Open mike 14/02/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 14th, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

73 comments on “Open mike 14/02/2012”

  1. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/charlie-brooker-the-true-value-of-money-%E2%80%93-or-why-you-cant-fart-a-crashing-plane-back-into-the-sky/

    “…Banknotes aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

    The entire economy relies on the suspension of disbelief.

    I’m no financial expert.

    I scarcely know what a coin is.

    Ask me to explain what a credit default swap is and I’ll emit an unbroken 10-minute “um” through the clueless face of a broken puppet.

    You might as well ask a pantomime horse.

    But even an idiot such as me can see that money – as a whole – doesn’t really seem to be working any more.

    Money is broken, and until we admit that, any attempts to fix the economy seem doomed to fail.

    We’re like passengers on a nosediving plane thinking if we all fart hard enough – we can lift it back into the sky.

    So should we be storming the cockpit or hunting for parachutes instead?

    I don’t know: I ran out of metaphor after the fart gag.

    You’re on your own from hereon in…”

    [email look alike deleted].

    • The Baron 1.1

      This guy writes like you, Phil, which is infuriating.

      If you think money is so meaningless and broken, I look forward to you throwing all yours away, and not following that up with asking for the state for more.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Money is broken mate. What else can you call it when the Fed can press a button and create US$750B to be handed out to its primary dealers with nothing more than a ledger entry to account for it? US$750B backed by no gold, no property, no productive enterprise or real resources but which the power players use to buy up other peoples’ strategic real assets.

        BTW throwing away all your money is a dumb suggestion. Enough people believe in the illusion still that it is of some use. Just not enough use to base a society on.

        • The Baron 1.1.1.1

          Oh, so instead of money, make an economy based on scarce items that also have a totally illusory perceived value? The only thing you gain is the ability not to print money – which is exactly what the Greeks would love to be doing right now to save themselves from being fucked over with austerity measures.

          So a less flexible monetary system based on sparkly things is your solution huh. Wow, thanks mastermind.

          It won’t really matter to you in Remmers though will it CV. You’ll still be on top in terms of wealth, but all so ready to muck in with your mouth but not your wallet.

      • “..This guy writes like you, Phil,..”

        ..chrs for that..

        ..i think he is one of the funniest writers around..

        ..so that is a huge compliment…

        ..[email look alike deleted].

    • Uturn 1.2

      Karl Marx outlined how money isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (in detail in the opening chapters addressing the relationship between commodities and “money”) in his book Das Kapital, published 1867. Give it a read and your decision to storm cockpit or find parachute should become clear.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Actually USD are printed on linen.

        And of course, the vast majority of money printed today isn’t actually printed. It’s simply magicked up out of electrons to create figures on screen.

  2. fisiani 2

    I cannot stand to see people cheating on tax.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.
    I cannot stand to see bigotry.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.
    I cannot stand to see intolerance.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.
    I cannot stand to see mindless thuggery.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.
    I cannot stand to see sectarianism.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.
    I cannot stand to Anti-Irish and Anti-Catholic bias.
    Great news from Scotland that Glasgow Rangers will go into administration due to illegal tax deals.

    For more information see http://www.rangers tax case blog

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Ho ho, Fisi. Don’t forget the ten points deduction that is going to see the Bhoys take the title again. That’ll rub salt in the wound, och aye!
       
      By the way, are you equally pleased at Liverpool FC’s descent from the socialist football of Bill Shankley to the racist rabble rousing under King Kenny? Sauce for the sectarian goose, innit?

      • fisiani 2.1.1

        If you are clever enough to support Celtic like me then you should be clever enough to join the National Party. Both are about aspiring to greatness through hard work and perseverance. Hail Hail.

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Well whadaya know?

          Fisi and I have something in common.

          We both support Celtic ; )

          • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1.1

            And not just the Scottish Celtic in my case; my club’s senior team shares the name and are proud city champions, going for three league trophies on the trot this season. Modesty forbids bigging up my role as sheepskin coat wearer and occasional motivator in the boot chucking, hairdryer halitosis style usually associated with Sir Alex Fergusson.

        • Willie Maley 2.1.1.2

          Actually Fisi George Galloway, who is a great Celtic man, reckons that it is impossible to be a left winger and a Rangers fan. So it stands to reason that the opposite must be true, can’t support Celtic and the right of the political sphere.
          After all Celtic were founded to help the poor Irish immigrants in the East end of Glasgow.

          • fisiani 2.1.1.2.1

            It is entirely consistent to have a focus on the poor and belong to National because it is self evident that only National truly has the interest of the poor at heart. Labour entered the election in 2011 promising to spend an extra 50 billion dollars which would have wrecked the economy and cause harm mostly to the poor. The poor knew this and deserted Labour in their droves giving them an all time low result. National has a 120 point plan to grow the economy and get people out of poverty by providing the platform for growth in productive employment.
            National like Celtic have been prudent spenders. Rangers like Labour believe and believed in borrow and hope. Rangers have gone to the wall and due to the good sense of the people NZ will not face a similar fate.

            [lprent: Perhaps you’d like to explain how “extra 50 billion dollars” is in that comment. It seems be an gross exaggeration. I suspect you’re either getting confused with the core governmental annual revenue in 2010/11 of about 57 billion, or you’ve been listening to Bill English again. He is a bit notorious for his consistent lack of accuracy.

            Either way, the comment feels like you are trolling (again) 😈 ]

            • Willie Maley 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Oh FFS, National has 120 point plan to grow the economy! Just like Rangers have 50 million quid to pay the tax man.
              You really need to look into the history of both teams if you equate Celtic with National and Rangers with Labour.

            • Vicky32 2.1.1.2.1.2

              The poor knew this and deserted Labour in their droves giving them an all time low result.

              Speaking as one of the poor, I can assure you that you’re wrong, and couldn’t be wronger if you tried.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.3

              120 bullet points that mean diddly squat actually. The “economy” can’t be grown because we’re running out of resources.

        • mac1 2.1.1.3

          One thing I don’t understand is the captivation over a game of football played by a couple of teams in a city in Scotland. My brother has the same tribal affiliation to Celtic including the paraphernalia. But I just don’t get it.

          I do join with you, Fisi, in celebrating the downfall of tax-dodging bigotted thugs who display sectarian, national and religious intolerance- if that is the case with the Rangers. There are a few t-dbts in GodZone, too, as well as Glasgow.

          I thought sport and politics should not mix, btw…………….. still, better to slug out sectarian rivalries on the pitch and keep it there ………. or, in the blogside…….

    • tc 2.2

      Plenty of them are technically insolvent with sufficient cashflow and assets to pay the interest bill and stop the bankers liquidating them as the security still stacks up on paper.

      From memory only 4 premier league clubs made a profit…..and they aren’t all big clubs, this is the thin end of the wedge more will be following.

    • Willie Maley 2.3

      Fisi, this has to be your best post ever!
      We’ll be eating jelly and ice cream when the huns go bust!

  3. The Baron 3

    Oh Lynn, master of all coding – why have you turned off the full RSS feed? I’m sick of having to click thru from Google Reader.

    • lprent 3.1

      Blame the southern cross data charges.

      The full feed is off mostly because it saves 10’s of GB’s on our overseas traffic. The overseas traffic over 25GB / month gets charged at $3 + GST per GB (local traffic is included in the base charge). When I analysed what it was being used for I found about 30GB being pulled from offshore in RSS feeds – mostly from spambots hunting for new posts and those strange aggregation sites set up for advertising.

      Sure enough when I dropped the RSS posts to excerpts thereby reducing the bytes per post then all of a sudden there was a nice corresponding drop in overseas traffic.

      At one point last year the costs of relatively small amounts of overseas traffic (our monthly NZ traffic is running at about 250-300GB these days) were almost the same cost as the entire base fee for the NZ server. I’ve massively reduced the overseas traffic with several changes over the last year.

      When I get a bit more time, one of several things will happen and you’ll get your full feed back.

      The biggest reduction I did in overseas traffic was to drop the US server from “hot” (realtime replication) to “warm” with batched updates. I’d like to get all of the non-NZ traffic (<5% of humans) back on that server again.

      I'm testing with VPN's and/or reducing the data transferred will allow me to put our US server back into hot mode again. Then I can redirect all of the non NZ traffic there including those dratted RSS gobblers.

      Alternatively I'll look at the RSS feeder code and designating one or two RSS aggregation systems as being the only way to get RSS from this site and block everyone else from the RSS. It looks like Google Reader and Feedburner are the most used.

      But I really don't know enough about those feeders at present for basics like what IP's to look at etc. Ideally I'd like a push system to them.

  4. Salsy 4

    How interesting, Key is now openly pushing for the privatisation of the Ports of Auckland.

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown has ruled out calls from the Prime Minister and business groups to consider asset sales to pay for major transport projects. Mr Brown yesterday came under pressure from John Key, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and the Road Transport Forum to broaden his list of 13 funding options to include asset sales.

    Mr Key agreed with chamber of commerce chief executive Michael Barnett, who said partial or full asset sales should be part of the debate. But Mr Brown, a Labour Party member, said Aucklanders had made their views clear on privatising public assets and he was sticking to an election pledge not to sell the family silver.
    “It’s a red herring anyway, you lose the value of the dividend and even if you sell off the whole port it would only pay for a fraction of the transport development we need.”

    • You’d have to be blind as a bat not to see the pattern:

      Sell down state assets to payback debt/afford new infrastructure, etc (whichever excuse, or combination of excuses, you choose to believe).

      Sell down/off CCC assets to pay for the rebuild (just talking about rate rises and borrowing is too ‘narrow’ a strategy, apparently).

      Sell down/off Auckland Council assets to pay for infrastructure.

      What would the government be recommending as a way for Dunedin to pay for that stadium (built for that ‘great’ sporting occasion last year that would be such a boost for the economy), I wonder?

      What would the government be recommending as a way for Wellington to pay for earthquake strengthening of its buildings, I wonder?

      Don’t know enough about Hamilton to know why it – obviously – needs to sell down/off its assets (if it has any). But I’m sure there’s something.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Yep and provoke the Union into a stoush to throw up enough dust to try and hide the real agenda.

        • tc 4.1.1.1

          That and the fact they just love bashing the unions for the sheer pleasure it brings.

        • Jenny 4.1.1.2

          The relationship between privatising the port and getting rid of the union is a closer one, than merely hiding the real agenda. It is the real agenda.

          The asking price on the open market for the Ports of Auckland with a union and the Ports of Auckland without a union could be as much as $50 million. (If not more). Beyond, even a better asking price, getting rid of the union whets investor interest.

          Further beyond this, the privatisers need to remove any potentiality of the union acting to oppose privatisation.

          The iron logic of the market writes the agenda; The first move to privatise the Ports of Auckland. Rid of the Maritime Workers Union. Replacement with non-union contract staff.

          • Jenny 4.1.1.2.1

            Removing the union is removing a potential stumbling block in the pathway to privatisation.

            If you oppose the privatisation of the Ports of Auckland then you must support the union’s struggle against out sourcing.

            If you don’t support the union then by your inaction you are making privatisation easier.

  5. Jackal 5

    Herald response to Paul Holmes complaint

    I received a generic response to my formal complaint about Paul Holmes’ racist article this morning. Predictably it in no way properly addresses the issues I’ve raised…

    • Uturn 5.1

      Good work, your complaint hits the points that needed highlighting. Keep us up to date on how it goes.

      • Jackal 5.1.1

        Thanks Uturn. Unfortunately the Press Council might not consider the complaint. I’m awaiting their decision that wont be made until March 19. Hate to think Holmes might get away with it.

    • Carol 5.2

      Oh, Norton safeweb has blocked your site, Jackal, saying it’s a known malicious website and has 2 computer threats.

  6. felix 7

    Oh look, National doesn’t want disabled people in parliament: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6414948/Deaf-MP-made-to-pay

    • What a shocking decision.  Arguably in breach of section 9 of the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 which says that “government services and information should be made accessible to the Deaf community through the use of appropriate means (including the use of NZSL).”
       
      Why should the Greens have to pay for something the Crown has an obligation to provide?

      • David C 7.1.1

        The Greens get $5.64 mil this term in govt funding, they can pay the $30k out of that.
        Why should the taxpayer pay twice?

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      Going by the fully justified ragegasm on the twitter, I’ll be surprised as fuck if this isn’t reversed in time for the 6pm news.

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      Actually it is Lockwood Smith saying that the current rules don’t allow Mojo to access funding from any other source than the money already allocated to her for staff costs.

      I expect that the situation will be investigated and funding will begin to come from parliamentary services for this purpose.

      • felix 7.3.1

        Are we pretending Lockwood doesn’t represent National? Ok then.

        • Lanthanide 7.3.1.1

          Lockwood is merely upholding the rules of parliament as they stand. I don’t believe he has the power to change the rules, so I’m not sure what you’re expecting him to do in this case.

          If any other speaker, be they Labour or Greens or NZFirst came to a different decision than Lockwood then they wouldn’t be doing their job properly.

    • mik e 7.4

      Block of wood head smith

  7. shorts 8

    “Speaker Lockwood Smith has told deaf MP Mojo Mathers she must pay for the $30,000 technology to speak in Parliament out of her own budget.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6414948/Deaf-MP-made-to-pay

    Sign one of our three official languages – shame on you parliament you cheap bastards -I hope those MPs who aren’t dicks walk out in protest

    • Jackal 8.1

      I wonder if the old fool pays for that horse hair wig, robes and scepter he so lovingly displays?

      • It bad enough having the lose of the most important of the senses without that Toothpaste add fool making it worse .Im not surprised.In past he has been associated with some very Right-Wing organizations,

    • insider 8.2

      It says she is getting sign language translators for her maiden speech – not clear if this is ongoing. Is this a case of her not getting her favoured personalised form of communication as opposed to a method that serves a wider audience? Should the Speaker fund hearing aids and glasses for other MPs?

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        At issue is electronic note-taking / transcription in real-time of other people’s speeches so she can read them, not the use of sign-language interpreters for others to understand her.

      • craig y 8.2.2

        No, it is a case of the government *not* complying with the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993, which expressly forbid disability discrimination on the basis of access to employment, accomodation, goods and services provision. In the case of Ms Mathers, it is the latter that is involved here- NZSL is the te reo of the Deaf community, and like Maori, Deaf people were prevented from learning or using their own language due to discriminatory educational provision. How is this despicable development any different? It isn’t.

        I was proud to see Mojo elected to our parliament, but I am disgusted and appalled at this cheapskate move from the Speaker and Parliamentary Services. If I were the disabled community, I’d surround Parliament with a fleet of wheelchairs and show my displeasure.

    • Vicky32 8.3

      “Speaker Lockwood Smith has told deaf MP Mojo Mathers she must pay for the $30,000 technology to speak in Parliament out of her own budget.”

      I’ve read some very good arguments as to why she is actually the one in the wrong here. To start with, her assurances that she would not ask anything more than was already provided, when she was elected.
      She makes the Greens look like the whining middle class kiddies they already are… One of her fiercest opponents on Facebook is a leftie with invisible disabilities who takes responsibility for his own needs when working.

    • Jenny 8.4

      Maybe the Nacts fear that any real time digitised translation of the words spoken in parliament once created will exist forever in cyberspace, never to be taken back or ‘sanitised’ for the record.

      Fight for all of us Mojo.

  8. ianmac 9

    Remember the Joyce “Can’t” rant from a few days ago? “The response to every suggestion is Can’t and this is a block to real progress.”
    Today new Minister of Transport Brownlie says “No,” to Mayor Brown. “The National Government will not support your plans for development of Auckland Transport!”
    Funny that.

  9. vto 10

    If ever there were a time for despair in the antics and nature of manwomanking it is right now.

    Firstly, in Christchurch The Press each day is running stories of people’s horror stories about the death and destruction last February. Makes for both milk and tears in the morning weetbix. But, actually, they are also running a continuous series on the Royal Commission – now this is throwing up worse horror stories. Simply – buildings were not fenced off or repaired or strengthened post-September, despite being advised to or otherwise, and this directly led to significant deaths. Human failure on a grand scale. And what makes it worse is that right now there are countless risks around Christchurch that similarly existed post-September and pre-February which led to these deaths. Yet, even now for this observation one gets labelled a doomsday merchant while the others are considered to be a bunch of stypid pollyannas.

    See this for example of above http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6413686/Demolition-delays-cost-pedestrians-life

    Secondly, you have full-blown criminal negligence and cowardice being finally exposed at Pike River. The actions of so many participants in Pike River is somewhat mond-blowing in illustrating the poorest of human frailties. See this … http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/pike-river-mine-disaster/6414827/Pike-manager-planned-to-quit

    And thirdly, we have the first pieces of evidence emerging over the Urewera lot. Preparations for a form of civil war (defence yet to be heard of course). http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6412125/Urewera-four-armed-revolutionary-leaders-Crown

    And all of that is without even starting on the lies and deceit around the banking system ponzi scheme

    I mean, for fucks sake, what is going on?

    And what do we do as individuals and families and communities to look after ourselves? Clearly, the current and recent past leaderships are of absolutely no use …

  10. The Chairman 11

    Is this the first stage of privatizing the public sector?

    Front-line public sector to shift to call-centres and online technology – and then outsourced offshore?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6411885/Air-NZ-example-for-high-tech-public-service-Key

    • muzza 11.1

      “”I think we’ve got a very good public service but we can’t stand in the way of technology…and nor can we stand in the way of some of the advantages of having shared services,” Key said. ”

      I’d say from reading it, that they are a few steps further along….

      So, just what will kiwis be doing for work in this country?

  11. Descendant Of Smith 12

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6414423/TPK-travel-money-to-be-paid-back

    Stuff continues to have atrocious proofreading but I did laugh at the article on TPK CE spending money on his wife:

    “Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said that ”in the Maori world” it was often expected that a host was joined by his wife when he invited others along with their wife.
    However, it was ”a big question” whether or not the tax-payer should fund the visit.

    ”I guess that could definitely be a conception and a lot of things are about conception.”

    Based on that we should be seeing a new arrival somewhere around June / July.

    • burt 12.1

      The poor chap, he’s paid so little it’s simply wouldn’t be fair to make him pay for his own wife !

  12. burt 13

    I say blame the politicians for this;

    TPK travel money to be paid back

    See this is how it works in parliament, on both sides of the house. You dip your hands into the public purse and IF you get caught you pay it back…. no charges for theft, no sacking….

    I don’t really give a shit who the person is, what organisation ( or company ) they work for. When they are in a senior position like this they know the rules… they took a chance expecting to get away with it and now all he apparently needs to do is … pay it back… while 50 staff get the boot because of a lack of funding…

    What a disgrace and what a heinous precedent our politicians have set supported by partisan hacks who prefer expediency over integrity.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Didn’t Mr Coleman make a mess of his spending, holiday with family, Ministerial car, Kaikoura etc? If that is so it seems a bit hard for him to condemn the TKP fellow spending.

      • burt 13.1.1

        Entirely consistent with the politicians – It’s OK when we do it !

        Of course their partisan supporters are really the ones to blame for letting them hold this self serving hypocritical position.

        • lprent 13.1.1.1

          Umm. Who do you support….. Make that, did you vote, and who did you vote for. My bet is that if you voted ( likely ) then you voted for Act…

          You don’t have to answer…

          • burt 13.1.1.1.1

            lprent

            I didn’t vote for ACT. Historically I would have but not this time. But I certainly voted.

            However it’s not about me or really about the vote. IMHO, when it comes to partisan hacks being the problem it’s more about party members and supporters not demanding higher standards from party leaders. People on blogs defending their leaders simply because they are ‘their team’ – that sort of thing.

            In the case of my not voting for ACT it had nothing to do with Rodney having had his snout in the trough like the corrupt self serving lot from 2005 because he was well gone by this election. It was more about the party being a dogs breakfast and the fact that Banks was the anointed one.

            Brash, for all his ‘weirdness’ is IMHO an honest straight shooter. As much as he’s a marketing failure I was sad to see him go.

    • Descendant Of Smith 13.2

      I think he should be sacked as well as should the person who approved this and the person who made the payment.

      I can’t see how under any circumstances that a department should pay for a staff member spouses costs in this way.

      I also would blame however the plethora of private sector people who moved into the public service who feel they do not have to follow ( or maybe simply don’t understand) the rules that traditional public servants did.

      Prior to his state sector appointments, Leith participated in numerous Māori economic and social initiatives. Leith’s Directorships included Chairperson for Lakeland Health Ltd, Te Ama Ltd Forestry Consortium, and Restaurant Brands Ltd.

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    One more step on the path to all human knowledge becoming freely available as it should be.

  14. Te Reo Putake 15

    The Rock’s childish Valentine’s Day promo (Win a Divorce) has gone all pear shaped. Kudos to Sam and Amber, absolutely nailed ’em. And good observation about the average penis size of a Rock DJ. Yes, they are pretty damn small.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maintaining momentum for small business innovation
    Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the report of the Small Business Council will help maintain the momentum for innovation and improvements in the sector. Mr Nash has thanked the members of the Small Business Council (SBC) who this week handed over their report, Empowering small businesses to aspire, succeed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seventy-eight new Police constables
    Extra Police officers are being deployed from Northland to Southland with the graduation of a new wing of recruits from the Royal New Zealand Police College. “The graduation of 78 constables today means that 1524 new constables have been deployed since the government took office,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
    3 weeks ago