Posts by BenWilson

  • Hard News: The miserable archive, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Something psychologically very, very dark happened during the John Key era.

    If it did, John Key was a symptom of it, rather than a cause. I just don't think he was anywhere near as influential as his fan club and his haterz made out. National's polling would appear to be almost completely decoupled from its leadership ATM. Labour's clearly is not, otherwise the Jacinda bounce is inexplicable, nor is the Cunliffe flop.

    Key was a surfer on the human wave. He rode it, but he did not cause the wave.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The miserable archive, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I wouldn't put it past HNZ to have used private detectives to follow Jesse around. Debt collectors seem to do this almost as a sideline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We are, at last, navigating…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    My god, imagine how many times that bloody scenario has played out in the last few years.

    Having bought a home-and-income in the last few years I can say it played out like that for me too. The building inspection required by the bank tried hard to upsell me to meth testing, which was really expensive, on the grounds that the house was part tenancy. The property managers I approached tried to push meth-testing as well. Several of the vendors of the houses we looked at made big issues of their in-house meth minders.

    The work you had done, and other journos too, gave me the resolve to ignore the shit out of these panic-pushers. I fixed moisture and heating issues instead, despite the earnest advice of several agents that it was money completely wasted, as the cost would never be recouped from tenants. They might be right about that, sadly, but at least I sleep better, and as for the meth use, it's really not my business. I'm impressed to see it called directly by the government, it's a really, really promising sign for evidence led policy making.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Normally when a leader is weakening the fact is signalled loud & clear by the body language. None yet.

    I think he honestly does not understand a lot of what is going on. He doesn't know if he's weak or strong because he does not have any real infrastructure in place to keep him advised. He discards advisors like they're contestants on his stupid show, on which it was noted by the editors that they often completely failed to understand his rationales and had to work really, really hard to edit the shows to make him seem rational at all. The only time I ever watched it, he fired the highest performing contestant who had won immunity because they got cocky and waived their immunity. Whether they were any good at whatever stupid task they had been put to, selling buttons on the street or something, was beside the point. He was infuriated by someone being cocky on his show. His actions and decisions are emotional and narcissistic, not rational, and he doesn't have any clear direction or policy. So I don't expect him to change his behaviour even if he gets impeached. For him, it's all Mission Accomplished every day that he gets a ton of attention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm amused by the idea of Trump personally reading documents. By most accounts, this never happens if the document has more than 100 words on it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Trump seems to lack a moral compass from our perspective, but so what?

    He's literally the most powerful man in the world.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The remarkable rise of…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    no actual evidence apart from ...

    I'm fully expecting pictures of Trump naked, TBH. The guy is stupid enough for that.

    I do not believe that is the “best” way to characterise Trump’s stance.

    His stance changes constantly. Sometimes within a day. Sometimes within an interview. Sometimes within a sentence.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The shared-use path that no…,

    Gawd. I just ride through the intersection on the road. At least the road is designed for vehicles. But I'm not ever cycling at busy times.

    A frequent choice would be to ride in to Uni on the cycleway, but home along Gt North Rd. Riding DOWN Gt North Rd (particularly Chinaman's Hill) was one of life's great simple pleasures. There are very few such long slopes that eat up several kilometers with almost no effort, and the bus/cycle lane gave separation from motorists. Going the other way was dreadfully laborious and unsafe compared to the NW cycleway, even with the grand finale of no less than 4 stiff ascents before K Rd.

    The cycleway generally felt slightly less safe going home, because gravity is on your side but the path is narrow and winding, which means pedestrians are a big danger. The proposed improvements on the Bike Auckland site look good.

    It is somewhat irksome that the cycleway, which follows the motorway, does not go under any of the bridges that the motorway does. This would reduce cyclist and pedestrian traffic on the bridges, surely improving the traffic flow, so there is a sound reason to do it, even taking only the interests of cars into account. I guess the problem is cost - the on-ramps and off-ramps would need bridges or tunnels. Or lights, which the on-ramps actually do have now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to Hebe,

    Yes, if we consider the first quake in Chch to have been a forewarning, we just got forewarned.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Big Night Outage, in reply to Hebe,

    ‘So then we went to the cafe and had a coffee’ wasn’t my disaster experience – more ‘so then we were trapped at home by the broken bridges and roads’.

    Yes, I'm not calling the storm a disaster, even though there are still people without power. It's not really in coooeee of a disaster, which is good, since it was a category 2 storm. Any stronger and it would have been called a hurricane quite legitimately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10530 posts Report Reply

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