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Open mike 19/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 19th, 2012 - 102 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…

102 comments on “Open mike 19/06/2012 ”

  1. Robert Redford: Stop Public Handouts to Oil, Gas and Coal Companies, Now

    Every year, around the world, almost one trillion dollars of subsidies is handed out to help the fossil fuel industry. Who came up with the crazy idea that the fossil fuel industry deserves our hard-earned money, no less in economic times of such harsh human consequence? We fire teachers, police and firemen in drastic budget cuts and yet, the fossil fuel industry can laugh all the way to the bank on our dime? Something doesn’t add up here.

    We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet. Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?


    • Jenny 1.1


      The Earth

      Black body radiative equivalence:

      A material object receiving radiated energy, will re-radiate the same amount of energy.

      Radiative black body cooling:

      The amount of heat a surface radiates is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature. If temperature doubles, radiated energy increases by a factor of 16 (2 to the 4th power). If the temperature of a planet rises, the planet rapidly emits an increasing amount of heat to space. This large increase in heat loss in response to a relatively smaller increase in temperature—referred to as radiative cooling—is the primary mechanism that prevents runaway heating on Earth.

      However the Earth is not a theoretical black body, it has an atmosphere through which the re-radiating heat must pass.

      Abundant water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs most wavelengths of radiant infrared energy, but it is almost transparent in some. The transparency in these wavelengths is like a window that the atmosphere leaves open for the radiative cooling of the Earth’s surface. The most important of these “water vapor windows” is for thermal infrared with wavelengths centered around 10 micrometers. The maximum transparency occurs at 10 micrometers, but partial transparency occurs for wavelengths between about 8 and about 14 micrometers.

      Carbon dioxide is a very strong absorber of thermal infrared energy with wavelengths longer than 12-13 micrometers, which means that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide partially “close” this atmospheric window. In other words, wavelengths of outgoing thermal infrared energy that our atmosphere’s most abundant greenhouse gas—water vapor—would have let escape to space are instead absorbed by carbon dioxide.

      The absorption of outgoing thermal infrared by carbon dioxide means that Earth still absorbs incoming solar energy, but an equivalent amount of heat is no longer leaving from the top of the atmosphere. The exact amount of the energy imbalance is very hard to measure, but it appears to be a little over 0.8 watts per square meter.

      The best way, (though not the only way), to measure the incoming and out going energy is with satellites above the atmosphere.

      Though not the only method used, satellite observations provide the “best estimate” of the Top OF Atmosphere (TOA) radiative imbalance, that confirm the energy imbalance.

      Data from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment, (ERBE) and the Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System, (CERES) – The multi $billion satellite systems launched into orbit to specifically study and quantify this phenomenon. Sharpened the figure of 0.8 watts per square meter.

      Primarily based on observations from three satellites, NOAA-9 (whose scanner failed in January 1987), NOAA-10 (which collected data up to April 1989) .And the CERES experimental instruments (FM1 and FM2) flown aboard the Terra satellite, launched in December 1999 with data extending to May 2004 (cutoff for this study).

      Ongoing satellite research on atmospheric radiative imbalance is through the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) which collates and analyzes satellite radiance measurements, collecting data from the international suite of weather satellites to produce globally merged radiance datasets.

      With more than two decades of data, and over a 1,000 papers published, ISCCP highlights include – the first global survey of land surface skin temperatures, and global land surface microwave emissivities based on satellite microwave measurements.

      Leading to more exact calculation of surface and top-of-atmosphere radiative flux based on the physical quantities provided by the ISCCP data, including validation of the first results of other different global information sources used in surface radiative flux calculation of the radiative properties of the near-surface atmosphere.

      Be afraid, be very afraid

    • Uturn 1.2

      “We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet. Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?”

      You ask Robert Atack about this.

      From my perspective it’s easy. It’s not so much that “people” are consciously choosing to subsidise fossil fuels industry, but that they either do not know or will not give up the present reality for one that has not been articulated so that they feel they aren’t “losing”. (see comment lower down page on winners vs. losers) In a win/lose mindset, there needs to be a “no loss” bridge between one stage and the next if you want people to move forward. In our times, this is usually only reached through crisis removing the option of staying still.

      As a matter of education, it is far easier to oppose in principle of asset sales, than locate, read and comprehend thousands of pages and hours of information on free market and neo/classical economics, peak oil or climate change. For much of the population, it would be like asking them to choose between eating some icecream or none, or learning how to complete an advanced calculus exercise. In this instance, you’d have to convince people that calculus was more important to them, personally, than ice cream.

      The problem is that as resources are generally finite and the win/lose mindset has been so thoroughly explored, categorised and mapped, propaganda experts are running out of ways to present a deadend idea as limitless. We’ve snookered ourselves. Our whole society is based on an adolescent world view. It started out no worse than anything else, but got snipped, trimmed and reduced to slogans, effectively losing all the important details. Asking someone who has never heard of peakoil to voluntarily give up telephones, cars, LCD tv’s and plastic – cold turkey – isn’t going to work. We trained everyone to think the absurd and now they can’t be reached. No surprise.

      Our politicians are only gobbling up the last of the easily reached resources and hoping to die in comfort before the reality sets in. Our “rewards” they hand out are completely fitting our attitude. Don’t believe me? Then log off now, sell you computer and all electronic equipment and your car. Today. No? Then you aren’t all that concerned, are you? In the meantime, they are allowing everyone to avoid wholesale panic and mayhem. Now I’m not saying that there isn’t someone somewhere in NZ who could lead our people forward fairly safely and responsibly, but we haven’t heard from them yet. History would suggest they are a product of a crisis and will likely at present be emersed in a reality we would call one of “losing”. It is not until the reality shifts that their lose becomes a win, for everyone.

      For a general example, lets look at someone like… Oskar Schindler. There’s a commonly known name. He was a german businessman that today we would call a complete failure and unrespectably dodgy, untrustworthy and opportunistic. He couldn’t get anything to work during peace time, fell into bankruptcy, the kind of guy our leaders would sneer at and good hard working moms and pops would avoid. If he was alive today, he might be a failed finance company director. Maybe. But once war came along and he saw what was happening to people, something changed and he chose people over profit. After the war, he sank again into “losing”. Clearly what he had was useful, though he was labelled useless, and it was just that the time wasn’t right for his skills. I’m not suggesting we should all model ourselves on Oskar Schindler or continually vote for dodgy pollies. Schindler was who he was and that’s the point. Instead of us being who we are, and when the time comes, coming to maturity, we keep demanding the impossible blameless pure messiah come save us all.

      Get realistic about what people are, accept the influence of time on the unknown, and we may find a bridge between here and post peak oil/fossil fuel etc crisis.

    • prism 1.3

      Every year, around the world, almost one trillion dollars of subsidies is handed out to help the fossil fuel industry. Who came up with the crazy idea

      ‘It certainly gave us a lot of great dinners and wine not to mention weekends of golf tournaments in luxury resorts, and paid for my luxury holiday home in the Bahamas, so a very good deal for all of us guys’ a source close to Capitol Hill told this reporter??’ /sarc

  2. Carol 2

    As someone who had an accident fairly recently and found the ACC cover for ambulance, hospital,,operations and (some/not enough) physio invaluable, I have a question about the latest suggestions for ACC by both National and Labour:

    What does “pay as you go” mean? Is it the same as user pays?


    Labour is rethinking its ACC policy, and could scrap the fully funded model to revert to a “pay as you go” approach – and yesterday ACC Minister Judith Collins refused to rule out a similar move.

    • Hi Carol The last Labour Government decided that ACC should work to fund future costs of current accidents. At any one time in the coffers should be enough money to pay for all future payouts for accidents that were covered. It used to be beforehand that ACC would only aim to collect in enough money each year to cover payments

      • DH 2.1.1

        It’s a very stupid move, not dissimilar to superannuation being made pay as you go and why it’s a problem now. The fully funded model charges the full cost of accidents each year, any moves to change it will just move big premium hikes into the future. About 40% of the work account levy is the residual claims levy which is still paying off a shortfall from over ten years ago.

        The only rationale for pay as you go is that the fully funded model needs large reserves and when interest rates fall the returns from investments tend to fall so you get short-term deficits that the beancounters can panic over. (The outstanding claims liability is calculated from the risk-free rate of return)

        We’re nearly fully funded now on the big accounts and once we reach it premiums will drop anyway…. without increasing later.

        • mickysavage

          Agreed DH and half of my comment disappeared … Future funding is really important because otherwise ACC levies will continue to be hiked to the state where it is unsustainable. It also allows the state to maintain a share in capital markets and the local stock exchane

          • DH

            Yup. The big blowout of a few years back was half real & half manufactured, Nats wanted ACC fully funded more quickly so they could start selling it off while they were still in power. It’s an absolute jewel for the asset thieves, on paper it has little value because liabilities exceed assets but in reality it has $16billion or so in cold hard cash that can be looted.

            The present issues can be solved simply by redefining ACCs priorities and that has nothing to do with it being fully funded. It would increase ACCs outgoings considerably however, and I suspect that Labour would use most of the funding part of the levies to make ACC more generous. Future generations would end up paying for it.

      • Carol 2.1.2

        Thanks, Micky, and the DH, Pete and Freedom for the added insights on this.

        • DH

          No sweat. A lot of the problems at present seem due to them wanting ACC to be fully funded too quickly without raising levies further. Any ACC surplus gets invested and the income from the investments is what pays for future claims on accidents that have already occurred. They seem to be cost-cutting to the bone so they can chuck more cash into the investment account (and get future liabilities down).

          They’ve just gone a bit too far with the cost cutting IMO, they can relax it a bit and add another year or two to the fully-funded target which really isn’t far off now anyway. We’re so close now it would be criminal to give it all away, all those extra levies we paid would be for nothing.

    • Pete 2.2

      It could also free up billions of dollars for the Government to invest elsewhere, but it is more likely the existing reserves would remain with ACC.

      That rings alarm bells with me. The money was raised through investing targeted levies. It seems very dodgy to me to apply those levies anywhere other than the provision of ACC services.

      • freedom 2.2.1

        you know how NACTs think, $5 in their pocket today is $4.50 you won’t get your undeserving hands on tomorrow, the missing 50c being the obligatory fee for taking your money from you.

      • DH 2.2.2

        Doesn’t it just. ACCs investment income in 2011 was $1.7billion which admittedly was much higher than usual but still shows how much it contributes towards ACCs costs even before it’s fully funded. (total claims & operating costs paid out for the year were $3billion) These bozos want to take that investment cash & spend it elsewhere leaving ACC with a massive cash shortfall to pick up from levies. It’s headbanger stuff, we’re nearly there and now they want to bloody meddle with it again!

      • deuto 2.2.3

        This also rings alarm bells with me for the reasons discussed, but also I seem to recall that ACC has been mentioned as a likely big NZ investor in the partial assets share sales, as a justification /”reassurance” for the sales. Presumably, the move to a pay as you go scheme, and/or the grabbing of the current ACC financial assets would prevent or severely curtail this happening.

        On the pay as you go issue, the Greens have an interesting question in the House today (sorry lost the number when copying it, but think it is about number 8 or 9) that seems to suggest that they are also proposing pay as you go funding:

        KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister for ACC: Will she return ACC to the pay-as-you-go funding model, outlined in the Green Party’s ACC Rehabilitation Plan and emailed to her this morning, and are there any points in the plan she will not consider implementing?

        On a related matter, Little is continuing to question the Minister of ACC’s possible involvement in ACC’s decision to go to the police with the next question after Hague’s:

        ANDREW LITTLE to the Minister for ACC: On how many occasions, and for what periods of time on each occasion, did she meet with or have discussions with the ACC Chairman or Chief Executive, including about the matter of the mass privacy breach involving Bronwyn Pullar, between 13 March and 19 March when that matter was referred to the Police by way of formal complaint? .

  3. Carol 3

    Righties seem to want to make everything a competition. They, must surely want to be amongst the winners. But don’t they realise there are dire consequences in setting up crucial parts of people’s lives to be a competition?

    With any competition there are winners and losers – it’s built into the enterprise. With a rugby match the worst that happens that the losing team and their supporters drown there sorrows for a night or so.

    With crucial life activities, like education, work and income, the losers are doomed to a life of struggle, lost dreams, and possibly, crime, ill-health and ultimately a shorter life. Are righties so callous that they would doom some children to such a dismal life, through no fault of their own?


    Prime Minister John Key has signalled his support for a form of league tables for primary and intermediate schools.

    Unions argued that rankings of school performances was inevitable once the controversial national standards policy was introduced in 2010.

    Last week it emerged the Education Ministry was working on a report based on data received from schools last month. All schools were required to send in information about the performance of pupils against national standards in literacy and numeracy. It is due to be finished in September.

    Mr Key yesterday defended the move as the information could now be discovered under the Official Information Act and media could put together their own rankings. “Some sort of coherent league table makes sense,” he said.

    “I’ve always had a view that somehow this information is going to be in the public domain. The question is what form is it going to take and what’s it going to look like. What I don’t want to see is schools actually damaged by the information being presented in the wrong way.”

    • Uturn 3.1

      I think you are right about winning/losing/competition. In fact, competition is an art and has nothing to do with winning or losing any more than a musical composition wins or loses or a dance wins or loses. It has only recently been reduced to a craft by the passion of economics.

    • ianmac 3.2

      Carol, I wonder why Mr Key is raising League Tables just now especially since the Minister of Education has nothing to say about it?
      Of course since Private Schools get a large chunk of State Funding so they will also publish their National Standards Records as well. And it would show that since they started with high socio-economic advantages they would have to prove value added just the same. Oops! Private Schools are exempt.

  4. Bored 4

    Hot topic this week has been raising the age of superannuation to 67, something beloved of the Labour party and illustrates very well the vacuity of whateever advice they are getting or giving. Dont the policy wonks working for Labour or their caucus actually understand there is a real world pout there?

    A few questions for Labour on Superannuation:

    Labour want an extra 2 years work from us, so where are the extra 2 years of jobs coming from? Hint we have huge youth under / unemployment…..and are in a recession with a declining number of real jobs.

    Are the older workers just going to take work from the young?

    Are we going to pay the dole to the young rather than the pension to the oldies? Zero balance perhaps?

    Is anybody at Party Central actually thinking?

    • Jenny 4.1

      The people who think that ‘human resources’,
      like natural resources, are to be exploited to the point of destruction and beyond. Seem to be doing most of the Lazy Party thinking.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        And the hatred of humanity is everywhere in their policies…

        Its not just the poor they despise, no, its everyone!

    • Jenny 4.2

      The Lazy party seems prepared to give employers whatever they want. And in the process tears up the ‘Social Contract’ between labour and employers for a fully funded ACC system. On our side we agreed not to strike, or sue their asses if we are hurt at work.

      As ACC becomes more punitive than rehabilitative and the income grows to $1.3 billion, over out goings. Instead of paying out this money to those who it was collected for, the Lazy Party is happy to see employer levies slashed by 25%.

      You must wonder what Andrew Little the ex-leader of the EPMU is doing, is he asleep? Have they put something in his cocoa?

      ACC Premiums may drop in Labour Party rethink | Stuff.co.nz

      • Bored 4.2.1

        Jenny, I cant remember until you mentioned it when somebody last mentioned the original reason we needed ACC. Good comment.

        On the subject of Andrew Little etc, these buggers are asleep at the wheel. I have seen Peter Harris (an economist I think) rolled out by Labour at meetings in Wellington. This gent means very well (like Labour) and if the economic paradigm of the last 100 years was to continue he would be worth listening to. It will however not continue as it has for 100 years, ergo he and the rest of Labour will have to change their world views. They wont, so we are going to hit the iceberg with them asleep at the wheel.

        • Jenny

          Employers may regret getting lower premiums that delivers lesser benefits for those injured in accidents. Workers hurt in the workplace faced with a miserly pay-outs, in self defence, may revert to a “you hurt us, we hurt you” response.

    • Lanthanide 4.3

      “Are the older workers just going to take work from the young?”

      No, that’s the lump of labour fallacy.

      • Bored 4.3.1

        Lump of labour fallacy = economists speak for a form of metaphysics whereby labour can be elastic as sin….

        In my real world as an employer (yes I pay people for real measurable work) what this “lump” theory means is that my employees will take longer to do the same task (we have stretched it for the sake of the theory by 2 years). So to demonstrate:

        45 years (average working life) output =100% efficiency
        47 years (45 plus 2 extra) output = 96% efficiency

        In short the ridiculous theory in practical terms asks employers like myself to pick up the costs of a 4% shortfall in labour efficiency to enable the employee to work an extra 2 years. Being good benevolent types with no bottom line to manage (so that everybody stays employed and so we can pay taxes so that economists can play) we will of course do this…not.

        My reality (as an employer) is if I need 10 people to do a job, I hire 10 people, not 11 people to allow the Labour Party’s stupid theory to operate.

        • gareth

          Exactly, In a labour intensive role as you age you productivity decreases. You can counterbalance this with skills learned/experience. However tbh you need to be pretty lucky to be fit enough to keep going in a physical industry past 60. I also over the years have known a fair few guys that really struggle with their bodies past 50. As they have been in the same work year in year out their chances to retrain or move into less physical work are low.

          All raising the age does is further disadvantage the very constituents labour claims to support, According to the MSD Maori live on average 7.9 years less than non maori and life expectancy can be as much as 8.8 years lower for a male if you are from a socio economically deprived area.

          To me labour should be gunning for means testing and or stopping super to those working full time. I currently know of someone who is earning 70k per year at 67 and has been receiving super, he has paid tax all his life and he feels he deserves it but surly it should be case of no super until you have retired.

          As a side issue I constantly hear that the current generation will be the first to have shorter life expectancy than their parents. Won’t this alleviate the issues past the bubble.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        The amount of work needed to support a society is reasonably fixed in the short term. In the long term it goes down as productivity increases. What this means is that the Lump of Labour Fallacy is a result of the belief in the Perpetual Growth Myth. The myth that there will always be more work available. If that was true we would never have unemployment.

        IMO, the only reason we ever get close to full employment is because we’re over producing.

  5. Logie97 5

    Isn’t it wonderful how the Prime Minister has become such an expert now on education. He seems to have all the answers to teaching and how the curriculum should be delivered. And he has even discovered a whole lot of apparent problems within the system which would seem to be failing all of our children.

    And to think that is without going through any formal teacher training institute. Is there no limit to what this man can achieve?

    Watch out operating theatres and hospital wards, you’re next.
    Aspiring GPs – you can learn your job at a discussion group at the next National Party conference …

    • Logie97 5.1

      … brings to mind Yosser Hughes from the “Boys from the Blackstuff” and his wonderful line, “Gi’us a job, I can do that …”

    • ianmac 5.2

      What Key is doing is finding a plan from other countries like USA, declaring it as policy, then trying to find a justification for imposing it on NZ kids. It is without research or rationale.
      NZ has been famous for its system of developing innovation from grass roots ideas, researched fully, tested and engaged willingly by teachers. National Standards and now League Tables have demolished trust and confidence. To what end?

    • prism 5.3


  6. KJT 6

    On Retirement Income.

    Sunday, 17 June 2012
    9:19 a.m.

    The finance industry have been creaming their pants, for a return to the halcyon days, before the tax rebates were removed from superannuation savings. When they got to play with our money for free, and the negative returns and high charges were ignored, because of tax payer subsidies.

    Egged on by the neo-liberals who prefer the elderly, the unemployed and the sick to starve in the streets, as an incentive to scare working people into accepting starvation wages, while they continue to get 17% increases in wealth, the finance industry is dreaming of getting more of their sticky hands on our wealth, with private super funds.

    Since the 70’s they have been constant in the meme that we cannot afford super. A meme that has been driven entirely by the self interest of those, who are too wealthy to need super and too mean to pay taxes, and a greedy finance industry.

    Unfortunately, it is true, that if you repeat bullshit often enough, even those who should know better come to believe it.

    We cannot afford super is code for, “we should leave our elderly to beg on the streets”. So that wealthy people can pay less tax and the finance industry can again lose our savings for us.

    In fact the idea that State super is unaffordable is crap from the same people that cry TINA and reckon that all social insurance is unaffordable.

    If they win with super, they will just start on other social wages.

    In reality it is much more affordable than the finance company bailouts, which would be necessary with private super.
    “So, in 2050, we’re projected to be paying only 1% of GDP more in superannuation than we were paying in 1990. Quelle horreur! This is not a difference to be terrified of, and it is easily manageable with a modest increase in taxation, either now or in the future (though that perhaps is exactly what those pushing for change are frightened of: higher taxes)”.

    Intergenerational theft is another piece of oft repeated stupidity.

    “Do we really want to return to the days when most elderly people were totally impoverished when their working lives ended”.

    Super has always been paid for by current production. However you finingle it financially, whether through current taxation or savings, it still comes from the production of the current generation.

    If we want to keep super affordable we should tax the current generation to invest in a sustainable future. Invest in energy, housing, education and other infrastructure so that we can keep all our people. Not in financial ponzi schemes which will fall over in the next GFC.

    “”Because our kids can’t afford to buy houses, we bought houses for them to live in using the equity from our house, and now all our money is tied up in mortgages. At the same time, we’re supporting our parents in their old age.
    That’s how life is and always has been, for most of us. Our parents worked to give us a decent start in life, and we worked hard so our kids could have a fair go. We’re looking after our parents in their old age. We hope we’ll be looked after in our old age.

    What about this is “intergenerational theft”?””

    But. We can avoid the whole concept of retirement, intergenerational fairness and all the other sticking points by accepting that everyone in our society is entitled to a liveable share in the society they and their ancestors have built up.

    Whether you call it a Universal income, Guaranteed minimum income (GMI) or a personal shareholder payment it is the same thing.

    Replace all welfare, social insurance and pensions with a GMI.

    We also get to solve many other problems such as child poverty, the unfairness of a present welfare system, and making our society more sustainable, at the same time.

    “”Initially, the Mincome program was conceived as a labour market experiment. The government wanted to know what would happen if everybody in town received a guaranteed income, and specifically, they wanted to know whether people would still work.
    It turns out they did.
    Only two segments of Dauphin’s labour force worked less as a result of Mincome – new mothers and teenagers. Mothers with newborns stopped working because they wanted to stay at home longer with their babies. And teenagers worked less because they weren’t under as much pressure to support their families.
    The end result was that they spent more time at school and more teenagers graduated. Those who continued to work were given more opportunities to choose what type of work they did””.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/key-on-the-nation/comment-page-1/#comment-483385 The best way to deal with any problem is to eliminate it at root. The best way to deal with ‘retirement’ as a problem is to eliminate the entire concept. No I’m not being extreme.
    The simple answer is a Universal Income””

    “”In fact super has been so effective in removing poverty amongst the elderly it should be extended to everyone in the form of a guaranteed minimum income. There is no excuse for having people with inadequate food and housing in a country which is capable of supplying an excess of both internally””.

    • Bored 6.1

      Thank God for that KJT, your analysis and links coincide with mine. The power of memes (TINA, we cant afford super etc) almost always points to some bugger wanting to lay their grubby mitts on the cash. You would think Labour might know better having had Roger in their midst…nothing has changed.

  7. joe90 7

    This morning the Dompost carried this article by Boris Johnson. Hard to disagree with Johnson.

    • Bored 7.1

      Dear old Boris who went to university with Cameron, and who was in the Bullingdon Club wrote that!!!!!! There is hope yet for him (or perhaps he is being hopelessly romantic).

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      The only thing I really disagreed with there was the end bit about returning competitiveness. What I think is more likely is that Greek will drop from the Euro, ban international trade to a fairly great degree and start rebuilding it’s own capability, it’s own ability to look after it’s own people.

      Pretty much the same as what we should be doing actually.

  8. quartz 8

    What gives a forty-something, childless, confirmed bachelor the idea he’s a suitable arbiter of who should have their kids taken off them? http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/06/a_job_for_cyf.html

    Maybe if he had children rather than being a man-child himself he’d understand just how ignorant such calls are.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      And if he had children and made the same comment/observation (as many people who have had children in NZ would), what is your response then?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Kid on her lap, two more in the back and driving with twice the alcohol limit. Certainly something needs to be done but I think taking the kids would be going too far.

    • Murray Olsen 8.3

      I love how some of the commentators assume that the woman is Maori almost as much as I love Farrar’s bachelor status being confirmed by his revolting looks and personality.

  9. prism 9

    Some workers have a hard time these days with autocratic employers who order them around in various harrassing ways. The Sky City casino has a rule that staff can’t have personal objects at their work, including books. So one long time staff member a Ms Parata I think, a long term employee is being given a hard time over the fact that she had a bible with her when she was in the toilets. Someone saw this and reported her. What a lovely working environment, with an unreasonable employer and snitching work ‘mates’.

    • Vicky32 9.1

      . So one long time staff member a Ms Parata I think, a long term employee is being given a hard time over the fact that she had a bible with her when she was in the toilets.

      It’s a bit more than being ‘given a hard time!’ If she had been carrying ‘Our Bodies Ourselves’ would you dismiss the trouble she faces so lightly? Not a chance…
      She is in danger of losing her job… and the Unite union is backing her.
      If you look at the size of the Bibel, you’ll see that she was hardly ‘proselytising’, which is probably what you had assumed.
      It’s a workers’ rights issue – and I am very un-amused about how you treat it, as a piece of trivia because the idea of the Bible upsets your prejudices!

      • Murray Olsen 9.1.1

        How do you read into that post that anything is being dismissed lightly?

      • Populuxe1 9.1.2

        I expect had Mrs Parata been carrying Our Bodies, Ourselves she would have been treated no differently (“The Sky City casino has a rule that staff can’t have personal objects at their work, including books”), though I think SkyCity is overreacting in enforcing that rule by threatening her employment.

        Nonetheless your knee-jerk martyr complex whenever you feel Christianity is being marginalised is good entertainment value, Vicky. Thankfully not all Christians feel so self-righteous about their faith. (Oh no! It’s Diocletian and the lions all over again!) Carry on.

        • Vicky32

          Nonetheless your knee-jerk martyr complex whenever you feel Christianity is being marginalised is good entertainment value, Vicky. Thankfully not all Christians feel so self-righteous about their faith. (Oh no! It’s Diocletian and the lions all over again!) Carry on.

          Oh aren’t we a bitter little man? There, there… I won’t let the evil Christians get you, it’s going to be all right…
          SkyCity might not treat her any differently, but Prism might have! Standardistas normally do give a feck about workers’ rights, but not it seems, in this case.

          • McFlock

            Yes, because the line “What a lovely working environment, with an unreasonable employer and snitching work ‘mates’.” demonstrates that Prism saw no problem with skycity’s abuse of employees’ rights whatsoever. /sarc

          • Populuxe1

            I haven’t a problem with Christians, Vicky. At ease, Christian soldier! Secular humanism is very tolerant. If you believe Jesus wants you for a sunbeam, that’s fine by me. Christianity has survived 2000 years – I don’t think you need to make it all about you 🙂
            Prism’s sarcasm was obvious to all but the obtuse.

  10. prism 10

    Things are happening to Fairfax papers in Australia which are going on line. How will we fare if the newspapers go on line completely? How will we check stories, facts, and have to pay and how much?

    I like to get copies of some things I think of great significance. Will I be able to copy without paying? Will there be on the spot payment requiring cards etc or will there be a monthly charge with so many hits allowed plus copying?

    The USA I thought I heard on radio this morning is almost paperlesss. And where is the enjoyment of the weekend paper if you are forced to sit down in front of a screen. What about the crosswords? The weekend papers have been so weighty that they seem prime targets to save the world’s forests and the fuel for transporting them, but people like them.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      We actually need a government funded new service as it’s obvious that we can no longer leave it to the private sector to get the unbiased news to us.

  11. deuto 11

    On a lighter note on a drab wet Tuesday, love this photo of Key on TV3 News website this morning – the real Key?


    (Tried to copy just the photo but beyond my abilities!)

    Could make a good one for a Caption Contest some time.

  12. captain hook 12

    just commented on league tables at schools on the other thread but the thing is lower decile schools are usually those with Maori and Islander students or other lower socio economic groups.
    It suits the government to encourage this low level racism so that the wannabees and white trash have something to gripe about.
    Its almost as if poverty has become institutionalised in NZ to provide a whipping boy for every election.
    I dont want to beleive that but it is becoming clearer and clearer.

  13. deuto 13

    Thanks, joe90 – had a quick look and definitely good, simple tutorials at my (low) level of understanding and comprehension! Have saved to get into in more detail later.

    Oops, this should have been a relpy to 11.1 but wouldn’t let me delete.

    • joe90 13.1

      Heh, my Mum was in her late sixties when she took up with a PC and when she died a couple of years ago she was a member of the local UBUNTU geek group..

  14. I wondered about John Key’s insistence to keep the super age at 65 and thought I’d do some research into the Cullen fund.

    Guess what! It was initiated in 2001 and started investing in 2003. So who was advising Cullen and who was investing?

    Turns out there were appointed Guardians and one of them was a Kiwi returning home fresh from an oversees banking career. Were did he work?

    New Zealand investment bank, Fay Richwhite.

    Bank of Edmond the Rothschild
    Merrill Lynch which he left in the late 90s to go work for WestLB a banking group as the managing director of the investment banking division.

    This means he was in London at the same time as John Key who ran the Bonds and Derivatives department (Financial investments) and he must have either worked for him or have known him!  

    His specialty?

    He an investor with more than a decade of investment banking experience within global financial institutions.

    His name? Ira Bing

    I bet ya the Cullen fund is so full of crap John Key doesn’t want any attention on that fund and he wants to be out of dodge before it collapses into the pile of shit it really is and that is why he wants to leave it to the next government. That way they can blame Cullen and the next labour government for the fact that there is no money for pensions.
    Stay tuned for more

    • bad12 14.1

      A well made point, I am going to be naughty here and add something without providing a link, as part of the ‘discussion’ over the affordability of the Pension the Financial Services Association?, those who represent the providers of Superannuation Fund Management ‘trotted’ out a wish list,

      Among this the wish for contributions to the individuals Super Funds to be progressively raised with the obvious, but unspoken, intention as seen by the Financial Services Association that at some point in the future the individual would fully fund their own retirement,

      More to the point of what you have commented above is that these same people also called for, and this was not widely reported, a Government guarantee covering all the Superannuation funds managed by these people,

      I made the comment on here a week or so ago that from the crude math i am capable of the recent ructions of the financial and international share-markets the contributors to these Managed Superannuation Funds will all want to be at the front of the ‘bulge’ as far as the baby-boomer retirement cohort is concerned because all of such schemes are looking from here more and more like a grand Ponzi scheme,

      An Association of those who are tasked with managing such schemes, should i have used the word scam, calling for a Government guarantee over the scheme this early in the piece would tend to suggest that my crude math may be relatively close to their actual knowledge of the efficacy or other of such managed Superannuation Funds…

    • Populuxe1 14.2

      So this Ira Bing was in London at the same time as John Key. So were nearly 8 million other people. Back then Merill Lynch had worldwide about 15,100 financial advisers (Wiki) and the London office, being centre for all ML’s European operations is huge. Sure they may have known each other. But so what? Those are dangerously big leaps to make just to tarnish the reputation of a man who hasn’t been involved with the very successful Cullen Fund since 2005.
      I don’t know why you’ve mentioned the Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild in bold, it’s one of the world’s best run private banks in the world and there’s no connection to KeyI can see (unless you’ve got some bee in your bonnet about Bing, Key and the Rothschilds being Jewish or something – I sincerely hope not). Same for FayRichwhite, as Key never worked for them. Why mention them at all – it’s safe to assume that all investment bankers are wankers, but that’s a complete different conspiracy all together.

      The Cullen Fund began investing in 2003, and had approximately 19.2 billion dollars in assets at 31 May 2011. Anything wrong with it is National’s fault when they stopped putting money into it in 2009. And the only people who believe it’s a Ponzi scheme are idiots like FailOil – who, on a more amusing note, turns out to have been having an extramarital affair with former Michael Laws P-smoking prostitute mistress Jacqueline Sperling – so he doesn’t exactly have the best judgment in the world (nor does she).
      So no, Merill Lynch did not set up the Cullen Fund.

      • travellerev 14.2.1

        John Key ran the Bonds and derivatives department for Merrill Lynch from 1995 until March 2001. He decided who to hire and who to fire. His department developed the instruments now collapsing the entire global financial world. He knew they were dangerous. In fact he says so in this video. Still we now have $112 billion in off the book derivatives. That is 6 times the amount in the Cullen fund.

        The Rothschild bank is indeed a privately run bank and those chosen to work at it are carefully vetted for future purposes.

        Fay Richwhite is an insider and also someone who vets his people to do his bidding. That is how he got rich.

        John Key according to his unauthorised biography was a specialist in selling crap to Sovereign Wealth funds (such as the Cullen fund) and pension funds.

        Ira Bing being a Kiwi, Merrill Lynch wealth manager and a pension fund investment specialist and brought back from London to take place on the board for the Cullen fund is tying the cat to the bacon as they say in Holland.

        Added to that I just found a press release from NZ National from 2000 in which they declare Cullen nuts for wanting to invest billions in dangerous future liabilities (i.e. Derivatives) even though their soon to be dear leader made $ 50 million with those same dangerous crappy investments.

        I don’t tarnish anybodies reputation, banksters are very good at doing that all by themselves. I merely point out that it seems the old boys network is at it again and I would dearly like to ask Ira and John Key some questions. By the time Merrill Lynch collapsed they had an exposure of $ 75 trillion in Derivatives.

        They must have sold them to someone. What better to have a Merrill lynch boy on the board of the same kind of pension funds they loved to sell their crap too or do you think banks don’t organise themselves that way. 

        So yes, I think that it is very feasible that Merrill Lynch was involved in stacking the Cullen fund with crap and as to the value of the fund we only have the word of our government for that now do we?
        And that is run by the same scumbag who made $ 50 million of this crap so he’s not going to fess up is he?

        • Jared

          “Extensive debate and questioning of Dr Michael Cullen has revealed that his proposed Super Fund will soak up unknown billions to fund an unknown share of future super liabilities through unknown investments as part of a ‘diversified’ portfolio.” FUTURE SUPER LIABILITIES MEAN FUTURE SUPERANNUATION LIABILITIES i.e SUPERANNUATION PAYMENTS, not derivatives!!!

        • vto

          So what you’re saying is that John Key acted in the near exact same manner as Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevich, amongst many others. And in the same manner as a builder of thousands of homes that now leak to buggery.

          That the financial things John Key created and made his millions from are the very same things wreaking havoc around the globe right now today.

          What does he have to say in answer to that? Has he ever explained himself?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.2.2

        And the only people who believe it’s a Ponzi scheme are idiots like FailOil

        Whaleoil may be an idiot but capitalism itself is a Ponzi Scheme and the Cullen Fund is modelled on the same supposition.

        • Populuxe1

          Moaning about capitalism isn’t going to do anyone any good, and there’s nothing wrong with Neo-Keynesian capitalism if public institutions and public welfare are protected. None of the alternatives seem to appeal.

          • Draco T Bastard

            …and there’s nothing wrong with Neo-Keynesian capitalism if public institutions and public welfare are protected.

            I take it you failed to note the collapsing of Keynesian capitalism in the 1960s through the 1980s. The collapse that brought about the re-introduction of classical economics (neo-classical/neo-liberal) which, of course, resulted in the GFC.

            Capitalism doesn’t work, never has done and never will do and if that’s not pointed out then we will never get a change which brings about the saying Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We keep repeating it because we keep failing to learn

            • Populuxe1

              Bullshit. Let’s look at Marx, shall we. Even in his own lifetime his own follower Ferdinand Laselle was telling him classical Marxism was bullshit because they actually had to lie to the workers to get them to support itin the first place. Anything that obviously assumes the eventuality of single party governance is anti-democratic, anti-human dignity and bullshit. Karl Popper pointed out that the untestable assumption that Marxism was inevitable made it just as much a religious cult as free market monetarism – and Laselle again pointed out it if Marxism it was the natural destination, capitalism wouldn’t have developed to the point it has. Capital is so much more than simply economic value. I’m sorry human beings aren’t the selfless angels you seem to want them to be, but that’s just how it is. Good luck with that.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I don’t recall ever promoting Marxism or a one party state. Being an anarchist I support democracy with an open book administration.

                Humans are a result of their environment: Make the environment selfish and greedy and you get selfish and greedy people. Change it to one of fairness and community spirit and you’ll get selfless people for the most part. The psychopaths will still be psychopathic though and they’re the ones that promote capitalism and are usually the ones that end up making the rules for capitalism.

                • Populuxe1

                  Fair enough, but I think self interest is deeper than that, It’s how we survived as a species after all. the problem with Anarchism is that it’s nice in theory, but if you get invaded and your community can’t agree and coordinate on a response, you’re pretty much screwed. Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is basically Anarchism without the assumed empathy or sense of community.

                  • muzza

                    Ira Bing, Key, Rothchilds , are all Jewish, and they are all bankers….and its the banking system which is at the core of the problems being faced by the majority of the world.

                    Almost any and every problem we face is a result of the banking system as it has become, and you can easily put a case for how it was designed to be.
                    Key has played in an integral part on its design, and he is fully aware of why/what/how/who. His mates like Robert Rubin (also jewish), among others sit at the very top of the banking ponzi, so people trying to defend Key as having “been out of the game, or done nothing wrong” is simply egos of stupid, uninformed people blinding them….he is as crooked as they come!

                    So stop being a drama queen pop and trying to accuse TravellerEv of some sort of race based slant in her comments.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ev is a racist, Muzza. She’s a birther, remember? Your comment equating bankers with Judaism hardly adds to her defence.

                    • muzza

                      Voice, I am not aware of Ev being rasc*st, and I certainly do not equate being a “birther” to be so either. I would like to think your thought process are a littler further advanced than that, perhaps not.

                      Agreed that it should be linked to Zionism, as opposed to any official religion, or race based state, which in case you dont know is what Israel is

                      Does anyone who questions Barrys birth status become a rasc*st in your eyes?

                      Look forward to hearing your explanation on why you feel Ev is rasc*st though, and what you believe rasc*sm to be…

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I just made you aware of it, muzza. Sad to see you adopt a bit of it yourself (‘Barry’). Birthers are racist. Their whole birth certificate fantasy is based around their hatred of African-Americans, but if you’re cool with it, well, shame on you.
                      Just to remind you, Ev is a birther, a 911 truth denier and a climate change denialist. It’s not much of a stretch to suspect her obsession with Jewish financiers is anti-Semitic, given her reactionary views on those other matters.

                    • muzza

                      “Birthers are racist. Their whole birth certificate fantasy is based around their hatred of African-Americans, but if you’re cool with it, well, shame on you.”

                      –Are they, you know that for sure on all counts, you can speak for ANYONE who questions that particular issue, has hatred towards African Americans – Why am I not surprised you would think in such a narow band! Do not try to push illiterate views on the world in my direction, because questioning issues which demand questioning, does not automatically equal rascist!

                      “Just to remind you, Ev is a birther, a 911 truth denier and a climate change denialist. It’s not much of a stretch to suspect her obsession with Jewish financiers is anti-Semitic, given her reactionary views on those other matters.”

                      –So these all equal racism then to you do they, bit of s stretch, bro you need to take a real good look at yourself, and how views such as yours make the world a much worse place to be!

                      Because you do not agree with her, or that she spends time researching and trying to understand what are some very complex issues, which regarldless of what small minds might think, should be on the table in order to have a broad debate. Taking any point of view off the table by calling it rascist, or any other label, is to encourage and endorse the suffering, and real rasicm being rammed onto humanity by those who Ev researches, and comments on.

                      You cant/wont/dont make the link, or disagree with her, that is your right, but to draw a long bow and assume rascim of Ev, is weak minded!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I’ve explained my position pretty clearly, muzza. Birthers are the KKK with keyboards. It’s not my problem if you don’t get it. It’s a shame, though, because you’re usually pretty on to it.
                      Anyhoo, here’s a song to cheer you up.

                    • Wow, Birther, Climate denier and 911 truth denier?

                      And KKK with keys! Talk about calling everything a nail if all you have is a hammer.

                      For those of you new to this blog here are a few pointers as to who I really am.
                      I live on a small plot of land where I try to live as sustainable as I can in order to stay within my carbon footprint. I am building a food forest according to permaculture principles but I don’t believe paying carbon tax to Al Gore and his oil family is going to solve the very serious environmental issues we face.

                      Added to that I would like to see what happens if the hundreds of global weather modification programs would stop before I conclude that Al Gore’s money making scam is the solution.

                      I believe that every citizens has to obey the laws of the land and there are very real problems with the legitimacy of Barack Obama. I think that the colour of the skin of a person has nothing to with acting within the law. If there were doubts about a white candidate I would want the same thoroughness.

                      I believe that Obama like his predecessor George Bush is a war criminal and that he has intensified the illegal wars of aggression. That is not racist, those are the facts.

                      The events of 9/11 are deeply troubling. Never before or after have steel framed buildings collapsed due to carbon fires.

                      All of them collapsed at free fall speed see here the collapse of WTC 7 which was announced 20 minutes before it happened by the BBC and which collapsed in 6.5 seconds.

                      All three of Newton’s laws of motion and the law of Gravitation were broken multiple times on that day and it is therefore that I support a new and independent investigation into the events of that day.

                      With regards of to accusation of anti-Semitism the following.

                      I’m an equal opportunity anti Abrahamic religionist. I think all three religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam are destructive, male dominated control mechanisms and would love to see the end of all of them.

                      Do I think there is a Jewish fiendish complot to control the planet?

                      Give me a break! Here again I’m an equal opportunity kind of person. There is plenty of evil in all walks of live and the fact that all three banksters I mentioned were Jewish was news to me as I did not know Ira Bing was Jewish.

                      I pointed simply at all the banks Mr Bing has worked for and never entertained the “Jewish” angle, that was done by TRP.

                      And while the idea that only one particular group could be evil enough to conspire against all of us normal and nice people might be attractive to some I would like to point out that while many bankers might be of Jewish descent there are many more who aren’t.

                      So calm down TRP and put your slinging macho dick back in your pants and while you take a walk to get your overheated thoughts in order you might want to contemplate why it is I so get under your skin. What is it that makes you feel so defensive and angry. Eh?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Thanks for the explanation, Ev. I agree with you about the 3 religions, though I’d extend it to all religions. None have much going for them, though Buddhism seems the least harmful.
                      Whether you like it or not, the Birthers are racist. That’s what it’s about. Hatred and bigotry. It was not me who mentioned Ira Bing’s religion. I did not contribute to that part of the conversation and had not previously heard of the gentleman. Muzza it was, I believe, who made the link between Judaism and Bankers in this thread.
                      You remain a climate change denier, a birther and a truther. All 3 positions are right wing. One is fundamentally racist, the others are just mad. It’s not a great leap to think that your opposition to bankers could be anti-semitic, but I’m happy to accept your assurance that you are not. I’ve been accused of that myself, due to my opposition to Zionism, which some people see as anti-Israeli/anti-Jewish, when it is really anti-racist.
                      Anyhoo, cheers, and thanks for being so positive about my dick. I’m glad it gives you as much pleasure as it’s given me!

  15. captain hook 15

    who read this morning this mornings rag with Rod Fyfe going on about how the share price isn’t right to sell Air New Zealand.
    Can somebody tell me how many times Air New Zealand has been sold and how many times the government has had to buy it back to stop it being run into the gorund by so called enreepreenoors.

  16. BLiP 16


    If you don’t mind, I have a general question for The Standard’s “hive mind” to consider:

    would it be contrary to the spirit of our blog to limit the number of posts a single commentator can make in any one 24-hour period?

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    John Key extends another US$1B credit line to the IMF

    Yes, seriously.


    • bad12 17.1

      RadioNZ National news also ran the story in its bulletin at 2.00, attributing the borrowing of a further 1.3 billion dollars by this National Government to the Member from Dipton Bill English’s wish to help save the world economy,

      From f**cking up big-time over His Government’s promise to have the Government revenue in surplus by 2014/2015, to not being able to see the 1 billion dollar hole in the Governments revenue from taxation, or, perhaps knowing full well the extent of the damage National’s ‘tax changes’ would do to the economy and the Government’s accounts English has FAILED abysmally in both basic numerology and as Minister of Finance,

      Personally i don’t know whether upon hearing the news that the Dullard from Dipton wants to help save the World’s economy if we all should be (a) Terrified, (b) emotionally tearful, or (c), fall about the place busting our guts with gales of mad laughter….

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        English won’t borrow to invest in the Cullen Fund, but will borrow to invest in Greece and Spain.

        The irony.

        • bad12

          It gets worse, RadioNZ National news at 3.00 had our Prime Minister, Slippery, re-iterating His little wish to provide the buyers of the assets Slippery and Co are stealing and selling a ‘loyalty scheme’ for those who buy shares in the stolen assets and hang onto them for a couple of years,

          What else can any of us say but ”what the f**k”, those who will buy the stolen goods, the 10-15% who earn and have the most in our society will have National then turn around and give back to them 15% of the sale price,

          The rest of the cash from the asset sales i assume will be squandered on Roads of No Significance by the Slippery one and the Dullard from Dipton,

          I think that after the education fiasco of last week and in the face of Nationals own internal polling that they are looking at announcing such things in an effort to gain a bit of a dead cat bounce in support from a public that is fast losing the ability to see Key and English as anything other than a couple of Slippery Shysters hell-bent on ransacking the place for anything of value while they still have the chance,

          Perhaps Nationals internal polling is actually way worse than even the support i now credit them with, 43%, that’s from the top of the margin of error tho, so if the bottom end of the margin is anywhere near the bone its going to be one hell of a long bye bye until 2014…

          • freedom

            and yet today in the House a half hour earlier, they were [unable] to provide any detail on how this loyalty Scheme would work or what it would cost ?

        • vto

          Yep CV, complete and utter total cow shit.

          But I think the most important note to note about this is that you know your bank is in trouble when it comes to the poorest family on the block for a bailout for its bailouts. Kinda signals that end-times are nigh dontcha think?

          I do.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18


    However, Budget documents reveal they’ve spent $3.5 million over the last 2 years developing the Business Case for the deal, more than the PPP is destined to save. No wonder the Government tried to keep these details undercover.

    In it’s effort to save $2m the government spent $3.5m…

    These NACTs are such good economic managers…NOT!

  19. Vicky32 19

    Let the screaming begin! A prize to the first man to say this guy’s in the pay of Big Oil/Big Tobacco/The Vatican… 😀 😀 😀

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    Another gone from the ACC board:


    3 News can reveal another board member, Murray Hilder, has quit. That brings the total to three board members, plus the chair, chief executive and a minister.

    But the Government has been keeping Mr Hilder’s departure quiet.

    “I’m happy to make it public but it’s not something I’ve considered,” ACC Minister Judith Collins says.

    She says Mr Murray did not tell her why he was leaving.

    But a source close to Mr Hilder has told 3 News his skills were “the best in the business”, and he simply didn’t like the politics from Ms Collins.

    “Murray has had a complete gutsful,” the anonymous source says. “It is blatantly obvious why he has buggered off -he does not want to be around this political behaviour.”

  21. Vicky32 21

    Anyhoo, cheers, and thanks for being so positive about my dick. I’m glad it gives you as much pleasure as it’s given me!

    Says volumes, that! I can’t fail to see that many men (a frighteningly large number, perhaps most) do their thinking with their little heads.) Thanks for confirming you’re one of them! 😀
    Oh, and you’re another American? Or just in love with American idiom… (anyhoo)…

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