Open mike 05/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 5th, 2011 - 55 comments
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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…

55 comments on “Open mike 05/05/2011”

  1. Bored 1

    I watch the news last night, a huge story (shock and horror) on the price of petrol, much wailing and lamentation. During the whole tawdry ill informed item the so called journalists asked who was getting the money, was it fair? Not once was mention made of the real issue. The stuff is running out and over time whilst price may fluctuate it will trend up and up.

    We are ill served by our journalists, the pretty young faces presenting recieved wisdom have a vacuity beyond words. We are ill served by ourselves for our failure of imagination, to be able to project a world view of a future that can be anything other than it is today. My prediciton, the revolution will begin at a petrol pump.

    • MrSmith 1.1

      Bored you might get a laugh out of this then.

      A front-page story in the Daily Progress here in Charlottesville, Va., recently described a group of people who said they had given up on politicians and were beginning to gather at gas stations to publicly pray for cheaper gasoline. These are people who are seriously hurting because they need gas to get to work and back home, and they can no longer afford it. I don’t want to laugh at their acts of desperation, but that is exactly what politicians will do, politicians who are no doubt thrilled to see people standing in parking lots talking to the sky rather than standing in their offices talking to them.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Yeah, this was going on in 2007-2008 as well, the previous spike. There was even a ludicrous campaign ad by McCain that very very heavily insinuated, with only just barely not blaming directly, Obama for high petrol prices.
         
        I have read market analysis recently that suggests the oil price is likely to ease back a little in the next 6 months. And even if it doesn’t, they suggest that gas prices will not reach $5/gallon (currently hovering just around $4 on average) due to “demand destruction”.

      • ZeeBop 1.1.2

        Business needs confidence in energy pricing and they are not getting it. How does any business predict energy prices going forward. How can they invest when oil may spike the moment they’ve locked into a long term contract. So they don’t have the confidence they once did, and they never will until cheap energy returns (likely not for thirty years for that’s how long it takes for any new energy idea to get to market, ?thorium?). So don’t expect any rapid economic expansion, even recycling is energy intensive, and manufactures have barely even started building better products that can be easily and cheaply recycled, and won’t until governments globally make it rewarding to them. By implementing a full life responsibility on manufacturers, that all products have to be recycled by their manufacturers (or suffer strict penalties, jail time for executives who shift the recycling risk – don’t buy the recycling insurance). Governments need to start banning products that enter their markets that are extremely hard to recycle, then continue to raise the standard until there is a highly recyclable economy.

        But there is no movement and won’t be until its too late and our ability and cost to change, oil will be prohibitively expensive, forces the issue. Either we build the new global structure or we fall much further and much farther back into past malaise.

      • Bored 1.1.3

        Bloody amusing indeed!

  2. logie97 2

    Professor Delorus Umbridge Tolley’s research indicates that only one third of primary school teachers understand the standards well.
    Begs the question, what are the parents actually supposed to be demanding?
    They’re apparently all behind the government in demanding their implementation, but they surely cannot know what they are asking for.
    Some dipsy coiffeured politician stands up and cries,
    “We must have the standards.”
    Her adoring public apparently cried “Yes!… whatever they are….! Hooray, hoorah!”

    • Bored 2.1

      Well spotted Logie, we want standards, we dont know what they are but we want them now. And whoever has to apply them has to do it to our standards, get with the programme. Who would want to be a teacher dealing with the expectations of Joe (probably below) Average?

      • ianmac 2.1.1

        Notice that the pro-Standards folk are mostly interested in teachers being obedient and seldom discuss the actual standards. Political?

  3. Tigger 3

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10723477

    Tourist numbers down. Who is Minister of Tourism again? How’s that 100% Pure You working for you tourists? Not well apparently.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      That Letterman gig worked a treat.

    • PeteG 3.2

      The article states the obvious, down on the month (March) due mainly to the earthquakes.

      Up 1% on the year to March so the earthquakes will have kept the modest increase down too.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Is the Christchurch earthquake why all the retail stores in Newmarket seem to be having distress sales/closing down?

        Is the Christchurch earthquake why youth unemployment around the country is over 25%?

        Is the Christchurch earthquake why the Auckland housing market dipped again in March (when you would have thought the record number of people leaving Christchurch would have boosted it).

        Or is the Christchurch earthquake National’s excuse for a continuing trend of economic decline, even though our export commodities have been hitting record highs?

    • William Joyce 3.3

      Give Key a break! He did try to boost tourism.
      He just couldn’t rent enough Pandas.
      Besides, they had trouble teaching them to ride bikes down the cycleway.

  4. happynz 4

    Cinco de Mayo! Mexican food tonight.

  5. vto 5

    Unknown Earthquake Effect #27;

    All the lovely autumnally coloured garden leaves don’t stay on the trees for long. Every shake they be falling to the ground. Gotta get the rake out again…

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      We really haven’t had that many quakes in the last few days.

      • vto 5.1.1

        Really mr lanthanide? I felt about 3-4 good shakes since yesterday evening. Geonet shows them between 3 and 4 on the richter, last one about 9am today. Given us a good wobble and made the leaves fall. Perhaps the Great Earth Monster is fine-tuning his monstering and only aiming at the naughty kids…

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          fine-tuning his monstering and only aiming at the naughty kids…

          Ha what are you saying you are then? 🙂

  6. Just posted this on Kiwiblog – FYI
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    The President of the U$A, Barak Obama authorises the cold-blooded ‘execution’ of an unarmed Osama bin Laden(?) by a team of US Navy Seals – and calls this ‘justice’.

    How is this not equally a ‘terrorist’ act, that would arguably be internationally condemned if the (supposed?) ‘Leader’ of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden – had equally authorised the cold-blooded assassination of the (unarmed) President of the United States of America, in front of his wife and family?

    If the tactics and actions authorised by the Leader of the United States of America are essentially no different in practice to those of the (supposed?) ‘Leader’ of al-Qaeda – then what is (was?) the difference between Obama and Osama?

    Or is U$A ‘State-sponsored terrorism’ simply above the law?

    Or do you agree with the concept that ‘might is right’ – end of story?

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

    UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

    Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

    Preamble

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
    ……………….”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10723453
    Questions over legality of bin Laden ‘execution’

    By Greg Ansley
    5:30 AM Thursday May 5, 2011

    The killing of Osama bin Laden by a team of US Navy Seals has been condemned internationally by lawyers, human rights groups, and European leaders.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also urged the United States to provide full details about what critics have called a summary execution.

    “The United Nations has consistently emphasised that all counter-terrorism acts must respect international law,” Pillay said.

    In London, distinguished human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson has described the killing of the al-Qaeda leader as a “perversion of justice” that would rebound on the US.

    The Australian-born Queen’s Counsel has sat as an appeal judge on a UN war crime court and is one of three jurist members on the international organisation’s Internal Justice Council.

    He told ABC TV yesterday that the killing of an unarmed bin Laden was not justice. ”

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Couldn’t have had Bin Laden talking to people and letting uncomfortable facts be known.

      I suppose Seal Team Six had orders to kill Bin Laden no matter the circumstances.

      Otherwise they are saying that they could not successfully restrain an unarmed middle aged man in his mid-50’s?

      Or somehow the special forces unit were panicked into shooting an unarmed man?

      Seems pretty deliberate, overall, just like everything a SEAL team does.

      • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1

        Who cares, CV? The man deserved to die and now he’s dead. It’s a shame it was in front of his children, but he is the one that put them at risk. At least he had a chance to say goodbye to them, unlike his victims in Africa, America and the Arab world.

        Still, it’s a shame none of his kids did what this kid did:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/4964103/Boy-charged-with-murdering-neo-Nazi-dad

        • todd 6.1.1.1

          You’re one sick puppy Voice of Reason.

        • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.2

          In my youth Voice I sometimes had feelings like what yours appear to be on OBL. And I detest OBL and his hangers on for a number of reasons.

          Fer instance I cursed the IRA for missing Maggie Thatcher at that hotel. I marched up Queen St Auckland with 200 H Block supporters in the pouring rain to substantial abuse from onlookers upon the death of hunger striker Bobby Sands. I came to realise though that terrorism while instant gratification and sometimes a necessary tactic for those involved in asymmetrical conflicts is no substitute in the long run for publicly supported peace based political organisation and gaining wide international support.

          But I also cursed the CIA and US imperialism more for dealing to Salvador Allende and scores of other barely social democratic “revolutions”. So yeah, if you had a loved one that bit the dust at ‘ground zero’ say whatever you like, but the conditions that gave rise to OBL deserve the real approbrium.

          • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1.2.1

            Nicely put, Tiger. There is no avoiding the bigger picture and in a world of astonishing wealth monopolised by the few at the expense of the many there will always be opportunities for the likes of bin Laden to come to the surface. Pinochet was always No 1 on my list of those who should be despatched at the first opportunity and good on the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front for at least getting close.

            This guy was such a threat to the General that the junta had to break his fingers before killing him:

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Brilliant, Penny!
      I wish more people were making that point..

  7. todd 7

    12-Year-Old Daughter Watches Fathers Execution

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/05/12-year-old-daughter-watches-fathers.html

    United States President Barack Obama announced on Monday US Navy SEALs had found and killed Osama Bin Laden. They apparently located the elusive Al Qaeda leader with satellite facial recognition and launched a raid dubbed the Geronimo “E-KEA.” It is also reported that the CIA undertook four years of surveillance of the compounds courier, which led to the intelligence needed to make the raid possible.

  8. prism 8

    On employment – Goff this morning talking about better prospects for Maori expresses distaste with present programmes as ‘growing pumpkins’. He sounds so middle-class, seeing manual labour, ‘semi-skilled’ labour as next to useless. The preference amongst his class for jobs is in the high-tech culture, the superior person sits at a computer, manages things, offers technology services.

    What would be wrong in teaching horticulture if that is what Maori or others wish. The education can build on preference for practical, hard work, which produces something, and respect such work different from that manipulating abstract things. I think Helen Clark decided not to have subsidies for Councils to provide funds for work which could use unemployed. She said that the government wanted to spend money assisting unemployed into good jobs, not gorse clearing etc. So what is wrong with gorse clearing, weeding, cutting out old man’s beard – these are all useful jobs and gardening or vegetable growing require repetitive work for a successful outcome or product.

    So what is wrong with pumpkin growing Mr Goff? It leads to a good outcome, a physical asset, a useful way to apply unemployed or undirected energy.

    Christchurch need for tradesmen has prompted the government to up the training for prison inmates to acquire trade skills ready for jobs when they are released. Kim Workman said that many employers hesitate to employ ex-prisoners and we should do as in Singapore and encourage with subsidies? also they receive awards for being good citizens providing employment. This would be such a good move and should be done all the time for the majority of prisoners not just when there is a national crisis. But a small minority of incorrigibles (psychopaths) should never be allowed out.as a speaker on RadioNZ this morning commented, saying that apart from them prisoners are serving too long sentences Targeted sentences should be refined, jails being retraining places where a prisoner gets organisation into his or her life, and skills to carry through after a short incarceration.

    • Deadly_NZ 8.1

      I think they are talking about a rather famous Pumpkin from TV3 news. ‘Then there is the $317,000 project that is now down to just one pumpkin.’

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Govts-hip-hop-fact-finding-remark-backfires/tabid/419/articleID/198613/Default.aspx

    • Jum 8.2

      That’s odd Prism.

      I thought the 90day sackem’ plan was supposed to achieve that. Obviously it’s not working for the needy workers, just the employers.

      Helen Clark was not saying gorse clearing was a zero job; she knew as well as you do that cheap desperate low paid labour was the last thing Labour wanted for New Zealanders. We all know the rich want the low paid to do that work because THE RICH believe it is beneath them.

      But Key gets to treat Kiwi workers as ‘flexible’ and voluntary labour in the aged care and other areas nobody wants to do. I knew that was going to happen before the 2008 election. Key’s plan to cause a bigger gap between the haves and the have nots is working brilliantly.

      What a shame Kiwis don’t see the painting of Dorian Gray Key hidden in the attic.

    • millsy 8.3

      I would imagine irrigation and sprinkler systems – as well as maintaining greenhouse environments would provide enough interest for the tech savvy. I took horticulture at school, and I found myself interested in the sprinkers, etc more than the plants…I still probably am….

      The more enlightened in us would see the community max schemes and its expensive pumpkins as a spring board to small scale gardening co-ops run by young people.

  9. joe90 9

    I wonder if the same could be said in 2011.

    For a week now…I have been a citizen of an island and therewith a small dot in the Commonwealth. It really reassures me to have found a place after eight years of having been stateless and of having received hospitality in a decent and truly humane society.

    Karl Wolfskehl

  10. Mac1 10

    Prism, why did Goff actually instance ‘pumpkins’? I remember a media story attacking the government for allowing a horticultural course way up north which did not meet the outcomes required by the course financers, and that the course involved growing pumpkins.

    Maybe, ‘growing pumpkins’ is a metaphor for badly run, poorly organised, poor value courses for our unemployed, and not an attack on teaching horticulture per se. The Nats used to flagellate the Labour government for all sorts of courses at community and adult education level. Is ‘growing pumpkins’ Goff’s version of the same thing?

  11. The Voice of Reason 11

    The Blue penguins that died on the East Coast recently starved to death as a result of the weather patterns, not, as somebody suggested here, because of sonic oil explorations by Petrobras.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4961829/Penguin-deaths-linked-to-weather

    • todd 11.1

      The article you linked to states that only 18 penguins were found. However there were reports of more found than that. Interesting how DOC proposed that La Nina was to blame even before seeing the dead penguins.

      The thing is that sonic booms scare away fish and so the Penguins in that area could well have died of starvation. The cause is more likely to be seismic testing scaring away their food source than any difference in weather pattern. Fish stocks are not normally affected by changes in weather.

      Seismic testing has been found to cause deaths of many creatures around the world. this is not an isolated incident.

      http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/04/little-blues-found-dead-on-east-coast.html

      • The Voice of Reason 11.1.1

        This is what you wrote, Todd:

        “They were found yesterday washed up in Waihau Bay, which is located adjacent to Petrobras’ seismic testing zone. Coincidence? I don’t think so.”

        It made me laugh when I first read it, so it was interesting to find out the real reason they died.

        DOC reckons they starved to death, so I’d be interested to know if the sound Petrobras use can make you skinny as well as dead. At low doses, this could be quite a money spinner for Jenny Craig.

        How adjacent is the testing to Waihau Bay, by the way? I though it was miles out at sea, a long, long way from where the penguins hang out. If I understand the allegation of damage caused by seismic testing it relates to the high decibel noise levels at the point of testing, which definitely could do some damage, but only if but only if you are relatively close.

  12. Deadly_NZ 12

    It looks like Gerry and co have exported their version of CERA to the US.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/4964845/Looters-flimflam-men-plague-tornado-torn-US

  13. ‘Top US Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 A False Flag Operation’

    Seen this folks?

    Just posted it on Kiwiblog as well.

    I’ve cut and pasted 28 pages of google’ links – showing other websites /blogs which have published this information on my blog – FYI)

    Doesn’t seem to have been much coverage in the mainstream corporate media?
    HOW unusual!
    _______________________________________________________________________

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/top-us-government-insider-bin-laden-died-in-2001-911-a-false-flag.html

    Top US Government Insider: Bin Laden Died In 2001, 9/11 A False Flag Operation

    Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations Steve R. Pieczenik says he is prepared to tell a federal grand jury the name of a top general who told him directly 9/11 was a false flag attack

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Prison Planet.com
    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under three different Presidents and still works with the Defense Department, shockingly told The Alex Jones Show yesterday that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001 and that he was prepared to testify in front of a grand jury how a top general told him directly that 9/11 was a false flag inside job.

    Pieczenik cannot be dismissed as a “conspiracy theorist”. He served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under three different administrations, Nixon, Ford and Carter, while also working under Reagan and Bush senior, and still works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. A former US Navy Captain, Pieczenik achieved two prestigious Harry C. Solomon Awards at the Harvard Medical School as he simultaneously completed a PhD at MIT.

    Recruited by Lawrence Eagleburger as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Management, Pieczenik went on to develop, “the basic tenets for psychological warfare, counter terrorism, strategy and tactics for transcultural negotiations for the US State Department, military and intelligence communities and other agencies of the US Government,” while also developing foundational strategies for hostage rescue that were later employed around the world.

    Pieczenik also served as a senior policy planner under Secretaries Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, George Schultz and James Baker and worked on George W. Bush’s election campaign against Al Gore. His record underscores the fact that he is one of the most deeply connected men in intelligence circles over the past three decades plus.
    …………………..”

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    • Vicky32 13.1

      Oh but Penny, you’ll get jumped on for that link! Only we lunatics believe there’s anything dodgy about what’s said about OBL… 😀

  14. joe90 14

    An interesting and encouraging paper from The Wilson Centre. But I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.

    This begins at home with quality health care and education, with a vital economy and low rates
    of unemployment, with thriving urban centers and carefully planned rural communities, with low
    crime, and a sense of common purpose underwritten by personal responsibility. We often hear
    the term “smart power” applied to the tools of development and diplomacy abroad empowering
    people all over the world to improve their own lives and to help establish the stability needed to
    sustain security and prosperity on a global scale. But we can not export “smart power” until we
    practice “smart growth” at home. We must seize the opportunity to be a model of stability, a
    model of the values we cherish for the rest of the world to emulate. And we must ensure that our
    domestic policies are aligned with our foreign policies. Our own “smart growth” can serve as
    the exportable model of “smart power.” Because, truthfully, it is in our interest to see the rest of
    the world prosper and the world market thrive, just as it is in our interest to see our neighbors
    prosper and our own urban centers and rural communities come back to life.

  15. Carol 15

    Hone has apologised:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4964292/Key-Harawiras-bin-Laden-comments-ridiculous

    His comments had been seen as support for bin Laden’s actions which was a mistake, he said. “Using terror for political reasons is never acceptable,” he said in a statement this afternoon.

    He apologised for how he expressed himself.

    “As Maori we do not speak ill of someone who has died even if such a person has done bad things.”

    Although academic Ranginui Walker is less critical of OBL:

    Meanwhile, political commentator Ranginui Walker compared bin Laden to the Maori leader Te Kooti.

    Walker, speaking to Te Karere on Tuesday, said Maori would see similarities between the two.

    Te Kooti was exiled to the Chathams without trial in 1865 after he was accused of spying while fighting alongside Government forces. He returned as a religious leader of the Ringatu faith.

    “[Te Kooti] fought people who came to invade his countries and confiscated its wealth,” Walker said.

    Walker said bin Laden should not have been executed without trial.

    “[He] should be judged in a court and all claims investigated so that we can all see where the truth lies.”

    Walker said the problem with New Zealand’s ties to America was that “no matter where they go into war in the world we get dragged into battle.”

  16. Morrissey 16

    Ghastly Garth McVicar a guest on Jim Mora’s programme (Thursday 5.5.11)

    To discuss the possible castration of child-killer Peter Holdem, Jim Mora for some ungodly reason asked the discredited S.S. leader and knife enhusiast Garth McVicar onto his programme The Panel today. Unexpectedly, however, McVicar, who is notorious for supporting vicious killers and heaping scorn onto their victims, failed to support the killer Peter Holdem.

    But the old loon did take the opportunity to indulge in a spray against “liberal society”, and then advocated the use of chain-gangs to clean up Christchurch.

    • ianmac 16.1

      Yes. It says a lot about Mora that he encourages McVicar to spread his poison. Noticed that each time Mora tried to use his NAct spin on other matters, Bomber Bradbury and Bernard Hickey politely corrected him. Jim went quiet for a while but got his revenge with McVicar’s bile.

      • Morrissey 16.1.1

        Jim Mora also continues to have Barry Corbett as a guest. Corbett was heavily criticised two years ago during the trial of knife-killer Bruce Emery, who was, and still is, supported by the S.S. Trust. Corbett made similar comments to McVicar, pouring filth on the reputation of the boy who Emery stabbed to death.

  17. south paw 17

    Check out the New Zealand Misery Index posted at Bernard Hickey’s interest.co.nz site under “Thursday’s Top 10”.

    From 1991 to 2010, it shows a clear pattern of Kiwis feel the most miserable under National led governments, hehehe.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Latest poll:

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2011/4663/

    No real change. Some good news for Winston, none for ACT. But the polling period is a week too early to pick up any post-coup bounce.

    This is the second successive poll to contradict TV3’s over-egged poll of a few weeks ago. It clearly WAS a rogue, as some of us said at the time. Dunce Garner will be apologising on the news tonight … just kidding.

  19. Jum 19

    ‘Then the Prime Minister attacked New Zealand’s most awarded foreign correspondent Jon Stephenson saying he was not credible and adding that Stephenson had once impersonated TV broadcaster Duncan Garner to get Mr Key to call him.
    The Prime Minister said: “I hung up on him because when people impersonate someone else I don’t take them seriously,” Mr Key said.’

    And the man who swallowed rats and fish to get into power didn’t even see the irony.

    • Carol 19.1

      And a low quality journo like Garner gets on JK’s speed dial, but he won’t take calls from a serious, heavy weight journalist? Says it all really.

  20. Armchair Critic 20

    Mark Hotchin has decided he doesn’t have enough of other people’s money to sue Granny.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10723606

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