Open mike 15/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, May 15th, 2014 - 208 comments
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208 comments on “Open mike 15/05/2014”

  1. karol 1

    NZ Herald editorial shilling for the Nats again – not “cash for access” just people paying money hoping for the Nats to be re-elected.

    People who are prepared to pay several hundred dollars for a dinner attended by the Prime Minister or one of his ministers undoubtedly do so because they want his Government to be re-elected, and, if they are honest, the occasion makes them feel like members of a privileged circle well plugged into the Government, at least while the function lasts.

    This is a successful fundraising formula for political parties everywhere, especially in the United States where the President and members of Congress spend a good deal of their time speaking at fundraisers.

    Tories everywhere do it. So, that’s alright then. /sarc.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      I’m not sure The Herald will do National any favours comparing them to Congress.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Especially after it was revealed that the US is now an oligarchy. And the reason it is is because of the rich buying buying congress.

    • Oh yes, the American political funding system, that’s something we want to emulate. 🙄

      • blue leopard 1.2.1

        “[what Stephanie said]”…they all cheered, on watching the rope being created that will hang them.

  2. miravox 2

    How to justify a current mining tragedy Erdoğan style

    “I went back in British history. Some 204 people died there after a mine collapsed in 1838. In 1866, 361 miners died in Britain. In an explosion in 1894, 290 people died there,” Erdoğan said on a visit to the grieving town of Soma.

    “Take America with all of its technology and everything … In 1907, 361 [miners died there],” he added. “These are usual things.”

    The prime minister also cited examples of early 20th century mine accidents in France and Japan. “In 1942, 1,549 miners died in China due to a mixture of gas and coal,” Erdoğan said. “Can you believe it?” he asked.

  3. anker 3

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/400895077-national-still-riding-high-with-voters—poll

    Mike Hoskings has got his figures wrong. National “over” 47% Labour 29%. I seem to remember in this poll Labour was 31 or even 33%.

    Riding high in the polls?? Not in the slightly more accurate Roy Morgan poll. I think you should have said in this poll Mike.

    • Paul 3.1

      We live in a country with a corrupt media serving the plutocracy.
      We’re quickly becoming like this.
      Pity there’s no documentary showing how owned the NZ media is.

    • Paul 3.2

      Hoskins.
      A popinjay.

      pop·in·jay [pop-in-jey]
      noun
      1. a person given to vain, pretentious displays and empty chatter; coxcomb; fop.

      • North 3.2.1

        Hoskings = Fop = Perfect. Nonetheless for the skinny jeans the boy hair the bedroom eyes connection with the camera and the just concealed sneer on the mutton mouth.

    • JanM 3.3

      Notice how Curiablog seems to have carelessly mislaid that Roy Morgan poll?

    • Bearded Git 3.4

      I’ve been thinking about the polls. I think we have been looking at them wrong.

      The starting point should be, can this National government get 47%+ to vote for them again?

      Answer (IMHO): Not a chance. They may convince 42-43%.

      Ergo: The Left will win in September. Lab/Gr/ManaIp 49%

  4. Paul 4

    Guyon Espiner’s sly and sneaky bias is slowly undermining Morning Report.
    We have switched him off rather than listening to the bias day in day out.

    RNZ was the one last piece of independent mainstream media in the country.
    I’m starting to feel like what it was like to live in East Germany in the 1970s.

    • captain hook 4.1

      he was at his weaselly best this morning but winston got the better of him. The thing is these popinjays believe that they are better and more important than the MP’s themselves. Listening to the whiner right now he has the tory shill o’sullivan on and she cant tell the difference between the singular and plural. These people are so up themselves that they believe that no r rules of any description apply to them. Its worse than east germany. Its a cross between disneyland and 1984 and its not looking good.

    • miked999 4.2

      “I’m starting to feel like what it was like to live in East Germany in the 1970s” – really? Do you have any idea what it was actually like to live there, or are you just prone to hyperbole? We live in one of the best countries on earth, at one of the best times in history, and enjoy freedoms the East Germans could only dream of in the 1970s.

      You can travel freely about the country; you can travel freely overseas; you can access education, healthcare, and engage with the democratic process. Above all you can spout complete rubbish such as that above, and freely criticise the government without the Stasi coming to your house and arresting you, your family and everyone you work with.

      The reality of our political environment is that regardless of which party you support, we enjoy a stable government in which our trading partners have confidence and which is underpinned by a strong economy. You’ve never had it so good, and you don’t even know you’re born.

  5. Paul 5

    Most New Zealanders really aren’t benefiting from this rock star economy, are they?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11255016

  6. swordfish 6

    A few points about the latest Fairfax poll:

    (1) Its results quite violently clash with the most recent Roy Morgan.

    (2) Over the last 2 election cycles, roughly half the Fairfax Polls have been pretty much in tune with other polls taken around the same time, but the other half have always skewed to the Right. Fairfax never has a Left-leaning outlier, but plenty of Right-leaning ones.

    (3) Unlike previous coverage of Fairfax polls, there’s no mention in the Dominion Post or on-line about the “Change of Government” question.

    This measurement is really the elephant-in-the-room as far as Tracy Watkins and Vern Small’s analyses are concerned. What readers don’t often realise (because often obscured by the Dom Post’s analysis) is that almost always more than half of Fairfax poll respondents say they do indeed want a change of government.

    And yet, at one and the same time, National and the Right Bloc always lead the Left Bloc in Fairfax’s Party Vote results – poll after poll.

    How can this be ? Well, those who are Undecided on the Party Vote are, of course, excluded from the poll’s party vote results. But not from the “Change of Government” results.

    All of which suggests that in every one of Fairfax’s recent polls – a clear majority of Undecideds favour a Left-leaning government, while less than a quarter of Undecideds support the present government. (seems to be a particularly strong pattern among women who are Undecided). And this suggests to me they’re probably “undecided” between Labour and Green (or possibly Labour/Green and non-voting) rather than between Labour and National or Left and Right.

    (4) And. as I’ve pointed out in the very recent past, we need to bear in mind that both National and Right Bloc support has been consistently and significantly over-stated (month after month) throughout the 18 months leading up to the last 2 general elections.

    Here’s some revealing stats from 2008 and 2011 Fairfax Polls:

    2008

    February Nat 55%
    April Nat 52%
    May Nat 56%

    2008 Election Nat 45%

    2011

    July Nat 56%
    August Nat 57%

    2011 Election Nat 47%

    • swordfish 6.1

      So – to finish off – what do the 2008 / 2011 Fairfax results presented in my previous comment suggest, given that in the latest Fairfax the Nats are polling a grand total of 47% ? Are we looking at roughly 37% for our Fine Feathered Tory Chums this September ? Or am I being just a little too generous to them there ?

    • Tiger Mountain 6.2

      Which is why the various “get out the vote” campaigns are so vital, people have to be persuaded to participate rather than be manipulated by Fear Facts polls and think the torys will win so why bother.

    • kenny 6.3

      Excellent points Swordfish.

      I still think polls should be banned for the 3 weeks prior to election day.

    • geoff 6.4

      Nice work, Swordfish!

  7. mickysavage 7

    Wow, Brendan Horan just said on morning report that Winston Peters has been employing Simon Lusk for advice using the NZ First Leader’s budget.

    I wonder what Cameron Slater thinks?

    UPDATE: Peters has just come onto morning report and is fuming and has denied everything. I don’t blame him. Suggesting that he had hired Simon Lusk is pretty defamatory …

    • cricklewood 7.1

      If Lusk has his ear I would think it highly unlikely to end up heading left if he is king maker.
      Some sort of unholy deceitful insurance policy for the Nats been thrashed out using a middleman?

      Or Horan could be blowing smoke…

      Or Horan realises he is headed for electoral oblivion and has decided to spend the last few months attempting to take Peters with him. He possibly knows enough to make Winstons life a bit uncomfortable for a while…

      • bad12 7.1.1

        Yes, whispering through the back of my mind as i listened to Brendan Who and Winston Peters on the wireless this morning was the little chant, ”fight you bastards fight”,

        Could He tho is the real question here, Brendan Who topple Winston from the heady heights of ”King-maker” that is,

        The race horse appears not to have any legs both in the press and on the track but IF Brendan Who can produce the smoking gun which shows the alleged ”mis-spending” by Peters from the NZFirst ‘leaders budget’ Peters and therefor NZFirst might just suffer electorally,

        i have my doubts, Brendan Who has taken a scatter gun approach, ala His ex mentor, to throw out a variety of allegations about Peters claiming to have the proof and ”next week” He will reveal the ”smoking gun” of proof,(classic Winston Peters),

        Here’s hoping, come on Brendan Who show us all what your made of, stout stuff or just shit,???…

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.1

          In my dedication to bring some lightness and laughter to the darkness produced by political discussion I give you two versions of Whispering Grass all about – ‘not to tell the blathering trees, it’s no secret anymore. Why tell them the old things’ Winston might say to Brendan Horan. (I thought he sounded like Jamie Whyte coming on strong against Winston. Brendan certainly tried to do a number on him. There’s no fury like a politician scorned eh.)

          Don Estelle’s fine voice from a small frame with Windsor Davies hamming it up alongside – gold!

          And Don at our very own Ohaka Aerodrome with NZs at leisure on a fine day.

          Better known as ‘Lofty’ Sugden from the British TV comedy series ‘It ‘Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, Don Estelle had a hit with this song back in the mid-1970’s alongside co-star Windsor Davies.
          This performance was filmed at the Classic Fighters 2003 airshow in Blenheim, New Zealand, a short five months before Don died in August 2003

    • Chooky 7.2

      another attempt by the Right to take out Peters?…the personal and legacy costs of Peters going with Nact would be absolutely dire

      • cricklewood 7.2.1

        Depends,

        If its a beat up its all about Horan getting utu and im sure the right will facilitate that.

        If true I worry that something much more machiavillian is going on in terms of post election negotiation.

        Or its a combination in that its public knowledge Key has little time for both Peters and Lusk and he is using Horan to discredit them both in one hit.

        So Horan is either a whistle blower to scheming or a man with a chip on his shoulder with nothing to lose

        • bad12 7.2.1.1

          My pick is this is Brendan Who’s parting shot at Peters, quite clever timing from Mr Who, should the allegations turn out to have some evidence behind them and thus gain traction through the media some real damage could be the end result in terms of votes for NZFirst,

          Considering the latest Roy Morgan, Brendan Who managing to do some real damage to the NZFirst vote in September is way far worse news for National than for Labour/Green, my calculations say that National have ditched any idea of trying to promote Colon Craig’s Conservatives into the Parliament and is ‘gambling’ on Winston opting to side with National after the numbers have been counted in September,(which will require National to cut adrift Dunne),

          The IF in all this i see as being the proposed Mana/Internet alliance, IF this goes ahead i can see such an alliance gaining 4% of the vote, and, as the latest Roy Morgan showed, that 4% could well come without harming in any way a rising Labour/Green % of support, that’s a Labour/Green Government right there without having Winston dictating anything to anyone,

          Hence the desperation, outlined in Lprent’s post on the evil baby look-a-like’s (Farrar),latest piece of bullshit attempting to slur Cunliffe, and, Mickey Savages latest on Slippery the Prime Ministers desperate ”tax cuts coming” when even His Finance Minister knew nothing about any such plan…

      • Chooky 7.2.2

        New Lows for Morning Report!

        i do hope the pants are sued off Guy Espiner and Morning Report for defamation!!!…and Paul Thompson for allowing it…. these accusations against Peters are entirely gratuitous and amount to bias and defamation

        ….and Suzie Ferguson on it was absolutely appalling the other week when interviewing Lianne Dalzeil…i was interested in hearing what Dalzeil had to say but couldnt….because Ferguson kept loudly interrupting and talking over her ( i did not get around to making a complaint but I know others also thought it was disgusting)

        • Paul 7.2.2.1

          Morning Report starting to sound like Hosking in the morning.
          Welcome to the 1 party state, NZ.

    • captain hook 7.3

      whats even worse is the little whining weasel tied to put Winston on the spot as if horan has more credibility than Winston.
      Radio New Zealand should be ashamed of themselves employing somebody of the calibre of guyon espiner. He whines and whinges and pretence of objectivity is absent.
      They [RNZ] have loaded themselves up with a cadre of infantilised mental midgets who are not up to the job of presenting news qua news but are revealed as mere propagandists.
      They all scratch each others backs and pretend that their behaviour is normal when it is descending into the slime of goebels and his style.

    • ffloyd 7.4

      Horan sounds like he is auditioning for the natz party. He goes on to boring espiners show to dish the dirt and then says that he can’t comment further because of the budget and “we have a country to run” etc. Pure keyspeak. I was shocked that gaspiner allowed horan to call Peters a thief outright. Wouldn’t want to be in Brendan’s shoes!

    • veutoviper 7.5

      After Horan’s claims on Morning Report, I suspect some lawyers are very busy right now! LOL.

      Just checked RNZ’s site, and nothing re Horan’s claims in the News section that I could see; and the Morning Report play back section does not include the Horan or Peters’ interviews.

      Wonder how Espiner is enjoying his new job today?

      • freedom 7.5.1

        They way Espiner just sat there, allowing enormous amounts of dead air between Horan’s accusations, was a starkly suspicious contrast to his usual yapping mid-sentence during answers.

        • veutoviper 7.5.1.1

          Exactly. Espiner should have shut the conversation/accusations immediately. I don’t have much time for Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon, but she handled Hooten’s faux pas a few months ago very professionally in shutting it down immediately ( I cannot even remember what it was!)

          Instead, Espiner failed to do so and has probably landed RNZ in it as a result.

    • Clemgeopin 7.6

      My default position is (and I think the left inclined voters’ default position should be) that Winston is more likely to go with National after the election than with Labour.

      That is why I won’t feel safe and comfortable until the polls indicate that the total party vote support for Labour+Greens is close to or over 50 %.

  8. Chooky 8

    Internet Party web site is very, very impressive, as one would expect…still awesome!….if i was a techy (and not so interested in other parties) i would be tempted to join up!…my son is interested!

    ….my only issue is the smart meters…from what i have heard from a friend in Florida…they definitely are NOT a good idea!…..something about privacy and radiation…

    …can anyone elucidate?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Yes. The sky is falling. Take some tinfoil and make a hat, then go directly to your nearest secret government underground bunker and tell them you’re from Area 51.

      • Chooky 8.1.1

        OAB…not very helpful…there has been quite a debate about it in the USA

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          So what? All sorts of things get “debated” in the USA: whether 9/11 was perpetrated by the US government or the Illuminatii, whether the Moon landings were filmed in Florida or Mexico, whether Buzz Aldrin is secretly in league with the HAARP cabal.

          Take the global secret government, for example. Naturally, they’re all-pervasive and very very busy, as well as being invisible, so of course smart meters are part of the plan.

          What was I thinking?

      • yeshe 8.1.2

        Hi Chooky and Millsy … my personal view is less benevolent. Why would I want a modem equivalent to many dozens of cellphones on permanent link on the side of my house ? I arranged via Grey Power Electricity to have the Smart Meter here at my home removed … it was just outside my bedroom wall ! There is some good scientific research out there and everyone has the right to make an informed decision.

        This link at least offers access to some good advice and research.

        http://www.stopsmartmeters.org.nz/

      • yeshe 8.1.3

        OAB — bet you thought tobacco was as safe as Imperial Tobacco and Phil Morris told you it was for all those years too !!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.3.1

          The New Zealand radio-frequency exposure standard, in fact.

          I expect that’s all part of the secret government’s agenda though.

          • Ergo Robertina 8.1.3.1.1

            The respected Nature journal last week published a peer reviewed article that demonstrated electromagnetic radiation disrupts the migratory flights of birds.
            These things take a long time, but eventually such research, and other studies, may well pressure the New Zealand standard.
            Or perhaps the birds are just conspiracy theorists, or Nimbys?
            You need to do a bit more reading OAB before castigating others with your bombastic derision.
            .

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.3.1.1.1

              I heard a rumour once (I think it was in a “Physics” lecture) that Earth generates its own electromagnetic field which pervades everything, but that can’t be true because electromagnetic fields are poisonous.

              • Ergo Robertina

                Right, the safety standards are redundant then because of natural radiation.
                But you just cited the NZ RF standard as representing a safety threshold. Why do you cite that, if we don’t need safety limits? Which is it? Do we need a standard or not?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, we can rely on statements made by Phillip Morris in the 1950s.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I heard a rumour once (I think it was in a “Physics” lecture) that Earth generates its own electromagnetic field which pervades everything, but that can’t be true because electromagnetic fields are poisonous.

                    Geeezus mate perhaps you should have kept going to physics beyond 101 as you might have figured out that the electromagnetic field of the earth and the electromagnetic radiation output by RF transmitters have completely different characteristics, and is in fact a completely different form of energy. Bloody hell.

                    I’m guessing that you think that a 40kHz sound wave and a 40kHz RF wave are sort of similar too.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      An electromagnetic field is a completely different form of energy than an electromagnetic field? This is some profound science.

                      Or perhaps it’s all just a matter of amplitude and frequency. Let’s put it to an opinion poll.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      “that the electromagnetic field of the earth and the electromagnetic radiation output by RF transmitters have completely different characteristics, and is in fact a completely different form of energy.”

                      CV, can you explain that in a little more detail? You’ve lost me.

                      “I’m guessing that you think that a 40kHz sound wave and a 40kHz RF wave are sort of similar too.”

                      I assume you mean a 40 kHz radio wave vs a 40 kHz sound wave. There are similarities, but the differences are probably more important.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘No, we can rely on statements made by Phillip Morris in the 1950s.’

                    Spot on! Good to see you’re now showing some understanding OAB.
                    You’re right: the archaic industry-supported RF standard is decades out of date in only measuring thermal effects. The orthodoxy is slowing shifting – like tobacco it will take a long time.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Especially once the huge spike in tumours kicks in the way it did with cell-phone towers.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Or we could ask ourselves: “What causes more health problems, smart meters or irrational fear-induced stress?”

                  Then we could point to the global blancmange of wittering Chicken Little fear-mongers and notice how much more harm they do than any of the so-called evils they decry.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Or we could ask ourselves: “What causes more health problems, smart meters or irrational fear-induced stress?”

                    Sometimes it takes many years or even decades for health threats to be realised and acted on. There is a bloody long list of such failures by authorities and by the scientism fanciers like yourself. Being blase about it and pretending that people who raise the point are irrational does not help. Did you learn nothing from thalidomide? From the Dalkon shield? From the Unfortunate Experiment? From Vioxx? From BPA leaching from plastics?

                    Pretending that modern technology has not brought with it serious human costs, as well as serious human benefits, does not help.

                    Then we could point to the global blancmange of wittering Chicken Little fear-mongers and notice how much more harm they do than any of the so-called evils they decry.

                    Gosh you live in a little bubble. Do you have a smart phone? Maybe an iPhone? You do realise that all iPhones from 4S on have a warning, stored inside the phone and no doubt also buried in the paperwork fine print, that you are not to store the phone less than 10mm away from yourself, right? That for instance precludes you from putting the phone in your jeans pocket. Tell me, why do you think that is? Is Apple playing “chicken little” now too?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      +1 the fact warnings are quietly tucked into the phones now really does say a lot.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What a sad joke. People who cite a paper on the fact that birds can “see” an EMF as evidence of some sort of danger from smart meters then tell me I’m religious.

                      Still, thanks for alerting me to the 10mm rule, it certainly made me think twice about using my smart meter as a hot water bottle.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      PS: smart meters are not particularly analogous to cell-phones unless you are having trouble arguing your way out of a paper bag.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You do realise that all iPhones from 4S on have a warning, stored inside the phone and no doubt also buried in the paperwork fine print, that you are not to store the phone less than 10mm away from yourself, right?

                      That probably has something to do with this rather than RF.

          • weka 8.1.3.1.2

            “I expect that’s all part of the secret government’s agenda though.”

            Interesting. See I would think it’s more the result of ordinary people doing stupid things on the basis of a belief in Science as God. The capitalist imperative probably has a fair amount to do with it too.

            Whereas some of us prefer to work with the precautionary principle, as well as the principle of choice. Esp given how many times science has fucked up and told us everything is alright and then all the Science religionists have ridiculed any questioning of the Science as God doctrine.

            (and let’s save us all a lot of time and not assume that everyone who challenge’s the domination of science is anti-science or scientifically illiterate).

          • Ergo Robertina 8.1.3.1.3

            Read the BioInitiative Report.
            http://www.bioinitiative.org/

            This important independent evidence-based report is significant.
            Some European states are starting to adopt its precautionary principles.
            Independent non-industry science is crucial; your pro-industry hysteria is unhelpful OAB.

            • weka 8.1.3.1.3.1

              His religious fundamentalism isn’t helpful either.

              • Colonial Viper

                Or perhaps more accurately termed, secular or atheistic fundamentalism

                • weka

                  I think it’s more religious thing. I have no idea if OAB is atheist or not, but the belief in Science as god strikes me as religious. Religion in its faith and worship sense, not its spiritual sense. The etymology of religion is the Latin for obligation, bond, reverence 😉

                  • McFlock

                    Well, you might say it’s “belief in Science as god”, but I just reckon that we shouldn’t worry too much about stuff that has no clear evidence of harm after 3 decades or more of pervasive use across much of the globe.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      we shouldn’t worry too much about stuff that has no clear evidence of harm

                      Absence of evidence =! evidence of absence, etc.

                      On the other hand, maybe Monsanto has a point and after 20 years of development its time to go full tilt into GMO agriculture as the next best thing.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You might say it’s “belief in science as god”, and I might say that you cite science when it suits your argument and that’s called cherry picking.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, in this case absence of evidence is indeed evidence of some degree of absence.

                      e.g. we know to a certain level of surety that there is a distinct absence of, say, rapid and terminal brain cancer afflicting 99% of cellphone users within six months of their phone purchase.

                      There might be a one chance in several tens or hundreds of millions for cancer to result from a smart meter’s RF emissions. We don’t know either way.

                      But as OAB pointed out, stress as a serious risk factor for morbidity and mortality has been well demonstrated. So it’s the devil we have evidence for versus the devil we have no evidence for.

                      This doesn’t mean that monsanto or even motorola should be trusted (at the very least monsanto’s business practices raise serious questions about biodiversity, sustainability, and long term monopolisation). It just means that we needn’t jump at shadows, especially if we’re in broad daylight.

                    • McFlock

                      “certain level” as in “given level”.
                      Essentially a reasonableness test.

                      Bit unclear there, sorry about that.

                    • weka

                      “I might say that you cite science when it suits your argument and that’s called cherry picking.”

                      You could say that but it would be without evidence. On the otherhand, maybe I use science as one tool amongst others for understanding the worlds, and I pick which science to believe based on whether it’s good science, and whether it stands up to other tests of validity such as trustworthiness and integrity. What I don’t do is assume that all science is right or good or true. Nor do I believe that everything an be explained by science (ie science isn’t omniscient), or that science isn’t as flawed as the rest of human endeavour. I also know that science has been misused a lot, and that it has made enough mistakes to be cautious when it comes to human and environmental health. Further, science works within a specific set of principles (which is what makes it very good in some areas), but the world doesn’t operate solely within in those principles, hence those that belief it does are basing their belief on faith not evidence or other ways of knowing.

                      All of that is in the context of the precuationary principle.

                    • weka

                      McFlock, that’s a very convincing argument except for the fact that science is not that good at studying complex, multiple cause, interrlated events. Has a study been done on people living with smart meters who also use cell phones and have all the other exposures of modern life that might challenge health (including stress)?

                      Afaik, medical research simply doesn’t look at the world in that way. Plus it looks at populations, which is very useful unless you are the individual that gets ill.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Yeah sure, Weka, and as soon as I cite safety standards that explicitly acknowledge the potential dangers of this technology I’m exhibiting religious traits.

                      Raise the double standard.

                    • weka

                      You are missing the point OAB. I don’t really care about smart meters today, and although I am aware of the debate going on in NZ around this, I haven’t been following it enough to have an opinion about safety. So my comments aren’t about your views on smart meters, but your beliefs about science, how you use it, and how you ridicule people that don’t have your particular belief system. Science as god is just another form of funadmentalism. Don’t get me wrong, I see plenty of fundamentalism also amongst the alternative sub-cultures who are the ones that generally raise the alarm about new tech – it’s a human thing I guess.

                    • weka

                      Just so we are clear, here is where I entered the conversation,

                      Open mike 15/05/2014

                      in response to where you said:

                      “I expect that’s all part of the secret government’s agenda though.” and tied it into conspiracy theories.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      All you have to do now is demonstrate how asking for evidence, or relying on extant evidence, is the same as the notion that “science is god”.

                      It isn’t: you’re projecting.

                      As for the ridicule, if you know a better way to separate people from their deeply held beliefs, I’m all ears.

                    • McFlock

                      Weka,

                      Yes, the systems are complex. Yes, there is no one type of research that can answer all the questions – case/control, longitudinal, population, and even animal testing all answer parts of the question “is this shit something I need to worry about?”

                      Some of the most difficult tasks in medical science involve identifying “high consequence/low incidence” outcomes in complex situations – e.g. long term adverse reactions to different medicine combinations.

                      But that doesn’t get around the fact that we have more evidence as to the debilitating effects of stress (including worrying about health harms that might not exist) than we do about the debilitating effects of RF emissions from smart meters and cellphones (individually or combined).

                      So, nah – not bovvered. And that isn’t saying “science is god”. I just have no grounds to worry.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I have no idea if OAB is atheist or not, but the belief in Science as god strikes me as religious.

                    Well, I would say that it activates the exact same parts of the brain, yes.

                    The etymology of religion is the Latin for obligation, bond, reverence 😉

                    Thanks for that little bit of info!

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘What a sad joke. People who cite a paper on the fact that birds can “see” an EMF as evidence of some sort of danger from smart meters then tell me I’m religious.’

                      OAB, the paper said EMR disrupted the birds’ flights. It’s not relevant whether they can see it or not. The point is it has an effect at levels lower than the WHO/ICNIRP safety levels.
                      The article is relevant because even if you don’t care about birds (and many people do), animal models show there may be effects we can’t write off as psychosomatic.
                      The Science Media Centre is a government funded body aiming to increase the public’s awareness of science. Last week it disseminated this migratory bird flight paper to its stakeholders with no critical comment (they enlist local scientists to debunk work they perceive as ‘bad science’).
                      In case you don’t know, the SMC guys are the very pillars of the paradigm you think you are championing, and they’re pretty quick to jump on anything they perceive as lacking an evidence base.
                      They thought this peer reviewed published research was interesting, and should be disseminated.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘But as OAB pointed out, stress as a serious risk factor for morbidity and mortality has been well demonstrated.’ – McFlock

                      This is ironic, given OAB’s mocking and ridicule is an example of the stress inducing intolerance displayed to people who hold views other than what is perceived as mainstream.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So rise up and smash the mainstream majority oppression of electromagnetic field NIMBYs.

                      First world problem much?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you’re right (and you’ve read at least the abstract from Nature), you’ll know that the birds are confused by (relatively) tiny emissions (One thousand times weaker than the “lower exposure limits” for humans).

                      Perhaps the pervasive nature of Earth’s EMF explains NIMBYism and right wing political beliefs too!

          • Duke Hawe 8.1.3.1.4

            OAB is quite right. It is a government agenda. Secret it is not. Millions of us know that “smart” meters are dangerous. Since “smart” meters run exactly the same technology as your mobile, just read the article in the Dominion Post today; “Study finds heavy cellphone use causes brain tumours”. It refers to the latest of many hundreds of studies which have proved the point. But Government employees, in their loyalty to the cellphone industry, insist on maintaining their corporate lie.

    • Ergo Robertina 8.2

      You are correct on smart meters Chooky. There is cause for concern from electromagnetic radiation and privacy; at the very least, people must be able to choose whether to have one.
      Electromagnetic radiation is a possible carcinogen, according to the World Health Organisation’s re-classification in 2011.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Privacy is a very serious concern – people monitoring these smart meters can see when you arrive home, when you wake up in the morning, when you are away on holiday, when you have extra guests stay, etc.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.1

          So can your neighbours, and it’s a fair bet the Post Office has an idea too. Luckily, they are mostly good people, except at the Post Office.

      • Murray Olsen 8.2.2

        It is widely accepted that electromagnetic radiation in the PHz range causes cancer. As for µ-waves and longer wavelengths, I think we should be careful. If µ-waves are shown to cause cancer at a significant level, the development of texting may have saved a lot of people.

        As far as using a smart meter goes, I just wouldn’t bother. Any damage may well be minimal, but will be cumulative, and we’ve survived for years without them.

    • weka 8.3

      “….my only issue is the smart meters…from what i have heard from a friend in Florida…they definitely are NOT a good idea!…..something about privacy and radiation…

      …can anyone elucidate?”

      There’s been a bit of debate on this in Organics magazine (NZ). I haven’t followed it but your library would have the back copies. You might find some stuff on their website too.

  9. millsy 9

    WRT smart meters. You now have the choice of having the meters installed without the ‘smart’ capability i.e. no modem.

    The biggest thing you have to worry about when they get installed is tripping out breakers or shorting out wiring leading to part-power, no hot water etc. Not to mention that wiring in a lot of housing is quite challenging to work with. Plus there is a lot of pressure being put onto the techninicans resulting in them making mistakes when installing. I work for a company that has a contract to install them around the country.

    • Chooky 9.1

      thanks millsy

      • Chooky 9.1.1

        … and thankyou everyone for a stimulating debate and helping me make a more informed decision!!!!!…guess i wont be going with these meters!!!!….guess the Internet Party should think about this policy some more …at very least from a PR perspective

        coincidentally ….also i heard on the radio on my way home from town…. that a recent French University study concludes that cell phones used long term (for more than half an hour a day close to the head ) have a long term increased prognosis of brain tumors…( too busy to find the link at the moment)

    • northshoreguynz 9.2

      We have one and its a f…ing nightmare. At least once a month the hot water relay trips. Cold showers in the morning are Not appreciated. Millsy, could I have it removed and replaced with a standard meter?

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      WRT smart meters. You now have the choice of having the meters installed without the ‘smart’ capability i.e. no modem.

      But I bet most householders are not told that they have this option…

      • yeshe 9.3.1

        But you can find the option to have it removed, or at least the modem removed. I parted company with Powershop, who could not, or likely, politically, would not do the removal for me. After searching around, I eventually happily signed with Grey Power Electricity, but only after their customer service person initially seemed very surprised at my request for meter/modem removal. I asked for, and received written confirmation from a supervisor guaranteeing removal before I signed with them.

        Chooky et al .. we can make ripples … and ripples are the promises the waves make to the flood. Good luck and good health to you all, including OAP 🙂

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1

          Did you explain to the customer service person that you believe they’re an agent of the secret global government?

          • yeshe 9.3.1.1.1

            OAB .. are you really so stupid or is this just a comedy fail from you ?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Oh, have you noticed that I’m not exactly taking this rout seriously?

  10. Philj 10

    +1 Paul
    Thanks for your comment. I have the same opinion on the lowering of the standards at NZ’s only non commercial state broadcaster, and National is stacking the board and freezing the funding. It’s beginning to show on Morning Report with Guyon and, to lesser extent, Suzie. It didn’t take long after the departure of Geoff Robinson.

    • Paul 10.1

      One solution would be for a lot of people to question the story selection of the show, given this is a publicly funded broadcaster.
      Front foot these media puppets.

    • Once was Tim 10.2

      “……… stacking the board and freezing the funding”
      Hence my reply to a comment yesterday in response to “when did it start” (2008)

      I’m surprised they haven’t renamed Morning Report the “Espiner & Ferguson Show” – but perhaps I shouldn’t be giving them ideas.

      Thankfully, I don’t think it’s going unnoticed. The harder they rise, the harder they fall though – as they say.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    The funny thing about Morning Report is I’ve just stopped listening to it. It wasn’t deliberate. It just died away after Espiner started. The “tone” of the show is all wrong now. Instead of being earnest but proudly public radio, it is suddenly some sad, dowdy attempt at commercial radio without the zing. Espiner and Furguson keep trying to insert themselves into the story. The “journalist as celebrity” culture kills the news value of everything it touches.

    • Paul 11.1

      Today was the last straw. We switched it off.
      Sadly there are no reliable impartial mainstream sources left.
      Gradually democracy is being eroded in this country.

      • Bearded Git 11.1.1

        Talking of RNZ Bryce Edwards got to me this morning. He said the Key government was being “really strategically smart” in the budget and later said in comparison with the Oz budget “it makes Bill English’s [budget] almost socialist” (at which point Espiner giggles)

        WTF!! Even O’Sullivan and Hoskin, the right wing commentators, to their credit gave the government a serve on how little vision they were showing. But so-called lefty Edwards crawls up Key’s nether regions.

        Has Edwards actually looked at the Oz budget, where dole provisions for young people have been massacred?

        And before that Espiner started asking whether Key’s obvious cock-up last night (where he blurted out tax cuts) was actually a cock up, but before anyone could answer Espiner said “I don’t think it was”. Why bother with the experts-you tell us Guyon. Your mate Key could never make a mistake.

        But tell that to Bill English who dismissed the idea of tax cuts until he was told Key had said it, at which point he was obviously embarassed. See tv3 news last night for both Key and English.

        • Murray Olsen 11.1.1.1

          I’ve never been able to understand how Bryce Edwards could be considered leftish. At best, he’s some sort of stamp collector, with his Herald contributions just being lists of which commentator said what in praise of the Key regime. Sometimes he throws something by Bomber in, but it’s highly debatable how much that helps any of us.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            Bryce Edwards loves a cosy up with those in power, like most of the MSM and wannabe MSM.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      More people switch off, and then some future Tory government will say, hey no ones listening to it (because it’s so shit) so we’ll switch it off altogether.

      It’s a brilliant long term plan…

      • greywarbler 11.2.1

        Yes CV that’s what bothers me. Don’t ignore the radio, Paul. Contact them and tell them of your concerns, and give them some praise when they do well too. Don’t make them feel that you are just prejudiced against them.

        Don’t worry about criticising them though, I heard the early news team reading out a critical email about something that was the most pathetic prejudiced rubbish – they must have picked out one that scored the lowest for reasoning or joined-up thought. So they are fairly thick-skinned about the sort of job they do.

        A change of government could demand and fund public radio to be giving good quality information and make changes to give us better public information on NZ. .That is if the left are more alive than they were when they allowed our public television to go private, the stupid, unthinking, ignorant s..ts.

        The present outfit isn’t there in concrete. The whole thing could vanish. It could be wiped like they wiped broadcasting house, merely on a whim in one parliamentary session. This is a weakness of politicians having the right to be change agents when they should have to get permission to wipe out or majorly change systems and infrastructure. They should be only managers during their reign, the decision making should go with a referendum from people who undertake study of how the country works and operates so we get informed responses.

  12. bad12 12

    Aaah the obscene sense of entitlement extending a cloud that reeks over the heads of the National Government,

    Kicked out of the Parliament last year for an over exposure of the sense of entitlement was Aaron Gilmore, He of ”dont you know who i am” infamy,(well NO Aaaron your a complete non-entity), the replacement into the National Caucus off of the Party List, Claudette Hauiti has just been caught with Her hand in the cooky jar,(or is that with the nose firmly stuck in the trough),

    Apparently Claudette saw fit to hire Her partner to work in Her electorate office, a clear breach of the rules administered by the House Speaker,

    Having been caught, the partner has now been dismissed from the employment and the Speaker has said no further action will be taken,

    Its easy then to see why these people happily break these so called ”rules” isn’t it, my view is that at the least Claudette Hauiti should be paying back to the taxpayer the monies wrongfully paid to Her partner as an employee,

    It goes further then that tho doesn’t it, allowing low level corruption such as what Claudette has engaged in,(claiming She had no knowledge of the rules???), simply enables and encourages further acts of corruption of a greater and more widespread nature,

    Claudette Hauiti should be removed from the Parliament immediately…

    • greywarbler 12.1

      What rules? Nepotism rules eh! It obviously makes sense to have one of your own bringing further cash into the family.

      And then there are the rest of the family, you become a business centre an economic dynamo spreading opportunities and largesse throughout your happy whanau. It is very practical and the way that things are done in the world of advanced power, so expect more of it as time goes on.

      Bill English, Conor English, friends of Bill and Conor in positions of farming interest there is one example of spread of influence and lines of connection. If you looked at any long term politician there would be similar. So those parliamentary rules need to be kept dusted.

      Incidentally I heard Damien O’Connor making an unashamed spiel for his West Coast constituents the other day, strengthening his connecting lines. He was speaking about mining there and lauding it as an earner, and the fine quality which I think is especially good in steel making. No reference to temporary, while we work hard on getting other fuels and alternative technologies to replace the harm that coal burning will do – climate change etc. You would think it was the 1970s. Isn’t it time that people in positions of power and privilege acknowledged our looming climate troubles, before the tsunami hits and to assist after?

      • Once was Tim 12.1.1

        +1
        (look what happened to Queenstown. I can’t remember the name of that National Party non-entity responsible for it all, but it seems Damien is intent on going down the same track). Really short term thinking!
        Thankfully I wont’t be around, but watch ’em all squeal like pigs when the inevitable comes to pass.

  13. Yesterday I started a new 10 minute radio slot with Raglan Radio. I will be a guest on the morning live show Wednesday once every two weeks and the next one will be 9:10 am 28th of May. Subject matter is the history of the transient nature of Europe’s State borders connected to events playing out today.

    • greywarbler 13.1

      Go fo it Travellerev – what we don’t know about Europe and its changing borders would fill several large battleships. So it would be a good idea to get a surplus on that deficit of knowledge.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        I love how these financialised mainstream economic concepts now permeate all our thoughts.

        • Once was Tim 13.1.1.1

          I hate it CV. But (as above) … watch ’em all scream like stuffed pigs when it all turns to shite. I’m sure it’ll be televised. Possibly on The Guyon and Susie Show.

      • Travellerev 13.1.2

        Cheers greywarbler thanks!

    • “..Subject matter is the history of the transient nature of Europe’s State borders connected to events playing out today…”

      ..keeping it light/breakfasty..eh..?

      ..and a shame it’s radio..

      ..as this wd be a great visual-aid:..

      “…Europe Map Video Shows Changing Borders, ’10 Centuries In 5 Minutes’…’ (VIDEO)

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/14/10-centuries-in-5-minutes-video-europe-map-history-_n_783309.html

      • ianmac 13.2.1

        Oops. A signal that “this video does not exist.” Pity.

        • phillip ure 13.2.1.1

          oops..!..sorry..!

          ..here ya go..!

          it’s a little ripper of a vid..

          ..and makes almost every ‘historical claim’ a bit of a joke..

          • phillip ure 13.2.1.1.1

            grr..!..again..!

            ..that wasn’t the version i originally linked to..and should not be mentioned in same breath..

            ..apparantly there is a copyright issue around it..

            ..and i have looked..but have been unable to find it..

            ..my original link came from my archives..and apologies for not checking link was still working first..

    • Marius 13.3

      anti semite! anti semite!!

      [lprent: You appear to be an idiot making a comment that has no relationship to what you are replying to. Putting you on probation. ]

  14. ianmac 14

    Jane Clifton like many others was enchanted by the Campbell Live Cunliffes at home program.
    It was a nicely crafted item, and a must-watch for anyone interested in politics. This will be one of the most-talked-about pieces of television in this election campaign, even though Cunliffe featured as more of a bit-part player. His was nonetheless a telling cameo.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/television/10040943/Cunliffes-wife-proves-a-gem

    • weka 14.1

      I agree, it was a great piece of political TV. I feel more confident about Cunliffe’s capacity as a PM having seen what his wife is like.

      Plus he’s a cat person!

      Bit worried about the Green vote swinging back their way though 😉

      • idlegus 14.1.1

        the comments are amazing , “they were acting”, & a mate of mine told me the radio talk back world reckoned that the bee hives & animals were just brought in for the filming. ffs! anyway, fuck the haters, most ppl with a brain could see how awesome the cunliffes were.

  15. ianmac 15

    Totally non political but this is remarkable “Cat saves boy from dog attack!”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/life-style/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503081&gal_cid=1503081&gallery_id=143017

    • vto 15.1

      Yes ianmac but what is most remarkable is how we humans continue to under-estimate the animal kingdom.

      One example – this ridiculous notion that sharks mistake humans for seals. I mean, really. Sharks have been swimming around in th ocean for millions of years munching on seals and we think they cannot tell what they are chomping on? Perhaps by illustration – if you were under water ianmac do you think you could tell the difference between a seal and a human?

      Often times I think the thickest animals on the planet are we humans …..

  16. risildowgtn 16

    National MP hires her wife then claims

    Hauiti said she was unaware of the prohibition on employing spouses when she contracted her wife to work in her office.

    “I’m really disappointed that I didn’t know the rules, I’ve only been here a year and I should have kept up to speed with that and I didn’t.

    “I made a really big mistake.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10045412/MPs-wife-gets-the-boot-from-electorate-office-contract

    I mean how dumb can you be?

    Whatever,

    • dv 16.1

      Do new MPs get a briefing about what they can and can’t do?

      • Clemgeopin 16.1.1

        I had the same thought. I think the speaker should take the bigger blame here if he did not inform Hauiti as she claims she was unaware of the rules!

        Hauiti became a Member of Parliament in May last year following the departure of National MP Aaron Gilmore, who resigned after abusing a waiter while drunk in Hanmer Springs.

        From the ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ Gilmore to ‘Don’t you know who my wife is!’ Hauiti!

        National has become a discredited shameful outfit in so many ways!

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        The new Government certainly gets a briefing from the Reserve Bank and from Treasury about what they can and can’t do.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2.1

          +1

          And that’s one of the reasons both pretty much need to be closed down.

  17. anker 17

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Peters-Collins-must-have-dirt-on-John-Key/tabid/1607/articleID/344102/Default.aspx

    If you look at this link there is an interview with Winston Peters about Judith C.

    It then crosses to David Cunliffe, but spliced in there is a flash to a clip (just a still pic of Shane Taurima ……….its at about the 4.52 minute mark……

  18. Colonial Viper 18

    Europe’s racist right wing will continue to rise because the Left is proving weak and unprincipled in the face of corporate power and money

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/14/rise-of-europe-far-right-only-halted-by-populism-of-left

    “What is common to all is that they are drawing on the social discontent that has mushroomed across the continent on the back of a decade of growing insecurity and unemployment, falling living standards and austerity. For many of their voters abandoned by the establishment parties, the populist right looks like the only alternative to hand.

    Not that their advance will change anything on the ground. The European parliament is barely a shadow of a democratic assembly. “Choose who’s in charge in Europe”, its posters demand in an effort to convince sceptical voters to turn out next week.

    In reality, they will be choosing no such thing. That is not just because Strasbourg is weak and toothless and the establishment alliance of centre-right and centre-left will continue to dominate it”

  19. King Kong 19

    How stupid could you get? Well you could rail against secret trusts then get caught using one to fund your leadership campaign or you could still hang around with the imbecile who suggested it to you in the first place.

    Though to be fair, this is pretty stupid.

    [lprent: You know better. Four week ban for being fairly stupid in attacking an author, being off-topic in a post, attempting to do a diversion post, and wasting my time writing this. The comment is moved to Open Mike ]

  20. Ron 20

    Just attended the Business Expo at North Harbour Stadium and was intercepted by a large contingent of Police and civilians under the guise of Community Patrol.
    I had never heard of this organisation so have just looked it up and it appears that it has been around since 2001. They seem to be highly organised across NZ and they have cars and uniforms.
    The cars are also fitted with what looks like radio telephones of some kind.
    Does anyone have any details how these people came into being. They seem to be working very closely with police and councils and I wonder just who is paying for this service. I think that I prefer law enforcement to be carried out by properly trained police officers and not defacto ones.
    Just a little worrying but maybe I am paranoid?

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      They’re probably a good idea but, yeah, would like to know where the funding is coming from.

    • vto 20.2

      They work well.

    • Murray Olsen 20.3

      If you are being paranoid, I share the feeling. They could be a new version of Massey’s Cossacks, ready and waiting, with links to the police already in place.

      • vto 20.3.1

        Except they are generally a couple of old diggers driving around in a tatty old corona being nosey and putting the crims off of busting down warehouse doors and the like. Totally harmless. For the danger I would suggest keep an eye on whaleoil and farrar diehards.

        • Murray Olsen 20.3.1.1

          On their website their cars look good, but the personnel do look as if their days of frontline work would be a distant memory.

          As far as the WhaleSpew army goes, I’d suspect that most of them would be the sort of psycho idiots that would be good at kicking people who were already on the ground and handcuffed. This fits in with the vile they spew at those least able to defend themselves, such as solo mothers and other beneficiaries. Many of them would give Walter Mitty a real run for his money, and make this hilariously obvious. Still, as shown in 1981 and since, if a big enough group of them can find a small enough group, preferably containing women and children, of those they don’t like, they can get brave enough to do some real damage.

  21. Got budget day blues? A little aside.

    Vote me by hovering over the big al1en picture and clicking the pop up orange vote button.
    Ta 🙂

    http://www.theaudience.co.nz/the-al1en-2/little-bird-im-a-worm/

  22. Ad 22

    I started getting depressed looking at the fresh Dep Index this week, and listening to commentators wondering why consumer spending keeps tracking resolutely down in the Waikato and East Coast.

    Who can change inequality? This is part of a longer article you can find in Salon.com from Robert Reich, which I liked because it was simple and because they are themes I have heard for a good few years now. Also because the US appears to be facing the same kinds of challenges, from a far less fair and less regulated economy than ours. And then Easton’s article recently talked about how gvoernment’s rarely improve the economy. Got me searching…

    “What We Must Do

    There is no single solution for reversing widening inequality. Thomas Piketty’s monumental book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” paints a troubling picture of societies dominated by a comparative few, whose cumulative wealth and unearned income overshadow the majority who rely on jobs and earned income. But our future is not set in stone, and Piketty’s description of past and current trends need not determine our path in the future. Here are ten initiatives that could reverse the trends described above:

    1) Make work pay. The fastest-growing categories of work are retail, restaurant (including fast food), hospital (especially orderlies and staff), hotel, childcare and eldercare. But these jobs tend to pay very little. A first step toward making work pay is to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, pegging it to inflation; abolish the tipped minimum wage; and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. No American who works full time should be in poverty.

    2) Unionize low-wage workers. The rise and fall of the American middle class correlates almost exactly with the rise and fall of private-sector unions, because unions gave the middle class the bargaining power it needed to secure a fair share of the gains from economic growth. We need to reinvigorate unions, beginning with low-wage service occupations that are sheltered from global competition and from labor-replacing technologies. Lower-wage Americans deserve more bargaining power.

    3) Invest in education. This investment should extend from early childhood through world-class primary and secondary schools, affordable public higher education, good technical education and lifelong learning. Education should not be thought of as a private investment; it is a public good that helps both individuals and the economy. Yet for too many Americans, high-quality education is unaffordable and unattainable. Every American should have an equal opportunity to make the most of herself or himself. High-quality education should be freely available to all, starting at the age of 3 and extending through four years of university or technical education.

    4) Invest in infrastructure. Many working Americans—especially those on the lower rungs of the income ladder—are hobbled by an obsolete infrastructure that generates long commutes to work, excessively high home and rental prices, inadequate Internet access, insufficient power and water sources, and unnecessary environmental degradation.

    5) Pay for these investments with higher taxes on the wealthy. Between the end of World War II and 1981 (when the wealthiest were getting paid a far lower share of total national income), the highest marginal federal income tax rate never fell below 70 percent, and the effective rate (including tax deductions and credits) hovered around 50 percent. But with Ronald Reagan’s tax cut of 1981, followed by George W. Bush’s tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, the taxes on top incomes were slashed, and tax loopholes favoring the wealthy were widened. The implicit promise—sometimes made explicit—was that the benefits from such cuts would trickle down to the broad middle class and even to the poor. As I’ve shown, however, nothing trickled down. At a time in American history when the after-tax incomes of the wealthy continue to soar, while median household incomes are falling, and when we must invest far more in education and infrastructure, it seems appropriate to raise the top marginal tax rate and close tax loopholes that disproportionately favor the wealthy.

    6) Make the payroll tax progressive. Payroll taxes account for 40 percent of government revenues, yet they are not nearly as progressive as income taxes. (…)

    7) Raise the estate tax and eliminate the “stepped-up basis” for determining capital gains at death. As Piketty warns, the United States, like other rich nations, could be moving toward an oligarchy of inherited wealth and away from a meritocracy based on labor income. The most direct way to reduce the dominance of inherited wealth is to raise the estate tax by triggering it at $1 million of wealth per person rather than its current $5.34 million. [Would a Capital Gains Tax do a similar job, or do we need a proper Estate Tax]

    8) Constrain Wall Street. The financial sector has added to the burdens of the middle class and the poor through excesses that were the proximate cause of an economic crisis in 2008, similar to the crisis of 1929. (…) The Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial- and investment-banking functions, should be resurrected in full, and the size of the nation’s biggest banks should be capped. [Made me wonder what the Aus equivalent of Glass-Segall was]

    9) Give all Americans a share in future economic gains. The richest 10 percent of Americans own roughly 80 percent of the value of the nation’s capital stock; the richest 1 percent own about 35 percent. As the returns to capital continue to outpace the returns to labor, this allocation of ownership further aggravates inequality. Ownership should be broadened through a plan that would give every newborn American an “opportunity share” worth, say, $5,000 in a diversified index of stocks and bonds—which, compounded over time, would be worth considerably more. The share could be cashed in gradually starting at the age of 18.

    10) Get big money out of politics. Last, but certainly not least, we must limit the political influence of the great accumulations of wealth that are threatening our democracy and drowning out the voices of average Americans. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision must be reversed—either by the Court itself, or by constitutional amendment. In the meantime, we must move toward the public financing of elections—for example, with the federal government giving presidential candidates, as well as House and Senate candidates in general elections, $2 for every $1 raised from small donors.”

    [for me Reich has something extra from Easton, though I enjoy Easton as well. Thewre’s a nice barely buried anger with Reich.]

    • KJT 22.1

      One of the main reasons that Australia, and New Zealand weathered the GFC so well, apart from not having National in power, for the previous 9 years, to run up the deficit with unaffordable tax cuts, asset sales and borrowing, is because of Keating’s tight regulation of the Ozzie banks.

  23. Once was Tim 23

    I have to geniunely feel sorry for Krus Funlysun eh, ez the budjit is delivud. Look who the cnut has to his right – and more importantly the two places to his rear. There’d be a load of hypocrisy that a carbon tax equivalent mechanism would be hard to disperse.

    Just saying.
    There’s a ….. “I never inhaled” from the Keputee rejin
    …….. a Ladder Puler Upper (eaxtra-ordinaire) complete with leapardskun suit under an ensemble feshun edvoisus hev rekumended
    ……. and a fick shit pretending some sort of ekademuk cheevmint (with stifikuts ta prove it0

    …… all rolled into a nodding, hero worshipping, bunch of hypocrisy one could ever hope to come across as some sort of sociological study.
    Pity their spouses eh?
    Still, what they don’t know won’t kill them (and of course they’ve ‘nothing to fear’ – as their Dear Leader would have ’em believe.

  24. BLiP 24

    Well, interesting you should mention that, I just happen to have it open . . .

    I promise to always be honest

    we are not going to sack public servants, the attrition rate will reduce costs

    there’s no way one in five New Zealanders will lose their jobs

    we are not going to cut working for families

    I firmly believe in climate change and always have

    We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. 50 by 50. We will write the target into law.

    National Ltd™ will provide a consistent incentive for both biofuel and biodiesel by exempting them from excise tax or road user charges

    I didn’t know about The Bretheren election tactics

    If they came to us now with that proposal [re trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods regime], we will sign it

    I can’t remember my position on the 1981 Springbok Tour

    Tranzrail shares

    I did not mislead the House (1)

    Lord Ashcroft

    National Ltd™ would not have sent troops into Iraq

    Standard & Poors credit downgrade

    the double-down grade doesn’t really matter and its only about private sector debt

    I did not mislead the House (2)

    I didn’t say I want wages to drop

    I can’t remember why I voted against increasing the minimum wage

    lifting the minimum wage to $15 an hour will increase unemployment

    the real rate of inflation is 3.3 percent.

    the tourism sector has not lost 7,000 jobs

    no I have never heard of Whitechapel

    I won’t raise GST

    people who are on the average wage and have a child are $48 a week better off after the rise in GST

    the purchase of farmland, by overseas buyers will be limited to ten farms per purchase

    the Pike River Mine was consented to under a Labour Government

    no promises were made to get the remains of the miners out of the Pike River mine

    I did not provide a view on the safety of the Pike River coalmine

    I did not mislead the House (3)

    capping, not cutting the public service

    raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour will cost 6000 jobs

    north of $50 a week

    privatisation won’t significantly help the economy

    wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones

    I never offered Brash a diplomatic job in London

    Tariana Turia is “totally fine” with the Tuhoe Treaty Claim deal

    Kiwisaver

    National Ltd™ is not going to radically reorganise the structure of the public sector

    tax cuts won’t require additional borrowing

    New Zealand does not have a debt problem

    New Zealand troops in Afghanistan will only be involved in training, not fighting

    the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia has closed under my National Ltd™ government

    It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy

    National Ltd™ has changed the Overseas Investment Act to include 19 different criteria

    the price of goods and services has risen by 6 percent since the last election, while the after-tax average wage has actually gone up by 16 percent

    no, although its a week ago and here I am being interviewed on television about them, I havn’t seen Gerry Brownlee’s comments regarding demolitions in Christchurch and which caused such outrage, but I can talk all about them

    our SAS soldiers were not involved in the Kabul Hotel gunfight

    the use of the Vela brother’s helicopter was required so I could attend meetings relating to national/international security concerns

    the DPS makes the decision about accompanying the Prime Minister or not, I had no choice but to take them on holiday to Hawaii

    I did not mislead the House (4)

    oh, maybe our SAS soldiers were in the Kabul hotel gun fight but they weren’t wounded by friendly fire

    New Zealand has lost $12 billion from GDP due to the Christchurch earthquake . . . oh, it might actually be around $15 billion from GDP due to the Christchurch earthquake . . . Blinglish said what?

    10,000 houses will have to be demolished in Christchurch due to the earthquake

    14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast

    our amendments to the ETS ensure we will continue to do our fair share internationally

    we are committed to honouring our Kyoto Protocol obligations

    any changes to the ETS will be fiscally neutral

    New Zealand has grown for eight of the last nine quarters”

    National Ltd™ will tender out the government banking contract

    we will be back in surplus by 2014-15

    Nicky Hager’s book “Other People’s Wars” is a work of fiction

    unemployment is starting to fall

    we have created 60,000 jobs

    we have created 45,000 jobs

    the 2011 Budget will create in the order of 170,000 jobs

    I don’t know if I own a vineyard

    no, I did not mislead the House (5)

    the Isreali spy killed in the Christchurch quake had “only one” passport

    the Police will not need to make savings by losing jobs

    I voted to keep the drinking age at 20

    New Zealand is 100% Pure

    I’ve been prime minister for four years, and it’s really 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year

    baseball in New Zealand is attracting more government support

    the decision to buy brand new BMWs was made by the Department of Internal Affairs without reference either to their minister or to me

    I didn’t have a clue that Ministerial Services, which I am in charge of, was going to buy brand new BMWs

    even though four of my ministers knew all about it, I didn’t have a clue that brand new BMWs were being bought.

    even though my Chief of Staff met with officials to discuss purchase of the the brand new BMWs, I didn’t have a clue

    even though I personally signed papers discussing the matter, I still didn’t have a clue

    Labour forced us into buying the brand new BMWs, its their fault

    ummm, look, sorry about that BMW thing , it was because I was so upset

    I did not describe David Beckam as thick as batshit

    I did not mislead the House (6)

    the public demanded that we change the labour laws for The Hobbit

    “The Hobbit” created 3000 new jobs

    we have delivered 800 extra doctors in the public service

    I did not mislead the House (7)

    I wasn’t working at Elders when the sham foreign exchange deals took place

    I was starting School Certificate exams in 1978

    I don’t know who arrived on the CIA jet to visit the spies I am responsible for

    reducing barriers to property developers will increase the availability of affordable housing

    Labour left the economy in poor shape

    forecasts show unemployment will fall

    we have closed the wage gap with Australia by $27

    Ngati Porou and Whanau Apanui are not opposed to mining

    I have not had any meetings with Media Works

    our [NZ’s] terms of trade remain high

    the TPPA is an example of democracy

    the TPPA will still have to be ratified by Parliament

    National Ltd™ will use the proceeds of state asset sales to invest in other public assets, like schools and hospitals

    New Zealand troops will be out of Afghanistan by April 2013

    overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own

    overseas investment in New Zealand creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow

    National Ltd™ will build 2000 houses over the next two years

    there are only 4 New Zealand SAS soldiers in Bamiyan and all working in the area of logistics and planning only

    selling state assets will give cash equity to those companies

    the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs

    all five bidders for the convention centre were treated equally

    my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (8)

    I can’t remember what was discussed at my meeting with the SkyCity Chief Executive on 14 May 2009

    I have no record of the 12 November 2009 email from Treasury advising that the SkyCity deal was dodgy and needed to be referred to the Auditor General

    there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    SkyCity will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process

    Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    I did not mislead the House (9)

    this government has been very transparent about all its dealings with SkyCity

    I did not mislead the House (10)

    the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (11)

    the Deputy Auditor General supports the view that there was nothing inappropriate about the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (12)

    I did not breach the confidentiality of the Auditor General’s Report into the Sky City deal

    the Labour Government did exactly the same sort of deal back in 2001

    Labour has promised to not revoke the Sky City legislation

    there’s a 50/50 chance the Hobbit is going off shore unless we do something

    David Shearer has signed up for the purchase of shares in Mighty River

    Solid Energy asked the government for a $1 billion capital investment

    fracking has been going safely on in Taranaki for the past 30 years without any issues

    no frontline positions will be lost at DOC

    Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    I haven’t seen Ian Fletcher in a long time.

    I did not mislead the House (13)

    I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    I called directory service to get Ian Fletcher’s number

    the new legislation narrows the scope of the GCSB

    the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    because the opposition is opposed the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB laws need to be extended to protect prive enterprise

    it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

    National Ltd™ is not explanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    cyber terrorists have attempted to gain access to information about weapons of mass destruction held on New Zealand computers

    the law which says the GCSB cannot spy on New Zealanders is not clear

    it totally incorrect that the Government effectively through GCSB will be able to wholesale spy on New Zealanders

    we self identified that there was a problem with the GCSB spying on Kim Dotcom

    the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident

    The advice I have had in 4 years as a Minister is that in no way ever has there been an indication of unlawful spying

    the Ministerial Warrant signed by Bill English did not cover anything up

    first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in 17 September

    I did not mislead the House (14)

    I won’t be discussing Kim Dotcom during my Hollywood visit.

    The Human Rights Commission couldn’t get its submission on the GCSB legislation in on time.

    it would cost too much to for the police and SIS to carry out the spying on New Zealanders that this new legislation will permit

    critics of the GCSB legislation, including the Law Society, the Human Rights Commission, and the Privacy Commission, are all uninformed

    no, I did not mislead the House (15)

    I do not know how Mr Henry is conducting the Enquiry

    no, I did not mislead the House (16)

    the Henry Enquiry had permission to view Ministers’ emails

    no, I did not mislead the House (??)

    we do not spy on journalists

    the passing of phone records to the Henry Enquiry was an error on the part of a contractor

    I wasn’t aware that my own Chief of Staff was instructing Parliamentary Services to hand over information concerning journalist Andrea Vance

    National Ltd™ has never tried to impinge on the role of the media

    I had nothing to do with information on a journalist being handed over to the inquiry into the leaking of the GCSB report

    the terms of the enquiry made it clear to everyone that it was only the phone records of parliamentary staff and ministers that were to be provided

    I have the utmost respect for the media and the role it plays in New Zealand’s democracy

    the Henry Enquiry did not access a journalist’s building-access records

    the Henry Enquiry did not ask for phone and email records

    no, I did not mislead the House (17)

    the Greens are opposed to the GCSB and the SIS even existing

    the GCSB needs to spy on New Zealanders because there are al-Qaeda terrorists in New Zealand

    John Minto is in the Green Party

    the GCSB needs to spy on New Zealanders because of the terrorist threat, even though official reports released over my signature say there is no risk and the SIS has the matter in hand

    the GCSB Bill does not give the GCSB the power to look at the content of communications as part of its cyber-security functions

    no, I did not mislead the House (18)

    there will be no mining on Conservation land in the Corromendel

    no, I did not say we would follow the US and Australia into a war against North Korea

    New Zealand has an arrangement to have asylum seekers processed in Australian detention camps

    I did not mislead the house (19)

    I paid for that lunch and I’ve got the credit card bill to prove it

    I am honest and upfront

    the only way net new jobs can be created is by private investors putting their money into businesses in New Zealand

    you can’t hide if yuu’re Prime Minister

    an increase in the number of people looking for work indicates that confidence is returning to the economy

    the 10 percent of taxpayers in New Zealand who are the top earners pay 76 percent of all net personal tax.

    I did not mislead the House (20)

    the substantial wage growth under Labour was eroded by inflation

    National Ltd™’s 2010 tax changes were fiscally neutral

    I did not mislead the House (21)

    the bulk of New Zealanders earn between $45,000 and $75,000 a year

    Pike River Coal did not put profits and its production ahead of the safety and lives of those 29 workers.

    Radio Live had sought advice from the Electoral Commission about my show just before the election

    it is because of National Ltd™’s policies that the price of fresh fruit and vegetables has dropped.

    the length-of-the-country cycleway will create 4000 jobs.

    police training for next year has not been cancelled

    National Ltd™ has only cut back-office jobs in the health service

    The Crown’s dividend stream from the Meridians, the Mighty Rivers of the world is large and there is no motivation to sell assets; actually we’re about creating assets not selling assets.”

    National believes employment law should treat all parties fairly. It should . . . Protect employees and employers.

    I am not trying to tackle such issues in a “fearful” way ahead of the next election

    Wellington City is dying.

    National Ltd™ has been working on a number of things with New Zealand First on a number of things one of which has a financial component but I can’t talk about it

    the best way to get growth in the economy is to reduce public debt

    New Zealand mum and dad investors will be our number one priority in the allocation of Mighty River shares

    we won’t let “cowboy” oil exploration companies operate here in New Zealand

    the Green Party is racist by not allowing Chinese residents in New Zealand to buy a house

    the Labour Party is promising a four-bedroom house in Auckland for $300,000

    the food in schools programme is in the 2013 budget

    the meat exports are being held up in China because of issues in relation to the Chinese looking to trace counterfeit meat

    its notoriously difficult to win three elections in a row

    I am deeply concerned about every child in New Zealand who is in poverty

    there is no manufacturing crisis in New Zealand

    the government’s exposure to MediaWorks’ going into receivership is reasonably limited

    the money from the sale of state assets will not be used to prop up Solid Energy

    I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead. It’s not a matter of political convenience, it’s a matter of political principle.

    The vast majority of the buildings in Christchurch came through the earthquakes in good shape

    the commemoration of New Zealand’s involvement in the Korean War will not be used to bolster trade talks

    third generation Chinese New Zealanders will be required to present their passport before buying a house under the Labour government

    the Labour housing policy is an attempt by David Shearer to save his leadership

    the Labour housing policy is in breach of free trade agreements

    only 2% of the proceeds of the sale of Mighty River will be spent on the sales process

    David Cunliffe is lying to you

    Labour wants to nationalise the super market industry

    The government will engage in no further negotiations with Rio Tinto

    Without a government subsidy of hundreds of millions of dollars Chorus will go broke

    No, I did not mislead the House (??)

    the justice system is already adequate for handling situations involving new evidence

    my Minister Nick Smith was not aware of the content of the leaked draft submission on the Ruataniwha situation until 17 September

    New Zealand First will nationalise a host of industries and businesses

    I have no responsibility for the statements I make

    Mark Mitchell was just gossiping at a cocktail party when he tipped Webster off about Len Brown’s affair

    it was a lack of external analysis and accountability which put Solid Energy into its debt crisis

    the Commerce Commission misinterpreted the law when deciding the price for access to the Chorus copper infrastructure

    no analyist predicted that the cost of access to the copper infrastructure would go down

    there has been only one problem with oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

    If it was my vote, it would be no pay increases for Mps

    Greenpeace are just scare mongering about any oil leaks off the New Zealand coast

    For every election for the last five elections , we have had royal visitors to New Zealand.

    No decision has been made on the timing of the sale of Air New Zealand shares

    its not true that in New Zealand the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer

    This summer is the most active season ever for oil and gas exploration, with the industry spending up to $750 million. At the same time, the Government is strengthening the regulations that govern drilling, particularly in deep water.

    Labour is trying to mislead people about eligibility for Best Start because they don’t get the payment while they also get paid parental leave.

    A mountain of evidence shows that the quality of teaching – inside the classroom – is the biggest influence on kids’ achievement

    Governor General Jerry Mateparae has been jostled while walking onto Te Tii Marae at Waitangi .

    Cameron Slater, who I speak to regularly and who told me about Winston meeting Kim Dot Com, has got absolutely nothing to do with the National Party.

    Cameron Slater rang me

    What I do know is that when this Government came in, there were predictions that unemployment would rise to over 10 percent.

    The Cabinet Office had cleared Judith Collins of a conflict of interest

    The golf tournament in which I played the chairman of Oravida was for charity.

    The Cabinet Office has cleared Collins of a conflict of interest after it translated comments on Oravida’s website which stated that she had praised its products

    My Justice Minister, Judith Collins, didn’t lie to Parliament, she just didn’t understand the question.

    The [MFAT] paperwork shows right through this that not only did the Minister have a very busy programme, all on judicial and justice issues, but, secondly, all the way through it talks about a private dinner.

    No, I did not mislead parliament. (??)

    No, I did not mislead the House(??)

    The Unions decide the leadership of the Labour Party and picked David Cunliffe

    Unions give the Labour Party millions of dollars a year

    The economic mess inherited by the Abbott government in Australia can be likened to the economic mess inherited by National Ltd™ when it came into office in 2008.

    National Ltd™ inherited an economic mess from Labour

    National Ltd™ inherited an economic mess from Labour in 2008

    No, I did not mislead the House(??)

    . . . don’t like to clutter up threads with the whole thing in case I interrupt the flow . . . but since you asked.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      ^^ Considering the budget debate and the forthcoming election, that should probably be a guest post.

  25. blue leopard 25

    Was anyone else attempting to watch the Budget debate via TV and have the transmission cut off for an ‘update’?

    This occurred toward the end of Mr Cunliffe’s speech and has just come on again with Key yapping away about some garbled nonsense (as usual). Unsure how long transmission was cut – about 10 minutes I think.

    It seems like a very odd time to choose an update at the very time that the NZ parliament are debating the countries’ budget and in an election year?

    [Got anything to say for yourselves freeview managers?]

    Anyone else have this occur?

  26. Populuxe1 26

    I used to admire John Pilger greatly, but I think he’s past his use by date
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/13/ukraine-us-war-russia-john-pilger

    • vto 26.1

      Do you mean past his use-by date because the US war machine is likely to take Pilger out for exposing the US government war machine actions?

      Or do you mean past his use-by date because Pilger is wrong on this Ukraine matter? And if so it would be interesting to know why you think such. You seem to have a thorough knowledge of matters in those parts of the world (though I have no idea how accurate that knowledge might be, nor how that knowledge might convert to understanding)

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        As if Russia was ever going to allow the Ukraine to be taken over by NATO and the EU. Not happening.

        The western military industrial complex already knew that however, and with the wind down of Afghanistan and Iraq they need new justification for even bigger military budgets out of Washington.

        • Populuxe1 26.1.1.1

          Riiiiight – so in your mind that translates to “lets annoy a major nuclear power”? In case you haven’t noticed, the US military-industrial complex has a marked preference for asymetrical conflicts that don’t run the risk of getting them turned into a pile of radioactive slag.

          How arrogant to basically suggest the Ukraine people can’t have any autonomy in who they choose to side with – in fact they were quite happy to court both though neither side were having it – though maybe the preference of younger Ukrainians for the EU is something to do with better employment opportunities, better economic development and social liberalism (not being chucked in the gulag for saying you’re gay, for example). Please outline for me what Russia was offering?

          But by all means continue smoking Putin’s pole.

          • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1.1

            Oh for fucks sake Pop1 you have no fucking idea, do you. A new cold war against Russia means new contracts for Gen VI fighters, new strategic bombers, a new generation of nuclear missile submarines, spy satellites, war head designs etc. etc. etc.

            There is no fucking money in assymetrical warfare shit (building mine resistant APCs and walky talkys which jam IEDs lol), but there are trillion dollar budgets in building the next gen strategic nuclear missile submarine.

            Please outline for me what Russia was offering?

            The chance of not having the US and IMF infiltrate your country, gift it to neo-Nazis and the Right Sector and turn it into a failed state.

            Which by the way the US is quite happy to have happen as it becomes a major problem for Russia at that point.

            (not being chucked in the gulag for saying you’re gay, for example).

            The US and EU have put neo-Nazis and the Right Sector in charge of Kiev now. They’ve invited 400 Blackwater mercernaries in to do the dirty work for them in Eastern Ukraine because they can’t rely on their own forces to turn against their own people. Once this gets going, it’s not going to be about putting gays behind bars. These are the same people who burnt 41 people to death in the trades union building in Odessa. Being put behind bars is going to be a fucking mercy at this rate.

            Fuck you really have no idea. Stop watching fucking CNN would you.

            the US military-industrial complex has a marked preference for asymetrical conflicts that don’t run the risk of getting them turned into a pile of radioactive slag.

            This statement is too moronic, too naïve and too bleeding incorrect, for words.

            • Populuxe1 26.1.1.1.1.1

              Personally I can think of one grumpy little Marxist who has watched one too many James Bond films.

              “The chance of not having the US and IMF infiltrate your country, gift it to neo-Nazis and the Right Sector and turn it into a failed state.”

              Oh almighty fucktard, Ukraine was already a failing state – probably something to do with all that money being syphoned off by corrupt oligarchs puppeted from Moscow, so they could build palaces with private zoos.That was what was behind the original riots in the first place. I realise you are a cretin so I’ll try to make it simple for you. No former Soviet or Warsaw Pact state has any real desire to go back under the thumb of Moscow, if you don’t understand that you have presumably never had many dealings with Czechs, Poles etc – maybe you should read up on the Holodomor before you make such fucking stupid suggestions in future you sad pathetic little man. Maybe you should read up on what happened to the fucking Crimean Tartars you arrogant little shit.

              As hard as it might be for someone of your pathological confirmation bias and liited intelligence to grasp, but having endured generations of Soviet oppression, the IMF and CIA are a fucking summer camp (the CIA doesn’t tend to execute you with a plastic bag, shove a potulism-tipped brollie up your jaxie, or put Polonium in your tea). If you are not an ethic Russian you are fucked. I you have issues with the Putin regime you are fucked. There is no freedom of speech or association and your callous disregard for minorities and dissidents is nauseating.

              Naz1s? Har fucking har. I’ll tell you what’s naz1 – persecuting minorities and using ethnicity as a justification for invading a sovereign country al al fucking Putin. Maybe you should sit down and watch some videos of gays, Caucasians and Central Asians being beaten and tortured with the tacit approval of the Russian government because that’s how Putin rolls you useful idiot. Maybe you should stop to consider why a group like Pussy Riot would have a big fan base in the US but gets thrown in a gulag in Russia.

              Now if you had a functioning brain you might have noticed that the US has in fact been largely withdrawing from Europe to focus on Asia and the Pacific. If the US was going to be picking fights with a nuclear superpower it is more than likely going to be China – and given the Chinese government seems a lot more organised and less psychotic than Putin’s Russia, that would by far be the safer bet for a nice safe cold war.

              You are a moron and a swine. Jesus Christ people like you make me despair of the whole point of left wing politics. How can you possibly consider life under Russian rule even on the same universe of basic human decency as the EU? For the love of basic human decency pull your head out of your arse.

              • For those of you interested in the red pill unlike Populux, who has seems to have swallowed the blue pill of mass MSM propaganda wholeheartedly, here are a few links you might want to check out.

                On the history of the Ukraine, whether the majority wants to be part of Russia and why, The Neo-Nazi threat to some 30.000 Jews, The illegality of the Kiev Dictator ship and what it means to the local population. Perhaps the fact that Julia Timoshenko (that weird female billionaire with the braided hairdo) thought that nuking them an mass was a good idea and the Odessa massacre was welcomed by her as a great example of how the illegal Ukraine dictatorship should deal with them pesky millions of people who identify as Russian, speak Russian and want to be able to continue to live peacefully in the Ukraine as Russians.

                Also here is some information putting the hysterical Western MSM condemnation of Russia’s “anti- gay” laws in perspective.

                Perhaps a bit of info about the NGO’s and the Academia (former Blackwater) and CIA death squads operating in the Ukraine helping the illegal Kiev Dictatorship.

                Oh, and the Son of Vice President Biden becoming one of the directors of the biggest private gas company in the Ukraine making Collin’s conflict of interest pale in comparison.

                • vto

                  gawd… what with the horrific things pop says and the horrific things you say trav ….. what are we to do?

                  it’s like the entire world needs picking up and given a good shake so that all its peoples come back down in all different places and all mixed up so we can start again as people with no histories…

                  .. traditions … cultures … histories … religions … they all just lead to conflict when the different ones meet. And to think we all just arrived at these various spots just a few thousands of years ago as we migrated out of Africa and to the west and to the east. Now we are all crossing up and over and getting all upset and fighting over the dwindling resources … and fighting over our so-called traditions, cultures, histories, religions … these things are a crock … a sop … and a bar to rest our lazy lives on..

                  always be wary of crying “but its our tradition / culture / history / religion” – ’tis the sign of lazy and danger

                • Populuxe1

                  How unusual for you to be concerned about Jewish welfare, Ev, you’re normally the one ranting about Rothschilds and John Key’s lapsed Hebraism, but lets look at Russia’s long and illustrious hstory of protecting Jewish rights. Jews weren’t even allowed to live in Russia proper until after WW2 – Cf. the Pale of Habitation, Shetls and so forth. There is a reason why so many move t Israel even now.

                  The opinion of Ukraine’s Jews (and gays for that matter) is that things are far from ideal, but they’d rather sort things out internally rather than have Moscow “protect” them.
                  http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/12/us-ukraine-crisis-jews-idUSBREA2B1NT20140312

                  Not to mention that if your weird Protocols of the Elders of Zion fantasy is in any way accurate, the EU and US are puppets of the Zionist conspiracy and will not allow such things in their vassal states. Seriosuly, if they’re not going to tolerate the genocidal expulsion of Muslims from the Balkans, they are hardly going to stand by for a second Holocaust.

                  There are were and presumably are thousands of people living in New Zealand who would be happy to do so as British or Chinese – should Britain or China be given carte blanche to invade us?

                  CIA death squads? check your meds you loony muppet – the only foreign forces in Ukraine are decked out in Russian uniforms (curiously missing their insignias) and carrying Russian weapons.

                  You don’t know shit about Russia’s anti-gay laws. “Gay propoganda” in Russia can be interpreted as simply standing up for yourself as not being an evil paedophile or even simply saying that you are gay. Imagine if we passed laws that prevented you expressing yourself as a crazy conspiracy theory nutter.

                  • No, actually I am not ranting about the Rothschild’s (Fuck I don’t even know how to write the name correctly) and those who read my blog and my comments can attest to that.

                    I have written extensively about Israel and the fact that many, many Jewish groups oppose the abomination that it is.

                    I have pointed out that “Jewish” John (Something he only uses if it gives him gains) is supporting an anti Semitic Neo Nazi dominated (not by numbers but by their willingness to use violence) illegal government with his NATO palls. I don’t know about you but I wonder why it is OK for NZ soldiers to go die for a war in the Ukraine.

                    Elders of Zion? Must read the book one day.

                    I have not espoused any knowledge of what Ukrainian Jews might want contrary to you and it would be good for those of you reading Populux’s rants to keep in mind that 27 million Russians died in the second WW, that they were the first to arrive in Berlin and that along the way they were the first to liberate prisoners of war, Jews and Gays from Concentration camps such as Auschwitz.

                    I also have not claimed any knowledge about how Gays feel in Russia but how about letting them speak for themselves. And here is a white paper written by a an American gay man and the full text of Russia’s “anti-gay” law analyzed.

                    Apparently it is fine to be openly gay in the Russian army for starters.

                    And apparently there is an upward trend in Anti Gay hate crime in the US

                    Is the situation for gays ideal in Russia. I’m sure it is not but neither is it in the US or Europe or here in NZ for that matter.

                    The issue here is not how gays are faring in Russia. The issue here is that we are overwhelmed with propaganda making us feel like we are the good guys and the Russians the bad guys. I always worry if and when that happens because the end result invariable is that people will die as a result.

                    • Populuxe1

                      How fascinating that the only mention of Brian M. Heiss on line, author of this white paper, is the “white paper” itself. I say “white paper” because it isn’t written like any white paper I’ve ever seen and more like an article for Gawker or InfoWars. Equally interesting is that Mr Heiss’ methodology is to compare reported hate crimes committed against LGBT people in Russia and the US according to the SOVA Center and the FBI as opposed to any independant analysis and is a statistically dubious if you were even just comparing two cities in the same country.

                      Anti gay hate crime in the US is not the topic, systemic and institutional LGBTQ people by the Russian state is. Perhaps you should actually talk to some LGBTQ Russians rather than cherrypick bullshit.

                    • thecard

                      DNFTTT

                    • No, actually there is a facebook page and a twitter account too and if we’re talking how gays are being treated we should so in every country, not just the enemy du jour who needs to be vilified.

                    • joe90

                      and if we’re talking how gays are being treated we should so in every country,

                      Fill ya boots.

                      http://equaldex.com/

                    • Joe90, great link!

                  • And about the expressing myself as a crazy conspiracy nutter? They would love nothing better than that. Which is why I use the freedom to express myself like there is no tomorrow, In fact there might not be what with the Americans beginning to resemble the NAZI’s more and more every day.

      • Populuxe1 26.1.2

        Actually it would be more things like that in the 21st century when Aboriginal Australians are making their own doccumentaries I don’t see why a middle class white guy should be taking it upon himself to direct their narrative. Nor do I appreciate his whole “marriage equalisation is a bourgeois distraction from Chelsea Manning” – and he did rather ignore the whole transgender angle. I really don’t like his blindly reflexive defense (cough cough blame the victim cough) of Julian Assange (I think it’s possible to praise Assange’s work while decrying his tendency to be a smug misogynist douchenozzle) – and this despite losing all the bail money he put down when Assange, as all innocent people do, inflicted himself on the hospitality of Ecuador’s ambassador to London.

        But yes, I am pissed off by Pilger’s ignorance of the Ukraine matter – has he ever been to Ukraine? Does he know any Ukrainians? I regularly discuss the issue with my Ukrainian and Russian friends. Basically he’s so busy blaming the US (who certainly owns a portion of blame, no doubt) that he neglects entirely to mention the Budapest Accord (which Moscow is in flagrant violation of), he ignores any Russian perfidy in manipulating Ukraine’s politics (like, oh I dunno, puppet and kleptocrat Viktor Yanukovych). In blaming the woes of Islam on the US, he neglects the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, or Russia’s current atrocties in Chechnya. Nor is the US dragging us to war – they put up with North Korea, they certainly have no intentions of going toe to toe with a major nuclear power, and it’s not them that has troops occupying sovereign Ukraine territory. Also calling the current government of Ukraine neo-naz1s is ridiculous – yes Svoboda are a pack of far right nationalist bastards, but they are the smallest party in the coalition and about the only portfolio they control is agriculture.

        Two little pieces of wisdom, my enemy’s enemy is merely my enemy’s enemy and nothing more than that, and my favourite quote from Emily Bronte:

        “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.”

    • freedom 26.2

      In the excellent piece by John Pilger there is a link to William Blum’s article which contains the following informative paragraph

      Arseniy Yatsenuk, it should be noted, has something called the Arseniy Yatsenuk Foundation. If you go to the foundation’s website you will see the logos of the foundation’s “partners”. Among these partners we find NATO, the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK), the German Marshall Fund (a think tank founded by the German government in honor of the US Marshall Plan), as well as a couple of international banks. Is any comment needed?

      http://williamblum.org/aer/read/128

      • Populuxe1 26.2.1

        So what’s the difference between that and the caviar line to Moscow?

  27. One Anonymous Bloke 27

    Cunliffe doing the Q&A thing on Facebook from 7pm.

    • ianmac 27.1

      And Key answers question from voters live on Campbell live at 7pm tonight.

      • ianmac 27.1.1

        Or what really happened was John Key avoided giving any answers but managed an “Its all Labours Fault” line. What a fraud!
        All up about 8 minutes of drivel!

  28. Rodel 28

    Cunliffe’s budget speech was brilliant. John Key’s speech stupid & sneering trying to be the David Letterman to his sycophants sitting beside him. He is an awful role model for young kiwis.
    Key’s concern that Cunliffe is a better more competent person is showing through in his psychospeech.

  29. Mike the Savage One 29

    All the comments here deserve some attention, but the problem is, the wider public do not read here, never visit her, and will not give any consideration what valued or less valued commentators state on The Standard.

    I am afraid, and I am not happily afraid, that with today’s budget, the election 2014 has been decided, and that Labour may as well fold up their tents, no matter how nice David Cunliffe may be as a person.

    Fact is: The Nats STOLE Labour’s most valuable policies, like extended parental leave and also by offering some more free health care for young children, plus a few other bits here and there. This budget was an “election year budget”, and it was designed to convince middle class young and not so young families, and those wanting to get there, to vote National.

    The only chance Labour will have to challenge the Nats now is on housing, and perhaps the economy, but that latter topic will be too hard to debate on, as no matter how much the government uses basic, simple economics, the results will be perceived as OK for most voters.

    Many voters will also not dare to take risks re a change in economic planning, they rather stick with the fossil fuel deal, and renege on a Labour Green option, as that will be something they are not familiar with and is perceived as too “tricky”.

    Welfare will be a “no go issue” for Labour and Greens, so nothing will change there. All other topics, including finance, will only be rather marginal given Labour’s and even the Green’s rather conservative approaches.

    It is now all over, I fear, this election will not offer a change, it is a done deal, unless something totally unexpected, like a scandal will happen.

    I am sorry, I wish it was different, but I see the pretty under-qualified, divided and unconvincing Labour caucus the worst that any larger party ever had prior to running an election campaign. They are not fit for the challenge.

    Labour, Cunliffe and the rest, you are “done”! Get another job, as the future may be taken over by a totally new political movement.

    • greywarbler 29.1

      Mike TSO
      You may like to see someone else’s opinions of each parliamentary member, and see how they compare to yours.
      Go into Google and search under – denis o’rourke Maori gangs
      then look for Roll Call 2013 – Trans Tasman Newsletter.

      This is the home page – http://transtasman.co.nz/home/

      • Mike the Savage One 29.1.1

        This is NOT about gangs, it is about policy, right or wrong.

        • greywarbler 29.1.1.1

          Mike the Savage One
          You have not even looked at the link I put up which is not about gangs they were just part of the search phrase. I won’t bother with you. You are a waste of time.

          • BLiP 29.1.1.1.1

            Yep . . . tr0ll, alright. I think this was the narrative s/he was seeking to insert . . .

            . . . with today’s budget, the election 2014 has been decided, and Labour may as well fold up their tents . . .

            . . . the lie upon which it was vectored is the suggestion that The Standard is not read by a sufficient number of people to make any difference. We inhabitants are, apparently, wasting our time. The comment then seeks to define the debate upon which National Ltd™ can be challenged . . .

            . . . The only chance Labour will have to challenge the Nats now is on housing, and perhaps the economy, but that latter topic will be too hard to debate on, as no matter how much the government uses basic, simple economics, the results will be perceived as OK for most voters . . .

            Labour can challenge National Ltd™ over the performance of any government portfolio because all have performed poorly. Education, Police, Health, ACC, EQC, IRD, WINZ, Justice . . . oh, and Environment. Don’t forget John Key’s “responsibilities” – shall we start with the appointment of his old mate Ian Fletcher as GCSB boss?

            It turns out that the GCSB has been involved in the illegal spying of individuals around the world. Such is the nature and scope of this spying, New Zealand’s international standing is taking a battering. Gone now is the idea that New Zealand is an “honest player” on the international stage, now we are just Barack Obama and Warner Brothers’ pacific bumboy. Now, if any other group or individual were to blacken New Zealand’s name so thoroughly on the international stage, the GCSB would be investigating the hell out of them. Kinda ironic.

            . . . Welfare will be a “no go issue” for Labour and Greens, so nothing will change there. All other topics, including finance, will only be rather marginal given Labour’s and even the Green’s rather conservative approaches . . .

            Social welfare is actually a MUST GO area for the Greens and Labour. Nothing may change until September so by the time we get there the opposition has a duty to inform New Zealand of what National Ltd™ has done.

            All in all, IMNSHO, the comment is a semi-slick attempt at reinforcing the notion that “National Ltd™ is going to stroll in, you might as well shut up now and stay at home in September”.

            I expext we will get more of these sorts of tr0lls as we get closer and closer to the electon. Some of them have money riding on it and think they can game the system by employing there mate’s PR firm.

            • greywarbler 29.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks BLIP you made sense of that ridiculous mishmash. It sounded or was meant to, like a concerned younger voter trying to ‘analyse this’, but not well.
              But the number of comments scattered all over yesterday by this trial was a clue.

              It must be a fun job allocated to various boys and girls hanging around the places of power, influence and money with notes being compared on who did the best writing job. It helps to have read about how the anti-Castro and USA government agents mounted covert attacks on him. Once you know the extent that people will go to, the mindset required can be understood better.

              I was thinking, the confusing and constant number of trials raining down on the left could be compared to the Windows system in WW2 with the intention of misleading and confusing the opposition.

              Wikipedia – WINDOW was the code name for small metallised strips, like tin foil, designed to be dropped in bundles from RAF bombers. The result was a gently drifting cloud of metallic strips that created confusing signals on German radar screens and concealed the position of the actual bombers.

            • greywarbler 29.1.1.1.1.2

              BLIP
              I think your lists and links compiled about this era of our political history is an extraordinary effort and a valuable resource and you should some time soon think of offering it to some august ivory tower NZ university political science library. For the aforementioned reasons.

  30. srylands 30

    Many prominent commentators on this site castigate the government for the borrowing it has undertaken over the last 6 years to maintain services, and avoid austerity measures given the collapse in revenue that began in the 2008 Budget. We had the latest farce today, parodying John Key for his fiscal record (“John Key’s Surplus”).

    These commentators, such as the author of that earlier post, laughably castigate the Government for its fiscal record (which is the envy of the OECD). Yet at the same time they propose higher government spending, and typically oppose every measure the government has introduced to restrain public expenditure.

    So here is yet another example of delusion or hypocrisy. It is a joke. You are either a pathological liar or you are talking the piss.

    [lprent: Don’t do diversion trolls on posts. This had nothing to do with the post apart from a wee wank at the end. I have already banned two people today for 4 weeks or more for doing that. I’d have little compunction in doing a few more. Moved to Open Mike. ]

    • vto 30.1

      No srylands, it is you who is “talking the piss” (whatever that is …) with this comment … “castigate the government for the borrowing it has undertaken over the last 6 years to maintain services and avoid austerity,”

      The government is castigated for borrowing $50billion for things like …

      Tax cuts for the rich at $1.2billion per annum (7.2billion total).
      Allocating 0.4billion to dairy farmers for irrigation.
      Fraudulently giving $1.8billion to SCF investors.

      Those alone add up to 9.4billion, or about 20% of the borrowing. That is not to maintain services, that is to help out their rich mates.

      Go back to your plastic buckets.

      • vto 30.1.1

        Hey, srylands pulled his comment after my reply …. typical… what a chicken – bok bok, talking absolute shite as per usual.

        stupid plastic chicken man bucket toss

    • Mike the Savage One 30.2

      Srylands or
      “Scry to Heaven Lands”, whatever the name, I hope you do not refer to any of my posts, I am actually a Labour and LEFT supporter, just a bit disappointed about how things are going. It would be extremely FRIVOLOUS and NAUGHTY for any National Party fan brigade member as yourself, or any other below average intellectually capacitated “member” of the now ruling government to presume that the elections is a “foregone conclusion”.

      The very evident lack of insight, enlightenment and intellect of your humble comment here give extreme courage to any alternative forces in NZ politics to take a different, more pro active and constructive approach, be this economic, social or other, which you may not even be capable of dreaming of.

      So please crawl back into your snails house and be quiet, we are in the process of evolution in political terms, to develop a better government for New Zealand, which this country desperately needs!

      • Mike the Savage One 30.2.1

        By the way, there may yet be some REAL surprises coming this election or after, we do not have to settle with what we have now.

  31. Draco T Bastard 31

    https://twitter.com/fakeedbutler/status/466752993681887232/photo/1

    Yeah, I know, it’s about Australia but it may as well be here.

    • Mike the Savage One 32.1

      RIGHT back to bed now, before you get nightmares, ok?! And take your pills too, otherwise we may have to call the cops.

    • Colonial Viper 32.2

      The NZ Government does not need to source NZ dollars, dollars that it itself can print, via interest bearing loans from foreign investors and foreign banks.

      Why are we putting our nation in hock to the Chinese, the Saudis, the Germans, the Australians etc. in order to secure NZ dollars for our government to spend. It is ludicrous.

  32. lprent 34

    Just been digging my way through the costs on the site at mid-month (ie looking for anything that is costing too much), when I noticed the amount of data going out of the public interfaces of the site at present.

    15 days ~= 44 GB in, 475 GB out from Sydney. There is a bit of data transferring to other nodes ~26GB as well which would have been for overseas readers. But it does show how suppressed spambots must be feeling as that used to be about 75% of the aussie/nz load and most of the over seas text volumes was from bots. They get pretty rate limited these days (ie less than 10 pages per minute with a 2 hour lockout unless they are google, feedburner, or the national library). I suspect they are finding other sites to pester.

    That bandwidth is now our major cost, so I expect I’ll have to look at ways to reduce that.

    Now get this. That mostly isn’t the images or css or javascript. They are handled by the cdn, which has handled about 5 million requests almost all from Sydney, most of which would have said 304 (??) – you already have it. The cdn system separately sent a mere ~25 GB of data out, so most of the clients already had those images so didn’t get to get a fresh copy (you have to love caching) unless the cdn “image” had changed (seldom) or their client side expiry date was reached..

    So those GB’s are pretty much all the text on the page, the bit that dynamically changes. A large part of that is the comments are coming in faster. We hit 700k comments on March 6. Now we are already at 732k and the pace is picking up.

    Looks like the new level of web servers is working well. They seem to be a lot faster at processing and sending the pages.

    Damn good thing too. At present it looks like the month will be at least 15% and probably closer to 20% higher than last month for page views and visits. Looks like election season has definitely arrived.

    This time we don’t have a rugby world cup around as a distraction. In 2011 we we just over 300k page views in July, August, September, then just over 400k in October, and over 500k in November when the election happened. Essentially a 2 month election campaign that definitely favoured the incumbent.

    In 2011 National just managed to scrape together a coalition with essentially no votes to spare. Since then the Maori party has been imploding, I rather think Act is dead, Dunne looks shaky, and who in the hell would want Crazy Colin as an electorate MP? Even National voters will balk at that.

    And this time around, the characteristic sharp sustained election rise is apparently happening nearly 5 months earlier. I don’t think that they’re going to be so lucky this time.

    • greywarbler 34.1

      Intresting lprent. The steam engine is building up pressure. I’m a railway fan. Time to change the points.

  33. Jenny 35

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-does-the-u-s-look-like-after-3-meters-of-sea-level-rise/

    On news that expected future sea level rise could be 3 metres.

    Previously once when discussing climate change with Lynn Prentice lprent made the flippant comment, “I’m all right I live on a ridge.”

    I told him he had better invest in storm shutters then.

    In fact he should prepare for his ridge to be wiped clean.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/hurricanes-move-away-from-equator-with-expanding-tropics1/

    And this impending disaster is likely to arrive much faster than sea level rise.

    And still the government he wants, wants to allow deep sea oil drilling, fracking and more new coal mines?

    It is hard to get a straight answer out of them, but it seems that this is still the case.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10822510

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