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Open mike 19/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 19th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

69 comments on “Open mike 19/02/2011”

  1. Chris73 1

    Go the Highlanders!!!

    But seriously how is this guy a principle?!?!?


    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      “But seriously how is this guy a principle?!?!?”

      I imagine being able to spell the job title would have given him a significant advantage over the other applicants for the position.

      • Chris73 1.1.1

        Well thats clever pointing out my spelling error because thats certainly the most important part of this post

        I mean all I would have done is automatically suspended the girls that did this (you know to protect the other students) pending an investigation into expulsion whereas the principal thinks its more important to keep the bullies in school

        Why don’t you try asking the mother of the potentially scarred and brain-damaged little girl what she thinks would be the better option

        • McFlock

          Yeah, the best solution is always immediately obvious to someone who knows very little about the case so they fill in the blanks with stereotypical imaginings.

          Damned if I know why people in the real world always seem to have some sort of performance deficit. /sarc

          • Chris73

            “Yeah, the best solution is always immediately obvious to someone who knows very little about the case so they fill in the blanks with stereotypical imaginings.”

            What part of my posting has any stereotypical imaginings?

            The reports I’ve read are from the press and TV3, for you to say stereotypical imaginings must mean you know something about this incident.

            So please enlighten me about what you know.

            • McFlock

              Funny – it’s got nothing to do with what I know.

              It would seem that we both rely on the same information sources, yet I get the impression I’ve heard at best a rough outline of one or two facts with no guarantee of truth or balanced perspective, whereas you believe you have enough information to declaim exactly what course of action should have been taken at what point in time.

              I would suggest that your first stereotypical imagining is that the facts of the case (such as who was present and who did what or saw what) are all completely known and unchallenged by the students you would have arbitrarily suspended. And secondly, that you know exactly what a school is legally entitled to do in such a case.

              As the principle said in your linked article: “There’s a group of people who are concerned and I understand that. But they really don’t understand the facts or processes that have to be put in place when something like this happens.”

              But deliver your final judgement, oh great deus ex machina of the ‘net.

    • millsy 1.2

      The principal of Morrinsville High School, and its BOT should resign.

      They had a a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for EVERY student, and they failed. Therefore they are morally unfit to carry on in their positions.

      If these girls were out in the workplace and did this, they would be sacked, trespassed from the site, and in court.

      Finally, we need to really crack down on bullying for good in our school system. We can start by putting puplis at risk of chronic bullying in segregation, and have them seperate from the other students – like the prison system.

      • Mac1 1.2.1

        Part of me agrees with you, Monty, and my first reaction was incredulity that the actions taken were taken.

        However, it’s like the reaction that we have when we hear the judgement and sentence of a judge and think that the sentence is either too severe or more usually too light. We however don’t know the full facts- the judge and jury do.

        This principal is experienced- he would have had other’s input. He knew the families of the perpetrators. He would be aware of the competing calls being made upon him. We have to trust him to have made a good judgement, all things considered.

        One good thing that came from the perpetrators remaining at school was that they got to hear from a friend of theirs at an assembly a very strong and condemnatory message. They wouldn’t have got that, if suspended or expelled. Shame, loss of mana, is a strong lesson giver.

        • Lanthanide

          Given the congratulatory messages on their facebook page (which were read out on the TV news), I don’t think a condemnatory message in a school assembly would have much impact on them.

        • millsy

          Um, wrong poster old bean. Im a little bit left of Monty.

          • Mac1

            That fills me with concern, Lanthanide. What does that say about the message givers and about our society? Do we know how the perpetrators treated these messages as opposed to the condemnatory ones? Did they show remorse or have we another group of sociopaths? I didn’t see the TV news on this.

            The problem could be far larger than this group. Have we learnt nothing in our rise out of the primordial ooze?

            Millsy, sorry to have mis-read your name. This question I would hope is beyond the left-right political divide in terms of our concern and condemnation of the wrong committed. Maybe people will line up along the divide with possible solutions. I just feel that that solution has to be beyond the punitive solely.

            I would hate to think that isolation of offenders in the company of fellow thinkers would do any good. It might mitigate the chance of re-offending but how does a young person learn what is right and good, to empathize and to act correctly, if the example of the majority who do act this way is not available to them because of isolation? This is one of the arguments against boot camps- where young offenders learn to be fit young offenders, not how to change their lives.

            Where are the adults in all this? How much good adult advice, supervision, teaching went into their young charges’ lives? What role will the police, courts, social services play in their rehabilitation and in the redressing of the harm caused?

            I’m not offering solutions here. I am basically at a loss…………

            Captcha ‘trap’. We really need to be wary and clever around all this.

            • millsy

              Yes, I agree that the ‘bring back the birch’ approach doesnt work.

              We need a longer term approach. Having ‘adult’ New Zealand look in the mirror about the example they are setting to younger people (ie talkback, whale oil, kiwiblog) would be a start.

              • Chris73

                You’re trying to pin some blame on right-wing blogs?

                Lets see I’ve had people swear at me, comment on the size of my genitals and threaten me (thats quite a laugh) all because of my views but never have I thought that comments like that have anything to do with whats going on in schools

                Yet I don’t see those comments on the right-wing blogs…

                [lprent: while quite a good commentator otherwise, you’re too stupid to take a hint. See my comment below. ]

                • millsy

                  What sort of message does it give kids if people like Laws, Henry and the like go round slagging people off because they are a bit different.

                  • Chris73

                    That in NZ you’re allowed to speak your mind without fear of reprisal

                    But you know what I listen to radio a fair bit (due to my job) and I agree with quite a bit of what Laws says but I also agree with a fair bit of what Willie J and John T says

                    But thats not the point, the point is you don’t have to listen to them, you’re not being forced, there are other options, you can change the channel or switch them off

                    • Mac1

                      Chris 73, the instances that both you and Millsy make are some of the adults to whom children have to listen in order to sort out what is right? What you argue is OK for a balanced, properly taught, emotionally stable, free in all senses individual.

                      The rest of us, 13 year olds especially, have a great problem listening to and sorting out correct attitude and behaviour from all this competing clamour.

                      It’s just not good enough to practice hands-off in terms of morality around the non-adult.

                      They need our input, wisdom, advice, our sense of justice and community.

                    • millsy

                      Laws and Henry are bullie, along with JT.

                      I bet you that Laws would have no seconds thoughts about slamming a solo mother’s head in a toilet door.

                • lprent

                  Idiot. As the sysop on the site, I was the one doing those things. No one else does because that is my role on the site. They were to attract your attention and get you to change behavior – specifically the repetitive spinning of troll lines and avoiding discussion on them and other antisocial behaviors. Looks like you have failed to understand that. Most likely because you are too blind to look at the policy of this site and arrogant enough to think that you can set it.

                  I can’t be bothered exerting much more effort on you. Adding you to the auto moderated list for stupidity. But I suspect I will wind up just adding you to the permanently banned as being a waste of bandwidth.

                  • Chris73

                    Ok so I’m in auto-moderation, so I guess I have a time period to wait. What sort of time frame are we looking at?

            • seeker

              @Mac1 12.40pm
              “Where are the adults in all this? How much good adult advice, supervision, teaching went into their young charges’ lives?”

              A very good point Mac1. I am a recently retired teacher so have been in the ‘business’ a long time. I was as aghast as any at the response of the ‘I’ve held this position for “15 years”‘ Principal of Morrinsville School. He should know better. His staff should have been on duty at breaktimes and before school and after school , monitorring children’s behaviour- especially in the school toilets!
              From the newspaper accounts he knew there was a problem with this group of girls as the mother of the poor girl who was beaten had told the school of this when her daughter started Morrinsville (first extra monitoring alert should have been triggerd.) These previous problems for her daughter with this charming little group had probably started in the middle school, which are often small incubation units for future problem teenagers from my experience .
              An attack on her daughter a few days after the mother’s warning showed that the school(Principal) had not taken the mother’s fears seriously . These girl’s should have been punished and split up- they can hunt in packs so disperse them and diffuse the leaders effect on the easily led others.At the very least the staff, who should have been on duty at the times mentioned above, should have been on high alert and swooped immediately there was the smallest sign of trouble. This should have stopped the bullying escalating until it reached this disgraceful act of grievous bodily harm we have read about. Diligent supervision may have seen intervention take place before such serious injury occurred, as someone would have entered the toilets and stopped the culprits in their tracks.
              I was further saddened to see that the Principal hardly mentioned the unfortunate girl who has possibly had her life ruined, only the “blasted girls “he had taken back with merely a whimper and his concerns for theirs and his future. Perhaps he has lost his way after 15 years and needs to revisit “principal” training. He has not made his school safe.
              How many other children are in a similar situation and really fear going to school knowing it is not safe for them but are never listened to or supported by the adults around them? In fact they are often laughed or scoffed at. Our youngsters need the help, support and guidance of the adults in their young lives -not dismissal or indifference.Our school system is not quite as good as we think it is-especially for many of our children!
              N.B. I wonder if any member of the families of two of the bully girls the principal said he knew well were on the board of trustees, they can hold terrific sway as regards sanctions!?.

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      Yeah, letting them back because they “showed remorse”, my arse.

      If they’re 3rd form girls who beat up someone older, do you really think they’re showing genuine remorse?

  2. neoleftie 2

    Ah chris – that would be “go the highlanders” to their new swanky rate payer funded stadium.

    • Chris73 2.1

      Correct, Dunedin needed a new stadium and thank goodness the idiots that tried to stop it wern ‘t listened to (if only Auckland had that kind of balls)

      Also the epic win over the ‘canes

      • neoleftie 2.1.1

        drill down a bit there chris and you see that while it provided a stimulius to the local economy it also allowed the local business brotherhood to cream the system again. One hand was guiding the process, the other hand was held out for some large sums of money…another co-oped idea where the business elite manage to put there snouts in the public purse again.
        But i agree great location, good use of money, good design hopefully – got the highlanders

        • McFlock

          Not to mention gifting yet more money to an unneeded and incompetently managed ORFU.

          I resisted going to any event at the ‘brook not so much because I’m not particularly into rugby (most of my friends are, so would go along with them – hell, I sit through rugby games at their places), or the spartan facilities (I’ve been to worse), but simply because admission price was prohibitive and then not a single opportunity was lost to ream punters. Overcharging is one thing, but these guys took it to the next level – lousy food, thimble servings, AND premium cost. No wonder the place was almost always empty.

        • Colonial Viper

          Stimulus to the local economy?

          You mean the Stadium CEO from Wales, the project managers flown down here from Hamilton and the steel purchased from Auckland merchants not Otago ones?

          Dunedin ratepayers got ripped a new one from cake hole to asshole with this stadium. And they are being asked to pay again to subsidise the running of the Rugby World Cup games lol

          Go Highlanders sheeesh.

          • neoleftie

            um well viper any building project must at least provide some stimulus – at least the ratepayers money is staying in NZ somewhere. also the borrowed money expands the money supply too.

          • Chris73

            Actually my original comment was about the Highlanders dealing the ‘canes but…

            So what if all you say happened, who cares? Dunedin has a new stadium they can be proud of and thats whats important

        • Chris73

          Ah well its not a perfect world but the ends justifies the means 😉

      • millsy 2.1.2

        So Chris, so you are perfectly OK that the DCC has had to cut funding to libaries, council housing, pools, parks, etc because of the debts incurred by the stadium?

        • McFlock

          The funny one was when Hide was all about “councils should only spend money on core activities”, Mr Perkbuster was unclear about libraries and strangely silent on a $2-300million stadium.

        • Chris73

          Absolutely ok with it, its an investment in the future of Dunedin and more importantly the Uni itself.

          In fact Christchurch should follow suit and build a new stadium

          • millsy

            Chris, LIBRARIES (literacy in the community), PARKS AND POOLS (grass roots sport + fitness), also are in investment in dunedins future.

            • Chris73

              OK millsy for how long is spending to be cut? Is all spending cut or is it a partial cut? Will the libraries, parks and pools still remain open, be able to function>

              This is a stadium Dunedin has been needing for years so good on the city council for making the tough decision that will reward Dunedin for decades to come and not give into the naysayers

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Extreme measures to prevent anti-union laws being passed in Wisconsin


    The US is happily bent on destroying its own workforce.

    On Thursday, the drama had risen to a boil with the prospect of a vote seemingly imminent. Protesters blocked a door to the Senate chambers. They sat down, body against body, filling a corridor. They chanted “Freedom, democracy, unions!” in the stately gallery as the senators convened.

    Then there was a new twist: the Democrats disappeared.

    That left Republicans, who control the Capitol and had expected to push through the bill, in limbo. Although Republicans control the State Senate by 19 to 14, 20 senators — and thus, at least a single Democrat — must be in the room to call a vote on such fiscal matters. In the state Assembly, Republicans hold a wider majority: 57 Republicans, 38 Democrats, and an independent who has indicated support for the bill. In that chamber, 58 members must be in attendance to call a vote.

  4. neoleftie 4

    Well America is such a confused mess of contradictions who know what’s going on really.
    For the bellweather democratic economy everyone should be very concerned at the state of things over there, talk about a hollow japan, a rotten Core is the great and mighty USA.

    • Deadly_NZ 4.1

      And this is the so called Police man of the world, keeper of free speech, and Liberty for all, the country against slavery and indiscriminate war, Signatory to the Hague convention against torture, and yet sends political prisoners overseas to be tortured, who keep a man in solitray confinement for 9 months, who’s war on terrorism only adds to the death toll of those killed in the name of religion.

      Who’d a thunk it??

  5. M 5

    “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him–he has known a fear beyond every other.”


    Fantastic article on John Steinbeck, GD1 and the coming GD2

    • Rosy 5.1

      Thanks for this link. Excellent and very moving account of the great depression and yes, it’s going to happen again unless the concentration of wealth is the hands of a few is dispersed. This GFC is only the beginning.

  6. joe90 6

    More on Bahrain, pics of the aftermath of the demonstrations and a short blog entry on the underlying divisions in Bahrain society.

    On the larger middle east situation, New Statesman, this is not an Islamic revolution and a link to a metafilter post about American intellectual Gene Sharp and his writing about non violent revolution.

  7. BLiP 7

    Anyone buying this Fonterra “price freeze on milk”? Seems to have the stink of public relations about it. Like any international corporation, Fonterra’s PR flunkies will be out the front waving the pretty banner – behind the scenes the bean counters will be tweaking the price of yoghurt, butter, and baby formula. Then again, I’m a cynic.

    • Tigger 7.1

      Well it certainly appears kneejerk (which is always a sign it’s a PR thing and not something thoughtful or meaningful) since no one talked to the farmers beforehand.

      Question: is the real issue here that we pay export prices for local produce? Interested if someone could untangle this mystery for me. Milk isn’t like apples for example with good and not so good or peaches etc where you only tend to see decent local stuff when the international markets for this produce falls over – most milk is just milk so we can’t be sending our best milk overseas as we do with some other produce.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    The busy blatherings from the Minister of Incompetence Filled with Hot Air:


    • Mac1 8.1

      The gall of the man. “To be able to say here is a master plan would be great but you would have to set aside a lot of Christchurch City Council responsibilities and trample all over things the CCC is doing,” he (Gerry Brownlee) said.

      This from the man who dealt to Ecan. This from a minister of Govt which did over Auckland’s democracy. This from the man whose boot prints would lie all over the public protected landscape.

  9. Jim Nald 9

    Extracts from Key’s Memoirs

    When trying to escape being caught:

    1. First say, ‘no choice’. If that fails, …

    2. Say ‘i dunno’, then …

    3. Blame away. Tip: blame previous Labour Govt

    4. Still not working? Massage the facts (just keep going hard and don’t bloody stop even if you strangle the facts) and quickly claim ‘it’s a good deal’

    5. If that fails, set off a flood of press releases (pray pray one of them works)

    6. Still seem like will be buggered? Erm, look around for ‘friends’ and get them to do a sideshow. Speaking of which, … if feeling like about to be rogered by voters, call out ‘hello, Roger roger, are you there, over?’

    Glad to see NZ Herald & Armstrong not being in denial about Key’s modus operandi:

    • neoleftie 9.1

      oh Jim – who really know what John Key is about but he was smart enough to claim the unoccupied centre.

      • Jim Nald 9.1.1

        Yeah, fantastic, you genius, whatever you say.
        You know what happens to those in the centre – they get hit by those going left and and those going right.

        • neoleftie

          well Jim really – well when i studied the electoral voting pattern from the last decade it gave quite an insight into the make up of the electorate. If the Left party block is percieved as moving left and the Tories shift right again as perceived by the ordinary voter then we have this large centrish swing voter who is left confused. Since its a dynamic societal construct the usually right/ left polarity is old style thinking. What counts is not where the parties are really position on the matrix but where the swing and /or switch voter percieved them to be.
          Hence John Key coming across all centrist…i mean where exactly are the true right voters going – nowhere so it was a race to capture the centre but that is obvious ah.

  10. Jim Nald 10

    Key’s New Zealand: 100% Pure … Pure Bullshit … Pure Spin.
    Minister of Tourism and PM Key takes you for a ride.




    Feel free to add more links …..

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    US vetoes UN vote on settlements

    The United States vetoed a UN resolution Friday that would have condemned Israeli settlements as “illegal” and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building.

    Gee, look at that, the US supporting more theft of Palestinian land by Israel. They’re probably even saying that they want to support peace which just won’t happen while such theft is ongoing.

    • neoleftie 11.1

      From a few of the spokepersons comment it would suggest that America simply doesnt agree that the UN should be involved in declaring this resolution.
      Once again the UN is interferring with Pax America

    • Jim MacDonald 11.2

      On a very good day and being most polite, some might hope the US can tell the difference between vote and veto.
      We hope they are not dyslexic when UN-ing.

    • Lanthanide 11.3

      Does the UN ever manage to really achieve anything, with the US and other powerful countries having veto rights over all the important decisions they ever attempt to make?

      • RedLogix 11.3.1

        Well yes the UN is deeply compromised by the inability of the major nations to surrender even a portion of their sovereignty to global governance. Despite that I would say that the world is a better place for the existence of the UN regardless.

        But in a world where virtually all the really serious problems facing mankind are global in nature, the inability to agree upon and implement universal solutions is a serious challenge to the nation states intent of preserving their fragmented authorities. Eventually the disconnect will become too great to sustain, and just as the local warlords of medieval Europe eventually gave way to the nation state, so too will the nation state eventually be subsumed in some degree to a world federalist government.

        It’s kind of inevitable if you think about it.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It’s kind of inevitable if you think about it.

          It is but we need better ways to prevent the corruption that seems endemic to the present political system.

    • luva 11.4

      ohh the outrage, yet you have no problem living in New Zealand where the settlment you live in is on land that was taken without informed consent from the Maori

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Trouble brewing for National in Rodney (Lockwood’s, not Hide’s) …


    Here’s a suggestion (for somebody else to do the work!) – a blog post giving a quick overview of National’s dwindling supply of safe seats, especially in the Auckland region.

    “Dwindling” because Ross has got Botany, Maggie Barry has her eye on North Shore, it could be a Bible-belt-the-kids in Rodney, and the rest are already taken (Collins, Key, McCully etc).

    Where are they going to parachute in Steven Joyce?

  13. Deadly_NZ 13

    Oh look a right wing Religious nut job party. Oh joy personified. And even the Nats are worried

    “While not an illegal party move, stacking is not considered appropriate and members are particularly conserned about the party being hijacked by the Christian-right.”


    • NickS 13.1

      They really should just tell him to fuck off then, especially given the 260+ increase in membership. But expecting National local branches to show any spine, let alone HQ to do something is like voting for ACT thinking they’ll actually be liberal.

  14. Rosy 14

    “Barclays Bank has been forced to admit it paid just £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 – a year when it rang up a record £11.6bn of profits” that’s 1 % tax.

    I’m getting very interested in the UK uncut protest movement that is highlighting and protesting about govt cuts and corporates that don’t pay their share of tax.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Yep. I understand that. Exxon Mobil made US$19B profit year ended 2010.

      And paid no tax in the US. In fact, I understand that they got a tax refund from the IRS.

      I really need their accountants.

  15. Todd 15

    Personally I’m getting a bit sick of all the lies, hate politics and prejudices in this country. I often wonder how best to curtail the trolls from herding the sheeple around and maybe a few cuts to the bone will wear down even the most ardent amongst the flock, and they will wake up. But I’ve been thinking that will happen for a while now. Unfortunately money is a powerful weapon to use against the people, especially any dissenting voices.

    Some brains might explode though if we gave them a good dose of extremism. You know, revolution and all that. Give the right-wingers something to really jump up and down about pointing with their fat ineffectual fingers and shouting “money will save us from the terrorists” and what not. I’m not being too subtle am I? The truth be told, we don’t even need the corrupt bastards, but they certainly need us and our taxes to buy new Beemer’s and striptease our assets away. Well I say fuck that!

    Am I allowed to use that word, or is it a bit like the words fascist and bigot? I wouldn’t want to be labeled an anarchist or anything or perhaps start a flame war, whatever the hell that is. Being that everything is so PC and perfect in the tory land of nod and the emperor has no new clothes to speak of. Sh! Don’t tell anyone I told you.

    Looks like the information war is currently in overdrive, while we all get fleeced and milked for every last drop. Sheeple and thinking people alike. I must say that I’m pretty sick and tired of the propaganda and bullshit being used to try and usurp real freedom and equality for the world, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    Nuf said. Here’s a good article by John Minto on politics and poverty:


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