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Open mike 05/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 5th, 2010 - 51 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

51 comments on “Open mike 05/12/2010 ”

  1. just saying 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10692080

    I’m glad Mccarten said it. I didn’t even feel I could say it on ‘the Standard’ – a left wing site and wonder if others felt the same. Thought I might be jumped on for being hard-hearted and insensitive to the victims if I strongly criticised the new saint of mining disasters.

    • I am sure that all but the rwnjs will still jump up and down but the cause of the disaster needs to be discussed.

      I understand Andrew Little asked to be on stage but was refused. It seems the workers representative was not considered to be part of the group on stage.

      Nice touch with “solidarity forever”.

      All together now …

    • vipers revenge 1.2

      Why are they giving this theif any airtime.

  2. Oops I meant to say “the rwnjs will jump up and down”. Where is edit when you need it?

    • Tigger 3.1

      So will the taxpayer being paying for those morning teas? And he’ll be doing it in work time I guess…

      • Rosy 3.1.1

        Did Key actually donate any money, or is he above that sort of thing?

        • ianmac 3.1.1.1

          It is a great the way John Key performs as a media celebrity. After a while with too much exposure, people tire of famous people strutting their stuff.
          They start seeking more:
          Perhaps a naked photo-shoot?
          Or win a night in bed with the PM?
          Or win a holiday for two at his prime home in Hawaii?
          Or a free sky-dive with the PM?
          You must keep up feeding the popularity appetite.

    • ianmac 4.1

      It seems that USA secondary schools like many in NZ have set piece lessons. If you are teaching maths for a particular period it has a set beginning middle end. I guess this could be filmed and evaluated. As far as it goes!
      But in the NZ Primary School system of integrated learning this is not how lessons operate. In fact it may be that the secondary set piece lesson is the reason why many kids lose interest when they get to College. An integrated secondary system where trialled in NZ has a remarkable success rate, but it would not fit the USA model.
      Wonder why USA education is world-ranked about 25th where NZ is ranked in the top 1 – 5?

      • jcuknz 4.1.1

        Thank you Ianmac for the explanation which I think I follow …I didn’t know what they were talking about but thought it might be of interest to educationalists.

  3. vipers revenge 5

    Ah the jealously of the left, it was ok for the she beast to sign a paiting that she didn’t paint, for charity but when the most popular prme minister ever does somethng for charity you lefties splurt shit.

    [Hello VR. Kindly mind your manners around here, or I’ll put you in moderation. And just by the way, your hero Key was not a more popular PM than Clark. — r0b]

    • felix 5.1

      You must be furious with Muhammad Ali for signing a robe he didn’t make then.

      And presumably with John Key, who isn’t even a boxer.

  4. Colonial Viper 6

    I see I’ve got a fan club now! More the merrier 🙂

  5. illuminatedtiger 7

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10692177

    It appears a certain former Cabinet Minister’s husband was using the travel perk to research his family history. Their corruption knows no bounds.

    • ianmac 7.1

      And fly from Auckland to mow his lawns in Christchurch!

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4422522/Husband-billed-taxpayer-for-100-000-of-air-travel
        You posted the above link yeasterday.
        1) In May 2002 the family (Wong) Christchurch home was sold .
        2) In 2002-03 Wong took 55 trips – mostly to and from Christchurch totalling $13.715.
        3) The following year he took 47 trips, the majority involving Christchurch costing $8213.
        4) S Wong was a director and had shares in two Christchurch based companies 1999 – 05/06
        5) “The pattern of Sammy Wong’s travel between Christchurch and Auckland is consistent with travelling to support his wife, ” consultant Hugh Mc Phail says in his report.

        Surely matching up minutes of meetings, business appointments or signing business documents with the date and time frame that private domestic travel was taken will reveal whether or not business was conducted.
        As well the Christchurch home did not require maintenance after the settlement date.

        Has there also been a housing rort?

        • Treetop 7.1.1.1

          A BIG error has been made by me in 1) The Christchurch home was sold in May 2010 not May 2002.

          1996 – 2008 Pansy Wong maintained an apartment in Thorndon as a base when in Wellington, for which she used a parliamentary accommodation subsidy.

  6. Pascal's bookie 8

    Pointing and laughing update:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10692073
    The reaction to this from the kbr will be perfect.

    iPredict:

    “OMG she called us the tea party and thinks it’s an insult!! Teh Tea party is the awesome and totally ground rooted and will sweep away the muddle headed socialits like Coddlewhallop”

    • NickS 8.1

      Huh?

      Coddington making sense? Ye mind-eating Eldar things…

      *ahem*

      Anyhow, while see does some bloody excellent points, I don’t think such a party would be able to pull enough support, and would probably fall flat, just as parties like the Kiwi Party, Destiny NZ, and all the other single issue/fundie parties have. Of course, they could get a National MP with a safe seat jumping over and like ACT stick around, but given Muriel Newman has no brains and believes bullshit such as Celtic colonisation of NZ etc, I’m sure National’s (and Labour’s) PR hacks will spin them into a grave given any opportunities to do so.

      And then there’s the good old misogynistic language and attitude present, but QoT’s gone eloquently over that crap more than enough.

      • felix 8.1.1

        Yeah, but they might be able to pull it off if they broaden out from the “single issue” of the foreshore and embrace racism more generally.

        Between Winston and these fuckwits it could be a really exciting scrap over the carcass of ACT.

        • NickS 8.1.1.1

          Fuck.

          I forgot about Kiwi’s bad racist habits for a moment. Which is odd, since I live in one of the most racist cities in NZ :/

          Of course, the smarter ones aren’t attracted to solely racist policy, so as well as being more generally racist, they’d need to come up with some actually policy. Which given they’ll likely go after the stupid vote, would translate as anything Ayn Rand wrote, anything which “skeptics” claim as true, anything that’s anti-beneficiary and anything that’s ever been supported by a talk-back radio host. Making for a highly fragmented and contradictory policy platform…

          Though given how National got in last election with next to no policy statements other than “we’re not Labour” I might be wrong /shudder

          And these morons might just get a seat or several. Unless Winny rides again. /shudder

  7. Colonial Viper 9

    Gordon Campbell not keen on The Standard using Treasury figures to attack film industry tax breaks.

    I see two points here

    1) Treasury follows an extremely neocon Chicago School line: free markets all the way baby, building up specific industries and industry specific competencies to the point that they can compete with the world – meh.

    2) These aren’t NZ film industry tax breaks. They are Peter Jackson tax breaks. LOTR, Avatar, King Kong, The Hobbit. Common denominator anyone? Much more has to be done to broaden our local film industry beyond this very narrowly concentrated stage of development.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/12/03/gordon-campbell-on-treasury%E2%80%99s-hostility-to-film-tax-breaks/

  8. Draco T Bastard 10

    Leaked Paper – NZ U.S. Rift On Intellectual Property In TPPA

    The expert analyses show that capitulating to US demands in the vain hope of some concessions on dairy access will carry a high price, jeopardising the affordability of medicines under Pharmac and fettering our ability to strengthen our own innovative capacity.

    I’ve been saying for awhile now that the present IP laws are being used not to encourage innovation, which is supposedly their purpose for existence, but to prevent it. The reason is obvious once you think about it – competition lowers profits.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      In fact if I read you correctly your usual (and correct) point is that competition tends to increase costs and lower profits. Wham wham.

      Every major business wants to be a monopolist – or be as close to one as possible. No capitalist would be interested in investing in any other kind because the returns would not be high enough.

  9. Jenny 11

    An early Christmas present for the conservative wing of the Labour Party?

    For months now more conservative members of the Labour Party have been talking up the possibility of New Zealand First as a coalition partner. This despite the Greens polling much higher and the all polls so far showing that the Maori Party would be the King Maker.

    The latest Horizon poll may give some substance to this wishful thinking.

    Peters the Kingmaker again?

    The country’s next prime minister could be decided by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.

    What this will mean for New Zealand politics is unclear.

    But the ramifications could be manifold. Commentators are picking that Peters is picking up the right wing redneck vote, disillusioned with National who they feel have gone to far to accommodate the Maori Party over the Seabed and Foreshore.

    • felix 11.1

      Notice the weasel-words that the dirty little stoat David Farrar is quoted as using?

      “It is a headache for both parties because National ruled Winston out in the past, …”

      Err, no David, I think you’ll find that National ruled him out in the future, not in the past.

      David is trying to frame Key’s promises as historical curiosities, not active commitments. Which is pretty much how Key treats them too.

      • Jim Nald 11.1.1

        Norty sentence that.

        “… headache for both parties because National …”
        – ahh right, so admission that double-face, double-dealing National has double personality

        Labour has more credibility in making agreements to form MMP Governments given their track record.

        Shipley threw out Winston in the late 1990s, the Nats undermined NZF in late 2000s, and Key ruled him out.

        • ianmac 11.1.1.1

          Hope Key doesn’t use NZF as a reason to abandon MMP?
          I do think that a true democracy does need action from not only the Centre but both extremes of belief.
          Perhaps Rodney and Act could join with Winston and form a “New Zealand Act First think Later Party?” Heh heh. Rodney and Winston plotting together?Heh!

    • gingercrush 11.2

      I can’t believe serious political commentators such as Hooton and Trotter or even Farrar would talk about such an utterly useless poll. It simply can’t be taken seriously.

  10. felix 12

    Anyone see the Back Benches youth-wings special this week?

    That was Enfield’s “tory boy”, wasn’t it?

    http://tvnz.co.nz/back-benches/s2010-e41-video-3937077

  11. NickS 13

    Ah, I should have posted this yesterday, but yeah, low motivation and RPG-coma fun…

    So by now, if you haven’t heard the eye-rolling hyperbole over the arsenic using bacteria, or have made the understnadable mistake of believing it, here’s the always excellent Ed Young on it:

    Mono Lake bacteria build their DNA using arsenic (and no, this isn’t about aliens)

    Arsenic isn’t exactly something you want to eat. It has a deserved reputation as a powerful poison. It has been used as a murder weapon and it contaminates the drinking water of millions of people. It’s about as antagonistic to life as a chemical can get. But in California’s Mono Lake, Felisa Wolfe-Simon has discovered bacteria that not only shrug off arsenic’s toxic effects, but positively thrive on it. They can even incorporate the poisonous element into their proteins and DNA, using it in place of phosphorus.

    Out of the hundred-plus elements in existence, life is mostly made up of just six: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus. This elite clique is meant to be irreplaceable. But the Mono Lake bacteria may have broken their dependence on one of the group – phosphorus – by swapping it for arsenic. If that’s right, they would be the only known living things to do this.

    The discovery is amazing, but it’s easy to go overboard with it. For example, this breathlessly hyperbolic piece, published last year, suggests that finding such bacteria would be “one of the most significant scientific discoveries of all time”. It would imply that “Mono Lake was home to a form of life biologically distinct from all other known life on Earth” and “strongly suggest that life got started on our planet not once, but at least twice”.

    *ahem*

    Oh yeah, this is a majorly interesting and exciting discovery, but the like Ada it’s been sold utterly wrongly and massively overhyped.

    • NickS 13.1

      Arse, I meant “Ida” rather than “Ada’. /d’oh

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      IIRC, and it’s entirely possible that I don’t, both are fairly active metals with similar reactive properties. If this is so then such a replacement shouldn’t have been completely dismissed. Improbable but not out of the realms of the possible.

      Right, I’ll let the biologists argue over it now.

      • NickS 13.2.1

        You mean biochemists (and organic chemists) 😛

        iirc it’s down to bio availability and the strength at which the phosphorous and arsenic bind oxygen at different temps and pH’s to form PO4 (phosphate) and AsO4 (arsenate) and thus the electrical environments each molecule has the governs the strength of the ester bonds that make up the backbone of DNA, and formation and breaking of ester bonds to proteins that are vital for the activity of some proteins.

        There’s also a bit of origin of life stuff in why life uses phosphate, but I’d have to dig up some old biochem lab project notes on that :/

        Wait, I do still have some stuff, but not all the bloody papers.

        Skimming over the report, based on the Warm-Seep hypothesis ( sub-boiling temp hydrothermal vent) of the environment life evolved in, phosphate’s were readily available, and under the anoxic conditions easy to use as an energy store (forming phosphate ester bonds requires energy, but breaking them also releases energy, making stuff like adenine tri-phosphate, aka ATP, an organic battery). Particularly as the iron-sulphur mineral structure of the warm seeps provided a surface for various types of phosphates to precipitate on. Thus making ready snackage for early life 😛

        Though bear in mind, I’m relying on something I wrote back in 2006, that wasn’t as well researched as what my stuff generally is now, and based off papers looking at the solubility of various types of phosphates. Ergo the hidden assumptions are that arsenic acid was not as available, and may provide less energy when breaking the ester bond….

        And damn have my writing skills improved.

      • NickS 13.2.2

        Found something:

        “As a chemist, I’m obsessed with details,” says Rosen. “I think future studies will really have to tie down how this organism does it.”

        Others held deeper reservations. “It remains to be established that this bacterium uses arsenate as a replacement for phosphate in its DNA or in any other biomolecule found in ‘standard’ terran biology,” says Steven Benner, who studies origin-of-life chemistry at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, Florida.

        Arsenate forms much weaker bonds in water than phosphate, that break apart on the order of minutes, he says, and though there might be other molecules stabilizing these bonds, the researchers would need to explain this discrepancy for the hypothesis to stand. Still, the discovery is “just phenomenal” if it holds up after further chemical analysis, Benner adds. “It means that many, many things are wrong in terms of how we view molecules in the biological system.”

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101202/full/news.2010.645.html

        Though I disagree with Benner etc as I see lines of evidence suggesting strongly that arsenate is being incorporated into DNA, partly due the (indirect) presence of arsenate in other biomolecules taking the place of phosphates. But of course, it actually does need to be shown directly that arsenates are being incorporated into DNA. And interestingly, there’s also the 40% drop in growth rates observed in the As growth medium, which probably ties into possibly lower energy released by breaking the arsenate ester bonds and removing water from the cytosol or mitigating it’s effects on arsenate ester bond stability.

  12. Draco T Bastard 14

    Cost keeps doctors at bay

    Six per cent of Kiwis had major problems paying medical bills, compared with 9 per cent or less in all other countries apart from the US at 20 per cent.

    More proof that private medical system such as the US use just doesn’t measure up and that we still need to look at our. IMO, doctors visits need to be free.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      I would suggest that money and effort should be put instead into measures which help keep people healthy in the first place and away from unnecessary medical visits.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        both

        • Vicky32 14.1.1.1

          Both, yes! Sometimes lifestyle changes just can’t cut it (I have Rheumatoid arthritis, which has absolutely got nothing to do with lifestyle, one person’s claim notwithstanding! I can’t afford a doctor but don’t need one (yet) thank God!
          Deb

  13. BLiP 15

    Mass-mirroring Wikileaks

    Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack.

    In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, we need your help. If you have a unix-based server which is hosting a website on the Internet and you want to give wikileaks some of your hosting resources, you can help!

    Please follow the following instructions:

    * Setup an account where we can upload files using RSYNC+SSH (preferred) or FTP

    * Put our SSH key in this server or create an FTP account

    * Create a virtual host in your web server, which, for example, can be wikileaks.yourdomain.com

    * send the IP address of your server to us, and the path where we should upload the content. (just fill the form below)

    We will take care of all the rest: Sending pages to your server, updating them each time data is released, maintaining a list of such mirrors. If your server is down or if the account don’t work anymore, we will automatically remove your server from the list.

    Our content is only html/css/javascript/png static files, so we don’t require much resource to host it.

    The complete website should not take more than a couple of GB at the moment (with base website and cablegate data)

    To add your mirror to the list, please download the SSH key you will find below, then fill the following form to add your website to our mirror list.

    http://46.59.1.2/mass-mirror.html

    • BLiP 15.1

      Ooops – While I am a fervent supporter, the “we” is “they”. I should’ve put the message in quotes.

    • lprent 15.2

      Good to know. I’ll discuss this with the others to see what we can do (but not on our primary site).

      One of the things I like about wikileaks is that they have been generally responsible in my opinion about what and how they publish leaks with the redaction (in fact the level of redact seems to be the main cause of internal argument). Since this type of leaking will continue given that we have public nets, I’d prefer them to do it compared to possible alternatives.

      Imagine someone like Whale in charge of a leak site… The fact content would be obscured by the bullshit added on top.

    • anarcho 15.3

      another link to wikileaks mirrors etc..

      http://wikileaks.c4ss.org/

  14. ianmac 16

    Reminds me of that 3 egg cups trick. Under which egg cup is the prize? Now you see it now you don’t.
    Wish I had a server to help. Good luck.

  15. Colonial Viper 17

    US Unemployment Back to April 2010 Highs Even as Corporates Profit

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/04/business/economy/04jobs.html

    Bill and John are kidding themselves if they think the economic situation is improving next year. US, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Iceland are still going to be in a morass, and that’s without any new and unexpected shocks.

    Labour has got to push the innovative, resilient economy narrative. The NATs have no plan, Labour has got a courageous and practical plan. And not just that, that LAB will follow through that plan very fast with leadership and initiative once in Government.

    • ZeeBop 17.1

      Just listen to the ceo of peak river say implicitly that the mine will return, before we know anything, the guy is promising to have methane testers etc all up and running. Unfortuately the report managed to create a great question, that implementation of safety was exposed, but didn’t actually ask that question. Allowing the ceo to redirect the question to subordinates, some who might be dead now! Now nobody is expecting him to have all the answers, but then why give promises, why be so self assured, why the PR narrative that the mine will get going again.

      That’s the problem with a generation of managers who got experience in a world of cheap oil and cheap finance, where it mattered a lot to keep the narrative clean and upbeat otherwise you won’t have a job.

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