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Open mike 10/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 10th, 2012 - 76 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

76 comments on “Open mike 10/02/2012 ”

  1. Obama waiving “No Child Left Behind”, Law. Tide going against National Stndards

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      It that supposed to be a haiku (it isn’t), or were you trying to communicate something?

    • lprent 1.2

      About time. The problem with these simple minded slogan policies is that they such large amounts of resources away from programs that are actually in place and working.

      In NZ fad slogans like national standards pulled money away from and effectively terminated programmes that were operational and effective like adult education to the reading and numerical. For what? The national standards don’t look like they are achieving anything apart from killing trees producing meaningless reports even in the schools and the now disillusioned parents that enthusiastically took it up.

      How well is national standards actually doing? We don’t know. Because the idiots that pushed it into the system seem to have forgotten to put in any monitoring of the new system to find out if it is actually achieving anything.

    • ianmac 1.3

      Well spotted Monique. Sadly the new Minister of Ed has declared onwards and downwards.

    • millsy 1.4

      I didnt think you would be the type of person to oppose National standards….

  2. logie97 2

    Asset sell-off
    Just what would the comeback be to those who are “promising” the majority of the 49% going to NZ and NZ mums and dads if that didn’t eventuate and they did finish up in foreign hands? Could those ministers with the respective portfolios be liable for prosecution?

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/asset-sales-–-where-are-mum-and-dad’s-shares

  3. logie97 3

    What financial crisis…
    Are we mugs or not? I can think of a few needs in New Zealand that could have been met if this profit had remained sloshing around in New Zealand owned banks – we used to have some – but instead has been sucked away to Australia and further afield.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/6394291/Banks-take-3b-profit-overseas

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Yep, just think what we could have done in R&D with $3b to throw at it. Instead it’s been wasted in profit.

      • Ben 3.1.1

        I don’t understand how people fail to see how damaging it is to send this sort of profit off-shore.

        Only a tiny portion of that money will ever make its way into the til of a New Zealand shopkeeper.

        And now we’re going to do the exact same thing with the power companies: send the money off-shore to be spent in foreign shops, when it could be spent in the shops of Kiwis, who would then employ Kiwis and buy goods from other Kiwis (even if they were imported…but let’s not go there).

        It boggles my mind that people don’t see the problem. How can you have increasing levels of wealth and prosperity for the masses when all your wealth gets shipped into the pockets of people overseas?

    • Gosman 3.2

      The majority of the NZ banking industry has pretty much always been in overseas hands. Three of the major banks ANZ/National (prior to the merger), and Westpac. The exception was BNZ and POSB. I exclude ASB because prior to the 1990’s it was not a big player nation wide.

      Inmteresting though that some lefties were arguing that the introduction of Kiwibank somehow stopped the other banks from making extraordinary profits. How is this theory looking now? Mighty flawed I’d suggest.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Just more proof that we need to drop the private banks and go all national. Have banking as a state service as it should be rather than a rort that enriches only the few.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        ome lefties were arguing that the introduction of Kiwibank somehow stopped the other banks from making extraordinary profits. How is this theory looking now? Mighty flawed I’d suggest.

        KiwiBank as it stands now was but one step.

        Putting the backing of Government behind KiwiBank would do it.

        • passwordprotect 3.2.2.1

          For once I agree with CV (I hope this not a trend…)- Kiwibank may not have drastically changed the fee landscape but on the margin it will have had some impact – who knows what would have happened without them

      • KJT 3.2.3

        In fact when Kiwibank started my own fees went down by over $100 a month. Multiply that by all New Zealander’s business and private accounts. That is why the banking industry is so keen to get rid of Kiwibank. It keeps them partially honest.

        • Descendant Of Smith 3.2.3.1

          Yep suddenly I had people ringing me from my bank suddenly noticing I was entitled to reduced fees, offering me a credit card with lower interest rates, asking me for my opinion on what they could do for me and knocking 1/4 percent off my mortgage.
          Saved me quite a bit of money.
           

  4. Jenny 4

    Welcome to the new dystopian future.

    The struggle against climate change, and the struggle against autocracy, and for democracy are closely linked.

    One of the fronts in the global battle against climate change is the Maldives.

    The democratically elected president and global campaigner against climate change has been injured in a military and police coup.

    President Mohammed Nasheed who was also a political prisoner of the previous autocratic dictatorship that ruled his country for 30 years. Says he will stand again if democratic elections are allowed by the new regime.

    Common Dreams .org Headlines

    President of Maldives, Climate Crusader, Ousted in Coup

    As the Climate Change Crisis deepens, events are showing, that the 1 percenters are prepared to, lie, conspire, and even kill, to protect their right to exploit both the human and natural environment to the point of collapse. (and beyond)

    • TT 4.1

      [deleted]

      [lprent: Dickhead. Regardless of what you (or I or anyone) thinks of his business practices, remember that people including his family will google and find this tasteless and upsetting. I haven’t had to deal with you before so you get the introductory 1 week ban. ]

      • higherstandard 4.1.1

        Disgraceful comment, Lloyd was a great businessman and a top chap – moderators can you please expunge the comment above.

      • locus 4.1.2

        this comment crosses the line of human decency

      • Gosman 4.1.3

        You are a seriously sad and deranged person TT.

        • TT 4.1.3.1

          When the 1% reform, and desist from lying, conspiring and killing to further their control of society, then I’ll shed a tear. Until then I’ll celebrate the death of these animals. Evil doesn’t deserve compassion.

          [lprent: Ah. You may – but not on our space. Ban increased to 2 weeks. And read the policy. ]

          • Gosman 4.1.3.1.1

            Writen like a true leftist despot in waiting. I can see you organising the ‘re-education’ camps now for those who dare disagree with the ‘mainstream’ views.

      • passwordprotect 4.1.4

        The silience of other lefties on this site to the above comment is telling….they either

        1) Agree with TT
        2) Are so biased that they refuse to critize a comrade

        • lprent 4.1.4.1

          Don’t be silly. They wait for a moderator to spot it. That can be several hours away depending on work.

          It is really only the hysterical from the sewer and the like that assume that we should read every comment as it arrives.

        • Vicky32 4.1.4.2

          The silience of other lefties on this site to the above comment is telling….they either
          1) Agree with TT
          2) Are so biased that they refuse to critize a comrade

          Or, as in my case, they didn’t even see it! (It was deleted some time ago) I gather it celebrated someone’s death, and that is never acceptable!

      • King Kong 4.1.5

        Right on TT. I really hope Gareth Morgan gets Aids and Bob Jones gets something really painfull like Ebola.

        Fuck you.

        [lprent: You just came off a ban for being a dick. And I see that you have moved on from wanting to shoot people to wanting them infected instead. http://thestandard.org.nz/the-biggest-fraud/comment-page-1/#comment-413972 I will be generous and I won’t give you a year.. 4 weeks for being a reactive dumbarse. ]

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.6

        Meh, TT is another Right Wing troll. Talk about shooting at your own set up targets.

        Sad to see that Morrison has passed on well before his time. He’s made a massive difference to the community in the too short a time that he was here.

        • lprent 4.1.6.1

          I have no idea who or what she/he is. Only had 4 comments, 2 today (which picked up two bans).

          The others were run of the mill extremist. Could be a wingnut trying to sound like one of their fantasies (it has been done before). Or as much of a moonbeam as he/she reads. But whatever; it will get educated about acceptable behaviour the same way everyone else does.

          • Jenny 4.1.6.1.1

            I have just got back to my computer. What on earth has been going on?

            • McFlock 4.1.6.1.1.1

              Apparently some doofus made a pretty loathsome comment and picked up a ban because of it. But because the guy was allegedly a lefty, apparently it’s proof that all the left are just as bitter and small-minded as some on the right.
                 
              Oh, and a whole bunch of tories believe that if they read a comment before the mods catch it, everyone else has, too.

            • lprent 4.1.6.1.1.2

              It was pretty crass. I have no idea who he was talking about (apart from the company), but I think that families should be allowed to let their loved ones get laid to rest without reading about some idiot gloating about it.

        • tc 4.1.6.2

          A big loss, one smart hard working operator who saved the Pheonix. Regards to his family he’s left quite a hole.

    • Jenny 4.2

      Good grief.
      It must be a record.

      Unbelievably the US government has rushed to recognise the new military rulers of the Maldives.

      Common Dreams .org, Headlines:

      US Recognizes Maldives Government That Ousted Democratically Elected Nasheed

      “We do,” said US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland when asked by reporters, if Washington recognizes the new government as the legitimate government of the Maldives. Nuland called Waheed the president and Nasheed the former president.

      Meanwhile, at the same time, as the US was busy cosying up to the coup leaders.

      Nasheed, according to reports, has been threatened with arrest and ‘life in jail’ just days after he was forced to resign at gunpoint by renegade police and military forces.

    • grumpy 4.3

      I think you are overstating the current position of Climat Change. There is general consensus that the world is more likely to be cooling rather than warming. There has been no perceptible increase in sea levels. The ice caps are stable and the glaciers growing.

      You can sleep easy.

      • Bill 4.3.1

        Using a unique pair of satellites that have monitored the disappearing ice over the entire surface of the globe, scientists estimated that some 1,000 cubic miles of ice has disappeared between 2003 and 2010 – enough to cover the US in one-and-a-half feet of water.

        The survey found that the melting of the cryosphere has been responsible for raising sea levels by about half an inch over the same period, equivalent to a rise of about 1.5mm a year. This was on top of sea-level increases due to the thermal expansion of seawater caused by rising ocean temperatures.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/billions-of-tons-of-water-lost-from-worlds-glaciers-satellite-reveals-6672129.html

        • Vicky32 4.3.1.1

          The survey found that the melting of the cryosphere has been responsible for raising sea levels by about half an inch over the same period, equivalent to a rise of about 1.5mm a year. This was on top of sea-level increases due to the thermal expansion of seawater caused by rising ocean temperatures.

          No doubt that’s intended to be a refutation of what Grumpy said above. However, I noted with both bemusement and some amusement, an article in Corriere della Sera recently that said gaily that the consensus is we’re heading for cooling – which, they said, is all good, as it will cancel out anthropogenic global warming!
          http://www.corriere.it/ambiente/12_gennaio_09/prossima-era-glaciale_b323775e-3acc-11e1-8a43-34573d1838c1.shtml

          MILANO – L’attuale fase di riscaldamento globale almeno un lato positivo ce l’ha. La prossima era glaciale, il cui inizio era stato indicato tra circa 1.500 anni, è rinviata di alcune migliaia di anni. La fase interglaciale in cui stiamo vivendo, iniziata circa 12 mila anni fa dopo che 6 mila anni prima i ghiacci avevano raggiunto la massima espansione, è infatti un’anomalia in un periodo complessivamente freddo che dura da circa 1,2 milioni di anni e che negli ultimi 500 mila anni ha già fatto registrare quattro lunghe glaciazioni.
          MILAN – The current phase of global warming has at least one positive side. The next ice age, the beginning of which was expected  in about 1,500 years, is postponed for some thousands of years. The interglacial stage in which we live, which began about 12,000 years ago after 6 thousand years before the ice had reached its apex, is in fact an anomaly in a cold period that lasted a total of about 1.2 million years and that in the last 500 thousand years has already seen four long ice ages.

           

          • lprent 4.3.1.1.1

            The underlying trend for the next 10k years is for cooling. That is the major solar cycles and orbital cycles. However that is being washed under by greenhousing the atmosphere.

            Quite simply it is a effect that would have already made a difference if we hadn’t already been modifying the atmosphere fot tge last 5k years or so. Basically since we started pushing methane out.

            Those cooling effects make no difference for the next few thousand years regardless what happens now. The last 200 years of CO2 releases will persist washing out underlying effects for at least that long. The question is how much worse we make it in pursuit of profits and SUVs

            BTW the current ice age is easily traceable back to about 40Mya. Antarticia drifted fully into the polar position then and started to ice up. Our species developed in ice ages. It is unlikely we’d survive normal earth climates. In a few generations they will find out.

          • Bill 4.3.1.1.2

            Paolo Virtuani can make all the gay assertions he likes. It is afterall, his column. And he’s expected to offer an opinion.

      • lprent 4.3.2

        We have a thing called tides and weather that confuses the issue. Seeing cm’s of average rise over decades when sealevels normally change by meters daily is hard.

        But of course there is no perceptible change in sea levels. Humans aren’t equipped to perceive it. Most cannot remember what they had for breakfast on the same day last year. That is why we rely on records of previous measurements. However contrary to your carefully worded statement, sealevels are measurably steadily rising, mostly at present from thermal expansion. In many locations this is probably not perceptible because people don’t remember well enough to perceive it.

        A few (but not most) mountain glaciers are growing. It is what you expect to happen when you measure increased precipitation in their circes. It is a sign of shifting weather patterns and is actually something to worry about. Weather patterns don’t shift outside of cylic events unless there is significiant climate change. Glaciers are a complex mix of the rate that they get fed vs the rate that they melt. You are thinking of one without considering the other.

        See the reply about overall cycles I made to someone else. But surfice into say that is you wanted to show how much of a stupid arse you are on the science of climate change, then your two observations (that I pointed out the half truths in above) made that amply clear.

        Even you should have been able to see the idiotic flaws in the statements to anyone who’d done any science.

  5. John Dalley 5

    While i don’t condone illegal downloading is anyone else getting more uneasy with the Kim Dotcom fiasco?
    I am getting the distinct impression that the NZ Government & Police will do anything to please the USA/FBI.
    Heavy handed is an understatement.

  6. ianmac 6

    What is scary beyond the means of arrest is that there has been no evidence produced to substantiate the arrest and detention of Mr Dotcom. Surely it would be remarkable if you or I was arrested without any case having been made to the Courts. Uneasy? Yes.

  7. Blue 7

    I’ve been trying to collect all the links to the excellent ‘Divided Auckland’ series in the Herald this week (the website itself doesn’t seem to have them centrally located anywhere).

    If anyone has missed any of these, they are well worth a read. A very comprehensive look at inequality and poverty in Auckland by the Herald’s social issues reporter Simon Collins. There is still one more part to go tomorrow, which is supposed to be about what can be done to improve this situation.

    Friday – Education
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784481
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784480

    Thursday – Health
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784293
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784294

    Wednesday – Housing
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784060
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784058
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10784056

    Tuesday – Tax and benefits
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/simon-collins/news/article.cfm?a_id=135&objectid=10783837
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/simon-collins/news/article.cfm?a_id=135&objectid=10783835

    Monday – The widening gap
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/simon-collins/news/article.cfm?a_id=135&objectid=10783692
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/simon-collins/news/article.cfm?a_id=135&objectid=10783636

  8. Tigger 8

    I know some on this site believe that Mediaworks are in the pocket of this government. I don’t think that. A large number of people in broadcasting (I’d argue MSM) are inherently conservative (learned from two decades around these people – I think it’s because they need to reach a mass audience meaning they lean right) so naturally they will support a government made of conservative elements.

    More to the point, though, Mediaworks is largely devoid of decency. We saw this prior to the election where they were prepared to hand over an hour or programming to Mr Key even though it was obviously not in the interests of democracy. Here’s the latest stunt from one of their radio stations – surprise your spouse with a divorce on air.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/valentines-day-2012/6394715/Radio-stations-divorce-promo-cowardly

    The Rock also do the vile Wind Up Your Wife segment, where practical ‘jokes’ like telling a woman she took the wrong baby home from the hospital is par for the course.

    And Mediaworks were behind that show that thought breaching airport security would be good for a laugh. When they appeared in court the culprits were all cowardly in the extreme – if you’re such rebels guys you go down fighting, not with a whimper.

    And the government did a deal with these people to keep them in business?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I know some on this site believe that Mediaworks are in the pocket of this government.

      Actually, I think it’s more that this government is in the pockets of the MSM.

      I think it’s because they need to reach a mass audience meaning they lean right) so naturally they will support a government made of conservative elements.

      The majority of people in the country are neither conservative nor right leaning. This would indicate that they have another reason for producing right leaning news.

      • passwordprotect 8.1.1

        “The majority of people in the country are neither conservative nor right leaning. This would indicate that they have another reason for producing right leaning news”

        Nor as the election showed left leaning…..hence they must all be in the centre!

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          Does that include the 27% who didn’t vote? We can’t just assume that they would have voted in lock step with everyone else and research shows a) that it’s the poor who tend not to vote and b) that they would normally vote left if they did.

          BTW, if we continue to accept Labour as a left-wing party then today’s centre is right-leaning.

    • tc 8.2

      A few factors at play here.
      1. Senior journalism. It takes experience, intellect and good research backing it. Most have retired or left the industry, those that remain don’t get the resouces due to below.

      2. Short attention span and cheap reality TV amongst others. Why bother crafting a well strctured 20 min piece on say the GFC when most folk can’t focus beyond the first 5 minutes and celebrity strip snooker sex darts on ice rates 5 times higher amd costs less….ka ching

      3. Who’s your dadddy. Stories that upset the management/owners are never going to get focus…recall ‘the insider’ and GE’s influence on 60 minutes etc etc not to mention the links between mediawonks and a certain govt minister who brokered the interest free loan that renewed their licences.

      4. Emotion’s a quick easy target over intellect, so dog whistle away.

      5. those well crafted press releases look just journalism if you don’t look to hard and soo much cheaper than doing any actual research.

      There’s others but you get the picture….and it’s SBW taking his shirt off again…awww swoon.

  9. Ianupnorth 10

    So North American Indians are suing brewers
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10784587
     
    How long before an Iwi takes on DB or Lion Nathan?

  10. aerobubble 11

    So Key says now that the returns from state assets are not as good Greens and Labour are saying, this of course

    belies the obvious reality of peak oil naturally increasing the worth of renewables energy sources. So National is

    willing to risk the irony that future state asset ledgers showing massive returns in the future, and Nationals future

    economic competence is brought into question each year (when the state assets profits are declared to parliament),

    the opposition parties will rise in a coarse and loud laughter, never let National sell your home! But what I find

    find immediately funny is the uber investment salesman Key is talking down the state assets even as he is trying to

    sell them. Can Key be any more ridiculous? National trying NOT to explain how peak oil will blow out profit as demand

    rises in the face of peaks in oil price, and is in fact trying to damage the past history of dividend returns.

    But as I have pointed out, governments cannot mislead foriegn investers because of free trade rules, but can mislead native investors. One problem core to world capitalism is boardrooms paying themselves huge bonuses despite selling shareholders down the river.

    Free trade inevitably means a global elite of global firms and dynasties will emerge who can lobby native

    governments to rip local tax payers off.

    Imagine for a second government in one term buying land, building a dam and

    then selling the dam immediately, if the market could not provide the funding at the time the dam was built then why

    should the market be able to buy the dam once it has been built and makes a huge one off windfall profit (no innovation there!).

    Especially when there are other instruments to offset debt without losing ownership, like selling off future returns

    on product like Fonterra has. So the question is why is Key so purposefully clueless? Asset sales, even with iwi

    agreement, is a bad deal for NZ, a best hopelessly incompetence, at worse against the long term interests of the nation.

    And we have not even got to the question of standing, how will the government insure all Kiwis have first dibs at the

    shares without provoking the ire of the free trade? Unless government admits that since tax payers already own the

    assets! And if government does that then taxpayers have a right to take their case to the free trade judges and argue

    that government intervention has to be in their best interest, and government cannot sell off assets without a

    referendum of the people, the shareholders, like any company who has to take big decisions to the shareholders.
    And treat them like any other investor!!!

    Free trade works for “all” investors not just foriegn investors, otherwise it is unconscionable. Many people voted

    National despite its asset sale policy, its naive of National to argue that every citizen that voted for them agreed

    with every line of their manifesto – especially when their MPs have said as much in times past.

    So Dunne says he supports the decision of the people, to sit with the National party, Dunne went to the electorate as

    the voice of moderation in the centre, who has worked with all sides. Now National got less than 50% of the vote, and

    the moderate position to take surely when there is a hanging chad situation (and time to sort out the issue) is to go

    back and have some form of recount, like a referendum. So is Dunne going to suggest that he will vote for partial

    asset sales if there is a referendum on such a significant national issue? Why should we have all this fog about

    asset sales, as if they were now a foregone conclusion once iwi sign on them? Dunne can clear the way with one word,

    referendum. Does Dunne like Key believe the voters would vote for them anyway, well then put up a referendum.

    Its like Key getting off a plane from Hier Hitler waving a agreement to sell assets…
    …was just a delaying tactic because Key lost by winning the last election with a smaller coalition.

    Will Dunne go the way of Hide? Hide was unelectable when he covered up Garrett crime and punishment history, will Dunne go the same way by not forcing a referendum and going against his moderating center of politics. Can you image for a moment the Greens forcing a citizens referendum on asset sales after Dunne had been sitting on his hands?

    • Kevin Welsh 11.1

      Aero, if you want to do some sort of cut-and-paste for your comments, can you at least tidy it up so its readable? Cheers.

      • aerobubble 11.1.1

        Free trade protects (rightly) foreign investors equal treatment but if local investors cannot (or do not) gain access to WTO arbitration then over time without remedy too poor government policy (like asset sales) . Foreign investors have the incentive to lubricate the political elite to produce favorable policies (at the expense tax payers). What are Asset Sales but selling off dams built with tax payer money and returning very nice profits (and likely to get much better due to peak oil)? So if a company board were to fail to take a partial sell off of their company to a shareholder vote they’d be sued, but if the government fails to take partial asset sales a referendum at considerable lose (due to world governments printing money and prospects for the assets being so considerable in the peak oil future).

  11. Salsy 12

    Key is currently trying to get rich from China not by emulating China but by selling our assets to China. This is a profound article on “State Capitalism” and why the free market will fail us..

    Late last month, the Economist magazine published a debate on state capitalism, in which it proposed that state-led market economies are fast becoming a global rival to the old models of liberal, free market capitalism.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/02/why-state-capitalism-is-beating-the-free-market/

  12. Te Reo Putake 13

    Dunno if this has been posted already, but there is now a Save Our Port fb page.
     
    It’s:
     
    https://www.facebook.com/saveourport?sk=wall

  13. Paul 14

    When you hear someone say the words ‘nanny state’, ask if they know the causes of Pike River
    When you hear someone say we should cut red tape, ask if they know someone with a leaky home
    When you hear someone say the words ‘nanny state’, ask if the know why the CTV building collapsed
    When you hear someone say the market is the solution, ask if they know someone who lost all their savings from a finance company
    It’s just a start….I imagine people can think of more
    Now, why doesn’t the media ask those questions??

    • lprent 14.1

      A good question…

      • Paul 14.1.1

        I guess Steven Joyce would say ” Each time we say ‘you can’t’ it carries a cost”
        Maybe the media should ask him “What is the cost of saying “you can?”
        The answer………….Pike River, leaky buildings, CTV, the 2008 crash….
        Why are they so bad at their job?

        • Uturn 14.1.1.1

          They’re so bad at their job because they aren’t doing their job, they’re creating profit. The environment they do it in is irrelevent.

          Ever wonder why the entertainment industry often turns out music, film and stories so awfully bad that you wonder how it happened? Then you read the credits and it’s like a telephone book of influencial friends? Because to make it in the entertainment world (or anywhere else that money collects) you must be, first and foremost, be a connected business person – not a competent craftsman. Musician, screen writer, builder, architect, manager, miner – business first, everything else way down the list. Until people realise money, political connections, “passion”, ambition and greed are not indicators of competency, we can expect a worsening of all crafts.

          Ever wonder how it is that within any profession you choose, you’ll find a large percentage of the people as almost cookie cutter clones? Many aren’t doing their job. They’re living a persona generated to make profit.

  14. grumpy 15

    In the last 2 weeks I have done flying trips to Germany, UK, Denmark Switzerland, and now Thailand. I have a few impressions.
    1. Europe is bloody cold!!
    2. Customs and immigration searches are getting over the top and much more invasive. The bastards at Heathrow (don’t go there) took my half empty bottle of contact lens solution (Helpfully telling me I could buy a new one in the transit lounge). With the ridiculous lengths they go to against bona fide travellers, I think the terrorists have already won. Notice how they don’t explosive search anyone even remotely looking like the might have a bomb – of course not!! If you searched a terrorist he might set it off – thats why you only see the hassling little old white ladies!
    3. Swiss customs and cops don’t mess around – they are right into racial profiling. Arabic or black – you will be done over coming into the country and probably stopped at random in the street.
    4. Picked up the inevitable cold but was delighted to find out that the only cold remedy at Dubai contained Pseudoephedrine. Needless to say, 24 hrs later I am cured. Looks like, in NZ the criminals have won, dooming us all to colds and flu that is impossible to get rid of!
    5. iPads are the answer, no more lugging around the bloody laptop and with the bluetooth keyboard and iPad holder I bought duty free at Copenhagen, really useful.
    6. The plane heading back to NZ is always the best flight!

    • lprent 15.1

      Too bloody hot in Auckland at present. My brain starts misfiring from 2pm onwards ( programming makes you utterly aware if and when stupidity is setting in ). Roll on winter…

    • Mehere 15.2

      Re # 2: I disagree with you there. Being a person of indeterminate ethnic origin (I’m half PI and half English but I look vaguely Arabic, particularly if I haven’t shaved for a few days), I will ALWAYS get singled out for the carry-on bag swab and scan test. I don’t mind, they’re just doing their job. But I’m not kidding myself that I’m not being racially profiled. I’m yet to see any “little old white ladies” singled out.

      • rosy 15.2.1

        I’ve been singled out (little white lady) – a few years ago carry-on bags were ‘randomly’ checked at Heathrow, and surprise – I was a ‘random’ checked at the U.S stopover as well. The added touch was extra questioning and luggage check by customs on arrival in Auckland.

        After thinking about it, I guess buying tickets for a trip of only a few days, 2 days before the flight, gave me the profile of a drug smuggler (the trip was for a funeral).

        Again an extra scan and bag checks at Heathrow just last month for no particular reason.

    • Mehere 15.3

      Re # 6: Yes it is, it’s always full of kiwis happy to be getting home or tourists happy to be heading here. And if you get an immigration officer that says to you “Welcome home”, that’s the icing on the cake.

    • Bored 15.4

      I fekkin hate travelling through airports, the tyranny of the state becomes so obvious…we are all supposed to be scared that on our way between Auckland Wellington and Shakytown some Arab sympathiser iis going to set of a bomb in mid air. Or hijack us and fly us into the Beehive. For that I must be stoppped scanned, searched and deprived of metalic objects incase I use something as inocuous as a fishing reel as a weapon of mass destruction. Argghhhh!!!!!

  15. While the Occupy movement could justifiably be accused of killing grass, there has been even more evidence to show how the big four Aussie banks are killing our economy!
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/banking-profits-vindicate-occupy-nz.html

  16. KJT 17

    Meanwhile, Yet a another Democratically elected Government that challenges the profits of the US oil industry is removed.
    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/778615/coup_in_maldives_threatens_ousted_president_mohamed_nasheed%2C_a_leading_voice_for_island_states_threatened_by_global_warming/#paragraph2

    How many is that again.

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