Open mike 09/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, December 9th, 2014 - 118 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

118 comments on “Open mike 09/12/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    The government’s policy of divide and rule in education takes its next step.
    The TPPA will regret its weak stance in supporting this move to bring in performance pay in schools.

    Key parts of the article from the National Herald.

    ‘Education Minister Hekia Parata confirmed yesterday that 11 “communities” made up of 90 schools would kick off the $359 million programme, which paid the best teachers and principals more to lift achievement across groups of schools.’

    ‘Education changes
    *New “change principals” paid $50,000 more a year to go into struggling schools and turn them around.
    *Hubs of around 10 neighbouring schools, known as “communities”, work together to lift student achievement.
    *New “executive principals”, “lead teachers” and “expert teachers” paid more to support and mentor other principals and teachers within their own schools and in other schools.
    *First tranche of 11 “communities” (90 schools and 38,000 students) to begin next term.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11370975

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      So by about this time next year we’ll be able to point to the results and say how much of a failure it was.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1

        So when its been shown to be a success you’ll point out you were wrong?

        • ianmac 1.1.1.1

          It will be impossible to actually measure the improvements. (Except for the lifestyles of the elite few.) I do know of Primary Schools where support has been given between schools in a collaborative manner. Though as competition between schools increased the belief and trust in swapping ideas and methods diminished.
          Didn’t the “mighty” John Graham spend two years attempting to mentor a lower decile college only to fall back defeated?

          • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1.1

            Well Vanguard seems to be going well, I’m sure Delahunty could fill you in on the details 🙂

            • Weepus beard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s going real well. Vanguard lost 30% of it’s roll this year. At that rate it will be gone by 2017.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well of course they have, they passed what they needed to pass and then moved on to other opportunities and next year there’ll more students (they already have a waiting list)

                Which is a good thing by the way

                • Molly

                  Charter schools have been a complete failure in the US for the long term benefit of the students..

                  Teachers also suffer from this approach to creating a healthy learning environment.

                  When the canker is fully grown, the effect is felt in school administrations and districts.

                  The only benefit that continues to grow is the dividend to shareholders.

                  Your idea of a “good thing” in regard to education is trite.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Link please

                    • Molly

                      OK. Didn’t link because most of my reading was done from old fashioned books when looking into charter schools for home education purposes and attending meetings for the same reason. Although home educators have accessed resources in the States using charter schools, the negative impact on state provided education makes it a poisoned chalice and one I wasn’t prepared to participate in. (This was happening before ACT made the changes to our NZ educational environment, but the information I found out then makes me very dismissive of the same trotted out benefits by our National government).

                      In terms of recent articles:
                      Read some of Dianne Khan’s posts on TDB or Allan Alach. He doesn’t post as much now, but he has good insight.

                      The NZ Herald also had an article reporting the experience of New Orleans with charter schools.

                      The issue is one that requires acknowledgement that the charter school restructuring of education systems is usually a systematic degenerative process.

                      One that typically starts with some form of standardised testing. Eventually that leads on to league tables and performance pay for teachers. This restructure can take several years but the excuse is not usually about providing a better learning environment for the students, it is something along the lines of “better bang for your buck”.

                      As charter schools continue to attract funding, the funding for local state schools diminishes to such a point that they are severely underresourced, parents who are concerned for their children’s learning move them on, and state schools are left underresourced with high-needs students, and set up to fail standardised testing. Even less funding is the result.

                      When the school eventually closes, that is when the real money for charter schools can begin. Not only do they have the monopoly in that area, they can continue to focus on teaching to test and cut corners. After all – where are the students going to go? There is no longer a state option available.

                      … and several years down the track in NZ – where are we?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I shouldn’t have said that, I should have have just said thats the american experience for some schools whereas I feel we can run charter schools better in NZ and I think they deserve a chance to see how they can improve kids educational experience

                    • CATMAN

                      Yeah you probably shouldn’t have.

                      But you did, and look at you now.

                    • So we have to go on your “feeling”.

                      Christ on a stick..

        • JanM 1.1.1.2

          Given that anyone with the faintest idea of how successful education sites work understands that collegiality and co-operation are of paramount importance, I think you have to realize that whatever the reason for this policy you can be sure it has nothing to do with successful outcomes – bit like National Standards, really.
          The rich don’t want the poor to be clever 🙂

          • Weepus beard 1.1.1.2.1

            Agreed. Lead teachers, expert teachers, and change principals all sound like a recipe for division and resentment to me.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          Individualism and raising some above others destroys society. It will do even worse to our education system.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.4

          I work in education and I have no faith in this executive principal, lead teacher, and expert teacher policy. They’ll be chosen by the frequency with which they can lick certain parts of the anatomy of NAct ministers and departmental heads. They will inevitably be from well funded schools and will create divisions by higher remuneration, without necessarily earning it. I’m in a top 100 university and even there, the “experts” who get the teaching awards are the ones who go on the most courses. It has buggerall with advancing the curiousity and the knowledge of the students.

          When it’s been shown to be a success, you can point out that I’m wrong. When it’s not, I won’t even bother reminding you.

    • vto 1.2

      I don’t think competition between teachers will be a good thing. People don’t become teachers to make more and more money.

      Competition is good for the manufacture of plastic buckets, but not when it comes to education of my children thank you very much. I don’t want teachers squabbling over the kids and in-fighting over who is the best teacher.

      Gawd, when are the right wing nutters going to wake up to this shit.

      Greed is not actually good – don’t they get that?

      The National Party are f&$king thickos…

      • mac1 1.2.1

        You’re right, vto. Teaching is a collaborative profession. Both my wife and I are retired teachers. Money was not the issue. Enough to live well, enough to retire from full time for both of us in our last years as the pressure and the stress took its toll.

        The statistic bandied about when I began teaching in 1971 used to be that full-time teachers died within 18 months of retirement. We were determined this should not happen.

        A great profession, though. But not for one whose motivations are competition with one’s fellow and amassing wealth.

    • Clemgeopin 1.3

      I am skeptical about this dubious idea of teachers and principals interfering with other schools/students and thus dividing/diluting/minimising their attention from both schools. Seems like a mess and a waste.

  2. hungary is considering mandatory drug-testing of all politicians/press..

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/08/hungary-mandatory-drug-tests-children

    ..just on a visceral-level..the idea does have its’ appeals/merits..eh..?

  3. Paul 3

    Really think this article by John Pilger is worth a post on its own merits.

    Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole article is this:

    ‘The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since world war two is blacked out. Washington’s secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.’

    .In the 18th century, Edmund Burke described the role of the press as a Fourth Estate checking the powerful. Was that ever true? It certainly doesn’t wash any more. What we need is a Fifth Estate: a journalism that monitors, deconstructs and counters propaganda and teaches the young to be agents of people, not power. We need what the Russians called perestroika – an insurrection of subjugated knowledge. I would call it real journalism.

    ‘It’s 100 years since the First World War. Reporters then were rewarded and knighted for their silence and collusion. At the height of the slaughter, British prime minister David Lloyd George confided in C.P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: “If people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow, but of course they don’t know and can’t know.”

    It’s time they knew.’

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/war-by-media-and-the-triumph-of-propaganda

    • that’s a good piece from pilger..(ahem..!..posted @ whoar back on the 6th..but well worth repeating..)

      ..it has been astonishing to me how..like with libya..the western media/lefties seem to have swallowed the cia message/bullshit…on ukraine/putin/russia..

      ..when the facts of the matter are that america/obama are stomping around on putins’ front-step..

      ..yelling at him and firing off weapons..

      ..and yet somehow successfully portraying him as the villain of the piece..

      ..i’ve got no particular brief for putin..but this is all complete cia-propaganda/bullshit..

      ..that people who should know better..are wolfing down..

      ..many of them repeating the mistakes they made over libya/gadaffi..

      ..when they all lapped up that cia-chefed dish..

      ..pilger has had a good year..i have collected/curated 22 pieces from him in 2014..

      http://whoar.co.nz/?s=pilger

  4. is this a trend..?

    ..beiber has gone blond..

    ..and has andrew little dyed/lightened his locks..?

    ..is it just the lighting..

    ..or am i seeing ginga-blond where previously there was none..?

  5. Morrissey 5

    BREAKING NEWS
    Palestine’s status has been upgraded at the International Criminal Court

    Years of lobbying by Israel and its only sponsor, the United States, has failed…..

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2014/12/hague-based-icc-upgrades-palestine-status-201412819334914439.html

    • ianmac 5.1

      Great news- unless Israel/USA appeal the ruling somehow.

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        The United States doesn’t appeal rulings; it bullies, berates, threatens and twists arms. They are so intimidating that they make even experienced British diplomat wet their pants. Despite this, the only countries that vote against Palestine and for Israel at the U.N. are the U.S. and those intellectual and moral powerhouses Nauru and the Marshall Islands.

        As for the Israeli response: expect more of the usual—insanely funny stand-up routines at the U.N. by the likes of Ron Prosor.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    The politics story of the day is going to be Little’s interview on RNZ this morning, where he said that he has no doubt that corrupt Chinese officials living in NZ have donated to political parties.

    RNZ already re-ran the interview in one of the top slots after the 8am news bulletin, something they seldom do.

    So this will be the test – has Little put his foot in it and said something unwise, or will he be able to ride the wave of this story without falling off?

    • framu 6.1

      “So this will be the test – has Little put his foot in it and said something unwise, or will he be able to ride the wave of this story without falling off?”

      yes – that was my reaction

    • Manuka AOR 6.2

      “Little’s interview on RNZ”

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/261267/labour-rejected-large-sums-from-china-donors

      Go Andrew! (This could change everything.)

    • Puckish Rogue 6.3

      Its an interesting gambit hes playing, if he has proof it’ll go a long way to putting him into power but if he doesn’t he’ll end up sounding like Winston Peters (and not in a good way)

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.4

      The politics story of the day is going to be Little’s interview on RNZ this morning, where he said that he has no doubt that corrupt Chinese officials living in NZ have donated to political parties.

      Including Labour??? It’s a potentially risk ploy unless the due diligence has been done to the nth degree.

      And remind me how many Chinese (or even broadly Asian) MPs Labour now has in its caucus?

    • Bill 6.5

      Rich fucks behaving like rich fucks and expecting their money to buy just whatever they desire. The turning of a blind eye or ‘friendly’ policy in this case? What’s new?

      Maybe the idea that many rich fucks get to be rich fucks by dint of dodgy dealings? Hmm, nope. Nothing new there.

      I can’t see what it is that Andrew Little said that’s controversial. Did he say anything much beyond that he had a hunch that something wasn’t quite right about a couple of donors and so turned down their donation? Nope.

      • Manuka AOR 6.5.1

        “and so turned down their donation”

        What are the odds of the Nats turning down such donations?

        And when they refuse to reveal who/ how/ how much…. Not a good look for the Nats. Their fav slogan, “If you’ve nothing to hide…” So by that, they should be laying all their donations on the table. (Not holding my breath till then, though.)

        • Bill 6.5.1.1

          Well, they claim that all large donations are public, though I thought they used some type of trust arrangement.

          Anyway. I see no problem with taking money from dodgy pricks and putting it to a better use than they themselves would have. Obviously, a stanley knife is taken to any strings that the fuckers might want to attach.

  7. Morrissey 7

    Cuba’s extraordinary global medical record shames the US blockade
    From Ebola to earthquakes, Havana’s doctors have saved millions. Obama must lift this embargo
    by SEAMUS MILNE, The Guardian, Wednesday 3 December 2014

    Four months into the internationally declared Ebola emergency that has devastated west Africa, Cuba leads the world in direct medical support to fight the epidemic. The US and Britain have sent thousands of troops and, along with other countries, promised aid – most of which has yet to materialise. But, as the World Health Organisation has insisted, what’s most urgently needed are health workers. The Caribbean island, with a population of just 11 million and official per capita income of $6,000 (£3,824), answered that call before it was made. It was first on the Ebola frontline and has sent the largest contingent of doctors and nurses – 256 are already in the field, with another 200 volunteers on their way.

    While western media interest has faded with the receding threat of global infection, hundreds of British health service workers have volunteered to join them. The first 30 arrived in Sierra Leone last week, while troops have been building clinics. But the Cuban doctors have been on the ground in force since October and are there for the long haul.

    The need could not be greater. More than 6,000 people have already died. So shaming has the Cuban operation been that British and US politicians have felt obliged to offer congratulations. John Kerry described the contribution of the state the US has been trying to overthrow for half a century “impressive”. The first Cuban doctor to contract Ebola has been treated by British medics, and US officials promised they would “collaborate” with Cuba to fight Ebola.

    But it’s not the first time that Cuba has provided the lion’s share of medical relief following a humanitarian disaster. Four years ago, after the devastating earthquake in impoverished Haiti, Cuba sent the largest medical contingent and cared for 40% of the victims. In the aftermath of the Kashmir earthquake of 2005, …….

    Read more…..
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/03/cuba-global-medical-record-shames-us-blockade-ebola

    • Molly 7.1

      Watched Mike Moore’s film Sicko a few years ago and was surprised to see how accessible health care in Cuba was. Even foreigners were able to access care.

      Interesting look into what happens when state health care becomes privatised, and how insurance does not guarantee care.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        Of course, that is the great fear that U.S. politicians have of Cuba—the threat of a good example. Cuba has shown that it is possible to stand up to even the most extreme bullying and terror by a powerful Godfather state, and it’s been joined in its independence by, amongst others, Venezuela and Ecuador and Bolivia and Uruguay and Argentina.

  8. Morrissey 8

    American Football: Dull and Dangerous

    American sport is 70 per cent bullshit, with constant stoppages, little or no player autonomy and more people sitting on the bench than playing—or following orders—on the court, rink or field. The worst of all American sports, with a bullshit factor of 98 per cent, is football—a game where hardly any players even think of kicking the ball, and in fact most are forbidden from even touching it.

    In 2001, pro wrestling’s notorious Vince McMahon established the XFL, which was pretty much the NFL, minus the respectability. It lasted for one season.

    The following, from the XFL’s one and only championship game, is one of the most insane things I’ve ever heard in sports. It’s made even more alarming by the pomposity of the speaker….

    “San Francisco’s Mike Pawlawski knows what it means to sacrifice. Mike plays with a FUSED SPINE, unwilling to walk away from the game he loves. Tonight, Mike risks it all again for a TITLE SHOT. The stories go on, each one more heroic than the next…”

    That chilling little encomium comes at the 1:23 mark….

    XFL Million Dollar Game: San Francisco Demons vs LA Xtreme

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/58829/good-honest-football-re-watching-xfl

    • Most sports are dangerous. And people have different tastes in what they want to watch. Personally I’d even watch college football rather than rugby, because that’s the kind of sport I like to watch. So why dredge up a 14-year-old brainfart by Vince McMahon now?

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Most sports are dangerous. And people have different tastes in what they want to watch.

        Rugby has lots wrong with it, but it’s far more open, thrilling and fast-moving than American football. As Keith Olbermann noted on the David Letterman show last month, if it wasn’t for the fact that alcohol was available in the stadia, nobody except their families would ever turn up to an NFL game.

        Personally I’d even watch college football rather than rugby, because that’s the kind of sport I like to watch.

        The spectacle of college football is undeniable: the marching bands, the massed card displays, the cheering squads. Only problem is the action on the field.

        So why dredge up a 14-year-old brainfart by Vince McMahon now?

        The problem isn’t to do with Vince McMahon, it’s to do with a sport where most of the time is spent standing around, and the players have nothing to do.

    • The Al1en 8.2

      Having played a bit of american football back in it’s 90s heyday in the UK, I think you’re talking mostly shite about the game.

      Torbay Trojans – You sucked, but I loved you, a little.
      Good blokes mostly, lots of fun road trips getting to away games,many aches and pains coming home from them.
      A great experience, even though I don’t and haven’t watched nfl for well over a decade.

      • Morrissey 8.2.1

        Having played a bit of american football back in it’s 90s heyday in the UK, I think you’re talking mostly shite about the game.

        Really? How many players in the offensive team are allowed to even TOUCH the ball, leave alone kick it?

        Torbay Trojans – You sucked, but I loved you, a little.
        Good blokes mostly, lots of fun road trips getting to away games,many aches and pains coming home from them.

        The Torbay Trojans did not, I trust, play anyone who had a fused spine.

        • The Al1en 8.2.1.1

          Fused synapses probably, almost definitely, and that was just the coach driver.

          There are rules in all games. Football players except the keeper can’t handle the ball in open play, but the doesn’t mean the game’s rubbish. Any offensive player can touch the ball if they’re called as an eligible receiver – William Perry 72 The refrigerator, being a line man that use to carry the ball on short and goal situations.

          • Morrissey 8.2.1.1.1

            Fair comment, Al1en. But what the hell is this “eligible receiver” nonsense? Why is everybody not an eligible receiver? That’s why the game will never take off—it’s too complicated. (Never mind the ultra-violence.)

            • The Al1en 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know why they made the rules, I just played to them, like in all sports I’ve participated in. Personally I don’t find it complicated at all, and stereotyping my arse off with a smile on my face, if yanks can understand, it can’t be that hard, can it?

              The London nfl expansion, after hosting games at wembley stadium to full houses of 80-90,000 spectators, are in full swing and the franchise will be announced officially some time soon (if it hasn’t already), so not sure about whether it will take off is on the ball.

              ” (Never mind the ultra-violence.)”

              Now that’s an issue worth talking about, or more the enhancing drugs, steroids etc… And mindset of some of the players involved is.

              • Interesting, I played american football for a while too, then retired to umpiring but as you can imagine that was a bit too stressful for me.

                • The Al1en

                  I started watching when C4 in England showed games way back when Riggins was winning the superbowl for Washington. When I moved to the seaside for a few years, there was a local team, so I went and trained with them and liked it enough to join up.

                  There weren’t many players, so I use to have to play defensive tackle, offensive guard or tackle and special teams. Use to keep me fit.
                  Couldn’t have been an ump though. Those black and white stripes were bad enough, but worn with a yellow flag out the bum pocket, well hello fashion crime 😆

    • Murray Rawshark 8.3

      The game is garbage for overcushioned unfit fatties that can only manage five seconds of exertion before they stop to get instructions for the next play. It has absolutely nothing on rugby league or soccer, neither of which have FJK as captain.

  9. Morrissey 9

    How long has THIS been going on?
    Advertisements are now being inserted INTO THE MIDDLE of YouTube clips

    This morning, as I occasionally like to do, I started to watch an episode on YouTube of a classic television show—-in this case, The Twilight Zone.

    As usual, I got rid of the advert. at the start after the obligatory five seconds of waiting. That’s always been an irritation, but now something far more pernicious and intrusive has been introduced into YouTube. If you’re interested, and concerned about the ethics and practices of broadcasting, you might like to see for yourself…..

    The Twilight Zone S05E24 What’s in the Box Full Episode

    At the 7:00 mark, the television show stopped, and an advertisement played. So they have now developed a way of inserting adverts into the middle of clips. Commercialism, naked greedy commercialism, will ruin YouTube just as it’s ruined television.

  10. Bill 10

    Nice to hear somebody speaking common sense and calling a spade a spade instead of standing apart and pontificating or wringing their hands.

    Now, I don’t suppose we can get Linda Tirado writing for ‘ts’, so we’ll have to settle for this nine to noon interview where, unfortunately but not surprisingly, a patronising Kathryn Ryan seemed to want a performing monkey instead of an interviewee (“Can you remember what you said to….?”)

    The immediate post interview reaction from Gavin Ellis was similarly disappointing – along the lines of ‘We don’t know how lucky we are.’

    Anyway. The Nine to Noon link and a Guardian piece, that I haven’t read through yet, are …

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20160379

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/17/linda-tirado-on-poverty-in-the-us-and-the-uk-the-same-mix-of-blame-and-desperation

    • Morrissey 10.1

      The immediate post interview reaction from Gavin Ellis was similarly disappointing – along the lines of ‘We don’t know how lucky we are.’

      Gavin Ellis should not be treated as a fair or authoritative commentator on the media. His record is shameful…..

      http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/protest-against-former-herald-editor/5/141168

    • batweka 10.2

      Good interview, Tirado is as socially intelligent and expressive in person as she is in her writing.

      Ryan’s patronising approach struck me as someone who didn’t know how to talk to Tirado. Maybe what she was talking about made Ryan nervous. Ryan seemed to think that the story was Tirado’s original article going viral and leading to a book deal 🙄 although to her credit she did let Tirado talk about the actual issues.

      Two strong working class voices on National Radio in one week, what’s the world coming to.

      • Bill 10.2.1

        Who was the other one?

        • batweka 10.2.1.1

          Tom Scott on Kim Hill on Saturday morning, talking about how Key is fucking the working classes. Brief and not as eloquent as Tirado by any means, but still expressive enough.

      • Morrissey 10.2.2

        Ryan’s patronising approach struck me as someone who didn’t know how to talk to Tirado.

        Do you really think she was patronising in this interview? I listened to it carefully and couldn’t detect any condescension. I did pick up on her recent irritating tic of affecting an English accent at times, but other than that, she did quite a good job, I thought.

        • batweka 10.2.2.1

          It was the way she repeatedly asked questions saying “do you remember when you wrote…?” kind of thing (can’t remember exact phrase). I don’t think she normally does that does she? It sounded stilted, and my guess was that she was not in her comfort zone.

    • batweka 10.3

      I hadn’t heard that part of Tirado’s story before, the bit where she talks about the two things that dropped her from being relatively middle class into perpetual poverty. One was being in a car accident where she was hit by a drunk driver and she was too young to understand how insurance and medical cover worked in the US, so she signed away her health cover. The other was that her husband didn’t get his veteran benefits when he came back from Iraq. Those two things tipped them into the financial void. Her big point here is that the middle classes in the US are that close to poverty, only a couple of bad choices or instances of bad luck.

      I was wondering what the NZ equivalents are. I’m most familiar with how illness and disability will push people under. For instance if you have a reasonable paying job and an accident prevents you from doing that job, you will get 80% of your wages/salary to live on as long as you are disabled, which is workable to many people. But if you are unable to work due to illness rather than accident, you will be put on sickness benefit, or invalid’s if you are lucky, and you will then learn how being ill long term compounds poverty by (a) giving you a benefit below the poverty line and (b) asset stripping (if you have assets other than the home you live in you will be ineligble for some supplementary assistance and all hardship assistance, which means you have to use up all savings and sell assets and live off those before the state will support you). Of course people who have no assets to begin with don’t even have that buffer.

      (I’m not suggesting that people on ACC get a fair go, ACC is a disgrace, but that’s fixable via policy and good direction from govt. But the accident/illness divide is structurally and legislatively entrenched and rarely even acknowledged let alone discussed).

      Other examples welcome. I’m guessing the precarious nature of work while having high housing costs is a huge one in NZ. Relationship break up when you have kids and ending up on the DPB would be another (with similar supplementary benefit issues as above).

      • adam 10.3.1

        You raise a good point about the structural and legal divided in accident/illness there BatWeka. Funny how we quite happy to ignore environmental induced illness, caused by bad industry practice. Then pass the buck of that cost onto the welfare system.

        Personally I think it is why ACC is obsessed with labeling people with pre-existing conditions. That way, they get out of so many obligations, by the stroke of some doctors pen.

        I disagree about being lucky being on a invalids benefit. The invalids benefit is seen by many employers as the justification to not hire disabled people. Indeed it seems to justify a lot of bad behaviour by bureaucrats as well.

        • batweka 10.3.1.1

          For anyone on a medical benefit over time, invalids pays better and has way less hoop jumping than sickness. Significantly.

          Are you saying that people employers are more likely to hire someone sickness than invalids?

          “Indeed it seems to justify a lot of bad behaviour by bureaucrats as well.”

          Again, as compared to sickness benefit?

          • adam 10.3.1.1.1

            “Indeed it seems to justify a lot of bad behaviour by bureaucrats as well.

            “Again, as compared to sickness benefit?”

            Yes. Short answer – It does seem from personal and then advocate experience, that many prejudices that people have about disabilities – get played out rather quickly when the phrase “invalids benefit” is used.

            As for employment, my experience is yes – sickness is seen as temporary – whereas invalid is seen as something more permanent. Actually, use the word chronic illness with an employer and watch them squirm – I know one reason for that is a inbuilt desire to not have to deal with the posability that anyone can get sick/ill/disabled. It also has to do with our understanding of being sick. In all normal circumstances we get sick, are sick for a while – then we recover and carry on with our lives. Chronic illness means that normal course of events did not happen. I believe and I may be wrong – but the word invalid inspires the same inbuilt fears and reactions as chronic illness does.

            • batweka 10.3.1.1.1.1

              It’s a really good reason for having changed the name.

              Of course now there are heaps of chronically ill people on sickness benefit 🙁

      • Bill 10.3.2

        Getting up at 4am to get to work by 5am or 5:30 am, to work a 10 hour shift because the wage rate is too fucking low to survive on 40 or 30 hours, …what chance of finding the time or energy to make those contacts and develop those networks – the social capital – that might lead to a reasonably paid ‘9 to 5’?

        There is no ‘need’ for redundancy, or divorce, or illness, or what not, to act as a conduit to poverty. For hundreds of thousands of people in NZ, it’s just ‘what is’ in the market system.

        • batweka 10.3.2.1

          true, and I think that is another whole deplorable societal mess, esp where those job traps are becoming intergenerational.

          One of the things that struck me about Tirado’s personal story and her connecting it to politics was the idea that one could be ok and then lose that very easily. I’m think of the potential of using such stories to wake up some of the middle classes who really don’t get it otherwise.

          If they don’t know people in the situation you describe, then making it more real about their own situation might make them think. Might make some close their eyes and ears further or course, but it’s the ones that are ignorant but open that I’m interested in.

          There’s been a few stories in the past year of otherwise middle class people expressing their horror at what happened to themselves once they ended up on welfare and having to deal with WINZ. I’m wondering if those stories might shift the culture back to being more aware and actively compassionate or at least fairminded again. I think there are other kinds of stories too, and it’s not just middle class downard mobility. I’m thinking of working class people that in past decades would have been better off but are now completely screwed including in some of the ways you describe.

    • greywarshark 10.4

      Gavin Ellis should have said I feel lucky after listening to Tirado. His comment had that slap in the face of welfare recipients that David Shearer’s on the man on the roof did. Both coming from cosy possies away from the harrassment and patronising diminishment of many welfare offices.

      • phillip ure 10.4.1

        yeah..i found the interesting aspect of this that ellis was acting like this is all ‘news’ to him..

        ..that he was the editor of the rightwing-rag that supported all the poor-bashing policies that wrought these outcomes/lives of uncertainty/stress..

        ..seems to be beyond his fucken ken…

        (with his ‘ooh..!..aren’t i lucky!’ giggling/tin-eared reaction..)

  11. KJS0ne 11

    In the West we have a legal system whereby the more money you can throw at a problem, the higher probability you have to get your way. The little guy doesn’t stand much of a chance when up against wealthy corps with deep legal war chests. One particular ramification that comes to mind is patent trolling, whereby companies acquire bullshit patents from decades ago and use them to sue all kinds of SMEs and organisations to extort a fee to continue to do what the organisation does, most organisations fold and pay the fee (often hundreds of thousands of dollars) because fighting the battle in court would cost millions.

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/496/when-patents-attack-part-two

    Chris Hedges had a good piece on truthdig entitled ‘ A Society of Captives’ – A discussion of how the legal system in the US (and our system isn’t far off, let’s be honest) no longer protects the citizens it claims to serve, but the Oligarchs. I know, this is not news, heard it all before yadayada, but hey, it’s always nice to see one’s views reaffirmed and repackaged in a digestible manner.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_society_of_captives_20141207

  12. Puckish Rogue 12

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11370876

    Regrettably, however, the primary teachers’ union, the NZEI, has remained opposed to the programme. Unconvincingly, it maintains the Government’s money would be better spent helping struggling schools cope with children impaired by poverty and neglect. That overlooks the increasing awareness of the importance of excellent teaching and school leadership. This was underlined by a Herald-Digipoll survey in mid-year which found more than 60 per cent of those polled wanted money spent on trying to improve teaching standards, rather than cutting class sizes. The latter was the centrepiece of the Labour Party’s education policy.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The Labour Party, and the NZEI understands education far better than you do. Reducing class sizes is a tangible objective which enables teachers to improve teaching standards in many different ways.

      The National Party is kidding itself if it thinks that it is fooling anyone who knows about education or about teaching. And that message is getting out into the community now, despite the disinformation campaign you and the NZ Herald are part of.

      • KJS0ne 12.1.1

        Indeed, one not need stray far from the google homepage to find evidence that reduction of class sizes = better education.

        “The most influential and credible study of CSR is the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio, or STAR, study which was conducted in Tennessee during the late 1980s. In this study, students and teachers were randomly assigned to a small class, with an average of 15 students, or a regular class, with an average of 22 students. This large reduction in class size (7 students, or 32 percent) was found to increase student achievement by an amount equivalent to about 3 additional months of schooling four years later.

        Studies of class size in Texas and Israel also found benefits of smaller classes, although the gains associated with smaller classes were smaller in magnitude than those in the Tennessee STAR study. Other rigorous studies have found mixed effects in California and in other countries, and no effects in Florida and Connecticut.

        Because the pool of credible studies is small and the individual studies differ in the setting, method, grades, and magnitude of class size variation that is studied, conclusions have to be tentative. But it appears that very large class-size reductions, on the order of magnitude of 7-10 fewer students per class, can have significant long-term effects on student achievement and other meaningful outcomes. These effects seem to be largest when introduced in the earliest grades, and for students from less advantaged family backgrounds”
        http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/05/11-class-size-whitehurst-chingos

      • Paul 12.1.2

        Not worth replying to pr.
        He is a fool and a tr***

    • McFlock 13.1

      another “kr hit”.
      Is publishing an article in exchange for secret money also an undeclared conflict of interest?

      sort of exponentialising the apparent corruption…

  13. joe90 14

    A years worth of co2 visualised.

    .

    An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

    Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.

    The carbon dioxide visualization was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

    The visualization is a product of a simulation called a “Nature Run.” The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the natural behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere. This Nature Run simulates January 2006 through December 2006.

    http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11719

  14. Murray Rawshark 15

    Bumbler is being a petulant child again:

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/12/09/labour-party-members-should-be-furious-at-reviews-findings/#comment-268384

    Ovicula wrote this for his edification:

    The go at The Standard is pretty bloody childish. A majority of posters and commentators probably supported Cunliffe. If it would get through your ego, I’d ask you to think before you write. You are not doing the broad left a service at all with this sort of infantile garbage.

    • Ergo Robertina 15.1

      Thanks for the link; the thread included this very apt comment from Fatty:

      ”Labour don’t need to be ‘radical’, but they do need to stop pitching rhetoric at their base and policies at the centre.
      Instead, they should pitch the rhetoric at the centre and policy at their base. This is basic shit that nobody in Labour seems to understand.”

  15. Are all the Cook Strait Ferries designed for the wild conditions frequent in Cook Strait or was one bought from Scandinavia that was exclusively meant for sailing within the more sheltered waters of fjords?

    • Murray Rawshark 16.1

      Do you know the name of the Scandinavian one? There was a fast ferry a few years back that couldn’t cross with swells of more than 4 metres. It wasn’t a success. I think the others are rated for 6m swells.

  16. Morrissey 17

    “I stupidly and regretfully went to the toilet in between the two cars”
    Greg Bird’s embarrassing slip-up

    “After getting married on Saturday night down in Byron Bay, my wife and I caught up with friends and family at the Beach Hotel on the Sunday night for dinner, after which we went to our car parked down near the beach and actually adjacent to a police car. Ahhh, I stupidly and regretfully went to the toilet in between the two cars, in the space, ahhh, obviously facing away from my family….”

    Of course what he meant to say was that he “stupidly and regrettably went to the toilet in between the two cars”.

    Otherwise, a faultless performance.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/gold-coast-titans/greg-bird-sorry-for-dumb-act-that-put-a-dampener-on-his-wedding-20141208-122rii.html

    This is not the first time that Greg Bird has got things glass about face…..

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/katie-lunged-at-me-with-glass-says-greg-bird/story-e6frg6nf-1225802099253?nk=a8ce7cecc5ade34f5bdba1b9378543f4

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nrl/former-nrl-star-greg-bird-explains-how-girlfriend-katie-milligan-was-glassed-at-his-cronulla-flat/story-e6frfgbo-1225802090248?nk=a8ce7cecc5ade34f5bdba1b9378543f4

    • Weepus beard 17.1

      Aussie mungo-ballers. They are beyond help.

      Do not under any circumstances try to understand what they do during their time off.

  17. Ergo Robertina 18

    Excellent. John Campbell on TV3 is taking on the factory farming industry tonight, showing footage of a piggery and pointing out it’s not breaking any animal welfare laws. Hopefully he sticks with this one as a campaign. His show is the only one in NZ that does follow up after follow up on certain stories, which is needed with an issue like this that people want to forget.

    • Paul 18.1

      Hope they keep the pressure on this revolting industry.

    • Paul 18.2

      Hope they keep the pressure on this revolting industry.

    • Clemgeopin 18.3

      On Friday night I sent an email to John Campbell at tv3 drawing his attention to the article published herein The Standard that day. I suggested that he might be interested in investigating and exposing this callous behaviour as it is an urgent public interest issue of immense importance. I did not get an acknowledgement, so I am not sure if my email did have any influence on their running this story tonight. Anyway, I am very glad he highlighted this issue tonight.

      The article I am referring to is this:

      Ministry lies about animal abuse.

      • Ergo Robertina 18.3.1

        Good stuff Clemgeopin.
        I agree it’s a matter of urgent public interest and of immense importance.
        Unfortunately there is still lingering superstition that animals lack feeling and sentience, and this combined with industry money power has fostered the cruel conditions. It must change.

        • Clemgeopin 18.3.1.1

          I think It will prick the conscience of many people during this Christmas. Unbelievable the casual callous statements made and the heartless attitude shown by these farmers and even the vet on the programme trying to justify such cruel and unhygienic filthy practices. Made me shed a tear. Bloody hell! Our MPI is so useless.

      • Clemgeopin 18.3.2

        P.S :
        The video of the programme segment from tonight has just been put up online. See link below.

        The programme has this notice before the video:

        *Warning: Some viewers may find footage in this story disturbing due to graphic images – we advise discretion.

        http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/campbelllive/exposing-nzs-pig-farming-industry-2014120919#ixzz3LNqJ0z25

        • Belladonna 18.3.2.1

          Good for you Clemgeopin. When are people going to wake up and take a stand against animal cruelty. I despair of mankind at times.

          • Clemgeopin 18.3.2.1.1

            Yes. We have umpteen personnel and agencies supposed to monitor these sorts of horrible issues: The pork board, The Vets, SPCA, The MPI, The minister, The Government. All seem to be pretty useless buggers. Shame on the lot of them.

            • Colonial Rawshark 18.3.2.1.1.1

              Nothing can get in the way of making an extra dollar mate, not principle, not morality, not humanity. The almighty dollar must be bowed to.

            • Ergo Robertina 18.3.2.1.1.2

              Absolutely. But more than monitoring is required, given that everything we saw tonight was legal, whatever MPI’s ”core values” (never trust such weasel words) are concerning animals.

  18. b waghorn 19

    Collins article is on stuff in the opinion section of politics.

  19. lprent 20

    Minor glitch out in the connected world

  20. Manuka AOR 21

    The Warrantless Surveillance bill may be passed within the hour:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/terror-bill-debated-under-urgency-2014120920

    Winston: “They put this bill up at breakneck speed, on such a serious matter, and think we are going to comply. There is a security review coming next year, and in the meantime we are asked to cry havoc and let loose the dog of Nazism.”

    Greens Kennedy Graham: ” We don’t deny the world is a dangerous place, we are not blind to the rise of ISIL, but the primary case for the legislation has not been made and the political foundation for it is weak.”

    Marama Fox: .. said the bill removed basic human rights. “Our constituents have clearly told us they don’t trust the authorities with such extraordinary powers.”

    RIP Aotearoa as it once was.
    Now, a nation of jellyfish.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 21.1

      Anyone watching the House sitting under urgency?

      • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1

        I hear that Labour is saying lots of nice things about the legislation. Go Jacinda! Does anyone in Labour have any idea whatsoever of the issues Glenn Greenwald and Ed Snowden raised???

        • Chooky 21.1.1.1

          CR…i take it you are being sarcastic about Jacinda….and no they don’t seem to understand or care…they dont even seem to understand what Dotcom’s issue was about

          • Colonial Rawshark 21.1.1.1.1

            sarcastic as a sarcastic thing. 24 hr warrantless surveillance means that they can access and use all the past records they have already collected of your communications (via XKEYSCORE etc), as well as download basically everything form your webmail, off your PC, etc. and go through it later at their leisure. In fact 2 warrantless hours would enable them to do all that.

            Labour thinking they had a big win reducing the warrantless period from 48 hrs to 24 hrs simply shows how ignorant they are of the issues and the technology.

            • Manuka AOR 21.1.1.1.1.1

              You may have to give up your practice CV. NZ spines are fragmenting and dissolving at a shocking rate. Only remnants here and there..

            • Manuka AOR 21.1.1.1.1.2

              I understand it includes ‘real life’ surveillance, not just tech/ communications?

              It takes less than 20 minutes to install video cams throughout your house if they so wish. Now, when they do this they have legal cover. Your bedrooms, your bathroom, your kids’ rooms…

              Remember when we were told “It’s just 80 or so who are under surveillance…” – back when we voted in the extended GCSB powers. After that, we learned otherwise from Greenwald and Ed Snowden. Similarly here and now.

            • Chooky 21.1.1.1.1.3

              @CR…yes quite amazing that Labour could be that DUMB !

              ….it shows the need for an Internet Party that people, who are NOT that DUMB, can vote for… at least the Greens are not that dumb and nor is Winston and Marama Fox

    • Chooky 21.2

      GO Winston, GO Greens and GO Marama Fox!

      ….Labour should be saying an absolute NO to Warrantless Surveillance !

      Shame on Labour!…ffffing hopeless

  21. Manuka AOR 22

    It’s a done deed:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/counter-terrorist-bill-passed-by-parliament-2014120922

    Submissions were given only 30 hours, then were not even read:
    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/the-final-insult.html
    “thanks to the government’s insane deadline, the committee simply didn’t have time to read the submissions unless people were appearing to speak before them. We all wasted our time engaging with it.”

  22. batweka 23

    ok I know I shouldn’t, but here’s Gower being a knob again. The comments are entertaining too.

  23. Pat O'Dea 24

    On the news that nearly six out of 10 Australians believe the Government is not doing enough to counter the threat of climate change.

    Rudd lost his leadership of the labour Party over climate change, Gillard was battered by it, now it looks like Tony Abbot is beginning to feel the heat of this issue.

    Climate Change is no longer a issue that can be pushed to the margins and any politician who tries will sooner or later find it comes back to bite them in some form or other.

    Kiwi politicians take note:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11370950

    Bishop has denied reports that she “went bananas” at Abbott last week after he insisted that she be “chaperoned” in Lima by the Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, a climate change sceptic.

    According to the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Abbott feared she might otherwise commit Australia to ambitious new carbon emission cuts.

    However, the AFR is standing by its story, and in an interview published yesterday the Foreign Minister revealed that when she sought permission to travel to Peru, Abbott initially said no. She then repeated the request, which was approved on condition that Robb accompany her.

    Bishop told the AFR that Australia needed to be represented at a ministerial level, to show it was taking the negotiations seriously, and to protect the country’s interests. She also expressed the hope that the talks – intended to lay the groundwork for a major climate summit in Paris in December 2015 – would yield “some solid outcomes”.

    It’s all rather reminiscent of 2010, when then Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ousted by Gillard, after he abandoned plans to introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme and amid plummeting poll ratings.

  24. Kevin Hester 25

    We are now in a time of abrupt climate change. The world we used to live in has been kicked over the cliff. Don’t expect anything to be like it used to be.prepare for the worst.

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