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Open mike 04/05/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 4th, 2013 - 259 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…

259 comments on “Open mike 04/05/2013 ”

  1. “A head teacher of a leading primary school has said young children should not have best friends because it could leave others feeling ostracised and hurt. But are people programmed to have best friends?”


    Al1en no mates says what?

    • Clockie 1.1

      This is the kind of lunacy passed off as progressive / humanist philosophy that gives social conservatives a stick with which to beat progressive humanists. I can’t even begin to get on the same mental wavelength as the idiots who propound such facile notions. What kind of mind wakes up in the morning and thinks; “Eureka! We’ll save the lonely children from having hurt feelings by banning friendship and hugs among the children who are lucky enough to have discovered a friend.” A special kind of genius indeed..

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.1

        My view is that this sort of rubbish comes from a defeated part of the wider “left” that gave up on all the important battles, but still wanted a few victories. It’s the same sort of rubbish that outlaws black as a colour for rubbish bins and is used to hold us all up to ridicule. I hate it, although not in the same way that Back Pussy Tamihere does.

        • Colonial Viper

          Good analysis

          But please, no more gender biased language, the fairer sex might get offended

        • karol

          Actually, if you look at the article, it comes from one published in the Daily Torygraph. The headmaster who suggested that best friends should be banned, is the head of a private prep school – hardly the bastion of left wing policy, I’d have thought. He said he’d support a policy against having best friends, as long as it was age appropriate: ie older kids could make up their own minds about it.

          Actually, while I am totally happy with kids of any age choosing to have best friends, I think there’s a whole US-led thing that’s kind of institutionalised the whole best friends thing. They’ve made it seem almost compulsory.

  2. karol 2

    I learned something about the US constitutional right to bear arms on Al Jazeera this morning, which gave a lot of times to the issue and the sanely mad gun lobby. It seems the 2nd amendment said that citizens have the right to bear arms as part of a well organised militia.

    Well, it seems that is debated. However, the original intent of the amendment was relevant to the context of the time when the amendment was drawn up. At that time citizens’ militia were common because there wasn’t the organised military and National Guard that there is today.

    • Jane 2.1

      Is that one of the problems of a written constitution? Seems like a good idea at the time and all makes sense but over the years it becomes so entrenced that changes are almost impossible and the Parlimentry process loses the capability to effect change.

      America would be better off with fewer guns, most places are better of with fewer guns, but with the second amendment they always get stuck.

      This is one of the things that concerns me about NZ creating a written constitution, who would write it? How would everyone ever agree? Will it still be relevant in 50 years? What would we be getting our great grand kids into? Will they spend all their time arguing that if the comma in paragraph seven of subsection 12a was placed four words to the left then nano heart valve replacement is a human right?

      • rosy 2.1.1

        “This is one of the things that concerns me about NZ creating a written constitution, who would write it? How would everyone ever agree? Will it still be relevant in 50 years? “

        Agree, Jane. The second amendment is the example I use of a problem with a written constitution. Unless it can be renegotiated to fit the times it will at some stage be inappropriate. And if it can be negotiated how is that any better than the lawmaking and judicial interpretation of laws that we have now?

        • Pete

          We wouldn’t have to model our constitution after the US. The one South Africa adopted after the end of apartheid would be a better example to follow.

          And remember, the second amendment was an amendment. It was itself a change to the constitution when the Bill of Rights was adopted.

          • Populuxe1

            We don’t need a constitution – it would be totally redundant in our mature, robust, flexible Westminster system. This is just the National Party’s thirty silver shekels to the Maori Party. And while the second amendment is an amendment, it has proven impossible for progressives to shift it. A constitution would just give conservatives and the right something to project on to.

            • Rogue Trooper

              identify then

            • Pete

              We need something to act as a check on parliamentary supremacy, be it an upper house, an elected head of state with a right of veto or supreme law the courts can apply, I am uncomfortable with so much power in this country being concentrated in the hands of so few, especially with the civil liberties shenanigans in recent years such as the Search and Surveillance Act and the proposed changes to the GCSB legislation. It should be systematically impossible for lawmakers to override fundamental rights, not just a matter of trusting in them.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s why we have Separation of Powers and a Constitutional Monarchy.

                • Ugly Truth

                  The NZ system doesn’t have any separation of powers, the executive and the legislative branches are the same people, and the judicial branch has a duty to the Crown which is common with the other two branches.

                  Also, the NZ system is not a constitutional monarchy.

                  “Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government”

                  • Populuxe1

                    New Zealand’s constitution is based on the principle of separation of powers between Parliament, executive government, and the judiciary through a series of constitutional safeguards, many of which are tacit. The Executive’s ability to carry out decisions often depends on the Legislature, which is elected under the Mixed Member Proportional system. This means the government is rarely a single party but a coalition of parties. The Judiciary is also free of government interference. If a series of judicial decisions result in an interpretation of the law which the Executive considers does not reflect the intention of the policy, the Executive can initiate changes to the legislation in question through the Legislature. The Executive cannot direct or request a judicial officer to revise or reconsider a decision;decisions are final. Should there be a dispute between the Executive and Judiciary, the Executive has no authority to direct the Judiciary, or its individual members and vice versa.

                    • Yes, that’s what they tell the peasants, but it’s mostly bullshit.The separation of powers is a feature of Roman law called the triumvirate. The constitution is based on the unwritten constitution of England, which forms the basis of English common law and the law of the land in New Zealand. The civil law (originally Roman) and the common law (originally Judaic) are philosophically different systems, Roman law was the law of the empire and the predator, English law was the law of the land and the wellbeing of the people.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So basically you just said that New Zealand law is founded in English law and English law is “the law of the land and the wellbeing of the people”. Did you suffer whiplash with that confusing u-turn?

              • Ugly Truth

                “It should be systematically impossible for lawmakers to override fundamental rights”

                It is. But that doesn’t stop them pretending to make law regardless.

                • Populuxe1

                  Which can and has been successfully challenged, often by means of an Ombudsman, the modern Tribune. And I can distinctly recall that even a total Nat like Chris Finlayson has actually performed his job as Attorney-General and told his party that a law they wanted to pass was unconstitutional.

            • Ugly Truth

              Populuxel, the NZ system is a civil system, it is not the same as the English Westminster system.

              • Populuxe1

                In as much as we have MMP and other constitutional peculiarities unique to NZ, we still rely primarily on constitutional law (British model), not civil law (European model). We are still therefore a variation on the Westminster system.

                • Ugly Truth

                  That’s plainly wrong. The NZ body politic uses the European/civil model.

                  “Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government”

                  Most people simply have no idea as to the extent and nature of the fraud committed by the state against the people of this country. The treaty was also a fraud, and the state misleads people about the nature of common law.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I really can’t be bothered trying to educate you on the various meanings of the word “civil”, but suffice to say “Civil Government” (general civility) doesn’t mean “Civil Law” (technical term for the European system of law making that evolved out of the Roman system)


                    • Ugly Truth

                      Populuxel, your own source contradicts you.

                      Civil law (or civilian law) is a legal system originating in Western Europe, intellectualized within the framework of late Roman law, and whose most prevalent feature is that its core principles are codified into a referable system which serves as the primary source of law.

                      BTW, Wikipedia is crap for information on law.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Who is our head of state?

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.2

        Written constitutions are good for constitutional lawyers. I’m happy with Te Tiriti, and would be happier with a stronger Bill of Rights, an Official Information Act with teeth, and a well funded and fiercely independent Ombudsman. The Soviet Union also had a wonderful constitution, and human rights were about as well protected there as they are in the US and A. The main danger of a Kiwi constitution is that it could be used to deny Te Tiriti and entrench pakeha ruling class privilege even further.

        • Populuxe1

          “The Soviet Union also had a wonderful constitution, and human rights were about as well protected there as they are in the US and A.”

          Hahahahahahaha ahahahaha *snort* ahahahaha *snort snort* hahahahaha Oh my spleen hurts from laughing hahahahahahaha

    • Pete 2.2

      The framers of the constitution thought that a standing army would be a tool of oppression, given their experience of British troops before the Revolution. So they wanted to make provision for a militia. There is provision for a navy in the US Constitution, but no army.

    • AmaKiwi 2.3

      The US Constitution was written by the rich and powerful behind closed doors. There is NOTHING moral or ethical about it.

      Example: For purposes of representation in the House of Representatives, northern delegates said enslaved Negroes should not be counted as part of the population because they have no more rights than horses or dogs. The south wanted them counted as “voters” because in some areas slaves were 90% of the population. So the constitution says one slave is three-fifths of a voter!

      The way to keep our laws and constitution contemporary is binding referendums which cannot be overturned by parliament.

      • Pete 2.3.1

        There’s a really good primer on US history at http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtMwmepBjTSG593eG7ObzO7s

        Yes, it was mainly money behind the revolution, but enlightenment philosophers like Locke had their impact too.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        So the constitution says one slave is three-fifths of a voter!

        That’s what the 14th amendment is for.

        Personally, I think the US constitution was ground breaking in its day in terms of assuring the rights of US citizens. Generally ignored now of course.

        Orlov would say that the parallels between the USSR and the USA are now unmistakeable.

        • TheContrarian

          Agree with Viper. In it’s time the Constitution guaranteed freedoms, legally, like no other founding document.

          • Colonial Viper

            Without wanting to sound too much like a libertarian…in the last ten years Federal intrusion into the life of ordinary US citizens has become massive.

            Some estimates say that the US has spent $700B beefing up internal surveillance and security on its own citizens since 9/11.

            And in the wake of the Boston marathon bombing the talk is to ramp this up even further. Even though hundreds of CCTV cameras, police, bomb squad sweeps, email and social media scanning in the immediate area etc couldn’t prevent it.

            • McFlock

              Yeah, but it was the privacy intrusions that might have prevented another. That’s the security compromise.

              I was in favour of heightened security post9/11, not to stop terrorists but to stop yahoos smuggling on weapons to take out terrorists. But they should have been short lived. Now domestic security is part of the military-industrial complex.

              • Arfamo

                The scale of growth of the security services in the US – especially given the amounts going to security contractors as well to develop domestic security hardware & software – sounds staggering. I get the impression more and more Americans are becoming extremely uneasy at how much power US officialdom is getting to spy on them.

                Inside Top Secret America:

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah, but it was the privacy intrusions that might have prevented another.

                I might have agreed with you once, but when you also consider the systematic attempts to suspend habeas corpus, legalising the state sponsored assassination of American citizens, militarisation of law enforcement, etc it looks more and more like something other than a war against terror. More like a war against your own citizens.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        Yep, once you read the history behind the US constitution it becomes obvious that the framers weren’t out to produce a free country but to set up their own aristocracy. Unfortunately for them the people who’d just been doing all the fighting wanted something different and so they got a democracy but a democracy that could be controlled by the rich – representative democracy.

        • TheContrarian

          “Yep, once you read the history behind the US constitution it becomes obvious that the framers weren’t out to produce a free country but to set up their own aristocracy.”

          What utter crap.

        • TheContrarian

          Because when you set up an aristocracy the first thing you do is introduce laws against nobility and define term length, election laws as well as allowing any citizen to be president.



          Seriously Draco, what are you talking about?

          • Clockie

            You need to read a little more history Contrarian. The framers of the Declaration of independence and American Constitution did not envisage a democratic republic with universal rights and suffrage as I understand it. One of the key contributors to the drafting of the constitution was James Madison. I don’t know the copy / paste rules but here is a selection from Wikipedia quoting Madison.

            “In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.”

            –James Madison, quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787

            • TheContrarian

              James Madison’s comments were but one of many. The Constitution, as written, offers no special protections to the rich or noble – despite the above quote.

              If they were trying to set up their own aristocracy then they somehow manged to draft a document which did the exact opposite.

              • Clockie

                Perhaps you should go back and read what Draco (and I) actually said. We mentioned the original intentions and wishes of many of the landowning (and slave owning) oligarchical delegates. Yes, in the end after much debate a very interesting constitution was produced. A majority of delegates initially refused to sign it and full ratification by the States took quite some time. But it still didn’t grant full participatory democracy or universal suffrage. Here is an excerpt lifted from Wikipedia about Madison’s family background:

                His father, James Madison, Sr. (1723–1801), was a tobacco planter who grew up on a plantation, then called Mount Pleasant, in Orange County, Virginia, which he had inherited upon reaching adulthood. He later acquired more property and slaves; with 5,000 acres (2,000 ha), he became the largest landowner and a leading citizen of Orange County, in the Piedmont. James Jr.’s mother, Nelly Conway Madison (1731–1829), was born at Port Conway, the daughter of a prominent planter and tobacco merchant and his wife. Madison’s parents were married on September 15, 1749.[6][7] In these years the southern colonies were becoming a slave society, in which slave labor powered the economy and slaveholders formed the political élite.[8]

                Madison was not atypical of many of the founding fathers and I’m sure you’re aware that it took over one and a half centuries before universal suffrage and full rights as citizens before the law was extended to the whole population.

                • TheContrarian

                  James Madison’s history is irrelevant.

                  Please point to which part of the Constitution attempted to institute an aristocracy. States not ratifying it is like saying, hypothetically, because Auckland didn’t agree to be nuclear free 10 years after NZ law decided to be nuclear free means that law was designed to be nuclear friendly.

                  “We mentioned the original intentions and wishes of many of the landowning”

                  No, you mentioned one. One =/= many

                • TheContrarian

                  ” I’m sure you’re aware that it took over one and a half centuries before universal suffrage and full rights as citizens before the law was extended to the whole population.”

                  You also forget that “the whole population” as it is now doesn’t represent the same population in historical perpetuity. For example, Alaska only became part of the union in 1959. Before that it wasn’t beholden to the Constitution so of course the adoption of the Constitution wasn’t extended to all the States.
                  Hence the civil war


                  • Rogue Trooper

                    don’t you people have a gnome to go to?

                  • Clockie

                    Contrarian: Sigh. For Pete’s sake do some reading. Madison was far from being a lone voice. The delegate’s went in having been expected to carry out a limited job by the States that appointed them, decided off their own bat to increase their own mandate and initially many of them envisaged something that fell far short of representative democracy with universal suffrage. This is (with certain license for the sake of brevity), historical fact. If you doubt it DO THE READING>>

                    As for universal suffrage: All males regardless of race or land ownership was 1870 (15th amendment, nearly 100 years after the constitution was drafted) but many southern states effectively barred most blacks from voting through such things as literacy tests. The 19th amendment gave women the vote in 1920. I can’t remember where I read it but I believe some Indian tribe/s in some states didn’t get the vote until the early to mid 1970’s.

                    “Near full enfranchisement was realized in 1965 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the ratification of the 24th Amendment in 1964” Wikipedia.

                    • Populuxe1

                      You’re really not too hot on concepts like “historical context” are you. Law is a continual process that evolves in response to social change.

            • Draco T Bastard

              “In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.

              And that is the sole reason why we have representative democracy rather than participatory democracy. It’s not a fear of Mob Rule but the fear of the rich that the people would take back their wealth.

            • Populuxe1

              As YOU understand it, from the benefit from over two hundred years of social progress and a radically different worldview. Try reading it in the context of a former British colony in the late eighteenth century and it’s as progressive and democratic as fuck. What you just said was the equivalent of saying that Fifth Century BC Athens wasn’t a democracy because their society didn’t recognise women or slaves as citizens while completely failing to acknowledge it was the most progressive state in the region because all authority wasn’t in the hands of a single tyrant.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I think the point is that the the framers were well aware of, for example Athens. They understood ‘democracy’ and ‘republic’ very well. they deliberately opted for the latter with democratic aspects.

                The house of reps is the most democratic part of the infrastructure, and the weakest. that’s not a coincidence, it was by design.

                Which isn’t to say it isn’t a fine document given its time, but to claim it as progressive as all fuck, given what we know they knew and decided to do, is just daft.

                Napoleon was arguably more ‘progressive’ than the US framers. Inasmuch as ‘progressive’ means anything.

                • Clockie

                  The point that Draco was making and I was backing him up over was about what some, perhaps a majority, of the delegates first envisaged at the beginning of the process. It is indeed remarkable that given the time in which they lived and class from which many of them came that they eventually produced (after lengthy and heated debate) the document which became the constitution. You would have to be totally unread and or delusional however to believe that all of the lovely words about the rights of man etc were intended by all the delegates to mean all men and all women and all races in all states of the union at all times from the moment the constitution was signed and ratified. It most certainly wasn’t and I gave some examples above of ways in which it wasn’t.

                  • Populuxe1

                    A claim that no one here has actually made.

                    • Clockie

                      Not in quite so many words perhaps but Contrarians vehement “What utter crap”, in response to Draco’s assertion that many of the founding fathers were essentially oligarchs looking to preserve their privileged status against the non land owning and essentially inferior (in the case of women and non-whites) was the next best thing.

                    • Clockie

                      “You’re really not too hot on concepts like “historical context” are you. Law is a continual process that evolves in response to social change.”

                      In the American context it evolved pretty damned late compared to most of the other western democracies didn’t it?

              • Clockie

                Populuxe 3.37

                “in the context of a former British colony in the late eighteenth century and it’s as progressive and democratic as fuck.”

                Yes it was as progressive and democratic as fuck at the time for a certain class, gender and race..

                • Populuxe1

                  No shit? Really? You mean the eighteenth century mindset isn’t anything like a twentyfirst or even twentieth century mindset? Well fuck me!

                  • Clockie

                    So you agree that it was in fact a very limited form of democratic republicanism which reserved many rights for a privileged class?

                    Funny, I thought that was precisely what Draco and I were saying.

                    I actually said several times it was very advanced for it’s day and laid a foundation for some powerful ideas about human and civil rights which have evolved over the last two centuries, but I’m not going to say it was a document which stood for the equal civil rights of the “common man” regardless of social station just to please The Contrarian and yourself, because I don’t believe those things to be true based on my reading of the history.

                    • Populuxe1

                      What was being contested was the suggestion that the constitution was deliberately framed to create an aritsocracy in anything but name. Given that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are, at least in their language, virtually identical to many anarchist AND libertarian manifestos. Hence the sharp intake of breath as I paused over my port and stilton at the suggestion.

    • Huginn 2.4

      The right to bear arms as part a well organised militia is still a crucial test of citizenship.
      I’d like to see Al Jazeera spend less time on the gun lobby in the US and more examing the implications of that principle in Bahrain. But I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Wairua 3

    The next election has to be mainly about one thing .. turnout, turnout, turnout ..

    I was shocked at the level of voter apathy with all but empty polling booths
    in my electorate.

    In previous years I remember long queues snaking around the block.

    • Paul 3.1

      The key is social media for the young and public meetings for the senior members of our society.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Don’t forget giving people something to vote for: strong policies and a credible government in waiting.

        • chris73

          I agree

        • idlegus

          did ppl queue up ever? i been voting for 20 years & i have never seen that, i always thought a plus in our voting system was the whole process took about 10-15 minutes, i dont ever recall ppl queueing, but just am asking was it common once in nz for there to be queues of ppl waiting to vote?

          i think alot of ‘older’ guys have to go rark up some of the young at the next election, motivate them to vote. young cousins, neices, nephews, service workers, etc…just bring it up all the time, closer to the time.

          • lprent

            Never has been long queues while I’ve been around. Longest I ever had was about 15 minutes in Ponsonby after I moved back to Auckland from back up from Dunedin and had to do a special vote because I hadn’t told the electoral commission. There was someone in front of me that had changed their name

            • Colonial Viper

              Our paper system is far far far better than the machine/electronic systems used in the US. Which honestly to me seems like a rort.


              • AmaKiwi

                The day we go to computer voting is the day we lose all hope of peaceful political change.

                Volumes have been written about the blatant corruption of America’s computer voting systems. Once it’s in, you’ll never get rid of it. The people who hack it for their own purposes won’t let you.

                • Colonial Viper

                  In the old days they’d just tip the voting machines into the bottom of Lake Michigan.

                  Computerised voting would simply bring about the ability to do it faster, more efficiently, and on a massive scale.

                  The following testimony around rigging computer voting machines was given to a US court:


                • TheContrarian

                  Don’t forget the hanging chads.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I figure that an electronic system could be as secure as a paper system. In fact, I think it may be more so if done correctly. But it must be done correctly and the US system isn’t – the US system has been done to funnel wealth into the hands of business.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nah, keep technology out of it. It just fragilises things. We don’t need power cuts, broadband drop outs and server crashes screwing election day.

                    • TheContrarian

                      CV, remember hanging chads, paper can get wet, blow away, be as easily tampered with, can catch fire etc etc.

                      A simple electronic machine, with battery back-up, NOT connected to a network and runs on simple binary:

                      Labour: 0
                      National: 1
                      Green: 01
                      ACT 10

                      etc etc.

                      Piece of cake.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, it’s been a few years since any ballot boxes caught fire…the last time that an IT system went down losing data on the other hand…

                    • prism

                      Also we don’t need the friend of a brother of an MP getting the tender/shouldertap for organising the leadup, the ballot and the counting and dissemination of end results.

                      You have to be very trusting, to the point of infantile to not realise the vast field for finagling and carefully managed sharp practices to be loaded into the system. It is possible though that many adults do have this infantile tendency – a bit of brain missing such as in John Cleese saying ‘Madam is this a pea, or is it part of your brain’. They’d say check it out on-line, the computer can’t lie.

                  • Lanthanide

                    I agree Draco, there’s no reason on the face of it that an electronic system can’t be secure and trustworthy. It would definitely require open source code available to anyone who requested it; I guess the tricky part is that you have to prove the source code you’re looking at is the same source code that is being run on the machine.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Nope. No system is unhackable – none. The only unhackable machine is one that’s switched off, unplugged, and buried in a lead-lined safe in a Farraday Cage in a concrete vault….

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “There will be no networked computers on my Battlestar!!!”

                    • Lanthanide

                      Of course, Pop, the point is that you ensure the program that is running on the machine is the one that was scrutinised, and do everything possible to stop other programs from being run on it. I expect this would mean some sort of ‘trusted computing’ situation, where the HW will only run software that is signed with the appropriate authentication certificate, similar to how Blu-Ray and PS3 worked for only running trusted discs/games. That would mean even if someone plugged in a USB drive to try and load SW onto it, the SW wouldn’t execute unless they could sign it with the proper encryption key. You could potentially go even further, and write SW that is vetted by experts for exploits etc (using Formal Methods I guess?), and then translate that into a fixed HW circuit, so that the machine was physically incapable of doing anything other than run the specified program – this would be a very expensive route to take though.

                      In the US case, it seems the program being run on it wasn’t scrutinised and itself was rigged, rather than someone else coming along later and hacking it.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      anyway, for you engineering-related types, this is just Wow! 😀 (big smiley)

                      the 3 D printing of body tissues followed by Organs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Ten years away? Sounds like the state of fusion power since 1965.

                      I never count on this stuff happening until they can say its 12 months away…

                    • McFlock

                      The problem is that all that requires specialist checking.
                      Whereas any mumpty on the street can see that army officers stuffing ballot boxes is a bit dodgey.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Loading them into the back of an unmarked ute with no receipts or paperwork signed…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Nope. No system is unhackable – none.

                      Yep, and that includes the paper system we use today. It’s difficult to do but not impossible. The same applies to electronic voting – just need to put in place the correct protocols. Username, 16 character alpha-numeric password and a security token and the chances of the system being hacked drop to minuscule.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      16 character alphanumeric password?

                      How many people is this going to stop voting?

                    • prism

                      I decided to buy something on ebay and spent what seemed like hours negotiating the system as I couldn’t remember my password or id.

                      Got through in the end because I just got determined and bloody minded and I knew if I succeeded I would get what I personally wanted.

                      Unlike voting, where you hope that the crowd you vote for will succeed to get the numbers and then will deliver the good policies. But I can’t have as much faith in that as I have in my parcel being delivered from the United States.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “there’s no reason on the face of it that an electronic system can’t be secure and trustworthy.”

                      Relevant to all y’all interests:


    • Alanz 3.2

      “The next election has to be mainly about one thing .. turnout, turnout, turnout .. ”

      That is correct.

      However, speaking as a Labour member where L stands first for Loyalty, with things as they are at the moment, the current leader and deputy are a turnoff, turnoff, turnoff ..

  4. The public evisceration of Happy Gilmore continues. Last night Campbell live did a scathing review of Gilmore’s past difficulties and his blown up sense of worth …


    And this morning Stuff also reviews his history and it is not pretty …


    The question is raised, if Lianne Dalziel retires to have a crack at the Christchurch Mayoralty what will National do? Gilmore was the candidate in Christchurch East for the past two elections. If he stood in the by election he could be the most memorial since Melissa Lee …

    • freedom 4.1

      it’s all ok, the country is in good hands, we have no reasons to be concerned

      yes it is a list on the internet so means nothing, but still, “of All Time.” !!

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        Only third freedom? Well he has to try harder to become number 1. Send in the mincing walk?

    • ianmac 4.2

      An odd comment at the end of a Gilmore piece, about:
      “Prime Minister John Key is under pressure to discipline shamed MP Aaron Gilmore over allegations of sleazy conduct towards a woman at his infamous boozy dinner. ”
      ……”A spokeswoman for Mr Key said his office had not been made aware of allegations of an inappropriate advance….”
      Wonder what that means?

      • prism 4.2.1

        Sounds like he did an impromptu tango and went forwards when he should have gone backwards. Those tricky political steps can be confusing.

      • Murray Olsen 4.2.2

        Also incredibly easy to believe. I get pretty sick of executive types slobbering over my wife on the odd occasion we have to deal with them. One idiot even suggested she remove her clothes and do a samba on a restaurant table, apparently finding this appropriate because she’s Brazilian. Years back I had a girlfriend who did some work at some sort of NAct convention. She told me some pretty appalling stories about their sleazy conduct.

        • prism

          I remember hearing a story about an IRD party back near the day when a bloke was writing about them in a book called ‘Be Very Afraid’. I’m not sure whether he was the one who committed suicide because of the burden of their relentless compound penalty interest.

          The story goes that one of the young bloods got filled up with some liquid then stood on a table dropped his trousers and turned round as fast as he could, emulating a lawn sprayer.
          Could be wrong but what an imagination to think up a story like that, if it was made up. It sounds possible because there was a tide of uncontrollable hubris then.

          • prism

            This has been waiting about an hour for release from moderation. Perhaps after the next tv program finishes.

            [lprent: it happens, especially on weekend evenings, ]

            • prism

              lprent Yes I shouldn’t be so niggly – excuse – feeling tired and stressed. Which is BAU for a lot of people on this blog I know.

    • North 4.3

      Slurrin’ Uuron ?

    • Lanthanide 4.4

      That TV3 clip was more banal and irrelevant than anything I’ve seen on Seven Sharp.

    • Populuxe1 4.5

      Since when was a Tory being an offensive, self-important wanker a hanging offence. I remember when it was mandatory…

  5. “the most memorial since Melissa Lee …”

    You spelt forgettable wrong.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The only thing I know about Melissa Lee is from her by-election attempt and the Waterview crims line.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    What Happens When Students Are Simply Free To Learn?
    Apparently, they go out and learn about stuff that interests them and find that learning is fun rather than the chore that school normally is.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Years ago there were classrooms set up to develop the kids ability to self manage learning. Kids responded with intensity. But parents were uneasy. The learning did not look packaged and formal. So “projects” were born to counteract the misconceptions. Sadly Projects became a return to teacher managed learning.
      It is said that if a teacher from 100 years ago appeared in a modern classroom, he would easily identify what was happening today. The tools have changed but the process has not. Prescribed learning and all that.

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Interesting. Have just pulled my son out of mainstream education and we are going for a democratic school (don’t really like that term but whatever). There are choices out there and some of those choices are designed for the children rather than the state or factories. I am constantly amazed by how some people disrespect children and treat them like idiots – they aren’t, they are people with individual attributes and deserve respect and support so they can grow into thinkers and lifelong learners.

    • Populuxe1 6.2

      Well start a charter school then.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Why when the present system could do it?

        • Populuxe1

          Presumably the present state system can’t because it’s based on certain quite functional principles of standardised learning, socialisation, and economy of scale. For choice there are a range of private schools, religious schools, Montessori schools, Steiner schools, Democratic schools, Te Reo immersion schools etc – the only difference between them and charter schools being that the others are held to a state monotored standard with professional teachers. Were Charter Schools to be held to the same standards, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

          • Colonial Viper

            Diverting public funds for private profit. Just great.

            • Populuxe1

              Oh yep, them bloody Maori and Steiner schools. And what if that private profit was going to a co-op or iwi? Do exercise that grey matter.

    • gorj 6.3

      check out ivan illich – deschooling

      • Rogue Trooper 6.3.1

        Ivan Illich

      • karol 6.3.2

        Ah, when I started out in education, deschooling was a big topic in the training colleges and amongst educationists. I was majorly into Summerhill kind of school, deschooling, etc in the 70s – found them inspiring….. then along came Thatcher et al..

    • Murray Olsen 6.4

      I’ve only ever taught professionally at the university level, but I try to impose as little structure on the process as possible. Perhaps the most important thing I can get across is that they need to develop an ability to evaluate their own answers. The second is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. By and large, I get excellent feedback, but none of my lectures since 2000 have had more than about 35 students, and I would generally have one or two tutors to help. I have a real admiration for school teachers who do it by themselves with the class sizes they have, and a government which encourages people to abuse them.

  7. Red Rosa 7

    Seems like charity begins at home


    Might register myself. Looks pretty effective.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.1

      “Other countries legislation changes demonstrate how incompetently the New Zealand Parliament has treated the charity sector.”

      they have got to be pulling an arm and a leg. How much of this capitalist “disease” will people tolerate?

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      Remember that Key supposedly donates his salary to charity. He wouldn’t want it to be one that did anything charitable.

  8. A revealing article on Stuff about Tikorangi – ” the most heavily explored and developed oil and gas area in New Zealand”

    key spoke to 100 in Inglewood

    “On Thursday he told an audience that the amount of wealth that exploration could release meant it was in everyones best interests to build respectful relationships with the oil companies.”

    Some interesting factoids from the article

    On Tuesday the council’s request to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that urban areas and land near New Plymouth Airport to be excluded from future oil exploration was turned down flat.

    Greymouth has stated it is drilling just one well but has applied to drill eight. It has also bought 30 hectares of land despite only needing 1.4ha.

    Like so many other media-shy companies, Greymouth requires questions in writing which are answered in kind.

    Todd Energy, the other big player in Tikorangi oil and gas and operator of the massive Mangahewa C production site, has started issuing full-colour community updates.

    Featuring pictures of smiling rig workers and the top-echelon management team casually splayed out on a grass bank at Womad…

    “The fact of the matter is the easy oil is gone, and now exploration is being brought closer to humans,” Todd Energy operations general manager Mr Clennett says.

    “Our main focus is how we can build a sustainable operation within the community. Because the skills we are building here, we want to be able to use in other places.”

    Mr Clennett’s frankness, the printed updates, the millions in funding to the Len Lye Centre and support for other community projects have another bottom-line benefit for Todd. In a world market scrapping over a limited supply of oil and gas experts, reputation is money.

    key and these companies are singing from the same songsheet and they are raising their voices in a cacophony of manipulation designed to drown out opposition to their exploitation, but it won’t work because they ignore people.

    “This doesn’t feel like home anymore,” he told his parents Clare and Alan.

    “The noise. The rigs. The powerlines. All the lights. It’s taken away the night sky. It’s pretty sad really.”

    Expect plenty of glossy brochures and smiling pictures to come because that is all they have got to counter the truth of their activities.


  9. Herodotus 9

    From visiting a bakery, and seeing my purchase escape the till, wondering if anyone here would have said anything and if so what you would say ?

    • Olwyn 9.1

      I would say, ” I think you’ve missed the Vienna loaf” or similar. I tend to point it out when I notice that I have been charged incorrectly or given the incorrect change. I do not want to put a shop assistant onto the back foot with her employer, and I do not want to be hostage to petty, grasping instincts either.

    • ianmac 9.2

      A polite curious enquiry might help. “Why doesn’t the money go in the till?” Might be a good reason for this.
      It is said that the $3.99 or $19.99 was to force the till to be opened to give change rather than make the cost seem less.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        And the encouragement of electronic payment methods like EFTPOS.

      • Herodotus 9.2.2

        Interesting point re the .99 , and we worry about a few $$ that a few beneficiaries over claim, whilst such actions from business owners and trades go unabated and almost condoned or accepted as being part of the game of being in business. Pity most do not see cashies and these actions are stealing from the public purse.
        I still recall a wife of a builder complaining how hard it was to spend $30 k of cashies that he earned on a job and for it not to be noticed, and we worry about feeding and housing those less fortunate. Many here do not appreciate how hard it is for the rich to live and operate & the problems they have to live under!!!!

        • Arfamo

          Yeah. Poor bastards. Bet the rich all secretly wish they were beneficiaries – politics of envy.

    • Olwyn 9.3

      I think I might have misunderstood your question, Herodotus. I took you to mean that the price of your purchase did not register. However, on reading ianmac’s post, it seems that you paid but the shop assistant didn’t put the money in the till. In that case I would say nothing, since it would seem to me to be busy-bodying. Perhaps she/he put that money to one side to pop across the road and buy something that the shop had just run out of, like milk for instance.

      • Herodotus 9.3.1

        The person I paid was the owner !! I apologise for the confusion in the lack of clarification in my initial comment.

        • Foreign Waka

          It is going on a lot and is called the black economy. No taxes paid, cash in the bag. I personally would not visit the shop anymore as one has to put the money where the mouth is -literally. My taxes are being deducted and I have no say, it seems hat a shop owner who does not pay taxes can choose. So here are some of the dollars that are missing in the social net structure.

          • Colonial Viper

            Excellent article by Deborah Russell Massey University on wealthy people avoiding (although not evading) taxes.

              • Foreign Waka

                Great article but it does not deal wit the cash and/or barter economy that runs parallel to the taxed one.
                There are (business)people who seem to belief that they are entitled to cheat the “system”. By boasting that they have got away avoiding tax and giving that rort a revolutionary name such as “system” “government” “taxman” etc it tends to get the nod because of the wide held belief that these people are cleverer then your average punter who has to suck it up. The very same punters have yet to cotton on to the fact that they admire a cheat who has their hand in the wrong pocket and smile at you whilst robbing you blind. Of cause the “government” and the “taxman” will now ask more of the ordinary punter to cover the shortfall.

                • prism

                  There is or was, actually a barter system for businesses that is quite widespread, and this would enable trading to be done without exchanging cash. So what is thought about that.
                  I belonged to a green dollars group and that is how that operated but we were just ordinary wage earners or beneficiaries, not business people.

    • freedom 9.4

      Excuse me but i need to have a little rant about this

      Not one of you have a skerrick of any wrongdoing, that includes Herodotus who only witnessed cash going somewhere other than the till in a bakery shop. Herodotus later tells us it is money going to the owner no less. Mon dieu, imagine that, a business owner taking money for a sale and doing with it what they wish. What is the world coming to? If Herodotus had a genuine concern of inappropriate activity why did he not say something? If he had, at least he would have fact based reasons for a discussion instead of a swagbag of supposition.

      May I recommend to mind your own business, or are the cries of tax evasion and corruption meant to lead to louder calls for the boarding up of the premises and subsequently dragging the owner through the streets by his own scrotum? What business is it of anyone’s, except the IRD, how daily cash handling is done in a private business? By subsequent comments from Herodotus it looks like a bit of a staged discussion anyway.

      In one cafe I used to work we had a ‘need change to get another coffee?’ bowl that was a tipn’share bowl. It lived on the counter and cash was constantly going in and out depending on what people needed. Not every business does, or can run, an over- invoiced receipt-driven use the right suppositry code type of operation. Life is messy and for the self employed and small businesses it is getting messier by the day. I do wonder why exactly Herodotus mentioned it, if it was’t to voice his obvious suspicion of fraud or such.

      The last time you bought a new car or boat or whatever it is well off people pick up on the weekend, you did what? Handed over a credit card or similar, what account did the money go into? Are you sure it did ? How about that lawyer’s account that your trust management fees went into? You know for a fact that money is being dealt with legitmately?

      Next time Herodotus, just ask the person concerned if it is such a worry, and stop casting aspersions on the characters of others, because that is exactly the sort of weak lipped snakeoil that is killing this country faster than all the fraud and theft and greed put together.

      • Herodotus 9.4.1

        Get into the real world as someone who deals day to day in admin accounting I can see when a 2nd till operates. On your ventures out just take a look to see how often such an experience that I described occurs. Why then as I spent $8 why the $2 change came out of a 2nd tin the same as my $10 entered. There was no reason i could come up with why the till on the counter was not used and my transaction was at least not rung up. And as I mentioned before that I was serviced by the owner.
        I was interested how others here would have reacted to this.
        Not staged from my experiences I come across quite a few instances of tax avoidance in what I considered involving large amounts, perhaps in your world you are more fortunate in the people you deal.

        • freedom

          H, what happens to the cash after you have paid for the product you selected, is just none of your business. The banks? maybe, regulatory agencies, possibly, tax man certainly, but unless this shop is a client of yours, it is nothing to do with you. Instead of taking aside the owner and privately voicing whatever ill-focused concerns you may have, you preferred to spend the day involved in the escalation of theoretical wrongdoings.

          I believe for every malfeasance you have imagined that the owner is involved in, others could come up with a reasonable and real world alternative that is not judging someone based on nothing but your own expeiriences collected whilst scooping and bagging the effluent of your own career choices.

          • DH

            Get off your high horse. 15% of what we hand over to retailers is tax (GST) that we’re paying and we’ve got every right to expect it to go to the taxman. What they do with their income is their business, GST is our business because it’s our taxes not their income.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Actually, if a crime is taking place then it’s the persons responsibility to report it.

        • Rogue Trooper

          well, I do observe “floating” exchanges regularly in retail; have done for years.

        • felix

          Maybe the till wasn’t working and the money was being kept separate so it could be rung up later when it was fixed.
          Maybe it ran out of paper.
          Maybe they were having a contest to see which staff member could sell the most donuts.
          Maybe they were testing out a new piggy bank.
          Maybe it was a hidden camera show.

          Who the fuck knows? You can keep your money in a tin if you want to. What of it?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Didn’t have you pegged as an apologist for tax dodgers, Felix. I love that, even after all of this time, you can still surprise me.

  10. johnm 10

    Climate Change…..

    “White House warned on imminent Arctic ice death spiral
    National security officials worried by rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice overlook threat of permanent global food shortages”

    “as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected in 2007. He said:

    “The Arctic situation is snowballing: dangerous changes in the Arctic derived from accumulated anthropogenic green house gases lead to more activities conducive to further greenhouse gas emissions. This situation has the momentum of a runaway train.”

    ” phenomenon of “Arctic amplification”, where:

    “The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme weather.”

    There’s a satellite video of ice in the Alaskan Beaufort sea already breaking up (First time ever so early in the spring) indicating a summer ice free Arctic this year or next with a consequent greater loss of the albedo effect and further entrapment of heat in the Earth’s climate system.


    From Comments section of article…
    “The fossil fuels you burn are directly contributing to killing people in the future.

    None of which alters the bottom line – nature will step in and correct our numbers and consumption for us. We have proven incapable of doing either. You might not like it. You might not be one of the very few with even a small chance of making it. But that is the bottom line and the outcome the richer and more powerful members of our species have voted for in continuing business as usual for so long.”
    “This is a visualization of the decline in minimum volumes that makes it very clear that the Arctic will be ice free in summer soon. This is significant because it will mark the boundary of a change in state, and the effects on the Northern Hemisphere climate that we are already seeing will intensify.
    It is just staggering that we are actually witnessing an event of geologic-time proportions in the space of one generation.”

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You missed out one great thing about the destruction of arctic ice: massive new oil and gas fields can now be exploited.

      Who said global warming was bad for the economy?

    • johnm 10.2

      Re Post #10
      More comments on the above article….

      1.The normal UK weather pattern (changeable ,sunshine and some showers etc. ) in the UK has been in turmoil for the last several years. Those who spend their working lives outdoors ( Farmers etc.) spotted something was wrong immediately . It started several years ago with almost monsoon like rainstorms in mid summer and has continued in that vain ever since , whereby our weather now resembles something akin to what must go on inside a washing machine come tumble drier ! i.e. constant rain/water and almost gale force like winds. This is because the Arctic is melting at a massive rate and all the freezing air is drifting south and it is enveloping the UK , whereby in the summer it is causing abnormally cold tempratures and constant deluges of rain and high winds ! …. People who live and work in the countryside have known this for several years , however seemingly not the met office or the government, I wonder why ?

      2 .Sorry, but I don’t agree , that nothing has happened that hasn’t happened before. My relatives are farmers ( doing it for several generations) and they tell me a different story. They also say that over the same period( last several years) is when the UK’s weather went into turmoil , that the strength of the Sun ( UV rays?) has also seen a dramatic change , whereby it is now impossible to go outside in mid summer for any length of time without your skin beginning to burn very quickly and where people are now being publically warned to wear sun cream/block. This all points to either a mass thinning or an actual hole in the Ozone layer over the Arctic and extending down as far as the UK , which would explain the increased strength of the Sun (UV rays?) and why the Arctic is melting at such an alarming rate.

      3. Amazing isn’t it, we will get to see something that hasn’t happened for at least 700,000 years.

      4. Been following this issue a long time, no surprises here. Been shouting and shouting “food and water” for years now. This is real brothers and sisters, brace for impact.

      • Populuxe1 10.2.1

        I spent a lot of time outdoors in the UK in the really hot summer of 2008, and I certainly didn’t burn. I actually ended up with a light tan which I certainly couldn’t do in NZ.
        And while I don’t doubt for a minute doubt climate change, anthropogenic and otherwise, the relatively mild British weather of which you speak has actually been an anomaly that started approximately 200 years ago. Prior to that, surviving accounts show British weather to have been much more severe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age

        • lprent

          Absence of sunspots for a couple of centuries. They were surprised as hell when they started reappearing. But it didn’t have much effect outside of Europe.

          North western Europe is a canary area as far as climate goes. It is only habitable for a large community because of the gulf stream dropping heat so far north. It responds either through that heat load, or from the jetstream from the arctic to every change in the planetary heat balance.

          The strangest thing is that the Brits generally aren’t aware how weird it is having one of the largest concentrations of computing power in the world to predict their weather.

  11. Blue 11

    Visiting my mother-in law last Saturday. I went to watch rugby at the Taieri rugby club(Mosgiel) . An incident involving a Pasifika player ensued. He was sent off. The home crowd then proceeded to slur the player with “get back on the banana boat ” the usual “thick coconut ” a a few true scumbags screaming “N word” . Fucking disgraceful. Racism is alive and well at this club. I’ve never seen such appalling behaviour at club level. I’d appreciate this getting passed round, I don’t want this in my game.

    • marty mars 11.1

      nothing has changed much then – I remember their horror when during the Tour I wore my anti-tour badge to the club – oh dear didn’t get to play for them much after that, not that I wanted to of course lol

    • mac1 11.2

      Agreed, disgraceful, Blue. I’d like to tell another story which gives me hope. The provincial Boys’ College which I used to teach at, this year for the first time elected a Pasifika student as Head Boy. When this appointment was announced to the senior student’s assembly, after input from both students and staff, the entire assembly I am told broke out into spontaneous standing applause, an unprecedented event.

      He’s also the 1st XV captain and an outstanding young man, with qualities which the whole senior student body recognised. Such a tale gives me hope for our society.

  12. Craig Glen viper 12

    So the latest Roy Morgans is out http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10881366 and Labours not doin so well I guess we wont be getting a post from Mike Smith on how wonderful Mr Shearer is?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      one off rogue poll give Shearer another 6 months it’s only a matter of time

      • Craig Glen viper 12.1.1

        Oh ok, yeah no need to comment on those rogue polls I forgot. Its full steam a head to defeat then and another term of smiling lying John.

      • AmaKiwi 12.1.2

        “give Shearer another 6 months it’s only a matter of time”

        Do you think Brutus Robertson is better? I don’t.

        • Craig Glen viper

          What I know is the members have had no say in who is Leader and I think they should and if we stay with Shearer we are very much looking like we are walking to another election defeat.

          • chris73

            This won’t go down well but Labour could do worse than Shane Jones, hes always impressed me with his ability to be able to talk to everyone and comes across as intelligent

            Sure there are some past issues to consider but nothing insurmountable…

            • Arfamo

              Shane Jones? Nope. That would be another mistake.

            • fender

              Yes I remember you saying how impressed you were that he managed to get paid for wanking.

              If that’s the best you can come up with after your one month ban you might need another one!

              • chris73

                Seriously though the guy speaks well, is intelligent and appeals to both maori and pakeha, working class and intellectual

                Ok so the hand shandy wasn’t the best thing he could have done but he even handled (pardon the expression) that well

                • Murray Olsen

                  You’re the only person I’ve ever come across that was impressed by him, and some of my best friends are Maori.

                • felix

                  “Seriously though the guy speaks well”

                  I’ve never known him to speak well at all. Usually he just does that over-verbose thing that people do when they want to sound smart to dumb people.

      • QoT 12.1.3

        Thank God I’m not playing the drinking game this morning 😛

    • Alanz 12.2

      “I guess we wont be getting a post from Mike Smith on how wonderful Mr Shearer is”

      Quite simply, there is no need for outsourcee Mike Smith to tell us how wonderful Mr Shearer but we want the outsourcer himself saying the real thing and showing that to us.

  13. Bill 13

    Remember when Shanghai Pengxin attempted to buy 8000ha of dairy farmland and all hell broke loose and nobody on the left was being the least bit xenophobic? Well, anybody care to note the reaction Dairy Farms Partnership (an investment company owned by Harvard University) buying 1300ha of farmland to add to the farmland in NZ it already owns?


    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      These guys are really good farmers. You won’t find any locals objecting. At least it’s not the Chinese… 😈

    • karol 13.2

      I started looking into that, yesterday. I started saving links on a word document and was intending to do more research on the issue before putting a post together.

      eg I have some links to articles about the Harvard Uni investment fund “land grab” in Africa and the potential negative impact. I was wondering what such land grabs have to do with the role of Universities? Part of the neoliberalisation of higher education?

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Harvard runs one of the absolute smartest long vision investment funds on the planet.

        Mouths increasing, arable land decreasing, land productivity flat, useless paper wealth expanding exponentially

        Farm land is where you want to have your investments. And these guys back it up with big money. Last I heard, a NZer ran this side of their asset classes for them.

        • prism

          I thought that many of our neo lib pollies and uncivil servants went to Harvard to study and learn.. Seems that they don’t learn all the good long term structural planning stuff, only the free market and lazy butts and deadhead dads sort of stuff. How to sneer, find fault, and feel superior enough to be worth millions per year in salary, or at least aspire to that.

          I guess when we are all labelled okay they can work out an algorithm how to deal with us most efficiently, and whether it’s more cost effective to ensure that there is reasonable accommodation and food for all or to leave us living on the streets.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.3

      I’ll say the same thing now as I did then. Selling our land to foreign owners is bad for NZers and bad for our economy. It quite literally turns us into serfs for foreign owners.

      • karol 13.3.1

        My first response was more like Draco’s. I’m not very keen at all, esepcially given Harvard is such an elite US institution. But I want to look into it and think about it a bit more.

        “Smart long term investment” on whose behalf?

        Certainly US unis like Harvard have come into some criticism for “land grabbing” in Africa. froma a 2011 Guardian article:

        Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.

        Researchers say foreign investors are profiting from “land grabs” that often fail to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and economic development, and can lead to environmental and social problems in the poorest countries in the world. …

        Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa’s largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers. …

        Oakland said investors overstated the benefits of the deals for the communities involved. “Companies have been able to create complex layers of companies and subsidiaries to avert the gaze of weak regulatory authorities. Analysis of the contracts reveal that many of the deals will provide few jobs and will force many thousands of people off the land,” said Anuradha Mittal, Oakland’s director.

        • Populuxe1

          Harvard is elite in the sense that it is the best, it also has one of the most extensive and well funded scholarship and aid programmes in the world, increased every two or three years by about US $10 million. Please kindly check your confirmation bias.


          • karol


            I’m still looking into the Harvard issue. But I’d want more than their own PR about the aid they provide.

              • karol


                You do realise that elite or “ivy league” education establishments that offer funding for some who can’t afford the fees, don’t necessarily do anything to change the elite dominated hierarchy, don’t you? It’s the kind of “charity” that is used to justify the dominance of elites?

                • Populuxe1

                  Again I think that’s your confirmation bias which insists on reinforcing the idea that people that experience social mobility somehow equate to being a class traitor. The notion that “it’s the kind of “charity” that is used to justify the dominance of elites” is inherently silly and an artifact of a narrative that insists on demonising an entire group of people as a single stereotype cliche of fat cat capitalists in top hats. Bill Gates gives away almost all of his billions to better the less fortunate. J K Rowling gave away so much of her money that she is no longer on the rich list. George Soros gave away over $8 billion to human rights, public health, and education causes. Such charity is an appropriate response by people who realise the important role society has played in their success and is a valuable adjunct to state funding.

                  Also the culture at most of the Ivy Leage universities is decidedly left leaning

                  Even the RWNJs agree

                  • felix

                    So Rowling gave away “so much of her money that she is no longer on the rich list”.

                    And Gates gives away “almost all” of his.

                    What’s the proportion at Harvard? Do they also give away “almost all” of their places to those who can’t afford to attend?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Yes, fuck them for not wandering around in sack cloth and ashes with dogs licking their sores. Bastards. You silly cartoon Marxist.

                      One would presume (well, a normal person would presume, so perhaps you are excused) that a considerable amount of Harvard’s endowment would also go toward funding research, paying staff, and supplying the amazing resources that make it a place to want to study at in the first place. But you can do the math. As of 2012, Harvard University had a total financial aid reserve of $158.725 million for students, and a Pell Grant reserve of $4.093 million available for disbursement out of $30.7 billion.

                    • felix

                      Well fuck me Pop, I didn’t realise your spurious comparisons were beyond questioning.

                      0.5% Bit of context sheds some light eh?


                    • Rogue Trooper

                      folks not put you out for the night yet felix?

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Well fuck me Pop, I didn’t realise your spurious comparisons were beyond questioning.

                      0.5% Bit of context sheds some light eh?


                      Look, Felix, I realise you’re probably a bit special in the touched in the head sense, but obviously the top university in the world with the best facilities, resources and teachers is going to be expensive to run. And guess what, poor kids can get in and take advantage of all that on merit. Wow. I always get the impression from you that you are some nasty bitter little person who hates achievement and talent in others and just burns to drag everyone and everything in the world down to your level of mediocrity rather boosting deserving people with talent. Me, I’ve always thought socialism was about lifting people up, not dragging them down.

                    • felix

                      Drop the sanctimony Pop.

                      You tried to say that Harvard, by spending 0.5% of it’s income on allowing poor kids to attend, is comparable to Bill Gates giving away “almost all” of his money.

                      What a crock of shit.

                      ps your assessments of me are hilarious. Bit of self-reflection mate.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “You tried to say that Harvard, by spending 0.5% of it’s income on allowing poor kids to attend, is comparable to Bill Gates giving away “almost all” of his money.”

                      As I didn’t make that comparison at all, you sad little numpty, you’re projecting. I gave Bill Gates et al as examples of really rich people giving back to the comunity as a counterexample to the assertion that all such charity is a method of control. And I’ve said my bit about how much it costs to fund Harvard’s facilities. I’m not going to argue with your pathology any more except to say Harvard’s provision for disadvantaged students is better than any state university anywhere in the world you can name.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “the assertion that all such charity is a method of control.”

                      Which no one I can see actually made.

                    • felix

                      “I’m not going to argue with your pathology any more except to say Harvard’s provision for disadvantaged students is better than any state university anywhere in the world you can name.”

                      Well I guess that knocks out another argument I didn’t make. 🙄

                    • Populuxe1

                      ““the assertion that all such charity is a method of control.”

                      Which no one I can see actually made.”

                      Hey, PB, dumbarse:

                      “It’s the kind of “charity” that is used to justify the dominance of elites” – Karol

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Well I guess that knocks out another argument I didn’t make.”

                      Who knows, Felix, you don’t specialise in arguments, just gibberish and invective. I have attempted to respond to your froth and spittal as best as one can.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Pop, for god’s sake man.

                      That doesn’t mean what you claimed it does. Draw yourself a venn diagram or something.

                      Did Karol say it was the same kind of charity as Gates et al?

                      And Pop JFTR, you really, (really), don’t argue well. And you’re a hypocrite.

                      Other people here are far nicer to you than you are in return.

                      I say this in case you aren’t aware of that.

                    • felix

                      Questioning Pop’s assertions, none of which he stands by, is “froth and spittle”.

                      Righto. 🙄

      • rosy 13.3.2

        +1 dtb

        I also don’t think xenophobia should be bandied about if the information on the Harvard buy was not publicised as the Crafar farce was. Accusing the media of building xenophobia by reporting unevenly may be more accurate, but even then the publicity around the Shanghai Pengxin bid came in on the back of publicity around fraud, bankruptcies and other apparent dodgy dealings and an imagery of six farms rather than an a more difficult to imagine x-hectares.

    • felix 13.4

      It’s a dumb idea to allow our productive infrastructure and land to be owned offshore.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    The price of M.I.L.K

  15. Populuxe1 16

    From the heavy handed new Greenpeace ads, you would actually begin to wonder if they weren’t secretly working for the government to secretly promote anti sea protest legislation. All they’ve done is strung together a bunch of footage that reinforces all the stereotypes about stupid, dangerous, gung-ho behaviour.

    • Paul 16.1


      • Populuxe1 16.1.1

        Why? Don’t you have a TV? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxE-f-n_EJI

        • Paul

          I have a T.V. and watch very little of free to air TV as the programmes are so vapid. I don’t own SKY. When I occasionally do watch a specific programme I mute the ads the moment they come on and usually go do something instead.

          Anyway, to the video clip. Great to see Greenpeace getting the message over on mainstream TV as an antidote to all the “buy me buy me” ads. I did not get the same impression as you from the ad.

          By the way, I do gain the impression from your comment that you approve of our right to protest being removed. No doubt you were also one of those grumbling about nanny state a few years ago.
          You obviously prefer ‘big brother’ state.

          I just don’t understand how someone (who I assume is just a regular citizen) having views such as these. What is your motivation?

          • Populuxe1

            The right to protest is sacrosanct, but I don’t support naive people risking severe injury or injuring others through their actions on the high seas. The ocean is not the place to be playing silly buggers.

            • Colonial Viper

              You’re worried about the excessive number of deaths and serious injuries caused by Greenpeace vessels? How many a year is that exactly?

              • Populuxe1

                No, I’m probably more worried about amateurs getting into trouble, and in fact people do get injured. Tempers flair in unpredictable conditions. It only takes a Pete Bethune or enraged whalers to take it a step too far. Clashes already happen with great frequency. I think the law isn’t well written and unfairly targets genuinely peaceful protestors and observers. But it cannot be denied that it is getting increasingly rough out there. It’s a matter of time.

                • Jackal

                  Increasingly rough compared to the 1632 deaths worldwide that were related to the oil and gas industry in November of 2009 alone… I think you and the government have your priorities all wrong!

                  • Populuxe1

                    False Dichotomy

                    • Jackal

                      Comparing activism that has resulted in no deaths and is largely being outlawed by the government with an industry that kills thousands and is being promoted isn’t a false dichotomy… You may as well just write “dog poos” if that’s the extent of your argument Populuxe1.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      the seafarers who engage in this kind of activity don’t need you looking after them, and unlike the unsafe foreign fishing vessels which operate out of NZ I’m not aware of any Greenpeace vessel needing NZ tax payers to fork out for a rescue.

                      Basically you’re making a lot of noise about fuck all. And it doesn’t seem to me like you believe the right to protest is paramount. Just the right to protest in ways that you believe convenient and appropriate.

                    • Populuxe1

                      If by “convenient and appropriate” you mean not acting in a manner that may potentially harm themselves or others, then yes. Your argument is pretty much that of NRA lobbiests in the US. What are you, a Libertarian? I don’t agree with the form of the law as it stands, but I don’t agree with boarding vessles or chucking projectiles etc and that goes for all parties involved.

            • Clockie


              Sacrosanct: definition thereof

              (esp. of a principle, place, or routine) Regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with.
              sacred – holy – inviolable

              So the right to protest is sacrosanct.. except when you say it isn’t

              • Populuxe1

                The right to protest is sacrosanct, but so is public safety

                • Clockie

                  Don’t be disingenuous. The law isn’t being changed to protect protestors from themselves or for “public safety”. It is being changed to prevent protestors from obstructing prospectors, drill rig operators, whoever..

                  It is a law against civil disobedience and in the end it won’t work because New Zealanders have repeatedly proven that when their principles are at stake they are quite prepared to collect some convictions and even jail time in defence of causes they believe are just. What’s more, in most cases, history has sided with the protestors and against the established order. Can you name a case where this wasn’t true? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I’m well aware of that, but a slightly different law would have some contingency. Here is my reasoning. I’m not so concerned with Greenpeace (basically these days a commercial exercise, little more than a greenwashed Outward Bound so that privileged, predominantly white people can moralise to a developing world painfully aware of its own environmental shortcomings, and with little concern for the effects of their antics on ordinary people) and Sea Shepherd (another pack of showboating privileged wankers who manipulate the naive to get media attention and then hang them out to dry once the dirty work is done).

                    New Zealand has a vast coastline and the general public have incredible access to boats and the sea. There are also a lot of passionate numpties out there who don’t have the kind of seamanship to be safe in that kind of melee. Also while I am anti-whaling and deeply concerned by oil and mineral prospecting ships in our waters, as long as they are operating within whatever weak and flawed laws we have, no one should be making physical contact with them, board them, or attempt to block their path – all of which are in violation of the Law of the Sea. If protest ships waht to lurk visably nearby with all loudspeakers blasting, I think they should be able to.

                    • Clockie

                      Well aren’t you a nice well behaved little boy. Using that logic, if you were old enough to protest in 1981 you would have done so from the safety of your Nana’s lounge room.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Well aren’t you a nice well behaved little boy. Using that logic, if you were old enough to protest in 1981 you would have done so from the safety of your Nana’s lounge room.”

                      Oh don’t be so fucking ridiculous. The Molesworth Street batoning was a horrific example of police brutality and it is a national shame that the LAW did not protect those protestors. Though marching on the police was a stupid thing to do too. You are a thoroughly nasty little man.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, we don’t need new legislation to ensure vessels obey maritime law.

                      Sort of the point of maritime law.

  16. prism 17

    Some commentator I was listening to recently came up with a description of the present economic hegemony as being ‘corporate feudalism’ – the rich are trying to find more ways of making money from investing their excess, and will apply their minds to squeezing the people more. If that was the case there will be an inevitable slide back to the situation as in Victorian-type dramas of the poor woman and her child being thrust into the snow by a vicious landlord.

    Or the sad hopeless songs from Victorian times and before as in Come Home Father

    Father, dear father, come home with me now,
    The clock in the steeple strikes one;
    You said you were coming right home from the shop
    As soon as your day’s work was done;
    Our fire has gone out, our house is all dark,
    And mother’s been watching since tea,
    With poor brother Benny so sick in her arms
    And no one to help her but me,
    Come home! come home! come home!
    Please father, dear father, come home.

    It is so pathetic it almost seems like lampooning the situation but a read of books detailing the privations is sobering, despite the funny side of the Python’s skit about who had the worst childhood.

  17. prism 18

    A bright moment this morning about something good and clever happening out in NZ enterprise fields, was Kim Hill and Doug Avery a farmer, talking about the value of altering long-held practices of pasture grass types. Farmers can gain extra value if they have suitable conditions to grow lucerne which will help them through droughts.

    Doug Avery: farming and drought
    South Island Farmer of the year 2010, who manages Bonavaree Farm at Grassmere, South Marlborough, using a sustainable farming system that is resilient in extreme weather and variability. (14′11″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

  18. Anne 20

    Phil Twyford has posted on Red alert the following lecture by Nicky Hagar to a North Shore Labour Party function.

    Nicky Hagar – Uncomfortable Truths – NZ Foreign Policy- War on Terror

    For karol, lPrent, Redlogix, Irishbill, r0b whoever – the messages inherent is so important can someone set it up as a proper post on the Standard?

    • Bill 20.1

      Well, in the meantime, here’s the link to the presentation for the half a dozen or so people who may be around and up for listening at this time on a Saturday night https://soundcloud.com/nzlabour/sets/nicky-hager-uncomfortable

    • r0b 20.2

      Will look in to it…

    • Ugly Truth 20.3

      First off, congrats to Nicky Hagar for getting the facts together. His division of attitudes into popular peacekeeping vs the empire/alliance is right on the money.

      The most important point is that the PM is not the Commander in Chief. The fact that military operational policy was not aligned with Clark’s policy is a consequence of the nature of the civil system, which has it’s roots in the Roman empire.

  19. Clockie 21


    “Well aren’t you a nice well behaved little boy. Using that logic, if you were old enough to protest in 1981 you would have done so from the safety of your Nana’s lounge room.”

    “”Oh don’t be so fucking ridiculous. The Molesworth Street batoning was a horrific example of police brutality and it is a national shame that the LAW did not protect those protestors. Though marching on the police was a stupid thing to do too. You are a thoroughly nasty little man.””

    I seem to have rattled someones cage. Are you running out of coherent arguments? Are you trying to say that you were on Molesworth street and got batoned? If so your method of doing so is rather cryptic and also beside the point. I’m talking about the right to protest and the tension between the LEGAL right to protest in a tidy way from a safe distance and the MORAL right to commit yourself to civil disobedience in a cause which has superior ethical weighting than that protected by the law.

    For example: Which matters most, the right to watch a game of rugby undisturbed, or the right for a black majority to have civil rights in their own land? Which matters most, the right of a motorist to cruise up a Wellington street without disruption, or the right not to wind up dead in a South African police station?

    For all your talk about the right to protest being sacrosanct blah blah blah…. I think I sniff a social conservative who will take the safe path of bowing to the will of the establishment rather than putting himself at risk in the service of a just cause for the greater good. Or maybe you used to be a radical but the fire has cooled in your belly as the arthritis set into the knees?

    • Populuxe1 21.1

      What are you jabbering about?
      And no, I’m not a radical because I don’t idealise rashness and violence as being a solution to anything.

      • Clockie 21.1.1

        Sorry we’re obviously getting a bit beyond you here. You go back to you bath chair.

      • Clockie 21.1.2

        ” I don’t idealise rashness and violence as being a solution to anything.”

        Where did I or anyone else say we see violence as being a solution to anything. Obstruction in and of itself is not violence.

        And by the way, as you make it quite clear you’re not the protesting type, that you do not believe in confronting authority, why does the fact that I suggested that your preferred method of protesting would probably be at some considerable remove from the action make me a “nasty little man”.

  20. Clockie 22

    The debate is about the role of the State in the defense of citizens rights and how it balances, ethically and philosophically speaking, the small issues like laws against obstruction against the large issues like civil and human rights. The ultimate question is, does the State have a MORAL right to criminalize people who are breaking small laws in the defense of large causes. Gandhi for example.

    And I may be nasty but I’m not little.

    • Populuxe1 22.1

      This would be the same Gandhi who practised PASSIVE RESISTANCE? Although admittedly he rationalised that in the knowledge that with a population that size a few million dead here and there wouldn’t matter in the long run.

      • Clockie 22.1.1

        This is the Gandhi who advocated non violent CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE which led to much violence by the State against his protest movement. Spanner..

        • Populuxe1

          Refer to his rather callous mathematics about population and acceptable loss.

          • Rogue Trooper

            that’s partition for ya

          • Clockie

            I suspect you’re making shit up. I’d like a citation showing that Gandhi ever made any such calculation. In the end the people who followed him did so freely because they were prepared to risk whatever actions the state (British Empire) took against them because they found that existing under the yoke of that Empire worse than death. Unlike you some people are prepared to risk their lives for great causes.

            • Clockie

              I notice that as Populuxe loses the major points of the debate he starts deflecting into minor points so as to have the last word. Sad.

            • Populuxe1

              “Unlike you some people are prepared to risk their lives for great causes.”
              Well aren’t you a romantic delusional arsehat, red for the blood of the martyrs. Oh how amusing you are. Dead people don’t really get to make changes, silly. Better a live dog than a dead lion.

              “If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest Gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance, but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example. If one Jew or all the Jews were to accept the prescription here offered, he or they cannot be worse off than now. And suffering voluntarily undergone will bring them an inner strength and joy […] the calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews by way of his first answer to the declaration of such hostilities. But if the Jewish mind could be prepared for voluntary suffering, even the massacre I have imagined could be turned into a day of thanksgiving and joy that Jehovah had wrought deliverance of the race even at the hands of the tyrant. For to the God-fearing, death has no terror.”
              Gandhi, M.K. “The Jews” Harijan 26 November 1938 (The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi vol. 74, p. 240)

              “…there should be unadulterated non-violent non-cooperation, and if the whole of India responded and unanimously offered it, I should show that, without shedding a single drop of blood, Japanese arms – or any combination of arms – can be sterilized. That involves the determination of India not to give quarter on any point whatsoever and to be ready to risk loss of several million lives. But I would consider that cost very cheap and victory won at that cost glorious. That India may not be ready to pay that price may be true. I hope it is not true, but some such price must be paid by any country that wants to retain its independence. After all, the sacrifice made by the Russians and the Chinese is enormous, and they are ready to risk all. The same could be said of the other countries also, whether aggressors or defenders. The cost is enormous. Therefore, in the non-violent technique I am asking India to risk no more than other countries are risking and which India would have to risk even if she offered armed resistance.”
              Gandhi, M.K. “Non-violent Non-cooperation” Harijan 24 May 1942, p. 167 (The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi vol. 82, p. 286; interview conducted 16 May 1942)

              • Clockie

                If people like me are arsehats and Gandhi is a calculating monster by your reckoning, Populuxe, then I’m happy to side with Gandhi. I’ll also have to concede that any similarity between yourself and a fully functioning moral human being is just a coincidence. Good night and good luck. Keep re-reading the Gandhi. You might come to understand him eventually.

                • Populuxe1

                  I don’t make a habit of putting people on pedistals. Idols encourage distorted worldviews and blind faith.

                  • Clockie

                    You have a nasty habit of putting words in people’s mouths that they never said and attributing ideas to them which they never thought. It is really most unattractive. In fact you seem to be one of those people who believes in nothing much other than personal preservation and not rocking the boat. News flash, the world will only change for the better if some people are prepared to take risks to make it happen. How many times have you left the herd and taken a risk for a matter of principle Pop? Is there any principle you’d risk it all for?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well aren’t you a sad old throwback. The reality is positive change will only happen with education and freely given cooperation, not theatrics that will probably alienate more people than it will convert.

              • Rogue Trooper

                I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight;
                I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron
                -Isaiah 45:2
                For I will contend with him
                who contends with you
                -Isaiah 49:25

                For all who live by the sword…
                Blessed are the meek for they shall…(game theory)
                For what greater thing can a man do than to…

                Not a nationalist myself, who would be in this day and age! (although I understand Inglorious Bastards).

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    and the nation that endured the greatest number of fatalities during the Second World War was…
                    (I’m half-way through that book on the 24th)
                    …before H.Rel. I would have just kept my head down and soldiered on too. Love the author’s (Armin Bottger) attitude.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The amount of death that the USSR saw during that war is simply staggering.

                      One in eight Ukranians, dead. And Stalin, well it seemed like losing 200K Red Army soldiers here, losing another 200K over there and yet another 200K further on, was just par for the course.

                      Mind you, 4 out of every 5 German divisions which were ultimately destroyed in WWII were destroyed by the Soviet Union, not by the Allies. That’s a lot of heavy lifting by the Reds.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Yep. Reds know how to lift; Blues how to drag. off to some soft fiction now.
                      Keep your chin up. 😉 (keeps your nose cleaner)

  21. Clockie 23

    The problem is that so many of our legislators are intellectual and moral midgets. All due apologies to midgets.

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