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Open mike 13/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 13th, 2012 - 109 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

109 comments on “Open mike 13/04/2012 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    The new New Zealand, where a human being, an ill construction worker, dies like an abandoned cat under a hedge.


    • rosy 1.1

      I found his situation really upsetting – a man in poor health goes undiagnosed – and apparently everyone did everything properly. It seems like ticking the boxes to me, it doesn’t reflect well on the spirit of Wellington health services at all.

      • james 111 1.1.1

        Rosy I agree its a sad day when all humanity has been lost

      • higherstandard 1.1.2

        Rosy to say that the situation as described is a disgrace and has the appearance of a cover up of gross negligence would be an understatement.

    • Uturn 1.2

      “…Coroner Ian Smith said he was satisfied the health practitioners involved with Mr Leach met all acceptable standards.

      “It is clear, however, that his health had badly deteriorated over the last weeks and that as a resident at the Capital & Coast District Health Board hostel, the issue of his diarrhoea should have highlighted that this man had a medical condition that needed attention.”

      He was pleased that since Mr Leach’s death a corroborative inter-agency group had been set up to assist the homeless. …”

      Dear oh dear. It is acceptable for health professionals to miss diarrhoea as symptom. I knew our health system was in a decline, but really? Oh well, make a donation to an associated cause and move on.

      • rosy 1.2.1

        No, it’s not acceptable. It suggests a subjective assessment of the patient rather than objective assessment of the symptoms.

        • Uturn

          “…subjective assessment of the patient rather than objective assessment of the symptoms.”

          I’m sorry to say that my experience of doctors, so far, supports this idea: skilled people trapped in either a comfortable and delusional world of their own; looking outwards to the patient as a victim they must help because they themselves are better, sometimes achieving good results despite the overuse of subjective measures; or trapped in a personal battle between their disgust of lower class people and their urge to be professional to whoever walks through the door. It is both sweet, amusing and sad to watch and if you are the patient, it is also extremely irritating and costly.

          Some of that behaviour is theoretically a basis for an official complaint, but since the same system turns out these people, like the coroner in the above story, I think they would be unable or unwilling to address the issue. It is understandable that doctors in our society must live a life that limits their experience in the art of medicine in order to become technically experienced doctors, but the irreconcilable issues simply raise questions about our society that are too large to fix with a word or pen.

          • higherstandard

            You must have a very limited experience of the medical profession as this certainly not reflective of the vast majority people I work with.

            • Colonial Viper

              And your interaction with them was as a patient?

            • Uturn

              I don’t know whether you are stupid or you just don’t understand English or if you are plain contrary. Probably all of the above, because your comment supports my observations.

              • higherstandard

                Your comment base comment, followed by a diatribe, was –

                ““…subjective assessment of the patient rather than objective assessment of the symptoms.”

                I’m sorry to say that my experience of doctors, so far, supports this idea”

                My comment that you must have a limited experience of medical professionals was a rebuttal from my experience of likely dealing with many more medical professionals than yourself.

                I’m afraid how my comment supports your views on medical professionals is too obtuse for my poor grasp of english.

                • Murray Gibbons

                  Well said Higher Standard. Uturn needs to do just that and get off his head

            • McFlock

              Actually, here I agree with HS – and I’m both “allied professional” and feel like a frequent visitor to A&E/wards/GP, as patient (payback for a misspent youth 🙂 ) or support person.
              Some doctors or other medical staff are cocks. Some are tired. Some are busy. In these cases, subjective assessment is a risk. But the vast majority of doctors, therapists, nurses, even porters and technicians are damned fine, well trained, and take the time to do a fair assessment, regular monitoring and patient communication. Hell, I can’t stop doctors etc bringing out models of the latest piece of my body to fall apart. Just gimme the pill and tell me if I can drink while taking it!
              There is always the human factor in judgement, but I think you’re being very unfair in claiming that negligent and superficial diagnoses are the norm.  

              • felix

                +1. I’ve been blown away by the dedication of just about everyone I’ve ever encountered in the medical profession at every station.

              • Vicky32

                Some doctors or other medical staff are cocks. Some are tired. Some are busy. In these cases, subjective assessment is a risk. But the vast majority of doctors, therapists, nurses, even porters and technicians are damned fine, well trained, and take the time to do a fair assessment, regular monitoring and patient communication

                That’s true. The careless ones are, thankfully, a minority…

          • rosy

            there are many awesome doctors out there, but some are too overworked / cynical / inexperienced / incompetent that their decision-making in complex cases goes out the window and a subjective assessment of patient character or personal situation comes in, sometimes with tragic outcomes. I know good doctors are aware that this happens all too often.

            • Jackal

              I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there rosy, the patients personal circumstances were diagnosed instead of his physical condition. Although the liberty was probably not available to Mr Leach… the best thing people can do is try a few different doctors to find a good one.

              The sad truth of the matter is that John David Leach’s death looks like it was preventable. From his condition being undiagnosed, to being evicted while unwell and then being bailed by the police to homelessness, this is another sign that the system is failing.

              The question regarding incompetency within the medical profession is best answered by the amount of treatment injuries that occur. Since 2003, treatment injuries more than quadrupled in New Zealand to approximately 8829 in 2011. With most of these being caused by GP’s, this is a clear indication that the skill level of our doctors is in decline.

              If Mr Leach had died from a blood clot in the brain, you could understand why it had gone undiagnosed… but a large brain tumor he likely had for a long time should have been diagnosed and he should not have been evicted with obviously serious health conditions.

              • Colonial Viper

                he should not have been evicted with obviously serious health conditions.

                There should have been social/health services available as a backstop.

                But most are gone and under-resourced now. The outfit which pushed him out to the street when he clearly had nowhere to go is also culpable.

            • ianmac

              But Frontline Staff have been left intact and even been Improved. Minister Riled said so.

    • muzza 1.3

      As if we needed another clear example of the of how much of the doctrine we have swallowed here in NZ and, how far we have fallen here is “godszone”.

      Upetting in an understatement, and I have to highlight the comment below to illustrate the sicknes that is now NZ.

      “Coroner Ian Smith said he was satisfied the health practitioners involved with Mr Leach met all acceptable standards.

      “It is clear, however, that his health had badly deteriorated over the last weeks and that as a resident at the Capital & Coast District Health Board hostel, the issue of his diarrhoea should have highlighted that this man had a medical condition that needed attention.”

      – excuse me coroner, what is it, you are satisfied all acceptable standards were met, or is it that his deterioration should have been highlighted – read picked up by professionals – FAIL

      Until these smears are outed for what they are then NOTHING can change,,

      What hope really on the tract we are on…people still not prepared to stand up and be counted!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      The misdiagnosis was bad but things like that will happen – we’re only human after all.

      What’s more concerning was that he was turfed out when he was obviously mentally and physically unwell and getting worse:

      The hostel manager said Mr Leach’s tenancy was cancelled because of health and safety concerns for himself and other tenants given his poor physical and mental health.

      and thus left to die alone.

      Nothing was done adequately in this case.

      • McFlock 1.4.1

        Yeah – it does seem to be remarkably selfish to offload the problem even though the man is in obvious decline.

      • rosy 1.4.2

        Yeah, the old ‘abide by house rules, no excuses’ meme. Personal responsibility and all that. The Downtown Community Mission is the only organisation that comes out of this with any respect.

        Oh, and the police looked after him for a day, basically because he couldn’t keep his trousers up, does this suggest severe weight loss as well? That highlights another problem that’s been a concern since mental health services have been the responsibility of the community – the number of people with problems who end up in custody for being disruptive rather than criminal. Police aren’t trained for this, nor should they be.

    • Jenny 1.5

      A worker preparing the building for demolition found him in the stairwell – he had been living there for several days before his death.
      The coroner’s findings into Mr Leach’s death were released yesterday.

      Peter Leach said his brother kept in close contact with his family and had worked in construction for much of his life.

      Originally from Greymouth, he moved to Wellington in the 1990s. He had been employed on the new Wellington Hospital construction site but when the project finished he was left jobless.

      Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
      Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare me a dime?

    • Vicky32 1.6

      The new New Zealand, where a human being, an ill construction worker, dies like an abandoned cat under a hedge.

      That’s both horrific and deeply sad..

  2. james 111 2

    Very interesting from the Herald today

    Why should the Union have authority over the operations of the companies they should have none .This strike is about the union losing control ,and the poor workers are merely pawns in the game being played by the Union

    Affco spokesman Rowan Ogg said a “substantial number” of union members had moved to individual contracts since the lockouts began in February. (this is really interesting doesnt seem to be to much loyalty to the union)

    Affco chief executive Hamish Simson said the company had been targeted by the Council of Trade Unions and the meat workers’ union because of dwindling union membership at Affco sites.

    “The union has already stated the dispute is not about wages but about the authority the union has over the operations of the company and ability to influence or retain members.”

    • tc 2.1

      Ah the talleys troll, affco said, affco said, affco said….not surprising there’s no other side of the dispute and yes James union numbers tend to dwindle with a rabid anti union employer who takes every opportunity to ensure its workers are non union.

      Even re-employing workers sacked for good reasons as long as they aren’t in a union so it can continue with dangerous practices and ignore its obligations under several acts.

      Your posts are as predictable as they are enlightening as an example of RWNJ CT driven spin.

    • millsy 2.2

      Do you want to ban unions and bring back slavery?

      Unlike you I dont see the labour market of the antebellum southern US states as one that is worth emulating. In fact, I dont see any other nation copying it, apart from maybe China and Vietnam.

      • james 111 2.2.1

        Millsy they should have no control over the operations unless they are investing money in the company thats simple. It would appear that the Meat Workers union might have a bit of unallocated cash laying around

        • millsy

          And what if the company wants to make all their workers expendable by having them just queue outside the gate everyday with no guarantee of work?

        • framu

          going by that logic then surely the owners should have no control over the workers unless they themselves are doing the work? surely?

          do you see how stupid such arguments get?

          “It would appear that the Meat Workers union might have a bit of unallocated cash laying around”

          well the SFO doesnt agree with you on that one

          oh god – the one dimensional stupidity – it burns!

        • Draco T Bastard

          The unions should have full control, there should be no owners.

        • McFlock

          What about the investment of opportunity cost that workers make to spend 15 or 20 years with a company? Counts for nothing in RWNJ world, obviously.

      • joe90 2.2.2

        I reckon wee Jimmy wants to return to the good old days.

  3. Kotahi Tane Huna 3

    Lying, thieving, dishonourable treacherous scumbags.

    Are there no depths to which they will not sink?

    • LynW 3.1

      I admire your restraint KTH! Appalling indeed!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1.1

        Why hasn’t the Security Intelligence Service prevented these agents of foreign corporations from betraying New Zealand?

    • muzza 3.2

      You ssometimes have to just admire the utter disrespect/distain they have for people.

      How will the NACT fans spin this…

      Backlash anytime soon?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      No, there isn’t. What we’re seeing is what happens when psychopaths are elected to parliament.

    • felix 3.4

      Hey middle nz. Ever get the feeling you’ve been had?

  4. The potential of Red Alert keeps getting pushed under by MPs who seem to see it as a personal back pat generator and controlled message machine.

    In a trivial post yesterday I’ve been banned for two weeks and threatened with more with an incorrect accusation. Social Media 101 seems to have been missed by some MPs. Mallard’s odd accusation.

    Does a a parliamentary recess mean MPs don’t have to do anything about serious stuff?

    • bad12 4.1

      Gosh did the naughty Labourites give you a spanking,diddums, We do tho like the way your knee immediately jerked, perhaps you should give more consideration to your on-going actions instead of harping on about their’s…

    • Jackal 4.2

      Pete, thanks for making your site a bit more readable. Now you have to work on what you’re writing about. You say in your rather long winded whinge fest about being banned from Red Alert:

      He’s either confusing me with someone else – who would be being blocked from commenting too simply because Trevor has guessed wrong about their identity – or he’s trying some sort of warning message.

      Or he’s trying to establish a pretext to ban me for longer.

      You will note that the name used to make the comment that was blocked is Pete George. Somebody else has either used your name, for which you should contact Red Alert directly to get that email permanently banned, or you are lying and did in fact use another email address to try and bypass the two week banning!

      Although Mallard can sometimes be a bit overgenerous with his moderation, I think he was perfectly justified in giving you a ban. You rattled on about spades and then called him a liar without any evidence to back up your assertion.

      The defamation case is yet to be heard, which will hopefully shed more light on Judith Collins’ involvement in the ACC debacle. Personally I think it’s a bluff and the end result will be her credibility will be in tatters.

  5. And the chiseling begins.  

    Cabinet has decided that the Crown has to retain 51% of the voting shares of the power companies, not 51% of the total shares. So while it can retain control its ownership share could be diluted right down so that its income from dividends could be minute.

    Effectively the power companies could be pretty well completely privatised.  The directors of the companies would be obliged to make decisions for the benefit of all shareholders, not only those that have voting rights.

    Get the feeling we the public of New Zealand have been lied to? 

    • Treetop 5.1

      I thought National could not top the bad month they had last month (ACC). Well they have this month with the Paid Parental Leave Bill and now the truth is coming out about dividends re energy asset sales.

      • Frida 5.1.1

        Agreed Treetop. But when is it going to start penetrating skulls and being reflected in the polls?

        I don’t like his politics, but thank God for Winston back in Parliament keeping things honest. To paraphrase him on the radio this morning about PPL: Such medieval arrogant thinking has no place in a modern democracy!

        Hear hear.

        • Anne

          when is it going to start penetrating skulls and being reflected in the polls?

          Your average Kiwi has a skull as thick as a Neanderthal and a brain to match.

          • Bored

            There is one particular Kiwi who definitely has the skull of a Neanderthal and whose skull is unlikely to be penetrated….and he holds the casting vote in this issue.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Get the feeling we the public of New Zealand have been lied to?

      It’s NACT, I just assume that they’re lying and then I can be pleasantly surprised when I find out that they told a truth…

      I haven’t been pleasantly surprised yet.

    • Bored 5.3

      Too right, I always suspected the buggers would try and find a way around the 51% ownership issue. Mr Dung, is this the type of “honesty” your moral and upright persona will vote for?

    • McFlock 5.4

      I’m waiting for Pete George to start arguing that, although many people were left with the impression that Dunne was against asset sales, Dunne did actually express support for selling 99% of the ownership of SOEs as long as only 49% of the voting shares were sold.

      • David H 5.4.1

        Conspicuous by his absence. He must have just realised that the Follicle was going to sell NZ down the river, and is now having a good cry, or mental breakdown. So Petey, it’s not Your NZ. It’s Dunnes NZ to steal!! Go on defend this abomination Petey.

  6. Uturn 6

    The difference between the current Neo-Liberal masters and the Fuedal overlords they replaced is that slaves were generally kept alive at subsistence levels so they could produce the goods that made the ruling class rich.

    Our current bunch sees an excess of people as excuse to seek no minimum wage or conditions and actively degrades health and social services so that a labourer cannot even afford to survive to work.

    You may have spotted the obvious end to our highly intelligent overlord’s plan. They are banking on people waiting for some time yet.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The difference between the current Neo-Liberal masters and the Fuedal overlords they replaced is that slaves were generally kept alive at subsistence levels so they could produce the goods that made the ruling class rich.

      Actually, you’re wrong there. Slaves had to be well kept which why only the rich had them and tended to work them to work in the house. Having slaves was a status symbol. On the other hand, the slaves kept on the other side of the Atlantic were abused, underfed and worked to death under typical free-market dogma.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Feudal lords had clear responsibilities to care for their serfs, including the provision of sufficient land (and time) for a family to live off. Not these days of course.

  7. Frida 7

    Nice to have?

    So we can’t find any extra funding for PPL, but no problem to prop up one of the most elite, expensive schools in the country. I grew up in Whanganui and believe me the kids who went to this school were from born-to-rule Tory families who wanted for nothing, while the rest of us in the city’s public schools were from families on Struggle Street.
    The priorities of this Government make me so ANGRY.

    And meanwhile, as it was when I was at school, public schools nationwide are being told to tighten their belts, make do with no extra funding etc etc.

    • ianmac 7.1

      I wonder if the extra funding will allow the very small class size to be retained?
      And allow other privileges of such a school to be retained?
      If the 250 privileged kids were to be integrated into the State schools they would be absorbed as just another kid scattered here and there and very little burden on the State.

      But should Whanganui Collegiate close, I bet those elite kids would just transfer to another Private school. Lindisfarne for example.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      Grew up there myself, Frida. Used to have a mate at Collegiate who was required to do rifle shooting on a Saturday morning. The sessions were nicknamed ‘pleb practice’. Bloody ringies, eh?

      • Frida 7.2.1

        Te Reo – as a WHS girl, I wasn’t good enough to be spoken to by a Ringie 🙂

        Took great pleasure in smashing them all in Debating Finals and Scholarship Results though!

    • millsy 7.3

      The only reason why parents send their kids to private/Catholic schools is so their precious darlings cant catch poor people germs. They can carry on all they like, but that is the underlying fact.

      If I had my way I would close every private, iwi and church run school in this country. This country will never heal its social and racial division unless their children all went to the same schools.

  8. Campbell Larsen 8

    Hot on the heels of speculation of NZ adopting the Aussie dollar as our currency comes this

    He said not a lot of people knew that the first Labour Prime Minister of Australia was a bloke called Watson, from Oamaru and the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand was an Australian, Michael Joseph Savage.
    …It began, when our nations were colonised. We were governed from New South Wales for some time.

    While there may similarities between our countries there is not a lot to like about the way the Aussies have treated and continue to treat their indigenous people, and nothing to respect in Australia’s unseemly enthusiasm for the immoral wars of the US or its’ treatment of refugees.

    The thing about being ‘good mates’ is that it is supposed to allow you to have a dialogue even when there is disagreement. Well when it counts, and on the issues that are most contentious I don’t see Australia listening to NZ at all. So Mr Moore can joke all he likes about “Australia becoming a state of NZ” – the real joke is believing that there is any respect shared between us beyond the superficial fondness to be found in the comradeliness of bad jokes and copious quantities of beer.

  9. Jackal 9

    Police pursuits

    Police are adrenaline junkies who love the thrill of the chase.

  10. joe90 10

    If only Blair, Bush and Cheney could be rendered to The Hague.

    Special report: Rendition ordeal that raises new questions about secret trials.

    • Bored 10.1

      Joe, have a read of the last two paragraphs on this weeks http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/ sums up Britains “acquiescence” to the US very well.

    • joe90 10.2

      The whole article is a great read Bored that’s left me wondering whether the contingent of US marines arriving here next week is the lead up to a continued presence.

      • muzza 10.2.1

        “Welcoming the troops, Australia’s Defence Minister Stephen Smith said the decision to host them was a response to a changing global balance.

        “The world needs to essentially come to grips with the rise of China, the rise of India, the move of strategic and political and economic influence to our part of the world,” he said”

        – What a total load or garbage!

        Yes I expect there to be a more permanent arrangement with NZ sometime, and the platform will either be laid by some “terror event”, or the TPPA enforcement as part of any FTA with the USA!

      • Vicky32 10.2.2

        The whole article is a great read Bored that’s left me wondering whether the contingent of US marines arriving here next week is the lead up to a continued presence.

        I rather desperately hope not!

    • muzza 10.3

      Abdel Hakim Belhaj – There is some background reading for someone to do!

  11. Christchurch City Council has declared the city a fracking-free zone, as concerns over the practice mount.


  12. Jackal 12

    Tim Groser – Asshole of the Week

    Groser wants to prioritize our taxes on getting pissed and taking expensive and unnecessary trips to Paris. Only an A hole of the first order would put such priorities above the welfare of our children…

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    US attacks computer patents

    Computer Society chief executive Paul Matthews said he feared the Patents Bill had been put on ice by the Government because concessions might be made to the US on the issue of software patents during trade negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    He had ”no solid evidence” that was the case, but there appeared to be no other realistic explanation for the delay, he said.

    So, our government prepares a law that bans software patents, it’s set to go through and then the USA gets involved in the TPPA talks and it gets held up…

    Yeah, I can’t think of any other reason for the delay either especially when…

    ”If we had software patents back in the days when computers and technology were emerging, then the whole sector wouldn’t exist. Since the Patents Bill changes were announced we have been approached by a number of overseas technology companies looking to relocate to New Zealand.

    …we have businesses that want to locate here if the law goes ahead.

  14. Jackal 14

    Slaters leaking backfires

    There really wasn’t anywhere else that the detailed private information about Cecil Walker could have come from, and in releasing it, PoAL management have scored a very significant own goal…

  15. Morrissey 15

    Who has defied the international community? Only North Korea?

    Radio New Zealand National news, 2:00 p.m., Friday 13 April 2012

    Newsreader Chris Whitta gravely intones: “North Korea has defied the international community and launched a rocket…”

    While North Korea has certainly done exactly that, it’s surely a matter of profound public interest that when Britain, the United States, Australia and Israel defy the international community, their actions are never described in such plain terms.

    I cannot recall a mainstream news organization (such as Radio New Zealand) ever calling the Bush
    regime’s flouting of international law as “defiance”. I cannot remember Israel’s scofflaw leaders ever being called “defiant”, even during the brutal 22-day massacre in Gaza in 2008-9 or after the pirate action in which it slaughtered nine peace activists in 2010.

    But North Korea launches a rocket, which kills nobody, and the Korean leadership is described as having “defied” the “international community”.

    • Jackal 15.1

      The rocket didn’t even work properly, so what is the big deal? The duplicitous responses to crimes against humanity and gross breaches of law by those who are apparently a part of the international “community” compared to North Korea launching a satellite rocket that didn’t even work properly is blatant hypocrisy!

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2


      The United Nations have said a North Korea rocket launch would violate U.N. Security Council resolutions banning the North from developing its nuclear and missile programs. (Reuters)

      Strange, I thought it was a rocket to launch a satellite so unless the UN and other states have hard proof that it was a missile test then there’s nothing wrong with the launch.

      Personally, I see no problem with any country developing both space capability or the ability to defend itself. This demand that some countries not develop such ability seems to be solely to keep them as dependent countries, ie, to keep the US empire going.

      • McFlock 15.2.1

        There’s not much difference between a satellite lifter and a ballistic missile – and orbit is just a different type of target coordinate for the guidance system. Actually, ISTR reading that Sputnik was lifted by a converted missile (Ha – I freaking love wikipedia!).

        If we were talking about Japan or Indonesia, I’d agree with you (like I’m not too worked up about Iran and it’s nuclear power plants). But North Korea is the geopolitical equivalent of the gun-nut loner in the shack with no electricity down in the bush.


        • Draco T Bastard

          There’s not much difference between a satellite lifter and a ballistic missile…

          Well, if we want to get technical – there’s no difference.

          Actually, ISTR reading that Sputnik was lifted by a converted missile

          That’s really not all that unique. Why design and build a new rocket when you’ve already got a few lying around that could do the job?

          But North Korea is the geopolitical equivalent of the gun-nut loner in the shack with no electricity down in the bush.

          Well, they may become a little less belligerent with their new leader, too early to tell ATM of course.

          The international community really doesn’t have the right to prevent them from developing rocketry. That said, they are alone and if they try to use those weapons aggressively the entire nation will get turned into a radioactive lunar landscape as Afghanistan and Iraq show.

        • Morrissey

          North Korea is the geopolitical equivalent of the gun-nut loner in the shack with no electricity down in the bush.

          Oh really?

          How many Iraqi and Afghan and Pakistani civilians have been killed by North Korean drone strikes?

          How many North Korean soldiers have dragged families out of their houses at night and machine-gunned them to death?

          How many North Korean army squadrons compete amongst themselves to cut off and collect the most fingers of civilians they have killed?

          How many North Korean secret service operatives have kidnapped civilians from other countries and transported them to secret locations to torture them, often to death?

          • McFlock

            True. But then US motivations are generally pretty understandable (if not likeable). NK has a history of kidnapping people from their homes in other countries and imprisoning them for years because the dear leader liked their movies.
            Try accounting for that sort of thing in geopolitical models.

        • fender

          I wonder how many citizens were shot for laughing at the failure, no doubt they were required to openly grieve for their loss.

    • ianmac 15.3

      Exactly Morrissey!

    • muzza 15.4

      “Foreign minister Murray McCully says despite the closed off country’s claim the launch is for peaceful purposes, it violates UN Security Council Resolutions, aggravates tensions and undermines attempts to build peace and stability”

      Yeah ok, so when NATO bombs some poor country into oblivion for “humanitarian reasons”, when there is only an “internal problem”, which the UN charter does cover, as it only deals with external security threats between nations supposedly, what did NZ say.

      Puppets and grandstanders!

    • joe90 15.5

      The hypocrisy of the Viktor Bout case pisses me off too.

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 15.6

      The “International community” of course meaning…..the United States.

  16. Morrissey 16

    Israelis can be angry with Gunter Grass, but they must listen to him

    After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to the condemnation of these great people.


    The harsh, and in some parts infuriating, poem by Gunter Grass of course immediately sparked a wave of vilifications against it and mainly against its author. Grass indeed went a few steps too far (and too mendaciously) – Israel will not destroy the Iranian people – and for that he will be punished, in his own country and in Israel. But in precisely the same way the poem’s nine stanzas lost a sense of proportion in terms of their judgment of Israel, so too the angry responses to it suffer from exaggeration. Tom Segev wrote in Haaretz: “Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently confided in him, his opinion is vacuous.” (“More pathetic than anti-Semitic,” April 5 ). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Grass’ Nazi past, and Israeli embassies in Germany went so far as to state, ridiculously, that the poem signified “anti-Semitism in the best European tradition of blood libels before Passover.”

    It is doubtful that Grass intended his poem to be published on the eve of Passover. It contains no blood libel. In fact, it is the branding of it as anti-Semitic that is a matter of tradition – all criticism of Israel is immediately thus labeled. Grass’ Nazi past, his joining the Waffen SS as a youth, does not warrant shutting him up some 70 years later, and his opinion is far from vacuous. According to Segev, anyone who is not a nuclear scientist, an Israeli prime minister or an Iranian president must keep silent on the stormiest issue in Israel and the world today. That is a flawed approach.

    Grass’ “What Must Be Said” does contain things that must be said. It can and should be said that Israel’s policy is endangering world peace. His position against Israeli nuclear power is also legitimate. He can also oppose supplying submarines to Israel without his past immediately being pulled out as a counterclaim. But Grass exaggerated, unnecessarily and in a way that damaged his own position. Perhaps it is his advanced age and his ambition to attract a last round of attention, and perhaps the words came forth all at once like a cascade, after decades during which it was almost impossible to criticize Israel in Germany.

    That’s the way it is when all criticism of Israel is considered illegitimate and improper and is stopped up inside for years. In the end it erupts in an extreme form. Grass’ poem was published only a few weeks after another prominent German, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron. He also aroused angry responses. Therefore it is better to listen to the statements and, especially, finally, to lift the prohibition against criticizing Israel in Germany.

    Israel has many friends in Germany, more than in most European countries. Some of them support us blindly, some have justified guilt feelings and some are true, critical friends of Israel. There are, of course, anti-Semites in Germany and the demand that Germany never forget is also justified. But a situation in which any German who dares criticize Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable.

    Some years ago, after a critical article of mine was published in the German daily Die Welt, one of its editors told me: “No journalist of ours could write an article like that.” I was never again invited to write for that paper. For years, any journalist who joined the huge German media outlet Axel Springer had to sign a pledge never to write anything that casts aspersions on Israel’s right to exist. That is an unhealthy situation that ended with an eruption of exaggerated criticism like Grass’.

    Grass is not alone. No less of a major figure, the great author Jose de Sousa Saramago opened the floodgates in his later years when, after a visit to the occupied territories, he compared what was going on there to Auschwitz. Like Grass, Saramago went too far, but his remarks about the Israelis should have been heeded: “Living under the shadow of the Holocaust and expecting forgiveness for everything they will do in the name of their suffering seems coarse. They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents.”

    After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to these great people. They are not anti-Semites, they are expressing the opinion of many people. Instead of accusing them we should consider what we did that led them to express it..


    • D-D-D-Damn ! 16.1

      Yeah, Norman Finkelstein has some interesting things to say about the Germans’ Philo-Semitism/ultra-Political Correctness on Israel. Astonishing how so many around the world take precisely the wrong (particularist rather than universalist) message from the nazi holocaust. Let’s all make up for the 6 million dead 70 years ago by cheerfully standing by and watching the slow torture and destruction of the Palestinian people now.

      • Morrissey 16.1.1

        Do you ever think we’ll see even five seconds of Finkelstein speaking on television in New Zealand? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen people like that loathsome reptile Mark Regev telling lies, and never once having them contested by the head-nodders back in the studio.

        As for them going to someone who actually knows what he is talking about, and is scrupulously honest and even-handed, like Finkelstein? Forget it.

  17. Morrissey 17

    “Mental skills” coach Gilbert Enoka disappointing on radio this morning
    National Radio, Friday 13 April 2012
    Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan

    Interview with the All Blacks’ “mental skills coach” GILBERT ENOKA

    It wasn’t all bad. As you would expect, Gilbert Enoka does have a few interesting things to say about his twelve years with the All Blacks. After the 2007 quarter-final loss in Cardiff, Enoka spent most of his time in the changing room “trying to contain the distress” of the players. Important work, no doubt, although he obviously failed to contain the distress of one DOUG HOWLETT, who went on a drunken one-man car-bonnet-stomping rampage in the small hours of the morning after.

    He had a couple of good one-liners, including this one: “Just because it’s common sense doesn’t mean it’s common practice.”

    He also had some interesting things to say about the All Blacks’ change of attitude toward the RWC; in 2007 they had insisted that World Cup games were just like any other games, but in 2011 the focus changed: the World Cup became the focus of the entire year. The team decided to acknowledge that the RWC was a knock-out tournament, and teams could perform “heroically”, like Tonga did against France. The All Blacks acknowledged that they too had to perform at the Cup, and that if they did not, they would “choke”.

    Here Kathryn Ryan decided to interject with an especially inane comment: “The All Blacks choked in the final and still won!” she blurted cheerily.

    Enoka’s a nice guy, but he wasn’t going to dignify such an idiotic outburst by affirming it. Instead, he riffed on the theme of tension and pressure….

    ENOKA: We acknowledged that there would be moments of great tension and pressure. Some people just can’t execute.

    RYAN: And then there is the high-performing team that loses its bottle at the critical moment.

    ENOKA: Yeah…

    [And so on, and so forth…]

    You would have been gravely disappointed if you’d expected to hear something interesting or revelatory or—God forbid—HONEST from Gilbert Enoka about the big question from last year, viz., Why did the referee in the final fail so gruesomely to do his job? But Enoka is a key member of the All Black camp, so the iron-clad code of silence applies to him as much as it does to Graham Henry or any of the players.

    But without any doubt Enoka would have been highly alert to the irony (intended or not) in Ryan’s comment about a team “losing its bottle at the critical moment” and failing to perform. Enoka, the expert in human motivation and performance management, knows that if ever there was an example of losing one’s bottle and grievously failing to perform, it was not either of the teams in the final. It was, of course, the referee (or as he is called in France, the non-referee) Craig Joubert.

    Conclusion: It’s just too much to expect Gilbert Enoka, or anyone in the All Blacks’ camp, to break ranks and admit to the presence of that hideous South African elephant in the room.

    • Bored 17.1

      Bloody hell Morrissey, we disagreed yesterday, now today. I have watched it 10 times, and the ref got it right. It is very dark at the bottom of those rucks and mauls, trust me I have spent a lot of time there. And the ref can only be on one side of them at a time. You would have needed two refs with night vision goggles to get a mere smidgen of what both sides were doing. (OK if I was honest I have spotted about 5 “penalty” offenses both ways..neither side benefited).

      I will contend with all confidence that if need be that Beaver would have dropped a goal, honest. Actually, the winning of the game which Enoka and Henry never mention was the direction of the replacement halfback (Ellis) who refused to kick long despite being told to in the last 4 minutes. He insisted the forwards take it up, hold onto it. A hard head when others looked decidedly panicked (especially Henry).

      • Morrissey 17.1.1

        I have watched it 10 times

        Watch it an eleventh time, but this time make sure you’re sober.

        • Bored

          I will lay on the floor in front of the TV and ask all parties (cat, dog, any local humans) to jump on top of me, don the night vision goggles and re appraise in slow motion. I promise not to earn the French a penalty by being on the wrong side of the carpet or by refusing to roll away, and I will definitley not hang on to the dog. We will still win. Promise.

          • Morrissey

            I suggest you watch this for a start….

            • Bored

              Well that is a couple of very partisan gents would you not say? And they definitely dont appear to like the ABs do they? And yes, the clips showed some seriously bad reffing…indeed.

              Some of us watched the whole game and saw all sorts of things that the ref missed like eye gouging players who should not have remained on the pitch. We saw Piri miss 4 penalties (another stupidly bad Henry move to pick a goal kicker with a stuffed ankle), we saw the ABs bomb a couple of tries.

              Its all too late to complain, bit like the Suzie incident. Yes the ABs were lucky, but the ref ultimately, like in the quarter in Cardiff did not dictate the result. All up a very average French team played well above themselves and still managed to lose to a very beatable NZ team. Self inflicted wounds perhaps. I wont impugn Joubert or Barnes, their optometrists may bear some responsibility however.

              I am curious Morrissey, did you want the ABs to lose?

              • Colonial Viper

                Would’ve lost Key the elections.

              • Morrissey

                Well that is a couple of very partisan gents would you not say?

                Actually, it’s a couple of neutral commentators. They were, like anyone who watched the game in a fair-minded way, appalled by the referee’s refusal to do his job.

                And they definitely dont appear to like the ABs do they?

                Not true. They were critical of the referee’s failure to do his job. They acknowledged that the All Blacks cheated blatantly throughout the second half, but they did not blame them; they blamed the man who let them cheat.

                All up a very average French team played well above themselves

                Do you actually know anything about French rugby? The fact is that the Tricolors had not only played well BELOW their true ability, but in their first round games against NZ and Tonga, they didn’t even try to play. What you’ve written makes no sense—unless you’re trying to be condescending toward a team which has more talent to draw on than any other team in the world.

                I wont impugn Joubert

                Well, that’s a pity. I’m sure you actually have more integrity than that. If you continue to indulge Joubert’s outrageous non-performance, then you’re choosing to turn a blind eye to it.

                or Barnes

                And nor should you. There is no comparison between Barnes’ honest mistakes in 2007, and Joubert’s determined refusal to do his job in 2011.

                I am curious Morrissey, did you want the ABs to lose?

                No, of course not. I wanted to see a good game of football. Unfortunately, the referee (or more accurately, the non-referee) was determined to allow one team to kill the ball illegally and persistently.

                • Bored

                  Bloody hell Morrissey you are a belligerent bugger. Never ever wrong, can only see it your way. No one else could possibly be right or have their own opinion.

                  For that you get to play in my front row, your job is to question and badger the ref to death. My job as an aged flanker is to get away with whatever I can.

                  • Morrissey

                    …you are a belligerent bugger.

                    “Belligerent?” Oh hell, I’ll accept that. But go easy on the “bugger” allegation, please.

                    Never ever wrong, can only see it your way.

                    Not so. I’m often wrong, and I am prepared to reconsider my opinions.

                    No one else could possibly be right or have their own opinion.

                    Not true. I accept people will disagree over many things. But facts are not like opinions. The fact is: Craig Joubert failed to do his job in the RWC final. There are many opinions about why he failed to do his job, and I am prepared to be convinced that it was due to a failure of nerve, and not due to corruption on his part.

                    But that will require some skilled advocacy. I’m sure you’re up to the job, though, my friend.

                    • Bored

                      Goodo. We probably agree on the French. If they selected their best and played to their ability, ref or no ref we would have been dog tucker.

                  • Morrissey

                    If they selected their best and played to their ability, ref or no ref we would have been dog tucker.

                    Well, possibly. But quite possibly we (New Zealand) would still have won. I am just disappointed that we never got the chance to really find out.

                    I bid you good night, Bored. You have worked hard today, and done exceedingly well.

                    • Vicky32

                      If they selected their best and played to their ability, ref or no ref we would have been dog tucker.
                      Well, possibly. But quite possibly we (New Zealand) would still have won. I am just disappointed that we never got the chance to really find out.
                      I bid you good night, Bored. You have worked hard today, and done exceedingly well.

                      Guys, I hope I am not being rude in saying this, but could you please not talk about rugby so much here? I think it’s going to be interesting, so i start to read, but … no… it’s just sport!

                    • Morrissey

                      Sorry, Vicky…

  18. lprent 18

    Akismet is having some (presumed black friday) problems today. There have been some quite extensive timeouts on checking comments. But I think it may have been some network outages on the local networks around the NZ1 server for the last 30-40 minutes.

    Just looking around it seems ok right now…

  19. Jackal 19

    Hoping for a trifecta

    So that’s a couple of the most lunatic rightwing bloggers out of the picture… who will be the third?

  20. Draco T Bastard 20

    This is something we need to be aware is coming.

    The universe of the Web-based marketplace allows you to sell just about anything online today—so why not your labor? The “help wanted” page has now upgraded itself for an Information Age economic crisis, with a new crop of services that link odd jobs to people looking to make a buck.

    People bidding for casual work over the internet trademe/e-bay style but instead of the bids going up they go down. As the article points out, there are some downsides:-

    There are crazier ways to earn a living, but that hungry pack of task gophers seems to be forming a physically and conceptually atomized workforce of people who, in some cases, could be less able to gauge the fair value of their labor, or to discern whether they’re being indirectly cheated or discriminated against.

    When the race to fill an advertised job opening involves frantically underbidding the competition, eBay style, are there safeguards to ensure that standards don’t fall to exploitative depths? Is it easier to hire underage workers, arbitrarily withhold wages, or pressure people to take on extra hours or tasks they never bargained for at the outset?

    Something that the government and other political parties need to think about and regulate. If it’s not regulated then we will see people being badly exploited and an explosion of poverty that makes the increase in poverty since neo-liberalism began seem small and insignificant with an accompanying increase of wealth by the few.

  21. Vicky32 21

    I can’t reply directly Morrissey, so I’ll say here “S’okay!” 😀

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