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Open mike 22/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 31 comments
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31 comments on “Open mike 22/12/2010”

  1. jcuknz 1

    Did you realise that the earth is the closest it gets to the sun on December 22. Considering the southern hemisphere is tilting towards the sun that explains why it was so hot yesterday 🙂
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/21/opinion/21tue3.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a211

    • Carol 1.1

      But it’s not always this hot on Dec 22 every year. Usually it takes time for the closeness of the sun to heat up our part of the earth, so that it doesn’t get very warm til later in summer.

  2. jcuknz 2

    Helen Clark has it right … so much of the Wikileak cables is after all just gossip … maybe informed gossip but still gossip.

    • Carol 2.1

      Some provide information, but a lot are just the opinions of the people who wrote or contributed to them. Like this one:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4482502/Action-against-Israel-to-aid-trade-US-ambassador-claimed

      I guess many US officials cannot understand anyone criticising Israel without there being an ulterior motive.

    • Carol 2.2

      Ah. A word from Clark. It makes me nostalgic for a time when we had a proper PM and government, rather than the celebrity wannabes, governing by photo opportunity, that we have now. In spite of their shortcomings & faults, the Clark government was so much better than what we’ve got now.

      Please, please can we have a properly functioning democratic government soon.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        We do have a properly functioning democratic government (well, except for ECAN, CERRA and no supercity referendum).

        You sound like a RWNJ from the states saying things like that.

        • Carol 2.2.1.1

          We do have a properly functioning democratic government (well, except for ECAN, CERRA and no supercity referendum).

          Well, that list is bad enough in the possibilities and precedents they set for an authoritarian take-over of government. But there’s a much longer list of the ways the current government have undermined democracy.

          For intance, it’s not just the lack of a supercity referendum, but the limitations on accountability inthe structure of the new city.

          Democratic processes should be protected by a range of checks and balances. Bigger democracies already have more of these than the NZ government, because they have two legislative houses. NZ has some of the other check-balance mechanisms eg select committees that allow submissions from various individuals and groups, and these have been undermined also on several occasions.

          The NAct government has grossly misused urgency – I think possibly more than any previous NZ government. There have been many bills passed that haven’t allowed for public submissions, or an intense select committee process. Sometimes the government has not even bothered to give a very detailed speech to support bills passing through the House – surely they are taking the piss with some of the brief statements they’ve made?

          Added to such abuses of democratic process, the PM doesn’t front up to many hard/critical media interviews, and when it looks like they’ve lied to the public or parliament, they don’t bother to front-up with an explanation. And the public service that does research and provides reports for the government, have been culled and replaced by “working groups” pre-selected to ensure they produce the findings the Nats desire.

          The list goes on. And, IMO this all adds up to a significant, and very concerning, undermining of our democratic processes.

      • Anne 2.2.2

        You might be interested to know Carol that Radio NZ will be having a half hour interview with Helen Clark on the Wikileaks cables this coming Monday morning. Just heard about it. Don’t know what time yet. I wonder if she’s back home for Christmas.

        • Carol 2.2.2.1

          Thanks, Anne. HC was on in the 1st hour of Nine-to-Noon this morning talking about Wikileaks. It was good to hear a politician of her calibre again. It’s a pity we don’t have a leader for any party with her abilities & political savvy. Yes, she’s back in Auckland for Xmas.

          I didn’t agree with everything HC said about wikileaks eg, she argued for the need to maintain secrecy in international relations, but I think we need more transparency.

          It made me a little nostalgic for pre-NAct times. But I agree with those who have been saying that Labour needs reforming & to take a new direction. I prefer Goff to Key. However, Goff is a fairly solid but unexceptional politician.

          The Greens have been a bit lack lustre lately too.

    • ianmac from Prague 3.1

      Yep. The moment they say I have faith in my god, its all over. “Saw some clever sparrows today. Do you like sparrows?”

  3. higherstandard 4

    I feel physically sick reading these headlines in the papers.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695892

    How can we stop these repeated failures of our social services in NZ ? Why do we seem to place more emphasis on the rights of the abusers than the one who should be the focus of the protection ?

    Is it possible to discuss solutions in a sensible manner without resorting to point scoring for each others political team ?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      IMO we’ve got to increase the strength of family and community networks, have got to make sure that parents have the skill and knowledge to parent, have to make sure that children go to school – and the school has the guts, skills and resources to take things further if necessary – and are monitored there. At least one person in the immediate family should have a full time job – it gives structure to family life – and be earning both a fair income, and spending it wisely. Financial stresses are a major trigger to family violence.

      If there is a problem brewing in a family re: child abuse it needs to be dealt with ASAP – preferably by the community itself and before criminal wrong doing occurs. More present, resourced and flexible oversight by CYFs would be helpful. Having access to professional medical assessments might play a role too.

      And if there is a situation which is really going wrong the family network or the community network needs to be strong enough to alert authorities immediately – not as in some present cases where schools/family networks/CYFs deliberately or inadvertently helped hide abuse for weeks or months or years.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Another bad case

      The mother of a 5-year-old girl found dead in her bed after an alleged assault was trying to escape the violence in her life.

      The girl was found in her bed by family members at their home in Riverbed Rd in central Napier just before 2am yesterday. A 24-year-old man appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday charged with assault. He was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody until January 12.

      His lawyer Philip Jensen said more serious charges were likely and did not argue against police opposition to bail.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10695878

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    Andrew Little: Government Sold Out Workers

    Labour MP Trevor Mallard said unions involved in the Hobbit dispute were unfairly smeared.

    “The lies that were told were very damaging to the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) and (its president) Helen Kelly’s credibility,” Mr Mallard told NZPA.

    and

    A spokesman for Mr Brownlee said the Government was comfortable with its action and would not be commenting further.

    Seriously. What a pack of Tory ***ker’s.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4482565/The-Hobbit-saga-Govt-sold-out-workers-rights

  5. Logie97 6

    1999 to 2008 New Zealand had the privilege of having a real Prime Minister.
    Someone who knew her country’s and the world’s history and New Zealand’s place in the world. Someone who knew the job.

    Just heard her on Nine to Noon. What a fantastic woman. When we understand the agencies that were constantly working to bring her down, it is a surprise, and testament to her abilities, that she was the country’s leader for so long.

    Indeed, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…”
    Now were being left with a paved paradise and a big parking lot.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Running the counter-factual, the Clark Government needed to do things differently in the last two years if it was to have won the 2008 election.

      That would have meant really upsetting the apple cart, clearing deadwood out, and setting forwards a kick ass agenda which would have been seen as a true renewal of policy and direction.

      A better coms plan and PR capability too.

      But that didn’t happen, and now we have these softened round the edges Tories from the 90’s back in charge. Yeeeuch.

      • prism 6.1.1

        Not just softened round the edges, mouldy and cracking apart like the stiffening inside my suitcase, an indication of poor quality material.

  6. Good comment on the Hobbit by Andrew Geddis here.

    The final line sums up the situation perfectly and deserves to be repeated and repeated and repeated …

    But … ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

    • ron 7.1

      I still think PJ is getting off too lightly. I reckon he was in on the tactic to demonise the actors from the start. He’s been busted lying and today I heard yet more defamatory comments from him on RNZ.
      I just think he’s a classic boss- doesn’t want the union on his worksite.
      Fascinating on theonering.net there is only one thread I can find about all this and a hell of a lot of it is “There’s no proff” “PJ wouldn’t do that”

    • ianmac from Prague 7.2

      Yep Micky. Too true.

  7. joe90 8

    The Hungarian solution to their fiscal crisis, nationalise pension funds worth $14 billion.

    By plugging its budget shortfall with the pension funds and new taxes on banks and mostly foreign-owned businesses, Orban has promised to end years of austerity and bolstered the popularity of his right-of-center Fidesz party in opinion polls.

    But the strategy — which also includes regaining “financial sovereignty” by ending a 20 billion euro ($26.38 billion) safety net deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund — has worried investors, caused losses in Hungarian assets, and prompted a downgrade by Moody’s ratings agency last week to Baa3, the lowest investment grade.

    But unfortunately it looks like they’ve decided to shut down any opposition to the plan by gaging the media.

  8. randal 9

    talk about illusions mate.Helen Kelly was villified by the press but it turns out she was right.
    all the poobahs from the |”FILM INDUSTRY” said she didnt know what she was talking about but she did.
    its not rocket science even if they pretend it is.
    it was also disapponting to read al the snide comments in the dailies about her integrity and purpose.
    especially from people known to have only one ball and who dropped their baby on its head whilst stoned at the football when they were trying to create and IMAGE.
    nice people some of these.

  9. A brilliant analysis of how colonisation has instituted alien concepts of patriarchy and heirarchy into maori society and distorted ideas of mana and whakapapa especially for maori men by Ani Mikaere presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 10 December 2010.

    http://whaaingawahine.blogspot.com/2010/12/maori-critic-and-conscience-in.html

    The solution offered to the audience is illuminating and requires a bit of fronting up…

    “In the context of this conference, however, a more important question might be what each of you can do to contribute to resolving the crisis that we currently face. The first thing you must do, wherever you find yourself placed in the white male hierarchy that infects the colonial state of New Zealand, is to acknowledge your privilege. If you choose to enjoy the benefits of that privilege without acknowledging it, and without actively challenging a system that relegates Māori to a lesser status or that reserves to itself the right to redefine Māori philosophies at whim, you are complicit in the continued subordination of Māori in our own land.”

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    Here’s a wee thing about one of the new normals: Al Qaeda terrorists

    …are plotting to put deadly poison in the salad bars and buffets of hotels and restaurants, according to U.S. intelligence sources.
    They would hide either ricin or cyanide in the food at a number of locations during one weekend to cause panic.
    Those who ate the poisoned meals would fall ill and die within days. It takes only tiny quantities of either ricin or cyanide to kill….

    …Security staff in the hospitality industry at unnamed locations have been put on alert over what is being called a ‘credible’ threat.
    The salad plot marks a shift away from bombings, which have been favoured by terrorists. Sources said those behind it are thought to be part of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.
    This is the group responsible for the ‘ink cartridge’ bomb plot to blow up cargo planes including one which was just 15 minutes from detonating at East Midlands airport in October…

    …Propaganda it has posted on the internet reads: ‘Attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations would add a heavy economic burden to an already faltering economy.’

    Some of that ‘propaganda’ is discussed here : The point is clear

    …Security is expensive, and driving up costs is one way jihadists can wear down Western economies. The writer encourages the United States “not to spare millions of dollars to protect these targets” by increasing the number of guards, searching all who enter those places, and even preventing flying objects from approaching the targets. “Tell them that the life of the American citizen is in danger and that his life is more significant than billions of dollars,” he wrote. “Hand in hand, we will be with you until you are bankrupt and your economy collapses.”

    Unfortunately, the author, and the editors of Inspire, are all too right: The economics of this fight favor the terrorists, not those seeking to defend against terrorism. Although there is a tone of triumphalism to al Qaeda’s latest statements — and a clear attempt to spin its recent failures — we would be foolish to ignore the group’s warnings and its clearly articulated strategy.

    At least they didn’t call it the ‘Failed ink cartridge bombing’

  11. tony 12

    The Dark Lord of Coal Country – LINK
    The Rolling Stone investigation that forced the resignation of Don Blankenship, the coal industry’s dirtiest CEO

    This is very pertinent reading for us in NZ
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-dark-lord-of-coal-country-20101129

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Wikileaks To Target Bank Of America In Next Release
    To be released early next year apparently.

  13. M 14

    Peter’s a little late to the party:

    ‘United Future leader Peter Dunne says he will question government ministers about the real cause of Warner Bros’ concerns over filming The Hobbit in New Zealand.’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4483981/MP-wants-answer-over-Hobbit-laws

    Really? Or is he trying to soften up the public to make them think he gives a damn so he can get in one more time with whatever party appears to be on the winning side because he’s such a sensible, moderate chap. Truly the guy cannot be that naive but would seem to think the public is.

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