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Open mike 06/10/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 6th, 2012 - 64 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…

64 comments on “Open mike 06/10/2012”

  1. BLiP 2

    .

    Picked up a copy of the Wilkinson/Pickett updated “The Spirit Level” which has additional data and counter-arguments to the idiocy which masqueraded as criticism of the original issue. If you are unable to trust the conclusions, at least gather the courage to examine the data: its irrefutable. Interesting also in just how prescient the 1980 Brandt Report was in its conclusion that fixing what ails society is intricately bound up with the environment. Alas, it seems only a catastrophe will be sufficient to spur anything other than lip service – if we’re still around and functioning as a society.

    • karol 2.1

      Thanks for the recommendation.  The wiki page on the Brandt Report, doesn’t mention the environment – its more about the north (developed, manufacturing based countries)- south (providing raw materials) divide.

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        .

        I took a liberty – the environment issue was less of an overt official conclusion and more of a basis for discussion which has stemmed from the report’s data. The prescience is my interpretation rather than a statement of fact, although I am not alone in this regard. Still, thanks for checking and pulling me up on it. Here’s something which might elucidate:

        . . . Two decades ago, the Brandt Commission reports, North-South and Common Crisis offered the international community a forward-looking plan for balancing the creation of wealth with the provision of public goods and the preservation of the environment . . .

        From here: http://www.brandt21forum.info/

  2. Logie97 3

    According to the Herald, this guy made a comment about Dotcom in passing to Key.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838732
    Quote…
    “The PM confirmed that the chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, Chris Dodd, had raised the Dotcom Megaupload issue “in passing” during the dinner.

    “He just essentially noted that the case was ongoing in New Zealand, and I just confirmed that and said yes. He didn’t dwell on that.”
    … unquote

    They didn’t dwell on it ???

    Quote …
    Mr Key said the studio heads at the dinner “talked a bit about intellectual property, but really more in the context of TPP and those negotiations”.

    “Obviously they’re making the case that they invest hugely in the creation of intellectual property and it’s critically important for their capacity to continue to be able to invest for that intellectual property to be protected.”… unquote

    Would seem to be a bit more than just a passing comment, Mr Key.

    • karol 3.1

      Ah, now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty – the TPPA and intellectual copyright – and Aussie, Canada, NZ and the UK falling over each other to host the filming of Hollywood movies.
       
      The journalist is not presenting a balanced view of these issues, but it’s all the government’s view on these.  Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above?
       
      Meanwhile last night’s TV news was all focused on Key’s expensive dinners and celebrity photo ops (while many Kiwis on low income struggle just to put food on the table), and a once-over-lightly of the government-Dotcom tussle.

      • BLiP 3.1.1

        .

        . . . Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above? . . .

        Deliberate under resourcing on the part of the owners. The last thing they want is an informed readership. Far better to keep the punters placated with notions of “everything is okay, good people are onto it and taking care of your concerns, no need to worry your prettly little heads, oh look – celebrity”. Among the reasons for this approach is that readers are more likely to respond positively to advertising if they are not angered or thoughtful about something they might have read.

        I have to confess to being less than supportive of the MSM grunts but I do believe the majority are good people who want to present the full picture but lack the resources to provide it. And then there’s the whole “deep capture” thing as well. Long live the Fifth Estate – but perhaps we citizen journalists should help out the MSM wage slaves? Just wondering.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        Ah, now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty – the TPPA and intellectual copyright – and Aussie, Canada, NZ and the UK falling over each other to host the filming of Hollywood movies.

        Yep – the actual reason for Key to be in Hollywood.

        Why do MSM journos fall over themselves to “balance views” on, say, climate change, but not issues like the above?

        But they don’t. If they did then out of 1000 articles we’d get 999 telling us how bad it is and one which was an obvious load of bollocks from the Climate Science Coalition.

    • Logie97 3.2

      If he is visiting Hollywood in an official capacity, then perhaps every conversation is minuted and therefore we should, in the fullness of time, get a transcript…

      • freedom 3.2.1

        The PM made an obvious point on departure for LA LA Land that the dinner was a “purely social affair”. Yet it certainly sounds like Government business was openly discussed so roll out the minutes. Or is this just one more slip by the hamfistd haggard of Helensville and the MSM will let it slide.

        Oh and spreaking of hamfisted haggards, what the hell is with Armstrong’s declaration that the DotCom affair is all over and let’s just move on shall we as there is really nothing worth looking into and besides there are more inportant things to discuss like . . .

    • marsman 3.3

      The bit I liked about the John Key in Hollywood news coverage was the showing of tweets by Kim Dotcom e.g. ‘Keynochio reporting to his puppeteer Dodd’, that was the Patrick Gower report I think.

  3. And now there is a problem with Key’s comments about legal changes to the Immigration Act and the effect on Dotcom’s case.  It appears that the change in the law did not have the effect he said it did.

    The story is at  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838744

    How Key must hate the Dotcom case. Every day there is a new disaster for him …

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Although it is only just approaching the first anniversary of the second term, why has this John Tui Government got quite a distinct feel like it is the penultimate year of the third term??!

      No doubt the bankster in the seat of power has a few secret agenda but, being mired in one scandal and lie after another scandal and lie, this Tui government seems to have lost control of the legislative and policy agenda for the public record.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        this Tui government seems to have lost control of the legislative and policy agenda for the public record.

        Jim, that’s what happens when you are taking instructions from abroad, and the script loses a few pages.

        Our legislature and policy would almost exclusively be directed by offshore interests now!

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Our legislature and policy would almost exclusively be directed by offshore interests now!

          That’s what happens when we get empiricists (NACT) in power.

        • Jackal 4.1.1.2

          You’ve got to wonder about exactly how much “governance” National is doing while they’re spending most if not all of their time trying to cover their own asses?

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1

            I think you’ll find that National think that covering their own asses is governance.

    • freedom 4.2

      I think Haier Appliances will be changing their tack and putting a bid in for the PM’s media team instead of F&P, as the PM seems to have a more powerful spin cycle

    • ianmac 4.3

      John Key mutters and swears under his breath. “Now what!”
      “Sorry Prime Minister. We did warn you that what you were going to say about Citizenship was totally wrong.”
      “Yeah but Johnny Public trusts me. I reckon I can say anything and the suckers will believe me. A boyish grin a quick quip and they worship me. Hang on my every word. I am God to them all.”
      “Er Prime Minister. There are quite a few who are baying….”
      “Get out scum! How dare you criticise me! I am The Leader. Send that idiot to Afghanistan. Put him on mine disposal detail…”

    • deuto 4.4

      Graeme Edgeler now has an interesting post up at Public Address which provides more detail of the differences etc between the previous immigration legislation on residency visas and permits, and the changes that came into effect just before KDC moved to NZ in Dec 2010.

      http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/kim-dotcom-all-the-fault-of-the-immigration/

      Edgeler’s analysis explains why a cursory examination only of the before and after legislation could lead one to conclude that KDC would not have had protection from GCSB surveillance; but concludes that this is incorrect if the legislation is examined more fully. [haven’t put that well; see his actual post]. But what he also explains is why Key’s statements were incorrect.

      Another attempt at whitewash on Key’s part?

      Just read that Key is back in NZ in the next day or so as he is meeting the Singapore PM in Wellington on Monday. No Hawaii holiday this recess, it would seem. Could be another interesting week.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    John Roughan. All I can say after today’s howler column in the Herald is dear oh dear oh dear….

    The guy basically stakes out a position that would be comfortable to the right-of-ACT Libertarianz (guess he’ll be sure the Herald writes lots of glowing columns and editorials endorsing them in the lead up to the next election then).

    Auseful column, if only to show exactly how extreme right Roughan is. So much of the nonsense he writes suddenly makes sense.

    No point linking to his ruubbish; You’d be better off spending your time watching cartoons.

    A quick edit: I just see that economic dinosaur Fran O’Sullivan is having a tanty at quantative easing. Two of the neo-liberal yesterday having a rant in the paper as the world in 2012 leaves them behind stuck in the 1980s. Sad, but quite invigorating all at once.

    Both being flushed out and forced into clearly staking out such radically right wing positions shows that their days are over; increasingly they are no longer players – now they sound more like cranky old people observing from beyond the border.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The powers that be – i.e. those in the global billionaire banker/investor class – are quite willing to hang out to dry the idiot millionaires who, to date, have served as useful idiots facilitating the neolib programme.

      The top 0.01% are currently in the process of consuming the top 10%.

      O’Sullivan and Roughan have no clue.

  5. Dr Terry 6

    They might sound like “petulant young people” as well.

  6. Dv 7

    What happened to the big story of Tiwai point that was headlined yesterday in Stuff?
    It seems to have gone.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Was on the National Radio News this morning. David Cunliffe was given time to point out the connection between the walkout of up-for-sale Electricity and the disaster that the close down of Tiwai Point would be.

      • Dv 7.1.1

        Yes, but I thought such a big story would have some follow up in the print media , and there is/was NOTHING in the herald!

        • OneTrack 7.1.1.1

          The herald are too busy writing about dotCom. There isn’t any other news – is there?

    • tc 7.2

      Tiwai and Norse skoggs Kawerau reduction on demand ARE the real reasons MRP was parked, bashing those pesky maaris about dem water rights and getting Bill ‘ you’ve been a bad boy’ Blinglish to front the sham ‘consultations’ was pure diversions.

      The water rights is still an issue but it’s not the one that’s going to floor the price of wholesale electricity like these 2 power sucks will, and the Nats know that.

      Where’s some serious pieces on that in the MSM !

  7. RedBaron 8

    Reading Brian Gaynor in the Herald on Haier’s bid for F & P.

    Now here’s an idea for all those “Mum & Dad investors that are waiting on Power Company shares..” Any chance of some of our major kiwisaver and investment funds getting together burying out Haier (keeping a marketing relationship) and returning the company to largely NZ onwership. I believe that it has some solid intellectual property of the type that the government says it wants to encourage for the countrie’s benefit. Deal anyone?

    • millsy 8.1

      4 words: New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

      I am fully aware that the government is not supposed to direct the NZSF to by F and P, but this can be circumvented by pulling aside the chairman of its board and having a quiet whisper about how it would be a ‘win-win’ for all concerned if a large shareholding is purchased in our premier whiteware company to keep it in Kiwi ownership..

      Same thing could have been done with the Crafar farms.

      • BloodyOrphan 8.1.1

        Old Johny Sparkles should have thought about that 4 years ago.

        • tc 8.1.1.1

          Johnny sparkles probably did but why would he want to retain local ownership, he’s all about lining his foreign masters pockets, US, china whoever as long as its hollow.

          IMO the game was up for F&P once Haier were allowed in as that allowed them access to whatever R&D was going down, easy to replicate and mass produce a lot cheaper.

          Commodity industries are getting slaughtered by china and F&P isn’t a high margin, high quality brand like Miele, Bosch, Asko etc. I’ve heard they owe a lot to a large euro brand they’ve borrowed some ideas from over the years.

          All in all can’t say it’d be something I’d put the farm on being consumer demand driven also.

  8. Georgecom 9

    A team of 4 people collected over 200 signatures on the asset sale petition at an event this morning. Another 200 signatures toward the 300,000 needed.

    If there was another 4 such events around the country today thats an extra 1000 signatures. Week by week we get closer to John Key having to face a vote on the issue.

  9. A direct approach to John Ansell on Kiwiblog today 🙂

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/10/rotary_cancels_on_ansell.html#comment-1030809

    FYI

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Here you go John Ansell – perhaps you would like to respond directly on Kiwiblog?

    I’m sure that there will be a lot of interest in your reply?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    YET TO BE PUBLISHED COMMENT ON NBR REGARDING JOHN ANSELL’S PURPORTED SUPPORT FOR ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ansell-details-colourblind-state-launch-ck-130190#comment-587615

    If John Ansell so believes in ONE LAW FOR ALL – does he believe that John Banks and Don Brash should have equally been prosecuted for the strict liability offence (Securities Act s58 (3) ) of signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 which contained untrue statements?

    (To see copies of the above-mentioned Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 – check out http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz )

    Does John Ansell believe that ‘3 strikes and out’ should equally apply to ‘white collar’ criminals?

    If not – why not?

    On 24 September 2012 – the Commerce Select Committee of the ‘Highest Court in the Land’ – effectively decided that ‘one law for all’ does not apply to former and current ACT Party Leaders – Don Brash and John Banks.

    “The Commerce Committee has considered Petition 2011/5 of Penelope Mary Bright and 307 others, which requests “that the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the decisions regarding prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009”, and has no matters to bring to the attention of the House.”

    http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/E9BE559F-179A-4AB6-878379ECF71C2387/241261/DBSCH_SCR_5602_Petition20115ofPenelopeMaryBrightan.pdf

    Does John Ansell support John Banks effectively being politically protected – given that 5 out of 9 Commerce Select Committee members are National MPs?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/MPP/MPs/MPs/Default.htm?pf=CommitteeShortName&sf=Commerce&lgc=0

    Commerce Member Bakshi, Kanwaljit Singh National Party, List
    Commerce Member Borrows, Chester National Party, Whanganui
    Commerce Deputy-Chairperson Cosgrove, Clayton Labour Party, List
    Commerce Member Cunliffe, David Labour Party, New Lynn
    Commerce Member Curran, Clare Labour Party, Dunedin South
    Commerce Member Lotu-Iiga, Peseta Sam National Party, Maungakiekie
    Commerce Member Mathers, Mojo Green Party, List
    Commerce Member Mitchell, Mark National Party, Rodney
    Commerce Chairperson Young, Jonathan National Party, New Plymouth

    Does John Ansell support the House conducting an urgent inquiry into the decisions regarding prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009”?

    If not – why not?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  10. dancerwaitakere 11

    I seem to be having some problem access the standard on my Chrome browser.

    It says that there are too many redirect loops, I have cleared the cookies, I have also made sure that third party (whatever they are) things are allowed.

    Anyone able to help a brother out?

  11. ianmac 12

    I thought that this was well worth the listening time given the direction that our Government is taking us. Puts perspective on National Standards, League Tables, Child Poverty:
    Pasi Sahlberg – improving education
    Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) in Helsinki, Finland, and expert in educational reforms, training teachers, coaching schools and advising policy-makers, who is visiting New Zealand to speak at the annual meetings of the NZEI and PPTA. ”

    http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20121006-0815-pasi_sahlberg_-_improving_education-048.mp3

  12. Georgecom 13

    Quiz – Can you be the NZ Prime Minister?

    Answers at the bottom of the post.

    Q1. A Minister in your government is shown to have tried to hide election donations. The Minister denies all knowledge of receiving the money or the donor and ‘can’t remember, can’t recall’ the events. He is proven as lying on the matter. As Prime Minister do you:

    a. Investigate thoroughly and if the charge is substantiated, sack the Minister.
    b. Investigate and if the charge is substantiated, demote the Minister and warn him of the need for honesty.
    c. Do nothing, read nothing and try to avoid the issue.

    Q2. A Government spy agency is shown to have illegally eaves-dropped on a NZ citizen or resident. You were informed of the illegal eaves-dropping. As the Minister in charge of the agency do you:

    a. Make a full public disclosure and apology of the eaves-dropping and your lack of oversight. Get it fully investigated and offer your resignation if it shows you are at fault.
    b. Make a full public disclosure, get the matter investigated, explain your part in the event and how it will not happen again.
    c. Release as little detail as possible, blame other people and deny any involvement whatsoever.

    Answers
    a. If you answered “a”, congratulations, your leadership is what NZ needs. You should consider standing for Prime Minister
    b. If you answered “b”, you should consider standing for Prime Minister as you can bring a ‘higher standard’ to Government.
    c. If you answered “c”, then you ARE the prime minister.

  13. FYI folks!

    ANOTHER ‘YET TO BE PUBLISHED’ COMMENT ON NBR:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/scorecard-media-hungry-sfo-boss-feeley-checked-andready-weekend-review-gb-130168

    So – why didn’t Adam Feeley ensure that the SFO prosecute John Banks and Don Brash for signing Huljich Kiwisaver Registered Prospectuses date 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, which contained untrue statements?

    A strict liability offence under s.58 (3) of the Securities Act?

    Oh – of course – silly me.

    ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ doesn’t apply to those politicians who may be pivotal in holding the balance of power in this country ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt in the world’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’.

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

  14. NickS 15

    Ug.

    While I’m awake enough:

    Some of you probably think I’m pro-GE and to a certain extent I am, as 3 years of undergrad uni education + bits of pieces of readings in my own time have made clear the opportunities that genetic modification tools provide, along with the issues. So when confronted with downright stupidity over GMO’s that inflates risks beyond teh evidence, my reaction (influenced partly by my depression) is usually to whip out the clue-by-4 and have fun. And since the usual reaction to that from the anti-GMO crowd is usually to pull out more crap there’s usually not an opportunity to treat the subject matter fully, plus my depression causes me to loose interest a bit to often. Which leads unto no chances to actually discuss the damn work and implications.

    Especially when certain people go off on tangents about stuff, like how change in science is totes bad, which frankly is the same approach creationists and climate change denialists use to poo science.

    Anyhow, the work AgriReseach has done is actually pretty interesting in it’s own right as it makes use of microRNA’s to alter the expression of the target gene. How exactly? The technique makes use of part of our innate gene regulation and innate immune systems, by the name of RNAi, which was discovered in 1998. Depending on what sort of miRNA or a siRNA you use (dsRNA, anti-sense RNA) and the sequence of the RNA, you can get very fine control over gene expression. Usually though in biotech, this is used to greatly lower the expression of a targeted gene via methylation of the targeted gene, and with the right technique can cause inheritable epigenetic gene silencing. A hell of lot more reliably than the usual technique for knockout mutations, although RNAi still results in a very low basal level of expression. And while RNAi is promising as a medical tool for treatment of many cancer types, as well as viruses, unless you package it (say, in a virus, tailored to target a particular tissue type*… Or a bog standard cell membrane vesicle), the immune system will recognise and degrade it. Which means at present RNAi is limited to use on epithelial tissues, and anything close to the surface, or single cells (such as fungi, animal or plant cell cultures or gametes) so thus it probably wont be seeing any mainstream usage for a while.

    As for whether or not AgriResearch’s recent work has any utility, from a purely economic perspective, it’s ROI is pretty crap. As there’s already plenty of alternatives for those who suffer milk allergies already avaliable. In fact the market is probably not worth even trying for given the anti-GE phobia in our EU export markets, and indeed it will take decades to produce a sufficiently large enough herd via conventional breeding, plus there are uncertainties on how many generations the change in gene modification will last for. Although if we look at natural, stable hybrids and compare gene expression profiles vs human made ones, typically there’s very close patterns of gene expression, even when the natural and lab hybrids are breed over multiple generations. However, in terms of teh science, it’s a very useful test of RNAi techniques in a large mammal, which provides data on how well it works and potential issues, Like the calf’s missing tail.

    So yeah, frankly not the best idea to try and spin it as having dairy industry applications, but given the “your idea must make money” meme that’s infiltrated western universities and government research bodies since the 1980’s, it’s a trade off. One I’d rather do without actually, due to the costs involved to research, in which certain areas are potentially neglected and the pressure to spin research proposals and results towards profit making.

    And concerning risks, our environment is full of miRNA and siRNA’s from the food we eat and the bacteria and such we share our bodies with, but that’s what we have an innate immune system response for 😛 Plus rather awesome gene expression networks and cell suicide triggers. Anyhow though, chemically lab made RNAi sequences are no different from natural ones, so any risk claims centred on that alone should be ignored and the originator nommed on for essentialist stupidity.

    What matters is which gene is being targeted, what is it’s place in the gene expression network(s) it’s involved in and does the RNA being used have high specificity to the target gene or will it affect other genes?

    With other GMO’s, particularly plants, we need to also take into account escape risks, gene transfer into non-target populations, changes in post-translational protein modification, gene expression patterns, toxicity issues and organism health. Plus ye olde “who owns the fucking patent rights” and the environmental/economic impact of the GMO And no, I do not give a flaming goat to religious/cultural sensibilities vis anything with the phrase “unnatural”** and all synonymies. Because frankly they are useless for risk assessment.

    And of course, I hold to the precautionary principle, but with a modifier that asking for absolute safety is batshit insane vis epistemological uncertainty*** and a dislike for anything not backed by strong statistical analysis, preferably done via an independent team.

    Me go blob now /meeeeeeeh
    _______________________________________
    * In theory, pretty easy to do, as it’s merely a modification of present virus based GE techniques: take an immortalised animal cell, transform with viral genes, bar ones for packaging the viral genes, and instead get it to package up your RNA of choice and let stew until you have enough modified viral particles with your chosen payload.

    **Which carries with it all sorts of stupidity vis defining “natural”, vis philosophy of science and epistemology issues, which I boil down to “artificial is a subset of natural, and human culture/tech is just an extended phenotype”. i.e. death unto the whole “natural = good” meme…

    ***aka “philosophy is fun and melts your brain”

  15. joe90 16

    Paul Broun, a member of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology: Evolution, Embryology, Big Bang Theory Are “Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell”.

    Broun and Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, RWNJ fundamentalist young earth creationists with a belief that science is a tool of Satan, are tasked with overseeing science at the highest level of the US government.

  16. ianmac 17

    Paul Broun at highest level? Unbelievable. But wait. John Banks believes as Broun believes and is at the highest level as buddy to the high flying John Key. Amen.

    • NickS 17.1

      Not really surprising given the strong fundamentalist christian factions and fractions in the US 🙁

      • ianmac 17.1.1

        Just politely turned a Jehova Witness away at my door. Lovely smile from a nice appearing lady but potty in my book. She is welcome to her ideas but….
        Who was that Scottish madman who shouted through his front door to the pair of female evangelists waiting for him to answer his door.
        “I am naked! I have a huge erection and in 5 seconds I will open my door! 1, 2,3,……”

        • prism 17.1.1.1

          ianmac
          Was that a rhetorical question? Sounds like Billy Connolly. I could just imagine him putting that into his stand up routine.

  17. joe90 19

    Please let this be true.

    http://front.moveon.org/legal-analysis-outlines-potential-crime-in-mitt-romneys-financial-disclosures/

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/107160020/New-Legal-Analysis-Finds-Strong-Possibility-of-Romney-Criminal-Liability-for-Misrepresentation-He-Made-in-Federal-Financial-Disclosure-Filings-in-2011

    CONCLUSION

    The facts known about Gov. Romney’s role in Bain Capital entities after 1999 strongly suggest that Gov. Romney made a false statement in violation of the False Statements Act in categorically asserting, in 2011, on his Financial Disclosure Form, that since February 1999, he had not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way. At a minimum, the facts call out for a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice

    • OneTrack 19.1

      Are you worried Obama isn’t going to win except by default?

    • ianmac 19.2

      No doubt Mr Key will contact Mr Romney and explain the strategy of deniable ignorance and the usefulness of memory loss.

      On the other hand would Mr Obama already have known about the possible charges which may follow so he would be wise to lie low during the debate, and wait for a week or two.
      Aww fantasy!

  18. muzza 20

    Oh well, looks like NATO has successfully got a war “officially” started with Syria, using Turkey…

    Old news now I guess – Its all so staged, now its become like the staging is staged…

    • David H 20.1

      Yeah but if you go back and see how WW2 started then look at whats happening now then a WW3 ain’t far away.

      There was the global financial crises 1928- 1935 2007-20??
      lots of little wars
      over population
      bankers playing both ends against the middle
      big corporations selling to both sides
      arms dealers having a field day
      yep the hate mongers are having fun, and wars on the way.

      And when its all over the bankers and business men will congratulate each other and rape the losing sides land and resources.. The Military will be happy as they will have been able to play with all their toys and invent lots of new ones, due to the increase in budget.

    • Vicky32 20.2

      Oh well, looks like NATO has successfully got a war “officially” started with Syria, using Turkey

      So it would seem! My Turkish student came in late and terrified, I was told by his other teacher… he is less concerned about the rights and wrongs, and more worried about his girlfriend and family…
      Poor guy.
      The maddest story I’ve heard is that the Syrian regime was responsible for the shopping centre fire in Qatar. Do you know what became of that accusation, muzza?
       

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

    The problem with “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that, all too often, it’s used to shelter beliefs that should have been abandoned. It becomes shorthand for “I can say or think whatever I like” – and by extension, continuing to argue is somehow disrespectful. And this attitude feeds, I suggest, into the false equivalence between experts and non-experts that is an increasingly pernicious feature of our public discourse.

    Which is what I’ve been saying for awhile.

    • joe90 22.1

      League tables really are a wonderful idea…dontaren’t they?.

      can we have the edit function back ..please..

      • OneTrack 22.1.1

        Our teachers are only interested in the children so that sort of thing would never happen here.

        • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1

          Put in place what this government are as far as education goes and you put in place the incentives for corruption.

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    This year I have been focused on getting a better deal for kids and families with learning needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum. We had a Select Committee inquiry into the issues faced, but the Government was too ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders
    The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today. ...
    2 days ago
  • A Billion Better Things
    Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 days ago
  • Govt already in ‘holiday mode’ on $2.3b owed to Kiwi workers
    The Government is dragging its feet while working New Zealanders are still missing up to $2.3 billion collectively owed to them through underpaid holiday pay entitlements, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “The cover was blown on this issue ...
    2 days ago
  • Why is New Zealand still the exception on deposit protection?
    I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday. Why does the Reserve Bank continue to oppose protecting ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 days ago
  • Statement on proposed United Nations role
    “There has been a high degree of media interest in New Zealand about a possible post with the United Nations. “My name has been proposed to the United Nations Secretary General to be his Special Representative in South Sudan. ...
    2 days ago
  • David Shearer proposed for UN peacekeeping role
    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    2 days ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    3 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    3 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    3 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    3 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    4 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    5 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    5 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    5 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    7 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    1 week ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago