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Open mike 13/04/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 13th, 2010 - 39 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

39 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2010 ”

  1. Zorr 1

    Oooooooooooooooooooookay… when did we decide that letting someone who is unwilling to proud of our country’s history in to the highest office? This is one of the main reasons why I was never tempted to vote for this goit.


  2. Selene 2

    Breakfast- 8.30- Porridge

    Rolled oats, oat bran, a dash of salt (mix all with water) then add sultanas, linseeds, cinnamon, a spoon full of honey (cook), at the end add a splash of milk and top off with a fresh pear (cut).


  3. prism 3

    Funny to hear John Key talking about NZ taking a position that has resulted in us being respected, a small nation leading the way in the move against nuclear weapons etc. This from the party that turns itself into a red carpet for anyone with money to walk on (or maybe a blue carpet). But then perhaps I am showing an unfair bias. What principled, standout policy against the flow has National ever embraced?

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      The repeal of s29 springs to mind, but, strangely, they don’t seem to like being reminded of how they voted on that one.

  4. Bad news,

    The Raglan wharf burned down. Gone are the fishmonger, Tony’s pottery and irreplaceable historic artefacts. Also gone are a summers worth of work in Basil and elderberry worth several thousands of dollars. Lot’s of people out of jobs and a winter at least without the best fish and chips I know of. if the buildings are ever replaced that is.

  5. ianmac 5

    It is ironic that the Anti-nuclear policy delivered by the Lange Govt. and rubbished by “Gone by lunchtime Lockwood” and others in National, should be the prime reason for John Key’s roll out on the world stage. And Zorr it does seem strange that Key has not said “We in NZ have a proud history of Anti-nuclear legislation……”
    (David Lange once said that he misread his notes which lead to his whole stance and the anti-nuclear……..)

  6. Mac1 6

    Ianmac, do you have a reference for the Lange parenthesis? I’ve just had a shufti at his biography and can’t find it.

    Lange, of course, was a prankster and at times mischievously so. I am concerned that we don’t have an urban myth here. A historical bell has rung in my head about Sir Joseph Ward’s misreading his speech notes in, from memory, the 1928 election and got elected on the promise of large borrowings.

    Lange was anti-nuclear weapons but open to nuclear propulsion which he saw an environment issue to be managed whereas nuclear weapons had to be done without.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Mac 1: No link to the accidental anti-nuclear Lange stance. I believe he said this in an interview and he did like to add aside in humour.
      For instance Lange said he had only exercised power once as PM. He had an important foreign guest in the PM’s office when he saw a window cleaner outside his window. He picked up the phone and ordered “Fire that man!” The window cleaner was fired- but reinstated the following morning.
      Who knows re anti-nuclear.

    • just saying 6.2

      For those of you who think of Lange fondly….May I draw your attention to the link to “Someone Else’s Country’ on the right of the screen.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    I note that the ad for Scoop at the top of the page is still calling for ‘Mictropatrons’. It’s, er, pissing me off. Quality Investigitive Journalism needs good subbing too, you know.

  8. Lew 8

    Standardistas, allow me to congratulate you for the links to NZ On Screen on the right sidebar. Most excellent. These don’t look like scoop ads, but rather an conscious content choice — is that right?


    • lprent 8.1

      Yeah, Tane (gone but not forgotten) suggested it last month. I finally got through my backlog and had a look at them, took the top three that he suggested and scanned for other doco’s in a similar vein and tossed them in a widget. Helps fill some whitespace (it was a bit of a pity that their horiziontal ones were 330px wide as our area is only 300px wide).

      I plan to do some watching, there are some really interesting doco’s in there (didn’t bother with the rest if there are documentaries present).

      If I get time in the nearish term I’ll write a rotating randomiser for at least some of them so I don’t have to change them manually.

      • r0b 8.1.1

        Lynn – they don’t show up in my Safari 4.0.3 (Mac). I can see them fine in Firefox.

        • lprent

          Odd. I’ll have to boot a up a Mac (or windoze) when I get home. Just looked at the source. They’re just and anchor with img inside it. The img doesn’t have the correct closure but everything else looks fine

      • Brenda 8.1.2

        Great to see the badges in use – they look awesome 🙂
        If you want to resize the horizontal ones, you could manually make them 300×82 – they still look fine. I agree, it would fill the space better, but they are also quite striking as you have them now!

        • lprent

          They do look good. I was planning on writing a random selector (when I get some time after the server upgrade) so I preferred using your images (besides then you get the bandwidth usage :twisted:). But I can always tell them to scale or clip

          • Brenda

            Well we’re excited to see them in use – they’re kind of hard to track 🙂

            You can still use our images – just edit the embed code to resize them – not quite as automatic as just plugging and playing, but it will look good! There are so many different sizes of sidebar, we just went with a relatively common one.

            They also are not showing up in Safari on my Mac btw – but fine in Firefox.

            • lprent

              Yeah, rOb mentioned that yesterday. I was a bit wasted with some kind of low level bug last night after work so had a hot bath and a relaxing evening.

              But I’ll definitely fire up the mac mini on the TV this evening and have a look.

              Tracking shouldn’t be too hard. You should be able to see the calls to the graphic in the web server logs, including what webpage they were called from. The expires will mean that a lot of the responses are 304’s, but that should definitely give an idea of who is displaying the badges.

  9. prism 9

    On Nat radio this a.m report on revolt from Oz teachers about their similar national standards test. Help teachers are revolting! They are anxious about the unfairness of comparing results from varied schools teaching pupils with differing learning capabilities and challenges to get the league table effect beloved by newspapers.

    And interesting the hard right line that education minister juliana, or some such, is taking. I thought they had a Labour, the people’s party, over there. She is going to force the barricades, calling on parents to carry out the tests if necessary. Great to see how wise and sensible politicians are when confronted with differing opinions from well-schooled, experienced professionals. It shows how unimportant education really is in the priorities of government that they can put an incompetent in charge of such an important portfolio.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Prism. It sounds as though their National Testing is a set of Standardised tests whereby in NZ the data is extracted from existing range of assessments. The sticking point of course is the damage caused by publishing League tables.
      A local rural College had their NCEA results published here alongside the Girls and Boys College. The Girls College managed only 89% (?) success rate at Level 3. The Rural School had 100%! Will the Rural School attract hundreds? Not likely. Rural School had only 1 pupil sitting Level 3.

  10. B 10

    Could someone please help me with a question? Does National currently have a ‘full employment policy’ (im guessing no) and if not what is its position on the fact that there are not enough jobs to go round given that they are trying so hard to force people off benefits into work? Do they just ignore this or is there a rationale behind it for example to get wages lower? Does anyone know of useful articles etc that explain this? this is for research for a uni paper – not being lazy honest ; )

    • B 10.1

      never mind- ive had a quick google and i can see that im going to have to do some serious swotting up on economics to even understand the concept of full employment! silly me thought it just meant enough jobs for everyone…

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.1

        Here’s an interesting thought for you to consider. How much of Maori unemployment has nothing to do with being Maori but has to do with the fact they live in a rural setting where there is little employment.

        It’s possible that unless rural employment strategies are developed then these people will remain unemployed.

        In an earlier post someone posted a link to a paper from an Aussie University which talked quite a bit about the demand side and it’s neglect.

      • prism 10.1.2

        I think there is an alice in wonderland approach to the term ‘full employment’ which tacitly means a small percentage of unemployment. some character in a in w said that words mean what she wants. might be the red queen but not only women can be as good at obfuscating.

        • B

          lol thanks, yes thats what it seemed like to me too! I’ll let you know if I find an actual definition

          • Draco T Bastard

            Full employment, according to Milton Friedman and his followers (Blinglish is one which is why he said that it was impossible to get unemployment down last time National was in government), should be about 94% people employed and 6% unemployed. The 6% unemployed is made up of people who are between jobs, people who just aren’t looking for a job (the disillusioned) and people new to the job market.

            The other point that Friedman made was that if you have employment higher than 94% there’s too few people competing for the work or, to put it another way, employers are competing to against each other and having to pay more to attract people to work for them. This pushes wages up and, supposedly, results in wage inflation (i.e. wages go up, people spend more and so prices go up) and inflation is bad because it decreases the value of money.

            • B

              Thanks! thats really helpful : ) That concept of total employment leading to inflation I couldn’t quite get but you’ve explained it really well. So does that mean national DOES have a ‘full’ employment policy? (damn there goes my essay argument)

              • Draco T Bastard

                I suppose that you could say that National has a full employment policy in line with their belief that full employment happens with around 6% unemployment.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Where The Editors go, I go.


    The boycott shall continue.

  12. I bet smile and wave is wishing that he was staring at Merril Lynch computer screens making millions out of the Third World’s and New Zealand’s Currencies.

    Boy this leadership thingy is really difficult!

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    Headline in Stuff: Obama praises New Zealand’s nuclear efforts.

    Actual quote that generated the headline: “We’ve got to the position….President Obama would like to see the rest of the world,” Mr Key said, referring to New Zealand’s nuclear-free status and the US leader’s drive to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles.

    So Obama said nothing at all about NZ, let alone praise us and either a Stuff staffer or reporter Tracey Watkins are bullshit artists. Grrrrrrrrrr.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14


    The Heritage Foundation’s annual economic freedom index was released last week, with New Zealand moving up one position from fifth to fourth.
    So, according a delusional right-wing think tank our business freedom has improved.

    The result has attracted the attention of overseas commentators. In Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, Nile Gardiner wrote that US President Obama should learn from New Zealand’s “prosperity” and pursue a policy of greater economic freedom.

    But I’m really not sure who’s “prosperity” Nile Gardiner is talking about because most of NZ’s aren’t financially any better off now and many are worse off than before the neo-liberal reforms.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Gagh, edit gone again 🙁

      The Heritage Foundation’s annual economic freedom index was released last week, with New Zealand moving up one position from fifth to fourth.

      So, according a delusional right-wing think tank our business freedom has improved.

      The result has attracted the attention of overseas commentators. In Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, Nile Gardiner wrote that US President Obama should learn from New Zealand’s “prosperity’ and pursue a policy of greater economic freedom.

      But I’m really not sure who’s “prosperity’ Nile Gardiner is talking about because most of NZ’s aren’t financially any better off now and many are worse off than before the neo-liberal reforms.

      • Quoth the Raven 14.1.1

        It’s only gone up 0.1. Not even worth reporting. If you look at it there’s been little change for over a decade. It actually increased when Labour last came to power and has stayed pretty steady ever since.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I was more concerned with the “prosperity’ that most of us haven’t benefited from.

  15. Zak Creedo 15

    A little late to come on here, but an interesting juxta happened this lunch time..

    News on RNZ of Lombard officials (office-holders) including ex-politicians being summonsed to answer charges laid in respect of their competence or criminality..


    A buddy sends me the following header — The Great Recession Inspires Better Financial Behavior — to ask what I think of his team’s report.

    Great, I say, time we all got something out of this thing!

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