Open mike 23/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2012 - 77 comments
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77 comments on “Open mike 23/07/2012”


  1. There was a very interesting review on Sunday’s Mediawatch program on Owen Glen’s recent public activity.  Excerpts of interviews with Owen Glen were played.

    He is an unusual figure.  He used to provide significant financial support to the Labour Party.  More recent activity includes partially funding a University Lecture hall that proudly bears his name, buying into the warriors, and setting aside $80 million to address child poverty in New Zealand.  It is clear that he enjoys the publicity.

    His approach could be contrasted with another philanthropist Hugh Green who, although wealthy, was very discrete with his philantrophic activity and never sought publicity.  Green is quoted as saying, “I made a lot of money and I can’t spend it. So I decided to give it away and do something for somebody else.”

    As was rightfully pointed out in the Mediawatch program there was something jarring about Glenn’s generosity.  He had taken active steps, including the setting himself up in Monarco, to minimise the amount of tax he paid.  His generosity could be no more than what he should been paying in tax.

    Labour’s experience with him has made my personal views on state funding of political parties even stronger.  It has to happen.  Our political system should not be left to the whims of the wealthy and the attention seekers.
     
    It is a shame that when in power last time Labour ducked the issue and did not take the opportunity to establish it.  I understand that Helen was actually keen but was talked out of it by others.  

    These other persons are Idiots.

    • “kim – why does having your name in the paper improve anyones lot?”

      “owen – well…ummm…”

      Its called ego owen – your ego.

      ” mark – where do you see Māori in NZ at the moment/”

      “owen – ‘we can’t live without each other, we’re all in the same country. Why do you want to go back all the time, that somehow you were cheated or robbed – come to a conclusion and be a New Zealander first”.

      Hey owen – fuck you and your slimey money.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        *Shakes head*

        I think wealthy people shouldn’t bother with helping the Left. The Right have better parties, and all without the endless moralising on why you’re not good enough for them or why your personal style and behaviour is lacking to meet their standards.

        Kim Hill was a shit interviewer. Shallow and suitable only for Womans Day.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          why your personal style and behaviour is lacking to meet their standards.

          no – it is what he said.

          • higherstandard 1.1.1.1.1

            What did he say that was so terrible ?

            • Uturn 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “…Why do you want to go back all the time, that somehow you were cheated or robbed – come to a conclusion and be a New Zealander first.”

              cultural oppression
              failed to recognise his priveledge
              negating the Treaty
              ignorance of NZ history
              arrogance

              Whether or not it’s “terrible” depends on your personal perspective. Anyone can be ignorant or arrogant, but in this context, it’s plain offensive to make believe the past doesn’t exist. I would have thought his contact with people in the Labour party over the years would have educated him a little more. Even if he just adopted certain phrases as diplomatic “technical terms”, at least then it wouldn’t cause purposeful offence. You wouldn’t use txt speak in a boardroom, so why speak like that on National Radio?

              He is, of course, free to choose how he speaks and who he offends, but if he associates with Labour, it may signal what many observers already know. Glen is no Johnny-come-lately, he knows what he said and why.

      • higherstandard 1.1.2

        Yes what a horrible person spending up large to try and make a real difference in NZ and around the world.

        http://www.glennfamilyfoundation.org/news-and-images/latest-news/2012/7/2141742038/Owen-Glenn-Announces-NZ$8-Million-Commitment-to-Community-Project-in-Otara,-New-Zealand

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          You could try and read the article and the links and things before commenting on this.  Glenn’s charity is welcome but he should be paying his share in tax.

          If Glenn invested his (say) business interests in NZ, had a 6% return and paid 30% of this in tax he would be contributing $18 million a year in tax, over twice the amount he is donating to Otara.

          If he and others of exceptional wealth paid their fair share then a great deal could be done to address poverty.

          • mickysavage 1.1.2.1.1

            Oops meant to say “(say) $1b interests in NZ”.

          • higherstandard 1.1.2.1.2

            What is vote welfare in this country already ?

            Using your ludicrous illustration if he was to reallocate his entire funds to NZ and ended up contributing $18 million a year how much of that do you think would get to the coal face ?

            Good on him for putting his money directly into such worthy causes.

            You are a diddle of epic proportions …………. just not in a spatial sense.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2.1

              …how much of that do you think would get to the coal face ?

              Most of it. Taxing and the public service are the most efficient means of achieving what Glenn is doing just to get his name up in lights.

              • higherstandard

                • felix

                  Not a documentary, hs.

                  No wonder you seem so confused about so many things.

                  • higherstandard

                    I think you’re the one who’s confused, it’s well known that yes minister is 9/10ths fact mixed with 1/10th satire.

                    Although DTBs comment that …

                    “Taxing and the public service are the most efficient means of achieving what Glenn is doing ….”

                    ….certainly is comedy gold at its finest.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Ah, the RWNJ shows just where he gets his “facts” from – fictional TV shows.

                    • higherstandard

                      Gosh so erudite Draco.

                      What makes me a RWNJ ?

                      My disgust for idiots that think paedophilia is OK ?

                      Open mike 31/05/2012

                      The fact that I don’t believe we can come close to making everything we need locally ?

                      Open mike 22/06/2012

                      Or is it just a convenient little set of letters you like to dish out to anyone who you disagree with ?

                    • felix

                      Pretty sure the “NJ” part refers to how you tried to disprove Draco’s opinion with a sitcom…

                    • higherstandard

                      Pretty sure you’re one of the more notable badauds in NZ.

                    • felix

                      Nice word, a new one for me so I had to look it up. First hit:

                      “Ba`daud´
                      n. 1. A person given to idle observation of everything, with wonder or astonishment; a credulous or gossipy idler.”

                      Ironic, given the context, that you accuse me of credulity.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The value and profitability of Glenn’s company operations were 99% overseas.

                      Now, leaving the hypotheticals aside and simply looking at the realities of his business, can anyone justify how he could have been taxed here.

        • aerobubble 1.1.2.2

          There’s good charity and bad charity. There’s charity at the bottom of the cliff that merely
          endeavors to hide poverty. Owen Glen isn’t targeting systemic problems in the economy that
          produce the long tail, he’s picking up the pieces from those who are at the end of the long tail, and so making it harder (if successful) to gather evidence for dealing with the long tail.

          Its a strange thing when the government, supposed a right wing individualist party against big government decides that individuals thinking patterns on welfare are not only a problem, that needs solving, but thirdly requires overt intervention by the state to create the correct good think.

          Government that dehumanizes welfare recipients, who would not be there had government selected them (as we select those who can make profit and rubbish the rest who don’t directly contribute).

          Personally people change their habits, select their behavior, choose their thoughts freely, until they are forced by government legislating workplaces (pushing up costs and so less jobs), legislating every aspect of life (like housing where you can either live in a scarce inner city flat costing a fortune or buy a substandard moldy leaky home). People on a benefit aren’t dependent on handouts, they are surviving from big government poverty creation with a stop measure designed welfare.

          National have deliberately decided to blame welfare recipients for poor government, and market failures, now twisted into a new paradigm, that there’ something wrong with the type
          of individuals on welfare. Those on welfare didn’t create their dependency, that was
          the active choices of parliament to reward mindless activity with the demand that work will
          set citizens free.

          History is full of individuals who weren’t profit makers but who have enriched society, helped society make huge profits for centuries to come.

    • marsman 1.2

      An article in Stuff this morning. The very rich, which includes John Key’s chums Ashcroft and Myers, hide US 40 trillion in tax havens. Who are the bludgers again Paula Bennett?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/7328396/Rich-hide-US-40-trillion

      • Carol 1.2.1

        +1

        The true face of greed. More than enough to live on for one lifetime, gained from working the infrastructures built with taxpayer money, and still they want more, and at the expense of less well-off and/or less greedy tax payers.

        SCUM

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          Worse. Stupid Scum since they obvious don’t seem to understand that printing money does not create wealth. People valuations create wealth, and if people don’t value the need for an expensive to run car, then the car industry collapses. When people don’t value high processed mush as food, food companies collapse. There’s only so much the people will accept until vast numbers just opt out, by local, by raw, ride a bike.

      • Socialist Paddy 1.2.2

        The issue is more fully covered in the Guardian.
         
        Some interesting comments:
         
        1.  Europe’s debt crisis could be cured if the money was repatriated.
        2.  £6.3tn of assets is owned by only 92,000 people, or 0.001% of the world’s population.  That is an average of NZ$134m each.
        3.  If income on the amount at stake was taxed at 30% then NZ$236b per annum would be produced.
         
        The report really makes you think that the world’s economic system is deeply flawed.  Because the extremely rich simply are not paying their way.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          The worlds debt based money creation system is flawed, as well as the economic systems designed to help people hoard money instead of letting it circulate through communities.

          • aerobubble 1.2.2.1.1

            Return to death estate taxes, tax capital gains, tax luxuries. Remove taxes on Vegies.

        • mike e 1.2.2.2

          SP they are double dipping as well the money being lent at exorbitant rates is coming from these money laundering banks.
          They are causing the problem by not paying any tax.
          Now they are profiteering from the problem they have caused.

      • Carol 1.2.3

        And while “ordinary kiwi” John Key has been one of the beneficiaries of this tax have scam, he has also been one of the enablers:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10821400

        Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, “protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy”.

        According to Henry’s research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than US$6 trillion in 2010, a sharp rise from US$2.3 trillion five years earlier.

        And this culture of ruthless, selfish greed, bludging of taxpayer money, has spread throughout our society (as reported by Granny pretentiously & superficially promoting itself via Maori Language Week):

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10821464

        A dentist has been charged with doctoring medical notes to rip off $168,000 of taxpayers’ money.

        The investigation involves claims for emergency treatment of children and teenagers – including extraction of teeth – which the Ministry of Health says did not occur.

        PS: Hah! Finally. Don’t know what that CATCHA loop was all about.

      • Fortran 1.2.4

        I think you will find that Ashcroft and Myers are simple peasants in this.
        It is the Russian and Middle Eastern, with unimaginable wealth, along with such as Arafat and Mugabe families, and Nigerian overlords who are in these schemes.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.4.1

          Probably – still thieves though and so deserve to have the whole lot renationalised.

  2. Raw Seer 2

    In yesterday’s Herald Matt McCarten blew smoke up the current Labour leadership’s rear. He worked off the press briefing and didn’t look at any of the detail. After confusing strategy with constitutional matters he goes on to say that the party is in great condition and in the best of hands!! Matt McCarten thinks a new team is in charge!

    The same people that managed the Labour Party under Goff and got the worse result ever are running the Labour party now. No change. Same team, slightly different face.

    The 67% leadership challenge rule means Shearer can be protected by 12 Caucus votes. No amount of votes by members and affiliates will have any impact. Matt McCarten has not done thorough research on the detail of the constitution and the amendments.

    McCarten writes: “What I learned is that if your opponent is vulnerable, then having enthusiastic volunteers well organised and directed wins every time”. Shearer’s Teams’s bland bumbling performance to date has demotivated members.

    Matt then adds: “All they need is to get their working class base to believe it’s worth trundling down to the voting booth.”. Nothing Shearer has done so far has dented the perceptions of the 100s of 1,000s who did not come out to vote.

    And it is deliberate policy: they think they can win by just not making people upset with them! The current Labour strategy is targeting soft National votes and has abandoned the poor and uninspired.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yeah, noticed this. Not sure why McCarten was so satisfied all is well.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.1

        As far as I can see, McCarten has only ever acted as a left wing ginger group for Labour. If they move 1mm towards wht he can define as left, he thinks he’s achieved something.

  3. DH 3

    There was a link here to a speech by David Parker that I read recently, tucked away in it was a comment about state owned assets. Speech here (hat-tip to populuxe1 who reminded me of it)

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/robert-walters-finance-breakfast-speech

    “Labour published a closed list of assets that we believe ought to be run in the New Zealand interest because they have monopoly characteristics – assets such as electricity line networks, water and airports.

    The list excludes telecommunications and electricity generation”

    The last sentence is pretty damning. Does anyone have a link to the full list? Does it include assets like schools & prisons etc?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Haven’t seen the list but that part in the speech shows that their definition of monopoly is so narrow as to be unworkable. It won’t shift basic monopolies (services that we all need and so fees can be hiked on them) out of private hands.

  4. Carol 4

    I am caught in an access CAPTCHA loop trying to post a comment to open mike – one of the words I have to copy each time, has the letters so crowded together, I can’t be sure if I have copied it correctly. Have done it about 5 or 6 times now & each time it just result in giving me another pair of CAPTHCA words to copy.

    • r0b 4.1

      Sorry I can’t do anything about the captcha, but if you log in to The Standard you never have to enter a captcha ever again…

      • Carol 4.1.1

        Yes, but I tried logging in a while back. I can’t use a capital in my handle, but more annoying was, I couldn’t stop email notifications flooding into my account, notifying me of replies – that was a fair while back.

        • r0b 4.1.1.1

          Interesting – I don’t get those. Try asking lprent what’s up some time when he’s about.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          I couldn’t stop email notifications flooding into my account, notifying me of replies

          There’s an option to turn those off in the Dashboard that’s available to set options.

          EDIT: On seconds looks, no there isn’t. Must be somewhere else that I saw it.

          • Carol 4.1.1.2.1

            There could be one, now, but way back when I tried to turn it off, I couldn’t.

            Actually, not logging in isn’t usually a problem. Now and then I get asked to complete a capture and it works fine. Today I just seemed to get caught in a captcha loop.

      • Vicky32 4.1.2

        Sorry I can’t do anything about the captcha, but if you log in to The Standard you never have to enter a captcha ever again…

        Oh how I wish that was true! I am always logged in and yet I get the Clidfare screen all the time. 🙁
        One of life’s bitter ironies is that when I tried to post this 10 minutes ago, guess what happened? Error…
         

  5. rosy 5

    I’m interested to know what Steven Joyce means by ‘intensification of agriculture’ in his interview with Shane Taurima on Q&A in June:

    … every public service is dependent on how strongly we grow the economy forward, and that means taking advantage of all the opportunities we have, and, frankly, that includes intensification of agriculture, it includes oil and gas, it includes clean tech and high-tech industries, and that’s what we’re focused on.

    (my bolding)

    Does he mean intensive dairy factory farming like that declined planning permission in the McKenzie Country?

    Joyce revisits this development theme in the ‘Labour/Green fairy tales’ meme he’s been using around the National Party conference and the Q&A inteview is printed almost word for word in an article by Audrey Young in the Herald last week. But the article ends before the mention of intensification of agriculture. Yet I’m pretty sure the Herald is where I read about this first – it bothered me so I went hunting for it and it’s not there anymore. (Given I don’t watch NZ TV there is no way I saw it on Q&A ).

    I reckon Shane Taurima got Joyce to say something he didn’t mean to and a compliant media has ‘kindly’ not repeated it. It needs following up, huh?

    • Carol 5.1

      A search on google news brings up a list of articles with the key phrase, including an NZH article from a day ago, but when I click on the link, the phrase doesn’t seem to be there.

      https://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&gl=nz&tbm=nws&q=Steven+joyce+intensification+of+agriculture&oq=Steven+joyce+intensification+of+agriculture&gs_l=news-cc.3..43j43i400.3598.14361.0.14876.43.5.0.38.38.0.250.744.1j2j2.5.0…0.0…1ac.7SVFSlmu1Ew

      I used key words “Steven Joyce intensification of agriculture” in a google news search. The title of the article also seems to have changed.

      • rosy 5.1.1

        but when I click on the link, the phrase doesn’t seem to be there.
        Yeah, exactly. That’s what happened when I looked. Seems strange to me, I must have read it somewhere! And why oh why is he leaving it off his list of development objectives now?
        aha…
        edit: the phrase reappears – John Armstrong 5:30 this morning

        Steven Joyce put things more bluntly. Delivering the best speech of the weekend, the Economic Development Minister offered a stark choice.

        If New Zealanders wanted more jobs, they would have to stop being fearful of foreign investment, accept the “intensification of agriculture” and not forgo oil and mineral exploration.

        In short, New Zealanders might have “to do a few things that make us uncomfortable”.

        This makes me very uncomfortable.

        • Carol 5.1.1.1

          Ah, thanks. Yes, I interpret intensification of agriculture as increased number of animals per farm space, increased use of technologies, increased use of resources and of the amount of farming the land can stand.

          i.e.depletion of resources to increase agriculture output. More short term thinking…. with Armstrong, as usual the sycophant and Nat cheerleader.

          Thanks for the link. I’m interested in the comments about the Greens at the end of the article, showing the Nats more insecure than Armstrong is making out in the rest of the article.

        • Flying spaghetti monster 5.1.1.2

          Steven Joyce makes me uncomfortable every time he opens his mouth, hes so smug & so obviously lies its a wonder he hasn’t been pulled up on it. sorry if the comment comes out garbled, opera and huawei can take the blame for that

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3

          I’ve said it before – it’s not about jobs any more. Our productivity is so high that we can support our society with a fraction of the work we do now. It’s about re-purposing the economy to do that rather than having it being to enrich a few people.

          All anyone who says we need more jobs is saying is that we need to make the rich richer as well as making our society so unsustainable that our children and grand-children will be paying the price in higher pollution and degraded environment.

          • rosy 5.1.1.3.1

            I’m expecting ‘agriculture’ = ‘dairying’ and ‘intensification’ means factory farming in areas that are unsuitable for dairying – Canterbury, Otago, Southland. Water rights, pollution rights and other resource consent problems. Not to mention the loss of the one marketing line we have, that is trustworthy produce. New Zealand: one great dairy farm.

    • vto 5.2

      Rose, what Steven Joyce means is the same old same old for the likes of him…. they cannot see any other way to grow the economy other than to take take take from the environment.

      Like the old kauri millers did.
      Like the whalers did.
      Like the orange roughy fishers did.
      Like the pastoralists did.

      It is just a take.

      And as such it cannot be sustained because there is simply only so much environment. Only so many kauri trees, only so many whales, only so many organge roughy and only so many wild plains for conversion.

      This is not smart in any sense.

      So that is what Joyce and all his cohorts mean – take take take. They are still in the mindset of the early colonists.

  6. muzza 6

    Anyone heard about a new (non) CCO being created?

  7. captain hook 7

    intensification means opening nz up to all the diseases that come along with trying to take too much from too little.

  8. vto 8

    We need a forum for some heavyweights to do heavy battle on these issues.

    All we get today is rubbish answers to very genuine questions. Rubbish from the likes of gosman and pete george and tsmithfield. The other ways of getting answers to these important questions seems to be through the likes of Mike Hosking and Petra Bags – which is even worse.

    So I propose that a forum be set up – perhaps on a new website – which only invited posters can comment on (to keep the rubbish out).

    For example – outline and weigh the benefits and costs to New Zealand taxpayers of selling their electricity companies.

    On one side – r0b and eddie.
    On the other side – Farrar and Hooton.

    Thrash the issue out in its entirety with only those players. See what the outcome is. Because currently it is bloody hopeless trying to get decent answers… There is not a single decent forum anywhere in this entire land

    what say thou?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      There’s a reason why I stopped reading the True Lies thread – it’s because the RWNJs had pretty much taken over the thread spreading misinformation. Their sole point seemingly to confuse the issue – they couldn’t dispute the issue that the PM was lying.

  9. captain hook 9

    vto
    couldnt agree more but the point is that this is good as it gets and it is up to you and I to do reall research and stick it to them.

  10. Draco T Bastard 11

    America in denial

    If you want to finish in last place, that’s the way you do it – indulging in unconscious defence mechanisms to make yourself feel better, rather than using conscious coping strategies that can help you actually do better. In the real world, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality exists to identify what works and what doesn’t – indispensable information if you want to things right. But in Perry’s hyper-defensive mind, it only exists to make Texas look bad. And Perry’s attitude typifies the US all too well, as you read through Fullbrook’s book. Clinging to a false sense of superiority is the absolute worst strategy for actually attaining superiority. And yet it seems to dominate American political discourse.

    Sounds like typical RWNJ behaviour – denying the facts because they don’t want them to be true.

    And here in NZ we’re busily following the US down the rabbit hole.

  11. joe90 12

    A disturbing piece from TomDispatch.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175568/

    I asked a member of the Air Force medical team about the casualties they see like these. Many, as with this flight, were coming from Afghanistan, he told me. “A lot from the Horn of Africa,” he added. “You don’t really hear about that in the media.”

    “Where in Africa?” I asked. He said he didn’t know exactly, but generally from the Horn, often with critical injuries. “A lot out of Djibouti,” he added, referring to Camp Lemonnier, the main U.S. military base in Africa, but from “elsewhere” in the region, too.

    […}

    Yet Washington still easily maintains the largest collection of foreign bases in world history: more than 1,000 military installations outside the 50 states and Washington, DC. They include everything from decades-old bases in Germany and Japan to brand-new drone bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean and even resorts for military vacationers in Italy and South Korea.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Even as the domestic economy empties out the US will continue to pour its remaining resources into its military machine.

    • joe90 12.2

      Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave.

      This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land — young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes.

      There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage.

      It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes.

      And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.

      So before we vote, let us ponder the admonition of Edmund Burke, the great parliamentarian of an earlier day: “A contentious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.”

      George McGovern. September 1, 1970,

  12. Dv 14

    That Draco, is the path of Nats “policy”.

  13. prism 15

    Would it be a good idea for trying to limit the amount of flaming and RWNJ
    statements if people were limited to ten comments (or 15) a day? Often
    multiple comments are in reply to outrageous statements from someone
    who isn’t seeking the truth.

    At 11 a.m. there were 78 comments on one
    thread and I think 17 from Gosman. Then there are the replies to
    him, more heat than light. If it was a newspaper and someone was flaming
    you would at least be able to burn it and get some useful heat.

    • Campbell Larsen 15.1

      That’s a bridge too far Prism, I think the mods (and contributors who sometime do their work for them) do a great job here and can see no need for a blanket rule – that’s my 2c anyway…

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        UAC yesterday was classic. Total threadjack, couldn’t spend any energy discussing serious issues because of one immature right wing asshole who kept insisting up was down, black was white, North was South, you get the idea.

        Now I have days where I comment a lot. And even I think that a 15 comment limit between 8am and 8pm would work just fine.

        • lprent 15.1.1.1

          Wouldn’t be hard to impose. I might put it in with a bit of heuristic/fuzzy logic. There are some interesting values I have been getting from running stats over our comments that would give some good starting points.

  14. captain hook 16

    Anyone watch Dave Letterman today?
    He told of 20 states and the Hudson River where the aquifers have been totally poisoned by frakking.
    and we want to do it here!

  15. prism 17

    CL
    Often a good system is limited by the fact that no-one can bring themselves to do some tweaking. When there are some limits, more care goes into making a worthwhile comment. When our newspaper brought its wording down from 300 to 200 for letters, it resulted in more careful composition, construction and editing. So the thinking increases exponentially when trying to avoid controls on excess verbiage etc.

    Incidentally in the new format my comments window doesn’t wrap at the..right hand edge and shoots off and out of sight. The only way to read the whole thing is to press the home and end buttons – like playing tennis.

    Also getting visits from Cloud Flare saying cache isn’t available etc. It says that when busy this can happen so maybe it’s the time of night when I guess things are humming.

    • Campbell Larsen 17.1

      @prism I’m all for better writing, when it’s just text writing style is right up there with content in terms of creating a good experience – it’s just that your suggestion plays into the hands of anyone gaming the system with multiple IP addresses and Id’s and could actually end up gagging honest commentators.

      Also there are some commentators here that I am quite happy to read a lot of – even when the discussion is essentially troll negation…

    • lprent 17.2

      I’ve looked at such restrictions before. When I had more time few years ago I looked at the stats of discussion generated from comments as replies from different respondents (a pretty good surrogate for people’s ability to generate discussion).

      Outside of the extremes (one or two line comments and ones that were pages in length), there is no significant correlation with text size, average word size, etc.

      The significant correlations are :-

      That crap punctuation (excessive or none or capitalization syndromes) doesn’t attract too many replies. Long sentences and long paragraphs drop replies a lot. Similarly high frequencies to words unknown to my dictionary (mostly spelling mistakes) dropped the numbers of replies a lot. All of these appeared to be additive in effect. It appears that the language police were right (damn).

      There are words and phrases that have higher probabilities of replies – but all with relatively low significance. I was going to try to do a longitudinal study of phrases to see if there was a pattern in time. But it got rather hard because repetition rates are quite low once we got rid of the more boring trolls.

      On the tech side. The number of replies also goes down as the number of links goes up. Smilies made no difference (took a bit to separate that from normal punctuation 🙂 ) . Clear quoting does (I used block quote and italics as it was a pain getting a reliable quote regular expression that didn’t slow the process to a crawl) – but with marginal significance.

      There are people who consistently get a lot of replies to almost everything they write, and others who have a really amazing ability to never get any, or from just one person. But there is a pretty clear Pareto effect.

      It was an interesting use of some of the regular expression modules out of boost, some stats modules from open sources and the toolkit used by the sphinx search engine. You could see after doing it how easy it is to do significant data mining on social media.

    • lprent 17.3

      I will look at the comment stuff. What is it showing up on – browser, OS.

  16. higherstandard 18

    Another great NZer passes away.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mahy

  17. freedom 19

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/7327574/Globe-trotting-musicians-bid-to-be-Kiwi-foiled

    head meets wall repeats

    “recommendations were made to the minister on set criteria, including that applicants had to have spent 240 days in New Zealand for each of the past five years.”

    The section was surely intended to apply to recent immigrants, which is hardly relevant in this circumstance, head meets wall repeats.

  18. bad12 20

    Slippery the Prime Minister is running forwards in reverse as far as ‘plain packaging’ on tobacco products goes,

    Having a bob each way on the subject at the moment while He gauges if there’s any votes to be gained from doing such and having various companies and country’s involved in tobacco production sue New Zealand’s butte in various World judicial forums,

    ASH fanatics should eat their hearts out as Slippery sez it will be too difficult to ban tobacco products out-right, and unsaid, His Government once the next round of 10% rises is implemented will be collecting in taxation approximately 1.3 billion dollars a year over and above the cost to the Government of our tobacco use, so why would they stoop to banning the latest cash cow,

    You have to call BULLSHIT on the whole thing about here as we have one politician, Slippery doing the two-faced taxation will make New Zealand smoke-free by 2020 and then in the next breath saying that its not possible to do that,

    There’s still tho the savior of the human race in the form of the Maori Party determined to ‘save their people’ from the evils of tobacco by taking all the money outta their pockets and make damn sure that the poor diet of ‘Tariana’s people’ will be assured for quite some time into the future thereby killing one hell of a lot more of them a lot sooner then the dreaded tobacco can simply by affording them only the poorest of diets,

    Thanks Auntie Tariana,

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