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Open mike 11/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 11th, 2012 - 44 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…


44 comments on “Open mike 11/08/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    A couple of things to consider when preparing for future resource scarcities and climate change:


    Almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished, concludes a comprehensive global analysis of groundwater depletion, published this week in Nature.

    Yet in most of the world’s major agricultural regions, including the Central Valley in California, the Nile delta region of Egypt, and the Upper Ganges in India and Pakistan, demand exceeds these reservoirs’ capacity for renewal.

    And frakking uses more ground water than many places can afford to lose:


    Not only is the oil and gas industry turning our rural areas into sacrifice zones, it is also diverting water that is needed to grow food.

    “Drilling and fracking is not only a threat to water quality — it also uses massive amounts of water, removing much of the water used from the water cycle altogether.

    And then there’s the hunger wars:


    The Hunger Wars in Our Future
    Heat, Drought, Rising Food Costs, and Global Unrest
    By Michael T. Klare

    The Great Drought of 2012 has yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains.

    This, however, is just the beginning of the likely consequences: if history is any guide, rising food prices of this sort will also lead to widespread social unrest and violent conflict…

    Intensive agriculture the answer you say, Gerry? Alongside ‘drill it, mine it, sell it’? Yeah, right!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      US corn crop projected to be down 17% this season, to lows not seen since the 1980’s. This is because almost 70% of the midwest corn growing region is in a prolonged drought. And the US is the largest producer of corn in the world, by far.

      • bad12 1.1.1

        Just in case, and, not wishing to be an alarmist, but,buy a kilo bag of rice with your weekly shopping until such time? as the US corn production either recovers or fails altogether…

        • weka

          Or buy NZ grown grains to encourage NZ farmers to grow grain for the local market.

          • bad12

            Yes true, If the supermarket sells em and they aint all being fed to the cows and pigs…

            • weka

              I think the problem is that NZ farmers are so tied into the export market and that drives their crop choices. I doubt that there is any NZ grown rice though 😉

              • yeshe

                And it’s all GM corn that cannot withstand drought or changing conditions — seed built only for money and no sustainability, just like everything else !!

                And buying rice .. 90% of rice grown in China is now GMO … good luck shopping !

                I also heard they have already closed all the ethanol manufacturing plants in USA due to corn shortages.

                Times they are a’changing …

                • Gareth

                  ya got that all wrong…. Its an extremely drought resistant strain thats why its still alive… Its also why they have been able to increase yield despite a drying climate…

    • Hammer 1.2

      Friday, 10 August 2012 15:34 Javier Blas , Gregory Meyer, Financial Times

      The UN has called for an immediate suspension of government-mandated US ethanol production, adding to pressure on Barack Obama to address the food-versus-fuel debate in the run-up to presidential elections.
      Most US ethanol is made from corn. The dispute over ethanol promotion pits states such as Iowa that benefit from higher corn prices – and in some cases are swing states in the election – against livestock-raising states such as Texas that are helped by lower corn prices.
      The UN intervention will be seized upon by state governors, lawmakers and the meat and livestock industry, who have expressed alarm at surging prices for corn. Members of the Group of 20 leading economies – including France, India and China – have already expressed concern about the US ethanol policy.

      [Another failed UN / Green policy]

  2. Morrissey 2

    You thought Murray Deaker was sub-standard?
    Baseless claims by Tony Johnson re Belorussian shot putter

    NewstalkZB, Friday 10 August 2012, 5:50 p.m.

    The Huddle is a notoriously bad segment on Larry Williams Drive, which is itself a notoriously bad radio program. Featuring such brutally partisan and unpleasant commentators as Bill Ralston, his ghastly wife Janet Wilson, the unsurpassingly vicious Ellen Read, the crazed Cameron (Whaleoil) Slater, the superficially nice but not nice David Farrar and the false front bonhomie of Jock Anderson, it’s hard to imagine that whatever follows them could be any worse, but with the calibre of sports correspondents like one Tony Johnson, AKA “T.J.”, it is on many occasions, incredibly, much, much, much worse. . . . .

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Valerie Adams must have been disappointed to miss out on a gold medal, T.J.

    TONY JOHNSON: [with gravitas] Frankly, I think the winner is a cheat. The word around the traps is that she is a cheat.

    LARRY WILLIAMS: But there is no evidence of that. She passed every test.

    NIGEL YALDEN: I have seen no evidence that she is a cheat.

    TONY JOHNSON: Well that’s the word around the traps.

    Reasonable people might ask if these “traps” which “T.J.” has been “around” are the same traps which recently brought forth the bitterly fanciful notion, also unsupported by any evidence whatsoever, that the referee in the 2007 RWC quarter-final match was corrupt.

    Reasonable people might also ask how much research “T.J.” does for his assignments, and how much of that “research” is done around “traps” with names like The Flying Horse, the Crown and the Red Lion…

    • Tracey 2.1

      The USA had a now well known drug cheat called Marion Jones. However despite their relay team breaking the world record this morning, no cries of “must be cheating”. The former darling of US track and field, Carl Lewis was revealled to have tested positive for a banned substance prior to one of his olympics but the US Olympic Committee covered up the results…

      The former iron curtain states do not have the money they used to for cheating yet the prejudice remains.

      Gatlin (US) a proven drug cheat “won” a bronze… no one had the balls to question its legitimacy or the disgrace that he could even compete. Someone who may have worked damned hard and fair didn’t get a spot because of him. But he’s from the USA, so it’s ok.

      • Vicky32 2.1.1

        But he’s from the USA, so it’s ok.

        That’s the way it is these days! (Apropos of which I heard the BBC WS promoting Mitt Romney’s insane ‘running mate’ just now. So, that’s what we have to look forward to?)

        • Colonial Viper

          Look for the youtube clip where Romney introduces his running mate as the “Next PRESIDENT of the United States”

    • prism 2.2

      I am sorry for you that you have to subject yourself to this sort of diarrhoea. But as you are well informed about sports broadcasting etc could you tell me who is the hyped up commentator reporting for Sky and who we hear short bursts of on Radionz Olympic results?

      • Gareth 2.2.1

        Prob mark watson… He does have some interesting insight as he was a full time athelete. Never really cracked it tho. Same with the commentary imo

        • Morrissey

          Prob mark watson… He does have some interesting insight…

          “Interesting insight”? The guy stands out as an ignoramus and a nutcase even in the notoriously ignorant and nutty world of Radio Sport.

          …as he was a full time athelete.

          So were the likes of Willy Lose, Ian Smith, and Richard Loe. None of those blokes ever has much intelligent or insightful to say, but they all sound much smarter than Mark Watson.

          Actually, on second thought, Ian Smith NEVER has anything interesting, intelligent or insightful to say. The other two have the odd moment.

          People who care about sports and sports commentating should sign this….

      • Morrissey 2.2.2

        I am sorry for you that you have to subject yourself to this sort of diarrhoea.

        Thanks for the concern, my friend—but that few minutes of idiocy was all I have heard of those learned commentators for weeks. It is instructive to note that such grievously substandard commentary was what I heard from a random sampling. I urge you or anyone else who has a few minutes to waste, to tune in to that station, and I’ll bet Bill Clinton’s weekly whoring budget that you’ll hear something equally ignorant, inane and offensive.

        But as you are well informed about sports broadcasting etc could you tell me who is the hyped up commentator reporting for Sky and who we hear short bursts of on Radionz Olympic results?

        Mark Watson and Nigel Yalden are the most hyped up of all of them. Yalden pretends to be commentating the races, but he actually does it from a booth in Mt Wellington.

  3. Olwyn 3

    I see John Armstrong is doing a bit of “concern trolling” in his Herald column. I do do not usually read that guy, since he has little to offer beyond right wing cheer leading, but he is one of the few to comment on this week’s ructions. To quote him:

    “It is unclear whether the MPs’ musings were simply residual animosity from Cunliffe’s undermining of Phil Goff’s leadership in the run-up to last year’s election. The former is said to have been finance spokesman in name only so sparse was his contribution. The consequent lack of trust in Cunliffe was further deepened by a speech by him in April which was widely seen as a grab for control of the party’s left faction. That resulted in Shearer confronting Cunliffe at a subsequent caucus meeting, which saw the bulk of MPs coming down firmly on Shearer’s side.”


    Once again, the right is far more entranced by Labour’s current status quo than the left, and more than happy to reinforce it, while superficially “analysing” the situation.

    • fatty 3.1

      True, but it is the NZ Herald, they have never bothered about real news. Armstrong is a pathetic excuse for an journalist, his ignorance always outshines the facts, and he looks even more stupid when you place his article next to a press release from a respectable website:

    • Socialist Paddy 3.2

      I read it and I thought this was round two of leaks by whoever the focker is.  The allegation that Cunliffe undermined Goff is crap. Goff did it to himself.

      The suggestion that Cunliffe is staging a coup is an even bigger pile of crap. Let’s see, a senior MP leaking to a journo that Cunliffe is despised by all of caucus is somehow evidence of a Cunliffe inspired coup against Shearer? Does the guy think that we are idiots? 

      If Cunliffe can mount a coup by having some insolent prick lie about him to a Journo then he is the greatest politician that ever walked.

      It seems to me pretty clear that someone begun to stage a coup against Shearer. But it aint Cunliffe. 

      • Raw Seer 3.2.1

        David Cunliffe never ever undermined Phil Goff or the Labour Party. He fastidiously worked to make sure he acted and showed traditional Labour Party loyalty. The party membership saw that and they like that. Please stop repeating that old contrived ABC tosh.

        David Cunliffe gave a huge input, insight and direction as Finance Spokesperson. The only “sparse” aspect was his public profile: he was instructed to give Phil Goff the limelight so that Phil might go up in the preferred PM stakes. That was the openly known protocol.

        “Show me the money”: when Phil floundered on Finance and Economics on TV with John Key, Phil’s team blamed Cunliffe. Phil never had a Finance or Economics role on all of his long career: yet he took his TV briefing/preparation from his strategists/team and not directly from his spokesman, Cunliffe. Phil is a big boy. He should have made sure he had the best preparation for that gig. He didn’t. And Shearer is behaving exactly the same way.

        Helen made a mistake in not putting a proper broad leadership selection process in place. The Caucus made a mistake on not replacing Phil earlier. And now we have an embattled leadership team trying to entrench their positions with a 67% veto over the membership’s and affiliate’s wishes.

        The behaviours of the past 4-5 years has to stop and there has to be some personnel changes. Very very soon.

        • Colonial Viper

          David Cunliffe never ever undermined Phil Goff or the Labour Party.

          Quite right. The people who installed Shearer were largely responsible.

    • prism 3.3

      Can Armstrong be allowed to get away with this poison piece. If he is lying then Labour should say so. If he isn’t.. Labour needs to do something to prevent the idea of a demoralised faction ridden party getting reinforced in people’s minds. Think the unthinkable – think Queensland.

      • Olwyn 3.3.1

        +1. It’s odd that they do not consider Queensland when you come to think of it, in their determination to pull to the right.

        @ Raw Seer: I was certainly not endorsing the article or its contents, I was just drawing attention to it. And while I was convinced that the bit about failing to support Goff was nonsense, I do not have inside information so could not authoritatively refute it. My point in putting it up was to note that ever since Shearer was elected, his greatest defenders are from the right, and this remains the case. While Armstrong appeared to ‘critical engage’ with the Labour Party’s problems, he nonetheless managed to sink the boot into Cunliffe.

        • muzza

          “nonetheless managed to sink the boot into Cunliffe”

          –When the establishment systems, single out an individual for special treatment, it is wise to put the thought processes into “smell a rat” mode.

        • Vicky32

          My point in putting it up was to note that ever since Shearer was elected, his greatest defenders are from the right

          Please define right in this context… I gather Cunliffe is being put forward as everyone’s hero because he’s ‘left’, but I’d like to see some proof of this.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Disinformation and dishonest debate tactics of the MSM

    Posted elsewhere too, but included here because they are good


    Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.

    Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

    Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

    Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!

    Dishonest Debate Tactics: Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda.

  5. bad12 5

    The other ‘deep thinker’ in the Heralds team of ‘opinion piece’ writers Fran O’Sullivan made some very un-refreshing comments today on the Court of Appeals decision to allow the sale of the Crafer Farms to go ahead,

    Spot the snide attack upon Maori who She accuses of ‘bleating’ in their attempt to regain through commercial means farms of significance within their Rohe,

    The real information imparted within the abysmally written piece by O’sullivan is tho of greater interest than Her equally abysmal opinions,(spose those are what you get when you take a basic press hack reporter and ask Her to give a opinion),

    The ‘new owners’ of the Crafar Farms are very busy people right now having put together a consortium within China with the intent of in the next 5 years building a series of standardized dairy units, (farms), to be initally stocked with a total herd of 200,000 cows,

    Obviously the intelligence to build such a foundation for the new Chinese dairy industry will have been gained from the buy in to the Crafar Farms and it will be from Crafar that i would imagine that the breeding herd will be sourced,

    I have no objection to the Chinese gaining such valuable knowledge they after all have purchased such at the going rate in terms of the Capitalist ism although my good mood evaporates at the thought of the loss of even more land to overseas interests,

    The New Zealand dairy industry tho will by dint of the announced mega-expansion of the Chinese dairy industry, it wont stop at 200,000 cows and will probably rival in out-put in ten years time our own giant Fonterra, will have to aim for being debt free by 2020 as Chinese production even if confined to internal Chinese consumption will effectively collapse the demand for the New Zealand product enjoyed at the moment,


    • millsy 5.1

      Fran O Sullivan reminds me of those idiots in the 1930’s who thought Hitler and Mussolini were wonderful people who would whip their countries into shape…

  6. BillORees 6


    Bryce Edwards has a very thoughtful analysis in the Herald, examining the current Labour Party issues in light of wider challenges for political partys. 

    A few teasers…

    Ideology and political principles are drained as the hired guns focus on the whims of a small group of swinging voters and the result is bland and, in the end, counter-productive. ‘Labour-lite’ and ‘National-lite’ are leveled as insults, but are not proof of a national consensus over policy….
    Contrary to what some MPs may think, they can’t actually run their campaigns with just parliamentary staff…
    Shearer’s ‘guy in my electorate’ who resents beneficiary bludgers may not read the Imperator Fish blog, but those who do read it represent a lot of pamphlets delivered, doors knocked, voters driven to polling booths and discussions with friends about who to vote for. Some of them may even be sickness beneficiaries.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Things sure are going swimmingly in Aghanistan. In Vietnam there was talk about a ‘decent interval’, the idea being, pretty much, ‘declare victory and leave.’


    The other phrase in play, is always, ‘decide who to lose to’.

  8. NickS 8


    Why am I not fucking surprised in the least thunderf00t would do such a fucking stupid thing?

    Oh right, it was the string of downright stupid blog posts displaying complete fucking blindness and selective reading skills on feminism and inability to practice scepticism101 both at FTB and on his personal soapbox…

    And it gets worse:
    Threatening to out a transperson is just fucking heartbreaking and worthy of you being branded a complete fucking idiot.

  9. The fracking debate is heating up and Gareth and touring Australian environmentalist Drew Hutton need to be listened to and have their concerns taken seriously. Phil Heatley and Nick Smith haven’t been entirely honest about this rapidly expanding industry:

    • Jackal 9.1

      Nice roundup there Dave Kennedy.

      In my opinion, Nick Smith’s pro-fracking article just confirms what a complete ignoramus he is.

      THE hysteria sweeping the country over fracking is like a modern-day version of the Chicken Licken story. It is not the sky falling in but a fear of what is happening underground that has seen groups like Frack-Free Tairawhiti form. Some councils have also jumped on the Green’s “Don’t Frack with NZ’’ bandwagon. It is time to inject some science and common sense into the debate.


      The second concern is pollution of waterways and aquifers. These risks are also low. The proppants used are just fillers and the toxicity of the lubricants is similar to dish washing liquid.

      Ah yes! The old it’s as safe as dishwashing liquid rubbish, which Smith also used to describe CoreXit 9500 when it was applied in close proximity to Tauranga residents to disperse the heavy oil leaking from the MV Rena… Nothing like a bit of cancer-causing hazardous toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals to wash the dishes with eh!

      Josh O’Neill has a good response to the idiotic argument of National’s former Conservation and Environment Minister.

      Dr Smith says “small amounts of proppants and lubricants” are used in the process. A report on fracking to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce last year said that over the course of the life of a well around 440,000 litres of chemicals are used. So it probably depends on how one defines “small”.

      The industry and politicians keep saying the chemicals are no worse than household cleaners and ice cream ingredients but the potential for 440,000 litres of “dishwashing liquid” (per well pad) entering our environment is enough reason for a ban on fracking. A report tabled in the US House of Representatives last year said 29 of the chemicals injected into wells were known or suspected human carcinogens.


      Let us also consider the science on climate change that clearly shows we are not making the changes required fast enough and cheap fossil fuels are major contributors to the problem. There is competing evidence on gas as a better alternative to coal as a transition fuel, with some studies showing gas will be worse in the long run.

      Like Dr Smith, I am passionate about New Zealand’s natural environment. We want to bequeath our children a nation with a great lifestyle, a strong economy and a clean environment — but without the latter, the first two don’t exist. All this will only be possible if we take a rational, science-based approach to our natural resources and risk management.

      Speaking of water contamination, over 20% of the worlds replenishing fresh water has now been irreparably destroyed. Water will soon be in short supply… Perhaps why National is trying to ensure a large amount of it is privatized with the Mixed Ownership Model Bill.

  10. captain hook 10

    thats right dave kennedy.
    they should tell us how many states in the USA have completely poisoned their water tables and aquifers and how they get their freshwater requirements now.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Now this is interesting and would go a long way toward improving houses in NZ. A building material and insulation made out of hemp.

  12. Logie97 12

    Seems that whenever Owen Glenn reveals his hand as supporting an organisation they go belly up..
    Now its the warriors turn.The Warriors are having a nightmare since he started shouting from the rooftops how wonderful he was going to be for them …

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    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
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  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
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  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
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  • MSD and their investment approach
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  • Certainty needed for community services
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
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  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
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