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Open mike 06/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 6th, 2011 - 56 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…

56 comments on “Open mike 06/06/2011”

  1. The Voice of Reason 1

    A lucky escape for Israel overnight. A bunch of unarmed civilians nearly bought down the whole zionist apparatus merely by walking down a hill. Luckily the IDF was there to kill them, so it all ended well.
     
     

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Looks like the Israelis showed more restraint than the Syrians would have if the situation was reversed.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        Um, I think you’ll find the response was almost identical, HS. Unarmed civilian protesters killed by a fascist regime. Doesn’t matter who does it, its pathetic and cowardly.

      • prism 1.1.2

        higherstandard – Diminishing something of importance by comparing it to something similar results in the attention moving from the original. Perhaps somebody should formulate a scale of atrocities using numbers from 1 to 10 as with earthquakes. It would have to be divided into two subsets – large atrocities that could take in mass rapes, murders, gassing and small to medium atrocities (SMAs) for individuals and small groups. The criteria should be that the atrocities would be human-made and not bring in tsunamis, volcanoes etc.

        Then there could be a lot of interesting discussion on where to place atrocities that might be on the edges of either scale. This might promote a higher standard of information and understanding.

      • Jenny 1.1.3

        “Looks like the Israelis showed more restraint than the Syrians would have if the situation was reversed.”

        higherstandard

        Hardly higherstandard, they are more like the different sides of the same coin. As the media has reported, the Syrian forces have joined the Israelis in trying to prevent these protests.

        From the conservative Hearst owned Connecticut Post:
        Syrian police block protesters from Israeli border.

        “On Monday, Syrian police blocked dozens of protesters from approaching the Israeli frontier, apparently fearing a repeat of the deadly clashes a day earlier.”

        Connecticut Post

        Despite this report from the Hearst owned media, claiming “apparently” the reason for Syrian forces keeping protesters away from Israeli border, is Syrian concern for the welfare of the protesters.

        This right wing conjecture is just not credible. The whole world has witnessed that the Syrian state forces are just as unconcerned about the unjustified killing of unarmed civilian protesters as the Israelis.

        A more credible “apparent reason”; Is that these two brutal regimes are prepared to complement and back each other up. Especially when it comes to violently suppressing unarmed civilian protesters that dare to challenge either of these state’s legitimacy.

    • William Joyce 1.2

      It was an act of misdirection.
      No such protests on Israel’s other “borders”. Only on the Syria “border”. Could it be the Syrian state fomenting “trouble” to take eyes of what it’s doing to it’s own people? Nothing like promoting an outrage at  “a common enemy” to get national cohesion and divert attention.
      Like so many claims made in this arena, only time will tell if the claims of deaths are true. Time for the truth to be known and considered is always in short supply in the 24 hour news cycle.
      HS has a point – whatever you may think of Israel, it is more likely to show restraint than some of it’s neighbours.
      That’s not to say they have not shed innocent blood – just a matter of degrees.
      I reserve judgement for now.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1

        The IDF spokesperson has admitted shooting “at the feet” of protesters, William, as if that makes a blind bit of difference or was actually possible in the circumstances. That deaths follow from such unwarranted brutality could hardly be surprising.

        It is not just the Syrian ‘border’ that has had protests. Gaza, Lebanon and Egypt have held similar protests in the last two weeks.

        In fact, there was an incursion over the ‘border’ two weeks ago that ended when the protesters got bored and went home. But the IDF were deeply embarrassed by the incident and hence had to shoot people today to make themselves feel better.
         
        Much like children who are bullied at home go one to become bullies to their own children, Israel has learned fuck all that is good from their own history.

        • William Joyce 1.2.1.1

          Tick tock, VOR.
          Those of us who are not possessed with your omniscience just have to wait.

      • Morrissey 1.2.2

        whatever you may think of Israel, it is more likely to show restraint than some of it’s neighbours.

        Nonsense. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Instead of wasting everyone’s time by flaunting your blithering ignorance, why don’t you head down to your local library, take out one or two books on Israel and Palestine, and start reading?

        Seriously, my friend, you need to do that. Because you know nothing.

  2. logie97 2

    I checked the list this morning, just in case.
    Nope, my name wasn’t there again this year.
    Anyone else feeling a little deflated.
    I guess The Penguin might be.
    But then “Svcs to B..sh.t” isn’t a category.
    Perhaps we could help by suggesting categories
    that might get him there.

  3. Olwyn 3

    Surprising to find this in the Herald: taken from the Independent, Johann Hari’s scathing attack on the IMF, with particular attention to Malawi:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10730205

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      It is surprising, now hopefully it becomes common knowledge that the IMF has been dictating terms that have made the poor nations worse off while helping out rich bankers.

      • prism 3.1.1

        The IMF made a poor South American country, Peru I think, privatise its water so that the poor were denied this essential when they were particularly impoverished.

    • marsman 3.2

      The IMF demanded Vietnam abolish free schooling in return for a loan.

  4. It’s hard to stay strong with all these freakin aftershocks.

  5. jackal 5

    Fish Start Dying

    Last week thousands of dead fish were found at Taal Lake in Talisay, Batangas, south of Manila. The mass die off raises further concerns over the effects of climate change, which looks set to have serious consequences for the aquaculture industry. NZ currently earns more than $1.3 billion each year by exporting fish and shellfish to other countries.

  6. jackal 6

    Free Speech Coalition

    It’s obvious that the Free Speech Coalition should be more appropriately titled. Don’t let their deceptive name trick you though; the American based Free Speech Coalition has nothing to do with freedom of speech. In fact one of the NZ branch trustees of the international organization, David Farrar is a strong believer in suppressing speech, especially when it’s directed against him or those he supports, namely the National Party of New Zealand.

  7. ZeeBop 7

    Election in Nov. Say the ACT party fails to win Epsom. Dunne doesn’t
    matter he sits with whomever. Greens, Maori, Mana. No NZF.
    So my question is if these three parties gang together and sit to
    the ‘left’ of Labour essential in the middle ground politically because
    after thirty years we have no left-wing politic, the few left wingers
    allowed at the table have to argue from economics rather than
    from individual principles of well being.
    The population will have said no to rancid extreme nazi propaganda.
    And National being the far right of center, Labour being the right of
    center, we could see the emergence of a moderate middle of
    the ground grouping in parliament.

    Its sad I live in a country that believe the highest goal is profit,
    and the only way to make profit is to export the best. This is
    both self-destructive and inane, since we should be exporting
    the refuse, the off cuts, the over capacity, and living off the best.
    Its like the farmer who keeps breeding the beef but never
    gets to eat it, and then borrows to by more cows rather than
    breeds from the best beef. This is how our economy works when
    the farm sector and housing has so much debt, people cannot
    afford the best housing, so National come along and lower the
    standards of housing, or let banks lend even more money to
    the farmers keen to leverage rather than grow organically.

    Our system of economic legislation rewards the weeds and
    scares the quality from NZ. A drive to quantity, the mantra of
    the last thirty years, without accumulating the benefits of that
    wealth, instead letting farmers and households borrow more
    rather than working better, has led to a weed hollow economy
    led by weedy hollow tinkerers in parliament.

  8. prism 8

    NZ and the world advancing intelligently? Catching hot ideas in a butterfly net this week.

    1 This week there was a report by Scion who have been treating human sewage and making vinegar from it. This can be used in many ways. Info can be found on google using term –
    nz scion tech sewage to vinegar. The info there has a complicated address to a PDF which carries a quick view.
    Scion background link

    2 The war against drugs hasn’t worked in the world context. Someone has dared to write the words on the wall big enough so that anyone can read them. Many people make good money operating in the present system so change will have to be forced through against their resistance.
    Maybe we will get some useful changes in NZ if everybody else, or Australia makes a move. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8393838/War-on-drugs-has-failed-say-former-heads-of-MI5-CPS-and-BBC.html

    3 The Otorohanga mayor along with other businessmen there have formed a working party that liaises with the local schools to help pupils, boys in particular, to get into trade training through transisition courses. An excellent idea which has reduced their unemployment to low numbers. They had been forced previously to seek trained workers from outside the town.

    Of course this idea isn’t new, it’s just with the local schools allowed so much flexibility under Tomorrows Schools, career advice and opportunities to use past transition programmes have not been taken up. If the government wanted to set the country up for prosperity, with busy, capable happy workers there would be widespread effort in key areas like this. Apprenticeships are only a subset of the training and preparation needs.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10575842
    Latest http://www.henwoodtrust.org.nz/otorohanga-leadership-in-dealing-with-youth-crime

    • William Joyce 8.1

      I noticed 1 & 2 this week as well.
      1. There are projects like this all over NZ (some of which have had govt funding) but need some sort of central planning (opps, was that a being bit socialist – just a minute…there’s armed police at the door…I’ll just….).
      What this country needs is some sort of New Zealand Inc that harvests these things and shepherds them to market. One is the capture of carbon in trees, microwaving it to charcoal and returning it to farms for soil conditioning.
      The problem with vinegar is the cultural issues with Maori and food but using it elsewhere could pass.
      2. This is one of those elephants in the room that no elected official wants to touch. As you point out, way too much money vested in it (esp in the US).
      It is something of a failure of late 20th century morals and it would be hard to convince people to relax and shift the issue from one of a criminal problem to a health problem. Nobody wants to admit mistakes or failure especially given the amount of resources and energy the west has invested in it already.
      Then there is the social engineering that has come our way to consider recreational drugs as an evil. It would take some balls for a pollie to stand-up and say we have to backtrack and rethink it.

      • prism 8.1.1

        William Joyce – Yeah you make good points. If you read about the vinegar I think there are some interesting possibilities besides thinking of it as a food.

        The shepherding business stuff is right on. More patriotic NZ bonds at low interest, government guaranteed, to provide investment. Another fund, specially exciting one for higher risk cutting edge new business stuff that people would be encouraged to put a low percentage of their investment portfolio into so they didn’t lose squids would be good. Then there could be share splitting in the successful businesses so that the original investors would have the opportunity to get more shares if seemed favourable and that would raise some more capital that was available locally. It would be like having a flutter on the horses only with more than one winner and many places, and be a hell of a boost to the economy.

        The pollies are constipated with their past ideas and unwilling to invest in thinking of how to intelligently and practically deal with drugs etc. I liked a bit in Seinfeld where George who felt he was becoming a complete loser, had the brainwave to turn this round and do everything the opposite way to before, thus hopefully becoming a constant winner! A high aim, but a change of outlook on losing policies with a special projects fund for pilot programs doing things a new way that if successful would be immediately implemented once the planning had been done would be excellent. And the results wouldn’t have to be 100 per cent better to be regarded as successful. That’s a killer. Look at the critical lukewarm approach to programs against crime recidivism. If a crim slips on a banana skin, falls and damages the pavement, it is regarded as a Bad Thing that shows that the habilitation program has been unsuccessful.

        Government also needs to fund education that is meaningful to the citizens, from trade training to informing all citizens about what is needed and getting them on board. And even funding interest learning as in night classes which in remote areas would strengthen community as well as new skills. What pollies think is all inward looking, ‘How can my party get in, stir the pot, get the plums and get massaged in the Beemers’. (Rant.)

  9. prism 9

    There are more ways to wage warfare country v country than seen in World War 2. Now Germany has just about wrecked the southern Spanish horticultural economy, and one would hope that the wine market is not affected. They will recover but don’t know that they are so wealthy that they can carry a downturn in income and the cost of waste product disposal without severe pain.

    I’m not sure who first said the word Spanish and cucumbers but they need their lips taped up.

    By the way vicky 32, I put a long comment re Churchill and WW2 on 5/6 Mike.

  10. prism 10

    After thinking about WW2 and behind the lines agents Oz reporter Phil Kafcaloudes from Melbourne whose news from Australia is on Radionz morning report Mondays before 9am, has written a book on one of his relations who was an actress and was trained as a spy and worked in Greece helping Nz airmen and others escape. They have been talking about it on Matinee Idle. These real stories are fascinating.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Want more cash in your pocket? Live in a neighborhood with good transportation options

    A report released Thursday by the House Democratic Livable Communities Task Force recognized that families living in auto-dependent neighborhoods spend significantly more money on transportation, with fewer dollars available for health care, food, and other family expenses.

    US centric (because nobody seems to do similar research here) but the results should probably transfer across reasonably well. It clearly shows that people have less if they’re dependent upon owning a car for transport which raises the question of why the government (local and national) keeps building more road dependent sprawling neighbourhoods. It’s bad for the environment (more GHG emissions), bad for the economy (uses excess resources that could be better utilised) and bad for the people (because of the former two plus the added expenses of having to live in sprawling neighbourhoods).

    • ZeeBop 11.1

      NZ should sell it excess, not like now where we sell the best of the best. Its like a farmer who sells his worst seed and resows with his best. As NZ has gone for profits it has left most NZ behind and out of the loop. Had the best foods being sold to kiwis we’d have a deep rich food culture producing world class chefs and drawing wealthy tourism for our cuisine. If we had not gone for short term profits, it would have built a motorway system fifty years ago and be building local transport systems today with the money now earmark for roads. If only we had not spent so much time starting the conversation with we can’t afford it, fact is the technology is tried and true, roads, rail, trams, they work, they benefit the society for generations to come. Building higher standard homes instead of lowering standards and producing the leaky home crisis. Why only now are we seeing double glazing in homes! Because we start our conversations with how the poor are bludgers to distract from the delusional parasite elites who cheapen everything they touch.
      If you build they will come. If you squander wealth you will reap a hollowed out economy.
      welcome to NZ

  12. The Voice of Reason 12

    Meanwhile, in the land of the free, feeding the homeless just became a crime.

    • Jum 12.1

      America is only the land of the free, The Voice of Reason, if they plonk their right hand on their left side (which to me is far too close to being a lazy zeig heil!) and don’t notice those starving people because starving people aren’t meant to exist in the cloud of righteousness that is the religious/pornographic loving America. That is a sign of failure of the very same capitalistic, moneytrader ideology which New Zealand, under the self-willed, tunnel-visioned greedy John Key, is seeking to emulate as we ‘speak’.

  13. Jum 13

    TITLE:

    Minimum wage set to rise by $19.40 a week
    PORTFOLIO: Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
    URL: http://www.deewr.gov.au/ministers/evans/media/releases/pages/article_110603_132831.aspx
    SNIPPET: The Minister for Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed today’s decision by Fair Work Australia to assist the lowest paid in our community by raising minimum wages by $19.40 a week. This decision will be welcomed by those workers on low incomes who are doing it tough, Senator Evans said. The decision by Fair Work Australia lifts the National Minimum Wage to $589.30 per week, an increase of 3.4 per cent.

    • prism 14.1

      Bunji – Absolutely. Written by someone from the Methodist Mission who speaks facts and understands the welfare requirements and system of NZ. No hand-wringing vague theories with no personal knowledge or experience. The Working Group are just digging over old ground – ground that was a dump originally – so they have brought up a miscellaneous pile of rubbish and the thing that is gall to our minds is that we all have paid squids for these farcical endeavours.

    • William Joyce 14.2

      Very good read, balanced read. Especially the myth busting bullet points. I wish more people (esp the msm) would read this instead of letting National perpetuate myths that are designed to resonate only with the ignorant.
       
      On a related topic….I had the bizarre experience in finding sympathy with some of what Paula Bennett was saying about welfare reforms on Q+A. It was quite disconcerting! It was like the ignorance-is-bliss of the Matrix was calling out to me to return.
      There was this humane, restorative, dignity upholding approach to welfare coming out of the mouth of a National government minister. She was using some of the right words and yet…..she is a National government minister.
      Yikes!
      “You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
       

  14. Jum 15

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1106/S00034/new-project-targets-inequality-in-new-zealand.htm

    They talk about equality in 1981, which is 20 years ago. There was no equality for women in 1981. There still isn’t. Let’s not kid ourselves that women have ever been treated as equals in New Zealand, ever.

    • Carol 15.1

      Good point, Jum and interesting link. But 1981 was actually 30 years ago – a long time for no fix.

      • Jum 15.1.1

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1106/S00070/so-much-for-equal-employment-opportunities.htm

        Thanks, Carol. I realised I’d typed 1981 and didn’t bother to amend it because I doubted anyone was listening. You’ve brought back my faith.

        • rosy 15.1.1.1

          Hopefully all those women, Maori, immigrants, disabled who voted NAct last time now realise they voted for their own marginalisation.

          btw – Jum, I always read your comments. Love your outlook.

          • Adele 15.1.1.1.1

            Teenaa koe, Rosy

            The marginalisation of Māori women began when her worldview was stomped over by both the male and the female coloniser. The ideology that drives both the left and the right of the political spectrum, when laid bare, looks the same from her perspective – pink with superior overtones.

            • rosy 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi Adele
              I have no intention whatsoever of suggesting that Maori women can be compensated for colonisation by any political party. It is simply from a employment opportunities perspective – employment is difficult enough for women, Maori, the disabled and immigrants in employment now, without having the only organisational overview extinguished. That’s all.

            • Jum 15.1.1.1.1.2

              Adele,

              We’ve had this debate before Adele; it turned out that you were the person with the superiority complex.

              • Adele

                Teenaa koe, Jum

                What has my notions of superiority got to do with the subject at hand. We are currently debating the marginalisation of Māori women. Your input is left-field unless this is your way of saying kiaora.

  15. jackal 16

    Asshole of the Week Award – Paul Henry

    I’m pigeon holing Paul Henry as the quintessential rich prick! He offensively displays hoity-toity arrogance more suited to the 17th Century and typifies all that is wrong with mainstream media. Paul’s statements are crass and should be the exception to the rule, not the norm. Sadly New Zealand’s media and politicians too readily utilize and accept his type of behaviour, foisting it onto a desensitised public. The net result is a country where bigotries like Paul Henry’s rule the day.

    • Jum 16.1

      My sister thinks he’s funny. I think he’s extremely dangerous to the future of a united and equal New Zealand. Unfortunately, Jackal, I’m in the minority. He’s being primed for a re-release on television just before the 2011 election, by the right. Watch for it.

      • ZeeBop 16.1.1

        As per usual. Cheeky darkies. In a country of 4 million there must be more talent that the current pool of right wing tv media shock jocks. The plain simple fact is the advertisers want right wing talkfest and so the Holmes, Espinor, Henry get the nod. Broadband community TV could open up the air ways to moderate voices who would never invite the likes of Rankin. Too often they just pick a clueless rightwinger and have them spout nasty innuendo dressed up as policy.

        • R 16.1.1.1

          Not sure if the highlight-to-quote-thing works on here, so

          ‘nasty innuendo dressed up as policy’

          isn’t that NAct policy, these days? Seriously!

    • Bob 16.2

      Maybe it should be Asshole of the year award for Paul , i mean he is very deserving , he could polish it and show it off to all his Nact mates . Then again theyd all want one .

    • Herodotus 16.3

      Funny how PH was the only casuality, not one boss walked the blank with PH. Those baying for his blood and got it have all gone quiet, where are the discipline and the warnings issued by management to PH for his previous indiscretions? From trailing thru the net there ais no mention of any. So management must have been supportive of PH’s behaviour.
      It appears the sacking of PH was all political, if not, as stated before why has the issue died and no one else held acountable of the actions?

    • prism 16.4

      hey jackal – how do you mean that Paul Henry is effeminate? I didn’t notice that. Is it his furniture placing fetish? Your language is pretty fruity too, you might be coming under his evil influence. Beware.

  16. Herodotus 17

    If someone else has commented appologies as I have not read anything on this.
    Are The Greens this neive???
    They want to increase their support withi Jafaland yet have only 1 of their top ten list candiates living within the area. How will they expect to increase their profile when the number of candiates is in the token gesture category. In their good old days (display some form of standing for their values) Jafaland had a large % of MP’s. Now to me it is “we want your votes but if you want to talk to us there is someone somewhere within Jafaland” 1 MP to cover 1/4-1/3 of the pop. I think somewhere within The Greens engine room they have made a boo boo.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10730510

    • felix 17.1

      Maybe they’ve come to their senses and realised that they need a strong Labour turnout in Auckland.

      • Herodotus 17.1.1

        A canibalism of Green votes by Labour (given Mana party votes = Mp’s), then 3-4% of left votes could not count. And depending upon NZ1 (If you are led to believe that this is a leftish party and not a personnel vendetta by WP aginst the blue team) then the left could sacrifice 15% of their vote, leaving National only requiring 42+% to regain office.

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          Yeah but by the same token if you pulled a different set of numbers out of your armpit you’d get a totally different result.

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