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Archive for March, 2010

Sub-humans

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, March 27th, 2010 - 4 comments

Can’t argue with Tom Scott on a good day….

Earth hour tonight

Written By: - Date published: 9:37 am, March 27th, 2010 - 17 comments

Tonight, 8:30 – 9:30pm is Earth Hour 2010. New Zealand is among the first in the world, kicking off the event. Turn off, tune out, drop in.

Open mike 27/03/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 27th, 2010 - 5 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

The long game on mining

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 am, March 27th, 2010 - 20 comments

Beyond this opening gambit on mining, National clearly has a larger plan. It is going to back down over Great Barrier, whether or not that was never part of the plan all along. But it is lining up more areas for later on. Areas like Dun Mountain near Nelson. Supposedly there’s gold in that there hill. But it also happens to be the site of one section of the John Key Memorial Cycleway

John Key heckled in Levin

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, March 26th, 2010 - 14 comments

The smile is wearing off. John Key visited Levin today to open a new district court. The visit didn’t go to plan as he was heckled by 150 locals over health cuts – which will see the region lose 24 beds.

Wait till the mining issue heats up.

What support are the Nats giving beneficiaries?

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, March 26th, 2010 - 84 comments

Paula Bennett is saying that her benefit bashing policies are about “supporting people into work”
What is that support?
I see punishment. I see threats. Where’s the support?
Where, for instance, is the kind of support that Bennett got as a beneficiary? Training assistance that helped her get into work.

Oxymorons

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, March 26th, 2010 - 29 comments

The Nats are flailing about desperately looking for an angle to convince Kiwis to trash their country and their heritage for 30 pieces of silver. Brownlee’s latest line is that mining is a green industry. Only ignorance could breed this government of oxymorons…

5000th post

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, March 26th, 2010 - 25 comments

We’ve now done 5000 posts. Number 4000 was at the end of October, so it took a bit less than 5 months (even with the dropoff during the summer break). The comments are sitting just less than 155k which is less than our long-term average. It is probably more a reflection of the kiwi’s disappearing […]

Gerry Brownlee’s date scone recipe

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, March 26th, 2010 - 15 comments

1. Decide that you are going to get rich out of selling dates.

2. No! Better! Get rich by having your mates sell your dates and clipping the ticket.

3. Take a dozen or so date scones.

4. Ignore all the dates sitting around that are not in scones…

Labour on mining. Brownlee on bullshit.

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, March 26th, 2010 - 33 comments

There has been considerable discussion about the message and targeting of Labours policy on mining around the conservation estate in OpenMike and some of the other blogs. This is obviously going to be a reasonable large policy platform in the upcoming election in about 18 months (how time flies). So Labour having a clear policy on it over the last decade pleases me greatly. It agrees broadly with my views of balancing the economics between exploitation of extraction and sustainable tourism.

I’m pretty much in agreement with Lew at Kiwipolitico who said “Labour’s campaign against mining Schedule 4 land looks strong, especially at the iconographic level.”

Open mike 26/03/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 2010 - 16 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Nats’ last gasp counter-attack falls flat

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 pm, March 25th, 2010 - 57 comments

The Nats are saying Labour supported mining in office and opposes it now. The truth is that Labour has consistently supported environmentally responsible mining but never on the special parts of the conservation estate in Schedule 4 (see diagram: the dark area is what everyone agreed was out of bounds until the Nats’ flip-flop).

Time to allow death with dignity

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, March 25th, 2010 - 41 comments

Why do we force someone to live who wants to die? Why is Margaret Page being forced to starve herself to death? It is time to change the law so that people are permitted the right to choose to end their lives when they choose by a humane method and with dignity.

Three strikes?

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, March 25th, 2010 - 19 comments

Among the reports released by the Attorney General, three in particular make for interesting reading. They relate to three of National’s core policies — three strikes, automatic DNA testing, and “getting tough” on beneficiaries. The Attorney General finds that each of these policies is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act.

‘Dig & hope’ – Nats’ great plan

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 25th, 2010 - 43 comments

National’s mining policy is ‘dig and hope’. That’s the only conclusion one can draw after Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith admitted National has no idea of the value of the minerals supposedly under the protected lands they want to dig up. Remember, this is National’s lynch-pin economic policy. They are we have dig up these protected lands for the sake of the economy but have no idea of what’s there.

About time for another Key photo op

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, March 25th, 2010 - 29 comments

That time of the cycle again. Unpopular policy. Crappy week in the House. Nats gotta switch the mood. Photo op. Something stupid for the papers to run. Something for the journos to say ‘your ministers are a bunch of incompetents, lairs, and thieves. All your important promises have been broken. And you keep lying to us. But damn you’re cute’. What will it be? I’ve got an inside hint. You can have a look. But don’t tell anyone.

Super bill for Supercity

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, March 25th, 2010 - 6 comments

When pressed very very hard, Rodney Hide described the set up costs of the Government’s Supercity as “minuscule” even though he couldn’t put a number on it. Now, we have some a number on what “minuscule” is in Hide’s book. The Auckland City Council alone faces a $34 million bill to establish the Supercity.

Open mike 25/03/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2010 - 46 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Coromandel mine claims rubbished

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 am, March 25th, 2010 - 16 comments

Denis Tegg of Coromandel Watchdog writes that National is vastly over-estimating the mining potential of the Coromandel. It would take hundreds of mines and tens of millions of tonnes of toxic tailings to get the billions promised. The people of Waihi know that despite the wealth dug up from underneath them, their town is mired in poverty and permanently threatened by tailings leaking.

Interesting observations

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, March 24th, 2010 - 14 comments

Interesting times – on both sides of the political divide currently. Over at the Pundit, Tim Watkin provides some thought provoking observations on selections, mining, and asks ‘Why are National and Labour trying so hard to LOSE Auckland?”

Nats’ wage drop plan progressing well

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, March 24th, 2010 - 11 comments

How’s that brighter future looking? A couple of years back, Steve wrote a piece on how National could reduce pay packs accordance with John Key’s statement that he “would love to see wages drop”. Now, wages are dropping thanks to a combination of government neglect on job creation and policies that are actively designed to suppress wage rises. Let’s see how the plan is playing out:

Stand up against ACT attack on students’ associations

Written By: - Date published: 1:43 pm, March 24th, 2010 - 66 comments

Andrew Campbell reports that Roger Douglas and the ACT party want to change the law so that student associations will be unable to provide the important services and representation that they currently offer by making their membership voluntary. This will put the clubs and services that many universities offer at risk.

The Economist slams John Key’s mining plan

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, March 24th, 2010 - 40 comments

The flagship publication of the global free market The Economist has attacked John Key’s mining plan for undermining New Zealand’s 100% pure brand. It seems the Greens have a better understanding of market economics than John Key. Maybe Mr Key should’ve asked for advice after all on how his plan might hurt the Kiwi brand?

Audrey’s journalism fail

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, March 24th, 2010 - 26 comments

Like most on the left I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the Herald’s current bias toward National but today’s effort by Audrey Young is a new low altogether.

You see it’s not just that she writes up all of John and Paula’s lines it’s that she provides no balancing comment.

The numbers on mining don’t stack up

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, March 24th, 2010 - 38 comments

There’s a hell of a lot of mis-information and confusing numbers about the economic potential of mining around, and that suits Gerry Brownlee and National because it lets them exaggerate the case for opening up the National Parks. Remember, more mining is the government’s one big plan for the economy but they can’t even give a ballpark figure on how much they expect the country to gain.

Jobs only real benefit reduction policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, March 24th, 2010 - 18 comments

You can’t ‘force beneficiaries back into work’ by ‘giving them a kick in the pants’ if there’s no jobs for them to go into. This supposed ‘get tough’ approach won’t get people off the benefit. It’s a cynical exercise in political marketing to make the government look active and distract from the real issues. It is no coincidence that this policy was released a day after the mining policy.

One person one vote

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, March 24th, 2010 - 14 comments

Pita Sharples’ speech on race relations day, and his comments that followed, certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons. Did Sharples really mean to suggest that we should do away with “one person one vote”? I don’t think so…

Open mike 24/03/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 24th, 2010 - 20 comments

Open mike is your post. It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. Comment on whatever takes your fancy. The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner). Step right up to the mike…

Key’s mining plan a pay-back for Crosby/Textor?

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 am, March 24th, 2010 - 43 comments

John Key is pushing ahead with his mining plan despite the backlash and the poor economics for NZ. Why?
Is it simply pay-back time for Key’s spin doctors in Crosby/Textor whose clients have significant mining interests? Either way Key must unveil the shroud of secrecy that surrounds his relationship with the company.

Government loses control of House

Written By: - Date published: 3:29 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 51 comments

At the end of question time today, Trevor Mallard asked for leave to have a debate without notice congratulating Joyce on getting his degree conferred 21 years after leaving uni. To everyone’s surprise, Gerry Brownlee failed to object. Brownlee is so mad [Update: video added].

Mission accomplished

Written By: - Date published: 3:10 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 5 comments

According to the NZIER Kiwi’s wages are set to drop.

But given the government’s return to a old-fashioned, old-boys club brand of tory we shouldn’t be surprised.

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