Editorials 12 February 2010

February 12th, 2010 at 3:08 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald calls for a temporary fix for .

Three options released yesterday by the Minister for the Rugby World Cup, Murray McCully, provide alternatives for this. The cheapest, at $23.9 million, involves removing the ugly sheds from the wharf and creating a temporary village. The two others, at $27.2 million and $31.3 million, envisage the sheds being refurbished for the “party”. That represents no choice at all, given the sheds will remain an embarrassing eyesore no matter how much they are tarted up. They must go.

The Press is concerned about . I doubt the feeling is mutual :-)

This week the bellicose Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, defied a string of United Nations sanctions resolutions and ordered the firing up of dozens of centrifuges to greatly increase his country’s output of enriched uranium. Although the product these facilities will produce is only to a level needed to run nuclear power stations and is not of sufficiently high grade to create nuclear weapons, it is a crucial technical step up in Iran’s nuclear programme. Having mastered the techniques required to produce this material, the next step to create weapons-grade material is a relatively simple one. And almost no-one believes Iran’s repeated denials that it intends eventually to take that next step. …

Iran with nuclear weapons, or military action to prevent it getting them, are highly undesirable alternatives. But if the world wants to avert them diplomacy must not be allowed to fail.

I think it pretty much already has failed.

The Dominion Post rails against pokie machines:

Gamblers pump about $1 billion a year into machines in pubs, RSAs and sports clubs. Of that, about a third finds its way back to the community via gaming trusts. (The rest is consumed by the Government, in the form of taxes, as well as by pubs and clubs and the gaming machine trusts.)

The majority of machines are concentrated in lower socio-economic areas. Newtown, for example, has 72. Khandallah, Thorndon, Kelburn and Wadestown have none. However, the proceeds are distributed evenly across communities. That means the people who frequent gaming machines in poorer neighbourhoods are subsidising the sporting and cultural pursuits of their neighbours in wealthier parts of town.

For this reason, and many others, tentative Wellington City Council proposals to gradually lower the number of machines in five “areas of concern” – Tawa, Johnsonville, Miramar, Karori and Newtown – are welcome.

I disagree. is effectively a tax on stupidity. the left always go on about how we should tax bad things more. Well stupidity is a bad thing, and if the taxpayer and community groups can make money from stupid people, then that is fine with me – so long as there is total transparency about odds – ie people know that over time they are almost certain to lose money.

The ODT looks at :

Her popularity is as baffling as it is perhaps frightening to liberal intellectuals, Democrats – and, some suggest – to old-school Republicans whose most fervent wish is to retake the White House in 2012 and who fear her potentially divisive influence on the party. …

She may embody all the colourful hyperbole and grammatical integrity of a hastily penned country and western anthem, but down-home, emotive, illogical, God-fearing and at times disturbingly ignorant, she epitomises a certain cross-section of the electorate.

As such Mrs Palin is a potentially powerful influence on the future course of US politics.

Mainstream political forces will continue to dismiss her at their peril.

She may of course self-destruct at some stage. What will be interesting is how many GOP candidates ask her to appear with them in the mid-terms in November.

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15 Responses to “Editorials 12 February 2010”

  1. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    Whereas a Queens Wharf Hilton would have probably thrown a RWC waterfront party at no cost whatsoever to the Council….

    (Not to mention removed said sheds at their own cost)

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  2. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    She may of course self-destruct at some stage.

    If only Obama had his self destruction prior to winning the presidency…

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  3. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    There is a big difference between Sarah Palin and the things the media write about Sarah Palin. She is nowhere near as redneck, illiterate or stupid as the media love to make her out to be. Nonetheless, she is still a bit too redneck, and a little too slow, for my liking as a potential President of the US. But no more flawed than do-nothing Obama is, or, indeed, than McCain would have been.

    One of the unfortunate aspects of democracy is the sort of person who ends up getting elected. I guess if you have aspirations of the person leading us being better than all of us, you really shouldn’t be relying on us to pick them. So what you’d have would be a dictatorship. And given the choice between Palin and a dictatorship (no matter how benevolent) I know which I’d choose.

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  4. ISeeRed (244 comments) says:

    I’m no Palin-hater. I think she has an interesting backstory of accomplishment and was unfairly mauled by the media. She’s no Reagan, though, and seems a little quirky and uninformed about some issues. I think the Tea Party movement has a lot going for it, but she could alienate many of the Independents in its base if the GOP look like they’re using her to muscle in and take over. (She spoke at the recent Tea Party convention.) It’s pertty clear the Democrats and much of the media don’t get where the Tea Party is coming from, but the GOP seem to be wanting to co-opt or muscle in on them.

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  5. menace (407 comments) says:

    If america can have nukes, then so can anyone.

    If the world had disamed it self of nuke years ago then i could understand teh current concerns. But with everybody nuked up to the hilt i dont

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  6. sbk (308 comments) says:

    “I think it pretty much already has failed.”.yep! cant reason with a madman..mad he believes in the madhi..scary.

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  7. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    At least Wellington will be sorted for the rugby. Israel will sort out Iran. Those stoopid people who gamble all their money away are the same ones the rest of us have to support. And Palin, at least, has nice legs.

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  8. Lutzie (63 comments) says:

    Did anyone here actually visit the US during the Bush Administration? Did you not sense the despair? Mind you, a lot of that might have been due to Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice et al.

    I have a strong feeling that Palin as President wold be even more reliant on advisors. And voters would want to know who they might be.

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  9. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    If the world had disamed it self of nuke years ago then i could understand teh current concerns. But with everybody nuked up to the hilt i dont

    Never heard of MAD have you – worked pretty damn well during the cold war. The problem is, I doubt the Iranians really give two shits if their population is wiped out in response, they will blissfully be enjoying their 72 virgins.

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  10. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Perhaps the only thing that will save us from Iran will be it’s own people. Hard to threaten ones neighbours when your own country is self destructing.

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  11. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    People who go from Kelburn to Newtown to play poker machines are raising the IQ of both suburbs.

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  12. redqueen (456 comments) says:

    I love how Tawa is included in the ‘troubled areas’. I can think of one pub that causes all the trouble…maybe we should just remove their licence to sell liquor, operating gaming machines, and then it’d all quiet down? I mean, why remove a stupidity tax when the problem is centralised to a single location?

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  13. kiki (425 comments) says:

    So Pakistan and India neither of whom have signed the the treaty of non proliferation get military add after they develop weapons. Iran who has not developed weapons gets sanctions.

    Iran, who were under the thumb of a US backed thug, removed this man. The US then backed and supplied their neighbour in a war where chemical weapons were used with total US and European backing and oversight, the US supplied satellite photos to show the effect of gas on the Iranian soldiers, and then the US used it’s spin to deny the use of gas. This finally came to notice when Kurd villages got gassed which was to hard to cover.

    The US by coincidence now occupies Iraq and Afghanistan either side of Iran and they are considered an enemy by Saudi, Americas oil master.

    Why would they want to develop weapons I wonder? and who will China back?

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  14. Inky_the_Red (735 comments) says:

    DPS said “I disagree. Gambling is effectively a tax on stupidity. the left always go on about how we should tax bad things more. Well stupidity is a bad thing, and if the taxpayer and community groups can make money from stupid people, then that is fine with me – so long as there is total transparency about odds – ie people know that over time they are almost certain to lose money.”

    Gambling is an addiction and like drug and alcohol addiction is destructive. The law, in regards to pokies, as it currently stands means money from the addicts (more often poor brown and female) is distributed to community groups (that are more often middle class, male, white) banning pokie machines takes away the heroin or the gambling world. I’m all for banning them and locking up the low life who promote them

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  15. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Yup diplomacy has failed I gather it will take Iran about 3 years to develop a bomb and Israel has 165 of them ready to go. Ahmadinajad is Hitler’s heir and history has this habit of repeating. China are not going to go to war over this, Russia won’t either both have issues with muslim extremists and you can count on those extremists to further highten antipathy for muslims in both the near and far east and the west. Only the Iranian people can change the direction that the wheel of history is currently rolling

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