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Open mike 14/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 14th, 2012 - 124 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…

124 comments on “Open mike 14/08/2012 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Most Australians back Assange, poll finds
    August 9, 2012
    by Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald chief political correspondent

    A majority of Australians believe the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not receive a fair trial should he ever be extradited to the United States. The nationwide poll, conducted by UMR Research, also finds more than half do not believe he should be prosecuted for releasing thousands of leaked diplomatic cables.

    Meanwhile, public opinion is split over whether the Gillard government is doing enough to help the Australian national.

    After unsuccessfully challenging moves to extradite him to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual offences, Mr Assange remains holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    He is seeking asylum in Ecuador but if unsuccessful could find himself sent to Sweden. Officially, the US government says it has no plans to then extradite him to the US – but a grand jury has been convened to probe the release by WikiLeaks of about 250,000 allegedly stolen diplomatic cables, raising suspicions to the contrary.


    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/most-australians-back-assange-poll-finds-20120808-23uwh.html#ixzz23S2qn2xL

    [lprent: Small quotes and link rather than whole articles. You’re also lacking any of your opinion. This isn’t a newspaper. We want to see what you think. ]

    • ad 1.1

      Just don’t fall asleep around him. 😉

      • weka 1.1.1

        Just don’t fall asleep around him 🙁

      • Morrissey 1.1.2

        Just don’t fall asleep around him.

        Idiot. You need to do some reading on this topic; after you’ve learned a little bit, I doubt that you’ll continue with your lame, politically driven “jokes”.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.2

      The poll is only about Assange’s chances if he is ever asked to stand trial in America over the leaks. There is no indication that Aussies support his cowardice in relation to the sexual assault investigation and the majority do consider the Aussie government’s consular support of him so far in that matter to be adequate.

      • Morrissey 1.2.1

        …his cowardice in relation to the sexual assault investigation

        I know that you are only trying to provoke, but surely even you know that there is no evidence whatsoever that Assange committed sexual assault.

        • OneTrack

          Only formal complaints from two women. But I guess that doesn’t mean much, does it.

          • Morrissey

            Something called “OneTrack” seems a tad confused….

            Only formal complaints from two women.

            There were no complaints from them. The women were inveigled, probably threatened, into complying with this bizarre attempt to snare Assange.

            But I guess that doesn’t mean much, does it.

            The Women Against Rape organization does not think the allegations have any credibility.

            • McFlock

              Right. So they didn’t go to the police – the cops just turned up on their doorstep saying “we’re going to press charges, you have to go along with it. Oh, and here’s a lawyer who we will make represent you, so when we drop the investigation he’ll appeal the decision ‘on your behalf’ so we can look at the matter again and restart the investigation we already dropped “.
              The Swedish and English judicial systems seem to think the allegations are reasonable enough to investigate/extradite. But you got the interwebz so you know exactly what’s happened.

              • Colonial Viper

                Reasonable enough to extradite him to Guantanamo Bay? That seems a bit over the top doesn’t it? 😛

                • McFlock

                  It does indeed. Which is why I think it’s just an excuse used by groupies who can’t think of a more likely reason someone would want to dodge a sexual assault investigation.
                  Apparently Assange has been panning to skip to Ecuador for almost a year. Did he tell this to the people who put up his bail money? 

              • Morrissey

                Right. So they didn’t go to the police – the cops just turned up on their doorstep saying “we’re going to press charges, you have to go along with it. Oh, and here’s a lawyer who we will make represent you, so when we drop the investigation he’ll appeal the decision ‘on your behalf’ so we can look at the matter again and restart the investigation we already dropped “.

                Someone—and it was certainly not the Swedish police—used the women in order to press this ludicrous and uniquely Swedish statute into service as a weapon to use against the most dangerous political dissenter in the world.

                The Swedish and English judicial systems seem to think the allegations are reasonable enough to investigate/extradite.

                Nobody with any integrity in or outside of the legal system thinks these allegations have a shred of credibility. People like you were persuaded by the compliance and silence of key British legal and government officials in 2003 to accept the bogus case to attack Iraq. You’re impressed and gulled not by authority, but by power.

                But you got the interwebz so you know exactly what’s happened.

                There you go with your trivialization strategy again. I know a lot more than you do about this because I read seriously and widely, and I can discriminate between what is serious journalism and what is nothing more than black propaganda. Of course I don’t know exactly what happened; what I do know is what you also know but lack the integrity to admit: that this “case” against Assange is as robust as the 1960 case against Martin Luther King for driving in Georgia on an Alabama license.

                • McFlock

                  Oh my god – are you still promulgating the “sex by surprise” myth? Maybe you need to go to the source. Show me where it says “sex by surprise”.
                  I love how you deny the women involved any possible agency in dealing with their own sexual assault allegations – they must have been manipulated or “used” by others. Maybe they are telling the truth and without ulterior motive. Not definitely. Just maybe. In which case it’s not St Julian who’s being victimised and harrassed, is it?
                  BTW, if you still believe the “sex by surprise” slur, you “know” fuck all.
                  And I cannot believe you just compared Assange to MLK. 

                  • Professor Longhair

                    “I cannot believe you just compared Assange to MLK.”

                    Of course not. Martin Luther King was traduced by the FBI—although people like you will deny the evidence of that—and ridiculed by the establishment. He spoke out trenchantly against his country’s destruction of Indo-China, thus incurring undying resentment and hatred from the “liberal” establishment. He also “got with” many of the women who were drawn to him and no doubt had he lived longer, would have suffered a concocted campaign of outrage about an invented incident of rape.

                    Clearly there are no comparisons obvious to everybody else but yourself.

                • McFlock

                  oh, by the way – if you know so much about it, did Assange tell the people who stumped up his not insubstantial bail money that he had spent months planning to skip the country and leave them out of pocket? 

    • McFlock 1.3

      ooo – the Olympics are over! Ecuador will soon be deciding if they’ll let Assange flee a sexual assault investigation!

    • Bill 1.4

      Y’know, the accusation is that Assange exhibits inappropriate sexual behaviours. Two complaints from two women relating to (more or less) the same point in time. But where are the other complaints? Don’t know why no-one has picked up on the fact that aside from when the victim of sexual predation (or whatever) is specific and therefore unique, the perpetrator usually has a history of the behaviour complained of. And people emerge from that history when some-one finally does complain or have charges laid or whatever. But in the case of Assange? Nothing. Now, why would that be?

      • just saying 1.4.1

        You’ve obviously got a point to make Bill.
        why don’t you spit it out.

        • Colonial Viper

          Its a convenient reason to get him to Guantanomo Bay with a quick stopover in Stockholm.

        • Morrissey

          You’ve obviously got a point to make Bill.
          why don’t you spit it out.

          You know perfectly well what his point was. But just to confirm what you already know but lack the integrity to admit: the allegations against Assange are baseless, ludicrous, fantastical, and vicious. The “case” against Assange makes the case—giraffes in the basement and all—against Peter Ellis look robust.

      • rosy 1.4.2

        What, Bill? You mean people don’t or can’t change behaviour (for better or worse) when their situation/ circumstances/ opportunity change?

        • Morrissey

          What, Bill? You mean people don’t or can’t change behaviour (for better or worse) when their situation/ circumstances/ opportunity change?

          There is no evidence against Assange, rosy. Why don’t you have the courage to just admit it? Better still, do some reading on this affair. Serious reading, that is—not simply accepting what the comedy writers on the Grauniad staff come up with.

  2. Logie97 2

    Banks and MMP – this guy actually doesn’t understand the debate.
    He is rambling on about this current stable government would have been affected.
    Banks did not benefit from either of the two proposed adjustments – “threshold and coat-tailing”. ACT and UF have electorate seats only.

    • Since when has reality got in the way of a Banks rant?

      • Anne 2.1.1

        I heard Banks say on tele last night something to the effect:

        “it (the recommendations) opens everything up to gerrymandering…”.

        Fortunately I’d just put my coffee mug back on the table.

    • alex 2.2

      I believe Banks is under the impression that he still has a party, and that he is a good chance to bring in more MPs on his coat tails next time.

      Then again, he forgot how he managed to acquire thousands of dollars, so maybe his mind really is going.

      • Clashman 2.2.1

        He probably hasn’t read the commissions’ report, so it’s a bit tough to expect him to take responsibilty for his comments on it.

      • ad 2.2.2

        When ACT finally dies I and the thousands of others who went through the Auckland local government restructure will be there to tramp the dirt down on their political graves, good and hard.

      • deuto 2.2.3

        My thoughts on his rant on Radio NZ National this morning was that he has also “forgotten” that he is now supposedly ACT not National when he claimed that National will not agree to the changes as if he was their spokesperson.

  3. muzza 3

    Katrina Williams, an IRD section director, said in the documents: “In Australia, we are taking legal action and when this fails, issue bankruptcy proceedings when overseas-based borrowers have not paid.”

    That would mean that the IRD could get a New Zealand court judgment transferred to Australia, where it would then be enforced.

    [lprent: fixed the link. ]

    • Murray Olsen 3.1

      I think it’s just more bluster designed to cover up how stupid student loans are and deflect attention from more serious problems, such as avoidance and evasion by the rich. Australia told them about a year ago that they weren’t interested.

    • tc 4.1

      Bugga ! As much as this is great for Adams it’s a really bad outcome for truth and a fair go as the redneck talkback feeding monkeys that pass for journalists in this country will feel vindicated and ignore the baseless allegations they made and claiim ‘moral high ground’

      • muzza 4.1.1

        The fact that Ostapchuk threw, was it 3 national records in about a 10 day period not long before the olympics, in her own country, would have at least begged the question.

        Its not like she was throwing world records though, so perhaps not overt in its warnings, but seems to this point was, “enhanced”.

        Agree about the red neck media, I find the pundits are simply a mirror of those they preside over, and its a little bit like chicken and egg, which idiot came first the pundit or the fan!

        • Galeandra

          A lot of people, including me, felt that the pattern of her performance over the last ten years did not support the recent radical gain in her outcomes. Speculation is not of itself an indication of redneckery, by which I presume you mean a mean-spirited refusal to recognize merit?

      • Vicky32 4.1.2

        it’s a really bad outcome for truth and a fair go as the redneck talkback feeding monkeys that pass for journalists in this country

        From what I just heard on 3 News, yes. They’re talking about the Belorussian woman as if she is the embodiment of all evil…
        I wouldn’t care at all, if it didn’t remind me of the American comments in previous Olympics, that all Eastern European women athletes and competitors were all men in disguise. 
        There were comments about how difficult it’s going to be to get Valerie’s medal from around the neck of that evil, lying Russian medal thief!
        That’s the sort of thing that has made me loathe and despise sport all my life.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Tony Johnston, correct?

      He was correct, due to sheer dumb luck. He immediately started bawling that the Belorussian was a drug cheat, but he proffered no evidence; as with his rugby commentating, there was no evidence he had done any investigation whatsoever.

  4. Seti 5

    Oil isn’t running out: expert

    Harvard authority on energy claims there could be an oil glut in the next decade.

    Maugeri’s report, published by the Belfer Center at Harvard University, states: “contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption.”

    Advanced recovery techniques, deep water and unconventional sources could actually postpone a “peak” for some time yet.

    • Carol 5.1

      Your link doesn’t work.

      You mean this Maugeri, who works for the Italian oil company ENI and a senior fellow at a BP-funded center at Harvard University?


      Maugeri forecasts new global oil production capacity of 49 million barrels per day (mbpd) by 2020, a number that is “unrestricted” by real-world circumstances, and “unadjusted for risk.” This constitutes a whopping 53 percent increase over the current claimed capacity of 93 mbpd in just eight years. While impressive, this headline number obscures some important details.

      We must conclude that the key assumptions about reserve growth and its effect on decline rates in Maugeri’s report are muddled, speculative and unverifiable. And sprinkling those assertions with repeated declamations about how peak oil is a non-issue, insisting repeatedly that the only real constraints on his scenario have to do with political decisions and geopolitical risks, suggests that his report is more about grinding a political axe on behalf of the oil industry than offering a serious or transparent analysis.

      It’s all in the analysis, and I heard a radio report that Maugeri is relying on recovering a lot of hard-to-access oil, through processes like frakking (this is not news) – and that is using processes that cause all kinds of environmental harm.

      • alex 5.1.1

        Yep, there’s plenty of oil, we just need to make the planet uninhabitable to access it. But if thats the price our grandchildren have to pay, so be it, it would seem.

      • Huginn 5.1.2

        An oil company’s reserve capacity has a direct bearing on its share price which in turn drives executive pay. This is why oil company executives are responding to peak oil by redefining ‘resources’ sich as shale as reserve capacity.

        There’s a very good explanation of how this works here:

        The Ultimate Corporation
        JUNE 7, 2012
        Bill McKibben

        Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
        by Steve Coll
        Penguin, 685 pp., $36.00                                                  


    • ad 5.2

      The question is rather whether supply of oil will keep up with demand for oil.
      At 7 billion world population and rising, there may well be a problem.

    • Lanthanide 5.3

      All of his stuff is talking about ‘unconventional’ oil, which is the expensive stuff. He may well be right, that we’re still years or even decades away from a peak in All Liquids, but nothing he says suggests that we’ll see a new peak in conventional oil.

      In other words, a peak in All Liquids might be some way away, but when it happens, All Liquids will and must be more expensive than they are now for that to happen, because this will only come about by production of expensive and difficult reserves.

      Improved technology tends to act more like a super-straw, sucking up the available oil much faster than it otherwise would have been. This gives much higher short-term production rates, and a high peak, but at the cost of longevity in the well. Frankly I’m more interested in technologies that can significantly increase ultimate recoverable reserves, but not the rate of extraction.

      • weka 5.3.1

        Frankly I’m more interested in technologies that can significantly increase ultimate recoverable reserves, but not the rate of extraction.

        Can you explain that a bit more Lanth?

        • Lanthanide

          This is an aside, although relevant: I’m about 3/4ths of the way through reading Twilight in the Desert

          For all oil fields, there is a figure which is the total amount of oil in the specific reservoir, called Oil In Place (OIP). Production of oil fields practically never recovers 100% of OIP, in fact often recovery is around 40-50% of the total OIP.

          Here’s a very contrived example to illustrate the point I made above. Imagine you have 10b barrels of oil in a field, but your ultimate recovery with existing technology is going to be 5b barrels. If you produce at 1b barrels per year constant, you will be able to produce the well for 5 years before it depletes. If you create some new technology that lets you produce at 2b barrels per year, but doesn’t increase the recoverable reserves, that same well will now produce for a total of 2.5 years (2.5 * 2b = 5b). If instead you had a new technology that increased the recoverable oil – think tar sands and shale oil/shale gas, then the recoverable oil might go from 5b to 7b. At your original rate of recovery of 1b the well will now last 7 years instead of 5.

          Peak Oil is primarily about the rate of recovery, which is what the ‘peak’ is all about. Oil industry people get very excited about new technology that increases flow rates because it makes a field look very profitable, but they often make the basic mistake of assuming high oil flows has increased the total recoverable reserves in a field, but in experience usually all it does is deplete the same amount of oil faster (a ‘super-straw’). Using my example above, some people see oil flows of 2b/year and keep the production life of the well constant at 5 years, now thinking they are going to recover 10b from the field (or 100% OIP in my example), but actually all they end up doing is depleting the field twice as fast as they would have otherwise.

          I think Peak Oil, the price pressure and demand destruction world wide is only a good thing for our consumerist society, but on the flip side I’d like to see a very gradual decline in production post-peak as that will give us the best chance of re-organising society to deal with it. A steep decline after peak will be disastrous to society at large. Hence why I’m more interested in technologies that can improve oil recovery, not flow rates.

          • Bored

            In short its all about EROEI (energy return over energy invested)…new technologies might make the EROEI better but eventually you go into deficit and the whole thing becomes pointless. Perhaps the real issue is denial, denial that we cant just keep doing this forever because like the last bottle of wine of the night it runs out before the shop opens.

            I did once think that it was a desirable thing to avoid a steep decline: for us to live as we are used to, that’s a desirable option. For us to live at all is another issue. Collapse now might be a far more useful thing if this is to be believed. http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/p/global-extinction-within-one-human.html

            PS Who knows if the article is good science, true or likely? Could not possibly say, so shall we work on the principle it is too extreme and just ignore it? Or perhaps wait and see whilst we might or might not go past a point of no return? Perhaps BAU and be damned?

            • Lanthanide

              A strict focus on EROEI is actually misleading. Broadly it is true, and in the general case going very much below 1 is going to be financially pointless.

              But there are cases where it makes sense, for example when you’re converting energy in one form/source to another form/source that is more useful. Lostinsuburbia below highlights one such case: turning natural gas in Canada into tar sands oil. Natural gas is not as easily traded as oil is, because it requires expensive pipelines or facilities to compress/liquidise it, compared to oil which can go on tankers and pipes much more easily. Oil is also a more valuable fuel for transportation than gas is, again thanks to the shipment but also the energy density.

              So therefore an EROEI that is below 1 when using gas energy to unlock oil energy is not necessarily economically infeasible, if you had no other direct economic use for that gas energy.

              Another extreme example is the RTG: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

              I bet that on an EROEI case this would be well below 1, but the RTG stores and releases energy in a way that other fuels simply cannot, so it doesn’t matter if the EROEI is below 1 because it’s the special properties of the resultant fuel source that you’re interested in, not the net energy.

              • Bored

                All you are talking about is an arbitrage, which does delivery utility whilst wasting energy. This delays the evil day energy is all used up , which may or may not be a good thing.

                Reading the link I provided might help you think about whether continuing blithely is a good thing?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lanth is talking about an economic system which rewards the rapid waste of finite, irreplaceable resources (using up natural gas energy to recover a lesser amount of tar sands oil energy).

              • Colonial Viper

                I bet that on an EROEI case this would be well below 1, but the RTG stores and releases energy in a way that other fuels simply cannot, so it doesn’t matter if the EROEI is below 1

                Sure, diverting some extra energy doesn’t matter particularly if there is still excess energy available presently.

                It will matter when people and communities are starved in order to make available the energy which needs to be invested in a far away elite project. Of course, we have always done this to the third world and the developing world. Now, its becoming increasingly obvious in the West’s own backyard.

                I have no doubt the USAF will still be flying F-22’s using jet fuel for years after the rest of us plebs have to walk or bicycle everywhere. In other words, the prioritisation of remaining highly constrained energy expenditures as the ruling classes see fit.

      • lostinsuburbia 5.3.2

        its also the fact that the “unconventional” sources require prodiguous amounts of energy to “extraact” – just look at the dependency of the Alberta Oil Sands on natural gas. There may be huge amounts of energy locked away in such reserves but it would take equally huge amounts to actually access and use it resulting in very low net energy gain.

        We’ll just end up trashing the environment in a race to industrial crash unless we use our remaining reserves wisely and start moving towards smarter uses and sources of energy.

    • Maugeri of full of shit. End of story.

      “We must conclude that the key assumptions about reserve growth and its effect on decline rates in Maugeri’s report are muddled, speculative and unverifiable. And sprinkling those assertions with repeated declamations about how peak oil is a non-issue, insisting repeatedly that the only real constraints on his scenario have to do with political decisions and geopolitical risks, suggests that his report is more about grinding a political axe on behalf of the oil industry than offering a serious or transparent analysis. Finally we must note that Maugeri is well known for his hostility to peak oil, as is BP, which funded his report. After taking real-world risks, costs, and restrictions into account, the case for peak oil—which is about production rates, not production capacity or reserves—seems far more realistic.”




  5. BillODrees 6

    The TV3 Garner smear on Cunliffe initially was damaging to the Party, Shearer and Cunliffe in that order. 
    Following the appalling weak un-real comments from Shearer yesterday that he was happy with Causus discipline,  the whole affair now damages Shearer and the ABC nasties.   Cunliffe’s mana is enhanced by Shearer’s handling of this matter.

    The Party needs to be united and Cunliffe has the leadership skills to do so. 

    The experiment is over. Finito! 

    • ad 6.1

      Sometimes you guys sound like Cunliffe is actually Elvis at the 1964 Comeback Special with the slim black full leather jumsuit, singing I’m Just A Hunk-a Hunk-a Burnin’ Love.

      It’s possible he’s human.

      • BillODrees 6.1.1

        Are you saying Cunliffe was born in 1964, and that he might be a re-incarnation of Elvis?  

        Nah, he was born in 1963 when Kennedy died… 

        • ad

          I hear the new shave means he’s proposing to reincarnate himself with his baby photos at the next election.

          • BillODrees

            Typical bloody politicians, using their wedding photos on hoardings right into retirement. 

  6. After thinking about Josie Pagani’s bene bashing comments yesterday on Radio New Zealand I thought I would check out hubby John Pagani’s activities.

    It seems that his blog is down.  I wonder when that happened.

    He has recently sent a couple of tweets.  One of them says “Martin Hawes on buying shares in Mighty River.Excellent analysis. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7466680/Ignore-hype-when-investing

    The Hawes article he links to is a cold hard financial analysis of the share float of MRP that does not mention Iwi claims or the risks that they pose.  Hawes’ conclusion is that “[o]n all of these measures, MRP comes out well. It is in a good, stable industry providing energy from renewables, but with growth prospects as it sells its expertise in thermal power to other countries. It has strong finances and very good governance and management.”

    It would appear that Pagani thinks buying MRP shares is a good idea.

    Is he still speech writing for the Labour Party?

    • tc 7.1

      What an unelectable shambles Shearer’s Caucus and it’s advisers are becoming.

      They look about as inspiring as the current gov’t….bravo trev and all you other has beens that feared so much for your undeserving arses you undermined the best choice at taking back the power possibly in your own right with DC out front.

      Enjoy the warmth of your safe seats, what a disgrace you all are to the history and mana that was the Labour party and the everyday kiwis being left out to dry at the hands of the Hollowmen because of your ego’s…..SHAME !

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    Well, it appears that the Australian banks aren’t as pure as the driven snow as some would have liked to think:

    I received 4,000 emails and in those emails from the banks to the brokers you’d see clearly bank officers instructing the brokers how to have no-loan mortgage insurance, no income necessary, no assets and liability, virtually just get a signature on a document, send it in and we’ll give this person, no matter what their income or affordability criteria is, give them a $500,000 loan.

    So, how many loans in NZ were Liars Loans?

  8. Jackal 9

    Rich and ignorant

    It may be that te reo is not spoken in the limited circles Rodney Hide and Bob Jones move in, however it is far from obsolete…

  9. AAMC 10

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned on here yet, but in case it hasn’t.

    Steve Keen is going to be giving talks in NZ in September.

    The New Zealand and Australian Asset Markets
    Friday 7th September in Auckland
    The Global Economy
    Saturday 8th September in Auckland
    Solutions to the Crisis
    Monday 10th September in Wellington


  10. AAMC 11

    Whose Banking Sector Is It Anyway? – An Infographic

    Hint, it’s not Spanish or Greek.


  11. prism 12

    Sad grieving families are saying much about the pathetic lack of controls and safety consciousness in adventure tourism as the hearing about the plane crash at Fox Glacier proceeds. It may be that notice will be taken by leading people suffering the responsibility virus. I really hope so.

    A young pilot used to automatic trim to keep the rear of his plane in balance was in a different plane at Fox Glacier, which was manual and had to be set before he took off. That’s what I understood from the radio report this morning. I would be trusting this company to know and give the advice its pilot needed so that 9 people didn’t die.

    Complacently we undertake selling forays into the world and succeed in attracting tourists, overseas students etc. But then its too often laissez faire which ends up in some tragedy. Disparagingly remarks are made by NZs about other small countries – that we don’t want to turn into a banana republic. But we are already more like a banana republic than we are like an efficient and modern European country to which I think we compare ourselves.

    So we must get restraints on our easy-peasy ways and poor oversight of whatever. CAA keeps being castigated. Make sure they do their job and earn their big pay. Bring in an amendment to accident law so that companies can be sued under certain circumstances, even if the government does it as Safety Master. Sharpen up everybody in tourism and don’t try to delegate the overview of work.

    Another example of lack of responsibility and hurried, inadequate checks. The CCTV building in Christchurch was signed off, hurried through, certification missed, lacking senior overview. Result 16 people died, or was it more? And the Christchurch Building Inspections Manager under pressure to get things through faster, government made a lot of noise about slow procedures for builders, so in line with current ‘let business govern itself’ he signed off in line with business assurances when there was any argy-bargy. He is dead now, and another one close to the job also. It would make a sad end for a career to face this situation.

    And reports about later work that was done to strengthen it, involved boring holes that could have gone through reinforcing rods so weakening the column. The work involved inserting epoxy or something with slurry to set and hold it firm but the slurry may not have keyed to the building and it has been found in that case that the epoxy tube or wedge can be just pulled out by hand. Trust in supposed experts again in doubt.

    I see this common theme of she’ll be right recurring through NZ tragedies. We have to sharpen up, be efficient and timely, but thorough. That is if we want to have self-respect as a nation. And the respect of other nations when we speak about anything.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    This somewhat covers the reality that the economy is not about creating jobs any more. A reality that the political parties just don’t seem to get.

  13. Pascal's bookie 14

    Remember when the Minister got up there in the house and said blah blah blah? Lies.


    • Bill 15.1

      Aren’t those things meant to be the solution for all our energy problems in a post-fossil fuel and post holocene world? Oh, well. Back to the drawing board I guess.

      • weka 15.1.1

        Eventually, engineers could change the Millford reactor’s intake pipe so it draws water from further below the surface, where temperatures are lower, Mr. Holt said. They could also sharpen their pencils and try to determine whether the plant can operate safely with cooling water above 75 degrees, but neither is a short-term project.

        Pencil sharpening, a metaphor for action in the last days of the empire.

      • OneTrack 15.1.2

        Oh well. Back to the coal fired power stations I guess.

    • prism 15.2

      The nuclear reactor having the latest trouble was called Millstone. These tech people have no sense of irony, maybe missing some other senses too. Fear?

  14. captain hook 16

    heka paratai getting more and more toxic buy the day.
    this mornings dompost.
    her head is so swollen that nobody can tell her anything.

  15. Carol 17

    True lies – it’s all in the pictures. I guess this is why Key does all those photo ops, often while speaking indecipherable gibberish, rather than attempting a rational explanation:


    Trusting research over their guts, scientists in New Zealand and Canada examined the phenomenon Stephen Colbert, comedian and news satirist, calls “truthiness”—the feeling that something is true. In four different experiments they discovered that people believe claims are true, regardless of whether they actually are true, when a decorative photograph appears alongside the claim. The work is published online in the Springer journal, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

  16. IrishBill: too much like stalking for my taste, Penny. Tone it down.

    • McFlock 18.1

      So people who work in IT or business aren’t allowed to be pro-democracy without having some sort of ulterior motive?

      • seeker 18.1.1

        Think it was the blocking of facebook that has raisedd Penny’s ‘truth’ antennae McFlock.

        Sounds odd, thanks Penny. Am so fed up with deceivers,(so I hope your suspicions come to nought) but it pays to keep watch unless,deceptively, they creep up on you. What a sad old world that we have to live in such an atmosphere of distrust, one that really began in earnest with the onset of neoliberalism and ‘self’ above all else..

        Anyone who wants an excuse to make money by any means, and sod the cost,especially human, look to your bright burnished idols like Thatcher, Douglas, Key (especially key) for any and every wickedly spun reason, answer, mindbend possible:

        Change your moral outlook to amoral with these gems that you can add to your business ethics portfolio – “politics of envy”, “mums and Dads”, ‘up to the individual’- “no such thing as society’,”breeding for business”, ‘poverty is a lifestyle choice,’ and my personal more specific favourite phrased proudly by key (credit where credit is due) to mothers of an extra child born for whatever reason, being sent to look for part time work when their child is one year old,
        “I personally think it is actually helping …… to actually make sure that they get an opportunity to fill their lives.”
        ” (translation from me ….sorry kids you are not fulfilling enough, away with you…)


        I know key is not known for his intelligent rhetoric but on this occasion, and a few others, when he has to ‘lower himself to the occasion’ on behalf of popularity and money, he can produce ‘stunners’.

        • McFlock

          I suppose it depends on whether Penny’s style came across as harassment to the FB mods.

  17. lostinsuburbia 19

    Richard Heinberg from the Post-Carbon Institute is doing a speaking tour of NZ and Australia next month. Just check out – http://www.postcarbon.org/event/964156-richard-heinberg-australia-and-new-zealand

    I’ve read a couple of his books which have been quite thought provoking and would recommend them. The Institute’s website has quite a lot of good stuff too.

    Just thought this might be of interest to a few folks on here!

  18. felix 20

    Yay, urgent debate happening in the house right meow.

    • Carol 20.1

      Kudos to David Parker….. Crafar Farms decision and protection of NZ asset base.

      • bad12 20.1.1

        Seriously??? as Minister of Land Information in the Clark Government how many hectares of land went into foreign ownership while this particular one of the Daves looked on…

        • Carol

          Good point, bad. He is tainted with neoliberalism. But, still, he’s kept this issue alive. Good to have t he debate.

          • bad12

            Wish i didn’t have to make it really, the point that is, sometimes i feel like i am living in 2 parallel Universe,

            My apologies to all you die hard Labour-ites, being able to pretend that the present Labour Party is in any way representative of very much of my view of things is becoming increasingly difficult,

            Being able to pretend that it was some other Labour Party that held the Treasury Benches for the 9 years previous to this abysmal National one, impossible…

          • bad12

            PS, i don’t even see this as a matter of ism’s, more the sheer dishonesty inherent in a Party that while in Government flicked off New Zealand land like there was a factory making the stuff down the street,

            What this makes Labour look like is a Party simply interested in Power for the sake of holding it, no principles,no honesty, if there’s a set of iornclad policy anyplace it appears to be doing duty in the ablutions block as you know what,

            Perhaps my expectations are far too high and all we can really expect from Labour is that they sit in the Parliament opposing everything this abhorrent National Government does,

            So that once the cycle swings the other way Labour can do it instead, the politics of we oppose what your doing because we think we should be doing it…

      • rosy 20.1.2

        I’ve a feeling Crafar is not just about the asset base, it’s about Joyce’s ‘intensification of agriculture’.

        • seeker

          Oh good one rosy. I have a feeling you may well be correct. “intense” is, unfortunately, a suitable word in this situation.

  19. Will I get banned from The Standard if I threaten to set all the moderators on fire and urinate on the server?

  20. Herodotus 22

    On the minimum pricing for booze has anyone giving the idea of $2 a serving given any thought what that does for a 1 litre bottle of Whisky/Whiskey/Bourbon/Vodka etc Given that there are 30-35 std drinks per litre then a bottle of top shelve would be ???? $60-$70
    With such an example how is Labour being relevant to its core blue collar union card holder support base?
    At least the left doesn’t appear as self serving as Judith Collins on tv last night

    • just saying 22.1

      Yeah, it concerns me that these kinds of measures further restrict the meagre freedoms of the poor, supposedly for the greater good. Apparently only the poor need to change their ways to this end. Maybe if we had some measures that made their lives less shit….

      On a related noted, I was interested to see that Whanau Ora will only help those who agree to stop drinking and smoking completely, into affordable, decent housing*. Those “aunties” get their tentacles into every nook and cranny. They seem to be Big Brother’s sisters, and as the trojan horse into ever increasing privatisation of welfare services, disturbing…

      Btw, about how much is a bottle of whisky now?

      *Will dig out the link if anyone gives a flying f#$k.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      Given that there are 30-35 std drinks per litre then a bottle of top shelve would be ???? $60-$70

      I remember paying that much for a bottle of top shelf 20 odd years ago. Which would be $110.48 to $128.89 today so I don’t see your point.

      • Herodotus 22.2.1

        Some can only afford Famous Grouse/Grants Capt Morgan etc. See how many products are well below $50 from the link below. And then think of the PAYE person & what they drink. I wonder if those from Labour/Greens have considered only the rtd’s and low cost wine and not consequence of a $2 policy has on spirits
        Those that drink single malts have nothing to worry about under this policy, though for curiosity I wonder what $60 would have purchased 20+ years ago, it must have been good as a classic malt in 2000 was about $45 duty free and that was a 1125 bottle !!!. But not everyone can afford such nectar from heaven.

        • Colonial Viper

          Dewar’s white label sitting nicely on the tongue right now. Not a single malt but quite passable for $40. I have a Talisker sitting patiently in the cabinet for more special occasions.

          • Herodotus

            I prefer anything from Islay. Oldest rocks in the UK and some of the oldest anywhere to be found. You can taste every one of the 600-1000 million years in any bottle from here!!
            I think that a min pricing is one of many tools to help cure this problem. But IMO $2 being touted is too steep. Better still would be too increase exercise duty then the added price (tax) would benefit NZ not the alcohol industry & the likes of the supermarkets.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Some can only afford Famous Grouse/Grants Capt Morgan etc.

          Yes, and?

          And then think of the PAYE person & what they drink.

          Beer with the occasional top shelf thrown in.

          Those that drink single malts have nothing to worry about under this policy, though for curiosity I wonder what $60 would have purchased 20+ years ago, it must have been good as a classic malt in 2000 was about $45 duty free and that was a 1125 bottle !

          Glenfiddich (sp?), Johnny Walker (Black Label) – during the 1990s the prices of liquor came down as tariffs and duties were removed.

          • TheContrarian

            People forget that 1L of Vodka at less than $20 is generally only about 20% alcohol anyway.
            Half the price half the liquor content.

            Go check the bottles at your local liquor save if you don’t believe me

            • Colonial Viper

              That’s not vodka, its just alcohol byproduct sourced from industrial (dairy) processes.

  21. joe90 23

    More to ignore.


    Even more disturbing, the Arctic could become totally ice free before 2030 if Wimpeus’ exponential fit to other months is correct.

  22. Te Reo Putake 25

    Hurrah for the Blackshirts! revisited. The Daily Mail reckons Arbeit Macht Frei. Journo Dominique Jackson advises unemployed young grads to lower their sights:

    “The German slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ is somewhat tainted by its connection with Nazi concentration camps, but its essential message, ‘work sets you free’ still has something serious to commend it.
    There is dignity to be gained from any job, no matter how menial, and for young people at the start of their careers, there are valuable lessons to be learned from any form of employment, whether that is on the factory floor, on a supermarket till or in the contemporary hard labour camp of a merchant bank or law office.”

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