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Open mike 22/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 22nd, 2013 - 131 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…


131 comments on “Open mike 22/06/2013”

  1. karol 1

    Spies and lies continue to be a crucial issue. Kim Dotcom has made a submission to Parliament’s Intelligence and security commission hearing on the latest GCSB amendment Bill.

    However, Dotcom’s submission argues the legislation goes much further than clarifying the law and considerably expands the GCSB’s powers.

    Dotcom and van der Kolk say the illegal spying, unlawful raid on their Coatesville home and arrest represent “an extreme present day example of what can happen when the Government and intelligence agencies misuse or misunderstand their powers.”

    • freedom 1.1

      couldn’t help but notice a very important few words missing from the story . . along the lines of:

      ‘We, the journalists and editors tasked with reporting the news, have looked at his claims regarding the proposed laws and find that the concerns raised by Kim Dotcom are completely valid and that the eleventh hour additions to the bills open New Zealand to unfettered spying on all our activities’

    • Veutoviper 1.2

      KDC posted a link to the actual Mega submission on his Twitter stream on 14 June, prior to the extension of the submission deadline.

      I haven’t read it in full yet. but here is the link.


      NRT’s post on the Cabinet papers which were only released a day before the extended submission deadline is also worth reading.


    • UglyTruth 1.3

      From interview of NSA whisteleblower Russ Tice

      “NSA is copying every domesic communiction in this country word for word, content in every phone conversation like the one we are laving now, every email”


      • Jenny 1.4.1

        The latest news on Edward Snowden:

        WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case….

        Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the charges. “I’ve always thought this was a treasonous act,” he said in a statement. “I hope Hong Kong’s government will take him into custody and extradite him to the U.S.”

        Michael di Pretoro, a retired 30-year veteran with the FBI who served from 1990 to 1994 as the legal liaison officer at the American consulate in Hong Kong, said “relations between U.S. and Hong Kong law enforcement personnel are historically quite good.”

        “In my time, I felt the degree of cooperation was outstanding to the extent that I almost felt I was in an FBI field office,” said di Pretoro.

        The U.S. and Hong Kong cooperate on law enforcement matters and have a standing agreement on the surrender of fugitives.

        Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/21/5515373/justice-official-complaint-filed.html#storylink=cpy

        • ghostrider888

          may be a ‘ten-stretch’ according to that authority on all things American Pie, Bill O’Reilly, (just a little gallows humour). Still, the information is out now and will have influenced the terrorist communication and coordination strategy.

          • Colonial Viper

            If you look at how Osama was doing things for years ie using couriers with USB sticks, they were already on to it. Putin has also said that Snowden has revealed nothing that Russia did not already know. Which makes me think more and more that the systems are targeted at ordinary civilians, and low level unaware actors like private foreign companies, small governments etc

            The system also gives an amazing amount of blackmail leverage over internal US persons. Everyone from business leaders to congressmen to journalists.

            • ghostrider888

              Putin appears at the top of his game, at the G8 etc; Key, a “low-level unaware actor” if there ever was, on the world stage, has been noticeably absent from the national MSM coverage these past days; C/T U/S PR management at play some more maybe.

  2. EPIX presents the World Premiere Original Documentary, TWA FLIGHT 800, a thought-provoking ninety-minute documentary about the ill-fated Trans World Airline Flight 800 to Paris, France, which exploded on July 17, 1996 just 12 minutes after takeoff from JFK International Airport, killing all 230 people on board. The special features six former members of the official crash investigation breaking their silence to refute the officially proposed cause of the jetliner’s demise and reveal how the investigation was systematically undermined. In commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the traumatic event, TWA FLIGHT 800 premieres Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 8PM ET.


    • Tim 2.1

      Interesting – one of those NatGeo “Seconds from Disaster” ‘sensationals’ is screening as we comment (re TWA800).

    • Paul 2.2

      The cover up surrounding this flight was documented in the excellent film critiquing the MSM called ‘Shadows of Liberty.’
      Was on at Documentary Edge Festival in Auckland this year.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Don’t tell me, yet another conspiracy theory proving to be a conspiracy fact a few years down the track

        • vto

          Oh how surprising. I posted just below that authority has proved time and time again that it cannot be trusted.

          Iraq apparently had weapons of mass destruction – yeah right

          Syria has apparently used chemical weapons – yeah right (and aint it funny how that has been quietly dropped ……. it is almost like the US govt has finally realised that it no longer has any credibility).

          JFK got shot by a lone gunman – yeah right.

          John Key doesn’t know what his blind trust invests in – yeah right.

          John Key didn’t know about Kim Dotcom – yeah right.


          and now Brazil is imploding over the populace’s calling bullshit on authority and its lies lies lies lies lies.

          these fires of protest are going to all link up soon.

          • UglyTruth

            Oh how surprising. I posted just below that authority has proved time and time again that it cannot be trusted.

            I agree that trust has to be earned, but Obama’s authority (like that of many political administrations) is based mostly on the consent of the governed. You can’t legitimately argue with de jure authority, it’s just that most authority is simply assumed rather than actually being de jure.

        • Polish Pride

          Don’t you think that with the frequency that this seems to occur add to that other misinformation put out by the govts of the day that there is a problem. Sure if it happens once, maybe even twice perhaps it can slide. But when it happens so often it is systemic it is a bit disingenuous to attempt to fob it off as ….”yet another conspiracy theory proving to be yet conspiracy fact.
          If I have misinterpreted the intended tone of your post you have my apology in advance.

  3. karol 3

    Those sticky labels on fruit certainly are a nuisance. But what will be the impact on the fruit content of laser marks replacing the sticky labels?

    In the EU though they may soon be replaced by tattoos laser-printed on the skin. The lasered marks can contain barcodes or fruit information, while iron oxides and hydroxides can be used in the process to enhance the contrast of the mark.

    Previously laser marks had been banned in the EU.

    The amended EU regulations now allows the use of iron oxides, hydroxides, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and polysorbates for marking certain fruits.

    These are all examples of so called E-numbers and can be used to create a contrast between the laser marking and the fruit’s skin.

    Iron oxides and hyrdoxides are know as E172.

    They are natural minerals commercially made from iron powder which can be yellow, red, orange, brown or black in colour.

    Manufactured by treating a solution of ferrous sulphate or chloride with an alkali and oxidising the precipitate in hot air. As the iron present in these oxides is in the ferric form it is not very actively available to body tissues.

    E172 can be found in cake and dessert mixes, meat paste, salmon and shrimp paste.

    They are only used for coating the surfaces of things but are safe to eat because they are not absorbed into the body.

    More info on the chemicals, all of which goes over my head, at the link above.

    So, over to the scientists……

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Since the 1970s British scientists, health officials and the Government dismissed claims from parents and activists that some food colourings were adversely affecting children’s behaviour, causing ADHD like symptoms. Reassurances came back that there was no problem and that they were safe.

      In 2008 it was officially recommended that those food colours no longer be used, for food safety reasons.

      So that only took 4 decades for the scientists and the authorities to work out.

      • vto 3.1.1

        It is simply foolish to trust ‘authority’. Here are some other examples of things that were ‘safe’.

        245T was safe.

        DDT was safe.

        Formaldehyde was safe.

        Atomic testing was safe-ish.

        Asbestos was safe.

        Lead paint was safe.

        Today’s treated timber which goes into the walls of your family’s bedrooms is apparently safe – yeah right.

        Today’s margarine is apparently safe – yeah right.

        Today’s corporate perfect foods are apparently safe – yeah right.

        please add to the list –

        • muzza

          Not forgetting one of the most notorious of E- Numbers – E951

          The slow kill has been in effect a very long time, for those who believe many of the effects, were possibly unknown. In the case of E951, the negative effects were known, and the FDA cleared it anyway, with a little help from Donald Rumsfeld!

        • Lanthanide

          Compare your short list against all of the other products and materials that we use which are claimed to be safe and have no evidence suggesting otherwise.

          I think all-in-all, we do a very good job, and sometimes make mistakes.

          • Draco T Bastard


            We’re human, not gods. Still, there is that corruption that I just mentioned that needs to be looked for and stopped.

            • vto

              Yes, partly right Lanth and DtB I suppose. It’s interesting that you word it thus though “… and have no evidence suggesting otherwise” implying that it isn’t a done deal on those items. Surely caution is the best approach in this arena, and you strike me as someone relatively cautious / conservative Lanthanide.

              And yes Draco, corruption and capitalism are the issues. Best example being the tobacco industry. I guess it depends where these products originate from and who benefits from it. Perhaps it is an age old case of following the money and that will point to how it should be evaluated. Your point below about credit ratings being another prime example.

              Still, caution would be the best approach I think, given the failings in the past.

              And current failings…

              1. Treated timber is supposed to be worked using masks and gloves etc yet how many builders do you see using those when cutting etc todays’ treated timber?

              2. I fear for people who have worked in demolition in Chch CBD and housing. A colleague had window dust (outer central city) tested and it came back solid asbestos. There are countless such stories. I suspect many cases will crop up in the future as a result of Chch demolition of asbestos.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes, partly right Lanth and DtB I suppose.

                Lanth’s point is around the lines of 99.9% of the materials are safe, so it’s not a bad hit rate. However, you only need one bullet out of a thousand to find its mark in order to maim or kill you.

                And that we are constantly being shot at all the time.
                Also – evidence of lack of safety is hardly equivalent to “safe”.

                My current favourite: forget fluoride for now, they’ve known for a year or two that thermal receipt printouts contain endocrine disrupters, altering your body’s hormone regulation.

                Who here doesn’t hold on to one of those at least every other day?

                • Populuxe1

                  Then don’t lick your thermal receipt printouts

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hope you don’t stick yours in your pants

                    • Populuxe1

                      Gosh no, I put it in my pocket, which last time I checked was lined (I trust your pockets are too – unless you have some weird public masterbation thing going on, and Bisphenol A (the endochrine disruptor in the paper) is mainly coming at you from food containers – I’d be more worried about that.

                    • weka

                      “and Bisphenol A (the endochrine disruptor in the paper) is mainly coming at you from food containers – I’d be more worried about that.”

                      I just wrote about the flaw in this kind of argument below. What we should be worried about is the total and cumulative effect of all exposures to BPA – plastic water bottles, plastics heated in microwaves, the shit on the inside of cans of food, kid’s plastic toys, recycled paper products etc. Plus the interaction of that BPA with other endocrine disruptors and other chemicals in the environment once they reach the human body (or any other living thing).

                      Even if you want to look only at the thermal printouts, consider that BPA is readily absorbed through the skin and or when we put our fingers in our mouths (or rub our eyes even). Then consider what happens to the BPA on the receipts when you are finished with them. It doesn’t just disappear by magic does it?

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    or under your pillow

                • muzza

                  Dealt with that one years ago, when it was blown it off as *conspiracy*. Touch only the white edges of receipts, car park tickets etc, and or dispose of them, with minimal skin contact, if any, wash hands regularly.

          • weka

            “Compare your short list against all of the other products and materials that we use which are claimed to be safe and have no evidence suggesting otherwise.

            I think all-in-all, we do a very good job, and sometimes make mistakes.”

            There is a fundamental flaw in how we use science, that’s the problem. It’s not that science per se, as a tool, is wrong or bad, it’s that humans are in charge of it and we’re dropping the ball badly in many areas. It’s not that we have a good or bad strike rate, it’s that much of what we do that causes damage is preventable, and some of the responsibility for that lies with science, particularly on the inability of some to integrate applied reductionism into a bigger picture ie it’s the world view that is the problem, not the tool itself.

            A couple of examples.

            In the fluoridation debate, someone mentioned that there was more danger from x, y, or z in our environment than from fluoridated water. That might be true from a reductionist perspective but from a holistic perspective, it’s the ingestion of fluoride, alongside x, y, z and all the other things (endocrine disruptors, the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to that our ancestors weren’t, the changes to diet, lifestyle, exercise patterns etc that differ radically from our evolutionary driven ancestors, exposure to new or increase radiations etc etc etc), and the culmulative effect of those exposures, that is the real issue. Epidemiology and meta analyses can give us some clues about these things, but reductionist science in general simply cannot cope with such a huge range of variables. So we have to develop other tools for understanding and making decisions within society.

            And it’s not that there is anything wrong with reductionist science, it’s really bloody useful. But it needs to be used within a holistic framework in order to be safe, and unfortunately too many people treat it as a belief system, and The One True Way belief system at that. That One True Way belief system prevents some people from seeing other ways of developing knowledge and generating wise practice.

            Another example is within medicine. Reductionist approaches are very useful in some areas, and worse than useless in others. It’s the lack of appreciation of the limits to the reductionist approach that is the problem. ‘Alternative’ medicine manages some areas much better, chronic illness in particular. Why is integrative medicine (mainstream and alternative) not the dominant paradigm yet? Because the power holders within science are unable to think outside their reductionist framework and thus speak from pretty ignorant places most of the time, blocking access (and yeah, because big pharma holds most of the research money).

            I find the idea that science gets it right most of the time, so we should be grateful and put up with the small amount of fuckups incredibly uninformed and thus a big contributor to the problem. The fuckups aren’t small in number, they’re massive, and many of them are avoidable. The real question then becomes why aren’t we avoiding them?

            • Colonial Viper

              Bloody hell 😯


            • Rogue Trooper

              metaphysical, weka 🙂 you have travelled a long way.

            • Draco T Bastard

              It’s not that science per se, as a tool, is wrong or bad, it’s that humans are in charge of it and we’re dropping the ball badly in many areas.

              What seems to be the problem is that some bright-spark comes up with an idea and the idea is put into practice before we know the full effects of said idea. Sometimes the full effects can’t be known until after they’ve been put into use.

              • weka

                True. So who gets to decide when/if something should be trialled on the general population or the environment before we know what the effects will be?

                I’m sure there are some instances where it’s warranted to go ahead. But they should be few. At the moment they are many, and they’re being driven by science, technology, capitalism and greedy people, not society or the communities they affect.

                • Colonial Viper

                  NZ only has 5 or 6 really pressing issues facing it. Mental health/suicide, unemployment and extreme income inequality, depletion of local resources and capabilities, dependence on imported energy etc.

                  Here’s the shocker: all these issues and more can be resolved using existing well known approaches, tools and technologies. If we actually wanted to. The rest of it is just all a smokescreen, distraction and delaying tactic.

                  So the painful truth is that for every big issue facing NZ the hold up isn’t technology. It is will power and leadership. Meanwhile people keep pretending that waiting to find a supply of unobtanium is going to resolve things.

                  • Arfamo

                    Meanwhile people keep pretending that waiting to find a supply of unobtanium is going to resolve things.

                    Many of the poorer citizens have already discovered they have a plentiful supply of it and are being bagged for not doing useful things with it, haven’t they? 🙂

            • McFlock

              That One True Way belief system prevents some people from seeing other ways of developing knowledge and generating wise practice.

              Fair enough. What other ways are there? E.g. to determine whether smoking causes cancer?

    • weka 3.2

      “But what will be the impact on the fruit content of laser marks replacing the sticky labels?”

      I don’t think that was the link you were intending 🙂

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The Last Mystery of the Financial Crisis

    It’s not a stretch to say the whole financial industry revolves around the compass point of the absolutely safe AAA rating. But the financial crisis happened because AAA ratings stopped being something that had to be earned and turned into something that could be paid for.

    Corruption, corruption, corruption. Seems to be the modus operandi of capitalism.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It’s the decline of civilisation.

      The impartial rule of law, standards of professionalism and conduct, due diligence and due process, are all gradually being discarded, with use of fear and power as replacements for good government (see NSA scandal).

      The few will desperately try and corner more and more of a shrinking pie.

      • UglyTruth 4.1.1

        It’s not really that due process has been discarded, rather it has been misconstrued to mean, in some cases, the opposite of what it originally meant. Personal status has nothing to do with the law of the land, it applies to men, not to persons.

        lex terre
        The law of the land. The common law, or the due course of the common law; the general law of the land. Equivalent to “due process of law”. In the strictest sense, trial by oath; the privilege of making oath. (Blacks 5th)

        Due process:
        Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

        Civilization, as the implementation of of the civil law, has always been fundamentally incompatible with the law of the land as it applies to society.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Telling Time with a Broken Clock

    “The more we learn about standardized testing, particularly in its high-stakes incarnation, the more likely we are to be appalled.” — Alfie Kohn

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      You find strawpolls interesting and believe you can treat their contents as though they are “results”. Interesting.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Don’t Blame the Work Force

    THE RESEARCH Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton School, has noted sharply different opinions between corporate executives, who typically say that schools are failing to give workers the skills they need, and the people who actually do the hiring, who say the real obstacles are traditional ones like lack of on-the-job experience. In addition, when there are many more applicants than jobs, employers tend to impose overexacting criteria and then wait for the perfect match. They also offer tightfisted pay packages. What employers describe as talent shortages are often failures to agree on salary.

    US centric but I’d say that it applies in NZ just as much.

    • Rosetinted 7.1

      I am sure that you are right. Constant complaints from employers about education levels. No willingness to provide training to the young, or the returning-to-work. What they want is babies born immediately programmed to carry out their work requirements.

      And as one listens to them or watches them from below in seniority it becomes clear that they are not at all capable and knowledgeable about the work that is in their own purview. How do they get picked in the first place and then remain circulating up in the air like some mobile-hanging business toy above the actual workfloor?

    • Populuxe1 7.2

      My big bugbear is HR departments stuffed with overpaid and unimaginative drones who know nothing about the actual requirements of the organisations they represent and work exclusively by ticking boxes.

      • Tim 7.2.1

        HR departments AND employment agencies.

        • Arfamo

          And government CEO’s & 2nd tier managers in a lot of cases, unfortunately.

        • chris73

          I second that on employment agencies…20-somethings who’ve generally never held a job in any of the positions they advertise making you fill out tests ad nauseum which mean nothing and then say “we’ll call you if anything comes up”

          Never gotten a job through an employment agency, its always been through the company itself

  7. Rogue Trooper 8

    The Ben Bernanke Effect:
    “Saner heads prevail”
    -“consumer staples, health care and utilities”.
    Fed Plan rattles investors
    (MRP closed at $2.20).

    The kiwi $ has dropped around 10c / US since April
    NZX- 1% drop two days in a row.

    Global sharemarket “turmoil” around equities and commodities as Fed signals winding down of economic stimulus; 2 Trillion off global sharemarkets; wholesale sell-off of the NZ $ due inpart to the local markets relatively low liquidity, thus the money returns to where it came from.

    “Fear-on mode”; investors are not in agreement that the US economy is recovering.
    The end of cheap money? with increased expense to be price into future ‘economic recovery’ predictions / settings.the price of petrol and imported resources, including those required for the manufacturing sector.

    Now, what do the economists call it when interests rates are rising and the value of the dollar is decreasing…

    • vto 8.1

      This is so not surprising.

      The band-aids to stem the blood from the financial crisis were ……… just printed money. You know, paper. Nothing backing it. Could have been they were using toilet paper. Or photocopy paper. Or newspaper. What sort of paper was it? 80 gsm? 120 gsm? Was it lined or plain? Or – does it really matter? Paper is paper.

      I think I’ve just put some paper on the fire to spark it up again – ferocious flames and then smouldering black lumps of wood slowly cooling again. Fires and financial systems – the comparisons are uncanny.

      But who bloody cares? The printed paper firestorm has probably allowed enough of those in the know to get out of their holes and bolt to the hills …………. with real actual assets ……….. like power companies …….. wouldn’tcha just know it ………..

      • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1

        Yep, bond yields continue to climb in Europe,China attempting a controlled slow-down
        new export orders in both contracting; then there will be the further rise in insurance premiums as the re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh, and the cost of imports for the current, and future rebuilds.

      • ghostrider888 8.1.2

        bond yields continue to rise in Europe…

      • ghostrider888 8.1.3

        PRC attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders contracting both there and in Europe

      • ghostrider888 8.1.4

        wholesale interest rates begin long-term climb

      • ghostrider888 8.1.5

        further volatility added to assets sales programme (Wgtn will be scratching their collective heads)

        • Rosetinted

          And what about the workers? What happens as a result – uh showers of dandruff?

          • ghostrider888

            some word is triggering ‘moderation’ so I’ll try for ‘bald patches’ 😀

      • ghostrider888 8.1.6

        new export orders contracting in both europe and our largest red-star neighbour

      • ghostrider888 8.1.7

        then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers realise just how volatile the real climate is, and oh, the cost of imported components for the current, and future, rebuilds.

        • Colonial Viper

          Time to self insure

          State Insurance (v1.0)

          • ghostrider888

            an innovative dark Tabula rasa (Shearer was on the Hauraki drive show; voted for “Dust in The Wind) Do our ears deceive us?
            “It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside
            I’m not one of those who can easily hide
            I don’t have much money, but boy if I did,
            I’d buy a big house where we both could live

            I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do
            My gift is my song, and this one’s for you”.

            • Rosetinted

              Thanks ghosty
              On behalf of me – I like your style and sentiments.

              • ghostrider888

                sorry about the identity crisis, had to pop into the nearest telephone box; yes, you demonstrate the same, Rosetinted; pop up an see me sometime, we’ll do brunch, sizzling.
                (comment#88) now, if I only had a gold coin for every time…

          • ghostrider888

            “I guess in the Wild West…”

  8. Rogue Trooper 9


  9. Rogue Trooper 10

    in reply to vto (stuck in moderation)
    Yep, bond yields continue to climb in Europe, China is attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders in both contracting, wholesale interest rates to begin a long-term climb, further volatility introduced to the asset sales programmes (Wgtn will be scratching their heads), then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh and the costs of materials for the current, and future, rebuilds.

  10. ghostrider888 11

    will try that again;
    yes, bond yields continue to climb in Europe, China is attempting a controlled slow-down, new export orders in both contracting, wholesale -interest rates begin long-term climb, further volatility introduced to the asset-sales programmes (Wgtn will be scratching their collective heads), then there will be further rises in insurance premiums as re-insurers witness just how volatile the real climate is becoming, oh, and factor in the costs of imported materials for the current, and future, rebuilds.

  11. ghostrider888 12

    Indian monsoon flooding due to monsoons 4.5 times the normal levels

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yes but well within historical norms (please reference Noah), so nothing to see here.

      • ghostrider888 12.1.1

        I’m getting stuck in moderation, for goodness sake.

        • Rosetinted

          😀 They’ve found out the truth about you eh! GSCB, fqu etc.

          • Rogue Trooper

            from “The New Normal” “he liked to go Downtown, (which was fine by her) but didn’t get off the bus until he hit skid row” 😉 -The Francophile.

  12. North 13

    Rerun of 3’s The Vote from Wednesday night.

    Rankin – The Weetbix Remedy – trotted out immediately after the Mangere Budgeting Centre guy challenges her to feed a family of 4 or 6 or whatever on $80 left in the weekly budget.

    Dangerous egocentric cow ! Marie Antoinette was at least honest about her black heartedness.

    We’re meant to accord Rankin, Tamaki, McCoskrie respect and credulity ??? They are disgraceful utterly self-focused antagonists of the poor. Ardent protagonists of the pitiably ill-treated haves, for Christ’s Sake.

    Two of three sucking God. The other one sucking the Conservative Party.

    • vto 13.1

      I thought that program had a major blundering fundamental flaw – and that was the actual question. It was very poorly formed.

      Of course parenting is the main determinant around how children are raised and child abuse.

      The issue should have been something along the lines “Has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills and therefore an increase in child abuse”, not an either-or between parenting and poverty. Major oversight imo.

      and it was interesting to see McCroskie in action – a man of no doubt good heart but woefully short on knowledge, wisdom, judgment and understanding. So woeful that it would seem he does his organisation more harm than good. Hone was brilliant – if I can get my head around some of Mana’s other policies then my vote would very nearly head their way.

      • weka 13.1.1

        The issue should have been something along the lines “Has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills and therefore an increase in child abuse”, not an either-or between parenting and poverty. Major oversight imo.

        I think a better question is :”Is poverty good for children?”

        As for has poverty caused a decline in parenting skills, well that’s one way to look at it but I think it’s more to do with capitalist and neoliberal agendas. Obviously colonisation has had a massive detrimental effect on Maori whanau, but it’s not just poverty in the sense of how much income a family has. It’s also the suppression of culture and language, the institutionalist racism and for much of post-contact history that huge denial of the validity of Te Ao Maori, the consequential PTSD, as well as the loss of economic bases and the pressures from Eurocentric capitalism that led to the move to cities and fragmenting of iwi and hapu. Given all that I think most Maori parents do really bloody well. That some families have been abandoned within that and are now being blamed is hypocritical.

        In regards to Pakeha parenting, well we were the ones that were sending our kids out to sweep chimneys around the time of colonisation, so let’s just say that our own history of child abuse is pretty long. If we want to look just at recentish history again it looks like the neoliberal agenda is central: my parents’ generation often raised kids within their home town and had the support of extended family, but my generation often raise kids away from such support. Women quite rightly got emancipation from marriage, but were denied financial emancipation in a meaningful way, so have often been left to raise kids on their own. The shift from one income households being viable to the necessity for two incomes has come from capitalism’s need to accommodate feminism without allowing it any real power to change the structure of society (which would undermine the greed ethos). The shift from people as citizens and part of a community to consumers is another huge change that’s happened in the last 3 or so decades and that, alongside neoliberal tools such as user pays, is engraining self-centred, anti-community attitudes in people that will take generations to reverse. Humans have raised children successfully within extended family groups within small communities for all of our evolution. To change that now is perilous but that’s what we are doing.

        Sure, individual parents have some choices within all that, but not as many as most think, and if we want to look at solutions as a way of prevention, then it doesn’t really work to look at individuals* – the problem and the solution are in the things that hinder or help successful families and individuals have limited control over those (some have no control).

        *except where they can be helped, and where they can tell us what isn’t working.

      • Saarbo 13.1.2


    • millsy 13.2

      Weetbox for breakfast lunch and tea.I really dont think that it is really acceptable, or healthy to be feeding kids (or mum and dad for that matter) a subsistence diet of weetbix. No only would they go without the nutrients that are not in that food, it would be utterly demoralising to go for months, weeks and possibly years eating the same food, because you simply do not have the money to buy anything else. Plus people need something hot in their bellies as well. Not soggy weetbix.

      Ironically Rankin has being a single mother on a benefit and knows what it is like. Ironically how those who point the finger at the poor come from that background.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Weetbox for breakfast lunch and tea.I really dont think that it is really acceptable, or healthy to be feeding kids (or mum and dad for that matter) a subsistence diet of weetbix. No only would they go without the nutrients that are not in that food, it would be utterly demoralising to go for months, weeks and possibly years eating the same food

        Concentration camp rations

        While John Key buys $3500 celebrity chef dinner tickets for him and his wife.

        Sounds fair to me, he’s earned it, and those poor people are clearly slackers and bludgers

        • unpcnzcougar

          I agree that the question was worded incorrectly. This is such a contentious issue. We know there are bad parents and we also know that people genuinely struggle. Until such time that as a country we can throw more money at the problem I really don’t know what the solution is. I do believe that society is judged by how we treat the less fortunate amongst us.

          Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy. This can be done on probably half percent of land throughout the whole country. The scaremongering that is done by the Greens and celebrities over this issue is not helpful. If anyone else has a better solution then we should be telling our MP’s. Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers

          What is not helpful are comments about Key as a rich prick etc. He is a self made man and there are many others like him. He didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. Had he, then sure throw all the brickbats you like at him. Let’s not drag down people who are successful. Let’s encourage more – there are many out there especially in technology that are employing lots of kiwis. As history shows change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt and also to help people to adapt by encouraging a different skill set in workers and students to face the future.

          • Rogue Trooper

            15 years until the planet “cooks”
            -“NZers have a record of profound deafness”
            -“our emissions record since 1991 is one of the worst of developed countries”

            and in the Left / Green lane…

            “Public Transport must have priority over motorways” -Pat Baskett : Odds are against us.

            but you carry on.

          • Colonial Viper

            What is not helpful are comments about Key as a rich prick etc. He is a self made man and there are many others like him.

            He was a senior Bankster in a Bankster Organisation which made its money from skimming off from the productive parts of society and ordinary workers while leaving nothing but debt, leverage and fragility.

            Further, he had the benefit of growing up in a well made state house with inexpensive rentals, after NZ generously extended rights to stay to his foreign born Mum.

            Not sure what you consider “self made” in any of that.

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy.

            I’d only agree with you if NZ majority owned and operated all such new operations itself, and the majority of monies from the minerals stayed onshore.

            • Rosetinted

              I think Al Capone would be regarded as a self-made man by the money-worshippers who admire those with plenty and don’t pay much attention to who has been ripped off, sometimes literally, in getting it.

          • weka

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy. This can be done on probably half percent of land throughout the whole country. The scaremongering that is done by the Greens and celebrities over this issue is not helpful. If anyone else has a better solution then we should be telling our MP’s.

            NZ is a very wealthy country already. Our problem isn’t that we don’t have enough wealth, it’s that some people believe that the solution to some people having heaps of money and others having not enough is to steal from the environment and future generations. But tell me this, what happens when you’ve drilled and mined all the stuff in the earth, and you find that there are still poor people in NZ? What then?

            Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers

            You don’t have to tax ‘people’ more. You just have to rearrange how taxes are collected. Take GST off food, put a tax on financial transactions beyond basic households. Capital Gains Tax. There are lots of ways, and MPs already know what they are.

            • Colonial Viper

              “Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers”

              This is very likely a distortion of the truth. It ignores for instance what share of total income the top 11% take. I’m guessing it is way more than 49%. It also discounts all other taxes eg GST

              • Rosetinted

                “Taxing people more I don’t think will work. We already have 49% of income tax coming from 11% of individual tax payers”

                You don’t show signs of understanding why a large proportion of income tax is coming from a small percentage of people. All your comment is slanted to imply that they are paying too much or more than their share.

                The reason why tax is not coming from a larger percentage is that the vast majority are getting low to medium incomes. Enough for some tax, enough to live on, but actually just enough to borrow on to fool themselves that they are doing OK. The reason why payments aren’t going to taxation to the government, but coming from below the living wage level to the interest payments on credit cards.

                And under present conditions NZ can never get wealthy, no matter how much is mined or extracted. Some people will get a job in the present, until the resources are all used up, all sent overseas for a quick buck. Then back to the future – moans and wails and do bloody nothing intelligent but look for some vulnerable people to blame and kick. Nice end for us with your type of recipe for the future.
                Hemlock pie, with added flavouring of essence of vicious circle.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Until such time that as a country we can throw more money at the problem I really don’t know what the solution is.

            The best solution is to get rid of money and go to full democracy with the understanding that the economy is there to support everyone and not just a few sociopaths.

            Personally, I would like to see us mine and drill more to make the country more wealthy.

            That would actually do the exact opposite. Once we’ve dug everything up then what do we do?

            He is a self made man…

            Yep, such a self-made man he had massive state subsidies growing up which he’s now taking away from the majority and giving to other rich pricks through tax cuts for the rich.

            There is no such thing as a self-mad man.

            Let’s not drag down people who are successful.

            Key is a successful parasite and needs to be removed from the host.

            • Rosetinted

              Did you know leeches have a valuable medical use, and I think suck up pus from a wound cleaning it out in an efficient and sterile way (if they are carefully grown to maturity in such conditions).
              Perhaps jonkey wasn’t raised and matured in a healthy environment and his poor abilities to serve the needs of the public is the result.

              I looked at Wikipedia. His father sounds as if he had principles. Key was born in 1961 but his father died in 1967, so he was only six then and very young for that loss.

              His father was an English immigrant and a veteran of the Spanish Civil War and World War II.[2] He died of a heart attack in 1967. Key and his two sisters were raised in a state house in the Christchurch suburb of Bryndwr, by his mother, an Austrian Jewish immigrant.[3][4]
              He attended Aorangi School, then Burnside High School, and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting from the University of Canterbury in 1981.[3][5] He has attended management studies courses at Harvard University.[6]

              Notice that Key was from the lower south island. Could that be regarded as a National Party stronghold? Brownlee, English, Key with connections there?

          • millsy

            And what if the air and water is poisoned?

      • Rosetinted 13.2.2

        All single or solo mothers aren’t equal. With assistance from family it can be manageable with some energy and money left over to move up and off. Without helpful family and if you have the millstone of trying to mitigate the effects of some dorky sperm provider, or even a father who is uncommitted and won’t learn parenting skills and responsibilities, then difficulties multiply and crush.

        Weetbix has a use, just not the only thing – the pollies have to remember we aren’t horses. They like oats so do I but I need more than some greens, a carrot and an apple which are other things horses enjoy. The job of helping parents provide for their kids needs some money, and some guidance through parental education classes. How to do good things when you’re on a budget, and what kids need for growth, and how to use psychology to not give in to demands for chips, coloured drinks etc.

        • North

          It would be instructive I’m sure were the likes of Rankin and Tamaki required to actually verify their throwaway lines – “I came from a poor household……poverty……blah blah blah”.

          Completely punting but I suspect that such protestations are very frequently self-serving and self-congratulatory bullshit typical of the “I’m alright Jack” types who express them.

          Glossed to the point of dishonesty and devoid of any consideration of the relativities of the times in which they “endured” and “triumphed” over the “deprived” lives they claim.

          The social amorality to which they pontifically subscribe well accommodates scope for bullshit.

      • North 13.2.3

        The selfish neo-liberal cargo-cult coupled with the vainglorious and socially delinquent explains alot.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.3

      I did a write-up of The Vote, on Thursday’s , Child, “Throw me tomorrow”; just tragic some of the Talking Heads in this country; oh for a ‘forward roll’ to a Habermas, Foucault, Eco or Sakharov.

  13. ghostrider888 14

    Miko Peled : “The General’s Son”
    raised as a Zionist, now a Middle East peace activist
    -“the IDF, a terrorist organization”
    -“occupation; illegal, immoral and unsustainable”
    -“Israel has sowed the seeds of it’s own destruction”.

    • Rosetinted 14.1

      This guy was good. Very sane and centred. And has a background of family fighting for Israel from the first. And who was similar to Eisenhower when he finished fighting, with some advice on future peaceful direction that wasn’t received.

      He doesn’t think it will be easy, only a few thousand supporters in Israel I thought I heard. Though numbers wanting change are growing.

  14. Polish Pride 15

    very good RBE vs Libertarianism discussion both systems talk about anti corporatism

  15. Rogue Trooper 16

    Mortgage rates begin rise
    months earlier than predicted; hold on to your hats.

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      the East / West divide (as a working-class man living in Christchurch with Cosgove as an MP at the time, I found his views on many things difficult to empathise with, yet he can be dogged on the Nats).
      the ‘Shearer / Cunliffe cabals ride again.

  16. Rosetinted 18

    Is milk reconstituted from powder? I have heard that asked. The answer has always been no. But the actual practices are more complex. There is a lot of fiddling around connected with a minimum standard set for protein of 3% also one for fat. The milk varies during the year and so protein may need to be boosted with milk powder to reach the standard. But the standard has become the maximum too. So milk will be diluted so that protein rich milk is not being ‘wasted’ on the milk consumer.

    Look – listen. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thiswayup
    13:15 A listener’s question about how fresh our milk is, and what goes into it. With
    Dr David Everett.

  17. ghostrider888 19

    “Sleepwalking” into the largest refugee (humanitarian) crisis in our lifetime”

    been following the spread of Mers, and the commentary of the international health community
    “world’s single biggest threat to public health”

    Singapore chokes on record-breaking levels of smog from Sumatran forest-burning
    (cloud-seeding to be attempted)

    “standing on the outside, looking in”

    Porn Studies: is it all academic?
    -30% of bandwidth
    -70% of men (must be a lot of fundies) and 30% of woman
    -average length of visit- a 12 minute quickie
    -90% of all content, verbally, and / or , physically, abusive towards women.

    • weka 19.1

      The porn studies article is very interesting, thanks.

      “-90% of all content, verbally, and / or , physically, abusive towards women.”

      Says it all really. And there are people that believe that that doesn’t have any effect in the real world.

  18. ghostrider888 20

    100.7 Bay FM- the underdog is coming off the leash
    “Well, any man with a microphone
    can tell you what he loves the most
    and you know why you love at all
    if you’re thinking of the Holy ghost
    (and every breath that is in your lungs
    is a tiny little gift to me).”

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      100.7 Bay FM is the coolest provincial station ever! Playlist sample here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfFPzrHni20

      Any chance they’re going to put the station up on the web?

      • ghostrider888 20.1.1

        I think so too, from my wide experience of recorded music; not sure about the web, Hauraki have an interactive site. I find the music on both very motivating, contemplative at times and conducive to reflection.
        On the bay in general, imho, considering all the challenges facing NZ society and the climate, it is a very sensible place to choose to settle, particularly Hastings, generally sheltered from the extremes of both. 😀

      • ghostrider888 20.1.2

        btw, excellent track…when the music’s over, Reed flows on.

  19. Tim 21

    I’ve just had a bright idea (or maybe not – depending on your point of view).
    It was inspired by “the weekend social” thread, AND the fact that I just went through various call centres/options on ‘intelligent answer phone services’ that didn’t fit ANY condition that allowed me to report arcing on a lampost (with an identifiable & specific location; nearest street address/lampost number/phase colour et al). 20 minutes later – the responsible body was identified, and an assurance that within 24 hrs later – it would be fixed – we’ll see.

    Anyway @ lprent – how about a “funny thing happened on the way to the forum” thread.
    I could kick it off if you like?

    ……. “once upon a time, I was walking down Featherston St in Wellington when a Destiny Church ‘black shirt march’ was taking place. I was with a young fella that I had employed in the role as “Contract Systems Administrator”.

    Coming in the opposite direction (and wearing the obligatory “black T”) was a ‘young bloke’ my accomplis had once had sex with…..
    … perhaps he was now cured



    (concerns what Lange once, in passing, talked about a moratorium on Whaling Season)

    Maybe not …. bit too much like “Truth”

  20. Colonial Viper 22

    British GCHQ brag its got more access to everyone’s internet data than the other members of the Five Eyes Agreement (incl NZ)

    They even reckon that they have better access than the US authorities. And they spy on the British public, thanks to numerous clever little loopholes. Given the timing, the previous UK Labour Govt must have been well on the scheme as well.

    It doesn’t seem to matter which side of the House they sit on.

    Can anyone spell global conspiracy theory.


    • weka 22.1

      “Essentially, we have a process that allows us to select a small number of needles in a haystack. We are not looking at every piece of straw. There are certain triggers that allow you to discard or not examine a lot of data so you are just looking at needles. If you had the impression we are reading millions of emails, we are not. There is no intention in this whole programme to use it for looking at UK domestic traffic – British people talking to each other,” the source said.

      Yeah, right. Or maybe it’s just NZ that does that.

      Hang on, “There is no intention in this whole programme at this stage to use it for looking at UK domestic traffic – British people talking to each other,” the source said.”


      “The criteria are security, terror, organised crime. And economic well-being.

      An interesting phrasing.

      CV, what do you think is going to happen after this? I’m guessing everyone will express outrage and then go back to their flat screen tvs, gmail accounts and FB pages.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        The most terrifying aspect of this is that a relatively small group of people now have the tools and the technology needed to blackmail and coerce any member of parliament, any member of the judiciary, any person of authority, any member of a jury, at will.

        Today we know that several people a year (sworn staff and civilian employees) are found guilty of accessing NZ police systems inappropriately to look up info on spouses, ex’s, celebrities,etc. Imagine a system 100x more powerful than that now. What are the temptations.

        Essentially these systems guarantee the end of democracy (although not necessarily the illusion of democracy) within a very short amount of time.

        Ironically the systems also create the conditions which destroy the possibility of any true capitalism or market place activity. Imagine that Boeing (US) and BAE (UK) are bidding on a new billion dollar project against Airbus (EU).

        Through their top secret security clearances and government contacts, Boeing and BAE can now have access to every single email, txt message, email attachment, phone call, made by executives on the BAE bid team.

        Overall the result I think you will see: an acceleration of the development of societal stagnation like was seen in surveillance states like East Germany.

        BTW it looks to me like they could have taken down General Patreaus with that sex scandal with his biographer, when he was head of the CIA, using this system. They will also have a full set of intercepts relating to Barack Obama’s time as an Illonois Senator, especially from the time that he became prominent as a potential up and comer.

  21. Colonial Viper 23

    3 former NSA whistleblowers say Snowden succeeded where they had failed

    If you can, watch the embedded video too. Props to USA Today for running this. There is still a lot of very good things about the US.

    Scary stuff – comment that the US Government deliberately detached itself from the Constitution after 9/11. That the spying programmes seemed more about generating revenues for private companies than anything else. That Snowden’s revelations are really only the tip of the iceberg. That every American is essentially being treated like a foreigner now.


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