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Open mike 12/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 12th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

53 comments on “Open mike 12/11/2010”

  1. Logie97 1

    Excuse me?

    It doesn’t matter what sort of social environment one finds oneself – when the conversation leads to what you do for a living and you reveal you are a teacher, the immediate response will be “God, I couldn’t do that. I don’t know how you do it.”

    And yet those selfsame people have been quick to tell teachers that National Standards are the best thing since sliced bread. “Now get on with it…!” is suddenly a knowledgeable response.

  2. ZeeBop 2

    Welfare taxation takes two thirds of every extra dollar in income!!!! Does that even count GST
    and income tax???? The idea, we’re told, is the rich need lower taxes to get out of bed, yet
    we tax the poorest at much higher marginal rates! And then the media allow politicians to call
    the poor, bludgers and lazy, and want to stay on the bottom, all the time knowing full well
    that the jobs aren’t there. That the jobs only come from people trading and bartering with one
    another, and tied up in the welfare grip the poor have few opportunities, little if no cash flow,
    and no incentive from the higher tax regime. And by the time they are making enough, they
    have huge additional outgoings, from child care, to clothing, to eating on the go, to wearing out
    shoes, transport costs. Any wonder that black markets appears, under the table dealings, and
    welfare lifestyles in state supported housing might actually become a ‘dream lifestyle’, the
    system so penalizes the working poor that the loonie neo-liberal hippies need to cut off
    yet another safety leg to keep profits up. Lowering wages, then removing the safety net, wasn’t that
    what Karl Marx Predicted would happen? Blaming Students, the poor, the unemployed, the
    underemplyed for the fuel glut driven fiscal stupidity that is our current economic crisis is
    just another way of creating a new aristocracy.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      New aristocracy has long been created (early to mid 1990’s in NZ), now we are simply suffering under their rule.

      Remember the aristocracy will always prefer that Government BORROW money from them (and then have to pay it back with interest) rather than have Government TAXING them (END OF STORY).

      And this is what has been happening. Government cuts taxes to the wealthy, has to borrow more, deficits increase, Govt repayments and tax cuts make the wealthy richer, Govt poorer –> services and benefits cuts enacted which hurt the poor and which the rich can ignore.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        1794, 1848, 1917…why do the rich not learn? Why do the rest of us allow it to get so bad we have to “fix” them?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          We need to have new systems and new paradigms ready to put in place so that after ‘the revolution’ we do not end up in the same frakin scenario once again for our grandchildren and great granchildren to deal with.

          Its amazing to think that having the top 10% of the population share just 10% of their financial wealth across the other 90% of society, **everyone** would be in a very sweet place. But oh no. It has always got to come to this.

        • artist not on the dole 2.1.1.2

          “Why do the rest of us allow it to get so bad ”

          to make a rash generalisation…
          because most humans are greedy selfish and ignorant animals
          that never know when life is good untill it turns awful

      • john 2.1.2

        100% right CV

    • Jim Nald 2.2

      If the NACTs, currency speculators, bankers and their cronies are failing to live up to their side of the social contract, then “students, the poor, the unemployed, the underemplyed” should tear it up.
      Time to forge a new social contract.

    • Vicky32 2.3

      You’re right ZeeBop…. Occasionally I get on call work, which I always take in hopes of it becoming permanent – but I hate declaring my earmings, as WINZ always mess up – but mostly, I hate that I am going to lose most of what I earn! (And as an ESOL teacher I earn a lot!)
      WINZ always charge the gross against my benefit, although obviously I only ever recieve the nett. The way things are shaping, I would be happy with a permanent 10 hours a week at minimum wage – at least I would know where I am, and I would be a part of society again – if I can’t get a permanent gig.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    “Ultimatum to Obama and all Hostiles, Surrender or Die!”

    For David Icke fans.

  4. D14 4

    From the Red Alert
    mccully-gives-rugby-world-cup-ceremony-to-aussies

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/11/11/mccully-gives-rugby-world-cup-ceremony-to-aussies/

    Is there any more info on this. The only news report is seems to be in NBR behind a pay wall.

  5. Carol 5

    A very fed up president of the secondary schools PPTA was just on nine-to-noon. She’s accused the government of underhand game-playing, shifting the goal posts, bad faith bargaining, and not seriously participating in negotitations.

    She said unlike the government side, that wouldn’t front anyone up to Nine-to-Noon this morning, she is prepared to go on any forum/interview to explain the PPTA position, which is clear, upfront, and not attempting to be a misdirection.

    • Anne 5.1

      Yes Carol. I heard it too. Had the impression Kathryn Ryan was trying to trip her up (which I guess is her job) but she stayed consistent throughout. No doubt who is telling the truth, and it ain’t the Minister. It looks like this is going to turn very nasty now.

  6. john 7

    Here a balanced report on the Student Protest in London against the NeoLiberal aim to remove the poorer Brits from access to higher education:
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2010/11/young-scary-future-riot-crowd

    “The students are the vanguard for change,my generation the thirty somethings now have to join to support this. The time for polite talk is over, direct action like our french and Greek brothers and sisters is the way forward. This is not a battle for one single issue but for the future identity of what it means to be British. We fight for an end to the erosion of our rights, the dismantling of the welfare system, corrupt politicians and greedy capitalist lapdogs, pointless wars killing our bright youth (a friend’s 17 year old son is currently serving in Afghanistan!!!),our old tossed on the scrap heaps their pensions stolen,greedy universities and puppet run councils, puppet media channels that pump out lies and propaganda.The British nation is a slow nation to stir but when she starts the whole world will watch in shock and wonder and then we shall see………

    I don’t think the violence distorted the message, it underlined it. The poll tax riots didn’t damage the cause. Bringing the fear and misery right to the doorstep of the people dishing it out was a brilliant idea.
    We should be grateful the police were so ill prepared, otherwise instead of an injury from an idiot chucking a fire extinguisher, we could be looking at more deaths.
    It’s just property, it’s not Nick Robinson roasting on a spit over that fire.
    Only thing for me though Laurie is I disagree with your mention of the ‘standard anarchist black-mask gang’ – I think we need to avoid this mainstream reductionist view that says violence = anarchists, since firstly anarchy and anarchism are not the same thing. Chomsky declares himself an anarchist, but I don’t think he’s set fire to many offices.
    The violence came from people who are pissed off at being sh*t upon. Not some cartoon bogeyman protester. The corporate media are all to keen to dismiss public rage with misused tags that say nothing. I doubt many of them could explain what social libertarianism means anyway.

    I completely support the invasion of Millbank – it will have far more of a useful political impact than the march would have done. I wouldn’t personally have smashed windows but I understand the anger and frustration that leads people to take this kind of action, and so I cannot condemn it.
    Our polite marches have been ignored too many times. I would never support anything that involved violence against people (which is why I oppose the spending cuts, an act of ideological brutality which would lead to pain, hardship and misery for millions), but a few broken office windows and one idiot chucking a fire extinguisher is not a “descent into violence”.
    Yesterday was hugely inspiring and something to build on and improve. Thanks to all who were involved, and thanks for this article Laurie.

    The most important thing to remember is WE DID NOT VOTE THE SCUM INTO POWER.
    In fact an even scarier thing to remember is that THE TORIES HAVE LOST IN EVERY ELECTION FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS!
    And yet despite being voted against by the majority of people in every such election (even Thatcher at her peak had 56% of people voting for anti-conservative parties) we have allowed the Tories to steal election after election by defrauding the electoral system.
    Eden, Douglas-Home, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Cameron… every single one of them FIRMLY REJECTED BY THE ELECTORATE and yet they managed to take over power and use it to inflict great and long-lasting harm against the poor, the weak and the sick.
    We can never trust the ballot box again. No fair electoral system would have given the Tories power for a single day in the last 50 years… only a complete overhaul of the electoral system to lock in a Leftist majority for the next 50 years will work. That’s not anti-democratic, it is the will of the people (and indeed, Sweden had a centre-left government for that kind of timescale).
    To remove this government, we will have to use direct action. Once they are overthrown we will guarantee that no conservative will ever win office again within our lifetime. That is the challenge we all must fight for.”

    • john 7.1

      The Cuts are not necessary consider:

      Under the UK’s crazy NeoLiberal regime TAX is a dirty word which would be a fourletter word if E IS ADDED ON THE END.

      It’s arguable that the UK government does not have a spending crisis; it has a tax avoidance crisis. Official accounts suggest that the tax gap amounts to £42bn(2)? Richard Murphy of Tax Research has demonstrated that this figure cannot be correct, as it contradicts other government statistics. He estimates that avoidance now amounts to £25bn a year, evasion to £70bn, and outstanding debts to the tax service to £28bn: a total of more than £120bn(3). Avoidance and Evasion runs at 95 BILLION POUNDS/yearly.EVERY YEAR.

      A big pat on the back for everyone that was involved with yesterday’s protest. Whatever happened yesterday happened for a reason. I do not necessarily condone violence and trashing buildings but this is what happens when you are shat on from a great height on a regular basis. WELL DONE EVERYONE….

      Great article, Laurie!
      pro-common sense: what a cowardly shower you are…just like the poll tax, the direct action sends a clear message to the oppressor: you are not safe even in your plush Tory HQ!
      Lets have some more direct action please against the disgusting vermin that is the Liberal Democrats, who are finally revealed as the pro-rich Thatcherites they always were…
      Wednesday 10th was a good day!

      I was in the building. I was on the roof. I got battered by the police. This demonstration was a manifestation of peoples anger. Lets not do as the mainstream media is doing and decontextualise this thing. These people did not just wake up and think, lets smash up some shit. This was a reaction to devastating austerity cuts. We aren’t talking about some toffs not being able to hunt foxes. We are talking about people not having jobs, not being able to self-emancipate themselves through education because its expensive, not having benefits for the most vulnerable in society yet pumping billions into wars and nuclear trident. I’m not compelled by the argument that you can be violent to a chair or window. And finally, the damage done to the property is minuscule in comparison to what these cuts will do. The question should not be the right or wrong of these methods, it should be why are these methods being used. frank and fair analysis. Contrary to public opinion, this was not a few people. Number and diversity of those involved must be stressed.

      All the posters who are against Direct Action, what exactly do you propose instead?? An audience with the queen? sending a polite letter to Cameron??
      The truth is Direct action is the only thing the government is scared of. Your peaceful marches, they can ignore. sometimes these are not even mentioned on the news.
      In France, direct action has secured free University education and the best NHS in Europe among other things.
      One basic fact: rights have to be TAKEN. You can’t sit on your backside, like so many English people seem to think, and expect the government, the rich, the bosses to give you YOUR rights. YOU have to demand them and take them!
      The beautiful fact is that there are more of you than there are of them. The key factor is SOLIDARITY, a sentiment almost unknown on this docile island regrettably.

      • john 7.1.1

        £850bn: official cost of the bank bailout
        (and still Royal Bank of Scotland is demanding another £1.5bn in bonuses)!!!!!!

        Government support for Britain’s banks has reached a staggering £850bn and the eventual cost to taxpayers will not be known for years, the public spending watchdog says today.

        The National Audit Office (NAO) revealed that £107m will be paid to City advisers called in to work on the rescue because the Treasury was too “stretched” to cope with the sudden financial crisis which broke in the autumn of last year

        why should the poorer sections of UK society have to pay The Banks casino bets that went wrong? Where has the immense revenue from North Sea Oil disappeared to?

  7. Bored 8

    Following up on the “right to silence” issue from yesterday a serious question to the keepers of the Standard. Given the state is out of control in the powers they are awarding their agencies I have some alarm bells going off here.

    Given that some of us make some fairly anti establishment statements on this blog can we be assured of our anonymity should the state decide to take your system and examine the email addresses behind the alias?

    Can you comment on how secure your site is, how you could protect we bloggers from official noses?

    [lprent: The server isn’t in this country, which will make it difficult for the authorities. The connections to it are relatively secure at the backend. I try to keep the site from being accessible to exploits (but that is a continuing task). We limit what many of our authors can see reducing the risk of widespread compromise. In fact there are only two people with effective access outside of what can been seen in the admin panels at their various levels – myself and someone else. The site data system has some watchdog auto-destructs which I won’t describe.

    It isn’t impossible – it is reasonably difficult. I took most of those measures after Paula Bennett decided that she owned all information. Read about it in the privacy section of the policy.

    ]

    • Anne 8.1

      “Given the state is out of control in the powers they are awarding their agencies…”

      I would amend that to read “Given the government is out of control etc.” Might sound pedantic, but it should be made clear that the power to ‘misuse power’ is in the hands of the government of the day. I’m reminded of the Muldoon years when it was well known he was using the SIS for political purposes.

    • joe90 8.2

      Really!, because I’d hope you’d be using a throw away web account and not your own mail account because this interwebby thing is a place where everything posted is permanent, nothing is ever deleted and mailing lists are gold.

      • Bored 8.2.1

        Joe, cat has bolted for me, but from now on its going to be new name and anonymity.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        Frak its a sorry State when it has come to this.

      • Vicky32 8.2.3

        A “throw away web account” *is* my email! Who actually other than bosses uses any other? bob@dodgybuilders.co.nz or the like – is that what other peoples’ emails look like? 😀
        Deb

        • felix 8.2.3.1

          I think joe means to use another web-based email account that you’re not tied to in any way, not the same one you actually use for your email.

          • Vicky32 8.2.3.1.1

            Oh, gulp, too late! Oh well, I have worse problems tonight, having had my Hotmail contacts hijacked and sent messages… Trying to straighten out the mess… Why am I so naive?
            Deb

    • r0b 8.3

      I’ll draw this comment to lprent’s attention and ask him to comment.

      [lprent: sorry about the delay.. Code rush with little bug fixes today. But the alpha code is out of the door in a prototype tomorrow. I plan to idle for the next few days after these 15 hour days.. ]

      • Bored 8.3.1

        Thanks, its probably a bit of an issue for a lot of us.

        • Armchair Critic 8.3.1.1

          I’d not be too worried about The Standard – here’s the policy

          Policy


          Other blogs, well, read their policies.
          Also, I suggest using a dedicated email address from hotmail, yahoo, gmail or any anonymous offshore free email provider. Set it up with a fake name and address if you want. I did. Access it separately to your other emails.
          Don’t disclose your identity to anyone. Though in your specific case you may be able to get away with it – especially if you are a teenager.
          As Kurt Cobain said – just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you.

          • Bored 8.3.1.1.1

            Thanks Armchair, because I work in IT I understand the issues in terms of the technology, my problem is that I have only just (stupidly) thought about the need of we bloggers to remain anonymous from detection. I know how to hide an IP address and how to use non tracable accounts BUT for those of us who have to date not done this I worry that a state agency might take possession of address reconciliation and use this information against the individual. They might do this by passing the necessary legislation (might just do it by decree in Canterbury) and physically take possession of the database, they might legally intercept or hack, they might just require a hand over. If the information already exists can it be sanitised /protected / cleaned?

            • lprent 8.3.1.1.1.1

              Easily.. Simple Sql to write random numbers into the column. The ip and email columns are quite well protected. Personally I’d worry more about the tracing logs. Took me a while to get all those to scramble and trash themselves automatically if they carried ip or emails

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      Not as far as I know. It’s the internet where everything is recorded and can be traced. It’s not your email address that is the problem but the IP address you have.

      There is no such thing as anonymity on the internet. All there is is peoples will and wherewithal to look and most people just don’t have either. The government and large corporations (and even some small businesses) on the other hand, do.

    • Bored 8.5

      Thanks Iprent, really pleased with your approach post Bennett. I willl use different email account, but am very reassured by the auto destructs etc.

      • lprent 8.5.1

        I’m mildly paranoid when it comes to this site. There are a lot of people that would prefer that it did not exist.

        So I have had precautions in place for some years. It issimplier than finding out the hard way

  8. Gina 9

    Im updating my view on the planned law change before the next election to allow online modification of voters registration details i.e. address etc.

    There is also a plan to allow full voter enrolement online without the need for a signed document after this next election. I don’t support this as I believe any verification system without signatures
    can be hacked, but I may change my view of that if the details are convincing.

    Voting online is another matter and I will never support that.

    I am posting this because I’m worried the Nats may pass this Bill under urgency and wanted you all to be forwarned. I spoke with Keith Locke’s secretary today who told me the Bill does not exist but here it is quoted on the govt release website and at the elections.org website. The confusion may be that the bill is due to be introduced in November.
    The fact that no one has seen the bill or the details yet makes me think it could suddenly crop up under urgency thus no submissions would be possible. Govt release

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government+allow+voters+enrol+internet

    <blockquote cite="Voters will be able to re-enrol and update their details online in time for next year's general election, Justice Minister Simon Power said today.
    Cabinet has decided that legislation to be introduced to Parliament in November, is the first step in a process that will also eventually allow voters to use the Internet to enrol for the first time.
    Currently, voters have to complete and sign a written form when enrolling and making changes to their details.
    The Electoral (Administration) Amendment Bill No.2 allows voters to re-enrol and make changes to their details online using the ‘igovt’ government logon service, which is run by the Department of Internal Affairs. This will take effect from the middle of next year when the legislation is expected to be passed.”>

    http://www.elections.org.nz/study/news/law-change-planned-allowing-online-re-enrolment-and-update-of-details.html

    I think now that this will be OK providing the legislation demands that the online update allows a printable receipt or if the person would prefer it the receipt be sent by post to their current address. Both these options must be specified in the legislation to ensure registrants have proof that they did indeed change their details online.

    We would be doing away with the need for elections staff to cite a signed form before rolls could be altered which would make it much easier to hack our roles and drop off the roles a portion of voters with demograhics that make it likey they will vote left. The current system can be hacked but there are the legally signed forms sent as proof for later legal chalenges therefore with the signed forms we have are a strong discouragement of this sort of possble problem.
    So if we have a printable receipt enshrined in our law this replaces the check we are doing away with.
    It will be dangerous to pass this law without demanding this receipt be part of the new law.

    Allowing our electoral roles to be altered online without the need for a signed documnet does allow easy hacking of our electoral roles but with voter proof of their enrolement it would quickly come to light.
    These details must be in the bill.

    Under Howard in Australia they changed their electoral law to allow electronic voting and specified in their legislation it says that there must not be any printers or paper reciepts so its clear that legislation has been passed in another country which would endanger electoral audits.

    The demand for a printable receipt with voters able to request a receipt by post must have legal standing in the bill becuase we are doing away with the signed document that is currently required. That receipt must have legal precidence over the printed roll becuase if our roles are hacked just before final printing then we could see people dropped off the roles and unable to cast a vote.
    I’d be interested to know what yoou think?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I’m fine with being able to change personal details and vote online but it needs to be a secure system that uses either a security token or a system similar to Kiwibanks Keepsafe. Both system are almost impossible to crack.

    • Gina 9.2

      I’ve changed my mind “again”.

      With our entire rolls online that means registered voters with no receipt could be knocked off the rolls by hackers.
      Yes at this stage there are signed forms for these voters somewhere but I still don’t like this unverified new internet access to our rolls one little bit unless every registered voter has a verification receipt which they can take to the polls as insurance against a hacked computer roll.
      The Nats should be worried that a communist government might knock some Epsom voters off the rolls. A marginal wealthy electorate would be a beter example but I’m not up on those sorta details sorry.

      I know Labour see this planned change as a possibe bonanza to their electoral chances but its not secure and they should be putting electoral security first. And you have to wonder why the Nats would hand labour an electoral gift. To make elections cheaper? I dont think they are penny pinchers when it comes to election time.

      I don’t trust those Nats and I don’t think this sytem is safe at all.

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Wong to stand down over use of travel perk

    Pansy Wong is set to stand down as a Cabinet minister over the use of the parliamentary travel perk for her husband, Sammy.

  10. Sean Brooks 11

    Yest another politician ripping off the tax payer, its never ending.

  11. Scott 12

    Gridlock at Auckland uni as the neo-liberal VC tries the Anne Tolley approach to industrial relations:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/11/university-of-auckland-creates-two.html

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    @NYTimeskrugman The Hijacked Commission http://nyti.ms/cZzlrt

    Sounds like the US just had their own version of NZ’s 2025 commission and our latest tax cuts. Cut tax revenue, cut taxes for the rich, increase taxes for the poor, cut government services etc etc

  13. William Joyce 14

    What side did Key’s father fight on in the Spanish Civil War?

  14. lprent 15

    Updates done at the server and shifted to a new IP number… The old one will carry on for a few days to allow the DNS’s to flush out their caches.

    Yawn – bedtime

  15. BLiP 16

    lprent: The server isn’t in this country, which will make it difficult for the authorities. The connections to it are relatively secure at the backend. I try to keep the site from being accessible to exploits (but that is a continuing task). We limit what many of our authors can see reducing the risk of widespread compromise. In fact there are only two people with effective access outside of what can been seen in the admin panels at their various levels – myself and someone else. The site data system has some watchdog auto-destructs which I won’t describe.

    It isn’t impossible – it is reasonably difficult. I took most of those measures after Paula Bennett decided that she owned all information. Read about it in the privacy section of the policy.

    Its a real hassle to use proxies here – any particular reason for that?

    • lprent 16.1

      The public ones? Mostly loading and latency from when I have used them. They are usually configured for connections to be fast without the 100ms minimum lags that we get from here. They routinely configure to chop slow connections

      I’ve set up several proxies for my own use mostly to buy books that won’t sell to non-US because of restrictive trade practices. they work fine.

      • BLiP 16.1.1

        Yep, the public ones. Tor works okay but there’s another couple I use from time to time which sort of work so long as I log in, otherwise the captcha won’t show. Its not a major, I don’t use them on trusted sites but have surfed over from, say, Wikileaks and forgotten I was proxied up, and then wondered what was going on. Not a major, was just asking. Thanks lprent.

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