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Open Mike 02/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 2nd, 2017 - 52 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

52 comments on “Open Mike 02/03/2017 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Trump apparently likes the idea of killing people in distant countries, but doesn’t like even the tiniest bit of heat for the consequences. So he might let people down the chain make the decisions so he has plausible deniability.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/01/generals-may-launch-new-isis-raids-without-trump-s-ok.html

    • Morrissey 1.1

      Trump apparently likes the idea of killing people in distant countries…

      So he’s no different from Obama as far as that’s concerned.

  2. Worth noticing this for election year

    “There is more than one reason this is happening. But, one reason I think the alternative facts industry has been so effective has to do with a concept social scientists call the “backfire effect.” As a rule, misinformed people do not change their minds once they have been presented with facts that challenge their beliefs. But, beyond simply not changing their minds when they should, research shows that they are likely to become more attached to their mistaken beliefs. The factual information “backfires.” When people don’t agree with you, research suggests that bringing in facts to support your case might actually make them believe you less. In other words, fighting the ill-informed with facts is like fighting a grease fire with water. It seems like it should work, but it’s actually going to make things worse.”

    …It’s a sociological issue we ought to care about a great deal right now. How are we to correct misinformation if the very act of informing some people causes them to redouble their dedication to believing things that are not true?

    https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2017/02/27/why-the-american-public-seems-allergic-to-facts/

    The last sentence is the big dilemma – I’m not sure what the answer is – any thoughts?

    • Andre 2.1

      I’ll try to drag up where I saw it, but it seems the order in which information is presented is important.

      For instance, inauguration crowds:

      The usual sequence of a story went: Trump says he had biggest ever, Trump wrong, reality Trump crowd much smaller than Obama’s. This sequence reinforces Trump’s lie.

      A better sequence would be: reporting inauguration crowd was 0.5 million, which is 1/3 of Obama’s, here’s the photos, Trump was wrong when he claimed biggest ever. This is more likely to stick the correct facts in someone’s mind.

      It’s the halo effect, where the first bit of information presented gets the biggest weight. So when debunking a lie, it seems to work better to present the correct information first, then present the argument why it debunks someone’s falsehood. It’s kind of hard to do with news stories where the politician’s lie is the story so it’s natural to lead with what was said, but leading with the lie helps reinforce it through repetition.

    • Gabby 2.2

      Observable facts might work better than ‘adjusted’ facts.

    • Molly 2.3

      “…It’s a sociological issue we ought to care about a great deal right now. How are we to correct misinformation if the very act of informing some people causes them to redouble their dedication to believing things that are not true?”

      For my part, I try not to change anyone’s opinion. That’s a job for considered thinking on the part of each person.

      Very few people listen to those who berate or dismiss them, so that can not be part of the conversation. Starters like “How can you think that?” “You are wrong….” seem to kill off any chance of a reasonable discussion.

      Practice active listening. Allow them to tell you why they have their views, and then ask – with honest inquiry – questions about what they have told you. Answer honestly their questions to you.

      Then when the discussion is over. Walk away.

      The passion of your views have many places to be given voice – protests, online discussions, letters, submissions – but in one-to-one situations the outcome is often influenced by the acknowledgement that you are talking to another person, and you both are trying to understand each other.

      Respect is needed for that, and an honest connection.

      • weka 2.3.1

        For me it depends on the person and situation. In RL I tend to take your approach. Online I tend to either do that, or do the challenge if it’s a place like TS where that’s the culture.

        I also think that putting the facts out without directing it at someone specific is important. People can change their minds when they come across it themselves.

        Listening is highly underrated.

    • Bill 2.4

      I think there’s an important distinction to make. Your quote talks of mis-informed people with a belief in their view, and not simply mis-informed people with particular thoughts or understandings.

      I’ve been hoping to stumble across an answer to the question posed (how to tackle people’s beliefs) for quite some years now.

      I couldn’t count the numbers I’ve encountered who seem to ascribe to a particular political view, more from what seems a religious basis than a rational one. Hit them with facts and they just double down. Hit them with more facts and they become antagonistic. Keep going and you become their favourite enemy 😉

      There are techniques used to decondition cultists, but they don’t exactly transfer to general modes of communication as far as I know.

      Anyway, since years past I’ve tended to avoid those I’d term as political cultists, and when I was more active ‘on the streets’ I used to try to limit their influence where I could – in part because they were more interested in signing new members up to theircause and destroying anything that didn’t dovetail with their cause than they were about being politically effective.

      If you can figure a way to present people with “a new religion” that undermines their current one but that comes without with all the psychological trappings associated with religion, and if you can figure a way to present an effective red flag for those that might be tempted to “follow the leader” – then you’ll have cracked it.

      Until then…maybe just be discerning about who you spend energy on?

      • Molly 2.4.1

        “Until then…maybe just be discerning about who you spend energy on?

        Agree with you there Bill. Many other aspects of life that need time and attention.

      • marty mars 2.4.2

        Interesting bill thanks.

        In the haris we used to say, you can give up a lower taste when you get a higher taste. Changing someone’s beliefs is like unbrainwashing in some ways. Accepting may be better because as we try to do to them they will surely try to do to us.

        • Bill 2.4.2.1

          Accepting may be better because as we try to do to them they will surely try to do to us.

          heh – I can accept that cultists have given beliefs. And I can happily accept that I want nothing to do with them.

          Which…well, who (or which tendency) becomes isolated and irrelevant first? I guess that depends on other peoples’ general approach to belief and other peoples’ appetite (or lack thereof) for seeking the sense of security that flows from being a believer.

          Depending on the day, I feel both, more or less, optimistic on that one.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.5

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    The government tried to suppress the 2015report saying it didn’t have a good enough plan for housing. They delayed releasing it to give them time to say they had already improved their plan.

    From RNZ today:

    The external review of the Social Housing Reform Programme noted that, in Auckland, three ministers and four government agencies lacked an overall plan to boost housing supply.

    It found the government needed to “increase the overall supply of housing, particularly in Auckland”.

    The 135-page review, done for Treasury, was finished in December 2015.

    Last September, then-Minister of Social Housing Paula Bennett refused to release the report to RNZ.

    She said to do so would “prejudice the quality of information received” and “the wider public interest of effective government would not be served”.

    RNZ obtained the report only after an appeal to the Ombudsman under the Official Information Act.

    The report expressed concern about progress in clarifying Housing New Zealand’s role in the new community housing market.

    “Decisions are yet to be taken on the Boston Consulting Group review of HNZC’s ongoing role and structure – these decisions are critical.”

    The review recommended a Social Housing Programme office, which would answer to key ministers and establish a single agency to manage property sales and the redevelopment of Crown land.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The ninth circuit court of appeals: don’t bother trying to correct misinformation, just have the courts neuter its offspring.

    Not exactly an ideal solution, but it’s certainly better than wasting time and oxygen on “debate”.

  5. esoteric pineapples 5

    Great interview with journalist and author Antony Lowenstein on “Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe” – “making money out of misery”

    • Bill 5.1

      Very good interview.

      I wonder though, with a mind to marty’s comment at 2, how many people will skip it because it was broadcast on RT? 😉

  6. The supply of “Bill English is right” anecdotes from people benefiting financially from exploiting Third World labour continues. From Stuff this morning:

    Cross Country Recruitment managing director Ben De’Ath​ said that since December 4, 2016, 21 individual farm owners have contacted him seeking new staff because they have had to instantly dismiss staff due to failed drug tests for methamphetamine or cannabis.

    A bit further down, Mr De’Ath explains why he’s peddling these anecdotes:

    De’Ath said his company started to record why vacancies were arising in December because it helped make a case to Immigration New Zealand for foreign workers on behalf of farm owners.

    What a cunt. Still, full marks for honesty.

    • weka 6.1

      Would love to know what the jobs were, how much they paid, and what security and worker conditions came with those jobs. Oh, and because it’s farming, whether they had worker agreements. All 21 of them. Because I’m going to hazard a guess that these are low end jobs with fuck all security, rather than the jobs where someone might be working their way through a long career in farming.

      Plus how many of the 21 were meth and how many were cannabis. And of those 21 jobs, what % were they of all the jobs across those farms?

      • Adrian 6.1.1

        Young neighbour who was a very good worker and used to do work for me ( at well above award rates ) went milking for an arsehole , 13 days on ,1 off, if he was lucky, he ended up with $1/hr, that’s ONE dollar an hour after 3 months.
        All sorts of scams and bullshit as excuses.
        Only a few cockies are like that but they give them all a bad rep.
        I tried to dob the bastard in but the young guy was still scared of him from 80 miles away.
        Good luck if you’re an immigrant.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          How did he end up on $1/hr?

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.1.1

            The farmer provides accommodation and various other things that he then deducts from the amount paid. Deductions leaving someone with an effective $1 an hour would probably be illegal, but it’s only illegal if you get caught.

            • mauī 6.1.1.1.1.1

              And its only illegal if someone complains and knows how to plead their case and has the determination to spend their own time fighting their employer.

            • marty mars 6.1.1.1.1.2

              When I was a farm worker it was simply the actual hours worked that dropped the rate so low even with free accomodation and firewood and milk.

          • adam 6.1.1.1.2

            At a guess, he had to pay the farmer for his accommodation and food. Possible cloths as well.

            I say wage slave, people say – look squirrel.

        • bwaghorn 6.1.1.2

          recently ? my record was 3 months of 12 to14 hour days with 1 half day off i made the mistake of working out my hours , $3 p hr is what it came to, but that was in the early nineties . I hope cockies aren’t still bulling this shit

          • weka 6.1.1.2.1

            How come the rate ended up at $3? Is that food/accommodation as others are saying above, or something else? Presumably you start with an actual hourly rate, how much was it?

            • bwaghorn 6.1.1.2.1.1

              most farm workers are on salary , altough rent was over and above on that job,
              the new law {came in a couple of years ago} is that workers can’t work hours past what would push their salary under minimum. which sounds good but in the wrong hands means you can have guys with years of experience working for just above minimum

              • And the fact that such a law was needed badly enough for a farmer-friendly government to pass it tells us the kind of people who are eager to hire highly exploitable migrant workers rather than locals.

                • bwaghorn

                  It did kind of surprise me when i got told about it, the clown i was working for at the time took great pleasure in pointing out he could get big hours out of the more senior staff before he breached the rules , but atleast it protected the young fallas from the prick.

              • weka

                Ok, so you had salary that was meant to be for x hours, but you ended up working y hours which dropped the hourly rate?

                • Adrian

                  Yes to all above. A lot more hours than originally agreed, astronomical
                  ” rent and keep” and just not paying the bloody wages because ” money is tight”.
                  Remember this was just a young out of schooler who really didn’t know how to rectify the situation.
                  Also threats that having signed a contract for 6 months I think, was told if he left early there were penalties.
                  He was an intelligent kid, went back to school, did two years work in one and tried tertiary to be a phychologist but got terrified by the projected size of his student loan.
                  Time for full free tertiary.

                  • Adrian

                    Also a lot of these jobs are in very small towns a long way from any kind of advice services .

                • bwaghorn

                  I don’t recall hours being mentioned when hired , i doubt i had a contract and probably wouldn’t have done anything even if i did, farming has been supposedly run for years on an honour system where when it’s busy you work big hours , when it’s quiet you cruise, it really happens though.(although my current outfit is a bit like that}
                  The hourly rate i mentioned was just my rough guesstimate based on hours worked to money in pocket.

                  • weka

                    ok, quite a few people in that position (salaried but working longer hours). I’m still a little confused about the example above though. Usually labourers are on wages not salaries.

                    • bwaghorn

                      as i said most farm workers top to bottom get a salary ,due to the changeable hours,

                    • weka

                      wow, that certainly explains quite a lot.

                      edit, except it’s still odd. Lots of sectors have variable hours, think hospo for a start, and they don’t pay salaries, they pay an hourly rate and have really shit contracts (like no guaranteed hours).

                    • Other sectors get better protection via unions than farm workers. People in rural communities who put themselves offside with the dominant people in their community are very isolated, and farmers are dominant people in those communities. If you haven’t lived in one it’s hard to picture the misery that getting a reputation as a stirrer can bring down on a person.

                    • Joker []

                      With the extension of the powers of the Intelligence agencies and their almost total integration with Fonterra and Sanford and co., I kind you not, you are all about to realise how you no longer have any political power and you are about to wake up to the fact to a fascist corporatocracy from which you cannot escape.

                      Hopefully the first unlucky examples in the form of advocates for the poor being destroyed publically with false or inflated rumour and inuendo a la Julian Assange will make you all realize the situation you are now in. It certainly will but now it is too late to do anything about it, except for perhaps extreme violence.

                    • weka

                      Oh I get that part of it, having lived in many small places where workers won’t object to poor treatment because then they won’t be able to get a job (or fear they won’t).

                    • bwaghorn

                      farming has always supposedly worked on a bit of an honour system , meaning when it’s busy you work your arse off and the bosses let you cruise in the slack times to make up for it, it does happen that way with some, but as always we need a whole heap of laws because some people are just fuck wits

              • Craig H

                That was the Minimum Wage Act, and it wasn’t a new law, it was the Labour Inspectorate correcting a mistaken interpretation by farmers.

                • bwaghorn

                  cheers , it’s a shame we need these things , people should just stop being arseholes.

  7. Herodotus 7

    Swimmable Water Standards
    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/90-rivers-and-lakes-swimmable-2040
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/89847621/downgrading-water-standards-gives-false-hope
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1702/S00324/claims-of-lowered-water-standards-wrong.htm
    As to comply a river has to be swimmable for no less than 80% of the time, I have tried to locate any references that a river is deemed unswimmable more often during low flows (i.e summer) or when in flood. Should it be over low flow periods then that would mean that when waterways are in most demand this is at the same time that they are deemed unswimmable. How would that come across the time that we want access is the same time that y]we are unable to utilise the waterways safely ?

    • greywarshark 7.1

      And how does that shitty water quality fit into our 100$ (sorry 100%) Pure brand
      that is burned into our cow-hide? Or sheep buttocks.

      It just makes us look like a shitty, shoddy nation that has been sold a bundle by a shyster and his addled, ethics-dispensable mates. John Key the face that launched a thousand fair-ground balls into the mouth of the Hungry Clown.
      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQIEOxeF3Ao

      A little meeting discussion and song about spending $3 million by the Springfield shyster from the Simpsons.
      I have been shot eight times this year and so I nearly missed work says Arpoo, I would like to see more policemen hired.

  8. The Chairman 8

    All the major global credit-rating agencies have downgraded Kiwibank’s ratings, following the change in its ownership structure.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/businessnews/audio/201835171/kiwibank-rating-downgraded-by-all-major-ratings-agencies

  9. Glenn 9

    “This is probably what it felt like to be a British foreign service officer after World War II, when you realize, no, the sun actually does set on your empire,” said the mid-level officer. “America is over. And being part of that, when it’s happening for no reason, is traumatic.”

    A quote from a rather disquieting but interesting article about Trumps State Department

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/03/state-department-trump/517965/

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      This is what capitalists/conservatives always end up doing. They move the state out of the way of them doing whatever they like, grab all the resources for themselves leaving nothing for the people who actually support society and, inevitably, society collapses.

  10. swordfish 10

    Vernon Small‏ Tweets
    @VernonSmall

    Labour is set to name the Greens “first cab off the rank” and promise first call to Greens in any post-election talks.

  11. Morrissey 12

    R.I.P. Gerald Kaufman

    There aren’t a lot of genuinely good people in British politics. This fellow was one of them….

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/02/28/a-good-egg-passes-the-rotten-eggs-remain/

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