Open Mike 07/10/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, October 7th, 2013 - 103 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 Policy). Step right up to the mike…

103 comments on “Open Mike 07/10/2013”

  1. Jenny 1

    Coal in the crosshairs

    As sharp differences between the Greens and Labour open up over coal, some of the arguments raised here in this debate carry strange echoes of the US political debate over coal.

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Coal has emerged as a defining issue in the race for Virginia’s governor, and the stark divide between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe has grown wider with the release of new federal pollution limits on coal-fired power plants……

    ……McAuliffe has been dogged by his statement four years ago, during his failed bid for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, that he hoped to never see another coal-fired plant constructed in Virginia. He refused to be pinned down on the issue during this campaign until he was pressed by a reporter for his position on the pollution guidelines.

    McAuliffe embraced the Environmental Protection Agency rules on Tuesday after weeks of dodging questions about his position on limits intended to reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

    “I do, you bet,” he responded.

    Cuccinelli’s seized on the admission. His campaign issued a statement that questioned McAuliffe’s stand, contending the pollution limits would cost Virginia jobs.

    “As I have said repeatedly in recent months, the war on coal is a war on Virginia’s poor and a war on competitiveness for Virginia,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.

    STEVE SZKOTAK Associated Press Updated 6:44 am, Saturday, October 5, 2013

    [lprent: 12 week ban as per my warning yesterday for not indicating that you have searched for parties policies. The first paragraph has no supporting links. Even a cursory look at this early phase shows that they seem to have policies that look remarkably the same.

    A further 12 weeks for leaving comments on my posts this morning.

    You were warned. Set the return date as April 1 as being appropiate ]

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      “As sharp differences between the Greens and Labour open up over coal …”

      Say what? My understanding is that both parties have nearly identical positions on coal, which boil down to ‘it’s not good for the environment, but it’s good for jobs in the provinces, so an eventual wind down of the industry is the best long term plan’. Or summat like that.

      Both parties oppose the partial privatisation by stealth of Solid Energy which was announced last week. Perhaps you could explain what you perceive the sharp differences to be?

      • weka 1.1.1

        Classic Jenny tr0lling. Nice answer TRP, but did you really have to ask the question at the end? Do you think that the question will (a) elicit a thoughtful reponse with references to actual L/GP policy and reality and thus invoke an interesting and educative discussion, or (b) elicit a response that is a mix of misinformation and personal attack that will invoke a thread of frustrated and somewhat chaotic rebuttal and increasing hostility towards Jenny?

        (I think that someone else will most likely respond to your post and examine the differences and similarities between the two policies. Maybe we could focus on that? Small hope I know, but still…)

      • Jenny 1.1.2

        So what are you saying TRP?

        Are you saying, that though they both disagree on the partial privatisation of Solid Energy that there is no difference between the two parties on the actual bail out?

        That leads to the next obvious question; What do they agree on, in relation to the bailout itself if they are both in agreement on it?

        Are both Labour and the Greens in support of the bail out?

        Or;

        Are both Labour and the Greens in opposition to the bail out?

        I am sure the members of both parties and indeed the voting public at large are dying to know.

    • David H 1.2

      ““As sharp differences between the Greens and Labour open up over coal …””

      Have you gotta link to prove this blatant misinformation.

      Because they seem to be almost the same to me
      https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/green-party-launches-clean-energy-proposals

      http://www.labour.org.nz/nz-power

      [lprent: Thanks. I didn’t have time to look at that earlier. ]

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        …..they seem to be almost the same to me

        David H

        Really Dave? Really…..?

        But all joking aside;

        I have talked to Greens Party members. They all assure me that the Green Party are vehemently opposed to the new huge Open Cast Coal Mine proposed for the Denniston Plateau. I have spoken to Labour Party people who assure me just as vehemently that Labour are for the open cast coal mine at Denniston.

        This is one sharp difference over coal between the Greens and Labour.

        (I am afraid Dave I can’t provide links to my private conversations to prove, or disprove this ‘blatant (mis)-information’. Nor is it easy to pin down the politicians, just like Democratic Candidate for governor of Virginia, Terry McCauliffe who refused to be drawn on the issue of coal until he was pressed.)

        [deleted]

        [lprent: And as final point before you go into auto-spam. Even if that was true for all MEMBERS (which it isn’t) then the opinions of Green and Labour members are not what is Green or Labour PARTY policies. Both parties have some quite robust policy making procedures and have written policies. Party policies are what you claimed were in conflict up above – but offered no indication that you’d even read them.

        If you’d taken the time to investigate, you’d have found that while there are differences on coal mining, they are to do with the timing of phasing out different parts of the sector. But to do that you’d have had to have read the policies rather than simply lying about them.

        While you may have your heart in the right place, you are merely a pain around the comments sections of this site simply because you don’t bother to actually search, read and link. None of these things are hard to do. You should use your time away to learn how to do those things so you don’t just sound like someone shouting nonsense repeatably. ]

  2. Geo-engineering research financed by the CIA. Funny trails that don’t disappear in the sky and hey, I just felt like throwing a stick in the chicken coop! Good morning everybody!

    • TheContrarian 2.1

      You do realise those “Funny trails that don’t disappear in the sky” have been noticed and understood since the second world war, right?

      • Hayden 2.1.1

        Silly, that was “chem-trails”. Now that they’ve been re-named “geo-engineering” they’re something completely different and we have to start understanding them all over again.

      • travellerev 2.1.2

        Hun, I understand that it is difficult to understand but cold temperatures cool down hot water molecules causing the condensation you are thinking about real quick making the con trails disappear relatively quick. That is science. So when a trail hangs between 6 and 14 hours you are definitely not talking about condensation. I know that is hard to get your little brain around but there you have it.

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          Why would they disappear “relatively quick”?

          They condense (hence “condensation”) into droplets that sometimes even freeze.
          If the ambient temperatures are hotter or drier the droplets evaporate before they freeze, and disappear. But a contrail hanging around is no more ominous than a cloud hanging around.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2.2

          Wow, you know what people think now, Ev. That’s so kool! And apparently they’re thinking about making strawman arguments that you can effortlessly demolish. Suh-weet!

          (Note to self, must buy more tinfoil, Ev’s on to us.)

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.3

          I understand that it is difficult to understand but cold temperatures cool down hot water molecules causing the condensation you are thinking about real quick making the con trails disappear relatively quick. That is science.

          No, that happens to be bullshit. It’s not even worth the appellation pseudo-science.

        • TheContrarian 2.1.2.4

          So called persistent contrails have been around and understood since the 1940’s. They are nothing new and not mysterious at all.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.2.6

          ev, if you want to get rid of chemtrails in your neighborhood, just follow the helpful demonstration in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsdeAF_Prfo

          • McFlock 2.1.2.6.1

            Why oh why is the msm suppressing this information?!?!?!?!?
            I will buy some vinegar tomorrow!

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    I want to draw your attention to the submissions closing October 10 for the Social Security Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery Amendment.

    There is one particularly concerning piece of information hidden in the explanatory note for
    s86 (1BA) which states:

    “must otherwise determine from time to time the rate of recovery and method or methods of recovery to be used and, in doing so, is not required to have regard to relevant considerations (for example, adequacy of living standards”

    The danger here is that courts will look to the explanatory note for guidance, although this doesn’t form part of the legislation itself. If you disagree with this there is still time to make a short submission

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc/make-submission/50SCSS_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL12009_1/social-security-fraud-measures-and-debt-recovery-amendment

  4. Molly 4

    Apologies if this has already been posted – but received through my inbox over the weekend –

    October 22nd in Auckland – Launch of the latest report from Child Poverty Action Group “Benefit sanctions: creating an invisible underclass of children?”. Register here for the event or to order a hardcopy for $10.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    2013 local elections have to be a new low, investigations need to be held (certain candidate profiles not in booklet–Auckland, packs not delivered to voters, even to one Auckland MP, bogus offers to uplift and mail residents papers for them, papers stolen from letter boxes, appalling return rates generally). Plus NZ Post has chosen October 7 to go to a delivery “target” of 1-3 day delivery of mail rather than next day. Thanks NZ Post. http://www.nzpost.co.nz/home/sending-within-nz/letters-documents/standard-post

    Take the Far North for instance in terms of some of the problems.
    https://www.facebook.com/RuebenForTeTaitokerau?hc_location=stream

    Time for online voting as a companion to postal. The latest ‘senseless’ aka Cenus seemed to handle online ok so it is time.

    • karol 5.1

      Better to have a voting day, with people going to polling booths, making it an event that gets a lot of publicity.

      • Pete 5.1.1

        I don’t know about that. Here in Dunedin with something like 8 candidates for mayor, over 30 for council, an STV system, plus the DHB and regional council, it took me a good hour or so to select the candidates I wanted to vote for and rank them in a suitable order. Doing that in a booth would be time consuming, and impossible without at least consulting some reference material. Democracy is important to me, so I felt committed to voting, but I refuse to believe that this is global best practice. There must be a model somewhere in the world that encourages participation more than the one we use in NZ.

        That said, I would be cautious when it comes to online voting and appropriate levels of security.

  6. Tracey 6

    Why is this article written as though this is a surprise?

    ” The pay between the pay of top chief executives and the staff they manage appears to be growing.

    In the latest Fairfax annual survey of pay rates at listed companies, the average pay of CEOs in 2012 was 26.4 times that of the average employee in the same companies. That’s up from a multiple of 22.5 times in 2011. ”

    It also suggests that while employees are being told they are hard economic times so hence no pay rises….

  7. Rosie 7

    Fairfax reports on a study into poor standards of Fairfax and APN reporting of sexual violence crimes and rape. A light at the end of the tunnel?

    I couldn’t find the article on the Wellintonian (fairfax)site despite all the other articles of that edition of the paper being there, so have had to link the entire Wellingtonian newspaper. p.22.

    http://thewellingtonian.realviewdigital.com/#folio=22

  8. greywarbler 8

    Some reasoned and practical comments on voting procedures for the local body elections.

    Massey University academic Dr Andy Asquith, a local government and public management specialist, said there was no silver bullet to local turnouts that have steadily been falling despite politicians offering up “laudable words”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/election-2013/9237340/Have-you-voted-in-the-local-body-elections-yet

    Also on Radionz –
    The president of Local Government New Zealand is calling for a review of how local elections are carried out as councils around the country report poor returns of voting papers.
    Lawrence Yule told Morning Report the postal voting system is part of the problem, as people leave the forms around the house and never return them.
    A record low turnout is being predicted for Saturday’s local government elections.

    I’m getting confused who said what but this is how I remember comments –

    He supports a return to polling booths in combination with electronic voting.
    He says don’t think on line will change for the better and suggests booths on the day.
    ( I suggest that councils organise a local democracy festival with buskers and balloons. Get some interest in it by showing support for it, bring people to town for the fun spot by the booths!
    Bring the circuses, not the bread as that would be a personal bribe).

    He reports voting papers languishing at home. Check.
    Getting forgotten. Check.
    I have now sat down and gone through the councillors to try and choose 14. Often from a list of people I don’t know. For those, I have to rely on judgment and prejudice!

    Never ever bring in preferences and demands for choice for each seat. I don’t want to be forced to indicate preferences for all the available places for Council. I can manage doing something different for the hospital though we have an extended area, and there is no ward system so I should look at people from the whole region.

    Voting for this number takes time, and you know that it is just a guess as to best with some votes. But that doesn’t mean that I want it ripped away from me, and only have one character to vote for, or give up my vote to some group to decide, which is what we’ll be offered soon.

    And the bio detail for the candidates is pretty empty, not enough information as to what people have been doing all their lives.

    And councils need to encourage more participation by having an element of fun – just a spoonful of sugar and the councillors’ names go down – on the page! Our mayor and councillors were meeting and greeting at a local supermarket. But let’s have a morning of fun at the voting spot.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I have now sat down and gone through the councillors to try and choose 14. Often from a list of people I don’t know. For those, I have to rely on judgment and prejudice!

      Which is why we should be voting directly on policies rather than representatives. That way we’ll actually get what we want rather than what a few people put into dictatorial positions want.

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    “to fill life to the brim is to invite omens”.

    • greywarbler 9.1

      Rogue T
      That’s a good one. With you around I’ll never get Alzheimers as my synapses spark and race around trying to get whatever subtlety you’ve put up.

  10. How many of you are aware of THIS?

    “Auckland Council Group’s PRIMARY objective is to provide social services for social benefit rather than making a financial return.”

    SO – WHY ARE SO MANY OF THESE SOCIAL SERVICES THEN CONTRACTED OUT TO THE PROFIT-MAKING PRIVATE SECTOR
    – WHOSE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS ‘MAKING A FINANCIAL RETURN’???

    DUH?

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/annual_report/Documents/annualreport20122013volume3.pdf

    NOTES TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
    1 GENERAL INFORMATION

    Auckland Council (‘the council’) is a local authority domiciled in New Zealand and governed by the Local Government Act 2002 (‘LGA 2002’) and the Local Government (Auckland) Act 2009 (‘LGAA 2009’).

    The council’s principal address is 1 Greys Avenue, Auckland Central, New Zealand.The Auckland Council Group (‘the group’) consists of the ultimate parent, the council and its subsidiaries, associates and jointly controlled entities including council-controlled organisations (‘CCOs’).

    All subsidiaries and associates are domiciled in New Zealand. Refer to the investment in other entities note for a list of significant group entities.

    The primary objective of the group is to provide services to the Auckland community for social benefit rather than making a financial return.

    Accordingly, the council has designated itself and the group as public benefit entities for the purposes of the New Zealand equivalents to International

    Financial Reporting Standards (‘NZ IFRS’).

    The financial statements are for the year ended 30 June 2013 and were authorised for issue by the council’s governing body on 26 September 2013.

    The entities listed below are referred to within these financial statements as follows:

    BASIS OF PREPARATION
    Statement of compliance

    These financial statements are prepared in accordance with New Zealand Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (‘NZ GAAP’), the LGA 2002 and the LGAA 2009. They comply with NZ IFRS and other applicable financial reporting standards, as appropriate for public benefit entities.

    Basis of measurement

    The financial statements have been prepared on a historical cost basis, with the exception of certain items identified in specific accounting policies. They are presented in New Zealand dollars

    (‘NZD’) which is the group’s functional currency and are rounded to the nearest million, unless otherwise stated. All items in the financial statements are stated exclusive of Goods and Services
    Tax (‘GST’), except for receivables and payables, which include GST invoiced.

    Abbreviation

    ACIL
    ACPL
    A T
    ATEED
    PoAL
    RFA
    Watercare
    AWDA
    Auckland Airport

    Entity name

    Auckland International Airport Limited
    Auckland Waterfront Development Agency Limited
    Auckland Council Investments Limited
    Auckland Transport
    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited
    Ports of Auckland Limited
    Regional Facilities Auckland __________

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Why are the Auckland Council Group’s ‘books’ NOT open?

    Why, in the largest city of the supposedly ‘least corrupt country in the world’, are citizens and ratepayers NOT being given the ‘devilish detail’ of where exactly public monies are being spent, invested and borrowed?

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

    Where’s the TRANSPARENCY?

    How can you have ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ if there are not proper written records?

    Which other Auckland Mayoral candidates (or mainstream media) are asking these HARD questions?

    Which other Auckland Mayoral candidates have an ACTION PLAN for genuine transparency?

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    Penny Bright

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      SO – WHY ARE SO MANY OF THESE SOCIAL SERVICES THEN CONTRACTED OUT TO THE PROFIT-MAKING PRIVATE SECTOR

      Because governments are shit at running things.

      • Paul 10.1.1

        No, because some people can see this as a way to make easy money.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          +1

        • Xtasy 10.1.1.2

          Because we have social engineering Nazis at work all over the place, and they have their agencies, to make a profit, and they love to lick the bum of local and central government, they are anyway mates in the games, so they get the damned contracts, and do the “dirty work” for the top Nazis ruling from Wellington!

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        Wrong. Governments are usually better at running things and they cost less. The only reason why we got the myth that the private sector is better is because some rich bludgers wanted a government guaranteed income.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1.2.1

          John Minto, eh? Well, that settles the argument. When you add to that the wonderful motor vehicles British Leyland makes so profitably and how profitable the BNZ was when it was government-owned the evidence is overwhelming.

          • McFlock 10.1.2.1.1

            Going to Roxburgh in the next few months? They need good cherry-pickers…

          • Xtasy 10.1.2.1.2

            TGFFKSO – John Minto is not my best hero, but he deserves a lot more respect than you would even dare to give him, and he is more genuine than your dollar bill licking mates and matesses, that you will fall to your knees for!

            As for the banks, let us follow the history and what transpires, as you seem to have slept through the GFC.

            Have another bikkie, to keep the sugar level high, as that will keep you stimulated. It does not seem to be rational thinking and information that gives you any kicks.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2.1.3

            There’s actually quite a lot of research coming out that shows that private businesses do public service far worse than the government.

            BTW, it’s not John Minto saying:

            As well as saving money the TDC says it will mean a better service for ratepayers as problems can be dealt with more quickly as they arise. It also cites greater control, improved planning and stronger staff commitment as some of the other advantages of the change.
            The council says the build-up of savings to ratepayers will reach around $3.6m by year five.

            It’s the council that’s done Due Diligence rather than keeping on with ideological myths.

  11. NickS 11

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/seven-too-young-decide-stop-puberty-5605446

    T_T

    I love how the opposition to Jason taking puberty blockers seem to think at 7 he’s total incapable of knowing his own gender, as if gender identity were a fluid thing.

      • QoT 11.1.1

        One person has a bad experience ergo all people will have an identical experience! Also, surgery and hormone treatment have identical effects and reversability! *headdesk*

        • NickS 11.1.1.1

          THIS

          Puberty blockers are reversible, the body shape issues caused by puberty? Not without significant surgery, or without potential fun from gender dysphoria…

    • Adele 11.2

      Kiaora Nick

      Are you suggesting that at seven years of age, humans, generally, have the capacity to fully understand the complexity that is gender. It must be a cultural thing, because at seven, I couldn’t even spell the word.

      Although now that I think about it, some kid wanted to show me his penis for a penny (I say penny only because the word goes nicely with penis and in no way indicates my age). I didn’t have a penny therefore never got to understand the complexity of gender until much older. And by then I was like – is that it?

      • NickS 11.2.1

        🙄

        Elder things save me from people who can’t fucking think, let alone do some basic fucking research…

        • Adele 11.2.1.1

          Dear Nick

          You are becoming even more incomprehensible. And stop with your continuing efforts to prove that you are a brainy fuckhead. These efforts simply reinforce the fuckhead aspect of your personality.

          Your scientific approach to all things human limits your capacity to see other possibilities. I know gender exists on a continuum, and it is fluid. How can a child understand that which even you fail to comprehend?

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1

            you couldn’t understand it at seven, so no child can?

            From my perspective it’s between the child, their parents and their doctors. Unless you know better, of course.

            • Adele 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Kiaora McFlock,

              What were you doing at seven? Were you playing with your gender, or a proper ball?

              • McFlock

                Well, I knew I was pretty much like all the other boys.

                Apparently some other kids don’t have that sense. Not a huge proportion, maybe, but who am I to second-guess them, their parents, or their doctors? I have no idea about what they feel or what the people closet to them have considered. Neither do you.

                Assuming that all kids are like you or I was as a seven year old (decades ago, in my case, long before vibrators in supermarkets) perhaps “limits your capacity to see other possibilities”.

              • karol

                Adele, I disagree with your assumptions. I’m pretty sure I felt at odds with conventional gender expectations by the time I was seven – probably earlier.

                And from when I was a a teacher and studied child development, as I recall children know their gender by about 5 years old. Gender differentiation is very basic in most (if not) all cultures.

                It’s certainly very basic to our society. People start talking to children on the basis of their biological sex as soon as they are born – adjust their language and ways of interacting with a baby o the basis of whether the child is perceived to be a boy or girl.

                By the time children go to school, they know whether they should go to the boy’s or girl’s toilet.

                A brief over view of the stages of gender awareness that children go through – matches with my memory of child development when I studied it.

                • bad12

                  Karol i read into Adele’s comments that at that age we all know boys are boys and girls are girls, but, at that age we don’t have any understanding of the other complexities involved in gender issues…

                  • karol

                    Well, I do think it may be more debatable as to whether a 7 year old can make major decisions about their future, and understand the full implications of their decisions.

                    But, looking back on my life, I am amazed that so many of my directions in life have pretty much been in keeping with my desires for my future at a very young age.

                    I was certain, for instance, at a very young age that I never wanted to get married. I got into a disagreement about that with some adult friends of my parents. I kept saying that I wouldn’t marry. They kept laughing and saying I’d change my mind when I got older. In the end I just shut up and thought, “You’ll see”. And, I never have had a desire to get married in the course of my life.

                    Same goes for the kinds of jobs I’ve done, and my kind of anti-materialistic lifestyle.

                    But I don’t think I have fully understood the complexity of life decisions I made in my teens, twenties and even thirties or more. That understanding can only come with experience and often after the decisions are made and the consequences play out.

                    • bad12

                      Lolz, the levels of function and dysfunction exhibited by both my parents circa my 7-12 year life certainly had a lot to do with my later choices in life but gender, and the fact that there were ‘others’ didn’t register until some time in my teens,(perhaps a slow learner)…

                    • karol

                      bad, I think gender may not be an issue for children unless they are at odds with the expectations and consequences of the assigned roles.

                      I was certainly very aware of it from a young age. Partly because my “tomboy” ways didn’t fit expectations, and often got comment. I was also aware from a very young age that being a girl had secondary status in society in many ways, and tended to exclude me from some things I wanted to do, or mean I was expected to do others I didn’t want to do.

                      It was something I consciously thought about from a very young (pre-puberty) age.

                      PS: the 50s were very much more gender segregated than today.

                    • NickS

                      There’s also the issue with cis individuals having the privilege of not having gender dysphoria, so we don’t have a drive to examine our gender identity in childhood unless $fun happens.

          • NickS 11.2.1.1.2

            Your scientific approach to all things human limits your capacity to see other possibilities.

            Unimpressed Nick is unimpressed.

            Science only closes off things which lack empirical evidence and more often that not open more questions.

            In the case of gender identity we have the better part of 60 years of stuff dating from the mistakes made with children with intersex conditions, in which the state of the genitalia was not a 1:1 match to the child’s gender identity and now parents of intersex kids usually let them make there own choice vis gender identity. Combine this with transgender stuff and and critical examination of gender roles vs gender identity (they’re not one in same, bar reproduction) and it’s a pretty obvious inference to make that gender identity is to some extent hardwired in the brain and links to the brains body image map. How though is not fully understood, but that’s neurology for you, a complex, messy emergent system…

            Is gender identity going to fluid for some people? To anyone with a good understanding of biological variation the answer is obviously yes, but from the above stuff, we also know that there’s also individuals with very clear, fixed self-knowledge of their gender identity.

            Is Jason one of these people? Admittedly the details are scarce, but given the details so far, they’ve been sure in their gender identity since the age of 3 and has had 4 years to work it out. And given other accounts from transexuals and third sex people, I’d then model it highly likely Jason is not going to alter his gender identity on exposure to either male or female hormone profiles.

            Furthermore, puberty blockers are reversible, and the initial phases of male puberty are somewhat more reversible than female puberty if on exposure to androgen therapy Jason’s gender identity shifts.

            There’s also the fact that to get puberty blockers, the family has to go through a psych eval…

            Now, going away from gender identity, my exposure to history and philosophy of science (warts n all), my own fun with depression (and other bits), knowledge of the flaws of human cognition, scepticism readings and being embedded within the humanist project leads me to know how powerful science is as a tool, and how science can be a useful source of hard facts on which to iterate ethical frameworks off and avoid costly (for humane values) mistakes. Scientific knowledge of how depression alters my thinking and how antidepressants work, plus the tools to detect side effects is one of the tools I’ve used to stop myself from committing suicide*. But also that science is not the be all and end all, that there’s a rich [space] of ecological interactions vis human culture from which emerges so much richness.

            So yeah, it should be fairly easy for anyone with a functioning theory of mind to work out why I’m a science bastard and somewhat annoyed with those who don’t bother to do some critical thinking.

            More so though when I’m running into stuff like this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/10/06/more-formulaic-bullshit-from-thunderf00t/

            ___________________________________________
            *rest are tied into an ethical framework that uses euthanasia rational from Singer, tested to it’s limits in 2012 by chronic suicidal ideation.

    • weka 11.3

      “I love how the opposition to Jason taking puberty blockers seem to think at 7 he’s total incapable of knowing his own gender, as if gender identity were a fluid thing.”

      I’ll have a better read tomorrow, but on first look through, they’re saying a 7 yr old is not capable of understanding the implications of the decisions being made. I’d have to agree with that.

      I’m also uncomfortable with the idea that all transgender kids will be traumatised by going through puberty unassisted by pharmaceuticals, which seems to be the implication.

      btw, what are the risks and side-effects of puberty blockers? Long term as well as short term. And when it’s stated that puberty blocking is reversible, what does that mean in terms of risk and side-effects? At what stage?

      • NickS 11.3.1

        Google “gender dysphoria”.

        For some it’s not to bad, but usually it’s rather painful and so ethically preventing it comes across as a good idea.

        As for side effects – depends on the particular drug used, but usually side effects are not significant enough to preclude their use, with the main one being osteoporosis.

        And once the drug is stopped, normal hormone release resumes 😛

        • weka 11.3.1.1

          Thanks Nick, I know what gender dysphoria is. I just thought there was this idea (in the article) that the only valid response to that was puberty blocking. Which I’m having difficulty believing.

          “And once the drug is stopped, normal hormone release resumes”

          Kind of like women on HRT at menopause, who when they stop their menopause resumes. And we know know that the line that side effects are not significant enough to preclude their use is being disproved over time, that often there are significant negative health effects that outweigh the value of delaying menopause. I’m willing to bet that the amount of knowledge about puberty blocking and its long term effects is pretty small at this stage, just like it was with HRT before enough women did it for long enough for the nasty shit to turn up in the research.

          Which is why medical ethics shouldn’t be left to doctors alone 😉 Doubly, triply so when it comes to kids.

          Plus, I’d love to see the research on puberty blocking and increases in environmental endocrine disruptors.

          • NickS 11.3.1.1.1

            I’m willing to bet that the amount of knowledge about puberty blocking and its long term effects is pretty small at this stage,

            Actually they’ve been used for almost as long as HRT as they’re used to stop precocious puberty, along with treating people with sex hormone producing cancers. So far the ecological data points to far less side effects than HRT, with increased cancer risks only occurring with certain prostate cancers iirc.

            Plus, I’d love to see the research on puberty blocking and increases in environmental endocrine disruptors.

            Compared to hormonal contraceptives and the various industrial organic endocrine disruptors, these would be a drop in the ocean.

            And yes, GD is rather intractable to therapy (i.e you can give people tools for dealing with it, but not reducing it or removing it) as it’s a body-map issue, and the “wait and see” approach often puts trans people in puberty through suicidal ideation, self-harming and other not fun stuff. Thus it’s not a hard ethical problem to advocate for puberty blockers.

  12. Bob 12

    If they are 95% certain, why cherry pick data?
    Guest essay by Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, Professor of Geology, Western Washington University
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/03/the-2013-ipcc-ar5-report-facts-vs-fictions/

    My favourite quote: “As MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen stated, “The latest IPCC report has truly sunk to the level of hilarious incoherence—it is quite amazing to see the contortions the IPCC has to go through in order to keep the international climate agenda going.””

    • karol 12.1

      Welcome to the deniers alternate reality.

      • Bob 12.1.1

        Close, welcome back to reality, the one prior to Enron setting up a Carbon Trading scam, then funding the ‘science’ keep the scam running.

    • Tracey 12.2

      80% of reports by Murdoch owned media outlets are anti climate change theory. Interesting…

      “New research out of the US has provided evidence of the “misleading” reporting of climate change by News Corporation. The report, Is News Corp. Failing Science, written by the Union of Concerned Scientists, looked into representations of climate change at Fox News and The Wall Street Journal over a period of six and 12 months respectively.

      In their study, stories were investigated and rated “accurate” or “misleading”. Misleading pieces were defined as those that:

      • Had a broad dismissal of the scientific evidence that climate change is occurring and is largely due to human activities
      • Disparaged climate scientists generally or specifically
      • Disparaged or mocked climate science as a body of knowledge
      • Cherry-picked individual facts or findings to question overall climate science conclusions
      • Engaged in debates or conversations in which misleading claims drowned out accurate ones.
      Out of 40 mentions of climate change on Fox News, 37 were determined to be misleading, or 93% of stories. The reporting in The Wall Street Journal (researchers looked at the opinion section) was slightly more accurate; 81% of stories were considered misleading. Disparaging the basic fundamentals of the science was the most common approach at both outlets.

      This finding brings into stark reality the challenge climate scientists and activists have when it comes to the issue being reported in the media. “

      • Bob 12.2.1

        And yet it is okay for the IPCC to do the same? Seems like both sides are playing the propoganda game……..
        Just out of interest, who conducted the “New research out of the US”?

        [lprent: Let me give you a hint oh moronic wonder. Type “Is News Corp. Failing Science” with the quotes into google and the first item is the PDF. It has nothing to do with the IPCC. ]

      • Bob 12.2.2

        Who conducted the “New research out of the US”?
        Was it Al Gore by chance?
        Also, this doesn’t change the fact that a scientist with a Doctorate in Climate Science, from the top rated University in the world believes the IPCC reporting has “truly sunk to the level of hilarious incoherence”, I thought the IPCC was all about the science? Aparently they are only about the science that fits their agenda.

        [lprent: Gee, now the fuckwit is confusing science with a politician, and confusing a *single* dissident scientist with a crap reputation (I am assuming Judith Curry) as outweighing the large number of scientists with similar or better backgrounds who disagree with her.

        Ok. Richard Lindzen is a bit better. He is however a meteorologist, and does not have a docorate in “Climate Science” (if you can’t understand the difference then that just indicates exactly how illiterate you are). But at least he understands maths and doesn’t gush over the maths of a economics prof doing climate science.

        Just another moronic wanker too incapable to either spell or use google. ]

        • Paul 12.2.2.1

          You are a man in denial

        • Paul 12.2.2.2

          Bob, you’re welcome to believe what the Koch Brothers want you to believe.
          But to those of us who:
          a) take the work of the vast majority of independent Science as worth listening to
          b) are concerned by the way we are altering our climate. (I presume you accept at least that we are destroying habitats around the world and wildlife),

          …there are better things to do than debate the nonsense you are pedalling here.

          • Bob 12.2.2.2.1

            Paul, I am concerned about our environment, not about our effect on the climate. I am also concerned about the effect the likes of the ETS have on our economy, look what it has done in Australia:
            http://www.aigroup.com.au/portal/binary/com.epicentric.contentmanagement.servlet.ContentDeliveryServlet/LIVE_CONTENT/Publications/Reports/2013/Carbon_price_impacts_Jan_2013.pdf
            Key points: In our survey of 485 businesses conducted at the end of November 2012, the carbon tax was estimated to have increased energy prices from 1 July by an average 14.5 per cent. This result was broadly consistent across sectors:
            · Manufacturing businesses reported that their total energy input costs increased by an average of 14.5 per cent as a direct result of the carbon tax.
            · For businesses in the services sector, the increase was reported at 13.6 per cent.
            · Businesses in the construction sector reported that the carbon tax had increased their total energy costs by 14.8 per cent.

            If the IPCC stopped trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes we could pull out of the ETS but leave the current tax system in place (exempting farms entirely). The funds raised from this scheme, we could put directly into enforcing clean waterway schemes such as planting native plants along the banks of rivers and streams, extensive water testing to find major polluters and targeting farmers that allow cattle to enter waterways, forcing them to fence their herds in or face large fines. The remainder of the money that is currently just being sent offshore from the ETS with no benefit to NZ’s environment, we could put towards larger subsidies for landlords installing solar panels into their properties with an aim to both reduce tenants power bills, but also in the longer term, looking to reduce the load on the power grid so the Huntley power station and all other non-renewable power stations can be wound down completely. These would have a tangible effect on the environment, the current ETS does not.

            • Paul 12.2.2.2.1.1

              Simple question Bob, are humans profoundly affecting the world at the moment?

              • Bob

                Yes, through air and water pollution along with stripping of land for farming/mining, NOT through Greenhouse gas emissions.

                • NickS

                  🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

                  m’kay then, please show us evidence that CO2 does not retard the movement of heat through the atmosphere into space.

                  Feel free to actually cite some peer reviewed evidence that overthrows well known quantum behaviour of C=O bonds vis infrared photon absorption/emission, and which can be verified pretty easily in any well equipped physical chemistry lab. Behaviour which matches exactly the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere once you subtract warming from other gases and weather.

                  Not that you can, since such evidence doesn’t actually exist except in the ramblings of idiots who can’t do basic lab work or sanity check their equations…

                  • Bob

                    No, you show me a linear relationship between CO2 concentrations and the ability of the atmosphere to hold heat. I do not deny that CO2 does trap SOME heat, there is just no evidence that CO2 causes enough of a rise in temperature to be of any significant worry based on current theory (unless you cherry pick data like the IPCC does).
                    The current theory shows increase in CO2 correlates to a rise in temperature (no direct correlation can be made, although IPCC report (AR4) described the likely range as between 2 and 4.5 degrees C, for double the amount of CO2 compared to pre-industrial levels) but as Dr. Richard Lindzen’s reasearch has shown, this temperature rise increases water vapour in the lower atmosphere, increasing cloud cover and providing negative feedback against further warming.
                    Also, higher CO2 levels lead to significantly higher crop yields (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0168192386900547) which will be required due to the continuing increase in human population.

                    • lprent

                      Dr. Richard Lindzen’s reasearch has shown, this temperature rise increases water vapour in the lower atmosphere, increasing cloud cover and providing negative feedback against further warming.

                      Which would increase albedo enough to be detected by satellites over the last few decades. Lindzen’s models essentially predict this, although he wasn’t kind enough to actually provide tests for his theories in his theories. The required level of albedo wasn’t detected. Nor was the required increase in water vapour in the atmospheric column were detected where he predicted they should be. You’d expect a theorist to deal with the contrary evidence to their predictions.

                      Needless to say Lindzen hasn’t. At present his theorising has descended into conspiracy theories. But that is probably more to do with his association with the Heartland Institute and the financial benefits of being on the end of a oil fed benefit chain.

                      The alternate theory was that heat and CO2 was getting sucked deep into the extremely chilly oceans. This was what has been investigated over the last few decades as well. The models that used this as their precept predicted what should have been found. That was quite close to what was found (and some theorists are busy trying to figure out the variations now).

                    • NickS

                      trololololololololol:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect
                      It’s easy to work out too, you just need a set of glass bell jars with the kit to make each jar’s CO2 concentration different (controlling for pressure of course), a heat source (heat lamps + rheostats basically) and thermometers.

                      The main cause of divergence is basically ocean heat absorption, with other, smaller effects from atmosphere stratification, air flow and water vapour. Which for all but ocean heat, before computer models, was worked out via hydrological modelling, for which the rates of warming they worked out are still good fits even today.

                      But hey, why bother with basic science when you can deny reality?

                      For the lurkers, this site has a ton of interesting info: http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

        • Bob 12.2.2.3

          lprent – And yet this mornic wanker as you so eloquently put it, is willing to listen to the authors of parts of the IPCC’s own reports, an author who states that the IPCC put political pressures on climate scientists to conform to what he has called climate alarmism.
          Of course when he puts forward counter arguments against the IPCC’s findings, no-one wants to listen because the IPCC states that they are 95% certain http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/27/ipcc_ar5_wg1_teaser/ by their reasoning, I am 95% certain they have invested too much into Climate Change to let the theory fall over, can you imagine the class action law suit to reclaim taxation alone! No wonder they have started cooking the books.

          • lprent 12.2.2.3.1

            Lindzen again? Who was a member of a team writing in one section of the AR3 report in the late 90’s.

            He is pretty good (I’ve read some of his work), but appears to be have been fixated on clouds rather than the heat balances. He also tends to suffer the congenital problem of meteorologists in that they don’t work well over longer than decadal time scales. Personally I come from an earth sciences/geology background myself and find it hard to view such small periods of time as being significiant.

            It is noticeable that when criticized on any of these types of matters – for instance the heat buildup in deeper ocean waters he tends to avoid them and goes for the surface effects that he is familiar with. It has been obvious since AR2 or 3 that the biggest unknowns were in the way that the oceans were sopping up CO2 and heat, and the speed at which ice sheets could melt.

            His obsessive focus on the lower joules involved in surface meteorology is the main reason he doesn’t get listened to that much. He is piddling around looking at minor variations in heat storage while completely ignoring the larger repositories.

  13. lprent 14

    Gotta find time to automate the response to whatever that database jamup is…

    • greywarbler 14.1

      Lynn
      A bit earlier I called in and got a 404. Then I got a 522 . cloudflare. Now after a break, I have called in to TS again and my page is different with much underlining and brilliant blue caps. So wonder if it’s cloudflare response (on Opera browser) that results in untamed lines/links going across the page.

  14. FYI – in the interests of transparency…..

    Questions I have asked today of Auckland Council arising from the Auckland Council Group 2012 – 2013 Annual Report

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/reports/annual_report/Documents/annualreport20122013volume3.pdf

    1) Who are the members of the Auckland Council Treasury Management Steering Group?

    2) Who are members of the Council group which is supposed to monitor the activities of the Auckland Council Treasury Management Steering Group?

    3) Where are the details that show EXACTLY :

    a) Where Auckland Council Group (Auckland Council + CCOs) monies are invested?

    ie: The names of the companies in which Auckland Council Group monies are invested, and the amounts?

    b) From whom exactly Auckland Council Group is borrowing, what exact amounts and for what purpose?

    c) With whom exactly has the Auckland Council Group arranged derivatives investment to cover interest rates and foreign exchange risk?

    4) Did any of the previous 8 Councils have investments in derivatives prior to the Auckland Council amalgamation on 1 November 2010?

    5) (New question) Did the Auckland Transition Agency enter into any derivatives investments? Please provide details.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    …….

  15. Rogue Trooper 16

    Clyde W. Barrow
    (cool name).

  16. Puckish Rogue 17

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9252970/Robin-Bain-print-theory-dismissed

    Not that this’ll change anyones opinion but good on JC for not giving this murderer (Bain) any compensation…

  17. Paul 18

    Phil O’Reilly and Jay Timmons pimp for the TPP deal, along with the NZ Herald, by posting this.
    If you read the comments below ( and see the like ratings for each) it clear that their views are not representative of the people’s who read the paper.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11135785

    • Paul 18.1

      This might explain their enthusiasm.

      Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector. He became NAM president in January 2011.

      Phil O’Reilly is Chief Executive of Business NZ, New Zealand’s largest business advocacy group, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      The TPP – It May be Free But It’s Not Fair

      The TPP is a corporate takeover bid. It is to allow companies to roam the world to find the cheapest places to manufacture their goods and sell them wherever and whenever they wish, to the detriment of workers and local businesses alike. Whoever or whatever gets damaged in the process will not be their concern or responsibility. Under the TPP no one will be able to tell them what to do.

  18. well then the marks on Robin Bain’s were not caused by the gun.

    I suppose davids supporters will just brush this off also.

    • Lanthanide 19.1

      At this point I don’t really trust anything the police say about the case.

      In the balance of probabilities, I think David probably did it, but because the police monumentally cocked up the investigation, we’re never going to know for sure.

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    A teacher’s troubling account of giving a 106-question standardized test to 11 year olds

    Isn’t it time to stop this ever-increasing testing cabal, which puts our children, and their enthusiastic and devoted teachers, into these untenable situations? Can we remain compliant when our children and our teachers are judged by performance on such abominations parading (and being paid for) as “assessments?” Is this how we want our children, and our teachers, to spend the precious hours they have together in our schools? When does this situation become untenable enough for us to stand up, together, on their behalf?

    • greywarbler 20.1

      DTB
      Aldous Huxley touched on demhumanisaion in Brave New World (632AF – After Ford) in the use of factory production, assembly line approach to human handling by those with powers of coercion over society. Use business practices to manage people as in Lean method below.

      Lean manufacturing, lean enterprise, or lean production, often simply, “Lean”, is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_manufacturing

      From a film on George Orwell a sombre note. The Final Warning.
      This was talking about his book 1984. In the film he said it was quite good but affected by him suffering from tuberculosis as he wrote it.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXm5hklbBsA‎
      He said something like – this is the direction the world is going in – people will feel only fear, rage, self-abasement.. no sexual feelings – no loyalty except to the Party but always the intoxication of power, the thrill of trampling on others – imagine a boot on someone’s head. The moral is don’t let it happen. It depends on you.

  20. lundys’ murder convictions quashed..

    ..yet another ‘you beaut!’ for the nz justice system..eh..?

    ..phillip ure..

    • private baldric 21.1

      drugs are bad mmmmmmmkay

      • phillip ure 21.1.1

        ..pot ain’t..

        ..most others are..

        ..(especially the legal ones..)

        phillip ure

        • xtasy 21.1.1.1

          Let me tell you in all honesty, the NZ legal system is one of the worst, and most flawed in the “developed” world, and I had my experiences with it.

          It is dysfunctional in many ways, and bias, prejudice and even refusal of allowing “justice” is a regular occurence. It is only due to the wide populace not having any legal understanding and experience that the courts and so get away with what they do here.

          I challenge the judiciary and government here, and I claim that justice is a “foreign” and perverted concept in too many a cases.

          New Zealand is in regards to law, and justice, particularly natural justice, one of the worst performing countries there are.

          It is a disgrace what goes on here, and the denial to justice, with legal aid cut to the minimum, with lawyers not even looking at cases that do not “pay” more than costs, with courts having even JPs make determinations, and so many other flaws, New Zealand is a disgrace, for sure.

          No wonder then, that so many get convicted, locked up, punished, even for what they never did, and get stigmatised for the rest of their lives. Nothing more destructive than the NZ justice system comes to my mind, it is a total shambles.

          • Pete 21.1.1.1.1

            A Criminal Cases Review Commission is needed.

          • greywarbler 21.1.1.1.2

            xstasy
            I think we have actually sunk to banana republic level, we just haven’t recognised it yet. Australia has though.

  21. xtasy 22

    Musica Andina, viva Chile, viva el pueblo nativo the Sudamerica:

    More of this and also native NZ music must be presented!

  22. xtasy 23

    Viva la vida, Illapu, por la vida, one of the best, socialist also:

    Keep the faith and support all deserving!

  23. xtasy 24

    Socialistas, do NOT forget, this sacrifice, by a human being, believing in the good of people:

    Viva la revolution. Viva Victor!

  24. Tracey 25

    Interesting poll result in wairiki. Espesh the party vote.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11136335

    • bad12 25.1

      An interesting poll that may or may not have been skewed by a third of those being polled being General Roll voters as opposed to those voting on the Maori Roll,

      The 2011 result had the Mana Party’s Annette Sykes 1000 votes behind Te Ururoa Flavell, the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election had the Mana Party candidate ahead of the Maori Party on the day,

      Ever the optimist i expect Waiariki to be won by Mana in 2014…

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