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Open mike 13/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 13th, 2012 - 137 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

137 comments on “Open mike 13/02/2012 ”

  1. (this is monbiots’ latest..)


    “…There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood…”

    [email look alike deleted].

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Don’t forget size-ists. Those little people haters or those tall people haters. or the rule haters, or the bad hair haters…

      People with prejudices deserve to be ridiculed.

  2. David Cunliffe’s latest post in Red Alert will reignite a debate had here recently. In one passage he neatly summarises why greater equality of resource allocation is important:

    “But has [Herald reporter Simon] Collins not read The Spirit Level?  There is a strong case that more equal societies do better. Including economically.  If so, fairness ain’t just compassion, it’s common sense.”

    He then gets the one-two treatment from Cactus Kate and the slithery one and a comment pointing him to the critique of the Spirit Level.  The response of Thomas is coincidentally similar to that by climate change deniers.  The theory has not been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, therefore it should be ignored.

    The exchange highlights a problem with Red Alert, it seems to be a conduit whereby the right attack Labour MPs.  Lefties should head over there and have a bit of a discussion …

     But not you Gosman.

    • rosy 2.1

      A good point, mickysavage, (The theory has not been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, therefore it should be ignored.) critiquing a study in isolation does not disprove a theory.

      I see the The Spirit Level as an addition to the body of work on inequality, rather than the definitive word. Like in any theory-building that eventually becomes the norm, there are gaps in knowledge and ideas generated that will be improved in the next piece of work.

      For me, David M Smiths’s book Where the grass is Greener: Living in an Unequal World way back in 1982 was the beginning of my theoretical journey in understanding the relationship between politics, economy and inequality. And over the years a significant body of work has been generated that strengthens the connections. The Spirit Level is simply an accessible addition. The big picture is far more important.

    • AAMC 2.2

      I don’t have time to go and argue with the theologians, but it baffles me that people can still look at the neo-liberal model and not see it as bankrupt. I understand the Koch Bros pushing it, they clearly benefit from it, but “the slithery one”?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Lefties should head over there and have a bit of a discussion …

      I pop over there every now and then but, to be honest, I can’t really be bothered trying to persuade the RWNJs over there of the truth as they just don’t want to believe it.

  3. (some clever-clogs needs to do this for us here in new zealand..here is the blueprint..)


    “…In another sign that Democrats have embraced income inequality as a cause célèbre – the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the subject today.

    The committee’s ranking Republican, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, managed to look concerned during two hours of testimony about the kneecapping of the Middle Class —

    – not that it should have been all that difficult.

    Here are some of the hearing’s most striking charts:..”

    [email look alike deleted].

  4. james 111 4

    I think more emphasis should be placed on whether Len Brown will last his term. He comes up with a dream scheme for Lite Rail that Auckland cant afford.

    The Reason being Auckland is a very large city in terms of area but very low in terms of Population density per sq km lite rail dooesnt work in this formula, and would always be a massive cost to the city.He would be much better to run with the Pod idea that was very cost effective, and doesnt require large amounts of land grabs. However Len didnt think about it so he wont do it

    He has never been a mayor who was responsible fiscally there were many poor reports from auditors at Manukau. Now he wants to dream up ever more ways of gouging rate payers to fund his dream.

    He was the mayor who built the Train station in Manukau in the middle of a paddock, and hardly anyone used it for ages.Why is it that Socialists only know how to tax tax unitl people slowly bleed to death whilst the spend ever so wastefully. Good bye Len very soon we all hope so you can play with your toy train set at home.

    • James 111.  Please respond to this.  How can Auckland afford not to construct the inner city loop?  The train system maxes out in about 7 years and with oil bound to increase in price the train system will be vital.  

      But you believe nothing of this do you.

    • millsy 4.2

      Why do you hate rail, James?

      And I guess you hate things like parks and libaries, etc as well.

      • Rob 4.2.1

        No one hates rail, maybe if you stopped being so emotional in your response you might actually see what people have an issue with. Akl is very spread city, its a hard sell to put a whole lot more costs on Aucklanders for a servuice which will benefit only CBD users. Get it.

        The issue in Auckland is not how we get from some outlying suburb to the CBD. The issue is how you get from some outlying suburb to another suburb. Ie from Penrose to Henderson or vice versa.

        • Vicky32

          Akl is very spread city, its a hard sell to put a whole lot more costs on Aucklanders for a servuice which will benefit only CBD users.

          Not only CBD users! I use trains to get from Mt Albert to Mt Eden or Kingsland, or whatever – and would use them more if they were as useful as the Wellington ones.

          • lprent

            Hell yeah, we were going to move (deferred because of lack of time) and the only properties in contention were along the rail lines. Now that they are halfway useable, why would anyone live anywhere else. The actual ideal would be to be just out of earshot of the rail and a motorway, away from a main road, and within walking distance of station and driving distance of a dual onramp.

            The motorway is mostly because the rail doesn’t go far enough.

        • Draco T Bastard

          So, what you’re really saying is that you haven’t thought about it and have NFI WTF you’re talking about.

          Buses to the train station, trains between suburbs.

          This is the most efficient transport system you could get for Auckland. Get rid of the bloody cars which are massively inefficient.

          • Carol

            I use the bus and trains to and from out west. There is a pretty good bus service to and from the station and between suburbs, but they are not often enough, especially outside peak hours. They also don’t co-ordinate well with the trains and each other – too much waiting around.

            But there are some bus routes that do a winding tour through a lot of backstreets in the suburbs, meaning there is some service for most out west…. just not often enough, and those winding routes take a fair bit of time.

          • Jenny

            How come the right never complain about us all being taxed and rated to give the “Well Connected Group” of roading lobbyists $billions in corporate welfare.

            If the W.C.G.’s Waterview tunnel boondoggle project was scrapped, this would release hundreds of $millions to invest in a decent public transport system for Auckland.

            Open mike 12/02/2012

          • Rob

            You know Draco, you really are a smarmy, nasty prick.

            You go and tell our predominatly Sth Auckland manufacturing workforce that they have NFI on the difficulties to get a regular transport service from the suburbs they live in to our work place in fuking penrose and then home again, thats why they use cars.

            You then tell them that you are going to put up all their rates to fund a inner city train link which they will probably never even fuking sit on. I am sure it will be absolutly marvelous for the trendy leftish inhabitants in ponsonby and inner city as it will enable them to get to their latte’s quicker , but for the rest of us who really never get near the central city , it might as well be built in Mongolia for all its worth.

            The most recent memory of people trying to use public transport in Auckland was at the opening of the RWC and what a joy that was.

            • Colonial Viper

              The most recent memory of people trying to use public transport in Auckland was at the opening of the RWC and what a joy that was.

              Thats what happens when you put inexperienced low paid private sector fucktards with zero give a shit factor in charge of running the trains and buses that night.

              • Rob

                Private sector fuktards and this is from the man who’s occupation is being a ‘stay at home son in law.

                I am a private sector fuktard as you put it. I employ people well, we have a very long standing staff. We design and fabricate goods and we pay our fuking taxes, what do you do.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Hey, Rob, while CV’s supposed bludger lifestyle does severely diminish his credibility*, his point is sound.
                  The RWC transport mess was proof that people will use public transport if it is provided. The debacle that ensued was entirely predictable and clearly made worse by the involvement of the private sector whatsits. But don’t take it personally. You sound like you know what you are doing in your area of expertise and more power to ya. But public transport is still best left to be run by public bodies. Run in a business like manner, obviously, but run for the greater good, not for private profit.
                  *I still think CV is taking the piss and he is not actually leeching off his family. Far more likely that he is on ACC, the victim of some horrendous accident that his left him just a head in a jar, communicating via a visual recognition system. One blink for yes, two for no, three for rightie f’ktard, etc…

          • Rob

            Actually Draco, you are the one that has never really considered All of Aucklands transport requirements.

        • mickysavage

          The issue in Auckland is not how we get from some outlying suburb to the CBD. The issue is how you get from some outlying suburb to another suburb. Ie from Penrose to Henderson or vice versa.

          Um Penrose has rail running through the middle of it and there is a dinky rail station smack bang in the middle of Henderson.

          This all goes to show why it is so important for Auckland to consolidate and not continuously spread out like sludge. That way PT becomes relevant and affordable.

          • Rob

            And how many connections and how long is that, and are they built around a normal manufacturing timetable. I honestly dont know, but I do know that 95% of our staff drive.

            We provide good showers obviously and I try to cycle on Fridays, as we have a casual dress code for that day. Cycling down Great South in peak hour is really taking your life in your hands.

            Anyway in my simple and as pointed out uneducated view , public transport work well when you have a critical mass of occupants getting on in similar places and then exiting in similar places. Again my thinking is that this works in Wgtn (even though it has relatively smaller population against other city’s) as there is an over proportion of CBD workers all moving into the the CBD in the mornings and leaving in the evening. With that type of gauranteed volume it is easy to plan a profitable and sustainable network.

            The issue in Auckland is spread as it has been pointed out, not only of popN but also industry zones, whoever or whatever council planning designed this really needs to be brought to task on this result . I like the idea of public transport, belive it or not most people do. However the true practicalities for employees & workers getting from their homes to their workplace on time for their shift to opening at say 6:00am is tough, especially if you throw in Winter weather.

            Do not confuse this example with the requirements of a semi retired single person for instance planing to get to the surburban library for 11:00am.

            As for my comments on CV , if he / she is genuinly sick then I apologise and hope there is a plan for recovery. For Draco, my comments stand. Next time he tells someone they have NFI , he should take a look in mirror as no one knows everything.

    • McFlock 4.3

      think more emphasis should be placed on whether Len Brown will last his term.


      I’m sure you do. But unlike your dreamy Justin Keyber, Brown hasn’t been acting like a petulant brat, was not parachuted into the organisation just because he got rich firing people without losing sleep, and he didn’t become mayor of Auckland just because he was a dilettante bored with his Hawaiian mansion.
      I guess your comment is just a case of “monkey see, monkey do”. People have criticised your object d’unce with good reason, so you simply fire the same criticism at whomever you think your idea of “the left” idolize as much as you do Key.

  5. james 111 5

    No I believe in the Pod Idea continuing pods running all the time that will be built above the ground with very little land being used these can be built along existing roadways run right out to the airport etc, Very efficent to run with little impact on the environment.

    Plus we had the inventor who was prepared to fund some of it.Auckland cant afford to bring Lens dream to life it would be a massive cost to a city that cant afford it. It would also impact on a Local economy that simply cant afford it.
    Here is the link

    • millsy 5.1

      Perhaps if we got the rich to pay a little more in tax, we could afford it, but oh no, we have to close schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, sports fields, playgrounds, railway lines, and any other collectively used social amenity we have.

      • james 111 5.1.1

        Perhaps if we cut down on the DPB so you cant claim it for 6 kids to different fathers. Without telling IRD who fathers were. Also if we cut back on free Student loans remember Michael Cullen got up in the house ,and said these will only cost 700 million yeaaa right. Means tested the gold card. Made family support only to those earning 50 k cause over that your a rich prick right? Then that would help us afford it

        • millsy

          So you want single mothers and their children to live on the street then?
          And the financial burden on students to be even greater and greater?

          All because you dont want to pay a bit more in tax?

          • Rob

            I dont think people would mind paying a little more tax if it was gauranteed to be targeted at those areas that you described. There is a general mis trust of Govt’s ability to even manage the most core systems adequatly.

            • Draco T Bastard

              There is a general mis trust of Govt’s ability to even manage the most core systems adequatly.

              Which is probably due to the lying, capitalists saying that government can’t do anything, that their abilities are awesome and the MSM repeating that BS without question.

              Of course, people will probably start to question the BS since the capitalists are proving, beyond doubt, that they’re no better than government servants and are possibly corrupt as well.

          • james 111

            The trouble is with Labour is it doesnt haven any economic strategy past more tax ,and wastefull expenditure

        • john k

          James we could cut down on dpb,Lets fuck all the little kids over whos mum may not be sure who the real dad is,or dont want some cunt of a dad on the birth cert.
          Then like in the USA,if you cant get money for food or rent or what ever,they have to steal it,we will end up like south Africa,big dogs in the yard and even bigger walls around our home.And your sister mum aunt being raped,because who gives a fuck whats the point in living

        • Vicky32

          Perhaps if we cut down on the DPB so you cant claim it for 6 kids to different fathers.

          So, how often does it happen that a woman claims DPB for 6 children to 6 different fathers? You don’t know? Of course you don’t, and neither do I but my guess is that it almost never happens. As Michael Moore pointed out years ago, the average DPB recipient is a previously-married woman in her middle 30s, with one child. There are more teenage boys on DPB than teenage women!
          If you knew anything, you’d know that women who don’t name the father of their child, get a lesser rate of benefit (not even the DPB but what’s called an “emergency” benefit.) Usually if a woman doesn’t name the father of her child, it’s not because she can’t, but because she won’t – usually because she is afraid of him and doesn’t want to be found. It’s a very rare situation.

        • Mutante

          I refuse to believe you’re an actual flesh and blood human James 111. I suspect you’re actually a piece of software that just spews tired right wing memes from a very small list.

        • Armchair Critic

          Perhaps if we cut down on the DPB so you cant claim it for 6 kids to different fathers.
          What have different fathers got to do with anything? Because kids who have the same mother but different fathers aren’t as worthy as kids with the same mother and father? Because kids with different fathers need less support than kids with the same mother and father? Please explain.
          Why six kids? Are children from large families less deserving than those from smaller families? Can you explain how it would work in your fantasy world. or do you just have some sadistic need to see people who are less fortunate than you punished?

    • tc 5.2

      It’s Colin Craig’s alter ego….continuous pods above ground LOL. Such a great idea that many great cities have adopted it like…….umm, err, insert them all here.

      Very little land, what so they hover in a virtual space….jeez you’re hilarious James.

  6. james 111 6

    TC realise that they are probably a bit advanced for you. You would have us on donkey and cart, and still throwing our crap over our organic veggie gardens. They are they way of the future ,and they will be come normal in major citys around the world . However you would have no problem spending billions On Len Browns dream that will never work financially because Auckland isnt a city of 12 million

    • millsy 6.1

      Why do you hate rail? If people like you had your way, we wouldnt have a rail network at all. All because you think low taxes and profit are more important than anything else.

      • james 111 6.1.1

        Because what Len is looking at is a pipe dream that we simply cant afford as a city. I dont hate rail quite like it have travelled on the TGV in Paris etc. What he is planning is absolutely not a good idea for financial reasons alone ,and he has been told more than once.

        • millsy

          This country cannot afford huge tax cuts for the rich either.

          And your mate John Banks would rip out the rail network altogether, close libaries, and build subdivisions on parks.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yet apparently we can afford billion dollar roads which won’t even be used in 10 years time???

    • tc 6.2

      Dude stop reading sci fi and focus on what’s possible within current constraints i.e making the most out of existing infrastructure with proven technology.
      Still waiting for those examples of pod’s in all those great cities…..I’ve got all day no hurry.

    • so..james..what have you got against ‘crap’/’poop’..?


      sheesh..!..expand yr mind/knowledge..eh..?

      [email look alike deleted].

  7. ianmac 7

    Crikey! “And 53 per cent of the 1076 surveyed said a candidate’s sex appeal was a factor when they decided whom to vote for.”
    So said at the end of the strange article about Key’s sex appeal (?)
    So get a popular sexy rugby player as candidate and you’re on to be PM.

  8. NickS 8


    Thanks thee evolution for making relative risks/benefits and empirical cost/benefit so fucking counter-intuitive.

    Basically, by wearing a helmet, even at plus 20Km/hr crash speeds the force experienced is significantly less than what would be experienced with out a helmet*, and basically the less force on the brain, the better the outcome post-crash. And lower the possible social** costs resulting from post-crash care, if not lowering the risk of mortality and removing the rather expensive costs of death.

    And yet, inspite of all that, some treat discomfort (re-adjust the bloody thing) and messed up hair as somehow far more important than the above…

    As for the research I haven’t read it yet, but I can already see potential issues to do with the cost of fuel, cycle ed. and the cost of helmets as potentially statistically important predictors of cycling levels. But I’ll need to hunt down the paper to see if the authors tested to destruction their hypothesis/observation. But I suspect the paper’s claims are being heavily abused by the anti-helmet crowd…

    *well, there’s likely a convergence point in force received when dealing with very high velocities, but the risk of that is usually only encountered very rarely
    **aka emotional costs that occur when a social primate group looses a member + all the other “normal” costs therein

    • rosy 8.1

      Try some of the links here for the argument against compulsory cycle helmets.
      The history of the cycle helmet legislation, the standards and international views of NZ law are very interesting as well.

      • NickS 8.1.1

        Here’s an idea, give me teh science, instead of un-backed up claims…

        As for the civil liberties argument, lolwat? It comes down to “what argument?”, because there’s none in there other than “just because we say so” plus the end bit of it is a ye olde slippery slope fallacy.

        • rosy

          From that link you get:
          http://www.vehicularcyclist.com/hfaq.html with many studies.
          Suffice to say I wouldn’t let my kid go out without a helmet, but that doesn’t mean I support helmet-wearing by legislation in all cases.

          My conclusion is NZ’s helmet law is poorly written. If you look around, you can make your own, I’m not going to give it to you.

          • NickS


            I said link to the science, aka use google scholar, instead of chucking various advocate sites at me, which lack the sort of referencing I see from sites which deal with anti climate change crap or ye olde talkorigins.org site.

            And one read flag I see from that site is them claiming what’s obviously a letter (a non peer reviewed short article) as an article from a journal. And not reproducing/linking to full papers is a bit strange as well.

            • rosy

              I reckon you know there’s barely an article that has come to an adequate conclusion around the issues of:
              1. whether helmets are effective enough
              2. risk compensation behaviours by drivers and cyclists
              3. poorly drafted legislation
              4. a reluctance to spend money on more effective means of making cyclists safe if the focus is on helmets (especially cycle lanes that fully separate cyclists from cars)
              5. if helmets prevent people from cycling because they give the impression that cycling is inherently unsafe
              6. wider public health benefits
              7. Comparing injury rates in countries with good cycling infrastructure and those without

              I’m biased in that I live in a city with good cycling infrastructure and no helmet laws. I can’t find any figures comparing the rates of serious head injury and death here, and in a country like NZ where cycling is poorly supported.

              Until there is it appears that making one’s own conclusions is important. You also know that the problem with google scholar searches is that most articles are behind a pay wall. The alternative to stuff behind a paywall is often advocate sites – either directly or simply because the topic in question comes into the sphere of the main activity the site is for. If a person is interested enough in the topic they can follow references in these sites using a skeptical approach to find the info that fits their own perspective, I reckon.

              • McFlock

                Compare all that against: a one off $20-60 payment. Less than the cost of a bike rack, and probably less that 10% of the cost of the bike itself.

              • vto

                Rosy,one thing I have never had explained to me despite years of asking… if the arguments for compulsory wearing of helmets on pushbikes are so great why is the same legislation not put in place for helmets in vehicles?

                • McFlock

                  Because a helmet in a vehicle is redundant behind airbags, seatbelts and the various safety standards that are legislated in other vehicles (and in an enclosed space can be argued to contribute to neck injusy without additional protective equipment, which leads to a rapid escalation in expense for rapidly diminishing benefits). The exception being motorcyles/mopeds which . . . have helmet laws.

                  • vto

                    Actually Mr McFlock, I would suggest that helmets are nowhere near redundant behind airbags. Maybe vehicles have more safety equipment because they are far more dangerous – i.e. fast and surrounded by crunching metal.

                    What I was getting at was the reason for the bike helmet law as it was put at the time (pre-airbags) i.e. there are lots of head injuries in bike accidents therefore you need to wear helmets. How many vehicle accidents are there without head injuries? Not very many at all. Same reasoning applies. Everybody please start wearing helmets when you drive to the shops.

                    • McFlock

                      The protective capabilities of an inch of polystyrene might be substantially less at 50kph than at 15kph. Perhaps you should get mechanism and type of injury stats and state your case, but try and do a better job of it than the guy in NZMJ.

                    • vto

                      Not a bike helmet in a car, sheesh – that would be silly. More like a racing car helmet – at least kids would love it.

                      Anyways, I guess my point through the years of this debate is that the only reason that helmet wearing was not made compulsory in vehicles was because of the political blowback (I do like that word) that would result. And when something is done to one group and not another because of political blah-de-blahs the hypocrisy sort of gets my goat.

                    • McFlock

                      But the entire concept around car occupant protection is to use the entire vehicle as the helmet. Sticking all occupants in F1 driver helmets would need to be weighed against impact on range of visibility and hearing – hidden exits and T intersections aren’t common hazards on the track.

                    • vto

                      True, but at least it would be an excuse to drive faster..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Basically need to get more people and more vehicles off the road.

                    • McFlock

                      Some sort of mass-transit system? Those pneumatic tubes off Futurama?

                • rosy

                  why is the same legislation not put in place for helmets in vehicles?
                  More to the point – why don’t pedestrians need to wear helmets when they’re crossing the road? The key of course is that for the most part, pedestrians are separated from vehicular traffic.

                  I’m genuinely conflicted about the cycle helmet debate. Normally I agree with safety legislation and I don’t have a libertarian notion of the freedom to do what I like.

                  NZ’s legislation does not cover off-road cycle use (BMX riders in forests for example). It was designed after a campaign about injury to cyclists when hit by cars. There are better ways to protect cyclists from cars – separate them physically. Does putting the onus on the potential victim of a car vs bike to protect themselves provide an excuse to not do anything about this? Has making cycling inherently unsafe by not improving cycling infrastructure as cars increased made cycling far more dangerous than it need be? And creating a perception that it is a dangerous activity by enforcing helmets reduced cycling. And do more people suffer chronic illness because cycling is not safe in NZ?

                  Not surprisingly, most car drivers no longer cycle and have no idea how roads and driving behaviours appear from a cyclists point of view. As it stands NZ’s cycling culture is generally one of sport – bikes riders are faster than ever before and the roads are not designed for that kind of activity. At the speeds they’re riding, surely the need a motorbike helmet to prevent serious injury in a collision with a car – cycle helmets are probably a nowhere near good enough.

                  I ride on an upright 3-speed. I dismount at the one dangerous intersection near where I live (convergence of trams, cars, bikes and pedestrians, with uncontrolled pedestrian crossing), otherwise I cycle helmetless along the lanes that are physically separated from the traffic flow (in effect complying with NZ law). In NZ, I wear a helmet – even along the ill-conceived cycle lanes in Wellington – on roads I’m well aware that I need to ride slowly enough to look out for opening car doors, because drivers are not going to look for me. And when the wind gets up, I know that after about 5 minutes, because I’m not leaning into the wind, the helmet isn’t even sitting on my head properly, rendering it useless (yes, I do know how to put a helemt on properly). It’s all incredibly frustrating.

                  Is it safety in numbers that is the difference between safe cycling in the Netherlands & Japan, for example and the dangerous activity it is in NZ? With more car drivers being cyclists as well? And does the helmet law prevent the safety in numbers effect (if it exists)? I think the jury is still out.

                  Edit: on another point – when I was home I saw that some of the cycle route is progressing in the central North Island . But I can’t work out why there is a cycling route on the Taupo bypass instead of building one into the town. I can’t think why any tourists on bikes would bypass Taupo – they’d want to go into the town.

          • Vicky32

            but that doesn’t mean I support helmet-wearing by legislation in all cases.

            Why on earth not? I’ve taught people with intellectual disabilities and the last thing we need is more brain injuries! I have wasted a huge amount of energy talking to boys from 8-16 years old that I see riding without helmets in my area – they just sneer, snigger and give me lame civil liberties arguments they heard from their daddies… Even when I find myself pleading with these boys not to sentence their families to the nightmare of taking care of a brain-damaged child until they die… and I end up in tears!V but that doesn’t mean I support helmet-wearing by legislation in all cases! (I don’t always cry, but I definitely have.)
            I’ve also spent a lot of time begging police to enforce the helmet law. The answers I have got from the cop on the beat range from “I can’t be arsed” to “are you sure, I didn’t notice” as I pointed out a glamorous woman in her mid 30s, one of the frocks on bikes women, I later learned, cycling helmet-less down Gt North Road, in full view of the lazy 20 something cop who was harassing a teenage brown boy for alleged public drinking of alcohol…

      • NickS 8.2.1

        This evaluation reviews publically available data and analyses3–7,9 to assess the outcome for cycling activity levels, safety, health, law enforcement, accident compensation, environmental issues and civil liberties. The data compares cyclists to pedestrians and evaluates changes to population and road safety trends. A summary and conclusions draw together the findings and suggests the best way forward.

        Eh? If this is a literature review, where’s the mention of “critical”, aka when reviewing an area of literature, you need to don’t only say what you’re going to look at, but also go through and critically sanity check the claims of the of the papers to make sure that the conclusions within the literature aren’t a load of poo…

        Which I don’t see happening in the discussion at all. Not to mention it’s mainly concerned with UK issues, rather than NZ ones, where ACC doesn’t discriminate against non-helmet wearers I think. So wtf?

        And it doesn’t help that it’s published by someone who appears not to have any experience with with academic level research, let alone that he cites stuff outside the literature without accessing the suitability of it. Namely websites with well known anti-helmet views

        Meh, I’ve got some work to do, but this looks firmly like amateur-hour stuff, that’s more suitable as an example of how not to review than anything worth crowing about. And my bullshit detectors trained on the fine, well aged, flood of crap that is intelligent design and young earth creationism “literature” are registering slightly on this, not due to anyone thing, but the general feeling of it due to the issues I’ve mentioned and one’s I haven’t + the style the papers written in….

        • higherstandard

          Yes as I said……… mostly drivel.

          With garbage articles like this it is not hard to see why the NZMJ has a dwindling readership.

          • NickS

            Any past incidences of crap bypassing the usual filters for them? Because I’m starting to wonder how it got in without some help and non critical reviewers…

            Oh yeah, cheers for the link too!

      • McFlock 8.2.2

        oh FFS – the author’s description in the article itself:

        Colin F Clarke studied mechanical engineering at Huddersfield Polytechnic. He qualified in 1970 as a British Cycling Federation coach. He has been a cyclist for more than 40 years and has worked as a road safety instructor teaching children how to ride bicycles safely. He has cycled in more than 20 countries including approximately 8000 kilometres in NZ

        How that didn’t raise any flags I don’t know.
        My only response to the dodgy math (his rate-ratio confidence intervals must be a mile wide, the absence of which a reviewer should have picked up) is to point out that the the lycra-clad arse-in-the-air brigade is arguing that teenagers won’t cycle because they’d look silly wearing a helmet. The helmet is the least of their worries.

        • Kevin Welsh

          I got as far as:

          2. Cycling has declined, partly as a result of the law.
          Numbers of cyclists have declined enormously since the law, and although cycling may have since increased, evidence indicates that the level is still below what would have been expected had there been no law.

          More people have given up cycling or continued to ride helmetless than have worn a helmet because of the law.

          At about 1pm today, and have only now just stopped laughing that someone could make that assumption. What a load of shit.

          Then there is this gem:

          6. Helmet wearers may be more at risk of injury.
          Some studies have suggested helmet wearers to be more likely to strike their heads and/or have an accident. There appears to be a rational explanation for this phenomena. Wearing a helmet increases the size and mass of the head. Helmet wearers, like all groups subject to safety interventionn, may also be subject to risk compensation – a well recognised problem, i.e. helmet wearers cycle more dangerously because they feel safer.

          Sounds like a good reason to not wear a cycle helmet OR a motorcycle helmet.

          9. Helmet laws erode civil liberties.
          Don’t even think about civil liberties, you don’t have any. Wear a helmet or else! Just as compulsory motorbike helmets were used to justify compulsory seatbelts, and compulsory seatbelts in turn were used to justify compulsory bicycle helmets, there can be little doubt that at some point in the future the bicycle helmets law will be used to justify other breaches of civil liberties.

          If the NZMJ hadn’t figured out by this point that this is the work of a crackpot, then I shudder to think what other ‘research’ they publish.

          I remember having an argument in a pub in Palmerston North about 10 years ago with one of these nutters and finally put the question to him, “how many people have died BECAUSE they were wearing a cycle helmet”. Thank fuck that shut him up.

  9. Arianna Huffington’s book “Third World America” provides clear warnings about the danger of National trying to replicate US systems. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/replicating-us-models-dangerous.html

    • james 111 9.1

      Agree we should all follow the Socialist Government in Greece they have made such a good fist of over the years, and got the country exactly where they wanted it crippled ,with their borrowing at 140% of GDP. Just go to show you leave a socialist government in a country for to long and the debt more than catches up with you

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Sweden would be a better model to follow at this stage – much better than the US.

      • tc 9.1.2

        Where are those pod driven transport systems examples dude ?

        • Gareth


          Worth investigation I reckon especially with the fancy driverless tech available now. Could steer them with magnetic strip in the roadway and just send them up the bus lanes on the motorways

          • james 111

            Exactly Gareth its the way of the future unfortunately its coming along a bit fast for TC &Mcflock to understand. They would prefer to see us spend billions on an antequated rail idea all to bolster Len Browns ego.

            Only to see it as old technology in about five years. Then we will be writing down billions more in so called rail assets that the city could never afford in the first place. Like we did last year after Cullen and Winston brought back the rusty train set.

            • Colonial Viper

              uh that “rusty train set” provides logistics to billions in dairy, forestry and pulp and paper while keeping dangerous and heavy wear and tear off our roads…methinks you have no idea.

            • McFlock

              The things we’ll consider just so we don’t have to mix with the hoi polloi, eh?
              Assuming you’re talking about replacing the proposed CBD rail tunnel with an ULTra, what are your relative costings and have you taken into account the fact that the pods will need a guided bespoke path for it through downtown Auckland, just like the rail link?
              I suggest the main cost of the link is the tunnel, not the track. And I’m not too worried what gets put on the tracks, as long as they work and are state owned and operated (simply because NZ experience suggests that the latter gives a greater likelihood of the former). Hell, why haven’t you also plugged away at an L-train as well – no opportunity missed to throw rocks at Len Brown, eh?

              • Populuxe1

                The things we’ll consider just so we don’t have to mix with the hoi polloi, eh?

                Oh well – I’ll be honest about it. Yep, if it means not having to deal with other people’s germs, body odour, screaming kids, obnoxious teens etc etc – the sorts of things that keep the less robust off buses.

                • McFlock

                  Well, you’ll still get the germs and body odour – some people just… linger…
                  What tends to keep me of the busses in my locality is that personal transport is cheaper and generally more reliable. But then my council thought a stadium was a better idea than fiscal solvency.

                • Carol

                  Having used buses a lot lately due to an injury and inability to drive, I’d say the “less robust” are precisely the people who DO use buses. Elderly who can no longer drive and me for instance.

                  Keeping of public transport is just plain snobbery. I went on the train today and there were a large cross section of the types of people who were travelling at the same time as me. I do try to miss the school run though, if I can…. too much energetic noise for me.

                  • Vicky32

                    Having used buses a lot lately due to an injury and inability to drive, I’d say the “less robust” are precisely the people who DO use buses. Elderly who can no longer drive and me for instance.

                    Seconded, Carol! I’ve used buses and trains my whole life (and would have to now even if I had been a driver, for medical reasons). Buses in the mornings, are full of workers of all ages, races and capabilities, and in the middle of the day, it’s as you say, precisely the less robust!
                    Oh, and far fewer ‘screaming kids’ than you’ll find in any given shopping centre!

                  • Populuxe1

                    I bus if it’s too far to walk, or in extremis take a taxi. But I consider myself “robust” – even so I’ve seen some particularly disgusting bullying behaviour on buses perpetrated by teens against anyone they thought they could get away with doing it to, and even when the driver’s attention was drawn to it, they showed absolutely no desire to get involved

                    • Carol

                      Well in my home area, I’ve experienced drivers making some youngsters get off the bus for their behaviour.

                      On the trains in winter in peak times, I do think some people could do with educating about ways to cough and sneeze around people, and that being around people with colds and the flu is to be avoided if at all possible.

                      But that is my main gripe. Mostly people are considerate. And when I was obviously carrying an injury, people were often extremely considerate.

      • Dave Kennedy 9.1.3

        James, I’m amazed that you managed to construe this view from my comment and blogpost, your powers of lateral thinking are impressive and your logic is amazing!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.4

        Just go to show you leave a socialist government in a country for to long and the debt more than catches up with you

        You forgot the role the banking cartel has played and is playing in sending Greece under.

  10. Steak&Cheese Pie 10

    Did anybody else hear Mark Bennett back on the radio on Friday night. Couldn’t be more pleased

  11. Jackal 11

    Paul Holmes – senile old white male syndrome

    Once again Paul Holmes has provided an article of pure unimaginative bullshit that deserves all the contempt people can muster…

    • vto 11.1

      Sheesh, that really is a shockingly useless piece. It is hard to know where to start…

      Do you think people, other then those that have the exact same attitudes and sentiments, would give him and his writing any credit?

      • Jackal 11.1.1

        You might be surprised about how many racist people there are in New Zealand. Complaining about an article (or any media for that matter) that reaffirms people’s racism and is clearly in breach of New Zealand’s laws is not a useless endeavour vto… unless you’re a defeatist?

        • vto

          Mr Jackal, I think you misread my point. (and then i in haste misread your reply). What I was referring to was Holmes’ piece of poo. That was what was shockingly useless, not yours or your actions – they are to be applauded. Keep it up. Sorry about the mixup – sometimes it can be easy to convey the wrong thing and in this case the complete opposite.


          edit:oops again, in reply to below

      • Jackal 11.1.2

        I’ll take your continued silence as to the defeatist question as a yes! You’re being a right fuckwit vto in not elaborating on why you think the article and my complaint is “shockingly useless”. Let me know when you find a leg to stand on.

        [lprent: don’t use the silence implies agreement tactic here. I class it with other flame making strategies like owned, fire and forget, etc. In other words repeated use gives people holidays. ]

        • Jackal

          vto had made comments after mine @ 2:39 PM showing he had revisited the page. I was annoyed at the apparent ignoring of my question.

          Clearly I was not flaming by defending my article. As vto has cleared up the misunderstanding, I fail to see the need for your holiday comment lprent.

          Anyway… Socialistaotearoa is organizing a Paul holmes picket at the NZ Herald Office, 46 Albert Street, Auckland this Thursday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

          [lprent: I look at the comment first and last when moderating. It is only if I am uncertain that I read the context. The form of your comment triggered a warning, and I didn’t need to look at anything else.

          Reread it and think about how a moderator saw it. And remember we see a 100k comments a year here. There isn’t time to waste examining too much context. Change the style of form of your comments so it doesn’t trigger my moderation instincts. ]

          • vto

            Good stuff, go for it. Putting aside the inadvertant palavar above, how does someone like Holmes get away with saying that absolute rubbish? It was just a mad rant from an ignoramus (I should know and recognise them when I see them…) that said absolutely nothing and was full of vindictive hate.

            But don’t you think that such a protest will simply reinforce his beliefs and give him more ammunition, rightly or wrongly, for more such mad rantings?

            Maybe alongside such a protest he could be invited onto one of those proper and deeper investigative interview programs where he is questioned long and hard on the things he has said and written. Let him stand and try to defend himself through long and pointed questioning. (do those shows exist anymore??)

            What a poor man he is.

            • Populuxe1

              Hopefully this blast from Holmsey’s past will cheer you up

            • Jackal


              But don’t you think that such a protest will simply reinforce his beliefs and give him more ammunition, rightly or wrongly, for more such mad rantings?

              Not really. The large backlash and complaints the NZ Herald will receive is an embarrassment for them. Paul Holmes might be an attention seeker, but the Herald will not want the bad publicity of people physically protesting outside their offices. Complaints also take up a lot of time.

              Whether the attention elicits further ranting from the deluded Holmes is beside the point. It’s that the ranting is published in New Zealand’s only daily national newspaper that is the problem. Holmes is welcome to rant all he likes in the comfort of his own home where he can be ignored.

            • Anne

              But don’t you think that such a protest will simply reinforce his beliefs and give him more ammunition, rightly or wrongly, for more such mad rantings?


  12. james 111 12

    Excellent article from Keeping Stock just goes to show that Looney Len as they refer to him is floating ideas out from his dream catcher, but doesnt have the support he needs.

    [bloody great big paste deleted]

    There’s no doubting Brown’s enthusiasm for the things that he is proposing, but he is going to need government support, and at the moment that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. And without it, neither may be a second term as mayor for Len Brown.

    [lprent: Cut’n’paste is not what this site is for. We are interested in your ideas or your reactions to other ideas, not someone else’s who can be linked to.

    We’ll tolerate some selected quoting provided that we can see where the damn quotes are (ie use blockquote or italics or even some quote marks) with a link. The only other time it will be tolerated is if there are no links to the material on the net – labvel them as such. And I’d better not be able to find it in a few seconds googling.

    I have demonstrated using a link and blockquote. Check out the FAQ on simple HTML tags or switch to using the wsiwyg editor. But don’t let me find you doing this kind of dump-pasting again. ]

  13. vto 13

    Just heard the unelected Greek Prime Minister have the cheek to say that the protesting in Greece is unacceptable in a democratic country. Bahahahahaha ……

    Fuck me, the things people get away with saying …….

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Athens at night. “Get away” with it is becoming a very relative concept methinks.


      • vto 13.1.1

        Yeah, well it sucks. The banksters need to take a haircut. It is they, who made these dumb-arse loans, who should be receiving austerity. Make them wait until the people and the country are sorted and then they can be repaid – and with no interest on the loan. In fact interest should be outlawed (like it has been through most of history).

        The pain will eventually come anyway, no matter how long the shits in power keep delaying things and printing money with their money-printing machines (you will soon be able to buy them on trademe).

        In my opinion nations such as Greece should default. The politicians seem incapable of telling the banksters to take a hike so maybe it should be led by a grass-roots cause of the people. Unite and default on a grand scale. The Occupy movement is perhaps a group to do this (I’ll follow … after everyone else …)

        • Colonial Viper

          Greece has defaulted 5 times in the “modern era”. They’re still around. You are right, let them default again. Irresponsible lenders need to take their share of responsibility for loading up a country with debt whom they knew could never repay it, and even after that point kept giving Greece even more credit.

          • Populuxe1

            Of course massive corruption at all levels of the bureaucracy and the extraordinary number of loopholes exploited by Greek citizens to avoid paying tax have nothing to do with it at all, eh CV?

            • muzza

              “massive corruption at all levels of the bureaucracy ” – Correct and it allowed the banking cartel to leverage that corruption to the point where it was so fucked that managed to get an unelected GS banker in as PM – Well we are much more stupid than that, we actually elected ours!

              You make risky loans, then you should take the losses when they come your way, but its not about that is it. Its about taking countries over without using armies. They save that for “The Arabs”

              • Populuxe1

                Well, no muzza – empire building isn’t very cost effective. Ultimately costs always exceed returns, so history largely disproves your little paranoid conspiracy fantasy. You may have noticed that the US is really trying very hard to get itself out of its resource sucking muddle in Iraq, and for the record Afgahnis are predominantly Pashtun, and Iranians are Persian/Farsi.
                Italy is corrupt at all levels and rife with powerful organised crime families. Also Berlusconi was a baboon.
                I don’t know enough about the Spanish economy to comment, but I was actually surprised as I thought it was more robust than that.
                Ireland went the cheap worker/low wage economy route – which did fantastically well for rich pricks (who invested it all in a property bubble) and then it went tits up because the Irish government (which had ethics, unlike our Natzis) actually raised wages in keeping with living costs and then all of the corporates fled back to Asia.
                Also, I have a feeling that all three had large underdeveloped parts of their economies and regions that were so virtually third world that they qualified their nations for massive EU subsidies.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well, no muzza – empire building isn’t very cost effective. Ultimately costs always exceed returns, so history largely disproves your little paranoid conspiracy fantasy. You may have noticed that the US is really trying very hard to get itself out of its resource sucking muddle in Iraq, and for the record Afgahnis are predominantly Pashtun, and Iranians are Persian/Farsi.

                  Fuck you are stone stupid for someone so smart.

                  Let me clue you in. The financial failure of the bank (or the country or the empire) is not necessarily a failure of the fraud and corruption.

                  The perps who run the fraud and corruption tend to simply walk away from the burning wreckage they created with a smile and their pockets full of money and gold.

                  Jon Corzine is but the latest example; he’s walked away as rich as ever from the lifeless bodies of MF Global and all its clients even though billions in segregated accounts have simply “vapourised”.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Let me clue you in. The financial failure of the bank (or the country or the empire) is not necessarily a failure of the fraud and corruption.

                    No CV, even someone as stone stupid as me can see that the fraud and corruption is a failure of “the bank (or the country or the empire)” – not the other way around.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In a “control fraud” (look it up) the individuals who control the bank (or the country or the empire) use the organisation as a vehicle to commit fraud and corruption.

                      failure of “the bank (or the country or the empire)” – not the other way around.

                      People performing control frauds circumvent or subvert all the normal controls and checks in an organisation.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ireland went the cheap worker/low wage economy route – which did fantastically well for rich pricks (who invested it all in a property bubble) and then it went tits up because the Irish government (which had ethics, unlike our Natzis) actually raised wages in keeping with living costs and then all of the corporates fled back to Asia.

                  This is the most ridiculous, fantasy driven and inaccurate representation of the Irish situation that I have ever read.

                  Bank debt and asset bubble fraud was at the heart of the Irish problems. And that was driven by the Irish lowering corporate tax rates to become a legalised western tax haven, while deregulating its financial system to suit those kinds of corporates.

                  • Populuxe1

                    This is the most ridiculous, fantasy driven and inaccurate representation of the Irish situation that I have ever read.

                    Did I leave out the Leprechauns?

                    Bank debt and asset bubble fraud was at the heart of the Irish problems. And that was driven by the Irish lowering corporate tax rates to become a legalised western tax haven, while deregulating its financial system to suit those kinds of corporates.

                    Asset bubble primarily in the form of property, as I said. Of course you’re right about the tax haven and deregulation – I’m afraid I lost my train of thought in the wee small hours, but those also go hand in hand with low wage economies.

              • Populuxe1

                Agreed muzza – I should have restated that instead of assuming it as read within the context of the thread. Though, as below, by no means the only cause, and I still don’t buy into the organised global capitalist conspiracy angle

        • Jackal

          I don’t think purposefully defaulting on loans would work, because that implies there is still a contract that needs to be honoured at some stage. In many casses it is not the money that the banks want anyway.

          What you’re talking about vto is breaking the contract and nullifying the debt, like Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi did concerning the Rothschild-centered global banking cartel. Considering how vindictive the bankers and the governments they control can be, I’m not sure that is the best solution.

          For New Zealand, we need to remove whatever politicians work towards our indebtedness as quickly as possible. What I don’t get about the current bunch, is that they’ve cut jobs and a lot of funding but have hugely increased borrowing… so where has all the saved and borrowed money gone? It cannot have just disappeared and there will be a paper trail to show their treachery.

          The danger that National has created in borrowing so much is that it will be used as an excuse to sell off our assets and instigate socially destructive austerity measures. New Zealand is currently experiencing a corporate driven raid that is being orchestrated by offshore interests that have little concern for New Zealand’s future. Unfortunately 21% of the eligible voters (including Kiwi’s in other countries) are not aware of the secret agenda, and elected John Key to oversee their economic destruction.

          If we’re not careful, similar unrest as that seen in Greece could well become a regular occurrence in New Zealand.

  14. Te Reo Putake 14

    In breaking Law and Order news, David Garratt has pled guilty to yet another crime. Stopping short of claiming that it was a case of mistaken identity and that a dead baby was at the wheel, the former SST MP has finally admitted driving while pissed.

    • isn’t that garretts’ ‘third-strike’..?

      [email look alike deleted].

      • vto 14.1.1

        ha ha, quite.

        Third strike and you’re out. In this case, lets say, at the least, no driving licence ever again ….

        What say David Garrett I wonder…

      • Jackal 14.1.2

        I think that’s Garrett’s fifth strike. 1. Stole babies identity. 2. Assault conviction in Tonga. 3. Failed to provide information that is required by law in the false passport court case. 4. Failed to properly inform Parliament prior to becoming a Minister of the Crown and now the drunk driving conviction.

    • Red Rosa 14.2

      Where is the SST when we REALLY need them…?

      Sic ’em onto this Garratt character. ASAP.

  15. Fisiani 15

    So how do Aucklanders get to vote for cutting back council services and selling assets to grow other assets. No such option on offer. Shows a tax and spend socialist mentality

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      Create a petition and show a mandate. Of course the fact that they voted an undeniably left-wing mayor like Len Brown in the first place rather suggests you’ll be pissing in the wind.

    • Te Reo Putake 15.2

      They had an election, you wally. That was the option. The ‘give the assets to our mates’ block lost, remember? Lord knows what happened to their mayoral candidate, but no doubt he’ll be found employment in some menial, subservient role in one of the duller suburbs.

    • millsy 15.3

      ‘Cutting back council services’.

      So you *DO* think libraries should be cut then…

  16. Populuxe1 16

    And Ngapuhi are just maintaining tradition

  17. Wharfie 19

    What’s this country coming to.Port of Auckland mis-management have sought urgent injunction to stop The Maritime Union distributing pamphlets to the community of Auckland.Well it’s abit late for that over 360.000 have already gone out with a clear message that states the facts.I find it completely unbelievable that big buisiness thinks it can gag the working man.SO SORRY POA BUT THE HORSE HAS BOLTED!

    • Hi Wharfie

      Have you got a link to this? I am more than happy to go out today and deliver a couple of thousand before the injunction is granted if at all …

  18. alex 20

    So why exactly should one community’s votes count for more than another’s?

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