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Open mike 07/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 7th, 2013 - 173 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

173 comments on “Open mike 07/06/2013 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Gordon MacLauchlan getting cranky in his dotage;
    Scorns classic sitcom, but endorses shallow fringe “academic”

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Wednesday 5 June 2013
    Jim Mora, Gordon MacLauchlan, Chris Wikaira

    Jim Mora’s chat show only rarely springs to life. Most of the time it consists of a small roster of “commentators”, few of them particularly well informed or even pleasant, commenting in anodyne fashion about trivial matters, or in a doggedly flippant way about serious matters. Every now and then, however, someone steps out of line and shows a bit of backbone; on such rare occasions, The Panel becomes something more than a sadly wasted opportunity.

    A few examples stand out for me; significantly, they all occurred several years ago. Anyone who heard these encounters will remember them, for they sizzled with the drama of forbidden conflict, and in each case reduced a powerful and arrogant opponent to either spluttering rage or sullen silence or (in one case) a groveling backdown.

    1.) Chris Trotter took the gloves off one afternoon and launched into special guest Mike Moore, challenging his vacuous neo-liberal rhetoric, and provoking Moore to ditch his nice guy mask and snarl on air, “You little [expletive deleted]!”

    2.) Gordon Campbell supplies not one but TWO highlights: on one occasion confounding the bullying ex-copper Graham Bell and on another confounding the jolly back-slapper Richard Griffin. On each occasion Campbell simply pointed out that they did not have a clue what they were talking about. A humiliated Bell retreated into a glowering, resentful silence, while Griffin made a groveling apology and retraction on the spot.

    3.) Bomber Bradbury one afternoon reduced National Party eminence grise Michelle Boag to teeth-gnashing fury when he rejected her assertion that we need to bribe the rich to stay in New Zealand, and then went on to dismiss her ability to pronounce on economic policy.

    4.) Gordon MacLauchlan suddenly lost patience with the hard right Nevil Gibson glibly declaring that the role of city councils was merely to pick up rubbish. “That’s RIDICULOUS, Nevil,” he said, and proceeded to school the doctrinaire dunderhead about the necessity for and the complexity of council functions, carefully established over generations, of public services like libraries, parks and festivals. Nevil Gibson simply did not have a coherent response to offer, and lapsed into a silence closely resembling stupidity.

    Since those halcyon days, sadly, much has changed. Gordon Campbell has never appeared again since his blocking of Graham Bell, and Bomber Bradbury was banned outright for the crime of criticizing the prime minister. Chris Trotter goes out of his way to be conciliatory and “measured”; he might as well be asleep. And Gordon MacLauchlan has, alas, never recaptured that fire which enabled him to slice, dice and fillet Nevil Gibson with such panache.

    But still, when I learned that Gordon MacLauchlan was a guest on The Panel this afternoon, I hoped against hope that he would recapture some of that past form. Alas, it was not to be….

    Three decades ago, Gordon MacLauchlan took it upon himself to compile and edit ‪The Acid Test‬: ‪an Anthology of New Zealand Humorous Writing‬. One would think that someone who presumed to undertake such a task would have something of value to contribute; in fact anyone who reads his acerbic little introductory essay will realize that his observations on comedy are pedestrian and obvious; like another self-styled “curmudgeon”, Tom Frewen, when it comes to criticizing comedy, MacLauchlan lacks something crucial: a sense of humor. As we will see after Chris Wikaira’s “Soapbox” contribution, MacLauchlan is also a fogeyish, fustian fellow, full of fear and loathing of Māori, or at least those Māori who don’t know their place.

    First, though, let’s see him display his erudition and judgement on the subject of television comedy….

    JIM MORA: What else is the world talking about?
    SUSAN BALDACCI: We have another survey today, Jim!
    JIM MORA: Another highly important survey! Ha ha ha ha ha!
    SUSAN BALDACCI: Well, actually, this one’s a list! They’ve asked people which are the ten best-written television shows in the whole history of television.
    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    SUSAN BALDACCI: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    SUSAN BALDACCI: Ha ha ha ha ha! Well, it turns out the top two are The Sopranos and Seinfeld.
    GORDON MacLAUCHLAN: [fervently] Oh yes!
    MORA: Oh yes, The Sopranos and Seinfeld! Yes, yes, they’re brilliant!
    SUSAN BALDACCI: And in third place was The Twilight Zone.
    MORA: Oh! The Twilight Zone was third, was it?
    SUSAN BALDACCI: [with barely concealed irritation] Y-y-yes.
    GORDON MacLAUCHLAN: Are there any British shows on the list?
    SUSAN BALDACCI: Yes, but it’s a long way down the list—Upstairs, Downstairs.
    MORA: Oh, Upstairs, Downstairs is on the list, is it?
    SUSAN BALDACCI: [through clenched teeth] Yes it is on the list.
    GORDON MacLAUCHLAN: There are a LOT of brilliant British shows! Monty Python, for instance.
    MORA: Monty Python? Surely it’s a bit too anarchic and crazy for mainstream tastes, isn’t it?
    GORDON MacLAUCHLAN: [with deep reverence] Actually, Python is just BRILLIANT writing! It’s complex and well written. It is writing of the highest order! Python is brilliant! It leaves Cheers for dead.

    That foolish declaration was the first indication this afternoon that MacLauchlan’s judgement is in serious decline. But there was even worse to come….

    The Soapbox….

    JIM MORA: Time to find out what have our Panelists have been thinking. Chris Wikaira, what’s been on your mind?
    CHRIS WIKAIRA: I was astonished and perturbed to see Canterbury Law School academic David Round working himself up into a lather the other day about ideas like Māori “co-governance” with Pakeha. I get fed up with this alarmist hand-wringing, that always comes to nowt.
    MORA: [slowly, to indicate serious thought] But that’s not the core of objection to co-governance is it?
    CHRIS WIKAIRA: Is it not?
    MORA: [quietly, to indicate sincere concern] People are worried that it is undemocratic.

    In publicly contesting the utterances of the odious David Round, Wikaira was calling out one of the most virulent racists in not only academia, but in the whole country. As a Māori, and in particular as a Māori in the National Party, Wikaira will, sadly, be accustomed to being the target of glib, ill-informed and hostile rhetoric. But even Chris Wikaira would not have been prepared for Mora’s display of bloody-minded mischievousness and deliberate obtuseness. As Mora ground on with his reiteration of David Round’s fantasy, insinuating without any evidence that there are many “people” who think the very notion of Māori rights is “undemocratic”, Wikaira became more and more exasperated. There was a palpable sense of helplessness as well as anger; what CAN you do when the host is pouring forth such nonsense? What Chris Wikaira SHOULD have done, of course, was pin Mora down at the moment he started to repeat Round’s nonsense, and asked him to name the “people” who “worry” like that. But Wikaira was clearly not expecting a nominally liberal and ostensibly pleasant radio broadcaster to actually REPEAT the extremist rhetoric, he (Wikaira) was refuting.

    And then to compound things, silly old Gordon MacLauchlan weighed in on the side of David Round as well. He announced that what Round had said might actually have something going for it. It turns out that MacLauchlan has come across something that has confirmed his deep and principled and long-held suspicions about all this Maori rights stuff. What he had discovered was an article written by an Auckland University “Critical Theory” professor called Elizabeth Rata.

    An obscure and unrecognized denizen of the flakiest, least respected of all university departments, Elizabeth Rata has for years labored away under a rock, presumably vaporing on about absurdly recondite Lacanian theory or something else that nobody, including her, either understands or cares about. Late last year, Rata figured that it was time to venture forth from the Crit. Theory common-room and write something that would strike a chord with people—especially people too stupid or too old to know they were being conned by a “Critical Theorist” who had never written anything that had ever made a lick of sense. Stupid people, in other words, like ACT party theoreticians, Epsom voters and old Pākehā “liberals” like Gordon MacLauchlan. The gist of her article was this: the “politicization of grievances” by Māori has “set New Zealand back.” If ONLY they would sit down and be QUIET! And, …. well, that’s it.

    It was pretty much exactly the same as the infamous race-baiting crap written for Don “Brethren Cash” Brash to read out at that Orewa Rotary dinner in early 2004. Or the vile stuff that “Sir” Paul Holmes used to phone in for his ridiculous Herald column. MacLauchlan, who in many ways is a liberal, would be horrified to think that’s what he was endorsing, but that is in fact what he was endorsing. The old curmudgeon has obviously been looking for some kind of academic validation for his basic intolerance of those noisy and unpleasant Maori radicals who make New Zealand so different from the pleasant 1950s and 60s, when MacLauchlan was in his prime. And when that validation comes in the form of an attack on Māori written by an impressively credentialed “Critical Studies” academic—one with a Māori name to boot—he fell on it like it was Holy Writ.

    Chris Wikaira did manage to rally somewhat, pointing out that such dismissive views as those of Round and Rata lack not only empirical evidence but also lack intellectual rigor. He reminded McLauchlan that there was nothing new about co-governance or any of the other concepts that bigots like Round pretend to be frightened by; that Māori had operated in partnership with the Crown on projects up and down the country; and that co-governance was a sensible and inevitable result of negotiations under the Treaty of Waitangi. Of course, MacLauchlan knew that what Wikaira was saying was not just common sense, but simply the truth. But by naïvely endorsing that Elizabeth Rata excrescence, he had climbed too far out on a rotten limb to be able to climb down with any dignity. His response was sullen and ungenerous….

    MacLAUCHLAN: [sniffing resentfully] Yeah, I guess, yeah.
    WIKAIRA: [conciliatory, reasoning tone] I mean, co-governance is just what it’s going to evolve into.
    MacLAUCHLAN: [affecting to be unmollified] Well, hrrrrumph, Elizabeth Rata wrote a thought-provoking article. It’s an interesting point of view, actually. It’s a very interesting point of view.

    And then, just when you think it’s time he was turned over to the tender care of the same Home for the Terminally Bewildered that incarcerates Garth “Gaga” George, MacLauchlan comes up with something lucid and morally unimpeachable….

    MORA: All right, Gordon, what’s been on YOUR mind lately?

    MacLAUCHLAN: I’ve been mildly disconcerted by this Trans-Pacific partnership. It’s very, very disturbing. It’s profoundly anti-democratic, and it has people worried in the United States just as much as in New Zealand. Congress has been shut out of the process—but big business has access to the draft documents. Ron Kirk, until recently Obama’s top trade advise, says it has been kept secret because if the public understood it, it would lead to vast public anger. This is seriously anti-democratic and I am seriously disturbed by this.

    MORA: [light-hearted tone] These corporate people are pretty smart, they’ve been to charter schools, Gordon!

    MacLAUCHLAN: [unimpressed] Huh!

    • ak 1.1

      Thanks Morrissey! Saves us listening to the pretentious pomposity, and vastly more entertaining.

      • prism 1.1.1

        That’s a lot of work Morrisey to give us this report. You may get tired of it when the merry go round just keeps turning and the usual suspects bob up and down. What’s the next attraction at the circus?

        • Morrissey

          prism, my friend, just remember this: He who is tired of The Panel is tired of life.

          A few minutes ago I listened to that repulsive crank Stephen Franks lecturing his fellow guest (Sapna Samant) about the importance of language, and the danger of using words like “slavery” to describe people who feel obliged to work long hours for their corporations. Of course, Franks was implying that HE (i.e. Franks) is a rigorous and serious thinker; he’s not.

          Right now Franks is pontificating about the irresponsibility of the poor. “I can’t see how giving poor people money is going to solve the problem of eating rubbish food,” he opined.

          He has no time at all for public health programs, especially ones targeting childhood obesity. It all comes down to “personal responsibility”, which means that we’re all alone in the world, and the do-gooders are no use at all, just a bunch of busybodies. “All I see is wittering on from the social industry,” he snarls.

          Sapna Samant and Noelle McCarthy are clearly appalled by him, and are politely challenging his assumptions. Franks is not accustomed to this; he is obviously used to lording it over the underlings in his law practice—one of whom is the hopelessly lightweight Jordan Williams, another occasional Panel regular. But a couple of sharp women are beyond him; he will not engage in serious discussion.

          When I stop feeling disgusted every time I hear this canting hypocrite sound off, I’ll know it’s time to hang up my boots.

          • prism

            Morrissey mon ami you put things so well. It’s painful though to keep exposing the dregs of our intellectual society. It’s a dirty job but you feel you’re the one to do it. Rather you than me. It’s bad for mental health I think. Depressing.

          • ghostrider888

            well Mozza, I tire of ‘The Panel’, yet am not tired of life, yet. Thank Goodness for all the neat stuff one may learn from The Standard (and links) in a day is wot I say. Tally Ho!

    • ianmac 1.2

      An interesting perspective Morrissey. Almost a script for satire. Though they are entitled to their opinions aren’t they? We can disagree with what they say and be angered by their utterances especially that Bell fellow. The concern about TPP was well said and echoes what many here must fear.
      I guess Mr Mora is trying to play the neutral referee but like the Speaker in the House his probable bias leaks through.

      • Morrissey 1.2.1

        An interesting perspective Morrissey. Almost a script for satire. Though they are entitled to their opinions aren’t they?

        They most certainly are, and it’s incumbent on the rest of us to point out when they are telling lies or just talking nonsense. That’s what Messrs Trotter, Campbell, Bradbury and MacLauchlan have done so effectively in the past; what is disturbing is the fact that two of those voices are no longer allowed onto the programme.

        We can disagree with what they say and be angered by their utterances especially that Bell fellow. The concern about TPP was well said and echoes what many here must fear.

        I agree with you. Gordon MacLauchlan is an intelligent analyst and an effective speaker. On most things.

        I guess Mr Mora is trying to play the neutral referee but like the Speaker in the House his probable bias leaks through.

        Unfortunately, he’s more Craig Joubert than he is Pierluigi Collina.

    • CC 1.3

      Occasionally a panelist still slips under the radar with a worthwhile contribution on Jim Mora’s programme. Michelle A’Court hit the mark at 7.15 minutes yesterday on http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2557709/the-panel-with-michele-a'court-and-michael-deaker-part-2.asx when commenting about Nisbet’s cartoons and child poverty.

      • ghostrider888 1.3.1

        sadly, when polled by Campbell Live (or Seven Sharp) following this cartoon (and I listened to Nisbet interviewed on RNZ @ 5pm Checkpoint, so his ‘agenda’ was clearly concurrent), 77% responded “Yes, that the cartoon depicted reality”.

        now it may be just my weird psychological composition, yet I cannot listen to very much RNZ overall; Morning Report, Midday, Checkpoint and the authoratative INTERVIEWEES is enough, ‘specially seeing as Hauraki play such excellent rock and Alice In Chains released a new album, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”…

        • freedom

          Queens of the Stone Age have also dusted off the mixing desk 😎
          strongly suggest warming up the amps before cranking volume to 11

      • Morrissey 1.3.2

        Michelle A’Court hit the mark….when commenting about Nisbet’s cartoons and child poverty.

        She did, but in the pre-show (before 4 o’clock) she embarked on an unhinged denunciation of the Australian DJs who are being blamed by some fools for the suicide of Jacintha Saldanha.

        There are still lots of interesting and worthwhile contributions on The Panel. And, for all his faults, which I do like to lampoon, Jim Mora himself is an intelligent and witty broadcaster.

    • ghostrider888 1.4

      Clever writ:
      “I’m Not Sorry”

  2. Ennui 2

    Conspiracy theories….watch (outside of) Bildeberg live on a mainstream papers site http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10103054/Bilderberg-2013-the-worlds-most-secretive-conference-live.html#disqus_thread

    The photo says it all, we dont know what they do and they wont tell us. What I would wager is that if one of the great criminal figures of the 20th century (Kissinger) is attending then it wont be for the good of you and me.

    • muzza 2.1

      I’m sure the LP supporters are thrilled the UK Labour Party is continuing its strong history of attendance!

      I’m sure the discussions will center around, altruistic, humanitarian endevours!

      For mine, after decades denying the group existed, having been outed officially over the past 10 years or so, its likely little more than a distraction, designed for the media beat up!

      Still its a *nice opportunity, for many of histories, worst criminal elements/crime families to get together, and with the likes Kenneth Clarke representing the Uk political paedophile wing, expect to hear him trumpeting for further decreases in sentence penalties, shortly after the *conference* is completed!

    • karol 2.2

      But won’t someone please think of the grass verge!

      Interesting analytical report by the Guardian’s Bildeberg watcher, Charlie Skelton, of what happens when local politics meets global power.

      When an organisation/network moves from secret to semi-secret, can it still be called a conspiracy? Or is it a political organisation/gathering, or just another right wing think tank?

      The article covers how Bildeberg manipulates terrorist scaremongering and hides behind the “Great Wall of Watford”; how the police and local authorities are performing charity work for Goldman Sachs in working to protect the meeting; and the Bildebergers’ timid attempt to connect with the media:

      The audience was an odd mix. Half were residents from around the venue worried about the possibility of tyre-damage to a strip of lawn; the other half were journalists from around the world worried about the geopolitical implications of a conference at which BAE, Stratfor and General Petraeus will be discussing “Africa’s challenges”.

      Both halves were worried about the funding for the gigantic security operation. The police assured sceptical residents that the conference would be “cost-neutral” for Hertfordshire, thanks in part to a “donation” from the conference organisers. This “donation” will have come, in part at least, from the Bilderberg Association, a registered UK charity that takes “donations” from BP and Goldman Sachs.

      So, in a sense, the Herts police are doing charity work for Goldman Sachs. Which must be a comfort for the executives of Goldman Sachs attending the conference: the vice-chairman, a director and the chairman of Goldman Sachs International. They’ve got their charity team out patrolling, keeping the lenses at bay.

      At one point in the meeting, during a tense exchange about contingency plans for dog-walkers, Rhodes let slip that Operation Discuss (the codename for the Bilderberg security operation) had been up and running for 18 months. Residents and journalists shared an intake of breath. “Eighteen months?” The reason for all the secrecy? “Terrorism”.

      • Ennui 2.2.1

        Many in the UK have long held the opinion that Watford is the most cogent excuse for nuclear first strike. I concur, today would be a very good day to do it.

        • Colonial Viper

          I daresay that is overkill; a 2000lb bomb should be sufficient.

          • Ennui

            Its Watford I am talking about, the place that sold their soccer club to Elton John, who promptly sold it again, says it all. The Bilderbergers would only be “collateral” damage (in their own terms). Iamgine going down in history as being the richest prick on Earth and dying in Watford. How embarrassing. Dreadful!

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Yeah, terrorists like Occupy Wall St protestors.

    • ghostrider888 2.3

      maybe they plan to hold back the Elbe.

  3. muzza 3


    Declassified papers now reveal that secret rainmaking experiments by the military had been taking place on Exmoor. Aircraft showered clouds with silver iodide, a dusty powder just the right size for water droplets to grow on. We will probably never know for sure if the experiment ran out of control, or whether the freak rains were going to fall in any case

    In 1947, meteorologists tried to kill off a dying hurricane out at sea by seeding the clouds. The following day, the hurricane suddenly gathered strength, swung round and hit Savannah, Georgia causing extensive damage. The weather boffins were so rattled by the disaster it was not until August 1969 that they dared try again.

    Reckon there is much more the *climate change* debate, than people want to deal with!

    • TheContrarian 3.1

      Tell me again about the plane you saw flying from the west coast of the south island which arrived in Auckland before turning around and going back again.

      That was a great story

    • weka 3.2

      “Reckon there is much more the *climate change* debate, than people want to deal with!”

      Muzza, that article is about weather. What’s the connection to climate change?

      • TheContrarian 3.2.1


        ChemtrailsfluorideHAARPilluminati obviously! WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

        And so forth…

      • muzza 3.2.2

        Hi Weka,

        The connection, could well be the geo-engineering *research/programmes/operations*, which has, as documented, been going on for many, many decades, and that is only what has made the public domain!

        Discussing subject matter, but not caring to factor in, what may/may not be a key contributor to climate change, is what creates vapid exercise!

        People can only truly come to a decision point, or a point of view/opinion etc, if all as much information, which can possibly be tabled, is factored in!

        The mentality, which TC elucidates nicely, above, in his comments, is not the level of engagement from which understanding can be gained

        • TheContrarian

          “The mentality, which TC elucidates nicely, above, in his comments, is not the level of engagement from which understanding can be gained”

          Says the guy who doesn’t to provide any evidence for his assertions and accuses everyone else of avoiding questions.

          • Lanthanide

            No no, muzza said it’s been documented as going on for many decades. That’s his evidence.

            • TheContrarian

              Muzza once told me that he spotted a plane flying unusually.

              It left the west coast of the South Island, flew up country on a strange bearing, approached Auckland in an odd way, turned around and headed back.

              He is yet to explain how he managed to see this from a single location outside employing some kind of ‘far-sight’ or omnipresence.

              • muzza

                No, that’s not even close to what I explained, it’s so far from the post I made, the only points you got right, was that planes were invovled, and I mentioned the West Coast!

                Go find the post, if you’re that interested in showing how weak your constitution memory is!

                • TheContrarian

                  Muzza: “Have you flown into Auckland well off the west coast of the south island, turned around done laps, then headed west again!!!”

                  The big dry

                  How did you see this, Muzza? Were on the plane?

                  • muzza

                    What has that got to do with the links on geo-engineering?

                    FYI – The planes were flying some sort of circuit, off the West Coast, they were not heading to Auckland, (I was) that I was aware of. The turning I refer to was once the planes had circled, the planes then headed west towards Australia. No idea where the next landing point, may have been!

                    I was in the front row , window seat, left side, of a flight back to AKL, where I saw this.

                    Interestingly, I saw exactly the same behaviour, on April 29, flying to Sydney, off the East Coast of Australia, planes flying circuits, non commercial!

                    Yes I have photos!

                    • TheContrarian

                      There is no possible way you could known the planes were doing laps between the West Coast and Auckland.

            • muzza

              Lanth just because the likes of yourself and TC, are too scared/lazy to go and do some reading, don’t get all smart arse with your comments, that is the actions of a snivelling little cissy, just as your comment the other day was, reuesting investigating Penny Bright’s, banned status,!

              Links have been posted, on these boards, many times, perhaps you missed them, perhaps you don’t know how to use a simple search engine, either way!

              Stop being a sniveller, and get into some reading, exapand your understanding, instead of responding with nonsense!

              • TheContrarian

                You are such a sniveling, facile person Muzza.

                I am extremely well read on both the fluoride and chemtrails conspiracies and have debunked the shit out of your stupid posts and you can’t mount a single fucking argument in support of yourself.

    • Populuxe1 3.3

      Um, you mean to say you’ve never heard of cloud seeding before? They’ve been doing it since 1903, and it’s never proved particularly succesful, but it certainly doesn’t do what you’re suggesting.

  4. Pasupial 4

    With the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election coming up, I thought I’d check to see how the Maori roll count compares with the general roll. The last time I did this was off 2005 election results, and had to be calculated by hand (I’ve probably still got the pages of working around somewhere – in one of many old boxes of uni papers that I’m never going to sort through, but haven’t yet discarded). After an hour of eye-glazing percentage calculation, this morning I found the following page on the electionresults site: 2011 Election stats. I really wish I’d found it earlier.

    To outline the main points: 2.19% of maori roll votes were designated informal in 2011, compared to 0.80% of the general roll, or in other words; a maori vote is 2.7 times more likely to be regarded as informal than a general vote (which is why I stay on the general roll). Ikaroa-Rāwhiti is the worst maori electorate for informality at 2.51%, compared with 0.43% for Epsom; the least informality on the general roll – 5.8 times more likely!

    It’s even worse for special votes; 17% of maori roll special votes were disallowed in 2011. So my advice for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti voters is to make sure you are enrolled to vote, and don’t cast a special ballot. Party organizers should also make sure they have reliable observers at every vote count.

    Not sure what I’m doing wrong with the link it’s supposed to connect to: http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/e9/html/e9_part9_1.html

    • weka 4.1

      Any idea on what is wrong with the informal votes?

      • Pasupial 4.1.1

        You’ll have to follow the link, I’ve closed that tab a while back (good luck finding a glossary that tells you the precise distinction between; “informal”, “disallowed”, & “invalid”, votes; it eluded me). When it gets more wintery, I may get around to printing those lists out and doing a more thorough analysis. If there’s not a snap election before then of course.

        Masupial points out that there is much work to do; with repairs, and the little Basupial too: Life may intervene. I’d probably be aiming at a post rather than an open mike comment if I was to put in that amount of work. Statistics do tend to bore people though.

        I’ve got Libre Office on the comp, but have only used the Word component. If I can work out how to create and export graphs from the spreadsheet, then I may be able to create something that won’t make everyone’s eyes glaze over. Correlation of; Party, & Electorate, vote, with; geographical location, roll type, and; ballot disallowing; would be most interesting.

        Unless anyone has already done the work and can post a link? That would save a lot of time!

    • prism 4.2

      How easy is it to have an informal vote? If you tick the one you want and put crosses in the other boxes, or actually cross out the others – does that wipe your vote?

      If you tick the wrong box and then realise it and cross that out and tick the one you actually want – is that a spoiled vote?

      If you draw a line though all the ones you do want and rick your choice?
      Or you leave your choice unticked with all the others crossed out?

      I think that in the few moments that voters have to do their voting, that there is room for spoiling the vote amongst new voters and those who aren’t in the habit of writing and reading regularly. Many people probably do a lot of watching and listening but filling out forms brings them out in boils. Does me anyway.

      So it could be that the various parties run a pre-election talent night where the pollies all gather and briefly talk and show everyone overhead presentations of the voting papers and method – there could be a few jokes about the other parties to bring some humour into the political process. After that have some singers and music and cakes and tea and fruit juice. The voters need to connect the process with community and fun and worthwhile to them.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        You’re not allowed to produce any material which could be interpreted as instructions how to vote a certain way on a ballot paper.

        • prism

          CV What not a simple graphic introduction that could tick each box one after another down the sheet or randomly. That’s too precious if not allowed. Especially when electioneering close to the election is allowed. Also polling sampling before closing time.

          One of my ideas is also to have a family aimed gala at polling stations with balloons for kids. Let’s get them used to being involved with elections. But I suppose that would be ‘treating’. I think probably. And these are examples of how our democracy is suffering in not promoting itself amongst those who most need it, but don’t understand the value of interaction themselves and exerting their voting power for the best results for themselves and the country.,

  5. karol 5

    Toby Manhire indulges in a bit of cabbage boat Charter School academy satire:

    A copy of the document was found taped to your correspondent’s recycling bin yesterday, and describes plans for the creation of a “Finishing School for New Zealand Political Aspirants – the Cabbage Boat Academy”.

    The coffee-stained dossier is incomplete – missing, for example, is the schedule of concessions SkyCity is seeking in return for its sponsorship – but a good chunk of the proposed curriculum is intact. At first glance it appears commendably up-to-the-minute.

    English: At the heart of the curriculum is an embrace of language, and its power to move the human spirit and whatnot. Core texts traverse New Zealand literature from the beloved karakia The Devil-Beast that Terrorised Muldoon to the new Feelers album. Students will study contemporary styles of rhetoric, especially “I know you are but what am I?” Creative writing classes will include “200 ways to call for an inquiry” and the popular exercise “How to pin the blame on some ministry oik in 100 words or fewer”.

    … and so it continues….

    • karol 5.1

      And ends thus:

      Media studies: Pupils will be thoroughly schooled in the crucial three-Ds of constructive engagement with the fourth estate. Dissemble. Dick about a bit. And Don’t answer the bloody phone. Extensive applied tutoring includes how to repeat the same sentence many hundreds of times without wanting to curl up and die and how to identify a “political blogger” and fill it with wine and/or money.

      Physical education: Larks, hijinks and good, sweaty old-fashioned exercise, including planking and the Korean horse-riding dance. Mr Peters will lead pupils in standing up and walking away. Plus the famous annual six o’clock dash, in which students are pursued around the school grounds by local meth addicts wearing Patrick Gower masks.

      Dance and drama: Most evenings, Mr Carter will be found naked in the courtyard, howling the words, “Lockwood”, “Winston”, “Trevor” and “John you bastard” in the direction of the moon. Do not approach.

      • prism 5.1.1

        Very good with no doubt lots of hints on practical political studies of smirking, creative name-calling, lying with a straight face plus old and new drinking songs and whatnot.
        Thanks for those gems.

  6. I for one would like to see the fluoridation debate focused on ARGUMENTS (based upon FACTS and EVIDENCE) – rather than just personally attacking those who are opposed to fluoridation?

    In my experience, those who rely on ad hominem (personal) attacks rather than arguments based on FACTS and EVIDENCE, don’t actually have a ‘considered’ opinion?

    (Meant of course, in a caring way 🙂

    Seen this?


    (Has some FACTS and EVIDENCE supporting the anti-fluoridation position 🙂

    Penny Bright
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate – who does NOT support fluoridation of public water supplies.

    • muzza 6.1

      Water Care Services state, they take the position to add flouride to AKLs water supply, based on scientific evidence from the Minitry of Health, via a mandate by the council.

      Perhaps you can dig through that one further, Penny!

      • dpalenski 6.1.1

        If your really worried about it why don’t you get a water filtration system and even that they subsidised for poorer people who don’t want it in there water. Like the fact you can buy non-iodised salt if you don’t want it.

        • RedLogix

          If you do choose to use a domestic water filtration system, for goodness sake make sure you change the filter media at the recommended intervals.

          Leaving a filter in for too long simply sets up a dangerous reservoir of all the junk and pathogens that you were trying to remove; and eventually they will ‘break through’ in high concentrations and cause far more harm than any good you achieved in the first place.

          !!!! This is really important. !!!!

    • TheContrarian 6.2

      Some places have been fluoridated 50+ years, some places have never been fluoridated or were formally fluoridated but have now ceased.

      If there was any real public health risk you would be able to show conclusively, given the time frame and population size, a difference in health between these group. A significant statistical difference.

      No such evidence has ever been shown, collated or corroborated.

      Therefore, you can safety say there is no real risk from Fluoride in the water supply.
      As is the position of the UN, WHO, CDC and major public health organisations.

      • bad12 6.2.1

        Your argument could well be reversed, if no such evidence has ever been shown, collated nor corroborated how then can there be a scientific justification ‘for’ fluoride being put into water,

        Claims that fluoride has saved the teeth of the nation, given what you assert, may just be unsubstantiated claims with no basis in scientific fact…

        • McFlock

          You are completely correct b12.
          For a primer on published and well-referenced studies relating to the clear positive effects associated with fluoride management in public water supplies, I’d suggest looking at some of the many citations here.

          • Ugly Truth

            I’d suggest not relying on a source with a history of political bias (eg Connolly on AGW)

            Dr. Phyllis Mullenix investigated the toxicology of flouride and published her work in the Journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology. She then lost her job. At a meeting with dental industry representatives immediately following her presentation, Mullenix was bluntly asked if she was saying that their company’s products were lowering the I.Q. of children? “And I told them, ‘basically, yes.’”


            • McFlock


              You do realise that it’s customary, when referring to a peer-reviewed article, to link to that article rather than a tinhat propaganda site?

              I think you’ll find that her paper related to extremely high levels of fluoride, not the levels that would result from the recommended levels. If you could understand it, of course.

              • Morrissey

                The Hamilton City Councillors who voted to ban fluoridation no doubt are avid readers of those tinhat sites. Idiots.

                • McFlock

                  nope, they’re politicians who foresaw nutbars screaming “baby killer” at the hustings during local body elections, and saw an opportunity to fob it onto central government. Although to be fair they have a point – but “someone else should help” is never an excuse for watching while nobody helps.

                • Ah, the good old “conspiracy theorist” chestnut, as applied by those whose world would fall apart if their beloved govcorp was involved in it.

              • Anne

                Thanks to McFlock and The Contrarian and anyone else who has derided the anti-fluoridation brigade.

                I can’t be bothered to join in the debate. Not worth it. Suffice to say that as a former School Dental Nurse (a long time ago admittedly), the anti-fluoridationists are talking through a large black hole in their heads. Thought of digging out my old text books to re-acquaint myself with the minutia of the subject but what’s the point. You can’t argue with fanatics.They are no different to flat earthers, climate change deniers, conspiratorial crackpots like the 9/11 theorists, or those who believe in aliens from outer space living on Earth.

                I just hope those idiots on the Hamilton City Council – and any others who remove the fluoride from their water – are around in 20 to 30 years time when today’s children (including their own) take to them with metaphorical meat-axes for being such gullible fools. Those kids are going to be put to no end of trouble and expense trying to save their teeth – something generations over the past few decades have been able to avoid.

                • Suffice to say that as a former School Dental Nurse (a long time ago admittedly), the anti-fluoridationists are talking through a large black hole in their heads.

                  Just like parents who notice that their kids have become less active after visiting the nurse are talking through a large black hole in their heads, right?

                • weka

                  Looks like fanatics on both sides to me Anne. And writing people off as conspiratorial crackpots is no different than the Right writing you off as a radical far lefter who wants to destroy society via communism. I also haven’t bothered joining in this round, because it looks like the middle ground is impossible when both sides are so entrenched, and abusive.

                  • Populuxe1

                    It’s not when they ARE conspirational crackpots, don’t be so sanctimonious

                    • weka

                      Am fairly sure that Anne just called everyone who doesn’t support fluoridation of water supplies a fool and deluded. Sounds like an extreme position to me.

                  • ghostrider888

                    “when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, thats amore’ “

            • Populuxe1

              Because Wikipedia invented all of those studies just to make you look like a tit?

      • Ugly Truth 6.2.2

        “No such evidence has ever been shown, collated or corroborated.”

        Except for the evidence that you ignored on Kiwiblog, of course.


        • TheContrarian

          I didn’t ignore it, it just isn’t relevant.

          Someone ‘saying’ something and someone ‘demonstrating’ something are different things.

          “Mullenix was bluntly asked if she was saying that their company’s products were lowering the I.Q. of children? “And I told them, ‘basically, yes.’”

          So she says it, that’s all well and good. But please show me the data which supports her comment. Where is the comparison which shows the statistical IQ difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities?
          Without that the comment meaningless and ca be disregarded because it is unsupported conjecture.

          • Ugly Truth

            It is relevant because it is factual and because it applies to the subject matter of the health effects of fluoridation.

            The meaning of Mullenix’s statement can be inferred from the context:

            Then in 1994, after refining her research and findings, Dr. Mullenix presented her results to the Journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology, considered probably the world’s most respected publication in that field. Three days after she joyfully announced to the Forsyth Institute that she had been accepted for publication by the journal, she was dismissed from her position. What followed was a complete evaporation of all grants and funding for any of Mullenix’s research.

            But of course when that meaning implies conspiracy many people find it to be unacceptable.

            • TheContrarian

              Put up or shut-up.

              Where is the comparison which shows the statistical IQ difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities?

              • “Put up or shut-up.”

                Not my job. If you think that statistical IQ differences are relevant then it’s your job to show how the data supports your position.

              • Colonial Viper

                Where is the comparison which shows the statistical IQ difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities?

                All I know is that people are 10-15 IQ points less intelligent today than in the late 19th century. That’s a catastrophically massive difference. Whatever has happened to us, we are measurably dumber than our great great grand parents.

                • Populuxe1

                  And yet that is completely contrary to the established Flynn effect

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yep it is.

                    btw when you study the US political speeches of the 19th and early 20th century – the sentence construction, vocabulary and conceptual communication is far in advance of what we see today.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “the sentence construction, vocabulary and conceptual communication is far in advance of what we see today.”

                      That is fucking stupid

                    • Clockie

                      I have to interject here with a protest, as a member of the first generation to be systematically vaccinated, fluoridated, vitaminised and iodised as a matter of public health policy, that I never suffered from the feeling that I was a mental sluggard compared to my grandparents born before 1910. This despite the fact that I probably absorbed a hell of a lot more environmental lead and petrochemicals during my working life than they ever would have. I’d also wager that my children, likewise administered with all of the above are at least as intelligent as I am. If you’re looking for a culprit for lowering intelligence levels amongst other things, surely tetra-ethyl lead would have to be a more likely candidate than the other things you mention?


                      No sly comments from you wags in the cheap seats thanks..

                    • joe90

                      Perhaps not so stupid TC.


                      Today’s Congress speaks at about a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 in 2005. By comparison, the U.S. Constitution is written at a 17.8 grade level, the Federalist Papers at a 17.1 grade level, and the Declaration of Independence at a 15.1 grade level. The Gettysburg Address comes in at an 11.2 grade level and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is at a 9.4 grade level. Most major newspapers are written at between an 11th and 14th grade level.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That is fucking stupid

                      I appreciate you making my point for me, TC.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Joe90 – I googled and it seems like Obama’s first inaugural speech was written at a mere grade 9.3 level.

                      In fact, this interactive chart displays the trend over the centuries better than anywhere else. Looks like George Washington’s addresses were at an equivalent grade 20 level.


                      So there, Mr Contrarian.

                    • McFlock

                      George Washington only needed to speak to the top quarter (and educated) proportion of the population, at a wild guess (slaves, etc being out of the mix). Not to mention that the more archaic the language used, the more likely that an automated content analyser won’t be able to adjust for the vernacular that the average person at the time used.

                  • ghostrider888

                    that link to an examination of Jared Diamond’s theses is helpful Populuxe1; I have glanced over his books and read a couple of reviews; Hayseed I know, only so many hours in the glass.

                  • ghostrider888

                    do you read the entire articles Pop?
                    like, possibly the end of progression?

                • ghostrider888

                  well, the freakin’ politicians certainly are! (overview of Collins attitude to International Prisoner Transfers, where NZ trails the way on todays OM).

                • weka

                  “All I know is that people are 10-15 IQ points less intelligent today than in the late 19th century. That’s a catastrophically massive difference. Whatever has happened to us, we are measurably dumber than our great great grand parents.”

                  There could be so many reasons for that….

                  • ghostrider888

                    thats in the ‘end of progression’ link aboove

                    • weka

                      Yep, I read that. It’s interesting, but no comprehensive. I’d want to see different cultures measured, and cross cultural comparisons done. Then I’d want to look at the huge range of possible variables – diet, environment, chemicals, stress, differences in electromagnetic fields etc etc.

                      There are many things that affect brain function. One of my picks would be low fat diets (haven’t looks closely at the dates though to see if they correspond). We need quality fats for good brain function (plus lots of other nutrients).

                    • ghostrider888

                      true on quality fats. My intuition, that the factors you list, diet, stress, chemicals etc are dumbing people down in the West, particularly through media and marketing.

                      btw, How do you discern to return to an earlier thread like this? I just use the box on top-right to notice who has recently commented and where, or I go by feel; ‘sin is in, the eye of the beholder. Check out the translation of ‘fornication’ (pornea) so often thrown about by the Fundamentalists.

                    • weka

                      I use the search box for either my name or the name of the person I was conversing with 🙂 If you go to advanced search you can select comments only.

                  • Clockie

                    “There could be so many reasons for that”

                    I thought so too. I’ve never read up on it but the more I reflected on CV’s assertion about lowered intelligence levels the longer the list I came up with (off the top of my head) of counters to his argument.

                    • ghostrider888

                      no requirement to knock the booster seats. The P-47 is a pretty good ship, “I was thinking ’bout my baby and lettin’ her rip”, hardened up those laps, now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big-block Forge, “I learned a thing or two from ol’ Charlie don’t ya know, you better stay away from Copperhead Road…

                      …”Just the good ol boys, never meaning no harm, beats all you ever saw been in trouble with the Law since the day they was born, straightenin’ the curves, flattenin’ the hills, some day the mountain might get them but the Law never will. Yeeha!

                  • ianmac

                    My reading some years ago was that standard IQ tests had to be shifted upwards to maintain the average norms, because each generation was more intelligent than the last.

                    • Clockie

                      Yes. Mine too. But so many other things to consider as well. Which generations / eras are we talking about exactly? Who was being tested (demographic make-up)? By whom, using what standardised tests? Aiming to test for what? At what age / education level were they being tested? Many, if not most of the working class of my grandparents generation did not go beyond our form 2 level and if they needed to help support a family like my g-father who left at the end of std 4 it was even less. It seems a lot of what passes for debate on this topic here is trying to compare the apples of paradise with a pear tree struggling to survive in the Kalahari desert.

    • handle 6.3

      Thank you for being concise with this comment, Penny.

    • TheContrarian 6.4

      Oh and Penny, anything by Joseph Mercola should be ignored. He is a crank.

      • Ugly Truth 6.4.1

        So is Mercola is a crank for quoting Dr. Paul Connett, an environmental chemist, or is he a crack because he opposes forced medication?


        “First of all, water fluoridation is very bad medicine,” Dr. Connett says, “because once you put it in the water, you can’t control the dose. You can’t control who gets it. There is no oversight. You’re allowing a community to do to everyone what a doctor can do to no one, i.e., force a patient to take a particular medication.”

        • TheContrarian

          See above:
          Someone ‘saying’ something and someone ‘demonstrating’ something are different things.

          Why is there no health deviations between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities?
          Why can’t you show that?

          You really don’t see why Mercola is a crank? Did you read the links?


          • Ugly Truth

            You didn’t answer the question.

            Is Mercola a crank for quoting Dr. Paul Connett, an environmental chemist, or is he a crank because he opposes forced medication?

            Or is there another reason you accuse him?

            Edit: I’m not going to trawl through Wikipedia’s bullshit looking for your (non-existent?) argument.

            • TheContrarian

              ” I’m not going to trawl through Wikipedia’s bullshit looking for your (non-existent?) argument.”

              How do you know it’s non-existent without looking, you idiot?

        • McFlock

          Funnily enough, if I wanted an evaluation of whether something is “bad medicine” I’d ask a medical doctor, not an environmental chemist.

          But that could just be a boo-boo. His views on HIV alone pushed him well over the “crank” edge, imo.

          • Ugly Truth

            Fair enough, you’re entitled to your opinion. But isn’t the point of this to show whether or not there are public health risks in fluoridation of water supplies? And isn’t the history of the debate an indication that the wider political context is relevant?

            • TheContrarian

              “But isn’t the point of this to show whether or not there are public health risks in fluoridation of water supplies?”

              Which you have consistently failed to do.

              • “Which you have consistently failed to do.”

                So you say. But your refusal to address the facts speaks volumes.

                Rather than actually address the facts, you divert with a secordary issue in an attempt to shift the burden of proof. My argument does not depend on statistical differences between communities.

                What explanation do you have for Mullenix’s dismissal other than a pro-fluoridation conspiracy?

                • McFlock

                  who’s diverting now?
                  Two comments ago the topic of discussion was mercola being a crank.

                • Populuxe1

                  You might actually like to provide some facts to be addressed in the first place. Your argument may not depend on statistical differences between communities, but it doesn’t seem to depend on any actual evidence either.

            • McFlock

              The history of the debate shows that a large number of people in the world are paranoid scientific illiterates who are pandered to by amoral whores.

              Beyond that the only relevant data is publicly available and repeatable systematic research, which indicates that fluoridation might have detrimental effects if the water supply already has high levels of fluoride.

              In New Zealand we have low natural fluoride levels in the water. Hence our shit DMFT levels without fluoridation.

              • KJT

                At least the referendum result in Hamilton. 70% for fluoridation show that the majority did listen to the science.

                Pity the council overruled it!

                However our “representative” democracy, especially the RW part, has a sad history of going against the interests and wishes of the people they purport to represent.

                Even sadder that there are too many, who claim to be left wing supporters of the people, who are equally contemptuous of our right to decide democratically for ourselves..

                • “our right to decide democratically for ourselves”

                  You right to decide for yourselves does not extend to the compulsory medication of those who disagree with you.

                  • McFlock

                    Actually, in some circumstances it might.

                    Because the flipside is the number of kids whose teeth will rot early because their parents aren’t experts on the ideal micro-level nutrient mix humans need on a daily basis. The same reason we iodise table salt to keep thyroids healthy.

                    • “Actually, in some circumstances it might.”

                      Yes, but in general when you’re talking about voters you are talking about people who are adult enough to make their own decisions.

                      You don’t have to be an expert on micro-nutrients to look after your kids’ teeth. A healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks, and brushing are pretty much common sense.

                      AFAIK iodine toxicty hasn’t been a problem in the past.

                    • McFlock

                      ” A healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks, and brushing are pretty much common sense.”

                      And, of course, knowing what minerals and nutrients are deficient in your local water supply so your kids’ teeth rot. Then the same for zinc, folate, selenium, iodine,and damned near every other chemical beyond H2O.

                      edit: google “iodine toxicity”

                    • “knowing what minerals and nutrients are deficient in your local water supply so your kids’ teeth rot”

                      Do you have any evidence that this is a real problem?

                    • McFlock


                      10 second google.

              • “The history of the debate shows that a large number of people in the world are paranoid scientific illiterates who are pandered to by amoral whores.”

                You can’t argue the facts so you talk shit about the opposition.

                “the only relevant data is publicly available and repeatable systematic research”

                Testing toxicity by compulsory medication of communities is ethically unacceptable.

                “fluoridation might have detrimental effects if the water supply already has high levels of fluoride.”

                That argument ignores the fact that fluoride accumulates in bones and in the brain. Low dosages over a long period of time can be just as harmful as high dosages.

                • Populuxe1

                  “Testing toxicity by compulsory medication of communities is ethically unacceptable.”

                  Yes. It would be. If that’s what they were doing. Which they aren’t. Your tinfoil hat is on too tight.

                • McFlock

                  You can’t argue the facts so you talk shit about the opposition.

                  Actually, in this case, the shittiness of nutbars like mercola is a fact relating to the “wider political context” of the discussion.

                  “the only relevant data is publicly available and repeatable systematic research”

                  Testing toxicity by compulsory medication of communities is ethically unacceptable.

                  Lucky that they don’t do that then, eh. Otherwise the LD50 stats would beat heart disease as a NZ cause of death.

                  Low dosages over a long period of time can be just as harmful as high dosages.

                  And it must be true because you say so. /sarc

                  • Actually, in this case, the shittiness of nutbars like mercola is a fact relating to the “wider political context” of the discussion.

                    They’re not the facts that I was referring to. The Contrarian has been avoiding the issue for days.


                    Chemist Charles Eliot Perkins documented the Nazi use of flouride:

                    “The real purpose behind water fluoridation is to reduce the resistance of the masses to domination and control and loss of liberty.”

                    “When the Nazis under Hitler decided to go into Poland, both the German General Staff and the Russian General Staff exchanged scientific and military ideas, plans, and personnel, and the scheme of mass control through water medication was seized upon by the Russian Communists because it fitted ideally into their plan to communize the world.”

                    Dr. Phyllis Mullenix investigated the toxicology of flouride and published her work in the Journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology. She then lost her job. At a meeting with dental industry representatives immediately following her presentation, Mullenix was bluntly asked if she was saying that their company’s products were lowering the I.Q. of children? “And I told them, ‘basically, yes.’”


                    “Studies in mainstream peer-reviewed medical journals and government reports now document the fact that serious harms are associated with exposure to small amounts of fluoride-including hip fracture, cancer, and intellectual impairment. ” ~ David Hill


                    • McFlock

                      You really fail at discerning “material published to inform” from “material published to persuade”, don’t you.

                    • Can’t handle the truth, eh McFlock?

                    • McFlock

                      We’ll find out when you present some.

                    • RedLogix

                      The NZ Drinking Water Standard specifies fluoride dose rates of 0.7 ppm. In most parts of the world the naturally occurring rate in river and aquifer water is between 0.05 and 0.3 ppm. My understanding is that raw water in New Zealand falls very much to the lower end of that range. Realistically the amount of fluoride in NZ drinking water does not dramatically exceed what might occur naturally.

                      Once the fluoride is dissolved into the water it is fully ionically dissociated so that the argument around whether the solid form of the chemical prior to being added is naturally occurring or not seems pretty irrelevant.

                      Plus as various people have said, after 50 years of fluoridation there are no apparent or dramatic health status differences between those areas that are dosed and those that are not. I agree very strongly that diet has a far stronger impact on dental health.

                      Having said that I’m pretty agnostic around whether adding fluoride to water is a good idea or not. Personally I strongly recommend that if you decide you don’t want it, then getting a good filter for your kitchen and making sure you change the media at the recommended intervals is the right thing to do. Or organise some tank water off your roof; or find a trusted, local natural aquifer source for the small amount of water that you need to actually drink.

                      And if you’re smart you can have a dollar each way and use fluoridated toothpaste.

                      And that’s really where the debate ends … is it not?

                    • ghostrider888

                      I’m with the RedMcFlock; I thought it unusual that the referendum was the status quo and the council to remove, then I remembered which banana republic I was swinging in. 😀

                    • Realistically the amount of fluoride in NZ drinking water does not dramatically exceed what might occur naturally.

                      No, flouridated supply can be around three to seventeen times higher than your natural levels of 0.05 to 0.3 ppm.

                      The resulting highly concentrated solution is then added to the water, to produce the desired concentration of 0.85 milligrams per litre (mg/L), or parts per million (ppm).

                      The real issue is why fluoridation was introduced in the first place. If you take a look at the players involved than it becomes pretty clear that it is not a good idea.

                    • McFlock

                      The real issue is why fluoridation was introduced in the first place. If you take a look at the players involved than it becomes pretty clear that it is not a good idea.

                      my italics
                      Actually, if you look at the teeth, the reason is clear. And I thought you wanted to deal with facts, rather than arguing the person.

  7. McFlock 7

    Seriously? Your link starts with a classic example of the old if almost nobody else does it, we must be doing the wrong thing argument.

    32% of us kids might be overexposed to fluoride. It might depend on the geological source of the water supply – some of the areas of the US could be above WHO spec, others below (so those latter areas might fluoridate artificially). The article puts that figure just after the “can’t control the dose” section, and does not distinguish whether the fluorosis levels correspond with artificial fluoridation or naturally higher-than-WHO-recommended levels. This is misleading.

    Additionally (and most hypocritically given your plea for arguments based on facts) there is almost no meaningful attempt at showing the sources for the article’s various assertions of fact.

    Filed in the “vaccination causes autism” category.

  8. ghostrider888 8

    I bet you knew that the OECD report into the local bring-and-buy recommends removal of the tax concessions for petroleum exploration; “the (approx) 46M in concessions across 700-800M of revenue distorts investment decisions.”

    1.1M people in New Zealand are eligible for fully-funded ‘flu immunization.

    That according to the head of the NZ Principals Foundation, “increasing numbers of schools are facing increasing numbers of behavioural challenges” (sadly, school-boy rugby practice can be fatal).

    More Anarchic Philosophy of Science words from Paul Feyerabend.

    Is it all Matters of Substance ? or a Grandaddy of all Nature Anthems.

  9. ghostrider888 9

    oooh, there’s that ‘quick buck’ mentality ag’in,

    “Career Opportunities, the ones that never knock, the only job they offer you’s ta keep you out the dock…”

  10. aerobubble 11

    Media and Speaker stifling democracy. When a
    party leader so deviates from his election
    promises, that there is a huge decline in
    membership numbers, that even in private
    Dunne was unable to redress them, leading to the
    inevitable de-registration. It doesn’t help that
    Dunne first statements about his party problem
    was not to the media, or to his membership, but
    to the regulator, as if he sought them out rather
    than his duty to inform them. So why isn’t
    the media investigating why so many members have
    dropped from United Future? Why is the Speaker failing
    to affirm the rights of memberships of party to
    give their party a mandate (and withdraw it).

    Will the Speaker now step in when Shearer or Key
    is rejected by their party and allow them a
    go over, an attempt to get new members to join
    their party, and right the obvious injustice Dunne
    feels that he has lost the confidence of his party?

    What right does the Speaker have to inject himself into
    the running of a political party? None.

    Surely the Speaker can no longer retain the support of
    parliament to act impartially. A grotesque abuse of power
    by the speaker.

  11. Hi folks!

    Seen this?


    The New Zealand Private Prosecution Service Limited will file an Information on Monday the against Honourable Peter Dunn under Section 228 (b) of the Crimes Act 1961 for dishonestly using a document (The Registration of the United First Political Party) to continue to receive funding of $100,000 a year as the leader of a Registered Political Party and $20,000 as a MP for a registered party.

    Section 228(b) reads:

    228 Dishonestly taking or using document Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to obtain any property, service, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration,—

    (a)dishonestly and without claim of right, takes or obtains any document; or
    (b)dishonestly and without claim of right, uses or attempts to use any document.

    The decision of the Speaker is irrelevant is open to interpretation. United First is not registered and an honest person would write to the speaker and ensure the funding stopped until the party is reregistered. Any funding received ought to be refunded or donated to charity.

    If Dunn was receiving a WINZ benefit and did not meet the criterion it would be immediately stopped and WINZ would take recovery and prosecution action.

    It is in the interest of our Parliamentary System of Democracy that the situation ought to be challenged in Court.

    Graham Mc Cready

    Informant for NZPPS Ltd”




    31 May 2013 News items

    On 31 May 2013 the Electoral Commission board cancelled the registration of the United Future New Zealand (United Future) party at the party’s request in accordance with section 70 of the Electoral Act 1993.

    THE LAW:


    70 Cancellation of registration

    (1)The Electoral Commission shall cancel the registration of a political party at the request of one of the persons specified in section 63(1) if satisfied that the request for cancellation is made by the applicant on behalf of the party.

    (1A)The provisions of section 64, with any necessary modifications, apply to every request under subsection (1).

    (2)The Electoral Commission shall cancel the registration of any political party on being satisfied that the number of current financial members of the party who are eligible to enrol as electors has fallen below 500.

    (2A)For the purposes of exercising the powers conferred on it by subsection (2), the Electoral Commission may require a political party to supply to it a list of the party’s current financial members within any reasonable time that the Electoral Commission specifies.

    (3)Where the Electoral Commission cancels the registration of any political party, it shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event not later than 10 working days after the date of the cancellation,—
    (a)give, where the cancellation was effected under subsection (1), written notice of the cancellation to both the applicant for cancellation and the secretary of the political party:
    (b)give, where the cancellation was effected under subsection (2), written notice of the cancellation to the secretary or the last-known secretary of the political party, which written notice shall set out the reasons for the cancellation:

    Penny Bright
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  12. ianmac 13

    United Future leader Peter Dunne has resigned as a Minister after he was found to have withheld information from an inquiry… !!!!!

  13. Morrissey 14

    No. 17: Stephen Franks

    “Peter has been such a level-headed, safe pair of hands. …. He is a very steady and sensible man, most of the time…”

    —Loathsome S.S. counsel and former ACT MP Stephen Franks, lionizing the disgraced Peter Dunne.
    (The Panel, Radio NZ National, Friday 7 June 2013)

    See also….
    No. 16: Phil Kafcaloudes: “Tony Abbott…hasn’t made any mistakes over the past eighteen months”
    No. 15: Donald Rumsfeld: “I did not lie… Colin Powell did not lie.”
    No. 14: Colin Powell: “a post-9/11 nexus between Iraq and terrorist organizations…connections are now emerging…”
    No.13: Barack Obama: “Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.”

    Open mike 27/05/2013

    No. 12: U.K. Ministry of Defence: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities.”
    No. 11: Brendan O’Connor: “Australia’s approach to refugees is compassionate and generous.”
    No. 10: Boris Johnson: “Londoners have… the best police in the world to look after us and keep us safe.”
    No. 9: NewstalkZB PR dept: “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!”
    No. 8: Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question”
    No. 7: Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”
No. 6: NZ Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”

No. 5: Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.”

    No. 4: Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”

    No. 3: John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”
No. 2: Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.”
No. 1: Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”

    • Clockie 14.1

      “Stephen Franks, lionizing the disgraced Peter Dunne.”

      I thought it was just the leonine hair he was on about.

  14. Morrissey 15

    Peter Dunne to Head the Owen Glenn Inquiry

    It is believed that Peter Dunne’s appointment will bestow much needed credibility on the beleaguered Owen Glenn Inquiry into Child Abuse, which has been hemorrhaging experts like a stuck pig hemorrhages blood.

  15. xtasy 17

    Documentary on Allende and Chilean history, before Allende took his life, facing fascist attack by the military and police, directed by Pinochet (acting on US and CIA direction):

  16. xtasy 18

    If only NZers would understand the scale of what this country has been sold out on. The real danger this country has been facing, by having overseas commercial interests take over, buy assets and companies, to take over control of the economic and with that social situation.

    No wonder workers in NZ are afraid, scared, bow and back down day in and out, are not daring to show solidarity, it is an atmosphere of utter fear and intimidation amongst workers here. There is NO freedom and respect, and most workers are cowards, due to intimidation by the corporate and other employers.

    So you want to continue the prostitution of New Zealand, the sellout and whoredom for workers, beneficiaries, women and men, children and all that struggle to get a voice, vote National and Natzi government.

    We ask you to change your mind and tune, if you are a Natzy, go away, go to Kiwiblog, the other reactionary blogs, but we want future and progress, fairness, decency, democracy and justice. I have nothing more to say, good luck.

    • kiwicommie 18.1

      Waiting for the election is annoying, National needs to be turfed out I agree. National wants to turn New Zealand into some US backwater state, full of christian fundies that are manufactured in National’s charter schools to see no truth, write no truth, and hate the truth. In 2014 NZ gets to decide whether to be apathetic and let NZ turn into the toilet* of the South Pacific, or a legitimate nation that cares about its people.

      *After National has mined every park, and poisoned every river.

  17. xtasy 19

    I wish to impregnate it into the minds of those that need impregnating, like so well presented by Nathalie Cardone, got it or not? Wake up and take a bloody stand for humanity and base line democracy, thanks!

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