Archive for December, 2010

Visiting the City that Rocks

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, December 31st, 2010 - 7 comments

The slow round of extended family xmas locations has this year located Lyn and I in Christchurch. Which has made for an interesting boxing day with a certain amount of rocking that is not attributable to the results of the gorging the day before. I’ve been in earthquakes before. But never in quite the series […]

What will 2011 bring?

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, December 31st, 2010 - 122 comments

Well 2010 has been a year for some political surprises such as Brown’s landslide victory over Banks and Celia’s win in Wellington and some not so surprising moments too such as Gerry and John’s lies about the Hobbit and the announcement of ACC privatisation just a few days before Christmas.

The big question is what will 2011 bring? Here’s a few things I reckon we’ll see…

Open mike 31/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 31st, 2010 - 21 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…

Last poll of the year

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 30th, 2010 - 86 comments

With only a couple of days left in 2010 the Herald has released its latest digipoll showing a slight closing of the gap between National and Labour. But that’s not the interesting part…

Killing in the name of

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, December 30th, 2010 - 77 comments

On Christmas Eve, our SAS soldiers in Afghanistan killed two security guards, wounded two others, and arrested 15. None of these people was involved in any terrorist activity. Did the SAS act negligently or was it an unfortunate accident? The Kabul Police want to investigate but, in Afghanistan, our troops are above the law.

Open mike 30/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 30th, 2010 - 34 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…

Clipshow – Jackson’s bad faith posturing

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 29th, 2010 - 12 comments

From the ‘I told you so’ file comes IrishBill’s first post on the Hobbit dispute after Jackson suddenly announced that a settled dispute with a small union was forcing Warner Bros to abandon a $100m investment and move overseas. We now know Jackson was lying to extort more money and a law change but Irish called it at the time, resulting in 516 comments – a record.

Open mike 29/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 29th, 2010 - 35 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…

Clipshow – Paul Henry: we all pay for his unending bigotry

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, December 28th, 2010 - 46 comments

The Sprout led our coverage of the Paul Henry scandal, writing the first post after the prick’s attack on Anand Satyanand and the one on his resignation. The Sprout also first brought to public attention Henry’s racist attack on Sheila Dikshit, which became an international incident and caused Henry’s downfall. Here’s how it started.

Charles Stross: The High Frontier, Redux

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, December 28th, 2010 - 32 comments

In 2007, Charles Stross a noted science fiction writer wrote a great essay on the known limits to space (without finding some kind of magic toolkit). This is worth reading in its own right. But it also implies why trashing our current life support system through laziness or stupidity is such a silly idea.

Open mike 28/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 28th, 2010 - 41 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 politics of hysteria

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, December 27th, 2010 - 37 comments

Reading the Maps recently posted this analysis that takes swings at the extremes in the political debate.

In the twenty-first century we are continually being urged to register and express our emotions. The days of the stiff upper lip and suffering in silence have well and truly gone, as unctuous TV talk show hosts and ‘self-help’ books scream at us to ‘grow emotionally’ by blubbering our deepest secrets and confessing our most recalcitrant feelings to our partners, to our friends, and to perfect strangers.

Ministerial review: the economy

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 27th, 2010 - 33 comments

The idea of this little group-effort series of posts is to look at the major areas of government activity and have an objective look at how National is doing – both against their own promises and things that we hold important. Let’s start with the economy, the direct responsibility of Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Holiday clipshow – National bleats about wages, still has no solutions

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 am, December 27th, 2010 - 31 comments

Back in 2008 it was clear what National wanted to do with wages and if Tane was still around he’d be able to say “I told you so” but instead we’ve resurrected one of his posts which does pretty much the same thing… The National Party are once again trying to make political capital over […]

Open mike 27/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 27th, 2010 - 17 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…

Unsuppressed: Urewera 18 to be denied jury trial

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 pm, December 26th, 2010 - 68 comments

No Right Turn says:-

Two weeks ago, I vented my spleen about a suppression order in a major upcoming criminal case of significant public interest. The suppression order has now been varied, so I am allowed to report on the outcome of the judgement: that the accused in the Urewera “terrorism” case will be denied a jury trial, and tried before a judge alone.

Holiday clipshow

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, December 26th, 2010 - 13 comments

Much like the scriptwriters of American sitcoms, the writers at The Standard can get a little lazy at this time of the year and like those scriptwriters the cheap and easy answer is the clipshow episode.

Let’s get the ball rolling with a robinsod guest post from June 2008 which brought the phrase “brand key” into the political lexicon…

Discrete solar technology

Written By: - Date published: 4:29 pm, December 26th, 2010 - 19 comments

Chinese manufacturing and state support is transforming the cost structure of solar technology. This in turn is helping to put in power support for the emerging use of wireless technologies in the developing world. This helps to ensure that less dirty carbon emitting technologies are not used in the developing world.It is hard to see a downside to this state initiative because it  makes solar tech cheaper and more available earlier rather than later.

Open mike 26/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 26th, 2010 - 63 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…

Private Bradley Manning

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, December 25th, 2010 - 21 comments

So, it’s Christmas; the season of good will and all. But for some of our institutions,  juggernauts of bad will that they are, they just roll on regardless . For what it’s worth there is an on line letter you can sign calling on the US to end it’s inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning. Maybe signing it constitutes a Christmas message of sorts.

The family problem

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, December 25th, 2010 - 36 comments

Kiwis frequently like leading the world in the many ways that outmatch our ‘weight’. I wish we weren’t leading the world in this one.

We have one of the worst youth unemployment rates in the world as The Economist shows.

Open mike 25/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 25th, 2010 - 24 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…

Inquiry needed into English-Peda scandal

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 24th, 2010 - 30 comments

The day before Christmas, in what will surely be a forlorn attempt to bury the story, Bill English’s office has finally relented after months of resistance and released under the OIA papers on how the unknown Pacific Economic Development Agency was awarded a $4.8 million blank cheque in the Budget. This looks serious.

Farrar joins call for SOE reform

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 24th, 2010 - 93 comments

Say you run a large company. Say the manager of a division in your company chose do a deal that improves the division’s own profitability instead of one that would have made the division less profitable but the company as a whole more profitable. You would be angry. So why are the people who run our SOEs required to act like that?

Open mike 24/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 24th, 2010 - 67 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…

More Government Christmas Crackers

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, December 23rd, 2010 - 1 comment

The government’s hoping-to-be-ignored Christmas announcements continue.  They’re shockingly cancelling payouts to care-giving relatives of disabled adults, diverting the dodgy PEDA funding and investigating the Auckland central rail tunnel. Look over there – there’s Santa!

It’s official: 2nd recession has begun

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, December 23rd, 2010 - 124 comments

The economy shrank by 0.2% in the September Quarter. None of the forecasters had dared to predict it would be this bad, except yours truly : ) because I looked at the facts, rather than being taken in by Key’s rosy spin. The money trader’s economic record is looking pretty disgraceful now, isn’t it? Hope smile and wave is enjoying the Hawaii sun.

Christmas present

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, December 23rd, 2010 - 1 comment

Couldn’t resist this excellent BODY cartoon

Diplomatic Stupidity

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 11 comments

Do the wikileak cables illustrate just how stupid the diplomatic community is?  What’s it all about?  And why is our media not focussing any attention on this strange state of affairs where governments are seemingly informed by deaf and blind diplomats mouthing off?

Public Broadcasting Downer

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 4 comments

TV6 is lost, child-friendly TV is gone, to be replaced by a service for marketers to reach our youth.

Long live a slightly adulterated TV7, hopefully?  Please?

Institute for New Economic Thinking

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 23rd, 2010 - 2 comments

All those who think Keynes is dead (and those who merely wondered what happened to him) should check out the website of George Soros’s Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). A remarkable range of economic luminaries are presented on video and powerpoint, most or all of them arguing for a radical Keynesian solution to the financial crisis.

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