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Open mike 27/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 27th, 2011 - 79 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

79 comments on “Open mike 27/02/2011”

  1. just saying 1

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10708966

    Some good news. Bit of a tonic maybe.

    Matt McCarten on Harawira and his new party, and what it might mean for the election

    • Tigger 1.1

      Will non-Maori working class mofos vote for Harawira? Or a party he is in?

      But anything that makes life hard for National is welcome. And Labour will pick up any Maori seat that the MP can’t win (my prediction is actually more dire, I think everyone but Turia is toast).

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Let’s see who is on Harawira’s list. As with all these things, it’s going to be the team which counts, not the individual – if Harawira is going to get more than his own seat.

      • weka 1.1.2

        Mofo is a pretty offensive and misogynistic word. Do we really have to use it here?

        • Tigger 1.1.2.1

          “white motherf***ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries” – Harawira used it – and all white working class will remember it no matter who is on the list.

          • weka 1.1.2.1.1

            Yes, and Harawira apologised unreservedly for using that word because it demeans women. I just don’t know why you are using it. If you want to want to use it in an ironic context please at least put it in quotation marks. Otherwise you just come across as a misogynist. If you’re just using to make a point I’d prefer if you didn’t – the last thing we need is further normalising of that word.

            • todd 1.1.2.1.1.1

              The difference is that the email was private, this is a public forum. If we gauged what we are allowed to do by the conduct of politicians, this country would be in a far worse state than it is in at the moment.

              • Tigger

                Weka – I agree, should have used quote marks but then, posting on my iPhone means posts aren’t always as perfect as they could be.

                And happy for you to consider me misogynistic for using a word, you can consider me anything you want.

                But not sure why you give Harawira such credit for apologising when clearly, he’s the one with the issue…Harawira used it in private – where he thought no one would see and wasn’t self-censoring to suit public taste. Clearly he thought the word was apt to be used and it says alot about him – about how he feels about white people and, in fact, female people. Do you think him apologising made him think more of women? Surely you aren’t that simple?

                • Tigg, it’s worth noting that Hone used the term because that was the term used in the email he was responding to. He was accused of being no better than all the white ‘mofos’, and responded by pointing out a difference.

                  Explaining is losing of course, so he was on a hiding to nothing, but facts is facts, and there was a lot of stitching up going on.

                • weka

                  I don’t know the man, can only go by what I see in public. My own reading is that he used the term without thinking about it, like many people do. When someone pointed out that it was offensive to women he took that on board and gave a public apology. I take that as meaning alot, because apologies for being misogynist are pretty damn rare despite misogyny being commmon.

                  If you have trouble posting clear meaning and intent from your iphone, wouldn’t it be better to rephrase what you are writing? I appreciate limits to technology, but like I said, normalising that particular word is not a good thing.

                  It’s a shame that you don’t care whether you are perceived as misogynistic or not. I have no way of knowing thus far if you are.

                  “about how he feels about white people and, in fact, female people.”

                  At the risk of rehashing that whole debate, I don’t have any problem with how he feels about white people (and as above, I take his apology to women at face value). He was basically saying that Maori have been screwed by European descedants, and I agree with him on that so I don’t see how I can complain about how he feels.

                  I do have to wonder though if you have issue with his feelings about white people and if that was part of your original point (not sure what it was exactly, maybe you would clarify).

              • just saying

                It seems to me that the strongest, staunchest, advocates for the oppressed are rarely widely liked. Maybe they don’t have to be to effect positive change.

              • Colonial Viper

                The last thing that Harawira is, is a PC, carefully wordsmithed PR managed cookie cutter politician.

                That in of itself will give him traction in the media and traction for his messages – whether you like those messages or not is of course another question.

          • Jenny 1.1.2.1.2

            “white motherf***ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries” – Harawira used it – and all white working class will remember it no matter who is on the list.

            Tigger

            Of course any excuse will do for you, to prevent a Labour led coalition, eh Tigger?

      • pollywog 1.1.3

        If he can swing some hi profile, ‘relevent’, Pasifikans to his cause I reckon he could pick up a sizeable chunk of young/old disenchanted, first time and long term voters just by slamming the Emissions Trading Scheme as well as the ‘new’ Foreshore and Seabed act.

        I say play the ‘whiteman is the devil card’ and to hell with it. It’s a powerful meme that resonates with women also. ‘Devil white motherfucker raping the indigenous earth mother and pimping her wares to the higest bidder in a ‘Cap and Trade’ scheme like the ETS ?

        even just getting SBW’s endorsement with him sometimes fronting the media for a new left party would be pretty chur.

    • just saying 1.2

      We need someone to explain why the attacks on beneficiaries is a manufactured crisis and hate campaign designed to harm, manipulate, and further marginalise the entire working poor.

      We need someone to explain why we must have a strong union movement.

      We need someone to get the attention of all of those who are fighting over the crumbs and convince them to direct some of the anger they are expending on each other, up where it belongs.

      We need someone to explain why the foreshore and seabed is so important, and to challenge the prevailing MSM memes about the issue.

      We need someone who can attract the attention of the media, and to effectively communicate, the urgency, justice, and we CAN-ness of our causes.

      Hone and Sue Bradford look like they’ve got a good chance of working together inside parliament. I’d love Matt to stand with them.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        People these days have fallen into the meme that they are Masters of their Futures. John Key is the embodiment of this idea. The serfs look up at the Royalty in the castle towers and think that one day they to can join them at the banquet table as equals, if they can just work hard enough and somehow make the right choices.

        Barely noticing that for everyone one of them who escapes serfdom, 10 others remain trapped on low, sometimes very low, wages.

        • Jim Nald 1.2.1.1

          That is the kind of so-called “aspiration” being peddled.
          Call it for what it really is: false aspiration.
          Reject that.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.1.1

            This essay is kind of relevant. It’s a bit OTT IMO, as with all these things it’s a bit more complicated than the simple reductionisms portray it. But. Simple reductionisms tell stories and create the compost of narratives upon which the little acorns grow:

            http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

            From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.

            The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are.

            • todd 1.2.1.1.1.1

              We really need to get rid of class distinction and outdated imperial leadership.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’d argue that for now, we desperately need to get class awareness back into the masses. (Although I suspect you are making the case for egalitarianism which I support).

                The Toffs have never forgotten about class, but have hoodwinked everyone else into doing so as it makes their work entrenching their own position at the top so much easier.

                The likes of Bennett, Tolley, Collins et al don’t act all haughty and superior based on nothing. Born to Rule is definitely their world perspective.

                • prism

                  About Bennett. Was noticing her fine delivery, really good, confident and fluent public speaking skills, with almost a private school accent. And I thought of the image I had seen of her in a mock-leopard jacket with a supermarket trolley – so part of the flamboyant but often poor community. She just isn’t a DPB who has struggled against lifetime difficulties. I find her hard to understand and pseudo. (Also well imbued with neo liberal attitudes that no-one who has genuinely experienced difficulties should embrace.)

                  • Deborah Kean

                    AFAIK, she was on the DPB for 6 months if even that, more than 25 years ago, when her daughter was a baby…
                    She’s a ‘welfare mom made good’ as all the news stories said, in the same way Muriel Newman was… in Muriel’s case, she wasn’t on the DPB at all! (She’d applied, but before her application could even be processed, married Frank Newman. Then, she got her job with Michael Hill Jewellers…)
                    Rather like all the stories about J K Rowling writing Harry Potter in coffee shops to keep warm, while bringing up her daughter on ‘welfare’. Rowling gets very annoyed indeed about these stories. She began writing HP when she was a single mother, but had long since remarried by the coffee shop days… Not that she has anything against women on ‘welfare’. It’s just that she doesn’t want to be held up as an example of what a RWNJ here (forget his name) calls “DPB slappers” ought to have to do!
                    Deb

                    • prism

                      Deborah K – Thanks didn’t know all that – I remember Muriel Newman from her book Living on the Smell of an Oily Rag days. I love to hear of people getting on well but not if they then turn on others less successful.

    • Jim Nald 1.3

      What about the other McCarten piece?

      I thought the closing lines were a mature way of seeing things for the Left:

      “The left, the Greens and Maori advocates are natural allies and we should work closely together. But we aren’t the same thing and shouldn’t pretend we are.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10707465

      Apologies if this piece has already been discussed on TS.

  2. ianmac 2

    Could be a turning point for the Election. A week is a long……….

  3. ianmac 3

    Herald today. A remark by the acting head of Benefit fraud: “Beban said a tenth of 1 per cent of the total spend on benefits and superannuation involved fraud.”
    What ! Only .01%? Here was I thinking it was wholesale.
    In last few lines of http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10708983

    • Luxated 3.1

      That would be 0.1% Ian. Still one in one thousand is fairly low especially considering that isn’t the number of cases but the percentage of benefit/super money being paid out to ineligible people.

      • Deborah Kean 3.1.1

        As I know to my cost, an ‘innocent breach’ is counted as fraud, until you prove it to be an ‘innocent breach’… Guilty til you prove yourself innocent in other words… F’r instance, if you provably declare income, but the person you declare it to forgets to ‘action it’, you end up with a debt, and all debts are assumed to be from fraud.
        That’s what a ‘case officer’ explained to us bunnies at a job seminar is the reason why beneficiaries can’t get government jobs.
        The name of everyone applying for a government job, whether it’s a 6 week stint delivering census forms, an admin position at Unitec or a real actual job involving actual government, is run through the WINZ system, and if a debt shows up, then regardless of when and how the debt was incurred and whether it’s subsequently been paid, the person’s application is shredded.
        I’m a bit slow on the up-take! It was only when I was writing that I realised why every application I have ever made to Unitec has got a ‘no’ within 24 hours – on one occasion, within 5 minutes! (Email application) despite that I have previously worked for them. (The policy must be new, i.e., within the last 3 years.)

  4. Jared 4

    BEYOND RESISTANCE PRESS RELEASE: Poorest Communities Desperate after Christchurch Quake

    Desperate and unsettling stories are emerging in the poorest communities of Christchurch. Residents of the Eastern suburbs, especially Avonside, are still without water, and contact with state aid services has been zero. Housing New Zealand residents — neglected after the September 4th earthquake — are once again angry at the lack of help in their blocks, and are struggling to get through.

    Members of Beyond Resistance and the strong community centred around Gilby Street have been door knocking and distributing food in the wider Avonside community. Using cars, bikes or on foot, they have managed to take prepared food and water out to those in need. Often they are the first contact with the outside world for Christchurch East residents, and their efforts have been very appreciated. Bottled water, soup, vegetables and gas canisters for cookers have been the main items of need.

    However efforts to get these basic needs out to neglected residents are being hindered by bureaucracy and heavy-handed policing. On more than one occasion, Allister from Beyond Resistance has been profiled and stopped by Australian Police patrolling the area, while motorists and sight-seers snapping photos drive pass unchecked. Stockpiles of food and water controlled by the Salvation Army would not be released to the Gilby Street community, even after repeated explanations that such food and water are desperately needed in the greater Avonside area and would be distributed by them.

    In a clear exposition of the illogical system we live in, the local Stanmore Road supermarket is closed and protected by security — despite being full of food and supplies. Earlier in the week a man was beaten at the same supermarket by security for trying to access food and smokes. He had no money, and no power to access food stamps or support funds.

    The immediate redirection of aid and supplies are needed in the suburb of Christchurch East. Food and water needs to be made available free of charge and to anyone who needs it, regardless of membership in an aid organisation. Now is not the time to profit from the sales of food and water (not that there ever is an ok time for such exploitation). The free movement of residents and their supporters is essential in the aid effort, and should not be hindered by out-of-town Police positioned to protect property rather than people.

    Beyond Resistance
    beyondresistance.wordpress.com

    ENDS

    • weka 4.1

      Thanks Jared. Do you know if the Stanmore Rd supermarket is closed because of structural issues, or some other reason?

      There’s a group in Rangiora that are flying hot meals in to Bexley etc, is there some way to connect them up with Beyond Resistance? http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rangiora-Earthquake-Express/153841938005848

      The policing issue is not surprising. They said the other day that they were going to put a massive presence on the street. Police should be helping access and distribute food and water.

      • Jared 4.1.1

        It was open earlier in the so I’m not exactly sure why it’s closed sorry.

        That group sounds similar to what’s happening in Avonside. I’ll get in touch — thanks for the heads up.

        Jared

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          btw, the guy with no money, apparently WINZ are dispensing cash from their offices. Not sure what the process is, I assume you need ID, but you don’t have to be a beneficiary. It looks like there aren’t any WINZ offices open in the east, and I know that driving across town is difficult, but maybe someone can organise some transport? Is there a list anywhere of open supermarkets and dairies?

          Information for those affected by the earthquake
          Work and Income Service Centres

          Ashburton, Riccarton, Hornby and Rangiora Centres will be open on the weekend between 9am – 4pm for emergency assistance only.

          The following Canterbury sites will be open from 8.30am to 5.00pm weekdays for emergency assistance only:

          Ashburton Community Link, cnr Cass and Moore Streets
          Hornby Service Centre, 25 Shands Road
          Rangiora Service Centre, cnr Good and Blake Streets
          Riccarton Service Centre, 76 Riccarton Road
          Kaiapoi Community Link, 77 Hilton Street

          http://www.msd.govt.nz/emergency/index.html

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            From the Foodstuffs website

            Stores Currently Open As At 1:00pm Saturday 26 February

            New World
            Ashburton
            Bishopdale
            Fendalton
            Halswell
            Lincoln
            Northwood
            Rangiora
            Rolleston
            Stanmore Road
            PAK’nSAVE
            Hornby
            Moorhouse 27th Feb onwards: 8:00am – 8:00pm
            Northlands
            Riccarton 27th Feb: 8:30am – 6:00pm, 28th Feb – 6th Mar: 8:30am – 8:00pm
            Four Square
            Amberley
            Ashburton
            Burnham
            Cheviot
            Culverden
            Darfield
            Hanmer Springs
            Hawarden
            Methven
            Rakaia
            Southbridge
            Waikari
            Henry’s
            Bishopdale
            Hornby
            Rangiora
            Rolleston
            Tower Junction
            Woolston

            The following retail stores are currently not open:

            Wainoni PAK’nSAVE
            South City New World
            St Martins New World
            Redcliffs New World
            Lyttelton Four Square

            http://foodstuffs-si.co.nz/

    • prism 4.2

      We can help Christchurch people through donating to Red Cross and Salvation Army among others. This Red Cross link below gives information about the earthquake appeal and a quick donation line that automatically charges you $20 as a donation to it by –

      Calling 0900 73327 to make an automatic $20 donation

      http://www.redcross.org.nz/cms_display.php

  5. joe90 5

    This wee rant from the comments on an American blog caught my eye.

    Small rant of the day:

    What is this middle class race to the bottom? Why, when confronted with the benefits enjoyed by at least some government workers, do private sector workers not say, “Hey! My employer, whose stock has doubled in value in the past 2 years, should be giving me those kind of benefits too!” Why do they say instead “Hey, my salary hasn’t gone up in five years and I have crappy health insurance and a minimal retirement plan. Everybody else should have it just as bad as I do!”
    How exactly have the Republicans managed to convince the middle class that they should grab those just above them as they and their mortgages sink under water? That instead of trying to improve their own lot, they should fight to worsen the lots of others?

    It really, really bothers me.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Sounds like the public sector unions in the US have done a crap job of their PR over several years. Also they are not bringing up enough examples of where the union has helped States innovate and make changes increasing productivity, service levels and reducing costs.

      From the outside that was the exact same problem with the UAW. A highly self interested union which didn’t notice that it undermined the long term interests of its members by not keeping an eye on matching or exceeding the productivity and innovation of non-unionised car plants in the US.

      IMO Unions should be driving increased profitability/efficiency in organisations – and then demanding that ordinary workers get a bigger and bigger share of the fruits.

      • joe90 5.1.1

        More like the tall poppy syndrome in action CV with other workers being harnessed by the anti-union strategists and willingly co-opted into their union busting. Astro-turfing at its finest I reckon.

    • Deborah Kean 5.2

      The latest Investigate magazine I saw at the library has a huge prominent article by an American loon, that says (I’m paraphrasing) “in 20 years, the average hard-working American will work until he’s 82 to support a government worker who can retire at 52 and who makes much more money than anyone in private enterprise gets”… i.e., the same thing!
      Deb

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Imagine that: Deliberately default on your loans, ignore the IMF/World Bank, ignore the received wisdom of western bankers and credit agencies, and THRIVE

    To me this shows how economic booms have to happen from the bottom up, not from policies designed to fulfill the super-enriching of a microclass at the top.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/25/AR2011022506445.html?hpid=topnews

    Argentina, where the government says growth hit 9.1 percent last year, is different from neighboring countries, which have implemented Wall Street-friendly policies.

    Its $95 billion default in 2001 locked Argentina out of international credit markets. The government’s free-spending ways under President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner have drawn criticism from international credit rating agencies. Prosecutors have also investigated allegations that the government doctors inflation figures.

    Still, Argentina has posted solid growth since 2003, fueled by exports to China. Poverty fell from 45 percent in 2002, after an economic collapse wiped out savings, to 11.3 percent last year.

    • Rosy 6.1

      Argentina had absolutely nothing to lose by defaulting on their debt. A programmed on Maori TV early last year (“VIVA LE PEPA!” possibly – I can’t find a link to it) documented the slide into poverty, unemployment and population health issues that came about after the adoption of neo-liberal policies. It was absolutely scary, I could tick each policy and the justifications for them as being actively adopted in NZ now.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    UK public moving to a far right, anti-immigration stance

    These poll findings will not surprise my UK mates. Remarkably, anti-immigration support comes not just from Whites but also from across minorities.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/27/support-poll-support-far-right

    Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it were not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.

    A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamic extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the Union flag.

  8. With a hat tip to Danyl @ Dimpost, ( http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/collins-get-midieval/#comments ) our minister of justice really is a nasty piece of work:

    Police Minister Judith Collins said the actions of looters was akin to “people who rob the dead”.

    She expected to see the judiciary throw the book at looters.

    “I hope they go to jail for a long time – with a cellmate.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10709042

    It’s not some great mystery what she means by that, and it’s fucking disgusting. From a minister of police and corrections, it should be a sackable offence.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      That’s just grotesque. It says a little bit too much about what goes on in her head when she deals with her portfolio.

    • weka 8.2

      There’s also been comments here that looters should be gut shot. I’m sure there are some people being arseholes in Chch right now, but there’s been bugger all said about the people that were really struggling before the quakes. There will be some people ‘looting’ for perfectly reasonable reasons. I’m not saying it’s ok, just that we should be aware that chronic desparation is a different beast than acute.

      “”These looters should be turned around and shot in the back. They are the lowest of the low.”

      The man stole essential medication for her son, who suffers from attention hyper deficit disorder. ”

      The man is probably an addict. Anyone thinking about what Chch addicts are going through right now?

    • Jenny 8.3

      You would think from Collins comments that there was a massive wave of looting going on.

      In fact the only conviction I heard reported, other than the two guys who stole the generators needed to keep the cell towers functioning, was a man who entered a destroyed house in Lyttleton to get a toaster because he said his family only had old bread to eat.

      • ianmac 8.3.1

        And a strange man who on meeting some Aussie police took them off to show them some drink and cigarettes that he had stolen and was then arrested. ????

  9. todd 9

    Is Ken Ring a crackpot?

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/02/is-ken-ring-crackpot.html

    You might have heard that Ken Ring had a pretty good idea about just when the recent Christchurch Earthquake event would happen. You’re first asumption might be to dismiss Ken as a hippy on crack. But there could be some truth to his theories…

    • ianmac 9.1

      His theory is possible. Wonder if excessive withdrawl of water for irrigation might have an effect on the downward pressure on substrata? Probably not but…

    • weka 9.2

      He’s not a crackpot. I commented on that blog… someone needs to look at Ring’s data from the last 6 months and compare it with the GNS data, and see if his ‘predictions’ are statistically significant.

      If I lived in Chch I’d be leaving the week of the next two predictions, erring on the side of caution. I wouldn’t care if I looked foolish if they didn’t happen. The quakes could happen anywhere in NZ though.

      btw, Ring says he doesn’t make predictions. He just outlines where and when the increased likelihood of a quake is.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.2.1

        Yeah, two weeks either side of a fool moon.

        The guy is a professional lunatic.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.2.2

        sorry about being a bit rude, but there is a long multi part demolition of Mr Ring here:

        Ken Ring’s successful opinion

        • weka 9.2.2.1

          Pb, you may be right but that link is not a credible refutation of Ring’s theories or accuracy. I’ve read the page you link to and there is nothing there to suggest that the author has a good grasp of Ring’s theories (which they would need to critique them), nor have they done an indepth analysis of past ‘prediction’ data. In that link the main argument seems to be that Ring said a 7.something quake was possible last week. Ring apparently fails because the Lyttleton quake was below that. But there is no analysis of a deep 7.x quake compared to a shallow 6.x quake in the context of Ring’s theories (and yes I do understand what the Richter scale is).

          I’ve followed some of the links off your link, and again I’m not getting *any* useful refutation of Ring’s work based on the actual work. What I’m seeing are refutations based on a set of beliefs and ideologies diametrically opposed to Rings (yawn).

          I really hate it when people use science and rationality to back up what are essentially beliefs. I also can’t be bothered reading through a whole bunch of sarcasm and irrelevant sidetracks. What I’d like to see is a concise analysis of Ring’s work using science and minus the attitude.

          I don’t agree with some of what Ring says – he has very odd ideas about climate change – but I still haven’t seen any credible critique of his quake work.

          • Armchair Critic 9.2.2.1.1

            Try googling “moon phase earthquake”.
            From what I found amongst the results there is no evidence that the phase of the moon can be used to predict earthquakes.
            One of the models used could hindcast about 50% of the earthquakes, but that’s pretty inaccurate for hindcasting. Really it should be hindcasting 90% or more, for it to be considered a reliable forecasting model.
            It made me ask how a prediction could be made for a particular location, given that the gravitational effect of the sun and the moon act pretty much equally, at any given time, on a multitude of faults, not only across NZ but also across the world. So even if the timing can be predicted, and predicted accurately (just to within a day will do), how can the location be predicted (e.g. Alpine fault vs. more localised fault, or somewhere in NZ vs. somewhere else in the world)?
            I’m going to be kind and run with the “Ken Ring’s predictions are too vague to be useful” theory until some of the basics are sorted out.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.2.1.1.1

              After a cursory glance at Ken Ring’s stuff it seems that the planetary positions of Jupiter and Saturn are an important factor. In certain years the phase of the moon will not be predictive by itself if those gas giants are ‘out of position’. If not taken into account perhaps that knocks the correlation downwards.

              Regardless though, a hindcast of 50% seems pretty damn good, I wonder does any other method even come close?

              Any idea what accuracy you might expect simply from rolling dice for instance?

              • ianmac

                I upset some a few years ago by pointing out that the land is also subjected to Lunar tides. The movement is not nearly as much as the oceans but it is so. Earthquake effect? No idea.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If you talk to police, security guards, ED or other medical staff, they’ll often tell you that people are affected by the phase of the moon too.

                  • ianmac

                    But no evidence to back it VP @ 5:08. However on a dark and windy night when the moon is full I feel the urge to howl at the sky and gallop madly away on my horse – except that I don’t have a horse and anyway there is something good on the TV.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed lol, and it would be imminently possible to analyse ED records for Friday and Saturday nights which fell within 24 hours of a full moon, and compare against all other Friday and Saturday nights.

                      I’d hate to try and write up the justification for grants however…

              • Lanthanide

                “After a cursory glance at Ken Ring’s stuff it seems that the planetary positions of Jupiter and Saturn are an important factor.”

                For the record, Mt Everest has a larger gravitational effect on the rest of the planet than any of the other planets in the solar system do, yet somehow it’s never mentioned in all this astrology mumbo-jumbo. I wonder why?

                To quote Einstein out of context, what Ken Ring (and all astrologists) is espousing is “spooky action at a distance”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  For the record, Mt Everest has a larger gravitational effect on the rest of the planet than any of the other planets in the solar system do, yet somehow it’s never mentioned in all this astrology mumbo-jumbo. I wonder why?

                  Making a response up off the top of my head, I would say that it’s because the directional pull of Mt Everest does not radically and regularly change relative to the rest of the Earth.

                  Disclaimer – I’m still not putting any particular credence on anything Ring says. Just playing devils advocate here.

                • Marty G

                  “spooky action at a distance”

                  ah, but entanglement proved to be real 😉

                  Not that I’m supporting what Ken Ring says, of course.

            • weka 9.2.2.1.1.2

              Ring’s theory isn’t based solely on moon phase though. It’s also based on perigee, which is when the moon is closest to the earth and having the greatest gravitational influence – this is why some full moon tides are bigger than others, when perigee and a full moon coincide there is more pull on the oceans. I’m not familiar enough with his work to go into all the ins and outs, but from what I can tell he’s looking at a number of factors in addition to phase and perigee, and the times when those factors coincide as increasing the likelihood of an earthquake.

              This means that he’s not predicting earthquakes in the same way as astronomers can tell us when say an eclipse will happen. He’s giving data about when various factors line up that could cause an earthquake.

              I agree with the post above – 50% accuracy, if it’s consistent, seems reasonable to act on. Or maybe even 20%. I think that people have the right to a good analysis of the data and then to make their own choices.

              • Armchair Critic

                Ah, yeah, but it was only on the timing within a time window, and the time window was reasonably generous.
                And, just in case you missed it, it was a hindcasting method or model, i.e. it was trying to predict things that already happened. Only being able to predict half of them with the benefit of hindsight is pretty poor.
                To be any use the prediction needs to be of the time, location and size of the earthquake. With specific reference to Mr Ring, once is luck, getting it right twice indicates the possibility of skill. I’d like to see how many other earthquake predictions he’s made, and how accurate each of them were.

        • Salsy 9.2.2.2

          @ Pascal’s bookie – Are you serious?

          Note that he is talking about a 7+ earthquake. I don’t want to dismiss just how bad today’s quake has been, but it’s just a 6.3…

        • felix 9.2.2.3

          Yeah as weka says, Dentith is just to busy knocking down strawmen to make any credible rebuttal.

          Never been impressed by his approach really.

      • MrSmith 9.2.3

        Weka Ken Ring is nuttier than a fruit cake and nothing but a snake oil merchant, please take some time and read all about Ken here. http://www.limestonehills.co.nz/Down%20On%20The%20Farm/Topics/Ringworld.html

    • Rosy 9.3

      Did he predict the september earthquake?
      Captcha: after – hmmm

  10. joe90 10

    Here’s hoping North Korea is next.

  11. todd 11

    The Jackal now has audio for the vision impaired.

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/

  12. todd 12

    Iran unloads fuel from Bushehr reactor

    http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2011/02/iran-unloads-fuel-from-bushehr-reactor.html

    “Iran told atomic inspectors this week that it had run into a serious problem at a newly completed nuclear reactor that was supposed to start feeding electricity into the national grid this month, raising questions about whether the trouble was sabotage, a startup problem, or possibly the beginning of the project’s end.”

  13. todd 13

    Exonerated Scientists say Climate Change is Real

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/02/exonerated-scientists-say-climate.html

    While right-wing idiots have effectively curtailed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its ability to limit pollution levels, the Commerce Department’s investigation may boost the good guys efforts to persuade the public that carbon emissions are having a dangerous impact on the planet. If you hadn’t notice the warning signs yet and all the weird storms going on lately, you probably deserve to die. Wake up and connect the god damn dots!

  14. Deborah Kean 14

    Just reading tjis, talking about Wisconsin in particular and the American attitude to unions in general…
    http://mediamatters.org/research/201102230006

    (I don’t know any other way to do links here, sorry if it’s the wrong way.)

    Deb

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