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Open mike 16/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 16th, 2011 - 85 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

85 comments on “Open mike 16/05/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    So NActs provide less money for you

    …..if you’re a single parent on DPB and want to improve your situation tand employment possibilities hrough study. Greens say the next budget should extend training allowances for such women:


    The Greens want the allowance to be available to sickness beneficiaries and for undergraduate, and some postgraduate, courses.

    Their plan would cost an extra $40 million on top of the present $19m cost. But Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the medium and long-term savings outweighed that.

    “For just a very small investment, the same that we’re giving away to the America’s Cup, we can get 10,000 beneficiaries or more into gainful education.”

    Ms Turei used the allowance while studying law as a single mother on a benefit.

    “I was very surprised that Paula Bennett kicked the ladder out from under her. She knows exactly what it’s like to be a young woman having to care for a child on her own and be dependent on the state.”
    The Greens also want the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour, a temporary Christchurch rebuilding levy and a capital gains tax.

    And more for their housing

    … if you’re a NAct government minister:


    A move supposed to save taxpayers money has instead seen a rise in the amount spent housing government ministers in Wellington.

    Figures seen by the Star-Times show the total cost increased by more than $10,000 a quarter between January 2009 and 2011.

    Labour’s Pete Hodgson said Key made it clear the changes were meant to save money, and they had failed.

    “He has said, in general, that he wants his government to be more transparent… in the case of his own ministers there’s actually less transparency now, because an unknown amount of money is actually disappearing into ministers’ pockets because they are paid an amount of money for accommodation whether they use that amount or not.”

    The extra costs include moving Joyce out of Premiere House so the Diplomatic Protection Squad can move in. The government reckons overall, and over time, there will be less admin costs, but it’s hard to tell because there’s less transparency. But there’s now money going to ministers for housing whether they need it or not, and then there’s the DPS to support, both adding extra costs.

    • prism 1.1

      Carol “I was very surprised that Paula Bennett kicked the ladder out from under her…
      It is interesting about this human penchant. It goes against the idea of empathy and understanding through having experienced and, hopefully overcome, some difficulty. Unfortunately many find higher status and money in disdaining and tut-tutting about the lesser beings milling about below who don’t see a clear pathway to a living and happiness. Their future should be like the words below, but why should the ‘haves’ care.

      This from lyrics007 : Bob Marley – I Can See Clearly Now
      I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
      I can see all obstacles in my way
      Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
      It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
      Sun-Shiny day

      • PeteG 1.1.1

        Small point – “I Can See Clearly Now” was written and performed by Johnny Nash, not Marley. Some of the songs on the album of the same name were written by and with Marley, and the Wailers helped with backing.

        • prism

          Ta Pete G – Being familiar with the song and knowing who wrote it don’t go together sometimes. It’s right to give credit where it’s due.

  2. logie97 2

    What is it with some high rolling people in positions of influence and their difficulty in managing their relationships?

    • Carol 2.1

      I’m a little confused about the Head of IMF’s politics. He’s championed as a socialist politician in France, but I don’t see a lot of socialism in IMF’s policies. It’s not just men in high rolling positions. I learned long ago that some leftie men, who actively espouse socialist politics and practices, and even know all the right feminist arguments, can treat women badly in their personal relationships.

      • logie97 2.1.1

        Not sure there was any mention of political philosophy in my question there Carol. These people are unfortunately, however, in positions of greatly influencing our lives and, worse still, often tell us how we should live ours.

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        Perhaps calling such people “socialists” is about as accurate as referring to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel and the rest of that hideous gang in Washington as “democrats”.

  3. vto 3

    Frank Bananarama makes himself a fool again like so many before him. Takes action through the barrel of a gun and usurps Fijian sovereignty. Then complains when somone takes action against him through the barrel of a gun and usurps Fijian sovereignty. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha what a fool.

    Live by the sword die by the sword.

    • prism 3.1

      I thought the idea was that the top banana was upset because the guy slipped out from under in a covert way instead of staying on to face a trumped up charge. No guns just outmaneouvering the regime. But I have missed some newscasts today.

    • Sedition isn’t usually grounds for extradition….though I don’t know what the details of any extradition treaty might be between Fiji and Tonga.

  4. Terry 4

    The latest Horizon Poll shows Mana it has 2.3% party vote support nationwide, while the Maori Party is on 2.1%.
    A Labour led coalition with Hone or Annette winning a seat would have 46.4%, while National –Act-Maori Party –United Future 44.9%.
    Maori Party support shall be vital for Mr Key in the General Election. However the need for Act to get votes will impact on votes for the Maori Party, with Mana benefiting, and we may even more United Future voters flow as well.
    Pita Sharples has indicated he would work with Brash, silly move now line can be run;
    A vote for the Maori Party is a Vote for Act – not a good look for the Maori Party.
    The leading candidate for the Maori Party now seems to be Pita Tipene Chairperson of the Ngati Hine Forestry Trust, he is from Ngati Hine.
    At best any Maori Party candidate would end up at around10%. Kelvin from Labour at most would sit around 30%, while Hone and Mana would at least be around the 60% mark in the June 25 By Election.
    The Maori Party is politically mortally wounded in the North, and shall become of no electoral relevance in the North.
    When you stand Hone against Kelvin, Hone and Mana win hands down with the Maori Party candidate performing extremely badly.
    The Northern Advocate Newspaper ran an online poll yesterday, it had120 votes.
    Hone Mana Party 77%
    Kelvin Labour Party 18%
    Maori Party Candadiate 5%
    The newspaper also under took a street poll through Northland. Mr Brown said “he had not voted in the 2008 general election, but had since grown to admire Mr Harawira”, Ms Mare 63 said she voted for the Maori Party in 2008 “because of Hone.”, “What he says he does,” pledging a switch to Mana. Grace Takimoana said “…I voted for Labour last time, but they haven’t got much hope with their new leader.”
    In the last General Election Hone had a resounding 32% majority over Kelvin, Hone’s electorate vote grew about 10% in 2008, while the Maori Party vote decreased by 1.3%. Combine that with the Advocate poll result the trend is clear Hone has grown support while the Maori Party has lost support.
    I heard there may have been around 16 at the Maori Party Waitangi hui, that should have been the story of the day. Further the president Pam Bird of the Maori Party dismisses Maori youth our future leaders. In a poll during the last election 70% of the voters in the electorate wanted the Maori Party to work with Labour, not National. Do not forget the New Zealand First backlash for going into government with National, the seats were basically wiped out.
    Polling prior to the 2008 election from Maori Television poll had some interesting numbers;
    Only 20.6% surveyed said Kelvin Davis could be trusted, 21.2% to deliver on his promises. When you move on to he knows the needs of local people Kevin performs badly again at 16.2%.When it comes to leadership Kevin only manages 19.2%. The survey about who has personality Kelvin scores 11.2%, while Hone scores 71.

    • Carol 4.1

      Curiously the news headlines are all about Act’s poll improvement under Brash, and some alternative but negative focus on hone & Mana, ignoring how they’ve polled.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        The MSM don’t want to give the new Mana Party air as it might upset their plans for a second term Nact government.

  5. Olwyn 5

    A cautionary tale from the NY Times about the role of private prisons in the American economy, that should give us pause as well, since we are second only to them, by most reports, in our incarceration rate. Even as there are moves to reduce the imprisonment rate (due to cost rather than justice) this will not be done on any scale because the prison is so deeply entrenched in the economy.


    Two quotable quotes: “If our nation were to return to the rates of incarceration we had in the 1970s, we would have to release 4 out of 5 people behind bars. A million people employed by the criminal justice system could lose their jobs. Private prison companies would see their profits vanish. This system is now so deeply rooted in our social, political and economic structures that it is not going to fade away without a major shift in public consciousness.”

    And from Martin Luther King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail: “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice…”

    This last, in my opinion can be applied to the lot of all who are poor and effectively disenfranchised.

    • prism 5.1

      Crime, corrections, jails, these areas of state control are a lotto win for private enterprise.. Police are supposed to fulfil a number of roles one being keeping order, but an important one is to assist ordinary citizens But that has been fudged in the government target for reduction of deaths. Hence all the road-blocks increasing police surveillance which interfere with ordinary citizens’ freedom of movement. Huge numbers stopped with 10 per cent or less failing the required standards. Also huge cost being put into catching offenders, and fining or charging them. That money should be going on working with the young, education and more positive measures to limit offences, not the reliance on punitive ones.

      Reducing drug-drinking hours would limit the intake to more just ‘happy’ levels. Yet the police and citizens have to fight for fewer hours. And this co-ordinated approach with Australia is amazing. Our police have a big budget and their top people should have the expertise along with a forward-looking policy for reducing crime without looking to Oz, or the USA. One point which arose recently was that those under sentence for driving offences have often not received any mandatory driver education. Unbelievable one would think but apparently true.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    John Minto is talking about standing in Epsom. Sounds completely insane to me. He should stand in Wigram, and he’d have a fair shot at winning (I’d vote for him). What better way to show that Mana isn’t a Hone vehicle if they go and win a general electorate seat?

  7. Morrissey 7

    The S.S. Trust an “advocate for victims of crime”? Is Kathryn Ryan joking?

    Nine to Noon, National Radio, Monday 16 May 2011

    Following the government’s malicious decision to remove Greenpeace’s charitable status because of its “political advocacy”, Kathryn Ryan asked a couple of people about just what exactly “political advocacy” means. “What about the Sensible Sentencing Trust? If Greenpeace is political”, she asked, “then what about an organisation that advocates for the victims of crime?”

    W-W-W-W-WHA-A-A-A-AT?!???!!!?!?!? The S.S. Trust is a victims’ advocate organisation now? Then who the hell was it that championed Bruce Emery’s knife-killing of a boy on a Manurewa street in 2008? A quick check of the Chez Breen filing cabinet unearthed the following: “Bruce Emery is a different type of offender…I didn’t think he should have gone to jail….” The speaker is…. w-w-w-w-wait for it!…. Garth McVicar. Yes, that’s right: Garth McVicar, “the victims’ advocate”.

    I sent a brief e-mail to Kathryn Ryan, questioning her judgement, or lack thereof….

    To: ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz

    Dear Kathryn,

    You said: “What about organisations that advocate for the victims of crime?” You seem to be implying that the Sensible Sentencing Trust does that.

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten that, following the knife-killing of 15-year-old Pihema Cameron on an Auckland street, the S.S. Trust’s Garth McVicar loudly supported the killer, and poured scorn and vitriol on the victim, and repeatedly defamed the boy’s mother and his extended family.

    The S.S. Trust is an “advocate for victims of crime”? Tell that to Leanne Cameron

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • foolsgold 7.1

      Man that was stupid of her. Sometimes I wonder what Ryan is thinking most of the time.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        It’s not only her, unfortunately. Jim Mora continues to let McVicar comment on “law and order” issues, and he regularly has Barry Corbett and Stephen Franks as guests on The Panel. Both Corbett and Franks spoke out in support of the killing of that boy.

        • Lanthanide

          You’re acting like Corbett and Franks aren’t allowed to have an opinion that differs to yours.

          • Morrissey

            Errrr, not quite, Lanthanide. They have every right to praise and defend people who murder Maori teenagers. What I object to is when these people (Corbett, Franks, McVicar) call themselves “victim advocates”. They are anything but.

            • Lanthanide

              Your post at 7.1.1 didn’t make it clear that Corbett and Franks also called themselves “victim advocates”. Your response is certainly justified (and I agree).

              • Morrissey

                I’m not sure if Corbett is an S.S. member, but he certainly made repeated statements in support of Bruce Emery’s killing of the boy. He later backtracked, after a storm of public revulsion.

                Franks is the “legal adviser” to the S.S. Trust. He regularly pontificates about the way that “wicked” people are “indulged” by what he sneeringly calls “liberals.”

                • todd

                  Franks is following in the dead baby identity stealing David Garrett’s illustrious footsteps then, in being “legal adviser” to the SST. Why are these people given any media time at all, they have zero credibility. Racists like Garth McVicar should pull their ugly little heads in. His neighbours tell me his pad is pretty flash, Serco must pay well.


                  • Morrissey

                    Actually, Franks was a legal adviser to the S.S. Trust long before Garrett was exposed as a felon. A few years ago, Franks went on an infamous trip to the U.S. with McVicar, no doubt funded by money donated in good faith by well-meaning people to help victims of crime. There they met Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who gave them a guided tour of his prison camp.

                    At one point, Sheriff Joe asked them if New Zealand had many P addicts. There was a significant pause by both McVicar and Franks, and then they said, in unison: “HEAPS!”

                    Which makes them traitors to New Zealand, as well as liars.

    • millsy 7.2

      I belive that the Cameron/Emery case is the beginning of a slippery slope that in only a few years will end up in lynching becoming commonplace in this country.

      • Morrissey 7.2.1

        The knifing of Pihema Cameron was a lynching. The subsequent campaign of ridicule and character assassination of the dead boy, led by Emery’s lawyer Chris Comeskey, the S.S. Trust and some radio talkback hosts, was very similar in tone to what followed the killing of a Jew in Germany or a black man in Alabama in the 1930s.

        • Olwyn

          I agree with you Morrissey. One can be fairly sure that if the boy had been killed in the same way, under the same circumstances, and for the same reasons, by a tattooed brown neighbour, with loose gang affiliations but no criminal record, the self same people would have used it as “evidence” to show what “they” are like. The mental attitude propagated by the SST should terrify everyone.

          • Morrissey

            I think, for a start, people should ring up and complain every time a television or radio station either quotes or interviews McVicar or anyone from the S.S. Trust.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Something for our brave SAS troops to ponder
    Next time one of our brave Kiwi boys is being bullied and browbeaten by an American thug to (illegally) hand over captives for possible torture and even murder, he might like to show him a copy of this article….

    May 10, 2011
    Why It Doesn’t Work: Army Interrogators on Torture

    In my years in the anti-torture movement, one of the most moving experience has been getting to know military interrogators, military intelligence professionals, JAGS, and other military members who struggled to behave honorably, often at great personal cost, even when they served an administration that promoted torture and when the American public became convinced by politicians, pundits, and the media that torture was both right and necessary. Below is a recent statement by a veteran Army interrogator and interrogation instructor, 1LT(P) Marcus Lewis, who reminds his fellow interrogators of the folly of the torture promoters. Torture neither “works” nor is it moral, he reminds them.

    Lewis is not alone among experienced interrogators. One of the sad facts is that when the Bush administration and the CIA were creating the torture program they ignored the opinions of experienced interrogators….


  9. The dream team for social activists, those that believe in equality and tino rangatiratanga – Harawira, Sykes and Minto – that is why i have sent off my membership form to Mana – it is time to get off the fence and seize the opportunity of a generation, for the next generations.


  10. todd 10

    In this issue of Parliament’s Wall of Shame, the Jackal dishes the dirt on David Garrett, Graham John Capill, Donna Awatere Huata, Trevor Rogers, Nick Smith and Roger McClay.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Not commenting on your site since you require to sign up to a service to do so.
      Philip Field is conspicuous on his absence on your wall.

      • todd 10.1.1

        Sign up to a service? You should be able to post by registering to the site, it is not a service. You can read the privacy policy here. The Jackal was getting too many stupid and derogatory comments with anonymous posting. The #1 on the title denoted that this is the first in a series of Wall of Shame posts. Field is in the list I have drawn up. However I appreciate any further suggestions people might have.

        Ruth Dyson
        Taito Philip Field
        Bob Clarkson
        David Butcher
        Phil Heatley
        Pansy Yu Fong Wong

        • Lanthanide

          You have to use Google, OpenID, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad or AIM to comment.

          • todd

            It would appear that you have a WordPress account Lanthanide, as you’ve posted here.

            • Lanthanide

              You don’t need any sort of account with anything to post on the standard. The only one of those that I have is google, and I’m not putting that on your site.

              • todd

                That’s fine by me Lanthanide. If you have a problem with the way the posting feature works, might I suggest you take it up with blogger.com.

                • Lanthanide

                  Other blogs on blogger.com allow you to post with just a name and any email address you like, much as you can here on The Standard.
                  That option was also available on your blog for a while, which I availed myself of. Since you took it away, I haven’t bothered.

                  • todd

                    That’s something I’m grateful for Lanthanide. Your often ill conceived and factually incorrect posts will not be missed @ the Jackal. Perhaps you think that making such a childish complaint and comparing the Jackal to other websites will achieve something. Twerp!

                    • Lanthanide

                      I don’t think it’s “childish” to note that you used to allow open comments on your blog, and now don’t.
                      Calling my comments “factually incorrect” is a bit rich when you were saying the earthquakes in Christchurch were caused by secret American weapons testing and for evidence you linked to a news story from 2005 about a meteor that was seen over the city implying that it happened just days before the September 4th quake.

                    • todd

                      I presume you’re refering to the What are you all HAARPing on about article I wrote back on 2nd March, in which you comented:

                      You’re holding this article up as “From reports people have stated hearing a loud sonic boom prior to the 21 Feb Christchurch earthquake.”

                      To which I replied: There were reports of sonic boom like noises prior to the 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Lyttleton/Christchurch. Here is one of them.

                      I did not say the Christchurch earthquakes were caused by secret American weapons, however I did provide information about the technology. So again you are being factually incorrect and showing yourself to be a twerp.

                      The Jackal still allows open comments, however it does not allow anonymous comments.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “I did not say the Christchurch earthquakes were caused by secret American weapons, however I did provide information about the technology.”

                      No, you didn’t outright say it, you just heavily implied it. If you were just providing “information about the technology”, you wouldn’t have mentioned the CHCH earthquake, or included the lines “Could returning low-frequency waves shift the Earth’s magma, thus moving tectonic plates to cause earthquakes? The mind boggles!”.

                      That’s exactly the sort of arguing by innuendo that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh dish out.

                    • todd

                      I gave the facts of the case as presented. People did hear a large sonic boom sound prior to the Christchurch earthquake, that’s why it was mentioned. Do you now accept that fact Lanthanide?

                      It’s for the reader to make up their own minds and hopefully look for further answers. I was thanked for the informative article as most readers have the cognitive ability to formulate their own conclusions. My article was especially helpful to those within the community of people trying to get HAARP recognized as a dangerous technology.

                      Was your comparison to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh meant to be a joke? I am neither fat, ugly or a conservative you twerp! My article stuck to the facts, just as all of my blogs are formulated from relevant information. If you don’t like my writing style, don’t read it.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “People did hear a large sonic boom sound prior to the Christchurch earthquake, that’s why it was mentioned.”

                      When you hear the sound of hoofbeats in the night, think first of horses, not of zebras.

                    • todd

                      When people say they heard a sonic boom sound before the Earthquake, that is what I will report. You might note that there are over 400 words between the two paragraphs you cut and paste together to try and discredit the article, which is almost three months old. Your childish, ill conceived and factually incorrect argument is akin to a moron Lanthanide. Get over yourself and grow up twerp!

        • Adele

          Tau Henare, John Tamihere, Shane Jones, Dover Samuels – they are all morally inept.

          • todd

            Thanks Adele. Looking for past or present MPs with convictions. But I might broaden the scope of the name and shame blogs 🙂

  11. Craig 11

    Here’s a little heads up for those who are wondering about the beatup job currently underway insofar as abortion counsellors and adolescent abortion access are concerned. I found out that counsellor Steve Taylor has strong fundamentalist Christian and male backlash/’fathers rights’ links, as can be seen from his resource section, and is headquartered in the fundamentalist Parents Inc parenting group. Clearly, he isn’t neutral on this subject and I question why no-one else has investigated his background:

    See: http://www.24-7.org.nz

  12. Carol 12

    So the guy who promise us all North of $50.00 tax cuts in the current term of his government, is now talking up the possibility that wages will rise higher than inflation in the next couple of years:


    Wages are tipped to rise strongly over the next two years, Prime Minister John Key says.

    Or maybe not:

    But he admitted Treasury had been overly optimistic in last year’s forecasts and there was an element of “a finger in the air” with such forecasts.

    But that didn’t stop Tracy Watkins making a headline saying:
    Wages tipped to rise, Key believes

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      So the guy who promise us all North of $50.00 tax cuts in the current term of his government

      Hmmmm Carol, don’t make the same mistake that everyone is has. When Key talked about tax cuts “North of $50” he was talking directly to National’s core constituency, not to anyone else. Everyone thought he was addressing the general public. Wrong. It was a dog whistle to his base.

      And Key delivered on his promise, his base got tax cuts which were net $50/wk or more, even after GST and price increases.

      • Lanthanide 12.1.1

        Well actually he said “north of $50” for those “earning the average wage”, which is about $39k or so. Not so much a dog-whistle as a blatant lie.

        • Colonial Viper

          If he said average wage that is closer to $47K p.a. But i’m still confident that he was talking to his core constituency there.

          • Lanthanide

            Ah, I think the $39k is the average income, eg including benefits. Something like that, anyway.

            “But i’m still confident that he was talking to his core constituency there.”

            I think his careful (and since, oft-repeated) use of the term “average wage” is to make it seem like any old average joe in the street. When of course we know that the average is significantly above the median and maybe only 30% of the country earn the ‘average’ or above.

            So yeah, I guess it’s a dog-whistle for their core constituency, dressed up like lamb for the average joe-blow who wants to believe that they earn the average wage because they earn the same as all their mates down the pub.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yes, you’re referring to the median full time working income with that $39K pa figure.

              Average income is higher than that, skewed upwards by the rich pricks.

              • Carol

                So, when he is hopeful of higher wages in the next couple of years, is that really for the high earners too?

            • Draco T Bastard

              When of course we know that the average is significantly above the median and maybe only 30% of the country earn the ‘average’ or above.

              You’d be lucky if it was 25%.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which means a lot of people earning **under** the average wage are voting National.

    • Lanthanide 12.2

      Yes, very bizarre little story, that.
      It would have been fair and balanced in they had also noted that John Key believed that the tax cuts would see us “roaring out of recession” last year.

  13. logie97 13

    Just visited BBC home page and this was the HEADLINE photograph and link …

  14. Lanthanide 14

    Haven’t watched it and don’t know if it’s the full interview or just a clip:
    John Key interviewed by The Economist.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Its a full interview and Key says that we have LOW GOVERNMENT DEBT!

      • Lanthanide 14.1.1

        He said that in the hard talk one, too.

        • ianmac

          The Debt is mostly Private debt and 75% of that is Bank debt and not those spendthrift peasants – like me.

  15. joe90 15

    Journalism in the public interest.


  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    Lee Atwater, in an anonymous interview in 1981, (his identity was revealed in the nineties, after his death):

    Atwater: As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry S. Dent, Sr. and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he’s campaigned on since 1964 and that’s fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

    Questioner: But the fact is, isn’t it, that Reagan does get to the Wallace voter and to the racist side of the Wallace voter by doing away with legal services, by cutting down on food stamps?

    Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    Newt Gingrich, this month, on the campaign stump in southern states:

    I believe the gap between where the people in this room and the vast majority of the people of Georgia would take America and where President Obama would take America is so enormous that this will be the most consequential election since 1860.

    You want to be a country that creates food stamps, in which case frankly Obama’s is an enormous success. The most successful food stamp president in American history. Or do you want to be a country that creates paychecks?

    “You know, folks often talk about immigration. I always say that to become an American citizen, immigrants ought to have to learn American history. But maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote, as a native born American, you should have to learn American history.”

    • joe90 16.1

      Newt in his own words, 33 years of bomb throwing.

      • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1

        Oh he’s a card all right. Thing is though, as much as the Cons will cry about what the elite liberal media are going to unleash on this sorry sack of shit regarding his personal life, I don’t give a shit.

        He was front and centre during the Clinton impeachment attempt, and eventually shut down the government because Clinton didn’t give the little snake oil salesman the respect he felt he deserved. His marks in the rube ridden south might have forgotten but DC is a village, and a company town. They went after Clinton because he was an outsider, and they feted Newt back then because he tried to take him down. But now he is damaged goods, too blatant, too stupid, and attacks the village. They will just slaughter him and I don’t think Fox will be enough to save him.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    Also, and too; holy fucking shit but this is stupid:


    It’s like, well it’s like all sorts of things.

    But to me it’s like there are a bunch of assclowns
    that either haven’t read one damn thing about the drivers behind AQ,
    or didn’t understand it if they did,
    or if they did both read and understand
    then are the most cynical hard out sons of bitches since the roman republic collapsed in an orgy of private empire building dressed up as giving a fuck.

  18. prism 18

    At present Radionz announces that there will be a 23 minute interview from BBC Hard Talk programme with our pm Joky Hen aka John Key – if interested in how His Fairy Footsteps sounds to others.

  19. logie97 19

    Joky Hen is relying on Treasury forecasts for his latest “state of whatever” speech.


    When was the last treasury forecast worth the paper it was written on?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      It’s always worth the paper it’s written on. You just have to realise that the value isn’t in what Treasury put there but what it shows which is that Treasury is a bunch of ideological neo-liberal followers who wouldn’t know what the economy was doing if you paid them.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Q: Why isn’t Bill English proposing to sell off Treasury to help repay our foreign debt?

        A: Because its worthless.

  20. logie97 20

    Is our Minister of Tourism writing for the Lonely Planet and did he give the nudge to someone on the Beeb to give us a bit more exposure down here. I can just see someone doing a side trip from The Mount to Stewart Island to sample the fish and chips. Who wrote this stuff? (New Zealand cuisine a gourmet’s delight???)


  21. The Voice of Reason 21

    Todd and Lanthanide, above.

    I can’t reply to the comments above directly, hence this comment here.

    Todd, you are wrong. You haven’t posted any evidence that people heard a sonic boom. The actual quote, if I recall correctly, was we heard a sound like a sonic boom. Like. Not actually, but ‘like’. Not surprising to hear a sound ‘like’ a sonic boom during an earthquake, is it? After all, it’s an astonishingly large release of energy in waves across the physical sounding board that is this good earth.

    Lanth is right to say you connected the CIA death boom ray and the earthquake. It’s the whole point of the post, eh. And it’s just as hyberbolic as the Brazillian Oil Co. ate my penguin post a few weeks back. If make preposterous juxtapositions like that, you will get called on it.

    And, just as an aside, I agree with Lanth’s criticism of your otherwise well organised site. Anyone wanting to comment there has to identify themselves via a third party, yet you remain anonymous. I reckon that’s not an encouragement to engage in debate and might explain why an otherwise interesting blog gets bugger all responses from readers.

    • Armchair Critic 21.1

      I’ve given up visiting your site, todd, because although much of what you write is thoughtful or provocative, some of your speculation is too wild and loose.
      I never commented, for the same reasons that Lanthanide stopped commenting.
      Your belligerence above does you no favours either.
      I’d commend a more adult approach to you, unless your aim is not to be taken seriously.

      • weka 21.1.1

        I’d also like to be able to comment more easily on your blog. I don’t have a google account or OpenID. Blogger should allow you to add a name/URL option without adding the annoymous one.

    • vto 21.2

      Just wastng some time checking some posts and see this about sounds like sonic booms at the time of the Feb 22 earthquake….

      Well, I have experienced countless quakes and/or aftershocks which have been booming sounds. Sometimes they have a shake with them and sometimes not. It makes total sense – when the earth cracks it must surely go BOOM. I have heard many many – usually very deep and low and not that loud (in fact very low quiet mostly). The shake follows. Without doubt the BOOMS of earthquakes.

      Also, wandering one of the port hills last week got a very strong waft of sulphur smell. Also experienced by others with me. Always heard about that phenomenon and finally experienced it.

      These earthquakes are quite something extraordinary…


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    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
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    4 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
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    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
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    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
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    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
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    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
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    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago