Open mike 02/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 2nd, 2010 - 60 comments
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60 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2010”

  1. prism 1

    It’s a fact – Labour led NZ into the doldrums and the brave little ship NACT is going to lead us out. Min of Conservation Kate Wilkinson said that this morning in a radio doc on our coastal environment. At the end I felt that the coast was like tasty morsels being pursued by a pack of slavering developers. They are couching their desire for subdivision and built marinas in environmental language.

    One way she can contribute to NACTs push for economy growth is by encouraging more coastal housing developments. She has in mind to look at the provisions controlling this. It could be by allowing RMA provisions to continue, or controls or processes be dropped but seems unlikely they will be heightened. An issue in her mind is that Labour introduced many of the present measures. That apparently makes them of doubtful value in itself.

  2. freedom 2

    We need to develop ideas to re-educate the newspapers of this country on the responsibilities of Journalism. I am not aware of any other profession with such wide reaching influence which has such limited accountability. Government and Banking excepted.

    The sheer volume of contextual misrepresentation, factual innaccuracies, and simple errors in spelling and grammar have reached a level where the word proffessional can no longer be fairly applied.

    every week i talk with people on this subject and know the tide is definitely turning, but no-one has the resources to do anything about it

    • Name 2.1

      “I am not aware of any other profession with such wide reaching influence which has such limited accountability.”

      How about teachers?

      But seriously, journalism is being taken over by the Internet which has no accountability at all – which imposes a serious burden on bloggers. No-one expects them to be impartial but I think bloggers have a duty to be aware of their position and to always be fair and factual. Else blogging merely becomes ranting, of which we see too much on The Standard.

      • freedom 2.1.1

        there is massive accountability for teachers,
        eg the Principal, the Trustees, the Department of Education

        and on your second point, bloggers are in general an amateur/volunteer status with no accepted level of public responsibility or consensus of authority.

        As time marches on this is changing and blogging may one day pull alongside journalism as an accepted source of information but that is irrelevant to the present situation. Journalism, ie Newspapers, T.V. etc, have an historical social contract built on integrity and responsibility. At least it used to many decades ago

      • Jim Nald 2.1.2

        @ Name
        What a very wise, insightful comment. Would you be my supreme all-knowing teacher, please?
        The internet is being invaded and hijacked by smart, balanced contributions that you aspire so very extremely hard to achieve and to impose a serious burden on unprejudiced heads and fairminded people.

    • Bill 2.2

      Journalism and journalists are perfectly accountable. Just not to you nor me. And that has always been the case.

      The fact that journalism seems to reflect even less of our genuine daily concerns and less of our politics is because they both comprise and follow in the wake of the political establishment (principle corporate and state actors).

      And if they ( the establishment) are not sensing a threat from us, the great unwashed, then they continue on their merry way oblivious.

      Maybe the fact that journalists can’t spell so well is a reflection of the success of our collective dumbing down…a process I associate as beginning in the very early 80’s.

      P.S. It’s professional

      • freedom 2.2.1

        i saw that after edit passed. apologies.

        • Bill

          I was kind of hoping you’d claim it was a deliberate punt for first spot in the Sunday morning irony awards.


  3. prism 3

    The USA government puts the onus onto cleaning up oil spills on the companies involved. So they have passed their responsibility to private industry. It’s like contracting out and no longer being in charge of all the processes.

    Now the USA government is in the situation apparently where it is unready to swing into action itself but exhorting BP to do more. I may have this wrong but it seems that the seriousness of the spill has not been matched by urgent and practical action either by USA government or by BP.

    • freedom 3.1

      the spewing oil that is destroying the Gulf is going to make the Exxon-Valdez disaster look like an oil-spot on your driveway .

      The Exxon-Valdez disaster was a finite volume leaking from a vessel. The Gulf disaster is a near endless jetstream of oil that is going to require a massive feat of as yet unknown engineering.

      I have seen references to employ explosive collapse to seal it. The theory is based on the current system of using high explosives to snuff the oil field fires. There is something about that theory when applied to this scenario of an underwater disaster that gives me a very worried brow. One theory i saw mentioned was that to create the heat required to seal the vent they may use a small thermo-nuclear device. In theory it could work, but no matter what they end up doing it does look like the cure will be worse then the disease

      • Bill 3.1.1

        “HOUSTON — Although no cause has been determined, oil services contractor Halliburton Inc. says it finished a cementing operation 20 hours before a Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames.”

        the piece goes on..”…cementing was a factor 18 of 39 rig blowouts in the gulf between 1992 and 2006.”…which makes you wonder if these people are for ever turning up at A&E with burnt fingers.

        Oh, and Obama reckons…or three weeks ago did reckon… that oil rigs don’t leak “as it turns out”.

      • prism 3.1.2

        Another thing I heard about the oil spill possible remedies is that they would hurriedly drill another well nearby to reduce the force out of the fractured one, so it could be worked on. Hoping of course that the same problem won’t occur on the new one. It is not safe to carry on with new undersea rigs and certainly not in Antarctica.

        Whenever we talk about global warming and having to reduce CO2 I think of the huge number of flaring oil wells in the first Bush’s time, in Iraq wasn’t it. They burned for about a year and a hero strode to the rescue like Superman, Red Tex or somesuch, and devised a method to smother them. I wonder how much pollution went into the air then measured in nights of home fires pollution, which is now so unPC to emit by ordinary citizens.

        Thinking further along I heard comment that the entry of new technology cars battery powered or hybrid, into NZ will take a while as demand will only build when service stations are available to support them. They won’t be built until there is viable number of consumers, and consumers are slow in coming forward because of the limits from lack of service stations, and the price being high which will only come down as vehicle sales volumes rise. A circular limitation which government could breach. It would help our GDP growth.

        • Bill

          “It is not safe to carry on with new undersea rigs and certainly not in Antarctica.”

          But Prism. Weren’t you listening to the Great Man? Oil. Rigs. Do. Not. Leak.. Only refineries leak. Its in the link above. The Great Man has said it and so it must be true. The oil in the Gulf of Mexico is simply reality being confounded by ignorance and will be sorted as soon as the appropriate perspective is understood and adopted

    • Name 3.2

      BP only leased the rig. It appears that the most likely cause of the problem was a cock-up in cementing the well-head on the sea-floor by that well-known fount of responsible corporatism, the US firm Halliburton.

      • prism 3.2.1

        Name – Call yourself With It – as you are with the info on on BP and Halliburton. These giga-rich outfits like Halliburton are the Dark Lords of our new Private Enterprise Order.

        • Quoth the Raven

          prism – Why don’t you look at the millions halliburton gets in state subisidies and federal loans? Why don’t you look at the literally billions it gets in government contracts? And then why don’t you do the same for BP. Take this for instance. BP to receive Ft 3 billion subsidy for expansion of Budapest service center Then why don’t you look at the whole system of legal privileges that states have enforced to create corproations. Then look at the whole subsidy of history. You can only come to your fantastic notion of a “private enterprise order” if you completely ignore reality.

  4. prism 4

    Can the print media be trusted to present reasoned, factual stuff. TV3 picking up ‘information’ from Facebook which is really idle chat. People aren’t making statements for the benefit of reporters, and if it is reported without checking then that can only harm the authority of the news journalists. We seem to be reverting back centuries when misleading news or downright lies circulated in the absence of better, reliable information being available. It’s tragic if that is abandoned as a standard.

    Heather Roy on the White poppy sales on the Thursday before Friday Red Poppy day is no more than a senseless rant. I could do as well, but her position as ACT functionary must be the reason she gets the column space.
    (Did you know that Hide used to work on an oil rig. According to Jane Clifton in the Listener. Is it a fact? He would have quite a CV, good life experience one would think. But perhaps the isolation helped to narrow his ideas.)

    • I suspect she has mistaken one right wing nutter for another. David Garrett it was who was employed as a roughneck, though presumably briefly, as the rig workers I know are remarkably intolerant of idiots and it’s a long swim home.

      • Anne 4.1.2

        It is true. Hide did work on an oil rig years ago. I wonder if he and Garrett knew each other?
        Might help explain his easy ride to a high place on Act’s list.

        • Jim Nald

          hmm … if that is the case, that might give a deeper meaning to “rigging the system”

    • Jim Nald 4.2

      “But perhaps the isolation helped to narrow his ideas”

      – But perhaps you are giving isolation too much credit.

      • freedom 4.2.1

        i would like to stand and defend isolation at this juncture. I myself, and many i know, prefer isolation as it offers a fair and in general unbiased view of this world and often leaves one more open to new ideas rather than a victim of the herd response of bleat and run.

        that said, isolation is not for all, it is a demanding mistress with many erratic needs
        As a great British comic once wrote (paraphrasing)
        -Harold realised that a sheep’s life consists of standing around for a few months and then being eaten, and that’s a depressing prospect for an ambitious sheep-

        • Bill

          Erratic needs, ambitious sheep and demanding mistresses?….Wow.

          It’s got it all covered then?

        • Zorr

          Nice to see old Flying Circus quotes making the rounds

          Shame Bill doesn’t actually seem to respond with reason… just reflexively posting… 😛

      • Jim Nald 4.2.2

        Read your comments since my 10am posting.
        I had typed only half the comment (before putting out the laundry and now I’m back) …

        – But perhaps you are giving isolation too much credit IN HIS CASE.
        For some people, no amount of isolation will broaden and enrich the mind. Because their attitudes keep their minds narrow and closed. For their benefit and those who have lived and will live with them, we hope they will change.

        • prism

          Jim Nald
          I am now back from… and point out that I thought isolation would narrow the mind. It seems to me that remote settlements are often set in their ways, not fully aware of a wider world and can’t test their verities against life as experienced by others.
          Being isolated must limit one’s thinking eventually into mere suppositions and assumptions without a regular update on what is happening, and who is doing it and what people are thinking and saying about it. The meditative mind must come out of isolation sometime, and not leave it too long as did Old Rip Van Winkle.

  5. ianmac 5

    Reading blogs is great for developing of skill in discriminating credibility. Apart from partisan differences the sorting of those who have valid opinions is refined, and it is not just the experts who are worth reading. A sort of “out of the moths of babes…” sort of thing. (Justifying my babe status. :)) Fascinating important part of each day on this site.

    • prism 5.1

      Are you a ‘babe’ Ianmac?

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        Just an elderly babe prism.

        • Jim Nald

          for half a sec, thought i read the comment as “Just an elderly babe priapism”

          captcha: structures

          • prism

            Is that a naughty word Jim? Must look it up.

            As for Zorr. Bill’s postings are always worth reading, reflexive or not.

      • Selene 5.1.2

        Yes I’m sure he is a babe and I’ve heard he is still doing well as sheepdog too. 5 Perfect 10.0s. Impressive.

        • ianmac

          Gidday Selene. Not many people know that I was once employed as a sheepdog. Rough! Rough! 🙂

  6. ianmac 6

    Oops. Editing not working. Tried to correct spelling but not correcting in post.

    [lprent: It may have corrected. There appears to sometimes be a delay in comment updates changing. I guess there is another cache in there somewhere? ]

  7. prism 7

    What an impassioned speaker this morning on Chris Laidlaw. Talking about Brazil and people being thrown off their lands by sugar barons. The leader in Brazil has accepted that slave labour is OK. The sugar barons owe a lot of money to government and are not paying it. They are making ethanol which produces polluting liquid which saps oxygen from fish when it gets into water. In fact, pretty bad. And we are importing ethanol from Brazil made in this way and so helping to ruin another country’s people like we are doing when we import palm kernel mass.

    Then the speaker says how alarmed he is that we are allowing foreigners to buy up our land. He can see the land and people abuse starting here. Such people will not care about its health, or our welfare. He is bringing the long view to our problems that we already feel and are aware of and is very concerned.

    Here’s the radnz info.
    10:06 Tiago Thorlby Slavery for Biofuels
    Padre Tiago Thorlby (right) is a Scots priest who has worked with landless people, homesteaders and sugarcane workers in Brazil for 25 years. He’s part of the ecumenical church organisation, The Pastoral Land Commission, and is based in Pernambuco, north-east Brazil. He talks to Chris about the impact of biofuel production on human rights, food security and the environment. Padre Thorlby has been in New Zealand as a guest of the Pacific Institute for Resource Management, the Alternative Technology and Living Association and the Latin America Solidarity Network.

  8. freedom 8

    i laugh and cry and generally nash my teeth when i see all this hysterical talk about NZ being sold off to overseas interests as if it is some new event. In 1985 I remember a figure then being reported, that 60% of NZ business was owned by foreign interests.

    That was in 1985, I really would like to know an accurate figure that shows where it stands today!

    My money is on something around 85% of NZ is foreign owned,
    can anyone offer an accurate figure?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I would like to know what the actual figures are as well. I’ve heard that 50% of our stock exchange is foreign owned but not all NZ business is listed on the stock exchange (not that I’m complaining about that as the theory behind the idea of a stock exchange is delusional).

    • prism 8.2

      I should be supporting the Campaign against Foreign Control of Aotearoa which I think does a good job keeping up with this situation. They would probably have some reliable figures about foreign ownership of NZ.

      • Ari 8.2.1

        You know, a lovely nickname for this government would be the Campaign for Foreign Control of Aotearoa.


        • Jim Nald

          In the past couple of days, I’ve been calling them the Government of Rip-Offs

          ripping us off in so many ways
          they won’t stop until the people rise up and put them away


  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Matt McCarten in today’s Granny:

    Statistics New Zealand research shows that worker productivity increases each year but their real wages continue to drift downwards.

    Anyone who thinks the benefits they enjoy come from the largesse of the boss or Parliament doesn’t know history.

    The rich do not create wealth – they abscond with it through legal fictions commonly referred to as “ownership” and “business”. The land and the wealth that it represents belongs to all of us. The work that you do belongs to you and not the business and certainly not the “owner” of the business. At the end of the day you deserve an equal share of the proceeds from the collective work that the business represents. You won’t get that from the traditional business where how much you’re paid for the wealth you create is designed to maximise the profit of the owner. You will get it from a cooperative though.

    In his Capitalism: A Love Story Mike Moore shows a bread making cooperative and in it the person who shifts and stacks the bread, in NZ a minimum wage job, gets paid $65k/year. Of course, being in a cooperative does mean that you will need to learn about accounting, economics, business and going to the meetings. There is a lot more responsibility but you’re well rewarded for that responsibility.

    Wake up NZ, the person you’re working for is stealing from you and there are better options available.

    • Jim Nald 9.1

      I hope we do not succumb to the definition of ‘productivity growth’ as meaning the common people needing to work harder, longer and for cheaper while unfairly & disproportionally advantaging the elite rich & lazy powerful.

    • Zorr 9.2

      I loved that section and thought that it was a very interesting insight in to the opportunities available under a different form of economic practice contained within one simple example. I, also, think that it is wonderfully capitalist because the owner has made the leap that if he ensures his workers have a say and are paid according to how well “their” business does, then they have no reason to lie, steal or shirk and will be giving 110% every shift they work. I loved that bit and wish their were more examples able to be given.

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    The Guardian endorsed the Liberal Democrats for the UK elections. It’s a big shift and good move from supporting the rotten, corrupt, war mongering, police state creating Labour.
    General election 2010: The liberal moment has come

    • freedom 10.1

      It matters not who gets in power anywhere! The rot is growing and the New World Order has declared itself arrived!

      Before you all start yelling ‘conspiracy theory’ I challenge you to go find a very informative Documentary titled ‘Invisible Empire’. It was only released this week and in it you will witness the Elite talk in their own words to their own people at their own events. The ‘nuts’ cannot make these people say these words and confess these crimes. They do it themselves and are only now beginning to realise that we can fight back. Please, for your own protection watch this documentary before you negate its warning.
      I could give you a link but some journeys are best done alone. The title is enough to find it.

      • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1

        In a way you are quite right that it doesn’t matter who gets into power anywhere. I know the Liberal Democrats will change little, but if the yoke of oppressive government may fall a little less heavily on the shoulders of people than that is at least an improvement. However, if I were in the U.K I wouldn’t be voting.I know of the work of Alex Jones, but I don’t accept this notion of some New World Order. In reality it’s just the same old venality and hunger for power. The same old problem of command and control and the same old charlatans like Obama. What needs to be done is to fight for greater liberty. To strive for a free society. To breakdown systems of authority. To breakdown hierarchies. To hopefully one day break the back of the grotesque usurpation we call the state.

      • felix 10.1.2

        I could give you a link but some journeys are best done alone. The title is enough to find it.

        Sure, but when the very first google result for the words “invisible empire” is a youtube page where you can watch the entire video it doesn’t make for much of a journey. 😉

        • freedom

          i never said it was a very long journey ;]
          i just hate saying ‘ – on youtube you can find…’

          my preferred source would be infowars as then people can have the satisfaction/choice of commercially supporting the people that make these docos and discover a world of other relevant, and some not so relevant but still illuminating information

  11. Lindsey 11

    Reminds me of one of the sayings of the late Bill Andersen on the difference between being in office and being in power.
    “Governments are not in power, they are in office – big business is in power”

  12. Patrick 12

    Demonstrators gathered at the Indian High Commission in Wellington to protest against Operation Green Hunt and the detention of Kobad Ghandy.

    Kobad is a Maoist political leader, imprisoned since October 2009. His arrest is part of the Indian state’s attempt to crush all opposition.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Bill Moyers has hung up his broadcasting hat, transcript of his last show…

    • Quoth the Raven 13.1

      I see Moyers’ last show starts out with a bit of historical mythology. I can’t understand why many on the left persists in this mythologising. Especially since it was the critical work of those in the New left that long ago put paid to these very myths. It probably has something to with their mystical religious like belief in the state. From this: A brief history of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the “Friend of Labor’

      Rather than helping to create an opening for the left in the 1930s, Roosevelt did what he could to shut off all openings that had been created by the workers themselves. He ended the surge of general strikes, then he ended the surge of sit down strikes. He put a stop to progressive artists. Clamped down on the radicals of the time period. Condoned the police and national guard killing of protesting workers. Collected regressive taxes from workers while promising them pension benefits at a point in the future for those fortunate enough to survive their employment and avoid an early death.. He continued racist and sexist policies especially relating to employment, government sanctioned discrimination and unfair dispersal of social benefits.

  14. ianmac 14

    Interesting position over ETS postponement – or not:
    “National Party backbenchers and senior government ministers want to defer the emissions trading scheme (ETS) after Australia sidelined its own scheme, ACT MP John Boscawen says.”

  15. Andy B 15

    And, on an entirely different note, I found this amazing quote from Gordon Brown’s ‘bigot’:

    “He was smiling when he spoke to me but he was thinking that. What else is he thinking when he smiles.”

    Hmmmm. Who else does this apply to?

  16. Jim Nald 16

    Newsflash: Environmental disaster looms in Ukraine unless urgent steps are taken UN report

    30 April 2010 Immediate action is needed to avert an environmental disaster in western Ukraine where toxic materials from former mines could spread into the area and threaten the health of local communities, according to the report of a joint United Nations-European Union mission of experts.

    Comments, anyone?

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