Posts by Bart Janssen

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Be nice if a journalist asked them for the evidence that refutes the allegation
    and kept asking
    until the illiterates admitted that they meant they were deny without any proof at all

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    For the last six years, Slater managed to turn himself into a dealer for willing newsroom junkies.

    Glove puppets perhaps?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God,

    My two cents.

    I don't mind if folks want to believe in the sky fairy of their choice. if that's what it takes to make them happy and keep them mostly functional in society that's fine by me.

    I don't mind educating children about religions. But that's not what bible classes do. If those classes actually studied the hideous atrocities committed by humans to other humans over the last several thousand years of recorded history _in the name of whatever religion was popular in the day, then I would be fine with religious education.

    Instead those bible classes try and indoctrinate children into one or other of those very same religions that have so happily maimed, killed, raped and abused in the not-too-distant past.

    I'm fine with people believing what they like, I'm fine with them getting together and providing social and moral comfort to each other ... it's the bloody religions I loathe, and letting those organisations near our children ... sheesh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Didn't see that coming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Corkery called them “glove puppets for Cameron Slater” because she was pissed off about them fixating on the “Dotcom was the hacker” misdirection.

    And despite her lack of er professional composure I can't really say she is wrong.

    What pissed me off the most about the reporting was the self-righteous and self-absorbed way in which the "news" was reported "a dun dun DUN, reporter was verbally abused!!!!!!" As if he might not actually have deserved some criticism for being so pathetically unimaginative that he couldn't think of a question that hadn't been asked and answered a hundred times before.

    And lets be clear, this is not a situation like that with our PM who apparently is tired of being asked why he allows his staff and cabinet ministers to feed Slater, because unlike the PM where there is a tonne of evidence that his staff did exactly that there is no evidence at all that Dotcom is whaledump and all logic suggests he is not.

    So yeah Ms Corkery didn't do her job - but the reporters she abused totally deserved criticism, yet instead they were lauded as victims - poor babies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to Moz,

    Anecdotally (ie, the company I work for), the tax breaks are what make it worth keeping operations in Australia.

    And that is the reason I don't think it's a terrible policy, particularly given the proximity and ease of shifting operations to Australia.

    Just adopting parity with Aus on R&D tax breaks is probably a bottom line. But beyond that I just don't want to see any new funding tools, what I want to see from The Greens is an acknowledgment that The Marsden fund works really really well and even if they didn't invent it they could fund it better.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to steven crawford,

    How will these tax breaks for research and development bring prosperity to people

    It's not an entirely bad policy. One of the big problems we have in the NZ R&D investment balance is an almost complete lack of investment in R&D by business.

    The main problem is that companies big enough to invest are also big enough to have an office in Aus where they can do exactly the same R&D AND get a tax break.

    BUT and it's a big but, there is no real evidence that shows that direct stimulus to business investment (i.e. tax breaks) does much to increase business R&D. Instead what seems to be the case is that businesses invest if they see Universities and/or govt institutes with really strong academic performance. In essence businesses use the same measure of quality as scientists when choosing where to spend their R&D money. The consequence is that countries with strong govt investment develop good govt funded research centres that then attract business investment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to George Darroch,

    I was at a business breakfast recently where Norman emphasised the difference between an across the board increase in claimable R&D as opposed to the current practice of subsidising chosen businesses and industries.

    Well that's disappointing. Last time we had that the accounting firms were quick to claim all their "research" tax benefits and we saw no significant increases in funding at the bench.

    Oh and increasing Marsden funding would not disrupt anything in the slightest, honest. At present every panelist I've talked to has said they could fund twice as many grants with no loss of quality and all the grants could easily be doubled in size with no loss of quality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room, in reply to George Darroch,

    I think an interesting area of questioning would be around attitudes to science, particularly as it relates to their current focus on economic transformation and “innovation”.

    This is a good issue to raise. So far the Greens seem to be saying they will "invest in science" but it is far from clear to me whether that means providing funding for research that fits their ideology, or whether that is an intention to do what so many in the science funding field have been saying for a while now and simply increase funding for excellence-based science. In other words triple the Marsden fund.

    From my perspective too much of science funding has the fingerprints of politicians all over it. Usually the motivation is that politicians believe they can "pick winners". Sadly that motivation is unsupported by any evidence, historical or otherwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: In The Green Room,

    Ok I'll toss this in the mix. And while this is focused on GMOs I'd point out that it applies to all technological advances.

    I really like The Greens commitment to evidence-based policy. You can see the impact on their transport policy where a combination of having a genuinely knowledgeable person in parliament combined with the will to find the best policy (not just the one that fits ideologically) has resulted in coherent consistent policy.

    The same can be said for most of the energy policy. In particular the energy policy shows an understanding of risk and reward, solar power has risks associated with pollution and hazardous wastes yet it is still worth supporting because the long term gains are so great.

    So the question is "Will The Greens apply the same evidence-based policy and balance of risk with reward to their GMO policy?"

    It is now 12 years since the Royal commission, we now have more data, the restrictions we put in place then (because we did not know) are now no longer appropriate. So will the Green party reassess their position on GMOs which appears to be ideological rather than evidence based?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I play politics like Fijians play rugby.

    I think the Fijian rugby players would be thoroughly pissed off to be likened to Slater.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3262 posts Report Reply

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