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Open mike 15/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2011 - 83 comments
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It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

83 comments on “Open mike 15/03/2011”

  1. So Key has announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of various downtown buildings during the ChristchurchEarthquake.

    This is a very grand response but to my mind totally inappropriate. Researching causes need to be left to engineers and scientists, and feeding the results into the District Plan should be a matter for the planners. And it needs to be done in a sufficiently quick timeframe so that the rebuilding can commence.

    Leaving it up to the lawyers will delay conclusions being reached and also increase the risk of confusion.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Scuttlebutt I’m hearing is that there are some potentially serious issues known around the CTV building collapse. Which is why Key is not ruling out criminal charges arising from the Commission.

      Big disclaimer. This is only third hand information and not reliable.

      • grumpy 1.1.1

        I think you may find some real serious issues – like did the engineers actually “sign off” some of these buildings or were some buildings (and parts such as stair wells) “tagged”.

  2. Bored 2

    Whilst all eyes turn toward the tragedy in Japan momentous events are happening elsewhere. Saudi troops have entered Bahrain. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/middleeast/15bahrain.html?_r=1&hp
    This is bad news for our oil prices. The dispute is opening the age old Sunni / Shiite rifts, Iran is likely to be drawn in in some capacity. Situation critical over the next weeks, all out conflict in the area on a scale the US cannot contain is possible and becoming more likely.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Why the daily mash is one of the best papers on the planet, even though it’s fake; still:

    Martin Bishop, Professor of Well, What Do You Know at Reading University, said: “Before anyone says anything about climate change, shut the fuck up.

    “For the moment let’s stick to what used to be known universally as ‘the facts’ until it was decided that everything was just an opinion.

    “Fact one. Fossil fuels are running out and as they do so they will get more and more expensive resulting in violent conflicts. You will not believe how true that sentence is going to continue to be.

    “Fact two. Nuclear power stations explode. They do, I just saw one.

    “That leaves us with either renewable energy or stuff that hasn’t been invented yet and it’s really difficult to charge your stupid fucking phone with stuff that hasn’t been invented yet.

    “Go on. Try.”

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      😆

    • ianmac 3.2

      Yes very 🙂

    • freedom 3.3

      you want reliable cheap power? You only need to rediscover one word, Tesla

      but as many of us know, the needs of a society have little influence upon the forces controlling that Society, so knowing a word and knowing the work will rarely be the same thing

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Saudi Troops Enter Bahrain on Active Duty

    But it’s not an invasion, according to the US.

    Looks like the Great Oil Game is still being played by the scum powers.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-bahrain-usa-invasion-idUSTRE72D6RB20110314

  5. Morrissey 5

    Right wing shills insist: “We need to keep things in perspective.”

    The Panel, Radio New Zealand National, Monday 14 March 2011
    Jim Mora, David Farrar, John Barnett

    This promises to be another dud Panel, in every way as bad and sad as last Wednesday’s imbecilic Raybon Kan/Gary McCormick double act. David Farrar is a highly partisan National Party propagandist. In contrast to his ideological comrade Cameron Slater, Farrar is smart enough to at least appear to be pleasant. His avuncular, slow and portentous style can mask the essential banality and nastiness of his comments. John Barnett is a producer of light romantic comedies, and is infamous for his splenetic 2006 attack on Robert Fisk, and for his attempts to bully and denigrate New Zealand actors during the Warner Bros. fiasco last year. Barnett doesn’t seem to read much or know much about anything, leave alone nuclear power policy, which, hilariously, he is about to be asked about, with apparent respectfulness, by the host….

    JIM MORA: Ahhhhhh, after the horrific scenes we’ve all seen in Japan, surely there must be huge concerns about the use of nuclear power. I read in the New York Times toda—-

    BARNETT: [impatiently] Look, I suspect that emotionally there will be a response against it. It was an OLD plant.

    FARRAR: [with gravitas] I think the environmental movement will come to EMBRACE nuclear power.

    MORA: Well, uhhhhhh, joining us on the Panel we have Philip Ross, who is the chairman of the New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council. Hello, Philip!

    PHILIP ROSS: Hello Jim, and hello to your panelists.

    MORA: Philip, uhhhhh, how SERIOUS is this accident in Japan?

    PHILIP ROSS: This is not so serious. It’s certainly not any more serious than the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979.

    MORA: But that was pretty serious, wasn’t it!?!???!?

    PHILIP ROSS: Look, ten thousand people were killed by the tsunami. Let’s put things in perspective. If it had been a hydro-electric power station, it would have collapsed and caused ANOTHER tsunami! There are risks in everything. Look at the oil spill off Florida last year!

    MORA: Uhhhhh. Y-yes, but—

    PHILIP ROSS: Coal mining is dangerous! There are risks in everything we do.

    FARRAR: [slowly and portentously] I was STAGGERED to read the death toll from coal-mining is FIVE THOUSAND people per year. Mostly in China, of course. We need to keep things in perspective. The Japanese authorities are saying that the risk of a radioactive leak is low. I think we have to take their word.

    PHILIP ROSS: Yes indeed! We’re dealing with a phenomenon called “decay heat”. But I won’t get into the technical side too much. The explosion really didn’t threaten anyone’s life.

    BARNETT: Quite right!

    PHILIP ROSS: The most likely outcome is zero fatalities, zero injuries.

    BARNETT: Look, you have a problem with ANY fuel. As Philip’s alluded to, we had the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

    ROSS: A lot of the opposition to nuclear power is perception-based, and we all know how perception can be stronger than reality.

    FARRAR: Mmmmm, mmmmm.

    BARNETT: Exactly.

    ROSS: In Fukushima, it wasn’t the earthquake, it was the tsunami that did the damage, and that is a risk you can mitigate.

    MORA: Philip Ross, chairman of New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council, thank you very much.

    [et cetera, ad nauseam…]

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      I liked the weird bit where Farrar claimed that a single nuke plant would provide half of NZ’s energy needs and that the real danger was that we’d become too reliant on it. As if we’d stop most of our other power generation efforts if we went for a nuclear plant, eh. He also quoted some sciencey sounding KW generation figures which came across to me like he’d googled it in the cab to the studio without scaling it to NZ power needs.

    • Bored 5.2

      This Philip Ross can hardly be seen as being neutral….chairman of the New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council.

      To add to something Steve Withers said elsewhere on the blog this morning Being conservatives, it tends be WHO says something rather than the validity of what is being said. might I put up a real dissinterested expert, one with academic qualifications in this field. This is more credible and from SOMEBODY with authoritive knowledge.

      http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-13/how-black-japanese-nuclear-swan

    • uke 5.3

      “The most likely outcome is zero fatalities, zero injuries”

      There are already were injuries from the Fukushima disaster and Ross came out with this! Mind-boggling.

    • Lanthanide 5.4

      Well they’re right, but very shallow. I also think Farrar is just saying things to be controversial.

      Philip is wrong anyway, there have been at least 15 injuries of workers from the first two hydrogen explosions. Sure, it’s not radiation poisoning, but it’s still from the nuclear plant. Hydro-power stations or wind turbines don’t have hydrogen explosions.

      There’s reports of a 3rd explosion this morning also.

    • ianmac 5.5

      Saddens me to say but I agree with most of what they said. There does seem to be a determination by some to “blow up” the gravity of the nuclear station problems, and the evidence so far does not support that line. So far the problems have been largely contained especially when against the huge tsunami problems, yet some are determined to accuse the Japanese spokesmen of lying or with-holding information, and some are using the Chenobyl word to scare. Gets in the way of credible information.

    • Morrissey 5.6

      On his show today (Tuesday March 15th), which is happening as I write, Jim Mora is slightly less enthusiastic about the safety of nuclear power. Today’s panelists are the sonorous thespian Peter Elliott and the pompous, self-important lawyer and ex-ACT MP Stephen Franks.

      First up he talks to New Zealander Victoria Young, who is trapped in Sendai…

      JIM MORA: We were led to believe yesterday, uhhhhh, that the Japanese had the situation contained.

      VICTORIA YOUNG: Nobody trusts the Japanese government’s assurances. [CORRECTION: David Farrar does. And so do John Barnett and Philip Ross.]

      JIM MORA: Lordy, Lordy. Uhhhhhh. What are you doing now, Victoria?

      VICTORIA YOUNG: I’m getting out as fast as I can.

      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

      MORA: Uhhhh. We’re going to hear from Dr. David Krofcheck, an expert in experimental high energy nuclear physics at the University of Auckland. Uhhh, David, how BAD is the situation there?

      DR. KROFCHECK: This is a very bad situation. Reactor number four is on fire. If you do have a nuclear reactor and the steel core is cracked, it’s a really serious situation, and the radiation levels can affect the blood chemistry of people outside the plant. [“This is not so serious. … The explosion really didn’t threaten anyone’s life. … The most likely outcome is zero fatalities, zero injuries. —- Philip Ross, chairman of the New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council, on The Panel yesterday.]

      MORA: Ri-i-i-i-i-ight, so given THA-A-A-AT, the situation seems GRIMMER than we were led to believe yesterday. This news has surprised us ALL.

      DR. KROFCHECK: The leak will probably get worse. There will be no workers available to pour sea water onto the reactors. It’s a horrific situation.

      MORA: The winds are blowing toward Tokyo. Is 230 kilometers away enough to be safe?

      DR. KROFCHECK: We can’t be sure.

      ELLIOTT: How big is this in relation to Chernobyl?

      DR. KROFCHECK: Not as terrible as Chernobyl because there was no shielding at all at Chernobyl. But it’s still capable of affecting the blood chemistry of people.

      FRANKS: Is this the sort of thing that suits and protective gear can’t cope with?

      DR. KROFCHECK: Gamma radiation would penetrate the suits.

      MORA: Uhhhhh. David thank you. The fact there is radiation leakage, uhhhh. Are you surprised, given that everybody was saying yesterday that there was this containment structure in place?

      • Lanthanide 5.6.1

        “DR. KROFCHECK: This is a very bad situation. Reactor number four is on fire. If you do have a nuclear reactor and the steel core is cracked, it’s a really serious situation, and the radiation levels can affect the blood chemistry of people outside the plant. [“This is not so serious. … The explosion really didn’t threaten anyone’s life. … The most likely outcome is zero fatalities, zero injuries. —- Philip Ross, chairman of the New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council, on The Panel yesterday.]”

        Yesterday, ie Monday, is before the 3rd explosion at reactor #2, and before the fire at reactor #4. It is possible that the 3rd explosion at reactor #2 has damaged the steel containment vessel, and that the fire at #4 may also be spreading radioactive particles into the atmosphere, although the latest news on the fire is that it has been put out.

        So Philip Ross was correct yesterday (although there were already 15 injuries from hydrogen explosions at that point, as I said up at #5.4).

  6. joe90 6

    Boingboing: Nuclear energy 101, technical details illustrated and from the SMH, fuel rods ‘fully exposed’ for more than two hours at Fukushima.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Boingboing does it well Joe. Interesting to note that the explosion was Hydrogen a byproduct of electrolysis. The Hydrogen is not part of the reactor chamber yet some seem determined to imply it was so.
      At Chernobyl the rods had been lifted in order to allow the heat to build up but were left out too long. The rods swelled as they heated but were then unable to fit back into their chambers so blew up. Nothing like Japan.

      • joe90 6.1.1

        Not good

        .The radiation level at the troubled nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture shot up to 8,217 micro sievert per hour temporarily Tuesday morning after an explosion was heard at its No. 2 reactor, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

        The level as of 8:31 p.m. was more than eight times the 1,000 micro sievert level to which people are usually exposed in one year.

        From Wiki answers: Chernobyl

        Immediately after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, much larger doses were experienced. All of the 22 who received more than 6,000 mSv died. Seven of the 23 who received 4,000-6,000 mSv also died, as did one of the 158 receiving 1,000-4,000 mSv..

        • joe90 6.1.1.1

          Correction: I’ve fucked up the units above, 8,217 micro sieverts/hour = 8.217mSv/hour so I’ve over cooked things by 1000 or so.Sorry.

          • uke 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but now (via Stuff)…

            “3.52pm: Radiation up to 400 times the annual legal limit has been measured near the quake-hit Fukushima atomic power plant, it has been reported.”

            • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1.1

              A sense of creeping horror unfolding. I’m deeply affected by the plight of those people who by staying at the Fukushima site are throwing away their lives to save their nation.

              Worth reading this little known episode from the Chenobyl disaster.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The science type guy on the panel was freaking me out with his tone.

                • Morrissey

                  “This is not so serious. It’s certainly not any more serious than the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979.”—Philip Ross, chairman of the New Zealand Atomic Energy Advocacy Council

                  • Lanthanide

                    At the time he said it, he was correct. See #5.6.1.

                    • Vicky32

                      What the? C’mon, Lanth, why are you defending Ross? He’s got an obvious stake in down-playing it all..
                      Don’t be so conservative, please!

              • joe90

                Greg Palast

                Here are the facts about Tokyo Electric and the industry you haven’t heard on CNN:

                The failure of emergency systems at Japan’s nuclear plants comes as no surprise to those of us who have worked in the field.

                Nuclear plants the world over must be certified for what is called “SQ” or “Seismic Qualification.” That is, the owners swear that all components are designed for the maximum conceivable shaking event, be it from an earthquake or an exploding Christmas card from Al Qaeda.

                The most inexpensive way to meet your SQ is to lie. The industry does it all the time. The government team I worked with caught them once, in 1988, at the Shoreham plant in New York. Correcting the SQ problem at Shoreham would have cost a cool billion, so engineers were told to change the tests from ‘failed’ to ‘passed.’

                The company that put in the false safety report? Stone & Webster, now the nuclear unit of Shaw Construction which will work with Tokyo Electric to build the Texas plant, Lord help us.

                edit:

                The science type guy on the panel was freaking me out with his tone.

                The science guy sounded worried too.

                • After the fourth explosion and France with their statement about Tokyo, I’m getting increasingly apprehensive. Is this another 9-11 paradigm shifting world event?

                  There are maps in the ether showing radiation spreading across the pacific, via the trade winds, to america. Snopes has debunked it but what type of person wants to ramp up the fear like that? The truth will be bad enough.

                  http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fallout.asp

                  arohanui to the Japanese people.

                  • Anne

                    There are maps in the ether showing radiation spreading across the pacific, via the trade winds, to america. Snopes has debunked it but what type of person wants to ramp up the fear like that? The truth will be bad enough.

                    Yes that’s possible. If radiation contaminated air gets into the upper level west/east jet stream then it could reach the west coast of North America. However, it’s not likely to be of a sufficient level of contamination to be dangerous to human beings. Having said that…….

  7. Sanctuary 7

    What will King Gerry I do for the precious Art Deco architecture of Napier? Bulldoze the lot under an order in council?

    http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/local/news/bay-buildings-seen-as-real-risk/3944065/

    “…Since 2006, initial inspections have shown that there were potentially hundreds of old buildings in the twin cities needing structural work to come up to just 33 per cent of compliance to code for new buildings…”

  8. Bunji 8

    Labour’s Christchurch Bulletin 4 for people in Christchurch wanting info.
    (I didn’t post a link to 3 yesterday, so here’s that one too).

  9. BLiP 9

    Yet more evidence, as if any were needed, of endemic fraud through out the US finance industry:

    . . . While all the allegations in the leaked documents involve Bank of America (BAC) — through a soon to be ex-subsidiary called Balboa Insurance — they also implicate many other big banks that are clients of Balboa, including: “GMAC, Aurora Loan Services [a subsidiary of Lehman Bros Holdings], IndyMac Federal Bank [a subsidiary of OneWest Bank], Saxon, HSBC, PennyMac [a collection agency started by former Countrywide Home Loans executive Stan Kurland after CHL and Balboa were sold to BAC], Downey Savings and Loans, Financial Freedom, Select Portfolio Services, Wells Fargo/Wachovia and [BofA] . . .

    Download leaked emails from here: http://www.2shared.com/file/5rJiJjGy/boa2.html . . . get ’em while you can, keep your eyes open, there will be more. Any help with mirrors much appreciated.

  10. vto 10

    How much can people take when it comes to one disaster after another?

    A venture into the CBD to check on some decades of work brought an already brimming well of emotion to overflow. People only have so much capacity. What will be its expression.

    Crumbled buildings, broken buildings, leaning buildings, you could almost see the history and lives spent in them, laughter and tears of the years, spilled onto the streets, lying desolate. Shattered dreams drifting like lost ghosts. Shattered lives abandoned and running.

    I weep.

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      Please contact PM’s office.
      He will speedily jump on the plane and bring his smiles and waves to the crumbled buildings, broken buildings, leaning buildings, etc.

    • r0b 10.2

      I’ve seen more of the city now, but still not the centre. Thank you for this comment – I’m putting it up as a post.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    5 useless political phrases

    4. Political correctness (or “PC”): This means, essentially, adherence to a mildly leftist political orthodoxy in which one chooses language to avoid offending minorities. The right uses it as a phrase of utter dismissiveness, apparently unaware that as far back as the 1970s the New Left was using it in the exact same way. The phrase is now used to dismiss ideas that are merely liberal or progressive. In other words, the phrase now means “everything conservatives don’t like”.

    That’s probably the most concise and accurate definition of PC that I’ve ever seen.

    • Bored 11.1

      Yeah but it gets worse: the Left (which includes me) have a horrible habit of laying prostrate at the foot of “politically correct” principles. Its also a way of being made to accept what you dont agree with and to tow the party line. It stifles robust debate on our side, no wonder the Right use it with such relish.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Yeah I see plenty of this within the so-called political Left. In some crowds if you speak up you can expect your stock to drop and drop hard.

        • M 11.1.1.1

          ‘ In some crowds if you speak up you can expect your stock to drop and drop hard.’

          Always a danger CV. Just as there are variations of belief and opinions on the right they still hold to fairly broadly based principles and the same should be allowed for the left. For example, I often wonder if all the things democracy has gifted to us in the West have made us willing to tolerate behaviours we wouldn’t countenance for people born in NZ such as secret underage marriages or female genital mutilation for adherents of Islam. I don’t hate anyone but can’t help but think that such treatment of women is a form of hatred. Similarly I recoil from the way Christianity has been used to let women know their place perhaps more subtly through emotional blackmail or guilt-tripping. Believe in who/what you like but don’t use it to hurt or keep others down.

          I’m a lefty with a slim conservative streak and know righties who have some left leanings in that they realise that bashing beneficiaries is useless and unfair when there are no jobs and are big enough to admit that wallies like Key are maiking us look like fools on the world stage.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            If we can only gift your even handed world view to a few more peeps out there who seem to have absolutely none of the same, we might be able to make some real progress on some significant issues. Short of that, I think we’ll just need to keep holding on for dear life.

      • lprent 11.1.2

        Yeah but it gets worse: the Left (which includes me) have a horrible habit of laying prostrate at the foot of “politically correct” principles.

        I don’t. People either put up with me (literally) or they don’t. I really don’t care much one way or the other. Most of the time I’m only interested in the projects

        Curiously, I never have any issues with any ‘minorities’ regardless if I worked in a factory or with a programming team. People are people. If they have quirks, then I have seen better ones somewhere amongst my inordinately large extended families where the rulesets are a little less clear cut. You either just use quirks where they are useful or work around them.

        In any case, most of the time I was/am the minority. I’m also as quirky as hell. For instance try finding a picture of me on the net… 😈

    • Jim Nald 11.2

      John Key — yet to read reports, still fudging, and looking to the next photo-ops — puts on a brave face to smile and wave away questions raised internationally as to whether RWC matches could be staged in Christchurch:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/4769485/PM-quashes-bleak-World-Cup-report

      Anyone care to peer into Key’s diary? Heads up for the rest of the week:

      * Fri 18 Mar: Prince William visit

      * “The future of Rugby World Cup games being held in Christchurch should be clearer by the end of the week” (erm, Sat 19 Mar ??): http://newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=192347

      • Descendant Of Smith 11.2.1

        As I sit in my Ferrari cruising around Oahu, taking in the view, stopping off to buy a few clothes – maybe go to car-wash – occasionally a bit of cosmetic surgery – I think about the country I grew up in – that little place called New Zealand. It’s nice to be Prime Minister I guess but not as nice as this. Here I’ve got photoops organised for me – I just have to drive there. The seaview from the light-house, the observatory under a full moon, the skyscrapers down by the ocean – ahh no need to fret.

        As I zoom around I get a request to drive a damsel in distress – hmm is that Liz. Ahh all my dreams come true. I showboat a bit speeding through traffic narrowly missing oncoming cars. I glance sideways while driving and I can just see a hint of thigh.

        No BMW’s over here sadly – I did think about that other German brand of car – the SLS AMG looks nice but if I crashed it I know you wouldn’t be able to get the S-Merc off my face.

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        Whoops sorry bout that been playing Test Drive Unlimited 2 too much I’m going slightly delusional.

        I’m sure someone could have a bit of fun with this game and some video capture and editing gear though. Even for screenshots while the PM is on holiday.

    • felix 11.3

      Draco I like this definition too, from Stewart Lee:

      It’s an often clumsy negotiation toward a kind of formally inclusive language and there’s all sorts of problems with it but it’s better than what we had before.

      Excellent video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGAOCVwLrXo&feature=related

    • M 11.4

      Nice one Draco, the religious liberty “definition” is spot on too. Conservatives in the US bang on about theocracies in the ME but they’re trying to create the same on US soil too.

  12. Tony 12

    Am I the only person offended by the Dom Post’s “Apocalypse Now” headline to describe the carnage left behind by the tsunami? Tawdry and tasteless. Why not use movie titles to describe all events involving death.

    For the next story about a teen mauled by a shark: “Jaws”

    When the next major volcanic eruption wipes out a village: “Joe and the Volcano”

    For the next Katrina: “The Perfect Storm”

    When a cruise ship gets sunk: “The Poseidon Adventure”

    What’s the difference between the Dom and a tabloid? Nothing.

    • The Voice of Reason 12.1

      And it’s really not racist to use that film’s title, because its so hard to tell Vietnam and Japan apart, eh?

    • Marty G 12.2

      I agree.

      It’s like how the reporters (and the PM) compared the damage in Christchurch to a movie.

      and don’t get me started on how they call every scandal ‘-gate’

  13. M 14

    ‘ HEY TEACHER: LEAVE THOSE AUTOCRATIC REGIMES ALONE!

    RICHARD HEINBERG (PCI Senior Fellow-in-Residence)

    Many in the US cheered as decrepit dictators in Egypt and Tunisia fell. But now that more democracy for North African and Middle Eastern nations seems to translate to higher gasoline prices for American motorists, the real motives for, and costs of Western nations’ decades-long support for autocratic regimes in oil-rich nations are becoming apparent. This was a strategy to control the world’s most important resource, but it was wrong-headed from the start because it could not be sustained on the backs of millions of people with rising expectations but declining ability to afford food and fuel.

    If somehow the uprisings can be confined to Libya, Yemen, and Bahrain, oil-importing nations may be able to weather 2011 with minimal GDP declines resulting from $100 oil prices. But that is a big “if.” It is really only a matter of time until Saudi Arabia is engulfed in sectarian and political turmoil, and when that happens we will see biggest oil price spike ever, and central banks will be unable to stop the ensuing economic carnage.

    It’s both comic and sad to see certain economists insisting that a 10 percent rise in oil prices will translate only to a certain smaller percentage of decline in GDP growth. There are thresholds—such as $5 a gallon gasoline for US motorists—that will make hash of such forecasts. Energy is not a segment of the economy; it IS the economy.

    I think we’re probably in for a very nasty ride these next few months.’

    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-10/6-energy-experts-address-economic-impact-middle-east-unrest

  14. big bruv 15

    Oh there you are D4J, still stalking me around the Internet, still stalking and still getting it wrong.

    For the record, I do not hate Christchurch at all, there are some people that live there who I have no time for and some who I think should be locked up but I do not hate the place.

    Anyway, come over to Farrars and say hi, I know you miss me.

    Plus, I don’t think the people here are particularly interested in your obsession with me.

    • “Obsession” with a [deleted].Hardly matey! Friggin hell what a crackpot loser [deleted].

      Pity you can’t dail a demerit over here you gutless creep! Nark away coward. Really get some treatment you twisted unit. You have stated your hatred of Christchurch for years on kiwiblog. Don’t you read your lies? Don’t answer just f### off you wacko liar.

      [Dad, we won’t have speculation on people’s identities here. Do it again and you’ll be banned again. I lifted your last ban only because of the Christchurch earthquake – please don’t make me regret it. — r0b]

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    People hatin on the Fox all the time, but really. awesome.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/03/14/this-aint-no-disco/

    It’s not simple to do that sort of thing. That’s some quality incompetence right there on the screen.

  16. Rosy 17

    How did Sendai end up way down south? Pin the tail on the dokey?

  17. big bruv 18

    Iprent, Rob, or any of the other moderators.

    Can you please do something with this nutter D4J, for some reason he has decided to chase me all over the bloody internet as he has an obsession with me (I think it might be sexual)

    As you can see he quickly ruins any thread he enters with is narcissistic rants.

    It is your call of course but it might be a good idea to do something with the man, normal conversation is impossible when he is around.

    [We can’t do anything about the bloody internet, and we don’t care about your spat. Here on The Standard you can both comment as long as you don’t violate the policy. If one or the other or both of you disrupt things here then one or the other or both of you will cop a ban of some kind. That’s all we can do. — r0b]

    • haha I think it’s sexual. What a nutbar [deleted – see above — r0b]. What a low down twisted mongrel. What a gutless, timid creep you are. Your type make me vomit.

      [lprent: Gave you a ban on the original thread after I had to move all of this junk over to OpenMike. ]

    • big bruv 18.2

      Suit yourself Rob, as I say it is your place and your rules.

      Just be ready for him to jack every thread that you post, the man is clearly obsessed with me.

      BTW, I am not having a ‘spat’ with the idiot, I am quite happy to ignore the fool but he keeps chasing me around like a love sick teenager…oh well, guess it is the price of being popular.

      Oh..and Rob, I am not bothered about d4j attempting to “out me”, he has been at it for nearly a year now and is no closer to the truth than he was twelve months ago.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.3

      Are you sure it’s not because you owe him money, Bruv?

  18. M 19

    ‘Maher’s rant came during the show-ending “New Rules” segment; he introduced the topic by saying, “Television networks have to stop making shows that try and put a happy ending on America’s enormous wealth disparity, and instead make a show called Shine My Shoes, Fuckface!” and continuing with, “Come on! This is America, where the top 400 people have more money than the bottom 150 million combined.” (Is anyone else surprised—even somewhat—by that figure?)’

    http://tv.gawker.com/#!5781426/bill-maher-to-poor-people-stop-thinking-your-interests-are-the-same-as-the-rich

    • prism 19.1

      M – Love that pilot? ‘Shine my Shoes, Fuckface!’. Some years back there were USA tv shows about poor black families living in multi projects or tracts or some name for the institutional slums. The oldest boy slept on a fold-down couch in the sitting room.

      But the novelty of taking an interest in the challenges and small triumphs of the lower class has lost out to the ersatz glamour and competition of ‘reality’ shows ie Big Brother and Lost on an island Tribe etc where they are on a modern treasure hunt and waste each other figuratively – sort of Lord of the Flies approach to life.

      • Vicky32 19.1.1

        Have you seen two revolting shows on TV 1? (I have managed to avoid them, but I can’t avoid promos..
        ‘Undercover Boss USA’, where some CEO goes “undercover” and works as a grunt, on the lowest level of his own company for a while – discovers and solves the personal problems of one of his workers, becoming “Lord Bountiful”.
        The other one “How the Other Half Lives” features a rich family and a poor family. From the promos I’ve seen it’s about the rich family (always white) showing the poor family (usually black) how it’s done – I presume it’s all a Rupert Murdoch thing – it acts as if the UK had exactly the same kind of education system and welfare state as the USA…
        It all seems to be about promoting private charity instead of any kind of social welfare.
        Deb
        (Having by choice never watched either of these pieces of sh*te, I could be wrong, but I suspect I am not.)

        • prism 19.1.1.1

          vicky32 I suspect you are right too. Think I have seen Undercover Boss, I don’t think it’s as funny as The Office with Ricky Gervais. It is entertainment for ‘us’ isn’t it? The wealthy know how to live and what is important in life so they have wisdom to pass on to the poor! Not necessarily. But they do know how to make and hold onto money, that is something I should learn.

          Now I realise I should be watching these shows! My attention would have been drawn if they had been called ‘Undercover Educational Finance – How to be a Millionaire in 10 weeks’. As it is I waste my time watching Classic Millionaire when it is on. The best quiz show ever,

  19. Jenny 20

    “A third explosion at the plant is now confirmed to have damaged the containment vessel around the plant’s reactor no. 3.”

    The New York Times

    “Some 800 staff have now been withdrawn from the plant, leaving just 50 workers struggling to cool the reactors with sea water – presumably at significant personal risk.”

    The Guardian.

    These 50 workers will die.

    They know that their anti-contamination suits cannot protect them from the direct gamma radiation that radiates from the core in the event of a breach in the containment vessel.

    These fifty workers are sacrificing themselves to prevent an even worse disaster.

    I weep.

    • prism 20.1

      The Japanese nuclear workes have been in my mind too. They have not been forced by poverty to go overseas and slave for wealthy countries as thousands do as virtual indentured labour, and with no care or concern for them as seen in Libya – people with nowhere to go but the airport and who can’t afford a ticket out anyway. I weep.

      But the workers at the nuclear plant would never have imagined the disaster and responsibility confronting them. Perhaps we will have a one minute’s silence for their sacrifice. The unknown worriers who cannot just up and leave but must keep faith with their special expertise. The Chernobyl workers also made huge sacrifices I think.

      • Jenny 20.1.1

        Prism, in reply, the helicopter pilots of Chenoble, the oppressed peoples of the Middle East, the nobility of the Japanese nuclear technicians sacrificing their lives, are all victims of the market and the political leaders who put making profit over human welfare and the natural world.

        • prism 20.1.1.1

          Jenny There was no implied criticism of your comment. A commentator on the Libyan conditions heard that morning came to mind, and I felt I had to include them. So many disasters, one can supplant all the others.

    • Marty G 20.2

      it’s a matter of exposure time, a bit like cooking, really hot (high radiation levels) will do it near instantly, a low heat will take all day. The levels they have now are still low-ish. as long as the workers are replaced within a safe time, they should be ok.

  20. jbanks 21

    It seems Labour is not much better

    “Phil Goff says call to shoot looters a joke”

    http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/8988281/phil-goff-says-call-to-shoot-looters-a-joke/

    [lprent: Looks like a standard diversion troll. Moved to OpenMike.

    BTW: I’m sure that I saw several of these in auto-spam last night as duplicate messages. You need to look at the FAQ to find out how to encapsulate the links because Akismet thinks you’re a spambot. You also need to look at the content on your message so it doesn’t think the rest of the message came from a troll or bot. I’m not going to pull these out of spam forever. ]

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