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Open mike 12/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 12th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

24 comments on “Open mike 12/07/2010”

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      But many users say they are undaunted by reports of negative reactions to the drug. K2 does not show up on drug tests, and users say that while they would like to know what is in it, they would take their chances if it means a clean urine test.

      yay yay war on drugs for the win.

      Kinda like how, here, in the late nineties, customs and the police and the pollies got all worked up about e, which is stinky and comparatively hard to make. Hoocoodanode that by cracking down on that, the suppliers would switch to selling p which they could make here.

  1. Carol 2

    Some related stories on Stuff over the last couple of days?

    Our disgracefully high obesity stats, a measure, I think of capitalism gone haywire:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/3907978/Govt-criticised-for-lack-of-action-on-obesity

    and a further report of supermarket pricing strategies, squeezing the producers, using dodgy tactics, etc.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/3907373/Why-food-prices-are-sky-high

    Grocery insiders say the two big supermarket chains are using dodgy tactics when dealing with food producers including pocketing discounts instead of passing them on.

    They say small Kiwi companies are getting hurt as the big players negotiate aggressively.

    Since then several producers have told the Sunday Star-Times that supermarket tactics include:

    Charging producers unreasonable fees, including a 2.5% “payment term” just to be paid.

    Blacklisting producers who sell to their rival.

    Demanding producers advertise in the supermarket’s in-store magazine, which can cost $800 a page.

    Refusing to share the costs of discounts and promotions.

    Keeping back a percentage of a discount offered by a producer.

    Running promotions with rival producers in the same week, on the same shelf, without telling either.

    Progressive Enterprises (Foodtown, Woolworths, Countdown) and Foodstuffs (Four Square, New World and Pak’nSave) represent 95% of the sector.

    A supplier who would not be identified for fear of being blacklisted said suppliers were getting squeezed, while a grocery broker said it was hardest for small Kiwi start-up businesses to survive because they had no power.

    “Coke can say no but small suppliers are going to say yes because otherwise they lose the listing. It’s really very difficult.”

    IMO, part of the issue here is that fresh food is often made more expensive than many processed food items that have limited nutritional value.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/3898886/Is-what-you-re-eating-real-food

    This issue is not that food is expensive, the issue is that bad food is too cheap.

    Food that is not healthy or good for us is often cheaper than real food, it is dressed up in bright and colourful packaging, it has a million-dollar marketing campaign behind it, and we are sold light and fluffy products that they tell us is food.

    Antispam: Lies

    • prism 2.1

      Great post Carol – shocking to read, I knew there were unfair tactics being used by supermarkets and you have shown the ‘depth of the supermarket’ grasp. An octopus, not helpful like Paul in Germany.

  2. Tony 3

    Tony’s Cheat
    LOUISIANA ABUSES SUICIDAL PRISONERS
    The ACLU of Louisiana has sent a letter to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain and Parish President Kevin Davis asking them to stop treating suicidal prisoners like animals.
    St. Tammany Parish officials have a policy of locking suicidal prisoners in 3-by 3-foot metal cages that prison staff call “squirrel cages.” After prisoners are deemed suicidal, they’re stripped half-naked and put in the cages without a bed, blanket, shoes or toilet. Requests to use the bathroom are often ignored by guards, so prisoners urinate in milk cartons, or soil themselves inside the cage. Some prisoners reported being forced to wear bright orange, Daisy Duke-style shorts with the words “HOT STUFF” scrawled across the backside.

    To add insult to injury, the cages are placed in the main part of the jail, so the caged prisoners are a spectacle for other prisoners to gawk at.
    The ACLU of Louisiana’s letter points out:

    These conditions are clearly unconstitutional. According to the St. Tammany Parish Code they are also inhumane. St. Tammany Parish Code 4-121.10 states that dogs must be kept in cages at least 6′ wide x 6′ feet deep, with “sufficient space [. . .] to lie down.” Sick prisoners in your care are afforded approximately one quarter of the space required for animals under the Parish Code.
    So despite Sheriff Strain’s previous assertion that prisoners “need to be caged like animals,” in Tammany Parish, suicidal prisoners aren’t even afforded the rights of a dog.

    JULY 9, 2010
    http://prorevnews.blogspot.com/2010/07/louisiana-abuses-suicidal-prisoners.html

    • prism 3.1

      Perhaps all prison managers and wardens should have an orientation overnight period in the punishment or severe control places before they start in their jobs.
      In this case the head jerk could be charged as being complicit in his own illegal confinement.

      Another requirement would be a signed statement that the new employee does not hate people and probably all living creatures – the idea being that those employed would hate the crime, but contain and attempt to improve the criminal.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        All prison staff should be required to spend 24 hours in a jail cell at another jail once every year.

  3. prism 4

    It seems that authoritarians don’t want to stop crime and law breaking. It gives meaning to their life and guaranteed, permanent employment to follow through projects to catch and punish criminals. If the law is changed so that less people will be classed as criminals, and the suggestion of another scheme of managing the problem devised and trialled, well that can’t be done. The previous criminals might be found to be better people than the misogynists who previously make their money lording over them feeling superior and righteous. Think Javez et al.

    Police harrassing young drivers and setting up antagonistic and fearful scenarios are also stuck in the authoritarian mode. Have you ever been stopped by police on one of their regular dragnet tests on night drivers? It isn’t a good feeling to have this person asking for your name and address as they test you, and of course they can catch you out if you are late with your Wof etc. Which costs. Over and beyond the problem.

    The idea of decriminalising drugs is a bit shocking when all are considered, but it would create a different, more honest and open environment to deal with the problem. Let’s start with controlling alcohol in a reasoned way, and give marijuana use the same status, along with efforts to restore the lower potency types. Then encourage the growth of hemp which is now a cotton substitute but has such possibilities that the situation could be reversed.

  4. Santi 5

    Today’s DomPost cartoon is enjoyable. Take a look.

  5. prism 6

    The government’s books are better than expected. A billion? up and 18% better.
    I think those were the figures. Perhaps now we can resume the payments to the Superannuation Fund, providing that bulwark of money against stupid pollies mismanagement and grandioseness. We wouldn’t want to be faced with desperate remedies and the excuse of TINA darling when we reach the obesity bulge expected in the increasing growing older and bolder brigade, would we!

  6. lprent 7

    Oops. The primary dns server went offline this morning, and I hadn’t reset the ttls to high enough values after the last move. Fixed now

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    Collapse Competitively
    by Dmitry Orlov
    It’s a great read about competition. I especially liked these questions that he asks:

    If the goal is to achieve an adequate result with a minimum of effort, then why would two people want to compete to do the job of one? And if there is in fact work enough for two, then why wouldn’t they want to cooperate instead of wasting their precious energies in competition?

    Competition – wasting resources for no additional gain.

  8. Quoth the Raven 9

    Some links:
    Murder with Malice Aforethought, or: Screw You — My Dick Is the Biggest!

    Item: Obama and his administration claim the “right” to murder anyone in the world, wherever he or she may be, for whatever reason they choose — or for no reason at all. Obama and his administration recognize no upper limit to the number of people they can murder in this manner: they can murder as many people as they wish. And they claim there is nothing at all that may impede their exercise of this “right.”

    This is the game entire. Understand this: once Obama and his administration have claimed this, there is nothing left to argue about. They can murder you — and they can murder anyone else at all. What in the name of anything you hold holy remains to be “debated” once a vile, damnable “right” of this kind has been claimed?

    The story of how the US government poisoned its own citizens

    Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people.

    Robert Byrd, Democrats, and the KKK

    Upon his death, Byrd was the only living member of Congress known to have been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. But despite that, and despite his white-knuckled opposition to Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, and his characterization of MLK as a “trouble-maker,’ and his impenitent use of the “N-word’ (i.e., “nigger’) on TV as recently as 2001—his public legacy remains only slightly tarnished rather than the character-murder he’d have faced if, say, he’d been a Republican. Since he apologized, and since he was a Democrat, he’s been forgiven.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Dude, that last link? Are you for reals?

      Seriously. OMG the Dems used to have whole heapin helpin of southern racists!! Who knews?

      You may have noticed that the GOP has held the south since the civil rights act. You may have heard of the term Dixie-crat. You may have also heard that when they passed the civil rights act the Dems acknowledged that they would lose the south for a generation (they were wrong about that, it’s been more like two). You may have noticed that African Americans vote 80% plus for the Dems, perhaps they are just stupid. Or maybe they are somewhat more aware of reality than that idiot you linked to.

  9. joe90 10

    And some more links:

    Sickening. Southern Heritage

    Each summer, a few lucky young folks, whose parents presumably have neo-Confederate sympathies, spend a week at a Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Sam Davis Youth Camp. The camps are inspired by the words of a Confederate officer warning that a Southern loss in the Civil War meant its history would be “written by the enemy.’

    Madness, Obama ‘greatest threat’ to U.S. today.

    “The greatest threat to the United States today, the greatest threat to our liberty, the greatest threat to the Constitution of the United States, the greatest threat to our way of life, everything we believe in, the greatest threat to the country that was put together by the Founding Fathers is the guy who is in the White House today,” Tancredo said

    Worrying, Leak could last 30 years, open hole with no casing in it?

    Who knows?, Oil Covers 40% Of Gulf Beneath The Surface

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      A few more links:

      Ludwig von Mises Institute

      Headed up by Llewelyn Rockwell Jr., the Ludwig von Mises Institute is devoted to a radical libertarian view of government and economics inspired by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, whom the institute says “showed that government intervention is always destructive.”

      Indeed, the institute aims to “undermine statism in all its forms,” and its recent interest in neo-Confederate themes reflects that.

      Rockwell recently argued that the Civil War “transformed the American regime from a federalist system based on freedom to a centralized state that circumscribed liberty in the name of public order.”

      Desegregation in the civil rights era, he says, resulted in the “involuntary servitude” of (presumably white) business owners. In the past, Rockwell has praised the electoral success of European neofascists like Joerg Haider in Austria and Christoph Blocher in Switzerland.

      Both Rockwell and institute research director Jeffrey Tucker are listed on the racist League of the South’s Web page as founding members — and both men deny their membership. Tucker has written for League publications, and many League members have taught at the institute’s seminars and given presentations at its conferences.

      At the recent Austrian Scholars Conference, the F.A. Hayek Memorial Lecture was delivered by Donald Livingston, director of the League’s Summer Institute. In 1994, Thomas Fleming, a founding League member and the editor of Chronicles magazine, spoke on neo-Confederate ideas to an institute conference.

      Rockwell, who is also vice president of the Center for Libertarian Studies, runs his own daily news Web site that often features articles by League members.

      And while we are on the subject:

      Ron Paul doesn’t seem to know much about his own newsletters. The libertarian-leaning presidential candidate says he was unaware, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, of the bigoted rhetoric about African Americans and gays that was appearing under his name. He told CNN last week that he still has “no idea” who might have written inflammatory comments such as “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks”—statements he now repudiates. Yet in interviews with reason, a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists—including some still close to Paul—all named the same man as Paul’s chief ghostwriter: Ludwig von Mises Institute founder Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr…..

      …..The most detailed description of the strategy came in an essay Rothbard wrote for the January 1992 Rothbard-Rockwell Report, titled “Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement.” Lamenting that mainstream intellectuals and opinion leaders were too invested in the status quo to be brought around to a libertarian view, Rothbard pointed to David Duke and Joseph McCarthy as models for an “Outreach to the Rednecks,” which would fashion a broad libertarian/paleoconservative coalition by targeting the disaffected working and middle classes. (Duke, a former Klansman, was discussed in strikingly similar terms in a 1990 Ron Paul Political Report.) These groups could be mobilized to oppose an expansive state, Rothbard posited, by exposing an “unholy alliance of ‘corporate liberal’ Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who, among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America.”

      http://reason.com/archives/2008/01/16/who-wrote-ron-pauls-newsletter/

      “parasitic Underclass”, wonder what Rothbard could possibly mean by that?

      Shocked, I’m sure.

      • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1

        Dude, those links? Are you for reals?

        Seriously. OMG the mises intisitute has a whole heapin helpin of paleos. Who knews?

        That Rothbard went all paleo conservative in his later years is well known.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1

          The word you’re looking for is ‘racists’. But hey, if their agenda don’t bother you then just keep citin’ them Q.

          • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1.1.1

            The Mises institute doesn’t have a racist agenda. There are so many people involved in the organisation. Many of whom are explicity opposed to racism of any kind. To say that it has a racist agenda because you found that some of them have links to neo-confederates is just absurd and doesn’t change the eocnomic or political arguments. Ever heard of ad hom? I’ve heard the institute being accused of being part of some vast Jewish conspiracy in the past too.

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2

          Who knews?

          That Rothbard went all paleo conservative in his later years is well known.

          It’s not like we haven’t been over this before:

          http://www.thestandard.org.nz/nats-set-the-places-for-their-own-tea-party/#comment-216759

          You really think Jews like Rothbard and Mises (both New Yorkers) were part of some “southern strategy’.

          A willful misstating of what I had said, that Mises.org has links with the neo-confederates.

          and

          I do know about the history of libertarianism and you weren’t honestly engaging when it came to mises.org you were as you said just stirring.

          I said I was partially stirring. But hey, if you now claim to be well aware of the links between the neo-confederates and Mises.org, Rockwell in particular, and Rothbard historically, then fine.

          The whole ‘But Byrd was in the KKK so who are the real racists?’ is all a part of that. If you post it not knowing what it is, thats one thing, But if you claim to know what is and post it anyway, that’s another thing I guess.

          • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1.2.1

            I said I was partially stirring. But hey, if you now claim to be well aware of the links between the neo-confederates and Mises.org, Rockwell in particular, and Rothbard historically, then fine.

            Rothbard associated himself with the New Left in sixties for a brief time. He was very much a political opportunist. I’m well aware of paleos like Rockwell. You should look at the views of Hoppe or Block for more stupidityy. But again it doesn’t change the economic or political arguments, for instance Rockwell’s racism doesn’t undermine his anti-war arguments, nor the fact that there are members with many different views on sorts of matters.

            The whole ‘But Byrd was in the KKK so who are the real racists?

            That wasn’t the point. It is just that he was in news lately with people heaping praise upon him. They were facts I was unaware of.

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2.1.1

              “That wasn’t the point.”

              It was the point of the article you linked to. It wasn’t subtle about it. An article which simply ignored the fact that Byrd abandoned his past beliefs, that the Democratic Party lost the support of all those southern racists, and that the GOP actively and successfully sort to win them over.

              This idea that just because Mises.org isn’t all about racism, then it doesn’t have a racist agenda is a strange one.

              So we can make no judgements about the fact that they have neoconfederates in high positions, invite neoconfederates to speak at their events, publish their books claiming that slavery was a minor issue in the civil war, (ignoring all the speeches made by Sorthern heads of state when seceding, those guys sure seemed to think it was about slavery), accept money from neoconfederates and use rhetoric aimed at “exposing an “unholy alliance of ‘corporate liberal’ Big Business and media elites, who, through big government, have privileged and caused to rise up a parasitic Underclass, who, among them all, are looting and oppressing the bulk of the middle and working classes in America.’

              We just ignore all that because they also talk about economics, which means they can’t have a racist agenda. I’ve nowhere said that because they have a racist agenda that their economics should be ignored. That would ad hom. All I have said is that they do in fact have some very unsavory and ongoing links, and that it’s reasonable to assume that there is quite a bit a racism lurking around in there. You’ve been at pains to call me dishonest for that, and try and minimise those links, or deny they exist (The Mises institute doesn’t have a racist agenda.)

              All I’m trying to do is to get you to be a little more discerning about these guys. That link you posted is what I was calling bs on. I was also pointing out that it is part of what’s going on with the rockwell crowd at mises. Many people at mises may personally not be racist, but that doesn’t change the fact that they share a platform with racists, and accept racist support. (and they are doing it today, and unapologetically, unlike the late Senator Byrd whose still warm corpse they happily piss on for partisan gain). That never comes without cost.

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  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Trades funding cut short-sighted
      Short-sighted funding cuts could lead to fewer school students learning trades, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "Schools are now being financially penalised for enrolling students in trades academies. They could lose teachers and school management positions as a… ...
    1 week ago
  • The rock star economy is well out of tune
    The bad news is mounting for the economy with job ads falling in June, suggesting employment is taking a hit, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “ANZs Job Ads data shows job advertising fell 0.6 per cent in June and is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury latest to withhold Saudi sheep scandal information
    The Labour Party will today lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman after the Treasury became the latest government department to withhold information on the Saudi sheep scandal. Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says the Government has been… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calls to extend life-saving training
    The Government must ensure all health sector workers are not only be trained to routinely check for medical identification bracelets but have access to critical online patient information, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The tragic death of an 80-year-old… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Making business tax more flexible
    Labour is launching a new proposal to give businesses more flexibility and control over when they pay their tax, Opposition Leader Andrew Little announced today. “Today I am launching a discussion document to give businesses the option of paying their… ...
    2 weeks ago

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