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Open mike 04/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, January 4th, 2014 - 115 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

115 comments on “Open mike 04/01/2014”

  1. gig-alert for auckland-readers..

    if you remember the great local bands of the late 70’s..at all..you probably remember the band ‘rough justice’…

    ..they are doing a gig 2nite..at the kings’ arms..

    (their first since then..and part of a tour winding its’ way down the country..)

    ..the original members are back together..

    ..(rick bryant/tony backhouse et. al..)

    ..and it promises to go off..

    ..eh..?

    phillip ure..

    • greywarbler 1.1

      phillip ure
      I saw your piece mentioning Rick Bryant and he is in a replay of an interview with Kim Hill on radionz this a.m. What a guy. He is interesting and admirable, lots of interests and wise.

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        indeed greywarbler..indeed…

        ..he has a big brain…that rick bryant..

        ..and has problems ‘suffering fools’..(heh..!..)

        (and as an aside..is quite withering about ‘vegans’..and their ilk..but nobodys’ perfect..eh..?..)

        ..i heard that replay too..cool..eh..?

        ..(it is available online @ rnz..)

        ..i must link to it later..

        phillip ure

  2. the daily blog has the december blog-rankings posted..

    ..and what a pile of steaming horse-shit they are..

    ..@whoar a website audit by the internet company zeald told me i have 22,000+ subscribers..in 96 different countries..

    ..taking everything i do/post..

    ..and i post 40-50 stories a day..every day..

    ..(how many ‘page-views’ is that..?..eh..?..)

    ..yet whoar is nowhere on this list..

    ..nowhere to be seen..

    ‘shine on..you crazy blog-rankings..!’..eh..?

    ..heh..!

    ..phillip ure..

    • karol 2.1

      “never mind the width, feel the quality.”

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        i have both..

        ..eh..?

        phillip ure..

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Myself, I’m more interested in the quaity and content of blogs. The whole rankings thing just buys into the whole competitive, dick waving culture of our capitalist system.

          Too much of it is built into online social media – communities are about engagement and exchanges of ideas, not competitions that mirror commerical markets.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        with whoar you can admire both the quality of the width..

        ..and the width of the quality..

        ..eh..?

        phillip ure..

        • karol 2.1.2.1

          Well, it’s useful to have a pretty wide following, in order to make some impact, and connections. But, I think people can get overly obssessed with being numero 1…. or 2….or 20.

    • lprent 2.2

      You have to have told Ken at open parachute your public sitemeter / stat counter /whatever URL.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        @lprent..

        chrs 4 that..

        i know it is one of those things you have to sign up to/for..install site-meters..boil water..

        ..which just really emphasises how sketchy/incomplete a picture it actually is..

        ..i’ll just plug on..it seems to be working..

        ..and i don’t like signing up for things..

        ..phillip ure..

        • Grumpy 2.2.1.1

          Phil, I used to find your blog incomprehensible. Perhaps I’ve just become accustomed to your sense of humour or your meds are working but I find myself visiting from time to time as it becomes more readable to me.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            @ grumpy..

            ..heh..!..the only ‘meds’ i use/am ever ‘on’..is pot..

            ..legalisation now..!

            ..eh..?

            ..and as it happened..on new years eve i walked..with three other ‘sober’-friends.. into the post-midnite detritus of a mutual-friends’ (old-persons’) alcohol party in whangamata..(it’s a long story..)

            ..and whoar..!

            ..it’s been a long time since that appealed to me..

            ..and that peek just confirmed that stance..

            ..what do people see in it..?

            ..and glad that you are enjoying whoar..

            ..don’t forget to tell yr friends about it..eh..?

            ..i haven’t been able to monetise it yet..

            ..so i can’t afford to advertise..

            ..and i have been facebook-averse ever since finding out the cia gave zuckerberg the money to start the bloody thing..

            ..so..

            ..phillip ure..

  3. greywarbler 3

    News I noticed on Radionz

    Pope Francis has told Catholic priests to leave their comfort zone and get out among people on the margins of society or else risk becoming “abstract ideologists”.
    Isn’t it the case that priests and nuns who abstain from sexual intercourse with the other sex, (but who advise their community to not withhold from intercourse, not to restrain from having children) are truly abstract ideologists?
    And also that applies to all single sex participants, who cannot regard themselves as knowing about the human ability of creating life and living through their own personal experience, unless they engage in sexual intercourse with the other sex. (Turkey basters are only part of the process.)

    Country Calendar repeat today on John and Bunny Mortimer, tree huggers of the most practical, experienced, informative and likable kind was so interesting. They are examples of great NZs, now in their 90’s. They are interested in trees from all views also bio-mass.
    http://www.taituabooks.co.nz/webapps/site/76334/136645/shopping/shopping-plus.html

    Also Ken Vincent poultry breeder still at 78, who used to have 32 breeds now only 16. He says that his duck and hen breeds are becoming rare, and not much is being done in NZ to conserve them. You can see him if you click on show notes from the schedule listing of CC.
    White leghorn hens are big layers – may lay 300 eggs a year. And this in a happy hen house, no battery stuff here. Ducks are particularly nice to have, the males never become aggressive as the roosters do. Possibly not as noisy also. He sends eggs for hatching, sells birds to start own henhouse. Worth considering. The major hen type used is called Shavers I think, the other breeds much less.

    • Ennui 3.1

      Two comments Grey….

      Pope Francis follows the principles of St Francis (poverty, charity and service might be a good description). I am not religious but came to Franciscan thought in my 40s, after having been imbued at Uni with rationalism, in particular Marxism. My take is that rationalism is Johnny Come Lately that has very conveniently pretended that two thousand years of faith and tradition can be quickly laid aside. Godless Marxism is (as are alternate market based faiths), which in turn means it lacks the spiritual dimension needed to make it truly “human”. Dont expect the RC church to use rationalist constructs, they have done well enough without them. With regard to chaste abstract ideologists you might want to consider that medieval orders usually took in people who had “completed” their lives in the community. They had intimate knowledge of the ways of the flesh. Is that so different today? I dont know. Not going to judge.

      Tree huggers and poultry….this year I my form of civic responsibility and unblessed (by authorities) behavior will be to plant more things where they should be (guerrilla plantings, the revolution will come quietly and greenly). My chickens will likely approve, as only rare breeds can.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I got interviewed by Roy Morgan Research yesterday, for the first time ever.

    The most interesting thing is that they called me on my cell phone. I asked them how they got the number and they said they do random dialing, and that’s why they asked me my postcode at the start of the interview, for screening purposes to ensure they got good coverage across the country.

    Anyway, they asked a big range of questions, including the standard political polling. Here are some of the questions and my answers:
    1. Electorate / party vote if election held today: Labour / Labour
    2. Who do I want to win the next election: Labour
    3. Is the country heading in the right direction or wrong direction: I said wrong. Only because I know this is (ridiculously) used as a ‘government confidence rating’ proxy.
    4. Biggest problem facing the world at the moment: climate change. Why: because government’s aren’t doing anything about it.
    5. Biggest problem facing NZ at the moment: child poverty. Why: because the government isn’t doing anything about it.
    6. Should smoking marijuana be legal or illegal: legal.
    7. Should religion be taught at least once a week in state schools: no.

    There were also questions about the economy, eg expected inflation over the next two years, expected housing price increases over the next two years, whether my family is in a better financial situation than 1 year ago and whether we expect to be in better condition next year, those sorts of things.

    • it’ll be an interesting barometer-reading/snapshot to see the results from the pot-question..

      phillip ure..

    • lprent 4.2

      Interesting..

    • Grumpy 4.3

      Just wondering about your answers to the latter questions……?

      • Lanthanide 4.3.1

        2.5% inflation per year, 8% house price rises per year, better than last year, expect to be better next year.

        There was also another one about how I expected the economy to go over the next 5 years, initially I was presented with “continually improving” and “continually worsening”, but when I said I couldn’t choose either of those he read out the full scale, whereupon I picked “some good, some bad”.

    • just saying 4.4

      Are they still asking about tobacco-smoking Lanth?
      Last time they caught me was just after the first big cost increase. I think they might have wondered whether there were any votes lost or gained.

      • Lanthanide 4.4.1

        Yes. They asked whether I smoked cigarettes, roll-your-owns, cigars and something else in the last month, which I don’t.

        • phillip ure 4.4.1.1

          @ lanth..but do you support legalisation/regulation/taxation of cannabis..?

          phillip ure

          • Lanthanide 4.4.1.1.1

            I answered “legal” to whether it should be legal or illegal.

            I’d prefer to see it decriminalised rather than completely legalised: allow cultivation for personal use, don’t bother cracking down on local/small-scale distribution, just go after the kingpins.

            Ideally I think it should be regulated and sold like alcohol is, but that’s too big a jump for NZ I think.

            • phillip ure 4.4.1.1.1.1

              @ lanth..why do you think it is ‘too big a jump’..?

              ..especially with the now working-model..in colorado..(and many more soon to come..)

              ..to be able to point at..?

              ..plus there is the serious amount of revenue to be garnered from legalisation/regulation/taxation..

              ..plus there is the serious savings from stopping playing cops ‘n robbers with it..

              ..plus..the pot would be tested to ensure there are no contaminants ..from pest-sprays/w.h.y..

              ..which a blackmarket makes impossible..

              ..the reasons to take that ‘big-jump’ are multiple..eh..?

              ..and i can’t see any reasons not to..(can you..?..aside from the public-disquiet you herald..?)

              ..why make do with the halfway-house/way-station of partial decriminalisation..?

              ..with the revenue-losses/cost-implications/safety-issues that come with it..?

              ..a uneasy ‘solution’ that would suit nobody..

              ..but the gangs currently running the biz..

              ..and those cops who love flying around in helicopters/and crashing thru the bush in 4wd’s..

              ..eh..?

              phillip ure..

            • felix 4.4.1.1.1.2

              “don’t bother cracking down on local/small-scale distribution, just go after the kingpins.”

              I don’t understand. Why go after “kingpins”?

              • Lanthanide

                Under my decriminalization policy, you can grow your own small supply at home or get it from friends, but it’s still not legal (ie, not sold in shops) because I don’t think the NZ public is really ready for that yet. So you go after the kingpins, eg gangs, to stop them from profiting.

                Once it’s fully legalised and regulated, the bottom would drop out of the private market anyway, at which point there’d be no need to go after anyone. In the meantime though, police would still go after the gangs.

                • @ lanth..

                  you didn’t answer the question from felix:..’why..?’..

                  and actually..quite an enlightening exercise is to try to compile a list of reasons why pot should languish in prohibition..

                  ..and then a list of the positive outcomes from legalising/regulating/taxing..

                  ..i invite those favouring prohibition..to do/try this..

                  ..you may find you will struggle to find even one reason..

                  ..(save for fun for those helicoptering/4wd-ing pot-chasing cops..)

                  ..strip out those (now disproved) traditional lies..

                  ..and there is nothing left standing..

                  ..phillip ure..

                  • Lanthanide

                    Actually, I did. Right here:

                    “So you go after the kingpins, eg gangs, to stop them from profiting.

                    • @ lanth..ok..

                      ..but legalising/regulating/taxing will put them out of business..

                      ..so will achieve that (desired) result..without having to fund ‘chasing’ them..

                      ..(‘chasing’ being a tactic which has worked really well up until now..eh..?..)

                      ..see what i mean..?

                      ..so is that..and yr warning of public disquiet..

                      ..is that the extent of yr ‘reasons to retain’ prohibition’-list..?

                      ..how about the other list..?

                      ..you could put ‘putting ‘drug-kingpins’ out of business..overnight..

                      ..at the top of that list..eh..?

                      ..see what i mean..?

                      ..phillip ure..

                    • Lanthanide

                      My reason for going with decriminalization, rather than full legalisation, is that I don’t think the NZ public is ready for full legalisation, and as such decriminalisation is a sensible stepping stone that is achievable by any government that is to be elected within the next 10 years.

                      Pining for the fjords doesn’t seem like a realistic policy to me.

  5. mickysavage 5

    If you really want to read something that will start a conversation Rebecca Camm’s latest article in the Herald takes some beating. The trouble is I do not know if she is being satirical or not …

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11180931

    • Zorr 5.1

      Most definitely being satirical but it’s like she just grabbed a handful of random crap and fired it from a shotgun. Some of it hits the mark but so much of it is poorly held together drivel.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      Kamm, MS.

      It’s rubbish, btw. I imagine it’s intended to be satire, but, sheesh, what a waste of space.

    • Jan 5.3

      It’s actually very funny but maybe you have to be a feminist woman to understand it 🙂

      • karol 5.3.1

        It didn’t work for me – not very clever really. I was kind of into it to start with, but then it just laboured a not very subtle point, and I was wondering whether she was attacking feminsm or sending up anti-feminism.

  6. Bill 6

    For anyone who might be interested and who hasn’t come across this yet, PJ Harvey was guest editor on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme – equivalent of ‘Morning Report’ (Could be a nice ‘touchstone’ for the next time anyone bangs on about supposed ‘left wing bias’ in the msm?)

    Anyway, it’s three hours worth and I’ve only just begun to listen so can’t offer any opinion… (first 10 min is UK news and weather) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03mhyzh

    • karol 7.1

      And this, from Channel 4.

      This doesn’t surprise me. It’s what we thought was happening at the time. Too many people blame Scargill for the miners’ defeat – but Thatcher was dead set of destroying them and the UK left along with it:

      If you think destroying some of Britain’s most cohesive communities was a great achievement, then these jottings are a token of genius. They reveal Mrs Thatcher engaged in battle micro-management worthy of a Monty or Wellington.

      The documents show the Conservative government was, in the middle of the miners’ strike, facing defeat.

      […]
      The miners strike is today depicted as one of those “inevitable” events that history is littered with: a doomed workforce staging a last ditch battle in the face of progress.

      If you were there – I was – it was more complicated.
      […]
      The miners at the time claimed the policing was politicised. The records show it was.

      Arthur Scargill, the miners’ leader, was criticised afterwards for beginning a conflict he could never win. So the revelation that he was on the point of winning – or at least achieving a messy compromise – in July 1984 is an important addition to the record.
      [….]
      The use of troops to move essential goods was seriously considered, as was the declaration of a state of emergency – and changing the law to enable this. That would have seriously escalated the conflict.
      […]
      Paul Symonds, a miner at Frickley Colliery during the strike, says:

      “One lesson is this: they were much better organised than we were. Don’t trust them is the lesson. Don’t trust anything that they say.”

      It’s an attitude towards government that is common now, but was not common then.

      This is why I now say that we should never underestimate the ruthless determination of the corprorate elites to smash any successes of the left.

      And why I say the left needs a multi-pronged strategy – grass roots collective energy from below + strategies for resisting, and challenging the power of the elites – and every kind of initiative in between.

    • karol 7.2

      The other lesson is, that the left clearly came close to resisting Thatcher. And that included mobilising all the networks within the left in support – fund raising, donations of food etc. Feminist, gay, anti-racist networks all joining in. Not an easy rleationship to start with – but lessons were being learned along the way.

      And that’s why we need to network across diverse groups, even though we differ on priorities, and on how we approach some problems.

    • Zorr 8.1

      So where is the peer-reviewed paper detailing their findings?

      Or, can I assume, this is just more of the same… more climate science denialism with no basis in demonstrable fact

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Grumpy.

      Let’s take the first sentence of that link at face value:

      that “two naturally occurring climate cycles will combine to lower global temperatures during the next century.”

      Assume this prediction is indeed true. In the meantime let’s also assume we keep adding CO2, ‘business as usual’ to the atmosphere and that by the time this naturally occurring cycle ends levels have doubled again – to say 800ppm.

      So when this ‘cooling period’ ends – what do you imagine will happen?

    • aerobubble 8.3

      A warm sea may mean a colder atmosphere, as cooling processes kit up a notch and expel more heat into space. The problem surely is that this will happen over the Northern Hemisphere continents, aka glaciers down to the med. How else did this happen in the past but for more energy being available to transport more moisture from a warmer sea to a colder continent.

      Its been pointed out that when the seas are warmer and interior of the continents colder, humans migrated along the coast lines from Asia into the Americas.

  7. Saarbo 9

    What is the chance of a housing bubble pop in New Zealand. This interactive graph would suggest that the possibility is quite high, at some stage in the next 2 to 5 years (if you cant get NZ to show up on the interactive, our line is just below Britain)

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/11/global-house-prices?fsrc=scn/tw/te/dc/locationlocationlocation

    Of course Treasury have identified this risk and implemented the LVR policy, which had the impact of reducing supply of newly built homes = bad. The right policy to implement is a CGT, but there is no way in hell that National will implement this because a huge % of their supporters have gained their wealth from capital gains (mainly investment houses and farms).

    The scary thing for Labour is as house price inflation continues to build into an even bigger bubble then the chances that the CGT will create a POP of the bubble are getting higher, this could actually be catastrophic for our economy for a period. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that the sooner a CGT (and perhaps other initiatives/policies to reduce the demand from investment housing) is implemented then the better our economy will be long term. Farrar et al can complain all they want about the legitimacy of the “living wage” but one thing is for sure, rising house prices only makes our poverty situation worse, it is the number one driver of poverty and inequality.

    • Foreign Waka 9.1

      Capitals gain tax, exception own living space or residential address – only one allowed. Declaration of overseas trust funds keeping moneys earned in NZ and properties by residents and citizens. Cash business to be closer monitored and audited as these are the ones not paying tax at all. This is known in the community up and down the country. I think this would go a long way.

    • Herodotus 9.2

      How and when do you believe a CGT will solve this issue?
      You have made a comment that this (cgt) is the right policy yet no reason given. Everyone appears to be an expert in the property market, most are have minimal understanding of how it works let alone how to effect charge.
      Get off the ban wagon and promote real solutions, not being a part of the scratch record of commenting re a CGT so often that it will become accepted as fact then in 5 years time wondering why there is no radical change in the property market that was promised, and that property ownership within Auckland is as unachievable as when the nats were previously in govt 🙁
      When it will not become the main tool – it will in about 10 years time become one part of the tool box, and the tax will not change behaviour. I am sure property investors will still gladly accept tax advantages and on realising a gain on disposal accept paying a mere 15% tax.

      • Foreign Waka 9.2.1

        Hi Herodotus
        I do belief hat a CGT will curb the amount of properties being sold to investors. The increase in “market worth” also impacts on people who actually use a house as a home. The council rates are measured by this perceived value and a lot of people start to struggle to pay these taxes. And yet, the investment property is being traded as a non taxed commodity. This encourages overseas buying and because of the raising value an increase in apartment buildings as these are less costly. So those who make a business out of a vital necessity (roof over the head) it’s a win win situation all the way to the bank. I really don’t care whether some ideology is being trampled on with this issue, what i do see is that more and more young people have no hope to get into a home and build a family. Its a loss for NZ, certainly not for overseas investors.

        • Saarbo 9.2.1.1

          +1000…exactly FW.

        • Lanthanide 9.2.1.2

          Councils need rates anyway. They keep raising rates to pay for the massive debt they have – all of the councils in the country are effectively bankrupt on paper, it’s just a ponzi debt game that makes them look solvent.

          So even if you had a CGT to reduce property prices, the council still need to get their rates money, so it ultimately won’t change that aspect – except to possibly become more regressive as the general house prices will flatten out, so rates will have to rise across the board, penalising those with low incomes / house values more-so than they otherwise would.

          • Foreign Waka 9.2.1.2.1

            I doubt that this will happen as the council is also aware that you cannot get blood out of a stone. I do realize that authorities have the tendency to create new “needs” in order to disguise the “deeds” that have gone beforehand. But a remedy has to be started somewhere. This is a good a place as any. Poor families will not be able to afford increasing rates either way as the amount in untenable. What is and will increasingly happen in the current scenario is that people who have worked all their lives are now unable to stay in their home. Where are they suppose to be housed? There are not many council houses available, retirement homes will soon be out of space and it is not always the best way to put more people into overcrowded housing with relatives. There are consequences to everything.

      • Saarbo 9.2.2

        @Herodotus

        I think it is the right policy because at the moment investment in housing/property provides a huge tax advantage over other forms of investments (equities etc). Personally I don’t think it is the only solution, I believe that polices need to put in place to disincentive investment housing, I would support limiting the use of Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies, and also a more aggressive CGT than the Aussie model (something that I heard Steve Keen mention on Radio NZ support, http://www.radionz.co.nz/radionz/programmes/featured-audio/audio/2520012/steve-keen-economic-crisis.) I agree with you that on its own it wont change behaviour but it will be one of the main tools to correct Kiwi’s obsession in property.

        • Herodotus 9.2.2.1

          I will address a few issues
          Council rates
          When a property value increases we do not collect more rates overall. Each year, the council determines, through the annual plan process, how much money needs to be collected through rates to fund its activities and services for the year. This rates requirement is then divided between all the properties in the region based on council’s rating policies.
          http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/ratesvaluations/aboutrates/Pages/faqs.aspx
          There is an issue of increasing debt so as to keep increases to a minimum. No this just delays to the next council a major “unpalatable” increase. Really making in aucklands case “most liveable” pity most will not be able to afford to reside here.
          So are all here saying that if a cgt was put into operation that property prices would decrease., as stated before when coy tax rate is 28% the top personnel tax rate is 30% that a 15% tax will change behaviour ? Haha
          Investing in property should have no advantages over other investments and I would promote that this form of investment should have disincentives above and beyond other forms attached to it. Eg interest costs are non deductible. Why should a commercial activity incur mortgages at the same rate as a family home and with the same debt profile. Enter any other business and try to obtain debt funding beyond 50% and still be charged at the same rate as a mortgage ? Even those in property development have their values of land developed heavily discounted for bank valuation purposes and then be charged 3%+ above current mortgage rates, that is if you can find a current bank open to fund.
          Limit debt funding by placing greater controls on bank loaning ratios.
          As we will have a cgt, all property has its use recorded e.g. Residential owner/beneficiary of trust residing, holiday home, rented property etc.
          non nz residents incur not a cgt but pay corporate tax rate and can only purchase a newly built property.
          There are others but at least these points are wider reaching at solving this IMO important issues

          • Herodotus 9.2.2.1.1

            And neglected to include, a cgt is on all property, but for those that the owner resides in at a minimal rate of say 5% so all property transactions are recorded within Linz and the ird and that all sales can be traced. To sell such a policy, labour will need to sell/inform us as where this added tax revenue will be allocated to, in 2011 at least we the voter knew that this added revenue from a cgt was to fund the $5k tax free zone policy and gst off F&V
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5284832/Labour-confirms-capital-gains-tax-new-rate
            Now it appears any revenue will just be absorbed into paying for the auctioning/ buying for our votes.

            • Foreign Waka 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Hi Herodotus
              I am sorry to say, I don’t belief that many of the city Councillors have the rate payer in mind when they come up with their plans. If I remember correctly not so long ago the city council from Mangawhai was taken to court because they unilaterally decided to take on more debt and have the residents pay for it. The Auckland City council has approved a living wage that is now being paid for by exactly the low wage earning people you have mentioned. May I remind on Hamiltons V8?
              As all property is listed with Linz (NZ wide) it would be possible to have residential households and their owners registered. I belief this to be not a big issue as the voting papers seem to find the owners. Any additional registration against the same owner will attract the tax. The owner of a property has to be of an age that allows Tax to be collected (excluding i.e. 2 days old sons or daughters to enter the market). Just an idea, but I belief that if the council can come up with pet projects they are able to come up with a solution.

  8. tricledrown 10

    Grumpy.
    Principia scientific.
    An political organization spreading spuriest made up science.
    Crap dressed up for socold intelligent well educated Right Wing Deniers
    That’s my peer review of you Gumpy.
    Show me some peer reviews of this fantasy gumpy.
    It just proves how gullible the right are.

  9. tricledrown 11

    Gumpy
    They haven’t even got the cycles of the earths eliptical orbit and oscillations around the sun.
    Just more evidence on how the Creed of short term greed is willing to sacrifice humanity
    So the rich can have a few or a lot more baubles than everyone else.
    Gump

  10. Foreign Waka 12

    I read this morning an article about the Cambodian textile workers protesting and being shot at. The government has sent the troops as they are firmly in the camp of the main shareholders of these factories that facilitate the export that is quite a high % of Cambodia’s income. Naturally this goes hand in hand with the political power. I got curious asking myself – who are the actual owners of these factories and one would think denier of higher wages? NZ’s news do no reveal anything, further research says that the nationality of the main shareholders are Taiwan, China, USA – no names. As any “open” information is just not obtainable in the Anglo Saxen world I went out into the Euro zone – Eureka, a local Newspaper (mentioned as right/liberal !) gave me quite decisive and frank information. See below.

    Excerpt from the Newspaper article.
    “400.000 Arbeiter nähen für internationale Modehäuser wie GAP, Nike und H&M.” Number of workers and named Distributes, not mentioned – Walmart.
    This link gives you the breakdown of the price of a T-Shirt,in graphics.

    http://images02.kurier.at/46-59345073.jpg/43.974.977

    Why is it that all those self professed reporters, commentators etc cannot provide information that is so freely shared overseas by the right/liberal press? Are they scared they will be sacked and if so are there any true reporters (not story tellers) out there?

  11. tricledrown 13

    Ennui guerilla plantings I have been doing it since I was a kid.
    If everyone did it wouldn’t take long to get a real change.
    Living legends was a very good initiative getting famous rugby players to help plant native trees.

  12. Morrissey 14

    “Stripped naked, fed to 120 dogs as officials watched”
    Another factoid for Te Reo and QoT to repeat ad nauseam

    It’s as rigorous and has as much credibility as the fantastical case cooked up by the Swedish Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny, AKA the “Totalitarian Tolkien”…..

    Kim Jong-un’s executed uncle Jang Song Thaek ‘stripped naked, fed to 120 dogs as officials watched’

    Wasn’t that Django Unchained?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/kim-jonguns-executed-uncle-jang-song-thaek-stripped-naked-fed-to-120-dogs-as-officials-watched-9037109.html

    Phoney baloney:

    ‘First and foremost, let’s consider the source. The story originated in a Hong Kong newspaper called Wen Wei Po, which oddly makes the claim without citing a source. With a couple of high-quality exceptions, Hong Kong media have a reputation for sensationalist and tabloidy stories that do not always turn out to be true. But, even by Hong Kong standards, Wen Wei Po is considered an unusually unreliable outlet.’

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/01/03/no-kim-jong-un-probably-didnt-feed-his-uncle-to-120-hungry-dogs/

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1388773533.html

  13. Plan B 15

    I would be interested in peoples thoughts about the idea of

    Not talking about Climate Change

    Why?
    I have a feeling that we all have an inbuilt mechanism that wants us to win the argument and loose the war.

    In other words is the goal is to change behaviour or change belief?

    I think we should focus on behaviour change not belief change. Behaviours are so much easier to change than beliefs

    So focus on the desired outcome, and on the behaviours we need to change to get to that outcome rather than on the binary ‘do you believe’ stuff we have now that seems to serve little or no purpose and does not bring people along.

    • aerobubble 15.1

      Why haven’t we met aliens?

      There are billions of habitual worlds in our galaxy, say some.

      Well simple, its because the behaviors that break convention, that break ecological niches that hold a species in place, also break the worlds that species would need to get into space and come and meet us. The history of the rise of the west is the history of exploitation, disregard and disunity.

      Behaviors resulting from pantheist and non-theist religions of the east were much more balance, better fitted, yet weren’t better fitted when it comes to Earth eating.

      So the behaviors that balance with nature, turn off turn out of consumerism and individualism pushed by media in their great socialization efforts, are clearly the way forward.

      How do we switch people onto them?

      Well explain to them the hurt they are leaving their grand kids.

      Do you love your grand kids?

    • “..I think we should focus on behaviour change..”

      yeah..!..go vegan/plant-based..

      ..that’s a large part of our problem solved..

      ..and just buying a couple of solar-panels..

      ..and driving a prius..

      ..really does diddly-squat..

      ..eh..?

      ..so..really..anyone claiming to be ‘green’/’caring for the planet’/’caring for their childrens’ future’.. who is still eating animal-flesh/bye-products..

      ..is just engaging in auto-eroticism..

      ..eh..?

      (greenpeace/green party-bbq..?..anyone..?..)

      phillip ure..

  14. JO 16

    These thoughts from Alan Bennett’s diary for 2013 say it all for me.
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/alan-bennett/diary

    ‘8 April. The morning spent paying bills: British Gas (and electricity), Thames Water, Yorkshire Water, Camden Council, Craven District Council and Mr Redhead the coal merchant in Ingleton. Many of the bills are overdue, about which I am unrepentant. The only one I pay promptly and with no feeling of resentment is Mr Redhead’s.

    It wasn’t always so. Before the public utilities were privatised one paid bills more readily, not just because they were considerably cheaper, which of course they were, but because one had little sense of being exploited. Now as I pay my water bills for instance, I think of their overpaid executives and the shareholders to whom the profits go and I know, despite the assurances of all such companies, that they are charging what they know they can get away with. Competition has not meant better service nor has it brought down prices, with some corporate behaviour close to sharp practice. British Gas, for instance, regularly omits to send me a first bill but only a reminder, which has no details about consumption. When challenged they say this may be because bills have been sent online. But how can this be when we have no computer? If one telephones and manages eventually to get through one is dealt with by someone always charming and even-tempered (and often Scots) who promises to look into it. But when in due course the bill comes again it is still with no details and coupled with threats of court action. So whereas once upon a time I paid my bills as Auden said a gentleman should, as soon as they were submitted, these days I put them off, paying sometimes only at the third or fourth time of asking or when I am assured (rhetorically, I know) that the bailiffs are about to call. I am no crusader but I wish there was a consumers’ organisation which could co-ordinate individual resistance to these companies, setting up non or late payment on such a scale that it would put a dent in the dividends of the shareholders and the salaries of the executives concerned.

    This was written a few hours before I learned of Lady Thatcher’s death and it’s an appropriate epitaph.’

    • joe90 16.1

      heh

      Mrs Thatcher was a mirthless bully and should have been buried, as once upon a time monarchs used to be, in the depths of the night.

  15. aerobubble 17

    So now we are overwhelmingly, okay, a majority non-religious society, do we get to hang heretics too?

  16. aerobubble 18

    Its the economy stupid.

    Christchurch Earthquake will add 1% to GDP. Key did not cause the Earthquakes.

    Child demand for Milk. Key did not create Fonterra.

    China-NZ trade growth, due to Labour freetrade agreement is attracting Australian companies to NZ.

    Caveats.

    Globally milk producers increasing their supply to China.

    Slowdown in China.

    Collapse in house prices.

    Key did little to help and a lot of harm to the NZ economy.

  17. multicultural nz (formerly the federation of ethnic councils) have put out this list of draft election policies: https://www.facebook.com/notes/multicultural-new-zealand-federation-of-multicultural-councils/multicultural-new-zealand-draft-election-policies-on-ethnic-affairs/665181876865340

    is there really anything of that list that a left-wing party shouldn’t be doing? yes, it would be good if they talked about a living wage, given they recognise that ethnic minority communities are over-represented in terms of low wage jobs. but does that negate any of the other issues they have raised? should they stop advocating for these things and should we just ignore them because they are focusing on what we have in common?

    i personally think it would be foolish for any political party to ignore this list of policies. it should be part of the range of things that need to be implemented to improve nz society.

    • RedBaronCV 19.1

      You are not wrong and I was particularly pleased to see the recognition of the need for domestic assaults assistance. And I’ve have to say good luck with getting diversity througth the workforce and I hope the default position is “for both sexes”. FFS we have had many years of women born within the country and educated alongside males and we still don’t have even workplace gender diversity based on these groups.

    • karol 19.2

      Thatnks, stargazer. Yes they indicate a pay gap. Also under-representation of various ethnic groups in poltics and the public services.

      It would also be good if the living wage, and/or poverty could be discussed more in connection with other aspects of diversity – gender, sexuality etc.

      Government needs more representation of people from, and committed to others on low income background from diverse groups.

      More multi-lingual focus – yes.

  18. Morrissey 20

    LEST WE FORGET:
    Why they want to destroy Julian Assange

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

    “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—George Orwell

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    IMF paper warns of ‘savings tax’ and mass write-offs as West’s debt hits 200-year high

    While use of debt pooling in the eurozone can reduce the need for restructuring or defaults, it comes at the cost of higher burdens for northern taxpayers. This could drag the EMU core states into a recession and aggravate their own debt and ageing crises. The clear implication of the IMF paper is that Germany and the creditor core would do better to bite the bullet on big write-offs immediately rather than buying time with creeping debt mutualisation.

    TLDR: Austerity ain’t working.

    Colour me surprised.

  20. Tracey 22

    JO

    plus 100

    I listened to some people talking about media overkill when mandela died. I was in europe when thatcher died. For 48 hoyes sky cnn and bbc beatified her. I began to wonder if different thatcher died.

    perhaps mandela pricked their consciousness while thatcher pricked wallets

  21. joe90 23

    Ralph Nader: ‘The Country You Destroyed’: A Letter to George W. Bush

    Today, Iraq remains a country (roughly the size and population of Texas) you destroyed, a country where over a million Iraqis, including many children and infants (remember Fallujah?) lost their lives, millions more were sickened or injured, and millions more were forced to become refugees, including most of the Iraqi Christians. Iraq is a country rife with sectarian strife that your prolonged invasion provoked into what is now open warfare. Iraq is a country where al-Qaeda is spreading with explosions taking 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 lives per day. Just this week, it was reported that the U.S. has sent Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq’s air force to be used against encampments of “the country’s branch of al-Qaeda.” There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before your invasion. Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were mortal enemies.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/03

  22. Tracey 24

    For thse who smugly tell themselves that those on benefits are lazy and that todays youth are lazy and just dont want to work, please reconcile that view with this

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/02/one-in-10-jobless-yougov-poll

    • cricklewood 24.1

      I think its far more complicated than that, In my previous position I used to hire through the local winz as the company liked to try and employ from within the local community wherever possible. All we hired were keen and enjoyed to varying degrees the job which although relatively physical was outdoors and paid better than minimum by @$2 ph.
      The startling thing was the peer pressure that went on these guys from there so called mates once they had a job to provide booze etc. I had one damn near assaulted in the street because he wasn’t replying to his mates txt msgs which went something along the lines of “you think you’re to good to talk to me now you’ve got a job c**t” the fact he was working made no difference…not long after his so called mates robbed his house while he was at work. Fortunately he stuck it out but there were others prior who didn’t due to this kind of crap. Generally it was mates getting upset if they didnt head out to party on a work night or as we worked in the public space they would spend the day driving by giving them shit.
      Really hard for a 18-22 yr old to cope with and frankly I’m at a loss as how to solve what is effectively bullying. Certainly those that caved to a degree and partied during the week struggled big time on the job despite there best intentions…

      • greywarbler 24.1.1

        That is interesting. I have looked at those late booze hours and wondered who was drinking, who was partying, and whether they could do a job the next day, and if not working where the money was coming from.

        It is my opinion that the leaders and lawmakers have by allowing even encouraging long alcohol serving hours, that they have been deliberately trying to get money from these young people and not caring that it is leading them into unsupportable addiction and have degraded their lives. Temptation to keep drinking is not easily resisted when you are already half-way drunk and ‘relaxed’. Then while unemployed the bad habits have developed of using drink to fill in the day – because this shameless government has not organised work for the dole to keep the young ones out of the pubs.

        • cricklewood 24.1.1.1

          Tbh most drink at home or at a house party before heading into a pub around 1 am for an hour or so…. its just two pricey otherwise. The opening hours wouldn’t really change much.
          That said I would often wander down to my local 4 square early on a Sunday morning to find a queue waiting for alcohol to continue on from the sat. Im generalizing but as it was Taita/Pomare most could i’ll afford it.
          I honestly believe these small neighbour shops are a big problem as like you say once tipsy its hard to stop. At least the supermarkets are further away and in my experience far more stringent. Certainly it’s a bigger step to drive 10 min to town than wander down the local booze store at 6 30 am….

          • greywarbler 24.1.1.1.1

            cricklewood
            Your points insightful I think. I have noticed that it seems immigrants, such as Indian, are running small suburban booze shops in suburban areas and it is not a healthy look to be trying to make profit from this alcohol drug. The small shop I went into was stacked to the ceiling with booze of all sorts.

            This would be in a small shopping centre where in my day you might go down to have a milk shake at the milk bar. Alcohol was still there but was saved for parties, and organisation was needed to buy a dozen beer or so for teenagers. Now as I say it is waved in the face of people of all ages, and it seems like lemonade with some alcohol, but just the other way round. It’s spirits being drunk from vodka, bourbon bottles, very high alcohol count. If it is allowed it must be okay is the thought.

            Some neighbourhoods have followed through with the thinking and come to the idea that it is wrong and that there is a powerful group that acts against their young people, willing to encourage them so they spend the money which as you say they can ill afford. And probably start a lifetime weakness. It is said that the government is the first party to be addicted though, to the excise taxes.

            I have just found Dr David Nutt who is a psychiatrist, was a UK head in the control of drugs official organisation, before he was sacked because he started doing some whistleblowing. Sacked summarily actually. And I don’t think he got any golden parachutes.

            (He just said ‘the thing about alcohol is it changes your judgment’. My point about the way Stat – falling off horses with brain damage for the rider has ratio 1:350 and similar damage for ecstasy ratio 1:10,000 (think) – interesting comparison.)

            Link for Dr Nutt – this is 11.28m version.

            and
            this is 58 m version downloaded by Uni of Otago NZ

            and
            http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/dr-david-nutt-on-alcohol.html
            and
            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/david-nutt-alcohol-more-dangerous-than-crack/

        • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1.2

          and if not working wondering? where the money was coming from.

          Well, if some of the things I’ve heard are anything to go by – their parents.

          It is my opinion that the leaders and lawmakers have by allowing even encouraging long alcohol serving hours, that they have been deliberately trying to get money from these young people and not caring that it is leading them into unsupportable addiction and have degraded their lives.

          That’s exactly what’s been happening. It was the, IMO, main reason why the drinking age was lowered. Our whole social system is all about producing profits for the rich and the only way to do that is to have as many people as possible purchasing the product/service.

          because this shameless government has not organised work for the dole to keep the young ones out of the pubs.

          Work for the dole isn’t the answer and never has been. Get these people out doing something challenging and of value to society, i.e, running out telecommunications, upgrading power grids, building wind generators, electrifying the entire rail network.

          There is no reason for there to be any unemployment except ideology: National’s, Labour’s and the business sectors desire to keep wages down.

  23. Draco T Bastard 25

    The Biodiversity Bubble: How What We Don’t Know Could Get Us Killed

    Right now, we are in the midst of what’s been dubbed the “Sixth Great Extinction.” The fifth extinction was the one that killed off the dinosaurs and things are moving much, much faster now.

    Depending on whose calculations you trust, we’re losing somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000 species a year. And we—meaning us humans—will not survive this loss.

    So, still think we should cut back on the environmental protections in the RMA, drill up more oil and coal and build more roads?

  24. Draco T Bastard 26

    National’s re-writing of history continues with the YoungNats claiming the success of the marriage equality bill as their own.

  25. ecossemaid 27

    As a recent arrival in N.Z, I am still trying to get my head around various aspects of NZ politics……I spent the best part of a decade in UK as an activist to the lbgt council. However that is low priority in these desperate times and we need to unite, as far as possible, to the concerns of the many,compared to the hobby horses of a few.
    In the U.K one of the hot topics being discussed is the idea of a,living wage.There is a minimum wage set which as absolutely useless in the U.K.
    What will Labour do towards providing a living wage?What is the minimum wage here and how much does it need to be to benefit people in this country?

    • McFlock 27.1

      as I recall the minimum wage is about $5ph under what would be a living wage. Some local bodies and companies have chosen to adopt it already, not sure of individual party policies but I’d expect it to be an issue in the election from ladgrnmana, if policies have not already been announced.

    • JK 27.2

      To ecossemaid – the current NZ minimum wage is $13.50 an hour and the “living wage” has been suggested as at least $18 an hour. Labour has said it would extend the living wage to all Parliamentary workers as a starting point. Wellington City has said something similar. Auckland City Mayor had it as a campaign policy but he hasn’t managed to get it passed in the council yet. Not sure about other local govtsin NZ.

  26. greywarbler 28

    Something new – an email inviting me to subscribe to The Standard to get email of coments on Jose Pagani thread to which I have posted. Normally I would just tick the box on the page. Is this a new feature lprent?

    Actually I can’t cope with getting every email on a busy post. I find it better to make a personal check of what has gone down, or search my archive and work my way down the headings and click on each one to see if someone has commented to me.

    • karol 28.1

      gw, that feature has been around for a while. Sometimes it seems to come and go. I also tend to try to switch it off when I can.

  27. ecossemaid 29

    Well glad there are some out there working towards it.Thanks for you replies

  28. swordfish 30

    In the immediate wake of Mandela’s death, I commented here on the way he, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other leaders of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa have argued that Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian territory represents the New Apartheid.

    Despite a good deal of upset and gnashing of teeth from the Israel Lobby and its supporters, there’s really nothing controversial about the claim anymore. Hell, even a number of leading mainstream Israelis seem to accept it as apt.

    Here’s an in-depth comparative analysis of South African and Israeli Apartheid from The Guardian’s Middle East (and former South African) correspondent, Chris McGreal.

    Part One – here…… http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/06/southafrica.israel
    and Part Two – here…… http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel

    Meanwhile, leading South African International Law Expert, long-time anti-apartheid activist and UN Special Rapporteur for the Middle East, Professor John Dugard. also sees striking similarities

    Here ……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/23/israelandthepalestinians.unitednations , here…….. http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/the-law-and-practice-of-apartheid-in-south-africa-and-palestine.html and here……. http://epalestine.blogspot.co.nz/2009/08/epalestine-john-dugard-two-states-or.html

  29. KJT 31

    I’ve just taken some time out.
    Because I am really pissed off and finding it hard to remain objective., Also to decide if what I thought happened really did happen, to listen and think about what everyone said.

    I was going to reply to Weka as promised, who seemed to be, finally, starting to do what she was asking me to do, Listen! I havn’t cooled down enough yet, however.

    We all bring baggage, including different life experiences and points of view to the discussion.

    At primary school I was a small geeky, bookworm who suffered a lot from the attentions of the school bullies.
    The experience left me with a strongly developed sense of fairness, an instinct to fight for the underdog and and a contempt for those who hide behind their “Authority” abuse their power or position and “the rules”, (often of their own making).

    I’ve found that the only way to deal with these people is to stand up to them. And , if you are different, be yourself. Most people will respect you for it.

    Most of my life I have been getting into strife, standing up to authoritarian bullying types. (Most of them have been white males, by the way). Usually to help someone who hasn’t the power to stand up for themselves.

    If you have been listening to me, you would know I am pretty pissed with the mess the current people in power (Also I agree, mostly white males, but not all), have been making.

    I don’t think simply replacing authoritarian bullying white males with authoritarian bullying women, or authoritarian bullying RWNJ’s with authoritarian bullying lefties. is the answer however.

    I, mostly stayed away from the conversation about rape.
    That subject was hurtful enough. It was just a year since my daughters school friend had been murdered by her ex partner.
    I didn’t need a discussion where I knew, unless I kept to every dotted I and crossed T of the QOT approved script I would be in the firing line.

    This time I thought, “what gives QOT the right to dictate the terms of the conversation, and then bully people into submission with powerful accusations, which were neither fair, nor justified.. Moving into the house and walking around with hobnailed boots covered in dogshit from other conversations and then complaining that the males leave the toilet seat up.

    I get it that some who are involved with the Labour party are angry with being marginalised and told to STFU. By “white dudes”. (Also I seem to remember by at least one brown dude and some white women). Taking it out on people here that are on your side though, is both unnecessarily divisive and counterproductive.

    Respectful disagreement is healthy. I don;’t want to silence QOT or anyone else.

    The point is we seem to be concentrating on one issue at a time, letting the right frame the debate and only getting the odd hard fought win.

    I look around me and despair that, despite some wins, life for most of the people around me is getting shittier and shittier.
    I see people in miserably paid dead end precarious jobs, if they have one. Women trying to bring up kids, in horrific circumstances, being pissed about by the gestapo at WINZ, and vilified by unthinking and judgmental people who have no clue about what they have to face. I talk kids out of committing suicide after yet another round between dodgy employers and WINZ. I saw the light go out in a gay kids eyes when he was bullied, and it came back at a gay wedding when he realised that he was not alone.

    Like fuck, I don’t care about women’s rights, LBGT rights, the rights of people with disabilities. I have a mentally disabled son FFS. We are still hurting from fighting the system of mainstreaming, cost cutting and peoples attitude to the mentally ill.

    When I suggest solutions like a UBI, Empowering those people is high in my thoughts.

    The we have all the other important a necessary issues such as AGW and resource depletion. Making sure our kids still have a world to live in.

    How do we use our energies on all the things that need doing?

    The crazy thing here, is, that if QOT was really being told to STFU, on here, I would have backed her, for the same reasons I backed CV.

    • Tracey 31.1

      I would be surprised if CV regarded himself as a victim. He holds no punches when he disagrees with anyone and can be very forthright which, as a new poster some time ago, can be quite offputting. However, that’s the nature of a forum.

      For what it is worth I dont want authoritarian women to replace authoritarian men. I am not sure I have read QOT s saying she would like that either.

  30. North 32

    Thanks KJT. I’m feeling much better. Not saying anything about anyone or anything. Just that I’m feeling much better. Haven’t particularly followed the CV and QOT thing anyway. Engagement seemed way too much like jumping into a serious blue between people both of whom touch me positively.

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    GreensBy Steffan Browning
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    GreensBy Steffan Browning
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
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    6 days ago
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    7 days ago
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
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    GreensBy Jan Logie
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    GreensBy Denise Roche
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