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Open mike 12/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 12th, 2011 - 62 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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62 comments on “Open mike 12/01/2011 ”

  1. luva 1

    There seems to be an unhealthy amount of hope in some quarters that the country is in recession.

    I am sure that this survey will dampen those hopes but please the majority of Kiwis.


    • ZeeBop 1.1

      Hope in change? Recession welcomed as a harbinger?

      Look without reference to reality, kiwis can hope that our gracious new landed gentry are able to stay afloat and invoke the great spectre of limited socialism (only the rich need apply).

      We live in a stupid time, when our young males look back to an age of oil in awe, revel in noisy hot rodding hooning.
      Truly when has a youth fad ever been so backward looking? The sounds of noisy fluttering cars a sign of a crazy end of cannibalistic capitalism, or the start of something much darker?

      • prism 1.1.1

        Sounds all Lord of the Flies ZeeBop.

      • M 1.1.2

        Hot rods – young men’s Viagra?

        I once read somewhere that the noisier the car and the more accessories it had generally pointed to the fact the young man in question was lucking out in the suitor stakes.

  2. jcuknz 2

    Yes luva, I have been wondering about the obsession on this blog at painting the situation downwards rather than positive or neutral comments to help the country out of the recession. On the other hand people here are simply writing to those of like mind rather than having any effect on the majority who are confident of recovery.

    • ZeeBop 2.1

      Talking confidently without any assessment of reality, in some hope that if we ignore reality it will get better.

      Fact is Queensland farming has come to a halt, food prices are rising, that takes money out of indebted homeowners already desperate to save their home from being defaulted on, so where’s the gloom coming from, why would people worry if the world came out of recession and demand of oil sent prices back to $140? Can’t imagine.

    • Wingnut theme of the day is if anyone says this Government is stuffing things up then they are being “negative” and want to see the country fail.

      Lets all hold hands and sing Kumbaya and dance and revell in the magnificence that is the leadership of John Key and just wait for nirvana which is just around the corner, it will be here soon, promise …

      • prism 2.2.1

        Reminds me of the reply I received when I was being proactive in some street appeal – ‘ff God didn’t want this to happen then he would act – so I don’t feel I
        should interfere’. So let’s sit back and let’s leave the God-like deities running the government to do their will and impose it on us – Our’s not to reason why, ours but to do or ?

        • just saying

          I think that’s do and die, Prism.

          But yes let’s be positive.


          The whole thing is well worth a read, but relevant here is criticism of the new cult of ‘positive psychology’, which has had a powerful influence internationally.

          “Other notable critics include authors Chris Hedges and Barbara Ehrenreich, both of who say the practice has thrived in the corporate world where the refusal to consider negative outcomes resulted in the current economic crisis.

          Hedges, author of the book “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” wrote, “positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness and provides the psychological tools for enforcing corporate conformity, is to the corporate state what eugenics was to the Nazis.”

          “Positive psychology is a quack science that throws a smoke screen over corporate domination, abuse and greed,” Hedges said. “Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction.”

          • Draco T Bastard

            “There was no option to avoid the questions, leaving our atheist soldiers to wonder if their beliefs are tolerated in today’s increasingly religious Army,” he said.

            Eeeep 🙁

            One of the things about The Handmaid’s Tale I found believable was the religious aspect where the US had turned into a theocracy.

            • M

              Draco, the US has always been a theocracy in one way or another from the time of the Pilgrims and many of the beliefs and norms, like Papal dogma, have calcified the whole society to the point where I think it will take a mighty revolution to change anything.

              The Handmaid’s Tale will come to pass in the US or something eerily close to it and any woman who has read it knows how important it is to fight against any assault on women’s rights. Atwood’s ‘Oryx and Crake’ is also very instructive about adhereing to the status quo.

              NACT’s happy, clappy optimistic bullshit and insistence that people toe the line or they’re not real NZers needs to be painted for what it is, propaganda.

              I feel an overwhelming need to go and get a T shirt saying National = Nihilism because they have shown they are amoral and regard for anyone not in their coterie as expendable.

          • prism

            justsaying – I put the question mark because I wasn’t sure what the outcomes of doing nothing, thinking little, questioning never and positing negative outcomes outlawed, would be. Die was a bit extreme, but one can die from a thousand cuts so it could be a suitable word for the outcome.

      • mcflock 2.2.2

        When John Key smiles and waves, today I will regard it as a warm summer breeze in a bright day. With a hint of lavender.

        No negative nelly, I! 🙂

        • prism

          But possibly someone has been slopping lavender disinfectant on him. It’s useful for controlling pathogenic organisms and masking bad odours.

          • M

            Really big lol – made my day 🙂

          • just saying


            I’ve got a bottle of lavendar disinfectant somewhere, like you say, excellent for masking bad odours – toilets, drains, rubbish bins…

            And the antispam word is ‘dirty’. But I reckon it’s the particular selection of words that makes coincidences like this more likely.

            • prism

              just saying – When you say that the selection of words might trigger the anti-spam one it makes me think of talking computers with minds of their own – did you watch Red Dwarf who had Holly and then some bald guy. They reminded us that computers are people too! A flight of fancy, or is it?

              • just saying

                I’m afraid I’m the ultimate sceptic on the anti-spam . I reckon the list of words from which the antispam word is generated, is loaded with words like ‘dirty’ or ‘anger’ or ‘likely’ …etc. that could be applicable to the content of a number of different kinds of discussions.

                Completely agree that computers are people with minds of their own, though! Have only ever seen bits of red dwarf on the interweb. Wish I’d been able to catch the series.

                The anti-spam this time is ‘winter’ and I was just saying to someone “it’s like winter today…”

                [lprent: I bet you find significance in chicken entails as well…]

    • lprent 2.3

      We usually get recoveries but I’m less certain that we will do so to the same degree as ‘usual’ this time globally. Quite simply we’re getting far too close to resource limits worldwide. You can see it happening every from food to fuel to some minerals. The basic world economy is going to have to go through an almighty transition over the next few decades. Those are never particularly easy.

      The local issue is to do with this government keeping people out of work or more correctly not moving people into work. If you talk to anyone who had to suffer the same idiotic neglect by National in the 1990’s especially with youth unemployment, you’ll find why this is such an issue. It causes a drag effect on the whole economy because a large group get caught in a subsistence trap without the resources to move or retrain. Similarly they don’t do anything to help with making investment capital available to get new businesses off the ground – again a feature of their 1990’s strategy. Both lead to prolonged recessions.

      Of course National is well known for being dumb enough to try any failing strategy more than once. But it is why we’ll find that the recession is likely to drag on for quite some time.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        We won’t get a recovery unless we address the serious inequality that presently pervades our society and make plans for the oncoming reduction in oil products availability.

        Of course National is well known for being dumb enough to try any failing strategy more than once.

        They’re conservatives – they always look to the failures of the past as solutions for the future.

        • prism

          Draco TB – That’s an A aphorism. Is it yours, or was it said by some past scholar? 😀

          They’re conservatives – they always look to the failures of the past as solutions for the future.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Pretty sure it’s mine. Can’t think of anyone else who’s described conservatives that way.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Recovery this time is going to be extremely slow, if at all. IMO not so much that we are running into resource constraints (although that is a factor). The main reason is that this recession is debt based. Even as asset values are wiped out the debt stays owing and does not change.

        And all the multiple international bailouts have done is move where the debt problems reside (from private bank debt to public government debt), and made it worse. Because Governments have to honour public debt, whereas private institutions could simply fold and that debt would disappear. (Leaving many wealthy investors worse off of course…can’t have that can we).

        As a comparison let me use the stockmarket crash of 1987 and also the tech crash of ~2000. Both were equity fueled crashes not debt fueled crashes. People had their portfolios wiped out sure, but after that point they didn’t have a $500K mortgage to work back up from. (Hmmm apart from the fools who leveraged to get into the market, of which there were a few, and they suffered the most). Within 3-4 years of those crashes things were humming along again quite OK because people were not burdened by huge debts – at those points.

        Debt based crashes are insidious. The creditors sit in the background draining the remaining financial life blood out of those whose asset values have already been destroyed.

        English and Key are stuffed if they are relying on a bounce back.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Because Governments have to honour public debt,

          Actually, they don’t. Several governments have defaulted before including the US.

          Debt based crashes are insidious. The creditors sit in the background draining the remaining financial life blood out of those whose asset values have already been destroyed.

          Exactly and the reason why I kept saying that the best thing the governments of the world could do when the economy collapsed yet again from the actions of the psychopathic capitalists was to forgive all debt.

          • Colonial Viper

            Interesting – when was the last time the US defaulted on a debt or treasury repayment. I’m thinking that it must have been pre-Civil War, and to the European bankers.

            Big creditor nations like China, Japan, Germany, the petrostates, would never allow debt moratoria like you are talking about.

            • Draco T Bastard

              According to my Econ History class (can’t remember the book) it was in the Great Depression and, yes, it was to the Europeans. Wasn’t a major default, just a couple of end of year payments that couldn’t be met due to the collapse of the markets.

              The point that everyone believes that countries cannot default is actually a major reason why I say that countries should never borrow at interest. If there’s no risk for the lender then interest should not be paid.

              • ZeeBop

                This is more like the long depression of the late 19th century.

                The great depression was a social mismatch of having huge energy surpluses and dependable ongoing supply.

                Now we have a problem of shrinking energy surpluses, and switch to higher priced energy.

                I suppose much like the Long depression when populations grew from health advances (sewage systems) yet the society energy increases weren’t keeping up.

                This time its more like the market will slowly kick out the higher energy practices that harm individuals and the economy. So individuals will cut back car use, switch to public transport, car sharing, car pooling. Similar business that use a lot of energy and produce product the market does not want to pay the premium for.

                We’ve been hit by a wave of speculation that ran up financial asset values off unrealized potential profits, and now the real assets are the gold standard, owning a home, having tradable skills, etc.

  3. Ron 3

    Maggie, Maggie….Maggie. I always thought you were a bit jolly hockey sticks but you’d think after all the research and interviews, you’d have a few clues. Apparently not.

    • prism 3.1

      Garden-fan Maggie obviously has to go for Botany – perhaps she couldn’t get a Labour nomination and had to settle for Nats. A mistake Maggie we thought your fine intellect would keep you away from these 19th century plunderers.

      • adriank 3.1.1

        I saw her on the news last night saying she thought after so long in the media she thought it was time to give something back to the community.

        Obviously she doesn’t really feel that way, or she wouldn’t have joined National!

        • prism

          Mixed-up Maggie! She hasn’t hit on the truth that it’s the opposite – the community gives back to the NACT politicians and their friends.

    • Anyone who listened to M.Barrie on the Naional Programme a way back would know that MB was a Tory through and through . She often gave a boost to the Nats and their friends. Unfortunatly its often later that one realises that once again the public radio/TV is full of Nats.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.3

      Spotted Baggy Mary (as she was known in our household in her RNZ days) on the cover of the xmas issue of the Womens Weekly when I was queueing in the supermarket last night. The strapline?

      New Love for Maggie Barry at 50!

      Surprisingly, it turns out it’s not Smile and Wave, but some lawyer.


  4. orange whip? 4

    Is it just me or has the standard recently been targeted by a new kind of U.S. propaganda?

    (Look what the Nat dragged in)

    • lprent 4.1

      Yep. The inevitable cost of writing posts about international affairs in a site that is getting increasing traffic. Same happened on my Marianne Ny post (from Europe) and on the posts that we do on international topics like climate change.

      I don’t really care provided people don’t violate the policies and I have to expend effort in moderating. It just provides some cross-cultural discussion… 😈

  5. joe bloggs 5

    speaking of propaganda…

    after the bile spouted by Eddie – http://thestandard.org.nz/tea-party-turns-violent/ – this comment from Glenn Reynolds in the Wall Street Journal provides a little timely balance:


    Take note of these comments:

    Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on “rhetoric” and a “climate of hate” to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.

    To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      No balance there – just denial which is what we can expect from RWNJs.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        The best balance for me are the articles noting that if Palin had been a Muslim and said/done what she has then she would be in prison by now…

        • joe bloggs

          No balance there Tiggs. Exactly the same argument can be levelled at Obama for his hate-speeches.

          His turnout pitch to the Latinos was inflamatory and aggressive:
          ‘Get out there and “punish our enemies”’

          Another pearl of wisdom from Obama:
          “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

          “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

          and another:
          “Punch back twice as hard.”

          and another:
          I want to know “whose ass to kick”

          “…I’m itching for a fight.”

          Same deal – if Obama were a Muslim and said or done what he has then he would be in Guantanamo Bay by now… and he had the hypocricy to label Bush as a Cowboy!

          You want to take your blinkers off now?

          • Tigger

            No, none of those comments targeted a specific person who has been shot…unlike Palin.

          • orange whip?

            1) That’s the same list of Obama quotes some American idiot posted here earlier. Where’d you find it?

            2) None of them are calls to arm yourself and overthrow the govt in a bloody revolution as far as I can see.

            3) What do you mean “IF” Obama were a Muslim?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      Instapundit is generally disappointing, and he hasn’t failed to be consistent here.

      a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie

      Shall we see what the experts have to say?


      “We know the manifestation of mental illness is affected by cultural factors,” Dr. Swartz said. “One’s cultural context does effect people’s thinking and particularly their delusions. It gives some content and shape to their delusions. While we don know whether there was a specific relationship between the political climate that he was exposed to and his thinking, it’s a reasonable line of inquiry to explore.”

      Asked whether Loughner’s mental illness invalidated questions as to whether his behavior might have been partly caused by the political climate or by violent rhetoric and imagery, Dr. Swartz said it shouldn’t.

      “Studying the cultural influences on people’s delusions or persecutory thinking, and looking at different aspects of culture and how they effect people’s behavior, is a legitmate area of inquiry,” Dr. Swartz said.

      In other words, even if the shooter is a complete nut, we should be asking whether the tone of our political discourse might also have played a role in triggering the shooting — and if so, whether such a thing could happen again.

    • prism 5.3

      “vicious lie’. This is a further example of the ‘shouting, over-hyped’ rhetoric being discussed and dismissed as irrelevant to the shooting. Just saying lie, or better fabrication would have been sufficient to adequately express the thought, but no it has to be a white-hot comment ‘vicious lie’ said by the sort of people who call those with differing views ‘fucking morons’. Which happens on this blog from time to time. Cool it and think. Deep breaths and count to ten!

      captcha – saying (not shouting)

    • QoT 5.4

      Or, here’s a totally radical concept, using explicit violent language in political “discourse” could just always be fucking offensive. Especially under present circumstances. Especially when the employers of said language themselves identified it as problematic by trying to scrub all trace of it from the internet once someone actually got shot.

  6. logie97 6

    It was interesting to read the RWNJ’s yesterday on “The widening Gap”, defending the wealthy. Of course the wealthy don’t spend their time on blogs – it’s the cloth caps that do their bidding for them.

    So who were the heroes in the devastation that beset Canterbury last year?
    Politically Key and Parker were the winners. But the heroes were the ones who had to be called upon to repair the basics and not the least of whom were the sewer workers. And I bet they are not in the $70,000 plus bracket. They know their station in life.

    • logie97 6.1

      Hey burt / higherstandard / joebloggs et al

      I see our Prime Minister has offered to send a team of firemen and others to assist in Queensland. Quite right too – we should be in there boots and all.

      How many of the Business Round Table will be going? – nah they haven’t got the skills.

      But when all the assistance is finished and life has returned to some normality the firemen will eventually go cap in hand to their masters for a cost of living payrise. And John Key will tell them through his ministers, that there ain’t no money. Strange thing that. One of life’s mysteries.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    The Big Wet

    Science’s only defence; the only thing which gives it any importance or makes it any use at all, is that it works. When properly applied, it predicts actual events. The Queensland floods, as well as other such events, are happening as predicted, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant, or having you on, or both.

    As the climate changes so the weather changes. Individual events aren’t being predicted but the overall changes are and those changes are happening.

  8. We are going to be inudated with this coming Royal,Wedding/ .Already ,according o the Herald the Key Government is uncertain what wedding present we (sic) should send this priviledged couple.
    Hell bell’s ! they have everything how about sending some help to places like Hiati . If the Royalist Key is keen on sending presents he should consider sending a donkey (no pun intended) through the Corso fund.
    I cannot understand the hero worship of this priviledged rich couple ,what is it with these Royal worshipers.It’s even worse in the UK .This extravaganza is going to cost millions of pounds ,at a time when the UK is suffering a depression , millions out of work and benifits cut yet these same people will stand for hours to “glimse the happy couple.
    Any one able to explain it?

    • Bill Browne 8.1

      this is suitably awful, and suitably cheap:


      …and it’s blue, just like a real one.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Hero worship is, from what I can make out, totally irrational – especially when the people being worshipped aren’t actually heroes or anything spectacular. Probably why you see so much of it from the RWNJs.

      As for a suitable gift from NZ: I think a plain note telling them that we’ve dropped the monarchy and become a republic would probably thrill them to bits.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Thoughts with the Queenslanders hopefully there’s no more loss of life – I thought NZ had a hard time of it last year but to have disastrous floods like this to start the year really is terrible.

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      Me too, HS. I’m particularly hoping no Aussie climate change deniers are swept away, if only to avoid ‘drowning in irony’ jokes.

      • Anne 9.1.1

        Parliamentary question for John Boscawen.

        To the Minister for Climate Change Denial.
        Question: What does the minister attribute the Queensland floods to?
        Minister for CCD: Blah, blah, blah, mumble, mumble, mumble.

        Question: Will he acknowledge that the frequency of these extreme weather events are increasing globally?
        Minister for CCD : Blah, blah, blah, mumble, mumble, mumble.

        Question: If not, why not?
        Minister for CCD: blah, blah…..

    • higherstandard 9.2

      I thought with the likely increase in deaths, people could refrain from politicking for a few days.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        So ‘hs’ doesn’t care about the inevitable increase in deaths worldwide caused by Climate Change, and the lack of a global effort to radically reduce our Greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions?

        A situation which to a large extent has been caused by people like John Boscawen.

      • The Voice of Reason 9.2.2

        The likely increase in deaths is something we’ll need to get used to, HS, because this sort of thing is going to be the norm from here on in. It really made me laugh a couple of weeks ago to hear the British Government threatening to fine airports who can’t keep runways ice free in the future. No thought to why it’s happening, just a knee jerk reaction to the temporary inconvenience caused to the passengers.

        The Queensland floods, the drowning of New Orleans, the death of glaciers, the weird fluctuations in temperatures worldwide. All connected and I’ll be buggered if I’m going to trivialise the deaths in Toowoomba, Ipswich and Brisbane by not talking about why they died.

        • Colonial Viper

          The likely increase in deaths is something we’ll need to get used to, HS

          Not if we start working on building societal infrastructure which is robust, and communities with strong interconnected roots.

          Instead of fragile cheap as possible infrastructure, and communities full of self serving individuals.

          Mankind cannot control the course of extreme natural events, but we can build a society and systems with maximum resilience against them.

    • BLiP 9.3

      I’ve always said the only geographical fault with Australia is that its above sea level.

      Nah. Not really. I’ve got some whanau over there but, all safe, thank goodness. All the best to the Ockers – Oi Oi Oi.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    Busting the Myths of CGT

    Good piece in the NZ Herald. LAB are you paying attention?


    • M 10.1

      CV, Muzza 123’s comment re lack of CGT was briliant:

      ‘If it was in a developing country, it would be called a form of corruption. It should be called the same here.’

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