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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,

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  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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