Open mike 08/04/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 8th, 2013 - 87 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

87 comments on “Open mike 08/04/2013”

  1. John Key overnight displayed his stunning diplomacy credentials by saying while in China, North Korea’s only remaining ally, that New Zealand has a long and proud history of coming to the support of South Korea and taken to the extreme, and without interventions and resolutions to the issues, war is of course possible.

    I am sure that such an approach is the best one to take to North Korea.

    The only word I can think of to describe Key is “Knucklenead”.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/132213/backtrack-by-pm-on-korea

    • tc 1.1

      C’mon mickey, Sideshow John’s got his nose so far up the USA’s arse he farts in tandem with them, any diplomacy that occurs is coincidence.

    • The Al1en 1.2

      “The only word I can think of to describe Key is “Knucklenead”.”

      Bless, drop down to the gutter and I’ll teach you some corkers 😆

  2. geoff 2

    JK: (petulant) hmph, not getting my way with the media anymore, ill show them, have them sent to nth Korea as war correspondents, heh.

    • Jackal 2.1

      If Key believes so much in war as a solution, he should send his own kids.

      • TheContrarian 2.1.1

        New Zealand doesn’t have conscription or a draft so his kids would have to volunteer on their own.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.2

        + 1

        I don’t like war but I believe in conscription because it puts everyone’s son in harm’s way.

        After Vietnam the USA ended conscription for that reason. Now only the poor are grunts.

        The Swiss have universal military service and haven’t been in a war since Napoleon invaded them in 1812 (200 years).

  3. tc 3

    Listened to 15min’ of radio rantland’s Hoskings this morning. Seriously unintelligent, the dog whistling, disrepecting other countries situations with his biased rantings it was depressing after an hour of the BBC as a contrast.

    He slagged off india for not protecting Novartis’s ‘right’ to profiteer off a drug they want made more widely available to their people making a sweeping assumption that it spells the end for new drug research and then made a ‘wha wha wha’ sneering overlay of a UK Labour members crtique of Cameron’s latest welfare austerity moves.

    Thinking of how his target audience would be going ‘yeah Mike you’re so onto it’ made it even more depressing.

    • Don’t do it! It is bad for the mental health …

      It seems that Hoskins went to the same journalism school that Susan Wood went to. She had an absolute shocker on Q&A.

      • cricklewood 3.1.1

        Read the transcript to that interview this am, if anything it probably indicates that some interveiwers are now at the point (under instruction) where they are going to try and pressure Shearer into the inevitable ums and ahhs as well as various other contridictions to make him look bad.
        If you look at it from that perspective she didn’t do a bad job and I would say that there will be worse to come from certain sections of the media undoubtably the acid test for Shearers ability to expouse policy and ideas in public starts now.

        • Anne 3.1.1.1

          My reading of Susan Wood’s type of interviewing:

          She thinks in black and white terms (typical Tory mode) and adopts an adversarial approach where the interviewer pushes a simple line that is the polar opposite to the interviewee’s view even when that line is already shown to be less than accurate or downright false. Example: at one point she defends Key’s forgetfulness as being normal and points out she forgets things too as if that exonerates him… even though it’s clear to anyone with only half a brain that he’s been lying through his teeth.

          • prism 3.1.1.1.1

            In the world that Susan Wood revolves in and earns in, high income is a reality. How does this money paid to Wood match our PM’s? She feels she has the right to fire verbal bullets at politicians whose positions are far more vulnerable than hers. She probably has listened to Mary Wilson on Radionz evenings Checkpoint, but Mary tries to reveal facts and the substance of the problem, while Susan sees herself as a fracking tool opening any crack she can find and blasting murky thoughts in to the gap.

            Determination of Employment Relations Authority 7 November 2005
            B. The Authority declares that Susan Marie Wood’s entitlement to a present salary of $450,000.00 will expire on 31 December 2005. Television New Zealand Limited is not permitted to impose a new salary as from 1 January 2006 without Susan Marie Wood’s consent. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0511/S00122.htm

            Uproar in New Zealand Over TV Anchors’ Salaries
            http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0940022/news
            17 November 2005 | Studio Briefing – Film News | See recent Studio Briefing – Film News news »
            Two of Television New Zealand’s top news anchors have disappeared from the screen and the state-owned network’s CEO has quit following government efforts to cut salaries of leading personalities. One of the anchors, Judy Bailey, had been a fixture on the network for nearly 18 years, earning an annual salary of $550,000. Susan Wood, host of a current affairs show, had been earning $307,000. Revelation of their salaries had caused a public outcry, Bloomberg News reported today (Thursday). It quoted Paul Norris, who was TV New Zealand’s news director from 1987-94, as saying, “Ordinary members of the public just can’t comprehend how someone could be worth that much” for being a TV anchor.

            The figures are puny compared with those for their U.S. counterparts. Katie Couric reportedly earns $15 million per year. Newly installed NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reportedly earns $5 million annually. »

        • tc 3.1.1.2

          DS needs some media training, the Woods of this world are easily shown for the agenda peddling monkeys they are with some quality media training.

          No umm’s err’s, pauses show authority and thought, when you’re intterupted you stop, smile and then resume answering the question regardless of the interuption.

          take control DC.

          • aerobubble 3.1.1.2.1

            The union women said, on the panel of Q&A, that shutting the smelter would costs jobs, taxes and economic activity. She was then completely ignored by the three others. The Industry talking head just pooh pooh any idea, making no comment on economics, energy, but just railed that anyone who questioned neo-liberal orthodoxy. What’s the point in having a panel if they don’t address the substance, that the dam was built to supply jobs to south land, that the smelter was attached for this purpose, that China obvious can hammer any part of our economy at will, and National have exactly nothing and no willingness to stand up for NZ. Bend over, how far, Key makes another jibe about how NZ is not worthy for any kind of standard that the world believes promotes good governance. Q&A still sucks.

    • rosy 4.1

      Yes… I’m still trying to get my head around Labour UK supporting Willian Beveridge’s thoughts that seem to be to be based on his eugenics beliefs rather than his social security safety net reports. It’s been bugging me all day since I first read Liam Byrne’s piece. It’s this little phrase of Labour’s

      thirdly that there should be support through a contributory principle for people putting into the system as well as taking out

      That seems to fit with Beveridge’s view that the rich should have larger child allowances to encourage them to breed (not that the fact that they are already rich shows that money isn’t the problem with low birth rates) and a lesser rate to discourage the poor from breeding. In the end the government of the day rejected Beveridge’s view and instituted a universal child allowance – fitting with their belief in a universal unemployment benefit.

      Show some guts Harriet. You gave the reasons why this is wrong, but still came out in support of it.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Thanks for these links. This bit from the Byrne piece:

        Third, we must do more to strengthen the old principle of contribution: there are lots of people right now who feel they pay an awful lot more in than they ever get back. That should change. We should start by letting councils give priority in social housing allocations to those who work and contribute to their community.

        Rather than divide and rule, we believe Britain can only overcome the enormous challenges we face if all of us – from top to bottom – play our part.

        Contradictory, much.

        I was suspicious of Miliband’s “One Nation” stuff from the start. And the idea that pay-outs should reflect contributions is based on a very individualistic notion and ignores unequal access to work, etc. It also seems to think that continuting to capitalist profits is magically always and the only ways people contribute to society. I t ignores that the middleclasses benefit most from the state funded and/or managed systems (education, health, etc).

        • rosy 4.1.1.1

          Agree karol. It was always a little bit middle england.
          I’d seriously like to know what happened to ‘from each according to ability to each according to need’ I wonder if our labour party has views on this.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.1.1.1

            From each according to ability to each according to need is a slogan popularised by Marx. In case you hadn’t noticed, his policy platform has not been widely endorsed since the big experiment in implementing it caused misery and death to millions and collapsed in a screaming heap.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The only problem with that assertion is that the policy implemented had nothing to do with Marx’s ideas.

            • rosy 4.1.1.1.1.2

              So Marx puts in to a pithy little phrase a principle that churches, charities and Labour parties, among others, think is important. That phrase brought down the Soviet Union? Righteo, then.

              I could care less if Tory party members thought the rich should get more of the taxpayer dollars than the poor, but this is a L.a.b.o.u.r party saying it. To be worthy of that name they need to be looking out for the poor, broken workers, those unable to work, and their families as well as the fully capable workers. It’s not even that they’re looking at universal benefits (universal vs. targeted benefits is a discussion worth having), they’re looking at more money being spent on people who earn more.

              A Labour party… when did they ever support the rich getting more? /sarc. This is moving the principle of taxpayers funding big business ahead of SMEs into the domestic sphere.

              And on that point, linking the funding of this policy with taxing bankers bonuses? Sheesh there is so much wrong with making that connection I don’t know where to start. Apart from the idea that bankers shouldn’t be getting bonuses of such a size.

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10872895

    ” Here are some exact quotes:

    * “The women that we feature in the magazine are ornamental. That is how we see them.”

    * “I could lie to you and say we’re interested in their brains as well, but on the whole, we’re not. They’re there to be beautiful objects. They’re objectified.”

    * “One of the things men like is picture of pretty girls. So we provide them with pictures of pretty girls … We also provide them with pictures of cool cars, or whatever. It’s a thing that you might want to look at.”

    * “We’re at least, or possibly more, ethnically diverse [than other magazines]. More shape-diverse. We also have older women. Not really old, but in their 40s… Cameron Diaz was on the cover three issues ago. She’s in her 40s.”

    Bilmes also said his magazine was “more honest” than women’s magazines, which contain negative images of women.”

    Editor (soon to be ex?) from Esquire magazine during a panel discussion on feminism in the media. I’d rate him as not quite as diplomatic as John Key.

    • Colonial Weka 5.1

      Just so it’s clear, this is what people really mean when they talk about post-feminism.

  5. freedom 6

    Just had a look through the attached bloglists,
    The Daily Blog does not seem to be in the sidebars, nor does the Civilian, which both seem to be proving popular since their arrival

  6. prism 7

    I was fuzzy about the North Korea situation and have learned this morning that they have been begging, even demanding the USA, for a peace treaty to be signed and the USA has refused. It almost sounds that North Korea has been maneouvring around being nuclear or not as a way of bringing pressure on USA to legitimise their country’s status.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/world/asia/12korea.html?_r=0

    On 9toNoon on Radionz this morning – Tim Beal, academic, author of two books on North Korea. http://www.timbeal.net.nz/Crisis_in_Korea/CiK_reviews.htm
    09:09
    PM criticised for North Korea comments

    The Prime Minister has been criticised for commenting on the prospect of war with North Korea and New Zealand’s potential role, at a delicate time. Former Victoria University academic, Tim Beal is an expert on Asian politics and business, and is the author of two books on North Korea. He is also a member of New Zealand’s DPRK Society. (13′26″)
    Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon

    It seems to me, after listening to the facts about North Korea, that intelligent, strategic thinking NZs should open up a relationship with North Korea such as was done with China when it was the badlands. We had Rewi Alley and others go to China very early on.

    Power games by big countries’ defence oligarchs will only bring a greater shadow of unhappiness and fear to us all.

    [Robert] Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, that he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.[1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

    • geoff knucklehead 7.1

      The US gov/military are probably gagging for a war. Anything to get their war economy on the move and distract the natives before they turn on them.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        I very much doubt that the US professional military have any interest whatsoever in waging a war on the Korean peninsula, only a thousand or so km’s from both China and from Russia.

        • geoff 7.1.1.1

          I’m not talking about US army, I’m talking about the US weapons manufacturers.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      [Robert] Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, that he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.

      QFT

      And that is exactly what representative democracy is for. To prevent actual democracy and to leave the rich in power.

    • Populuxe1 7.3

      Well why exactly should anyone continue to reward North Korea’s ridiculous policy of rattling their nuclear sabre every time they want something instead of engaging with the rest of the world? That just encourages other states to see nukes as a legitimate diplomatic tool, which is fucked. Fuck them.

      Also the difference between New Zealand’s early detante with China and the probability of doing something similar with North Korea, is that China’s leadership post-Mao has not been batshit insane.

      • Professor Longhair 7.3.1

        “Well why exactly should anyone continue to reward North Korea’s ridiculous policy of rattling their nuclear sabre every time they want something instead of engaging with the rest of the world?”

        It certainly works for the United States and Israel. Why should the North Koreans act any differently?

        NOTE: My question is meant to stimulate serious discussion; it is not directed at this “Populuxe1” creature, who I do not believe is capable of answering it intelligently.

        • Populuxe1 7.3.1.1

          Go boil your head you poseur. If you can pinpoint a single instance since the Cold War that the US has threatened ANYONE with a non-retaliatory nuclear attack, I will be amazed. The possibility was raised during the Vietnam conflict, but thankfully we haven’t taken the path of naturalising nuclear weapons as part of warfare. As for Israel, you can’t really threaten a nuclear strike against someone unless you actually go so far as to admit having nuclear weapons – which we all know they have and they know we know etc etc, but still haven’t come out and said they have the capability.

          Basically you are a pretentious moron pretending to academic titles you obviously aren’t worthy of, so shove it up your arse.

          • Murray Olsen 7.3.1.1.1

            The seppos have often said “All options are on the table.” Coming from the only country that’s ever used nuclear weapons in anger, that could be construed as nuclear sabre rattling. I believe MacArthur was keen to nuke China during the Korean War, although he was told he didn’t speak for the government. The fact is that nukes are used as a diplomatic tool, even if not specifically mentioned. The threat is always implicit.

            • Rogue Trooper 7.3.1.1.1.1

              interestingly, the US “decides” to delay ICBM test from West Coast…hmmm, not wanting to create any “mis-perceptions” while the last heard was “We don’t know exactly where the North Koreans have located those two missiles”. lol (well, it is not funny really, but then…sigh). NK (and the updated retaliatory policy, lower echelon decision-making by the SK military enabled etc, may cause a lot of casualties before they call elevenses.)

            • Populuxe1 7.3.1.1.1.2

              I suppose you could make the argument that the mere existence of nuclear weapons, hell, the knowledge that such weapons can be created, is an implicit threat. I choose to deploy Occam’s Razor than do a Jesuit’s dance with the aleph null of angels on the head of a pin.

              • Colonial Viper

                What you choose to deploy is entirely irrelevant.

                • Populuxe1

                  As are your pissy little retorts because you insist on playing the man instead of the ball because basically you haven’t anything to say but can’t resist trying to get the last word in, not doubt due to some deep-seated insecurity.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yes, that must be it. I’m the insecure one, the one who needs to prove to everyone else how much I know about US military strategy and tactics in East Asia.

          • Professor Longhair 7.3.1.1.2

            “If you can pinpoint a single instance since the Cold War that the US has threatened ANYONE with a non-retaliatory nuclear attack, I will be amazed.”

            U.S. officials often raised the possibility of attacking Vietnam with nuclear weapons. You would know that if you had any familiarity with the Pentagon Papers.

            “The possibility was raised during the Vietnam conflict, but thankfully we haven’t taken the path of naturalising nuclear weapons as part of warfare.”

            Good, you DID know. So your absurd rhetorical positioning statement is rendered invalid by your following statement. That is impressive, in a grisly, stupid way.

            “As for Israel, you can’t really threaten a nuclear strike against someone unless you actually go so far as to admit having nuclear weapons…”

            Israel’s armourer and diplomatic protector, the United States, makes no pretence about its client being nuclear-armed. That’s freely admitted by military and State Dept. officials in their official correspondence, where they are honest, and unconcerned with diplomatic ruses.

            I have decided to refrain from dealing with the personal comments and recommendations.

            • Populuxe1 7.3.1.1.2.1

              You do realise that actual professors don’t usually take the fruity, artificial condescending tone you have adopted, don’t you? I said “threat”, not “considered using” because quite obviously in Vietnam saner heads prevailed (British, as it happens) – actual threat was not made. McArthur certainly did not have the authority to deploy a nuke.
              While the US would certanly deploy conventional welfare if Israel was attacked, nothing short of a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv will see them using nukes in that situation.
              You are an arse-hat.

              • Colonial Viper

                While the US would certanly deploy conventional welfare if Israel was attacked, nothing short of a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv will see them using nukes in that situation.

                Because you’ve seen the Pentagon’s contingency action plans for a large scale Israeli based conflict? LOL

                • Populuxe1

                  No, but I’ve seen historical precedence of the United States avoidence of using nuclear weapons – ie, nothing since Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the only major stand off being the Bay of Pigs crisis. I’ve also seen Obama take an unprecentedly strong stance with Israel’s provocative behaviour. That is all rather suggestive of overall strategy.

          • Galeandra 7.3.1.1.3

            I’m with the Prof. Why do you go nuclear allatime?

          • Pascal's bookie 7.3.1.1.4

            Pop, US nuclear doctrine isn’t ‘no first strike’. They’ve maintained the right to go nuke first for a long time.

            Here’s some recent stuff:

            Under Bush:

            http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_09/Kristensen

            And Obama:

            http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/04/nucl-a08.html

            If you are going to argue that using nukes is response to chemical weapons is retaliatory, then fine. But it’s pretty torturous given the stupidity of the ‘WMD’ classification.

            • Populuxe1 7.3.1.1.4.1

              “Maintained the right” is far from being the same thing as “acted on the right” – otherwise large swathes of South East Asia, Central America, and Central Asia would be radioactive slag right now. 9/11 being a case in point, because if anything could be taken as a justification for a nuclear strike, it would be that.

              • Pascal's bookie

                No one claimed they acted on the right.

                You have been saying that the US doesn’t threaten the use of nukes. Their official doctrine lays out the ways in which they do. For example, Iran and NK are exempt from the we wont’t use them first against non-nuclear states rule.

                the only eason that exemptioon is in tehre is to send a signal to those countries that nukes are on the table. Does that mean they will be the first thing used, or even used at all in a conflict? No.

                But it does mean that their use is being signaled as an option. The docrtrine is about sending signals, which is why it is public. The signal sent to those countries is, we might use them against you. That’s a threat, no?

  7. Sanctuary 8

    Funnily enough, it is suddenly beneficiary bashing time over at Kiwiblog. If the best evidence of a bad harvest in North Korea is images of smiling farmers, then surely for all the Kremlinologists out there an attack on beneficiaries is the best evidence we have yet that all of the recent carry on has dented Key’s popularity.

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    From mushrooms to dandelions, foraged food finds way to U.S. tables

    The unusual salad was one of the offerings at what organizers believe is the first U.S. market devoted to wild food and herbs, a kind of non-farmer’s market that will be held monthly in the town near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    A similar weekly market is scheduled to open next month in Asheville, making North Carolina the latest hot spot in the growing movement toward eating food foraged from forests and fields rather than cultivated on farms.

    The trend has gained cachet among foodies, with dishes featuring everything from exotic mushrooms found deep in forests to humble dandelions that are the scourge of suburban lawns. Foraging tours have cropped up across the country and farm-to-table dinners are giving way to forage-to-table affairs.

    I once read an article that asserted (yes, asserted) that there was more food in a hectare of healthy forest than there was in a hectare of farm land. The problem was that people didn’t know what was food and what wasn’t.

  9. My take on “foreign” Kiwi’s in positions of power:

    We now have “foreign” Kiwis in control of the three biggest political parties, the Reserve bank and the Secret Service! Just think about that for a moment!

    • muzza 10.1

      Yup, these people are identified, some earlier than others, they are then rinsed on the global scene in various ways, through various *institutions*, and returned to their country or origin, complete with back stories etc at the ready for an easy sell to joe public!

      Kiwis lap it up, cos we’re so, you know, well heeled and cosmopolitan in our global interconnectedness!

      We.Have.Been.Cleaned.Out!

  10. Rogue Trooper 11

    The OIA “laundering process” according to Annette
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10876059

    from the Dom;
    MOH: “effectiveness of rheumatic fever campaign questioned in report evaluating first 18 months; according to frontline health professionals, there needs to be a focus on over-crowded, damp housing., poverty and access to medical care”, else when the project money runs out, little impact into incidence.

    meanwhile, in Dads Army, Commodore Keats is alleged to have made a false declaration on an SIS security clearance form (Sackable offence Sadly; Not!) and the C.D.S Jones charged with “inaction”, Captain suh! Suh!

    locally, “experienced one-man-band builders” leaving the industry, to alternative occupations with regular pay as building activity remains sluggish. (send them to the Southern Front, Commandant Brownlee / Major Bennett; not what their country can do for them…)

    wasser, wasser everywhere…”Ground-water levels in the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha basins and Tukituki river at there lowest ever recorded levels”. (could be the Ruataniwha Storage “Puddle” by the time its built) 😉

    15:7 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.

    • Treetop 11.1

      When it comes to the Keats investigation are the severe defence force cuts to blame for justice being delayed? Will have to see if it is denied.

  11. ghostrider888 12

    secret: Agent. man.” A person (or other being, HLM etc,) who is the subject when there is action. A long history attaches to thinking of the property of being an agent as, a) possessing a capacity to choose between options and ,b) being able to do what one chooses (things sure have gone downhill since the Atheneum). Agency is then treated as a causal power.

    While Ryle’s attack on “volitions” served as a distraction, despite what he attempted to demonstrate, it seems undeniable that bodily action has a first-person aspect.

    Furthermore, some recent writings attempt to rehabilitate the phenomenology of agency. O’Shaughnessy’s “dual aspect theory” for example, brings out the importance of a acheiving a view of action in which a third-person and first-person perspective are both incorporated yet neither is exaggerated.

    A range of theses hold that the concept of agency, which human beings acquire in their experience of agency, is prior (in one, or another sense) to the concept of causality. And, in the pre-modern world, causation in the absence of of human action was typically construed either as divine action, or as the action of an object whose nature it was to realize certain ends.

    Reid 😉 claimed that the idea of cause and effect in nature must be arrived at by analogy, from the relation between an active power (of which human agency is a species) and its products.

    Brian O’Shaughnessy, “The Will” 2 vols : Cambridge 1980…to be sure…to be sure.

  12. felix 13

    Interesting.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10876010

    Those knuckleheads at the herald are comparing John Key’s statements on the 73% pay rise for the Mighty River directors with his statements on the campaign to raise the low wages of carers in rest homes.

    Key thinks one of these pay rises is a sensible and realistic move while the other would be nice but people must accept that these are tough times.

    Can you guess which is which?

    • ianmac 13.1

      Yes I can. I imagine dear young naive Judy will soon be called into the Editor’s Office and have explained to her that what she has written is not the way things are done at the Herald.

  13. Private Baldric 14

    turnips for everyone

  14. ghostrider888 15

    even ghosts have to do house-work on Monday mornings, akrasia, I know, clean the bathroom, sweep and mop the floors, take out the rubbish; “Socrates questioned whether one could ever deliberately, when able to follow either course, choose the worse, due to being overcome by fear, pleasure, LUST, etc-i.e. whether akrasia could occur, thus setting the problem as, a)how can we act against what reason dictates? and , b) how can we act against our view of what we take as good? Socrates answered that we cannot. Fortunately, Aristotle and others following him thought Socrates ignored the obvious facts. They contrasted reason and the pursuit of the good with motivation by passion. This involved denying the Socratic view that all deliberate action is aimed at what the agent considers best.
    There grew up a tendency to ally virtue with the exercise of reason, in opposition to passion with its relatively short-term considerations: and to see akrasia as a moral problem, the question of its existence as one of ethics.
    Back in the good ol’ pre-enlightenment Middle Ages, account had to be given of how the Devil, without passion, could deliberately go wrong; Aquinas tried to account for this as an error of reason, Scotus as a case of the will freely choosing a good, but one it should not choose. Passion-free akrasia had arrived.
    The puzzle, if there is one, arises even where a contrast between reason and something else is hard to make out: Hamlet is an interesting case. Here it arises because the agent seems to favour a course of action which he then does not take, without apparently ceasing to favour it. Neither passion nor short-term considerations are an essential factor. The puzzle is unforced action against apparently sincere declarations of opposition to it.

    That reason does not always dictate intentional action seems to follow from the fact that if there is no common standard for judging between two objectives, or there is, but reason cannot determine that one is to be preferred to the other by that standard, then the agent (the will) must be free to choose either way. If, in the case of wrongdoing, there is no over-arching standard for choosing between the moral good and some other objective, then the will has to choose between standards, without the help of reason. The will may be overcome by passion (be less than strong), but in the absence of passion is just evil when it chooses the worse course.

    This view of the will can be de-moralized by attaching it to long-term objectives generally, or to reflective choice. Yet, there are many problems in the whole project of postulating such a rational faculty, which is an unstable structure built too rapidly on some familiar idioms and supposed requirements of experience.”

    -Justin Gosling, “Weakness of The Will”: London 1990

    soooo, to return to the Hume by-way; reason as the slave of passions! which is a fundamental claim of Hume’s moral psychology,used in his rebuttal of the rationalist pretence that reason can oppose the passions and teach us moral truths: “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to be any other office than to serve and obey them”. (Treatise, II.iii.3). In an employment of His “fork”, Hume insists that demonstrative reasoning (for example in mathematics) plainly has no effect in itself on the passions (sadly); and probable reasoning is of significance to the passions only by “directing” our aversion to pain, or our propensity to pleasure, to those things that we take to be causally related to them.”

    Led Ovid to The Black Sea
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovid

    16:1 To man belong the plans of the heart, yet from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. 🙂

    • Ennui 15.1

      Spooky stuff, constructs built on sand argued with passion to get to the “truth”. Rationally of course. You have spotted me accusing the local ideologues of no less.

      • ghostrider888 15.1.1

        I have found life soooo much easier since submitting to master-teachers. One strong characteristic of many here is the ability to ride; no point in nostalgically, romantically, Living In The Past (unless you belong to an influential Asian or Germanic nation I would suggest) 😉 hence the simplicity of the “two commandments”; Lord keeps testing the Hebrews though; such a mystery. Night.

  15. Morrissey 16

    Chickenhawks are Go!
    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Monday 8 April 2013
    Jim Mora, Stephen Franks, Tino Pereira

    In the preamble to today’s program, the first topic for discussion was the situation in Korea. So far, Stephen Franks has, predictably, sneered at those “sanctimonious” people who have dared to criticize Key’s reckless statements about sending New Zealanders to “defend South Korea”. He has also claimed that it “makes sense” to unilaterally declare your country ready to fight in a nuclear conflict. Interestingly, and predictably, he failed to declare his own readiness to “serve” in the nuclear zone.

    Disappointingly, but again predictably, neither Mora nor Noelle McCarthy uttered a word to challenge any of his statements. Perhaps the other guest, Tino Pereira, will have the nous and the courage to say something, but I’m not particularly hopeful.

    I have to go out and am going to miss today’s show. Would someone like to have a go at capturing the essence of what these three fellows and their guests say? I’m particularly interested in what Franks will say; it seems he’s in a particularly self-righteous yet insane state of mind.

    Gotta rush. Thank you all….

  16. xtasy 18

    The Auckland City Mission’s Medical Service has now adopted the philosophy of Work and Income’s Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt, who again is a kind of “disciple” of the misguided “bio psycho social model” that Prof. Mansel Aylward (former Chief Med. Officer, DWP) is propagating, to assess and to “assist” sick and disabled back into “suitable” work.

    In a document I found via online search today, they (ACM’s Medical Service doctors) are quoting Dr David Bratt out of comments he made to the New Zealand Doctor Magazine in August 2012, using this as “guidance” for how to handle clients they have, who require or request a “medical certificate” to take to WINZ.

    They emphasize how bad it is to be on the benefit, quoting Dr Bratt, referring to the benefit to be treated like a “drug”, mention all the bizarre comments Dr Bratt usually gives, to explain that it is now practice to look at what clients “can do” rather than “cannot do”.

    The approach of WINZ is kind of not just adopted, it is reinforced, and they make clear, the certificate is now a “Work Capacity Medical Certificate”.

    They make clear that their doctors take a FIRM stand on matters, and they make clear, that if clients going to the Mission have drug and alcohol issues, they must prove they attend treatment programs.

    That there are few, that they have waiting queues for months, that AA are not that successful with their 12 steps program, and other factors do not seem to matter.

    So that is how “compassionate” the City Missioners are now, I’d hate to be out on the street then, having to rely on them for help!

    See the link to the document to be found on the web:
    http://www.aucklandcitymission.org.nz/uploads/file/Calder%20Centre/Sickness%20Benefit%20explanation.pdf

    How the hell will people be treated when the new regime will come in after July this year!?

    • karol 18.1

      Pretty disgraceful, xtasy.

      From your link, it looks to me that medical practitioners are following WINZ, and Bennett’s policies and laws. I’m not sure how much leeway they have to go against those.

      I see the Calder Centre is:

      The Calder Centre is a joint initiative between the Auckland Primary Health Organisation (PHO), Auckland District Health Board and Auckland City Mission to bring primary health care services to the most marginalised Aucklanders, many of whom have extremely high and complex health needs.

      So it looks like the ACM does not have unrestricted say in what happens at the Centre.

      I’d need more information to see if the ACM is just caving to Bennett, Bratt et al, or if they don’t have much choice.

      • xtasy 18.1.1

        Karol

        What appalls me is that they use a letter explaining their processes and approach re issuing Work Capacity Medical Certificates – and putting quotes by biased and extreme Dr David Bratt (from MSD) at the top of it, even making this bizarre comparison with a drug and Medsafe!

        Now, I thought that PHOs had more independence in how they operate and deliver services, certainly from any influence by a highly questionable, extreme, biased RHA from the Ministry of Social Development.

        Yet when looking at this recent news:

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/132179/dhbs-reject-criticisms-from-union

        and also comments and articles found via this link –

        http://www.asms.org.nz/Site/News/Default.aspx

        …then I would not be surprised that PHOs are now told to tow the line and work with MSD to bring the “results” that they want!

        But MSD should be responsible for their services and the Ministry of Health of theirs.

        Yet look closely at the ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan for mental health and addiction services by M.o.H., which can be found via Google search. There it is mentioned that there will be more “coordination of services”.

        This is stuff that happens in “autocratic regimes”!

  17. karol 19

    Roguetrooper @ 5.34pm, posted a link to Kiwis still living beyond their means

    At the bottom of the article they itemise “dumb debt” and “smart debt”.”Under “Dumb Debt”, they have included “unemployment”. Say what? So, of course, people are running around making themselves unemployed so they can …? What? go into debt because there’s something to gain?

    And under “smart debt” they put:

    Buying appreciating asset such as a house

    Yes, well all the smart arses that are doing that are making the rest of us less well off in the long run….. and, ultimately they’ll suffer too. I’d call it selfish and short-sighted more than smart.

    • ghostrider888 19.1

      did he, such a rogue he is, wait ’til i see him next. anyway, remember what Wilkins Micawber said about incomings and outgoings. 😉

    • rosy 19.2

      “of course, people are running around making themselves unemployed so they can …?”

      People are obviously also running around getting sick and having a relationship breakdowns so they can accumulate dumb debt. It’s deliberate I tell ya!

  18. ghostrider888 20

    hmmm… MRP “Investors” to pay millions to Tuwharetoa, annually, backdated, for up to the next 30 years (hopefully more), yet Govt concedes “the quantum of payment is not yet known”.

    and no, the RRC did not feel informed / confident enough to comment publicly (yet anyway) on Marie Krarup,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10876170
    *sigh*

  19. rosy 21

    who owes what?

    Greek newspaper To Vima claims a secret report details millions of euros owed to Athens by Germany for World War Two reparations and unpaid loan.

    Der Spiegel also puts the figure owed to Greece for reconstruction after the Second World War at 108 billion euros.

  20. Saarbo 22

    I dont know why David Shearer persists, I listened to him being interviewed by Larry Williams tonight. He is so atrocious there is no way that he could be enjoying what he is doing. He has no innate intelligence so he really just struggles to answer questions. I hate to keep harping on about this but in the end of the day the Left needs to put its best team forward in Nov 2014, Shearer isnt even close.

    • ghostrider888 22.1

      Harp away. it is a public socio-political forum, and I for one, read the ethereal trails you leave in the cup. (though, your handle always reminds me of SAARS; could be worse, could be Ebola, but as you can see, I’m all fleshed out.)

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