Open Mike 09/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 9th, 2017 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open Mike 09/02/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    Evidence that Silicon Valley is using immigrants to lower salaries in tech workers. It suggests an interesting solution: if a company wants to bring in an immigrant because “it can’t find a suitable local”, then it should be required to pay at the 75th percentile or better.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Businesses work within the legislative framework provided by the government. I note that the proposed solution is a change to the law that allows these practices.

      Ergo, robust protections for workers’ rights and immigration can co-exist.

    • saveNZ 1.2

      +1 Andre – also think that if the company should have to pay a ‘bond’ of a years salary to the government and guarantee the job will still be there in 10 years if they recruit from overseas, because so many companies seem to hire and fire at will and decide to relocate to cheaper pastures after they have bought in so many staff and dump them on the welfare system once they are done.

      It’s not just Silicon Valley, here in NZ we have had our own dumping when French based Gameloft dumped staff in NZ to move to Nigeria – after hiring 70% of it’s staff from overseas and after receiving $2.9m of Callahan Innovation money and then dumping 160 of those staff.

      There were also complaints from employees about excessive unpaid hours.

      • saveNZ 1.2.1

        Would be nice if some of the money for “creating jobs” actually went to Kiwi based tech that actually goes to create Kiwi jobs in NZ, not money for jam for foreign owned multinationals that get local money, bring in cheap non Kiwi staff and then dump those staff.

        Think how many Kiwis probably had to leave to go offshore when the grant money went to hire overseas tech to work long hours, who were dumped anyway and other NZ based game companies could have taken that money and actually grew a viable business in an industry that is growing.

        Nope, another neoliberal, globalism, fuck up strikes again.

        I think the idea of free trade was supposed to be goods and services, not actually people shafted and pushed around the globe trying to get a job. (And when they do, it does not last that long.)

  2. Andre 2

    Apologies for spamming with a repeat of a post from last night, but since there’s a few Westies that only occasionally come on here that may have missed it, and kauri really matter…

    For anyone in the Auckland area with a connection to kauri trees and wanting to do something about kauri dieback, the Kauri Rescue project is launching at the Titirangi War Memorial Hall Thursday 9th Feb (today) at 7:00 pm.

    • Leftie 3.1

      Key is now “unwittingly” blaming Helen Clark now for dropping his government in it and running away?

  3. Andre 4

    Wow. A bunch of Republican oldies have just called for a carbon tax. They’re retired, so it won’t create immediate action. But it’s still a huge step.

  4. “”I don’t ever want to call a court biased,” Trump told hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs from major cities at a meeting in a Washington hotel. “So I won’t call it biased. And we haven’t had a decision yet. But courts seem to be so political. And it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read the statement and do what’s right.””

    Wow there must be people who are literally freaking out about this statement from The Dump. The counterweights within the system are groaning under the strain and I don’t think donny can blink.

    • Andre 5.1

      The Chump is being so over the top, clumsy and blatant about trying to trash every institution the keeps a society working that it looks like it’s helping mobilise people to stand up to him.

      It would be a bigger worry if he were subtler, more competent and put better public relations on it. Scarily, Pence would be able to do that, given the chance.

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        I see it as a sign of his arrogance and that is scary combined with his thickness – and he has even more scary people around him who aren’t as thick and have very clear agendas.

    • Bill 5.2

      This article might offer up a useful lens with which to view Trump et al through

      Forget ‘left and right’ (they’re both “much a muchness” when they take on an authoritarian bent) and instead (perhaps) view politics and leaders in terms of power … ie, a democratic/authoritarian divide; one incidentally, that leaves all western democracies positioned somewhere up along a branched authoritarian axis. (‘Branched’ because authoritarianism forks away left and right from the bedrocks of democracy; from liberty, equality and solidarity.)

      And then maybe ask yourself if your happy enough to support degrees of authoritarianism at the direct expense of democracy. And if you are, then where exactly is it that you draw the line? And if you’ve found a place to draw that line, what (if anything) stops (say a Trump) redrawing that line?

      If ‘nothing’ or ‘not a lot’, then why draw it?

      On the other hand, if it’s unmovable, then why draw it? Wouldn’t that entail some degree of enforcement to maintain – some shade of authoritarianism?

      • adam 5.2.1

        Here another example of totalitarianism in action.

      • Ad 5.2.2

        Any one of those rhetorical questions you want to unpack at all?

        • Morrissey

          Those rhetorical questions were to make people like you actually think a bit. But feel free to use that bogus litcrit jargon—“unpack”, for pity’s sake—and avoid the issue, as you regularly do.

        • Bill

          What’s to ‘up-pack’ Ad? The questions are essentially rhetorical. The left and right divide has always been a bogus one (look at the history of labour movement thought on that one if you have any doubts…the resistance or misgivings aired around the Red Feds for a NZ context, or the antipathy harboured for Lenin and the whole USSR debacle for another).

          Many people who have tended to view politics in terms of power have been sidelined and largely written out of history by both the left and the right. And now the left/right distinction is falling over. That a Bannon can be reasonably compared to Lenin should tell you all you need to know really.

          Our so-called modern democracies have existed in the space between two fascisms. And the soft authoritarianism of our governance structures always harbours and enables the harder authoritarianisms associated with any notional left or right to enjoy ascendancy (such as we’re arguably seeing in the US today).

          Anotherday (maybe on a dedicated post) I’d be all for having a searching exchange with you on it all. But today isn’t that other day and buses and messages needing picked up…

          • weka

            Except that in NZ most people middle aged or older will be thinking left/right not in terms of Lenin or the history of communism or even the labour movement, but in terms of Kirk/Muldoon, or even Muldoon/Lange.

            You can declare that the left/right thing has always been bogus and is now dying, but the negative framing doesn’t help people change (and IMO is also part of why the power analyses get sidelined).

            Please write a post on Social Democracy, show what can be done as much as putting down what’s not working.

            • Bill

              Making me sign in again when there be buses to catch dammit! 😉

              Okay. There is no negative framing around a discrediting of the left/right divide. It’s emancipatory …that bullshit’s the chains that have increasingly bound our political possibilities for roughly the past century.

              And maybe worth noting, social democracy doesn’t move beyond those constraints – just saying. I’ve mentioned it positively in relation to liberal democracy. But in doing that, I’m fully aware that its potential is limited…it’s no less caught between those two fascisms than is liberal democracy.

              And now bus, bus, bus…

              • weka

                It’s emancipatory for people that are doing poorly under the current system. For those that are doing ok, it’s negative framing and IMO will not support them to change. In times of political instability people will become more conservative unless they re given a viable option.

                I see a post on Social Democracy as being a proactive opening in the conversation that gives centre-lefties (and probably swing voters) something they can get their heads around. I wasn’t suggesting a call to the revolution 🙂

                Don’t miss your bus!

                • Bill

                  In times of political instability people will become more conservative unless they re given a viable option.

                  Trump. Nuff said?

                  • weka

                    That was sneaky. I was thinking more about the middle class left. So as political instability increases, they will vote more conservatively unless they are given someone they can understand and get behind.

          • Carolyn_nth

            I do agree that an understanding of power is crucial. It’s what links class structures with social hierarchies that include dimensions of race, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.

            • Bill


              • weka

                Indeed again. Maybe we should get a bunch of us together and talk power then? We have enough diversity over what that will mean to make it a conversation that is interesting and probably helps us learn. (am sick of the current stalemate on TS tbh).

  5. North 6

    Can’t find the clip of Trump’s comment at the meeting with the sheriffs where some public official was discussed……along the lines of – ‘you got a name?…….we destroy his career?’ My God, even if in jest that’s chilling, Then POTUS taking to Twitter lambasting a retail chain for dropping daughter ‘Princess’ Ivanka’s apparel line. It’s like he doesn’t have a clue that mid-terms are less than 2 years away – 400 odd House seats up for grabs and a third of the Senate. Government by Twitter and menace. Ugly! I’ll bet the unhinged fascist doesn’t last the full term.

    • Bill 6.1

      Hmm. know how a lot of those who voted for Trump thought they were voting for someone who’d “drain the swamp” and for someone who’d be just like them in terms of “giving it to the man”?

      And you know how “the man” is variously seen as being mainstream media, law enforcement and…well just about anything they think is being unfair really – which all results in a fairly nebulous “man” that can appear and disappear as circumstance dictates.

      Picking on individuals within an institution is “bringing the man” into line as it were…just as a slew of voters want.

      And you know how Trump using the term “us” when he feels unfairly treated? “They’re out to get us“…not the admin…not his team…not him. Us.

      He’ll get his term.

    • joe90 6.2

      ‘you got a name?…….we destroy his career?’

      A remark made during a meeting with law enforcement about a politician who introduced legislation requiring suspects first be convicted before assets could be seized.

      Trump voiced disagreement with lawmakers who want to change asset forfeiture laws, and some of the sheriffs laughed when Trump suggested he might want to “destroy” the career of one Texas legislator.

      He said members of the U.S. Congress would “get beat up really badly by the voters” if they interfered with law enforcement’s activities.

      Later, Sheriff Harold Eavenson of Rockwall County, Texas, told Trump of his response to a state lawmaker who had introduced legislation requiring suspects first be convicted before assets could be seized.

      “I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed,” Eavenson said.

      “Who was the state senator?” Trump asked.

      “You want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” the president deadpanned, to laughter.

      (Rule #1: Believe the autocrat)

      edit: heh


      Hey @realDonaldTrump I oppose civil asset forfeiture too! Why don't you try to destroy my career you fascist, loofa-faced, shit-gibbon!— Daylin Leach (@daylinleach) February 7, 2017


  6. Carolyn_nth 7

    Last night I saw tweets with the recurring quote…

    “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,”

    … with tweets using images of a range of women who had done some successful things. I didn’t know what that was about til this morning.

    A CNN article explains how this quote was used against Elizabeth Warren when she was forbidden from speaking further on the debates about a candidate for the position of federal judge.

    The rebuke of Warren came after the Massachusetts Democrat read a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.

    The letter accused Sessions of trying to block black people from voting.

    Republicans cried foul — charging that Warren violated Senate rules against impugning another senator.

    The quote about persisting, has been taken up by Democrat, feminist and Warren supporters, against Team trump. The article claims this has come at a good time, galvanizing support for Warren as she is up for re-election next year.

    #LetLizSpeak was trending last night/yesterday on twitter

    I’m not sure how much these little skirmish will impact on the middle to longer term direction of politics. Though, I’d have thought keeping a significant section of the public speaking out for social justice would be a good thing.

    • Leftie 8.1

      The Maori party wanted Willie Jackson, do you think Caretaker Bill is pleased that Jackson walked away from the party?

      That Open letter appears not to exist anymore. What happened to it?

    • saveNZ 8.2

      I think what middle NZ want is ordinary MP’s to represent them that are about representing the party and their electorate and not just representing themselves and their profile. Michael Woods is a good example.

      jackson is a CEO, getting $14 million of Government money for Whanau Ora, National Urban Māori Authority (no wonder Jackson likes Charter Schools), he’s represented 3 different political parties and seem to have radio shows, TV shows and so forth and it’s all about himself and not about the party and the electorate.

      Where are the National Urban Authority with the increasing homelessness and poverty to Maori? They have got the money from the Natz – but it doesn’t seem to be improving urban Maori lives that I know of.

      Personally don’t think the government to CEO approach is working in any area from councils to Maori to corporations to charities.

      Little is making a mistake to promote someone with more of a corporate welfare Natz background, that needs a lot of exemptions, against many of his MP’s that have reservations.

      That’s without even looking at the Charter schools and the disgraceful roast busters views.

      • bwaghorn 8.2.1

        Poto Williams made the point loud and clear , the gutless leaker wants to destroy labour . tops starting to look like my only option

  7. Carolyn_nth 9

    I strongly dislike the term “identity politics”. It is used as a stick to beat anyone who supports social justice. In reality, social justice is very often intertwined with economic justice, sometimes in pretty complex ways.

    Catriona McClennan has an op ed piece in today’s NZ Herald, in which she presents a strong argument against the ways the term “identity politics” is used.

    I think sometimes she uses the term “white men” as though it includes all white men. I think “predominately white men” seems more accurate to me, in the context of her argument. Elsewhere in the article she does use the term “overwhelmingly white men”. Some women and men of colour also use the term “identity politics” in a negative way.

    Basically, she is arguing that it is mainly white men that benefit from the current economic and social structure, and have for a long time. The term “identity politics” is used to maintain this power structure.

    The article begins:

    There is no such thing as identity politics. The term is used by white men seeking to hold on to their power and deny the human rights of Maori, Pasifika, women and LGBTQ people.

    Eight men own as much wealth as half the world’s population, or 3.6 billion people. Those men are overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon.

    The article needs to be read in full. It’s about the way our society and economic system is structured to favour the few over many diverse groups of people.

  8. joe90 11

    I guess Ivanka’s gotten over her aversion to blood diamonds.


    The Trump administration has prepared a new executive order that would extinguish regulatory controls designed to prevent US companies profiting from and encouraging the spread of “conflict minerals” that are inflaming violence in Congo.

    A draft executive order, composed last week and obtained by the Guardian, proposes a two-year suspension of a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms that requires US firms to carry out due diligence to ensure that the products they sell include no minerals mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighbouring countries. The regulation was widely applauded as a mainstay of attempts to cut the umbilical chord between big business and violent warlords who have spread unrest throughout the Congo and caused the deaths of more than five million people since the 1990s.

  9. Sabine 12

    there is a lot of talk about ‘identity issues/voters/stuff’ that i am having a hard time understanding.

    i.e. this

    a new bill among many introduced since Jan 21st to restrict abortion. This one how ever demands that the women bring forth the ‘permission’ of the father of the ‘unborn child’. If the father denies the paternity he can demand a paternity test (at which time the pregnancy will be carried to terms and the needs/demands of the mother be damned?).

    now how should we classify the debate to bodily autonomy, right to a sexual life, right to be free of shaming, and right to abortion as ‘identity issues/stuff’ or ‘human issues’ or just ‘general stuff’.
    The reason i ask is simply there are no such restrictions and burdens laid on fathers who simply want to desert their children once they are born, the burden in all of this lays on the women, she has to provide the statement from the father, she has to go through with he pregnancy, she has to give birth, she then can a. keep the child, b. give it up for adoption. – will she need the permission from the father for adoption, she will have to make the money to raise the child, feed it, house it, educate it, etc etc etc.

    And in all of this i would like to remind everyone that childcare comes at an increasing cost. And yes women desert their children too, but so far i have yet to see a law be brought forward that will regulate the sexual activity of men by forcing them to become fathers against their will and be responsible about and above all pay for the child upkeep in full cost.

    Women, especially single women[ and even worse women of colour – are among the poorest population in ever country on this planet, and we all know why.

    Seriously what shall we file this type of assholery under?

    edit. i write all of this while being very aware of my white privilege. But i would still like to know what to file that under.

    • Carolyn_nth 12.1

      Agreed, Sabine.

      I was involved with one of Auckland Action Against Poverty’s action impact events a while back in a pro bono capacity. I talked with some of the advocates who were working with beneficiaries to get some of their entitlements. I also talked with a few of the beneficiaries seeking support.

      It was very clear from those events, that poverty is very brown. It was also very clear, that one of the biggest issues was solo mothers, who were not getting financial support from the fathers.

      There were some guys there as well. I talked to one Māori guy who was having difficulty getting a job after being in prison.

      From my position of white, middle-class privilege, it seemed like a very strong indictment on our social and economic systems – and our justice system.

      It is not acceptable. And it shows how interwoven are the systems that prevent economic and social justice.

    • weka 12.2

      “Seriously what shall we file this type of assholery under?”

      In the US, file it under the move to remove the human rights of women. In NZ, file it under the same, or more kindly under some leftie men willing to risk the human rights of women because they simply don’t think them that important compared to their own political agendas.

      It’s pretty simple, either we share power or we have to restrict the rights of people with whom we don’t wish to share power.

  10. repateet 13

    Jonathan Coleman did an impression of an arrogant smart-arse in Parliament today.
    He deserves credit for doing it so well.

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