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Open mike 19/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 19th, 2012 - 172 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

172 comments on “Open mike 19/08/2012”

  1. Morrissey 1

    “He’s merely been telling the truth…. He should be congratulated for that, not threatened.”

    Some who trust the anonymous editorial writers, the humorists and virtual government mouthpieces at the Grauniad, the Murdoch media and the BBC might have been led to think otherwise, but Daniel Ellsberg, the Julian Assange of the 1960s and 70s, is a man of formidable expertise, immense knowledge and unimpeachable integrity. He’s someone worth listening to….

    Daniel Ellsberg: I Congratulate Ecuador for Standing Up to British Empire to Protect Julian Assange

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, I congratulate Ecuador, of course, for standing up to the British Empire here, for insisting that they are not a British colony, and acting as a sovereign state ought to act. And I think they’ve done the right thing. I appreciate what they’ve done.

    AMY GOODMAN: And the British government first threatening to raid the Ecuadorean embassy in London, also saying they would arrest Julian Assange if he attempted to leave to go to Ecuador, but also saying they’d actually raid the embassy?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: It’s an outrageous proposal, which actually undermines the security of every diplomat in the world, in this country right now. I would say it has a chilling effect right now, the very fact that that possibility has been raised. I’m old enough to remember the occasion that gave rise to that, actually. I remember when a Libyan official shot from the Libyan embassy in London and killed a British female officer. … They didn’t raid the embassy on that occasion, but that led three years later to a law that permitted them, under extraordinary circumstances, to do that again. They obviously don’t have anyone here who’s been shooting from the Ecuadorean embassy at anyone. He’s merely been telling the truth, there as in London earlier. He should be congratulated for that, not threatened.

    Watch Daniel Ellsberg and read the entire transcript here…
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/17/daniel_ellsberg_i_congratulate_ecuador_for

    • Carol 1.1

      I have an interest in the Assange situation, although don’t follow it as much as other issues/stories. It is important. But….

      …how long is this little feud between a handful of Standartistas going to dominate open mike with long strings of bitter exchanges from entrenched positions?

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        I have an interest in the Assange situation, although don’t follow it as much as other issues/stories.

        Why not? There is no story more crucial to our futures than this one.

        I suggest you take a few minutes and listen to what Ellsberg says.

        • Carol 1.1.1.1

          It is ONE crucial issue. I’m waiting to see how it plays out. But the feud here goes beyond that.

        • Chris 1.1.1.2

          I would’ve thought the threats from the general economic situation and climate change are a lot more crucial.

          I completely agree with Carol – as I said yesterday noone is going to move on this topic. My guess is anyone who could potentially be swayed no longer reads any of these posts. I know I don’t – it is getting to be far worse than anything Pete George ever did.

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.2.1

            Chris seems a tad frustrated at having his or her peace of mind disturbed….

            I would’ve thought the threats from the general economic situation and climate change are a lot more crucial.

            You “would have thought” that, would you? How much reading have you done on this terrifying case? And please don’t think I am not concerned about our economic situation or global warming.

            My guess is anyone who could potentially be swayed no longer reads any of these posts.

            My intention is to bring to notice the work of people who are deliberately shut out of British state television, or distorted in newspapers like the Grauniad. People like Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein—all of whom have commented trenchantly on the state persecution of Assange. My intention is not to “sway” intransigent people. The likes of “weka”, “Pascal’s bookie” and the Banksy Award-winning “Te Reo Putake” are clearly not willing to treat this issue seriously, but they clog up this forum with their absurd quibbles and distractions. Your beef is with them, not with me.

            I know I don’t – it is getting to be far worse than anything Pete George ever did.

            That’s clever. Now I’m Pete George. That’s ethical and perspicacious of you.

        • Jackal 1.1.1.3

          Morrissey

          There is no story more crucial to our futures than this one.

          I would suggest that Climate Change is of far more importance and gains far less attention. I totally agree with Carol… Let’s give it a rest.

          Let the games begin!

          As most readers are probably aware, there was an op-ed in the Saturday New York Times from Richard Muller announcing the Berkeley Earth team’s latest results. It was odd enough that a scientific paper was announced via an op-ed, rather than a press release, odder still that the paper was only being submitted and had not actually been accepted, and most odd of all was the framing – a ‘converted skeptic’ being convinced by his studies that the planet has indeed warmed and that human activity is the cause – which as Mike and Ken Caldiera pointed out has been known for almost 2 decades.

          ~ Real Climate

          Deep Water

          Grossman reports that most scientists with whom he has spoken expect a sea level rise of around a metre this century. But there is profound uncertainty about the behaviour of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Will these continent-scale glaciers remain languid in their transport of ice to the sea or under the influence of warming will they become more akin to bounding torrents? He explains very clearly for the lay reader the difference between the gradual surface melting of an ice-cube and the dynamics of glacier movement that can cast into the sea quantities of ice which dwarf the amounts that dribble off from surface melting.

          ~ Hot Topic

          Climate change disease danger

          Parasites look set to become more virulent because of climate change, according to a study showing that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures.

          Parasites, which include tapeworms, the tiny organisms that cause malaria and funguses, may be more nimble at adapting to climatic shifts than the animals they live on since they are smaller and grow more quickly, scientists said.

          “Increases in climate variability are likely to make it easier for parasites to infect their hosts,” Thomas Raffel of Oakland University in the United States told Reuters.

          ~ Alister Doyle

          Climate change driving Australian fish south

          Australian scientists said Friday there was now “striking evidence” of extensive southward migration of tropical fish and declines in other species due to climate change, in a major ocean report card.

          Compiled by more than 80 of Australia’s leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of global warming’s effects on the island continent’s oceans warned of “significant impacts”.

          “Climate change is already happening; widespread physical changes include rapid warming of the southeast and increasing flow of the east Australia current,” the report said.

          ~ Yahoo! News

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.3.1

            I would suggest that Climate Change is of far more importance and gains far less attention.

            Of course Climate Change is of paramount importance. And you don’t think governments harassing and trying to silence Assange will not have a chilling effect on other protesters and dissenters—like ecology activists?

            I totally agree with Carol… Let’s give it a rest.

            That’s the kind of thing global warming deniers say. Have you thought of working for ACT?

            • Jackal 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Ah no! As I said yesterday, the debate is at an impasse. I therefore won’t be making further comment until there’s a substantive development.

      • just saying 1.1.2

        Carol I think you are being a bit unfair in calling this a “feud” implying equal culpability of all parties. I take my hat off particularly to Weka and Mcflock in intelligently challenging the rape-culture aspects of the discussion itself, which inevitably arise in a case of this kind independently of whether Assange is guilty of the charges.

        I had decided to start putting rolleyes as a response to Morrisey’s seeming never-ending campaign salvos.

        • Carol 1.1.2.1

          I get that, js.

          I also understand how the evil US empire to stifle dissent. 2 sides to a complex situation. I don’t think anything’s to be gained from each side constantly repeating their position.

          Now, have to start working.

          • weka 1.1.2.1.1

            Hi Carol,
             
            I personally don’t consider myself to be on a ‘side’ in this. I don’t generally get involved in the debate about the Assange case itself, apart from as js mentions challening rape culture issues as they arise here on TS.
             
            One of my points in the rape culture conversation is that we don’t have to ‘take sides’. This intersects nicely with the small discussion yesterday about the Order of Relations vs the Order of Things that Anne Salmond wrote about.
             
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10827658
             
            However I agree with your and Chris’ points, and have been biting my tongue for a while now about naming Morrissey the new Pete George, esp for the hogging of the first post of Open Mike so often. We can now anticipate protestations of free speech or such.
             
            Like Chris I will now employ :roll: accordingly.

          • just saying 1.1.2.1.2

            I also understand how the evil US empire to stifle dissent

            I get that too Carol, in my view, challenging rape culture in this kind of discussion isn’t synonymous with arguing that Assange is guilty.

            • QoT 1.1.2.1.2.1

              I agree: I don’t quite grok the idea that “challenging rape culture” and “opposing US imperialism” are somehow equivalent/complementary “sides” of an argument.

          • Morrissey 1.1.2.1.3

            Now, have to start working.

            And one of these days, it might be an idea to start reading.

        • Vicky32 1.1.2.2

          I had decided to start putting rolleyes as a response to Morrisey’s seeming never-ending campaign salvos.

          How very juvenile!
          Here’s one for you…
          :roll:
          And I will put some rolleyes under Weka and McNutmeg each time they accuse people like – oh me, for instance, of “supporting rape culture” because we refuse to judge and sentence Assange for ‘raping’ a couple of cat-fighting groupies!

          • McFlock 1.1.2.2.2

            Yes.
                 
            Because calling complainants “cat-fighting groupies” is in no way supporting rape culture. 
               
            :roll: 

            • Vicky32 1.1.2.2.2.1

              Because calling complainants “cat-fighting groupies” is in no way supporting rape culture
              :roll:
              Oh McNutmeg, did I ever say that all rape complainants are ‘cat-fighting groupies’? No, I didn’t and I never will.
              These women, however, the jury’s definitely out. I am a woman, and I have had the usual exposure to rape-like behaviour – but these women can’t claim they were raped  – not in any logical world!

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Eiher consent was given or it was not.

                If the young women were asleep consent cannot be given.

                Seems quite simple to me.

                I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                I’m pretty respectful of a woman’s right to decide when and if I’m allowed to touch. Consent for one instance does not give me blanket permission, marriage does not give me any non-consenting access either.

                It’s not that difficult to ensure you’re both agreeable each and every time.

                • RedLogix

                  I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                  Well my partner quite enjoys it. The map of human sexual behaviour is neither narrow nor wholly domesticated. And this is true for both genders.

                  Consent for one instance does not give me blanket permission, marriage does not give me any non-consenting access either.

                  Do you have a mutually signed legal document that is a record of every time you and your wife have made love? Can you prove your claim to have gained this consent on each and every occasion in Court?

                  Or would it just come down to your word against hers?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    “Do you have a mutually signed legal document that is a record of every time you and your wife have made love? Can you prove your claim to have gained this consent on each and every occasion in Court?

                    Or would it just come down to your word against hers?”

                    Now you’re just being an idiot.

                    Anyway her word would support mine not be in opposition to it.

                    The point I was making, which seems a little obtuse for you, was that the Swedish law does represent a not unreasonable social more.

                    It may not be one you share but it is their law and likely in reasonable close context to many of their social mores. I’m actually very liberal in my view of what others are able to do sexually but I’ve always had that attitude in the context of clear consent.

                    • RedLogix

                      Anyway her word would support mine not be in opposition to it.

                      But what if it were not? What if your relationship had broken down and suddenly your loving partner of many years was no longer a person you recognised?

                      Still happy for it to be just your word against hers? Or maybe in hindsight maybe a stack of those ‘legal consent’ forms would come in handy just now.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      “But what if it were not? What if your relationship had broken down and suddenly your loving partner of many years was no longer a person you recognised?

                      Still happy for it to be just your word against hers? Or maybe in hindsight maybe a stack of those ‘legal consent’ forms would come in handy just now.”

                      Well I guess I’d be in a slightly better position than you would be in the same situation cause I’ve never had sex with her while she’s asleep and I’ve never posted on the internet that I have.

                      You’re still being an idiot.

                    • RedLogix

                      On the other hand I’ve never posted on the internet that my head is up my arse.

                      My point is simple. You are pointing to ‘social mores’. Fine, but just exactly how do you propose that detailed compliance with them be established in a Court?

                      Because that is precisely what is being asked for here.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      My point is simple. You are pointing to ‘social mores’.

                      I’m pointing out that the Swedish law is not unreasonable or out of kilter.

                      “Fine, but just exactly how do you propose that detailed compliance with them be established in a Court?

                      Because that is precisely what is being asked for here.”

                      The same way they decide other cases of complaint using the laws they have passed. Gather evidence, interview witnesses, lay charges, examine case law – whatever it is that they do.

                • Morrissey

                  I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                  I’m pretty respectful of a woman’s right to decide when and if I’m allowed to touch.

                  And your wife is …. okay with these adventures in gallantry with other women?

              • McFlock

                You say the women can’t claim to have been raped. You base this on…?

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.2.2.2

              OK in the hours since you last accused me of having no sense of right or wrong I’ve been in the local mountains with a fine group of friends. One of whom recently came out of hospital because her ex-husband put her there. Or how about the woman I was with last year on a five day trip who has only one working eye for the same reason. Or the woman who did my hair last month in a neck-brace and her boyfriend in Rimutaka prison.

              That’s rape culture for you. Right here at home and it’s an innate consequence of the property-owning patriarchal death-cult we currently call society. All the snobbery, bullying, abuse, violence, addictions and dysfunction of our so called ‘society’ has it’s direct roots in this deep unequal distribution of power that has been a feature of most human life for the last 10,000 or so years.

              Now if you want to change all this with laws which define in minute details exactly what consenting adults can or can’t do in bed together … then good luck to you. If you want adults to sign up to a 32 page legal document detailing in precise detail what sex acts they are going to consent to … and you think that will help then again best of luck.

              Personally I’ve read the complainants accounts several times. They invited Assange into their beds. Now that of course does not give anyone a free pass to commit what ever act they like, but in this case I don’t see violence or coercion on Assange’s part. What I do see is miscommunication, misunderstanding and bad timing. Still if Swedish law makes a criminal offence of these events then I’ve consistently argued for a routine legal process to take it’s course.

              But the wider context of events makes it clear that the Swedish authorities are making a very special case of Assange for reasons that probably have very little to do with the welfare of the women involved.

              • Colonial Viper

                Thanks for the bitter, real life, close to home examples RL. Better than continuations of international internet indignation.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                I’m late to this as I’ve been busy all weekend as well but in response to what you just said:

                “They invited Assange into their beds. Now that of course does not give anyone a free pass to commit what ever act they like, but in this case I don’t see violence or coercion on Assange’s part. What I do see is miscommunication, misunderstanding and bad timing. ”

                Can’t be communication if you are asleep. Sure he mayt have felt he had consent based on previous activity but that didn’t mean that he did.

                “Still if Swedish law makes a criminal offence of these events then I’ve consistently argued for a routine legal process to take it’s course.”

                Agree.

                “But the wider context of events makes it clear that the Swedish authorities are making a very special case of Assange for reasons that probably have very little to do with the welfare of the women involved.”

                Both agree and disagree. Sweden has passed these laws and it’s their call. Here there is a hue and cry when celebrities get special treatment and I’m sure it’s no different there either. In fact they may be more determined to have him back in Sweden the longer this goes on.

                You cannot however also deny the international political ramifications of his leaking the information and the desire in particular of governments wanting their hands on him.

                It’s an extremely difficult position that he’s in and I’m not sure that there is an easy solution.

                Will be interesting what he has to say tomorrow.

                • McFlock

                  I reckon I agree with all of that (incl last but 2 paragraph) – and it seems better written than my efforts.

                • RedLogix

                  Can’t be communication if you are asleep. Sure he mayt have felt he had consent based on previous activity but that didn’t mean that he did.

                  Asleep or half-asleep? Can you always tell the difference? And when they were awake did they demand he stop? Or was it a few days later that they decided differently? And what if Assange’s version of event’s is different? Who to believe?

                  All questions that would be best answered if we installed recording video cameras in every bedroom … no?

                  Or perhaps more realistically maybe Assange should have gotten her to sign a form before each and every sex act. Which prompts me to ask exactly how you would define a ‘sex act’ for the purposes of gaining consent of each occasion. Clearly signing a form before each pelvic thrust is a tad over the top, but what about a 10 min pause before switching between say fellatio and a spot of g-spot massage. How about multiple orgasms? Should be sign the form between each one? Or does a 30 minute refractory period mandate a new sex act?

                  Just curious to see how you see these things working.

                  (Actually I do know of a way around all of this. It’s very ancient and effective … but no-one here would listen.)

                  • McFlock

                    Maybe, and I’m just throwing this out for the hell of it, maybe those are questions for a court to decide?
                             
                     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And to end up in court, charges first need to be laid. And to progress to that stage, investigators could talk to Assange TODAY.

                    • McFlock

                      Not that there’s any point, if they’re not in a position to arrest and charge a known flight risk.

                    • RedLogix

                      Assange stayed in Sweden and cooperated with the first investigation for five weeks. As a result of that no charges were laid and he was given permission to leave the country.

                      Only after the whole affair became so overtly political did he become a ‘flight risk’. Whose fault is that?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not that there’s any point, if they’re not in a position to arrest and charge a known flight risk.

                      How can there be no point to progressing the investigation.

                      And, uh, presumption of innocence remember. They might decide to drop further action against Assange if there are no grounds to proceed.

                    • McFlock

                      RL: the prosecutors and his lawyer seem to differ in their accounts on that. But it’s not the same lawyer who came up with “sex by surprise”, so I’ll just say it seems undetermined. As opposed to jumping bail in the UK.  
                             
                      CV: Paragraph 149. Knock yourself out. There’s no point in the second interview without the possibility of a charge. That’s the bit where the present the evidence to him and ask if he has anything to say. Which is probably why he skipped it the second first time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s no point in the second interview without the possibility of a charge.

                      Why is there no possibility of a charge? They can charge him after they interview him. Which can happen TODAY. Nothing stopping them.

                      They could also decide to drop further action against him. You know, presumption of innocence and all that.

                      That’s the bit where the present the evidence to him and ask if he has anything to say. Which is probably why he skipped it the second first time.

                      Or, they’ve avoided asking him because what evidence they do have is flimsy at best.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, right. :roll:
                               
                      And maybe tomorrow he’ll announce he’s going to Sweden. Problem solved.

          • Morrissey 1.1.2.2.3

            It’s interesting, Vicky, to see that some of these people are now giving YOU this juvenile treatment. I was disturbed to see the rolling eyes campaign against Pete George a few weeks ago; I thought then that it could be utilized against anyone.

            Still, when you have no credible argument to offer, using the rolling eyes graphic is an eloquent way to say: “I got nuthin’.”

            • Vicky32 1.1.2.2.3.1

              You’re exactly right, Morrissey… I was upset about the rolleyes campaign against PG for the same reason! Aside from anything else, it’s very juvenile – I can imagine year 9s in a classroom sniggering at someone they can’t answer…

              And, uh, presumption of innocence remember. They might decide to drop further action against Assange if there are no grounds to proceed.

              CV, there’s no reply button on yours, so I am answering you here – it seems to me, we didn’t get the memo – the one saying that Assange is uniquely * not entitled to the presumption of innocence!
               
              * When I think about it, not so uniquely, sadly…

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Richard Wolff: bringing Democracy to the Workplace

    This is how its done. This is what the unions should have been doing 40 years ago. Except they always just held on to the limited vision of fighting The Man.

    Imagine a union that had an official two-pronged strategy. Prong one, you bargain collectively, you do what unions traditionally do. Prong two, we’re going to organize workers into self-directed enterprises. We’re going to move energetically the minute we hear that there’s a factory or enterprise planning to shut down, to close a facility, to move a facility, we’re on it like white on rice. We’re in there saying go, we’ll take over. You can leave, but you’ve got a whole new problem here, Mr. Corporation. You think you’re moving, you’re not moving, you’re adding capacity in China, in Bangladesh—we’re going to continue here, and we’re going to be a competitor of yours. Because we’re American, we’ll be producing locally, we’re not going to have your transport costs, we’re going to have a lot better PR than you are, because we’re going to tell everybody, you’ve got a choice, we, who kept it going, or them, who are exploiting cheap labor over there.

    Then, what happens to the bargain between the union and the boss about that move when that’s in the wings? That’s a very different conversation. If I’m sitting across the board from the boss, begging and pleading, that’s a very different conversation from “When you leave, we’re going to be right here, we’re going to make your life so unpleasant.” That is much more powerful.

    http://rdwolff.com/content/richard-d-wolff-can-we-remake-our-workplaces-be-more-democratic

    • rosy 2.1

      Add to that a compulsory labour think-tank that produces opinion on the effects on the workforce of proposed legislative changes, that the government has a legislative duty to take into account.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Fascinating, thanks for the link.

        Membership

        All employees, apprentices, persons on maternity (paternity) leave, as well as the unemployed are subject to compulsory membership; civil servants and agricultural workers are exempt. Total membership is 3.2 million. The Chambers of Labour also represent the interests of retired employees.

        • Carol 2.1.1.1

          Excellent links and ideas. And the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour is easily financed:

          Finances

          The financial basis of this entire structure is the so-called “Chamber of Labour levy” amounting to 0.5% of all members’ gross wages or salaries up to a certain maximum basis of assessment. More than 80% of these funds are spent on direct services to Chamber of Labour members.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Organisations with cashflow like that can add small businesses (purchasing them or starting them up) to their asset base rather quickly. In a co-op model, the Chamber of Labour would then become an employer of considerable scale to be reckoned with. Employees could then make an active choice between working for a typical capitalist firm, taking a wage and taking orders from the top. Or work for a co-op where they would have an ownership stake and participate in decision making at all levels.

            Easy choice eh.

            • rosy 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You’d have to deal with the two different objectives – legislative power and business. But I do agree there is dire need to find a funding mechanism for the ownership of business through workers co-ops.

              Question: Does incorporating worker interests into the capitalist model evens out some of the highs and lows in the business cycle? That would be economic incentive for workers over and above the traditional capitalist model. Workers require stable incomes over time – compared with capitalists who are often willing to accumulate as soon as they can, and carry the risk of this not continuing in the future.

              • Colonial Viper

                Question: Does incorporating worker interests into the capitalist model evens out some of the highs and lows in the business cycle?

                Yes it does. Reading the article, Richard Wolff describes how Mondragon has had to cope with the majocr Europe-wide recession. In a capitalist corporation, directors will often cut loose money losing units and lay staff off, in order to protect shareholder returns. In Modragon, the workers ARE the shareholders. So they have gone to extraordinary lengths to redeploy, retrain, reassign those workers.

                BTW the usual business cycle of being up 4-5 years then being down 1-2 years has been destroyed by the debt deflation/energy trap the world economy is now caught in. IMO co-ops will become even more important economic structures as this drags on for another 10-20 years.

                You’d have to deal with the two different objectives – legislative power and business.

                Indeed. It is a different mode of operating, but there are existing examples. Eg the many large corporations who also do political lobbying do these days. What would be nice would be large organisations who do exactly the same for workers and the underclass.

                • rosy

                  Yeah, i have a suspicion that worker focus evens out the highs and lows, but am not sure the research has been done to support it. co-ops John Lewis and Waitrose in the UK seem to have weathered the downturn better than most (and they’re high-end retailers). Also Co-op and Mondragon and at a national level Austria.

                  For me, this would be the biggest buy-in reason for a focus on workers interests… Stable profit and income over time. The exact opposite to the precarity model being implemented across the western world right now.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And consumers get a choice of supporting businesses owned by local workers.

                    Yeah, i have a suspicion that worker focus evens out the highs and lows, but am not sure the research has been done to support it.

                    IMO research can often give retrospective insights, but rarely prospective guidance, as organisations and market niches tend to be quite individual.

                    The main question I think needs to be answered is: can co-op enterprises help solve any/many of the problems our communities face today. I think its YES.

                    A private enterprise needs to focus on serving shareholders. So much the better if those shareholders are local workers, and not a bunch of faraway investors based in Sydney, New York or London, and who have zero care and interest in your local community.

                    We know that people work the best, the most creatively, and the hardest, when they feel they have a real stake in the enterprise. I have no doubt that a co-op enterprise can outperform any standard enterprise on a routine basis.

                    A co-op enterprise can also choose to be not for profit. On that basis it will be able to undercut or outlast corporate enterprise almost always. Eg. let’s say a foreign owned factory in your town employs 100 people. The factory is busy, sales are decent, and the workers are busy, but the factory can’t make any real profit against low priced products out of Thailand. Corporate based out of USA shut the factory down because even though its not losing money its not making money for shareholders, and shift production to Thailand, where it will make money for shareholders. The shift doesn’t cost the Corporate anything, but costs your local community 100 jobs. You can see how a locally owned co-op might make different decisions in the same situation.

    • chris73 2.2

      Unions in NZ being productive? Yeah right, far easier to dictate to the bosses how things should be done then actually get of your (workers) collective chuffs and take the responsibility yourselves.

      What the unions want is all the rights and privileges without any of the responsibilities.

      Having said why the unions won’t (general laziness and irresponsibility) I’ll say its a damn good idea in theory.

      • millsy 2.2.1

        Would you ban unions then Chris?

        Do you accept that union members enjoy better wages and conditions than those who arent union members?

        Do you want to bring back slavery?

        • chris73 2.2.1.1

          Would you ban unions then Chris?
          - No, unions are dying out so they don’t need my help

          Do you accept that union members enjoy better wages and conditions than those who arent union members?
          - Yes, undeservedly

          Do you want to bring back slavery?
          -I’m not entirely sure how you made the jump from me thinking union employees are lazy and irresponsible to me thinking slavery should be brought back but I’m guessing you probably had one too many red bulls and didn’t get enough sleep

          • millsy 2.2.1.1.1

            Do you dont like unions and think that wages and conditions should be slashed?

            • chris73 2.2.1.1.1.1

              So not liking unions is the same as endorsing slavery? Go back to bed for a couple of hours and then try posting.

              • Morrissey

                So not liking unions is the same as endorsing slavery?

                There’s not a lot of difference.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Employers and corporations and farmers LOVE unions (for themselves). They know the power and leverage that organisation and co-ordination brings to the table.

                  The EMA
                  The Business Roundtable
                  The Feds
                  ……

          • the pink postman 2.2.1.1.2

            Chriss 73

            One thing I well remember ,in the days when I was an acive unionist was that bluggers like you refused to pay the union fee but were first in line to get the gains the union had fought for. You are typical of the anti-worker ,anti -union low life it has been my misfortune to sometimes have worked with. Working Class Tories ! nothing is lower .As my Spanish Civil war father classed them “They are that low they could crawl under a snake with top hat and stilts on” That that type are still with us today is sad !sad! sad!

      • bad12 2.2.2

        You could try not talking SHIT, show us where there is a workplace where the unionized workforce is not productive,

        There is NO difference in the poductivity of a unionized workplace versus a non-unionized workplace,

        Oh except of course if you consider productivity to be an employers ability to exploit workers in a non-unionized workplace by paying workers lower rates of pay than what they would receive in a unionized workplace,

        But then, that aint got anything much to do with worker output or productivity…

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3

        Yeah right, far easier to dictate to the bosses how things should be done

        Except unions don’t do that, they discuss things. The bosses try to dictate how things should be done and get upset when they’re called on it.

    • Bill 2.3

      From time to time I’ve mentioned that very possibility in the company of union officials, organisers, members and in general company too.

      In short, negotiate with an aim to assuming control of the company if and when the correct circumstances arise. (In NZ there is a perfectly legal route to pursue in such an instance) The two basic hurdles are that unions (or those aho comprise the heirarchy of unions) simply aren’t familiar with the basic structures that would need to be developed to facilitate worker’s control. (If they were, an outline of necessary structures and procedures could become part and parcel of any union’s membership literature as a way of introducing workers to the concept and the possibilities it contains.) And ordinary workers are in the same boat and in addition have a lot of resistance vis a vis their idea of what a work place is and their fears with regards being in control and responsible.

      I had thought of doing a post on it a while back to compliment one I’d done on what policies a genuine left parliamentary party would pursue. (Use their position in government to distribute the power of the state outwards and downwards ie, rather than rely on the mistaken Marxist assumption that the state will smehow magically naturally wither, to actively wither the state’s centralised authority)

      Hmm. Maybe you’re comment has given me the wee kick in the arse needed to get into gear and do the post ;-)

      • bad12 2.3.1

        Aha, the other arm of the Marxist debate, Trotsky believed Capitalist enterprise was in fact a better means of distribution and ordering production,

        The profits of Capitalism re-distributed from the bottom up into society immediately destroys inequality and poverty…

        • Bill 2.3.1.1

          Erm. Not sure where you’re coming from with that comments bad12. I know that Trotsky and Lenin both advocated for single management structures in the workplace… the vertical division of labour.(Hence the dissolution of worker’s councils and the appointment of party personel to over see or manage the workplace. And Trotsky’s lament that the USSR would have moved in that direction a lot quicker had circumstances allowed.)

          It’s the second part of your comment that confuses me. If production is organised such that there is no vertical division of labour and therefore no exploitation of workers by those seeking to profit from their labour, then there is no capitalism… that is, if we agree that the power relationship of boss and worker and the profit that relationship yields is what lies at the core of capitalism.

          Maybe an alternative phrasing of what you wrote would be to say that if the fruits of production were to be distributed across society via democratic mechanisms then inequality and poverty (inevitable products of profit driven market based mechanisms for distribution) would likely disappear.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Would be a great post Bill, if you could put it together at some stage. Although I’m familiar with some of the concepts I don’t know enough about the specifics of how a privately held small business could be legally transformed into a co-op, when the right “circumstances” arise.

        As for workers being uncertain/anxous about the responsibilities of owning their own business, that is understandable, but given how many people have gone from being employees to contracting/consulting and have become GST registered etc themselves, I don’t think its too big a hurdle to get past.

        Re: the operating hierarchy of a business, I think there will always be a role for some sort of hierarchy of decision makers in a larger business, in order to expedite day to day and week to week matters of business. But the managers/supervisors will be democratically elected from amongst their peers, and if they fail to perform can just as easily be replaced. And for the more important or bigger strategic decisions of the business, all the shareholders of the co-op (ie the body of workers) can meet say once a month, discuss and vote on the matters of consequence.

        PS nice side benefit of workers gaining first hand experience of how democratic systems work…

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.1

          I think there will always be a role for some sort of hierarchy of decision makers in a larger business, in order to expedite day to day and week to week matters of business.

          Not necessarily a hierarchy but an administration that reports to the workers who are themselves part of the larger co-op.

        • Bill 2.3.2.2

          If you can get your head around the idea that although certain administative or managerial functions need to be performed, it’s not necessary to have a single person or committee of people or whatever assigned to positions or assume roles per se in order for those things to be done – then you can make a clean break from static or fixed heirarchies.

          And if you don’t abolish the positions while maintaining the functions of the positions through, for example, extensive systems for knowledge and skill sharing, then you will simply recreate the same deleterious vertical divisions of labour that we currently have.

          And yeah. It’s always kind of ‘amused’ me that a worker will baulk in fear at the idea of a collective and then use redundancy compensation to make a go at establishing their own business…a far riskier undertaking in terms of vulnerability.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.2.1

            Ideally you’d want it to be cyclical. Moving from the workspace to administration and back again so that no one becomes divorced from either. If the co-op also has research (which it should do) then you’d want people cycling through that as well.

            • Bill 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Ideally you’d want it to be cyclical. Moving from the workspace to administration and back again so that no one becomes divorced from either.

              Or have both areas straddled similtaneously. There is no reason why people performing admin tasks can’t perform more immediate production tasks too. And although those not interested in admin tasks, or who just naturally lack the ability to perform them, would be in the workplace only, there is no reason why they can’t perfrom a range of tasks there instead of being tied to the one task/area all of the time.

              So it’s perfectly feasible to envisage somebody undertaking ‘office related’ tasks one day and shop floor tasks the next…or in the afternoon or whatever. And it’s also perfectly feasible for the grotty or mundane things to be attended to by everyone via some equitable mechanism – y’know, things such as general cleaning or cleaning the loos or whatever.

              • Colonial Viper

                In Mondragon manufacturing facilities, workers commonly do the same job only for 2 or 4 hours at a time, before going to another role on the factory floor. Gives both the body and the brain a change. So I agree completely.

                And you have to take into account those people who excel/like a certain work role as well.

        • prism 2.3.2.3

          CV
          Wouldn’t it be good if the trend to contractors, which I have thought is a sneaky way of employers getting out of responsibility for the wellbeing if workers, actually is a training step to getting into a true small business. (As contracting often is dependent or nearly on full-time work from one company, hence my feeling that they should be employees.)

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.3.1

            +1

            And there’s a model for it: the Marcora law in Italy. It dates from the 1980s, and I advocate for that here. If you become unemployed in Italy, you are given a choice. Option A: you go on unemployment like in America, you get a weekly check for a couple years, that’s your unemployment benefit. But you can choose an alternative if you wish. The government of Italy will give you the entire two to three years of unemployment right now in a lump sum. But here’s the condition. You must get together with eight or 10 other unemployed people to make the same choice with you at the same time, and you must commit to using the lump sum as the startup capital for a collective enterprise, cooperatively owned and operated by all of you unemployed people.

            http://www.alternet.org/richard-d-wolff-can-we-remake-our-workplaces-be-more-democratic?paging=off

        • Balanced View 2.3.2.4

          Very interesting idea.
          What are the objectives of running this? And are there any examples of this actually happening successfully in a competitive market environment?
          Although I like the idea, I just cant see it working that well.

          • Bill 2.3.2.4.1

            What are the objectives of running this?

            Where to begin. The restoration of one’s dignity through no longer beng a wage slave? Efficiency and productivity sky rocketing? Working far fewer hours for the same renumeration as at present? Being an integral part of a functional democratic environment? Individual and collective empowerment? Workplace satisfaction? Oh, and I could go on but that should be enough to be going on with; enough to ‘give you the picture’.

            And are there any examples of this actually happening successfully in a competitive market environment?

            Yes. And I could write at length from personal experience of my time as a part of a succesful worker’s collective. But I won’t. Because I’ve done it before here on ‘thestandard’.

            • Balanced View 2.3.2.4.1.1

              Well nice idea, and nice theory. However the fact that these discussions here exist suggests that there are not many current examples. So either the model is not usually successful, or there is a lack of will to make it happen.
              I suspect it is a combination of both.

              • blue leopard

                @ Balanced [?] View

                …gee I’m glad that great minds and inventors of the past didn’t adhere to your logic: “there are not many current examples ergo the model is not successful ergo…do I detect a “not worth trying” in there???

                • Balanced View

                  Your criticism would be valid if it was a new idea, but it isn’t, in fact its one of the oldest society models there is.
                  So I stand by my earlier point

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Your view is uninformed, and unimportant. Thanks for the derail though, its very interesting you would take the time to attack the idea of real life democracy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                So either the model is not usually successful, or there is a lack of will to make it happen.

                Or their are systemic barriers preventing it from happening, or…

                Life isn’t as simple as you seem to believe.

                • Balanced View

                  Hi DTB,
                  What are the barriers?
                  I’m certain that if the model was successful and there was a will to make it work, there would be many businesses in NZ operating like this as we speak. I’m not saying there aren’t any, but I certainly haven’t knowingly come across one.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What are the barriers?

                    Just guessing a few here:
                    1.) Lack of the necessary social networking
                    2.) Lack of access to money
                    3.) Lack of the necessary knowledge needed to work through the system
                    4.) Unable to support themselves while they initiate a huge risk and no other support available (I think this is the biggest – people have the ideas and the will, they just don’t have enough resources to actually apply them)

                    That’s a few I could think of in a couple of minutes – there will be more but probably need research to really find them.

                    I’m not saying there aren’t any, but I certainly haven’t knowingly come across one.

                    So you’ve tried to make a cooperative? No? So that would mean that you’re talking out your arse then.

                    • Balanced View

                      I don’t think any of those reasons are substantially different from anyone going into business for the first time.
                      Have I tried to make a cooperative – no. Have you? If not then I guess you can join me in talking sh1t

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I don’t think any of those reasons are substantially different from anyone going into business for the first time.

                      Really? You do know that most business start-ups fail don’t you? But here’s the thing, it’s easier to try it with one person than finding several people to do it together, i.e, see 1.).

                      And, yes, a lot of the barriers will be the same. Have you ever considered that may be why not everyone is in business?

                      Have I tried to make a cooperative – no. Have you? If not then I guess you can join me in talking sh1t

                      You were the one that said you haven’t come across any barriers regarding setting up a co-op.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, one of the barriers is people like you who seek to undermine the idea from the very beginning.

                    • Balanced View

                      Bulldust.
                      Shouldn’t make any difference what people like me think.
                      Actually, I like the theory of it. I just question it’s capability to be successful.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, that’s the stuff.
                         
                      Rather than looking for ways it could be made successful, you just sit and snipe questions.  
                             
                      Had a team member like you once. He ended up managing to obliterate team morale and capability to the point that everyone was reassigned. Then, apparently, he did the same to the next team. Got kicked out in the end, I heard.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Tories and farmers love the idea of co-ops. They can be very successful and very profitable. Just look at where Fonterra, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, PGG, CRT and many others have come from.

                      Funny how Balanced View is completely ignorant.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Balanced View

                    Here are a few links, from some very quick google searches; most of them are about cooperatives (not democratic ones).

                    A review on a book which has studied strengths and weaknesses in cooperatives:
                    http://www.workerscontrol.net/authors/essential-components-workplace-democracy

                    Info about Nz cooperatives:
                    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1203/S00957/cooperatives-showcase-their-mutual-benefits.htm

                    http://www.nz.coop/membership/

                    With stats on cooperatives around the world:
                    http://www.geo.coop/story/power-cooperation

                    I had no idea it was The Year of the Cooperative!

                    • Balanced View

                      Thanks Leopard (and Rosy). The links are interesting. I thought the Mondragon model was especially interesting and closer to what has been proposed above. Having senior manager salaries linked to the business minimum wage is something that a lot of businesses should work towards.
                      The NZ versions Viper lists above are quite removed to these ideals, and I would suggest don’t come close to achieving the main goals and objectives that have been outlined to me.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Balanced View

                    Yeah, I hadn’t realised how many cooperatives were around…and most aren’t the model of including the workers in the cooperative, as Viper’s example, yet, still, I had heard there were difficulties in keeping them going, so interesting to see that the form can work.

                    “Having senior manager salaries linked to the business minimum wage is something that a lot of businesses should work towards.”

                    Yes, would make a big difference.

              • rosy

                balanced view… Check out John Lewis in the UK http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/
                and Mondragon in Spain http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/ENG.aspx

                You might be surprised.

    • blue leopard 2.4

      @ CV (2)

      Fantastic article (and website) cheers
      :D

    • McFlock 2.5

      Seemed to work so well in Argentina that the government recognised the concept. :)

  3. rosy 3

    Family court chaos

    “It is only a matter of time before someone is injured, or worse, as a consequence of court proceedings not being dealt with, or orders not being issued,” society family law section chairman Garry Collin said.
    Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier has written to the ministry with his “continuing concern” about the system, and asked for a meeting with Justice Minister Judith Collins.
    A nationwide rollout would be a disaster, Collin says. “The model is fundamentally flawed.”

    Someone should have told them a fundamental review would result in delays and negative social impacts

    the Law Society firmly believed that substantial charges to the Family Court were not appropriate. Instead, with some targeted legislative amendments to reduce fiscal costs, the Family Court should remain significantly unchanged.

    The the 81-page Law Society submission on the Family Court submission concludes:

    11.1 – It is easier to be critical than to be correct and it is important in considering the undoubted challenges confronted by this review not to make changes merely to be seen to be “doing something”
    .
    11.2 – Family law is still law. It embraces legal rights and legal responsibilities. It sets boundaries. It is the product of statutes created by Parliament. Citizens are entitled to pursue available remedies and to be brought to account for perceived breaches and shortcomings. Care needs to be taken not to trivialise this by closing the door to the Family Court’s expertise and specialties.

    11.3 – Access to justice and the associated issue of equality of arms should not be lightly put aside. Claims that if parties too readily resort to the Family Court, they are discouraged from finding their own solutions are both overblown and unsubstantiated, although they fit the model of confronting the fiscal emergency.

    11.4 – Care needs to be taken to ensure that changes, however well-intentioned, do not have unintended consequences. Simplistic solutions are likely to create more difficulties than they resolve. In the Law Society’s view, the data provided in support of the review do not justify substantial changes to the Family Court. With some targeted legislative amendments to reduce fiscal costs, the Family Court should remain significantly unchanged at this point in time. The Law Society reiterates that the exercise of greater discipline, refinements to existing systems and procedures, and a properly resourced Registry, would enable the Family Court to serve the purpose for which it was established, in a fiscally sustainable manner

    More short-term thinking about a fiscal emergency in the family courts rather that thinking about the long-term costs – both economically and to society from single-minded thinking looks like it’s producing an ugly, expensive outcome. Judith Collins must re-think these changes before adding to the appalling toll of family violence.

    • Hi Rosy

      The reorganization is the most inept that I have seen.  The Waitakere Family Court used to be really good to deal with.  Urgent applications would be turned around within 12 hours and the Judges knew the files well.  Cases would be dealt with quickly and not left to fester.

      There was quite a roadshow with the reforms and we were promised that things would not only remain the same but get better.  Hearing times would be available more quickly.  Judge time would be more available.  I did not believe it from the start because there were also redundancies happening.

      And the reality is that it has been a total shambles.  A week’s wait for a decision in an urgent application is not uncommon.

      To add to this the changes in legal aid are going to drive up the demand in court time, not reduce it.  And the cutting in counseling and use of mandatory mediation are going to mean that things will only get worse.

      The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice.  This is really scary. 

      • muzza 3.1.1

        The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice. This is really scary.

        Why do people keep believing the govt dont know what they are doing, its simply allows them to be lazy and wait until the next govt comes along….more of the same

        Loop and repeat every electoral cycle!

        Newsflash to all: The government knows exactly what it is doing, its being directed!

        • tc 3.1.1.1

          Agree with Muzza and I thought one of the reasons Power slunk off to the banking industry was he couldn’t climb back into his cosy lawyers world as he’d made enemies of them with the reforms he slammed through.

          • muzza 3.1.1.1.1

            Power went to Wespac, because its the government bank, and having him “inside”, simply BAU for the revolving door policy. “Good business I think they call that, and it allows power to be groomed off radar without the media focus!

            Look for Power to return to politics, at a politically “necessary” time, almost certainly as leader of the Nats.

      • North 3.1.2

        The government’s doctrinaire, blundering, hamfisted “reform” of legal aid has turned the relative silk purse of that institution into an undoubted pig’s ear.

        Parallel to soundbites cynically badmouthing criminal legal aid lawyers particularly, it was glibly vaunted that the natural consequence of changes would (a) reinforce experienced legal aid lawyers’ commitment to legal aid, and (b) attract to legal aid greater numbers of experienced lawyers.

        It is uncontestable that the reverse has occurred as to (a) and you can forget the fantasy all over (b). Those devising and leading changes were on notice as to the outcomes now with us. It must therefore be that the public was knowingly misled. If it’s not that we can look only to extreme negligence/incompetence.

        Uncontestable reports of resulting failure and dysfunction conveyed to the Ministry of Justice from the highest levels of the District Court bench have simply gone unanswered.

        Legal aid as an anywhere near viable institution and criminal legal aid particularly is heading for collapse. What do we have in answer to this crisis in an indispensable wing of our justice system ? Seemingly not much more than the now commonplace Morning Report refrain – “The minister was not available for interview……..”.

      • RedBaron 3.1.3

        Over 6 months delay in the Welllington area for submissions only hearings. Okay money is less important than safety but still means some are starving.

        Trouble is this ADR is feeding the problems. Just gives one parent a chance to harry the other over an extended period. Two years later most “access” parents arn’t turning up and are paying only $12 per week.
        It’s a ridiculously expensive system with rubbish outcomes.

      • prism 3.1.4

        mickysavage
        A good summation of our present passing-for government.

        The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice. This is really scary.

        I’d stop at – the current government (and one can’t say ‘ours’) has no idea. About what anything it is attempting to do will achieve for our nation’s good. And doesn’t care because doing something that pleases one’s present or soon-to-be friends is all that counts, including in the counting of course is the money that the system lavishes on these prime people.

        • muzza 3.1.4.1

          I’d stop at – the current government (and one can’t say ‘ours’) has no idea. About what anything it is attempting to do will achieve for our nation’s good.

          As opposed to any previous government going back decades, which have clearly been working for NZ, as opposed to against it! /sarc

          Prism, when a government looks blatantly to be working against a country, and the vast majority of its people, the government is broken, and the people have let it become their enemy, so the people are getting exactly what their apathy has created. How much more obvious for people does it need to become! I guess the next few years will answer that question, and still there will be be many who ponder, “why does the government not have any idea”….Again I will just repeat, that when it looks like the government has no idea, its because they are executing someone else’s agenda!

          Another newsflash: The “soon to be friends” you refer, are the same “friends” they have alsways been, regardless of government, and the sooner people wrap their skulls around that, the sooner we can get some energy working the right angles..

    • muzza 3.2

      Judith Collins must re-think these changes before adding to the appalling toll of family violence.

      A police decision to drop family violence as a category in crime statistics will obscure a nationwide rise in domestic abuse, Women’s Refuge says.

      I would suggest a rethink is optimistic!

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        You can imagine what will happen.  Collins will get up and praise the magnificence of the National Government whose rule has caused the crime rate to drop.

        And more women will get beaten and killed. 

        • muzza 3.2.1.1

          MS – I think that is a certainty, which is why I keep links to such articles filed!

  4. Morrissey 4

    Would YOU trust this politician to lie straight in bed?

    “It’s important to understand that this is not about Mr. Assange’s activities at WikiLeaks or the attitude of the United States of America.”

    William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, Thursday 16 August 2012

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/17/lawyer_raid_on_embassy_to_arrest

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Apropos of nothing, here’s Tanya Gold on rape jokes. Caution, misogynists may find the content challenging.

    • weka 5.1

      That’s pretty shocking but not surprising.
       

      It’s true; even comedians that don’t do misogynist material are protective of those that do, because they are wary of censorship and contemptuous of hecklers. When Daniel Tosh was told by a female punter that “rape jokes are never funny” he asked the audience, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her …” Other comics defended him and the promoter said: “You start dishing out something to a comic and try to be funny, you better be able to take it.”
       

      Tosh probably doesn’t realise how many of the women in his audience have been sexually assaulted (one in four is the usually accepted number). Although if he did know I’m sure he wouldn’t care.
       

  6. vto 6

    Starter for ten … (you need a copy of the Sunday Star Times)

    Across page 4 and 5 of the SST – John Ansell, Todd McLay and Hone Harawira ….

    which ones are the racists and why?

    • chris73 6.1

      Well Hones racist but I don’t know about the other two

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        Well Hones racist but I don’t know about the other two

        You know bugger all, judging by what you’ve posted recently.

      • muzza 6.1.2

        Are you as limited as your words indicate?

        The most rac*st people in the world are corporations/governments, and any “organisation” which we see promoting itself as being against racisim. Think IOC, FIFA and the rest of the alphabet agencies, which are generally speaking headed by people, who have rac*st ingrained deeply into their soul, among other truly awful traits.

        Stupid people can’t see through the charade, and in case you’re one of them, the most rac*st peoople in this country are almost exclusively white, and belong to the same clubs.

  7. vto 7

    One more thing on the same theme ….. on Q+A this morning there was interview with two gentlemen over water rights. The older gentleman clearly and concisely laid out the issues in a way that made unseratsnding easy. He reiterated the status of two laws in NZ. Customary law and common law and the way in which they influence Maori and the rest of NZ. It all made sense and was well worth listening to. What the interviewer didn’t cover, and I guess wasn’t in hs brief for this, was how those two systems fit together and how well they serve a community over time. This is the bigger issue in the long term and it is not acknowledged or discussed in any proper manner. Yet.

  8. Jackal 8

    Cameron Slater vs Colonial Viper

    Of course this isn’t really about upholding high moral standards at all, and is simply being used by the hypocrite Cameron Slater to undertake another baseless attack on the excellent leftwing blog The Standard…

  9. chris73 9

    A quite insightful comment from one of the contributors to whaleoil, not sure I agree with all the points though…

    Cunliffe will not make it – hope he has the job he went overseas to seek.
    Reasons:-
    He is male
    He has a brain
    He is not Queer
    He is not a Unionist
    He is not a Teacher
    He is quite wealthy (along with his Lawyer wife)
    He has never worn a cloth cap either
    He is in wrong Party

    • QoT 9.1

      :roll:

      You know you’re dealing with serious comments when they use scare-caps on words like “queer”.

      • Morrissey 9.1.1

        chris73 thinks, when he thinks at all, in clichés. That’s fine in the National and ACT parties, but we expect more in an online discussion group, surely.

    • DH 9.2

      So you think Shearer won’t make it chris73, what with him not meeting any of those criteria either.

      ……………..

      These right wing trolls remind me of the Borg. The great leader gets a boner about something & it’s spread throughout the collective for the drones to propagate. They’re all the bloody same.

      The latest tit-tangle for these trolls is unions, you’d think it was the ’70s the way they’re carrying on.

      • chris73 9.2.1

        Actually I think Shearer could make it but it depends on the actions of the labour caucus. Labour would/should have won the last election and Goff would be the PM but for whatever reason the Labour MPs seemed to develop a serious case of foot in mouth.

        If all the Labour MPs just STFU in the lead up to the next election then Shearer should win.

        But they won’t/can’t help themselves (attention seeking perhaps?)

        “The latest tit-tangle for these trolls is unions, you’d think it was the ’70s the way they’re carrying on.”
        -Funny I’d have thought the same thing about the unions

        • DH 9.2.1.1

          “-Funny I’d have thought the same thing about the unions”

          Oh come now. The unions today have very little influence on politics, the workplace or NZ society in general. The right have gone all ‘reds under the bed’ because the unions made them look complete fools over the recent Talleys and Ports of Auck disputes. A quiet spoken & well mannered lady wiped the floor with all the sneering braggarts & posers and the right can’t handle it.

          • Chris 9.2.1.1.1

            What’s actually happened with both the Talleys and Ports disputes? I haven’t heard anything for ages so assume things are pretty sorted, but I have never actually heard of any collective agreement being signed for either. Has that happened?

    • To chris 73,

      You are showing complete ignorance regarding your cloth
      cap comment.Only once was it worn by the great Socialist/Pacifist ,Keir Hardie who worn it in the British Parliament to make a point. Perhaps you should read a bit of history before you make such comments which only highlights your lack of political knowledge,

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Seems that charter schools are as unpopular as decreasing the number of teachers. Considering the news that some of them will be teaching Creationism I’d say that they’re about to become even less so.

  11. Jackal 11

    Vladimir Putin – Asshole of the Week

    Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Pussy Riot causing a public disturbance and everything to do with closing down criticism of the current regime…

    • blue leopard 11.1

      @ Jackal

      What makes you think that the political interference involved in this court-case outcome is Russian?

      Could be of a false flag nature?

      • Jackal 11.1.1

        False flag operation? I can assure you that the members of Pussy Riot are Russian citizens and I very much doubt their activism has been influenced by foreign interests wanting to destabilize Putins reign… He’s doing a pretty good job of that himself.

        It’s interesting though that this issue has gained more media attention than the recent widespread public protests about election fraud. However I haven’t seen any similar cases of disinformation concerning the Pussy Riot issue. As far as I can tell there’s no link to a black flag operation.

        • kiwi_prometheus 11.1.1.1

          But its a PUNK band which means it’s imported Western capitalist decadent culture stuff!

          Very destabilising for dictators.

          Of course they get more attention because of our shallow fame/celebrity obsessed MTV entertainment media culture.

        • blue leopard 11.1.1.2

          @ Jackal,

          Wasn’t meaning Pussy Riot’s actions. I was meaning the long sentence, which you appear to be assuming was influenced by Vladimir Putin, however simply from reading your article, one could also view the information, with belief that Vladimir Putin truly saw merit in not imposing a long sentence and the influence effecting the court’s sentencing was coming from another quarter.

          I believe Russia isn’t falling into line with big money interests’ desires to ‘get on in there’ into the Middle East and this is the quarter that I would immediately query.

          Also explains the wide coverage.

          I am inconclusive about this, merely questioning, yet admit to being entirely suspicious of main media outlets’ ability to convey information that suits only one main interest: big money.

          (…of course there may be no “influence” at all….)

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1

            Putin had a very difficult balancing act to pull off with this. He had to satisfy a lot of local political and religious interests pissed off with P.R. A lot of whom are his core political base. Plus send a message that this kind of political expression is not particularly welcome. While not crossing the line of Russia becoming dictatorial or tyrannical, in international opinion.

            So a 2 year sentence less time served probably passes muster. Don’t be surprised if there is an early release due to good behaviour or what not in 12 months. Probably at a time he needs to soften international opinion.

            • blue leopard 11.1.1.2.1.1

              @CV

              So you have no doubts that such an occurrence could have anything to do with interests other than internal Russian ones?

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, I’m reasonably confident. (Although the Russian political psyche is pretty opaque to outsiders…) The main reason being the massive level of international media coverage the case has received and the fact that Putin found himself forced to respond to that coverage officially. P.R. are now a card to be saved up and used later, if the occasion calls for it/allows for it.

          • Vicky32 11.1.1.2.2

            I believe Russia isn’t falling into line with big money interests’ desires to ‘get on in there’ into the Middle East and this is the quarter that I would immediately query.
             

            Me also!
            http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32225.htm

    • muzza 11.2

      The good old NED – Supporting freedom around the world

      I reckon you should look a little deeper into those taking pot shots at Russia!

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Looks like this government is going against the populations will regarding land sales as well. And good on the Greens for calling out this governments habit of bullying.

  13. prism 13

    One of the Taranaki three appears to have been found. The instructor who has lost his life along with two of his group, was remembered by his wife as someone who was always quick to get involved. It seems a pity that people don’t take up Slow Adventuring similar to the move to Slow Food in opposition to Fast Food. Even perhaps daring to decide that it is too chancy to go out after making a reasoned assessment of the conditions, which would take time. Incidents like this blacken the image of responsibility, integrity and carefulness of outdoor ‘experts or professionals’ or whatever they call themselves. All based on the idea that outdoor pursuits are good and make a man of you – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger eh!

    I remember Outward Bound having to change from its gung-ho approach to its wilderness experience with people who didn’t know the territory and the dangers. This was after Susan Consedine slid over the edge of a bluff to her death, and also one other died.. I think it was misty, the ground was damp, there was a gravel-covered slope to the edge of the bluff and not anything that could be grabbed to stop what must have been a frightful slide to disaster.

    (from google)
    The last death was in 1993, when 22- year-old journalist Susan Consedine fell down a 61-metre bluff …
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6402583/Bound-to-succeed

    Notable is the mention of a previous military course.in the item. “Outward Bound was founded in 1941 by the German educator Kurt Hahn. It was originally devised for The Blue Funnel Shipping Line as a training course for their young sailors during World War II.”

    Also on this line – from wikipedia on Prince Charles’ education which is relevant to Kurt Hahn who has had a lot of influence on educational ideas. The Prince attended Gordonstoun and his thoughts were “Reportedly the Prince despised his time at the latter school – “Colditz in kilts”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles,_Prince_of_Wales#Education

    Gordonstoun in the north-east of Scotland was founded in 1934 by German educator Kurt Hahn, Three previous generations of British royalty were educated at Gordonstoun since its establishment including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.[5] Due to Dr. Hahn’s influence the school has a strong connection with Germany and forms part of the Round Square Conference of Schools, a group of over 60 schools across the globe also founded by Hahn.

    It could be that many of these attitudes of conquering and fighting fears and so on could be traced to military training attitudes that tend to be ‘resigned’ about deaths occurring to souls in their care.

  14. Excellent photo of JK on Facebook

  15. bad12 15

    In today’s Herald Bernard Hickey makes some strange comments, i am not sure just how tongue in cheek hickey is being when He calls for the former money trading Prime Minister to again enter the fray so to speak on behalf of lowering the historically high value of the New Zealand dollar,

    Essentially what Hickey says is that the likes of the Brits,US, and Japan are in the process of ‘printing’ loads of paper money, which dilutes the value of their currency’s and to avoid any suggestion of creating internal inflationary pushes in their own economy’s ‘exporting’ the stuff by buying up Government bonds in the likes of Australia and New Zealand, thus making us and our children responsible for adding the ‘labour’ to such fictional ‘money’ to in essence make the stuff more real than the stuff produced by the ”pixies at the bottom of the garden”, (to quote Slippery our Prime Minister),

    The Heralds Hickey goes into a ‘us too’ over this,(no discussion about the morality at all),and it’s here the suggestion is that the master money trader himself, Slippery the Prime Minister, step into the breach and return the favor, perhaps tenfold, to those economy’s which in essence are now treating the New Zealand economy as a ‘slave economy’ to wash it’s excessive printings of money through,

    I frimly believe the whole thrust of the Herald article is either a pisstake by Hickey, or, there’s something in the water up that way, and,we all have to assume that Bernard had to suspend quite some part of His belief system in writing it,

    First, we all have to actually believe the back story of the Slippery little Shyuster currently installed as the Prime Minister, which i for one call bullshit upon, sure money trader He was but don’t for a minute believe that Slippery was head-honcho of any of it,

    After a career in the (fraudulent?)banking industry he walked away with 50 mill a huge fortune as far as any of us have the fingers to count it, but, in the great scheme of things in the fraudulent world of international banking our Prime Minister was simply a minor functionary, the under-boss running a small team of serfs among many under-bosses running small teams of serfs,

    The real big fish operating the complex and complicated frauds which are at the heart of and account for the profits and losses of the international banking system over the past decade earn sums like 50 million a year, 100 million a year, not the piddling 50 mill our Prime Minister managed to eke from the rort over a decade,

    That’s what makes me call bullshit on that particular fairy tale, our Prime Minister the big time money trader???, nah, a small functionary well rewarded for doing exactly as He was told, money trader extraordinaire???, frigging doubt that big time, i doubt whether our Prime Minister ever made any trade anywhere at any time that He wasn’t told to by someone higher up in the sharks tank of (fraudulent?) international banking to make,

    So,the Heralds Hickey might want to consider a wiser option in the grand scheme of attempting to export New Zealand’s competitive disadvantage, a high priced dollar, back from whence it came from,

    (a),Sure print the stuff, but, spend it into the New Zealand economy helping to solve another problem that economy is suffering from,

    (b), Spending the stuff, printed money, into our own economy need not lead to undue inflation, we simply need know how many millions injected into the economy equals 1% of inflation and thus spend such money at a pace that keeps within the Reserve Bank’s monetary targets,

    (c), Build with such money high density housing for low income people, which i would suggest in the future is going to be the majority of us thus taking the heat out of the New Zeland housing market,

    (d), I suspect that the Herald’s Hickey has bundles of the stuff, money that is,tied up in the housing market thus advocates keeping the internal market over-revving…

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      re (d): – I’ve met Hickey before and I figure that he would be honestly insulted at your suggestion. He’s frequently indicated that NZ must deleverage its very high private debt levels and move on from allocating capital into unproductive real estate assets. Which is the opposite to “over-revving the internal market”.

      (b), Spending the stuff, printed money, into our own economy need not lead to undue inflation, we simply need know how many millions injected into the economy equals 1% of inflation and thus spend such money at a pace that keeps within the Reserve Bank’s monetary targets,

      It doesn’t quite work like that. If you spend the printed dollars into increasing the productive and competitive aspects of the economy, market pricing (and therefore inflation) will remain under controlled.

      If it turns out at any stage that money supply needs to be reduced, you can tighten up on the availability of private interest bearing debt, increase taxes or increase savings rates.

      • bad12 15.1.1

        It doesn’t quite work like that???, well if it works like what you have pointed at we would need hire an idiot savant to do whatever it is you suggest…

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Prof Steve Keen is developing quantitative computational models of endogenous money systems. Ones which use starting points far different from typical neoliberal assumptions. And he is visiting NZ soon.

      • prism 15.1.2

        CV
        Can you tell Treasury that. I think this idea must have been filed away on one of the hard drives they have had and got wiped when they updated their technology.

    • muzza 15.2


      FXC – Class of 2000

      John Carter, Lehman
      James Kemp, Citigroup
      John Key, Merrill Lynch
      Adam Kreysar, UBS Warburg

      I would say that having been a member of the FXC would indicate, that it is quite feaseable Key was not at the level of underlings you suggest.

      Have a look at some of the names in the list, some of the worlds biggest criminals are there…They are all underlings, sure, but to underestimate what Key does/does not know, or has/has not done, would be naiive.

      I would also suggest that the figure of 50m, was lowered considerably to make it palpable for kiwis.

      • bad12 15.2.1

        As far as being on the Fed goes, it depends what the masters were grooming Him for is how i see that little appointment,

        Any indication of the where this missing pot oif gold might be stashed or how big it might be,

        On the reported fortune,50 million and falling our Slippery Prime Minister was after a decade or so definitely in terms of cash one of the minnows of the fraudulent international banking industry,

        The big boys from the upper echelons easily make that in a year…

    • AnnaLiviaPluraBella 15.3

      BAD to the power of 12.

      BAD by name and by nature too?

      Hickey is s very well informed, hard working and very straight-up guy.  He desereves respect, not the baseless ramblings that you shoved through your keyboard.

      I’ve no idea how anyones actually knows what someone like Key is worth. But he certainly had a very senior role.  There are only about 30 members on the NY FXC at any one-time and he was one.  Yes he was there as an Exec employee of ML but he was certaily right in the middle of it. He had full responsibility and accountability.  Don’t let him off the hook with your fanciful view of the world.    

      • bad12 15.3.1

        My point exactly, Key was certainly there in the thick of it, and there in the thick of it as a mid level employee of Merrill Lynch,

        Glad to see we can establish that as some basis upon which we agree, actually we agree on everything about Slippery,

        He was a mid level employee put forward by the hierarchy of Merrill Lynch to do their bidding as far as the rate fixing that went on (and still goes on?),within that organization, which, in my opinion just proves more my point that He was just another underling doing the business of those higher up in the shark tank,

        In all of it, thew higher echelons of Merrill Lynch would have been instructing the Slippery little Shyster on what rates they wanted set and when He was on the trading floor He would have been plugged into those higher up within Merrill Lynch who themselves would have been co-operating with their fellow executives in other banking organizations and i doubt for not one minute that He would not have issued a buy or sell order without first being instructed to by someone higher up in the shark tank,

        Oh you bet that Slippery and all the under-bosses on His level knew exactly what they were doing and knew exactly when they were and were not undertaking illegal activity BUT He was the fire-wall between His level of responsibility and that of His Bosses, should the excrement have become entangled within the ventilation system it would have been the Slippery’s who become coated in the stuff as far as responsibility for criminal wrong-doing was concerned,

        Where you think i give the Slippery’s of the world any form of out as far as responsibility goes is as far as i can see all part of your imagination, and,as far as His nett worth goes it’s been well reported and a stash that size tends to suggest that Slippery was as i say a mid-level gang-boss in the great scheme of things as far as Merrill Lynch is concerned,

        And, to your wee whine about Bernard Hickey, diddums, He wrote the piece in the Herald some of which i disagree with and wish to comment upon, which is what i understand ‘Open Mike’ is for,

        If Bernard want’s to take issue with what i have written then i assume He is free to also attend and take me to task if He so wishes,and whether ‘insulted’ or deserving of ‘respect’ that buckwheat is a matter of personal opinion and you waste your time attempting to tell me what i can and cannot write as i just don’t give a s**t about your infantile little fan-club support of Him…

        • Colonial Viper 15.3.1.1

          and whether ‘insulted’ or deserving of ‘respect’ that buckwheat is a matter of personal opinion and you waste your time attempting to tell me what i can and cannot write as i just don’t give a s**t about your infantile little fan-club support of Him…

          Seriously, what is your emotional age. The irony of you using the term “infantile”.

          You’re in for a hard old life aren’t you, if you can’t tell the difference between friends and enemies, and between people who know the game and people who don’t.

          • bad12 15.3.1.1.1

            Yawn, thats just a pile of gobbledy-gook, i am not about to sit here and defend what i commented to another poster to the likes of you,

            Address the facts of what i started out discussing or don’t bother as your personal little vindictive snippets of vitriol directed at me are at worst Yawn material or at best something to point finger and laugh at…

  16. Molly Polly 16

    This may explain something…

    Mallard was spotted at a recent NZ Royal Ballet production of Cinderella in Wellington, tête à tête with well-known political journalist, columnist for the NZ Listener and former partner of Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully.

    Just saying.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Charter schools are just sooo good:

    The meeting at Crescendo Preparatory South was progressing as usual when the acting principal dropped a bombshell: She had been given copies of the upcoming standardized tests. The teachers were to study them, take notes — and make sure the kids got it.

    Yeah, sure they are.

  18. Ianmac in Ho Chi Minh city 18

    This shows an approach by the belief that to excel one needs to pass tests at all costs. This one became public but guess how often cheating was done out of site. Roll on National Standards as incentive to prove “excellence.”
    Oops. This to DTB.

  19. AmaKiwi 20

    Three more NZ soldiers die in Afghanistan. What will Labour say?

    Last time Shearer said he backed Key: we should stay.

    His foreign affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff, said we should get out.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10824900

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