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Open mike 08/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, December 8th, 2013 - 108 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

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 …

108 comments on “Open mike 08/12/2013”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Sunday thought: would Kim Dotcom not be the perfect new leader for the ACT party?

  2. Sanctuary 2

    After all, he has successfully ousted the previous leader, he is apparently a genuine libertarian, and he is looking for a political vehicle…

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Dotcom’s going to want something that he is in charge of from the ground up as party president. And do you think Jonkey is going to gift ACT Epsom with Dotcom in it.

  3. joe90 3

    Maya Angelou tribute to Nelson Mandela: His Day is Done

  4. tricledrown 4

    Dotcon won’t support any party that supports the TPPA.
    Because of copyright

  5. bad12 5

    It appears from 2 stories in today’s Sunday Herald that the pathetic Paula Bennett is in for a deserved spanking having spent the last couple of days misleading the Parliament on the number of child abuse/neglect cases reported this year,

    A ‘computer program fault’ is apparently what will be blamed for Bennett’s ‘mistake’ where She has used Parliaments Question Time lambasting the Opposition with claims that cases of abuse and neglect have been falling when all the time the opposite is the case,

    The second of the stories in the Sunday Herald highlights the fact that having refused the Children’s Commissioner the monies necessary to undertake a comprehensive study of ‘child poverty’ Bennett will be less than pleased that using His initiative said Commissioner found the necessary 500 grand from the Roy McKenzie charitable foundation and the report produced is said to paint an extremely bleak picture of ‘child poverty’ in New Zealand which will be made public this week,

    Another FAILURE by another shameful Minister in Slippery’s Shameful National Government…

  6. chris73 6

    Because people don’t like to go to whaleoils site heres something interesting:

    I just wanted to share with you some of my experience as a beginning teacher in NZ and my views on the education system.

    Unlike most teachers, I am not a lefty, not a unionist and I am male. I got into teaching with the sole purpose of making a difference in education. So i took the leap and enrolled in a local university and began my teaching degree. It was here that the ineptitude of our education system became evident. Over the next three years, I was surrounded by a ragtag group of people, ranging from recent school graduates to the nearing retirement aged. The year I began was the first year they doubled the size of the intake, from 30-60 and this created a number of problems.

    Firstly, the campus was not large enough to hold a larger intake and our teacher training suffered from overcrowding and under resourcing. As time wore on, it became evident that things were not “equal”. Maori students were given the fast track on anything and everything and it soon became clear that they were destined for “greater” things. Some students were being treated differently by the lecturers as well. I remember one guy posted on Facebook, on the morning an assignment was due, that he better think about doing it. He handed the assignment in a week late and still received a pass mark. Uni policy for most assignments states that you lose 10% per day late and this guy was definitely not an “A” student. This sort of thing was a regular occurrence for the next three years and it made it hard for me to respect my cohort and the university.

    Fast forward to the final year. Out of 45 people who made it to the end of the degree, only about 10 jobs came up in our area and 5 of them were taken up by new teachers (myself included) at the same school. And now, over 3 years later, only half of my graduating class have jobs as teachers. It was at this school that everything I thought, and knew, became irrelevant. It quickly became evident that most of what we had learned over the past 3 years had nothing to do with actual teaching. Those classes on creative pedagogy and integrated curriculums were pushed by the wayside, as the school had a focus on literacy and numeracy.

    Add to this the fact that not one person from the school, took the time to really sit down and explain to us how their reading, writing and maths programmes actually worked and you have a recipe for disaster. So here I was, at a new job, in a new career, wandering through the “dark” with no light in sight. The phrase “trial by fire” is an understatement to what I endured. Only once I had been there a while and got to know people, that I began to get shown things (it took 6 months before I received a tour of the resource room).

    It was during my first year at this school, that I began to experience the true bureaucracy that exists in education and its responsibility for the downfall of student achievement. As professional development in the school, we were subjected to an improvement programme that required us to be observed by an “expert” who would attend the school each term and check on our progress. During my first meeting with this expert and all subsequent meetings, he proceeded to identify all of the bad things I was doing as a teacher, never once identifying anything positive. He then ended each meeting without actually telling me how to improve or change my teaching. After speaking with other colleagues, this was the “norm” and happened to everyone, every-time. For this “in-depth” analysis of the school’s teachers, he was getting paid about $40k per year by the school.

    Which brings me to his greatest advocate at the school, the deputy principal. Now at most schools I have attended and had the pleasure of interacting with, the principal is the figurehead of the school community. They are usually charismatic, passionate, friendly and a great advocate for their staff and pupils. Our principal was none of these, he had the charisma of a fence post. And although he was the figurehead of the school community, the school itself was run by his deputy, who had affectionately been nicknamed “The Pitbull”. This hobbit-esque woman ruled with an iron fist and her word was law. Because you can’t argue with 40 years of experience right? It became this woman’s crusade to improve the literacy and numeracy within the school and this meant by any means necessary. It was widely known that the school marked harder at the beginning of the year to make the marks lower and therefore increase the perceived “improvement” achieved over the year. But I began to question things when we were told that our end of year marks were to low and we need to “fix” them. To me, this is called fudging the numbers, but to my colleagues this was a common practice that did occur at other schools also.

    So over the next 18 months I taught at this school and the last 6 months were rocky to say the least. My class in my second year became known as the class from hell. I started the year with 2 bipolar boys and 2 girls who had been separated at their last school. The class quickly descended into an unsafe environment for the other students. Here are some examples of the behaviour of these students. One girl, assaulted boys on a regular basis, by pulling hair, punching, kicking and stomping. She also threatened to murder a student’s family and threatened another teacher. One boy trashed the classroom in a fit of rage and after this he was moved to another class, flipped out at lunchtime and was removed in handcuffs by police. Another boy pulled a knife on a student in the classroom in front of a reliever. Also, another boy threw tables, chairs and objects around the classroom in numerous rages. Oh, and these were 11 year old students in a decile 7 school. When I approached the management for assistance with handling the class (this was less than 2 months into the year) I was told that it was all my fault and that I was to blame for everything that occurred in the classroom. To cut a long story short, my competence was called into question and I was effectively placed on probation. I chose to fight the school and undertook an advice and guidance programme to clear my name. This did not happen to a colleague though, who faced with a similar situation, chose to allow the school to help her find employment elsewhere. This was arranged by the school management and another local school, and was held over her head even after she left.

    As a result of this, I resigned from the school and have left NZ to teach overseas. The grass is much greener over here and I now teach in a school that has a supportive management team and I am able to teach with the advice and guidance of people that I respect wilfully, not because they intimidate people.

    I left NZ because there were not many options available to me. There is a lack of jobs, there are too many older teachers in education who are stuck in their ways and the schooling system is run like an “old boys” club. Also, the fact that education is treated as a political football in NZ means that every 3 years or so, it is 2 steps forward and 1 step back. When Labour and National finally decide to agree on actually fixing the education system rather than promoting their own political agendas, I will happily return to NZ. National standards are a good concept, as they give us benchmarks to aim for. But if they are not standard across all schools, they are completely useless. To finish off, I want to add my 2 cents to the recent PISA results discussion. NZ does have a world class education system and it suits “our” people, who are creative thinkers and doers, not robots. But the one difference Asia has that sets them apart, is that yes, you can fail and failure is not an option. When NZ can realise that “working towards”, “below” and “not achieved” are all bullshit ways of saying “FAIL”, the better.

    • tinfoilhat 6.1

      ‘..Also, the fact that education is treated as a political football in NZ means that every 3 years or so, it is 2 steps forward and 1 step back. When Labour and National finally decide to agree on actually fixing the education system rather than promoting their own political agendas,…’

      I have heard much the same from my daughter who teaches in primary school and it is a fair comment that cold be applied not just to education, luckily she hasn’t experienced any of the other things in the schools she has taught at that your correspondent mentions.

      • chris73 6.1.1

        Well I do take postings like this with a grain of salt (could be due to sour grapes and all that) but as an overview he does bring up some good points especially the bit about both parties being to blame

      • logie97 6.1.2

        A Few points. (given that I bothered to read anything that might have been posted in the gutter in the first place.

        “I was surrounded by a ragtag group of people, ranging from recent school graduates to the nearing retirement aged.”
        I understand 45 to be the maximum age of enrolment unless under exceptional circumstances. Of course the young whipper-snappers have all the answers – can never learn from their elders.

        “True bureaucracy” – emotive words but not explained.

        “Professional Development” – School focussing on Literacy and Numeracy. He should have been an expert already in both of these areas – that’s what he should have been bringing with his diploma.

        He proffers a whole lot of criticism of education based on his unsubstantiated claims of experience in one school, and yet in the whole missive does not appear to suggest one solution.

        • felix 6.1.2.1

          That’ll be because the entire thing is made up.

          • chris73 6.1.2.1.1

            Well of course it is, anything that runs contrary to what you believe has to be made up

            • logie97 6.1.2.1.1.1

              chris73
              So your comments on the points I raise …

              • chris73

                As above really, I suspect theres more then a few sour grapes at work but as an overview he does bring up some points about whats wrong with the system (both parties sticking their oars in)

                I mean when I was in uni the fee paying students from China were certainly hogging the lecturers time, making it difficult for everyone else and the amount of collaboration on assignments was more then what was expected so their were a lot complaints made but from my pov they were just being smart and they got the results so fair play but someone else could see it another way

                I think hes mostly venting but I agree that both parties play political football with education and thats where most of the problems start with

    • felix 6.2

      chris. Buy a keyboard with fucking quote marks on it. I have no idea how many of those words are from you, Jason Ede, or some other subnormal twat.

      • Dumrse 6.2.1

        That’s tough for a “cut and paste” web site.

      • chris73 6.2.2

        You really can’t work out how much of that is mine…ok heres mine:

        “Because people don’t like to go to whaleoils site heres something interesting:” and the rest is his

        Dick

        • felix 6.2.2.1

          Don’t be a fuckwit chris, you often quote people without any indication which parts are quoted.

          In the above, for all anyone knows the entire last paragraph could’ve been yours.

          It’s annoying as all fuck to read and it would only take you a second to add a couple of quote marks like a normal human would.

          • chris73 6.2.2.1.1

            The only person who would possibly think that the last paragraph could be mine would be you

            • felix 6.2.2.1.1.1

              or anyone else who has wrestled with your bizarre and arbitrary system of punctuation.

              Just use fucking quote marks like everyone else manages to.

              • chris73

                Who made you the arbiter of grammar and punctuation? I’ll post how I post and if you don’t like it then either fuck off or don’t read it

                • McFlock

                  Your school didn’t have a focus on literacy, that much is obvious…

                • felix

                  “Who made you the arbiter of grammar and punctuation? “

                  Yeah, I invented quote marks and I’m trying to impose them on the world for my own gratification.

                  🙄

                  Moron.

        • phillip ure 6.2.2.2

          not putting quote marks is a de facto claim of ownership/authorship of the words..

          ..phillip ure..

        • ak 6.2.2.3

          Having observed young Christopher’s progress over several years now, we are very pleased with his development into a more rational commenter who at times makes useful contributions to The Standard learning environment.

          One notes a welcome change in attitude not uncommon in formerly troubled students as the reality of poll results brings home the futility of pointless abusive behaviour.

          A capable young lad showing increasing promise: more work needed in the areas of political comprehension and logic, but overall a good result from a difficult personal beginning: end of year rating: ACHIEVED.

          • chris73 6.2.2.3.1

            Not sure if thats a burn or not but its amusing either way

          • Rogue Trooper 6.2.2.3.2

            -Could do better in Social Studies.

          • Tim 6.2.2.3.3

            @ ak
            chris 73 could even become the next Frank Mac (here’s hoping). Maybe there’s something to be said for allowing trolls to enter the site, and be confronted with rational arguments.
            After all, there are quite a few Natzis that are now utterly embarrassed by the crass, self-serving, self-indulgent, selfish policies the party they once claimed an affinity with has now become.
            (In my experience, they’re usually the ones that can’t stand the likes of trader John, or ladder puller-uppers, or – snobbery aside – nouveau riche Johnny-cum-latelies – but whatever their motivation – they are disillusioned).
            Sometimes I wonder why Chris Finlayson has been hanging out so long – but then, maybe I misjudged his character, and maybe he is actually … well – just scared basically and a Limp Biscuit.

            Silly Labour (bloody silly, even fucktardinous dimwittery) …. ‘cos Labour still has its equivalents.
            Shame we can’t get them all together where they could reminisce – perhaps over a glass of Ch-ch-ch-chardonay – perhaps somewhere in HawkesBay, or even Waiheke Island.

        • BM 6.2.2.4

          Not that I had an issue working out what was yours.

          But in case you don’t know, here’s how to quote.

          Quoting..

          [blockquote]Quoting..[/blockquote]

          Just replace the [ ] with the greater than less than symbols to get it to work

    • ianmac 6.3

      Took me a while to realise Chris that your post was a quote.
      Some of the stuff reported is questionable. The violence by kids in the class of 11 year olds is not credible. You would not be placed “on probation” if there were problems.
      Note that the greener overseas is not named.
      Politicians should leave schools alone. Leave it Education to develop properly researched and tested improvements without political interference, without League Tables, without using kids as footballs, without fear and favour.
      For over a hundred years Education has evolved an improved from the bottom up until recently when this Government has interfered with disastrous results. We had had high PISA rankings because of Educational school driven innovation but this was in spite of political interference. (Mind you PISA rankings might cause unintended consequences like narrowing the focus of teaching and learning.)

      • chris73 6.3.1

        Earlier I posted this bit (and I’ll put in quotes as well)

        “Well I do take postings like this with a grain of salt (could be due to sour grapes and all that) but as an overview he does bring up some good points especially the bit about both parties being to blame”

        I spent some time at the Christchurch College of Education a few years back and while there were some worthy people it also had its fair share of ex-hippies and people who were all theory and no practical

        But thats just my opinion

        • logie97 6.3.1.1

          … nothing wrong with ex-hippies mate. Generally peace loving people who like to get on with their neighbours for the betterment of all mankind. chris73 some advice – don’t discredit your own discussions by letting your prejudices show through.

          • chris73 6.3.1.1.1

            There may well have been some friction (may not be the correct term) as I was still in uniform at the time and the people that I was dealing with weren’t the same people that he was teaching about

            He was training us to be dealing with nice, well-mannered middle class kids so there wasn’t anything about conflict management or how to deal with troubled kids

            • RedLogix 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Chris,

              Both my parents were teachers. They met and married at ATC and both variously worked in many schools much of their lives. Later my father moved into another career, but Mum taught Intermediate until she retired.

              She loved the classroom. She was really good at it. She hated the staffroom; all of the problems she ever encountered started there. So what your source has written has a certain old familiarity to it.

              But what has changed in the last few decades is that we have been constantly diminishing teaching as a profession with meddling, micromanagement and over evaluation. Great teachers are not robots, rattling off a narrowly proscribed curriculum according to a tight timetable.

              Children are not widgets in an education factory. They are unique, they each have their own strengths that will be uncovered in its own time … with encouragement and care. And some children will respond to some teachers, and not others.

              Like many professions, teaching is about 50% science and 50% an artform. Great teachers have learnt how to weave these two coda into a true “educement”; inducing the flowering of emotional, intellectual and aesthetic sensibility in their charges.

              It is the same weaving of the rational and the instinctive, the received wisdom and the creative impulse … that makes a great doctor, an outstanding jurist, the inspirational engineer or scientist. Equally if we treat teachers like disposable units in a factory, they will treat their children the same. And we will regret that bitterly.

              PS: The incidents of violence mentioned are not implausible. Mum never saw anything quite that bad, but not too far off. Invariably … without exception …. the root cause lay in a grossly dysfunctional family. Incidentally she taught most of her life in one of NZ’s poshest suburbs.

              • chris73

                Personally I think teachers should be paid more

                • RedLogix

                  Personally I think we should value them more.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    +1

                  • Lanthanide

                    My BF’s vision for education is that Teaching would be a rock-star profession: it will pay well and be highly respected. Instead of the best and brightest going off to become professionals, and those in the (typically) middle-lower end of the spectrum who don’t know what else to do with their lives so become teachers, teaching would be an inviting profession for the best and brightest.

                    Also when the teachers union demands a pay rise, smaller class sizes and all of the other changes in conditions that they want, they will get everything they ask for except the pay rise… which comes later when they prove the things they asked for are effective.

              • ak

                For outstanding excellence in educational commentary with distinction: RedLogix 6.3.1.1.1.

                A must-read on the subject and as always a pleasure old chap, do keep it up.

              • Rogue Trooper

                Expertise :
                -“it is not necessary for an individual to have a professional or academic qualification.”-see shepherds.
                -Skilled Memory Theory ; Ericsson et al;
                Deep structures ; Chi et al;
                -and “dialogic expertise”

                from “an ordinary fellow from another town” – Twain 😀

        • Tracey 6.3.1.2

          “hippies” have quite open minds which is a good asset when helping children to think critically.

  7. karol 7

    Corruption and kickbacks in NZ business, especially with contractors to councils etc as part of PPPs. The situation is being highlighted with a focus on rading contracts to Auckland Council since 2010:

    Simon Everett was formerly managing director of roading contractor Blacktop Construction. His company collapsed in September, and Everett said he was now in a position to call for a debate on business practices that had become increasingly sharp.
    […]
    Everett’s concerns were echoed by industry spokesman Jeremy Sole, chief executive of the New Zealand Contractors Federation, who warned recent public-sector contracting changes raised risks.

    “There’s a propensity for some clients to move to very large contracts, which raises the stakes considerably. The game is changing dramatically, and the incentives are there to do whatever it takes. We might start to see an increase in corruption as a result,” Sole said.

    Dealings between private and public-sector bodies needed to be policed more thoroughly, Sole said. “Most of our interactions are with central or local government agencies, and we would be very upset if anything above a Christmas Card was exchanged.”

    The Serious Fraud Office is investigating individuals at Auckland Transport over alleged irregularities in the procurement of roading maintenance contracts. The council-controlled company fired a senior manager in September following an internal investigation into the corruption allegations dating back to 2010.
    […]
    Toresen said public-sector organisations had rules against employees receiving gifts from contractors, but these were being skirted. “Most large organisations have a gift register and it’s being breached. It’s a funny sort of no man’s land because it’s not really well tested.”

    • tc 7.1

      Its not just auckland but rural areas where big contracts to big players squeeze local contractors out.

      Then the locals discover the maintenance cycles and quality of work deteriorate over time and roads that used to be well looked after are let go as thats all the big contractor allowed for OR the local crowd lowballed it to get the work and ends up losing money.

      blacktop have plenty to be unhappy about with downers and FH practices.

    • Rogue Trooper 7.2

      small players “sleep with the fishes”.

  8. logie97 8

    Why such headlines from a “serious” media outlet. “Knife embedded in head”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11168963

    When is the news media going to drop the continuous assaults on decency?
    If they wish to report on a vicious crime, put it in a crime section where those who enjoy such reporting can head to and be satisfied.

    My “Bookmark” directs me to the news outlet.
    I therefore do not need to be greeted by such revolting headlines.

  9. i wonder how the afrikaaner boltholes up in the east coast bays are reacting to mandelas’ death..

    ..those who fled when apartheid was dismantled..

    ..didn’t he ‘ruin everything’ for them..?

    ..hadn’t apartheid been ‘good’ for/to them..?

    ..is there a (modern day) deep south reaction to kennedy assassination going on there..?

    ..and what about the reactions in our most racist city..?..

    ..christchurch..?

    ..are the skinheads/white-powers out celebrating in the streets..as if after a football victory..?

    ..phillip ure..

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Rich kid wants special treatment on drink driving charge because of famous Dad

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9491090/Teen-wants-off-hook-because-of-famous-dad

    • chris73 10.1

      Thats the problem we have with the name suppression laws in NZ

      • Arfamo 10.1.1

        Do we have a problem with the name suppression law, or the way different judges apply it?

        • chris73 10.1.1.1

          Both but mostly with the judges

          • North 10.1.1.1.1

            Examples re the judges please ? And a cogent expression of your point.

            • chris73 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Being that you wouldn’t answer any of the repeated questions I put to you I see no reason to answer yours

              So I’ll try again, what did you mean by this:

              “Give the missus a serious seeing to when she got home late with the Maccers dinner and no dipping sauce didya ?”

              See I’m assuming you were asking if I’m physically abusive towards my wife however I’d like to know what you meant by it and why you come to that conclusion

              Answer me that and I’ll answer your question

              • McFlock

                being a bit precious, aren’t you?

                • chris73

                  No not really, people can disagree with me all they like (and they do) but suggesting I beat my wife simply because you disagree with me isn’t clever and it isn’t funny

                  • McFlock

                    Fair enough, but you can say that without all the “what did you mean” and twee I’ll-answer-yours-when-you-answer-mine bullshit.

                    • chris73

                      I disagree, if someone wants me to answer a question from them then they should answer mine as well

                    • McFlock

                      but why ask a question for which you have already assumed an answer?

                    • felix

                      Good question McF.

                      And also, has chris ever answered the first question? The one he keeps going on about, the one about his wife and the maccas?

                      ‘Cos apparently, not answering pointless rhetorical questions can have serious consequences regarding future expectations of answers from others.

          • Arfamo 10.1.1.1.2

            Vince Siemer seems to be a very dedicated axe-grinder but every now and then I check in to his site for a read-up on his latest sharpenings. His New Zealand Judge Files are interesting reading.

            http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/

    • Grumpy 10.2

      If his dad “makes people laugh” he has a good chance……..

    • RedLogix 10.3

      Actually I see it as a problem with our media.

      The case should go ahead like any normal DIC. The names should not be suppressed.

      But neither should it be an opportunity for the media to indulge in a feeding frenzy just because the father of the person convicted is a politician.

      Family and private lives are off-limits. This is why.

      • North 10.3.1

        Relevant part of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 re name suppression:

        ” 200. Court may suppress identity of defendant

        (1) A court may make an order forbidding publication of the name, address, or occupation of a person who is charged with, or convicted or acquitted of, an offence.

        (2) The court may make an order under subsection (1) only if the court is satisfied that publication would be likely to—

        (a) cause extreme hardship to the person charged with, or convicted of, or acquitted of the offence, or any person connected with that person; or

        (b) cast suspicion on another person that may cause undue hardship to that person; or

        (c) cause undue hardship to any victim of the offence; or

        (d) create a real risk of prejudice to a fair trial; or

        (e) endanger the safety of any person; or

        (f) lead to the identification of another person whose name is suppressed by order or by law; or

        (g) prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences; or

        (h) prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand.

        (3) The fact that a defendant is well known does not, of itself, mean that publication of his or her name will result in extreme hardship for the purposes of subsection (2)(a). ”

        Interesting to note that Section 393 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 repealed Section 66 of the Land Transport Act 1998 with effect from 5 March 2012:

        ” 66. Names of drivers convicted of alcohol or drug-related offences may not be suppressed
        [Repealed]
        Section 66: repealed, on 5 March 2012 (applying in relation to a proceeding for an offence that was commenced before that date), by section 393 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81). “

    • Tim 10.4

      I’d rather we had blanket name suppression UNTIL a conviction was obtained. Then apply suppression only on the basis of the risk of victims being applied, and/or whether a defense team immediately signals intent to appeal.

      • Tim 10.4.1

        ooops “applied” should read “identified”
        (dotage is prematurely knocking at the door – all those ‘aluminum’ saucepans)

        • Rogue Trooper 10.4.1.1

          the ‘aluminium’ thesis has not remained current. 🙂 (though not healthy for rhubarb to be cooked in).

          • Tim 10.4.1.1.1

            Geez I love rhubarb – maybe that’s the problem. It’s a vege (as in animal/vege/mineral) that should be confined to digestive tracts – rather than an animal/vegetable/mineral phenomenon that can be used to bandage up failing ideology.
            Christ Draco! I have a marketing idea already! The ‘Rhubarb Bandage’! (Mathew Hooten will be pleased)

  11. amirite 11

    John Key, Don McKinnon, Jim Bolger and Pita Sharples are going to Mandela’s funeral.
    Personally, I think that Cunliffe should politely decline and send John Minto instead – if Minto would want to go with the Blue boys, that is.

    • Tim 11.1

      Strangely enough, of the four you mention, it’s perhaps Don McKinnon that can claim the moral high ground – even though he chose to align himself with a bunch of Natz way back when. At least he made some efforts to engage with prisoners and victims of ‘the State’, and ease their plight. As for the others – their record is self-evident.

  12. aerobubble 12

    Abbott claim that nothing is wrong with the kiwi living in OZ policy, that it didn’t hurt his pakeha wife any, is of course classic Australian racism – adopt the whiter babies so you can take the higher moral ground and dictate a racist policy on the rest

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Why I don’t care what the ECB does today

    So central banks actions for me and you are pretty 2nd degree. None of us use central bank money, we use commercial bank money. An increase in commercial bank money supply (by loan making) can have effects in the real economy, but supplies of cash to banks by a central bank only increases the money supply by effectively giving banks the confidence to lend more loans because they have more central bank reserves to back up any payments they will need to make. However, the link is not simple. If I am a bank treasurer sitting on a book of bad loans, I know that I will need a lot of central bank money in future to settle claims made on me by other banks. Any excess liquidity provided to me by the ECB will be used to shore up my balance sheet, not expand it.

    One of the problems with our present monetary system is that neither the central bank nor the government has any real control over how much money is in circulation. That falls almost solely upon the private banks who create most of the money in circulation and they’re incentivised to make ever more ‘safe’ loans which means housing and so we get housing bubbles – just like the one we’re seeing in Auckland now.

    • Tim 13.1

      @ Draco …. the harder they rise, the harder they fall. It’s just a bloody pain waiting for it all to happen sometimes. (But it is inevitable. Do the smart thing – make sure the entire family is equipped with ear muffs so they don’t have to hear the sound of pigs squealing)

  14. aerobubble 14

    Claims of sea level rise globally. In order for central Australia to be flooded there needs to be ~20m rise in sea levels, but such a vast area being flooded should buffer sea level rises!!!! That maybe good, but there is a problem, the hot environment will necessarily evaporate massive amounts of water into the atmosphere! So if we don’t get the projected sea level rises we may get an even worse scenario of much more rain globally. And a warmer world will also cool faster to balance itself, and that cooling will occur over the northern hemisphere continents (how else did all that ice get there during the ice age). Australia great desert will pump water into the atmosphere and snow will be dumped….

    • joe90 14.1

      Or something else might happen.

      Australia’s vast interior, called the Outback, is ringed by coastal mountains and often quite dry. Because of the low-lying nature of the continent’s eastern interior and the lack of river runoff in its western dry environment, most of the heavy rainfall of 2010–11 remained inland rather than flowing into the oceans. While some of it evaporated in the desert sun, much of it sank into the dry, granular soil of the Western Plateau or filled the Lake Eyre basin in the east.

      “No other continent has this combination of atmospheric set-up and topography,” Fasullo says. “Only in Australia could the atmosphere carry such heavy tropical rains to such a large area, only to have those rains fail to make their way to the ocean.”

      https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/10090/global-sea-level-rise-dampened-australia-floods

    • Zorr 14.2

      As much as I follow climate change news, any predictions made on 20m sea rise should be ignored for the fact that it is almost sci-fi-level speculation at the moment. 2m sea rise can happen in the next century and its implications are bad enough that we don’t need to think about after it. If we can’t survive 2m, why should we worry about 20m? 😛

      • RedLogix 14.2.1

        20m rises are indeed implausible in the next century.

        Unless the West Antarctic Ice Shelf (WAIS) breaks up. That would lead to a rather rapid 6-7m rise in sea level over the period of about a decade or less.

        And that event could easily occur at any time over the next several centuries. It’s happened before and will almost certainly happen again. We just don’t really know when.

        • aerobubble 14.2.1.1

          What about the fact that water is most dense at 4 degrees? Think of sub 4 degree water as a cold reservoir we humans are using up rapidly, at present heating 0-4 degrees water up to 4 degrees and thus holding back expansion of heating of water over 4 degrees. So we hit a tipping point where expansion begins, although as I point out its non-linear (as sea rise they flood more area and for ever small rise there is more area to inundate).

          Of course I’m speculating again, but hey, ain’t like this is a science journal. Also saline water is heavier, as warmer sea water hits the polar refrigerator it becomes more saline (some water freezes) and drops. More fresh water from melting land glaciers means slightly less dense water.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    David Simon, creator of The Wire, speaks of the necessity of Marxism and the horror show of the “Two Americas”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/08/david-simon-capitalism-marx-two-americas-wire

    • Rogue Trooper 15.1

      from the article;
      -“…Libertarianism in my country is actually being taken seriously as an intelligent mode of political thought…It’s astonishing to me…People are saying ‘I don’t need anything but my ability to make a profit…” then to paraphrase, “We do not care who educates your children, only where ours are schooled, We do not care who funded and built the power generators, who puts out the fires or turns up to medical emergencies and accidents, who else requires water, or how freakin’ hot and turbulent the climate gets…”- Sam Hall…

  16. Zorr 16

    karol @7 raised the issue of corruption in NZ but the following is currently buried on Stuff under National News (no headline for it despite it’s far reaching consequences):
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9491510/Serious-Fraud-Office-faces-cutback

    Yet again, we are gutting our ability to prosecute white collar criminals while putting the boot on the neck of anyone unfortunate enough to not have silver spoons…

  17. greywarbler 17

    Friday spot got lost. But here’s some fast ruminating from Jackie Mason on going to the psychiatrist to find himself.

    I went to a psychiatrist. I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s because I didn’t know who I was. He took one look at me and said right away, “This is not you.”

    I said, “If this is not me, then who is it?”
    He said, “I don’t know either.”
    I said, “Then what do I need you for?”
    He said, “To find out who you are.”

    I said to myself, If I don’t know who I am, how do I know who to look for? And even if I find me, how do I know it’s me? Besides, if I want to look for me, why do I need him? I can look myself…I need a partner (“shutef”)? Ten years ago I’d be glad to look for anybody. Now I’m doing good. Why should I look for him? He needs help? Why doesn’t he look for me?”

    He said, “The search for the real you will have to continue. That’ll be a hundred dollars, please.”
    I said to myself, “If this is not the real me, why should I give HIM a hundred dollars? I’ll look for the real me. Let HIM give me a hundred dollars.
    …But what if I find the real me and he doesn’t think it’s worth a hundred dollars? Then I’ve stuck my money with the real him.”

    Then I said, “For all I know the real me might be going to another psychiatrist altogether. Might even be a psychiatrist himself. Wouldn’t it be funny if you’re the real me and you owe me a hundred dollars?”
    I said, “I’ll tell you what. I’ll charge you fifty dollars and we’ll call it even.”
    http://haruth.com/mw/3minutes.html

    • swordfish 17.1

      By an astonishing coincidence, greywarbler, I heard precisely the same comedy item on ‘The Laugh Track’ (Nat Rad) about an hour before you posted this. Serendipity or what !

      • greywarbler 17.1.1

        swordfish
        No coincidence, I heard it on rnz too and it was so good I searched on google for it. I couldn’t find any good youtube items but the shot gun speech of the prose carries the joke well. I said we needed some joie de vivre eh! I like to share some good things to keep our spirits up as we hear the policy filtering through that sounds like deja vue. Soon I’ll be so sick of hearing it that I will be writing French all the time, c’est la vie.

        • swordfish 17.1.1.1

          You’re a very good sport, greywarbler. In fact, so much so that I now feel more than a smidgen guilty about my mild teasing over the last couple of days. So, I’ll desist at this point with what, in retrospect, could be deemed borderline troll-like behaviour.

          (And if I know Mr Prentice like I think I do, he’ll currently be circling me like a shark, just waiting for another dumbarse comment so he can come down like a ton of bricks. With my next comment, I’ll be expecting to see my beautiful teal-blue gravatar next to the name ‘Total Shit-For-Brains’, much like the said 1prent hilariously did a few weeks ago for some Tory troll purporting to be ‘Peter Davis’ (although in that case he altered the moniker to something like ‘Complete and Utter Dickhead’)).

  18. Tracey 18

    Only $100???? Not a real psychiatrist then 😉

  19. greywarbler 19

    Tracey
    I would swear it’s a bit dated though the subject is still current, and quite electric.

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      ahh, but Are Friends Electric? , or do they need regular winding up…
      (a $100, oh what I could do with a $100, let me think…)

      • chris73 19.1.1

        I prefer to play Down In The Park myself

      • just saying 19.1.2

        …And just for a second I thought I remembered you…

        Not like you to leave out the link RT. A newer version of that particular alienated angst.

        • Rogue Trooper 19.1.2.1

          that was just lovely, and well-timed to coincide with the day’s other rewards. (I didn’t wish to bore you with roguish repetition) .Moved me, moved me when it was released, they played it on our local AM radio station at particular times, usually around 4.30-7.30 PM. Bookmarked a non-research site for a change; progress, otherwise, All Selections Hand-Made.

          • just saying 19.1.2.1.1

            Thanks for the reminder. It moved me too, as a teenager. And still, listening to it again.

  20. amirite 20

    An interesting example of what the government can gather from your location data collected from your own cellphone use and licence plate readers-

    https://www.aclu.org/meet-jack-or-what-government-could-do-all-location-data

  21. joe90 21

    The man was honest.

    The way I remember it, Ted Koppel said, ‘Well, now, the Communists….’ Mandela said, ‘They were the only ones who helped us. Next question.’”

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/the-day-a-newly-freed-mandela-came-to-new-york/

    • Rogue Trooper 22.1

      Love to… Love “…well, it’s been too many times and I can’t go back…” 😎 now,off to watch Prometheus !

  22. tricledrown 23

    CV yeah the ying and yang of economics.
    Something I had described 3 years ago on this site.

  23. Ake ake ake 24

    OMG, Bernard Hickey used the ‘d’ word.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11168792

    I’ve just seen that piece.

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