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Open mike 30/11/09

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 30th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

26 comments on “Open mike 30/11/09 ”

  1. dan 1

    I was witness to an interesting social phenomenon yesterday. It was a pleasant spring afternoon and so a good time to get the outdoor furniture re-stained and have a general spring spruce-up. Out came the old tarpaulin and staining proceeded very satisfactorily, until shock horror, the Google car came by. Our site is on an intersection with pleasing views but also a reasonably public aspect. By the time Google car had traversed the four points of the compass and returned to our intersection, the instructions were flying: “Close the garage doors!”
    My hardworking other-half’s pleasure at finishing an important part of the spring clean was overwhelmed by the mortification of a shambolic deck!
    We couldn’t do much about the tarpaulins and the heavy chairs lying at odd angles to dry.
    So we will be condemned for the next four years to a less than flattering view of our abode.
    “Google panic” may be a term suitable for the affliction.

    • prism 1.1

      I would expect that Dr Who or someone will have developed an invisibility shield that will scramble light rays or something and protect us from Google snooping. It will probably be the privacy techno Christmas gift for the year 2050.

  2. Adrian 2

    God, what’s a leftie doing owning a house with views?

  3. TF 3

    At least he has some views

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    I think last night’s TVNZ poll shows that Mr Goff’s desperate attempts to get publicity aren’t working. His days are numbered.

  5. jcuknz 5

    A few of the offerings of the German film festival have reached and been shown here in Dunedin, interesting selection, and I saw, twice, and interesting thing[?]. Two couples clutching a large box of popcorm and glasses of wine as they found their seats. Popcorm and wine? Then last night most brought a stubbie into the cinema courtesy of one of the sponsors … I was driving so didn’t partake.

    • prism 5.1

      Popcorn and wine? It’s probably a post-modern phenomenon. Don’t know what it means but its handy to toss in for useless speculation.

      • As a regular film goer this new idea that allows eating and drinking of,tea .wine ,beer and coffee is the worst thing to happen to us serious film goers. What can be worse than,just as you are absorbed in a good story, suddenly somebody in front or the next seat is served with a plate of food and drink. Plus some people make a noise when eating
        this going on whilst trying to watch a serious story,YUK!!!

  6. Cameron Walker 6

    Here is a letter about private prisons I sent to the NZ Herald. It was published in the ‘Weekend Herald’ on Saturday.

    It is sad that National, ACT and the Maori Party have voted to privatise prisons. Overseas experience shows that prisons run for the purpose of profit are incredibly open to abuse of inmates, poor treatment of staff and corruption. Earlier this year it emerged that two judges in Pennsylvania, USA, had been receiving payments from the owners of a youth prison in return for passing harsh sentences. One girl was sentenced to three months simply making a satirical Myspace page about her teacher.

    The Corrections Minister, Judith Collins, claims that the experience of Auckland Central Remand Prison under the management of GEO Group Australia, earlier this decade, shows that private prisons are a success. However, the prison was brand new and utilised the latest developments in prison design and security system technology. Disruptive prisoners could always be moved to Mt Eden prison next door. As the American prison researcher Christian Parenti notes, private companies break into the prison market by taking on easy to handle contracts. If powerful interests profit from more people being imprisoned I doubt society will make strong efforts to tackle crime and its causes.

    Cameron Walker

    • prism 6.1

      If one takes an objective view about the state of society in the USA, can one, or more, then feel that it sets a standard that we or any nation attempting a high-level civilisation would want to follow. Talk about politicians with noses in troughs, the business side is into sucking off the government coffers all the time.
      One bad thing is for officials to appoint their own people after election, replacing the previous administration at local as well as national level, so putting cronies in place who can be far worse than govt officials because they are friends of the top guy. It just leads to corruption and undermines democracy and equal treatment. The magistrate upping youth sentences for minor offences seems part of this. However I have heard that there is an inner circle of judiciary on the east coast, North Island who have an agreement to work together on setting consistently hard sentences on youth.

      • The Right chooses to forget, if it ever knew, that the judicial system is part of the contract between government and governed – the individual gives up to the State his right of personal redress against a wrongdoer – ie revenge, “an eye for an eye” etc – in exchange for the State exacting punishment. This prevents the creation of vendettas, lynch-mobs &tc. common in ancient and/or poorly-policed societies, and also enables some dispassionate application of “let the punishment fit the crime” to be effected.

        There is already much grumbling in society the that State is not performing its side of the contract – hence the calls for harsher sentences and less pampering of criminals – and where the punishment of wrongdoing against you is seen as creating an opportunity for profit by someone else the entire concept of the social contract can be called into question.

        After all, why not let the gangs run the prisons for profit?

        • prism

          Judge Deed on Prime Saturday night had an interesting case which the writers and actors managed to make believable. It was that a prison inmate deliberately killed another inmate who was in for a short sentence, which was not for his main offences of sexually assaulting youngsters of which he had been accused 8 times without being convicted. The murderer said he had that treatment when a child and as justice couldn’t contain this man, then he felt duty bound to stop him. The jury found not guilty though the judge called it perverse. At the end the man was haranguing the crowd against paedophiles and calling for their death.

          Letting out repeat offenders of egregious crimes should be curtailed for our (and their own) safety, and lesser crimes should have the sentences reduced with concentrated personal work by inmates while in gaol, instead of treating gaol as ever more lengthy punishment. We on the outside are punishing ourselves with our present expensive stupid, non-performing, ancient system of penal servitude.

  7. prism 7

    Its interesting to see some ideas about policies that endeavour to grapple with NZS problems not just throat-clearing about the abysmal standard of certain politicians. On taxation and flat tax – it is regressive, that’s understood. If you turn the idea of PAYE around and think of it being drawn mainly from discretionary money rather than disposable, then the govt could tax at 10% up to $10,000 (so taking $1000 tax) and someone might be able to exist on the remainder. Then the 20% or whatever would trip in, if low income and receiving $15,000 ($2000 tax), $20,000 ($3,000 tax etc.)

    A buffer at the low end would protect the poor a little, but the poor probably also spend most of their income and pay GST on most of that. So onto the $2000 PAYE would be added the 12/half% tax on say the total $15,000 ($1675) to gauge the total ($3675) and its effect on the poor.

    We have working poor getting food from charity now, and they have little to allow for bad decisions, and the extra costs of being poor which are not understood by those better off. Catriona McLennan in Werewolf talks about needing transport and buying cheap cars at hiked up prices on tick, with the likelihood of the car failing long before the finance company is paid off.

    All the time

  8. Tigger 8

    Nice post from Campbell about the witch hunt over legal aid.

    Bazley’s report is chilling in its facilenss. It literally relies on “unverified sources”. Today lawyers, tomorrow who?

    • prism 8.1

      I thought ‘anecdotes’ were regarded with suspicion by serious information gatherers. Dame Bazley has also carried out a report on welfare in South Auckland hasnt she? I have the feeling that people up there are trying to turn some of the total their way somehow. I think I heard the figure of $1 billion p.a.

  9. fizzleplug 9

    Pearl Jam was awesome.

    Danny Doolans is the worst kind of dive imaginable. There really should be warning signs for out-of-towners.

  10. gingercrush 11

    Wow. New Zealand has third biggest homes in the world. Right behind Australia and the United States. No doubt we’ll be following in stomach sizes as well.

    • prism 11.1

      Big homes – being an ‘older person’ I can compare now to then, and notice that homes being touted for building now are very much the same as those in favour in the 60s and 70s, only bigger. NZ seems to lie cast when it comes to encouraging upward building rather than outward, except in cities for students. The suburbs continue their sprawl.

      The duplex seen in Australia is rare, two on the one section, designed for vertical positioning each with its own piece of ground.

  11. felix 12

    Just saw this over at Imperator Fish and thought it could do with a repost here if Scott doesn’t mind:

    John Key has been telling the media he won’t go to the climate change conference in Copenhagen unless it looks like there will be a deal.

    In other words, he only wants to be associated with success. He doesn’t give a damn about the process of getting an agreement on climate change. Does he even believe humans are responsible for climate change? Maybe a better question would be to ask whether he even knows what he believes.

    Key likes to be photographed alongside All Blacks, presidents and celebrities. Maybe he hopes that by being associated with successful or powerful people he will be able to fool us into thinking he has a plan. But his lack of substance, and the absence of any plan to deal with our nation’s pressing issues, is more obvious than ever.

    Says it all really.

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