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Open mike 13/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, January 13th, 2014 - 154 comments
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openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike …

154 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2014”

  1. (a thought for the day/these times..)

    “..Now let us begin.

    Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter – but beautiful –

    – struggle for a new world..”

    – Rev. Martin Luther King..

    phillip ure..

    • greywarbler 1.1

      Martin Luther King
      I think he got involved with ‘another’ woman. But he was still a good guy trying to be good in a not so good world. So let’s keep our minds on what is good, and not hare off after the faults, unless they are venal (google – showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery; corrupt.)

  2. bad12 2

    Listening to RadioNZ this morning raking through the ashes of the ACT Party raises the interesting question, is Mathew Hooten the arch-spinner of right wing propaganda being Himself ‘spun’ by National/ACT,

    Hooten, amusingly for one so vocal in the political realm is said by RadioNZ to not be reachable for comment about His name now being bandied about among the heady heights of the hierarchy of the right as a ‘front-runner’ to secure the ACT Party nomination for the electoral seat of Epsom and the Party leadership,

    Hooten himself has for quite some time been giving the broadest of hints that He will be forming a new political body of the far right to contest the 2014 election in a bid to replace what He obviously sees as the defunct lapdog of ACT now being used as a mere sex toy by the National Government,

    To have any hope of electoral success such a ‘Hooten Party’ will need to announce it’s intentions within the month and this is where i see the master ‘gamer’ Hooten being in turn ‘gamed’ by Slippery the PM and Joyce in a little game of ‘who blinks first’

    Sources within ACT are talking up Hooten to be announced as the Epsom ACT candidate in March which as such is far from a promise of Him securing the candidacy which leaves Hooten with the question,

    Does He announce His ‘new’ political vehicle within the month thus ensuring 10 months of traction leading into the 2014 election, or, does Hooten hold off in the belief that He is the ‘front-runner’ to gain the ACT Party nomination for Epsom,

    Come March will Hooten have taken the ‘bait’ in this ruthless game of right wing politics, not launch His ‘new’ party of the right and be left standing in the cold with a certain appendage in His hand as ACT/National select a far more ‘pliable’ candidate for the Epsom electorate,

    In the game of political ‘spin’ has the biggest ‘spinner’ of them all just been ‘spun’ into the dunces corner by the machinations of Steven Joyce…

    • Anne 2.1

      In the game of political ‘spin’ has the biggest ‘spinner’ of them all just been ‘spun’ into the dunces corner by the machinations of Steven Joyce…

      No, I don’t think so bad12.

      I used to know a bit about the inner-most workings of the ACT Party and I doubt much has changed. Candidate selection in ACT didn’t involve a ‘selection’ as such. The rank and file had no part to play in it. Candidates were chosen around the Board table and essentially represented jobs for the boys and occasionally the girls.

      If the rumours are true and Matthew Hooton is looking to stand in Epsom, then the deal has been well and truly done. It will be touted as a new beginning… a new party and they may even give it a new name. But it will be the ACT Party in drag.

      The interesting bit is Stephen Joyce trying to talk Rodney Hide into returning to politics. Is there some angst about a new ACT Party being lead by Matthew Hooton?

      • Tim 2.1.1

        Won’t Hooten be weighing up whether the possible loss of his RNZ gig be preying on his mind (or rather ego)?
        Which of the two (Epsom or RNZ) is going to be more valuable. I suppose the Epsom one might allow greater potential for him to throw the occasional hissy fit without sanction.
        Perhaps he should consult Josie – or even “Im inclined to agree with you Mathew” Williams.

        • bad12 2.1.1.1

          Hooten is still a ‘young man’ in terms of politics, there is only so much splintering of the vote that can occur on the right, a little crowded right now by both ACT and the Conservatives,along with the ‘either way’ NZFirst Party, befor Nationals Party vote begins to suffer,

          Hooten is ‘all’ noble knight bowing out of the 2014 contest on both fronts,(the ACT Epsom candidacy, and, the formation of the Hooten Party), seeming to be suggesting that His only concern in doing so lie in the electoral chances of the ‘right’ in this years election,

          Come in spinner, plausible perhaps, yes inserted for the laughs, Hooten will warrant close scrutiny in the next few months for signs of ‘baubles’ having been accrued…

      • bad12 2.1.2

        Anne, from the Herald online it appears that Hooten in his NBR column out today has nixed any idea of Him standing for ACT in Epsom as well as forming a right-wing Hooten party to contest for the far right vote in 2014,

        i could here speculate further about the machinations being employed by Slippery the PM via His ‘fixer’ Steven Joyce to have someone selected for the ACT Epsom candidate that will definitely not rock the boat in any way for a third term National Government, Hooten shown to have a ‘loose cannon’ tendency especially surrounding issues of ‘business welfare’ and also having embarrassed National over the broadband roll-out debacle is definitely not who National have in mind to fill the position of lap-dog should another National regime be forthcoming from the 2014 election,

        It will be far more amusing in the coming weeks to read and listen to Hooten’s ‘spin’ over His political ambitions which seem to be all but extinguished until at least the 2017 election, perhaps by then Hooten ‘sees’ both ACT and the Conservatives having run their course into oblivion being the ideal opportunity for a ‘new’ political vehicle of the far right…

        • Anne 2.1.2.1

          Yes bad 12 I saw that Hooton had ruled himself out of any attempt to run for ACT in Epsom. I did say… if the rumour was true. 😉

          It is going to be amusing in the coming weeks alright because clearly there is one hell of a lot of machinations going on in the Nat. Party. Exactly what they are may take a while to figure out, but they know they have to cement in some kind of coalition party arrangement early so that they can sell them to the gullible portion of the public well before the election. At this point it looks like they’re shitting themselves they might have to rely on the ‘Silly’ party. You know, the one with that goon, Colin Craig and crackpot, Christine Rankin.

  3. freedom 3

    Dear NZ

    I realise it is a touchy subject and that the MSM seem incapable of dealing with it,
    but there are one hundred and nineteen seats in our Parliament that are not Epsom.

    Maybe this rather important fact could be used to our advantadge in the upcoming election?

    • bad12 3.1

      If tho, as many are saying this far out from November 2014 the election will be an extremely tight ‘affair’,(perhaps as close as giving either left or right a one seat majority), then the electorates of Epsom, Ohariu, and Waiariki become the crucial factors in which side, left or right, will have that wafer thin ‘right to Govern’,

      Of course an election win for the left could possibly come from a 2-3% swing against the present Government through the Party Vote, but, with plenty of ‘good news’ to spin to the electorate on the economic front i should think that such a scenario is unlikely,

      Given that National have the perceived upper hand from a recovering economy the above is an unlikely scenario which leaves the left facing the prospect of turning out 5% of the voters who did not vote in the 2011 election,

      As yet the major player on the left, Labour, has failed abysmally to portray any coherent election strategy which would lead me to believe that that particular party has the means to move these non-voters off of the fence and into the polling booths in November,

      In the general electorates a ray of light evident from the 2011 election,especially in Auckland is the in-roads the Green Party has made in the safe National seats at times doubling it’s share of the Party Vote and should this upward trajectory continue throughout both provincial and city held National electorates at the 2014 election this may be enough to cause a change of government from right to left,

      Other than that the three seats above and how Labour and the Green Parties approach these seats will looking from this far away from November, be the crucial test of whether National has the ability to form a Government after the votes are counted…

      • freedom 3.1.1

        Swap a few names around and has not that very discussion been the basis of every election since MMP was adopted? and even earlier . . . I am only in my 40’s but when i reflect on NZ elections in my lifetime I see two bloated gits riding the only seesaw in the park with neither participant paying any attention to the bowing of the plank.

        IMHO The only way Labour or National, are ever going to get back to working for the good of all New Zealand is when that plank finally gives way and they are sitting there bruised bawling and devoid of power, albeit on their OSH approved rubber safety matting. Everyone else, having grown tired of waiting, headed off for a game of bullrush. Some were going to go for a swim but those fat gits on the seesaw kept throwing all their junkfood into the stream . . . Anyway, you see where this metaphor is going. There are other ways to use the playground!

        That of course is a pipe-dream, but without dreams we have no aspirations, and apparently aspirations are really important to the country 😉

        Pick your metaphor, be it playground bullies, stockholm syndrome or the slow boiling frog, this country is hurting. This is not the first time folk will call me naive and I promise it will not be the last. If that label comforts people as they begrudgingly come to terms with the concept of choice and the need for it to sometimes be radical in nature, then flail away with gusto. I simply believe it would be great to see the voters in a modern democracy become that most dangerous of critters, a clever sheep.

        I honestly believe that New Zealand would do better in the upcoming decade and beyond, both socially and economically, if the status-quo of electoral representation was drastically transformed. I sincerely wish the public had the balls to do the brave thing and not simply follow the hayfeed all the way into the slaughterhouse. Problems do arise though when those selling the hayfeed only supply it to those running the slaughterhouses. Sheep gotta eat, and the wide open fields are now so few in number.

        • idlegus 3.1.1.1

          brilliant. you seen that danish show ‘borgen’? it shows how they do mmp in denmark. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1526318/

          • freedom 3.1.1.1.1

            mmmmmm new stuff, thanks, I will try to get a copy. No broadband at home anymore and no TV, and watching video via a tethered cellphone is way too expensive. Thankfully I know a few media junkies with full shelves.

            On the MMP subject though, there is one thing I find staggering about MMP in NZ and it is how we still have not had a single MMP government. Just defacto FPP.

            It is so simple to do but apparently it is a concept beyond the capacity of our elected representatives to grasp (beyond the will of their fatcat sponsors more likely …)

            MMP
            1: A bunch of people are elected to Parliament
            (I should say if we are to be lumbered with 120 MPs then I prefer two elected MPs per electorate over any Party list. btw This is not STV, it is two votes per voter for two candidates, but i digress)

            2: This group of elected representatives who are meant to be intelligent highly skilled and competent adults, then make nominations for a PM. Votes are taken, etc, eventually a party’s nomination will be successful. It may not necessarily be the leader of the biggest party either.

            3: This PM then selects their cabinet, much as we now do, but this cabinet differs as it has a high probablity of being a cross-party cabinet. (a PM in a tight year would likely need to secure more cross-party votes to become PM and thus have to deliver [more] cabinet seats)

            4: The PM has been selected, the Cabinet chosen, once the GG signs off then hey-presto we have a MMP government! One that can get on with debating bills voting on stuff and just generally progress the job of governing a modern democracy in a responsible and democratic manner. (i know i know, funny stuff right! ) Huge point of difference being this MMP government does so in a manner more reflective of the public vote, which in my warped view of the world is sort of the intention of an election.

            I also doubt this entire process would take anywhere near as long as the protracted bullcrap that is coalition agreement negotiation, which in the end only ever gives us mutations of FPP dictatorships.

            afk

    • Paul 4.1

      I sense the powers that be are testing the water on this issue.
      Suddenly (assaulting kids) smacking kids is all over the news from nowhere.
      Expect one of those awful Herald or Stuff polls to see what the results are.
      Something like ‘ Do you agree with Colin Craig about smacking kids?’ With reread full multi-choice answers to massage the results.
      If the results look good to the National Party playmakers, then the decision will be to support Craig and give him a patsy seat.
      If not, Plan B …find someone plausible to resurrect ACT.
      It’s like an iceberg….there’s a lot more under the surface than what we can see.

      • Olwyn 4.1.1

        I agree, but I would add that I think Craig’s team is playing a smart game. All he wants is at best 5% of the vote, and at least a seat plus about 3% to bring some people in with him. He is not seeking the votes of the liberal left. Rather, they are his target. So he starts with a couple of crazy claims, designed to get himself onto the front page and his opponents ridiculing at him. Then he follows up with what looks like a promising wedge issue.

        His opponents readily conflate the removal of “reasonable force” from the law books, which most support, with their belief that no child should be slapped, which many people are more iffy about, since it looks to them too much like busy-bodying. Therein lies the wedge. He does not need all that many people to cry, “No one’s telling me how to raise my family!” to get himself over the line.

        I do not think that anyone should take this guy lightly. His party may look like a vanity project but he appears to have vested interests of some sort putting the wind into his sails.

      • Jan 4.1.2

        Stuff is running the poll already, I’m afraid and, predictably, around 2/3rds of voters agree with him.
        What a country – they want legal permission to physically abuse their children while happily not extending the right to their cats and dogs or other adults! In other words, before the repeal of Section 59, children were unique in our society in having less protection under the law than anyone or anything else short of rats and mice!
        I think it emanates from a quite nasty and negative view of children and an awful degree of ignorance about how children grow and learn. It seems that this attitude is dearest to the hearts of the religious right who, mistakenly believe that the Bible gives this advice. In fact it is a mistranslation. The ‘rod’ referred to in the “spare the rod and spoil the child” advice should actually be a yoke and is using the analogy of oxen yoked together. The idea is that we need to teach our children to work with others in their community to attain good social outcomes, just like oxen working together plough the straightest furrow. It has nothing to do with violence.

        • Paul 4.1.2.1

          Yup, testing the water.
          NACTS will sacrifice our children to get their deal with Craig’s group of religious adherents.
          They’ll promise him a referendum or a conscience vote on the matter.
          And if it works, they’ll be able to gut our health and education systems for their corporate masters.
          Phase 2 of the Key plan was toxic enough; phase 3 will be all out war to make changes that will be irreversible.

        • bad12 4.1.2.2

          Jan, you have an interesting ‘take’ on the biblical ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ exhortation, in plain English tho this particular exhortation,(some say is a mis-representation of the actual words of the Bible), can be read either way,

          The ‘right’ it would seem have the view of this exhortation to have the literal meaning that if the child is not whipped regularly then the child will be spoiled in a negative sense,

          Of course the English language would also give us as a literal meaning an exhortation to ‘spare the rod’, in other words be sparing of the rod’s use, and, ‘spoil the child’, spoil here being used not as a negative, instead as a positive where we do ‘spoil’ our children in every aspect of their lives shielding them from poverty and need while attempting to give to them a ‘better’ life than we have had…

          • Jan 4.1.2.2.1

            My point is that it isn’t plain English at all – it is a mistranslation from the Hebrew and should read “yoke” not “rod” 🙂

        • thechangeling 4.1.2.3

          I think this is a moral issue that’s been turned into a political football as a smokescreen to whip up a fervour of redneck support for right-wing ideology. But more importantly it also deflects all MSM attention away from much more important issues such as the poorly performing economy, (rock star economy my arse!) poverty, unemployment etc. This ‘deflection’ interrupts the ability of the general public to at least begin ‘joining the dots’ over how dysfunctional, undemocratic and insane this NACT government really is.

    • Crunchtime 4.2

      It’s such bollocks. A smack isn’t assault and never was. Nobody has been prosecuted for smacking their children under the new law. Beating your child with a jug cord on the other hand…

      • QoT 4.2.2

        I think this has to be the message. Colin Craig is all “this law isn’t working for me!!!!” but has he, as a prominent, avowed smacker-of-children, been so much as investigated by the police, much less charged, prosecuted or fined? Nope. Can he find one single case of a saintly parent unjustifiably imprisoned for a single “harmless” smack? Nope, or it would be mentioned in the story.

        He needs to be asked, “How is the law not working?” and when his response is “because child abuse has increased” he needs to be asked again, “Do you think you might have some role in that, given how loudly and proudly you talk about hitting your children? Do you think really abusive parents know the difference between a “light smack” and abuse? So don’t you think that maybe abusive parents see you as justifying what they do?”

        Or, alternatively, the Herald could stop fucking publishing Craig’s every thought and whimsy verbatim.

        • Bill 4.2.2.1

          Hmm. If reported cases of child abuse has increased, then doesn’t that show that the law is working? Unless the Colin Craig’s of the world can show a widespread pattern of parents being reported and prosecuted for stuff that isn’t actually abuse as defined under…oh, hang on!…isn’t the definition the same as it’s always been, but with a defense for assault of a child removed?

          Anyway, prefer your concluding alternative – for the Herald to stop publishing this kinda shit. But that just ain’t gonna happen.

          • QoT 4.2.2.1.1

            If reported cases of child abuse has increased, then doesn’t that show that the law is working?

            That’s another argument we can make, which also brings up the It’s Not OK campaign which was considered very successful … and then got gutted by the Government, because that’s how much they care about child abuse.

            The weird thing about the Herald and other NZ media is they keep giving Colin Craig’s extremist views oxygen, and don’t challenge his statements … but then they use the most pissy, thin-lipped, unfriendly photos of him. Mixed feelings on the editorial team, perhaps?

        • Lantahnide 4.2.2.2

          A flimsy argument can be made that he no longer feels he has the right to smack his children in public for fear of being prosecuted/investigated by the police. Thus he’s being made to feel like a criminal or a bad-guy when he is doing nothing unlawful.

          As others have said on this blog before, the police like to harass people by charging them and investigating them on tenuous grounds.

          • QoT 4.2.2.2.1

            Except that he’s a high-profile advocate for smacking who publicly states he smacks his kids. If the police really were witch-hunting Good Parents Who Smack then they’d have already knocked on his door, by that logic.

            This isn’t an argument for the police being saintly dealers of clean justice, just poking the holes in Craig’s argument.

          • tracey 4.2.2.2.2

            he’s confessed to breaking the law. let the witchunt begin… how long before you think he will be arrested?

        • Rodel 4.2.2.3

          QoT
          I encourage everyone to substitute the word ‘smack’, which has gentle parental connotations, with the word ‘hit’, which has the actual and realistic connotation of violence.
          Also, use of the continuous verb ‘smacking’ appears less violent than the word, ‘hitting’. These are minor linguistic modifications which impact on the linguistically manipulable swing voters.
          Attack the expression “anti smacking”and hit anyone who uses it!

        • David H 4.2.2.4

          Well there is nothing illegal about E-Mailing his So called Party, and tell them what you think just watch the Effing and Blinding, as he is supposedly religious.

          Personally and as a father of a 2.9 year old I think he is a Child beating scumbag, And he belongs in Jail. Using a position of ‘leader’ to push the assault and battery of our helpless children is just plain despicable.

      • Jan 4.2.3

        Yes, well that’s part of the problem, crunchtime, people with money and good lawyers were getting away with horsewhipping their children under that old legislation

      • bad12 4.2.4

        Yes the saddest day of my Mothers life was when she unpacked the new electrolux only to find that the power cord could no longer be fully detached from the machine itself…

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.3

      Colin Craig is leading the NZ media around by the nose and it’s hilarious to watch. He’s the single representative of a minority party that isn’t even in Parliament and in an election year he’s getting more media coverage than the Leader of the Opposition.

      Kiwi chicks are sluts! Man on the moon! I smack my kids! If you don’t realise this is part of a publicity campaign you’re an idiot.

      Coverage, coverage, coverage. The guy has a media footprint a hundred times bigger than his actual foot.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        Colin Craig is leading the NZ media around by the nose and it’s hilarious to watch.

        Either that or the MSM are just doing what their owners tell them to.

        • Tim 4.3.1.1

          I think it’s the former Draco (i.e. he’s leading them round by the nose). They’ve become accustomed to lazy is as lazy does generally.
          He’s viewed by all those MSM ….err umm journalists?? …. as a bit of humour. The surface and the superficiality is more important than the substance (of which there is very little). If they had to rely on the latter, there’d be fuck all of a story and nothing to make a name for themselves with.

    • Tim 4.4

      @ Marty …
      Well they are his possessions after all. He therefore has a Divine right to treat them, manipulate them, mould their minds and personalities as he sees fit. I mean he’s got the credentials – a successful economic unit – equipped with Weberian ideology, religious commitment beyond question.
      Surely that gives him the right to beat the shit out of them * to make sure they become successful, good, wholesome taxpayers … oops – I mean citizens

      * Only IF NECESSARY of course!, and ONLY in moderation – after all – he holds the values of good, right thinking (WASP) KIWIS – SICK AND TIRED of bleeding heart liberals and those that are just making bloody excuses for the downtrodden (You know the ‘type’: the enablers, the Welfare troughers, those with Sympathy for the Devil).

      (I trust Colon like I do the Chemo drug supplier looking for cancer)

  4. Crunchtime 5

    Discussion on NZ politics this morning on National Radio right now with Jeffrey Palmer and some other politics professor. Talking about how elections are increasingly about personalities instead of policy, but not… quite…. connecting that with low voter turnout, and very nearly almost but not quite blaming the MSM for it. Who are indeed largely to blame.

    Frustrating to listen to, the answer to several questions posed by Noel are essentially really simple, but the response is lengthy waffling about how terribly complex it is.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Which leads one to believe that the so-called “experts” can’t see the forest for the trees.

    • lprent 5.2

      …and some other politics professor.

      Raymond Miller from Auckland Uni politics dept.

      • Crunchtime 5.2.1

        Even more clueless than Palmer…

        Talking about how both major parties “now occupy the centre” the hell they do

        • Anne 5.2.1.1

          The truth of the matter is: they live in their academic ivory towers and they really don’t have a clue what’s going on around them. It’s always been a bit that way but nowadays it’s worse than ever. I haven’t worked out why yet except to say they do appear to feel they must be careful what they say otherwise they might lose their privileged commentating positions.

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Endless rounds of short term funding for positions and research grants keep those pesky academics insecure, tame and on a tight leash.

            • Crunchtime 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Anne and CV I think you’ve both put your finger on the button there…

              I wish it was the eject button.

              • Anne

                The amusing part is: they may have worked hard and can officially call themselves academics, but there’s plenty of people who comment here who are far cleverer than they are.. and so much more clued up about what’s going on.

                • Crunchtime

                  I find it more depressing than amusing to be honest.

                  Education has been replaced with indoctrination.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  To me, wealth disparity is behind many of the severe problems we are facing – if not all.

                  Here is a group called Union for Concerned Scientists and their summary and report on the problem

                  “The report identifies five key areas where further federal commitments to protect science from undue corporate influence are needed: protecting government scientists from retaliation and intimidation; making government more transparent and accountable; reforming the regulatory process; strengthening scientific advice to government; and strengthening monitoring and enforcement.”

            • tracey 5.2.1.1.1.2

              agree

              Anne, why go to academics if you don’t want them to talk about the theory and the research? I dont share the view that they don’t live real world. Their world is very real these days bt sometimes you need people unfettered by things like job security to better be your society’s conscience?

              • Colonial Viper

                That’s good in theory but apart from a few well known exceptions (eg Prof Jane Kelsey and others) I don’t think that the Academy is doing a good job of holding power and privilege in our society to account.

                • karol

                  You can’t generalise that much about academics – as well as differences between individuals, there are differences between departments and universities. Economics departments seem to have become domianted by neoliberal capture. It seems to me that a few senior academics at Auckland Uni Pols Studies Dept are apologists for neoliberalism and US imperialism – but then there was Paul Buchanana.

                  And at AUT, there’s Wayne Hope – also an author at The Daily Blog.

                  Also at AUT, Marilyn Waring, Sue Bradford’s PhD supervisor.

                  And then there’s Anne Salmond…… the list goes on.

                  • greywarbler

                    Do you agree with this in full?
                    I picked up this bit from Schopenhauer’s Essays and Aphorisms – ‘On Thinking For Yourself’.

                    Now you can apply yourself voluntarily to reading and learning, but you cannot really apply yourself to thinking: thinking has to be kindled, as a fire is by a draught, and kept going by some kind of interest in its object, which may be an objective interest or merely a subjective one.
                    The latter is possible only with things that affect us personally, the former only to those heads who think by nature, to whom thinking is as natural as breathing, and these are very rare.
                    That is why most scholars do so little of it. p.89Penguin

                    • karol

                      I agree that not everyone who “learns” think critically – some just learn by rote.

                      I wouldn’t separate objective and subjective “interest” – the most critical thinking involves a balance between the two.

                      I also think people kid themselves if they think their main interests in life aren’t fuelled by personal experience – things that affected them personally.

                      It is part of the legacy of enlightenment thinking that pure “objective” thinking is the best kind of thinking and scholarship – in fact, their work shows such scholarship was largely done from the perspective of the ruling classes – most usually white upper/ middle class males, until it started to get challenged strongly some time in the mid 20th century.

                      I understand Einstein reckoned innovative thinking included a mix of intuitive and logical thinking – kind of similar to the objective + the subjective realms of thinking.

                  • Anne

                    @ karol and tracey

                    Crunchtime, CV and I – starting at 5 – were talking about those ‘academics’ who have been selected by the MSM to regularly comment on issues relevant to politics. I was referring to people like Josie Pagani, Bryce Edwards, Matthew Hooton, Claire Robinson etc. who have their own partisan political agendas which colour their judgements. Then you have the wafflers like the good professor, Raymond Millar who never really says anything we don’t already know. Jon Johannssen wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade but he seems to have fallen out of favour.

                    Apart from Paul Buchanan, how often do we hear the likes of the top rated academics like Jane Kelsey (and there are numerous others) on the MSM outlets? We don’t hear them. The moment they start talking directly about the truth of a situation (backed up with facts) they get shafted. Gordon Campbell is a good example. Some years ago he vehemently disagreed with some well known right-wing celebrity (forgotten who it was but he was a regular RNZ Panel guest) and that was the end of him. I presume he was never invited back.

                  • @ karol..

                    but any media coverage they get is miniscule..

                    ..it is only those who don’t challenge the status quo who get to be talking heads…

                    ..with of course edwards the younger currently polishing teachers’-apple..

                    ..and going ..’me..!..me..!..i’ll be a good/obedient gatekeeper..!.i pwomise..!..’

                    ..today he refers to the monstering that nash got @ the daily blog..for his green-bashing piece..

                    ..did edwards the younger mention that 95% of commenters hammering nashs’ neo-lob apologies..

                    ..(which i think has been the most interesting piece of political-media so far this year..

                    .and the demolishing of nash/his neo-lib ideas is a thing of beauty to behold..)

                    ..does edwards the younger mention this..?

                    ..does he hell..!..

                    ..he just gives the apple another polish/the access-media arse another kiss..

                    ..and murmers apporovingly of the drivel nash got so hammered for..

                    ..i guess we could be charitable..and say edwards the younger didn’t read the comments-thread..

                    ..but i don’t think that was the case..

                    ..he was just adding another line to his ‘look-what-i-did/can-do-for-you!’-c.v..

                    ..so we get none of those big-brains you mentioned..

                    ..we get edwards-the-younger..academic-for-hire..

                    phillip ure..

                • Rodel

                  CV
                  In my experience academics are good people, intelligent, analytical and potentially ethical, but the ones I know are scared of the power that politicians and ‘University CEO managers’ who aren’t interested in real education or research but in pleasing their political and economic masters.
                  I’m very disappointed in the diminishing effect of the real thinkers in our universities and the growing power of the non thinkers in university staff.
                  Quite noticeable over the past two or three decades.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yes.

                    Also noticeable has been the corporate disciplines such as economics, commerce/business, etc which have limited place in a university

                    That is if you believe a university is for teaching people HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

                    Of course, privilege and power have no incentive to create young adults able and willing to challenge the assumptions and structures of the hierarchy. Just ones who are able and willing to run the machinery of the hierarchy.

                    • Rodel

                      CV
                      So well and succinctly put- ‘A university is for teaching people “HOW” to think, not “WHAT” to think’ I really like that. I wish I’d said it.
                      Anti-academic Tories including a number of my right wing, well intentioned friends/ relatives and especially our beloved ACT MP, the architectural advocate of charter schools wouldn’t understand that concept and I doubt that our PM would either.
                      We have a long road ahead.

  5. tricledrown 6

    Master hoodwinker isn’t going to waste time on a new party in election year he will be to busy
    Spinning.
    Like a broken washing machine permanently stuck on spin cycle.
    Thr effort to find 500 new party members to form a party then find a high profile politcal animal of the right it would be easier to resurect the rotting carcus of Act.
    Nactional will try and rebrand colon craig.

  6. Rosie 7

    ACC

    Folks, before I go writing to Opposition ACC spokesperson, Iain Lees Galloway can I check with those close to the NZLP whether you know, or have heard any word on what Labour, if elected, would plan to do about the part charge that ACC Physio patients must pay and have paid since National came to power and removed fully subsidised Physio treatments?

    (I checked the party website but couldn’t find any info about it)

    I can not be the only person in NZ whose treatment of injury has been hampered by not being able to pay the charge ($20 per session) therefore missing out on necessary treatment and leaving me in pain longer.

    There must be thousands suffering because of the right’s allergy to the free and accessible provision of essential medical treatment. Their attempts to undermine to ACC’s functions are cynical and cruel in the extreme.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      IMO. Some less scrupulous physio practices gamed the system of free treatment to charge ACC massive amounts of money for huge numbers of patient visits. Many millions of dollars of difficult to justify invoicing to ACC occurred. Unfortunately that helped cause the demise of the scheme for everyone. No political party will be keen to go back to the system as it stood back then.

      • Rosie 7.1.1

        OH really!!! Thanks for that news CV. What a shame, as patients suffer and the legitimate physio’s who are genuine in their approach must be losing income from those patients who can’t afford to make their appointments.

        So, you don’t think there is much hope of full funding for treatment appointments being reinstated, even if we did have a change of govt?

      • Molly 7.1.2

        “No political party will be keen to go back to the system as it stood back then.”

        …throwing the baby out with the bathwater comes to mind.

        You don’t have to go back to a system that allows gouging, but you can reinstate a system where those who need help get it when they need it AND include a auditing system that stops unscrupulous physio practices from being part of the scheme.

        • Rosie 7.1.2.1

          “You don’t have to go back to a system that allows gouging, but you can reinstate a system where those who need help get it when they need it AND include a auditing system that stops unscrupulous physio practices from being part of the scheme”.

          Exactly. When there’s a problem, solve it, that’s all.

          I also wonder, there must have more to it than some shifty physio’s. Right wingers (and insurers!) have an ideological opposition to the service that ACC provides. How convenient for that there was an excuse ready to hand.

      • Lantahnide 7.1.3

        Thanks CV, that was my impression of the situation to, but I didn’t have much to go on.

        I think the obvious compromise is to have a number of sessions that are covered for free, like say 5-6.

        That to is of course open to gaming, but much less so.

        • Rosie 7.1.3.1

          Lanthanide, 5 – 6 sessions doesn’t even begin to cover it for those with a serious injury. For my particular injury I am meant to have 4 sessions per week – I can barely cover one per week and have had to cancel this weeks’ appointment.

          Molly’s auditing idea at 7.1.2, as a response to scamming, is a great start. ACC Patients should not be punished because of a few dodgy physio’s and there should be no treatment compromises for those patients either.

          • Lanthanide 7.1.3.1.1

            Ok, I had no idea. I’ve never had an injury that needed physio, and don’t play sport etc so’ve never really been exposed to it.

            In that case 5-6 weeks might be more appropriate, but then again it’s getting into easy to abuse territory.

            I guess auditing is the only way to really provide people with what they need while cracking down on abuse. Pity.

            • karol 7.1.3.1.1.1

              These days they (partially) fund about 13 sessions after an injury, then they start to quibble – even with my pretty serious injury. They want people to be taught to go away and do the exercises the physio taught them, rather than get continued manipulations from a physio.

        • tracey 7.1.3.2

          how do you decide how many is too many sessions? Under rehabbibng is way more expensive in the long run.

      • greywarbler 7.1.4

        Thanks CV. It is interesting to hear the info straight from the horses mouth. That was my impression of the situation. But while it appeared that there was a moral hazard occurring with physio that led to large payouts, surely there must be a system of checking with doctors every 3 months say to see if it is proving necessary and efficacious.

        If someone had to pay $30 or so every three months it would be cheaper for them than $20 per visit but would limit the free for all that pollies portrayed as happening.

        • Rodel 7.1.4.1

          I had two occasions where physios under the old system both diagnosed the problem and decided the treatment. Both times I felt were ripping off the system.
          I think a GP’s referral is necessary for physio treatment.
          When I want a vehicle WOF I go to someone who hasn’t a vested interest.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.4.1.1

            Worthwhile examining again but we have been down this track before. It’s an additional upfront cost and delay to the patient, GPs imo have little keenness in filling up their waiting rooms with sore low backs and sprained ankles, and how is a GP who has spent a few glancing months on the musculoskeletal system going to help compared to a physio who has spent 4 years focussing on it?

            Far be it for a chiropractor to try and defend the physio perspective 😈

            • Rodel 7.1.4.1.1.1

              CV -valid point..maybe a nurse instead of a GP but somehow I think the referral and treatment should be financially separate.

              • McFlock

                FWIW, the last issue I had was dealt with in an interesting way: GP referral to a practise that had a leg-specialist physio, another physio on the back and all overseen by an oesteopath. Felt a bit Formula One pit-crewish, and with multiple appointments, but in toot-sweet time I was walking straight (and possibly taller).

            • Pasupial 7.1.4.1.1.2

              CV

              I agree with a lot of what you say, so I’ll refrain from commenting further on the chiropracty topic.

              I imagine that what you say in 7.1 is founded on fact as you work in an adjacent field. But surely the issue of “less scrupulous physio practices gam[ing] the system of free treatment to charge ACC massive amounts of money for huge numbers of patient visits”, is best dealt with by regulating and monitoring the practices; rather than putting further impediments between patients and health providers. A visit to a GP may be a month’s worth of discretionary spending to a beneficiary (which may be able to be claimed back from WINZ, but you can’t be certain even if you do jump through their hoops).

              If we had a less run-down public health system, free-to-patient access to physiotherapy should be the case for preventative education not just post-injury. Maybe some kind of; hospital-based referral centre (that didn’t itself require a referral from a GP), could be a way to go for a future Health minister?

  7. Pasupial 8

    This:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/287997/conservatives-leader-admits-smacking-kids

    I had thought the rumours about Craig having a very personal reason for wanting to change the child assault law were just unfounded gossip. Apparently not.

    • Rosie 8.1

      Lol. They used the same mean lipped Herald photo in the OTD as the one Marty Mars posted above.

      Of course Crazy Colin is there to push his own clueless agenda. I do wonder though, whether the belt up ya kids brigade have settled down from their hysteria sufficiently after realising they weren’t thrown in jail and in fact don’t care too much about the repeal of section 59 any more and perhaps Crazy Colin is just wasting his time trying to bring it up again?

      • Molly 8.1.1

        Cross fingers that will be the case, but I don’t know – that would require them to have critical thinking skills.

        Unfortunately, I think many of Colin Craig’s supporters are more of the “Nobody has a right to tell me what to do with my kids” school of thought. So while some of the more middle of the road supporters may have fallen away with the realisation that they have not been prosecuted, the committed will get louder and more vocal.

        On the other hand, by giving opportunity to these types of supporters to be more vocal he may end up being marginalised.

        Here’s hoping.

        • Rosie 8.1.1.1

          My thoughts too Molly – there will be the group of non critical thinking types who are stuck in the “nobody has a right to tell me….” groove and like a dog with a bone they won’t let it go.

          (Unfortunately I know some people in this category, but luckily the religious cult they belong to doesn’t allow them to vote)

          If the agenda push does end up backfiring it will be a good sign that this group of people, the more middle of the road as you say, has matured and learnt.

          • The Pink Postman 8.1.1.1.1

            don’t be too sure about them not voting Rosie .Remember the “non political” Brethren.Who had vast amounts of money to support the Nat’s.. One group I am concerned over is the Apostolic groups who if organized could be a danger to the Left…

        • tracey 8.1.1.2

          yup same group who don’t want their kids taught sex ed, and things like respect for partners and stuff, but don’t teach it at home.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        APN and the ODT have a news sharing agreement. I’m amazed that they didn’t use the same article.

      • Pasupial 8.1.3

        Rosie

        I missed MMars’ comment when I made my own – the article he links to is a bit more in-depth than the ODT version. There seems to be a long moderation time at the moment with vacations, so I’m not sure if it was there and I didn’t see it, or I just skipped past.

        That picture really says it all doesn’t it. Do we want that guy to have a legal defense for putting kids in hospital?

        • marty mars 8.1.3.1

          yes it was that photo that got me – so much anger, repressed and just waiting for something to trigger it off – I pity anyone associated with him.

        • veutoviper 8.1.3.2

          The Herald article has been updated since I read it earlier this morning, includiing these remarks from the Police

          A police spokesman said they were satisfied that Mr Craig’s comments on radio this morning did not “amount to disclosure of an offence”.

          “Police do not intend being drawn into a political debate on this issue in an election year.”

          University of Auckland Associate Professor of Law Bill Hodge said even if police did not prosecute anyone could bring a private prosecution against Mr Craig if they believed he was breaking the law.”

          [It also now includes a summary of Section 59.]

          The Police remarks are …. telling?

          Bill Hodge’s statement about a private prosecution made me laugh. Cue Graham McCready ?

          That photo of Craig is scary with its pentup anger etc in his whole facial expression; but particularly in the eyes.

  8. Paul 9

    Gary Taylor questions the secretive nature of oil and gas drilling in Southland.
    A few councillor in Dunedin need the same moral fibre.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11185237

    • Molly 9.1

      Thanks for that Paul.

      Have read about the EPA recently and it kept bringing to mind the compromised US agency.

      Didn’t realise that National had created it’s own unspeak version.

  9. Ron 10

    For some reason there is no reply button on any of the above comments.
    I wanted to reply to bad 12 at 3.1 as quoted below
    The secret of the Labour getting more than a one seat majority will depend entirely on the people they choose to stand in each electorate.
    If they insist on giving the electors second rate candidates or recycling tired old used candidates they will never get an increased vote. I despair of the slowness that their system takes to get good candidates selected and running. In my electorate it looks as if we will not have a candidate for some months yet and that is way too late for any chance of getting change.

    If tho, as many are saying this far out from November 2014 the election will be an extremely tight ‘affair’,(perhaps as close as giving either left or right a one seat majority), then the electorates of Epsom, Ohariu, and Waiariki become the crucial factors in which side, left or right, will have that wafer thin ‘right to Govern

  10. Will@Welly 11

    lprent – there’s no reply button on this posting. Sorry. My humble apologizes – it has been fixed – yeah.
    Rosie – ACC is a hassle. Go over the top of your case manager. Write to the head of ACC here in Wellington, CC in Judith Collins, Iain Lees Galloway and Kevin Hague.
    Be really harsh and firm, tell him that you are being treated unfairly, that the cost of the physio is holding up your rehabilitation, and that the cost is something you cannot afford on your meager income. Be unrelenting. It is no longer the scheme it was set up to be. And make sure you record all conversations you have with anyone from ACC – no exceptions. They are paid by results – ie, the number of clients they successfully get off their books. Good luck.

    • Rosie 11.1

      Thank you very much Will@Welly for your thoughts and advice.

      The trick is I don’t have a case manager. As I am unemployed they aren’t paying the wage compensation so no need for a case manager. And of course, it’s a typical idiotic move by the nat govt to restrict access to treatment to the population, as in my case (and no doubt many others) my lack of recovery is impacting on my ability to find work due to limited mobility.

      My main issue is the impact this must be having on so many people and that full funding for treatment is absolutely essential for people to have if they are to recover. That is what ACC exists for.

      Whether Labour plan to reinstate full funding if they were to be elected, or not (my immediate moral concern) maybe I should take up your suggestion of contacting Crusherless, Lees-Galloway and Hague on a personal level to demonstrate how this policy affects people’s lives.

      It’s a bit of a tragic joke really because the other thing on my list of things to do is to make a complaint to the Health and Disability Commission about the lack of diagnosis of an completely unrelated separate injury, which impacted negatively on my life for two years until I finally got the right diagnosis prior to Xmas.

      • Will@Welly 11.1.1

        Even though you aren’t getting compensation, your case is on file, incase down the track, when you do find work, you have a reoccurrence. So I would be inclined to write to the Head of ACC and demand proper care, state your case, state that your dire financial circumstances are holding you back from being fully rehabilitated, and demand fair treatment.
        You won’t be pushing anyone else to the back of the queue, just getting what you are entitled too. As I stated earlier, cc in Iain Lees-Galloway and Kevin Hague and Judith Collins – that puts pressure on ACC to react. Collins will write back, ignoring you, but Galloway and Hague should take up your case. Any help is good. Best of luck.

        • Rosie 11.1.1.1

          Thanks again W@W.

          Yes, after some thought I have decided to write to the above which I had planned to do this arvo but I have just about fallen off my chair because I received a call 10 mins ago from a prospective employer asking me to come to an interview for a P/T job. I’ve gone into get- ready -for- job interview mode and will have to get back into ACC mode once I’m through job mode.

          Thanks for your wishes of luck. I want to live in a country where we shouldn’t rely on luck to get treatment for injuries, illness or assistance when we need it. Too much to ask?

          • freedom 11.1.1.1.1

            all the best for the interview Rosie, go get ’em

            • Will@Welly 11.1.1.1.1.1

              No, we shouldn’t ever have to rely on luck. Self dignity, personal responsibility and ability should be enough to get everyone through. Sadly the dark forces of other peoples’ greed and capriciousness count against so many. You should bolt in Rosie.

          • veutoviper 11.1.1.1.2

            I have everything crossed for you, Rosie, for the job interview. Re ACC, I seem to recall reading about various advocates who help with ACC problems. Will search my memory and Google.

  11. Bill 12

    Aw ffs! Was that the cops just putting trampers and tourists in the firing line by putting out a public announcement asking them to dob in any cannabis growing they might stumble across? I think so. Fcking twats!

    • Will@Welly 12.1

      Anyone going into the bush varying a water bottle is now suspicious. Apparently one of the tell-tale signs of a dope-grower. Just go for a walk through many of the workplaces around the country and see all the drink bottles scattered everywhere – what a joke.

  12. Colonial Viper 13

    Massive protest march in Basque country in support of political prisoners

    Spain is attempting to ban all such protests.

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bilbao&src=hash

  13. adam 14

    Great little review from Young Turks – arguing poverty quite well.

    http://www.tytnetwork.com/2014/01/11/war-poverty-handouts-encouraged-women-pop-babies/

  14. tricledrown 15

    Adam I think you are very niEVE
    Tyt network claims to be left wing but its major funders are GOP billionaires.

    • adam 15.1

      Am aware of that – I also watch RT – does that make me a stooge for the Russians? And Al Jazeera – so I must be an unthinking supporter of the Saudi regime?

      Along side this, if you watch TYT they keep saying they are moderates who have worked in MSM, if anything they are old school republicans before Regan. Which tells you how out of whack our politics really has got.

  15. NZ Femme 16

    Hooten rules out both standing in Epsom for ACT, and starting his own Political Party:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11185633

    • McFlock 16.1

      took him several hours to drop that hot potato.

      I thought PR was his profession?

    • @tricledown..

      ..and those who disbelieved/laughed at my call a while back that hooten was considering standing for act in epsom..and the reasons why..

      ..could they please form an orderly queue on the right..

      phillip ure…

      • Will@Welly 16.2.1

        Would he really want to give up all his perks and take a pay cut?

        • phillip ure 16.2.1.1

          @ willy..

          power is a powerful aphrodisiac..

          ..and hooten comes from money..

          ..so material-imperatives are less so for him than with others..

          ..and there are lots of millionaires in the tory party..

          ..who could earn more o/s parliament….

          ..power is the drug..

          and i guess he sees a chance/forum to peddle his rand-ite/fuck-the-poor-policies..

          phillip ure..

    • Paul 16.3

      “Bubble bubble, toil and trouble.”
      There’s are lot going iof under the surface.

  16. Philj 17

    Xox
    Suggestions for Hooten’s New Party name?

    • McFlock 17.1

      oldie but a goodie: SOcial D’EMocratic ALLiance

    • Chooky 17.2

      1.)’NZ Coots Party” (NZCP)

      winning slogans ….’Coots for Hoots’ and ‘Hoots for Coots’

      2.) ‘Possum Hoots Party’ (PHP) or ‘Hoots Possum Party’ (HPP)

      winning slogans ….’What a Hoot!’ and ‘Lets party Possums!”

  17. Colonial Viper 19

    First it was minimum wage checkout staff who got crushed by automation

    Now it’s fast food workers. Go away cheap labour, you’re not needed in the future economy. This automated machine can make up to 360 gourmet burgers an hour.

    With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices. Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant. It does everything employees can do except better.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-12/meet-smart-restaurant-minimum-wage-crushing-burger-flipping-robot

    • David H 19.1

      I refuse to use those autocheckout thingies they are taking a job way from someone. And if i have to give my cash up then i prefer a ‘good afternoon/morning and a smile.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        exactly

        it’s immoral to create an economy which no longer needs workers

        I’m still pissed off at Dunedin City getting rid of our friendly parking booth workers at Dunedin airport, and replacing them with German made self-pay kiosks.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.1

          it’s immoral to create an economy which no longer needs workers

          No it’s not. It’s immoral that only a few benefit from creating an economy that no longer needs workers.

          • McFlock 19.1.1.1.1

            that to me is the issue. Technology merely boosts productivity. It’s how we distribute the fruits of increased production that causes the problem.

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Right, the 1960’s/1970’s discussion on what people are going to do with all the spare time that they will have in the future, when technology liberates everyone from having to do more than a day or two of work a week.

              Meanwhile, while you guys are thinking up nice theories on how to “distribute the fruits of increased production”, unemployment and poverty climbs.

      • Jim Nald 19.1.2

        [Like!]

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.3

        And I make a bee line for them.

        Instead of thinking that it’s taking a job away from someone you should be thinking that that someone now has opportunity to do something better. Well, they would have if we had a society setup to allow such. Instead it’s designed to enrich a few while impoverishing everyone else.

        The problem isn’t the change in jobs but the system that prevents that change so as to enrich the few.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.3.1

          Isn’t it remarkable that the portion of the future vision you espouse is the portion which makes the capitalist ownership class richer. How likely was that!

          Do you have a timeline going for the rest of it to be implemented, as the reality our young people face today in this scenario is getting turfed out of employment, with your explicit support?

          You can never trust the intellectuals of our society to back ordinary workers, because finally, the intellectual are of a different class to ordinary workers and finally, unaffected by their travails.

          • Draco T Bastard 19.1.3.1.1

            Isn’t it remarkable that the portion of the future vision you espouse is the portion which makes the capitalist ownership class richer. How likely was that!

            That was inevitable with capitalist ownership and thus we need to have a look at capitalist ownership model. I’ve been saying this for several years.

            Do you have a timeline going for the rest of it to be implemented, as the reality our young people face today in this scenario is getting turfed out of employment, with your explicit support?

            When is it going to be implemented is up to the people of NZ and the rest of the world and how they vote. If they vote in a political party/system that implements it then it will be done.

            And, no, I don’t support our young being tossed into unemployment. The massive waste of the capitalist system is totally against anything and everything I stand for and have said on this board.

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.3.1.1.1

              Good of you to state those principles so clearly. Shame though that your actions in the supermarket explicitly support the very massively wasteful scrapping of workers that you say you decry, while helping to reassure supermarket management that replacing labour with technology was the right call.

              Of course, being able to indulge in an intellectual rationalisation (fantasy) that you are in actual fact personally and actively supporting a technology led ‘liberation’ of oppressed (and now unpaid) workers to pursue happier and more fulfilling lives, must be quite satisfying to you.

              • McFlock

                … and weavers are out of work, the outrages continue!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Shame though that your actions in the supermarket explicitly support the very massively wasteful scrapping of workers that you say you decry, while helping to reassure supermarket management that replacing labour with technology was the right call.

                I have to live in society as it is and work to change it through politics which is the only way it can be changed.

      • Anne 19.1.4

        Hi David,
        Unless I’m in a tearing hurry I refuse to use them for the same reason. Today I went to the local petrol station and because it was very quiet I stopped and chatted to the young lady behind the counter. She has to travel an hour each way on the bus to get to her job- probably the only job she could get. She gave me a lovely smile and appeared so pleased that someone was treating her like a real person. Well worth the effort folks.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.2

      Great, have been wondering when such machines would come out. Determined years ago that McDonald’s and other fast food places really should only be employing highly paid technicians to service the machines.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Thanks for approving of an inhumane, technocrat run society. I always thought that was what you preferred.

        • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1

          I’ve never said or implied that. I support democracy, always have done and always will do.

          • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1.1

            A democracy run by highly paid technicians, where the a burgeoning underclass of low skilled and unskilled workers are permanently unemployed, powerless, in poverty, with their jobs replaced by machines.

            Have you stopped for a second to think who exactly this “democracy” of yours leaves behind and abandons, and whether or not that can be considered a real democracy involving all citizens and not just the valued technocrats?

            • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1.1.1

              A democracy run by highly paid technicians, where the a burgeoning underclass of low skilled and unskilled workers are permanently unemployed, powerless, in poverty, with their jobs replaced by machines.

              /facepalm
              The highly paid techs would be the same people that once worked for McDs burger flippers.

              Have you stopped for a second to think who exactly this “democracy” of yours leaves behind and abandons, and whether or not that can be considered a real democracy involving all citizens and not just the valued technocrats?

              That’s no democracy of mine. That would be your own construction.

              Loss of jobs is the natural result of increasing productivity. The people freed up from those jobs can then go and do something else. And, yes, it will retraining.

              • Colonial Viper

                The highly paid techs would be the same people that once worked for McDs burger flippers.

                /facepalm

                So McDonalds is going to turn each of their $14/hr workers into $35/hr workers?

                When actually, you’d only need one highly paid tech doing the South Island and one doing the North Island. And once the systems became self diagnosing with online troubleshooting and repair, you could halve that number.

                Welcome to a brighter future.

                The people freed up from those jobs can then go and do something else. And, yes, it will retraining.

                Can’t believe you’re trotting out the same neolib lines of the last 30 years.

                Exactly what they told the miners, the railway men, the car assembly line workers, the pulp and paper mill operators. They’re all network admins, SAP developers and stock brokers now, don’t you know.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Can’t believe you’re trotting out the same neolib lines of the last 30 years.

                  Actually, it’s real economics and not neo-liberal BS and it’s been a feature of society ever since we started agriculture. If you increase productivity in one area of work that society needs/wants that will decrease the number of people being employed in that area those people can now go do something else that society wants that wasn’t being done before. This is a good idea. It allows a society that doesn’t produce, say electronics, to do so.

                  Neoliberalism and capitalism in general fails because, instead of doing something else, it decides to do more of the same and export despite the fact that every other nation is doing the same thing resulting in a glut of product.

                  As I said, the problem isn’t that those jobs are going. We should be celebrating that. The problem is that our society doesn’t support the changes needed such as getting the people who have lost jobs into retraining. A large part is also that the government leaves it to the capitalists to determine what society does and the capitalists, being risk averse, just want to do more of the same into a flooded market. This results in unemployment which the capitalists want because it keeps wages down.

                  Now think about what would happen if the government had a space program going that needed more people for research, mechanical engineering and general dogs bodies and which those people could be fitted into with full training given. Would you still be complaining about those jobs being lost?

  18. greywarbler 20

    I put up a reference to lumpenproletariat earlier when Marx was being mentioned.
    Another model for looking at society strata – the proportions of types of people haven’t changed here since those in the 1989 textbook I am looking at.

    From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VALS
    …used statistics to identify attitudinal and demographic questions that helped categorize adult American consumers into one of nine lifestyle types:
    survivors (4%),
    sustainers (7%), Named – Need driven consumers

    belongers (35%),
    emulators (9%),
    achievers (22%), Outer-directed consumers

    I-am-me (5%),
    experiential (7%),
    societally conscious (9%),
    integrated (2%). Inner-directed consumers

    The questions were weighted using data developed from a sample of 1,635 Americans and their partners, who responded to an SRI International survey in 1980.[2] Called the Values and Lifestyle VALS program developed at the Stanford Research Institute.

    Is this type of breakdown of population an aid in understanding the proportion of right and left voters?

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      There have been some very big changes in the US since that textbook would have been prepared. Consumers are now neck deep in debt, many have lost their homes or are underwater, and for the first time ever, many Americans feel that their prospects going forward are bleaker, not brighter.

      Is this type of breakdown of population an aid in understanding the proportion of right and left voters?

      Mounting ANGER and FRUSTRATION of the people is the thing that the Left fails to get and accept in the US; it is however something that the Right Wing (eg Tea Party) understands and uses very adroitly.

  19. Brett Dale 21

    Are short men the male version of fat chicks?

    This was posted at the democratic underground.

    The sort of USA version of this site.

    The poster was stating that “woman treat short guys, like guys treat fat chicks”

    It was a serious discussion.

    • Murray Olsen 21.1

      Have you tried inserts? Or maybe style your hair like Peter Dunne.

      I’d say women treat short guys like guys treat chicks, and fat chicks get it even worse. Except chicks isn’t normally a word I’d use, but just this once……

  20. Penny Bright 22

    FYI

    URGENT ‘Open Letter to NZ SFO CEO Julie Read, and General Manager for Fraud and Corruption, Nick Paterson

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/urgent-open-letter-to-nz-sfo-ceo-julie-read-and-general-manager-for-fraud-and-corruption-nick-paterson/

    January 13, 2014 | Author Penny

    13 January 2014
    Julie Read
    CEO/ Director
    NZ Serious Fraud Office

    Nick Paterson
    General Manager
    Fraud and Corruption
    NZ Serious Fraud Office

    ‘Open Letter’

    For your urgent consideration:

    Please be advised that if Lisa Prager and myself (Penny Bright), have not had it confirmed by yourselves, by email, by 5pm Tuesday 14 January 2014, that the SFO will re-evaluate our following bribery and corruption complaint, then without further notice, proceedings for a private prosecution on this matter will be filed in the Auckland District Court on Wednesday 15 January 2014.

    Please be advised that no such response by email, by 5pm Tuesday 14 January 2014, will be taken as a ’NO’ to our request.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ………………….
    ………………….
    Lisa Prager

    • bad12 22.1

      Was Len bribed??? naughty little man should be spanked severely if this were proven, at a guess tho any court looking at the evidence of bribery that can be presented and that appears to be the sum total of zilch as far as ‘evidence’ goes, and consign such a ‘charge’ to the nearest dustbin…

  21. newsense 23

    fuck me. things I didn’t know about one of the richest nations in the world

    “Food stamps feed 1 in 7 Americans and cost almost $80 billion a year, twice what it cost five years ago”
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/01/12/216210/doctors-say-food-stamp-cuts-could-cause-higher-healthcare-costs

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Its worse than that. 47M Americans on food stamps. 1 in 7 Americans. But that’s 1 in 4 US children.

    • greywarbler 23.2

      newsense
      I think I read that MacDonalds had an arrangement with their staff that they will help them apply for food stamps if needed. They are a very kindly corporation and I am sure want the best for them. And prepare them for when they might be replaced if Macs instal robot hamburger makers as referred to on this blog (yesterday?) – I think that it can do 300 ‘gourmet’ hamburgers in an hour??

  22. tricledrown 24

    CV your narative on the intellectuals is summing up what labour has become.
    Amish no greens mana yes.
    Back in the 70’s IBM released a corporate statement saying that
    Machines and computers would negate the need to work.
    And we would all be just doing liesure activities.
    I never trusted that statement then.
    I don’t Now .
    Printing money has been suggested by CV.
    I agree to a degree if it is for specific purpose that is not going to create rampant inflation such as the CHCh rebuild.
    Housing shortage it could be used to keep house inflation down reducing speculation.
    Just giving it to large banks to speculate is counter productive
    Like what’s happening in global stock markets right Now.
    I had to laugh at the news tonight the business commentater was saying that tje stock market will perform all year that is until the GOP sabateurs hold the Democrats to ransom again that will include the debt ceiling obamacare foodstamp reductions farming act guarnteeing continued welfare to the republican supporting farming sector.
    The withdrawl of long term benefits.
    All this will add up to an US economy dipping into recession in the second half of the year.
    As midterm elections approach
    The Republicans don’t want the economy to be doing well under Obama so they will sabotage growth to try and damage the Democrats.
    So The stock markets world wide will slide into a bear market this year.

  23. tricledrown 25

    Penny bright good luck with that
    The SFO has had its funding cut no surprises their.
    Banks and Brash weren’t prosecuted for hulijch scam.
    While poor old Doug Graham is having to survive on his parliamentry pension for doing exactly the same offence.
    Graham Mc Cready should be appointed to SFO.

  24. tricledrown 26

    Critiscism of Geoffrey Palmer
    Was a we bit over the top.
    He kept reitterating that apathy disolusionment and centerist also the fore gone conclusion that their vote wouldn’t matter policy were a catch 22 I know that if voters in the 2011 election had turned out Key would not be PM polls were saying National would cruise to victory so stayed at home.
    Palmer was dog whistling the left.
    Saying if you want better govt don’t stay at home its imperative to get the policies you want by voting.
    He repeated that message .
    So who stayed at home.
    Palmer was able to get the lefts message out their.
    And that is our message get out and vote.

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