Open mike 07/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 7th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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26 comments on “Open mike 07/05/2010”

  1. Bored 1

    An American Chernobyl……… wont need to guess very hard to know what is refered to. There is an interesting article on this by Dimitri Orlov on Energy Bulletin.

    It poses the question of what demands our government would / does make of oil companies to ensure similar fiascos dont occur in the Taranaki area or in the Southern basin?

    • r0b 1.1

      Post scheduled on this in a couple of hours Bored.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2

      Recent supreme court case in the US said that ‘corporations are too persons too!’ and are thus deserving of first ammendment rights to free speech, and thus it is wrongity wrong wrong to prevent executives from spending shareholder’s money on propaganda.

      Persons in the US are also liable for the death penalty, which is neither cruel nor unnusual.

      Many upstanding right thinking conservative yet maverick leaders are currently suggesting that persons can be stripped of citizenship just on suspicion of associating with the terrist.

      Presdints are deciders. This has been shown to be true, constitutions notwithstanding.

      Seems options are unlimited as to what could be done.

      I suspect BP’s rights will be greatly defended however, it was regulations what done it.

    • prism 1.3

      No need. We have been assured that the controls we have over undersea drilling rigs is the finest in the world and extend to 200km extent of our exclusive zone. Also that the companies involved off South USA will be learning valuable lessons to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Begs the question, why didn’t they already know how to prevent it, they have been doing the business for long enough.

      One disaster is enough to wipe out a lot of things and leave a legacy of deteriorated environment and no matter how much money is thrown at that, you can never put the genie of unspoiled, vital environment back in the bottle. It’s a goner and costs the locals plenty while the suits and beamer (hummer?) boys move on to dirty some other area. We need to learn from Bhopal – the people there are still suffering. A large pay out to government and responsibility cleared!

  2. NickS 2

    And if I get a bit more time I’ll comment further on the following, but anyhow, Paul Walker’s got a critique up of the arguments made here, and by BERL and the unions, for building trains here instead of overseas:

    I just wish he’d linked to the sources for the quotes, since my quoting mining senses are tingling…

    • ianmac 2.1

      I was hoping that there was some substance there NickS, but it just seemed to be an opinion. From this or that engineers point of view a job is a job and his/her family are part of that. To suggest that the total economy is in some sort of balance and that national employment is not important is unconvincing, (and I do not belong to a union.)

      • NickS 2.1.1

        It don’t have much time, way too much uni-work to catch up on, but I think what Paul’s saying is that according to the data, as analysed by economists, suggests strongly that actions such as tariffs do not impact on the overall job numbers in the long-term, and that what happens is that jobs instead form in “sustainable” areas where a nation has an competitive advantage. He adds in a quote from Krugman to give it extra rhetorical punch, given Krugman’s associated strongly with the left.

        The problem is that he doesn’t explain why the choice to build the train here fits into the category of economic policies these economists are talking about, and by doing this, it doesn’t help provide us with reasons to doubt the BERL report. To which what he should do, on top of further explaining the above, is show the forecasts BERL have made are flawed methodologically and/or in the conclusions they draw from the data and analysis they’ve done.

        Oh, and bloody link to the original sources so we can see them in the context they were made in.

        But I have the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to read through right now…

      • Paul Walker 2.1.2

        How did you reach that conclusion from what I wrote?

        • NickS

          Which post is that aimed at Paul?

          • Paul Walker

            “Which post is that aimed at Paul?”

            Sorry, this one

            7 May 2010 at 10:35 am

            I was hoping that there was some substance there NickS, but it just seemed to be an opinion. From this or that engineers point of view a job is a job and his/her family are part of that. To suggest that the total economy is in some sort of balance and that national employment is not important is unconvincing, (and I do not belong to a union.)”

    • The Krugman quote comes from the American Economic Review, “What Do Undergrads Need to Know about Trade?”: 83(2) May 1993. Pages: 23-26. The Irwin quote comes from, if I remember correctly, his book “Free Trade Under Fire” and the LaHaye quote from

      • NickS 2.2.1

        Thanks Paul, I’ll try and read them up this weekend once I’ve caught up on a few things + got mendeley library sorted.

  3. ak 3

    Here we go. Dow below 10k.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yes, on a likely computer glitch. Sucks, but not “the big one” just yet.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        Computer glitch. How reassuring.

        Of course the burning of banks by angry mobs
        that have been all over the tvs in the last 24
        didn’t just make wall streeters pee their pants a little.
        Hell no.
        For they are uber, and mensch and not at all prone to panic.

        • Lanthanide

          “the catalyst for today’s extraordinary price swing (at one point the Dow lost almost 9 percent in less than an hour) may have been because a trader entered a ‘B’ for billions instead of an ‘M’ for millions on a trade of Procter and Gamble: ‘According to multiple sources, a trader entered a “b” for billion instead of an “m” for million in a trade possibly involving Procter & Gamble, a component in the Dow. (CNBC’s Jim Cramer noted suspicious price movement in P&G stock on air during the height of the market selloff).’ Unbelievable there are no safeguards to protect against this.”

          So, not so much a “computer glitch”, but human error. Of course that there are no safeguards is completely ridiculous. If this is indeed true, all shareholders that lost money as a result of this should sue the stock exchange.

  4. prism 4

    Tuhoe Isaac is speaking after 10am this morning on NatRadio. He is always worth listening to – knows what he is talking about. He has a lot of knowledge about those on the edge of criminality and gangs especially Maori. I remember a quote when he was talking about running work groups – some of the boys would go and rob a bank in their lunch hour!

    Don’t hear much about people who live this way, and what makes them tick.
    So give an ear, it will probably be both interesting and informative.

  5. r0b 5

    Tigger – moved your comment on the UK election to the new post.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Not nearly enough trained Afghans are available to take control of key Taliban strongholds like Marjah after the military has pushed out the enemy, U.S. officials told a Senate panel on Thursday.

    The lack of competent local officials in southern Afghanistan could frustrate Washington’s aims in the region, and keep the U.S. on the hook – financially and militarily – for several years to come. President Barack Obama has pledged that American forces will begin their exit next year.

    Marjah was the last big ‘operation crucial turning point’ thing they did a few months back. Drove out the enemy. Yeehah. Then what? Nothing. That’s what.

    The next one is Kandahar, where the Taliban are even more popular.

    COIN is hard.

  7. ianmac 7

    It might be a bit late to win the hearts and minds and the culture shock for the training of Afghani troops must be huge. Apart from getting employment, wouldn’t it mean that a newly trained policeman/soldier would have to face attacking his own people? And history is against a “win.”
    Why are we there?

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Coz if we don’t fight them in Kandahar we’ll be fighting them in Khandallah, or some shit.

      Anyway, thing is, the plan isn’t working.

      • felix 7.1.1

        And if we don’t fight them in Baghlan, we’ll be fighting them in Raglan!

        If we don’t fight them in Ghor, we’ll be fighting them in, um, Gore.

        How many can you get? Answers on the back of a postcard etc.

  8. prosaic 8

    From propaganda from MP Nicky Wagner:

    “New Zealand has a long history of promoting nuclear disarmament and non proliferation. New Zealanders feel very strongly about the issue. I am pleased that we are seeing progress from the fresh impetuous given to this important cause by President Obama’

    PM John Key, Washington April 2010

    I wonder if he actually SAID ‘impetuous’?

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Great orange satan poll on the new Arizona Immigration law…

    Based on what you know or have heard about the new Arizona Immigration Law, do you favor or oppose it?

    Favor Oppose Not Sure

    ALL 53 36 11

    DEM 12 79 9
    REP 89 7 4
    IND 46 28 26

    WHITE 63 26 11
    LATINO 15 76 9
    BLACK 8 80 12

    Arizona now requires anyone passing through or living in their state to carry papers proving citizenship that can be produced at the command of any law enforcement officers. Do you approve or disapprove of this requirement?

    Approve Disapprove Not Sure

    ALL 48 44 8

    DEM 10 88 2
    REP 85 11 4
    IND 37 41 22

    WHITE 58 35 7
    LATINO 9 81 10
    BLACK 4 83 13

    Interesting how the numbers change when peeps are told what the law is, and asked if they approve, but ahm, there does seem to be some, err, issues, still with the white people.

    And the GOP of whom it is wrong to say they are racist, I’m told, and that it’s unfair to suggest they are a bunch proto-fasc1sts.

    papers please.

  10. NickS 10


    Inside us!

    Well, we’re talking about 1-4% of the current human genome is most likely from Neanderthal’s, as when we look at gene trees for certain genes in human populations outside of Africa, the roots for 12 don’t trace back to Africa in a time scale that matches homo sapiens migrations out of Africa that we know about/preserved in the genetic record. And of these genes, 10 are found to match up with known Neanderthal variants, and yes we now have a draft of the full Neanderthal genome.

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