Open mike 24/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 2012 - 173 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…

173 comments on “Open mike 24/07/2012”

  1. just saying 1

    Interestingly, the Roy Morgan (which I answered last night) included questions about cigarette smoking. It will be interesting to see if smokers intend to vote with their lungs (so to speak).
    Also asked was how often the respondent has voted in the past, and how likely they felt they were to actually vote in the next election – a pretty relevant question considering…

    • Vicky32 1.1

      Interestingly, the Roy Morgan (which I answered last night) included questions about cigarette smoking. It will be interesting to see if smokers intend to vote with their lungs (so to speak).

      I have never been asked! Yes, I do have a landline, but have never been asked to participate in a political poll (other than the online Horizon one). I suspect it’s because I live in an area of almost all State Houses (so much for pepper potting!) The polling companies can easily tell where a phone is situated. Those who smoke tend to be poorer people (it’s shitty self-care, but it’s self-care, as our tutor said in the working with disabilities course I was on, and far less harmful than alcohol, though of course much more expensive!)

      • just saying 1.1.1

        I live on a state housing estate. When I was searching the council website online (looking for the owners of parcel that had been posted to my address), I found about two thirds of the houses on my street were owned by Housingcorp. This is the second time in a year that I’ve answered a political poll.

  2. Logie97 2

    So the Kiwi mums-and-dads look like being catered for in the share floats, and that is good for the likes of Mr and Mrs Houndsditch-Islington, but what about Solomums and Solodads. Ah yes. Paula is dealing to them isn’t she.

  3. Uturn 3

    All over NZ, children are being forced to learn moari as part of the curriculum. Just yesterday I heard some kids talking about “kai”. It’s food, not kai. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of them with a South African accent said she was going to put kai on the braai. I almost fainted. Today I am going to write to the Human Rights Commission. They’ll know what to do. Then I’ll call John Campbell. He’ll sort them all out.

    It’s almost communism!

    But it doesn’t end there. It started with tearooms changing their names to Café. Then muffins became brioche. Then flat breads became pizzé. I’m outraged this theft of the Queen’s English is being secretly forced on our young. Now the only place you can find a good English lamington is in an Asian bakery! We’re being oppressed I tell you!

    What was wrong with the old Bedford buses? Why do we now have to call them Mercedes? And those “continental cars”, what rubbish names! Bayerische Motoren Werke? No, it’s Bavarian Motor Works.

    If we don’t take a stand, we’ll be lost, lost I say!

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      My boyfriend made the salient point that he doubts that couple would have been so up-in-arms if the requirement was that they learn a 2nd language, and not that they specifically must learn maori.

      The whole thing was ridiculous anyway, they were saying how horrible it was to force their 2 year old to learn something of another culture. Oh no, how dare they learn the colours of the rainbow in maori! It seems to me that the only reasonable objection to teaching a 2 year old maori is the opportunity cost: what could they be teaching them during that time instead of maori. I suggest, not a lot, and that ultimately it wouldn’t matter.

      I loved his “I have maori friends so I’m not racist” line, too.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        It seems to me that the only reasonable objection to teaching a 2 year old maori is the opportunity cost: what could they be teaching them during that time instead of maori.

        What could have been more beneficial? Answer: Very little. Being Multi-lingual enhances the person.

        What those idiots on Campbell Live were effectively demanding was that their children be disadvantaged.

    • prism 3.2

      Uturn
      24 July 2012 at 8:06 am
      LOL 😀

    • Vicky32 3.3

      If we don’t take a stand, we’ll be lost, lost I say!

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
      In my day, it was French, German or Latin. In my son’s day it was Japanese or French (and he was lucky enough to be able to learn Russian, as he was in a special ‘gifted’ group).
      There should always be at least one other language taught in schools, at primary level if at all possible. I picked up a lot of Maori from the kids around me (this was Rotorua in the 1960s, and many of the kids I was at school with were native speakers) but it would have been awesome to have been taught it formally!

  4. BillODrees 4

    ” John Key has admitted that enforcing plain packaging on cigarette packets was not a “slam-dunk” policy due to the risk of legal challenges from tobacco giants and tobacco-producing countries.”

    A few hundred million to Merchant Banker to sell off the Hydro Dams.  Half a billion to bolster the subsidise middle class purchasers of the sales. 

    A few million in legal fees to beat of Big Tobacco?  Too much. Carrick Graham, the Big Tobacco lobbyist, will get a huge bonus forth is one.  Maybe he can pay his dad’s legal fees? 

    Can bloggers please provide the names of the other lobbyists who have been involved in this “successful” campaign?  It will be worth a few hundred million to Big Tobacco. It will cost the Taxpayer a billion in Health costs. 

     

    • bad12 4.1

      It doesn’t cost the tax payer jack s**t in health costs, us users of tobacco products pay for the 350 million dollars a year of extra health costs through the excise taxes imposed by Government,

      In fact, the excise tax take from tobacco products will be 1.3 billion dollars a year over the cost to the Government once the last of the 10% excise tax rises is inflicted upon those addicted to tobacco products,

      The hilarity and hypocrisy inherent in all this is that from the Slippery Prime Minister on down there are some 80% of you out there who support euthanaisa, the right to end your lives when you want to, yet here are a group in society who have been bombarded with the effects that tobacco usage supposedly creates, (right up to death), and the hypocrites demand is that they be stopped from indulging in a product that is legally for sale…

      • Urban Rascal 4.1.1

        Yep the health cost argument is bullsh*t, tobacco tax’s even subsidize health care for non-smokers on a $ to $ scale I think. I suppose it depends on what the government spends on anti-smoking campaigns etc though. But i’m pretty sure the tax income of tobacco was higher than the spending on health last year.

        • bad12 4.1.1.1

          Gee the Treasury advice to the Government was that rack raising the excise tax on tobacco products was a great little earner,

          According to Treasury part of the beauty of the rack raised excise tax was that very few of the users would give up using the product because they are addicted…

          • idlegus 4.1.1.1.1

            i think the ‘smokers pay for their own healthcare’ is a bit disingenuous, hospitals actually need more space, less people filling the hospitals the better i would have thought. but if all smokers took up private insurance & private hospitals etc, then i say to each their own. (please excuse spelling, grmmar)

            • felix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Are you saying you don’t think “space” has been factored in as a cost? I’d be very surprised if that were the case.

            • freedom 4.1.1.1.1.2

              so idlegus you are obviously happy for the humongous amounts of tobacco tax that we smokers contribute, and that is funneled into health-care for all NZ, to be returned to us or do you just prefer to ignore the reality that tobacco earns NZ many hundreds of millions of dollars a year?

              p.s. Alcohol still costs this country a shit load more tax dollars than tobacco related illness.
              Take into account road deaths, police time, court costs, bashed families and innocent bystanders, the lost productivity hours through hangovers and injury etc etc. Please stop looking at life in isolationist paradigms.

              • Rob

                Let people smoke if they want to.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Let people drink and drive if they want to.

                  • freedom

                    sorry CV but i cannot see that as a valid response, and frankly it is not of your usual calibre of rational and considered debate.

                    Drink driving is however an activity that impacts many people and has huge financial and social costs but has little to no relationship to smoking and society. Alcohol does not have a specified drink driving tax in its comparatively low taxes despite the high costs to our nation every year as outlined above. I can only then deduce that the environmental damage/passive smoking risks are the exposed backbone of your point.

                    Is it just really convenient for people to ignore that the cars and trucks and buses and factories that pollute our world do far more damage to many more people plants and the environment in general, through exhaust fumes toxic chemicals rubber particulates and many other dangers, than passive smoking could ever achieve? Take internal combustion engines off the road and I will gladly discuss the future of tobacco but then we really do kiss goodbye to any hope of a society where freedom of choice still has a role in the lives we live.

            • bad12 4.1.1.1.1.3

              I see your point,but, for this to be true there would have to be a cohort out there who are not receiving, (in particular), cancer treatments who are not smokers,

              The present take of the excise tax upon tobacco products is at present over a Billion dollars a year over the cost to the health system because of assessed users of tobacco products accessing that health system,

              The users of tobacco products are therefor paying well over the odds for any ‘space’ that they may take up through excise tax as well as paying via their normal income being taxed,

              The question that gets me, and, has me calling Bullshit on the health costs associated with some ‘stated’ health outcomes for those who use tobacco products is this,

              Since 1999 tobacco use has fallen in New Zealand by 6%, meanwhile the Health Lobby, (including ASH fanatics), have managed to take the ‘might’ of using tobacco products ‘might’ lead to heart disease to now be, as printed on cigarette packets, ”smoking causes heart disease”,

              Now, for that little gem to be anything other than the Bullshit i label it with, seeing as tobacco usage has fallen 6% since 1999, the rate of Heart disease should also have fallen and be traceable in the Health statistics as a 6% decrease in the rate of Heart Disease,

              Or,

              Be traceable in the Health statistics as an obvious 6% lessening in the rise of identified Heart Disease,

              As neither of those 2 things exist to be found in the Health statistics it is dubious to say the least to be stating that tobacco use causes Heart disease, (also known as Bullshit)…

              • McFlock

                Now, for that little gem to be anything other than the Bullshit i label it with, seeing as tobacco usage has fallen 6% since 1999, the rate of Heart disease should also have fallen and be traceable in the Health statistics as a 6% decrease in the rate of Heart Disease,

                Only if 100% of heart disease were caused only by tobacco, and if 100% of tobacco use caused heart disease, and if the 6% drop (is that off nominal % smoking or is it where n smokers = 100%?) happened well before the period where smokers develop heart disease.
                         
                We might have an increasing number of aging non-smoking fat steroid-using people who (can’t remember where the cholesterol debate is) have a dozen eggs a day fried in lard and do no exercise because they’re obsessed with watching NZ’s Next Top GC Model Cardassian (Trek shout out 🙂 ). Which would offset the drop in smoking in crude rates, even if we were beyond an effect lag. 

                • bad12

                  What your really saying,and, forgive me for putting plain English into the conversation is that through the statistics it cannot be shown either a drop off in the actual rate of identified heart disease during the period where tobacco usage dropped by 6%,

                  And,

                  Nor can it show in the statistics the 6% slowing of the continual rise in heart disease identified during the period where tobacco usage fell by that 6%, cause and effect in such a situation must work both ways,

                  I will concede a point here, i only have to look at my curtains to understand that tobacco smoke must lay down in various ways a certain amount of ‘grime’ over the course of a smokers life-time, just as breathing a city’s air apparently does the same,

                  In the Hearts case it is the plaque laid down over that lifetime in the arteries,veins,and valves, which then leads to the complications in ‘heart disease’,(like death),

                  But, in plain English if the number of tobacco users goes down by 6% then heart disease in thew statistics must have either fallen as a whole % number or a % number which slowed the rise in the rate of identified heart disease,

                  If such numbers do not exist in the health statistics then ‘THE OTHER’ causes of heart disease must far out-weigh any ’cause’ of heart disease attributed to tobacco use,

                  The short form of all the above is that it is Bullshit, admittedly hard to detect and prove Bullshit to say ”smoking causes heart disease”…

                  • McFlock

                    What your really saying,and, forgive me for putting plain English into the conversation is that through the statistics it cannot be shown either a drop off in the actual rate of identified heart disease during the period where tobacco usage dropped by 6%,
                      
                    And,
                       
                    Nor can it show in the statistics the 6% slowing of the continual rise in heart disease identified during the period where tobacco usage fell by that 6%, cause and effect in such a situation must work both ways,

                    1: irrelevant. The question is whether enough time has elapsed to show a detectable drop off in the rate of tobacco-attributable heart disease. 
                           
                    2: again, if a cause increases more quickly than another cause decreases (assuming equal levels of causation), then the total rate will still go up. But it would have gone up by more if both causes increased at the same rate.
                         
                    There have been a number of cohort studies that looked at smoking as well as other factors such as weight over a period of years. The first notable one in the early fifties, and many since. All have managed to show that smoking is a significant (but not the only) cause of heart disease. 

                    • higherstandard

                      McFlock is quite correct.

                      If you are interested you can calculate your risk at the following site.

                      http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp

                      Have a look at your risk as a smoker then as a non smoker, note the difference.

                    • bad12

                      Aha, so we can expect the 6% drop in deaths from heart disease or a 6% slowing of the rise of deaths form heart disease to figure in the health statistics in which year,

                      As the rate of life expectancy has also risen from the 1930,s (a smoker can now expect an average life span of 65 years), this also makes a bit of a mockery of the smoking kills 5000 a year figures don’t you think,

                      Where smoking kills most of it’s users is in fact at the end of their natural life-span, the average life-span for those who smoke being 65 and the average for the non-smoker being 71,

                      So remembering that the cohort that don’t indulge in the use of tobacco products is far larger than those that do there will be as many non-smokers who die at 65 as there are smokers that die at that age,

                      Such is the fallacy of ‘averages’ when used (in my opinion), wrongly to attempt to make a point…

                    • bad12

                      PS,go on admit it to yourself at least, tobacco attributed heart disease is simply ‘He/She smoked and died of heart disease therefor smoking caused the heart disease’,

                      While your admitting that to yourself also consider how many of those who smoked who had a number of the other signatures of heart disease, poor diet, obesity, diabetes, low or no exercise on a regular basis etc etc etc….

                    • McFlock

                      Aha, so we can expect the 6% drop in deaths from heart disease or a 6% slowing of the rise of deaths form heart disease to figure in the health statistics in which year,

                      JHC on a FRC.
                          
                      No, because not all smokers get heart disease early. ISTR early death from smoking – all causes – was at 50%. So that cuts it to 3%. Then heart disease is only the CoD in about half of smoking cases. That cuts it to 1.5% (and small effects need bigger samples to see). The average timespan for a smoker’s early death is 15-21 years as I recall. Let’s say most smokers start at 18, normal life expectancy of 75, that’s 35-odd years before we’d expect to see the full impact of smoking cessation. From 1996, that’s 2029. Then of course they hit 75 and their obesity or drinking catches up with them, whammo heart disease, so they still get it. just 20 years later.
                             

                      As for talking cohort sizes, that’s why we use rates.
                         

                       PS,go on admit it to yourself at least, tobacco attributed heart disease is simply ‘He/She smoked and died of heart disease therefor smoking caused the heart disease’,
                        
                      While your admitting that to yourself also consider how many of those who smoked who had a number of the other signatures of heart disease, poor diet, obesity, diabetes, low or no exercise on a regular basis etc etc etc…

                      Nope. It is “group A and group B are pretty similar in demographic, lifestyle and physiological factors, except that group A smoke and group B don’t. Group A has a death rate from heart disease of 50%. Group B has a death rate of 25%. So the attributable risk is 50-25 = 25% caused by smoking.. 
                             
                      Mum saying “smoking killed trev” might or might not be accurate – maybe trev had an undetected congenital condition. But population stats don’t fib – smokers get heart disease more than other people, all other factors being equal. Thin smokers get a fair bit of HD. Fat sedentary smokers get a lot. It’s a plain and simple fact.
                       
                       

                    • higherstandard

                      Yesterday I accused felix of being NZs most notable blog based badaud.

                      Bad12 has now usurped that position.

                    • bad12

                      Really mac, your trying to tell me that the amount of deaths from heart disease from those who reach 65 and having not smoked will be less every year than the number of deaths at or above the same age from heart disease of those who do or have smoked???

                      Better go back and check your figures, the average the last time i looked for heart disease deaths was 65 for smokers and 71 for non-smokers…

                    • McFlock

                      No.
                      I’m saying that less smokers will reach 65 than nonsmokers, as a percentage of their respective populations. And less smokers who reach 65 will reach 70 than nonsmokers who reach 65. And so on.
                           
                      I also smoke tobacco – but I believe in quality of life, as well as quantity. Who knows if I believe it at 60, but whatever. But don’t bullshit yourself: it’s a risk, heavily factored by how much, how often, what type, and how. If you want to leave it up to the fates, I respect that and tend to agree. Just don’t cose your eyes to reality.

            • Vicky32 4.1.1.1.1.4

              (please excuse spelling, grmmar)

              Er, no, not really, as you could do better if you wanted to! 😀

              hospitals actually need more space, less people filling the hospitals the better i would have thought.

              (Should be ‘fewer’, but you’re wrong anyway! Smokers can, and do end up in hospital for reasons unrelated to smoking (as I will be on Thursday) or do you think smokers should all be forbidden from taking up space in hospital, even if they’re there for a broken leg, or in my case, diagnostic reasons? Not smoking related, afaik)
               

              • mike e

                week bone structure attributable to calcium depletion related to smoking.
                what happens both to smokers and drinkers is that the stomach needs calcium to protect itself so it depletes calcium from the bone structure.
                Leading to early onset arthritis week bones and more fractures.

        • higherstandard 4.1.1.2

          The dataset in question is here, although it is now some years old it is still likely to be broadly accurate.

          http://www.ndp.govt.nz/moh.nsf/pagescm/1011/$File/socialcoststobaccoalcohol.pdf

          Frankly if we could avoid even 10% of the alcohol and smoking related mortality and morbidity in NZ it’d take a large slice out of the crap that the health sector and other sectors have to cope with.

          • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.2.1

            The irony is that tobacco prices go up, supposedly in part to pay for increased health care, but many smoking related diseases are not treated on the grounds that they are self inflicted, among others. Although I haven’t worked through the figures, I wouldn’t be surprised if smokers contributed more to the health budget than they take back out of it.

            • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.2.1.1

              I hope replying to myself is not one of the cardinal sins, but sometimes hospitals will refuse to treat smokers for even non smoking related complaints. Some surgeries will be turned down on the basis that recovery may be complicated if the patient is a smoker, for example.

              • McFlock

                Yeah. Personally I wonder as to how that affects morbidity and mortality stats.
                   
                Like whether being ostracised and segregated affects anxiety and depression levels. For our own good, of course 🙄 

                • Vicky32

                  Like whether being ostracised and segregated affects anxiety and depression levels.

                  I am sure it does! As does being screeched at by a fat woman who was incandescent with rage that I smoke, even though I was nowhere near her air space… apparently my existence as a smoker was enough to just about give her an (obesity related?) coronary?

          • mike e 4.1.1.2.2

            HS we are subsidizing alcoholics and smokers.

        • mike e 4.1.1.3

          UR thats not true the cost to the economy overall including lost productivity is much higher
          more diseases related to tobacco have been found in research.
          So early death saves money but costs in lost productivity.
          Why don’t we allow corner stores to sell.
          Kronic no attributable deaths
          heroine
          cocaine and crack
          methamphetamine
          Cannabis
          etc etc
          as these other drugs all combined cause less than 1% of the deaths tobacco causes.

          • Urban Rascal 4.1.1.3.1

            Yea but the profit vs loss statement for tobacco vs healthcare is heavily weighed in the profit column. Productivity is a mute point because it’s psuedoscience and speculation.
            If I have two ten minute breaks and a 30 min lunch and take them within the law that has no effect.
            Meanwhile you compare it with smokers but there is no debate on casual work conversation, coffee making, working in 30 min blocks, how often you fill our water glass….

            What I think should happen is decrimilize all drugs, illegal to sell though.
            This keeps hard drugs off the shelfs but doesn’t clog our prisons and courts with people with drug dependance issues.
            Go back to having Tobacco stores so they are removed from corner stores, petrol stations.
            I think that fairly allows smokers to have their rights and removes access for the young.

  5. Gosman 5

    This pretty much sums it up.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21559402

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.1

      Where does the “New Deal” fit in that cartoon? Oh, that’s right – it isn’t there.

    • Urban Rascal 5.2

      As far as i’m concerned capitalism is not a sustainable system for this century. It’s driving factor is growth and growing investment. In a century that will see resource scarcity on huge levels how is continuing to chase growth in profits logical and sustainable?
      Not saying the comic is wrong, but surely there should be an increased focus on leveling out the system and creating accountability/responsibility.

      I think personally the best option would be to hit the 1% with their own weapon. Declare corporate fraud equal to economic terrorism and treat it as terrorism under law. That should act as a good deterent. It undermines the economy, state and threatens the livelihood of good workers.

    • vto 5.3

      sums what up?

    • joe90 5.4

      Once were top executives

      If he is a top executive he lives on an economic scale not too different from that of the man on the next-lower income rung. He surrenders around 40 per cent of his salary to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (he may cough up as much as 75 per cent) but still manages to put a little of his income in stocks, bonds, life insurance. He owns two cars, and gets along with one or two servants. What time he has left from his work–on weekends and brief vacations–he spends exercising, preferably outdoors, and usually at golf. Next to golf, fishing is the most popular executive diversion.

      He spends almost no time on politics. He entertains often because he must (i.e., for business reasons or on account of his wife) and, under much the same compulsion, he attends cultural events. He does little reading outside of newspapers, newsmagazines, reports, and trade papers. (For a notable exception, see “Texas Eastern’s Naff,” page 108.) He drinks, if he drinks at all, moderately and on a schedule. Alcoholism, it is clear, does not go with success and is to be found only among some executives’ bored wives. Extramarital relations in the top American business world are not important enough to discuss.

    • joe90 5.5

      Kos: Mitt And His Fellow Vulture Capitalists See Venezuela As a Threat: It Is

      Tanfani, Mason and Gold report in a recent L.A. Times article that some of these Bain funders were the “powers that be” in El Salvador, well connected with the right-wing government, whose activities they funded:

      The group (of Bain investors) included some of El Salvador’s wealthiest people: coffee grower Miguel A. Dueñas; members of the De Sola family, also coffee exporters; and Ricardo Poma, whose family conglomerate now owns car dealerships and luxury hotels across Central America. […] Most of the money they put into Bain Capital was through corporations set up in Panama … Among the Bain investors were Francisco R.R. de Sola and his cousin Herbert Arturo de Sola, whose brother Orlando de Sola was suspected by State Department officials and the CIA of backing the right-wing death squads, according to now-declassified documents. Orlando de Sola, who has denied supporting the death squads, is now serving a four-year prison term for unrelated fraud charges.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.6

      Ah, more lies from an idiot.

    • mike e 5.7

      Goose stepper naive and financially illiterate one.
      OWN Goal or is that the Jail that all the corrupt GS and ML employees are going to end up in
      Check out- Kals- cartoon for the” 14th of July” Bastille day off with your head goose.
      Capitalism is not my enemy as you try and portray .
      Capitalism is a wild beast that needs taming to provide for more not a few lucky ones.
      Unfettered capitalism doesn,t work any better than communism Show me a country that pure capitalism works and I,ll run naked from one end of the country to the other naked in the middle of winter.
      I,ve asked you and others have too to show me those or that country it doesn’t exist.

    • I notice the cat doesn’t deny the charge. Like all good capitalists, it simply aims to be a smidgeon better than the competition and feels no compulsion to hold itself to any higherstandard (as it were).

      (To be honest, the idea that the single-minded pursuit of wealth – which is what we are talking about, not some mythical, abstract ideal called ‘capitalism’ – is ‘tame’ shows a remarkable ignorance of human history.) 

  6. Carol 6

    Ever since I returned to NZ, after living a long time in London, I have been amazed that there is no law here against use of fires for home heating. Only smokeless fuel is allowed in England as anything else adds to air pollution that is dangerous to health.

    A report shows that home fires are responsible for the biggest part of the total air pollution, which results in around 1000 premature deaths each year:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10821702

    Air pollution from fires, vehicles and industry kills 1170 people prematurely each year and causes $4.28 billion in social costs, researchers have estimated.
    [..]
    researchers from four private consultancies and two universities.

    Home-heating fires are the leading cause of the man-made air-pollution deaths, except in central Auckland, where exhaust from motor vehicles is the top killer.
    […]
    The only region where domestic fires don’t dominate is Auckland, particularly in the old Auckland City Council area, “where motor vehicle health impacts are nearly twice those of domestic fires”.

    But because the researchers could not robustly assess nitrogen dioxide levels, they expect the latest figures probably underestimate the impact of motor-vehicle air pollution.

    Of course, I understand, a lot of the problem is that the cost of alternative sources of heating is too high.

    But given the long term social/health costs of air pollution. I think the provision of cheaper electricity or other sources for home heating should be kept relatively low.

    And cutting down on motor vehicle use, by providing more and better public transport, should also be a major priority.

    • just saying 6.1

      Down my way there are pretty strict by-laws, and coal fires are being phased out by attrition – no new ones are allowed to be installed. In the meantime there is a lot of coal smoke, particularly in poorer areas because coal is still, I believe, relatively cheap.

      • Carol 6.1.1

        People I know in Auckland usually use wood – often cheap or free. I don’t think there are any laws against it here.

    • gareth 6.2

      Trouble is our houses were never built with double glazing or with radiator systems fitted so the only way many can afford to heat their home is through fire. It’s all well and good to ban them but if someone has to go from a fuel source which they can gather themselves at a low cost to electricity it will simply be unaffordable.
      Because of lackadaisical building/insulation standards we are to a large degree stuck with the problem until the housing stock catches up.
      I think the other factor at play is that if everyone went to electric heating the added strain on the power grid would be problematic.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I think the other factor at play is that if everyone went to electric heating the added strain on the power grid would be problematic.

        THe massively increased use of heatpumps over the last 10 years has done just this.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          Got proof?

          • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1

            all my friends who complain that their power bills skyrocketed after they installed their heatpumps. You know because heatpumps are “so much more efficient”.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Ah, so anecdotes.

              You know because heatpumps are “so much more efficient”.

              They are but they do need to be put in correctly, have the right specs for the job and be used correctly. I suspect that if you have a look at your friends installations two of those necessary conditions will be wrong.

              • McFlock

                Yeah, almost certainly. But that doesn’t really fix anything, does it.
                     
                The fact is that people looked at the label on the side that said “cheaper heat!” and missed the fine print that said “not in Otago or anywhere else it gets really cold”. Some of the newer ones are better, but it’s like the lightbulb fiasco – the retailers’ specs didn’t quite match up to real-world use at the time. Another two years and it would have been sweet.
                       
                And all I know about the domestic roof ventilation systems offhand is that the salespeople are pushy as fuck. 

                • Anne

                  all I know about the domestic roof ventilation systems offhand is that the salespeople are pushy as fuck.

                  Tell me about it! I came close to calling the police back in May. The salesman would not – I repeat would not – take no for an answer. I took to going on 15 minute pointless drives when he said he was going to call in to see me. I should have charged him for the petrol. He eventually gave up when I inferred I might call in the authorities. 🙁

      • Carol 6.2.2

        Yes, it’s a complex issue that needs a comprehensive long-term plan, gareth. But, I don’t see anything like that being put in place at the moment.

        We need more sustainable, affordable, and well-built housing, for a start.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          We need more sustainable, affordable, and well-built housing, for a start.

          And we happen to have a big youth unemployment problem.

          • gareth 6.2.2.1.1

            I’ve often thought that…
            TBH I struggle to understand why iwi who have had a large treaty settlement don’t invest some of that into building better housing for their people rather than investing in forests or making crappy tech investments.
            They could build themselves and train their youth in various trades from building to concrete work even architecture.
            As far I as I can tell the tenants of the houses could still receive government support if required to pay rents. But the real benefit would be having warm homes which improve health and lower heating costs.
            Not to mention it would provide real practical skills to youth that will place them in a much better position long term.

            • prism 6.2.2.1.1.1

              gareth 6.2211
              Don’t be too hard on iwi – they are trying to make some investments outside their personal or iwi interests that will go into the future. They don’t want to be just welfare recipients. Hence investing in forests or tech investments.

              I was surprised that they didn’t train more of their youth to go on fishing boats but there are problems with long weeks away from home, only short breaks during the day and relentless fish. But the trades would be closer to home. I remember hearing that after a recession a policeman in a small town said about all the guys on a building project that they had been in trouble before starting work, but now it was really quiet for him.

              • gareth

                I don’t really see it as welfare… Property developers manage to survive so I can’t see how it would be disadvantageous, especially with all the flow on effects with regards to employment and skills training and to my way of thinking it would be far better to invest in people first then looking to diversify.
                Whilst I wouldn’t expect all of the funds to go in that direction it seems to me that precious few of the funds have gone into real practical things that will help people now.

            • weka 6.2.2.1.1.2

              TBH I struggle to understand why tau-iwi who have had easy access to the govt coffers all these decades don’t invest some of that into building better housing for their people rather than investing in forests or making crappy tech investments.
              They could build themselves and train their youth in various trades from building to concrete work even architecture.
              As far I as I can tell the tenants of the houses could still receive government support if required to pay rents. But the real benefit would be having warm homes which improve health and lower heating costs.
              Not to mention it would provide real practical skills to youth that will place them in a much better position long term.

            • weka 6.2.2.1.1.3

              I’m fairly sure that Ngai Tahu have been funding home insulation schemes for their people.

  7. Urban Rascal 7

    Latest MediaLens release came out today. This one’s on Syria, hesitant to post it though after the intense debate on friday where we who spoke for transparent reporting were labeled sympathizers. One part of the release summarizes what I think the open minded were saying:

    “As a matter of simple common sense it should be obvious that highlighting systemic bias in the corporate media is important, regardless of one’s moral evaluation of the targets of that bias.”

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=691:the-right-kind-of-terror&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

    • bad12 7.1

      Didn’t quite catch the full story but a report on RadioNZ National program about 8.00 this morning seemed to be saying that there are Saudi fighters with plenty of arms and money fighting in Syria…

    • joe90 7.2

      The Syrian regime is now threatening to use chemical weapons if there’s any foreign intervention in the conflict.

      • Urban Rascal 7.2.1

        A scary fall back plan for Assad. Lets the international interests know your still defiant though. Possibly delay foreign action longer.

        If I was a military man I’d think now would be a great time to reinforce your assets in Iran while the media is off your back.

      • Fortran 7.2.2

        joe90

        I think you may well find that the Chemical Weapons, and some nuclear, came from Saddam Hussain in Iraq.
        It only takes a few hours drive from say Bagdad to anywhere in Syria.
        Remember Saddam used Chemical Weapons on the Kurds in Iraq.

        • Urban Rascal 7.2.2.1

          That’s speculation though right?
          No mention of nuclear in that article. And chemical weapons don’t have to be supplied they can be made. But I’d be interested in any information on Saddam trading weapons like that with Assad.

        • mike e 7.2.2.2

          Fortran sadam hussein didn’t have any newcleaar weapons or WMD’s as they found out after an unecessary invasion.
          Who the hell alawi.
          Yeah the sunni’s and the shia are going to give the alawi weapons that don’t exist to their enemy as well no wonder your an self opinionated redneck.
          Spending to much time in the pub talking BS

      • muzza 7.2.3

        Stupid statement to make by Makdissi, but hardly the beat up which the AP have of course given it, and no doubt the the press will be milking it for all its worth.

        Not necessary to give any opposition media, ammo like this to use!

        • Urban Rascal 7.2.3.1

          They did rescend the statement to just “we have chemical weapons and they are safe” pretty much.
          Sounds like Makdissi is feeling the pressure and got a bit angry though.

      • joe90 7.2.4

        Yeah F, looked at that and couldn’t find any references to where the regime acquired them but if his fellow Ba’athist Hussein did share them with Assad then the weapons would most certainly have western origins.

      • Vicky32 7.2.5

        if there’s any foreign intervention in the conflict.

        Really? All I’ve heard on the radio all day (8 hours + ) is Obama’s colourful threat that he’ll pound Assad if he uses chemical weapons! So, is Obama’s threat pre-emptive? I have heard nothing about Assad’s threat, and simply thought “Oh, Obama’s just being a bastard again”. Oh, andJoe90, did you miss the ‘could’ in that headline you linked to? What it actually says is:
        “Syria could use chemical weapons if attacked“(emphasis mine).

  8. marsman 8

    What a hoot. John Key is annoyed at the Opposition’s opposition to his loony Asset Sales scam. This from Stuff:

    “If they want to have a coherent argument, I’m happy to have it but they are getting to the point where either (Labour leader) David Shearer and (Greens co-leader) Russel Norman are not really capable of understanding the issue or they are deliberately trying to mislead New Zealanders.”

    ”The truth is the are deliberately throwing numbers out to try to bamboozle people and people should just ignore them.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7334293/Asset-sale-shares-claims-draw-PMs-ire

    • vto 8.1

      ha ha, that from the greatest bamboozler of the lot.

      key is a jewish banker who has made millions from being a money trader. says it all really.

      (and before anyone crys foul over ‘jew’ it is based on the accepted practice of using terms such as white middle class male pakeha maori and all manner of other sames)

      • Carol 8.1.1

        Not the same at all, vto. When have white middleclass males been sent to death camps just because they are white and middleclass?

        Key was a unscrupulous banker – nothing to do with his ethnicity which is just being used as a r@c1st smear.

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          What has gencide got to do with racist smears? Surely a group can be subjected to racist smears without having to go through the gas chambers. Or not?

          Racist smears happen all the time and holding a mirror up to it can help expose its ugly form. Did it work? Did it make you squirm and go ‘oh lordy, how racist’? And did it make you think that the constant referencing of white males all the time by many others around the place is also ugly racism (and sexism)? Or not?

          Honestly, racism in this country is the most convoluted, double standarded, twisted and tied up in knots, shoved down the dunny, piled up, and simply unclear issue in the land. It is no wonder racism appears constantly and all over the whole place. There is no standard.

          • Chris 8.1.1.1.1

            Well it is quite a different thing to include the description of someone as a white male etc to what you have done in describing someone as who is not jewish as jewish specifically to denigrate them.

            • vto 8.1.1.1.1.1

              But he is jewish so it is ok. Following the logic of course …..

              … (sheesh, I think I am starting to bore even myself with this pet rant of mine)

              • Te Reo Putake

                No, it’s not OK. Key is not a practising Jew and the accident of his birth is completely irrelevent to his adult career. You’re usually smarter than this VTO!

                • vto

                  Yes of course it is not ok I agree..

                  If only that principle was applied consistently across all peoples over all issues throughout our fair lands. But it aint.

                  Was simply holding a mirror up…….. imagine if I had written “John Key is just a white male banker ….”, would the same responses have been made? I think not. And therein lies the lying mirror.

                  • Carol

                    vto, you just don’t get it do you?

                    Persecution of the powerless through negative smears ….

                    …compared with resisting and challenging the power and dominance of certain groups in society, who consistently have the power, and opportunity to give themselves much widespread positive PR.

                    • vto

                      Carol, really…..

                      what you are saying then, which seems to be the predominant m.o. when it comes to racist behaviour in NZ, is that it is ok to be racist towards the rich and powerful.

                      How can issues such as racism be tackled comprehensively and completely when they are mixed up with other issues like you are doing? That is the point I made above re the issue in NZ being so completely confused and double standarded that it renders the entire issue useless. It is no wonder that racism continues to flourish in this country. If it is ok to be racist towards the rich and powerful why then would it not similarly be ok to be racist towards the criminal and abusive? Or any other group which you wish to tackle over whatever issue?

                      Your mixing of issues is wrongheaded and self-defeating.

                  • Chris

                    No the same responses wouldn’t have been raised because it wouldn’t be racist. Using it in that light isn’t trying to put him down so why would anyone respond.

                    Didn’t realize we still classified what religion people were based on what one of their parents were rather than what they actually practice.

                    • vto

                      Calling Key a jewish banker is different from calling him a white banker?

                      Neither the jew description nor the white dscription has anything to do with his career as a banker. Both are unnecessary and both can assumed to be racist (for arguments sake, take ‘jew’ as a race). But not around these here parts. It is only the jewish descrption that is racist. The white description is not racist. FFS.

                      This is exactly why this issue gets laughed at in New Zealand.

                    • no – it’s why you get laughed at vto, your logic is warped mate.

                    • vto

                      Hi there marty, wondered if you might show up..

                      I would genuinely like someone to explain how those points are warped. Each of the points in response to Carol and to Chris… if you will…

                    • Just read their comments vto, the answers you seek are all there.

                    • vto

                      Ok marty, well the answers are unconvincing, hence my points in response to those answers, which you seem unwilling to further tackle. Stalemate.

                      … and so the issue of who, when and where it is ok to be racist will continue to fester and stink up the lands…

                    • vto

                      Chris, in the exact same way as jew in that context.

                      How is it racist to describe Key as jewish? (accepting for argument’s sake that he is).

                      edit: hey, chris deleted his last comment I was replying to

                    • Populuxe1

                      It’s racist, vto, because there is no reason for any reason for Key’s “Jewishness” to be mentioned. If it’s irrelevant to the context then there can only be a negative and therefore racist intent. It’s not rocket science.

                    • Chris

                      Sorry vto I deleted my comment because I realized I knew what were you going to say and now it looks like you’re replying to nothing.

                      White male is not racist in the exact same way as Jewish in that context and you know it – Jewish people have been persecuted for centuries based on that stereotype. Additionally as mentioned above John Key isn’t even Jewish so the addition of calling him Jewish is to only there to play on the stereotype of Jews being greedy etc.

                      Adding white male in there is racist now that I think about it as you are using it in to put someone down, but there are obviously different levels of racism. Calling someone a white male to put them down is always on the very low end.

                    • hey vto – they are right and you are wrong – live with it. I suppose I am slightly grateful that you didn’t start the whole little game you are playing with some Māori thingy. But your argument (being charitable here) doesn’t hold water, whichever group you have in your sights, as evidenced by the comments from others above.

                    • muzza

                      VTO – You make sense, and I understand where you’re coming from, with the point you make.

                      The statement, that there is no need to mention it, thus infers rac*sm is simply nonsense, and shows how muddled the subject has become in peoples minds.
                      If you really did mean to use the term in a derogatory way, that is a different converstation, I don’t pretend to read your mind, and take your point at face value.

                      Of course by deliberately muddying the meaning, and what it means to people allows interested parties to control the direction/perception of “debate”, and therefore the degree of destabilisation amongst groups of people, with relative ease. Its very dirty tactics, but one which has worked all too well on the simple people , not just in NZ, but elsewhere. In the UK, they have the same poor level of understanding to what rac*sm actually is, and the reasons behind it are the same as here.

                      Genuine rac*sm is what those who are at the tip top of the control system have inside them, that and a genuine hatred for humanity!

                      Don’t fall for the deceit.

                    • vto

                      Ok, well it seems to be that, according to comments above and below, racism is defined by whether describing a persons race is used to denigrate that person and when that description is irrelevant to the context etc. An online check of multiple racism definitions are not so clear and allow wider meanings, but they generally include that line….

                      Therefore, writing “John Key is a white banker who made millions trading money …” is also racist as it irrelevant to the context.

                      I think populuxe says it best “It’s racist, vto, because there is no reason for any reason for Key’s “Jewishness” to be mentioned. If it’s irrelevant to the context then there can only be a negative and therefore racist intent. It’s not rocket science.” … And neither, populuxe, is Key’s whiteness relevant, although some posters above claimed that such a description is not racist, because white is rich and powerful and that makes it ok.

                      Just as long as we all keep these definitions in mind when it comes to other descriptions thrown around willy nilly, such as the worn out old line ‘white male’ or, when it comes to Don Brash on this site ‘old white male’, which is completely and utterly racist and other, and highly common on here. Being a mostly white male I find it offensive – the skin is only so thick.

                      Appreciate the comments

                      edit: posted over our comment muzza – noted ta

                    • Populuxe1

                      Muzza: Key may be Jewish in the sense that “Jewishness” it is identified through the maternal line, but he doesn’t acknowledge it in his life and therefore it has no bearing at all on his actions – nor should it. I wish he was more “Jewish” – he might then be more socially minded and less philistine. But it’s irrelevant, why mention it unless you intend to infer something? It’s very Kevin Campbell. Are you some kind of anti-Semite, Muzza?

                    • muzza

                      Pop, the fact you have to respond with such an inverted comment in an attempt to get back to some sort of point, illustrates how muddy this issue is for you..

                      The question on the end of your comment confirms as much!

                    • Populuxe1

                      Key’s “Jewishness” is rather vague as well as irrelevant, but not half as muddy as your weird obsession with Jews…

                    • mike e

                      VTO you are undoing all the arguments and giving the people we are against ammunition to destroy our arguments .
                      Own Goal.
                      Apologise and be done with it Don’t make excuses.

                    • muzza

                      Where on earth did you get from my comments to “weird obsession” pop, on this day or any other!

                    • Populuxe1

                      My apologies, Muzza – I mean vto’s obsession – you’re just giving him support for it.
                      Mike e, by “giving the people we are against ammunition to destroy our arguments”, do you mean people who don’t like anti-semites?

                    • vto

                      It’s funny populuxe. I use jews as an example and get accused of a weird obssession with jews. I didn’t even mentione maori and marty mars was sort of kind of pulling me up on it, almost. If I had used asians as an example I would surely be similarly accused. If I had used white man, as is already shown above, there would be no accusation, no matter the context. It seems the obssession rests elsewhere as is evidenced by all of this.

                      No matter when, how, why or what I try to discuss race issues on this site it always happens. Is race an issue that is not allowed to be discussed?

                      My original point seems to stand – racism in this country is completely and utterly convoluted, twisted, two-faced, misunderstood, mashed around and laughed at. It is the proverbial dog’s breakfast and it would not surprise me if the same arguments are still being tossed around in another 20 years. I point the finger at pretty much the entire political race spectrum for this.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There are plenty of topics the left don’t let you even approach, because the moment you raise the topic you are branded as something undesirable.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Race is almost never appropriate to discuss because it is almost never relevant except when discussing the historical categorisation of groups. In most cases only the actions of the individual or organisation count.

                    • “Is race an issue that is not allowed to be discussed?”

                      We discuss it all the time and have done so even on this thread – you just don’t like the answers. What’s the point vto? When did your view form and has it adjusted at all over the years?

                    • vto

                      populuxe, I think it is not only appropriate but important to discuss. It is one of the defining issues of our time. It infiltrates our legislation, it impinges on people’s daily lives, it is omnipresent, and it is without doubt far from settled. It is just a difficult issue all round.

                      Marty, I don’t mind the answers posters have provided above. It is an unsettled issue and that is why I try to pull out the various views to see how the landscape appears. When did my views form? Well, as you know, they change and flex with time and age and experience and knowledge. How about yours? Are they open to considering change? Would your comments through this thread be different if maori had been used as an example relative to the white man rather than jews? I know your comments would be different and that is something worth considering itself, is it not?

                    • vto where next though? – who are you going to have a go at to prove your point to yourself.

                      You should check this article out

                      http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/07/19/skin-tone-and-the-arbitrariness-of-race/

                    • vto

                      oh mr marty, please try to avoid making these things personal. You know what happens … just a big stupid school ground scrap.

                      Perhaps you could outline what the point was that I was supposedly trying to make to myself. I have punched some thoughts out there, invited comment, surmised as to various results, and thanked people for posting. So what is this point I was trying to make?

                      And you didn’t answer the question above about when your own views formed and whether they are open to change. I answered yours, so how about returning the favour.

                      But I’m off to beddy byes so hopefully in the morning I will be pleasantly surprised and see an answer to paragraphs 2 and 3 above. Otherwsie… well, I don’t know what otherwise… meant to be rebuilding an entire city so might just go do that instead… despite its drudgery, tedium, bumpiness, dustiness and brokenness…

                • The Woodpecker

                  Would it be racist if I called Key a putz

                  • Populuxe1

                    No, because it’s true.
                    He’s also a shlemiel, a nudnik, a nebbish and Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen.

                  • McFlock

                    Cultural appropriation is really bad karma, chaps…

                  • Vicky32

                    Would it be racist if I called Key a putz

                    Go ahead! I often do…

      • Bill 8.1.2

        VTO. Was Jim Bulger simply a dumbarse or a dumbarse Catholic? You see the difference? Assuming you do, then you’ll also understand why you can’t regale JK and tag on his religious affiliation (merely percieved or otherwise) as a rider. It has wider, sectarian ramifications.

    • joe90 8.2

      Agree TRP. It’s most definitely not okay vto.

  9. prism 9

    Soon on Radionz there is an interview with someone on a subject that is relevant to us all I think. The guy has been thinking about why we hold to our opinions and try to justify them and about our moral ideas.

    10:05 Social psychologist and professor of business ethics Jonathan Haidt

    Jonathan Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures. His book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, is described as the summation of Haidt’s entire research career, and his plea for people to understand each other despite their differences.

    • muzza 9.1

      “and his plea for people to understand each other despite their differences”

      –This really is the crucial point to it all, we have differences, and TBTB drives wedges through them for all they can manipulate. So much that these days people cant even begin to understand what is happening to them.

      We must focus on what we have that is in common, that is we are human beings, with the same core needs. Human beings would get along just fine by in large, without agendas, interference and greed!

      Whether people want to accept it or not, there is a spiritual war being waged, the rest of it is just noise to distract and confuse.

      The challenge is to see through the lies, and start having faith and trust in those sharing this life with us.

  10. prism 10

    Another thought. What about regular commenters start each time with the name and date and time of the commenter being replied to. Because of the way that comments slip in to the thread, a comment and a reply can be separated so far that the argument is impossible to follow. What do you think?
    If the highlight is used to copy the name and time then it wouldn’t be a fiddle and time consumer.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Nice. Actually just the name being replied to would help out a lot, and should not be any inconvenience to do.

      • Vicky32 10.1.1

        Actually just the name being replied to would help out a lot, and should not be any inconvenience to do.

        Which is why I always quote people! There may be numbers at the side but I can’t see them. (Don’t know why)

    • freedom 10.2

      That’s what those numbers at the right of the field are for prism. (Perhaps there is a way for the ever ingenious Lprent to colour code the numbers of the thread list: 1.1-blue 1.2 orange. 1.3 green etc which would ease confusion?)

      Just occasionally though, to follow a thread it takes a little concentration on the commentators’ part. Concentration that generally creates pause which itself improves the reactionary nature of many comments. I hold my hand up as guilty on that charge more than one. Life’s a bitch like that, having to pay attention to detail and all. Sorry to sound snarky but your recent comments on the layout and suggestions to restrict freedom of speech on a well run and high-functioning site seem oddly distraction based when there are so many serious issues on the boards.

      As CV says below, if it is such a problem to follow just add the details yourself, and anyways there are some hilarious moments that transpire when the thread order gets mixed up, as many of us have experienced. I for one have had many hearty belly-laughs watching confusion cascade into clarity. Then again I also know how to laugh at my own mistakes without crying home to mummy like certain (presently absent hallelujah) posters are prone to do.

      And right now we all need as much laughter as we can get

      • McFlock 10.2.1

        One thing I have noticed is that after about the third or fourth nesting of comments, the layout manager packs a sad and no longer numbers the comments. E.g. in the True Lies thread gos’ comment* 1.1.1.2.1 is replied to by Tracey – I don’t see a comment number on Tracey’s comment. No partial number or underscore placeholder or anything.

             
        On XP machine w/ Google Chrome at moment, but also have the same issue w/firefox on win7. 

        *[edit] – well waddya know, the little trool is good for something after all.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      I suggest a full box around the comment that expands to include the replies. Each reply has it’s own box. This would visually separate comments and its replies.

      ATM, the work around I use is to position the mouse pointer over the left edge of the comment and then scroll upwards to determine who it’s replying to.

      • lprent 10.3.1

        suggest a full box around the comment that expands to include the replies. Each reply has it’s own box. This would visually separate comments and its replies.

        That tends to wind up with the screen looking like boxes and more boxes.

        What about something that is a bit simplier – a link in the comment line… This is what we see at the admin side of the comments.

        Submitted on 2012/07/24 at 12:58 pm | In reply to prism.

        It’d link on prism.

        • felix 10.3.1.1

          Frankly I don’t see what’s wrong with the nesting as it is.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1.2

          That tends to wind up with the screen looking like boxes and more boxes.

          IMO, Doesn’t look bad and helps people track the replies. Of course, that may change once the nesting gets as deep as some threads do here.

  11. Jackal 11

    Benefiting from climate change?

    It would be foolish to think New Zealand is somehow impervious to the effects of anthropomorphic climate change, and that we can somehow benefit from the misfortune of other countries. After all, carbon molecules carry no passport, and it’s only a matter of time before New Zealand experiences a severe weather event of its own.

  12. prism 12

    freedom 10.2
    Yes you’re right – I haven’t got into the habit of using the right hand numbering. However even that would not have been ok each time. On my computer, some numbers would have appeared so faint I couldn’t read them, then there would be no number at all on some long threads.

    The use of the commenter’s name first is an acknowledgement of the idea, as well as a greeting so that’s useful. As far as close study of the thread to sort out the strands of thought is concerned, who has time for that? I guess some people who have others to carry out the duties of living, but I find there’s lots to do and if the commenting is easier to follow it becomes more interesting, worthwhile and less time consuming.

    And why can’t people suggest small changes to anything? Are you so lacking in individual thought and interest in innovation and compliant in the means and methods of any system that you don’t dare or can’t imagine, any change. Don’t you hold your own ideas as of value. I think this attitude you and others have expressed is one of the disadvantages in NZ’s general thinking. Compliant, dull and lacking in desire to innovate or consider change. To have ideas as to better or alternative ways to do things is essential in a fast-moving fast-changing society that is under threat. Those ideas can then be discussed. First though, people have to have them. Then when some group or political party pushes change, there is a readiness to front up and debate and choose the best direction. Much of what passes for discussion is just finding fault in other people’s ideas. It is easy to criticise a formed idea, but someone does have to think it out first. We need more ideas not less, then more possibilities are revealed for consideration.

    I am having trouble reading this because of the right hand over run that I am getting on this comment window so though I am being provocative, I hope that it actually makes my points in a reasonable way.

    • freedom 12.1

      trust me prism, I have no-one carrying out my life duties but myself so you will need another tree to bark up. I do believe if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Sure The Standard has a few glitches here and there which is why i also added my 2c for a solution to one of the only issues i really see in need of a tweak. Also, being blindly compliant and lacking in imagination or innovation is never an accusation that can be directed at me. I actually really look forward to discussing that further with some associates just to see the mirth it creates. i am often the person they come to when needing a new idea or angle of attack on a problem. I am a full time artist who specializes in one-off commissions in a wide range of mediums and media. I do not produce endless replicants/variants of my work simply because they will sell, much to the chagrin of some family and peers who think making art is about ego and dollars. Art is about facing difficult questions, using your own perception, striving for understanding.

      So as you might have now realized having an open mind and solving problems creatively is kind of an essential life skill for me. That aside, I completely agree that at times it is bloody difficult to follow some threads and when discussions hit their peak thread length and the numbers disappear, it gets downright impossible to accurately map just what the hell is being discussed.

      p.s. That odd odd issue you seem to be having with the text body not forming might be browser related? I use Firefox and have not had any issues for a long time, especially since dumping Microfloppy and going Ubuntu.

      • prism 12.1.1

        Yes freedom I’ll get my compatriot to look at this. I have been using Opera but I have the option of Firefox so will see if that works better.

        And just to bat on about innovation – the need for open thinking in our public and group systems is important. You might be interested in Jonathan Haidt on Radionz who I referred to earlier.
        He was talking about the dichotomy of conservative thinking and liberal thinking – will the ideas make a difference now, an improvement that will take us into the future is what I’m thinking about.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      If you were replying to a comment why didn’t you just reply to that comment?

      By not doing so you’re defeating the purpose of having the reply function.

      I am having trouble reading this because of the right hand over run that I am getting on this comment window

      That sounds like you need to resize you comment box.

      • prism 12.2.1

        DTB How do you know I didn’t use reply button? And resizing comment box – why? Why does the wording not scroll within my already wide comment box? It always used to before. On second thoughts don’t bother to answer. I’ll get real help from my son.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1

          How do you know I didn’t use reply button?

          Because the comment is at 12 rather than 10.2.1 which is where it would be if you’d hit the reply button.

          And resizing comment box – why? Why does the wording not scroll within my already wide comment box?

          Because you’ve obviously resized it at some point and it’s no longer within the bounds set by the website. Had the same thing happen to me and it was a PITA until I figured it out. Then I had to figure out how to get the drag handle back into view.

          On second thoughts don’t bother to answer. I’ll get real help from my son.

          You got upset from getting help?

  13. prism 13

    I’ve just heard a report on radionz about Minister for Primary Industries David Carter on biosecurity that I consider outrageous. He was talking to Horticulture NZ and condemning them for criticising NZ level of biosecurity saying it was (among?) the best in the world. And then came the veiled threat that if they kept on with this critical line they would lose credibility with the government. That sounds to me like shut up or our doors will be closed to you. Not ‘We are here to facilitate and support income earners for NZ’. Just a reminder of how important just part of this industry is, figures from Min of Ag website on horticulture, Kiwifruit and wine are the biggest earners, each with export values in excess of $1 billion.

    It seems that NACTs business in government is selling off businesses already established for good money that will go to things that should be paid for out of the proper and fair taxation of discretionary money from those who have the most. These are men who are drawn to wealth but are interested in acquiring wealth and assets by buying the results of others toil and skills, either for government or private as shown by the scavengers like Ron Brierley et al.

    Headings from Radionz news:
    Growers to canvass biosecurity bungles
    Grower concern over biosecurity lapses in this country is a focus of Horticulture New Zealand’s annual conference opening in Auckland on Tuesday.

    • mike e 13.1

      David Carter has painted himself into a corner.
      After sacking 40 odd staff back in 2008 and letting psa and the queensland fruit fly in.as well as stopping all x rays of baggage.
      wonders why horticulture nz is up in arms.
      now after 3 years of fucking up he is having to re hirer 40 more staff.
      what an idiot.

    • rosy 13.2

      You can still be among the best in the world but if the best in the world has major shortcomings it’s not saying much is it?

      … highlighting a number of deep-seated problems with the Ministry’s biosecurity culture. Of greatest concern is the dislocation between the Ministry and organisations responsible for delivering up to date scientific options to them. This has been identified as a prime cause of the Psa outbreak that possibly came from illegitimately approved importations of kiwifruit pollen.

      “There was a lack of connectedness between MAF and key stakeholders and a lack of concern and urgency from the kiwifruit industry about whether all biosecurity settings were appropriate in light of the very real threat posed by Psa,” the report says. “MPI … failed to recognise that plant contaminants, a recognised source of Psa, would inevitably… be admitted through imports.”

      This in spite of the fact that Plant & Food Research was well aware of the high risk of importing pollen. Exacerbating the problem was the ministry’s failure to monitor the pollen imports or even to track them in retrospect once the risk became known.

  14. L'heure 14

    “Prime Minister John Key has been labelled a ”wimp” for refusing to commit to plain packaging of tobacco. But the taunt, from Labour MP Clare Curran, is not backed by her leader David Shearer who said Key’s cautious approach was ”actually a responsible thing to do”.”

    Has Shearer a single hair of a mongrel in him? Here is a simple issue that can be used to define so many aspects of what it is to be Labour….and Shearer ducks..and embarrasses one of his team.

    Clare, there are TWO wimps on the landscape. You are the opposite of a wimp. Keep up the good work, Clare. Ignore the muppets in the Labour back-office.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7337884/Leader-doesn-t-back-MPs-wimp-call

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Why am I not surprised?

      Really, Shearer is going from bad to worse. Thankfully I’m not part of the Labour Party and don’t vote for the fuckers.

    • bad12 14.2

      I wouldn’t describe the Prime Minister as a ‘wimp’ over backing off from plain packaging of tobacco products at 90, He is just being Slippery,

      It’s nothing to do with ‘making NZ smoke-free’, it’s simply the machinations which cover up the revenue grab that Slippery and National gladly impose upon the mostly low income users of tobacco products,

      We, tobacco users pay way way more in excise tax than the cost to Government of any negative side-effects of tobacco use, we all have been incessantly brow-beaten enough to know that use of the product might shorten our lives,

      So,

      Why the f**k do i have crowds of people, including Government, telling me i should stop using a legally available product…

      • mike e 14.2.1

        Suck it in and get over it its called democracy 20% smoke 80% don’t!!

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          And so the 80% can trample over the choices and rights of the 20%, and call it democracy while it does so?

    • Carol 14.3

      Another drive-by, Time-Piece? What is your agenda? Who do you support? Are you willing to stay around to reply to those who respond?

      • Te Reo Putake 14.3.1

        T.R.O.L.L. Feigning concern while seeding discord. This is the third or fourth comment from L’heure I’ve seen in recent times, all of which follow that formula. Today, L’heure praises Clare Curren, but only a few days ago …

        • L'Heure 14.3.1.1

          Today Clare was upstaged by her Leader, who wants to position a light blue Labour identity.
          Yesterday the gutsy Clayton Cosgrove had to take back seat while Shearer fronted on the Key $500m subsidy for the middle class share purchasers.
          Last term Cunliffe and Parker had to take back seats to help build Goff’s profile.
          Executing the same strategy as last term will result in the same outcome as last term, that is failure at the Ballot Box.

          Calling those who says things you don’t like Trolls, will not win the next election.

          Calling out failed strategies and making changes in strategies or personnel could result in. labour victory.

          • Carol 14.3.1.1.1

            It raises suspicions on this site, when you follow the pattern of those who just come here to disrupt and divert, by only doing fly-bys on one topic, that’s bound to result in some divisiveness.

          • Te Reo Putake 14.3.1.1.2

            Yeah, nice try. Not feeling it yet though. Keep working on the script, maybe I’ll come round.

    • prism 14.4

      Labour must have a pile of wet bus tickets to womp NACTs with. Ooh scary new ideas must be led through cautiously. Perhaps they are afraid of a repeat of Roger Douglas roll-on and fast approach. I don’t think we’ll see any vitality approaching this with the present leadership and some posts here have been informative with what sounds like well-informed analysis for why this is.

  15. Populuxe1 15

    Keep your hands of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra you chiseling shyster government!

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Tributes to Margaret Mahy in the House now.

    She wasn’t a rugby player, so Key is barely interested. Can’t even pronounce her name properly. Pathetic effort.

    At least the others (especially Turia, good on her) are talking like they actually have some experience of her books. Even bloody John Banks sounds sincere!

  17. felix 17

    I note National is trialling the official dropping of the term “mum and dad investors” in favour of “everyday nzers” today.

    (They always get Ryall to test the new lines in the house as he’s so universally disliked. If it comes across ok from him, anyone can get away with it and if he fluffs it, well no-one likes him anyway)

  18. We have the knowledge and capability to do something about our appalling housing, so why aren’t we?
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/07/innovative-energy-efficient-housing.html

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Because the developers would whinge?

    • vto 18.2

      I don’t know why Dave Kennedy, I suggest you ask each and every person who has built or moved into a brand new home lately.

      I suspect the answer will be around hard upfront cost. In fact I know that will be the answer. If you can find a way to bring down that hard upfront cost then it will happen.

      Simple.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.2.1

        If you can find a way to bring down that hard upfront cost then it will happen.

        Interestingly enough, regulation will bring those costs down. Put in regulation for minimum Passive House standards, solar water heaters* and solar panels and the increased demand will ensure that prices will come down as, amazingly enough, competition funds the research to make better and cheaper options to meet those requirements. The other option is for the government to do the research and then make the results available for NZ businesses to work with.

        Either way, it all starts with the government putting in challenging standards rather than leaving it to the free-market.

        * The solar water heaters should have become a standard on new houses in the 1970s.

  19. Vicky32 19

    Have a look at your risk as a smoker then as a non smoker, note the difference

    I shall! Then I shall have a good laugh, as our family has a genetic tendency to cardiovascular  disease. My brother was a life-long and fairly fanatical non-smoker. When he died at 42, and I quote the post-mortem, he was at risk of imminent heart disease.(We had a joke – he’d say to me every time I smoked, “I bet your arteries are needle thin”. I don’t know if mine are – but as his post-mortem showed, his certainly were! *  He’d had hypertension all his life, since he was 12 years old.
    My son, an equally fanatical non-smoker has had hypertension since he was 17.
    Oh, and your calculator’s actually useless. Who just happens to have information as to their blood pressure and cholesterol to hand? I don’t!
    * Funnily enough, I can imagine him laughing about that…

    • McFlock 19.1

      Actually, post 40 people should get their BP and cholesterol checked regularly. Early if there’s a family history of heart disease.
               
      There is such a concept as the “Churchill Gene” – people who can chainsmoke, eat what they want and be constantly pissed for 60 or 80 years. And then there are individuals on the other side of the coin.
               
      As an aside, I heard one urban myth that Churchill actually died because he had a particularly forceful matron in his convalescence who refused him his standard number of nightcap brandies. His cardiovascular system couldn’t take the sudden sobriety for the first time in decades, and he dropped off. Probably apocryphal, but what the hey 🙂 

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        For men of any age with no history of heart problems, statins are a waste of time and highly profitable for drug companies.

      • bad12 19.1.2

        Doctors are not supposed to say this to people about smoking, but, mine the last time the issue was discussed simply made reference to it, (smoking), having been part of my normal diet for 43 years,

        If such smoking is going to be the ‘major’ cause of my death and i live the average life-span of a smoker i will have smoked for 52 years which really makes a mockery of all the doom gloom and death shock horror that is supposed to make me quit,

        My view on the longevity of the human beings is simply ‘how longs a piece of string’…

  20. rosy 20

    Should you be judged by the company you keep?

    David Cameron’s very good friend Rebekah Brooks and former PR man Andy Coulson are charged with phone hacking

    He’ll be pleased that he won’t have to discuss it due to the legal process.

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