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Open mike 11/08/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 11th, 2013 - 154 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…

154 comments on “Open mike 11/08/2013 ”

  1. North 1

    Re the Teina Pora travesty:


    Who the hell is Bevan Hurley ? Clearly a jonolist

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      Grant Hobbs seems to see the tragedy here as being in the loss of a potentially good rugby player, not in Pora’s loss of his life and liberty. Even when they try to say something worthwhile, these sort of people just make me shake my head.

  2. North 2

    Why is Hurley a jonolist ? Because Collins did NOT add her name to the list of people calling into question the convictions which have had this boy a murderer and a rapist for the past 20 years.

    One comment that he “could be innocent…..” does not qualify Bevan. You misrepresent Collins’ demeanour. At the very best her position has softened to “Oh well we’ll see……..not boverred really.”

    The comments of Peter Williams QC are more to the point – Teina Pora could be out of prison now were our justice system not the fiefdom of Justice Sow who doesn’t actually give a stuff.

    She might be seen to give a stuff in time but that will be according to how she will do out of the issue – forget about Teina the boy now the man.

    Where does one get the “Free Teina Pora” teeshirts ?

  3. Pasupial 3

    Down the Rabbit Hole:

    “…Mr Key’s superstitious habit of repeating “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits”, on the first of each month. The early morning ritual is believed to bring luck, he said yesterday. Mr Key admits he has visibly aged over the past five years as prime minister. It “comes with the job”. ”

    Link (hat-tip to Eddie): http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9025151/Today-in-politics-Saturday-August-10

    I commented on this yesterday (in the; “What a Dick”, post), it doesn’t seem to be satire; just very peculiar coming, as it does, from Fearfacts. Also, I tried to link this particular compulsion with ShonKey’s compulsive; lying & gambling, by way of OCD, but in retrospect that didn’t really work.

  4. Jenny 4

    “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”

    The above statement first attributed to Joseph Goebbels and recently resurrected by those calling for more powers for the GCSB and the NSA is a lie.

    You may have nothing to hide, but what about your neighbors and your friends?

    What about your work colleagues?

    At least one of them, will have something that they don’t want you, or others to know about. This makes them vulnerable to those who seek to know everyone’s secrets. This is how the surveillance state of East Germany worked. The Stasi exploited the foibles of the vulnerable. The Stasi were able to get friend to spy on friend. They were able to get neighbor to smear and spread gossip against neighbor. At work they were able to block your promotion and the progress of your career if they didn’t like your political views.

    How? The Stasi knew all the secrets of your managers and indeed of the company itself.

    Do we really want to give our secret security forces these powers?

    Do we really trust them that much?

    Are the anonymous and secretive men and women who run our own secret agencies of such high moral standing and trustworthiness to have access to the secrets of a whole population that metadata spying will give them? Do we really trust them to hold that much power over us?

    The East German secret police, the Stasi were able to spread fear and paranoia and suspicion and keep under subjection a whole population for 40 years.

    Through mass surveillance the Stasi were able to intimidate everybody. How?

    They knew everybody’s secrets.

    Do we really want to give our secret agencies this power?

    Are we really sure that they won’t abuse them?

    Recent events seem to say no.

    “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”

    You may have nothing to hide. But you have everything to fear from those who do.

    Apart from your friends, neighbors and colleagues who may have secrets….

    At the top of the list are the most fearsome of those with something to hide.
    Who guard their own secrets most obsessively.
    Who are prepared to go to extreme lengths to protect their secrets from any who dare threaten to expose theim.

    These people are the secret security services themselves.

    If the supporters of the NSA and GCSB truly believed, “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Then they would release Bradly Manning. They should drop their persecution of Julien Assange and abandon their international manhunt against Edward Snowden.

    Nothing to fear nothing to hide. Yeah right.

    • Tigger 4.1

      The easiest way to cut through this bs is to ask anyone spouting it to allow you access to their computer history. Men especially will baulk.

    • yeshe 4.2

      First Lavabit, now a second US-based encryption-based secure email company founder ethically chooses to close rather than offer up all its customers to surveillance … his comments are a must read ..


      • Murray Olsen 4.2.1

        RSA cryptography, based on the products of huge prime numbers, is practically uncrackable. There are two routes that are being followed by the US and allied governments to get around this. One is that they will persecute anyone offering it, and perhaps even make it illegal. The other is research into quantum computing. Using Shor’s algorithm, quantum computers, which don’t really exist yet, can factorise the products and break the codes. The US and Australian governments spend hundreds of millions (at least) on the research, which as far as I can see is directly designed to let them spy on us. I do not work on it, but have colleagues who do. Some of them even consider themselves to be socialist warriors in the struggle for a better world. My opinion of them is not quite so high.

        Quantum cryptography, on the other hand, is completely unbreakable. In fact, you can tell if someone has even had a look. It is used commercially by some Swiss financial institutions. It would be difficult, but not impossible, to set it up for normal use. I suspect it would be made illegal as soon as someone looked like doing that, so it’s likely to remain the preserve of governments and corrupt financial institutions for a while yet.

    • amirite 4.3

      I’d like to add that Stasi was continuing the great tradition of German governments spying on its own people and German citizens – neigbours, friends, family members spying on each other, starting with the Nazi Germany where any dissenters and critics of the regime were disposed of promptly and permanently.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Are the anonymous and secretive men and women who run our own secret agencies of such high moral standing and trustworthiness to have access to the secrets of a whole population that metadata spying will give them?


      The content of the communications is secondary. The primary is peoples social and business networks. The collection of metadata will expose those networks and once exposed they can be broken. This is, IMO, why the government wants to collect the metadata and so it should not be allowed.

    • UglyTruth 4.5

      “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”

      In other words, “If you play by our rules then you can trust us to leave you alone.”

  5. North 5

    Can’t recall who said it but this sums it up perfectly……..

    “Nothing to hide nothing to fear !”

    “Well…….you don’t need ANY rights then, do you ?”

    • Jenny 5.1

      “Nothing to hide nothing to fear !”

      “Well…….you don’t need ANY rights then, do you ?”


      Indeed. North. Indeed. Isn’t this the same government that has been weakening the right to silence by those charged by the police?


      No right to privacy.

      No right to silence

      No protection from self incrimination under duress.

      A few slaps, a couple of kicks.

      From there but a small step to the almost 100% police conviction rate in Communist China’s Orwellian court system.

      All it needs to complete the picture is a compliant media automatically and covertly monitored 24/7 by the state, too intimidated to speak up, all their phone calls and movements traced and recorded for later reference.

      Oh that’s right. They already do.


      Peter Dunne, said inquiry head David Henry had detailed to him the movements of Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance in and out of the parliamentary precinct.

      The conversation related to Vance’s movements the day before the leaked report was published.

      It appeared to be based on Henry having access to records of when she entered and left the building using her security swipe card.


      The New Zealand military received help from US spy agencies to monitor the phone calls of Kiwi journalist Jon Stephenson and his associates while he was in Afghanistan reporting on the war.

      Stephenson has described the revelation as a serious violation of his privacy, and the intrusion into New Zealand media freedom has been slammed as an abuse of human rights.

      Is this why most of our MSM journalists give this overbearing and intrusive right wing administration such a free ride when in comparison the same journalists publicly and unrelentedly caned the Clark administration for weeks for trying to regulate energy efficient lightbulbs over incandescent lamps. Until they forced Labour to drop it?

      Will they ever run out of wet bus tickets?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Hey how’s the Arab Spring going in Libya? I heard the country is disintegrating into armed tribal factions, the western corporations are looting Libya’s gold, oil and other natural resources, while the advanced healthcare and education systems Gadaffi set up for his people are being run down.

  6. Paul 6

    Nomination for ‘jonolism’ today
    Tracy Watkins for this article. “Nats take hurdles in stride”

    With such gems as the following…
    “But as ministers turned the lights out on a week of endless Beehive crisis meetings and headed for Nelson and the party’s annual conference, there was a sense the situation was at least under control.”

    Then quoting Judith Collins and not questioning in any way this outrageous statement.
    “We’ve learnt to be very upfront and straight out fronting issues.”
    This government ..upfront about issues?

    Actually, a lapdog media is one of the biggest reasons why this government continually escapes crisis after crisis. ‘Jonolists’ like Tracy Watkins do the 4th estate a disservice. They do the work of big corporates very well.

    The media in this country sucks.

    • Saarbo 6.1

      yes, its interesting how the media are treating The National Party Conference versus how they treated The Labour Party Conference in November.

      Peter Goodfellow (President of National) and family own a huge slice of Sanford fishing (via Amalgamated Dairies Ltd), perhaps the media should be digging to see whether the recreational snapper limit cuts have something to do with him and more National cronyism. I would think so.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        its interesting how the media are treating The National Party Conference versus how they treated The Labour Party Conference in November.

        Has any accredited journo sighted any media harassment and intimidation of a Nat. MP with a view to forcing them to say something that could be misconstrued by others as a challenge to the leader? You know… walking backwards around the conference venue with a camera lens permanently shoved in their face and asking the same question over and over again until they got something… then behaving like school yard pimps by running off to the leadership telling petty tales out of school?

        • Veutoviper

          No, to all of your questions Anne!

          However, this has just popped up on Stuff from Andrea Vance from the Nat conference


          Hidden quite a way down is this

          Joyce wasn’t the only senior Nat indulging their naughty side at this weekend’s Nelson event. The simmering unofficial leadership struggle between Joyce and justice minister Judith Collins will take a new turn this morning as the matriarch appears on TVNZ alongside Key.

          While outward appearances were of a rigorously choreographed agenda, delegates were furiously whispering about her decision yesterday.

          The party and her senior minister colleagues were spitting tacks about the brazen move. Given the policy announcements carefully lined-up by party strategists, it should have been a moment for Joyce to shine, alongside housing minister Nick Smith and environment minister Amy Adams.

          For whatever the talk show topic, the appearance raises the spectre of Collins’ ambitions to take charge of the party.

          National don’t have the same leadership woes currently plaguing Labour. The question of who will succeed John Key is a perennial curiosity.

          But it’s largely academic, for now. …

          G.. help us all if Collins gets the leadership. OTH, I cannot see her having the blind faith followers that Key has had.

          • Skinny

            In reference to Nationals RMA tampering, especially with relevance to Auckland, speeding up the building consents process, looks very problematic. There are a lot of powerful people opposed to moves of allowing multi level dwellings being built in urban areas of the City. All worried their swanky suburbs are going to be down valued with affordable apartments popping up everywhere. 
            Concerns of views being blocked and commoner tenants inhabited their posh streets. Interesting to see how many switch to ACT?
             I don’t think the New Zealand public will view the rise of ACT in the polls positively if that’s the case. National would not like the bad perception that brings. Which of course we on the Left, promote as a third term Nact Government is going to reveal their true nasty right-wing ideological master plans.

            What do you think?

          • Murray Olsen

            Collins will have her followers. The sort of troglodytes who write in the sewer blogs worship her with a sexual passion. On the positive side, I think she’d take NAct back to its core voters, with the same percentages that Brash got, those who like their racism and bigotry strident rather than casual. I don’t think even Crosby Textor could sell her to a much wider audience.

            • felix

              Yep, she’ll only ever be a hit with the extremists. She’ll never make it with the ordinary apolitical bbq dickheads that have won the last two elections for Key.

              Ideologically and morally I don’t think the two of them are far apart, one just seems to be better at hiding it.

              • RedLogix

                And that’s the nub. To quote Chris Trotter, Key is the greatest political salesman this country has ever seen. With Key gone, the current National Party ideology has much the same shelf-life as NZ1 without Winston.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Thank goodness that Labour has a clear political ideology set and ready to walk all over them, then.

                  • RedLogix

                    ooops…. yes.

                    We have a problem Houston. (And I’m old enough to remember hearing that live…)

        • Bearded Git

          Does anyone else out there think that Key is sounding like an automaton at this conference. Just reading the words, going through the motions?

          • Rosie

            Beardy, last night on 3 news it looked like he had fallen asleep at the speakers table and then blearily woke up and had that “What?! Where I am I? What am I doing?!” look about him.

            He must be all like “I’m soooo over this job”

            • Paul

              Waiting for his exile to Hawaii

            • Bearded Git

              I saw that-he looked completely knackered/bored.

              • Anne

                All these late night texting sessions with Fonterra, GCSB, NSA, Warner Bros. and the FBI must be wearing him out.

                • karol

                  Ha! 3 News on who has Nat leadership ambitions tonight:

                  Collins is obviously interest – no denials, just that she will be one among many:

                  Joyce said what Key said a couple of months before rolling Brash – “there is no vacancy right now”.

                  Paula Benefit outs herself over her crush on Key.

                  Brownlee looks so overcome by the wonderfulness of imagining himself as PM, he’s a stuttering school boy.

                  Simon Bridges tries to sound coy about his ambitions.

                  • BM

                    My view on Nationals next leader, once Key decides to call it a day.

                    Collins – next National Leader, has the drive and ambition and presence
                    natural leader.

                    Joyce – not interested can achieve more as number 2

                    Paula Bennett – maybe in another 10 years, if still around

                    Brownlee – been around long enough, knows his strengths and weakness,realizes he doesn’t have the drive or enthusiasm to be leader.
                    Much better being in the top echelon rather than running the show.

                    Simon Bridges -see Bennett

                • RedLogix

                  All these late night texting sessions with Fonterra, GCSB, NSA, Warner Bros. and the FBI must be wearing him out.

                  I agree Anne. The way we run politics in this country places an insane burden on the PM.

                  No matter who has the job, or what I think of their politics … you have to have some respect for the sheer brain-crushing workload they have taken on.

                  • Anne

                    Must admit there was a hint of sarcasm in the outfits I [claim] he was texting, but take your point RedLogix. I saw Helen Clark last Sunday at a function and she looked stunning – 20 years younger.

            • UglyTruth

              I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for him. Many of the problems that he is facing now are not his doing.

    • North 6.2

      The Fourth Estate has self-corrupted into the Fart Estate.

    • Skinny 6.3

      These sociopaths in power are undeniably deviously tricky, every now and then I refer back to chapters of the book Hollow Men, just to refresh my memory. The smoke & mirrors game playing really is shocking. 

      Government in control over milk powder crisis, mooted reduction in recreational fishers quota, squashed. Sense distraction over GCSB bill, smelter subsidy to prop up power shares/float, Housing crisis ( major spin announced later today). And that Stuff article highlights the start of an attack to wipe Winston Peters out for good in 2014.

       How? John Key has started publicly stalking Winston Peters (Key’s principles when it comes to Peters remain-don’t be fooled).
      Last elections late supporters, (& the way Key is flaunting a welcome mat) some loyal supporters are not willing to gamble Peters will join a coalition with  Labour/Green, they want certainty. All this is increasing the negative effect on NZF’s support. 
      Key the smiling assassin will be grinning at NZF currently polling down on 3%. But it will be a ‘nervous’ smile. Winston earlier in the week rubbed Key’s nose in it, with fresh allegations of illegal spying of him during the cup of tea saga, which got NZF back into parliament. 

      Wonder if Key has nightmares of Peters speech opposing the GCSB bill the other day, which was classic “spy’s lies and alibis.”

    • Rosie 6.4

      Tracy Watkins has consistently shown herself to be a cheerleader and apologist for the National Government. In particular, in the past she has written articles about Key, and barely been able to contain her gushing admiration for the slime ball. Maybe in years to come she will look back on them with deep embarrassment and see that she sounded like a 15 year school girl with her first big crush. I kind of feel sorry for her. She needs an aunty in her life to tell her about bad men.

      • miravox 6.4.1

        “She needs an aunty in her life to tell her about bad men.”

        True. As long as the Aunty is not Paula Bennett, did you see her crush giggle on 3News when she was pretending she wasn’t looking at the top job?

    • Saarbo 6.5

      It gets worse, this just published in the herald on line.


      Government Tackles Affordability by Audrey young

      “In order to currently qualify for Government assistance of a $5000 deposit, the most a couple may jointly earn is $100,000. That threshold will be increased to $120,000.”

      “The house price caps will be adjusted upwards as well, with the Auckland cap of $400,000 rising to $485,000.”

      So under the heading “Government Tackles Affordability”, the government has merely provided assistance to slightly wealthier people…is this for real? How the hell does this tackle affordability…come on Audrey Young, do some analysis. Couldnt she just pick up the phone and call Twyford to see what his view was…or would that wreck it for her? (I think her father was a National Party MP?)

      • James Thrace 6.5.1

        Her brother is a National MP. Jonothan Young in New Plymouth… or is it Palmerston North? Its one of them.

      • Colonial Viper 6.5.2

        Brilliant, a boost to the first home vendors scheme. Now every property flipper can boost their asking price up another $5K of tax payer funded largesse.

      • Bearded Git 6.5.3

        $5,000 towards a deposit of $97,000. Whoopedydoodah!

      • Anne 6.5.4

        Yes, her father was a Nat MP, Venn Young. Served in Muldoon’s cabinet from memory – not 100% sure about that.

        • North

          Yes, Venn Young, the author of the first homosexual law reform measure to come before Parliament – late 70s early 80s (?). MP for one of the Taranaki electorates (?).

          Can’t remember how far it went before it foundered. Seem to recall that his bubbling, vivacious wife was particularly energised about it, more than him. Wasn’t a bad fulla for a Tory which was true akshully of a number of them in the day. Peter Gordon for example, Minister of Transport at some point. Even old Talboys, whose alleged affair he with “yards and yards of anonymous cloth hanging between his legs….” as characterised by Chris Wheeler, the hilariously subversive stirrer behind the sinful libel sheet “Cock”.

          Quite unlike the digusting crooks, Tea Party-ish backwoodmen and scabs comprising today’s National /Act obscenity.

          • Treetop

            Young’s Bill legalising homosexuality was defeated on 4 July 1975, 34 – 29 with an abstention of 23.

            Had the bill gone through there would have been no inquiry into an alleged breach of confidentiality of the police file on the Honourable Colin James Moyle, MP.

            The full police evidence has not seen the light of day and I would like to see it in my life time for many reasons.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7


    Employment lawyers and unions should start asking for bosses and managers facebook records if they are going to regularly sink as low as Air NZ has in this case. One of the times it is good to be a freelancer–I only have myself to sack.

    • Paul 7.1

      The key quote from the article.
      “”Because while this is best evidence . . . doesn’t it creep you out a bit? It feels intrusive and just, frankly, wrong.”

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      That’s a peculiar demand from the ERA, because they are usually called on to determine whether the decision made at the conclusion of the disciplinary process was correct. And that decision is made with the facts known at that time. ie, knowing what they knew, did the boss make a reasonable decision?

      It looks like the ERA is saying it’s ok to dismiss based on suspicion alone, if there’s a vague possibility of proving it correct if other information comes to hand later on.

      • Tiger Mountain 7.2.1

        Yes it is a worry TRP, fair and discernible process in such settings has always bugged the torys so any chance to deal with such cases by applying fear and loathing will be taken if their record such as 90 day “fire at will” is any indication. The ERA was not originally set up to operate on that basis so would be interesting to get a practitioners view.

  8. ak 8


    ….and then Stuff whacks up an ancient Tory Standards piece complete with comments from 323 days ago! The Shonkey Python show continues for the masses while the cream attend their annual orgy.

  9. Ad 9

    Lovely stuff from Rod Oram this morning on the economic value of brands to countries and our stark options at this point:


  10. Pasupial 10

    I’m against Tasers anyway; but if our overlords really need their goons to carry electric whips, then surely they should be trained to use them properly. Of those UK police forces that could be arsed replying to a freedom of information request (18 out of 45), 57% shot tasers at the chests of suspects.

    “There is evidence to suggest that shots to the chest are more dangerous because they can result in cardiac arrest. The manufacturer’s own training guidance states: “When possible, avoid targeting the frontal chest area near the heart to reduce the risk of potential serious injury or death.”.”

    Link: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jul/14/taser-use-police-forces-uk-data

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      The NZ coppers have used tasers as a compliance device since introduction rather than the touted “substitute for lethal force” and if aimed at the chest could (and have internationally) constitute lethal force anyway.

      Why negotiate with citizens annoying as some of them can be, or use other methods, when you can just zap ’em.

  11. Molly 11

    NZ Herald has another piece on Fonterra this morning Fonterra powder recalled in Sri Lanka.

    Thrust of the article is that the powder is being removed under precautionary measures (after being requested to by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health).

    However, the paragraphs that caught my eye are below:

    Earlier this year, Fonterra hit headlines in Sri Lanka after the country’s Atomic Energy Authority claimed in Colombo’s Sunday Times it had been put under pressure from New Zealand officials to suspend testing of New Zealand milk powder samples.

    At the time, the Ministry for Primary Industries took over damage control reassuring all overseas consumers milk powder from New Zealand was safe.

    If true, why would we be putting pressure on another government to suspend testing? And who was/were these overseas officials?

    • Jackal 11.1

      As far as I can ascertain, two New Zealand government officials from the Ministry of Primary Industries travelled to Sri Lanka in May this year to pressure their Atomic Energy Authority to stop testing New Zealand milk powder samples for radiation.

      The only reason they would do this is because the government knew that Fonterra’s milk powder was contaminated with radioactive chemicals. Why else would they suddenly demand Sri Lanka stop testing?

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Was it all Fonterra NZ sourced milk powder or also Fonterra Chinese sourced milk powder?

        I ask because it appears that TEPCO has been lying through the teeth about contaminated water from Fukushima, and hundreds of tons a day of radioactive water have been leaking into the Pacific.

        • Jackal

          Sri Lanka has halted all Fonterra milk powder imports from New Zealand. I’ve seen no reports saying that they’ve halted imports from China as well?

          It’s unlikely that radiation from Fukushima that is leaking into the Pacific Ocean would get into the dairy process in China. It is however likely that it is getting into fish stocks around Japan.

          The radiation contamination in Fonterra’s milk products has likely come from landfarming in Taranaki, of which there are around a dozen sites. Six of these landfarming operations supply milk to Fonterra, the other six to other dairy companies. Fonterra is probably not the only supplier affected.

  12. Tim 12

    Did anybody just hear “The New Entrepreneurism” on RNZ forming today’s “ideas” segment?

    I’d be interested in hearing/seeing Standard contributors thoughts.

    I’m in two minds :p
    In some ways I’m thinking more of a new buzz, an exercise in commodification of “social enterprise”, yet there are one or two good aspects to it.

    Check out http://www.socialenterprise.co.nz/#top

    • Greywarbler 12.1

      Social enterprise – the brits have got into it for about two years I think and have been closing down welfare for about the same time.
      If that was the one referring to social enterprises they seem to have been going on this for about two years I think. That would fit with their observable timetable of cutting welfare wouldn’t it?
      If so they are taking a dump people in the water to see if they can swim. It could be better than old hate filled government approach time will tell, the program is on the roll – could be as much of a failure as when brit withdrew supplies after the first irish food crop failure.

      • Tim 12.1.1

        yea well – at the risk of outing myself to RNZ staff, I offered the following hastily written:

        The New Entrpreneuism

        I was interested in today’s “Ideas” segment, and I’m left wondering whether I must be part of “The New Curmudgeon” sector.
        I’m not knocking it at all, it’s just that it occurred to me that many of these admirable initiatives once evolved naturally, as a result of a fully functioning, well (or at least, adequately) educated, egalitarian society – one where its citizens (both public and corporate) got involved and participated.
        It concerns me that we must now market it all and turn it into a business in order for it to be part of our consciousness.

        … etc

        and then a PS later, when Wayne Brittendon and guests did a piece on NeoLiberalism:

        PS!!!! ‘The NEW ENTREPRENEUISM” I should have waited

        My concerns are being answered as I type: NEOLIBERALISM

        …. etc.

        in response to this:

        11:40 Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint
        The Guardian reports that in 2012, the world’s 100 richest people became $241 billion richer, and the rich-poor gap continues to spiral. Wayne takes a critical look at the prevailing global economic orthodoxy of neo-liberalism and Chris follows up with Professor Michael Peters, from Waikato University.

        Btw …. it’s also why I’ll never vote Labour again UNTIL they clearly and unambiguously give one of the most insidious ideologies the flik!! So far they’ve only ever half-heartedly apologised for Roger and his ilk.

  13. Another Conspiracy theory bites the dust as it becomes reality.

    When the Tsunami hit Japan and Fukushima I was called an alarmist and conspiracy nut when I stated that Fukushima was an ongoing disaster with global implications. Today I can say: “I told you so”.

    • tinfoilhat 13.1


    • muzza 13.2

      While it is understandable given the amount of fear/ego based abuse issues in certain directions, that as more conspiracies become realities, there is a natural tendency to feel relief, when shown to not be nut jobs, or similar!

      Unfortunately, the seriousness of the majority of the former, conspiracies, is such that the I told you so call, can be seen as a bit of an own goal, for mine.

      • Te Reo Putake 13.2.1


      • travellerev 13.2.2

        Oh don’t worry, I’m saying the I told you so really angry and not a gloat in my mind. This is I told you so as in: wake the fuck up and smell the plutonium! (Third reactor has a couple of tons of MOX fuel in a “cooling” pool with steam coming out of the building around about the spot where it should be cool)

        I remember one gentleman in particular, Lanthanide I think he calls himself who couldn’t ridicule my assertions enough at the time!

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. You know that truism about how real life is stranger than fiction? That’s what all the intellectual rationalists around here keep forgetting.

          2013: the year the Tin Foil Hat Brigade pwned reality. Over and over and over and over again.

          • McFlock

            not really.
            All that’s happened is that if you predict the worst outcome for every event that happens in the world, sooner or later you’ll be right – especially if one ignores whether the timing is wildly off.

            • Colonial Viper

              was always right but previously heckled, just got confirmed now that’s all

              • McFlock

                Not necessarily. If I said “Mandela is dead” every day for the next five years, sooner or later I will probably be correct. That does not mean I was correct when I first said it.

            • muzza

              Is that your version of a climbdown , McFlock!

              Might pay to be a little more circumspect with the insults, because those timelines have been very short, and will grow increasingly shorter between the revelations!

              An as for choosing the worst possible outcome, don’t fool yourself laddy, that’s simply another insult for those who have bothered to take time to understand and learn enough, to get a little closer to reality, while others sit back in the largess lobbing insults.

              • McFlock

                Correlation does not equal causation, especially when the frequency is that low.

                • muzza

                  Keep at it, I enjoy watching denial in real time!

                  Get the digger out, McFlock.

                  Brooom, Broooom, honk honk!

                  • McFlock

                    That’s nice.
                    At least when I hit the pearly gates I’ll be able to say that I gave joy to simple-minded fools. Might offset some of my misdeeds a touch. And just to make it obvious enough for even you to understand, yes, you are indeed one of those simpleminded fools.

                    • muzza

                      Toot toot!

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      might be like that poor raccoon from Ice Age : The Meltdown; reach all those acorns, then the really big Acorn, only to receive resusc. from a sloth.
                      Oh to be Hindu, but then, all those gods to contend with. Interestingly, maybe the Aryan invaders implemented / codified the caste system, in India anyway.

            • travellerev

              I didn’t predict. I said this was happening from day one. TEPCO can’t deny it anymore ‘s all.

              • McFlock

                Indeed you did. But it wasn’t happening from day one, was it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Don’t confuse the process with the event. It’s like fossil fuel related climate change. Started with the very first tonne of coal burnt.

                  • McFlock

                    Neither process had an inevitable conclusion when it first started, however. To state that a catastrophic conclusion is occurring before it is even inevitable can merely have a purely coincidental relationship with reality, even at the best of times.

                    I wonder if there was a person who claimed the Titanic was sinking even before it hit an iceberg? What if they claimed it after the iceberg were hit, but it they had no idea that it had in fact hit an iceberg, because they were in Birmingham at the time? To then argue “see, I was right, not a nutbar” seems to lack a certain epistemological robustness.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      some clever resilience there McDock!

                    • McFlock

                      Fully encouraged by their recent close brush with reality, apparently the tinfoilhat claims have been escalated to Fukushima being an extinction event. So apparently we are all doomed (again).

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Have missed your wit, (although, ev makes for interesting reading in ‘my newsfeed’), but then, there is always reality of all flavours to contend with. Like, improving income 😀 … maybe a pedal powered ice-cream cart with (not) 88 flavours of sugar to choose from. Shouldn’t you be working? Ahhh, late lunch. Cheese and home-made pickled onions this (and the other) end. Did you know that even authors with multiple published titles may only achieve the minimum wage if all the hours involved are accounted for. Seems so pointless 😉

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I wonder if there was a person who claimed the Titanic was sinking even before it hit an iceberg?

                      The correct parallel to be drawn are to the officers and passengers who believed that the Titanic was fine after 5 compartments were holed, especially as the ship was still sitting perfectly quietly and drinks and food were still being served.

                      Neither process had an inevitable conclusion when it first started, however.

                      Same with being shot in the head or falling off a six story building. Doesn’t mean that you can’t pick what’s (most likely) going to happen next.

                    • McFlock

                      The correct parallel to be drawn are to the officers and passengers who believed that the Titanic was fine after 5 compartments were holed, especially as the ship was still sitting perfectly quietly and drinks and food were still being served.

                      Flipside of the same coin, but at least you get the idea that without accurate information causally and obviously related to the observed outcome, any connection between belief and reality is purely coincidental. Me, I’m off to sit in my lead-lined fridge for the duration of the radioactive apocalypse.

                      Neither process had an inevitable conclusion when it first started, however.

                      Same with being shot in the head or falling off a six story building. Doesn’t mean that you can’t pick what’s (most likely) going to happen next.

                      Well, the laws of physics tend to be a bit more reliable than chemtrail/worldgovt/nanothermite idiots on the internet. But even, then pistol-calibre gunshots to the head tend to have (ISTR) something like a 10% survival rate, and the survival rate for falling six storeys is even better as I recall. So really, without more precise information I’d still not be collecting on their life insurance.

    • Bill 13.3

      Fukushima was never a conspiracy travellerev. It happened and was/is real. The only conspiracy is the one of governmental silence and mis-information surrounding the causes, the gravity of the immediate effects and the potential long term consequences.

      And yes, there were plenty of people who chimed in, downplaying the seriousness of the situation and poo-pooing potential long term consequences. Adherents to authoritarianism tend to back centers of authority though. So, the fact of a ‘she’ll be right’ brigade is hardly surprising.

      • RedLogix 13.3.1

        Bill …

        As time goes by I’m struck by how pervasive the “authoritarian” personality is. Quite remarkably they’ll moan and grizzle about how badly they’re been treated .. but when you point out that it’s the hierarchy and the misuse of power that fundamentally which is screwing them over … they leap to it’s defence.

        • Colonial Viper

          I think its the “subservient/follower mentality”…the beaten slave (battered woman?) who nevertheless leaps to their master’s (husbands?) defence because that is all the options their identity and world view gives them.

          The danger is when servants and followers of charismatic authoritarian figures energise en masse to enable real historical ugliness.

          Look at the USA – Democrats under George Bush who hated the patriot act, hated state surveillance, hated drone strikes…are all supportive of exactly the same things under Obama. Bad news.

        • Bill

          Ah fuck it, I’ll say it.

          Authoritarianism marks and thrives in the absense of personal responsibility. And to save any grief … this is completely different to the supposed ‘lack of personal responsibility’ we hear touted as a mere distraction from systemic/cultural disadvantages/abuses that themselves have arisen and hold sway precisely because too many people have authoritarian traits…and that’s the very self same people who then tend to bang on about various victim’s ‘lack of personal responsibilty’.

          Hope that makes sense….was a kind of long sentence 😉

          • Colonial Viper

            Good ol’ SWAT/SAS/riot police teams with the full face balaclavas or masks.

            • Bill

              No. Not necessarily ‘tooled up’ agents of state or corporate oppression. Just the people next door and down the road and next to you at work who defer without question to authority – they’re the authoritarians as much as the ‘tooled up’ monkeys of oppression, the pollies, CEOs and managers.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.4

      Travellerev, you are an alarmist and conspiracy nut and long before you had said jack shit about “ongoing”, commenters on online Physics forums were detailing exactly how and why, based on nothing more than the photos of the damage and their knowledge of reactor design.

      Like a stopped clock, you are right twice a day. Congratulations.

  14. Greywarbler 14

    Good idea No. 2001.5. Bottle John Key’s personal fragrance and sell as a medicinal aid and performance enhancer – the John Key Super Relaxant. It releases all taut muscles, especially round the jaw and sphincter, relieves stress trauma and headaches, and in addition is a social aid as it prevents any disagreeable response caused by faux pas or unfortunate rudeness, all the time exuding a subtle aroma around the person which draws all into his ambit so ensuring the most favourable effect at every appearance.

    • Tim 14.1

      You might need to attend the “Social Enterprise” conference this week Grey. Could be money to be made!

      • Greywarbler 14.1.1

        I’m working on it!! When I work out how to extract it that is. Without killing the golden goose!

    • Greywarbler 14.2

      I add to the above this clip from Brett – Conchords just for fun.

  15. Lanthanide 15

    National’s policy to help first-time buyers get into houses is pretty weak:

  16. muzza 16

    Dear …..

    A parcel or packet sent to you from overseas has been screened and assessed by NZ Customs, and is how being held (for ransom) by NZ Post pending customs release…

    Revenue Type:

    Import Transaction Fee
    GST on Import Transaction Fee
    Bio-Security Levy
    GST on Bio-security Levy


    So having already purchased, what is not available for sale in NZ, and paid the shipping costs, I now have the pleasure of paying tax on a sale that would not have happened otherwise, as well as the import transaction fee + GST (WTF is that about) – How are import transaction fees, and levy’s classified such that they attract GST, anyone ?

    Her Majesty’s agents, hard at work!

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      GST is also applied on top of the various petrol taxes. Seems to be the way that the government likes it.

  17. tc 17

    Who at coloseum did their homework on premier league rights. Having secured live coverage for a pay per view style service with our dodgy broadband capacity and now sky has 4 of the top teams separately via a premier league rule that allows it.

    Top teams get the bulk of viewers so looks like coloseum just had their wings clipped before takeoff.

    • rod 17.1

      I think you will find that Sky,s broadcasts are delayed and not live.

      • tc 17.1.1

        Yes aware of that but as few people watch it live IMO this will erode the value of coluseum when you can watch the big teams with an existing sky connection and the highlights show is on tv1

  18. amirite 18

    Key’s scaremongering:

    “Make no mistake, our opposition comes from the far left of politics. The Greens are leading Labour by the nose. It’s important that New Zealanders understand what a Green-dominated government would look like. They want to tax you more, rack up more debt and make you work two more years before you can retire. They want a government department to run the entire electricity system, just like it did in the old days when we had blackouts. They want to stop oil, gas and mineral exploration that would create jobs and growth. They blame foreigners for all the ills of the country when our future prosperity lies in being open and connected to the rest of the world.

    They even characterize businesses relocating jobs from Australia to New Zealand as ‘deeply worrying’. And they take petty, opportunistic political positions on national security in the face of the obvious need to clarify the GCSB law – a law they passed in the first place!

    Well, I can tell you that as Prime Minister, I take the role of our agencies and my responsibilities in terms of national security, very, very seriously. And I always will. For our part, the National Party has a track record of sensible economic management and policies that actually make a difference to peoples’ lives. We are guided by the enduring values and principles of the National Party.
    and more yadda yadda yadda in the same tone. *big fucking yawn*

    LolNats ‏@Lol_Nats 2m
    John Key said today his plan to help low income people into homes by giving wealthier people support to buy more expensive ones cant fail.

    • rod 18.1

      National Party confernces are, as usual and always will be, just bullshit for the masses.

    • Bill 18.2

      the National Party has a track record of (…) policies that actually make a difference to peoples’ lives

      Can’t really argue with that…

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1

        Nope, I can’t either. The question is if the differences were a net gain or loss and I’m betting on the latter.

    • karol 18.3

      “Make no mistake, our opposition comes from the far left of politics.

      Ah, the spin-meister. He’s so far out on a neoliberal, right wing, anti-democratic, govern for the corporates plutocracy – he thinks centre left is far left.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.4

      They want a government department to run the entire electricity system, just like it did in the old days when we had blackouts.

      The bit he fails to mention is that we had brown outs due to low rainfall and that this was corrected by building more dams – before the market model took over.

    • Sanctuary 18.5

      National’s election campaign is already pretty clear. They are going to use the “centre vs hard left” meme for all it’s worth to try and frighten the horses. but that fact that you, me and uncle Tom Cobley can see what they are going to do doesn’t mean the museum exhibits that inhabit the upper reaches of the parliamentary labour party caucus will twig onto it in time to come up with a clever counter plan.

      • Colonial Viper 18.5.1

        Well, the obvious counter plan is obvious: a good swerve to the right wing “middle” will prove that National is full of shit.

  19. millsy 19

    “They want to tax you more, rack up more debt ”

    To pay for things like schools, hospitals and state housing. I will defend state housing, schools and hospitals TO THE DEATH.

    “They want a government department to run the entire electricity system”

    And what. Government should own the power, otherwise people wont be able to afford to heat their homes.

    Key must go ASAP.

    • Skinny 19.1

      Yip given another term they will sell the lot. State (us) will own nothing. Private sector will be rubbing their hands with glee. Only way to stop them is getting people out to vote.

  20. Just collected another 60 signatures (within the Auckland Central electorate) for the following petition:

    “To National Party Member of Parliament for Auckland Central, Nikki Kaye :

    “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government.”

    We, the undersigned, call upon YOU, as an MP, to defend the lawful human rights of New Zealanders to privacy, freedom of association and freedom of expression – that is – to oppose arbitrary search and surveillance by the State over citizens.

    If YOU, as an MP, vote for this GCSB Bill, which will allow widespread spying on New Zealanders, we, the undersigned hereby PLEDGE to campaign against your re-election in 2014, and to encourage our families, neighbours and workmates to do the same.”

    45 signatures to go and that will make ONE THOUSAND (1000) people who have PLEDGED to vote against Nikki Kaye if she votes for the GCSB Bill.

    (Remember – Nikki Kaye has only a 717 vote majority in Auckland Central over Labour’s Jacinda Adern. )

    Not a bad effort for basically TWO people?

    Come on folks!

    Give those MPs who are currently supporting the GCSB the one message they CAN’T ignore!

    Signatures of angry voters PLEDGING to CAMPAIGN against them.

    (Politicians understand ONE thing – VOTES…….. 🙂

    Sample/ template petitions that can be used/ adapted/ whatever/ are available HERE!


    Particularly would LOVE to see 1500 signatures delivered to Peter Dunne on Monday 19 August 2013 for the following:


    To Independent MP for Ohariu Peter Dunne

    “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government.”

    We, the undersigned, call upon YOU, to defend the lawful human rights of New Zealanders to privacy, freedom of association and freedom of expression – that is – to oppose arbitrary search and surveillance by ‘BIG BROTHER’ State over citizens.

    We note your public objections to the recent violations of your lawful rights to privacy, and look forward to consistency in your support for New Zealanders equal lawful rights to privacy.

    If YOU, as an MP, vote for this GCSB Bill, which will allow widespread spying on New Zealanders, we, the undersigned hereby PLEDGE to campaign against your re-election in 2014, and to encourage our families, neighbours and workmates to do the same.



    It’s the masses who get off their asses that ‘make history’!

    And – it’s REALLY easy to get signatures for these petitions………

    Cheers 🙂

    Penny Bright

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Kids Can’t Use Computers…

    ‘So what do you teach?’ she asked as I worked on her presentation.
    ‘Computing’ I replied.
    ‘Oh… I guess these days you must find that the kids know more about computers than the teachers…’

    Normally when someone spouts this rubbish I just nod and smile. This time I simply couldn’t let it pass. ‘Not really, most kids can’t use computers.’

    I’ve found this to be true as well. His suggestion that kids fix the computer after they break them is similar to what I said in a seminar once that had people looking at me in horror. My suggestion to the person who had just said that he played games but couldn’t use a computer was to pull the PC apart and then put it back together. And then do it again and again.

    • karol 21.1

      There’s some unbelievable stories of computer incompetence at that link.

      Having taught a range of people young and old, in my time, I have found that, contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few young people who are not very savvy at using computers.

      Yet, still these days I come across people who automatically expect any young guy present to be better with computers than others.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        Ask lprent how he thinks the young versus the ahem, not so young, do on computer systems.

        Another thing to think about is how a lot of computer systems nowadays…eg Apple iOS and Android, have been designed to make computers into consumer appliances. Completely unlike the young nerds at school who used to edit batch files and autoexecs for DOS and under the hood of Windows 3.0…

        • RedLogix

          Cripes… my first programs were hand assembled hex code for Motorola 6809C’s.

          • Colonial Viper

            Wow. Hexadecimal. A 1MHz processor. Hot stuff. (For the non-technical, a budget basic smart phone today runs at 600MHz…)

            I once did a bit of work on an IBM AT (80286), nothing too serious.

    • RedLogix 21.2

      Agree totally. These days relatively few people can give a coherent explanation of how computers really work … from the quantum mechanical explanation of how semiconductors function, through to how electronic circuits, logic and programmable arrays are built up, through to the structures of CPU’s, memory devices, graphics and various I/O channels, firmware, BIOS, OS’s and finally to networking, and the application layers.

      When you step back and look at the entire intellectual and technical edifice it’s astonishing that it all works as well and as reliably as it does. Yet relatively few people have a decent grasp even of the broad picture, much less the specific details. (And I’m not claiming to be any kind of expert on any or all of it … just sufficiently educated and experienced to have dabbled with all the various bits of computing technology.)

      The idea that some 14yr old is inherently smarter or more capable than an experienced professional or technical expert is just a risible nonsense.

      The best comparison is how we used to laugh at our grandparents for whom the first telephones were an astonishing novelty … and how some of them never quite got past their tendency to speak very loudly and formally into the machine. It was easy to forget that they had lived in a time when communication was snailmail or telegrams at best.

      I grew up at a time when the modern cell phone could not have been built in anything less than a large room full of hardware and I still have respect for the achievement they represent… yet today’s kids treat them with utter nonchalance. It is easy however to mistake this almost contemptuous familiarity with expertise. Not the same thing at all.

      • karol 21.2.1

        It fascinates me how quickly people adapt to technological changes. My first experience of a phone when I was very young, was the party line in our home. I would get told off if I picked up the handset when people somewhere else were having a conversation. Our only other electrical communications at home was a little radio.

        TV, computers, mobile phones, etc, etc…. now all a very mundane part of my home & work world. I only have a very basic understanding of the way each of these technologies work. Though I have taken the lid off desk top pcs to do small mechanical maintenance – not really recommended with laptops.

        I have been reading recently about the development of the telegraph, and the laying of undersea cables. It was partly trial and error getting the undersea cables to work – the right components and layers in the cables, correct weights etc. And that made a big difference to life, even though it was quite expensive first off to use.

        It made a big difference for life in NZ – communicating throughout the country, and creating a sense of being part of the same nation – and much quicker information coming from overseas.

      • felix 21.2.2

        “It is easy however to mistake this almost contemptuous familiarity with expertise. Not the same thing at all.”

        Yes that sums it up well.

        It’s not just computers and phones either, people increasingly don’t know how anything works. Which both follows from and leads to not being able to make or fix anything.

      • Tim 21.2.3

        Can’t disagree with your post AT ALL and the various responses having had (past tense) 25 yrs plus in the trade.
        What amazes me is that I’m aware of a few people such as yourself (and even myself – now in the 50 plus age group) that are unemployed, or at least no longer employed in the IT sector. YET we constantly hear about various skill shortages. When one is registered with just about every agency in town, like various folk I know, the silence from those agencies is deafening.
        Thankfully I’ve been able to de-programme, de-hex, de-assemble and have a bloody good lay down.

        • RedLogix

          Ageism is absolutely rife in the industry. Last year I applied for a job for which I ticked every single box… at expert level. Zero response. Put in several unanswered calls and emails.

          Advert still live a fortnight later. So I put the same CV in with a different name but edited to look 20yrs younger. Got a mad keen phone call within hours.

          Told them exactly where to shove it.

          • Colonial Viper

            You tricky old bastard. In the very best way heh.

          • Tim

            Had very similar experience(s), AND told them to shove it too.
            Those agencies btw also have a habit of advertising non-existent, or already filled vacancies in order to get people ‘on their books’.
            The other thing I find amusing is all that noise about the number of jobs advertised, based on the number of job adverts. You delve into it a bit and there are half a dozen different agencies advertising the same job (not limited to IT of course) – all clamouring to clip the ticket.

          • Draco T Bastard


      • Sanctuary 21.2.4

        “…These days relatively few people can give a coherent explanation of how computers really work…”

        Really? the speed of light is constant. I thought everyone knew that!

    • just saying 21.3

      I’m like almost everyone in regard to these machines.
      One little thing though, why shouldn’t we leave the room, (or the house or the district,) while logged in somewhere? I do this all the time – the machine shuts down to power saving until I bring it back to life, often many hours later.
      Apart from wasting power, what’s the problem?

      • RedLogix 21.3.1

        It’s not a problem if there is no-one else who’s likely to use the machine in your absence.

        But in a school or work environment where accountability of use and confidentiality of information is important … then you really don’t want someone else simply using the machine under your own user account.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    Getting to the Bottom of Things

    And here is where the contemporary economics profession seems to be failing the most. The professional academic economist seems to take the tools of control and exploitation for granted. They are unquestionable facts of life that lie outside the economists’ proper field, at least as they now conceive that field. Economic education seems dedicated to the practice of status quo stabilization. The contemporary academic economist doesn’t seem particularly concerned with the various ways alternative ways an economy could be run; about the history of ways in which economic systems have been run; about how one such system evolves into another such system; or about the ways in which social mores, values and tastes evolve in conjunction with the evolution in economic systems. The economist seems to live in a fixed, abstract and peopleless landscape of the mind describing a fixed and providentially arranged world of interacting forces. For them, economics consists of a fundamentally good system running perpetually in natural equilibrium unless something very unusual, something perverse and weird and inexplicable, something called a “shock”, hits the system like an asteroid from outer space. When that happens, the economist is concerned above all to restore the system to its previous, psychologically comforting pattern of approved existence.

    Bold mine.

  23. halfcrown 23

    Are you out there Gower?
    Did not see you stuffing a microphone up the nose of Collins or Joyce at the National Party Circus every ten seconds repeatedly asking if they were planning a coup against Key like you did to Cunliffe at the Labour party conference. No badgering like you did to Cunliffe until you got the perceived answer you wanted. Why not , please tell us, were you shit scared that you would have been told to fuck off or, is it that your masters and controllers instructed you not to rock the cosy right wing dream world boat.

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