Open mike 14/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, January 14th, 2014 - 208 comments
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openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

208 comments on “Open mike 14/01/2014”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Wingnut heaven: poor people are more likely to smoke.

    This is not a new finding, so the timing of this information old news is…interesting.

    • just saying 1.1

      I can hardly wait for the response.

      When I was at the annual gathering of the whanau I was struck by the fact that the majority of us smoke. At one stage about twelve of us were sitting outside in the rain smoking (vaping in my case) and we were joking that given how many of us were on benefits a TV crew with the hapless Paddy Gower should be arriving at any moment.

      It’s no coincidence either that all of us at that table were living the precariat dream – either not in paid work ( or not enough to make ends meet), or in imminent danger of becoming so. Three had lost their paid work in the last six months and were desperately seeking a job.

      Everyone except me was talking about trying to quit because the price hikes had made lives a misery, but despite multiple attempts, cutting down etc. most are doing without other (often essential) things, borrowing money etc. Because being stressed and demoralised makes a smoker want a cigarette. Badly

      • james 1.1.1

        I know its hard – but if you and your family are making the choice to buy ciggies and do without essentials – then you are making poor decisions.

        And that is your fault nobody elses.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          One day, they’ll succeed in beating their addiction to tobacco.
          You, however, will most likely never be able to overcome your habit of being a patronizing idiot.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.1

            😆 well said McFlock.

            Giving up smokes was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Almost two decades later I still get the urge once in a while.

            Just Saying, the trick (for me) is to acknowledge the desire, even vocalise it. It’s ok to want a ciggie, just don’t have one.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Giving up smokes was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

              Was a lot easier for me. I woke up in a hospital as a cyborg after a nasty clog of a heart artery and a day of repeating myself like a witless parrot. Lyn told me I’d smoked my last cigarette. I was sucking lozenges before I knew it after the hospital pharmacy loaded me up with every stop-smoking device in creation.

              For the first few months I was a bit too crook to even consider a ciggie. It would have involved getting up…

              But I would advise that this is a hard route to giving up cigarettes.

              BTW: the lozenges are the only way to go. Patches are a pain and the gum tastes like crap.

              • BM

                I got some of the gum from quit line.

                But, I decided that I’d only ever use it if the craving became too bad, I’ve seen a lot of people use the gum in the same way as if they’re smoking, replacing one habit with another.

                Cravings never got bad enough so I never ended up using the gum.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.2

              personally, it’s an addiction I welcome, but it looks like circumstances have changed for me and I’ll have to cut down or stop. I ain’t happy about it.

            • David H 1.1.1.1.1.3

              The biggest thing in giving up I have found is that you have to really want to give up, just saying it not enough. And yes Mcflock you have to have that I’m not going to smoke the ciggie today frame of mind everyday of your life. Because unlike any other addiction this one is insidious to live with because you can buy them anywhere and 24 hrs a day in most places.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The biggest thing in giving up I have found is that you have to really want to give up, just saying it not enough.

                /agreed

                I found that I managed to give up because I stopped trying to give up and actually stopped smoking. The tricks was, for me, actually making the decision to stop.

                Had withdrawal for about a week, was doing really badly at work and even got called into the manager’s office. After about 6 months the desire had pretty much gone and these days it doesn’t even occur to have a cigarette.

              • McFlock

                Because unlike any other addiction this one is insidious to live with because you can buy them anywhere and 24 hrs a day in most places.

                actually, that is pretty much true with any addiction. There’s always a way.

                The thing as far as I can see about addiction is that each one is different for each individuals. Some people can give up with little apparent effort, in my experience tobacco isn’t as bad as alcohol (I really do have hankerings for that), and for others either one can be that “every day for the rest of your life” vacuum that constantly needs to be filled.

                So while my own tobacco use definitely falls into personal responsibility more than dependence (not saying not addicted, just that the addiction never has time to come into the decision), I certainly don’t think that getting rid of an addiction is as easy as tories seem to assume. I like being drunk, and I like to smoke, and I’ll shed this mortal coil on the carriage of my choosing – that doesn’t mean everyone else has made the same choice.

        • just saying 1.1.1.2

          Maybe you might want to actually read the comment James. I don’t smoke.
          And maybe you might want to have some compassion, and get down off that high horse. Sky-high tobacco taxes are adding to the stress and demoralisation of people who are already suffering and while it might be slightly increasing the numbers stopping smoking, it is harming a lot more than it is helping.

        • David H 1.1.1.3

          Hey Sheethead (james) It took me 6 attempts to give up. And it wasn’t until I got a PT job that took the stress away that I could finally give up the ciggies. So when I see fuckwits making general statements about things they know fuck all about it makes my blood boil. But i can’t be bothered wasting any more of my valuable time on idiots like you, So I’ll give my time to doing something worthwhile like watching the grass grow!

      • BM 1.1.2

        Stop making excuses.

        It’s easy, once you put your mind to it.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1

          Easy like the top 0.1% giving up greed for wealth and resources far beyond what they can every use themselves?

        • bad12 1.1.2.2

          Grow your own!!! the truly addicted will never be able to quit tobacco use and the anti-smoking Nazi’s know and ignore this preferring to give only the choices of quit or starve to many of those addicted to this product when it was more than socially acceptable to use it,

          At the age of 57 and having used tobacco products heavily since the age of 13 exactly what benefit is there in forcing me through over-taxation to quit using a legally available product, i would suggest none,

          If the anti-brigade hell bent on interfering with my right to make life and death choices were serious about stopping the young from taking up the smoking habit leading to their addiction they would have convinced the Government to make tobacco products a prescription only poison and thus imposed a sunset clause on it’s use…

          • just saying 1.1.2.2.1

            Hi bad12,

            I still have a three year old tobacco plant in the middle of my vege garden. It has flowered through heavy snow and gale-force winds. Never seems to stop flowering.

            Anyway, I’m happier vaping and it’s dead cheap, so it’s no longer a problem for me. I’d like to get the whanau smokers vaping (but they didn’t like it) or growing their own – I’ve still got a gazillion seeds and a whole lot of dried tobacco in the basement. But they aren’t confident and seem to be getting less confident. And that’s got nothing to do with smoking and a lot to do with living the precariat dream (as Bennett likes to refer to poverty – living the dream).

            • David H 1.1.2.2.1.1

              But with home grown tobacco you don’t get all those other lovely harmless (sarc) chemicals that you get with ‘store bought’ ciggies.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.3

          BM, it’s the mind that’s the problem – the brain is the only organ that gets any benefit from tobacco. The stomach, liver, lungs, heart etc. sure as hell don’t want the stuff, but the brain is selfish.

          • Tracey 1.1.2.3.1

            BM has little knowldge of the mind

          • BM 1.1.2.3.2

            OAK, I smoked for over 20 years, gave up about 5 years ago, haven’t smoked one since.

            To give up you’ve got to have a reason, for me it was health reasons not money reasons, I really don’t think money reasons is enough of a motivator to quit.
            As you can see even benes on there meager income some how manage to scrape together enough to buy smokes.
            My system of giving up consisted of.

            1. Last thing I smoked was a packet of rothams,having smoked port royal for at least the previous decade they were fucking disgusting so I was really struggling to finish the packet, that way I finished smoking with a negative mindset towards smoking not a “Aww Man that’s the last smoke I’ll ever have, gutting : -(“.

            2. For the first 3 weeks didn’t get on the booze or go near people who smoke

            3. Gave the Woman my credit and eftpos cards for the first few weeks so temptation wouldn’t get the best of me, it’s funny how the brain accepts something when there’s no other option.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.3.2.1

              The expense was never the issue. My first “giving up” experience lasted six years. Hang in there.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Debunking Sharon’s Peacemaker Status
    by SCOTT MCCONNELL, The American Conservative, January 13, 2014
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/debunking-sharons-peacemaker-status/

    John Kerry’s statement on Ariel Sharon’s death is here. [1] Of course diplomats should be diplomatic and avoid gratuitous insults. But isn’t it possible to say something appropriate or even respectful about Ariel Sharon without pretending he was any kind of peacemaker? In an act of truly world class groveling, Kerry manages to repeat the falsehood of Sharon the peacemaker four times within four brief paragraphs–no modest effort. There’s this:

    “I will never forget meeting with this big bear of a man when he became Prime Minister as he sought to bend the course of history toward peace, even as it meant testing the patience of his own longtime supporters and the limits of his own, lifelong convictions in the process. He was prepared to make tough decisions because he knew that his responsibility to his people was both to ensure their security and to give every chance to the hope that they could live in peace.”

    Followed a few lines later by this:

    “In his final years as Prime Minister, he surprised many in his pursuit of peace, and today, we all recognize, as he did, that Israel must be strong to make peace, and that peace will also make Israel stronger.”

    A notable constant in Sharon’s career was his readiness to massacre defenseless Palestinian civilians. He made his bones, so to speak, at Qibya in 1953, a West Bank town in Jordan. Some Palestinian “infiltrators” had crossed the cease-fire line to murder an Israeli mother and her two children, and the Israeli government decided upon reprisals. (Jordan had denounced the murders and promised to cooperate in tracking down the perpetrators).

    The reprisal raid was carried out by Unit 101, commanded by Major Sharon. When it was over, Qibya was reduced to rubble, 45 houses had been blown up, most with their inhabitants inside. 69 civilians, mostly women and children, were left dead. There was a storm of international protest, and Israel initially sought to deny IDF responsibility for the massacre, claiming instead that irate Israeli villagers had taken revenge on their own initiative. The lie didn’t stand up. Israel faced universal condemnation, including from the United States, which called for those responsible for the killing to be held to account. Abba Eban, entrusted with defending Israel at the United Nations, wrote his foreign minister Moshe Sharrett that “Sending regular armed forces across an international border, without the intention of triggering a full-scale war, is a step that distinguishes Israel from all other countries. No other state acts this way.” Sharon was well pleased with the action however, as was most of the Israeli political establishment.

    Sharon’s more famous massacre took place at the refugee camps of Sabra and Shattilah in Lebanon. In 1982, the camps were under Israeli control after Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon. Protected by Sharon’s forces, Lebanese Phlangists –allied with Israel and rabidly hostile to the Palestinians, entered the camps…..

    [1] http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/01/219561.htm

    Read more….
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/debunking-sharons-peacemaker-status/

  3. Morrissey 3

    Kiddy-whackers have scored a spectacular PR triumph

    Why are Radio New Zealand National presenters still referring to the repeal of Section 59 by the misleading title of “the anti-smacking law”?
    http://www.clearsay.net/images/spanking-by-Peter-Dazeley-Getty-images.jpg

    http://heartofwisdom.com/images/blog/Woman_hitting_kid.jpg

    http://www.respectworks.eu/uploads/pics/nspcc_hit_01.jpg

    • vto 3.1

      To counter the misleading description of anyone who has smacked their child as kiddie-bashers?

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        Do you think we should be able to hit other dependent people as well? Like elderly parents, who often are more troublesome than any child?

        And how old does a child have to be before you can start bashing it? Is six months too young?

        Do you think it’s okay to hit people in wheelchairs? They often act poorly too.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1

          …and what about wingnuts? They often need correction.

        • vto 3.1.1.2

          Does kiddie-basher not imply that the person is bashing and smashing the kid to a pulp?

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.2.1

            So you think the likes of the Kahuis and the Craigs should be free to hit their children as they see fit?

            • vto 3.1.1.2.1.1

              And you think a light and occasional smack is the same as a Kahui bash?

              • Morrissey

                The Kahuis started with a “light and occasional smack” too. People like Colin Craig have created a climate which encourages them to do so.

                • vto

                  The Kahuis are extreme and anomalous. Such is the rhetoric on both sides in this issue. Unhelpful. No wonder it is rearing its head again – it was never settled properly.

                  • Morrissey

                    The Kahuis are neither extreme nor anomalous. For the most part, they treated those twin boys in the same way Colin Craig says everybody should be able to treat children. If there had been a law forbidding them to hit children, and if they feared being prosecuted for it, they may not have started to “smack” those boys in the first place.

                    They didn’t start off by “bashing” those babies, they started off by “smacking” them, just like Colin Craig advocates they should be allowed to.

                    And it WAS settled properly. The law is quite clear: people like the Kahuis, the Craigs, the Bankses and the McVicars may NOT hit their own children, any more than they can start hitting other people’s children.

                    • felix

                      The law is quite clear: people like the Kahuis, the Craigs, the Bankses and the McVicars may NOT hit their own children” but if they do, the police probably won’t do anything unless they hit them really hard, but we’re not saying how hard.

                      Yep, quite clear.

                    • vto

                      The Kahuis are not extreme? They killed their children. That is extreme.
                      The Kahuis are not anomalous? New Zealanders kill their children all the time don’t they Morrissey. It is normal behaviour isn’t it…. Sheesh… Do you know the meaning of anomalous?

                      And by not being settled properly I mean the law change was not bought into by enough of the population, hence it rising from the ashes again now. It was heavily opposed i.e. not settled. This is the problem when a heavily partisan approach is taken – the next partisan comes in and changes it back.

                      Extremes on both sides.

                      I see no way through it, except maybe time.

                    • Morrissey

                      That’s true, felix. Not only the Craigs, Bankses, and McVicars shelter behind police reluctance and legal ambiguity, but also the people who dish out “smacks” to the likes of Lilybing and the Kahui twins.

                    • felix

                      So the law is “quite clear” and offenders can shelter behind “legal ambiguity”.

                      Goodo.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Poor delusional vto has forgotten that the vast majority of politicians voted for the repeal of S.59. There is nobody to carry his teeny torch for him.

                    • vto

                      silly oak misses the point again. There was substantial protest by a large chunk of the population – do you recall? The fact that politicians did something other than what these people wanted simply drains more kudos from the politicians. Just like Key ignoring the asset sales petition, plus countless others. It is the politicians and their shallow cred which suffers from what you describe.

                      But I can understand your position, it has been made clear on countless occasions. You think the people cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own lives – those must be made by dickwads in Wellington.

                      My own view on whether the law is good or not is immaterial (and has not been made), it is the manner in which the law change was conducted which is the issue pointed to, plus the exaggerations made by each side in voicing their opinions.

                      Extreme begets extreme

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Yet another argument against referenda. Dumb populist demagogues having a field day. Vto, do you honestly think binding referenda would suddenly negate the influence of our corporate MSM?

                      Do you really think they’d stop at sterilising beneficiaries?

                  • ScottGN

                    It seems to me rearing its head again because it’s an issue that serves the right very well. It motivates their base in a year when they’ll probably need every vote they can get and it drives a bit of a wedge between Labour and the so-callled missing million, the voters who stayed at home the last couple of elections because they felt that the party was offside with them on these sort of issues. Anyone who thinks that Craig is just some loopy flake probably needs to reassess that notion pronto.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      A very good observation, ScottGN.

                      I think that the Greens have a good contact with their base supporters – they’re people who support them and get out to vote, but Labour does not. I hate to use anecdote, but my octogenarian mother who, BTW does have all her faculties, never bothered remembering Mumblefuck’s name and didn’t vote in the last election… and she lives in Curran’s electorate, who epitomises the worst of Labour today, except that there are so many other examples.

                      Labour needs to get serious about cutting out the deadwood and its self-entitled idiots, like Goff, King, Mallard, Hipkins, Jones, Curran – and it needs to distance itself from the likes of the Paganis and Nash.

                      “National Lite” failed. Marx said that history repeats – the first time it is tragedy, the second time it is farce and that’s certainly the case with Labour today. Rogernomics was evil, but the persistence of Goff, Mumblefuck and their like is simply pathetic. You have to laugh to stop crying.

                      They’re no “government in waiting” if they dress up in bad costumes of the right.

                      I’m sad to say that that I think that only yet another electoral defeat will teach them the lesson that they have to be a real alternative – and meanwhile New Zealand gets sold.

                    • Rhinocrates

                      Hmm, “reply” button vanished prematurely and I’m now “undefined”.

                      lprent, I suppose you must laugh at those who think that computer systems are the essence of logic when in fact they deconstruct logic.

                      Anyway, I meant to add… well nothing more than ornamentation and emphasis, so hopefully this will help you find a bug?

                      Edit: back to my usual handle… OK, as you were…

                      [lprent: Computers definitely always operate with a logic. However untangling the 25 things that have to happen in a particular sequence to reproduce a bug often makes freudian explanations of causation effects of the subconscious look like they were created by the brain-dead (actually coming to think of it…).

                      I started 30 years ago finding it hard to write 100 line programs. These days my part in the code is usually measured in hundreds of lines of code, and built on top of millions of lines of code in the libraries. Like the brain, the number of interactions tends to make tracking bugs tricky.

                      I’ll add it to statistics. But it sounds like a bug on your browser. ]

                    • all i have to say is..i’ve raised two children..a girl and a boy..

                      ..neither of them was hit..ever..

                      ..people like chem-trails col are just mired in ignorance..

                      ..(unable to articulate to a child..?..hitting the only/preferred option..?..)

                      ..that he boasts that he hits his daughter..

                      ..and will continue to do so..

                      ..just proves how ignorant this fool of a man is…

                      (..i wouldn’t trust him to run a fucken cake-stall..)

                      ..and also what a joke that law is..

                      ..that the leader of a political party can stand up in public..

                      ..and announce..(that under the current law..)

                      ..he commits regular assaults on his daughter..

                      ..and will continue to do so into the forseeable future..

                      ..and the police say they can/will do nothing..?

                      ..could that law be more of a joke..?

                      ..where is mccready when we need him..?

                      ..could a private prosecution be lodged against ‘chem-trails’ over this..?

                      ..phillip ure..

                      .

                    • Morrissey

                      So the law is “quite clear” and offenders can shelter behind “legal ambiguity”. Goodo.

                      I understand your impatience, felix. My statement was contradictory and ill considered. What I meant to write was that the law is clear, but the police will not enforce it properly. There’s quite a problem in this country with the authorities not doing their job properly; as you know, a private citizen recently had to initiate a private prosecution in order to force the Crown to prosecute a notorious MP for electoral fraud.

                    • Prost

                      Training your kids to know that there are consequences when they do wrong shouldn’t be a political issue.
                      However, if Labour/Greens think it’s a good idea turning good parents into criminals, while ignoring real child abuse, then the Conservatives will gain more votes from middle New Zealand.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Prost, the political issue is training low-life trash just like you that you have no more right to hit your own children than you do mine, and since no-one will defend your children against you, that task falls to the courts.

                      The legislation is working.

                    • Pasupial

                      Prost

                      Agreed:”Training your kids to know that there are consequences when they do wrong shouldn’t be a political issue.” But it is kiddy-whacker Craig who is trying to make it one. We have obligations under international treaties and our own bill of rights not to allow our most defenseless of citizens to be subject to physical assault.

                      What is it that a child could do that would be more wrong than; their most trusted people hitting them because they are incapable of learning better parenting strategies?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Prost, hitting the child is child abuse and causes permanent psychological damage. This is what the research has shown. Therefore any parent hitting their children is a bad parent.

    • Jan 3.2

      Because it’s very seldom that the interests of children are taken seriously and calling it the ‘anti-smacking’ law appeals to the ‘shock-horror’ brigade who are too darned lazy to find out what it is really all about.
      It’s poor journalism, but what we’ve come to expect from the second-rate nonsense that mostly parades as news here.

      • Rosie 3.2.1

        This is really a reply to Prost. (we’re all out of reply buttons with all the talk going on)

        It’s important to get beyond what you personally see as acceptable or appropriate parenting and start looking at what the people who deal with damaged children and adults have to say.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1401/S00029/colin-craigs-opinion-on-smacking-out-of-step-with-evidence.htm

        The study of the effects of using physical “punishment” upon children for the purposes of correcting behaviour began in the 1960’s. From then onwards, studies have consistently shown how detrimental physical “correction” is to the child. I would however use the term assault and/or violence.
        If you can’t understand that then consider what Morrissey had to say above: Would you consider hitting a person in a wheelchair, or an elderly person because they din’t behave in a way that conformed with your expectations? So why is a defenceless child any different?

        Furthermore, if you really believe that no political party has the right to intervene with legislation then look again at what the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has to say about that.

        “The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a directive in 2006 calling physical punishment “legalized violence against children” that should be eliminated in all settings through “legislative, administrative, social and educational measures.” http://ow.ly/svV28

        (From the scoop link)

    • Paul 3.3

      RNZ is on a downhill slide….
      At least Mora is not back yet.

      • Morrissey 3.3.1

        I see that at 9:50 this morning Noelle McCarthy is going to interview a “middle east correspondent”. I’m sure that the subject of the death of Ariel Sharon will come up; it will be intriguing to see if she treats that mass murderer with the same kind of respect she and her colleagues showed for Margaret Thatcher, or with the sneering contempt they showed for Hugo Chávez.

        • Paul 3.3.1.1

          Did you see these cartoons by Latuff?
          The corporate media whitewashing the war criminal sums it up.
          http://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/whitewashing-war-criminal-ariel-sharon-cartoon/
          http://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/cartoon-operamundi-ariel-sharon-the-butcher-of-sabra-and-shatila-dies/

          Will listen to McCarthy with few expectations of any journalism. Like Mora, she tends to enjoy the sound of her own voice and by using long words to show off her vocabulary.

          Have you seen the film Waltzing with Bashir?

          • greywarbler 3.3.1.1.1

            Paul
            Good cartoons very direct. Sharon seemed to always win for a hard-line Israel even when he appeared to be giving way to the Palestinians. I came to the conclusion he and his military mates were very well-versed in Arab culture, thinking and the dynamics of Palestinian politics. They know just how to keep them under control and under stress and would never consider them with the humanity that Israelis demand from the world.

            Then Sharon goes into a coma for eight years. Dead nearly, but still hanging on. Getting the emotional support, poor man, how sad. It would be hard to criticise him in Israel while he was a sick invalid.

        • Rhinocrates 3.3.1.2

          Well, at least Hoots seems to be on holiday and we’ll be spared his fatuous eulogy and comparisons with Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Jesus, Batman and so on for Russell Brown to lap up.

          • Morrissey 3.3.1.2.1

            Unlike his pretend tribute for Mandela, Hooton would not have to fake his tribute to Ariel Sharon. But since he’s on holiday, let’s sit back and enjoy the honeyed words of another leading thinker: Joe “Neil Kinnock” Biden. He reckons that Sharon was quite the statesman….

            http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-ariel-sharon-funeral-biden-tribute-20140113,0,480402.story#axzz2qJbnWLN8

            • Rhinocrates 3.3.1.2.1.1

              Unlike his pretend tribute for Mandela,

              Glad that you’re noticing that – more people need to.

              Hoots is trying to refine his brand – I don’t know if those poorly-concealed Act / Act-with-another-name leadership ambitions will play out, but he’s not hiding them very well.

              Like Brian Edwards (a pretend liberal turned reactionary), I think that a lot of the self-advertised “media consultants” or whatever they call themselves, Hoots and their like are really hopelessly out of their depth, scrambling to claim that they are still relevant.

      • Bearded Git 3.3.2

        Caitlin Perry gave the Colon Craigfish a hard time on Summer Report this morning.

        • Paul 3.3.2.1

          Maybe she should stay on for Mercep

          • Rhinocrates 3.3.2.1.1

            Not a bad idea. For the sake of Cthulhu, I wish that were real. While Mercep’s not as big a cocksucking idiot as Plunkett, his inarticulacy has turned me permanently off Morning Report. Can’t the man be bothered to take some basic elocution lessons, can’t RNZ have some standards of presentation?!

            • greywarbler 3.3.2.1.1.1

              Rhinocrates
              You avatar is good-looking. Will you change it round if things improve and have green looking larger?
              Cocksucking ewh. I haven’t had breakfast long, and that was muesli. Can you tone things down a bit for 2014. It’s going to be a fraught year of argument and it’s hard to read your stuff when you get vicious. That’s just what I feel. I defend swearing as a useful tool but more powerful held in reserve.

              • Rhinocrates

                Hi greywarbler,

                well the avatar is an obscure personal joke combining Spider Jerusalem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider_Jerusalem) and HAL 9000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_9000) – probably the least likely combination one can imagine!

                You’re right – I do feel that less is more in good writing myself. I’ll try, but I can’t guarantee success – I have a (very minor) career in fantasy writing and the genre depends on purple prose and it’s habit-forming.

                • greywarbler

                  Rhino
                  You’re purple prose is interesting and thoughtful so don’t change, much. I remember Hal, now you mention the word, and its light. And I always think of the plaintive line as it realises that there may be damage or it/he may have to go to sleep ‘Will I dream?’
                  That is meaningful thought as we come close to developing human-like entities.

                • @ rhino..this might amuse you..

                  ..my son is into his graphic-novels..and the like..

                  ..and i took it as the biggest compliment ever..

                  ..when a year or so ago he thrust a spider jerusalem at me..

                  ..telling me to read it..

                  ..and that it reminded him of me..

                  ..(i was dead-chuffed..)

                  ..and after reading it..i thought..that’ll do for a media role model..

                  ..and my second choice for an avatar..(after the whoar logo..)

                  ..would be spider..

                  ..my comic-book hero..

                  ..(they are well-written..too..)

                  phillip ure..

              • Pasupial

                Rhinocrates

                I found the phrasing of your comparison to be very offensive; to cocksucking idiots. Who, even with a higher STI rate than the general populance, are much less toxic to society than either; Mercep or Plunkett.

            • Ron 3.3.2.1.1.2

              of course not. If they had any standards at all they would start with removing any announcer that persists in using vocal fry. It is amazing how many of their female staff insist on using vf even the older ones that would predate it are now using it. Please please stop

              can’t RNZ have some standards of presentation

            • Papa Tuanuku 3.3.2.1.1.3

              I get annoyed that every 2nd time I tune in to Radio NZ, the presenter or interviewee has a Uk accent. Just like the last 3 Air NZ safety videos, Like a good proportion of bank and security ads on TV, even the TV morning and TV news presenters. If i wanted to tune in to UK voices, I’d go online to BBC, the cultural cringe that defers to UK voices is annoying me this year.

              • freedom

                wait till the royals arrive 🙂
                then you’ll get the forced inflexion from all the kiwi talking heads as well

              • greywarbler

                Papa T
                Yes I thought this the other day. I like our accent. To me it’s just right, not too casual, not too elongated or accented, not too clipped – it’s okay. The rest of the world shouldn’t get first dibs – only occasionally. Otherwise its unbalanced – we few against possibly hundreds of English speakers from the rest of the world when they are looking for announcers. Radionz at least doesn’t get attached at the hip to people who have made themselves a commercial advertising gold mine.

              • Bearded Git

                There are 215,000 English born people living in NZ and a further 25,000 Scots.

                How about some tolerance and acceptance PT?

              • BM

                That how proper English is spoken, damn colonials butchering the mother tongue!

                To the stocks with them!

    • karol 3.4

      My summer radio solution: ABC Newsradio

      • phillip ure 3.4.1

        @ karol..

        ..i think you are being a bit harsh on summer nat-rad..

        ..oi think the oirish-lass does a good job..

        ..a particular strength of hers is how well she prepares for interviews..

        ..(her interview subjects are often surprised at how much she knows about the subject-matter/them..

        ..and it is hard work to make it look easy..as she does..)

        ..and the afternoon-guys are ok..sometimes amusing/sometimes playing good music..

        ..i didn’t hear her sneering at the death of chavez..(as alleged by morrissy..)

        ..but i thought the worst example of that was that twerp who reads the 5.30 news on prime..

        ..the one who should have emoticons floating about his head..

        ..to save him all the energy he expends twitching his face into what he thinks is the suitable ‘face’ for this/whatever story..

        ..the combination of glee/disgust fighting it out on his face..on his face when he announced the death of chavez..

        ..was a sight to behold..

        ..(i am sure if his producers had asked him to jump up and stab a poster of chavez..with a knife.. he would have..with enthusiasm..)

        phillip ure..

    • Prost 3.5

      As time passes it proves the anti-smacking law hasn’t worked. Good parents are being harassed by the police & do-gooders for correcting their kids, while bad parents are continuing to kill their (or their new “partners”) kids.

      • Morrissey 3.5.1

        The Kahuis were “good parents” too, and only acted as people like Colin Craig—and you, obviously—recommend. They went too far of course, but if people like Colin Craig and you had not normalised the hitting of children, they wouldn’t have thought it was acceptable.

        • phillip ure 3.5.1.1

          could we introduce an addition to the common-vernacular..?

          ..instead of parents threatening to hit their children..

          ..they could say:..’you better watch it..!..or you’re going to get a colin craig..!’

          ..they would say:.’.no..!..no..!..don’t colin craig me..!’..

          .(and chem-trails is now saying that being able to hit children..

          ..is a bottom-line for him in any post-election negotiations..)

          ..and surely..these outbursts from this buffoon must have act rubbing their hands with delight..

          ..they can go:..’look..!..we aren’t the rightwing nutters..!..he is..!’..

          ..(and they would have a point..)

          ..phillip ure..

        • Prost 3.5.1.2

          No-one could call the Kahuis, or the many like them still out there, “good parents”. The anti-smacking law hasn’t stopped families like the Kahuis killing kids.
          As has been shown through generations, kids like Colin Craig’s daughter who are disciplined as children, generally grow up to be better citizens than those kids that have no boundaries or are ever told there consequences for bad behaviour.

          • vto 3.5.1.2.1

            sheesh Prost you come out with some funny shit

            like your idea below that some ship building is high skill and some is low skill….

            good humour for a sunny tuesday

            • Prost 3.5.1.2.1.1

              Not sure what is funny about kids being killed, while the government institutes ineffective laws that do nothing to address the real problem. You have a strange sense of humour.

              As for boat building, putting the bits together is cheaper to do in Asia, while it is the designing & crafting of bespoke super yachts where we are world leaders.

              • McFlock

                Hate to interrupt you with evidence.
                Please continue with your argument that the anti-beating law does not correlate with a drop in assaults on children.

          • Morrissey 3.5.1.2.2

            1.) No-one could call the Kahuis, or the many like them still out there, “good parents”.
            That is precisely what people like Colin Craig–and you—do every time you advocate the “right” of “good parents” to hit children. The Kahuis started off doing exactly what they had been socialised into, and encouraged to do, by people like you and Colin Craig. Of course it suits you to pretend they are monsters; reasonable people can see that they, unlike Colin Craig and others who hit their kids, simply lacked the sense to keep from going too far. But the problem is the fact that they felt entitled to start “smacking” those babies in the first place.

            2.) The anti-smacking law hasn’t stopped families like the Kahuis killing kids.
            How do you know? What social workers have you ever spoken to? What teachers have you spoken to? What doctors and nurses that have had to deal with the consequences of what you advocate?

            3.) As has been shown through generations, kids like Colin Craig’s daughter who are disciplined as children, generally grow up to be better citizens than those kids that have no boundaries or are ever told there consequences for bad behaviour.
            That’s if they survive the hitting physically intact. The psychological effects, as anybody who knows anything about child health would be happy to educate you, are far more insidious. Girls have their own way of coping with violent parents, of course. In the case of boys that are regularly hit when they are small, there often comes a time when they end up hitting the man who has dealt out the violence when they were smaller.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.5.1.2.3

            😆

            Kids, you have nothing to fear from cretins like Prost: the poor twit can’t come up with a single valid reason to hit you; there is zero evidence that hitting you makes you better people, in fact the reverse is true.

            If necessary, kids, we will defend you against Prost. Call the cops unless there’s a sane adult close by, and if the problem persists, the Ministry of Social Development deals with violent parents all the time.

            Don’t be afraid, just dial 111 and ask for the Police.

            • Prost 3.5.1.2.3.1

              The evidence that correction of children is not harmful is the generations that grew up learning the differences between right & wrong, both at home & at school, & that there were consequences for doing wrong. Compare that to the kids of today that know no boundaries.
              If you call the police whenever you see a parent flick a child’s ear you are part of the problem, not the solution.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Why are you bearing false witness, liar? You get no respect from children because you deserve none.

              • Morrissey

                Flicking ears, slapping faces, cuffing, clipping…. do you use the back of your hand or do you just employ a short sharp jabbing action?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  And what about the relation between corporal punishment and adult criminality (J. McCord 1979, Laub & Samson 1995), or delinquent and antisocial behaviour (Wilson & Hernstein 1985 plus a host of others), or violence (Becker 1964, Steinmetz 1979, White & Strauss 1981).

              • Draco T Bastard

                The evidence is in the research that shows hitting children causes harm and it doesn’t matter how lightly you hit them.

          • Ron 3.5.1.2.4

            Evidence please?

            As has been shown through generations, kids like Colin Craig’s daughter who are disciplined as children, generally grow up to be better citizens than those kids that have no boundaries or are ever told there consequences for bad behaviour.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.5.1.2.4.1

              There isn’t any. Prost is a liar as well as a violent cretin.

              • Prost

                “A violent cretin”. That’s interesting, I’m usually told how relaxed & laid back I am.
                The evidence is throughout society. When my daughter was younger I occasionally had to give her a smack on the hand with my hand when she was naughty. I never hit her with anything. She now knows right from wrong & is a great kid.
                Compare that with so many families we see in the news where the kids may have been given “the bash” for no reason, but were never disciplined.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  The “many families we see in the news” are cherry picked, Mr. Mendacity. Do you know what that is?

                  Still waiting for you to provide evidence of your assertions. Get a clue, and a life, your personal opinion is worthless.

                • Morrissey

                  Prost, you forgot to answer my question a little earlier. Here it is again….

                  Flicking ears, slapping faces, cuffing, clipping…. do you use the back of your hand or do you just employ a short sharp jabbing action?

                  Please answer.

                  • Prost

                    As mentioned above, a slap on the back of her hand with my open hand while telling her what & why she had done wrong was all that was required. No longer even need to do that, as she now knows about boundaries & self control. The behaviour of my daughter compared to other kids her age shows that a disciplined approach works better than letting kids run wild.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Oh, Mr. False Witness, take a little moment out from your self-serving echo-chamber and educate yourself about confirmation bias.

                      Or alternatively, gather evidence that debunks the well established link between physical correction and adult criminality, violence and anti-social behaviour.

                      Does it bother you when social policy is determined by evidence rather than your worthless opinion?

                    • @ prost..

                      “. disciplined approach works ..”

                      is she scared of you..?

                      ..hitting will do that..

                      ..you ignorant fool..

                      ..phillip ure…

                    • I wonder if you know what your little darling gets up,to when you are absent? I she is going to get a whack for misbehavior she will conceal it. I can assure you Pros that when your kids become adults and they tell you just what they did you willm be shocked and surprised.

                    • Morrissey

                      a slap on the back of her hand with my open hand while telling her what & why she had done wrong was all that was required.

                      So did you hurt her? If you didn’t, it hardly seems like she would have learned anything.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  When my daughter was younger I occasionally had to give her a smack on the hand with my hand when she was naughty.

                  Yep, violent cretin is the correct description of you.

                • Paul

                  That’s an anecdote not evidence.
                  Do you understand what evidence is?

            • Ennui 3.5.1.2.4.2

              What do you mean Ron by better citizens? Do you mean somebody like Colin who appears to me to be a social control freak who is willing to fall into line for his superiors and demand obeisance from his perceived inferior fellow citizens? Do you mean somebody who is prepared to demand behavior / adherence, rather than lead by example and accept that only those who want to follow will?

            • Paul 3.5.1.2.4.3

              These folk just make statements without any evidence regularly.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.5

            Hitting children doesn’t teach them discipline – it teaches them fear.

            • marty mars 3.5.1.2.5.1

              + 1 So true Draco and the whole discipline angle ffs are they in the army? will an utterance out of turn call the enemy onto them? – fuck the bullshit discipline lines!

  4. “..From the painter who depicted a woman beheading a man-

    – to the last great surrealist –

    – 10 artists who took on the patriarchy –

    – and won..”

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/jan/13/10-most-subversive-women-artists

    phillip ure..

  5. Ad 5

    Hello Labour Party? Hello?
    The political year has started.

    Wake!!! The Fuck!!! Up!!!!!

    • Rhinocrates 5.1

      Yup… that sense of entitlement still reigns.

      Get off your arses and do your fucking job! That’s what we’re paying you for!

    • Jim Nald 5.2

      I am telling myself to maintain confidence and hope … trying to count steadily under my breath …….

  6. amirite 6

    As if shit in our waterways was not enough, now we have it in our daily cream as well

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9605785/Fonterra-recalls-contaminated-cream

    • Bill 6.1

      McClure said the company was sorry for the latest inconvenience but “food safety and quality are our top priorities”.

      For a second I thought their spokesman was being fuckwitted enough to be referring to E.Coli as an ‘inconvenience’…but nah. That’s in reference to the retailers etc and the inconvenience of a recall, right? The health aspect, it seems, is so important that it doesn’t fcking matter beyond some smash about it being some ‘top priority’ – which, of course, it currently is insofar as there is a media story about Fonterra’s lax health and safety needing shut down….again.

  7. tricledrown 7

    Ad agreed who is on watch while govt getting its dirty laundry out of the way.
    HawaiiKey is having a free ride.

    • Will@Welly 7.1

      Joyce was on Nat Radio, talking about the new ferry for Tonga-Kiribati. Prior to the interview, the cheapest price that was quoted for a New Zealand firm to manufacture the ferry was $14 mill. By the time Joyce had finished, the lowest tender here was $23 mill.
      Joyce justified that as being the reason behind the Governments decision to have it built in Bangladesh. The tender from their is $8.5 mill. Of course jobs and the overall New Zealand economy doesn’t matter. Cheap exploitative third-world labour and “wages” means more to this Government. The spin-mister B.S. strikes again.

      • vto 7.1.1

        But hang on, I don’t get it…… this government gives subsidies to some industries to make sure work gets done here (movies) but not others (rail, shipping)…..

        Isn’t that trying to pick winners?

        • Prost 7.1.1.1

          You are correct. We can’t complete with the Asians at low skilled manufacturing, while we are very good at making movies, building super yachts & making wine. We need to support winners & forget about trying to make cheaper t-shirts or trains. So far the Government has managed to pick the winners.

          • freedom 7.1.1.1.1

            “low skilled manufacturing,”
            the building of ships and trains ?

            are you an idiot or just really really stupid?

          • vto 7.1.1.1.2

            You’re all at sea Prost. As is evidenced by your view that building ferry ships is low skill yet building sailing ships is high skill… loop de loop… they are both high skill.

            As for trains… how good are the cheap low-skill Chinese ones that Kiwirail have bought? ha ha, useless

            And lets not even start on the skill required to plant grapes, water them, prune them, harvest them, squash them and vint them…… sheesh man, get some reality. Have you seen who gets employed to do that and how much they get paid?

            You make no sense at all

            • Prost 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Ferries & trains are old technology. Welding bits together & assembling parts is done cheaper in Asia, as Ford & Holden have discovered with cars. The technology in designing the new generation of super yachts & turning your squashed grapes into world class wine is what we are good at.
              Forgot about us trying to beat the Asians at working in factories & start looking for areas where we can use our intellectual capital to come up with leading edge technologies.

              • Colonial Viper

                “Ferrys and trains are old technology”

                Also far more energy efficient per tonne of freight than any of that new fangled breakable crap for the wealthy that you mentioned. And in case you haven’t noticed, energy depletion and scarcity is the way of the future.

                start looking for areas where we can use our intellectual capital to come up with leading edge technologies.

                So 300km/h mag lev trains aren’t “leading edge” enough for you?

                • Prost

                  I haven’t seen too many bullet trains in New Zealand.
                  If the Hillside railyards in Dunedin had designed the next generation of high speed train they would have had orders flooding in.
                  Instead, NZ Rail wanted more of the same old type of train we already had, which are obviously cheaper to build in Asia.. Nothing “leading edge” about the trains rattling through Auckland & Wellington.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    So, a privately owned company failed to make good investment choices, and we should just go along with their slack, negligent arrogance, eh?

                    Don’t call us, we’ll call you. When the toilets need a wipe.

                    • alwyn

                      Perhaps you could tell me which “privately owned company” you are referring to?
                      After all the Chinese made loco’s were ordered by a state owned Kiwirail weren’t they?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That would be Toll Holdings and the previous private owners of our railways.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Run as an SOE (yet another example of market failure), having been first run into the ground by a private company

                    • alwyn

                      Draco. fyi. Toll holdings DID NOT order the locomotives. That was done after the Government had bought the business and it was done by a 100% state owned organisation
                      O.A.K. Are you seriously suggesting the a 100% state owned company is a “privately owned company”?

                    • Ennui

                      For my sins I am a train nut….You cannot separate the building and maintenance of rolling stock from the maintenance of the infrastructure (track bed, signalling etc etc). We cant run high speed trains even if we built them because the track bed wont allow for the high speed stock without huge amounts of engineering.

                      Successive governments and the private owners ran the infrastructure down, asset stripped and left it in pretty shoddy condition. We train nuts dream of a high speed system in NZ, and I for one cant see why we cant build it all here. Plus power it here with renewable electric energy. I have often wondered how much it costs on a comparative basis to transport a person from Auckland to Wellington by air versus what it would on a high speed train?

                      From a time viewpoint if I fly Ak-Wg it takes from home an hour or more to the airport and boarding, another hour in the air, half an hour unloading plus another hour into the city…..3 1/2 to 4 hours. If we could do it on train centre to centre in 4 or 5 hours, cool. They do this thing all the time in Europe and Japan.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Toll holdings DID NOT order the locomotives.

                      You obviously can’t read or are purposefully twisting what was said. I’ll go over it for you:

                      By Prost:

                      I haven’t seen too many bullet trains in New Zealand.

                      By OAK:

                      So, a privately owned company failed to make good investment choices, and we should just go along with their slack, negligent arrogance, eh?

                      What is obviously being talked about here is what happened before the last government bought back the rolling stock. In other words, decisions made by incompetent private owners. Kiwirail really didn’t have a choice about the type of locomotives being bought because of the decisions of the previous owners.

                      And Prost was wrong – the new locomotives are using leading edge technology.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey Prost. Thanks for making my points for me. Your lack of support for NZ high tech industry brand you as not just a simple economic traitor, but also one who needs glasses.

                  • Rosie

                    Er, yeah, cos, we really need bullet trains going a gazillion km’s an hour on the short and winding track from J’ville to Wgtn City……..

                    Are you aware that we have less than 4.5 million people living in NZ and don’t really have a call for bullet trains right at the moment? And have you ever ridden one of the new Matangi trains? It’s a sweet ride but it would have been all the sweeter if they had been made at home in Hillside. Or does keeping manufacturing jobs onshore not matter to you?

                    And btw prost there’s a reply to you at 3.2.1. It’s relates to your advocacy of violence towards children.

                    Whose paying you to talk shit anyway?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      The reference to bullet trains was clearly a response to Prost’s inane drivel about rail being “old technology”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Er, yeah, cos, we really need bullet trains going a gazillion km’s an hour on the short and winding track from J’ville to Wgtn City……..

                      Auckland to Wellington passenger and freight in 6 smooth hours…with only a few stops on the way, fast in-cabin broadband, an onboard library, therapeutic head and neck massage service, full featured business kiosks (not one single wasted minute for the business minded amongst us), cafe and most importantly, a bar…a modern society might think about having infrastructure like this.

                      Unfortunately we are unlikely to reach that pinnacle of stylish civilisation now.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                “Ferries & trains are old technology”

                Except for the ones made with new technology. They’re new technology.

                Just when you thought the bottom of the wingnut barrel had been well and truly scraped, it turns out the barrel has a false bottom! Who knew?!

              • freedom

                but Prost (Romanian for fool btw), the government you are heralding as heroes have not only slashed the funds of the very people that develop these ideas, they are removing as much assistance as it can [get away with] from the people who are trying to learn these skills and all whilst encouraging intensified dairy as some economic nirvana, when all it really does is enslave farmers to unsustainable debt and destroy arable land.

                There are many other examples of course, but as you are getting yourself tied up in knots all over this thread I would hate to burden you with too much reality. I also suspect, from the sheer soundbite factor of your comments, that the daily MSM is your primary source of knowledge, which is a bit sad.

                take Stuff for example,
                here are the Editor’s picks for today, really, these are the news items Stuff’s Editor’s think are the pick of the bunch;

                E! apologises to Michael J. Fox

                Want to quit your job? App does it for you

                Random acts of kindness

                Dear internet, name my baby

                Ronaldo crowned world’s best footballer

                Broken your 2014 resolutions yet?

                Fey and Poehler brilliantly roast Hollywood’s elite

                Christie ‘misused’ Superstorm Sandy funds

                • @ freedom..

                  ..headlines @ whoar today..so far..(i am about to kick into part 2..)

                  “..’Traffic Jam’: A Playlist for Chris Christie & The Cast of Bridgegate..”

                  “..’Stairway To Heaven Hike’ Is Totally Epic – Totally Illegal – And Totally Beautiful..”

                  “..Noam Chomsky: Obama Trade Deal A ‘Neoliberal Assault’ To Further Corporate ‘Domination’..”

                  “..Fast Track to Poverty..”

                  “..Do the Math: People Don’t Choose to Be Poor or Unemployed..”

                  “..Chris Christie Facing Federal Investigation Over Sandy Funds..”

                  “..10 Myths About the NSA Debunked..”

                  “..Technology uses micro-windmills to recharge cell phones..”

                  “..Are Young People Getting Sexually Warped by Online Pornography?..”

                  “..Krugman: The Republican Party Is An Enemy Of The Poor..” (ed:..as is the key govt..)

                  “..How Big Money Keeps Populism at Bay..”

                  “..OMG..!..SMS..!..SOS..!..”

                  “..No pain – no gain? – Getting the most out of exercise..”

                  “..Captagon: the amphetamine fuelling Syria’s civil war..”

                  “..Christine McVie back in Fleetwood Mac..”

                  “..The 10 most subversive women artists in history..”

                  “..If only Tory attitudes to the first world war – had shifted as Germany’s have..”

                  “..Kalashnikov inventor haunted by unbearable pain of dead millions..”

                  “..British police ‘preparing to make arrests’ – in Madeleine McCann case..”

                  “..12 Years a Slave shows US atrocities – but who will do the same for Britain?..”

                  “..George Monbiot:..Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending – that makes flooding inevitable..”

                  “..Legal highs: UK to opt out of new EU regulation regime..”

                  “..Battle to fix Len Brown’s image..”

                  “..Arrested for mocking prime minister..”

                  “..Thousands of parents receiving a benefit do not have enough money to meet their children’s basic school costs each year..”

                  “..Fonterra Recalls Cream..”

                  ..(just saying..!..)

                  phillip ure..

                • Paul

                  That’s par for the course.
                  As George Carlin said so presciently.

                  The corporates want “Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.”
                  “But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.”

              • greywarbler

                Prost ‘thinks’ that work which can be done cheaper in Asia etc is just too primitive for us to be bothered with. You are no doubt a highly developed man using exquisite skills in your work making….what? Words or figure symbols on a page or screen? You are just an economic snob, posturing about how advanced you and your kind are, but dependent on other people making the things you need to live.

                We are all still human though the wealthy like to live beyond the world’s means and show off with scientific wonders. Though most spectating do not have the capabilities of making such things they cast a haloed glow onto the onlookers that they are somehow gods and have transcended their human status. This encourages them to look askance at old technology which actually goes into everything they use and consume.

                It’s interesting and fascinating to watch the scientific direction the wealthy apply their money credits to. Most of it does not get applied to anything that needs to be done in the world. To things used so that most people can live fully and the planet can sustain them in their efforts to eat, work, grow things, make art and symbolic, expressive artifacts, look after animals, kaitiaki their area, and the planet, make other humans, and live an interesting and fulfilling life.

                Not flying to the moon, not travelling to the megapolis in scientific wonders suspended on air under the influence of enhanced magnetisation. Only a fraction of people can afford or access this.

                And I thought of Proust when I saw your pseudo. What google says about him applies.
                Proust is many things, but, chief among them, he is a comic novelist, alert to the absurdity of human nature and behaviour.

          • Will@Welly 7.1.1.1.3

            Yes, but a couple of years ago Bill English said that our “cheap” dollar was one of the reasons for “attracting” Australian businesses to New Zealand.
            With the New Zealand dollar expected to reach parity with the Australian dollar, what are the implications for those businesses who have relocated to this side of the Tasman ?
            A move back across the Tassy, and higher unemployment here ?
            And remember, our economic growth is based on three things – dairying, a housing boom – yet again, and the Christchurch rebuild. The boom is a bubble – we know that. The Christchurch rebuild is a false dawn – you cannot base your economy on natural disasters.
            With other countries moving into dairying, how long will the Fonterra bubble last, given its recent “disasters” over food hygiene?

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.4

            We can’t complete with the Asians at low skilled manufacturing, while we are very good at making movies, building super yachts & making wine.

            We used to be really good at making trains as well using the latest technology – until this government decided that we shouldn’t do that anymore.

            So far the Government has managed to pick the winners.

            So far this government has manage solely to pick who it’s giving our money to and it seems to be foreigners. It has miserably failed to pick any winners.

  8. philj 8

    xox
    RNZ is on the downhill slide. Jim Mora is helping. I have switched him off. Too light, and silly for my taste

  9. greywarbler 9

    Jim Mora seems to love people, himself at the front.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Bangladesh gets work that should be done here. When do we get a government that is interested in running and managing New Zealand Aotearoa, here in this country, for the benefit of the people?? What good is MoBiE – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment? Notice it is not Industry, Enterprise? What is it for, what does it do?

    A happy country is one where people are living and working with time off for attending to one’s personal life, one’s family, friends, a change at the coast or a trip to the city. Work, mis, mingle, participate. In a country that has balanced books and a work-life balance. That meas WORK not having jobs ferried off overseas to Bangladesh for boats, to Australia for Novopay and other expensive programs and then we can have a LIFE balance.

    And our exchange rate will come down, and our current account deficit will come down as we gradually pay back our borrowings. And there will be less money spent on inefficient tool sheds on our roads, and 1960’s style housing using up our precious farmland and costing for extended services.

    What we have here in gummint are a bunch of self-isolated people playing politics with a focus on their preferred method and individual outcomes, as if NZ was a video game. This is NOT Second Life. Most of our politicians have grown up here, been fed, housed, gone to school, dressed, equipped for sport or artistic pursuits, got tertiary education here. Now how could you have gone through all that and then have the working part of your brain the size of a pea when your whole brain should be available to make important assessments and essential judgments so that others, including but not only your own, children??

  11. joe90 11

    Colour me surprised but Milton Friedman really did propose a negative income tax.

    His proposal, which he called the negative income tax, was to replace the multiplicity of existing welfare programs with a single cash transfer — say, $6,000 — to every citizen. A family of four with no market income would thus receive an annual payment from the I.R.S. of $24,000. For each dollar the family then earned, this payment would be reduced by some fraction — perhaps 50 percent. A family of four earning $12,000 a year, for example, would receive a net supplement of $18,000 (the initial $24,000 less the $6,000 tax on its earnings).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/23/business/23scene.html

    From 1968, Friedman talking to W F Buckley about his negative income tax proposal.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      Milton Friedman, the pet economist and friend of General Pinochet. What an outstanding human being he was.

    • greywarbler 11.2

      I noticed an interesting thing about said Milton Friedman the other day. He was apparently was trying to get education vouchers introduced when he was on his last legs. From what I have read, they work well when used for disadvantaged kids either those having difficulty getting a good basic ed, or those who have precocious minds and need help for the gifted, when they are used in a targetted way. When available generally it just results in a free-for-all in the system that makes it competitive shallow and more expensive I think was the finding.

      • joe90 11.2.1

        What really happens.

        Nearly three-fourths of Wisconsin students attending private schools using new taxpayer-funded vouchers were already attending them, according to enrollment figures released Tuesday by the Department of Public Instruction.

        The statewide voucher program, in its first year, is at capacity, with about 500 students receiving vouchers statewide, according to the department. Of those, 79 percent did not attend a Wisconsin public school last year.

        http://host.madison.com/news/local/education/local_schools/dpi-percent-of-statewide-voucher-students-already-enrolled-in-private/article_fc6e1559-46c7-5875-8ba6-280d58f10b49.html

        • greywarbler 11.2.1.1

          This from Wisconsin Governor Walker’s office end of 2013.
          Walker told the State Journal in July that decisions on the program’s future expansion should be based on whether students using vouchers are performing better or worse than they were at their previous schools.

          The research and report work has been done decades ago on this voucher system. It’s all in the pot already. He would know that it was too costly not to target at public schools in the main. So only 23% are from public schools, most of the rest were already in private schools.

          The thinking senators say that it is too expensive to keep funding in this way, and not have the children who most need it being helped. Governor Walker has just given another gift to the comfortably off. The uncomfortable ones can go for a cold bath.

          I’ll never think well of Wisconsin, as I remember Wisconsin Works, that followed the punitive, disdainful right wing thinking about beneficiaries and mothers with children having to work that we are following now. This was something they came up with there in the 1980s or so.

      • alwyn 11.2.2

        “trying to get education vouchers introduced when he was on his last legs”

        You obviously have an unusual view of what is old age, or late in life, if you consider Friedman to have been “on his last legs” when he proposed them.

        I don’t know when Friedman first proposed vouchers but he certainly wrote in favour of them in a book “Capitalism and Freedom” that he published in 1962. At the time he would have been 49 years old (he was born 31 July 1912). Considering he died in 2006 at the age of 94 he obviously had very long last legs didn’t he?

        I have since found an earlier proposal for them in “The Role of Government in Education” written in 1955.

  12. tricledrown 12

    Philj yesterday Geoffrey Palmer made it clear time after time that those who don’t vote the young the poor the dissolutioned Polynesian by not voting are allowing the well off dictate the political agenda.
    We can complain all we want to about RNZ.
    Its because another issue both Miller and Palmer identified was the foregone conclusion that polls and commentaters showing an easy win,Voters sensing that stay at home that was the reason Labour had the lowest turn out in how many years.
    Party membership being well down as well was another reason.
    So we need to focus on these areas which may seem hard but from past experience thr people who don’t vote live in specific areas of each electorate so all we need is a few party workers in those areas getting people enrolled and making sure they have access to transport and polling booths .
    Another area that I found in the past was poor people didn’t want to enrol because debt collectors use the electoral rolls to chase debtors.
    So Now people can enrol in privacy so pass the word around all you activists.
    Lprent said the Labour party was lacking an IT guru that needs to be fixed pronto!
    Twitter facebook and other social media is how to network amongst the young we need that up and running yesterday
    Labour.
    No doubt the greens already have good IT .
    Polynesian voters need to be engaged local candidates need to work really hard to get this cohort out to vote.
    As with young people these groups are hard to get out to vote.

  13. Morrissey 13

    War Criminals on Television
    There may be no justice, but there can be truth.

    Seeing Tony Blair speaking at Ariel Sharon’s funeral – one war criminal eulogising another – was so horrifying it has jolted the human rights activist and former British ambassador Craig Murray to bring his blog back out of retirement. There may be no justice, but there can be truth…..

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/01/war-criminals-on-tv/

  14. Colonial Viper 15

    The “anti-smacking” issue is a gorgeously PR calculated bit of re-tenderised red meat thrown out for the Left to chase, chew and choke on in an election year.

    • Will@Welly 15.1

      Totally agree, meanwhile CC and ACT sow up a couple of nice safe seats.
      2008, biggest, dumbest piece of politics I have ever witnessed in New Zealand’s history – Helen Clark “inviting” John Key to sign up to the anti-smacking legislation. At that point, it was game, set and match.

    • freedom 15.2

      The predictability of the year ahead is one of the reasons I thought starting a debate on reforming election campaign funding might be a good idea instead, what with an actual court case on the subject coming up and all.

      It is obviously going to be an early election, maybe even as early as August, and if everyone waits for the govt to dictate what the important messages are, the left are going to be swamped in rhetoric. There is slim chance of winning an election when waiting to be asked for an opinion.

      • freedom 15.2.1

        busted linky above 🙁
        proper linky below

        Here’s an idea: electoral funding

        • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1

          It’s an awesome idea. Corporate funders will hate it with a vengeance.

          • freedom 15.2.1.1.2

            yeah imagine if it contained a ‘can donate to a single party only’ clause. (although I don’t think it should)
            They would be apoplectic 😎

            -bear in mind it was thrown together in about an hour, on my own, but since posting it the other day I have looked at it as objectively as possible and sincerely think it warrants some real investigation as a concept.

            p.s. why the moderation?

            [lprent: No idea. System just decided to toss 5 comments from arbitrary people into moderation for no reason that I could see. Will look at it if it happens again ]

            • freedom 15.2.1.1.2.1

              Thank you for the clarification lprent,
              I figured it was not the content but still like to check.

              Though admittedly, t’was a forced use of apoplectic. It didn’t so much roll off the tongue as lurch violently towards the edge stumbling over the chapped lips of reasonableness.

    • greywarbler 15.3

      There used to be a commenter with a dog complex. Where is he now he’s needed to sniff out these titbits?
      Perhaps with a particular type of topic, one Standardista would like to take control of rebutting these points so there is some energy left amongst the fervent followers for the real meat of the election argument. Someone could offer to be the dedicated respondent instead of everyone getting their hackles up.
      Sort of I’ll be your waiter for tonight.

      [lprent: Woof? ]

    • marty mars 15.4

      imo that comment shows too much credit for the right and not enough credit for the left – are you really that cynical? Where’s your belief, your faith, your fighting talk, ffs would be good to actually have you on the waka paddling…

      • Colonial Viper 15.4.1

        The Right have raised this issue now because they know that it is a vote loser for the Left. They’re just waiting for all of us to pile on in before setting off the MSM det cord.

        It’ll be the first of many this year.

        • marty mars 15.4.1.1

          So you are saying that this is a deliberate, thought out strategy by the right to twist the left into knots chasing their own tails and phantom issues planted by the right?

          I can understand why it may appear like that.

          For me the issues that may come up are great for making the ‘right’ look like arseholes and fools. If middlenz is so fickle that they will stay with the right even after they have been made to look like fools then nothing is really going to move them, apart from their perpetual self-interest.

          Without wanting to go into it too much – imo nothing is going to be done about the ‘big’ issues you have raised previously, nothing, zip, nil. Our society will slide down that slope and our children and mokopuna will be the ones to suffer the most, if they can make it. Therefore any issue which relates to human relationships, to interaction, to equality, is actually the only issue that is worth fighting for because it will influence the society that is created from the effects of the selfish generations (us). But granted that is a medium (5 years) to long game – the short game of pretending that everything is okay or will be, and that we can change this political lever or add this economic hoodacky in, is politics today. If middlenz are the answer, the question is fucked and it is, and I think we both know that. Anyway, just my rant…

          • Colonial Viper 15.4.1.1.1

            The scenario you outline is the most likely one, by my estimation as well. That is, we are in a global game of ‘pretend and extend.’ Like Wiley Coyote having run full speed off a cliff, his legs keep moving for a while longer like there’s no problem, before he finally looks down and drops like a rock.

            HOWEVER there are still very many opportunities for NZ to resist joining the rest of the world in their collective, self destructive, capitalist nose dive.

            Therefore any issue which relates to human relationships, to interaction, to equality, is actually the only issue that is worth fighting for because it will influence the society that is created from the effects of the selfish generations (us).

            I see your strategy and your perspective and there is value in it. IMO the scale that this will matter on is the local and community scale, and that is the scale that we need to work with the most.

            • marty mars 15.4.1.1.1.1

              Nice and I do agree mostly with what you’ve written there 🙂

              “HOWEVER there are still very many opportunities for NZ to resist joining the rest of the world in their collective, self destructive, capitalist nose dive.”

              I just watched ‘gravity’ the other night – this country is like a bit of debris hitting atmosphere – no stopping it – each piece has it’s own trajectory, it’s own brightness and speed and collectively it’s coming down, together – because it had the same speed when it began to hit the atmosphere. We are coming down and trying to stop that is futile imo – better to prepare for the ‘hard landing’ as much as we can and that is totally local and community based.

          • greywarbler 15.4.1.1.2

            marty mars So you are saying that this is a deliberate, thought out strategy by the right to twist the left into knots chasing their own tails and phantom issues planted by the right?
            Surely we have seen this behaviour time and time again. Hasn’t it registered with you.
            It may not be a concerted effort by a group of party members but there is a desire by some RWNJs to raise contentious issues, they are not interested in answers or explanations, they just keep rephrasing the matter and people rise like trout to a fly. (So I understand from my reading, you have the right fly and the fishies can’t resist. Neither can left bloggers.)

            Also it is very reactionary. They wave the red flag and we charge.
            What we should be doing is putting forward policy and factual points and background and be the topic setters, NOT the RWNJs.

            • Colonial Viper 15.4.1.1.2.1

              Yep left is totally reactive and predictable on incidents like this, usually answering in the frameworks and language set by the right wing instigators = lose from the get go

            • marty mars 15.4.1.1.2.2

              “They wave the red flag and we charge.”

              No not really – we stand up for our values rather than roll over to get our tummies patted.

              btw this was not about rwnj’s on blogs but rather,

              “The Right have raised this issue now because they know that it is a vote loser for the Left. They’re just waiting for all of us to pile on in before setting off the MSM det cord.”

              “It may not be a concerted effort by a group of party members”

              Well when the ‘Right’ is used I was just trying to work out who they were, thus my question to cv.

              • greywarbler

                ‘Standing up for our values.’ That is just reactive Who cares what some idiot RWNJ thinks. Some jerk says something that starts an automatic response. They are going to tease us and waste our time if we take them seriously. There needs to be a considered response to these idiots. Why bother with them at all. Whose mind is going to be changed? One person stating an answer and everyone plussing one would be a time saver.

                • yeah well sure but I’m not prepared to put cv into the rwnj camp quite yet although I sometimes do think he’s a jerk.

                  Time saver? I’m not here to save time or to change minds – if you are then I’d be surprised. Just skip past that which offends you, really it is quite easy.

                  For me the types that say, “Hey let’s talk about the real issues” are not aligned to my values and I’m happy about that – each to their own and all that.

  15. captain hook 16

    what about colin craig.
    if he were any dumber he would be a tree.
    as it is he is a theologaster; a possessor of a shallow and paltry theology that he wants to foist on everyone else because he thinks he knows it all.
    In the immortal words of alfred e. neuman; yettttttccccch.

  16. tricledrown 17

    Colon Craig
    Is dogwhistling how many people have been prosecuted only 9 since the law has been passed less than beforre .
    Pure dog evidence
    Trying to get christian fundamentalists to vote for him.
    RNZ this morning all the Bretheren were having a field day.
    But I have seen a big change in how people are treating their children around the super markets and schools.
    Parents have learnt new skills I don’t hear or see anywhere near the amount of children throwing tantrums or screaming their heads off like before.
    Smacking is lazy parenting .

  17. tricledrown 18

    Another load of BS ColonCraig is purveying ,He has said it hasn’t reduced child abuse as more cases have been reported to Cyfs since the law was passed.
    Well hellow Now abusive parents can’t hide behind that law anymore.
    Also to bring into line with Australian law pure dog whistling.
    Australia has twice the Murder rate we have why should we follow them.

  18. tricledrown 19

    Will welly
    Yes you are right by then IF think Helen Clark had had Enough of politics she didn’t have her heart in it anymore .
    It showed in the debates with Key had she not looked so tired and bored and been a little sharper Key would have been deaf meat.

  19. captain hook 20

    this afternoon I went completely against my principles and read the diatribe on google posted by Fat BOy Farrar about the Standard.
    I know he takes laxatvies to get his weight down but the long watery stool he has posted should be flushed a.s.a.p.

    [lprent: Link? I’m interested. ]

  20. tricledrown 21

    Prost the people who work on vineyards are seasonal minimum wage worker what skill does it take to hold a set of pruners and cut a few bits of foilage.
    A lot are overseas backpackers who just follow seasonal low wage jobs.

  21. greywarbler 22

    When the world is ending those like Prost will still be following their pretentious, contentious way, regurgitating every argument they have ever made, relitigating every decision they didn’t agree with. It makes me sick.

  22. greywarbler 23

    Has my comment been released from moderation? I haen’t got my good glasses on. It was at 112.38 pm Open Mike on Prost.?

  23. karol 24

    Fascinating – how even low level cyclone’s to Austrlaia’s west can result in extreme heat waves in the easet or south east of Aussie.

  24. Interesting commentary – “What does it mean to be Māori”

    Kia toto te timatanga o te haere ahurea – blood should be the beginning of a personal cultural journey. If blood is used as the cornerstone of Maori identity than everything else that is culturally treasured – land, language and tribal connections – will become symbols of indigenous diversity and strength rather than pillars of exclusive inclusivity. That is not to say land rights and the preservation of languages aren’t important to indigenous self-determination and identity, but rather blood should be the common denominator that ‘legitimizes’ Maori-ness – if someone has a drop of Maori blood than their indigeneity should be acknowledged.

    http://intercontinentalcry.org/aha-e-te-reira-tikanga-ki-te-e-maori-mean-maori/

    For me I thought that this had been sorted and that ‘blood’ was really whakapapa but the article raised good points about urban Māori and tangata whenua who don’t know their whakapapa. I like this discussion and the working out of identity – it is the basis of self belief, self love and self determination imo.

    • QoT 25.1

      It’s extra interesting to me because of the way that “a drop of blood” is used as a positive in that quote, but a negative in other contexts – i.e. the American “one drop rule”.

  25. greywarbler 26

    Hooray Business confidence is at its highest in nearly two decades. I think a dangerous virus got into their blood stream in the pre- packaging process and economists and business managers should be recalled.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 26.1

      Nah, they think we’ve hit rock bottom and the only possible way is up.

    • Tracey 26.2

      at what cost?

      “Forestry companies must abide by the Approved Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting, Ms de Rooy said.

      “If Complete Logging Ltd had applied it, the chances are Mr Epapara would be here today. Instead, a family and a community grieves over a preventable death.”

      The forestry industry had an appalling year in 2013 with 10 men workplace deaths, she said.”

  26. greywarbler 27

    Institute of Economic Research, where is BERL? Why always IER?

  27. chris73 28

    http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/20143/qsbo1.pdf

    – Even more good news for NZ but don’t worry lefties Labour has a plan and its rolling out the big guns in response

    http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/celebrity/real-kiwi-bodies-michele-acourt-jacinda-ardern/

    3 more years of National (with various Remoras of course) is my prediction for this years election 🙂

    • Tracey 28.1

      Forestry companies must abide by the Approved Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting, Ms de Rooy said.

      “If Complete Logging Ltd had applied it, the chances are Mr Epapara would be here today. Instead, a family and a community grieves over a preventable death.”

      The forestry industry had an appalling year in 2013 with 10 men workplace deaths, she said.

    • McFlock 28.2

      quite the dedicated wee propagandist, aintcha?

  28. greywarbler 29

    Tax Payers Union attacking spending by ACC on workplace accident prevention training.
    Where do they get their funding from? Which Tax Payers? How many? Are there stats on this? We are all tax payers, are these people working in our best interests? They don’t sit around pouring their time into their work for nothing like we do on this blog.

    And they are accusing the unions of a moral hazard for accepting money for passing on anti-accident keep yourself safe advice. Who are these bloody people? And is the money they spent coming up with this government funded somehow? Is it useful monitoring that is value for money?

    • taxpayers’-union is a rightwing front-group..(farrar etc..)

      ..that has been set up for this election..

      ..but will really kick into gear when/if centre-left takes power..

      ..(and i guess the use of the word ‘union’..by such dedicated union-bashers..

      ..should be filed under cynical-irony..?..)

      ..just rightwing-toads/spin-merchants..

      ..doing their masters’ bidding..

      -and don’t forget..the clown fronting it..

      ..was the same young fogey who tried to get us to overthrow mmp..

      ..(that was where he honed his lying/spin-skills..)

      ..at least he/they has/have the consistancy of always being on the wrong side of history..

      ..(that would be a good banner for kiwiblog-swamp:

      ..’kiwiblog..always on the wrong side of history’..

      ..with of course..the archives there just confirming that fact..)

      ..and of course collins coming out and earnestly stating her support for ‘the taxpayers-union’..

      ..and the union-bashing exercise they are engaged on..

      ..lifts that cynical-irony to a new level..

      ..(are they all just putting the ‘cert’ in ‘concerted-effort’..?..d’yareckon..?..)

      ..anyway..the only thing to do..

      ..is to fight them at all turns..

      ..to hang their paid-for rightwing-bullshit out to dry..

      ..and brace yrslves..!

      ..there’s gonna be a lot of it..that rightwing-bullshit..

      ..from the ‘taxpayers-union’

      ..and why no honesty in labelling..?

      ..why not ‘paid-for-trouts union’..?

      ..phillip ure..

  29. Colonial Viper 30

    “Feminisation” of BBC World News may mean less coverage of serious politics and more fashion highlights

    They’re not even trying to hide the fact that the last remnants of the MSM is being turned into a joke.

  30. greywarbler 31

    Here’s a video on ship breaking in Bangladesh. The ship building there is likely to be using parts of the ships broken down. The workers are what our Min of Fat are willing us to match, and which they are happy to use and abuse in the building of the ferry for our Pacific Island neighbours. In a doco about workers from North Bengal says that one man dies every 2 weeks in one ship breaking place, and the injuries are high. Pay is $3 a week or month – low, anyway. The ships are riddled with toxic heavy metals and asbestos. Ship wreckers make 100% on the ships broken down say $5 million to buy and $10 to sell.

    And the way that the government is treating businesses in NZ is not respectful of business needs and efficiency. Is that how a country that is supposed to be run by business-friendly NACTs should act to business? The government is not keen for NZ to get business carried out in this country. Their attitude to the tenders for this work is insulting to our companies.

    It is inefficient for businesss to spend thousands of dollars on drawing up tenders for a job that is going to be changed during or after the process has been completed. The tender has to be worked accurately and carefully and it takes time, people power and actual money. The original tender was cancelled, the design was given to a Danish designer (I think), and then the build tender was called for. No NZ company did so. They had had their fingers burnt with the first, but additionally they were told that if they tendered their likely figure of $14 million was too high, they would have to come down by say a third to under $10 million.

    The decision to go to Bangladesh was another made purely on price, and the strategic situation of keeping the economy ticking over and ensuring that employment and work continues here is of no concern to this government. Also the fact that we have no reserves overseas to pay out this cheap price. It is more value to us to build it in NZ and create an internal loan structure, and gain tax from PAYE and GST. WTF do we pay these clowns in government for? They are destroying the country like foreign invaders, just not dramatically enough to hit the people in the pubs and 4WDs.

    • Will@Welly 31.1

      Thank you graywabler. In my incoherent state when I first heard it on Nat Radio this morning I was scrambling to digest all the facts and figures. I’ve been following it ever since. What bugs me, we once had a productive manufacturing sector here in NZ, now it is virtually gone, with the exception of the odd bit of niche marketing.
      In Wellington, the Council sees the future in the service industries, but you need a diverse base to succeed, and really, up until the neo-libs, and Treasury took control, we had a fairly unique manufacturing sector, one that people elsewhere recognized. Trouble is, we ended up believing the lies and b.s. of other people.
      Why is it we could manufacture trains here, successfully, train staff, build highways, dams and other infrastructure without the need of “experts” – consultants – from overseas!!

  31. Penny Bright 32

    FYI
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    14 January 2014

    Lyn Provost
    Auditor-General
    New Zealand

    ‘Open Letter’

    Dear Lyn,

    Over the Christmas break, I took the opportunity to study the:

    “Inquiry into the Government’s decision to negotiate with Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd for an international convention centre”

    (February 2013 )

    I note that this inquiry was actually carried out by the Deputy Auditor-General Phillippa Smith.

    In the Deputy Auditor-General’s overview, (Pg 3) she states:

    “In June 2012, I announced that this Office would carry out an inquiry into the process that the Ministry of Economic Development (the Ministry) followed leading up to the Government’s decision to negotiate with SKYCITY Entertainment Group Ltd (Sky City) about developing an international convention centre in Auckland. 1

    ………………….

    1 The Auditor-General has a small shareholding in Sky City so she has not been involved in this inquiry. ”

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2013/skycity/2013/skycity/docs/inquiry-into-the-government2019s-decision-to-negotiate-with-skycity-entertainment-group-limited-for-an-international-convention-centre

    Can you please confirm whether or not you still have ‘a small shareholding in Sky City’?

    YES or NO?

    If NO, can you please confirm the date when you ceased to be a shareholder in Sky City?

    Can you please acknowledge receipt of this correspondence at your earliest convenience?

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    (If Auditor-General Lyn Provost is still a shareholder in Sky City, there may be some significant repercussions and developments on this matter………….. )

    For those who have yet to read the above-mentioned “Inquiry into the Government’s decision to negotiate with Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd for an international convention centre” – I strongly recommend that you do.

    It is a FASCINATING read!

    Penny Bright

  32. Draco T Bastard 33

    BYD and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Complete a Successful Pilot of BYD All-Electric Bus

    Expected operating-cost-per mile of an electric bus is ~$0.20 to $0.30, compared to $1.30 per mile on an equivalent diesel or natural-gas powered bus in New York.

    I wonder if the RWNJs are going to continue to tell us that it’s too expensive to move to electric PT.

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    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    7 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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