The Dim-Post

September 19, 2016

Unfortunate experiment watch

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:13 am

National’s grand plan to unleash the power of the market and remove the dead hand of the state from social housing reaches its absurd endgame:

Housing New Zealand has bought a South Auckland motel to help meet the area’s housing shortage – but ironically the existing residents will have to move out to make room for the homeless.

A spokesman said the agency bought the 10-unit Cimarron Motel in Waterview Rd, Takanini, as “part of our work to make more housing available in Auckland for those who require it urgently”.

But the motel was already being used for long-stay accommodation, and former resident Roland Stehlin said he was worried about what would happen to the remaining residents.

“There’s an elderly couple there who have been there 11 years, they have nowhere to go,” he said.

“We’ve got a family that’s in the house [formerly the manager’s house]. Their kids are all going to the school there. The last I heard was apparently they are going out to Pukekohe, now they have to find some way of getting their kids into school there.”

 

September 16, 2016

A heretical question about inequality

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 4:52 am

Newshub had a story last night about the booming economy:

International economist Ann Pettifor says New Zealand’s economy is “hugely imbalanced”.

“But what’s interesting about New Zealand is that inequality rose in this country more than in any other developed country in the world between 1980 and the 2000s – that’s extraordinary.”

She says those levels of inequality lead to political instability which has led to the rise of the likes of Donald Trump and “fascists in Europe”.

The idea that inequality = political instability is canonical on the left and I’d always just agreed with it and assumed it was true. But because this time it was an economist making the assertion, it made me wonder if it was false. And given that we did have the fastest rise in inequality yet have such an extraordinary degree of political stability that it frustrates the hell out of the left, doesn’t this seem like a false claim?

September 13, 2016

Ever decreasing circles

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 5:39 am

Via TVNZ:

There are fresh worries for Labour following the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll.

The party has slipped three points to 26 per cent. That’s the lowest it’s been in the ONE News poll since the last election when it recorded 25 per cent.

National, however, remains in fine form riding high, steady this month at 48 per cent, the same result it picked up on election night in 2014.

The Greens are trucking along solidly up one per cent to 13, although the big mover is New Zealand First which is up to two points in our poll to 11 per cent. The Maori Party has also had a small gain up one, to two per cent.

My current theory of New Zealand politics is that the party voter bases look roughly like this:

linearvenn

People are often surprised when there’s lots of political activity, and then a poll comes out and National haven’t shifted. I reckon this is because no one but Winston Peters is contesting their voters. Probably there was some movement during that period: people churning between the Greens and Labour and Labour and New Zealand First as the opposition parties all try and peel off their ‘next available voters’ from one another. We wouldn’t expect any of that to move current National voters – and it doesn’t.

September 12, 2016

Chart of the end of the day

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 11:14 am

day

September 11, 2016

Things

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:17 am

I wrote a thing about the Wellington Mayoral race for the Spinoff. You can read it here.

We finished watching Stranger Things recently. I saw a couple of astute comments about it on the internet, but cannot remember where:

  • The online response to Stranger Things is proof that the internet can’t just like things, it has to love them.
  • It’s a show that is not anxious about revealing its influences. (The show is a convergence of 1980s pop culture masterpieces. ET, Poltergeist, Alien, Stephen King’s Firestarter) 

I liked it, but it felt to me like a show designed by an algorithm to make me like it.

I just finished reading Michael Faber’s Book of New Strange Things. The only other book I’ve read of his is The Crimson Petal and the White, which I didn’t think much of. I don’t think I’ve ever read two such dissimilar novels by the same author. I liked BONST, but don’t think I understood it at all. It reminded me a bit of the Priest’s Tale in Dan Simmon’s Hyperion. If anyone wants to explain it to me in the comments, feel free.

 

September 9, 2016

Darkness before beers

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:26 am

There’ll be an awful lot written about the convergence of issues in the Chiefs/Scarlette scandal, but something I think we’re seeing a lot of, generally, is the rise of the anti-show trial in which powerful people or institutions accused of wrongdoing investigate and then exonerate themselves, generally outside the bounds of the criminal justice system.

September 7, 2016

Where the bee sucks there suck I

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 3:13 pm

Via RNZ:

Colin Craig contemplated buying his press secretary jewellery and told her she had “healing hands”, a jury has been told

The former Conservative Party leader is being sued for defamation by Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams over comments he made at a news conference and in a widely distributed leaflet in July last year.

Mr Williams has told the High Court in Auckland that the comments suggested Mr Williams been dishonest and had made up allegations about why Mr Craig’s press secretary Rachel MacGregor had left her job.

Yesterday he detailed accusations that Mr Craig had sexually harassed Ms MacGregor, forcing her to leave.

Mr Williams also read a number of poems he said Mr Craig had written for Ms MacGregor.

In one poem, Mr Craig implied that he wished he was two men and could be in a relationship with Ms MacGregor, Mr Williams said.

In a section of the poem titled ‘beautiful’, which the letter said Ms MacGregor could skip if she thought it was inappropriate, Mr Craig allegedly wrote: “You look unbelievably good in your new dress. Your lips are so amazing to kiss. Your skin is so soft. You are wonderful because you have the most beautiful … (lol).”

Full disclosure: I am vaguely, peripherally involved in this court case, somehow. Someone in the Conservative Party emailed me a copy of Craig’s pamphlet when it came out, and I guess Jordan Williams found that out during the discovery phase and so I had to sign a deposition about it all.

There’s an ‘Iran vs Iraq’ quality to all of this, but back when this trainwreck happened, Colin Craig signed a confidentiality agreement with MacGregor which he almost immediately broke, making all sorts of allegations against her in the media, secure in the knowledge that if she responded he could sue her for breach of agreement, but that she didn’t have the money to do the same to him. So watching him suffer another intense round of humiliation as karmic punishment for that is pretty sweet.

September 6, 2016

Why are cabbage leaves wrinkled

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 7:04 pm

One of the things I looked forward to about being a parent was answering questions about the world. What is the sun? Why is the sky blue, etc. And, I figured, even if I couldn’t answer my daughter’s questions I could look the answers up on the internet and then translate the explanations very lucidly.

This has hardly ever worked in practise. Today’s question: why are the leaves of a Savoy cabbage so wrinkled? ‘Uh . . . water retention?’ I guessed, before looking online and not finding an answer. Any botanists out there want to answer?

20160906_184248

Low Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 7:54 am

Via RNZ:

Speaking on Morning Report today, Mr Key admitted high immigration was putting a strain on the country’s infrastructure, but the government would continue to bring in large numbers to fill jobs.

He said this was partly because many employers could not get New Zealanders to work due to problems with drugs or work ethic.

“We bring in people to pick fruit under the RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) scheme, and they come from the islands, and they do a fabulous job. And the government has been saying ‘well, OK, there are some unemployed people who live in the Hawke’s Bay, and so why can’t we get them to pick fruit’, and we have been trialling a domestic RSE scheme.

“But go and ask the employers, and they will say some of these people won’t pass a drug test, some of these people won’t turn up for work, some of these people will claim they have health issues later on.

I can understand why you’d want drug tests for forestry jobs, or other high risk industries – but why on earth would you drug test fruit-pickers? Is someone who smoked pot in the weekend really unqualified to pick apples? It seems like a totally pointless barrier to entry: the creation of a spurious problem, the solution to which – higher unemployment, higher welfare costs, higher immigration, increased infrastructure costs – can all be avoided by simply letting potheads pick some fruit.

As for people not turning up for work and having health problems, these seem like the completely predictable and widely predicted results of folding the sickness benefit into the unemployment benefit. Yeah, people with chronic illnesses are gonna have health issues. What Key seems to be saying here is that Paula Bennett’s extremely expensive welfare reforms have been a catastrophic failure.

September 5, 2016

Three predictions

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 12:09 pm

Via NewsHub:

Shane Jones is writing a book musing about how New Zealand should be run in one of the strongest signs yet his political comeback is on.

Sources have told Newshub that Jones has been mulling over the book’s contents and wants to use it as a “political reset button”.

The incarnation of ‘Jonesey the author’ comes amid growing speculation he will stand for New Zealand First at the next election.

The sources say that Jones has begun “doing the early mahi (work)” on the book’s outline while recovering from dengue fever contracted in Papua New Guinea during his role as the Government’s Pacific Ambassador.

Jones is clearly lining up the Whangarei seat that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters wants to take off National’s Shane Reti. He lives in nearby Kerikeri, but has strong links to Whangarei where Peters already has a strong presence.

Prediction 1 is that there will be no book. Prediction 2: if Jones stands for New Zealand First in Whangarei he will lose in a landslide. Prediction 3. Even if the first two predictions come true the gallery will continue to be gullible suckers for Jonesy.

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