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Open mike 25/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2011 - 63 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…

63 comments on “Open mike 25/07/2011 ”

  1. happynz 1

    Wow! Lots of lovely white stuff out there this morning. I imagine there are lots of chilly houses here this morning. Rug up Cantabs!

  2. Recently lprent posted Climate of Deception at Fox News. Fox News can be worth watching, it isn’t all bad, but the network has obvious political agendas.

    It may be a case of pot and kettle. Is there also a Climate of deception at The Standard?
    The inevitable “attack the messenger” campaign will probably avoid addressing the self deception.

    What any blog does is it’s own choice, but if posters obviously represent the ambitions if not the views of a political party the integrity of both are interwoven. It’s your call people, but Labour’s credibility is on the line.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      I detected 9 reasons to pulverise this post upon one reading, please PG spare us first thing on a Monday morning in future.

      • Akldnut 2.1.1

        PeteG apart from most of the commentators being of a similar ilk if you were to post this sort of spin at the sewer or kiwi blog you’d be ravaged and not in the nice way you’d get here.

        Mind you looking at the history of your attack lines it wouldn’t be out of the question for you to get that here.

        • Pete George

          I’ve been ravaged at KB a damn sight more than here. Obviously people and blogs don’t like being confronted, I don’t either, but sometimes it’s necessary to stand up and point out crap to promote positive change.

          • mickysavage

            PeteG’s cunning plan is to increase the number of hits on his website to give it credibility.  He does this by posting a confrontational comment and a link early on in the general debate posts.  Today he posted the above and this on the sewer early on:

            The Zetetic/Mallard? thing raises wider question about anonymous political blogging. The Internet could be used to promote openness and honesty, the transparency but entrenched party practices can instead allow deception and dishonesty to overcome sensibility.
            No party is immune, but most in the spotlight is the Climate of deception at The Standard.”

            Can I urge everyone to avoid the temptation and not click through.

            • Colonial Viper

              You mean that ass-hole is link farming? Figures.

            • weka

              Ooops, too late, but will certainly never visit his site again.

              • Jim Nald

                I figured that out from day one when he was ‘link whoring’. I am sorry I didn’t bring that to the attention of others here previously.
                I have never visited his site and don’t intend to. The tonnes of rubbish he spouts on here give enough indication of how much more garbage he has. I don’t even bother to read his comments on TS and just scroll past them.
                There are many other better things to do. Watching grass grow would give more insight into life, even if not eating it (it = grass).

                [lprent: Link-whoring with appropriate comment isn’t something that we moderate for (we’ll moderate out anyone that does it inappropriately – because they are trying to use this site for spamming). ]

            • Frank Macskasy

              The good thing is that this thread has been reported over at TM’s messageboard; http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=770521&topic=7&#p15515857

              The frenzy shown over “The Standard” suggests that National is getting worried that Labour is a real threat.

              • lprent

                Same thing happened before the last election. This time we are somewhat more prepared when we get the bloody irritating trolls who just try to disrupt the site. They tend not to like my anti troll tactics.

                But we see minor spates of it every time that Labour or the left starts making headway. Nice to see it happen again. Now let’s just hope that none of the Labour MPs (or their servers) disrupt the flow this time.

            • Lazy Susan

              Yes Mickey, I had figured that this was what Pete G (aka as the Secret Squirrel) is up to.

              Unfortunately I did visit his website a couple of times before this realisation. All I found was long-form badly thought out drivel. Needless to say I won’t be going there again, but if that’s the content you want Pete’s site’s the perfect place to be.

    • PeteG You have this annoying habit of trolling.

      You keep having your arse handed to you on a plate by the likes of Felix et al. You destroy threads. Your comments vary between the banal and the stupid.

      Posting here is a privilege. IMHO the Standard is one of the most open and has the most robust debate of any I have seen.

      The only entity with credibility problems is yourself. Time to try and get some.

      • Sookie 2.2.1

        I wish there was a ‘Block Pete G’ application on this site that turns his comments blank as I’m totally fed up with seeing his tedious drivel everywhere, even inadvertently out of the corner of my eye.

    • Ianupnorth 2.3

      trying to boost your blog stats mate?

    • prism 2.4

      What a load of pretentious drivel delivered in a sonorous portentous style, but it’s still drivel and merely gives Pete G filler for his pages. Why not set up a wood-whittling circle Pete G? You might end up with something worth viewing.

  3. Here is a the full video: Core of corruption Part 1: In the shadows, which explores the connection between the alleged hijackers and the ruling elite. Very interesting is the operation Able danger which was sabotaged by elements in the US government. Anthony Schaffer, the officer involved in the operation wrote a book about it and while he still hangs on to he idea that is was al Qaeda who did the dirty on 911 his book is of huge value in it;s contribution to the search for truth.

    Anthony has a facebook page and is linked to mine which has the same name as my moniker here.
    In fact quite a few names from the 911 truth movement are connected to my page so have a visit and get closer to the people who actually do the hard slog.

  4. logie97 4

    Anyone out there got access to Ken Ring’s almanack for July? I gather he predicted pretty settled weather in the north for last week…

  5. NickS 5

    I had a dig around for what Hilary Butler, the expert Sunday interviewed on vaccine risks, was involved with and lo behold found she’s firmly in the anti-vaccinations vaccines-cause-autism* loony camp. And couldn’t science to save her life judging by a most on polio on her blog where she failed utterly to understand that there are other things besides polio that can cause paralysis aka aetiology.

    Though I’m a bit too lazy to go fully into cluebat mode and examine the full extent of her stupidity, I can say “wtf?” in relation to Sunday thinking it was a good idea to treat her as any form of expert. Then there that fact they didn’t bother to interview the likes of Sid Offit and David Gorski over in the USA, who have a long and excellent history of explaining vaccination and dealing with anti-vaccination bullshit. And explaining relative risks, i.e.

    btw, “vaccine damage” (or “vaccine injury” in N-Am) is very much a non-diagnostic tool in the hands of people like Butler as they’ll link just about anything with vaccinations without even critically examining causation. In fact there were only two examples last night that were solid, and without access to ACC’s case files on the serious cases, it’s impossible to say with any certainty the causation of those cases…

    *I heart science: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/02/yet_another_really_bad_day_for_antivacci.php

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Scientists have for a long time regarded autism as being 90% plus genetically caused.

      Guess what, they were wrong. A recent large scale study looking at over 1000 children determined that actually more than 50% of the risk for autism comes from environmental factors.

      So don’t be too quick to rule things out especially as chemical exposures are likely to play a significant role in that. (In fact I believe the study specifically implicated anti-depressants. Hundreds of thousands of NZ’ers take these drugs every day. Wonder what that is doing for our autism incidence).

      …without even critically examining causation.

      You know and I know that it is extremely difficult to definitively show causation unless the power of a study is very large, or the effect is very large.

      In many cases association is the best one can hope for, and by the time causation can be undeniably demonstrated, thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are likely to have been harmed.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        argh shit,
        Not touching this with a bargepole 🙂

      • NickS 5.1.2

        Except of course, it looks strongly like ASD has many possible causations, so without pinning down specific neurological features and setting up tighter definitions and thus sample groups to turn genetics analysis tools on, the 50% narrow sense hereditary found to date makes a lot of sense. Also, if you were more informed about neurological development (and biochem/genetics) you’d know that there’s a massive knot of potential causations during development in the womb that lay down future brain growth and set up gene regulation in the brain. Thus from my perspective and from my understanding of brain development and ASD I see any attempt to pin ASD causation post birth as somewhat flawed….

        Now the fact that SSRI’s are potentially linked* is actually interesting given the role serotonin in the brain in terms of fixing new neural connections, and I can definitely see that as far more potentially plausible. And I have no issues with that, barring that fact that the rise in ASD diagnoses was explained primarily by better awareness (public, GP’s, etc) + changes in diagnostic criteria that included those on the borderlines and the previously misdiagnosed. So thus I’d argue that SSRI’s might not be playing a role, but that’s what well designed ANCOVA GLM studies are for 😛

        You know and I know that it is extremely difficult to definitively show causation unless the power of a study is very large, or the effect is very large.

        In many cases association is the best one can hope for, and by the time causation can be undeniably demonstrated, thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people are likely to have been harmed.

        Aetiology not difficult except when dealing with the likes of ASD where there are multiple potential causations, and in the rest of science it’s down to the design of the study and evidence quality, quantity and the plausibility of causation mechanisms. So as a general statement of truth, you’re wrong. At least for publishable claims of causation. Medical diagnostic’s is where you right, and I should have made what I meant by “critically examining causation” a bit more indepth. Such as mentioning the role of statistical evidence + having plausible mechanisms. which in the case of Butler etc are either absent, or seriously flawed, and Butler provides a very clear example of this with her claims about polio….

        In the case of public health risks from pharmaceuticals, pesticides etc, yes there are serious implications concerning their potential causative links to diseases etc, which is why animal testing + glasshouse and field tests are incredibly important. As is long term population/environment monitoring, and robust research funding…

        There’s also the other implication of the causation certainty issue in that we can’t likewise show with any total certainty that any drug/vaccine etc is 100% safe, so we’re left with balancing relative risk estimates. And given how utterly non intuitive that is, even for the moderately statistically literate, it makes it very easy for the anti-vaccination crowd to over inflate potentially risk, creating what is very much a moral hazard on the basis of the rather well known outcomes of low vaccination rates.

        Anyhow, this slightly tangential to the issue of why Sunday bothered with someone who’s very much a crank, rather than talking with medical professionals/researchers. Especially for a lead piece, in light of the anti-vaccination bullshit and the negative public outcomes of it already seen here in NZ with the measles outbreaks we keep having.

        Now I think you could possibly owe me a beer for this, given I could have been sitting nice a warm in the lounge reading Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science”, instead of in my freezing bedroom 😛

        *I can has source plz?

    • NickS 5.2

      And Hilary Butler just keeps looking more and more stupid the more I read her blog…


      • Ianupnorth 5.2.1

        As someone who nearly lost a 3 week old child thanks to an un-immunized child in my 6 y.o class at school I have nothing but contempt for those loonies.
        In any medical scenario there is a very small risk of an untoward event; however, the risks of permanent harm to the masses of population from people not immunizing their children is far greater.
        Re. the SSRI – if you check the weird and whacky ‘Flouride is poison’ (sic) group on Facebook you will find all the crazed anti Fluoride and anti-immunisation brigade quoting all manner of junk.
        One example is that Fluoride is being added to water to sedate the masses and that is why it is the active ingredient in SSRI’s

        • higherstandard

          I’ll strongly second Ian’s sentiments having spent part of the day cleaning up the chaos after a potential measles contact was brought onto a ward with immunosuppressed patients.

          Anyone who doesn’t immunise their children, unless there is a very good reason not to, needs a bloody good kick up the arse.

          Hadn’t heard the flouride one before ……….. there’s nowt as odd as folk.

    • seeker 5.3

      Sunday and Hilary Butler stated in the programme that she was not a scientist. I think she had collated much information on vaccines as well cases of nasty outcomes from vaccinations.
      My son had one such outcome as well as my friend whose child was permanently damaged from a whooping cough jab and recived damages(in the UK). Fortunately my doctor asked me if there had been any seizures in our family before he gave my son the whooping cough vaccine; there had and this meant it was not a good idea for my son to have it, as he too could become damaged. We were not warned about MMR though!!!!
      My heart went out to the lad who had been damaged by the whooping cough vaccine and his mother. He was a similar age to my son. Both had been beautiful healthy babies.
      I think he was right in saying that some people are able to take vaccinations some are not. Information should be given to parents about the pros and cons-especially the MMR, which I think is a bit too much for such young babies.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Well driving to work this morning was an adventure. Never really driven in snow before, and this is pretty deep – about 10cm deep in most places with some drifts deeper. Had the car skid around a little and crunched into the curb where I couldn’t see it, but no major issues.

    Looking out my window I can see a line of trees just past the motorway, and then it’s completely grey-white beyond, can’t see the port hills at all. Seems like the world has shrunk.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Still snowing.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        Just saw a plough go past on the motorway, must have been going about 70-80 and shoving a huge plume of snow out the side. Pretty impressive.

        • Lanthanide

          Very heavy snow now, can just barely see the motorway and a few ghostly silhouets of cars going past, many of them very very close together so if any of them stop they’ll get rear-ended. Idiots.

          • NickS

            How thick out your way? We managed 20cm on the lawn out in Shirley and the walk out to Stanmore Rd was fun (new tramping boots, Haix ftw!).

  7. Anne 7

    It seems John Key is at it again. He claims he did tell Phil Goff about the Israeli spy affair. Anyone who saw the TV clip of Goff last week would know he was not lying. Anyone who has ever known Phil Goff would be able to tell you he is not a liar.

    Is John Key a pathological liar in which case he should not be in the top job? Or is he attempting to divert attention from something else – eg. his very revealing initial response to the Norwegian massacre?

    • Anne 7.1

      Update: the above is what I heard on a Radio NZ item, but it appears not to be strictly correct.
      John Key has admitted he didn’t tell Phil Goff, but he claims “he understood the SIS director did..”.

      As the leader of the main opposition party it was the duty of someone to inform Goff. That it didn’t happen is a serious breach of protocol…

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        Key has been complacent in handling the situation with Goff being informed. Had Key seen Goff, Goff may of been able to advise on not leaving loose ends. Key has created loose ends for himself and the public need to have confidence in him when it comes to national security. Key is unable to dismiss the attempt of passport identity theft, he is unable to verify this as well.

        Look where being naive gets you (news of the world hacking) politicians, cops and editors/journalists) a lot of coverups will be uncovered. NZ is no different.

      • Pete George 7.1.2

        No protocol breach apparently – a memory breach by Goff.

        Goff was angry that Key claimed he was briefed on the investigation. After hearing Key’s remark, Goff contacted SIS director Warren Tucker for a ”please explain”.

        Tucker told him he had ”flicked the issue past him” during a regular meeting with Goff in March. The pair meet every eight weeks. Goff said he couldn’t recall the matter being discussed in the meeting, which occurred a week to a fortnight from the quakes.

        Goff said he was shown one of three documents about the investigation this morning, but wouldn’t discuss its contents.

        ”The head of the Security Intelligence Service said he flicked the issue past me and said there wasn’t much to it,” Goff said.

        ”He ‘didn’t dwell on it’, was his comments.

        ”If there had been anything of substance said to me I’m sure I would recollect it.”

        An apology from Goff to the SIS and to the PM will be issued in due course.
        (That’s just a guess).

        • Treetop

          More to be covered on this.

          The fact that Goff was involved in diplomacy regarding the 2004 passport scam would have set off alarm bells. The SIS director surely has some notes. I think the Key words here are Key, flicked past, and passport. Sorry but not good enough to flick past at a routine meeting, a sitting on the fence passport identity attempt. Loose ends only create a problem.

          • Pete George

            “Sorry but not good enough to flick past at a routine meeting”

            If Goff was interested in more detail I presume he could have asked for it. I expect politicians at his level get bombarded with a heap of information and it would be easy to not take it all fully on board.

            If at the time the SIS thought it minor and Goff thought it not worth dwelling on then it would normally have been forgotten and left at that. Goff wasn’t to know the issue would have been stoked by someone. But still, the mistake’s on him and so should be the apology.

            • Colonial Viper

              Glad Key apologised first.

            • Treetop

              The mistake is on the SIS director because it is the job of the SIS to prevent any future passport identity theft. Israel apologised after the 2004 passport identy theft and assured NZ that it would not happen again. Goff is not an SIS operative.

              • Tangled up in blue

                Goff insisted that he was not briefed. SIS director Warren Tucker corrected him saying in fact he did run it past him. Goff isn’t denying it further so yeah it looks apparent that he did made a mistake.

        • Anne

          No protocol breach apparently – a memory breach by Goff.

          If Goff had been properly informed of course he would remember it. Especially since he was closely involved with the 2004 passport scandal. Sounds to me like Mr Tucker might be on a damage control exercise. A flick past? Could that mean a momentary, semi-audible mumble designed (perhaps) to be misheard or ‘missed’ altogether?

          • Treetop

            Who trains SIS operatives?

          • insider

            Can you define what ‘properly informed’ is and your qualifications to judge? Even Goff admits he was told.

            • Colonial Viper

              Shit dude there are a thousand ways an official can slide information under the nose of an elected representative so that the official can say its been done, but the chances of the elected representative ever remembering any details at all are very slight.

              “Well we’re running out of time, those last couple of bullet points there, low priority items really. If anything else comes up on those we’ll brief you further. Right, next we have some properly important matters…”

        • hawk

          To PG:
          As it should be as Goffs comments implied that the SIS director had been lacking in his job and had not informed him.

          If Goff had of checked documents etc then he would have noticed that he had been informed. So this is a serious issue I feel as Goff has accused this man of failing in his role.

          Interesting that when Key makes a slight error by saying “if it was a terroist bombing” he gets heaps on this site. But when Goff makes a unfounded statement gets a oh well he cant of been told properly or a well he just forgot.

          But then it is expected on a site like this to experience that one eyed comment.

        • seeker

          @ Pete G.
          ”The head of the Security Intelligence Service said he flicked the issue past me and said there wasn’t much to it,” Goff said.

          ”He ‘didn’t dwell on it’, was his comments.

          “If there had been anything of substance said to me I’m sure I would recollect it.”

          This sounds like the head of SIS did not dwell on it , not Mr.Goff.
          I am appalled that the National Government should be so careless and lacking in respect as regards their obligation to inform the opposition about security matters.It also shows a lack of regard and respect to the citizens of this country in the matter of our security and safety that a matter of security should be “flicked” past the honourable leader of the opposition.
          Of course Phil Goff would remember anything said to him about such matters so I think ‘flick’ is short hand for ‘nothing was said’. Apart from the fact that Mr.Goff is highly intelligent he was a very competent Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as Minister of Defence and would recollect if anything had been said as he was so used to dealing with such matters and would be attuned.
          Mr Goff is certainly up to the play in this situation; more than can be said for the usually underprepared and totally “out of the ball park so as to be nowhere near the play” John Keys.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Is John Key a pathological liar in which case he should not be in the top job?

      The fact that Jonkey is pathological liar was proven some time ago.

      Or is he attempting to divert attention from something else…

      More than likely.

  8. Tigger 8


    DPF running spin lines on Key’s ‘it was global terrorists which is why we’re in Afganisblad, yay NZ’ comment post the Norway tragedy.

    I’m so sick of this odious little slug.

    • logie97 8.1

      May I just say I am eternally grateful to those of you who endure visiting the sewers and reporting back for us. Of course it saves column inches by providing links to support your comments rather than quoting verbatim from their posts but I can take it from your signatures that you are well informed and that it is just more of the b/s that he pours out on Mora’s afternoons. I would prefer not to leave a trace on their respective sites so thank you all very much.

  9. jackal 9

    Tell me about it Tigger

    Jumping to Conclusions

    Speculating on things without enough information is a dangerous practice at the best of times. You run the risk of appearing the fool if that guess work is later shown to be incorrect.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Of course, Hone sucking up to Density Church is a major reason why we shouldn’t…

  10. The Voice of Reason 11

    Charlie Brooker on the stupidity of those who leapt to blame Muslim terrorism for the Norwegian attacks. He’s having a pop at the ‘experts’, but it applies nicely to our PM’s efforts.

  11. rosy 13

    Australian and Malaysian refugee deal . It’ll be interesting to see how it works.

    Malaysia and Australia agreed on Monday to swap refugees in a new strategy aimed at deterring asylum seekers from undertaking boat journeys to Australia.

    The deal will see Australia send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia over the next four years in exchange for Australia resettling 4,000 registered refugees currently living in Malaysia.

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