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Open mike 25/08/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 25th, 2010 - 38 comments
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38 comments on “Open mike 25/08/2010 ”

  1. Bored 1

    Early morning trawls through the papers and this from the now almost forgotten Gulf oil disaster..

    A survivor of the Deepwater Horizon disaster testified at a federal hearing Tuesday that his company gave financial bonuses to workers based in part on how quickly they made equipment repairs to an oil rig.

    The testimony from Daun Winslow, a performance division manager for Transocean, the rig’s owner, furthered concerns that financial pressure might have trumped safety on the rig.

    Proof money will trump safety, greed is good. And our fabulous Maurice thinks the East Coast will be safe from oil cowboys.


    • felix 1.1

      There’s something deeply disturbing about a PM who describes us as “like England without the attitude”.

      It’s not a phrase you’d expect from someone who calls NZ home, is it?

      EDIT: this was supposed to be in reply to RL, below – sorry

  2. RedLogix 2

    Another naked propaganda piece from the Herald National Party Daily.

    It’s like they’re not even pretending anymore.

    And another really interesting read from the New Yorker on the Koch brothers.

  3. Tigger 3

    Saw that too…surely it should have Advertisement on it…

  4. Outofbed 4

    Fuck no wonder people have no interest in politics

    Appearing to take this as a slight on his performance and authority, Dr Smith warned the Prime Minister he was not being “helpful”. “The Prime Minister will not argue with me in the House for even the Prime Minister has been known to leave the House.”

    But it was serial offender Trevor Mallard of Labour who hit the showers early a few minutes later after referring to Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee as “a size 84 chicken”.

    • Deborah Kean 4.1

      “referring to Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee as “a size 84 chicken’. I am sorry, but that is just LOL hilarious! (I’ve often had the same thought)

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Afghanistan link of the day:

    When it comes to building a reliable and effective national security force, one of the critical questions to be answered is which is more important, quality or quantity? Up until late last year, says Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the American officer in charge of overseeing the recruitment and training of all Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the focus was on quantity, and quality suffered. Speaking on a conference call earlier today, Caldwell said that his command is trying to bring the two a little closer together by growing the force while focusing on things like literacy, drug use, and professionalism. However, some of the numbers the General used to illustrate the difficulties ahead were less than encouraging.

    Given the current attrition rates for both the army and the police, in order for the ANSF to hit its October 2011 goal of 305,000 personnel, an additional 56,000 cops and soldiers will need to be recruited, trained, equipped and fielded. But in order to do that, a staggering 141,000 soldiers and police will have to enter the pipeline to hit that 56,000 number. That means 85,000 of that 141,000 that NATO spends money on not only to recruit and train–but to issue paychecks–will simply vanish. “If I can put that into some context for you,’ the general said, “in order to meet the 2011 goal, we will need to recruit and train, in the next 15 months, approximately the same number as the total strength of the Afghan National Army today.

    That is stunning. Let’s break that down. The Afghan army today has 134,000 soldiers. By next October, that number is slated to swell to 171,000–meaning 37,000 more soldiers need to be trained and fielded over the next 15 months. But in order for that to happen, Caldwell said, “we’re going to have to recruit, train and assign 86,000 more people to the army in order to make that growth of 37,000.’ That means 49,000 men will walk after receiving some form of training/pay/equipping.

    Emphasis mine.

    Obvious Question Number 1: How does the General square the fact that he is having to attempt to train the same number of soldiers in the next 15 months that exist in the army today, into his stated goal of focussing more on quality than quantity?

    OQN2 Where and what do we think these 49000 trained or partially trained soldiers/police are going and doing?

    OQN3 Am I crazy, or is this fucked up?

  6. joe90 6

    P. J. O’Rourke visits Kabul.

  7. Cnr Joe(inamomentofclarity) 7


    pharkin classic, theres ACT M.P’S all over the place

  8. Carol 8

    Had to switch my TV off mute, cos Goff’s body language looked pretty fired up. Yep. He’s on fire, laying into the government on the impacts on people of the NACT tax changes.

  9. bill brown 9

    From spareroom:

    “As of 1 November 2010, a new law comes into effect which allows third parties access to your name and address details via your vehicle registration plates.

    I’ve seen nothing to advertise this invasive law change that will allow criminals to track you to your home simply by knowing your license plate and paying a fee. It’s an opt-out system, instead of being opt-in ..1984 wasn’t an instruction manual!

    Opt out here:

    You’ll need your drivers license and you car(s) plate numbers

    • prism 9.1

      I thought that this licence plate thing had been the case for years and have heard people criticising it. I think there wasn’t an option at all so the change introducing an opt out is an improvement to an unsatisfactory situation. Thanks for link.

  10. Carol 10

    Lockwood Smith has just ruled that standing orders only allow for tabling of documents & not CDs. And Lockwood is not allowing this to be questioned. What century is he living in? Can only printed material be submitted as evidence? I’m puzzled.

    • Carol 10.1

      Lockwood is muddled. Brownlee agrees with Cunliffe that it must be a question of content not medium. Lockwood is really concerned that things should only be tabled if the information is not available to parliament anywhere else.

  11. felix 11

    Lockwood thinks the dictionary definition of a “document” is so narrow that it consists of pieces of paper only. Interesting.

    In other parliamentary hilarity, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture announces that recent changes will make the law “easier for fishes to understand”.

    EDIT: oops Carol heard it too.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      poor pronunciation of ‘fishers’, which is what americans call fishermen.

      the idiot wants to lift the ban on blue cod before the population has recovered enough.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Latest Morgan poll – the trend continues, gap closing month by month …


    As the ACT suicide pact plays out in blood-spattered slow motion, watch for Key smiling and waving to Winston.

    • Carol 12.1

      Hmmm. Interesting. A shift towards NZ First. I am beginning to think that the whole neoliberal free market ethos is going to be challenged in the next election. This is going to be challenging for National’s neoliberal ideologues, who may, indeed, look to NZ First for support, with the fracturing of ACT.

      I also think the economic issue of free-trade and opposition to it, will get confused with the anti-immigration debate in the public discourse. So, there seems to be a growing concern about NZ’s resources being siphoned off to overseas’ corporate interests. But many people will confuse this with Peter’s prejudiced, anti-immigration rhetoric that won’t differentiate between the power (or lack of it) of many immigrants, and the power of international/overseas-based corporations.

      • felix 12.1.1

        Have you noticed Bill English lately referring to international lenders as “foreigners”?

        He started doing it a couple of weeks ago. Does it every day now. Most likely the word appealed to a recent focus group of disgruntled National voters who were thinking about voting for Winston.

    • gingercrush 12.2

      Gap isn’t closing nearly enough though. And those believing New Zealand is heading in the right direction above 50% doesn’t strike me as good news for the left. And whenever NZ First has posted a poll high they’ve typically dropped by over one percentage point meaning you have to question whether on occasions where they do poll high whether too many NZ First voters have been captured.

      And of course if NZ First doesn’t cross 5% (and they won’t cross 5%) then the gap is bigger and more problematic for the left in forming a government despite the troubles of Act.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.2.1

        “And those believing New Zealand is heading in the right direction above 50% doesn’t strike me as good news for the left.”

        Here’s the question:

        “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?’

        It’s a silly question, agree?

        • gingercrush

          Practically all poll questions are rather stupid. But such questions does give a somewhat gauge of how people are feeling about the government and their own personal situation. If that figure was below 50% National certainly wouldn’t be polling in the high 40s/early 50s

          • felix

            I don’t totally disagree ginge, but surely you accept that on the scale of silliness the question above is a lot sillier than something like “If an election were held tomorrow, who would you vote for?

            Not even in the same ballpark really.

            The point is that “how the country is going” means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some of us it inherently suggests politics, but to others not so much so.

            Yet in the media, the answers to these two questions are treated as if they mean they were interchangeable.

            • Pascal's bookie

              That, and the question itself is hugely biased towards a positive response.

              Unless you think we are seriously heading in the wrong direction, then you are primed to say “oh nah, we are going in the right direction”.

              “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction” …means you may well have some reservations and qualifications about how we are doing.

              vs “would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction”. No qualifications allowed, you must commit to saying we are going to hell in ahand cart.

              Given that, it’s my position that it’s a really fucked question and Morgan should be ashamed of themselves. For shame Morgan. For shame. Confusing poor wee ginger like that.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.3

      …cross-section of 898 electors from August 2 – 15, 2010. Of all electors surveyed, 7% (down 1%) did not name a party

      So it captures all the Chris Carter fallout, but not the last weeks Ansell and ACT antics.

    • Rosy 13.1

      I don’t know why Tolley’s boss didn’t tell her to be ‘relaxed’ about it. 🙂 Guess they’re using it to show how ‘unreasonable’ teachers are

    • Deborah Kean 13.2

      I’ve just seen it…. Honestly, that child who said he was fooled because the signature looked like that of “the government lady” – what a plonker! If he didn’t even know her name, how did he know her signature? 😀

    • Carol 13.3

      TV3 has been pretty awful lately. I’m thinking of just checking stories from TV One & 3 online in future.

  13. Pete 14

    So, I’m pretty sure that before Election ’08 many from the right were up in arms about how arrogant and out of touch the Labour-led government were, and this was one reason why a change of government was required.

    How ’bout the new lot?

    Hon Phil Goff: How many letters has the Prime Minister received recently like the one that I have in my hand, which was copied to me but addressed to him, saying the relentless increase in Government charges like accident compensation, road-user charges, and, soon, GST and taxes on property has put this man out of business, and he—Mr Key—is out of touch with the costs facing ordinary income earners in this country?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I get about 2,000 pieces of correspondence a week, so I cannot tell the member exactly. What I can say is that I have never had a hand-delivered note written by a member of my caucus telling me that I am “outski’; that is for sure.

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Broad ‘disappointed’ at cop’s job promotion

    Police Commissioner Howard Broad has distanced himself from the appointment of a senior officer, caught accessing the police computer to pass on information during the trial of former policeman and convicted pack rapist Brad Shipton, to head the Police College’s investigation and intelligence school.

    Why is this person still in the police force?

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      Because the new minister thinks people have been much too critical of the police, and that the police should shown much more deference in future.

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