Open mike 01/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 1st, 2010 - 31 comments
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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.

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Step right up to the mike…

31 comments on “Open mike 01/09/2010”

  1. Am I being overly suspicious or is the TVone piece on John Banks the most cynical piece of media manipulation that has occurred for a while?

    I wonder who leaked the news that Banks had made a private acknowledgement to a grief stricken couple only to have it then magically appear in the media.

    And Banks will no doubt score brownie points for being sympathetic to the parents, tough on his kid, and wanting to deal with binge drinking all in one.

    I suspect they focus grouped it first.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It certainly didn’t need to be reported upon so I suspect you’re right. Another puff piece for the right by the MSM.

    • Georgie 1.2

      For what its worth,I dont think your being overly suspicious Mickey, thats exactly what I thought.

    • jeremy 1.3

      to me john banks looked like more of a tosser after appearing on close up than before

  2. joe90 2

    Bjørn Lomborg does a u-turn.

    Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      in which a group of economists were asked to consider how best to spend $50bn. The first results, in 2004, put global warming near the bottom of the list,

      That’s probably because most economists live in a delusion.

      “If the world is going to spend hundreds of millions to treat climate, where could you get the most bang for your buck?” was the question posed, he added.After the analyses, five economists were asked to rank the 15 possible policies which emerged. Current policies to cut carbon emissions through taxes – of which Lomborg has long been critical – were ranked largely at the bottom of four of the lists. At the top were more direct public investment in research and development rather than spending money on low carbon energy now, and climate engineering.

      And just where do the economists think the resources for more direct public investment in R&D was going to come from? The pixies at the bottom of the garden?

      • Bored 2.1.1

        Hey Draco, I worked out a number yesterday for world debt that drew no comment, its a bit mind boggling. If all the securitized debt in the G20 were allocated evenly to every human on earth we would owe US$ 64,142each . Given that economists within government and bank treasuries have allowed this type of madness to occur why would you ever listen to a word they said in future? They are the pixies at the bottom of the garden.

        • Lanthanide

          Clearly the global financial system is a giant ponzi scheme, and it probably has been that way since WW2.

          • Bored

            You are right and wrong….in the wake of the great Depression banks were made subject in most countries to a Reserve bank and regulatory structure that limited the exposure banks could generate against future debt etc. This got stripped out by the new right experiment of the last 30 years which deregulated banking and quite literally enabled the “Ponzi” like accrual of debt loadings, with such wonderfully creative packaging such as “junk bonds” and “securitised assets”…in terms of their relationship to reality they were akin to the afore mentioned “pixies” in all but one way… the expectation that the “created debts” would eventually be recoverable, and are now owed.

            The Brothers Grimm would have had great inspiration from Wall Street, such a pity you cant pick your lifes timing and works. Maybe the economists would fulfil the role of Big Bad Wolf.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Actually, the global financial system that we labour under has been around for quite some time (it’s documented in Sumer) in many guises but they all retain the same attributes

            1.) Wealth taken from the many and given to the few through force (Force of Arms, Force of law)
            2.) When local riches aren’t enough steal from your neighbours
            3.) When it all falls down, as it inevitably does, blame somebody else.

            • Bored

              Hey Draco, when it falls down this time there will be a need for a new breed of tea leaf / chicken entrail readers (aka priests or in our times economists). We need to seize that role so we can do the blaming.

  3. Logie97 3

    Trusts within trusts and trusts generally. Who can trust them…

    It appears to me that the whole issue of trusts and their very existence needs to be visited.
    Headlines in the Herald this morning talk about a mayoral candidate with finance dealings within trusts. Why do people and organisations have or use them.
    I think “trusts” is a misnomer –

    A director of a mortgage broker, obtains a loan from a finance company on behalf of an investment company – which is owned by a family trust of which he or she is also a trustee.

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    You don’t have to be a dumb arse to go dairy farming, but apparently it helps.

    The Press release in full:

    Federated Farmers floats Manawatu River ‘People’s Accord’

    Following consultation with members of Federated Farmers, the Federation has drafted the ‘Manawatu River People’s Accord’, intended to complement the recently signed ‘Leaders’ Accord’.

    “By deliberately calling it the People’s Accord, Federated Farmers wants to put the entire community’s focus on the river, given we are part of the community too,” says Gordon McKellar, Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei provincial president.
    “This is not a rival Accord but a complementary one we are putting to our Accord partners today, because we wish to sit around the same table.

    “Farmers made it very clear to us that they were unprepared to sign-up to anything that was driven by emotion and not reason. The public deserve nothing less than the scientific truth so they can come to a balanced and informed decision.

    “The process we have run through gives me confidence to present this document to Accord partners in order to get their feedback. It’s a document that farmers and we hope, other community groups, will be comfortable joining with as well,” Mr McKellar added.

    Crucially, the goals for both Accord’s are identical according to Federated Farmers Tararua provincial president, John Barrow.

    “We all want the same thing and that is a River to be proud of because farmers are part of the community and part of the solution,” says Mr Barrow.

    “Emotive words that described the River as ‘lacking in life’ are at odds with what we farmers know about it. We knew the River is not biologically dead – far from it.

    “That’s why we have deliberately inserted native fish species into the main goal. The focus of farmers is on aiding our native fauna, so it was odd that word was omitted from the ‘Leader’s Accord’.

    “As we’ve written into our People’s Accord, for anything to be achieved, the Manawatu River community needs ready access to credible scientific information that identifies the causes, the remedies and the economic costs involved with any solution.

    “We’ve said all along that Federated Farmers takes signing a document seriously and by being thorough, we honestly feel this document is something farmers can put their name to,” Mr Barrow concluded.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      “We all want the same thing and that is a River to be proud of because farmers are part of the community and part of the solution,” says Mr Barrow.

      No, farmers are the problem.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        I have been fishing the area upstream of the Manawatu Gorge for 30 years, in that time I have seen the degradation first hand. We used to spend productive days on the Mangatainoka and Makakahi, also on the Manawatu up toward Dannevirke. Since the dairy boom began 10 years ago these streams have literally become unfishable, the beds black with life choking algae, the trout absent as their food dissappears under the nutrient laden slime. And as you wade you worry about fecal matter and such infecting you. This mess is entirely attributable to the farming industry. So we dont fish there anymore.

        An interesting point for farmers and economists to consider….what good business would allow nutrients from the farm to grow biomass outside of the farm gates…is this not just giving away possible production? It makes very little sense to me, in effect these twerps are sending dollars down the river to grow algae that might if used better give lower on farm costs or more production.

      • Janice 4.1.2

        While farmers have a lot to answer for with the pollution of the Manawatu River, there are also at least 7 communities putting their (un)treated waste into the river or its tributaries. These include Palmerston North, Feilding and Woodville.

        • Bored

          Janice, you are quite correct, my travels and fishing has always been upstream of these. They no doubt contribute, but I would suggest from my observation that farm nutrient and effluent run off is of far greater impact higher in the catchments. Which does not in any way excuse these urban polluters of their responsibilty.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Add to that list Palmy based companies NZ Pharmaceuticals and Fonterra. Both have licences to pollute and they’re not holding back.

  5. Bored 5

    If you want a laugh, and a quick demonstration of the altered realities that the world financiers believe they live in have a read of this.

    In effect the money men are saying, “How Obama could be coming after them after they have given so much to the coffers of the Democratic Party? Why are they painted as the villains?”

    As a lesson in self delusion this is truly amazing.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Key claims direct line to Obama

    Is that like having a direct line to God?

    • Anne 6.1

      God Almighty! He’s a total embarrassment.
      Yesterday it was the Queen’s invitation to spend a weekend with her at Balmoral. Is this his reward for bringing back knighthoods? Actually there’s a few mountains and ravines up Balmoral way so with a bit of luck he’ll fall down one of them. 😉

  7. felix 7

    Nice one, New Zealand.

    You voted for a man who took 50 million dollars off you by, among other things, attacking the NZ currency and nearly bankrupting us and now you all act surprised that he’s just ripped you for another 1.7 billion for him and his mates.

    Well what the fuck did you expect him to do? Oh, you thought ‘cos he’s, like, made himself rich and that, then he’ll prolly be able to make us all rich, eh? Um yeah genius, ‘cos he clearly likes sharing it around [facepalm/].

    I don’t often say “I told you so” but guess what? We all fucking well told you so.

    Now shut the fuck up, think about what you’ve done, and never vote for these bastards again.

    Idiots. You’re a fucking embarrassment.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Most of the rest of the global South, however, remains mired in poverty, stagnation, and underdevelopment. Many of these governments followed the neoliberal advice of international institutions to the letter: unilaterally opening trade and finance to global markets, downsizing public programs and cutting taxes, and generally stepping back from an active role in directing development. That this advice has not worked (in glaring contrast to the East Asian Experience [intensive government government involvement]) still hasn’t spurred a sufficient rethinking within those institutions – although there are intriguing cracks in the wall of orthodoxy. Established development economists (like Joseph Stiglitz) now recognise that most neoliberal advice to poor countries [that includes us] was destructively wrong.
    Jim Stanford, Economics for Everyone, page 278, My comments in [] brackets.

    Classical and liberal economics, has over the last few centuries, proven itself wrong time and time again and yet we keep doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result.

    • Jenny 8.1

      Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe was one of those leaders from the global South who followed the international institutions neo-liberal advice to the letter, bringing his country to the state it is in today.

      Interestingly one of the first targets for cuts under the neo-liberal Mugabe regime was the public health system.

      At one time Zimbabwe had the best public health system in Africa.

      In an eery parallel with New Zealand, there was an outbreak of strikes from health workers opposed to the new austerity measures imposed on the health system by the Mugabe regime on the orders of the IMF.

      I imagine there where thundering denouncements of the hospital strikes from the Zimbabwe media, similar to yesterday’s front page by the Herald attacking the radiographers.

      The result unfortunately was a defeat for the health unions and the eventual total destruction of the public health service in Zimbabwe.

      The evidence of the ruin of he Zimbabwe health service we can witness even here in New Zealand with the high number of highly skilled health workers from Zimbabwe forced to immigrate to be able to look after their families.

      It is going way to far to compare the Key government with the Mugabe regime, but the difference is a matter of degree, the vector arrow is pointing in the same direction.

      Like Key here, looking after the privileged and the elites is the name of the game, the rest of the population can go hang. Who cares if the public health service is wrecked. Wealthy Zimbabweans go to South Africa or even further afield for their health care.

      In my opinion -The only thing that can turn this vector arrow back in the foreseeable future is a Left leaning Labour led coalition government. 2014 will be too late. This is why I criticise the Labour Party when they give only tepid support to tax justice or Fairness at Work, or follow a sectarian path that will alianate the Maori party supporters that might favour a Labour led coalition.

  9. The Voice of Reason 9

    Tell me when September ends? Yesterday, apparently. Where’s today’s Open Mike, comrades? I want to tell everyone why Tony Abbott was so reluctant to have his election promises costed.

  10. Jenny 10

    Good morning VOR.
    Thanks for that. The Australian Labor Party seems determined to win. I only wish they had conceded more on limiting the pokies. Pokies are a terrible scourge on any poor community, selling false hope to the desperate. I would have thought this one would be a no brainer for a Labor Government.

    • outofbed 10.1

      I think there should be a pokie guarantee scheme , to even up the playing field

    • The Voice of Reason 10.2

      G’day, Jenny. Labor’s position on pokies seems to be that as it wasn’t an election issue, they don’t have a mandate to make changes. However, I suspect they probably will agree to reign in maximum bets when they broker a deal with the independant Andrew Wilkie over the next couple of days. Or, at least, further fund the gamblers helplines and the like.

      It’s not an easy issue as the Leagues’ clubs and RSL’s rely so heavily on the income from the pokies that any party taking a stand risks a significant backlash from those organisations, which have a huge membership base.

      • Carol 10.2.1

        I think that, if it’s anything like NZ, it’s likely that where their is gambling, there’s likely to be (organised) crime, or at least some dodgy practices. Sue Bradford had some interesting things to say in parliament in the debate about the NZ Crimes Ammendment Bill (No 2):

        Pokies continue to be the predominant source of gambling harm in New Zealand. That is no surprise, given that these machines are deliberately designed by psychologists to addict people, and that they are conveniently placed in our poorest districts to catch the most desperate amongst our population.

        At the same time, it is clear we also have serious issues around what is happening in our casinos. News reports over the last few months have started to reveal the unexpected extent of criminality associated with life in at least two, if not more, of our major casinos, particularly those in Christchurch and Auckland. Although the Green Party has welcomed belated recognition by the Department of Internal Affairs, in two recent reports, that organised crime, money-laundering, and loan sharking have a firm foothold inside our casinos, we are really unhappy with the way the Minister of Internal Affairs seems so relaxed about what is happening, and does not seem to realise the serious nature of what is going on there.

        I think there have been questions about the Trusts that fund (and benefit from) pokkies, and where the money actually goes (hint the money should go to benfit the community, but how can we tell?):

        The Green Party believes that if we are going to allow the blight of pokie machines to exist in our communities, the proceeds that go to community purposes should, ideally, be distributed through publicly accountable mechanisms like the Community Organisations Grants Scheme and the national and regional lotteries distribution committees, rather than being allocated by the private pokie trusts. At the moment many community groups are held hostage by the fact that they receive funds from the pokie trusts to keep going. On top of this, such groups are often trucked in to, for example, local body hearings in places like Kaikohe and Rotorua, and many others, to explain that pokies must continue in that district so that the local hospice, rescue helicopter, or sports club can be adequately funded.

        And I think it is possible that there are people involved in such trusts who have connections with powerful people. I suspect there are probably powerfully connected people involved in the pokie industry in Aussie too.

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