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Open mike 03/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 3rd, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

69 comments on “Open mike 03/03/2011 ”

  1. Anthony C 1

    What the f*ck is going on:


    The final case of the morning was Aaron Blair Peoples, for an offence under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act.

    He was found heavily intoxicated and bleeding in Cranmer Square at 8.30pm Tuesday – inside the police CBD cordon – needing medical help from St John ambulance staff.

    His house was also destroyed in the quake and he had spent the afternoon drinking at his mother’s house on Champion St.

    Mr McCormack said Peoples left on his bicycle, but was so drunk he could not remember how he ended inside the cordon.

    He asked Judge Couch to remand the matter to another date without entering a plea.

    Judge Couch responded: “Why is he asking for a remand without plea when what you’ve told me is an admission of the offence?”

    He told Peoples to reconsider his position, as it was unlikely he would be granted bail, and could therefore be in custody until May. But if Peoples pleaded guilty immediately, Judge Couch indicated a “short period of imprisonment” as a sentence.

    After a short adjournment, Peoples took the offer. Two weeks in prison was his punishment.

    • prism 1.1

      It’s good we can’t have Hanging Judges now. A significant number of them would use this sanction – to set an example for others.

    • higherstandard 1.2

      “What the f*ck is going on:”

      Good sentencing by the look of it……. as the judge said.

      “We all know that this community is in crisis,” said Judge Couch.

      “You took the time and resources of emergency services that ought to be devoted to more worthy causes.

      “This legislation is there to ensure that people and property are protected and to ensure that essential work is not impeded by people being unnecessarily in the way.

      “It must be enforced strictly and firmly, that is what the public expects.”

    • weka 1.3

      What’s the actual offense? Breaking curfew? We’re putting someone in prison for breaking a curfew?

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Sounds like the guy wanted to be put in prison because he did not know what to do next, where he was going to stay, or how he was going to feed himself.

        Sad, but I think this is the likely scenario.

        Our society is slowly failing our people.

      • higherstandard 1.3.2

        I suspect he was prosecuted for wasting police time.

        • felix

          ?? Are you reading a different report to the rest of us? Doesn’t say that at all.

        • mcflock

          Nope, by the look of it he was guilty because he was arrested.

          Subtle difference.

  2. pentwig 2

    What a great judgment.
    Judges do get it right occasionally.

  3. Interesting post at Pundit about Cactus Kate’s and Farrar’s indignant criticism of the left’s desire to debate how Christchurch’s rebuilding is going to be funded.

    The comments are interesting, it looks like it could be a hum dinger of a debate.

    The debate is at http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/farrar-and-cactus-appoint-themselves-taste-police#comment-6288

    • weka 3.1

      By all means let’s argue about what we should be arguing about. In the meantime there are fairly desparate people in Chch who could do with our help.

      I still think someone could set up a central online networking point to be helping people in Chch esp the eastern suburbs. If half the energy that’s gone into post and commenting on blogs went into that, those people might get food, water, support sooner.

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        hs and pentwig – right on, brothers! Why they didn’t just shoot this man and leave his carcass to rot in the rubble as a message to other deviants? Why waste the justice system’s time with this pitiful excuse of a human being?

        Just further proof we’re sliding into a fascist state…wake up NZ, you’re next.

    • ianmac 3.2

      Whenever NAct are vulnerable they send out the attack dogs. Must have a sniff at why they are so reactionary?

    • RedLogix 3.3

      Oh it’s quite simple really.

      Lots of high profile right wing bloggers like Farrar, Cathy Odgers, and Slater have relatively independent incomes.

      Many of us blogging on the left are ordinary working folk with ordinary jobs. Given that I have CEO who is a well-known and quite active National Party supporter, I’m not that comfortable with him knowing my views.

      In a word.. power imbalance.

      • lprent 3.3.1

        I can’t be bothered answering Cactus Kate’s posts because they tend to be somewhat fact free when it comes to this site. However it did come up over at Tim Watkins on pundit. So I have been making those points over there.


        Similarly I’ve been correcting MacDoctor who seems to think that we should be responsible for the opinions of commentators in OpenMike. I’ll moderate behavior here or things that will lead to bad behavior. But the whole point about OpenMike is that it is an open forum specifically put in to allow people to comment on things that we haven’t written anything on.


        I do wish that some of these people would switch their brains before they write bullshit about the site. It looks like I now need to write something about DPF. I really don’t have time to monitor the comments in the sewer so it will have to be a post here.

        • prism

          macdoctor criticises other bloggers ideas as lacking credence. S/he takes the possibilities to a really fatuous level.

          • Anthony C

            I always wonder if people who are all about ‘real names’ online were just late adopters of the internet/forums/blogs etc.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Or lead lives where publicly broadcasting their opinions has no consequence or impact on their jobs, friends or family. I’d say they fall into two categories; paid bloggers or people whose opinions nobody cares about.

            • Deadly_NZ

              But as in the real world employers and prospective employers snoop on workers faceboook and other social network pages. What is to stop them from firing or censuring you at work ? If ‘Joe Bloe’ was a top employee, until they find out that he’s a rabid righty/ lefty by his ‘net postings’. Then he’s gone. Personally I don’t give a rat’s arse what people think about me or what I think, I would prefer that they judge me for being a caring partner and dad to my family, not on my politics. But we live in a real world and after reading Kiwiblog, Whaleoil, and Cactus Kate, the one and only thing I want is a shower,

              Oh and if anyone is Interested my real name is David Harrison.
              Deadly_NZ is a very, very, very, old gaming name from the days of network parties, Now those were the days.

              • Carol

                There’s pros and cons for using both real names and pseudonyms online, but, on balance, I prefer that people are left to chose one way or the other. I think there’s a strong element of control in people wanting everyone to use their real names on blogs & forums. This is stated explicitly by those who say it will stop the trolls and frivolous comments. However, I think there’s a bigger downside to this control, especially on political forums. Deadly_NZ has stated some of them above. Like RL says, it’s about power.

                I also think if real names are required, then people who are confident and/or formally educated will be more likely to participate. People who feel their views are a bit unusual, or radical will be less inclined to post as well. There’s also evidence that knowing more about the participants can bias the way they are received. For instance, in online gaming, some women say they present themselves as male because they get taken more seriously that way and/or treated more as an equal by the guys. In some forms of peer review processes, the reviewer doesn’t know the name of the author, as a guard against bias. That way, they look at the arguments and evidence rather than focusing on the personality.

                So, ultimately if it’s real names only, I can see the blog/forum being more dominated by confident, middle of the road, middleclass, white guys. This is not to say that others won’t participate, but they’ll be a noticeable minority.

                • Herodotus

                  Why dont all the Jafas just organise to meet at a pub- then it would be like mystery date, as we all attempt to match faces with pseudonyms. Then find out the hardened lefty wears a suit and the RWNJ is an everyday Joe or Josphine. And that irrespective of political beliefs most want the same thing. Just we all can recognise the problem just have different basis to the answer.
                  ps Love all your work !!!!

                • just saying

                  Completely agree Carol.

                  I would be unlikely to comment under my real name, even though it is one of the most common in the english language so I’d be almost as anonymous. It’s not because I’m anyone important or well-known. It would just make me feel a little vulnerable. And I’d probably feel I should run a spell-check, and stop mixing and torturing metaphors, or talk about anything which affects me personally…. and it’d all be more like a hassle and less like a conversation.

                  As a card-carrying member of the “great unwashed” I like being able to have my say.

                  And anyway we aren’t entirely unaccountable. I’m sure the admin here knows who we all are and could track us down if there was any reason to bother.

                  [lprent: could if there was enough reason. never had a reason to date. ]

  4. Adrian 4

    The lies keep coming. RNZ at 4am had a Key quote that the quake is going to cost the economy 15billion. Bullshit: First off most of the cost is going to be covered by EQC ( already in the bank ) and international insurance. Much like a theft, the quake will long term CONTRIBUTE to GDP, if anything, the Government could even make a “profit” out of it, and I’m sure that their are a few economists out there who can make a case for that. I haven’t been able to find a follow up to the news report, admittedly I was a bit sleepy, but has anyone read a version of this?

    • Adrian 4.1

      I’ve just heard the 9am bulletin and the BS gets deeper and thicker. Key is quoted as saying that the quake will cause a 5 BILLION hit to GST returns, this costs the quake at 34 BILLION. How did this idiot ever get a job in finance, essentially he is saying that all of the costs of rectification are going to be zero rated and 3 times every other estimate. His lies have to be challenged.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The NACTs are finally implementing the recommendations from the US and UK Disaster Capitalism specialists.

      • Bill 4.1.2

        Read Naomi Kline’s ‘The Shock Doctrine’ and reflect on the upcoming cuts to social provisions (WFF etc)… the focus of recovery on business and market functionality over the comparitive silence regarding the daily struggle of working class, Maori and PI in the Eastern suburbs (shades of New Orleans there in my mind)…probable privatisation of social services (obstensibly to pay off costs associated with the earthquake)…and the resignation of Power (in cabinet meetings was a proposed game plan for a roll out of ‘disaster capitalism’ on the back of the quake too much for him to stomach?)

        Key’s figures won’t be challenged. Not by the ‘our’ corporate media at any rate. The perception of financial dire straits will be encouraged and fed and a TINA ‘solution’ applied.

        When the middle class of Christchurch indicate that they are more or less okay, everything on the ground that is being done for ordinary people will slip into low gear and the gouging of society and state provisioning for the benefit of private business will click into high gear.

        edit. If petty thieves are to be labelled as looters and be banged up…with a cell mate, as Collins put it, then can we expect the major looters…Key, Brownlie and the rest… to be sharing modified containers sometime soon?

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      They probably could after Shonkey’s talking down the NZ Dollar by saying that financial markets had taken into consideration that the reserve bank may cut the interest rate, And what do you know the Dollar drops, Still and ever more a currency trader and a waste of political space.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    From Hone Harawira FB page, various people I know have responded via comments so one assumes it is straight up.


    “Everyone really keen for the new party to get started. So I’m going to be heading round the country on a promotional tour in acouple of weeks, and I’ll let you all nknow there where and the when we we got it all locked. K?”

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      No hint as to the make up of the party, policy etc. And won’t it’ll be a waste of time if he has agreed not to stand in the Maori seats?

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        And won’t it’ll be a waste of time if he has agreed not to stand in the Maori seats?

        How so? As I understand it the deal is he won’t campaign for the other Maori electorate seats. He can still campaign for list votes.

        • The Voice of Reason

          I think the problem is the mixed message, bookie. ‘I’m not actually standing, but vote for me anyway’ is confusing for voters who don’t get the difference between electorate and party votes.

          Of course, I don’t know the detail of the actual agreement reached between Hone and the MP, but if it was drafted by Matt McCarten then I’m guessing there will be some wriggle room. For example, if it just says ‘Hone will not stand’, that doesn’t stop members of his new party standing in the other Maori seats. I’m guessing Matt’s next SST article will probably an announcement of its formation, given the timeline Hone uses in his FB post, so perhaps we’ll learn more there.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.1.2

        Yes Voice, all very vague. Will it be a fresh maori nationalist party somewhat influenced by class politics or a full Alliance mkII? In any event I await with interest how Te Tai Tokerau local Hone supporters handle a switch from ‘identity’ politics to at least a strong flavour of class politics. Will they? should it be assumed that Hone is home and hosed in the seat? Dunno, but if the switch happens it will be right up there as an organisational feat.

        The ‘no stand’ thing is certainly rather incomprehensible in an electoral sense, and too high a price for Hone’s Matt managed exit from the MP.

        That said, Labour should have ripped John Key up for toilet paper by now using events in recent months so it is understandable why some left social democrats are supporting moves to a new party.

    • Deadly_NZ 5.2

      Well before signing up to him wholesale I would wait and see what he actually has to say.

  6. aj 6

    Today’s Poll on nz.yahoo.com/

    Where should the money come from for earthquake funds?
    1/ Student loans
    2/ Working for families
    3/ Big spending projects

    Funny the options of a levy or reversing the tax cuts are not there.

    Ps overwhleming majority for option 3

  7. todd 7

    Asshole of the Week Award goes to Catcus Kate.


    Catcus Kate has this to say: Let us see how much New Zealand has overspent on welfare in the past decade whereby we cannot afford to help those most in need. Let us have the figures.

    OK Catcus, firstly that is a contradiction in terms. The welfare dependent are the most in need. Here’s a few calculations to see where all the money has gone:

  8. Armchair Critic 8

    A couple of earthquake-related points have come up and I have to disagree.
    1. A geologists suggests no rebuilding should start until the faultlines are mapped.
    Specifically he says
    “This illustrates how important it is to know the location and length of other faults in the vicinity of Christchurch and offshore before we even discuss putting billions of dollars into a rebuild. This can be done relatively inexpensively with existing technology.”
    No! And for so many reasons.
    The critical factor is the timeliness, not the cost.
    People need somewhere to live right now and can’t wait for geologists to map faultlines to get an understanding of risk.
    Understanding the risk doesn’t get us that far along the road to rebuilding. Understanding the consequences of the risk is much more important, because engineers need to design to deal with the risk. The two recent earthquakes have provided a graphic understanding of the consequences of the risk presented by the faultlines.
    So in the early parts of the rebuild, which should be of the most important infrastructure, design for what was recorded and add a nice big factor of safety. Update the factor of safety as more information comes to hand over the next couple of years.
    The risk identification, planning, construction and commissioning phases need to run in parallel.
    2. Doug McKay, CEO of Auckland COuncil, provides evidence that he is sadly lacking in local government experience.
    This is a milesone in the history of New Zealand and it is not unreasonable for people to express their desire to help. Where it is done in an intrusive or inappropriate way, deal with it on a case-by-case basis. Otherwise, leave them to it.

  9. lprent 9

    The winner of the 250,000th comment was Bright Red on Thursday at 10:26

    Does he now owe us all a beer?

  10. prism 10

    Thinking about saving historic buildings. The old churches have borne and fund- raised much to keep their grand old piles standing. A group who used to lunch in a nearby Christchurch park commented about the nearby church hoping that it could be restored. (It’s pretty munted). The question “Would you give a contribution to the costs” got a strong negative.

    I hope that the Council and Historic Places Trust don’t try and heavy such charitable organisations to rebuild. Doing this would be costly, but also the restored building becomes a white elephant. The old sects are over-shadowed by their historic buildings and only central features like the Cathedral should be retained. Christians who spend on expensive properties have their religious life diminished and individual sects would be better off to take an ecumenical interest and share the costs of a few historic edifices like the Cathedral.

  11. prism 11

    Just a little smile in the day. Seems to be about Christchurch. An Ogden Nash musing –

    Thar She Blows
    Indoors or out, no one relaxes
    In March, that month of wind and taxes,
    The wind will presently disappear,
    The taxes last us all the year.

    (But that’s a moot point.)

  12. randal 12

    when it comes to taxes it pays to remmeber that every one wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.

  13. joe90 14

    The truth about water wars.

    Are Water Wars a Myth or an Imminent Threat to Global Security? Our Panel Responds:
    Mark Zeitoun, environmental engineer
    David Hatton, Australia’s “water czar”
    Fred Pearce, environmental journalist
    Tobias Siegfried, environmental physicist and international relations scholar
    Michael E. Campana, hydrogeologist
    Sandra Postel, water analyst and author
    Peter Gleick, scientist and global water security expert

  14. randal 15

    just read the op ed in the dompost.
    caption reads “republicans admit Obama can win”
    I dont really think it is their decison somehow.
    anyway the last paragraph mentions that in wisconsin the right wing madness is facing stiff oppostion as the governor there tries to strip away the collective bargaining powers of unions.
    and even though the democrats got a shellacking from the electorate in the mid term polls the poeople are still not going to hand over complete power to the zoobies in the tea party.
    the sooner new zealanders come to their senses and realise what the nats have in store for them if they get re-elected and start moves to turf them out the better.

  15. todd 16

    The Gulf of Mexico Revisited


    In just over a month we will mark the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. A good time to catch up on what has been going on…

    • ianmac 16.1

      Maybe those distant ideas about tankering ex-Manapouri water for sale might umm …. resurface?

  16. Rob 17

    My wife and I saw an old friend in the street today – she’s been working as a meter reader and was p’d off at her employer …. been there nearly 3 years and the boss is baulking at her demands for a pay increase to a whopping $15/hour.

    3 years service and the boss doesn’t want to pay $2/hr above the minimum wage … gotta love this country

    • Deadly_NZ 17.1

      And if the Government start pitching people off the benefits and making them get jobs at ANY cost then the wage bargaining begins yes your friend may want an extra 2 bucks an hour (actually should be more after 3 years.) But how would she and others cope with an influx of people that have been kicked off a benefit (By the Marriage of Key, Bennet, and their bastard child Blinglish.) and going to same employer and offering to do their job for 50c an hour less. And so it begins

  17. Jellytussle 18

    Is it true that it is policy in social welfare buildings not to provide any form of toilets? So people (often waiting for up to six hours with families beside them) are forced to walk down the road to a gas station or other public facility. Is it even legal? Wouldn’t it be a health and safety matter? Is this a case of demoralising those behind the poverty line?

    Haha……..anti spam…….feelings

    • Deadly_NZ 18.1

      Yes. I have seen a lot of different WINZ offices around the country and I have never seen a toilet in one of them. Just another way to drive home the feeling of helplessness you have when you visit the place for the weekly war with red tape and bullshit, when all you want to do is get a job or need help with what ever. It is an adversarial system if there ever was one. And I once got a letter of apology from them, and it now hangs framed, in my lounge. My one victory.

    • Vicky32 18.2

      Very probably! I remember being told when I had arrived for a seminar that that the toilet was ‘in the shopping centre’ which wasn’t actually true. AFAIK there are no public toilets at all in Ponsonby, although there might have been once.

      • lprent 18.2.1

        The underground toilet at Three Lamps is still there by the old post office? Mind you I think you are required to be an XY and the one time I used it in desperation I resolved to never ever use it again.

        There is one in Western Park at the other end of Ponsonby Road. I remember it because of a guy who fell out of it one day with some medical problems (probably illicit ones). But that one was probably a bit far away.

        Umm… The library at Three Lamps would be the best bet…

    • weka 18.3

      In Dunedin Central there is a toilet, but it’s locked with one of those keypads. You have to ask to use the toilet (they give you a wee ticket with the number on it). It’s probably because the entrance, by the toilet, comes off a public carpark and they don’t want any old person using their toilets (wouldn’t that be terrible). But it’s still demeaning. Often people make sure they leave the door open, or put the ticket on the keypad.

  18. aj 19

    Is it me, or is the search function not working?

  19. todd 20

    Now I’m confused. Is the $190,000 the families of those killed in the Pike River mine “accident” paid from donations made to the families through the Council, or is that actual settlement money from Pike River Coal?

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      That sounds about the amount that the donations came to but I don’t know if that’s the money you’re actually talking about.

  20. Armchair Critic 21

    Turns out that the High Court says that the control freak nanny-statist National and ACT parties can’t tell you what not to wear. Finally!
    No doubt this will be appealed, and no doubt some spurious arguments justifying the appeal will be bandied about.
    The hypocrisy of the two parties who nominally champion individual rights and freedom of expression fighting to squash individual rights and freedom of expression will be disappointing, once again. Though no as disappointing as their failure to address the real issues, which are not some patterns on a textile, but the behaviours of a group of people.

  21. Afewknowthetruth 22

    The ‘earthquake’ below will demolish most of what remains of the NZ economy over the next few years..

    UK Independent headline: Market turmoil as IEA warns ‘age of cheap oil is over’

    [lprent: completely off topic despite the facelift. Moved to OpenMike ]

  22. Pascal's bookie 23


    Mike Hucksterbee, god fearin conservative GOP loon often described as being a nice guy and totes not crazy, got in a little strife when he said recently that Obama grew up in Kenya.

    When making his apologies and corrections today, it went thusly:

    Friendly interviewer: “”what got lost in all the shuffle was the legitimate point that you were making is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas, that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial, hated the British.

    Huck: “Well, that’s exactly the point that I make in the book, and I don’t know why these reporters — maybe they can’t read.”

    That is the point Huck was making alright. That Obama has some unamerican, I say, Un-American views with regard to British imperialism and colonialism. This is his point, the point that he stands by.

    I know the GOP is a bit uncomfortable with some aspects of Lincoln’s legacy, for example. The whole ‘states rights’ thing. That’s kind of ugly when you dig down into it, but still. The federalist debates are a legitimate part of US history, and even though the federalists won, intellectually, politically and eventually on the battlefield, the antifederalists are a part of the USian tradition.

    So disagreeing with Lincoln on states rights has a long history; but throwing Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Paine and the rest of that elder generation under the bus?

    This is some new conservatism. How can you be more American that being virulently anti-British colonialism. It’s the whole fucking point.

    I expect all them there tea baggers with their three pointed hats will be denouncing the Huck any day now.

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