Open mike 01/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 1st, 2011 - 58 comments
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58 comments on “Open mike 01/04/2011”

  1. chris73 1

    “Latest polls suggest Phil Goffs decisive leadership regarding Darren Hughes has improved Labours chances at the next election”

    April Fools Day 🙂

  2. ianmac 2

    “Latest polls suggest John Key’s celebrity acts have not damaged National chances at the next election”

    April Fools Day 🙂

  3. ianmac 3

    This article in the Press says those things that I suspect are rational and reasonable:

    “The world needs to look coolly at the risks of nuclear power, which are not so great, David Aaronovitch believes in the Press.”
    …..it looks highly unlikely that leaked radioactivity (from Fukushima) will be great enough to cause serious long-term risk to human health. That compares with more than 10,000 people killed by falling buildings or the tsunami.”

    “A recent United Nations report on the 1986 Ukrainian fire (Chernobyl) estimated that perhaps 2000 people developed thyroid cancer, having drunk contaminated milk, of whom a score or so died from it. Apart from those killed in the explosion or on site, the report found no evidence of other fatalities or adverse health effects.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/4835283/Angst-over-atomic-energy-irrational

    • prism 3.1

      Nuclear power was regarded so safe that New York source on Radionz midday says that the safety equipment was one satellite and a stretcher.

      captcha – foreign. As in clear thinking about nuclear power whatever country one views.

    • rosy 3.2

      I was told that since the Chernobyl fallout upland farms in Scotland have been monitored for radiation and they’ve only just allowed sheep back. I couldn’t find a link to confirm, but in the Lake District they are/have been monitoring as well . Food for thought.

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 3.3

      Aaronovitch and “rational” and “reasonable” don’t go together. Former Stalinist-turned-Neo-Con/Blairite/Israeli apologist bore.

      Incidently, still waiting up with my popcorn and bottle of Leeds Lemonade (with straw) for Part 2 of Morrissey’s WIMP-WALLOPING transcript of Bassett/Watkin on National Radio (see previous Open Mike).

  4. Jim Nald 4

    ~
    ~
    ~ Newsflash ~
    Fabulous April 1st present:
    John Key’s Government provides a retirement job to yet another ACT mate, Graham Scott.

    How to recycle your right wing cronies:
    Step 1 – Taskforce 2025
    Step 2 – Productivity Commission

    Taskforce 2025 was a discredited body of National’s plutocracy, err, bureaucracy.
    Wasteforce 2025 funded mates to talk to themselves silly, and wasted time and taxpayers’ money.

    Now, whoopdeedoo whaddyaknow … another manic mushroom pops up!
    Productivity Commission
    Or is that Reproductivity Commission?
    Reproducing Don Brash.
    More political patronage.

    Remember this, Remember well
    At the ballot box
    v t b o

    • Janice 4.1

      How can it be called a “Productivity Commission” when the things it is looking at are why houses cost so much and shipping rates. Surely productivity should be how to add value to the raw materials we are shipping overseas? I can’t think of a more factually descriptive name apart from “Boys Own Recycled”, but I am sure someone else can.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Nick. The comparisons are mostly with 2009 which was very high. Comparing with 2008 the stats are about the same rather than an improvement. Domestic violence being even worse than in 2009 is a worry. (Although pre-2008 National was adamant that greater reporting was a nonsense. Now it is not.)

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Recorded murder figures for the last decade, according to Statistics New Zealand:

      2000: 56

      2001: 53

      2002: 66

      2003: 46

      2004: 47

      2005: 61

      2006: 51

      2007: 49

      2008: 59

      2009: 73

      2010: 46 (police figure)

      In other words a bogus headline made up from cherry picked data.

      • Nick C 5.2.1

        So (equal) lowest murder rate in at least 10 years, you don’t think that is cause for a good headline?

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          Bearing in mind the amount that the murder rate varies year by year a headline like

          “No significant change in murder rate”
          or
          “Murder rate within normal range”

          Sounds somewhat more appropriate. But that would require that the journo’s knew some statistical analysis or even that they didn’t exercise the press release regurgitation technique.

          • Carol 5.2.1.1.1

            It’s great to see evidence of some decline in many crimes. However, there are reasons to be a bit cautious in interpreting the stats. The 3News report says that the murder rate seems to go up and down without any real logic:

            http://www.3news.co.nz/2010-crime-stats-Murders-down-family-violence-up/tabid/423/articleID/205037/Default.aspx

            Also, there is always a problem about “recorded” levels of crime. This depends on people reporting such crimes, and on the police deciding to record them.

            Also, I wonder how is it decided that one death is a murder, another misadventure or sucide, etc?

            And there’s this in the 3News report;

            “The progress in terms of a reduced crime rate can be traced back to the huge increases in police funding and police numbers that were instigated by Labour in the 2005-08 term of government,” Mr Cosgrove says.

            “The increases in police numbers have slowed markedly under National, and the cuts that will be announced in May’s budget – as part of John Key’s so-called zero budget – will undermine the progress that we have been making.

            The most negative news is the rise in domestic violence (although it could be due to more reporting & recording of incidents). And the resolution rate has dropped slightly.

            Sexual offending (or reporting of such offences) increased last year:

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/71845/sharp-drop-in-number-of-murders-last-year

            In the RNZ report, the polcie’s acting general manager said that some crimes take a long time to resolve so the resoltuon rate increases over time. But, does this mean that older crimes that ended up being solved last year, aren’t recorded in the years resoluton rate? ie if there’s always older crimes being solved, doesn’t that get reflected in to resolution rate every year?

            PS: And of course, Collins says that she’s not getting over-excited because there’s still further improvements to be made…. but then, how else will private prisons increase their profits?

        • mcflock 5.2.1.2

          not really.

          If we approximate a static nzpop at 4 mil, they’re crowing about a murder rate bouncing between 1.15 and 1.825 cases per hundred thousand with an average of 1.38:

          year murd NZ pop rate100k rateratio 95% CI
          2000 56 4000000 1.40 1 0.69 – 1.45
          2001 53 4000000 1.33 0.95 0.65 – 1.38
          2002 66 4000000 1.65 1.18 0.83 – 1.68
          2003 46 4000000 1.15 0.82 0.56 – 1.21
          2004 47 4000000 1.18 0.84 0.57 – 1.24
          2005 61 4000000 1.53 1.09 0.76 – 1.57
          2006 51 4000000 1.28 0.91 0.62 – 1.33
          2007 49 4000000 1.23 0.88 0.60 – 1.28
          2008 59 4000000 1.48 1.05 0.73 – 1.52
          2009 73 4000000 1.83 1.30 0.92 – 1.85
          2010 46 4000000 1.15 0.82 0.56 – 1.21

          Point being, even if the police estimate isn’t revised up on death registrations, it could stil be just one of those things. Nice for one if one was going to be in the additional 30 to make it 1.8/100k, though.

  5. vto 6

    “First they ignore you. Then they mock you. Then they attack you. And then you win.” – Ghandi

    This is what happenned to Ken Ring no?

    Then this today http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/4836181/Gravitys-impact-on-Earth-revealed-in-brilliant-colour Would be interesting to see that with planetary and lunar gravitational effects overlaid too.

    And in todays Press an article on how scientists admit not being able to keep up with correlating extreme weather events with climate change. Good to see scientists acknwledge where the boundaries of their knowledge currently sit (and obviously where they can go to next). Seismologists could perhaps take a leaf from that book.

    • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1

      How has that fucking nutter won?

      I went to a wedding in early March. The bride and groom consulted Ken Ring about the best date to hold their outdoor wedding. He told them the 5th of March was going to be an absolute stunner at Omaha on 5 March.

      We were lashed all weekend by rain driven by an howling gale.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      “Would be interesting to see that with planetary and lunar gravitational effects overlaid too.”

      vto, at the closest possible approach between Earth and Jupiter, Jupiter’s gravitional influence on the Earth is 1% of that of the Moon. All of the other planets (including Venus and Mars which are closer than Jupiter) have less gravitational impact on Earth than Jupiter does at their closest approaches.

      Bear in mind that most of the time, Jupiter is very very far away from Earth, and so this influence will be significantly less almost all of the time.

      In other words, there is practically no impact from any of the planets on Earth.

      The moon obviously does play a large gravitational role, but you can’t just lump the planets in with it because some astrologer asserts that’s how things work. The fact that he has gotten that detail completely and utterly wrong should give you pause.

      captcha: world

      • vto 6.2.1

        Fair enough. Sort of. 1% is quite a lot. You realise of course that the effect of the moon’s gravity is highly dependent on its position relative to earth and the sun at the same time i.e. all in a line results in greater gravitational pull. This is what occured with not just Jupiter but also Saturn, with the moon also at its closest point in 8 years or something. They all lined up

        So (I will guess a bit here), if Jupiter has 1% of moons garvity in a normal setting then that may increase when it lines up with the moon, earth, the sun and saturn all in a straight line. Let’s say 1.5% of moon’s when lined up. Then say another 0.5% to 1% for Saturn being in that line.

        Total guesstimate 2.5% more gravitational pull. If you holding onto say a 50kg weight for a few hours and then somebody drops another say 1kg into your arms do you think you wold notice what is a relatively very small additional weight? And what do you suspect your arms would do?

        Look, I am no expert in this (tho many eons ago some minor tertiary study) but it is intriguing and it spikes my braincell flow. Hence the interest in whether there is anything in it. That’s all.

        • vto 6.2.1.1

          But you know, talking of nutters….

          Several few years ago we met with a water diviner in central Canterbury. He had been sourcing water supplies for various people for donkeys years. Many thought he was a nutter, being a water diviner for a start, and for being a bit nutty too. Well, one of the things he said to us was that the water (or some of it) on the east coast actually came under the southern alps from the west coast. How is that we thought? He was definitely on our nutter watchlist.

          Anyways, recently you may have seen some seismologists drilled a couple of very deep holes straight through the Alipne Fault near Whataroa on the West Coast. This was a first and was intended to help them with earthquake science. Well you know one of the things they found?… that there was a very dense layer of a clay-like material immediately on the east side of the fault which was completely impervious to water movement! They said that water could not go through it..

          Now picture the geography – heap of rain in the alps, down inside the rocks and mountains, flowing west until it meets this barrier. Where does the water go? How big is the impervious barrier? What sort of dam does that set up? And again where does the water flow? Because there a very very massive rainfall in them mountains.

          Of course first thing pops into my mind was that “nutter” of years ago abd his statement that water flowed east under the alps. Never say never. It is a fine line between genius and madness.

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1

            Damn you’re making sense, vto.

          • ianmac 6.2.1.1.2

            When we were in our teens a neighbour showed us how to divine for water. We hooted. Cynics all of us. But just in case we marched up and down holding y-shaped manuka sticks and over a day, one by one had squirming effects on our wands. Rubbish we said. You are cheating! But all of us were getting reactions strong enough to twist the bark off. We tried blindfolding each other to check authenticity, and surprise, the reaction still happened in the same places within a pace. Were we divining water? Don’t know as none of us were willing to dig wells in the hard Banks Penninsula. The effect was a bit frightening but the wands did react. The only difference were that some pointed skywards, and some pointed downwards. Can’t explain it.

        • Lanthanide 6.2.1.2

          Your guesstimate numbers lend credence to the idea. Certainly if I was completely guessing, I would probably come up with similar figures as you have. Unfortunately your guesses are way, way off.

          At it’s absolute closest approach, Saturn can only affect 0.07% of the moon’s gravitational force on Earth. So 1.07% for both Saturn and Jupiter together. Granted, this isn’t including any affect that the Sun would have, but from tides and spring tides (spring tides occur at full and new moon, when the sun is in line), we can see that there is not a huge difference when the moon and sun line up.

          Also, this 1.07% is when both Jupiter and Saturn are at their very closest. It’s possible to have all the planets “in a line”, and have Jupiter and Saturn on a completely opposite side to the sun from the Earth, in which case their influence will be very very very negligible.

          Now, if you want to talk about tidal force as opposed to gravity (as they are not the same thing), the numbers are even worse: Jupiter, at best, is 0.0006% of the moon, and Saturn is 0.00002%.

          We must now actually say how strong the pull of the moon is, compared to the actual Earth itself (very very very weak): “To put this in even more perspective, the force of the Moon on you is only about 0.000003 times the Earth’s. For me, that means I weigh an extra 0.4 grams (0.0009 pounds) more when the Moon is under my feet versus when it’s on the horizon (and therefore not contributing to the downward pull of the Earth).”

          Finally, if you think your guesses of 2.5% of the Moon’s gravity could have some sort of impact on earthquakes, then surely the Moon orbiting around the earth, which produces a change of 25% for it’s force of gravity on earth, must be causing Earthquakes left right and center, right? This happens once every month, and yet we aren’t getting huge earthquakes every month.

          It’s not even clear what Ken Ring is saying when he says the planets are lined up, anyway. Getting all the planets in a line happens very very infrequently. And I’m not even sure if he really does say they line up, as in a straight line on a picture; he uses more woolly definition of “line up” so that he can claim it happens multiple times a year.

          Source: http://www.etsu.edu/physics/etsuobs/starprty/22099dgl/planalign.htm

          Have a look at the tidal and gravity section, as well as the “can planets ever line up”, the first bit where one definition of “line up” shows what happened in May of 2000 (closest alignment of planets for a long time), and surprisingly we didn’t have massive apocalyptic earthquakes then either.

          In short: gravity and tidal forces from the moon, or planets, are not sufficient, by themselves, to increase earthquake activity to the point where it can be roughly guessed at, let alone predicted with any accuracy. I don’t know what other hocus pocus Ken Ring peddles, but couching it in terms of gravity and tidal forces isn’t enough to get him where he’s going.

    • oscar 6.3

      Now I would use the scientists admission of ‘society needs to stop waiting for scientists to link it together’ as tacit understanding that global climate challenge is far beyond the ken of mere scientific mortals.
      So in other words ‘we don’t know that there is a god, but you need to believe us because we don’t understand how things work’

      • vto 6.3.1

        Exactly osacr. And imo applicable to seismology too.

        • oscar 6.3.1.1

          wasn’t it the prime mincers chief scientific nutjob that said ‘christchurch won’t get an earthquake. At least none thats any bigger than what they’re currently getting’ as response to Ring?
          Then a 5.1 occurs.
          Hmmm. Whos the nutjob now?

    • Nick C 6.4

      It’s not the nature of his predictions but the way he goes about it. If he had a PHD in Seismology and was writing researched articles about the effects of the moons graviational pull in academic journals then I would take him more seriously. As it happens he is nothing more than a fraud because he bases his claims on unproven theories.

      • vto 6.4.1

        Sure Mr C some discount must be applied for the lack of complete and robust research into his ideas. However it is a discount only imo and not a complete write-off for that reason alone.

        • mcflock 6.4.1.1

          It’s the difference between someone who has a good idea that would sell well, according to everyone standing around the BBQ, and someone who has an actual business plan and marketing strategy and is looking for an investor. And if other businesses have done the hard hards in exploring the opportunity (like scientists studying seismic effects of microgravitational variations due to other planets), then the blowhard at the BBQ needs to demonstrate why he’s right and they’re wrong before anyone will invest in it.

          Ring is pulling a long shot, but stranger things have happened. But at the moment he’s just bullshitting around a BBQ, he hasn’t actually demonstrated in any meanful way that he has any justification for scaring tens or hundreds of thousands of idiots who think that just because it sounds reasonable around a BBQ, it’s probably true. And the geologists seem to think he’s full of shit.

          As far as I’m concerned, until Ring demonstrates otherwise, he’s a nutbar.

  6. Operation 8 trailer – looks good and the World Premier is at the World Cinema Showcase on Sunday 17 April 2.45pm at the Paramount in Wellington.

    http://uriohau.blogspot.com/2011/03/operation-8-trailer.html

    More light is needed upon these terror raids, not less.

  7. fizzleplug 8

    Judith Tizard declines vacant list seat for greater good of Labour Party.

    April Fools?

  8. Pascal's bookie 9

    Rumour that another nat Minister won’t be standing for re-election.

    And I didn’t even know there were any liberals left.

    • Jim Nald 9.1

      Nats are well on the way to be radical nuts.
      The National Party of yore is being hijacked by financial vandals and terrorists.
      Voters must recognise the political right in NZ is being subject to the control, not of liberals, but of economic talibans.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        yeah it’s been obvious for a while that National’s conservative roots of Christian charity and generosity have long given way to Chicago school free market neo-liberalism.

        Its not about conserving our assets, it’s about selling them off.

        Its not about conserving our heritage, it’s about knocking it down. Or mining it.

        National RIP

  9. big bruv 10

    Great news!!!

    Crime is down under the National Government.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4836358/Large-drop-in-crime-murder-rate

    Guess this destroys the long held lefty notion that increased unemployment means an increase in crime, it also clears the way to push ahead with benefit reductions given that the reductions will not mean an increase in crime.

    • lprent 10.1

      National bullshit. See RL’s very concise dissection of what kind of bullshit it is.

      Open mike 01/04/2011

      • big bruv 10.1.1

        Ha ha…more shocking hypocrisy from you Iprent.

        When full moon King trumpeted a reduction in crime stats during the corrupt reign of Clark you guys were quick to jump on the cheer leading band wagon, now when there is a chance of government the figures are all wrong.

        You simply cannot have it both way, either King/Clark and Collins/Key are/were telling lies or they are reporting the actual drop in crime.

        So come on Iprent, which one is it?

        • gobsmacked 10.1.1.1

          Crime is out of control, thanks to political correctness gone mad / Sue Bradford / latte drinking liberals / wet bus ticket / ivory tower academics / godless sinners / leftie teachers / … grrrr … froth foam fulminate …

          What’s that? The crime stats are down?

          Yeah, OK, but still, everyone knows crime is out of control, thanks to political correctness gone mad / Sue Bradford / latte drinking liberals / wet bus ticket / ivory tower academics / godless sinners / leftie teachers / … grrr …. froth foam fulminate …

        • Deadly_NZ 10.1.1.2

          And if the stats for burglary are down thats because it’s pointless reporting it because the cops take about a week to get to you. Must be due to the fact that they are all sitting on the roads filling quota’s. and them that actually catch someone, they beat them so bad that they need surgery. Oh yes I really have confidence in our police.. NOT

    • Mac1 10.2

      Hmm! Comparison against last year not meaningful. Over ten years, shows, as the Stuff article mentioned, a flat line. big bruv, did you point out in your helpful way the huge increase in murders over the years 2008 and 2009?

      The Stuff article has a series of charts dating from 1995 when the figures were at their highest. I would like to see a competent statistician overlay unemployment figures in the same period to test BB’s hypothesis.

      Marty?

      • fizzleplug 10.2.1

        What makes you think Marty G knows a competent statistician?

        • Mac1 10.2.1.1

          Who said Marty G? I think your arguments with Marty G have led you to make a supposition, and a derogatory statement.

          Not interested in your spats, Fizzleplug. I asked for a fair comparison to see whether big bruv is correct. He may well be. I wanna know. Do you know how to make a comparison between unemployment figures and crime stats since 1995? If not STFU. Thank you.

  10. prism 11

    Good news on Radio nz farming news. NZ Romney sheep growers have an initiative through Elders to use their wool for rugs hand-knotted in Nepal, and carpet made in Australia to be sold in the USA with the NZ entity as wholesaler. I think that is the gist. This is clever value adding and marketing which we need so much more of. Good wishes for the success of this move.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Must read

    Stiglitz’s real concern though is that this level of inequality is unsustainable. As we’re seeing in the Middle East, poverty and food insecurity tend to lead to revolution, which tends to be very, very bad for the top 1%. In the US, they’ve been able to fool everyone for a while, but as inequality rises, they’re not going to be able to keep it up forever. The consequences of the top 1%’s greed could be torch-wielding mobs.

    A revolution within the US has been on the cards for awhile. The massive inequality combined with shrinking economic and political power for the majority of the population makes it inevitable. Eventually that majority must take action to defend themselves from the predation of the rich and the only option they have is violence as the political super-structure is owned and controlled by the rich.

    • vto 12.1

      ” the only option they have is violence as the political super-structure is owned and controlled by the rich.”

      It must be borne in mind that the political super-structure itself, in near any country, operates by violence (or threat of violence which is the same thing). For example, in NZ if you do not obey you will be forcibly removed from you home under the state’s jackboots and thrown in jail, and you may also have all of your meagre possessions ripped from your hands for paying some muppets ill-gotten debt, like obscene IRD penalties.

      The state operates by violence or threat of violence.

      It follows that violence in return is entirely acceptable.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      A revolution would have happened back in the 20’s or 30’s, in the UK or even USA, if it had not been for the Union movement of the day successfully ameliorating the dire impact of an out-of-control capitalism.

      I’ve long said that the Tories owe a lot to the unions…. their necks for a start.

      Probably what is required to wake us up is the social and economic equivalent of an earthquake like ChCh. Only then will we figure out that the only thing that matters is the depth of our social connections to the people around us.

  12. joe90 13

    Uterus!.

    At one point Randolph suggested that his wife “incorporate her uterus” to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions. Republicans, after all, wouldn’t want to further regulate a Florida business.

    Apparently the GOP leadership of the House didn’t like the one-liner.

    They told Democrats that Randolph is not to discuss body parts on the House floor.

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    The failure of shareholder capitalism

    The verdict is in: The Thatcher-Reagan-Blair-Clinton model of capitalism is a failure.

    The latest GFC should be proof enough of that.

    I particularly like this quote though:

    [T]he idea that a company is an entity that can be freely bought and sold is culturally specific. It is the view, above all, of Anglo-Americans. It is not shared in most of the rest of the world. The reason for this divergence is that, for many cultures, a company is viewed as being an enduring social entity. I once read that, for many Japanese, one can no more sell a company over the heads of its workers than one can sell one’s grandmother. In this view, goods and services can be bought and sold. Companies, like countries (or, as we all now agree, people), must not be.

    A “company” is a social structure that is a part of the community in which it exists and, as such, should not be bought and sold for the sole benefit of the few.

  14. Jum 15

    Just been watching ‘The Good Word on 7, with Emily Perkins and co reviewing books. Their special guest was – wait for it – Cameron Slater. I laughed out loud and nearly fell off my chair.

    I need a cup of tea and a lie down.

  15. M 16

    Thought it was an April Fool’s joke but it seems Monkey Boy is ba-aack:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/paul-henry-return-broadcasting-4096061

    • ak 16.1

      So he is M. How lucky we are.

      But hang on, wasn’t this brilliant and witty broadcaster going to be snapped up by overseas interests? Wasn’t this poor maligned and highly talented “tall poppy” “considering offers” in the US and elsewhere?

      Ah well, whadda they know; their loss, our insecure and hate-filled racist morons’ gain, I say. And a jolly interesting subject for young history students too, just by the by. Anyone who ever wondered how a mild-mannered Austrian clerk could fire up an entire refined and civilised population with simple racist hatemongering just needs to read the parade of Henry-licking comments on Stuff to see what even a totally talentless and repulsive butt-ugly midget can achieve in the television age, given National party backing.

    • Carol 16.2

      I wish he would just disappear into oblivion, and then I wouldn’t have to put up with seeing his image on the news sites again. There’s something creepy about him.

  16. M 17

    Get ready for serious inflation plus grain yields dropping:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/wal-mart-ceo-america-prepare-serious-inflation

    and for the truly bizarre, people trying to break into Fukushima:

    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/03/82348.html

  17. millsy 18

    So everyone, how does it feel to be expendable?

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