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Open mike 07/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 7th, 2011 - 97 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…

97 comments on “Open mike 07/08/2011”

  1. What a great win by the All Blacks last night, and oh big blouse bruv, the Canterbury players in the team did well you disturbed traitor!

  2. joe90 2

    Texas Governor Rick Perry held his prayer rally “The Response,” with a gaggle of the insane, bigoted, and outright racist fundamental Christian leaders imploring their God to help them turn America into a theocracy. Right Wing Watch has a collection of videos of the loons.

    • joe90 2.1

      The Right wing watch twitter feed is both enlightening and terrifying,

      • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1

        Yeah its kinda which side do we fear the most?? The RWNJ or them that watch them?

    • RedLogix 2.2

      The Great Depression in the 1930’s polarised nations enormously, towards both the extremes of left and right. The consequences in the 1940’s were catastrophic.

      Eighty years later and it all repeats, except this time the collapse of the Soviet Union dealt the extreme left a terminal blow, but what we are seeing in the USA is a resurgence of the extreme right…

      • Bill 2.2.1

        the collapse of the Soviet Union dealt the extreme left a terminal blow

        Always been of the opinion that the establishment of the Soviet Union dealt the extreme left a terminal blow. Set us back 90 odd years and counting

        • KJT 2.2.1.1

          The right keep insisting the USSR was an example of socialism.
          Socialism lasted all of a week before authoritarian power hungry demagogues took over.

          Socialism has been working fine for decades in Northern Europe’s Democratic socialist countries. Worked well for NZ too, until it was largely abandoned.

          • Bill 2.2.1.1.1

            There was never socialism in N. or W. Europe.

            The best there was, was a Social Democratic compromise. That was principly about policy priorities informed (at least in part) by the western elites’ fear of the ideas encapsulated by the Sviet Union ‘catching on’ with their own population leading to them being replaced with a new Party elite.

            So yup, ordinary people got a better deal under Social Democratic governments than they had previously. Which on the one hand was a good thing. But because demands were contained within a Social Democratic framework, the steam was taken out of any move towards substantive change. And now the gains made within that framework are being, or have been unmade.

            In the final analysis, the left was done over like a dog’s breakfast under both authoritarian Sviet and Social democratic rule.

            • prism 2.2.1.1.1.1

              @Bill Is there a country, or countries, that have achieved a sustained rule by the left even for a month? And how has it/they fared economically and with human rights and
              inclusion in politics?

              • Bill

                Christ Prism! You might want to define ‘left’ for a start. If the various Labour Parties fall within your definition then the answer is ‘Yes’.

                But if you are meaning by your question; ‘Has there ever been substantive change inspired by ‘left’ politics’, then the answer is ‘No’.

                For clarification of my position (in case it’s needed), substantive change would involve democratisation of the economic and political spheres. And that process would entail the devolution of state and manufacturing power to the community and workplace level respectively.

                Meaning that nation states or countries become increasingly irrelevant until finally (when they no longer act as conduits of power) they would be viewed as mere historical curiosities.

              • KJT

                New Zealand. Fared rather well actually.

  3. Anne 3

    http://www.kiwipolitico.com/
    Excellent post by Pablo (Paul Buchanan) at Kiwipolitico.
    I have a very, very, very strong suspicion what happened over the Israeli ‘back-packers’ mystery, but will wait for a little more sunlight to be shed on the affair before expressing it.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Hilarious if it were not so serious. Overnight the Chinese govt sternly lectures the USA about how the ‘good old days (of borrowing) are over’, clearly no longer willing to lend while the Fed continues to print money, thus devaluing the dollar. Instead they are demanding the USA dismantle it’s military spending and social welfare.

    And this from the Chinese who for a decade or more have been committing economic warfare on the rest of the world by refusing to float their currency and deliberately keeping it massively undervalued.

    Combined this statement with the massive cyberwar attacks the Chinese are making on intellectual property throughout the West with complete impunity, there is no doubt the Chinese are already flexing their muscles in a big way.

    Well the US is the author of it’s own misfortune here, the tax cuts and increases in military spending in the last decade being the prime cause, but equally the Chinese have been sedulously digging a bear trap all these years, patiently awaiting their target to stumble into it.

    • Bill 4.1

      Is there any compelling reason why China shouldn’t have exerted control over the value of its currency? The ‘west’ gave away control of its currencies to traders and unelected, unaccountable financial institutions. Good idea, yes?

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      The bear trap dug by the Chinese has literally been 30 years in the making. They have engineered a massive transfer of US capital (money, technology, know-how) to their own shores taken from the US over that time.

      In leading the bear to the bear trap however, the Chinese have had to get very close to the edge of the trap themselves. Let’s see if they can avoid falling in with the bear. That would be a very messy outcome if they slip as well.

      PS the Chinese learnt perfectly the behaviour and attitudes of the powerful western imperial capitalists through the humiliations and divisions they put China through in the 19th and early 20th century. And knowing that this capitalist type has no loyalty even to their own people or their own land, no loyalty other than to money they used that knowledge extremely effectively.

    • KJT 4.3

      Karma is a bitch.

    • KJT 4.4

      Looks like China is going to win the war without firing a shot.

      The same way the USA won the cold war. They slaughtered the Soviet economy by making them overspend on arms.

      In contrast to the USA who have killed whole populations to ensure their oil supply, the Chinese are just going to buy it.

      • Colonial Viper 4.4.1

        In contrast to the USA who have killed whole populations to ensure their oil supply, the Chinese are just going to buy it.

        With US money, ironically.

  5. joe90 5

    Even the Israeli people have had enough of the neocons.

    The current uprising has given Israeli liberals a voice again…. But the apolitical character of the protest is being challenged. Netanyahu is already claiming that the protesters are driven by political motivations. His intent is clear: he wants to delegitimise them and claim that their real goal is to topple his government. This, he hopes, will weaken nationwide support for their demands. On Monday, members of the Likud central committee started to say that the demonstrators are just a bunch of sushi eaters with nargilas (Arab pipes) – ie leftist radicals – and that the media was exaggerating their numbers…. If the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu step up their attack, the protesters will not have any choice but to confront the current coalition in the political arena as well.

    They will have to say that taxpayers’ money in Israel has been spent lavishly in the occupied territories; that billions of shekels go to child support for the ultra-Orthodox, most of whom do not contribute to the economy; that the silent collusion of Israel’s governments with the settlers is ruining the country morally, politically and economically. In the end, the call for social justice and the demand to reinstate liberal values in Israel cannot be separated..

    More:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14344515

    http://972mag.com/tent-protest-in-numbers-1522720-11/

    http://www.tnr.com/article/world/93039/tel-aviv-israel-protests-housing

    • Morrissey 5.1

      The current uprising has given Israeli liberals a voice again….

      If Israeli troops shoot these protestors, do you think it will be excused and defended by the U.S. (and New Zealand) governments in the usual manner?

  6. Clare Curran seems to be struggling with her ideal of free speech and the pressure to try and keep the message aligned with quack potted talking points.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/08/07/poll-how-do-you-feel-about-commenting/

  7. felix 7

    Hmm, asking her users how they feel about the site environment = struggling with free speech?

    What ever happened to Pete George, champion of consultation and inclusion?

    • Anne 7.1

      Our best friend Pete George is trying to divert conversations?

      He still hasn’t told us who pays him.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        How does the man even looks himself in the mirror in the mornings is what I want to know.

    • I’ve added my own suggestions on questions for her poll, I found none of her questions included me. Which I presume you saw by the timing of your post there.

      It might help if you catch up with the wider context.

      http://yournz.org/2011/08/07/free-speech-or-politics-as-usual/

      Anne – an accusation? Have you any proof or is it just a standard sort of diss. My limited involvement in politics costs me money, out of my own pocket. I haven’t used anyone else’s money at all.

      • felix 7.2.1

        Yes I saw your suggestions.

        Why do you say Clare is struggling with free speech? Has she been trying to tie up your blog by posting pointless inane drivel there all day every day or something?

      • Anne 7.2.2

        Well, you gotta eat mate and you spend all day and half the night blogging on blog-sites.

      • Ianupnorth 7.2.3

        Still pushing that blog mate; most of us just have our blogs as links on our usernames; not many of us plug them as ruthlessly as you.

    • Bill 7.3

      Hmm. No questions canvassing opinion on the moderators regime.

      • Mac1 7.3.1

        Bill, there was a post on moderation recently which drew quite a bit of comment and therefore the site operators would have had a good read of that topic already.

  8. idlegus 8

    about Key not wanting to debate live “Perhaps the prospect of a discussion which did not feature a chance to gather one’s thoughts at each commercial break was a distasteful one.” whats up with the herald? i seem to be reading a bunch of critical (of National & Key) articles there? great!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10743505&ref=mobile

    • Blue 8.1

      The Herald actually calling Key on his duck-for-cover media strategy? I hardly know what to say.

      Perhaps the sting of being turned down was finally enough to make the lapdog bite the master.

      I don’t expect it to last, however.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Ladies and gentlemen; ACT.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10743434

    remember when teh internets were infested with ACTies going on and on about how awesome ACT in general was. Unpopular, but awesome. And Brash. Bruv was very excited about how that was going to play out.

    What a bunch of tools.

    • Not surprising that the infighting and leaks continue, they were prevalent before the Brash act, and his was hardly a unifying action.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        Also completely unsurprising that you think the take away from that story is the ACT party has a problem with leaks.

        • Pete George 9.1.1.1

          No, I think leaks are a symptom of major divisions and discontent within Act. And that’s reflected by Act’s support in polls of blogs – or rather the lack of it.

          • felix 9.1.1.1.1

            They don’t seem to be divided when it comes to those savages and cannibals though, eh?

            • Pete George 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, yes they do seem to be very divided, apart from more leaks Ansell keeps complaining about Boscawen trying to moderate that message, and it seems that Brash switched his preference from strong support of a hardline approach to going with the Boscawen version (which still wasn’t great). I wonder what caused him to change his mind – an MP reality check?

              • felix

                Yeah right, “very divided” between disgusting racist fucks and bigoted ignorant cunts.

                I suppose you’d find a cosy spot in the middle though Pete.

                • As you well know you have no valid reason to suggest I’d be “cosy” anywhere within Act. You seem more shitty livered than usual today.

                  I will say I have discussed and clashed with David Garrett a bit on blogs and he’s always been been far more reasoned and reasonable than you have been in your last post.

                  • felix

                    No idea what you really think about politics Pete, but I do know you like to position yourself in the imaginary “centre”. So that was a wee joke about where you would fit into ACT if you were in ACT.

                    Probably a waste of my time and yours though. I have an appalling sense of humour (as evidenced by the joke) and you’re far too stupid to understand it (as evidenced by your response).

              • Pascal's bookie

                Jeez Pete.

                You don’t suppose that having Ansell sitting very loudly outside the tent saying how ACT aren’t really racist enough, and how very mean they were to him, serves ACT at all?

                Nah, the story isn’t how divided ACT is, it’s how racist they are. Not that John Key seems to mind.

                Funny how you notice how extremist Mana is, and how worrying that is, but Nnational giving a free ticket into parliament to this mob doesn’t even register when you read that story. Instead it’s just a sorry tale of division within the ACT party.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Queue PG making brief, mildly disapproving noises about ACT before returning to bash the political extremism Left.

                • Cue Viper making pointless and factless comment.

                  I said before and I’ll repeat again, Harawira has earned his place in parliament and if Mana manage to get more seats then they have every right to be there. I won’t be supporting them, but that’s irrelevant to their voters rights to representation.

                  Same goes for Act. I particularly don’t like Act’s racism and have debated directly with John Ansell on the advertisements, calling him on his claim to them being 100% factual – they are demonstrably not and I have posted strongly pointing that out to him.

                  I don’t like the way Brash took over Act, I am not a fan of most Act MPs. I have never been an Act supporter, and far less so since Brash and Ansell have inflicted their ways on Act.

                  Felix just seems to like to try and connect me to Act because that’s his way, he rarely does debate, he’s obsessed with berate. I have no idea what he thinks that might achieve.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Well pete, you must be outraged about National giving them a free ride into parliament then right? A nasty bunch of lying racists like that, and the PM makes cozy deals with them.

                    Still, he’s popular, so it doesn’t matter right.

                    • There’s no free ride in Epsom, far less of a free ride than, say, Labour gives what looks like another party drone a free ride in Dunedin North (I hope I’m proven wrong). Banks will have to do a lot to earn a win there.

                      My current view is I hope Act MPs don’t get a pivotal position in the next government, they don’t deserve it. And National don’t deserve to get propped up by Act either, nor do they deserve a single party majority.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PG conflates Labour in Dunedin North fighting for their own Labour candidate…with National in Epsom fighting for the ACT candidate.

                      Seriously dude we’re not stupid, try and use decent analogies will you.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      lol.

                      Perhaps you could explain why you think Banks will have to ‘do a lot’ running against his biographer. You are probably the only person in the country that doesn’t think it’s a deal:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10739361

                      And then, you could explain what you mean about Dunedin North.

                      How does National’s Epsom selection make Labour’s DN selection look bad? Is the Dunedin North candidate a ‘drone’ is some way that Paul Goldsmith is not? Will he have to win his seat to get into Parl, or has he been given a spot on the list that looks comfortable. your compaint about DN seems to be that is a safe-ish Labour seat. So what would they have to do to impress you in their selection? Select someone who doesn’t agree with the party?

                  • felix

                    “Felix just seems to like to try and connect me to Act… “

                    Really Pete? Links or retraction please.

  10. KJT 10

    Noted on Red Alert.
    Concern about the removal of ordinary peoples rights in Fiji, while ignoring the removal of those rights here started by Labour in 1984. Labour neglected to restore them during 9 years in power.

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/08/07/fiji-our-neighbourhood-our-concern/

  11. Morrissey 11

    Colin Peacocke, defender of John Key, and champion of Karl Du Fresne— WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
    Mediawatch, National Radio, Sunday August 7, 2011

    Some years ago, National Radio’s Mediawatch ran a once-over-lightly item on the low standard of sports journalism in New Zealand. Such an item might seem like a good idea—the abysmal standard of sports commentary is obvious to any sports fan in this country. However, the seriousness of this item was fatally wounded by Russell Brown’s choice of guest: Martin “Moron” Devlin. When it comes to sports journalism, Martin Devlin is an embarrassment at best, and an outrage at worst. He is perhaps, along with his former boss Bill Francis and his erstwhile colleague Murray “Deaks” Deaker, the worst thing to happen to sports journalism in this country. Yet Russell Brown interviewed him as if he was a serious commentator.

    Another embarrassing Mediawatch item was an “investigation” into the political slant and unfairness of the media. While that sounds like a good topic for serious discussion, Mediawatch (Colin Peacocke, actually) was simply following the lead of a couple of hypocrites, serial liars and war criminals, i.e., British prime minister Tony Blair and his brutal media manager Alistair Campbell, who had launched a bilious, self-pitying attack on “the media” (not, of course, the friendly Murdoch outlets) for daring to continually question the honesty and integrity of their government. Colin Peacocke insisted that both Blair and Campbell had “made many good points”.

    Today’s programme shows that this habit of bending over backwards to indulge the half-baked and the hypocritical is still an unfortunate feature of Mediawatch.

    First up, Colin Peacocke (again) was in his most indulgent mood, this time doing his best to construe John Key’s craven comments on the Norway mass murder as actually not irresponsible at all. According to Peacocke’s interpretation, we have all been way too hard on the Prime Minister, and we shouldn’t have assumed that he actually meant what he said. Since Key did not actually say that the killer was Islamic, of course (according to Peacocke) he did not imply that. So we should disregard Key’s assertion that killings by a white Norwegian Christian in Norway provide a reason for New Zealand troops being in Afghanistan.

    If that was not bad enough, today’s programme got even worse. For some reason, Peacocke chose to quote the self-styled “curmudgeon” Karl Du Fresne who has written a typically vacuous opinion piece criticising journalism schools for failing to produce journalists who are “willing to challenge authority”.

    Wait a minute! Last year, Du Fresne went into core meltdown after Kim Hill had dared to ask a few challenging questions of the former Australian prime minister John Howard. Far from supporting her willingness to challenge a particularly odious and repellent authority, Du Fresne damned Hill for being “relentlessly adversarial” and dismissed her and her listeners as “chardonnay socialists”. [1] Clearly Colin Peacocke is immune to the irony of Du Fresne, of all people, criticising journalists for failing to challenge authority.

    I note that in the latest entry on his dismal blog, Du Fresne has written a long and sympathetic piece about Rupert Murdoch. [2]

    3. And then, it got even worse (if that is possible). Playing moron’s advocate, Peacocke relentlessly tried to defend the god-awful, unfunny Jeremy Wells “documentary” about the NZSO. His guest, former Dominion music critic Lindis Taylor, dismissed the programme as a wasted opportunity, spoiled by the narcissistic and crass behaviour of Wells. The best that Peacocke could do was to repeatedly (and lamely) insist that Wells “has a substantial body of work”.

    It was quite clear that Peacocke did not believe a word of what he was saying, however. So why even try to defend the indefensible?

    Oh, that’s right! Balance…

    [1] http://karldufresne.blogspot.com/2010/11/howard-deserved-more-balanced-treatment.html

    [2] http://karldufresne.blogspot.com/2010/11/howard-deserved-more-balanced-treatment.html

    • Morrissey 11.1

      Erratum

      That second link I provided was wrong. This is what it should be….
      [2] http://karldufresne.blogspot.com/2011/08/w-p-reeves-saw-much-to-like-in-murdoch.html

    • Vicky32 11.2

      If that was not bad enough, today’s programme got even worse. For some reason, Peacocke chose to quote the self-styled “curmudgeon” Karl Du Fresne who has written a typically vacuous opinion piece criticising journalism schools for failing to produce journalists who are “willing to challenge authority”.

      I am so glad I missed it then!

    • Puddleglum 11.3

      Well done Morrisey for bringing this up. On the Key comments about the Norway massacre I was particularly unimpressed with Peacocke’s logic.

      The reasons that we should not be hard on Key were:

      1. ‘Everyone else’ (commenting in the media) immediately leapt on the idea of it being done by radical Islamists;
      2. They did this because they were following the ‘respectable’ NYT’s lead in highlighting some ‘expert’ who said some anonymous person in an internet chat room claimed responsibility for it for Al Qaeda;
      3. The ‘context’ in which Key made the comment made it ‘understandable’. That context was (a) having just been talking to Obama about Afghanistan deployment (amongst other things), and (b) Obama had just spoken before Key to the media and made noises about the international effort against terrorism;
      4. Key said ‘If’ and so showed – like Obama – that he didn’t know who was responsible.

      This is amazing. Every one of those points actually puts Key’s comments into a worse (and more culpable frame) yet Peacocke seemed to think it exonerated him!

      Think about it – all the headless chooks were running around in the media saying ‘definitely Al Qaeda’, ‘hallmarks of Islamist terrorism’, etc. (point 1) and, apparently, Key took his lead from these chooks despite (point 4) knowlng he did not know who was responsible?? Key apparently is so naive that he did not realise that what runs the rounds of the media (point 2) in the first hours after a horrific event (especially a human-induced one) is almost always highly speculative and, hence, inevitably flawed??

      As for the ‘context’ – that’s the whole point of his opportunism. That Obama was also being opportunistic (just as the ‘experts’ were trying to be first to jump on the Islamist bandwagon) hardly excuses Key from being even more explicit in his opportunism. And – this is the fundamental point – Key speculatively (and supposedly with complete knowledge of just how speculative it was) tried to link it to what New Zealand troops were doing in Afghanistan.

      I think what happens with people like Peacocke – the vast majority of people, in fact – is that they are so inured by the discourses that normalise and ‘reasonable-ise’ the actions of our leaders, governments and elite in general that they find it extraordinarily hard to impose some very straightforward logic onto a situation. This is particularly bad in relation to matters concerning the basic moral compass of our elite – i.e., whether what they do and say is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in a moral sense. The result is that Peacocke can list a whole bunch of reasons in an attempt to let Key off the hook without even realising he is pushing the hook’s moral and ethical barb deeper into Key.

      It is so blatantly obvious that Key was being opportunistic. All the defences for it that I’ve heard are to the effect that being opportunistic in that situation is perfectly understandable! I guess the same applies to lying, stealing, murdering … 

      He’s the PM; he’s meant to have the character and judgment to navigate these situations without making the same opportunistic leaps that ‘media commentators’ with little to lose – and with no responsibilities to anyone else – do on a daily basis.

      Too much to ask of our PM? 

      • Morrissey 11.3.1

        Too much to ask of our PM?

        John Key is a politician, and a particularly indolent one. I have no expectation that he will bother to do any more study of the situation than he has already done, i.e., none. Key has just done what politicians do: blither and bluster and, of course, he has gotten away with it, largely because of the indulgence and/or blindness of “liberal” commentators like Colin Peacock. The failure here is not by the Prime Minister.

        Your detailed and perceptive analysis of Peacock’s rationale for exonerating that buffoon are impressive. I think you should send your comments to Colin Peacock and force him into making a response. Here’s the email address…
        mediawatch@radionz.co.nz

  12. Campbell Larsen 12

    Whats up with the dim post?
    It used to be good for a laugh, now it makes me want to barf.
    The irony, justifying VSM on the rubbish claim that the money is just stolen anyway, even as the universities go about their empire building with the cash extracted from generation debt via the student loans scheme. Satellite campuses go up all over the show and we are subjected to expensive marketing campaigns, even as the university autocracy (who are handsomely paid) attempt to cut funding for research and conditions for academics. Methinks he could have chosen to criticize the real thieves.

  13. logie97 13

    So if Fonterra freezes it’s prices, we are told that the shareholders take an effective cut in their earnings. If the farmers take a cut at the gate, the shareholders will benefit.

    But aren’t the shareholders in Fonterra the farmers themselves?
    If, however, the shareholders in Fonterra are overseas, then is Fonterra really a New Zealand company or only in name?

    Would love someone to explain this one in relation to recent statements about
    Kiwi’s owning tracts of Asia.

  14. NickS 14

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5402951/Fishing-probe-turns-ugly

    And here was me thinking illegal anti-worker actions like this were mainly a North American thing 🙁

    Sadly enough too this started under the Labour Government, but that obviously doesn’t excuse National’s utter lack of action (other than denying everything) on it either.

  15. NickS 15

    lolwut? http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/5400444/Low-internet-data-caps-investigated

    Basically, it’s costs 5 cents per gig for international traffic on the Southern Cross cable and yet, on a per gig price for internet plans you’re looking at anywhere from around $0.70 to what ever the hell telecom’s excessively charging these days.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Yep. And now the NZ Govt is paying Telecom to do the fibre work that they should have done themselves by now.

      Australia 300GB plan for AU$70 as part of a landline package.

      http://www.internode.on.net/residential/adsl_broadband/easy_broadband/

      • Puddleglum 15.1.1

        I wonder when we’ll catch up with Australia?

        Having said that, I have great difficulty getting through 5GB a month despite feeling like I’m always on the internet for one reason or another  – what on earth do people do to use 300GB?? Watch the entire tv series of War and Peace every day?? (That was a great series – I still remember it fondly; the first time I saw Anthony Hopkins’ acting (as Pierre). I still remember him throwing some idiot (Andre??) across a room in a fit of moral/romantic passion – or something. I always wanted to be like that. Still trying, but haven’t yet managed to live the dream. Sad to say, it’s not because of a lack of ‘idiots’.)

        Getting off track. Sorry.

  16. Did anyone bother to watch Nation (National would be a more exact title) today?. Plunket talking his to Tory mates said “energy companies will be sold next year.” Hullo I thought we had an election coming up .Perhaps Plunket knows something we do not .

  17. jackal 17

    Mad Monkton 

    I watched a bit of the Nation program today, which had “Lord” Christopher Monkton preaching his particular form of climate change skepticism. You might wonder why I’m even bothering to debunk Monkton further and whether this is even possible, but I can assure you it’s not to give his argument any relevance. Rather it’s to show just how stark raving mad Monkton actually is…

    • Morrissey 17.1

      Monkton preaching his particular form of climate change skepticism

      Please don’t besmirch the term “skeptic” by attaching it to this lunatic. He’s a denier, just like his exalted fellow-deniers, who include talkshow half-wit Leighton Smith, Waikato University’s renegade scientist and figure of fun Willem De Lange, the ACT party, Federated Farmers’ embarrassing ex-president Charlie Pederson, various sad loons who ring up to agree with Leighton Smith, the aggressive but horribly bewildered Sarah Palin and her equally bewildered mentor John McCain.

      • They also have another common interest they are all filthy rich . Plus they have a contempt for working people . A Google of Monkton is very revealing .Then one must ask how do they make so much money. As for L/Smith who the hell listens to him other than the racist right and some loonies.

        • Morrissey 17.1.1.1

          As for L/Smith who the hell listens to him other than the racist right and some loonies.

          Quite right. Even his NewstalkZB colleagues regard him as exceptionally ignorant, irrational and obsessed, and make disparaging remarks about him on air.

      • mik e 17.1.2

        Don’t forget Professor Tippler Leightons mocker of climate change a loony christen fundamentalist with absolutely no credibility

    • KJT 17.2

      A skeptic is someone who looks at the evidence before making up his/her mind. Moncton shows he does not even have a basic idea of how science works, and does not want to know.

      He is not a skeptic. Simply an ignorant nut case.

      He is actually one of the best arguments for AGW, as he shows the lack of quality amongst the denial industry.

      Commercial companies are now so confident that AGW is occurring they have let millions of dollars worth of contracts for ships to use Arctic waters when they become ice free. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Northwest_Passage

  18. Has anyone mention the woeful tale of poor Horatio?
    I am ready for the flaming for me posting this, my sense of humour finds this incident rather funny!

    Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple, 17, an aspiring medical student, died after being mauled by a polar bear while on an expedition to the Arctic.
    He was killed when the animal rampaged into the tent in which he and his friends were sleeping on a glacier in Svalbard, Norway. His friends, Patrick Flinders, 16, and Scott Smith, 17, were injured fighting off the bear, as were the expedition guides, Michael Reid, 29, and Andrew Ruck, 27.
    Patrick is said to have punched the bear on the nose before it was shot dead by other members of the group. Horatio’s grandfather, Sir John Chapple, 80, was the head of the Army from 1989 to 1992, the former governor of Gibraltar and the former president of the British Schools Exploring Society, which organised the trip.
    Horatio’s father, David, a spinal surgeon from Salisbury, Wilts, and his mother Susan, were too upset to comment. Edward Watson, the BSES chairman, said of Horatio: “By all accounts he would have made an excellent doctor.”
    Of course he would; he came from a privileged background, went to a top public school. I love the way one of his toff mates

    punched the bear on the nose

    The only sad thing is the poor polar bear – it was his patch, WTF were they doing there and this creature did not deserve to die because some dickwits decided to visit.
     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8683416/Survivors-recover-from-surgery-after-polar-bear-kills-Eton-school-boy-Horatio-Chapple-in-Norway.html

     

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Seems very unusual that a polar bear would rampage into a tent unprovoked.

    • Vicky32 18.2

      Has anyone mention the woeful tale of poor Horatio?
      I am ready for the flaming for me posting this, my sense of humour finds this incident rather funny!

      Flaming coming up! I don’t for the life of me get why you think it’s funny… It’s a 17 year old being killed ffs, and it doesn’t matter that he was a ‘toff’. If the funny thing is that the poor kid was called Horatio, my moron niece is naming her next baby Chelsea. Jaden is a popular name here, it’s just as cringe-worthy. Shame on you for laughing at the death of a child. 🙁
      BTW, animals, who cares? Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I don’t give a toss – never have. (Except for the cat …)

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        the description of the lad as an “aspiring medical student” seemed out of place and unnecessary to me. Like writing that another teenager was an “aspiring apprentice panel beater” or an “aspiring marketing student”.

        • Vicky32 18.2.1.1

          the description of the lad as an “aspiring medical student” seemed out of place and unnecessary to me. Like writing that another teenager was an “aspiring apprentice panel beater” or an “aspiring marketing student”.

          Yet in New Zealand, any article about the death of a middle class teen, will bang on about what sport s/he played! I recall a recent (within the last year) article about the death of a child with disabilities, that went so far as to go on about what sport she would have played if she could! 
          Plus – I recall all the articles about the woman killed by Clayton Weatherston which referred to her as an aspiring Treasury official’!
          (I like to think that if I had died as a teenager my parents would have told the reporter “she hated sport, and thought netball was for morons” and that the reporter would have published it! The high school I went to (an all-girl school) had some girls who did seriously amazing things academically, and they would be rewarded for it – but we were never allowed to forget that all but a few teachers considered that the girl with the Rhodes scholarship, the girl who was admitted to medical school when a girl getting in was still a big deal (1970), were still inferior to the 5’8″ bruiser who was dumber than toast, but nevertheless, captained the netball – and that the girl who later went on to do some very important researcn in the care of prem babies mattered less than the big bully who became a Commonwealth games swimmer. (She bullied me something awful for using big words – I was half her size, like many bullies she was a coward. B*tch… )

          • prism 18.2.1.1.1

            @vicky32 – That is the impression that I got at school. That sport was more important than real education. That reading was less important than other subjects. A very confusing thing to comprehend and so different from the avowed intentions for going to school.

            • Vicky32 18.2.1.1.1.1

              That sport was more important than real education. That reading was less important than other subjects

              Yes, and confusing to me, because my parents had the opposite view! School was for studying, reading, writing, learning – and to my father, maths and science (he told my brother that ‘arts’ subjects weren’t ‘real’ subjects! 🙂 after telling me the opposite.) 
              I have often wondered why the NZ culture is so obsessed with sport? Ask any kid born in say 1993 to state what the acheivements are of Katherine Mansfield, Sir Ernest Rutherford,  Kate Shephard, Edith Cavell, Janet Frame, Dan Carter, Tana Umaga and Jonah Lomu are, s/he’ll be struggling with the first four…

              • prism

                @vicky32 – What? Who?? Edith Cavell was nursing wasn’t that her milieu? Wasn’t there a bridge in South Island named after her? What about Mabel Howard and Nurse Maude and washing machines?

                • Vicky32

                  What? Who?? Edith Cavell was nursing wasn’t that her milieu?

                  Edith Cavell is my son’s official hero (as he’s a nurse). She was executed during World War 1 by the Germans, and her last words were “I must have no hatred in my heart for anyone”. (Having just googled, I have discovered something I hadn’t known – she was not a New Zealander after all! (I could have sworn our teachers said she was..) I confess ignorance about Nurse Maude.. but Mabel Howard I do know of…
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Cavell
                  There are a plethora of non-sporting heroes kids could have – Nancy Wake, Maurice Wilkins, Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes, Sir Archie McIndoe, Alan McDiarmid… etc. Who’s all over the TV adverts for all sorts of rubbish – Dan Carter! (I am only barely aware of him – wasn’t he an underwear model?)
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Zealand_scientists
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_M%C4%81ori_people
                   

      • Ianupnorth 18.2.2

        IMHO any ordinary UK kid would either be in Ibiza dropping E’s or struggling to find a job.
        To quote Billy Connolly

        I don’t go in the sea, because there are sharks there and that’s there turf

        As I said, it cracked me up, the vision of someone punching a polar bear on the nose. If you want to be eaten by bears, go play in their domain.
        It’s not unlike those folks that send their teenagers out on round the world solo yacht trips – why?

        • Vicky32 18.2.2.1

          IMHO any ordinary UK kid would either be in Ibiza dropping E’s or struggling to find a job.

          That’s pretty racist! (If I can be accused of being racist when I say something ‘anti-American’, then you’re racist for assuming all UK youth are chavs)

           

          As I said, it cracked me up, the vision of someone punching a polar bear on the nose. If you want to be eaten by bears, go play in their domain.
          It’s not unlike those folks that send their teenagers out on round the world solo yacht trips – why?

          Did you actually read the article? This was a bunch of teenagers in a panic. They’d probably heard that punching sharks on the nose works – what the hell would you do in these circumstances?
          I also followed links to other connected articles and this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. In answer to whoever thinks they provoked it – read the damn article! The bear was starving. Last but  not least, the area is full of people on similar trips. Sorry, you’re still shameful!
          PS – that prick Connolly is just scum. Are you aware of his incredibly self-loving insults against the Liverpudlian man beheaded in Iraq in 2004?

          • Ianupnorth 18.2.2.1.1

            As a Brit I don’t think I am being racist; the reality is that the UK is full of kids dropping E’s and spending their summers pissed on the beach in Ibiza.
            Areas like that should not be a holiday camp for the privileged, they are wilderness – and there were three teens and two guides, and as you said, these things had happened before – did you read the article?

            The last fatal attack by a polar bear in Svalbard was in September 1995

            Indeed one local describe how ‘visitors’ in the past had rushed down to take pictures of bears. If the so-called ‘alarms’ didn’t scare the bear, I would have thought the sound of the shotguns connected to them would have alerted everyone.

            Next time you are at the beach and there is a great white, you’ll be rushing in for a swim then? People should use common sense; those animals need protecting, as does where they live.

            • Vicky32 18.2.2.1.1.1

              Next time you are at the beach and there is a great white, you’ll be rushing in for a swim then? People should use common sense; those animal need protecting, as does where they live.

              No! Can’t and don’t swim… However, I got the impression from the article, that the locals are fine with camps and expeditions in the area…
              However, the thing that bothered me the most, is that you thought that the death of a teenager and serious injury to his friends was funny!
              Even if it had been demosntrably his fault, it still would not be funny. 🙁 Are you a parent? Will you be laughing yer arse off next time some 17 year old gets bladdered and falls off the roof of a car he’s ‘surfing’ on? Do you split yer sides when some kid at a zoo leans over the side of an enclosure, falls in and gets savaged by an angry animal?

              • I have dealt with more situations like you have mentioned in my professional life; I have resuscitated my own daughter aged 3/12 on the living room floor; I have dealt with serious RTA’s, dog maulings, physical abuse cases, etc.
                Your example of the 17 y.o falling off a car, no I won’t be laughing my arse off at the time, but life goes on! Adolescents all take risks; some risks can be better managed – playing on the ice with polar bears is a prime example of poor risk management (bit like that school that lost several pupils on Mt. Ruapehu)
                As I said ‘punching a polar bear on the nose’ was a surreal, comedic image that amused me, if you cannot see the funny side of this then I am sorry for you.
                If this had been an ordinary kid, a lad from a state school, who wasn’t called Horatio, who didn’t have a grand father who was a military big wig in Gibraltar, would this have received the same media?
                In a similar, local vein, one rich kid dies who goes to Kings College – it is on every news channel; five kids have committed suicide in Kawerau in three months – did they get any press? Five people have killed themselves in Rotorua in three weeks – the youngest was just 12 – where was that reported?
                Can you not see the irony? The rich get glory in death, whilst the rest of us are expected to soldier on and pay homage and feel sorry.

                • Vicky32

                  As I said ‘punching a polar bear on the nose’ was a surreal, comedic image that amused me, if you cannot see the funny side of this then I am sorry for you.

                  I am sorry for you, that you think there’s a funny side… I just keep imagining the kid’s panic!

                  If this had been an ordinary kid, a lad from a state school, who wasn’t called Horatio, who didn’t have a grand father who was a military big wig in Gibraltar, would this have received the same media?

                  I think it would, yes. What makes you think it wouldn’t?

                  In a similar, local vein, one rich kid dies who goes to Kings College – it is on every news channel; five kids have committed suicide in Kawerau in three months – did they get any press?

                  Yes, or neither of us would know about it. (I heard about it on RNZ, I don’t read papers). When my brother – died – in 2004, I was told that it’s actually against the law for suicides to be reported in detail – name etc…

                  Five people have killed themselves in Rotorua in three weeks – the youngest was just 12 – where was that reported?

                  I don’t know, but it must have been as I am well aware of it.
                   

                  Can you not see the irony? The rich get glory in death, whilst the rest of us are expected to soldier on and pay homage and feel sorry.

                  Pay homage? As me old Mum used to say, you have a chip on your shoulder… I am no more impressed with toffs than you are, but this is an exception… A child died! (My son would be annoyed at my calling a 17 year old a child, but to me, he is.)

                  • Ianupnorth

                    If I have a chip it is because I fail to see why someone from priviledge has a fawning media demanding sympathy, yet kids are dying from third world diseases in both the UK and NZ and you hear very, very little.
                    I got where I am through self determination and a little encouragement, not thanks to a silver spoon or an old boys network.

  19. Carol 19

    Wow. Stuff has picked up on a NRT post:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/5404407/Brownlee-No-discussion-on-recovery-panel-pay

    In a letter responding to a request for more details from left-wing blog No Right Turn, posted online over the weekend, Mr Brownlee said he had not discussed fees with the panel members.

    “At no time did I have any discussion with the proposed Review Panel members about the level of remuneration offered for the position,” he wrote.

    “My discussions with each of the individuals focussed on the nature of the task required of the Review Panel.”

    • MrSmith 19.1

      Thats great Carol, the MSM have picked up a couple of posts from No Right Turn lately, hopefully the worm is starting to turn.

    • ak 19.2

      Stuff article: “I do not believe that the proposed nominees will undertake the role for fees within the ranges established in the Cabinet Fees Framework,” Mr Brownlee advised.

      Actual words from Brownlee’s letter to Ryall: “It will not be possible to secure their services under the current fees range.”

      Big difference. “It will not be possible….” Not “It may not be possible” or “I think…” or “I believe…” (as in the Stuff version), but the very definite “It will not be possible…”

      And the only way to be so definite, is to have dicussed it with them.

      Brownlee lies, Stuff cover-up. Business as usual.

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  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
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  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
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  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
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  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
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  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
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  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
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  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
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