Posts by Stephen R

  • Hard News: Art with a job to do, in reply to Moz,

    Although I also think there's a good case for saying that the PKK/PYD army are fighting exactly for human rights and specifically women's rights.

    I'd probably say they're fighting for their existence. Between Turkey and ISIS, I suspect that if the Kurds just rolled over, many (most?) of them would be killed as being "the wrong sort". That appears to have been the case for a long time.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Reading Murder Books, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Barry Hughart's ancient-mythic-China detective novels

    Are they the ones that start with "Bridge of birds" and have "Number 10 Ox" as the sidekick character?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: In defence of the centre, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'm not a typical Green voter either (so far as I know), since I mostly like their economic and social policy - environmental issues are a distant 4th or 5th place really

    That's a significant part of why I vote for them - I looked at relevant financial policy and decided that I didn't trust Labour not to screw things up without the Greens keeping them honest, since Michael Cullen left.

    I also think Labour has developed a certain amount of authoritarian tendency that bugs me, which I hope the Greens would help keep in check if they ever got into power together. (I mostly think this after a long conversation with Annette King in her position as Minister for Police who was pushing for the right to confiscate people's stuff without having to convict them of a crime.)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Ten Thousand Maniacs,

    Totally affected by the fact that I've walked down some of those streets, and I have much sympathy for the people of Paris, but Francois Holland's speech about having war declared on them made me a little uneasy.

    Given that the French have been bombing ISIS in Iraq since September 2014, why are they surprised that ISIS fought back? Since ISIS doesn't have an airforce that could bomb Paris, this is exactly the sort of attack they must have been expecting. I'm uneasy at the implication that "it's OK for us to bomb their cities and hospitals because any civilians we kill are collateral damage, but it's not OK for ISIS to shoot civilians in our country because they're intentionally shooting civilians."

    To be clear, I'd really rather nobody killed civilians, but that's not an opinion followed by countries with big airforces...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Often the vendor will have a building inspection done,,,but for about $250 you can get your own done.

    Yep, totally agree, but recent articles suggest that there were shortcuts taken that affect the safety/longevity of buildings during that period that weren't detectable without pulling off the outer layer - I'm thinking something about missing fire-collars in an apartment building which cost an extra 20% of the cost of the building to fix (after the 40% to cover the leaky building remediation) - which means even a building inspection won't find all the dodgy things that were going on.

    And going into debt that much to play Russian roulette on house integrity is just not attractive.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: TPP, eh?, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Looks to me that only the US legislators can save us from this type of multi-national corporate rule now.

    And isn't that a scary sentence to contemplate?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The government's Rules…,

    Was considering buying a new house, but not knowing anything about building, I'm scared to look at anything build after 1995... I'm guessing there's a lot of other people out there feeling the same way.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Forty,

    The 40s have been good to me.

    I actually decided I didn't really care about getting any further up the ladder by the time I was about 38, and actually took a step back from there - much less stress.

    Paid off the mortgage when times were good instead of buying a new car (and we finished the day before my wife got made redundant) and now I'm pretty relaxed.

    I took my current job because I wanted to work with the people here, doing the things they're doing, rather than because I cared about it looking good on the CV. That too is fairly liberating.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: So Farewell Then, UCSA,

    Last month, walking through Copenhagen, I looked up at a brutalist concrete building and said to my companion "That looks like the UCSA" - It turned out to be the Copenhagen university ....

    I heard Warren tried to sue the UCSA to stop them painting the concrete because he had some clause in the original architecture contract that said they couldn't, but when they built it, the steel reinforcing was too close to the surface, so the moisture seeped into the concrete, caused the steel to rust, then expand, then spall bits of concrete off the outside of the building. Cue significant costs to rebuild the external concrete balconies sometime in the early nineties.

    Ah the memories.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Fifty thousand preventable deaths,

    Bart, I read a book about 15 years ago which claimed that about 50% of Pharma research budget went on trying to replicate a current patented drug with just enough difference to not be covered by the patent but still be effective.

    The two goals involved seemed to be replicating a different companies profitable drug so they could get in on the action, or replicating one of their current drugs that were about to run out of patent so they could market and sell a "new" drug which was still covered by patent.

    If that's still true, it does rather take some of my sympathy away for their expensive research requirements.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 196 posts Report Reply

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