Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Blackout Bingo!

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  • Don Christie,

    I thought the PQs were great. Simon Power did not actually say the government *would* stick to the current timetable or legislation. Not much digging in of toes there.

    The point is that the PQs were asked. That is a large step up in raising the profile of the issue.

    Stuff has the twitter story as well now. http://www.stuff.co.nz/4851675a28.html

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Also, on Rush, isn't it funny how Right-wing Americans always want to escape to New Zealand, as if it's some kind of libertarian paradise. I once spent a fascinating afternoon reading a popular survivalist website, and one of the preferred sites for their private fortresses was in New Zealand. None of them have twigged to the dim view the New Zealand Police take of people stockpiling automatic weapons.

    I think it's more that *all* Americans (who have heard of New Zealand) seem to think of it as this distant, mostly-white paradise with exquisite scenery, friendly natives, and all the comforts of the First World without the unpleasant bits of America. The prickly bits - and, evidently, the bits that indicate we're a hotbed of socialism, in American terms - aren't reported in the US media, and so don't register.

    Plus, we're far enough away that threatening to move here can be understood as an indication of one's anger rather than involving an actual desire to, say, move somewhere.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Public Servant on a tea-break.,

    Hey Ben

    <Put it another way again. If the public doesn't know shit about how the credit crisis came about, then why care what they think about how to get out of it?>

    Good point. I'd argue, in this case, that it is important to know what the American public thinks about how to get out of it in a political sense.

    Economists can make informed statements the effectiveness of any plan to resolve the American financial position supported by their theories, right now, historians will be able to judge (and argue) about it in the future, supported by results. However, it is the American public that adjudicates whether the plan presented by their elected officials should continue based on how good or bad the poll ratings are.

    Polling the public isn't a measure of how good the plan is. It's a prediction of how long that plan will run, and how much it will, or will not be, compromised to fit other views.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Lots of rich Seppos wind up here, and the neocons do seem to like it. There's one down at Gibbston near Queenstown. Had a minor role in the Hollow Men. My relatives are his next-door neighbors. Decent enough guy, by their accounts.
    I wouldn't mind Rush setting up shop here should Obama's stimulus package succeed. Win-win - America's economy recovers and Rush STFU. I can't really see him jumping all over our airwaves. He's got to run out of bullshit and retire sooner or later.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The story suggests the NZIS cut off is a BMI of 35.

    So it bloody well should be. IMHO, you shouldn't even be allowed on the plane with a BMI of 35 unless you buy two or three seats.

    None of them have twigged to the dim view the New Zealand Police take of people stockpiling automatic weapons.

    The right-wing Americans would be white, right? The cops would be just fine with that. This guy only got 21 months in jail *after* he started selling guns to gangs.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Public Servant on a tea-break.

    I pretty much agree with all of that. But I think it's easy to forget that it's not the plan that's going to actually save or damn the economy, all on it's own. Or Obama and his team. It's the public, and the way big interests move, and the way the rest of the world moves. The plan can help or hinder this, of course. But I'm not holding my breath for the plan.

    However, it is the American public that adjudicates whether the plan presented by their elected officials should continue based on how good or bad the poll ratings are.

    They formally adjudicate every 4 years. But right now there seems to be interest in getting them to adjudicate every day. Same goes for the markets, which seem to get 'consulted' every day. If the market goes up, then they're happy with progress. If it goes down, they're unhappy. So their position jumps around even more than the public's. Which is even more ironic, considering what a huge impact that market has on the economy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10559 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I think it's more that *all* Americans (who have heard of New Zealand) seem to think of it as this distant, mostly-white paradise with exquisite scenery, friendly natives

    Well, almost without exception in NY over the past few weeks, Americans I met (and there were a few) or simply encountered, actually had a fairly good grasp of who and what NZ is and it's racial mix.

    Then again, that was NY, where they tend to regard all non-5 boroughs dwellers as odd and irredeemable

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3278 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce acknowledged concerns about the law's implementation, but stopped short of saying it would be reviewed.

    "We will keep a close eye on how the new law works in practice. We are prepared to look at further changes if they prove necessary."

    That's practically a dare .

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4634 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I think the whole "Let's go to NZ" thing is actually meant as "I want to go to the remotest place I can think of, without being required to rough it". ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10559 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I can't really see him jumping all over our airwaves. He's got to run out of bullshit and retire sooner or later.

    Unlikely - somehow NZ media keeps on wringing stale strangled brainfarts out of far less energetic windbags than Rush. If he moves here he'll probably still be on the air when we're all dead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    So it bloody well should be. IMHO, you shouldn't even be allowed on the plane with a BMI of 35 unless you buy two or three seats.

    Bad experience talking here? And you're generalising somewhat; it would be entirely possible for someone with a BMI of 35 to be portly, but still perfectly pleasant to sit next to on the plane.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yes, fat dwarfs are still pretty small, really. It's the fat giants you need to watch out for.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10559 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    At 175 cm I'd have to weigh just over 100 kg to be a BMI of 35. I'm pretty sure I could in fact sit in a single plane seat without inconveniencing anyone else.

    The dig about Rush being obese was indeed at sly reference to the news article about the woman refused immigration visa yesterday. Given the problems of using BMI as a measure for individuals (rather than populations) I wish they could use other health measures that tell you more about a particular person. BMI was never intended to be a health measure for one person.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Public Servant on a tea-break.,

    <They formally adjudicate every 4 years. But right now there seems to be interest in getting them to adjudicate every day. Same goes for the markets, which seem to get 'consulted' every day. If the market goes up, then they're happy with progress. If it goes down, they're unhappy.>

    Yeah, but who can blame them? I think everyone wants to adjudicate on everything every day. After all that’s what brings us to sites like Public Address regularly, so we can be informed on current events and issues, and there-by make judgements. The media relies on adjudication to give their stories edge. Polling companies are a source of adjudication.

    I'd suggest that formally the four yearly vote is the important one, but the polls can encourage, or discourage individual politicians. For example, America's polls leading up to the last election discouraged a lot of Republican politicians from being photographed next to G W Bush, or seeming to agree with him at all.

    So public polls do have an influence on politics, but only as part of the 'reading of intestines' that people like to do about politics.

    Thanks for the exchange Ben.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Yeah, but who can blame them?

    I wouldn't really blame anyone for having an opinion. And I guess you have a point that Obama really does have to listen to the overall opinion, regardless of whether it is totally wrong. The more account he takes of it, the more involved the people become in the decision. Which maybe, just maybe, might encourage them to shoulder their responsibilities within the decision. Of course, if that still doesn't work, then Obama will be blamed for not taking a different course altogether. As he should. But that doesn't let the public off. Which makes me wonder whether I've reversed my position, since I'm very much in favor of them buying into the decision. I guess I just have a funny feeling that they can't and won't, ultimately because the decision is going to boil down to "Who to give money to, and who to take it away from". Someone is going to lose, and they won't be happy. It could be the majority, even.

    Cheers for chatting. Time for a tea break :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10559 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Also, on Rush, isn't it funny how Right-wing Americans always want to escape to New Zealand, as if it's some kind of libertarian paradise.

    Spotted the cover of the current issue of Newsweek today: We Are All Socialists Now

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2521 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ...and apologies for not being blacked out--but I am, in spirit.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2521 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Spotted the cover of the current issue of Newsweek today: We Are All Socialists Now

    So, it now looks like Comrade Greenspan was a double agent appointed head of the Fed so that he could destroy the free market system and advance the cause of socialism in the United States.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    ...and apologies for not being blacked out--but I am, in spirit.

    Me too. In fact, that's black coffee in that there image.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Spotted the cover of the current issue of Newsweek today: We Are All Socialists Now

    Here's the story

    And a blog post with the same title by Sullivan. From October .,,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    At 175 cm I'd have to weigh just over 100 kg to be a BMI of 35. I'm pretty sure I could in fact sit in a single plane seat without inconveniencing anyone else.

    The dig about Rush being obese was indeed at sly reference to the news article about the woman refused immigration visa yesterday. Given the problems of using BMI as a measure for individuals (rather than populations) I wish they could use other health measures that tell you more about a particular person. BMI was never intended to be a health measure for one person.

    You'd have to be 108kg - which would make you very stocky, but probably not so large as to spill over onto a second (or third) airplane seat.

    In sports where bulk counts for a lot (rugby, league) quite a few of the (not-exceptionally-tall) players have BMIs in the high 20s to low 30s. The NRL's monstrous Fuifui Moimoi has a BMI of 32 for example.

    It's perhaps worth noting the American refused permanent residency had a BMI of 50. Given that her weight was given as 135kg, that means she's around 164 cm tall.

    A simple BMI cut off of 35 suits the NZIS well enough, as it is a crude 'measure' of health that may preclude more serious analysis of individual health status.

    Although the more pertinent fact in the 135kg American case may be that she has Type II diabetes. If memory serves, that's grounds for more-or-less automatic denial of permanent residency in New Zealand.

    Too bad for the 1.6 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes each year, I guess.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Quick, someone get extra twinkies into Limbaugh. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19538 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    He's got to run out of bullshit and retire sooner or later.

    I used to think that about Leighton Smith and Larry Williams. Still waiting...

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    <rant>

    I hate the BMI. It's a hugely blunt instrument and inaccurate instrument, especially when wielded by insurance companies.

    I weigh about 135kgs. I'm 1.95m tall (6'4"). I could do with dropping 10-15kgs, but I'm fairly fit and active. To get normal health insurance rates, I would need to drop to 90kgs.

    I have weighed that twice. First when I was about 14 years old, then in my twenties after 3 months of chronic dysentry in South East Asia.

    And I'm an excellent and space-considerate neighbour on planes, buses and at the movies, thanks.

    </rant>

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    IMHO, you shouldn't even be allowed on the plane with a BMI of 35 unless you buy two or three seats.

    Oh wow. Um. Dude, you clearly don't know anything about BMI. At all. Also: really an assholish thing to say. Or: what Mark E just said.

    dc-red, type II diabetes is not an *automatic* denial of permanent residency, as my husband has it and was granted PR in 2002 after quite an extensive testing process.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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