The Dim-Post

September 30, 2009

Diverse it gets

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 7:56 am

The Herald has an op-ed from Lindsey Mitchell today; I’ve commented on this issue before, that while I think it’s great the the newspaper feels comfortable publishing material from the lunatic fringe of the ideological spectrum it is a little strange that the only content of this type that they publish is free market neo-liberalism. Why give space to Mitchell and Roger Kerr but not the Workers Party or the Scientologists or Satanists or UFO cultists? I still don’t get it. I’m sure the author of Satanism in New Zealand would love to publish op-eds in the nation’s largest newspaper and that they’re just as qualified and have as much to contribute to public debate as Lindsay Mitchell.

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57 Comments »

  1. When the United States declared war on poverty and expanded welfare in the 1960s, poverty won. When it reformed welfare in the 1990s, welfare rolls dropped dramatically and so did poverty levels.

    Anyone know what they did? All Mitchell said was ‘reform’, could mean anything.

    Comment by StephenR — September 30, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  2. You are trying to say Lindsay’s views are so extreme, they can be compared to lunatics and satanists. Wow that is character assassination all right.

    Lindsay’s views are on the right side of the spectrum, around where John Minto is on the left. John Minto gets far far far more column cms, plus hus own blog on Stuff.

    Also if you bothered to check, I think you would find that the reason Lindsay gets published from time to time is she actually bothers to submit Op Eds for consideration. Not that many groups or people do.

    Comment by David Farrar — September 30, 2009 @ 8:52 am

  3. Why don’t you engage with the issue here instead of (literally) demonising the bearer of news?
    You may not agree with Lindsay Mitchell’s conclusions, you cannot fault her statistics.
    So instead of referring to her as the ‘lunatic fringe’ and comparing her with Satanists, Scientologists and UFO cultists, why don’t you give your own opinion on the rather skewed welfare statistics and their correlation with similarly skewed occurence of severe social issues?
    By having that debate it might be possible to reach some common ground, and perhaps find solutions to these problems, instead of throwing insults to those who apparently disagree with your views.

    Comment by dimmocrazy — September 30, 2009 @ 8:58 am

  4. I must’ve become immune to the overblown comparisons, they passed right by me.

    Comment by StephenR — September 30, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  5. You are trying to say Lindsay’s views are so extreme, they can be compared to lunatics and satanists. Wow that is character assassination all right.

    How many days is it since you compared Phil Goff to Clayton Weatherston?

    Comment by danylmc — September 30, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  6. As I’ve blogged over at g.blog, the biggest problem I have with Lindsay Mitchell is that she makes sweeping statements without producing any evidence to support them and interprets events that are temporally related as being causally related without producing any evidence of causation.

    Just take StephenR’s quote above from her op ed:

    When the United States declared war on poverty and expanded welfare in the 1960s, poverty won. When it reformed welfare in the 1990s, welfare rolls dropped dramatically and so did poverty levels.

    Well, not according to the University of Michigan’s Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy:

    In the late 1950s, the poverty rate for all Americans was 22.4 percent, or 39.5 million individuals. These numbers declined steadily throughout the 1960s, reaching a low of 11.1 percent, or 22.9 million individuals, in 1973. Over the next decade, the poverty rate fluctuated between 11.1 and 12.6 percent, but it began to rise steadily again in 1980. By 1983, the number of poor individuals had risen to 35.3 million individuals, or 15.2 percent.

    For the next ten years, the poverty rate remained above 12.8 percent, increasing to 15.1 percent, or 39.3 million individuals, by 1993. The rate declined for the remainder of the decade, to 11.3 percent by 2000. From 2000 to 2004 it rose each year to 12.7 in 2004.

    So poverty levels, contrary to Mitchell’s assertion, dropped right through to 1973 and remained reasonably stable through to the early 1980s.

    And it started to decline in 1993 – three years before the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was signed into law by Bill Clinton. Mitchell is wrong again.

    And to claim the trifecta of inaccuracy, under the welfare reforms Mitchell lauds, poverty levels rose between 2000 to 2004.

    Or maybe she’s usinga different measure of poverty to the researchers at the University of Michigan. We just don’t know.

    Comment by toad — September 30, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  7. I think Mitchell’s argument is so preposterous it’s not really worth rebutting. Arguing that there are problems with the welfare system so we need to abolish it is like burning down your house because the roof is leaking.

    Comment by danylmc — September 30, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  8. @Toad

    I was just reading that the 90′s in the states had a demographic blip, can’t find the linky :(

    essentially the young male demo at that point in time was small, so crime and poverty rates dropped.

    Comment by andy — September 30, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  9. from lindsay, “The DPB has made fathering and fleeing commonplace and accepted. Before the DPB men were jailed for not supporting their families. Draconian, possibly.”

    ummm… anyone have evidence for this? sounds an awful lot like a flight of fancy.

    Comment by Che Tibby — September 30, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  10. And while we bicker, more children die. Is it two a week now?

    Comment by Captain Crab — September 30, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  11. @david farrar. that isn’t what danly said at all. he said why is it only the roundtable end of the ideological extremists who get press?

    and it’s a good question. kerr is constantly trotted out like he’s a voice to be listened to.

    when in fact he’s a fossil solid energy should be seriously looking at for it’s new pollution-plant.

    Comment by Che Tibby — September 30, 2009 @ 10:04 am

  12. @ Toad: Thanks for some real facts.
    That’s the best (only) way to attack these arguments.

    But it’s like challenging climate-warming sceptics,
    for each looney statement, it takes 30 times more effort
    to research a response. And as this op-ed piece demonstrates,
    they’re better at PR.

    Comment by Adhominem — September 30, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  13. I don’t think Lindsay Mitchell is particularly equivalent to a Satranist or a UFO cultist. But looking at Toad’s demonstration of the unreliability of her statistics and conclusions, I think she is equivalent to a climate change denier, a person who argues that HIV does not cause AIDS, or one of those gun lobby people who argue that we would have a lower crime rate if more people carried guns.

    Comment by kahikatea — September 30, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  14. @ kahikatea: Snap!

    Comment by Adhominem — September 30, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  15. Nope Che Tibby, I don’t think there is any evidence for that statement.

    Firstly, fathering and fleeing isn’t anymore accepted now than before. If it was accepted, there would be no need to flee would there?

    As an asside, in the past, men would just abandon their families (occasionally women did as well, but mostly the men) frequently bolting for Australia. There was very little tracking of these abandonments. The first Minister to do anything to secure a home for women and kids when they were abandoned was Mabel Howard.

    I kind of get sick of the “in the past we were virtuous and now we are sinners” argument. It gets wheeled out by all kinds of right wing commentators who don’t feel the need to back up their opinions with research.

    Comment by Sean — September 30, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  16. ‘In the past’ welfare was provided by charity, not forced on people by the evils of the state.

    Comment by Danyl Mclauchlan — September 30, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  17. Arguing that Mitchell is on the lunatic fringe is equivalent to arguing that pro smackers are lunatics, ie, about 85% of the population.

    Of course about 85% of the population agrees with Mitchell.. the statistics on Maori children prove it day after day. Where the general population might disagree with her is that something drastic must be done about the DPB.. or at least the problem of fatherless babies.. there maybe only 70% would agree with her.

    JC

    Comment by JC — September 30, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  18. That’s a very balanced and reasonable analysis. The DPB forcibly takes good nuclear parents away from innocent wide-eyed children.

    =|

    Comment by GarethW — September 30, 2009 @ 11:44 am

  19. I’ve had this argument with Lindsay before, based on her ignoring the not-insignificant fact that there’s a reason why social welfare and the DPB were introduced in the first place. What she’s arguing for essentially is returning us to having a reason why we should introduce social welfare and a DPB – it seems kind of self-defeating to me.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — September 30, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  20. @garethw … could you explain how that works?

    does MSD steal up in the night and remove fathers from beds, and send them to narnia or something?

    Comment by Che Tibby — September 30, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  21. Che it is a total myth that the BRT end of the spectrum gets more opinion columns than the other end. I’d say the “spend more” proponents get way more column cms than the “spend less” ones.

    And frankly I find it disturbing when people advocate that those whose views they do not like should not get media attention.

    The BRT has around 40 members amongst the leading business CEOs. I think they are a valuable contributor to the national debate, even if I do not agree with them on everything.

    The CTU get a lot of press space. Don’t agree with much of what they say, but I don’t want them silenced.

    Comment by David Farrar — September 30, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  22. @ David Farrar
    “And frankly I find it disturbing when people advocate that those whose views they do not like should not get media attention”
    If you are inferring that we are discussing that here in this forum,
    then I suggest you actually read it.

    Comment by Adhominem — September 30, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  23. good call.

    david, i wasn’t stating that kerr can’t have an opinion, just that he’s a relic from another age.

    take him seriously and “the left” will have to start listening to trotter. they’re both old toots from another political reality.

    Comment by Che Tibby — September 30, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  24. And frankly I find it disturbing when people advocate that those whose views they do not like should not get media attention.

    I’m not saying that they shouldn’t get attention. I just think it’s odd that the Herald publishes a lot of articles from the BRT and it’s ideological travellers. Imagine if they kept running op-eds every week insisting that the government introduce compulosry unionism, collectivise all the farms in the country, set wages for private industry and appoint directors of all private companies. Wouldn’t that be weird? I think the voice they give to the advocates of neo-liberalism is just as strange.

    The CTU get a lot of press space. Don’t agree with much of what they say, but I don’t want them silenced.

    The CTU get a lot of press space. They have a lot of members. The EMA and other business advocacy groups like Business New Zealand get roughly the same amount of press space. In the marketplace of ideas Kerr and Mitchell aren’t the equivilent of the CTU, they’re the equivilent of Valarie Morse and Tame Iti.

    Comment by Danyl Mclauchlan — September 30, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  25. As I said, papers tend to run op eds from those who bother to send them in. I would rather people encourage more groups to send in op eds, than complain about the fact the media publish the ones they do get sent.

    Comment by David Farrar — September 30, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  26. David, I have never sent in an op-ed, and have not been in the editorial room of a paper, so cannot test whether your claim is true.

    However, my experience with the letters pages is that my “moderate” (ie. not challenging the political status quo) letters get published, and that my radical ones do not. Papers, as private entities are of course free to publish whatever they feel best. It happens that what they feel best more often represents a particular viewpoint.

    Comment by George Darroch — September 30, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  27. papers tend to run op eds from those who bother to send them in.

    I have to agree with David here. If you can write concisely and in complete sentences, and you have a clear point of view – *and* you send a column into a newspaper – you have a half-way decent chance of getting published.

    Comment by Ataahua — September 30, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  28. The battle of ideas, where the opponent can employ Think Tanks and PR companies,
    is like going against machine-guns with sticks and stones.

    I like this blog, because it gives me a feeling
    that I can realign that assymetry.
    (How deluded is that!)

    Comment by Adhominem — September 30, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

  29. “That means roughly one in three Maori children relies on welfare, hence the Maori Party’s further campaign promise to raise core benefit levels.”

    I don’t understand why Maori can’t just top up the imperialist benefits with money from the treaty settlements.

    But Lindsay is right about welfare dependency: if taking on work (which is mana-enhancing) can result in severe disturbances to total income, is it any wonder that many are not motivated to do so.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — September 30, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

  30. The Herald used to publish Robert Fisk regularly. I think that’s because they got him cheap. Radio NZ used to do fawning interviews with people like Chomsky and Tariq Ali. But not so much recently.

    The SST times balances left and right craziness with Laws and McDonald.

    But looking at The Gurdian even there there’s quite a lot of stupid commentary – plus a small amount more intelligent- so maybe it’s just very very hard to get something better.

    Comment by Neil — September 30, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  31. Bit harsh to compare Kerr to the Workers Party in terms of fringiness, unless of course Marxism has had a serious revival of credibility lately. Matt McCarten, who’d probably be happy to be called the opposite of Kerr, gets a weekly column in the HOS. Hell, Stuff gives Minto a blog.

    I do, however, think that more articles from Satanists and Scientologists would be a fantastic idea.

    Comment by Richard — September 30, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  32. “I do, however, think that more articles from Satanists and Scientologists would be a fantastic idea.”

    although, you’d need some freemasons in there to really cover the goat-riding demographic.

    Comment by Che Tibby — September 30, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

  33. David,
    You make a fair point that Mitchell roughly equals that mendacious moron Minto.
    As a liberal I get annoyed the moderate left viewpoint gets little coverage.
    Tame Iti/Valerie Morse are/have been often published/interviewed/quoted/referenced.

    But Dave.’As I said, papers tend to run op eds from those who bother to send them in.’
    As a former journalist I know this isn’t true and I doubt you believe it.
    Also, the BRT get too much exposure. I know a number of right-wing businessmen
    who find them self-indulgent ideologues who make a sub-optimal constructive contribution
    to the big issues.

    Dave. How about an apology for comparing Goff to Clayton Weatherston?
    I’m still appalled by that.

    Comment by lenny — September 30, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  34. care to explain why this is “material from the lunatic fringe of the ideological spectrum”?

    Sounds like a dog whistle lunatic fringe knee jerk reaction Danyl.

    Comment by expat — September 30, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

  35. “I know a number of right-wing businessmen who find them self-indulgent ideologues”

    I know a number of businessmen who think they are right-wing, but hanker after gummint handouts, protectionism and a so-called pragmatism that indicates that they are anything BUT right-wing. Lenny, I would check the “RW” credentials of your chums.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 1, 2009 @ 4:45 am

  36. “Bit harsh to compare Kerr to the Workers Party in terms of fringiness, unless of course Marxism has had a serious revival of credibility lately.”

    What, you’re saying Kerr has credibility? Are you a comedian? Stalking Coddington didn’t damage his reputation. That says a lot.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — October 1, 2009 @ 7:13 am

  37. weeeelll… farrar is doing what he does best, putting up smokescreens.

    yes, newspapers publish op-eds that are sent in. but there is a clear preference for recognised names, and “credible” voices.

    you’d also think that prominent advertisers would get a look in above unemployed “advocates of a cause”.

    kerr gets press because he’s a recognised businessman, not because what he says has any relevance to the real issues of the day.

    and it looks a lot like boniface gets the same, even though she lives in some wonderland.

    Comment by Che Tibby — October 1, 2009 @ 7:23 am

  38. “Bit harsh to compare Kerr to the Workers Party in terms of fringiness, unless of course Marxism has had a serious revival of credibility lately.”

    ha Richard – I thought you were having a go at satire when I read that – yeah Kerr’s credibility is at an all time high right now. I mean its not like his and his ilk’s prescription of unregulated markets led the world economy to the brink of disaster recently and Keynsian economics have dragged us (slightly) to safer ground.
    I guess you live in opposite land – or perhaps you believe it was Bill Clinton’s fault like other appoligists…

    Comment by sam — October 1, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  39. I mean its not like his and his ilk’s prescription of unregulated markets led the world economy to the brink of disaster recently and Keynsian economics have dragged us (slightly) to safer ground.

    It’s funny, because I can tell that you really really believe that.
    Financial markets – especially banks – are the most heavily regulated markets on the planet. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bank in China, or the US, or NZ, oversight from a central regulatory is more onerous and invasive than in any other sector of the economy (except, perhaps, food manufacturing).

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — October 1, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  40. “Financial markets – especially banks – are the most heavily regulated markets on the planet.”
    The Financial Meltdown occurred because a lot of financial institutions
    had taken very risky positions in Credit Default Swaps, which were unregulated.

    Comment by Adhominem — October 1, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  41. Credit Default Swaps, which were unregulated

    Rubbish. CDS’ and RMBS’ fall within the purview of regulatory authorities. If a bank is undertaking an activity like this, the regulators have an obligation to, at the very least, understand what the market is doing. Almost universally; regulators didn’t.

    To be fair, banks didn’t really understand what they were doing either, for two reasons:
    1) There was an almost universal underestimation of the risk involved – that goes for banks, regulators, and even ‘end-point’ investors.
    2) The accounting rules had fallen well behind the practices of the day. IFRS goes a long way to solving the determination of On/Off balance sheet obligations (hint; it’s now all On Balance Sheet and you have to carry capital against it).

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — October 1, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

  42. “The Financial Meltdown occurred because a lot of financial institutions had taken very risky positions in Credit Default Swaps, which were unregulated.”

    They sold CDS to get the toxic loans off their books, the loans that the Regulations required they make. You know, the non-recourse Ninja loans, that were forced on the banks in the name of fairness to minorities.

    So CDS didn’t cause the problem, but they sure did help spread it round!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 1, 2009 @ 1:01 pm

  43. They sold CDS to get the toxic loans off their books

    Not exactly. As defined by previous accounting rules (pre-IFRS) the poor quality ninja loans were never really on their books in the first place – even though the legal obligation to investors did indeed exist, but no-one was entirely certain about that at the time…

    Interstingly, a CDS, at its core, is not a speculative product at all – it’s insurance. Not really any different from you or I having ‘home and contents’.

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — October 1, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

  44. “Not really any different from you or I having ‘home and contents’.”
    If you get burgled, that doesn’t increase the risk that I will be burgled.

    Comment by Adhominem — October 1, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  45. If you live next door to me, and I get burgled, it sure as hell DOES increase the risk you will be burgled – just wait until the next time your policy is renewed!
    But now we’re just being silly.

    Here’s as good an explanation of CDS’ as you’re ever going to get…
    http://www.thedelphicfuture.org/2009/05/crisis-for-dummies-credit-default-swaps.html

    Coming back to ‘unregulated’ for a moment:

    The vast majority of financial-institution-to-financial-institution contracts are processed through centralised registrys.

    For example, the RBNZ owns and operates ‘AustraClear’ which is how Registered Banks ‘wash-up’ transactions between each other during the day. The NZX (subcontracted to ComputerShare?) owns a similar system which is used to handle shares/bonds/derivatives, and the rest of the planet operates in a pretty similar manner, depending on the jurisdiction.

    All of these transactions are carefully logged and collated for financial accounts. Regulators know the information is all there, waiting to be mined and used to inform good policy and maintain financial stability. That they haven’t, up until now, is a great shame.

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — October 1, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  46. @Phil (not Goff)

    So you’re saying that there was a high degree of regulation, just that no one understood what they were regulating or how to regulate it?

    That sounds like a gaping lack of regulation to me.

    Comment by nommopilot — October 1, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  47. @Phil

    I’ll gladly read you’re recommended text.
    And get back with a response.

    In the meantime here’s one for you
    NY Times: Nassim Taleb: Risk Management

    It about the Ideas of Nassim Taleb.
    I think he explains the details of what went wrong, very well.

    Comment by Adhominem — October 1, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

  48. I’m sorry about the link to the NY Times article.
    It wasn’t “register-to-read” when I read it.

    @Phil
    I read your text on CDS. It describes what they are,
    but it doesn’t really describe how they are used
    within the financial system.
    That’s what is good about the NY Times article.
    I still recommend you read it.

    What it highlights for me, is the neccessity for more regulation,
    but also a warning: “Those new regulations, ultimately, won’t work”
    Some new dodgy product/loophole will emerge.

    I think nationalising “Too big to fail” corporations
    is the best way to regulate them,
    but that put’s me out with the UFO experts.

    Comment by Adhominem — October 1, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

  49. ha Richard – I thought you were having a go at satire when I read that – yeah Kerr’s credibility is at an all time high right now. I mean its not like his and his ilk’s prescription of unregulated markets led the world economy to the brink of disaster recently and Keynsian economics have dragged us (slightly) to safer ground.

    Is there any band wagon you didn’t have a ride on in that para? First, as noted Phil (not Goff) has noted lack of regulation doesn’t seem to have been a main problem rather lack of enforcement of existing laws – something Kerr and his roundtable mates have long advocated. Anyway point to one example in the last ten years of a lefty politician, Minto type or other advocating regulation that would have prevented the current mess.

    Second, why does every lefty now seem to think Keynes is a lefty? Is a fiscal response to a downturn in demand really socialism in action?

    Comment by Richard — October 1, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  50. “You know, the non-recourse Ninja loans, that were forced on the banks in the name of fairness to minorities.”

    I call bullshit. Most sub prime was lent out by banks that weren’t backed by fannie and freddie. Most of the lending ‘forced on banks’ wasn’t subprime.

    And the reason the regulators didn’t do their jobs, is because, like Greenspan, they personally thought regulation wasn’t necessary, which is why they got the jobs.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — October 1, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  51. “Most of the lending ‘forced on banks’ wasn’t subprime.” Or at the least, didn’t have to be, the stupid bankers probably chose to do it that way though if they could. That’s where the short term incentives were.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — October 1, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

  52. Aside from being poorly argued and hyperbolic, Lindsay’s column was badly timed. This week New Zealanders joined together to farewell a man who was well regarded by generations of Maori and Pakeha. It was a reminder of what we have in common, in the past and in the future. It would be hard to think of a less fruitful time to inject welfare racism – the negative association of welfare and Maori – into our public discourse.

    Comment by 50th comment — October 1, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

  53. Well, 50th, if Maori didn’t keep saying “we’re different and so neeed our benefits increased, our anti-smoking programmes paid for by taxpayers and special seats for us on bodies with lots of (slurp) power and money” then I guess there would concern that Maori want a gentle form of apartied.

    Pascal says “I call bullshit. Most sub prime was lent out by banks that weren’t backed by fannie and freddie. Most of the lending ‘forced on banks’ wasn’t subprime.” And I agree that subprime and the derivatives weren’t the cause of the crisis (but contributed somewhat to making it worse): it was the bursting of a massive property bubble. Suddenly banks had insufficient security and had to write down their loan books, wiping out their capital.

    “Greenspan, … personally thought regulation wasn’t necessary” Well, government (Fed) control of the money supply through the setting of interest rates IS regulation. So is trying to take risk away by federal programmes that “guarantee” bank deposits with taxpayer money.
    What Greenspan (and most bankers, pundits, etc) personally thought, was that there was no issue with property values, excessive gummint spending (& borrowing), excessive private borrowing for consumtion as well as housing (which many argue IS consumption, anyway, rather than “investment”), currrent account deficits, etc.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 2, 2009 @ 6:27 am

  54. Well, 50th, if Maori didn’t keep saying “we’re different and so neeed our benefits increased, our anti-smoking programmes paid for by taxpayers and special seats for us on bodies with lots of (slurp) power and money” then I guess there would concern that Maori want a gentle form of apartied.

    The slurp says it all. Until those bloody savages learn manners we’ll never enjoy the earthly paradise of the unfettered market.

    Comment by joew — October 2, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  55. One always becomes suspicious about contributers’ credibility when statements are made, that because of my job, I know not to be true. Clunking Fist (an unpleasant pseudonym if ever I heard one) claims that Maori want their smoking cessation programmes paid for by the taxayer – excuse me, but everybody can have their smoking cessation programmes paid for by the taxpayer, and since the 1st September the price to access nicotine replacement therapy has been reduced to $3 the price that all NZers pay for a prescription item – sorry Mr Fist – that argument is a clunker.

    Comment by John Thomson — October 3, 2009 @ 7:29 am

  56. I wuz referring to the Quit Group, which seems to have a heavy bias toward doing stuff in our area with lots of singing and dancing in te reo, so I guess whitey and asians need not apply.

    And why the frick are you paying $3 to quit smoking? If you can afford $20 a day (or how ever much a packet costs these days), you can afford to pay for your own fecking gum. You’ll still die more horribly gangrenous than me (all other things being equal) and have your health needs met through my wallet, even if you do quit now, as I’m a life-long non-smoker.

    And as to me pseudonym , it’s a reference to the World Statesman of the Year, of whom I’m a big fan.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 7, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  57. [...] of this please Filed under: health — danylmc @ 1:35 pm I’ve complained in the past that our print FNORD media frequently gives op-ed space to people like the Business Round [...]

    Pingback by More of this please « The Dim-Post — May 19, 2010 @ 1:35 pm


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