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Open mike 12/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 12th, 2011 - 51 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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Step right up to the mike…

51 comments on “Open mike 12/02/2011”

  1. johm 1

    2 articles on our current human predicament which is crisis! though locally in many areas of the world People are doing OK and are prosperous.

    1…”Food Bubble Collapse Threatens Survival Of Human Civilization”
    Prepare for mass global starvation
    The carrying capacity of planet Earth has reached its apex
    Humans are really good at making babies and eating food, but they’re terrible at thinking even ten years ahead about the implications of their present-day decisions. That’s why the global population control masterminds call people “feeders and breeders,” by the way. Those are the two things human beings do extremely well: Fornicate and clean their plate. (Not necessarily in that order, though…)


    2…”Can The Earth Survive “Overshoot-And-Collapse”?”
    Ecologists are saying that the Earth is in an “overshoot-and-collapse” mode. Our forests are shrinking, our soil is eroding, and our water tables are falling. In addition, throughout the world the number of heat waves that can decimate crops is increasing, fisheries are collapsing, deserts are expanding, range lands are deteriorating, and coral reefs are dying.

    Our glaciers are melting, which is causing our seas to rise. Consequently more powerful storms are arising and species are disappearing
    What Is “Overshoot-And-Collapse”?

    A well known example of “overshoot-and-collapse” began in 1944. At that time 29 reindeer were introduced to a remote island in the Bering Sea. Nineteen men were stationed on St. Matthew Island at that time.


    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      From the second link:

      However, there still is hope. For example, since 1970 a small scale dairy producer relying almost exclusively on crop residue as a source of feed has multiplied its production more than four times. India has recently overtaken the US as the world’s leading producer of milk.

      And in China a sophisticated ecologically sound crop polyculture has made that country the first in the world whose fish farm output has exceeded its oceanic catch.

      Oh dear. More food to help feed the starving millions that will breed requiring more food. Basically, an article that warns about resources depletion that, at the end, gives every impression of encouraging more resource depletion.

      • prism 1.1.1

        The last time I referred to keeping family sizes down being a good thing I got a look of surprise as a result. Even though everyone must have read and heard that the world population is expanding too fast. Though most of us have had education and can read and have constant flows of information, we don’t use our skills to think through to the cause of events. Our problem solving and analysing abilities are not honed at school or home.

        World population growth figures seem unrelated to our everyday life. We want to have lots of babies so that’s our choice. We come from a family of ten but we ourselves choose just six children etc. Making small changes in our behaviour to help ourselves and act responsibly in the world seems hard to contemplate and even not encouraged (as when recently I suggested women should limit their drinking to decrease their vulnerability to avoid assaults and rape). It seems that thinking ahead to be wise is too hard, and when things go wrong one’s role is to be the victim. That may well be our future scenario.

        • ianmac

          Catholic Church = no to contraception = contributes to overpopulation.

          • prism

            Yes there is always that golden glow of sacred righteousness purveyed about their edicts by the cohorts of religions. And the use of reason, itself a gift from God, resulting in future-thinking responsible actions, is not allowed officially.

            Then there is the helpless approach – we can’t do anything and must just pray for God to help us, or there is the particular religion’s interpretation of its sacred books or edicts that prevent sensible individual action, and then there is the Great Vision of God approach where God will make manifest his Will by acting or not as is His Plan so we must wait for his decision.

          • Treetop

            Over population really concerns me where children are involved as they are the first to be exploited, (sexually, sweat shops, combat and disease). If contraception is unavailable it is likely that there is a shortage of food as well in the home.

            There now needs to be a global economic decision made to reduce the population and to produce sustainable amounts of food which is of affordable quality.

            Poverty will affect us all environmentally in the long run.

            • Rosy

              “World population growth figures seem unrelated to our everyday life”
              They are very much related to everyday life – lives of poverty, poor health and insecurity. There is a reasonable amount of evidence that improving health (wealth) and opportunity decrease population growth. An example of this research is…
              Traditionally, economists have treated health like any other consumer good and assumed that the
              direction of causality was from income to health. We now have good reasons, and strong evidence, for
              believing that health improvements also stimulate economic development. These two views are, of
              course, compatible. The development process is inherently dynamic – with health improvements
              promoting economic growth, which in turn promotes better health. This “virtuous spiral” can transform
              an impoverished, disease-prone country into one that offers its people a much higher quality of life.
              Compelling examples of such a transformation can be found in East Asia and Ireland, and in the
              economic history of several wealthy industrial countries (Steckel and Floud 1997).

              As rising incomes cause fertility to decline there are consequent benefits for the health of mothers and children, via longer breastfeeding, less stress on women’s reproductive systems, more opportunities for them to work outside the home, and increased resources for each child’s upbringing. In turn, declines in
              fertility promote economic growth by allowing more of society’s resources to be devoted to urgently
              needed investments in physical capital, infrastructure, and educational quality.”

              Click to access DBloomCanning.pdf

              I remember alot of this sort of research when I was taking a couple of demography papers a while ago. Basically if you want to reduce population growth the path is education and opportunity for women, improved health and security of income for periods of ill-health and in old age. It’s not so much personal responsibillity as economic and societal ethics on the scale of nations and international well-being.

          • Vicky32

            Nonsense… It’s a very small contributor to overpopulation…
            I get rather worried that people who call for a drop in population usually target their imprecations to poor Third World people – even poor people in developed countries!
            As New Scientist pointed out at least 5 years back, population growth in developed countries (mostly those in Europe) has dropped precipitously. I found it quite hypocritical of them that they were very worried about this fact…

            • Colonial Viper

              Interesting how the masters of globalisation and the proponents of unhindered flows of capital and goods between borders are so much less keen on freedom of movement of world citizens across different countrys’ borders.

              Now why would that be?

        • Treetop

          Prisim are you saying that woman should think ahead to avoid being raped? The woman who were at the sevens rugby were not up some dark alley at 1 am trying to get the attention of a man.

          I posted this question on Open Mike 7/2/2011 Is it wise for a male to hit on a drunk woman for sex? Well if you want to be a stupid bastard and take advantage of an intoxicated person who may be unable to consent to sex with clarity you may be charged with rape.

          • prism

            Here we go again. Prisim are you saying that woman should think ahead to avoid being raped? Yes I do think that women should think ahead to try and avoid being raped. Sometimes it won’t help but it should reduce the risk. You posted questions earlier which I didn’t reply to because it seemed a waste of time to discuss the problem with someone rigidly indoctrinated in sexual political theory. That still is how I feel.

            I am looking at the matter from a practical point of view, not theoretical. When rape happens it is no comfort to a woman to know she is the innocent victim you twit. Arguments about it, go to Court, they don’t undo the damage. What I have suggested is that women look out for themselves, just like everybody has to do as they move in society, both men and women. But women tend to be more vulnerable, smaller etc.

            • Treetop

              Prism woman do think ahead to avoid being raped and they do look out for themselves. You seem to be hung up on, that limiting alcohol will significantly keep woman safer. If there is a rapist out there hell bent on violating, they will do it. They can be from all walks of life and be age 10 – 90.

              I prefer to concentrate on the perpetrator to AVOID there being a victim. What is no comfort to a woman is when they are not taken seriously with reporting being raped and how ACC can turn their back on their injury/injuries inparticular prior to 1974.

              • Colonial Viper

                Prism some young women do think ahead to avoid being raped and look out for themselves.

                Slight clarification for accuracy.

                Solely from my own observations when out and about in town tonight.

                • Jum

                  Women better start looking out for themselves. Dom Post 9/2 “failure to protect a child from abuse will finally become illegal this year”.

                  Any woman under the control of her partner/spouse, no matter how powerless or terrified or battered she may be, will be held just as responsible if a child is abused.

                  Any woman under religious convention, no matter that she has no decision making control in the family unit will be blamed if a child is abused.

                  Until women have pay equity and are paid heed to when they seek help, no agency has the right to lay equal blame on a woman for not being able to protect a child with the societal and legal conditions they live under at present. By telling women they are not as good as men, through these unfair and repressive controls lays the groundwork for the abuses. Why listen to a solo Mum when all society are calling her the failure, yet the missing Dad may be the loser. Solos are set up to fail.

                  This is as bad as the judges reported as saying women wearing tight jeans can’t be raped. Always women will be blamed, yet the people who perpetrate the abuse deliberately seek out the women they know can be manipulated and controlled, whereas stronger women would not accept such behaviours.

                  When are women going to understand they must be independent in thought and demand equity in pay. When are all women going to realise that in order to create an equal society they must support the women who don’t have self worth to succeed. But instead so many of them choose to judge.

                • Rosy

                  Have you ever seen a man top up a girl’s pre-mix with a shot of vodka in a bar? I have. More than once.

              • prism

                Gosh Treetop, this rape matter needs to be faced on all fronts. There will always be perpetrators out there. If minds could be read, it would be shocking to understand the predatory, denigrating thoughts that SOME males have about females. We know that rape increases as society breaks down, see the camps in Haiti now, or when there is armed conflict, or concerted attacks in conflicts from men from one side who inflict indirect damage on men of the other side through raping their women. It’s just a horrible way of behaving that we haven’t got rid of as we try to advance to a highly educated, society with better standards.

                By all means concentrate on the perpetrator, and on ensuring respect and proper response from the organisations of society, police and ACC etc. but it isn’t effective to just concentrate on these matters and pour scorn on anyone who suggests women be aware of their environment, limit their drug taking, including alcohol, and keep match fit for living safely in interesting times.

                • McFlock


                  Now it’s not just “situational awareness”, women have to be “match fit” 100% of the time.

                  “Respect and proper response” does not include saying, even if only by implication “it’s your fault because you weren’t a teetotal athlete trained to a high degree in unarmed combat.”

                  Some people choose to be ascetic kung fu monks. Cool. But Not everybody should be blamed for not following that ideal, nor should every woman have to follow that ideal just because she’s female.

                  • Vicky32

                    He didn’t say 100% of the time! I don’t know why he’s being jumped on with all four feet, for saying what’s only common sense…
                    I have never been raped, or even attacked – and I have not been molested at all since I was 17 years old, and incredibly naive – yes, I was a teenage runaway, and I tell you, there are guardian angels, because I acted so stupidly, putting myself in the way of people with bad intentions.
                    But since then, the only thing I allow to distract me when I am walking or busing at night, is my music player.
                    Being ‘match fit’ doesn’t need to mean being a teetotal athlete! (I am teetotal, but I weigh 45 kg, and have a BMI of 18).
                    Nowt wrong with situational awareness, I am an advocate of it as well.

                    • McFlock

                      1: nobody has any idea of when someone will try do them harm. It can happen at any time.
                      2: apparently women need to take some responsibility if they are attacked and not alert to the threat, sober, and “match ready”.
                      3: therefore, in the absence of any declared unilateral ceasefire by rapists and robbers, if women wish to not be partially blamed for failing to defend themselves they must be alert and “match ready” to face an attack 100% of the time.

                      Shoot, I worked security and community safety for years. Still fill in every so often, mostly just for fun and activity. I’m a great fan of situational awareness, improvised self defence, preplanning, all that good stuff. But tactical does not usually apply to strategic, and vice versa. It is idiotic to say that the rate of sexual assault will decrease if all women became paranoid shut-ins. The bad guys will just know where they are.

                      My perspective here is a response to the original line on 7/2 that went along the lines of “oh women get so drunk, no wonder they are raped”. That attitude helps nobody and the only practical outcome is an increase in the shame and self-recrimination experienced by the survivor, which lowers the reporting rate, which hinders any assessment of the crime situation people might make. A problem solution based on a substandard assessment is, at best, guesswork.

                      Self defence classes and responsible drinking habits are good for everyone. Sometimes they get in the way of quality of life, but they’re the ideal to reach for. But their absence does not cause crime to be inflicted upon you. That’s what the criminal does. And frankly, I’m somewhat reluctant to agree that even gross intoxication assists criminals – drunks can cause noise and swing a punch often better than when they’re sober. But then my anecdotal guesswork doesn’t beat anyone else’s. It would be nice if those so concerned with the safety of our young people joined community patrols and actually kept up with the international policing/criminology literature and cited something more than “I heard a radio broadcast once which said…”.

                • Treetop

                  The influence that alcohol plays in being a perpetrator or a victim of rape/sexual assault is a serious issue.

                  Table 1 in the link below hits the nail on the head that under the influence of alcohol there are vulnerabilities compared to not being under the influence of alcohol. However not being under the influence of alcohol does not guarantee not being sexually preyed apon. Woman are entitled to drink, irrespective of how devious some men are as they will target the most intoxicated woman.


                  Even the advertising at the sevens rugby influences drinking.

                • Treetop

                  The alcohol front is a good place to start in understanding the influence alcohol has over a perpetrators behaviour and being a victim of sexual assault/rape. Intoxication is not an excuse for the perpetrators behaviour, regardless of who is intoxicated.

                  The underbelly of the influence alcohol has is that there are devious men out there who will prey on the most intoxicated woman. Woman need to be cautious about not encountering such a man and this entails drinking in a safe invironment. Men have got to say no to a woman if they are being sexually pressured.

                  Sorry about stereo typing but regardless of sexual orientation everyone has a right to not be sexually preyed apon.

                  Men have got to step up to the plate and take responsibility for their sexual urges when under the influence of alcohol and their attitude to woman when under the influence of alcohol.

                  Table 1 in the link shows a correlation between the consumption of alcohol and sexual assault.


                • Treetop

                  Being under the influence of alcohol is related to the occurrence of sexual assault and rape. This reality cannot be ignored.

                  Table 1

                  Alcohol use is NO excuse for the perpetrators behaviour.

                  Men have got to step up to the plate regarding being devious and taking advantage of intoxicated woman and their overall attitude to woman as most perpetrators are male.

                  Sorry about stereo typing, regardless of sexual orientation everyone has the right to not be sexually preyed apon.

                • Treetop

                  Alcohol and sexual assault is a serious matter regardless of sexual orientation/gender/age.

                  I tried earlier on to post a link but it keeps cancelling my reply.

                  Google Alcohol and Sexual Assault, the article is by A Abbey – 2001. The main titles below are in capitals:
                  Relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assault
                  Alcohols contribution to sexual assault

                  Table 1 just viewed on its own shows the ugly underbelly to the correlation between alcohol and sexual assault.

                  Cautioning or reminding woman of how decepive a man can be regarding taking advantage of an intoxicated woman is realistic, providing that she is not ever judged on being intoxicated when the crime of sexual assault or rape has happened to her.

                  • McFlock

                    At last a link! 🙂

                    The one in particular (or at least the 2005 edition) that gave me a lot of reading back in the day was the US DoJ “The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) Study” 2007. USDoJ also did some handy community safety packs – ISTR under the brand “COPS”(?) but that might be another area.

                    There’s a lot of data on alcohol and sexual assault, but it seems to me that the key exposure is to drunk males (who minimise and transfer their responsibility for their actions), rather than alcohol itself. Additionally, alcohol might be self-medication for higher risk factors like a previous experience of being sexually assaulted (definite) or simply meeting more people in an active social life (and drinking is simply concomitant with that in general society) – but this greater exposure is masked by our assumption that women who drink are “putting themselves at risk”. But then there’s no real data I’ve found that separates or controls for amount and quantity of alcohol consumed by victim and perpetrator.

                    I quote your link (section:suggestions for further research):

                    Third, most sexual assault researchers are not well versed in the alcohol literature; accordingly, their measurements of alcohol consumption are often inadequate. For example, study participants often are asked only the simple dichotomous question, “Did you drink alcohol?” To better assess perpetrators’ and victims’ level of intoxication and the resulting impairment, investigators must ask additional questions about the number of drinks consumed, the time period in which they were consumed, the person’s normal drinking level and drinking pace, and the degree of subjective intoxication.

                  • Treetop

                    Talk about looking and feeling stupid. When I posted at 1.51 pm, 2.53 pm and 3. 18 pm the post did not show. So I finally posted at 4. 50 pm and left the link out as I thought because the link was a html link that it kept cancelling.

                    I hope to not repeat multiple posts in future.

                    Is anyone able to tell me why my posts appeared some time after 6 pm?

        • Jum

          Women not putting themselves into situations which endanger them; yes good advice. However, where is that utopia, Prism?

          Secondly, I have seen no debate from any males on any site telling one another to send hate vibes to any other male who tells rape jokes, denigrates females or fantasises about them – like Key, the supposed leader of New Zealand males, who is at present setting up a deliberate backlash against women. He appears to follow the thinking of an international conservative group that wishes to have complete control over women and girls, some of those chapters using violence if necessary as was always used in the past and now, still, in many relationships. Also, maintaining the illusion through bad pay policies and court treatments of rape victims completes the nasty little picture of where this country places its women and girls, not to mention forcing men and boys into the old role-play nonsense whether they want that future or not. Still, I guess if you get physical, emotional, financial and legal control over half the population, maybe you get some ‘I am a real man’ vibes. Who knows? I know ask Key the biggest misogynist of them all. Misogyny – a hatred of the power of women.

          • prism

            Jum it is obvious you care deeply about this. Keep up the push for women’s freedoms and rights including not being assaulted. Marches of women with slogans – taking back the night etc underline the problem. It certainly is a long haul and improvement is slow.

            What do the stats show about the role of prolonged alcohol intake for women mixing with intoxicated men after midnight etc? I think that more males get attacked near bars in early morning hours. The creeps are out then, the primitives who have low standards and little self-control.

            • Jum

              I have a suspicion of stats; what I normally take from these copy cat behaviours by women is that men are seen to be the favoured ones and if women just act like men, they’ll be accepted and treated equally. Unfortunately, they choose the most dangerous paths to prove that.

              Society doesn’t like women drunks; society doesn’t like women having freedom; society doesn’t like the future mothers of the country’s children having the right to choose and no stone will be left unturned in preventing women’s fight to be equal.

              When the most vitriol is expended e.g. by the wife of a rugby?player who informed us through the Herald a couple of years ago that her husband’s anal rape of a female drunk in a bar back room was just trivial, it gives you some idea of how totally fxxked so many women are in this country.

              Of course, they are already equal. It is the policies and the societal witchhunting even today that seeks to prevent them believing that. If women don’t believe they are equal to men then they can be controlled.

              The stats won’t show that Prism. And yes, young men get attacked too. I have a familial interest in both sexes living in a safe environment. What worries me is that females will get pushed into believing that if men protect them they’ll be okay, but they give away their independence. Young men may be forced to role-play the rugby boy crap in order to be safe from male attack on them also.

              And what is Key doing about this; he’s actively encouraging that thinking.

              If women really believed in themselves they would be actively supporting one another to be safe and, just as importantly, they would be supporting the men that treat them as people.

            • McFlock

              “What do the stats show about the role of prolonged alcohol intake for women mixing with intoxicated men after midnight etc? “

              Sweet fuck all. Unless you have a source.

              And I’m heading towards the impression that now you’re saying that, for their own safety, women should go home early and keep away from men, otherwise they’re partially to blame.

              • Colonial Viper

                Thu/Fri/Sat night stats from the ED of any major hospital will probably tell the story of how many people were hurt, when, where, if alcohol was involved etc.

                Don’t know if it is easily accessible but every DHB will keep this data.

                • mcflock

                  Short answer “no”, long answer “yes but useless”.

                  There wouldn’t be an indication of severity or BAC or suchlike outside of individual patient notes (note touchable), just a flag. The only data folk for a national study (i.e. decent sample size) would get is the anonymised national minimum dataset, admissions table. This will give you a basic coded diagnosis that might include an alcohol diagnoses (eg if the first 3 chars are “F10” or “T51” in ICD-10-AM 6th ed). The subclassifications aren’t hierarchical (ie F100 isn’t “slightly happy” and F107 isn’t “completely pissed” – it’s based on different conditions within the class, like dependence or withdrawal or intoxication). And it’s only the victim flag, not victim + offender. You’d also need to filter by cause to create an assault flag.

                  Basically, it wouldn’t tell you anything new. High population-level consumption of alcohol is associated with high interpersonal violence and accidental injury rates.

                  The attitudinal question is whether one can say that “Person X was drunk / silly / aged 18-24, therefore must shoulder some of the responsibility for the fact that person Y chose to rape them”. I say no, person Y is 100% at fault, if person X is vulnerable then person Y has an obligation to protect, not an excuse to offend. Others seem to disagree.

                  • Jum


                    “mcflock …
                    14 February 2011 at 2:19 pm

                    The attitudinal question is whether one can say that “Person X was drunk silly aged 18-24, therefore must shoulder some of the responsibility for the fact that person Y chose to rape them”. I say no, person Y is 100% at fault, if person X is vulnerable then person Y has an obligation to protect, not an excuse to offend…”

                    I totally agree. How dare these perpetrators continue to blame the person who is raped. It’s wrong to assume that men are naturally protective towards women; they so easily forget the humanity of their mothers, their sisters, their daughters, their grandmothers. There is no safe place for women and girls and boys in reality.

                    Women must demand a government that brings in pay equity with enforcement and ensures domestic violence perpetrators are punished for creating an ongoing family inequity and dysfunction. Otherwise, government is perceived by the attacker to be condoning women being treated as secondary and therefore of no account in relation to what men want.

                    This JKeyll and Co government is a complete failure in that it actively encourages men to view women as being less than them.

                    Pay equity and respect doesn’t stop women being feminine and men being real men. Is male control over females so much more enjoyable for men than both male and female being happy working together?

                    I don’t get why making women miserable and fearful of attack is so exciting for many men. More importantly, why aren’t real men denigrating the weaker men who actively hurt women?

  2. moved Egypt comments to new post

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Currency Traders attack Greece with Billion Dollar Bets

    Yeah that’s right, John Key’s nice mates, who cares if you end up tipping an entire country and its people into insolvency and poverty. At least you make your quarter bonus targets get to put a down payment on that V8 bi-turbo Beemer you’ve had your eye on.

    Another reminder of what capitalism is all about.

    Different decade, different currency, same old story. A country struggling with severe economic problems and high levels of borrowing has been targeted by financial speculators. For Britain in 1976, read Greece in 2010. Traders and hedge funds, according to reports, have placed an $8bn (£5bn) bet that the problems of the eurozone’s weakest link will result in a fall in the value of the single currency.

    Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist, told the Guardian today that the only way to deal with the speculators was to meet fire with fire. He says Europe should do what Hong Kong did when first its currency and then its stock market were targeted in the Asian crisis of 1997-98, when it “burnt” the speculators by massively buying stocks. “The markets are not looking for what’s good for the long-term viability of the euro. They are looking at what’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.”


  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Classic John Cole post:


    I Don’t Have What It Takes To Be a Dictator

    by John Cole

    I’m watching the CNN coverage of millions of people demanding that Mubarak step down, and I keep coming back to “Why does he want to remain in power?” He’s fabulously rich, he could easily make a deal with some country to move there with all his wealth and live out the end of his days, why not do it?

    I just don’t get it. He’s 82. I know for a fact that if I were 82, the last thing I would want to do is put up with the bullshit of a country of 80 million people. Hell, I’m less than half his age, and I don’t want to be on town council because I don’t want to deal with my neighbor’s complaints. Not to mention, it is all I can do to keep myself and two dogs and a cat alive and my appliances running. And by any objective standard, I’m doing a shitty job at that- my cat, one of my dogs, and I are all fat, and in the past year I almost killed myself carrying one of the dogs on ice and then almost brained myself on a toilet while mopping naked. Put up with crap from 80 million people who hate me? To hell with that, I’ve got my hands full dealing with my own problems.

    On a side note, Rosie and I go to the vets at 3, and her eye looks worse this morning. I cleaned it as much as she would let me, and while doing so realized what a horrible person I am. Instead of showing the slightest bit of empathy, all I could think about was “It is going to be a total pain in the ass giving her eye drops for the next week.” I’m such scum.

    Also, looking at her with one of her eyes partially closed, I immediately said to myself- “One eyed Jacks are wild!” I’m going to hell.

    Awesome. That is all.

    What foreign blogs do other folks find to be a guaranteed fun read?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I really thought that if Mubarak had any sense he would have ceded his position to his son 5-10 years ago in an orderly transition. Mubarak himself could have led a few unpopular crack downs leading up to that point, and his son could have come in with some popular measures, reversed those crack downs, and be all set up for another 25 years of Mubarak Jr rule.

      Perhaps his son didn’t have the ability – or Mubarak Sr didn’t trust him.

  5. joe90 5


    Sarah Palin won’t show up at CPAC this year.

    But the fake Sarah Palin did.

  6. millsy 6

    Found information on pre 1991 benefit rates on the Web today.

    The DPB rate for a parent with 1 child was 162.26. Put through the Reserve Banks inflation calculator, that means that 292.31 today, this is all approximate though.

    Im not too sure about the rates of things like Family Benefit, and award rates, etc though

    • IT would be interesting to trace this. The legend is that Treasury approached Richardson in 1991 and said “this is the amount required for a beneficiary to have a basic diet and provide for all of their basic needs. She and/or treasury then decided that they should only fund 80% of the basic diet so that there was an “incentive” to get off the dole.

      I have seen this commented on a number of times but would love to see the actual source.

      • millsy 6.1.1

        Its all in the Alister Barry doco — just a click away.. to the right (no pun intended)

        If anyone can dig out the rate of the Family Benefit, and the award wage levels for the hospitality sector in 1989-90, it would be really appreciated.

        Everyone keeps going on about what Paula Bennett got when she was on the DPB, but the answer is out there if you do some digging.

  7. Graeme Taylor 7

    I would hate to think that National will take my partners DBP?

  8. prism 8

    The Liggins Institute has been researching the effects of excessive sweetening
    in the diet being caused by too much fructose. The sources mentioned were honey and fruit, ones that it would be unlikely that people would overuse. I didn’t hear any mention of corn syrup as a major source in any of the news items yet I would bet that this sweetener in processed foods is a major source to be concerned about. Can our health services look closely at the products of corporate food manufacturers?

    One derivative of corn syrup is high fructose corn syrup, which is as sweet as sugar and is often used in soft drinks.

    • Rosy 8.1

      A good read about high fructose corn syrup is in ‘the omnivore’s dilemma’ by Michael Pollan. There a whole chapter covering the politics of corn and the search for additional uses for the oversupply resulting from subsidies. It ultimately created high fructose corn syrup used widely in U.S. food manufacturing

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Michael Laws – Disabled Athletes Not Real Sportspeople

    He is just a charmer. So can anyone tell me which segment of NZ society he actually appeals to? And can we, I don’t know, encourage them to move to Australia?

    Laws said it was “crazy” that paralympians were eligible for Halberg Awards. “If you have had your legs chopped off, you shouldn’t be in there at all,” he said during his RadioLive talkback show on Friday.

    • Jum 9.1

      It was Laws on his sideshowbob talkback just before the 2008 election saying all Labour supporters smelt bad. This is what NAct believes. They hate people who work for a living. JKeyll really does believe there is and should be an ‘underclass’. And the fact that JKeyll and Laws are still in a job in front of the public says such a lot about the public that listens to them.

      Of course they’d be nodding their heads about people with no legs being shut away under the stairs and not affronting them. That’s a given.

      One more reason to ensure the failed Nat mp Laws, his National/Act supporters and this government are trumped at the finish line this November by removing them from any more destruction of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

  10. Vicky32 10

    “It is idiotic to say that the rate of sexual assault will decrease if all women became paranoid shut-ins. The bad guys will just know where they are.”
    To the best of my knowledge, no one is, or ever has suggested women should become “paranoid shut ins”… You’re doing wossname, I can’t remember the term – ah, ‘reductio ad adsurbum’, I think.

    “Self defence classes and responsible drinking habits are good for everyone. Sometimes they get in the way of quality of life, ”
    Excuse me, but WTF? You seem to be equating quality of life with drinking to excess! That makes no sense, in fact, it makes negative sense. IMO, and I think in the opinion of most people over 35, quality of life goes down with each instance of getting bladdered. Grown ups don’t need to get trolleyed in order to live a good life.
    I know and have known a heap of people who work in alcohol and drug rehab, and they’d be to say the least, taken aback by what you’ve said. I seriously hope I have misinterpreted you.
    Oh and on purely aesthetic grounds, drunks are horrible… whether male or female, young or old. IMO, young female drunks are much worse (that’s my opinion as a woman…) clothing in disarray, loud braying honking laugh, spewing the F word around as if it’s their BFF’s name, tottering on high heels (or as Susan Brownmiller called them ‘rape shoes’), grabbing a taxi someone else ordered (as happened to my son and his wife, when they had returned from a trip to Kawerau late one night), peering blearily at anyone they encounter.. I don’t think I need to go on…

    • mcflock 10.1

      “You’re doing wossname, I can’t remember the term – ah, ‘reductio ad adsurbum’, I think”

      Given that the debate here started because some women dared to get drunk, realised it, and went to a safely supervised “chill out” area during one event in the year and someone said “no wonder they get raped”, I don’t think that it is an absurd exagerration of some people’s expressed views.

      And no, you didn’t misinterpret me. Some people find getting drunk to be fun. They might be immature (although I’ve kicked a few pissed middle-aged folk out of events), but they still find it fun. Some people enjoy having bevvies with mates, and the freedom to have a few too many and crash in the bathtub. That’s their choice – and they’re entitled to it. They take responsibility for avoiding doing the stupider acts, but that doesn’t mean they deserve other people doing crap to them.

      Drunks are gross? Yep, sure as hell can be – I’ve held the bucket for them many a time. What that has to do with this issue is beyond me, though.

      • Vicky32 10.1.1

        My drunks are gross comment was my personal opinion – but it’s related to their complete lack of responsibility… I’m afraid that I can’t help but think that people who get trashed and make public spectacles of themselves lack the maturity to stay out of trouble. Certainly, they seem to be completely lacking in self-respect..

        • mcflock

          well, fair enough. I think your “self respect” comment is a bit judgemental, but what the hey. There does seem to be a peak in alcohol binging in late adolescence, say 18-24 and then trends back down with age, but this is similar to other risky behaviours such as maternal smoking, criminal behaviour and dressing like a complete git.

          ” I’m afraid that I can’t help but think that people who get trashed and make public spectacles of themselves lack the maturity to stay out of trouble. ”
          Many do. But there is a line between idiot things they do (fighting, stealing pies, breaking letterboxes, setting fires, robbery / burglary) for which they should be held accountable, and the things that they don’t do but are inflicted upon them by other people, who might or might not be drunk.

          • Colonial Viper

            “Grown ups” on good incomes who finish a bottle or two a wine of night after work are also binge drinkers. And much less obvious to society because they are not stumbling around the streets breaking stuff. But something like $300M worth of alcohol is sold a month, and its not just kids who can afford to buy that quantity.

            • Jum

              Absolutely, Colonial Viper, and we adults have to ask ourselves often, are we in control of our desires, wants and demands or are the myriad of addictions, wants and desires in control of our decision making on anything from greed for money, food, attention right through to need to control others.

              Our children are watching.

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