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Open mike 22/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

70 comments on “Open mike 22/11/2010 ”

  1. Let me start that although I’m not big on praying I grief for those affected by the mining disaster in the Pike river coal mine.

    Today I would like to point out that on 1 December 2 million people will no longer receive benefit. The senate blocked a bill to extend these benefits to the end of February.
    The average sum involved is $ 310 a week. and the senate refused this extension because it would add another $ 12.5 billion to the National Debt and it should be paid out of unspent money from somewhere else.

    These people will have no access to food, heating, health care or a roof over their heads other than perhaps some food stamps.

    Just think of what that means. These two million people have families, children, pets perhaps a parent they try to take care of and just because they lost a job and were unable to find another one the will be outcasts and join the ranks of the destitute in what was once the richest country on the face of the earth.

    Two million people. A little under half of the entire New Zealand population but if you count their dependants you are looking at between three quarters and the entire New Zealand population who will overnight have no more income to support themselves and their families.

    In comparison this same Senate “is OK” with spending that same amount of money in the two illegal wars of aggression in Iraq an Afghanistan PER MONTH.

    I propose to you that the Senate has hit the jackpot right there. There is enough money they should just start spening it on their own population

    • jcuknz 1.1

      It is a terrible situation and shows just how completely screwed up the United States is with wrong priorities.

    • john 1.2

      The US is a NeoLiberal GodMarket billionaire’s playground where ordinary Americans are trod down underfoot. Bush and Obama continue to turn the US into the biggest Banana Republic on the Planet,However the John Wodney gang here think (The US garbage for the rich ideology,privatization and astronomical inequalities) it’s the way to go:Rich get richer the poor get screwed! Why don’t kiwis wake up to this fact!? They want to get vouchers for their kids to go to private schools? Dumbed down by the feel good look good media the Simon and Wendy shows! I give up.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    Standard readers are no doubt wondering how the swingeing cuts in the UK public service are affecting the population. The answer is probably badly, but it’s nice to know that one section of British society has the proper focus in straightened times.

    A question from a reader in the Sunday Times Style section:

    “My daughter has started school, and I wanted to buy the Louis Vuitton leopard-print scarf to pop on for the school run, but two of the mums already have it. Could you recommend an alternative. I have a budget of about £600.”

    • LOL. F*&king hell!

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        What really amazes me, Ev, isn’t the stupidity of the woman asking the question, but that the Sunday Times printed it as if it were a perfectly normal question to ask. What world do these people live in?

        • freedom

          i would like to think it was an ambitious (and ultimately successful) attempt to belittle the elite,
          hopefully by a Junior Editor living on bovril in a slime soaked bedsit that costs $1000 per month

          • Lanthanide

            Yeah, I think it’s a prank. That sort of person wouldn’t write a letter to the editor to ask that question, they’d go on down to some glitzy high-end London fashion store and have the shopping assistant sort it out for them.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Prank? Maybe, and if so, it’s a bloody clever one. As I replied above, the fact the ST printed it as if it were a genuine question worth answering is the really appalling thing. The Sunday Times Style section writer Gemma Soames clearly thought it was dinkum when she advised the distressed mother to go for a “different colour but same price LV scarf, or ones priced from £190 – £295.”

        • travellerev

          No, I actually think that style sections of news papers (populated with very blond people generally) really do print things like that. I am always amazed (Being a dress maker as well as rabble-rouser) at how much women are prepared to spend on absolute crap clothes (not style wise but quality wise). I can just see thousands of little Chinese persons in absolutely horrific working environments working their arse off to make shit quality clothes for the western dimwit buying it so big corporations can make sickening amounts of profit. And I always end up asking myself the same question so VOR we’re actually in agreement here. 😉

        • prism

          Could it be perhaps irony? sarcasm even? The budget of 600 pounds seems to be an indication in that direction.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      Are you sure it wasn’t satire? Please tell me it was satire…

  3. john 3



    The Antarctic treaty signed by Japan agrees that NO commercial activities should be done there to preserve the Planet’s last pristine unspoiled sanctuary. So why are the Japanese doing commercial whaling down there?They know they’re wrong that’s why they maintain the transparent pathetic lie of research!

    [lprent: don’t SHOUT. I dropped the bold. But SHOUTING is annoying, hurts my EYES, and PISSES me off. It is also a fast way to get BANNED because it indicates that you are unable to argue your point and have to resort to cheap tricks for effect – ie you’re a troll. Read the POLICY about how I feel about trolls. ]

    • felix 3.1

      Perhaps you could try a bigger font, and capitalise the whole comment.

      Then everyone would definitely read it.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        Whales have notoriously poor eyesight, Felix, hence the need for the caps. Always bumping into yachts, harpoons, that sort of thing. I gather part of the Japanese scientific research effort is firmly focussed on fixing that problem. Sadly, the oversized eyeglasses didn’t work and the buggers won’t sit still long enough for Lazic to be an option, so the best bet is to just keep killing them till a solution is found.

    • KJT 3.2

      The collision was the Ady Gils fault. Read the “Rule of the road at Sea”.

      I do not have a problem with Pete Bethune putting himself in the path of the whalers to stop them.
      Thats breaking a law, civil disobedience to stop a greater wrong. Same as obstructing bulldozers in Palestine.
      But, being dishonest about fault does not do the Anti Whaling movement any favours.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.2.1

        Er, no. The report found the Shonen Maru had the primary responsibility to avoid the collision, but both boats could have done more to stop it happening.

        • KJT

          An extremely maneuverable small craft swanning around in front of a ship!??

          If it was me I would know it was my fault.

      • john 3.2.2

        Hi KJT
        I have seen video of the ADY GIL ramming taken from the Bob Barker, it is very clear that the Shonan Maru 2 was on a safe course missing the Ady Gil but then did a right(Starboard) turn onto a collision course,While at the same time aiming water cannon and sound harassment devices at the hapless crew. If the Japanese have nothing to hide why did they not reply to the NZ Investigation?But ignored it showing contempt?

        Refer link to video the right turn to ram Ady Gil is as clear as a bell,it was a criminal act endangering the lives of the crew and against all laws of the sea and international law and common decency.

        • KJT

          I saw all the videos too, where the Ady Gil increased speed at the last minute to ensure the collision happened, which you can see clearly by their wake.

          The rules say clearly that the stand on vessel should keep their course and speed except where it is apparent that they give way vessel is not keeping clear. Such alteration should not be towards the stand on vessel.

          Nothing in these rules shall exonerate anyone–from the normal practices of good seamanship.

          • john

            Hi KJT
            You obviously subscribe to the lawless law of “Might (In this case size and weight) is Right!” The Ady Gil was effectively stationery. Of course Might is Right is part of our own culture shown by the game of Rugby or Parties shoving through their own Agendas without respect to people as in the undemocratic Rogernomics coup-de-etat Surely ramming another vessel, you don’t consider that “Good seamanship”!? Putting the lives of the crew into danger such as freezing from hypothermia within 10 minutes of immersion!?

            • Colonial Viper

              The Ady Gil was effectively stationery.

              Says who? You better have an official report to back up your claim.

            • KJT

              The Ady Gil was doing at least 8 knots from her wake. probably more as she has an efficient hull shape.

              • john

                Hi KJT

                Your kidding me right? Your saying the crew members of the Ady Gil deserved to almost die?
                The Ady Gil was “dead in the water” ( that means out of fuel not moving) at the time of being hit they we’re doing nothing. Nothing justifies the Japanese to ram another vessel in the water? The Japanese are illegally hunting whales in the Antarctic, and no one is stopping them, Sea Shepard is doing everything they can to stop this, there is nothing wrong in seeking justice. We have such laws as making “citizens arrests” everyday people allowed to uphold the law, Sea Shepard is doing that but out on the ocean where no one else will,

                Laughing in the face of people who show more love and compassion for the creatures of this earth, the people who protect what’s right. If the oceans die we die…everything on this earth serves a role in survival…the behavior of laughing at them is down right disgusting.

                how was the Ady Gil at fault the whole crew were out side sitting on the ship and the Japanese vessel deliberately and purposefully turned and put all of the Ady Gil’s crew’s lives on the line

                One of the protesters suffered broken ribs during the boat collision. New Zealander Simeon Houtman says he was caught off-guard by the accident, but considers himself lucky to be alive. “In the last few seconds we realised, they’re actually going to collide with us,” he recalled. “Instinct took over and we all just dived for the aft deck and landed in a heap. Thankfully everyone survived.”
                As you can imagine, both the whalers and the protesters blame each other for the boat crash. The Sea Shepherd group has asked the Dutch public prosecutor to launch a criminal investigation into the crash, since Sea Shepherd is registered in the Netherlands. The group’s lawyer, Liesbeth Zegveld, said it appeared the ship Shonan Maru 2 had been sent out specifically to prevent the protesters from reaching the whaling ships. “We filed a complaint for criminal prosecution with our prosecutor, requesting the start of an investigation into what we consider to be a crime – piracy, actually – committing violence on the high seas,” the lawyer for Sea Shepard told the press

                How dare you laugh at people who were nearly murdered by the Japanese government, as this is sanctioned by the government. If you bothered to watch Whale Wars you would know that the first people to draw blood were the Japanese. They kill hundreds of whales a year for “research”. If you had done some research before spouting your mouth off you would know that the Japanese have so much whale meat from their killing that they feed it to their children in the cafeterias at school. I dare you to try to find any valid “research” conducted by ICR.org.

                • KJT

                  I am anti whaling.

                  You are totally wrong though. The Ady Gil was not dead in the water as you can clearly see from her wake in the water. they caused the collision at least as much as the Japanese.

                  If they whaler caught them by surprise then they were ignoring another collision rule. Keeping a lookout.

                  Who caused the collision is a different issue from the right or wrongs of whaling.

                  • john

                    Hi KJT

                    Locky Maclean, the first mate of the society’s lead ship,said:
                    ‘They were stopped dead in the water when the incident occurred,’ Maclean said of the Ady Gil.
                    ‘When they realised that the Shonan Maru was aiming right for them, they tried to go into reverse to get the bow out of the way but it was too late. The Shonan Maru made a course correction and plowed directly into the front end of the boat.’

                    ‘The Ady Gil was stationary at the time of the collision and was then hit by one of the Japanese harpoon vessels,’ Jeff Hansen, a spokesman for the conservation society, said in Tasmania.

                    ‘It tried to back out of the way but the Shonan Maru 2 had it in its path and it cleaned it up.

                    • KJT

                      First time I have seen a vessel that is stopped with a wake!

                      I do not think that Sea Shepheard or the Ady Gils crew are helping their cause by telling obvious lies.

            • KJT

              When you can turn 360 degrees in 20 seconds whereas the other vessel takes 20 seconds simply to get her rudder hard over before she turns then it is your fault if you get in the way at close range.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Still has to be moving to do that turn and the Ady Gil couldn’t go into reverse as the following sea would have swamped her. The captain of the Ady Gil had one option – accelerate forwards and hope that he could turn away before the ship hit.

                BTW, the speed at which the ship turned toward the Ady Gil would indicate that it doesn’t take 20 seconds to get the helm over.

                • KJT

                  They would have to have the helm over at least half a ships length before they started turning.

                  And the Ady Gil was definitely moving fast enough to steer.
                  Saying they could not go astern is bollocks. The sea was not that huge and they were going slowly..
                  If they were stopped the collision would not have happened looking at the aspect of the Japanese ship after they turned.

                  The other vessel changing speed makes it difficult to assess if you are going to hit.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    They would have to have the helm over at least half a ships length before they started turning.

                    That’s different from what you said and we don’t know when the ship started turning toward the Ady Gil – just when she actually did which was close enough to the correct time to hit.

                    Saying they could not go astern is bollocks the sea was not that huge.

                    It was higher than the back of the boat. Just watch at how much the ship was moving due to the swell.

                    • KJT

                      All this nit picking does not invalidate the stupidity of a mouse playing tag with an elephant and then complaining when the elephant cannot dodge the at the last minute.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In this case the elephant turned toward the mouse – the mouse was quite safe before then.

      • freedom 3.2.3

        It was refreshing to see the Japanese vessel’s use of highpressure water cannons which we all know is an age old navigation technique

        • KJT

          Yes. It is. we used them from tankers at Marsden point on small boats full of smokers when we were loading petrol. Well accepted Maritime safety technique.

          I don’t know about throwing food acid though. 🙂

          • KJT

            “In this case the elephant turned toward the mouse – the mouse was quite safe before then”.

            Bullshit. Even the mouse admits it had been playing tag with the elephant for hours.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.4

        I agree. I support anti-whaling, but ultimately I think they’re acting like clowns.

  4. freedom 4

    New Zealand Government authorises sexual assault on minors

    watch this 30 second video and imagine it is your child getting the strip search

    Then remember these are the very security measures our own Government has sanctioned by their silence and their complacent agreement to make New Zealand Citizens follow these same security procedures as stipulated by the co-operative arrangements with the US Department of Homeland Security.

    Even the TSA website does not detail the level of molestation in the new Enhanced Pat Down, and the links from the NZ Travel Advisory similarly have no mention of TSA goons literally putting their hands down your pants and touching your genitalia, and your child’s.

    The NZ Travel Advisory also neglect to mention that refusal to comply with the Body Scanner or enhanced pat down does not mean you can leave the Airport, now you are subject to criminal charges and a US$10,000 fine.

    more on this Government sanctioned sexual assault at yesterday’s post http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21112010/#comment-272656

  5. Bright Red 5

    strange thing for an agnostic to do:

    “Prime Minister John Key says he is praying that the 29 men trapped at Pike River are safe.

    “I just pray to God that they are alive,” he said.”

    I think you can express your concern without pretending that you’re religious. But the guy does say whatver he thinks people want to hear, so it’s not surprising that he’s constantly contradicting himself.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The only interview I saw on this, he refused to give a straight answer 3 times in a row as to whether he believed in god or not.

      Helen Clark said no.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        Oh come on, he’s supposed to admit that he sold his soul to Satan? No John, you keep pretending you believe in God, you’ll be find until about July 2011, that’s the date your hairline will recede right to the back of your head and there’ll be no more hiding that 666 etched into your skull…

        • Colonial Viper

          Uh…I thought satanic worshippers clearly believe in the existence of God. Not that I am an expert in this field but isn’t that sorta the point, right?

          • Tigger

            CV, I am more than happy to admit I’m not an expert in devil worship – perhaps some right wingers visiting the site can enlighten me…

      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        I heard him on LifeFM (Christian radio station) in 2008, and it was exactly the same : obviously he didn’t want to tell a Christian audience (that he would have assumed were his for the asking) that he was agnostic!
        Helen Clark as always was honest about it.
        I no longer listen to LifeFM, it’s too American. I mean how is an MPs religion relevant to his/her performance? Really, it’s none of the voters’ business..

  6. Tigger 6

    Could someone please inform the MSM that they can stop campaigning against Labour in Mana. The elction happened, you lost and voters memories won’t stretch back to November 2010 come general election time…

    • joe bloggs 6.1

      heeheehee… this we won, they lost, eat that revision of the Mana result is hilarous. Along with Audrey Young’s comments:

      Some in Labour who should know better are creatively suggesting that Labour actually did better in the byelection than the last general election, despite having its majority slashed from 6155 to 1080….That is like comparing raisins and sheep droppings

      It’s not the MSM campaigning against Labour in Mana, but the electors themselves. So much for lightweight tokenism and parachute politics. And so much for Phil Goff’s empty threats to bloody National’s nose.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Labour is feeling pretty good about this, and Parata got shown up as a lame campaigner even when hand held each step of the way by Key 😀

      • swordfish 6.1.2

        Nah, it’s Audrey Young who’s comparing raisins and sheep droppings.

        She just doesn’t get it. Either a bit too simple-minded or a little too politically-partisan (Father a long-time Tory MP, Brother-in-law’s Max Bradford, Sister a high-profile former Right-wing Wellington City Councillor). But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she (like Tracy Watkins) uncritically regurgitates Farrar’s spin because electoral analysis is all just a bit over her head.

        Winnie Laban’s personal majority was 6100 (including 4500 National, Green and minor-party voters casting their second (Candidate-Vote) for her).

        Labour’s majority over National was 2500.

        Those 4500 don’t have the luxury of a second vote in a (ONE-vote) By-Election. Hence, they’re very likely to vote for the Party they gave their all-important Party-Vote to in 2008. The Party they’re aligned to. Anything else assumes that these 1800 Greens, 1100 National supporters and 1600 minor-party supporters are really Labour supporters because they cast their Candidate-Vote for Winnie Laban.

        • swordfish

          The “Nah”, of course, was meant for Joe Bloggs and NOT the always excellent CV.

        • Max Bradford

          Get a life swordfish, and get your facts straight … Audrey Young is not my sister-in-law, nor is she my wife’s sister. You should be much more careful before you start maligning people like Audrey Young, or our family for that matter. I look forward to your apology, but I don’t imagine any of us will get it.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Soccer celeb Eric Cantona goes all anarcho on finance captial … withdraw your money from the local bank folks on December 7.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    NACT supports more corruption and less transparency in electoral finance.

    Increasing the disclosure threshold for candidate donations and the prohibition on overseas and anonymous donations from $1000 to $1500, and increasing the disclosure threshold for party donations from $10,000 to $15,000.

    • Logie97 8.1

      Does this administration have a conscience?

      They are now introducing their own “Electoral Finance Act”. And their arguments to support it are exactly the ones that they vilified 2 years ago. How will the Penguin and the Cetacean defend this one? Perhaps they will jump ship and join Boscawen and his lot.


      …now the conspiracist in me is suggesting that it gives ACT an issue to garner support in the electorate and thence get them over the 5 pcnt threshold, et voila, a natural ally again.

      Teflon man is not a strong enough word for Key.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    NBR Tweet:

    Up to three more byelections on the way; one could be Winston’s best bet http://bit.ly/NBRpaidWinston

    The article is behind their paywall so, does anyone know who the other three MPs that are about to resign are?

  10. joe90 10

    The plot thickens with an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange. When the accusations first came to light Counterpunch had this followed by Assange Beseiged.

    But will the insurance file be released?.

  11. Carol 11

    Interesting article by Patrick Gower of TV3:


    He says that Parata’s performance at Mana was an audition for the vacated Wong portfolio, and that Key needs more women in cabinet to break up the “sausage party” that is the male domination of National.

    In fact, there’s so many male National MP’s that sometimes when I stand outside its caucus on Tuesday, I half-expect to hear them chanting “ziggy, ziggy, ziggy, oi, oi, oi” like some sort of First XV party.

    I agree with Gower on the sausage party, but not on Collins and Bennett as “strongly performing women” in the cabinet, and not on his high recommendation for Parata. Gower goes on to say there’s a whole load of backbench Nat male MPs who think they are the next in the queue for a portfolio.

    Gower ends by saying that, even in Labour and The Greens, the trend is towards less women and more men:

    But National isn’t holding the only bloke-a-thon in Parliament at the moment. Labour has its own boys-club in Auckland right now. Every one of its seven safe Auckland seats is held by a man – with Chris Carter’s seat to be handed over to Phil Twyford to keep it a boy’s club. So much for the supposed party of equality with a supposed power-base in Auckland – just no girls, thanks!

    Even the Greens are going down this road. They’ve even got an equality rule. But of its nine MP’s – only three are women, and Sue Kedgley is leaving.
    There’s no real explanation for this. Its a 50-50 world – just not around Parliament.

    PS: It’s also worth pointing out to Gower, that most political journos in the MSM are also male. They dominate politIcal news reporting on TV3, and ass the hosts & main journo on Qu & A and on The Nation. Though qu & a does get more women on it’s guest panels.

  12. john 12

    A tribute to the Whales Seashepherd may not be able to save this year.
    Refer link to Crosby Stills and Nash’s “Wind on the Water”


    Over the years you have been hunted
    by the men who threw harpoons
    And in the long run he will kill you
    just to feed the pets we raise,
    put the flowers in your vase
    and make the lipstick for your face.
    Over the years you swam the ocean
    Following feelings of your own
    Now you are washed up on the shoreline
    I can see your body lie
    It’s a shame you have to die
    to put the shadow on our eye
    Maybe we’ll go

    Maybe we’ll disappear
    It’s not that we don’t know
    It’s just that we don’t want to care.
    Under the bridges
    Over the foam
    Wind on the water
    Carry me home.


    This song devastates me. Humans are by far the worst and cruelest animals on Earth. All the other species and the Earth itself could go on for eons if we didn’t exist. With our careless devastation of the planet I am ashamed to be a part of the human race!. anon. quote

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    The Us Republicans look likely to force the US to take one step closer to revolution.

    In other news about stupid conservatives we have S&P downgrading NZs credit rating due to NACTs abysmal handling of the economy and the government being caught off guard by such a move despite being quite upset about the possibility prior to the election.

    • KJT 13.1

      That must hurt, as they still take the credit rating agencies seriously. I wonder how NACT are going to spin that one?

      Same as the decade of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia. Cut spending to poorer people who spend within the economy and borrow so the very wealthy can spend overseas. A drop in economic activity is inevitable.

      “New Zealand’s vulnerability to external shocks, arising from its OPEN and relatively undiversified economy, also raises risks to the country’s economic recovery and credit quality,” said Sovereign Ratings credit analyst Kyran Curry”.

      Capitals mine.

  14. KJT 14

    Meanwhile, back in the wonderful world of free markets.


    “The degree to which nanotech regulation has gone into snooze mode is underscored by the failure of one of the very few regulations on nanotech products. It specifies that fullerenes and other nanomaterials are not to be used in cosmetics without manufacturers or importers notifying ERMA. Yet they sit on local shelves and, as of the end of May this year, the regulator had received no notifications since introducing this scant reporting duty four years ago”.

    These have the potential to be more harmful than GM.

  15. ianmac 15

    The Irish bailout which is being negotiated with EU, has caused the people to accuse the Government of misleading and lying about the true state, especially of the banks. The Irish people are getting angry. I wonder if NZers will become aware of being mislead by Bill English and John Key? Will the sleeping tigers awake or are we just cute kitten who enjoy having our tummies rubbed.

  16. vto 16

    You lefties want something further to get stuck into the government over? Try how the new Environment Canterbury commissars are attempting to get out of their obligations over the Clean Heat project (fireplaces in Chch). Fuck me, just opened a letter from them trying to cancel their obligations.

    Simple contract stuff. Offer and acceptance. Trying to get out the contract over invoicing.

    Fools. And wankers.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      You should have voted them out in the lection last month mate!


      • vto 16.1.1

        aaaarrgghhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!

        • NickS

          Great. I look forward to a future of smoggy, lung-busting nights and coming home stinking of smoke, on top of idiots burning rubbish.

          Actually, one thing to do is try and get a letter in The Press, or more evil yet, get on the talking head shows @7pm on 1 and 3 to push this firmly into the light. Hopefully it’ll set ECan a squirming. And possibly put Gerry’s powers to a much better use.

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