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Open mike 17/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 17th, 2010 - 40 comments
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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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40 comments on “Open mike 17/09/2010”

  1. Bored 1

    How about the Standard running a poll on Goffs leadership? I for one vote for him to resign.

    • rosy 1.1

      I already felt unrepresented by Labour. And now the Greens! There are no parties left on the left worth giving a thought about.

  2. Carol 2

    On the 90 Day trial period for employment, Julie McGregor said that women are at greater risk than men. She describes it in ways that suggest to me, it is the people with least power (male and female) who are most at risk with this law and its proposed extension.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4137379/Women-at-greater-risk-from-job-trials-MPs-told

    Women are more at risk from 90-day trial periods because they are weaker negotiators than men, Parliament has been told.

    Judy McGregor, the Equal Employment Opportunities commissioner for the Human Rights Commission, spoke to the industrial relations select committee yesterday on changes to employment law, including the extension of the 90-day trial period to all workplaces.

    She said those in “precarious work” were often women working in domestic work, care work, retail or service positions.

    “We have a suspicion … they may be more vulnerable just simply because of women’s natural reluctance to negotiate properly at the start of employment periods.”

    I don’t think it’s so much a “natural” reluctance for women to speak out. She indicates the large numbers of women in relatively powerless jobs, who are most at risk. So women are more at risk, because there are more at risk women in relatively low status jobs.

    • prism 2.1

      It has been my experience Carol to observe that women are reluctant to be assertive about asking for rights for themselves, in matters such as pay, or other work entitlements. In fact training in thinking, decision making, how to act assertively and the difference between that and aggression and ways to speak and think clearly and stay on track of whatever the issue is would be invaluable for all women, but particularly for those with least advantages.

      Judy McGregor has wide experience and would have observed and seen research to back up her statements.

      • prosaic 2.1.1

        Prism–your comment is an ignorant generalisation which makes you come off as not only sexist but sadly deprived of the acquaintance of assertive women skilled in clear thinking and in communication. Next time you are tempted to make such a comment, please have the sense to place “some” before the group you are identifying and remove “all”.

      • prism 2.1.2

        I stand corrected –
        It has been my experience to observe that many women are reluctant to be assertive about asking for rights for themselves though there are a significant number who have broken through this barrier and do assert themselves some to the point of aggression.

        anti-spam – arms

        • Vicky32 2.1.2.1

          Prism, in my experience as a non-assertive woman, you are perfectly right! Some women will have the confidence to stand up for themselves, and won’t be listened to. The prettier, younger woman who stands up for herself, will be listened to. It’s not right, but it is the way of things…
          Deb

  3. Lanthanide 3

    A note in the most recent listener is worth repeating, I think.

    It pointed out that National radio’s response to the 4:35am earthquake wouldn’t really have been the same had National’s plans to “save money” by turning off National radio between the hours of 12am and 6am gone through already.

    Also, this idea will barely save any money at all, because the transmitters have to keep transmitting at full power (you can’t turn them off) anyway, and that is where the real cost is. You’ll basically be saving the wages of 2 or 3 people (presenter + 1-2 producers) who don’t need to stay up to run the show, but that’s about it.

    • Bored 3.1

      How stupid is this?????? If we think our parliamentary representatives are disingenuous dullards try this from the local body types. It refers to Wellington City Council voting for Sunday parking enforcement…

      When challenged by Cnr Ritchie that Sunday parking enforcement was a money making concern Committee chairman Andy Foster said he found Ms Ritchie’s comments “offensive and completely inaccurate”. “We’re not going to be making money, it may even cost us, because we’ll have to have staff going around policing this.”

      Either Foster is a liar, or he is a complete idiot that wants to spend money enforcing something that will be highly unpopular. I for one dont want him adding it to my rates bill. What a wally.

      • prism 3.1.1

        Wellingtoni Councillor Andy Foster to be deemed another Gauleiter? Or perhaps Bumbailiff would be more descriptive. (Dictionary says: Brit derog. – an officer employed to collect debts and arrest debtors). The enthusiasm to scalp vehicle owners by officious officials in councils apparently shows up in Wellington excessively.

        • Bored 3.1.1.1

          Yeah, the buggers got me severely recently. It works though as I dont take the car to the city if I possibly can. What is of concern though is this councils propensity to raise revenue to offset rates by way of fines, and at the same time share it with a private contractor.

        • Bored 3.1.1.2

          Bumbailiff, thats really good. My vocabulary expands, thanks.

  4. prism 4

    Prof Richardson Nobel Laureate Scientist talking on NinetoNoon this a.m. about the over use of helium to an extent that the USA is likely to run out of viable supplies about 2035 or so. Caller email to program talked knowledgably about natural gas capture companies venting helium and it being expensive in energy to stop this, and he has been working on solution but can’t get interest to further this from any source, government or other. (It is used in MRI – magnetic resonance imaging spell? – in all large hospitals and probably other.)

    Other info is that the privatisation push in USA last century resulted in an order that the Texas reserve of helium be sold off by 2015. So instead of conserving this scarce resource it is being hocked off probably far below its real value. Of course that would be nearly priceless in reality.

    NASA uses a quarter of what is available (annually or known reserves?) for its rockets and does not conserve the helium it does use as it should. My dirge is that space travel is an unnecessary luxury catering to scientific curiosity and political strutting and is earth-destructive and deflects investment from people to machines and results mostly in abstract and abstruse endeavours. My concern is now strengthened.

    • Bored 4.1

      Unfortunately in the future we may not have the use of todays technology precisely because we have used the resources up without thought. That however does not mean that we wont have alternatives, my take is that we will just have to rethink some of the technology, and that might take a considerable time.

    • Rhinocrates 4.2

      “unnecessary luxury catering to scientific curiosity”

      Oh yes, of course we don’t need any of that, do we? How do you think that we found out about the dangers of global warming, how do you think that we maintain weather monitoring? How do you think that we learned about atmospheric dynamics overall?

      Do you know why the dinosaurs are extinct? They didn’t have a space programme. Look up “Chixulub” if you don’t know what I mean.

      And “scientific curiosity”? We certainly don’t need that trivial luxury, eh!

      “abstract and abstruse endeavours”

      Translation: “I don’t understand it and I’m too lazy to find out about it and so therefore it is worthless.”

      NASA is, in proportion to a national budget, the best-funded space agency in the world and still only gets about 0.6% of the US Federal budget. It’s pretty damn good value, actually. The Department of Defense is at around 20% or more. If you want to hand wring about wasteful spending being diverted from “abstract and abtruse endeavours” (sic) or “earth-destructive” activities (whatever the hell you mean by that), a bare minimum of regard for facts and sense might help your argument just a little bit.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        Do you know why the dinosaurs are extinct? They didn’t have a space programme.

        Chicxulub (Unfortunately the sound is really bad)

      • prism 4.2.2

        Rhinocrates – Son of Socrates?
        Good old NASA – so efficient. I have the payoff in a casserole that can go from freezer to hot oven, covered with some shiny white ceramic? material developed for the space program. All that expense for my $100 casserole! So kind of them! (I bought it 50% off on special. It works well. Hasn’t crashed yet.)

        You might like to stop being superior for enough time to think about the people in the news headlines all the time who are suffering on this our own planet rather than dismissing them to SEP while you focus on pure science. We aren’t served by having space nut-jobs using up vast sums of money that should go into developing technology to help our world, for instance to deal with unpredictable weather ‘events’. More all-purpose vehicles to provide easy access for starving people after disasters and earthquakes etc. Smart wind and sea-powered ships to transport ourselves and our goods so we can continue to trade and visit each other.

        Yes I am too lazy and uninterested to read all the stuff about space though I did look on the internet to check the bright star in the mid-western sky – really bright! Venus I think. But there are a lot of things to learn about and think about on this our very own planet and I am flat out doing that all the time. What about you bozo? And by the way I don’t think you should rely on the space program as the way to stop yourself becoming extinct.

        • Rhinocrates 4.2.2.1

          “Casserole”

          Childish petulant bullshit not worth a detailed response. In essence, you’re repeating the sentiment that is something doesn’t tangibly and directly benefit you, it’s an evil waste. Grow up.

          “enough time to think about the people in the news headlines all the time who are suffering on this our own planet rather than dismissing them to SEP while you focus on pure science”

          Thanks for the character attack. Why do you think that somehow those are mutually exclusive?

          “What about you bozo?”

          As above. Allow me to answer then…

          The earth is a world, and other planets are other worlds. We learn about the earth by learning about them. To repeat, we only found out about the dangers of global warming by observing what happened on Venus. We even learn a lot about storm systems looking at the atmospheres of Titan and the gas giant worlds. The essential strategy of science is experiment, but you see, for obvious reasons, planetology cannot be an experimental science, so we look at the variations in other worlds to learn about the mechanisms driving conditions on earth.

          “We aren’t served by having space nut-jobs using up vast sums of money that should go into developing technology to help our world, for instance to deal with unpredictable weather ‘events’.”

          (A) As I mentioned, that technology helps a damn lot in predicting those events, providing communication during recovery and (B), the portions spent on space are proportionally small (C) when cuts are made, in the real world, it doesn’t go to causes like that – generally it goes to bank bail-outs.

          “Nut-jobs”

          Again, the anti-intellectual bullshit. “I don’t understand them, therefore they’re crazy”

          Who’s putting on the superior act now?

          “I don’t think you should rely on the space program”

          What do you propose? Meditation? An umbrella? Digging deep holes, stocking up on lentils and humming? Some threats cannot be averted without serious investment.

          Just this year alone, amateur astronomers saw at least two major impacts on Jupiter – the fireballs were visible all the way across the inner solar system to guys with backyard telescopes. Imagine if they hit here. Heard of Shoemaker-Levy 9? Now, Jupiter, having a immensely powerful gravitational field, mops up a lot of those comets and asteroids, but there’s a class referred to as Near Earth Objects whose orbits cross our own. Will they hit? Yes, all of them. When? Don’t know. Millions of years from now, thousands, hundreds, tens…? We haven’t tracked them all. Even one the size of a garage can do major damage. Look up Tunguska, 1908… had that one arrived a few hours later, St Petersburg would have been obliterated. NEOs are now becoming a major area of interest amongst the world’s various space programmes.

          The earth is not separate from space, it’s IN space and subject to its phenomena… and vulnerable to them. You suggestion that an interest in space is somehow anti-earth is stupid and ignorant. I love the earth, I think it’s beautiful and fascinating, but I teach for a living, I love knowledge, admire curiosity and sweeping sanctimonious declarations made from a position of willful ignorance inspire nothing but contempt in me.

          “Yes I am too lazy and uninterested to read all the stuff ”

          …Yes, why do I bother? The dyslexic undergrads I deal with at least make an effort. A damn good effort. But you?

          • prism 4.2.2.1.1

            Rhinocrates
            I try to think for myself and don’t just accept the forceful dominant view that you wish to impose in your world view which places science above question from ‘lesser’ human beings.

            I try to keep in touch with the needs of being a human and the ethical climate we need to live in. My suggestion of over-spending on space science and not enough on people and planet earth started off your rant. I know we are affected by space events but we cannot turn our telescopes there and ignore the oil spill etc and its effects on earth. We will destroy ourselves definitely if we go on as now, but may be hit by some space hazard whatever we do.

            Your scientific objective mind is not showing.

            • Rhinocrates 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I don’t place science above question – that is a naive misrepresentation. Science is by its very practice about questioning that is consistent, incisive and it is about falsifiability, as described so well by Popper. Once again you are setting up a false dichotomy.

              You may be offended that experts are taken seriously by other experts but cranks and hippies are not. The reason is that the cranks and hippies have nothing on which to base their gut feelings, no means to demonstrate falsifiability. I could say that there are fairies at the boittom of my garden, but if I can’t show them or show how they could be proven to exist or eliminated as a possibility.

              If I’m sick, I don’t tell my GP what’s wrong to me, I tell them what I experience, let them examine me and trust their expertise, gained from many years of training and hard work and assume that by probability, they are far more likely to be right that me. I don’t wail and moan that just because they have an MD, they have no right to diagnose me.

              So yes, it is above question from the unqualified and the inarticulate, but science is not a religion – it is perhaps a game, because that describes its essentially dynamic nature. It demands rigour. If it does not, it is not science at all.

              “I try to keep in touch with the needs of being a human and the ethical climate we need to live in.”

              And I do not? The people you dismiss as “nutjobs” and “bozos” do not? You have a monopoly on ethics? Really… You imply that a respect for scientific methodology negates empathy, compassion and ethics. It does not, and to insinuate – yet again – that scientists are therefore inhuman is untrue and odious.

              “over-spending on space science and not enough on people”

              My point is that spending on space science benefits people on earth. It is not an either-or situation.

              Do not tell me that you have never – nor ever wish to – benefit from, just for one example, a weather report.

              “You appear arrogant with an inflated conceit about your intelligence”

              Mea culpa. I wear ugly shirts too. Do you have anything of substance to say that is not yet another ad hominem? I do not require you to like me.

              I would say that your pretence to the moral high ground and you repeated insinuated denigrations of those who do not share your prejudices belies arrogance too.

              “lack of personal humility and of the objective scientific mind”

              My colleagues are scientists (my degrees are in industrial design, architecture and humanities, not the hard sciences) and it is quite clear that you have no idea how science works. Indeed, they’re not very humble towards each other – science is virtually a rough contact sport – but they are very very humble towards nature and know that wishful thinking is no substitute for expertise, discipline and rigorous inquiry.

              It is religious zeal that disregards facts, praises revelation and gut feeling over the courage to test one’s hypotheses against the facts systematically.

              Essentially, you call me arrogant because I will not accept your prejudices, which spring from a lack of knowledge and incapacity for logical thought.

              Enough of the tendentious sentimental posturing. Substance, facts and logic please.

              • prism

                You appear more interested in argument and demolishing your opponent Rhinoc than problem solving which is my interest. Your computer has captured apparently, my original comment which I altered to cut out much of the critical comments I had made. So you have answered some things I have deleted. A waste of your time and mine.

                It seems to me that you are very happy with yourself and your scientific pursuits and are impervious to other viewpoints.

            • Rhinocrates 4.2.2.1.1.2

              Furthermore

              “but we cannot turn our telescopes there and ignore the oil spill etc and its effects on earth.”

              I was not aware that we have. Astronomers cannot help with oil spills much, but a dentist won’t help much with your accounting either. Planetology has – do I have to say this again? (yes, I do….) – taught us a lot about the effects of pollution on our own world and how we can ameliorate or prevent its effects. That’s hardly “ïgnoring” the problem. You point? It’s a false dichotomy.

              “We will destroy ourselves definitely if we go on as now,”

              I don’t dispute that.

              “but may be hit by some space hazard whatever we do”

              Actually no, the means to deal with that – tracking objects and developing space enginnering techniques – is exactly what can prevent that. Why is it morally superior that we be stopped from doing so? You’re talking nonsense. I think that if one has the means to save millions of lives through, say weather forecasting, asteroid deflection or whatever, and willfully refuse to develop the means to do so, then it is a grossly unethical omission of action.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2

          We aren’t served by having space nut-jobs using up vast sums of money that should go into developing technology to help our world, for instance to deal with unpredictable weather ‘events’.

          You didn’t watch the video I posted did you?

  5. Lanthanide 5

    I got a reply from Steven Joyce. Back in May when they announced the $50/annual student loan fee, I wrote to him suggesting they increase the fee to $100 but waive it if someone makes a voluntary contribution of $500, so as to encourage people to pay their loans back faster as they get both the 10% bonus and the $100 fee written off, where right now the 10% bonus actually isn’t as competitive as simply keeping the money in the bank earning interest.

    The reply basically says that the fee is there for all borrowers to pay towards the scheme, and that 10% bonus is a separate incentive. If they were to combine the fee and the incentive, it would “be costly to taxpayers” and disadvantage those less able to make voluntary repayments.

    I think he’s somewhat sidestepping the point that combing the two together would result in more cashflow into the government’s coffers. I believe the real point of it is that a $50 fee can be added on to everyone’s loan balance (which counts as an asset in the finance world), whereas if people paid $500 to waive the fee, the government would actually be reducing the loan balance by $50 and therefore have a lower loan balance even if they did actually have higher cash flow. The government would rather have student loans balances on the books worth slightly more instead of cash in hand with slightly lower student loan balance on the books.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Heh.

    “They are — they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they’re already into this experiment.”

    • prism 6.1

      What PB ?? Tell us more.

    • Bored 6.2

      Jeez PB, bloody mice will be too clever to fall off the trees into the river in a flag year and the trout wont get fat……bugger. And we will have to watch out for man traps set by mice who dont want us human vermin in their houses. Wonder what bait they will set for us?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.3

      (latest political celebrity thrown up by the totally not crazy you’re just an elitist for saying that so stop being an elitist you damn elitist tea party in the US. Also, and too, DPF has a thread that might be fun to watch, though he doesn’t mention that Brain quote.)

  7. Red Rosa 7

    Moving right along to less controversial topics

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4138359/Harawiras-foreshore-stand-Osama-has-more-rights

    If I was an opposition MP, I’d be thinking hard about supporting this legislation after the shambles left by the GB Dictator Bill. Uncomfortable questions are being asked from both sides of the political spectrum, and the answers are evasive at best. Now that the ordinary voter is starting to see a cynical jackup when he sees one…..

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/

    http://www.nzcpr.com/CoastalCoalition.htm

    • Herodotus 7.1

      And not a sound eminating from Red Alert. Has someone switched the lights off at the Labours HQ?
      Where is the experienced leadership ?
      Some need to start to ask some questions towards whatever the strategy is. Becasue we cannot see anything, or have we reverted to political strategy to winning an election – wait until you can win by default then there are no broken promises.
      antispam word: complaining
      There are some IT people here that have a sense ogf humour 😉

  8. Latest Roy Morgan poll:

    National down 1 to 48.5
    Labour up 1.5 to 34
    Greens 8
    Act 2 (not for long)
    NZ First 4.5 (WTF?)

  9. ak 9

    WTF exactamundo. On not a peep from the media. Simple answer: he’s learned the lesson that’s been staring us in the face since Mt Albert and Mining (and for some since 2004) and been ignoring the media and out pounding the beat. We’ve got two weeks to do the same in Auckland or forever hold our pieces.

  10. bobo 10

    “A woman has been jailed for pocketing more than $12,000 of ACC payments that were supposed to be used for installing a ramp and handrails in her home.

    Athleen June Barlow pleaded guilty to ACC charges when she appeared in Whanganui District Court this week.”

    vs

    Ex-MP Roger McClay sentenced to community service
    Disgraced former Government minister Roger McClay has yet to apologise to the two cash-strapped charities he rorted in a $25,000 fraud.

    Spot the difference…

  11. KJT 11

    Now is the time to get in there and make sure that our parties are really representative of our wishes.

    At first, being really angry about this I thought about another party etc, But I think we all need to pull together, support Labour and the Greens, use our membership and votes within the parties to make sure that Labour and the Greens are truly representative of ordinary people and get rid of NACT before the damage is irreparable.

  12. jaymam 12

    There’s a bunch of kids in a white 1991 Daihatsu Charade rego UG2074 going around cutting holes in City Vision billboards. Does anyone know who they are? They claim to be John Banks supporters. I have photos and video. I don\’t think the cops will be interested. They never do anything about billboard vandals.

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