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Open mike 30/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 30th, 2012 - 119 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…

119 comments on “Open mike 30/05/2012”

  1. The Green Party have advertised for staff:

    Job Summary
    Do you hate the proposed asset sales bill? Why not get paid to gather support from the public and show the government that New Zealand doesn’t want it to happen!

    Job Description
    Do you hate the proposed asset sales bill? Why not get paid to gather support from the public and show the government that New Zealand doesn’t want it to happen!

    Who would pay for those staff? It appears that we may be.

    The Green Party seeks to appoint staff to assist MPs with their work outside Parliament.

    The positions will be based in Auckland (6 positions available), Wellington (3), Christchurch (2), Dunedin (1) and Hamilton (1).

    Based in our out-of-Parliament offices these roles are predominantly tasked with collecting signatures for a petition calling for a referendum on asset sales.

    The Parliamentary Service appoints on merit and is committed to EEO and good employer principles.

    Is this a valid use or Parliamentary Services? Green Party use (and abuse?) of “Support Staff”.

    [Do you have any evidence that this isn’t approved spending? No, you don’t. And stop reposting Farrar’s posts here. Eddie]

    • Is this a valid use or Parliamentary Services?

      Fine by me.

    • Eddie – I didn’t make any claims about approved spending. I personally don’t think Parliamentary Services should fund petition signature gatherers, but I put up a question to see what people here thought.

      If you want to exclude certain topics and sources here (the main source on this was actually Keeping Stock) then you need to provide specific guidelines.

      I think the use of Parliamentary Services and the use of MPs time and resources are important issues. Broadly – is parliament primarily a house representing the people, or a party tool?

      [I personally think that your hair god should resign in disgrace for misleading the people of Ohariu but, just as with the Greens’ use of their funding for a log-established parliamentary purpose, it’s entirely appropriate for him to stay. Merely not liking something your political opponents is doing is insufficient to win the debate. Eddie]

      • freedom 1.2.1

        The gall of the Greens, using taxpayer money to ask the electorate what they would like their elected representatives to be doing within their roles as part of a representative democracy.

        what is the world coming to.
        Quick someone go hire a hundred private sector consultants to advise the govt how to lie.

        • Pete George

          freedom – you’ve got it arse about face, as have the Greens.

          They are using parliamentary resources to try and promote their positions to the electorate, rather than trying to determine what the electorate want them to represent.

          They are driving their own activism rather than listening to a broad spectrum.

          • framu

            so you were making a claim about approved spending all along?

            hey – im not accusing you of anything – im just asking questions

          • freedom

            no, they are doing the responsible thing by using their elected position to garner the available resources in order to get an accurate understanding of the wishes of the electorate.

            Something the government has clearly stated it is not interested in doing, hence opposition parties must step up and deliver to the government the clear and oft spoken wishes of the majority.

          • Foreign Waka

            Pete, the green party is at least advertising for some work places which cannot be said about the current government. Or perhaps we should look at the Whanau Ora fund?

      • Pete George 1.2.2

        Eddie, why are you posting what appear to be opinions as moderator comments?

        I wasn’t trying to”win a debate”, I was encouraging debate so I could see what others thought.

        your hair god should resign in disgrace for misleading the people of Ohariu

        I’m surprised you’ve brought that up again, there’s fairly solid evidence indicating to the contrary, and you should be aware of that. If so that suggests you could be the one doing the misleading.

        In case you missed it: United Future and Asset Sales – the facts.

        • freedom

          from your linked post on saluting mediocrity and political fence sitting-
          “New Zealanders, I believe, are not definitively pro-asset sales, but under certain conditions, it is no longer the bogeyman issue that Labour would have you believe. The polls certainly suggest that to be the case.”

          what complete bollocks.

          Every poll seen in the public arena pre and post Election showed the strength of opposition to the idea of Asset Sales fluctuated between 60% + 85 %. Granted it has been a few years since i did math at school but that looks to me like a clear majority were are and remain opposed to the sale of our meager Assets.

          P.S. if the hairdo is so opposed to the “sell-off of the supply of the water, or any of the aspects around it” why has he not spoken vociferously against water meters that have been introduced up and down the country?

      • Dr Terry 1.2.3

        Eddie, please do not credit anything Pete says as part of actual “debate”; all he does is “proclaim” his own weird opinions! “Debate” for Pete means always having to “speak the last word”.

      • Jester 1.2.4

        “Merely not liking something your political opponents is doing is insufficient to win the debate. Eddie”

        Or an election it seems.

    • Bill 1.3

      A plea to mickeysavage, freedom, framu, eddie and others.

      If you consider comments submitted by PG to be irksome…and heaven forbid that I’d ever suggest they’re deliberately irksome…then, for the sake of preserving ‘open mike’ as a readable thread rather than a smashed up and very tedious game of ping pong between PG and various irked commentators… ignore the bloody things!

      • freedom 1.3.1

        You’re right Bill, there is no excuse, I was weak. I hate myself and admit i have a problem.

        Hi my name is freedom and I am addicted to reality. I wish i was stronger and able to hide in the safe warm lullaby of propaganda dispersed as information from the open mauls of the elite but something just cries out deep inside me when i see an idiot espousing bullshit and have an overwhelming urge to reach out and help them to broaden their life experience…. or at least try to get them to see the diversity of views that sit just outside their wallpapered windows

        I will try harder to avoid temptation and face life without sullying it with a satisfying fix of facts

      • Te Reo Putake 1.3.2

        Comment of the day, Bill.

      • framu 1.3.3

        fair call bill

      • freedom 1.3.4

        Bill my reply is absolutely not directed at you
        I suddenly realised how it may be misread, sorry

      • Logie97 1.3.5


        the no percent party gets far too much oxygen on this site…

    • An ex Labourite view:

      The Greens are welcome to pay for whomever they want to collect signatures for a petition against the mixed ownership model – nothing wrong with that – the problem is the taxpayers cannot pay out of Parliamentary Services funds (clearly what is being attemped here) for these costs. What part of the Auditor General’s report into Labour’s similar use of Parliamentary Services funds for political purposes did you not understand? No one is trying to shut down debate – we’re just asking the Greens to pay for this campaign out their pocket NOT OURS!

      KIA @ KB

      • Pascal's bookie 1.4.1

        I’m not sure that this is at all similar to the AG investigation. This is about collecting signatures to petition for a CIR. Unless they are out there saying “Vote green” then it’s a different thing. The letters I get stuffed in my mailbox from Finlayson asking me to reply (or email him) responding to a patsy question about whteher or not I support the governments efforts to be awesome are far closer to being electioneering, but they seem to pass muster.

        I’m happy if parliamentary services is happy really. It’s an interesting one though.

        • Pete George

          Graeme Edgeler’s take on separating parliamentary from political work:

          While I welcome political parties using the CIR procedure to raise important issues, everyone else has to pay for it themselves. This is not one of those things that parliamentary parties need to do as part of their role in keeping the public informed, or seeking the public’s views (which is why we permit advertising on other things).

          Rather, this is political work, and not parliamentary work.

          He makes a similar point, better.

          • Pascal's bookie

            It also seems that the select committee didn’t agree with him, and that they actively considered this question and decided it would be ok. no?

      • joe90 1.4.2


        He outed himself years ago.

    • North 1.5

      You’re a right wing waste of space George. In the thrall of yourself, idiot. Go away.

  2. 15 Blue fin Tuna caught off the coast of California were tested and each and every one of them were contaminated with Cecium 134 and 137 in the signature combo of Fukushima. And that is only the beginning! But don’t worry it is still safe to eat. Yeah right!

    • vto 2.1

      Yep, and given the history of both incompetence and outright lies who is going to believe anything any ‘authority’ has to say on whether it is safe or not?

    • Bill 2.2

      all contained reactor byproducts cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels that produced radiation about 3% higher than natural background sources,

      Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Cue the ‘it’s no worse than eating a banana’ reactions. Thing is they apparently only measured for Ce 134 and Ce 137. And I’ll guess they did that by using a geiger counter, meaning they got a gamma radiation reading based on what the entire body of the fish was emitting.

      What they apparently didn’t try to find out was whether other radioactive by products were present (including all those that emit beta and alpha radiation) and (tellingly) whether radioactive molecules had been ingested by the fish…ie, they didn’t test for ‘hot particles’ which, if just one radioactive particulate is ingested will offload radiation into the body cell it sits next to for years and likely cause cancer.

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        Hopefully the link isn’t behind a paywall 🙂

        Tested muscle mass for Cs and other nuclides, compared with similar PBFT samples prior to Fukishima, and Eastern Pacific yellowfin tuna.
        Fair call on the particle comment and gamma-emission test, but it’s not entirely bunk. 

        • Bill

          No. It wasn’t behind a paywall.

          And no, it’s not ‘bunk’. My gripe is that (in common with other analyses) snapshots of a small cross-section of contamination are presented (consciously or otherwise) as the whole picture.

          After considerable dilution 2–3 mo after maximum discharge, surface concentrations still exceeded prior concentrations by up to 10,000-fold in coastal waters (3) and up to 1,000-fold over a 150,000 km2 area of the Pacific up to 600 km east of Japan

          Being fair, the paper said it only tested for C 134 and 137. But ‘everything’ I read focusses solely or exclusively on cesium and presents measurements of C contamination as levels of total contamination. But how many radionuclides are there? And why aren’t they being measured too? . Anyway, the levels of C134/137 found are bad enough…or at least, sound bad enough. Especially when you consider that they were only measuring surface water concentrations…

          • McFlock

            “We detected the γ emissions of 137Cs and 134Cs, 40K, and other naturally occurring radionuclides.”
            Cs 134/137 seem to be the ones with a decent half-life (10 & 30yrs), as opposed to 8 days for iodine. They also are readily absorbed into the body. The potassium-40 measure is for the background comparison.        
            Personally, I just think the tuna comparison was a kinky wee idea that demonstrates how much science is based on little pieces of the picture being built by many professionals, rather than one or two big advances. And my drinking is still more likely to whack me than radioactive fish. Face-eating zombies run a distant third.

  3. Slater received a bit of a deserved toweling yesterday.  He went on the attack claiming that a woman complaining about the increase in student loan charges was a (gasp) Labour supporter and then posted a picture of her (double gasp) drinking a Millers beer.

    The woman Caitlan Davies replied by confirming that she was not a Labour supporter and pointed out that she was not in the photo he used as proof.  The photo taker, Patrick Leyland confirmed this.  Good to see her stand up and respond.

    Slater in the end was forced to condemn her because she apparently liked Grant Robertson’s page.

    The guy needs help.  As do the acolytes who join in with the mob stuff.

    • tc 3.1

      Enough rope is all the help that will do cammy any good, he’s beyond rational methods encouraged by his mobsters and cohorts.

    • Whale has posted a boquet this morning, and an insight:

      I value all opinions, especially those who can understand that underneath I respect and care for my opponents even if I have a go at them.

      He can be like a loose canon sometimes and does get some things wrong (like other bloggers), and he’s had a go at me occasionally, but he allows you to have a go at him as well if you are reasonable.

      And he happens to be strong on some issues that would be supported here.

      • mickysavage 3.2.1
        You mean this smearing of a person and publication of a private photo trying to suggest they have a drink problem is ok if they are a Labour supporter?

        Slater does not know the meaning of the word “reasonable”.  

        • tc

          These perennial bloggers such as PG, CS and DF pontificate away till they get the interpretation that suits them then off they go like whining children.

      • happynz 3.2.2

        Pete writes:

        He can be like a loose canon sometimes…

        Is that a deliberate typo? 😀

        Maybe not, as maybe you do mean he can be like a rogue body of rules and principles…

      • North 3.2.3

        More apology for the right-wing-thing. Is it sexual with you is it Pete ?

  4. muzza 4

    New Zealand workers are happier than their Australian counterparts, a survey says, despite being paid less and working longer hours.

    “It is a bit of a puzzle to know why people would work harder if they're not getting paid particularly well … we're breeding cheap and efficient workers,"

    — Yes and once we are all driven to the very bottom, we will have the cheapest labour force on earth, "bredding cheap and efficient" – SO proud!

    So why are all those people leaving again…oh yeah, lack of jobs and shit pay conditions, thats it, but those still here are happy…

    • Kevin Welsh 4.1

      “It is a bit of a puzzle to know why people would work harder if they’re not getting paid particularly well … we’re breeding cheap and efficient workers,”

      I would suggest it is because long hours and cheap wages has been the norm in this country for so long now, that people do not know any different. Once you get through that first generation of suckers its a kind of mission-accomplished.

      • Olwyn 4.1.1

        We have high unemployment, and at least some of our lower paid workers have an agreement not to speak to the media in their contracts. Not to mention foreign workers who would be uneasy about the repercussions of complaining. So quite a lot of them would be nervous about saying that they were not happy with their employment. It may indicate that rather than the happiest workers, we have the most cowed workers.

        • prism

          Possibly because we are in a country that dedicates most of its efforts in production and business to dairy farms?

          • Olwyn

            Hahaha. I think Bill is probably right and that I didn’t read the article carefully enough; that the business professionals interviewed are relieved to still have jobs. Not to mention in a small country high status kicks in at a lower level, and may make up in part for lower pay. Lower, lower – more cows. There’s no getting away from them.

    • Bill 4.2

      You did notice that it was business professionals who were surveyed and not a cross section of the working population?

      Anyway, my guess is that business professionals will feel a degree of relief at having ‘dodged a bullet’ and be of the opinion that they’ve ‘survived’.

      Give it 3 – 5 years.

      • muzza 4.2.1

        Indeed Bill – The fact that people still have a job, will be a relief, but many other the “I’m ok Jack” brigade will soon enough realise that they are in fact, not ok at all…We are very much all in this together, its just the scheduling of the “rolling up effect” and the propaganda machine, have some believing they are out of harms way!

        3-5 years might well be conservative!

    • prism 4.3

      A bit of detail about the work survey so can have some context.
      The Regus Work-life Balance Index polled more than 16,000 business professionals in more than 80 countries, including 54 respondents in New Zealand. The survey measured job satisfaction indicators and opinions on work-life.

      Of course part of the reason that employees were happier than 2010 may be that they are still in a job. The survey doesn’t give all factors.

  5. prism 5

    Another murdered woman, another innocent tourist. I would like to see sex and violent offenders given long even lifetime jail sentences, so that their custody would mean fewer vicious males roaming around free to hurt people’s lives and especially women’s who seem to be their favourite prey. Until then all tourists should be warned about the male predatory animal that we still have running free in this country, cunning and unpredictable and dangerous.

    • aerobubble 5.1

      Suburbs. Designed to keep us apart. Yeah, sure they never advertised them that way. But its the car culture, that freedom to roam, that societies did not have until the 50s (unless it was the wild frontier). But you don’t get a fire without three things. Fuel, Oxygen and Heat. Sexual offenders (who I know nothing aboout) must have been firstly conditioned (or self-conditioned) to ‘need’ – fuel. But why would this translate without oxygen – porn, sexual roles of women the norm, but it still does not see large numbers of men (and yes some women – as partners of men in attacks on other women) rising. What was the heat? Well in this case it seems that he saw prison in his near future and if he was never going to get out again….

      So what I find wrong with your analysis is that more punishment would necessarily have stopped this man. Had there been better understanding of the issues, better social prevention, more choices, would a women now be dead. In fact I find people such as you, who pander to the worst debased elements in our humanity, for retaliation without any need for rational open debate the problem.

      because we will continue to fail tourists, women, and yes even this evil pervert. The harm will continue, because you have already judged, jury rigged, and punished us into a societal corner.

      • prism 5.1.1

        You are right and also useless. You are right because you say something should be done about the climate that breeds this type of disgusting violence. You are useless because while the research has been done, is being done, will be done and some band-aid measures set up and good programs for parents support and education set up, and attempts made to stop bullying and limit gangs, the violence still continues and people are getting hurt and you are doing nothing about them now. It is no comfort to look at a dead person and say this will be prevented (we hope) in five years by the marvellously effective programs we have set up. She/he is dead, she is bruised and battered, has had their trust damaged for life plus maybe lost the use of say an eye.

        So what I find wrong with your analysis is that more punishment would necessarily have stopped this man. Had there been better understanding of the issues, better social prevention, more choices, would a women now be dead. In fact I find people such as you, who pander to the worst debased elements in our humanity, for retaliation without any need for rational open debate the problem.
        because we will continue to fail tourists, women, and yes even this evil pervert. The harm will continue, because you have already judged, jury rigged, and punished us into a societal corner.

        So don’t lecture me in your self righteous way. I have already thought of all the things you have referred to but your sentimental ideas aren’t enough to help present victims.

        • aerobubble

          I never said that this would be prevented. I merely reacted to your emotional retarded position. When Justice has to be done in passionless slow deliberate fashion, why does the debate not have to be also? Why is society so easily gamed by those touting empathy?

          The clear reality of the situation is that we live in a culture that cheers abusers, debt peddlers, power panders, kick the bennies. So why wouldn’t it be hard to see that same meme being applied by those who don’t see the law as a warning but as a means to ego gratification.

          Like so many boy racers who think no amount of car noise is too much…etc,etc.
          The gang mentality of taking what you want does not just exist within gangs, rather its gangs who are the consequence of the mentality in our elites. Murdoch made his money going to the nth lowest legal degree (and some say further aka tapping). Our society has been penetrated and permeated by nastiness.

          No program of government can turn this round when the government itself is put in place by such views and values. And when we do get a government (unlikely) that has to fess up and standup and take the odium of the opposition, rather than the chicken little approach now, then society will have changed.

          And we’d be sicken by something else. My point is that angry positions don’t move me, they are just more bullying just cloaked in kindness.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        What was the heat? Well in this case it seems that he saw prison in his near future and if he was never going to get out again….

        Where are you getting that from?

  6. BillODrees 6

    Have a look at this.


    Cunliffe’s response to the budget is up to his usual high standard.

    [ link fixed ]

    • Bill 6.1

      Passionate enough denunciation. But his prescriptions? Words and phrases that sound fine in isolation. But those words and phrases won’t translate into the type of impact we need to make on the real world economic morass we are in. No economic fundamentals…the ‘self evident truths’…are questioned or challenged.

      It’s a bit like accepting your fate of going into the ring with a heavy-weight boxing champion with one hand tied behind your back…(“Oh, but we can dance smarter and faster and avoid a K.O.”) Instead, he should (on our behalf) be standing up there and stating unequivocally and loudly for everyone to hear and understand something along the lines of… ‘Fuck that for a game of soldiers!’

      And then changing the game….laying down the rules for how it’s going to be instead of accepting current economic parameters and ‘rules of play’.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Interesting…this is the response I got from your link

      Your search yielded no results

      [ I had to click on ‘Cunliffe’ in the tags off to the side of the page to get to the speech. – B.]

  7. muzza 7

    “The Syrian government can expect no further official engagement with Australia until it abides by the UN ceasefire and takes active steps to implement the peace plan agreed with Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan.”

    –But hold on yesterdays article said the below

    “Both sides have obviously had a hand in the deaths of innocent people, including several dozen women and children,” Lavrov said. “This area is controlled by the rebels, but it is also surrounded by the government troops.”

    The “crimes against humanity” being perpetrated in Syria are being co-ordinated directly by President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle, according to defectors from the country’s security and intelligence services.

    –The good old defectors story, yes very reliable those are eh!

    “”No one is authorised to give orders to the security forces except for [Assad],” said the country’s former vice-president, Abdul Halim Khaddam, who now lives in exile in Paris”

    — But I thought an article above said both sides has been invovled int he deaths of innocent people…So which is it then!

    Mad how the MSM never seems to mention that the rebels are in fact “hired help”, coming in from alledged AQ forces and other paid militants, sent in to the shoot innocent people, and blame it on the Syrian government..

    Kofi Annan – Imperialist Puppet, from a criminal family with a criminal son

    This is so transparent!

    [yah kofi annan is the criminal here. Assad is just misunderstood. But the bit I don’t understand, and maybe you can help me, is why a conspiracy of the US, its sworn enemy Al Qaeda, Turkey, NATO countries, the Arab League, Western and Middle Eastern media are conspiring to malign poor old dictator Assad, who never hurt a fly, just like his daddy. And why they’re doing that in the form of artillery bombardments from syrian military equipment. And what these dispute, opposing groups have to gain from killong civilians and blaming it on Assad. Can you explain? Actually explain the logic of the actors in your fantasy world. Eddie]

    [Well, in the interests of ‘equal prominance’…Syria is a dictatorship. Generally speaking dictatorships are not a problem for the US and neither are the human rights violations of those dictatorships (eg, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.) But Syria is allied with Iran and the US is still pissed that Iran ‘was lost’, ie removed itself from US control and dominance… think ‘oil and control of its distribution’. Then there are Turkish ambitions in the region, the animosity between Sunnis and Shi’ites… It’s messy. And the good guy/bad guy shit in the general media is…well just that. Shit. Is Syria using artillary? Yup. Are there armed foreign forces in Syria spreading terror? Yup. Did members of the Syrian military slit the throats of civilians? I really have my doubts. Why would they do such a thing? What could they possibly hope to gain? Now ask the same question of the foreign and foreign backed militias and bear in mind their spin has been consistently and uncritically reported in the western media. B.]

    • muzza 7.1

      “[yah kofi annan is the criminal here. Assad is just misunderstood. But the bit I don’t understand, and maybe you can help me, is why a conspiracy of the US, its sworn enemy Al Qaeda, Turkey, NATO countries, the Arab League, Western and Middle Eastern media are conspiring to malign poor old dictator Assad, who never hurt a fly, just like his daddy. And why they’re doing that in the form of artillery bombardments from syrian military equipment. And what these dispute, opposing groups have to gain from killong civilians and blaming it on Assad. Can you explain? Actually explain the logic of the actors in your fantasy world. Eddie]”

      —Eddie I’m not at all defending Assad, my post was purely to point out the variations in the MSM narrative, why is that you think?
      There are cleary explanations which are far and beyond what people are being told, and speculating on them makes for interesting conversation. I’m not privy to such military intelligence any more than you are Eddie, but what I can see through is MSM BS, where perhaps you can’t!
      Killing civillians to blame the current administration, of course that what you do if you want to open a path to get “NATO/UN” involved. Creating any desired outcome is possible when you control money/debt and military, come on dude, open your eyes! Assad knows (if he is commiting these atrocities) that he is going to get well beaten up, as will his country, perhaps you can explain why he would continue down the path the MSM is telling us about! While you’re there, perhaps feel free to explain why Gadfaffi would have done the same in Libya, or any of these Arab Spring countries…its a completely rigged game, using the complexities inside the tribal muslim sects against eachother, you must see that!
      What is the end game, we will all just have to wait and see Eddie, I’m sure the MSM will tell us all about it, and that is what people will believe, well I don’t buy into that sort of simplistic nonsense!
      Authors of this site, go looking for inconsistancies in current affiars etc in NZ, and you all do a really good job of reporting it, but you don’t seem to have the ability to see through the glaring inconsistancies in the reporting of foreign wars!
      Nah mate its all just as the MSM tells you it is….back to sleep!

      • muzza 7.1.1

        “These are events which are horrific and barbaric in nature, Mr McCully said.
        It is critical that the international community emphatically demand an end to this violence.
        The UN Security Council must step up and make hard decisions in order to resolve the entrenched conflict in Syria.”

        –And as if a puppet on a string, we have NZ’s own Murray McCully, proving nicely that the MSM narrative, and our elected servants, are at the behest of the war machine, among others!

        Perhaps its a case of, people feel if they (due research, I would hope), have to accept that there are lies pushed about issues such as the “Arab Spring”, then perhaps they must examine their views on a myriad of other topics, they once thought they understood, and had formed their belief systems on.
        To that I would say, YES, go ahead and examine every topic, of which you form opinions and beliefs on, then just maybe people will begin to understand the lies we are all forced to live under, and the death and misery their beliefs endorsed. Only getting people to that point of self awareness, can humanity begin the halt its decline…Syria is not an isolated event, it is part of a wider agenda!

        Bill, thanks for the links, and inciteful comments, above & below!

        • Bill

          erm. My comments/links weren’t intended to be inciteful muzza 😉

          • muzza

            Whatever your comments were meant to be Bill, they contain details which provoke thought, if read and absorbed!

            Who knows, perhaps one reader on the site may take away, and look further into the Syrian situation, and end up with some more informed, or thought out opinions, and who knows where that might lead eh!


            • Puddleglum

              Hi muzza,

              I think Bill was pointing out the difference between “inciteful” (as in full of ‘incitement to violence’) and “insightful” (full of insight) 🙂 

        • North

          Murray McCully = Sir Les Patterson of Dame Edna fame. He’s a wind up dickhead who we pay to be out of the country for most of his sorry life.

      • Vicky32 7.1.2

        Assad knows (if he is commiting these atrocities) that he is going to get well beaten up, as will his country, perhaps you can explain why he would continue down the path the MSM is telling us about! While you’re there, perhaps feel free to explain why Gadfaffi would have done the same in Libya, or any of these Arab Spring countries…its a completely rigged game, using the complexities inside the tribal muslim sects against eachother, you must see that!

        I believe you’re absolutely right, Muzza.. People could do with a great deal more scepticism of the ‘news’ from Syria, one horror story after another – and none of them particularly credible…

    • Bill 7.2

      Okay. Normal comment that doesn’t make any attempt at amplification through use of the edit capabilities…Some pieces that provide good background and analysis. Well worth the reads.

      From April 6 “We want war, and we want it now.” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND06Ak03.html

      From April 12 “What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND12Ak03.html

      Or if biting satire is your bag (May10) “World powers rush to plunge Syria into war” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NE10Ak03.html

      And on US hypocrisy (May 12) “Long live ‘our’ Gulf bastards” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NE12Ak03.html

    • Pascal's bookie 7.3

      Did members of the Syrian military slit the throats of civilians? I really have my doubts. Why would they do such a thing? What could they possibly hope to gain?

      Fairly standard counter insurgency. Same reasons death sqauds were operating in Iraq, South America, Chechnya, Lebanon & anywhere else.

      the only complicating factor is the denials from both sides, but that’s for the international observers really. The locals, at the neighbourhood level, will be pretty clear about who is killing who.

      • Bill 7.3.1

        But the Syrian government enjoys fairly widespread (though by no means unconditional) support in the general population. So why terrorise a populace that supports you? The examples you give are or were in situations where popular support is or was absent.

        • Pascal's bookie

          I think the length of time open revolt has lasted says that there are large pockets of discontent right? So if Assad does enjoy popular support then his supporters are unlikely to be too phased about reprisal actions. From what I can tell this thing started with shelling and finished with executions and throat slitting. That’s fairly discriminate, the victims were chosen, whoever did it.

          I don’t think he’s particularly concerned about westerners charging in, because they have all the excuse they need for months now and they’ve sat on their hands. Now the western nations are wringing their hands about sanctions. But the logic against going in still stands. It’s a massive can of worms.

          Mainly, I just get tired of narratives that suggest what’s happening is really all about the west. And I know you aren’t saying that Bill, but plenty do.

          If westerners start using events on the ground to say that what they need is to go in and fix it for them, I’ll be right there saying wait the fuck up, but it’s for the same reasons that I get really cautious about people saying it was us what done it, or they are doing it to provoke us, or in cahoots with us, or whatever. It’s a civil war in a state with crappy non-nation based borders, bordered by similar states all with their own agendas.

          It’s got fuck all to do with us, and people arguing that it’s really all about us, aren’t helping.In fact, they only help those that that want us to get involved.

          • Bill

            Found this a couple of minutes ago. Some interesting opinion from ex british intelligence guy including some (perhaps) pertinent insights… http://www.rt.com/news/houla-massacre-executed-militia-480/

          • muzza

            Well PB, Phil Goff was just on Larry Williams (radio was on by mistake), and Phil squarely points the finger at the Assad Govt, and wants the drones brought in.

            The way the media , and politicians treat these complex issues as so simplistic, in order to follow the directives they are given, is appauling. They are complicit, and have blood on their hands the world over..

            Stupid people believe the narrative…Its not Fcuk all about us, and we should stay out of it….That includes reporting the lies!

    • Deano 7.4

      why would Alawite militia slit the throats of Sunni civilians?

      How about: to protect their privilege as members of the ruling minority by spreading terror amongst the civilian population of the majority?

      Like PB says, standard counter-insurgency tactics like The South and US used in Vietnam, Saddam used against the Shi’ites, etc etc.

      • Bill 7.4.1

        Okay, lets go with an Alawite militia rather than the Syrian army. But first, you’d have to point out exactly who the Alawite militia are and who they take their orders from before you could pin it on the Syrian government. Otherwise it would be like holding the UK government accountable for the actions of protestant militia in N. Ireland.

        Meanwhile, under the scenario you posit, any Alawite militia committing the atrocity would have to have firstly committed itself to being irredeemably stupid. Consider it for a moment.

        Everyone knows that the US and a wheen of others are ‘champing at the bit’ with regards bringing about regime change in Syria. And everyone knows they are seeking something to justify their position at the throttle of the ‘bulldozer for change’. And everyone knows that anything any faction or grouping of the (so-called) Free Syrian Army says is taken as gospel by western and M.E. news outlets while anything the government says is subject to suspicion and/or dismissal.

        So, an Alawite militia, intent on securing its position of privilege does something that is almost guaranteed to swing international opinion onto the side of their adverseries?

        How about it was one of the factions or groups from within the (so-called) Syrian Free Army? Like hardline Salaafists for example seeking to create the conditions that would open the floodgates of support for them?

        I don’t know how much you recall of the Yugoslav conflict. But I have a hazy recollection of an incident that played all over the news at the time where an elderly muslim woman was walking down the street and the world’s cameras caught her being shot by a Serbian bullet. And how that presented a moment for Muslim militia to build momentum for their drive to garner international support. Except, it transpired later that it wasn’t a Serbian bullet/sniper at all; that she had been a sacrificial lamb as it were.

        But as PB says. The people who were there are more likely than most to know who the perpetrators were. I can only sit at a very great distance and apply some logic and search for possible motives to explain events.

    • joe90 7.5

      Using google translate to trawl #HoulaMassacre and the Arabic equivalent #مجزرة_الحولة and the impression I’m getting is that the Syrian conflict is/has degenerated into a sectarian/ethnic bloodbath.

      Some of the google translated comments from a facebook wall page: Statement of the Alawite sect regarding the slaughterhouse Hula ‘s Page.

      Husam Alkass and untrue Ask any Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Syrian on the island and northern Iraq, will tell you, we are one people, and the proof that Iraq’s constitution recognized the Assyrian Syriac Chaldean people as one people is located on the historic home was not regarded by the Constitution Thelathhaob


      Ibokhald Abdullah Hussam: My question is clear: Do you say they are Assyrians?? Qalsrayanih language regarding the tone of a late Assyrian Aramaic and early Akkadian language is the language of Semitic and Oriental and the Western Semitic Aramaic is closer to the Arab Okadah of them to


      Husam Alkass Abu Khaled, we consider the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac people, one people, regardless of the label there are those who call the Assyrian and Syriac there are those who call or Arameia important is the idea that one people and the subject of language Vakid You will not know more than me, I Othdtha


      Why storytelling with plenty of??? Do you accept the minority Alawite sect that controls all aspects of the state and especially the security branches and influential officers in the army? Do you accept the Alawite sect to be the most senior of thieves and thieves of the Alawite sect? Do you accept that the community be Presidential powers exclusively in the Pharaonic family sold the Golan top criminal and committed massacres of Hama and Palmyra and Hula and perpetual over and Baba ‘Amr? After that if you would sit down and answer reach an understanding how we address the catastrophic situation which is in fact a sectarian war between the majority Sunni and minority peaceful, which has the upper planes and tanks and artillery weapons, and the price of this staple food of the Sunni community and race her forehead, please answer the Alawite sect, O wise and but will be a war of extermination will not survive one


      Mohidin Mahrus good statement, and confirms the unity of the Syrian people with all its components against the offender. And especially as the system is working to pull the upper members of the community to heinous crimes. We desperately need to raise awareness among all sects, not to be drawn behind the work of a sectarian state


      we all know in advance that all of the Alawite sect threatened massacres and murder is one of the customers order … They want to intimidate the community and convince her that the system can only be protected ….. so do not need to respond to their dogs barking


      Allam Haddad Since you did Tamqon more sectarian within the Syrian society
      and what you want ignited sectarian
      know if I’m from the city of Hama
      and I will stay with Bashar al-Assad to death
      for you, and God cursed Erbabikm Al Saud and second


      “What is Man? A miserable little pile of secrets.”
      ― André Malraux

  8. John Key will be visiting some serious movers and shakers next week in Europe. Here is my take on it.

  9. prism 9

    Intermittent signal 2012/1 (last 28/11/11)
    Good interview on radionz with Dr John Baker to listen to 9.30am today – new tool that has been designed to eliminate ploughing which mucks up the soil and its microbial setup. Obviously I’m not an expert but I can recognise a good idea when I hear one. This may be really important for our own future and the world’s. The tool opens a horizontal slot and drops in the seed, with some fertiliser without disturbing the soil. ‘Keyhole Surgery’. The chap says that only 4% of the world’s surface is suitable for growing crops.

    I can’t get more info from Radionz site but have asked for some.

  10. John72 10

    “Basic statistics” Refer to The Press May 30, Page B5. The article states that in Britian, 60 years ago, 5% of children were born to unmarried mothers. Today 47% are. I assume that figures would be similar for New Zealand, especially with the benefit for the Solo Mother. The author then states that children were happier 60 years ago. This is something that can not be measured but I am frequently seeing and hearing of children who who want to know or need to know their father. There will always be bad fathers, but the media does not give the good ones any credit, and most of them are good. Remember, good parents do not just “Happen”. It is a learning experience for Mum and Dad and the more they put into it the more they enjoy it. Hollywood and TV has created this fanciful image of “They all lived happily ever after”, which is lazy and unreal.
    Life is difficult. But in acknowledging this we conquer it.
    Withour danger, danger cannot be surmounted.
    Life is an adventure. Go out and enjoy this life.
    There will always be someone better off than you BUT there are millions worse off. ENVY will only spoil your life and make those around you unhappy. It will not earn you respect.

    Each morning try and think of something pleasant to say about a friend or relation. Something different. You do not have to pass it on.

    • Hayden 10.1

      The article states that in Britian, 60 years ago, 5% of children were born to unmarried mothers. Today 47% are.

      How many of those “unmarried” mothers were in stable de-facto relationships?

    • Hateatea 10.2

      @ John72
      200 years ago, 100% of children born in Aotearoa New Zealand were born to ‘unmarried’ mothers. What difference does it make to children that the state or a religious sect has sanctioned the union of the parents? The real issue is in the quality of the parenting and the commitment of parents to the children, nothing to do with marriage

  11. prism 11

    Was it the hippy era that brought forward the idea of daily input of the individual – To aim for random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty? And I think these need to be done to maintain the ‘civilised’ in civilisation. And then try to get them recognised in some fashion, not for personal gratification so much, as to promote the idea of doing.

    Like Forrest Gump’s walk across the United States, get others joining in but to do their own good acts, not just see and pass by or follow one initiator.

    • aerobubble 11.1

      Rubbish. The whole hippy crappy revolution said it was necessary to take external acts to deal with the epidemic of nastiness. Please, we are a far nastier society now than then, they had a lot more common social currency so reciprocity in times past, and the hippy revolution was a reaction and a part of the decline that came from the advent of the private car cult. All we had to do was watch TV, and do like the people on TV and the world would be covered in love and happiness, oh and remember to buy your soap and toothpaste is cool.

      The great car revolution, all about activity and attention distortion, displacement and diffusion.

      • prism 11.1.1

        Thinking positive things, treating everyday people in a pleasant, positive way as much as possible. Why try and play down the effects of this approach, it is a small way in which to try and maintain a society, while one works on the weighty issues.
        You ought to try it aerobubble.

    • Fortran 11.2

      60 years ago was pre hippy, and we were happy children just after the War – I know, I was there.

  12. Jackal 12

    Ray Sharp – Asshole of the Week

    It’s not just people’s health that has been put at risk here by what is a highly dangerous practice, it’s an industry worth over $1.3 billion in export dollars each year, making this one of the biggest cock-ups in New Zealands horticultural history…

    • aerobubble 12.1

      No.8 wire mentality coupled with the dress up a pig PR, follow our heroic neo-liberal ideology.

      It killed 29 miners. The mine was so unsafe, despite the reams of reassurance of its 21st safety, that the mine safety emergency teams could not even get into the mine! Imagine that! They had no effective safe on how the mine operated to insure a safe rescue when the mine was a disaster.

      Think about that. Its like an aeroplane engineered to fly safely where the crew get up at the start of the flight and say safety is 100% and to enjoy the flight, where there are no exits in case of fire, where the government has no need to keep position filled to investigate the work and safety of planes.

      And its so bad, that the government has yet to cop one bad press story, one ministerial resignation, for allowing those position not to have been filled, those regulations to be ignored, etc, etc. For that would mean we’d have to open the pandora’s box, that when a politician talks about growth they know nothing, that trust them neo-liberal free markets will produce the answers, is actually a breakdown of democracy.

      So no, its just more of the same lame NZ economy that says we world first class to hide the exact moment when we stop being world first class standards. Its when the PM comes out and puts a glowing gloss of dressing up the pig that you know risk is getting worse not better.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    Holding John Banks’ feet to the fire – in the wilds of the Epsom electorate.

    (The SIXTH such protest to date…… 🙂

    Banner 29 May 2012 Dominion Rd / Balmoral Rd intersection 4.30 – 5.30pm.

    “Do the ‘Honorable’ thing – RESIGN! John Banks ACT MP Epsom”

    This is a MINORITY National Government with only 59 out of 121 MPs.

    NO majority = NO MANDATE for asset sales.

    This is, of course, the reason why ‘dodgy’ John Banks is being politically protected by ‘shonky’ John Key.

    Because of the pivotal vote of the ACT MP for Epsom, the not-so-‘Honorable’ John Banks.

    Having been on the streets in the Epsom electorate, I can tell you that there are a number of Epsom voters who are NOT happy with John Banks, and are not happy with John Key’s continuing support of John Banks.

    What LAW did Pansy Wong or Richard Worth break, in order for them to ‘lose the confidence’ of Prime Minister John Key?

    Not that you can really expect much ethical leadership from someone like John Key, given his Tranz Rail ‘insider-trader’ track record as an MP?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  14. prism 14

    Some comments before 12pm today on Open Mike didn’t find their way to the list of current comments on the side of the page. Don’t know why.

    prism aerobubble Jackal were some.

  15. fatty 15

    Bryce Edwards on the intergeneration theft that many on here claim is not an issue…not an issue for some?

  16. prism 16

    This article about superannuation sets the issue out well. A worthwhile read for those like me who get bewildered about it all.

  17. Rosie 17

    Don’t want mining to go ahead on the Denniston Plateau?

    If you don’t and think petitions help then sign this:


    Avaaz use simple and emotive language for their campaigning but they have been quite successful in what they do. They also helped out in drawing international attention to the threats our Maui’s dolphin face.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Babysitters get paid $100, John Key declared in Parliament this afternoon (in answer to Q 12 from Grant Robertson).

    That will be news to many. Just one more example of the different world he inhabits.

    (He drops these clangers all the time in the House. If only somebody would pick up on them and publicise them … like the people who are paid the big bucks to do just that, instead of unemployed saddoes like me. Hello? Opposition?).

    • Carol 18.1

      Honestly, what is it with these neoliberal ideologues? In my teen years, when I babysat, there was never any expectation I’d pay tax on the little bit (yes little bit, Mr JK), of money I got for it. And this generation’s teen babysitters are meant to be grateful Bill & John haven’t taxed their meager sums….. unlike the paper boys and girls!

      • prism 18.1.1

        Carol Fings ain’t wot they used to be. We never thought about tax when showing initiative and get up and go and community spirit doing baby sitting, gardening etc or newspaper delivery. It’s been poorly paid and locally now the paper is delivered on contract/

        But the old Python stories about past conditions almost apply today – ‘We paid our boss to employ us, got up before we went to bed, worked 26 hours without a break, and every night our father would murder us and dance on our graves singing Hallelujah etc.’

    • fatty 18.2

      “If only somebody would pick up on them and publicise them … like the people who are paid the big bucks to do just that, instead of unemployed saddoes like me. Hello? Opposition?”

      That’s the opposition…and in case you are wondering why are there empty seats behind him? – the rest of the gang are listening to captain invisible plucking the deliverance tune on his guitar.

    • gobsmacked 18.3

      Here’s the exchange with the Key-gaffe:


      Why don’t opposition MPs just listen to his jibberish, then in the next supplementary ask: “In the light of that answer …” or “Does he stand by …”.

      It drives me mad, hearing Key’s drivel, feeling powerless to do anything, just waiting for the clodhopping carthorses in caucus to pick him up on it. But they don’t.

      I know Labour MPs and staffers read this, so if anybody there needs FREE tips in Questioning 101, please, please let me know.

      Here’s a start: 1) Listen to Key 2) Repeat, and ask for confirmation. It’s that bloody simple.

    • Hateatea 18.4

      Not only do they get paid $50 or $100 but they pay tax??? Since when? Who taxes their babysitter and then passes on the PAYE to IRD? Oh, that’s right, some people have their own accountants to work all this stuff out. There went a flying pig past my window. John Key is an out of touch idiot

  19. Latest Roy Morgan.  Labour up to 30.5%, National down to 44%, Greens down to 13.5%, ACT up to 1%.  A little bit more seepage from National but Winnie is still the king maker.

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      The folks at Roy Morgan seem to be finally getting their heads around MMP, acknowledging that its the coalitions that win elections, not individual parties. Still got the headline wrong though; the poll’s fortnightly, not weekly. Nice to see the confidence is continue to ebb away, spelling doom for Mr Australia.
      “If a National Election were held today today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll suggests it would be too close to call which parties would be likely to form Government.
      The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is down 4.5 points to 111 (the lowest for nearly four years since September 15 – October 5, 2008) — with 49% (down 2%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 38% (up 2.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.”

      • fatty 19.1.1

        “The folks at Roy Morgan seem to be finally getting their heads around MMP”

        Great…they are learning. How long till they realise that a landline is predominantly used and owned by the middle & upper class?

        • Vicky32

          How long till they realise that a landline is predominantly used and owned by the middle & upper class?

          Seriously, I don’t get why you people believe this! It’s not true as far as I can see…
          Taking class as meaning purely income – I am unusual amongst beneficiaries in having a landline and a mobile (which I never use for calls, mobile calls are far too expensive). All  of the poor (lower SES ) people I know have landlines but not mobiles. Conversely, the big earners – who tend to be the 25-35 year olds, have mobiles…
          I was surprised to discover that at least one person here on the Standard believed that landlines cost much more than they actually do. (Mine is about $43.00 a month.)

          • Rosie

            Likewise Vicky. We have a cheapie landline. I have a prepay mobile that it used for emergencies only and I text others who are also on 2 degrees – its just 2cents per text. I’m out of work so have to be as careful as possible with money. Mind you even if I had the money I wouldn’t care for electronic gadgets. I get a bit confused about the argument that landlines are for the wealthy, and that polls are skewed because only landlines are ever called. I only know one household that is sans landline and they are a well off working couple.

          • fatty

            Do you notice that most of your sentences begin with the letter I? Maybe your experience is not the same as the rest of NZ’s. I’d never justify an argument based on my own, and my friend’s experiences…otherwise NZ would be poor as f*#k, everyone would hate rugby culture and everyone would be socialists.


            “Conversely, the big earners – who tend to be the 25-35 year olds”

            Yeah, we’re all rolling in cash…us 25-35 year olds are earning so much money in NZ that we are all deciding to go to other countries to give ourselves a challenge.

            • Rosie

              Apologies for existing.

            • John72

              At lest, when starting with “I”, the author is humble enough to admit that they are not speaking on behalf of the rest of the country.

              • fatty

                “At lest, when starting with “I”, the author is humble enough to admit that they are not speaking on behalf of the rest of the country.”

                exactly…that was the point I was making. There is too much of “this is my experience, therefore NZ is…”

                • Rosie

                  Geez dude, settle down. No body is saying “this is my experience therefore NZ is XYZ”. I, yes “I” do have a science background and know that the gathering of stats from data is different from personal experience or personal opinion. I was merely agreeing with Vicky about the cost of landlines so no need to jump down any ones throat and freak about “I” statements.

                  • fatty

                    “I was merely agreeing with Vicky about the cost of landlines”

                    Really? …but this is what you stated:

                    “I get a bit confused about the argument that landlines are for the wealthy, and that polls are skewed because only landlines are ever called. I only know one household that is sans landline and they are a well off working couple.”

                    and then:

                    “No body is saying “this is my experience therefore NZ is XYZ”

                    and lastly, don’t accuse me of jumping down people’s throat or freaking out…I posted some links.
                    I dunno where I freaked out, and if I did it was probably deserved.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I was surprised to discover that at least one person here on the Standard believed that landlines cost much more than they actually do.

            Broadband with or without phone. Without was cheaper and so I didn’t get a phone. So, yeah, I wasn’t looking at the prices and just went off the last time I had a phone line (because I had no choice) and added inflation. Apparently phone lines are going down in price – perhaps this has something to do with less and less people using them.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Plenty of components used in the most advanced American weapon systems and DoD projects are sourced from China.

      Its insane, but the Chinese make cheaper parts than the Americans, so they are used as suppliers to help US defense contractors make bigger profits.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        Its insane, but the Chinese make cheaper parts than the Americans…

        And that’s due to the artificially low exchange rate, huge surplus of well trained labour in China and the US being dumb enough to shift their own productivity offshore (of course, we’re in that latter camp as well).

      • Bill 20.1.2

        “Its insane, but the Chinese make cheaper parts than the Americans,…”

        Erm. No. Parts can be assembled cheaper in China than they can in the US. The constituent components are still generally made in the US or Japan or Europe…and then shipped over to China’s ‘assembly line’ production facilities.

  20. Al 21

    A delegates view

    As a rank and file delegate to last weekends Labour Party Regional Conference, I was pleasantly surprised at the level of enthusiasm and good vibes among the delegates.

    The Labour Party team from Wellington have done a bloody good job on the Party Review and this was really appreciated by the delegates from my LEC and others around me.

    The Region finally has a Strategic Plan and a team that looks capable of pulling it off! There is a Candidates’ and Activists’ School underway and there is real enthusiasm for the campaigns we are being asked to get involved in around the Asset Sales and the Living Wage.

    The Regional Council elected over 20 activists to its executive which is pretty good given the Regional Council is sort of irrelevant to most LECs. The new chair also looks like injecting some serious zip.

    I have been to a few of these in the past and they have had none of the enthusiasm and drive this one had.

    Finally, David Shearer. A couple of our other delegates were pretty critical of him before his speech but he nailed it. He comes across as a genuine guy who has done some really tough, freaky stuff in his other life.

    In summary, a really good Conference with drive, direction and leadership.

  21. Campbell Larsen 22

    Cloud Computing Code of Practice (subscription voluntary, industry driven, pretty much PR)
    …for those that are interested anyway:


    • muzza 22.1

      Cloud, looking to have control over your companies/councils/governments etc data, and put a shed load of people out of work in countries like NZ

      Coming soon.

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