Open mike 11/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 am, January 11th, 2014 - 165 comments
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openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

165 comments on “Open mike 11/01/2014”

  1. Pasupial 1

    Originally planned to coincide with the beginning of Anadarko’s drilling operations off the Otago coast, this weekend Dunedin hosts the; New Zealand Oil Free Future Conference 2014 (the “2013” on the title-page of the following link is just a minor glitch):

    http://oilfreefuturesummit.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/4/7/11476177/oil_free_future_summit_programme.pdf

    The fine work of the Oil Free Seas Flotilla off the coast of Te Ika-o-Māui seems to have delayed the arrival of the Anadarko exploration vessel for some weeks. Which is something to hold in mind when others deride protest action as futile. Now we prepare for that struggle to resume in Te Waipounamu. Aotearoa is watching, climate aware Southerners; here is your chance to represent the cause!

    Yesterday afternoon at Saint Clair beach; climate activists gathered along with general public to send a message to Anadarko: “Wish you weren’t here”. That evening the Oil Free Future Summit continued with the OIL ON CANVAS art exhibition at the community gallery, 20 Princes st. Today sees the conference itself at the Age Concern Building, 9 the Octagon, Dunedin. Register for your seat now!

    http://oilfreeotago.com/oil-free-future-summit-2014-2/

    There will be an exhibition of electric vehicles in the Octagon at 1-2pm which is open to all, even if you have missed out on a seat at the conference itself. “After the conference on Saturday, there will be an after-party/gig at Chick’s Hotel in Port Chalmers. Buses from Dunedin will be leaving from the bus stop on the one-way street outside Countdown at 8.30 pm sharp on Saturday 11th Jan, and will be coming back into town at 12.30am.” I will be at home looking after my young child then so there’s not much I can add to that; except to say that it is my love for him, and need to care for his future, that most inspires my political activism.

    The final part of the Oil Free Future Summit is a demonstration blockade of the Otago harbour between Goat and Quarantine islands. So, even if you are not coming to any of the conference talks; if you’re in Dunedin and have a sea-worthy vessel (even if just a kayak), float on down to Goat island. If you’re a land-lubber like me you can head on down to:

    “The bus stop on the one‐way street outside Countdown Supermarket, Dunedin Central. This is where the bus will leave 12:00pm sharp on Sunday to take people to the HANDS OFF OUR HARBOUR day of action.” As we won’t yet be blockading any actual drilling-support vessels, this will be a bit of shake-down cruise to practice later tactics in a less confrontational setting than was originally envisioned.

    • karol 1.1

      Generally I like that there is focus on moving away from dependence on oil – and moving towrds becoming oil free.

      But: Are electric vehicles back on the sustainability agenda again? I thought a big focus on such vehicles were a bit of a diversion from moving toward sustainability. Maybe they can be a little help in the long term if the move is towards less use of private motor vehicles – especially where the vehicles are mostly used to transport one-five people?

      And are electric vehicles actually produced oil free?

      Is this one of the ways corporates try to get in on the sustainability act, ultimately subverting it?

      • Pasupial 1.1.1

        Karol

        Electric vehicles as currently produced are not oil free due to the limitations of raw material supply chains, and manufactured product distribution networks. But we have to start somewhere. I don’t know a lot about larger vehicles, but I’m pretty sure that; trucks, forklifts and ships can be powered electrically (tanks certainly can), and our rail system uses diesel-electric hybrid engines that could easily be converted to full electric.
        Older car bodies can be retrofitted with batteries and electric motors saving on iron smelting CO2 emissions. Batteries are a major limiting factor, but that is improving. My major interest is in electrically assisted bicycles – which are fucking great! Especially ones with regenerative braking (when you’re in a hilly town like Dunedin).

        • jcuknz 1.1.1.1

          On the subject of large vehicles … Denver has a main street with a central area with trees and so forth and up and down each side are buses running, free to travel on when I used them in 2005, and one of their features was that they were battery powered.

          Also over the past few years Denver has extended its light rail system out to Golden, as also seemed to be happening in Los Angeles. People transfering between LAX airport and AMTRAK or other city destinations can catch the free “G” bus to the local rail station and thence by light rail for considerably less cost than taxi or bus.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Public transport and esp electric public transport is the way to go.

            We need to modify our urban planning approaches to make best use of these systems.

            Thanks for the info.

            • The Pink Postman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I wonder why electric run transport has not advanced where it could be used for most local transport.
              Throughout the war years ,milk ,groceries and other goods in London was delivered by electric vans. They were efficient and cheap . I cannot understand why those vans were not developed into up to date versions of transport .I am sure there are many out there who remember that UD and Express milk was delivered by electric van.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I cannot understand why those vans were not developed into up to date versions of transport

                I suspect the reason is politics and that the politicians got bought out by the fossil fuel industry. Personal cars really are an irrational idea so why did the politicians build the cities exclusively for car ownership?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2

            My sister and her husband recently went on a tour of the US. While in San Francisco they visited Alcatraz. The ferry to get there was electric with solar panels and a couple of wind turbines on it. Although it had a couple of diesel generators for emergencies they’d never been used. It was, apparently, a very quiet and smooth ride.

            • karol 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I like the idea of electric public transport – was once the case in Auckland with trams and trolley buses – memories of the quirks of those buses losing their trolley connections and the driver having to get off and hoist them back onto the overhead wires.

      • Manu 1.1.2

        Hello Karol
        Almost everything requires oil to be produced.

    • Corokia 1.2

      The tidal flow is strong between the islands, not an easy place to do a blockade perhaps.

      • jcuknz 1.2.1

        I agree, not a place I would venture in a small craft … moderately scarey in a yacht.

      • Pasupial 1.2.2

        Corokia

        Perhaps it won’t be easy – I’m not a sailor (though have done a bit of kayaking). That’s why it’s so good that the Oil Free Seas Flotilla has gained us a few more weeks to sort out the logistics of the operation. You could say that it’s mostly a symbolic exercise, and that they’ll just helicopter supplies over our heads. But you could say much the same thing about any protest action (and heliports can be blockaded as well as sea ports).

        I’ll know more details after the third (activism) session today; I’d be down there now for the first session, but I’m parenting my son till at least 10am (will have the comp on in the background if anyone wants to ask me anything about the event till then, after that I’ll be AFK till after 5pm).

    • weka 1.3

      Thanks for being part of this Pasupial, and for putting up the comment. Very very important work. Would love to hear how it all goes (sessions and blockade).

      • Corokia 1.3.1

        Pasupial, I’d have been there if we hadn’t arranged holidays months in advance this year. Really want the blockade to send a strong message out, so I hope organisers have got experience on the water and have timed it well, because it will look silly if people are drifting off in the current instead of forming a line.

      • Pasupial 1.3.2

        I couldn’t make it to Session 1, but; Sessions 2, and 3, of the New Zealand Oil Free Future Conference 2014, generally went well. I trust everyone who is out at Chicks is having fun at the Gig/ After-party. I have many pages of notes (about 2 sides double spaced foolscap per each of 8 speakers), so am not going to go into too much detail now; before I have a chance to digest these, and peruse some of the cited articles.

        Session 2 was most illuminating; Neville’s Auton’s talk on “Clean Energy Alternatives” was the standout for me, but perhaps only because I’d heard much of Colin Campbell-Hunt’s speech previously (though I think I understood it better this time – Happy 68th Birthday Colin). Steve Abel had a good rapport with the audience, Jinty MacTavish not so much; but was very illuminating on carbon conscious innovations that the DCC are already progressing.

        Session 3 was a little more problematic, though it was at the end of the conference day; after lunch, and electric cars. The crowd responded better to Amanda Thomas than Sophie Bond, but they both expressed a similar academic geographers perspective (if perhaps a bit jargon heavy for some, with; “Democratic Closure” vs “a vibrant contestatory process”). Peter Matheson was an elderly historian who connected well with the audience through humour and pithy turns of phrase – my favourite being his noting the recent media’s depiction of; “Shell as Santa Claus”. Gareth Hughes spoke well (without notes, but certainly with some prepared phrasing) on the the; “Drill it, Mine it, Frack it agenda” and “an economic mindset that thinks we can trash the government to prosperity”. Finally Chris Hay and Jo McVeagh spoke of their activist experiences.

        If there is one thing that slightly took the shine off proceedings; it was the treatment of the representatives of the local hapu of Kai Tahu (Te Runanga o Otakou) during session 3. Not by the organisers and speakers themselves who were appropriately respectful to the harbour kaitiaki. However crowd chattering during the closing karakia was just plain discourtious, particularly given the rapt attention given to all else who took the stage (and I speak as a commited atheist).

        We are pretty far south here, so Tikanga Māori is far from most people’s thoughts. It wasn’t malicious, or even that intentional, but from where I was sitting; I detected a strong sense of disconnection between pakeha and tauiwi on one hand, and tangata te whenua on the other. This continued during and after the commitment of the Otakou premiere waka to Sunday’s harbour blockade. That represents an immense dedication of hapu mana to the cause, but this; and their advice based on personal knowledge of the perilous channel between Rakiriri and Kamau Taurua barely evoked any audience response.

        However, tomorrow is another day (or at least it was when I started typing this). The weather forecast isn’t the best for Sunday; with maybe a bit of drizzle around high tide at 2pm. It sounds like we have enough vessels (though more are certainly welcome) and the priority now is more life-jackets. There’ll be a beach contingent, so land-lubbers are also most welcome; come on out and fly your colours!

  2. (this is pretty cool/inspirational..)

    “..From clever terraces to rooftop allotments –

    – London’s oldest housing association reveals shortlist of firms that could build the next generation of affordable homes..”

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2014/jan/10/future-social-housing-crisis-peabody-young-architects

    phillip ure..

  3. Bearded Git 3

    If we must have Shell and Anadarko drilling for oil/gas and so adding to the impending climate change disaster at least we should follow the Norwegian model where the state is a MAJOR investor and so reaps much of the profits from oil/gas found. Some or even most of these profits could then be used to develop a sustainable long-term energy policy.

    In Norway, “Through the State’s Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) arrangement, the Norwegian State participates directly in the petroleum sector as an investor, and reaps all the associated rewards. According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy website, “the net cash flow resulting from the SDFI portfolio constitutes a predictable, long term and secure revenue to the Norwegian State.”

    This quote is from http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/good-idea-canada-how-norway-captures-oil-revenues-benefit-norwegians.

    • karol 3.1

      And yet, look at the rate of energy use per capita for Norway: amongst the highest in the world!

      • @ karol..why draw a strawman (to this argument)..?

        ..when bearded git is making a very valid point..

        ..and how is yr ‘point’ at all relevant to what bearded git just posited..?

        ..namely..that if oil is found/extracted..

        ..that the piss-weak royalties we would get..are a sick joke..

        ..and that the state should control/take most of that profit..

        (..which brings me back to my partial-nationalisation idea..

        ..where the state/people take 51% control in vital industries/w.h.y..

        ..leaving 49% for the private-investors/shareholders..)

        ..these are valid/points bg is making..

        ..and they don’t deserve to be strawman-ed..

        ..(and..b.t.w..labours’ silence on this issue..as on so so many others..speaks volumes..eh..?..)

        phillip ure..

        • Bearded Git 3.1.1.1

          Yep Phillip I like the 51% state control idea. Labour should be bold and pick up on this.

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.1.1

            @ b.g..

            yeah..i am not taking the piss with that 51% state control idea..

            ..the benefits are obvious..the state has control..(therefor no problems with doing what needs done..ie..fighting obesity..etc..)

            ..and so retains 51% of all profits..

            ..and the 49% private shareholding ensures the economic-efficiencies from their skills..

            ..and they get 49% of those profits to carve up..

            ..it is fair to all..

            ..and funny story..!

            ..most of the arguments the tories used to justify partial privatisation..

            ..also apply to my partial-nationalisation idea..

            ..so..hard for them to really argue against it..eh..?

            ..but they will..

            ..they will scream like stuck-pigs..

            phillip ure..

            • Manu 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And the complete reverse of what YOU have just stated is equally plausible Phillip. When you use inflammatory words like ‘Tory’ you lose credibility. Smarten up please

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, I’d say that you just lost credibility by obviously not knowing what the word Tory means.

                • Manu

                  Peoples opinions differ my friend; judging by recent polls most people would disagree with you. get used to it.

        • karol 3.1.1.2

          It’s not a straw man, phillip. The extraction of oil without considering the way it’s done and the environmental impact is dangerous if you aim for a sustainable, steady state economy.

          And it’s also dangerous to talk up Norway’s oil industry without considering whether it is contributing to a capitalist, profit driven over-dependence on energy.

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.2.1

            @ karol..yeah..ok..all fair points..

            ..but that isn’t the subject under discussion..

            (..you could as easily thread any number of other arguments/ideas into this thread..

            ..were we to follow yr criterea/justification for doing so….)

            ..the discussion is about our piss-poor oil-royalties..

            ..versus the state-run system in norway..

            ..and what to do about it..

            ..isn’t that enough for the moment..?

            phillip ure..

        • jcuknz 3.1.1.3

          Having the State gather the profits as Norway apparently does sounds great but think of the screams from worthy taxpapers when the exploratory wells find nothing? The Oil companies take the risk of failure and reap the rewards of success

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.3.1

            @ jcuknz..

            i think you are missing the point..

            ..these would be the conditions under which these companies drill/explore..

            ..that finds are to be shared with nz..

            ..and if they don’t like that..?..tough..!

            ..that is just the way it is..

            ..a 51% – /49%split..

            phillip ure..

          • McFlock 3.1.1.3.2

            The oil companies take a small proportion of the immediate risks of failuse and almost all the rewards of success.

            FIFY

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3.3

            The Oil companies take the risk of failure and reap the rewards of success

            Oh, BS, no matter what happens we pay for it anyway.

            The cost of the drilling will be covered in the price of the product whether that product was sourced in NZ or somewhere else in the world. Anadarko and Shell are taking on no risk at all while getting billions per year in profits.

            If the NZ government did the drilling itself then the economy would be boosted by a few hundred million dollars which would then, over time, be taken out in taxes, i.e, no risk there. If oil/gas is struck then the cost is taken out in the price of the product and we also get the profits. If oil/gas isn’t struck then the exploratory drilling rig ups anchor and tries somewhere else.

            The biggest concern is the possible blowout of the well.

          • millsy 3.1.1.3.4

            The state waits till something is found, then it moves in. Like what happened with Maui, as I understand the historybooks.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.2

        Accepted Karol.

        That is why IMO NZ state revenues from oil/gas (per the Norway model) should be tagged so that they are mostly or even totally used to develop better public transport, cycle lanes in all NZ settlements, to subsidize solar power installations (both residential and solar power stations-Spain has successfully invested heaps in these), energy efficient buildings etc etc etc

        • karol 3.1.2.1

          That’s a good suggestion, bg.

          I also think there should be a strong consideration of how much oil/gas we should extract, if any – especially if we are for the oil-free option, as highlighted by Pasupial’s comments above.

    • Chooky 3.2

      BG +1000….agreed!..imo…..if we must have it …and have the risks of running it ..then the Norwegian public sharing/investing of the profits is the way to go ( but with an emphasis on finding ways to wean ourselves off the oil dependence and towards green energy) ….anything else is theft from New Zealanders by the big oil corporates

      …..the money should go into the coffers of free state high quality education , university , PhD and post PhD research….Research institutes, business start up support….medical research /setting up of new IT entrepreneurial business…..so that we can protect the land/river/lake environment and no longer be reliant on rampant dairying in the wrong places…. or trade with China….

      ….the money should also go into free public health, public transport, retirement investment, buying back state owned assets……proper funding and safeguarding of the DOC estate and sovereignty of NZ land

      ….the money should be invested in the future of NZers and our economic sovereignty

  4. Paul 4

    “Minister claims low drug result as victory”

    “The low number of results has been greeted as a victory by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, who says the policy is driving beneficiaries away from using drugs.
    But her office admits it has no data to support the claim.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11184479

    Two points.
    1. Paula Bennett follows advice from BM and others. She makes claims with any evidence.

    2. Despite this, the Herald still printed this non story and used a headline to continue government propaganda. The Herald is becoming more and more like Pravda in Soviet times.

    • karol 4.1

      Actually, it’s not a non-story – it’s the headline that’s the problem. Look at the first paragraph of David Fisher’s article:

      Drug testing of beneficiaries is turning up an extremely low number of results showing drug use – and a lot of missing information about the controversial policy.

      The kicker is at the end of the article:

      Labour’s social services spokeswoman Sue Moroney said information on the benefits and cost of the policy should have already been collected.

      She also disputed Ms Bennett’s claim the policy was scaring beneficiaries off drugs.

      “The other way of looking at it is there’s 8,000 people who are not using drugs at all who are being sent off for drug tests.

      “The government assumes the worst of beneficiaries and has no data to back it up.”

    • Sanctuary 4.2

      For bonus slime points, the Herald fails to attribute where they got their story from – via norightturn (http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/use-for-oia-uncovering-piss-poor-policy.html) reporting on the OIA request of engaged citizen Matthew O’Leary (https://fyi.org.nz/request/1295-costs-of-drug-testing-job-seeking-beneficiaries).

      Good on the Herald. Steal someone else’s work, and then let the minister put her spin on it to kill it.

      • karol 4.2.1

        Well, NRT seems to have posted on the story first. But the NZ Herald may have got the information from the same plae as NRT – the FYI site, as linked in NRT’s post.

        • Sanctuary 4.2.1.1

          You really think so? Call me jaded, but I think reporters spend 90% of their time interviewing blogs these days.

    • Manu 4.4

      Paul, just because The Herald doesn’t tow the party line to your satisfaction there is no need to get your knickers in a twist!

      • Paul 4.4.1

        You have missed my point.
        It is the Herald that toes a party line, that of the corporate elite, rather than acting as the fourth estate and being independent media.

        • Manu 4.4.1.1

          Now you are not being factual. I read the Herald every day and find it quite balanced. The journalists are lazy but certainly not right wing as I believe you are suggesting.
          It is very important to accept facts if one wishes to gain credibility.

          • Adele 4.4.1.1.1

            Manu

            I also read the Herald every day and I find that it is biased. Yes, the journalism is lazy which also makes it superficial. I also see a right wing bias. Your opinion is not fact nor is it credible.

    • Murray Olsen 4.5

      Drug testing is a victory for the perfed out cops who do the drug testing, since they get even more taxpayers’ money poured into their pockets. It’s also a victory for the Tory businessman who imports the kits, who is no doubt on very good terms with the Minister. It’s certainly not a victory for anything sensible.

      • Manu 4.5.1

        And how many forestry workers for example have to die before fools like you take workplace safety seriously.
        Get stoned, I don’t care; just do it without risking other people’s lives.
        As for beneficiaries being tested. Small price to pay for receiving a hand-out. Be grateful other tests are not in place.

        • Murray Olsen 4.5.1.1

          Do you have evidence that deaths in forestry have anything to do with drug use, because there’s plenty of evidence that they have to do with employers taking shortcuts, working underqualified people to exhaustion, and a government which allows employers to get away with anything.

          Have you been drug tested lately? Your irrational anger suggests you could be taking P.

          I’ve noticed a lot of you angry righties popping up here lately with your hysteria. Are you getting worried about the coming elections? Or is there a competition running and you get to massage WhaleSpew’s corpulent frame after one of his workouts as a reward?

          • Manu 4.5.1.1.1

            Hello Murray

            In answer to your questions/accusations:

            1) Nephew crushed a few years back. Bloods showed levels of THC. I worked forestry as a teen bye the way. Lots and lots of drugs. Not making excuses for the few bad employers just keeping it real.
            2) Employers do not get away with anything; that’s simply Ludacris. I am an employer now and care to the nth degree for my staff and contractors; non of whom are paid less than twice the living wage (which in my opinion should be around the $30/hour)
            3) Why should I be tested? I own the company. Something I imagine you could only dream about. And no I do not drug test my staff; I find it easier to not hire losers in the first place.
            4) I’m not a righty as such but a swinging voter depending on who can take charge of the economy to my satisfaction. This year it will likely be the Nats.
            5) I never worry about an election and you shouldn’t either. Usually they make little difference to those genuinely in need; most politicians end up focused too much on power. In my opinion if you are in opposition but agree with a government initiative/policy then vote for it; same goes if the opposition have good detailed policy.
            6) If it is Whaleoil you have spelt incorrectly I have yet to visit their site; just a blog isn’t it?

            There you go Murray, take a chill pill.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.5.1.1.1.1

              Anecdotes are not evidence.

            • Paul 4.5.1.1.1.2

              Ludicrous

            • Murray Olsen 4.5.1.1.1.3

              Never mind, I replied to you before I noticed that you’d written what a bad boy chick magnet you were and how all the pakeha guys were shit scared of you. Just another internet dreamer by the looks of it. I won’t bother again, but thanks for pointing out my ludacris spelling mistake.

  5. Paul 5

    “Barack Obama has promised a year of action on US poverty in 2014, as a long-standing theme of his campaign rhetoric finally begins to show tentative signs of bi-partisan political momentum.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/09/obama-promises-year-action-poverty-promise-zones

    More rhetoric.
    No “change we can believe in.”

    • @ paul..i dunno about yr casual dismissal there..

      ..what makes this more possible to actually happen is that there is also a republican party consensus(amongst some)..

      ..that something has to be done..

      ..and that if nothing is done..

      ..that dystopia beckons..

      ..that ..and that obama is now in full heritage-mode..(as is common amongst us presidents at this point in their political-life-cycle..)

      ..these two facts make me somewhat less cynical than usual..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Paul 5.1.1

        I hope you’re right.

        • phillip ure 5.1.1.1

          @ paul..heh..!..so do i..

          ..call me a wide-eyed optimist..

          ..but i think we are close to a tipping-point..

          ..in recent years..talking about poverty was a lonely business..

          ..mp’s went nowhere near it..(except to stigmatise..)

          ..the access-media went nowhere near it..(except to further stigmatise..)

          ..but that is not the case now..

          ..now..even neo-lib labourites pay lip-service to ‘the working poor’..

          ..(it’s ‘cos polling told them to..eh..?..push for any details..and you will find it is all just soft and mushy..)

          phillip ure..

      • chris73 5.1.2

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

        – Good luck Mr President, you’ll need it

        • phillip ure 5.1.2.1

          @ chris 73..

          relevant-quote in yr link is:

          “..The popularity of a war on poverty waned after the 1960s.

          Deregulation, growing criticism of the welfare state, and an ideological shift to reducing federal aid to impoverished people in the 1980s and 1990s –

          – culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, –

          -which, as claimed President Bill Clinton, “end[ed] welfare as we know it…”

          ..this is the pendulum that is now swinging back the other way..

          ..and yes..obama..and those here who (really/sincerely) aspire to these ends..

          ..will need ‘luck..

          ..but more importantly..

          ..they will need courage..

          ..the neo-libs are well-entrenched..

          ..in most areas..

          ..but history shows/confirms the aphorism that:

          ..’change is the only constant’..

          ..eh..?

          ..and that gets me up in the morning..

          phillip ure..

    • Manu 5.3

      Paul
      Racism is simply unacceptable in today’s society. Sort yourself out.

      • Paul 5.3.1

        In what way was I racist??

        • Manu 5.3.1.1

          Now you are not being factual. I read the Herald every day and find it quite balanced. The journalists are lazy but certainly not right wing as I believe you are suggesting.
          It is very important to accept facts if one wishes to gain credibility.

          • Paul 5.3.1.1.1

            Evidence of a lack of bias?
            Please provide some editorials attacking the government or praising the Greens or Labour.
            There are many doing the opposite.
            Are you being deliberately contrarian?

        • Manu 5.3.1.2

          Ignore that double-up, stupid website.

          You clearly don’t like Americans; that’s racist!

          Ask yourself:
          Are you cautious about how you speak when in the company of ethnic people?
          Do you feel more empathy for dark skinned poor than you do those of fair skin colour?
          When you see a dark skinned person succeed at something do you cheer more because you expect less?
          I suspect the true answers will be yes.

          I see this behavior all the time. Women gravitate to me because they think I must be a ‘bad boy’ and white males are so scared I can do or say anything I like and they will accept it. I really hate cowards

          • Paul 5.3.1.2.1

            What are you talking about?
            I merely questioned the rhetoric behind the war on poverty in the US.

          • Adele 5.3.1.2.2

            Manu

            Women gravitate to me because they think I must be a ‘bad boy’ and white males are so scared I can do or say anything I like and they will accept it. I really hate cowards

            What a load of crapola. Ko wai koe?

            • Manu 5.3.1.2.2.1

              Nice try, not buying it.

              • Adele

                Manu

                Buying into what exactly?

                Maori men that think as you usually wear gang insignia or prison garb. Perhaps you should stop watching reruns of Shaft “Downunder” or for that matter “Mambo.”

  6. karol 6

    Coffee on the “gift economy”

    Interesting concept. Is it just a gimmick, or does it have real potential?

    It works for things like entertainment. Maybe the coffee shop/school will work because there’s a real motivation behind it to engage with users in terms of education and explaining the point of the scheme?

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      BTW Karol – it wasn’t that I was ignoring you yesterday re the Greens, I had just had a big dinner party the night before and needed to focus particularly hard on being productive.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      The gift economy was prevalent a hundred years ago and its concepts still well used in more traditional areas of China, Russia and Eastern Europe. How well it will translate to the cafe scene…I guess that there will be real power behind it once a network of a dozen or so different kinds of shops and service providers get in behind it. It will form its own mini-economic network of providers and users.

      • aerobubble 6.2.1

        Welfare? Government gift giving? Why not, if people can gift, companies can gift, why not government. There is however a war against government going on, they could do away with govt welfare so they mean to bog it down in red tape and bloat it. The only problem the more the war is won against government, the more necessary the social public and private safety nets become.

        Stupidly in the US, the US security services have been hiring libertarians who avowed hatred of government would, should, have meant they never where hired.

        Personally, I believe the media is far too influential in undermining and distorting (for profitabilty) society that any ‘return’ to some more ethical moral times is both unlikely and also was it ever true.
        In fact its just more of the spectacle, those in power distracting us from they latest outrages.

        The US, Japan,, UK, have all been recklessly printing money, money that is disappearing into the banks of the very richest, making them even richer, and inevitably leading to either a quick global inflationary depression, or a slow low growth recession. One day we will all wake up and realize money is worthless.

        And that’s where we get back to ethics and morals, and why they exist, they are our personal hedge against collapse. Morals invoke trust in us by others, ethics show we can be trusted around others.

        Take say driving laws, and all those white lines, why do some people consistent maintain the habit to drive within the lines, because they don’t see the law as oppressive (the fines are quite light compared to a prison sentence) but as a guideline, and trust that by training oneself in good driving habits that there is the reward of avoiding accidents.

        You see we are just as moral and ethical as we always were, we’re just in denial, we don’t see and talk about how bad noise speeding drivers are advertizing that their carelessness and thus their less trustworthiness. Just as talking heads on TV and in management, or on TV who regale us with neo-liberalism are actually untrustworthy business and social partners.

        Many people look at a Tory and know intrinsically they are immoral and stupid. Anyway my two cents. There’s nothing wrong with our morals or ethics, its the Heralds and Keys morals and ethics that are wanting.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          The only problem the more the war is won against government, the more necessary the social public and private safety nets become.

          Some western governments, or powerful parts thereof, are acting directly against the interests of their own citizens.

          Stupidly in the US, the US security services have been hiring libertarians who avowed hatred of government would, should, have meant they never where hired.

          Indeed. Like hiring free market Randians in to head regulatory offices.

          Personally, I believe the media is far too influential in undermining and distorting (for profitabilty) society that any ‘return’ to some more ethical moral times is both unlikely and also was it ever true.
          In fact its just more of the spectacle, those in power distracting us from they latest outrages.

          Bread and circuses yes. Controlled by a dozen or so trans-national corporations. How handy for the privileged and powerful that is the case.

          Many people look at a Tory and know intrinsically they are immoral and stupid.

          I understand the point you are making. However there are a lot of good Tories out there that I would trust with both my person and my money. And a fair number of Lefties out there that I would not.

          • Murray Olsen 6.2.1.1.1

            CV, it’s not a question of whether you would trust a particular Tory with your person or your money. It’s a question of whether we can trust them with our nation and our economy. I know what my answer is.

    • NZ Femme 6.3

      A similar story from the herald last year:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11164893

      For this business owner, the motivation came from wanting people to re-engage with the model of trust and ethics in their dealings with others.

    • weka 6.4

      My understanding of the gift economy is that there is no expectation of return from the person who is being gifted to. In that sense I don’t think the cafe is doing gift economy, they’re more a mix of bartering and letting customers set their own pricing. Good on them though, it will definitely get people thinking about what it’s all about.

      Pity about the university lecturer they quoted in the article, who seems well inured in the greed economy.

      • Colonial Viper 6.4.1

        My understanding of the gift economy is that there is no expectation of return from the person who is being gifted to.

        Not quite correct I suggest as the principle of reciprocity is a strong and underlying social value is understood throughout a gift economy.

        This is also what makes a ‘barter economy’ (if such a thing ever existed) quite different from a gift economy.

        And it is where many old traditions around gift giving come from: eg you give something appropriate to the person and of a scale to what you can give, but not something so outlandish that the person can never properly ‘repay’ you down the track. You don’t give cash as that is considered a thoughtless and impersonal gift (although the Chinese found a cultural way around this with ‘red packets’.) When you visit people in their homes you always bring along a gift for them, no matter how minor, as a token of appreciation and esteem. Etc.

        In other words, a ‘gift economy’ is in fact just as much an interpersonal form of social relations as the cruel and patriarchal capitalist economy we have now is, and is an alternative or at least a potential parallel to it.

        • weka 6.4.1.1

          Reciprocity yes, but as a direct immediate exchange between giver and receiver?

          • Bill 6.4.1.1.1

            Swings and merry-go-rounds. There is no need for exchange to occur between the particular giver and receiver. That, as you suggest, would merely be barter or whatever.

            • weka 6.4.1.1.1.1

              I got the impression that despite what it was saying the cafe did really expect people to pay for their coffee.

  7. greywarbler 7

    Charlie Brooker – I have just found him and he is great and the others on the program.

    A great interview between two clever women – Kim Hill and Elearnor Learmouth on her new book No Mercy. About the need to cannibalise when you are shipwrecked and telling the story of some notable shipwrecks, considering Golding’s Lord of the Flies and an experiment carried out by psychologists with 11 year old boys.

    Apparently it is important with adults to make a plan that seems feasible and worthwhile to all and work on it so all thoughts are turned to positive things. It is good if you have a leader who treats everyone fairly, and keeps everyone in touch with the plan. There were two Auckland Islands shipwrecks that overlapped. There were 19 on one that scattered and didn’t even carry out the one idea they had had, to create a signal to catch the eye of someone on a passing ship. The other made a boat that sailed to NZ and organised a return for the remaining men. It had a strong-minded captain, concerned about other people.

    All useful to know for the future. And also with something to say on how to manage the run-up to the elections. No scattering. Work together.

    And I suggest don’t tell CV he doesn’t know anything – he is the best thing since sliced bread. Differences of opinion about the best way to go about things yes. Thoughts about what are the right and ideal actions. But also how to manage best the risk-taking and neglectful lack of action on forward-looking policies that are current. At the core CV is ‘the very model of a modern Labour politician”.

    And any other Labour or Green or Mana politician who is trying to be both wise and progressive and wants to test his or her ideas in an opinionated but thinking forum would I am sure receive consideration and support here. Get a cross-party conversation going eh!

    • Morrissey 7.1

      A great interview between two clever women – Kim Hill and Elearnor Learmouth…

      I also tend to think of Kim Hill as quite clever, not least because she reads voraciously. However, last week, during an interview with an Oxford mathematics don who is also a creationist—go figure—she made reference to a book she had been reading, written by the insane British historian Michael Burleigh. Reading him is not the problem, of course; but she commented favorably on the book, which as it happens is as nutty as a Rodney Hide column, and about as authoritative. That Kim Hill had anything positive to say about such rubbish casts doubt on her judgement, and makes this famous dressing down of her by John Pilger even more relevant….
      http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/face-to-face-with-kim-hill-john-pilger-2003

      As for Burleigh, who should be, and is generally, treated with the disdain reserved for the likes of historians like David Irving and Bill O’Reilly, a couple of weeks ago I reviewed the same book that Kim Hill seemed so impressed by. The difference is: I read the whole awful thing to the end. I don’t think she read much of it at all….
      http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1388267210.html

      • Molly 7.1.1

        The Kim Hill interview with John Pilger was one of the first I’d seen with her after returning from the UK. Watching the complete interview, I was put off ever watching her again.

        Which goes to show how personal prejudice can get in the way of information, because from that time I failed to meet another Kim Hill critic but still couldn’t bring myself to watch her. I missed out on some pretty good interviews by the sounds of it.

  8. Bill 8

    Happened to be somewhere last night where I was able to watch 12 Years a Slave. Good film by the way.

    Anyway, it got me wondering (again) as to why it is, that whereas no-one has any problem understanding and condemning the massive waste of human potential and talent involved in compelling people to work sugar/cotton or whatever, far fewer people view modern jobs in the same critical light.

    Can you imagine the air of disbelief that would greet anyone who was to propose that working cotton or sugar for a plantation owner engendered self worth and respect? And yet here we are, thousands upon thousands….millions, working jobs for business owners and/or shareholders that have far less utility than cotton or sugar harvesting. Yet these jobs are a path to self respect and worthiness (apparently) and so there is no outcry over wasted human potential and talent. And very, very few abolitionists calling for an end to the systems behind contemporary wasting of human life.

    Very strange.

    • adam 8.1

      It is happening here, a good example is our pacific immigrants. How many pacific islanders are wasted doing cleaning/labour jobs? I work with a guy who was a lines man until he hurt his back and could not do that job anymore – this is a guy with a natural talent to cold read and then directing people to make good decisions for themselves – a natural social worker who empowers people to do it for themselves. He was wasted for 30 years, digging holes in the ground, because he was a pacific islander – what a stupid system we embrace.

      I think you got the best term there Bill.

      Abolitionists for the waste of human potential.

      Or a new abolitionist movement based around that concept. Because, quite frankly, I’m sick of the waste this current economic system creates – it wastes humans because it can not cope with brilliance or a full flowering of humanities potential.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This country wastes the potential societal and economic contribution of hundreds of millions of person-hours each year.

        It’s a horrific travesty.

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          Yeah CV, it’s a travesty. But seriously, I can’t quite get why there isn’t a visible and vocal abolitionist movement like there was for plantation slavery. I mean, fuck, all (not quite true, but for arguments sake I’ll say ‘all’) there has been over the past 100 years is a pile of mad Leninists and their various off-shoots wanting to be in the position of ‘big boss’…as though being compelled to work for the glory of the ‘workers’ state is any less wasting than being compelled to work for some-one elses private profit.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. Although for the moment I’d settle for a capitalist social democracy where transfer payments are used to help those currently unemployed and underemployed people contribute their utmost to society. (UBI and full employment policy/jobs guarantee).

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.1.1

              And then? I mean, only a misanthropic fckwit would argue against alleviating some of the more onerous aspects of our modern ‘arrangements’. So yes, UBI and whatever else. But then what? Because if there is no ‘and then’, we essentially ain’t moving anywhere and whatever gains there may be will be rolled back or diluted at some point.

              • Colonial Viper

                “And then” is for us to speculate on as we haven’t even achieved step 1; and for the next generation to accomplish for themselves, if they want it. Or the academics to write up their hypotheses on.

                • McFlock

                  so we take steps without any idea about where we’re going? Unwise.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The idea would be to take steps with something of an idea as to what we want that step to achieve and if it doesn’t then we change the step. That change may require anything from an amendment to outright repeal.

                    It’s like the UBI: We instate it with say $400/week. This will cause massive inflation in the housing market as the greedy rentiers stretch their hands forth to take as much of it as they can. Thing is, we don’t change the $400/week UBI. Instead we take another step and build a surplus of accommodation.

                    • McFlock

                      apart from the massive lag between upping rents and creating a housing surplus. So you have a few years of the UBI being blatantly insufficient and enough voters will think it’s a failed idea that they vote tory. Destination: another neolib regime.

                      We need to be thinking as thoroughly as possible as far ahead as possible, not just about the next footstep.

                    • weka

                      How does the UBI lead to rent increases?

                    • McFlock

                      increases available funds for poorest people, but housing supply static

                    • weka

                      So the living wage would also lead to rent increases? Or any other substantial relief of financial poverty?

                    • McFlock

                      well, yes, they would all be generally inflationary (although not as bad as some tories might say), but the issue with the ubi and rents is that it essentially replicates the issue that some beneficiaries had with the accommodation supplement – when the landlord knows the tenants’ source of income, and also knows that there’s a housing shortage, the landlord can simply say “and this is how much you can now pay”. It could even benefit the capitalists more than the poor.

                      Which is one reason I prefer phasing in any particular policy, and especially the UBI – areas of abuse and exploitation can be identified before it gets too bad, and in this exampe new residences built to reduce theshortage in that area.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We need to be thinking as thoroughly as possible as far ahead as possible, not just about the next footstep.

                      Yes we do but we still need to take the first step. And we can take multiple steps at the same time – institute a UBI, a major house building operation and a rent freeze.

                    • McFlock

                      fools rush in, though.

                      Basically, lab4 was signed off by a lot of people who fell into the “we must do something: this is something: we must do this” approach to problem solving (although championed by fuckwits). The absolute worst case scenario is the next govt jumps in, introduces sweeping reforms that have one or two serious problems to overcome but were on the right track, but then the tories get bounced back in and the reforms that were on the right track become discredited. An example is that “socialism” is still a dirty word for a lot of people who can cast a vote.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      “we must do something: this is something: we must do this”

                      I actually think that approach is better than the we must have everything planned to perfection before we do anything that you’re suggesting. At least then we’ll get to learn from our mistakes.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, I’ve been arguing for incremental introductions rather than jumping in. That way the mistakes will be smaller. As well as keeping focus on where we want to be going in the long run.

                      You and CV might want to act without thought. That’s a fast-track to failure, even if there weren’t some tories who would be fighting to increase inequality and poverty and so seeking to exploit the weaknesses in your steps.

          • weka 8.1.1.1.2

            Why?

            Because most people can’t see an alternative.

            Because many people on wages and salaries believe that it works reasonably well for them even if it’s not ideal.

            Because unlike slavery, most people in NZ don’t such extremes of subhuman treatment in their day job.

            Because we’ve all been socialised to believe we have choice, and 30 years of neoliberalism have made it much harder to challenge that (internally and externally).

            That’s not a comprehensive list.

            • Bill 8.1.1.1.2.1

              The treatment – ie, how the condemnation is expressed or the precise nature of ‘sanction’ – is kinda beside the point. Even if everyone was housed in 5 star hotels with en suite flim-flam, the fact would remain that we and all our potentials are being channeled in a ridiculously restrictive environment to serve the very focused (and hardly inspiring) wants of a very few people.

              But on the treatment front – I know of smart people – maybe not ‘academically’ smart- who work or who have worked in places where every single fucking day the wee boss who sits above them but below the three or four tiers of bigger bosses patrols like a traffic cop who’s having a bad day. Every day. And they are reduced to putting their hands up and asking permission to go to the toilet. Every time and every single fucking day. And it’s not some short term hell zone – it’s their entire adult working life…ten years, thirty years.

              As for ‘alternative’, I admit that frustrates the fck out of me.We don’t have to see an alternative – just seeing the reality of what’s around us is ample justification for action. But then, people tend to always be looking for blueprints and what not, and then not acting in the absence of such blueprints. (While never asking “This blueprint? Who drew it up and figured it out and what does it suggest for…oh look – another heap of authoritarianism coming down form above.”) The bottom line is very simple.What alternative is needed to that which is inflicting damage – beyond not doing that which is inflicting damage? That’s the first step.

              • weka

                The treatment matters to many people though, and understanding that is important to understanding why people don’t resist the situation. This was point of the character Cypher in the Matrix – ultimately he chose to return into the matrix because it was comforting and more comfortable than reality. Why should someone care about wage slavery if they get to live in a fancy apartment with 3 flatscreen TVs?

                In terms of a blueprint, I agree that we should be able to act in the first instance without a blueprint, but we still need to have a shared understanding. We don’t and I guess that’s what you were asking (why don’t we?) and I was suggesting some of the reasons we don’t.

                I think one problem with expecting people to act without a blueprint is that you are asking them to risk their survival needs, take some things on faith. Most people aren’t going to do that unless they are ideologically on board, or their hearts are in it.

                • Bill

                  So, what you’re saying is that everyone has their price. A flatscreen + whatever for the balance of our creative potential…to cede our right to develop our potential. Or is it that we are trained and schooled to expect nothing of ourselves….to close our eyes and minds to anything beyond that which can be monetised?

                  Anyway, can the shared understanding not (at least initially) simply be that neither *this* nor anything that would parody *this* is in any way acceptable?

                  Which entails us ‘walking backwards’ into things, working out what we don’t want, rejecting the unpalatable or unacceptable. Turns out, that can be best and clearest way of moving forwards…we get what’s left after having cleared the smash. And that, given the process we use, can only be acceptable and palatable.

                  Oh fuck – did I just channel Sherlock Holmes there in an odd kinda way? Is the sun over the yard-arm yet?

                  • weka

                    I thought you were going to the Oil-Free thingy this afternoon 😉

                    “Anyway, can the shared understanding not (at least initially) simply be that neither *this* nor anything that would parody *this* is in any way acceptable? ”

                    You and I and many others share this understanding 🙂

                    For the rest, I think there will always be the Cyphers. Then there will be those that haven’t chosen which pill they want to take. Then there are those that don’t even know there is a choice, or even that there is such a thing as blue pill or a red pill.

                    I still think we shouldn’t underestimate what people will do to survive. Maslow’s heirarchy of needs. Some of what you are talking about is socialisation. Some of it is more fundamental, so I would guess that you have to wait until people have a lot less to lose, or you have to convince them that there are bloody good reasons to risk their survival needs (not you personally of course).

                    I could do with a drink myself as it happens.

      • Bill 8.1.2

        How many children are there as of right now in NZ who could develop amazing talents but who will be stymied because their talent isn’t easily monetised? I’m picking thousands and thousands.

        And how many will wind up rejected by the market to waste away in disempowered and shitty living conditions that produce all manner of neurotic and destructive behaviours? Again, I’m picking thousands and thousands.

        And how many will be ‘hunted down’ because their survival strategies, perfectly reasonable under the circumstances, run counter to arbitrary laws that ‘just happen’ to feed into ideas about creating profits in some privatised prison system. I’m picking a fair percentage of those thousands and thousands.

        And how many people sitting in relative comfort will wring their hands and shake their heads and wonder what the world is coming to? Many. But god forbid they actually take a look at the systemic drivers behind the clusterfuck of ‘dysfunctional’ people and poverty. (not actually dysfunctional – perfect, though undesirable, functionality for the circumstances)

        And – oh, fuck me dead – how many bleeding heart liberals will decry the lack of jobs as being the source and reason for the blight and the waste? Damn near all, if present attitudes are anything to go by.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1

          And – oh, fuck me dead – how many bleeding heart liberals will decry the lack of jobs as being the source and reason for the blight and the waste? Damn near all, if present attitudes are anything to go by.

          Yep, getting pissed off with that too. But, but, we neeeed jobssss No, we don’t.

    • QoT 8.2

      Can you imagine the air of disbelief that would greet anyone who was to propose that working cotton or sugar for a plantation owner engendered self worth and respect?

      I can, because I’ve seen it when people do. Check out things like the recent bullshit around Ani DiFranco proposing to hold a retreat in a former plantation. Five minutes after the first person said “wow, that’s kind of insensitive” you could hardly move for people insisting that most slave owners were actually lovely people and treated their slaves just like members of the family etc.

      People are really bad at challenging things which they’ve been taught are normal.

      • Bill 8.2.1

        aw fck- and I wasn’t feeling disenchanted enough as it was? cheers QoT

      • Will@Welly 8.2.2

        People will say anything to justify the wrongs of the past, and even today, present ones. The worst now is people who stand up, admit their mistakes, expect instant forgiveness, and then expect those wrongs to instantaneously disappear.
        Of course we also have the “great deniers”, a la our dear leader, who never ever tells fibs. Apologizes to BLiP. His list of J.K.’s “fibs” is magnanimous!!

        • Manu 8.2.2.1

          By our leader I assume you are referring to John Key.
          Look, it matters not who we all support and vote for this guy is hands down the best prime minister in New Zealand’s history.
          The more people invent rubbish to suit their preconceived ideas the better good honest down-to-earth people like John Key look; comparatively speaking of course.
          Time to get factual my friend.

          • Paul 8.2.2.1.1

            “Look, it matters not who we all support and vote for this guy is hands down the best prime minister in New Zealand’s history…..
            Time to get factual my friend.”

            You are either trying to
            A) do satire
            B) stir up a hornet’s nest
            C) incredibly deluded.

            I sense B.

            • Manu 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Smarty pants – ‘B’ correct. However I do believe he’s fantastic and I am betting he goes down in history as our best PM.
              Strangely the two most hated politicians in the 80’s are now recognised as absolute top performers: Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

              Are you off the floor yet?

              • Paul

                I have better things to do than discuss issues with someone aiming simply to provoke.
                Evidence and reason appeal, not schoolyard banter.
                Now you need to go home.

    • joe90 8.3

      I’m always amazed that this happened in my lifetime.

      “I certainly wasn’t afraid. And I wasn’t afraid because I was too angry to be afraid. If I were lucky I would be carted off to jail for a long, long time. And if I were not so lucky, then I would be going back to my campus, in a pine box.”

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/10/261384803/franklin-mccain-one-of-greensboro-four-dies

  9. captain hook 9

    Thanks for the info Mathew.
    I’ll pass it on.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Freedom came up with some controversial ideas about funding electioneering yesterday. Could be good? But what do others think. They are at –

    Open mike 10/01/2014

    And someone made a very rude remark about politicians on Open Mike 10 January too. Oh that was me by the way. And some good discussion on Norway and why is someone trying to stir up hostility against them in Ireland. Was interesting – worth catching up.

    • freedom 10.1

      To be honest greywarbler I am a bit puzzled that folk seem to have ignored it, bar Rosie and yourself, but such is life. I think it is a solid idea that should only be controversial to those who fail to understand how real change is sometimes required if things are really to change.

      There were some pretty loud voices being thrown around TS these past months, and many of them called for new ideas for dealing with old political issues. Looking over TS posts today and yesterday, I see little discussion of anything new but lots of ongoing deckchair scenarios.

      Then again, in blogs as in life, there is a certain judgmental bias that attaches itself to names, maybe I should have submitted it as an anonymous guest post. 😉

      afk
      p.s.
      tick tock

      • weka 10.1.1

        I reckon submit it as a guest post. I often skip over long comments in OM unless it is something that I am particularly interested in.

        “There were some pretty loud voices being thrown around TS these past months, and many of them called for new ideas for dealing with old political issues. Looking over TS posts today and yesterday, I see little discussion of anything new but lots of ongoing deckchair scenarios.”

        Offending your potential audience might not be the best way to start though 😉

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          OK. I have some time. I’ll put it into a post – it’ll be under my pseudonym, if that’s OK, but properly attributed.

      • greywarbler 10.1.2

        Hi freedom. You will have noticed how interested people were in the matter of Len Brown sleeping around. Then a foxy little RWNJ red number flits past and all the lefties go baying after him/her. Reading and thinking, and then ditto, are so not hip.

        I don’t follow lots of things I should and I hope the ideas will continue to be presented until I get them through my head. Blip is an example. Lots to read that has to be returned to again.
        We need to keep on with this stuff. But it is post-Christmas and people are still spending their Christmas money or trading things online. It’ll be swinging back and hotting up.

        What do you think about a possible early election? That will sharpen everyone. And what about a guest post offering? You could just fill it out with some background of what other places do or whatever, and put it up as a post. I thought it was a subject and a comment that deserved attention. So in another couple of weeks say when the holiday is over. I haven’t done a guest post myself yet but I haven’t had such an organised, considered comment to introduce as you.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        Oh, I saw it, still thinking about it. Having a guest post about it would probably help stir some debate.

  11. adam 11

    http://radcasting.blogspot.co.nz

    http://radcast.org

    Fukushima is not going away – it seems it’s not getting better and indeed it is melting!

    So now we have a place we can call fall out city – it looks like it going to be giving us perpetual radiation for the next few hundred years. Safe green energy – my ass.

    It seems the main stream media just want to ignore this issue.

    • aerobubble 11.1

      The main effects (globally) will be on fishing stocks, but overfishing will negate this increasingly.

      Its the blind leading the blind for the environmental, one disaster is blinded by another.

  12. adam 12

    I love this video – web site

    http://www.wolf-pac.com

  13. Te Reo Putake 13

    China relegates the US to the world’s No2 trading nation?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25678415

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    “Carrying a sign just wasn’t cutting it any more”

    Activists who broke into FBI office 1971, revealed direct govt activities against political activists and protestors, and helped take down J Edgar Hoover, finally revealed.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8/it_was_time_to_do_more

  15. One Anonymous Knucklehead 16

    Two nuclear powers squaring off against one another, tit-for-tat diplomatic sanctions, all the trappings of a new cold war. My money’s on India.

  16. Tracey 17

    How did the savage govt manage to implement a 40 hour week, state housing and welfare without;

    The sky falling;
    Being voted out?

    It was pretty radical stuff, yes?

    • Poission 17.1

      How did the savage govt manage to implement a 40 hour week,

      By doing nothing ie by maintaining the status quo,as it had been in since the realm of Queen Victoria.

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        Yep. Thing is, we need to change the status quo. If we don’t then we’re fucked.

  17. joe90 18

    The lowlanders of Eindhoven know a thing or two about cycling.

    http://hovenring.com/

  18. greywarbler 19

    A smorgasbord of items about charter or academy schools. The new profit centre or center depending on what spelling your charter school chooses.
    Academies and free schools should become profit-making businesses using hedge funds and venture capitalists to raise money, according to private plans being drawn up by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cash-for-classrooms-michael-gove-plans-to-let-firms-run-schools-for-profit-8682395.html
    and
    http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml
    In a stock market prospectus uncovered by education author Jonathan Kozol, the Montgomery Securities group explains to Corporate America the lure of privatizing education. Kozol writes: “The education industry,” according to these analysts, “represents, in our opinion, the final frontier of a number of sectors once under public control” that have either voluntarily opened or, they note in pointed terms, have “been forced” to open up to private enterprise. Indeed, they write, “the education industry represents the largest market opportunity” since health-care services were privatized during the 1970’s…. From the point of view of private profit, one of these analysts enthusiastically observes, “The K–12 market is the Big Enchilada.”1
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_school_(England)
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_(English_school)
    and
    Charter Schools and The Profit Motive | JONATHAN TURLEY
    jonathanturley.org/2013/03/16/charter-schools-and-the-profit-motive/‎
    Mar 16, 2013 – We have no idea whether the money is being efficiently or effectively … The big business of charter schools (Washington Post) …. It’s about money and politics and influence-peddling. ….. Why would we outsource the nation’s curriculum to a for-profit publishing and test-making corporation based in London?

    • Manu 19.1

      Hey Greywarbler

      Charter schools work; that is a fact.
      They help to lift the standards of other schools in their area; another fact.
      Charter schools absolutely lift the performance of lower socioeconomic children; yet another fact.

      Face it, you are against them because of who introduced the concept and not because of what they are.

      Our Children are too important for you and your kind to go politicizing in the negative.
      Why do you want uneducated kids? Is that because they are then more easily manipulated?

      • karol 19.1.1

        Got any citations for your “facts”, manu? Got any critique to show there’s a problem with the evidence produced by greywarbler?

        • Manu 19.1.1.1

          Hello Karol, thanks for coming out to play

          Here’s just some evidence. Try it for size. Now I know it will bug you that the poor brown kids will now catch up to the white kids much faster but don’t let that ruin your day:

          Nina Rees at USA Today writes:

          New York¹s public charter schools are upending old assumptions about urban education. And they can help even more students if New York¹s incoming mayor lets them.

          Earlier this year, Stanford¹s Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) revealed that in just one school year, the typical New York City charter school student gained about five additional months of learning in math and one additional month of learning in reading compared with students in traditional public schools.

          These gains, repeated year after year, are helping to erase achievement gaps between urban and suburban students. A rigorous 2009 study from Stanford professor Caroline Hoxby found that students who attend New York City¹s charter schools from Kindergarten through 8th grade will make up 86% of the suburban-urban achievement gap in math and 66% of the gap in English.

          New York has roughly 70,000 students enrolled in public charter schools, and the numbers are on the rise. This school year alone, 14,000 new students in the city enrolled in charter schools ­ with the vast majority in low-income neighbourhoods.

          Remarkably, several charter schools in low-income neighbourhoods are showing some of the most impressive achievement gains. For instance, while just 30% of students citywide passed New York¹s new Common Core math exam, 97% of students passed the exam at Bronx Success Academy 2. The passage rate was 80% at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill in Brownsville, a community that has suffered academic failure for generations.

          Mayor Bloomberg introduced “co-location” as a way to turn unused classrooms into productive learning environments. Sharing space also tests the hypothesis that environmental factors make it difficult for children in certain neighbourhoods to succeed in school. Charters quickly proved that theory wrong. For example, 88% of third and fourth graders at Success Academy Harlem 5 passed the state math exam. The traditional public school located in the same building only managed to attain a pass rate of 6%.

          Across the country, charter schools have produced particular academic gains among students in poverty, minority students and students still learning English. The same CREDO study that revealed impressive learning gains among New York City¹s charter school students also showed that, nationwide, black students in poverty who attend charter schools gained the equivalent of 29 extra days of learning in reading each year, and 36 extra days in math, compared to their traditional public schools peers.

          [You should put links in if you are going to post from articles. This one is from http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/01/01/public-charter-schools-de-blasio-new-york-column/4265747/ – MS]

        • Paul 19.1.1.2

          Manu is bored today and is seeking to disrupt any thread.
          He’s had a few gos today already, even one claiming Key is NZ’s best PM ever!
          Best not to waste your valuable time.

      • greywarbler 19.1.2

        Hello Manu
        You are onto a good thing with charter schools. Business looking for some profitable enterprise have noticed that education is desired by everyone. Also there is so little business enterprise going on it is one of the few areas of growth – selling dreams and measured information and skills to youngsters.

        And it is government funded. So the perpetrators of these academies and charter schools don’t run the risk of losing their shirts when they don’t achieve excellence. Some will turn out to be really good for some youngsters, some okay and some abject failures. But the NZ government has so little interest in doing its job to provide for the nation what a responsible modern country needs, that they are happy to get rid of much of the education problem (much exaggerated) and not even set any standards or controls for most of the activity. And they will fund it. It’s great news.

        So keep applying for all the grants that are available. Just keep everyone on the administration and teaching side up to standard won’t you. No large expensive people movers, large, high 4WDs at great cost. Don’t keep on dodgy coaches because they keep the sports teams winning or the kapa haka team achieving. You may be able to do a better job than the past.

        But two great Maori schools are now closed, St Stephens and Queen Victoria. They couldn’t adapt and stand fast against elements that led to their downfall. Their problems will arise again in some charter schools. And they will be worse, and be kept under wraps for some time till some whistleblower arises. I think they will be an expensive mistake for the country. But will leave some well off.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=163341

        http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/education/native-affairs-old-school
        They were once bastions of excellence, responsible for educating many of Māoridom’s most esteemed leaders however their glory days have long since passed.
        For over a decade ex-students and whānau have been battling to resurrect Māori boarding schools Queen Victoria and St Stephen’s College.
        Now moves are underway to re-open these much loved schools. Semiramis Holland reports.

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    Pass the super – it will help the country

    The study says every dollar of resources that was tipped into the finance sector in 1990 led to $3.50 in capital formation. By 2012, every dollar invested in finance led to $1.50 of capital formation.
    The finance sector, and particularly all the auxiliary industries that have sprung off traditional banking, have got better at retaining that money for themselves and the people who work there. Between 1990 and 2012, financial profits rose 10.3 per cent a year and salaries rose 7.7 per cent a year. But the number of people who worked in the industry increased just 0.6 per cent a year, meaning that if you kept your job in finance, you’ve done very well.

    So, anyone want more private financial institutions getting their hands on our super savings?

    And then there’s this.

    Our money system guarantees that inequality will get worse. The evidence compiled in this paper suggests that there are several factors contributing to the growth of inequality, but at the heart is the operation of the banking system.

    And that’s proven by the above link showing ever more money going to the financial system.

    If we want a better society the first thing that needs to be done is the reform of the financial system. Until that happens all we’ll have is ever increasing inequality and poverty.

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