Open mike 09/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2011 - 122 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

122 comments on “Open mike 09/03/2011 ”

  1. logie97 1

    Media Works gets a handout.

    Of course it does. No surprises there people. Given that Talkback radio runs on this network, and it is hosted by a tribe of right wing hosts, doing the Right’s bidding, we wouldn’t expect anything else. Isn’t this the domain where Joyce himself made his fortune.

    captcha: ideals

  2. exit lane 2

    if you want to cut thru the media dross on oil prices I recommend this short interview on Business News Network with Jeff Rubin, Canadian economist and oil expert and author. Clear concise and compelling. should be compulsory viewing for every journalist and politician

  3. prism 3

    A different economist than our local lot is talking to Kathryn Ryan this a.m. on Radionz. 9-10am: US economist Tyler Cowen, author of The Great Stagnation His thought is that innovation is slowing, big ideas have peaked. Where is the business to come from, where the jobs?

    Part of the problem could be the attempted grab of software patents by the USA. Some congressman has been warning that the TPP agreement we have been jawing about may be distant if we bring in protective law on copyright etc. Looks like our possible experience could be of the big boys in the world wanting to play with our toys and not hand them back until they are munted.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Looks like our possible experience could be of the big boys in the world wanting to play with our toys and not hand them back until they are munted.

      We already knew that. The FTAs with the US going around the world are more about maintaining US imperialism than anything else.

  4. millsy 4

    As I said in yesterday’s open mike, back in 1996, the Fourth National Government sold the subsidary companies of the Works and Development Services Corporation of New Zealand Ltd., Works Civil Contruction and Works Consultancy. (which are now Downer EDI Works, and Opus Consultants).

    As we all know, these were the emaciated SOE remnants of the old Ministry of Works and Development.

    At the time, an Alliance MP (I think it was Sandra Lee), said words to the effect that we would miss all that expertise and resources when a natural disaster hit.

    And guess what? One just did. And we are going to have to rely on the private sector for a large chunk of the rebuild, seeing as Treasury engineered a systematic purging from the public service of any engineering and construction expertise (rather like those in communist countries without the gulags and bloodshed).

    It may not be PC for a lot of people to actually *say* it, but I think that deep deep down, a lot of people are going be be missing ‘Auntie Mo’.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Twatcock of the Day:


    Key v Warne
    March 9th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar
    NZPA report:

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will face an over from Shane Warne in Sunday’s ‘Fill the Basin for Christchurch’ charity Twenty20 cricket match at the Basin Reserve.

    If he scores a run, does he get to win Liz Hurley?

    No twatcock, he doesn’t.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1

      He’s probably a bit pissed that Gillard got to play with the Aussie Rules football with Obama in the oval office. Apparently Gillard’s errant handball nearly took out a bust of Lincoln!

    • QoT 5.2

      She’s obviously just Warnie’s property, PB. Get with the programme!

      Tragically, my interest in going to that match just plummeted dramatically. Guess a direct payment to Women’s Refuge will have to do.

  6. Morrissey 6

    Noelle McCarthy swallowed vomit for 15 minutes yesterday
    National Radio, Tuesday 8 March 2011, 3.10 p.m.

    Perhaps the S.S. Trust’s bloodthirsty führer Garth McVicar thought he was in for respectful handling and patsy questions from Noelle McCarthy yesterday. If so, he was out of luck. After a few introductory remarks, where she let him ramble on self-indulgently about his “exuberant” youth, in which he laughed about how he “pushed the boundaries” and “got into trouble”, she confronted him with his rotten, murderous hypocrisy…

    NOELLE: In 2008, a man called Bruce Emery stabbed a 15-year-old boy to death in Manurewa. You came out in support not of the victim, but of the killer, Bruce Emery. Why did you support the killer and not the victim?

    McVICAR: We found there was a lot of support for our stance. Our supporter database increased overnight. We were trying to spark a debate about entry-level crimes like graffiti.

    NOELLE: Hang on! Were you just being provocative ? Do you believe that Bruce Emery had the right to stab that boy?

    McVICAR: [long pause] Errr, no I don’t, errrrr, nobody has the right to take another life.

    NOELLE: So why did you say it?

    McVICAR: Look, we were trying to get a public discussion going. We want the public to talk seriously about entry-level crimes like graffiti. I think people could see what we were saying, and they could look beyond this particular case.

    NOELLE: All right, then. Let’s accept that there were people who could “see beyond” your support for the killing of that boy. Do you think even they could see beyond the David Garrett dead baby scandal?

    McVICAR: Ahhhhh, we think David Garrett has admitted his crimes and he deserves another chance. Of course we don’t endorse what he did, but he’s done so much good work for us.

    NOELLE: I mean, how could you be so wrong-headed , Garth?

    McVICAR: I would still give the same level of support to him today.

    NOELLE: Maybe that says something about your integrity, that you still support someone who was a grave-robber.

    McVICAR: Ha ha ha! He knows he did wrong. A lot of us were exuberant kids, we pushed the boundaries. It’s a long journey, and we’ve moved to centre-stage now.

    NOELLE: Garth McVicar, thank you. His book is called Justice: Speaking Up For Crime’s Silent Victims.

    • millsy 6.1

      I emailed McVicar and flat out asked him if he supported lynching.

      Unfortunately he never replied back to me.

      McVicar is an intolerant hateful bigot who will not be happy until people are hanging from lamp post.

      If you are not white middle class and Christian, then you deserve nothing less than extermination

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        I think a legal challenge could be made to the status of the S.S. Trust as a charitable trust. Surely McVicar’s defiant support for the killing of a boy and his repeated demeaning remarks about the victim and the victim’s family are a violation of the mission statement and constitution of the S.S. Trust.

        In 1985, two lawyers managed to stop an All Black tour of apartheid South Africa by using the New Zealand Rugby Football Union’s own constitution to argue a tour would be in violation of that constitution, and would therefore be illegal.

        It seems perfectly feasible that the S.S. Trust’s own barbarous public statements could be used against it, and see it wound up.

        • Kevin Welsh

          They are no longer a charitable trust.

          • Morrissey

            What are they now then? A murderers’ advocacy and support trust?

            • Kevin Welsh

              Can you not read?

              • todd

                I guess Garth McVicar’s dreams of power have evaporated with Act’s self destruction. Good job! Can you imagine that horrible weasel in our halls of power… shudder! What we don’t need in this country is a group of white businessmen telling us that Maori’s should get the longest sentences available and then advocate for white murderers of young Maoris to get leniency. There should be a law against double standards based on racism. Let’s rename them the Sensible Sentencing (of any other ethnicity but mine) un-Trust.

              • Morrissey

                I read many quotes by the S.S. Trust (AKA Garth McVicar) vociferously supporting the killing of a teenage boy, and expressing support for a convicted grave-robber.

                So please enlighten us: is it or is it not a murderers’ advocacy and support trust?

                • Kevin Welsh

                  I couldn’t give a flying fuck what they, but what they are not is a CHARITABLE TRUST, Mr Fucking Thicky. That status has been revoked.

                  • Luxated

                    Kevin, they still call themselves the ‘Sensible Sentencing Trust’. Right on the top of the website, so what seems to be your main bone of contention here is moot.

                    • Kevin Welsh

                      Ahhh, no.

                      Morrisey stated in his original message: “I think a legal challenge could be made to the status of the S.S. Trust as a charitable trust. Surely McVicar’s defiant support for the killing of a boy and his repeated demeaning remarks about the victim and the victim’s family are a violation of the mission statement and constitution of the S.S. Trust.”

                      No legal challenge is required because they are not a Charitable Trust. Is it finally getting through?

                    • Luxated

                      Kevin, I understand what you’re saying and I understand your point about what Morrisey originally said.

                      However at least my reading of it is that Morrisey was indulging in some black humour after his first post, which you didn’t seem to be cottoning on to. Of course I could be reading Morrisey’s comment wrong but that’s the context of my previous post.

                      Either way, confusion reigned and all got wet.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    Indeed it has. The Senseless Sentencing Trust dropped the charitable status so they would not be subject to any outside scrutiny. In other words, to remove transparency, to hide in the shadows, to be unaccountable to anyone but McVicar.

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      If you took the time to type this up, thanks very much.

      At work I can’t listen to mp3s or view youtube, so when someone links to something like that I have no way of knowing what the real content is. When I get home from work there are so many more interesting things to be doing that I never listen to the mp3s or watch the youtube vids. So thanks for typing that up here.

      As an aside, I think this is a big challenge facing google – how do you index and search for content that is embedded in audio and video formats? More and more news reporting on the web is included in video content, and becoming unsearchable.

  7. joe90 7

    .Tea Party Nationalism examines the six national organizational networks at the core of the Tea Party movement.

    Foreword by Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP

    We know the majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people of good will. That is why the NAACP—an organization that has worked to expose and combat racism in all its forms for more than 100 years—is thankful Devin Burghart, Leonard Zeskind and the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights prepared this report that exposes the links between certain Tea Party factions and acknowledged racist hate groups in the United States. These links should give all patriotic Americans pause.

  8. Morrissey 8

    “Foreign correspondent” from Gaza was an unreliable witness
    National Radio, Tuesday 8 March 2011, 8:40 p.m.

    Brian Crump’s “foreign correspondent” last night was one Lana Shaheen from Gaza. She made some extraordinary statements, and poor old Brian Crump was too timid or too vague to challenge any of them.

    First of all, she (and Brian Crump) several times mentioned “the war” in Gaza in 2008-9. As has been attested by the United Nations, human rights groups, doctors, nurses, common citizens, and conscience-wracked Israeli soldiers, there was no “war” in Gaza; it was simply a massacre of a captive civilian population.

    She then said Gaza is “in the grip of Hamas.” Actually, as anyone with any knowledge of the situation knows, Gaza, like the occupied West Bank, is in the iron grip of the Israeli regime. Israel’s cruelty towards the people of Gaza has been condemned by all the leading human rights organizations in the world. In September 2009 the official United Nations report on the Gaza massacre of 2008-9 condemned it as “an attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.”

    Then Lana Shaheen said: “Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, through a coup, actually.” That was a plain lie. Hamas is the elected government of the Gaza Strip; in 2007, an Israeli and American-backed coup by Fatah was forestalled by Hamas. The somnolent Crump did not correct her.

    Lana Shaheen then mentioned that Gaza is afflicted by the cutting off of water and electricity—and she neglected to say who it was that cut off these vital services. Hazy or totally uninformed listeners would be quite likely to assume, judging from her previous words, that what she repeatedly called “the Hamas regime” cut off the water and power. I’m sure that was her intention; she sounded like a practised and smooth propagandist.

    Disappointingly, Brian Crump did not challenge even one of her questionable assertions or outright lies. The term “useful idiot” comes to mind.

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 8.1

      Spot on, Morrissey.

      Even worse, here in Wellington we’re stuck with The DomPost which relies almost exclusively for its Middle East coverage on the two British newspapers most associated with Israeli apologetics – Murdoch’s The Times and the former Conrad Black vehicle: The Daily Telegraph (now owned by a major pornographer whose main contribution to contemporary English Literature are the magazines ‘Asian Babes’ and ‘Big juicy Ones’. So probably a little too much to expect the change in ownership to result in a more moral/ethical line).

      Much of the resulting analysis is simply ludicrous. Israeli military elites, security forces and even Netanyahu himself are treated as objective commentators in these “news stories”.

    • Vicky32 8.2

      I heard her on the BBC a while back, and was completely disgusted by her. The interviewer was far too soft on her.

  9. prism 9

    I see from The Press timeline that 8 March was an important milestone in the financial machinations of the greedy in the USA.
    In 2001 The US Republican-controlled House votes for an across-the-board tax cut of nearly US$1 trillion over the next decade, handing president George Bush a major victory only 48 days into his term.

    Asset-stripping of government, reducing its ability to deliver taxpayers needs and requirements. The USA is not willing to invest or even maintain itself and its people. Our politicians, particularly National, are great followers of USA and UK so no wonder if they want to follow the same downward-spiralling policies of a loser nation here.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Great. An inbred Boche parasite is showing up to survey the ruins. Just the tonic we need. Not.

    • Carol 10.1

      Yes, more celebrity distractions by Key… him and Warnie, him & royal bludger etc.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      I would like to see a visit to CHCH as Kate and William’s first official function after their marriage.

      It’s been rumoured that he wants to attend to the world cup (and that JonKey is going to present him a full travel and ticket package as their wedding present), so the timing could work out well.

    • higherstandard 10.3

      The hate is strong in this one.

      In case you had forgotten NZ and Australia are still part of the commonwealth, the honorary head of which is QE II. William as her rep is coming down to NZ to pay respects at CCH, the West Coast and then in Queensland in relation to their floods.

      Seems like a reasonable thing to do if you ask me.

      • The Voice of Reason 10.3.1

        I understand William is being sent because Prince Phillip jumped to the wrong conclusion when he heard that Key wanted to shag Liz.

        • higherstandard

          ta ding boom !

          I’m just glad Helen’s not PM …. imagine if she was batting against Warne on Sunday he’d be texting her for a shag while coming in to bowl………… then again with his record he’ll probably shag Key quite happily anyway..

          • Lanthanide

            I don’t think Helen was desperate enough for photo ops to stoop to sporting publicity stunts like playing cricket with Warne or entering into celebrity boxing matches.

      • Carol 10.3.2

        HS, for me, this has little to do with NZ being a Commonwealth country as such. I have dual nationality & am a British citizen. During the many years I lived in the UK, most of my Brit friends had pretty much the same attitude to the monarchy as I do.

        • higherstandard

          Don’t see what you’re trying to say Carol, is it that you don’t like the Windsors therefore you don’t want one of their representatives to come and pay their respects ?

          • Carol

            There is no place in a democracy for inherited privilege (social, cultural & financial), especially when there is such a big divide in the UK between (largely inherited) rich and poor. By all means he can pay his respects like anyone else, but the media shouldn’t be making such a big deal about everything they do, including weddings and travelling to NZ.

            • logie97

              Wouldn’t mind betting Crosby/Textor will have set this up. The old boys network will be working overtime for some photops throughout 2011. Key glad handing with a kid-royal is a bit tacky. The last thing the people in the worst hurt suburbs will be wanting is an entourage of extremely privileged people turning on their patronising smiles.

              This is going to happen in autumnal, potentially cold, damp weather.

      • Fisiani 10.3.3


        inbred Boche parasite is mild for The Standard.

        William, our perhaps future King, does not have to come here.

        He will handle himself with dignity.

        He will show sympathy.

        (For the benefit of many commentators here you will find sympathy in the dictionary. It’s in between shit and syphilis)

        • lprent

          William? Who cares… I got over royalty in the 1960’s when I had to turn out for parades and wave to the queen events at Eden park. Royalty hasn’t been relevant for the decades between then and now. Just have to wait for the indoctrinated generations to diminish and we can make choices about heads of state without civil war ensuing.

        • Luxated

          (For the benefit of many commentators here you will find sympathy in the dictionary. It’s in between shit and syphilis)

          I think that tells us more about the quality of your dictionary than the ability of commentators here to sympathise.

          For the record in any quality dictionary (OED) you will find sympathy between sympathomiˈmetic and sympatric (ignoring use of sympathy as a verb as it seemingly hasn’t been in use since the seventeenth century).

          • The Voice of Reason

            It’s the wrong word anyway. Empathy, not sympathy.

            • Luxated

              You could argue that, depending on the definition the distinctions (at least in everyday usage) seems to be largely semantic though.

  11. joe90 11

    sigh…..the new boss, same as the old boss….

    President Obama signed an executive order Monday that ends a two-year ban on military trials at Guantanamo Bay.

    The president had campaigned on a promise to close the detention facility, but that’s turned out to be difficult. His actions set up a system that could keep Guantanamo operating for some time.

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      That won’t exactly shore up more support from the people who voted for what he said and the people who voted for him.

    • Vicky32 11.2

      Sadly, I predicted that! I am not disillusioned with Obama as I was never illusioned by him!

  12. Confirmation (if we needed it) of who makes money from mining.

    From across the ditch

    “Mining company BHP Billiton’s whopping $10.5 billion profit for the second half of 2010 highlights the shameless greed of those making a fortune out of Australia’s valuable resources.

    Now BHP is on track to break an Australian record. Its profit for this financial year will likely be more than $20 billion. Rio Tinto and Xstrata have also announced huge profits.”

    Obscene profits for the big boys and meanwhile the land and people pay the price.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      And they managed to agitate and help unseat PM Rudd when he wanted a small slice of the pie to redistribute to the rest of Australian society.

      Western “democracies” are a joke.

  13. On a lighter note

    This is a wicked post from Will

    truely wicked

  14. Mining – who makes the money?

    Across the ditch

    “Mining company BHP Billiton’s whopping $10.5 billion profit for the second half of 2010 highlights the shameless greed of those making a fortune out of Australia’s valuable resources.

    Now BHP is on track to break an Australian record. Its profit for this financial year will likely be more than $20 billion. Rio Tinto and Xstrata have also announced huge profits.

    The big corporations are always trying to convince us that high profits are good for everyone. The argument goes that the more they make, the more they’ll share around. But as the mining giants have shown, the more they make, the more they line their pockets.

    It’s true that some mining workers earn relatively high wages. But these wages, often for dangerous and difficult work, are peanuts compared with mining super-profits.”

    Obscene profits for the big boys meanwhile the land and people pay the price.

    • marty mars 14.1

      arohamai for the double post – I’m happy for one to go 🙂

    • Jim Nald 14.2

      John Key needs to keep feeding the horses obscene amounts of oats.
      Some might pass through to the road for you, wee sparrow.

    • higherstandard 14.3

      MM -Western Australia is massive and you’d be able to mine the place for the next hundred years without making much of a dent.

      I agree the profits are mammoth but they need to be looked at in light of the amount of money employed to generate that profit in the first place not as plain figures.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1

        Profits are a deadweight loss and so they really do need to be looked at directly as well.

        • Jim Nald

          Yup, the mammoth and obscene amounts of oats need to be looked at in light of what passes through to the road for sparrows. And please also clean up the roads.

          • higherstandard

            So how much (%) profit is fair then bud ?

            • Jim Nald

              If I were the ‘fair’ business dealer and had the Government in my pocket, erm .. as much of the profit as I can get away with. Woohoo.

              • Colonial Viper

                So how much (%) profit is fair then bud ?

                Government owned mining companies thanks

                Oh whoops I guess that means 100% of the profits.

                Actually I think the Chinese model gives us some clues. The private sector has to go into the mining operation as part of a 50/50 partnership with an SOE or Government organisation.

                • neoleftie

                  which govt signed a free trade agreement with china hmmm.
                  Interesting balances system model there CV…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As a 50% shareholder in the enterprise you get half the seats on the board of directors and have access to ALL company documents, reports and accounts.

                    Nice isn’t it. And if the company evades taxes etc, diverting even more profit to the bottom line, the shareholders (50% of which is the Government) still get the resulting monies. Good eh.

        • higherstandard

          DTB the degree of obscenity (in my eyes) of profit is directly proportional to the amount of capital employed for example 20 billion profit on 19 billion capital employed I would say is pretty marginal, whereas 20 billion on 10 billion capital employed would be getting obscene……. but I forgot you are a profit = evil type of chap from memory.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Even the delusional neo-lib economic theory shows us that profit is a deadweight loss. The economists will quiblle about that but it happens to be true – in a perfect market with infinite competition (basic assumption of free-market ideology) there is no profit.

          • Colonial Viper

            DTB the degree of obscenity (in my eyes) of profit is directly proportional to the amount of capital employed

            Capital assets should be taxed as well.

      • marty mars 14.3.2

        Well it is the “without making much of a dent” bit that is subjective.

        The thing I don’t really understand is the change of PM over there – after the tax was announced and the bleating and advertising started from the mining companies – has there been any good investigative stuff on that? Anyone got any good links?

        • Luxated

          It is all a bit murky really.

          Basically there was a lot of very public lobbying from the mining sector, along with some counter lobbying from the government which wasn’t well executed and only served to rile the Coalition even more than usual.

          After a more TV ads than anyone cared to count the ‘major miners’ (BHP/Rio/Xstrata) sat down in discussions with the Government and came to an agreement of sorts. The agreement annoyed effectively every other mining company going (notable Fortescue) because they didn’t have a hand in the deal and thought it undermined their interests (from memory the main complaint was changes to levies on metals which were favourable to the negotiating parties but not the non-negotiators).

          During all this the unions came out in support of the tax, but the the issue had divided mining workers with some rather publicly convinced they would lose their job if the tax was implemented.

          Eventually the agreement fell through and several mining companies (Xstrata mainly but OTOH BHP participated as well) started to threaten to close mines and abandon new projects.

          As for how this all rolled Rudd is a bit unclear. Labor’s polls were hammered because of the tax with both the miners and the Coalition claiming it would destroy the economy and make everything cost more. This obviously created a lot of pressure on parliamentary Labor which lead to Labor’s internal factions supporting Gillard, although how much support was behind her is something that will take more than a few years to find out as it never went to a vote. Some seem to suggest there was additional pressure applied to Labor by the miners but I am not aware of any evidence pointing to that conclusion.

          Basically it boiled down to a well organised (and very well funded) campaign against the government which Rudd wouldn’t shy away from and Gillard was prepared to compromise (throw out) on.

          As for links:

          Union TV ads will support mining super-profits tax
          Unions stance against super profits
          Rudd ‘will not rush’ mining tax negotiations
          Miners left hanging on tax level
          Rudd’s downfall: he never really got it

      • Luxated 14.3.3

        MM -Western Australia is massive and you’d be able to mine the place for the next hundred years without making much of a dent.

        Or you could just put a gas hub in the Kimberley, no one will notice that, right?

  15. Sanctuary 15

    “…It’s been rumoured that he wants to attend to the world cup (and that JonKey is going to present him a full travel and ticket package as their wedding present)…”

    Why? Is William a bit short of the folding stuff on the quiet just now or something? Why can’t he save for, oh, a few hour or something and pay his own way like every other poor bastard who is going?

    And I hope the wedding present from the multi-millionaire PM of New Zealand will be his personal one paid out of his own deep and richly lined pockets?

    Or will the long suffering taxpayers of NZ have to stump up the bling so one multi-millionaire can large it up on the other side of the velvet rope with a guy who is going to own a country?

    You know, In Las Vegas nightclubs they’ve got a term for the likes of Key and Windsor. they call them whales. looks like we are getting the Whale and Wales for the RWC.

    Capcha: “nasty” – well shucks, I do try. 😉

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Media release:

    “Today John Key announced the latest stage of the government’s visionary earthquake recovery package. Called “Karaoke for Christchurch”, it will be screened live on all channels. Hosted by Paul Holmes, guests will include Oprah Winfrey*, Barack Obama*, David Beckham*, Charlie Sheen*, an ex-All Black and somebody from Shortland Street.

    They will sing a medley of Classic Kiwi hits, as featured in supermarket muzak across New Zealand. John Key promises that listeners will “feel their pain”. The guests will then sign a limited edition T-shirt, which will be sold on TradeMe.

    Also, some more jobs will be lost, homes demolished, assets sold, whatever.”

    (* to be confirmed)

    • Jim Nald 16.1

      And please don’t forget that Paul ‘too good to be true’ Henry will be bringing the karaoke to Hollywood.

    • Janice 16.2

      I think you can scratch Barack Obama. A few days after the earthquake Key was giving a televised press conference at 11.45am. He said he couldn’t take very many questions as there was a call coming from Barack Obama at midday. He was trying to look solemn but you could see he was wetting himself at the prospect of speaking to his idol There was nothing said about a call and I am sure that the smiley one wouldn’t have been able to stop himself crowing about it when he was mentioning who had called and offered help. Perhaps it was just an aide calling to ask what was needed. Thanks anyway for the USA for the help given to Christchurch.

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      Will Charlie Sheen bring his two “Goddess” live in, love in, girlfriends who are half his age?

      Gawd that man looks like shit these days.

      • M 16.3.1

        There you have it CV, the difference between healthy appetite and gluttony.

        Sheen reminds me of John Mayer – what’s the frigging attraction apart from the dough unless they’re packing 357 magnums and even that could pall after a time – how could any sane woman want to be in the company of men who so wantonly sample every biscuit in the tin?

        Sheen needs to get clean fast, like his dad did years ago.

  17. randal 17

    they intend paying for the earthquake by taking on more debt too.
    why are they borrowing to pay for it when they could obtain the money directly through taxes.

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      If I were a Nat rat, I would give more money through more tax cuts ((dis)proportionally more to my mates, .. of course) and borrow for that. And take on more debt to pay for the earthquake. Simple, really.

      How about put me in Bill English’s seat to write the upcoming budget?

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 17.1.1

        How about put me in Bill English’s seat to write the upcoming budget?

        You’re using logic, which means you’re over-qualified. Sorry.

        • Colonial Viper

          Well why not gimme a go on his hot seat, I’ll write it up blindfolded using chicken entrails and a couple of new economics grads from Vic.

    • neleftie 17.2

      cause randal spending is down and we desperately need middle class NZ to spend, they cant tax the rich cause they just gave them a break. Company tax rake is way down too. No cash and the economy finely balanced and just hanging in there…worst yet to come.
      Commodity prices such as oil going up, due to speculative trading on the futures markets…everyone or any entity with liquid cash is trying to find a home for it, safegaurded from unpredictable markets and low returns in tradition sources like bonds etc

  18. Morrissey 18

    Those well trained U.S. reporters

    Half an hour or so ago, I listened to a brief news clip featuring the voice of one P.J. Crowley, who rejoices under the splendid title of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. I was impressed by the self-discipline of the assembled reporters.

    Mr. Crowley was pontificating about the situation in Libya. He condemned the use of violence against civilians, and said that Colonel Gaddafi “could find himself going on a trip to the Hague.”

    The reporters remained silent. Not one of them broke ranks and asked the obvious question: “If you are calling on Colonel Gaddafi to stop shelling civilians, and allusively threatening him with a war crimes trial, what about doing the same to the Israeli regime and similarly threatening Binyamin Netanyahu? Or better still: why don’t you stop funding, and diplomatically protecting, the aggressors?”

    But not one spoke up. Now that is a disciplined media corps.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    Sovereign Homes collapses.

    The economy is going into a hole.

    • Jim Nald 19.1

      Just smile and wave, smile and wave, smile and wave …

    • neleftie 19.2

      a dark hole where we didnt need tax cuts to the rich…but the indicators like cash rate interest rates bode well for a bounce back in about 1.5 years.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        1.5 years? The problem is that the investment banks are now bigger and more leveraged than they were in 2007 when the GFC started.

        The global financial system has become more fragile, not less, since the crash.

        • neoleftie

          yet money flows…speculative money is still pumping around by the trillions, inflating and selling commodities, trade goes on…america’s economy still stable ( held up by printed cash sure )
          Speculative or invested money is created outs nothing really; noone completely understands or can comprehend the global market or investment systems. twenty years ago the cross country short term money flows were measured by the millions not by the trillions – Where did this money come from??.
          Hard created money or income is nothing compared to the leaveraged created money supply that slooshes around looking for a short term home, in a global sense.
          While billions are lost and / or printed to shore up a part of the global economy, trillions are still invested or created on a daily basis.
          As long as we have a globally connected market full of consumers who provide the base money then the global economy is still sound…if trade doesnt flow or the market / consumer base isnt expanded then we will reach a equalibrium point – the big bang but thats hundred of years away…resources produce tradable commodities that provide the basic wealth but you know all this…
          remember the 30’s, people starved in NZ, remember the 80’s these times are not as bad…i remember people in their 50’s on the dole que, one moment earning big buck as middle managers then next crying at job centre work shops…

          • Colonial Viper

            When you say America’s economy is still stable you are correct.

            But that also begs the question – stable for whom?

            The top 1% of the population who together own more financial assets than the bottom 90% combined?

            The top 1% of the population which has taken 80% of all new income created in the US since about 1980?

            If you have benefitted from this economy then it definitely looks stable. For the ~25M or so American workers who are unemployed or under-employed I believe it is damn precarious.

            So OK times aren’t as bad (yet) for most during this Great Recession as it was during the Great Depression. Nor are times as bad as they were for most during the days of medieval serfdom.

            However, this is the 21st century and setting the bar against those times is inadequate. Goldman Sachs bonus pool in 2009 was the equivalent of the annual income of the world’s poorest 224M people.

            What we have here is a recipe for not just economic, but also political and social instability.

            • neoleftie

              all true there CV…from the ashes and the breaking of the shackles the masses will arise to create something new – maybe.
              perhaps if labour win this election then there social democratic policies will shore up the economy sowe can weather the global storm..

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    and yet another step towards a cashless society

    Infratil’s Snapper, an instant payment smartcard popular in Wellington, was launched in Auckland today. It can be used to pay for rides in 1,000 taxis, and to buy stuff at more than at 150 retail outlets – but won’t be compatible with the super city’s coming integrated transport payment system

    Unfortunately, it seems to be a little limited so far.

  21. Richard 21

    Mark Weldon is to lead earthquake recovery fundraising

    He might be capable of doing an adequate job — but it somehow seems a deeply odd choice.

  22. ianmac 22

    We are told constantly that Market Forces rule. Supply and Demand. Usually the loudest calls come from businessmen.
    Yet when Market forces are at work to determine the rental to be paid at whatever the market calls for in Christchurch, who are calling foul loudly? Market driven Businessmen! Can’t have it both ways!

    • Vicky32 22.1

      I am reminded of the man I heard whingeing about this on Nat Rad this morning…

    • neleftie 22.2

      oh deb the irony..the self centred SME one drop from the brink and they thrash around and cant see that they are always better under a labour govt…

    • Armchair Critic 22.3

      Yeah, heard that particularly sad effort. The bloke from Colliers that followed immediately afterwards rally took the cake. A true personification of greed and a total lack of morals.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.4

      My nephew, a builder, got a call the other day about a job and was asked how much he wanted to be paid and he said $26/hr+GST. The guy said things had changed and offered $23 incl GST. My nephew replied that things had changed – diesel had gone up, food has gone up, prices to get his power tools certified had gone up… They guy hung up on him.

      As for Chch – the prime contractors (Fletchers) and the insurers (EQC) are trying to keep the rates down which will keep the construction workers away. Chch is showing what the effect of the “free-market” has on needed work – Chch won’t be rebuilt simply because no one will pay for it to be done. Businesses in NZ just don’t want to pay what it actually costs to go to work as it cuts into the profits.

      No amount of competition can remove the actual costs.

  23. joe90 23

    Bradley Manning’s torture continues.

    This is just vile. The former brig commander, James Averhart, violated military rules by putting Manning on suicide watch as punishment, and was subsequently replaced by Denise Barnes. Now she’s stripping him naked to punish him for a sarcastic quip. Who is she, Nurse Ratched? Abusing someone’s mental health classification in order to subject them to torture “for their own good” is sick and sadistic, reminiscent of Soviet gulags.

  24. todd 24

    Earthquake vs Rugby

    So we all love rugby in this country. It’s our national sport and has been the backbone of our communities for a very long time. People like Bunce, Zinzan and Fitzpatrick are institutions, and rightly so if you ask me…

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      So we all love rugby in this country.

      No, really, we don’t. In fact, more people watch soccer than watch rugby and about 70% of the people don’t watch soccer either. I think you’ll find that the majority of the country couldn’t care less about rugby.

      They do, as a matter of fact, care about the earthquake and how we care for those affected.

  25. Sanctuary 25

    Just had dinner with a couple of friends, both run their own small companies in the event management/discretionary purchases sector. Both voted National, one is fervent Nat the other a swinging voter.

    Both think times are getting harder for SME New Zealand, higher food and petrol prices have slammed the brakes back on whatever anaemic recovery was happening and the cheque books have simply been put away by everyone but the very biggest corporates.

    So let us recap where the combined financial genius of John Key and Bill English has got us: An economy in a double dup recession, suffering from stagflation and a death spiral of collapsing revenues and increasing debt.

    Make no mistake – National are a one trick pony, the central (and only) plank of their economic policy is a two decades old, discredited one of trickle down economics and tax cuts for the rich. THAT HAS NOT WORKED AND THEY HAVE NOT GOT A FUCKING CLUE WHAT TO DO NEXT.

    Fervent Nat won’t change, swinging voter will probably not bother in November.

    • neoleftie 25.1

      That sanctuary is exactly the what i hear echoing around the electorate…Tories old ideological tax cut stimulous thoery has not work and has been discredit overseas already before they came to power so why did they do it – go ask small time farmer english..
      Poor tories have been dealt a very bad hand and wont get better for years..the only thing they can do is bring in policy that shift them to the left, way way to the left.
      Time soon i think for cunliffe and crew to front up with some real policy direction, some vision even and give some hope to the mainstream electorate – we need an active labour party with some bold idea’s, some vision that connect NZ and resonants with the public

  26. Colonial Viper 26

    Serious blow to Christchurch: New insurance cover denied

    If this drags on beyond the short term it will be a major roadblock to rebuilding Christchurch.

    Insurance companies all but stopped writing new cover in Christchurch in the wake of the February 22 earthquake and brokers say they will take some months to resume and are already raising premiums and claims deductibles.

    Firms including AMI, the biggest general insurer in Canterbury, Australia’s IAG which owns the State Insurance and NZI brands and QBE called a halt to issuing new policies while they await word from overseas reinsurers on new terms and conditions after a reassessment of risk.

  27. Armchair Critic 27

    Now how is it that the government aren’t releasing engineering reports on AMI stadium? But John Key is happy to take wild stabs in the dark on the number of houses to be demolished? Another case of their corporate mates mattering, but the little guy being irrelevant? Double standards!
    And how is it that the council think they can raise rates at above inflation, using CERRA to avoid consultation. After the ECan debacle, it’s hardly like Canterbury is overflowing with democracy. Adding insult to injury, the rates rise is for the aforementioned stadium, which may not be used for the RWC.

    • McFlock 27.1

      It’s all very well speculating about heritage and homes, but NACTs realise that rugby is too serious to use as a political football…

  28. Fisiani 28

    Anyone know why on ipredict the chance of National winning Otaki has surged?

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      The same reason why stocks surge – all the sheep following the other sheep.

    • lprent 28.2

      Because the number of participants in the “market” is too small. It allows market manipulation?

      That would be my guess. I get this thing in my mail every few days, see that the number of trades and traders is not shown and treat it like the advice of a NZ stock broker not telling me why they are pushing particular stocks.

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  • How the culture will change in the Beehive
    Perhaps the biggest change that will come to the Beehive as the new government settles in will be a fundamental culture change. The era of endless consultation will be over. This looks like a government that knows what it wants to do, and that means it knows what outcomes ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • No More Winnie Blues.
    So what do you think of the coalition’s decision to cancel Smokefree measures intended to stop young people, including an over representation of Māori, from taking up smoking? Enabling them to use the tax revenue to give other people a tax cut?David Cormack summed it up well:It seems not only ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    A chronological listing of news and opinion articles posted on the Skeptical Science  Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 19, 2023 thru Sat, Nov 25, 2023.  Story of the Week World stands on frontline of disaster at Cop28, says UN climate chief  Exclusive: Simon Stiell says leaders must ‘stop ...
    5 days ago
  • Some of it is mad, some of it is bad and some of it is clearly the work of people who are dangerous ...
    On announcement morning my mate texted:Typical of this cut-price, fake-deal government to announce itself on Black Friday.What a deal. We lose Kim Hill, we gain an empty, jargonising prime minister, a belligerent conspiracist, and a heartless Ayn Rand fanboy. One door closes, another gets slammed repeatedly in your face.It seems pretty ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • “Revolution” is the threat as the Māori Party smarts at coalition government’s Treaty directi...
    Buzz from the Beehive Having found no fresh announcements on the government’s official website, Point of Order turned today to Scoop’s Latest Parliament Headlines  for its buzz. This provided us with evidence that the Māori Party has been soured by the the coalition agreement announced yesterday by the new PM. “Soured” ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • The Good, the Bad, and the even Worse.
    Yesterday the trio that will lead our country unveiled their vision for New Zealand.Seymour looking surprisingly statesmanlike, refusing to rise to barbs about his previous comments on Winston Peters. Almost as if they had just been slapstick for the crowd.Winston was mostly focussed on settling scores with the media, making ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • When it Comes to Palestine – Free Speech is Under Threat
    Hi,Thanks for getting amongst Mister Organ on digital — thanks to you, we hit the #1 doc spot on iTunes this week. This response goes a long way to helping us break even.I feel good about that. Other things — not so much.New Zealand finally has a new government, and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Thank you Captain Luxon. Was that a landing, or were we shot down?
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Also in More Than A FeildingFriday The unboxing And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Cans of Worms.
    “And there’ll be no shortage of ‘events’ to test Luxon’s political skills. David Seymour wants a referendum on the Treaty. Winston wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Labour’s handling of the Covid crisis. Talk about cans of worms!”LAURIE AND LES were very fond of their local. It was nothing ...
    6 days ago
  • Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back
    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Misinformation is debated everywhere and has justifiably sparked concerns. It can polarise the public, reduce health-protective behaviours such as mask wearing and vaccination, and erode trust in science. Much of misinformation is spread not ...
    6 days ago
  • Peters as Minister
    A previous column looked at Winston Peters biographically. This one takes a closer look at his record as a minister, especially his policy record.1990-1991: Minister of Māori Affairs. Few remember Ka Awatea as a major document on the future of Māori policy; there is not even an entry in Wikipedia. ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • The New Government: 2023 Edition
    So New Zealand has a brand-spanking new right-wing government. Not just any new government either. A formal majority coalition, of the sort last seen in 1996-1998 (our governmental arrangements for the past quarter of a century have been varying flavours of minority coalition or single-party minority, with great emphasis ...
    7 days ago
  • The unboxing
    And so this is Friday and what have we gone and done to ourselves?In the same way that a Christmas present can look lovely under the tree with its gold ribbon but can turn out to be nothing more than a big box holding a voucher for socks, so it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A cruel, vicious, nasty government
    So, after weeks of negotiations, we finally have a government, with a three-party cabinet and a time-sharing deputy PM arrangement. Newsroom's Marc Daalder has put the various coalition documents online, and I've been reading through them. A few things stand out: Luxon doesn't want to do any work, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hurrah – we have a new government (National, ACT and New Zealand First commit “to deliver for al...
    Buzz from the Beehive Sorry, there has been  no fresh news on the government’s official website since the caretaker trade minister’s press statement about the European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement. But the capital is abuzz with news – and media comment is quickly flowing – after ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Christopher Luxon – NZ PM #42.
    Nothing says strong and stable like having your government announcement delayed by a day because one of your deputies wants to remind everyone, but mostly you, who wears the trousers. It was all a bit embarrassing yesterday with the parties descending on Wellington before pulling out of proceedings. There are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Government details policies & ministers
    Winston Peters will be Deputy PM for the first half of the Coalition Government’s three-year term, with David Seymour being Deputy PM for the second half. Photo montage by Lynn Grieveson for The KākāTL;DR: PM-Elect Christopher Luxon has announced the formation of a joint National-ACT-NZ First coalition Government with a ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Old Coat” by Peter, Paul & Mary.
     THERE ARE SOME SONGS that seem to come from a place that is at once in and out of the world. Written by men and women who, for a brief moment, are granted access to that strange, collective compendium of human experience that comes from, and belongs to, all the ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    1 week ago
  • Further humanitarian support for Gaza, the West Bank and Israel
    The Government is contributing a further $5 million to support the response to urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, bringing New Zealand’s total contribution to the humanitarian response so far to $10 million. “New Zealand is deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life and the ...
    2 weeks ago

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