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Open mike 23/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 23rd, 2012 - 178 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…

178 comments on “Open mike 23/09/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    Checked around the opposition party websites this morning. Some items posted in the last 2 days:

    Mana is campaigning to make Otara a pokie free zone and is celebrating a small victory:

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/09/fast-food-pokies-loses-battle-a-victory-for-mana-and-a-victory-for-otara/

    The fast-food pokie outlet at 120 East Tamaki Road lost its appeal to the Gambling Commission and will be closing.

    Green MP Catherine Delahunty put out a statement on National Standards:

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/standards-publishing-will-set-back-education

    “Schools throughout New Zealand are tackling complex issues many relating to wider socio-economic problems. Some schools are achieving amazing results that are not captured in the way the National Standards data is collated.

    “The publishing of these standards today fails to take these issues into account.

    “The Government’s ideological policies and the desire by some in the media to come up with ranking systems will harm the long term educational prospects of our children.”

    Annette King keeps on the government’s case about housing:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/state-houses-empty-while-thousands-wait

    This reminds me, King quoted some figures in the House last week on the large amount of single women, on a range of incomes, who are having difficulty finding affordable housing – some are couch-surfing, some sleeping in their cars. This includes women on low incomes as well as women who are ‘quite well educated” (i.e. in terms of formal qualifications).

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/a/6/f/50HansD_20120919_00000012-General-Debate.htm

    King said:

    In fact, the problem has got so big in Nelson that the Salvation Army is undertaking a major piece of work to focus on why single women are becoming homeless and what plans it could have for housing in the future. It has found increasing numbers of single women are sleeping in cars, are couch surfing, or are in short-term hostels.

    One of the reasons it has found is housing affordability. It is getting worse. There are fewer low-income homes available. Here in Wellington there is a growing number of homeless women, and it is being put down once again to the cost of housing, a housing shortage, and a lack of jobs. Contrary to the popular belief, many of these people are well-educated women. They are not the stereotypical dropouts or checkouts of society that some people may think.

    And Brendan Horan of NZ First keeps on the case of Kiwirail:

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/kiwirail-now-nzs-most-dysfunctional-state-company

    He lists a range of problems and says:

    Mr Horan says KiwiRail has serious maintenance problems but on Monday will announce that about 160 maintenance workers will lose their jobs.

    “It is irresponsible to sack these workers when KiwiRail’s tracks and equipment are in a state of disrepair.

    “The government has to put people in charge of KiwiRail who know what they are doing and are capable of maintaining standards to an acceptable level.

    • tc 1.1

      Yup, you only have to look at the NACT friendly muppets fresh from other SOE’s etc to see it’s all about following the Hollowmens orders rather then run an effective service.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      “The government has to put people in charge of KiwiRail who know what they are doing…

      The government has – it’s just that their job is to destroy Kiwirail.

      • Jokerman 1.2.1

        Stuff. the MSM. “…you gotta give the people something good to read…on a Sunday
        S(t)andanista
        (Charlie don’t surf, and we think he shooould…)

  2. Jenny 2

    It’s good to see all the opposition parties working so well.

  3. freedom 3

    Our Minister of Justice, Judith ‘I’m not here to eat my lunch’ Collins sits there straight faced calling Alcohol our social drug that most adults use responsibly. As Alcohol is proven to be a far more dangerous and harmful drug than Marijuana, why then does the Minister not believe those same adults could use this less harmful drug just as responsibly?

    • Jokerman 3.1

      Collins is in denial (it is not just a river in Egypt)
      God forsake us if she bullies her way into PM (Shipley on steroids?)

      poor ól David Parker; consistently not so articulate, particularly under pressure
      -people need to have confidence in their representatives Dave

      Jesse Ventura’s recent book-”Democrips and Rebloodicans” (he’s wrestling the presidency;like Pink)

      These proposed new Vehicle Safety Check Regulations; essentially will increase consumption
      -replacement rather than timely maintenence and repair

      • freedom 3.1.1

        There is an excellent interview with the big V running on RT. Simple plain statments of simple plain truths. i especially like his Foreign Policy which can be summed up as: if a country or its people asks for our help we will be there. If they don’t we have no right to intervene!

        best of all he has the guts to say the Electoral College is a corrupt and outdated political institution that is not relevant fair or necessary

        • Jokerman 3.1.1.1

          there is hope for “real” men, and women, within, and above, Politics (unlike that bigotted Sabin)

    • Vicky32 3.2

      Our Minister of Justice, Judith ‘I’m not here to eat my lunch’ Collins sits there straight faced calling Alcohol our social drug that most adults use responsibly

      Lolwut! What’s she smoking? :D

      • BernyD 3.2.1

        I’d be picking coffee and a good breakfast myself :-D
        She should qualify that statement with the word “Depressant” somehow

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      In summary, the Rich Right have managed to convince many to vote against their best financial and social interests.

      The voices on the Left don’t seem to have had any decent counter strategy…other than to drift Right in order to try and benefit from some of that misdirected voting as well.

      Sorta useless, really.

  4. freedom 5

    I recently emailed Stuff two questions regarding their 180 degree shift in comments policy. The whole Stuff Nation ‘ bringing the community together ‘ by only including registered users ramble seems a bit counter-intuitive. Not to mention it highlights the downward spiral of journalistic standards and further blurs the distinction between facts and opinion.

    I asked if they could offer any explanation or reasoning behind the switch ( and do not expect a response ) I also asked when Stuff Mobile access will have comments restored? I have had a partial response to the second question only… ” Functionality will be restored within the next few weeks” ( ;) the timing of that being after the House rises is surely just a co-incidence)

    • Carol 5.1

      Ah. interesting. thanks for the link and tip, freedom.

      I had been avoiding stuff nation – I didn’t know what was involved, but couldn’t understand why that needed anything separate from the “Nation” section.

      Now I understand. This is part of the MSM struggling to maintain there dominance in a context where bloggers and online communities have gained a lot of strength.

      So, unlike the old op ed scribes at Granny, rather than attack the bloggers, stuff’s approach is if you can’t beat them join them. By having commenters registers they keep control.

      My inclination is not to join.

      And I had moved SN to the bottom of my browser, so rarely see it.

  5. There is an interesting series articles on National Standards in the Herald this morning, including the first league tables.  Interestingly not all schools were there.

    I found myself compelled to compare the results of my kids primary school with the neighboring schools.  A school with a poor reputation amongst professionals had better results.  Its principal is known to overhype things and it looks like national standard results are no exception.

    And the Herald’s conclusions are not earth shattering.

    1.  Girls do better than boys.
    2.  Maori and Pacifica are doing poorly.
    3.  Rich areas schools perform better.

    We are spending $50 million a year to produce dodgy data that will only hurt some schools.  The money would be far better spent on professional development for teachers and school breakfasts. 

    • Logie97 6.1

      Apparently big classes in big schools are the answer to children’s education.
      Further robust reporting on Standards this morning from the Herald.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10835909

      Bucklands Beach Primary – a decile 10 school – the parents will be asking why the school isn’t achieving 99 pcent at or above the standard. But then the Herald, like most of the uninformed, wouldn’t know a Bell curve if it hit them in the face.

      And, for the record, Parata should have asked her former teacher to show her the P and A register for her classes in Rotorua, to see just how many children were meeting the Standards of the day.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        Yes Logie97. That is an odd article by Jonathon Milne. He says, “Ministry of Education data indicates Bucklands Beach Primary School has nearly 24 pupils for every full-time-equivalent teacher, creating the potential for some of the biggest primary classes in the country.” 24 kids per teacher. Wow. Big classes indeed- not. And I thought all schools worked under the same formula of staffing. The only way around it is if a wealthy Decile 10 school should employ extra staff at their own expense.

        And even if a Decile 10 school has high pass rates it is because it is a Decile 10 not because of any class size. Milne should get a bit of fact in his writing.

        And why has that nice teacher on duty got both feet off the ground? On a bit of a high is she?

        • Dv 6.1.1.1

          AS a matter of interest do the paper who publish pictures of kid in classrooms have releases from the parents?

          I was amused to se the picture in stuff with two girls intent on art.
          BUT that is NOT part of the NS.

      • Logie97 6.1.2

        Sorry, Hekia – Ruatoria.

      • Dv 6.1.3

        DimPost does a better analysis with scatter graphs.

        Show a small positive correlation, but reduced when the special school are removed.

        It is a well worth read to counter the crap analysis by the HOS.

        http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/well-below-standard-in-analysis/

      • Logie97 6.1.4

        Standards? Almost every comment I have read in the discussions over time that attacks the teaching profession appears to include anecdotes of bad experiences the commenter had at secondary school.
        National standards is about primary school people …

    • kiwi_prometheus 6.2

      “1. Girls do better than boys.”

      Imagine if that stat was the other way around – all the professional wailers from Team Feminist on here would be screeching.

      Young men killing themselves in record numbers ( way more than women ) and hardly a peep out of the Left. But “gay marriage” – well what a big performance from the Lifestyle Liberals and coffee table feminists – “my rights! me! me! me!”

      • Dv 6.2.1

        The data is NOT reliable!

      • felix 6.2.2

        Go back to bed k_p, you haven’t woken up yet.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.3

        Oh that kind of comment is not allowed! Not allowed, I say!

      • fatty 6.2.4

        “Young men killing themselves in record numbers ( way more than women ) and hardly a peep out of the Left.”

        This is a central argument of why we need to treat people equally regardless of sexuality and allow gay marriage.

        “But “gay marriage” – well what a big performance from the Lifestyle Liberals and coffee table feminists – “my rights! me! me! me!””

        You just don’t get it, do you?

        • kiwi_prometheus 6.2.4.1

          “This is a central argument of why we need to treat people equally regardless of sexuality and allow gay marriage.”

          Gay marriage will stop young men suiciding?

          VERY tenuous.

          When gays stopped being sexual outlaws in the mid 80s did the young male suicide rate go down?

          When gays got civil unions, did the young male suicide rate go down?

          • felix 6.2.4.1.1

            Women voting. Blacks getting paid. Can’t even rape your own wife.

            What’s the world coming to?

            • kiwi_prometheus 6.2.4.1.1.1

              Surprised you got time to post felix – thought you and your side kick QoT would be too busy outside the Ecuadorean Embassy waving placards and screaming “Stop the Ecuadorean rape culture!!! Stop the Ecuadorean rape culture!!!”.

          • fatty 6.2.4.1.2

            “Gay marriage will stop young men suiciding?”

            No. Of course not. One piece of policy will not stop young men suiciding. That’s a VERY tenuous question.

            Your next two questions are just as tenuous. Those two time frames – after the mid 80s and after 2005 – are the two times during which NZs inequality rose at alarming rates, and naturally suicide rates increased as well. So the rates of suicide increased during those times because the economic exclusion outweighed the social inclusion. Also you have selected legalising homosexuality, and the civil unions…both of which did not bring sexuality equality, but it did highlight sexuality otherness. So I fail to understand how an answer to your stupid question can even be of benefit to this argument…you have failed to acknowledge so many factors.

            If you had the ability to ask a logical question it would go something along these lines:
            “will gay marriage decrease the current levels of suicide in young gay men, and what is the downside to the rest of the community if we accepted gay marriage?”

            The first half of that question is unanswerable without very indepth research, but I would say that if we give equal rights to gays then this will probably reduce the high levels of suicide within that community, I see no reason how gay marriage could cause suicide rates for young gay males to increase. Social exclusion is a key issue in youth suicide. The answer to the second part of that question is that gay marriage does not affect anyone in the heterosexuality community, except for biggots.

        • Vicky32 6.2.4.2

          “But “gay marriage” – well what a big performance from the Lifestyle Liberals and coffee table feminists – “my rights! me! me! me!””
          You just don’t get it, do you?
           

          Not just him, cos I don’t get it either…So, enlighten us!

          • fatty 6.2.4.2.1

            Ffirstly KP said the left do not cry foul over the high rates of youth suicide (which I don’t agree with)…and then KP said that the left are focused on demanding sexuality equality.
            I then pointed out that othering homosexuality and excluding them from the institution of marriage is part of the reason why their rates of suicide are so high (which is some on the left have been saying)
            So KP accuses the left of not addressing gay youth suicide, but then when policies are brought in to address this, KP claims the left fail on both counts. That is why KP doesn’t get it. Do you?

      • Carol 6.2.5

        Yes, there are many concerns about males not doing as well as females in education in recent decades. However, as iI recall it is largely males from lower socio-economic households that are not doing so well in education (I’m in my sick bed today & can’t be bothered looking it up right now -some other time). Those are the boys that need the most help in achieving educationally.

        Males from middle-class backgrounds are continuing to do relatively well in education.

        And the female educational successes don’t translate that well into statistics on paid work. Women, on average, still earn around 80% of male wages.

        And with recent rises in unemployment, women have had the biggest increases in unemployment. And, I posted above about how there is a recent rise in homelessness, even amongst women with success in formal education.

        I also think you’ll find that the gay youth suicide rates are higher than the proportion for youth suicide rates generally for the same gender.

      • Jokerman 6.2.6

        i hope those with the best interests of females at heart are shifting their gaze to the increasing number of homeless women in Aotearoa!

  6. Dr Terry 7

    How interesting that “high grades” are interpreted as indicators of superior human worth (or that is how it is beginning to look to me). Many kids get quite “ordinary” grades at school and proceed to excel in adulthood and maturity. Mostly, citing higher grades as so desirable is a form of snobbery.

    I was deemed a “failure” at secondary school, with terrible grades (in huge classes!) Strangely, upon maturity, I began to “learn”, not necessarily through formal education. And the fact that I gained a straight “A” doctoral degree at a leading university, might just say something. Let us not allow government mismanagement and foolishness cause any child (or parent) to surrender hope.

    • kiwi_prometheus 7.1

      I don’t know what was wrong with the old system? Back in the 80s at highschool we were streamed. I was in the top stream, we got to skip Form 6 and go to Form 7.

      The school had a great reputation for academic performance and sport.

      Mostly the teachers wanted to teach, it was the kids who had bad attitudes and a lot of teacher energy went into keeping them all in line. Bulling was a big problem too.

      Looking back it was a combination of raw talent and effort that set the achievers apart from the rest.

      • felix 7.1.1

        The answer you seek in your first sentence can be found in your third.

        • kiwi_prometheus 7.1.1.1

          You talking about the bullying, pussy cat?

          If so, that is another issue.

          But it does have a big impact on performance.

          Having said that, there was one kid in class got harassed relentlessly for being girly. Still pulled off A grades every year.

      • Logie97 7.1.2

        Bulling at school. Agricultural school, was it?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3

        I don’t know what was wrong with the old system?

        IMO, what was wrong with it was that it taught wrote learning and not critical thinking. That’s why we changed the system as we need more critical and creative thinking rather than boxed in thought.

        • TheContrarian 7.1.3.1

          I have done a couple of university papers where the lecturer sent us the exam questions some weeks before the actual exam to dissuade rote (note the spelling, DtB) learning. As we knew the questions beforehand he’d have spotted mindless repetition over critical thinking immediately.

          • BernyD 7.1.3.1.1

            a qualified exam, wow.
            Hard thing to do if the exam isn’t defined yet.
            School standards and the wrath they wreak

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.3.1.2

            An anecdote is not research and, besides, we’re talking about primary education here.

            (note the spelling, DtB)

            Yeah, it’s one of those irritating English words that has contextual spelling.

            • TheContrarian 7.1.3.1.2.1

              Just giving you a good example of what a critical thinking (higher) education looks like.

              But whatever. Good luck with The Venus Project, Draco

              • Draco T Bastard

                Just giving you a good example of what a critical thinking (higher) education looks like.

                No, actually, you didn’t. What you gave was an example of what you thought was a way to spot “mindless repetition”. None of my uni lecturers gave out the questions weeks before hand as that’s usually considered as cheating and I’m sure that they’d still be able to spot people rabbiting back at them.

                The point that I made is that rote learning comes from the teaching and that teaching has changed over the years so that rote learning is minimised and critical thought patterns is improved.

                • “None of my uni lecturers gave out the questions weeks before hand as that’s usually considered as cheating”

                  You mean like giving people a range of topics to write an assignment on is cheating?
                  When you did an assignment were you only told the topic the day it was due?
                  That’s weird.

                  Look buddy, I know you like to think you are quite the renaissance man but the fact remains that my lecturer at the time wanted his students to write essay answer as opposed to rote repetition. Which was there was maybe two weeks (from memory – might have been one..?) to formulate the response you were to give, which would need to be a critical analysis of the topic. No books allowed in the exam venue, no other bits of paper. You had time to research which topics you wanted to research (not remembering and repeating facts – but actual research) then write an essay on said topic in the time allowed. A critical analysis as opposed to repetition of fact.

                  Go back to your fucking Zeitgeist Movement you limp-dicked fuckhole.

                  Heh, I enjoyed writing that.

                  • McFlock

                    I’ve seen “one of these 3 questions will be the test” done both ways. One was in an economics class, where it really was just rote-learning 3 paragraphs from the notes – completely useless.
                           
                    The other (in a health sciences paper) really was along the lines of answering each question required a decent understanding of large chunks of the course, overlapping on the really important bits of the course. Much more effective as a teaching and assessment tool, imo.  
                       
                    One of those things where the decided direction isn’t possibly as important as the details thereof. 

                    • “The other (in a health sciences paper) really was along the lines of answering each question required a decent understanding of large chunks of the course, overlapping on the really important bits of the course. Much more effective as a teaching and assessment tool, imo.”

                      Jah, I agree. I removes the plain remembering out of it and forces the student (me) to understand, examine and critically assess the material instead of regurgitating what I have read.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You mean like giving people a range of topics to write an assignment on is cheating?

                    Last time I looked an assignment isn’t a test. Get given a range of questions for those and then go do them. They’re to encourage independent research. As I understand it, we’re now getting that sort of teaching in primary which is what kiwi_prometheus was complaining about.

                    No books allowed in the exam venue, no other bits of paper.

                    And now you’re talking about tests again. And, no, I wasn’t given the questions for exams before the exams.

                    And after all that, we’re talking about how teaching was in primary school 20+ years ago. Not the teaching in university.

                    • Carol

                      Yes there has been a move to get uni and students at other levels to think, and work, more critically and actively, rather than just regurgitate material in exams.

                      Unfortunately though, there’s also a thriving illicit business in selling students assignments. So getting them to research an exam question in advance, then write them in the exam, is partly an attempt to counter that form of cheating – but ultimately it’s hard to ensure that some students haven’t just memorised an essay someone else researched for them.

                      Cheats all over the show in this economy of unfettered capitalism, that encourages competition and qualifications over the intrinsic satisfactions of learning.

      • Dr Terry 7.1.4

        “The rest” (as you dismissively describe them) are largely suffering from various forms of abuse, family conflict, social discrimination, self-hate, and plenty else. Thus kp (you seem to have disappeared. See below), carry right on with your self- congratulation and all so believable lack of compassion or broader understanding. I pray God to avoid people of your kind.

      • OneTrack 7.1.5

        Naughty kiwi. Streaming is pure evil because it accepts that students are different and learn at different rates from others at the same age. Such an idea is anathema to the one true religion ie progressivism. No dissension will be tolerated.

    • fatty 7.2

      Well said Dr T….I find that at uni the very smart kids straight out of school are book smart, but their empathetic intelligence is missing. It is the students with a bit of life experience who possess a more rounded and complete intelligence. The high grades at school will result in high grades at early uni level, however when those students are required to go beyond regurgitating information, they begin to struggle.
      High grades at school are not always a sign of intelligence, and are definitely not a sign of moral worth. Since we all have google in our pocket these days, surely its more important to know how to ask the right question, rather than to remember the answer.

      • kiwi_prometheus 7.2.1

        “High grades at school are not always a sign of intelligence”

        Maybe cheating in some cases but otherwise they definitely are a sign of intelligence.

        “It is the students with a bit of life experience who possess a more rounded and complete intelligence. ”

        Yeah life experience only comes with time though, no education system is going to replicate that.

        • fatty 7.2.1.1

          “Yeah life experience only comes with time though”

          Nope. Travel, poverty, illness are a few ways that life experience can be learned very quickly.

          • kiwi_prometheus 7.2.1.1.1

            Travel? It still involves time. How many students can afford or have time to go travel the world?

            Poverty? Like “Mean Streets”?

            That’s a cliche. Just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have more or better “life experience”than the next guy.

            I think experience and time have a very strong link.

            • fatty 7.2.1.1.1.1

              “Travel? It still involves time.”

              Yes, as does everything. But I would say a 25 year old that has travelled extensively, and experienced many cultures, has far more life experience than a 40 year old who has lived in the one country and lived a socially stable life.

              Yeah, poverty, as in having you options and abilities limited so that you are required to improvise. And poverty, as in being excluded from society.
              Its true that – “just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you have more or better ‘life experience’ than the next guy”. But I was replying to your comment: “life experience only comes with time”.

              Life experience and time do have a strong link, but there are many ways to gain life experience.

              • Vicky32

                “Travel? It still involves time.”

                Also money. My un-favourite question in the staff room “Well, so, where did you go for your OE?” I am so fed up with explaining to the middle class kiddies that 70-75% of people in  my age group never had the money or the time for an OE. (The other question is “where did you send your kids for their gap year?”) lolwut?
                It’s yet another case of the well-off assuming that everyone else was as comfortable as them, and sneering at those who for some strange reason (as they see it) didn’t swan off overseas on daddy’s money as soon as they finished school. Prats. 
                News flash – most of us – even now, have to support ourselves, especially those with dead parents.

                • fatty

                  true…travel is a generational privilege which the x and x generations rarely acknowledge, it was not the same for the earlier generations. Anyone between the ages of 18-25 in NZ who has a full time job and no children (not all, but most) can easily travel and live overseas

                  • Vicky32

                    travel is a generational privilege

                    Absolutely true!
                    My son’s 25, but he didn’t have a ‘gap year’, he went straight to university, got his nursing qualifications, and has been working hard since, to save the money to travel. (He’s been to Australia every year since 2009, but my colleague informed that Australia ‘doesn’t count’… )
                    I left school at 17 and got a job, had a child at 18, my father died when I was 20, leaving nothing but a house, I got married when I was 21, and so I have only ever got as far as Australia, and that will never change. Divorced, DPB mother, now unemployed but for 6 week contracts..hence no gap year for my kids!
                    Maybe I’ll get richer when I am older, but there’d be no point in having an OE at 65! :(

                    • felix

                      I dunno about “no point”. I know a few people who had their first OE in their 60s or later.

                      Having said that, overseas travel isn’t as important to some of us as we’re supposed to think it is.

                    • fatty

                      I think travel is worthwhile at any age, if you get the chance. Australia has a very different culture and environment to NZ…a 4 day piss up / shopping spree on the East Coast of aussie might not give someone much life experience, but a 2 week exploration into remote territories costs about the same, and is sure to change a person’s perspective. Even a budget 2 weeks in south east asia was costing about the same when Air Asia was here. The internet has made travelling easier and cheaper.
                      All my travelling has involved very strict saving from work that is around minimum wage. I never got hire purchases, or spent money on consuming things…made a lot of sacrifices during that time to save, and my parents couldn’t contribute a dime.
                      But I was lucky with those things that are a lottery, I have no kids and travel is relatively cheap these days compared to the past.

          • Jokerman 7.2.1.1.2

            u onto fatty; Nietzsche valued different states of health in a thinkers development
            even a little mind-alteration may promote empathy
            the shortcoming of alcohol is that much of the disinhibited thought and behaviour is forgotten once the anasthetic wears off

        • freedom 7.2.1.2

          KP, In genereal high grades are little more than a sign of being able to regurgitate formulaic data and rote learned responses. Attempts to variate from these stimulus-response exercises are generally discouraged, not understood or simply become victim to punitative action either in the classroom or out on the playfield.

          There are many great teachers out there who recognise this and do what they can to combat the concrete flippers of mainstream education but reality is what reality is.

          • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1

            Given that KP claims to have been in the top stream at his school, he’s living proof that grades != intelligence.
                  

            • Jokerman 7.2.1.2.1.1

              wots ya occupation Flockie?
              btw, after completing trade qual and one internal year at Massey, i found independent, extramural study far more efficient, (still receivd personal complimentary letters concerning grades) and just to fill out the load in the final year learnt entry level calc etc from the materials they sent
              (Aaaayes for that too Doc)
              thereafter i found it too disruptive and inefficient to study post-grad as required internally (accepted at two national uni’s)

              Is the need for academics to stand at the front of a large auditorium, or warm the office seats of faculty buildings becoming increasingly redundent?

              and still this relentless elimination of classic arts courses; Is this to further dumb down peoples expectations of what life is all about? the unexamined life and all that…?

              • BernyD

                They must wear spirtual blindfolds.

              • McFlock

                Data cruncher at the moment (hence my transition from “=/=” to “!=” :) ). Taking large datasets and making the important stuff readable for coalface professionals.
                         
                I still have the notion that it’s better to have a lecturer present, but many lecturers in my experience have made themselves redundant via powerpoint – i.e. the content of their talk is basically just what’s on the slides, and there’s little real interaction with students. But then labs and tutes make up for that to some degree.
                       
                But the best lecturers are those who use the ppt slides as talking points, rather than simply rephrasing the bulletpoints for 50 minutes. 
                     
                That and the 30sec opportunity after the lecturer to ask “wtf?” is occasionally useful :) 

                • KJT

                  I found the quality of Teaching at university, apart from the school of Education, obviously, and a few notable exceptions, abysmal.

                  Fortunately some of the worst lecturers had the best notes.
                  I am please I was not at University, in my teens, in the days before power point and notes online.
                  Graduate students that did tutorials and marking devoted, mostly, little time or understanding to the task.

                  Many university staff seemed to just consider the students a necessary nuisance.

            • BernyD 7.2.1.2.1.2

              Yknow, some people have a -ve iq?
              (refer to my comment on hide recently to understand -ve)
              Reall problem when we (+iq people), try to mimmick them, most decide not too after trying.
              Fundamental in society almost at one point before the 90′s give or take, leads too disassociative behaviour.
              The actual number is the same, just put a negative on it.

        • Dr Terry 7.2.1.3

          kp wrong again. It is one thing to have a good brain and subsequent “success” at school, but often quite another thing to be “intelligent” (which you are not). It is a grave error to necessarily equate brain with intelligent behaviour (so many “bright” people have no common sense, ethics, or empathy).

  7. blue leopard 8

    JOHN BANKS MUST GO – Avaaz petition

    I just came across this petition in the comments on Tumeke blogspot:

    http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/tumeke-exclusive-interview-with-john.html

    Petition:

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/John_Banks_Must_Go_1/?tBZcccb

    Here is some info on Avaaz for those who like to know more before signing up:

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

    And their homepage (I couldn’t load their “about” page hence only providing the homepage link)

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/

  8. Feargal 9

    Clean Green 100% Pure Bullshit

    Clean Green = 100% Pure Bullshit, when the foreign press wake up to the Bullshit Green Lie. We’ve had rammed down our collective throats. Then we’ll see how good the Dairy Cheque is to the economy. – - – - Wake up NZ It’s GREEN because of all the imported Grassland and imported Fertilisers, and 40 million bloody old Heiffers shitting all over it. Oh and it Rains alot here.

    Never was a Island so changed from its’ natural state to its’ present so quickly In the entire History of Humanity.

  9. prism 10

    I watched tv prime last night Nazi Hunters at 11pm. I learned about Himmler and was reminded that Hitler and he were both imprisoned in an attempt early in the 1930s to control their excesses. It may have done that but didn’t affect them long. Himmler was a gun organiser and was very meticulous with detail. Interestingly his father was a teacher and his mother an ardent Catholic.
    Himmler had gathered an army by mid 1930′s of tens of thousands of young men, vetted in every way, health, teeth, heritage (German since 1900s), and devoted to Nazi ideals and obedient to orders.

    As early as 1921 student unions barred Jews from membership, and a referendum on this showed 76% of the votes agreed with the ban.
    At the same time, Nazi newspapers began agitating for a boycott of Jewish businesses and anti-Jewish boycotts became a regular feature of 1920′s regional German politics with right-wing German parties becoming closed to Jews.

    From wikipedia headings under Hitlers brownshirts -
    1 In 1921 Adolf Hitler formed his own private army called Sturm Abteilung (Storm Section). The SA (also known as stormtroopers or brownshirts) were instructed to …
    2 To ‘keep the peace’ and maintain law and order, the SA (the Brown Shirts) roamed the streets beating up those who openly opposed Hitler. The election took …
    Then the attacks on the Jews and anybody disliked or disapproved of with opposing views started. Dachau was opened mid 1938, the first concentration camp. All very chilling stuff.

    Then this morning there was a report on the size of the Russian men’s group with right wing, attitudes mounting attacks against perceived outsiders from Eastern Europe. So there is a large group of young men with twisted values establishing their own priorities, acting against the established government, committing violence. Sounds shittily familiar.

    • prism 10.1

      I shouldn’t have put that Himmler was a gun organiser, another adjective like outstanding would have been clearer. Gun as in being slang for very good was misleading.

      • Jokerman 10.1.1

        i understand Himmler’s and Heydrich’s developments well
        Heydrich was the epitome, the exemplar; thats why it was important he was assasinated

      • Vicky32 10.1.2

        I shouldn’t have put that Himmler was a gun organiser, another adjective like outstanding would have been clearer.

        :D
        Yes, it misled me! It is a kiwi-ism? (I was thinking NRA) …

    • freedom 10.2

      instead we continue to have a large group of old men with twisted values establishing their own priorities, acting against the established citizenry, committing violence.

      Many of whom were trained and programmed by the very people you are rightly vilifying

      so what was your point?

      The machine that forged the hatred is still fuelled fired and operating at even greater levels of efficiency than it ever was under the psychotic despot with one teste and sweet f.a. artistic talent.

      People seem so willing to forgive and forget that the scientists who obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki largely came from the very same factories and installations that built the camps. These are the same people that since the beginning of the Industrial Age developed the technology, the intelligence services, the torture chambers and the ‘Public Foundations’ of mainstream propoganda that have built the world we have today. That includes the rockets that gave us space. The global intelligence agencies, false flags, Psy-ops and chemical programming. The bioweapons. The security scanners. The spies in the sky and every clinically precise aspect of what has matured to become Homeland Security. A living manifesto of oppression that is being built boxed and shipped out to every corner of the globe.

      and you have your knickers in a twist about a few rowdy russians?

      • prism 10.2.1

        freedom 10.2
        When I wrote about Himmler’s young troops and then referred to Russian right wingers I said that their was a similarity. That was my point.

        I don’t know what your point was in decrying my piece. You seem to be angry that I didn’t list all the major acts of viciousness by humans since the Industrial Age. I would have thought it would be good to see someone giving some attention to the environment likely to create fighting and human degradation as that is apparently your concern.

        I think you sound a bit crazy. If you study human behaviour too closely it is a likely outcome. I suggest you take a brief moment to vilify me as you seem to want an aggressive war of words, and then take a walk in the park and throw the ducks some bread. They would appreciate that action more than I have receiving your barrage of misdirected invective.

        • freedom 10.2.1.1

          Hi Prism

          Apologies for the tardy reply, was not near a machine last night and accessing The Standard via mobile has gone from being a roulette game to being completely unuseable so had to wait till this a.m. to be near a machine.

          First up i was out of line with the twisted knickers comment, as i was not meaning to make it personal to you. It was sloppy of me to include it.

          Secondly, I am not crazy. Just wanted to clear that up.
          I do however think that mentioning a stream of historical fact should not be responded to with labels of mental illness. Some very unfortunate circumstances have started that way

          The basic point as i said was not to attack you but attack the ongoing ignorance that attempts to suggest that anything has changed since the Third Reich was ‘removed from power’

          For good or bad i am just like this in daily life, i refuse to be a keyboard warrior as you suggest, instead i constantly provoke and promote the sharing of reality and the dialogues that ensue. This means i sometimes piss off new acquaintances but like many i do enjoy feeding the ducks.

          have a great week wherever your endeavours take you.

          Lprent – re the site functionality, I am on a S2. i can barely load pages, they take forever regardless of signal strength whilst other sites/pages are loading and functioning smoothly. The comment box jumps out of sight as soon as you touch it and the page scrolls away making text entry impossible unless you mind trace every character and hope.

          • prism 10.2.1.1.1

            freedom 10 2 1 1
            I don’t consider that being crazy sometimes, is a sign of mental illness. I pointed out that if you are giving a lot of thought to the tragedies of the human condition that could raise your stress levels to max.

            Also my focus was not on what has happened since the attempt at the third reich. I referred to some facts that were interesting about the growth of gangs of men prepared for violence and obedience in Germany which were marshalled to start Himmler’s Nazi army prior to WW2 and that there is an uncomfortably similar scenario starting in Russia.

            We as humans have the propensity for violence, particularly men, though not exclusively so. Anyone looking, learning and thinking about this should not be criticised by you. The world needs to find intelligent ways to respond to this tendency so we reduce violence.

            • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Note that the Wermacht were not that involved in the worst that period in Germany offered. And it was Germany’s professional military who more often than not who were the ones who tried to kill Hitler.

              The Nazis had to form and develop a paramilitary organisation to do the real dirty, nasty work of the Third Reich. Like running the concentration camps and interrogation centres.

              The “gangs of men” you refer to prism eventually became this highly structured and resourced organisation, the SS.

              • prism

                CV
                Yes. Himmler was appointed and took charge of all the nasty work it seems. Finding the right young men for his army. And they noted in the documentary that there needed to be a choice made from within the SS to find those that could cope with shooting people into ready mass graves, or later, handle the gas chamber organisation.

                And people were required to oversee the others. To send them into the large chambers naked, packed in tight so that their body heat would rise to 27 degrees so that the poison gas crystals would be activated. I don’t know how long that took, and imagination must be consciously limited if one is to go on with the day’s activities. It’s so chilling to think that our higher brains can be used to perform such sub-animal atrocities. We are cursed by our so clever brain power that has this dark pit of ferocity and devilry hidden inside.

                This is so awful to think about but I think occasionally things like this should be exposed and referred to though hard to face.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And men of conscience inside Germany did not, or could not, do enough to stop it.

                  With the Japanese, the elite led their own country and own citizens on to nuclear devastation. Its interesting to question the mindset which allowed them to believe that they were ever going to win a war against the mighty energy and industrial resources of the USA.

      • Jokerman 10.2.2

        “cos man has invented his Doom..first step was reaching the moon,…and there’s a woman on my block..she just sit there..as the night grows still..she says who?…who’s, gonna take away his license to kill)

  10. prism 11

    Latest news, matey USA visitor to our NZ prime minster has kindly suggested that we have USA troops stationed here to help with our defence. This at a time when we have to make contact and good relations with the Asian region and China.

    We don’t want any more connection with the USA than we already have, helping them to fight their wars dictated by and channelling to their own moneyed power base and self-centred world view. And once they set up bases here, kindly for our benefit really, and their money started to circulate into willing hands, and their military barriers against complying with our laws stopped us from holding them to account, and all the other ways we would be sullied by them, it would take decades of agitation to get rid of them. Look at Okinawa.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelle-chen/american-occupation-casts_b_598700.html

    • Carol 11.1

      Great! Having US bases here are more likely to make us a target than prevent it.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        They may have have personnel and facilities stationed here in amongst our forces (as they do for the Antarctic programme) but I don’t think its likely to be a base as such.

        I agree, its not needed by NZ and it would permanently alter the neutrality of how our troops are viewed everywhere else in the world.

    • Dr Terry 11.2

      Asia and China (included of course) will be quick to notice duplicity. Be very careful Key & co.!

    • Chris 11.3

      Maybe we can have an American Army Band!!!!!

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        Well we deliberately under resource our own forces so badly we can barely afford to resource our own defence force bands. Pathetic.

  11. BernyD 12

    Might be a bloody good thing for Northland,
    And of course the east or west coast of Southland.

    One thing to remember, is the 6 knot current running down the Tasman Sea.
    I’d be worried about the world calling us a staging ground/crititcal partner,
    So some thought about Australia would have to be included.

    We can’t harbour big ships anyway, no room M8!

    I remember that Sub that was sitting high and dry at low tide, took up the entire Hauraki channel.

    • BernyD 12.1

      It filled it from North Head to Queen st give or take
      They had to wait for a week for the next spring tide, and probably had to reverse out.
      But they visited !, that’s commitment M8

  12. captain hook 13

    so hoping to wAKE UP TOMORROW and read that len brown has fired the management of P.O.A.L. and they ready to challenge the bright new future without the parasites at present in temporary charge.

  13. BernyD 14

    Message for LPRent:

    The up arrow doesn’t work in the Edit Comment dialog box, stopped a couple of days ago.

  14. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10835837

    SOCIAL WELFARE – NOT ‘CORPORATE’ WELFARE!

    HOW MANY BILLION$ OF PUBLIC MONIES COULD BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE NEEDY PUBLIC IF IT WASN’T BEING WASTED ON GREEDY CORPORATE WELFARE BENEFICIARIES?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1111/S00095/wheres-nationals-corporate-welfare-reform.htm

    How many billion$ of public monies could be saved by ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

    Where’s National’s ‘corporate welfare’ reform?

    Which of the maor political parties are pushing for ‘corporate welfare’ reform and shrinking the long-term dependency of the private sector on our public monies?

    Where is the ‘devilish detail’ at both local and central government level – which shows EXACTLY where our public rates and taxes are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    Why aren’t the names of the consultant(s)/ contrators(s) – the scope, term and value of these contracts, published in Council or central government Annual Reports – so this information on the spending of OUR public monies is available for public scrutiny?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • blue leopard 15.1

      Great work, thank you Penny.

      Interesting link from your article:

      “—POGO estimates the government pays billions more annually in taxpayer dollars to hire contractors than it would to hire federal employees to perform comparable services. Specifically, POGO’s study shows that the federal government approves service contract billing rates—deemed fair and reasonable—that pay contractors 1.83 times more than the government pays federal employees in total compensation, and more than 2 times the total compensation paid in the private sector for comparable services.”

      http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/reports/contract-oversight/bad-business/co-gp-20110913.html#Executive%20Summary

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      If NZ central government figures are comparable with those of USA Federal Government – could the current NZ $82 billion central government spend be sliced in half by $40 billion ‘CUTTING OUT THE CONTRACTORS’?

      The answer to that would be no as the total amount of spending that the government spends on contractors is only a few billion but that could probably be reduced by using permanent staff by a few tens of millions per year.

      • blue leopard 15.2.1

        DTB

        So what are you saying?

        Surely where savings exist they should be pursued?

        Or is it solely recipients of community education, welfare and low wage earners and such like who need to be the recipients of the cutting of “unnecessary” costs?

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.1

          I was pointing out that central government spend couldn’t possibly be reduced by 50% just by cutting out contractors but that I’m still in favour of getting rid of the contractors.

      • Penny Bright 15.2.2

        Where are the FACTS to back up this statement Draco?

        “The answer to that would be no as the total amount of spending that the government spends on contractors is only a few billion but that could probably be reduced by using permanent staff by a few tens of millions per year.”

        Kind regards,

        Penny Bright

        http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.2.1

          Well, here (PDF), although I must admit I was actually thinking of consultants rather than contractors ATT. If the $30b/year mentioned in the PDF is spent on contractors then we would still only be looking at savings of ~$15b. A significant amount but not the $40b you mentioned.

          • blue leopard 15.2.2.1.1

            Oh heck! What? only $15billion? Nah….hell no, lets not save that amount…its not $40billion, or $100 billion, so really… lets focus on something else
            :roll:

    • [Deleted. Pointless insult ..RL]

      • blue leopard 15.3.1

        @ Contrarian

        WTF?

        • TheContrarian 15.3.1.1

          I was referring to Penny Bright as a

          [Pointless insults will be deleted...RL]

          • TheContrarian 15.3.1.1.1

            It wasn’t pointless, I think Penny Bright is crazy as evidenced by her hysterical use of capslock

            • McFlock 15.3.1.1.1.1

              thanks, Dr Freud.

            • blue leopard 15.3.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, glad to see some curbing of language from the moderator.

              Contrarian,

              The only grounds that I could agree Mrs Bright as crazy, is that she would have to be somewhat, to be promoting a thinking and informed approach to issues, as she appears to do, in a country such as ours which appears to pride qualities such as alcoholism, thuggery and moronic, numb-skull prejudice and base assumptions.

              I suggest, “The Contrarian”, that your attempts at “countering the ignorant swill spouted by gibbering fools, dishonest bloggers, media personalities, politicians, religious swine, conspiracy theorists and by all those who try make a buck peddling ignorance.” is bound to failure unless you work out how to be less of these things yourself.

              At least provide some links for your base assumptions

              Keep up the good work Penny Bright and thank you.

              • “Yeah, glad to see some curbing of language from the moderator.”

                So let me get this straight:

                Calling Penny Bright crazy = bad. Must be moderated.
                Draco telling someone they are too stupid to understand something = not bad.

                “I suggest, “The Contrarian”, that your attempts at “countering the ignorant swill spouted by gibbering fools, dishonest bloggers, media personalities, politicians, religious swine, conspiracy theorists and by all those who try make a buck peddling ignorance.” is bound to failure unless you work out how to be less of these things yourself.”

                Come on, we both know I have been a miserable failure as a blogger due to my complete indifference to posting or updating my blog. You embarrass us both with your comment.

                • blue leopard

                  “You embarrass us both with your comment.”

                  Well, if this is so at least I embarrass you.

                  A correction FYI:

                  Calling Penny Bright names = incorrect = astutely moderated
                  Draco telling someone that they are too stupid to understand something, if this was referring to you “The Contrarian”, = correct = astute assessment of no need to be moderated.

                  • Of course.
                    What a wonderful moderation system.
                    Because we are right we may call you names but anyone who suggests we are in the wrong must be moderated….Moderation, you’re doing it wrong.

                    blue leopard inferring I must be stupid based upon his assumed understanding that Draco once called me stupid = fine and dandy

                    TheContrarian calling blue leopard a worthless scum-wench fit only for the gutter where he insinuates the raw semen dripping from his overbearing ego = ?

                    • fatty

                      their insults come after a discussion…yours did not and you gave no reason for the insult at the time

                    • Moderation, you’re doing it wrong.

                    • fatty

                      insults, you’re doing it wrong

                    • So you mean I have to engage crazy Penny Bright in conversation before I call her crazy?

                      [Take a week off for pissing the me off ... RL]

                      hahaha. Zing!

                      [Take a month off ..RL]

                    • blue leopard

                      …Oh missed all that, bye bye and thank you TheContrarian; I laughed for 5 minutes on reading:

                      “blue leopard inferring I must be stupid based upon his assumed understanding that Draco once called me stupid = fine and dandy”

                      …of course there isn’t any other reason in the world why I would have arrived at that conclusion otherwise….Funny! :D

                      See you in a month

              • Thanks!

                The problem is that because ‘the books’ at both central and local government are NOT open – we don’t get the ‘devilish’ detail – so we don’t know where exactly our public monies are being spent.

                So much for NZ being ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’?

                If we are the least corrupt – shouldn’t we be the MOST transparent?

                So – how come we aren’t being told WHERE EXACTLY our public monies are being spent?

                Cheers!

                Penny Bright
                ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

                http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • BernyD 15.4

      See , the Herald make ya angry M8!.
      They tell us something in the name of news and then harp placation about “What can we do?”
      Instead of options we have it’s “it’ll be right on the night”.
      Progressive&Civilised?Reporting=???

  15. Ahni at Intercontinental Cry offers some great indigenous news and information. In his latest underreported news was this item

    The Canadian government is getting ready to introduce legislation that would allow individuals to own private property on reserves, effectively abrogating collective ownership of reserve land for any First Nations that adopts the law. The government claims this will encourage economic development; but the reality is far less economical. As Pam Palmater observes, the new law will open the floodgates for the gradual takeover of indigenous lands by non-First Nations peoples, including land-holding companies, banks, corporations; heck, even bored Canadians looking for an adventure!

    Pam’s final paragraph says it all “Canada needs to stop trying to assimilate us and instead focus on fulfilling its legal and treaty obligations instead of trying to find ways around them. I think we have suffered enough – let us go about the hard job of healing and rebuilding our Nations and enjoy our fair share of what is ours.”

    Sounds familar doesn’t it.

  16. captain hook 17

    time to get the mutha’s up against the wall.

  17. Vicky32 18

    I have little doubt that others have already covered this, but when I heard it on Radio NZ this morning, I felt ill…
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10835960

    • muzza 18.2

      Mr Panetta has also left the door open to stationing US troops in New Zealand, if invited, saying the US is more than ready for that kind of relationship

      This will really be a test of what the NZ public will put up with, if like Oz we bend over and had a permanent stationing here.

      “not only for your own security, but help us in providing for the security of the Asia-Pacific region.”

      Asia Pacific does not need your sort of help asshole!

      One wonders what might happen in NZ, should we turn down the “opportunity” offored above by Panetta the coward, because that I think was an instruction, not an open door.

      Most likely when these shared training sessions happen, it will just prove to be more convenient to leave some US troops here, you know, and hey lets build them some new digs as well…Maybe the NZ taxpayer can borrow the money from the military’s owners, at a “fair rate”

      For our safety of course, and failing that, in reaction to an “event” in NZ!

      • Jenny 18.2.1

        What we need is a mass movement campaign that will remind the Panetta’s of this world that NZ is that tiny little country that stood up to them and tossed out their mighty nuclear powered navy.

        I was thinking of a mighty mass people power campaign against any attempt to extradite Mr Dotcom without the US authorities being first required to have to present any evidence at all as to the reasons why, in the legal courts of our properly constituted and sovereign Justice System.

        Any attempt by the US to over ride our sovereignity on this issue should be met with the angriest response possible.

        • Jenny 18.2.1.1

          Talking about the US international bully boy’s disrespect for the rule of law, sovereignty, and their gung ho approach to extradition.

          I imagine that US authorities will do every thing they can to subvert the rule of law in NZ just as they have in Italy. Where in an ironic twist the US is actively opposing extradition of convicted CIA human rights violators.
          As well as convicting 23 CIA agents of civil rights violations, Italian courts have found the CIA guilty of violating Italian sovereignty in illegally abducting a Moslem cleric from Italian territory to a territory where torture is legal in a CIA practice known as “extraordinary rendition”.

          CIA agents guilty of abducting Egyptian cleric: Italian court

          This sentence proves that Italy is a state still under the rule of law. Today Italy’s top criminal court gave Abou Omar back his dignity.

          Abdel Amer President, Egyptian Community in Rome

          Will NZ courts dare to defy the US in doing the same for Dotcom?

          Will our justice system demand that the US authorities at the very least provide their evidence against Kim Dotcom before they agree to deliver Dotcom into the US gulag?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/technology/7706772/Dotcom-in-court-for-documents-appeal

          In this highly politicised case will the National Government try and interfere in the workings of the courts?

          The signs are not good.

          The government’s lawyer, John Pike, said the District Court and High Court do not have the power to order evidence to be disclosed in the extradition process being used. If the record of the case was thought it inadequate the process was for the judge at the extradition hearing to invite the government to add to the record.

          But Paul Davison, QC, acting for Dotcom, said the extradition hearing – currently due to be heard next March – was the same as committing someone for trial. The government had to show evidence that, on the face of it, Dotcom and the others had a case to answer.

          Dotcom would have “both his hands tied behind his back” if he had to go through the extradition hearing without knowing the evidence being used to back up the allegations.

          As the Italian case shows, the US knows a lot about extraditing people with their hands tied behind their backs. In fact it is their preferred method of conducting international ‘justice’.

          And this government wants to let these goons establish a permanent base for their marines here?

          This is an open invitation for abuse and pressure.

        • muzza 18.2.1.2

          Jenny I would like to hope that people still have it in them to understand the importance of issues such as nuclear free NZ and so on, but I would not be surprised if that is no longer the case.

          So many people have left NZ since then, and many of those who arrived may either not know the history or the importance of our position, or simply will not care, time will tell I guess.

          The USA is still seen by many as the “peacekeeper” , do many I speak with from all walks of life, including people in SE Asia where the USA had decimated their countries, actually say thing like “Better that the US is in charge”, and other nonsense statements…

          The USA (Americans are not in charge of that country BTW), will have its way with NZ, unless something very stark happens inside peoples heads, and even then, an “event” could very easily coerce the minds, that having them stationed here is, “in our security interests”

  18. Vicky32 19

    I know a few people who had their first OE in their 60s or later.

     

    I’d be afraid of looking like a bewildered old bag! :D (As I’d be on my own). Oddly, I have just remembered a sad story about a woman I worked with, in my first job after school. She went on her OE at 27, after having saved madly for years – she was in India, house-sitting for someone she knew there – and she was murdered by bandits.
    My mum pointed the story out to me. What phenomenonal bad luck for the poor woman..

    • fatty 19.1

      that is bad luck, extremely bad luck, considering the thousands of travellers who go through India each year and have little to no problems.

      “I’d be afraid of looking like a bewildered old bag!”

      Then you’d look exactly like most travellers, regardless of their age!

      • Vicky32 19.1.1

        that is bad luck, extremely bad luck, considering the thousands of travellers who go through India each year and have little to no problems.
         

        It was indeed, it was very sad…

         
        Then you’d look exactly like most travellers, regardless of their age!

        I suppose that’s true! :D

  19. Herodotus 20

    David Park is losing credibility – blaming the Reserve bank for its actions under Labour, at 33:40 Telling Brash what the reserve bank should have done, 34:15 it is all the reserve banks making the problems. Who when Labour was in power and is currently running NZ ?? By comments in this program it wasn’t who anyone vote for, and how can the NZ$ and property bubbles be the reserve banks making, I thought governments make and enact policy…. silly me.
    http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/The-Nation-The-Nation-Sunday-September-23-2012/tabid/59/articleID/8164/MCat/76/Default.aspx

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Since central banking was introduced by the US in the early 20th century, and increasing central bank “independence” pushed on all of us in the 1970′s and 1980′s, financial and debt crises have got far worse not better.

      • Herodotus 20.1.1

        But we have the No2 David (The David C has more going for him than David 1 & 2) now saying that it is all the res banks fault. Funny when housing started its meteoric rise did that not in 2003/4 also coincide with net migration of over 40k & low interest rates ? and does not the govt of the day control immigration policy? It appears not, it is The RB that controls it.
        The GFC was built around lack of controls and those who caused the problem (Bankers) also being rewarded afterwards with QE1 and QE11 handouts, and the worker got shafted.
        Nothing said gave any reassurance that the authors know what the solutions are or the consequences, it took some badgering from Brash to get anything out of David P, Winny gave nothing to the conservation either.
        Like Housing the $ is an issue, yet the solutions ???

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          Good points. Cullen knew that private debt (farm and house mortgage) levels were going through the roof through that entire time. That was fuelling massive asset price rises – keeping middle class property owning voters nice and happy.

    • RedLogix 20.2

      The Fifth Labour govt. was from a fiscal perspective pretty ‘orthodox’. While Michael Cullen was never going to stray too far from the Keynsian ideas he grew up with but unfortunately for much of the prior two decades the intellectual force of these ideas had been largely neutered by the sheer momentum of the neo-liberal school. Dr Cullen expressed to me personally how his scope to operate had some very real boundaries; step over them and the establishment would crush him.

      Helen Clark was also fundamentally a cautious person (consider her family background for a moment) and while she held strong principles around social justice, finance was very much not her comfort zone. It was very unlikely she would drive fiscal policy in new directions either. Both Cullen and Clark were incrementalists, and while the stats showed modest gains, such an approach is readily unravelled as this National govt is proving so adept at.

      Governments really do operate within a particular context … at the time New Zealand was undergoing the greatest credit bubble in all it’s history and far too many people imagined they were doing far too well out of it to contemplate anyone acting to stop it.

      This is the fundamental limitation of democracy as we know it. Unless you can build a social consensus around the need to act on a long-term challenge … short-term interests will always dominate.

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.1

        Unless you can build a social consensus around the need to act on a long-term challenge … short-term interests will always dominate.

        Hard for Labour to build a consensus when it won’t even talk about the principles and values involved. And there’s hardly any shorter term interests than our politician’s 3 year horizon.

        The Fifth Labour govt. was from a fiscal perspective pretty ‘orthodox’.

        Their monetary policy was pretty orthodox as well. Read “neoliberal”. They surfed on the appearance of good times due to rising (debt based) spending power and asset wealth.

        Notice how the Auckland housing situation is in such a crisis? That’s a crisis which has been a decade or two in the making. What did Labour do about it when they were in power? Tinker, and try not to upset the neoliberal ‘market knows best’ apple cart.

      • Herodotus 20.2.2

        Initially the 5th Lab govt had to restore credibility to our economy, but 8 years of resoration? We needed to go to the next level yet we have regressed instead of progressed
        I still think (Though open towards changes) that Labour indirectly supported the housing boom as without having to promise anything they go the support/votes of the housing middle class who were making obscene money (Untaxed). Remember Bill Clint and the economy stupid.
        Should we allow the $ to be artificialy reduced what will this cause, The Res Bank does not have the means that the EB, Swiss bank or Fed has to keep on printing money, and as Brash commented that reduce interest rates what effect will that be to these multi property owners ? Yet again rewarding those who are the cause of the problem.

        • RedLogix 20.2.2.1

          Agreed .. but again until very recently even the mention of a CGT was considered political suicide in this country. (Personally I still hold that a CGT is the least effective means to dampen credit bubbles). And it’s a mistake to apply 20/20 hindsight when back in say 2005 when the problem might have been turned around there were only a handful of credible voices saying anything.

          Even figures like Steven Keen who is on record as formally predicting the entire crisis by correctly pointing out the role of skyrocketing Debt to GDP ratios (and in this case private debt fuelling a massive house price bubble) … were back at that time obscure and entirely marginalised voices.

          • Colonial Viper 20.2.2.1.1

            And now its 7 years on from 2005. Is our political discourse that much further ahead. Or is it still dancing around softly softly.

            BTW things like the Government ensuring affordable housing for all shouldn’t have been controversial at all for a left wing party, outside of a neoliberal context that is.

            • BernyD 20.2.2.1.1.1

              I’m hoping 4 the first time in years, that they can at least see the ground in front of them.

            • RedLogix 20.2.2.1.1.2

              Is our political discourse that much further ahead. Or is it still dancing around softly softly.

              In public mostly the later … largely because Key and English have mocked and throttled all attempts to kick the debate along in any meaningful fashion.

              It was encouraging however to see at least several Treasury and RB heavyweights, along with a couple of well known bank economists, Russel Norman and a number of other beltway types in the room when Steven Keen gave his Wgtn seminar a fortnight ago. (All up about 25 in attendance and the general atmosphere was pretty constructive and thoughtful.)

              Keen made strong reference to the New Zealand RB’s unique heritage around the pioneering work of Bill Phillips in the field of dynamic modelling of economic systems. And then went on to hint about a possible link up around some ‘modelling work’ he was pursuing with at least some people within the RB.

              I’ve no idea exactly what this really means or whether it will lead to anything but it’s a sign that at least some younger economists are challenging the neo-liberal stranglehold.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ahhh very nice feedback indeed from the Keen lecture. Thanks RL.

                • RedLogix

                  To do it justice would require a bunch of work I really have not got the time for right now sadly CV.

                  Although there was nothing ‘new’ in the presentation that I hadn’t seen from Keen before, it was still four hours of high speed, high density stuff. However the Q+A was very good. Keen relaxed a little and came across as a really likeable person… not an easy task for someone so highly intelligent and driven as he is. He responded to some pretty good questions directly and completely .. without evasion or misrepresentation.

                  One neat point that came out was the very nice convergence between Keen’s advocacy for ‘quantitative easing for the people’ and the idea of a UBI.

                  Interestingly when he was asked which country would be ideally placed to trial his ideas he pointed to Spain.

                  All up I got a great deal out if it.

                  • Jokerman

                    Thanks Red
                    btw, i am praying for some form of devaluation; let the chickens come home to roost i say.

                  • Poission

                    Keens debate of the issues which is broadly based on Minskys hypothesis has seen a number of more open debate including the need for a change in both monetary policy by the fed ( better use of constraints) and need to communicate the issues,there is a good discussion by Yellen of the US fed here.

                    http://www.frbsf.org/news/speeches/2009/0416.html

                    There is a background on Minsky here at the Levy institute,

                    Why capitalism fails; the man who saw the meltdown coming had another troubling insight: it will happen again

                    eg In recent months Minsky’s star has only risen. Nobel Prize–winning economists talk about incorporating his insights, and copies of his books are back in print and selling well. He’s gone from being a nearly forgotten figure to a key player in the debate over how to fix the financial system.

                    But if Minsky was as right as he seems to have been, the news is not exactly encouraging. He believed in capitalism, but also believed it had almost a genetic weakness. Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed; rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

                    In other words, the one person who foresaw the crisis also believed that our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

                    http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/?docid=1190

                    That the Kitchen cabinet seems to lessen the debate on these issues is troublesome at least.Repeating the same endogenous forced errors of the past such as unbridled debt fueled asset bubbles in AK is problematic at least.

              • Draco T Bastard

                …but it’s a sign that at least some younger economists are challenging the neo-liberal stranglehold.

                Was talking to my sister (a teacher teaching economics and technology) a few days ago and she asked if I was reading any good books. I mentioned Debunking economics and she responded that I should keep that away from her students because, you know, it would be bad if the young actually questioned the theory that they were being taught.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Need worker drones, just smart enough to do the paper work and turn the wheels, but not smart enough to ask tough questions.

              • muzza

                It was encouraging however to see at least several Treasury and RB heavyweights, along with a couple of well known bank economists, Russel Norman and a number of other beltway types

                While in Wellington end of last year went with some guys who were taking footage to put together a small documentary of our economic reality.. During the process we were approached by a chap who came out of the treasury building, and asked what we were up to, we told him, and he said he was from Treasury Regulatory section and agreed to talk on the condition of not being recorded.

                Asked him a simple question and if he could could alleviate our concerns that apart from the 2% of notes and coin in circulation the rest of our monetary supply originates as interest bearing loans to private lending in, meaning that with only principle being created at entry, countries eventually had to take on even more debt to repay + interest, and as such loans could never be repaid, and countries including NZ would eventually become bankrupted, or “taken over”.

                He agreed that this was the situation, and that it was mostly fraudulent, and that it has been admitted at the highest international levels of banking and the debate has moved on to what next!

                Its no secret what is going on, the real question is, what can be done about it, and when will the press start asking serious questions….Did Keen get any MSM coverage while he was here?

                • BernyD

                  “our monetary supply originates as interest bearing loans to private lending in”
                  2% generated internally?, f’sake no wonder, world wide problem?,f’sake.

                  They adding the digital cashflow into those budgets?
                  If the cashflow is outgoing then we have a conflict on the exchange rate.
                  And maybe we should let it up a bit while they decide the “Next Step”.
                  Ultimately they have to allow for “Theoretical” money, and that’s a hard one.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    essentially, only the notes and coins issued by the Reserve Bank is debt free money. Everything else – including almost all the digital money you mention – is originally created, at some stage, via the production of interest bearing debt.

                    Its like me paying for a $100 item using a credit card. That $100 flows into the shop’s accounts, and then flows on to workers and suppliers from there. But the baseline origin of that $100 is an interest bearing debt.

                    • BernyD

                      i.e the coffer is empty, cause of loan repayments.
                      Which comes back to Goverment backed industries, and the exchange rate.
                      A right pickle M8!
                      One only big money can fix, and it’d have to be “spare” cash, a big ask.
                      I do have one option. But I don’t think yas’ll like it … Iranian Banks.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It gets worse than that. What you see happening in Spain, Italy and Greece is that those countries are now so in debt to bankers and bond holders, the only way they can meet repayments is to borrow even more money from those same bankers and bondholders to do it.

                      Which by the way is what NZ does, on a smaller scale.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Holy frak.

            • Herodotus 20.2.2.1.1.3

              From a meeting I attended run by Planner of the Auck Council, I asked what there refer to as affordable? the answer $400-$450k. For many the answer is a $300 one way ticket to Aussie. Then how could this be achieved, the only reply was for either a rich benefactor to “gift” a large tract of land or for council contributions to be transferred to other developers, but this is in conflict to current legislation. Yet council contributions and Water care equates to approx $30k or for Govt to waiver GST. Still even with all of these measures put in place, we are still talking $350-$400k for a box. Given the cost to live in NZ and our great wage levels not really a change for the Kiwi dream to be realized.
              And now we enter another bubble, also try spending $1m on a house in Auckland and see how little $1m is !!! ;-)
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6839900/No-signs-of-Auckland-housing-bubble-yet
              http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-house-sales-gain-16-percent-august-auckland-christchurch-lead-bd-128058
              http://thestandard.org.nz/housing-bubble-round-2-post/

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