Open mike 08/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 8th, 2011 - 52 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

52 comments on “Open mike 08/05/2011”

  1. Sam 1

    The new Llabour party candidate for Otaki is yet another lawyer.
    Proof once again that Labour is “the workers party” – yeah right!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Lawyers are workers you imbecile.

      • Sam 1.1.1

        Another personal attack.

        A lawyer is not a “worker” in the sense of what Labour used to stand for. Labour was formed to protect the “blue collar” worker, not spivs in suits.

        • The Voice of Reason

          And calling the new Labour candidate a spiv in a suit is not a personal attack? Imbecile.

          • Sam

            Anther personal attack on me. Pathetic.
            I am talking about what Labour is supposed to stand for, not what you think it stands for.
            There are enough trendoids in parliament now. Another third rate lawyer is the last thing this country needs. Lawyers=Workers? Yeah right!

            [lprent: There is nothing to stop people ‘attacking’ other people provided they express a relevant point. Read the policy. However each time that you whine about it without foundation, it requires my time to investigate it. Rather than continuing to do that, I will add you to auto moderation so I can personally assist with your education in why you don’t waste moderators’ time. It will continue with enlightening notes added to your comments until I am sure you grasp the ideas of social interaction on this site. ]

            • Colonial Viper

              Hey fuckwad. Here’s a suggestion – if you want to post on political blogs grow a thicker skin. Else go back to playing with your toys.

              Lawyers are definitely workers.

              Graduate lawyers get worked over the coals for the first two years they are out, expected to work 50-60-70 hour weeks for no overtime and a dirt cheap starting rate, chewed up and spat out by the corporate machine, paid sweet F.A. Some make it higher up the ranks eventually.

              So yeah, lawyers are workers too, just like software developers, diesel mechanics and banking advisors.

            • Sam

              As long as you do the same to the person who called me an imbecile.

        • lprent

          Bullshit. It was formed to protect any type of labour.

          Perhaps you should read the constitution and other founding documents.

          The principles and objectives of the constitution are a model of clarity compared to your muddled myths.

  2. PeteG 2

    Another violent bastard who seems to think it’s just what happens.

    In this week’s Woman’s Weekly, Williams appeared to downplay the level of violence.

    He said he regretted his actions but added: “Just like every other relationship there are scuffles, here and there. I’m trying to right my wrongs.”

    He blamed alcohol for his abusive nature and anger problems, saying he began drinking at age 14 and grew up in an abusive environment.

    (Kiwi No 1 pop star’s ‘horrible’ violence)

    No matter what excuses he thinks of he has been a violent abusive prick. As a high profile “entertainer” he should do much more than look for sympathy from the Woman’s Weekly readership – if he accepts that what he has done is wrong and despicable and he wants to be any sort of role model.

    Or he can remain a violent prick with alcohol and power problems.

    • Sam 2.1

      At least she got out and he won’t have a small baby to throw around or shake to death.

    • felix 2.2

      Yeah he’s a prick but that’s of no special interest – there are plenty of pricks just like him abusing women right across NZ.

      What is of some consequence in a public interest sense is his being held up as an ambassador for Len Brown’s Auckland. Brown should put a stop to that, and publicly explain why.

      I’m surprised you didn’t mention that, as I would consider it the single newsworthy aspect of the article – “dickhead smacks girlfriend” is hardly the scoop of the day – so I wonder what was it about the article that made you want to link to it? The way you write “entertainer” suggests that you’re not a fan.

      • Vicky32 2.2.1

        I had honestly never heard of him – or her!
        Good thing he got punished, and yes, Brown should bounce him. To judge by the article, she’s one of the stupider specimens of ‘models’ or ‘reality stars’ or whatever the heck she is, but at least she enough vestigial brain to steer clear of him…

  3. Descendant Of Smith 3

    OK they lost their house through investing in Bluechip – they should have invested more wisely and sought independent legal advice before signing on the dotted line.

    I don’t see them as victims – they chased the dollars and paid the price though I do think we should have better protections against financial predators like these..

    But the kids reaction is priceless. They should be helping their parents not having a go at them.

    Carolyn’s family don’t understand how she could be “so bloody stupid” and her two adult children are gutted. “[They] were very angry with us because this is like their inheritance.”

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.1

      Life’s about to end (again) but good to know someone is making money off fear once again, building bunkers for idiots with money to burn – although they better spend it quick.

    • Tigger 3.2

      Inheritance? Piss off. Why should anyone expect wealth handed down. It’s old skool Tory crap.

      • ianmac 3.2.1

        We five sons and daughters kept telling our mum who was in her 90s to buy whatever took her fancy. She would say that it would be nice to leave us something and that she didn’t really want for anything. The idea of having sons and daughters hanging about with their eyes on the loot seems grotesque.

        • millsy

          and that is why I will never support voluntary enthenaisa. The thought of families knocking off a terminally ill relative using this method to get their hands on the family fortune is rather chilling…

          • Draco T Bastard

            100% death tax.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            It’s OK – it can simply be restricted to poor families. Sterilisation isn’t a goer…

            I’ve seen family members taken their parents out of care and treat them appallingly so the house didn’t get taken by the rest home to pay the fees.

            Others where they have become welfare guardians or had POA and spent all mum’s money meaning they have ended up caring for mum when she could have had a much better life in the rest home instead of being cared for by ungrateful, bitter and unskilled children.

            I only have respect for one legal firm locally who when setting up trusts is quite clear to the family that they will either act for the parent of the children but not both as the interests of the parent are not the same as the interests of the children even when the parents think it’s the right thing to do to dispossess themselves of their assets to a family trust.

            They’ve often advised the parent not to hand over their wealth and to continue to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

          • chris73

            I support abortion, the death penalty so of course I support voluntary euthanasia as long as there are specific checks and balances and interviews

            Nobody should have the right to tell me (or anybody) what we can and can’t do with our own bodies (as long as we’re not doing harm or have done harm to others)

            • Descendant Of Smith

              There’s an inherent contradiction in supporting the death penalty and then in believing that nobody should dictate what you can do with your body – harm as a convenient excuse doesn’t let you off the hook either – one person’s definition of harm is well removed from another.

              You’re trying to have your cake and eat it.

              • chris73


                Its not a contradiction as such, what it does is face the reality that we don’t live in a cut and dried black and white world.

                I believe as long as you do no harm to others you should be free to do as you please BUT once you do harm (a specific crime) to someone else then your right to your own body becomes forfeit

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  In other words you believe in this:

                  Sometimes other people should have the right to tell me (or anybody) what we can and can’t do with our own bodies.

                  There’s never any need to kill a person in the name of justice in a modern civilised society. No qualification ever.

                  That’s simple and easy to understand. Adding qualifiers such as yours simply turns a simple concept into a complication that benefits no-one. Even the notion of killing someone for a specific crime is complicated – all murders for instance have their own context.

                  If you’re not convinced it’s contradictory then one presumes it’s simply Orwellian doublespeak – the art of having two two opposing beliefs in one’s head at the same time and believing both of them.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I believe as long as you do no harm to others you should be free to do as you please BUT once you do harm (a specific crime) to someone else then your right to your own body becomes forfeit

                  So would putting it another way be something like:

                  The state in principle has the right to kill it’s citizens, but as long as they do as they’re told, it shouldn’t.


                  If not. then what is it about that statement that you object to?

            • Vicky32

              Well, I am opposed to abortion, the death penalty and war. It’s called the ‘seamless garment’ approach. What it’s got to do with greedy kids abusing their parents over a supposed inheritance, I just don’t get!
              (Disclaimer) My parents were both dead before I was 30, and my Mum left my brother $100.00, as he was the youngest and it was all she had. I don’t care about that!)

    • millsy 3.3

      That Blue Chip thing looked like it was rather dodgy.

      Im no expert in finanical products, but I take it that “But under the terms of the unusual investment products they were never supposed to settle on the properties” means that their name would not be on the titles – which if youre going to invest in property, needs to be number 1,2,3 on the list of must have…

  4. millsy 4

    Schools dump kids from NCEA course

    This is nothing new might I add. Back in the old days of school C, the school I went to would dump a large number of young people into ‘Alternative’ courses, in which they didnt do school cert or anything. This pretty much guaranteed that they would leave without any qualifications, and I guess this would be reflected in the pass rates.

  5. ianmac 5

    (Damn posted this in the wrong place shifted it to here. Sorry.)
    One blogger described Key’s words on bin Laden as banal. “The World will be a safer place.” His words invoked no response and that is fairly typical. If your words are banal in giving answers you can’t be criticised for your ideas can you?
    Then we get those like Hone who have substance in their responses. Whether you like his answer or not, it does give the commentators meat to feed on. Often to the detriment of the speaker.

    There must be a mathematician around who can build a graph/formula along the lines of the greater the banal the less the risk. The more the substance the greater the risk. This graph could be applied to the words of the politician and be shorthand for the measure of credibility/worth.

  6. ianmac 6

    This seems to be relevant to the Seals attack on bin Laden. It comes via No Right Turn via Fisk about Shane Bauer prisoner in Iran. About halfway down.
    The Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) is probably the largest special forces unit ever built by the United States, and it is free of many of the controls that most governments employ to rein in such lethal forces… Although the force is officially controlled by the Iraqi government, popular perception in Baghdad is that the ISOF… is a covert, all-Iraqi branch of the US military.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Be careful out there people; Deborah Coddington is mostly making sense.

    Strange shit is clearly afoot with the universal morphic resonating and ley-lines an’ shit.

    Be alert!

    Make sure you know where your towel is, is all I’m saying.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    National went and removed gift duty for the rich and…

    While gift duty is abolished for the rich, said St John, regular transfers which total over $5000 in a year, or $96 a week, to struggling low income families are penalised.

    …put it on the poor.

  9. joe90 9

    Towels, Banksy.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Good lament here from a Pakistani opinionater on matters national security

    Barely 24 hours before the Osama assault General Kayani, at a ceremony in General Headquarters in remembrance of our soldiers killed in our Taliban wars, was describing the army as the defender of the country’s ideological and geographical frontiers. For the time being, I think, we should concentrate on ideology and leave geography well alone, the Abbottabad assault having made a mockery of our geographical frontiers.

    Every other country in the world is happy if its armed forces can defend geography. We are the only country in the world which waxes lyrical about ideological frontiers. To us alone belongs the distinction of calling ourselves a fortress of Islam.

    In the wake of the Raymond Davis affair a certain sternness had crept into our tone with the Americans, as we told them that they would have to curtail their footprint in Pakistan. I wonder what we tell them now. It is not difficult to imagine the smile on American lips when we now speak of the absolute necessity of minimising CIA activities.

    With whom the gods would jest, they first make ridiculous. The hardest thing to bear in this saga is not wounded pride or breached sovereignty but our exposure to ridicule. Osama made us suffer in life and has made us look ridiculous after his death. Around the tallest mountains there is the echo of too much laughter at our expense.

    Consider also the Foreign Office statement of May 3, “As far as the target compound is concerned, ISI had been sharing information with CIA…since 2009….It is important to highlight that taking advantage of much superior technological assets, CIA exploited intelligence leads given by us to identify and reach Osama bin Laden.” This is hilarious. If we were aware of the compound and had suspicions about its occupants what ‘superior technological assets’ were required to go in and find out?

    But what takes the cake is the stern warning attached: “This event of unauthorised unilateral action cannot be taken as a rule. The government of Pakistan further affirms that such an event shall not serve as a future precedent for any state, including the US.” We can imagine the CIA trembling in its shoes. My son burst out laughing when he read this.

  11. Carol 11

    Jacinda Ardern has apparently launched her campaign this weekend, with her red & white caravan that she will use to travel Auckland streets – a caravan she bought off TradeMe, which turns out to have originally been owned by the Topp Twins:

    The Labour MP came up with the caravan idea after spotting a tiny pink caravan while driving through her old hometown of Morrinsville. She says she knew instantly it was what she wanted for the task of campaigning in the inner city.

    “In this seat we have the really unique issue of reaching the more than 20,000 people living in the inner city. Apartment living means it’s harder to get to people’s letterboxes and doors and talk about the issues that are affecting them. I decided that one of the really small older caravans we used to build right here in New Zealand, kitted out with tea and coffee, would be one way we could do that.”

    “I’m glad we’ve been able to bring it back to life. When I brought her Jools mentioned that a tree had fallen on it, and I think some animals had turned it into their home.”

    Ardern makes it clear she personally funded the Starlette’s new lease on life. She says it really has been a labour of love and she’s now looking forward to getting on the road with it around Auckland Central.

    Constituents will be sent a postcard letting them know when the caravan will be in their area and will be invited to meet Ardern and get a tour of what she describes as “the small but perfectly formed” 1956 Starlette.

    The caravan’s distinctive, so I guess I may see it around Auckland some time. I think it will be a tightly fought battle between Nat & Labour in Auckland Central this election.
    [photos of the caravan at the url]

  12. prism 12

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but Radionz on Chris Laidlaw this morning had a great and informative interview this morning on the Taliban. I find it difficult to comprehend them, and with a certain amount of prejudice on my part, to get an objective view of them. This guy was so well informed and I felt he was balanced and trustworthy in his statements. It’s also timely to be thinking about Afghanistan post Bin Laden. (10.05 a.m.)
    James Fergusson – Inside The Taliban
    The taliban has become a label – a sort of terrorist talisman. But who, really, are the taliban? Why are they regarded with such revulsion outside Afghanistan, and what is their connection to Al Qaeda? British journalist James Fergusson is one of the few people to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Pashtun community, from which the taliban arose, and spoke to Chris about the taliban phenomenon. (duration: 41′21″)

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      “… a label – a sort of terrorist talisman …”

      that’s an interesting turn of phrase !

    • ianmac 12.2

      Yes prism. After listening to that this morning it gives pause for thought when hearing on tonight’s TV news, how the USA news machine is setting out to show that bin Laden was both a tired grey little man huddling under a blanket and at the same time the mastermind still for the terrorist activities. What should we believe and why might they misinform us?
      During the WW1 at Christmas time the troops chose to down tools for a few hours though both sides in trenches were within speaking range. The opposing troops sang together, and played a bit of football. The Officers were frantic because the Allies were lead to believe that the enemy were bastards who killed babies, raped the women, and must be exterminated. How could they if they discovered that the enemy were just ordinary blokes? I think of that every time I hear propaganda depending who is handing it out.
      (The interview with Paul Reeves was brilliant. Sir Paul believes that we are at a tipping point in relation to social welfare.)

  13. joe90 13

    Chile’s privatised social security system has turned 30.

    • prism 13.1

      Very interesting joe90.

      • joe90 13.1.1

        I’d say very worrying because Brash is going to use it.

        • joe90

          The price.

          Pinochet’s Chile

          Or consider the darling of many an ’80s conservative: Pinochet’s Chile, installed by Nixon, praised by Jeanne Kirkpatrick, George Bush, and Paul Johnson. In twenty years, foreign debt quadrupled, natural resources were wasted, universal health care was abandoned (leading to epidemics of typhoid fever and hepatitis), unions were outlawed, military spending rose (for what? who the hell is going to attack Chile?), social security was “privatized” (with predictable results: ever-increasing government bailouts) and the poverty rate doubled, from 20% to 41%. Chile’s growth rate from 1974 to 1982 was 1.5%; the Latin American average was 4.3%.

          Pinochet was a dicator, of course, which makes some libertarians feel that they have nothing to learn here. Somehow Chile’s experience (say) privatizing social security can tell us nothing about privatizing social security here, because Pinochet was a dictator. Presumably if you set up a business in Chile, the laws of supply and demand and perhaps those of gravity wouldn’t apply, because Pinochet was a dictator.

          When it’s convenient, libertarians even trumpet their association with Chile’s “free market” policies; (originators of that cute quiz) includes a page celebrating Milton Friedman, self-proclaimed libertarian, who helped form and advise the group of University of Chicago professors and graduates who implemented Pinochet’s policies. The Cato Institute even named a prize for “Advancing Liberty” after this benefactor of the Chilean dictatorship.

          • Colonial Viper

            Pinochet’s Chile, assisted by US based Chicago School neo-liberal economists, even though they knew he was a ruthless dictator.

          • Carol

            Libertarians… ha! Reminds me of Rortney on Qu & A today & on The Nation. He was talking up his own achievements & what he stands for…. defending getting into bed with the Sensible Sentencing Trust. He said he is a libertarian, and to have his idea of freedom, it requires not allowing bullies to bully people, hence the need for a strong law & order policy.

            Well, as far as I can see NAct with its abuse of urgency, Rodney setting up the super city without consulting the people of Auckland, the general behaviour of males in Act, Brash’s take-over…. they are some of the biggest bullies around. It seems to me like there’s a few libertarians that don’t want others to bully them, but they want to be able to organise the system to dictate to others.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    This is an interesting piece. Not so much about what it’s about (the Supreme Court ruling on flag burning) but what is contained in it’s last paragraph.

    Powers of arrest

    I think Bill Hodge is wrong. There is no discussion in this case of the police’s powers concerning breach of the peace. They still have the power to arrest to prevent an imminent breach of the peace. This is essentially a crowd control measure, and doesn’t itself mean that an offence has been committed by anyone. This case doesn’t change that.

    my emphasis

    This seems to be a little authoritarian to me and that it probably that breaches a few rights in the BORA. Going round arresting people who haven’t done anything seems a little extreme. How do they judge it? What procedures are in place to ensure that it’s not abused? Which, from Rockys tales, seems to happen fairly often.

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