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Open mike 29/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 29th, 2013 - 62 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…

62 comments on “Open mike 29/03/2013”

  1. What do we have to look forward to this Easter? Getting out in the garden? Time with family?

    Nope – more expensive power as our dodgy government is again held to ransom by a struggling multinational down on their luck asking for just a few million to tide them over. And who doesn’t trust a multinational? After all, they are just taxpaying citizens like the rest of us.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Oh well, at least with powershop I was able to buy power in advance at the cheaper prices for winter.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Four children killed in Afghan-coalition operation: police

    This was headline news on the BBC, ITV, C4 News, Radio NZ National, TVNZ and TV3.

    Wasn’t it??

    Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:28 GMT Source: Reuters // Reuters
    by Samiullah Paiwand

    KABUL, March 27 (Reuters) – Afghan and international special forces staged a night raid in the country’s restive east, with police on Wednesday saying five civilians died in the operation, four of them children.

    While the defence ministry said there had been no civilian deaths in the overnight operation in Logar province, Reuters television footage taken in the village, Sejewand, showed the bodies of at least three children.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has previously criticised special forces raids in Afghan villages, particularly those in which civilians are killed.

    An Interior Ministry statement said 23 Taliban fighters were killed and 26 captured during the fighting in Sejewand.

    Logar police official Rais Khan Seddiq said the operation was undertaken by Afghan commandos, assisted by international special forces, in order to rescue two Afghan soldiers captured the previous day by the Taliban.

    “Two civilians were killed and three were wounded,” Seddiq said, adding that those wounded had later died. Four of the dead were children, he said.

    The defence ministry rejected any notion of civilian deaths. The ministry’s head of operations, Afzal Aman, told Reuters that all those killed or detained had been carrying weapons.

    “We … do not accept the claim of civilian casualties. All those killed or detained were armed, but an investigation is occurring and it will become clear if there are any civilians among the dead,” he said.

    Allegations of disappearances and illegal killings in neighbouring Wardak province prompted Karzai to halt all U.S. special operations there last month. While he also ordered international troops out of some areas of the province, that has yet to occur.

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at least 40 civilians had been killed during the fighting, but later revised that figure to 28.

    The Taliban often claim their fighters killed in battle were civilians, an ISAF spokesman said.

    The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says it has reduced civilian casualties in recent years, and insurgents such as the Taliban are now responsible for 84 per cent of all such deaths and injuries. (Additional Reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Writing by Dylan Welch; Editing by Ron Popeski)


    • infused 2.1

      Try reading about Syria. See how many innocent die there a day.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.1

        We do not have special forces in Syria who are involved in any sort of operations. At least, not that I know of. We send troops to Afghanistan and are supposed to thank them for fighting for our freedom, serving their country etc. To me, this makes a focus on Afghanistan relevant, not to mention that people dying in one part of the world does not excuse deaths in another.

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        Try reading about Syria.

        I do read about Syria. I am absolutely sure I know far more about Syria than you do.

        See how many innocent die there a day.

        Why are you talking about Syria? The initial post was about yet another killing by U.S.-led “special forces” of children in AFGHANISTAN.

        Why would you start talking about Syria?

  3. Jenny 3

    Wanting something worthwhile and political to do over the Holiday week end?

    How about this?

    Meet for a roadside rally this holiday Monday at the Mangatangi Mine site beside State Highway 2

    Auckland Coal Action and Coal Free Mangatawhiri are calling for the public to rally this Monday beside State Highway 2 at the site of the Fonterra’s proposed new Mangatangi coal mine:

    Start time: 2pm

    Meeting place: Bell Road overbridge

    Coming from Auckland; Exit the state highway at the Mangatawhiri off ramp, to meet at Bell Road. From there march down to the main road.


    Bring your own banners and signs

    There should be lots of returning holiday crowds to interact with. Bored out of their minds sitting in the traffic.

    If you are returning from your holiday why not join the rally?

    Daunted by the huge expected traffic jams?

    Break up your journey by joining the rally, (at least until the traffic dies down).

    Support the campaign against all new coal mines.

    You know it makes sense.

    Coming from the East, take the Maramarua Golf Course Exit to pass under the highway to meet at Bell Road.

  4. Ennui 4

    Easter, Spoke to my mother who will be giving a reading on Sunday, and talked about the Pope. She is a staunch Anglican, and tolerates her sons agnosticism with some guarded difficulty. We both agreed that old institutions change at a snails pace, and that inertia is a challenge for Francis. As a pair of Fabians we like the cut of Francis cloth however. From Stuff today:

    Speaking to about 1600 priests from Rome who attended the St Peter’s Mass, he said those who did not live in humility close to the people risked becoming “collectors of antiques or novelties – instead of being shepherds living with ‘the smell of the sheep'”.

    “Those who do not go out of themselves, instead of being mediators, gradually become intermediaries, managers. We know the difference: the intermediary, the manager … doesn’t put his own skin and his own heart on the line, he never hears a warm, heartfelt word of thanks,” he said. Francis said priests should not get bogged down in “introspection” but step outside of themselves and concentrate on those who need their help.

    Maybe our entire parliament should take example.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Quote of the week, “If we had a Race Relations Commissioner worth her black balls….”, Marama Davidson on housing and how it ties in with a multitude of other issues.

    Citizen A, March 28th 2013

    Comment on housing begins around 13 minutes.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1

      BB askes, What does the future of home ownership look like for GenX’s and GenY’s?
      “Well it looks good in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney”, replies Efeso Collins.

      Too true mate, too true.

  6. johnm 6

    With thanks to Xtasy who has gone into the detail of what this government intends to do to hapless bennies. John Minto of Mana has written a piece saying National intends to move 100,000 off benefits in ten years:
    “Government’s plan to push 100,000 off welfare with no job plan in place is shameful”

    This government will and are copying policies the Tories in the U$K are doing including taking a more agressive sanctions attitude. I’ve seen two young fit men begging for money in Wellington a week ago. 🙁 .

    Now the U$K is doing a sanctions goal score card which encourages case managers to get “nasty” if claimants slip up in any way on their obligations! This government won’t be far behind believe you me:

    ‘ A second adviser to contact the Guardian said he worked in a medium-sized jobcentre in the north-east of England, and said he was appalled at the attitude of management towards sanctions.

    “I have been an adviser for many years and have always prided myself on the help I have given claimants, whilst still testing their conditionality and ensuring they were aware of their responsibilities. Now, however, the emphasis seems to be about persecuting claimants and all advisers are being pressured into referring claimants to the decision-makers in the hope that people will sign off and contribute to the off-flow target.

    “At my last review I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to start identifying more people to refer for sanctioning and, as my next review looms, I feel under pressure now to start picking on people, otherwise I will be put on a performance improvement plan.” ‘

    “Jobcentre ‘scorecard’ shows how areas are performing on stopping benefits
    Table emerges after ministers deny existence of targets for sanctioning benefit claimants over jobseeking efforts”


    Just as in the U$ the U$K http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299931/Food-stamps-replace-cash-handouts-poor-vulnerable-benefits-shake-up.html

    —— Now, however, the emphasis seems to be about persecuting claimants and all advisers are being pressured into referring claimants to the decision-makers in the hope that people will sign off and contribute to the off-flow target.—– This is a policy of bureaucratic harassment to dishearten benefit claimants into just giving up altogether. This is already being done to disability claimants who are being persecuted by Atos and being forced to go through very stressful procedures in appealing ludicrous decisions made by this criminal outfit paid for by the scum Tories.

    Government financial support for Benefit advocates here in NZ for review procedures are having that support cut. The objective is the bewildered demoralised bennie won’t know where to turn to to get help on his rights when he’s sanctioned for a minor infringement of his obligations.


    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.1

      Not convinced of the rest yet (frog….water slowly rising to the boil??) but certainly the replacement of cash handouts with food stamps I can see happening, except the ministry considered far worse – replacing food grants where low income earners could choose appropriate food for their dietary needs, and suitability with other stuff they could scrounge from their pantry with food parcels provided by supermarkets.

      Undoubtedly the “parcels” would consist of food near it’s expiry, of low quality and with complete disregard for those of us with very specific food needs or limited preparation ability. In this way the supermarkets would off load their dodgy food they were throwing out and even make a profit from it.

    • dumrse 6.2

      No mention of the bludging bennies who won’t get off their arses and look for the work that’s out there.

      • lprent 6.2.1

        With about 7% of the workforce out of work, literally hundreds of people turning up for jobs, and no signs of a government that gives a shit about helping to create jobs… Ummm… Perhaps this might be a structural issue rather than the religious morality one you seem to view it as.

        You really are a dumbarse.

      • Murray Olsen 6.2.2

        If we mentioned them you’d have no reason to exist, dumarse. We on the left are kind hearted, compassionate people, and have no wish to take your delusions away from you.

      • emergency mike 6.2.3

        No mention of the dumarse tr0lls either.

      • xtasy 6.2.4



        You mean those doubled and tripled numbers of them on various job databases like Trade Me? And do you mean that odd needle in the large haystack – out on the farm?

    • xtasy 6.3


      Yes, it is criminal what is happening in the UK.

      That is what you get when you “outsource” and tender out services like medical assessments, work capacity assessments, work readying programs, parenting courses, whatever they will come up with.

      It will be “bums on seats” representing “dollares”!

      It will be turnover determining likely profit and more “dollares”!

      It will be the whip and baton to “motivate” (not necessarily literally) the “clients” to do what is expected of them, and the “provider” will get even more “dollares”!

      That is the kind of “motivational” program Bennett and NatACT “soft fascists” have on mind for good ol little NZ. It is strange, but why are so many measures and laws being adopted from the UK. It is as if colonialism is still not a thing of the past.

      I dare not to call them (NatACT) “proper” fascists as yet, but they are getting there fast, by adopting a “soft” NAZI like approach.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    This is an Open Letter to the people in charge of Labour’s communications. It is intended in a constructive spirit. Please take heed.

    I have Google. That’s all. No IT skills, no insider contacts, no nothing … just an old computer and two finger typing.

    That is all you need to find contradictions and confusion – on the record – in Labour’s stated positions. Every week there are more. Yesterday it was Tiwai Point (Parker versus Shearer). Today, it’s education – specifically, National Standards.

    David Shearer visits Rotorua, and is reported thus:

    Mr Shearer said that the national standards being used were not national and were not standardised. He gave his reassurance that if the Labour party was elected he would do away with national standards and charter schools.


    Many would be pleased with this commitment to “do away with national standards”. But it’s a clear shift from Shearer’s previous statements, when he said they would be kept. For example …


    So … is it policy? A commitment? Or just an attempt to say something nice?

    Or was it mis-reported? If so, where is the correction?

    You cannot do this, Labour. You cannot have the leader out there saying different things all the time. You cannot then blame the voters or the media for mis-representing you, if your leader is the one who mis-represents.

    You cannot keep going around the regions and pretend it’s the 19th century, that the message to Dunedin student radio or a Gisborne newspaper or an Auckland business breakfast will not be picked up elsewhere. You are going to get Googled to death by Farrar, Slater and the rest of National’s attack dogs. They are collecting time-bombs for the campaign, and you’re providing them. It’s electoral suicide.

    Either teach your “leader” how to communicate a clear and consistent message, or get a leader who can.

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      I don’t see it as an either/or situation, gobsmacked. People who know what they believe in and enter politics because of the fire in their belly don’t tend to have Shearer’s problems. He just has to go. Labour cannot afford him, and more importantly, we cannot afford him. When a politician is saying different things to Dunedin students and the Auckland bourgeoisie, it’s a pretty safe bet that what he wants to do is much closer to what he says in Auckland.

    • xtasy 7.3

      gobsmacked: When you have a memory like a Swiss cheese full of LARGE holes, forgetting about a bank account having over 50 or even 100 k dollars in it, and when you go around criticising others for their lack of memory, then it maybe better to shut up.

      But a “leader” who always shuts up is what we had for too long.

      So whatever, this man is a liability, and for his own well-being, and that of many others, he better be pulled out of traffic a.s.a.p..

      Sadly I cannot see it, he races around like a boy racer with damaged brakes, and a car too big for him to steer. Nobody seems to bother too much.

      • karol 7.3.1

        he races around like a boy racer with damaged brakes, and a car too big for him to steer. Nobody seems to bother too much.

        LOL. Great metaphor.

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    KiwiRail committed to struggling service

    KiwiRail has committed to its struggling commuter train service between Palmerston North and Wellington for two more years.

    But it warns it could pull the plug on the Capital Connection if an annual review finds its losses exceed $1 million a year.

    Hint to Kiwirail: Transport always runs at a loss.

  9. joe90 10

    I haven’t watched it all yet but what I have seen is pretty damn thought provoking.


    • kiwi_prometheus 10.1

      While violence against women is a concern, violence against ANYBODY irrespective of gender or skin color etc is at least as an important concern.

      It’s like saying “End Violence Against Asian People!”, implying its ok against any other group or “not as bad” or “not as important”.

      Also it is something of a front for the Feminist/Social Constructionist Marx-y types who hide their true intentions behind apparently righteous social causes.

      • felix 10.1.1

        “It’s like saying “End Violence Against Asian People!”, implying its ok against any other group or “not as bad” or “not as important”.”

        “End Violence Against Asian People” would be a perfectly reasonable stance if it were shown that Asian people were overwhelmingly the victims of violence relative to other groups.

        • kiwi_prometheus

          Well the Japanese got two A bombs thrown at them.

          But still what about the implication that other groups don’t matter or are “not as important”. Especially when those leading the crusade against “violence against women” are surprise surprise Feminists.

          You need to come clean Felix, what are you – Marxist, Social Constructivist?

          I’ve asked you several times already and you squirm out of it.

          • felix

            I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. Usually you just tell me what I am, and that seems to vary wildly depending on your meds.

            But ignoring your irrelevant attempt at diversion, I fully support any effort to stop people throwing A bombs at the Japanese.

            It hasn’t really been much of an issue in my lifetime. However in the 80s there was what seemed quite a real threat of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. chucking bombs at each other and potentially destroying much of Europe and Nth America, and I – along with many others – voiced strong opinions on the matter.

            You’ll note that it might be more difficult to find records of people speaking out about the imminent nuclear destruction of Borneo, and I’m interested to see if you can figure out why.

          • QoT

            Pigeon holing again. 🙄

            • kiwi_prometheus

              Hey, another one of the Power Girls has rocked on up to the party!

              Pigeon holing?

              Drop the act.

              Just want to know what flag you’re flying under, but you get all evasive.

              That’s because you know I’ve got a big philosophical stick that I’m going to beat you long and hard with once you declare your colours ;).

              • felix


                • kiwi_prometheus

                  Why? You gone crying to the mods again?

                  No wonder Smiley Wavy stays at historically record highs in the popularity stakes, why you sabotage the Left with that disastrous Social Constructionist/Marx-y/ Feminist nonsense.

                  Just take a look at that Socialist outfit in the UK which has imploded.

                  Meanwhile Jamie Dimon and the other banksters continue their rampage.

                  • felix

                    I haven’t gone anywhere you fucking idiot, I said “bye” because you left the discussion and decided instead to waffle on about labels, none of which I have any idea of the meaning of, or their relation to anything I’ve said.

                    You do this all the time. Frankly I think you’re a coward who is afraid to discuss anything meaningfully.

              • QoT

                Yep, no symptoms of male insecurity here … 🙄

          • Murray Olsen

            KP, you seem worried that there might be a set amount of violence in the world, so that if we end it against one group, it’ll pop up somewhere else. Could be the Marxist in me, but I don’t think it really works like that.

            • kiwi_prometheus

              Tell me about the Marxist in you, is it kind of like a demonic possession?

          • Colonial Weka

            “But still what about the implication that other groups don’t matter or are “not as important””

            The only people who think that the call to end violence against women implies that other groups don’t matter are people that hate women and/or feminists.

            • kiwi_prometheus

              No its strains of feminism that are hateful towards men.

              What is Feminism? – in all forms it is only an adjunct to a male invented philosophy – Liberalism, Marxism, Deconstructionism ( ok the last one was basically invented by a 1970s French homosexual so dunno if that counts )

              Feminism is fun to deconstruct, even more fun than deconstructing Deconstructionists, LOL!

              • Colonial Weka

                Myself, I’m able to think and discuss without needing an academic framework, but I’m fairly sure you don’t understand what deconstructionism is.

                Nevertheless, if you think that calls for the end to violence against women is exclusive of others, you’re a fucking idiot (although I don’t think you do believe that, I think you just said that so you could promulgate your misogyny again).

          • Colonial Weka

            and btw k_p, there is a reason why we don’t have p-day. Know what it is?

  10. Chris73 11


    Hmm how many 82 year old australian entertainers can one think of, good thing wikipedia wouldn’t help…

    I wouldn’t have thought it but then I’m somewhat naive in some areas

  11. emergency mike 12

    Some scientists think they have figured out why the bee population has mysteriously been declining at an alarming rate in the past few decades.

    Turns out it might be because of the poisonous chemicals put on (or in) the plants to kill insects. Who’d have thunk it?

    • kiwi_prometheus 12.1

      “A pesticide trade group questioned the data, saying the levels of pesticide used were unrealistically high…”

      Watch as Big AgriChem use the standard PR misinformation tactics, politicians, smears etc to torpedo this one.

  12. kiwi_prometheus 13

    Max Keiser Report – all the global ( JP Morgan etc ) and reserve banks are insolvent, the banksters act with out any fear of the law, there is simply no law inforcement.

    Germany is building its 4th Reich ( no i am not claiming they are Nazis, just going for European domination like they have always fantasized about ) not by military but financial power – Cyprus is great because it sends the Euro lower, helping German exports boom, its employment higher and it is buying up assets in Greece etc for cents on the dollar.

    I’m surprised Max’s dead body hasn’t been fished out of the Thames River or New York harbour, yet.

  13. xtasy 14

    More PRETENTIOUS “browneyed” BROWNLEE “action” or rather “bull-shit”:


    I honestly do not get it, why have the stupid (or intentionally government pampering) media “dippoes” not picked up on this one???

    Here comes Gerry Brownlee and swiftly announces a STOP to all email correspondence and traffic between EQC staff and outsiders, on a late Thursday afternoon, right before work stops for 4 days being a long EASTER weekend!

    Is he trying to look like an “action man” an “action Minister” for once? Latest news on Radio New Zealand this afternoon was, that EQC expects email issues to have been addressed and traffic to be back to normal again some time next week (right after the long weekend). They will have a task force look at the issues over the coming days, it seems.

    This is ridiculous. You may as well announce that all shops will immediately have to close on Good Friday!? Few are opened anyway.

    So all sit in awe and say, hey, this is staunch, it was never done before. Brownlee is really taking action now.

    FOOLS all over the show!

  14. xtasy 15

    Another “GEM” –


    “Dumb, dumber the dumbest”, who has the most stupid channel of all?

    I sense a new spirit of “competition” in the mainstream media. The downward spiral is setting the standards now. TVNZ ONE is canning the all night (few hours actually) of commercial free BBC World broadcast for good now, replacing it with some “newish” content not be found anywhere else: INFOMERCIALS!

    Why not have Jagat Guru videos played all night, that at least will give some viewers some mental and spiritual enjoyment???

    • xtasy 15.1

      Well, this guy I was thinking of:


      I am not sure, whether it was on Triangle once, or on another small channel, that used to go on for hours what he was talking about. Perhaps a nice “gap filler”, just a bit more stimulating than infomercials.

    • freedom 15.2

      It’s been a few months since the switch and I don’t even know if they are still bothering to broadcast it, but will not this latest move also mean that an hour later you can watch the Infomercials as repeats instead of what was once Channel 7.

      So do the advertisers pay twice for that or is that just one more subsidy ?

      • karol 15.2.1

        It’s beyond me why anyone would sit and watch infomercials.

        • Colonial Viper

          Indeed. Some even call the 0800 number and buy stuff.

          • xtasy

            There are many shopaholics out there, you’d be amazed!

            So they must get a kick out of the infomercials and the shopping channel, like a gambler at the one armed bandit. Once the tingle sets in, once that bit of hormones shoot through the blood vessels, they are caught, stuck and sit there with note-pads and mobile phones 24/7.

          • felix

            Yep, my sources in the industry tell me they sell a LOT of this stuff. And all those triggers are calculated very carefully, much like the casino most of us don’t really see the allure but the targeted customer does.

          • just saying

            I once bought something. Bags which allowed you to cook roast veges in the microwave and still have them turn out crunchy. I guess the catch is obvious, but it wasn’t to me, in the middle of the night, desperately tired but unable to sleep.

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