Summer service: open mike 25-28/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 25th, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Merry Christmas! As usual, it’s reduced service over the summer break, unless anything big happens. We hope you’ll get a good break with those dear to you, and that we’ll have some decent weather to enjoy. And if you still need your politics fix… Open mike is your post…

68 comments on “Summer service: open mike 25-28/12/2011”

  1. Merry Christmas everyone.

    A little christmas song to get you going, Band Aid from the 1980s.  Pity things are still the same … 

  2. Anne 2

    My contribution for Christmas Day too. A little bit of culture from that most beautiful of abbeys – Westminster Abbey.

  3. Olwyn 3

    Might be a bit early in the day for this one, but still.. happy Christmas to y’all

  4. millsy 4

    Merry Christmas to everyone on The Standard.

    Even the rednecks 🙂

  5. ropata 5

    Chirstmas cheer to all.

    The cause of Christ was to announce and lay the foundations for a new kingdom and a new way of living. It is a message of hope for a time of great turmoil. It is an invitation to make the world a better place not by force or money or pietism, but by hard work; helping others and striving for peace and justice.

    (Luke 4:16–)
    [Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll ofthe prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

    “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
    to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

    Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
    At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.

    • Deborah 5.1

      Merry Christmas Ropata, and to everyone else! It’s awesome to be reminded of the new world Jesus brought – and that liberation was his thing!

  6. LynW 6

    Just popped in for a quick ‘Standard’ fix and to wish everyone wonderful Xmas celebrations and a New Year full of hope and joy. We can make a diffference x x

  7. gingercrush 7 – Hmm easy peasy political quiz. I was perfect. Not difficult.

  8. Wow this is spooky.

    In scenes reminiscent of the film the Day after Tomorrow there  was a freak storm in Melbourne yesterday.  There were tornados, golf ball sized hailstones, unseasonal rainfall and wind gusts up to 109 km per hour.

    Of course climate change is a conspiracy foist on us by the UN and there is absolutely, absolutely nothing to worry about … 

    • damntheproles 8.1

      Yes very unusual – This has never happened before…… snigger.

    • james 111 8.2

      Mickey of course every storm now is global warming isnt it? Opps wrong term I forgot the climate change activists decided to change the term to Climate change when they couldnt explain the earths colling cycle.

      Despite altering Data ,and destroying emails to try and prove their lies.Nothing to do with Sunspot Activity which has much more effect on our weather than man made activity ever will.

      Still the Global warming fairy tale keeps hundreds employed ,and gets research funding for bent sceintists ,and that is what the fable is all about

      • MrSmith 8.2.1

        James111 you remind me of the fisherman that talks about the days when there where plenty of fish, always hopeful the fishing will get better next year, never thinking for one minute they might be the reason the fishing is so poor.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Micky, you can’t expect anything different from the Tory frogs in the pot.

  9. james 111 9

    Well here is something we all didnt know written by the Chief Nasa Scientist

    “The key ingredient here is this almost random strength of these large-scale weather systems. Even though you’ve got lots of chlorine (CFCs) in our atmosphere, and it’s always going to get cold over Antarctica every year (which exacerbates ozone destruction), the day-to-day size of the ozone hole is really controlled by the fine details (of weather),” Newman said.

    The hole had alomst completely gone wasnt anything to do with Global warming isnt that strange?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      irrelevant conclusions, no links, no appreciation of difference between day to day variation and long term trends, nothing to do with climate change, james 111 = idiot troll

    • Herbert 9.2

      I have no interest in inflaming this discussion. Nevertheless, somethings require an explanation. I suspect that androgenic climate change explains these pictures better than anything else.

    • mik e 9.3

      James the turd its very easy to pick sound bites.what you’ve said only relates to the day to day weather activity.Your drivvle above actually contradicts itself.
      So the ozone hole over the Antarctic is bigger than ever,
      and for the first time the ozone hole has opened over the Artic.
      CFCs are are only one of the man made gases that exasperate the ozone depletion.

    • Descendant Of Smith 9.4

      James you can’t even work out something simple like you can’t get more on benefit than working so why would I give you any credibility on something more complex such as climate change?

      What is your area of expertise?

    • rosy 9.5

      james 111 …
      – you do know that climate change and ozone depletion are different processes, don’t you? (although, because climate change affects temperature it can have a secondary effect on the ozone layer)
      – that it is expected to reduce over the next 50 or so years because humans have dramatically reduced use of CFCs?
      – that CO2, not CFCs , is the gas most implicated in climate change?
      – that the ozone hole has not ‘almost completely gone? and that an ozone hole over the arctic is increasing too?

      I think you’re misreading the NASA chief scientists. It’s reduced from it’s peak, this year as it always does. It opens up around September and then reduces in size before opening up again the next year.

  10. randal 10

    who read the duty “minsiters” little puff piece in Saturdays dompost. He is what my dear mum would call a “pseud”.
    it seems as if all the nashnil gubmint are pseuds.
    they cant read, spell, or comprehend but they want to be teachers!
    they think if they change the system then all the above will be granted to them by osmosis?
    they just pseudo teachers and real bullies.

  11. jimmy 11

    Some standardistas may enjoy this blog, Real World Economics Review, which I came across following the references in a Keith Rankin article. Lots of interesting political economy and unorthodox economics with some pretty decent authors.

    This paper by a Richard C. Koo has a particularaly good analysis of the present situation in Europe and the U.S. and the way to solve the problems they are in (e.g. Europes problems could be eliminated by restricing government bond-buying to citizens only).

  12. Dan1 12

    Colin James’s in good form in his Otago Daily Times column:

    The banality of good

    It can at times take an atheist to remind us of some of the true messages in Christmas. Thus with Russel Norman in Parliament last Wednesday.

    Christmas is “an enduring part of our culture,” he said, commemorating “the start of some unlikely trouble” — a revolutionary new sect — “and the start of new hope.”

    The Christmas story, he went on, “speaks to values I share”. The “story of change arriving in the form of a baby has resonance in my life”. He became a father in March.


    [lprent: Don’t copy’n’paste. It violates copyright and annoys everyone including the moderators. I hav adjusted this comment to something more reasonable including adding a link to Colin James site, and seperate your words from his. ]

  13. I’m in very good company meet associate professor emeritus Niels Harrit:

  14. Anne 14

    Does this mean Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson is responsible for this High court action against the tea tape reporter, Ambrose or is it simply carried out in his name without his input or approval?

  15. newsense 15

    Really interesting lecture linked to on Scoop by Bruce Cummings, author of

    and historian of Korea.

    If you think about how defensive the US is after being attacked, the ‘mole people’ still remember the Korean war, even if we have gotten over it.

  16. Carol 16

    Thanks to all at the Standard for providing this essential left wing service online. I hope the Prentices and all involved in running this site have a very good summer.

  17. Salsy 17

    So we are now the third fattest nation in the OECD with over half of all Kiwis overweight or obese.

    That mantle of misleading advertising has now been taken over by the food and beverage industry, which promotes its fat- and sugar-laced products as the key to healthy living.
    It took a tax to dramatically slow smoking addiction; a tax on sugar and fat products would do the same. The fact is that we are getting more and more obese. New Zealand is now the third-fattest nation in the world (OECD obesity statistics, June 2011) and our obesity is the cause of the growing Diabetes 2 epidemic which is becoming the number one cause of preventable death.

    • mik e 17.1

      the right wing solution to the problem user pays[bottom of the cliff thinking]anyone developing type 2 diabetes will have to pay their own bills.
      Left wing approach ban carbo’s, sugar and fat from schools no advertising and tax culprit foods heavily to pay for healthcare and education.

  18. Dv 18
    From stuff dom editorial

    OPINION: On October 6, the last question day before the general election, then Minister of Education Anne Tolley was asked why she had denied reports that a Ministry of Education adviser had previously been suspended while a school principal. Her answer reflects no credit on Mrs Tolley, now the Minister of Police and Minister of Corrections, and even less on the ministry. She said the reports were untrue. The principal, Deborah Mutu, had never been suspended.

    As is now known, that answer was, at best, misleading, and, at worst,

    As Minister of Education, Mrs Tolley could not be expected to monitor the performance of every teacher. But before putting their reputations on the line, it is politic for ministers to assure themselves that the information they are being given is based on solid foundations. Mrs Tolley did not do that. Not only did she mislead Parliament about Mrs Mutu’s background, but she also baldly asserted that the ministry had extensively researched the backgrounds of all those who applied for the “student achievement practitioner” positions to which Mrs Mutu was appointed this year. Nothing could be further from the truth

    At the time of her appointment, Mrs Mutu was facing a raft of accusations. They included: failing to ensure that an allegation her husband behaved inappropriately towards a 15-year-old female student was properly investigated, instructing staff to destroy a written statement from the girl, blaming her for the incident, further victimising her and failing to act on concerns that school staff were playing favourites. She was also accused of failing to inform the board of a number of serious matters. Included among them were that the school’s NCEA accreditation was at risk, that students’ work was not

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    More good news as driving trends continue to undermine Nationals RoNS.

    Another article has highlighted that Auckland’s traffic volumes aren’t growing any more – rather stagnating and even falling slightly:

    Watch those already uneconomic B/C ratios shrink even further as time goes on. Meanwhile oil continues to hover around the economically constraining US$100/barrel.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      The fact that oil prices remain around US$100 bbl while western economic activity falls off a cliff is of note.

      With the low level of economic activity in the west and signs of slow down in China, oil should be priced around $30-$40 bbl at most. That it is not is ominous.

      With the rate of depletion of the world’s largest oil ‘superfields’, we need to be finding a new Saudi Arabia every 3-4 years. Its simply not happening. And in 2-3 years (max) the consequences are going to be very obvious to even the deliberately blind.

      For the rest of us: take a look around. This is exactly what peak oil looks like (to paraphrase John Michael Greer).

  20. Draco T Bastard 21

    Why Are We Forced to Worship at the Feet of ‘Mythical’ Financial Markets Controlled by the Elite?

    At first it seems as if these markets are humanoids onto which we project our feelings. Yet, on closer inspection, it’s more like we have ascribed to them god-like powers. We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation. As President Obama warned Europe recently, they must “muster the political will” to “settle markets down.”

    Good question. Why do we equate a social construct with an omnipotent and omniscient force? Perhaps it’s because gods are also a social construct.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      A good read DtB. Here’s one for you in kind:

      Why Free Markets are a Fraud

      It’s time to start getting honest about a very simple fact: Nobody, but nobody, really believes in free markets. That’s right. Not the Republican Party, not the libertarians, not the Wall Street Journal, nobody.

      Here’s why: a truly free market is a perfectly competitive market. Which means that whatever you have to sell in that market, so does your competition. Which means price war. Which means your price gets driven down. Which means little or no profit for you.


      Naturally, businesses flee perfectly competitive markets like the plague. In fact, the fine art of doing so is a big part of what they teach in business schools.

      That’s why businesses use strategies like product differentiation, so their competition is no longer selling the exact same product they are. That’s why they use strategies like branding, so their buyers don’t think the products are the same.

      Businesses will, in fact, do almost anything to get out of the hell of pure head-to-head competition.

      The only time rightwing governments show any actual interest in a ‘free market’ is when they set about dismantling worker’s rights and conditions in order to drive the price of labour down.

  21. randal 22

    labour has to get smarter.
    Nothing is as it was but the workerdoes not have to be an economist to know when he is broke.
    The world is at a liminal point now so enjoy it while it lasts.
    there is always the potential for things to get ugly in a hurry.
    In the meantime the ignorati are writing prescriptions fo disaster.
    they shgould be working out ways to make the present system more efficient in a qulaitative way instead of breaking it uup and parcelling it out to their mates.
    very stupid and very wasteful.
    hell man I should be in hawaii. down at waikiki in my rented tgalaxie convetrible listening to the beach boys and getting in tune with maui.
    so at the moment the government is transferring wealth to the bondholders because it knows that they are beholden to them and can ide the fact behind arcane laws of natural and untameable market forces.
    yeah rihgt.
    that is ok as long as social ystems and support is maintanined instead of being yanked away by idiots who then spend the money on themselves.
    and if we are gunna get smarter, inovantory. kreative, frutier, nuttier then some of the goodies have got to be farmed out to the provinces.
    we could use the money.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Forget the money mate, let’s just issue and earn our own community currencies, that with a bit of time banking and old style barter / gift economy, we can tell the bankster terrorists to go fuck themselves.

  22. randal 23

    too late.
    money cannot be disinvented.
    it will assume new importance after the big depopulation.
    just kidding.
    but I hope grumpy has a nightmare.
    it might be him!

    • grumpy 23.1

      Grumpy is in a pretty good position if what you fear happens. grumpy is a net producer of food and is well stocked up on the necessary things for self protection – grandads old 7×57 still works well!

  23. Anyone seen the briefings to incoming ministers?  They are usually released in December and make interesting reading.  I can find the Registered Architects Board briefing but nothing else …

    Is there stuff they do not want us to know? 

    • deuto 24.1

      Morning MS

      I was also wondering whether they had been released yet. What usually happens is that they are provided to new Ministers once appointed, then reviewed for sensitive material and publically released both by the Ministry, Department etc concerned once cleared for release. A full compilation is also made available on

      I have checked the Beehive site but none are available there yet, but Google has a number of them listed via the Depts etc concerned. You may want to Google and see whether any of the ones you interested in are available that way in the meantime.

      • deuto 24.1.1

        Edit timed out – they are officially called Briefings “for” Incoming Ministers – rather than “to”. Hope that helps.

        • mickysavage

          Thanks deuto.  I tried the new phrase but the briefings still seem to be missing, apart from the Architect’s board briefing.

          The last couple of releases were put out in December.  I can’t think why the current lot have not been released.  Unless the news is bad …

    • millsy 24.2

      I salute you, MS for reading the Registered Architects Board briefing.

      Others, quite simply, have better things to do 🙂

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