Open Mike 12/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 12th, 2019 - 156 comments
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156 comments on “Open Mike 12/01/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    If you are not white or privileged, this message is not intended for you.
    (even as a metaphor).

  2. WeTheBleeple 2

    Are you a bargain hunter? A connoisseur of crap? A Sally Store shark?

    Apparently, a new netflix show ‘Tidying up with Marie Kwondo’ has inspired many Kiwis to declutter lately. This has resulted in windfall hauls for various charity organisations.

    So the message is, there’s bargains to be found for those wanting them.

    I recommend blenders for fresh smoothies. Old books for learning from. Old clothes for a hipster disguise. I’m in the midst of a declutter myself though – out with the old in with the (not so) new? Change is good.

    I loved punk for a similar reason to hipster fashion, go to op shop, rip stuff, pin stuff, add badges, wardrobe done. With the hipster look just find something hideous and wear it with confidence. Job done.

    Happy hunting!

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      This short film, offered yesterday here on TS by some kind soul, is a great watch and on the topic of de-cluttering – in this instance, shedding an entire herd of cattle! I enjoyed it very much and thought how paltry my own de-cluttering challenge when compared to the subject of “73 cows”.

      • WeTheBleeple 2.1.1

        I really enjoyed that film and it did challenge my stance (a little). I will never condone factory farming or the concept of eating meat daily. I do however subscribe to dietary science and find after a week of dining from my garden I’m still a bit hungry. I eat meat weekly, or slightly less, when my body asks for it.

        This is likely a lack of fats as much as protein, though I fared poorly growing beans this year so there is that missing.

        I eat a range of herbs and veg every day.

        I am open to suggestions as to what this ‘missing ingredient’ in my diet can be replaced with. If you start trying to push soy on me don’t bother, I’ll never eat that GE crap they’re destroying the Gulf of Mexico to farm for y’all.

        • Robert Guyton

          You thought I might “start trying to push soy ” on you?
          Cricket-flour patties, WTP; they’re the buzz 🙂
          If the cow farmer could only hook up with Charles Dowding…
          On another topic…do we humans ever willingly accept less comfort than we have grown accustomed to? Has anyone real examples of voluntary change to less comfort? I’m thinking/remembering what it was like sleeping on sand. Every time you turn, even slightly, sand fills in behind you, preventing you from turning back; is comfort like that?

          • Dennis Frank

            Cor, the deep questions so early in the day? I’m floundering. Must be some good reason why no bed of sand has entered the market. Nor have I ever heard of home-made examples. Perhaps we need to turn so frequently during the night that the sand effect you describe creates resistance. That would make it a non-user-friendly design.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Just in case you haven’t already noticed: “A new poll reveals a large majority of New Zealanders would support legalising recreational cannabis use in the Government’s 2020 referendum.” Forget decriminalisation! The public wants to go all the way!

    Here’s evidence that the boomers are the mostly closet-fascists and closet-stalinists, dead-keen to suppress the rights of others:

    18 – 24 years: 68 percent agree
    25 – 34 years: 75 percent agree
    33 – 44 years: 72 percent agree
    45 – 54 years: 58 percent agree
    55 – 64 years: 58 percent agree
    65 – 74 years: 30 percent agree
    75yrs or over: 37 percent agree

    Two thirds of all the younger generations are now rejecting prohibition! I’d better take back my oft-expressed dismissal of their collective intelligence. Those over 65 are two thirds in support of continuing prohibition. It’s a huge difference!

    • Chris T 3.1

      You think they are “closet-fascists and closet-stalinists” from a poll on making weed legal?

      How very “judgmental” of you.

      And rather stupid

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        We judge people on their actions, and their attitudes. These rightist and leftist turkeys who pretend to support democracy while trying to get away with denying others their civil rights have never been anything other than scum.

        You may think it stupid, but that’s obviously because you ain’t no real kiwi male. We call a spade a spade. Get with the program if you want to belong here.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        Chris T
        You are judgmental of the individual Dennis Frank for honestly decrying a recalcitrant group resisting practical change, as stupid.

        You are repressing an individual – he was expressing a considered opinion about a group in society. So you are the one who is stupid.

    • Gabby 3.2

      Thy’re old enough to see the damage it’s done in praxis franxie.

      • WeTheBleeple 3.2.1

        Most have never tried it and fill up on alcohol daily. Try again.

      • Psycho Milt 3.2.2

        Thy’re old enough to see the damage it’s done…

        Most people over 70 in this country have as much acquaintance with the smoking of marijuana and its effects as I do with aerobatics in a jet fighter.

        • Graeme

          I have fond memories from my student days in mid 70’s of being lectured on the perils of drugs by my stepmother while she had a gin in one hand and a tailormade in the other.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Psycho Milt, What are you talking about? if you are 70 today, that would make you 20 yo in 1969, I know for a fact that there was plenty of pot smoking going in certain circles in NZ in ’69, just the same as today.

          • solkta

            While it was smoked in certain circles in the 60s it was not smoked in most circles like the 80s. My parents had no idea what it smelt like. I used to mix it with drum tobacco and smoke it right under their noses. Once my father walked through the kitchen while i had a couple of big buds drying in the oven and he didn’t notice.

            • Adrian Thornton

              @solkta, that’s funny, because during the 1980’s there was pot pretty much everywhere I went…in one form or another.
              I would say it would have been without doubt the most widely used recreational drug used in NZ during that time, after alcohol of course.

          • Psycho Milt

            What Soltka said. Most 20-year-olds in 1969 weren’t smoking dope and didn’t look kindly on the kind of people who did.

            • Dennis Frank

              I turned 20 that year, and can report that I was still sceptical and too cautious. Not till March ’71 that I first tried it (to little apparent effect) due to feeling like I finally ought to jump on the bandwagon because the world was leaving me behind. I was a strange mix of radical and conservative, still am. But unlike what you say, I wasn’t hostile to users then. I recall viewing them with envy, in fact. Oh to be so adventurous! Casting your fate to the winds. Nah, too much of a challenge at the time so I wimped out…

        • Psych nurse

          Most people over 65 are the generation who discovered the joys of weed first, mind you those that did are probably already dead.

          • Dennis Frank

            A friend of mine, refugee from California, is still going strong in his late seventies. I think any correlation between cannabis users & early death would be established by now if real. I’ve never even heard of it being suggested.

        • patricia bremner

          3.2.2 True. Fear of the unknown.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.3

        Yeah, like fast drivers. Eliminate them due to the damage done. Easy. Just pass a law making it illegal to sell a car that drives faster than the speed limit. Industry can spin on a dime. Often does so. No problem.

        So why don’t rightist govts do that? Freedom of choice. Milton Friedman. Neoliberal ideology. People want to be free to choose to break the law, speed when they want to. Same logic for cannabis. But Gabby, you know this already. Cruise control on cars has been there since the nineties. The tech exists to eliminate speeding. It’s really just that the right are full of shit. Go on, be honest, admit it.

      • millsy 3.2.4

        Yes, pot does have adverse health effects, but so do a lot of other substances. We don’t lock someone up for smoking a cigarette, or drinking a beer. Even during the age of Prohibition in the USA, it was still not illegal for people to drink alcohol in their own home (they just couldn’t possess, sell, buy or transport it).

    • WeTheBleeple 3.3

      Old people are certainly not my favorites despite approaching membership. In uni it was the old farts who’d fight for the status quo and question those who questioned them. A bunch of oil aficionados.

      But the young adults… They’d come to study group and we’d rant long and loud on alternative energy, agricultural diversification and more.

      I still remember my first Jay Day at Uni. We had a biology lecture and almost the entire class showed up baked (we’d been having spots in the quad). The lecturer knew what was up immediately but didn’t know how to change tack.

      “Questions?”… …. ……. ……………..


      • greywarshark 3.3.1

        I did some adult-reading recovery tutoring in a drug rehabilitation unit before, I think, Labour in Ruth Dyson’s time closed them down.

        Talking to the chap I was helping, he told me that part of the steps he had to achieve towards wellness was to read a certain book on drug taking and write a summary of what he had learned. He found that he could read a whole page, know the words as he read them, but not be able to retain enough joined-up ideas and meaning by the end of the page to summarise what he had just read. Consequently the counsellors thought he wasn’t trying. I related the problem to them. They had not realised the brain function ‘numbing’ that the recovering people could be experiencing.

        I understand that the brain does recover but the traces of cannabis regularly used, get into some tissues and take months of absistence before being drawn out to leave the brain which then can function better.

        • Dennis Frank

          Any fogging of the mind can be dispelled by drinking a herbal tea in which dried & powdered rosemary leaves are a primary component. Works like magic!

          • greywarshark

            So that’s your secret you cunning person. Rosemary is more than just a pretty flower, smell and taste. Maybe you’ve come across the Elixir we have all been hoping for. I’ll definitely try it.

            • Dennis Frank

              Have you ever done a detox? System cleansing is sometimes necessary due to the polluting effects of chemical food additives, micro-organisms, heavy metals. Rosemary is merely a system-maintenance agent. In my herbal tea mix, there’s around a dozen such.

    • Pat 3.4

      There are only 2 ‘boomer’ cohorts in that list…and one one them is well in favour.
      Generalisations/stereotypes are notoriously of little use…..about as accurate as ‘average’

      • Dennis Frank 3.4.1

        That probably means you’re younger than me and are sufficiently pragmatic/ broadminded to accept the extended definition of boomer & take it more seriously. I’m bang in the middle of the group only in 30% approval, and untypical (nonconformist). In the counter-culture we’d grown to 1% of the whole generation, which seemed impressive growth at the time!

        I kept tracking it & vaguely recall it trending around 5% at the end of the seventies. Just my estimation. Values polling is only an approximate indicator. I still saw them as trendy establishment liberals pretending to be radical. I wouldn’t have trusted them to support legalisation so never even checked if they did or not. Suit-wearers.

        • Pat

          on the contrary …I dont take the labelling of generations seriously at all (except in the the misuse of its relevance)….folk are folk regardless and the curious thing is most of them age.

      • greywarshark 3.4.2

        That might be wishful thinking. I think more of older retired folk around here anyway, in Nelson, are National supporters. They display similar characteristics – there is the birds of a feather thing as a general point. Refusal to understand this would mean that you would be less able to make personal predictions that would achieve accuracy when considering voting patterns etc.

        • Pat

          im sure you are not suggesting that someone who is an empathetic open minded thoughtful individual receives a personality transplant for their 65th birthday GWS

          • greywarshark

            There has been a trend observed that peiople become more conservative in old age. Also that older people tend to support the status quo when it is in a place that is positive for them.

            • Pat

              There has indeed been such a trend observed, conservative in that they less inclined to change i.e. maintain the views they have developed, so if you were of the view that drug reform was not a good idea when you were 30 odds are you will maintain that view at 40, 50 or 60 etc. This may be attributed to the predominant views/influences in the formative years ….and we also know that politics follow public opinion rather than lead it.
              How this reduced appetite for risk is reflected in voting patterns is a topic of much debate.

              As to the assertion that ‘older people tend to support the status quo when it is in a place that is positive for them’ a more accurate statement would be ‘people tend to support the status quo when it is in a place that is positive for them’…..age is not key.

              Again, folk are folk…and they age.

  4. SaveNZ 4

    Shouldn’t the government stop all these temporary work visas being issued under false pretences of work (and a hefty fee to the middleman) taking up accommodation in shortages?

    The best thing the government could do, is prosecute the recruitment company and make them pay the Chinese workers money back and then Close the scam.

    No wonder tradespeople are complaining their wages haven’t moved in 20 years while the cost of construction is skyrocketing as are all the defects. Time construction was not some immigration scam, but people with the right paperwork and the right NZ training or equivalent who speak and read English so can be safe on site and follow the plans or they really are skilled and paid $100k plus that high skills should be getting in NZ. Kiwis are expected to pay $30k for a degree to become a builder and take 3 or 4 years but being undercut by non/poor English speakers often bought in by migrants as a work scam or to be cheap labour, who will work for virtually nothing.

    The government should be thinking of Kiwi welfare, rights and safety first instead they seem to be able to do anything for a foreigner with a problem, but somehow seems indifferent to the massive queues at the foodbanks for working Kiwis who can no longer survive on wages.

    • I saw a lot of indentured labour in Kuwait (even supervised some) and it still gnaws at my insides. It’s horrifying and disgusting that we’re now allowing it to happen here, and I’d like my elected representatives to do something about it – I’m looking at you, Iain Less-Galloway, you’re my MP as well as the relevant Minister. If we’ve signed FTAs that require us to allow this, please get on with reviewing and renegotiating or withdrawing from those FTAs, because they should never have been agreed to in the first place.

      This is the standard method of running indentured labour:
      1. In countries with lots of desperate people in poverty, you get local contractors to hire labour for you.
      2. Those contractors sell the right to work for you to desperate locals. They can’t pay the amount the contractor is demanding, so the contractor ‘lends’ them the money on the basis they’ll soon be able to pay it back again once they’re earning allegedly big bucks working for you.
      3. You have your staff pick the labourers up from the airport, take their passports off them and shoehorn them into run-down accommodation fit for a small fraction of the number of people.
      4. These people are now effectively your slaves. They can’t go and work for anyone else because you have their passports. You can pay them whatever and whenever you feel like, and if anyone wants to make trouble about that you hold the threat of withdrawing sponsorship and putting them on the next plane home with nothing but a debt to the local contractor that will make them a slave to that contractor, who’s probably worse even than you.

      Is this seriously what we want happening here? Because various incidents have demonstrated that it already is.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        It most certainly is what some want, and you are correct to ask the question of ILG because the response to the exposure of its prevalence has been non existent….why?

      • SaveNZ 4.1.2

        It is also putting the better businesses out of work, who can not compete with the low tenders from companies with workers working at below market rates. Race to the bottom. Also it impacts on everyone as often when those firms get in cheap labour it backfires and a decade later you find out that the materials were also sub standard as is the work and currently the rate payers seem to be paying to fix it while the council blithely adds more liability to our books as well as the poor home owner who then finds out that they need to poor in $100k+ remedial work and actually might not even be able to live there anymore.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        Is this seriously what we want happening here?

        Apparently so because its happening here.

        Capitalism will always shift to slavery of some form or another. People being free to leave work and get another job on the same day for better pay or even just better conditions minimises the capitalists profits.

        And so they work to make sure that freedom is not available. They cut the welfare state by saying that people getting welfare are being paid too much, put in degrading conditions for getting welfare and put in place so many hoops for getting it as well.

        And the whole lot is for the purpose of removing people’s freedom.

        Out in place a UBI and watch as the poor/bad employers scream.

        • greywarshark

          Maybe we will end up as in Israel – crowded to the max. No graciousness.

        • Shadrach

          You really do write some unadulterated bs.

          “People being free to leave work and get another job on the same day for better pay or even just better conditions minimises the capitalists profits.”

          Not for the employer who the employee shifts to, or they wouldn’t offer better terms. That is capitalism at work, the freedom of the worker to negotiate better terms. Do you really not understand that?

          • Draco T Bastard

            You miss the point that workers are, presently, not free to leave their present employment.

            I know you’re going to say that they are but they really aren’t.

            First off, if they leave they have no income for 13 weeks. That’s a cost.
            Because of the governments failure to run a full employment policy they can’t just walk to another job. Which means that they could be out of work for weeks or even months.

            That is capitalism at work, the freedom of the worker to negotiate better terms. Do you really not understand that?

            I understand it. Do you not understand that a high unemployment rate removes the ability of workers to negotiate? That they can only take what’s offered?

            This is why the government keeps unemployment high. To actually prevent the workers from negotiating better terms and wages.

            • shadrach

              “You miss the point that workers are, presently, not free to leave their present employment.”
              Of course they are. It’s called ‘resigning’.

              “First off, if they leave they have no income for 13 weeks. ”
              Wrong. They leave their old employer with potential outstanding leave entitlements, and start earning the very next day with their new employer. There are plenty of jobs.

              “Do you not understand that a high unemployment rate removes the ability of workers to negotiate? ”
              And a low unemployment rate increases the ability to negotiate. Thus the market provides the freedoms that workers don’t have under the dictates of socialism.

              “This is why the government keeps unemployment high.”
              The government wants low unemployment, because it increases it’s revenues and reduces it’s costs. If you seriously believe the government wants to keep unemployment high, you must think the current government is doing a pretty poor job!

      • Adrian Thornton 4.1.4

        @Psycho Milt +1, come to the Hawkes Bay if you want to see imported labour from impoverished pacific Island being used cynically to suppress wages and conditions. I brought this up with A. Little when I got the chance once, he blurted out some meaningless bullshit for an answer, which was really disappointing as I have always quite Little.

        The problem with Little is the same problem with Labour NZ, ie. they seem to in their hearts, still really believe free market capitalism will answer all our problems, they really are liberal ideologues, this whole pragmatism bullshit that Ardern bangs on about is nothing more than a smoke screen for more of the same.

        • Psycho Milt

          Same in Marlborough. I was in Blenheim for Christmas and found there’s now a big ugly barracks on the edge of town for the labourers imported from Vanuatu to work in the vineyards. I’ve seen better-looking prisons.

          • SaveNZ

            The police and immigration also seem also more willing politically to prosecute Pacific Islanders for ‘trafficking’ but less so for other nationals also in on the same wicket! Maybe not keen to displease Asian dual nationals who apparently bring in good political donations for politicians…

            • marty mars

              Evidence? That doesn’t sound correct. Are there any stats?
              Asians? From where? You mean China don’t you or do you have an ethnicity breakdown to put up.

              • SaveNZ

                There have been 4 trafficking cases prosecuted in NZ, as far as I am aware it always concentrates on Pacific Island horticulture workers, while it seems that other types of rampant human trafficking aka among the massive 150k temp work permits per year last year on top of the 129,000 migrants coming. That is under Labour. To give an idea they were talking about 15,000 when they won the election. So that promise has defiantly not be kept.

                For years now we have constant stories of workers paying for the work permits etc up front and then finding out there is no work and it is not all what is promised but they don’t get their money back. As far as I am concerned it falls under trafficking. Should people even be allowed to sell temporary work permits and internments to foreign people and profit from it?

                if people were paying to come into NZ in a boat they would be called human traffickers. Instead they do some shady stuff, and are bringing people to NZ who pay for the privilege just like the people traffickers but because they are on bogus permits it is apparently ok to lie and cheat people and then rely on NZ taxpayers to bail everyone out and turn a blind eye to the process because they are too incompetent to close it down.

        • patricia bremner

          When did the PM talk about pragmatism? ???
          I thought that was a National mp. “We are pragmatists”

          • Draco T Bastard


            Our empathy and strong sense of justice is matched only by our pragmatism.


            But the way I describe my approach to politics is that I’m a pragmatic-idealist.

            Of course, she’s still following capitalism which, itself, is not pragmatic. In fact, its a denial of pragmatism.

          • greywarshark

            There is a marriage of words that some people are wrongly divorcing.
            The term for what we need is ‘pragmatic idealism’.

            Here pragmatic is an adjective qualifying the idealism that we need to drive us forward as a nation to some good goals. This will prevent a fast gallop headlong down the road signposted with fluffy feel-good names of destinations for Labour. Or for National the roads marked off with little spots of gold that only the first person to reach them gathers and pockets, leaving the later phalanx lost, confused and searching for a leader.

            So that is the recipe, ‘pragmatic idealism’. Pragamatism as a noun will just turn the nation to an empty dust bowl with huge barrack-like prisons placed strategically apart.

      • RedLogix 4.1.6


        This. On the nail; a very accurate post that reflects exactly what I’ve seen elsewhere. I’ve seen this exploitation up front and in person on one big overseas project; it’s ugly, ugly.

        This is a story about desperate people living in over-populated countries where there is intense local competition for opportunity. Of course the intense desire to better oneself gets exploited in these circumstances.

        Yes we can take action here in NZ to minimise the egregious abuse; but the root causes lie elsewhere. It reinforces yet again; no single nation state is able to address the big global scale challenges facing us.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It reinforces yet again; no single nation state is able to address the big global scale challenges facing us.

          Does it?

          Or does it show that the government is willing to accept these types of things in the name of trade?

          As a nation we do have the choice of not trading with nations that allow this, to make sure that such exploitation doesn’t happen in our nation and that anyone of our nation who does support this in anyway ends up in jail. And we can even point to the UDHR to say why we’re not doing it.

          Of course, that does mean dropping out of FTAs that breach the UDHR like the one with China. And not signing up to ones with nations like Saudi Arabia.

          Sure, it’s not a global solution until everyone does it but it’s a step on the right path. And once we’ve done it we can apply pressure to others in the UN to do it. Somehow I think that some of the most exploited nations may actually be the first to step up.

    • cleangreen 4.2

      SaveNZ. 100%.

      Yes I support your logic.

      It seems very clear now that the Chinese Government is behind dumping all these workers onto us here as the Chinese economy enters a slow down now.

      “Shouldn’t the government stop all these temporary work visas being issued under false pretenses of work (and a hefty fee to the middleman) taking up accommodation in shortages?

      The best thing the government could do, is prosecute the recruitment company and make them pay the Chinese workers money back and then Close the scam.”

    • OnceWasTim 4.3

      “Shouldn’t the government stop all these temporary work visas being issued UNDER FALSE PRETENCES OF WORK (and a hefty fee to the middleman) taking up accommodation in shortages?”

      And shouldn’t they stop tying any type of visa to a specific employer rather than to an employment sector or specific project? It’s a recipe for exploitation – but unfortunately it’s all working as designed

      “The best thing the government could do, is prosecute the recruitment company and make them pay the Chinese workers money back and then Close the scam.”

      Since you’ll usually find cosy little relationships between hire companies (and others such as shitty tertiary education providers and charlatan Immigration Advisors that have not been properly monitored – as opposed to professionals with a proven record of ethical behaviour and subject to sanctions of the legal profession), YES, the best thing would be to prosecute and compensate their victims. And where they only possess PR, rescind it and deport. And where they have dual citizenship, we should seriously consider giving them a choice of which country they wish to retain their citizenship

      “The government should be thinking of Kiwi welfare, rights and safety first………….”
      The government should be thinking of the welfare, rights and safety of ANYBODY that’s in the country regardless of their circumstances without favour

      • SaveNZ 4.3.1

        The government should close down any temporary work permit being issued unless the person has a job that is proved that can not be done by a New Zealander and is paying well above market rates (because at present employers get around it by for example offering pay rates that are unliveable or the same as 20 years ago, like horticulture workers or people being recruited through numerous third parties all taking a profit and so the end worker gets under minimum wages (ak Chorus subcontractors and construction workers). They should also have to provide accommodation and prove that it is not taking accomodation away from other people aka the job has to supply it in high shortage areas like Auckland, Hawkes bay, Wellington).

        There should also be a limit to work permits per year like 15,000 of temporary work permits. A bottom line will automatically change the dynamic and the traffickers will be out of business, because at present the numbers of temp workers are limitless.

        Foreign people who study in NZ should not be allowed to work as that has become a way to enter NZ and then use it later to find a fake job and get residency.

        Former migrants or non NZ citizens should not be allowed to offer work permits or job sponsorship or marriage with residency to others. (aka Sroubek and his wife getting residency and these cases,, so that the Ponzi scam is closed.

        So many people are profiting off what is essentially NZ visas and citizenship and that is why we have ridiculous levels like 150,000 work permits last year alone, while jobseeker benefits are up and 129,000 new migrants when apparently Labour, Greens and NZ First were supposed to close the loopholes. There are more migrants than under the Natz, because the government and their officials have such ineffectual controls, so many lawyers are profiting off the scams with litigation as the laws here are not fit for purpose or being exploited, allowing people who pay little to no taxes here for most of their lives to retire here and criminal exploiters to live in NZ and scam here.

  5. halfcrown 5

    Nice one Bleeple

    “Old books for learning from”

    Agree with that every year we go the Red Cross Bookfair held in Hamilton. We use it as a giant lending library. Always come away with a large load of books, all sorts of reading material. When we have read the ones we do not need to keep we return them to the Red Cross for the next book fair We have picked up some great books there like Peter Wrights SpyCatcher and Neville Shute’s Slide Rule and they are nearly always in good condition.

    • WeTheBleeple 5.1

      Book fairs. what a great way to spend a day, book fair and brunch, my favorite. I’ve attended the Hamilton book fair a couple years ago and got ‘The Reader’s Digest Do It Yourself Manual (1965)’ – a 500 page hardcover book on building – from furniture and shelves etc through to houses, log cabins… All with hand tools. What a Treasure! BBQ areas, ponds, pagolas, retaining walls, paths, terraces…. amazing book.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        My difficulty with book fairs is meeting people there. What’s the protocol; nod and keep searching? A quick howdy-do and … keep searching, or stop for a catch-up and watch your almost-treasures walk out the door with someone else? I love talking. I love foraging at book fairs; what to do, what to do?

    • greywarshark 5.2

      Learning about – books plus. On Radio NZ this a.m. interesting, informative, leading to understanding, hopeful.

      8.35 Erin Rhoads: A zero-waste quest
      Erin Rhoads runs the Australian eco-lifestyle website The Rogue Ginger, and has written the book Waste Not, which gives suggestions for reducing consumption and waste – particularly of plastic – in every area of life, and every room in the house. She has been attempting to come as close to “zero waste” as possible since 2013. She also consults with businesses on waste reduction.

      09:05 Dov Alfon: Stories from inside Israel’s military
      Dov Alfon is an Israeli investigative journalist and former editor of the newspaper Haaretz, to which he still contributes from his home in Paris. Dov was formerly an intelligence officer in Unit 8200, the most secretive arm of the Israeli military,
      and –

      in his first work of fiction, A Long Night in Paris, he lays bare Israel’s secretive world of intelligence gathering. He received a Peace Through Media prize in 2011.

      10:05 Anthony Cabraal: Tackling a broken culture of work
      Anthony Cabraal is a member of Enspiral, a collective of businesses and freelancers that aims to support people who want to spend their lives changing the world. He is co-editor of the book Better Work Together, which discusses harnessing the “power of community” to transform businesses. He is interested in helping communities of people approach governance of companies, profits, leadership, staff retention, and other structural issues that make workplaces dysfunctional, in new and innovative ways.

      10:35 John Cryan: How your gut affects your brain
      Dr John Cryan, a neuropharmacologist and microbiome expert from the University College Cork, researches the interactions between the brain and the collection of microbes in the gut, and how that relationship affects stress, psychiatric health, and immune-related disorders. In his latest book, The Psychobiotic Revolution, Professor Cryan and colleague Ted Dinan write about research showing that beneficial microbes can improve mood.

      Someone could put up audio when its through if they have time. I want to be on the Earth March, and want to be in two places at once, so I am a bit stretched!

      And Halfcrown – this Israeli book may be special; there isn’t that much sane thinking available to us from there. (I like Nevil Shute – great humane, storyteller with interesting technical stuff too. I guess Slide Rule is about him personally?)

      • WeTheBleeple 5.2.1

        I highly rate Dr Cryan I read a ton of his stuff when researching autism. He’ll be an eye opener for many.

        • cleangreen

          Dr Cryan is excellent and many before him has explained the effects “our toxic world”

          try also the book called “Our toxic World” by Our Toxic World: A Wake Up Call Paperback – October, 2003 by Doris Rapp (Author)

          Just a short brief in this link below will chill your bones as enter into a poisoned world.
          By Dr. Mercola

          Dr. Mercola’s Natural Health Newsletter

          Polytoxicity: The Wild World of Chemical Exposure
          26 March 15, 2017

          toxic chemicals in hand sanitizer
          There are about 85,000 chemicals registered under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), but even the EPA is largely in the dark about what that actually means for people’s health and the environment
          Combining chemicals often magnifies their toxic effects; in the case of bisphenol-A (BPA), using hand sanitizer prior to handling a BPA-containing receipt may increase skin absorption 100-fold
          About 1 in 11 public schools in the U.S. are located within 500 feet of highways, truck routes and other roads with heavy traffic, leaving millions of school kids breathing polluted air
          By Dr. Mercola

          Have you ever wondered how many chemicals you’re exposed to on any given day? How about your kids? It’s really anyone’s guess. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compile and keep a current list of chemical substances manufactured or processed in the U.S.

          That list includes about 85,000 chemicals,1 but even the EPA is largely in the dark about what that actually means for people’s health and the environment.

          As noted in Chemical & Engineering News, “The agency is struggling to get a handle on which of those chemicals are in the marketplace today and how they are actually being used.”2

          Very few chemicals on the market are tested for safety, but even those that are, are not necessarily safe. Part of this is because safety testing is typically done on just one chemical at a time, and under laboratory conditions.

          The way you’re actually exposed to chemicals — in combination and under countless different real-world scenarios — may increase their toxicity exponentially.

          The Toxic Reality of Using Hand Sanitizer, Eating and Holding a Receipt
          A revealing example of just how toxic our world has become is the bisphenol-A (BPA) used in thermal paper (the type many receipts are made out of).

          BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to a number of health concerns, particularly in pregnant women, fetuses and young children, but also in adults, including high blood pressure, heart disease,3 obesity, fertility problems and more.

          BPA is most often associated with plastics, personal care products and canned goods but, according to a 2014 study published in PLOS One, “Free BPA is applied to the outer layer of thermal receipt paper present in very high (∼20 mg BPA/g paper) quantities as a print developer.”4

          This in itself is unsettling, considering very few people think twice about handling receipts (or handing one to a child). However, the study revealed that a very common scenario — using hand sanitizer prior to handling a receipt — maximizes the risk.

        • WeTheBleeple

          I don’t know how you went from Dr Cryan on the gut microbiome to ‘our toxic world’ to Dr Mercola, but you did it.

          Here’s a taste:

          “Studies are revealing how variations and changes in the composition of the gut microbiota influence normal physiology and contribute to diseases ranging from inflammation to obesity. Accumulating data now indicate that the gut microbiota also communicates with the [Central Nervous System (CNS)]–possibly through neural, endocrine and immune pathways–and thereby influences brain function and behaviour. Studies … suggest a role for the gut microbiota in the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition and pain. Thus, the emerging concept of a microbiota-gut-brain axis suggests that modulation of the gut microbiota may be a tractable strategy for developing novel therapeutics for complex CNS disorders.

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        and an extra – on Canada, the venturing woman and Saudi Arabia.

        and, published 2010:
        Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean …
        Rating: 4 – ‎26,738 votes
        Start by marking “Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia” as Want to Read: … The true story of one of the princesses of the royal house of Al Saud in Saudi Arabia is told in a fashion that is both charming and riveting. The veil that guards the women of …

      • halfcrown 5.2.3

        ” I guess Slide Rule is about him personally?”

        Yes it is. Nevil Shutes full name is Nevil Shute Norway. He explains why he only used Nevil Shute as his writing name (shit I am surprised no one picked up my typo) He was a mathematician working on the R101 Airship, Gives an insight into his political thinking and why he ended up in Australia writing novels about Australia and aircraft. A great engineer predicted metal fatigue long before it was understood what metal fatigue really was (No Highway). As I have said before I don’t recommend books as we all have our different tastes but it is a good read all about the British Aircraft industry in the ’20s and ’30s with great characters who he worked with like Alan Cobham and Geoffrey De Haviland.

        “this Israeli book may be special; there isn’t that much sane thinking available to us from there.”

        Oh I don’t know Grey I found Dr Yuval Noah Harari’s book “Sapiens” extremely good and he’s Jewish and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
        but your recommendation has been noted and added to the list. Thanks

    • millsy 5.3

      The thing about books, is that there are lots of info in them that you simply cannot find online.

  6. Sacha 6

    The invisibility of class and the advantages of social capital:

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      Yes, an essential perspective. The effect of social niche is often not factored into evaluation. Context is everything. As I’ve pointed out here before, all meaning is relative to context.

      “humans are herd animals. If that herd happens to go from Stanford straight into the product manager program at Google, that’s what you do. There are a lot of people who were just on the assembly line from Stanford to Google to some little startup they sold for $50 million and that’s it. That track was just laid out for them, they just got on the treadmill and went down the assembly line and I don’t think most people understand how that works.”

      The point is to learn how the culture of capitalism both forms and replicates. It replicates itself via the endeavour of the individuals it forms. Context produces matrix – recall the formative role of that being the feature of the movie. It created the social reality of the world. Only the minority rebels saw through it to the deeper reality in which it was embedded.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Extreme Wealth is Not Merited

      The paper concludes that fifty percent of the world’s billionaire wealth is non-meritocratic owing to either inheritance or a high presumption of cronyism. Another 15 percent is not meritocratic owing to presumption of monopoly. All of it is non-meritocratic owing to globalization. By contrast, crime and technology are found to be negligible sources of extreme wealth.

      Is there a place for difference in earning?

      Yes, yes there is.

      But there should still be no unearned income and no one is worth more than, say, 30% more than the average wage.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        Who defines ‘unearned income’? You or me? Or some unaccountable Central Committee of Comrades?

        And who defines your 30% ratio? Same committee?

        Take my own life for example … the annualised income ratio between my first job as an after-school bottle washer in a chemist shop, and the one I’m doing now is (in real terms) probably in the order of 1200% or more. Why do you think the version of me that’s 50 yrs older is being paid so much more? And how exactly do you think this should be regulated?

        • greywarshark

          I think that DTB’s idea of having some proportionality from bottom to top is right. We have gone up on the Bell curve? and I would prefer not to see it rushing down the other side. Why not ease up a little so the gradient won’t be so steep? Forget percentages – they are just indicators that have too many variables to be tossed into an argument.

          Say though the minimum wage is just getting by level at $20 an hour, and with thousing play being the game du jour for the irresponsible economists that is a basic, then what would 5 times be like, $100 an hour, $4,000 a 40 hour week making approx $200,000 per annum. Stop the competition for housing from immigrants by reducing immigration numbers, and refuse to sell our land and housing infrastructure to overseas hot-pants money off-loaders and pay at the highest $500,00 p.a. Half a million would give a very nice lifestyle and housing could settle down to being necessary infrastructure at more reasonable prices.
          If people didn’t like it they could take their money and go elsewhere. We would not be worse off in the long run. If we were short of top talent we could pay some big bucks on a short term basis and buy it in. We could afford that.

          • RedLogix

            This is one of those questions that has no empirical answer.

            We can for instance easily reject the two extremes; one where one persons owns everything and has all the income, the other where everyone has exactly the same income and wealth. Neither of these extremes is feasible.

            But they are useful markers to help think about the problem. In global terms it’s fair to say we are much closer to the first extreme of everyone owning everything, than perfect equality. So this strongly suggests which direction we need to move in … towards spreading income and wealth more evenly. I’ve clearly argued elsewhere that the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty is one of the four big moral challenges of our era.

            But how would we know if we had gone too far?

            I don’t think we can rely on individual opinion; each one of us would have a different answer. Nor can any fixed number be relied upon to account for the multiple dimensions which determine income, wealth and social capital.

            Nor should we rely on just one mechanism; progressive taxation has long been the traditional tool the left has wielded, yet other nations have tended towards tighter distributions of income before taxation. Others have taxed capital, investment and expenditure in complex fashions, and so on.

            There is also a complex relationship between opportunity and outcomes; these two being tension with each other. We tend to maximise one at the expense of the other.

            Nor is it easy to account for exactly how brutal the drivers of inequality really are, and how deep they run into our psychological being. For instance; how many tens of millions of talented musicians are there? Yet probably less than 1000 of them account for the vast majority of music listened to. Last year I was working on a site with 13,000 people, yet barely 100 of them would count as the key technical leaders. If you want a formal expression of this, checkout Price’s Law.

            Outstanding success is a very rare thing; it’s distribution is exceedingly skewed. The vast majority of people are firmly lodged right at the bottom. This is true of all fields of endeavour, across all societies.

            The modern world has largely solved the problem of absolute poverty; but it has greatly exacerbated relative poverty; inequality challenges us in ways we’re only just beginning to understand. The left exists to address this question; but our grasp of it’s true nature and our dialog around it falls woefully short.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But they are useful markers to help think about the problem. In global terms it’s fair to say we are much closer to the first extreme of everyone owning everything, than perfect equality.

              The first extreme you mention is one person owning everything and we’re actually getting pretty close to that. It is, after all, the inevitable result of capitalism. So is the collapse of society that it will bring about.

              The solution isn’t actually everyone owning the same amount but nobody owning resources, land, houses and other items that bring in unearned income. This would actually allow the labour market to work.

              But how would we know if we had gone too far?

              When we have increasing poverty while a few people have far more than they can either spend or use in their life time.

              There is also a complex relationship between opportunity and outcomes; these two being tension with each other. We tend to maximise one at the expense of the other.

              We don’t have equal opportunity nor do we have equal outcomes.

              Outstanding success is a very rare thing; it’s distribution is exceedingly skewed.

              Perhaps the problem is our definition of success. As you say, there are millions of talented musicians but, despite these people actually being successful, we don’t see them as such because they haven’t made millions.

              The vast majority of people are firmly lodged right at the bottom.

              Which I seems to be largely because people don’t have the right ‘class’.

              • JohnSelway

                The ironic thing being that if a musician does become successful you accuse them of being thieves

                • greywarshark

                  The ironic thing is that people like you JS come onto TS and stay as if you find it worthwhile, and then start criticising and nit-picking.
                  What on earth do you mean by “you accuse them of being thieves”
                  If you are going to try for TS interaction and discussion can you please explain your line of thinking. I for one am tired of the tossers who toss-off some remark that they think as profound or shrewd.

                  • JohnSelway

                    DTB once said being rich was only achieved by theft. I countered that the musician or artist who becomes rich does so from the benefits of their own talent rather than off the backs of the poor. He never answered it so I mentioned it here as it seemed relevant.

                    Also – fuck off. This open mike and I’ll say what I want. Don’t like it? Don’t read it

                    • greywarshark

                      Don’t like personal criticism or seeking improvement John Selway.
                      Don’t come here!

                      This is Open Mike and I’ll say what I want.
                      You are a good example of someone who is highly individualistic and doesn’t care about the purpose of this blog, which is to look at what’s being done in NZ and see how we can do things better.
                      Not to stamp like a three year old and run around demanding things be done to suit oneself.

              • RedLogix

                owning resources, land, houses and other items that bring in unearned income.

                Marx formulated his outdated theories in an era when the relationship between wealth and resources was poorly understood. It turned out Marx was completely wrong. By simple observation it’s clear that real wealth derives from a complex of factors; monetary and social capital, intelligence, talent, persistence and diligence, tolerance for risk, resilience, good looks, good luck and an energetic urban setting are some of the obvious ones.

                In the early 1800’s it was natural to perceive labour in purely physical terms, but 200 years later this kind of ‘labour’ has almost zero global value. In a modern economy real value lies almost entirely elsewhere; and this is a trend that is rapidly accelerating.

                Which I seems to be largely because people don’t have the right ‘class’.

                This is true to at least some extent; class is real and has real impacts. But the West has moved very strongly in the direction of an equality of opportunity in order to mitigate this. You just can’t have a perfect equality of outcome at the same time.

                • McFlock

                  Almost all of those immediately come down to luck, anyway.

                  Frankly, all I’d do is make it illegal for the state to countenance <60 median income after housing costs (as a poverty line, i.e. so everyone under that line gets a cheque from the government so they meet that minimum), then adopt a progressive taxation policy on all income so that marginal tax rates on more than 9 times the gross median income are something like 90% (everything over roughly $440k at the moment).

                  It wouldn't be perfect, but I don't think it would be too far wrong.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    The reason progressive taxation fell out of favour with the electorate was due to Labour using it to fund big govt, so the question is how to market it effectively. Can you foresee Labour learning it’s lesson and campaigning on the combination of promising to keep the cost of govt down while pitching for a mandate to bring back progressive taxation on income?

                    • McFlock

                      They promised to keep government cost down last election. It is a promise I think they should not make at the next election. And tax is under review.

                  • RedLogix

                    immediately come down to luck

                    Yes. The genetic lottery is a capricious and often cruel thing; but exactly what should we do about it?

                    Until we understand inequality properly; that it’s roots lie far deeper than mere capitalism or neo-liberalism, we don’t stand a chance of addressing it effectively.

                    It’s my sense the answer lies less with how wealth is distributed, but in how it’s used. A society that makes put’s energy into ensuring those that the bottom of the heap, even those it might despise as ‘losers’ are not disrespected and discarded is the moral platform we need to re-build. The idea that each one of us, regardless of our lot in life, is of value and worth, is the key idea.

                    • McFlock

                      As I said, my position is that what we should do about it is make sure everyone has the basics and tax the fuck out of the disproportionaly wealthy so that their children don’t have dolt-45 level unearned advantages.

                    • RedLogix

                      We tried that, and while it worked for a while, because we didn’t have an effective moral defense for it … it all got dismantled in the 1980’s.

                      I’m not against strong progressive taxation; but I’d argue that by itself it’s a fragile tool.

                      And what Dennis said at 4:25

                    • McFlock

                      It got dismantled in the 1980s because more equal societies don’t stop people being corrupt fuckwits.

                      Getting an egalitarian and fair society is like quitting smoking. You do the good thing for a while, then someone succumbs to temptation. So you try again. And again. Forever.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Until we understand inequality properly; that it’s roots lie far deeper than mere capitalism or neo-liberalism, we don’t stand a chance of addressing it effectively.

                      Poverty is a direct result of capitalism. The whole system is designed to channel the wealth to the rich. That’s what it does and that wealth must come from the poor.

                      Get rid of the system that channels the wealth to the rich and we can do something about poverty.

                      We certainly won’t be able to do something about it until we accept that truth.

                      It’s my sense the answer lies less with how wealth is distributed, but in how it’s used.

                      In the context of economics distributed and used are the same.

                      We either distribute the wealth so that there is no poverty or we distribute it to the already wealthy and ensure that we do have poverty.

                      So far, we’ve chosen the latter course.

                    • RedLogix

                      Poverty is a direct result of capitalism.

                      Poverty … both absolute and relative existed long, long before capitalism. The inescapable problem is that differences multiply; success attracts success. This applies to all fields of human endeavour, the first 10,000 hours are the hardest, after that it largely a matter of pursuing the endless opportunities that open up to competency and integrity.

                      And even then, outstanding success remains an exceedingly rare thing. Indeed according to Prices Law of the 7 billion humans on earth, it’s just 80,000 or so who contribute 50% of the creative value and innovation to the entire global output.

                      Random linky:

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But the West has moved very strongly in the direction of an equality of opportunity in order to mitigate this.

                  No it hasn’t. In fact, over the last few decades it’s gone completely in the other direction as we’ve punished the poor for being poor while putting the rich, no matter how they got that wealth, upon pedestals.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Who defines ‘unearned income’?

          Any income that doesn’t come from work.

          So, rent, shareholding, inheritance, interest etcetera. For a more informed view read Why we can’t afford the rich.

          And who defines your 30% ratio?

          That was merely a suggestion. I have stated before that there should be both a minimum income (UBI) and a maximum income.

          Why do you think the version of me that’s 50 yrs older is being paid so much more?

          Because we’ve got the valuation of work massively wrong. One of the interesting things I’ve noticed over the last few years is that those people we need the most are paid the least while those we need the least are paid the most.

          Some time back I pointed out that a CEOs million dollar bonus, if given to the work force, would have been a 40c per hour raise. That million dollars still came from the same pile – the corporate accounts – but the workers had just been declined a pay-rise. The point being that high pay-rates for some are preventing decent pay-rates for others.

          You should, of course, be paid more than teenage you as experience and knowledge count but is the job that you do actually worth the amount that you’re paid? The evidence suggests that it’s possible you’re being paid too much.

          And how exactly do you think this should be regulated?

          A minimum and maximum wage and then let the market sort it out.

          • RedLogix

            The evidence suggests that it’s possible you’re being paid too much.

            Interesting you should frame it like that; why not suggest that the bottle washer version of me was being paid too little?

            Over and again your message translates to a hatred of the rich rather than any real concern for the poor.

            • Draco T Bastard

              why not suggest that the bottle washer version of me was being paid too little?

              He probably was.

              Over and again your message translates to a hatred of the rich rather than any real concern for the poor.

              No it doesn’t. That’s just you twisting my words to make yourself feel better as you’re one of the rentiers who should not exist.

              • RedLogix

                you’re one of the rentiers who should not exist.

                I scarcely have to twist anything. Not so much as a tinsey tweak ….

            • JohnSelway

              “Over and again your message translates to a hatred of the rich rather than any real concern for the poor.”

              Hole in one. Draco is an admitted authoritarian who hates the rich (actually anyone who has riches because in Draco’s mind it all amounts to theft – even the artist who gets rich from their own efforts rather than from rents or inheritance)

              He hates more than he empathises

              • Draco T Bastard

                Hole in one.

                No, it was just Red twisting things because he didn’t like the truth.

  7. greywarshark 7

    This on procrastination – do you suffer from this? Apparently it’s in our genes – so does that mean it is inevitable and we should just let it rule? This from Canadian who looks into our underlying drives.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    Very useful if it works. I’m a terrible procrastinator and much of that is goal setting or failure to break them down so I get overwhelm of mental to do lists.

    But there have been times in life I’ve juggled a dozen things seemingly effortlessly. With a plan, and a diary…

    It never fails to amuse me how, as humans, we learn good helpful things then forget them just as easily. Like our default is to self sabotage.

    Time management. That’s what I require right now. So simple I simply forgot.

    • Janice 8.1

      I find that an attack of my chronic inertia seems to activate my congenital procrastination. particularly on hot days. I also forget that I have lost my memory somewhere.

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Familiar story. But I like it. Perhaps there can be a society for the chronic procrastinator/fevered activator – goes like a see-saw. Who finds they tend to wait for a deadline and that sharpens your mind acutely and you can immediately judge how long each thing will take to a 3 minute accuracy?

      • WeTheBleeple 8.2.1

        I used to edit a monthly community paper. So I was writer, editor, sales, etc… 90% of it got done in the last week. Still managed to double circulation and triple the size in six months.

        Then won > $6K with friends playing phone trivia, also coinciding with a nice sized holiday pay – and so went on a 6 week drinking jag (as you do) followed by a hospitalised detox.

        6 months drinking in 6 weeks, now that’s efficiency.

        • greywarshark

          Yes WtB some people waste their lives drinking too much over decades and end up with no life left and trying to detox. You did the short pressure-cooker course, and passed the third stage of wisdom successfully (learning from personal experience), and now have jumped that ravine and can journey on at a higher level. Poetic eh!

  9. Jenny - How to get there? 9

    Be afraid

    Be very afraid

    Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Predicted
    “Earth’s seas are absorbing excess heat 40 percent faster than previous estimates”

    Chelsea Harvey – Scientific American, January 11, 2019

    New Zealand seas in 2018 hottest since records began, dire warning for marine life

    Michael Neilson, General/Māori Affairs reporter – NZ HeraldNZ Herald, January 11, 2019

    • Jenny - How to get there? 9.1

      by Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Senior Analyst in the Climate and Energy program at UCS – Union Of Concerned Scientists, December 30, 2018

      An ancient pre-literate myth; metaphor for the effort we need to recover our badly wounded climate.

      …….The brazen young hero, Lemminkäinen, is murdered for his womanizing, and his body is utterly destroyed, blasted into tiny pieces and cast into the black river Tuona that courses through the underworld. All his mother knows is that her beloved boy is missing so she searches the world over to find him, every difficult mile in vain. Finally, she asks the sun and it gives her the terrible, heart-shattering news. Okay, she says. I’m going to need a rake. Make me one, she tells her friend the blacksmith, and she descends into the darkness and begins to seek her boy anew. She rakes the river Tuona for untold days, in her wet shift in the cold rushing blackness, all the way to the ocean. Nothing. So, she turns and begins raking her way back upstream. And somewhere in the blending black days and weeks she finds…. a piece of his shirt. So, on she rakes. And she finds a bone, eventually a rib, finally a hip. On she rakes, maybe not even thinking enough to despair. Just striving to save her boy. Because if she thinks she possibly can, then how can she possibly stop?

      Eventually, she finds all of him. And she begins to sew him back together. Every bit of sinew attached to every bone, every patch of flesh rejoined, every eyelash made right in her inconceivable toil. Finally, he is complete. And with a drop of honey to his lips, Lemminkäinen stirs and comes to life. His mother has fought long and hard and far, far beyond all limits of what we think of as hope. Her hope is no butterfly. It’s more like the monarch’s miraculous migration and the green-fuse force of life that drives it.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Jenny – How to Get There
        Which day of the week do you decide to note the latest, but then shut down for the rest of the day and night ie nearly a whole day leaving the world to everyone else to worry about and resting your weary mind?

    • Dennis Frank 9.2

      But is fear of the future the best way to engage with it? I’m inclined to go with Monty Python instead. And that line they made a song out of had already been traditional folk wisdom for a very long time!

      “When Chapman died on 4 October 1989, the five remaining Pythons, as well as Chapman’s close friends and family, came together at his public memorial service to sing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as part of Idle’s eulogy. In 2005, a survey by Music Choice showed that it was the third most popular song Britons would like played at their funerals. By 2014, it was the most popular.”

      • Jenny - How to get there? 9.2.1

        Were the young men who played football with blocks of ice on the deck of the Titanic brave, or just not aware of the true nature of the tragedy unfolding around them?

        Did their levity in the face of the coming disaster help or hinder their chances of survival?

        I would say that creating an air of carefree lightheartedness, would have led many, not to understand the peril they were all in. Even some who might otherwise have survived if they had been moved to action sooner.

        If you are not afraid, you are not brave, you are just not fully aware of the danger.

        Without fear there can be no courage.

        Courage is acting despite your fear.

        Speaking personally, Dennis, I don’t find your argument for levity in the face of the climate disaster compelling. To make light of the peril we are all in would, in my opinion, be a mistake.

        In the example you gave to back up your point; The mourners, at Graham Chapman’s funeral, were not themselves in any peril.

        This tells me that you think the same way about climate change, that it will affect others, and not you, or those dear to you.

        • Dennis Frank

          No, the precautionary principle must apply as regards public policy, but the problem with fear is that it tends to paralyze people. As with animals.

          So to empower them, we must provide a positive alternative to a grim reality. One that opens up another pathway to the future which is viable. That gives them a useful basis on which to proceed.

    • Cinny 9.4

      Thanks for the links Jenny.

      Girls and I have been talking about this daily, usually as we return from a swim at the river or beach. Discussion about how we are going to work with the new climate also occurs.

      The girls are now noticing the difference after five years of summer swimming at the same places. Visible marine life changes via sea temp’s; resulting in educating ourselves on sharing the water with stingrays etc.

      Will share the info with them.

  10. Nic the NZer 10

    For the next time a commentator (or economist, or member of government) suggests cutting minimum wages, or benefits, or employment protections is a good way of improving employment outcomes. This is often called making the labour market more flexible/responsive/dynamic.

    At heart the argument seems illogical because its based on a fallacy.

    “What started the discussion was the allegation that the level of employment in the long run is a result of people’s own rational intertemporal choices and that how much people work basically is a question of incentives.”

    Sadly the Future of Work is failing to understand these fallacies at all,

    “Already this year I have outlined two critical underpinnings of our approach. First, our Budget Responsibility Rules. In order to make our bold and progressive programme credible we have to demonstrate to New Zealanders that we can deliver it. They want us to show that we understand their desire for a government that manages our finances responsibly.”

    Sadly this policy is harmful, restrictions of government spending reduce employment and importantly this net effect is not automatically equalized away by the economy responding to government spending (though the sensibleness of the above approach rests on this). The upshot of this will be unemployment in NZ will not lower as quickly as is otherwise possible (even if its not excessive). It also seems likely that the government will be slow to react to shifts in the economy resulting in a continuing pattern of an observable large increase in unemployment followed by a slow drawn out recovery.

    “The Labour Party believes in full employment- anyone who can work should be able to work. As Minister of Finance I will re-assert Labour’s historic mission of full employment. In the first term of government we will lower unemployment to 4%.”

    The goal of 4% is not particularly high, NZ achieved close to 2% unemployment across the entire period between the mid 1930’s and the mid 1970’s when the country actually had a policy of full employment. Further the meaning of full-employment is these days up for grabs and in this context probably refers to the NAIRU rate (as he goes on to talk about monetary policy). The NAIRU rate only looks at unemployment and so infers that full employment can include significant under employment (people who while employed want more hours of work). Also the last we heard the reserve bank believed the NAIRU rate was about 4.5% unemployment and the economy was beyond full employment.

    “And we want all parts of the economic apparatus working towards that goal. That is why we will expand the objectives of the Reserve Bank to include not just controlling inflation, but also maximising employment. We want to modernise our monetary policy, recognising that in 28 years a lot has changed, and we want it to work for us, not the other way around”

    The problematic implication here is that the reserve bank can achieve full employment and significantly effect employment by manipulating monetary policy. In the longer term this is thought to be the best approach to maximizing employment and use of fiscal policy is discouraged for this purpose (also see surplus above). Unfortunately this is fallacious, based on the idea that the economy will equalize away the net effects of fiscal policy on employment (and bring inflation in line with government spending). The upshot of this policy choice is that the employment rate will ultimately track the fortunes of the NZ economy.

    “These are policies that aim to make changes for workers and employers easier and quicker, and thereby reducing unemployment. This involves helping people find work in areas that need them, helping people get the skills they need to fill gaps in the labour force, and anything else that can help those without work, or in poor working conditions, to find new employment quickly, simply and without hassle.”

    Now to be fair, some of the measures outlined above are possibly reasonable and may help with the responsiveness of the labour market. But ultimately this is still based on a fallacy that unemployment is reflective of peoples desire to work. As Robertson made clear ultimately the government will *not* itself be actively ensuring that employment is available for all, this will remain at the fortunes of the NZ economy. This undermines many of the suggested policies, while work and income may be accessible to more people including those in work, if they can’t find jobs or better jobs this will almost certainly turn into work and income holding their users responsible for not finding jobs or better jobs and looking at their incentives. Training programs can be helpful, however if there are none of the anticipated jobs at the end then these become problematic and a waste leaving students with debt or at least having wasted significant time and still needing to retrain. There are also likely some labour market reforms which favor employers but didn’t get mentioned in full detail.

    Ultimately, as I see it, this policy is a continuation of NZ’s long standing employment policies and will amount to Labours softer touch in government, but nothing more.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      It is important for Labour to sound as if it is ready to fit in with whatever the death spiders of the financial world are weaving. Labour needs the bluster of a blowfly that keeps on fighting the sticky web, then rests, then has another go and often evades the spiders fangs wanting to suck it dry of its life juices.

      That’s where we are now, in the web and losing strength. Can we make it to carry on our sort of valuable contribution to the world, or are we losers?

      • cleangreen 10.1.1

        Good analogy greywarshark,

        I for one have seen the total sellout of our NZ media to corporate control and influence.

        I recall when Labour MP’s all solidly said that they want to see a government operated neutral balanced free from commercial media provided.

        But we have since have just seen RNZ captured by the right wing element.

        RNZ is just another right wing element of the National Party now.

        Labour must take control the media; – or it will lose in 2020; – be sure of this.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      The goal of 4% is not particularly high, NZ achieved close to 2% unemployment across the entire period between the mid 1930’s and the mid 1970’s when the country actually had a policy of full employment.

      Is that supposed to be not particularly low?

      Further the meaning of full-employment is these days up for grabs and in this context probably refers to the NAIRU rate (as he goes on to talk about monetary policy). The NAIRU rate only looks at unemployment and so infers that full employment can include significant under employment (people who while employed want more hours of work). Also the last we heard the reserve bank believed the NAIRU rate was about 4.5% unemployment and the economy was beyond full employment.

      The NAIRU is non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment. In other words, it’s the rate of unemployment that prevents wages rising but still allows profits to rise. It is for this reason that all the benefits of increased productivity over the last few decades have gone to the rich rather than everyone. And, yes, New Zealand too.

      Looks like Robinson and the Labour Party are still following the failed capitalist model.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    Well we are still tolerating spiders in our midst. i.e Key in ANZ.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      I think that your sentence gives the wrong impression patricia. We are in no position to have an opinion about John Key and what he does. This is the golden boy of the financially prominent and he has done so well for them here and even Australia, that they have given him a top award. 18 July 2017 >

      We tolerate him because we have to, having very little say in anything of importance to this country. (Why it is important to keep goals in sight and focus and look to mix with people who have integrity and who care about and respect others).)

  12. JohnSelway 12

    I have been in Wellington on holiday for a few weeks and am due to head back home to Tauranga on Tuesday. I don’t have my car with me and didn’t want to fork out for a flight so I am getting a bus but it makes me wonder why we don’t have a proper rail network. I would have thought a train could start in Wellington, head through Palmerston North then branch off somewhere central like Taupo to New Plymouth, Tauranga and Gisbourne with another line heading north through Hamilton to Auckland, then heading further – maybe ending up in the Bay of Islands.

    It wouldnt have to visit every town but at least the major centres

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Because the politicians decided that we should all drive cars. Cars are more expensive but they create more work than public transport and more unearned income for shareholders.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        Which shareholders?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Gas stations
          Service garages
          Oil companies
          Road construction companies

          All of these have owners that get income from others work. And the list goes on.

          • bwaghorn

            Maybe a clever person should start a kiwisaver fund that buys kiwis business. It s the best path to a public ownership of nz companies of a bunch non business minded strangers .

            • Draco T Bastard

              That’s just legitimising the continued ownership and unearned income.

              My preference is that businesses becomes self-owned and controlled solely by those who work there.

              There are some exceptions with natural monopolies that everyone needs at which point they should be state owned and provided as a government service.

              • bwaghorn

                How would you combat the to many chiefs in the kitchen problems . How would they gain ownership without some sort of massive uprising?
                Mine is a more easy to reach goal I believe.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  How would they gain ownership without some sort of massive uprising?

                  The whole point is that they don’t gain ownership.

                  And the government can always buy everything in the country.

                  So, government buys the business, sets it as a self-owned business and then leaves it alone as the people who work there run it. A total free-market.

                  Mine is a more easy to reach goal I believe.

                  It’s within the current paradigm but the current paradigm is a failure.

            • greywarshark

              I think that idea has some merit – especially ones in which we would like to have a monopoly or near.

              • Graeme

                NZ Super Fund held 10% of Z Energy in 2016.


                Super Fund and Kiwisaver funds would have a good stake in New Zealand sharemarket. And the fear of state control of capital markets by state super funds was what Muldoon’s 1974 dancing cossacks add was about.



                • greywarshark

                  Yes but I thought that a hands off situation would present us with a
                  well balanced economy. But instead of the government making decisions it is Treasury and powerful people here and in other countries so we have a flexible exchange rate, and flexible this that and the other thing. We are Houdinis now. Perhaps we should turn around some of our accustomed behaviours after reflection, and find a new route.

                  • Graeme

                    It’s been an ideological battle in NZ politics for a very long time. Labour wan’t community or state /defacto state ownership of strategic assets, National wants private, preferably by their mates or donors, ownership.

                    NZ Super Fund and Kiwisaver are almost a guerrilla attack from behind the lines on the National view. And it may be working. Look to see what these funds do when NZ strategic and blue chip assets are being sold cheaply, bet they quietly buy. Otherwise they are playing in the international markets and doing quite nicely.

                    And both are very similar to what Labour’s 1974 scheme would have become by now, but probably 1/10 the size. Where we could have been with a good super / sovereign wealth fund from the mid 70’s haunts me a lot and I’ve detested the National party with a vengeance since that add aired.

  13. Cinny 13

    Tremendously proud of our local MP Damien O’Connor.

    The only downer about him being so very busy in government is…. we haven’t see him around as much at this time of year.

    Hope he’s had a chance to enjoy a break with his loved ones over the summer holidays.

    He’s one of the good guys,

    Excellent article in today’s Nelson Mail.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Wellington – Bus issues: timeliness, capacity, transfers … and route changes
    January 9, 2019 20 comments

    On the electric bus front, the current 10 double-decker trial buses will soon start operating all day, with the assistance of the charging station at Reef Street. I am pushing for the next order of Transit’s electric double-decker buses to be brought forward (22 more – all fabricated in Tauranga).

    Daran Ponter – Wellington Regional Councillor

  15. greywarshark 15

    California needs to prepare for the next fire season. They used to last 200-250 days in the year, and now have elongated to about 300 days. Yet the government is not paying fireman, for training, for what is required to prepare for more wildfires.

    Some furloughed employees see an additional irony because the shutdown has delayed fire mitigation and training at a time when President Donald Trump has attacked California for poor forest management. But Whittington said most of his former co-workers are determined not to get involved in politics.

    How long is California going to put up with this deadbeat USA government that seems bent on ruining the country and making grotesque visions of the USA democracy? They have started talking about seceding and being the country’s wealthiest state, but under water constraints that must cut its horticulture crops, it may become obvious that they need to handle their own problems and their own money.

  16. sumsuch 16

    There is only one issue as there was in September 1939. Climate change now, or, 100 times WW 2. Christ help us, says an atheist.

  17. sumsuch 17

    I however wish some our Leftist prophets celebrated this magnificent civilisation ‘in the meanwhile’ whilist also criticizing the comfort-loving that will kill us. Sez a magniloquent comfort-lover.

    • greywarshark 17.1

      You are so right. Do we enjoy what we have and be grateful and satisfied, also then, when we have had our plenty give what is left and still good so that others can have some too?

      No, in general we are always trying for more. Some of us haven’t got past that grasp and hold mentality that saw people dumping good furniture and other stuff in the refuse rather than taking it to recycling – because letting one of those lazy b..s buy it cheap, no way.

  18. Eco Maori 18

    Kia ora R & R I support equality for maori & our wahine they raise our tamariki so they deserve to be payed and respected for the great role wahine play in our society .
    The way I see it is that Europee people are in most of the management jobs even on our farms and they give the best jobs to there M8 hence maori have a hard time climbing there ladder of life as the odds a heavly stacked against US . After all most jobs are filled by word of mouth first and for most . Maori must learn to do what the Europen do and look after Maori first wake up in all aspects of life jobs education sports culture. Ka kite ano P.S I back free snaitary prouducts for wahine at the least school tamariki

  19. Eco Maori 19

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

  20. Eco Maori 20

    Some Eco Maori Music for the Minute.

  21. Eco Maori 21

    Eco Maori could see this he is waging a war on the mokopunas future backing carbon and rolling back all the good laws that protected OUR enviroment that Obama installed to protect the creatures wai and the enviroment and who will be better off if global warming runs rampant. ???????????????????????????????
    F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia
    WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
    The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.
    Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
    And when a newly inaugurated Mr. Trump sought a loyalty pledge from Mr. Comey and later asked that he end an investigation into the president’s national security adviser, the requests set off discussions among F.B.I. officials about opening an inquiry into whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct that case.
    F.B.I. officials viewed their decision to move quickly as validated when a comment the president made to visiting Russian officials in the Oval Office shortly after he fired Mr. Comey was revealed days later.
    “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of Russia.
    That’s taken off.”More recently, the president startled his own national security officials by suddenly announcing the withdrawal of troops from Syria, widely seen as handing a strategic victory to Russia and prompting the defense secretary James Mattis to quit. He also bizarrely endorsed the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
    Holed up at the White House with no official engagements, Trump then turned his Twitter feed to the other subject dominating US politics: a partial government shutdown which, in its 22nd day, is now the longest in American history, eclipsing the previous record set during the presidency of Bill Clinton. Ka kite ano links below.

  22. Eco Maori 22

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute

  23. Eco Maori 23

    New Victorian windfarm could provide 10% of state’s energy
    Golden Plains approved by Andrews government and awaits federal consent to proceed
    The managing director of a company that plans to construct Victoria’s largest windfarm says the project will supply enough power to replace up to a third of the generation of the decommissioned Hazelwood power station at less than $50/MWh.
    The Victorian government has granted a planning permit for WestWind Energy’s $1.5bn Golden Plains windfarm, which will become one of the largest windfarms in the southern hemisphere.
    The project is now awaiting federal approval to proceed.
    Victoria’s blackouts, Hazelwood’s closure and the search for someone to blame
    Read more

    The windfarm would span 17,000 hectares on land 60km north-west of Geelong and generate more than 3000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – enough to power more than 400,000 homes.
    Tobias Geiger, the managing director of WestWind Energy, said the large scale project would be able to supply energy at low cost.Tobias Geiger, the managing director of WestWind Energy, said the large scale project would be able to supply energy at low cost.

    “With this very large project and very good wind resource, combined with the latest wind turbine technology that’s now available, we can achieve a levelised cost of energy for this project that is below $50 per MW/h,” he said.
    “If you put that into the context of electricity market prices from Victoria which for the past two years have hovered around $80 to $120 per MW/h, you can see the significance of this project for driving down electricity prices for all Victorians.” At $50/MWh — just 5 cents per kWh — the Golden Plains windfarm will produce power for less than the market cost of fuel alone for many coal and all gas power stations,” he said.
    “And it’s big — expected to provide between 8–10% of Victoria’s energy.”
    Ka kite ano links below

    At $50/MWh — just 5 cents per kWh — the Golden Plains windfarm will produce power for less than the market cost of fuel alone for many coal and all gas power stations,” he said.
    “And it’s big — expected to provide between 8–10% of Victoria’s energy.”

  24. Eco maori 24

    The neo alt right people can not sleep with all the Fame the Pacific people are getting at the minute they do what they do best and cheat and get a faulse story posted about
    DJ the Rock. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has claimed the Daily Star fabrecated.The story, which appeared on Friday’s front page under the headline “The Rock Smacks Down Snowflakes” and was billed as an exclusive, was picked up by news outlets around the world
    Read more
    It quoted the actor as allegedly saying that “generation snowflake or, whatever you want to call them, are actually putting us backwards” and “if you are not agreeing with them then they are offended – and that is not what so many great men and women fought for”.

    However, Johnson, a former wrestler who has become one of the world’s biggest film stars, used an Instagram video to insist the quotes were fake.

    “The interview never took place, never happened, never said any of those words, completely untrue, 100% fabricated, I was quite baffled when I woke up this morning,” he said.

    “You know it’s not a real DJ [Dwayne Johnson] interview if I’m insulting a group, a generation or anyone, because that’s not me.”

    The Daily Star is overseen by the Independent Press Ka kite ano links below P.S alt right are low down dirty cheats

  25. Eco Maori 25

    Kia ora Newshub Auckland transport needs to listen to the people when warned about A road from the Oraki board being dangerous and asking for speed ristricting . I have my opinion on the people being named and shamed who attacked and robbed that old Wahine living by her self I will keep it to my self.
    I say it’s a good move making Hamilton Bees testing for American foul brood dersase to eliminate the dease from Hamilton we need to change the way we farm from mono culture farming to many different crops in the same area and Organic farming to protect our Bees and insects awa & Tangaroa.
    Its good to highlight the plastic that is used unnecessary on food products Tom we need to make everyone accountable for the plastic waste they make.
    Good on Canada for granting that Saudi girl asilm she needed help the Saudis don’t treat there Wahine very respectfully. I Tau toko the Wellington Phoenix soccer club it would be good to see all Kiwis support the great game te Mokopunas could make a lot of putea playing Soccer Ka kite ano

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    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
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  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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