Posts by Simon Grigg

  • Hard News: Every option has costs, every…, in reply to linger,

    If you're talking about China, it's the poorer end of the upper class who end up in NZ. The airfares and the living expenses in Auckland are beyond the means of the middle class. So, yes, it favours the prosperous. Period.

    I had a conversation about this with my HK accountant (his clients are primarily Chinese, HK Chinese, Australians - he has an office in Melbourne too – and a few New Zealanders). His take was that NZ was the affordable educational option for upwardly moving Chinese who can no longer afford the private schools in China or elsewhere. Canada is the first option, then Australia, with NZ the budget option.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Inside Track,

    If those tracks exist – the Renee ones – they are likely out in West Auckland at the EMI vault. The person who knows that vault best is Chris Caddick.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: It all leads to…, in reply to Hugh Wilson,

    I really like the Bob Marley shots at the old White Heron, and theres one of Opdiner/Simon Grigg at the Windsor Castle too (pic 11).

    Even if it was spelt incorrectly in the caption. TBH I have no memory of that at all ;-)

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to mark taslov,

    but Paul Anka bought the rights to the original French version and rewrote it into “My Way”, the song made famous by Frank Sinatra in a 1969 recording on his album of the same name.

    Sinatra's producer Sonny Burke and his A&R guy Jimmy Bowen heard the song Anka was pitching and knew it was a smash. Sinatra hated it but needed a hit so he recorded it reluctantly – in one late night take (as was oft his way). It was, of course, a smash but Sinatra hated it all his life and would at times tell audiences so, explaining that he had to reluctantly sing it because it was so big.

    If wasn't from the album of the same name, though - the album was quickly constructed around the song after it was a hit, to cash in. It worked.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to Neil,

    Putin’s belief that the Ukraine is part of Russia hasn’t got anything to do with the US.

    No, it has a far deeper history. Russia has regarded it as a part of the greater Russian Empire for half a millennium or more.

    That Putin found himself in a position to assert that claim does have something to with the US though, and you are right, part of it was the way the Clinton handled Serbia (and humiliated Russia). Clinton, too, was the president who first broke the agreement not to expand NATO into the former Warsaw Pact countries*. Bush and Obama continued it. That empowered those that wanted the democratic experiment to end.

    None of which justifies Putin's aggressive positions of course.

    I guess it goes around.

    *Gorby has since denied that such an agreement was made - and then later walked back from that denial. However, the memos and transcripts from the meetings exist.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to James Dunne,

    How exactly does Russia become more secure by bullying its neighbours and acting like Upper Volga with nukes?

    The states that were part of the former Soviet Union (and historically greater Russia, like the Ukraine) are not regarded as “neighbours” by the current Russian rulers.

    If you go back some 500 years, the states that would become the Soviet Union were largely part then of the Russian empire.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Seriously, when the does Russia stop getting to use Operation Barbarossa as a free pass for being everyone’s neighbour from Hell? It’s been seventy-five years.

    Indeed. If 1941 gets an invocation (as it seems to over and over), lest we forget the events that led up to it, plus the tanks of 1956 and 1968.

    However, largely Russia’s (ruthless) iron clamp on Eastern Europe was driven by extreme paranoia. Stalin never saw an event or a person he didn’t regard as a threat – sometimes with good reason (it’s hard to overstate how much the post-revolution invasions transformed the Soviet psyche), but often, as the deaths of countless ‘counterrevolutionaries’ in the 30s and 40s will attest, not.

    An aggressive NATO on their border, the Marshall plan, US fixing Western European elections, and the re-militarising of Germany by the US in the 50s, B-52s prodding Russian airspace hourly and the words of the likes of Dulles and Curtis LeMay hardly gave them cause to think they were not under threat. Attempts to roll back the Cold War post-Stalin were rebuffed repeatedly which led to the Cuban Crisis when the Soviets decided to put missiles on the US border as the US had done to them. Tit for tat.

    When Gorby finally took the steps (or declined to react as in the case of Eastern Europe in 89) to end the Cold War, he did so under clear guarantees from the US not to extend NATO east.

    There was a moment in the next decade when it looked like Russia might evolve into something resembling an open democracy, but the failure of the US to stick to those NATO commitments terrified Russia and opened the door to the rise of the former KGB, now no longer contained by the state – and to Putin’s coup-in-all-but-name in 1999/2000.

    Many of the new Eastern NATO members, too, were offered substantial fiscal incentives to join, overcoming some initial reluctance (especially in the South East of Europe).

    Is Putin a wily monster with designs on the former Soviet Empire? I think the evidence is overwhelming, but he is in part a US construct too.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music! Digging Doug, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    shows Doug setting up in the Gluepot (I think).

    Not 100% sure it's the Gluepot as the old place had carpet up to near the front as I recall, plus there is a stairway on the back right. Did the Gluepot have that? Somebody reckoned it was in New Plymouth, somebody else said it was the Waikato Students' Union.

    Doug can't remember.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music! Mic drops and…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Maybe “urban” has outlived its usefulness, but you have to ignore a few things to declare its origins racist.

    Not least the way it was widely embraced as ‘Urban Pacific’ and then ’Urban Pasifika’.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3272 posts Report Reply

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