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Open mike 03/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 3rd, 2010 - 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.

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Step right up to the mike…

69 comments on “Open mike 03/11/2010”

  1. joe90 1

    This is good.

  2. Another example of doctrinaire belligerence against the poor from the acting Minister of Social Development Judith Collins.

    She has acted to curtail a practice whereby an interest free loan was made to poor people to obtain a limited licence so that they could get or retain employment. Better obviously that they remain on the dole.

    Her justifications are laughable. They can “catch a bus”. I see courier drivers on busses with parcels all the time. Or if they can afford to drink then they can afford to hire a lawyer of their own. As if …

    Now all applications will have to be considered by the head of the Department. Absolute doctrinaire lunacy.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    GOP senatorial big toga John Boehner on the stump:

    At each stop he draws on nostalgia for the Republican glory days of the 1980s, by telling the same joke. “Remember when Ronald Reagan was president,” he said. “We had Bob Hope. We had Johnny Cash. Think about where we are today. We have got President Obama. But we have no hope and we have no cash.” It draws hoots of laughter and applause every time.


    Chip off the ol’ block Rosanne Cash on Twitter:


    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      The US is going into 2 years of legislative gridlock now where absolutely nothing is going to be able to get through the senate/congress/President.

      Corporate interests are simply going to run (even more) rampant.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        Ironically the claims made are that Obama has not done enough. The response? Lets put enough Republicans in to create a gridlock that make it impossible for Obama to get reforms through. Daft system!

        • Lanthanide

          One thing I read a while ago, probably linked from here, possibly in the comments, was a graph showing projected budget deficits. The tea party are all nuts about cutting the deficit, but on the projection it showed that up-front they will cut the deficit severely, but projected out for 4-5 years it would be much higher under their plans than under Obamas, enough to wipe out the initial short-term gains. Crazy.

          Also, Christine (Not A Witch, She’s You) O’Donnel didn’t know that the separation of church and state is included in the constitution. She was genuinely surprised and didn’t believe it when told during a debate.

          • joe90

            She was genuinely surprised and didn’t believe it when told during a debate.

            Her campaign has offered a reward to anyone who can find the exact phrase “Separation of Church and State” anywhere in the United States Constitution.

            • felix

              Isn’t that a bit like claiming that there’s no law banning heroin because you can’t find the exact phrase “drugs are bad mmkay” anywhere in the statutes?

              • Lanthanide

                If you read the link, apparently the separation of church and state really isn’t in the constitution, but in private letters of Thomas Jefferson who had no part in drafting the constitution. Supreme Court rulings are apparently vague on the subject.

                I’m sure with further research all of the claims in the link could be shown to be false, but I don’t really have to time to look around for anyone rebutting it. Of course reality doesn’t matter to her followers, and the press release is written in a way that will definitely appeal to them.

                • joe90

                  Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.


                • Pascal's bookie

                  ‘Supreme Court rulings are apparently vague on the subject.’

                  nah, they are clear as. The establishment clause means that the government cannot act for religious reasons. Everything it does must have a secular purpose. Otherwise, (if the govt is acting for a religious purpose), it would in effect establish that religion.

                • felix

                  Thing is Lanth, she’s pretending her opponent’s argument hinges on that exact phrase existing verbatim in the constitution, when it really doesn’t matter if it does or not.

                  She’s just attacking a man of straw. Or hiding behind one.

                  Either way she’s a witch.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        And that’s the reason why I oppose a two house parliament.

    • Tigger 3.2

      Thanks for the link pb. Asshat, love it!

    • prism 3.3

      Ronald Reagan told such good jokes. Pity we can’t have his quality here. When can we close the gap between NZ Prime Ministers and USA Presidents like Reagan?

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Today’s “New Zealand Media Memory Hole” test:

    The cross-party MPs report on smoking comes out today. Already leaked and in the news.

    John Key has made the usual empty, soothing noises, declaring Illness and Death to be Bad Things which he Opposes, because he is Nice. In other words, he intends to do nothing much. The committee report will gather dust.

    If New Zealand had journalists instead of amnesiacs, they would ask:

    “Do you support the current Smokefree legislation (e.g no smoking in bars, etc)? Why did you vote against it? Why did National campaign against it?”

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      If the MSM refuses to ask those questions, then The Standard or other non-MSM definitely should…

  5. prism 5

    How come Crusher Collins is issuing edicts about what WINZ should do? She has been criticising and would like to ban but is stopping at severely limiting, grants for those with suspended licences to help in getting them back so they can gain or continue in a job. Seems a practical use of money if it does that. Is Paula B now out of country learning from the great USA how to run an effective welfare system with reducing numbers because they find employment (making burgers and fries)? Is Crusher in her absence extending her domain?

    Crusher Collins is Minister of – Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs.
    Whereas Basher Bennett is Minister for Social Development and Employment
    and Minister of Youth Affairs

  6. millsy 6

    The next 2025 taskforce report is apparently out today, and suprise surprise, it will give us a nice big dose of more neo-liberal snake oil.

    Apparently the only way to catch up with Australia is to sell everything not nailed down.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Well, they are trying to sell out our workers, and New Zealanders are responding by leaving.

      • jimmy 6.1.1

        Heres a summary:


        Predictable old Brash, sell everything, raise living costs for everyone but the rich, raise the retirement age, get rid of the super fund to pay off govt debt, mine everything in sight, etc., etc.

        Does anyone have the number for Jurrasic Park? They seem to have lost a dinosaur.

        • Colonial Viper

          Well this environment will certainly encourage young NZ’ers to stay here.

        • KJT

          “We saved the village for democracy. Napalmed it”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Such gains would come at the cost of reductions in the minimum wage, subsidies for early childhood education, subsidised doctor’s visits, reductions in unemployment benefits and mining on sensitive Crown land.

          So, basically cut the stuff that allows for people to live minimally (increasing poverty which will drive down wages), and dig up and sell off all our resources that we need for a viable economy.

          The expected load of BS from someone who has NFI how the economy works.

  7. grumpy 7

    I see Mason’s child assault conviction has been quashed by the Supreme Court and no retrial ordered.


    Without going into the pros and cons of the case – one thing strikes me. If the miscarraige of justice was so clear to both the Supreme Court and Crown Law, how come the Court of Appeal couldn’t see it?

    • Bored 7.1

      Dont ever confuse a system of law with a system of justice.

    • ianmac 7.2

      With-held because of the conflation of two charges. Had they been tried separately he almost certainly would have not “got off.”

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Intresting exit poll:


    Voters think the economy’s a wreck…but who’s to blame? Thirty-five percent of voters in early exit polls pin the blame on Wall Street. The next name on the list: former President Bush – 29 percent point their fingers in his direction. President Obama follows, at 24 percent.

    Just 35 percent of voters think the country’s on the right track, to 62 percent who think things are heading in the wrong direction. They’re not quite as pessimistic as they were just two years ago, when those numbers were 21 and 74 percent – but angrier than they were back in 2006, when 41 percent felt the nation was on the right track, to 55 percent who said they were headed in the wrong direction.

    and they are electiing tea baggers. It’s a fucked up world we live in these days.

    • Bored 8.1

      Maybe a sign that the population of the world are very very confused…the established orthodoxies are being seen to fail, people see the stars out of alignment. The MSM as maid servants of the powers that be can no longer uphold the illusions. Replacing failed prophets with false prophets is likely to be the order of the day until there is clarity.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Or war – which is most likely.

        • Bored

          The false prophets will lead to war and any other number of places, they will likely be focused on power and blame for those things seen as wrong and in need of sacrificial retribution.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    I am not a witch. I am also not a senator.

    • joe90 9.1


      • gobsmacked 9.1.1

        O’Donnell’s defeat was pretty much the only thing that didn’t go the way of the crazies today. There’s a new Senator in West Virginia who’s pro-gun, pro-pollution, anti-abortion, anti-healthcare reform … and he won.

        But actually, that’s the good news. He’s a Democrat.

        NZ Politicians, transplanted to the USA:

        John Key – mainstream Democrat.
        Phil Goff – liberal Democrat, defeated in primary.
        Rodney Hide – “moderate” Republican, defeated in primary by Tea Party, for being insufficiently insane.
        Russel Norman – fled to Canada.
        Hone Harawira – in jail.

  10. Joe Bloggs 10

    Phil Goff is surely not serious when he says the abolition of gift duty is a tax cut by stealth for the wealthiest? Spend $70m in compliance costs and $900k in direct costs to collect $1.6m? You gotta be kidding!


    Still, it’s good to see Phil back out of hiding after the Hobbit

  11. Irascible 11

    Don Brash has revealed the NACT policy basis for 2010 and beyond with these recommendations:
    Mr Brash says governments need to stop “playing at business” and allow the market to encourage growth and innovation, and “weed out failures”.

    “It is critical to re-establish the mindset that markets, not governments, create wealth best.”

    In the report, Mr Brash has made 35 recommendations he says will reduce the wage gap with Australia.

    Some of the standout reforms he calls for include:

    * Reducing government spending to 29 percent of GDP by 2012/2013. New Zealand’s Government spending as a proportion of GDP is 38.9 percent. Six OECD countries spend less than us – including the US, Spain and Japan. Twenty OECD countries spend more than us including the UK, Germany and Sweden.

    * Labour market reform should include reducing the minimum wage to 1999 ratios and extending the 90-day probationary period for employees to a year.

    * “Ambitious” welfare reform should be undertaken to reduce the number of people of working age receiving welfare benefits. As of September this year 65,281 people were claiming unemployment benefits.

    * The retirement age should increase “progressively” to lower the future costs of New Zealand Superannuation.

    * Universal subsidies for doctor’s visits and prescriptions should be abolished and instead be related to income status or health of the individual.

    * Subsidies for Early Childhood Education introduced since 2005 should be reversed.

    * The National Government announced cuts to the funding for 20 hours of free early childhood education this week. $480 million is being cut from this sector over the next four years.

    * Fee caps on University fees should be removed and market-based interest rates reintroduced for student loans.

    * Average tax rates should come down – Mr Brash’s team estimate that with Government spending at 29 percent of GDP the maximum personal tax rate, company and trust tax rates could all be reduced to 20 percent.

    * All Government owned businesses which operate in a market where competition is actual or feasible should be sold.

    * The New Zealand Superannuation Fund should be wound up and assets used to pay off Government debt.

    * Congestion charging should be introduced to Auckland and other city centres where a cost benefit analysis supports doing so.

    * Mining on sensitive Crown-owned land should be permitted as long as it is supported by cost-benefit analysis.

    * Restrictions on foreign investment should be loosened.

    If these aren\’t a resurrection of discredited and patented policies designed to gut a country and ready it for asset stripping and an even further descent into client state status signalled with the sale of our Employment law to Warner Bros then I don’t know what are.

    • KJT 11.1

      If it does not work? do more of the same!.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Labour has a very clear platform of differentiation now. Markets are desirable and needed in some areas. In others, they are very limited in use, shown to be prone to failure and extremely undesirable.

      • Joe Bloggs 11.2.1

        let’s just clarify that last comment … markets are desirable and needed, and prone to failure and undesirable?

        Yup that’s a great platform of differentiation – great policy on the hoof there, CV…

        • Draco T Bastard

          ^^ Another RWNJ showing their complete stupidity.

        • felix


          If you think you can clarify a statement by removing all of the qualifying elements then you’re going to have a really hard time establishing communication with sentient beings.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Sounds like a plan to really fuck the economy.

  12. rod 12

    Lockwood Smith does a U-turn. Mickey Mouse is alive and well.

  13. Vicky32 13

    Did I hear rightly? Surely I can’t have – I thought I heard Fatty Garner on 3 News say the average wage in NZ is $969.00 weekly. I have to have misheard, hey?
    If i didn’t mishear, where did Fatty get that figure?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Fatty Garner has just told 75% of the people in NZ that they are below average.
      (Sorta like Kim Jong Il telling North Koreans that they are all warm, fed and content using radio broadcasts).

      Let’s see how many votes this wins National.

      • Vicky32 13.1.1

        Let’s hope people actually take notice of what he said! 🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          And that old bugbear about the ‘average’ wage – the average wage is skewed upwards considerably by people who are on very high incomes distorting the numbers. Its like the average wage of the following 4 wage earners who are each paid, respectively:

          $25K, $25K, $25K, $3.5M.

          Holy shit on a stick, the average wage is $890K p.a.!!!

          Looks like the average worker does quite well for himself then, Fatty Garner 🙄

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Russ Feingold lost. Shit.

    He was about the only fighting liberal prepared to put his hand up on civil liberties. Scratch that. He was the only.
    The only guy that voted agin the patriot act.
    On a tide of Rand Paul ‘libertarianism’.

    Symbol-read that shit.

    Otherwise, slaughter in the house. Grayson lost. But the whole damn south was lost so there you go. The GOP continues it’s road to becoming the enraged pharmotropically confused id of a regional elderly white demographic. Good luck with that when the limbaugh fans start popping their clogs. Not long term thinkers.

    Or rather think long term democratic demographics aren’t relevant. Parse that as as you will.

    Teabaggers only did so so in the senate though. In that they could have done better. They shoulda beat Harry Reid but they nominated a nut. Palin’s nut in Alaska got beat by a write in. Boxer won a tough fight in California.

    Village meth heads are all blathering away about how Obama needs to reach out his hand, as if that’s where the fight is. The next two years are going to be GOP on GOP trench fucking warfare. Obama’s presidency will be a side show to them, just as Iraq was a sideshow to the Bush mob. A mere stage on which to fight. If you thought watching leftie libs go nuts at Obama was a sight, watch what happens to any GOP congress critters that refuse to play sink the battleship.

    Won’t be all fun and games though. People. Actual people, are gonna get hurt. Without even mentioning the economy, which is doomed.

    Bunch of judges got chucked out because they ruled it none of the states goddamn bidness what people choose to do with their sex organs. That the state should not discriminate on that account. That got them thrown out. Families will be broken, and ruled illegal. Arseholes.

    But shit. Russ Feingold?

    Fuck. Too soon.

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Concession speech from Losing GOPster.

    Not crazy psycho’s so stop saying that.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Not long term thinkers.

    Have to strongly disagree with you here. The GOP have openly stated that their main goal now is to make Obama a one term President.

    That’s a plan with at least a 2 year timeframe.

    Getting people back to work and ensuring that ordinary Americans are looked after? You must be joking.

    As for Feingold and everyone else being voted out. What can you expect with an electorate which has been living in permanent fear and no hope for years (save for a few months around Nov 2008). Even they can see the wealthy get wealthier, the banks who imploded the system get bailed out with billions, and the CEOs who ran the ships around keep all their personal fortunes.

    Perhaps they should follow the Righties cook book recipe: reduce taxes for all but especially the rich, get rid of all remaining financial and economic regulations, continue to socialise all private sector losses while letting them keep the gains.

    America’s lost decade has just started.

  17. vto 17

    The only problem with so many fish in the sea is that there is no time to correct the thought patterns drifting here..

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Back in the 5th Labour led governments term the RWNJs kept complaining about how much Labour were abusing Urgency. Well, Russel Norman has just released the figures as a comparison.

    The important numbers are:
    48th Parliament: 1503 hours, 148 hours in urgency, 9.9%
    49th Parliament (until 2 Nov 2010): 1145 hours, 310 hours in urgency, 27.1%

    So, in 2/3rds of a term NACT have more than doubled the hours of urgency of the full last term (the one that they were complaining about) and yet we don’t here a thing about it from them.

    • Herodotus 18.1

      Is not urgency abused in the 1st term of a govt?
      I am sure the 46th Parliament had more hours under urgency than the 47th & 48th, as the new govt wants to stamp its authority and the public are more open to radical changes. But then I could be wrong. 🙂
      Also Lab were not confronted with the world ending events and the saving of JRR Tolkiens legacy as we face today.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        Actually, it appears that the Labour led government got up to urgency in the second term.

      • lprent 18.1.2

        You are.. There was more time spent in urgency in the 48th than there was in the 46th from my recollection.

        There was a lot of time in urgency in the early 90’s as well. It appears to be a National problem. It isn’t like they try to pass much actual urgent legislation under urgency. Most of it is utter crap like Collins car crushing or the auckland suoer shitty legislation that could do with a lot better and longer debate before they’re inflicted on us.

        Anyone got any idea where to pick up some stats?

  19. NickS 19


    I can so see this ending well, at least for the lower end of the domestic market…

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      yeah there goes our entire export meat industry. This looks like the Govt and industry colluding to increase profits by one or two percentage points, even though reducing safety margins increases the systemic risks to the entire industry. Very bad.

      • NickS 19.1.1

        It’s more likely to impact on the lower end of the domestic market, as poor meat hitting major overseas markets will have a nasty negative impact on meat exports, especially as UK meat producers are just waiting for a chance to try and knock NZ meat off it’s pedestal. Where as the domestic market can only cause minimal damage, especially with the mystery-meat sausages.

        But yeah, it will probably take a lawsuit or two or change in government to re-introduce independent meat inspectors if this goes ahead. Hopefully though the companies that import NZ meat might point out that this a “bad idea”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It’ll hit all sectors. If anything bad happens to the domestic market there will be calls from overseas business for recall and the customers will stop buying NZ meat.

          It’s a bloody stupid idea and done solely to boost profits. More stupidity from the NACTs that will ultimately harm our economy.

          • NickS

            It’s coming from within the FSA, so unless National’s changed people in their, it’s likely due to cost cutting and industry pushes rather than from on high 😛

          • Colonial Viper

            It’s a bloody stupid idea and done solely to boost profits.

            The stupidest thing is that any boost to profits would be highly marginal. Yet they are willing to build in huge systemic risk to do it. Dumbass.

            Why on earth do they think that the US has suffered from spinach food poisoning etc in the last 5 years.

            Increasing the risk of tainting in our food supply is ridiculous.

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    Fascinating stat: Voters who blamed bankers for current economic woes backed Republicans +11 http://huff.to/drw57G

    That’s a copy n paste tweet

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    3 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
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  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
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  • More people getting into work
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    4 days ago
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  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
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  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
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  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
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    6 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
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    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
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  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
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  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
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