs to be delayed while polygamy is sorted out though.

      Would you like to move on to bestiality now? I’m sure there are some goats near you that might be interested in having that sorted out.

      • Rhinoviper 13.2.1

        And if reproduction is the determinant, what about cloning, mitosis or even mimesis? You’ve got to look out for slippery slopes – they’re everywhere! For example, is not “indoctrination” a form of spreading memes, which are encoded information, just like genes? In that case, all people involved in teaching, or any form of cultural production, or for that matter anyone who persuades anyone of anything, a shameless slut, producing countless bastard offspring?

        I say we ban mimetic reproduction! No more education, certainly not education state-sanctioned by the conferment of degrees!

        And don’t you start mentioning siblings either… Rand only knows what implied filth siblings get up to with their “familial interdependence”!

        And every corporation should have boards of infertile people of the different sexes, just as long as they don’t reproduce because all unions are somehow representative of the duality of genders but not necessarily dependent on the capacity of those involved to reproduce and… otherwise we’d have to ban the marriage of post-menopausal women… right, now I realise that not every board can have just two members, to make the point that all associations must be between opposite genders but not necessarily interfertile couples, so I suggest that there be new genders invented so that people can freely enter into state-sanctioned and assuredly secular associations having nothing to do with reproduction, nosiree, and that… oh shit, where was I? Anyway, something about inventing new sexes, as long as they’re different, no matter how many there are, and not having children, ‘cos we’d have to ban infertile people and it has nothing to do with what God, Allah, Yahweh, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or any other arbitrary deity determine and, and… because science!

        Or to cut through all that shit, since “science”, or rather a contingent stereotype of science is invoked by KP, what is the empirical, peer-reviewed and generally accepted scientific basis across all disciplines that is not grounded in any way in any metaphysics for the state to sanction and favour over any form of association over another? Current popularity is not sufficient because it has been established by an explicitly religious accommodation – hence there is an obvious bias – and moreover, it is generally justified by arguments that are metaphysical.

        • Rhinoviper 13.2.1.1

          The current legislation is about gay marriage between two people, you’re the one who has dishonestly invoked the slippery slope argument and I’ve brought up the reductio ad absurdam. Of course you’re too thick to understand that. Now you’re trying to divert matters.

          Tell me, and again, I ask you to bring up scientific evidence, since you keep ranting on about it, what is the scientific basis for your objection in relation to the current bill?

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.2

          You’ve obviously stopped taking your meds.

          • Rhinoviper 13.2.1.2.1

            Would you care to construct a logical answer on the terms that you have repeatedly stated?

            Can you?

        • KJT 13.2.1.3

          Rhino. I think I agree with you. But reading that made my head hurt.

          Can’t we just say.
          What two, or more, consenting adults do in their own home, is there own business.

          And that the law should not discriminate because of sexual orientation.

          Just do not scare the horses!

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2

        So we have a polygamy supporter here! LOL

        And the pro gay marriage lot furiously deny that polygamy is next.

        That’s the problem with the PGM crowd, their revision of the definition of marriage leaves them having to accept all kinds of arrangements as marriage if they want to remain consistent.

        • McFlock 13.2.2.1

          Actually, the pro gay marriage crowd furiously deny that child-marriage or turtle-sex is next.

          Who gives a fuck about polygamy? I mean, one could argue that beyond a certain number the close relationship implied by “marriage” might not be able to be maintained (e.g. 400 husbands), but the real issue for same-sex marriage is informed and free consent between two people with a strong bond.

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.1.1

            And the whole point is your revisionist definition can’t stop the rest of the BS.

            If you think you can chuck out the gender bit because it is “discriminatory” and revise the definition to consent and love, what argument do you give for limiting it to a specific number of participants?

            In fact if you want to remove the heterosexual act of coitus bit, what is your argument for not removing sex from the definition all together – that way a couple of old mates cohabiting could get married to. Or grandma and her grandchild living with her out of circumstance?

            • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.1.1.1

              what argument do you give for limiting it to a specific number of participants?

              Well, exactly. That is what you’re trying to say, and claiming that it’s a matter for the state.

              Give me the scientific reason for the state to by legislation favour the bond between fertile individuals who produce children through the fertilisation of egg by sperm. Otherwise, you’ll have to find some pretty damn compelling arguments that somehow aren’t metaphysics and which aren’t therefore “objective”.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                Why do think I’m forced to give a scientific argument?

                It’s a philosophical one. After all this is political philosophy ( which scientific knowledge may contribute to ).

                Is it because I pointed out the deconstructionist denial of scientific objectivity – so you now fly off the handle demanding I give a scientific argument on an issue of political philosophy?

                You are definitely off your meds, mate.

                • Rhinoviper

                  Why do think I’m forced to give a scientific argument?

                  Because you claim that your assertions have some sort of basis in scientific reality, idiot.

                  It’s a philosophical one. After all this is political philosophy ( which scientific knowledge may contribute to ).

                  So it may you now say. That’s not what you said before. You said that your claims have a basis in “objective” reality, which is constant and all-pervading by definition.

                  You claim repeatedly that it is your arguments that do have a basis scientific reality. Now you deny that, suddenly invoking the vague – i.e.., meaningless – term of “political philosophy”.

                  Is it because I pointed out the deconstructionist denial of scientific objectivity – so you now fly off the handle demanding I give a scientific argument on an issue of political philosophy?

                  No, it’s because you are inconsistent even with your own explicitly stated premises and refuse repeatedly to substantiate your points according to those premises.

                  Now show me the money. This has nothing to do with deconstruction and has everything to do with you backing up your own claims on the very terms that you say supports them.

            • McFlock 13.2.2.1.1.2

              Hang on: your argument against same-sex marriage isn’t that it is harmful, just that you can’t think of any reasons why other non-traditional forms of marriage shouldn’t exist?

              I’ve responded to your polygamy and incest examples elsewhere in the thread.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                No, the Revisionist argument redefines the word marriage into nonsense. That is very destructive to society because marriage is a public good.

                • McFlock

                  Okay, what’s the “revisionist” definition, and why is it nonsense?

                • Rhinoviper

                  What is a public good? Why is “marriage”, defined as a union between fertile man and women as opposed to civil union between same-sex couples, fertile heterosexual couples, infertile heterosexual couples or marriage between infertile heterosexual couples a public good? Explain, with citations.

        • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.2

          That’s the problem with the PGM crowd, their revision of the definition of marriage leaves them having to accept all kinds of arrangements as marriage if they want to remain consistent.

          In any case, even as a thought experiment, justify your advocacy for the state recognition and limitation of marriage as being between two people of the opposite sex as opposed to any other arrangement, without metaphysics, which means that reproductive viability or performance as “role models”, real or symbolic, is ruled out.

          Why should the state recognise “marriage” in any form at all as opposed to a civil union?

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.2.1

            “Why should the state recognise “marriage” in any form at all ”

            Because it is a public good in the heterosexual form of a union between a man and a woman.

            • McFlock 13.2.2.2.1.1

              explain. As opposed to heterosexual civil union, I mean.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                Why where are you going with this…?

                • McFlock

                  Heterosexuals can have marriage or a civil union.
                  Homosexuals can only get a civil union.

                  What is the public good that exists in marriage, but not a civil union, and that should be kept away from homosexuals?

            • Rhinoviper 13.2.2.2.1.2

              Why and how is it a public good?

              Come on Mr Science, give me the peer-reviewed objective papers accepted across all relevant fields that prove this.

              Show me the money!

              By the way, is “public good” different from “legal reality”? I’d still like to know the answers to these questions if it’s the same:

              What is a “a legal reality”? Is what is legislated real? If the law changes, does the reality change? If the fact that slavery was once legal mean that slavery is always legal? Does the fact that polygamy is legal in some countries make it real everywhere, does the fact that gay marriage in some countries is legal make it real everywhere?

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “Come on Mr Science, give me the peer-reviewed objective papers accepted across all relevant fields that prove this.”

                Do you not know what Political Philosophy is?

                • Rhinoviper

                  Do you not know what Political Philosophy is?

                  I don’t care what it is if it can’t be substantiated. If it cannot be substantiated, if it does not have any recognition by anyone other than the voices in your head, then it is irrelevant.

                  It’s certainly not a science, I gather, since you refuse to provide any empirical basis for your statements, despite repeatedly saying that you had some.

                  Now how about answering a question? Any of them. Perhaps another? Which colour do you prefer, blue or orange?

                  Or, more to the point, justify one single assertion that you have made according to any objective principle with citations or according to verifiable “political philosophy”.

      • Populuxe1 13.2.3

        I’m just glad he didn’t try to compare it to paedophilia – he’s obviously that sort of moron.

    • QoT 13.3

      Awwwww, look at the brave little commenter, parroting US fundies’/Family First’s key messages like they’re his own original thoughts.

      • kiwi_prometheus 13.3.1

        Any time you want to answer the question, cupcake…

        • QoT 13.3.1.1

          Only if you answer a completely off-topic, intended-to-derail-serious-conversation question of mine first. Except I’m not an unoriginal copy-pasting MRAbot.

          • kiwi_prometheus 13.3.1.1.1

            Go find the stuff I’m cut and pasting then, wonder woman. Should be easy.

            All the crapdelicious stuff you come up with is derivative feminist received wisdom.

            • Rhinoviper 13.3.1.1.1.1

              stuff I’m cut and pasting then

              And there KP shows how his “mind” works. The twit couldn’t even pass the Turing Test.

              Come on Mister Science, produce the empirical, “objective” material to support your assertions. Prove you’re better! What’s a legal reality? Is it the same as objective reality, even is legal realities change? Does that mean by law you can change the speed of light, or does it mean that if you can’t, the speed of light isn’t subject to law and that law is not the same as objective reality?

            • McFlock 13.3.1.1.1.2

              Not exactly a new contribution. And includes a discussion on the minimean blog a week ago.

            • QoT 13.3.1.1.1.3

              I already did, sweetums. Back in September. From the record it looks like you ran away and hid rather than acknowledge that your sources were bullshit.

    • The Al1en 13.4

      That’s a really shit question.
      Marriage equality isn’t okay because it doesn’t affect anyone else, it’s okay because everyone is equal, and discrimination based on sexual preference is wrong.
      You can try linking polygamy into the argument, but ultimately the sanctity or validity of one’s marriage isn’t shaped by their neighbours marriage or a tv celeb couple’s marriage or whoever.
      You have no argument to win, especially with such poorly informed opinion.

      Q. If polygamy were legal for straights, would you oppose it for homosexuals?

  14. kiwi_prometheus 14

    Same with the “Its none of your business!” defense of gay marriage.

    Marriage is a public institution, how can anyone assert “It’s nobody elses business”?

    • Rhinoviper 14.1

      Is it a public institution or simply a tradition? What makes it a public institution as opposed to civil unions? Civil unions are explicitly secular whereas marriage is hardly marriage if it is shorn of its spiritual component – unless you are able to prove that a civil union is in essence indistinguishable from marriage – or otherwise you must prove that the state must inevitably incorporate a theocratic component, in which case, considering the various religious interpretations of marriage, you must either reconcile all religions or justify one religion in particular. You therefore have to say that someone’s religious faith is everyone’s business and – another leap – subject to regulation by the state.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.1.1

        You are way off the mark, mate.

        “whereas marriage is hardly marriage if it is shorn of its spiritual component”

        You don’t have to get married in a Churh, you can get married by an Elvis impersonator if you really want.

        Your argument that marriage isn’t a public institution because it contains a spiritual component is La La Land stuff.

        It’s status as a public institution is a legal reality.

        • Rhinoviper 14.1.1.1

          Illogical circular argument.

          You don’t have to get married in a Churh, you can get married by an Elvis impersonator if you really want.

          OK, suppose a polygamous Mormon shows up. What is the value of a Mormon versus someone married by an Elvis impersonator? What is your position on gay Mormon Elvis impersonators? Present your argument “scientifically”.

          Your argument that marriage isn’t a public institution because it contains a spiritual component is La La Land stuff.

          Why and how?

          You invoke “science” repeatedly. Do so now, stop moving the goalposts. Justify the favouring of an institution by empirical and consistent means.

        • Rhinoviper 14.1.1.2

          You don’t have to get married in a Churh

          Then what makes it marriage then, as opposed to a civil union, remembering that there are marriages that are polygamous and therefore inevitably have – symbolically if not actually – a homosexual element?

          What is a “a legal reality”? Is what is legislated real? If the law changes, does the reality change? If the fact that slavery was once legal mean that slavery is always legal? Does the fact that polygamy is legal in some countries make it real everywhere, does the fact that gay marriage in some countries is legal make it real everywhere?

          What is a “legal reality”? Is it like physics, like – you know, science?

    • QoT 14.2

      Income tax is a public institution and I’m pretty sure mine is nobody else’s business.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.2.1

        Come off it, completely different functions.

        Is that the best you can do?

        Better yet – if you want to revise the tax code, yeah everyone else gets to see what the fuck you are wanting to change and why and block you if it isn’t for the public good.

        • QoT 14.2.1.1

          You’re the one insisting that because marriage is a “public institution”, it must be public business. It’s not my problem if your argument doesn’t hold up to a light breeze.

        • Rhinoviper 14.2.1.2

          What is the basis for the state favouring one specific function over another? What functions do you mean? Specify, empirically.

      • vto 14.2.2

        Not in Finland. Everybody’s tax returns are publicly available. Quelle horreury

      • KJT 14.2.3

        Well. In fact I think income tax should be public.We would soon see who is ripping off the system. And it ain’t those on welfare. It would very quickly shut the cockies up, for a start.

        However, I have no wish to even think about what some people do in their bedrooms. Imagining some of our political masters having sex, is a truly mind fouling prospect.

    • McFlock 14.3

      The SIS is a public institution. Now go and say that what they do is your business.

    • Populuxe1 14.4

      A public library is also a public institution, but I have no interest in whatever horrible, low brow and probably horrific books you might borrow, if indeed you read at all – which I somehow doubt.

    • The Al1en 14.5

      One in two marriages fail.
      What have you done personally to intervene and protect this so called ‘public institution’?
      Or is it just gays and lesbians that motivate?

      Moot point this marriage equality debate – It’s a done deal in parliament, and with the support of the majority.

      Dry your eyes, mate.

  15. vto 15

    Why does everyone have such a problem with one group in society wanting its own institution separate from others? It’s not as if that is anything new now is it. In fact specific institutions and organisations and groups for separate parts of society is the way these things are going – separate parts for separate groups. And that is good – viva la difference!

    Imo gay people who want to tie a knot in it should get their own institution and leave those straight people alone ffs instead of gate-crashing someone else’s party.

    Mind you, arguing against that, single people both straight and gay and tri and buy share the same institution of singleness.

    In fact, a little further, perhaps the straight married crowd should simply wander off and set up another institution just for themselves and leave marriage to the non-straights.

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      Do you know what apartheid means?

      • vto 15.1.1

        Do you know what relevance means?

        • Populuxe1 15.1.1.1

          Yes, I do actually – that’s why I’m calling you out because you are full of shit. Every New Zealander should have exactly the same rights as every other New Zealander – anything else is apartheid and a symptom of a sick society. I’m gay, and what you think I should or shouldn’t be able to do based on that is entirely irrelevant to me and most people like me because it’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with fairness and justice.

          • vto 15.1.1.1.1

            Pop let me evaluate your reply;

            First sentence “Yes, I do actually – that’s why I’m calling you out because you are full of shit.”
            Irrelevant.

            Second sentence: “Every New Zealander should have exactly the same rights as every other New Zealander – anything else is apartheid and a symptom of a sick society.”
            I don’t disagree and there was no reason for you to think otherwise. I merely outlined that currently “apartheid” as you put it is alive and growing in our society. And endorsed by govt and many others organisations and people. It exists, so let everyone play by the same rules.

            In addition, you non-thinking egg, the rights are equal, just different institutions. No problema with same rights, as has been stated many many times.

            Third sentence: “I’m gay, and what you think I should or shouldn’t be able to do based on that is entirely irrelevant to me and most people like me because it’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with fairness and justice.”
            Why don’t you apply that to straight people too? You actually argue against your second sentence when you state that what you do is nothing to do with anyone else and you should be able to do what you like. Same with people who want an institution solely for straight people tying the knot – what they think or want is nothing to do with you either, so butt out. Get your own party.

            Get it?

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  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    8 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    9 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    9 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    10 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    10 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    12 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    12 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    14 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    15 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    15 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    22 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    23 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Fuck TV3
    TV3 has announced that they will be shitcanning Campbell Live. Oh, there'll still be a programme - but it won't have John Campbell, it'll only be four days a week, and it will almost certainly turn into the sort of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    8 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    8 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    10 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    2 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    4 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    4 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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