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Archive for July, 2011

The Auckland Disease (var. North Shore)

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, July 26th, 2011 - 27 comments

There is a long and sordid relationship between National governments and developers. Just how many favours have National done for developers over the years? Are the so-called ‘Roads of National Significance’, especially the Holiday Highway, just a continuation of this practice? Is it any coincidence that Nicky Hager’s Hollow Men are all Shore Boys?

It’s cold in Christchurch

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 26th, 2011 - 69 comments

Why has the government delayed the second phase of Christchurch’s heating programme for two months?  Could the timing be any worse?

Open mike 26/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 26th, 2011 - 24 comments

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…

The violent right

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 pm, July 25th, 2011 - 316 comments

The kind of racist right wing opinions held by the Norway shooter are shared by quite a few New Zealand bloggers and commenters. Many of the same bloggers are now claiming the massacre is somehow the Left’s fault. We should be concerned that there are people with such hatred and self-delusion among us.

Many a true word

Written By: - Date published: 1:12 pm, July 25th, 2011 - 18 comments

Bill Maher on taxes, the deficit, and why 49% of Americans are voting away their future.

No byline

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, July 25th, 2011 - 26 comments

Gotta love the piece in the Herald today about Key[s]’s meeting with Obama. No mention of what was discussed or achieved (nothing). Just ‘oh they got along. And Key would have made Obama laugh. If Obama wasn’t busy with important stuff’. Best part in this non-bylined article is the list of what makes them such good buddies.

Nats smear kindergartens

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, July 25th, 2011 - 57 comments

Tolley’s running a nasty little smear through Cameron Slater. See, non-profit kindergartens have millions in the bank while saying they need more cash. It must be a rip-off, eh? Yeah. Nah. The kindergartens just have the cash they’ve been given for future operations. So, why is Tolley trying to make this an issue?

The answer to violence

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, July 25th, 2011 - 71 comments

The tragic events in Norway raise many questions, and there are no easy answers.

Open mike 25/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2011 - 63 comments

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…

How empires end

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 pm, July 24th, 2011 - 118 comments

The US is embroiled in the most extraordinary of crises. Unique among nations, the US has a legal debt ceiling. This artifice has allowed the Republicans to create the current ‘crisis’. For 30 years, Republicans have cut taxes and upped (defence) spending. Strategic deficits that now allow them to force a crisis by refusing the raise the debt ceiling.

Mission: whatevered

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, July 24th, 2011 - 27 comments

Classic Key on his holiday very important series of very important meetings that were very important and achieved all kinds of important things: “I’ve got to be the luckiest Prime Minister of New Zealand in the last 25 years. I’ve come to Washington and every single person who we’ve met with from the Administration has wanted to see us” Yay! Meetings!

Farewell to space

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, July 24th, 2011 - 34 comments

I think our exploration of space is effectively over.  The end of the shuttle programme is the end of that era.

Open mike 24/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 2011 - 120 comments

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…

Condolences to Norwegian Labour

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 44 comments

Thatcher’s biographer says the left may be right

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 27 comments

Charles Moore, Thatcher’s authorised biographer writes in today’s Telegraph: “It has taken me more than 30 years as a journalist to ask myself this question, but I find that I must: is the Left right after all? The Left argues that “the free market” is actually a set-up. The rich run a global system that allows them to accumulate capital and pay the lowest possible price for labour. The freedom that results applies only to them. The many simply have to work harder, in conditions that grow ever more insecure, to enrich the few. Democratic politics is actually in the pocket of those bankers, media barons and other moguls who run and own everything”. It’s worth a read.

Key’s sickening opportunism over Norway attacks

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 263 comments

The bombing and shootings in Norway overshadowed Key’s meeting with Obama. But he was quick to exploit Norway’s tragedy for political gain saying: “I think what it shows is no country large or small is immune from risk [of ‘global’ terrorism] and that’s why New Zealand plays its part in Afghanistan.” Truth is, the attacker was a rightwing Norwegian.

[Update: more than 80 dead at the camp]

The Spirit Level in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, July 23rd, 2011 - 3 comments

We’ve written about The Spirit Level on several occasions. Here are the authors discussing the New Zealand situation.

Teetering on the brink

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, July 23rd, 2011 - 84 comments

Over the last couple of months two potential crises have been unfolding in two very different countries. Greece and America both looked to be in danger of defaulting on their huge debts and triggering a cascade of disastrous consequences.  The situation is still unfolding…

Open mike 23/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2011 - 61 comments

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…

Alex in Treasury?

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, July 22nd, 2011 - 4 comments

I’ve long thought that the best commentary on the business pages in the Herald and DomPost comes from Alex, the Telegraph cartoonist. He documents the real priorities of the insiders running the rentier economy. News that the banks are offering a lot of hospitality to Treasury officials shows that there are a few Alex’s here.

Weekend social 22/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, July 22nd, 2011 - 14 comments

Weekend social is for non political chat. What’s on for the weekend, gigs, film or book reviews, sports, or whatever. No politics, no aggro, why can’t we all just get along?

Who grows better? Labour or National?

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, July 22nd, 2011 - 89 comments

Under the last Labour-led government the GDP per capita rose 15.6%. Under John Key’s National, it has fallen 1.9%. ‘Ah but Labour was just lucky and Key has just been unlucky’, say the righties. The data, however, shows conclusively which party has the best record on growth.

Climate of Deception at Fox News

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 98 comments

It has been long known that the name “Fox News” should really be known as “Faux News” because it doesn’t believe in reporting reality. It just makes crap up and spins everything to avoid dealing with reality. This video looks at their performance on climate change.

Chart o’ the day: trouble brewing

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 13 comments

Another big fall in dairy prices overnight. Yet the dollar keeps breaking record highs.

Worth every cent you’re paying

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 9 comments

3 days of dinners and walking around looking for a photo-op in LA done, Key’s in DC. But his meetings are being cancelled by people with better stuff to do. Not to worry. The big date is still on: providing “light relief“, in his own words, for Obama. Wonder if he’ll tell him in the one about the national cycleway. Or pull out the ‘brighter future’ gag.

Epsom & marginal deals

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 65 comments

What to make of Epsom? I haven’t so far had a strong opinion on the topic, but I’m starting to come down on the side of “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

Open mike 22/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 120 comments

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…

Govt hits peak denial

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 pm, July 21st, 2011 - 89 comments

Should we be more angry or scared? Just read the first official government presentation on peak oil. The IEA says  conventional oil peaked in 2006 but our government offers only crude denialism and, paradoxically, blithe assurances that they’re ready. This is the kind of crap we used to see before we had 2 oil shocks in the past 4 years.

I never inhaled “inappropriately”

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, July 21st, 2011 - 5 comments

When David Cameron was asked did he ever discuss the BSkyB bid with News International, he said “I never had an inappropriate conversation.” It would be interesting to know whether he had an “appropriate” conversation about it with Rupert Murdoch when  they met after the recent British election. Murdoch, who was asked by Cameron to go in the back door, said they had a cup of tea and no other conversation took place”. He was asked to go in the back door and they just chatted about the weather?

Kick boot camps to the curb

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, July 21st, 2011 - 22 comments

Boot camps are a failure. $36K per head. 15 of 17 in the first two groups have reoffended already. That’s a worse recividism rate than prison. Even on dubious assumptions that the other 2 would have reoffended without boot camp and actually haven’t, that’s $612,000 to stop 2 offenders. Time for National to admit failure and stop wasting our money.

National security

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, July 21st, 2011 - 56 comments

Were a group of Israeli spies operating in Christchurch?  The question has emerged as a result of the death or an Israeli national and the events that followed in the aftermath of the February quake.  In the name of “national security” we’ll probably never be told the truth.

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