web analytics
The Standard

Open mike 23/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2012 - 77 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…

77 comments on “Open mike 23/07/2012”


  1. There was a very interesting review on Sunday’s Mediawatch program on Owen Glen’s recent public activity.  Excerpts of interviews with Owen Glen were played.

    He is an unusual figure.  He used to provide significant financial support to the Labour Party.  More recent activity includes partially funding a University Lecture hall that proudly bears his name, buying into the warriors, and setting aside $80 million to address child poverty in New Zealand.  It is clear that he enjoys the publicity.

    His approach could be contrasted with another philanthropist Hugh Green who, although wealthy, was very discrete with his philantrophic activity and never sought publicity.  Green is quoted as saying, “I made a lot of money and I can’t spend it. So I decided to give it away and do something for somebody else.”

    As was rightfully pointed out in the Mediawatch program there was something jarring about Glenn’s generosity.  He had taken active steps, including the setting himself up in Monarco, to minimise the amount of tax he paid.  His generosity could be no more than what he should been paying in tax.

    Labour’s experience with him has made my personal views on state funding of political parties even stronger.  It has to happen.  Our political system should not be left to the whims of the wealthy and the attention seekers.
     
    It is a shame that when in power last time Labour ducked the issue and did not take the opportunity to establish it.  I understand that Helen was actually keen but was talked out of it by others.  

    These other persons are Idiots.

    • “kim – why does having your name in the paper improve anyones lot?”

      “owen – well…ummm…”

      Its called ego owen – your ego.

      ” mark – where do you see Māori in NZ at the moment/”

      “owen – ‘we can’t live without each other, we’re all in the same country. Why do you want to go back all the time, that somehow you were cheated or robbed – come to a conclusion and be a New Zealander first”.

      Hey owen – fuck you and your slimey money.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        *Shakes head*

        I think wealthy people shouldn’t bother with helping the Left. The Right have better parties, and all without the endless moralising on why you’re not good enough for them or why your personal style and behaviour is lacking to meet their standards.

        Kim Hill was a shit interviewer. Shallow and suitable only for Womans Day.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          why your personal style and behaviour is lacking to meet their standards.

          no – it is what he said.

          • higherstandard 1.1.1.1.1

            What did he say that was so terrible ?

            • Uturn 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “…Why do you want to go back all the time, that somehow you were cheated or robbed – come to a conclusion and be a New Zealander first.”

              cultural oppression
              failed to recognise his priveledge
              negating the Treaty
              ignorance of NZ history
              arrogance

              Whether or not it’s “terrible” depends on your personal perspective. Anyone can be ignorant or arrogant, but in this context, it’s plain offensive to make believe the past doesn’t exist. I would have thought his contact with people in the Labour party over the years would have educated him a little more. Even if he just adopted certain phrases as diplomatic “technical terms”, at least then it wouldn’t cause purposeful offence. You wouldn’t use txt speak in a boardroom, so why speak like that on National Radio?

              He is, of course, free to choose how he speaks and who he offends, but if he associates with Labour, it may signal what many observers already know. Glen is no Johnny-come-lately, he knows what he said and why.

      • higherstandard 1.1.2

        Yes what a horrible person spending up large to try and make a real difference in NZ and around the world.

        http://www.glennfamilyfoundation.org/news-and-images/latest-news/2012/7/2141742038/Owen-Glenn-Announces-NZ$8-Million-Commitment-to-Community-Project-in-Otara,-New-Zealand

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          You could try and read the article and the links and things before commenting on this.  Glenn’s charity is welcome but he should be paying his share in tax.

          If Glenn invested his (say) business interests in NZ, had a 6% return and paid 30% of this in tax he would be contributing $18 million a year in tax, over twice the amount he is donating to Otara.

          If he and others of exceptional wealth paid their fair share then a great deal could be done to address poverty.

          • mickysavage 1.1.2.1.1

            Oops meant to say “(say) $1b interests in NZ”.

          • higherstandard 1.1.2.1.2

            What is vote welfare in this country already ?

            Using your ludicrous illustration if he was to reallocate his entire funds to NZ and ended up contributing $18 million a year how much of that do you think would get to the coal face ?

            Good on him for putting his money directly into such worthy causes.

            You are a diddle of epic proportions …………. just not in a spatial sense.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2.1

              …how much of that do you think would get to the coal face ?

              Most of it. Taxing and the public service are the most efficient means of achieving what Glenn is doing just to get his name up in lights.

        • aerobubble 1.1.2.2

          There’s good charity and bad charity. There’s charity at the bottom of the cliff that merely
          endeavors to hide poverty. Owen Glen isn’t targeting systemic problems in the economy that
          produce the long tail, he’s picking up the pieces from those who are at the end of the long tail, and so making it harder (if successful) to gather evidence for dealing with the long tail.

          Its a strange thing when the government, supposed a right wing individualist party against big government decides that individuals thinking patterns on welfare are not only a problem, that needs solving, but thirdly requires overt intervention by the state to create the correct good think.

          Government that dehumanizes welfare recipients, who would not be there had government selected them (as we select those who can make profit and rubbish the rest who don’t directly contribute).

          Personally people change their habits, select their behavior, choose their thoughts freely, until they are forced by government legislating workplaces (pushing up costs and so less jobs), legislating every aspect of life (like housing where you can either live in a scarce inner city flat costing a fortune or buy a substandard moldy leaky home). People on a benefit aren’t dependent on handouts, they are surviving from big government poverty creation with a stop measure designed welfare.

          National have deliberately decided to blame welfare recipients for poor government, and market failures, now twisted into a new paradigm, that there’ something wrong with the type
          of individuals on welfare. Those on welfare didn’t create their dependency, that was
          the active choices of parliament to reward mindless activity with the demand that work will
          set citizens free.

          History is full of individuals who weren’t profit makers but who have enriched society, helped society make huge profits for centuries to come.

    • marsman 1.2

      An article in Stuff this morning. The very rich, which includes John Key’s chums Ashcroft and Myers, hide US 40 trillion in tax havens. Who are the bludgers again Paula Bennett?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/7328396/Rich-hide-US-40-trillion

      • Carol 1.2.1

        +1

        The true face of greed. More than enough to live on for one lifetime, gained from working the infrastructures built with taxpayer money, and still they want more, and at the expense of less well-off and/or less greedy tax payers.

        SCUM

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          Worse. Stupid Scum since they obvious don’t seem to understand that printing money does not create wealth. People valuations create wealth, and if people don’t value the need for an expensive to run car, then the car industry collapses. When people don’t value high processed mush as food, food companies collapse. There’s only so much the people will accept until vast numbers just opt out, by local, by raw, ride a bike.

      • Socialist Paddy 1.2.2

        The issue is more fully covered in the Guardian.
         
        Some interesting comments:
         
        1.  Europe’s debt crisis could be cured if the money was repatriated.
        2.  £6.3tn of assets is owned by only 92,000 people, or 0.001% of the world’s population.  That is an average of NZ$134m each.
        3.  If income on the amount at stake was taxed at 30% then NZ$236b per annum would be produced.
         
        The report really makes you think that the world’s economic system is deeply flawed.  Because the extremely rich simply are not paying their way.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          The worlds debt based money creation system is flawed, as well as the economic systems designed to help people hoard money instead of letting it circulate through communities.

          • aerobubble 1.2.2.1.1

            Return to death estate taxes, tax capital gains, tax luxuries. Remove taxes on Vegies.

        • mike e 1.2.2.2

          SP they are double dipping as well the money being lent at exorbitant rates is coming from these money laundering banks.
          They are causing the problem by not paying any tax.
          Now they are profiteering from the problem they have caused.

      • Carol 1.2.3

        And while “ordinary kiwi” John Key has been one of the beneficiaries of this tax have scam, he has also been one of the enablers:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10821400

        Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, “protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy”.

        According to Henry’s research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than US$6 trillion in 2010, a sharp rise from US$2.3 trillion five years earlier.

        And this culture of ruthless, selfish greed, bludging of taxpayer money, has spread throughout our society (as reported by Granny pretentiously & superficially promoting itself via Maori Language Week):

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10821464

        A dentist has been charged with doctoring medical notes to rip off $168,000 of taxpayers’ money.

        The investigation involves claims for emergency treatment of children and teenagers – including extraction of teeth – which the Ministry of Health says did not occur.

        PS: Hah! Finally. Don’t know what that CATCHA loop was all about.

      • Fortran 1.2.4

        I think you will find that Ashcroft and Myers are simple peasants in this.
        It is the Russian and Middle Eastern, with unimaginable wealth, along with such as Arafat and Mugabe families, and Nigerian overlords who are in these schemes.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.4.1

          Probably – still thieves though and so deserve to have the whole lot renationalised.

  2. Raw Seer 2

    In yesterday’s Herald Matt McCarten blew smoke up the current Labour leadership’s rear. He worked off the press briefing and didn’t look at any of the detail. After confusing strategy with constitutional matters he goes on to say that the party is in great condition and in the best of hands!! Matt McCarten thinks a new team is in charge!

    The same people that managed the Labour Party under Goff and got the worse result ever are running the Labour party now. No change. Same team, slightly different face.

    The 67% leadership challenge rule means Shearer can be protected by 12 Caucus votes. No amount of votes by members and affiliates will have any impact. Matt McCarten has not done thorough research on the detail of the constitution and the amendments.

    McCarten writes: “What I learned is that if your opponent is vulnerable, then having enthusiastic volunteers well organised and directed wins every time”. Shearer’s Teams’s bland bumbling performance to date has demotivated members.

    Matt then adds: “All they need is to get their working class base to believe it’s worth trundling down to the voting booth.”. Nothing Shearer has done so far has dented the perceptions of the 100s of 1,000s who did not come out to vote.

    And it is deliberate policy: they think they can win by just not making people upset with them! The current Labour strategy is targeting soft National votes and has abandoned the poor and uninspired.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yeah, noticed this. Not sure why McCarten was so satisfied all is well.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.1

        As far as I can see, McCarten has only ever acted as a left wing ginger group for Labour. If they move 1mm towards wht he can define as left, he thinks he’s achieved something.

  3. DH 3

    There was a link here to a speech by David Parker that I read recently, tucked away in it was a comment about state owned assets. Speech here (hat-tip to populuxe1 who reminded me of it)

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/robert-walters-finance-breakfast-speech

    “Labour published a closed list of assets that we believe ought to be run in the New Zealand interest because they have monopoly characteristics – assets such as electricity line networks, water and airports.

    The list excludes telecommunications and electricity generation”

    The last sentence is pretty damning. Does anyone have a link to the full list? Does it include assets like schools & prisons etc?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Haven’t seen the list but that part in the speech shows that their definition of monopoly is so narrow as to be unworkable. It won’t shift basic monopolies (services that we all need and so fees can be hiked on them) out of private hands.

  4. Carol 4

    I am caught in an access CAPTCHA loop trying to post a comment to open mike – one of the words I have to copy each time, has the letters so crowded together, I can’t be sure if I have copied it correctly. Have done it about 5 or 6 times now & each time it just result in giving me another pair of CAPTHCA words to copy.

    • r0b 4.1

      Sorry I can’t do anything about the captcha, but if you log in to The Standard you never have to enter a captcha ever again…

      • Carol 4.1.1

        Yes, but I tried logging in a while back. I can’t use a capital in my handle, but more annoying was, I couldn’t stop email notifications flooding into my account, notifying me of replies – that was a fair while back.

        • r0b 4.1.1.1

          Interesting – I don’t get those. Try asking lprent what’s up some time when he’s about.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          I couldn’t stop email notifications flooding into my account, notifying me of replies

          There’s an option to turn those off in the Dashboard that’s available to set options.

          EDIT: On seconds looks, no there isn’t. Must be somewhere else that I saw it.

          • Carol 4.1.1.2.1

            There could be one, now, but way back when I tried to turn it off, I couldn’t.

            Actually, not logging in isn’t usually a problem. Now and then I get asked to complete a capture and it works fine. Today I just seemed to get caught in a captcha loop.

      • Vicky32 4.1.2

        Sorry I can’t do anything about the captcha, but if you log in to The Standard you never have to enter a captcha ever again…

        Oh how I wish that was true! I am always logged in and yet I get the Clidfare screen all the time. :(
        One of life’s bitter ironies is that when I tried to post this 10 minutes ago, guess what happened? Error…
         

  5. rosy 5

    I’m interested to know what Steven Joyce means by ‘intensification of agriculture’ in his interview with Shane Taurima on Q&A in June:

    … every public service is dependent on how strongly we grow the economy forward, and that means taking advantage of all the opportunities we have, and, frankly, that includes intensification of agriculture, it includes oil and gas, it includes clean tech and high-tech industries, and that’s what we’re focused on.

    (my bolding)

    Does he mean intensive dairy factory farming like that declined planning permission in the McKenzie Country?

    Joyce revisits this development theme in the ‘Labour/Green fairy tales’ meme he’s been using around the National Party conference and the Q&A inteview is printed almost word for word in an article by Audrey Young in the Herald last week. But the article ends before the mention of intensification of agriculture. Yet I’m pretty sure the Herald is where I read about this first – it bothered me so I went hunting for it and it’s not there anymore. (Given I don’t watch NZ TV there is no way I saw it on Q&A ).

    I reckon Shane Taurima got Joyce to say something he didn’t mean to and a compliant media has ‘kindly’ not repeated it. It needs following up, huh?

    • Carol 5.1

      A search on google news brings up a list of articles with the key phrase, including an NZH article from a day ago, but when I click on the link, the phrase doesn’t seem to be there.

      https://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&gl=nz&tbm=nws&q=Steven+joyce+intensification+of+agriculture&oq=Steven+joyce+intensification+of+agriculture&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i400.3598.14361.0.14876.43.5.0.38.38.0.250.744.1j2j2.5.0…0.0…1ac.7SVFSlmu1Ew

      I used key words “Steven Joyce intensification of agriculture” in a google news search. The title of the article also seems to have changed.

      • rosy 5.1.1

        but when I click on the link, the phrase doesn’t seem to be there.
        Yeah, exactly. That’s what happened when I looked. Seems strange to me, I must have read it somewhere! And why oh why is he leaving it off his list of development objectives now?
        aha…
        edit: the phrase reappears – John Armstrong 5:30 this morning

        Steven Joyce put things more bluntly. Delivering the best speech of the weekend, the Economic Development Minister offered a stark choice.

        If New Zealanders wanted more jobs, they would have to stop being fearful of foreign investment, accept the “intensification of agriculture” and not forgo oil and mineral exploration.

        In short, New Zealanders might have “to do a few things that make us uncomfortable”.

        This makes me very uncomfortable.

        • Carol 5.1.1.1

          Ah, thanks. Yes, I interpret intensification of agriculture as increased number of animals per farm space, increased use of technologies, increased use of resources and of the amount of farming the land can stand.

          i.e.depletion of resources to increase agriculture output. More short term thinking…. with Armstrong, as usual the sycophant and Nat cheerleader.

          Thanks for the link. I’m interested in the comments about the Greens at the end of the article, showing the Nats more insecure than Armstrong is making out in the rest of the article.

        • Flying spaghetti monster 5.1.1.2

          Steven Joyce makes me uncomfortable every time he opens his mouth, hes so smug & so obviously lies its a wonder he hasn’t been pulled up on it. sorry if the comment comes out garbled, opera and huawei can take the blame for that

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          I’ve said it before – it’s not about jobs any more. Our productivity is so high that we can support our society with a fraction of the work we do now. It’s about re-purposing the economy to do that rather than having it being to enrich a few people.

          All anyone who says we need more jobs is saying is that we need to make the rich richer as well as making our society so unsustainable that our children and grand-children will be paying the price in higher pollution and degraded environment.

          • rosy 5.1.1.3.1

            I’m expecting ‘agriculture’ = ‘dairying’ and ‘intensification’ means factory farming in areas that are unsuitable for dairying – Canterbury, Otago, Southland. Water rights, pollution rights and other resource consent problems. Not to mention the loss of the one marketing line we have, that is trustworthy produce. New Zealand: one great dairy farm.

    • vto 5.2

      Rose, what Steven Joyce means is the same old same old for the likes of him…. they cannot see any other way to grow the economy other than to take take take from the environment.

      Like the old kauri millers did.
      Like the whalers did.
      Like the orange roughy fishers did.
      Like the pastoralists did.

      It is just a take.

      And as such it cannot be sustained because there is simply only so much environment. Only so many kauri trees, only so many whales, only so many organge roughy and only so many wild plains for conversion.

      This is not smart in any sense.

      So that is what Joyce and all his cohorts mean – take take take. They are still in the mindset of the early colonists.

  6. muzza 6

    Anyone heard about a new (non) CCO being created?

  7. captain hook 7

    intensification means opening nz up to all the diseases that come along with trying to take too much from too little.

  8. vto 8

    We need a forum for some heavyweights to do heavy battle on these issues.

    All we get today is rubbish answers to very genuine questions. Rubbish from the likes of gosman and pete george and tsmithfield. The other ways of getting answers to these important questions seems to be through the likes of Mike Hosking and Petra Bags – which is even worse.

    So I propose that a forum be set up – perhaps on a new website – which only invited posters can comment on (to keep the rubbish out).

    For example – outline and weigh the benefits and costs to New Zealand taxpayers of selling their electricity companies.

    On one side – r0b and eddie.
    On the other side – Farrar and Hooton.

    Thrash the issue out in its entirety with only those players. See what the outcome is. Because currently it is bloody hopeless trying to get decent answers… There is not a single decent forum anywhere in this entire land

    what say thou?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      There’s a reason why I stopped reading the True Lies thread – it’s because the RWNJs had pretty much taken over the thread spreading misinformation. Their sole point seemingly to confuse the issue – they couldn’t dispute the issue that the PM was lying.

  9. captain hook 9

    vto
    couldnt agree more but the point is that this is good as it gets and it is up to you and I to do reall research and stick it to them.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    America in denial

    If you want to finish in last place, that’s the way you do it – indulging in unconscious defence mechanisms to make yourself feel better, rather than using conscious coping strategies that can help you actually do better. In the real world, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality exists to identify what works and what doesn’t – indispensable information if you want to things right. But in Perry’s hyper-defensive mind, it only exists to make Texas look bad. And Perry’s attitude typifies the US all too well, as you read through Fullbrook’s book. Clinging to a false sense of superiority is the absolute worst strategy for actually attaining superiority. And yet it seems to dominate American political discourse.

    Sounds like typical RWNJ behaviour – denying the facts because they don’t want them to be true.

    And here in NZ we’re busily following the US down the rabbit hole.

  11. joe90 12

    A disturbing piece from TomDispatch.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175568/

    I asked a member of the Air Force medical team about the casualties they see like these. Many, as with this flight, were coming from Afghanistan, he told me. “A lot from the Horn of Africa,” he added. “You don’t really hear about that in the media.”

    “Where in Africa?” I asked. He said he didn’t know exactly, but generally from the Horn, often with critical injuries. “A lot out of Djibouti,” he added, referring to Camp Lemonnier, the main U.S. military base in Africa, but from “elsewhere” in the region, too.

    […}

    Yet Washington still easily maintains the largest collection of foreign bases in world history: more than 1,000 military installations outside the 50 states and Washington, DC. They include everything from decades-old bases in Germany and Japan to brand-new drone bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean and even resorts for military vacationers in Italy and South Korea.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Even as the domestic economy empties out the US will continue to pour its remaining resources into its military machine.

    • joe90 12.2

      Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave.

      This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land — young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes.

      There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage.

      It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes.

      And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.

      So before we vote, let us ponder the admonition of Edmund Burke, the great parliamentarian of an earlier day: “A contentious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.”

      George McGovern. September 1, 1970,

  12. Dv 14

    That Draco, is the path of Nats “policy”.

  13. prism 15

    Would it be a good idea for trying to limit the amount of flaming and RWNJ
    statements if people were limited to ten comments (or 15) a day? Often
    multiple comments are in reply to outrageous statements from someone
    who isn’t seeking the truth.

    At 11 a.m. there were 78 comments on one
    thread and I think 17 from Gosman. Then there are the replies to
    him, more heat than light. If it was a newspaper and someone was flaming
    you would at least be able to burn it and get some useful heat.

    • Campbell Larsen 15.1

      That’s a bridge too far Prism, I think the mods (and contributors who sometime do their work for them) do a great job here and can see no need for a blanket rule – that’s my 2c anyway…

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        UAC yesterday was classic. Total threadjack, couldn’t spend any energy discussing serious issues because of one immature right wing asshole who kept insisting up was down, black was white, North was South, you get the idea.

        Now I have days where I comment a lot. And even I think that a 15 comment limit between 8am and 8pm would work just fine.

        • lprent 15.1.1.1

          Wouldn’t be hard to impose. I might put it in with a bit of heuristic/fuzzy logic. There are some interesting values I have been getting from running stats over our comments that would give some good starting points.

  14. captain hook 16

    Anyone watch Dave Letterman today?
    He told of 20 states and the Hudson River where the aquifers have been totally poisoned by frakking.
    and we want to do it here!

  15. prism 17

    CL
    Often a good system is limited by the fact that no-one can bring themselves to do some tweaking. When there are some limits, more care goes into making a worthwhile comment. When our newspaper brought its wording down from 300 to 200 for letters, it resulted in more careful composition, construction and editing. So the thinking increases exponentially when trying to avoid controls on excess verbiage etc.

    Incidentally in the new format my comments window doesn’t wrap at the..right hand edge and shoots off and out of sight. The only way to read the whole thing is to press the home and end buttons – like playing tennis.

    Also getting visits from Cloud Flare saying cache isn’t available etc. It says that when busy this can happen so maybe it’s the time of night when I guess things are humming.

    • Campbell Larsen 17.1

      @prism I’m all for better writing, when it’s just text writing style is right up there with content in terms of creating a good experience – it’s just that your suggestion plays into the hands of anyone gaming the system with multiple IP addresses and Id’s and could actually end up gagging honest commentators.

      Also there are some commentators here that I am quite happy to read a lot of – even when the discussion is essentially troll negation…

    • lprent 17.2

      I’ve looked at such restrictions before. When I had more time few years ago I looked at the stats of discussion generated from comments as replies from different respondents (a pretty good surrogate for people’s ability to generate discussion).

      Outside of the extremes (one or two line comments and ones that were pages in length), there is no significant correlation with text size, average word size, etc.

      The significant correlations are :-

      That crap punctuation (excessive or none or capitalization syndromes) doesn’t attract too many replies. Long sentences and long paragraphs drop replies a lot. Similarly high frequencies to words unknown to my dictionary (mostly spelling mistakes) dropped the numbers of replies a lot. All of these appeared to be additive in effect. It appears that the language police were right (damn).

      There are words and phrases that have higher probabilities of replies – but all with relatively low significance. I was going to try to do a longitudinal study of phrases to see if there was a pattern in time. But it got rather hard because repetition rates are quite low once we got rid of the more boring trolls.

      On the tech side. The number of replies also goes down as the number of links goes up. Smilies made no difference (took a bit to separate that from normal punctuation :) ) . Clear quoting does (I used block quote and italics as it was a pain getting a reliable quote regular expression that didn’t slow the process to a crawl) – but with marginal significance.

      There are people who consistently get a lot of replies to almost everything they write, and others who have a really amazing ability to never get any, or from just one person. But there is a pretty clear Pareto effect.

      It was an interesting use of some of the regular expression modules out of boost, some stats modules from open sources and the toolkit used by the sphinx search engine. You could see after doing it how easy it is to do significant data mining on social media.

    • lprent 17.3

      I will look at the comment stuff. What is it showing up on – browser, OS.

  16. higherstandard 18

    Another great NZer passes away.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mahy

  17. freedom 19

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/7327574/Globe-trotting-musicians-bid-to-be-Kiwi-foiled

    head meets wall repeats

    “recommendations were made to the minister on set criteria, including that applicants had to have spent 240 days in New Zealand for each of the past five years.”

    The section was surely intended to apply to recent immigrants, which is hardly relevant in this circumstance, head meets wall repeats.

  18. bad12 20

    Slippery the Prime Minister is running forwards in reverse as far as ‘plain packaging’ on tobacco products goes,

    Having a bob each way on the subject at the moment while He gauges if there’s any votes to be gained from doing such and having various companies and country’s involved in tobacco production sue New Zealand’s butte in various World judicial forums,

    ASH fanatics should eat their hearts out as Slippery sez it will be too difficult to ban tobacco products out-right, and unsaid, His Government once the next round of 10% rises is implemented will be collecting in taxation approximately 1.3 billion dollars a year over and above the cost to the Government of our tobacco use, so why would they stoop to banning the latest cash cow,

    You have to call BULLSHIT on the whole thing about here as we have one politician, Slippery doing the two-faced taxation will make New Zealand smoke-free by 2020 and then in the next breath saying that its not possible to do that,

    There’s still tho the savior of the human race in the form of the Maori Party determined to ‘save their people’ from the evils of tobacco by taking all the money outta their pockets and make damn sure that the poor diet of ‘Tariana’s people’ will be assured for quite some time into the future thereby killing one hell of a lot more of them a lot sooner then the dreaded tobacco can simply by affording them only the poorest of diets,

    Thanks Auntie Tariana,

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    3 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    3 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    3 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    4 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    4 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    5 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    6 days ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    7 days ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere