Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Herself's Turn

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  • Russell Brown,

    And getting back on topic ...

    As to keeping kids in school till 18 - let's have the substance. Are schools going to get ever-larger? As they aim to bring down teacher student ratios as well, where are all the extras going to be housed? Will there be meaningful, properly-resourced, alternative programmes for ADHD, Asperger's, autistic kids? Will there at last be full-on literacy programmes for those who still can't read & comprehend well at 3rd form level? Will the load fall on teachers or are there going to be more specialists - mentors, youth workers, tradespeople?

    One day we might actually give students what they need rather than what we think they should have, no matter how ill-fitting the garment.

    Cruel but fair, Kerry. There's obvious mileage for Labour in getting positive notices from the EMA for funding more industry training, and for Key appeal to concern about youth crime, but there was nothing of the above in either speech. Just more of the same ... only better. I think I should have been more pissed-off in tone this morning.

    There's an ample empirical case to be made for this. People on the autistic spectrum wind up disproportionately in prison, or dependent on the health and welfare systems. We know that intervention in childhood and adolescence pays off richly. A good deal is known about the problems faced by AS kids in schools; almost nothing has been done here to address them.

    For diagnosed AS alone, we're talking about as many as 1 in 100 kids. It's not trivial.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Somewhere along the way I noted that we'd survived many National governments in the past ...

    I believe I even had the odd good night out.

    & that Key was highly unlikely to affect the fall of Western Civilisation.

    Did you mean "effect" -- or is there something you're not telling us?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    There's obvious mileage for Labour in getting positive notices from the EMA for funding more industry training, and for Key appeal to concern about youth crime, but there was nothing of the above in either speech.

    ITA - and the more I look at both speeches, the more I hear the clicking of focus-grouped, poll-tested warm fuzzies falling into place with mechanical precision. Kerry asked some damn good questions, and what a shame I've just listened to Checkpoint over the last twenty fours hours where they weren't asked - let alone answered - of either Key or Clark.

    That disturbs me, because I don't think you and Fiona are the only people looking for some answers that aren't going to fit into a soundbite. (But it's good to see the really important questions are being covered: Like Clark's claim that National has a 'secret agenda', and Key replying 'bite me, bimbo.' I made that last bit up, but wish he had.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    The more I think about the idea of compulsory education up to the age of eighteen the more I think it's utterly terrible. I really can't see what the perceived benefit of the idea is. If they're engaged they'll stay anyway. If they're not engaged then it's just two more years practice in switching the brain off.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And here's a Kōan to mull over, courtesy of Herself:

    If Helen Clark keeps banging on about National's secret agenda, is it really a secret agenda at all?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    And here's a Kōan to mull over

    What's a "Koan"? I could google it I suppose, but it'd be nice if someone could explain its meaning.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    There's an ample empirical case to be made for this. People on the autistic spectrum wind up disproportionately in prison, or dependent on the health and welfare systems. We know that intervention in childhood and adolescence pays off richly. A good deal is known about the problems faced by AS kids in schools; almost nothing has been done here to address them.

    And dyslexics, mainly boys. It's hard to see how 'boot camp' is going to prevent youth crime, to put it as primitively like Key. I'd like to know what parentage of the 750 to 1000 youth criminals (mainly boys) crimes are not for profit enterprises. I'l take a wild guess and say, a lot of these kids aren't actually criminals in the try sense, rather their socially maladaptive in ways and for reasons few of us would begin to understand. I'm not convinced the totalitarian boot camp idea will be all that therapeutic. It doesn't seem to be working in adult prisons. However as I understand it the prison system is now the front door to the mental health system.

    The drug and alcohol treatment 'therapeutic community' building down the road from my house is now a bed and breakfast on the water front. Hanmer, Higher ground and Rotoroa have all closed there aesthetically pleasing facilities. Now we have rehabs starting prisons. That a few steps back. Nothing particularly progressive going on. I wonder what the National model for Drug and Alcohol training will be. Some how I don't think its going to be Hazelden.


    Labors education plan doesn't sound particularly innovative ether. If I'd been forced to stay in school till eight, I will almost certainly have been disruptive in class. I probable would have started dealing drugs and been taking guns to school. I was one of the lucky 'dysfunctional youth' I was empower by one of the Norman Kirk airer state run alternative schools. Coming to thing of it that was a pretty cunning way of hiding problem children. They simply run the school as a democracy, thats an alternative school.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    headfloor eighteen and the other ones

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Final word: I probably qualify as a tribal Labour voter, but I'm not as horrified as some people by the possibility of a change of government.

    I'd be a lot more comfortable if it was English in charge and worthless 90s turds like Williamson were long gone.

    And as for poor-taste images and two-faced whiners, one need not wonder too hard what the reaction would be if David Farrar's local giant billboard with a pic of Mao and a suggestion the Greens are _just like him_ was, say, Mussolini and Rodney Hide, or Goebbels and Tony Ryall.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Blair Mulholland,

    I spelt Bjoerk correctly. She has an umlaut in her name - therefore "oe" is correct and "o" is not. Philistine.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I spelt Bjoerk correctly. She has an umlaut in her name - therefore "oe" is correct and "o" is not. Philistine.

    What do's Philistine mean?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I spelt Bjoerk correctly. She has an umlaut in her name - therefore "oe" is correct and "o" is not. Philistine.

    Yes Blair. Of course you did.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The youth offenders.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    What's a "Koan"? ... it'd be nice if someone could explain its meaning.

    But then it would no longer be a koan, grasshopper.
    Unless, possibly, no-one were to read the explanation.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What's a "Koan"? I could google it I suppose, but it'd be nice if someone could explain its meaning.

    "Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?" is a famous (if usually bastardised) kōan. Very basically, they're stories, dialogues, questions, or statements that serve a number of functions in the practice of Zen Buddhism. Sometimes they are focal points for meditation and other activities; records of the insights and experiences of masters (along with a rich and complex literature of commentary and interpretation); or ways to confound old habits of thought and shock the mind into awareness.

    Outside Zen, these are often assumed to be riddles, unanswerable questions or meaningless statements. That's not true, but they're not opened in the same way as a syllogism in Logic 101.

    (Knowing PAS, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Zen Buddhist lurking out there. Please feel free to chime in if I'm totally FUBARing your spiritual tradition.)

    Anyhow, I guess a joke that had to be explained at this length isn't a very good one. But traditional Western logic isn't making sense of Helen Clark's 'I know National's secret agenda' line. But I guess, when all else fails scare the living shit out of those wobblies.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And as for poor-taste images and two-faced whiners, one need not wonder too hard what the reaction would be if David Farrar's local giant billboard with a pic of Mao and a suggestion the Greens are _just like him_ was, say, Mussolini and Rodney Hide, or Goebbels and Tony Ryall.

    Just you wait, rodgerd. I'm sure you're going to get an answer sooner rather than later; though if we get through this electoral without certain folks who should know better predicting race war in the streets if National wins, that's an improvement.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    What do's Philistine mean?

    is country between teh westpac bank and teh gazza stripe.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Did you mean "effect" -- or is there something you're not telling us?

    I meant "effect". Bugger

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Juha sez that the vowel isn't the main event in the pronunciation of "Bjork" -- it's the "r".

    It's hard to convey here, but you "land on the r" when you say it. David Slack got better at it with every additional beer at the BDO.

    Also, not many people know that Bjork invented the umlaut in 1970.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    The more I think about the Key and Clark "youth announcements" the more I think it's humbug.

    Both seem to share an assumption that "yoof" are property of the state and should be denied the opportunity to make independent decisions.

    Both seem to think that if 11 years of compulsory education didn't do the trick, then 13 will.

    Neither seems to think at all about what this means for teachers and, um, students who actually want to be at school and, y'know, learn something. (Although I recognize that "school" in its conventional sense is not going to be the only option for those aged 16-18 ... but clearly it's one of them). My high school became a lot more pleasant when a significant proportion of those who didn't want to be there left upon reaching the leaving-age.

    Neither of them appears to have talked to a young person in preparing their talking points/policy. Not even one. Kudos to Russell Norman for pointing this out on Morning Report today (I think it was him ... I was still half-asleep).

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The more I think about the Key and Clark "youth announcements" the more I think it's humbug.

    To be fair to both,aI sheaf of speech notes may well be the beginning of a substantive and well-thought out policy that you may not totally agree with, but can at least see the logic of.

    But I'm really not feeling over confident. The more I look at both speeches, the more flimsy they become.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    The more I think about the Key and Clark "youth announcements" the more I think it's humbug.

    I don't think they're humbug as such, I'm sure Key and Clark are fairly serious about them and will babble on about them now and again 'til election day.

    But in terms of the big picture, it's merely the equivalent of the first tentative punches in a boxing match, or the first scrum in a rugby game. Both parties are just seeing what sort of form the other's in before trying to land the heavy blows, or spinning the ball wide with the major policies on education, welfare, health, etc.

    So far, they've both fended off a few jabs or kicked to touch, but not much else. (I will no shut up with my lame sports comparisions).

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Craig - thanks for explaining what a "koan" is.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I may have pointed this out before, but Bjork sounds amazingly like Little Jimmy Osmond, a lot of the time.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Philistine.

    Strangely enough, the WIkipedia article on the Ö character, the 'oe' substitution is only mentioned as a possibility in German. It's specifically exculded for Swedish, Finnish, Karelian, Estonian, Hungarian, Azeri, Turkish and Crimean Tatar alphabets, where you would use 'o'. It doesn't specifically mention what one does in connection with Icelandic; perhaps up until Björk nobody ever tried but I'll wager it's 'o'.

    Philistine.

    That said, we don't have a limited character set - in principle we could learn to use our unicode capabilities.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

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