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Open mike 24/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2012 - 59 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…

59 comments on “Open mike 24/01/2012 ”

  1. What is it with National and poor kids?

    There is a report in the Herald this morning about how a Northland Trust has been instructed by CYF not to provide breakfasts to hungry kids.

    Paula Bennett got the message loud and clear from members of the Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board  at a public meeting in the town yesterday kicking off a two-week roadshow, I kid you not, about the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children.  The Trust had been feeding children at five schools in Kaitaia but had been told by CYF to stop.  It seems that feeding kids may not be a solution that is acceptable to the Government.
    Eric Reid on behalf of the trust said:

    “We would love to get into the preventive model, but we are not equipped to do it for nothing … [o]ne of the areas we definitely wanted to address was children coming to school without lunches, so we started providing children in school with lunches.  It was reducing thefts. It was reducing truancy.
    These are things that you can address just through school lunches.”

    Mike Sabine gave the typical nat response that if schools provided lunches then mothers and fathers would never have to do it.  Mr Reid’s perfect response was that this was happening anyway.

    I suspect that Labour’s policy of working for families for beneficiaries will be discarded.  INMO they should be brave enough to fund voluntary lunches for poor kids.  This is remarkably inexpensive and the benefits are enormous.  Kids who have had breakfast have much better prospects.  They learn better and are less inclined to play up.  Provision of a simple meal can stop a lifetime of problems.

    • Can’t have that. That would be socialism and we must teach them how to make better lifestyle choices!!!

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        Suddenly realised what has been nagging at me about this:

        CYF are saying that if the schools feed the kids, then the parents won’t. What they have the barefaced gall to say is that feeding hungry children creates a moral hazard.
         
        Any normal person would say that a society which fails to feed its hungry children is already in serious moral peril. The possibility of the moral hazard is far outweighed by the benefit of not accepting a society with starving children.

    • vto 1.2

      The more these things go on (the Nat response) the more it dawns on me that these types of people (the Nat types) really do not understand much about the world at all. They seem unable to see or think outside their square heads.

      • travellerev 1.2.1

        That’s right. They can’t think outside their own greedy mindset and they project how they would abuse this much needed service to poor vulnerable children on their victims. Most children and their parents would just be grateful of course and more inclined to be reciprocal in empathy and commitment to their community after receiving the gift of a free meal.

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        Agreed VTO.
         
        They (Nats) complain that it will mean that parents will stop feeding their kids and buy more drugs.
         
        If a parent is that bad they are probably not feeding their kids anyway.  Of course there are a few, not many, who are that traumatised by poverty they may do this.  Most people on benefits that I know however go to extreme ends to make sure their kids are fed.
         
        As far as I am concerned to punish a kid by not feeding them because of their parents in a land of plenty is beneath contempt.

    • A.Ziffel 1.3

      “Mr Reid’s perfect response was that this was happening anyway.”

      Micky, why didn’t you quote him fully?

      “But they are not doing that anyway,” Mr Reid responded. “You can walk around every pub in Kaitaia and mums and dads are investing in the poker machines.”

    • millsy 1.4

      Schools all over the world provide lunches for their pupils without getting hung up on the whole ‘parents will just spend all the money saved on booze and smokes’ meme.

      For 30 years the government provided free milk in schools, and studies have shown that the generation who recived that free mike have way better dental health outcomes than generations hearafter, and I dont remember people going on about ‘state dependency’ in relation to that, the only whining about school milk I hear is those going on about how sour the milk was.

      And can anyone tell me why the private organization was funded to provide social workers in our schools? What is so evil about CYF or the Ministry of Education/the Schools employing them directly and placing them in the schools?

      • Kakapo 1.4.1

        Better dental health outcomes? Dunno about that. I was an unwilling recipient of milk in schools in the 50s and have TERRIBLE teeth, as have a lot of people of my generation. My kids have far better toothypegs. I don’t like it when people romanticise it.

        We were forced to drink the milk unless we had a note from home. (One of my friends had a note from home which she thought would excuse her but instead was a fatherly trick. He told the teacher to MAKE her drink the milk,) It was warm and sour and horrible. However my older husband was given free apples at school in season and the IDEA behind free milk was a sound one: part of a nationwide concern with children’s health which we haven’t seen for decades. Such a big issue needs everything thrown at it. I’d love to see free lunches in schools. As the provider said, it was a cheap way of doing something effective.

        As for the parents on the pokies, that’s another issue, but don’t let’s wait for that to be addressed. Care for the kids now.

        • McFlock 1.4.1.1

          Fluoridation of the water supply has taken over from the toothy aspect of school milk, btw. Milk is good for teeth, so is fluoridation. And it pisses off hippies, which is generally fun.

  2. Science? We don’t need no stinking science or this is an orange.

  3. beachbum 3

    So the NZ herald go on about a KILLER Storm in Fiji. I do not want to trivialise a death but it was a farmer on the Northern Island (Vanua Levu) who took a stupid risk trying to save his pigs.

    Yes people will be affected by the floods….but to label it a killer storm after one death??? So where are the Headlines about New Zealands KILLER ROADS that kill someone every day of the year?

    God I hate the MSM headlines sometimes – and it wasn’t even Michael Field this time

    • McFlock 4.1

      Keep taking the lithium.

      • travellerev 4.1.1

        Another case of cognitive dissonance and denial right here. LOL.

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          Yeah I think it was caused by the stress of having to look at another one of your wacky conspiracy videos.

          By the way how is Richard Gage’s petition coming along? Has he reached critical mass yet? Has he got the tens of thousands of signatures he was originally aiming for that was meant to mean he could convince the US Congress to reopen the investigation into September the 11th? He surely has had enough time to do so or has his aims changed now? Perhaps he now wants everyone to undergo trauma councilling.

        • McFlock 4.1.1.2

          Nah. Just occam’s razor cutting through the paranoid bullshit.

  4. Rosie 5

    Travellerev, Hi, interesting you mention cognitive dissonance and denial (in regard to 911) If we’re talking about poverty in NZ I think the phenomenom of cognitive dissonance does apply to our view. In terms of Nats approach to poverty I beleive it stems more from ignorance, a complete lack of empathy and their bizzaire belief that helping another is some how not good for that person/family/community and that its their own fault, which is in line with their free market ideology – similar to rhetoric you hear from republican presidential candidates.
    I think the cognitve dissonance view, (among other aspects of faulty cognitive processes) belongs to a lot of NZer’s in terms of how they view poverty. The mood of devisivness and hostility that seems to be hanging over NZ doesn’t encourage clear thought and compassion. Look at what a blood sport beneficiary bashing has become here int he last few years – and the Nat govt gives legitimacy to this through their denial of the reality of poverty.
    Best example I can give of a “victim” of Nat policy and ordinary NZer displaying cognitive dissonance (and maybe a degree of ignorance) was an interview on Campbell Live, pre election when they had the caravan parked up in Epsom. A sickness beneficiary was being asked who she would vote for and her reply was “I’ll go with National, they seem to be doing a good job don’t they?”

    • Yep I agree, I think it is also a case of blaming the victim. If you accept that poverty is something that could happen to you due to unforeseen events you open the door to fear for the future. Better to think that you will be alright if and when you make the right moves and decisions but that means you have to blame the victims and tell yourself they made wrong decisions.

  5. Jackal 8

    The real nanny state

    The question is do we really want a nanny state insulting our intelligence by repressing relevant political information? In my opinion the overwhelming answer to that question is no!

  6. Jackal 9

    IPCA in breach of law

    Perhaps the IPCA doesn’t uphold any complaints about the misconduct of Police officers, but without the relevant information being provided… I guess we will never know.

  7. Draco T Bastard 10

    The Rise of Tricycle Pushcarts

    “Even in backward mining communities, as late as the sixteenth century more than half the recorded days were holidays; while for Europe as a whole, the total number of holidays, including Sunday, came to 189, a number even greater than those enjoyed by Imperial Rome. Nothing more clearly indicates a surplus of food and human energy, if not material goods. Modern labor-saving devices have as yet done no better.

    As I’ve said before – it’s not productivity that’s the problem in modern society but that a few people want far more than they can ever possibly use and to get it they’re more than willing to waste everyone else’s lives.

  8. dancerwaitakere 11

    I just got home from Sydney yesterday.

    I am a fan of many things that the Australians have done to create a more progressive society. The ALP does have a pretty proud history. But the impression that I got from this visit to Sydney was just how unequal their society truly is.

    You literally smell the environmental destruction when you step outside of the airports automated doors.

    There are endless malls that boast designer boutiques and an upperclass to sustain them. There supremely expensive restaurants that over look a very manicured Darling Harbour. As well as an upperclass to sustain them. The roads that lead around the inner city and the areas where the rich frequent a lovely.

    However once you get past the smoke and mirrors you get to see a city of people struggling to get by. Since my last visit to Australia the cost of food has clearly skyrocketed. The homelessness of the inner city is one of the most prominent features of my stay. The marginalising of the Aboriginal people is also very prevalent. Yes the Aboriginal people have a flag on top of their Govt buildings and so on, but there is no value to their presence. There was an exhibit on at the Australian Museum that aimed to showcase the Aboriginal people, however as tourists with some disposable income we could not afford to enter it, let alone the people who would really gain something out of seeing it. Those people are the aboriginals who could not afford to see their own heritage in the national museum.

    Then I started thinking about that pollution again. Australia has sold their mineral wealth to multinational corporations. They have sacrificed the state of their environment for the growth of cities. All for what?! To sustain the lifestyles of those who frequent the designer boutiques? For the Average Australian, for the battler, the working man and women, their has been little benefit given the cost.

    Their suburban roads are still shitty. They have an inadequate education system. They do not have a public healthcare system that equals ours.

    The argument for unbridled capitalism is that those who work are rewarded. The reality is that it is not true. Far from it.

  9. Vicky32 12

    I just read a Herald item about a body found in Kuirau Park in Rotorua. The dead man was described by police as ‘Caucasian’, and that ‘got up my goat’ as Kath and Kim would say. I remembered something I had read by Steven Jay Gould on the subject, and googled. I got this
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/01/stop-using-the-word-caucasian-to-mean-white/
    as a representative sample. We truly are the grovelling 51st State. Caucasian? What happened to the perfectly good word Pakeha?

    • Populuxe1 12.1

      For all you know he might be a tourist. In the meantime they don’t know what he is. It might be an archaic term, but it’s less problematic than many ethnic descriptors.

      • Vicky32 12.1.1

        For all you know he might be a tourist. In the meantime they don’t know what he is. It might be an archaic term, but it’s less problematic than many ethnic descriptors.

        He could be, but probably isn’t… 🙂
        Less problematic? Did you read the link? It’s not archaic, it’s current in the USA, (though only just coming into use here) but it’s absurd as the Discover magazine guy points out. As I have said, why not pakeha? A shedload of old racists abused the term on talkback in the 90s, and demanded they be called ‘European’ (yes, ridiculous), but Caucasian is equally ridiculous. To me, it’s extremely problematic! Just cos we say ‘cos’, ‘fill out’, ‘elevator’, ‘different than’ and ‘bathroom’, why do we have to say ‘Caucasian’? It sucks bigly.

        • Populuxe1 12.1.1.1

          “Probably isn’t” is not the same as “definitely isn’t” –

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          Pākehā (capital P cos I ain’t ashamed) is commonly used for a New Zealander of European ancestry, but really it’s anyone who isn’t Māori. I’d like to see it defined constitutionally.
          I read the link. It’s not exactly academically researched. By archaic, I mean it originates in a very old-fashioned way of dividing up ethnicity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race It’s not particularly American, and has been used as the formal scientific term in New Zealand for over a century (or at least since we stopped calling ourselves Britons).
          I don’t like the term “white” – as Peter Ustinov observed, it’s more of a pinky beige.

          • Populuxe1 12.1.1.1.1

            Bugger – can’t edit – sorry

          • Vicky32 12.1.1.1.2

            It’s not exactly academically researched

            lol! Have you never heard of Discover magazine? (Popular science, I read it often.)
            It’s been the NZ term for a century? Then why have I never heard it used until about 5 years ago, and then only by the police and the media? (About the same time the prison department became the ‘Department of Corrections’ (a term to which I always apply a Texan accent when I see it written.) Why not just admit I am right, it’s American cultural hegemony? 🙂

            • Vicky32 12.1.1.1.2.1

              I can’t edit, the page wigged out, so I’ll just add that this line baffles me :

              or at least since we stopped calling ourselves Britons

              Did ‘we’ ever? I keep hearing that New Zealanders did, but my ancestry is recent English, so I don’t know. But as far back as I have been able to read, New Zealanders wanted no truck with Britain, they were all proud Scots or Irish…

              • Populuxe1

                It was quite common in official texts up until we became a Dominion in 1907 for “Britons” to be used. What people may have called themselves is another matter, though in fact the Irish, Scots, English and Welsh were far more homogonised here than they ever where at home. We were still by law British. New Zealanders was almost exclusively used to refer to Maori up to that point.
                 

            • Populuxe1 12.1.1.1.2.2

              Probably because you don’t read much anthropology or ethnology. It’s not especially American. It’s been in use as long as equally dodgy terms like Mongoloid and Negroid. It was certainly widely enough known to be used in the NZ National Census questionnaire – Billy T James even based his famous “Caucasians and other people” routine on it nearly 20 years ago.

    • The Voice of Reason 12.2

      Speaking of goats and language, yesterday I heard an NFL (American Football) commentator say that he didn’t want to be anyone’s “escape goat”. Mind, boggle, etc.

      • Vicky32 12.2.1

        commentator say that he didn’t want to be anyone’s “escape goat”.

        😀 Wow, just wow!

    • Jum 12.3

      Vicky32

      And what happened to the word – ‘white’ or brown or black or whatever? This is really getting silly.

      • Vicky32 12.3.1

        And what happened to the word – ‘white’ or brown or black or whatever? This is really getting silly

        Yes, you make a good point…
        My son pointed out to me a few years back, when Lewis Hamilton, the Black English F1 driver won the championship, an article he’d come across where an American F1 commentator had got himself truly muddled – referring to Lewis as the ‘first ever African-American’ F1 champion… My son thought that was hilarious, but it almost made me cry!

    • marty mars 12.4

      Very interesting point and article Vicky – thanks for that.

      I wonder why ethnicity is even needed to be mentioned at all in news reports – what’s the point? Is someone counting? Does it make the event better or worse for the individual, dependant upon their ethnicity? It just a useless piece of information in the context of a news report, that seems to mean something but actually means nothing.

      Pākehā is okay I spose if something has to be used and at least it’s better than the meaningless term, “white” but I’d prefer they just dropped that whole angle.

      • Populuxe1 12.4.1

        I don’t suppose that would be much comfort for whoever might be missing a Pakeha.

        • Vicky32 12.4.1.1

          I don’t suppose that would be much comfort for whoever might be missing a Pakeha.

          Not much help either! When ever I hear a news item about something ghastly happening to someone in Blenheim for instance (where my very accident prone nephew lives – seriously, he’s been air-freighted to Welly hospital after driving his truck off a mountain) – I listen for age and gender. I grew up in Rotorua. It contains a huge number of white people. (I’ve no idea of actual proportions). The fact that the dead man was 60 will prove much more informative, I’d have thought.

          • Populuxe1 12.4.1.1.1

            It is the nature of journalism to describe in as much detail as they can. “Pakeha in his 60s” is much more informative than “Pakeha” or “man in his 60s”. Or is referring to his gender sexist?

  10. Populuxe1 13

    Bank Fees. Too damned high. ANZ – a dollar for every electronic transaction not conducted through one of their ATMs. Bloody outrageous and especially hard on bennies.

    • Carol 13.1

      Yes, it’s outrageous what they charge just to get access to your own money – money they banks are already using for other revenue raising activities.

      They’re calling out to be occupied! Why is occupy-Aotearoa occupying council and public spaces, when the movement started as occupying Wall Street?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Bank fees, interest rates, other charges and penalties. All far far too high. NZ is being raped by foreign banks who pump tens of millions of dollars in financial capital off our shores weekly in the form of shareholder profits which help keep Australia in the lifestyle it has become accustomed too.

        ‘Basic banking’ is a fundamental underlying of our economy and should be a 100% Government owned and controlled activity.

        • Populuxe1 13.1.1.1

          At the very least it should be regulated out the wahzoo

          • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1

            100% government ownership and control is easier, cheaper and more transparent than privately corporations all of which we need. We have to take back control of our society from the corporations and the capitalists and we can’t do that if we keep letting them control our resources.

  11. randal 14

    I prefer homo sapiens.
    even when they are f*cking morons like most nasnhil voters.

  12. Draco T Bastard 15

    Food Bill + Megauploads + oil drilling = we are America’s bitch:

    Each of these examples can be added to the long list of fish hooks this Free Trade deal will catch us on…

    More expensive medicines

    No local content in broadcasting

    Weaker controls on overseas investment in NZ

    Foreign investors suing the Government for millions in offshore tribunals

    Weaker regulation of the financial services

    Undermining action on climate change

    Delays and restrictions on agricultural market access to the US

    …effectively this is a debate about national sovereignty vs codex alimentarius style legal structures, our ability to write our own law against allowing cut and paste legislation written by American corporate interests to trump domestic legislation.

    ‘Free’ trade with America is like ‘good’ cancer. It doesn’t exist.

    Not much more I can add to that. This government is bending over for the US and selling us out.

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      If John Key loves America so much, he should bloody well go live there… Oh wait, Hawai’i is in American-occupied Polynesia, isn’t it… Duh! *face plant* 😀

    • cardassian 15.2

      Thanks for linking this.

  13. just saying 16

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/

    Another excellent blog from Puddleglum at the Political Scientist.

    Of particular interest to Cantabrians, but the shenanigans at the Christchchurch council have wider ramifications.

  14. Jackal 17

    Scott Inglis in the gray area

    A rather misinformed editorial by Scott Inglis was published yesterday in the Bay of Plenty Times. It’s a purely speculative rant about what other people should be thinking based on the authors diploma in pseudoscience, which is par for the course for many propagandists…

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