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Open mike 21/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 21st, 2010 - 35 comments
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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.

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35 comments on “Open mike 21/09/2010 ”

  1. Bored 1

    This link was posted by JCUKNZ last night, it is one hell of a good read.


    In short the rich of the USA are whingeing about paying tax, the article ends And when the tax fight is over, one way or another, you can be sure that the people currently defending the incomes of the elite will go back to demanding cuts in Social Security and aid to the unemployed. America must make hard choices, they’ll say; we all have to be willing to make sacrifices.

    But when they say “we,” they mean “you.” Sacrifice is for the little people.

    Sound familiar?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Jonkey and his don’t be envious line. It’s being proven as the distraction it is here. The poor aren’t envious – they’re just asking why they’re paying for the rich to be rich.

  2. Bored 2

    Whilst trying to wean myself from blogoholism its been difficult to resist the compunction to give the more myopic and tendentious chanters of right wing mantras their come upance. Scattered around the web little gems of metaphor for our times appear, describing reality in a way that dogma ridden blind men like (TS and Gos) refuse to see.

    I found this little gem, a zeitgeist laden curriculum vitae for our current electronic age where mirage overcomes reality in our collective consciousness…from Kunstler this morning..

    But when everyday life gets detached from reality, metaphor is all you’ve got left. And in this ridiculous, sickening culture, with its toxic stream of electronic simulacrum politics sucking all the oxygen out of the collective brain-space, the mind is left wandering numbly across a kind of wilderness where twisted sign-posts point to mutant evangelists, freakish ideologies, false prophets, deadly miracle cures, phantoms on horseback, angels with bat-wings, and the ghost of Spotted Elk lying dead in the snow with his stiffened arm beckoning the way to extinction like Melville’s Ahab corded to the hump of his sounding white whale. Oh, America, pull your head out of your electronic ass while you still can!

    • prism 2.1

      Reminds me of a sociological study by Thomas Belmonte about the ‘little’ poor people of Naples living in I think original Roman buildings. He said they had streams of different cultural ‘tides’ surrounding them, and sometimes adopted two at the same time, such as religion and communism. They would often change their allegiances too, so were unable to fix to a set of values and beliefs, and were unable to grasp an idea and focus enabling a break from their ingrained cultural poverty.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        Thanks for the comment, I looked up Belmonte and read a few pages of the Broken Fountain. He is certainly very interesting to read, a bit like Veblen. Two phrases caught my eye the stolid archiotecture of culture houses the anarchy of motives that is perhaps the essence of human experience” and “the dried husk of abstracted empiricism”.

        Beautiful terms, just the sort of thing to throw at TS, not sure he would understand the underlying concepts though. Thanks again.

  3. Carol 3

    Within the last hour, I heard John Key on National Radio defending the Canterbury Emergency Law AKA Brownlee’s enabling act. Does anyone have full details on this and the context for Key’s comments?

    He said something about the law could be scaled back and that it was only for about 18 months (as far as he can remember). He ignored the fact that the government had wanted the law to apply for a much longer period. Key also claimed that similar laws have been passed before eg for the Napier earthquake I think he said.

    So who was publicly criticising the law that caused Key to comment on it?

    • ZeeBop 3.1

      Looting is rife in Christchurch, along with scammers, the Earthquake has exposed how an
      unequal society in good times becomes a extra burden in bad, leading also to much
      more extreme govt responses. Reap the seeds.

      Hey, it won’t matter for the big one in Wellington, the roads will be closed for months.
      Would ChCh police be so run off their feet, that the army needed to be called in, had
      the earthquake hit pm not am?

    • Tigger 4.1

      This should carry a warning. This programme contains images of John Key in bed. And wearing shorts. My eyes, my eyes!!!!

      Can’t wait to view the whole horrible thing when I have time.

      Note to all the men interviewed in this video: you all come across as utter dicks.

  4. prism 5

    Steven Joyce, despite advice from his department advisors that there was an example in Newcastle, Australia of the efficacy of reducing alcohol content from .08 to .05 (approx?) has refused to act here in NZ to reduce it though it could save up to near 30 lives here.

    Funny, he said that though the public felt positive about this move, THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER who did not see the need for this lowering, and therefore further studies in the NZ environment were needed to provide exact levels of alcohol levels and deaths caused. This ‘significant number’ is not quantified and one suspects that it consists of a small minority of good old boys with alcohol interests. There is a much larger ‘significant number’ of the general public who want some practical and intelligent and responsible action on alcohol controls from gummint but neither of the two main teams are capable players.

    Why? Perhaps this? It has been stated often that the govt is like the drug addicted in their desire for revenue and also derive valuable party income from alcohol interests.

    • ianmac 5.1

      National Standards imposed without research or consensus and against expert research.
      Cell phones in cars has research and probably a large chunk of support. Passed.
      Raising the price of alcohol has research and probably a large chunk of support, but sidestepped by Government.
      Lowering the Drink limit has research and probably a large chunk of support, but deferred by Government.
      Police report that maybe 70% of their callouts are alcohol related, but little support from Government.
      Curious that alcohol has such reactions. Alcohol Lobby? Populist driven governance? (Joyce said that he wants to wait for popular support before action.)
      I rather wonder if Cabinet over-ruled his actual belief that this would have been a lifesaving act?

  5. Outofbed 6

    Mr Hide said he had made it clear that people had voted for five ACT MPs, not four plus an .independent . er no they didn’t, the people of Epsom voted to ensure a right wing Gov

    • prism 6.1

      The comet trail of list MPs that a constituency-elected MP can bring in circumvents the 5% floor for admission to Parliament and that is not satisfactory. I have the idea that having one list side-kick would enable the member to do a better job but others might not agree. . Hide seems to have too many at present, every time I hear about him he is overseas. Hasn’t he ever hear of Phaic Tăn ?

      antispam – prevented (Is there a postvented?)

  6. ennui 7

    Prism: all too true. I have been involved in the field and know some of the people who carried out research on the effect of blood alcohol content among drivers in Australia.

    From todays perspective in NZ I can only surmise that deregulation was more about boosting alcohol sales than market efficiency.

    As a member of a well known NZ rock group once told me in a tired way “you don’t mess with the liquor industry in NZ”.

    • prism 7.1

      Like your pseudonym ennui. You and bored are masters at the ironic opposite, as anyone who writes here is not sleepy and listless.

      The alcohol fortunes of some leading families in NZ have boosted them to positions of prestige and power. Nice. Other businesses start up and stumble, but as long as the family making alcohol don’t become tipplers themselves and get caught in their own flypaper, they’re onto an enduring market that never will go out of fashion. Then when you’re rich you might become a philanthropist and be feted wherever you go. Also nice! (And I like my drink, but look at it warily all the same.) Another way to make money is to stick with the family paper business – loo paper that is. That never goes out of fashion either. Picking the family you get born into is an art!

      • Bored 7.1.1

        I too like the pseudonym Prism, welcome ennui….never a dull moment

        PS Its the RWNJs that Bored me.

  7. prism 8

    Rod Oram on Auckland this morning on RadioNz was full of insight and thought which is a rare pleasure from leaders these days. He was talking about Auckland, cf Brown and Banks etc and looking to what was needed for Auckland to power up and its relation to rest of the country. Worth a listen to if you think and wonder about where the country is going to earn its living and how.

    His comments on NZ being a financial back office were straight and pithy. He thinks its a no-go, and John Key’s expertise from the past can’t be duplicated here – he helped set up Ireland in that role when overseas. Now Ireland is trying to get up from its knees, and the financial climate is very frosty, trying to start this when we are going to be competing with an already established Australian venture is a bad idea.

    • Carol 8.1

      Yes, Oram was, as usual, insightful. He also talked about the need for Auckland to be more outward-looking in developing more regional (Asia-Pacific) economic connections.

  8. ennui 9

    I’ve just listened to Oram’s audio file at RNZ. I like his critique – we need more people like him – but seems to bring a rather northern hemispheric Anglo/US perspective rather that of the Asia/Pacific we live in.

    It reflects our post-colonial conflict between history and geography.

  9. bobo 10

    So getting information on Supercity candidates is like pulling teeth, the voting papers bio paragraph on each candidate reads like a generic template telling us how many kids they have and “lower rates” printed as many times possible, maybe consumer magazine should have done a review of each candidate with little ticks next to various issues such as they support bridge or tunnel, rail to airport, etc. The Supercity website elections2010.co.nz has only 46 of the 104 candidates to quote the herald.. I guess they think we vote on the nicest photo…

    Talking of photos, is this guy Micky Maguire from shameless is running for council ?


  10. joe90 12

    This report (pdf) by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company makes for some interesting reading.

    Most efforts focus on improving the effectiveness of teachers already in the classroom or on retaining the best performers and dismissing the least effective. Attracting more young people with stronger academic backgrounds to teaching has received comparatively little attention.

    Singapore, Finland, and South Korea. These countries recruit, develop, and retain the leading academic talent as one of their central education strategies, and they have achieved extraordinary results. In the United States, by contrast, only 23 percent of new teachers come from the top third, and just 14 percent in high poverty schools, where the difficulty of attracting and retaining talented teachers is particularly acute.

    Metafilter post here.

  11. Bored 13

    Most efforts focus on improving the effectiveness of teachers already in the classroom or on retaining the best performers and dismissing the least effective. Telling staement that one, amazed that they were open about it.

    So lets do a little deconstruct of any workplace (teaching included)….you somehow decide what is good and what is not into very narrow bands….you get rid of the not good…great result but you are now shorthanded….and the results fall off. So you try and get some more good…they prove rare as, and you find out your good ones are now not so good after all due to the pressures you ahve created…so you get the not so good ones back to help out.

    The reality is that ranking and rewarding in the workplace rarely works as well as getting the best available to raise the overall standard, and for that you have to pay. I would venture that in reality the education of the masses is of no interest to National, the whole thing about teaching standards is empty rhetoric, they only care about getting the price down regardless of impact on delivery.

  12. joe90 14

    No argument from me about futility of rankings Bored, or tory intentions.

    What did interest me was the idea that teaching could/should be a vocation that appeals to the very best rather than the what are you going to do when you finish school/graduate?, oh I don’t know but I can always go teaching, that I’ve heard more than once.

    btw, not bagging teachers or trying to start something nor am I interested in continuing this discussion because to me it seems that every time education comes up it’s immediately framed as an attack on teachers and their competency and/or an anti union us versus them exercise.

    • Bored 14.1

      Appreciate the comment about not bagging teachers…I made mention of teachers who voted National (of whom there are lots) and want both tax cuts and a pay rise…..that bought some howls and savage response from people I assume must be teachers. I too was not bagging them, I was pointing out some inconsistencies.

    • Vicky32 14.2

      “oh I don’t know but I can always go teaching, that I’ve heard more than once. ”
      From morons is my guess! Teaching isn’t what it was presented as when I was at school (along wiht nursing, the perfect job for girls, something to do before marriage, and you can always return when your kids are at high school!) Teaching, like nursing, is a skill!

      • Bored 14.2.1

        It would seem whatever is said about teachers will draw a defensive response from some, read what we said again….for the record I happen to have done the job early in life, my brother and mother were long term teachers…I think I am reasonably familiar.

  13. ennui 15

    Re. Rod Oram’s report on Key’s idea of turning
    NZ (ie Auckland ?) into a South Pacific financial processing centre …

    Key is about 30 years too late, when I was reading about plans for Sydney to be that centre. Most Australian, SE Asian, and Sth Pacific financial institutions already have a presence there.

    From their perspective, Auckland is Bondi East ..

  14. Pascal's bookie 18

    In Parliament Mr Key said he had confidence in Mr Hide’s judgment as a minister and he met high standards but he would not comment about judgment over the Garrett case.

    After nearly 30 minutes of debate — during which Labour’s Sue Moroney accused Mr Hide of swearing at her — Speaker Lockwood Smith put off his decision about whether Mr Key had to comment on the ACT leader’s behaviour until tomorrow.

    What fun!


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