Open mike 08/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 8th, 2012 - 117 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…

117 comments on “Open mike 08/06/2012”

  1. Congratulations to all involved in achieving the Parata back down.

    But do not underestimate the tories.  They are fast tracking the return of the privatisation legislation and are returning the bill six weeks early.  It appears they will try and smash the bill through next week.

    They are trying to blunt the effectiveness of the petition and using the current political chaos to push the bill through.

    Time to to keep campaigning … 

    • Carol 1.1

      I’ve already submitted my comment to stuff’s article on it this morning:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7062894/Asset-sales-law-being-rushed-to-dodge-poll

      • Carol 1.1.1

        And now this article has disappeared from the main page of the site, and there’s been no addition of more recent comments for a few hours. What a surprise! Could it be because most commenters are opposed to both asset sales and the abuse of democracy?

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Now’s the chance for Dunne to stand up for democracy and insist National send the bill back to select committee or he won’t vote for it.

      • KJT 1.2.1

        If NACT do not succeed in privatisation, including delivering school funding to the private sector, with charter schools, they will not get their rewards in the hereafter.

        Key will not get his ten million dollar a year retirement, courtesy of Goldmen Saks, for one.

        Every thing else is just smokescreen

  2. Logie97 3

    … “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”?
    And Key in an interview this morning firmly laid the blame on teacher unions
    and the threats of protracted industrial action.
    Nothing to do with public opinion telling them that it was lousy policy made on the hoof.
    However, teacher organisations beware …

    • Carol 3.1

      Yep:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7063028/Class-size-backdown-political

      Speaking in Hamburg, Prime Minister John Key said he still felt the proposed changes were right and the U-turn had only been caused by parents’ negative perceptions of them.

      “We were effectively saying to the sector ‘here is quite a lot of cash to fund [teacher] development [funded] by making what we think – I still think – is a very modest alteration of class sizes’. But what is clear is that parents don’t see it as modest and in the end perception is reality.”

      It had become “blindingly obvious” parents would not wear the policy and that was why the Government had backed down, Key said.

      Interesting to see Key’s “perception is reality” comment….. sums up his whole approach.

      • vto 3.1.1

        Agreed Carol. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the top smelly dog and everybody around says yes yes yes you are a great and mighty one – you start believing your own bullshit. It is a common human trait and Key has fallen straight into it.

        I would suggest that the problem perceptions in NZ are not parents perceptions of how many children are in their child’s class but Key’s perceptions of the average NZer.

        And then we also have Keys own ‘perception’ that small class sizes are good and that is why he sends his own kids to private schools.

        … words fail me …

  3. vto 4

    Brilliant cartoon in the Press this morning highighting the warmongering and overlording ways of the American people (yes, it is time to push this back onto the American people and not let them off by saying ‘oh, it is the American government, not the people).

    What I would like to know is why no Americans ever come on here and defend their murderous ways. Surely there are some who float around here…

    The Americans are clearly both the most dangerous people on the planet and now at their most dangerous in their history.

    What is the matter with them? I suspect that the power that has accumulated there through a series of historical events and machionations has simply got out of control. The place is out of control and we need to watch out.

    • Carol 4.1

      I do know some Americans who are very critical of the US war-mongering and imperialistic ways. Some of them have left the US in disgust to live elsewhere. I don’t think they come to this forum, at least not regularly though.

      The powerful groups within the US have done a very good job of marginalising dissenting views over a long period.

      And many US people live in third world conditions, putting all their efforts into surviving. And they have been disenfranchised, or have just given up on voting because it doesn’t seem to change anything.

      • AAMC 4.1.1

        Interestingly, it’s the hard core US Libertarians who speak most loudly in America against the War machine.

        • John Henry 4.1.1.1

          Unfortunately, here in the US it’s also the “Libertarians” (don’t let the name fool you) who speak most loudly in favor of all the OTHER machines. These days, the most likely thing you’ll find when you scratch a self-described Libertarian from the US is a hardcore pro-corporate right-winger who favors legalizing cannabis. Beyond that, their “liberty” extends only to corporations and the federal government; deregulation of industry and laissez-faire capitalism combined with strong state or local regulation of individual liberty is the order of the day. (Case in point: prominent Libertarian/Republican Ron Paul votes consistently in favor of corporate tax cuts, but believes the individual states should be allowed to outlaw abortion, gay marriage, and even certain consensual adult sexual activity.)

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            After watching our own Libertarians I came up with a simple description of them:

            Libertarians: Dictators hiding behind liberal values.

            It’s quite obvious that for libertarians that oppression is the order of the day, not liberty (except for themselves).

    • happynz 4.2

      What I would like to know is why no Americans ever come on here and defend their murderous ways. Surely there are some who float around here…

      Looks like you’re looking to have a beef. I do have US citizenship, but I’d probably disappoint you because I’m not murderous or horrible (although I do have many flaws as my wife is quick to note). So, sorry mate, although I have the passport, I’m not the one you’re looking to vent at.

      The Americans are clearly both the most dangerous people on the planet and now at their most dangerous in their history.

      Ha! Whenever I chat with people here they quickly notice my accent and ask if I am Canadian. When I reply that I’m not Canadian but that I’m from the States they look a bit puzzled and either drift away quickly as if I have some contagious disease (American cooties perhaps) or they seem surprised and mumble something or other about how I don’t seem ‘American’.

      • vto 4.2.1

        Thanks for the reply happynz. I guess yes a beef and venting is what is wanted. But I feel that is entirely legitimate when the sorts of actions are going around the world that are going on. And within the US. And even here, kowtowing to all things American as this government is.

        That was the point of the post – trying to drag out a vibrant debate about the actions of your government.

        As for pointing the finger at the people as well as the government, what do you think? Is that legit? I think so given who the American people keep electing and the history of American wars and actions. The American people need to stand up and explain imo.

        If some other nation was going around invading other nations, launching drone attacks on others soil, making overt threats against loads of others, etc then that other nation would be painted by the US as evil. So is the US evil? Using its own reasons and definitions the US is evil.

        I just want to hear the justification and the arguments. Not everything is opinion, often times there is a right and a wrong.

        • Vicky32 4.2.1.1

          Is that legit? I think so given who the American people keep electing and the history of American wars and actions. The American people need to stand up and explain imo.
           

          Yes! I recall a few days ago, all the bashing of the English that went on here, as the proud ‘Scots’ and ‘Irish’ New Zealanders went to town… If it’s legitimate to jeer at someone for being English, then it’s certainly legitimate to query Americans, especially at most of them have no problem with capital punishment, the ‘bearing of arms’ – oh, and drone attacks!

      • weka 4.2.2

        ” So, sorry mate, although I have the passport, I’m not the one you’re looking to vent at.”
         
        That’s because you are an American person, not the American people 🙂 There is an obvious difference there.

      • Vicky32 4.2.3

        Ha! Whenever I chat with people here they quickly notice my accent and ask if I am Canadian.

        In my experience, Canadians are not a lot different – although they (some of them) pride themselves on being… Yet they have the same self-centred and paranoid mentality.

    • Carol 4.3

      Just checked The Press’s cartoon this morning on Press Display. It’s a cartoon of Obama, with his hands on a remote control, in “Mikado” outfit, singing a song to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Lord High Executioner:

      I have a little drone
      And the address of your home
      And if that’s on a foreign shore
      Its sovereignty I’ll ignore
      Don’t question my right
      You know I have the might
      As president of the United States
      I decide all your fates
      Don’t appeal to any justice petitioner
      I am prosecutor, defender, judge
      and Lord High Executioner

      Interesting also that the front page of The Press hard copy doesn’t seem to be reflected on the main page of Stuff online.

      Front page, headline article is half a page on Coldest Day On Record (That was Wednesday in Christchurch)

      Headline for article on bottom half of the front page:
      Key denies ‘pulling rug out’ from under Parata: Minister lauded and lambasted over U-turn

    • So I suppose you take full responsibility for John Key and the National governments actions? And all New Zealanders are right wing ideologues? If they can vote in Bush for a second term and we can vote in Key for a second term maybe we are more similar than you think?

      Because that’s what you infer when painting all Americans with the same brush. I have a number of American friends who can’t stand their government and the way the whole system is set up.

      • vto 4.4.1

        Fair point, but from what I see the US has been going about these evil actions for a very long time now and imo the actual people need to step up to the plate and explain. I understand democracy and the tyranny of the majority, however it is a majority and they have voted in favour of continuing the murderous rampage – especially when they re-elected Bush.

        If it happens in NZ over a similarly long period then fine, point the finger. At the moment though it aint to anything like the extent in the US.

        Perhaps one of your friends would care to outline the justification for these long-term US actions.

        • It’s not their responsibility to outline any justification for the actions of the government any more than you or I should have to justify National selling state assets. Those that voted by and large never voted for the Demublicans and so have nothing to answer for.

          They understand that federal U.S. is by and large a farce and are more focused on local politics by voting in councillors, water board members etc that actually have some impact on their lives and they actually have some power over.

          • vto 4.4.1.1.1

            It’s not their responsibility? I outlined some reasons why there is a responsibility – the long term actions of their governments and the simply murderous nature of what is and has been done. Imo this, over such a long period, does require justification. Do you think we should all just sit around quietly while the US arms people to murder women and children in Syria, for example? That sort of approach screams i see nothing i hear nothing i say nothing. Pathetic. Actually, worse than pathetic given that people are killed daily by the US govt.

            At the risk of raising godwins law – people turned a blind eye and did not speak up prior to WWII. Perhaps the similarities are greater than people imagine. And keep in mind that when in the midst of volatile times the times generally do not feel as volatile as they actually are – the reality of the times gets exposed in hindsight.

            Look the American people have contributed massively to the goodness of the world but it is now out of control. The system is stuffed and rampaging on with a whole bunch of Texan cowboys riding the bucking bronco.

            Appreciate your feedback, but it would be good to hear someone outline whatever the justifications are for American actions in the world. Nobody has yet and one has to wonder why…

            • Olwyn 4.4.1.1.1.1

              To quote from Thucydides’ description of the Athenian message to Melos: “Regarding the Gods we have the belief, regarding men the certainty that by a necessity of nature each one always commands wherever he has the power to do so.” America is now the great power, and it does what great powers tend to do, only with modern methods. I think also that their system is predicated on infinite resources, while resources are running low. It pays to remember, however, that American excesses are frequently challenged by the Americans themselves. Look at “Grapes of Wrath” as response to the depression, and the many American voices that speak out now, often at risk to themselves and their reputations.

            • Vicky32 4.4.1.1.1.2

              It’s not their responsibility? I outlined some reasons why there is a responsibility – the long term actions of their governments and the simply murderous nature of what is and has been done. Imo this, over such a long period, does require justification. Do you think we should all just sit around quietly while the US arms people to murder women and children in Syria, for example? That sort of approach screams i see nothing i hear nothing i say nothing. Pathetic. Actually, worse than pathetic given that people are killed daily by the US govt.
               

              Seconded 100%!

              At the risk of raising godwins law – people turned a blind eye and did not speak up prior to WWII. Perhaps the similarities are greater than people imagine…………….

              I’ve often thought so…

               
               Nobody has yet and one has to wonder why…
               

              Because there is no justification?

            • Southern Limits 4.4.1.1.1.3

              I feel like we are talking at cross points here. I agree that it’s their responsibility to critique their governments actions and create open discourse in their communities about how to change things. But you said justify, and it is 100% not their responsibility to justify the actions of a government they never voted for and don’t agree with.

              Btw the U.S. has a huge number of dissenters who talk about the ravages of the U.S. government everyday. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Derrick Jensen, John Zerzan, Ward Chruchill, Jello Biafra, Immortal Technique, Amy Goodman, Alexander Cockburn ad infinitum.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.1.2

            The people of a democracy are always responsible for the actions of its administration.

            • KJT 4.4.1.1.2.1

              Neither the USA or NZ are democracies.

              Being graciously allowed to change the names of the dictatorship every three years does not make a democracy.

              Especially when the actions of both lots of Dictators vary only in degree.

              I agree in a “democracy” you could hold the people responsible.

              It is notable that the worlds, few, true democracies do not vote to go to war.

              • Jackal

                +1 The puppet leader effect is more prominent in the US, where the drug companies, oil barons and war machine effectively has control of almost everything that happens.

                Personal responsibility for the actions of the state is a difficult argument… because democracy is predated upon by dictators. Elections are often a mirage of choice, when you get the same outcome no-matter who you vote for. Although people should feel some responsibility for the actions of their countries, and the fact that democracy has been usurped, they are not the ones who pull the trigger.

                Therefore it’s wrong to blame all Americans per se with generalizations. You can blame the United States because it collectively undertakes atrocities, but on an individual basis, whether somebody is personally responsible would be dependent on their attitudes and actions.

                People should not be automatically prejudiced against all Americans, just as they should not be prejudiced against all Muslims. After all, it’s prejudices that often lead to and facilitate wars.

            • Colonial Viper 4.4.1.1.2.2

              What democracy remains? An electoral college system where 538 unknown electors get to choose POTUS? Or one where unbridled amounts of corporate money drown out all voices but their own commercial interests? Or one where the populace is completely dumbed-down, stressed out, criminalised and distracted by the American mythos?

              Greer has something to say about the US concept of “democracy”

              http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/democracys-arc.html

              Behind the rhetoric is a conception of democracy that has nothing in common with the real world, and everything in common with the Utopian fantasies that have come to infest contemporary political discourse. When Americans talk about democracy or, with even richer irony, “real democracy,” they usually mean a system that does not exist, has never existed, and can never exist—a system less real than Neverland, in which the free choices of millions of individual voters somehow always add up to an optimal response to the challenges of a complex age, without ever running afoul of the troubles that inevitably beset democratic systems in the real world.

          • fatty 4.4.1.1.3

            “It’s not their responsibility to outline any justification for the actions of the government any more than you or I should have to justify National selling state assets.”

            Exactly, also the imperialistic actions of the USA is relatively not much different from UK, Spain, France etc. To blindly blame individuals from those countries would be wrong…and I find that most British people are not only are aware of their country’s imperialism, but they then don’t care.
            I found San Francisco to be one of the most politically aware cities I have been to, much more than European cities. I find many Europeans to often be self-righteous and always pointing the finger at the yanks, even when those Europeans know what’s going on in the world. Bush may have got re-elected, but that was by a voting public that has a blinkered view of history/current events….Blair got voted in by a UK public that was generally aware of their history/current events. So which people are more ‘stupid’?
            Also USA is a neoliberal country…neoliberalism creates many victims, and few benefit. Democracy is a sham and a con…one surely cannot believe that a democratic system means all people have a say in how the country is run. Slavery created the USA, those people still suffer, not much has changed for African Americans. Slavery still continues under another guise, this is happening within the USA’s boarders. 10km from Wall Street are some horrible ghettos…those people have no voice, they have no choice, they are responsible for nothing.

            • vto 4.4.1.1.3.1

              Good vid. Understand your point but it kinda misses my point.

              Hey Americans out there – is there one of you who can stand up and outline the justifications for your government’s actions? What about someone from the US government itself? Come on. Grow some balls. What about someone who voted for Bush? Or Obama?

              police state, facsist state, evil state

              • fatty

                “Good vid. Understand your point but it kinda misses my point.”

                yeah brother ali has a lot of good things to say. I don’t think you will find any defenders of US imperialism / neo-colonialsim here. Try this: http://nation.foxnews.com/

            • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.1.3.2

              Democracy is a sham and a con…one surely cannot believe that a democratic system means all people have a say in how the country is run.

              The question is: Is representative democracy really democracy or just dictatorship in another guise?
              I’m picking the latter.

              • fatty

                “The question is: Is representative democracy really democracy or just dictatorship in another guise?
                I’m picking the latter.”

                True…(our) democracy is often taken for granted that it is effective and the best way to run society. What will become interesting is over the next 50 years democracy will begin to find itself under attack, in the same way capitalism is being questioned now.
                Questions are being raised as to whether or not democracy is the best way to run capitalism…China is forcing us to face that.
                Will China turn to our ‘democratic’ capitalism…or will they steam ahead and force us (Western, liberal capitalist democracy) to alter either our capitalism or our democracy.

                • KJT

                  Our “Democracy ” is not democracy in any way shape or form.

                  Being able to change the names of your dictators without the majority being able to change anything else, including policy direction, is NOT democracy.

                  Democracy is what these people have. http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/

                  If their representatives get too stupid they can have a binding referendum. Which means the “representatives” have to act as administrators, not dictators, and explain and have sensible policies, or they will not get anything done.

                  Notice whenever New Zealanders have a chance to choose, they always choose whatever gives politicians less power, because we know that giving them too much is a disaster.

                  It is well known in management research that the more people involved in a decision the better the resulting decisions.

                  In any case even if the decision is wrong, it is ours to make. Not 120 largely self selected morons.

                  OUR SYSTEM IS NOT DEMOCRACY!!!

        • AAMC 4.4.1.2

          Any society which has enjoyed the power the US have since the second world war are inevitable lured towards evil.

          It’s not because they are “American”. Important some of the best of human endeavour also comes out of the States.

          • Vicky32 4.4.1.2.1

            Important some of the best of human endeavour also comes out of the States.

            Such as? Seriously, I would like to know…
            When I was in my teens, I believed the USA was the most scientifically and technically advanced country in the world. How many times do we see on the TV news or see in the paper some family whingeing about not having the money to send little Cameron or Madison to the States for some revolutionary new medical treatment? I was highly amused to learn that in many cases the treatment they are begging the public to fund, is available in Australia or even here in NZ for a tiny fraction of the price…
            If the USA ever was the most scientifically and technically advanced country in the world, those days are long gone. Now the USA is noted for obesity, stupidity and aggression. Only.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.3

          I understand democracy and the tyranny of the majority, however it is a majority and they have voted in favour of continuing the murderous rampage – especially when they re-elected Bush.

          Actually, it’s not. Their voter turnout for federal elections is usually only around 50% – usually below, sometimes above. Presidential elections get higher but 60% is still higher than the norm.

          I’m not defending the US actions, they’ve been a rogue nation since at least 1890. Their problem stems from three things – low voter turn out (the people who want a better government aren’t voting), the fact that there really is no difference between the two parties (which puts off the people most likely to demand change) and an FPP voting system that entrenches the same two parties permanently in the halls of power.

          • McFlock 4.4.1.3.1

            1890? I’d go so far as 1823, the Monroe Doctrine, as the beginning of the rot.

            • Colonial Viper 4.4.1.3.1.1

              They successfully raised an empire to become a global hyperpower. Unfortunately, they’ve forgotten the roots of their success – high levels of socialised education and housing as well as true capitalist industry (as opposed to crony capitalist financialisation).

              The US position in the world is now held together by two things – the domination of the US dollar. And the massively capable military and intelligence machine it operates.

              • fatty

                “The US position in the world is now held together by two things – the domination of the US dollar. And the massively capable military and intelligence machine it operates.”

                very true…and the domination of their dollar is perpetuated by the IMF and the World Bank. American ideals are institutionalised and forced on the world. It’s military force is no longer so vital, neo-colonialism and ‘development’ of the global South is more effective than physical force. But that’s not to say the military is not useful, the military plays its part and is encouraged by the UN…the UN and Europe support US abuse of the minorities.
                I would add a third thing that maintains US hegemony…and that is culture. Americanisation in the form of consumerism is still sweeping the world and shows no sign of slowing. Its the desire to consume, a belief in liberal capitalism, social liberalism and the notion of ‘freedom’ that draws the world’s money towards the USA. Capitalism put the money into the hands of a few – and since American culture defines our desires, that money moves towards America.
                China might be up there in economic terms, but the USA controls the world’s knowledge. USA defines the ‘truth’

    • Uturn 4.5

      If we accept your idea that Americans are murderously rampaging across the provincial New Zealand countryside, then the reason they are not here articulating their dread plans is because they are too busy murderising stuff. Idle hands do the devils work and hands doing the devils work are never idle. American Idol is the devils work, Ryan Seacrest often acts as the devils agent and Keanu Reeves was once the Devils Advocate. Busy people. There could be a link.

      If Americans are the most dangerous people on Earth, then there is probably not too much to fear. If the occupy movement was a measure of the collective awareness of a nation, then possibly 99% of the population do not agree with the actions of their government – as wars are still extensions of domestic policy – and are willing to act to change it. So very few Americans need justify their position as being out of control, unless they lied. Probably it was the devil making them lie.

      I am happy you are keeping an eye on them. Let me know when the marines land.

      • vto 4.5.1

        .
        useless tit

        • Uturn 4.5.1.1

          Unfortunately, like your sweeping generalisation of Americans, there are also no useless tits. There is such a thing as confirmation bias however and before you begin your new life work of understanding the collective psyco-social behaviours of the north american people you should look that up.

          • marty mars 4.5.1.1.1

            well put Uturn, let’s hope vto dives into his new project with gusto – seems to me that the fact that hardly any americans have defended their government to vto’s question on this blog, tells the story – it’s a bit like why certain areas of goggle sky are blocked – vto has hit the jackpot – he could end up being famous and on TV with this one.

            • vto 4.5.1.1.1.1

              “well put Uturn, let’s hope vto dives into his new project with gusto – seems to me that the fact that hardly any americans have defended their government to vto’s question on this blog, tells the story – it’s a bit like why certain areas of goggle sky are blocked – vto has hit the jackpot – he could end up being famous and on TV with this one.”

              Got anything decent to say? Or just your consistent personal smart arse rubbish.

              • no, you said it all for me

                but you must admit, this “putting up ideas” to generate discussion is a bit peteish.

                I can’t even work out what the term, “americans” really means, there are just so many subgroups, some directly opposed to the other, yet somehow all american. The question just seems nonsensical to me, let alone somehow blaming them for what their government does. And then taunting because no one shows up to argue the silly non-point you have raised. So again no, I’ve got nothing to add to your thoughts vto.

                • vto

                  .

                  “The question just seems nonsensical to me,”

                  .

                • Vicky32

                  I can’t even work out what the term, “americans” really means, there are just so many subgroups, some directly opposed to the other, yet somehow all american.

                  It’s simple. Americans are the people who say ‘bathroom’ because they’re too mealy-mouthed to say toilet, they’re the people who pixilate TV pictures of naked Ken dolls, even though Ken is as innocent of genitalia as a refrigerator. Americans are the people who ‘pledge allegiance to the flag’ every day of their school lives from 6 years old. They’re the people who think that Europe and Africa are each one big country, and that capital punishment is the only way to stop “serial killers” from shooting them dead on street corners. They’re the people who think that ‘fries’ and ‘ketchup’ are vegetables. They’re the people who believe that the Twin Towers were brought down by 19 ‘towel heads’, or ‘sand n-words’, who came from Afghanistan, or Eye-rak, or Syria or Eye-ran or whichever country they’re next told is the Enemy. They’re the ruthless murderers who exude sticky, sugary sentiment at the sight of their flag, and who have courthouses and churches (!) festooned with Old Glory (spit)…

          • vto 4.5.1.1.2

            Where was my sweeping generalisation of Americans uturn? Please point it out – for your own credibility. Useless tit.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.5.2

        US Shifts Bulk of Naval Power to Asia-Pacific

        Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, has said that the majority of the country’s naval fleet will be based in the Asia-Pacific region by the year 2020.

        Speaking at a security conference in Singapore on Saturday, Panetta said the assigning of 60 per cent of the fleet comes as part of a new strategy to increase US presence in the Asia-Pacific.

        “Make no mistake, in a steady, deliberate and sustainable way, the United States military is rebalancing and is bringing an enhanced capability development to this vital region,” Panetta said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue conference.

        It seems that the US is becoming a threat to this region. Considering their war-warmongering over the centuries I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

    • Vicky32 4.7

      Brilliant cartoon in the Press this morning highighting the warmongering and overlording ways of the American people (yes, it is time to push this back onto the American people and not let them off by saying ‘oh, it is the American government, not the people).
       

      Sad but true, I agree! Unlike Carol, I don’t know any Americans who oppose their governments’ policies – in fact Americans I know defend them…

      The Americans are clearly both the most dangerous people on the planet and now at their most dangerous in their history.
       

      Also 100% true!

      • Murray Olsen 4.7.1

        I know plenty of Americans who oppose their government’s policies, even though I don’t personally know any who oppose Obama’s stand on gay marriage. However, I doubt if any of them even know this blog exists, so I don’t think we can read a lot into their not posting here.

  4. I’m sure some here will applaud the early downfall of a National government, but I think it will pose major risks for the country and it will trash our democracy.

    And Labour are nowhere near ready yet, they’re too busy down and dirty to step up to the government plate.

    People are getting crankier, not just in blog bubbles but out in the real world too. Subversion is working, but only because National are too shut off (arrogant?) to see it and deal with it. National alert – trouble likely to escalate.

    • vto 5.1

      “Subversion is working”

      Pete, I read your bloggy thing and suggest that it is not so-called subversion that is causing this, it is a direct result of National’s own politics and manner. It is due to them – the opposition simply highlights their shortcomings.

      Case in point – asset sales. Everybody I speak to knows that financially it is a backwards step and that the government will be worse off (even the Finance Minister has admitted that). And that power prices will rise and profits head offshore. Yet this government does not explain and back itself – it just charges ahead arrogantly, ignoring the people. This is a an example of their modu operandi. So don’t blame others for the hatred that has built for the people in this National government, blame those national people themselves. After all, they are always going on about personal responsibility and accountability.

      They completely deserve abusive descriptions such as pricks and wankers. And Key of course is most commonly described by people around here as “just a dick”.

      • not so-called subversion that is causing this, it is a direct result of National’s own politics and manner.

        National’s “own politics and manner” is the direct result. So yes, it’s largely National’s own doing, if they weren’t so remote and stuffing up so much the subversion could be dismissed as negative nonsense.

        I don’t think Key himself is the problem, but it could be his style of leadership, that worked well enough last term, is falling to pieces as ministers given their own responsibilities succumb to second term arrogance.

        I hera mixed views for an against MOM, that could be because I listen to a wider range of people. I don’t think the policy being proposed is anywhere near as bad as some doomsayers keep pushing, but National seem to have got to cocky with their ability to shove it through parliament.

        • KJT 5.1.1.1

          What a load of bullshit. Asset sales are going to leave us worse off.

          Even the spin merchants can’t argue with that.

          If they are going to leave us worse off. WHY DO IT??

          Anyone who still supports this bunch of ignorant thieves are either deluded, crazy or greedy for self gain no matter what it does to New Zealand.
          To ensure, Key’s payout for delivering New Zealand to US corporates?.

          Which one are you? PG.

    • North 5.2

      C’mon Pete…..be honest.

      An early departure of this malevolent and incompetent crew would see the last of the hilarious bouffantry of your leader.

      That’s all that really worries you.

      • You’re making bullshit attributions again. You’d probably accuse me of personal ambitions if I pushed for an early election.

        I believe in full term government except in exceptional circumstances, I supported that strongly when Labour where in power, the same as now.

        Do you think the term of government should be subject to the whims of opposition? If it worked like that it would adversely affect all – especially the country.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          What on earth are you talking about Pete?

          How could an opposition force an early election? You being daft man.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      I’m sure some here will applaud the early downfall of a National government, but I think it will pose major risks for the country and it will trash our democracy.

      Of course you do PG, your sycophantic support of NACT would require that.

  5. John Key is meeting with Angela Merkel. I wonder how that’s go to work – neither of them speaks English.

    • Carol 6.1

      Does anyone outside NZ understand Key’s English anyway? Surely it’s all about smile-and-wave to the public, and in practice do what his foreign masters say?

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.1

        I suspect his kiwi newzild accent is as fake as tits on a bull. When he’s chatting away to Bernanke I bet he speaks in something close to a Boston accent, with the Queen he would sound like an Oxford Don. It’s the same crap that George Bush used. I once say him interviewed on Irish tv and he spoke very eloquently and didn’t misunderpronunciate any words at all. As far as I know, that interview was never shown in the US.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      I wonder how that’s go to work – neither of them speaks English.

      😀

  6. Dv 7

    how many in NZ understand him?

    • Rosie 7.1

      Acshully, I guess it jist dapunds on whether you spuk unglish….

      Sorry that was unkind……

      • Anne 7.1.1

        No it wasn’t. That’s exactly how he speaks. The philistine.

        Edit: I think you may be ‘tongue in cheek’. 😉

  7. Hekia Parata – Asshole of the Week

    The last couple of weeks have been an unmitigated disaster for Education Minister Hekia Parata…

  8. SamHall 9

    We understand him! Impression Management!
    That would be the “strength” of most politicians these days. Not the broad knowledge and preferably wisdom that DTB recognised yday as necessary for good political leadership and decision-making.
    What lack of human values does it require to sit in judgement, aware of the trainwrecks approaching the country and its people, and not only do little, but actively encourage people to invest their purpose in perpetuating the mess.
    Aussie aye! Release GDP FIGURES ending March. Been 2 challenging months since then.

    We really appreciated the analysis and discussion of the different perspectives likely across socioeconomic class and the “left” yesterday.

    Thanks Olwyn et al;

    We are not fond of the middle class wannabe bourgeoisie. We believe that these are the most tame type of sheep, who are led to the “slaughter” of a thousand small cuts right across their lifetimes.
    So sad,

    We are also saddened to read of the leverage enjoyed by what seem to be otherwise inciteful left wing thinkers on this site but remember the need for our own

    COMPASSION MODERATION HUMILITY.

    It is a beautiful day in Hawkes Bay today. Nature is what the NZ province has most to offer but some want to frack that as well….

  9. Carol 10

    This looks to me to be something Kiwis shouldn’t be participating in, no matter how desperate they are to work:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10811563

    More than 1000 New Zealanders have applied for lucrative “fly in, fly out” work in Western Australian mines but unemployed Australians are fuming about it.
    […]
    But Australian Joe Valentine, who has been looking for mining work for 19 months, says locals should come first.

    “It’s just bringing in cheap labour from overseas to work in our mines. They don’t give a rat’s arse about Australian workers, the government doesn’t give a rat’s arse about Australian workers,” he told Channel 7’s Today Tonight current affairs show this week.

    “How dare they say there’s a shortage of labour when people are willing to work in the mines. It’s bullshit, it really is.”

    In the long term, undercutting the wages usually given to locals is bad for workers everywhere. Also, is there an element of union-busting in this move by Aussie mine owners?

    • Olwyn 10.1

      I cannot find a a link for this, but a relative who lives in Sydney told me that Gillard was pressured by the unions and others into insisting that unemployed Australians should have priority for these jobs, and then got told off by the IMF for protectionism for having done so. From what I can understand she has now come to some sort of compromise position. It struck me as a chilling aspect of market freedom, if privileging your own citizens for jobs in your country counts as protectionism.

      • Carol 10.1.1

        Some Aussie MSM articles on it (of course, skewed towards support of corporates):

        http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/foreign-worker-row-obscures-skills-debate-20120528-1zfd0.html

        as the Gillard government, employers and unions become locked in dispute over whether the decision will undermine Australian working conditions, and as the government becomes riven by internal wrangling over the handling of the dispute.
        […]
        The Roy Hill mine is expected to be the first of dozens of projects for which enterprise migration agreements are approved.
        […]
        If Roy Hill has alarmed unions, it is probably because this agreement will benefit the world’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart.
        Advertisement: Story continues below

        Mrs Rinehart is an advocate of special economic zones, in which employers would be able to operate with exemptions from Australia’s workplace laws. If the enterprise migration agreements were to form a first stage in the creation of such zones, the fears expressed by union leaders in response to the Roy Hill announcement would be justified. But no such guarantee has been given to Mrs Rinehart, nor should it be.

        http://www.smh.com.au/national/come-and-work-here-if-you-must–just-dont-buy-the-farm-20120604-1zs9n.html

        But a breakdown of the results shows the issue is more evenly balanced where passions are strong, with almost a quarter strongly against foreign labour and a quarter strongly in support.

        The issue has become heated in the past week as unions lashed the Gillard government’s decision to grant visas to more than 1700 foreign labourers to work on Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill mine.
        Advertisement: Story continues below

        The public attitudes emerge in a snapshot of Australian opinion on key international issues in a poll conducted by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute.

        By the way, the lack of Aussies with relevant skills argument, in one of my links seems a weak one. How would a load of Kiwis from Northland towns be expected to have more skills in mining than large numbers of unemployed Aussies?
        http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/panic-on-the-house-floor-20120601-1zn4x.html

    • Murray Olsen 10.2

      There are plenty of advertised mining jobs in Oz. Kiwis work for the same pay and conditions as the Aussies, although we do tend to work harder. I suspect this is a complete media beatup and the guy they found is probably a Pauline Hansen supporter who hates the fact that Maori can get the same pay as him.
      The issue of Gina Noheart and her special economic zones is something else altogether.
      There are plenty of good reasons to not work in the mines. For example, they’re often on land that has been ethnically cleansed and they can be environmental disasters. However, taking jobs off good Aussie battlers and undermining their conditions is just abject bullshit.

  10. So why is National implementing austerity again?

    Without growth, there’s only one ending for Euro debt crisis
    by Jeff Rubin

    “European voters are rejecting further fiscal restraint, showing the door to former austerity-imposing politicians in Greece and France. In a similar spirit, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is now calling for a “growth pact” to replace the “fiscal pact” demanded by Angela Merkel’s government in Germany.

    What Europe’s voters and its central bank are coming to recognize is that unremitting fiscal austerity measures are the wrong prescription for what ails the European economy. Instead of curbing budget deficits, they’re actually exacerbating the continent’s economic problems.

    Economics textbooks will tell you that hiking taxes and implementing draconian spending cuts will lead to government’s running smaller deficits. But in practice, as we’re seeing across the eurozone right now, those measures can be self-defeating. Rather than helping to wrestle down budget deficits, brutal fiscal austerity measures are actually choking the life out of much of Europe’s economy. Since tax revenues are a function of economic activity, lifeless economies are making it that much harder for countries to stave off recession. In Greece, for instance, the budget deficit isn’t getting any smaller. The only thing austerity measures are shrinking is the country’s GDP.”

    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-06-01/without-growth-there%E2%80%99s-only-one-ending-euro-debt-crisis

    • muzza 11.1

      Mario Draghi growth pact…yes of course thats what he is saying.

      No growth = bye bye Golman Sachs, along with any chance of propping up the financial system as a whole, any longer.

      People have wised up to “growth”

  11. John72 12

    There is a nice side to mankind. We had to go driving in the snow yesterday. It was not sight seeing. Everyone was travelling slowly and carefully, well spaced from each other. After watching cars travel sideways through the ice at traffic lights, we took our turn with trepidation. Everyone waited, no one tooted and we crossed one of many intersections. Every minute was with care.
    On 3 separate occasions we joined other people to help free cars stuck in ice. There was always plenty of help available. Then, half an hour later, our turn came and a group was working to get us back into an area of traction.
    It is humbling. No one expected payment, just a simple “Thankyou” and the assumption that you will do the same for some one else.

    • ianmac 12.1

      Most of the helpers were aetheists of course John, as they have humanitarian attitudes.

      • John72 12.1.1

        No one was trying to win “piggy stamps”. Simply “Even if I never see you again, how can I help you.”
        Irrespective of what language they spoke or god they did or did not worship.

        • ianmac 12.1.1.1

          On the serious side is your example John of real people doing helpful stuff because we just do. Unfortunately one of the flaws in Education is the belief that if you reward kids with stickers and certificates and cups they will get better. This leads to a lifelong belief that we must be rewarded for doing good stuff. Punished with Rewards. Performance Pay and Bonus Payments and Medals for example. Most people just do what is needed because it makes both the receiver (you John) and the giver feel good. Get it?

          • John72 12.1.1.1.1

            ianmac, bearing in mind that almost every post on this website is critical of some one in some way, I thought it would be refreshing to make the observation that there are still times when one can go out and receive help freely and gladly without being criticized for needing help.
            BUT, behold, someone “who was not there” could not resist the temptation to have a dig. Did he feel any better ?
            There are times when wisdom is silence.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Never when you’re around, apparently…
               

              • Vicky32

                Never when you’re around, apparently…

                Or when you’re around! Do the words fatuous and prick mean anything to you? 
                You remind me of Crabb and Goyle in the Harry Potter movies – with ianmac as Lucius Malfoy! Grovel, grovel… or maybe you’re Grima Wormtongue? After some Dawkins points maybe? 😀

      • Vicky32 12.1.2

        Most of the helpers were aetheists of course John, as they have humanitarian attitudes.

        An unnecessary sneer, ianmac. But I bet it made you feel like a big man!

  12. Carol 13

    Time for us all to gather our pots and pans and pin on the little red squares?!
    The people united… Internationally, the narrative of left rebellion is gathering momentum… from Occupy to student protests!

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/northern_light_20120603/

    Many in the audience had pinned small red squares of felt to their clothing. The carre rouge, or red square, has become the Canadian symbol of revolt. It comes from the French phrase carrement dans le rouge, or “squarely in the red,” referring to those crushed by debt.

    The streets of Montreal are clogged nightly with as many as 100,000 protesters banging pots and pans and demanding that the old systems of power be replaced. The mass student strike in Quebec, the longest and largest student protest in Canadian history, began over the announcement of tuition hikes and has metamorphosed into what must swiftly build in the United States—a broad popular uprising.
    […]
    The Canadian students have gathered widespread support because they linked their tuition protests to Quebec’s call for higher fees for health care, the firing of public sector employees, the closure of factories, the corporate exploitation of natural resources, new restrictions on union organizing, and an announced increase in the retirement age. Crowds in Montreal, now counting 110 days of protests, chant “On ne lâche pas”—“We’re not backing down.”

  13. So why is John Key really visiting Chancellor Merkel?

  14. I’ve already posted this in another thread but it may have slipped out of attention. So here it is again.

    Given that oil prices are the main driver of inflation, what is the relevance of inflation adjusted oil prices? It seems like an ridiculously circular system. This link here explains the current system: http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/oilpricesinflation.asp#axzz1x28reIzL

    Shouldn’t we just leave oil prices separate from other commodities and present them as nominal only, rather than adjusting them for inflation which is measured by the consumer price index which is heavily influenced by the price of oil? It seems to me that oil is so important to the modern economy that is should be treated as an entity to itself. I’m not an economist so I’m wondering if a few of the more financial types could spread some light on this for me. Thanks.

    • McFlock 16.1

      Because it’s not the only factor that affects CPI, even it it is the most significant factor. And because of that, nominal price differences over decades wouldn’t be reflective of the comparative value of oil in each time period.
               

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      What you seem to be asking is for oil prices to remain out of the CPI. The problem with is that consumers don’t buy the raw oil – they buy the products of oil. That said, there’s probably an argument for leaving fuel out of the CPI which is the main driver of price rises from oil.

  15. SamHall 17

    Cha Know? The influences of those texts written 2-2 and a half thousand years ago.

    2 millenia of millions of people casting their fears upon these stories and collectively leading to a SELFULFILLING PROPHECY described by current global events.

    Is the PM a closet “zionist”? We might never know.

    • Uturn 17.1

      Luckily there are almost as many Muslims and almost three quarters of them live in the Asia Pacific area. Surrounded by the Ring of Fire and Allah’s people, we stand a pretty good chance.

  16. Te Reo Putake 18

    Readers have probably already seen the neo-nazi attack on two Greek MP’s, but this quick interview with one of the assaulted women, Liana Kanelli, has the best description of the moral void at the heart of the extreme right I’ve heard in years.

    • prism 18.1

      Te Reo P
      That reminds me about the interviewer on radionz this morning who made a quick comment on the Greek thing. This guy from fascist Golden dawn threw water at somebody and then I think punched a woman MP from the communist side and said that is how things should be, or similar.
      Considering Greek’s sad time under the Generals, I thought it was very insensitive for an announcer (Mercep?) to say that you would think with Greece’s troubles that they could find something better to do.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        Pah – that’s what you get with ignorant NZ radio interviewers. Everyone knows what happens when Europe gets into unmanageable debt and economic strife. Fascist nationalism rears its head up and wars start. Europe is never that far from its history.

        • prism 18.1.1.1

          CV
          Talking about economics this morning David Skilling ex NZ Institute think tank (which is now NZ Innovation via the Round Table post Kerr), referred to Switzerland as one of the small economies that is successful in the present world, implying that they would be a role model for us along with Nordic states mentioned also. I think Switzerland is in a special niche of its own don’t you think, when thinking about economies that have survived well in the world and looking at their methods.

          Are you saying that if the Euro collapsed, the diverse nations there would be at each other’s throats in pre-war mode? I thought the Euro was mainly a method to combine financial strength and be strong to match other powerful economic blocs. What you said makes the agreement sound much more vulnerable.

  17. SamHall 19

    Ah U-Turn. You and many others on here are wonderful. Best NZ site We’ve come across.

    Larff!

    Farkin Liberties!

    Wotta u like? Aye? Aye?

    Pretty good chance of woot?

  18. bad12 20

    Fancy that, the naughty French Prez has wave la middle finger at the neo-Liberal wankers and lowered the age for those who work manually, (gosh you mean some people don’t just tap computer keys?),to gain a State pension from 62 to 60,

    The French Prez cites ‘social justice’ and giving the young a helping hand into employment,the neo-Libs are said to be horrified which would tend to suggest the French prez need lower the pension age a little more..

  19. Pascal's bookie 21

    IMF reckons English is fucking things up.

    In its annual review of the New Zealand economy, the IMF says the enormity of its household debt is unique among highly indebted countries and getting that down will make the biggest difference to its overall debt levels.

    However, Mr English says less government borrowing will help the country earn its way out of its debt hole.

    He says by borrowing less, interest rates will be lower – meaning less demand for the New Zealand dollar and an exchange rate that is more helpful to exporters

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/107765/english-plays-down-imf-report-over-debt

    • Carol 21.1

      I heard that report, and couldn’t follow English’s convoluted logic – cuts to public services will help lower private debt????

      The government will borrow less??? Haven’t seen that happening so far. And cutting public services mean more people will be struggling financially, less jobs etc, hence more people unable to live on their income.

      Meanwhile, those at the upper end of the property market are still taking on higher and higher mortgages…. raising the total country’s private debt?

  20. weka 22

    Travellerev posted a comment the other day about Charlie Skelton’s coverage of the Bilderberg.
     

    Open mike 02/06/2012


     
    Skelton is first up on Kim Hill in the morning.

  21. Reality Bytes 23

    Up to $119m savings under Microsoft agreement:

    http://www.techday.co.nz/itbrief/news/govt-to-save-119m-in-3-year-deal-with-microso/23915/

    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=148617&fm=newsmain,nrhl

    As great as this saving on licensing costs is, I do wonder how much more could be saved by shifting to an open source ecosystem. I realize there are upfront costs and entrenched applications and processes where it appears more economical to continue with the status quo, but for day to day desktop tasks open-office suites and desktop OS linux solutions like Ubuntu et.al are very credible and mature solutions now. Open source solutions are used extensively in public service entities overseas, our public sector should also be making the most of it.

    I recon the reason Microsoft are being so generous with their discounts is due to the strength of such alternatives, moreso than clever negotiations on our part.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      $119M in savings??!

      How much was the original cost????

      • Reality Bytes 23.1.1

        Exactly. I tried to find it, but the obvious question wasn’t obvious in the articles I read. Poor investigative journalism as per usual.

        I’d imagine it must be at least 5-10x that, it’s pretty hard to imagine the likes of Micro$oft discounting more than 10-20%

    • Draco T Bastard 23.2

      To encourage free-market the government should be mandating the use of Open Standards in all government funded organisations. This would help bring competition to the software market.

      As for MS:

      By his (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) back-of-the-envelope calculation, this study really seems to suggest that Microsoft cost the world economy somewhere in the range of $500 billion:

      Get rid of those proprietary standards and we, and the rest of the world if they follow, will save millions as well as open up huge amounts of software innovation.

      PS. My CV in MS .doc format 31.5KB, in OpenDocument .odt format 23.1KB. When you’ve got millions of documents that’s a lot of extra HDD space for using MS.

    • Murray Olsen 23.3

      The Brazilian government changed to Linux years ago. Microsoft threatened to take them to court because one of the ministers said they were like a drug pusher – a few free hits to get you hooked, then apply the screws. When they discovered it would have to be a Brazilian court, they backed off.

  22. prism 24

    While looking for mention of the committee that closed down after 1 hour, I found the interesting video clips from Parliament Today. I didn’t parliament was such fun. The NACTs welcome the Miss Universe entrants to the House, and next day the Greens retaliate with the Feminists of the Year.

    I liked this heading – The Day In Parliament May 30
    Feminists Welcomed, Winston Wound Up.
    I watched but didn’t see anyone turning a key, but he did make some good points about the Budget having been uplifted from the 1991 one which was followed by hardship and a downturn in everything.

    • deuto 24.1

      Brilliant on the part of the Greens, right down to using the exact wording (other than the group concerned) used by Williamson the day before!

      Thanks for that Prism.

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