Open mike 13/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 13th, 2011 - 70 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

70 comments on “Open mike 13/07/2011”

  1. Bored 1

    Whilst all the usual suspects were debating how many saints could dance on the head of a pin (and how the market will always save us…another arcane faith) yesterday some real world observers were saying…

    Goldman-Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Barron’s issued reports last week forecasting that oil prices will be much higher next year because of a stagnant supply situation. Goldman is saying the Saudis do not have nearly as much reserve capacity as Riyadh and the IEA claim and forecast oil at $140 a barrel next year. Barron’s is talking about oil reaching $150 next spring with spikes to $160 and $170 a barrel. Gasoline will be in the vicinity of $4.50 a gallon.

    Recession or depression coming? Just semantics, Chinas growing GDP at 8% per annum so yeah, we will all get electric cars courtesy of the market……at the Warehouse.

    If you are a strong believer in the green economy and electric vehicles, then [lithium] demand is going to exceed supply by 2015-2016."
    — Peter Secker, CEO – Canada Lithium Corp.

    Smell the coffee…..have a good day.

    • Bored 1.1

      Another PS to the above, Greece and now Italy….(not forgetting the other PIGS). Over at the Automaticearth the following commentary on the current European financial crisis, the spotlight turns to Italy..

      European banks’ holdings of Italian debt is 7-8 times bigger than that of Greece. Where it’s taken European leaders forever to accept, as they did today, that there will have to be haircuts for private investors. When time comes to address Italy’s debt, “haircut” won’t be an appropriate metaphor. It’ll be more like putting their heads through a lawnmower, and without anaesthetics.

      It appears Greece despite the “bail outs” (with attendant imposed austerity and consequent riots) will default, which may in turn lead to contagion in Italy, Portugal, Ireland etc, who may in turn default.

      We are here on two little islands in the South Pacific, Shonkey is busy borrowing money to pay for tax cuts for the rich…and the supply may well dry up. Will this clobber him before the election? How will we respond to IMF bail out austerity schemes??

      • travellerev 1.1.1

        PIIGS (Portugal,Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. I hate the way they are portrayed as the porcine greed symbol, As you point out; their not)
        What is so interesting is the fact that one of the Banks most vulnerable to this collapse is the bank of America in which John Key holds a huge amount of shares. I don ‘t know the exact amount but I would bet you bottom dollar that it could easily be 50% of his wealth in shares in that bank, that is a whopping $ 25 million. People have been killed for less!
        If these countries default The French and German banks will cash in on the hedges they made with American banks causing their default too. In fact according to this article they hold 96% of the risk. No wonder they are pushing for bailouts and want to buy the real assets of those countries with their toilet paper money!
         

        • Bored 1.1.1.1

          Spot on, thats what the asset sale frenzy from those who have is all about, seizing future income against flaky worthless paper.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          If these countries default The French and German banks will cash in on the hedges they made with American banks causing their default too.

          Cascading failure.

          There have been bank bailouts by governments before and this is the reason why.

          All the banks lend to each other so when one defaults the whole lot suddenly find themselves without the expected amount of money. On a small scale, say that of a single home mortgage default, this isn’t actually a problem but when there’s a major default such as a country not paying out then it will echo around the world bringing down the entire financial system.

          This time though, if the PIIGS (Yeah, I hate that acronym as well) default there’s no way that the governments of the world could bailout the banking system. When, not if, the PIIGS default the entire corrupt system will collapse and we’ll drop into a depression that will make the Great Depression look like a summer holiday. But at least we’ll get to see all the corruption that the present socio-economic system has bred and be able to do something about it.

  2. Wow, coming from safe and well protected Holland were storms were plenty full and snow weights heavily on power and telephone lines if they are at all above the ground and it never interfered with those services I have to really get used to the fragility of the power and telephone infrastructure over here. Lightening zapped out telephone and internet connection and it took a full day to get it back up and running again. 
    Anyway here is a video narrated by Kevin Ryan. Kevin Ryan is a 911 wistleblower. He worked for Underwriters laboratory and was fired for pointing out that this lab had conducted the initial testing of the steel used for the WTC and that the official story was impossible. Here he analyses the NIST rapport on building 7.

  3. Bring on the girls… Brash acts to fight white blokes image (Herald)
    Act leader Don Brash says the party needs more young women and brown faces as candidates to more broadly represent New Zealand society at the election.

    He just needs to get John Ansell to run an advert and do a bit of blogging. Act – chick magnet and brown brothers?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Act leader Don Brash says the party needs more young women and brown faces as candidates to more broadly represent New Zealand society at the election.”

      Lets see some beneficiary and disabled candidates too, to more broadly represent New Zealand society.

      Brash is already a pensioner so they’ve got that angle covered.

  4. How is this for cynical politics.

    The Nats were rightfully castigated for only giving soldiers attending a Crete ceremony $2,000 to get there while Wayne Mapp on the taxpayer credit card enjoyed a $26k luxury flight and stay over.  Australia paid the full cost of transport and hotels for their soldiers.

    The Nats were made to face up to how appalling it was by a recent newspaper article.  Key was apparently disturbed.  Mapp has come out and said it was wrong and that they will now pay for the soldiers in the future BUT it will not be backdated.  The next trip will be in 5 years time and the soldiers are already into their 90s.

    This presents an unusual achievement.  National is made to look utterly cynical and cheap at the same time.

    • freedom 4.1

      If Mr Key is so disturbed by this pitiful resourcing of the event for our veterans, why did he not say anything back during the ANZAC memorial events earllier this year when the $2000 per veteran announcement was made public.

      His snake-oil comments are too little too late to have any credibility.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Mapp is still a creep.

        Apparently his frak-up over mistreating war veterans is now something that the WHOLE NATION needs to apologise for on his lame selfish behalf.

        “We need to do better for the future,” Dr Mapp told Radio New Zealand. “I am concerned about this and I guess as a nation we do owe them an apology.

        When asked directly to apologise, he did not.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738155

  5. burt 5

    I’m so looking forward to Labour apologists defending Labour for their latest breach of the electoral laws. I wonder what it will be this time.

    We have had the following excuses;

    The rules were confusing – Complete fail for MPs who by convention don’t have the defense that the laws they wrote and enacted are confusing.

    The ref changed the rules – impossible claim given that written warnings have been given for this very same thing and they were ignored.

    Others were doing it too – the kind of excuse a kid uses.

    It’s the way we have always done it – Right so if I’ve always exceeded the speed limit can I claim that I’ve always been breaking the law and therefore I can’t be prosecuted for it….

    The defenders of the indefensible will be busy with this one.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The ref changed the rules

      Did you ever get around to producing that letter? I don’t recall seeing it.

      It’s the way we have always done it – Right so if I’ve always exceeded the speed limit can I claim that I’ve always been breaking the law and therefore I can’t be prosecuted for it….

      No, you imbecile. There had been 14 previous years where the AG could have pulled up that spending and didn’t which tends to indicate that that spending was OK.

      • burt 5.1.1

        I had been driving for 20 years before I got my first speeding ticket – the fact I’d never been caught before then didn’t make any difference.

        But hey, you defend the indefensible, keep busy like like I predicted.

        I can’t find an online copy of the letter issued by David Henry prior to the 2005 election warning Labour that the pledge card would be considered as electioneering – but your constant apologist stance has motivated me. Watch this space.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          I had been driving for 20 years before I got my first speeding ticket – the fact I’d never been caught before then didn’t make any difference.

          Think of it this way.

          The law bans excessive smoke from cars. You have a car and it smokes but you drive it anyway as it’s not a lot. Every time you drive it you go past a police officer and nothing happens for the first 14 times then, on the 15th time, you get pulled up and given a ticket.

          The only thing that’s changed is that it’s not the same police officer any more so why has the small amount of smoke suddenly broken the law after so many times when it didn’t? The law needs consistency and the sudden change in enforcement was an effective change in the rules.

          If you’re going to use metaphor at least use one that’s comparable. You didn’t get caught speeding for those 20 years because you weren’t seen not because the police weren’t enforcing the law.

          • burt 5.1.1.1.1

            If you’re going to use metaphor at least use one that’s comparable. You didn’t get caught speeding for those 20 years because you weren’t seen not because the police weren’t enforcing the law.

            I can tell you one thing Draco, the time I was caught was certainly not the first time I had been speeding. And hey guess what – Like the Labour party in the 2005 election I knew when I was caught that;

            a) It was my good luck I had never been caught before.
            b) Being caught was my own fault for willfully ignoring the speed limit.
            c) The Law had been applied fairly and there was no need to blame the cop ( aka the ref ) for the fact I was caught.

            I guess the difference between me and the Labour party was that I didn’t think it was unfair that I got caught when I had driven the same stretch of road hundreds of times at a similar speed before – but not been caught.

            No rules were changed… The only bad call that was made was me thinking I wouldn’t get caught simply because I hadn’t been in the past.

          • burt 5.1.1.1.2

            The only thing that’s changed is that it’s not the same police officer any more so why has the small amount of smoke suddenly broken the law after so many times when it didn’t? The law needs consistency and the sudden change in enforcement was an effective change in the rules.

            Right so the written warning for excessive smoke that you are rushing to hide under the floor mat when you have been stopped and the current police officer is scribbling a ticket – you forgot to mention that in your metaphor..

      • burt 5.1.2

        Draco

        Please visit this link to find out just how dishonest your beloved Labour party are.

        http://web.archive.org/web/20060627174518im_/http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/archives/lab2.JPG

        Here you will see that the The Chief Electoral Office (David Henry – prior to the 2005 election) clearly pointed out that the Labour party were deemed to have broken the law. He even requests an explanation as to why this matter should not be referered to the Police.

        Suckers like you bought the “ref changed the rules” line – how foolish you must feel repeating the lies of a corrupt self serving political party who deliberately ignored a written warning then claimed the ref changed the rules.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1

          That doesn’t tell me anything as all the relevant information has been cut from it you moron.

          • burt 5.1.2.1.1

            You stay in denial Draco…. It’s probably the only way you can have any faith in the current Labour party.

    • chris73 5.2

      No no no you don’t understand, parliamentary services said it was ok so we didn’t/couldn’t be bothered to do any further work on the matter

      There all sorted now lets move on shall we

  6. Just overheard this being read out on Radio New Zealand.

    “Sri Lankan asylum seekers should think about seeking to stand for the ACT party, they let anyone in …”

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Think that being in a professional job is going to mean a big employer is going to treat you better?

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10738106

    • Vicky32 7.1

      My experience has been that employers will seize every opportunity to treat people like rubbish… 🙁

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Finally, the private sector proves that it understands National’s vision for the future of NZ McJobs.

    Notice the implied hostage taking threat at the end around wage rates.

    “We’re paying $13 an hour and in the throes of settling with Unite Union soon,” Watson said. “But it will be nowhere near $15 an hour and let me tell you, if we went up to that number the viability of our future development programme would be jeopardised.”

    Ironic for a company which makes most of its money internationally from working class customers.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10738079

  9. Here is a presentation from Nuclear engineers Arnie Gundersen and David Lochbaum about why Fukushima can happen anywhere where there are Nuclear power plants. It’s about an hour long and devoid of histrionics making it all the more scary in it’s implications.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      US nuclear regulatory authorities have no procedures covering spent fuel pool emergencies. None.

      Nor do they have procedures covering what to do if station blackouts exceed battery time. None.

      And typical US nuclear powerplants have only half the emergency backup battery time of Fukushima (4hrs compared to 8hrs).

      wtf 😯

      thanks for the link travellerev, was great

      (great as in DDT, Challenger O rings, asbestos and paraquat are also ‘great’)

  10. Hi folks!

    The struggle to defend our lawful rights to ‘freedom of expression’ continues………..

    If you don’t know your rights – you don’t have any.
    If you don’t defend the rights you are SUPPOSED to have – you lose them.

    So – here we go………………….

    FYI

    Today, Wednesday 13 July 2011, before 5pm, I, Penny Bright, will apply at the Auckland High Court for orders:

    “1.1 Revoking, lifting or ruling as legally invalid, the alleged suppression order of Winkelmann J, which purports to prevent the New Zealand public, and the world at large, from knowing about her Honour’s Judgment granted that same day in 18 criminal prosecutions (CRI2007-085-7842, CRI2007-085-7843, CRI2007-085-7840, CRI2008-004-9108, CRI2008-004-20747, CRI2007-004-23065, CRI2008-004-20022, CRI2007-004-23068, CRI2007-004-23069, CRI2008-004-20748, CRI2007-004-23066, CRI2008-004-20045, CRI2007-063-4445, CRI2007-063-4441, CRI2007-054-4999, CRI2007-063-4472, CRI2008-070-1415, CRI2008-404-342), known collectively as “the Operation 8 prosecutions”.

    1.2 Revoking, lifting or ruling as legally invalid, the Minute of Winkelmann J dated 21 December 2010; to the extent that “Minute” intends to – or results in- the New Zealand public or world at large from knowing relevant facts in the prosecution or reasons for suppressing all of Her Honour’s 9 December 2010 Judgment in the Operation 8 prosecution, including such basic and important information as the fact of their indictment on charges.1

    (1 Refer to paragraph [1] of the Judgment of Winkelmann J dated 9 December 2010, “Operation 9 prosecutions”) ”

    The ‘legislative basis’ upon which I am relying, in order to file this application, lies in CIV 2010 – 404 – 8559 Solicitor-General of New Zealand v Vincent Ross Siemer , Judgment of MacKenzie and Simon France JJ, 4 July 2011.

    VINCE SIEMER Solicitor General v Siemer judgment(3) CIV 2010 404 8559 HC Ak 4 July 2011 MacKenzie & Simon France JJ 12 July 2011

    [41] ……..
    It is open to persons including Mr Siemer to apply to the Court for a variation of the order, or for its removal, but until that is successfully done the order is binding.”

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    I have been advised by email by the Manager of the Criminal jurisdiction of the Auckland High Court, that :

    “Having discussed the jurisdiction issue with my colleagues, I can confirm that the view is that the application should be with the Civil jurisdiction.”

    What is arguably patently ridiculous in this situation is that this latest judgment, which is not ‘suppressed’, contains details of the judgment of Winkelmann J which was suppressed.

    Vince Siemer is now facing imprisonment for ‘contempt’ for ‘disseminating details of Judge Winkelmann’s decision – which I too have disseminated. I too, am upholding the public’s lawful right to know Judge’s decisions and their reasons for those decisions.

    Am I too going to face imprisonment for ‘contempt’ of court?

    What ‘LAW’ have I, or Vince Siemer (www.kiwisfirst.co.nz) ever broken?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1985/0120/latest/DLM78862.html?search=ts_act_Criminal+Justice+Act+1985_resel&p=1#DLM78862

    KEY GROUNDS UPON WHICH THIS APPLICATION IS BASED:

    “[4] There is no basis in law to suppress a court judgment resulting from a criminal prosecution. Such judicial powers are limited to the evidence adduced, the submissions made, publication of the name of any witness or witnesses, or any name or particulars likely to lead to the identification of the witness or witnesses under s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985.

    4. s 138 of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 states:

    138 Power to clear court and forbid report of proceedings

    …….

    (5) The powers conferred by this section to make orders of any kind described in
    subsection (2) are in substitution for any such powers that a court may have
    had under any inherent jurisdiction or any rule of law; and no court shall have power to
    make any order of any such kind except in accordance with this section or any other
    enactment.

    5. It is a violation of natural justice to attempt to enforce a suppression order, with criminal penalties, against the public at large (i.e. not parties to the proceeding) for commenting on, or disseminating, a judgment, without the right to be heard, in a free and democratic society.

    6. Similarly, it is an unreasonable restriction on the statutory right of freedom of expression guaranteed under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 for New Zealand citizens to face prosecution and be threatened with loss of their liberty simply for disseminating or commenting on any court judgment – particularly cases pertaining to the ongoing “Operation 8 prosecutions”, which have already been the subject of significant public interest.

    7. The order is in direct conflict with the principles of open and transparent justice which have been the hallmark of an honourable and just court system in every egalitarian society, because it effectively makes the judgment secret and unavailable to public scrutiny.

    8. The subject suppression order violates a broader interest – that of significant public interest – and the conflict of Justice Winkelmann’s alleged suppression order against this broader public interest has been confirmed in correspondence between the Crown Prosecutor, Mr Burns, in the Operation 8 prosecutions and the High Court in which the alleged suppression order originates.

    9. It is relevant to the grounds of this application that Justice Winkelmann gave no reasons for the alleged suppression order, if indeed it was Her Honour’s order, for concealing the public court judgment from the New Zealand public and the world at large. Justice cannot ‘be done or be seen to be done’, if the judgment of ‘what was done’, and ‘why it was done’ is deliberately hidden from the public.

    11. The risk to personal liberty against citizens of New Zealand is unacceptable, if the alleged suppression order is allowed to stand. The threat to personal liberty is evident by the recent prosecution of the legal news website publisher Vince Siemer, who is currently facing imprisonment as a sole and direct result of publishing this public court judgment. 2

    12. As the applicant has disseminated details regarding this 9 December 2010 judgment to the public, as well as engaged in commentary regarding it, she faces potential prosecution by the State unless the court suppression order – if it is determined by this Honourable Court to be an actual order – is allowed to stand.

    13. If Justice Winkelmann’s court ‘order’ has not been based upon the ‘rule of law’, then the public cannot be expected to respect it. If Judges don’t themselves follow the ‘rule of law,’ by basing their decisions upon the ‘rule of law’ – then they are not ‘setting an example’ to citizens which either safeguards the administration of justice, or enhances public confidence in the New Zealand judiciary.

    14. The Applicant holds that the real risk to the administration of justice stems from this court ‘order’ which has not been based on the ‘rule of law’ – but has been ‘made up’ by Justice Winkelmann, then enforced by the Solicitor-General David Collins QC, in such an discriminatory and arbitrary way as to constitute an abuse of power which cannot be justified in a free and democratic society.”

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Full copies of correspondence, including the wording of the ‘Application for Order’ is available on http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    Cheers!
    Penny Bright

  11. vto 11

    Unexpected Earthquake Observation #23;

    Walking around with a constant subconcious eye tilted to what is above your head.

  12. joe90 12

    Witnessing the Tar Sands Dead Zone: Asserting the need to heal.

    In the face of the enormous devastation that is destroying forests across northern Alberta, a peaceful group of people are steadfastly asserting the need to heal the land and waters. On June 25, 2011, the second annual Healing Walk for the Tar Sands brought together Indigenous people, Keepers of the Athabasca, elders, children and supporters, who walked 13 kilometres through the heart of where Syncrude and Suncor extract bitumen on a massive scale.

  13. joe90 13

    Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials.

    Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior officials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, Human Rights Watch said.

    Report: Getting Away with Torture

  14. Deadly_NZ 14

    And to keep us beneficiaries on our toes they are going to have a robot ring us up….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5278302/Benefit-debtors-to-get-call-from-machine

    I HATE robots and there are too many of them, it’s bad enough when you bump into them when calling winz, telstraclear, etc etc But to have one ringing you. Telstra has one that does and I just hang up on it. AS I will for every robot that rings me. Wow 3rd day in a row for Thunderstorms here in Levin..

    • freedom 14.1

      that one about an hour ago was a doozy, sounded like Thor did a belly flop on the roofing iron

      • joe90 14.1.1

        Now that the retired heading dog is as deaf as a post I thought she’d be over her thunder phobia but the lightning is scaring her half to death now.

        http://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/lightning-radar

        • Deadly_NZ 14.1.1.1

          Yep Animals hate the lightning for some reason, something to do with their senses like birds . It looks like that could be it for a while. handy site tho’ thanks

      • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2

        Yes has now blown over, but has flooded the section. Oh so you around Sunny Levin too freedom ?

        • freedom 14.1.2.1

          I have been here a few years now, I like the pace. They work hard and play hard. Have fundraisers and fights, have political tensions and insane parties and generally keep things ticking over while doing their best to smile and help another person when its needed.
          All in all a fair microcosm of New Zealand really.

        • freedom 14.1.2.2

          i’m not sure it has blown over looks like round three is just beginning and added hail to the mix.
          this is some serious weather. (i have Rage against the Machine on and i cannot hear it)

          • Deadly_NZ 14.1.2.2.1

            It was round 3 I just got in after a drive to countdown and had trouble seeing the road it was so hard. We been here about 2 1/2 years and it’s a great place for us. And with my 2 mth old son its nice to be able to walk any where in town. In Summer that is lol today was car day, Yep it drowned out all thoughts of chatter in the car..

    • Vicky32 14.2

      It’s your fault for living in Levin! 😀 When I worked for ANZ, I noted that the ANZ branch number for Levin was 666, which a friend of mine who hates that town, said was appropriate..
      I too, hang up on robots. Too bad for them!

  15. Lanthanide 15

    This site gets 93/100 on Google Page Speed, with *higher* scores being better.

    http://pagespeed.googlelabs.com/#url=http_3A_2F_2FWww.thestandard.org.nz&mobile=false

    Edit: originally thought high score was bad, edited to correct. Guess this isn’t a big deal after all.

  16. jackal 16

    Reefer Madness

    A few MP’s spoke on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill in Parliament yesterday. While most showed a good grasp on what they were talking about, Peter Dunne dropped a couple of clangers in his uninspiring and droll speech. Although the bill is in the most part well thought out, it has a number of items that raise concern. The bill proposes to deregulate Thalidomide, which is a terrible drug that has caused more harm than marijuana ever could.

  17. Just heard in Parliament that Blinglish banked the sale proceeds from the sell down of power company shares in the budget but did not allow in future years for the loss of dividend income, on the basis that it was up to the election to confirm the sale would happen.
     
    How dishonest is that?

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Very but fairly typical of National.

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      I’d say it’s fraud.

      • Deadly_NZ 17.2.1

        And corruption and lying but the NACTS don’t care, with Smith as Speaker of the house the lying can continue unabated.

    • vto 17.3

      What? Is he serious?

      Imagine if that was taken by a small business (or indeed a large business) to a bank or investor as part of a loan or investment application ………….

      You would get laughed straight back out the door and your credibility would be shot.

      Bill English clearly does not even know the basics of business and here is in Minister of Finance.

      Shocking. Deceptive. Fraudulent. And with our money. Rod Petricevich eat your heart out.

      • mickysavage 17.3.1

        Agreed vto.
         
        Here is the proof
         
        Blinglish has the nerve to suggest that since the dividends were already in the Budget Labour cannot take them into account when working out the benefit of retaining the power company shares in state ownership! 
         

    • Colonial Viper 17.4

      So you sold the business you own but still expect to receive all the pay and profits from it after that?

      Fraking Bill English.

      Every RWNJ believes he can outsmart gravity with a bit of clever talking.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    Well, it is a step change, probably not the one people were expecting when National promised it but it is still a step change.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Iran and Pakistan have been managing nuttiness in Afghanistan for decades, I think they will keep pretty cool heads.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.2

      There are lots of things to be concerned about in AfPak Ian, but that guy doesn’t seem to have too good a handle on them. Maybe he does and is writing to a purpose, but that piece is way, way, too simplistic, and heavily loaded with lines that make me think it is more aimed at shaping western opinion than describing events on the ground.

      Few points I look for in any analysis.

      Most importantly, do they explain things in terms of interests. ie when they say the ISI has links to the Taliban or other militanst, do they say what pakistan’s interests are, or do they just leave it as a shadow, allowing the reader to think that it’s all just ideological scary muslims determined to slaughter us all in our sleep. First rule is that nations act in the best perceived interest. That is why Pakistan was and is doing what is doing. That is why the Taliban made deals with AQ. That is why Iran nearly invaded in 2000. etc. Interests, not ideology, most often.

      Do they talk nearly as much about Iran, India, China and Russia as they do about Pakistan. All these countries have interests, all will act on them. Pakistan is far from being the strongest player in the region.

      Do they describe what effect they think the last ten years of western fighting in the region will have on the calculations of the various players; or do they try and paint a picture of everyone just going back to how it was with, for example, the Afghan govt thinking making deals with AQ will not have any consequences, ditto ISI, etc.

  19. jackal 20

    The Price of Cheese in the Wild West

    There was some ludicrous debate going on in Parliament today. Amongst the rhetoric were a number of gaff’s and outright lies by National MP’s. Most were reasonably inconsequential, but a couple I found rather amusing. After saying that farmers were wrongly singled out for their tax avoidance, National MP David Carter said, and I quote “sheep thieves and dairy farmers.” Talk about foot in mouth disease…

  20. grumpy 21

    Who is Calvin Fisher????

    Is the Managing Director of a demolition company also his employee’s Union official?

    Is this company sending in dodgy invoices and is Calvin using his Union hat to try to pressure EQC through the media to get paid?

    Did he take over the company recently from a woman who defrauded his own union??

    What implications for the Unions and Labour here for their attacks in EQC, CERA, Brownlee etc?

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Ah, good old Company Unions! Banned for good reasons. Chinese picking them up now in their slow evolution towards improved workers rights.

      • grumpy 21.1.1

        Hi CV, understand he’s the big cheese at the Amalgamated Worker’s Union and his staff haven’t been paid.

      • grumpy 21.1.2

        Wierd eh????

        He’s complaining (as Union Sec) that guys have not been paid because he (as Company Director) has been sending in dodgy invoices so his company don’t get paid and his worker’s don’t get paid………..

        Who do they go to now???? Unite???? Local Labour MP????

  21. jackal 22

    Deregulating for Disaster

    Former chief inspector of coal mines Robin Hughes, with over 40 years of coal mining experience gave evidence yesterday at the Royal Commission of Inquiry concerning the Pike River mine disaster. He said mine safety changes made by the National Government in the 1990’s was the underlying cause for the disaster that occurred 19 November 2010 and claimed 29 lives.

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  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago