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Open mike 13/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2016 - 202 comments
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202 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2016 ”

  1. Gosman 1

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/08/venezuelas-chavistas-and-newly-elected-opposition-head-for-deadlock

    Disturbing ( but unsurprising) moves from the Chavista regime to ignore it’s defeat in the recent elections and attempt to hobble a branch of government for the sake of the ‘revolution’.

    • reason 1.1

      More often than not in the struggle for democracy its been the u.s.a helping stand in the way ………backing genocide and death squads.

      “declassified documents[5] indicate that the United States “provided economic, technical and military aid to the army soon after the killings started. It continued to do so long after it was clear a ‘widespread slaughter’ was taking place in Northern Sumatra and other places, and in the expectation that US assistance would contribute to this end.

      The repercussions of the u.s.a supported murderous overthrow of Indonesia’s democratic government are still going on and countries like east timor also paid a terrible price.”

      http://theactofkilling.com/trailer/

  2. Paulm 2

    Disturbing news that capitalism is failing the people of the world with another crash imminent.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/rbs-tells-investors-sell-everything-20160111-gm3ssa.html

    • Paul 2.1

      From the article.

      The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has advised clients to brace for a “cataclysmic year” and a global deflationary crisis, warning that the major stock markets could fall by a fifth and oil may reach $US16 a barrel.
      The bank’s credit team said markets are flashing the same stress alerts as they did before the Lehman crisis in 2008.
      “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital. In a crowded hall, exit doors are small,” it said in a client note.
      Andrew Roberts, the bank’s credit chief, said both global trade and loans are contracting, a nasty cocktail for corporate balance sheets and equity earnings, and uncharted waters given that debt ratios have reached record highs.
      “China has set off a major correction and it is going to snowball. Equities and credit have become very dangerous, and we have hardly even begun to retrace the ‘Goldilocks’ love-in of the last two years,” he said.
      Mr Roberts expects Wall Street and European stocks to fall by 10pc to 20pc, with an even deeper slide for the FTSE-100 thanks to its high weighting of energy and commodities.’

  3. Paul 3

    ‘Govt wants NZ base for TPP deal

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will promote New Zealand’s case to host a proposed secretariat for the Trans-Pacific Partnership when trade ministers from 12 Asia Pacific nations are expected to gather in Auckland to sign the deal next month.

    McClay confirmed to the Herald that there are some considerable “sensitivities” around the secretariat proposal. The proposal is expected to be one of the topics for discussion at a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meeting before the formal signing of the ground-breaking regional agreement, which covers some of the world’s most robust economies and 40 per cent of global GDP…………..

    Reliable sources have confirmed to the Herald that February 4 emerged as the preferred signing date after Prime Minister John Key offered New Zealand as the host while he was at the Apec leaders meeting in the Philippines.

    McClay expects to be able to confirm a signing date “in the next week or so” after it is clear all 12 nations will be in a position to proceed.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11572801

    Thoughts?

    • fisiani 3.1

      Would be excellent if we could get a secretariat based here. Clever strategy by McClay to seek to ensure implementation of the TPPA. It is were done then best it be done well. We are a small nation of just 4.5M people and if we can influence 40% of the world’s GDP we should grab the chance. Not even the most strident Leftie would surely disagree.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Romania was a small country when it signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin in 1940.
        Signing bad deals that give up your sovereignty – even if it gives of the appearance of more importance – does not equal good governance or statesmanship.
        It seems more like treason.

        • fisiani 3.1.1.1

          Minor tweaks to sovereignty takes place with every trade deal. You do not lose or give up sovereignty. New Zealand needs to trade with the world. Signing a deal with 40% of the World’s GDP is a hell of a lot better than not signing it. Having a permanent secretariat based here to implement it could be the icing on the cake. Tim Groser should get a knighthood for the work he has put in to making our future even brighter.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            New Zealand needs to trade with the world.

            Actually, we don’t. In fact, no country needs to trade with any other country.

            Signing a deal with 40% of the World’s GDP is a hell of a lot better than not signing it.

            Not when that deal is so detrimental to the people of NZ.

            • fisiani 3.1.1.1.1.1

              You cannot possibly be serious. Without trading with other countries we would be be penniless. If your comment is the level of Left wing thinking no wonder it is unelectable.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Without trading with other countries we would be be penniless.

                This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics but it’s one that’s shared across the political spectrum. Many have come to believe that we need money. This belief is delusional.

                We don’t need money, we need resources and we have all that we need in our borders already. Plenty of resources here to provide everything that we need – as long as we don’t squander them unsustainably. Unfortunately, our present delusional financial system has us doing exactly that. The 300m tonnes of iron sands down the West Coast of Te Ika a Māui will be gone in about 50 years because we’re so determined to have money that we’re selling off the resources we actually need to other countries.

                If your comment is the level of Left wing thinking no wonder it is unelectable.

                The problem is the delusional thinking that you and many others espouse.

                • James

                  “Many have come to believe that we need money. This belief is delusional.”

                  Try living without any.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And you failed to understand what I said.

                    Money is a tool that helps us distribute the resources that we have in the country but it’s not actually needed. We could use other systems for that distribution (I’m in favour of democracy).

                    What we can’t do without is those resources. Without those resources we have no food, no housing, no roads, etc etc.

                    Using a monetary system because we have all the resources in the country to provide the food and the houses and the roads then the only money we need is NZ$. We have no need of foreign exchange.

                    We are wasting the limited resources we have by exporting them for foreign exchange (Really, it’s even worse than that as we’re wasting those resources to make a few people rich).

            • fisiani 3.1.1.1.1.2

              http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/75807613/world-bank-estimates-10-per-cent-boost-to-nz-exports-by-2030-from-tppa
              If that is what you call detrimental then were else would we get money for schools and hospitals. No wonder the Far Left are ignored.

  4. Paul 4

    Copyright changes sting NZ

    Ministry says alterations to TPP could cost New Zealand up to $55 million a year

    New Zealand consumers could face higher costs than first predicted as a result of copyright changes in the Trans Pacific Partnership, newly released documents show.

    The biggest costs will come from concessions on copyright. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) says the cost to consumers and businesses of extending the copyright term from 50 years to 70 years will eventually rise to around $55 million a year.

    InternetNZ work programme director Andrew Cushen said the change meant increased costs for New Zealanders, and greater revenue for overseas copyright holders.

    “We will pay more over time to access music and movies. We will also pay more over time for books and educational resources, making it more expensive for us to learn and to do business.”

    Mr Cushen said the $55 million did not take into account the increased cost and difficulty of re-using copyright works.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11572838

    All of a sudden, we get newly released documents.
    Democracy, what a joke!

  5. BM 5

    Just saw this on Kiwiblog.
    This judge has an appalling track record, but this would have to be her worst judgement ever

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/75405361/auckland-professional-caught-with-6000-objectionable-images

    How do you get rid of such a bad judge?

    • Paul 5.1

      Kiwiblog.
      Reliable source.

      • BM 5.1.1

        Fuck off, you boring wanker

        • Paul 5.1.1.1

          Pleasant

          • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.1.1

            Zzzzz

          • Muttonbird 5.1.1.1.2

            And bannable, I would have thought. Pretty average of BM to lose it like that on the internet.

            • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.1.2.1

              In BMs defence you reap what you sow

              • Muttonbird

                He lost his cool. Blinked first, as it were.

                At least it’s known what buttons to push now.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I don’t think its worth sinking down to Pauls level just to get a reaction from BM but that’s just my opinion

                  • Muttonbird

                    Farrar makes a lot of reactionary mistakes and ill-informed comment on his hate site, and he’s generally several days behind the news.

                    It was a very astute observation by Paul which made BM become abusive for some reason.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You mean the same guy that was praised by the PM on election night for his accurate polling?

                    • Muttonbird

                      Polling is one thing. You ring some people, ask some questions, and write the answers down.

                      Critical thought and analysis is quite another.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yet the PM that won thought it was a big enough deal to mention him by name

                      So I’m going to guess theres a bit more to it then what you’re suggesting

                    • Muttonbird

                      Lol. Way to shift the goal posts, mate.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You’ve just demonstrated one of the (many) failings of the left in NZ and that’s to underestimate pretty much anyone on the right

                      John Key – hes just a money man
                      David Farrar – makes a lot of mistakes and its just a hate site

                      and so on and so on

                    • alwyn

                      “Farrar makes a lot ………”
                      You obviously must read it though.
                      If you didn’t how could you possibly make these comments?

                • Paul

                  These paid rwnj trolls come on this site to derail conversations and to instigate puerile arguments. They are not interested in debates. They are also very predictable and very dull.
                  I think the best way to deal with them is to either ignore them completely or just type a word like dull.
                  It seems to work. They don’t like being described as uninteresting.
                  Maybe they’ll go away one day.

                  • Muttonbird

                    They’re easily ignored most of the time but when they become abusive online I have to say something.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Zzzzz

                    • alwyn

                      You should be careful PR. Bans have been proposed for Zzzzzzs.

                      “Paul 8.1.1
                      30 December 2015 at 9:56 am

                      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

                      [RL: The ‘zzz’s’ are not needed. You and anyone else repeating them will earn a ban.]”

                      On the other hand Paul may have learned his lesson. Whereas a couple of weeks ago he seemed to thing the repetition of the final letter of the alphabet was the height of wit he now realises that it is very dull and he was only demonstrating that he was a prat.

                    • Paul

                      If questioning the interest level of pr’s contributions is ‘prattish’, then I am proud to be described by you as one, alwyn.
                      Thanks for your pleasant contribution.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Thanks Alwyn, I didn’t see that

          • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.3

            Good on you Paul for pointing out Kiwiblog. The response speaks massively in only a few short sharp words.

            • greywarshark 5.1.1.1.3.1

              I say again that the blog can be enhanced by some banning action against the silly irritating and smart-arse comments coming daily. If people wanted to hear cloth-eared ideas they would go to radio talkback or some tabloid like the Herald.

              Some commenters here find it amusing but these factoids spoil the blog’s ability to converse intelligently with people who at least appear to be left thinking and interested in discussion on political matters. These insects are just spoiling the picnic every day.

              And a lot of people don’t understand the idea of being amused in a superior way by the spoilers, and don’t understand why they crop up here, or the negative effect they have on polite discourse here. I despise them, they don’t give a damn about our efforts to think towards better policies for the country. They just fill in their time by being objectionable on purpose. It’s pathetic and stupid behaviour and belongs elsewhere. We would still have disagreements and arguments without them, we wouldn’t settle into an unstirred sludge you, can bet on that.

        • Chris 5.1.1.2

          Kiwiblog.
          Reliable source.

        • mary_a 5.1.1.3

          @ BM (5.1.1) – your abusive comments towards another poster, in this case Paul, who does offer constructive debate, has invalidated any argument you might have put forward. Getting nasty and personal, automatically puts you on the losing side.

          Have a nice day, if you possibly can.

      • Thinking Right 5.1.2

        The source is actually a stuff article (see the link)

        I know that Fairfax aren’t much more reliable than blogs as a source of info but I would think it is correct.

        So if 6000 picture/videos of child abuse aren’t enough to get sent to prison what is?

        BM is right – the Judge is out of touch – you can tell this by her refusing to view the evidential images – obviously the viewing would interrupt her do-gooding tinted glasses.

        The sad thing is the images are the only way for the victims to cry out for justice.

        As for the threat of suicide being a sufficient reason to not send him to jail – what a joke.

        I do hope the Prosecution appeal this – damaged children are worth more than a few hours of PD.

      • BM 5.2.1

        The first article is a shocker, strike 5 now.

        Judge Cunningham is said to be firmly entrenched in what is referred to as the legal sisterhood.

        Guess that makes her untouchable.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          Kind of like the old boys network. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t fire judges easily because we need an independent judiciary. Or maybe her sentencing is not out of the range of normal.

          Tell me, what would a judge’s sentencing look like if they understood the value of rehabilitation as well as punishment and protecting the public?

        • mickysavage 5.2.1.2

          Um all permanent judges have security of tenure, even the women judges. It is to stop governments firing them because they do not like their judgments.

          And why is it that you are so upset because a Judge showed some compassion. The alternative would have been to send this poor sap to jail, making him permanently unemployable and a permanent burden on the welfare state.

          And surely our justice system has to be able to display mercy from time to time.

          • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1.2.1

            Absolutely display mercy sure but don’t you think that crimes of a sexual nature against children mean that judges should err on the side of caution?

          • McFlock 5.2.1.2.2

            all permanent judges have security of tenure, even the women judges

            But that’s just madness! What if they start breastfeeding in court, or crying???!!!???

          • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.1.2.3

            @mickeysavage

            “The alternative would have been to send this poor sap to jail, making him permanently unemployable and a permanent burden on the welfare state.”

            “poor sap”…you have to be joking…right…?

            Find him a job that allows him NO access to a computer or the internet, and no access to children.

            After work, make sure of the same conditions. Forever.

            He is peadophile.

            How much mercy did he show his victims?

            And…we don’t know who he is or what his profession is…how can we keep our children safe?

            Stop enabling the enablers of perverts mickeysavage.

            • mickysavage 5.2.1.2.3.1

              And what do you propose? Execution by firing squad?

              I have had some professional dealings with people facing these charges. They are sad and often have awful backgrounds. They can be treated. Some compassion, such as that shown by Judge Cunningham, helps.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “And what do you propose? Execution by firing squad?”

                Shit…why does it have to be one extreme or another?

                I have had professional dealings with the victims of child sexual assault…some, no, all of those people have had their youth destroyed to some extent by those sad bastards you are advocating for.

                Great….they have a ‘friend’….but show a modicum of respect and compassion for their victims.

                “He was charged with possession of objectionable material not sexual offences against children.”

                from 5.2.1.2.1.2

                Spare me the ‘child pornography is a victimless crime’ line….do you know how much credibility the legal profession lost when the Law Society did not eject their child porn perving member?

                Let’s spell it out….for every image of a child being sexually assaulted there is a child victim involved.
                Without a customer there wouldn’t be a product.

                http://www.stopdemand.org/wawcs0154994/idDetails=191/Child%20sex%20abuse%20images%20(child%20pornography)

                This….thing….didn’t just have a ‘whoops I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a child porn site ‘ moment…he had over 6060 images of extreme assaults on children.

                IMHO he should have done time in jail(getting ‘treated’) ….the tea and sympathy from the judge, on top of the leniency, was a gross insult to his victims.

                • mickysavage

                  “And what do you propose? Execution by firing squad?”

                  Shit…why does it have to be one extreme or another?

                  Fair call. I was responding to your comment that I was “enabling the enablers of perverts”. I was merely suggesting that home detention is not an unsuitable punishment for those who collect pornography.

                  I am not advocating for them. I am suggesting that sending them to jail may be counterproductive.

                  “He was charged with possession of objectionable material not sexual offences against children.”

                  Let’s spell it out….for every image of a child being sexually assaulted there is a child victim involved.

                  Agreed. That is why I made the comment that “I agree there are victims of this sort of offending but for a first time offender at his age and with his mental condition I think the decision was not out of what the Judge could do.”

                  Nothing can repair the damage caused by sexual abuse. But a preventative approach rather than a retributive approach may result in a different sentence. And there is no such thing as adequate treatment in jail.

    • Immediately after they were found he sought help…

      Remorse demonstrated only after you’ve been caught red-handed ought to count for shit at sentencing.

      • BM 5.3.1

        This sentence is what got me.

        Every new day is going to be a better day,” she told the man as he left court.

        Christ, it’s like she thinks he’s the victim.

      • weka 5.3.2

        “Remorse demonstrated only after you’ve been caught red-handed ought to count for shit at sentencing.”

        For people who are using child rape porn I’d prefer that for first offences the focus is on rehabilitation and supervision. The thing most likely to turn that man into an active rapist is a term in prison.

        I do think his home detention and fining were light, but I don’t know if that’s because of sentencing guidelines and rules, or leniancy by the judge.

        • Puckish Rogue 5.3.2.1

          I actually agree with you on some of your points but I’m thinking that in light of some of her other judgements its leniency on her side

          • weka 5.3.2.1.1

            That doesn’t make sense though. To understand if any of her sentences are lenient, you’d have to compare them to similar offending sentences of other judges, not her own sentences.

            • Puckish Rogue 5.3.2.1.1.1

              Well true, I guess I’m more suggesting she has a bias towards leniency

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That depends very much on your point of view: most right wingers are deranged and utterly incompetent when it comes to effective (ie: actually reducing crime) penal policy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m guessing that you really don’t have a clue having taken your lead from DPF and not even bothered looking at other sources.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  That’s nice dear

                  • Paul

                    Clocked on at 8.30 a.m.
                    When does your shift end?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Can you prove I get paid to do this? If not I expect a retraction and an apology

                    • Once was Tim

                      AFAIK …. organisations like samaritans and others have ‘shifts’ and it’s voluntary (you know – philanthropy – the way the Natzis think compassion and aid for fellow humankind should work). IT’s a win win situation – it allows the philanthropist to feel good about themselves if and when they have the means, there’s no guilt feelings involved, they can cling to any Christian religious beliefs they may have, they can feign concern and their friends can see them being nice blokes, and they don’t have to inconvenience themselves in any way whatsoever. Most times – even their kuds can claim their tragic aging old parents are decent ‘stock’ and are their bestest ever best freinds.
                      They really are ‘decent’ lore-biding folk!

        • Psycho Milt 5.3.2.2

          For people who are using child rape porn I’d prefer that for first offences the focus is on rehabilitation and supervision.

          Sure. But what does “supervision” mean? It doesn’t mean this prick never gets to use a password to ensure his privacy on a network-connected computer ever again, which is really the only supervision that would address his particular problem. Also, he gets name suppression, which is very much up to the judge. I wouldn’t want this guy anywhere computers I was responsible for, but the judge has decided I don’t need to know. Rehabilitation for him should involve learning to do something that doesn’t involve computers – there’s plenty of work out there for cleaners and other forms of unskilled labour.

      • Whispering Kate 5.3.3

        In an unreal world he would be banned from owning and using electronic devices for the rest of his life, probably in a real world if he was a citizen of Saudi Arabia he would have his hands cut off to absolutely make sure he didn’t. I wonder what the Judge would have brought down if he had been just poor, uneducated and not employed – jail time and hell in the showers. I hope his wife and kids leave him for the kids sake and well being. What a tosser.

        • DH 5.3.3.1

          That’s the crux of it for me too Kate. Loss of status is being considered a punishment by judges now and one has to ask how that can be considered justice.

          A poor person has little status so they can go to jail whereas a rich or important person has some perceived stature so they get a slap on the wrist because sending them to jail will demean them in the public’s eye. Lovely.

          • Whispering Kate 5.3.3.1.1

            Absolutely DH – its a closed off world where they have a law for themselves and they make sure they look after each other. Child sex offending and child porn is repugnant and there should be serious consequences for such offenders. Its odd how it seems to me to be a “sport cum pastime” for the wealthy and well educated with their secret clubs and places where they go for their kicks – so many people in power seem to get caught at it. Its sickening and so many of them have children of their own, beggars belief really how sick some people can be. I have absolutely no sympathy for them and believe they are unable to be rehabilitated and we shouldn’t be wasting good money on them. The judge should be reprimanded and told to re look at her findings.

        • Rosemary McDonald 5.3.3.2

          @Whispering Kate

          Nail hit firmly on head.

          This is an ‘old’ story, but one that does deserve more air.

          Fifty year old ‘professional’ is caught perving at 6000 images of child pornography so hideous that the Judge can’t bear to view them and gets sentenced to stay home.

          And…gets name suppression.

          In an ideal world he’d be rendered incapable of further offending….ever.

          His ‘mental illness’…what a crock.

          But, the Judge…bless her for her many acts of mercy…has let him of, and protected his identity, and suppressed his ‘profession’.

          Is he a lawyer? Can’t trust any of them if male and fifty years old.

          Is he a doctor? A judge? An IT consultant? An engineer?

          So many fifty year old male professionals we can no longer trust…is it him that gets off on watching children being sexually abused?

          See, guys, this is what happens when sexual predators are protected…we can’t trust any man.

    • reason 5.4

      Farrar is more of a creep than Slater…….being the good cop in the bad cop/good cop routine that he and Slater played for John Key makes him the more dishonest one.

      I also suspect he did the polling and advised John Key he did not have to apologize to Tania Billington as the numbers were not hurting him…….

      Farrar is a grubby little fuck …………………. you should spend more time at his blog BM

    • DH 6.1

      I don’t see your point. The Herald led with the same article as the ODT in example 1, both major ‘papers seem to be syndicating off each other a lot these days.

      I’d think correcting a wrong report to be ethical media behaviour. Where the Herald in particular get a bit ratlike is they sometimes print the false claim on the front page with a big print headline & many column centimetres and hide the subsequent retraction or alternate view deep in the paper using small print and only a few words.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        They suck because instead of trying to get both sides of the story they just went with the most sensationalist headline they could get without even the pretence of balance

        • Muttonbird 6.1.1.1

          Hey, that’s BM’s favourite news source you are bad-mouthing there.

        • DH 6.1.1.2

          Not sure I can follow that PR. Both incidents appear to have had timing issues where more information was revealed later and I don’t think you can blame the media for printing what was topical, and appeared truthful, at the time.

          • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.2.1

            “Appeared truthful”

            That’s the thing though isn’t the fourth estate supposed to find out whether its truthful or not? It just appears to be lazy in that someone runs to the media and the media print the story without doing their jobs and the media wonder why people are turning away

            • DH 6.1.1.2.1.1

              What do you expect from them? If they thoroughly investigated every act that was reported to them they’d have nothing to print.

              Filling a newspaper every day can’t be an easy task. Sure they put some drivel in it and yes they can be a bit hasty at times but so long as they maintain a genuine balance with the storyline I don’t see it being a problem.

              I thought they did ok on the Te Reo one. The media have adopted a practice of milking a story for as long as they can keep people interested and they killed that one with the follow up. With the first article the way they worded it they looked to be priming the rednecks for more gossip & innuendo and instead the story just died.

            • Pascals bookie 6.1.1.2.1.2

              genuine uestion for you PR;

              Why do you think journalism was traditionally called ‘the first draft of history’?

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well I haven’t heard that one before but it does sound rather pertinent

                • Pascals bookie

                  Yeah, I like it coz it’s neither a praise of journlaism nor a condemnation of it. It just calss it what it is, an important part of the eventual discussion that becomes ‘what we accept as historical truth’.

                  It’s job is to get stuff fast, and as accurate as fast allows. It’s going to get stuff wrong, and will need to revise itself and update itself and generally keep on journalisming. No one has yet come up with a better model that actually works.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I think the problem is you simply can’t but what makes it worse is the news media (imho) are trying to go head to head with blogs

                    The news media can’t compete with speed but they can compete with quality, instead of going down market and going after the lowest common dominator it’d be nice to see a newspaper go the other way and compete on quality of reporting instead

                    • alwyn

                      I wish that the newspapers would just try and get the simplest things right.
                      The DomPost this morning had a story that Singapore Airlines were going to start a service from Wellington to Canberra using an Airbus A330. They put a picture on the front page which they labelled as being an A330.
                      The only problem is that the A330 is a twin engine single deck aircraft. The photo was of a four engine double decker A380. Can’t they get even the simplest things right? Do they even care?

                    • McFlock

                      Trouble is that quality costs.

                      Heh – what’s the old quote from tradies: you can have any combination you want of fast, cheap and good that you want, but you can only have two out of three. Well, in modern media fast is cheap, but good is extremely expensive – good investigators, good editors, good sub editors, lose one and the others become precarious.

        • Naturesong 6.1.1.3

          The “both sides of the story” is a crock.

          In most cases the call for both sides results in false balance; giving more equal weight to opposing views than actual evidence supports.

          The reporting around climate change being primarily caused by human activity is an obvious example of the failure of “both sides” reporting.

          And then there is the similar argument to moderation where the middle ground between two opposing views is viewed as the correct one, and discounts views at either extreme end simply because they are at the edges.

          The reporting around the effects of climate change is a good example.

          With the Te Reo story, it looks like the Herald ran with a breaking story without investigating the actual facts of the matter, and tacked on a headline that can best be described as race-baiting.

          Or, to put it another way, they couldn’t be arsed actually doing their job and decided to poison the public discussion around Te Reo instead.

          • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.3.1

            That’s a good point about the both sides being a crock, I hadn’t considered that.

            • Naturesong 6.1.1.3.1.1

              Probably best to add that hearing from both sides is sometimes essential to actually understanding what is being reported.

              Reporting of court cases is an example.

    • McFlock 6.2

      The interesting thing to me is that the ODT clearly attributes both the story and the photo to the Herald, but the Herald only attributes the photo, not the identical story, or any other indication it’s syndicated content.

  6. weka 7

    FFS you lot, is it going to be like this all day? Really?

    • Andre 7.1

      Maybe we should ask lprent for a “Daily Troll-Pit” as well as “Open Mike”

    • Paul 7.2

      I endeavoured to open debate on the warnings by the RBS at 2, and to generate conversation about some of the future effects of the TPP at 3 and 4.

      • weka 7.2.1

        yes, and that’s all good but it’s not all you did is it.

        • Paul 7.2.1.1

          Care to comment on either of the issues?

          • weka 7.2.1.1.1

            No. In this subthread I’m talking about behaviour on ts. Shall we turn this one into a long boring trollfest too? You are better than this usually, so feel free to not take my original comment personally.

      • Reddelusion 7.2.2

        If any body can pick the top of a market or the bottom they would be infinitely rich Take these announcement with a grain of salt, similar advice to buy . if RBS believed as thier predictions are 100pc kosher and so do you Paul I suggest you short the total market with every thing you got, you can’t loose

    • Muttonbird 7.3

      I called out abusive language directed at another member.

      Public service innit?

      • weka 7.3.1

        Looks like you want to fight RWNJ and/or trolls rather than discuss politics. I think there are better ways to do that if you want it to also be a public service.

        • Muttonbird 7.3.1.1

          Ah well, the more considered approach is fine to a point but every now and then it’s better to be more direct. Not sure some people understand any other way.

          I note you have said yourself below that the month old story about the judge and the professional was a set up. What’s wrong with calling that out early?

          • weka 7.3.1.1.1

            I don’t have a problem with calling out bullshit. It was more just that I came onto OM this morning and it was full of bickering. Naming bullshit is one thing, arguing about it endlessly is another. I know how easy it is to get sucked into that, do it myself, but it was just a bit much and I thought it might be good to name it and see if it changed 🙂

    • b waghorn 7.4

      I seem to remember it getting like this last year at about the same time, its caused by the lack of fresh meat to feed them.

      • weka 7.4.1

        It did seem like a bit of a feeding frenzy this morning.

        Plus I suspect the sexual offending one is a set up. Cue post from Pete George saying that the standard supports child pornography watchers.

  7. fisiani 10

    Oil price plummeting. Why has all the alarmist Peak Oil crap gone silent? What will be the next alarmist warning Ah yes TPPA, the end of civilisation. Welfare reform-?

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Clearly the world’s oil market was not functioning as a effective market and we were paying too much for oil.

      • mpledger 10.1.1

        The Saudis are playing games so that American fracking and off-shore drilling becomes to expensive to continue and that the Russian war chest gets depleted.

        The Americans used to rely on the Saudis for oil and the Saudis don’t like it that they don’t need to anymore. It hard to make them fight your enemies when you can’t blackmail them over their oil needs.

        • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1

          Actually I’m not sure America actually purchased oil directly from SA. I think the US purchased oil from Canada and Mexico, and no now longer need to do it. So Canada and Mexico are selling their oil to countries that would have bought from SA.

          Oil is fungible.

    • weka 10.2

      “Why has all the alarmist Peak Oil crap gone silent?”

      It hasn’t.

  8. Puckish Rogue 11

    The media suck

    example 3

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/75747157/minister-denies-meeting-chinese-billionaires-rep

    Minto said the information came from an anonymous source but it seemed credible as it matched with Pinnacle’s stated intentions.

    Minto said: “Whether or not [Bennett] met with them, it’s clear Dr Cheng’s Pinnacle group want to buy state houses. They’ve been quite explicit about that.”

    Sounds the same as the old question of have you stopped beating your wife…

    • weka 11.1

      yes, the MSM suck. Now, which political parties have policies on improving the quality and standard of the MSM in NZ?

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        I’m not comfortable with political parties having anything to do with journalistic standards except in the most broadest possible terms

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Oh, I think a couple of laws about the MSM sticking to the truth should bring about a few changes. The reporting of the Donghua Liu (sp?) affair should have brought about significant consequences to the publishing houses. Maybe if they’d been looking at a fine of a few million dollars they would have investigated it properly before jumping on National’s Dirty Politics bandwagon.

          • Naturesong 11.1.1.1.1

            The Labour Party did have the opportunity to sue the Herald and it’s reporters for defamation. And Donghua Liu for libel*.

            But they didn’t.

            So if the Labour Party shows no interest in defending itself, why would anyone assume they would stand up for New Zealanders?

            * I’m assuming Liu’s statement false statement was quoted instead of paraphrased – I can’t remember, and don’t want to wade through all that muck again.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1.2

            The problem is though that you may get a government that comes and decides to make their own changes, changes you may not like or agree with

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Interesting, you’re actually complaining about the dictatorial political system we have.

              And that’s why we need a democracy rather than an elected dictatorship where policy is decided by the people and not a small clique of dictators as we have now.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Well we have a two party state as it, I mean in 2020 Labour will get in for two or three cycles then it’ll be National and so on and so on

                How can we change that?

                • Paul

                  Have you heard of MMP?

                • lprent

                  The Greens have been steadily creeping their vote up. Recently NZF has as well.

                  I’d expect that after National get handed their arse because they haven’t managed to build any coalition partners, and they booted off the treasury benches in 2017, that they will have other parties form – probably along the obvious internal fracture lines.

                  Some of those parties may grow. But in the end, a party needs to get above 5% vote to get into parliament (electorate seats are hard to keep for a small party – they kill party vote), and above about 15% of MPs to be viewed as a major party.

                  To do that, they have to get a dedicated party membership and activists, both as a source of candidates and to provide the room to groom viable candidates who don’t bug out. Think of Pam Corkery and a number of other celeb candidates over the years.

                  No secret…

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I just don’t see the Greens overtaking Labour so they’ll always be a support partner for Labour and same with NZFirst

                    I just think with NZ, due to our size, it’ll be a choice of blue or red so basically a two party state

                    Easier said then done as Colin Craig found out

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yes, but CC is just a weirdo. Everything was going very well for them until his weirdness overshadowed everything.

                      Their policy positions were popular. Probably the only thing that stopped them getting more votes was scepticism that they would get enough votes to be elected – catch 22.

                      If the threshold had been 4% they would have easily gotten in, and probably polled 5%+ anyway.

                      Of course with Colin’s meltdown, we could have been looking at an early election.

                  • fisiani

                    I enclose a polling graph. I assume it is accurate. Can you confirm that the Greens have been steadily creeping their vote up. My eyes must be playing tricks on me.
                    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/01/december_public_polls-2.html

              • lprent

                After observing politics for a few decades, I’ve come to the general conclusion that most of the people interested in politics are interested in being critics rather than doing the political leg work. That definitely includes me. I prefer to find a decent seasoned candidate and to support them.

    • Tc 11.2

      Granny front page today about a tree that cant be cutdown. Another barely hidden whine about supercity rules that developers probably want ‘fixed’…..and they wonder why circulation is declining.

      • Naturesong 11.2.1

        In this case though, it’s a tree that needs to be removed.

        So, it’s the opposite of the Kauri up in Titirangi.

        Pretty sure the two stories will be conflated in the next couple of days by someone who has both a large public platform and a penchant for magical thinking.

  9. Anyone know the details of this case*?
    It looks like the result of piss poor legislation.

    * Owner denied consent to remove a dangerous and failing Norfolk Pine.

    • Tc 12.1

      That would be actual journalism you expect from nationals herald, move on.

      • Naturesong 12.1.1

        Story has been updated with some more detail.

        I expect I’ll have to wait (and hope) that Prof. Geddis or G. Edgeler is curious enough to identify and blog on the legislative conflict that the environment court was unable to resolve.

        • Tc 12.1.1.1

          Yes however the printed version stays out there like a dog whistle not leaving the herders mouth.

          The story should be completed first then published but hey thats journalism whereas this is nationals herald

          • Naturesong 12.1.1.1.1

            “the printed version stays out there like a dog whistle not leaving the herders mouth”

            I saw the headline and my first thought was; “bastards have cut the Kauri down”.

            It wasn’t til I clicked and read the story did I realise that it was a different tree at a different locale under different circumstances.

  10. greywarshark 13

    117 comments already and half it seems from RWs. How can anyone concentrate on thinking about anything important when these time and space-wasters block the thread, intelligent discussion gets deflected just when it is required more than ever before.

    The RWNJs are mounting a very good attack on TS every day, it’s almost like a denial of service because it is hard to get through to the valuable thoughts and musing coming from real people with integrity. Patience is a virtue goes the saying, but too much turns you into a doormat for others to wipe their feet on.
    edited

    • Tc 13.1

      Agreed as they rely on the egalitarian nature of TS.

      Try similar on blubberboy or princessparty blogs and the barrier comes down so the rwnj comments can flow freely for all the others to feed off and feel justified.

    • weka 13.2

      It looks like PR, fisiani and BM. All of those people are quite capable of debating properly, although PR often needs knocking into shape and is the most trollish of the three IME. BM likes to drop in somewhat inflammatory comments, but he will engage intelligently if you respond to him intelligently. Bickering with them will almost certainly get met in kind.

      I don’t mind their presence so much as the fact that so much of the discussion is personal and squabbling. But that could just as easily be lefties (and in this case it was too) 😉

      But yeah, if this were happening under a post rather than OM it would be seriously disruptive. Probably first week back at work dynamics too.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.2.1

        Ok so to provide balance heres my advice to Labour

        http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11572293

        Go hard on this issue, forget about people with Chinese sounding names or crims on Easter Island, this is what will get Labour a much needed bump in the polls, this is what middle NZ cares about

        Get your MPs as much coverage as they can, say what you’d do in power (and for goodness sake make sure the costings add up) and make sure you front foot this and frame the argument yourselves

    • Paul 13.3

      Yes they make reading this thread dull

    • DH 13.4

      I agree with greywarshark. I don’t think any of them except PR are genuine. They often display a herd mentality when a strong theme starts propagating here. Their purpose seems to be one of disruption and diversion.

      Take a good slow look at the fisiani posts. Is he using his own words, speaking his own mind, or is he just parroting scripts. No-one in real life converses like that IMO.

    • Once was Tim 13.5

      “The RWNJs are mounting a very good attack …….” I think its the shape of things to come in 2016.
      I’m not too sure its a GOOD attack – it’ll certainly be a very vocal one – they’ve started early – the Speaker’s bum boys haven’t even had a chance to warm his sheepskin; Paula’s still getting over HER devastating loss (‘cos it was all about HER); Soimun’s mulling over his next move and wondering where the vulnerabilities are; Todd’s ego has been captured by TTPA grandiose; Anne’s clutching pearls and wondering where she stands ……
      The ideologically driven agenda is starting to show signs of wear and failing to the extent that the average Joe is starting to notice, and the CT talking points and language are looking a bit tired (going forward). And all that “on the back of” a ‘Chinese Konomy’ that’s not looking too crash hot, peak real estate, and not even a TVNZ7/Proim Beck Benchas where the trolls can show up – much as they do here on TS to protest how right and correct they are. I agree with the ‘right’ bit.

      • Once was Tim 13.5.1

        Jesus H Christ!
        Labour have SO MANY opportunities to bust this government eh?
        What the fuck is the matter with them!???

        Well, I guess I know that already.
        I think I might pay another visit to Mal and Scotty’s to at least try and guage a ‘10%’ minority’s perspective of reality. Bloody expensive thing to do though eh!

        It’s the other 90% of voters we rely on though that worries me, let alone half the electorate that didn’t.

        Who the fuck is running that Labour show btw? I think most people would be buggered (if they knew)

        EDIT: ….. Last time I went there btw, there was some poor sap that had romantic notions of Fran fucking Wilde’s contribution to ‘equality’. If he only knew (which he wudn’t – unless he wanted to be a Fran Toi Boi, once was genuine – now Franny’s leaned how to clup the tuckit and American Express Platinum is moidy trektiv,

      • greywarshark 13.5.2

        Once Was Tim
        Sure a lot of things happening. They get to be like a bunch of flies buzzing round your head. It will be that we need to mentally record them but spend most of our time planning positive moves rather than registering the dross from the Dark Side.

        • Once was Tim 13.5.2.1

          🙂
          What I fear most is that what I once knew as pretty bloody basic creds have been totally LOST by those who now pretend to ‘represent’ a public.
          I’m not sure they even understand the idea of a ‘public’.
          But there ya go. I guess they’ll have to learn the hard way.
          – and there’s another thing – maybe it’s just me running out of life and becoming impatient.
          At least there are inklings …. even amongst a neighbouring Hataitai-resident fag-hag grandma. (I’m at odds to wonder why as a politician, she’s prepare to …….
          nah fuckit – now I think about it – she likes Judith Crusher Collins and Paul Henry, AS WELL as abusers of scared blokes worried about their sex you allty (going forward).
          It ain’t political pragmatism either. I’m not sure but I suspect she might be training to be the next Fran Wilde

        • Once was Tim 13.5.2.2

          You’ve obviously got a shit load more energy than I have these days. I’m caught between bothering to put up a fight .versus. letting the inevitable play out and letting something organic happen.
          Atm – I think maybe the latter – even tho’ it won’t be pretty for the ‘greedy’, or various minorities; or …. well hopefully you get the pitcha (and if you don’t – no matter). Apparently I’m on the verge of being *****BANNED****** (no doubt with some highly intellectual, ego-driven, how fucking dare he justification.
          Kia Kaha ….. alongside anything else that gives you strength ( I know it’s not solely your ego)

          • greywarshark 13.5.2.2.1

            Once was Tim
            You might find Tim again if you go into something organic! It certainly helps with the frustration of present politics to be supporting something doable and health-oriented putting energies into an achievable project.

            May be planting flasbushes for the tui, after Maori have been consulted as to whether they might be a good resource and they might like a particular species? that is good for making a particular article. That would be good, and then making sure that they survived, got watered, weren’t eaten by bugs, pulled out by thoughtless Council contractors etc. Hovering, working angel stuff.

            Going to classes on growing organic vegs and learning about how to cope with the potato nematode or whatever. Supporting a group that plan the yearly Christmas parade, giving pleasure and joy to all, could be good. Being a hospital volunteer doing whatever they do. Fixing bicycles so kids can have one where it’s safe to go.

            I would like to renew my ties with Amnesty International but have to organise my day better to ensure I send those messages in a timely way to distant countries. And I want to keep writing and reading on this blog. People here are generally good-hearted, so that is a positive thing to do, to keep in touch with people who sincerely care about people and the country, and just disagree about methods and effectiveness.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 14

    Academics go head to head over liquor industry funded ‘research’ on alcohol/violence link.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11573183

    • Muttonbird 14.1

      Despite her protestations, Dr Fox has been bought, plain and simple.

      Any reasonable person can see that.

      More so, Lion will have approached her specifically to do this report because of her earlier work done on disassociating alcohol from violence.

      This kind of research is what happens when academic funding is pushed from the public sector to the private sector, something which the current government is determined to do.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        +1

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.2

        Dr Fox has been bought, plain and simple.

        Followed by:

        …Lion will have approached her specifically to do this report because of her earlier work…

        So, which is it? Lion paid her off, or Lion funded her research because her prior research suited it?

        Any conflict of interest she has in being funded by Lion is no greater than Kypris’ in being part of a religious anti-alcohol group, In fact, Kypris’ conflict seems worse – researchers are sometimes willing to tell funding bodies what they don’t want to hear, but religious conviction is impervious to rationalism.

        • Rosemary McDonald 14.1.2.1

          “…but religious conviction is impervious to rationalism.”

          You may want to check out the Rechabites PM…they appear to have moved with the times, evolved…and indeed, seem to promote similar ideals to those of many here on TS.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Rechabites

          The Rechabites commitment to alcohol harm minimisation is a worthy mission….one that most of the poor sods working in A&E departments around the country would support.

          • Muttonbird 14.1.2.1.1

            The Rechabites commitment to alcohol harm minimisation is a worthy mission

            – Rosemary McDonald

            Yes, and Lion’s commitment to minimising the appearance of alcohol harm is an unworthy one.

            It seems that Lion is quite happy with Fox’s report (which is what they would have expected when they commissioned her), so there doesn’t seem to be any indication that they were told something they didn’t want to hear as Psycho Milt suggests.

        • Once was Tim 14.1.2.2

          @PM – why are those things mutually exclusive?.

          Dr Fox probably even believes her own shite. Even amongst academics that claim to be non-partisan. It’s not unlike the detective that’s convinced their theory valid (often based on a hunch), and who then gathers evidence on that basis, and with that perspective.

          With apologies to Steven Sackur and the Key interview when – well you hopefully know the rest …. claiming academic credentials and being ‘an academic’ can be two very different things. Personally I think Foctor Dox fits.
          The good Foctor probably has as many disciples (and if not, they’ll be searching them out hard and fast), as there are opposing.

          To be clear (in my opinion), the Foctor is a bullshit artist

          • Psycho Milt 14.1.2.2.1

            …why are those things mutually exclusive?

            Because there’s no need to bribe someone who’s already doing what you want. I guess it’s possible Lion are just particularly generous and trouble themselves to bribe researchers whose findings to date were convenient for Lion anyway, but they didn’t get where they are today by being generous with their cash.

            To be clear (in my opinion), the Foctor is a bullshit artist

            You’ve reviewed her research and found it wanting, have you? To be fair, I have to disclose that I regard anti-alcohol activists like Sellman and his mates at the Uni of Otago school of public health to be bullshit artists, but then I have a low opinion of the social sciences in general. Do you have some evidence for why Fox is a bullshit artist, but not Jackson, Kypris, Sellman et al?

            • Muttonbird 14.1.2.2.1.1

              According to the Herald article, Lion commissioned the report to use as a tool with which to lobby governments.

              I guess they’d need to pay her for that.

              • In that case, everyone who accepts payment for their work is “bought.” That clearly isn’t what you meant. Unless you’ve some evidence that her research was falsified or skewed in some way to Lion’s benefit, your comment is just libel.

                As it happens, her conclusions about alcohol causing violence (that its variability across cultures suggests a social rather than physiological basis for violence, that there is in any case no evidence for alcohol having a physiological means of controlling behavior, and that there are social conditions that are more likely candidates) is compelling on a logical basis alone, regardless of the research behind it. The onus is actually on her opponents to demonstrate that alcohol does control behaviour.

          • Psycho Milt 14.1.2.2.2

            Here are some of her findings – they look pretty credible to me. I wouldn’t disagree with any of it:

            1. It’s the wider culture that determines the behaviour whilst drinking, not just the drinking

            Different societies with comparable levels and patterns of alcohol consumption experience very different levels of anti-social and violent behaviour in their night-time economies. Most of the differences can be explained by social and cultural factors and, with concerted effort, they can be influenced.

            2. The physical effects of alcohol do not determine a behavioural response.

            In layman’s terms, Dr. Fox’s research suggests that while alcohol has a very definite physical effect, it doesn’t hijack your moral compass.

            Dr Fox says: “Certainly alcohol carries very definite physiological effects. At high doses, the point at which alcohol enters the brain stem, it is easy to see that the physical effects of alcohol can incapacitate all drinkers equally, regardless of cultural differences.

            “But just because alcohol relaxes and reduces anxiety does not mean it causes inexplicable changes in behaviour or character or blocks impulse control. There are a couple of very simple observations we can all make that support this conclusion. First, the very same person on the same dose of alcohol can react in myriad different ways on different occasions and in different settings. This simply would not happen if we were talking about a purely physiological response.

            “Second, morphologically similar humans in different cultures react completely differently to being ‘under the influence’. Some cultures see very little violence and anti-social behaviour, despite similar levels and patterns of consumption to other nations with high levels of such harm.

            “The conclusion of my research, and many previous studies, is that alcohol can, in certain cultures and situations, be a facilitator of aggression if aggression is there to begin with, both in the individual and in the cultural environment. It does not produce it where it doesn’t already exist.”

            3. Violent individuals, a violence-reinforcing culture and violent situations are the three interlinked drivers of anti-social behaviour and violence in the night-time economy

            Dr Fox makes a number of recommendations to address each of these drivers, with some examples provided below:

            * Violent individuals: Australia and New Zealand needs to ensure effective identification and direct intervention to tackle the behaviour of the minority exhibiting a pre-disposition to violence.

            * Violent situations: We need to work to reduce situational cues – like poor facilities and transport options – that trigger poor behaviour. We also need to change perceptions of what behaviour is socially acceptable while intoxicated and create a genuine fear of stigma for breaking the rules – as has been achieved with drink driving. Realistic consequences such as fines and other sanctions for bad behaviour are needed.

            * Violence-reinforcing-cultures: Australia and New Zealand must address the cultural reinforcers of violence, misogyny, and aggressive masculinity in all its cultural expressions from schoolyards to sports fields, politics and pubs, movies and media. Young men need to be taught that responding with violence is a failure in self-control, not a symbol of masculinity.

            • McFlock 14.1.2.2.2.1

              seriously?

              It’s almost as if being drunk, or being around drunk people, is an unfamiliar experience for her.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      …the special character of our surrounding neighbourhoods.

      Awww, The poor special snowflakes.

  12. Once was Tim 17

    I’m truly devastated!
    I just can’t seem to get people to engage with me and any of my comments (except an occasionale +1 from a Draco)
    Why, I can’t even get hard right trolls to engage in debate.
    I can’t even get BANNED ffs!
    Oh misery!!!! where did I go wrong?
    I’m fucking devastated. I’m soos oidle.

    No matter how hard oi troi, none of these soshul media specimuns will engage.
    Well … oi … oi jiss have to give up!
    But hey … didcha hear? Jerry’s married that fukn old relic Rupe and she’s now dripping money and little blue diamond shaped pills

    [lprent: Would you feel better if I banned you? 😈 ]

    • b waghorn 17.1

      Your comments are to deep for my battered mush of a brain to digest and come up with a reply there, the one who was once Tim.

    • Once was Tim 17.2

      Yes ekshully, I would.
      I know there’s been a delay in my replying, but a ban in this case would serve me well and signal to me what is wrong with our reliance on blogs as a challenge to the status quo.
      I’d be in good company I think (not that I don’t appreciate your efforts in trying to battle our current situation)
      So PLEASE ,,,, if you see fit and are feeling challenged – go ahead and BAN!
      Actually, it’d be akin to all that’s wrong in the Labour Party these days (AND I REALISE YOU’RE IN NO WAY A PLATFORM FOR THE LABOUR PARTY).
      You could put a ban down to being ‘very adult’ of you

  13. Paul 18

    The TPP is some bs.
    Maybe some people will start to get from under the rock now.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11573299

  14. Expat 19

    Interesting news story today on the ABC, Malcolm Turnbull has turned down a request from the US to commit more resources to the war effort, this is the first PM in history (Australian) to “say no” to the yanks, I’m a little cynical as there’s an election in 6 months or so, and the most recent state elections (Vic, Queensland) saw there Liberal govts booted out after only one term, the Queensland premiere removed, Campbell Newman was a proponent of the JK way, only problem was the constituency wasn’t, and dealt with his BS policies that saw the destruction of their social fabric, I think they’re a little smarter than most give credit for.

  15. lprent 20

    TRP reminded me

    A friend works in aged care in London. One the people she looks after is David Bowie’s aunt. On each of his aunt’s birthdays and at Xmas, a big box of goodies arrives…

    My last surviving great aunt is about to hit the ton while I am away on the upcoming business trip. Does anyone have any idea of where to find an age 100 birthday card in Auckland?

    The best I idea I have at present is to head to St Lukes.

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