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Open mike 17/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 17th, 2011 - 80 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…

80 comments on “Open mike 17/05/2011”

  1. TEPCO finally admits that the No 1 reactor melted down a mere 16 hours after the Earthguake. It also admitted that since reactor no 2 and 3 (the one with the MOX fuel) have similar damage they also may have melted down.

    Pre-empting Rare earth man’s tsk,tsking for doubting the official lies the following: when asked TESCO stated that they could not have known that this was the case until they went into the reactor a couple of days ago.

    Hiroaki Koide, professor of nuclear safety engineering at Kyoto University, was critical of TEPCO.

    “They could have assumed that when the loss of power made it impossible to cool down the reactor, it would soon lead to a meltdown of the core. TEPCO’s persistent explanation that the damage to the fuel had been limited turned out to be wrong,” he said.

    It is a well known fact that a nuclear reactor goes into meltdown within 90 minutes if it is not cooled.

    So what we have is three reactors in melt down freely releasing their nuclear destruction into the Pacific ocean and the air. They have done so for the last two months and will do so until a way has been found to stop them from doing so. This will take at least 6-9 months. The reactors are much bigger and older (i.e. more radioactive) than Chernobyl.

    All information about the amounts of the dispersion of radioactive particles into the atmosphere is unavailable to the general public but rest assured we will find out in a couple of years through cancer and extinction of sea life in the areas around the reactors.

    Japan has announced to expand the uninhabitable areas around the reactors.

    • vto 1.1

      The lesson is simple (like any more such lessons should be needed..)..

      Do not trust authority.

      • weka 1.1.1

        I thought the lesson was: there is always a big enough disaster to make nuclear energy a grossly stupid idea (aka there’s no such thing as safe nuclear power).

        • Lanthanide

          There is safe nuclear power, it just requires much more technological nous than was used in the 60’s through 80’s in designing and installing power plants. Safe nuclear power may also not be economically feasible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

          • weka

            Saying there is safe nuclear power is like saying we can build earthquake proof buildings. It’s a semantics that works for those who think the risk is acceptable but doesn’t work for those that don’t.

            • vto

              Well weka it seems we can build earthquake proof buildings. Not one new (current building code) high-rise building in Christchurch’s world record breaking shake collapsed or caused death. All stayed upright as intended and everyone got out. The fact of damage was always expected and known to be a big clean-up job afterwards.

              Quite why the idea that we can’t build such buildings is out there I am not sure. The reality is that we can and have. It has been proved.

              • Armchair Critic

                Depends on what you mean by quake-proof, too.
                We do build quake-proof multi-storey buildings, but they are quake proof in the sense that they have a design philosophy of preserving life. Is it good enough to just preserve human life if it results in an unserviceable building, which results in a long recovery period? Or should we insist on buildings that do not kill people and continue to fully function after an earthquake?
                Perhaps this is too engineering-nerd a subject for The Standard.

                • vto

                  Fuck, just set to replty and another fucking doozy shake sets the nerves afire again. Tell ya, I’m gonna deck one of these quakes someday soon…

                  Anyways… from my understanding of building engineering it is near impossible to build buildings (current technology) that can withstand such a shake or ten and come out undamaged. The reason is that a completely solid structure will just blow apart under such stress and it is bettr to let the building move and bend with the ground movement.

                  I explained it like this once (adult rated)… imagine you have a sudden and extreme bout of the shits but your arsehole is concreted up. What’s going to happen? Obviously blow apart in some unseemly fashion. Better to blow it out and clean up the mess afterwards – at least you survive. (apologies for the less than savoury analogy)

                  • Armchair Critic

                    Thanks for your analogy, as it happens I’ve just sat down for lunch.
                    As I understand it, buildings can be designed to withstand enormous shakes and remain serviceable. The idea is to make them light and flexible, whereas the current school of thought is to make them ductile. I was just contemplating whether this needs to be changed, and structural engineers (all of them, in training, practicing and teaching) need to update their philosophy. Designs might need to be assessed based not only on whether they will protect life, but also, if they become unusable, (because the steel in the connections between the columns and beams has yielded), how long will it take to dismantle and replace the building. And what can the building be used for, meanwhile, and what risks does it present until it is demolished, what inconvenience will be caused during the demolition etc.

                    • vto

                      Perhaps. Christhurch’s newest and tallest building happenned to be a steel frame structure (Pacific Tower) which has got away quite lightly, being lighter and more flexible, compared to the usual construction material of choice, concrete, which is heavy and brittle.

                  • r0b

                    Hang in there vto.

              • weka

                That’s not quake proof, that’s quake resistant. Are you saying those building would withstand a 9.0 quake?

                The issue with nuclear power isn’t how ‘safe’ it is. It’s what are the consequences if things go wrong. Like I said, the semantics work one way if you think the risks are worth it*, but they don’t if you think the risks aren’t worth it. Most people who are against nuke power don’t believe the risks are worth it despite the benefits.

                *although when used like this the word ‘safe’ implies that disaster can/will never happen. Which is ridiculous. It may be theoretically possible to build a nuclear power generator that is completely and forever safe, but once you bring in human and other real world factors, that idea of absolute safety fails again.

                • vto

                  weka, our shake was greater than the japanese one, though the richter measure was lower (6.3 cf 8.9). So our buildings did survive an equivalent 9.0. These are the facts.

                  • weka

                    Are you sure about that? Had you had a 9.0 (richter) with the kind of geology in Chch and that fault and the way that it moved, would you not have had a much worse earthquake? Or are you saying that the Chch quake was the biggest possible for that area? Why couldn’t a bigger quake be possible?

                    Sorry you have having more aftershocks though, that’s a real bastard.

                    • vto

                      I aint entirely 100% positive of course. Iis mother nature. But I do know that the shake Christchurch experienced was the biggest recorded. And the new buildings went through it and out the other side with no loss of life.

                      and yeah cheers. the aftershocks are bastards for sure.

                    • weka

                      “But I do know that the shake Christchurch experienced was the biggest recorded. And the new buildings went through it and out the other side with no loss of life.”

                      That to me says that the buildings are built to the best standards we are willing to pay for and in relationship to the type of quake risk that’s been assesssed. Which is good. But it’s a different thing than saying that those buildings would definitely withstand any and all larger quakes.

                      This is the point about nuclear power generation. It’s about risk assessment. Using a word like safe obfuscates the downsides. Maybe a better comparison is with safe sex vs safer sex. See the difference?

                      They can make nuke power generators safer than the ones built decades ago. They can’t make them absolutely safe.

                    • vto

                      Yes agreed. And “risk” around nuclear power is entirely different than a natural disaster due to the ongoing effects of radiation I would have thought. A start could be made by not letting the likes of Homer Simpson near any such plants…

                    • PeteG

                      It wasn’t the earthquake biggest recorded, one aspect of it (peak ground acceleration) was the biggest recorded in New Zealand and one of the greatest in the world.

                      The peak ground acceleration (PGA) in central Christchurch exceeded 1.8g (i.e. 1.8 times the acceleration of gravity), with the highest recording 2.2g, at Heathcote Valley Primary School, a shaking intensity equivalent to MM X+. This is the highest PGA ever recorded in New Zealand; the highest reading during the September 2010 event was 1.26g, recorded near Darfield.

                      The PGA is also one of the greatest ever ground accelerations recorded in the world, and was unusually high for a 6.3 quake, and the highest in a vertical direction.


                      There are many factors that influence earthquake damage – energy released, PGA, depth, proximity, ground and faultline conditions, layering, proximity to different ground structures:

                      It is also likely that “seismic lensing” contributed to the ground effect, with the seismic waves rebounding off the hard basalt of the Port Hills back into the city.”

                      One explanation I heard was that different layers of the earth separated when initially thrust up, the upper layer came higher so tok longer to drop back down and met the underlayer coming back up on the next wave.

                      It seems that the Februrary quake was a bit like a “perfect storm” combination of factors in proximity to a city centre.

                      If the quake was higher on the Richter scale the effects and damage would have been worse. No building can be earthquake proof.

          • John D

            The Japanese reactors were Gen 1 – built in the era of the sliderule. The new gen reactors, are, one presumes, much safer.

            Thorium power looks much more promising as the waste is non-toxic, and the reactors can be turned off – they do not go into meltdown

          • travellerev

            Well that sorts it than. All we have to do is get rid of those reactors build with 60’s through to the 80s technology. Oh oops, no solution for the waste created in that time.
            Other than bombing Libya and other assorted countries we want to protect and liberate with it of course.

          • Bob

            So Lanth where DO you HIDE the waste ? Weapons grade depleted uranium anyone ? The Iraqis no all about the repercussions of that .

      • ZeeBop 1.1.2

        Trust but verify. If you can’t verify then the authority is illegitimate.
        If the media does not have an independent authority then the media is also illegitimate.
        Unless there is a damn good reason for them to lie, like panic in Toyko.
        So what was lost? Was anything going to change, was there some way to
        stop the meltdown? No. So any benefit from the lies was saving the
        population from causing more harm. Was irradiating them was far less costly
        that the alternative???
        Nuclear power is too dangerous.

      • travellerev 1.1.3

        At the risk of threadjacking my own thread now extrapolate that sentiment to the events of 9/11.
        If no steel framed buildings ever collapsed before and after the events of 9/11 than how come three steel framed buildings collapsed on that one day as a result of fossil fuel fires, one of which as the result of mere office fires, into their own footprint breaking all three of Newton’s laws of motion.
        Who do you believe? Your government or your lying eyes?

        • Armchair Critic

          Option A: DNFTT
          Option B: Here we go, again…..

          • travellerev

            DNFTT? Do not fall to this? Do not feed this T? Darn no foot turn tipsy?
            Do not feed this thread? yeah that could be it.
            Laws of physics don’t lie AC. They can not be broken. Your turn.

            • Armchair Critic

              At this stage I’m picking Option A, ev.

              • weka

                How is that trolling?

                • Oh, thanks Weka. It means do not feed this troll. Duh. LOL.
                  Yeah AC? How is my post trolling? All I do is point out an inconsistency in the official story which purports that 19 young men can defeat the entire military might, can’t fly but still manage to fly three planes into the most protected buildings in the universe and are able to break all Newton’s laws in the process.
                  Fukushima was an exercise in covering up the most blatant lies and all I do is ask VTO to extrapolate his new found cynicism to the events of 9/11.

                  • Armchair Critic

                    OK, it was unfair of me to call you a troll, ev. I just couldn’t be arsed searching for your last major attempt (on The Standard) at convincing the masses that you are right. But I’ve done it now – the link is here.
                    For anyone who doesn’t know what to expect when engaging ev on this subject, have a read of the Open Mike of 9 November 2010. And expect the same again if you choose Option B.

                    • weka

                      The internet, and this blog, is full of people trying to convince everyone else they are right 😉

                    • Oh, feel free to point them to my blog AC. Just because you don’t have the mental acumen to actually read up on science doesn’t mean that others don’t either.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      1. Thanks for the invitation ev. In the past I’ve considered commenting on your blog and I’ve always decided against it. Nothing you have done subsequently has made me reconsider my decision.
                      2. I’ve read or viewed most of the links you’ve provided and concluded that, in general, they are not credible. If that leads you to conclude I lack mental acumen, so be it. You seem to be quite fixed in your opinions, and I won’t go out of my way to try to change your mind.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      “Pre-empting Rare earth man’s tsk,tsking for doubting the official lies the following”
      It’s not you “doubting the official lies”, it’s you deliberately mis-contrueing what their communications said. I’ll put it simply for you: Tepco absolutely knew for 100% certain that event X had happened because they detected it with their instruments, and were fairly sure (as were all external experts) that because X had happened, it means that event Y almost certainly also happened. They put out press releases saying X happened. Then later once they had definitive proof of event Y happening, they put out press releases saying Y has happened. At no point have they actually denied that Y happened. Upon publishing of the later press releases, you accuse them of deliberately lying for initially saying only X had happened and that Y definitely did not happen – they never did any such thing. It is simply not “lying” by any definition of the word.

      You’re allowed to be as sceptical as you want about tepco and their communications strategy, but accusing them of ‘lying’ is just grossly wrong.
      “It is a well known fact that a nuclear reactor goes into meltdown within 90 minutes if it is not cooled.”
      And yet it took 16 hours, funny that.
      “So what we have is three reactors in melt down freely releasing their nuclear destruction into the Pacific ocean and the air.”
      “freely releasing” nuclear destruction into the air is what Chernobyl did. Fukushima is a significantly different failure mode.

      • todd 1.2.1

        Fukushima Cover-Up

        While independent experts have been saying for ages now that there is evidence of nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the confirmation by Japanese officials has until very recently been missing from the official story. This information has seen no coverage from mainstream media, who’ve largely forgotten the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

        • Lanthanide

          I don’t see anything objectionable in that post, except this:
          “After levels of radiation had been measured as high as 700 millisieverts* per hour last week”
          “*Exposure to this level of radiation will cause death. According to the NIH radiation levels of 4 sieverts per hour will cause fatality in 50% of people and at 6 sieverts per hour death is almost certain. 100 sieverts per hour is far above the 100% lethal dosage amount of 6 sieverts per hour.”
          You do know the difference between a millisievert and a sievert, right? Everything is fine until the final sentence, which says “100 sieverts per hour is far above the 100% lethal dosage amount of 6 sieverst per hour”. Sure, it is, but they haven’t found 100 sieverts/hour anywhere, so this statement is completely irrelevant. It’s like saying: “water boils at 100 degrees, and the melting point of tungsten at 2770 degrees is far above the boiling point of water” – factually true, but irrelevant to the case at hand.
          I suspect you simply made a mistake here and confused millisieverts for sieverts. But if you’re going to specifically include a footnote about something like this, you really need to get it correct.

      • travellerev 1.2.2

        No L,
        It did not take 16 hours. the power went down after the Tsunami not the earthquake for starters and as far as I am concerned TEPCO can not even be relied upon to get the 16 hours straight.
        The issue is not if and when the meltdown occurred. The issue is that TESCO which was running these horrors could have reasonably known that since the reactors were not cooled meltdown was unavoidable.

        No power= meltdown.

        Meltdowns prevents cold shut down. Since they have not been able one way or another to do a cold shut down since the 11th of March we are looking at a meltdown which has been allowed (Since there simply is no solution for it) to emit huge amounts of radioactive material to spread through our oceans and atmosphere.

        It isn’t rocket science.

        Since TESPCO as the owner of these monstrosities has denied these events since the beginning until it could no longer be denied it is reasonable to assume they either lied or are so incompetent they should not be allowed to go near a reactor let alone own them.

        As TEPCO has a history of obfuscation and lying I don’t think that it is unreasonable to assume they did so on this occasion.

        Now run along and go play outside with your mates. Oh no, you can’t any more. If it rains you might get contaminated. Well you might still be able here in New Zealand but it is down right hazardous in an 80 miles radius around Fukushima.

        For those of you wanting to know about the size of that; think basically the entire centre of the North Island. No more Taupo, Cambridge, Rotorua, king country, te Awamutu and everything in between.

        Untouchable for the rest of times and that is just were it begins.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It isn’t rocket science.

          No, it’s not – it’s far more complex.

      • travellerev 1.2.3

        You are right L,
        Fukushima is a different cattle of fish altogether. Chernobyl was a relatively small newish reactor (at the time). Compared with Fukushima, Chernobyl was a walk in the park.

    • wtl 1.3

      So basically the Fukushima incident resulted in a release of a huge amount of radioactive material into the environment because there was a meltdown and meltdowns always mean that radioactive material will be released environment? And we don’t know about this because Tepco/the Japanese government/whoever are controlling the release of information from all the detectors of radiation in the whole world in a giant conspiracy (just like 9/11 I guess)? Even though radiation is relatively easy to detect and there are numerous detectors worldwide? And this poses a huge risk to the whole world (not just the immediately surrounding area where the material would be most concentrated) because we are all going to get cancer, after all its not as if the release of radioactive material across a huge area such as the Pacific ocean/the whole world would have resulted in the radioactive material being diluted at all?

  2. KJT 2

    Why has there not been more comment about the gross invasion of privacy, to suit commercial interests, involved in the credit reporting changes.

    Do not make the mistake of thinking it is about responsible lending. It will have adverse effects on any one who has had a period of illness or hard luck.

  3. millsy 3

    In a nutshell:

    National (and ACT) want to TEAR THINGS DOWN.
    Labour (and the Greens) want to BUILD THINGS UP.

    What do you want, NZ?

    • ZeeBop 3.1

      Right – Keep profits flowing offshore to maintain power in base support/contributors.
      Left – Counter Right in opposition but do little to stand up (in the way) of big offshoring of profits.
      Greens – Grow up already, never be a debtor be, planet, credit cards, mortgage
      (unless absolutely necessary when you are impelled to pay back and rewarded for
      it in a timely fashion).

      For some astounding reason the government of NZ believes that kiwis who
      spent spent spent, and now are paying paying paying, and see prices hiking
      on food and oil for the foreseeable future, will rush back to open their wallets
      and invest in housing or buying crap again. They are living on the whiff of
      of a empty barrel of petroleum.

      Any bounce in the economy will be short lived, the population was bullish
      when oil was cheap and credit easy to come by, now its bearish. Until
      NZ changes its tax gearing to support the retention of capital in NZ,
      by valuing capital gains by taxing it, we are going to continue to work
      very hard making profits, and pushing those who take the risk into
      debt. A NZ farm on average is carrying 2.8 million in debt.

      Brash lied, worse he distracted the debate, targeting public debt in the
      future rather than the real present private debt the credit agencies are
      so concerned about. Until we have honest politicians who can hold
      themselves from telling lies to muding the debate we with continue to
      have an economy that gets worse. And that’s the surprise people, why
      the credit agencies haven’t yet figured that out. That shit debate in
      the public political forums led by shit politicians who openly distort the
      debate means shit policy and more dithering and ineptitude.

      Everyone who will vote Brash ACT knows nothing about the economy,
      or politics, or how to make a dollar that they can retain legitimately,

  4. Chris 4

    ‘millsy’ that sort of insightful, highly intelligent ‘comment’ sums up why the Left remains where it is in the polls. Suggest turning some of the opposition anger that is written here into some internal change and growth. Many voters currently see it the other way around.

    • The Voice of Reason 4.1

      The Horizon poll suggests the left is only a couple of points behind the right, Chris, and closing fast. It’ll be interesting if Thursday’s Roy Morgan poll confirms the trend, because the budget isn’t going to win the Government any friends and once the slide starts, it’s hard to stop.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        Lets hope you are correct Voice. That is the ‘closing of the gaps’ we really want to see!

        Chris, you seem unable to recognise a sound bite (aka Millsys nutshell) today. Your sarcasm has prompted me to make any of my posts today in the style of ‘Spud’ on Red Alert.

        • Natzional/ACT working for the clampdown-bastards
        • Go Labour Green Te Mana!

  5. ianmac 5

    Another excellent Julian interview on Native Affairs last night, Maori TV. This time with Tariana Turia. She tried hard to be upbeat but her words sounded sort of hollow. A bit evasive about funding and success of MP. Wish I could figure out the replay.

    • weka 5.1

      Doesn’t look like it’s up on their site yet. All the video is from last week.

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        I have emailed MTV to ask how to access. The numbering underneath each item doesn’t make sense to me.

        • weka

          Let us know what you find out. The numbering didn’t make sense to me either, but their latest video is speculating on when Hone Harawira might resign, so it’s from last Monday presumably.

    • ak 5.2

      Yes Macca, interesting bit was the “wait till the public see how much money has been won by the MP, they’ll be amazed” – type statement from Turia. Confirms the suspicion of truckloads of blankets and beads under the radar over the past two years – and even more interesting will be to see where it’s ended up.

      The chickens of contradiction are coming home to roost: Turia forced to claim credit for “Maori gains under National” and Brash poised to scream “special privilege” the second she does.

      Too little too late for the MP, and thursday’s poll will tell us whether NZ is still susceptible to the Right’s race-baiting poison. Anything but a major boost for ACT indicates another premature hatemongering ejaculation and doom for the nasties. Another rancid Epsom rort may not be an option for Mr Nice.

      Also of extreme pertinence was Turia’s repeated “whichever main party leads govt” indication of a willingness to ditch NAT: on top of the Horizon poll, wee Johnny suddenly looks very cold and lonely.

  6. Morrissey 6

    Bomber Bradbury’s ignorance about the word “Redneck”

    The normally excellent Bomber Bradbury wrote a piece on his Tumeke! blog yesterday, about the campaign against Hone Harawira. Foolishly, however, he chose to entitle it The redneck hate of Hone and the Auckland Uni protest, which implies it’s hard-working Pakeha farmers, truck-drivers and road workers who are spouting all the racist bilge in the media.

    Bradbury uses the term “redneck” repeatedly throughout the article. So he describes racist engineering students in the 1970s as “predominately white provincial and rednecked”, and now, at Auckland University in 2011, Hone is “once again…facing off against rednecks”.

    I posted a response on the Tumeke! blogsite, but so far, Bradbury has not deigned to publish it. In case he doesn’t publish it, here is what I wrote:

    Bomber, please stop using the term “redneck” when you really mean “bigot”. Some of the hardest-working, most serious and socially concerned people I know are rednecks—i.e., farmers, truck drivers, road-workers and manual workers of all kinds.

    “Redneck” is an American term of condescension and abuse used by eastern establishment “liberals” in the 1960s to sneer at white working people in the southern states.

    In our country, the most extreme bigots and race-baiters operate in the comfort of talkback radio studios (Michael Laws, Leighton Smith, Paul Holmes) and university offices (David Round, Michael Bassett, Dov Bing); not a red neck among them.

    Your use of this term is unreflective—and unfair on working people.

    Yours sincerely, Morrissey Breen (Northcote Point)

    Read the original piece by Bomber Bradbury, complete with its thoughtless elitist stereotyping, HERE….

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Language evolves over time. He may not be using ‘redneck’ in it’s original definition, but he’s using it with the commonly accepted definition.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        No, he’s using the word in blissful ignorance. The term was originally, and remains, a sniffy and elitist term of contempt for poor white southerners. As I pointed out, the worst, most vicious racists and bigots are comfortably off, well-remunerated talkback hosts and academics. It is also imprecise; some of the worst, most disgraceful bigots—both here and overseas—are Indian, Maori and Chinese.

        • weka

          “Bomber, please stop using the term “redneck” when you really mean “bigot”. Some of the hardest-working, most serious and socially concerned people I know are rednecks—i.e., farmers, truck drivers, road-workers and manual workers of all kinds. ”

          I’m in two minds about this. I understand a bit of the history of the word and so take your point. But I wouldn’t call evey NZ farmer, truckdriver, roadworker etc a redneck, and most of the people I know that do those things aren’t rednecks in the way that Bomber uses the term either. What is your definition of redneck in a NZ context? When would you use the word? The way you’ve used it here is too generic.

          • weka

            That’s weird that Tumeke doesn’t allow you to link to a specific post. Why is that?

          • Morrissey

            But I wouldn’t call every NZ farmer, truckdriver, roadworker etc a redneck…
            Fair enough—it’s really an American term. Working people in the States cheerfully call themselves rednecks—it’s only a term of abuse when the (ignorant) elites use it.

            …and most of the people I know that do those things aren’t rednecks in the way that Bomber uses the term either.
            No, but Bomber should not be using the word as a term of opprobrium. I know Hone Harawira often flings it around, too—he has obviously given it no more thought than Bomber.

            What is your definition of redneck in a NZ context? When would you use the word? The way you’ve used it here is too generic.
            I don’t think it should ever be used as a term of abuse. Rednecks—i.e., working men—are the very people who the left should be allying with against this rotten government; instead, the likes of Hone and Bomber are invoking them as a term of abuse.

            The all-purpose word for a boor like Garth McVicar, a canting hypocrite like Stephen Franks and a ranting racist like Paul Holmes is not “redneck” but a far more accurate word: bigot.

            • weka

              I think the problem is we don’t have a non-perjorative use of ‘redneck’ here, so it’s too easy for people to fling around. I agree bigot is a better word to use though. It’s less divisive and much more accurate for what they’re talking about.

              Has your comment turned up on Tumeke?

              • Morrissey

                I think the problem is we don’t have a non-perjorative use of ‘redneck’ here, so it’s too easy for people to fling around.
                It’s not a pejorative word unless used with contempt and ignorance, as Bomber Bradbury and Hone Harawira unwittingly do.

                I agree bigot is a better word to use though. It’s less divisive and much more accurate for what they’re talking about.
                Other appropriate words for the likes of Holmes, Franks, McVicar, Leighton Smith, Murray Deaker, David Round, etc. might be: chauvinist, dogmatist, extremist, hypocrite, racist. But they do not deserve the label “redneck”—my uncle was a “redneck”; he read books, was unfailingly polite to all kinds of people, worked hard on his farm all his life—and he despised bigots and racists.

                Has your comment turned up on Tumeke?
                No it hasn’t. I definitely sent it, and I can’t imagine that Bomber has censored it. Maybe something went wrong.

        • pollywog

          i find the term cracka ass cracka wayyyy more endearing…

        • joe90


          The United Mine Workers of America (UMW) and rival miners’ unions appropriated both the term redneck and its literal manifestation, the red bandana, in order to build multiracial unions of white, black, and immigrant miners in the strike-ridden coalfields of northern and central Appalachia between 1912 and 1936.

      • Vicky32 6.1.2

        Language evolves over time. He may not be using ‘redneck’ in it’s original definition, but he’s using it with the commonly accepted definition.

        Sorry, Lanthanide, I am really unimpressed by the “language changes” argument. You talk about the “commonly accepted” definition, but who knows what that is? (It’s not a commonly used term) Granted, here in NZ we now ‘speak American’ as some guy rather smugly and hostilely predicted we would, in the Listener in 1984.(I remember his saying “Only the elderly and the Brits will object). I put my hand up to being one-half of each of those things, and  it’s all rather rough on those of who don’t and would frankly rather die than speak American. The change has not wholly taken place yet.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Interesting, Morrissey.
      As I often point out, using the American term for things, is a mistake – because they’re trendy, doesn’t make them applicable!

      • Morrissey 6.2.1

        It’s not the term “redneck” that I find problematic—it’s the use of it as a term of abuse. I note that that groveling, sniveling little creep Kevin Rudd used the word to denigrate Texans in his cringe-inducing contre-temps with Robin Williams a few months ago.

  7. The Voice of Reason 8

    Trump fires self, hair to go it alone?

  8. Campbell Larsen 9

    Operation Unite – Why we should be worried.

    Over the weekend the NZ and Australian Police conducted their fourth operation under the banner of Operation Unite supposedly ‘A police blitz on drunken violence’
    A campaign against alcohol abuse and how it manifests during a typical weekend in NZ is on the surface not something that a reasonable person would complain about or comment on except to praise. The coordinated international approach adopted by our police force however is quite a different beast.

    In 2007 the Australian and New Zealand Police Ministers and Commissioners formed ANZPAA – the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency http://www.anzpaa.org.au/
    Its stated goal of achieving in Australian and New Zealand Policing excellence is once again a very reasonable sounding proposition- on the surface.
    Collaboration between NZ and Aussie in certain areas of Policing such as forensic and investigative techniques would seem to achieve some of the efficiencies, or effective use of resource that the ANZAA points to as a rationale for its existence.

    Why be worried? Because it doesn’t stop there.

    After the recent Canterbury earthquake Australian police officers were deployed in Christchurch. The presence of foreign Police operating inside another Country, even under supervision, is a very rare sight indeed – something only usually seen when a country is occupied by a foreign power or a peacekeeping force. The government pointed to the earthquake and invoked the ‘extraordinary circumstance’ clause – but at this point I will be quite clear – It is NOT normal for foreign Police to patrolling in another country.

    It seems that not everyone agrees that this should remain so – despite that fact that citizens have a fundamental right to be policed by their own countrymen.

    The Rugby World Cup will likely be the next instalment of ‘Introducing World Police – Phase one – A/NZ amalgamation’ – the unstated goal – to get us to accept being policed by an international or multinational force.

    The ANZPAA is promoting an alignment of policy, practice and resource implementation that is already influencing government policy in New Zealand. The recently released Law Commission report recommended a change in approach to drug offences.

    Despite the clear and rational focus on harm reduction and equally appropriate suggestions that would help us to avoid pointlessly criminalising people our Government is poised to reject these suggestions. Why? Not because the suggestions are inappropriate – these suggestions will be rejected because if adopted we would be not be ‘in alignment’ with Australia and the US.

    The ‘Operation Unite’ initiative began in the United States – a country where almost 10% of the population are in prison. In fact, the business (and it is a business because they are privately run) is such a large part of their economy that if the US was to go back to the imprisonment rates that it had in the 70’s close to a million people who work at the these prison franchises would lose their jobs and the economy as a whole would take a significant hit.

    This is utterly shameful. The intrusion of the profit motive into the provision of prisons opens up a Pandora’s box of conflicting interests and give rise to situations such as have occurred in the US where a Judge was caught taking bribes from a prison operator in return for handing down longer sentences.

    Operation unite, in NZ/Australia and the US, is anti-drug and focussed on increased enforcement – or as they term it here ‘stronger policing’. This ideological preference for punitive measures and enforcement over education and harm reduction is not an accident – in any country where there is profit to be made from prisons there is a motive for putting people there.

    This is about sovereignty – New Zealand should be heeding the advice of its own experts and developing an approach that actually works rather that following the flawed, unjust and essentially immoral approach of the US.

    • ZeeBop 9.1

      I can’t think of another country that is so close that a citizen can
      immediately move to the other country without any restrictions.

    • Campbell Larsen 9.2

      Correction: the actual percentage of people in prison, when taken across the population as a whole is around 3 percent. However one in nine black males between the ages of 20 and 30 are imprisoned in the US.

      Nationals recent announcement calling ‘prisons a moral and fiscal failure’ and asserting that no new prisons will be built cannot be viewed as a turnaround in their stance on law and order. The grouping of fiscal considerations with the corrections dept is no accident – the privatization of prisons is still firmly on the agenda – now to be rationalized as a cost saving measure.

      Be prepared for a roll out of the double bunking and other such ill advised measures which will enable the private operators to make a tidy profit by sacrificing any attempt at education and real reform.

  9. Bunji 10

    This has probably been shared already, but for anyone else that missed it:

    Bryan Gould’s amusing piece on concerns for John Key after it has been more than 2 hours between photo opportunities is here.

  10. weka 11

    Did Jim Moira really just criticise a woman for ‘breastfeeding militantly’?

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      I think he just wondered if that was what she was up to. Whatever it might be.

      Without naming the place, b/c for all I know they have dropped the policy, but when bookie jr was at that age there was a cafe in central wellington that said mothers were welcome to breast-feed their children, but that there was a corkage fee of 2$. True story.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1


        I thought corkage was supposed to recompense staff from the arduous tax of taking the cork out of the bottle (what about screw-caps?) and providing the glassware and table service. And also a token gratuity because you probably won’t be buying as much, or any, alcohol from them.

        Maybe corkage might apply to breastfeeding if the wait staff came and manually pumped it out of you and put it into a bottle so it didn’t spill or something?

      • Vicky32 11.1.2

        but that there was a corkage fee of 2$. True story.

        That’s a bizarre bit of profiteering! It’s also funny, sorry.. 😀

    • Morrissey 11.2

      Yes he did. And neither Brian Edwards nor Michele Boag picked him up on it. In fact, Boag scoffed at the idea that women needed to organise themselves into a pro-breastfeeding organisation.

      On Friday’s programme, another complacent and self-satisfied ideologue, Deborah Hill Cone, indignantly challenged the idea that people might be struggling to get by in this country. “Struggle is a very relative term,” she lectured. “If you compare us to the 1930s we’re a LOT better off!” A dubious Jim Mora said thoughtfully: “Mmmmmmmmm….but…mmmmmm.”

      A few minutes later, Hill Cone was equally impatient with the do-gooder notion that poor people get very sick because they cannot afford to get their teeth fixed: “But DO people die with bad teeth? I’d like to see FIRM FIGURES on that.”

  11. logie97 12

    When Joky Hen admitted in his flippant and endearing way that he had had the snip, what did he really mean by the statement quote… ‘All I can say is it’s been highly successful, but we won’t get into that either.’ …unquote. ?

    It seems that there was probably a bit more of a story there, and having quipped he then wished he hadn’t. Many a slip twixt cup and the lip perhaps. What a shame the Hardtalk host couldn’t have followed that up for us.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1282816/New-Zealand-PM-John-Keys-vasectomy-admission-Ive-snip.html#ixzz1MakpPov5

  12. I wonder if it was this kind of privatisation by stealth that John Key was interested in speaking to David Cameron about at their recent meeting? Sounds like he should have had a chat with Tony Blair instead (maybe he did?).

    Not that I think that the health system is the primary target – at the moment.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      That’s the road that National tried in the 1990s – it failed then but I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried again. They’re always after more ways to channel our wealth to themselves and their rich mates.

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  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
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  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
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    6 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
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