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Open mike 13/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 13th, 2015 - 64 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

64 comments on “Open mike 13/05/2015 ”

  1. Charles 1

    Connoisseurs and students of the human condition would be crazy to miss the latest episode, Ep10, of How Not to Be an Asshole – and probably crazy to want to hear it. Wow, these guys are really white-knuckling it now, and it delivers some exceptional performances, extended periods of chaos, interspersed with interesting tales and ideological definitions of certainty, as only ideology can supply.


    also available on The Daily Blog.

    This week the guys interview a feminist/sexologist, former BFM feature host, Sarin Moddle. She talks about what cisgender is, the difference between sex and gender, living “outside your bubble of understanding”, accuses the guys of being “oppressors” (that bit was hilarious… I thought he was going to snap) and how she pities anyone who hasn’t slept with more than ten people. The guys talk about their foray into vigilante justice – sans capes or lycra – distrust of the cops, and how their various relationships ended.

    This may be the last one I listen to, not because it’s bad, but because I have a much lower tolerance for the kind of Jane Austin-Emily Emily Brontë style of violence and irony these guys and their guests eagerly subject themselves. I might need a cup of tea to calm down. Whatever it is they’re after, I hope it’s worth it. If becoming less of an asshole can be learned by being around assholes, I applaud these guy’s courage. In the meantime, it just keeps getting “better”.

  2. there is a problem with pot – for ladies…

    ..it’s called cotton-vagina..


  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    “Legislation giving U.S. President Barack Obama authority to speed trade deals through Congress failed a crucial procedural test on Tuesday, delaying a measure that may be key to President Barack Obama’s diplomatic pivot to Asia.

    In a setback to the White House trade agenda, the Senate voted 52-45 – eight votes short of the necessary 60 – to clear the way for debate on the legislation, which would allow a quick decision on granting the president so-called fast track authority to move trade deals quickly through Congress.”



    • vto 4.1

      Have said similar meself – definitely a time for conservatives…


      the populace is fed fear and uncertainty (think terrorists, gfc, precariat, labour settings (zero hour contracts), troops in Iraq at war)

      when there is fear and uncertainty the conservatives rise

      human nature

  4. CnrJoe 5

    Hooton taking to his bed today? Or round 2?

  5. Michael 6


    Obama’s plans for trade deals with Asia and Europe in tatters after Senate vote
    Senate legislation fails to pass after Democrats put concerns about US jobs ahead of president’s argument that trade deals will boost global economy.

    Barack Obama’s ambitions to pass sweeping new free trade agreements with Asia and Europe fell at the first hurdle on Tuesday as Senate Democrats put concerns about US manufacturing jobs ahead of arguments that the deals would boost global economic growth.

    A vote to push through the bill failed as 45 senators voted against it, to 52 in favor. Obama needed 60 out of the 100 votes for it to pass.

    Failure to secure so-called “fast track” negotiating authority from Congress leaves the president’s top legislative priority in tatters.

    It may also prove the high-water mark in decades of steady trade liberalisation that has fuelled globalisation but is blamed for exacerbating economic inequality within many developed economies with the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. Internet activists had said the deal would curb freedom of speech, while other critics charged it would enshrine currency manipulation.

    Drama over the landmark trade negotiations has been escalating for weeks, propelling Obama into a public feud with Democrats – going so far as to accuse opposing members within his party of lying about the fast-track bill. The vote marked a rare moment in which Republicans lined up to support the president’s agenda, even as GOP leadership pointed to Obama’s failure to rally his own party in favor of the legislation.

    Opponents have been emboldened by the growing influence of liberal senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and were joined by all but one Senate Democrat in voting against moving forward with TPA.

    Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 presidential race and historically a supporter of free trade, has been cautious amid growing concern over the effect of globalisation on middle-class jobs, warning against “trade for trade’s sake”.


    This is AMAZING news! Nearly unanimous opposition from the Democrats and it looks like fast-track might be thwarted. This is important because if Obama can’t make progress on the TPP soon, he won’t bother expending political capital on it so close to the election season.

    • alwyn 6.1

      Can somebody please explain to me exactly why 60 votes are required to pass this bill?
      I realise that 60 votes are required to invoke cloture, terminating debate, but that wasn’t what was being voted on here was it?

      In terms of your last comment, why shouldn’t he try and pass things? By this stage in his term Obama, who will be FORMER President Obama after the next election is surely interested solely in his legacy. If he doesn’t get things done now he never will. He certainly has no reason at all to wait as he will have no political capital at all after next years Presidential vote.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        Obama’s interested in his “legacy”? I would say he’s more interested in well paid post-public office corporate board positions. That’s why he wants to get the TPPA fast tracked for the multinationals.

        • alwyn

          You sound a bit cynical, but you may be correct.
          On the other hand an ex-President, like Bill Clinton, can get almost any number of very highly paid speaking gigs which would be much easier.

          Accepting your view though simply adds weight to my view that saying “he won’t bother expending political capital on it so close to the election season” is patently wrong.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Cynical would be saying that the Clinton foundation would accept millions from Russian doners roughly around the same time that Hilary was considering approving natural resource sales to Russian companies…and even though that has come out it hasn’t appeared to cost her any political capital.

            • alwyn

              Doesn’t it make you rather sorry about the nasty things said about the Bush’s, father and son?
              They appear to have both made very dignified exits, with not even a single nasty comment about their successors. Actually George Bush was a pretty good President in my view.
              George W? Pretty good as an ex-President. Pity about the time before the “ex” bit though.

          • felix

            “an ex-President, like Bill Clinton, can get almost any number of very highly paid speaking gigs”

            Well yeah, that’s how they bribe their politicians.

            No-one really thinks it’s worth half a million bucks to hear Clinton speak before dinner, but it looks slightly less corrupt than throwing him half a mill while he’s in office.

      • McFlock 6.1.2


        To get to any vote, debate needs to be closed. US politics is at the stage that petulant legislators just refuse to close the debate.

        • alwyn

          Thank you McFlock. I hadn’t realised that it had got to the point where you didn’t even have to speak to create a filibuster.
          The article you linked to is rather funny. We really do have a case of “they did it so we are going to do it too”, haven’t we?

  6. xanthe 7

    There is hugely significant movement on the NSA and the complicit behaviour of 5 eyes members going on outside of these cloistered walls. I can understand that thestandard wants to protect you from the subversive influence of dotcom but the waves are crashing higner and higher against the walls that protect you. raise your eyes for a moment and take a look. a good place to start might be .coms twitter

  7. Lanthanide 8

    Reserve Bank is finally taking action against Auckland housing: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2015/fsr-13-may-2015.html

    1. Investors in Auckland will require 30% LVR deposit
    2. Owner-occupiers in Auckland still only require 20% LVR deposit, and existing 10% ‘speed limit’ on banks remain for this lending
    3. Lending outside of Auckland has the 10% bank ‘speed limit’ increased to 15%.

    • tinfoilhat 8.1

      While applauding that something has been done I can’t see that this will much effect at all.

      I’d be far more impressed to see the government do something – low to no chance of that of course.

      What we need is tightening rules on who can purchase – only permanent residents, instituting a comprehensive capital gains tax and bringing forward the local body elections in Auckland so we can evict the odious Len Brown and his council.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        And a hefty stamp duty on anything more than one home transaction a year.

        • alwyn

          I hope you mean two transactions, rather than one.
          I was considering moving to a smaller house sometime. That would mean
          1. Selling one house.
          2. Buying a new house.
          “hefty stamp duty” the man says.

          • Lanthanide

            Clearly CR is talking about buying houses attracting a stamp duty. In your example, you have only bought one house.

            • alwyn

              Hey, that comment was really more of a joke.
              My next one is mostly meant seriously though.
              Actually I don’t think that high stamp duty works that well.
              I bought a place in Melbourne about 25 years ago, while living there. From memory it cost about $450,000 and the stamp duty was something over $22,000.Didn’t seem to have much effect on sales in the city. People still wanted somewhere to live.

              • Lanthanide

                It is always the introduction of a tax that changes behaviour to a new level. Classic supply and demand curve – increasing price will lead to decreased demand.

                Once the tax has been in place for a while, the market will get used to it and factor it in to pricing. If you were to then take the tax off, you would see a step-change back up in demand.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Well, we could word it so such could be considered a single move.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        “instituting a comprehensive capital gains tax”
        Why do people have such faith in a proposal that a capital gains tax will have any effect on house prices in Auckland? It wouldn’t even be a comprehensive one as all the parties that propose such a tax plan to exclude the primary home. Once you do that you merely open up an enormous loophole. After all, if you want to sell a property you simply move into it, claim that it is now your primary home and sell it CGT free.

        Ignoring that of course you have to explain why, if it is such a great idea, it simply hasn’t worked in Australia, which has had such a tax for more that 20 years. The price of houses in Melbourne and Sydney is at least as bad as the situation in Auckland. If CGT has had no effect there why should it work here?
        The problem is one of supply, and particularly the supply of land, in Auckland. Fix that and you have some chance of fixing the price spiral.

        Your final point says “evict the odious Len Brown and his council”. Actually, if you want to hold down house prices Len is helping. Wind the rates up, I say. No 10% increases. Make them at least 25% per annum and continue it until the house prices crumble. Who is going to buy a $2.5 million doer-upper, as DC and his wife did, if the rates were $250,000 per year?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The price of houses in Melbourne and Sydney is at least as bad as the situation in Auckland.

          [citation needed]

          That said, there are many instances of CGTs around the world where the CGT is lower than both corporate taxes and top personal taxes which means that the imbalance of not having a CGT is still there. It may not be as much of an imbalance as not having a CGT but it would still create housing bubbles.

          Why do people have such faith in a proposal that a capital gains tax will have any effect on house prices in Auckland?

          Most of us recognise that there needs to be a range of policies implemented with the CGT being only one of those policies. Others would include the government building huge amounts of state housing and banning offshore ownership.

          • alwyn


            Here is an example. Have a look at the bit on the Inner Suburbs, but I suggest you ignore Toorak and its $3.3 million. That is a special case and I would say there was nothing in Auckland that compares.

            Hawthorn, Camberwell and Malvern are nothing special. They are pleasant but not exceptional. You should also note that “Inner Suburbs” means within 10 km of the City.
            Extracts are
            “$1,164,500 median price for the first three months of this year was up from $1,099,000 in the December quarter – a six per cent increase. ”

            “June 2012 when the median price was $848,500. ”

            ““By the September quarter of 2013 the median price of $971,500 broke the previous record, set in March 2010. Since then, there has been an increase every quarter and with it, a new record. By March last year the inner Melbourne median had broken the $1,000,000 barrier.”

            “for metropolitan Melbourne for this year’s March quarter was $688,000, up 3.5 per cent on the December quarter’s $664,500 median. That’s a year-on-year change of 10 per cent.”

    • Ovid 8.2

      If I were to think like a banker, I’d encourage speculators to finance any shortfall in their 30% deposit by borrowing against the equity in their own homes. If there’s something in these measures to stop that kind of behaviour, then this may have greater effect.

      • The Chairman 8.2.1

        Indeed, Ovid. Failing to avert investors ability to leverage off equity renders LVR restrictions somewhat toothless, largely minimizing the impact.

        Moreover, the Reserve Bank confirmed it had no plans to extend deposit rules to cover P2P lending, providing investors with another way round the restrictions.

        Considering the acceleration in house prices, one would expect restrictions to be a little more robust, thus boosting their overall effect.

    • Undecided 8.3

      I’m not convinced 30% deposit is the way to go, I think it’ll make it harder for young couples to get the money needed together

      I was thinking that lowering the deposit needed as long as kiwisaver is used might be a way to go but then that might just make it eaiser for the kids of wealthy parents to get into houses

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.3.1

        I’m not convinced 30% deposit is the way to go, I think it’ll make it harder for young couples to get the money needed together

        The requirement is for investors, not owner occupiers.

    • The Chairman 8.4

      Finally indeed, Lanthanide. The Reserve Bank should have acted long ago.

  8. Tommo 9

    It’s not Tommo and it wasn’t Aranda either. For some reason other peoples details keep coming up on my idevices (iPad and iPhone). Clearly there is a security issue at your end. I have no interest in Tommo or Arandar and their email addresses remain intact. I will leave it to the great lprent to work out how this happened and be thankful that I am not Rawshark, Rachinger or Whaleoil.
    Having had my bit of fun, mainly just to check that your site security is indeed rubbish, I will leave you alone. A passing thought though, if these details come up on my devices, they are also coming up on others’ who may not be as charitable as I am.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1


    • Tommo 9.2

      Thanks but I’m not Tommo. That is the point. And I wasn’t Arandar in the weekend either. God knows who I will not be tomorrow.

  9. Jcuknz 10

    More to the point … the government getting on with providing more houses, state houses, and tailoring them to need not more space for individuals to spread themselves. Both Labour and now National have been complete failures on this point.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Also we cannot keep stuffing 1/3 of NZ (and probably most of the immigrants) into 0.3% of the land area.

  10. tc 11

    So heartland is going in a granny emotive piece I skipped through which made no mention of the fact that sky actually air it or detailed reasons for its demise.

    WTF is really going on as it is a rerun channel FFS.

  11. Morrissey 12

    Great minds thinking alike.
    Note how eager Josie Pagani is to agree with everything Farrar says.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 12 May 2015
    Jim Mora, David Farrar, Josie Pagani, Noelle McCarthy

    3:45 p.m. ……

    JIM MORA: And good afternoon, very nice to have your company. 2101 if you’re contacting us, or the panel@radionz.co.nz. W-w-w-what the World is Talking About with Noelle shortly: Is Seymour Hersh’s account of the SEAL attack on Osama bin Laden fact or fantasy? The superbug strain of typhoid is spreading, the end of independence for Norfolk Island, the end of American Idol, Bear Grylls’s island show embroiled in an animal cruelty stoush, the plan to get rid of the names of well known diseases: why? And, er, when you donate to Wikipedia, where does your money go? Also what happens when you rotate your dinner plate? And our —ha ha, ha ha!—aahhh, and—I’m sorry Noelle, that was—

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Slightly to the right.

    MORA: Yes, or slightly to the left. Ah, our love of bottled water shows no sign of f-f-f-f-fizzing. Speaking of slightly to the right and slightly to the left, on the Panel today are David Farrar and Josie Pagani!

    JOSIE PAGANI: He he he.

    DAVID FARRAR: What’s this “slightly”?

    JOSIE PAGANI: Hallo! Yes, he’s a RABID right winger.

    DAVID FARRAR: Miss former ALLIANCE staffer!

    JOSIE PAGANI: Tory bastard.

    MORA: Ha!

    DAVID FARRAR: What—how is the Alliance going, Josie?

    JOSIE PAGANI: Um, I’ve no idea, David!

    DAVID FARRAR: Ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: We’ve made a good beginning!

    DAVID FARRAR: Ha ha ha!

    JOSIE PAGANI: We have!

    MORA: Facial hair on schoolboys, Prince Harry looking for love, the awfully bad weather—I’ll ask you two about that later, Guy Carawan is dead—ahh, what was his claim to fame? Well he never found much fame, but something he did made the world better. Terrorism across the ditch but don’t worry, we’re good here, and the art of Quaxing with Josie and David after 4 o’clock. Noelle McCarthy, What the World is Talking About, good afternoon.

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Good afternoon, all. Well we talked yesterday, didn’t we, about journalist Seymour Hersh and his report on the killing of Osama bin Laden, where he said that the White House version of these events was basically a fairy story. He said that the Pakistani authorities knew about the raid, contrary to what we heard from the President at the time. Well the reactions to this are coming in now, critics calling him a conspiracy theorist, ahhhm, and questioning his source, we talked about the source briefly yesterday, ahhhhm, Seymour Hersh said he had a “retired intelligence official” who was the person who told him that the Pakistani authorities had been holding Osama bin Laden this whole time. Ahhhhmmm, the, those who are questioning his account now say, well THIS guy isn’t exactly a key player, and he’s anonymous.

    MORA: Not enough of a source, Seymour.

    DAVID FARRAR: Interesting if you go through, as a journalist did, all of Seymour Hersh’s recent writings, he claims to have anonymous* sources in more than thirty foreign governments, and every U.S. department of state. He’s written some great stuff in the past, but the last ten years, almost every article he’s written has been anonymous* sources, and you do have to be skeptical when that is your only, ahhhh, validity.

    JOSIE PAGANI: And you have to ask, what is the motive? What would be the motive to have this incredibly complicated alternative version of reality?

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Yes, and the scope of the accusations is something else that’s attracting attention. If what Seymour Hersh is saying is true, then hundreds of people in at least two governments have been lying in unison for years.

    JOSIE PAGANI: And no one leaked? [bemused snickering]

    DAVID FARRAR: Part of his theory or article is that Saudi Arabia was behind protecting him in Pakistan. Now, he is the mortal enemy of the House of Saud. They expelled him from Saudi Arabia because he tried to overthrow them effectively, so the notion that—

    JOSIE PAGANI: David’s just segueing into an episode of Game of Thrones now!

    DAVID FARRAR: A ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Yeah, it does sound a bit like that!

    DAVID FARRAR: It does, doesn’t it! But I think the point being that, y’ow, it’s pretty, even if, y’ow, there was better verification, you just apply the logic test, and almost everything in this article just doesn’t really add up in terms of motivations.

    MORA: Well it’s got Seymour’s name in the headlines again.

    NOELLE McCARTHY: That’s right. Mike Morell who used to be head of the CIA is FURIOUS, he says he has ABSOLUTELY no idea what he was talking about, EVERY one of those sentences he’s written is wrong. He says the Pakistanis didn’t know, they were FURIOUS, and HE was sent to Pakistan to sort it out.

    MORA: Mmkay, that’s the latest on Seymour Hersh. ….[Loudly shuffling papers]…. Now, typhoid! Pink spots on the chest, isn’t it….

    * Farrar pronounces this word “anomynous”.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      I see NBC has come up with elements which corroborate Seymour Hersh’s report on what actually happened around Osama’s death. Specifically, that a walk in from the Pakistani intelligence services told the CIA where Bin Laden was and that Pakistan had been holding Bin Laden for years. Of course, getting Bin Laden was a key rationale for the US to be in Afghanistan, so having Bin Laden on hand was very inconvenient.

    • Weepus beard 12.2

      * Farrar pronounces this word “anomynous”.

      He had some sort of speech impediment as a child which resulted in not speaking until the age of 35.

      His first words were, “John Key”.

  12. joe90 13

    The long long arm…

    The Harper government is signalling its intention to use hate crime laws against Canadian advocacy groups that encourage boycotts of Israel.


    And don’t think it couldn’t happen here.

    “When you have a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, you’re discriminating against Israel,” Cardin told a packed auditorium at the pro-Israel gathering. “And the United States should take a stance to make sure other countries that want trade agreements with the United States do not participate in BDS against Israel.”


    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      Yes, free speech is for insulting Arabs and Muslims, not for protesting against Israel.

      • joe90 13.1.1

        In France, apparently so.

        from the CBC link above

        In France, the law has for years criminalized hate speech based on national origin, and authorities there have in recent years been using it to prosecute BDS advocates. To date, more than 20 have been convicted.

      • Sans Cle 13.1.2

        Freedom of speech can be dangerous
        BBC reports Bangladesh blogger Ananta Bijoy Das hacked to death

  13. Charles 14

    Dear Andrew Little’s speech writers,

    Listen very carefully, I will says this onleez once…

    You know how it’s well known that National equals self interest, and that once upon a time Labour equaled collective good? Well, everyone knows that. And you know how Labour hasn’t been doing so well in the polls lately? Yeah, bummer about that.

    And you know how The NZ Herald, and associated media outlets are percieved as anti-Labour government/Socialism etc etc. Well, everyone now knows that, too.

    And you know how, if Labour says anything directly critical of the Nats, or anyone else, the stories in the media will spend all their words focussing on the negative that was said, even if it was just 50% of the whole speech?

    Yeah, well everyone knows that. Except for you it seems. Even though the rest of the time all we hear is moaning about a biased media and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

    So today in the NZ Herald we find that Andrew Little said some things about the Nats in a pre-budget speech. They’re irresponsible, he says, how are they irresponsible? Let him count the ways… and anyone who says otherwise is a fraud. What were you thinking? This isn’t a forum flame-war, it’s national politics.

    Unsurprisingly, the ways in which the Nats were irresponsible became 7/8th of an influencial newspaper report. The coverage of the speech made him sound bitter and small-minded, all from ideas you wrote, and this part:

    ” “Tackling New Zealand’s problems takes commitment, perseverance, vision, and the willingness to take risks,” he said. “Doing the right thing for New Zealand requires focus, not focus groups.” A responsible Government would deliver a surplus, a solution to the housing crisis, vibrant regions, and a plan to diversify the economy.” ”

    …barely had any space to breathe.

    So why not try this, for all future speeches: why not just talk about the committment you have, the vision you have, the willingness, the focus, the policy, and not even once mention the Nats, or associated frauds, or how you’ll expose bludgers, track down dodgy dudes, hold bogeymen to account, sanction nose-pickers or shoot wild pigs on the farm? Because everyone knows about the Nats – they are their own endlessly absurd advertisement, with no indication of self-restraint any time soon. The media don’t like your Party much, and you’re not helping the line they play on that you lot are negative and nasty.

    Good idea maybe? Even if the media then made up stories about you, the people that heard you in person would get the picture – and it is they who you seek in influence, yes? Everyone now knows how the Nats are, and will, screw them. They see it everyday, they live it. It goes without saying. Tell them how you won’t screw them, then you’ll pick up the missing million voters, easy. Or don’t, and struggle along into obscurity by trying to convinvce a marginal percentage of the people who are more comfortable with National to momentarily jump ship, for a single term, by using methods they theoretically don’t condone.

    Yours sincerely, and not holding my breath for a cheque for advisory services,

    • Bill 14.1

      Reading and concurring.

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Labour had a “vote positive” message for their 2014 election campaign. It was widely derided, and really screwed them when DP came out of left field because they could barely mention it, despite it being what everyone was talking about.

  14. swordfish 15

    Cartoon illustrating today’s Open Mike reminds me of my favourite Gary Larson offering…..Beware of Doug

  15. lprent 16

    Test message – ignore

  16. Philip Ferguson 17

    These days the economic right often sound more humanist and progressive than the left on immigration. We need a serious dose of class politics and internationalism.

    The case for open borders:


    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      There isn’t one. The problem with open borders in a world that is over-populated is that you’ll end up with most of that over-population heading for the Promised Land of the Western Nations which will, inevitably, result in the collapse of those nations and the inevitable war that follows.

      Now, it’s true that many of those Western Nations are only rich because of the slave labour in the poorer nations from which the Western Nations are importing huge amounts of resources. And this shows the real problem – that national resources are being used to support the living standards of other nations.

  17. Philip Ferguson 18

    The right of workers to move and live wherever they please is a pretty fundamental workers’ right. You may as well say that workers from rural NZ should stay there and not come into the main cities because that’ll wreak havoc here.

    The left has abandoned far too much in the way of basic freedoms, like the right of workers to move to where jobs and conditions are better. The right and left have almost swapped places on some issues, like this.

    It’s time to get back to some very basic issues of class and class solidarity.


  18. Philip Ferguson 19

    Despite their success in imposing austerity on the working class in many countries, the ruling class hasn’t been able to produce a *real* new boom. The debate between austerians and Keynesians continues:

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