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The Standard

Open mike 29/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2012 - 69 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…

69 comments on “Open mike 29/01/2012”

  1. Hammer 1

    Good morning:

    The “Anthropogenic Global Warming” story takes a hit – this time from the Wall Street Journal.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

    Good to see Dr Chris de Freitas get an honourable mention too.

    [Pull another ‘dump and run’ like this and you will be put into moderation…RL]

  2. dv 2

    How well did the Wall Street Journal do at predicting the GFC, and that is in the area of their expertise.

  3. Jenny 3

    (From the link supplied by Hammer above)

    The rebuttal from the Wall Street Journal that the increasing occurance of extreme weather events witnessed around world is a result of climate change is extremely weak:

    …those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.

    Compare this insipid bleating to the results in this study published in Reuters and covered by Scientific American.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=refile-flooding-is-biggest-climate

    Click to EditDelete

  4. randal 4

    the idiotes at the wall street journal blew it some years back when they lost focus and started betting on power futures and it ended up falling into the hands of rupert and now its just another rag.

    • ropata 4.1

      Slashdot geeks take apart the WSJ quite effectively

      It’s a biased op-ed from a right-wing newspaper. To quote Forbes:

      But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal in this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

      Also

      Claude Allegre is the first scientist cited. This is from his Wikipedia entry

      Claude Allègre
      In 1996, Allègre opposed the removal of carcinogenic asbestos from the Jussieu university campus in Paris, describing it as harmless and dismissing concerns about it as a form of “psychosis created by leftists”.[6] The campus’ asbestos is deemed to have killed 22 people and caused serious health problems in 130 others.[7]

  5. RedLogix 5

    A soldier trying out for the elite SAS is in a coma after suffering extreme heat stroke while taking part in a gruelling selection course.

    Lieutenant Alexander Teira Cowan, 25, collapsed while running in the Hunua Ranges near the SAS base in South Auckland.

    The incident has sparked an inquiry into selection processes for the New Zealand Special Air Service, which has the motto “Who Dares Wins”.

    Medics on the scene could not revive Cowan and called St John Ambulance to take him to Middlemore Hospital on Wednesday, where he remains in a coma with possible brain damage.

    Speaking from the family home in Bridge Pa, Cowan’s father Monty said he had doubts his son would survive. “He’s pretty crook. I don’t know if he’s going to pull through.

    Herald

    Watching the Australian version of this on tele recently I was struck at how abusive some of these courses can become. Now I fully accept the need and right for the SAS to select the best candidates… and that will inevitably involve putting them through stress testing to ‘weed out the dreamers’. And while that is necessary to a degree; at some point it seems to be stepping over the line and degenerates into some kind of mad macho battle of wills to ‘break’ them.

    As some of you here may have noticed, I’m a keen tramper. In my experience requiring a human being to complete battle efficiency training which involved running 8km in under one hour and 12 minutes carrying 35kg. presumably while wearing full battle fatigues over rough terrain in the Hunuas… in the middle of summer is plain nuts.

    Who the hell approved this nonsense?

    • chris73 5.1

      Its only nonsense to you, to me its selecting the best the NZ armed forces has to offer and training them to be even better.

      You lower the standard (insert whatever pun you feel appropriate here) and testing then you lower the caliber of the soldier.

      Once thats lowered then you put those soldiers at greater risk when they’re called on to do the hard tasks they’re expected to carry out.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        As the article pointed out the real challenge is mostly mental. There are plenty of smart ways of achieving that rather than risking their lives by physically breaking them.

        That’s does not necessarily have to imply a lowering of standards.

        • chris73 5.1.1.1

          Crap

          The physical side is as important if not more so then the mental. Its one thing to think or believe you can do something and quite another to know or experience it.

          Stick to politics.

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            As I stated above… I’ve done plenty of the physical stuff. It means I’ve got some idea of what happens when you drive a human body into thermal overload.

            On Boxing Day … just a few weeks ago… I did an 6hr tramp up a local peak. In that period I drank 4litres of water and came home 2kg lighter than when I left. That’s a total loss of 6 litres of sweat. The temperature was at least 26 degC and humid.

            The last 2 hrs I was dehydrated, overheated and struggling. Badly. The one person I happened to meet on the way down enquired as to my well-being.

            Fortunately I was carrying less than 8kg, stripped down to my shorts and I could rest when I needed to. This was nothing to do with how fit I am. I’ve done the exact same tramp in cooler temps and while it’s still a physical challenge (over 16km of steep bush track/sub-alpine tops, and almost 2000m of total elevation gain).. I wasn’t experiencing physiological stress the way I did this last trip.

            When did you last push yourself that hard chris?

            • chris73 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you want a medal? I have three.

              So you go hard well whoop-de-do and good for you, were you training for selection? Training because you might have to push yourself in a war zone? Training because it may well mean the difference between life and death?

              An incident happens and thats regretable but how many incidents happen in training?

              Not many but as I’m sure you’re aware things can and will happen in the outdoors so instead of letting some week-end warriors decide what these guys do in thier training I think its best the people that know what they’re doing figure it out

              You want to help then go lobby your MP to sort out the rules regarding outdoor pursuits centers

              • RedLogix

                I think its best the people that know what they’re doing figure it out

                And given that they’ve got one guy near death in hospital it’s fair enough to ask if they really do know what they are doing.

                As for your sarcasm… you asked if I knew what hyperthermia was and if I had experienced it. I gave you a factual response.

                I really do believe you have three medals….Arsehatery and Double Bar I dare say.

                • chris73

                  And given that they’ve put one guy near death in hospital it’s fair enough to ask if they really do know what they are doing.

                  – So how long has selections been run for and only one report of an incident happening, thats pretty good when you consider how many people get hurt or killed in the outdoors.

                  “at some point it seems to be stepping over the line and degenerates into some kind of mad macho battle of wills to ‘break’ them.”

                  – Typical of a leftie, don’t understand something so label it “negative”, maybe you think they could use some sensitivity training as well?

                  • RedLogix

                    Try reading what I said.. Now I fully accept the need and right for the SAS to select the best candidates… and that will inevitably involve putting them through stress testing to ‘weed out the dreamers’.

                    Where does that say “sensitivity training”?

                    If there is one thing I’ve learnt from more than 40 years of banging about our mountains it is that the difference between success and failure is mostly mental. When faced with any challenge the crucial thing is NOT how strong or fit you are.. it is how well you use the resources available to you.

                    I’ve seen slim women out-perform strong men because they had their head screwed on. Equally I recall being rather shocked at discovering one day that technically I was a far better climber than one of this country’s most well-known mountaineers.. but he’s the most remarkably tough minded person I’ve ever met. And that took him places I only ever dreamed about.

                    And I’ve seen perfectly fit and well people completely lose it because they’ve panicked. Above a certain fitness threshold it’s almost all mental.

                    And while some real fitness and strength is unquestionably necessary to serve in the SAS… that is always something that can be developed through simple basic training.

                    But mental toughness, calmness in the face of stress, focus and the ability to be an effective part of a team is much harder to teach. And that is what they should be really selecting for. Pushing candidates to physiological breaking point is just dumbarse.

                    • chris73

                      Pushing candidates to physiological breaking point is just dumbarse.

                      -and theres your ignorance coming out, these guys need to be pushed to breaking point and beyond because in the course of their duties thats exactly what will happen to them so you find out if they can take it in the selection process rather then out in the field

                      Its not just running around hills. mountains etc etc its about seeing how they cope, the decisions they make because if they go into live operations then they’ll have to cope with more then terrain and weather

                      You have experience in the outdoors then put it to good use and lobby your local MP for rules. codes etc for outdoor pursuits centers because they kill and injure more then selection does

                    • RedLogix

                      There is absolutely nothing intelligent about breaking people physiologically. It’s easy, you just make them cold, or hot, or withdraw water and or food. Or any combination thereof. Any fool can do it.

                      All you are doing is just doing a simple experiment that has been done before and adds no useful information that we don’t already know. Make a person cold enough and they get hypothermia. A simple predictable set of consequences result.

                      And if you are operationally relying on men who are physiologically broken .. you have failed already. They simply will not and cannot function effectively.

                      Its not just running around hills. mountains etc etc its about seeing how they cope, the decisions they make because if they go into live operations then they’ll have to cope with more then terrain and weather

                      Like the risk of getting killed? You can sneer all you like at ‘runing around the hills’ Mr Medals… but in 15 yrs of serious alpine climbing I almost certainly came closer to dying far more often than any serving soldier ever does in their entire career. Your macho oneupmanship is completely lost on me.

                      And at the same time I fully respect anyone serving in harms way in our armed services. And I fully understand exactly the level of skill and capability our best SAS soldiers have. But they are human beings, not supermen… and they obey exactly the same physiological limits as any other human being.

                      And that is what baffles me about these SAS selection courses; I’ve had considerable experience in pushing myself to limits I doubt you have ever thought about…. and I know that everytime you break the body’s limits you fail . In my world there’s nothing clever about that; it’s dumbarse.

                      And why are you so defensive about this? Are military matters all so very special that us ordinary civilians aren’t allowed to ask questions?

              • The Voice of Reason

                Purple hearts, Chris? Given the discussion it would be ironic if they were for shedding blood.
                 

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.2

        Terrible old jokes revisited:
         
        When I quit my job as a human cannonball, they said I’d be hard to replace … because you don’t often meet men of my calibre.

  6. johnm 6

    With reference to afewknowthetruth and R. Atack here is another musing about the end days of our oil driven hence Industrial Age. Goodchild reminds us that World production in 2030, only 18 years away will be half what it was in 2005. This fact along with Climate Change are the macro defining realities of this time.

    “Waking In The Half World”
    refer link: http://www.countercurrents.org/goodchild280112.htm

    “Most estimates indicate that by 2030, more or less, annual global oil production will be about half of the peak rate. “Half” the oil with occur at the same time as “half” of everything else (water, metals, electricity, etc.) and the general collapse of both a functional economy (with debts already beyond comprehension) and honest government (if we consider, for example, how casually the US dumped its Constitution and replaced it with the Patriot Act). All of these events will be occurring as a synergistic tangle — or, rather, an “anti-synergistic” tangle, centrifugal rather than centripetal. A little pocket calculator will tell you that, for most practical purposes, industrial civilization will be over by that same date of 2030.”

    Of course “The Normalcy Bias” which I have too finds this assertion ridiculous though logic tells us otherwise. How can the World we grew up in change like this? Well short answer: It can’t ! the above must be just another doomer hypothesis surely!?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      How can the World we grew up in change like this?

      The world didn’t change. The limits were always there but we’ve either never looked for them (Farming in NZ and the resultant polluted rivers and lakes is a good example of this) or ignored them (Peak Oil, Climate Change) when told about them exclaiming that science and “progress” will get us past those limits.

  7. randal 7

    mayor bob parker says the christchurch city council is dysfunctional.
    rod oram in the sst says the chch city council is dysfunctional.
    so what is the dysfunction?
    why are they keeping it to themselves?
    is it too esoteric for mere mortals to understand?

  8. I just found this interview from William Rodrigues and Rosie O’Donnell from November 2009 back.

    Who is William Rodrigues?
    William Rodrigues is a hero. He saved hundreds of people on 911 with his master key and was celebrated as a hero and even invited to the White House. He “became known as “the last man out” as he really was the last man out of the North tower and could only safe his life by diving under a fire engine as the building collapsed in free fall speed.
    All that changed when it became evident that what he had to say did not support the official CT. Here is his story

    • Arthur 8.1

      I just don’t know. I went in to work that morning and when asked about the events my first response was, “who burnt the Reichstag?”

    • ianmac 8.2

      I listened to the interview Trav and tried hard to keep an open mind. William certainly sounded credible and his story has been authenticated by many. The essential truth about the preliminary explosions is the central issue. Prove or disprove and the case becomes credible or not credible. If there were darker forces at work the question about “Why” would need to be answered too. Definitely uneasy about official version versus other stories.

      • travellerev 8.2.1

        Hi Ianmac,

        Thanks for making the effort. Here is a link to a study published only this month. Seismic measuring equipment used to study earthquakes measured the seismic activity in New York on 911. It turns out that the seismographs recorded seismic activity not related to the impact of the planes. In fact it turns out the planes had very little seismic impact at all. So where came that energy from?

        This is the conclusion the author draws:
        CONCLUSION
         
        At the times of the planes’ impacts into the Twin Towers and during their collapses, as well as during the collapse of WTC7, seismic waves were generated. To the degree that (1) seismic waves are only created by brief impulses and (2) that low frequencies are associated with an energy (magnitude) that is comparable to a seismic event, the waves recorded at Palisades and analyzed by LDEO undeniably have an explosive origin. Even if the planes’ impacts and the fall of the debris from the Towers onto the ground could have generated seismic waves, their magnitude would have been insufficient to be recorded 34 km away and should have been very similar to one another. As we have shown, they were not.
         
        The types and magnitudes of the seismic signals show significant differences. The greatest differences occur in their propagation speeds, even though their paths were essentially identical under identical conditions. This difference is physically unexplained in the interpretation of the events offered by the LDEO researchers, the 9/11 Commission and NIST. Therefore, we must question their calculations of wave propagation speeds based on their assumption that the wave origins are shown on the video images of impacts and collapses. We can only conclude that the wave sources were independently detonated explosives at other times, thus accounting for the variable discrepancies for each wave origin in relation to the videos.
         
        The composition of the waves is revealing both in terms of the location of the source and the magnitude of the energy transmitted to the ground. The subterranean origin of the waves emitted when WTC1 collapsed is attested by the presence of the P and S body waves along with the Rayleigh surface waves, which are present in all five explosions. The placement of the source locations of the four other explosions is subaerial, attested by the unique presence of Rayleigh waves. The aerial explosions visible on the videos of the upper floors of the Twin Towers do not produce seismic waves 34 km from the source.
         
        There is a factor of ten between the power of the explosions at the time of the plane impacts on the Twin Towers (as well as at the time of the collapse of WTC7) and the strength of those more powerful explosions at the times of their collapses, the subterranean explosion under WTC1 being the one that transmitted the most energy to the ground.
         
        Note as well the degree to which the surface waves are dispersive (i.e., their speed depends upon their frequency). The duration of the recorded signal is not representative of the duration of the signal at the source.
        Finally, controlled demolition of the three towers, suggested by the visual and audio witness testimony as well as by observations of video recordings of their collapses, is thus confirmed and demonstrated by analysis of the seismic waves emitted at the moments of the plane impacts and at the moments of the collapses.
         

      • RedLogix 8.2.2

        Yes. I recall looking at that seismic evidence very early on within the first few days after the event. Intriguing.

        I’ve always said that the 9/11 “Truth” movement has struggled because often as not it got side-tracked (deliberately or naively) into chasing lines of enquiry that while superficially appealing, were ultimately less telling than the many more rather prosaic facts around the whole affair.

        Like they finally got Al Capone on tax evasion …

  9. Jenny 9

    Innocent until proven Maori.

    Some 76 officers, six times as many as took out Osama bin Laden, swooped – a lot more than are deployed against allegedly desperate homegrown criminals, except perhaps for terrorists in Te Urewera.

    In an editorial on the Kim Dotcom arrest, the Herald dispenses with the niceties. Referring to Tuhoe awaiting trial over the Urewera raids, as “terrorists in Te Urewera”.

    I notice the Herald are not as convinced of the guilt of those charged with white collar crime referring to “alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom.”

    The same for those at South Canterbury charged with “allegedly” defrauding the taxpayer to the tune of $1.7 billion.

    Inferring guilt by association, the Herald include “terrorists in Te Urewera”, “desperate home grown criminals”, “Osama bin Laden”, all in the same breathless sentence.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10781891

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      “Some 76 officers, six times as many as took out Osama bin Laden, swooped”

      Which is a completely irrelevant comparison to make, because those that took our Osama bin Laden weren’t just your ‘average’ police or even army folk, but the US’ navy seals squad (the best of the best of the best).

      Also they had to fly in using stealth helicopters into a foreign country that had no idea they were coming, so they couldn’t exactly bring as many people as they wanted.

      Making such ridiculously out of place comparisons really overshadows any message you were trying to convey (as in my case, because I literally haven’t read any more of your post than this).

      • The Voice of Reason 9.1.1

        Ha! I bet that’s the first time a Herald editorial was ever mistaken for the ramblings of a left wing rabble rouser, Lanth. Believe it or not, the ’76 officers’ line is actually from the editorial. Amazing, huh?
         
        Jenny is absolutely tight to highlight this thoroughly racist, ignorant and confused editorial.

      • Deborah Kean 9.1.2

        because those that took our Osama bin Laden weren’t just your ‘average’ police or even army folk, but the US’ navy seals squad (the best of the best of the best).

        All in order to commit a murder! And turn on the patriotic bullsh*t as much as you like, that’s what it comes down to.

  10. chris73 10

    There is absolutely nothing intelligent about breaking people physiologically. It’s easy, you just make them cold, or hot, or withdraw water and or food. Or any combination thereof. Any fool can do it.

    – No one said it was clever

    All you are doing is just doing a simple experiment that has been done before and adds no useful information that we don’t already know. Make a person cold enough and they get hypothermia. A simple predictable set of consequences result.

    -Its not an experiment to find out what happens

    And if you are operationally relying on men who are physiologically broken .. you have failed already. They simply will not and cannot function effectively.

    -The idea is to see how they cope when placed in those situations and how to deal with them so can make decisions without panicking, like the pararescue guys who practice drowning training
    I’m not saying it always works of course but it works more then if they didn’t do what they do

    Its not just running around hills. mountains etc etc its about seeing how they cope, the decisions they make because if they go into live operations then they’ll have to cope with more then terrain and weather

    Like the risk of getting killed? You can sneer all you like at ‘runing around the hills’ Mr Medals… but in 15 yrs of serious alpine climbing I almost certainly came closer to dying far more often than any serving soldier ever does in their entire career. Your macho oneupmanship is completely lost on me.

    -What I meant was sunshine I’m guessing you didn’t also have to deal with people trying to shoot you or having to complete a mission,k set up; an observation post, radio in info etc etc

    And at the same time I fully respect anyone serving in harms way in our armed services. And I fully understand exactly the level of skill and capability our best SAS soldiers have. But they are human beings, not supermen… and they obey exactly the same physiological limits as any other human being.

    -This is true however they can and do get trained to withstand what others can’t

    And that is what baffles me about these SAS selection courses; I’ve had considerable experience in pushing myself to limits I doubt you have ever thought about…. and I know that everytime you break the body’s limits you fail . In my world there’s nothing clever about that; it’s dumbarse.

    -You spend time in the outdoors for fun, recreation whatever, for these guys its their job, their career, what they’re trained to do but you seem to think that what you do is similar to what the SAS do, it isn’t, what you do is a small part of what they do

    And why are you so defensive about this? Are military matters all so very special that us ordinary civilians aren’t allowed to ask questions?

    – The problem is with people assuming (like you) they know whats going on and (in a worst case situation) if they ever got into a postion to influence ideas then it could be very bad

    The problem is that you go tramping and do various outdoor stuff (and thats all good) but then you read of what they do and think that because it sounds similar to what you do you can then pass judgement

    But the reality is that what you do and what you do is very, very different but thats ok I hope I’ve explained why you’re wrong and why you should stick to politics

    • chris73 10.1

      I apoligise for the errors in my typing, the edit function doesn’t seem to be working (but it might just be at my end)

    • RedLogix 10.2

      You haven’t explained why you think SAS soldiers are immune to hyper/hypothermia. Or how their livers have an extra store of glycogen ordinary human beings don’t have so that their brains function when the rest of us have shut down.

      Or why you think they can stand naked in a blizzard for hours on end while still happily solving Rubik cubes in 30 sec flat. Or run for an hour in full uniform, over tough ground without generating the excess heat that kills us ordinary ‘weekend warriors’.

      Of course not. Soldiers are human beings. And what they do physically in the field is very similar to the demands of an extended alpine journey. Now I do understand that there are a whole bunch of specific skills and tasks that mean from a mental perspective there are many other things going on in an live military operation that are quite different to what I am accustomed to. I get that.

      But that is my point; the real requirements of an effective soldier is to be able to perform these many specialised mental tasks.. while under some degree of stress. And stress can be any combination of physical and mental challenges.. I get that too.

      But just physically pushing someone until their body breaks tells you nothing and is operational failure. Why go there?

      All you have done is hand wave and tell me as an ignorant civilian I cannot possibly understand…

      • chris73 10.2.1

        As the article states there were other candidates that didn’t collapse so, hopefully, the inquiry will tell us what happened.

        What were the factors that determined why this guy collapsed and the others didn’t.

        Was he tired from the night before? (quite possibly)
        Was he on (legal) stimulents that could contribute to his collapse? (creatine, caffiene etc etc)
        Was he simply not fit enough for the selection process? (unlikely)
        Did he have an undiagnosed pre-existing condidtion?
        Did he suffer an injury and not tell anyone about it?

        What they don’t need is knee-jerk reactions based on opinion.

        • RedLogix 10.2.1.1

          Fair enough. Those would be my thoughts too.

          But frankly it’s my considered, and not uninformed opinion, that someone has misjudged the conditions and pushed too hard.

          And I’d strongly suggest unnecessarily so. I still maintain from observation that there has developed in the last few decades or so this very strong hard-man macho mystique around the SAS. A lot of it is rooted in the totally false idea that these guys are some kind of physical supermen. Now while I accept the need for them to be very fit, strong and tough guys, the emphasis on that pure physicality seems to me to have tipped too far.

          Take for instance the relatively new sport of chessboxing. Consists of a round of boxing, followed immediately by a set number of chess moves against the same opponent. From what I’ve read it’s an incredibly tough mental challenge. Lots of guys can box, lots do well at chess.. but combining both in quick succession is exceedingly challenging. That’s just an example of the kind of thing I’m thinking of… although I’m certain it’s nothing like a whole answer either.

          My final point is this. As we saw with Pike River management; before the explosion they would have told anyone who questioned what was going on, that they were ignorant outsiders who couldn’t possibly comprehend what clever things they were doing and to… butt out.

          No chance the SAS have developed a tiny bit of this syndrome too?

          • ak 10.2.1.1.1

            Crikey Red. I’m in awe of your outdoor pursuits – no wonder you enjoy the natural world: the tory quicksand and whack-a-mole shifting rubble that you relentlessly boot to touch here must make a 2000m climb seem a doddle….. keep it up but, delilcious and appreciated entertainment – like an informed and knowledgeable lion-tamer herding starving cats. RL for PM!

            • RedLogix 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Feck I’m embarrased.. really. Last weekend I helped a bunch from the local tramping club replace all the windows in one of our older heritage huts. (DOC handed many of these older huts over to various clubs to maintain some years ago.)

              Blue Range hut was actually built the year I was born, 1955. It’s good 2 hr grind up about 700m climb of bush track… most people find it’s about right for a full day walk in and out.

              Here’s the rub… one of the guys with us helped build the original hut. Yes he’s in his mid-70’s…and he wasn’t any slower than the rest of us. If I can manage as well as him I’ll be delighted. (And he’s still full of stories…even if only half of them are true..)

              But you have touched on something important to me ak. My deep love for this country was shaped in those experiences. Not just the fabulous places, but more importantly the extraordinary people. And those people shared a special ethos; if I can put it in a nutshell… we took pride in taking responsibility for ourselves and pushing our limits, but equally we were ALWAYS there for the other person…regardless.

              The greatest bushmen this country ever saw were the hunters and Forest Service workers in the post-War era. They created the network of huts and tracks we treasure today. They taught us to replace the firewood you used, to keep the hut spotless and leave it better for the next party than when you found it. They taught us that the party is only as strong as it’s weakest member, that you stuck together regardless of what happened and looked after each other.

              Looking back I guess I was hugely privileged to share in that legacy; it saddens me to see how it was stolen from our younger generations. All I can do know is not give up trying to show them what it meant.

              • seeker

                Thank you RedLogix, what a wonderful thing you and ‘the tramping club bunch’ are doing. Thank God for people who still have consideration for others- especially our future generations-and the perspicacity (and energy) to put their visions and well thought out actions into practice.

                PS I too thought a rethink about “tough” exercises was needed when I read about the unfortunate young man in a coma. I also marvelled at your patient explanations to Chri73 who seemed particularly obtuse and lacking in perspicacity today. However he obviously needed to get some deep seated hang up off his chest and I really think you may have helped. Thus, another thank you for caring for others.

              • Peter

                A lovely story that, but yeah, those values might be diminished, but they aren’t dead. I’m relatively young, and my younger friends all practice those values in the hills, so somehow, these are being transferred and taught still. Organisations like the Federated Mountain Clubs and the New Zealand Deerstalkers are pretty consistent as well, which helps.

                With DOC cutbacks for backcountry huts looming (something which needs to be challenged) in favour of frontcountry tourism facilities, it will be largely up to the community to maintain older facilities. If we lose them, we lose a massive amount of our heritage.

                My biggest is worry is that, on the whole, people in conservation and recreation are white and aging. How we get younger, urban, and other cultures into the outdoors is probably the biggest challenge out there.

          • McFlock 10.2.1.1.2

            The thing about special forces is that they are triathletes as well as soldiers. This incident seems to be an extreme sports training accident, rather than an “experiment” or an attempt to “break” those who can’t perform. It’s exactly like a marathon runner overextending themselves – and they’ve acknowledged the problem, and are investigating what went wrong and how they can prevent it happening again, which is all you can really ask.

            • chris73 10.2.1.1.2.1

              and they’ve acknowledged the problem, and are investigating what went wrong and how they can prevent it happening again, which is all you can really ask.

              – To be fair thats probably what I should have said

              • RedLogix

                And I’d agree. If it was just bad luck or something specific with that individual then that’s acceptable. Accidents do happen and can be learnt from.

                But I would also hope that any internal enquiry had the balls to call it if they found evidence of a systemic screwup as well. Because on the face of it what they were asking these guys to do was in the conditions more than a little risky.

                • chris73

                  Well no I disagree (surprise) because for the amount of guys that go through selection there doesn’t seem to be many incidents

                  However if something is found that makes selection safer without compromising their standards then I’m all for it

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

                  (not that I’m suggesting anyone look this up and then download the programs if interested because that would be bad)

              • seeker

                Well said Chris 73 :)

    • ropata 10.3

      Perhaps NZ should disband the SAS. We are too small a country to need a band of unaccountable assassins roaming the hills on secret missions.

  11. Carol 11

    Bernard Hickey isn’t impressed with Jonkey’s ability with numbers and in predicting NZ’s economic and financial future. He isn’t impressed by Key’s attempt to reassure us that selling farmland to foreigners is not a problem in the current global financial context.:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10781864

    Don’t worry so much, said Key this week, as he justified the sale of our largest privately owned group of dairy farms and foreshadowed heavier foreign borrowing over the next couple of years.

    Relax. We can always borrow more and sell some assets. After all, we’ve only sold 1 per cent of our land so far.

    Chill. Our foreign creditors will keep lending to us because we are the friendly, smiling borrowers who have everything under control, he crooned.

    Hickey puts some of the blame onto the last Labour government, saying foreign debt, selling assets, falling productivity, and limited benefits from exports have all made things worth, but that Key is not the PM to provide the necessary intervention. I tend to agree with Hickey here, though I don’t always agree with all he says. He concludes:

    He has presided over a Government that has financed a blowout in its deficits funded by foreign creditors, including the Chinese Sovereign Wealth Fund that has bought our bonds, along with Kim Dotcom.

    Key campaigned to extend a programme of state asset sales that would lead to significant portions ending up in foreign hands.

    The only way to end our addiction to overspending is to throw out the enablers of foreign borrowing and selling assets to foreign interests.

    The proportion of our national income that has to be siphoned off to foreign creditors and asset-owners has risen from 2 per cent of GDP in the early 1970s to about 8 per cent now.

    Eventually we will not be allowed to borrow more and will not have anything left to sell. Who will reassure us and enable us then?

    I’m not sure why Kimdortom gets a mention here though?

    • ropata 11.1

      Dotcom got preferential treatment from Immigration because he bought $10 mill of govt bonds.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Uh, so he got preferential treatment and we got to pay him interest on the loan he gave NZ? Why does that not sound right.

  12. ropata 12

    Kiwipolitico (Pablo) exposes the levels of corruption and cronyism in the elite of NZ society.. MUST READ
    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2012/01/a-culture-of-impunity/

    • seeker 12.1

      Thanks ropata. You are so right, this link about a culture of impunity in NZ is an absolute Must Read. Have been trying to express much of what Pablo says for a long time.

  13. randal 13

    dont forget stephen joyce who said before the lection that broadband internet would allow for faster (nudge nudge wink wink ) downloads.

  14. RedLogix 14

    Great to hear John Key announce on TV1 News just now that we have a ‘”trans-Tasman employment market”.

    Finally we get the Australian wages….no?

  15. Georgecom 15

    Piece in the SST today, B11, states:

    “The Best Oylmpic cheat of them all was Marion Jones. She had it all: five medals from Sydney, the believability of an actress, the confidence to stare out her doubters, and this extraordinary helpful facility at the right moment to generate tears.”

    Hmmmm

    How about a joker who won 6 gold medals across glamour track and field events, who was an American icon, who cashed in with widespread endorsements through his achievements, who carefully groomed a ‘mom and apple pie’ image, who condemned a rival runner when that person was found to have used banned steriods in 1988, but who himself 3 times (apparently) tested positive for banned stimulants but was never banned from competition.

    Someone to rival Marion Jones?

  16. Jackal 16

    Leftwing blog

    I’ve put together a feed site for some leftwing blogs… probably not recommended for dialup. Let me know if there’s any other websites that should be added.

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    The EU bans Iranian oil imports, to take effect from July 1 giving member states time to sort out alternative oil sources in an orderly fashion.

    Pretty obvious what Iran is going to do in response, right? Yep, move to end oil exports to the EU right now. In a move which places even more economic pressure on the likes of Greece, Italy and Spain.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/27/us-iran-sanctions-oil-idUSTRE80Q0GW20120127

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