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Archive for December, 2009

Open mike 21/12/2009 to 22/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2009 - 61 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike..

Today’s climate protest in Wgtn

Written By: - Date published: 6:09 pm, December 21st, 2009 - 26 comments

Two protests today successfully highlighted the role of New Zealand’s agricutural industry and business community in contributing to climate change. The first protest involved a blockade of the NZ Stock Exchange entrance and resulted in nine arrests. In the second action two activists scaled the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for […]

Those hard to find WIMPs

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, December 21st, 2009 - 25 comments

There have been some new results from the search for WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) at the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS) in Minnesota. This showed up in The Economist science section last week with an excellent summary of what they were looking for and why in the post “An early Christmas present?. Around a […]

Good Xmas news for Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, December 21st, 2009 - 11 comments

The UMR poll for the Auckland super-city mayoral race is interesting reading. The headline difference (PDF) of 11% towards Len Brown over John Banks has been extensively reported.  The poll of 482 people, while small, is even more interesting when you see the breakdown of figures – and a lot worse for John Banks. The […]

Climate Direct Action

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, December 21st, 2009 - 90 comments

Text from John Darroch a couple of minutes ago: hey just hanging ten stories up the mfat building in welly protesting against fonterror 🙂 regarding climate change Nice one John – according to NZPA you’re only four stories up. Hope you get your point across and make it down safely! Great to see some action […]

Whanau Ora: privatisation by stealth

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, December 21st, 2009 - 23 comments

The government is beginning to explain more about its Whanau Ora plan, although it is still startlingly vague considering we’re talking a billion dollars of taxpayer dollars a year. The idea seems to be to get more money that is currently spent by social welfare departments passed on to private community groups, who will supposedly […]

Sustainable living resources

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, December 21st, 2009 - 33 comments

I’m trying not to get too depressed about the lack of an outcome at Copenhagen. As one analyst put it – “Leaders came to Copenhagen to rewrite history and left having made a few notes in the margin”. Not good enough. However, with or without a formal agreement, it was always going to come down […]

Right’s privatisation arguments rubbish

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, December 20th, 2009 - 152 comments

As a senior economist at a respected company, John Carran wrote some apallingly simplistic tripe in his article, “Exorcising the asset sale bogey“, Dominion Post, 19 Dec. It is as if the programme of privatisation in the late 1980s and 1990s never happened, and we have learnt nothing from those experiences and subsequent socio-economic consequences. […]

Not welcome

Written By: - Date published: 2:50 pm, December 20th, 2009 - 6 comments

A Papakura local has sent us this story of the would-be Emperor of Auckland’s foray into Papakura. Wannabe Super City Mayor Goofs up in Papakura, and is told to hoof it. John Banks visited Papakura last week, to meet with Callum Penrose Mayor of Papakura. Penrose has been heading an effective rearguard campaign against the […]

Failing the future

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, December 20th, 2009 - 99 comments

So Copenhagen has ended in failure. I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed. As The Guardian reports: Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure Deal thrashed out at talks condemned as climate change scepticism in action The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement in Copenhagen tonight, falling far short […]

Open mike 20/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, December 20th, 2009 - 10 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike..

Tilly the Cat’s Christmas Lesson

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, December 19th, 2009 - 3 comments

Not related to anything in particular, Peter Giddens has written a sweet little Christmas story that I thought it would be fun to share: Tilly the Cat’s Christmas Lesson . . . Tilly was a very bossy cat. She was in charge of the whole house, or so she thought. The people in the house […]

More jobs for the old “boys”

Written By: - Date published: 1:01 pm, December 19th, 2009 - 17 comments

Back at the start of the month Marty G pointed out that Brash’s useless 2025 Taskforce looked like nothing so much as a pension scheme for retired Tory old boys. Marty wrote: No more jobs for Nats’ old mates So far, we’ve paid $400,000 to employ some rightwing old boys for a crap report that […]

Government barely survives first year

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, December 19th, 2009 - 39 comments

Audrey Young finally gets around to mentioning how close the government came to imploding last month: Rodney Hide survived moves to oust him as Act Party leader last month after Prime Minister John Key privately indicated National’s deal with Act would be off if the minister were dumped. And it is believed that at the […]

A knife edge and an open letter

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, December 19th, 2009 - 5 comments

As the final stages of diplomatic chaos play out in Copenhagen, and with at least the possibility of some truly significant goals emerging, the world is teetering on a knife edge this morning. I hope that Obama has had plenty of time to think about this letter – reposted from SignOn: Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director […]

Open mike 19/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 19th, 2009 - 7 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Words and deeds

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, December 18th, 2009 - 18 comments

Words: Prime Minister John Key has urged the world’s major economies to listen to the voices of vulnerable nations facing climate change. .. The current system of limited participation under the Kyoto Protocol had to be moved to one of “comprehensive global coverage”, he said. “For this to be achieved we need international commitments from […]

Bad brew

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, December 18th, 2009 - 31 comments

If a tourist buys something in New Zealand for export or that they don’t take possession of within New Zealand, they can get a GST refund on it. Most tourists don’t know this and it’s only relevant in exceptional circumstances, not for the kind of purchases that most tourists make while here. Cameron Brewer from […]

All that glitters

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 18th, 2009 - 15 comments

Brilliant piece from Stephen Colbert on the nutty American Right’s new obsession with gold. Sure, it’s billed as a survivalist thing – preparing for the collapse of society brought on by Obama’s socialist agenda – but the truth is it’s dumb rednecks getting ripped off by immoral capitalists, again.

Trial needed for national standards

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 18th, 2009 - 105 comments

Anne Tolley should have the sense to listen to the teachers, the principals and the eduction experts. She should trial her national standards in primary schools to get information on the outcomes before introducing them nationally. The teachers want national standards tested in a trial, like other education innovations are before they are introduced nationally. […]

For God’s sake, its the same name

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, December 18th, 2009 - 54 comments

In what has got to be the ultimate manifestation of this government’s inability to take a simple decision for fear of losing someones vote, Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson is set to announce that the city the rest of the country knows as Redneckville will now be known as Wanganui and Whanganui. It’s the same […]

Copenhagen violence

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, December 18th, 2009 - 67 comments

Photograph: Christian Charisius/Reuters Earlier in the year there was a lot of media attention on the police tactics at the G20 Summit in London. How depressing to see the same heavy handed approach being deployed in Copenhagen. A reported 100,000 protesters marched in a mostly peaceful event last Saturday, and further marches and events followed […]

Open mike 18/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2009 - 15 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

All skite, no substance

Written By: - Date published: 4:51 pm, December 17th, 2009 - 10 comments

A text from a mate: Bill English says “I never thought running a government in a recession would be so easy” Mate, it’s always easy to do f#ck all. Ain’t so easy for the poor at xmas. Can’t help notice that English is also claiming he, not Key, runs the government. Inasmuch as anyone does.

Bullet dodged

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, December 17th, 2009 - 76 comments

Well, that could have been embarrassing. John Key on the world stage, along with leaders of other countries in what has been billed the ‘greatest debate on Earth’ had the potential to be very painful. It goes without saying that he would have treated the whole thing as a PR event. National was already preparing […]

The Climate Scoreboard

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, December 17th, 2009 - 41 comments

More details here.

Transmission Gully- $1bln white elephant

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, December 17th, 2009 - 119 comments

Here’s a prediction. Transmission Gully will never be built. There’s a reason that Labour kept pushing Transmission Gully off. The Benefit/Cost ratio is sh*t. “It is likely that the benefit-cost ratio for the Transmission Gully route is less than 1” says Joyce. Disgracefully, NZTA is too ashamed to publish the actual number. Transmission Gully will […]

The stamp of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, December 17th, 2009 - 120 comments

Another disgraceful Herald editorial recently: Teachers must learn to obey Govt’s orders Three years ago, when the National Party announced its plan to make all primary schools test pupils’ ability in reading, writing and mathematics, teachers were scornful. … The union, in league with the Principals Federation, says the standards are being rushed … Mrs […]

Open mike 17/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 17th, 2009 - 12 comments

Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Economic illiteracy

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, December 16th, 2009 - 7 comments

More economic illiteracy from our old friend: Certainly given the rhetoric from the finance minister of late I’d thought the numbers would be worse than the Budget, not better. Um, everyone knew they would be better. We’ve known for months. The recession was over earlier than expected and that improves all the numbers. what was […]

Capital market taskforce pushes asset sales scam

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, December 16th, 2009 - 47 comments

Another government-appointed taskforce of rightwing, market ideologues (this time appointed by Labour, the fools) has reported and, surprise, surprise, their report is a rightwing prescription without any supporting argument that it would be good for the country. The headline recommendation of the Capital Market Development Taskforce is that the government sell shares in SOEs. The […]

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