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Open mike 10/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 10th, 2011 - 27 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…

27 comments on “Open mike 10/01/2011 ”

  1. jcuknz 1

    Nicolas Kristof makes an interesting point about the rising Chinese people in his NYT OpEd todau.

    “Cynics sometimes suggest that China’s rise as a world power is largely a matter of government manipulation of currency rates and trade rules, and there’s no doubt that there’s plenty of rigging or cheating going on in every sphere. But China has also done an extraordinarily good job of investing in its people and in spreading opportunity across the country. Moreover, perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its citizens have shown a passion for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call “chi ku,” or “eating bitterness.””
    He is writing about the woman chess champion.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s amazing what believing in your own people can do. Such a contrast from NACTs NZ Sux attitude which can be seen in every sphere. Build trains here? Nope, because, according to National, we don’t have the expertise and it’s too expensive.

      NACTs efforts to save money so that they can give themselves and their rich mates tax cuts will seriously hinder our societies development.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The Chinese Government continues to make decisions which are blatantly in their own self interest. And they have blatantly decided for themselves what that self interest is, not bought someone else’s story.

        As for the Chinese people – they have always believed that they are part of the Middle Kingdom. And that China was, and is again, the centre of the world.

        Nevertheless China is a country with building inequalities and vast internal political pressure points. 70 billionaires, but over half a billion people living essentially in poverty.

        This story is also instructive:


        Chen Xiaofeng was a poor farm girl. The man accused of killing her, Li Qiming, is the son of Li Gang, the deputy police chief in the Beishi district of Baoding. The tale of her death is precisely the sort of gripping socio-drama — a commoner grievously wronged; a privileged transgressor pulling strings to escape punishment — that sets off alarm bells in the offices of Communist Party censors. And in fact, party propaganda officials moved swiftly after the accident to ensure that the story never gained traction.

      • ZeeBop 1.1.2

        China influence in the Pacific has been noted. Our current ideological straitjacket forces means we will lose influence over time to China. Why? Well they can out do us in money, but they can also win ideologically as well. You see a small island nation cannot suffer profits leaving for offshore owners, so small nations do better with co-operatives – worker owned business that keep profits in the island nation. China shows it can go right if necessary, and left as well. However the West seems incapable fo thinking laterally and embracing leftwing solutions. China does it all.
        As an pacific island chain nation ourselves we cannot afford the luxury of an arrogant rightwing extremism at the expense of all else.

  2. logie97 2

    And the point of the Stuff article is…


    …eye catching headline but what else?

    They might like to ask a few more questions.
    1) What is the cost of keeping the armed forces?
    2) What is the real point of schooling and how much is it costing and could the money be better spent?

    • Blighty 2.1

      It’s opportunity cost with those expensive non-lifesaving operations – spend a million now or spend far more over the course of her lifetime on support and operations.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      And the point of the Stuff article is…

      To pave the way for more health cuts under National.

  3. marco 3

    Quote from Amanda Hotchin

    “I am also concerned for the welfare of my family, which is being subjected to a tabloid media campaign motivated by hate and the greed of papers and broadcasters that simply want to make money from everyone else’s misery.”

    God forbid anyone wanting to make money from someone else’s misery…..Now if only her husband would return the 91 million dollars he and Eric Watson took as dividends from Hanover.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Well, technically, the Hotchins weren’t making money from everyone else’s misery but from their gullibility which then made them miserable…

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        The aristocrats amongst us – even the fallen ones – clearly live on a different planet to everyone else.

        Interesting how it is *they* who always raise issues of hate and greed. Takes one to know one, I think.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Union deals sidestep Govt’s 90 day law

    Unions are protecting thousands of new workers from the Government’s 90-day trial period law by negotiating collective contracts that exempt them from it.

    So the unions are doing what they’re there for – protecting the rights of workers.

    But a battle looms in the public sector, where unions say they will fight a State Services Commission order that Government agencies must include the trial provision in all contracts.

    And the State Services Commission is being one of those few bad employers by making a voluntary employment option mandatory because it’s government policy.

    Not, of course, that anyone who knows WTF they’re talking about is surprised by the voluntary 90 day Fire at Will clause becoming mandatory.

    • Tigger 4.1

      How does making this compulsory give me ‘choice’ as an employer or employee in the state sector? It doesn’t.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        The reality is that the law was never meant to give you a choice but to increase the power of the employers over the employees.

        • Tigger

          Well yes but that’s not how they spun it – they spun it as ‘choice’ and ‘flexibility’. So again, where is the flexibility if this is compulsory and if this government is making is compulsory then surely all this spin is exposed as utter untruth.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That was how it was spun but there’s always a difference between spin and reality. NACT don’t want people to realise the difference until it’s too late. But we on the left now need to show that difference and what NACT really wanted when they put these laws through under urgency.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Same as the ‘choice’ of ACC providers. It adds nothing to the lives of working people except fear and uncertainty.

        • M

          Yes, ECA Mark II is here with further gouging to workers’ rights in NACT’s sights.

          Employers may win a few battles against workers but a demoralised workforce does not work as fast or efficiently as it could due to workers feeling work is a real downer. In addition I think many workers will stop using their initiative by employing dumb insolence (a kind of corrupt work to rule) as a way to get back at the management albeit indirectly and covert sabotage cannot be ruled out.

          Outwardly workers may appear beaten down but injustices will be remedied by whatever means workers think they can get away with.

          Employers: treat your staff decently; you might actually stay in business.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep, a resentful employee can cause a firm tens of thousands of dollars worth of losses as easy as snapping fingers together.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Labour slams govt over 90-day job probation

      Wilkinson said during the third reading debate on the bill the probation period had been a success.

      “Rather than the sky falling in, as was hysterically proclaimed, employers of small and medium-sized businesses gained the confidence to hire new employees,” she said.

      “It is a fact that without the trial period, hundreds of New Zealand workers would not have the jobs they currently do have.”

      More lies from a National MP. There are no statistics to show that as National refused to implement any measures that would provide those statistics so this statement from Wilkinson is pure hot air. Nothing from the journalist who wrote the article to point that out though.

      • Adders 4.2.1

        Quite right, D T B. The Department of Labour report on the existing fire at will legislation for small and medium sized employers made the point that “it cannot be stated categorically that trial periods had created extra job opportunities”.

  5. M 5

    Got three months of food on hand? Ruppert’s take on events is scary in his solstice video report – at the five minute mark the international situation is discussed as the first five minutes is about the US:


  6. Just heard that the PM is going to be on 2zb for an hour on Thursday afternoon with Oliver Driver. Driver is on between 12 midday until 4 pm as a fill in for Watson. To email questions include John Key in the subject line.


    Key is out of the starting gate early and even though I am not a rightie I do take time to listen to the right.

  7. Tigger 7

    Photo caption contest for pic of Key with rugby ball

    Some funny captions – many of them pretty anti-Key.

    (not sure how but Key always manages to look even butch activities totally fey – here he looks like he’s doing interpretive dance to Yanni)…

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Wow, many of them are surprisingly anti-key, although a few could be read in both a positive or negative light.

    Normally when I look on comment threads on Stuff there’s a bunch of sycophants saying what a great ‘regular guy’ Key is.

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