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Open mike 02/10/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 2nd, 2012 - 284 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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…

284 comments on “Open mike 02/10/2012”

  1. Dominic 1

    John Tamihere to make a comeback? (NZ Herald today)
    No thanks.


    • Frida 1.1

      Agreed. No thanks.

    • felix 1.2

      What, on the Conservative list?

      • Frida 1.2.1

        Exactly Felix. Labour will lose my vote, and that of many other women, if he pops up anywhere on the Labour list.

        • Mary

          Labour lost my vote long ago and I don’t think it’s possible they’ll ever get it back.

          • Colonial Viper

            perhaps a bit more implied bene bashing will make you feel warmer towards the Red Flag?

            • Mary

              It’s more than implied. And what’s the red flag got to do with it? It’s about caring and being inclusive, something Labour lies about still valuing. Just listen to the way Ardern talks about the poor. It’s all about “them”, “they” and “their”. She’s as bad as fucking Bennett.

              • QoT

                On an MP’s salary it’d be grossly hypocritical to refer to “we” or “us” when discussing poverty …

                • Mary

                  The two ain’t mutually exclusive. How about talking about people? The way Bennett and Ardern refer to beneficiaries and low income earners (beneficiaries especially) as “them” and “they” is just repulsive, as if somehow people with a bit of cash or luck are in some way inferior to them.

                • Colonial Viper

                  On an MP’s salary it’d be grossly hypocritical to refer to “we” or “us” when discussing poverty …

                  I don’t really agree. The appropriate socialist concept (not sure if it is found in feminist identity politics) is that of solidarity.

                  On the union picket line the shift supervisor on $75,000 pa stands right next to the apprentice starting at $27,000.

                  Nothing hypocritical about that. From a socialist perspective, that is.

                  • QoT

                    Solidarity, sure, but the objection Mary has is to Ardern saying “They are living in cold houses with no food to eat” – and the alternative, “We live in cold houses with no food to eat” sounds either completely disingenuous or incredibly patronising.

                    Expressing solidarity – “I am here to stand with people who live in cold houses with no food to eat” – isn’t the same thing.

                    I thought Ardern actually did a really good job around election time when she did that TV spot going back to Murupara and saying “This is the neighbourhood I grew up in, and while I don’t live here now it’s obviously affected my beliefs and means I do actually understand poverty”. Solidarity without co-opting.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK. Expressing solidarity authentically does take a little bit more than doing a find and replace of “they” with “we”. I’m hoping to see it.

                    • QoT

                      Of course it is, but that’s not the point, CV. The point is Mary has issues with Jacinda Ardern and Paula Bennett – two women on damn good pay – using the third person plural to refer to other people. I’m only trying to explain how using the first person plural would not be an improvement.

                    • Mary

                      “Solidarity, sure, but the objection Mary has is to Ardern saying “They are living in cold houses with no food to eat” – and the alternative, “We live in cold houses with no food to eat” sounds either completely disingenuous or incredibly patronising.”

                      The comparison you make is wrong. There is no requirement for the speaker to align themselves with the subject in the way you’re suggesting by saying “We live in cold houses with no food to eat”, in the same way it’s not necessary to say “They are living in cold houses with no food to eat”. The answer, in relation to this particular example, is simply to say “People are living in cold houses with no food to eat”. You’re making things unnecessarily complicated.

                    • Jokerman


                    • QoT

                      You’re making things unnecessarily complicated.

                      Rubbish, Mary. You are. Sure, for one-sentence examples “people” works fine … but for extended speeches?

                      “People are poor and this means people can’t feed people’s children or keep people’s houses warm in winter. We want to support people so people can get jobs and people’s children don’t go to school hungry.”

                      Yes, how very compelling.

                  • Jokerman

                    Better a poor man whose walk is blameless
                    than a rich man whose ways are perverse.
                    -Pr 28:6

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Smooth dude 🙂

                    • Tigger

                      WTF? Suddenly using ‘they’ to describe a group of people to which you are not a member is offensive? Unless you’re a beneficiary yourself using ‘we’ and ‘us’ to refer to beneficiaries is nothing but a creepy affectation.

                    • Jokerman

                      helpful teachers Viper

    • karol 1.3

      *sigh* – Waitakere man?


      And this is not doing anything to warm me to the current Labour leader:

      But Mr Tamihere gets on well with Labour leader David Shearer and other Labour MPs said they would not object to his return.

      And there’s this (who is not apparently in line for a change of shadow job?):

      Meanwhile, Mr Shearer has confirmed he will go ahead with a reshuffle, either before or after the Christmas break, to give MPs just under two years to get to grips with their portfolios before the election.

      “I did say a year ago I’d look at how the year went and fine-tuning what we’re doing and that is exactly what I’ll be doing.”

      He would not discuss details, but MPs including Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins have performed well and Mr Little could pick up the employment spokesmanship from Sua William Sio – Labour has chosen jobs as one of its main prongs of attack.

      Education is also likely to change hands – Nanaia Mahuta’s second child is due in December and it is possible Mr Shearer – a former teacher – could take the spokesmanship for himself at that stage or pass it on to Chris Hipkins.

      Little has done some good things re his ACC spokesman role, though the Greens have often been sharper at getting points out there.

    • No way and no how! Besides the Waitakere Labour Party would revolt. They are determined that Carmel Sepuloni should have another go. She was a whisker from winning last time and with a slightly less antagonistic Green campaign would have won.

      • lprent 1.4.1

        She ran a far better campaign than I’d expected when she stood for selection. By the election she’d quite evidently had worked up a pretty good team (always a good sign). I can’t see Tamihere being able to do anything similar.

        Running against a sitting minister is always a hard slog. They get themselves entrenched if they don’t manage to personally screw up. Despite the slow descent of National, it is still going to be a hard slog to wrinkle Bennett out of that seat (depending on where the boundaries end up after the census).

        Sepuloni can almost certainly do it. Tamihere is more likely to fall over his tongue.

        Edit: ouch – nasty wee network drop then from orcon…

        • mickysavage

          Agree about the possible boundary change. It could be with the loss of South Island population and Auckland growth and intensification that Mt Albert and New Lynn will move towards Downtown Auckland and New Lynn could lose the Titirangi Whatipu strip to Waitakere. There could then be a new urban seat out west and Waitakere could become more rural and less Labour friendly.

          Carmel would be better off going for the new urban seat.

      • weka 1.4.2

        No way and no how! Besides the Waitakere Labour Party would revolt. They are determined that Carmel Sepuloni should have another go. She was a whisker from winning last time and with a slightly less antagonistic Green campaign would have won.

         Is the left willing to talk about accommodations yet?

      • Enough is Enough 1.4.3

        Carmel lost to arguably the most revolting Nat there is. Bennett is a bully, she is vindictive, she is unleashing hell on the most vulnerable in society and she is proud of it all. She stands for everything that there is to despise in the National Party.

        And guess what. She beat Carmel.

        I am sorry but she shouldn’t get a second chance. To lose Waitakere to one of the most hard right politiciains there is, is a clear message that Carmel is the wrong person to be standing.

        This should be a comfortable Labour seat. JT is not the man but surely someone better than Carmel can do the job.

        • mickysavage

          Sorry EiE.  I know the area very well.  It is anything but a safe labour seat and the result was a testimonial to the local party’s efforts and Carmel’s qualities.

      • grumpy 1.4.4

        The Waitakere Labour Party are “revolting” now……

    • NickS 1.5

      Fuck no.

      • Jackal 1.5.1

        John Tamihere… You’ve got to be kidding me?

        Letting an animal abusing, homophobic, tax dodging drunk driver represent Labour at the next election is about as dumb as it gets. After Tamihere took leave when the dishonest financial dealings in the Waipareira Trust came to light, he badly insulted a number of Labour MP’s… Some of them still work within the Labour party and I doubt it’s all just water under the bridge.

        If Carmel Sepuloni isn’t available, what about Ewen Gilmour? At least we’d be laughing with and not at him.

        Why should we vote for you? I represent the working class, I’m friendly, recognisable and approachable. I have an international reputation for making large groups of people from all walks of life happy. And I know how to deliver irony in a well-timed one liner.

        What’s the biggest issue facing your area? Paid parking in Henderson, foothills in Swanson, acceptance of ethnic diversity, the meth (P) problem.

        What’s your solution? Paid parking is just a trial. In the short term, removing your wiper blades will leave the parking warden nowhere to put the ticket. Foothills, sneak on to the foothills and plant natives, then someone will need resource consent before they can cut them down let alone develop. Ethnic diversity, food, music, dance and art festivals. Meth problem, I really don’t know, we could all listen to Pita Sharples for a start.

    • millsy 1.6

      Just when you thought it was safe….

      JT’s views on the provision of welfare, health and education services are pretty much aligned to National and ACT. His support of charter schools and his speech about welfare at the Knowledge Wave conference back in 01′ (remember that talkfest?), are exhibit A and B in that regard – he says he is opposed to dependency, but in reality, he wants to make the poor dependent on him.

      He has a big bee in his bonnet about WFF, preferring tax cuts instead, even though that a tax cut would be far less than a WFF payment (he also joined the tax cut chorus).

      He hates unions and supports the rollback of workers protections

      He hate gays (not too sure why he has such an issue with people doing things in their own bedroom).

      He supports private prisons and asset sales.

      Not too sure why he would join Labour again?

      Perhaps he should join National? He was linked to them a few years ago, plus they dont actually hate brown people anymore, just those who arent rich, or who refuse to join in the keeping up the the Jones’s arms race.

      Perhaps the Maori Party is a better fit for him?

      • Jackal 1.6.1

        All of which makes me think this is just Tamihere’s imagination getting the better of him… With embellishments by the media in order to create a story.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.6.2

        he says he is opposed to dependency, but in reality, he wants to make the poor dependent on him.

        That’s true of all people hungry for power. They say that they want to reduce peoples dependency upon the government but hide the fact that they want to make as many people as possible dependent upon them.

        • Jokerman

          While he was standing
          In prayer in the chamber,
          The angels called unto him:
          “Allah doth give thee
          Glad tidings of Yahya`
          Witnessing the truth
          Of a word from Allah, and (be
          Besides) noble, chaste,
          And a prophet
          Of the (goodly) company
          Of the righteous”

          Surah 3: 39

          • Jenny

            I will be a cold day in hell before Tamhere is allowed back into the Labour Party

            • Jim Nald

              He would make a fantastic candidate by joining other political rejects in an appropriate political party that Brash and Banks would know very well.

  2. redfred 2

    Key just cracked on TV3, under gentle questioning from Rachel Smalley on illegal Spying.

    He is feeling the heat of the falling polls.

    • David H 2.1

      Yep and when you snap at her she bites LOL. and at the end of the one missing bit was the Thank you it was just travel safe…. in other words why did you waste our time with this shite?

    • karol 2.2

      Thanks for the tip. Will try to catch it on plus1.

    • Frida 2.3

      Is there a link?

      • karol 2.3.1

        Watching now on plus1 – interesting use of split screen.

        Is this it:



        I didn’t really see Key “crack”. He just hit back quite hard, running the line that it would be wrong for him to tell the GCSB who to investigate – with a straight face making a claim for democratic leadership – is why he doesn’t need to know everything GCSB is doing before they do it.

        • ianmac

          Not a snap really. Rachel asked him if he thought that they should be “keeping him in the loop.” Mr Key twisted that to was she/they somehow recommending a “police state” and “should a PM be deciding who to prosecute or not prosecute.” Rubbish Mr Key. We think that it would be necessary for a PM to be “kept in the loop” by getting regular updates especially over issues that affect the international influences on NZ.
          To not be in the loop is a dereliction of duty.

          • deuto

            To not be in the loop is a dereliction of duty.

            Exactly. Thanks for the links, Karol. Key was certainly not comfortable in that interview – but obviously looking forward to his visit with the Hollywood big boys. His relief at the end of the interview was laughable – seemed to think he had nailed it with his spin. Don’t think so.

        • framu

          there was a momentray bit from key where he almost snapped – the whole “NO!, if you have me on your show you have to hear me out” bit – never mind the he was interupting all over the place

          interestingly – listening to the non-vocal responses from smalley reveals a lot

    • Are you talking about this film?

  3. Lou 3

    My word, I saw a very serious ‘banker’ advertisement on TV last night, the only inspiration I could draw from it was that maybe, just maybe banks are finally ‘getting’ the feeling of unrest at the ideals of capitalism around the world, surely why else would they produce such filthy propaganda.

    Their angle is, the problem is not the money, but how the money is used (and it looks like individual money) I will have to see it again to understand its intent better. Though was rather reminded of the way in which women make men feel better about the size of their small penis by saying “its not about the size, its about how you use it” – the old quantity vs quality thang 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Yeah. This is one to keep an eye on. Also I think BNZ senior management and their advertising firm have jointly lost the plot.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        This. The ad is unbelievably strange.

        • David H

          Weird. But weirder is what was or is the intent of the ad? Have they lost the plot? Or have they done something incredibly stupid, and are going to have to own up about it.

          • Colonial Viper

            The ad campaign would have been approved in Oz. Who owns the BNZ nowadays? Commonwealth Bank of Oz?

          • Vicky32

            Weird. But weirder is what was or is the intent of the ad?

            They have been having ‘teasers’ for it, and when I saw them I thought it was about a coming attraction film! It looked interesting – now I am very disappointed.

            • insider

              The ad in itself is a tease. It will no doubt lead into a range of more detailed ‘discussion’ ads on subjects, if it follows the ad man play book.

    • Uturn 3.2

      They completely excuse the fact that it is about money, how you get the money, what it does to a person in the process of the getting and that playing at being “good” afterwards is just a band aid for a gusher of a social wound. In the past, money was often considered an avoidable social blight, it’s just that no one bothers to look at any history that isn’t white, doesn’t excuse the claims of the status quo and that would force people to face the reality they’ve created.

      Rule #1 of Modern Life: If it’s on TV, it’s bollocks.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Rule #1 of Modern Life: If it’s on TV, it’s bollocks.


        Although I think I’d go for If it’s in the MSM, it’s bollocks

      • Vicky32 3.2.2

        it’s just that no one bothers to look at any history that isn’t white,

        Not just non-white people have regarding the getting (and spending) of money as an ‘avoidable social blight’. My Scots forebears felt the same way, or so my mother (the last of them) often said.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      I saw a very serious ‘banker’ advertisement on TV last night, the only inspiration I could draw from it was that maybe, just maybe banks are finally ‘getting’ the feeling of unrest at the ideals of capitalism around the world, surely why else would they produce such filthy propaganda.

      People are waking up to how banking operates with films such as Money Masters and Zeitgeist and websites such as http://www.positivemoney.org.nz/ to show the complete corruption of the present system. And then there’s Steve Keen and other heterodox economists starting to make an inroad into the MSM as neo-liberal economics shows that it’s complete bollocks.

      Given all of that the banksters really do have to try to head off all the negative press that they’re getting. Hopefully, their propaganda will just help convince people that they’re lying.

      • Jokerman 3.3.1

        “Damn this dry shingle country”,
        Old Jack the swagger cried-
        “The rutting hare beneath; above
        the brown hawk in his pride;
        And not one green gooseberry bush
        To suck and lay beside.


    • kiwi_prometheus 3.4

      “reminded of the way in which women make men feel better about the size of their small penis by saying “its not about the size, its about how you use it” – the old quantity vs quality thang ”

      Or when a woman asks “Does my bum look too big in this?”

      And a man will make her feel better about herself by replying with the white lie “Of course not honey, you look great!”. 🙂

    • weka 3.5

      Is this it?

      • tc 3.5.1

        Geez that’s a bit sad….I thought it was for pokerstars or whatever as I never hung in till the end to see NAB’s NZ division’s logo….I normally mute them anyway.

        Never mind their gargantuan profits it’s really your fault, this just shows how disconnected and gullible they are as the agency pitch worked but it’s far from alone. I’m mean these clowns thought the pig’s were top drawer….banks & pigs, oh dear did they think kiddies all have piggy banks, they have ToyStory/madagascar/Ice Age etc etc now.

        The new countdown ad is a bit sad also.
        Then there’s telecom and the no sex for the AB’s campaign…..the old boyngirl network is just sooo not connected with reality,.

  4. the sprout 4

    Tamihere to rejoin Labour?
    Surely this is just a vicious lie… or could the Labour Leadership really be that stupid?


    • I would prefer to think it is a rumour (although I understand he has rejoined) and that the party is far too bright to even think about allowing Tamihere another run at Parliament.

    • lprent 4.2

      Agreed. He is an silly loose cannon with half-formed opinions and a bad habit of being incredibly sloppy in his work. Not to mention just plain stupid – who would be daft enough to do an meeting with a live mike on the table….. Mmmm. Key and Banks. Ok, lets rephrase this – to do this with that doyen of journalist integrity and balance – Ian Wishart.

      But if you think about it. The idiots in Wellington are probably unaware of how much of a useless pillock he is. After all they aren’t the ones looking at the quite apparent inability to do any serious campaigning in Auckland. He couldn’t get a working campaign team around him at any stage in the past – why do they expect him to do so now?

      But the beltway idiots do have this tendency to get suckered into anyone with the gift of the gab.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      From what I’ve seen, the Labour leadership really could be that stupid.

  5. NickS 5

    Anyone else having issues with gravatar not working here? It hasn’t been working for me since last night, but it’s working on other sites 🙁

    • lprent 5.1

      Showing up on my browsers ok. That is odd – we don’t even store those, they come directly from gravator.com. I suppose that they could be being cached at cloudflare.com, but then I’d expect the problem to show on my browsers.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        I’ve had it happen a couple of times but a refresh (ctrl-f5) brings them back.

      • NickS 5.1.2

        Hmmn, they’re working in google Chrome okay. Could be an update to the firefox adblock plugin that’s messed things up…

        [edit] And for some reason gravatar.com was in the adblock list /puzzled look

    • David H 5.2

      Nope working fine here FF on win 7 And IE9.

      First time ive seen TS in all ‘win’ and it looks all weird, probably just me as I hate Internet Exploder. It took me 3 attempts to get it to TS on a first run I get a dumb window asking if I want to set it up with standard options Yeah right. Or wait, Wait. Then I paste the link into the address bar only to have fucking Bing pop up, with a window of options NON of which had TS on it Bloody rubbish. 3rd attempt it finally brought up TS but it just looked Odd.

      And before I am asked Yes I use Ad Block and No Script Both of which are disabled for this site and ONLY this one.

      [lprent: The JQuery is due to get removed on the next round of updates. But there is always going to be some javascript in here ]

  6. Te Reo Putake 6

    Good article from George Monbiot on the subversion of democracy by the rich. A couple of obvious parallels here in NZ.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      It is a good article and one we should be taking seriously. Business interests really have been working to subvert democracy and they are winning in that regard. It’s why Shearer gets up to beneficiary bashing rather than laying the blame for our present problems where they lay – with business and the rich.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        with big business and the rich.

        A clarification I would make. Many SMEs are split 50/50 between Labour and National. The big corporates and banks all swing just one way however.

        • kiwi_prometheus

          I think Draco T Bastard is a die hard Marxist.

          Wouldn’t it be funny if Draco and QofT got to run Labour’s next election campaign.

          Shearer delivering speeches about “destroying the patriarchy and liberating Wymmin and Herstory” and “annihilating Capitalism and slaughtering the capitalist pigs, ushering in a Socialist utopia and the End of History!”

          I’m sure the NZ public would lap it up.


          • TheContrarian

            “I think Draco T Bastard is a die hard Marxist.”

            He is more one of the Zeitgeist Movement/Venus Project fanboys.

            P.S. “the End of History” was promulgated by Francis Fukuyama who was/is a neocon

            • BloodyOrphan

              Should ban that Pete George for life M8!

            • kiwi_prometheus

              “P.S. “the End of History” was promulgated by Francis Fukuyama who was/is a neocon”

              Actually he borrowed it from Marx’s Dialectical Materialism. He was being witty – the End of History was suppose to be a Socialist Utopia. But in the 1990s Communism was dead and buried and the neocons were at the height of their powers – thus this was a revised End of History.

              Anyway 10 years later or so, Fukuyama was back peddling like crazy when the Yank neocons crashed and burned in Iraq.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I haven’t seen you show any capability of thought.

          • lprent

            …die hard Marxist
            Says more about your lack of political acumen and general level of stupidity than anything else.

            • TheContrarian

              KP’s use of Marxist is such broad application is no less different from others here use of ‘Tory’ as a blanket term to label anyone who disagrees with their own bug-bears.

              • McFlock

                You might have a point, if KP hadn’t gone on to mention “annihilating Capitalism and slaughtering the capitalist pigs, ushering in a Socialist utopia and the End of History!”. 
                Personally I reckon the use of the neocon term just shows what a moron KP is, either confusing it with the Communist “Synthesis” or simply playing “insert random big word here to sound smart”.
                The eradication of capitalism and execution of holders of capital are specific objectives that are  not what one would term “moderate” socialist objectives.

                • ‘End of History’ isn’t a neocon term.
                  A (former) neocon invested it but it relates to liberal, free market, democracies as opposed to neo-conservatism which is more than the liberal free market as espoused by Fukuyama.

                  Interestingly though “End of History” was used by Marx in the sense of the final point in mans socio/political development.

                  So whether KP was right in his use is debatable depending on context.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I think you’ll find it was Hegel that coined the phrase and that Marx updated it. And there is no correlation between the use of Tory and the use of Marxist.
                    Tory refers to supporters of mainstream conservative politics, specifically in the UK and more generally in other commonwealth countries. It’s not a perjorative term per se and it’s representative of quite a broad group, whereas Marxist means a subsect of the left, and one not normally associated with the western parliamentary system. The left equivalant of Tory is probably the mildly derogative socialist, at least in the UK, though most labour parties these days of course prefer Social Democrat.
                    No surprise Kiwi Prometheus doesn’t get it though … KP’s nuts.

                    • Yes, I was incorrect in the invention but Fukuyama definitely gave the term a reinvention in this modern era.

                      Tory is not a pejorative term per se however people use it frequently on The Standard in a pejorative and blanket sense which isn’t applicable to every disagreement.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Personally I reckon the use of the neocon term just shows what a moron KP is, either confusing it with the Communist “Synthesis” or simply playing “insert random big word here to sound smart”.

                  End Of History:

                  Hegel’s Dialectical Idealism -> Marx’s Dialectical Materialism -> Fukuyama’s neoliberal witticism.

                  Got it, moron?

                  “confusing it with the Communist “Synthesis””

                  You are confused. Let me help you:

                  Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis —> which contains another contradiction —> Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis —> which contains another contradiction, and so on and so on and so till you get to the final Synthesis with no contradiction = End of History

                  Comes down through Hegel and his mystical inclinations to Marx. Synthesis is not ‘Communist’ its an element in a Philosophical argument.

                  “simply playing “insert random big word here to sound smart”.”

                  Anytime you want to argue Philosophy let me know.

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah fair cop dude.
                    Pity it’s an aberration rather than your usual standard of fucktardedness. Although I’m not exactly sure where dtb stands on execution of the capitalist class.

                  • Jokerman

                    Stretch a bow to the very full,
                    And you wish you had stopped in time;
                    Temper a sword-edge to its very sharpest,
                    And you will find it soon grows dull.
                    When bronze and jade fill your hall
                    It can no longer be guarded.
                    Wealth and place breed insolence
                    That brings ruin in its train.
                    When your work is done, then withdraw!
                    Such is Heaven’s Way (as opposed to the way of man)

                    Chapter 9

          • QoT

            I didn’t know Draco was known for posting about “wymmin” and “herstory”.

    • marsman 6.2

      In NZ the ‘Centre for Independent Studies’ (?) and the Business Round Table which was set up by arch-neoliberal Douglas Myers have the same function. They have articles in the MSM and probably tell John Key exactly what to do and when.

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      Right wing much better funded and more tightly organised and institutionally supported than the Left.

      So of course they are winning. The only way for Labour to win is to be friendlier towards them and their ideas. I am glad that the beltway realise this.

  7. Rosie 7

    Hey MickeySavage. Re yesterdays discussion on Open Mike around Helen Clark/Childfree Vs.Childless: Absolutely no need to apologise. I just wanted to point out the terminology, thats all.
    I wasn’t being uppity towards you at all. I always like what you have to say.

    • Pete 8.1

      I remember having Age of Extremes as the textbook for my twentieth century history paper in 1997. He wrote very well.

    • ad 8.2

      Crikey I missed that. Incredibly sad.

      To me he was like the socialist version of Edward Gibbons’ The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire – a guy who presumed to pattern history.

      Or like a really lithe and magisterial version of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist.

      He was the history version of Habermas for me – of a generation when the idea of being Left meant being able to imagine and enable the overturning fo the entire world.

      Hobbsbawm for me recounted all the different epochs in recent history in which overturning the worst of the world was possible.

      Certainly not a revolutionary. But really seenig the world my way, and having th time and devotion to really map the whole thing out as if the world could both be redeemed and made sense of at once.

      Damn that makes me sad. I will drink to his memory tonight, from the top of Mt Eden, and survey the City as the supreme work of man, and rail against it all.

      • Jokerman 8.2.1

        Do not go gentle into that good night,
        Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
        Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


        ( ‘cos i’m being followed by a moonshadow…moonshadow..moonshadow)

    • higherstandard 8.3

      That is a big loss, a true thinker.

    • Kevin Welsh 8.4

      Thanks for that Joe.

    • Jokerman 8.5


  8. Seen this?

    (Had a banner advertising the National Day of Action outside Avondale Market on Sunday 30 September 2012, and banners keeping the pressure on dodgy John Banks and shonky John Key 🙂


    Press Statement: National Day of Action Against Welfare Reforms, 5th October 2012,
    By Janet Robin, President, Waitemata Unite.

    “The Waitemata Branch of the Unite Union supports the National Day of Action Against the Welfare Reforms this Friday October 5th.”

    “We will be joining the protests at 12 noon at Henderson Square,
    1pm at WINZ Henderson (36 Sel Peacock Drive) , and 2.30pm at Paula Bennett’s Office
    (429 Great North Rd).”

    “ We are appalled at the cruel, punitive, discriminatory and short-sighted measures the National Government is taking against poor families, youth, and the sick and disabled! ‘”

    “Forcing small children and babies into childcare and their mothers onto the job market is wrong. Parenting is work and single parents are doing the work of two! They raise our future workers and tax -payers. Children are our taonga!” “ Parents must choose whether day care or paid work is right for their family.”

    “Taking money from our poorest families is state violence against children.”
    “It is not OK for 270,000 New Zealand children to live poverty. Kids are hungry!”
    “It’s not OK to control parents by punishing their children.” “It is not OK to make the poor pay for the bankers’ and corporates’ crisis.” “Deliberate impoverishment of children contravenes the United Nation’s Rights of the Child!”

    “Taking money from youth stops them being able to manage their own lives; and gives the control to private providers who do not know their needs.”
    “Forcing the sick and disabled into work may spread disease, and cause worse illness or even death.”

    The real welfare reform needed is to raise all benefits to a living income!” “Discrimination against families on benefits must stop! “Working for Families
    Child tax credits and a Universal Child Benefit must be available for all families.”
    “We call for full economic and social support for parents, carers, the sick and disabled.”
    The government must create jobs; raise the minimum wage, and make tertiary education free! “It needs to build the welfare state not destroy it.”

    “It must stop the privatisation of health, education, welfare and water, and return them to the people.”
    “We call on workers, students, parents and beneficiaries to unite against these attacks!

    Let’s build strong communities, support each other, and create a better society.”

    unitewaitemata@gmail.com http://waitemataunite.blogspot.co.nz
    8369104 ; 8177470 ; 0272800080

  9. captain hook 10

    so Kweewee is off to California ostensibly to have meetings with the Movie set.
    More drivel for the masses.
    But I bet he has a secret meeting with someone in the US top secret establishment and gets hauled over the coals for being a monkey.

  10. Uturn 11

    Waitakere Man.

    Had to go back to Bowalley Road to find the definition of that shadow construct. My conclusion is that he doesn’t exist in the form Chris trotter intended; his “woman” doesn’t either. Don’t know any women from the west of my age that would be attracted to John Key’s “…boyish charm…”. Does Chris know any people who live out West? In 2008, Waitakere Man would have to have been between the ages of 50 and 200 to carry the full wieght of the projection, and that would be a fairly small demographic with an awful lot of power if Labour reckon it was “him” who ended the Clark regime.

    I wasted almost 6 hours untangling the boogy man. Found some interesting things, but nothing new. Of the people I knew, I could construct a Waitakere Man from fragments, but no one was him in and of themselves. No one mentioned anything using the words PC Bullshit or welfare bludger. Since the culture was watered down rural, everything was one side or the other, no need for fancy names; it was a simple nod or look, a refusal to help or a making of plans to be elsewhere; education was good, though free thinking was something you did in private.

    That’s the trouble with projections and scapegoating, they’re simplified distortions. And why the West? The place has been officially scapegoated since at least the late eighties, when The Herald had a full page article on the definition of The Westie: Black clothing, angry dog, drives a Holden. What The Herald forgot, is that at that time, those people were a minority who had money. I was just a kid wearing free second hand clothes. Outrageous Fortune was a parody of a parody of a parody. But “westies” aren’t the reason the West is scapegoated. You have to go back further than that. The place has a nasty history, all prettied over with lies and inherited privilege. The thing is, that while the West has a past, there are numerous places in NZ that still live a present just like the West’s past and that’s an embarrasment not many can bear cold turkey. My shadow man lives on the North Shore; white, arrogant from over education, ignorant about life outside narrow social norms, concieted, a little narcisstic. I never knew him as a complete person, just clashed with some of his traits. I’m just about over him, but it’s taken several years.

    So hell, I’m not going to tell you that Waitakere Man doesn’t exist if you need to kick him to cover NZ’s collective guilt. Wouldn’t want you to go into personal meltdown unnecesarily. As far as things go, he’s the least weep-worthy. He isn’t a woman, or gay, or an immigrant, or a man on his roof painting or cleaning, or a Maori, or an Afro/Native American or an Australian aborigine. He is mightily kick worthy. He’s the ultimate white man:

    Stripped forests, dammed streams and poisoned rivers
    Starved at least one tribe at the base of the Waitakere’s
    appropriated land for his kind; took money for land that didn’t exist
    abused his women and children with booze and patriarcy
    enslaved himself and fellows for money

    The list goes on and on. It’s not the done that’s makes Waitakere man so kick-worthy. It’s that he still lives in us all. It looked to me like Chris Trotter was attempting the difficult and dangerous task of trying to embrace the shadow man in himself – and crossing the line from careful observation into sympathy – when he said in 2009 that when the music stops the Waitakere Man should not be left standing, and later, that certain people couldn’t move on because they hated their own kind. Maybe he even highlighted the shadow man in the Left. Right now, we have a man leading Labour who is manipulating the shadow the Left won’t embrace.

    So you’re feminist, but damn it, you’re middle class and white.
    So you’re an indigenous activist, but your family is well placed.
    So you’re a union leader, but earning much more than minimum wage.
    So you believe in welfare, but only for the deserving, you’ll never need it yourself.

    Yeah I can understand the tension of contradictions. I can’t tell you how to solve your problems, but I won’t hate who you tell me to hate and I’m pretty sure shifting the blame to phantoms is counterproductive.

    While there is a big gap between saying the jig is up, honestly healing the scars of the past and reaching a future transition, creating new shadow players for our political landscape is a waste of time. We have the benefit bludger, we have the Waitakere Man, we have all sorts of drama triangles going on and none of it is leading anywhere remotely useful. We can’t chop bits from ourselves and banish them from the village as a scapegoat, or float them out to sea or down a river in a reed basket. Calling things as they, as opposed to constructing myths, exposes our part in it and if we’re awake, we might discover something of what all of us need.

    I was born out West, lived and worked there till I was 22. I’m your evil Man, consumed with the “…ingrained mysogyny and cultural diffidence…” Chris says I am. Once apon a time I even had a trade. Couldn’t hold onto my stuff like Chris reckons, though, life is too complex for such simplicities. My family lived on a land lot that was once appropriated land. I’m white, privileged in the way white people are, no matter how poor and ruined they get. Before that my grandmother escaped the violence and drunken womanising of my great grandfather, she passed the problem to her daughter, she passed it to my Father, he passed it to me. I’ve done and been all kinds of things, I’ve seen enough of my own darkness to terrify myself. Which part, which place, which evil do you want me to atone for? Which role do you want me to play, to persecute another person for my wrongs? Will your projection fit me? What you going to do about it? Isn’t this fun, this study in dancing from victim to rescuer to persecutor? Wake the hell up, people.

    If you want scapegoats to end, finish with your own first. Then we can move on to politics.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      This is a frakkin’ feast of a post in its own right. Get it to the top of The Standard mate.

    • Kevin Welsh 11.2

      Great stuff Uturn. Made the day worthwhile. Cheers!

    • Good description fellow westie.

      Once a westie always a westie!

      I also thought Chris was wrong and Carmel Sepuloni went within a whisker of proving this.

      I commented at the time that I thought there are at least eight different Waitakere tribes. Cutting and pasting …
      There is a good number of traditional pacifica and the children for who the traditional island way is less and less attractive.There is the green tribe, Labour and Green activists who are deeply concerned about environmental issues and whose activity and contribution to Labour and the Greens is a disproportionate one. They are incensed at this Government, at its desire to mine conservation areas, and at the attack it has made on the protection of the Waitakere Ranges heritage area.There is the traditional tribe, working class homeowners who are getting on in age and who generally stick to Labour. Some of them were persuaded by National’s “Labour lite”campaign of 2008 to vote for Key but many of them are now scratching their heads about how they could have been persuaded to do so.There is the superior tribe. They always believe they are better than the rest and think that voting National shows their superiority. It takes a lot to change them.There is the beneficiary tribe. It is often hard to get them to vote because they are trying to cope with many problems but if threatened they will do so. They will not vote for a benefit basher.There is the geriatric tribe. They used to be predictable in the way they voted but tend to be persuaded by self interest. Stephen Joyce’s threat to the gold card will not have gone done well with them.There is the ethnic tribe, primarily Chinese and Indian who network well and who respond to concepts of equality and fairness. They were sucked in last time by Law and Order issues but things have got worse under this Government and I suspect they are regretting their last choice.And there is the self employed tribe, the “Waitakere tribe” that Trotter talked about. They believe in fairness. 

      To win Waitakere you need to dominate about 6 tribes.  But not all of them. 

      • karol 11.3.1

        Well put, Mu=icky & Uturn. I have thought that the Henderson area, and wider Waitaks, is pretty diverse….. and I don’t think I know any of Trotters “Waitakere Men”.

    • tc 11.4

      Awesome stuff UTurn.
      I’ve always found CT to be a tame ‘lefty’ trotted out to show the frogs that the MSM have ‘balance’ and yet another priviledged out of touch soul ranting on so the presenter muppets can nod sagely at his musings as if it’s food for thought .

    • Jokerman 11.5

      U- 🙂 (the disciple he loved)
      M- 🙂

  11. captain hook 12

    onya m8.
    now how about something on the complete lack of courage by Len Brown and his council when it comes to standing up to the malfeasance of Rodney Hide and the crew trying to steal POAL off the people of Auckland.

  12. muzza 13

    But Saudi-based news organisation Al Arabiya says it has been given documents which show the fire was intentional and Syria’s Assad regime was behind it.

    “These sorts of rumours start spreading when the authorities in Qatar simply refuse to release any information to the families, public and media about what actually happened,” he said today from San Francisco.

    “Whether it is true or not I have no idea, [but] to stop these rumours the government needs to release the report.

    “Rumors will always circulate to fill the void of real information.

    The whole article is so poorly written, of course there will be no official report released, its obviously a total sham, and rumour as eluded too in the above extract – BS all the way!

    Let’s just clear this up, we have Syria “responsible” for this fire, and Iran responsible for the DoS “attacks on the banking systems (helps with the executive order to regulate the internet too, you know the one which would not pass through any level, even in the corrupted houses in America)…All rather convenient isn’t it!

    Carry on!

    • muzza 13.1

      And, as if I have a crystal ball of some sort, this from today’s propaganda desk…

      White House targeted in cyber attack

      The White House’s computer system was targeted in a cyber attack, a senior administration official said on Monday, but no classified systems were breached.

      There is no evidence that data was taken in the incident, the official said, adding that the attack was identified early and did not spread.

      The Obama administration is preparing to issue an executive order that would direct federal agencies to develop new guidelines to shield computer networks from cyber attacks. The White House undertook the new rules after Congress failed earlier this year to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill.

      It’s all getting far too transparent/predictable these days…

    • Vicky32 13.2

      Let’s just clear this up, we have Syria “responsible” for this fire

      To judge by the way they keep hammering away at it, 3 News are very excited about the allegation and believe it all the way.

  13. muzza 14

    Allergy-free milk for children is a step closer after New Zealand scientists made a world-first breakthrough using a genetically-modified cloned cow.

    Before the milk could be tasted by humans, tested in clinical trials on humans or produced commercially, New Zealand’s genetic modification policies would need to change, McNabb said.

    Currently New Zealand has restrictive policies, with strict rules on genetic modification including containment provisions for research.

    “It’s going to come down to what this country decides. It’s more of a social issue than a scientific one.”

    So we have modified cows then – Oh look, just like in China – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/geneticmodification/8423536/Genetically-modified-cows-produce-human-milk.html


    Argh I see, you come up with a GE situation which will pitt people against eachother (especially those with young children, so you get it really emotional), and you get them to scrap it out in the hope that this will open up our laws to open slather GE/GMO

    • weka 14.1

      Why are so many people allergic to milk now compared to the past? How about we look at prevention rather than cure?

      • muzza 14.1.1

        Indeed Weka, that is certainly the question, although a cure this is not. Its the advancement of the unnatural over the natural, while trying to sell it to people as “progress”

        Wonder who stands to gain the most from the “band-aides”

        • weka

          Call me cynical, but gee let’s use child health as a reason to promote a risky, dangerous use of science in order to make shit loads of money.

          • muzza

            As I mentioned above Weka, this will serve multiple functions for the “stakeholders”, inevitably to not only make a profit, but to control chunks of the agri-farming industry.

            But finding an issue which could potentially become devisive is crucial, and very little would be more divisive than combining childrens health, and GMO products.

            If you are against the use of “chemical milk”, then you are against “my child”, but with our current state of non GMO labelling, it would seem that being for “chemical milk”, potentially means that you are putting your childs allergies, ahead of not only other peoples children, but also against adults as well….

            As DTB noted – Stop drinking cows milk, its not designed for humans anyway!

          • Colonial Viper

            Yeah its feeling like we been in this game too long and seen the same thing too many times.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Why are so many people allergic to milk now compared to the past?

        It’s probably just more known about now than in the past.

        How about we look at prevention rather than cure?

        That’s easy – don’t drink cow milk.

        • weka

          “It’s probably just more known about now than in the past”

          You think a hundred years ago people weren’t capable of noticing bad effects in their body from eating a certain food?

          More likely is that environmental factors have changed. In no particular order of relevance – pasteurisation and homogenisation of milk, increase in multiple assaults to the immune system (including from food allergens), a shift to high carb diets, changes in the breed of cows being used for dairy, changes in the way that milk is drunk and eaten, increasing multigenerational susceptibility to all those things etc.

          • Colonial Viper

            The human gut has hardly had any time to adapt to cows milk. Cows havent been used as domestic farm animals for more than a few thousand years.

            And as weka suggests, most people who grew up drinking milk on farms a couple of decades ago find the store bought milk today a complete imitation.

            • NickS


              Actually, water buffalo, yak, horse, cow, sheep and goats milks has been used long enough in Europe, ME, Russia-Central Asia, India and Africa that there’s very high penetration of alleles that allow for lactose digestion. Particularly within cultures that depended heavily on cattle. And domestication of some of those milk producing species actually dates back to the early neolithic with the emergence of agricultural cultures.

              i.e. teh wiki is your friend, check first if unsure instead of looking foolish by saying ignorant stuff.

              And on allergic reactions – there’s been a rise in allergies for some time, part of it is down to environmental factors, such as healthier environments and less parasites (hygiene hypothesis). Otherwise the spread of health service availability, has made allergies more visible and survivable/treatable, and the advent of the petrol motor and refrigeration has made fresh milk a lot more available. Most people before that would get their dairy products as butter and cheeses.

              So taking these factors into consideration, milk allergy presentation within modern populations is actually a bit more complex than your argument.

              And in this particular case is linked to a protein found only in cows milk, (rather than lactose intolerance) so teh hygiene hypothesis probably comes into play here.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Personal taste too, grass passed through a cows multiple stomachs and digestive juices does not do it for me as a beverage.

              • weka

                One theory says that homogenisation alters the proteins and this is what causes problems in the gut. Another theory says that pasteurisation kills the beneficial microbes as well as the pathogenic ones (and possibly changes the proteins) and this also causes problems in the gut. People with problems who drink raw milk instead often report an improvement in their health, sometimes a marked improvement or complete remission of symptoms.

                • belladonna

                  Milk is for calves not humans. Surely this GE rubbish will put overseas people off buying New Zealand products, many still believe the myth that we are clean and green.

                  • weka

                    I’ve never really understood the milk is for calves not humans argument. We might as well say that eating beef isn’t for humans. Or mutton, or any meat that we couldn’t kill and eat when we were still living in the trees. In fact, if we all came from near the equator originally, why not say we should only be eating tropical food?

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      A Fonterra rep may appear soon! I just find cow milk a revolting product.

                      Humans are omnivores that these days have a lot of choices from industrial food production. If city dwellers had to slaughter, gut and butcher a beast to get their meat rather than buy it on a styrofoam tray there would be way more vegetarians.

                    • belladonna

                      There is enough research to say that eating meat isnt for humans. Surely we have evolved to a stage where we can admit there is no justification for the cruelty involved in the killing of animals. It is just not necessary. It is possible to find delicious vegetarian food to take the place of cruelly obtained meat and dairy.

                    • weka

                      belladonna, that’s a moral argument (and one that is easily refuted if you really want to go there) not a biological one. Humans have been eating meat and milk for tens of thousands of years and been healthy with it for the most part.

                    • McFlock

                      B- Well, that’s my vision of hell. Next you’ll suggest I live without hard liquor and tobacco, too.

                    • QoT

                      It is possible to find delicious vegetarian food to take the place of cruelly obtained meat and dairy.

                      [citation needed]

                      Sorry, belladonna. I’ve often considered veg*nism in the past, and it just ain’t the thing for me. Bacon and eggs 4 lyfe.

                    • NickS


                      I like my grass feed meat 😛

                      And be perfectly fine with how it’s killed.


                      There is enough research to say that eating meat isn’t for humans…

                      [Citation Needed]

                      While we can survive off veges, fundamentally meats are very efficient and easy to digest (once cooked/cured/smoked) source of protein, which is why the genus Homo learnt to exploit wild sources and eventually work out how to farm animals for meat. And unfortunately we’re also hardwired to love the taste, so it will probably take a global disaster or price issues to make us less dependant on it.

                • NickS

                  And both don’t have a lot of evidence 😛

                  Of the clinically significant type, with teh controls/deep info stuff to get a better picture so we don’t get false positives/negatives.

                  Also, mostly the proteins are denatured, in the particular case of β-Lactoglobulin however, both before and after pasteurisation it seems to trigger an immune system response. So pasteurisation probably isn’t to blame.

                  Anyhow, the heat treatment thing case further implications vis human diets due to the fact we tend to cook _everything_ we can get our hands on. Which denatures proteins, which are then ripped apart in the stomach via proteases (protein digesting enzymes). So working out if pasteurisation is the causative factor is actually kind of “complex” /cough

                  Annoyingly complex.

                  • weka

                    How about homogenisation (which is the main theory about protein change)?

                    And how do you account for the numbers of people who claim their health improves on switching from pasteurised to raw (unhomogenised) milk? 

                    btw, pasteurisation and cooking are not the same thing. And you can cook foods in quite different ways and render them more or less digestible. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Are the proteins actually changed? Or is it a simple matter of the tiny fat particles being able to penetrate the gut wall directly, taking undigested dairy proteins and other matter into the body for the immune system to react against?

                    • NickS

                      Generally though food temps get at or above 100 degrees (bar slow cooking, which carries with it certain risks) which for all but proteins with a large number of disulfide bonds, pretty much denatures proteins fully.

                      As for the raw milk thing, to work out what’s going on we’d need to see a clinical trial or at least full reporting which takes into account null results in order to see if there’s any thing actually going on. i.e. is it merely the placebo effect or something more significant?

                      And a little more detail: the immune system usually recognises only small-ish polymers sequences, so usually we can design vaccines using only a relatively small protein sequence (depending on protein’s 3d structure) or merely a single protein. However, given the 3d structure of proteins + any sugar coatings (polysaccharides) or if they’re a glycoprotein, an antigen (thing that triggers immune response) may actually comprise a small area of the 3d structure. Rather than a linear protein sequence.

                      Which is generally disrupted by pasteurisation and cooking 😛

                      @CV – one word “bile” 😛

                      i.e. that stuff that breaks apart fat and oil globules during digestion so gut bacteria can break up the fats and proteases get at any proteins.

                      And antibodies are found outside of cells 😛

                      derp (4 hours or less of sleep here) so with milk allergies, what’s generally happening is antibody recognition during ingestion and digestion of dairy products of short protein sequences that happens with both raw and pasteurised milk. And yes, it does happen with raw milk, because that’s what you purify certain milk proteins from for part of allergy testing.

              • Colonial Viper

                Actually, water buffalo, yak, horse, cow, sheep and goats milks has been used long enough in Europe, ME, Russia-Central Asia, India and Africa that there’s very high penetration of alleles that allow for lactose digestion.


                Did you hear me mention lactose, or did you assume?

                Did you see me suggest that what I wrote was the complete explanation, or did you assume?

                Are you suggesting that sheep’s milk and yak’s milk and cow’s milk are somehow all equivalent? Or did you assume?

                So taking these factors into consideration, milk allergy presentation within modern populations is actually a bit more complex than your argument.

                I really tire of academics who think they know shit, but finally when you drill down, it turns out that the shit they know is nothing but a really deep but really narrow shit which can help fuck all people.

                • NickS


                  And if you’d bothered thinking, you might have picked up on something I alluded to in there, that was a consequence of the emergence of lactose tolerance in human populations. i.e. there was evolutionary pressures on human populations to exploit available milk sources, which also would have made milk allergies less prevalent. Admittedly I should have made the clearer (I <3 crap sleep) though.

                  I really tire of academics who think they know shit, but finally when you drill down, it turns out that the shit they know is nothing but a really deep but really narrow shit which can help fuck all people.


                  Then stop using the fruits of it, I hear alt-med will so totes cure all cancers 😎

                  Funny thing though, vaccines = science, green revolution = science, etc etc, then there’s the whole methodology of science (I tend towards more systems-based approaches), which is fundamentally a very useful set of tools for sanity checking truth claims, and avoiding stupidity (though being human…). So frankly, you appear to be full of shit.

                  • McFlock

                    oh fuck, don’t start the vaccine bullshit again 🙂

                  • weka

                    “green revolution = science”

                    The green revolution that bought us pesticide residues (and poor health), land degradation, loss of biodiversity, soil loss etc?

                    • NickS

                      Pesticide residues = lack of knowledge + political stupidity over chemical controls (i.e. no precautionary principle…). Heck, up until the 60’s we still didn’t have a good grasp on cancer causation and were just starting to understand how hormones worked and thus the potential impact of stuff that was chemically similar to hormones.

                      Land Degradation/Soil loss = poor farming techniques, argicultural scientists have been hammering on it being a problem for decades upon decades, but the costs have never been apparent enough (despite being rather real and expensive) for corporate and small farmers to alter their farming systems to deal with it sadly 🙁 So it’s not so much a failure of the green revolution, but of cultural stupidity.

                      Loss of biodiversity = again, farming techniques issues, heck until recently biodiversity hasn’t had intrinsic value, so it was usually ignored. Only in the last 2 decades really have we started to nut out empirical costs of biodiversity losses and force the anti-conservation/greenie crowd to see the true costs of their ignorance. Sadly a little too late perhaps 🙁 Though with carbon pricing, we should see greater emphasis on biodiversity as a carbon sink tool.

                      Anyhow, mainly the green revolution was the application of evolutionary theory to crop breeding, allowing for the emergence of highly fertile crops and ironically involved very primitive genetic modification via mutagens to increase selectable variation. Without this, even the advent of cheap fertilizers probably wouldn’t have avoided global hunger issues* and revolutionised yields and nutrition for many farmers in the developing world. Although the push for monoculture crops is coming back to haunt us, and we will likely see major development of newer crop cultivares via selective breeding and use of better suited farming techniques.

                      Of course, the annoyance is a lot of the negative issues with the green revolution were predictable, particularly the use of monocultures and pesticide/herbicide resistance via evolutionary theory (tools already in place, Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher did the grunt work vis maths+ stats tools). And I’d have to go a history hunting (not a small project at all and I’m too disabled by depression at present) to understand why this happened. Whether it was a failure to research this stuff or a political/economic issue in which warnings were ignored.

                      *main ones today aren’t so much production limitations, but rather price and distribution, with poverty and political instability + climatic variation and the effects of climate change being presently lesser causes.

                    • NickS

                      Whoops, forgot to add in:
                      Who also provided a lot of the maths and stats tools we still use today for evolutionary bio stuff /me-need-sleeeeeeeeeep

          • Draco T Bastard

            You think a hundred years ago people weren’t capable of noticing bad effects in their body from eating a certain food?

            No, I’m thinking that 100 years ago we didn’t have TV, Radio or the internet for it to be as widely published as today.


            Most mammals normally become lactose intolerant after weaning, but some human populations have developed lactase persistence, in which lactase production continues into adulthood.

            • weka

              Not following that. Did you mean that the incidence of milk allergy is no greater, but we are just more aware of it?

              • Draco T Bastard


                • Colonial Viper

                  And thanks to loads of insidious corporate advertising, we are (no doubt) drinking vastly more milk and consuming more milk containing products today than 50 years ago.

                  • Damn those corporations! Making me drink all that horrible milk!
                    They are one clever campaign away from making me drink cooper sulfate.

                  • Lou

                    Kill the cows (and thereby f*#k the greedy shareholders) – preserve the waterways, the ozone layer, the roads and the breastfed babies.

                    Grow the sheep, fertilise the earth, maximise the breastfeeders – buy cheaper lamb (mmmm, yum)

                • weka


                  I  go back to my original point then – people were just as capable of understanding when something they ate made them sick before the advent of mass media. If lots of people were getting sick from drinking milk, they would have known about it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And if it’s only mild so that they don’t actually say anything about it? And it’s not broadcast for everyone to see?

                    You’re trying to say that nothing has changed even though many things have.

                    • weka

                      People talked to each other about their health before TV. Books were written on health too. Obviously alot of things have changed, and mass media has a big influence. But it doesn’t follow from that that allergies haven’t increased. 

                    • NickS

                      You’ve also got to take into account the hygiene hypothesis too weka 😛

                  • weka

                    Yes, I am. I’m saying that allergies are increasing, due to environmental changes (including the hygiene issues). 

    • While it all seems like a nice idea some NZer’s are a) not interested in learning any language because b) they are absolutely rubbish at it.

      • weka 15.1.1

        Most managed to learn at least one language though. We should be teaching te reo in schools, starting with pre-school.

        • TheContrarian

          I tried and failed with German, Latin and Spanish and remember only a few words of Maori.

          Meh, I’m just not one of those people that pick up languages well nor do I have any interest in it.

          • weka

            I was meaning English 😉 

          • lprent

            I did french, german, and latin – and remember nothing of them. However I am currently literate in at least 30 other current languages – to a coding standard. C++ is always the favourite though. I forget how many I have forgotten (snobol anyone). I seem to have several types of assembler and innumerabe libraries embedded..

            Although my written English still needs work.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The only way to learn and remember languages is to use them constantly. IMO, people who say that they aren’t good at languages just aren’t in the right environment to maintain those languages that they don’t know. Put them in the right environment and I’m pretty sure that they’ll pick them up pretty quick.

              • Well, I would like to agree with you but I spent 2 months trying to learn Spanish followed by 3 months traveling through South America and picked up nothing expect how to ask for beer and coffee.

                My wife though, she was a natural.

    • Tiger Mountain 15.2

      Good link DTB, surprised by how many I know, in Far North Māori population is around 45% and bi–culturalism is a numbers game reality rather than a construct.

  14. NickS 16


    Could GE Free NZ possibly sound any more downright stupid?:

    In a nut shell – they’re ignorant bloody fucking idiots. 5 second search on google for β-Lactoglobulin function reveals it has no role in developmental biology, any probably serves as a protein source and carrier protein for hydrophobic molecules, like fatty acids. In fact, if it had any critical role in developmental biology, the calf wouldn’t have made it to term, let alone be healthy enough for AgResearch to go “success!”.

    And by the elder things, the rhetoric they’re using is just so damn stupid and illustrates even further how little they understand the fucking science involved. Which from the little there’s revealed in the news is actually pretty neat and involves using micro RNAs to target gene expression patterns. Which in this case leads to the organism expressing a lot less β-Lactoglobulin, rather than a knockout mutation that disables the gene or it’s relevant expression mechanisms. In theory, because it’s a lot more straight forward (due to it being a lot more specific) there was probably a much higher success rate. But until the paper comes out, probably wont know exactly how it was done.

    Also, NZ GMO laws vis large transgenic animals definitely need work, unlike a mouse or a plant, escape risk is very, very low. Although the calf being abducted/”euthanised” by anti-GE nuts is probably quite high…

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Yeah you scientist types have regularly been right about this stuff, until new research turns up in 20 years time showing that you weren’t aware of something critical.

      Then you call it “progress”.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        Well, forty years ago you’d have been writing that sentiment in a letter to a newspaper. Science progresses the environment, not the people.

        • Colonial Viper

          Differentiate between technology and science mate.

          Further, there have been plenty of major fuck ups in the development of internet technology as well. IE6 and AOL for starters.

          Science progresses the environment, not the people.

          What is this idea of “progress” you talk about? Shinier stuff with better screens and nicer pictures? That’s the measure of progress in our civilisation is it?

          • weka

            Shiner stuff that still ends up in the landfill, and at a faster and faster rate 🙁 We can blame business for that though 😉

          • McFlock

            science provides the difference between an airfield control tower and a cargo cult. And the difference between a new heart valve being inserted and bleeding a fever victim to realign their humours.

            Just think, somewhere like a billion people are in a position to read your railing against science within seconds of you pressing “submit comment”. That happened due to a range of sciences. People live longer and are more able for more of their lives. Pity that science hasn’t figured out how to make people more grateful for their blessings.

            • Colonial Viper

              Sorry McFlock, unless you are willing to count fitter turners, test technicians, and software developers as scientists, you are suffering from a huge amount of scientism based overreach,

              science provides the difference between an airfield control tower and a cargo cult.

              Bull shit. Science is one ingredient of the above mate, not the whole cake, and not necessarily the biggest or most important ingredient.

              For instance – are you trying to class the Wright brothers as scientists now too? How big a role did they play in the development of what you mention? How about huge? Again your comment is overly influenced by an over reaching faith in science.

              As for the cargo cult, they merely observed a pattern and deduced a conclusion. A good use of scientific process.

              • McFlock

                What a load of shit. 

                Given that the Wright Brothers drew on the research of George Cayley, a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, yeah, science was essential for the Wright Brothers achieving controlled flight. I never said “science is all you need”, I just think we’d be fucked without it.
                Necessary, not sufficient. 

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s my point. Science is just one ingredient. And only a minority of the problems which trouble society can be solved with it.

                  Given that the Wright Brothers drew on the research of George Cayley, a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science

                  Science contributed but didn’t make the breakthrough application. Others had to do that. Science isn’t everything. It’s simply a bit.

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah you scientist types have regularly been right about this stuff, until new research turns up in 20 years time showing that you weren’t aware of something critical.

                    is not the same as 

                    Science is just one ingredient. And only a minority of the problems which trouble society can be solved with it.

                    In flight, scientists did not make the breakthrough application.
                    In medicine, flight of meaningful distances and speeds, logistics, navigation (sea/air/land), communication, energy generation (and the identification of its resulting hazards), agriculture, nutrition, water supply, computing, etc etc etc… on the other hand, scientists can, did, and still do create breakthrough applications and more importantly  push the limits of knowledge to enable others to do the same.
                    And the only problems that scientists can’t contribute to the solutions thereof are social problems. For those you need Arts majors.

                    • NickS

                      Particularly Arts majors that also know how to use statistical tools properly 😉

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The other faith you seem to have is that having more people who are more highly qualified (whether in the sciences or arts or whatever) increases the tendency for problems to be solved, not created.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, I’m reading at night, eating clean and safe food with a plentiful supply of clean water and a reliable and safe source of heat should the elements turn. 
                      Oh, and arguing with someone hundreds of miles away while having immediate access to much of the world’s knowledge even if it’s stored thousands of miles away. And not just the big stuff – I can look for the experience of others who might have the same interest as me be it gardening, carving, knitting, surviving in the wild, amateur astronomy, or how to tie a bow tie.
                      Definite progress compared with, say, the 14th Century. By that measure I’d be dead by now. No shit. Gotta love scientific medicine.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Scientific medicine. What an oxymoron. Stochastic medicine I’ll accept. Also, perhaps 75% of our increased life expectancy has come from other sources. Increased income and education levels etc. As I have already described.

              • Wait, what?
                The Wright Brothers had to draw on many scientific advancements to achieve flight.
                Aerodynamics, velocity, fucking gravity.
                Did that make them scientists? Possibly not but without the scientific disciplines of those before them they wouldn’t have made such an achievement. The Wright Brothers stood on the shoulders of giants

                ” How big a role did they play in the development of what you mention?”
                Huge, because we furtherance out understanding into flight and how it might be achieved.

                “Again your comment is overly influenced by an over reaching faith in science.”

                Science requires no faith. Faith is the antithesis of science

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Wright Brothers had to draw on many scientific advancements to achieve flight.
                  Aerodynamics, velocity, fucking gravity.

                  There was no such thing as “aerodynamics”, “velocity” and “fucking gravity” before science came along?

                  Someone please tell all the hummingbirds in the world.

                  Science requires no faith. Faith is the antithesis of science

                  BS. Science is only one way of knowing and gaining knowledge, and a limited one at that.

                  • NickS


                    And yet it and other forms of empiricism have been stunningly successful verses theology and anything else which ignores reality in favour of myths and assumptions about how the world works.

                  • “There was no such thing as “aerodynamics”, “velocity” and “fucking gravity” before science came along?”


                    Of course they existed but science helped man discover them, understand them and use them.

                    “BS. Science is only one way of knowing and gaining knowledge, and a limited one at that.”

                    Yeah because understanding other ways of knowing put us on the moon, vaccinated us from polio, built the computer you are using etc etc etc etc etc….

            • weka

              “And the difference between a new heart valve being inserted and bleeding a fever victim to realign their humours.”

              I think you will find that it was the scientists of the day (doctors) who used bleeding as a treatment. 

              • McFlock

                There’s an interesting and blurred transition from doctors as priests to doctors as scientists, but the reason we don’t try to balance the humours now is science. Major steps like Harvey, Snow, Pasteur, and so on were due to science, not faith or luck.

                • Jokerman

                  There will soon be no more priests.
                  Their work is done..Every man shall be his own priest.

                  -Walt Whitman

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sure mate, as I discussed earlier this is known as “progress”. Our state of scientific knowledge is so damn good and you must believe in it, until…it’s not.

                  One of the funniest scenes I remember from Star Trek was Bones McCoy telling a modern, late 20th century doctor that he wasn’t going to allow any witch doctors to work on his patient. “It’s a wonder anyone made it out of the 20th century alive” he smirked.

                  • McFlock

                    How many of your siblings or classmates were dead before the age of ten?
                    That’s fucking progress. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah mate…progress up to 8B humans…9B humans…10B humans…11B humans…12B humans…

                    • McFlock

                      better than living in muck next to the graves of your dead siblings.
                      Oh, and science invented effective birth control. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Frak me mate, western science is a fucking late comer to 50,000 years of extensive human civilisation and human cities.

                      Oh, and science invented effective birth control.

                      That’s hardly true.

                    • McFlock

                      Show me any pre-science birth control with a <1% failure rate after a month of use.
                      Yes, science is a late-comer to human existence. And look how far we’ve come in a few hundred years. Yes, new and serious problems have emerged – but where social problems don’t rule the roost we’re usually healthy, strong and long-lived.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You sound like an American.

                      This western based scientific rule has barely lasted 500 atomic blasted years yet you think its the best thing that human kind has ever achieved in 50,000 years. Gimme a break. The arrogance.

                      Show me any pre-science birth control with a <1% failure rate after a month of use.

                      Its out there mate.

                      And I’m unavoidably amused that you are using this as an example of one of the greatest triumphs of modern science.

                      Modern contraception is very useful, sure, but it’s trash grade futility mate in the final analysis. You know, once the final sums are tallied up. Humans spent 50,000 years with fewer than 2B of us on the whole planet.

                      But in just 100 years this number will quadruple. Such is the power of 99% effective contraception.

                      The march of Progress!

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, and how well would you do in a cave? Like I say, I’d probably be already dead. And that’s not including infant mortality and infanticide of the weak, just some conditions I’ve had in the past.
                      “Its out there, mate”
                      Should be easy to show me, then. Thanks to Archaeology. And the interwebz, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah, and how well would you do in a cave?

                      Perhaps your ancestors in Western Europe were living in caves 10,000 years ago but a lot of civilisations around the world had already moved on from that mate.

                      Seriously, the arrogance.

                      The absence of western science =! living in caves.

                    • McFlock

                      True dat. 
                      What major civs were about 10,000 years ago, again? Refresh my mind…
                      So what’s this <1% failure ancient birth control method?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, I might have been exaggerating on the 10,000 year thing. Maybe I should say 5,000-10,000 years ago?

                    • weka

                      Don’t worry about civilisations, they’re overrated and they never last. There were definitely sophisticated human cultures 10,000 years ago. Australian aboriginal cultures go back at least 5 times that. 

                      Nasty, brutish and short is something that was made up by the English 😉

                    • McFlock

                      Definitely short – see my comment of a few minutes ago.
                      Nasty and brutish are up to individual taste. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Definitely short – see my comment of a few minutes ago.

                      Its good now, longer life spans, more seasons of Next Top Model, the opportunity to buy the iPhone31. Like I said, it’s real progress.

                      More seriously, its not that ancient people didn’t live to 60, 70, 80, etc. Its just that far fewer people made it that far.

                    • McFlock

                      Now you’re channeling Robert Atack.
                      Anyway, I’m off to me warm comfy sheltered bed. Have a good one. And try to find a link to that <1% ancient birth control, just to future reference.

                    • Has been barely around for 500 years?

                      Utter shit. The ancient Greeks were doing science based upon the scientific method some 2500 years ago. They discovered mathematics principles such as trigonometry which is still in use today and discovered planets and knew the earth was round, even coming within a hairs breadth of accurately measuring the earths size.

                      500 years? you idiot. Modern science has been built on 1000’s of years of discovery – we stand on the shoulders of giants.

                    • NickS


                      Utter shit. The ancient Greeks were doing science based upon the scientific method some 2500 years ago. They discovered mathematics principles such as trigonometry which is still in use today and discovered planets and knew the earth was round, even coming within a hairs breadth of accurately measuring the earths size.

                      Nope, dig around in philosophy and history of science some more* 😛

                      While yes, classical Greek philosophers did get some of the basic science stuff, ultimately when we examine their writings we find that they weren’t so much aiming to understand what they saw, but rather to model it. What they did also lacked the whole internal heavy criticism and peer review thing modern science developed during the 1700’s in Europe.

                      500 years? you idiot. Modern science has been built on 1000′s of years of discovery – we stand on the shoulders of giants.

                      Ah, more we stand on population growth, and the false starts of older cultures philosophers 😛

                      *Note: this unit is very tired and last did science history stuff a long time ago

                  • “Sure mate, as I discussed earlier this is known as “progress”.”

                    Development of calculus > Development of theory of gravity > Velocity > Aerodynamics > flight.

                    “Our state of scientific knowledge is so damn good and you must believe in it, until…it’s not.”

                    Science is self-correcting and science never pretends to have all the answers…which is why we always learn. Science demands learning, demands revision, demands re-correction. Always.

                • weka

                  There’s an interesting and blurred transition from doctors as priests to doctors as scientists, but the reason we don’t try to balance the humours now is science. Major steps like Harvey, Snow, Pasteur, and so on were due to science, not faith or luck.
                  The doctors in the 1800s using bloodletting were most definitely not priests. They were medically trained (in the scientific tradition) practitioners of the day.

                  William Harvey disproved the basis of the practice in 1628, and the introduction of scientific medicine,la méthode numérique, allowed Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis to demonstrate that phlebotomy was entirely ineffective in the treatment of pneumonia and various fevers in the 1830s. Nevertheless, in 1840, a lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians would still state that “blood-letting is a remedy which, when judiciously employed, it is hardly possible to estimate too highly”,[13] and Louis was dogged by the sanguinary Broussais, who could recommend leeches fifty at a time.


                  You can of course argue that those doctors weren’t practicing true science, in which case this piece of history demonstrates the gulf between science theory and how it gets practiced in the real world.

                  Science of the day makes lots of mistakes. It does interesting useful things too, but there are lots of downsides. We should be honest about that.

                  • McFlock

                    And little more than a hundred years later antibiotics, blood transfusions and sterilisation were reliably saving lives. That’s science for you.
                    In fact in some areas we’re back to leeches – for a limited number of conditions based on firm scientific understanding of the causes of the condition and the leech life-cycle.

                    • weka

                      and in a mere few decades we’ve squandered many of the advantages we gained from antibiotics, through sheer stupidity in part fueled by faith in science.

                      You seem to be arguing that science has been overwhelmingly good, and you seem unwilling to acknowledge the massive downsides of science.

                      Climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, colonisation, environmental destruction, rapid species extinction, soil loss leading to imminent mass starvation, syndrome x, radiation poisoning….

                      I’m glad you have an appreciation of your life, and what science gives you, but your science-granted life comes at a cost, a massive cost. Let’s just be honest about that. 

                      And whether how long science will continue to afford some of the individuals on the planet such a luxurious life remains to be seen.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I love 20 km range artillery munitions which after firing can be guided in flight and deploying over their target area, can direct multiple independent top penetrating submunitions downwards, destroying entire tank companys or multiple enemy troop positions.

                      The scientific achievement gives me the shivers.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m arguing that society is better off with science than without it, using myself as an example.
                      Medicine is just one example. When the world is back to a billion people with life expectancy in the low/mid double digits, and usually live entirely inside a 5 mile radius, I’ll agree with you.

                    • McFlock

                      @CV: I love that we can send a robot to mars. Might even live there, eventually.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      @CV: I love that we can send a robot to mars. Might even live there, eventually.

                      Do you really believe that? I don’t think we’ll make it there, because I think we have truly started the long descent.

                      I’m more than happy to bet you $10 inflation adjusted dollars that no mission will land a human on Mars by 2030. Edit – no human mission that is 😈

                      Oh yeah we sent a probe to Mars. Sorta like the 1970’s except instead of a lander, we got something which can roll around at maybe 5km/h.

                      40 years of progress eh.

                    • McFlock

                      More of a chance than the Romans had.
                      Sure, we might miss it due to our own stupidity, but the opportunity is there. 

                    • weka

                      “I’m arguing that society is better off with science than without it, using myself as an example.”

                      Yes, and sorry to be rude, but that’s just selfish. Are you willing to acknowledge the cost to other humans and the rest of life?

                      We are now truly in the realm of believe and faith. I don’t have the faith you do in science, I don’t believe that we will migrate off planet, and I honestly hope we don’t. We don’t deserve to go, and we’ll just fuck it up like we have here. 

                    • weka

                      Not to mention that I’m seriously under-impressed by science right this very moment because my mobile broadband is so crap I have to restart it every other minute to get the connection back 😉 

                    • McFlock

                      I’m sure that the rest of the planet which on average lives roughly twice as long as a couple of hundred years ago is better off, too.
                      And yeah, I do think life is a bonus for the population.

                      Night night 

                    • weka

                      Denial is also a form of faith.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s like corporate PR for science isn’t it. You always emphasise the upsides, the benefits, the good feeling, the smiling faces; and you always downplay or deny the costs, the damage, the scarcity, the mass consumption, the resulting unhappiness.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, colonisation, environmental destruction, rapid species extinction, soil loss leading to imminent mass starvation, syndrome x, radiation poisoning….

                      Those aren’t downsides of science but of our society which missuses science.

                    • “Oh yeah we sent a probe to Mars. Sorta like the 1970′s except instead of a lander, we got something which can roll around at maybe 5km/h.

                      40 years of progress eh.”

                      Ummm, no. Unlike a lander the rover didn’t crash land but descended slowly into the atmosphere using high drag parachute which then detached leaving behind a rocket boosted , self-driving robotic sky crane which slowly winched the one ton rover to the martian surface before flying off so as not to crash land itself into the rover.

                      Unlike a lander the rover can move, take soil samples, test the atmosphere, take high resolution photographs and has a fucking laser on board which can burn into rocks and ‘sniff’ the resulting smoke/steam to note to composition.

                      And unlike most of the landers/rovers – this one successfully landed a mere 200 meters for it’s designated landig point intact and operational.

                      CV – you are so fucking scientifically illiterate that even my 3 year niece understands science better than.

                      “That’s not science, that’s just progress” you scoff.

                      We can argue politics sure, and I can very wrong, but one thing I know is science. science is my ‘thing’ you might even say and your total dismissal and misunderstanding couched in your false sense of superiority is not only totally misguided but also offensive.

      • NickS 16.1.2

        Yeah you scientist types have regularly been right about this stuff, until new research turns up in 20 years time showing that you weren’t aware of something critical.

        Then you call it “progress”.

        Translation: DEEEEEEEERP

        And I’m too tired, need to dig up old cluebatting of Andrei dealing with this particular “but science was wrongzors!” meme fully.

        But anyhow, that’s the fucking nature of science, as we lack perfect knowledge there is always new stuff to be found that was missed in prior work (techniques/tools needed to be invented usually), that could overturn older assumptions and truths if there’s enough evidence. In many respects this flexibility to be wrong is what allows science to work in the first place. As we don;t have to wait for old scholars and their followers to die off, or be forced to cling to written texts as revealed, holy truths. Thus treating this as a negative just indicates possibly your own conservatism when it comes to change and uncertainty.

  15. tc 17

    Looky see what the ANZ’s been up to in between getting rid of NZ jobs and those pesky marginal retail customers by ditching the black horse.

    “The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the filing and simultaneous settlement of charges against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), an Australia-based financial services company, for exceeding speculative position limits in wheat and cotton futures contracts in trading on the Chicago Board of Trade and the Intercontinental Exchange US (ICE Futures US). The CFTC order requires ANZ to pay a $350,000 civil monetary penalty and cease and desist from further violations of the position limits provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.”

    That would be an investment banking activity, not retail or commercial. JP Morgan got a 600k slap also.

  16. Poission 18

    Australian reserve bank cut interest rates by 0.25 pc,NZ up on all currencies around1/2 cent against aus

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Lowered interest rates punish savers and boost speculators. This is financial repression in action.

      • Poission 18.1.1

        Indeed reward the wasters,punish the savers ,

        The RBA cites the RISK in the labour market despite 5.1% unemployment,and is out to protect exporters due to the economic outlook.


        I am becoming more convinced that the Troika ( Key ,English ,and Joyce) have no clue,and no plan B.

        Fonterra is forecasting a payout of 5.25kg at which level 20% of Farmers will be unable to repay capital.

        The only light at the end of the tunnel is that the Kim Dotcom saga will become their Alan Jones moment.

        but the damage would already be done.

        • Poission

          The Rba governor is quite succinct

          The fine judgement came down on the side of the engine needing some stoking now in an effort to build up a head of steam.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I am becoming more convinced that the Troika ( Key ,English ,and Joyce) have no clue,and no plan B.

          The only plan that lot have is to sell off NZ and that’s hit a few bumps due to most people being against it.

  17. Adrian 19

    Is it possible that thanks to modern medicine that those with intolerances who would have previously died at a very young age, i.e less than 5, and therefore exited the gene pool with their genetic disabilities have survived and thrived whereas up to 100 years ago the birth and early mortality rate was horrific, with some families losing 90% or even all of their progeny.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Modern medicine plays some role, but not the major one I suggest.

      – Meals with sufficient calories in a day
      – As much clean water as you can use
      – Sewerage systems
      – Increasing household incomes
      – Decent heating, shelter, and power
      – Schooling for all children
      – An end to child labour

      Have accounted for 75% or more of the modern gain in life expectancy.

  18. I’m puttin this one here coz I don’t want to flood the GSCB review article …
    “Due diligence” is a term used for a number of concepts involving either an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for acquisition

    It looks too me like America did it’s Due Diligence BILL, do they own us BILL?
    Luckily they don’t want us that bad AYE BILL!
    Selling Mighty River Woul’ve given us another 3 months max,
    Why’d they call you morons JOHN, and tell ya ta read it again JOHN YA LISTENING?

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    Another death knell for the RoNS.

    While the “why” is interesting and clearly deserves a lot of analysis and attention, I think the most compelling element to this discussion are the implications of a future where traffic growth simply doesn’t happen.

    Wonder if NACT will hear it?

  20. ianmac 22

    Wow! Another extraordinary session on Campbell Live tonight over the Christchurch School Closures challenge.
    They visited several schools where the data used by the Ministry is wildly in error.
    Of 5 clusters of about 15 ? all schools had every building recorded as earthquake damaged – totally untrue.
    One school had their jumping pit labelled as liquafaction.
    One school is recorded with 50 buildings – has 5. Another 10 but have 15. Wrong rolls and trends in most.
    John Campbell used the Ministry’s own documents to interview Parata but she wouldn’t front.
    The CEO from the Ministry Mrs Longstone did front, and set sail on loud denial, deflection, over talk, avoidance and straight out mis-speak.
    For those who want to get the measure of Mrs Longstone and school closures, this is a must.
    Will link when available.

    • gobsmacked 22.1

      Yes, it was very good legwork journalism. The kind Campbell Live often does, and Son Of Close-Up won’t do, alas.

      I wouldn’t be too hard on Longstone – she should never have been put in that position by Hekia Parata. It’s shameful when Ministers hide behind officials … and National have been doing it more and more.

      If people want to know why National are losing votes, ask thousands of parents in Christchurch.

      • ianmac 22.1.1

        Some believe that Longstone was appointed over a year ago with her previous experience at introducing Charter Schools in Britain and the intent to do the same here. She is a hard nut who, like politicians, can deflect and obscure with the best of them. (Can’t spell obscurfate?)
        I have no sympathy for her.

        • gobsmacked

          National’s spin doctors will be pleased.

          Minister hides, viewers take aim at the distraction instead, job done.

          Try not to do exactly what National want you to do. Focus on the people we can remove at the ballot box. The generals are in the bunker, not on the front line.

    • McFlock 22.2

      I caught a bit of it – and winced at the thought of being in that position.
      But then I remembered that this is exactly what happens when you fire “back office” “bean counters” and boo-row-krats. Data gets crunched badly, and overworked staff either don’t notice or realise it’s not their problem if it’s crap and they have other shit to do. Fuck ’em – you reap what you sow.

      • Dv 22.2.1

        BUT she should be able to defend the data on the school. That is fundemental.

        • Colonial Viper

          They don’t believe in accountability and transparency mate, just their own agendas.

        • McFlock

          Actually, what she should have done was have the corrected data handy. Or at the very least said it’s being redone, and there is a window for the corrected data to be taken into account prior to the amalgamation/closing process being finalised. Even if in reality the decisions wouldn’t be affected.
          Not sit there like a gimp insisting that it was valid.


  21. Colonial Viper 23

    Spanish police may have used under cover provocateurs to start protest violence

    As decline deepens, a return to old times.


  22. Jenny 24

    Jailed for two years in Russia for an anti Putin rap performed in a Christian orthodox cathedral. Pussy Riot are a Russian women band notorious for their defiance of authority and for covering their faces with ski masks.

    Will French Islammist rapper, Mélanie Georgiades become the West’s version of ‘Pussy Riot’?

    Mélanie Georgiades has in open defiance of French anti-hijab laws made an appearance on French TV station TF1 dressed in the hijab.


    Will the authorities charge this celebrity for openly defying France’s recently passed anti-hijab laws?


    • GregJ 24.1

      I think you are confusing two things here Jenny (actually the 2nd link also confuses it). She appeared on television wearing a hijab (headscarf) for which there is no law against wearing in public.

      There is one that restricts it’s use in schools (passed in 2004): Loi en application du principe de laïcité, le port de signes ou de tenues manifestant une appartenance religieuse dans les écoles, collèges et lycées publics (An Act, as an application of the principle of the separation of church and state, on the wearing of symbols or garb which show religious affiliation in public primary and secondary schools).

      Perhaps you are thinking of the recently (2010) passed law: Loi interdisant la dissimulation du visage dans l’espace public (An Act prohibiting concealment of the face in public space) which includes, amongst other things, the niqab (face veil) and the burqa (full body covering if it includes a face covering/veil).

      I’m not sure I would describe her as an Islamist which has quite specific political overtones.

  23. weka 25

    We should have started part b of science vs life down here 😉

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