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Open mike 05/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 5th, 2012 - 195 comments
Categories: uncategorized - 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…

195 comments on “Open mike 05/09/2012 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    The spirit of Syria has his throat cut and his vocal cords ripped out but his song lives on

    Time for you to go Bashar

    It is the song of a people who will not be slaves again.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Syrian did not consider a damn what would happen in Lebanon, the destruction of that society…
      …so why would they sudden care if they did the same to their own country. I had been
      wary of Israeli claims to self-defense, but seeing what Syria is, without remorse, killing
      children… …time will tell, if Egypt goes right wing fanatical religious, we may yet be all
      drawn into a war with at least half of Islam.

    • thatguynz 1.2

      Oh fuck off Jenny.  Your endless one-sided diatribe about Syria and lack of willingness to listen to anyone else presenting a balanced viewpoint that the Syrian situation isn’t as cut and dried as you make it out to be, has worn thin.
       
      To misquote Les Miserables in this context would be laughable if it wasn’t so ill-informed.

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        Over the past ten years, the neo-liberal policies implemented by the Assad regime have collapsed the public sector and weakened the whole economy. Society has been impoverished, with 60 percent of Syria’s population below or just above the poverty line. The Assad clan, especially around the person of Rami Makhlouf, used the privatisation process to accumulate more than 60 percent of Syria’s economic wealth.

        Syria Freedom Forever

        The Syrian revolutionary process is a real popular and democratic movement that mobilises the exploited and oppressed classes against the capitalist elite linked to the global order.

        Syria Freedom Forever

        We say with full candour: those who deny popular revolutions like Syria’s thereby set themselves against emancipation from below by the people. They cannot be seen as being on the left.

        Syria Freedom Forever

        http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/deniers-of-syria-revolt-cannot-be-seen-as-left-syria-socialist/

  2. Guy McPhersons latest …. he told ya so as well )

    What are we fighting for?

    Thu, Aug 30, 2012

    http://guymcpherson.com/2012/08/what-are-we-fighting-for/

    In my latest essay in this space I mentioned two phenomena worth fighting for: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy. I surrender. I no longer believe the struggle matters on either front.

    I no longer think we’ll save the remaining shards of the living planet beyond another human generation. We’ll destroy every — or nearly every — species on Earth when the positive feedbacks associated with climate change come seriously into play (and I’ve not previously considered the increasingly dire prospects of methane release from Antarctica or the wildfire-induced release of carbon from Siberian peat bogs).

    The climate-change data, models, and assessments keep coming at us, like waves crashing on a rocky, indifferent beach. The worst drought in 800 years in the western United States is met by levels of societal ignorance and political silence I’ve come to expect. I would be stunned if this valley — or any other area in the interior of a northern-hemisphere continent — will provide habitat for humans five years from now. And climate change is only part of the story.

    My trademark optimism vanishes when I realize that, in addition to climate chaos, we’re on the verge of tacking on ionizing radiation from the world’s 444 nuclear power plants. L

    • weka 2.1

      The worst drought in 800 years in the western United States is met by levels of societal ignorance and political silence I’ve come to expect. I would be stunned if this valley — or any other area in the interior of a northern-hemisphere continent — will provide habitat for humans five years from now.

      I’m glad he has put a specific year prediction out. In five years we will be able to see if he is overstating things (I think he is). I’ve seen other intelligent eotwawki luminaries make this mistake (Sharon Astyk springs to mind), and I suspect it comes from getting tied up too closely up with their own circles of information and discussion.

      As for his own part of the world… 800 years ago, there were people living there successfully in that worst drought. Why is that? How is that? From what I know, periodic drought is normal in that part of the world. Is it possible that the people who lived there farmed by taking that into account?

      McPherson links to a MSM report about the worst drought in 800 years that mentions the midwest dust bowl, but that, and the current crop failures there, are due to bad farming practices. Yes, there is a drought, but that’s not the real problem here. The real problem here is that agribusiness is not adaptable to its environment, and by its very nature ignores nature and what is happening with things like climate and weather. It has no resiliency. Worse, agribusiness and even most modern traditional farming decreases soil fertility over time and lessens the land’s ability to adapt to drought.

      Unlike other systems of food production. Here is a permaculture classic. It’s a small project done in Jordan in 2000. Jordan has a similar amount of rainfall as Arizona, but the place where this project happened has much lower rates than where McPherson lives. This ten minute video shows how food production was established quickly using polyculture techniques that are sustainable over time, that build soil fertility, make best use of water resources, and don’t make the mistakes of conventional agriculture like salinating the soil.
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTHjlueqFI
       
      McPherson will be aware of all of this. So it begs the question of why he misuses information. I’m guessing he is trying to scare people into waking up.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        Guy may be right, he may be wrong, he has certainly got our attention. I listened to him several times over the last few years, he tends toward the “precautionary” principle. Maybe Guy is involved countering misinformation in a “misinformation world war”.

        On whether Guy is deliberately overstating things maybe this headline might make people think.. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ As the ice melts, and the jet stream moves south, and methane starts bubbling up maybe a precautionary approach should be recommended. I hope Guy keeps calling for that as much as I hope he is wrong. Polar bears might prefer we were not having this debate.

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      ooohh Robert. Always a pleasure to read your predicitions.

      As the struggles no longer matter we may as well give up. I may as well be selfish, forget about society, climb over my mates on the work ladder, avoid paying all tax, vote for oil loving right wing parties, buy a V8, drive really fast, and then go whale hunting.

      We are all doomed so lets have some fun in our final year on this earth…

  3. Adele 3

    Robert

    Your messages of utter desolation and hopelessness are a hōhā. If Māori thought as you we would be extinct already. Quite frankly, if stuck on a waka with you heading into a perfect storm and you started opining ‘we are all doomed’ I would toss you overboard.

    Rather than waste C02 spreading negativity, be more constructive, plant another native tree.

  4. captain hook 4

    adele.
    plant any tree.
    pecans.
    chestnuts.
    oaks.
    hickory.
    don’t be shy!

    • Adele 4.1

      Captain

      My focus is Indigenous
      meaning natives not exotics
      I am not shy just adverse
      to populating the Southern
      Hemisphere with Northern
      Hemisphere plants.
      Call me hemispherically challenged
      if not biased but I have no affinity
      to the Northern Hemisphere and
      will continue to reinforce the
      unique character of our lands
      through native plantings
      and spurn the exotics
      .

  5. RedLogix 5

    Adele

    There is realistic optimism and then there is blind optimism.

    One looks at the reality, understands the challenge, assesses your resources and cautiously devises some plans to respond.

    The other simply attempts to wriggle one’s head a little further up one’s arse.

    Looking about the world and the response to the facts Guy is presenting … which one of these two modes do you see dominating?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I try for realistic optimism – I think NZ will be OK if we put in the necessary changes. I think the rest of the world is fucked.

    • Adele 5.2

      Tēnā koe, Redlogix

      I am an optimist generally. I am blind to the problems of the world but realistic to the problems that I am able to positively influence within my own whanau, community, and society in general. My focus is also confined to the environment of Aotearoa and its surrounding oceans.

      The reality as I understand it is that life as we know it now may become extinct but life itself will continue – albeit most likely in a different form. The Earth has been witness to at least five extinction events. In the aftermath, new life forms have eventually emerged in all cases. Also, would the human species have emerged without the extinction of the dinosaur?

      Humanity has the potential to prevent its own extinction – that it might become extinct speaks to a complete waste of evolutionary advantage found in human intelligence. Perhaps human intelligence is an evolutionary dead-end and in the next iteration we become as bacteria once more.

      Ye gods, we all become colonisers.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        Humanity has the potential to prevent its own extinction – that it might become extinct speaks to a complete waste of evolutionary advantage found in human intelligence.

        Perhaps, but it does suggest an answer to the Fermi Paradox 😈

        • McFlock 5.2.1.1

          Aye: that technology tends to advance more quickly than a species’ ability to  accurately identify the dangers of that technology.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Aye: that technology tends to advance more quickly than politicians’ ability to accurately identify the dangers of that technology.

            Heh

        • fnjckg 5.2.1.2

          excellent reference D. drop that bomb on a few more posts

  6. Sunny 6

    I suppose this is really just whistling in the dark but the NZ Herald is running a poll on whether NZ should go GE or not….You could go vote against on the grounds that its just a couple of mouse clicks worth of effort and then go back to giving all your energy over to despair….

    @ Adele. Your comment reminded me of the Ingham twins busy swimming with one other person ( a boyfriend of one I think) through shark infested seas to the far off coast of Western Oz after they somehow ended up in the water. One twin was constantly whining away that it was impossible etc so they cut the rope and let her drift off. When she promised to shut up and keep paddling (or they’d do it again presumably) they hooked her back up…and all made it ashore and got on with their (colourful) lives…..

    • weka 6.1

      Poll is here –

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10831507

      57% against GE, 32% for, 11% don’t know, so far… 

      • Rosie 6.1.1

        Its good to see the GE discussion happening. Last week we talked about the govt funded biotech agri business meeting that went ahead in Akld. Later that week that Dominion Post published a pro GE article that was reasonbly flawed in its argument. I posted that article open mike last week. Then on Sunday (at least I think it was Sunday), TV3 News had a peice covering a meeting of scientist who were pro GE. It was a very one sided peice. Now we have a counter argument published in the Dom Post on line today. It’s a good solid argument against the push to introduce GE food crops to NZ

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7612107/GM-free-means-good-sales-for-NZ

        NZ had and still has a great opportunity to be a GE free exporter of goods to Europe. That was the vision of the organic industry back in the 90’s, included within the vision of Organic NZ 2020 but it got lost among the powerful influence that agri business has upon Government. With Tim Groser saying recently that we are focusing less on trade with Europe and more on trade with Asia theres not a snowflakes chance that we can achieve the trade of GE food that we are capable of with Europe. A tragic lost opportunity.

        • Bored 6.1.1.1

          Evolution has had eternity to come up with the right answer: GE is a feeble attempt to specifically imitate without consideration of the whole. The sooner it is removed from commercial interests the better.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            +1

          • gareth 6.1.1.1.2

            Yep and you can even speed evolution up by through cross pollination… The seed banks will be invaluable going forward. Modern breeding is focused on appearance vs yield if we went back to species and early cultivars it’s highly likely that much hardier cultivars can be developed.
            GE is not required and will end in tears one way or another, the perils of monoculture have been long known…

      • muzza 6.1.2

        32% for !!!

        New Zealand has been issued an ultimatum by GM heavyweights – change our tune on genetically modified food or watch our exporting lifeblood lag behind the rest of the world.

        The warning was delivered yesterday by a high-powered panel including the US Government’s bio-tech trade envoy and the vice-president of US giant DuPont Agricultural Biotechnology

        The panel pitched crop-enhancing bio-technology as the world’s best hope of feeding a population expected to double by 2050 – and said that if New Zealand failed to buy in, our crops could become quickly out-dated

        What, the worlds population is going to double….Are they still peddling these blatant lies! Even the UN don’t make those claims anymore. The statement, along with what is a clear threat to our exports, should have alarm bells ringing, because that is blatant propaganda/threats of the highest order!

        Du Pont – Argh, Monsanto are involved then of course. I wonder how they will ensure that their threats are answered favourably by “our decision makers”!

        This is an issue which NZ MUST hold out on, that can’t be emphasised enough!

        • Rosie 6.1.2.1

          Hey Muzza,

          Couldn’t agree more that our GE feee status remains. You’re right, we must hold out on this issue. But you know, those bully boys aren’t known for backing down, they always get their way. I’m sure “their threats will be answered favourably by our decision makers”.

          As we all know we have weak leadership in NZ and its a leadership that only listens to lobby groups that represent their ideology (short term profit at any cost). We know that the National govt doesn’t refer to evidence and research to create policy and shape legislation. So I’d say we’d pretty stuffed if the biotech groups keep up the bullying and pressure.

          Even if we did have a change of govt in 2014 it may too late. The Nat govt doesn’t even listen to the authors of reports commissioned by them (eg addressing child poverty) or the industries it should be supporting (eg horticulture NZ as referred to in the Dom Post article posted above). I wouldn’t trust a Labour led govt to keep our land free of GE crops either.

          Best case scenario may be that the introduction of GE was delayed and we got a new govt where the voices of the Greens, Mana and even NZ First where strong. Old war dog Winnie may make ones eyes roll but at least he is protective of NZ’s interests. Many years ago I was interested to see him at the book launch of “The poisoning of New Zealand” by Merial Watts. The book discussed the ways in which we are damging our natural environment due to the over use of toxic agricultural pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. You can’t have that conversation without reffering to Monsanto. So our natural environment may be of importance to him. Who knows.

          I do know that Monsanto have influenced councils in NZ. Once again I’m referring to the 90’s. Akld council had introduced safe chemical free weed control in the form of the waipuna steam method. It was a win for everyone. Not one to be pushed aside Monsanto immediately cut their wholesale price of roundup, undercutting the waipuna system costs (the costs had previously been the same) and hey presto, back in business with the round up. Thats just a local example from a couple of decades ago. Imagine what they’re capable of now? Sadly, the spectre of GE coming to our shores has arisen again. I don’t think anyone can trust our govt from keeping NZ GE free.

          • muzza 6.1.2.1.1

            Hi Rosie,

            There are a few key topics, where the rubber hits the road, and this is certainly one of the most important.

            The GM issue is not about money, it is about gaining total control of the food supplies by way of patents and exclusions, the ramifications for humanity should this happen, are not the sales pitches peddled by these toxic, poisonous, polluting monstrosities!

            Think of it this way, the control over food prices etc already happens via commodity exchanges and the like, and used as a weapon against nations around the world. Imagine what can be achieved once human beings are no longer able to grow their own food using natural resources.

            NZ’s future well being relies on a number of factors, one of them is that being that we must not allow GM inside our shores, because once that happens, it will be a matter of time before it is used as a weapon against us too.

            Food Safety/security Bills/Natural Health Products Bill (who actually writes these anyway?) etc, TPPA….Its about time people started seeing the links, and for that matter the links between industries, for what they are!

            • Rosie 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Totally hear you Muzza and I fully agree that that control of global food chains is a priority for biotech groups. If they can make a good tidy profit along the way, that will and they do. The ultimate prize is the endless source of profit in food production when all natural methods of cropping plant propagation have been made redundant by gene technology.

              And yes, the food bill, no matter how much its implications are played down are a massive threat to our ability to retain personal and community autonomy over food production and seed collection. Over arching that, the TPPA and its consequences for industrial food production in NZ would mean we are rooted as an independant GE free food producing nation. We lose our sovereignty, our access to safe food and our trading advantages.

              But we are asleep and the right wing in is the ascendant. So what are our chances to keep our GE status? Pretty slim I’d say.

        • marsman 6.1.2.2

          Monsanto- a bit of greed in every seed.

          • fnjckg 6.1.2.2.1

            Excellent
            (Terminator seeds-they wont be back and Skynet checking out IP addresses)

            u could make this up

    • Fortran 6.2

      Sunny

      But we are all Genetically Modified, whether Maori, Pacifica, Pakeha, or any other race in New Zealand.
      We cannot stop human modfication.
      Should we vote to stop it ?

      • Rosie 6.2.1

        I don’t think so Fortran. Not unless you’ve been to a laboratory, provided samples of your DNA, had your genetic material spliced with that of another species, lets say a toad, for arguments sake, and then had that new genetic material returned to your body. Thats genetic modification for ya, not the process of breeding.

  7. Carol 7

    Technology will set you free….. or not. Is big brother watching you?

    Hackers claim to have accessed I-gadget ID’s from FBI computers:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/09/201294155021237214.html

    The group called AntiSec, linked to the hacking collective known as Anonymous, posted one million Apple user identifiers on Monday purported to be part of a larger group of 12 million obtained from an FBI laptop.

    In the posting, AntiSec said the original file “contained around 12,000,000 devices” and that “we decided a million would be enough to release”.

    The group said it “trimmed out other personal data as, full names, cell numbers, addresses, zipcodes, etc”

    • fnjckg 7.1

      Feds can find me, i am an open book now

    • Rosie 7.2

      Hackers will always be able to outsmart any govt agency or any private or public organisation or social media. Thats why I don’t use face palm or twatter or online banking. I try to minimise my online transactions as much as possible. I know my attempts to protect my privacy aren’t water tight in any way because the sheer amount of information on individuals can’t be contained by the individual themselves.
      But still, I’d trust the smarts of hackers over the smarts of agencies, organisations and social media any day.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        The main point that AntiSec is making is that warrantless eavesdropping and data collection by the US gov – a complete antithesis to the principles of the democratic republic – appears to be in full swing.

        And we know from Wikileaks – and that bad man Julian Assange – that this information is also gathered and used against foreign states, foreign nationals and foreign companies.

  8. Sunny 8

    Sorry Northern Oz. When they got ashore it wasn’t all roses either….

    • weka 9.1

      Take note Assange Fanboys… that’s how you write about the issue without sacrificing the concerns of women or supporting rape culture.

      • Bored 9.1.1

        Dont know how you read it Weka but here is what I read…(Klein) In the Assange case, the Swedish police supported the accusers in legally unprecedented ways – for example, by allowing them to tell their stories together and by allowing testimony from a boyfriend. But other alleged victims of gender-based abuse, sometimes in life-threatening circumstances, typically receive very different treatment.

        I endorse Kleins writing because it is typically well researched, accurate and impartial. In this one she quite correctly points out that:
        1. Rape is not taken seriously by the Swedish authorities, they fail to pass muster in any respect to the rights of victims.
        2. For some reason the Swedish authorities stood this usual stance on its head for Assange.
        3. There is a corrupted standard here (Klein) Let me be clear: I am not saying that Assange…..committed no crime against women. Rather, Assange’s case,… is being handled so differently from how the authorities handle all other rape cases that a corrupted standard of justice clearly is being applied.

        So to summarise Klein rightly points out that the Swedish authorities are failing rape victims badly, and she points out that she is not convinced of his innocence nor guilt but suspects some other driver for the authorities interest.

        So to what you call “Assange Fanboys” (a term pregnant with implications)….does that include those of us who think that Assange should be considered innocent until proven guilty? Does that include us who say if there if a case to answer Assange should definitely face trial? Does it include us who say beware the real motives of the Swedish authorities?

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          (It’s Wolf not Klein 😉 ).

          Bored, I don’t know if you are a Fanboy or not, that’s up to you to say.

          What I meant was that Wolf was able to talk about the issue without saying that the women are lying.

          She was able to point out that there is something wrong with the investigation into Assange without accusing the women of anything. She is able to do this without engaging in rape myths like consent given once is consent for all time. Or that sex with a sleeping woman without her consent is ok. She doesn’t have to deny the possibility of rape in order to point out that there is something highly unusual with how the authorities are handling this case.

          That was my point in the previous discussion on this. I wasn’t saying that Assange is guilty, I was saying that you don’t have to sacrifice the women complainants nor the larger issues around rape in order to talk about the Assange case.

          “does that include those of us who think that Assange should be considered innocent until proven guilty?” 

          I have no idea if Assange is guilty or not. I don’t feel under any obligation to assume either way. The only people who have to assume innocence until proven guilty are the judge and jury and Assange’s lawyers. The media too I guess, but I think it’s more a case of not assuming guilt unless proven, than assuming innocence.

          I find the whole innocent until proven guilty thing interesting because people speculate about guilt in public cases all the time. What’s so different about this one?

          • Carol 9.1.1.1.1

            Very good article and one that explains the issue in a way that makes sense to me.

          • travellerev 9.1.1.1.2

            Hi Weka, Where is the link to John Key’s support the next conflict gaffe?

          • Bored 9.1.1.1.3

            Fraudian on Klein and Wulf, both brilliant women. Maybe I react harshly to tags like Fanboys….they provoke a reaction, you got one.

            I thoroughly agree with you that “you don’t have to sacrifice the women complainants”, and I respect you have no opinion on Assange guilt. What drives my reaction on this case is that regardless of the crime I always believe in “innocence before proven otherwise”. A recent classic was the recent Scott Guy murder case where the accused was found not guilty despite being overwhelmingly convicted in the court of public opinion. (For the record I think Ewen did it but the jury got it right….there was doubt).

            To address what I think might be the major gripe on the Assange case with women is that their complaints are not being taken seriously. That is manifestly obvious. We quite correctly throw everything at murder cases, I cannot see why we don’t do the same with rape, domestic violence, common assault. My belief is that they should attract a zero tolerance reaction, and I don’t believe they do. And in all cases the process also brutalises the complainant (that’s another nasty issue).

            • weka 9.1.1.1.3.1

              “Maybe I react harshly to tags like Fanboys….they provoke a reaction, you got one.”

              Sorry about that, I was in a hurry and the phrase just jumped out at me. You could always choose to not associate yourself with the term 😉

        • prism 9.1.1.2

          Bored 9 1 1
          Thank you for the good excerpt from Naomi Wolf. It seems to be very measured and reasoned. An excellent comment in the sticky tar patch of emotion aroused from fundamentalists..

      • fnjckg 9.1.2

        wikiped Susan Faludi

      • QoT 9.1.3

        Yeah, pity she didn’t think to try it back in 2010 when she wrote this. I guess the silver lining is that online feminist backlash sometimes works?

        • fnjckg 9.1.3.1

          ouch
          thorny.

        • weka 9.1.3.2

          That’s fucking bad. I see she even links to the Daily Mail as her source of information about what happened.

          In the article Tom linked you can still see the vestiges of the Huffington Post one – she uses the terms ‘accusers’ instead of ‘complainants’. 

    • Tom 9.2

      It casts new light on the Assange situation as a number of posters agree.

  9. Tiger Mountain 10

    ShonKey’s divide and rule strategy of five meetings with specific Iwi on water may be looking a bit sick by end of next week. Interesting how the piece is lurking in business section online rather than front page given the significance.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10831805

    • tc 10.1

      Not enough on the real elephant in the room being Rio Tinto’s threatened closure of Tiwai point if they don’t get even more heavily subsidied power.

      The party of big business is getting screwed by one while trying to flog off the silverware , but blaming the Maori’s for the delay is a PR gift from above.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      That’s John Key telling business owners that Maori concerns will be ignored.

  10. Josh 11

    I know a lot of people on here were supportive of maori claiming their water rights, but was it just the beginning? When does it go too far?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00042/wind-to-be-subject-of-next-treaty-claim.htm

    • Bill 11.1

      When all resources have been returned to the commons, then that will be far enough.

      • fnjckg 11.1.1

        Wow! it sure is Windy here in Hawkes Bay Aotearoa New Zealand
        (“tents”-natural falls regretably)

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        That’s what needs to happen. The capitalists won’t like it though as it means that they will lose control of the people.

        • Bored 11.1.2.1

          It might save the environment: it is blatantly obvious that capitalism requires growth, and that means that it is at odds with the environment. Land guardianship as opposed to ownership is the only solution I can think of. Interestingly medieval land tenure was based upon sustained productivity and output: the job of the farmers was to retain soil fertility as well as produce, otherwise everybody suffered. Maybe we should nationalise all land and base the rental on retained soil fertility.

        • fnjckg 11.1.2.2

          they have their own gates

    • weka 11.2

      Josh, you have to realise that Maori have been trying for over 150 years to have their treaty rights honoured. If that had happened, and Maori had had access to their land and resources for all those years, been able to rebuild wealth for their people from that, they wouldn’t need to be going after money now (they might still choose to, but that’s a different argument).

      European society force Maori to drop their own model of resource management and adopt the capitalist one. They’re just playing pakeha at their own game now. To paraphrase Bill, the easiest way to fix this mess is for pakeha to change how resources are understood, valued and managed. At the moment we use an exploitation model, is there any reason why Maori should not use that too?

       

      • vto 11.2.1

        Exactly weka. Good on Maori for shoving the game into John Key’s smug mug. They are entirely justified in playing the capitalist game of greed and self and maximising and bugger the rest back at Key. I guess though in playing that game they should realise that if they do what capitalists do they will end up like capitalists – and do they really want to be like that?

      • Bored 11.2.2

        +1 100%

    • Uturn 11.3

      As vto illustrates, this is a fishing expedition from Josh the, concerned-for-us-all, racist fisherman. A couple of things should alert the cautious reader:

      It’s a press release.
      The name and history of the person making the release.
      The potential for contentious framing of the claim.
      Lack of verifiable facts (see: press release)
      Motivation for claim (see: name and history of person making release)

      Right now, Josh is sitting back chuckling to himself saying: I knew it, maori are just as bad as capitalists, which means their claims are baseless and we are totally justified in oppressing and dismissing all further concerns.

  11. Carol 12

    I just did my morning round of the opposition parties’ website news (most articles posted yesterday). The following are of interest to me:

    NZ First on the government’s problems with asset sales, saying now is the time for NZers to apply more pressure:

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/complete-government-back-down-asset-sales-still-possible

    Russel Norman on the government’s cosy relationship with Westpac, and the failure to fulfill it’s promise to put the government’s banking contract up for tender:

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/national-s-cosy-relationship-westpac-needs-end

    “Ideally, our Government’s banking should eventually be done by our New Zealand bank, Kiwibank,” Dr Norman said.

    “Australian-owned banks control 95 per cent of our banking industry and this Government has done nothing to stop the massive capital drain that results from these banks repatriating their record profits offshore each year.

    “The inclusion of a national interest test in the tender process will ensure that New Zealand banks like Kiwibank can get at least some of the Government contract in the short term.”

    On the Labour website, Clare Curran has a good piece on the lack of FTA TV coverage of the paralympics, something that a public service broadcaster would provide. I heartily agree.

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news

    David Shearer has a post on asset sales.

    Andrew Little provides some good info on the makeup of the ACC board as announced yesterday, and says it is hardly going to oversee a positive culture change:

    “Paula Rebstock’s track record demonstrates no empathy or understanding of the social insurance model ACC represents. It is interesting to note – given Ms Collins said former chair John Judge was stepping down as he would be too busy with his new role as chair of ANZ – that Ms Rebstock currently holds 12 positions.

    “Professor Gorman has been a senior medical adviser to ACC for many years and has given some of the most retrograde advice on claimants’ files I’ve known. He was the subject of many complaints over his advice about occupational overuse syndrome in the 1990s.

    “While publicity material doesn’t mention it, ‘new’ board member Trevor Janes was a director of the Corporation at the time it was being lined up for privatisation by National in the late 90s

    Mana doesn’t have any new posts up, but Hone’s piece on asset sales, from a couple of days ago, is worth a read if you haven’t already seen it:

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/09/govt-backdown-a-victory-for-the-people/

  12. Dr Terry 13

    weka, thanks for the link which features the bit on Key’s latest speech. I watched the interview on TV News, and I have perfectly adequate hearing. What I heard, in spite of his adenoidal tones, was “we welcome the opportunity to co-operate with the US in the next conflicts”, which made me recoil in horror. Thank God, then, for convenient rewrites, now I know what I am “supposed” to believe!

  13. fisiani 14

    Great news from Paula Bennett
    Benefits stopped for those with arrest warrants
    by Paula Bennett on Wednesday, 5 September 2012 at 12:03 ·
    People with outstanding arrest warrants will no longer receive a benefit while evading Police says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

    “Of the approximately 15,000 people with a current arrest warrant, around 8,200 are on benefits,” says Mrs Bennett.

    “If someone has an unresolved arrest warrant we will stop their benefit until they do the right thing and come forward to the authorities.”

    “In exceptional circumstances where someone poses a danger to the public, their benefit can be stopped immediately at the request of the Police Commissioner,” says Mrs Bennett.

    Around 58 per cent of people clear their arrest warrants within 28 days. Those who don’t will be given 10 days to clear or challenge the warrant before their benefit is stopped, or reduced by fifty per cent if they have dependent children.

    People will still be able to apply for hardship assistance for themselves and their children.

    “Most people clear their warrants within a month, so 38 days is a reasonable amount of time to step forward and straighten things out,” says Mrs Bennett.

    “Once someone has come forward their benefit can be reinstated but there will be clear consequences for people who continually refuse to acknowledge or resolve arrest warrants.”

    • vto 14.1

      Yeah, I’m with you fisiani. In fact we should just stop all benefits. Let the useless fuckers shrivel up and die. After all, if they can’t get a job then they shouldn’t be on the dole smoking drugs, boozing up and getting pregnant. Bloody useless no hopers. I think I’m coming around to your way of thinking. If I have to pay them my hard-earned taxes then they can bloody well wash my undies. Usless pricks.

      Oh I feel so enlightened now

    • vto 14.2

      Or if thats a bit beyond even you fisiani then the dole should be cut when the following occurs. After all, it’s my bloody money they’re spending. If they have got the time or money for any of these things then they don’t deserve the dole.

      1. smoking drugs.
      2. arrest warrant.
      3. speeding ticket.
      4. parking ticket.
      5. drinking beer.
      6. drinking rtds.
      7. swearing.
      8. being maori or pacific island.
      9. wearing hoodies.
      10. voting labour.
      11. downloading porn.
      12. being a gamer.
      13. not washing my undies.
      14. eating kfc.

      you’re a wanker fisiani

      • TighyRighty 14.2.1

        So vto you support the state supporting those who break our laws?

        • Uturn 14.2.1.1

          So TightyRighty, you support the extreme opposite of implied meaning to avoid understanding?

        • vto 14.2.1.2

          name people who don’t get state support

        • mike e 14.2.1.3

          like tax doging Act supporters ponzi schemers who are locked up at our expense while still having a luxury life style.
          The likes of banks and brash who are on the board of a ponzi scheming company and get off scott free

      • mike e 14.2.2

        Insider trading PMs as well Fisanal

    • mike e 14.3

      Double dipping dipstick finance minister who gets the tax payer to fund his dairy farm expansion

    • weka 14.4

      Who was it yesterday that predicted that Key’s announcement of the delay with asset sales would be closely followed by a dog whistle from Bennett?

    • lprent 14.5

      Man this is dumb. I can just see Paula jerking off on this as much as Fis obviously does.

      Most people with arrest warrants against them have no idea that the police had even laid a charge against them. They don’t exactly exert effort finding people with traffic violations (the most common reason). The address on the court paperwork is whatever was on their file at the time the charge sheet was made out and is never changed. That has been the case with most of the people I’m run across who have been arrested with an outstanding warrant. Mostly for speed cameras.

      And of course the Paula Bennett appears to be too stupid to do the obvious. With the exception of people on superannuation, other people receiving benefits are required to talk to WINZ periodically at pre-arranged meetings otherwise they lose their benefits. If they are going to do the data matching, then why don’t they simply tell them that the police are looking for them rather than turning off the benefits. After all they’re going to have to do that anyway when a person trying to find out why the benefit has been stopped calls them.

      But nope. Being Paula Bennett, they will do it the STUPID and inefficient way that just increases the costs to all concerned.

  14. Rosie 15

    Except that once their benefit has been stopped and there is no income they might get hungry fisiani. You better hope that you don’t live next door to a criminally inclined hungry person. They might just want to come and bust your door down and raid your fridge and pantry.

    So tell us, this new development helps society how?

    • fisiani 15.1

      Shearer and Robertson are not opposed to the new plan.

      • fnjckg 15.1.1

        (0) tear along now

      • thatguynz 15.1.2

        And Shearer and Robertson are paragons of rationality..  Really?
         
        Did you not tune in to Shearer’s recently espoused views of beneficiaries?

      • Uturn 15.1.3

        *best Attenborough voice*

        Here we have the fisiani in his natural habitat demonstrating the tendency of all fisiani to defer to the dominant male. Without the inducements of the head male, no single fisiani dare act alone and the group is helpless to understand even the basics needs of life. This often leads to an almost fascist state of organisation among the rodent-like fisiani, where the young and vulnerable of these burrow dwelling creatures are often left to die and are then eaten by others.

        • fnjckg 15.1.3.1

          Excellence, naturally
          (hows that recursion coming along)

        • fnjckg 15.1.3.2

          sorry for butting in again, me and my big mouth But

          U-Turn: imo, just may be Very Excelllent,i dont want to appear shouting so Very Excellllent
          Wow! sister may be too kind

          me freakin heart is just gonna leap out one of these days
          now i better do something else……Wow……..wow………..

          • fnjckg 15.1.3.2.1

            see. is not Time Wonderful-space-time and all that jazz
            appeeared to be One hour exactly
            Wow! Time
            -The White Rabbit

      • Rosie 15.1.4

        And like I said Fisiani, “this new development helps society how?”

        I couldn’t care less what Shearer and Robertson say. They’ve shown their true colours.

        • vto 15.1.4.1

          Rosie, it is impossible to discuss things with people like fisiani.

          They are only capable of shouting useless one-liners from the sideline. And then running away.

          They really are pathetic little creatures.

          • Rosie 15.1.4.1.1

            True vto. I usally don’t get invloved with folks like fisiani but I was weak and responded to a trolly type. I think folks like fisiani who get all excited about outmoded authoritarian measures being metred out to those they believe are beneath them don’t get past the smug glee part to the ‘what are the consequences of these measures?” part. They just get stuck at smug glee.

            Speaking of trolls, where’s PG these days, did he get a ban? Or did the new approach of non responsiveness of other posters discourage his commenting?

            [lprent: Permanent ban. He was doing an circumlocutory attempt to try to tell us how we should run our site yet again. He obviously hasn’t figured out that I (in particular) and the other moderators look at people’s intent rather than the “wording of the law”. Sneaking intending to skirt the intent of our rules just irritates us. Because we’ve all seen how those discussions go in the past and rehashing the usual silly conversation about what the letter of the policy says that follows is too boring to be bothered with. We only give indications of what we’d look for and why we do so. It isn’t a rulebook.

            It is actually a lot lot safer to just come out and say “I know that this is probably going to get me banned but I’m going to say it anyway… “. Much of the time when we see that people have thought about and accepted the risk we will leave it up. But of course like all of our policies this is merely a guideline. We like people to assess their own levels of risk. After all they may meet Irishbill who is generally agreed to have the shortest moderating fuse in his sweeps…. ]

      • mike e 15.1.5

        Cool fis you’ll be voting for them then

  15. captain hook 16

    speak for yourself.

  16. David H 18

    Levin for a rail hub??? Not such a silly idea..

    http://horowhenuachronicle.apn.co.nz/

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 18.1

      Yes David. And about 25 years ago there were plans to also make the Levin Area a major Commercial/Industrial Zone. Rail a key element. Flat ground. Main Highway. Water. Improved commuter access and freight access.
      Instead of crowding more and more “stuff” into hilly Wellington why not decetralise?

      • David H 18.1.1

        OH I agree whole heartedly with you as someone who actually lives in Levin. and the article in the local paper has some good ideas. but as usual Nathan Guy is deaf as usual.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        Instead of crowding more and more “stuff” into hilly Wellington why not decetralise?

        Also good for that inevitable magnitude 7

  17. Mystery benefactor funds the crafar bid.
    Chinese bid to go all the way to the suprime court.
    This headline is on the herald site.
    Headaches not over for jk and his friends.

  18. captain hook 20

    newsflash: Jim Mora,” pet shop boys bigger than simon and garfunkel”.
    I dont think so Jim.
    Play some music whydoncha?

    • fnjckg 20.1

      cha noe?
      -moderation
      -noisy apparently
      -might get in to trouble….again

      imo, RNZ not helpful at times. net helpful.(though i will never forget Kim Hill introducing a musical tribute to a particularly Wonderful New Zealand poet
      nothing learns ya like a little bitter experience

      now, back to that stoning, could be anywhere These Days (Unknown Pleasures, Closer, Still)

      cos u noe wat?…Love will certainly Tear Us Apart

      Spread the Love (i confess a fondness for breaking fast every morning with vegemite on wholegrain Burgen)

      ….o sinner man, where ya gonna run to, o sinner man, where ya gonna run to…..
      ….When the Stars begin to fall…

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    Good article in The Guardian explaining the monetary system:

    Why, then, are liberals and conservatives alike so fervent in their pursuit of growth?

    The reason is that our present money system can only function in a growing economy. Money is created as interest-bearing debt: it only comes into being when someone promises to pay back even more of it. Therefore, there is always more debt than there is money. In a growth economy that is not a problem, because new money (and new debt) is constantly lent into existence so that existing debt can be repaid. But when growth slows, good lending opportunities become scarce. Indebtedness rises faster than income, debt service becomes more difficult, bankruptcies and layoffs rise.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 21.1

      Reckon Jesus had one thing right when he got rid of the money-lenders, even though they got the ultimate revenge.
      I believe that many immigrant families finance each other into business virtually interest free but always to mutual benefit.
      But hey! What would they know!

      • vto 21.1.1

        therein lis the answer.

        tis why usury is banned in so much of the world. it is a system that leads directly to poverty and failure.

      • fnjckg 21.1.2

        they very wise and we trade with by preference where possible
        the history of “yellow peril” in this country is shocking
        lovely people, go with the flow

    • Colonial Viper 21.2

      At least bankruptcies would destroy debt. Banks are being bailed out at tax payer expense instead of being allowed to go bankrupt. And in the US, declaring bankruptcy does not remove student debt, private or public. You can never escape the debt, in other words = debt servitude.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.2.1

        And in the US, declaring bankruptcy does not remove student debt, private or public.

        Doesn’t in NZ either.

        You can never escape the debt, in other words = debt servitude.

        That’s the way that the financial system has been set up. Even if you don’t have any debt yourself you’re still in debt because the government will be and you’ll be paying the interest of everyone else’s debt as well and all that interest just goes to the few who get to make the loans.

  20. Stephen Doyle 22

    Any idea why the National Party site is down?

    • McFlock 22.1

      Up again.
      Maybe the server had an attack of conscience and killed itself, so they replaced it with one that has a floating morality processor that accepts null values. 

    • mike e 22.2

      It had a worm Peter dunne was using it.

  21. Stephen Doyle 23

    More like his insidious offsider PG, recently banned form Red Alert, I think.

  22. Carol 24

    Family_first…. not that vigilant, it seems.

    Apparently they forgot to renew their familyfirst.co.nz url, so someone else bought it. Now people going to that url are being redirected to a marriage equality site. FF, still own the site that ends in .org.nz

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_12242.php

  23. captain hook 25

    Kweewee didn’t look all that gay on the news tonight either.
    hey macflok.
    whats the theme music for the Null values party this year.
    FREEFALLING?

  24. xtasy 28

    HAS ANYBODY NOTICED what is going on at ACC?

    For your information:

    Judith Collins (ACC Minister) has just yesterday announced that Rebstock, former head of the Welfare Working Group, “specialist” trouble shooter in many matters for the Key led government, is going to head the board of ACC for 3 years.

    That is very interesting, and one wonders, how that will improve the “culture” that went wrong over recent years, leading to many claimants being presented bizarre decisions and having to rather end up on WiNZ benefits than getting ACC. The mainstream media and government want to pretend to us it was all just an issue re “privacy” of information and NOTHING else. That is total distraction and humbug, as the biggest breach of rights was that ACC relies on biased, not acceptable consultants and assessors, thus breaching natural justice and even statutory law!

    There are also other “interesting” persons on that ACC board now. A Dr Des Gorman, also a staunch advocate to enforce a tight regime and to ensure that people do all to try and get back into work, he is also now member of the board of ACC. Once he was in some cases a “consultant” or similar for ACC. He also is a leader of Health Workforce NZ, an organisation within the Ministry of Health, tasked with applying a more “business like” and efficiency driven approach in health care.

    Health Workforce also works with the Medical Council and the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, as I heard. Des Gorman has heaps of influence- this man, being a supposed “professor”, but putting his weight behind what this government wants to force through: Getting sick and disabled to WORK! Not just “roof painting” by the way, real “OPEN employment” (market type jobs on minimum wage or so forth).

    A brief documentary screened by TV3 some time ago presented him as a rather unsympathetic medical expert, who apparently wrongly assessed a person with serious disability. Well, he later said, his assessment was not wrong, only ACC interpreted it somewhat incorrectly.

    It is worth having a look at this short video on YouTube, and in it also features another “advisor” or “spokesperson” for ACC, who once also worked for MSD or WINZ – alongside Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt. Both were involved in the “training” of the “designated doctors” that WINZ uses to re-examine and assess sick and disabled applying for benefits.

    It’s quite strange, how these familiar faces pop up again and again. With Rebstock at the helm things do not look that great for future claimants to ACC. I would be quite worried.

    You Tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCecwuwCHb4

    Now are you supposedly “sick” and “disabled” not just FAKING IT, or “imagining it”, he and his mates David Bratt, same as Rankin would ask?

    Get a wake up call, media and public, this is very, very serious stuff, which is a matter that should be dealt with by a court!

    • felix 29.1

      If there’s one thing that’s holding this country back, it’s that the people who can’t afford to pay the fines they got because they couldn’t afford to pay their car rego because they don’t have a job are missing their court appearances.

      Yep that’s the big issue, it just takes a special kind of moron like you to get it all in the right order so it makes sense.

      • xtasy 29.1.1

        YEAH, WE are all CRIMINALS, ARE WE NOT? WE CANNOT ANY LONGER afford the extortion, so we will ALL one day or later end up at Court, for failing to pay our slavery dues.

        That is the ultimate goal of this fucked up society we live in!!!

        Hatred is bloody well growing by the day!!!

      • Balanced View 29.1.2

        Felix – Surely you’re not against these changes?

        • McFlock 29.1.2.1

          Typical nat policy: nice bumper sticker, shame the real world is different.
           
          Basically, the bumper sticker is if someone is one the run taunting the cops, then they’re going to miss $200p.w..
             
          Problem: if they do want the money, they’ll access it via eftpos or ATM. Kind’ve tells people exactly where you are. If they don’t want the money, it will have no effect (except for their dependents who are not on the run). 
               
          Problem 2: what if the ability to data-match and cut off benefits is greater than the ability or effort to tell a poor person to come in to face some accusations? E.g. tickets, fines or petty complaints, and the person doesn’t have a phone and wasn’t home when someone came knocking? Or can’t read the letters that were sent? 
             
          Problem 3: What about their dependents who do not have warrants but do have bills, and the subject has gone bush? Positive effect = zero, negative “collateral” effect = significant. 
                   
          Stupid policy. But a good bumper sticker for the easily impressed.

          • Balanced View 29.1.2.1.1

            Ridiculous
            It’s madness to build a system on exceptions. It’s your type of thinking that has this country as benefit dependent as we are.
            This is good policy.
            Instead of sticking the knife in just because it has a National signature on it – lets applaud it as a step in the right direction, and then look to propose constructive ideas on how the savings this will generate can be used to help those that ACTUALLY need it.

            • fatty 29.1.2.1.1.1

              “It’s madness to build a system on exceptions.”

              Well said. Its madness to build our welfare system on exceptions. So you must be against this policy and the drug testing policy too?

            • Draco T Bastard 29.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s your type of thinking that has this country as benefit dependent as we are.

              No, that’s the result of the capitalist free market. Unemployment is, quite literally, used to keep wages down. ~6% is the amount supposedly needed to prevent wage driven inflation.

              This is good policy.

              No it’s not as what it will do is increase poverty and crime.

              …and then look to propose constructive ideas on how the savings this will generate can be used to help those that ACTUALLY need it.

              It won’t produce any. In fact, just like all NACT policies, it will cost a tremendous amount and achieve nothing of any good.

              • Balanced View

                Ahh – so we continue to pay criminals to prevent further crime. – Nice one Draco!

                The problem with looking at unemployment numbers is that it is a completely different statistic to what is actually available. It constantly frustrates me that there is a belief amongst some that they should earn more from a job than they get on a benefit. I have a family member that I constantly argue with over this.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ahh – so we continue to pay criminals to prevent further crime.

                  Yep. You don’t reform criminals if you continue kicking them when they’re down – you hardened criminals instead.

                  It constantly frustrates me that there is a belief amongst some that they should earn more from a job than they get on a benefit.

                  That wouldn’t surprise me in the least. You’re obviously the type that thinks people should go to work despite the fact that the job is paying less than what it costs to go to work.

                  • Balanced View

                    “You’re obviously the type that thinks people should go to work despite the fact that the job is paying less than what it costs to go to work.”

                    Yep. Tell me what the future prospects are for somebody on the benefit? Surely it would be better to take a job, learn skills, and then perhaps get a raise or promotion? 11 years ago I took a job earning $23k pa that was essential to me improving my position today.

                    • McFlock

                      ” It constantly frustrates me that there is a belief amongst some that they should earn more from a job than they get on a benefit. ”
                      vs
                      ” 11 years ago I took a job earning $23k pa that was essential to me improving my position today. ”

                      More dissonance.

                      Check out the StatsNZ table builders.

                      In 2001 the median weekly income was $353, or $18k a year.
                      For employed people it was $566, or $29k.
                             
                      The median income for unemployed people was $118 p.w., or $6100p.a.
                               
                      You took employment in the lower half of the payscales, but it was hardly close to the same rate as being unemployed. You could talk with experience if you worked for $6k a year, not 4 times that.

                    • Balanced View

                      Misleading with numbers again Flockie.

                      For a start my two comments that you pasted together below were completely independent to each other. I never suggested I earned less than the benefit – I was merely suggesting that I worked hard in a low paying role to give myself the opportunity to earn a higher wage later on.

                      Secondly – the unemployment benefit in 2001 was $151 per week – and this was excluding supplements like the accommodation supplement. So your cute little $6k pa comment is completely misleading.

                      Nice try though.

                    • McFlock

                      Take it up with stats NZ. Maybe their table builder income stats are wrong. God forbid that maybe people weren’t getting their full entitlement from WINZ.
                          
                      The point was that you  ask more of people today than you were prepared to do yourself. Your anecdote of personal hardship is irrelevant, because it isn’t anywhere near the hardship you would inflict on people who are unemployed today.

                    • lprent

                      In other words you took a job that paid far more than unemployment both then and now, and 11 years later you are still moaning about it. Have you ever looked at what you can actually get from WINZ? Calculate it as a single person in Auckland renting. Maybe 10-11k pa with the best housing tops. Usually more like 8k.

                      I tell people with serious problems getting employed to move out of Auckland and find a provincial city with seasonal labour. They will halve their costs and can wait for the economy to turn (ie for National to get the boot). I used to tell them to train. But the shutting down of the support for night classes, lack of support from WINZ and the eventual costs of student loans makes that too difficult and risky.

                      Perhaps your ‘balance’ should involve doing some work – research something perhaps.

                    • Balanced View

                      lprent
                      I’m not moaning about it at all.
                      I have correctly made the point that working leads to opportunity.

                      And BTW – the WINZ site states that the unemployment benefit would be $10k per year – without any supplements which are also available.

                      Perhaps you could do some research?

                    • lprent []

                      I’m may be out of date. But I suspect it is mostly because the last person I helped with with this was under 18. And was that before or after tax – chopping even the lowest rate of tax tends to eat into it.

                      But in any case it is a bloody far cry from the wealth of 23k 11 years ago – which was the point of my homily….

                      Quite simply you just have no frigging idea of what people live on. Nor do I particularly. But I do wind up dealing with it periodically with family and friends of friends.

                      However I try not to make half arsed assertions – the net is always there to do some quick lookups. In fact about the only time I do make assertions is when I am needling someone who is. They always seem to love it when I mix in some educational sarcasm.

                      And working does lead to opportunity. However you have to be able to get work first. With about 300k effectively unemployed or underemployed there are usually 200 applicants for any kind of unskilled work. It is not quite double what it was in 2001. And proportionally it is something like 3 times the level it wa then amongst 15-25 yo. If you have experience around then why pay for inexperience.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Tell me what the future prospects are for somebody on the benefit?

                      A damn site better better than paying to go to work which is what you’re demanding of them.

            • McFlock 29.1.2.1.1.3

              Um – the proposed policy is being built on exceptions: beneficiaries who have outstanding arrest warrants for more than 30 or 40 days.
                   
              15,000 warrants.
              8k are beneficiaries.
              58% of warrants are sorted before the deadline.
              So around a quarter to a third of warrants will be affected. Warrants that fit very narrow criteria. Exceptions.
                       
              Stupid policy with minimal positive impact but definite negative impact on dependents. Doesn’t seem to “balanced” to call it a step in the right direction.

              • Balanced View

                Nice work in fudging numbers to suit.
                The policy is very specific in targeting the beneficiaries that have outstanding warrants. I’m suggesting that the exceptions are those that fall within this group that may have a genuine case as you’ve outlined in your problem 2 and 3 above.

                • McFlock

                  The numbers were in the article linked to in comment 29. If you weren’t easily pleased by bumper stickers, you might have looked at them.
                     
                  Those “specific” targets are a minority of warrants. Exceptions.
                     
                  Funnily enough, the article did not have any numbers on e.g. how many warrants were intentionally evaded for more than long enough, vs how many simply went to the wrong address, were not in a form that the subject could understand, or otherwise never reached the attention of the subject. That would have been useful to know, how many people living hand to mouth are suddenly going to lose their income because the system is incompetent at telling them they had a warrant outstanding.
                         

                  • Balanced View

                    I’m not suggesting the numbers were wrong – just your use of them was misleading.
                    Why stop there?
                    Total beneficiaries in NZ at 320k – the 3k targeted are truly the exception.
                    or
                    Total population in NZ of 4.5m – the 3k targeted are truly the exception.

                    The fact is that this policy will target those beneficiaries that have outstanding warrants. The few that have genuinely been unable to present themselves through lack of notice or physical impediment will soon have their situation resolved.

                    The bad apples however will get what is deserved.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re the one who said that “It’s madness to build a system on exceptions”. 
                          
                      Now you’re saying “The few that have genuinely been unable to present themselves through lack of notice or physical impediment will soon have their situation resolved”. Do you have any basis for assuming that? Was it outlined in the article? Have national demonstrated brilliance at forestalling or quickly resolving  unexpected policy problems?
                           
                      Nope. You have blind faith and a love of bumper stickers to reassure yourself that families won’t experience severe hardship as a result of basic administrative failures. 
                               
                       

                    • Balanced View

                      Do you have any basis to suggest its the other way like you have?

                      Stop being an apologist for poor citizens that fail to comply with societies rules but expect hand outs regardless.

                    • thatguynz

                      Although digressing do you think that the 1% at the “bottom” echelon of society that this supposedly targets are any more culpable or worse members of society than the “top” 1% that pay next to no tax due to trusts, businesses et al?
                       
                      Sorta makes for an interesting scenario when looked at through a slightly different lens no?

                    • McFlock

                      “Do you have any basis to suggest its the other way like you have?”
                           
                      Yes.
                      National have a track record of fucking up implementation of policy, e.g. asset sales, mining, roads, rail.
                      Bennett is one of their biggest idiots.
                      WINZ used to (no idea if they do now) not differentiate between bureaucratic errors that resulted in accidental overpayments, and fraud by beneficiaries. To the point of charging people even though the beneficiary had repeatedly tried to give the money back.
                      There is no differentiation in the bumper sticker between evading fugitives and bureaucratic error / failed to serve or notify of bench warrant.
                             
                      All of that together does not to me seem to bode well for a collateral-free policy implementation process.

                    • Balanced View

                      Hi Thatguy – to answer your question – yes I do believe that anybody that has an arrest warrant on them is a worse member of society than someone that is law abiding.
                      And my answer here in no way suggests that the current laws allowing for the loopholes the rich use are correct.
                      We should ABSOLUTELY be targeting every NZer and NZ businesses to pay their fair share of tax – especially the top 1% of earners.

                      But just because the rich are still getting away with it doesn’t mean that this policy doesn’t have merit.

                    • Balanced View

                      McFlock – I guess your last comment probably sums up nicely the difference between our opinions.

                      “All of that together does not to me seem to bode well for a collateral-free policy implementation process.”

                      I am happy for there to be a reasonable amount of short term collateral to clear out those abusing the system.

                    • McFlock

                      I am happy for there to be a reasonable amount of short term collateral to clear out those abusing the system.

                      Yep, that’s the difference between us.
                      Because that collateral damage is food for kids, homes for people who did nothing to bring homelessness upon themselves, and failure to attain the essentials of life.
                           
                      All to get 3,000 people.
                      And you know what? If any of those 3,000 had actually done anything serious (more serious than speeding tickets), great effort would have been made by police to arrest them and they would have been snapped up inside a week.
                               
                      The policy you support, and the collateral damage you accept, is to abuse children in the hope of catching a few people who, even if guilty, didn’t do anything particularly bad.
                         
                      Stupid policy. 

                    • Balanced View

                      “A further 1397 people were wanted for failing to appear on violence charges, including various assaults and other acts intended to cause injury, and 152 were wanted on sexual assault charges.”

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828060

                      Flockie – I’m surprised that you are happy to continue paying these offenders each week to be on the run inflicting more pain on society.

                    • McFlock

                      lolz.
                           
                      1: how many of those 1400 have been on the run for 30 days? Oh, the information wasn’t in your link? So the link wasn’t relevant then.
                      2: how many of those are beneficiaries?  Oh, the information wasn’t in your link? So the link wasn’t relevant then. 
                      3: wouldn’t it be cool if the police got an update on the fugitives’ or their aiders and abetters’ locations every benefit pay day? It would give them somewhere to look, down to the ATM. Oh, that would be too sensible? We probably wouldn’t want to let effective criminal pursuit get in the way of poorly-considered vindictiveness.
                            
                      It’s late, fair enough. But that was a stupidly irrelevant link. You’re grasping or delusional. See you tomorrow.

                    • lprent

                      Ah. Your ignorance and dumb innocence is showing.

                      Usually the ones who have been unable to present themselves are the ones who get screwed over the most. Typically they seem to get picked up on a Friday, sometimes get stashed in cells over the whole weekend, and get absolutely no useful documentation before they hit court on the first sitting day. Most of the time they find out who made the accusation minutes before going into court.

                      Frequently they will get remanded at the court because they don’t return to court (because someone had their address that was current when they dealt with them but they moved). They will often be lucky to get bail unless someone is willing to organize it for them. That often depends simply on who they can get hold of (which is where I usually get called).

                      Most of the time the evidence and detail of the charge is in another city. More often than not whatever the issue is, it turns out to be a screwup in the charge. And of course the worst organisation for doing this is WINZ. They routinely overpay, refuse to fix it (or forget that they have been repaid), discover it when they audit years later, and then lay charges.

                      So by the time it gets “cleared up”, they have probably spent more than a few days in jail, quite a few days in court in status hearings while the file regarding the warrants is resurrected and dusted off and someone found who is prepared to say that the picture of the person in the car was male while the person charged was female… Or that while the warrant has been out for 5 years, but in fact it was a cockup in accounting by WINZ because the money was paid back 6 years ago.

                      Don’t believe me. Ask any duty lawyers at a busy district court. They see them all of the time. Or talk to police. They do the arresting for the court because they are required to do it even when they know that the warrant is likely to be bogus, but they certainly don’t like it. Or just ask here. There are many who have dealt with this stuff before professionally…

                      But do some research rather than pulling fairy tales out of your arse – it really just makes you look like a bit of a dork to be so far out of touch with the way society actually operates. At least it does to me and several others I have noted starting to try to educate you.

                      I’d suggest doing a expedition to your local social work office – the local MP’s electorate office staff. They see the ones that aren’t easy and are snafu’ed to classic proportions. But i’d suggest a Labour MP. The National ones usually aren’t that interested at tht end of the job from what I see from pople migrating across electorates.

                      The most effective thing that could be done is to force the person making the charge to have to reapply every 6 months to stop the arrest warrant going stale. At present the damn things are never reviewed by the people making the accusations or by the police or court. Frequently you could have things happen like paying a fine but having the warrant still valid. Then be arrested for not paying the fine on a extant warrant. They badly need expiry dates.

        • felix 29.1.2.2

          Felix – Surely you’re not against these changes?

          Why yes I am! Do you know why? Because it will achieve nothing apart from the following:

          1) Causing further hardship to the vast majority of those with warrants i.e. people with outstanding traffic fines, many of whom will have no idea there has been a warrant issued.

          2) Driving the handful of serious offenders with warrants further underground and potentially making them more dangerous, none of whom are going to turn themselves in anyway.

          3) Giving idiots like you a tickle.

          4) Getting John Key’s massive fail out of the headlines for a few days.

          All counterproductive to a better society. Nothing positive achieved. An entirely cynical move by Bennett for the entertainment of fools and bastards.

          • Balanced View 29.1.2.2.1

            1) So lets fix the “problem” you believe there is of warrant issuing – rather than being defined by it.
            2) So you want to pay the criminals to stop them committing more crime. Terrible idea.
            3) I like to be tickled
            4) Good point – let’s not do anything productive so we can concentrate on something negative

            • Colonial Viper 29.1.2.2.1.1

              I love how the right wing focuses all its time distracting attention on to a few hundred people tops.

              • Balanced View

                And I love how everyone has to be defined as left or right and neither side will ever admit that the other does anything positive – no matter how much sense it makes

                • Colonial Viper

                  As I said, you’re just distracting attention on to a tiny group of people.

                  • Balanced View

                    A tiny group of violent and sexual offenders that you want the state to continue paying money towards every week.

                    • McFlock

                      Of course, paying money into their bank account makes it easier to catch members of that tiny group. Which is a good thing.

                    • felix

                      Yes McF that is a good thing. But it’s not much of a slogan so the slow kids will never get it.

                      And notice how no-one wants to answer the question of what the policy will actually achieve?

                      Even BV isn’t quite stupid enough to say that these dangerous violent crims (who tend to be pretty good at making money) are going to volunteer for a long prison sentence for the sake of the pittance of the dole.

    • Draco T Bastard 29.2

      Wow, C73 just proved he’s as intelligent as Fisiani, i.e, as thick two short planks.

  25. Beryl Streep 31

    Have a watch of this… http://goo.gl/BDLwT

    I’m pretty sure the line “1981 – Everyone knew what side they were on” is a subtle dig at the PM. Good on them.

    Nowadays as a business owner, I tend to lean to the right. But as a 10 year old in ’81 I knew which side I was on. As the child of mixed-race parents I was definitely against the tour. Key’s nonchalant responses to questions about his views on the tour (when he was 20) is something that sticks in my craw.

    • Carol 31.1

      Thanks for the link, Beryl.

      An NZ Herald ad making a subtle dig at Key like that? Hmmmm. I think, unlikely. NZ Herald top management have had one long JK love-fest.

      More likely that the NZ Herald promo people didn’t realise the irony in their construction of NZ identity for the Herald bosses. And the bosses must have OKed the ad.

  26. xtasy 32

    Sorry to bother, but this (with subtitles) seems to be the hottest hits of the emerging markets, somehow. Really bizarrre, but a bloody good alternative to Hollywoood and Bollywood dumb down wood, I suppose:

  27. xtasy 33

    as much as Michel Telo as a genious Brasilian musician excites and convinces me, there is a “deficiency” of sorts. And that appears to be beyond repair, he may get young kids sing his songs, but he has to answer, where is YOUR loyalty? That is in a social and collective sense:

    So I will stick with the Andean revolution down in South America, to be more faithful of sorts. Nevertheless, never neglect the good music from all quarters!

  28. xtasy 34

    Obrigador only lost the last Mexican elections to mass media manipulation and fraud!

    Mexico could well be another socialist country setting an example against the imperial dominator up north by now, had it not been for media manipulation. We have the same shit in NZ by the way!

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