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Open mike 05/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 5th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

63 comments on “Open mike 05/11/2010 ”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    CV made the point

    Open mike 04/11/2010

    National play the majority off against minority interests, classic fascism.

    The neo-liberal vision of no regulation is essentially fascism since it
    plays to the strength of the powerful, and insures they won’t get any oversight
    or impediment to there operations.

    National push urgency, like fascists, to avoid explanations and play on
    individuals willingness to accept change that does not effect them,
    without any talk about the rights, or costs, or choice.

    If someone wants to smoke then surely they will fine a way, a black
    market in tobacco will arise, so the democratic thing to do would be to
    raise the cost of tobacco to reflect the damage to people, to kids who
    see smoking as acceptable, and make getting tobacco harder to do.
    So limit sales to ‘tobacco’ only stores, then make everyone who
    buys tobacco show id, then if they are a regular have them acknowledge
    they know they will not get a organ donation, that they will be charged
    on top of their health cover out of pocket expenses, etc. That’s
    the democractic way, clearly cite why a practice is wrong by costing
    it and making it harder to do.

    National find it easy to do it the fascist way, and so create more crime,
    criminalize smokers, and making it harder for health providers to treat.
    I mean think about it in 2025 a doctor asks a patient if they smoke, they’re
    told no, its illegal! A smoker can then get a organ donation that they would not
    get a few months eariler. You cannot criminalize bad behaviour, you can
    however frustrate it and make it more expensive.

    • KJT 1.1

      The neo-lib vision is no regulation for the very rich. Big business and the like are allowed to do what they want. For everyone else it is surveillance act, restrictions on the right to strike or act collectively and increased powers for police.
      The so called “free marketers” want regulation for everyone except themselves.

      • ZeeBop 1.1.1

        Arguing no regulation doesn’t mean delivering, just as Hitler promise heaps, much he was never
        going to be able to deliver. Fascists are essentially politicians, whether they ally with the military,
        the industrial complex, or media mogals, all depends on the macro economic environment.
        Arguably, the Nazi’s came to power off the glut of oil – cheap high dense fuel colliding with
        a hundred years of industrial revolution. Nazi’s major threat was communism, hence the
        slant to ‘socialism’, but really Hitler would have done anything and did, to gain and retain power,
        allying with big industry.

        No, National are not about to start up concentration camps, but their methods are not dissimilar
        to those used by the power hungry. The shutout debate, their fawns in the press self-censure, and
        parliament is urged to do the right thing – under ugency.

        No what’s sad is these fascists are also a product of their times, but the times are against
        fascism. There is no Thatcher waiting to loosen finance, there are no German people to
        build armies and man them, there is a massive contraction and collapse of the old high
        dense fuel glut – middle east oil.

        Look every creed has its extremist nutters who use the faith, fit the fiction to the facts,
        and demand if you don’t do as they say you’re look a fool. They won’t argue, cite,
        debate, they damn sure and know what’s right is right, e.g. Tolley national standards.
        The problem is the left, the opposition, the counter argument, that we should get
        in the press we aren’t. The counter argument is quite simple, stop digging, about
        turn, oil demand is outstripping supply and soon will start into decline, now what
        are you going to do about that? Silence.

        Key – nothing. Goff – maybe a capital gains tax.

  2. Bored 2

    Well said ZeeBop, smoking is just another filthy disgusting habit like drinking tea except it is bad for your health. To ban it is merely to drive it underground, which leaves me to wonder how many of the proponents could tell you anything about Prohibition, Al Capone etc.

    Your deconstruct of neo liberalist power and its similarity with fascism will draw some opprobrium, not because it is not accurate but because there is also a “prohibition” against using the “F” word. It is not “polite”. You could use “Corporatist instead”, I personally think Fascist more accurate.

    That the politicians dont see themselves as acting like fascists, and would be offended to be compared to fascists also demonstrates their profound ignorance of knowledge of the recent past.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      The reason people object to the f word being thrown around it is because it has a meaning.

      It’s meaning is slippery enough though without using for every damn thing we don’t like.

      Is fasc1sm Authoritarian? You betcha. But that’s just a necessary condition, it’s not sufficient. We can’t say ‘authoritarian therefore fasc1st’.

      the neolibs are neolibs. They don’t have much respect for democracy, but they do have a lot of respect for individual rights, within their own framework. That is absolutely not a fasc1st approach.

      Likewise, Corporatism/= fascism. Mussolini said that his movement was corporatist, but again, necessary but not sufficient. H1tler said his movement was socialist remember. But he redefined socialist to do so.

      Corporatism does not mean ‘business running the govt’ or ‘governing in the interests of business’ or anything like that.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism

      If a govt acts solely in the interests of business elites, through a belief that what is good for business is good for the state, or whatever other reason, that is not corporatist. It’s plutocratic, which is closer to feudalism, than it is to fasc1sm.

      This is also good, as an overview. I tend to think Paxton captures the err, essence, the best though…

      http://www.anesi.com/Fascism-TheUltimateDefinition.htm

      • Bored 2.1.1

        Nice deconstruct PB, quite instructive if you are looking for strict definitions. I have always struggled with the definitions with regard to fascism simply because the essence of it is too broad and contains so many contradictions that precise definitions become very hard. The only bit which seems a total commonality is the application of power to get results, with a total disregard for democratic as opposed to the property rights of the ruling corporate. Its basically, “we want X and f**k you, we will walk over the top of you to get it”.

        And you are right, I have never regarded corporatism as being the same as “corporations” in the business sense, more power blocks representing interest groups. Having said that the oligarchic corporate businesses to my mind certainly act in a fascist manner.

        • prism 2.1.1.1

          Years ago when I was in Britain and the msm produced sunday magazines that contained thoughtful stuff, I got one on how Fiat and other Italian notable companies coped with fascism. They were pretty friendly with Il Duce. And they are still around.

          anti-spam – examples

  3. Latest Roy Morgan poll, National down 2 to 50.5%, Labour steady at 33%.

    • The Voice of Reason 3.1

      Interesting that Winston maintains a solid 2.5% for the third month in a row, despite not having done anything much during the polling period. Johnny No Mates would still win outright on these numbers, but not by much, with Lab/Greens holding onto a combined low forties for 3 months now. An election result only 3 points higher, or with NZ First back, would see Phil Goff having a crack at forming a government.

      And here’s Nationals real problem:

      “The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has fallen 11.5 points to 125 with 55% (down 5.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 30% (up 6%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’ This is the lowest Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating since the 2008 New Zealand Election — nearly two years ago.”

  4. Logie97 4

    Guardians of our Foreign policy.

    First John Key speaks for the nation, possessing some electoral authority, but with obviously no notion or knowledge or philosophy of things outside his around-the-barbecue chats with his mates

    But then who follows him? McCully. Who takes this man seriously?
    Weasel with weasel words (bumbling at that). And he is our Foreign Affairs minister? WTF?

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Re: a certainm talking point that has been flosting around the place…

    NOT TAX BREAKS

    Media covering the Hobbit fiasco commonly described taxpayer incentives to Hollywood as “tax breaks” or “tax rebates”.

    In fact, the Large Budget Screen Production Grant is a 15 per cent direct rebate on money spent here and not linked to the tax system.

    One film industry source was sceptical about the payback to New Zealand taxpayers from the enlarged production grant available to Warner Bros. Based on the production spend and additional money allocated, the source said Warner might be expected to receive roughly $100 million.

    Estimates on the value of the Hobbit to New Zealand’s economy are difficult to assess. But on the rather generous estimate that the two movies will create the equivalent of 1000 full-time jobs for three years, those jobs would cost New Zealand $100,000 each to subsidise. That figure excludes the economic impact from activity created by the production and the intangible impacts on tourism.

    Source: Granny herald’s ‘the business’ liftout. which they don’t seem to put online, natch

    • lprent 6.1

      Yeah, she labored long and hard to give me babysitting… 😈 The gruncle emerges.

      I’ll go and observe the latest addition this evening… But apparently both are in good knick

    • BLiP 6.2

      Congratulations, Rocky.

      My mum can never understand why she is expected to buy us birthday presents when she was the one that did all the work. It wasn’t until I witnessed a birth that I realised she has got a very good point.

  6. BLiP 7

    I urge everyone to go ahead with a formal complaint to the BSA against TVNZ in relation to the Paul Henry incident.

    I got my unsigned, pro forma, “we’re so sorry” from TVNZ on 18/10/10, but I am unconvinced that the management really get it. They were warned and warned about Henry yet persisted in seeking synergy between lowering standards and maximising profit. If my boss started receiving written complaints from customers, you can bet there would be a dictate to change my behaviour. If I continued on, still getting complaints and then so pissed off the customer base that thousands sent written complaints while tens of thousands set up anti-BLiP Facebook pages – jeeze – never mind the opportunity to resign, I’d be frog marched to the factory gates and booted up the arse on the way out!.

    I am highly dubious about the TVNZ complaint investigation process itself. I don’t believe for a minute that there was any sort of formal Complaint Committee Meeting, more likely, the issue was handed over to the PR department for managing. I wrote two complaints. On day one, I complained about Henry’s racist abuse of the Indian diplomat and, on day two, I complained about his racist abuse of Satch. Yet only one complaint was formally acknowledged, and only one complaint was formally responded to with the “we’re so sorry” email. Further confirming my view the matter was rushed is the fact that I received a separate email addressed to someone I’d never heard of. I did return it but I wonder if intended recipient ever received their “we’re so sorry” fob-off.

    And then there’s the mendacity. The only honesty displayed by TVNZ came from that shocking yet spontaneous comment: “oh, get over yourself, Henry’s only saying what we all think but are too scared to say ourselves”. The idea that the subsequent and supposedly internal follow up to that initial comment was “leaked” is laughable. Meanwhile, TVNZ said they had received “a few hundred”, then “four hundred” complaints – finally acknowledging 1500 hundred complaints – what’s the bet there were actually thousands of complaints and its management-by-minimising PR spin going on? Then there was news that TVNZ was seeking an extension to the 20-days allowed for responding. That story died pretty quick and, just ten days later, as far as TVNZ was concerned, the issue had been dealt with. Overall, I get the feeling they are trying to just make it all go away.

    Nah, not good enough. Not good enough by far. Paul Henry’s enablers have, thus far, escaped both scrutiny and penalty. Just like our Prime Minister, when coming face-to-face with hateful, pig-ignorant blatant racism, TVNZ are attempting the John-Key-Patented “Giggle & Wriggle”™.

    Don’t let them get away with it.

    • Anne 7.1

      Thanks for that info. BLiP. I’m currently waiting on a decision re-my formal complaint (sent in letter form) about Paul Holmes’ disgraceful performance on Q&A, when interviewing Helen Kelly over The Hobbit debacle. Received an acknowledgement – no name given and signature illegible. Backs up your suspicion that the Complaints Committee is a euphemism for the PR department. Whatever, I’m expecting a fob-off, and will consider taking the matter up with the BSA.

      In my view, Holmes’ transgressions are just as bad as Henry’s – albeit in a different format. It’s almost as if both seem to think their friendship with John Key gives them licence to say what they like to whomsoever they like.

  7. freedom 8

    Smile and D’oh goes on about closing the gap, but with plans like this across the ditch, i would rather the gap remained please, in fact can we maybe widen it a bit?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      In a resource constrained world, which is what we live in, there happen to be limits. We can’t continue to live outside those limits the way we presently do. That article is just trying to say that we can because of “human nature”.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        of course there are limits which is why sustainable solutions are being presented left right and center but the powers that be are not interested and prefer to push the GM single generation seeds and have the worst industrial polluters excused from any sort of sustainability programmes so the free market can continue to exploit the last vestige of the precious dwindling resources.

        also Draco, your comment above makes no sense, please explain
        –how is the article saying we can live outside of Earth’s limited resources because of ‘human nature’ ???–

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          Because the article focuses on a hypothetical fat family that spends more than it has. The argument being that they spend more than they have because of human nature.

          But it’s the humans who must then adapt to the system, and not the other way around.

          He doesn’t use the words but it’s what he’s saying. The reality is that humans have adapt to the Earth’s limits. We’ve managed not to do so far but that is coming to an end as Peak Oil hits. There are 6.7b people on the world and yet it’s natural carrying capacity seems to be between 500m and 1000m.

          Me: No, but they’ve done the wrong thing. That’s why they are fat and poor. They’ve done the wrong thing, they’ve run out of their carbon credits. What are you going to do to them then, when the food’s too expensive to buy?

          Interestingly enough here he seems to be arguing that unhealthy foods shouldn’t be priced off the market which is actually what the scheme would do. Set the limits and then you can have what’s on the market within those limits.

  8. joe90 9

    George W. Bush’s soon-to-be-released memoir reveals that he personally approved the use of waterboarding. Prick.

    In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right” and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to a someone close to Bush who has read the book.

    Bush previously had acknowledged endorsing what he described as the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation techniques – a term meant to encompass irregular, coercive methods – after Justice Department officials and other top aides assured him they were legal. “I was a big supporter of waterboarding,” Vice President Richard B. Cheney acknowledged in a television interview in February.

    The Justice Department later repudiated some of the underlying legal analysis for the CIA effort. But Bush told an interviewer a week before leaving the White House that “I firmly reject the word ‘torture,’ ” and he reiterates that view in the book.

  9. For those who might need a virtual mini-break, I offer

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.com/2010/11/surfing-video-get-ready-for-summer.html

    ahhhh – it’s great to remember good times to come

  10. Carol 11

    eday is a great idea. Nick Smith is saying tomorrow’s eday might be the last one before user pays sets in, so take the opportunity for free delivery of stuff to the eday centres. But eday this and last year is always on a Saturday during my working hours. Why do they assume no-one works on Saturdays?

  11. Blue Boy 12

    John Key must be doing something right I see we jumped to No 3 in the world for best places to live from No 20 last year.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/4311445/New-Zealand-one-of-top-three-places-to-live-report

    • Rosy 12.1

      You missed this bit…

      ” But the report’s lead author Jeni Klugram warned not to compare the latest index to previous years because different indicators and calculations have been used.

      The 2010 index charts national ranking changes over five-year intervals, rather than on a year-to-year basis.

      “Annual changes in national HDI rankings don’t tell us much about the reality of development, which is inherently a long-term process,” she said”.

    • ianmac 12.2

      Might be that other countries have deteriorated?

  12. john 13

    Report from Australia’s Green Left: Summer North Pole Arctic Ice has been successfully circumnavigated in a 4 month time span! This is a first and illustrates how the area continues to melt back due to climate change: Refer link:

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45871

    “The crew of one of the ships, the Norwegian-based Northern Passage, said in an October 14 statement that the record-breaking voyage gave “a clear indication that climate change affects the Arctic”. ”
    “100 years ago, a circumnavigation [of the North Pole] would have taken six years.””

    • Bored 13.1

      Thats really significant news John, pity that most of us blogges are more focused on local political minutae and we miss the life and death issues. Or maybe its so big and brutal it gets overlooked as too difficult to comprehend, therefore best left well alone. Either way its going to get us.

  13. Croc 14

    Wow. According to John Key, Hillary is the President. Perhaps the reason he thought he has such close relations with the President?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Hillary-Clinton-full-press-conference/tabid/309/articleID/184764/Default.aspx

  14. joe90 15

    Well, that didn’t take long, 87 year old Ralph Hall has been appointed to lead the science panel as the Republicans plan to attack the EPA and climate scientists.

    And surprise surprise, donations to Hall.

    btw, It would be nice to know where our lot get their money from too. Here’s a suggestion.

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    Here’s an interesting graphic:

    A forbes mag jobby of who their billionaires donate to. On the conservative side one of the big bubbles is “american crossroads” which lists as ‘non partisan’. It’s a Karl Rove laundry, as it happens.

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    NRT: National’s plan for growth: More cows

    So, National’s plan for growth is to do the same thing we’ve always done, only more of it and dirtier. Its exactly the sort of plan I’d expect from narrow-minded, jealous farmers. But it won’t see us catch Australia anytime soon. On their core promise, National has no real plan to deliver.

    It will see our tourism industry destroyed though and we can certainly kiss “Clean & Green” goodbye. No way it’s sustainable either – not with oil demand about to increase far beyond oil supply and the environmental destruction that goes with that much dairying.

    /shrug

    It appears that National are still living in the 19th century.

  17. Pascal's bookie 18

    Here’s the thing see, and like the man sez, not wanting to get on the self hating white man thing, but shit…

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/04/stuff-white-people-like/

    if the US electorate voted like white people vote…

  18. Logie97 19

    The Kahui tragedy trundles on and the integrity of any evidence that was given in the initial trials appears to be becoming lessened with each day.

    Time has clouded the memories but around the time of what was being orchestrated as a spate of infant tragedies, didn’t MPs step into one of them to try to mediate. The police were kept at arms length for an initial period while the MPs did their best to sort things.

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    oil: US$87
    exchange rate: NZ$1= US$0.794

    Looks like the US’s Magic Printing Press is working overtime.

  20. Vicky32 21

    I was just listening to an item on Clive about sunscreens, when the phrase “are more relaxed” sprang out at me.
    It’s entered the TV reporter lexicon then…

    • ianmac 21.1

      I have started watching Campbell Live again. He has said that the program should have more stronger interviews, and there have been some recently. Looking up do you think?

  21. Anne 22

    Prefer Campbell Live to Close-Up, but watched the Hillary Clinton interview tonight. What an articulate and consummate professional. She puts our ‘mumble -bumble’ PM to shame! Does her homework too. Very impressive.

  22. Draco T Bastard 23

    The End of Free-Trade Globalization

    Obama repeated the message before a Labor Day audience in Milwaukee, saying, “I don’t want to see solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars made in China. I want them made right here in the United States of America.”

    Our government needs to be saying the same thing but, as I’ve pointed out before, modern productivity is so high that any country can produce more than what it needs which means that if every country does so then the entire world will be massively over supplied goods.

    We, and every other country as well, cannot export our way to wealth any more. It won’t work due to massive over supply and, more importantly, it also won’t work to resource constraints. Instead of growing the economy we need to shrink it until it fits within the renewable resource base.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      We, and every other country as well, cannot export our way to wealth any more. It won’t work due to massive over supply and, more importantly, it also won’t work to resource constraints. Instead of growing the economy we need to shrink it until it fits within the renewable resource base.

      Its late so I won’t discuss your points in detail, save to say that they are important and eventually we will have to transition in the direction you suggest. HOWEVER exports are today a key part of our economy and high value high tech exports must be an even more important of our economy in the near future (10 years).

      NZ will not be going back to a self sufficiency subsistency based agrarian economy any time soon. Our social fabric, our expectations of lifestyle and in general, our individual psyches, are not prepared for it.

      Plus, there are serious real economy problems associated with the transitions you suggest.

      You want to shrink the economy? When you do that, how are you going to stop an additional 100,000 or 200,000 NZ’ers joining the dole queues? And if you cannot stop them joining the dole queues, how is the Government going to fund those benefits? And the loss of internal aggregate demand from our economy? I am not saying that these are unsurmountable problems, but I am saying that I cannot – at this stage – see a way that it can be done without a huge social dislocation akin to the ‘cultural revolution’.

      All in all, my view is that if we want to fund the social services and civil infrastructure that we think our people deserve, we will need to focus as a country on the real economy, and how to grow it in a sustainable and responsible manner, so that we can generate the high paying and interesting jobs that we would like to see available to every member of the NZ workforce.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.1.1

        NZ will not be going back to a self sufficiency subsistency based agrarian economy any time soon.

        Where did I say to go back to an agrarian model? If fact I’ve been quite vocal about building up high tech industries.

        You want to shrink the economy?

        Yes, down to the point that we only produce what we need within the constraints of the renewable resource base. We really can’t have a sustainable economy if it uses more than that.

        When you do that, how are you going to stop an additional 100,000 or 200,000 NZ’ers joining the dole queues?

        You’re still working with the false assumption that people have to work 40+ hours/week. Modern productivity is so high that we could probably have people working 10 or 20 hours per week and still maintain the lifestyle that we have today.

        we will need to focus as a country on the real economy, and how to grow it in a sustainable and responsible manner,

        We can’t grow it at all – we’re already using more of the environment than is sustainable. We have to develop it and change it to suit our needs which means more R&D, more high tech and decreasing the number of farms.

    • M 23.2

      ‘The best adaption is to play it as it lays, while practicing the virtues that have always stood people in good stead in weird times, such as frugality and cooperation, while cultivating extreme flexibility. It might be a good time to hone your gardening skills and it is surely a good idea to downscale your lifestyle in order to save money and acclimate yourself to a low-energy lifestyle, but you might have to hold on to your car for a little while longer if your job is located 20 miles from a bus line, and you might not have the physical strength and stamina to farm. It is surely no time for anyone with a solid job and minimal savings to head for the hills. It might not exactly make sense to ignore the skills you need to make a decent living now in order to learn old skills for which there is not yet a need.’

      http://kunstler.com/blog/2010/10/now-what.html

  23. M 24

    Maybe get down to a three or four day week or a five or six hour day which for a lot of people would take some getting used to, although as economies around the globe totter and fall and big ag also stumbles people will be glad of the extra time to tend home gardens.

    Eventually the bs economic classlessness that has been imprinted in the public’s mind will be seen by the public for what it is – a sham used to ram through a set of conditions or thinly disguised cons to ensnare the working class. When the workers beliefs inculcated by the top dogs don’t pan out then the workers feel guilty for being useless or whatever the flavour of the week excuse is promoted by vested interests.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      The issue is that a lot of NZ households today cannot survive on less than two incomes. We are already a low income economy.

      Without having two incomes i.e. up to 10 days worth of paid work done per week per household, the household will not manage to get the $50K or $60K income p.a. that they need to survive.

      You cut that10 days worth of paid work back to 8 days: that $60K p.a. household income falls to $48K p.a.

      That’s a $1000 per month before tax budgetary shortfall. A lot of families and a lot of home mortgage holders will find it difficult to survive that change. We have all been put on the treadmill.

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        Universal Income & the Minimum Wage

        One of the main reasons why I’m supportive of the universal income is that it makes it very clear that the economy needs to support everyone in the country. We could cut the hours people work and know that they wouldn’t be dumped into poverty.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago