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Open mike 09/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2011 - 37 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…

37 comments on “Open mike 09/01/2011 ”

  1. jcuknz 1

    With 50 million without health care and 44 million living below the half way point of poverty ….the sad situation in the country of the free, the richest country in the world … perhaps. Rich in what sense?

  2. A recent George Monbiot column on trolling titled Reclaim the Cyber Commons.

    One particular passage stands out:

    [T]wo patterns jump out at me. The first is that discussions of issues in which there’s little money at stake tend to be a lot more civilised than debates about issues where companies stand to lose or gain billions: such as climate change, public health and corporate tax avoidance. These are often characterised by amazing levels of abuse and disruption.

    Articles about the environment are hit harder by such tactics than any others. I love debate, and I often wade into the threads beneath my columns. But it’s a depressing experience, as instead of contesting the issues I raise, many of those who disagree bombard me with infantile abuse, or just keep repeating a fiction, however often you discredit it. This ensures that an intelligent discussion is almost impossible – which appears to be the point.

    The second pattern is the strong association between this tactic and a certain set of views: pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-regulation. Both traditional conservatives and traditional progressives tend be more willing to discuss an issue than these right-wing libertarians, many of whom seek instead to shut down debate.

    So what’s going on? I’m not suggesting that most of the people trying to derail these discussions are paid to do so, though I would be surprised if none were. I’m suggesting that some of the efforts to prevent intelligence from blooming seem to be organised, and that neither website hosts nor other commenters know how to respond.

    Amen to that.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      If there’s a place to comment, a place to rate, a place to share information, you have to do it. That’s how you control the online dialogue and give our ideas a fighting chance.

      Because, if they didn’t try to control and suppress everyone else’s views their views really wouldn’t have a chance. Reality has a Radical Left Bias and most people actually believe in reality and not the delusion that comes from the right.

  3. Deadly_NZ 3

    Meddling Murray strikes again


    Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the Government had adopted the 0.7 per cent target. However, there was no timetable for reaching.

    So it looks like more of the same the needy get screwed. When are they gonna get rid of this clown?

  4. Deadly_NZ 4



    Now is this going to make it easier for the FatCats to hide even more assets, whilst getting away with murder.

    Or hope against hope, that it will finally stop said rich theives hiding all that they have stolen.

    • ianmac 4.1

      When I win Lotto I have to decide whether it is better to pay off my two son’s Student Debts and incur Gift Duty or just hide it in a Trust. Perhaps I had not bother winning Lotto. Decisions!

      I wonder how reform of Trusts would affect those owned by MPs? Would MPs pass an Act which would make their contents transparent? Or would pigs learn to fly?

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        You can pay $27k per year free of gift duty. As student loans are currently interest free, there’d be no reason to incur gift duty in paying them off.

        • Alwyn

          And the National Government are going to abolish Gift Duty aren’t they?
          On the other hand you would be crazy to pay of loans on which they do not have to pay ANY interest. Unless they are overseas earn some interest on the money and only pay off what you can’t avoid. I know it is anti-social but hey, it wasn’t set up to be for societies benefit. It was set up to get votes.

          • Lanthanide

            National uncharacteristically introduced a 10% early repayment bonus for voluntary contributions. I’m expecting them to legislate for a stick to go with the carrot – so far it’s only a $50/year administration fee. Lets see if they ramp it up this budget.

            • Armchair Critic

              Hang on, didn’t it cost more than $50 to collect the $50? The stick you have when you are not having a stick?

            • kinto

              I seem to remember an economics lecturer of mine around the time running the numbers and proving to us that we were better off in the long term taking the interest free route instead of the bonus.

      • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.2

        The first reform should be to have a register of all Primary beneficiaries of trusts so that:

        1. People know they are a beneficiary of a trust and that they can make claims to it.
        2. When government assistance is applied for then these trusts need to be accessed first – most I’ve seen are to provide for the welfare of the primary beneficiaries. It is surely consistent right ring mantra that people should make provision for themselves – here’s the perfect place to put their money where their mouth is.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Trust law has, over the centuries, become so complex that it needs a good shake up so that they can’t be used to dodge taxes or debts/responsibilities.

  5. prism 5

    Sunday with Chris Laidlaw is playing good interviews from 2010. One this morning is on co-operatives and starts off with Italian area comments where there are co-operatives which produce 25% of industry. Also there is smaller gap between rich and poor than in surrounding areas. Co-author of book Co-operative Enterprise talks about it.
    Also Rewi Alley in China involved in co-operatives there is talked about.
    Link – http://static.radionz.net.nz/assets/audio_item/0009/2358378/ideas-20100725-1106-Ideas_The_Cooperative_Economy-m048.asx

    • prism 5.1

      Not allowed late edit. Angus Tait is also discussed on radio interview – 800 employees now in his company which supported employees, say one-third overseas and two-thirds here.
      A company for us to take notice of and support.

      captcha – seriously

    • The Co-Operative Society UK was very succesfull. A huge percentage of the UK population shopped at the local Co-Op.I’m not sure what the position is today but I would be interested to know if the Co-Ops are still a success ?. My undestanding is that the Co-Operative Party is affiliated to the UK Labour Party and in fact has Labour/Co=Operative candidates standing at elections. The CWS shops sold everything from the weekly groceries to furniture .
      My very first suit as a 14 year old boy was from the CWS Peckam SE London. Inexpensive and within the means of a poor working class family. The difficulty was raising the the coupons because of rationing .
      There is no doubt the idea of Co-Ops is well worth following , and fall well within our ideals of Social Democracy /Democratic Socialism.
      Just remember Fonterra is a Co-Op.

      • prism 5.2.1

        The pink postman –
        Yes, and Fonterra may need to fight to remain so. The co-ops discussed in the radio progam specialised in providing a range of products within a region, engineering in the Italian location. Shops being co-ops may not be able to compete with the price-cutting and buying strength of large stores.

        It seems that NZs might have to organise something similar at grassroots level as the calibre of our politicians and their chosen advisors seems to be taking us back to an early colonial reliance on farming. A few standout heroes and heroines arise and achieve and everyone gets proud and rides on their coattails.
        But what abart the workers. The spectrum of semi-skilled jobs is diminishing – sold off in exchange for cheaper cars and clothes etc, sweeteners to the citizens to mask the sacrifice of jobs for better farm product access. The idea that higher education providing non-manual jobs is superior to those with sweat, muscle and handwork continues to dominate.

        • Colonial Viper

          The idea that higher education providing non-manual jobs is superior to those with sweat, muscle and handwork continues to dominate.

          And regardless, superior non manual and manual jobs alike are in Australia/Asia, not NZ. We can educate and train young NZ’ers all we like, as much as we like, but we have not very much interesting for them to do here, once they finish their courses.

          And what work we do have, we pay wages 30-40% lower than Australia.

          A hollowed out job market is a blight on the entirety of society.

          • prism

            Colonial V – And I worry how we would manage if we had a disaster, bigger droughts, bigger rains, bigger disease. We are so export oriented on agriculture and reliant on the weather and transport and have sold much of our self-sufficiency in basics in return for guaranteed access for our food, what capability have we in reserve.?

            Interesting how despite our shortage of money to protect our fisheries and have a stringent biosecurity border we have upped our spending on Afghanistan war support and now maritime assistance against pirates in the world’s sea traffic lanes. We would be hopeless as ultimate fighers, always unwary for that sneak attack to our most sensitive parts, and expecting others to play fair, i.e. look after our interests.

            • prism

              And to add to above, importantly, huge amounts of jobs have been lost along with all this free trade access stuff. And the idea of getting things made overseas because they can do it better and more cheaply!! Eventually our only skills will be shoe-mending but we will have a rich culture of back-yard vegetable plots – John Banks’ simplistic idea on how the common people should manage.

              But never mind say politicians and ACT, something else will crop up for you malcontents, we are doing all right and we are the weather cocks that show whether the wind is in the right direction.

  6. moved comments on Giffords shooting to new post.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    Press Release

    National Rifle Association

    ‘NRA Condemns Arizona Shooter’

    NRA VP for Public Relations J. Peter ‘Grassy’ Noll today condemned alleged Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner for his appalling attempt to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

    Veep Noll said “The use of an automatic weapon to make a political point is obviously insane. Far better to use a handgun at such close range and for God’s sake use the ‘two shot’ technique that guarantees that the commie rep for District 8 would have been deader than a lippy nigger at my Thanksgiving BBQ.”

    “Just because you share the name Lee with Oswald does not automatically make you an American Hero. You need an NRA badge to make absolutely sure.”


    • The Voice of Reason 7.1

      Might want to move this one too, Marty. Cheers.

    • Vicky32 7.2

      That’s lol! Sick but funny… 😀

      • The Voice of Reason 7.2.1

        Cheers, Deb! I’ve been flicking thru some american blogs today and there’s some stuff there that makes that ‘press release’ look mighty real. Apparently, anyone to the left of the Bush family are traitorous commie scum and there’s already been a few jokes about how hard it is to tell the difference between a healthy politician and one who’s been shot in the head or what a good shot it was to even find a rep’s brain. Real sad.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    The Imaginary War

    But the wider impacts are just as important. This is about private interests trumping the public interest, about allowing people to pursue their desires, regardless of the cost to society. It’s about championing the freedom to act, while ignoring the other kind of freedom: freedom from other people’s actions. If “the war on the motorist” means the puny and half-hearted measures designed to ensure that drivers couldn’t push everyone else out of the way, the government announcement that it has come to an end means that we will lose any hope of ensuring that transport is built around the needs of society. Instead, all other human life will have to make way for the car.

    hmmmm, sounds like our present government and their Roads of National (Party) Significance. More roads at the expense of community and fixing the problems caused by cars.

  9. I just wonder what the decent working people from India think about the lavish wedding performed here in Auckland . Its cost thousands of dollars enough to feed a huge amount of the starving people in India.More importantly it could supply water and badly needed tools/animals to help eradicate poverty in some areas .When one thinks of the life saving needs of many people in India this extravanza is obscene. I’m expecting the same to happen with the coming Windsor showcase. I’m just hoping the NZ tax payer is not stung for Royal expenses but I expect Key will be bobing his head up,and down and thinking of Knighthoods and other archaic events.

  10. Tigger 10

    The Palin-ites can deny their involvement all they like but one thing is clear – if this is an attack on government then Palin needs to hang her head in shame – she’s not only asked her supporters to attack liberals or Democrats, she’s told them to tear down the very idea of government and take down anyone who she says represents that (which just happens to be Democrats in the US). No matter what side of the spectrum Loughner sits, he was looking to strike at government in a violent fasthion. Like it or not, Palin and her ilk are to blame for they’ve spent Obama’s presidency trying to destabilise respect for government itself.

  11. Deadly_NZ 12

    And now for something completely different


    Even more money goes to the big movie companies

  12. Colonial Viper 13

    Royal Bank of Scotland, 84% owned by UK Government, Giving CEO £6.8M in Pay and Bonuses

    Who says the UK is short of money?

    The Coalition is poised to allow Britain’s five largest banks – RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Standard Chartered – to allocate as much as £7 billion of bonus payments in the coming two months.


  13. Colonial Viper 14

    UK Workers Pay Eroded Even as Bankers Collect Huge Bonuses

    The UK Coalition Government is about to allow the big UK banks to allocate £7 billion of bonus payments to their executives.

    Meanwhile, reports are that ordinary workers in the UK have less wage bargaining power than ever before, and that inflation is eating through ordinary paypackets at an increased rate.

    Real wages for most are going down, while a very few get million quid bonuses.

    Something is very very wrong with this system.

    Both public and private wage growth nose-dived in the three months to December to an annual rate of 1.1pc, figures to be published this week show.

    Meanwhile the official rate of inflation, the consumer price index (CPI), hit 3.3pc in November – three times that rate of increase – and is expected to have remained on an upward path since then.


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