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Open mike 06/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 6th, 2015 - 20 comments
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20 comments on “Open mike 06/06/2015 ”

  1. Tracey 1

    IF the reports of the poor pay of the Chinese engineers working in NZ on removing asbestos for kiwirail are true, isn’t it interesting that the vile, demon-inducing unions paid for food to boost their condition (even though these chinese workers were “taking” work from their members), while the employer did, well, did nothing.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.1

      This country is turning into an international embarrassment.

      • adam 1.1.1

        What do you mean turning?

        Some of the international boards are back to sad, sad sheep jokes about us – and what we do with our sheep for the Saudis… Thanks Murray, any chance you could get, present?

        Maybe that’s what the should do in question time all week – Ask if Murray is present?

        Shame it’s not spring – or we could send lambs tails to Murray. About 3 million or is it 5 million…I lost count.

    • Clashman 1.2

      That’s one of my predictions re TPPA.
      Foreign workers will not be covered by NZ employment law while working here.
      You know what happens next.

      • tracey 1.2.1

        Looks like it may already be in the China FTA.

        About $4nzd per hour these engineers were allegedly being paid… hence the Chinese tender for the rail cars was cheaper than the NZ tender.

  2. Colonial Rawshark 2

    The Era of Breakdown

    The Archdruid blasts the state of modern medical science and economic funding decisions in general:

    The costs imposed by these actions are real, and they fall on all other participants in science and the economy respectively. Scientists these days, especially but not only in such blatantly corrupt fields as pharmaceutical research, face a lose-lose choice between basing their own investigations on invalid studies, on the one hand, or having to distrust any experimental results they don’t replicate themselves, on the other. Meanwhile the consumers of the products of scientific research—yes, that would be all of us—have to contend with the fact that we have no way of knowing whether any given claim about the result of research is the product of valid science or not. Similarly, the federal subsidies that direct investment toward politically savvy entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, and politically well-connected banks such as Goldman Sachs, and away from less parasitic and more productive options distort the entire economic system by preventing the normal workings of the market from weeding out nonviable projects and firms, and rewarding the more viable ones.


    • Bill 2.1


      …distort the entire economic system by preventing the normal workings of the market…

      What he criticises as distorting the market is the market. The market (profit motive and the behaviours it encourages) is precisely the distortion of innovation and trade that rewards and favours the powerful and the monied.

    • Paul 2.2

      Always interesting, this blog the Archdruid Report.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      This is business as usual in today’s America. An article from 2013 pointed out, along the same lines, that the profits made by the five largest US banks were almost exactly equal to the amount of taxpayer money those same five banks got from the government. Like Elon Musk, the banks in question have figured out where the money is, and have gone after it with their usual verve; the revolving door that allows men in suits to shuttle back and forth between those same banks and the financial end of the US government doesn’t exactly hinder that process. It’s lucrative, it’s legal, and the mere fact that it’s bankrupting the real economy of goods and services in order to further enrich an already glutted minority of kleptocrats is nothing anyone in the citadels of power worries about.

      That’s the real issue. He, like many, believe that it used to be different but it never has been. The rich have been made rich by the actions of government which is populated by the rich. This doesn’t just apply to the US but every nation and it must do because all wealth flows from society. Capitalism is nothing but theft of the commons to enrich a few.

  3. weka 3

    Good set of photos from the Dunedin floods,


    Clare Curran commenting about the numbers of people with flooded houses going into the winter.

    Many homes experienced serious flooding and city council staff have so far made more than 150 housing inspections.

    Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said reports of the number of flood-damaged houses were likely to rise as people returned to their homes this weekend.

    She said she was particularly worried about how people will cope in those houses through winter.

    “My biggest fear is really the cold, we’re getting into winter and the wetness – the fact that their houses won’t dry out particularly under the floor…and that means structural issues.”

    Ms Curran said she had visited homes where entire floors would need to be ripped up.

    Dunedin City Council’s recovery manager Ruth Stokes said the recovery centre in King Edward St will be open from 10am until 4pm to co-ordinate volunteers.

    She said anyone wanting to help should come to the centre.

    Teams of volunteers had been visiting properties in South Dunedin, offering help where needed.

    Council roading workers had also been busy trying to clear roads from mud and debris.

    Roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said there were still a number of slips and washouts, particularly on the Otago Peninsula, and drivers were being urged to take care.

    • Sans Cle 4.1

      There is so much cronyism in this country….that it no longer surprises….what is surprising is that the country at large doesn’t seem to care.

  4. Draco T Bastard 5

    Urban Transportation Will Go All-Electric Sooner Than You Think

    Public Transit Is a Killer App in People Moving

    A public transit system is the cheapest way, per mile, to get from A to B. No matter how many miles you drive per year, if public transit is an option, it is cheaper than owning a car, car-sharing, or ridesharing.

    Within public transportation, buses are extraordinarily efficient versus other options. The New York Times recently noted how much money governments spend on light rail as opposed to improving and marketing existing bus systems. A transit bus line is much cheaper than light rail to build, and offers unparalleled flexibility. Add electric to the mix, and that transit bus line is also half as expensive to run.

    The two points that that article fails to understand is that we’ve had both electric buses and public transport longer than we’ve had personal cars. What we’ve seen over the last 100 years or so is the move away from efficient public transport to the inefficient private vehicle and now we’re going back to efficient public transport.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    And this looks interesting as well:

    IT MIGHT look like an amputated rat forelimb, but the photo above is of something much more exciting: the limb has been grown in the lab from living cells. It may go down in history as the first step to creating real, biologically functional limbs for amputees.

    A few years off yet but certainly showing some promise.

  6. Chooky 7

    ‘FIFA coup?’


    “The rise and fall of Sepp Blatter, or the blood-sport known as Fifa politicking? Fans call football ‘The Beautiful Game,’ but behind the scenes it is a ruthless gambit for geopolitical advantage and mega-profits – and corruption. Is this the reason why the FBI has got involved?”

    CrossTalking with Bruce Zagaris, Neil Clark, and Sukant Chandan.

  7. greywarshark 8

    Australian Border Force Act 2015 begins July – prevents any criticism of Australian refugee camps. The flagrant inhumanity and vile conditions at camps under Australian control, revealed to the public could mean up to 2 years jail and I don’t know about a fine also. What is the nickname of each Australian Right-Wing Prime Minister, presently of the coalition of National and Liberal Parties?

    (Interesting on Italy and Mussolini – http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/24/books/after-mussolini.html)

  8. greywarshark 9

    Transportblog report on bike friendly cities around the world.
    [Most cities were] bicycle friendly before planners and engineers started to change the paradigm and plan for cars and relegate bicycle users, pedestrians and public transport users to third class citizens.

    Now the trend is to relegate pedestrians to fourth class citizens, the powerless who lack protection from casual speedsters on their once-safe ‘walkways’ where a peaceful, healthy walk is no longer possible instead a series of shocks as people speed past, or bicycle bells warning mean step aside. Soon it will be de rigeur to have hooters and horns as warning devices. And then there are physical assaults by accident, design or wilful neglect.

  9. Does anyone know whether there is a list of people who have changed their name by deed poll? Can we find out whether someone has changed their name, or is that private? Have had a look on DIA site, but nothing jumped out at me, to answer this qn.

  10. Jo Bloggs 11

    GreyWar…when are politicians going to learn that the Net allows anyone who really want’s to the circumvent their trivial posturing? Anyone who wants to be rude about the camps can just buy a throwaway sim card pay a few dollars for data and let rip on YouTube or whatever.
    Just as the NZ polys don’t want to think about voluntary euthanasia when the means to DIY (completely untraceable post-mortem) are available from your local hardware store and supermarket.

  11. Ergo Robertina 12


    Guardian long read – behind the scenes of labour’s election campaign.
    A nice piece of post-mortem reporting we don’t get in NZ. I suspect if we did it might reveal a campaign even more reminiscent of an episode of The Thick of It.
    There is a stark similarity between UK and NZ Labour in respect of both riding out the high point of neoliberal certainty before a post-defeat, post-crash identity crisis. The Guardian piece shows the internal realities of that playing out amid the absurdities and prat-falls of an election campaign.

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