Archive for December, 2009

Final thoughts for 2009: Looking at deep time

Written By: - Date published: 5:03 pm, December 31st, 2009 - 62 comments

Well it is the end of 2009. So here are some final thoughts on the implications of the political shifts in the climate change debates this year. It has been marked from my viewpoint of an irreverable shift from arguing with CCDs (climate change deniers) to CCSs (climate change skeptics) which on the whole has […]

Updates

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 pm, December 30th, 2009 - 7 comments

Haven’t had as much time as I’d like for updates so far – there are some who have been insisting that I be social over the break! There is also a vast oversupply of wine in cupboard, beer in the fridge, and diet forthcoming in the new year where beer is forbidden (red wine is […]

Time for a Just Transition?

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, December 30th, 2009 - 15 comments

With so much attention on climate change, and such a lack of concern, urgency and commitment to action from the current Tory government you would think it would be something labour would be working hard on, and be busy drafting detailed policy and vocally demanding action be taken. The Copenhagen climate summit was a cop […]

Phil O’Reilly – dumb enough to fail

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 pm, December 29th, 2009 - 19 comments

Phil O’Reilly  of Business NZ has an opinion piece in the NZ Herald today decrying businesses that trade on the ‘clean and green’ image of New Zealand. He writes as if it is a solely a tourism issue. This is a spin line that David Farrar at Kiwiblog swallows hook, line, and sinker. However the […]

Re-run: Benefits, wages and anger

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, December 29th, 2009 - 44 comments

The recent furore about benefit levels has brought a lot of comments along the lines of “I don’t get it why should they?” out of the woodwork along with a lot of hardluck stories from low wage earners such as this one from Phoenix on Colin Espiner’s blog: I am 6 months pregnant with my […]

Re-run: Where’s my pony?

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, December 28th, 2009 - 10 comments

Umm, some posts we get sent are a bit quirky. Enjoy. _____________________________ OK. I’ll confess. I’m one of the ones who fell for Key. I switched my vote to National. Why not? A brighter future, tax cuts, rainbows, nice smiles, ponys for all, being a loud [sic] to smack my lightbulb to my heart’s content. […]

A fair pay-rise not unreasonable

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, December 28th, 2009 - 9 comments

An interesting piece on the SST yesterday: English has warned public servants such as teachers and nurses not to expect pay increases that are “out of line with realistic expectations”. “I think we will see quite a few sparks fly,” O’Reilly said. “Government departments are being told how much they can spend so you’re going […]

Finally, videophones are here and are almost useful.

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 pm, December 26th, 2009 - 4 comments

One of the nice things that has shown up over the last few years is the slow rise of Internet videophone technology. I’ve been using Skype for years for various purposes, largely for doing conferences with remote programmers when playing with ideas during projects. But you know a technology is making headway when you see […]

Re-run: Worth fails to cock-up for a week – apologises to PM

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, December 26th, 2009 - 2 comments

Actually, this guest post never got published because, before we could publish it, Richard Worth would be involved in some new scandal and then he was sacked, which adds a layer of irony to the post: In a shocking week for the National government, Internal Affairs minister, Richard Worth, failed to cock anything up. He failed […]

Seasons greetings

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, December 26th, 2009 - 7 comments

lolz. Cheers to saltandvingarclips for linking to their hilarious vids in comments

Summer service

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, December 26th, 2009 - 4 comments

So politics is winding down for the year. Hopefully you’ll be getting away with your family and friends for some time in the sun. Our posting will probably ease off for the next few weeks but we thought it would be fun to fill some of the gap by re-running some of our favourite posts […]

Open mike 26/12/2009 to 31/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 am, December 26th, 2009 - 57 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Season’s greetings all…

Open mike 23/12/2009 to 25/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 am, December 25th, 2009 - 34 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Merry Christmas to all!

Xmas number one in the UK.

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 pm, December 24th, 2009 - 8 comments

One of the stranger Internet campaigns has being going on in Britain. It has resulted in this excellent track being the Xmas number 1 single this year (it is in my programming playlist for special bugs). Far better than the usual mulch, and enough to wash out the taste of John Keys version of Snoopys […]

I wonder if he’ll ask for a name suppression order.

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, December 24th, 2009 - 27 comments

No Right Turn has a post The blogosphere is not above the law. Since the beginning, there’s been a meme on the internet that the law doesn’t really apply here, and that we can get away with anything. But while there may be practical difficulties (particularly if people are smart and careful), it certainly does, […]

Jingle Bells – walking away from debt

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, December 24th, 2009 - 4 comments

In the US it is easier than NZ for home-owners to walk away using the jingle mail options in the US. However in NZ it is far too easy for businesses to do the same. Slate Magazines article “Everyone’s Defaulting, Why Don’t You?” by Daniel Gross points out the absurdity of expecting home owners hit […]

$400 mln xmas gift for banks

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 24th, 2009 - 20 comments

The banks, who tried to rip us off to the tune of $2.6 billion, have agreed to pay us $2.2 billion. I don’t get it. We’ve spent tens of millions so far on court cases to get our money. We’ve won every case. The judgments have been damning of the banks. So, why did the IRD agree […]

Memo from a muppet

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, December 24th, 2009 - 41 comments

So John Key thinks I’m a Muppet. “[when I’m in Hawaii on holiday] they’ll send me stuff … those Muppets in the background who send it all to me”* Well f#ck you, John. While you’re off in Hawaii with your DPS pouring you drinks, I’ll be working. The days I do get on ‘holiday’ I […]

How it works

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, December 24th, 2009 - 13 comments

a) Paula Bennett gives a story to Colin Espiner about beneficiary and, apparently, scoundrel Darryl Harris. The release of the information is a clear breach of the Privacy Act. Espiner is clearly being used as a tool for softening the public for beneficiary bashing. Espiner runs the story, without challenging or even remarking upon the leak or the […]

Rising temperatures – what impact on armed conflict?

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 24th, 2009 - 15 comments

Reproduced with permission from Kotare – The Strategist This is the unspoken issue with climate change. What are the human impacts of climate change. Where will the wars happen? This study (h/t Crikey Creek) looks at the likely impact that rising temperatures, caused by climate change, will have on armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa… “this […]

Fun stuff

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 pm, December 23rd, 2009 - 14 comments

I must say I love the Christmas season. You spend a lot of time catching up with all sorts of interesting people, having a few too many drinks and sharing some gossip. How much of it is true is anyone’s guess but here’s a few things I’ve picked up around the traps. John Key’s office […]

Repeating our past mistakes

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, December 23rd, 2009 - 18 comments

Since Marty’s away, no pretty graphs. There’s not much Christmas cheer in the new GDP numbers I’m afraid. The economy grew at just 0.2% in the September quarter (the forecast was 0.3%). That’s below the rate of population growth, so economic output per person continues to fall. GDP per capita is down 5%, $2000 a […]

Back the Redundancy Protection Bill

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, December 23rd, 2009 - 25 comments

While most Kiwis are getting ready for Christmas there are tens of thousands who will be having a hard time this holiday season because they were made unemployed this year. And most of these workers will have had no redundancy protection to tide them over. That’s not good enough. It leaves workers and their families […]

Those childish people of Northern European descent.

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, December 23rd, 2009 - 11 comments

Poring around the nets while I’m on holiday is turning out to be quite interesting looking at summaries of science. I’ve been picking out some for discussion here. Here is a post from Knol with a summary on why Europeans are so pale. They discuss well-known ultraviolet / vitamin D linkage with the consequent diseases. […]

Looking tough, wasting money

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, December 23rd, 2009 - 55 comments

So Paula Bennett wants to force people on the dole to reapply after a year. At best, it’s a waste of money by adding more bureaucracy. At worst, it will leave people who are already in poverty destitute for weeks. You can lose your dole already if you don’t meet the conditions. In particular, if […]

Climate Change arguments in a GIF

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, December 22nd, 2009 - 65 comments

Information is Beautiful recently produced the image below summarizing the various arguments between about climate change. Click on the image to see the full version. hat-tip: Open Parachute

MSM: you supply the spin, we publish it

Written By: - Date published: 3:59 pm, December 22nd, 2009 - 78 comments

There’s a Youtube clip on Stuff of Key talking on The Edge. Presumably filmed by one of Key’s people. It’s run as headline news. Yup. You got that right. It’s now news when Key appears for a soft interview on other media. Not the first time. A month or so ago Stuff ran his video […]

Mass layoffs, layoff the boys.

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, December 22nd, 2009 - 6 comments

There are always consequences to the type of mass unemployment that we’re starting to see in NZ at present. However there looks like being an unexpected one. Spontaneous abortion of male fetuses as a response to mass layoffs. The Economist science section has an article “Girls on top” that discusses this. According to Ralph Catalano […]

Bennett disappointed by witch-hunt results

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, December 22nd, 2009 - 23 comments

Earlier this year, Paula Bennett released the personal details of two women who get the DPB who had opposed her cancelling of a grant designed to get people off the benefit. As far as I’m aware, the Privacy Commissioner still hasn’t published her opinion on Bennett’s bully tactics but it looks like Bennett has got the […]

Time to up the pressure on our leaders

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 22nd, 2009 - 38 comments

Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo makes the case that the failure of our leaders at Copenhagen means the time has come to intensify the pressure on them, including through non-violent civil disobedience and direct action. Hat tip: Greenpeace blog.

Oh yeah, SPEEDholes

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, December 22nd, 2009 - 7 comments

Could making the surface of cars rough be a cheap and esay way to boost fuel efficiency, thereby saving oil and helping tackle climate change? The idea comes from the dimples on golf-balls, which hold a thin layer of air to the ball, lessening turbulence and drag. And, amazingly, it appears to work: [the full segment on […]

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